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Monday, March 24, 2014

8 Must Haves for Flights Over 8 Hours




1.     Get Comfortable
The single most important bit of advice I can give travelers who will be on a plane for ten or more hours at a time is that you need to be comfortable.
2.    Choose Your Seat Wisely
Whenever possible, buy (or cash in frequent flyer miles for) a ticket in a premium cabin (first, business, or premium economy) or carefully select your coach seat. You’ll be stuck on the plane for a long time, so you don’t want to be confined in a middle seat. If you’re the type who likes to get up and walk around, snag an aisle.
3.    Wear Comfortable Clothes
If you’re flying long distances, you’ll be on the plane for several meals and at least one sleep cycle. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing or bring pajamas and change into them before you settle in for a nap. Also bring a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, and change of underwear. You’ll definitely want to freshen up before landing.
4.    Temperature Control
The airline will provide you with a blanket, but you may also want to bring a lightweight sweater in case the cabin is cold. (This is especially true if you’re seated in an exit row, which can get chilly.)
5.    Block Out the World
Your carry-on bag should always contains earplugs, noise-cancelling headphones, and an eye mask. When you want to sleep, you can effectively block out the chatter and lights around you.
6.    Hydrate and Moisturize
Airplane cabins are incredibly dry, so drink beverages, preferably water, throughout the flight. It doesn’t hurt to apply moisturizing lotion to your hands and face.
7.    Exercise
Okay, you won’t be able to do a full cardio routine in the aisle, but you absolutely must get out of your seat every hour or so to walk around. While seated, you can do simple leg and arm lifts to keep your blood circulating.
8.    Work or Play
Prepare for the long flight and be sure your carry-on is loaded with your laptop, tablet or e-reader, books and magazines, or MP3 player.
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spotlight: Tucano – Voyage to the Heart of the Amazon

This 8-day Voyage to the Heart of the Amazon cruise explores some of the most untouched rainforest in all of the Amazon. With the guidance of experienced naturalists, you have the chance to examine creatures almost never seen by other visitors. The trip is rather like being on a time machine in that we are able to visit places that have not changed for millions of years. Truly the trip of a lifetime.
We venture far up the least inhabited river in the Amazon Basin on our expedition vessel, the Motor Yacht Tucano. Weaving in and out of small channels on the Rio Negro, we explore areas very rarely visited and seek out the mysterious life of the wilderness that stirs in the forest and in the heart of wild nature. Voyage to the Heart of the Amazon is the most thorough, detailed, and sophisticated trip offered in the entire Amazon.
With the Amazon Odyssey cruise, we embark in Manaus, Brasil and travel on the classic and elegant MOTOR YACHT TUCANO. This Amazon expedition cruise vessel has comfortable cabins with large beds and private baths, and is air-conditioned throughout. With our small groups (Max. 18 pax), trained naturalist guides, and thoughtful itineraries, we offer a genuine, thrilling experience with the REAL Amazon rainforest.
Our expedition cruises in the Amazon offer travelers the best experience available in this natural paradise. We often see creatures that are missed by other travelers. This is because our guides are very knowledgeable, we go much farther away from settled areas than any other group and because we keep the size of our group small.

Our trips are also exploratory. We are able to do this because the Amazon is so big that there are thousands of remote rainforest rivers with virtually no settlement. Every trip is a one of a kind, once in a lifetime experience.

Though not a luxury vessel, the TUCANO is comfortable and is designed to enable us to explore small tributaries and hidden channels where wildlife can be found but where larger vessels cannot go.
Our cruise experience is much more authentic than the typical or luxury Amazon tours. All aspects of the cruise are designed to help us enjoy the best that the Amazon has to offer. We have a small group size, highly trained guides, a talented crew, a comfortable boat, and with 21 years of cruise operations, our activities are thoughtful and detailed.
Another important advantage is that our cruises appeal to travelers who are looking for a fun but also very genuine experience. All these features combined enable us to discover and enjoy an authentic Amazon that eludes almost all other travelers.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Traveling Makes Us Happier!


Money still can’t buy happiness, but traveling can! It’s always been pretty obvious that travel makes us happy, but one needs money to buy wondrous, inspiring travel experiences. Ergo, money can buy happiness.
Winnie So, writer for the CNN, found that travel can actually make us happier, because it promises us the self-discovery needed to reach the pinnacle of Abraham Maslow’s view of the human hierarchy of needs. Travel makes us happy, because it offers us the opportunity to step outside our well-worn, self-constructed, plebian realities and provides a platform to explore and practice our ideal visions for ourselves -- who we might be if we weren’t married to our fears and anxieties about safety, security and status. 
Next time you’re debating purchasing a new pair of diamond earings versus a trip around the world, you might want to reflect back at what Winnie So had to say. If traveling can make us happier, then we sure think it’s what we should be spending our money on!
*Originally published in The Boston Globe, for the full story you can click here.
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Friday, March 7, 2014

Spotlight: Marguerite-Vietnam, Cambodia & the Riches of the Mekong


Your journey begins with Vietnam’s bustling capital, Hanoi, followed by an excursion to fabled Ha Long Bay. Said to be the lair of dragons, the Bay’s limestone outcroppings provide a breathtaking setting for an overnight sojourn. The next day, a short flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia, brings you to the gateway of the largest ancient city in the world. Explore Angkor Archeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site laden with magnificent temples that once heralded the grandeur of the Khmer empire. Nearby, Tonle Sap Lake provides the launching point for your graceful Mekong River adventure. Cruise from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City (My Tho Port), with calls at Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Tralach, Oudong, Chong Koh, Phnom Penh, Tan Chau, Sa Dec, Xeo Quyt and Cai Be. Experience life on the river from small rural villages to booming capitals, visiting temples floating markets and much more along the way during your unforgettable Mekong River odyssey.

The 92-passenger MS Marguerite was specifically built to provide the most luxurious and immersive experience on South East Asia’s legendary Mekong River. With a design that combines colonial elegance with local artifacts and regional Mekong touches, MS Marguerite is the perfect setting for an unforgettable river odyssey.
The 92-passenger MS Marguerite  provides an exquisite setting for a Mekong river odyssey. Staterooms, Jr. Suites and Suites range in size from 226-452 sq. ft., with more than 82 percent featuring outside balconies.

 Stateroom amenities include sitting areas, individually controlled air-conditioning, minibar, safety deposit box, shower, separate tub (Jr. Suites/Suites); bathrobes, slippers, and hairdryer. Inviting public areas include a restaurant serving Asian and Western specialties; Saigon Lounge; Panoramic Lounge/Library; Gift Shop; Fitness Center, Spa
and a Sun Deck with an outdoor swimming pool.

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