Tag Archives: New York

Travel ‘Jet Lag’ – best ways to handle it.

Traveling long distances comes with some excitement and new experiences. But there is something else that you have to deal with. While sun is shining bright your body still thinks that at home where it’s middle of night or early morning. Experienced travelers use the term ‘jet lag’ for this feeling. Mostly people feel exhausted in first days after arriving at far-away destinations.

In times when people where traveling more by car, train or even a horse, going to far away places took at least few days or even weeks. Human bodies had time to adapt to new conditions. Now we use air carriers a lot from getting place to place. It takes around 4 hours to go across the Europe; 7-8 hours from central Europe to US east cost or around 15 hours to far East countries. We cross different time zones without paying much attention to it.

Our bodies normally live in a 24-hour rhythm. While we sleep, the heart and breathing rates slow, the blood pressure drops, muscles relax and the mental and psychomotoric efficiency declines significantly. A rapid change to another location in another time zone disturbs phases in the human daily rhythm. Mainly we feel it as an interruption of usual cycles of sleeping and being awake.

Tiredness and slowed reactions combined with memory and concentration problems are the most frequent results. People can also suffer from headaches and a sense of nausea due to the interruption of their normal sleeping time. Therefore don’t plan a lot of physical activities in first two days after arrival.

Jet lag is more marked after an Eastbound flight than a Westbound one. The reason for this is that the human “inner clock” tends towards a rhythm of more than 24 hours. So if you fly from East to West (such as from Germany to the USA), the day is longer – which tends to suit the biological rhythm. Though is is kind of hard to stay awake for more than 20 hours. The human body adjusts to the new time zone about 20 percent faster than after an Eastbound flight (such as from France to Thailand), because flying East means ‘loosing’ several hours.

But from my personal experience I would say that going from Northern Europe to USA cases me more effects that coming back to Europe. Mostly it happens that in first day I would wake up at 4am and the add 30min every next day. So all the 7am clases at the seminars are ‘mine’ (which I wouldn’t do at home). But after a week in States I’m fine 🙂 Few times I’ve had headaches next morning after arrival.

More of travel cased fatigue you will feel if there are no direct flights and you need to take an additional segment before trans-continental flight. Therefore check the times, how long stop-overs are how much time you have. In European Airports 40min – 1hour is  good connection with no rush if you stay in transit area.

When planning a trip, pay attention to departure – arrival times. After several trips overseas now I prefer to pick the flights with arrival times at US destinations around 7pm. Well, since I live in a city with no direct overseas flights, I need to take an additional segment to Scandinavia or Germany in the morning. Total travel time is around 9 hours with some short stop-over. Few days before the trip I go to bed later than usual to get closer to new daily rhythm. No sleep during the flight (two meals, some moving around & in-flight movies help a lot to stay awake) but can go to sleep short after arrival.

When traveling from USA to Europe my suggestion would be to pick evening departures for transcontinental flights because your ‘inner clock’ will make you sleep during the flight and you’ll arrive at new destination in the morning. It’s easy to stay awake while daylight & if you move around more or less then there is no problem to ‘survive’ till evening. For this reason I never had any problems with sleep after eastbound flights. Of course airplane is not the best place for sleeping but it’s still better than stay up for 20 hours and arrive at European destination at 3am.

Hot Travel Destinations in 2011

Have you been wondering how one or other place suddenly become ‘hot destination’? I was but never got more or less reasonable answer. What comes to the nature – there are so many nice & beautiful places in the world. Almost every big city in Europe has some  great architecture and historical sites…

What are the reasons besides the regular travel destinations like New York, Paris or Rome suddenly Prague or Stockholm became popular? It is kind of funny but many people discovered Prague after ‘Mission Impossible’ with Tom Cruise was released or seeing ‘Lords of the Rings’ made many people wonder about New Zealand. The power of images is great and often films are the ones that makes us want to pack and head out to world.

But if  we look at the most popular destinations during last few years, Las Vegas, Cancun and Hawaii remained constants on the ten most popular domestic and international destination. Whether planning for Spring Break or looking ahead to finding the perfect location for your summer vacation, think of Las Vegas as a popular destination filled with great hotel and nightclub experience; Cancun – a place with pristine beaches and varied entertainment; Hawaii has been great vacation destination already but with Aulani Disney Resort opening in August 29 will make it magical destination for all ages.

Last year Stockholm got a lot of attention because of royal wedding. But  this year much more visitors will head to London at the end of April. Prince William and Kate Middleton are to marry at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011. In Britain it will be 4 days of public holidays and big celebrations. Guess how many people from around the world already have booked the tickets to London?

Another hot destination of year 2011 is going to be Australia. Why Australia?  Because Oprah did announce, “We’re going to Australia!” on seasons premiere in September, 2010. Since then this destination has been on the radar of media and travelers for sure. With all the media attention and a $5 million marketing campaign launched by Tourism Australia more and more people will think about going ‘down under’.

P.S. Travelers – get ready for Russia in 2014! Russia is working hard to make winter Olympic Games in Sochi event of the year.

5 (or more) Movies that Inspire to Travel.

It doesnt matter when or where I saw this movies, after final accords for different reasons there was some kind of inspiration to see the place. I cant say that I like every movie mentioned here, but never the less, I had a thought – That place looks amazing. I wish to go there someday.

Eat Pray Love                        location Italy, India, Bali

Story from ones women’s point you view. I mean every know & them we can associate ourself with Julie. Its kind of nice story how to get over obstacles in our way. But most of all this movie makes  people think about going to Rome & try Italian pizza , visit India or Bali. Movie is kind of long but it’s fun – sit back, marvel at the scienary & the food to walk out of the theatre and book trip to Bali or Italy. …or go to nearest pizza place.

Love Actually                         location London, Portugal

Romantic comedy right for Christmas time. Story line follows the lives of 8 couples in dealing with love in their love life. A little naive but nice, entertaining & heart warming. It starts & ends at Heathrow Airport. But in between l was wondering about London & enjoying landscapes of Portugal. 

Mamma Mia!                           location Greece

LOL – it’s not the greatest movie I’ve seen, but ABBA’s songs with amazing coastal panoramas and small Greek towns made me think about Greece as nice place to visit. Of course all the songs and dances makes impression theatrical but Greece still stars as an alluring and euphoric haven.

Sex and the City                    location New York, Paris, Abu Dhabi

Whatever is the attitude to this TV serial and following movies, this story  shows many places & sides of New York people from around the world wouldn’t know about. Many people like it and find inspirational for exploring Manhattan. Therefore  no surprise that for NY visitors there is ‘Sex and the City’ sightseeing tour. Besides adventures of Carrie and her friends gives short tour to Paris and Abu Dhabi as well.

Sound of Music                      location Austria

Though it is more like children’s movie  – it’s classic. This movie gave me an idea  – this is what Austria is like. Based on true story, it shows beautiful location around Salzburg. Enjoy picturesque Salzburg, with timeless Baroque architecture and the Alps.

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Of course there are many more movies that inspire people to visit some place, but is it that they really get you moving?  Many would say, I had to mention The Beach, Amelia, A Good Year or Under the Tuscan Sun. OK – I am. But somehow these movies didn’t make me long for the particular travel destination. What comet to The Beach – somehow it was too pretentious and unbelievable. But last two mentioned seems pretty similar nice movies.

Lost in Translationone more  movie that relates to traveling but somehow I didn’t like it. I kind of didn’t understand it (or didn’t feel like to go into confused minds of Bob &Charlotte). For me it was movie about sum up of the jet lag and culture displacement. But I have to admit – I did  like modern Tokio cityscape.

And last I would mention here is  Map for the Saturday but it’s more like documentary of one trip for me. This movie is great for people just wondering about different travel destinations. The only thing is that pure backpacking for a year (or whole life) is not exactly everybodies dream.

Sightseeing of New York

If you want to discover the best of city attractions, sightseeing passes are something you should be interested. With so many unique attractions, world-famous museums, theaters there is always plenty to do in any big city.

During my resent trip to New York I decided to explore the place like tourists would do. I’ve been in NY before but never did sightseeing itself. My idea was to spend 2-3 days with sightseeing and visiting museums. To make it easier to go from place to place I was wondering about hop-on hop-off double-decker sightseeing bus.

To make it short, I was glad to found this offer – The New York Pass for attractions and CitySightsNY for hop-on hop-off bus. In the website of New York Pass there was a combine offer of 2-day Adult pass and 2-day CitySightsNY Hop-on Hop-off – sightseeing package for $136 (there are discounts for online purchase).

At first day I did Downtown and Brooklyn tours to see Manhattan and area (and added some shopping there) with double decker bus. My suggestions from practical point – go to Battery Park, explore area of Financial district, take Brooklyn Tour (1 1/2 hours), wonder around the area, go shopping (Century21 is nice place for it), catch sightseeing bus back to Midtown. Downtown tour itself takes approx. 2-21/2 hours, depending on traffic. On Sundays with less traffic you can get to Financial District  and back much faster.

The next day I started with Uptown Tour and activated my New York Pass. Cathedral of St.John the Devine, Guggenheim Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art are on the route of sightseeing bus. If you intend to visit Metropolitan Museum of Art plan for 2-3hours at least – there are so many exhibitions to see. And don’t forget to go on the roof of Museum – nice views from there.

Third day of sightseeing was for attractions in Midtown area of Manhattan and Circle Line Cruise. My picks for beginning were Rockefeller Center for Top of the Rock Observation Deck and NBC Studio Tour. If you are interested in arts, can add a visit to MoMA (same area). From Rockefeller Center I went to Madame Tussauds (can explore are of Time Square on the way as well). To have some rest from walking Circle Line sightseeing Cruise for 75min is nice. Enjoy views of Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty. After all this activity during the day didn’t feel like to do more walking – so I went to Observation Deck of Empire State Building

It’s not just good price for visiting NY attractions but great value of it. Because they are separate tickets, I could activate them in different times (first usage). The New York Pass is valid for calendar day, but hop-on hop-off bus is for 48hours. As result I had 3 days of great New York City sightseeing.

P.S. If you wonder wich one to take – Top of the Rock or Empire State Building Observation Deck, my choice is  Top of the Rock. It was more dynamic. In Empire State Building it takes time to get to the ticket counter, then long way to the elevators. though Observation Deck of Empire State Bldg is higher up – the view of Manhattan are better.