Techooze Hub Your Goals In Reach Tue, 27 Jul 2021 11:53:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Techniques For Long Exposure Landscape Photography Tue, 27 Jul 2021 11:53:22 +0000 Landscape photography can be so much more creative with long exposures. They add that extra wow factor to your landscape image.

Look for Overcast Weather To Add More Interest to Your Photos

When I scout for a new location, I always have long exposure photography in mind.

You can do long exposure landscape photography almost anywhere on the globe. You need to know where and when to find an element that moves at an adequate speed.

The two main subjects are water (including waterfalls, seas, streams) and clouds in the sky.

But there may also be other possibilities. For example, a car’s lights moving on a winding mountain or hill road. Or the movement of stars in the sky.

One of the less considered aspects of this kind of photography is the weather.

A sunset or sunrise with a cloudless sky can be beautiful to see live. A unique experience. But it can turn into a boring image because there’s no movement in the sky.

Even worse is leaving home with a beautiful sky overhead and then arriving at the shooting location only to find bad weather.

Track the Sun’s Position To Avoid Overexposed Areas

The position of the sun and the path it will follow are also important when planning long exposures. It is a good rule to exclude the sun from the composition as much as possible.

The first reason is that with long exposures, the sun will no longer be circular. But you will start to see its movement during the exposure.

Plus, it will create an overexposed area that is close impossible to correct in post-production.

Focus a Third of the Way Into the Scene To Avoid Blurry Results

After deciding about your long exposures composition, you should set your focus point. For a landscape shot your lens will be set to an aperture value of f/10 or f/11. You should try not to go over f/16 to not stumble on diffraction problems. It will cause unsharp images.

Don’t use aperture to make a shot last longer. But what if you think that your shutter speed is not slow enough? This is where ND filters help a lot.

You can even try this simple trick to be sure of your focus point. You can try to focus on one of the two lower intersection points of the rule of thirds.

At this point, set the manual focus, so you do not have to change it anymore.

When it comes to long exposure photography composition, focusing is the most important part of your final photo. Better spend a lot of time to be sure of your point of focus than regret it later.

Exciting Winter Photography Tips and Ideas Tue, 27 Jul 2021 11:26:55 +0000 Winter may not seem like the best time of year to have exciting photoshoots and take gorgeous photos.

In reality, it’s the best season for creating surreal, and dreamy images.

To make the most out of winter photography, take a look at our tips and creative ideas.

How to Prepare Yourself and Your Camera for the Cold Weather

You’re probably already aware that winter can be cold! You have to prepare for that if you are interested in winter photography.

Your camera can work slower in cold weather conditions. Spare batteries for being able to shoot everything you planned, as they rapidly run out.

Also, take a hot beverage with yourself in a thermos. And of course, dress properly, wear the warmest clothes you can. Especially if you are planning to stay put in one place, rather than hiking!

Fingerless gloves can make your task easier because you will be able to adjust your camera settings more easily.

After shooting outdoors, make sure to let your camera to try out. Moist can find it’s way into your lens and the camera body.

Although it doesn’t feel the same as rain, snow can soak your gear as well. Even if it’s not snowing, when you go into a warm place, you can immediately see the moist on your glass.

Don’t pack it immediately, let it dry in a warm (but not too hot) place. This way you can avoid getting camera lens fungus.

These are the base of every other winter photography tips for outdoor ideas.

Use Your Camera Settings for Enhancing Soft Lights

Shooting in snow is a great challenge as a great part of your images is going to be bright and white.

You can overexpose your photos in wintertime. It means that you can let more light into your camera. Open the aperture wider, or use a slow shutter speed.

This way you can reach a soft effect. The soft ambient light works well with overexposing. Also, it looks good in a landscape, when everything is covered in snow.

A fast shutter speed or a small aperture can make your images dark and lose their sparkly atmosphere.

You can also experiment with the white balance settings of your camera. Snowy scenes can turn out magical by modifying the colour temperature a little bit.

Have a Winter-Themed Portrait Photoshoot

Winter photography goes hand in hand with warm outfits. Faux fur animal hats are perfect for outdoor photo shoots.

Asking your model to stand in the snow might seem like a bad idea. But if you use the right outfits and props, there is nothing wrong with it. Snow makes your images more fabulous, like you were illustrating a storybook.

Portrait photography doesn’t always have to feature fancy dresses and accessories. A cosy outfit can actually make your photos look more heartwarming than a summer portrait.

There are typical accessories you can use. Scarves, hats, hooded coats, gloves or boots all can be stylish elements of your images.

You can decide what kind of effect you want to reach and ask your subject to dress accordingly.

The Ultimate Guide to Time-Lapse Photography Tue, 27 Jul 2021 11:04:22 +0000 Time-lapse photography has become very popular in the last few years. The ultimate point of time-lapse is to create a recording that shows a huge scale of movement in a short amount of time.

It is a great way to show processes on a frequency which we can never experience in real life. Hours in seconds. That’s why it is quite time-consuming to shoot time-lapse photography.

Time-Lapse Photography: What It Is and How To Get Started

The basic idea is that you take many photographs at intervals. You then stitch them together during post-processing.

What you get is a sequence that plays back faster than usual.

The end result will become a video, as it is the only way to show this sequence of images in succession.

This is a technique you can see everywhere. In commercials, title sequences, and films like Baraka.

Camera Recommendations

There are many different cameras you can use for time-lapse photography. These can range from DSLRs, and even mirrorless versions.

The only caveat is that the system needs to be digital. This is because you will be taking hundreds of images in a short period of time.

Your camera system doesn’t need to be top of the range. With the right equipment, you can create time-lapses from any DLSR.

Best Tripod for Time-Lapse Photography

Tripods are a necessary piece of equipment when it comes to time-lapse photography.

This technique requires your camera to stay undisturbed for long periods of time.

Tripods allow the shot to keep the same frame. This retains that fluidity from one photograph to the next.

Your tripod needs to be of good quality, sturdy and stable, but light enough for you to take on adventures with you.

Master Motion Blur for Better Time-Lapse Photography

When creating your first time-lapse photography project, there will be challenges to overcome.

One challenge might be that you find some of the photographed subjects uneven or too jumpy. You want to create smooth time-lapse motion. We can teach you how to do it.

Subjects like traffic or people are the most affected. This is due to the intervals between the photographs being too long.

One of the most overlooked areas of photography is using correct memory cards for your project.

The speed of your memory card does matter. Especially in the field of time-lapse photography.

With a slow-speed card, you might find that the time it takes to record and write information is longer. This is true while photographing with 1-second intervals.

The Ultimate Guide to Street Photography Tue, 27 Jul 2021 10:28:55 +0000 Street photography is a diversified and very exciting photography genre. It’s hard to master it because you need to be talented in many photography fields.

We have created this guide that includes everything you ever need to know to become successful in street photography.

What is Street Photography?

It’s a difficult question to answer because this photographic field is all-encompassing. It can involve architecture, landscape, portraiture, black and white, long-exposure, and even macro.

To many photographers, street photography is everything. Fashion, documentary, and at the most basic, real. Street photography aims to capture people in public places, warts and all.

Urban photography connects to street photography. But not any photograph was taken on, off or from the street counts as urban photography.

Landscapes are not street photographs and neither are studio portraits, for example.

Urban photography takes into account specific compositional guidelines. The speed of capturing images and also different camera equipment separate photographic fields.

Street or urban photography covers a very wide range of styles and subjects. It does so while embodying its own techniques.

No other area of photography is so diversified. The public space is an ever-changing environment, and it needs a wide range of themes to capture it.

Only in street photographs would you want shot-from-the-hip. Or even blurry, out of focus, images. They still work in telling a visual story.

It’s also one photography area where you need to be aware of many things. Read as much as you possibly can about the law.

How to Choose the Best Camera for Street Photography

Like urban photography itself, the camera choices for it are very diverse. The possibilities come down to what you are going to photograph, your budget, and your own style.

Focusing on people, capturing them fast and candidly requires one type of camera. Photographing empty spaces, another.

This article goes through eight of the best cameras to use for street photography. It looks at rangefinders, digital cameras, and mirrorless options.

The Best Lens for Street Photography

Lenses, like camera options, come down to what you want to photograph.

Are you aiming to get into people’s faces like Bruce Gilden, who uses a 28 mm lens? Or are you going for something that keeps you a little more hidden?

Either way, lenses are the tool that defines your relationship with the subject. They also offer you emphasized the depth of fields.

The Ultimate Guide To Travel Photography Tue, 27 Jul 2021 10:13:54 +0000 Who doesn’t love visiting gorgeous places? When we travel, it is natural to want to capture those special moments. So why not explore this niche?

With the right skills and some practice, you could make your travel photography hobby. In this article, we have organized our knowledge base on travel photography.

What Is Travel Photography?

Travel photography is the act of photographing while travelling. The goal is to capture the locations you visit and the adventures you experience.

It is a combination of different genres. It includes landscape, street, portrait, environmental portrait and even architecture photography.

You can take landscape images of the places you visit, portraits of the people you meet or architecture photos of the buildings you see.

You can even master your self-photography skills by taking selfies everywhere you go.

Getting Started With Travel Photography: Beginner’s Guide

Travel photography is a genre that requires a lot of pre-photoshoot preparation.

You need to be able to find suitable locations, handle different weather conditions, and choose the best equipment for each trip.

Practicing and learning how you like traveling is the basis of the whole process. You should also find out which type of travel photography suits you the most.

How to Plan for Road Trip Photography

Everyone’s idea of travel is different. Some go away for the weekend, and others plan a whirlwind trip covering dozens of countries in a concise period of time.

If you are the road trip kind, this article is for you.

Firstly, you’ll need to figure out how to get around. Will it be your car, a rental, or even hitch-hiking? Next is the route.

How to Make the Most of Your Travel Photography With a Shot List

The best travel photos are the results of hours of planning and research.

A shot list is a helpful reminder to ensure you get a wide range of images. No matter where you go, you will have the same or a similar list.

You won’t miss anything if you need what kind of shots you need. Also, a list can guide your attention and make you spot the scenes worth photographing.

Photography Style: What Is It and How Can You Find Your Own

Your photography style separates you from every other travel photographer. Believe me. There are thousands in this category.

Finding your style will take time and practice. It isn’t something you can develop overnight.

Keep experimenting. You can focus on a particular mood or atmosphere. Or concentrate on the same color range. Or even take stunning portraits.

Famous photographers have recognizable styles. If someone recognizes your images without seeing your name on them, you’re on the right path.

4 new cruise ships for Carnival in 2018 Mon, 05 Feb 2018 06:29:49 +0000 You have probably heard of Carnival Cruise Line but you may not know that Carnival sails the sevens seas under several guises – an impressive stable of 10 brands in their porfolio – including Cunard, Costa and P&O.

This year four of the brands will be launching new ships: the family friendly Carnival Cruise Line fleet, the sumptuous Holland America, the eco friendly AIDAnova and the luxuriously intimate cruise line Seabourn.

Carnival Cruise Line: Carnival Horizon – expected launch date in April 2018

As the 26th ship for Carnival Cruise Line, the largest cruise line in the world, Carnival Horizon will offer a number of unique innovations, including the first Dr. Seuss WaterWorks aqua park, the line’s first teppanyaki dining venue and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse | Brewhouse, a new restaurant that combines BBQ offerings created by Food Network star Guy Fieri along with four specifically designed craft beers brewed at an onboard brewery.

Carnival Horizon will also offer indoor and outdoor dining, bar, entertainment and activity options that debuted in 2016 on its sister-ship, Carnival Vista, such as the bike-ride-in-the-sky SkyRide attraction and an IMAX Theatre.

Accommodation includes spa cabins with exclusive privileges at the luxurious Cloud 9 Spa, extra-roomy staterooms in Family Harbor, and tropical-inspired Havana staterooms and suites with exclusive daytime access to a Cuban-themed bar and pool.

The 133,500-ton Carnival Horizon will debut with a 13-day Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona in April 2018 – the first of four round-trip departures from the port. Carnival Horizon will then reposition to the U.S. with a 14-day transatlantic crossing from Barcelona to New York May 9-23, 2018, positioning the vessel for a summer schedule of four-day Bermuda and eight-day Caribbean departures from the Big Apple. Carnival Horizon will shift to Miami to launch a year-round schedule of six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning Sept. 22, 2018, and will also offer a special two-day cruise to Nassau from Miami Sept. 20-22, 2018.

Seabourn: Seabourn Ovation – expected launch date in May 2018

The fifth all-suite ship in Seabourn’s fleet, Seabourn Ovation will carry just 600 guests, based on double occupancy who will enjoy a private veranda in each suite.  Cruisers will be treated to “An Evening with Tim Rice,” the acclaimed English musical theatre lyricist of Broadway, West End and film. The experience highlights some of Sir Tim Rice’s most loved work – from “Jesus Christ Superstar” to “Aladdin” and “The Lion King.”

Seabourn Ovation’s maiden voyage will be an 11-day inaugural voyage departing May 5, 2018, from Venice, Italy, to Barcelona. The ship will spend the majority of her maiden season cruising the waters of Northern Europe, offering a variety of Baltic and Scandinavian cruises, which will include the line’s signature three-day stay in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Seabourn Ovation will also sail on longer 14-day voyages, visiting the majestic Norwegian fjords and British Isles. Select sailings will also include the Ventures by Seabourn program, which are optional for-charge expedition-style excursions featuring a team of experts, Zodiacs and kayaks with a focus on allowing guests to experience nature up close.

AIDA Cruises: AIDAnova – expected launch date in December 2018

Arriving in late 2018, AIDAnova will be the first cruise ship fully powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel, with nearly zero emissions. This ship will be the first in the cruise industry to use LNG to generate 100 percent of its power both in port and on the open sea – an innovation that will reduce exhaust emissions to help protect the environment and support Carnival Corporation’s aggressive sustainability goals.

AIDAnova’s next-generation, fully LNG-powered design is an evolution from the brand’s previous award-winning class of ships that includes AIDAprima and AIDAperla, the first two cruise ships in the world to use LNG while in port. AIDAnova will be followed by six additional fully LNG-powered ships scheduled to be delivered across several Carnival Corporation brands by 2022.

AIDAnova marks a new generation of AIDA Cruises ships that combine innovative design with state-of-the-art technology to provide even greater onboard comfort – the onboard brewery featuring the first-ever beer garden, the beach club and Four Elements, complete with three water slides, in addition to a new escape room for puzzle lovers and 360-degreee Theatrium and Studio X, a TV studio at sea.

Highlights include 20 different stateroom types, ranging from a two-deck penthouse suite to spacious family and patio cabins to comfortable single options with a balcony. The ship will also feature the Body & Soul Spa, spanning two decks and offering over 80 treatments from around the world. For the first time, the ship has two private outdoor sun islands for couples; an all-new concept with 17 restaurants – five specialty restaurants, six à la carte restaurants, five buffet restaurants and one snack bar; 23 bars offering a variety of culinary trends from around the world; and the new Time Machine restaurant, blending experience and culinary art to take guests on a dinner trip through time.

In its debut season starting in December 2018, AIDAnova will offer seven-day trips around the Canary Islands. Prior to the Canary season, AIDAnova will make a stop in Hamburg, and will visit the Hanseatic City on the Elbe before setting off toward Gran Canaria.

Holland America Line: MS Nieuw Statendam – expected launch date in December 2018

Nieuw Statendam is the second Pinnacle Class ship for Holland America Line, joining MS Koningsdam, which launched in April 2016.

The 99,500-ton ship is the ultimate expression of the brand’s evolution, with grand light-filled spaces; visual drama; and sumptuous interiors inspired by the fluid curves of musical instruments. created by leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and designer and architect Bjorn Storbraaten.

The ship will carry 2,666 guests and feature fine-dining options at alternative restaurants Sel de Mer, a French seafood brasserie, and Tamarind, an Asian fusion concept, in addition to the Grand Dutch Café with traditional Dutch treats and European beer.

Onboard entertainment will include the popular Music Walk area featuring all genres of music showcased in venues including Lincoln Center Stage, Billboard Onboard and the dynamic B.B. King’s Blues Club. With the 270-degree LED projection at World Stage, show-time performances will immerse the audience in panoramic visual and sound effects.  The ship will also launch with the newly created Exploration Central’s hub located in the Crow’s Nest, now a comprehensive resource and engagement center with interactive screens and a Virtual Bridge.

Holland America Line’s first ship to be called Statendam sailed in 1898, and this will be the sixth ship in the company’s history to carry the name. In combining the Dutch word for “new” with the classic “Statendam,” Holland America Line is celebrating the company’s past, present and future.

Nieuw Statendam is scheduled to depart December, 2018, on its maiden voyage with guests – a 14-day transatlantic crossing to Fort Lauderdale. The ship will then spend the winter season cruising roundtrip from the South Florida port on seven-day Caribbean itineraries, with select three- four- and 10-day options.

When is the best time to visit Puglia, Italy Mon, 05 Feb 2018 06:23:53 +0000 Puglia, located in the south, in heel of Italy, sandwiched between the Ionian and Adriatic seas, has become one of Italy’s most popular holiday destinations. It offers ancient towns with long histories, extravagant churches, bizarre conical-roofed trulli houses, fabulous masseria hotels which have been converted from traditional fortified manor houses and a great deal of Baroque splendour.


Spring arrives early in Puglia and at this time the weather is generally warm and sunny, with temperatures rising to the early twenties by the end of April rising steadily through May. Another perk of visiting at this time is lack of crowds making it a pleasure to explore cities such as Lecce, Galipoli, Alberobello or Bari that are much loved by tourists.


Summer time in Puglia lasts from the end of May when it is already warm – and the strawberries and peaches will be ripening – to the end of September. In July and August, Italians on holiday flood into Puglia and though this is the most crowded time, the area is busy with food festivals, concerts and other spectacular music events. You may even learn the local dance such as the tarantella or pizzica, at one of the many music and dance festivals that pop up across the historic towns and beach villages.


The quiet time is from October to April. It’s a little too chilly to go swimming as the water is too cold and there may be some rain and feel a tad damp. This is a good time to enjoy cosy café moments by a fireside.

Hotels are a lot cheaper, sometimes a third of the hotel rates during the summer months which means you will have more to spend on food. And that’s a good thing because the autumn is harvest time and at this time Puglia’s cuisine is at its best. During this period the shops are emptier and the prices have lowered, there are more seats available in restaurants and the food is altogether more bountiful and at its freshest.


Winter months can be a little rainy but are generally mild, with average temperatures hovering around the 12-15°C mark.

If cold is an issue then give February a miss. At this time temperatures plummet to their lowest (lowest is 7°C). However if you do so you will also miss the Carnevale di Putignano, the region’s oldest and most colourful carnival.

During the winter months the landscape is still beautiful and life centres inland and perhaps into the mountains and certainly away from the beaches. The areas is ripe for trekking, horseback riding and cycling.

5 reasons to visit Beau Vallon and Savoy Seychelles Resort & Spa Mon, 05 Feb 2018 06:19:25 +0000 Beau Vallon is the only beach on the Mahe island on the Seychelles that has it all. A peaceful ocean laps onto a sandy beach offering two impressive snorkeling sites, an active and buzzing night life and a range of 5 star hotels, including the Savoy Seychelles Resort & Spa.

Ocean is by your side

Beau Vallon stands for “beautiful valley”. And this is indeed a beautiful valley with a curved ribbon of beach that stretches over 3km along the ocean. It is peppered with trees that hang lazily over the water and its soft sand.

The calm waters and sandy ocean bed has no underwater current, stones or corals making Beau Vallon a safe and ideal place for young families to holiday.


Close by are couple of excellent snorkel sites. One of them is Anse Major – a small bay in the northern part of the Mahe Island. You can reach it in around an hour by foot hiking through the forest or by taxi from Beau Vallon.

Reef Anse Major has well-preserved corals home to various fish and marine life that hide in their crevices. In particular you may find blue-spotted grouper, the green birdmouth wrasse, the white-spotted boxfish, or young specimen of several species of moray eels.

The other is Ste. Anne Marine Park. It is about 5 km by boat from Victoria. Fishing is forbidden but among the sea grass you can see big sea turtles and friendly fish who will swim right beside you. A huge amount of plankton attracts big manta rays into these waters throughout April to December.

Spa Center

Relax in the calmness and comfort of the hotel’s Spa after an active day on the beach or a hectic long night filled with music. There are several treatments including massages, wrapping and some signature treatments that exclusively use Sothys products. Romantic couple treatments are available too.

Local markets and fairs

The popular Bazar Labrin market opens on the beach every Wednesday and on the last Saturday of each month. There’s an abundance of fascinating stalls and the market gets particularly lively from around 4 pm until 8.30pm.

Stalls sell delicious food, spices and fish alongside local arts and crafts while barbecues offer freshly caught fish and banana St Jacques fritters, grilled breadfruit and plenty of other local delicacies including papaya chutney, mango salad or red lentils.

Live music ensures a party atmosphere, as local musicians and bands often hold impromptu performances

Night Life

For some heady nightlife hop into a taxi for a short 15 minute ride into the city. Located on Francis Rachel Street, the Gran Kaz Casino boasts a bar area with a widescreen TV that shows the latest sporting events.

Barrel Night Club on Revolution Avenue is a good place to meet local people, play some pool and to hear a mix of music including reggae, local Creole music, dance and hip-hop. Open from Thursday through to Sunday, it is spread over two floors – the lounge bar is on the ground floor and the music hall is in the basement.

The Boardwalk Bar and Grill on Eden Island, around 3.5km from Victoria has superb views of the mountains, marina and ocean. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner and anything in between – including morning coffees and cocktails. Special events include karaoke every Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday with live music from La Mezcla, resident DJs and live bands on a Friday and Saturday.

Rogan’s Irish Bar (Level 3 Docklands, Latanier Rd) is an authentic Irish pub run by an Irishman. It is the only place on Seychelles where you can taste a legendary Guinness watch sports on big TV screens and even enjoy some karaoke.

But you can enjoy the night and the ocean staying at the hotel and on Beau Vallon. The Ocean Deck Bar is open till midnight and you can drink a draft Seychelles beer while being entertained by live music band.

International Travel with Car Seats: What Do You Really Do? Mon, 05 Feb 2018 06:10:09 +0000 If you want to travel, start a conversation about car seats. I’ve learned from posting a guide to car seats and air travel a few years ago that car seats can bring out the worst in millennial and Gen X parents. The judgement is real. Don’t keep your child rear facing until their teen years? Judgement. Have that chest clip a half-inch too low when you snapped a photo of the kiddo in a car seat? Judgement.

So lesson learned? No way! Here I am stepping in it all over again with an important discussion that I think needs to be had about car seats for those of us who travel abroad…. what do you really do about car seats when you are in international destinations where they aren’t the norm? It’s confession time.

I was having this conversation earlier this week with a friend and fellow family travel blogger As the Joe Flies, so I blame him for making me wade into these waters again. When it comes to child safety, both Joe and I are pretty conservative. We both use car seats religiously back home with our kids. We know how to install and use them safely. I kept my son rear facing until he was almost 3. Joe still uses a convertible car seat with his 4 year old with no plans to graduate her to a booster. We do more than what the American Association of Pediatrics and the laws of our state require. We have schlepped car seats all over this great country on dozens of planes and in numerous rental cars to keep our kids safe.

But where have we let things slide? International trips. Joe has Hong Kong roots and confessed to me that his family there thinks he’s crazy when he uses a car seat with his kids when they visit. He’s gone without with his daughter on occasion when the logistics necessitated it. Sorry Joe, I’ve outed you.

Since I’ve tattled on a fellow travelling parent, here comes the time where I should tattle on myself. We went without a car seat or booster for my daughter in Hong Kong when she was 5. More recently, I let my son ride in an Uber in Panama when he was 2 without a car seat. (That was the infamous Uber ride where my son threw up all over me, but that’s another story.) We used a car seat to and from the airport in Panama but there was just no way to use one when touring the city. Public transit wasn’t really an option there with the time we had and where we wanted to go. It was a Uber or taxi or nothing. There was just no way to take a car seat with us when we planned to stroll around the city and see various tourist sites, as we had no where to store it and no easy way to carry it.

That’s the challenge – logistics. The realities of international travel mean that bringing a car seat with you everywhere in a vehicle just isn’t possible. If you find yourself in a country where car seat use is not the norm, forget finding a car service that even has car seats unless you are independently wealthy. There’s no Uber Car Seat service in Hong Kong. Or Panama.

Of course, there are some international destinations where car seats are exceptionally easy. We had no trouble in Montreal renting a car seat for our son with our rental car when we visited when he was 9 months old. When we weren’t using the car, the city’s public transit system was more than adequate to get us everywhere we needed to go so no car seat was needed for safe travel. I imagine the same would be the case in many major European cities with extensive subways and transit systems. I didn’t even have issues in Cancun, Mexico, as the tour company we hired to take us to Chichen Itza made a car seat available in our touring van (no doubt being used to dealing with American tourists who demanded it).

So, it’s confession time. I want to hear about your personal experiences with car seat use at international destinations. Have you gone without one with your kids? At what ages? Does being able to use a car seat (or not) shape the destinations you travel to with your kids when they are at peak car seat age? Do you have any clever workarounds to share? This is a judgement-free zone.

6 Hidden Features on Airplanes You Had No Idea Existed Mon, 05 Feb 2018 06:04:36 +0000 Keep an eye out for these on your next flight.Whether you’re in the aisle or window seat, don’t make the mistake of doing these things you should never do on an airplane.

The magic button for extra room

Did you manage to snag an aisle seat? Not only can you get up without crawling over people, but you can make your seat extra roomy at the push of a button, thanks to one of the coolest secret airplane features. Reach under the armrest closest to the aisle and feel around near the hinge. You should find a button, which will instantly let you swing the armrest up when you push it, according to Travel + Leisure . Once it’s in line with your seat back, it won’t dig into your side anymore, and you can move your legs around without hitting anything.

The hidden handrail

We’re willing to bet you hate it when people aggressively grab your seat on the way to the bathroom. Once it’s your turn to make your way down the aisle, though, you realize you have no choice but to follow suit—or do you? Flight attendants don’t just touch the ceiling for fun when they walk; the bottom of the overhead compartment has a scalloped area that gives better grip when walking down a moving airplane, according to Condé Nast Traveler . Next time you need to get up, reach to the ceiling for balance. Your fellow passengers will thank you, as will your flight attendants if you pay heed to these 7 pet peeves all flight attendants have .

Secret sleeping area

A long-haul flight is hard enough on passengers, but imagine being a pilot or flight attendant trying to make it through a 14-hour workday. It’s an exhausting job, so some planes, like Boeing 777 and 787 planes, have secret passageways that let staff can get some decent shut-eye, according to Insider . A locked door near the front of the plane or a door posing as an overhead bin hides the entrance to a set of beds, kept private with thick curtains. Here’s the one word you need to say to get your flight attendant to really like you !

Hooks on the wings

If you peek out the window to an Airbus plane’s wing, you can spot yellow bumps with holes in the middle on an otherwise smooth, white surface. If there’s an emergency water landing, the wings would be very slippery for passengers trying to get to the inflatable slide that would have deployed. To help travellers get off without falling, the easy-to-miss airplane features let cabin crew slip a rope through one hook and fasten it to the next, according to pilot “Captain” Joe . Passengers could hold on to the rope while on the plane to make it away from the plane safely. Find out how to survive a plane crash , according to science.

Triangle above window

Scan the wall of your plane; above four windows, you’ll see a black triangle. Each one lines up with the edge of the airplane’s wing, according to pilot “Captain” Joe . If a flight attendant needs to check the airplane’s slats or flaps—the moving parts on a wing—they’ll know exactly where to go for the best view. If you’re getting motion sick on a plane, you might want to see if you can move to a seat between the triangles. The wings are the plane’s centre of gravity, so sitting between them would give you the smoothest ride. Here’s the reason why you should never take off your shoes on an airplane .

Holes in the windows

Look closely at an airplane window and you’ll spot something weird: a little hole in the bottom. Take an even closer look and you’ll realize that unlike other windows, this one is made of three panes, and the hole is in the middle one. The quirk is there to protect against the pressure drop of flying high into the atmosphere, according to Slate . As a plane ascends, the pressure outside drops massively, but the cabin is designed to stay at a comfortable pressure. That leaves a big difference in pressure inside and outside of the plane. The outside window takes on most of that pressure, and the hole in the middle one helps balance the pressure difference. The inner window is just to protect the middle one.