Vacationing with a friend (or 2) can either be great fun or the end of a beautiful friendship. The best way to be sure it’s the former is to have a heart-to-heart chat beforehand and be honest about your preferences and expectations.
Then you can negotiate if necessary and avoid conflict when it’s too late to do anything about it.
1. Pick a destination you’ll both enjoy. If you love the beach and your friend is a culture vulture who hates the sun, you can still find a place with something to satisfy both of you—so long as you plan in advance and agree that you’ll each be free to go off on your own for at least part of each day. This can actually be a great thing, because, when you get together at the end of the day, you’ll be able to share your separate adventures over cocktails and dinner. But if you love solo exploration and your friend simply can’t be alone, it isn’t going to work. So do get it all out in the open in advance.
2. Agree on your travel style and budget. If your friend loves nothing but the best and you’re pinching pennies, there could be trouble in paradise. Decide in advance on an accommodation that will be comfortable enough for your travel companion and not too pricey for you, and agree to one or two “splurge” meals or events. If you can’t do that, you probably shouldn’t be traveling together at all. [Read more →]
June 14, 2013 No Comments
Private Jetiquette is essential, and they don’t teach this in school. Mark Ellwood’s snappy article “Private Jetiquette 101“ in the summer 2013 DuJour Magazine is spot on!
I was tapped to chime in and reveal the real scoop on what you absolutely must know (some souvenirs just need to be left behind), what to do, and more importantly what not to do (for starters, avoid sitting in the CEO’s seat at all costs!).
After all, you want to be invited back.
June 13, 2013 No Comments
When is a vacation not a vacation? When you’re just as stressed as if you’d never left home! Here are 7 tips for making sure that you do recharge and don’t waste your vacation time dealing with unnecessary stress.
1. Tie up loose ends. Make sure you don’t leave anything at home to nag at you when you’re away. That can mean anything from paying the bills that are coming due to leaving your home neat and tidy. No one wants to come home to overdue bills, an unmade bed, or a refrigerator full of food past its prime. We’re all different, so be sure you take care of whatever “business” would otherwise be stuck in the back of your brain while you’re trying to relax on the beach or take in the beauty of the Taj Mahal.
2. Don’t over-schedule. Give yourself some time to switch gears. We all seem to think that the second we leave home we will automatically shift into full relaxation mode. But it doesn’t usually work that way. So if you go with the expectation that it will take a couple of days to unwind, you won’t wind up stressing about not being instantly unstressed.
3. Make up your own mind. By all means do your research and get advice from your friends about what to see and do in your vacation destination, but don’t let their information limit your spirit of adventure. You just might discover that there’s a museum or a restaurant or some kind of activity nobody mentioned that sounds interesting to you. Don’t cross anything off your list just because it wasn’t recommended. Go for it. Otherwise you could be missing out on what turns out to be the highlight of your trip. [Read more →]
June 6, 2013 No Comments
June 3, 2013 No Comments
by Summer Jenkins, Director of Brand Development
Two major changes to Indian visa processing are scheduled to occur in early July: a new outsourcing company will take over visa services in the United States, and the recently-opened Atlanta Consulate will begin issuing visas.
Since October 2008, all Indian visa applications have been routed through an outsourcing company instead of being handled directly at the consulate. In the United States, outsourcing services have been provided by Travisa Outsourcing, a US based company. As of next month, however, outsourcing services will be switched to BLS International, a company headquartered in New Delhi, India. BLS International currently provides visa outsourcing services to Indian diplomatic missions in 17 countries, including Canada, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Spain. BLS has also been providing passport services to Indian citizens resident in the United States since May 7, when it took over the outsourcing contact for citizen services from VFS Global Ltd. [Read more →]
June 1, 2013 No Comments
When it comes to passport advice, I turn to G3 Visas and Passports. Communications Director Summer Jenkins advises what how to avoid complications before you travel.
Your tickets are purchased, your bags are packed, you’ve checked to see if your destination requires a visa… but have you checked to make sure your passport is valid for travel?
Check Your Expiry Date
All too often, we receive frantic calls from the airport from travelers who have been denied boarding because their passport is too close to its expiration date. Almost every country in the world follows the “six month rule,” meaning that your passport must be valid for six months after your planned departure from the country. Even if you don’t have any travel planned, we recommend that you keep an eye on your expiry date and renew your passport when it nears that six-month mark. [Read more →]
May 23, 2013 2 Comments
No one really likes turbulence—unless you’re a little kid who thinks it feels like an amusement park ride—but some people get more anxious than others or tend to feel sick when the plane rocks and rolls. Here are 5 simple things you can do to stay cool and calm when the weather gets rough.
1. Select a seat as close to the front of the cabin as possible, where the ride tends to be less bumpy than it is farther back because the plane literally fishtails.
2. When you board the airplane, ask a crew member whether they expect any turbulence. That way you’ll be mentally prepared and, if you tend to get air sick, you can take a Dramamine or put on a patch before the turbulence actually occurs.
3. If you see crew members buckled into their seats, you need to sit down and buckle up too! They’re in communication with cockpit and know what’s going on in the air. Turbulence is no joke, you can get badly hurt if you are not careful.
4. If you do run into turbulence, remember to take deep breaths. When people are stressed they tense up and often forget to breathe. Deep breathing actually relaxes you. Why? As stated on the LIVESTRONG website “The parasympathetic nervous system works in conjunction with the [Read more →]
May 15, 2013 1 Comment
by Leydy Jimenez, Associate Director, Country Information Coordinator for India
Indian consulates in several US cities have recently begun to request additional documentation for flight crew members, particularly pilots, in a move that appears to be connected with a change in consular staff. The consulates, which so far include Washington, DC, Houston, and New York City, require several documents for visa services which are difficult for many crew to produce, such as:
- A No Objection Certificate and Air Operator’s Permit from the Indian sponsoring organization, both issued by the Indian Director General of Civil Aviation (see weblink http://www.dgca.nic.in/operator/ops-ind.htm; choose the “Obtaining a Permit” link on the left sidebar)
- An individual-specific approval (otherwise unspecified) from the Director General of Civil Aviation
- A copy of the landing permit
The new requirements are common requests for employment visas for foreign crewmembers, but are generally not possible to obtain for crewmembers who will visit India as non-immigrants. Their duties are generally to transport passengers, deliver aircraft, meet with clients, or otherwise perform tasks that were previously associated with business purposes, and until recently the consulates would issue business visas to crewmembers. [Read more →]
May 1, 2013 No Comments
Your questions answered! Thank you, I love all the fantastic questions people send me*. Here’s a great one from Caroline that just came in…
“Hi Carolyn! How does one stay ‘fresh’ when traveling long hours on a plane over a short weekend? I am flying to France today (Friday) and coming back on Monday! Lots of hours on the plane – not so many on the ground. One does not even have time to adjust to the local time! However, I think flight crews do this all the time and they always look so fresh! … Tips?!” – Caroline A. Cleveland, Ohio
Caroline, this is an excellent question and one that I am often asked. This is pretty much the schedule of a crew member, lots of time in-flight. When you land you want to be as fresh and awake as possible so that you can enjoy your limited time at your destination. In my experience, the most strategic way to combat fatigue from a hectic travel schedule is to do the following 5 things.
- Change your watch. It’s essential that you mentally get in sync with the local time at your destination. As soon as you take off, change your watch to the time it is where you are going to land. Yes, you are going to be tired… but what makes the difference is having the right “mind over matter” attitude. Don’t remind yourself or think about when you would be sleeping/eating/working if you were at home.
- Stop Jet Belly! Have you ever noticed that your clothes feel tighter during and after a flight? To avoid the uncomfortable feeling of “jet-belly” I recommend that you don’t drink anything with bubbles because all gasses expand during flight. And try eating a bit less in-flight because the cabin pressure puts an extra strain on the digestive process
- Sleep! Traveling can be exhausting, that’s not a big new flash. But in this compelling article by Tony Schwatrz for the Harvard Business Review “Six Ways to Supercharge Your Productivity” Tony explains why its essential for you to make sufficient sleep a top priority. [Read more →]
April 23, 2013 No Comments
In my experience as a corporate flight attendant, I have had the good fortune of being a “fly on the wall” which gives me a chance to observe – in close proximity – employees traveling with their boss. Usually its the CEO of the company. It’s fascinating to see what happens when employees make blunders that may seem insignificant at the time; but in reality those missteps may potentially hurt their standing or even stunt their advancement in the company.
The first thing you should NEVER do—so I guess that makes it 10 things—is never forget that your boss is watching and evaluating you AT ALL TIMES.
If you were chosen to go along on a business trip it’s because you’re supposed to be part of the solution— never part of the problem. And your boss wants to be sure that he or she can count on you to represent him/her appropriately when you’re not being watched. Therefore:
1. Remember at all times that this is your boss. Don’t get so comfortable in the conversation that you start sharing your problems or inappropriate details of your personal life. Be personable of course, but never air your dirty laundry.
2. Whether it’s meeting at the airport, meeting at a restaurant, or meeting in the hotel lobby, don’t be late— 10 minutes early couldn’t hurt. And don’t arrive looking stressed and/or disorganized. Have your documents handy and in one place. Have your luggage organized. Don’t look as if you rushed out the door at the last minute. If you look a mess, you will likely be considered a mess.
3. Never be rude to staff—any staff, ever! Whether it’s an airline employee, a hotel porter, or a waiter in a restaurant. If you’re rude to these people, how will your boss know that you won’t be rude to a customer or someone who you didn’t realize is a client? Case in point, one evening on an executive filled flight from Teterboro to Los Angeles, there was a fresh new face among the regulars. I hadn’t seen this woman before, but I knew she had stars in her eyes and was doing her best to impress her superiors with her keen knowledge and witty repartee. Problem was, she was rude and dismissive to all the “staff,” the pilots, her driver, and of course me. She certainly wasn’t following anyone’s lead with her behavior, as all of the other passengers were friendly and a pleasure to have onboard. But it did stand out to everyone on the flight. Funny, I flew with those exact executives several more times but I never saw her again. [Read more →]
April 11, 2013 No Comments