Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Skimming is a hi-tech method by which thieves capture your personal or account information from your credit card, drivers license, or even passport. An electronic device used to capture this information is called a “skimmer,” and can be purchased online for under $50.00. Your card is swiped through the skimmer and the information contained in the magnetic strip on the card is then read into and stored on the device or an attached computer.

Skimming is predominantly a tactic used to perpetuate credit card fraud--but is also a tactic that is gaining in popularity amongst identity thieves. Skimming is a problem, not just in the U.S, but globally. As the use of smart card technology grows, as evident with its integration with drivers licenses and passports, it is likely that skimming will continue to grow as a popular tactic of identity thieves.>source:about.com

Monday, July 30, 2007


While traveling or living overseas can be stimulating, individuals often overlook financial protection against illness and injury. There are several reasons for this over-site:

1.International travelers and expatriates are often unaware of the limitations of their existing health care plans back home in regard to overseas coverage. In most cases, their local plans will offer little or no medical coverage in a foreign country;

2.Individuals may not be aware of the astronomical cost of medical care overseas, especially in North America. Individuals, especially from countries with social medical care, mistakenly anticipate that they can independently cover medical expenditures overseas if need be

3.Travelers and expatriates are often not aware of the affordability of international medical coverage.

Individuals who do not seek financial protection against medical treatment in a foreign country are putting themselves and their families at risk not only financially, but also physically. Many hospitals worldwide will not treat foreigners who are not covered by an internationally recognized and rated insurer. FOR MORE DETAILS:http://insurance.rediff.com/cgi-bin/policies/videshyatramitra.asp

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


SBI Vishwa Yatra foreign Travel Card (FTC), a prepaid plastic card issued in association with VISA International, is presently available in three different currencies - US Dollars, Euro and GBP. It is a safer method of carrying funds in a safe, convenient and cost effective way on your visit abroad. It takes away the hassles of going around Money changers and loosing valuable foreign currency by way of high exchange margins. It also relieves the customer of the Annual fees, joining fees, credit limits, Mark-ups, unusual transaction charges etc., usually associated with International Debit / Credit Cards


· A Pre-paid card presently available in US Dollar, EURO and GBP Currencies
· Issued in association with VISA International
· Accepted at 924,000 VISA ATMs and at over 22 Million Merchant Establishments (MEs) approximately, all over the world except in India, Nepal and Bhutan
· Available at all Branches authorized to sell Foreign currency / travelers cheques


· Any bonafide citizen of India who plans to travel abroad except Nepal and Bhutan
· Corporates for their employees whom they plan to send abroad for official purpose subject to completion of KYC norms
· Parents / sponsors of the students going abroad for higher studies, in the student’s name and can be subsequently reloaded up to the statutory ceiling prescribed from time to time
· Foreign Nationals residing in India subject to completion of KYC norms.


· Minimum amount of issue: US Dollars 500 /400 Euros / 250 GBP
· Maximum amount of issue: US Dollars 10,000 or equivalent / or any higher amount as prescribed RBI/FEMA 1999 depending on the purpose of overseas visit
· Competitive exchange rates
· Reloadable any number of times
· SMS message on your Mobile phone for each transaction
· Operatable by 4 digit PIN at ATMs and by PIN/Signature at Merchant Establishments
· Free balance enquiry at SBI / VISA ATMs(at a charge)
· Free balance enquiry and view / download details of transactions through www.onlinesbi.com/
· Add-on cards not exceeding two in number to be used by the card holder in case of loss/misplacement/defacement of the card
· Balance information after each transaction through SMS
· Free insurance cover upto Rs.2 lacs for 48-hour pre and post card lost liability on non-PIN based transactions. (conditions apply)
· A 24 x 7 call centre to provide information and hot-list (block) the card in case of loss / misplacement.


· Copies of Pass port
· Form A2
· PAN or Form 60 in lieu thereof
· Proof of residence in case the address is different from that appearing on passport
visit for more details and forms download:http://statebankofindia.com/viewsection.jsp? lang=0&id=0,10,462

Sunday, July 22, 2007


PHOTO:Kala Subbiah
You can't see the whole sky through a bamboo tube. Japanese saying

Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it won't get you anywhere. Van

Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty - his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.Aldous Huxley

A person needs at intervals to separate from family and companions and go to new places. One must go without familiars in order to be open to influences, to change. Hathaway
Katharine Butler

Whenever I prepare for a journey I prepare as though for death. Should I never return, all is in order.Mansfield

As the traveler who has once been from home is wiser than he who has never left his own doorstep, so a knowledge of one other culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate more lovingly, our own.Margaret Mead

Travel has no longer any charm for me. I have seen all the foreign countries I want to except heaven & hell & I have only a vague curiosity about one of those.Mark Twain

I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.Robert Frost

We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.
Robert Louis Stevenson

To be on a quest is nothing more or less than to become an asker of questions.Sam Keen

Thursday, July 19, 2007

COUCH SURFING-The new way to stay

The CouchSurfing Project is a free international Internet-based hospitality service. As of July 2007, it had more than 250,000 members in 216 countries and territories. From various indicators it can be estimated that many members were actively using the website, with 40% offering their couches to host travelers (with another 22% saying "maybe" and others who are traveling at the moment).
Members use the website, initially designed by founder Casey Fenton, to coordinate accommodations. It features extensive profiles, and uses an optional credit card verification system, a personal vouching system, and personal references to increase security and trust. There are many other features on the site, such as interest discussion groups, meeting functionality, live chat and more.
In June 2006 the project experienced a number of computer problems resulting in much of the database being lost. It was initially announced that the project was being ended; however, within days it was confirmed that the site would be rebuilt, and users were again able to login (but not yet access the site's full functions). "CouchSurfing 2.0" was announced on 3 July 2006, planned to be operational within 10 days. As of July 7th 2006 couchsurfing.com is once again fully operational although some, mostly inactive profiles, group postings and personal messages seem to have been lost. Most functions and pages are unchanged (the biggest change is the way friend links are managed now) and the site is called "2.0" now because of a philosophical change, the site's motto is "Participate in Creating a Better World, One Couch At A Time". In August a CS wiki was launched where everyone is invited to participate and make CouchSurfing better.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Motion sickness is a common problem in people traveling by bus, train, planes and especially by ship. Motion sickness can start suddenly, with a queasy feeling and cold sweats. It can then lead to nausea, dizziness and vomiting.
Your brain senses movement by getting signals from your inner ears, eyes, muscles and joints. When it gets signals that do not match, you can get motion sickness. For example, down below on a boat, your inner ear senses motion, but your eyes cannot tell you are moving.
Where you sit can make a difference. The front seat of a car, forward cars of a train, upper deck on a boat or wing seats in a plane may give you a smoother ride. Looking out into the distance - instead of trying to read or look at something in .Don't look at others with motion sickness.

Chewing a raw Ginger piece helps to prevent this motion sickness for some people.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Travel Checklist for easy travel

It is easy to make your own travel checklist,start from the feet upto
head ,list what you need,and then from morning to night what you
need,brushing,bathing,toilet,spending,eating etc.note down.Here is
my personal checklist.Remember not to forget the toothbrush.
1. Mobile phones with chargers
2. Camera/handicam
3. Toothbrushes and paste
4. Shaving set/simple makeup essentials
5. ATM card/Money
6. Tickets/I.Cards/documents/Address book
8. Locks &kEYS
9. Towels/soaps/extra clothing
12.First Aid Kit 0r Essential medicines
13.Inform Post Office/Neighbours
14.Lighter with torch(chinese)
15.map/guide books
16.Mosquito nets/repellents
17.Swiss knife-multi tools
18.Dalle-cherry pepper (Iam lovin it!)