Wisdom & Insight
VT Wisdom & Insight From WhatHappensNow.com
Marta Ruohoniemi contacted me recently to discuss writing a story on VolunTourism for WhatHappensNow.com. I reviewed their website and quickly ascertained that some of the WHN "Wisdom & Insight" could serve as an excellent resource for VolunTourists and VolunTourism Practitioners alike. Thus, we have created a "virtual" information swap. The following excerpts from WHN feature tips that all of us can consider as we prepare for, participate in, and return from VolunTourism journeys.
Susan Evans, Publisher of WhatHappensNow.com, answers a familiar question to those of you who have ever done something a bit out of the ordinary: "What Made You Do This?"
Enjoy reading some of the "Wisdom & Insight" that Susan and the WHN Team have collected and made available for us to peruse and incorporate into our pre-, during-, and post-VolunTourism engagements. And, once you have completed that task, you can review what Marta felt was worthy of including on WhatHappensNow.com in her article: Voluntourism: Making A Difference Through Travel.
Prep Your Home Before You Go
Here are some smart "insider tips" from industry professionals and everyday travelers we interviewed that cover the preparation of your home while you are on vacation.
WHN TIP: Take in the Paper
If you're going on a short trip, ask a friend or family member to take in the papers. Your house should look occupied while you're gone.
WHN TIP: Jewelry & Valuables Storage
If you don’t have a safe or safety deposit box, put jewelry/valuables in a nondescript cardboard box in a closet, under a sink, pantry, etc.. Why? Thieves won’t think to look there.
WHN TIP: No Mail
If you stop the newspaper and mail, have a friend or neighbor check your mailbox - sometimes it may take a day or two AFTER you've left for your request to take effect.
WHN TIP: Thanks, Neighbor!
If it snows where you live, keep your driveway plowed when you're gone - it will look like you're home. Extra tip? Have your neighbor drive in and out of the plowed driveway; the tire tracks will make it look like you're home.
WHN TIP: At the Office
Leave your itinerary with a co-worker. Why? Often the first sign that something may be wrong is when someone doesn't show up at work when they are due back.
And for more tips on Prepping Your Home Before You Go, visit: WhatHappensNow.com
Top Ten Flying Dos And Don'ts
Tuesdays 10am ET/7am PT
Have you been stuck in a plane next to someone doused in strong smelling cologne? Or, have you run like mad to make a connecting flight and the people in front of you are walking like it’s a stroll in the park?
Here are three of the top ten travel dos and don’ts from readers posted on WhatHappensNow.com:
#5. Let Them Through
If a businessperson is behind you let them go ahead, especially if you are in a large group. They may be in a hurry to make their flight.
#9. Be Friendly
Nod and say “Hello” to your rowmates. You don’t have to carry on animated conversation, but acknowledge others - especially in those tight quarters.
#11. BONUS TIP! Be Clean. “For the consideration of those around you, if you’re on a long flight and you must remove your jacket and shoes, be sure that you have clean clothes and deodorant on and have clean socks with you,” says Fox. “Sitting next to a passenger with body odor or stinky feet isn’t too pleasant.”
And for more Top Ten Flying Dos And Don'ts, visit: WhatHappensNow.com
You’ve left on a jet plane or driven across country, and now you’re on your way back home again. To make your real-world re-entry a little easier, we enlisted the help of the country’s busiest travelers – business and frequent flyers:
WHN EXPERT TIP: Keep a Low Profile
Leave your phone off -- Certainly check in to let your closest family and friends know that you made it home safely, but also try to maintain a low profile. Jumping back into a full social calendar can be just as jarring to your system as a full work schedule - Kristi Jutras, Expedia.com
WHN Reader TIP: Check Your Stuff
Make sure everything you brought with you has come back! (Use this handy packing checklist to cross-reference between what you packed and what you have now). If not, contact your hotel/rental car/airline company to retrieve it
– Gretchen, Richfield, MN
WHN Staff TIP: In the Know
Work in an information-heavy workplace? Tune in to the news or breeze through the major news sites online. This’ll get you caught up on all the pop culture, sports news, politics and international news.
WHN Reader TIP: Keep the Vacation Spirit Alive
Plan a few fun activities to look forward to throughout the week, get your photos developed and bring a few to look at while you’re working. Keep the vacation-spirit alive!
– Lainie, NY, NY, who just returned from her Grand Cayman trip
WHN Reader TIP: Stay Clear
One thing I usually try to do is keep my schedule empty for a day after returning - which gives me a chance to catch up on mail and messages, as well as the ability to say yes if there's an offer to bump. It also makes things so much calmer.
– Shel H., Hadley, MA
And for more Post-Vacation Tips, visit: WhatHappensNow.com
Voluntourism - Making A Difference Through Travel
Voluntourism is the buzz word for volunteer tourism, a great way to experience volunteering on a whole new level!
The term “voluntourism,” according to Voluntourism.org, was first used in 1998 by the Nevada Board of Tourism to recognize certain individuals that "volunteered" to support "tourism." Ten years later, voluntourism is indeed catching on: according to a recent MSNBC.com and Conde Nast Traveler survey, more than half of the respondents expressed an interest in taking a voluntourism vacation.
So why is voluntourism so popular?
Voluntourism is just one chance to do more, to see the world, and get involved. Interested in international travel? You could spend two weeks helping schoolchildren in Ghana or helping schoolchildren in China.
What about here in the US? Not to worry - there are plenty of domestic programs to choose from.
“Volunteering opportunities run the gamut of skills,” says Randy Punley, director of Alternative Spring Break programs at United Way. “For instance, if you’re an accountant you can train people to do tax prep, or on your lunch break, you could serve food at a homeless shelter.”
If you would like to read the complete article that Marta and the WHN Team have posted on their website regarding Voluntourism, then visit: WhatHappensNow.com
BIO: Marta Ruohoniemi
Marta is the editor, chief blogger and podcast producer for WhatHappensNow.com, an online publication that guides Americans through life with expert advice and real-life experiences. In addition to the site’s daily updates, Marta interviews people across the country for the site’s articles and guides on topics ranging from hurricanes, health matters, theft, life events, car accidents and more. She began her journalistic career with Sydney, Australia’s 2SER radio where she reported on and hosted the weekly alternative health care program “Panacea.”
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