SOME TRAVEL TIPS ON HOW BEST TO SPENT YOUR VACATION
Travelling can and should be an experience of a lifetime. However, we have all heard the frightening stones from travelers who had the worst experience of their lives or from those that had wished they had done a little more research, before finalizing their plans. Some things cannot be avoided however with a little planning and personal research, you can at least reduce the risk of your next holiday or business trip not being exactly what you expected. After all if you are travelling on vacation then you deserve it to be perfect, you worked hard for it after all If it is a business trip what could be worse than discovering that your hotel does not meet your business needs or that you need to travel an hour and a half just to get to your appointments each day.
Whenever you arrive in any country, whether it be by boat, plane or whatever you are vulnerable. You have all your cash, cards, documents and anything else valuable on you right at that moment. It is even worse if you have never been there before and look like you haven't, there are always people who are willing to "help". Every precaution you take will help to avoid any potential problems. After all you do not want someone to "help" themselves to your belongings, when you have just arrived. Here are a few tips that should help.
Before leaving for your trip, try loges some prior information as to the rough layout of the airport where you will be arriving. This will help, to have a vague sense of where you should be going and where the taxis are located etc.
Whenever possible, especially in certain countries we recommend taking either the airport limousine, or a hotel pick up.
Never take a taxi that seems just to be hanging around, offering its services when there is a taxi queue available.
Try to keep your wallet and valuables safely secured in a locked handbag or in one of your hand luggage.
Change some money into the local currency before you depart. This gives you one less thing to worry about, and will stop you from pulling a large amount of money out at the airport arrivals.
Keep a small amount of this local currency, easily accessible in a pocket or something, and away from the majority of your well earned money. You will need sufficient for the ride into town, a tip (perhaps) and a little for unforeseen needs like roll ways or a bottle of water
If you have not been able to find anything out about the airport that you are visiting then ask one of the airline staff, or the government tourism booth (if they have one at the airport) for some assistance, or tips on the best way of Travelling.
Most countries really are very safe, but in others it is really very advisable to take to take as many precautions as possible. No matter what, the most important is that you have a great holiday.
Hotels, especially of the four and five star category are normally extremely safe; providing you with a safe in the room and at the reception area, security guards hiding around the place, and cameras that can be as much your friend as your enemy. However still things do occasionally disappear, sometimes without the owner ever knowing that they have gone. So here are a few tips to avoid your valued possessions from taking a walk. Some are sure to surprise you.
If the hotel has an in room safe usq it and keep all your valuables in there.
However if the safe is electronic, wipe the touch keys down before operating it with a damp cloth, and then dry it before entering your secret code. Try to do this every time you use the safe.
Also after you have keyed in your code and closed the door firmly locked on the safe. Press all the other keys /numbers that do not make up your code, and press them firmly. Doing this may set off a small alarm from the safe but it stops quickly and no one will pay any attention (!!).
The reason to do this is because certain hotels have caught their own hotel staff placing, a light oil residue or powder on to the touch keys that shows them when using a certain light what numbers were pressed. They were managing to open the safe, and one very clever thief was taking only 1 or 2 USS from each room. Would you have noticed? It is not a lot but in a 400 or 500 room hotel the guy was doing quite well for himself.
Never leave valuables in soft/material hags with pockets even if they are padlocked like Alcatrass.
This avoids any potential of somebody simply splitting a seam to a pocket with a knife and removing select contents. This should also apply to luggage that you check into the airplane.
Never get drunk and invite a stranger to your room.
Ok, Ok. No funny remarks please! Thankfully this did not happen to us, although it is true that we would not tell you if it had!
Anyway a certain gentleman went out one evening and got very, very drunk. The next afternoon after awaking with a very groggy head and not remembering a thing, he had to check out to return home. He found when packing that his gold Rolex and some cash had been stolen from his room. He was furious and insisted on seeing the General Manager of the hotel, shouting expletives and demanding compensation. The GM was adamant that type of thing would never happen in his hotel, but that he would investigate it fully.
The guest had no choice but to leave, and the General Manager then started the investigation. A few months later after correspondence, between the hotel and guest, the guest finally returned to the country and was invited by the GM to meet with him. The GM sat him down in the office, and suggested that they watch a video that was in his possession before any threats of court were fulfilled. After watching the video, that came from security cameras in the hotel, which showed the guest staggering back to his room, with two very obviously rough prostitutes (yes. I did say two!) on his arm, and then leaving (the girls) on a different video, he immediately turned bright red. Understanding what had happened he apologized to the GM and left.
It is very important to enjoy yourself when on a trip, whether it be for business or pleasure and you must not be constantly thinking about what you should or should not be doing. Instead the tips below are meant purely as a guide, for you to take some points from and others la leave all together.
Try to look as if you know where you are going, this may not be so easy if after all it is the first ever time in that country, but even still look confident as IF you know.
Carrying maps around, looking perplexed, and stopping to look at monuments or buildings, obviously shows that you are from out of town, and may attract the wrong type of attention.
Using traveler - scheques, will always be helpful, as will using a credit card for any purchases made so that you can lake advantage of The additional insurance offered.
Do NOT pull large amounts of cash out of your pocket. This will catch attention, no matter what country you are in. It sounds so silly, but it is amazing how many people pull out a mound of cash to be some small item We see it all the time in some countries, and it always amazes us. There have been times when even we were tempted to follow the guy and ... (rest assured we didn't!)
Try to think about where you are going that day and cany sufficient cash for that and any unforeseen extras, plus a card. That should cover all you need and will limit any losses if anything did happen.
Do NOT accept drinks from anybody that you have just met, especially if in dubious surroundings or do not know, they could be laced with any type of concoction.
Try not to go on "wonderful trips" or to a "super shopping centre" rides with people who approach you in the street. This could lead anywhere, and will probably cost you a lot more than by taking a normal taxi. Ask your concierge or read through this site.
Check on your first day whether you need to reconfirm your next flight, if so do it then. Some airlines do not require this anymore but it is anil worthwhile calling them so that they at least have your contact details, in case the flight is delayed or whatever.
Do not cany your passport around, leave it in the safe in your hotel. A photocopy will suffice if local law states that you need to
All of this should help to give you a better understanding of what is available and where, before you travel, and we hope that it will lead to a more enjoyable vacation and/or successful business trip.
FACTS FOR THE TRAVELER
Visas: Every visitor to Uzbekistan needs a visa, and you will need an invitation from an Uzbek citizen, firm or organization approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or from an accredited Uzbek travel agent.
Health risks: Hepatitis A & E, diphtheria & undulant fever Play it safe and don't drink the water even if locals say it's OK to drink.
Time: GMT/UTC plus 5 hours
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric
WHEN TO GO
Spring (April to June) and autumn (September through October) are, generally speaking, the most pleasant times to travel. The weather is mild and in April the desert blooms briefly. In autumn it's harvest time, and the markets are full of fresh fruit If you're interested in trekking the mountains, summer (July and August) is a better time to visit; at all other times the weather is unpredictable and there can be snow in the passes.
By far the biggest Central Asian holiday is the spring festival of Navrus (New Days), an Islamic adaptation of pre-Islamic vernal equinox or renewal celebrations, celebrated approximately on the vernal equinox (21 March). It's a two clay affair consisting of traditional games, music, drama festivals, street art and colorful fairs, and one of Ihe best places lo get in on the fun is Samarkand. Ramadan, the month of sunrise-to-sunset fasting, is observed with little fanfare in most of Uzbekistan, and travelers will still find plenty of food available Qurban, the Feast of Sacrifice, is celebrated with the slaughter of animals and the sharing of meat with relatives and the poor.
In May of even-numbered years, Tashkent hosts a film festival which features celluloid style from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Samarkand hosts the Children's Peace & Disarmament Festival every 23 October - celebrations revolve around the International Museum of Peace & Solidarity, a remarkable collection of memorabilia. The Nukus' Pakhta-Bairam harvest festival, held in Karakalpak in December, is one of the few places in the world where you'll see a game of ylaqoyyny. In this Central Asian form of polo, players hit a goat carcass around the field - Prince Charles would fit right in. If that gets the adrenalin flowing, you can also check out wrestling, ram fighting and cock fighting.
Budget: US $12-20,
Mid-range: US $20-50.
Top-end: US $ 50 and upwards.
If you're travelling with a friend, staying in modest hotels, eating in budget restaurants and travelling by bus or train, you can get around Uzbekistan for US $30-40 per day. Unfortunately, you'll often have trouble finding a cheap place to stay and will have to settle for a pricey tourist hotel, so a more realistic budget is around USS50-60 a day. Hiring cars and doing excursions will add significantly to your expenses. You should also take into account that foreigners pretty much always pay more than locals.
You'll have little luck with anything other than cash in Uzbekistan. Although a (very) lew places change travellers' cheques, you shouldn't rely on them, US dollars are by far the easiest to exchange, with Euro the second most popular. There's not much point taking really big notes, as there are so many counterfeit ones floating around that many people won't take them; reconcile yourself to carrying a huge wad of US$10 bills. Oh, and make sure they're crisp, new ones too, or no one will touch them Uzbektourism hotels in tourist centres take major credit cards, and you should be able to get a cash advance in Tashkent.
There are a few top-end restaurants where a service charge of 5-10% is added to your bill, but tipping is not common in Uzbekistan, and runs contrary to Islamic ideals of hospitality. Bribery, on the other hand, is very popular, but if you choose to use it remember you are pushing up prices for those who follow you. Bargaining is expected in markets - the asking price for food will be pretty close to the selling price, but for handicrafts expect a more substantial reduction.
Central Asia’s Climate is extreme cold in winter, very hot in summer and very dry.
Spring and autumn are best seasons to visit lowland Central Asia(April – May, September – October).Travelers are advised to expect warm to very hot daytime temperatures with a drop in temperatures at night. Temperatures will range 20-30+ degrees day to 15-20+ degrees (night).
A shoulder bag with a strong strap or a small rucksack is the most practical way of carrying cameras and personal belongings during your stay. Your entire luggage should be secured with a padlock. Always make sure that all cases and bags are clearly labeled. The label should carry your name and destination details but not your address of the outbound journey. It is a good idea to label your luggage inside. This will enable airport authorities to identify your luggage should it become lost or the labels removed. Never leave your luggage unattended at airport or train station.
Your free airline luggage allowance is 20 kg per person plus one additional piece of “carry-on” hand luggage on domestic flights within Central Asia, expect Turkmenistan, where the maximum baggage allowance is 10 kg.
Because you will be travelling in some areas as where travel conditions are rather basic, travelers are strongly urged to restrict their luggage to one mam suitcase or backpack and carry-on overnight bag.
As recommended under CURRENCY and SECURITY, an important part of your luggage will also be your money wallet for the safe carrying of travel document.
You will be travelling in areas, which are largely free of major infection diseases, so there are no official vaccination requirements for foreign visitors. However we strongly recommend you to consult your physician of the Vaccination Centre for current health warnings and recommended vaccination.
As it is practically inevitable in the areas where water is high in mineral and metallic salts (as in the case with Central Asia) one should be prepared for minor gastric complaints. Consult your physician or pharmacist for recommended remedies. Throughout the areas you will be travelling, one of the main health warnings is dehydration. At all times maintain a steady intake of non-alcoholic liquids Sunburn is another majour problem. Bring adequate suntan lotion and a wide brimmed hat.
If desired, you may also bring a supply of vitamins, throat gargle to prevent basic infections, cold/flu tablets, aspirins, Band-Aids, antiseptics and antibacterial cream. Please, advise us if you have any allergies or particular medical aliments which may require special attention during the trip, if your doctor has prescribed any medication, make sure that you have sufficient supplies to last the duration of your holiday.
IMPORTANT: Please, ensure that you carry in your hand luggage any medicine you may require in case your suitcase is separated from you.
Individual safety boxes are not always available in Central Asian Hotels. An essential part of your luggage is a comfortable money wallet, which may be worn under your clothing. At all times you should carry your main documents(f.e. currency, travelers, cheques, air tickets, passports, visas etc. ). While it is highly unlikely you will encounter any physical danger, minor thefts in crowded public places may occur and every precaution should be Taken to avoid losing anything of value.
In accordance with local laws, you will be required to hand in your passport to the hotel reception on arrival to allow registration of your passport details by the Hotel. Your passport will normally be available again after a few hours. Do not forget to collect it before departure.
The currency in Uzbekistan is the Sum. Please, contact Uzbek Diplomatic Missions in your country or Representations of Uzbekistan Airways for the current rate. Travelers Cheques are accepted in all hotels. Credit cards are accepted only in hotels for payments of the services provided by the hotel, as generally Credit Card facilities are poor in towns, shops, etc. Travelers are recommended to carry Cash (US Dollars) in small denominations. Fresh and clear notes preferable, as it is often impossible to exchange or purchase with old or worn banknote. US dollar banknotes with a serial date prior to 1990 are generally not accepted.
A mixture of languages is spoken in Central Asia most of which are of Turkish origin, expect for Tadjik, which is related to Persian. In addition, Russian is still widely used in Central Asian countries (although English is rapidly replacing this).
No difficulty is put in the way of visitors who wish to photograph places of historic interest.
Photography inside some religious monuments and in airports, railway stations or near military installation may not be allowed. If in doubt ask your local guide. Please also note that there is a free for photography in most sightseeing places (not included in your tour price).
Films and batteries are available in major cities, but you are recommended to purchase your supply before arrival, particularly if you have the latest modification or a sophisticated type of camera that requires a specific film and or batteries
220/230 AC 50 volts. Plugs are the two-pin as found in continental Europe. Adapters are sometimes available, however you should carry your own.
Uzbek cuisine is rich in vegetables, meats, pasta, and rice as well as fat (1-0. cholesterol ). Therefore if you have any dietary requirements, please advise us as soon as possible.
Local mineral water contains a higher level of minerals than western spring or bottled water and the taste can be rather “salty”(these mineral are considered healthier than European spring or mineral waters).
Imported spirits and wines are available, however in some places the provenance of some spirits and wines is questionable and the prices inflated accordingly, you are recommended to purchase you favorite alcohol duty free prior to arrival.
Travelers in Central Asia will be pleasantly surprised by the interesting jewelry, clothing and local handicrafts. Books, postcards and maps are other popular souvenirs. There are restrictions on exporting carpets from the country, ask your Tour Manager for detailed up – to date information on this matter, before purchasing one.
You will be responsible for covering the cost of your hotel incidentals such as phone calls, room service, mini-bar in your room and laundry. Before departing from all the hotels on ihe tour, please ensure that you have checked with the front desk for any personal charges that in hotel may have made to your room.
Passengers may wish to express their appreciation - reward (or extra service to the porters, waiters, drivers and guides ). The degree of appreciation may vary and our policy is to let you decide this. This is usually given individually in an envelope at the end of the tour/service.
You are reminded that for the general comfort of all, smoking is not permitted during coach journeys. You should always report at the advised time, or that given by your Tour Manager, to ensure that the group travel times are not adversely affected by latecomers.
• Wash hands always before meals(sorry to remind but it is important).
• Do not drink TAP WATER, purchase bottled water.
• Do not eat fruit & vegetables purchased at the market before it is disinfected.
• Carry a small knife for pealing fruit. Pack this in your aircraft hocked bag for all travel.
• Keep well hydrated with at least two litters a day or water/tea particularly when It deserts or at altitude.
• If you should suffer stomach problem DO drink lots of strong black tea, Coca-Cola. Do not eat for 24 hours. And report your local guide, as soon as possible.
TIPS WOMEN TRAVELERS
This pamphlet has been prepared for women with the aim minimizing these risks by raising your awareness.
The better prepared you are, the more enjoyable and safe your travelling will be.
• Try to acquaint yourself with the culture and customs of the countries you are visiting. Respecting local customs will help you avoid potentially dangerous situation.
• Call home regularly.
• Take a photocopy of your itinerary, password, credit card, travel insurance documents, important phone number and itinerary and keep them separate from the originals, in case of loss or theft.
• Leave the copy with someone at home.
Your face greater risks when you are travelling alone. If you decide to do so, you should take extra precautious.
In some societies, men may lake advantage of you if you have no obvious protector. This could take the form of hissing , pinching, passing comments, obscene and so on.
• Retain your composure and do not react, but remove yourself from the situation quickly as possible, or to the nearest police officer.
You could unwittingly find yourself in danger simply by accepting an invitation to go out with a man alone.
• In societies where this is not an accepted practice , just saying “yes”, to an invitation may give the wrong signal and expose you at the risk of sexual assault.
In some countries or cultures dress standards may be stricter for women than they are for men. The way you present yourself may affect the way the people you meet on your travels react to you. Take account of local dress standards. To help avoid unwelcome attention you should take care to be sensitive to these dress standards.
In some Islamic countries you must wear a coat or gown over your clothes so that your arms and legs are covered, and a scarf over your hair. If you don't, you could be harassed or even arrested.
In some countries certain forms of dress are unacceptable at religious and other culturally important sites and some do not allow women in at all.
• In South East Asia you cannot enter Buddhist temples or royal palaces in shorts or sleeveless shirts.
• Shoes are never worn in Muslim mosques or Buddhist temples.
WHEN YOU'RE ON THE ROAD ...
Bag snatching and theft of jewelry directly from your person is common in some countries.
• Don't display expensive jewelry.
• Keep your valuables well concealed.
• Remember that 'bum bags' can also be a target for thieves.
Hitch-hiking is extremely risky - there are very few, if any, places [eft in the world where hitch-hiking is safe for women
Be wary of being alone in lifts as some thieves 'work' high-rise buildings waiting for victims.
Don't get into train carriage compartments where you would be the only passenger, or stay in one alone if everyone else gets off - attackers are known to target women alone in trains.
• But crowded trains and buses can also provide unwelcome opportunities for harassment.Raise the alarm, you could scare the attacker off.
If possible, arrange your travel so that you arrive in an unfamiliar city during daylight rather than dark.
… OR ON BUSINESS
If you have a business appointment in an unfamiliar location, leave details of your destination with the hotel management and instructs them to raise the alarm if you have not relumed by a certain time.
Don’t give out your room number to associates too freely – this can give the wrong signal in some countries.
• Are you the only woman in a crowded bar? You may be challenging accepted standards and putting yourself at risk.
Be aware of safety standards in your chosen accommodation.
• For example, is your door secure? Portable inside locking devices are now available from most travel equipment suppliers. Avoid rooms with easy access from the outside.
If you require regular or predictable medication while travelling, you should ask your doctor to arrange an appropriate supply. Care should be taken to observe the law in different countries with respect to possession of medications and it is advisable to take a letter from your doctor explaining your condition.
• In some countries, medications which may be readily available in Australia are illegal.
• If in doubt, check with the Australian consulates or embassies of the countries you intend to visit to ensure that your medicines, and the quantities you will be carrying, are legal.
For you convenience and peace of mind, take enough feminine hygiene products and (if you use them) contraceptives to last you if you are headed somewhere where they may not be available.
Avoid becoming dehydrated. This is a common cause of urinary tract infections – a painful affliction when travelling.
Be aware of the risk of HIV – avoid ear-piercing, acupuncture, tattooing or dental work while on the road. Carry a reliable brand of condom where you think they might not be available.
CHILDREN AND BABIES
If you are travelling with a baby stock up on disposable napes, baby wipes, nappy rash creams, analgesics and any other products you reply on where you think they may be unavailable.
If you are breastfeeding, find out beforehand whether it is acceptable to breastfeed publicly in the country you are visiting otherwise look for a private area to feed your baby.
If you are expressing milk, it is good idea to take your own equipment, including adaptors for electric pumps.
You may be more vulnerable to thieves and pickpockets while travelling with babies and small children – for example, you may not have your hands free to hold onto your bags.
A FINAL WORD!
Keep in touch. The more other people know about your movements, the better protected you will be.