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information on italy travel (2)

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St. Maarten Travel Tips (2)

St. Maarten Travel Tips

Benefits of Taking A River Cruise
Source: Flickr

One of the Leeward Islands located in the West Indies, St. Maarten is an island less than forty-square miles in size and is divided in half shared by two governments. St. Martin is the northern side of the region and answers to France, while St. Maarten is part of the Netherlands Antilles on the southern side. Both regions are autonomous and have had a peaceful coexistence over the past three-hundred fifty years. Like most West Indies islands, its sunny nature, lush natural beauty, and amazing beaches attracts visitors year-round.

Visitors traveling to this “hidden gem of the Spanish main” should be aware of some essential information about the place to help prepare and plan a great trip. Here are some St. Maarten Travel tips to keep you on top of things on your visit:

St. Maarten travel tips #1 –Climate
The temperature of St. Maarten remains constant year-round averaging about 80F and water temperature averages 78F. Trade winds give a little cooling on the coasts. Occasional rain showers in the late summer and early fall are be expected, with an average yearly rainfall of forty-five inches.

St. Maarten travel tips #2 – Currency
Dutch St. Maarten’s official currency is the Netherlands Antilles Florin or Guilder (NAF). However, US dollars are widely accepted as well. Almost all of the prices in the island are listed in dollars and the local currency.

St. Maarten travel tips #3 – Banking Hours
Dutch St. Maarten banks are open from 8:30am to 3:30pm Monday through Friday, although some banks also open on Saturdays.

St. Maarten travel tips #4 – Customs
The island of St. Maarten is fully and completely duty free.

St. Maarten travel tips #5 – Entry Requirements
For US citizens entering St. Maarten for three months or less need a current passport or an original birth certificate together with a picture ID. For Canadian citizens entering for fourteen days or less must have a valid passport or birth certificate, or naturalization certificate. If staying more not fourteen days but less than thirty days, a certificate of admission for temporary stay is issued upon arrival. Also required are return tickets, documents for next destination, and sufficient funds. For UK citizens or British protected persons entering for three months or less is required a valid passport, return tickets, sufficient funds, and documents for next destination. Citizens from other countries should verify with a travel agent for the proper documents needed to enter St. Maarten. Vaccinations are not required unless travelers are arriving from places experiencing an epidemic.

St. Maarten travel tips #6 – Departure Tax
The departure tax is $20.00

St. Maarten travel tips #7 –Language
The official language of St. Maarten is Dutch; however, almost everybody speaks English. Spanish and Papiamento are also other common languages spoken in the island.

St. Maarten travel tips #8 – Time Zone
The island of St. Maarten follows Atlantic Standard Time all year-round. For the duration of fall and winter, noon on the East Coast of the US is 1pm on the island. During US daylight savings time, the hour on the Eastern Seaboard is the same as it is on the island.

St. Maarten travel tips #9 – Shopping
Shopping in the island is completely duty-free. Stores are open from Monday through Saturday from 9am till 6pm, other shops on the island open till 10pm or later.

St. Maarten travel tips #10 – Tipping
The majority of restaurants and hotels add ten to fifteen percent to the bill as a service charge. Tourists may tip more for special service and it is traditional to tip taxi drivers ten to fifteen percent. Porters at the airport usually receive one dollar per bag.

Italy Travel Tips

Italy Travel Tips

Planning to visit Italy? Italy is a very beautiful and amazing place to visit, its combined natural historic beauty, culture, art, and cuisine, makes an unforgettable experience of travel. However, there are some important tips you should know when visiting the country to let you enjoy and savor what it has to offer and do away with the inconveniences of not knowing.

First things first, know the basic information about the place like its climate, currency, transport, language, car regulations, health precautions, holidays, shopping, and many more, then try to know of some helpful ways that could make your visit a lot more convenient in every way. Here are some Italy travel tips that you may want to note:

Italy travel tips #1
Italy’s climate during spring and fall is about 55-75°F and 70-85°F during summer and 40-55°F during winter. Knowing the kind of weather you’ll be faced with when you visit the place will let you bring the right comfortable kind of clothes and shoes.

Italy travel tips #2
Italian is the language spoken and only limited English is generally spoken as well, so it might be good to prepare yourself of Italian basic sentences that you’ll most often need when eating in restaurants, going around or shopping.

Italy travel tips #3
The currency is euro. Tipping is just a matter of personal discretion, however they are appreciated and expected especially in good service restaurants and other places. Although restaurants often include service charge on the bills, they are not for the waiters or staff. Approximately 10% is a typical tip in Italy.

Italy travel tips #4
If you’re going on shopping, remember to go from 9am to 1pm and from 3:30 to 7:30 pm as shops are generally open at these hours. In Northern Italy however, some variations may apply where lunch breaks may be shorter and shops close earlier. Sops in Italy offer high quality goods of reasonable prices, La Rinascente, Standa, Upim, and Coin are just some of the department stores that are found in many towns and cities of Italy.

Italy travel tips #5
Italy’s social culture is heavily influenced by the Roman Catholic Church that is why normal social courtesies should be observed. Dressing casual in most places and beachwear should be confined to the beach. When visiting religious buildings and smaller traditional communities, conservative clothes are expected to be worn. If given invitations, formal wear is usually indicated. Smoking is not allowed in some public places, cinemas, buildings, and transport. Taking precautions against theft particularly in major cities is very important.

Italy travel tips #6
Passport is required during travel to Italy, for those tourist or business stays that are longer than 90 days requires a visa. There are presently no departure taxes in Italy but travel insurance is highly recommended as additional security in case of cancellation or interruption of travel plans, illness, accident, lost or damaged luggage, and travel delays.

Learn more about Italy’s people, culture, and way of life to fully blend in and experience a truly Italian vacation.