Tips on Packing for Business Travel

Tips on Packing for Business Travel

Evelyn Gardner No Comments

From the 2009 hit “Up in the Air,” George Clooney plays a regular flyer who is just a couple of trips away from making it in the elite 10 million kilometers club.

As a corporate “downsizer,” his entire life revolves around airport terminals and resort suites because he crisscrosses the nation as a business coach providing motivational speeches about the best way to rid yourself of possessions and relationships which are holding you down. To put it differently, how to pack light.

For business travellers who spend one-to-two-thirds of this year on the road, understanding how to pack efficiently and effectively for trips is an essential skill. As Clooney’s character, that travels 270 days per year, says, the distinction between needing to check a bag in and fitting everything into a carry-on is a week’s worth of time spent waiting in line.

While he hasn’t quite reached the 10 million milers club, Quora user Jeffrey Davis is also a frequent flier whose regular trips abroad as a Senior VP and General Manager at Evonik have educated him the best strategies to pack for almost any business trip.

Summarized below are a number of business travel packaging hacks adopted from Davis’ Quora thread.

  1. Ditch the colours: Black is your friend. It matches everything. Johnny Cash was a visionary. I’ve yet to listen to the compelling logic for any sock colour other than black. 1 pair of black jeans, two black t-shirts, and business attire will get you through a long trip.
  2. Never check your bag. Ever. Never check your luggage in, even if you are travelling somewhere for a few months. When travelling use a roll-aboard that fits in the overhead. The decreased hassle of not having to wait for luggage, being the first person through customs, rather than dealing with the nightmare of lost luggage will make you a carry-on traveller. A suit is a suit: 2 is sufficient. Wear one on the airplane using a t-shirt or casual blouse, and pack the other. Also find a pair of exercise shoes which can be casual touring and walking attire. If you are worried about packing the second suit a tip is to turn the jacket inside-out (sleeves get pushed through) and wrap it around softer items such as t-shirts and underwear. This will keep it from creasing.

  1. Do not bother with Ziploc bags. Store your liquids in small containers. Unless you are a chronic alcoholic or have some type of health illness, question the need to choose any liquid that can’t make it through the x-ray unannounced. Save space and take the mini toothpaste they put in your room each night in the hotels.
  2. Splurge on laundry. Look at your trip agenda and be sure you are staying at least two nights in a row in exactly the same hotel at least once in every seven-day window. Even though it’s pricey, resort laundry will get you through. It’s possible to get by on ‘Five of Every’ (five pairs of socks, five undershirts, five pairs of panties, etc.) almost indefinitely if you buy into the Hotel Laundry philosophy.
  3. Use back-saving bag. A roll-aboard with a hook that holds your briefcase counterbalanced so that you could literally cruise a mile through an airport with just a fingertip pressure is a shoulder and back saver.
  4. Test your batteries in everything. Know the ability of your batteries in your rechargeables (shavers, cameras, iPods, etc.). You may be surprised by how long of a trip you can create without bringing the charger if you leave home with a full charge.
  5. Always bring backups. Have a high-resolution scan of your driver’s licence, passport, visas, and credit cards on the SD card of your smartphone or in your computer HD. It is a lifesaver if you ever lose anything.

So whether you are a representative from a small business coaching company or the CEO of a retail chain, knowing how to pack for your trip can ease a lot of stress.

Grey Nomad Advice for Off Road Adventuring

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Grey Nomads would be the budding fruit of this retiree tree; ignoring fall prevention training for outdoor adventures on rough and rocky terrain. They have sold everything to move to a permanent idea of ‘home is where you roam’ and ensure they have their ‘adventure before dementia’. You will encounter a mixed bag of individuals ‘spending their children’s inheritance, 1 kilometre at a time’, however they’re all of a similar ilk, using similar tales to tell and certainly a bounty of information to impart.

 

Among the most frequent questions asked to me by wannabe gray nomads is “Can I really do the entire trip on the bitumen?” Naturally, the solution is “Yes.” The blacktop may take you to a unbelievable state and to some extraordinary locations … and more and more of these annually. These days, you may get around Cooktown without your brakes getting dusty and increasingly longer stretches of the trail around Weipa in Cape York are bitumen. Where will it all end?

However, those of you searching off-road experience should not panic quite yet … there are still lots of adventurous areas left to see! Most gray nomads traveling with some kind of 4WD vehicle and have a level of reassurance that they are going to have the ability to deal with a few tougher road circumstances, even if they aren’t actively seeking them out.

There’s a large difference between a dirt trail and a 4WD track.; the most harsh of the latter may even require 4wd bull bars and other specialised equipment. Many of the most glorious national parks can only be assessed by dirt paths and, at the great majority of instances, a traditional automobile towing a caravan will trickle them down. In the same way, tracks such as the Birdsville Track and Oodnadatta Track may typically be successfully negotiated by continuous travellers, even people who don’t have professional 4WD experience.

Most grey nomads preferring to tow a caravan or camper trailer in their Journeys will probably be driving a 4WD in preference to flashy sunroof cars like Beamers and Mercedes. The top tyres to use here would depend mostly on the form of trip being proposed. Newest 4WD vehicles have been fitted using Highway Terrain (HT) tyres designed for use on sealed roads … and when you have a hankering to venture down the Oodnadatta Track, or even the Gibb River Road or the Birdsville, then those aren’t for you.

 

It’s the anxiety of the unknown and the remoteness of the nation that could make such trips look daunting … and this really can be equally clear and wise. If you’re planning to travel down 4wd tracks, check terms with local governments. Roads which were highways one month could be impassable, corrugated sacrifices the following. Conditions change rapidly, especially when rain, and tracks where the graders have lately passed are generally fine but might not be so a couple weeks after. Listen to what other travellers have to say regarding street conditions but bear in mind that things might change and yet one individual’s “highway” is another individual’s “ordeal.” At a bare minimum you should ensure that you have the appropriate 4wd equipment in case of an emergency happens

Obviously, once you are travelling to the dirt, then it’s imperative to check that your car or truck is in great order, and also to prepare yourself for spares, tools along with a decent source of water and food. If you’re towing, you have to be particularly cautious. A couple of hundred kilometres of corrugations may do a great deal of harm to a vehicle which is not supposed to carry the weight of your load.

Bear in mind that you don’t need to take your vehicle any and every place. Many gray Nomads guess their “old bones” can take care of a night or 2 in a tent as they’ve installed comfortable car leather seats at a price that a few nights roughing it is easily done. Thus, they will park the caravan somewhere while they research the more-rocky locations. It is a Wonderful idea.

While you can still have the time of your lives travelling Australia staying in caravan parks and enjoying happy hour beverages with like-minded travellers, there’s a lot of Australia which can only be reached if you’re ready to get your brakes and wheels somewhat dirty. The gray nomad, who’s normally blessed with both the time and the gear to research these regions, shouldn’t neglect to do this because of a scarcity of abilities. The Australian National Four-Wheel Drive council includes a site which provides more info about four wheel driving in addition to contact information to enroll for four wheel drive training classes. As you travel along and get more confidence and expertise you’ll end up excited to find out more and more to do. 4WDing is all about learning what your car is capable of and, just as importantly, what it isn’t capable of.

Most gray nomads expect to push tens of thousands and tens of thousands of highway Km’s in their huge Lap however they also wish to be able to research several off-road destinations. AT tyres deliver an adequate off-road operation and a silent ride and traction on the bitumen. It is all great!

However, most significant of all — just do what you’re comfortable with. A Visit to a waterfall isn’t worth the effort should you spend the trip there Fretting about what harm you could be doing to your automobile and if you’re going to need a pressure relief cushion for the next month to recover from the bumpy ride.

The Huge Lap is all about relaxing and enjoying yourself … so that is just what you need to do.

Getting Around the In-Flight Laptop Ban

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The recently established ban on personal laptops on certain flights entering the U.S. has business travelers concerned about what may happen if these temporary security measures become more permanent and eventually become a standard across airlines. How would the modern business traveller adapt to aviation without the modern convenience of a work notebook?

Electronics luggage handling fees

Chris Christensen, the entrepreneur and digital content writer behind BloggerBridge and AmateurTraveler, has been hit by the notebook ban in his journeys. In his opinion, the biggest problem isn’t what he can do on a flight without a laptop, but how baggage handlers will deal with assessing expensive notebooks, tablet computers and SLR cameras. Turkish Air was handling this as best they could. They checked in each device. They inspected it and place each individually in bubble wrap bags. The bags then went to a special bag, which they hand-carried to the plane. Although this procedure was time-consuming and inconvenient, at least everything came to its destination in working order.

 

Full-time digital nomad Kelly Hayes-Raitt has been travelling for almost a decade and stocks lots of Christensen’s concerns. After all, her notebook is her livelihood. She predicts airlines will try to capitalize on the in-flight ban on laptops and use it as an opportunity to create money. She clarified that she can envision business coaches advising airlines to react by producing a more expensive ‘TLC’ luggage fee for banned electronic equipment.

More late night travel

 

Business travelers who are concerned that they can’t be productive without their laptops think they will have to resort to booking late night flights to compensate for lost work hours. Jason Parks, who owns a Columbus, Ohio, digital advertising agency called The Media Captain, is one such firm traveller. He said, I have worry about it, I believe business travelers would adapt by taking flights later in the day. I know this is the path I would take. I couldn’t afford to be completely unplugged each time I travel during business hours. Travelling at night could give me peace of mind I am not overlooking important information.

Airline rental laptops

 

Bruce Clark, an associate professor of advertising at North-eastern University, considers renting disposable laptops could be the answer to an across-the-board laptop ban. He pointed out that executives don’t need to have their own notebooks, due to potential damage and data sensitivity.

 

He clarified, airlines or other companies could provide ‘disposable’ laptops which rely on a cloud management system to store and protect data. Individuals would not carry their own laptop, but rather could purchase or rent a ‘shell’ laptop where users could upload data before the airport or download information after the flight. Provided that there is no information saved on the laptop, it is irrelevant whether the notebook is damaged or stolen. This is particularly helpful for those in professions in which employees need that crucial in-flight time to get ready for presentations shortly after they land, such careers include international keynote speaking, motivational speakers and worldwide consultants.

Chris Brantner, founder of CutCableToday, agrees with Clark’s idea of Airlines leasing notebooks: I feel that if there’s ever a complete ban on laptops, airlines will start leasing out notebooks on flights. Some airlines do it with tablets for entertainment purposes. So ideally, you’d be able to take a flash drive or store everything saved in the cloud with mobile data capture, rent a laptop in-flight and get to work.

Work friendly phones and docks

 

With no option to work in their laptops, many business travelers will probably turn for their phones for basic tasks. If laptop-free flying becomes the norm, it’s very likely that phone manufacturers will respond with a wider assortment of work friendly phones especially for travelling.

 

Jonathan Rodriguez, the founder, president and CEO of BitMar Networks, believes phones are the ideal response to any notebook bans. He urges regular business travelers ask their employers to provide them with phones which are equally superior quality and intended for business use.

 

In Rodriquez’s opinion, the best company friendly Smartphone is your Windows phone, particularly the 950XL. It is literally a hand-held computer which even functions as one, when you connect it to Continuum. The same could be said of the Samsung Galaxy 8 and 8+, which can be turned into computers throughout the DeX Station. If Rodriguez’s estimation is correct, more cellular companies may well launch business-centric phones that connect to compatible desktop or laptop docks.

Relaxation and socialising

 

Surprisingly, some jet-setting entrepreneurs are not at all worried concerning the possibility of future laptop bans on flights. Mary Kaarto, a writer and conference speaker, stated, she would sleep, read or actually participate with anybody next to her.

 

Eva Doyle, the speaker, business trainer and leadership consultant supporting The Reluctant Leader, stocks Kaarto’s overall outlook. She said she would spend her long business travel hours relaxing, reading and doing occasional work on her phone or tablet computer. Doyle thinks it’s possible that cheap and rocky journey laptops may become popular but also pointed out that in-flight working has not been flawless, the anticipation was that people will do work on flights, but let’s face it, even in business class, working on your own computer is a little pain. In coach, it’s totally miserable. Many business travelers will be alleviated that they cannot operate on flights, even if they don’t admit it.

 

Nobody knows for sure what the future of business travel will be Enjoy, but something is apparent: there isn’t any possible ban which may quell the Innovation and persistence of travelling entrepreneurs.

Top Tips For Buying Your New Tyres For The Holidays

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Strolling into a tyre display room can be an overwhelming experience with actually hundreds of tyre brands like goodyear tyres readily available, in a wide variety of designs, structure and cost. To make the selection process much easier and more reliable we have actually put together these terrific ideas for purchasing tyres:

new tyres

Ensure that you actually require new tyres.

Carry out a quick visual examination. If you see extreme tread wear, split sidewalls, or any staining or bulging, it’s probably time for a new set.

If your tyres are more than 10 years old, think about replacing them even if they look OK – rubber deteriorates with exposure to oxygen.

Consider the wheels.

One of the most popular customisation choices on automobiles nowadays is a new set of rims. If your present wheels are worn or damaged, you might wish to consider purchasing a new set when you change your tyres.

There’s more than appearance to think about when you buy wheels, however. Aim to match size as closely as possible to the maker’s originals. Even though larger wheels might look excellent on your car, there’s some complicated math to making sure that the tyres and wheels match the vehicle.

The larger the wheel, the lower the aspect ratio tyre you’ll be able to use. In order to make the car handle and turn effectively, the outside diameter of the tyre has to be similar to the original tyres as the wheel gets bigger – which suggests shorter sidewalls.

Purchase a complete, matching set.

Though you might be tempted to cut corners, and just change the tyres that are most worn, contemporary suspension innovation is developed to work best with a matching set of tyres. By replacing all 4 simultaneously, you’ll have the ability to maintain your tyres much better (more on that later), evaluate and repair suspension problems before they end up being major, and attain the greatest degree of security and foreseeable handling.

Examine your spare tyre.

This is a good time to have your extra tyre examined, and get a car tyre repair if necessary. If your car utilizes a full-size spare and you’re replacing your tyres with the very same make, design and size, have your tyre person save the best utilized tyre for a spare.

Maintain your brand-new tyres.

Look for proper inflation regularly. Keeping your tyres correctly inflated will enhance your petrol mileage and will significantly enhance your tyres’ durability.

Utah Couple Employs A Travel Babysitter

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Derek and McKenzie Tillotson are no strangers to publishing their family videos online. But when they submitted one specific video requesting applications for a baby-sitter to spend a year travelling the world with them, they were stunned by the reaction. “We were flying on a trip and we were on a stopover at the Atlanta airport,” Derek stated. “We’re sitting there, just on those chairs, waiting on our flight, and we heard our story being spoken about behind us on the television.”

News of their video spread throughout the world, and the applications gathered.
“All of the sudden we’d get a rise of individuals from Spain,” he stated. “So we understood that our story had just simply aired on Spanish TV or something.” Their year-long trek around the world, with 3 children in tow, is something the couple has actually spent months planning. They’d at first bonded over their love of travel, and were seeking for a way to make such a journey possible.

Their sales jobs allow them to work from anywhere, but their primary issue was having somebody along who might help homeschool their kids – Porter, Beckett and child Wren – rather than relying on whether they would just find a tutor online. “A background in education was a must,” Derek stated. Every application was immediately entered in a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet that we made would’ve read through it and checked the word ‘education,’ with mobile data capture” he stated, while indicating his computer system. “It would flag those that have a background in education, or they have an education degree, as a keyword.”

While he worried over one element of their baby-sitter search, McKenzie was stressed over another. “Derek was absolutely much heavier on the credentials and I was much heavier on our characters matching,” she stated. “They’re going to belong to our family. It would be like having my sibling along. I see the relationship being close like that.” With such a deep pool to pick from, the couple could afford to be fussy. Derek read every single detail on the applications. “I’m sorry, if you’re unable to swim, we’re a swimming family, it’d be tough to have a liability of someone seeing the kids who’s unable to swim,” he stated. On the other hand, McKenzie was investigating specific candidates in her own way, by analyzing their Facebook pages. “I had a 5 image limit on swimsuit selfies,” she stated with a laugh. “It was more that I believed it said something about them, than me being truly stressed over Derek in any way.”

Ultimately, after lots of online interviews, they took the two last prospects on a brief family visit to Park City. “That weekend was great to see exactly whether their energy level matched with kids,” McKenzie stated. “If they get stressed out quickly, as well as seeing how they communicate with us when the kids are asleep, and how our energies interact.” Ultimately, amongst the 24,444 candidates one prospect stood apart. Their brand-new baby-sitter, Alaire Moore, lives right down the road – she’s a student at Utah Valley University. “(It’s) a whole entire year where my life will be postponed,” Moore stated. “But I feel like it’s larger than me. It’s not just for myself, it’s for who I’m going to be, who I’m going to end up being.” As a primary education major who’s had direct experience as a baby-sitter, Moore inspected all packages for the Tillotsons – she’s even taught swimming lessons.

“The kids truly like her a lot,” Derek stated, reflecting on the time they spent together in Park City. “And it was amusing since as she was leaving, she stayed in there in Beckett’s space, saying ‘Tell them Alaire is your favorite. Alaire is your favorite.’ Kind of like persuading our kids. Which just showed me how bad she wanted the job.” The Tillotsons have already sold their home. With Moore in tow prepared to teach English and numeracy now, and to become the kids’ future biology and chemistry tutor, they intend on leaving Utah in July. After spending a week in New York City, they’ll begin their global journey in Iceland.

“I have actually begun eliminating a great deal of things so I can condense it down to one bag,” Moore stated. And although 24,443 candidates didn’t get the job, Derek stated many have not stopped dreaming. “We have had a couple of individuals message us as follow-ups, stating, ‘I just went on a journey to Greece,’ he stated. “We gave individuals motivation someplace along the line to go and take a trip and see more of the world.”

The Best Ways to Remain in Shape While Taking a Trip

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The Best Ways to Remain in Shape While Taking a Trip

Everyone takes a journey.

Whether it’s for organisation, enjoyment, holiday or world dominance, eventually all of us leave the convenience of our individual home towns to go to another place. It might be a quick journey to the next town over for a service conference or an enormous experience halfway around the globe for months at a time appreciating the natural and man-made landscaping designs of different countries. No matter what sort of journey it is, they all have something is common:

Our regular fitness training regimens can get entirely tossed out the window when taking a trip. This is usually because:

  • If you exercise in a health club, you may not have access to any gyms
  • If you jog in  your local park, you may not have one near you
  • If you  prepare your  own meals, you may not have a cooking area or refrigerator
  • If you’re used to a good night’s sleep, all of a sudden you’re sleeping at odd hours in different time zones

We are creatures of habit. While working a regular day job, we can stay in a regular routine quite easily (awaken at the same time, consume all meals at the same time, exercise at the same time, falling asleep at the same time). Nevertheless, when we take a trip, usually nothing is familiar and the smallest speed bump can be enough to screw things up.

Fortunately, there is hope! It’s time to define an action strategy that you can take with you on your next trip, whether it’s for a day or a year.

My Huge Journey

Back in January 2011, I started a trip of huge proportions, a trip all over Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. I’m not going to lie, I was seriously anxious about my physical wellness for this journey I actually never had the ability to sticky with any physical exercise  aside from the occasional walk.  I validated this by telling myself that it was simply too tough to keep a regular routine going and that I would start back in my routine when I get home.

Now, for this big trip of mine, I was going to be gone for 5 months without any access to a health club or a food service that makes my meals (which had actually represented half of my day-to-day meals). I was going to be living out of a backpack, in a brand-new city every couple of days, sleeping at odd hours, checking out unique areas, crossing off insane things from my list, flying stunt aircraft and discovering Nemo, as well as working full-time on my site called Gee Physical fitness.

On top of that, I managed to get myself sick for the first 2 weeks of the trip and I didn’t exercise or eat well at all. I was getting further behind the 8-ball. After that I put on my running shoes and went to work.

3 Months of Wins

Putting aside my exceptionally chaotic life and travel schedule without my personal trainer, I was able to load on 10-12 pounds of muscle throughout my 3 months of hardcore travelling schedule. (I didn’t have any way to determine body fat while away so I do not have specific numbers). I invested the  first 9 weeks “loading” my  system with calories, strength training, and the last 3 weeks consuming less calories while continuing to strength train.

Now, if you’re thinking, “big deal, to put on  twelve pounds in 3 months is really easy”,  I can tell you that I definitely strained throughout those 3 months to put on the right type of weight to get more powerful and larger. If you have actually ever attempted to load on muscle, you would understand it is difficult without raising any weights or having access to a stable supply of healthy food. Another small thing you can do is, most hotels come with a pool, why not do a couple laps while you check out the pool surrounds and figure out what you are going to do with your day.

So take heart. The next time you are lucky enough to go on a trip around the world or just away for a few weeks, with a little thought and preparation, you can maintain your weight and sometimes even your exercise routine even while traveling. After all, isn’t it better to maintain your weight while on holiday than gaining many many pounds and then working harder to take it all off again? I know which option I prefer.

Winners, Losers and Incoming Trends for the Restaurant Scene

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Winners, losers and incoming trends for the restaurant scene

I question any person who has not had first-hand experience with the World’s 50 Best Dining Establishments Awards would comprehend the significance of this occasion coming to Melbourne in April. Tourist Australia has actually played a major part behind the scenes in getting this event here and in the process discovering a significant venue to expose the yarra valley wineries and food scene to the outside world. Chefs, restaurateurs, sommeliers and worldwide media will be here in droves, and the impact they can and most likely assert, will be big. Expect partnerships with local chefs, cooking classes, local trips and a great deal of chef-spotting opportunities as the greats of the scene roam around the nation as guests. It’s also where you can check out some of the countries most elegant restaurants and wineries.

 The WINNERS

  •  The standouts of 2016 have a clear objective at their core:
  •  Stanbuli in Enmore Sydney, with its Turkish roots
  • Igni in Geelong, Victoria, with its initial cooking dedicated to fire and smoke
  • Lulu La Delizia, in Perth where pasta is in the spotlight in an adventurous way
  • Oakridge, in the Yarra Valley, where the sophisticated restaurant and winery makes use of on-site fruit and vegetables that talk to each other beautifully
  • Australia’s very first terrific seafood dining restaurant Cirrus
  • Then there’s Fred’s, pushing a new design of hearth-to-plate service idea

We were absolutely overwhelmed by the born again Africola located in Adelaide. A  fantastic example of what a single-minded chef can accomplish who is totally in charge. Not forgetting the Wildflower in Perth that  began  with truly inspired fresh food that was motivated by the West.

 The LOSERS

The nation has a great deal of regular eating establishments that continue taking our money in exchange for little back. It’s not a secret. Lowlights of the dining year consisted of Adelaide’s Hill of Grace and Versace’s Vanitas, both a web reviewers’ negative paradise, with most comments mentioning them being both pricey and anachronistic. Cape Lodge in the Margaret River region, a place that cannot seem to get it’s catering for functions side of the business right, in spite of the costs.

These make up a very small group of dining establishments I found enormously lacking in 2016.

Then there was a whole bunch of places inflated by the media that appeared to me to have actually been really poor with service and the quality of their food. They are all, as far as I understand, still alive but for how much longer is anyone’s guess.

 

Wine 101: 5 Tips for Attending a Wine Tasting

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wine tastingIt’s time for a wine experience once again at the vineyards of the Yarra Valley, with the 2 night Grand Tastings, where more than 250 of the world’s finest wineries participate. It’s a great time to look at some tips about the  best way to approach any big wine-tasting occasion. Our staff share their experience.

1. Dress for the Occasion

Here are ideas from wine pros for looking sharp and remaining suitably comfortable at a wine tasting. In a nutshell, dress in dark colors ( far better to hide spills), avoid dangling sleeves and consider the location and suss out the appropriate dress code. Ladies need to consider wearing flats or low heels for comfort. If you have long hair, tie it back so you can spit quickly (see point 5) or keep a hand at the ready to hold it back. And if you’re going to carry anything (tasting book, notebook, mobile phone or tablet), bring a handbag or have deep pockets to stash them in.

2. Do Not Wear Perfumes or Colognes

Bouquet is a substantial part of wine tasting. It’s tough to take in all the scents of a delicate Riesling or a layered Cabernet when the air is heavy with fragrance, perfume or smoke. So be mindful not to bring any unnecessary aromas to the tasting area. You do not wish to miss out on the nuances of the very wines you’re attempting to take pleasure in. And you do not want to be the answer to, ” what’s that smell?”

3. Create a Plan for Tasting

At most tastings, there will be more wines than you can wisely try in just a couple of hours. If you can get your hands on a list of the producers or wines at the tasting ahead of time, it would be advisable to come prepared with your strategy. That way, your palate doesn’t get broken.

A basic plan consists of browsing for your preferences through the aisles, working from light wines to much heavier ones. Start with champagnes, then fresh whites and move on to richer whites and tannic reds. You can get a lot more focused. For example, wines from Italy or a tasting of only one variety such as Pinot Noir from numerous appellations?

At the Wine Experience, Tim Fish prefers to have two primary goals: taste the classics and explore the unknown. If you want to attempt the biggest names such as the Bordeaux first-growths, head there first before  the crowds form, then avoid the busiest tables and fit in some new discoveries.

How you determine your likes and dislikes needs exposure to different wines, notes James Laube. He doesn’t just devote an entire tasting to the kinds of wine that give him the most pleasure. He always checks out, or reviews, wines that inspire other people, even if not him. By doing this, you can get a better understanding of why you like particular wines.

A highlight would be to polish off the night with something unforgettable, such as a glass of sweet wine such as late-harvest Riesling, Sauternes or Port. However, Laube often prefers to finish with Champagne, which he calls the “ideal taste buds cleanser.”

4. Eat Something

Tasting wines (and perhaps drinking some too) on an empty stomach is a dish for getting drunk quickly and then not having the ability to enjoy the entire occasion. Bear in mind to eat ahead of time at one of the many winery restaurants in the Yarra Valley, and if there’s food used at the tasting, take a break and check that out too. Consuming water in between wines helps you to remain hydrated.

5. Keep in Mind to Spit

Yes, you’ll be tasting fantastic wines, and yes, no one likes to “lose” wine. To get the complete experience of the event, you’ll wish to pace yourself by spitting wine as you go. That’s why there are containers on every table. Unglamorous perhaps, but take heart, all the pros do it. Do not be shy, states Fish as the winery staff are used to it. And if you don’t want to finish a wine, you can pour out any remaining in your glass into the spit pails too.

For tips on the various methods to spit, have a look at this Q&A from Dr. Vinny, “How do I spit without looking like a distressed camel?” The short answer: Practice at home  first, do not do it too fast or too slow, and come up to the spit pail. If you’re spitting into a shared bucket, you would probably be best advised to spit slowly to prevent backsplash. If there’s a crowd around the spit container, you may wish to wait to take a sip of wine till you can get closer.

Dr. Vinny also weighs in on whether you have to wash your glass in between tastings: Not needed, unless you’re switching in between red and white or sweet and dry, or had a rather unpalatable wine. If you’re going to clean, Vinny states the very best approach is to use a splash of wine instead of water.

So, there you have it. A few simple tips on how the pros handle tasting all the wines they do every season.

5 Best Australian Trip Ideas

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5 Best Australian Trip IdeasThere are many destinations in Australia that we could write about here, but we decided to make a list of what we think are the top five experiences.

1. From Tasmania to the Great Barrier Reef

In Tasmania’s capital, Hobart, you can go for an expedition to Bonorong Wildlife Park on Freycinet Peninsula. then cross Bass Strait and  drive the magnificent Great Ocean Road and stay in some pristine accommodation in Lorne itself. Likewise, enjoy the wine in the Yarra Valley, a four-night stay in Melbourne. Tick off the traditional sights on a 21-day adventure which starts with an iconic trip around Sydney harbour for views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House and then a trip to Cairns for snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef.

2. Tastes of South Australia

In South Australia there’s wine, wildlife and magnificent landscapes. You can take a 17-day tour which begins in Adelaide, which is known as the country’s wine capital. The tour takes in the vineyards of the Barossa Valley as well as the Clare Valley. Visit to the Wadlata Outback Centre, after which you can explore the mountainous views of the Flinders Ranges National Park.  4×4 trips to Wilpena Pound are available where you can experience its huge, natural amphitheatre. Then the tour  heads  south to the nature reserves of Kangaroo Island which is rich with koala’s, sea lions, and countless penguin nests.

3. Classic Sights

There are many tours that integrate the traditional sights in Australia  with memorable experiences. These  include an outback dinner outside in Alice Springs under the stars. There’s also a private wine tasting in the Barossa Valley at the historic Seppeltsfield Winery.  An optional helicopter flight offers sightseeing excursion from Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney, Uluru (Ayers Rock) and you can cruise to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns on a luxurious catamaran.

 

4. Onboard the Ghan

One of the highlights of travelling around the Outback of Australia is undoubtedly the Ghan Passenger Train. You can do it in extreme comfort and if your budget allows it, extreme luxury. Like I said, if your budget allows it, part of the  22-day scenic tour is an overnight “Gold Service” journey on the Ghan from Alice Springs to Adelaide. It is considered by many as one of the world’s most popular and iconic train journeys. part of the journey is travel between Melbourne and Adelaide, through Victoria (where you can take a breather and indulge yourself in a Yarra Valley wine tour and experience the best wines from that region) and New South Wales to Sydney. Uluru (Ayers Rock) is not left out and nor is the Great Barrier Reef.

5. The fifth one, well we decided to leave this one open to you the reader. Please leave a comment at the bottom of what you think should be on this list and once we have a few, we will publish them here.

 

How To Travel With School-Aged Kids

Evelyn Gardner No Comments

How To Travel With School-Aged KidsIf you have ever attempted to travel with young kids and were totally put off by the experience, listen up….there is hope! All you need are a few simple tips from seasoned travellers who have successfully navigated the mine field which is attempting to travel with young children in tow.

1. Load Up With Many Puzzles Books

School-aged children love solving puzzles. For most, the harder the puzzles are, the longer they will stay occupied.

Sudokus are absolutely fantastic for long car trips and for passing the time in restaurants and long queues.  Kids also love the Lonely Planet for Kids series and the Usborne Travel Activity books but there are many different varieties around depending what part of the world you live in.

2. Try Taking Audio Tours

More than likely, your school aged kids will love walking a tourist site with the audio tour recording talking to them. They will be more than interested in the stories and tales of the attraction and will no doubt learn a lot (them learning something is off course a by product of them being occupied and happy). Most guided tours these days have kid’s variations to the recordings. Kids are far better at paying attention to tour guides once they have something else to listen to when there are parts that don’t interest them.

3. Try to Include Them in the Research and Preparation 

I have always tried to  involve the kids in any  preparations  I have made for day trips or longer trips away. Even before they struck school age, I asked them what they wanted to do and see but I always gave them options out of books, travel guides and brochures of the places I wanted to go visit. Once they are school age,  they’re a lot more independent and are able to make sensible decisions, but off course I wouldn’t trust them in knowing how to buy shoes online however (and indulgent fetish of mine I’m afraid to admit).

Allow them to take their time in  investigating and looking through the printed or web materials you supply them. Kids love to look at every page and picture. Let them read books, watch movies, search internet sites for other stuff to do in those locations. I sometimes even gave my kids the very complex choice of deciding what womens shoes mum should wear to certain destinations (some choices I regretted such as thongs to a five star restaurant in Melbourne one time).

Always remember to include your  kids interests as well. There’s nothing more  frustrating than looking at your kids sour faces when you are trying to enjoy an exhibit of Mayan culture at a museum or modern impressionists paintings at a gallery. Kids love doing kids stuff and even though it might be boring for you to go to a shop where they can finger paint till the cows come home or make their own teddy bears, its a compromise. An activity of their choice, then one of yours. I found that works like a treat every time.

So, next time you undertake some time away, try these simple ideas and you will be amazed how well they work. After all, kids are kids. If they worked for mine, they will almost certainly work for yours.

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