Essential Travel Packing Tips

Going on vacation is exciting, but planning a vacation can be stressful. Reservations, money, airline tickets, and many other things can make anyone begin to feel overwhelmed. Luckily, there are a few tried-and-true travel packing tips for keeping things simple as you prepare for your trip.

Roll your clothes.

In this era of traveling lightly and transparently, conserving space is the name of the game. If you fold your clothes, they tend to take up too much room in your suitcase. Instead, roll your clothes and fit a lot more items into the same amount of space.

Divide your valuables.

If you keep your wallet, keys, passport, and cell phone in your purse or travel bag, then you will be in a bad situation if that bag goes missing or ends up stolen. A better way to carry valuables is to divide them into different bags, especially financial items. Therefore, if something like your debit card is lost, you have a backup credit card in another bag to use for the duration of your trip. This one is perhaps one of the most important travel packing tips. You’re going on vacation to relax, not to have to constantly think about your finances and important documents!

Use travel-sized toiletries.

Airlines no longer allow you to carry liquids that contain more than 3 ounces. To keep from having your shampoo confiscated unnecessarily, stock up on travel-sized toiletries for your trip. Even better, you could skip packing toiletries altogether and buy travel-sized versions when you get where you are going.

Axe the hairdryer and the iron.

Hairdryers and irons take up valuable suitcase real estate. To save this room for other items, leave them out altogether. Almost all hotels already have them waiting in the room for you to use.

Heaviest on the bottom.

If you pack heavy things such as your bag of toiletries on top, you risk smashing all of your clothes underneath while you are rolling the bag through the airport. Instead, pack your heavy things on the bottom so everything stays in its right place.

Don’t pack what you won’t use.

This rule is self explanatory. Do not pack duplicate outfits or three different pairs of shoes if you only need one. You should review everything after you have packed it, and if you do not need it, leave it at home.

There is no need to sweat about packing to go out of town. You can have a relaxing vacation with minimal hassle if you pack correctly. Following these simple travel packing tips will help you focus on what is important: having an amazing time on your trip.

Need Travel Insurance for Vacation Rentals

There are many different reasons that could force a family or an individual to cancel a vacation, return home early or cause them to seek emergency medical treatment while traveling. These things are not always immediately available when you travel to a place you are unfamiliar with. Travel insurance is for anyone who is willing to invest a small percentage more to insure their own safely and the safety of their loved ones along with their investment. While things like safety and monetary protection may be the most important thing that you would think to protect, there are many more common inconveniences that could befall even the most careful traveler.

If you were to book a nice place with Cabo San Lucas vacation rentals, but at the last minute, you are unable to go because of weather changes, work related issues, sudden illness within the family, or perhaps countless other unfortunate circumstances, you would lose most, or all of your investment. With travel insurance, the insurance covers any reason you would have to cancel your vacation. If you were to twist your ankle or perhaps incur a more serious injury that needed emergency medical attention, but your vacation spot doesn’t have the necessary facilities, your travel insurance will transport you to adequate medical facilities wherever you plan to be.

Vacation rentals insurance will support you in many other ways as well. It covers anything and everything from lost luggage to identity theft while you’re in a different country. If you lose your passport or wallet, they will offer emergency cash to get you home. If you do have to cut your vacation short because of any reason, your insurance will cover any expenses that that would incur. If your travel agency or airline goes bankrupt, they will pay for your non-refundable expenses. If you were planning on living in the Cabo San Lucas condominiums and they are suddenly flooded, you’re money will be protected. In the rare instance that there is a terrorist attack and you have to abandon all your possessions and evacuate, many travel insurances will cover that cost as well.

Vacation rental travel insurance can and will give you peace of mind and allow you to really relax during your hard earned vacation. Knowing that you and your family will be protected while having fun will make all the difference.

Hotel Deals in Las Vegas

Are you heading towards your trip to Las Vegas with your near and dear ones? Have not book any hotel to stay in yet? Want your accommodation booking to be done at cheaper rates? Nowadays with increasing popularity of holidays, the hotel deals are coming at competitive rates. This has introduced the lucrative offer of hotel deals in Las Vegas. Vegas is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world and there are large number of tourists visit this place every year. The huge popularity of this city has made it quite easy for you to look for the best hotel in Las Vegas in a very less time and at pocket friendly prices.

Vegas is considered as the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’ and well known for its amazing attractions, lively nightlife, excellent shopping hub, good restaurants and top rated shows. The beautiful city contains a long list of best hotels that offers comfortable and luxurious stay to the travelers.

Hotel deals in Las Vegas can be a good way to save money on accommodation that can be later used for other purposes like shopping and eating when you are on a holiday. The few hotels in this city are Luxor Hotel, Ceasars Palace, MGM Grand, Circus City Hotels and the Bellagio Resort Las Vegas. You may find these hotels well connected with all major airports of Vegas, which may turn your stay quite tension free. All these cheap resorts are designed beautifully and offer all modern facilities to feel like a luxurious resort. The amenities offered by various hotels and resorts include 24X7 services, best designed hotel rooms, clean rooms, superb hospitality, fine dining restaurant with plenty dishes, bars and many more.

The hotel deals in Las Vegas are categorized on the basis of Family hotels, Romantic hotels, Budget Hotels, Luxury Hotels and Theme Hotels. You must search out various online websites that offer hotel deals at drastically different rates. This is because there is huge competition going on among all hotels. This means a good research would help you to take out efficient and good hotel deal at cheaper rates. There are some requirements which you need to tell online that includes flexibility, hotel rating, and total number of days you want to stay in this city, number of rooms required and budget. This helps you to arrange hotel deals in Las Vegas in a short span of time.

Vacation Rental Tips

Hotels are certainly the most common type of travel accommodation, but vacation rentals are a great option if you’re hoping to save money and have a more comfy, private holiday. You can choose from condos, homes, and cabins, and most all come with professional cleaning services, a full-service kitchen, and all the electronic conveniences (cable TV, air conditioning, laundry machine) you’re accustomed to at home. To get the most out of your rental experience, follow our vacation rental tips and tricks. We’ll help you find a rental, save money, and have the best vacation possible.

First, think about what you want in a rental. Are you more concerned about the property’s location or ammenities? Do you plan to do a lot of cooking at your rental? Are you hoping for laundry machines? Figure out what you want first because all rentals have their pros and cons. Once you’ve sorted out your priorities, do a little homework and research rental properties located in areas you like. Scour online reviews and be sure to check out each property’s details, management, and ammenities. If you want to save even more money, try booking during the off-season.

Once you’ve decided on a property and date, contact the owners or management company and be sure to get a good look at the contract. Some properties ask you to pay for items like utility bills, cable, phone service, internet, propane/gas, and cleaning services. If you don’t get a good look at these details beforehand, you might be confronted with unexpected costs later on. For example, some vacation rentals ask that you clean the house after you leave. If you don’t, they will charge you an extra fee for housekeeping. Book the rental only after you’ve read and understood all its details.

Now that you’ve found and booked your vacation rental, save money wherever you can by taking advantage of the rental’s features. If your rental comes with a kitchen, cook meals at home. At the very least, you could try to eat breakfast and lunch at your rental home and have dinner out. If your rental offers laundry services, try to limit the amount of clothing you bring along. You could pack just a few outfits and then wash them whenever they are dirty or stinky. This will help you lighten your luggage and could even save you on airfare fees. Finally, if you’re traveling with family, you could book just one rental for the whole group or book multiple vacation rentals at once (and ask about a group discount).

Vacation rentals are perfect for families that want to feel like they’re at home when they’re on holiday. If you want the convenience of a kitchen and laundry machine while you relax at the beach for a week, use our vacation rental tips and give rental properties a try.

How to Find Best Travel Deals

So you are in the market for cheap airline tickets, but not sure where to start and how to find the best travel deals. The reality is that in order to find the cheapest flight fares and schedules you need to know when and where to look and how to search. Yes, it is that easy, and all you need to know is several tricks. First of all, do you need a domestic or an international travel ticket?

Domestic Air Travel

These can be US domestic flight or flights within Europe, or within any country or other continent. If you are looking great flight deals, you need to know WHERE to look for low airfares. If you are looking for flights within the US, you may contact local US airlines or travel agencies or look up flights on the online travel search engine.

Airlines compete among each other and they can give great flight deals (just know WHEN to look). Travel agencies might also find you great deals. Here is the truth… lately several airlines and several large and well known travel agencies started having some issues and several airline banned those huge agencies from selling their airline tickets. Therefore, small and specialized agencies still do have very good contracts with major airlines of the world. So, my advise is to look who has the best flight deal, not at the size of the agency or the popularity. At the end of the day, it matters how much you pay for the ticket and that you have a confirmed seat.

Most smaller travel agencies have online only booking so they can save YOU money by eliminating staff salaries. Most of the time travel agencies use the same fares as airlines offer (unless negotiated better rates), but usually with 0 commission. Since agencies need to survive, they are forced to add a small service fee on the top of the ticket price. If you do not mind that, call your travel agent or best of all go online and check flights yourself. If you are traveling within Europe, you might want to contact a travel agent or search online travel agents’ websites first. In Europe local travel agencies and agencies outside Europe that specialize in international travel will have low fares because they use very low so called consolidator fares. This is nothing else, but negotiated contracts with airlines to sell special very low priced airline tickets.

International Travel

Whether you live in the US or other country, you travel internationally if you leave your country of residence.

What concerns transatlantic, transpacific or other between countries international travel, your best bet is a travel agency. The consolidators will offer you the best fare deals and will find you the best schedules. Depending on personal preferences, some might prefer talking to a travel agent, while others would want to do their own fare search online at their own pace. There is no right or wrong choice here. As long as you find a flight and a fare that works for you, you succeed. HOW to find a travel agency or a good travel website Always work with the travel agent or travel website that specializes in your travel destination or region. For example, if you need to fly from the US to Europe, search for ‘flights to Europe’ or so. Usually online search will give you best results. Check several websites or call several travel agents and compare the deals.

NOTE, you might know lots of huge agencies like Travelocity, Orbitz, etc. They might seem attractive to you because they are big and well known. But they will not always give you the best flight, hotel or cruise deals. They might be good for US domestic travel, but not always for international travel.

HOW and WHEN to search for best fares

Where you need a flight, hotel or a cruise, you need to know how to find the best fares and when to look for those. Let’s say that you found a travel agent or travel website that specialized in your travel destination.

5 tips on How to Find your Best Travel Deal:

  1. Be Flexible. In order to find lowest price, you might need to be flexible on travel dates, arrival/departure times, airlines, and sometimes destinations. In short, there are different price levels for every flight and the only difference is the price and number of seats an airline assigns to that price level. Therefore, all depends on when you buy a ticket, how popular is the destination, travel season (peak or low), and how full the flight gets.
  2. Book domestic travel tickets as early as you can (this applied to some international travel as well). Most domestic airlines have best fares with 21, 14, and 7 day advance purchase. This means that you may find lower fares when booking (= purchasing) a flight this many days before the flight.
  3. ‘Play’ with the search. This means that you need to be creative when searching for flights. Check flights couple days or weeks (if possible) earlier and later, check various airlines, different connections (an airline might have several hubs or fly with 1 or several connections), search based on price and try searching based on schedule (you’ll see different results).
  4. Check travel package deals. If the purpose of your travel is vacation, instead of booking flights, hotel, and car rental separately, check on travel package rates. Sometimes your total package rate is lower that if you book everything separately.
  5. Use miles or points when possible. Apply for airline/ hotel/ car rental, etc. frequent traveler programs. They are FREE, and you can get lots of benefits. For example, I cannot remember the last time I paid for a hotel room when Hilton Hotel is in my destination. Check out hiltonhhonors.com website. Go to the airline, car rental, or hotel websites and sign up. The only disadvantage of using miles and points is that you need to book your travel early as there is limited number of seats for miles or points on the plane and they go fast.

If you cannot decide whether to use an airline or a travel agent, here are some suggestions.

AIRLINE vs. TRAVEL AGENT/AGENCY WEBSITE

Advantages of booking a ticket with an airline:

  • you are talking directly to the carrier, the entity responsible for a flight
  • it may take much less time to deal with the airline directly (if an agent knows his/her job)
  • airline customers representatives are usually open 24/7

Advantages of using travel agents or travel websites:

  • lower negotiated (consolidator) fares
  • more flight options; travel agents/travel websites search all possible airlines, not just one
  • low fares available 24/7 given that an agency has a online booking system

Please send in your comments on how you find your best deals, and I shall be happy to share them with the rest of the world. Good luck!

Great Experience On First Time Cruising

CruisingFirst time cruising is exciting yet it requires patience and a lot of research to make the most out of your planned cruise. The cruise ship is packed with a lot of goodies from activities for children to the activities that old people want to engage themselves into. It is only right that when going on a cruise for the first time you should be able to make the most out of your money.

First time cruising is tricky. Here are some of the things that you need to prepare for.

Pre-cruise Studies: Always research about the cruise ship and the trip itself. Everything else that you need should have been pre-arranged from the cabins you’ll be sleeping in to the food that you’ll dine.

Don’t double tip: When paying for your trip you have already been charged about 10-15% for every meal that you will be having. It is really not that necessary to give tips.

When it rains pack right: When traveling on a cruise ship, it is always a must to be prepared with clothes and other stuff that you can wear when it rains. You can’t always be so sure that the weather forecast is right. Sometimes there are sudden splashes of rain and you don’t want your travel experience to be ruined just because you were soaked in the rain.

Stay slim amidst the all-you-can-eat buffet: Remember that all of these are paid for. If you wish to stay slim despite the huge amount that you paid for then that’s completely your discretion. In case you really want to enjoy that sumptuous feast, here’s what you can do. Instead of taking the elevator when roaming around the ship, why not try taking the stairs for a change. This is to ensure that you’ll burn those calories just right.

Design a Ship Tour for Embarkation Day: You don’t want to waste your time and energy sitting on a cabin while waiting for your ship to arrive at the pier. You can explore the ship. Take a map of the whole ship. You can use the map provided after you book for that cruise. Look at the main areas that you will be going like your cabin, the dining area, and other parts of the ship where passengers are allowed to explore.

Here is an overview of cruise vacations for first time cruisers.

Costs

Many first-timers are confused about what’s included in your cruise price. As a general rule, meals, snacks, onboard activities and entertainment are included in the stateroom prices. Here’s some great news that might surprise you: even room service is included! Beverages such as water, juice, tea and coffee are typically included, as well. Other beverages, such as those from the bar – soda, beer, wine and cocktails – are an additional cost. You’ll also have to pay extra for babysitting, salon and spa services, gambling and purchases from the gift shop. Fortunately, all these expenses are charged to your room, alleviating the worry of carrying cash everywhere onboard.

There are other activities that you’ll have to budget for, namely, shore excursions. There are many options available, from simply shopping forays to extensive guided tours. Most cruise lines have specialists that can help you book your offshore activities. It’s typically wise to utilize this service, as the cruise experts have loads of experience and know which companies are reputable, and which to avoid. Many activities book up quickly, so plan ahead. It’s also a good idea to book spa and salon appointments well in advance.

Gratuity

Many cruise lines factor gratuities into your final bill when the cruise ends. Others leave this amount up to you. If you’re in charge of the tip, follow this rule of thumb: $3 per person, per day for your cabin steward, busboy and cabin steward. All gratuities should be paid in cash when the cruise comes to an end. When it comes to bar beverages, you’ll have to pay at the time of service. Your servers are there for one reason: to serve you and make sure you have the best cruise experience ever. Treat them well.

Dining

Nothing says great food like a cruise. Everybody knows that cruises are notorious for exceptionally delicious cuisine and abundant dining options. Buffets, niche restaurants with high-end specialties, elegant dining rooms, cozy room service, on-the-go snack bars – they’re all yours. Try them all! Room service is usually available 24 hours a day while other options have limited hours, some serving late into the night or early in the morning. Main dining hall times frequently begin around 6:30 p.m., and permit seating through 8:30 p.m. Submit your preferred times in advance whenever possible.

Special dietary needs? No problem. Cruise lines employ top chefs who are well-versed in all kinds of dietary specialties. Vegetarian, kosher and low-fat diets being the most common special needs, these dishes are abundantly available. More specialized needs can easily be accommodated, as well. Be sure to consult your vacation cruise specialist in advance and speak to them about your dietary restrictions. That way, you can be sure to secure a perfect culinary experience.

Wardrobe

Not sure what to pack? You’re not alone. Most cruises are seaside-casual during the day, and more formal at night. When packing formal attire, men can’t go wrong with a nice, dark suit. Ladies: pack your lovely cocktail dresses. Make sure all your fabrics are appropriate for the climate in which you’re sailing.

Check with your vacation expert to determine the level of formality aboard your ship. Some lines are far more formal than others, and require tuxedos and gowns. Don’t have a tux? Check to see if rentals are available on board. Many offer this amenity. If dressing up isn’t your thing, don’t worry; most every cruise line offers exclusively casual dining options.

If you’re a water person, don’t forget to pack plenty of swimwear. Those who bring only one or two bathing suits will likely have to buy more onboard. The same goes for basic toiletries.

Motion Sickness

Afraid you might fall prey to the dreaded motion sickness? If you’ve suffered from motion sickness before, there’s a strong chance it could happen again. Some people don’t realize they’re prone to motion sickness until the ship departs. By that time, there’s no turning back, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Though all modern ships have top-notch stabilizers to reduce excess movement, it’s a great idea to bring along medication or other remedies if you’re concerned you might get seasick. Also, stick to the lower decks, as you’re more likely to feel motion at higher levels.

Today, cruises have Wi-Fi so Internet connection wouldn’t really be that much of a problem. Instead of wallowing yourself in your social media accounts, you can go around and look for other activities that are going on at the various stations inside the ship. It will let you see how beautiful the ship is. You will also get to experience a lot of amazing activities happening while in the cruise.

Don’t forget to enjoy and try to document every piece of that memory for keepsakes. It is always good to have something that you could look back into for years. Those memories of your first time in a cruise will be rooted in your heart and mind always.