Self Catering Holiday Tips

If you want to go on a self-catering holiday, there are some specific things that you can do to make it better and easier for you. First, you want to make sure what cottages and other arrangements are available where you want to go. If a fancy, full-service hotel is in the same price range most people would want that instead. However, not everyone feels that way. Some people want these self-catering cottages because they can accommodate a lot of people so an entire family or big group of friends can stay together without being split up into a bunch of different hotel rooms. This is rather important for most people. Find out before you book something, how many people it can accommodate and whether you can get it for the time you want for a good rate.

 

Depending on when during the year you’re planning on taking your holiday, you might find that you can move it by a couple of weeks and get a much lower price because you will have moved into the off season for tourism. If you can go during that off season you can get lower prices and sometimes other added benefits that you wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.

 

You should also be sure you understand what ‘self catering’ actually means so that you can be prepared for your stay and bring anything that you need to have with you. You don’t want to show up unprepared for your holiday, because you could end up having a bad time. If you have pets that you’ll be bringing (a lot of people like to travel with their dogs, for example) you’ll also need to find out whether they will be welcome there, if you need to pay extra, and if there are any special rules or regulations that go along with bringing a pet on your self-catering holiday. Get those things out in the open so that you don’t have a nasty surprise when you arrive and are expecting to relax. You should also do a little bit of research into the area, so you know where you can go to eat and what you might want to see while you’re on holiday.

Asperger’s and the Holidays

In my private practice I’ve noticed a trend. Around November, old, current and new clients call wanting to schedule sessions to talk about one topic: the holidays. The trend is not surprising: most therapists find themselves busy at this time of year, when expectations and realities can clash, and even the most mature find themselves stuck in teenager roles and feelings long since discarded.

But for a therapist who counsels adults with Asperger’s the increase in client need may be surprising to some. Aren’t Aspies supposed to be unconcerned with the judgments of others, even family members? Don’t Aspies face holiday family time with few, if any, expectations for intimacy or fun? Don’t Aspies who find themselves alone during the holidays consider their solitude a “Get Free Out of Jail” card, rather than a reason for loneliness or depression? After all, Aspies don’t really seek out relationships, right? If any of these assumptions sound familiar to you, beware of the Aspie Stereotype, which pervades media (think “Rainman”), research teams (think “Yale”), pop culture (think SNL’s “Nick Burns: The computer Guy”) and even some therapist circles (not me!).

Contrary to popular notions regarding Asperger’s, many clinicians, those who work in the trenches with adults struggling with the challenges of Asperger’s, find their Aspie clients confused and overwhelmed by the holidays. Most of us harbor conscious or unconscious expectations about the holidays – how they should feel, who they should be spent with, how tall the tree should be, who should host dinner…the list can go on. A lack of awareness of one’s own “rules” regarding the holidays can set the stage for confusion, disappointment, impulse coping skills and depression. If you have Asperger’s, you may be surprised at your own “automatic” answers to questions such as:

Should holidays be spent with friends or family? Should loved ones exchange gifts, or not? Who should travel where for the holiday celebration? Tinsel, or lights? While these questions may seem trivial, they’re not – and often they shed light on our automatic thoughts that go unchallenged and cause problems. For instance, if your “rule” is that Christmas or Hanukkah is a commercialized money-making holiday to benefit department stores, you may refuse to participate, and thus miss genuine opportunities to connect with loved ones. If you automatically decree that holidays should be spent with family or friends, you may miss the comfort that solitude can bring you.

Please don’t fall into the trap of trying to live up to what you think “normal holidays” (an oxymoron) should be like. Holidays for Aspies are often riddled with “shoulds”, which trigger resentment and resistance. Adults with Asperger’s who give themselves permission to meet their own unique needs for togetherness and solitude, fun and rest, engagement and disengagement, often find themselves less pressured, less anxious and more accepting of themselves and others. This balanced approach can prevent total shutdown mode, which is a natural response to over stimulation and helplessness.

Here are some tips Aspies may find helpful:

Plan for taking breaks during visits. Examples are taking a walk outside, taking a nap with a book, taking some quiet time for deep breathing, taking a quick ride or offering to run an errand in the car, playing a video game with someone or alone, or announcing a time-out and removing yourself from the group.

Schedule realistically. Over scheduling during the holidays can lead to burnout when being around people is gratifying, but stressful (or just plain difficult). While it’s great to push yourself to socialize, the holidays are a time to be reasonable – don’t expect yourself to go from no parties to three or four in a month. Beware of the lure of substance use. Many of us rely on the cocktail or two to help ease party anxiety. While there may not be too much harm in this, most clinicians see a surge in substance use during the holidays, which can lead to hangovers, a shaken sense of self, embarrassment, or worse. Remember that as long as you’re using substances to quell the anxiety, you’re not truly growing in your ability to handle social situations.

Be extra kind to yourself. This sounds corny, and it is. But think about it: we spend so much time during the holidays thinking about giving to others (or avoiding it!), but how much do we think about truly giving to ourselves? This is the time to use kind words and actions to take care of yourself. Ideas include buying or checking out a new book, going to the movies alone, eating a favorite meal, spending quiet time petting the cat. Seek help if you need to. Holiday therapy can be a temporary bridge to January 2! Here’s to your success in creating a holiday this year that you can anticipate with groundedness and optimism.

Tips For Safe Family Canoe Trips

Canoeing is an affordable and exciting vacation opportunity for families. The combination of traversing waterways and stealing away from daily life can be purely exhilarating. However, canoe trips necessitate early planning and accurate gear. The following information is helpful for planning a safe canoe trip that is also enjoyable.

Safety First

According to the United States Coast Guard, more than 250,000 rivers are present throughout the United States. This provides a vast number of options for families who desire a novel vacation idea. Whether choosing to stay near home or wishing to travel to another part of the country, canoeing is an ideal way to embark on an adventure.

A critical first step in choosing which river is ideal for your family’s trip is to plan. Determine the surroundings in which you are most comfortable and then research those rivers that meet such criteria. Once a river has been decided upon, regard the area in which you will be and familiarize yourself with it. For example, if you opt for a river that is far from town and mingled with dense forest, plan for such an environment.

Necessary Equipment

After the planning comes the packing. Canoe trips require more than a sack lunch and map of the river to be navigated. The list that follows encompasses a number of items required to safeguard your family during their excursion.

  • Water-proof first aid kit that can be purchased already-assembled from a variety of retailers. Included within this kit should be, at a minimum, bandages, burn ointment, anti-bacterial cream, medication for insect bites and pain relievers.
  • Water bottle for each member of the canoe party and subsequent jugs of fresh water.
  • Warm nylon jacket for each person.
  • Duct tape that can be used for repairs of the canoe or related equipment.
  • Dry plastic bags for storing additional clothing and gear.
  • Knife and heavy-duty rope.
  • Extra paddle.
  • Map and compass.

In addition to these items, each person also needs to have a personal flotation device (PFD) to wear during the actual trip. It is not sufficient to have the PFD in the canoe, but rather it needs to be worn. Many rivers are deceiving in appearance: they look shallow but in fact have rapid currents. Properly fitting PFDs are also important so as to remain secure against the body and promote easy movement.

Canoe Attire

The correct gear is just one element of safe canoeing. Clothing is another important consideration. Although persons are usually tempted to wear them, jeans are actually a canoeing hazard in and of themselves. Persons cannot swim sufficiently in jeans, and they may chafe the skin if they become wet. Instead, long nylon pants are more comfortable and can withstand various elements. Lightweight, long-sleeved shirts with a chamois blend are also optimal.

Shoes are absolutely essential for each person. Sandals do not provide adequate protection when one must walk through water and/or mud. Wetsuit boots are the best choice because they are waterproof; such footwear also safeguards against sharp objects, tree branches and rocks.

Canoeing Hazards

Caution should be exercised at all times while enjoying a canoe trip. This is for one primary reason: water hazards can occur at any time. For example, tree stumps are prolific in many lakes and rivers. These can disrupt the movement of a canoe and even tip it. Be weary of these and maneuver around them with slow and smooth paddle strokes.

Hazards exist outside of the canoe as well. Water lilies and razor-grass both pose serious threats to swimmers. Long grass along riverbanks creates the perfect grounds for snakes to hide. Finally, weather conditions should also be heeded: lightning can quickly turn an aluminum paddle into a lightning rod. Similarly, too much sun exposure can also be harmful. Canoes should be stocked with sunscreen, hats and sunglasses to minimize the risk of sunburns. A cord is helpful for securing sunglasses to the body.

Canoeing provides an uninhibited view of the outdoors as well as a sense of unity with nature. These are qualities quite unlike those of more mainstream vacations. Keep your family safe during your next canoe trip with the tips provided here. This will ensure future vacations in which the outdoors is aptly enjoyed.

Tips To Choose The Best Hotel Or Resort For Your Celebrations Or Events

Accommodation is important in any kind of travel whether it is for business or leisure. Fortunately, most destinations have plenty of options for you including resorts and hotels. One of the things you want to make sure you do before travelling is having your accommodation plans in check. At least this way you don’t have to get frustrated when you get to the destination only to find you have limited options with your accommodation.

1. Start by choosing the most ideal resort location. The location can have a lot to determine when it comes to the environment or the kind of ambience and atmosphere you enjoy during your stay. For formal or business travel, you should settle for a location that is serene enough for you to run your conferences and meetings without much interruption. If you are travelling for leisure and have a need to enjoy the stay to the maximum then choose a location that offers great views and activities.

2. Check out the facilities available. For instance, if you are travelling with business partners, does the hotel or resort have conference rooms and are they large enough and well equipped to give you a smooth time? Checking such facilities from the beginning will help you make the right decision with the hotel. Same goes for celebrations such as weddings. Does it have grounds you can conveniently use for the wedding and what services can you enjoy related to such? You also want to consider the suites and rooms available to make sure you love the settings and possible arrangements to make your stay most rewarding and calming.

3. Find out what services you can enjoy. Despite the reason for your travel and need for hotel accommodation, there are services you might need to complete the experience. They include housekeeping, laundry, transport and babysitting among others. It is important to evaluate what services are important to you and how possible they are from the hotel. Look for hotels or resorts with impeccable customer service and flexibility so you can have a time of your life free from worries.

4. Consider the room amenities. They will definitely come in handy when packing for the stay or holidays. Do you need a hairdryer and does the hotel provide that or do you have to carry one yourself? Consider the items you need for convenience and match them with what the hotel offers in your room so you can have an easy time deciding what to take with you. The room rates can determine amenities made available to you with higher rates coming with more amenities for your enjoyment.

5. Find out what activities you can enjoy from the hotel. They can make a memorable stay, especially when the activities match your preferences. Swimming, jogging, surfing and golfing are some of the activities most hotels offer. If you love the gym or spa experiences, then you also want to consider whether the resort has a spa or a gym at your disposal.

Brazil – Just Sensational!

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

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

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

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

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

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

8 Rules Of Christmas: Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

First of all, before anything else is said, let’s agree on a couple of things.

Sharing good times with friends and family is part of what the holiday season is all about. When these groups get together, it is often in the presence of delicious, scrumptious food. This food tends to be available for snacking all day. Personally, I would immediately call the Vatican and nominate anyone for sainthood who could truly enjoy all the festivities and be awash in the total ambiance of all the season inspires while ignoring the lavish plates of goodies while walking around munching on a stick of celery.

Oh yeah! You’re going to sample Aunt Millie’s mincemeat pie, Uncle Bob’s specially prepared fried turkey, and probably a glass of Alka-Seltzer or something similar.

Unfortunately, I am here to remind you of a few things; you are on a diet, you want to lose weight, all that stuff that is so tempting is fattening, and this is the hardest time of the year to be good. So, let’s just pick up on a few rules to help you get through the season.

8 Rules For Healthy Holiday Eating:

Before we get started, I want you to get comfortable, so put some turkey on your plate, get some of that great dressing (don’t forget the cranberry sauce), fight Cousin Ed for some of that green bean casserole my niece, Sharon, makes so well, and tell Grandma to save a piece of pie for you. Have a seat, relax, enjoy your meal (while balancing a soggy paper plate on your knee) and I will give you the rules to help you survive the season.

1. Forgive yourself in advance and give yourself permission to have a good time:

Look, this stuff isn’t poison! You didn’t take 10 years off your life just because you ate more than you should have…and then went back for seconds. You are only human, and you are here to have a good time! One of the reasons you want to lose weight, or keep it down, is so that you can enjoy life, and this is one of the most enjoyable times of the year. So, as they say, live a little. Whatever happens over the next few days will not kill you, and whatever damage you do manage to do can be rectified.

2. It’s just a couple of days:

Okay, for some families, it may be a couple of weeks…twice…Thanksgiving and Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Kwanza. Whatever it is for you, it is finite, it WILL end, and it is mainly limited to a certain time of the year. Who you are in terms of health, fitness, and weight loss is determined by the overall accomplishments of the year, not by a few weeks in the fall.

3. Stay with your program:

You will definitely minimize the effects of all the dinners, cookies, and snacks if you can still get in your walks, aerobics, weight training, or whatever else you have been doing. During the holiday season, it can be difficult to get everything done the same as in the rest of the year, but two days of exercise Thanksgiving week, while not as good as three or five, is still better than none. Simply knowing you have not abandoned your plan will help you get over any depression you might have because of your holiday eating, and will help reduce any negative effects from all the delicious, gooey calories you have “accidentally” consumed. If you cannot stay on a formal program, squeeze in a walk, even if it is a high-speed shopping trip through the mall. By the way, this is the reason I love yoga. When everything’s done, I can retire to my bedroom and not only get the physical benefits of the yoga session, but I relieve some of the stress I may have built up during the day. That helps with the eating too.

4. Remain in touch with reality:

You will hear people speak of “mindful eating”. Be aware of what you are doing. Have you ever heard someone say, “That is so good, I just have to have some more.”? Of course, YOU and I never say things like that! Well, the truth is that you DON’T have to have some more, and, if you do, it doesn’t need to be right now. Just because the food is there right now doesn’t mean it has to be eaten right now. You know what’s good for you and what isn’t. One piece of pie today is not going to kill you or destroy your weight loss resolution, but do you have to have that pie? Isn’t there a healthier treat you could have, or could you just wait until the meal has settled, or after you take a walk to rev up your metabolism and burn off some of what you already ate? Why not take a piece home with you and have it as a treat for later…when you aren’t as full as a tick?

5. Food is not love:

Many people tend to equate food and eating with love. You cannot change the others, but you can change your own attitude. Refusing seconds of Grandma’s turkey does not mean you don’t love her. If she is hurt because you normally stuff yourself and this year you’re not doing her food “justice”, just say that you are full right now but will have more later. Take control of YOUR life. Others will have to take control of their own.

6. If you are the cook:

Choose healthy dishes prepared in a healthy manner. If you have found a new diet-friendly food that you enjoy, share that with others. This will give you one more healthy dish on the groaning board to select your own meal from.

7. Alcohol:

If you enjoy wine, beer, egg nog like my Uncle Wilbur liked, or other drinks containing alcohol, just slow down and cut back. Try slipping in a glass of water between drinks. Drinks containing alcohol are sneaky calories. They do nothing for you nutritionally, but they do have a lot of calories. A few drinks with friends can give you more calories than a Big Mac…and you probably have these drinks while snacking or eating a meal! Oh well! At least if you are a beer drinker, you can try some light beers. It will give you an excuse to sample.

8. Be happy to be where you are, doing what you are doing, with the people you love:

If you fall head over heels off the diet wagon, have fun. What you do throughout the year will have more effect on your weight and health than what happens between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

Hints and Tips For Traveling in Italy

Traveling anywhere these days is not very difficult. Technology has allowed traveling to become easier and cheaper than it has been before, the price of fuel at the moment aside. The world has become more accessible to everyone and you should rightly make the most of it. One experience that I thoroughly recommend is traveling in Italy. The country is beautiful, the climate is warm and you will never be bored, but there are certain things you can do to make your trip even better:

1. If you are traveling in Italy and visit a large city like Rome or Milan then keep your bag, purse or wallet close, and hidden if possible, at all times. Pickpockets are everywhere and the crime rate is high, especially where tourists are concerned.

2. Never forget the bug spray! Italy may be beautiful but it is very hot in summer and the bugs, including mosquitoes, are out in force. You could end up with painful and itchy bites at the very least and in hospital with a nasty illness at the worse so take precautions and apply bug spray!

3. Stay out of the sun during the siesta hours. Siesta is in place in Italy for a reason – it is simply too hot for people to be out and about. If the locals think that then take their word for it!

4. Buy a good guidebook with a map. Many Italian cities have what is usually called the “Drains” or something similar. They are old drainage systems and tend to wind around a lot. As such, it is easy to get lost! Make sure that you have a guidebook on hand before you get exploring just in case you get lost.

If you take these tips on board then you will enjoy every moment of your trip to Italy. As with everywhere, it does have it’s drawbacks but protect against those when traveling in Italy and you will have the best holiday of your life!

Vacations – 5 Tips for Booking a Vacation Online

You’ve heard it a million times before, but if it’s sounds too good to be true well guess what it is! Like most things when booking a trip online common sense prevails. So trust your gut and if it doesn’t seem right give it a pass and keep looking. Here are 5 tips that will stop you from being scammed when booking a vacation online and help you keep your hard earned money!

1. Make Sure the Offer is from a Legitimate Supplier! Scam artists are real good. In fact they can look more professional that the pros! If you click on a banner ad or read a review promoting a particular vacation do your homework. Read through the content as the bad guys will portray themselves as, for example, being from Hilton Hotels. So if it’s a promotion for Hilton, go to their company website or call them to make sure the offer is there. If it’s not, chances are you would have been ripped off.

2. Contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Not all companies are household names and yet they most likely have a legitimate offer. It sounds trite, but contact the local BBB of the city the business is located in to see if there are any reports of them. According to the BBB the travel industry is in the top 25 for complaints.

3. Beware of Delayed Reservations. This one is a classic! Make sure you put your purchase on a credit card – no cash and no checks! If you pay by credit card you have 60 days to dispute the charge. So if you are booking a vacation for 3 or 4 months down the road make sure you are sent the reservation within a few days. The scammers will wait to the 61st day or longer to send you the reservation when it’s too late to dispute with your credit card company.

4. Don’t Pay by Check! Once you have the money is gone and if you have a dispute, probably too bad as the supplier has your money!

5. Read the Fine Print. Not sexy and no doubt a bore. But make sure what the salesperson or sales page has promised is not contradicted in the fine print. If it is, get out of the deal or call your credit card company quash it.

Booking a vacation online happens a million times every day without incident. I hope these tips help you to have a great vacation!

Your Magaluf Holiday – Tips Before You Book

It’s nearly always sunny in Magaluf, which is located on the Spanish Island of Majorca – and that means you can enjoy the resort every day of your stay. This is the place where welcoming guests and knowing what they want has been practiced for more than a half century, resulting in hospitality that is beyond compare.

Imagine the cleanest, white sand beaches, warm, sunny days 300 days out of the year. Picture clear, turquoise water and entertainment options that span from a non-stop, sizzling nightlife to a multitude of choices for wholesome family fun. You’ve just imagined your holiday in Magaluf.

Whether you’re under 25 and with friends, a little older and with your spouse and children – or even a well-seasoned traveller enjoying your second wind – a Magaluf holiday is one you will never forget and will definitely repeat.

Just 15 miles from Palma Airport, Magaluf is easy to get to by taxi, rental car or bus. When you arrive there are a variety of excellent hotels and apartments available to suit every taste and budget.

Your only challenge will be trying to choose between the seemingly never-ending assortment of things you can do while a guest in Magaluf. There are the nearby water parks; Marineland, Aqualand and Western Water Park – that provide amusement for those of every age. Banana boat rides, a pirate adventure show, a bungee rocket for true thrill seekers, or go-kart racing, kite flying, horseback riding, scuba diving, wind surfing and jet skiing – are all just a few of the options that will be available to you in Magaluf.

If it’s a scorching nightlife you’re after, you’ll find Magaluf’s is addictive. Just start your evening at the Punta Ballena Strip, for everything from dance clubs to rave clubs, cabarets to a casino – and an endless selection of bars catering to every music preference. All this will be yours for the taking on a sun soaked Magaluf holiday.

Hawaii Travel Tips and Secrets

Check out these Hawaii travel tips and see if you get excited like we did.

Are you a little adventurous? Do you enjoy a bargain when it comes to travel?

This is how we travel and it has always worked out great for us. Try it at your own risk, but if you love travel bargains, you’ll love the way this works.

We like to travel in the off season and see Hawaii when it isn’t so crowded. Off season travel has its benefits and drawbacks.

The weather isn’t always the most ideal, yet, it can be every bit as good as the peak season.

We’ve gone in peak season and had crummy weather and we’ve traveled in the off season and had great weather, it’s always a crap shoot any way so we take the chance.

Normally, we get awesome air travel rates in the off season to start of the trip.

We usually only book the first night or maybe the second and then we hit the streets and the hotel lobbies searching for the booklets, newspapers and coupon guide books.

Last time we did this, it was in January, right after the new year and everything was dead.

Hawaii was like a ghost town and we were able to find some of the most incredible deals you could imagine.

We got a flight to Oahu, with a three night stay in a luxury hotel complete with a rental car for just a little more than the normal price of the inter-island flight.

Another time, while on the island of Maui, we called a hotel on Oahu and asked for the price of a suite we had stayed in on a previous trip.

For the price of a normal room, we got a 2 bedroom penthouse suite overlooking Waikiki Beach and facing Diamond Head. This was a corner room with four 10 foot sliding glass doors so it was like having glass walls and you could see everything. It had every amenity and our kids almost went nuts using Jacuzzi tubs, making meals in the kitchen and sitting on the two verandas overlooking the beach. There was a special elevator that only went from the lobby level to the tenth floor.

These are just some of the Hawaii travel tips that we’ve accumulated. We think you might like traveling by the seat of your pants as much as we do. It gives us braging rights with the relatives also.

Next time you visit Hawaii, throw caution to the wind and give it a try. I’ll bet it will be the most exciting and value packed vacation you’ve ever experienced.