Wild Junket » Travel News http://www.wildjunket.com An adventure travel blog that brings you on a rollercoaster ride around the world Wed, 29 Oct 2014 14:30:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Which Nationalities have the Best Passports for Global Travel? http://www.wildjunket.com/2014/04/23/nationalities-best-passports-global-travel/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2014/04/23/nationalities-best-passports-global-travel/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:00:56 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/?p=16613 Passport chopsDoes our passport determine how easy it is for us to travel?   I recently chanced upon an  an article on Singapore’s national newspaper The Straits Times, which shed some light on how easy/hard it is to travel for different nationalities. Global consulting firm Henley and Partners published a Visa Restrictions Index, ranking a total of 219 destination [...]

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Does our passport determine how easy it is for us to travel? 

Passport chops

 I recently chanced upon an  an article on Singapore’s national newspaper The Straits Times, which shed some light on how easy/hard it is to travel for different nationalities.

Global consulting firm Henley and Partners published a Visa Restrictions Index, ranking a total of 219 destination countries according to visa-free access to other countries as of July 2013.  Each country has a score, which shows the number of countries its citizens can visit without a visa.

Unsurprisingly, the top ranks of the index are held by European countries with Finland, Sweden and the U.K. sharing the first place, being allowed to access 173 countries in the world without a visa. Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg and the U.S. follow in second place with 172. Coming in third are Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands at 171, followed by Canada, France, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Portugal and Spain at 170.

It’s sad to see the number of countries citizens at the bottom of the list can visit. The Sudanese, Lebanese and Sri Lankans can only enter 38 countries without a visa while the Pakistanis and Somalians only have access to 32  countries. The Afghans are sadly the worst, being able to visit 28 countries without a visa.

My country, Singapore, ranks sixth on the list with a score of 167. I really can’t complain as I’ve been so lucky traveling visa-free almost everywhere I go – including to places that usually require visas such as Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mongolia. In contrast, friends from the Philippines and India have always had issues traveling. In fact, I have friends from Tanzania who are arriving tomorrow after a long battle to get their tourist visas approved – this will be their first time out of the country and I can’t wait to show them our home.

Here’s wishing there be more freedom of travel for people all around the world!

Take a look at the top and bottom 10 countries in the list. Click to see the full list.

Top 10 Countries on the Visa Restrictions Index 

1. Finland, Sweden, UK

2. Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, U.S.

3. Belgium, Italy, Netherlands

4. Canada, France, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Spain

5. Austria, New Zealand, Switzerland

6. Australia, Greece, Singapore

7. South Korea

8. Iceland

9. Malaysia, Malta

10. Liechtenstein

Bottom 10 Countries on the List

84.  Equatorial Guinea

85. Bangladesh, Burundi, Ethiopia, North Korea

86. Angola, Djibouti, Iran, Myanmar

87. Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, South Sudan, Syria

88. Kosovo, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Sudan

89. Nepal

90. Eritrea, Palestinian Territory

91. Pakistan, Somalia

92. Iraq

93. Afghanistan

 

 

 

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Winning Best Travel Blogger of 2012 Award! http://www.wildjunket.com/2013/01/02/winning-best-travel-blogger-of-2012-award/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2013/01/02/winning-best-travel-blogger-of-2012-award/#comments Wed, 02 Jan 2013 14:30:24 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/?p=12873 December has been a great month as we’ve been blessed with one good news after another. After learning that our magazine is a finalist in the Digital Magazine Awards 2012, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve won the Best Travel Blogger of 2012 award from Holidays Extras! The Holidays Extras Customers’ Awards attracted votes from [...]

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December has been a great month as we’ve been blessed with one good news after another. After learning that our magazine is a finalist in the Digital Magazine Awards 2012, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve won the Best Travel Blogger of 2012 award from Holidays Extras!

The Holidays Extras Customers’ Awards attracted votes from 101,000 customers this year, recognizing and rewarding the best in the travel industry. As much as we appreciate getting recognition from the travel industry, it is this kind of award that truly reflects or readers’ support.

We’re extremely excited and thankful to our readers for voting for us. Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Here’s a special thanks to all of you. You are the ones who keep us doing what we love, a million thanks!

 

 

 

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7 Up-and-Coming Adventure Travel Destinations for 2013 http://www.wildjunket.com/2012/12/26/up-and-coming-adventure-travel-destinations-for-2013/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2012/12/26/up-and-coming-adventure-travel-destinations-for-2013/#comments Wed, 26 Dec 2012 19:47:24 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/?p=12957 Sugarloaf MountainNow that we’ve apparently survived the end of the world on 21 December, it’s time to start planning for some adventure in 2013. Last year our list of best adventure destinations for 2012 saw the rising stars of several offbeat destinations like Cuba and Azerbaijan. With plenty of exciting events happening around the world, 2013 [...]

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Now that we’ve apparently survived the end of the world on 21 December, it’s time to start planning for some adventure in 2013. Last year our list of best adventure destinations for 2012 saw the rising stars of several offbeat destinations like Cuba and Azerbaijan. With plenty of exciting events happening around the world, 2013 looks like another power-packed year of new discoveries. After rounds of researching, we’ve collected our own list of up-and-coming adventure destinations for 2013 and hope it helps shine new light to under-the-radar places.

1  Brazil

As the host country for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil is set to rock the tourism industry in the next few years. In 2012, Brazil has already seen a 7.8% increase in tourism (according to wttc.org), and it is predicted to increase even more in 2013 as the World Cup hype builds up. As a prelude, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup will take place in six Brazilian cities this coming June. Home to long, wild stretches of beaches, isolated islands and the legendary Amazon Rainforest, Brazil packs in wilderness, culture and charm. The best time to visit is during the world famous Carnaval, celebrated this year from February 9 to 12. Although prices are exorbitant this time of the year, the atmosphere and spirit are undeniable.

Sugarloaf MountainFlickr photo by Digo_Souza

2 Malawi

With a political shift in 2012, Malawi is now ruled by a forward-thinking female president, Joyce Banda, and the future for the country is shining brighter than ever. Over recent years, Malawi’s economy has also stabilized substantially and there’s no better to visit the East African country. For some reason, the neighboring countries Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia have long been a part of the well-trodden tourist trail; but Malawi has always stayed off the radar. It’s about time for Africa’s best kept secret to shine;  join underwater safaris to view Lake Malawi’s diverse aquatic life, or go on big game safaris in Liwonde National Park or watch 200 species of orchids bloom in Nyika National Park – you’re in for a surprise!

 Flickr photo by Michiel Van Balen

3 Papua New Guinea

2012 was a dramatic year for Papua New Guinea as it plunged into chaos for months when a political feud between its two rival prime ministers. In June, Peter O’Neill, the current prime minister, finally announced plans for a coalition government. Now that its political situation has stabilized, we predict that hordes of visitors will once again pour into this raw and undiscovered country. In fact, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall recently visited the country as part of their Diamond Jubilee Tour. As a unique far-flung archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, Papua New Guinea is made up of over 600 islands and 800 indigenous languages, creating a spectacular cultural mosaic. Adventure travel has really taken off in Papua New Guinea, with the Kokoda trek taking center stage and the opportunity to witness the flamboyant and extraordinary sing-sing on offer. 

Flickr photo by ThePaperBoy

4 Myanmar/Burma

With the decade-long tourism boycott lifted in 2010, the National League of Democracy in Myanmar (NLD) is finally encouraging independent travel to their country. Despite the lift of the boycott, the State Department of U.S. still warns travelers that the authorities “have often prohibited entry or exit at most land border crossings, unless the traveler is part of a package-tour group that has received prior permission from the Burmese authorities.” Having made our list in 2012, Myanmar is making an appearance again on our 2013 list as government reforms now take shape to open up the country. We visited in 2012 and loved it: from biking through the mystical temples of Bagan, to calming boat rides on the Inle Lake, and getting to know the people of Myanmar, Myanmar offers the rare opportunity to travel through time.

2012-04-17 at 10-55-12

5 Colombia

With the World Games 2013 taking place in Cali in next summer, Colombia will be under the tourist limelight as travelers flock to its shores to explore its offerings. Home to colonial cities, coffee-plant valleys, and a gorgeous coast, Colombia has always drawn budget travelers to its shores; but these days, it is predicted to attract the attention of more extreme travelers who are keen to explore its undiscovered regions and seek out adventures such as rappelling and rainforest hikes. Cali, capital of Valle del Cauca state, is a historical city that dates back to over 470 years of age. Nature in Cali is a source of pride as majestic, leafy trees and beautiful gardens throughout the city attest to why the city received the honor of being given the title of Green Township in Colombia.

Colombia - Parque Nacional de Tayrona - View of Cabo San JuanFlickr photo by Sandra Vallaure

6 Madagascar

Madagascar’s presidential elections are finally scheduled for 2013 (having been repeatedly delayed) – which could mean a step towards greater democracy. Although locals remain skeptical, they are more than eager to welcome tourists into their country. But for visitors, the time to go is now before Madagascar’s logging problems wipe out its unique endemic wildlife. We visited in 2011, and it remains a hot favorite at WildJunket. As the world’s fourth biggest island, Madagascar packs in an overwhelming species of flora and fauna, otherworldly landscapes, and animals that are unlike no other. Catch sunset over baobab trees, track down lemurs in jungles, climb the Bemaraha stone forest or float on a dugout canoe – Madagascar promises only the extraordinary.


7 Antarctica

Recreational travel is growing in Antarctica, and it is expected to increase further next year as more and more media coverage (let’s take BBC’s Frozen Planet for example) has drawn the attention of curious travelers. According to International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), the number of visitors to Antarctica who landed on the continent has increased from 12,248 in year 2000 to now 22,122 in 2012. Increase in tourism has raised concerns over our impact on the fragile environment, resulting in possible limitations of tourism in the future — so get there before it’s too late. This seventh continent truly captures the meaning of the word “adventure” – with nature’s erratic ways, each visit is unique. Kayak through ice, photograph glaciers and icebergs, and observe penguins, elephant seals, and minke whales – there is nowhere else like this in the world. (Look through our photos here)

Observing a seal in Antarctica

Where are you planning to go in 2013? Any plans to visit the countries above?

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Promoting Green Travel: ‘Do Not Disturb’ Campaign http://www.wildjunket.com/2012/04/18/promoting-green-travel-do-not-disturb-campaign/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2012/04/18/promoting-green-travel-do-not-disturb-campaign/#comments Tue, 17 Apr 2012 17:37:51 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/?p=8624 With Earth Day quickly approaching, our friends over at hotel.info have launched an environmental campaign in a bid to do their part for our Mother Earth! This campaign aims to raise awareness and motivate travelers to make a change by taking most hotels’  linen and towel reuse program a step further. By leaving the “do [...]

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With Earth Day quickly approaching, our friends over at hotel.info have launched an environmental campaign in a bid to do their part for our Mother Earth! This campaign aims to raise awareness and motivate travelers to make a change by taking most hotels’  linen and towel reuse program a step further. By leaving the “do not disturb” sign and opting out of housekeeping service, hotel guests can help save over 6,000 gallons of water each month for an average 150-room hotel. If the campaign reaches their goal of 10,000 participants, the benefits would be massive.

As an added bonus one participant in the “Do Not Disturb” campaign will be chosen at random to receive a complimentary stay in a certified green hotel. To join the campaign, follow the instructions on this page. Below is an infographic to show how this campaign can help reduce our carbon footprint.

The Future of Hotels is Green The Future of Hotels is Green
Infographics courtesy of hotel.info.

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7 Up-and-Coming Adventure Destinations for 2012 http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/12/28/7-up-and-coming-adventure-destinations-for-2012/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/12/28/7-up-and-coming-adventure-destinations-for-2012/#comments Tue, 27 Dec 2011 17:26:36 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/?p=7695 2012 is quickly approaching and it’s time to start planning for the new year. With the Olympics and other events happening around the world, 2012 promises to be an extraordinary year for many of us. In 2011, we saw many off-the-radar destinations emerging in the travel scene, such as Zimbabwe and Ukraine. In the new year, major sporting, cultural and political events look set [...]

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2012 is quickly approaching and it’s time to start planning for the new year. With the Olympics and other events happening around the world, 2012 promises to be an extraordinary year for many of us. In 2011, we saw many off-the-radar destinations emerging in the travel scene, such as Zimbabwe and Ukraine. In the new year, major sporting, cultural and political events look set to bring new life to several offbeat destinations. After much research and brainstorming, here’s our own list of the up-and-coming adventure destinations for 2012 and we hope they’ll help you decide where you’ll be traveling to in the new year!

1. Cuba

With the newly loosened travel ban for Americans to Cuba, the number of visitors to Cuba has nearly doubled and it is predicted to increase even more dramatically in 2012 as more airlines and companies gain travel access to the country. Current rules allow Americans to visit Cuba on educational and cultural tours but all Cuba travel must be approved by the Treasury Department. Numerous travel companies now have licenses to run guided trips to Cuba, including National Geographic Expeditions – that runs Cuba cultural tours to Havana, Trinidad and Viñales National Park and includes deep immersions with Cuban locals and experts.

Flickr photo by VisualStandpoint

2. Myanmar

Since the release of Aung San Suu Kyi (after more than 20 years of house arrest), the National League of Democracy in Myanmar (NLD) is finally encouraging independent travel to their country. Despite the lift of the boycott, the State Department of U.S. still warns travelers that the authorities “have often prohibited entry or exit at most land border crossings, unless the traveler is part of a package-tour group that has received prior permission from the Burmese authorities.” While the question of safety and ethical travel is still unanswered, we can be sure that Myanmar will be back under the tourist radar very soon. Having been isolated from the rest of the world for decades, Myanmar retains a strong sense of authenticity with its timeless towns, ancient pagodas and undisturbed mountains and rivers.

Flickr photo by Greg Walters

3. Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, a largely unknown country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia, finally grabbed the world’s attention after winning the Eurovision 2011 Contest. In 2012, this Eurasian destination will be hosting the Eurovision contest for the first time and a concert complex has been specially built for the event. As the largest and the most developed country in the region, Azerbaijan makes an excellent base for those planning to explore the surrounding countries, such as Armenia, Georgia and Iran. Start your explorations from the capital of Baku before heading out to the highest peak of the country, Mount Bazarduzu, and hiking through the countryside of Quba.

Flickr photo by Robert Thomson

4. Japan

Having survived several setbacks in 2011, Japan is quickly getting back on its feet and its tourism organization is working full force to get travelers back on its shores. Recovery is well underway with reconstruction of infrastructure and the launch of new air service from the U.S. to Japan. Recently the Japan National Tourism Organization ran promotions on social media platforms to get the word out – with tactics including hosting bloggers in the country as well giving away free flights to the public.  With its creative and innovative tactics, it won’t be long before Japan climbs up the tourism ladder again. Get your city fix in Tokyo before zipping over to the cultural hub of Kyoto on a bullet train and then relaxing on the beaches of Okinawa.

5. Portugal

Having just earned the earned European Capital of Culture status for 2012, the Portuguese city of Guimarães will be under the tourist limelight as travelers in Europe flock to its shores to explore its artistic offerings. Throughout the year, numerous art projects and cultural festivals to be held in the city will surely get its name out to travelers in Europe. As one of the country’s most important historical cities, Guimarães boasts a UNESCO World Heritage historic city centre and it’s often referred to as the birthplace of Portuguese nationality. For more adventure travel offerings, head on down to the southern coast of Portugal for some sun and surf.

Flickr photo by João Paulo Ferreira

6. Belize

In the Mayan World, or Mundo Maya, 2012 signifies the end of the current Maya “Long Count,” a 5,125-year calendar cycle. Mayan countries including Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico will be ushering in the new era with plenty of Mayan cultural festivities and events that will definitely draw in hordes of new visitors to the region. Belize Tourism is giving its all to attract tourists to its beautiful shores with Mayan exhibitions, a solstice sleepover and a major cultural festival on December 21, the estimated last day of the calendar. If you’re planning to travel Central America as a whole, hop over to Guatemala and explore its new themed cultural tourism route; or head on to Mexico where Mayan events will be centered in Campeche, Chiapas, Tabasco and Yucatan.

7. Ukraine

Having made our list for 2011 with the opening of Chernobyl to tourists, Ukraine is making an appearance once again in 2012 as it plays host to the Euro 2012 football championships. While the site of one of the world’s most tragic disasters in history is often the only thing foreigners can think of, Ukraine has plenty more to offer in terms of culture, nature and history – head to the Carpathian Mountains for some camping and hiking, or explore the unique Old Town of Kiev for some insights to Ukrainian culture, and then let your hair down along the unspoiled Crimean shores.

Flickr photo by Jurij Skoblenko

Note: These destinations have been chosen based on our personal observations of travel trends as well as doing research from online resources.

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Breaking the Travel Embargo: Iceland-bound! http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/09/16/breaking-the-travel-embargo-3-countries-in-3-weeks/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/09/16/breaking-the-travel-embargo-3-countries-in-3-weeks/#comments Fri, 16 Sep 2011 08:12:12 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/?p=7169 At the end of August, I set myself a travel embargo – staying put at my home base in Granada, Spain and taking time off to reflect on my travels and putting things into perspective. It has done wonders to my wellbeing, both emotional and psychological. Now I’m ready to get back on the road [...]

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At the end of August, I set myself a travel embargo – staying put at my home base in Granada, Spain and taking time off to reflect on my travels and putting things into perspective. It has done wonders to my wellbeing, both emotional and psychological. Now I’m ready to get back on the road and explore new grounds again!

While I didn’t make it to Mexico (due to silly flight issues), I did get alot of writing done and now I’m making my way to Iceland for a week of traveling with my husband. Over the week, we’ll be visiting a friend in Reykjavik before setting off on a self-drive trip to the south coast, through the Golden Circle and up to the northern regions of Iceland. Thanks to Discover the World, there’s quite a lot of adventure packed into this trip!

We’ll start off the journey with a Blue Ice Glacier Hike  at Sólheimajökull and then a Superjeep Volcano Glacier Hike on Eyjafjallajokull Volcano. Driving through the Golden Circle, we’ll also be scuba-diving the Silfra rift, a crack between the American and Eurasian continental plates. The visibility is said to be amazing though the water will probably be freezing cold.

On the second half of the trip, our journey will take us to the northern part of the country around the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Myvatn. Back in Reykjavik, we’ll be biking around the city to take in its urban sights with Reykjavik Bike Tours before ending the trip with a dip in the legendary Blue Lagoon. Discover the World has also arranged for us to stay at several countryside cottages and the well-known Hotel Ranga, voted as one of the world’s best places to see the Northern Lights. This trip’s definitely shaping into a power-packed journey. I’ll be back with several updates along the way, be sure to leave me some travel tips or ideas!

Flickr photo by fiomaha

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My Travel Plans for Spring-Summer 2011 http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/04/13/my-travel-plans-for-spring-summer-2011/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/04/13/my-travel-plans-for-spring-summer-2011/#comments Wed, 13 Apr 2011 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/2011/04/13/my-travel-plans-for-spring-summer-2011/ Icebergs in Alaska - hoping to see these in the Arctic!The last few months have been a quiet one for me – as traveling took a backseat while I focused on writing. I started the year in Southeast Asia, before heading back to our base in Spain and hopping off on short trips around Europe. In the past month or so, I’d visited Portugal, Italy [...]

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The last few months have been a quiet one for me – as traveling took a backseat while I focused on writing. I started the year in Southeast Asia, before heading back to our base in Spain and hopping off on short trips around Europe. In the past month or so, I’d visited Portugal, Italy and Manchester but nowhere far-flung or adventurous.

The second half of the year promises to be packed with more action – here’s a look at where I’ll be over the next few weeks. I’ll be hanging around a bit more in Spain before jumping off to more exotic locales. If you’re in the neighborhood and interested in meeting up, give me a quick shout out!

Icebergs in Alaska - hoping to see these in the Arctic!

13 April – 24 April: Asturias, Bilbao and San Sebastian – Spain

I’m setting off for Oviedo, Asturias today and I will be exploring the area as a guest of Asturias Tourism Board and turismo.as. I will be blogging about here after the trip, but you can follow the live video streaming on Turismo.as or follow our blogtrip site. From Asturias, I’ll be going on a road trip with friends to the most northern corners of Spain to explore more of the country.

3 May – 10 May: Costa Brava, Spain

As a guest of Costa Brava Tourism, I’ll be visiting the area around Girona – with many exciting activities on the itinerary including paragliding and a treehouse eco-lodge stay.

27 May – 5 June: Jordan Press Trip

I’m thrilled to be revisiting one of my favorite countries in the world, this time on a press trip thanks to the Jordan Tourism Board.

3 July – 31 July: Mauritius and Madagascar

Alberto and I are spending a whole month exploring the islands of Mauritius and Madagascar on our honeymoon! (Didn’t I tell you we’re getting married on 1st July?) I’m looking forward to both wildlife-watching in Madagascar and lounging by the turquoise beaches of Mauritius.

7 August – 15 August: Arctic Expedition

As one of Gap Adventure’s Wanderers in Residence, I’ll be going on my first trip with Gap onboard their Arctic expedition cruise. The Realm of Polar Bears trip promises to be an epic journey – cruising through ice-covered fjords, spotting whales and polar bears and encountering glaciers.

17 September – 26 September: Iceland

It’ll be a whirlwind trip through the country as we explore its fjords, volcanoes and hot springs with our best friend from Iceland. Any suggestion or tip welcomed as always!

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Travel Tips: How to Find Mobile Internet Abroad http://www.wildjunket.com/2010/10/21/travel-tips-how-to-find-mobile-internet-abroad/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2010/10/21/travel-tips-how-to-find-mobile-internet-abroad/#comments Thu, 21 Oct 2010 10:44:35 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/2010/10/21/travel-tips-how-to-find-mobile-internet-abroad/ woman on beach working on  laptop against the seaAs a travel writer who’s always on the go, being able to plug in and write wherever I am is essential. And in this era, I’m not the only one who finds mobile internet access an important tool. Many digital nomads and freelancers who work remotely depend on this modern technology for a living. Today’s [...]

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As a travel writer who’s always on the go, being able to plug in and write wherever I am is essential. And in this era, I’m not the only one who finds mobile internet access an important tool. Many digital nomads and freelancers who work remotely depend on this modern technology for a living. Today’s sponsored post, by James Helliwell, shares with us some useful tools to get mobile internet access is any corner of the world.

woman on beach working on  laptop against the sea

In this day and age, regardless of your age and profession, it is almost necessary to always be connected. Without the internet, it is difficult to stay connected with friends and family, let alone get professional work done. When people travel the world for vacation or work, having a fast and stable internet connection similar to that at home is essential. However, for some, finding affordable internet while traveling can be quite a challenge. Using mobile internet abroad can be very simple to do, but if not done intelligently it can lead to unexpected expenses that can but a major hole in your wallet.

Avoid Hefty Phone Bills

The major expense comes in when users of mobile internet abroad fail to plan ahead. Hefty phone bills often result from a lack of pre-trip research. Using your domestic phone while you are abroad can lead to a phone bill that has the possibility of sending you into cardiac arrest. Cell phone companies often charge absurd roaming costs for overseas cell phone usage, especially when you use your cell phone to access data and internet.

using a mobile phone

To avoid this kind of sticker shock when faced with your phone bill, it’s best to investigate other options. One option is to use only Wi-Fi while you are abroad – which can be done easily from the new smartphones. But this is not a very practical solution in many countries, as not every single spot you go to is equipped with free Wi-Fi.  Instead of  having the freedom to go online when and where you need it, you will be tethered to the hotels, internet cafes, and coffee shops where you are lucky enough to find Wi-Fi available. This can be a hassle for many reasons, but one reason in particular stands out above the rest.

This reason is the need for directions when you are travelling around the world. While on the go, many travellers tend to navigate the streets with the help of their mobile internet connection. Ironically, it is usually during these times that Wi-Fi access is not available. Opting for your internet roaming is not a wise choice because of the aforementioned expense of accessing data overseas with your mobile phone.

USB Broadband Access

When it comes to moments like these, the best option for mobile internet abroad is to get a USB card that provides broadband access. These USB cards function anywhere in the world that has cell phone reception. They come in a wide variety of packages and speeds to cater to your specific needs. You can choose one that offers a pre-paid arrangement or one that runs on a monthly premium. For pre-paid arrangement, you can pay ahead of time for a certain amount of wireless access on the USB card until the fee runs out.

The other option is to get a USB card package that charges a fixed rate every month for mobile broadband usage. Just like cell phone plans, customers have a fixed amount of use on their plan. But this option is measured not in minutes, but in the amount of data that is transferred through the USB card. If customers go over the predetermined amount of use, their card will not stop functioning.

laptopPhoto by Giorgio Montersino

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Win Your Dream Itinerary! http://www.wildjunket.com/2010/08/02/win-your-dream-itinerary/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2010/08/02/win-your-dream-itinerary/#comments Mon, 02 Aug 2010 10:00:15 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/2010/08/02/win-your-dream-itinerary/ White BeachEveryone has a dream itinerary – whether it is two weeks of lounging around golden sands in the Caribbean, trekking through the Himalayas or castle-hopping in Europe. Mine has always been a jaunt in Africa that packs in all aspects that the continent has to offer: luxurious beach lounging, adventurous trekking and wildlife-watching. SLH.com (Small [...]

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Everyone has a dream itinerary – whether it is two weeks of lounging around golden sands in the Caribbean, trekking through the Himalayas or castle-hopping in Europe. Mine has always been a jaunt in Africa that packs in all aspects that the continent has to offer: luxurious beach lounging, adventurous trekking and wildlife-watching.

SLH.com (Small Luxury Hotels of the World) is giving me and you the chance to make that dream come true. Hop on over to their ‘Dream Itinerary’ contest site, design your own 14-day dream holiday and get your friends to vote! Once your itinerary gets enough vote to make the top 20 shortlist then the SLH panel could select you as the lucky winner.

White Beach

Who’s SLH:

SLH (Small Luxury Hotels of the World) has a myriad of unique, lavish properties in all corners of the world. From luxury palaces to resorts, the hotel collection is incredibly impressive. With accommodation options perfect for the luxury travelers and honeymooners, SLH promises world-class standards and comforts and always delivers. I recently stayed at the Raj Palace in Jaipur, India, part of the SLH collection. The experience of sleeping in an Indian Princess’ suite was undoubtedly one of the best I’ve had.

My Dream Itinerary:

Africa – a continent as beautiful as it is mysterious – is my dream weaver. My itinerary, named ‘Dreaming of Africa’ will bring me through 3 far-flung African countries:

  • on the private Fregate Island in Seychelles
  • exotic beachfront property, Azura in Mozambique
  • exploring the wilderness of South Africa from my base, at Le Vendome Hotel in Cape Town.

During my travels, I’ll be reporting back here with stunning photos and write-ups of my experience there. So please be sure to cast some votes for me!

How to Vote:

Just one simple step: go to my dream itinerary page and click on the ‘Vote for Your Favorite Itinerary’ button.

There’s no need to login or enter a password, simple as that!

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How to Take Part:

If you’re hoping to win your own dream holiday, then head on over to SLH main website, search through its collection of hotels and destinations and start designing your own itinerary! Simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to the SLH Competition page and click on the ‘Enter the Competition’ button.
  2. Click on ‘Choose a Destination’ and select your destination from the full list of countries.
  3. After choosing your destination, you’ll be able to look through the hotels located there. You can add up to 3 destinations/hotels in your 14-day itinerary.
  4. On the next page, key in your details and voila!
  5. Get your friends to vote on Twitter and Facebook, the amount of votes determine your chances of winning.

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Haiti Earthquake: How We Can All Help http://www.wildjunket.com/2010/01/18/haiti-earthquake-how-we-can-all-help/ http://www.wildjunket.com/2010/01/18/haiti-earthquake-how-we-can-all-help/#comments Sun, 17 Jan 2010 22:13:59 +0000 http://www.wildjunket.com/2010/01/18/haiti-earthquake-how-we-can-all-help/ Photo from TelegraphThe whole world’s eyes are on Haiti now, as the poorest country in the Americas faces yet another devastating disaster. Death toll has now reached over 200,000 at Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital. These numbers are still increasing as survivors are losing patience with the painfully slow process of getting international aid. As I sit facing [...]

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The whole world’s eyes are on Haiti now, as the poorest country in the Americas faces yet another devastating disaster. Death toll has now reached over 200,000 at Port-au-Prince, the country’s capital. These numbers are still increasing as survivors are losing patience with the painfully slow process of getting international aid.

As I sit facing horrifying images of desperation on the streets of Haiti, dumping of bodies in mass graves and violent looting occurring, it’s hard not to feel inflicted with the urge to help. I’m glad to have seen so many organizations, countries support teams and media channels acting so quickly to lend a hand.

Photo from Telegraph

Matador Network – Join in as a Volunteer

Matador Network, one of the online travel networks I work with, responded immediately. Editor Julie Schwietert launched a volunteering project on the night of the disaster -  using social media to convince JetBlue to fly a plane full of volunteers to nearby Santo Domingo. Julie has been working around the clock since, to coordinate with ground staff and seeking help from the Haitian Consulate in NYC. Check for daily updates here.

The response has been overwhelming, they are now prioritizing on looking for volunteers with medical experience and or Creole/French language skills. If you are interested in jumping on the plane and offering your help on the ground, email Julie directly at matadorhaiti@gmail.com.

 Photo from NYDailyNews

 

One of the Matador volunteers, Vladimir Tilus has already arrived in Port-au-Prince last night. Vladimir delivered water and food to the children of the Bresma orphanage, as they had run out of water completely and food was running low. Though the kids are not out of danger yet, these critical supplies will help them hang on a bit longer.

Support Worthy Organizations

BBC has a list of charities involved in the relief effort – useful for donors based in the UK. Contact the charity organizations directly to find out how you can help.

CNN also put together a comprehensive list of aid organizations, categorized by services being provided: basic needs, shelter, medical aid, and food.

Paul Clammer, the author of Lonely Planet Haiti guide, advised interested parties to support these three organizations in Haiti:

I’d like to mention three excellent smaller organizations in Haiti worthy of your support – these are the sort of smaller players who inevitably get overlooked in the media scrum, but often have more focused and effective programs working among local communities – essential characteristics once the immediate heavy lifting of disaster relief is over, and the media and world inevitably turn their attention to the next story.

Partners in Health  A medical charity that has been working in Haiti for a long time, building local medical capacity. Run by MD Paul Farmer, a noted writer on Haiti, it has a large network of Haitian doctors and nurses well-placed to offer immediate and long- term medical assistance.

 
The Lambi Fund  A smaller but highly regarded development charity. It offers assistance to communities outside Port- au-Prince (areas also hit by the effects of the quake) to help arrest the decline of the agricultural sector which has driven hundreds of thousands of young people from the countryside to search for a livelihood in the capital’s now-stricken shanty-towns.

Yele  A development NGO working mainly in education and community projects, but with extensive experience in food distribution and emergency relief. Yele was set up by the musician Wyclef Jean, who is also a Goodwill Ambassador for Haiti (celeb watchers will be amused that a few years ago he got Brad and Angelina to visit the notorious Cite Soleil shanty at a time when the heavily armed Brazilian peacekeepers were too scared to go there). It’s close ties to communities in some of the poorest and worst affected areas will be invaluable in the coming weeks and months.

Right now, with logistic problems on the ground, it might be a challenge getting volunteers to Haiti. The best way to help is to donate, the organizations need as much funds as possible to provide supplies, medical support and food. The destruction is so substantial that it might take a few years for Haiti to slowly get back on its feet.

In the meantime, we can continue to do our part and pray for the wellbeing of the country, and hope that the sun will shine in Haiti again.

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