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19 Tips For Travelling Abroad

Posted by on April 30, 2017 in Planning, Travel | 0 comments

Travelling abroad is exciting! Yet, the preparation and planning process can be overwhelming and stressful. Here are a few tips to alleviate some of the stress and prepare you for your trip:

 

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1. Verify Insurance Coverage Ask your medical insurance provider if your policy applies overseas, in the event of an emergency. If it doesn’t, consider supplemental insurance.
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2. Bring copies of your PassportThe U.S. Department of State recommends that travelers photocopy the information page of their passports before leaving on international trips. Take the copy of the passport with you, but do not store it in the same location as your passport. If the passport is lost or stolen, obtaining a replacement will be considerably easier if you have the photocopy to prove your identity.
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3. Take a picture of passport on phoneIn addition to a photocopy of your passport, have a copy of passport on your cellphone. If your passport is lost or stolen this will be proof of citizenship.
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4. Leave a copy of your passport – For extra backup; leave copy of passport at home or with someone you trust. Also, consider sending a copy of passport to your email account.
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5. Research monetary conversion Learning that one Mexican Peso is equal to just .049 cents in US dollars = bad surprise.  Make sure you do the math before you travel to get a sense of the conversion rate.

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6. Always have local cash Not every place accepts credit cards. Especially important places like trains or buses. It’s also important to have cash to tip various airport personnel, hotel concierges, etc.
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7. Contact your bank and credit card provider – Verify that your ATM bank card and credit card will work in the country you’re visiting. Many banks have switched almost completely to the more secure chip-and-PIN technology, and fewer businesses abroad are accepting the outdated magnetic-strip cards. Also, inform your bank and credit card provider of the place and dates of your travel to avoid a ‘freeze’ on your account. Often times banks will assume that fraud is occurring if transactions are suddenly appearing in Costa Rica when you reside in Georgia, and they may decline purchases as a security measure.
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8. Check the country’s entrance/exit fees – Some countries require travelers to pay in order to enter or leave the country. These fees range from $25 to $200 and may or may not be included in the price of your airline ticket. It’s best to confirm with the airline whether this fee is included in the price.
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9. Purchase a book on the country you are visiting – Not only will the book contain pertinent cultural information regarding the country but most books are updated annually and are packed with maps, savvy reviews, and a  calendar of local events and festivals. Also may include a list of restaurants and tourist attractions which will introduce you to the country’s best hotels, restaurants, adventure outfitters and shops–in all price ranges, from budget to luxury.
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10. Contact your cell phone providerVerify roaming fees and/or activate global capabilities. There’s usually a charge for activating global capabilities, but it is much less than roaming fees.

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11. Prep your smartphoneJust a few years ago, the most affordable way to use your cellphone abroad was to buy a prepaid SIM card and insert it to your phone. But since smartphones now allow for Wi-Fi communication, you can virtually check in with your friends and family for FREE. Check with your cell phone provider to see if your plan allows free Wi-Fi calling. If your plan doesn’t allow for that,  you can still connect to the Internet. There are a number of chat services (i.e. WhatsApp, Marco Polo, Skype, Google, Hangout, Facebook, Tango) that allow you to connect with your family back home. And internationally, it’s easy to find a signal — from hotel lobbies to coffee shops — just look for the Wi-Fi sticker on the door.
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12. Download Apps – Download apps before you travel such as TravelZoo, Duolingo and Google Translate. The TravelZoo app can help you find great deals in a variety of countries, and has options from local deals to transportation options. The Duolingo app is a fun interactive way to learn a new language. And Google Translate is an app that generates a written translation for anything that you type, speak, photograph, or draw on your touch screen.
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13. Research events going on while you’re thereThis will ensure that you’re not missing the best events going on in the city — fun things like festivals, ceremonies and natural events. Also be sure to research a few national dishes to try. You don’t want to leave the country without experiencing food that it’s known for.

 

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14. Make sure you don’t need a converter to charge your electronics – Some countries have different size plugs and voltage. So if you want to charge your phone, use your laptop or iPod, you may have to purchase a converter.
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15. Check the voltage of your electronics From my own experience, I know that nothing is worse than having an adapter and still not being able to use a blow-dryer or a flat iron because the voltage is too high for that country.
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16. Pack an extra set of clothes & phone charger in your carry-on bag On occasion, luggage does get lost. In the event that happens, you’ll have an extra pair of clothes and your charger.
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17. Check a bag or not to check bagResearch your airline’s luggage policy to avoid any unexpected incremental fees. Each airline has its own set of guidelines as to how many bags can be checked or carried on for FREE.
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18. Pack snacks Traveling abroad is fun, but eating in a foreign country can sometimes be challenging. Bring small snacks that will tide you over until you’ve settled into our hotel comfortably and located a restaurant. Also consider packing high-protein snacks to curb hunger in between meals during your entire trip.
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19. Emergency PlanPlanning for the worst-case scenario will ultimately provide peace of mind. Before you embark on your trip, prepare an “Emergency” course of action aka “Backup Plan” for all possible scenarios.
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These are just a few tips to consider as you travel.  It’s always a good idea to conduct your own research for each city or country you plan to visit. It’s also beneficial to read reviews and familiarize yourself with all policies and procedures before booking flights, hotels and car rentals. Sometimes a company that offers cheaper rates are not always the best option.
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Happy Travels!

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DISCLAIMER:  The information and data published on this website is strictly for informational purposes. While we have made every effort to ensure that the information contained on this website is accurate and has been obtained from reliable sources, Bella Luve’ Events by Design and owner is not responsible for any errors and omissions. The information provided is not a substitute for professional advice and any opinions and/or suggestions should not be considered legal advice. Some of the tips included on blog are based on personal travel experience and does not encompass the entire range of travel tips. Therefore, it is the travelers sole responsibility to exercise due diligence in order to prepare and protect himself/herself prior to travel.  

 

6 Creative Ideas to Celebrate a Birthday

Posted by on January 23, 2017 in Birthdays, Celebrations, Kids Birthday Party | 0 comments

It’s a New Year, ya’ll. And what better way to celebrate a milestone birthday or any birthday for that matter, by trying something new. Ditch the boring, tried and true birthday dinner party and celebrate with a fresh out-of-the-box celebration. I guarantee you and your guests will LOVE the change of pace! Curious as to why I’m so certain you’ll love the change of pace? Well, I’ve actually tried the ideas listed myself. Read below for some of my personal favorites.

1. Murder Mystery Dinner Show
Is it the husband, the wife, the maid? No, this isn’t an old episode of Sherlock Holmes. It’s an interactive dinner/play which allows your guests to interact with one another and the actors. Make your acting debut among friends at a real live whodunit experience. Oh and by the way, previous acting skills isn’t a requirement. Try it, I bet you’ll enjoy it.

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2.Yoga Party
Are you a die hard Yogi? Consider hosting a yoga party for you and a few guests and experience pure bliss and peace within the comfort of your own home or the nearest yoga studio. Be sure to set the mood by burning lavendar scented candles. Afterwards, serve cucumber and lemon water as a refreshment. Add an extra twist to the party and provide glow in the dark bracelets and glasses to your guests.

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3. Comedy Club Party
Do you enjoy comedy and laughter as much as I do? If so, purchase tickets to the local comedy club and host your party there while being entertained by some of the funniest comics around.

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4. Skydiving (NOTE: Not for the faint at heart)
Yep, that’s right, jump out of a plane to “Celebrate” your birthday. Gather a few friends (those who are daring, of course) and schedule a day of skydiving. Your skydive experience is sure to be a topic of discussion for years to come so be sure to hire a videographer to record the jump. And you’ll have evidence of your adventure.

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5. Amusement Park – Not just for kids! Adults can enjoy the thrill of a roller coaster ride, as well. Choose a theme park of your preference and make a day of it.

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6. Travel – Have you been dreaming of seeing the Eiffel Tower in person? What are you waiting for? Grab your passport and book that flight to Paris! The gift of an experience is the BEST gift you can give yourself. Traveling the world is priceless!

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Hopefully this list gave you a few great options for a creative birthday celebration. If you choose one of the options for your next celebration, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear about your experience.

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Bella Luve’

Graduation Invitation Etiquette Tips

Posted by on April 7, 2016 in Graduations | 0 comments

Graduation Invitation Etiquette Tips

 

Now days most schools/colleges typically allot each graduate a small number of invitations to give out to attend the actual graduation ceremony. Most likely, there will only be room for the graduate’s immediate family. If so, these are the only people who should receive invitations. All other loved ones should receive a graduation announcement. However, the graduate can invite as many people as possible to his/her graduation party.

The invitation to the commencement exercise should be sent to guests six weeks in advance, especially if the invitees live out of town. Giving graduation invitations to local guests by hand is acceptable as well. The six-week time frame should also be used when inviting guests to a formal graduation party.

While it may be tempting to send out a mass-email, electronic invitations should only be sent to tech-savvy relatives and friends who would not be offended by an informal invitation. Remember to always remain respectful concerning the majority of your relatives and send a printed announcement. Graduations are an important milestone in someone’s life and deserve more than an e-mail.

Finally, it’s important to provide additional information in the graduation invitation, especially for guests who are not familiar with the city the graduation will be held in. Be sure to include the name of the venue and full address so guests can ‘map’ directions using GPS navigation. And if there is a specific dress code for the commencement exercise or graduation party, these instructions should be included, as well. If you are using an electronic invitation, be sure to include the information in the text.

So if you haven’t sent out invitations yet – time is running out. What are you waiting on?

Bella Luve’

3 Steps to Create a VisionBoard

Posted by on March 14, 2016 in Arts & Crafts, Celebrations, DIY (Do It Yourself), Law of Attraction, Vision Board | 0 comments

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What is a Vision Board?

A vision board is a visual representation of your goals and dreams. It consists of a collage of pictures, phrases and quotes that represent experiences and things you want to attract into your life. It helps define your goals, dreams and desires in your life. The images and words are glued onto a piece of poster board or cork board and placed somewhere you can see it on a regular basis. Visualization is powerful. Placing the Vision Board in a place where it can be seen daily, helps you remain focused. My vision board hangs in my bedroom and it serves as a constant reminder of my dreams and goals. Creating a vision board is simple and doesn’t require a great deal of creativity. Below are (3) easy steps:

 

3 Steps to Create a Vision Board:

1) Clip several pictures, phrases and quotes that symbolize what you want to attract into your life. It’s a great idea to create a focal point for the board and center a picture of an image that represents your intention. For example, I have a picture of me and my daughter in the center of my vision board. For me it represents unity and all the blessings I desire for both our lives.

2) Create a rough draft by placing the clippings (in no particular order) onto the poster board. Remember to leave some white space. This allows room to add additional images, if desired, at a later time. Plus the white space creates a serene look to the board.

3) Glue all clippings onto the board THAT moment. Waiting until later may result in the vision board never being completed.

*Remember, being ‘creative’ is not a requirement and there are NO rules to creating a Vision Board. Go with the Flow*

Finally…..Pray, have Faith and sit back and wait for your dreams to manifest!

Items needed:

  • A poster board or Cork Board
  • A Stack of magazines
  • Pair of Scissors
  • Colored Markers
  • Glue stick (Poster board) or Thumbtacks & Pins (Corkboard)
  • A Photo of yourself (Optional)
  • Scrapbook Embellishments (Optional)

Bella Luve’

 

3 Reasons You Should Hire a Wedding Planner

Posted by on February 11, 2016 in Arts & Crafts, Birthdays, Celebrations, Graduations, Kids Birthday Party, Weddings | 0 comments

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Hiring a wedding planner will minimize stress and ensure a worry-free wedding day. Below are (3) advantages to hiring a planner:

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1. SAVES TIME AND MONEY – Planning a wedding requires a tremendous amount of time and can be extremely expensive. The average couple spends approximately 200 hours planning their special day. However, hiring a wedding planner, can save a great deal of time and money because planners are often able to negotiate discounts for their clients and handle all the time consuming details.

2. SERVES AS LIAISION – The average wedding has several different vendors. Combine that with the entire wedding party and all of the guests and that is a lot of people with questions and concerns. A wedding planner will manage the vendors and address any questions and concerns from family and friends. The planner will also handle any crisis that may arise.

3. CREATES SCHEDULES AND TIMELINES – A wedding planner will create schedules for each event leading up to the wedding day. She will also create a timeline for the bridal party. The planner will organize rehearsals and orchestrate all the events (i.e. cake tastings, dinner rehearsals) that occur before and during a wedding.

In a nutshell, a planner will ensure your wedding day is stress free!

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Bella Luve’

 

6 Creative Birthday Celebration Ideas

Posted by on January 11, 2016 in Birthdays, Celebrations | 0 comments

 

It’s a New Year! To celebrate a milestone birthday or any birthday for that matter, try something new this year. Ditch the boring, tried and true birthday dinner party and celebrate with a fresh out-of-the-box celebration. I guarantee you and your guests will LOVE the change of pace! Curious as to why I’m so certain you’ll love the change of pace? Well, I’ve actually tried the ideas myself. Read below for some of my personal favorites.

 

1. Murder Mystery Dinner Show

Is it the husband, the wife, the maid? No, this isn’t an old episode of Sherlock Holmes. It’s an interactive dinner/play which allows your guests to interact with one another and the actors. Make your acting debut among friends at a real live whodunit experience. Oh and by the way, previous acting skills isn’t a requirement. Try it, I bet you’ll enjoy it.

2.Yoga Party

Are you a die hard Yogi? Consider hosting a yoga party for you and a few guests and experience pure bliss and peace within the comfort of your own home or the nearest yoga studio. Be sure to set the mood by burning lavendar scented candles. Afterwards, serve cucumber and lemon water as a refreshment. Add an extra twist to the party and provide glow in the dark bracelets and glasses to your guests.

3. Comedy Club Party

Do you enjoy comedy and laughter as much as I do? If so, purchase tickets to the local comedy club and host your party there while being entertained by some of the funniest comics around.

4. Skydiving (NOTE: Not for the faint at heart)

Yep, that’s right, jump out of a plane to “Celebrate” your birthday. Gather a few friends (those who are daring, of course) and schedule a day of skydiving. Your skydive experience is sure to be a topic of discussion for years to come so be sure to hire a videographer to record the jump. And you’ll have evidence of your adventure.

5.  Amusement ParkNot just for kids! Adults can enjoy the thrill of a roller coaster ride, as well. Choose a theme park of your preference and make a day of it.

6. Travel – Have you been dreaming of seeing the Eiffel Tower in person? What are you waiting for? Grab your passport and book that flight to Paris! The gift of an experience is the BEST gift you can give yourself. Traveling the world is priceless!

Hopefully this list gave you a few great options for a creative birthday celebration. If you choose one of the options for your next celebration, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear about your experience.

Bella Luve’