Friday, December 11, 2015

Wedding Gifts

The new Kenwood MultiOne, a mixer and food processor in one

With celebrity chefs dominating our TV screens and decadent food imagery taking over our social media channels it's no surprise that more and more people are discovering the delights of cooking and baking at home.

The big decision for someone starting out on their culinary journey is whether to buy a mixer or a food processor. It's the age old battle of sweet vs savoury and baking vs cooking. Thankfully the decision is made that little bit easier today with the launch of the Kenwood MultiOne, a machine that offers the best of both worlds: a mixer and a food processor.

Perfect for beginner bakers and cooks, and even couples looking to kit out their first home, the MultiOne can not only whisk, beat and mix up cakes but also in a matter of seconds slice, chop and grate with the food processor.

Mixing is made easy with four bowl tools. Cake batters can be mixed to perfection with the unique K-beater that reaches every part of the bowl, a creaming beater for the most delicate cake mixes, while light and fluffy meringues can be whipped up with the specially-designed balloon whisk. The smell of freshly baked bread will become a regular aroma as users knead bread to perfection with the spiral dough hook, designed to take all the hard work out of the process.

Taking the hassle out of food preparation, the MultiOne also comes with a wide variety of food processor attachments; from stainless steel knife blades, to rotating disks for slicing, grating and rasping and even a citrus press for healthy fresh juices to kick-start the morning.

The range of recipes that can be created with this one machine is endless. For example, make your own bread using the specialised dough spiral hook and finely dice up herbs, tomatoes and onions tear-free for the perfect bruschetta. Make a smooth and creamy pesto sauce for an added Tuscan touch.

Mums and dads looking for a little help making family meals or ways to keep the kids entertained with baking experiments will love the Kenwood MultiOne’s 4.3 litre bowl, big enough for family sized cakes. Mum’s mind will be put at ease knowing that this machine is spring loaded which puts an end any trapped fingers. Flour explosions during kitchen adventures can be prevented thanks to the electronic speed control.

The new machine has been crafted to complement the modern kitchen where space is at a premium. With the stainless steel bowl and sleek design it has been made to be on show.

The Kenwood MultiOne (KHH301WH) is available now at leading electric retailers and department stores priced at $449.

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Azurite Health and Wellbeing


New Beginnings Cleanse

The New Beginnings Cleanse is an all encompassing wellness program, that specialises in detoxing of the mind, body and spirit.

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Weight Management Program

Enjoy healthy and delicious specialties, making you healthier and happier. Azurite designed the Weight Management Program to pamper your senses. Even though you are undergoing weight management, your sense of taste will still be tantalised and embraced with luxurious flavours, offering you a path to the next level of wellness.

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Classic Detox Program

Unhealthy habits can take a toll on your body and health. Long periods of eating unhealthy food and overworking yourself can also cause toxin build-up in your body. Get rid of harmful toxins and achieve optimal health with a holistic detox program, which features Ayurvedic, Thai and alternative detox methods. Enjoy a specially designed detox juice cleanse and a program catered to suit your condition with the aid of a professional therapist. Yoga practices are also included to balance your body’s energy.

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Holistic Beautifying Programme

Embrace your inner youth and look just as good as you feel with Azurite’s Holistic Beautifying Package. Reverse the effects of time and get back to good habits of healthy living through a natural and truly rejuvenating experience.
This unique programme will revitalise the body and mind and make you look and feel younger each day. Only the finest premium organic skin care products are used to enhance your skin and bring out its natural youthful glow. Our spa and fitness team will also aid you in adopting a youthful and sustainable lifestyle by encouraging happiness of the mind through nutritional concerns and an appropriate schedule of meals, exercise and sleep.

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Rest, Relax and Rejuvenation Programme

A four-day-and-three-night itinerary of expertly orchestrated treatments and activities, which are intended to provide ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation, as well as setting guests towards a course of better health and well-being.

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Stay Well Program

Simple is sometimes the best. Azurite designed this package for guests who are focused on boosting their well-being and vitality through a simple path.

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Sleeping Well Program

In today’s bustling and frantic world, the benefit of getting a good night’s sleep has become paramount. Stress is in all aspects of day-to-day life, whether work- or play-related. Time is a commodity that we are all short of, and less time is being dedicated to sleep. A good night’s sleep is as important as healthy eating and regular exercise. Quality sleep restores our energy levels and helps us maintain good health and well-being. It revitalises our skin and mind, leaving us more refreshed and alert. Last but not least, it prepares us for a new day, making us more productive and efficient. Thus, good sleep is a jewel. Surrender your body, mind and soul with Azurite, where you can develop and enhance the quality of your sleep.

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Royal Cliff Hotel Group

Wellness & Rejuvenation Retreat

Royal Cliff has partnered up with Azurite to deliver the ultimate in exclusivity, wellness and rejuvenation. Various elements are combined for a perfect recovery with Cliff Spa treatments, rejuvenating activities, healthy cuisine and luxury rooms surrounded by an intimate relaxing environment.

Learn More. 

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How to choose your wedding dress

  1. Choose a Wedding Dress Step 1
    Do your research. Before you even begin to look around, research gowns. You should always have a bit of knowledge about dresses (and know some of the lingo) before you even set foot into a bridal shop. There are also many bridal magazines that will provide a ton of information, including Brides, Modern Bride, Bridal Guide, Wedding Bells, etc. All of these magazines have websites, where you can find quick information without paying for the magazine.
  2. Choose a Wedding Dress Step 2
    Decide on a silhouette. Wedding dresses are made in several different silhouettes. Before considering anything else, know which type of gown will flatter your figure the best. Look at photos of each type. You can browse wedding website message boards and member profiles for photos of real women wearing gowns, rather than relying on professional photos of models wearing them.
    • Ball gowns have very full skirts and generally will look beautiful on any body type unless the bride is very short and small. In this case, it may be overwhelming to her small frame. Ball gowns generally either have crinolines built in or a slip you must wear to support the shape of the gown. Be advised that this extra fabric can be heavy and bulky and will require extra care to wear.
    • A-lines usually have a fitted bodice with a skirt that flares gently from the waist to form an "A" shape. They generally work for everyone as well, and are a terrific choice for someone who would like to hide lower body flaws, but does not want a ball gown. A-lines are not as full as ball gowns.
    • Sheaths flatter women with slim, balanced figures. They shouldn't be worn by brides who dislike their figures. This gown will not hide any flaws. If you think your thighs or butt are too big, you'll be miserable in this type of dress. Don't try to pull it off because you found a gown you love in this style. You don't want to risk being uncomfortable or self-conscious on your wedding day, or regretting your choice every time you look at wedding photos.
    • Empire waist gowns have a skirt that falls from just below the breasts. Although usually listed with various waistline types and not always considered a type of silhouette, they are a wonderful choice for a casual, non-formal wedding, or weddings in a tropical climate. They're usually made of light, flowing fabric. They're also excellent for pregnant brides, because they provide extra room in the waist, making them a comfortable choice. They also won't draw as much attention to the belly as a dress with a lower waistline would.
  3. Choose a Wedding Dress Step 3
    Envision your wedding. Picture yourself on your wedding day. What are you wearing? What silhouette is your gown? What fabric? Is it embroidered or beaded? What color is it? With so many choices for the dress, it can be overwhelming to look through hundreds or thousands of them. Some brides have said that after looking through racks and racks of dresses, they all begin to look the same. So before you even set out to try them on, envision your wedding day and how your dress looks, and jot down a list of things that describe the dress of your daydreams. You don't have to know all the wedding dress terms. Just write down a description of the gown you're envisioning. Example list: "princessy, satin, some shade of white but not pure white, spaghetti straps."
  4. Choose a Wedding Dress Step 4
    Consider the circumstances. A wide variety of factors can affect what makes a particular dress appropriate to the occasion.
    • Formal ceremonies usually call for floor length gowns and long trains, while informal ceremonies (especially destination weddings) are a terrific place to wear a shorter gown without a train at all (or a "sweep" train, which just barely brushes the floor). Another example: in some cases, strapless gowns are considered inappropriate for very formal ceremonies.
    • If you're getting married in the winter, you may not want to be a very light, thin fabric unless you plan to be inside the entire time. If you're having a beach wedding in the middle of July, you may not want to wear a heavy fabric like duchess satin.
    • While the most traditional ceremonies will call for a white gown, in many cases, wedding dresses don't have to be pure white anymore! Many women choose dress colors that best complement their skin tones, ranging from diamond white to ivory to champagne to actual colors (pink, blue, red). Pick the color you feel most beautiful in.
  5. Choose a Wedding Dress Step 5
    Decide on a budget. When deciding on your budget, you don't need to set a very specific price. Just make it a general range, such as $1000 - $1500, or even $1000 - $2000. You can always break this rule later if you're able to and really want to, but it helps to have a general range. Some experts suggest devoting 10% of the overall wedding budget to the bride's attire. Just be sure to remember that "attire" includes not just the gown itself, but the other stuff: veil, shoes, slip, jewellery, gloves, etc. All of these things are optional, of course (except for the slip, which is usually necessary to keep the dress from going between your legs when you walk). But you'll have to factor in the price of whatever items you decide to wear with your gown.
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Thursday, November 12, 2015




Photography is so much more than just having a nice camera or taking a lot of pictures to cover your bases. The first thing we hear from all of our assistants trying to become professionals is, “Wedding photography is harder than I thought it would be.” Our answer, “Of course it is!” The goal of this article is to help prevent you from hiring the wrong photographer, or even worse, “Uncle Joe.”
This section will cover more of the soft-skills that your photographer needs to possess. These are areas that you need to pay attention to during your meetings and conversations with professional photographers because they are not things that you can determine by asking a question. We recommend that you read this section first. Then head on over to our section called, “15 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer” for more specific ideas on what types of questions you should be looking to ask.


A professional wedding photographer should not only versed in the technical side of the trade, but he must also be artistic and creative. Those are two opposite personality traits. How many people do you know are very technologically savvy and artistically creative at the same time?
Have a great camera and technical skills will allow the wedding photographer to capture exposed, well-lit images regardless of the lighting situation and time constraints. On the other hand, having great creative skills will allow the wedding photographer to approach each shot with a unique viewpoint and artistic vision ensuring that the shots are not just photos, but they are beautiful images.


Just as important (if not more important) as their technical knowledge and creativity are the wedding photographers interpersonal skills. How well do they get along their clients and those at the wedding? Are they outgoing, personable, charismatic, professional, and honest?
Not including engagement shoots, bridal shoots, etc. You are going to be spending a full day with your photographer on the most important day of your life. A wedding photographer with a personality that matches your own is essential to the overall experience of your wedding.


Once you get pass technique, creativity, and personality, the next thing you should be looking for is an experience. Is the wedding photographer actually a professional photographer, or is this their “weekend gig”? How many weddings has this photographer shot?
While experience is important, some of the best and most hard- working wedding photographers we have met are experienced photographers, but relatively new as wedding photographers. In situations where you love the photographers style, but are concerned with them not having enough experience, ask to look at their entire collection of images from each event they have shot.
To help you out further when we hire applicants for assistants and associate photographer positions, we base their level of experience off of how many weddings they have shot as the lead photographer. (i.e. not under another professional photographer’s guidance or direction).
  • 1-5 Weddings – Inexperienced
  • 6-10 Weddings – Amateur (Qualified as an assistant photographer)
  • 10-20 Weddings – Knowledgable
  • 21-30 Weddings – Experienced
  • 31+ Weddings – Professional (Qualified as an associate photographer)


When seeking a photographer, don’t get caught up to the amount of products each photographer is promising. Stay focused on the actual quality of the work provided. We realize that some people are working within a budget. Think to yourself that you can always purchase an album or additional prints later (even 5-10 years later), but you can’t change the quality of the photographs taken at the wedding after the wedding day.
We strive to tell clients if there is something you need to cut from your package to make it more affordable, start with the products. Cut the prints from the package, remove the album, but don’t go with a cheaper photographer because they are willing to give you all the products you want up front. If you can, always keep at least two photographers in your package.


We often are asked the question, “why do I need more than one wedding photographer?”
Well, if you were to look at a wedding written up as a movie script, you would see a primary storyline surrounded by smaller side stories that are happening at the same moment. For example, during a wedding ceremony, the main story is, of course, the bride and groom. However, there may be multiple side stories occurring at the same moment.  For instance, mom or dad wiping the tear from their eyes or the flower girl sitting in the corner picking petals from a rose in her hands.

No matter how good a photographer is, he/she cannot be at all places at the same time; and so, to compensate, we use multiple wedding photographers, each with a different focus. For example, our lead photographer focuses strictly on the bride and groom. Our second wedding photographer would focus on reaction shots from the family, guests, etc. Our third (when needed) would focus on creative imagery by constantly surveying and moving around the scene to find unique angles and compositions of our subjects.
Having multiple photographers enables our team to broaden the coverage and creative eyes at the event. While we recommend two photographers regardless of the size of your wedding, we tell clients that it is almost required if you have 100-200 people at the wedding. For clients with very large weddings, i.e. 200+, we recommend three photographers. Enjoy!!Bookmark and Share

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Summer is here!!


Nothing is as magnificent as a summer wedding
Nothing is as magnificent as a summer wedding
Image via: Floridian Weddings



Heat and heavy food don’t mix. Stick to the farm-to-table trend and go for a seasonal menu that includes local fresh produce and grilled entrees. Choose grilled fruit skewers and Gazpacho shooters for appetizers and tarts and fruit pies for dessert. You can also add festive touches like frozen cocktails and popsicles.
summer wedding tips
Summer wedding tips – Keep heat and pests away!
Image via: Wedding Trends


You and your better half may love the sun, but don’t assume all your guests do. Make sure you provide heat relief in one way or another. If your wedding is outdoors, offer some shade or portable air-conditioning systems. You can also have ushers pass out cold hand towels across the rows before the ceremony starts. Scattering decorative tubs or baskets filled with water bottles near the ceremony site is also a great idea.
Provide heat relief for your wedding guests
Provide heat relief for your wedding guests
Image via: The Wedding Chicks


Most people vacation in summer especially families with school-going kids. You should therefore send save-the-dates early enough to ensure people mark their calendars early.



Sunburn can give a whole new meaning to “the blushing bride.” Prior to getting dressed, apply sunscreen to areas of your body that will be exposed and tell your bridal party to do the same.
Summer brides should wear foundation and moisturizers with SPF. However, they should try them out beforehand to ensure they don’t cause allergies.


Keep bugs away with citronella candles
Keep bugs away with citronella candles
Arrange for citronella candles to ensure your guests aren’t disturbed by bugs as they eat or interact. Summer brings with it a lot of bugs that can get in the way of your celebrations. Talk to the person in charge of the venue in advance to ensure bugs won’t be a problem.
Summer wedding planning is fun and interesting. Keep these tips in mind and make your wedding stand out from all other summer weddings.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Groom's View

This article was sent to us by one of our weekend Grooms..!!  Thank you for your honesty and insight from the grooms point of view.
After experiencing the entire wedding planning process and being happily married for more than six months, I have gathered a few tips that I think could help future grooms (brides may want to consider showing this to their grooms!)
To be a groom worthy of praise is not to simply stand at the altar and wait for her (or him, but for the sake of consistency I will henceforth use “her”) to walk down the aisle. It’s high time we did away with this bizarre tradition of letting brides do all the planning (or at least it is time to add a much-needed amendment), while the groom’s only job is to merely show up on time come wedding day. It’s not like roles should reverse and grooms should take on all the planning alone, but there’s really no logical reason to not be a significant part of the planning process. This wedding is a celebration of your love together; don’t you want to take ownership playing some role in what is arguably the most important day of your life?
1. Think about one aspect of the wedding that you would like to have the most influence on.
It's no secret that your fiancée is likely to want to fulfill some sort of child hood fantasy about planning a wedding from start to finish. But before she (or he) decides on what song is played while you cut the cake, take a moment to think about one aspect of the wedding that you'd like to have your name on. It could be the song the wedding party comes out to, it could be the choice of the DJ or photographer, or it could be as simple as selecting a gift to award the lucky guy who catches the garter. This wedding isn’t just about your bride, it’s about the two of you together! You will have your friends and family there celebrating with you, it’s important to showcase the two of your styles and interests coming together as one.
If you can work together on planning the wedding, think of how well you’ll be able to work together on other big events in life.
2. Help with research.
In case you didn’t already know this, the wedding industry is ENORMOUS! Every aspect of the wedding is an industry in and of itself, from wedding emergency kits to wedding toppers, so be prepared to sift through hundreds of vendors who are all vying for your $$$ (but remember, not all vendors are in it for the $$$...some honestly want to tell/share/photograph/film your story). This is likely one of the most time consuming parts of planning a wedding and if you don’t spend enough time doing real research, you’ll likely end up with a bride who is vehemently upset about something one of the vendors did (or did not do).
To be successful when it comes to research, take the time to sit down with your fiancée and talk about what each of you would like to see in a wedding, and perhaps discuss the areas you are willing to shell out more cash and the areas that you are not too concerned with spending a great deal of money. Then consult friends and family members who perhaps are married and may be willing to share some valuable advice about vendors they know. There’s usually some friend who at least knows another friend who recently got married, so getting this information should not be difficult.
As a side note, while chiavari chairs are elegant and a staple of most modern weddings, most of your guests will hardly notice the difference and furthermore, those chairs aren’t going to capture any of the timeless moments of the day and put them together in a wedding film or a photo album that will be the only visual record of the day you got married. I’m not saying that all your money should be spent on photography and videography, but I do believe that a great deal of research should go into these two areas mainly because the professionals you hire will be charged with the responsibility of recording your wedding day in such a way that you will be able to revisit those emotions you felt on that day. I highly doubt you’ll get that from chiavari chairs or fancy cake toppers. I’m sure you’d appreciate a valid record of the day considering the amount of time and energy that went into planning.
3. Be present at all (or as many) meetings with vendors as you can.
While my wife and I were planning our wedding, I was dumbfounded at how shocked the majority of our vendors were when I would show up to every meeting. They often claimed it was such a rare thing for the groom to tag along and be so involved in all the planning. After thinking about it, I did notice that most wedding vendors cater their language towards the bride. They believe it is only brides who are visiting their pages and inquiring about their business. I imagine that is true and will continue to be true in the future, but why shouldn’t a groom come along and be present during meetings that involve critical decisions about their wedding? I can only imagine that the overall experience of the wedding for both the groom and the bride will be elevated knowing that the groom was present at these meetings and voiced his opinion about certain things.
Engagement is key; grooms have to be willing to engage in the wedding planning process. It’s understandable that many will be apprehensive about it because of their perception of what wedding planning is like. But in all honestly, things are different now. Wedding planning has married the digital age. There are so many things you can do to successfully plan for weddings from the comfort of your own home. Have Skype interviews with vendors, research online and read reviews about vendors. Major wedding sites like and offer complete online experiences that any groom could get accustomed to if they wanted to have any involvement.
Again, I understand the reality of bride who just wants to plan everything without any assistance (there’s nothing wrong with that!), but I can’t imagine anyone not at least wanting their groom to tag along and participate, even if it is in a minimal way. You’ll be planning a lot of things and having to make tons of decisions as a married couple, what would it hurt to start doing it now?
4. Write your own vows!
I can hardly think of a better way for a groom to woo his bride on their wedding day than to put into words the reasons why he got down on one knee. It’s the one time to think and make an attempt (although futile) to express in words the feelings you get when she walks into the room. Even if you do not wish to be at every meeting with the florist, even if you could care less what color the napkins will be or whether there will be a salad fork to the right of the soup spoon, there’s nothing that should prevent you from taking one opportunity to pour your heart out to your soon to be wife in front of family and friends.
So maybe you aren’t the gushy type who likes to pour your heart out (especially in front of people). Fine, but that shouldn’t stop you from attempting to write a spirited speech that at least celebrates the love you feel for your fiancée. Only the two of you define the love between you, so whether you want to recall some funny moments from your relationship or write a poem, it’s totally up to you. No one is holding you to any standards. It’s really the least you could do, and there’s no bride in the world that wouldn’t appreciate such a thing. You’ll probably earn a deep admiration from her family and friends as well. Everyone is already there to watch you get married, so there’s nothing wrong giving them a reason why they are sitting there on that day.
I understand there are situations where original vow writing is restricted due to the structure of the wedding ceremony, but there’s nothing stopping you from speaking to your bride during the reception. By that point, the ceremony is over so most of the pressure is already off of your shoulders. Friends and family have likely loosened up, therefore making it a much easier atmosphere to open up in front of people.
Come on, it’s not that difficult. And it will mean the world to your bride.
5. Be the stress reliever on the day of the wedding.
There is a saying…”Happy Wife…Happy Life.” The phrase takes affect long before you exchange rings. In order to guarantee a pleasant and eventful wedding day free from horrific levels of stress, the bride will look to YOU to be her relief. Forget the wedding planner and her bridesmaids, it is ultimately on your shoulders to keep that smile glued on her face. It will also be likely that you’ll be the only voice of reason she’ll be willing to listen to, so be sure to forecast to the best of your ability the events of the day. Try to avoid any potential crises by assigning a day planner, or communicating effectively with your wedding planner.
There’s nothing to be afraid of, but it will only benefit you and your bride to be mindful of the very fact that no wedding is perfect. Regardless of the hours of planning every last detail, there will be pitfalls and things will not go according to plan. This sort of advice can only go so far, this one relies solely on you. Take the proper precautions to ensure a wedding day that is memorable and full of happiness. Remember that the whole purpose is about the two of your lives being bounded together for rest of your life.
There are plenty of other methods for being a “better” groom. There’s really no way to be a “better” groom, but hopefully there is something here worth thinking about. Ultimately, it’s about creating a positive wedding experience and things can only get better with more involvement from both parties. Let this experience demonstrate your abilities to work together as a team, and learn where each other is at in terms of their wants and needs. Weddings are a learning experience; one that you will surely revisit time and time again.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Honeymoon

Tips to Plan Honeymoon Travel

Tahiti. Italy. Mexico. The Bahamas. After your wedding, it’s time to enjoy all the luxuries of the perfect honeymoon. Whether you are planning a getaway to enjoy white sand beaches and sun or tour ancient ruins and learn about a different culture, make heed some of these important honeymoon travel tips that may make planning and enjoying your trip a bit easier.

  • Honeymoon Registry
    Have you heard of the latest craze? Have your wedding guests pay for all or part of, or your honeymoon. Honeymoon registries allow wedding guests to contribute funds to your special trip and even sponsor specific activities you wish to enjoy while you are there!
  • Say “I do” to your differences
    Do you like adventure travel while your significant other would much rather be sunbathing on a beach all day? So that you don’t create riffs in planning your trip of a lifetime, make sure you communicate before you begin to plan so that both of you can get maximum enjoyment out of your vacation
  • .
  • Honeymoon, under wraps
    When you plan your trip, refrain from sharing that you are planning a honeymoon. Some entities will charge you extra because they know that couples are willing to splurge on their special getaway. However, after your travel planning is complete, when making your reservations, it may pay to share that you’re arriving for your honeymoon – some places will give you free upgrades or complimentary items.
  • Details, details…
    Planning a honeymoon is planning an excursion like no other. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pull out all the stops, upgrade from average to amazing, and enjoy special splurges. Some ideas? How about planning a private helicopter tour or a luxury spa together? Have a chef prepare a custom meal just for you, or arrange to take a private tour of the nearest escape.

  • Refrain from over planning
  • While you want your honeymoon to be perfect, heed wise advice and don’t overdo it with the planning. Cut down on the stress and enjoy yourself, by limiting the amount of physical activity you will participate in each day. Or, allow a specific amount of time between activities on your itinerary so you are not rushing from one thing to another.

  • Copies of Documentation
    After you’ve created your itinerary be sure to make copies of it to share with family and friends. Keep an additional copy for yourself. That way, your family will know where you are in case problems arise back home, and you will have an extra copy in case you lose the original. Additionally, you may want to register your travel plan with the U.S. State Department. Registration allows the Department of State to assist you and contact family or friends in case of an emergency. 

  • Get access to 24/7 concierge services
    Be sure you have 24/7 access to travel assistance services. Many travel insurance plans include 24/7 concierge services to assist you with spur of the moment planning to like restaurant referrals and reservations, floral services, private charter assistance, find, wrap and deliver one-of-a-kind gifts and local and event ticketing. Keep the assistance hotline number with you at all times to reach trained travel counselors that can help you in almost any emergency situation and also help rebook hotels and flights, coordinate medical emergencies.