Author Archives: alvi

Travel Planning Tips for Taking a Cruise

When it comes to going on a cruise it is important to ensure that you take all your important information with you as well as all of your necessary times otherwise you will be suffering when you are out to sea! So, consider these travel planning tips before you head off on your cruise and you will more than likely have the time of your life!

First of all, you want to make sure you have the best luggage to take with you and that would of course be Samsonite luggage. When you have outstanding luggage you won’t be concerned with the zippers breaking and all your clothes falling out or anything of the sort. That is a relief in itself and you will know that your clothes and personal effects are all packed away in a safe piece of luggage. Some things you might want to pack in your Samsonite spinner include Dramamine in case you get sea sick and many people do on cruises. That is especially so if there is a bad storm. Don’t forget to pack several different levels of sunscreen either. When you are on the boat you will realize that the sun is reflecting off the water and you can get burnt easier. Be sure you pack plenty of swimsuits as well because it will be easier to just put on a new suit than wash the same one out time and time again. Sunglasses and/or a hat are also incredibly important especially if you have sensitive eyes. Don’t forget your passport or birth certificate either or you won’t ever make it on the cruise!

Once you are packed you will be all ready to go. However, you should go over some last minute details to determine if there is anything else you need. Check the forecasted weather for the week in the destinations you will be heading to. This can give you some much needed information regarding what else to pack. Perhaps a rain coat for storms, binoculars for whale watching, or perhaps your snorkel. Knowing the weather will help you decide what kind of activities to plan and pack for.

Travel Planning Tips

Travel planning has been gradually shifting from the domain of experts to the domain of an ever-growing amount of travelers’ experiences, and it will continue to grow in that respect in the years to come.

With the advent of the Internet, most travel bookings and travel research have moved into the online space. Guidebooks are excellent resources on the road, but they quickly become outdated when the Internet is constantly updated with newer and more accurate information. User-generated sites such as wikitravel.org are updated by locals and travelers as soon as new restaurants, hotels, and bars open, and these people also are able to “vote” with the information they put online. Other booking sites now rely on the reviews of other travelers, and services like Twitter allow instant broadcasts of what travelers’ are experiencing. With all of these resources available, online travel planning is the best method. Here are some of the best sites to use:

o Wikitravel.org is one of the best travel sites on the web. Modeled after Wikipedia.org and easily searchable by location, and offers the most up to date information available.
o The Thorn Tree travel forums moderated by Lonely Planet are legendary. Tens of thousands of travelers that have almost certainly seen and done whatever trip you are planning are more than happy to lend a helping hand.
o Kayak.com is an airfare search aggregator, covering most of the world’s major airlines. It will find the best prices based on your travel preferences, then take you to the site of the carrier to easily book your flight.
o Hostelworld.com is the king of cheap accommodations. With over 10,000 network hostels, the website has budget locations all over the planet, all searchable and ready to book online.
o Couchsurfing.org is a fantastic website both for connecting with locals while traveling and securing free accommodation. The website allows people to host travelers all over the world for free, and they often serve as tour guides and the perfect local guidebook for a place.

A lot of the above websites have the common factor of user-generated content. This is increasingly becoming the determining factor for travelers. The reasoning is that most magazine and guidebook reviews are paid, so reviews posted by other travelers are inherently more trustworthy. Taking a look at a guidebook published 6 months ago on a city like Buenos Aires and comparing it to the Wikitravel.org page is like night and day. The old methods of travel planning have been replaced by the immediacy of the Internet and the amassed knowledge of other travelers. As more and more people gain Internet access, even remote places will have locals that can dispel myths and misconceptions about travel in their hometowns and areas.

Top 5 Vacation Planning Tips

Planning a vacation but haven’t quite worked out the details? Here are five vacation planning tips every new traveler should know.

#1 – Start with the “What”, Not the “Where”

Destinations don’t make or break vacations–activities do. No matter how exotic the location, it won’t feel like much of a vacation if you’re not enjoying yourself.

Think of how you want to spend your vacation and make a list of your “must do” recreational activities. Use the list to narrow down your destination and hotel choices based on your recreational needs. You’re more likely to have a great time if everything you want to do is conveniently located.

#2 – Do Your Homework

Sites like Expedia and Orbitz make it easy to book cheap vacation packages, but these packages don’t necessarily provide you with the best value for your money. There are generally a lot of restrictions on these packages (e.g., travel dates, modifications, cancelations, etc.) and the price is often indicative of the quality of the accommodations.

Take the time to research every aspect of your vacation–not just the price–or you could end up with buyer’s remorse. Ultimately, the best vacation deals are the ones that best meet your needs and expectations in terms of quality, flexibility and price.

#3 – Timing is Everything

Every destination has peak and off-peak seasons. During peak season, there are many more consumers vying for the same services and accommodations. Due to the increased demand, you’ll have to contend with higher prices, larger crowds, and less attentive staff.

During the off-peak season, these service providers are starving for business. You can save a bundle on your package and you’re practically guaranteed better service.

#4 – Plan Ahead

The sooner you start planning your vacation the better. A lot of research goes into planning an amazing vacation, so allow yourself plenty of time.

Also, the further in advance you book your reservations the better the rates and the wider the selection of available flights, rooms/cabins and rental cars. Most reservations systems will accept bookings up to 11 months in advance.

#5 – Use a Free Vacation Planning Service

Believe it or not, some travel agents offer free vacation planning services as a way of adding value for their clients. A good travel agent can save you time, money and effort by:

Researching the best destination for your interests, budget and travel dates
Finding you the lowest prices for flights, hotels, cruises, car rentals and activities
Providing you with helpful information about the places you’ll be traveling
Offering flexible installment plans for vacation packages

The best part is, these services are provided at absolutely no additional cost to you.

Summary

Whether you’re traveling just a few miles or halfway around the world, putting a little thought into your trip can make a huge difference. Figure out what you want to do, the best place and time to do it, then get to work putting things in motion.