Five Vacation Planning to Save You Time & Money on Your Vacation

Vacation planning is fun and easy so you don’t need to get overwhelmed. The first thing I want you to do is to take a deep breath and don’t panic. If you’ve never done this before, relax. I am here to help you with some simple steps to plan a great vacation.

1. Determine Your Budget.

There are many ways to go about determining your budget, but I usually set a price of how much I want to spend (per person) and then go from there to determine how to find the best travel deals based on where I want to go on a cheap vacation. You need to be reasonable regarding what the budget will be for your vacation or getaway. A very realistic and reasonable budget for a cheap vacation is between $800-$1200 per person including airfare, hotel, car rental, food, tips, and airport parking. I’ve traveled all over the country on business and the average budget for a two-to-three day business trip is about the same amount so it’s a very reasonable for a cheap vacation for an entire week (especially when it involves air travel and a much longer stay).

2. Choose Your Destination.

Here’s a little insider travel secret. I’ve traveled to some amazing vacation destinations at amazing prices, but I don’t usually choose my destination. The destination chooses me. It can get a little frustrating but I can tell you that if destinations did not chose me, I would never have went to Jamaica and seen a live starfish swimming underwater when I was snorkeling off of a beach in Negril, climbed the Great Wall of China, traveled through the Panama Canal or met a baby sloth at a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica just for starters. I went to those vacation destinations not because I had a deep desire to travel to Montego Bay, Beijing, Panama City, or Puerto Limon, but because I was chasing a travel deal. Now, vacation planning via chasing a deal is a great way to get cheap vacations and save a lot of money. I have been on some incredible trips and gone to vacation destinations I never would have had at the top of my travel destinations “bucket list,” but I realize chasing the travel deal has prevented me so far from going to Tahiti’s island paradise of Bora, Bora (my life long travel dream) and I still want to do the “Sound of Music” tour in Salzburg, Austria. So you usually have a choice: chase the best travel deal or choose your travel dream.

3. Book Your Airfare, Hotel, and Car Rental.

When you’re vacation planning, the best way to save hundreds of dollars on your vacation is to book everything together as a complete travel package. I don’t have any technological reason as to why this saves you money, but it does. Feel free to experiment with your own online travel booking engine of choice with this concept by making queries separately and then as a package, but it’s been done before and proven to save you money. I do know that Rovia Travel has the best online price 68% of the time as compared to Travelocity and Expedia according to a recent independent survey by Topaz International so you may want to check them out.

4. Research Your Vacation Destination & Plan Your Travel Itinerary.

Researching my vacation destination and planning great itineraries is one of the things that I sort of excel at in vacation planning because I love researching the hot tourist attractions of the vacation destination I’m visiting. I know some people just like to “wing it,” but that lack of vacation planning can really add hundreds of dollars to your trip. There are two great ways to do your research. First, there are so many online tools at the local tourism offices of the areas your visiting that have all the main information at your fingertips, plus many have coupons or travel deals you may not have been able to find in other ways. The second thing I like to do is pick up a great guide book for the destination I’m going to. Frommer’s Travel Guide Books and Rick Steves’ Travel Guide Books for Europe are very well researched and written and these authors update their books almost yearly so you know you have up-to-date information.

5. Make Two Checklists.

Now you need to make two checklists for your vacation planning. One is a list of things to do before you go on vacation. This includes finding a pet sitter, getting a neighbor to pick up the mail, calling your mobile phone service to arrange for a text/email package while you’re away if you’re traveling internationally, secure a passport or visa (if you need them), get medical vaccinations if necessary, call your credit card companies to let them know you’ll be traveling and what cities or countries to expect charges to come up on, and things like that. The second list for your vacation planning is a list of things to pack.

Now that wasn’t so bad, was it? Now you see how simple vacation planning is even for an inexperienced traveler. These are the basics of vacation planning and now that you know how to plan your vacation, we have a lot of extra bonus my travel website (see below) to help you discover a world of ways to see the world. Bon Voyage and have a fabulous vacation.

Bali Travel Information

Bali is just one of 17,000 islands that make up Indonesia and is definitely the most popular island target for holiday makers. All around the world, Bali is recognized as a paradise island with sun drenched beaches, white sand, excellent surf spots, fishing towns, and much more. When you travel to Bali you are not only going to stay in some of the most plush Bali accommodation that is on par with any other spot on earth, but you’ll find small towns that have not changed in centuries and it will be as though you stepped back in time.

Balinese people are extremely friendly and will always return a smile and attempt to make you feel as cozy as possible by providing wonderful services when you stay with them. Some places do not allow tipping, but you will always wish to even in the most costly restaurants because of the attention and service you’ll receive. The currency that is used in Bali is the IDR (Indonesian Rupiah) and coming from a developed country your money will go a long way.

Manners and respect are vital to the Balinese, so it is important to learn a couple of their customs. Although they are accepting of the westerners ways you will always find that people will be much friendlier if you try to observe there customs, even if you don’t get it right, they ‘ll appreciate your effort.

Some of the most significant ones that will cause offense are; never touch or pat someone on the head, including children as it is considered awfully rude. Taking your shoes off before entering someone’s house is a sign of respect. Pointing with your hand is okay, but never point with your foot. When visiting a temple, don’t hang any clothing on the temple walls, Balinese people take their religion seriously, always sit lower than holy objects and honored guests at marriages or ceremonies. When doing your washing hang your underwear on the lowest rung and if going for a walk don’t walk under a washing line so that underwear is above your head.

Getting to Bali is reasonably straightforward from any country and flights leave daily, though a stopover could be required from some places. There are no Bali visa requirements if you hold a passport of one of the Indonesian countries and most other nationals can get a visa simply. VOA (visas on arrival) are available at the airport when you land and cost between $10 and $25 depending how long you are staying, a $25 visa will give you 30days. Never overstay your visa as the Indonesian countries are very stern when it comes to this.

Before you decide to go to Bali, always be sure to check with your doctor for any shots that you may need. The reason that Bali is a beautiful country is that it is tropical and with the superb foliage and marine life comes some nasty little bugs. You’ll be quite safe if you get all your jags before you leave. One thing that you should not do is drink the tap water, and some people advise not to clean your pearly whites with it either. Bottled water is inexpensive and widely available so use it. If you don’t you could end up with a thing by the name of Bali Belly and you do not need or want this.

Taking a few cares and following some simple advice will make sure that your vacation is a problem free one and that you can enjoy all that Bali has to offer which is a lot. Given that a holiday is generally short it is important to head this advise as a bad case of some tropical infirmity could devastate your holiday and see you lying in bed for the whole duration.

For Consultants

Travel is a fact of life for most consultants. Many spend 45 weeks on the road every year, and some say they wouldn’t want it any other way.

We know one married couple where both are traveling consultants. They often joke that they should write a book called “Marriage on Three Days a Week” because they only see each other from Thursday night to Sunday night most weeks. Of course, they take great vacations with all the frequent flier miles and hotel points, and neither one is left at home to manage the household while the other dines in restaurants every night and comes home expecting all the chores to be done.

Like many others, they have learned how to be comfortable on the road so that their travel schedules are a source of new experiences and great stories instead of a hardship. If you learn how to be comfortable in your environment, you’ll do better work and last longer in this demanding field.

There are two types of consulting roles, from a travel schedule perspective. One type of consultant is the real Road Warrior who is in a different city each week, often visiting two or three different clients and staying only a couple of days each place. The other type travels to the same destination every week to work on a long-term engagement over several months. Which type of travel schedule you end up with depends as much on your personality as on your skill set.

No matter which type of travel schedule you have, there are some seemingly small things you can do to make yourself significantly more comfortable on the road.

Enroll in every frequent flier and hotel points program you can. The biggest perks in business travel come when you get a free family vacation later. All those trips to Pittsburgh might buy you a trip to Honolulu or Prague or wherever your heart leads you.

Whenever possible, use the same airline and hotel chain for every city. This helps you rack up the points faster, and it also establishes a level of comfort and familiarity for you from the moment you arrive in the city. Not every Marriott is exactly like every other Marriott, but there are enough similarities between them that you will begin to feel at home quickly.

Packing for Travel

Develop a routine for packing. Make a checklist that includes everything that you know you’ll need for any trip, including items like toothbrush and cell-phone charger. Go over the checklist every single time you pack a suitcase.

If you don’t follow this advice, you will eventually end up spending $200 on a “charge everything” device and using a hotel toothbrush that will rip your gums out.

  1. Always assume you will have to carry your luggage yourself. If you aren’t sure you will need it, don’t take it. You can always buy one there. (Don’t accept engagements in locations that don’t have stores.)
  2. Pack something comfortable to wear in your hotel room and clothes you can wear to work out.
  3. Plan to sleep in something you don’t mind being seen wearing in public. In the event of a fire, hotels will evacuate two floors above and two floors below, even if it’s just a small fire in a trash basket. That’s what that loudspeaker above the bed is for.
  4. All luggage looks alike. Make your bag easy to spot on the carousel and less likely to be stolen with a few strategically placed strips of duct tape or a big pink bow.
  5. The military knows that rolled clothing does not wrinkle. Don’t fold it, roll it. Turn jackets inside out, fold the collar up and press one shoulder inside the other.
  6. Think about what you pack from the perspective of Customs and Airport Security. For example, many airlines will not allow you to carry steel-tipped darts in your carry-on luggage. (Yes, one of us learned this the hard way. Not the one you think.) Carry all medication in the original packages, particularly prescription medication.
  7. Purchase two of everything you use daily, like cosmetics, razors, toothbrush, etc. Leave one set at home. Pack toiletries once and leave them packed. This way, you don’t have to worry that you forgot something essential and will not notice until the middle of the night in a strange hotel room. When you run out of something on the road, replace it. (This is easier if you use common brands that are sold nationally.)

After only a few weeks of travel, you’ll know exactly what you need to pack and what you don’t.

Hotel Living

If you are traveling to the same city every week, pick a hotel that you are comfortable in and make friends with the people at the front desk and in Housekeeping. If you can commit to a certain number of weeks, they might even give you a break on the room rate, which is also good for your customer.

Once you’ve tried two or three different rooms in different parts of the hotel, you’ll begin to identify specific things you like or dislike. Within a few weeks, you’ll probably have a favorite room. Don’t be afraid to ask for it every week. Staying in the same room every week can increase your sense of comfort and it’s easier to remember what room you are in. Every one of us has been frustrated at least once by trying to open a hotel room door, only to realize that the key doesn’t work because this is the room we were in last week, and we have no idea what room we have been assigned this week.

If you followed our instructions for packing and bought duplicates of all your toiletries and travel needs, you can check a suitcase with the bellman over the weekend instead of carrying it home with you. Leave your laundry with a dry cleaner over the weekend and come back on Monday to a fresh wardrobe without carrying a bag with you to the airport. That’s freedom!

Make friends with the people who have control of the food. If you are eating all your meals off the Room Service menu, you will soon get bored with the choices. Encourage the person who answers the Room Service line to give you suggestions.

When Christine was working in one city where it wasn’t considered safe to leave the hotel and wander around at night, she called the Room Service number one night and said, in the most pitiful voice she could muster, “I’m hungry and nothing on the menu looks good tonight. Help me!”

The Room Service voice laughed and said, “Miss Lambden, don’t you worry. After all these months, I know what you like. Let me surprise you.”

In addition to the best steak and the freshest salad ever served by Room Service, the waiter brought a glass of red wine and said, “The chef said to tell you that he knows you don’t like red wine, but this is special. Try it with the steak. Alternate one bite of steak with one sip of wine.”

She still talks about that steak. After that night, she never had to look at the Room Service menu again. When she called, she would say, “Maybe a fish tonight?” or “I’m in the mood for something chocolate.”

Remember, if you are tired of the hotel menu, just imagine how the chef feels.

Since you can’t eat all the time, here are some other ways to fill an evening in a hotel room:

  1. Call your mother.
  2. Read.
  3. Go to a movie.
  4. College libraries are often open late. Learn something.
  5. Work out. Remember the Freshman Fifteen in college? The life of a consultant includes too many meals in restaurants and too few long walks in the park.

If you exercise at home, try to exercise the same way when you are traveling. Find out if it’s safe to walk/run outside near the hotel. This is also a great way to find the neighborhood restaurants and pubs that the travel books don’t know about.

If you exercise in a gym at home, stay in a hotel with a gym and use it. If there is no gym available in the hotel, remember that many national chains have memberships that allow you to work out in any city. Like national hotel and restaurant chains, gyms are a great way to find familiar surroundings in an unfamiliar place.

Exploring new cities is a great way to get exercise and enjoy your time on the road. See the sights. Shop. Ask the people at the hotel and at work what you should be sure to see while you are in town.

We know one consultant who managed, in one year, to see Niagara Falls (working in Buffalo), the Arch in St. Louis, the Napa Valley wine country, six shows on Broadway, and Fort Lauderdale during Spring Break.

Did you know that Kansas City is the City of Fountains? In the winter, the city slowly freezes some of the fountains so you see frozen ice where water flows in the summer. Just beautiful.

Did you know that you can visit the Budweiser Clydesdales at Grant’s Farm in St. Louis? If you think they are fun to watch on Super Bowl commercials, just imagine how magnificent they are up close.

These opportunities may not present themselves again. Don’t spend every evening in your hotel room.

Every city has something unique to offer and the people who live there will be happy to help you discover what is wonderful about their hometown.

Single Life on the Road

The constant-travel lifestyle is often more appealing to single people who do not have a family at home waiting for them each week. For these consultants, the only challenge is finding a way to maintain a home when you aren’t there during the week.

Here are some tips:

  1. Ask a friend or neighbor to pick up your mail once or twice during the week.
  2. Install automatic light timers in your house. Install motion sensor lights outside. This makes it look like someone is home and protects your stuff. (It also makes bats and possums find another yard to live in, but that might just be an Austin thing.)
  3. Hide valuables. Burglars know all about looking in the freezer for your jewelry, but would they think to look in that bag of potting soil in the garage? Hint: Tell someone you trust where you hid them…you’ll remember all the great spots you considered, and you’ll forget the one you picked.
  4. Splurge a little with all that money you are making as a consultant and hire a maid service to come in and clean your house while you are gone. If you have a lawn, hire a yard service, too. The last thing you are going to feel like doing when you finally get home is housework, and you’ll be happier in this job if you don’t feel that you are neglecting chores.
  5. If possible, have a trusted house-sitter stay in your house. Then you won’t have to worry at all.

In addition to maintaining your house, a single person on the road has to maintain a social life. When you are out of town all week, it’s easy to find yourself excluded from your friends’ conversations about plans for the weekend. You have to work harder to maintain those friendships at home, especially if you are also forming new friendships in the city where you are working.

It’s not totally unheard of for consultants assigned to the same client week after week to form friendships, or even romantic attachments, in the city where they work. Having bonds with people all over the country can be a huge advantage professionally because your network is expanded to include all of their colleagues, as well.

Don’t date someone in the client company. This can get messy. (Yeah, we know. Your situation is different. You’ll handle it like grownups. We’d like to believe this, but in our experience it rarely works out that way. Even so, this is still good advice for everyone else.)

Married With Children

Life on the road is harder for those who have a family at home. You miss them and you feel guilty about leaving them behind, and even more guilty when you’re having fun without them.

The same tourist attractions that enliven a single person’s travel can make you miss your family even more. You find yourself thinking, “The kids would love this,” or “Niagara Falls by myself? I don’t think so!”

Here are some tips for making travel easier when you miss your family:

  1. Write long letters saying all the stuff you would have said if you were at home. Buy a fax machine for the house so you can send them before you go to bed and the family can read them with breakfast. (We know. Email works just as well. Except it doesn’t. Handwritten letters mean more. They just do.)
  2. Give the hotel’s fax number to your family or set up a personal e-fax number. Encourage letters from home. Also drawings and report cards and anything else that will make you feel closer. Almost all children could benefit from the occasional writing exercise, and most of them already know how to operate a computer.
  3. Buy a small digital camera or use your cell phone to take pictures and make a “Day in the Life” slide show for the kids. Take pictures of your day from the time you wake up to the time you prepare for bed – pictures of your hotel room, your breakfast plate, your cubicle and co-workers, the bookstore you stop at after work, the restaurants you like – everything! (Trust us, they’ll love it.)

Driving in Strange (translation: “New To You”) Places

Weather conditions and driver courtesy rules vary from city to city. In some cities, driving is a brutal competition, and it’s considered rude or suicidal to slow down for a yellow light. Someone will honk at you or run into you. In others, you’ll get dirty looks if you don’t yield and let a waiting car merge in front of you. On most country roads, failure to wave at passing drivers marks you as an outsider.

No matter where you are, these tips will help lessen the impact of driving during your travels:

  1. Get a map when you arrive. If you know where you are going, you are much less likely to end up in the wrong place.
  2. If you rear-end a car on the freeway, your first move should be to hang up the phone. Better yet, go hands-free when you are driving. Best of all, hang up and drive.
  3. Rent your car from the same agency every week and be extra nice. Usually, the same agents are on duty every Monday morning, so eventually they’ll know you and may offer you the cool convertible or the Jag for a week at no extra charge.
  4. Not every state or city has a “right on red” law. Check with the car rental agency or look for a “No right on red” sign before you assume it’s legal in any intersection where you are.
  5. If you are stopped for speeding, running a red light, driving the wrong way, or, worst of all, hitting something, be very polite to everyone involved. Of course, this is true when you aren’t traveling, too, but you have a better chance of making your meeting or flight if you deal with the situation nicely.

In New York or Boston (or London or Beijing), take a cab or public transportation. Some warnings say “Don’t try this at home.” With regard to driving in these places, the rule is “Don’t try this on the road.” In other words, ask someone at your destination or consult a travel guide to find out whether it’s advisable to drive yourself around.

If you are facing your first winter in a snowy climate, ask someone to teach you how to drive in icy conditions before the first blizzard. You may feel foolish, and they will definitely laugh at you, but the first time you feel your car start to slide, you’ll be glad you did.

For us, just saying “I’m from Texas” is often enough to have our clients offer free driving lessons, icy conditions or not.

Air

Since 9/11, keeping track of the rules for air travel and getting through Security checkpoints has become more of a challenge, but the airlines have made a sincere effort to help.

Every airline and airport website has information about security requirements and how much time will be required to get to your gate. Experienced travelers quickly learn to avoid the busiest times of the day and week. In fact, we don’t know a single traveling consulting who would consider flying on the day before Thanksgiving under any circumstances.

Airport websites will also give you information about other amenities that are available in the terminals. For instance, did you know that the Hong Kong airport has showers and rooms where you can take a nap? After a long flight across the Pacific ocean, a shower is a wonderful way to spend your three-hour layover between connecting flights.

The airport in Portland, Oregon, has a great mall. You can get all your Christmas shopping done between flights and have the items you bought shipped home. Oh, and did we mention that Oregon doesn’t have sales tax?

The San Francisco airport has twenty different museum galleries that rotate art, culture and science exhibitions on a regular schedule. At SFO, you can’t avoid being entertained and educated while you travel.

Here are some other tips for making air travel easier:

  1. When you make your reservations, ask for a seat near the front of the plane. Airlines assign seats back-to-front and families traveling with children tend to plan further ahead than business travelers, so the shrieking three year-olds are usually in the back of the plane.
  2. Always request the Exit Row. Children aren’t permitted, and you get more legroom.
  3. Wear earplugs or invest in some good noise-canceling headphones if you plan to sleep. People talk louder on airplanes.
  4. Planes have only 3% humidity, so you get dehydrated quickly. Carry a bottle of water on board. (This will also keep your feet from swelling.) To keep costs and carryon weight low, carry an empty bottle and ask the flight attendant to fill it for you. On international flights, there is usually a water fountain available for passengers to serve themselves.
  5. When they say, “Limit two carry-on bags,” assume they really mean it and be prepared to check everything but your purse, briefcase and laptop. A good alternative if you are in a hurry is to “gate check” your bags. Especially with smaller commuter flights, this means you get your bags immediately when you get off the plane with no stop at baggage claim.
  6. Pay attention to the safety speech every once in a while. Like washing your car to make it rain, it’s just good karma. We’ve asked, and yes, most flight attendants feel just as silly giving the speech as you do listening to it, but the fact that no one is listening just makes their job harder.
  7. To prevent a stiff neck from sleeping on a plane, ask the flight attendant for a blanket, roll it up and wrap it around your neck before you fall asleep. Your head won’t roll from side-to-side, you won’t snore and you won’t look nearly as ridiculous as those people drooling on their neighbor’s shoulder. They make C-shaped pillows that do this, but that’s just one more thing to carry with you. We prefer to travel light.

While you are traveling, do everything you can to make your life easier. When you are enjoying yourself, you are better prepared to perform at work, and you’ll be more successful.

Cubicles and conference rooms are the same everywhere. The work won’t change, but taking the time to make friends with the people around you, at work and at the hotel, will make all the difference in the world to how well you do it.

Le Mans Tourist Attractions, Nightlife, Shopping, Travel Information

Le Mans is a beautiful city in France located on the Sarthe River. It is a part of the region of Pays de Le Mans. It is a famous place for car racing. The old town is famous for ancient Roman walls. Eurostar has a reach to this town.

Travel Information

Eurostar has made it easier to reach this beautiful town. The town attracts most of the tourism. So plan your trip to this beautiful town. Book your Eurostar train ticket online. Don’t miss your train from St Pancras International station London which will take you to Paris and then from Paris to this charming town. Take a full enjoyment of a comfortable journey and then a rocking vacation.

Top Attractions

A beautiful tiny place has lots of attractive sites. You must visit the historical places of the town and also the special things of the town. Some must visiting places are:

  • 24 heures du Mans: – It is a 24 hours entertainment place.
  • La Nuit des Chimeres: – it is an amazing place to visit. It is a historical museum which holds various fascinating arts and monuments.
  • Musee Automobile de la Sarthe: -It is a most popular museum of cars. Here you can see more over 100 year’s car collection.
  • Abbaye de L’epau: – It is a historical area. It is a beautiful site to visit and perfect place for lovers of history.
  • Racetrack: – it is a race track for motor racing. The tourist must see this place. It is a nice place to visit.
  • Arche de la Nature: – it is a place of natural reservations. Here many natural things are kept safe.
  • Musee de Tesse: – It is an awesome museum which holds a variety of arts and paintings of regional artists.
  • Old town: – Running in the race of modernization the city is capable to keep its old town remarkable. It a place where you can see wealthy historical assets.

Accommodations

Eurostar provides you concession on booking of hotel online. So book your hotel along with your train ticket.

  • Best Western Auberge De Foresterie
  • All seasons Centre Gare
  • Inter Galaxie
  • Novotel Le Mans
  • Hotel Emeraude
  • Hotel Kyriad
  • Ibis Le Mans Est Pontlieue
  • Apart city Le Mans
  • Citotel Levasseur

Nightlife

The night life of the town is rocking. Amazing drinks and foods with stunning discos is the trend of the nights in this charming town.

  • Le Stan
  • Le Zoo
  • Le Babylone
  • L’Atelier bar
  • Le Lezard
  • Opera Discotheque
  • Oh la Limite
  • Le Select

Shopping

This is a place where there are many small shops and stalls in streets along with this the city has many famous malls and shopping centers.

  • Carrefour De Le Mans
  • Centre Jacobins
  • Center Sud

5 for Couples Traveling Abroad – Part 1

When planning a romantic getaway you are excited and filled with anticipation of a holiday filled with romance, fun and maybe even a bit of adventure. Before the hugging, cuddling and kissing can begin you need to properly prepare for your trip. Here are the five tips to get your vacation started on the right track.

Tip #1: Every country has a recommendation for immunization. Be sure to check with your state department when traveling abroad. A friend of mine just returned from India with a stomach virus. It was several doctor visits before she got a correct diagnosis of C. Difficile; and now she’s having a hard time getting rid of it. And my co-worker got malaria on his visit to Africa. You don’t want to catch a virus or disease while traveling abroad and bring it back to your home country. Needless to say medical costs can be expensive and there is the danger you could make others sick as well. So, be sure to get your immunization shots even if you hate needles. Bite the bullet and get it done. Staying healthy during and after your trip is the first step to a wonderful vacation.

Tip #2: Check the expiration date on your passport. While packing for my last trip to Mexico with a few friends, I pulled out my passport three days before the trip and was shocked to discover it had expired. Oh my God!

Let me tell you it is possible to get a passport in three days – but it ain’t pretty.

I live in Chicago and the only place I could get a short-notice appointment in a passport office was in Houston. I had to change flights to go to Houston first (an extra $200 cost). I had to leave work two days early (unpaid days off). While waiting in the passport office the computers went down. I waited there all day and they did not come back online. I came back the next day. System was down all day but I waited praying it would come back online. It came back at 4:00pm and the office closed at 4:30pm. Only a fraction of the 100 people waiting for a passport received them that day ($150 cost). My name was the next to last name called.

Despite my deep breathing exercises, my stress level was off the chart. That expired passport was both a time-consuming and expensive delay and it almost didn’t happen. Learn from my mistake. Make sure you check your passport and any necessary visas required for your trip weeks ahead of time.

Tip #3: When traveling abroad purchase medical travel insurance to cover you and your family members. If you’re pregnant make sure you check the policy carefully. There are some travel insurance companies whose policies do not cover pregnant travelers.

Tip #4: Be sure to check the expected weather for your travel destination. While traveling around all summer to hot locals, I forgot to check the weather in Peru, my final destination. It was winter in Peru and the temperature was in the 50’s. A little cool for my shorts and flip-flops. I had to buy sweaters and a jacket. Do not assume the weather will be similar to where you live. This is rarely the case.

Tip #5: Buy trip cancellation insurance. If you have to cancel or delay your trip at the last-minute it can be costly, so you want to be covered.

These tips can help you have a smooth and worry-free vacation. Hopefully, a romantic getaway filled with hugging, cuddling and kissing.

5 Great for a Comfortable Trip

So, heading towards a fun trip for coming vocations? No doubt, you deserve some fabulous weeks after giving hard time all the year. Travelling is assumed to be relaxing most of the times however, it happens less. You have to face hard luck that is for sure. It is good to learn so that you have a comfortable and joyful trip.

Travel Tip 1: Be Prepared for Customs

So finally you are going to check in and thinking of going through customs at earliest. Recognize the fact that you will have to spend unwanted time at customs. When you are tired and had too long hours in plane, it becomes more tedious for you. Dedicate your first day for these mess ups rather than making outdoor plans. Make your mind that it happens. Entertain yourself by playing music on your iPod while you are in customs waiting list and be calm.

Travel Tip 2: Do not Mess Up with Minor Things

Most of hikers crumble into small stuff and get nothing out of their trip because they think to be cheated by overcharging of local taxi drivers. Bargain with them, yes, but do not bounce off. You may save some pennies out of fare but in the end your entire day will be lost. Think what should be the regular fare, haggle with 3 drivers and see which driver makes a closer offer. This way you will be travelling inside city peacefully.

Travel Tip 3: Expect the Misfortune

While travelling to your next destination, you may find roadblock, tire blast or a huddle and you will be helpless and stuck for hours on the road. For locals such situations are normal however outsiders become very stressful since they are unfamiliar to such stuff. In these circumstances, decide to take short walk and explore what is popular place near you. If you are smart, then try to be sociable and mixed with locals. Your experience will turn out to be stunning.

Travel Tip 4: Be Watchful on Valuables

Snatchers and thieves are mostly found everywhere – don’t be stressful. If you learn how to take necessary precautions then you do not have to worry about. Avoid carrying healthy cash and credit cards in pocket. Keep your precious items and extra cash in locker of hotel room. Carry small cash in your wallet or pocket and keep extra cash and credit cards in hidden pocket or belt. Keep probability in your favor. While it can be possible that someone will enter the room in your absence, it cannot be possible that someone will enter the room and steal all valuables from your locker. So, enjoy your trip and stop worrying.

Travel Tip 5: Spend Quality Time

No doubt, time is less and you want to have fun up to maximum extent. But you will easily be drained especially if you are in cities like Paris, New York or Dubai. It is not possible to explore everything in a limited time. Try to get most out of places you explore instead of getting nothing out of everything.

It is always advised to learn useful , take right precautions, expect the hard time and then taste every second of your trip. Remember, you have a lifetime back for worries so leave them at home when you start your travel.

For the Average Traveler Who Needs Money Saving

Many families are finding it hard to come up with the money to take a vacation, with the rise in prices for almost everything in the last few years. But taking a vacation does not have to be expensive. There are many money saving to be found to save the average traveler a lot of money.

Regardless of age or income, everyone can benefit from money saving . Whether aiming for a four-star, week-long vacation or a weekend getaway, there are that can save you money to be found with a little searching. These tips can save you money on everything from hotels, to airfare, to food.

Money Saving For Lodging

One of the best money saving for saving money on lodging is compare prices. Prices for hotel rooms can vary greatly, even if the hotels are located close to each other. If booking a hotel room online, check several different sites for the same hotel rooms. Chances are the price on one site will be lower than the prices on other sites. Another way to save is with a Travel Membership.

Another tip for saving on lodging is” try to be flexible”. For example, in Hilton Head, a hotel room with an ocean view is more than twice as much per night than the hotel room with all of the same amenities but without an ocean view directly across the street. If you are intending to spend your vacation days on the beach, an ocean view may not be necessary and that extra money could be spent towards something else. With a little research, money saving can save you quite a bit of money over the length of your vacation.

Money Saving For Dining

One of the biggest expenses of any vacation is food. With some money saving and a little prior planning, you can minimize the amount that you will pay for dining. The first tip is to research restaurants in the area before leaving on vacation. This way you know what types of restaurants are in the area and the price ranges for these restaurants. Many people on vacation walk into a restaurant that they have never been in before and pay a much higher price than they intended to spend for the meal. By choosing which restaurants you will eat in before you leave for the trip, you will eliminate the possibility of sticker shock when you see the menu.

One of the most overlooked money saving for dining is to request from the city you are planning to travel to, a guide to the local restaurants. Many of these guides include money saving coupons to restaurants in the area to entice you into eating there. Whether the coupon is for 10% off or 50% off, they are still saving you money you would have had to spend anyway. By doing a little research and learning some money saving , a vacation does not have to be as expensive as expected.

You can also get lodging that comes with a fully equipped kitchen, so you can cook some of your own meals. Most places you vacation have a local grocery store or deli near by. This is a great way to save. On a romantic get away you can do breakfast in bed and be spoiled by your love. If you have the family with you, having a kitchen will save you a ton of money on food. Just make sure Mom gets a break from the kitchen. Remember, this is her vacation too.

Galapagos Islands and The Exumas Travel Information

Galapagos Islands, The Experience:

Only 13 main islands, out of which 5 are inhibited, form the Galapagos Archipelago situated 1000 km from the Ecuadorian mainland. The world’s top all around dive site, the top spot for best fish life, best big animal dive, best advanced diving awaits tourists who wish to pay a visit to the healthiest marine environment. Penguins swimming in the equatorial sea, iguanas eating algae meals in the saltwater, dolphins leaping in phosphorescent water are among the rare treats you can find only in Galapagos. You can expect to see amazing creatures crawling, flying or just lying off the shore line.

Adventure travel in Galapagos involves kayaking, mountain biking, riding horses or snorkeling next to the world’s most fearless wildlife. You can travel between the islands in small private planes or speedboats and enjoy spectacular wildlife encounters. Tower Island is one of the most spectacular of the islands where you can wind your way through a mangrove forest. Octopus, starfish and other sea life can be seen caught in tide pools on Santiago Island. Isabela Island offers spectacular views of lava files, a salt-water lagoon, volcanic formations and the ocean.

Bartolome island is the youngest and inhospitable for most plants and animals. Discover a moon like scenery with lava bombs, spatter cones and cinder cones while you hike through ancient lava fields, encountering prehistoric reptiles. You can explore Darwin’s laboratory, the Garden of Eden of evolution, while traveling with a luxury dive vessel.

When to go

The pleasant weather year round means there is not best time to visit Galapagos. During the hot season, the ocean temperature is warmer so you can enjoy swimming and snorkeling better.

How to get there

You can get to the islands from the main land by plane from Quito or Guayaquil airports. You can see most of the islands via a motor or sailing yacht. There is strict control on tourist access due to the effort made to protect the natural habitat and you must be accompanied by a certified tour guide.

The Exuma

The precious islands of The Exuma are a 120-mile island chain including 360 wonderful inhabited and uninhabited cays, the largest cay being the Great Exuma. This cluster of islands situated in the Bahamas enjoys tropical mild climate throughout the year and this accounts for the most gorgeous sapphire-colored water through which our vision can reach the inner depths of sand owing to its utmost clarity. The weather and water blend together in the finest way to popularize this island as amongst the best known sailing spots bundled with its rich unblemished beaches, offshore reefs and coves. The island hosts the Annual Georgetown Sailing Regatta and the Annual Family Island Regatta as the major yachting events every year. The beauty which lies in the inner depths of the islands and the incredible aquamarine waters attract a huge number of sailors, fishermen, divers, snorkelers and kayakers to this paradise and the city in every aspect is rightly called the Sailing Capital of the World.

The Ports: The Port of George Town is situated next to Elizabeth Harbor and is the main port of entry to the Exumas. The Tropic of Cancer runs through the place, hence, the climate is mixed with tropical and temperate effects, and thus becomes the unique spot famous for the yachting people.

The Marinas:

1) Emerald Bay: This marina offers a classy entry for yachts and provides extensive facilities like charters, boat dealerships and other major requirements.

2) Staniel Cay Yacht Club: This is a newly renovated and famous marina in Exumas known for its excellent full-services like electricity, water, ice and others.

The Sailing Companies:

1) Dive Exuma: This is a highly-equipped dive center with its general motto of providing the memorable diving experience keeping safety as its first priority and is the only one present on the Great Exuma.

2) Exuma Dive Center: This diving center is not merely a dive shop but provides unique opportunities to explore the clear waters and the shallow reefs allow the divers to watch the rich colorful fauna.

Travel Insurance Over 70 – Here is How to Find the Best Rates

You have worked so hard your entire life that you now want to spend your retirement traveling but now that you are over 70 travel insurance is not easy to get. Eventually, when you get to find one you find out its expensive.

Don’t give up just yet on your dream of going places. Don’t even stress yourself looking for insurance for your travel which fits your age bracket because here are tips help you find for yourself the best over 70 travel insurance rates.

The keys to finding the best insurance are determining your needs, looking in the right place, and the Internet. Yes you got that right the Internet but that will be for later.

Your over 70 travel insurance policy should cover the entire duration of your trip. If you are keen on traveling more than twice a year get an annual insurance for your travels however if you only intend to travel once or twice a single travel insurance is more financially practical.

If you already have a health insurance, review the policy and see the extent of the coverage. If you are covered for medical evacuation and reunion with a relative in case of hospitalization while traveling then ask if you can opt to exclude this in your insurance application.

Health problems are frequently associated with seniors; however if this not your case because you are fit and are not likely to get sick as you are traveling then ask if you could have you your policy adjusted accordingly. However, keep the accidental death and disability part because accidents are something that no one can predict but can best prepare for not only for yourself but for the family as well.

Recently, many travelers got stranded in various places in Europe unable to go home for days due to the volcanic ash from the eruption of Iceland’s volcano. With that in mind, ask the insurer if you can be covered for natural disasters. With insurance you can be put up in a hotel so that even as you are stranded, you can still have a comfortable stay.

Your policy should have the “Cancel For Any Reason” clause. This is handy for those times when you have to cancel your trip because there is an disease outbreak to where you are going, a family member suddenly fell ill, there is a natural disaster occurring at your destination, or you yourself isn’t feeling fit for travel.

Now you can Look around for a major insurance company that is known for their travel insurance deals for the senior age bracket. If you don’t have any idea, your friends who are in the same age bracket could prove to be helpful as they may have already insured themselves.

Keep in mind that good deals does not necessarily mean they are the best deals. Don’t stop at just one insurance company in fact why don’t you list down two more? After that go out there and talk with an agent from each company and have a discussion about their over 70 travel insurance, policy inclusions, how you can adjust your policy according to your needs,d how much you’re going to pay and then compare your notes.

Now if you want to do the research without having to go out of your house and meet agents on a personal basis, you can always surf the Internet for over 70 travel insurance providers. Many insurance companies now have their own websites that are equipped with an insurance quote system which you can use to find out how much you will possibly pay. This is also the best way to do comparison, letting your fingers do the walking.

– Documents to be Carried While Traveling

While traveling outside US, documentation is an important part of your trip. Outside US and even in other States, you and your luggage are recognized by your documents. Carrying proper travel related documents and identity proofs could help you avoid unnecessary jitters.

The best international is to carry original copy of some documents and keep one or two photocopies of the other in case of emergency. You should also leave a copy of your documents with some friends, which they can fax to you if you loose yours. Ask your travel agent or friends who have gone to those destinations about the necessary for documents.

Vacations and Business

Whether you are on fun, business or a personal trip, the important documents required while traveling outside US are: Passport, Visa, Driving License, Medical Certificates and Insurance documents. A passport is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies the identity and nationality of the bearer.

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave most foreign countries. The Passport Services Office provides information and services to American citizens about how to obtain, replace or change a passport. To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to go in person to passport acceptance facilities with your two photographs, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as driver’s license and apply for the passport. You can seek for documents from your friends and acquaintances that have traveled to those destinations.

Airline and Visa Requirements

Most countries require a visa before you can travel there. You can board on aircraft only if you have a valid visa and return air ticket for the destination. Few countries allow free passage to US Citizens. However, it is mandatory to carry a valid identification proof with you in these countries to avoid legal complications and prove your identity in case of emergency. It is the responsibility of travelers to obtain Visa, where required, from the appropriate embassy or nearest consulate of the country you are planning to visit. Certain countries have proper validation requirements for Visa applications take some time before approving your visa. It is therefore necessary to obtain the visa well in advance to avoid last minute problems.

Luggage Documentation Tips

If you are carrying valuable and electronic items, good is to keep a copy of the invoice, insurance and troubleshooting manuals with you while you are traveling. While invoice and insurance are needed to prove your ownership, a manual will help the technicians if some problem occurs in it. These documents will also help you to avail international warranty and service facilities wherever applicable.

Travel insurance tips

Most countries require the foreign tourists covered up with insurance before they enter the country. However, insurance during travel is a critical issue due to legal differences between two countries. Contact your insurance company to find if the present insurance covers the foreign trips or not. Even your travel agent can help you with important travel insurance tips.