Chicago is described by many as a world-class city and one that possesses unsurpassed beauty, and why not? The moment you descend onto the soils of this charming place, you are welcomed by breathtaking views, striking vistas and hospitable locals, always ready to assist you. The cosmopolitan character of the city comes through when one takes a close look at its cultural landscape, one that is utterly diverse in nature. Playing home to varied religions, traditions, ethnicities, beliefs and values, Chicago dons the cap of being a cultural melting pot almost nonchalantly. There’s much to be admired, marvel and enjoyed in the city, it all depends what your heart desires for. Great architecture, historical buildings, museums, art galleries, public and private exhibitions, traditional and avant-garde theaters, national parks and gardens, a vast and varied events calendar, recreational activities, guided tours and group excursions, the list is simply endless.
Chicago quenches every thirst for inspiration and every hunger for extreme exhilaration, given its high entertainment quotient. Discovering the city’s nooks and crannies by foot or hiring a cab, exploring the surrounding areas through tours or simply enjoying a leisurely trip to the verdant countryside, there’s probably as much to do and see as you can possibly think of. After the sunset, the city dons an absolutely distinct color and hue. Radiating an infectious energy, Chicago is at its best during evening, courtesy its various fancy restaurants, dazzling dance clubs, glitzy pubs and bars, elegant roadside cafes, elaborate lounges and many other party places. You don’t need to worry about food and drink, the eateries out here offer both local and international cuisines. Presenting you with varied choices and options in nearly all aspects of tourism, Chicago is where every kind and type of tourist enjoys. So finding a luxurious accommodation or a lavish indulgence, looking for a cheap hotels and some free fun is as easy as one, two and three.
Over a lifetime, there’s probably a balance in the good and bad surrounding the children we produce. But there are certainly times when we bitterly regret taking the plunge, as it were. There are those times at school or when early experiments with cigarettes and alcohol go horribly wrong. There’s all that attitude we get. But the worst comes when we’re supposed to calmly shell out on driving lessons and then, to add insult to injury, to buy a cheap car for them to drive and to pay for the insurance. The fact finding cheap car insurance for teens is like winning the lottery seems not to occur to them as they assert the divine right to disappear from sight for hours on end, driving who knows where, while all we can do is sit in prayer the next call will not come from the police or hospitals telling us when we can come in to collect the broken bits of body.
Then, suddenly, we might be tempted by the arrival of telematics – not those fuzzy TV characters with rhubarb growing out of their heads, you understand. The Co-op, we can’t go wrong with them, can we? have been running ads for their Young Driver Scheme. Instead of the usual “the sky’s the limit” approach to insuring the young, they will fit black boxes that will watch our kids like a hawk. If their spy finds our children have suddenly converted into angels on four wheels, we will be rewarded with lower premiums. That sounds like such a good deal until we remember our children are more likely to be recorded hotdogging around the local park at 2 in the morning – a stunt that will ensure we never see a premium under four figures for the next however many years until they leave the nest and start paying their own way in life. So although there’s that terrible lure of cheap car insurance for us to pay, we parents have to remember Big Brother watches and sees both good and bad. And the bad can be very expensive for us, if not for our young drivers of the year.
Volunteer Abroad Packing Tips
“I’m very strict with my packing and have everything in its right place. I never change a rule. I hardly use anything in the hotel room. I wheel my own wardrobe in and that’s it.” – Charlie Watts. How you pack when you leave home for volunteer work, will determine how you get off to work on your project. Many volunteers, especially first time travelers, have a problem in knowing what to carry with them abroad, and how best to do their packing. Add to that the hustles of the airport and being in foreign land where you may not have someone to help you get started. Then, you may end up very confused, during the first few days of your volunteer work. Here is a brief overview off what to pack and how best to do so.
The golden rule is to pack light. The best advice is to bring out everything you would like to bring along with you on your trip, and then divide it in half.
Once this is done then you need to pick the lightest suitcase you can find. When packing your suitcase, make sure to put the heavier things on the bottom while the lighter ones go on top, however if you are using a bag pack then you need to put the lighter things at the bottom and the heavier on top, this will aid you in making your luggage lighter to carry around with you, especially soon after arrival.
When packing, put plastic bags at the bottom as well as using them as layers, this will help you to reduce wrinkling, another way to make your packing convenient is to put different clothing in different clear bags with a zip lock, this way it’s easier to identify different bags with different clothing when unpacking, it may also come in handy at customs if you need to open up your luggage.
Roll your cloths tightly when packing them into a bag pack; it often carries more this way. Make sure you have any necessary medication and essential documents with you on your carryon bag. Along with these, carry a change of clothes with you on your carryon luggage, just in case you need to freshen up after your flight. If you are travelling with a group then you can split up your clothes with other people. This way if any of you lose their luggage while travelling, then you will have a change of clothes for the first few days while efforts are being made to locate your luggage.
When doing your actual packing, remember you are packing for comfort, not glamour. The less jewelry you carry with you the better, it will make you less of a target for opportunistic criminals. When it comes to footwear, its best to choose waterproof or oiled footwear. It is not a bad idea to carry sandals or open shoes they may come in handy especially in households where shoes are not allowed. It is better for you to carry clothes that you can hand wash and carry with you some dark or neutral colored clothing.
Use small colorless bottles to carry toiletries around, it is better to refill than carry big bottles with you, put socks inside shoes and put the shoes in a plastic bag to avoid any messes. Make sure you carry a hat with you, woolen hats for cold weather and a baseball cap for sunny weather. For the ladies, expect to bring along at least one dress or skirt for going out to restaurants or other occasions, pants may not be commonly allowed in some communities, especially at certain events.
Some other things that you may need to carry with you are a small first aid kit, an electrical converter if you plan to carry a laptop or any electronics, raincoat or umbrella for the rain, a flash light with batteries. Also carry with you a money belt or a neck wallet to keep with you at all times, where you may keep your important travel documents, including your passport, money and credit cards.