Ramadan: 5 Fasting Tips For Long distance Travel

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Ramadan is best spent at home with family, reflect and become closer to God, but different situations may require you to travel and those travel timings may coincide with your fast.

We share some tips to help you make it easy for yourself and not to miss out on fasting while traveling especially long distance, this Ramadan.
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1.Have healthy food for breaking fast

A lot of things may occur during your long distance trip. Whether it’s dealing with delayed flights, getting stuck in heavy traffic, or lost baggage, endeavour to keep a small packet of dates in your bag or a protein bar as well as a bottle of water to maintain your energy levels in the event of a delay and you need to break the fast.

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2. Get smart with fasting apps

Download all the right apps, to keep track of prayer times, to help you locate mosques, as well as restaurants. A good example of a fasting app you can download is HalalTrip to find mosques, restaurants, and hotels in your new location. iOS and Android users can also download Muslim Pro for an entire copy of the Qu’ran.
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3. Plan your trip wisely

One of the first things to consider before traveling is the times for iftar (morning meal) and suhour (breaking fast). It is best to inquire at your hotel for any nearby mosques or search online for Muslim communities based on the where you’re visiting. Upon booking, inform your hotel in advance if you have special requests or needs and get recommendations on where it is best to pray and eat.
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4. Break the fast where and when the sun sets

Always break your fast when the sun sets in your destination no matter how short the trip is or wherever you are. The time zone of the country where you left and began fasting does not really matter.

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5. Skip the fast for later

In Islam, it is not only children, elderly, the sick and women with periods who are exempted from fast. Travelers are also exempted from fasting. However, if you skip fasting, it must be made up once travel is complete. Or to make up for days you didn’t fast, fast later in the year. If you really don’t want to miss out on fasting, then make sure your flight is scheduled after Iftar.

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Top Things Business Travellers Look For In Hotels

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With more hotels catering for the corporate travellers, the things you look out for in hotels for your business trip widen. But when you’re searching for your next trip, do you know what you’re looking for in these hotels?

We offer some suggestions on what you should look out for in a hotel to accommodate your needs while on business.

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1.In-room and on-site facilities

Usually, many hotel rooms offer a working area and you must remember that you will be working in your accommodation. It’s important to consider all of the things that come in the room and whether these will make good working conditions such as comfortable seating and a desk that can be clearly lit up.

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2. Quick turnaround on dry cleaning

Before booking your business travel hotel, make sure to check if there is a dry cleaning service or at least an iron and ironing board in your room. You will want to arrive at meetings looking presentable and it can be a nightmare when your hotel room doesn’t even have the basics.

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3. Up-to-date technology

There’s nothing worse than getting to your hotel to realise all their tech is outdated. Make sure your hotel has up-to-date technology and brand new inventions that can make your stay a little easier.

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4. Free and reliable Wi-Fi

There is nothing worse than arriving at your business travel hotel to realise you have to pay for the Wi-Fi and it’s not even that reliable. Make sure you check to see if the internet is free and has no limit because you probably won’t appreciate being signed out of the Wifi after an hour.

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5. In-room dining

If you are busy working away to meet a deadline, going out to experience the local food may not seem like an option. This why in-room dining is important. Hence, be sure to check if the hotel offers this facility and what times throughout the day to see if it is suitable for your itinerary.

Essential Tech Tips Every Traveler Should Know

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Whether you are a leisure or a business traveller, you cannot downplay the role of technology in your travels. From using GPS to navigating unfamiliar destinations to checking apps for the best local restaurants and taking photos on multiple devices to document your travels, tech is important in almost every aspect of travel.

We share some top tech tips you should know whenever you travel.

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1.Break language barriers

Download popular translation apps such as iTranslate, Google Translate and TripLingo to help you communicate more easily with locals when you visit countries you do not speak the language.

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2. Share itinerary with friends and family members

Share your itinerary with any family members or friends who may be anticipating your arrival. Itinerary sharing quickly notifies your contacts about the status of your trip and provides immediate alerts regarding unexpected changes or delay.

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3. Entertain yourself

Download your preferred music, movies and books on your smartphone and don’t forget your headphones. With these, you can entertain yourself whether it is a long haul flight or not.

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4. Share travel photos on social media

With the existence of social media, you can easily share your pictures at the click of a button as long as you have an internet connection. Hence, there is no need to arrive your destination before you start sharing photos and experiences.

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5. Allow push notifications

Push notifications deliver real-time updates and alerts about any flight, hotel or package deals to your phone. You simply need to have the app of the OTA on your phone to receive these notifications.

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6. Bundle booking

When booking a trip on an online travel agency, book your flight and hotel at the exact same time. You will definitely save hundreds of naira by booking them together. However, if you book them differently, you will clearly be paying more.

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7. Take pictures of your travel documents

Take a photo of all your travel documents and save it to your email or your drive for easy access. Also, make sure you never leave home without your phone just in case your documents go missing.

5 Ways To Know If Your Nigerian Flight Has Been Delayed

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Some Nigerian airlines are in the habit of not informing passengers about flight delays until the last minute. They leave them in limbo that they have to decide if the flight has been delayed or not. This will definitely infuriate them.

However, this doesn’t have to be you. We highlight 5 ways to know if your Nigerian flight has been delayed.

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1.Boarding hasn’t started

You arrive the airport hours before the flight and you settle down waiting to board the plane. However, the time for the scheduled flight has come and gone but boarding has not started. This is an obvious sign that something is amiss.

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2.Airline stops selling flight tickets

When you visit the website of some airlines, they usually provide information on whether the flight is fully booked or not. But, if you notice that the airline has stopped selling tickets and at the same time, the flight is not fully booked, your flight has probably been delayed.

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3. Irate passengers maltreating airline officials

Unfortunately, it is not everyone that can control their emotions when they are angry. Some may lose their calm to the point that they attack airline officials or their office. This should not be encouraged. As for you, prepare your mind for a flight delay.

4. Silent treatment from the airline

The least an airline can do is to provide real-time information on the status of your flight. Maybe these airlines are scared of announcing a flight delay, hence they simply keep mute.

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5. Use an app

There are apps that can help you determine if your flight has been delayed even before the airline provide any information. For example, Google is using machine learning to help predict flight delays.

5 Amazing Ways Technology Has Changed The Way We Travel

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Technology has beamed its searchlight in almost every sector you can think of including the travel industry. For example, today, you can easily open an app on your smartphone, decide where you want to go, book your flights and hotels in under 15 minutes and before you know it, you’re all set for your quick weekend getaway. Technology has undoubtedly changed the face of travel and made travelling so much easier.

We look back at how travel has changed over the years.

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1.Staying in touch

While on the go, you’d send back pretty postcards, write letters and occasionally spend on that long-distance phone call from the hotel reception, or a local phone booth. Staying in touch certainly wasn’t easy and most people back home didn’t expect to hear from you unless it was an emergency. Now, free WiFi hotspots at airports and cafés make it so easy to email, Skype and Tweet as much and as often as you like.

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2. Booking the hotel/flight

Brochures were the lifesaver in the past. You have no choice than to go through hotel brochures, ask friends where they have stayed during their holiday and then actually phone the hotel to book a room. While doing all this, you do not know if you will like the room or not. Now, we have Online Travel Agencies like Jumia Travel now provides everything you need to know about the hotel you want to book including room pictures and review. This is almost the same for flight.

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3. Learning local language

You can travel anywhere in the world today and can communicate with ease without any difficulty. This is because you can learn or understand any language you want with the aid of apps like Google Translate, iTranslate or Waygo. These apps can help you dialogue with the locals.

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4. Determining your destination

In the past, you have to exhaustively look over holiday brochures at a travel agent’s office, buy guidebooks or taking a friend’s recommendation when it came to deciding where to go. But today, you can easily Google any destination and all the information you need will be at your fingertips within seconds.

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5. Taking photographs

There was nothing like a selfie in the pre-technology travel age. However, presently you can take as many pictures as you so desire and even share them on any of your desired social media platforms. Smartphones have made this very easy and clearly, these gadgets are a huge threat to digital cameras.

Omolara Adagunodo: “Lagosians Don’t Explore Lagos”

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Lagos is unarguably the most developed and most sophisticated city in Nigeria. Normally, the over 20 million Lagos population should explore places of interest in the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria. Surprisingly, this is not the case as Lagosians do not explore Lagos.

This concern was expressed by Omolara Adagunodo, the Managing Director of Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency, at the meetup put together by Funmi Oyatogun, the founder/CEO of TVP adventures at the Social Media Week Lagos.

Adagunodo who spoke on the theme, “Help! Can Nigeria Meet My Travel Needs?” said:  “There is no single state in Nigeria that has fully maximised the potential of tourism. If you stay in Lagos for two days as a tourist, there are many places to visit like Nike Art Gallery, Terra Culture, and Hard Rock Cafe. Unfortunately, Lagosians don’t explore Lagos. How many people have been to Omu Resort or Epe Resort?”

While responding to how Jumia Travel is contributing to meet the travel needs of Nigerians, Adagunodo said the company is doing this in two ways: democratising travel and allowing tour operators to sell and market local packages.

Her words: “For democratising travel, we reached out to the hotels to lower their prices. They were sceptical at first but they gradually embraced the idea and bookings went up. Consequently, customers travelled more because they can now afford to pay for hotels. As for tour operators, we opened up our platform for tour operators to sell their local packages after being vetted.”

On the lack of data in the hospitality and tourism sector, Adagunodo stressed that Jumia Travel is doing its bits to provide reliable and verifiable data by publishing a yearly report on the Nigerian hospitality industry.

In his contribution, Dikko Nwachukwu said that Jetwest Airways is tapping into technology, innovation and creativity to cut the prices of air travel. His words: “Travelling by air is extremely expensive for most people. In the last four or five years in Nigeria, 10 million people travelled by air while over 70 million travel by road around the country. Although the environment is very unfriendly, we cannot allow this to stop us from actually trying to find solutions through innovation and creativity to lower the cost of air travel.”

5 Visa Application Tips Every Nigerian Should Know

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Visa applications don’t have to be the tedious process that they can sometimes be, as long as you have the right information on the things to do to aid a smooth visa application process.

Here are 5 visa application tips that can aid a smooth and possibly successful visa application process.

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1.Ensure Your Documents are Well Organized

Make sure documents are properly arranged and in order, both the original documents and the photocopies. This is so it can be easier for you to retrieve relevant documents on request during submission, which can help to greatly reduce your anxiety during the process and improve your composure.

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2. Try to Apply Early

Much like ensuring your documents are well organized, applying early helps eliminate the anxiety and stress that comes with late applications. During your visa application process, an important thing you will be assessed on, especially during the interview, is your level of composure, and eliminating minor things that can interfere with or compromise your ability to remain calm and composed should be top of mind. It is thus best to put in your visa application early, so no matter how long the visa processing takes or the delays that come up, there will be no need for you to panic or be agitated.

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3. Visa Agents Cannot Guarantee You a Visa

You would think that most people would know this by now but many of us still fall prey to scammers that erroneously make us believe that they can guarantee us a visa provided we do this and that, or pay so and so amount. Basically, for a successful visa application, you need to be able to show proof of your genuine intent and your financial capacity to sustain yourself for the duration. There is no agent that can do this for you or guarantee you this regardless of how much you pay them, the best they can do is help fill the necessary forms properly and see that you have all the documentation required. At the end of the day, the consul will typically decide on your application based on your documents and your responses to the interview (where it is required, like in the US).

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4. Try To Show Proof of Strong Socio-Economic Ties

Try to prove that you have strong socio-economic reasons like a good job, investments, sufficient funds etc., to return to your home country at the end of the specified period for the visa. In fact, being able to prove this is so important that according to the US Embassy, the 214(b) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states that “Every alien shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the officer, at the time of the application for a visa . . . that he is entitled to nonimmigrant status . . .” So visa officers really only just want to make sure that after your trip is over, you will return back to your country, and the best way you can do that is to prove that you have strong socio-economic ties in your home country that can encourage you to return. Some evidence of strong socio-economic ties that are considered are business ownership, employment, social and family relationships etc.

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5. Avoid Mistakes in Your Visa Application

Avoid slangs, big grammar or ambiguous phrases that can lead to avoidable mistakes on your visa application. During the application and even during the interview (where it applies), you should try to keep your responses ‘short, simple and straight to the point’. It is much easier to avoid mistakes this way. Also, during interviews (in cases it applies), be sure that your answers are in line with what is written on the forms submitted.

 

Must-see Historical Buildings When You Travel Around Nigeria

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Many people rarely consider adding visits to historical buildings to their itinerary when they travel. Such visits can help them expand their knowledge and can also be a great way to reinforce lessons. Some of these historical buildings have hands-on exhibits and tours which add to the visitors’ experience. This said, Nigeria has no shortage of these historic buildings, sites and landmark.

Here are some of the historical buildings you should visit:

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1.Mary Slessor House, Calabar

Built in the late 19th century, the Mary Slessor House once housed the iconic Scottish missionary Mary Slessor who was best known for stopping the killing of twins in Calabar. Rather than reside among her colleagues in the missionary quarters, she decided to stay among the Calabar people. The result of that decision is the Mary Slessor House in Ekenge, Calabar, which stands till today as a testament to her selfless service and courage.

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2. First Presbyterian Church, Calabar

Calabar is an important tourist hub because of its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean attracted attention from foreigners especially European missionaries and colonialists. The First Presbyterian Church in Nigeria was founded by Rev. Hope Masterton Waddell as early as 1846 and has endured as a lasting legacy of missionary work in Nigeria. It is also a wonderful place to visit.

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3. Oba of Benin Palace, Edo

This ancient building was first constructed around the 13th century by Oba Ewedo of Benin and later rebuilt by his successor, Oba Eweka II in the 20th. This building is a symbol of the enduring legacies of one of the most powerful traditional kingdoms in Nigeria and indeed West Africa.

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4. First Storey Building in Nigeria, Badagry

Widely reputed to be the first-storey building erected by foreigners in Nigeria, this building was once used as a primary school by the Methodist Church. Its foundations were laid by the famous missionary Henry Townsend in 1842 and completed in 1845 by Rev. Bernard Freeman and other notable missionaries. This historic building would later house the first African C.M.S (Church Missionary Society) bishop, Samuel Ajayi Crowther who translated the Bible from English to Yoruba.

7 Obvious Signs You Are Not Ready For Your Travel

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Travel is loaded with the unexpected and that’s why it’s such an adventure. It, therefore, follows that the more prepared you are for your trip, the better you will be able to handle any unforeseen circumstances or incidences. Regardless, here are 7 signs you have to be aware of to actually know if you are prepared for your travel or not.

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1.Your house looks the same

You are probably not ready to travel if you haven’t taken care of important tasks around the house. These could include general cleaning of your home, switching off sockets and ensuring all your home devices such as your television, microwave, or air-conditioning are unplugged.

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2. You don’t know your flight status

You should check your flight regularly before you depart. This will help you know if there will be any significant changes in your flight such as cancellation, delay or reschedule. If you are not in the know, you are definitely not ready for your trip.

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3. You don’t know your passport expiration date

You would be surprised that some frequent travellers do not know when their passport will expire. These travellers would have booked their trips only to discover weeks or days prior to departure that their passport has expired or close to expiring. So, do not hesitate to check your passport expiry date.

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4. You haven’t packed

Use a packing list and start collecting what you will need for your trip at least a few days before departure or even longer. However, due to procrastination, some travellers will delay their packing until the last minute. At this point, it is possible to forget some key items.

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5. You do not have enough cash

Having enough cash at hand will help you deal with any emergency as soon as possible because you do not need to run around in search of an ATM. By the way, it is not entirely advisable not to have cash in your wallet when you travel.

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6. No one knows you are leaving

For safety reasons, tell someone reliable where you’re going so that they can help you to keep an eye on your house. You do not want your home ransacked or burgled before you return.

7. You don’t have a backup I.D.

Always carry a copy of your passport and driver’s license (or other identification) when you travel, especially if you are flying. If your passport gets lost or stolen, a backup copy will ease the process of applying for an emergency passport.

Things Nigerians Travelling To Dubai Can Do For Free

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Dubai is one of the destinations Nigerians frequent today because journeying to the gateway of the Middle East has been made slightly easy and the cost is quite affordable especially if you book your flight with Jumia Travel. In Dubai, there are so many attractions to see and experience. To explore some of these destinations, you do not have to pay a dime and we know that Nigerians love freebies. Here are some of the things you can do in Dubai for free.

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1.Window shop at the Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall is the world’s largest mall. This automatically makes it a hub to visit and it costs nothing to check out the vast shopping areas. This shopping centre of 5.4 million square feet, with 1,200 stores attracts over 54 million annual visitors. If you have some cash, you can splurge on the resplendent items on display.

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2. Watch the splashing fountains

Next door to the mall is Dubai’s famous splashing fountains which is said to be the world’s largest performing fountain. This free attraction is fitted with 6,000 lights and 50 colour projectors. Performances are held daily and last up to 5 minutes.

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3. Enjoy the beach

Jumeirah Beach Residence Beach is one of the best beaches in Dubai offering water sports, parasailing, wakeboarding, banana boating, camel rides and more activities for everyone. This is a great place to meet and mix with locals, expats, and tourists.

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4. Visit Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary

Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is a wetland reserve renowned for attracting migratory birds in large numbers. The wetlands have large numbers of birds, crustaceans, small mammals and fish. It sits at the mouth of the Dubai Creek and no entry fee is charged.

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5. Dubai Museum at Al Fahidi Fort

Built in 1787, the fort was reopened to the public in 1971 as an official museum that displays the history of Dubai and its heritage. It’s free to see the fort, but if you want to venture inside you will be charged an entry fee. Inside, you will find antiques such as pottery and weapons as well as pictures of old and new Dubai.