Top 3 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent

Why should I use a travel agent to book my trip instead of booking it myself on the internet? This is a question I had to answer recently for a potential client with whom I was speaking to for the first time. As a travel professional, I get this type of question a lot.

In this article I will reveal to you how I answered this question and how you can benefit from using the services of a professional travel agent versus booking your own travel online using a travel search engine.

1. Save time.

Sure you can spend hours, days, even months researching destinations and going from website to website in order to plan your own travel itinerary, but why would you want to do that? Time is a precious commodity that we can never get back. While you are spending all this time doing research and going from website to website to see if you can get a better deal, you could have more easily picked up the phone to have a travel agent do this research for you.

Professional travel agents are trained to do this because it’s their job. A travel professional can do all the research, coordinate all the logistics, and put together a complete itinerary for your trip in a fraction of the time you can do it for yourself.

2. Use the agent’s knowledge and resources.

Travel agents are trained travel professionals. It’s their job to know the ins and outs of popular travel destinations. Although there is a ton of information on the internet readily available to the public, travel professionals have first-hand knowledge of many or most of the destinations you may choose to visit.

Secondly, travel professionals often have resources to inventory, special offers, and discounts available only to travel professionals to offer their clients. By using an agent, you’ll be able to take advantage of these resources.

3. The travel agent advocates for you should something go wrong on your trip.

Let’s say you have booked a flight and hotel online on one of the highly-advertised travel sites. Bingo! You’re all set. Or are you?

You check your confirmation and realize that you booked the wrong date. So you call customer service and you wait and wait; then finally you get a customer service representative who then tells you that there’s a fee to change your reservation. Okay so you pay the fee, after all you don’t have much of a choice.

The day comes for you to catch your flight. You get to your destination, but your luggage does not. The airline has lost one of your bags. So you’re stuck again with a problem, and call customer service again. You get to your hotel to rest from your long day, and find that your hotel room isn’t ready. Here you go again.

Now I’m not implying that a travel agent could have prevented all of this, but as a member of the travel industry, travel agents have special relationships with travel vendors. A complaint call or letter from a travel agent is more likely to get an expedited response than a letter from you, because of the agent’s relationship with the travel vendor.

I know what you’re thinking. You think that you’ll pay more to use a travel agent. It’s an incorrect assumption to think that using the services of a travel agent will be more expensive than booking your own travel online. Although some agents charge a service, the benefits of using a professional travel agent far outweigh the risks of not using an agent.

Promoting Literacy in School Libraries in Sierra Leone

INTRODUCTION

The heart of information literacy is contained within definitions used to describe it. Traditionally librarians have given ‘library induction’ or ‘library skills training’ in a limited role. Library users need to know where the catalogue is, what the services are, and most importantly where the inquiry desk is. This is not to reduce the value of traditional library induction, but libraries and information are also changing. The provision of information through a library in a traditional form has gone through radical alterations. Already in most library and information organizations staffs are adjusting their services with the provision of new media and access to information provision within these organizations. Thus librarians are talking about social inclusion, opportunity, life-long learning, information society and self development.

A plethora of definitions for information literacy abound in books, journal papers and the web. Some of these definitions center on the activities of information literacy i.e. identifying the skills needed for successful literate functioning. Other definitions are based on the perspective of an information literate person i.e. trying to outline the concept of information literacy. Deriving therefore a single definition is a complex process of collecting together a set of ideas as to what might be, should be, or may be considered a part of information literacy. For example Weber and Johnson (2002) defined information literacy as the adoption of appropriate information behavior to obtain, through whatever channel or medium, information well fitted to information needs, together with critical awareness of the importance of wise and ethical use of information in society. The American Library Association (2003) defined information literacy as a set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information. While CLIP (2004) defined information literacy as knowing when and why one needs information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner. Succinctly these definitions imply that information literacy requires not only knowledge but also skills in:

• recognizing when information is needed;
• resources available
• locating information;
• evaluating information;
• using information;
• ethics and responsibility of use of information;
• how to communicate or share information;
• how to manage information

Given therefore the variety of definitions and implied explanation information literacy is a cluster of abilities that an individual can employ to cope with, and to take advantage of the unprecedented amount of information which surrounds us in our daily life and work.

STRUCTURE OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM

Sierra Leone’s current educational system is composed of six years of formal primary education, three years of Junior Secondary School (JSS), three years Senior Secondary School (SSS) and four years of tertiary education-6-3-3-4. (The Professor Gbamanja Commission’s Report of 2010 recommended an additional year for SSS to become 6-3-4-4). The official age for primary school pupils is between six and eleven years. All pupils at the end of class six are required to take and pass the National Primary School Examinations designed by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to enable them proceed to the secondary school divided into Junior Secondary School(JSS) and Senior Secondary School (SSS). Each part has a final examination: the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) for the JSS, and the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) for SSS, both conducted by WAEC. Successful candidates of WASSCE are admitted to tertiary institutions based on a number of subjects passed (GoSL,1995)

The curriculum of primary schools emphasizes communication competence and the ability to understand and manipulate numbers. At the JSS level, the curriculum is general and comprehensive, encompassing the whole range of knowledge, attitudes and skills in cognitive, affect, and psychomotor domains. The core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science and Social studies are compulsory for all pupils. At the SSS level, the curriculum is determined by its nature (general or specialist), or its particular objectives. Pupils are offered a set of core (compulsory) subjects with optional subjects based on their specialization. Teaching is guided by the teaching syllabuses and influenced by the external examinations that pupils are required to take at the 3/ 4-year course. English is the language of instruction (GoSL,1995).

The countries two universities, three polytechnics, and two teacher training colleges are responsible for the training of teachers in Sierra Leone. The Universities Act of 2004 provides for private universities so that these institutions too could help in the training of teachers. Programs range from the Teacher Certificate offered by the teacher training colleges to the Masters in Education offered by universities. Pre-service certification of teachers is the responsibility of the National Council for Technical, Vocational and Other Academic Awards (NCTVA). There is also an In-service Teacher Training program (Distance Education Program) conducted for teachers in part to reduce the number of untrained and unqualified teachers especially in the rural areas.

LITERACY IN SIERRA LEONE

In Sierra Leone as it is in most parts of the developing world literacy involves one’s ability to read, write and numeracy. It is the ability to function effectively in life contexts. A literate person is associated with the possession of skills and knowledge and how these could be applied within his local environment. For instance a literate person is believed to be able to apply chemical fertilizer to his crops, fill in a loans form, determine proper dosage of medicine, calculate cash cropping cost and profits, glean information from a newspaper, make out a bank deposit slip and understanding instructions and basic human rights.

Literacy is at the heart of the country’s development goals and human rights (World Bank, 2007). Wherever practiced literacy activities are part of national and international strategies for improved education, human development and well-being. According to the 2013 United Nations Human Development Index Sierra Leone has a literacy rate of 34 %. Implicitly Sierra Leone is an oral society. And oral societies rely heavily on memory to transmit their values, laws, history, music, and culture whereas the written word allows infinite possibilities for transmission and therefore of active participation in communication. These possibilities are what make the goal of literacy crucial in society.

In academic parlance literacy hinges on the printed word. Most pupils are formally introduced to print when they encounter schoolbook. School teachers in Sierra Leone continue to use textbooks in their teaching activities to convey content area information to pupils. It is no gainsaying that pupils neither maximise their learning potential nor read at levels necessary for understanding the type of materials teachers would like them to use. Thus the performance of pupils at internal and public examinations is disappointing. Further pupils’ continued queries in the library demonstrate that they do not only lack basic awareness of resources available in their different school libraries but also do not understand basic rudiments of how to source information and materials from these institutions. What is more worrisome is that pupils do not use appropriate reading skills and study strategies in learning. There is a dearth of reading culture in schools and this situation cuts across the fabric of society. In view of the current support the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) to establish literacy standards in school this situation has proved frustrating as teachers do not know how to better help pupils to achieve this goal. Thus they look up to the school librarians to play a more proactive role.

LITERACY DEMANDS ON SECONDARY SCHOOL PUPILS

In everyday situations school pupils are expected to be able to identify and seek information they need. Providing a variety of reading and writing experiences using varied materials in the school library can help develop pupils’ literacy ability (Roe, Stoodt-Hill and Burns, 2004). The mode of assessment in schools in Sierra Leone includes class exercises, tests, written and practical assignments, as well as written examinations to see pupils through to their next levels. These pupils, for example, need to read content books and supplementary materials in school for homework. Pupils have even more literacy needs in their activities outside school. They need to read signs found in their communities, job applications, road maps and signs, labels on food and medicine, newspapers, public notices, bank statements, bills and many other functional materials. Failure to read and understand these materials can result in their committing traffic violations, having unpleasant reactions to food or medicine, becoming lost, losing employment opportunities and missing desirable programs. Equally so pupils need to write to their relatives and loved ones, instructions to people who are doing things for them, notes to themselves about tasks to be completed, phone messages for colleagues and many other items. Mistakes in these activities can have negative effects on them. Good literacy skills are especially important to pupils who plan to pursue higher education studies. The job market in the country calls for pupils to be literate. For instance most jobs advertised these days require people who have completed their JSS. The fact is that workers need to be able to understand graphic aids, categorized information and skim and scan to locate information. Also the nature of reading in the workplace generally involves locating information for immediate use and inferring information for problem solving. The reading and writing of a variety of documents like memos, manuals, letters, reports and instructions are necessary literacy skills in the workplace.

SCHOOL LIBRARIES IN SIERRA LEONE

School libraries in Sierra Leone are perceived as integral aspect of the county’s educational system. These institutions bring together four major components of the school community: the materials, pupils, teacher and library staff. The main purpose for the establishment of these institutions in schools is to complement the teaching/learning process, if not to support the curriculum. This purpose is achieved in two ways: by providing pupils with the means of finding whatever information they need; and by developing in pupils the habit of using books both for information and for pleasure. Pupils need information to help them with the subjects they learn in school. The textbooks they use and the notes they take in class can be an excellent foundation. They may also be sufficient for revision purposes. But these could not be enough to enable pupils to write good essays of their own or to carry out group projects. School libraries then are expected to complement this effort and therefore are perceived as learning centers.

Pupils need information on subjects not taught in school. School libraries are looked upon as places pupils find information to help them in their school studies and personal development. Through these institutions pupils’ habit of using libraries for life-long education is not only developed but also school libraries could be used to improve pupils’ reading skills. In the school community both pupils and teachers use school libraries for leisure and recreational purpose and for career advancement. The culture of society is also transmitted through use of school libraries. Because of the important role school libraries play in the country’s educational system they are organized in such way that pupils as well as teachers can rely upon them for support in the teaching/learning process. Most of these institutions are managed by either a full-time staff often supervised by a senior teacher. Staffs use varied methods to promote their use including user education.

JUSTIFYING THE LIBRARIAN’S INVOLVEMENT IN PROMOTING LITERACY IN SCHOOL

A pre-requisite for the development of autonomous pupils through flexible resource-based learning approaches is that pupils master a set of skills which gradually enable them to take control of their own learning. Current emphasis in teaching in schools in Sierra Leone has shifted from “teacher-centred” to “pupil-centred” approach thereby making pupils to “learn how to learn” for themselves so that the integration of process skills into the design of the school curriculum becomes crucial (GoSL,1995). It is in this area of “learning” or “information literacy” skills that one can most clearly see the inter-relationship between the school curriculum and the school library. For pupils to become independent users of information and for this to occur it is vital that they are given the skills to learn how to find information, how to select what is relevant, and how to use it in the best way possible for their own particular needs and take responsibility for their own learning. As information literate, pupils will be able to manage information skillfully and efficiently in a variety of contexts. They will be capable of weighing information carefully and wisely to determine its quality (Marcum2002). Pupils do recognize that having good information is central to meeting the opportunity and challenges of day-to-day living. They are also aware of the importance of how researching across a variety of sources and formats to locate the best information to meet particular needs.

Literacy activities in schools in Sierra Leone are the responsibility of content area teachers, reading consultants and school librarians. Of these the role of the school librarian is paramount. As specialist the school librarian is expected to provide assistance to pupils and teachers alike by locating materials in different subjects, and at different reading levels by making available materials that can be used for motivation and background reading. The school librarian is also expected to provide pupils with instructions in locating strategies related to the library such as doing online searches and skimming through printed reference materials. The librarian is expected to display printed materials within his purview, write specialised bibliographies and lists of addresses on specific subjects at the request of teachers. He should be able to provide pupils with direct assistance in finding and using appropriate materials; recreational reading can be fostered by the librarian’s book talks or attractive book displays on high-interest topics like HIV/AIDS, child abuse, child rights, human rights and poverty alleviation. In view of this the fundamental qualities expected of the good school librarian include knowledge of his collection and how to access it; ability to understand the needs of his users more so those of pupils; ability to communicate with pupils and adult users; and knowledge of information skills and how to use information.

ROLE OF THE SCHOOL LIBRARIAN

Pupils’ success in school depends to a large extent upon their ability to access, evaluate and use information. Providing access to information and resources is a long-standing responsibility of the school librarian. The school librarian should provide the leadership and expertise necessary to ensure that the library becomes integral in the instructional program of the school. In school the librarian is the information specialist, teacher and instructional consultant. He is the interface responsible for guiding pupils and teachers through the complex information resources housed in his library (Lenox and Walker, 1993). He is looked up to assist and guide numerous users in seeking to use and understand the resources and services of the library. In this respect the school librarian should inculcate in these users such skills as manual and online searching of information; use of equipment; developing critical skills for the organization, evaluation and use of information and ideas as integral part of the curriculum (Lonsdale, 2003). The school librarian should be aware of the range of available information retrieval systems, identify that most suitable to the needs of pupils and provide expertise in helping them become knowledgeable, if not comfortable, in their use. Since no library is self-sufficient the school librarian can network with information agencies, lending/renting materials and/or using electronic devises to transmit information (Tilke, 1998; 2002).

As information specialist the school librarian should be able to share his expertise with those who may wish to know what information sources and/or learning materials are available to support a program of work. Such consultation should be offered to the whole school through the curriculum development committee or to individual subject teachers. The school librarian should take the lead in developing pupils’ information literacy skills by being involved with the school curriculum planning and providing a base of resources to meet its needs. He should be aware of key educational initiatives and their impact in teaching and learning; he should be familiar with teaching methods and learning styles in school; over all he should maintain an overview of information literacy program within the school (Herring, 1996; Kuhlthau, 2004).

Kuhlthau (2004) opined that information seeking is a primary activity of life and that pupils seek information to deepen and broaden their understanding of the world around them. When therefore, information in school libraries is placed in a larger context of learning, pupils’ perspective becomes an essential component in information provision. The school librarian should ensure that skills, knowledge and attitude concerning information access, use and communication, are integral part of the school curriculum. Information skills are crucial in the life-long learning process of pupils. As short term objective the school librarian should provide a means of achieving learning objectives within the curriculum; as long term information skills have a direct impact on individual pupils’ ability to deal effectively with a changing environment. Therefore the school librarian should work in concert with teachers and administrators to define the scope and sequence of the information relevant to the school curriculum and ensure its integration throughout the instructional programs (Tilke, 2002; Birks and Hunt, 2003). Pupils should be encouraged to realize their potential as informed citizens who critically think and solve problems. In view of the relationship between the curriculum and school library, the librarian should serve on the curriculum committee ensuring that information access skills are incorporated into subject areas. The school librarian’s involvement in the curriculum development will permit him to provide advice on the use of a variety of instructional strategies such as learning centers and problem-solving software, effective in communicating content to pupils (Herring, 1996; Birks and Hunt, 2003).

Literacy could be actively developed as pupils need access to specific resources, demonstrate understanding of their functionality and effective searching skills. In this regard pupils should be given basic instruction to the library, its facilities and services and subsequent use. Interactive teaching methods aimed at information literacy education should be conducted for the benefit of pupils. Teaching methods could include an outline of a variety of aides like quizzes and worksheets of differing complexity level to actively engage pupils in learning library skills and improving their information literacy. Classes should be divided into small groups so that pupils could have hands-on-experience using library resources. Where Internet services are available in the library online tutorials should be provided. Post session follow-up action will ensure that pupils receive hands-on-experience using library resources. Teaching methods should be constantly evaluated to identify flaws and improve on them.

Further the school librarian should demonstrate willingness to support and value pupils in their use of the library through: provision of readers’ guides; brochures; book marks; library handbooks/guides; computerization of collection; helpful guiding throughout the library; and regular holding of book exhibitions and book fairs. Since there are community radio stations in the country the school librarian could buy air time to report library activities, resources and services. He can also communicate to pupils through update newspapers. Pupils could be encouraged to contribute articles on library development, book reviews and information about opening times and services. The school librarian could help pupils to form book and reading clubs, organize book weeks and book talks using visiting speakers and renowned writers to address pupils. Classes could also be allowed to visit the library to facilitate use. More importantly the school librarian should provide assistance to pupils in the use of technology to access information outside the library. He should offer pupils opportunities related to new technology, use and production of varied media formats, and laws and polices regarding information. In order to build a relevant resource base for the school community the librarian should constantly carry out needs assessment, comparing changing demands to available resources.

The Internet is a vital source for promoting literacy in the school library. The school librarian should ensure that the library has a website that will serve as guide to relevant and authoritative sources and as a tool for learning whereby pupils and teachers are given opportunity to share ideas and solutions (Herring, 2003). Through the Internet pupils can browse the library website to learn how to search and develop information literacy skills. In order for pupils to tap up-to-date sources from the Net the school librarian should constantly update the home page, say on a daily basis, if necessary. Simultaneously the school librarian should avail to pupils and teachers sheets/guides to assist them in carrying out their own independent researches. He should give hands-on-experience training to users to share ideas with others through the formation of “lunch time” or “after school support groups”. Such activities could help pupils to develop ideas and searching information for a class topic and assignment.

Even the location of the library has an impact in promoting literacy in school. The library should be centrally located, close to the maximum number of teaching areas. It should be able to seat at least ten per cent of school pupils at any given time, having a wide range of resources vital for teaching and learning programs offered in school. The library should be characterized by good signage for the benefit of pupil and teacher users with up-to-date displays to enhance the literacy skills of pupils and stimulating their intellectual curiosity.

CONCLUSION

Indeed the promotion of literacy should be integral in the school curriculum and that the librarian should be able to play a leading role to ensure that the skills, knowledge and attitudes related to information access are inculcated in pupils and teachers alike as paramount users of the school library. But the attainment of this goal is dependent on a supportive school administration, always willing and ready to assist the library and its programs financially. To make the librarian more effective he should be given capacity building to meeting the challenges of changing times.

REFERENCES

American Library Association (2003). ‘Introduction to information literacy.’
Birks, J. & Hunt, F. (2003). Hands-on information literacy activities. London: Neal-Schumann.
CLIP (2004).’Information Literacy: definition.’
GoSL (2010). Report of the Professor Gbamanja Commission of Inquiry into the Poor Performance of Pupils in the 2008 BECE and WASSCE Examinations (Unpublished).
___________(1995). New Education policy for Sierra Leone. Freetown: Department of Education.
Herring, James E. (1996). Teaching information skills in schools. London: Library Association Publishing.
__________________ (2003).The Internet and information skills: a guide for teachers and librarians. London: Facet Publishing.
Kahlthau, C. C. (2004). Seeking meaning: a process approach to library and information services. 2nd. ed. London: Libraries Unlimited.
Lenox, M. F. & Walker, M. L.(1993). ‘Information Literacy in the education process.’ The Educational Forum, 52 (2): 312-324.
Lonsdale, Michael (2003). Impact of school libraries on student achievement: a review of research. Camberwell: Australian Council of Educational Research.
Marcum, J. W. (2002). ‘ Rethinking Information Literacy,’ Library Quarterly, 72:1-26.
Roe, Betty D., Stoodt-Hill & Burns, Paul C. (2004).Secondary School Literacy instruction: the content areas. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Tilke, A. (1998). On-the-job sourcebook for school librarians. London: Library Association.
_________ (2002). Managing your school library and information service: a practical handbook. London: Facet Publishing.
Weber, S. & Johnston, B. ( 2002). ‘Assessment in the Information Literate University.’ Conference: Workshop 1st International Conference on IT and Information Literacy, 20th- 22nd. \March 2002, Glasgow, Scotland. Parallel Session 3, Thursday 21st March,2002.
World Bank (2007). Education in Sierra Leone; present challenges, future opportunities. Washington,DC: World Bank.

Three Different Types of Kitchen Furniture

When you are searching for kitchen furniture, you will notice quickly that there are lots of different types going from retro kitchen furniture to antique kitchen furniture. In this article you will read about islands, pot racks and carts. If you want to read on, you’re making a good choice. When finished reading this post you will know all about kitchen furniture. As you see we’ll explain quite a bit, so let’s head on.

Kitchen carts are very versatile and can really be put to good use. You can use a cart for storage but also for a mobile workplace. If your kitchen’s counter isn’t that large, you might be willing to extend your counter with a kitchen cart. Metal and wood are the main components of a kitchen cart. Almost if not all kitchen cards have either drawers or shelves to store your kitchen supplies. Kitchen carts are pretty versatile as you’re not limited to use it for storage or for a mobile workplace, you can also use them as a kitchen table. It’s only a little bit smaller but hey, it’s on wheels. In the old days you really didn’t have such modern furniture kitchen but now you do, so use it.

A different type of kitchen furniture is the pot rack. They are handy little things allowing you to store your pots and pans in one place. The prices really vary on these as there are a lot of models out there. They can go from really basic to more exclusive and the price goes with it of course. The main reason to get a pot rack is to create more space in the kitchen and to have a more soothing feeling when you feel that everything is organized in the kitchen.

Another piece of furniture: island. The island is also mostly used for storage and creating more space in the kitchen. When it comes to furniture though all of the different pieces have their uses, but they also bring a whole new look to your kitchen. You can make the kitchen give a more at home feeling when you get different types of furniture in your kitchen.

Affordable Dental Care Available

Affordable dental care is available. Dental care may be one of the most unmet health care needs but if it’s affordable, your needs can be met. When you forgo dental care, you may be putting yourself at risk for more serious health conditions. It is bad enough that you will lose your teeth if you do not take care of them, but you may also be affecting your brain, heart, and immune system as well. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the gum disease that causes tooth loss (called periodontitis) is associated with other more serious conditions like bacterial pneumonia, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. There are other reports that indicate an unhealthy mouth may be linked to diabetes. Without the proper dental care, small cavities or painful teeth can lead to more serious conditions than just tooth decay. You should not delay making an appointment.

Affordable dental care is available for people on a budget in the form of a “discount dental plan”. What is this? It is an alternative to traditional dental insurance that allows you to see a dentist quickly without breaking your wallet. Many major insurance companies offer an affordable dental care package that offers comprehensive coverage at a discounted price. This is to help people on a budget get the care they need quickly.

Discount dental plans are different from traditional insurance in four different ways:

#1 – Instant savings. Once you have your membership, you get a discount of 10-60% off of most procedures. You pay the dentist directly for their services and there are no hidden fees. For example, you need a procedure that usually costs $249. As a member of the discount network, you are eligible for a 60% discount on that procedure. Therefore, you would only have to pay $99 to get your dental work done ($249 – 60% = $99). That’s it. No additional fees will be charged. This significantly reduced rate allows you to get affordable dental care quickly. If you need to make payment arrangements, you can discuss it directly with the dentist.

#2 No paperwork hassles. With traditional insurance, there is a lengthy waiting period that you must go through while the insurance company decides whether or not you are eligible for coverage. This is called the underwriting period. There is no lengthy underwriting period with a discount plan. Your membership is usually active within 3 business days from the time you join the discount network. If you choose coverage for your family, they will be covered at the same time you are.

#3 – No monthly premiums. There are no monthly bills to pay. Once you have your discount plan membership, you are covered for an entire year.

#4 – No deductibles. There are no deductibles to pay before your benefits kick in. Once you are a member of the network, you are fully eligible for member savings. The dentists in the network offer their dental care services to members at a significantly reduced rate.

Over 65s Travel Insurance – 4 Reasons Why It Is So Important

Is you are wondering if holiday insurance is really worth it, It is far more important than you think! If you are thinking about not taking out insurance to save a few dollars, think twice. You could financially ruin your retirement. It can be obscenely expensive to access health care overseas. There are a few companies out there that specialize in over 65s travel insurance. You just need to do a Google search to hunt them down. Here are 4 of the top reasons why getting travel insurance is absolutely necessary, especially when you’re looking forward to enjoying your retirement.

In travel, there’s a wise saying that goes: “If you can’t afford to get travel insurance, then you can’t afford to travel at all.” Getting insurance has always been important, but it’s even MORE important today, with the state of world travel. Here’s reason #1:

Reason #1 – To Cover Health Emergencies.

It’s a hard fact to swallow, but most of us simply aren’t as healthy and strong as a senior citizen as we were in our 20’s and 30’s. That’s why it’s always a good idea to get travel insurance to cover health emergencies. Adequate travel insurance will even cover the costs if you have to be flown home, even if you’re on a stretcher and have to take up the space of six to nine seats! However, don’t expect to be covered for pre-existing illnesses, you are considered a high risk. This fact should save you hours of search time.

Reason #2 – To Cover Travel Delay Costs.

Cancellations and delays are a fact of travel. Just in case your first flight gets delayed and you miss your connecting flight, adequate travel insurance will cover the costs of re-booking, hotel, and food. It’ll soften the blow of the delay, and perhaps even give you a chance to explore the town of your stopover a bit!

Reason #3 – To Cover Trip Cancellation.

Remember that weekend trip that got canceled because you got sick on Friday? Unfortunately, that can also happen now, even if you’re already free from the stresses of work! So as a precaution, get some travel insurance to cover the costs in case the trip does get canceled.

Getting adequate travel insurance will also make sure you’re covered in case your travel agency suddenly goes bankrupt. Unfortunately, it happens, particularly online travel agencies. There are so many small travel agencies popping up these days, some unfortunately not as deep-pocketed than others.

Reason #4 – In Case Of Insurrection.

Switch on the news these days, and you’ll see a revolution here and there, an earthquake, cyclone or tsunami. Unfortunately, things aren’t doing so well in many parts of the world. These things tend to happen without any warning! What will you do if a situation changes at your destination?

Ask the travel agency (or the travel insurance provider) if they cover the costs incurred by such events. If you’re not sure, read the fine print. If you’re not 100% about the peace-and-order situation in your intended destination, then you’d better get covered. Travel insurance should not only cover trip cancellation in case your government releases a travel warning to a particular destination, but if something should happen when you are in a country, they can help with evacuation.

So the next time you plan your vacation, factor in the costs of travel insurance. After all, you can’t totally enjoy your vacation if you don’t have the peace of mind that only travel insurance can give you! There are plenty of options available for seniors and over 65s travel insurance.

Long Term Travel Insurance Is All Important For Long Term Travelers

For most businessmen and their associates, travel is an important part of the business. It is in traveling that they get the chance to meet investors, clients and promote their company. Many business executives choose to meet their prospective clients outside their home country to impress them. These are the businessmen that love to show off their traveling capacities. Aside from businessmen, some housewives also tend to travel a lot nowadays. In the past decade, the majority of travelers are men and it is still true today but it has been notable that there is a vast increase in the percentage of female travelers. One of the reasons is that since there are many men who work abroad, they barely get the chance to see their significant other.

Therefore, it is the women nowadays who do traveling to visit their husband for some tender loving care. Also, a certain percentage of the overall travelers include students. More and more students are encouraged to leave their country and seek education in another land. For some, they do this to lessen their expenses since studying in another country is cheaper. Say for example, many Koreans, Japanese and even Indians are studying English in the Philippines because it is much cheaper than their motherland. On the other hand, some Filipino students choose to study abroad in order to be more competitive with the real world. Other countries also have many different specialties when it comes to education. The Philippines is well known for its world class facility, the International Rice Reserve Institute while Harvard is best known for its Law and Economic courses.

Whatever the travel’s purpose is, still, many travelers are vulnerable to the perils of loss of baggage, medical needs, and all the others that come in between. Long term travel insurance is the answer for travelers who stay in a place longer than the usual leisure travel. Some of the packages are valid for one hundred eighty days to three hundred sixty five days. Of course, the package is all up to the consumer. This type of travel insurance must be bought directly to a reputable insurance company. A well known insurance company that provides long term travel insurance is the 1Cover Travel Insurance. They are always ready for inquiries regarding long term travel insurance. They understand the needs of every traveler and are always willing to cater to their client’s insurance needs. They also give quotes for those who are interested in getting insurance.

In conclusion, it is very much obvious that long term travel insurance for long term travelers is all important. Perry Wilson quotes, “The world is so accessible now, even more so than 10 to 15 years ago and gap years have grown so popular that employers are becoming increasingly flexible in allowing employees a few months off to travel. However when you are older you have a greater number of responsibilities than those of a younger age so taking out a good backpacker travel insurance policy is as necessity.”

How To Benefit With Child Care Training

Choosing a career in child care requires a natural love for children, the ability to be creative and inspiring, and consistent child care training. There are many ways to receive child care training which depends on if you are working for yourself or for a company.

It takes many character qualities to work with children successfully and among these characteristics is patience. You also need to use your imagination as well as your talents. If this is your first position in a child care career you may find it difficult to switch from a corporate setting or office setting to a relaxed atmosphere full of vivid colors, shapes, and toys.

Training for a company

If you are working for a children care company they may pay and provide child care training for all their employees. During child care training you will learn different topics to help you prepare for your career as a children’s care provider. The company that you are working for may require that you have so many hours of training and they may decide what topic they want you to receive child care training in and they will probably also pay for it as well. This care training can last anywhere from eight hours to twenty-four months, depending on what type of certification you are required to obtain.

Training for your business

If you have decided to open your home to other families and become a children care provider, you will need to first determine what type of training for child you need. The requirements for a care provider is different in every state so you will need to check with your local health and human resources department to determine what type of children’s care training is required before you can begin to provide care for them in your home. You will also need to determine what type of training you will need to continue to care for children in your home every year.

Training College Courses

If you love taking care of children and want to make a career of it, you may want to consider obtaining a child development degree or child care associate degree so you can open up your very own child care center outside of your home. You may also want to work for a child day care center in your local community instead of opening your own center. It’s not easy to obtain this training and it requires many hours of hard work, class time, and studying however it will be worth it when you have a degree and the job of your dreams.

Children’s care training can be provided locally in your community, at a college, or online. You can also receive training materials in the mail that allow you to read the instruction manual and then take a written test in order to achieve your certification in that particular area of children’s care.

How To Create The Boho Fashion Look

Boho or bohemian fashion has been given a revival over the past few years being favored by a whole host of celebrities including Sienna Miller, the Olsen Twins, Josh Stone, Kate Hudson and Emma Watson among others and continues to be popular across all the fashion seasons. Harking back to a by gone era and reinvented as a must have festival fashion style, the boho fashion look is a must for not only the festival goer but also for fashion lovers who adore feminine fabrics and bold pattern prints.

Boho fashion is a fabulous frugal fashionista style, completely on trend and when you’re on a budget, boho styled outfits can easily be put together from a mix and match of existing pieces within your wardrobe to create a more individual look without breaking the bank. Bohemian clothing is traditionally float and brings together several pieces and accessories for example a printed floaty maxi dress complimented by wooden jewellery and a summer wide-brimmed floppy hat is a gorgeous summer outfit. Think mixed up shades, colors and textures to get a feel for the richness a boho outfit can achieve and give you an outfit that is relaxed and comfy enough for your every day activities.

What’s exciting about creating boho outfits is that you can mix and match your accessories to compliment the clothes – the hobo style handbag and chunky wooden jewellery. Take it one step further and match your boho fashions looks with a bohemian lifestyle and engage in yoga and pilates.

Creating The Overall Boho Outfit Look:

Think extremely feminine, floaty fabrics with longer length skirts, maxi dresses and tunic tops. Most boho outfits looks best using rich colors and patterns that can be contrasted on a nude base. Neon is a no go and very pale pastels don’t always achieve the look you are looking for.

Boho Evening Looks:

Opt for sari type dresses, fringed lace scarves and maxi dresses with jewelled high heels. Co-ordinate with gold long necklaces and multiple bracelets and a beaded clutch bag ensuring you mix from a rich colour palate

Boho Day Looks:

Pair a tunic with jeans and flat sandals for a modern boho look or team a casual maxi dress with flat beaded or plain gladiator sandals for a stunning feminine dress down day look. Add a crochet cardigan to keep off the chill and complete your look with a suede hobo style bag with fringes.

Boho Accessories:

Boho jewellery can be a mix of anything sumptuous and rich looking. Gems, beads, stones, wood, shells, long length necklaces and chunky bracelets are all reflect the boho accessory style. Handbags are large leather, straw or patchwork bags and are perfect for complimenting a boho outfit. On your feet think flat in neutral shades, pale yellows, greens, black or tans. Gladiator sandals, comfy suede boots, fringed flat boots and beaded flats all make up a great boho outfit.

Boho Hairstyles:

Go for a slightly undone look with your hair down and slighted tousled or loosely tied up with a clip or go for the odd few small braises in your hair. You can even introduce the vintage style headband worn around the forehead for a real boho hairstyle.

Alternative Health Treatment – 5 Questions and Answers

1. Why should I look at alternative health treatment as a realistic remedy for my ailment?

While Western medicine has advanced closely in tandem with knowledge of and experimentation with drugs as a way of treating disease and illness.

It’s not surprising, therefore, that it relies heavily on drugs and medications for treating disease. But drugs and medications are not natural to the human body, and invariably there are side-effects, often harmful.

Alternative health treatment is based wholly on natural cures not involving drugs or manufactured or processed materials. As such, it is invariably accepted by the body without resistance, so no energy is wasted in fighting it. It’s like swimming with the current rather than against it.

Besides, alternative health treatment has an excellent record in curing people of illness and disease, arguably a better record than Western medicine.

2. How does alternative health treatment differ in essentials from orthodox medical treatment?

Orthodox Western medicine depends largely on the administering of drugs and medicines, and unnatural procedures such as chemotherapy for cancer victims. It focuses largely on the symptoms rather than the underlying cause. A typical example is the taking of pain killers to cure a headache.

Alternative medicine acknowledges that the natural state of the body is one of good health, and that the body, mind and spirit are closely connected. It recognizes that all these components of the whole need to be in balance, and treats illness as a sign that they are out of balance. It therefore works to restore the natural balance and, thereby, good health. A headache would be cured by direct action on the area affected, e.g. by acupressure techniques.

3. Why don’t doctors and surgeons give more weight to alternative health treatment, and why hasn’t it made more progress in being accepted by the medical establishment?

The medical establishment consists largely of doctors and surgeons. Put yourself in the position of a doctor or surgeon. You spent seven gruelling and expensive years qualifying and passing difficult exams, and working long hours for at best mediocre pay. You now have an encyclopedic knowledge of medicines and medical drugs and procedures, and are enjoying a financially rewarding career in medicine.

Then you learn there is an alternative system of medicine based on herbs, and practices such as acupuncture that claim to be able to deal with medical conditions better than the medicine you learned at such cost in money and time. What would your feelings be towards these alternative medicines?

4. Isn’t alternative health treatment rooted in the past, and modern Western medicine with all its advanced technology the way ahead?

What matters more than anything else is what treatment will effectively cure your own particular ailment.

Just because skills such as acupuncture, acupressure and yoga have been practiced for thousands, of years in the Far East it doesn’t mean they are any less relevant today. On the contrary, it is evidence of their effectiveness.

Western medicine may have all the modern gleaming technology, but it is still a system developed and administered by humans and subject to all their faults and failings. Yes, it can and does produce some astonishing and greatly beneficial results, such as transplant surgery and artificial limbs, but in the case of common ailments and complaints, sometimes the simple methods are the best.

5. Which alternative health treatment is best – herbal, physical contact type treatment such as acupuncture or chiropractic, or supplements such as oils and enzymes?

It’s horses for courses. Different kinds of treatment best suit different kinds of illness. A general malaise, such as weight loss or gain, can often best be treated through a change in diet and the administration of herbal remedies, plus an exercise regime, whereas constant muscular pain such as back ache is best treated by someone like a chiropractor or osteopath, who can manipulate the bones and muscles so as to remove the root cause of the pain.

6 Tips to Help You Find Your Personal Style

Get to know how to add your character to the latest fashion trends and be stunned with discovering a new you.

1. What tickles your fashion persona?

It matters to know what your persona is when it comes to fashion. Some value comfort over the hot fashion trends, and some really go for what is the latest. It’s either you are the sporty gal or that lady who enjoys floral. One’s personal fashion style does not need to just be on the safe side. You can always explore, but make sure that you wear what you want.

2. What kind of fashion inspires you?

For sure you have seen models, celebrities, or even your prom queen in high school strutting around with their own personal fashion style. Did you like what they wore? Having social media around makes it a lot easier for you to find your fashion icon. Being online means you can easily browse fashion websites or even do your own research on Google and pin those pictures with fashion styles that you prefer. Set a time for some fashion soul-searching and when you know what kind of fashion inspires you then you’re on a good start.

3. What’s inside your closet?

When was the last time you checked your wardrobe? You may be too busy to take time and smell the fashion trend inside your closet, but it’s time for you to compare and contrast. Do your present clothes match the ones your fashion icons wear? To have a great personal fashion style, you should exert effort in sorting out your clothes to really know what you actually wear, to those you have to let go.

4. Shop and replenish

Now that you have cleaned out the outdated part of your wardrobe, it’s time for you to do the most exciting part of it all – shopping! Don’t worry; it doesn’t have to be costly. Creating your personal fashion style does not have to be mainly signature clothing. You can also try thrift stores or set aside money for seasonal sales here and there. Get the fashion that inspires you without spending too much. ‘

5. Ramp and Roll

Now that you have a refreshed personal fashion style, it’s about time that you gauge your lifestyle with your fashion sense. You have to know how to apply your chosen fashion trend to your daily activities. There can be many versions of your style whether you are a home based mom, an entrepreneur, or a busy office girl – you must have the right accessories for your clothing to match your lifestyle.

6. Be your own fashion guru

Even if you have fashion mentors that inspire you, your personal fashion style should still be coupled with a lot of confidence and uniqueness. Don’t be afraid to experiment!