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Travel Tips to Turn Your Vacation into an Adventure

Travel Tips to Turn Your Vacation into an Adventure
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Taking an adventurous vacation is something almost anyone would enjoy. As Henry Miller once said, “One´s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” In other words, a vacation is about more than just visiting a great place. It’s about getting a fresh, new perspective on many things.

Sure, you could visit one of the top ten cities in the world, or you could buy one of those all-inclusive vacation packages you see advertised on TV or online. These usually include luxury stays at five-star hotels, all meals, and sightseeing excursions with a tour guide.

But when you choose the traditional vacation getaway, you lose the opportunity to step outside your own comfort zone and benefit from serendipity. No matter where you are thinking of traveling next, it is advisable to collect travel tips to make your next escape that much more interesting.

The following infographic highlights some great hacks to make your next vacation amazing:

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By joe.shervell

    In the graphic above, there are 21 recommended travel hacks. The following are some of the most recommended and noteworthy hacks for your next trip:

    • Pack less
    • Eat healthier
    • Bring a hoodie
    • Use a dummy wallet
    • Eat local food
    • Use a cheap, prepaid phone
    • Travel with multi-cultural friends

    Not to disregard the importance of the other hacks listed, but these seven tips are stress-free essentials that will increase your enjoyment. When you are packing, pack light. There are strict weight limits and restrictions when you fly these days, so do not burden yourself with a million things in your suitcase.

    Don’t take your health for granted while traveling. One of the most common problems while traveling abroad is getting a stomach-related bug. Keeping your body happy and your immune system supported will make your memories colorful and joyful rather than grim visions of white porcelain. While it’s always fun to try exotic new foods, keep eating enough fruits and vegetables. The food you eat where you live may be very different from the food you will find in the location you will be visiting. This does not mean that you should refrain from dining in local restaurants, but exercise a degree of caution. Find out whether the country you are visiting has its own version of Montezuma’s revenge.

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    Bringing a hoodie is another great hack. If you run into cooler weather conditions, the hoodie will keep you warm. In addition, if you happen to be stranded or if you experience a long layover or a cancellation of a flight, it can be turned into a pillow.

    Using a dummy wallet instead of your regular one is a life-saving piece of advice. Why? In other countries, if you pull out a passport holder every time you need to make a small purchase, you will be perceived as a tourist. So, purchase an inexpensive wallet and put a small amount of cash in it. That way your real wallet, with most of your cash and your documents, won’t be stolen even if the dummy wallet is. Plus, you will avoid having to call credit card companies or the bank to cancel your cards.

    It is absolutely pointless to take your phone and pay outrageously expensive roaming charges. Buy a prepaid phone and use it to call locally. Your wallet is not the only thing thieves are interested in. Smartphones are a favorite device to snatch away from foreign visitors, so keep yours within reach at all times.

    Visiting a place when you know someone from that country is a benefit. When you travel with a friend or a group of friends that are fluent in the local language, things become easier during your travels. This can eliminate the stresses of trying to speak a language you do not know or trying to ask for basic information in another language.

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    Additional travel tips or insights

    Now that we’ve discussed some of the essential travel hacks, let us cover some additional tips. There are probably around 10 to maximum 20 tips we can all agree upon.

    Exceptional travel experiences, or in this case adventure travel, are about taking an “off the beaten path” approach — something or somewhere that is out of the usual way, or out of a popular and touristy area. You want to have more than a generic tour guide. You want someone to connect you to unique experiences that are filled with mystery and wonder.

    Plan the trip in advance, and do not leave things for the very last minute. There is nothing worse than running on a few hours of sleep before a long trip.

    An analysis on The Everywhereist reviews site includes a complete list of travel tips. This article discusses everything from camera chargers for travelers to packing clothes that require no ironing.

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    What could make your trip truly unforgettable? For starters, try not to plan too many things to do during your entire vacation. The whole idea is to disconnect from your busy work-life, step outside your usual surroundings, and experience something different.

    Over-planning eliminates all spontaneity. What separates an average vacation from an out-of-the-ordinary experience is the opportunity to exchange meaningful conversations or moments with engaging strangers.

    Takeaways and conclusions

    When you are planning a vacation, plan to turn it into an adventure. These days most people are buried in paperwork and constantly multi-tasking. So, we owe ourselves the time to recharge during these short vacation periods.

    Applying these hacks and tips will definitely allow you to come back from your trip as a rejuvenated person. Finally, make sure your work email is on auto-reply, and inform your superiors well in advance that you will be out of the office. The whole purpose of traveling is to dedicate time to yourself and to rediscover the wonders of the world.

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    Infographic credit: Visually

    Featured photo credit: By DeeAshley via Flickr via flickr.com

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    Anthony Carranza

    Multilingual writer and journalist covering all things technology and productivity.

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    Published on July 27, 2021

    15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow

    15 Smart Video Conferencing Etiquette Tips to Follow
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    During the pandemic, video conferencing replaced in-person meetings and has now become the standard option for business meetings. Over the past 17 months, most workers have gotten past the video conferencing learning curve with Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or their platform of choice).

    But just as with in-person meetings, attention can wax and wane. Some say we’re just not used to staring at ourselves so much on the screen. Instead of fixating on that, try employing smart video conferencing etiquette, or you may risk indiscretions that will flag you as a slacker.

    Put the Pro in Professional

    After more than a year of fine-tuning, here are the new rules of video conferencing etiquette.

    1. Mute Your Mobile and Other Devices

    The first video conference etiquette you need to know is muting your other devices. Just as in the pre-COVID days, someone’s obnoxious ring tone blaring Taylor Swift’s newest single in the middle of a meeting is also an annoyance if it happens during a Zoom meeting and so is the inevitable fumbling to turn off the sound. Even the apologies to the group get tiresome.

    Also, when notifications are activated on the computer that you’re using for the meeting, the incoming message takes over the audio and you’ll miss out on snippets of the conversation. Be sure to eliminate this possible faux pas.

    2. Dress the Part

    While working from home, you may have fallen into the habit of slipping on your comfiest T-shirt each day. Hey, no judgments! But before you log on to your video conference, try to make an effort with your appearance.

    Depending on your company culture and the importance of your meeting, consider dressing the part of the professional whom you wish to project. It will help you feel more self-assured, and others will likely take you more seriously.

    For women, wear light make-up, put on earrings, and make sure your blouse is crisply pressed. For men, show up freshly shaved. Wearing a crisp collared shirt in a solid color will usually suffice.

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    Pro Tip: Stay away from wearing white or black, unless those colors look great on you. Consider wearing light blue or brown instead.

    3. Stage Your Workspace

    Have you noticed the backdrops of experts interviewed on news shows? Bookshelves and photographs are carefully curated, and no busy-patterned furniture or artwork is in sight.

    Take note of what appears behind you when you choose the location of your video conferences. Piles of junk mail on the table or stacks of folded laundry on the couch will convey more about your personal life than you care to share. Make sure you remove clutter from the camera’s eye, and present a tidy, orderly workspace to your colleagues, coworkers, and bosses.

    4. Put Some Thought Into Lighting and Perspective

    Be aware that in a video conference, your computer camera can actually make you look up to ten pounds heavier depending on where you sit. But you can easily drop those added pounds by moving back from the screen to diminish the wide-angle distortion.

    Frame your head on the screen by tilting the screen up or down. Also, it’s best to not place yourself in front of a window or bright light, which makes you appear in shadow. Instead, face the light source, moving it (or yourself) until you have a flattering amount of illumination. You can also purchase some small spotlights that allow you to add light as needed.

    Pro Tip: If your lights add too much redness to your skin, consider counter-balancing with a green filter.

    Remember That Half of Life Is Showing Up

    5. Arrive on Time

    In the old days of in-person meetings, it was nearly impossible to slip in late into a meeting unnoticed. In today’s video conferences, logging in late still shows poor form. Instead, strive to arrive five minutes early and get yourself settled.

    Once the meeting is underway, the host may be less attentive about late arrivals waiting to be let in. Diverting the host’s attention away from the meeting with a tardy entry request is the ultimate giveaway that you didn’t honor the schedule. If you don’t want a black mark against you, log in on time.

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    6. Turn on Your Video

    Few people like to see their face on the screen, but buck up and turn on your camera in video conferences. In most cases, it’s better to be a face on a screen than a name in a blank square. Your statements will be more memorable when other meeting attendees can see you.

    If you need to turn off the video, either because of a poor connection, some commotion in the room, or a need for a quick break, give a short explanation via the chat feature. Then, go back on video as soon as you’re able.

    Pro Tip: Keep your explanation for your departure pithy. “Sorry! Doorbell rang. Back in five” says it all. Be sure to honor what you say in chat and really do return in five minutes.

    7. Plan Ahead Before Sharing Your Screen

    Don’t be one of those people who makes everyone else wait as you click through folders in search of a document. That’s just poor video conferencing etiquette. If you know you’ll need to share a document or video on your screen, prepare by pulling it out of its folder and onto your desktop. Also, clean up the files and folders on your desktop to reduce clutter and facilitate easy access. Close other programs like chat, calendar notifications, and email. Disable pop-up notifications to ensure there’ll be no unforeseen distractions.

    Be sure to remind the host before the meeting that you’ll need them to activate the screen-sharing function. Show courtesy once you’re finished by hitting “stop share” to return to the screen with participants.

    Attend to the Pesky Details

    8. Make Sure That Meetings Remain Right-Sized

    With the easy accessibility of video conferencing, it can be tempting to extend the meeting invitation beyond the core group and include everyone peripherally involved in a project. But just as with in-person meetings, the more people involved, the more unwieldy the meeting becomes.

    Use good judgment when asking others to sit through a video conference so that you don’t needlessly take up others’ time and so that participants can be fully engaged.

    9. Remember to “Unmute” Before You Speak

    Most of us are likely able to count on one hand the number of video conferences when someone didn’t have to be reminded, “You’re on mute!” Forgetting to unmute before speaking has become one of the most common missteps in video conferencing.[1]

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    Show everyone your impeccable video-conferencing poise by managing your mute feature with flawless control.

    10. Stay on Point to Keep the Meeting Length in Check

    As with in-person meetings, an agenda with assigned time limits for discussions remains necessary to keep a meeting focused. Data shows, however, that video conferencing can actually reduce meeting time.[2] Reasons include the elimination of commuting time and the ability to screen share and annotate to keep everyone on task.

    Additionally, side conversations are virtually impossible with video conferencing now that you can no longer have back-and-forth exchanges with the person beside you.

    Pro Tip: If you’re running the meeting, let attendees know in advance the protocol for the chat feature. Is it okay for them to “chat among themselves” or not? (See point 11, as well.)

    Talking Has a Time and a Place

    11. Chat Appropriately

    Just like side conversations or texting in an in-person meeting, the use of the chat feature during a video conference can be disrespectful unless it’s directed to all participants. Hence, it’s good video conferencing etiquette to mind your use of the chat.

    At the start of the meeting, you may want to ask the host if it’s alright for participants to use the chat feature. This allows them to disable it if they choose. Used appropriately, it can be a helpful tool to clarify or amplify an earlier point once the conversation has moved on or to let the group know that you need to sign off early (and why).

    12. Use the “Raise Hand” Feature to Avoid Interruptions

    The slight lag in many video conferences can result in speaking over another person if you attempt to jump into a conversation. To avoid this awkward interruption, indicate when you have something to add to the discussion with the raise-your-hand feature that signals the host you would like to speak. This effective meeting management device makes video conferencing run more smoothly, especially with a large group, but it must be activated and monitored by the host.

    Pro Tip: For meetings of six to ten people, sometimes the old-fashioned raising of your physical hand may be the best option. But it’s up to the meeting host. Ask them what they would prefer, and follow that.

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    13. Don’t Record the Session or Take Photos Without Prior Permission

    In this case, not sharing is caring. The “sharing culture” made popular through social media has little place in video conferencing. Before recording a meeting or capturing a screenshot of the participants, always ask for consent in advance from the full roster of attendees. Knowing that a video conference will be photographed or recorded could have a bearing on what others are willing to discuss.

    Manage Yourself

    14. Minimize Distractions

    While de-activating audio and video features can keep distractions from affecting the other participants, you will need to manage noise and disruptions on your end to give your full attention to the meeting.

    Move out of high-traffic zones in your home, keep your door closed, and ask family members to be considerate.

    15. Save Snacking for Later

    Save snacking for later—or earlier. Eating while on video conference is a no-no. Munching in front of the group while close to the camera—as you are when video conferencing—subjects the participants to an up-close and (too) personal view of your food consumption process.

    However, it’s perfectly fine to sip quietly from a glass of water or cup of coffee or tea. If the meeting threatens to last for more than two hours, you may want to ask the host in advance to schedule a five-minute break at the halfway point.

    Final Thoughts

    Even though bosses are now beginning to ask workers to spend some of their workdays on-site, up to 80 percent will permit employees to work remotely at least part of the time, which means more video conferencing in your future.[3] Mastering these video conferencing etiquette tips will help you dial in—as well as dial back—your participation and demonstrate your unwavering level of engagement to the team.

    Featured photo credit: Chris Montgomery via unsplash.com

    Reference

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