Monthly Archives: September 2017

Review Of German Mannerisms For Foreign Travelers

Visitors from other parts of the world that visit Germany for vacation or business purposes are typically pleased to note that Germans are cordial, polite, and welcoming. However, as with any culture, Germans have mannerisms that are unique to them. Since social etiquette is considered important in every society and Germans are no different, visitors that take a small amount of time to familiarize themselves with what Germans consider good manners will find that locals will often appreciate and even more warmly accept them into their country.

Shaking Hands

Germans typically wait until introduced by a host to shake hands. Typically, older parties in a group or more senior persons reserve the right to extend their hand for a handshake first. Attendees of small parties will always take the time to shake hands with one another when greeting, as opposed to larger functions where hand shakes are very rarely performed. The act of shaking hands in passing is considered rude. If one takes the time to shake hands, it is considered a precursor to at least a brief chat. Additionally, it is considered to rude to shake hands while the other hand is in your pocket.

In formal settings, it is still considered custom to kiss a lady’s hand when introduced, though the lips should never actually touch the hand. When being introduced to adults, little German girls will occasionally courtesy in greeting. Furthermore, unlike in the United States, children will rarely thank someone for a compliment.

Addressing Others in Germany

The female term “Fraulein” is only used to address particularly young, unmarried girls. The shorter “Frau” is used to address older, unmarried young ladies and women since it is considered a more mature greeting. Also unlike in the United States, a married woman is not addressed by her husband’s first name (e.g. Mrs. John Smith), but by her own first name (e.g. Frau Jane Smith).

Common Business Etiquette in Germany

“Du” and “Sie”

The method of addressing others by saying “you” is divided into the formal and informal manners of “Du” and “Sie.” “Du” is considered informal and should be reserved only for close acquaintances, friends and family. To avoid seeming disrespectful when meeting new persons, especially in a formal or business environment, it is generally accepted that “Sie” is the proper form to use.

Attire

American standards of business dress have relaxed in certain niche industries in recent years, but that doesn’t mean that the same is true of Germans. It is typically customary for business attire to be worn in nearly every business setting. Jeans, T-shirts, and similar clothing will typically be frowned upon. When in doubt, always opt to possibly slightly overdress than to take the risk of under-dressing.

Meetings and Functions

Unlike many other cultures, Germans will typically send invitations that outline not only when a meeting or function will begin but also when it will end. It would be considered good manners to use this time as a queue to bid a proper farewell. Though no one will expect every one to jump up and run out the door at the exact time, it can be considered rude to ignore the outlines set up by the hosts.

A Phoenix Rises From The Ashes: Atlanta Travel Information

To gain a full understanding of America’s struggle through infancy and keeping the threads of the nation together during the Civil War, Atlanta is a mandatory travel destination. The entire city was at one point or another an actual battleground for many pivotal moments during the Civil War. The Union Invasion into Atlanta in 1864 is even the center story of the famous 1939 film, Gone with the Wind. Find your airfare to Atlanta today and immerse yourself in the city’s tumultuous centuries and even find some good ol’ southern hospitality.

Most major assets in Atlanta were destroyed during the Union siege of the city and when Union General Sherman finally gained control, he ordered the city to be burned to the ground on November 11, 1864, save some churches and hospitals. Thus Atlanta began again, leading the southeast in industry at the end of the 19th century and racial equality during the Civil Rights movement.

A Large Obsession in Atlanta

A new beginning in Atlanta meant open space for large public works and a sense of hometown pride that has been glorified by many art displays and projects. Book your airfare to Atlanta and begin your journey through history at the Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum, which is home to the world’s largest painting, “The Battle of Atlanta.” The painting is in diorama form with a revolving audience viewing platform.

If you leave the museum hungry, head on over to The Varsity, the first location of the chain and the world’s largest drive-in restaurant. Then, make your way to the Georgia Aquarium, which is – you guessed it – the world’s largest aquarium. Eight million gallons of water and 100,000 living specimens hold this elaborate marine wonderland heads above the rest. If you’re ready to see Atlanta’s outlying surroundings, take a drive to Stone Mountain to see the largest piece of exposed granite slab in the world carved into the busts of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. For a taste of southern musical culture, make sure you travel to Atlanta during the Atlanta Jazz Festival, which happens to be the largest free jazz festival in the United States.

Capture Contemporary Atlanta

Atlanta is littered with modern cultural sights and post-modern design. Take a visit to the unique World of Coca Cola museum where the soda company’s incredibly successful marketing strategy is revealed during a journey through the 20th century. You can see the legend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s civil rights organizing and campaigning at the King Center, where his tomb rests in the center of a reflecting pool. For an evening out, visit the Woodruff Arts Center and choose among symphony, ballet, theater or its expansive are collection.

Atlanta is one of the most easily accessible destinations in the United States, hosting the headquarters or major hubs of most major airlines at its airport. America’s heritage and legends await; what are you waiting for?

A Review On Travel Insurance – Do You Need It Or Not?

Personally I think it would be very foolish not to have some sort of travel insurance, especially if you are flying abroad. People sometimes make the mistake in thinking that their local insurance policies will cover any losses and have a big shock when they come to make a claim. Besides, if you have the right policy, it takes all the worry out of your trip.

You should always be offered insurance, by your travel agent, when you arrange your trip. If not, ask, because it will be on your own head if anything goes wrong.

A Cheap Policy or Not?

When a travel insurance policy is issued there are a number of allocations if the premium, agents commissions, administrative costs, some goes towards profit and what’s left over goes towards the actual insurance coverage. So, you can see, if it’s a cheap travel insurance policy, something is going to miss out and you can bet it will be the level of coverage.

If you buy a regular travel insurance policy, that is, you fill out a form and send it to the insuarance company with your remittance there are a lot of costs involves. A better way would to get a wholesale policy (which travel agents do sell) where the administration costs are dramactically reduced, meaning more money is spent on the actual coverage.

Some tour operators and agents provide an “in-house” travel insurance policy and, often, all it covers is their own cancellation fees and little else. It may be cheaper but will not give you much travel insurance coverage.

Another way to reduce costs, which depends on the level of travel you are going to do, is to purhase an annual travel insurance policy. This is buying in bulk and is likely to be much less expensive than the one-off trip policy.

Primary or Secondry Travel Insurance Cover?

These 2 types of cover determine the way the payouts are made. The primary travel insurance cover means that the company will “Pay First”, that is the payment will be paid to the claim maker. The secondary travel insurance cover means they will pay only after you’ve have claimed as much as you can from other insurance cover that you may have. So, you can see that the primary cover is a lot better than the secondry cover.

What Type Of Coverage Will You Need?

It’s fair to say the 2 biggest risks that are covered by most travel insurance policies are the costs of changing your travel plans and and any medical care and emergency assistance that is required while you are away.

Most travel insurance policies will include a few hundred dollars for baggage/loss/damage/delay, loss of travel documents and other small sum for flight delay or interuption. Some will also cover for someone to fly out to you if you are to be hospitalised for more tha 2 or 3 days.

Another major cost, and I must admit I never thought of this one before, can be supplier bankruptcy. Many time the supplier of your travel insurance policy are unable to have the policy to cover thier own bankruptcy. This would be another good reason to have an independant policy from the company arranging your travel.

Most travel insurance policies include a large ammount of air death insurance, but surprisingly, it’s of very low value item about 25 cents for a $100,000 cover. I suppose this indicates how safe air travel is.

Some travel isurance policies will also cover car rental risks and this may be an important thing to consider as car rental insurance policies are extremely expensive.

Trip Cancellation/Change Coverage

To understand the possible costs that you may need if you have to change your itinery or cancel the trip, if you have pruchased an unrestricted first class ticket there may be not any costs associated with changing the ticket as this is usually covered in the purchase price.

It may seem strange but the the cheapest ticket has the most risk attached to it as far as cancellation/change is concerned. It can cost a heap more to change the cheap fare to return home on a different flight than the original purchase price of the ticket.

You will have to be aware that when some travel insurance policies state that they will cover ‘your total trip cost’ you may think that the full charges are covered, but this may not be so. Let’s say that your discounted fare cost $590 and you have a package that actually costs $895 and you have to change you may find the return trip will cost more than the whole package. Maybe you will have to pay another $1120 to get home on a no advanced one way return ticket.

I had this experience a few years ago when I had to rush home for my Father’s funeral. Because of time restrictions I had to buy a non-discounted ticket. After not feeling well all day, when I finally arrived at the airport I succumbed to a middle ear infection. So with all the vomitting and the different air pressures that come with flying there was no I could get on a aircraft. But, as I had purchased a full fare, there was problems in changing my flight to the next morning. Goes to show that you can’t always control your circumstances.

The more restictive travel insurance policies may exclude circumstances that are deemmed ‘under your own control’, and perhaps this may include work related issues. Let’s say you are about to leave work and you are told there is an issue that has to be solved and that you leave has to be deffered. There’s a very good chance that this type of travel insurance would no pay out because of this reason.

Medical Care and Emergency Assistance

Some people mistakenly think that their home medical insuarnce policy will cover all costs wherever they are in the world. They may find that that it doesn’t cover at all, or the deductions will be much higher or perhaps their medical costs are covered but not any related transport costs.

You may be on a cruise and you need some medical attention by the ship’s doctor. There is a good chance that their services are charged for as with any other doctor. You may have to be flown home on a stretcher and this will involve blocking out nine seats, can you imagine how much that would cost. You should make sure that you have travel insurance of at least $10,000 or more to cover these emergencies. Let’s imagine you are in a remote area and you break a leg and you need to be lifted out by a helicopter, this is what good travel insurance is all about.

To Summarise

Imagine your worst case travel mishap scenario and decide whether you need travel insurance. This may be the cancellation of the whole trip coupled with the associated cancellation costs or some emergency medical mishap that will require medivac and local care. I know these are horrible thoughts but if you can’t afford to self-insure the expenditure of around $100 on travel insurance will give you the piece of mind and one less thing to worry about.