JNR Spotlight: Sleeping While Traveling

Whether you are traveling for business purposes or going on a lavishing vacation to another country, one thing we can all agree on is that sleeping in an economy seat on an airplane can be quite a mission. The small space and the upright seats can make it hard to get comfortable enough to take a relaxing nap. Here are a few tips to keep in mind through air travel that will help you doze off peacefully.

Expectations

Do not board a plane with the expectation that you will easily fall asleep. This is often unrealistic, causing a traveller to get frustrated when they can not slip quickly into slumber. Putting too much pressure on yourself will almost always ensure you get no sleep. Keep in mind that for the most part, people are so excited to get to their destination.  The anticipation does not always make it easy to relax and sleep.

Seat Selection

With airline seat availability becoming more and more limited for economy travellers, flyers do not always get the seat they want- “the window seat!” This spot is the easiest seat to fall asleep in as you have something to lean on. If the window indent is an inch or two in front of the seat you have the perfect place for your head to lie against. That however cuts out two thirds of the rest of the plane leaving travellers in the center or aisle with less than optimal sleeping arrangements.

Travel Gear

When traveling by air it is important to wear comfortable clothing and loose-fitting shoes. Think about it; are you able to fall asleep in your bed while wearing jeans? If you can’t fall asleep in your own bed then how will you fall asleep in a small upright chair? In addition, due to pressurization our bodies swell so you want to ensure that your clothing doesn’t fit too tight leaving you uncomfortable.

Now that you are wearing the right gear you want to be sure to bring the correct sleep goods to help you achieve your ultimate goal. Three important must have products are a travel pillow, an eye mask and earplugs/headphones. A neck pillow will help your head from falling side to side while the eye mask is a gateway way to escape from your surroundings. The earplugs/headphones are the icing on the cake zoning out any unwanted noises or allowing you to listen to soothing music, calming and relaxing your body.

Eating and Drinking

People don’t usually think about how eating can affect their sleep, but this is an important component that should not be overlooked. Before and during your flight you want to avoid eating anything salty.  Salty foods paired with cabin pressure can lead to uncomfortable bloating. Stash chamomile tea bags and ask the attendant for hot water as the drink cart makes the rounds.  A nice cup of tea can help you reach dreamland mid-flight.

Some flyers order a nice cocktail to help them nod off quicker, but don’t be fooled into thinking you will get a better rest. Studies have confirmed that falling asleep after consuming alcohol will leave you dehydrated, making you groggy when you awake. In addition, it can amplify jetlag and disrupt your sleeping pattern all together.

Add these few tips to your routine when traveling by air next time and arrive at your destination rested and refreshed.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Tatum Dumont

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom incentive travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies in many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

 

 

JNR Spotlight: Fastest Growing Caribbean Destination

The Turks and Caicos Islands, located 550 miles southeast of Miami, Florida, are known for their year round warm temperatures and soft, white sandy beaches. Until recently these islands were not well known but in the past year the number of visitors traveling to Turks and Caicos have grown by 50 percent. Most of these tourists arrive by cruise ship while some came in by air accounting for a record high of 1,407,313 total travelers in 2014. Most of these visitors are U.S. citizens rounding up to about 80 percent of all total guests to the islands. So why is this destination suddenly in high demand?

Director of the Turks & Caicos Tourist Board, Ralph L. Higgs believes that accessibility to the islands is a huge contributing factor to the rapid growth in 2014. These islands located just beyond the Bahamas are an easy two and a half hour flight from Miami and offer travelers a new tropical destination to consider.  Getting there has become extremely convenient with a direct flight from many major gateways in North America such as JFK in New York and Logan International Airport in Boston. Travelling by cruise ship to Turks and Caicos was ranked fourth out of 28 Caribbean destinations with an increase of 24.8 percent.

In addition, the unusually cold weather in much of the U.S. last year may have played an important role in the increase in visitors. In an average year these islands have 350 days of sunshine, perfect for lounging by the pool or taking a nice stroll along the beach.

Typically, Caribbean cuisine is not at the forefront of decision making when booking an island escape.  Turks and Caicos are changing this perception though now offering over 20 restaurants featuring world-renowned and award-winning chefs.  The islands have also become host to the Caribbean Food & Wine Festival, which offers epicurean delights and draws in visitors from around the world.  This festival is designed to host dinners and tasting events on a small scale allowing the guests a chance to interact directly with top chefs and winemakers.  Typical to the Turks and Caicos relaxed reputation, this boutique festival keeps the focus on culinary talent while keeping the scene at a manageable size.

Some say the 230 miles of ivory sand on the islands are home to the best beaches in the world.  This laid back destination offers crystal clear waters and colorful coral reefs for beachgoers to enjoy as well as spectacular limestone caves and diving and snorkeling opportunities.  The Turks and Caicos are not the place for a lively nightlife but if you are in the mood for evening bonfires and an overall relaxing atmosphere, these islands are a tropical paradise destination leaving visitors with lifelong memories and experiences.

Now midway into 2015, Higgs anticipates continued growth while incorporating stronger and better marketing strategies. He believes the destinations strong branding and location keep Turks and Caicos on track for another solid yearly performance.  We would love to bring your group to these lovely islands.  If you would like to learn more about Turks and Caicos please contact JNR. We are happy to set up a time to talk about your organization’s needs. Give us a call at 800.343.4546, or email us at jnrinfo@jnrcorp.com.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Tatum Dumont

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

 

Photo: “Regent Palms Turks and Caicos” by C.C. Chapman is licensed by CC by 2.0

Cuban Spotlight: Cuba – One of the Most Intriguing Countries in the Caribbean

From tantalizing Cuban sandwiches to refreshing mojitos, this relaxed island is the largest in the Caribbean and offers a plethora of delicacies and history to explore. It has a fascinating colonial foundation while still maintaining a vibrant tropical vibe with its luxurious beaches and laid back island atmosphere. On the rise for international acclaim, Cuba is working to gain a place on the list of top travel destinations in both the Caribbean and the world.

Below is a list of the top 10 destinations complied with the help of My Travel Guide for tourists and corporate travelers alike in this beautiful Caribbean country:

  1. Havana: No trip to Cuba would be complete without a stop in the capital city of Havana. The splendor of this city comes from the charm of its colonial core and small town atmosphere, despite having 2 million people within its population. Although it is a growing metropolis, Havana is a city cautious about preserving its 1950’s heritage where retro cars and regal mansions still abound.
  2. Santiago de Cuba: The second largest city on the island, Santiago de Cuba is the site where the victory of the Cuban Revolution was proclaimed, making this town full of rich heritage one of the great historical and cultural hubs on the island.
  3. Veradero: Veradero is arguably the most popular destination for first time travelers to the island. It is often referred to as “Cuba’s Cancun”, where lavish resorts dot the bleached white sand and residents and visitors can enjoy an array of aqua activities.
  4. Holguin: Holguin is one of the few cities in Cuba that offers the best of both worlds in order to experience every dimension of Cuba’s unique geography. From Holguin, it is only a brief commute to either the beautiful beaches of Guardalavaca or to the dense backcountry to visit the La Mensura or Humboldt National Parks.
  5. Cienfuegos: There is no location like Cienfuegos in the Caribbean, as the entire town is designated a UNESCO Heritage Site.  Full of grand architecture and must see landmarks from the 18th and 19th centuries, Cienfuegos has been beautifully preserved for contemporary visitors to enjoy.
  6. Santa Clara: The city of Santa Clara is similar to Santiago de Cuba as it holds a vast amount of history to discover while on the island. The last and arguably most important battle in the Cuban Revolution (named for the city itself) took place within this site in 1958. Today, Santa Clara holds the mausoleum of Che Guevara, and a museum dedicated to his involvement in the Cuban Revolution.
  7. Cayo Coco: Cayo Coco is truly a vacationer’s dream. This secluded, small cay is located directly off the coast of the mainland and boasts the most lavish and exclusive resorts in Cuba. The most stunning and peaceful beaches in this nation are also found in Cayo Coco, making it an ideal locale for an incentive destination.
  8. Trinidad: Trinidad sits on the western coast of Cuba, and the entire town itself is a living museum. Tourists can enjoy a stroll down a cobblestone avenida to admire the colorful pastel houses or take a ride on the Baldwin Locomotive, a 20th century steam engine that takes passengers to the Valley of Sugar Mills.
  9. Pico Turquino: Pico Turquino is Cuba’s highest mountain, and the opportunity to trek to this peak should not be missed. It is a strenuous route, but the nature and history along its trails makes it well worth it.  Indulge in bird watching and let your imagination flourish as you discover abandoned wartime jungle headquarters.
  10. Cienaga de Zapata: The Zapata swamp is one of the most remarkable and untouched regions on the island. It is also at the top of the Caribbean’s largest wetlands, and is home to the endangered Cuban crocodile. Nature buffs will relish the chance to see some of the purest and unspoiled wilderness in Cuba.

While it once was a hotbed of revolution, Cuba is rapidly becoming a traveler’s dream.  From ardent conservation of historical landmarks and neighborhoods to its pristine white sand beaches and ocean resorts along the coast, Cuba is the epitome of a diamond in the rough. The reputation of this island oasis is drastically improving since the discord of the 20th century, becoming a land of immense opportunity for the incentive travel industry for many years to come.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Andy Tallon

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo: “cienfuegos yacht club” by Mikel Ortega is licensed under CC by 2.0

Cuban Spotlight: Is Havana the next hotspot for Incentive Travel programs?

Seasoned travel planners are constantly on the lookout for the latest and greatest travel hotspot for Incentive Travel destinations.  Recent years have shown that since many recipients of these programs are well travelled, the expectation has shifted from a predictable vacation itinerary to an experiential journey.  With President Obama’s announcement that the U.S. and Cuba will begin taking steps to normalize their relationship, travel to The Pearl of the Antilles is suddenly on everyone’s radar.

Fun in the sun incentives remain a top choice for companies looking to motivate and reward their partners, and although planners have their choice of exotic island locations to choose from, Havana is added to the short list of locations that are easy to get to and less than 100 miles from our own coast.

With tourism to the island minimal since the 1959 Cuban Revolution and the U.S. imposed travel restrictions that followed, there are a limited number of high-end resorts and hotels for new travellers to consider.  This may work to Cuba’s advantage though, making the island even more of an exclusive destination and driving the desire to bask on the pristine beaches immensely.  The small, secluded island of Cayo Coco is already regarded as one of the best places to snorkel in the vicinity and presumably, this and a number of other resort towns in Cuba, will be met with the challenge of quickly accommodating an influx of visitors.

Cuba offers a variety of landscapes and biodiversity on the archipelago.  Although the beach towns are an obvious draw for tourists, the romantic history, rich heritage and apparent time warp of the cities are equally as enthralling.  Along with the capital city of Havana, Santiago de Cuba and Trinidad hold some of the most eye-catching glimpses of Cuban history on the island.  Cobblestone streets, colorful houses and perfectly preserved sugar mills from the turn of the century make it as though Cuba went to sleep and never woke up.  Cuba’s bounty of natural attractions, paired with some of the most ardent conservation practices in the world, make it one of the best ecotourism destinations in the Caribbean.  From the beaches of Varadero, the UNESCO Heritage Site of Cienfuegos, breathtaking waterfalls in Holguin and the lush vegetation and brilliant white sand of Guardalavaca, Cuba is sure to see tourists flock to the island that previously were unable to do so.

Although travelling to Cuba for general tourism is not yet approved by our Congress, professionals in the industry are gearing up so that when the market does fully open, they can be among the first to offer the stunning Cuban culture to their clients.  We immediately saw Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, JetBlue Airway and American Airlines publically show interest in adding regular flights to Havana.  Both MasterCard and American Express have stated that once the Obama administration lifts the ban on U.S. banks doing business there, they will happily begin accepting credit and debit card transactions from the country.   Conveniences allowing travelers to now take $10,000 with them when they travel make it easier for Incentive trips to become a viable option.

We will watch closely as this continues to unfold.  As tales of the revolution diminish in the minds of younger generations and the overwhelming charm of the Cuban culture banquets through the hearts and minds of avid travelers, the country will no doubt become the generous host that it is known to be by only a limited few today.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Barbara Williamson

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JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo: “View from our balcony” by Still Burning is licensed under CC By 2.0