Part one - Planning


In the past few weeks, I’ve been looking for travel tips to help me manage my upcoming trip to Spain (fingers crossed), but somehow, I felt like some tips are not as useful and practical.
So now, I will share some of my travel tips, which I consider must-dos at the moment based on some bad experiences. I will be referring to some of my trips just to give some background to support my tips. So let’s start:

1)    Take the time to plan your trip: Needless to say, planning can make or break your vacation. Whether you’re planning to go to a resort on an island or planning an adventurous vacation, you should set your goals in advance. Deciding what is your main objective of the trip will save you a lot, including money, time and stress.

2)    After deciding the objective of your trip, it’s the time to think about the things you want to do on your trip. If you’re planning to go shopping, then start looking for the shops you want to visit, if it’s attractions and sightseeing that you seek, look for the attractions that might be of interest, and so on. You can use websites such as www.tripadvisor.com to look for the most visited attractions where you’re going, which will give you an idea what to prioritize.

Moving forward, I will be talking about sightseeing as the main objective, as that is usually my main objective.

3)     Classify these attractions into the following categories: must see, maybe, if possible. After you decide, do the research on these attractions. You might change your mind after all.

My first trip to Paris, I insisted on going to Euro Disney, because… Euro Disney! I ended up regretting going there because it was a complete waste of time (for me as an adult with no kids) which I could have spent going to more important places such as Notre Dame, or Champs-Élysées for example, which I didn’t get the chance to see till the moment of writing these lines at the moment.

4)     Check the locations on the map and see which of these attractions are in the same area or can be covered in the same day. This way you’ll be able to plan your vacation better and make sure you’re not wasting your time on transpiration.

5)    Speaking of transportation, evaluate the best way to roam around, whether it’s public transpiration, taxies, renting a car or even walking, this will affect many decisions moving forward.

In Europe, the parking is a complete nightmare. Bigger cities such as Paris, Munich, or Berlin are not the easiest place to find a place to park, and if you were able to find a parking, be prepared to pay a fortune for it.

6)    Buy tickets in advance. This might be a no brainer, but famous attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, sell out weeks, maybe moths, in advance. Just make sure to check the official websites and buy the tickets to avoid any disappointments. By doing that, it will help you better plan your route visiting the attractions.
Before going to Paris, I forgot to buy the tickets and I ended up paying 50 € for my ticket from the hotel instead of 17€. Or like the time I went to Berlin TV Tower (Fernsehturm de Berlín) and the tickets were sold out and I didn’t get the chance to check it.

7)    Again, do your research. Even if I friend mentioned a place that you must see, I beg you to spend 10 minutes researching this place before your go: Where is it, how to get there, what to expect, etc.

Me and my best friend went to Italy 4 years ago, and while visiting Pisa, my friend remembered her friend’s suggestion to go to San Gimignano, a medieval hill town in Toscany.  What we did wrong? EVERYTHING! We did not even know how to pronounce the name (it’s pronounced: SAN GIMI-NIANO by the way. You’re welcome). We took a train to Poggibonsi, and then we decided to walk to San Gimignano. Thank goodness there was a group of tourists that felt sorry for us and asked us to join them in the Taxi that will take them to the town. After that we realized that the town was almost 40KM away from Poggibonsi.

8)    Make sure to check the train schedules in advance. Some countries are not reliable in terms of timings, but at least you’ll have an idea about how much time you’ll need to be back in the station for your ride back to where you stay.

On that same trip to San Gimignano, we did not check the schedules and we ended up waiting for 3 hours at night in the small station of Poggibonsi for a ride back to Florence… That was not fun at all, believe me!

9)    It might be useful to invest in buying a sim card from that country. Most probably the internet will be much cheaper than roaming and maybe even more reliable. This would allow you to check Google for train timings and routes.

In Netherlands, since I don’t speak Dutch, train station names were a bit confusing, so I depended massively on Google to get around the country.

10) You can use some offline maps to get around if you’re worried about the data. Here Maps is a great example of a map that you can save and use offline when abroad.

11) Be ready to adapt and adjust. Sometimes, even with all the planning, something goes wrong, like bad weather for example. Have a backup plan to ensure you don’t let these things get to you.
While in Paris, the weather was really bad in March (I live in Dubai, average temperatures for that time of the year is 25 C. In Paris the temperature was around 3 C), which affected my plan to visit all the places I had in mind. I ended up in the Army Museum, which was a great unplanned option.  



Do you have more tips on planning? Please share


Being a foodie, I can't ignore good food. And i'm always looking for that "best thing" where I know that I can have a great experience every single time.

Coming from Amman, Jordan, nothing beats "The Bake House" breakfast, my favourite spot for amazing breakfasts, every single time. It has been my to-go place for over 10 years, and ever since I moved to Dubai, I'm still looking for a place that makes me feel the same... Full and satisfied.

With that being said, I have tried few place around Dubai, in search for "the one". Below is my rating for the places I tried:

1. Eggspectation: No wonder this place is on the top of my list, as it is literally one of the best places for food in general and breakfast in particular. The only thing that I don't like about it is that it's a bit over priced compared to other restaurants, but it's worth indulging in every once in a while. (4.5 stars out of 5)

2. IHOP: I'm not a big fan of IHOP. I tried it only 3 times in the past 3 years, and every time I forget why I don't go there anymore. The portions are big enough and the food is good, but it's not awesome. And for a place called "International House of Pancakes", their pancakes are not that good! (3.5 stars out of 5)

3. Cafe Bateel: The food here is actually good. Their breakfasts are yummy and beautiful (the eye eats first, right?), but my problem was that the portions are kind of small, compared to other places. I hate leaving a place and still feeling hungry, you know? (4 stars out of 5)

4. The Cheesecake Factory: This place was a real disappointment. With its overpriced meals and not-so-yummy food, I felt kind of cheated. (2 stars out of 5)

5. Urban Cafe: This was the place where I had my first breakfast in Dubai 2 years ago. It was the welcome outing for joining a new company, and that's where I had the best Waffle I ever had in Dubai. Sadly, they don't make them anymore. Their new menu has all kind of healthy food, which is not appealing to me. But generally, their food is good and yummy. (3.5 stars out of 5)

Any suggestions are welcome. Just leave a comment below.


This is a genius piece was translated from Romanian 5 years ago. I found it in my Facebook notes. 
Going further in my careers, I feel this is the best job ad ever. At least it's honest!
Company Overview
Random Company Inc. is a national market leader in made stuff. Business activity of doing things, which is not easy, as it seems. The company that makes random stuff (from underwear with leopard print to Brad Pitt's haircut) is recognised as the hottest industry issues. Now, the time of nervous breakdown, random company is looking to fill the post of sales staff.


Job Description

The employees must do everything they are told.

Requirements

Candidates must: 
·       Do things right
·       Solve Tasks before it is required, possibly before being conceived and designed.
·       Know WWW, CSS, ASP, PHP, HTML, XML, omg, wtf, SFF, Flash, Photoshop, Premiere, Max, Maya, C + +, C #,. NET, Java, MySQL, Latin, Arabic, Chinese and Klingon
·       Not smoke, not drink, not eat in order to control their damn bladder until going back home (These defects are the path to the dark. Defects lead to breaks, breaks lead to relaxation, relaxation time leads to not working.)
·       Not have an account on Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, etc.
·       Not have opinions (who dares to share his/her opinion will be whipped four days as per terms and conditions)
·       Have a car to be used for the company's interest
·       Come with personal PC and buy the programs they use
·       Not comment when receiving negative feedback
·       Not ask why all the feedback they receives is negative
·       Sign contracts without reading them
·       Not be unhappy (any complaints will be punished with death, and we can revive you again, because we have experts in Voodoo)
·       Have at least five or more master's or PhD degree
·       Not be ugly, because we do not like ugly people and everyone knows that you ruin the image if you speak to people. Plus there was a scientifically proven theory that the level of competence is directly proportional to person’s looks.


Benefits
·       Opportunity to work overtime and weekends for the rest of life
·       Funny salary package (so small that it makes you laugh)
·       87% tax
·       Once every three years, employees will get the opportunity to fight in an arena, for life or death, for a salary increase of 1.3%
·       Opportunity to give up their personal lives at the expense cooperate company

Bonuses

·       Public toilets
·       Pay slip
·       Free Air
·       Medical insurance (that you provide every day which clearly states you don't have a damn thing wrong)
·       Internet

Interested candidates may submit resumes and bribes and we will check them upon our mood




Just to be clear from the start, I’m not a food critic. I just love food and enjoy eating… a lot! Maybe that’s why I was never able to stay on a diet more than 4 days a week. And because I don’t like taking chances or wasting money on bad food, which is a crime in my opinion, I always opt for known chains or decent places, just to make sure I don’t end up with a horrible pizza.

I haven’t tried so many places, but I have tried a couple of places that I believe they are worth trying if you are still new in Dubai and you can’t afford fancy restaurants with weird names and weirder menus.

Obviously. I’m talking about the American pan pizza, not the Italian pizza. They are different and you need a trip to Italy to know the difference... take my word on that!

  • Flippin Pizza: I usually order from Ibn Batouta mall, and it is my favorite so far. They have some really nice variety of pizzas and most of them taste awesome. I love, love their BRONX pizza. It has the right amount of meat and the perfect amount of cheese to satisfy my cravings. Don’t forget to try their Garlic bread; it’s really good. (4.5 stars out of 5)

  • Pizza by The Meter: If you haven’t seen a meter long Pizza, here’s your chance. You can order in quarters, and you will get a huge box with amazing food. The flavors are good but you should choose the correct type of pizza and dough. It might get a bit “bready” if you know what I mean. (3.5 stars out of 5)

  • Russo's Pizza: Even though I had it only once a few weeks ago, but I can honestly say that it’s on my list for good pizza. Their XL pizza is HUGE! You’ll struggle holding one slice. I still need to try different kinds there, but the ones I tried were good. (3.5 stars out of 5)

  • Murphy's Pizza: I’ve had it only once too, but I will defiantly order again when I have the opportunity. The pizza was decent, yummy, and satisfying. (3.5 stars out of 5)


During my 2 years in Dubai, I have tried so many pizzas, but these are that stood out. I’m sure there are many places that offer amazing pizza, that I’m yet to discover.

Again, I’m not a food critic and I don’t like to waste my time and money to find a AED 500 pizza with gold and pearls in the stuffing (not sure this actually exists), I just look for places that deliver quickly.

Feel free to share your list of great pizzas in Dubai. Just make sure they deliver!