If you are a world traveler, you will definitely have had your eyes opened to the way people in other countries decorate and furnish their homes. You can take their ideas and ways of doing things and apply them to your own home to give your property an original and personal identity.

Western ideas

But why should you turn to other cultures for interior design ideas? Because by doing so, you will be able to achieve an interior that looks nothing like your neighbor’s, utilizing items that cannot be found in every main street store and colors that are out of the ordinary.

Using decorative items that you have brought back from your travels, or using a color scheme that comes from a vacation can help to bring back happy memories and inspire you in other areas of your life.

African art

Africa is a huge continent and offers a wide range of decorative interior choices. Many of us are familiar with the distinctive styles of Egypt and Morocco, for example; indeed, many of their iconic designs have found their way into mainstream Western art in some way or other. It is not unusual to see a basalt Egyptian cat serving as an ornament or Moroccan tiles decorating a bathroom. But the other African countries have much to offer as well.

For small accent touches, you can use woven baskets as decorative items, boldly patterned cushion covers and other native fabrics for soft furnishings, or carved wooden figurines that represent tribal gods that can be used as ornaments or wall art. These minimal design elements are perfect for those who are still unsure about doing a complete overhaul. For large-scale redecoration, larger design motifs can be laid upon the very walls of your interiors by choosing shades of paint that echo the natural landscape, such as tans and light browns to represent the sands of the African desert areas.

European style

The Western world naturally incorporates the continent of Europe, but perhaps the New World still has something to learn from the Old. Much of American interior design ideas come from our Quaker heritage and borrowings from England, but continental Europe has a wide range of styles that can be applied to American homes.

Take France as an example. Their interior design history is rich with ornate metalwork gilded in antique gold that lends any room a feeling of opulence, mixed with furniture that has ornate woodwork detailing. Much of French style features a distressed look, so that even if the pieces are brand new, they give the impression of having been passed down from generation to generation.

The Scandinavian countries have an almost opposite idea of style, paring down the essentials of a room to a bare minimum and showing off the beauty of natural wood furniture, teamed with plain and simple soft furnishings. This is a style for those who love minimalism and appreciate the clean look Scandinavian style offers.

Use your travels to influence your interior design style to create a home that not only represents you and your personality, but that also acts as a reminder of the places you so enjoyed visiting.


Featured Courtesy by Memi Ketie Kokovich under cc license

 

Thanks to the development of the internet, more and more companies are now doing business internationally, which means that more and more people are going on business trips. This can be a challenging process for anyone, but it is especially so for first-timers and for people who don’t speak the local language or have much idea about the local customs. How can you ensure that you get safely from A to B, sleep, eat, and arrive feeling refreshed in the right place at the right time for your meetings? Fortunately, there are some great apps ready to help you.

TripIt

TripIt is a great little all-rounder, helping you to book hotels, restaurants and buses, but it is at its most useful when it comes to flights. Once you give it your flight and hotel details it can work out your whole itinerary for you, including connections. It can inform you of any delays or cancellations and can even warn you when they might be likely because of changing weather patterns. It will let you know which gate to go to and in the event of serious problems, it will direct you to the best alternative flights. It also provides an easy-to-print copy of your plans that you can give to friends, family and business contacts as needed. There is a chargeable TripIt Pro available for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and for mobile devices running Windows 7. There’s also a slimmed down free version, making it easy to give it a try and see what you think.

Hotel Tonight

One of the hardest things to deal with when you are traveling on business is getting to your hotel to discover there’s been a problem and your room is no longer available to you. No matter how careful you are with your booking, these things sometimes happen, and it can be acutely distressing to find yourself stranded in a strange city after a long, tiring trip. That’s where Hotel Tonight comes in. It’s great at finding last minute vacancies close to your location, so you can find a new room and snap it up before anybody else gets it, minimizing disruption to your plans. It’s free for iPhone and Android.

Google Translate

Early versions of this may have been a bit clunky, but it’s getting better and better, and is incorporating an increasing number of languages. When you’re in a strange place and trying to make sense of safety instructions, street signs or a menu, it can be an enormous help. It’s also useful in meetings on those occasions that normal translation arrangements break down over an unusual word. There’s now a speech option, so you don’t have to type or try to pronounce the translation you’ve requested. It’s not always perfect, but it’s certainly better than struggling with a phrasebook. The app version is available free for iPhone or Android.

OpenTable

There are a lot of different restaurant-finding apps out there, but the best all-rounder is undoubtedly OpenTable. It’s designed to present you with good quality choices rather than making decisions for you, which is ideal if you’re planning on doing business while you eat and you want to make an impression. Using OpenTable, you can easily identify tables available in nearby restaurants and you can book them straight away. It’s free for iPhone and Android.

What business travelers want

New apps are always in development, and app developers at places such as worryfreelabs.com/ are always looking for new ways to appeal to their market; if you find that you face a persistent problem on your business trips and you can’t identify an app that helps with it, it’s worth talking about it on relevant forums. Developers already keep an eye on changes in how people approach business trips, such as the increasing degree to which they telecommute to the office while traveling, requiring more reliable internet access than sending the occasional email requires. Hence apps are in development to help with locating Wi-Fi hotspots that offer good bandwidth. Meanwhile, the increasing involvement of developing nations in Africa and on the Indian subcontinent in international commerce means that cities in those nations are increasingly being researched and covered by apps that previously concentrated on Western countries.

As a result of all these changes, business trips today are a lot easier to deal with than they used to be and are getting easier still. This means you can stop worrying about how it’s going to work out – just pick up the apps you need and you can start looking forward to exciting travel opportunities.

Las Vegas is a fabulous holiday destination for the female traveler, whether traveling alone, with a friend, or in a larger group. Vegas has much more to offer than you might initially think, so don’t make the mistake of assuming it is just gambling and strip shows for men. In fact, with so much to do and see, women can enjoy the city just as much as men – and maybe even more.

The casinos

Las Vegas is most famous for its casinos and nightlife. Try The Cosmopolitan with its floor-to-ceiling glass offering views of the Strip, the elegant Encore Las Vegas, The Venetian with its stunning architecture, the sleek and sophisticated Aria Resort and Casino, or the gambler’s Mecca: MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. A must-see is the Bellagio Casino, which has a 13,000 plus square foot conservatory and botanical gardens with specially designed lighting, theatrically arranged gazebos, ponds, bridges and water features.

Pools, parties and spas

If partying is your scene, try a pool party at Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel, or Wet Republic at MGM Grand. You will find some amazing, luxurious outdoor pools in Vegas, so if this is your thing, book a hotel with a relaxing pool and pack plenty of bikinis. You will also be able to take advantage of some wonderful spa treatments. Nearly every resort has a luxurious spa, and you don’t have to be staying there to pay to use a resort’s services.

Hotel accommodation

Women on their own should avoid cheap rooms located off the Strip, as the hotel could be located in a questionable area. Do your research and book a reputable hotel. Consider a resort stay at Bluegreen Club 36 Las Vegas. Blue Green Resorts offer comfort, quality, relaxation and luxury, and Bluegreen Club 36 is just minutes away from the casinos and entertainment of the Strip. You can find out more and plan a trip at the Blue Green Resorts website.

Explore Vegas

Wear some comfy shoes and explore all the resorts on the four-mile Strip, taking advantage of free trams, moving walkways and monorails. Go shopping at the designer outlets, or visit the Las Vegas Premium Outlets via the Gold Line bus, which departs from the Strip. Downtown or ‘’old Vegas’’ is Fremont Street; food is cheaper and gambling odds are better than those on the Strip.

Nighttime entertainment

Look out for special offers for women, such as free drinks or preferential entry to a nightclub. See a show, whether it is a Broadway musical, a concert, magician, or comedian. Book in advance, or approach one of the booths on the Strip or Downtown to see what tickets they have left for a particular night.

There are plenty of exciting things in Vegas for the woman traveler, whether she wants to party, gamble, explore, or do something entirely different. Book a break in Vegas and find out what else it has to offer besides the fabulous casinos and show those men how women can have a good time.