Staying On Budget Package Vacations V Independent Travel

When you have to travel on a budget, one of the biggest questions is whether it is best to plan each part of your trip independently, making separate airfare and hotel reservations, or to opt for a package deal where everything is included for one price.

Unfortunately, there isn’t one east answer to this dilemma, because it depends on where you want to go, and what deals are available at the time. For example, traveling to many to European cities is often less costly to arrange yourself, especially in the off-season, when airlines are running specials on flights to Europe.

On the other hand, if you want to travel to an exotic place, like Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, South Africa, or Asia, it is often less expensive and easier when arrange by a package company or travel agent. This is due in part to travel agencies having special deals with the national airlines and resorts of these countries, and they are able to provide substantial discounts in exchange for a steady flow of business.

For example, last year I traveled solo to Egypt from New York for a grand total of $1,100, including airfare, an excellent hotel, daily breakfast, airport transfers, and daily sightseeing tours, including guided tours of the pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. This is a far better deal than I could have arranged on my own, since airfare alone would have cost over $700. The secret of this great deal was the relationship of the tour operator with Egypt air and the hotel at which we stayed.

There are similarly great deals for many Asian locations, particularly India, China and Taiwan. Make sure to research the availability of these types of package deals when looking to travel abroad on a budget.

Solo travelers often have trouble getting the great deals on travel packages, since the required single increase can often make the deal not worth it. Don’t despair; there are great deals out there if package deals are too expensive or aren’t your thing, and it is often a better option, especially if you are traveling alone.

One important tip is to find out exactly what is and isn’t included in any package deal that you are considering. Most travel packages include optional excursions, which can add considerable expense, and blow your budget. Try to get a detailed daily schedule to make sure you won’t be on your own if you don’t buy into the options. It’s also a good idea to ask for a list of the optional outings available, including descriptions and costs, so that you can compare what the price would be to what you could arrange on your own.

If you are traveling alone, make sure you start planning ahead, especially when it comes to airfare arrangements. The important thing to remember is that there are only a certain number of first come, first serve seats the advertised low fares, and if you wait too long you won’t get the lower rate. It is important to reserve your airfare and your lodging as early as possible to make sure you get the best available prices.

In the end, the decision whether to choose a package deal or independent travel an individual decision based on the traveler’s situation. Make sure to carefully compare package prices with those for independently arranging travel to the same destination. And don’t forget to take your own personal travel style into account. Some people are more cut out for a packaged tour, particularly to an new destination, while others prefer the freedom from itineraries that independent travel offers.

Booking Travel Online – 5 Tips You Must Know

Booking travel online is big business these days and on the plus side puts a lot of power in the hands of the consumer to reserve their own travel arrangements. But it’s critical you know 5 things to get the best deal and discount available. So before you begin your travel research and booking online read this article.

ALL TRAVEL WEB SITES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL

When booking travel online they’re two types you can use: the traditional travel web sites such as Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity, and what are being called these days Travel Search Engines, which include SideStep and Kayak.

The main difference is in the search capability. A travel web site like Orbitz only searches its own database of available flights, hotel rooms, and car rentals. So the search is restrictive. But you’ll get more search features and booking travel services offered at these sites.

At travel search engines such as SideStep, the results will include selections from airline sites, travel web sites, and other databases containing flight, room and car rental availability. The drawback is a more “spartan” search capability, and you won’t get many of the cool features you’ll find at a travel web site.

IT REALLY DOES PAY TO COMPARE AS MANY AND AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN

If you want the cheapest fare or room, always check out multiple sites before booking travel online. Many travel web sites negotiate and purchase large blocks of fares and rooms directly from airlines and hotels, and then pass the savings onto consumers. But because the reduction varies between sites, the quoted rate for the same seat on a flight, or room in a hotel, can vary dramatically… and many times from day-to-day. So it not only pays to check and compare other sites, but if you’ve the time, to do it often.

TRAVEL WEB SITES DON’T ALWAYS GET THE BEST DEAL

Because of the competitiveness of the travel industry these days here’s another worthwhile step to take before you press that “submit” button at your chosen online booking site… hop over for a final check at the airline, hotel, or car rental company web site for any special offers or lower rates you may get if you book directly. Sometimes the best deals are reserved for their own online customers or preferred clients, and you’ll even avoid fees.

BEWARE OF TRAVEL WEB SITE SERVICE AND TRANSFER FEES

Booking travel online at travel web sites usually involves a service fee. In most instances it’s not outrageous and is usually around $5 per ticket or booking. Recently, I’ve seen some fees nudging up around $20 and there’s no need to pay that much. But the fees to be aware of are transfer fees when you change itinerary or cancel. It can cost you $100 or more to change after you’ve booked a flight. And if you want a refund, then it can be very frustrating, as you’ll likely spend hours on the phone to get to somebody who can authorize it.

The travel search engines make money from paid advertising and a referral fee from the airlines or hotels, so usually you don’t pay a fee when using them to book. But this is changing so always check for fee disclosure before booking.

Generally, the fees should never be hidden from you, but in a rush to book you may easily overlook a charge that wasn’t obvious before. The profit margins for online travel sites are low, and they can be very creative in their fee structure if you don’t pay close attention.

THE HIDDEN LINK THAT CAN SAVE YOU MONEY

Many of the travel web sites have a link on their page that allows you to become part of their affiliate program for no cost. It’s usually at the bottom and not obvious. By becoming an affiliate you can earn a small commission for everybody you refer to them that purchases a ticket, reserves a room, or rents a car.

But before you rush out and quit your day job and set yourself up as a home-based travel agent, be aware you’ll have to send thousands of people to make any decent money. But there’s an even better reason to become an affiliate. As an affiliate most sites will allow you to purchase your own tickets and still get paid the commission. It’s effectively a discount. Be sure to check the fine print on the agreement just so you’re familiar with the restrictions if any, and how they’ll pay you. But if you do a lot of booking travel online then check it out to see if it’ll work for you.

The travel industry continues to adjust to the advantages of the Internet. Billions of dollars have been invested in online travel booking systems, and new players continue to enter the market every year. Armed with these tips you’ll be better prepared to navigate through the maze to the very best deal for you. And there’s still that travel agent in the mall if you just can’t be bothered with the whole game of booking travel online.

Travel Insurance – Helpful Tips For Your Trip

The day is soon approaching and it’s time to consider travel insurance to protect you from the unexpected. There are many travel insurance plans to choose from for that trip you are going to take. There are some important tips about travel insurance and the policies these travel insurance companies offer. Also, you can have a safe trip if you take a little time to research and educate yourself with a few simple and helpful tips.

When you are getting ready to travel, be sure to tell at least three family members where you are going to stay. Let them know your hotel details and arrival and departure dates. Another important tip if you travel in other countries, is the right vaccinations for the country you are going to visit. This is a safety issue many forget to even consider while traveling abroad.

Another helpful tip with any type of travel insurance, is your money and documents. Be sure you have the right passports and all required visas and that they are current. One of the best things you can do is get travelers checks. You really don’t want to carry cash if at all possible. Another important thing to remember in regards to travelers checks, is not to counter sign them until you use them.

Travel insurance companies can give you a check list of all the important tips for a safe trip. Make sure you have copies of your travel documents, airline tickets, passport, visas and your vaccination records. It’s best to leave a copy at home and also carry them in your carry on luggage and your suitcase. This will help insure you have these important documents in case one set gets lost while traveling. Another very important consideration, is to put all valuables and documents in a safe deposit box. Don’t leave them in your hotel room or you vehicle unattended.

Travel insurance policies should cover you for international travel. Medical and other expenses, cancellation and curtailment, personal baggage, delayed baggage, missed departure, personal money and important documents, travel delay, personal liability and hijack are generally covered.

Travel insurance reviews online can help you get an idea of the best company for your travel plans. You can easily see the many insurance reviews online. It can be well worth your while to do a simple online search. You can compare travel insurance companies with a few clicks of your computer mouse.

Take some time to do your research and you can rest assured you have made a well informed decision in regards to your safety and travel insurance needs.

Benefits Of Arranging A Limo Bus Ride

As I am associated with Tours and Travel’s business, I understand the importance of hiring a high quality limousine bus service for the travelers. For years I have been in this hospitality industry, and understand it well that a low-quality transportation service can dump my business to a large extent. Therefore, I make it a point to hire luxury Limo buses for my travelers to keep them comfortable and make them enjoy every moment of their expedition.

Though, for several years the association of Limo buses has been made by celebrities and other high profile people, but even the common people can afford to take its ride and enjoy experiencing the pleasure of luxury airport transportation service.

The main aim of the article is to highlight the benefits of arranging a limo bus ride for the travelers to explore the place of their interest. The special reasons are:

These are luxury buses and have some extra features than the normal buses so that people sit in it comfortably.
The seats of the buses are comfortable and have a cushion at the back of the neck so that the person sitting on it keeps the neck at a resting mode. This amazing feature offers an incredible experience as the person does not feel pain in the neck at any point of time throughout the journey.
Even the leg room is quite spacious for the travelers to feel comfortable.
These buses have excellent luggage capacity. If you are traveling in any of these buses, you do not worry about the quantity of luggage you are carrying. So whether your camera, your lunch box or your voyager’s bag, everything accommodates in it perfectly well.
The great thing is that the music systems and LED’s incorporated in these vehicles are of the highest quality and a person sitting on it is will not get bored, as they have access to full-on high quality entertainment.
These offer an extremely smooth ride.
In a few of these buses, the service providers offer liquor and other tidbits to the travelers.
These are the registered buses, and the drivers hold a special license to drive them as they are especially skilled people drive the transport.
These are perfect for the honeymooners and lovers to enjoy the ride of their dreams.
Though, these are a bit expensive than the normal buses, still the cost of them are not so high for a commoner to plan a ride on it. As it might be a first limousine ride for most of the voyagers inside it, they will always cherish the ride.
If a person feels tired after a whole day of the expedition, he/she can relax the body with ease.
The comfort and luxury that these buses offer are of high-end, and even if the person travels in it throughout the day, does not tend to feel as tired compared to the ordinary buses.

As most of the people consider a limo bus ride, many travel and tour companies hire limo buses for keeping their customers comfortable so that they get back to them again and again.

What To Expect From A Travel Agent

Finding the right travel agent can be as hard as finding the right doctor. You want someone you can trust to get you the best deal. Someone you who is knowledgeable about the area you are wanting to visit and has the resources to provide you with all the information you need. Travel agents book about 75% of all air travel, 30% of all hotel reservations, and 95% of all cruises. Even with all the information online most people still prefer to avoid all the hassle and use travel agents.

The first step to finding a good travel agent is to check their credentials. Check to make sure they are a certified travel counselor. To be a certified travel counselor a travel agent with at least five years experience must complete a two year graduate level program offered by the Institute of Certified Travel Agents. For the travel agency itself you have to look for membership in one of two associations. The American Society of Travel Agents and The Association of Retail Travel Agents are the two travel agency associations.

One of the easiest ways to find a travel agent is by word of mouth. Ask your friends and family who they use. Try to pick friends and family who have similar interests as you , that way you can find a travel agent who will understand your needs. Most people use a certain agent and not a certain agency. Not all agents in a travel agency are the same. One might specialize in cruises while another specializes in low cost travel plans. Make sure you get the name of a specific agent when talking to your friends and family.

A good travel agent will keep a portfolio of all your travel needs and preferences. Things like frequent flyer miles, credit card details, hotel or airline favorites, and any other personal requirements should be kept by the travel agent in a specific folder. This saves you time when you go in to book a trip, by having everything already filed out you won’t have to do it each time.

A good travel agent will also find out your preferences, like places you enjoy visiting. This way if they come across an unpublished bargain for a place that is of interest to you they can contact you with the information. A good travel agent is always looking for the best deal for their client. This includes informing you if changing the dates of your vacation or changing your itinerary can lower the price for you.

Finding a good travel agent can be frustrating and time consuming. When you find a good travel agent you should use them for all your travel needs and refer them to any one who is looking for a travel agent.

Another place to look is online. Search for one near you. Don’t always go with the cheapest. Ask them their credentials upfront. If they try to avoid the question, move on. Do they provide phone contact information on their website and give office hours? This is a good way to tell if it’s an agent you may want to deal with.

Helicopter Sightseeing Tours In Dubai

Doesn’t everything look small from up on the sky? How would it feel to watch a beautiful landscape or a sparkling city from an astounding height? Helicopter sightseeing tours would just ensure that. They fly you to amazing heights and from there you can enjoy the grand vista. Helicopter tour Dubai is one such experience that you should never let go off once in the city. Hovering over the Dubai Creek, Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab hotel and many other beautiful places around the city would be a real treat for the sore eyes. Trained, licensed and insured professionals glide you through the skies of Dubai. These trips can be tailor-made for you on request else they run on a daily schedule.

There are various types of helicopter sightseeing tours. Some are absolutely private whereas others can be shared. Chartered helicopters vary in there seating capacity, flight duration, travel speed etc. Helicopter tour Dubai offers various tour programmes which the agencies plan out prior to the journey. They provide you the details of the route and the duration once you make a booking. Dubai, the City of Gold can be explored by air both during daytime and at night. And, both offer you a unique experience to be cherished forever.

Helicopter tour Dubai can range from 12 minutes to 25 minutes to even an hour. On the internet you can easily find all the relevant details of the helicopter sightseeing tours. The tour usually starts with the Dubai creek and slowly manoeuvres its way towards the architectural marvel – Burj Khalifa. Then onwards there is Sheikh Zayed road, Meydan, Atlantis Hotel and what not. The night tour is even more beautiful and breathtaking. Technology in the form of LED lights and colours makes Dubai appear like a festive place at night.

Helicopter sightseeing tour gives you a different view and perspective of all things that you see on land. So book your trip now. All you need to do is go to the website of the rental agencies and put in your enquiry. As mentioned earlier, there are various plans of helicopter tour Dubai. You can drop an enquiry with your name and contact number mentioning the date of your visit, number of guests and the time span of your tour. The agencies will take it over from there. They have a pick-up and drop facility in a Rolls Royce which is a timeless favourite of all epitomising both luxury and utility.

Other than helicopter sightseeing tours there are many other tours that you can undertake such as a city tour on wheels or a fishing trip on a yacht. Not just for holidaying, yachts can be used for hosting corporate events like a product launch or fashion parties. Get a group of 5 people and take a helicopter tour Dubai. Watch the city below or the man made islands. The helicopters are comfortable with cosy leather seats and come with a drink cabinet too. Enjoy the view with a drink in your hand and your friend by your side. You can only croon softly the famous Louis Armstrong song, It’s a beautiful world.

Travel Packing Tips For Great Family Vacations

Vacations should be fun, relaxing interludes that give us a break from our normal routine so that we can recharge and feel refreshed. All too often it’s the travel to our vacation destination that is most stressful though. So in Part 1 of this article we discussed ways to have the right kind of luggage for the trip, what to carry on board with you when you fly, how to keep your clothes clean in your luggage, and how to carry medications with you as you travel. Here are even more travel packing tips for great family vacations:

* If you are one of those folks that gets motion sickness easily, be proactive and carry some medication on board with you as you fly or take it with you in the car if you travel by auto. In fact, it may even be best to take it before you leave to be sure that you don’t have a rough time while the trip is underway.

* Always have ID tags on your luggage that can help having them returned to you as soon as possible in the case of their loss by the airline.

* Don’t overpack your bags in order to keep from wrinkling your clothes on the trip. Lots of people try to cram as much as they can into every bag only to find that their clothing looks awful upon arrival at their destination. Buttoning all the buttons on your shirts can help keep them wrinkle-free too. Once you get to your destination unpack as soon as you can to avoid wrinkles as much as possible.

* Try to arrange your lodging arrangements so that you have access to laundry facilities. That way you don’t have to carry as many clothes with you, especially for a long vacation. This will dramatically cut down on the amount of luggage needed for the trip and help you manage them much easier too.

* Make sure that you bring enough luggage to handle any new items that you may buy while on the trip. All too often folks only bring enough luggage to get them where they want to go and then have trouble coming up with a way to handle the extra souvenirs and mementos that they buy while on the trip. Just planning ahead can solve this problem.

* Packing clothes that have similar color schemes can help you mix and match for each day’s affairs. This can help save luggage space that could be taken up by having unique ensembles for every occasion. Most people find that they pack more clothes than they need for the trip anyway.

If you give some advance thought to packing your luggage, it can go a long way toward making your trip easier and more trouble-free, and hopefully you can make good use of our travel packing tips for great family vacations.

Travel To Austria Your Year-round Travel Destination

So you want to travel to Austria. Well, you’ve made a wise choice. Austria is considered one of the top year-round travel destinations. Because of its beautiful Alps, winter sports are quite popular in Austria, providing Austria with high tourist attendance in the winter and giving you a reason to travel to Austria any time of the year.

If you want to travel to Austria, here are some quick facts you should know when you go.

Austria The Region
A land-locked country, Austria is located in Central Europe. It is a mountainous country with an area of 83,855 km2. Austria consists of nine provinces: Vorarlberg, Tyrol, Salzburg, Carinthia, Styria, Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Burgenland, and Vienna. Approximately 99% of Austrians are of Germanic ethnic origin and 78% are Roman Catholics. As for the terrain, the Alps occupy the southern and western regions of the country, and numerous forests, valleys, lakes, and rivers can be found throughout Austria.

The Weather
When you travel to Austria, it’s important to have an idea about the weather and Austria’s seasons. Austria has four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Summers are generally warm and pleasant with cool nights. Rain does occur during the summer season but the showers are normally short. Austria’s winters are sunny, with reliable and frequent snowfalls. Winters are also cold and accompanied by warm and dry winds in some parts. However the weather overall is changeable throughout the year, so when you travel to Austria, pack appropriately.

The Culture
When you travel to Austria, you’ll quickly realize why Austria is widely recognized for its rich cultural past and present. Austria’s affluence of artistic achievements is obvious in its architecture and structures like the Stephansdom (Saint Stephen’s Cathedral), Schnbrunn Palace, Hofburg Palace, the “Goldene Dachl” in Innsbruck, Melk Abbey, and the “Loos-Haus” or the “Hundertwasser-Haus”. Austria is also the birthplace of composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss Jr., Johann Strauss Sr., and Johannes Brahms. Like most European countries, Austria has a rich culture and affluence that awaits anyone who decides to visit.

The Activities
If you pre-plan your activities for your trip to Austria, here’s a heads up. Because of Austria’s mountainous terrain, two of the more popular activities for tourists tend to be skiing in the winter and hiking. There are a number of different resorts to fulfill your skiing desires. If you prefer flat terrain to hills, cross-country skiing opportunities are also available anywhere where there’s sufficient snow and few buildings. As for hiking, there are thousands of kilometers of hiking trails that will allow you to explore the Alps and its breathtaking views. If you’re looking for things to do when you travel Austria, skiing in the winter and hiking are two very popular and exciting Austrian activities for tourists.

Austria has a lot to offer travelers and those who want to travel Austria. From its rich culture to mountain activities, Austria is the answer to those who want to travel in Europe year-round.

Travel Backgammon For Gamers On The Go

Backgammon boards are generally on the back of checkerboards, and the pieces can fall all over the place if you are not in a sitting position that is not moving. Some backgammon boards are produced without the use of a checkerboard because the game has been growing with such popularity once again. This is a game that has been played for hundreds of years, and that has been played around the world before the time of television and computers.

To take your game on the go, travel backgammon is a game that will give those who are not driving a chance to do something besides stare out the window! Travel backgammon is a fun smaller version of the larger board game but that will keep the pieces from being lost as often as well!

This smaller version can often be packed in a backpack or in a pocket, not taking much room while in the car or in the plane. What is great about fitting in so many small spaces is that you most likely already are going to be carrying around so much so you can the convenience of having smaller items for something else to do so you can pack more munchies or more clothes for traveling!

Who is going to enjoy travel backgammon while traveling? Anyone of the age over seven is going to enjoy this game. Those who are younger than seven might not understand the rules as well as those who are little older. If you are traveling anywhere during the day, in a car, on a plane, or on a train for more than an hour you will want something to keep you occupied. Keeping yourself, or the children occupied while traveling is going to keep down fights, problems, and the noise overall while traveling plus it could make your trip more pleasurable.

The travel version of backgammon is one that is played between two people. It is a small board usually with magnetic pieces so the pieces won’t fall anywhere. Losing pieces can make it difficult to play the game at all. Travel versions of backgammon can be made from cardboard, or from a more plastic like substance that will not break or get squashed easily when packed in your gear.

Travel backgammon sets are used for that free time in school, in hotels, while in the car, or even while at home. Some homes are small, so the needs for smaller things, or smaller games that will store easily are needed. Travel sized games fit the need just right.

Sites You Can Travel Around In A Golden Triangle Trip Of India

Nobody can deny that India is one of the most electrifying,thought-provoking and exceptional tourist destinations in the world. It is a country well known to be rich in culture, customs and legacy. Considering the high popularity that it has, India can be counted on top in the list of some remarkable countries that are worth holidaying at. This country has been enticing travelers and sightseers from diverse corners of the world since many years. It has evidenced to be one of the most captivating vacation destinations that possess innumerable beautiful sites for individuals to travel around. Every Indian city has something exceptional and marvelous to explore.

Being renowned for its natural attractiveness,India has true beauty hidden its charming beaches, immense golden deserts, and wildlife sites, splendid and snow-roofed mountains and not to forget, the monuments, forts and palaces that have been erected stunningly in the ancient times. The enthusiasm of seeing these monuments is so great in the international tourists that they desire to cover such places where they can see pronounced architecture in those monuments and can also get acquainted with the past of this superb country. Considering this info, the tourism ministry of India started with golden triangle trips. The prime objective behind introducing these tours is to encourage tourism in this country. These tours are one of the major lures for all the tourists visiting India. In fact, there are many folks who wish to explore India in a short yet erudite manner. For such people, the golden triangle tours are an idyllic option. Mainly, the three most striking and historic cities of India are covered in a golden triangle tours. These cities are Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.All the three royal cities are well linked by road and therefore, these tours form a convenient way to discover the rich cultural heritage of India.

The first city that this tour covers is Delhi. It is regarded as one of the most attractive and industrialized cities of India. Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Qutub Minar, Raj ghat, Humayun’s Tomb, India Gate, Lotus Temple, Akshardham Temple, Birla Temple, Chandni Chowk, etc. are some of the chief attractions of Delhi tourism. The succeeding city that the tour will take you to is Agra.It is known as the most amiable city of the country and is famous for the Taj Mahal, which is an exceptional monument built by Shah Jahan. This celebrated monument is one of the Seven Wonders of the World as well. Apart from Taj Mahal, the other forts and palaces that you can sight see in this city are Agra fort and It mad-U-Mullah (Baby Taj). The third and the concluding city is Jaipur. It is prevalently known as the Pink City’ and is a home to many magnificent spots which include the Albert Hall Museum, City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, etc. For having an enjoyable trip, make sure to choose an unswerving travel agent that can offer you an Affordable Golden Triangle Package as per your needs.