Archive | February 2016

Benefits of Booking Tour Packages

download (36)All people need a break to get away from stress at work, home or school. Taking vacations is the best way to relax, unwind and spend time alone or with family in order to keep motivated and get that groove going.

Taking vacations requires planning and planning requires time – time for booking the preferred airline, finding the perfect location, researching for the cheapest hotels and scheduling the activities for the inclusive dates. That alone can also be stressful especially when it’s fast approaching with no preparations been made. As tourists, the experience should have to be stress-free, worry-free and relaxing.

In this regard, consider the benefits of booking tour packages. Not only can it save a lot of time but it’s also popular these days when people can’t seem to find that luxury of organising trips and vacations themselves. Other benefits of availing packaged tours are mentioned below:

• Convenience, completeness and quickness all rolled into one. This is the main reason why people avail of these packages. Searching for tourist attractions is easy over the internet. Then, what comes after is a lot more convenient.

Tour packages usually have detailed information on the trip. From the booking details, itineraries, tour guides, food trips, dinner and hotel accommodations, tour companies will take care of all these for their clients.

Pro tip: Before booking, make sure to discuss what’s included in the package. Sometimes, companies provide minimal package inclusions and require tourists to pay additional fees for all other activities that are advertised on their website.

• Perfect for large groups. Booking packaged trips in groups is more fun than travelling alone. It’s easy to make friends especially with people who also share the same interest – travelling!

Pro tip: Check out attractions where all friends can enjoy their stay. If possible, take a picture of every activity that everyone participated in.

• It offers quality service. Tour companies spent several years in developing business relationships with their suppliers to ensure that tourists receive the kind of service they need.

It’s like a win-win situation for their businesses. Why? It’s because tour companies are constantly able to bring in groups of people via their package tour that’s why, vendors have to take extra care of these tourists. This include front line access, upgrade in services, inclusion of tour guides, ensuring food for breakfast, lunch or dinner, occasional freebies and a lot more. Basically, they treat their guests as stars.

Pro tip: Do research on your preferred tour company before booking them. Read reviews and Facebook comments on their site with regards to the overall quality of service people have experienced starting from how their flight details were booked up to the point of their actual stay.

• It’s fun and educational at the same time. Enjoy the view but listen to tour guides whenever they provide information on every itinerary. Although they may not be residents of that place, they surely have accurate knowledge about the important information based from their study and personal experiences.

Pro tip: Since the tour is definitely fun and educational, it’s recommended to explore and experience everything in groups. Taking pictures of various attractions and eating dinner with friends all result to fond memories.

And those are the benefits of availing tour packages. With the right combination of season and destination, everything is going to be a rewarding experience.

This entry was posted on February 24, 2016, in Travel.

Easy Travel Tips to Save Time and Money for Tourists

download (35)People all over the world take an opportunity to go on vacations during summer. For them, it’s the best time to spend time with their families and enjoy themselves before the start of schooling season and return of cold weather. Taking a break doesn’t require too much money. In fact, there are a lot of ways where tourists can enjoy their vacations and save time and money at the same time.

• When going to the airport, fall in line behind business travellers and avoid falling in line behind families that carry a lot of stuff to put into the x-ray machine tray. This is because frequent travellers already know how to move quickly through that line than the others.

• When taking a flight, choose the type of plane to ride on. Not all airplanes are made equal so it’s recommended to check out the ones that offer nice seats and amenities. Some airlines have inline Wi-Fi onboard while some do not. Newer airlines have the comfort of nicer seats and more leg room. Furthermore, not all planes also have personal television screens for passengers either. Sometimes, trips also require airport transfers.

To ensure comfort and to avoid inconvenient trips and airport transfers, always check out the airlines’ quality and their amenities on various sites online.

• During room accommodations, deals processed last minute on sites such as Hotwire and Priceline can give tourists a discount of over 60% on the normal rates. They can also use the site Better Bidding to bid on their preferred rooms. Once the bid becomes successful, then it’s considered to be a steal if they will able to get a cheaper room rate during peak season. Looking at other people’s bids doesn’t require forum memberships; however, membership is required in order to place a bid.

• Ask for a hotel upgrade when checking in. Other than advance booking online, it’s also recommended to ask for free upgrades and goodies on the actual day of check in. Some hotels recommend free upgrade on certain rooms if there a lot of guests checking in to keep their customers happy. Guests should use that as an advantage especially when they came from long trips and airport transfers.

• When travelling with a group of people, getting suite rooms is much cheaper. Some king suite rooms have couches that can be folded out into beds. Ask friends to chip in to make the room rates more affordable and enjoy the comfort of staying in that place for a number of nights.

• When spending more than a week in the city, renting furnished apartments is much cheaper checking in hotels. Tourists can choose from a lot of good apartments on websites such as 9Flats, AirBnB, Home Away and Wimbu.

Apart from saving money on room rates, travellers can also save money on food expenses because apartments have kitchens where they can cook good food.

• Consider visiting sites like Hospitality Club and Couchsurfing to enjoy a free stay with the locals. These sites are perfect for finding inexpensive places to stay in the city and learn more about it while hanging out with the locals. These locals act more than guidebooks in providing information on what the tourists want to know.

In planning the next vacations, remember to keep these things in mind because travelling should not have to be an expensive and time consuming process. Instead, it should have to be convenient, affordable and fun.

Top Tips for Tropical Climate Holidays

download (34)Looking to go on holiday to somewhere with a tropical or sub-tropical climate?

If so, following some of the following tips might be useful and help you to enjoy yourself even more.

  1. Don’t over-economise on your luxury accommodation at the resort. Tropical can mean high humidity at some times of the year and however much you love sun and warmth, you’ll want great pool and air conditioning facilities to allow you to sometimes escape and freshen up. Some ‘bargain-basement’ holiday accommodation might be disappointing in those respects.
  1. Take it easy for a day or two after arrival. Allow your body to acclimatise to its surroundings rather than rushing off to try and climb that hill in the distance right after your hotel check-in
  1. Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Keep alcohol to very sensible/modest levels due to its natural de-hydrating effects, as they’ll be exacerbated by the heat.
  1. Avoid very demanding swimming objectives unless you’re fit. Heat can be exhausting and even strong swimmers can sometimes find themselves in trouble if they’ve pushed themselves a little too far in hot conditions. That can be an even more significant risk if your fitness isn’t perhaps what it should be.
  1. Comply with those now very (or should be very) familiar medical tips relating to barrier creams and protecting yourself from over-exposure to the sun. Remember that a hat is often almost essential – even if you’re not usually someone that wears one.
  1. Think about that siesta. Many peoples around the world who live and work in hot and tropical climates will take it easy for 2-3 hours during the early to mid-afternoon when the temperature is at its highest. Find a tree by the pool or on the beach then park yourself with a book or have a gentle snooze – rather than trying to start playing football.
  1. Take local expert advice on insect protection. Actually, the risks here in many tropical areas are often hugely exaggerated by urban myth and very poor scaremongering advice from people who might never even have visited the destination! Even so, think about repellents etc. Sometimes ordinary common-sense is far more important that repellent compounds.
  1. Obey local safety instructions. This, of course, applies even in your local park back home! Nevertheless, tropical holiday destinations often incorporate beautiful nature and local wildlife. Local specialists will have provided safety advice when touring and sightseeing and that needs to be obeyed. Those who don’t because they ‘think they know better’ are often a danger to themselves and others around them.
  1. Research the local weather patterns. Some times in the year are a little hotter, cooler or wetter/dryer than others on average. You can select average conditions that are most suited to your requirements and preferences etc.
  1. Avoid heavy meals. Packing away big plates of carbohydrates in tropical conditions is likely to leave you feeling very uncomfortable and lethargic. Most local people tend to incline towards lighter meals taken in the evenings when it’s cool although very light snacking during the day is more commonplace (and sometimes necessary for an energy boost) and particularly so if you’ve only eaten a light lunch.
This entry was posted on February 8, 2016, in Travel.

Strategy 1 for Extraordinary Travel Arrive and Be There

download (33)Traveling in the “Great Trip” style, you will arrive and be there instead of swooping through, then moving on. The swoop-in style of travel prohibits you from actually arriving anywhere, and it severely limits the depth of your experience.

Instead, you will have the time you need to learn the charms and significance of each place you visit. You will take the time to experience its lifestyle and hear its stories. By staying longer in each of your “home bases,” you also will have rich opportunities to venture out on day trips that will give you a broader sense of the cultural bounty of the region.

There is always an all-important trade-off between trying to take in more places and taking more time in each place. What you will gain from having more time in fewer places is that you will have the luxury of settling in and making yourself at home. You will experience more when you decrease the frantic flitting around and actually arrive. As with many things in life, less is more!

To arrive and be there, you will:

  1. Orient yourself and “make yourself at home.”
  2. “Live” there, however briefly.

Orient Yourself and “Make Yourself at Home”

On group trips, although you will have a guide, you likely will feel lost much of the time. As you play “follow the leader,” you will forego any opportunities to learn and find your own way. Sometimes you will barely know where you are, exactly, or where you are going. You may not even know where you’ve been after you’ve been there.

At the other extreme, making up your trip on your own, you again will often feel lost, because you will be lost. And you will have the sense that you may be missing the most important experiences, because, most likely, you are. By the end of your trip you will have a long list of what you would have and should have done if only you had known more before you set out.

Traveling the “great trip” way, you will never feel lost. And you will most certainly know where you have been after you’ve been there. In each new location, you will have a minimum of three days. And you will begin your time there with a walkabout to get oriented, using a great trip book to guide you, customized to your own particulars.

Starting with your immediate neighborhood, then branching out to surrounding areas, you will discover where “your” bakery is, as well as “your” delicatessen, wine shop, cheese shop, fresh market, pharmacy and ATM. You will know your best options for public transportation, and where “your” closest stops are located. If there is a river, lake or ocean, you will use them to establish your own sense of direction.

And you will identify an appealing spot to meet up with your travel companion(s) when you venture off to spend time independently. This meeting spot may be a café in the square or on a bench beside the fountain, or any such spot where waiting will be its own entertainment.

Once you are oriented, you will know where you are and where to go next. Then you will be able to expand on your knowledge, and begin to feel comfortable and confident moving about and exploring your new “home away from home.”

By using this approach to finding your way, you will surprise yourself at how quickly you will feel confident walking out to your bakery for fresh croissants in the morning, then stopping by “your market” to gather up items for your picnic in the park beside the river. And you will actually know where the river is!

“Live” There, However Briefly

When traveling with a group, you will, by necessity, be staying in larger hotels, often in areas that are thickly populated by tourists. And you will be limited to areas that can be reached by a huge bus. So, wherever you go, you will “hover” there, not “live” there.

In contrast, during your great independent trip, you will be free to book accommodations that make for their own memorable experiences, situated in prime locations. A room in a charmingly restored 17th-century manor house, with a French balcony from which you can watch sunsets over the Loire, and a connected turret room that looks out on the castle across the street… A restored abbey… The tower of a ruined castle perched high above the river… A small hotel near the Seine, across from Notre Dame.

For breakfast you will walk down the stairs of the 17th-century townhouse to the elegant dining room, or up the stairs to the rooftop terrace, with a view of the river. Or you will step out onto your little balcony to breakfast on the bread and cheese, salami and fruit you gathered yesterday at the Saturday Market.

And so the place you stay will become an essential part of the full experience of your trip. Your location will put you at the heart of what you have come to see and experience. You will walk out the door to old town, or to the river, or to the chateaux. In a word, when you walk out the door, you already will “be there.”