Top 4 Travel Social Networks – Summer Vacations Get Social |

With Summer officially upon us, experts are forecasting that holiday travelers will increase over 17% this year in comparison to 2009. According to Glen MacDonell, Director of Travel Services, “While financial markets continue to have volatility related to the European debt crisis, the landscape of the U.S. economy is in a much different place than it was one year ago. It is encouraging to see such growth this summer as Americans take to the road to visit family, friends and great vacation destinations.” To help aid in your summer vacation planning, below are four great travel social networks.

1) TripAdvisor attracts 35 million monthly visitors and boasts 15 million registered members. It is one of the largest travel social networks in the world with over 35 million travels reviews from real travelers around the world. In addition, members have uploaded over 2,000,000 candid vacation photos from over 100,000 destinations.

2) Dopplr is a great resource for assisting you in planning your next trip. Members can share their personal or business travel plans with their connections and receive notifications when your trips overlap. In addition, the site offers tips for enjoying your travels to cities around the world as well as travel advice from other travellers.

3) Wikitravel is a free worldwide travel guide created and edited by its members similar to Wikipedia. Currently, the site contains nearly 24,000 destination guides and articles from “Wikitravellers” from around the world.

4) TravBuddy is a free community for people who love to travel and explore destinations. This is perfect network to find other individuals to join you on your journeys. In addition, travellers can stay in touch with friends and family by chronicling their trip in a travel blog.

A Few Tips For Business Trip Taking |

Business travel can sometimes be very demanding. Even though you may be visiting a far-off locale, rest assured it is not a vacation. Your trip can be stressful and tiring, whether you are off to visit a customer overseas or meet with your new boss across the country. The way to keep up your energy and maintain your professional image is through detailed preparation. With this in mind, let’s take a look at a few tips for business trip taking.

Before boarding any flight to anywhere, you will want to do some research on your destination. This means learning about things such as its history, points of interest, cuisine, and geography. If you are visiting a foreign country and are unfamiliar with its language, it would be a good idea to learn a few key phrases. The internet and the library are founts of information on all of these matters.

Cultural awareness is vital for any successful foreign business trip. This means being up to speed with cultural practices such as introductions, the exchange of business cards, gift giving, names and titles, and other local practices. Your business success may depend on whether you know to offer a handshake or present a bow instead.

One of the most embarrassing things that can befall a businessperson is being unaware of local tipping practices. This may sound insignificant, but you will not impress your colleagues or clients if you do not know that a gratuity has already been automatically been added to your bill. In some places no tip at all is expected, and can actually be construed as insulting if you do tip.

Obviously how much you pack is dependent on the length of your trip. But it is good to remember that your traveling will be infinitely easier if you have fewer things to tote around. A good rule of thumb is to lay out what you think you will need to bring, and then throw half of that stuff back in your closet and dresser. Consider traveling with a garment bag. They have good storage space, can be carried on board (no waiting at the luggage carousel) and help prevent wrinkles.

There are a few essentials that you will want to remember to bring. If you are traveling overseas it is worthwhile to buy an oversized wallet-one that will accommodate your passport and local currency, as well as business cards and credit cards. A global travel adaptor can also be invaluable. It automatically detects incoming voltage and converts it to 120-volt AC power, great for electric razors and hair dryers. Try to find one that also supports USB for your cell phone and computer.

Carrying proper documentation and having sufficient cash on hand are two key things to remember. It may not be enough to have your passport with you. Some countries require visas for entry. Your business image may become permanently tarnished if you are refused entry. It is also a good idea to convert some money into local currency before you leave. That way you are not hunting for an exchange booth after you land.

These are but a few ideas to think about before you leave for the airport. In the end, it all boils down to preparation. The more of it you do, the less grief you will suffer later on.