The 2015 MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index  

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Published on: August 29, 2015

 

As much as possible we want to travel all the time because it promotes life and wellbeing. When we have the opportunity to travel, let us grab it and not leave it to fate. There are many places outside the boundaries of Singapore that we can consider if we look closely. So, what is the best place to visit?

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The place to visit depends on our personality. If we want serenity, we have to choose a place that is not swarming with visitors say Bhutan or Nepal. However, if we want to go to places popular for tourists, we have to consider the 2015 MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index.

MasterCard has just revealed its annual travel study called the Global Destination Cities Index. The ranking included one hundred thirty two destination cities around the globe. The ranking was derived in terms of cross-border spending as well as visitor arrivals. Here’s the list:

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  • London: There is no surprise that London is the top international travel destination. What makes the place so attractive? There’s the Tower Bridge, royal family, museums and many restaurants. According to MasterCard, London will welcome at least 18.82 million of overnight visitors for this year alone.
  • Bangkok: Political unrests deter tourism but not to the extent of totally alienating them. In fact, Bangkok is hailed as the second international travel destination. Bangkok will welcome at least 18.24 million visitors for this year.
  • Paris: Paris is the third international travel destination. The city will welcome at least 16.06 million visitors for this year.
  • Dubai: Dubai is the fourth international travel destination. The city will welcome at least 14.26 million visitors this year.
  • Istanbul: Istanbul is the fifth international travel destination. The city will welcome at least 12.56 million visitors this year.
  • New York: New York is the sixth international travel destination. The city will welcome at least 12.27 million visitors this year.
  • Singapore: The city-state is the seventh international travel destination. The city will receive at least 11.88 million visitors for this year along.
  • Kuala Lumpur: Kuala Lumpur is the eighth international travel destination. The city will receive at least 11.12 million visitors this year.
  • Seoul: Seoul is the ninth international travel destination. The city will receive at least 10.35 million visitors this year.
  • Hong Kong: Hong Kong is the tenth international travel destination. The city will receive at least 8.66 million visitors for this year.

There are about seven Asian cities included in the list. This means that Asia is now popular as a tourist destination.

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What Subways Look Like Around the World  

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Published on: August 17, 2015

 

Commuters here in Singapore are delighted to know that the first forty five new trains of SMRT Corp have arrived. Before they will be introduced to the public, they undergo thorough testing. According to SMRT Corp, the new trains will be used in the first quarter of 2016.

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Singaporeans might not see or feel any difference because the new train model (called C151B) is very similar to the ones we are using now (called C151A). With this new development, do we compare with other cities around the world?

Here’s a look of what subways look like around the world:

  • London: London’s “Tube” is the oldest metro system in the world. It was opened one hundred fifty years ago. The trains are slowly getting air conditioners. What makes their subway stand out? Well, there are many buskers at some of their stations.
  • Tokyo: Tokyo subway system is herald as one of the fastest and most punctual of them all. In fact, Tokyo subway is the second highest subway in terms of passengers next to Beijing.
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  • Seoul: Seoul subway system is the third busiest subway in the world. Their subway system is made for comfort with heated seats, screens, leg room and wi-fi. There are overhead racks especially for big bags.
  • Hong Kong: Like Tokyo, Hong Kong is famous for its efficiency and punctuality. Though it was built in 1979, the subway persists to be one of the best though it has only 218 kilometres of track.
  • New York: Like London, the trains in New York are several decades old. Trains in New York are iconic because of its tin-can siding. The good thing is that it operates 24 hours a day and it covers 373 kilometres of track.
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Tips for Travelling with Your Partner

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Published on: June 28, 2015

Travelling with our friends is one thing and travelling with our partners is another. The kind of fun and happiness we feel when we are with our partners and friends are quite different. Travelling with our partners can make or break our relationship.

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It is therefore important that we can survive it. So, here are some tricks in surviving our trip with our partners:

  1. Delegate tasks fairly. We know each other’s strengths so why not put it in good use? We have to delegate the tasks based on the strengths of each other. For the pre-trip planning, partners should have a hand over things.

 

  1. Talk about things ahead of time. Most often, the woman plans everything from the place to sites and accommodation but that is not appealing. The man should also think of things that he wants. In short, we have to discuss things and mutually agree on something.

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  1. Don’t skip meals. This is obvious but when we are in a foreign country, we sometimes neglect eating. Eating is important because it can avoid grumpiness which will lead to fights.

 

  1. Be the time keeper. Time is of great essence when we travel. We might miss the plane or the shuttle if we are not aware of the time. If we know that our partner is the type of person that needs an hour to prepare, we have to be prepared.

 

  1. Let things go. Fighting is imminent when we are travelling. Before things start, we have to make peace and let small things go. We do not want to spend our holiday outside Singapore quarrelling or annoyed.

These things can help us survive our trip. Whether we are in Singapore or outside, the joy will be the same when we are with our partners.

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Solutions for Short and Long Breaks

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Published on: June 24, 2015

Sometimes we need a break from everything – no matter how short or long it may be. We can just sit idly in the house and watch time as it goes by or we can consider vacations. Vacations need not to be that expensive or that far but if we want a total satisfaction, we might shed some dollars but it will be all worth it at the end of the day.

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If we are going to spend our annual leave, the least that we can do is to spend it wisely and interestingly. No matter how much time we can spare, we can make our dream destination a reality. It is time to ignite the wanderlust in us. So, here are holiday solutions for short and long breaks:

  • Two weeks or more: If we can spare a luxurious trip outside Singapore, we have to consider the Trans-Siberian Railway. This journey will take us from Russia to China. In this trip, we will see remote locations and marvel over the Western Siberia. We can also see the Lake Baikal. The trip lasts for not less than 17 days and prices start from $18,000.
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  • Eleven days: For eleven days, imagine touring in Canada and take in the beauty of Canadian Rocky Mountains. We can also consider the canyon walls and waterfalls. If we want to witness Calgary Stampede, July is the best time to visit it. The trip lasts for not less than 11 days and prices start from $2,188.
  • Six days: South Korea is the perfect place to spend our six days of vacation. If we are bringing along our kids, this is the perfect place. Our kids will surely marvel over Korea’s rich history as well as its attractions. The trip lasts for not less than 6 days and prices start from $1,888.
  • Three days: If we want a fuss-free travel near Singapore ,why not consider the grand ocean liner? It may sound cheesy to others but this is the perfect place to spend our three days of vacation. The trip lasts for not less than 3 days and prices start from $294.
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5 Smart Packing Tips from a Professional Traveller  

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Published on: May 6, 2015

The idea of travelling may be as easy as buying a ticket and hopping on a plane. However, certain things have to be considered as well such as packing up and bringing the right things with you. Stuffing your luggage with just anything you “think” you’ll need could only result to extra heavy baggage and uncomfortable travelling.

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So before you get your suitcase, here are 10 smart tips to packing the right way.

1. Pack multi-functional items. One example of a good multipurpose item is a sarong. It can double as a skirt, towel, blanket, scarf, privacy curtain, beach accessory, and more. A cardigan is also a great clothing to layer an outfit. Wear it when it’s cold and just simply take it off and tie it on your waist if it gets hot later in the day.

2. Use bags with dividers and compartments. Things can get easily lost in a humongous bag that has no dividers or compartments. Look for one with elasticized mesh along the sides or separate zippered compartments. Another option is to purchase luggage organizers if your suitcase has no enough compartments to hold smaller items.

3. Opt for a luggage with easy transport option. Your luggage preference should depend on the nature of your trip. Going mountain climbing? Opt for heavy duty backpacks. Staying in a hotel and just go sightseeing? Then, a traditional suitcase can already suffice. For those who are unsure yet of what to do during their trip, consider the versatility of a wheeled backpack.

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4. Pack plastic bags and Ziploc bags. Plastic bags are good for packing dirty clothes, containing wet things, and wrapping shoes; while Ziploc bags are good for securely protecting documents, containing liquids, and even double as washing tool if you fill it up with water and soap and soak small clothing like socks and underwear.

5. Bring extra bag for your new items and souvenirs. If you intend to shop a lot on your trip, make sure to bring an extra bag with you to contain all your loots and souvenirs. Bringing only one luggage will only confuse you every time you re-pack, or you’ll have to spend more for a new bag to hold your shopped items.

Smart packing isn’t just about how to organize and compress things to fit them all in a small carry-on bag. It is also about what things you bring with you and how convenient you are with the items you only have while abroad.

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Travel Bucket List for 2015  

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Published on: April 16, 2015

The world is waiting. It is time to go out of Singapore and see the world. If we are the type that quenches our adventurous spirit through traveling, we have to make our bucketlist for 2015 right away. Writing the bucketlist is easy as writing our name but making it happen is another thing. If we are serious about our bucketlist, it is time that we take action.

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The first thing that we should do is determine where we want to go. For people who are working on a budget, the good news is that there are many places here in Asia worth traveling. However, if we want to broaden our horizons, Africa is a good place to start. How about these places for our bucketlist this 2015?

  • Oman: If we are curious about the Arabian peninsula, Oman is the perfect place to be. Other people think that Oman is not safe. We should not let this stop us from discovering Oman. Oman is a safe place offering solace through its breath taking sites of the mountains, coastline and dunes – this is the authentic and ultimate Arab experience.
  • Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka has a potential with plenty of sights to offer. Sri Lanka is small but tourists can experience the best things the place has to offer in just one day. The country offers culinary haven with adventure beaches. The place also boasts of an abundant wildlife with elephants and leopards.
  • Iran: Not all people consider Iran but if we are fond of history, Iran should not be missed. Iran has a rich history from the poet Rumi o the Persians, Assyrians and the home of the great king Darius. We will be fascinated with its exquisite mosques and palaces.

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  • Madagascar: Madagascar is far but it holds enhancement with its untouched rainforest and animal species. There are about a thousand animal species there. It does not end there because there are many geologic formations found in their National Park.
  • Uzbekistan: Uzbekistan is one of the countries along the Silk Route. Uzbekistan preserved its charm because it is not plagued by civil wars and strife. In fact, other tourists consider this country “undiscovered” because it is often ignored. The country offers breath taking sights like their bazaars and architecture.

Now that we already identified our bucketlist, we have to take action. Taking action includes booking our airfare, hotel accommodations and experiencing what it really feels like being there. It is not too late. We can start by considering the nearest places here in Singapore or we can consider the farthest. Everything will depend on us.

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Wandering in Honolulu

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Published on: October 27, 2014

You dream of going to Hawaii specifically Honolulu because you heard many things about it. There are pristine beaches, magnificent views and astounding hotels and resorts. It is time that you give yourself a break and consider wandering and discovering Honolulu. Before anything else, it is important that you settled and arranged everything.

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If you do not mind getting the services of travel agencies here in Singapore or in Honolulu, you should look for one right away. The agency will ensure that you have a safe, enjoyable and memorable experience of Honolulu. However, if you want to plan everything personally, you can consider the following things for a start:

  • Atlantic Submarine: If you dream of riding the submarine, you can consider the Atlantic Submarine. You will not only experience it but you get to see the life underwater. You will be amazed of the turtles, eels, exotic sea creatures and even sharks. It is in 1600 Kapiolani Blvd.
  • Dolphin Quest: If you want to interact with the dolphins, you can consider Dolphin Quest. There are dolphin programs for all ages. Head to the Kahala Hotel and Resort at the Kahala Avenue.
  • Honolulu Zoological Society: Yes, there is a zoo in Singapore but your travel will not be complete if you do not check their zoo. It is nestled in 42 acres of land. It gives habitat to lions, bears and tigers. It is along Kapahulu Avenue. There is also a children zoo should you bring your children with you. It features African Savannah exhibit.

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  • Star of Honolulu: It will be more exciting if you indulge in the most popular dinner cruise in Hawaii. The Star of Honolulu is a vessel that will give you the most amazing views and of course, superb food selection.  It is along Aloha Tower Drive.
  • Royal Hawaiian Shooting Club: If you are into shooting, you can consider this shooting club. It is by far Hawaii’s largest indoor shooting facility. It is along Kalakaua Avenue.
  • The Waikiki Aquarium: If the Atlantic Submarine is not enough, you can head to the Waikiki Aquarium. Only children age three and below are free.

You will never run out of things to do and consider in Honolulu. If you consider Waikiki, you can consider surfing, canoeing or sunset watching at Waikiki Beach. If you want to do snorkelling, you need to head to the eastern coast (particularly in Hanauma Bay and Nature Preserve). If you are into history, you can visit the Pearl Harbor, Lolani Palace and the famous King Kamehameha statue.

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Knowing the Place – How to Know if it’s the Best Beach Destination?

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Published on: June 12, 2014

Typically, a nice beach location is the one that is crowded with many people. However, there are some places that are unspoiled and are great places to have a complete and fun-filled beach vacation. In Singapore, there are so many white-sand beaches and beach activities like snorkeling, scuba diving and wakeboarding which makes a lot of locals confused on what must be the destinations they must visit.

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Probably the finest waters to visit are the ones with complete facilities and good security. However, if you are on a tight budget for your beach holiday, you can choose some resorts that offer affordable prices but with outstanding amenities.

How to enjoy your best beach holidays:

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  1. Know the Transportation Cost. During a trip, it is really necessary that you have to include transportation on the budget. If ever you own a car, that’s good. However, if don’t have, you can rent a car to save. Actually, you cannot avoid transportation expenses but one way to escape spending too much is to have knowledge about the transportation cost. Now, if you your destination can be toured by foot, then get the advantage of it. However, if you have too many loads, you can hire someone who can help carry your luggage.
  2. Search for Hotel Price List. Since you already planned for the vacation, you need to have a place to secure your belongings. And whether you like it or not, you need to get some affordable hotels. To save, look for some discount deals on the Internet or just book ahead of time.
  3. Ensure you have enough food. As usual, you need to eat and one way to save money is to bring your own food. However, you can find some cheap that will fit your budget. Just be patient.

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