Friday, 1 June 2018

We’re thinking it and you’re thinking it: VACATION TIME

The Beginning

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Once a month, in partnership with our friends at CIB Wealth, we’ll bring you a hand-picked selection of ideas, tips and inspirational stories that will help you make the most of your time, enhance our wealth, and build a better life with the people you love.

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Your Life

Ramadan and the heat are taking their toll. And so all that is on our minds right now isvacation, vacation, VACATION. For some of us, a summer in Egypt is not complete without at least some quality time in Sahel. For those looking to avoid the mass exodus to the North Coast, a trip abroad is a summer staple. If you belong to the latter group, now is the time to start planning.

The most obvious place to start has to be the World Cup. Whether you’re traveling or staying that’s what everyone will be doing or watching this summer. All of us here are excited but are feeling slight trepidation at the possibility of the Egypt National Team playing sans Mohamed Salah. We’re still going to be cheering with the fanaticism both for Egypt and our back up teams. In-house favorites here at Enterprise include the usual greats Germany, Brazil, and Argentina. Once upon a time, Spain was on that list. The tournament kicks off in two weeks on 14 June with a match between Saudi Arabia and host country Russia. Egypt’s first match will see the national team face off against Uruguay on Friday, 15 June at 2:00pm CLT. You can catch the full match schedule here.

For those lucky enough to go there, beware of all the shadiness that comes with eating out over there. Reuters has found that a number of restaurants across Russia have been boosting their credentials with fake positive reviews. Also worth looking at: Egypt’s Foreign Ministry has set up an information page for Egyptian fans heading to Russia.

Want to travel abroad but not sure where you’re headed? The Guardian has you covered with a comprehensive list of the top travel destinations of 2018. Foodies and party-goers are encouraged to visit Tbilisi, Georgia, where “the city’s contemporary culture is making its mark, earning the city a reputation as an edgy party destination.” Paris, Malta, and Greece’s many islands are also listed among the more popular choices for tourists. Still not sold on any particular city? You can also take this short, interactive quiz courtesy of the Washington Post to help you narrow down your choices.

If you’re running low on vacation days or want to squeeze more than one destination into a single trip, look no further than the New York Times’ “36 Hours” series, which provides a specific itinerary for spending 36 hours in various cities around the globe. A few options that have us ready to pack our bags: Lisbon, Portugal; Budapest, Hungary; Auckland, New Zealand; Johannesburg, South Africa; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Sonoma County, California.

For those not planning a trip abroad and don’t want to run into everyone they’re avoiding in Sahel and Dahab, jump on any of the major travel sites that have really been showing Egypt’s lesser-known destinations plenty of props. Marsa Alam in particular has garnered excellent reviews worldwide. Sharm El Luli beach was voted as among the Top 25 beaches in the world by the 2018 TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards. Lonely Planet has a rundown of some of the best diving spots there (incidentally some of the best in the world) and other activities like the 3alganoob Music Festival. Then of course there’s the eternal Fayoum, with its beautiful oases and the Valley of the Whales. A personal favorite has to be Ras Sudr, which we recommend visiting before tourists start migrating there in droves.

If you, like us, enjoy a leisurely drive (but can’t cope with the anxiety brought on by Cairo’s streets) a summer road trip could be just what the doctor ordered. Avid drivers know that not all roads are created equal, and that few things are as satisfying as finding the perfect match between a car and a road. Bloomberg’s Hannah Elliott is one among many who takes “road trips in nice cars” very seriously, and has compiled a list of 10 of the best road trips to try this summer, along with the perfect car for each endeavor. “From Australia to China, from America’s Pacific Northwest to Monaco, there’s a road — and a car — for every sensibility.”

Don’t go on vacation without an arsenal of apps that will help you handle the little detailsof the trip, courtesy of CNN. Its list of recommended travel apps range from those that help you pack (Packpoint) to the most obvious (Airbnb). Some gems did catch our attention, including:

  • WiFi Map: As the name suggests, the program points you to the nearest WiFi hotspot that can save your day and helps with avoiding data roaming charges. The WiFi maps can be downloaded for offline use.
  • Dayuse.com: This comes in handy if you need to book a hotel room for a few hours during daytime to simply rest your head for a few or need to shower immediately.
  • XE Currency: The app keeps you constantly appraised with the latest foreign currency rates in your travel destination that are updated by the minute.
  • AccuWeather: The app should provide hyper-localized minute-by-minute forecasts so you know exactly what the situation is like when you walk out the door.
  • SitOrSquat: Yes, someone actually made the app Seinfeld’s George Costanza came up with in the Curb Your Enthusiasm reunion. Probably the most useful app we found on the list.

You can now fulfill your inner old Rose and go see Titanic. But rest assured, that it will cost you that sapphire necklace. Oceangate, a deep-sea exploration company, will allow 54 tourists to join its submarine missions to dive as deep as 4,000 m underwater to help build 3D model for the Titanic, using high definition cameras, laser and sonar technology. The famed shipwreck, which had been sitting at the bottom of the ocean since 1912 (or whenever Leonardo DiCaprio was stuck in eternal puberty), isn’t the only attraction. World War II buffs will also be treated to a tour of some of the famous shipwrecks of the period.

The price tag? A cool USD 100,000, says the Economist (watch, runtime: 2:01). I guess not much has changed since the gilded age of unsinkable ships. We apologize for our crassness. We get that it’s still too soon for some who were aged 10-15 when the movie came out (spoiler alert: she lets go). For those who are finally over it, we urge to check out the Rick and Morty spoof on Netflix, which is by the far the best satire of the film ever (watch clip, runtime: 0:57)

Could some version of the Concorde be making a comeback and all us millenials who missed out get a chance to experience it? For those who don’t feel like going underwater, we have good news. One Denver-based startup appears to have never let the dream that is supersonic flights die. The Silicon Valley-backed Booms Technology is apparently one year away from beginning certification testing its full-scale supersonic “Boom” vehicle, after working on a third-sized model dubbed “Baby Boom.” Certification tests are expected to take place in three years and if all goes as planned, the passenger flight could be flying people in late 2023, according to National Geographic.

The flight will take you from New York to London in as little as three hours and 15 minutes while a trip from San Francisco to Tokyo can take up to five and a half hours only, down from a current 11. The plane can carry up to 55 passengers and its internal design features rows with a single seat each side of the aisle with under-seat storage for carry-on bags.

The USD 200 mn jets have already garnered commercial interest from big name airlines, who have made 76 orders. These include Virgin Atlantic.

So why will supersonic work this time? For one thing, the tech that will help keep that ear-piercing sonic boom (which is banned over the US) is getting better. Besides Boom Technology, NASA and Lockheed Martin are developing their own breeds of supersonic aircraft that will greatly minimize sonic booms, though these appear to be behind Boom Technology. Sonic booms had made Concorde commercial flights over the continental US impossible. Cost efficiency in manufacturing has also apparently been greatly improved. You can check out this old explainer from Vox on why the Concorde died out (watch; runtime: 10:22). Well, there’s nothing left to say but: “Shut up, and take our money.”

Your top 5 for May

The five most important business and economy stories out of Egypt in May 2018:

Your Time

At the movies: It’s summer blockbuster season, and the Hollywood recycling machine of sequels and remakes is on full throttle, according to Esquire’s list. The trend to turn bro movies into all-female casts continues with Ocean’s 8. The June movie features stars including Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna and others. Beyond the first remake we weren’t happy with the performance of the last two Ocean’s movies. So here’s hoping they do well (though they can never replace the late Bernie Mac). One sequel we are excited about is the Incredibles 2 (watch trailer; runtime: 2:16). The original was one of the funniest Pixar features of all time, so we’re sure your kids or your date will appreciate this one. And who can say no to another Jurassic Park movie?

For those with more grown up tastes, Vox has a pretty interesting rundown of some of the flicks which caused quite a stir at the Cannes Film Festival. Notable mentions: Spike Lee is apparently back to form with the comedy BlacKkKlansman, while Lars von Trier has not let age temper his violent and depressing impulses with the The House That Jack Built.

Your Money

Contrary to popular belief, your kids might just be more money-conscious than olderfolks. “Despite claims that imply millennials are care-free in their spending habits, the research shows that millennials are much more money savvy than their parents when it comes to having a night out,” according to the Independent. One study found that millennials are unlikely to be okay with spending exorbitant amounts of money on a night out — whereas 75% of their baby boomer parents wouldn’t bat an eye — and have begun leaning towards staying home, rather than go out, to socialize. This trend doesn’t seem to hold its ground when it comes to summer socializing, however: Studies have found that millennials tend to spend beyond their average budgets and habits during the summer months, during which they travel more often and attend more events than they would during the winter (watch, runtime: 1:02).

Plan a debt-free summer vacation: We hate to be buzzkills, but it behooves not to get in on a piece on spending if we weren’t going to give some kind of advice on how to manage a debt-free vacation, courtesy of financial planning consultant Andrew Housser. Some of these are basic and are just common sense. But vacations are designed precisely to dull our common sense. So here are some of his tips for financially prudent vacation:

  • Budgeting: The most obvious one of all. His big warning: DO NOT GO INTO DEBT. No vacation is worth that. In case, the trip’s expenses are too steep, consider cutting back on luxuries including eating out and pre-travel shopping.
  • Be mindful of hidden costs: these include factoring in extra nights in hotels, stuff like Wi-Fi, gas cots, choosing cheaper flight days and just general wear and tear. These hidden costs is how they get you.
  • Account for the costs at home while you’re gone:The best way to do it would be seeking the help of family or friends who admire your place to stay in for no-cost lodging and included home care. Just make sure to secure any valuable or breakable items.
  • If all else fails, then a “staycation” option should always be on the table. It can still be fun to welcome visitors and friends over, show them around local sites you never saw or dine out at a local place you never got a chance to experience.

It gets even better… Who says you have to pay for your vacation when you bank with CIB? As you’ve seen above, we are here to help you plan a debt-free vacation and even more. The CIB Bonus Points Program is designed to ensure that our Wealth Customers are offered the redemption options that address their every need.

Here’s what you can scratch off your dues: The program rewards customers shopping with their Wealth debit card or Platinum credit card, or performing other types of banking services with points, which can be redeemed for various goodies. These points can go towards gift vouchers that our customers can use to pay for their merchandise at one of the strongest merchant network, cash back on a CIB credit card, and could even go towards booking their next trip including flights, accommodation and car rental. And since it is still Ramadan, those looking to make a donation can be covered by these points. In addition to the points on using the cards, points can also be earned by topping up personal loans, opening a new youth bank account or even doing third party transfers over e-banking.

Our Wealth customers can easily log into bonus.cibeg.com to view the full list of participating merchants and redeem their points.

Your Family

Does an extended family vacation have to be a nightmare? Apparently not, if you follow these tips from Brit + Co to make a trip with the whole gang a less painful experience. You may want to begin by assigning rooms in advance and get the fighting out of the way early. As hurtful as it may sound, they tell us to try to accommodate everyone’s ages, needs, and interests by offering them plenty of options for activities. Don’t be embarrassed to ask everyone to pitch in as extended family vacations can be budget friendly through bulk discounts and splitting bills. Yet somehow we need to do all this and try to relax. This is a vacation, not a job,” they tell us. They’ve definitely convinced us to go without an extended family vacation.

Your Style

Are you one of those last-minute packers who always end up with extra baggage weightand still feels like they have nothing to wear on holidays? This essential 10-piece capsule holiday wardrobe could be for you. From what we’ve read it turns out all you really need are ten key pieces that you can mix and match. The key to remaining stylish while travelling light are multipurpose pieces that you can wear in different forms. A relaxed midi dress for afternoons and evening, a long skirt for a “chic day look” or beach strolling, or a large scarf to keep you warm on chilly evenings and still be used as a sarong on the beach. For essential accessories, pack some fun colorful sunnies and a beach-ready bag. Most importantly, do not forget to bring comfy shoes for long walks and sightseeing. You do not want those blisters on your feet. For extra options, check out these essential items.

As for the gents, Esquire Magazine has a collection of style guides and tops for you this summer.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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