Planning for your vacation is not only about choosing destination and packing necessary items to bring. It is also about knowing some threats and dangers you might possibly encounter when travelling. It is common for travelers and tourists alike to fall victim of travel scams in various countries, especially in popular travel destinations. Some of travel scams are truly effective but they are still avoidable if you know what they are and how to deal with them.
Travel scams to avoid while travelling
Travelers and tourists often become the victims of travel scams in various travel destinations. You don’t want to lose your money or any of your belongings while what you plan is to have fun and relieve some stress. Here are common travel scams you should know.
Fake ID Card
Scams of travel agent card is quite common in many popular travel destinations so you should be more aware of this thing. Lots of people thought that just because you have travel agent ID card then you will be granted cheap accommodations and airfares. If there is someone who issue you a travel agent ID card and promise that you will be provided unlimited access, don’t believe them. You will find out later that the IDs are fake and cannot be used at all. So, don’t buy any travel agent ID card.
It is possible for you to fall victim to one of the most common travel scams when renting a vehicle. The owner recharge you with some damages you didn’t even know exist when you return the car. They can charge you with expensive cost. Therefore, be careful when renting a car in a travel destination. You can also take some pictures of the car you are going to rent beforehand so you have proof later if needed.
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False Online Accommodation
Travel scams are easy to deliver through internet. You may book your accommodation online and plan your travel using internet connection to make everything easier. However, it is also common to receive some emails saying you won a free trip. Do not get swayed easily by those prizes because they are epic traps. They may ask your personal information including your credit card number saying that it is to claim your prize. Do not be fooled by these common scams and don’t give any information. You can actually verify the prize to the resort or airlines independently to know if it’s real or scam.
Misleading Hotel Room Photos
It is also common to book a hotel room online. Then, the hotel is not what it looked like in the pictures. The hotel is already run-down and uncomfortable for you to stay. Some promised amenities are not exist as well, making you feeling more horrible. However, they won’t give you any refund. Therefore, make sure to book from trusted site if you book a room. You can also read the customers’ reviews before booking to see if the place is truly worth to book.
While Komodo Island have the blood-thirsty, prehistoric dragons roaming on its grassland terrain, the underwater Komodo has another beast wandering around the crystal-clear ocean. That’s the Manta Ray. The gentle giants of the ocean, member of the devil ray family, and native to the waters of Komodo National Park. Manta Rays are highlight of many divers who come to Komodo National Park. They are colossal, intelligent, and very calm towards divers and snorkelers alike. The Manta Point Komodo is one of the most popular snorkeling and diving destination in the national park—given the shallow water and the clear waters. Here’s your guide to swim with these marvellous creature without harming yourself and the Manta in the process.
Snorkeling at Manta Point Komodo from Liveaboard
Do you know that the best way to have snorkeling at Manta Point Komodo is by jumping from liveaboard? Well, not literally, of course. You actually need to enter the water quietly cause the Mantas are very, very sensitive to sounds and vibrations. What we mean is embarking on liveaboard trip where it gets you to the spots in the right time of the day. Moreover, liveaboard boats in Komodo usually provide snorkel masks and fins you can rent (sometimes for free) to snorkel with the giants!
Follow Your Dive Guide
Most of the time, you will be snorkeling (or diving) at any site in Komodo waters with a dive master or dive guide from the boat. They will tell you what to do, what’s not, where to go, and which time is the best. At the Manta Point, they will guide you to Manta’s cleaning station where they are spotted the most.
The Current is Strong, So Prep Your Skills
The Manta Point is characterised with strong currents which is the first reason why the giants thrives there. The strong currents bring rich planktons which is basically Manta’s main and favourite dish! This means you need to be a confident snorkeler if you want to swim with the Mantas.
Snorkeling with the Mantas at Manta Point is Totally Safe!
How about the Mantas itself?
Are they safe to swim with?
Yes. Totally yes! Manta Ray, despite of their gigantic body, are extremely tame and charismatic. They are definitely non predator (plankton over meat!) and never show any agression. Mantas are intelligent—they are basically the smartest fish in the sea. Sometimes they show curiosity towards divers and snorkelers alike, as far as “asking” them to “swim together” or circling a snorkeler in almost a playful manner. If you happen to experience this, consider yourself lucky! Most of the time, Manta Ray will leave you alone—and just a glimpse of them is enough to make snorkeler’s day!
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Be Mindful of Your Marine Surrounding
Snorkeling at Manta Point Komodo means sharing the responsibility to keep the environment sustainable. Learn how to behave around Manta Rays. Never block the path of a Manta. Approach a Manta from their side and never attempt to touch, caress, or feed the giants. Do not try to chase a Manta Ray or scare them any other way. Be mindful with the corals below you—your fins might cause water spins which can damage the corals. Always follow the rules from your guide.
For some people travelling spontaneously is not a problem. They can just pack a few essentials and go for it without any trace of hesitation or fear. However, some traveller choose to be more meticulous of things they would like to pack to make sure their trip will go smoothly. However, it is not a secret that packing is one of the most unwanted things to do when it comes to going on vacation or a trip. Packing essentials and checking on them even on the last minute sound like a hassle but it is still important thing to do unless you want another problem later during the trip.
Easily forgotten essentials for travelers
Going on a trip or vacation especially to foreign place is good for you. There are so many benefits you can gain from travelling such as improve physical health, reduce the level of stress, etc. As for packing, there are most common essentials that easily forgotten by most travelers.
Toothpaste is like a minor essential and many of travelers often forget to pack it in their bag. The reason is that mostly hotels and other accommodations provide such necessities. However, it is different when you travel for camping, or to place where shops are hard to find. Toothpaste is important thing you need on daily basis. It will make you feel uncomfortable to start your day without brushing your teeth.
Charger is also one of the most easily forgotten essential for travelling. Your phone is like the extension of yourself since many tasks and information you need are there. However, you cannot do anything if your phone dies. Sure you can buy it once you arrive at your destination but it causes you another hassle. The problem arise when you bring other gadgets and forget to bring along the chargers as well. It can causes you in a bad mood during your trip.
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First aid kit
First aid kit is easily forgotten essential and most people don’t realize that they are at risk of getting injured during a trip regardless of how safe the environment is. Thus, it is a safe bet to pack your own small first aid kit. It saves you from so many troubles later when you need it. It is especially important when you need immediate care for the injury.
Lip balm is often forgotten especially for men travelers. Most women don’t forget it because it is usually ready in their cosmetic bag. However, lip balm is just as essential for men because chapped lips are uncomfortable. Sun exposure can cause irritation to the skin and lips. Even the air conditioning on the place can cause chapped lips.
Painkillers are essentials because they come in handy when you need it especially when you have long-hour flight. They are easily forgotten by most travelers because even then they think that there will be drugstores everywhere if they need them. However, packing your own painkillers especially with the brand you are used to is a safe bet.
Spending a fortune to find the best Komodo liveaboard and join the extraordinary trip can probably hurt your savings, but it’s important to consider the benefits that you will get out of it. Aside from the adventure that you will get, you are also accommodated with some luxurious facilities aboard the ship.
Best Komodo Liveaboard Gives You an Equally Best Services
Welcome to the liveaboard! The first thing that you would notice is that every crew always greets you while smiling. One of the things that makes Indonesia famous is the great attitude of the people, and for a professional boat charter, they will go to a greater length to show their hospitality to make sure you are leaving with a great impression.
Their attitude is also pair with great service as well. The crew will grant your request, hear about your complaint and give you compensation if they make a mistake. Komodo liveaboard sure can give you an unforgettable experience.
The Comfortable Room
Next, let’s check out the cabins. Every Phinisi liveaboard is equipped with comfortable cabins that will be your place to rest after a long and tiring day. The cabin usually fits for 2 people with 2 single beds complete with bathroom. Moreover, you can get a private suite that offers premium hotel-like facilities like Jacuzzi and even a balcony.
Other than your room, the deck of a liveaboard ship can also be a really comfortable resting area where you can socialize with other travelers and get something to eat or drink. Most of the luxurious yacht will offer an open spacious area with sofas and bean bags to laze around outside while enjoying the sound of the ocean.
Free drinks and snacks are available throughout the journey. If that still doesn’t satisfy you, there’s usually a bar where you can purchase more.
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Full Course Meal
A tour package will include 3 meals each day throughout your journey. With the hand of a professional chef, you will enjoy an authentic Indonesian food or fancy Western cuisine depends on your preference. Each food is made with the best ingredients to ensure that you will be satisfied.
Sailing like A King
Well, that was something. Only the best Komodo liveaboard can give you the most memorable journey of a lifetime, and it may cost a lot but surely you don’t come all the way to Komodo without going all out, right? It might be your only chance. The decision is up to you, join Komodo liveaboard and experience traversing the seas like royalty!
Enjoying great outdoor can be refreshing. It is such a good idea for your next travel plan. You get to feel closer with nature and away from the buzz of the city. It can be refreshing and fun vacation you can truly enjoy. However, being in open space has its own risk such as encountering animals. It can be fun if they are cute animals like rabbit, birds, or deer. However, it is different story when you encounter wild animals such as tigers, lions, alligators, or bears. They are dangerous and you have to be prepared for that if you plan to have a trip to a national parks, or wildlife refugees.
Stay safe while exploring wild places
Exploring wild place can be thrilling. You get that raw feelings of being in an open space and closer to the wildlife. Enjoying nature can bring out your adventurous souls. However, make sure that you still prioritize your safety over your excitement. It must be fun to encounter various animals during your exploration of the great outdoor. However, make sure you are prepared enough to face the worst scenario. Here are safety tips while you are exploring wild places during wildlife trip.
Do not pose as a threat
You may think staying alerts all the time can reduce the thrill or the fun. However, risking your safety by letting your guard down is wrong move when you are in an open space, especially wild area. Do not make a move that pose a threat to the animals or the environment. It is also highly recommended to wear clothes with natural colors that can blend in easily with the nature. Then, it is prohibited to feed animals even if they are rabbit or chipmunks. If you are camping during your trip, make sure to keep the area clean to not attract animals. Make sure to wash all eating and cooking utensils after. Bring airtight containers to store foods.
Make noises upon encounter
There is also high chance for you to encounter larger predators. You may see bears during your wildlife trip. It is fun to observe them from afar. However, it can be dangerous when you encounter one of them. Make noises if you are in the are with signs of bear. You can sing, talk a bit louder, or clap your hands. Also, it is safer to travel in group. Do not panic when you see them. Observe their behavior and leave silently if they haven’t noticed you. Bring bear spray for emergency.
Do not approach wild animals
It is also possible for you to see alligators during your wildlife trip. They are dangerous so make sure to avoid hanging around the area with the sign of alligators. They won’t attack if they are left alone so don’t make any confrontation. Even if they look like they are sleeping, do not approach them or take a picture. Do not feed them any food or leave garbage behind they they can trail of. Be aware of your surroundings when you are near fresh or brackish water.
Some divers find delight in observing the tinier creatures of the ocean. They don’t get easily awed by the big and bold like the patrolling sharks. Their interest is often focused in the minutes and mysterious, and they feel particularly proud to find rare, tiny, and well-camouflaged creatures hiding on a quiet nook of a pinnacle. In fact, macro diving has quite loyal following in the category. And one of the best macro diving site is the Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia. The site might be most well known for its notorious USAT Liberty Wreck, but the Tulamben actually has other gems offering astounding macro experience. Be prepared to get blown away—you might forget to surface back to the land as you immerse to these mesmerizing tiny life.
Seraya Secret, Easiest Macro Diving in Tulamben Bali
The Seraya Secret is just five kilometres away from Tulamben. It’s an easy dive with mild currents and excellent visibility. You can access the site just from the shore and descend into 10 meters deep ocean floor. The seabed is dominated by black sands bottom. It might appear deadly uninteresting for other divers, but macro lovers will absolutely love it as it’s brimming with life! An underwater macro photographer can spend hours searching strange small creatures all over the place. What makes Seraya best for muck and macro is the huge diversity of crustacean and nudibranch. Expect to see Harlequin shrimps, one of its predominant inhabitants, tiger shrimps, boxer shrimps, Bumble bee, Coleman shrimps, zebra crabs, and thousands other species! Be patient; good things come to those who wait.
Another muck diving spot in Tulamben Bali that offers incredible critter life; the Melasti. This site is comfortably snuggled along the Seraya coast, sometimes blurred as the Seraya Secret itself. In fact, many divers has dived here not knowing that this was the Melasti. Here you can see the mantis shrimps and harlequin shrimp hiding behind piles or coral heads or feasting upon starfish. It’s also the best site to see two signature nudibranchs of Melasti, the Donut Dorid and the Shaun the Sheep. They are often requested by divers—and they are not particularly easy to find, which makes them even more rewarding!
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The Hidden Site, Batu Niti
Now, not everyone knows Batu Niti, one of the hidden gems of diving in Tulamben Bali. The site is located past the Seraya Secret, in a formation of headland and reef. The Batu Niti is heaven of colourful nudibranch. The site gets even more lively during the nudibranch mating season. You’ll get to see thousands of nudi all over the place, getting into action. Sometimes you can spot frogfish and coral fish as well. Corals and spongers of all size and shapes also bloom in the area, making the site even more beautiful. And if you want something more after the macro, you can also see school of barracuda, jacks, trevally, and even whale sharks around.
Venice is one of the most visited travel destinations in the world. Sometimes, it is considered as overrated travel destination. However, no one can deny that Venice has that magical vibe which make people want to pay a visit. Aside from riding a gondola throughout beautiful canals, there are more things you can do while you are in Venice. One of them is shopping. There are many unique things you can buy as souvenirs for your beloved ones at home. There are also many places you can explore to feed your shopping desire.
Where to go shopping in Venice?
Venice is a beautiful city full of beautiful architecture. Not to mention that the city is full of cultural and historical values you can learn during your visit. This old city is also favorite for having a romantic getaway. It is said that the city can help create sparks between couples. However, this city is also a great place for shopping. Of course, you can also buy more affordable things instead of designer bags or clothes. Here are recommended places for shopping during your visit in Venice.
Ottica Carraro is a great place to find glass in beautiful colors and shapes. You can find various spectacle frames which can be bargain. What more special about it that those are handmade. The prices are relatively affordable which start at 95 euros. You can also order customize ones to fit your style or preference. You also don’t have to worry if you need a prescription glass. It can be made up in a day. There are about 12 shades of sunglasses that only take 20 minutes to complete. As fashionable city, choosing glasses as souvenirs or for your own eyewear is totally great idea when visit Venice.
You must have heard about the women prison in Venice. It is located in on the island of Guidecca. The prison garden produces vegetables which are sold at the near market each week. The inmates there are also learn tailoring. You can buy their products in Banco Lotto no 10. It is a shop located in Castello. The prices are relatively cheap but the products made of quality fabrics. For your information, the design house of Fortuny is one of those who donate materials used for the inmates to tailor. You can buy various products such as bags or clothes that fit your style. Since the price is cheap, you can buy as many products as you want.
Antico Dhogeria Mascari
You can also visit he Rialto stalwart of Antico Dhogeria Mascari. It is where you can shop various things which are distinctively Venice. There are many things to buy started from herbs, spices, olive oils, to candied fruit. The staffs are friendly and they are always ready to help you choose what you need. You will find rare ingredients you cannot find in regular Venice’s gastronomic shops. You can buy every product in small, medium, to large boxes. If you are looking for Venice’s finest grappas, this is the right place to visit.
Surf camp, in its most basic definition, is a camp for surfers. It’s not actually camping as in a tent (though some accommodation offer “glamping—glamour camping” tent for surfers), but mostly like a dorm hotel infused with surf vibes and facilities. Surf camp is where surfers from any part of the world gather to sleep, learn surf together with certified instructor, and shares likeminded ideas. It’s one of the most fun and cost-efficient way to spend a surfing holiday. Here in Bali, surf camp is popular—though it fall to one of the niche of tourism industry. If you are thinking of having a surf holiday in this Island of Gods and stay at surf camp, here are some essential information you would want to know.
Surf Camp in Bali Does Look Like A Villa
Yep. Aside from having surf board and other surf equipments, surf camp Bali typically looks like your regular holiday villa with modern rustic interior, lush gardens, and swimming pool. Of course, there are several options of rooms to choose. You could either choose private accommodation with king size bed, ensuite bathrooms, and private balcony, go for twin beds share room, or stay at four to six beds dorm.
However, you need to get extra thorough while choosing a surf camp in Bali, especially if you are looking through general online listing. Some regular villa label themselves as a surf camp just to attract more visitor, without actually provide appropriate surfing equipments. Always check whether they list surf board rental and certified surf instructor on their facility.
Not As Much Choices As Spain or Portugal
Do not mistaken. Bali has ABUNDANT of accommodation. Hotel, villa, resort, dorm, you name it. But if you compare to Spain and Portugal where the surfing culture is more prominent, you might find less option of surf camp in Bali. As Portugal’s main attraction if the surfing itself, it’s not a wonder to find surfing-oriented accommodation blooms in the country. After all, you can say that surfing is one of the centre of Portugal’s mass tourism.
Bali, in the other side, is a popular destination for holiday in general. The island has so much to offer—tour to temples and ancient heritage, cultural excursion, beaches just for relax and fun, UNESCO worthy rice terraces, lush jungles adventures, and many others. In short, Bali has very wide range of attraction and more generic travelers who come to the island. Surfing tribes, while greatly influential, are just one slice of the bigger pie in Bali’s tourism industry.
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Some Surf School in Bali Has No Accommodation
Be extra careful while choosing between surf school and surf camp in Bali. They could be different! While all surf camps are guaranteed to have bed and breakfast accommodation (plus additional yoga/ other classes in the package), some surf school stick to just that. These surf schools offer half to full day programme to learn surf without needing you to sleep at their premises. You can just stay at whichever hotel/ villa that you like and sign up for the program. This is perfect for a digital nomad that has settled in their own villa, someone who’s travelling with a non-surfer family/ companion, or someone who just want to give surfing a try.
The name Indonesia might be far away from Westerners’ ears. The country itself, indeed, is located in the Far East. Although Indonesia does not have the best quality for living, but the country really has the best natural landscape to explore. There are more than 17.000 islands laying in the world’s biggest archipelago country that probably can’t be wholly explored in just a single lifetime. Having a wide range of biodiversity, Indonesia is a very rich country in terms of its nature. From the smallest creatures to the biggest one. From the most beautiful to the ugliest one. Indonesia has them all. As one of the biggest and the ugliest one, Indonesia has its Mola Mola in Nusa Penida, Bali.
Being the most visited island in Indonesia, Bali is not only offering its visitor the best cultural experience to explore but also offering one of the world’s most amazing underwater life to see. Visiting the Mola Mola Bali is among all the must-see underwater wildlife in the Island of God. The name Mola comes from a Latin word for “millstone” because of its gray, round body and rough texture. The fish has some other name as well. In English, it is called ocean sunfish while in other languages it will be named in such a way that has a meaning of moonfish in English.
Mola Mola Bali is the Heaviest Bony Fish in the Sea
Mola Mola Bali can reach a weight of nearly 5.000 pounds. It is heavier than the heaviest a giraffe can be. Meanwhile, the width can reach up to 14 feet vertically and 10 feet horizontally. It’s safe to say that our beloved Mola Mola Bali is one of the underworld’s heaviest and probably biggest bony fishes and creatures. But, that does not mean it is easy to find. Even though there is no specifically Mola Mola season in Bali, there are several conditions that make it possible to see this big fish.
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It is also the Ugliest and Confused-looking Fish in the Sea
The Mola Mola spends most of its time in the deep sea, not because the fish is shy for its appearance. Well to be fair, it honestly look like a giant half-finished fish with constantly confused-looking eyes and a gaping mouth that can’t ever close. It is because it prefers colder water. Nevertheless, our sunfish also loves to swim close to the surface sometimes. So, if you are brave enough to dive deep and face the ugly fish, then go ahead. To add some other facts, this ugly fish is covered with 40 different species of parasites on its skin. Whenever you encounter this ugly fish intentionally or not, you should be prepared to see a creature that looks more likely a monster or alien.
Different personality tend to have different tendencies or styles including for travelling. For example, introverts and extroverts tend to have different style in travel. They may enjoy their travel differently in some ways which show their different personality. However, keep in mind that people are not always 100% introvert or extrovert. There are some people who are somewhere in between. There are also people who have introvert characteristics dominating their personalities and vice versa. If you are an introvert, you may need to create your own version in making your travel more enjoyable? Why?
Are you introvert who likes travelling?
Just because you are introvert doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy travelling. There are many experienced travelers out there with introvert personality but that doesn’t stop them from going from place to another happily. They have their own way to enjoy their travel. So why you have to create your own style for enjoyable travel if you are an introvert?
It is said that travel is designed for extroverts. It is also because travel favors the extroverts more. It is created based on human connection as well as finding communality in the unknown. During travel, you are forced to interact with people, especially strangers. You order your foods, hailing cab, and booking hotel room. All of them requires you to interact with strangers which sound to be not a problem for extroverts with their tendency to talk freely even with the person they just meet few minutes ago. Travel is more favorable for extroverts as well because the situation and experience looks easier for them to enjoy. Being outside of comfort zone, talking to strangers, facing the unexpected, socializing, always be ready to try new challenges, are what the extroverts find no problem with.
So, if you are an introvert and want to enjoy your travel to the max, you may need these tips.
You can try alternate staying in private rooms and shared rooms. There is high possibility that you will get irritated or overwhelmed if you stay too long in shared accommodation. You also need to allocate time to recharge yourself by having your own space for a while. You may need time for relaxation and reflection. Thus, Going with others and by yourself in the same day can be draining for you. You can plan a day to enjoy the trip with other fellow travelers. Then, you can spend the next day for yourself.
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When you are an introvert, it might not be comfortable to eat in restaurants with too many people. However, it is quite hard to be picky during travel and you won’t always get peaceful restaurant to eat out at. To reduce stress feelings, try things that can distract you from your surroundings. For example, you can bring your books to read so you don’t always have to talk to the strangers when you don’t feel like it. You also don’t have to overthink about being introvert too much and rather focus more on what your goals of the trip.