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4 Surefire Ways To Travel Like A Boss in 2016

4 Surefire Ways To Travel Like A Boss in 2016

If you’re anything like me, you have a love/hate relationship with business travel. Of course, it’s always great to go someplace different, experience the culture, try new and exciting cuisine, and meet awesome people– but long flights, airplane food, and dingy hotels are all things I can live without.

On the plus side, after traveling quite a bit for both business and pleasure, you tend to develop a sense of how to do it better, avoiding all the downsides of travel. Here’s some of my favorite tricks of the trade:

1. Protect your belongings both on and offline

As many of us have learned the hard way, being a foreigner basically means you are a walking target for theft in both the physical and virtual sense. For example, while at the Eiffel Tower, I was asked to sign a charitable petition, but I hesitated because something didn’t sit right to me. I later found out it was a scam, and others who fell for it were pick-pocketed as they signed.

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While I was fortunate to detect the crime before it happened, cyber theft is much more subtle. Like the conventional thief, cyber criminals are looking for the most vulnerable individuals: i.e. ones not familiar with the culture, or lacking awareness of where they are to steal sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers bank information and more.

Having such information stolen from you certainly turns any pleasant getaway, into a disaster. That’s why it’s essential for us to take necessary precautions. I personally use SaferVPN while I browse the Internet in coffee shops, hotels, airports and other locations with unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. The tool allows me to browse the Internet with a completely secure and private connection, so I can catch up with work anywhere and rest assured that all my passwords, personal information and email correspondences are fully protected.

2. Pack light

There’s absolutely nothing worse than that sinking feeling you get when you can’t find your luggage. In an instant you feel like everything you own is gone, regardless of the fact that it is only a small portion of your belongings.

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In contrast, if you are one of the fortunate travelers whose items come forth early on the conveyer belt, you are then stuck pushing around bulky, cumbersome luggage–at least until you can find a cab. But we all know local transport is part of the travel experience. As such, it’s more than a little bit of a bummer when you’re not able to explore like the locals.

So, either way you look at it, there is zero benefit to bringing lots of luggage. To avoid this, pack light enough to put all your belongings into carry on. This way, you get off that plane fast, keep all of your belongings in one place, and are free to travel wherever whenever.

3. Tour spontaneously

Travel guides give you all the details on the conventional destinations in a given area. By reading one, you might  discover an abundance of information on a place’s history, classical art, and famous architecture. While this is all well and good, you may never actually find out what makes that culture tick today, which in my opinion, takes away from your overall experience.

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So get off the grid by befriending locals, walking down the street and discovering local treasures. Simply walk into a local restaurant and find out what types of food people eat, and ask the waiters and waitresses about the best nightlife, markets, and local shops.

If you need a bit more of a guide, there are some great apps out there to give you all the lowdown on the city you’re visiting. If it’s food you crave, try LocalEats, an app that helps you discover the best independently owned eateries. For advice on local activities, use Spotted by Locals, an app which is written by residents in order to help tourists find the hottest hangouts in the city. These apps are especially great for business travelers who may not have the time to go on an organized tour, but still want to have an experience.

4. Travel in style

With the world becoming smaller every day, more and more inventions are being created to make the process of travel easier and more convenient. If you are an avid traveler, I definitely suggest checking out some of the latest new gadgets and travel accessories.

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In addition to packing, another challenge in travel, at least for many of us, is of course sleep. I personally find that with my head and neck in awkward positions, I simply can’t comfortable enough to fall asleep. Of course, if you’re traveling for business, showing up tired the next day is not ideal. So I bought the J Pillow, which supports my head, neck, and chin in order to make sleep come easier. This way, I wake up refreshed and ready to take on a day of meetings.

Lastly, my  worst nightmare when traveling is losing my phone, keys or something else of value. That’s why I love the Nokia Treasure Tag. This simple device attaches to any object, like keys for example, and it will alert your phone if you forget it. This way, I never lose sight of my favorite things and I am freed up to travel with ease.

Traveling can be stressful. But, if done right, it can be an unbelievable experience where you learn new things, discover different cultures, and gain fresh perspectives that can take you further in both business and life in general.

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Yoav Vilner

CEO at Ranky

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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