10 Ways To Prevent Identity Theft While Traveling Abroad

travel-id-theft

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes and thieves are smart enough to use many advanced tactics to steal personal data and money by taking advantage of your carelessness while traveling abroad. As a traveler, you’re usually more focused on having fun, but it’s important that you know the different, unsuspecting ways that you can become a victim and how you can prevent it from happening to you.

 

Here are some simple but very helpful steps to follow on how to avoid becoming an ID theft victim while traveling abroad:

 

  • 1. Keep your personal data updated and secured in a protected cloud service such as Snap Secure.

snap secure

  • 2. Use credit cards and traveler’s checks and try to avoid using debit cards. Keep credit card numbers and traveler’s check numbers in a safe place.
  • 3. Never give out personal information on the phone.
  • 4. Keep track of bank and credit card statements. If you’re not receiving them on a monthly basis or you see charges that shouldn’t be there, contact them immediately and request prompt action.
  • 5. Do not put your wallet in your back pocket. Put your wallet in your front pocket or use a money pouch. If you must use a purse, carry it close to your body, holding the top closed and keep it on the front of your body.

pickpocket

  • 6. Use secure wireless networks. The free Wi-Fi networks at cafes, hotel lobbies, and other public places are notoriously unsecured because they do not have the data-encryption protections that closed networks have.
  • 7. Be smart and protect your phone with a home-screen-locking password. We often store a lot of data on our smartphones: text messages with personal information, emails, photos, and important travel information such as boarding passes and itineraries.

home screen lock

  • 8. Use cash more frequently. When traveling, always keep cash and cards on hand. Use credit cards at airports, major chains, and shops that clearly use secure payment systems. Again, avoid using your debit card if you can.
  • 9. While abroad, don’t use your passport as your primary identification. Lock up your passport in the hotel room safe and use a driver’s license or an international ID for places of admission.

Hotel-Safe

  • 10. Avoid being pickpocketed by being aware of your surroundings. Pickpocketers usually work in teams of 2′s or 3′s. One of them will bump into you or drop something in front of you or make a loud noise or do anything to cause a distraction. Once you have been distracted, the other pickpocketer will steal your valuables and walk away nonchalantly.

 

If somebody does manage to steal your identity, then you need to find out about it in the earliest stages possible so you can take immediate action before things get completely out of control. Keep in mind that there are many more preventive measures, these are just some of the most common and important tips you can apply to successfully prevent identity theft from happening to you.  To completely protect yourself from any ID theft mishaps, identity theft protection is always available.

 

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World Cup 2014 Update

Hey Futbol fans!  Have you enjoyed the World Cup so far?  It’s been an amazing ride to this point and there’s only a few games left.  Here’s a quick recap of the important events during the World Cup and a short preview of the upcoming games.

 

Oh, what had happened?

Landon Donovan

Without America’s most recognizable soccer star Landon Donovan, the naysayers were ready to write off the US.  But Clint Dempsey dazzled the world and my heart in the first round of the tournament, rising like a phoenix from the ashes and resurrecting US hopes and dreams.

clint dempsey phoenix

Luis Suarez of Uruguay sunk his teeth into Giorgio Chiellini of Italy because he mistook him as a calzone.  I can’t blame him, calzones are bomb.com.

luis suarez calzone

It burns like Hot Pockets!

The US team played horridly against Belgium in the round of 16.  Tim Howard had a sensational game with a record-setting 16 saves.  He played his heart like a true champion.

tim howard DOD

Neymar has been spectacular all World Cup and has lived up to the hype.  Unfortunately, he took a painful tiger knee shot to his back from Columbian player Juan Zuniga.  It’s disappointing his World Cup experience has been cut short, but I am sure we will see more from this promising young star in the future.

And then there were 4. 

The World Cup semi-finals begin tomorrow with Brazil playing Germany and then Netherlands playing Argentina on Wednesday.  Brazil has been playing great but with the absence of Neymar, I don’t think they will be able to triumph over Germany.  Argentina will steamroll Netherlands solely due to the fact that Lionel Messi is a beast.  Final Prediction: Argentina will beat Germany in the championship game 2-1 and Messi will be crowned the undeniable King of Futbol.

lionel messi king

Messi has more accolades than I have facial hair.

If you’re in Brazil right now catching all the action in person, pray that you don’t run into Luis Suarez and his fangs of fury.  It’s never too late to purchase travel insurance, which covers injuries abroad like human bites!

 


 

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Last Minute Travel Checklist

Travel Insurance

Traveling is exciting, but it can also be very hectic. There are all kinds of things that you need to remember. Some of them, if you forget them, are not the end of the world. Others, however, can ruin your whole trip! The more prepared you are, the less stressed out you will be on the day of your trip. It helps to be organized, so here’s a last minute travel checklist that you can refer to every time you travel. Here are the most important things you will definitely want to check off.

 

You Don’t Need To See My Identification

travel docs

  • Passport (if traveling overseas) – make sure that your passport isn’t expired. For certain countries, your passport must be valid for six months after the date you travel so verify this before you leave for your trip.
  • Visa – if required.
  • Flight Tickets – if you don’t have a physical ticket, confirm your E-ticket with the airline before you leave.
  • Accommodation Vouchers
  • Transfer Vouchers
  • Travel Insurance – consider whether you want to purchase travel insurance to protect yourself & family from unforeseen events.
  • Phone Numbers for Home
  • Health Documentation(s)
  • Emergency Information
  • Local Currency – if you’re traveling out of the country, be sure to have the local currency on hand.
  • Credit Card(s)
  • Driver’s License – do not leave this at home and make sure it is not expired. Be mindful of the driving laws of the place you plan to visit.
  • Make copies of all documentation keep one copy with you and leave a copy of your passport, credit cards, travel insurance with a friend or family member.

 

Dress Accordingly

fashionable beach bum

Before you pack your suitcase, do your research on the kind of weather you will be getting and pack accordingly. Always remember that the weather can change quickly, so pack for unexpected changes.

 

  • Underwear
  • Socks/Hosiery
  • Belts
  • Casual Day Wear
  • Sleepwear
  • Cold weather gear (jumper, coat, warm hat, gloves, scarf)
  • Warm weather gear (swimsuit, shorts, sandals
  • Comfortable walking shoes (must be worn in)
  • Sun Hat

 

So Fresh and So Clean Clean

travel toiletries

  • Comb and/or brush
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss etc
  • Deodorant
  • Soap
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Skin-care lotion
  • Razor & shaving cream
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Make Up
  • Vitamins
  • Bath / beach towel
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Aspirin
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Band-Aids
  • Upset stomach / Diarrhea medication
  • Regular medication, plus a letter from your doctor for anything unusual.

 

Okay, Just Get The Bare Essentials

travel essentials

  • Cell Phone
  • Laptop or tablet
  • Luggage (Check any weight restrictions)
  • Back pack
  • Wallet
  • Money belt
  • Ipod/MP3 Player
  • Camera & memory cards
  • Guide book and maps
  • Travel journal & pens
  • Games / playing cards
  • Small padlocks for suitcase
  • Luggage ID tags
  • Travel pillow
  • Zip lock plastic bags
  • Electrical converter / adapter if you have AC appliances
  • Earplugs / eyeshades

 

These are important things to remember when making your last minute travel checklist. Most likely you’ll come up with other things to include, depending on your specific plans.

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5 Ways to Deal with a Flight Delay or Cancellation

flight-delayed

Flight delays and cancellations occur more often than we like, and dealing with such scenarios is a stressful experience for most travelers. It’s much more stressful when unpredicted delays, disruptions, and cancellations occur because of many reasons like a passing thunderstorm, mechanical malfunctions, or a psychopath on the runway.

 

By knowing how to cope with delays and cancellations at the airport, you will be able to keep yourself busy and make the experience less stressful.

 

 

1. Check the Flight Departure Board

The flight departure board gives you a heads up on any possible problems. If you are seeing a number of flights delayed or cancelled that are ahead of yours on the same airline company, be proactive and speak to a representative of the airline to see if they anticipate any problems with your flight. They might be able to tell you that the hubs are very backed up. You can also call the 800 number of the airline. If your flight is delayed, try to find out how long of a delay is expected. This will help you assess how your travel plans will be affected.

2. Utilize Your Mobile Phonesmartphone

Time is of the essence. If your flight is cancelled, get in line as soon as possible for an alternative. While waiting in line, get on the phone and call the airline directly. Usually the airline representative at the call center can rebook you on a flight much faster than having to wait in line to speak to the gate or customer service agents. If you’re dealing with a delayed flight, call anyone who was planning to pick you up at your arrival airport to let them know your flight has been delayed. Also, be sure to load your phone with the airlines toll free phone numbers prior to your scheduled flight.

 

3. Ask What Your Options Are

It pays to have an outline of alternatives before you arrive to the airport. Most times you won’t need to take advantage of the alternatives, but with cancelled flights, the quicker you can act on those alternatives, you will be one step ahead of everybody else. If you do not want to have your flight re-booked, the airline can refund you the cost of your ticket.

trip alternatives

4. Stay Focused

Staying calm and being patient is one of the most important things you can do when there is a delay or cancellation with your flight. You should be mindful that especially in the winter there can be a number of things that can go wrong with flights. Play mind sharpening games in either real life or via mobile app.  Games like Sudoku, Chess, Tetris, and Bejeweled.

sudoku

5. Make Yourself Comfortable

When your flight is delayed, there is often little that you can do but wait. Think of the situation as an opportunity to catch up on some quiet time, remind yourself that getting stressed or panicking won’t change the reality of the situation. Try to take the delay in your stride. Listen to music, read a book, or get something to eat while you wait for your delayed flight.  Most importantly, the airport bar is always a good option to kill time while you knock back a few drinks.

airport bar

Whether it’s a flight delay or cancellation, it’s important to remember that you should be respectful without being concessionary. Be firm without being aggressive.  You always have the option to protect yourself from unplanned flight delay and cancellations with travel insurance protection. Happy travels this summer!

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5 Best American 4th of July Destinations

fireworks 4th of july

Nothing says Independence Day quite like a thundering and colorful pyrotechnics display. If you’re lucky enough to be in any of the best holiday destinations this 4th of July, you’ll have a front row seat to some of the nation’s most dazzling fireworks spectacles. Whether you plan on spending the holiday in the nation’s capital, a sunny beach, or even the Big Apple, you can soak up patriotic spirit while marveling at colorful explosions that light up the night sky. There’s plenty to do for people of all ages, activities such as historic tours, parades, and concerts are all available.

If you are planning to travel for the upcoming holiday and haven’t decided where you want to go, we’ve compiled the 5 best 4th of July destinations for you.

 

1. Las Vegas

If you are partygoer who wants to live it up, Las Vegas is the city to be in. In this city, partygoers can drink all day and night anywhere they please as public consumption of alcohol is legal on the Strip. The partying doesn’t stop in Las Vegas with the multitude of casinos and clubs available. The world’s largest observations wheel recently opened up.  The 550 ft High Roller gives an unrivaled view of the Strip and is stationed at the LINQ, a new outdoor shopping and entertainment district. While in Vegas, be sure to check out the virtual fireworks show on the Viva Vision canopy at the Fremont Street Experience, or even better, witness the real thing — times nine — as nine different Stations Casinos properties display fireworks simultaneously.

las vegas fireworks

2. New York

At some point in their life, every American must make their destined trip to New York. It is home to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the widely-watched New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square.  When traveling to the city for 4th of July, you can see a Mets game and fireworks in the evening. You and the family can enjoy the Macy’s Fireworks Spectacular display over the East River, where it was previously stationed on the Hudson River. New York City delivers one of the biggest 4th of July firework displays in the nation and will be lighting up the Brooklyn Bridge this special evening.  The event will be hosted by the hilarious Nick Cannon and feature entertainers such as Lionel Richer, Ariana Grande, Enrique Iglesias, and Miranda Lambert.

NYC Fireworks

3. New Orleans

Here’s another city where the party keeps going. A reveler seeking a nonstop party must consider New Orleans as a 4th of July destination. Similar to Las Vegas, people can publicly drink while walking on the streets.  More importantly, New Orleans is known for their delicious food and good vibes music in a fun atmosphere. If you and the family would like to visit the Aquarium of the Americans on the riverfront, the Audubon is offering $4 off on any single adult or child ticket. At night, the city celebrates the Fourth of July with a “Dueling Barges” fireworks show on the banks of the Mississippi River as 2 ships fire of a spectacular display of fireworks.

new-orleans-fireworks

4. Chicago

The 4th of July is a great time to plan a summer vacation in Chicago. The city is in full swing from the painful winter and summer is the time to take full advantage of the lakefront beaches. Navy Pier combines fireworks over Lake Michigan with a festival vibe: The waterfront Pier Park includes a musical carousel and—of course—warm, delicious food. Navy Pier also has world famous DJ AfroJack playing on July 5th for an outdoor concert so get your glowsticks ready!

fireworks-chicago

5. Washington DC

There’s perhaps no better place to celebrate the 4th of July than in our nation’s capital. The National Mall, with the U. S. Capitol and Washington Monument in the background, creates a stunning backdrop to the country’s 4th of July celebrations. This all-day event in the nation’s capital kicks off with a parade along Constitution Avenue from NW 7th to 17th Streets. During the day, you can enjoy readings of the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives, dance performances and cooking demonstrations at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and an evening concert by the National Symphony Orchestra on the West Lawn. The night ends with a spectacular display of fireworks over the Capitol Building and Washington Monument caps off an unforgettable day in history-rich D.C.

DC 4th of july

The 4th of July is a special day to Americans. This Independence Day promises to offer something for everyone. A visit to any of these top cities will result in a grand time for the whole family. With the high number of travelers expected this holiday summer, you can be proactive and protect yourself with travel insurance or rental car insurance.


 

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5 Easy Summer Travel Tips

summer travel destination

With summer vacations starting and 4th of July around the corner, now is the time to venture out and enjoy the warmth and sunshine. Summer is regarded as the best season to go on vacation. It’s the best time you can spend traveling without having to worry about being in the midst of punishing weather. Vacations are supposed to be a fun and relaxing activity, not a disappointing and exhausting event. Whether you are traveling with your special someone, family, or your friends, you have to be well prepared. The best trips involve careful planning. Here are 5 summer travel tips to kick start your summer vacation plans.

 

1. Destination

What is your ideal vacation spot this summer? When deciding, consider your budget, the number of days of travel, and the number of people you will be traveling with. Collect a summer travel guide and decide your place of interest. Get familiar with the maps and tour books of that area.  The internet has a variety of resources – Fodor’s and Lonely Planet are good starting points.

Bay Beach

2. Accommodation & Prior Reservation

It is always a good idea to plan where you are staying well in advance. This will not only save you money but it also ensures that you get the hotel of your choice for your summer vacation. Booking in advance secures you with comfortable travel dates and often will allow you to be eligible for special offers. It would be an excellent idea to get customer reviews of the hotel and its locality.

accomodations

3. Documentation & Monies

Before you plan to travel anywhere within the country or abroad, it is absolutely necessary to collect all needed documents. Carry your travel documents like visa, identification papers, and passport if you are traveling outside the country. Do not forget to carry foreign currency, credit cards, and debit cards. It is very important that you have more than enough money for where you’re going. You don’t want to be stuck in unfamiliar territory because you are short on cash.

currencies

4. Basic Medicines

 Another absolute necessity when traveling for summer is to carry a portable first aid kit with the medicines associated with summer vacations – possible sore throats, diarrhea, summer boils, allergies, cuts, and scrapes. Pack medicines that are part of the family’s daily dose. If you have a history of any illness, carry the health related documents. Enlist your doctor’s number, the local doctor’s number, and the numbers of your emergency contacts.

going to bathroom

5. Shed Extra and Pack Smart

Avoid carrying unnecessary items and pack things that have multiple uses. Always consider the climatic condition of the place you are about to visit and pack your luggage accordingly. When traveling for the summer, it calls for careful preparation. Carry sun-glasses, an umbrella, lightweight cotton or linen clothes, and pleasing pastels. Avoid synthetics and go for sensible footwear like flip-flops or walking shoes. Don’t forget to protect your head by wearing hats, bonnets, or visors if you feel like re-living 1999.

n sync visor

You will surely have a blast on your summer vacation this year if you’re better prepared and organized. This does not mean that you have to give up on spontaneity. You can still do things that you may not have planned for but if you make a plan, it will be in a safe and responsible manner.  There’s always travel insurance and rental car insurance to protect you and your family in case of emergencies.

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#OopsAwards – Have a Travel Accident Story? Share it for a Chance to Win an iPad Mini!

Travel Oops Awards

Oops Story

 

Have you had an “OOPS!” moment while traveling? Accidents DO happen. Whether you’re on a business trip or a family vacation, travel accidents can be a painful experience.

 

So share with us your travel accident story. Perhaps you were traveling abroad and lost your luggage or missed a connecting flight by mere minutes.  Maybe you slipped and fell at the buffet line at a beach resort and fractured your leg. Whatever the mishap, we want to hear how you a travel oops moment!

 

Share your story about an unforgettable “Travel ‘OOPS!’ Story” via the Post Kudos submission form below for the chance to win an iPad Mini. Whichever story gets the most votes wins!

 

Submit Your Story in 4 Easy Steps

 

1) Share your story in the Post Kudos section below (give your story a fun title). The entry has to be in video format either recorded or uploaded below via Post Kudos. Video content is open to your imagination as long as it is a real experience - it can be a video testimonial, a cheesy re-enactment, or an actual recording of the accident. The more creative it is, the better chance you will have to win! Videos must be 30 seconds or less to be eligible for the prize.

 

2) Share this link and encourage people to vote for your story:
http://us.protectyourbubble.com/blog/oops-awards-2014-travel-accident-story/

 

3) Friends, family, and fans of your story will vote below through Rafflecopter. Please input the TITLE of the video you want to vote for.  Furthermore, Facebook likes and Twitter follows add an additional entry each.

 

4) The person with the story with the most votes – by June 30, 2014 – wins an iPad Mini

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Testimonials collected with Post Kudos

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. PURCHASE OR PAYMENT DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years and older (19 or older in AL and NE). Contest ends June 30, 2014. Subject to complete Official Rules.

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5 Toddler Travel Tips For Super Parents

Traveling with toddlers

Who says your travel plans have to stop when you have kids?

 

Traveling with kids is a great way to educate them on the world and to make lifelong memories. So pack your bags and hit the road! A little prep can go a long way in making the trip smoother.

 

With Memorial Day Weekend coming up, travel plans are in full gear. Below is a list of considerations to help you make the most of your trip.

 

1. Travel, in itself, is an adventure for the kids.  Think of the trip as less of a stressful chore and more of an exciting experience!  Your attitude will set the tone for the journey.

 

Happy Family Travel

Look how happy these paid actors are

2. Tell your kids what to expect.  Two of my favorite children’s authors have books about the airport – Bryon Barton’s Airport and Richard Scarry’s A Day At The Airport.  Granted they are slightly outdated, but they still convey the basics of air travel.

 

Byron Barton Airport

Byron Barton's Airport - the definitive children's book on flying

 

3. Can you rent or borrow baby equipment when you get there?  Lugging around car seats, strollers, and pack & plays can require an army.  If you are visiting family they likely have what you need or can borrow items from their friends.  If you are staying at a hotel, use one of their cribs.  If you are renting a car, investigate also renting car seats.

 

Packed Car

Instant child equipment regret

 

4. Don’t assume a late flight is off limits.  My kids tend to sleep well on flights if they are tired.  So you could put the kid in their PJs and let them sleep on the flight.   If the kids are sleeping, that’s less time that you have to entertain them in a confined space!

 

sleeping toddlers

Sleeping children is best children

 

5. Don’t overdo the toy bag.   The more things you have, the more likely they are to fall down, roll around, and get lost.  Pack entertainment strategically.  A single notepad, with a sticker book and a pencil will go far!  A tablet with a variety of games and movies is a great use of space.   Plus there are games like I Spy that require nothing at all!

 

Electronic Doodle Pad

An electronic doodle pad can keep a child entertained for an eternity

 

Remember to pack your Travel Insurance –it protects from when your getaway gets away from you!

 


 

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Spring Break Travel Tips

Spring break is a great opportunity to see many great attractions of the world. The travel options during this time are limitless. Popular Spring Break destinations each year include Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean, and more – basically any place that is hot and sunny.

 

When planned properly, Spring Break can be one of the most unforgettable experiences for college students and young adults. To ensure that all Spring Break travelers have the time of their lives safely, here are 4 Spring Break travel tips to get you on your way:

 

  • Plan Ahead. In order to prepare and make your vacation possible, you need to allow yourself enough time and resources. Ideally, you’d want to begin your preparations at least 5 months in advance. Start thinking about which place you want to visit. Compare the pros and cons with different housing accommodations as well as the travel methods you will be using to get to your destination. Once you’ve decided on a destination, it’s now time to purchase the tickets and reserve your hotel room. Doing this early on will allow you enough time to save for other expenses and get reasonable deals. However if your trip is more sporadic, some businesses offer last minute deals on their packages if demand has been underwhelming.

 

  • Do the Research. Research is essential if you plan on traveling to a place that you have never visited. It is necessary to familiarize yourself with the location prior to your arrival. Things to research on include currency exchange, culture, entertainment, food, and weather. You also need to determine whether you will need a passport, a photo ID, birth certificate, or all of the above. Additionally, be sure to pack the appropriate clothing and sunscreen for where you’re going.

spring break

  • Budget for Expenses. It’s crucial for traveler’s not to lose sight of how important this is. Having a sufficient budget can either make or break your trip. Budgeting your expenses should be done consistently throughout the planning phase of your Spring Break trip. Determine what you want out of your trip, such as tattoos and souvenirs, and allocate your money accordingly. The more attractions and purchases you plan to visit and make, the more you will need to expand your budget. It is also a good idea to under-budget your trip to accommodate for unforeseen expenses. Here is an online budgeting calculator to help you stay on track.

 

  • Get Ready. Make sure that you pack all the essential items for your travels. Example: passport, gear, luggage, local currency, and apparel. If you’re flying to your destination, it would be good to know the rules & policies of the airline in regards to flight cancellation, missed connections, lost baggage claims, and more.

 

Have your trip well planned and prepared in advance. Being an organized traveler will ensure that you have a great time. Get everything together and get ready to enjoy your Spring Break vacation!

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Why I Fell in Love with Peru

Those who know me best know that I love traveling to new places and experiencing new cultures and cuisine. I try to put my passport to use every year. So 2013, I decided to put it to use to visit Peru.  The country has been on my must-travel-to list for quite some time now and I was excited to finally have to opportunity to go.  And what could be a better reason, than to watch two of my friends get married!

 photo Cusco_4650_zps72c5ab16.jpg

CUSCO

We spent the first 4 days of the trip in Cusco, which is a quaint city located about an hour plane ride away from Lima. It’s an ancient city which at one time was the most important city in the Incan Empire. It now serves as a beautiful city with sweeping views of the Andes….and also the city in which the wedding took place. The altitude in Cusco is more than 12,000 feet above sea level. Thus, making the air thin. It’s very common for hotels, restaurants, and other public buildings to have oxygen tanks on standby for those are who are short on air. Altitude sickness affects many differently. Some experience nausea, headaches, shortness of breath and general discomfort. It’s advised to drink plenty of water and allow your body to adjust to the new altitude. And for the adventurous traveler, Cocoa Tea is recommended by the locals.

 

The wedding took place in Cusco in a beautiful hotel which used to serve as a monastery hundreds of years ago. The grounds were stunning and beautifully manicured and the building was breathtaking. And speaking of breathtaking, Mariella, the bride, looked gorgeous. They are a wonderful  couple and it truly was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve had the privilege to attend.

 photo Machu_4874_zps498c8b71.jpg

MACHUPICCHU

No trip to Peru would be complete without out a visit to Machupicchu, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. It’s an amazing empire built by the Incans nestled on one of the peaks in the Andes Mountains. Many travelers each year take the pilgrimage to the ancient ruins by foot. Starting the journey in Cusco, the trek takes about 4 days. Along the way, the hikers are sure to experience the Peruvian culture first hand through the stunning scenery , the small villages that hikers pass though and the pure serenity that only nature can provide. Others opt for a more luxurious option: by train (which is what I chose.) The train is comfortable and is equipped with a glass ceiling for maximum views of the Peruvian countryside along the way. Meals and beverages are served aboard the 4 hour journey through countryside, over rivers, and through mountains. You know you’re approaching the foothills of Machu Picchu as you start seeing snow capped mountains ahead and intermittent ruins beginning to become more commonplace.  The train’s route ends in a small city called Aguas Calientes, translated as “hot waters” due to the natural hot springs in the area. The city is located in the valley and surrounded by the green, jungle-like mountains.

 

Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, we quickly checked into our hotel and set off for the bus ride up to the peak of the mountain where we would finally experience Machupicchu. The bus ride was a thrill for sure; narrow roads, a windy route, steep drop offs and no guardrails. The 20 minute scenic ride went by quickly. I recommend to anyone who goes to Machupicchu to get your passport stamped. It’s a cool memento and a worth the wait in line.

 

When we finally arrived at the site of the ancient city, we were speechless. I have never experienced such natural beauty that is so intertwined with man’s creation. And the architecture found within Machupicchu’s ruins has been a mystery for many scientists and researchers. The site was built with such precision, that not even the blade of a thin knife can fit through the mortar-less stonework. Upon touring the site, we learned about other mysteries that have been baffling experts for a while: Where did this civilization go? It appears as though the people just disappeared hundreds of years ago. There are no records that explain this. Why did the Spanish not conquer this civilization as they had all other Incan civilizations of its time? We may never know. But one thing’s for sure: the Incans left us with a true jewel.

 

Peru is truly a beautiful place to experience, so it’s important that tourists are adequately prepared before their Peruvian adventure commences. Below are a few tips I would recommend to anyone who plans to make this journey.

 

  •  Allow time to adjust – Machupicchu is located in a very high altitude. Tourists should allow a few days in Cusco to adjust to the altitude before making the trek up to the site. It’s common for tourists to suffer from altitude sickness. Travelers should drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol for the first few days and get plenty of rest. You can also visit a travel clinic beforehand and get a prescription for altitude sickness medication as a precaution.

 

  • Research the significance – Before heading to Peru, research the history of the land and its historical significance. Incan culture is a big part of Peru and it will help tourists fully comprehend the beauty of Machupicchu.

 

  • Endurance Prep – There are two ways to get up to Machupicchu. If the multi-day hiking/camping excursion is the method of choice, tourists should be sure to spend the months leading up to the trip exercising to build up endurance. It’s not an easy trail, so the more prep, the more enjoyable the journey.

 

  • Be adventurous with food – Do not, I repeat, DO NOT eat at a McDonalds during your trip. Did you go halfway around the world to eat somewhere you can easily go to at home? Hopefully not! Part of truly experiencing a culture is through the food. Peruvian food is wonderful and exotic. Be sure to try the local delicacy: Cuy. Or as we call it in the states: Guinea Pig. It tastes just like chicken. Honest!

 

  • Try to learn a little Spanish – The people are nice and very helpful to tourists, but it’s a nice way to prepare for your trip. Good phrases to know are “Thank you,” “How much does this cost,” “Where are the restrooms” and “No thank you.” In either case, bring a language translator.
  • Get covered – Before traveling, I was sure to get travel insurance through Protect Your Bubble. It was affordable, easy to purchase and I enjoyed having peace of mind throughout my Peruvian adventure.

 

When planning your Peruvian adventure, remember that vacation insurance is a great way to cover trip emergencies, cancellations and interruptions. Visit ProtectYourBubble.com for a quick quote.

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