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Planes, Trains, Automobiles, and Ferries: Transportation in Puntarenas, Costa Rica

download (46)There are a number of transportation options to and from Puntarenas, the vibrant coffee-exporting gateway of Costa Rica. From the comfort of a luxury train to bouncing through picturesque country roads in a local bus, options exist to meet the whole range of comfort loving to intrepid travelers.

Domestic Flights

Domestic flights operated by Sansa Airlines and Nature Air will transport you from Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose to Tambor Airport, a quaint airport located to the west of the province of Puntarenas ($100-150). The gorgeous 25-minute flight in a small craft will provide stunning vistas of the countryside and shimmering Pacific below. However, this option might not be practical for most, as the airport is located across the bay from Puntarenas, and a one-hour ferry will transport you to your final destination in Puntarenas.

Puntarenas ferry

Three ferry routes operate from Puntarenas, one to Playa Naranjo (1.5 hours, also allows autos, $24 with a car) and the other to the coast just north of Paquera (about 2 hours, passenger ferry only, about $5 per adult). You’ll absorb stunning views of the Puntarenas coastline as the sea breeze works through your hair.

Trains

A service operated by America Travel called the Tico Train runs every weekend departing from San Jose’s Pacific Railroad Station to Mata De Limon, near Puntarenas ($25 per passenger). From there, the company transfers you to an air-conditioned charter bus for the short ride to town. The trip, winding through lush mountain passes and orchards, might provide the perfect experience for a Costa Rica family vacation.

Buses

For the intrepid traveler, a bus station exists just one block from the cruise dock with links all over Costa Rica, including San Jose. The journey is slow: for example, the typical two-hour drive to San Jose (about $5 per adult) takes between three to four hours as all bus companies stop to pick up passengers. Also beware your belongings, keeping all valuables within eyesight: while the buses are quite safe, petty crime can be a problem.

Shuttles

Many shuttles exist from the airport in San Jose that will go straight to a hotel or other tourist destination. All shuttle companies departing from San Jose International are safe and reputable, and the trip will take about two and a half hours from Santa María International Airport, costing you about $60.

Car rentals

For the maximum amount of freedom, car rentals abound around Santa María International Airport (about $30 per day). However, getting insurance is suggested as roads in Costa Rica are often pothole-filled and don’t have stop signs. Yet, your Costa Rica family vacation might be made that much more special with the freedom to stop at the picturesque farms and waterfalls along the way.

Private transportation

The fastest, easiest, and most private experience is through hiring a private vehicle from hubs to resorts, beaches, hotels, or wherever your final destination may be. Visit one of the booths at the airport and safe, certified drivers will take you straight to your destination for between $140-200.

Helpful Tips To Plan A Superb Weekend Getaway

download (45)Most of the travelers avoid planning anything for a short getaway because they think they would have to put too much money into only a short break. This is not always true.

Let’s begin with why you should plan a getaway. Firstly, everyone needs a break every now and then. This helps us to stay positive, experience new surroundings and refuel our energy. Since a long vacation is not always possible and might take a longer time to happen, a weekend getaway is the perfect solution to it.

Here are some tips that would help you to plan a perfect weekend getaway!

1. Begin to Plan

This tip is especially meant for the travelers who delay their plans. Wish to enjoy your holiday? Everything is in your control. You just need to plan right for the trip. This is the hardest part of your getaway, and if you get it right you are likely to have a successful trip.

There will be plenty of fears that will probably let you down. Lack of time, too high costs and thoughts of failure are common. Condition your mind to get over these. Repeat in your head that it’s possible to get it done.

Confused about the destination? Simply pick up a map and begin dreaming. There is so much you can possibly do in this world.

2. Keep Your Plans Less Complicated

This is very important for a getaway. You need to keep your plans simple because you wouldn’t have a lot of time. If you are confused about the destination, focus more on the activity. Do you wish to hike or surf? This helps you to pick the destination easily.

There are a few things to keep in mind here. Staying local is always a great idea when you are planning a weekend getaway. This is because long travel time is seldom any fun and you wouldn’t have time for all the other fun.

Most of the times, you need a weekend getaway because you wish to relax in new surroundings. Choose a destination away from all the chaos!

3. Budget Travel

A getaway helps you save money in a lot of ways. This can be your chance to stay at the premium hotels and enjoy the luxurious side of travel.

There’s just one secret to luxury travel here; be flexible with your plans. If you can afford to be flexible, there are many ways you can save on a luxury trip. There are plenty of last minute deals on the internet that will help you to save big even if you are not the early bird when it comes to bookings.

While you book, do not forget to compare the packages to get hold of the best ones.

 

Five Reasons to Share Your Travel Plans

images (13)Private Investigators are always thinking about safety. It’s a big part of the job, and our awareness always has to be taking safety into consideration. For that reason, I recommend that if you’re going on a trip, you share the details of your trip with somebody who’s not going, and here are five reasons why.

1. Your Home is Safer.

When you’re away and your friend or a friendly neighbor knows it, that person can check on your house for you, make sure to pick up your newspaper so the house doesn’t look vacant, and even put on a porch light for you just before you return. In fact, you may consider installing timers on your lamps that will turn on and off your lamps around the house on various intervals so the house still looks lived in. You can stop the newspaper, but there’s no substitute for a friendly person looking out for you.

2. You’re Safer.

If your friends or family know your itinerary and you’ve made arrangements to call, they’ll know if you failed to show up at your destination within a reasonable amount of time. By the same token, if you don’t arrive home by a certain date, concerned friends and family members will try to reach you. If your car has broken down in a place with no traffic and a dead cell phone, having someone who knows when you’re supposed to be home could really be handy.

3. Reduces Stress.

Nobody wants a person worrying so much about their every move that they become more like busybodies than friendly helpers. But having a person who knows your plans can save a lot of stress. Let’s say, for example, that you decide to moderate your trip after you’ve left. Notifying someone at home can save on stress and unnecessary missing persons reports.

4. Social Media Stories.

Fun is a valid reason to do a lot of things, and if you’re the kind of person who likes to get your friends involved in your life, chronicling your trip on social media could be a lot of fun. Some people have made professional careers out of travel blogging, so why not stretch out a bit and show some pictures to your friends as you go? They’ll appreciate it, and it’ll feel almost like you’ve been on vacation together.

One word of caution, though. Share your trip on social media, but not necessarily your advance plans, at least not in any great detail. There are stalkers in the world looking for an easy target, so instead of giving your exact street address in Barcelona, you could simply tell your friends you’ll be staying in Barcelona. You do want one person to have your street address, just in case you need to be reached or you get waylaid on the way to your destination.

5. You Might Need a Pick-Up.

Don’t forget that you might just need a drop-off and pick-up at the airport. Sharing your travel plans with a trusted friend well in advance of your trip might just remind you to make those arrangements well in advance.

These are my reasons for encouraging people to share their travel plans with a trusted friend or two. Peace of mind is a precious commodity, especially on a trip.

 

The Benefits Of Using A Staff Holiday Planner

download (44)Managing staff leave can be hectic, especially if you are a large company and do not have a good system in place. A staff holiday planner can be an added advantage to any company no matter the number of employees it has. With it annual leaves and sick leaves are made easy to manage because it is even possible to set restrictions on important company days when you require all employees to be on duty. Whether you are an employer, line manager or administrator, a staff holiday planner comes in handy and offers lots of benefits.

1. A staff holiday planner saves time and costs

This is because it is easy to set up when all relevant employee information is made available. It is also very easy to scale in relation to the size of the company. It makes it possible to save employee related information like information on dependents and education history among others. With less paperwork, calculation, and searches for information or leave balances, you will definitely save time and money and enjoy more efficiency and productivity.

2. It offers simplicity and improves efficiency

A staff holiday planner increases the efficiency of the human resource team, staff and the management too. It gives them a simpler time keeping up with the leaves and holidays and this eliminates confusion and conflicting leaves that might impact the company negatively. The system also makes it easy for users to book time-offs when it is most appropriate for them and for the company as well. On one hand it is very easy for the staff to apply for leave requests and on the other hand equally easy for managers to see the pending requests and decide how to manage them better.

3. It makes it possible for resources to be planned accurately

This is because the staff holiday planner shows which employees are off on daily, weekly or even yearly calendars and a good system also makes it possible for reminders to be set for important events like anniversaries and birthdays so necessary plans are made in advance. Employees can be grouped in teams making it very easy to manage and distribute necessary resources. A good staff holiday planner can actually be used to plan resources weeks and months ahead with ease.

4. It wins employee trust

A good staff holiday planner can win you the trust of employees considering that it makes the leave approval very transparent and uses a defined path so no one feels like they are being left behind or like a particular group is being favored by the management. Human errors are also avoided when a good system is in place and this ensures that every employee is happy and content with the way their leave requests are handled.

5. It makes it easy to plan and organize overtime and shifts

The last thing you want to do as a company is to end up overworking some employees and allowing others to sleep on the job. With a staff holiday planner, you can easily manage shifts and overtime ensure that there is a smooth division of tasks between the employees.

This entry was posted on May 11, 2016, in Travel.

Tips for Planning Holiday Travel and Flights

images (12)Flying for a holiday or for your vacation? Make sure that you’re planning your travel the right way. Not only do you need to shop around (and shop smart) for your plane tickets, but you need to make sure that you’re planning your travel within the area the right way. Yes, there’s a robust public transport system. Yes, you can also rent a car. However, it might be better to actually work with a taxi service. Of course, there are many other things that you’ll need to know, as well.

Know How to Pack

It seems like the airlines are constantly finding new ways to charge their customers. Once, pillows, blankets and even snacks were all part of the price you paid for your ticket. Today, they’re expensive extras. Many airlines have also started charging for extra bags. Pack smart. Bring only the necessities, and avoid checking extra bags to cut down on costs.

Avoid Heavy Travel Dates

A little known secret to air travel is that some dates are much more expensive to book your flight than are others. The closer to a peak travel holiday you book, the more you’re going to pay. Rather than flying out on Christmas Eve, consider booking your flight several days ahead. Rather than flying the day after Thanksgiving, stay with your family for a few extra days to save some cash. Apply that rule to all of your travel and always research flight prices to get the best possible deal.

Check Your Flight Status Religiously

Flights can be cancelled by almost anything. Snow and other adverse weather are just the tip of the iceberg. Don’t be caught unaware here. Check your flight status constantly. This is particularly important the day of your departure. Working with the right cab company can also help ensure that you’re on time for your flight, even if it’s delayed by weather or other events.

Plan Your Travel

It’s important that you plan your travel ahead of time. Working with the cheapest airport taxi service helps ensure that you get the professional travel assistance you need, without the headaches and hassles that come from trying to rent a car, or dealing with the public transportation system. Of course, finding the right taxi service can be daunting, so spend some time researching the different companies to find one that can offer affordable rates, professional drivers, and the right type of vehicle.

You’ll want to consider the rates being charged, as well as the capacity of the different types of cabs on offer. If you’re traveling alone, a smaller vehicle will work. However, if you’re traveling with a group, you can save money by reserving a van or bus rather than using two or three sedans to get you all to your destination.

How To Plan A Romantic Mountain Town Vacation In 7 Easy Steps

download (42)If you have been thinking about planning a romantic getaway lately, you likely have a good motivation. Perhaps you are planning to propose over a long weekend or are searching for that perfect honeymoon spot. Whatever the reason, it is reasonable to expect that you want to make sure everything goes well and turns out as great as possible. What better way to be romantic than in the natural beauty of the mountains. If you’ve been thinking of planning a romantic mountain town vacation but have no idea where to start, you are in luck. Here are 7 easy steps to help you plan the romantic vacation you have been daydreaming about.

Step 1. Plan ahead

Nothing is a mood killer more than stress. Take some time to think about what you want to get out of your romantic get-away and do a bit a research before hand. These days there are many travel forums and helpful blogs dedicated to helping customers find exactly what they are looking for.

Step 2. Pick a great mountain town location

Great locations will not only have beautiful naturalistic settings, but they will provide all the essential necessities to make your vacation especially romantic. Smaller quaint mountain towns are great for more relaxation and charming experiences.

Step 3. Skiing and snowboarding

Skiing and snowboarding are great ways to take in nature and see the sights while participating in a fun activity. Riding on the lifts can give you amazing panoramic views of the mountainous horizon as well. The best mountain town will have great ski resorts with access to private lessons and courses suitable for beginners and professionals alike.

Step 4. Reserve great lodging

Make sure the town you pick has great lodging options with luxurious amenities, a décor that matches the mountainous terrain, and easy access to natural escapes. Your condominium is where you will return to at the end of a perfect day or night, make sure it is the icing on the cake.

Step 5. Learn about your fine dining options

No romantic get away is complete without fine dining. Do some research on the types of restaurants available and make sure to plan ahead and reserve your table before hand.

Step 6. Escape to the mountains and camp

Nothing is more whimsical than escaping from it all. The perfect mountain town will have access to trails, hiking, and most of all camping. Plan a private romantic camping trip to bond with nature and each other.

Step 7. Meet the locals and join in on local events

Become one with the town! Make new friends and memories by meeting the locals and experiencing the life outside of the tourist paths. Join in on the local events and become one with your new mountainous home away from home.

With these 7 easy steps you are sure to have the groundwork for an amazing and wonderful vacation experience.

 

This entry was posted on April 18, 2016, in Travel.

Helpful Summer Tips To Plan Your Upcoming Vacation

download (43)With summers just around the corner, it is best to get the vacation plan sorted so that you don’t have to worry about it at the last minute. Summer traveling is a lot of fun. There is a lot to look forward to and even the packing seems so much interesting. However, it is not easy to organize a summer trip. One of the biggest reasons for that are the very high travel costs during summers.

You will hear a lot of travelers complain about it. If you are one of them, take a look at these helpful summer tips that would help you to plan a fantastic break in your budget!

1. Don’t Travel in the First Few Weeks

Since the start of the summer break from school means everyone is on the go, it is best to plan sensibly. This is the time when the hotels are likely to be overflowing with tourists and flights will be super expensive. A lot of people wish to leave as soon as the summer break commences, so it’s best if you don’t make such a mistake.

Opt for local fun in the first few weeks of the summer holidays. You can leave the real fun to the last weeks of the vacation when most of the people start heading back and the travel costs go low.

2. Compare

Never book a flight or any travel deal without doing a thorough research. This is an invaluable summer tip travel tip. This is because there are plenty of deals available on the internet. Even when you find something to be extremely attractive, it might not be the cheapest option.

For this reason, make use of comparison websites where you can see the benefits of the deals and compare them before booking.

3. Be Prompt

Last minute booking is not a wise option when it comes to summer time traveling. This is because it might end up ruining your entire travel plans because you are not guaranteed to find what you are looking for.
For this reason, it is best to become prompt when it comes to bookings. Get it out of the way the earliest possible so that it is easy to make further travel plans. It will give you a huge peace of mind and also help you to save on your trip.

4. Budget Airlines

Fares during the summertime can be sky high. You will experience that with most of the airlines. If you can’t find an attractive air travel deal, it is best to search for budget airlines. They are a cheaper alternative all year round with decent services. This way, you can save a lot of money for the real fun!

 

5 Ways To Save Money In Any Family Vacation Destination

download (41)Ask anyone who currently has a family or was part of one, which is essentially everybody, and they will tell you some of their most memorable life moments took place while on family vacation. Vacations are the perfect time to reconnect with your family and step away from your busy life to relax, enjoy each other’s company, and recharge from the stressful realities of everyday living. Finding the perfect family vacation destination can be tricky and planning any trip can be costly. Don’t stress yourself out before going on vacation, follow these 5 ways to save money the next time you plan out your perfect family vacation.

1. Plan ahead.

Taking the time to plan out your vacation will allow you enough time to consider your options and go with choices that are not only fun, but fit your budget. For those who are resourceful and enjoy planning, the internet is full of travel companies and agencies fighting over your business. Peruse different options yourself using many travel sites on the internet devoted to budget conscious vacation planning, or visit a trusted travel agency to help you save money.

2. Choose the perfect destination.

While this may seem like a no brainer, the perception of your money being well spent depends on how much enjoyment you get from your vacation in the first place. Identify what style of vacation you are looking to have with your family. Do you have younger children, or are they older? Do you plan on having a quiet and peaceful time, or do you plan to be very active both during the day and at night? Often times, finding the perfect family vacation destination that suits your exact needs can be the most important choice you make.

3. Use user-review sites and travel forums.

Take advantage of the knowledge of those who have come before you and research your options on user-review sites and travel forums. These are great places to read what previous customers in your same shoes thought about their experiences. These sites can provide you with valuable information on what options are worth your money and which ones are not.

4. Read what bloggers and locals have to say.

Along with reading about previous vacationers’ experiences, try finding a local blog or reading a local online publication. These will be full of useful and honest information you can use to prioritize your activities, find the best lodging and restaurants, and most importantly, save money.

5. Use social media to your advantage.

In today’s tech savvy world, businesses may sometimes offer discounts for posting to your social media. You can sometimes take advantage of the discounts by, for example, snapping a few photos and uploading them, checking in at that restaurant for a 5-10% off discount, or simply tagging your friends throughout your vacation adventures.

This entry was posted on April 2, 2016, in Travel.

Luxury Travel To Costa Rica – 5 Places To Consider

download (38)Costa Rica has become a popular travel destination for people from all over the world, and especially the U.S. It’s convenient location, year-round tropical climate and 800 miles of coastlines, create a perfect destination for business or pleasure.

In recent years, some American-based companies have opened nearshore offices in Costa Rica. The country’s educated, talented workforce is an additional incentive for a variety of industries including the information technology sector. And every visitor to Costa Rica, whether for business or pleasure, gets to experience what is characterized as the “Pura Vida” lifestyle. This open and happy culture tends to help people relax and feel at ease.

5 Luxury Accommodations for You to Try During Your Travels to Costa Rica

Whether you’re traveling to Costa Rica for business or pleasure, chances are you’d like to stay somewhere you’ll really enjoy. Be sure to make hotel reservations in advance to get the perfect accommodations for your visit. Check out these 5 luxury travel resorts available in Costa Rica. These places have been selected based on location, amenities and glowing customer reviews:

    1. Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo: Located right on the Gulf of Papagayo, this resort offers a 5-star travel experience with full beach access and free wifi. The resort features multiple pools, gyms, restaurants, bars, tennis courts and golf courses. This resort is the perfect getaway and full of different kinds of entertainment opportunities depending on your needs and interests.
    1. Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort at Manuel Antonio National Park: Located near rainforests, private trails and white sandy beaches, this resort offers stunning views and activities for thrill seekers. This resort has been awarded the Five Sustainability Leaf Award for its carbon-neutral sustainable lodging and lush neighborhood. This resort is ideal for nature lovers and adventurous souls.
    1. PURE Condo Resort: Located on Herradura Bay, this 5-Star luxury resort allows guests to immerse themselves in the Pura Vida lifestyle and relax by the water. This resort is located one hour away from the international airport, making travel pain-free. This resort allows guests to enjoy a home away from home in beautiful condos perfect for families, couples or those traveling alone. This location offers guests the option to explore local retail shops and get a taste for Costa Rican cuisine at near-by restaurants.
    1. Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort: Located in the center of a tropical rainforest near the exquisite Arenal Volcano, the Tabacon Resort is a destination fit for queens and kings! This resort offers guests something uniquely relaxing — thermal mineral spring rivers that have formed waterfalls, streams, pools and ponds. This tranquil scenery allows guests the opportunity to relax and enjoy nature at its finest. There are plenty of amenities offered at Tabacon, including spa services, restaurants located in the rainforest and superior hotel rooms. This resort creates the most relaxing vacation for every guest.
  1. Fina Rosa Blanca: Located in Santa Barbara, Costa Rica, this coffee plantation and inn was built right in the middle of beautiful gardens producing coffee beans. This resort is easily accessible, located only 20 minutes from the international airport. With breath-taking scenery, delicious dining options and refreshing pool and beach access, this resort offers a luxury experience for any visitor.

As a U.S.-based agile software development company with offices in San Jose, Costa Rica, we’ve come to appreciate all the great places to stay, whether you are visiting for work, pleasure, or a combination of the two. All of these resorts described above offer a unique visitor experience aimed at relaxation and capturing the Pura Vida lifestyle. For more information about visiting Costa Rica, follow our blog to learn some interesting facts about the country, and places to visit during your trip.

David Easterling has been leading software development companies for more than 15 years. David founded Prosoft Consulting with offices in Louisville, KY, and San Jose, Costa Rica. David is a Certified Scrum Master and is an active member of the Scrum and Agile User Group. He is also a member of the National Vistage CEO Leadership Group.

 

Planning For Exciting Holidays? Essential To Remember

download (39)Everyone looks forward to exciting holidays, but the truth is that your holidays will be as good as your plans for them. When you decide to go on a holiday, you must start planning for the same early enough so that by the time the time comes you will have everything that matters during the holiday taken care of. Planning and getting ready for your vacation is not as challenging as it seems; you simply need to remember a few essentials and you will be on your way to a most fulfilling holiday in your destination of choice.

Travel requirements

They are the most important to remember when planning for a vacation. Different destinations have different travel requirements and you need to be aware of what is expected from your beforehand. Some of the things you should find out about include passport and visa, vaccinations and medications, and insurance. When you know the requirements, then you should start working on them as early as possible to avoid last minute rushes and disappointments

Travel arrangements

If you are going international, the flying is the most probable means of transport to your destination. To have an easy time planning your flight, you can look for the best travel deals online. But if you want to have the little details taken care of, then make your own effort to ensure that you enjoy the best travel possible. In travel arrangements, think about airport transfer, ticketing, flight bookings and luggage weight and size. The airline you choose to use can determine what arrangements are possible. It might be a good idea for you to compare between the airlines before choosing the best in relation to your personal preferences. Make sure you confirm travel date and time a day before you leave.

Accommodation

Hotels still make popular holiday accommodation facilities. By booking the hotel before travelling to your destination, you will be assured that your room will be waiting for you. It saves you from wasting too much time trying to find a good hotel once you are at the destination. When you book your room, then you can go right ahead and start enjoying the holiday as soon as you land in the destination. When thinking accommodation, consider amenities provided for in your room. This will help you in packing right. It also helps to find out whether there are any restrictions during your stay so you can keep up with the rules or look for a better alternative if what you get does not feel good enough. Hotel booking is today made easy because you can compare deals and reserve your room in your preferred hotel online long before you travel.

Destination movement

A vacation cannot be complete until you visit the different areas in your destination. This means you will need to move from one place to another. Car hire is necessary and you must think about it when planning for your holiday. Find out the local options you have and choose the most suitable hire for your stay.

This entry was posted on March 22, 2016, in Travel.