5 Healthy Eating Tips For December

Follow these simple tips and get the healthy eating habit in the run up to Christmas.

  1. Cut down on sugar

    Tired all the time? Easy prey for every bug that’s going? Beat winter health downturn by cutting back on sugary foods, which make white blood cells less able to combat nasties. Up your intake of fresh fruit and veg to keep immunity high.

  2. Keep temptations hidden

    It’s a good idea to stock up slowly on festive goodies and spread the cost – but be sure to hide them away – well away – where you won’t be tempted before the holiday. Don’t make your careful shopping habits an excuse to turn Christmas into a month-long binge of unhealthy eating.

  3. Eat more fresh vegetables

    Serve a large mixed salad as an appetiser before the main course to take the edge of hunger and give you a valuable serving of fresh veg.

  4. Plan to eat healthily

    Keep up the exercise even though the weather is colder. Wrap up warm, and walk briskly, every day. You’re bound to be hungry when you return, so before you leave, set out a healthy snack – put soup in a pan, get wholemeal bread into the toaster ready to go, or fill a small bowl with dried fruits and nuts. Make healthy eating easy, and you won’t be tempted to reach for the cookies.

  5. Reduce consumption of booze

    Cut back on alcohol in the run up to the holiday season. When you feel like a drink, wait for a while before you begin on the alcohol, and instead pour a fruit juice or tomato juice into an attractive glass, add ice, lemon and sip slowly. It soon becomes an easy, alcohol-reducing habit.

Travel Tips – Documents to be Carried While Traveling

While traveling outside US, documentation is an important part of your trip. Outside US and even in other States, you and your luggage are recognized by your documents. Carrying proper travel related documents and identity proofs could help you avoid unnecessary jitters.

The best international travel tips is to carry original copy of some documents and keep one or two photocopies of the other in case of emergency. You should also leave a copy of your documents with some friends, which they can fax to you if you loose yours. Ask your travel agent or friends who have gone to those destinations about the necessary travel tips for documents.

Vacations and Business travel Tips

Whether you are on fun, business or a personal trip, the important documents required while traveling outside US are: Passport, Visa, Driving License, Medical Certificates and Insurance documents. A passport is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies the identity and nationality of the bearer.

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave most foreign countries. The Passport Services Office provides information and services to American citizens about how to obtain, replace or change a passport. To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to go in person to passport acceptance facilities with your two photographs, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as driver’s license and apply for the passport. You can seek travel tips for documents from your friends and acquaintances that have traveled to those destinations.

Airline Travel Tips and Visa Requirements

Most countries require a visa before you can travel there. You can board on aircraft only if you have a valid visa and return air ticket for the destination. Few countries allow free passage to US Citizens. However, it is mandatory to carry a valid identification proof with you in these countries to avoid legal complications and prove your identity in case of emergency. It is the responsibility of travelers to obtain Visa, where required, from the appropriate embassy or nearest consulate of the country you are planning to visit. Certain countries have proper validation requirements for Visa applications take some time before approving your visa. It is therefore necessary to obtain the visa well in advance to avoid last minute problems.

Luggage Documentation Tips

If you are carrying valuable and electronic items, good travel tips is to keep a copy of the invoice, insurance and troubleshooting manuals with you while you are traveling. While invoice and insurance are needed to prove your ownership, a manual will help the technicians if some problem occurs in it. These documents will also help you to avail international warranty and service facilities wherever applicable.

Travel insurance tips

Most countries require the foreign tourists covered up with insurance before they enter the country. However, insurance during travel is a critical issue due to legal differences between two countries. Contact your insurance company to find if the present insurance covers the foreign trips or not. Even your travel agent can help you with important travel insurance tips.

Best Tips for Traveling Alone in a Car Trip

If you must travel alone in a car, here are a few things you need to know and be aware of to help you survive the trip. You can make the trip as pleasurable or as adventurous as you want. Always set a timetable for departure and arriving and try to stick to it. Make allowances for emergencies or problems.

Before you take the trip include the following tips in your plans:

1. Prepare your mind – avoid stress of any kind before getting on the road

2. Prepare your body – make sure you get a good night of sleep and rest

3. Prepare your car – have your car tuned up, oil changed, brakes checked, tire rotated and in good condition, extra fluids in the car (oil, brake, transmission, windshield, antifreeze, etc.) and make sure your windshield wipers and lights are working properly

4. Plan your route – find out the nearest hospitals, hotels, rest stops and restaurants

5. Let someone know your route and check in with that person at designated times to be safe

6. Have your cell phone charged and available for emergency calls.

7. Take along a map or GPS and have it handy or ready in the event you get lost or need directions.

8. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes to drive in

9. Travel with suitcases or bags in trunk of car for safety reasons

10. Try to map out or organize your route (beware of road construction and detours)

11. Have a small amount of cash or traveler’s checks in the event your credit or debit card does not work

While traveling during the trip follow these tips:

1. Try to travel during the day. At night is too risky, especially if the car breaks down.

2. Make frequent or regular stops to break the monotony of driving.

3. If you feel tired or sleepy pull over at the nearest safe place and stop or get a hotel room to spend the night and wake up refreshed.

4. Take along a snack (gum or candy) if it doesn’t make you sleepy

5. Listening to the radio or music is usually good for some people

6. You may want to drive with windows down a little to get fresh air

7. If at all possible do not sleep in the car alone

8. Wear a pair of shades if the sun is too much of a strain on your eyes

After reaching your destination follow these tips:

1. Take a nice hot shower and rest or get some sleep

2. You may want to eat a nice meal after resting

By following these tips your trip alone should be much easier and stress-free. Rather business or pleasure driving alone can be a memorable experience.

Tips for Buying Small Travel Bags

People who travel often develop a strong view on the type of travel bags that best suit their needs.Buying a new travel bags is easy. Here are some tips for buying the perfect small travel bag.

Generally there are two broad sizes of bags used by travelers – small luggage and larger suitcases.

Small luggage comes in many shapes

Business travel is often short-term. Hence the luggage design reflects the needs to carry papers, laptops and personal items needed for an overnight business trip.

For casual and outdoor trips select a backpack. Backpacks work for people who prefer to travel light. A small backpack should carry everything needed for the entire trip whether it is camping or any other type of short trip.

The design of carry-on luggage gives the best options for travelers on flights or bus tours. Airlines specify the maximum dimensions and in recent times, the staff confirm suitable bags at check-in. This specification allows the bags to fit in the overhead compartment of the plane or underneath your seat.

Totes and casual bags are for the person seeking for a travel bag that can carry a day’s outdoor needs. Most of these types of bag designers have fashion in their minds all the while attempting not to compromise the practicality of the item.

Garment bags and carriers are specialist bags for carrying dresses, suits or clothes on hangers.

Bags have accessories to improve their usefulness. Here are a few accessories that improve bags for traveling.

Locks are often attached to the bag. However, they can be added to the zippers or appropriate places, if required. Keyed locks and combination locks are available for most cases.

Luggage tags are essential.They help you find your bag when collecting from carousel and other places.

Many modern bags incorporate carts allowing easy wheeling, instead of carrying.

Other considerations.

Hardware. Ideal luggage should have straps, handles in different sides, and compartments to hold your clothes in place and to prevent wrinkles. Recessed handles generally last longer.

Bag fabric varies with polyester, leather, and nylon being the most common. Choose one with higher “denier” to assure durability. The higher the number the more durable the material. Fabric type determines the price of travel bags. Hard cases are also becoming popular.

If you can chose the zipper,choose large zippers because they usually outlast smaller ones.

A rigid bag frame is recommended to ensure the bag remains sturdy. Materials such as fiberglass, durable plastic, and aluminum provide luggage excellent frames

Small travel bags vary greatly in price. If you are a frequent traveller a more expensive travel bag will serve you well.

Your First Trip to Cebu, Philippines Travel Tips

If you’re coming here on vacation no doubt most of your planning was already done via the company you booked your flight with such as the hotel. Also be aware most major resorts will offer a shuttle service and often at little or no cost. That is something that will instantly save you money when arriving as the taxi drivers are generally looking to make two or even three times the normal amount which is why its strongly advised to always ask for the meter to be put on when entering a taxi and leave if they refuse. Also a good tip is to go across the road at Mactan airport and up the ramp as you will come out at the departure area and the taxis are less likely to give you problems purely because they are looking for rides back to the City. If its late at night you may tip the driver but generally I only tip if they don’t ask for extra.

If your not pre-booked into accommodation and looking for something a bit more long term but know people like myself in the area we can help find you a better deal as often the rents will be hiked on the knowledge of you being a foreigner. Prime example is the rent I pay which is P3,000 per month for a 1 bedroom apartment where someone else is likely to be charged around P7,000 upwards for a similar type and size building as well as bills. The other advantage of asking people like myself is that we can often locate areas which are more suitable for Expats as they are generally areas with an existing Expat population.

What areas are best to stop in for a trip to Cebu? Personally if its a vacation I would look to get accommodation on Mactan island due to its number of hotels and resorts as well as facilities catering for the tourism market such as diving, island hopping and generally good quality beaches. Cebu city itself is less than twenty minutes ride away giving you quick access to the large malls in Cebu or Colon market which is famous for its bargains and an ideal place to pickup souviners a lot cheaper than you will find elsewhere. Colon street also offers several guitar stores for hand made guitars who also produce ornate mirrors.

Touring the island is often something many don’t do but would recommend at least a couple of days of a trip here to travel to the more beautiful parts of the island as the further you head out the greener and cleaner the countryside becomes. It also gives opportunity to experience diving, waterfalls, beaches and local life. Getting around doesn’t have to be so expensive and I can help organise vehicles for such trips which are generally fixed prices for the day and the hire of a vehicle with driver. This allows you to travel around without the worry of being lost or trying to deal with the hectic traffic that exists all over the Philippines.

One of the most important factors many people over look though is “money” you don’t need to change it abroad it is actually a lot cheaper to do it within the Philippines. As well as the fact Western money has a larger currency value so larger bills in a home currency means less money mass and only needing to change money as and when you need it. There are money changers pretty much everywhere, avoid the ones at the airport and use the ones in good locations such as the malls but please check rates as they can vary considerably. If you get a new sim for your phone and let your regular changer know they will often update you by text or call you on a land line with the latest prices.

Do not carry too much jewelery or expensive items as currently we are experiencing a higher than usual number of snatches. Believe it or not someone will grab a chain from your neck and disappear into the crowd quicker than you can look at them. Also carrying personal items that may make you stand out will make you a more obvious risk of robbery. Generally I find Cebu a safe place but like most things you do not want to invite risk if it can be avoided. The general population are friendly and glad to help but like any society there are always some bad elements.

5 Holiday Weight Loss Tips & Their Reality Checks

Do you find it almost impossible to stay conscious and contentious about weight and nutrition during the holidays? Of course you do. More than half of all Americans are overweight: You’re not alone.

A new government study might give you a ray of hope though: The study shows that Americans gain only about one pound over the holidays. The study found that people participating were influenced by two main factors over the holidays: The level of their hunger, and the level of their activity. In other words: Those who reported being less active or more hungry during the holidays had the greatest weight gain.

So common sense says: If you can stay focused on dealing with just those two things, you’ll probably win your personal holiday weight loss battle. At the very least, you’ll win by not adding more weight to what’s already waiting to be shed.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of weight gain,” says Dr. Samuel Klein, the Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. “Preventing the increase in weight is a lot easier and better than actually gaining weight and then trying to get it off again.”

So the answer seems simple: Eat less and exercise more. The reality of implementation of course, is far more difficult.

The good news is that most of the people overestimate how much weight they’d gained over the holidays. Fewer than 10% gain 5 pounds or more.

The bad news is: The small amount of weight gained is never lost. One pound of weight gain is quite a small amount, but since it’s not usually lost again: The weight adds up over time – to obesity.

Now we all know there are tons of tips out and about this time of year, designed to help us keep from putting on that extra pound or two during the holidays. Unfortunately what’s usually not talked about is: The reality of day-to-day holiday stress and situations. Let’s explore the tips… along with their reality checks… in depth:

Weight Loss Tip 1: Stay active. The best thing you can do is try to stick to your normal schedule and routine.

Holiday Reality Check: It’s pretty hard to have any kind of decent routine in the busy months of November and December. Busy people tend to sacrifice yoga classes, long walks, and visits to the gym because they need time for extra things like decorating the house, cooking, cleaning up before the visitors get there, and of course: Shopping.

The Good News: Walking around the shopping mall and stores is great exercise, and so is cleaning the house. In addition to those activities, decorating can be quite intensive too: You’re climbing up and down to hang things; lifting, lugging, and dragging boxes out of storage; bending, twisting and turning to get it all looking just right. So don’t beat yourself up about not making it to the gym… you’re getting plenty of activity and every little bit helps!

Weight Loss Tip 2: Don’t let yourself get too hungry. If you go to a party and you’re starving, everything will look even more scrumptious than normal. And of course, you’ll eat much more because of it. Try starting each day with a good, solid breakfast – particularly something with protein. And when you’re at the party, try munching on the veggies to help keep you feeling full. These two things will help your hunger stay under control, and will in turn help you refrain from “gorging” on anything you see just because you’re famished.

Holiday Reality Check: We’re all very busy during the holidays, and it’s not always possible to remember to eat – let alone eat well – particularly in the morning when we may have already overslept and are now running late for everything. And eating healthy at a party isn’t always possible either: Not everyone in this country serves vegetable plates, salads, or fruit bowls. Sometimes the only things in site are junk: Chips, candy, and cookies.

Here’s a suggestion: Try taking your own veggie plate to a party where you know there won’t be one available. A quick and easy way to do this is simply buy a bag or two of pre-cut veggies and some ranch salad dressing. Alternatively, eat a decent meal before you go to the party. Don’t overdo things, but don’t make it a light snack either. Eating first will help you to just “nibble” a bit on the worst of the holiday treats offered.

Weight Loss Tip 3: Stay away from the food. Literally. Just don’t go anywhere near the buffet table, appetizers, or treats… and you’ll be fine.

Holiday Reality Check: In most cases, the food is everywhere. And even if it’s not right in front of your face, you sure can smell it! Trying to just “stay away from it” is pretty unrealistic – and it can feel like torture for some of us. And for most people: When you can’t have something, you want it even more. So trying to stay away from the food will most likely just make you overindulge worse than you would have otherwise.

Try this instead: Allow yourself whatever you’d like. But with a catch. First: Take only half the amount you normally would. And take just one food item. Eat that and enjoy it without guilt. Then, wait a full 20-30 minutes before you get something else. Then repeat the process: One item, half the portion size as you normally would, enjoy it without guilt, then wait before getting something else.

Allowing yourself to eat gets rid of the mentality of “I can’t have it (and thus I’m more determined to have it)” It lets you enjoy the good food and the holidays, without beating yourself up. This is healthy and can help tremendously with the way you view food and eating in general. Only taking half of it though, will help you not take in as much calories, fat, sugar or other bad stuff you usually avoid. And then waiting 20-30 minutes before you get something else will help your body realize when it’s had enough… or too much. So you’re much less likely to overdo things, and feel horrible physically later.

Weight Loss Tip 4: Wear cloths that are slightly tight on you. This should help you feel full faster, and keep you from eating too much food.

Holiday Reality Check: We want to wear looser cloths because we’re looking forward to eating all that great food! Yes, wearing something tight might help us not go back for a second helping of potatoes… or it might ruin a favorite outfit.

In the end, how you approach this tip is up to you, and you alone. Make your decision and be happy with it.

Weight Loss Tip 5: Keep your portions small. Try to load up on salad and vegetables, and take just tiny amounts of anything else.

Holiday Reality Check: Taking just a “bite sized” amount of anything is going to put you into the have-not mental state mentioned earlier. You’ll feel as if you can’t have something, and you’ll want it all the more.

Try the tip noted above instead: Take half the size you normally would. Trying to have just a little bite of pie will whet your appetite for more, but having a whole piece is going a bit overboard – particularly if there’s 5 different pies for you to sample. So try actual sampling instead: Cut a piece half the normal size. This allows you to have a “whole slice”, and more than several little bites. Then wait about 20 minutes before you go and try the next pie. Even if you end up eating a bit of all 5 pies, by having a half-sized slice of each, you’ve drastically cut the amount of calories, carbs and sugars compared to what you would have had with whole slices. And you’ll still feel stuffed and satiated, instead of deprived and resentful.

So there you have it: 5 different, common holiday weight loss and eating tips, followed by the reality check of each, and a suggested compromise that should help you enjoy the holidays to their fullest, without depriving yourself of the great food we all look forward to.

Whatever you decide to do, remember to actually have Happy Holidays!

Home Is Where the Heart Is, Book a Serviced Apartment and Come Home

That’s how the old adage goes isn’t it?

And well, for us, it’s never been truer than in today’s amazingly fast-paced, multi-cultural, media savvy world.

Businesses tend to focus heavily on productivity and the balance sheet but in order to have staff who are ready and able to work, it’s so easy to overlook the vital importance of a stable home life. In relocation and business travel particularly temporary accommodation is often relegated down the list precisely because it is ‘temporary’ but this is exactly the time when it’s most essential. Still very few companies focus on the emotional fallout that can occur before, during and after the move.

The first month of a relocation can make or break the move. And we should know… we deal with the aftermath of many a poorly planned and executed relocation! To the person (or people) arriving, everything’s new – the country, the job, probably the language, possibly the company – and even the most seasoned relocatee can find the first couple of weeks pretty stressful.


“International mobility reinforces the link between a happy couple and contributes to the dislocation of already dysfunctional couples before departure.” Jean-Luc Cerdin, Professor of HR Management, ESSEC Business School of Paris

And again, leaning on our experience, we’ve noticed that it’s not always the big issues that are the major cause of stress. There doesn’t have to be a cataclysmic event… sometimes it’s just the smallest things that can make a difference and that’s where serviced apartments can really come into their own. They provide the individual and more importantly the family unit (on average about 80% of expatriate workers move with their spouses.), the calm, sheltered haven from which they can begin to order and adjust to their new life. Simple things that we take for granted, like being able to whip up your favourite meal from back home, not having to worry about expensive hotel restaurant prices, or the astronomical cost of raiding the mini-bar! It’s having the space for everyone who’s staying together to nestle in and find their own place without being on top of one another. These are the little things that money just can’t buy and that hotels (due to the way they’re set up) quite often aren’t able to provide.

And actually, the very same rules apply to business travel although in the harsh maelstrom of defined business objectives, target driven performance and an expectation of constantly high energy levels, this too can often be forgotten. Business travel may appear glamorous on the surface but (take it from me – I know) after the first couple of trips it starts to get very much less appealing. It significantly disturbs your routine and seems to take up an inordinately disproportionate amount of time and money. Serviced apartments may not all offer the 24 hour service levels of a hotel but what they do offer in spades, is space, privacy and that all important home from home environment.

So for instance, there’s no need for you to have to be up and dressed just to make breakfast in the hotel dining room when you can get in your own supplies, chill out, and make (very probably) a far healthier brekkie in your apartment’s kitchen. You don’t have to sit on the edge of your bed because there’s nowhere else to perch when you can flop out on your apartment’s sofa. You don’t have to remember to meet the hotel laundry times either because you can put your washing on in your apartment whenever you need to. So many benefits, really… I know!

Working in the serviced apartment industry I’ve always been amazed that more people aren’t aware of what they can provide. I’m also a big fan of posh hotels for those rare occasions that I get to go off on treaty holidays, but as an extremely seasoned business traveller myself I find the serviced apartments product absolutely invaluable. So hey, why not try a serviced apartment yourself on your next business trip or relocation and join the revolution that’s sweeping the industry

Book a serviced apartment and come home.

Holiday Fat Loss Tips – Learn the Diet and Exercise Secrets to Burn Fat This Holiday Season

I am going to share holiday fat loss tips that you can use to burn fat and lose weight while everyone around you is gaining. It is not hard you just have to want to get the fat off and follow a few proven to work tips. If you would like to start now and be ahead of the game come January then I encourage you to take just 2 minutes right now to read on.

Holiday Fat Loss Tips

1. Cheat at your holiday meals. You will want to keep your calories low on most days to lose weight but by cheating at your holiday party you can actually speed your fat loss. The reason is because staying on a low calorie diet for too long will slow your fat burning metabolism. A periodic high calorie day actually boosts your metabolism and you burn fat more efficiently.

2. Go for the protein. When you are at a party go for the turkey, ham or shrimp. Protein foods fill you up and help your body process the carbohydrates you eat more efficiently.

3. Don’t add calories from your drinks. Egg nog, alcohol and other holiday drinks pack on the pounds and sabotage your weight loss.

4. Eat mindfully. Really focus on enjoying your food this season by slowing your pace of eating down and paying attention to the foods you put in your mouth. You will feel more satisfied and less stuffed.

5. Boost your exercise intensity and cut back on your exercise time. You do not have extra time to spare this season so be smart with your exercise. By cutting your workout down to 20 minutes and using burst of high intensity mixed in with periods of rest you stimulate your metabolism and burn fat at a higher rate all day long.

Use these holiday fat loss tips to make this the most productive holiday ever and you will watch your waist shrink while everyone else is packing on the pounds.

A Brief Guide to Understanding Travel Insurance Excess

Trying to find the very best travel insurance can be daunting and difficult. Deciding between annual travel insurance and single trip deals, and even the issue of insurance excess is also likely to cause great confusion. This article may provide some clarification and guidance for prospective travellers.

Essential Insurance Information

Anyone confused by the technical insurance jargon need only really remember that policy excess refers to the expected level of initial payment (from the insured person) in the event of a claim. This will differ greatly, depending upon the level of excess that is agreed when registering for the policy. The insurance company will pay any remaining money, up to the agreed claims cap. Relevant information regarding the excess should be included in the policy document and kept for easy reference.

Additional Protection

As mentioned, the level of excess will vary depending upon what policy a customer chooses. Some insurers may demand as little as £20 in the event of a £500 claim, however others will expect much higher amounts. There may even be stipulations regarding the level of excess associated with different areas of the policy. In the event of theft the customer could have to pay £30 for legal assistance and £50 for the replacement of stolen goods. It’s worth bearing in mind that some cheaper single trip or annual travel insurance policies may have relatively higher levels of excess.

The Excess Waiver

Prospective travellers who are prepared to pay a little more may be given the option of an excess waiver. This means they aren’t required to part with any of their own money in the event of a claim. Annual travel insurance customers may take this option as a guaranteed means of enjoying peace of mind throughout the year, however it may be deemed unnecessary for those simply looking forward to a quiet weekend away! Anyone who requires further clarification on the issue of excess should contact their insurers or seek independent advice. It may be possible to ascertain the track record of companies with regards to insurance payouts.

Policy Excess Warning

Most insurance companies will be unwilling to upgrade existing customer policies and completely waive the excess. This is why it is so important to do comprehensive research and purchase the correct level of insurance in the first place. But it’s also worth checking if any policy waiver covers injuries sustained during extreme activities and the loss of personal belongings. Such issues are particularly relevant to annual travel insurance customers, as it may need to cover a range of destinations and purposes for travel.

Brazil – Just Sensational!

Because Brazil is the country that gave birth to the carnival, the dazzling costumes and glorious beaches of Rio de Janeiro, will allure you to the rhythm of the Samba. The mix of colors shows Brazil’s great diversity. It has a hospitable spirit unequaled anywhere else in the world. The country of Soccer, good food, exotic beaches, rain forest, waterfalls, and many other topics make Brazil come together and the ideal destination for those who wish to be well received and treated as if at home. This is a place where many people leave their hearts.

Indubitably it is an ideal destination for travelers that deserve a very luxury custom program, service and money wise tour provide. It’s obvious that so many costumes arrive home already day dreaming of returning.Whoever visits Brazil always comes back. And every time you come back you will witness a different spectacle. Travel to Brazil for an awesome experience in a life time.

Brazil is a unique mix of races, Breath – taking Mountains, Amazing wild life, and a great pleasure. Come and get a glimpse of Brazil rich biodiversity. Those who come, fall in love. Don ‘t miss the opportunity to get your vacation in vacation.

Covering almost half of South America, it occupies an area of 8,547,403.5 square km. It is the fifth largest country in the world. The Atlantic ocean extends along the entire East Cost of the Country offering 8.5 thousand km of marine coastline.

Large International Hotels and good quality of service area way of life. Growing numbers of tourists are coming to Brazil, every year and 96% of the American citizen says they want to return to Brazil.

From Amazon to Iguassu Falls it’s a fantastic scene with beautiful views of cities, Brazil eco-tourism, Unbelievable forest and happy and smiling people. From the big cities to the little ones, you are always going to find many magic spots and a reason to come back to a paradise named Brazil.