Your guide to smart and secure travelPreparing for a trip entails more than just having the proper luggage, travel documents, and accommodation arrangements. Regardless of whether it is a business trip or one for leisure, it is important that you get travel insurance to cover your and your belongings’ safety for the duration of your trip.No matter how meticulously you plan your vacation, there remains the possibility of some aspects of it going wrong. Most of the time, these untoward and unwelcome incidents are caused by forces beyond your control. Having travel insurance, one way or the other, provides you with protection against these incidents.When do you need it?It is advisable to buy travel insurance for every trip you take. It is, however, more recommended for major travel vacations, particularly those which involve a significant number of risks. If you are planning a trip to a foreign country, regardless of how close to home, then this is a must. You can never know for sure what to expect in that country, especially if it’s your first time going there. Research would help you familiarize yourself with the said place but travel insurance can give you more peace of mind.What are the types of insurance?There are three basic types of travel insurance you can choose to make use of. They cover different aspects of a trip but do overlap in some situations. Depending on your budget and the specifics of your trip, you can opt to buy just one or all of these insurance plans.The first type is known as a trip cancellation insurance, which allows you to recover the money you paid for the trip should it be cancelled. This insurance usually covers trips cancelled due to weather disturbances, illness, and such things as terrorism, depending on the policy details. Whether you need to buy trip cancellation insurance depends on how much the trip costs. The rule is the higher your stakes or expenses, the more you need this insurance.Medical evaluation insurance is the second type. This covers any injury from an accident or illness you encounter while on the trip. The insurance either pays or reimburses whatever expenses you incur on medication on treatment for the injury or illness. Buying this type of insurance is crucial and an especially wise move if you are taking a trip to underdeveloped countries and to places with known chronic diseases or where medical expenses are high.The third type is luggage insurance, which is a good idea for almost any kind of trip on any budget. Luggage insurance, as the name suggest, covers and will pay for your luggage should this be lost or misplaced during your trip.An all inclusive optionFor major trips or those that involve going out of the country for a significant period of time, it is usually essential to have all three types of insurance. However, to avoid the hassle of buying three separate policies, you can instead opt for an all inclusive plan that provides most of the coverage of the three individual types.
Where you need to go? Whether a ride on dog sleigh, an afternoon tea in London or a trip to Antarctica, today there are many type of tour available for all ages. You can have your dream vacation wherever you want. Below are few types of trips to consider.Guided / Escorted toursOn a guided trip, your trip agent will provide a complete guide and make a travel plan and take you to all attractive places and tell you the total story of the thing which you see. The travel package generally comprises most expenses, like alcohols, tokens and meals.Independent / Self-Guided tripsWith the self-guided tour you can have the freedom to go through the new spot your way and the comfort of pre-planned tour. Trip costs generally comprise lodging and transport. Extra expenses, like entrance fees and meals, might be comprised in tour package. Make sure you recognize which prices are comprised earlier you reserve the tour.Special interest tripsThese kind of trips are getting popular day by day. The special interest trips are built up around some themes like cooking, golf and so on. You will experience the new country or city when doing something which you actually love to do. Certain special interest trips cater to particular groups of folks like grandparents who trip alone or who trip with grandchildren, while others provide lot of learning experiences. Special interest trips could be comprehensive, or you may need to pay off individually for such things like green fees and airfare.Adventurous tripsIf you are searching for a lively holiday, then the adventurous trip could be suitable one for you. Adventurous trips generally comprise kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing or some other energetic activities. Most adventurous travel costs comprise meals and lodging, however you may need to pay off additional for certain excursions. Your trip cost may comprise transport too; make sure you read the fine print of brochure completely.
The television advertising is in full flow, football souvenirs are hitting the shops, and widescreen televisions are selling fast as UK fans try to get the best view of the matches, prior to the opening of the 2006 World Cup next month.Current estimates indicate that about 100,000 British fans are expected to make the journey and travel to Germany at some point during the tournament. At the turn of the year, cheap airline tickets were selling out fast for the final stages, and predictions from BA for flights from London to Berlin around the final on 9 July were estimated to rise to £650 return, however, the addition of extra flights has meant that prices have been kept to a much more reasonable level.Travel writer Simon Calder told the BBC that hotel costs could double in some cases, although short break hotel directory Superbreak has indicated that most hotels in the vicinity of each of the England matches are not surprisingly completely booked out by now. Many supporters have chosen to base themselves outside of the main hub of activity in Germany, by staying on the borders of neighbouring countries such as Luxembourg or France, where accommodation is still available and have not been hit by the spiraling costs within Germany.Another common cause of complaint for UK supporters is the lack of tickets allocated for the England fans for their World Cup matches, which has been stirring up much consternation. With 8% of the tickets allocated to UK fans for each group game, making around 4,000-5,000 seats per match, while the sponsorship companies between them own about one in six of all the tickets for the entire tournament, approximately 500,000 seats. The chances therefore of getting a ticket are virtually non-existent, unless you manage to strike it lucky with a last-gasp chance through one of the sponsors’ promotions like http://www.barclaycard.co.ukThis will not stop many of the fans however, who will still make the pilgrimage despite not having accommodation or match tickets, simply for the atmosphere.For those who decide not to travel to Germany there is still the opportunity to join in with the World Cup fever atmosphere as the UK pub, club and off-license trade is expecting to heavily reap the rewards of the competition through vastly increased custom especially by pubs across the country, with additional revenues of over £280million if England can make it through to the semi-final or higher.
World travel will change your life! Over fifteen years ago I got my first passport and began my journey abroad into the unknown. At that time I was going to Russia, the former Soviet Union. Imagine my first trip outside of the USA was to the communist stronghold of Russia in 1992, a year after the iron curtain came down. Yet neither Gorbachev nor Reagan could remove old mindsets that had been imbred for centuries in the former Soviet Union.I recall going down into the Moscow subway which is a mile below the earth. It was as if I was going down into hell itself. While the New York subway was shocking, the Moscow subway was frightening and morbid. Never had I been so far beneath the earth.Once aboard the subway system I noticed the stern look on all of the faces of the locals. One elderly lady in particular looked particularly disgruntled. When she looked at our happy group of young Americans it apparently infuriated her all the more. It was then at the height of her displeasure that this old grandma tried to kick me. I guess I had (as she saw it) invaded her space in more ways than one.Red Square was the most beautiful and breathtaking sight I beheld when in Moscow. The Russian architecture is amazing and exquisite. Some young entrepreneurs could be seen where tourists frequented selling t-shirts, souvenirs and giving directions. Elsewhere in the city I saw what seemed to be a bartering of goods occurring. This was known as the black market where economic exchanges outside of the rigid Russian economy were occurring.Moscow University proved to be a very memorable experience. We had an American concert there and shared a very positive message that thrilled the youth. The applause and celebration was tremendous. We only were resisted and defied by one elderly professor who was a devout and very vocal atheist. Our group leader Scott George kindly blessed the man while also boldly making it clear that their god (Stalin) was dead and ours alive and well. Taking a statue of Stalin’s head off of the piano on the platform where he had been speaking, Scott placed Stalin’s head on the ground to the jubilee of the student body. The arena was electrified as youth began clapping and shouting with joy!As we left the University to our astonishment the students ran after us all the way to our van. They apparently had never seen such boldness and bravery. Their cold hearted academic leader had been confronted with the truth and the Spirit of life. The students responded happily and wholeheartedly as they got a breath of freedom and liberty.Times have since changed in Russia, as the country has since modernized, Westernized and economically advanced globally. A decade can bring about great changes.I thank God that I got to experience old Russia as it was so I can fully appreciate it now as it is. Today my younger brother lives in Ukraine (formerly a part of Russia), where he is engaged to a lovely English speaking Ukrainian who runs a marriage agency to facilitate foreign men meeting local marriage minded women. Undoubtedly Russia and the world have come a long way.The more we enlarge our hearts, the more our world will also be enlarged and improved.
Traveling is like passion for numbers of people. Indeed, traveling is the best way to take you away from busy schedule of life. Nowadays, airfares are so high. Therefore, common man cannot afford to go for international travels for vacations. However, you can solve your problem by taking service of a qualified, reputable travel agent.Traveling in business class is very expensive but an experienced agent can help you in this matter. There is no need to waste huge amount only on air tickets. Make sure the service provider you are hiring is reliable. When you are traveling abroad for business purpose behaves like a business does. It means, try to minimize cost, so as a result your profit will increase.You can save you an unavoidable amount of money by hiring services of experienced agent. This agent can prove beneficial for you in saving money and comfortable arrangement in business class. You should not spend money on expensive international travels when there are several inexpensive first class travel options are available.Traveling for business purpose or for pleasure it is always refreshing. Another great option you can avail is by booking air ticket online. In this way, you can get an on-line discount as well as can save a good chunk of money. You will really feel positive by saving a huge chunk of money which you can use anywhere else to satisfy your other demand.When you are planning to go on international travels always pack light. Over packing is a mistake which lots of passengers do. Over baggage will also increase your cost of traveling. If possible, luggage should be reduced to single checked bag and single hand carry bag. Traveling has its special glamor. It works amazing to bring closer to each other.Traveling is a short period but the happiness, and refreshing look it gives remains for long time. The best way to spend your time with your family or friends is international travels. Hiring a cheap service will allow you to save lots of money which you can spend on other necessary needs. So be judicious when planning for international trips.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Today, I want to share some of details of our trip research, particularly related to the equipment we are taking, so I decided to share some pictures as well.I have done a lot of research leading up to this trip and I needed a place to record it all. I use 37signals’ appropriately named Backpack application to organize the info.At first I imagined I would need a much smaller backpack than I actually do. I am 5’8″ and 170 pounds. At the store it felt right to go with something like 4000 cubic inches. Once I started adding up accessories, clothes and camping gear I realized I needed a lot more space. I ended up going with the navy Kelty Red Cloud 5600 with a 5600 cu. in. capacity.I made the right decision; the packed bag is comfortable, weights in at about 40 pounds and fits all the stuff I need to take with a tiny bit of room to spare:Shoes – Must be VersatileWhen it came to shoes I knew it had to meet all of the following 4 criteria: light-weight, comfortable, water-proof (or at least water-resistant), and stylish. I was surprised how difficult it was to find a shoe that matched all these. At the end of the day I went with a pair of Merrell Intercept.Another thing to remember is that we’ll have very few shoes with us so whatever shoe we do bring, must be versatile enough to match a variety of different outfits.I did try the Fivefinger Vibram rubber sandals and although very comfortable, they are not as practical as I had imagined. The Vibram’s also require weekly washing to prevent them from smelling weird.Daypacks – Comfort is KeyThese are generally smaller backpacks which you can carry with you on day trips while you leave your backpack at the hostel/campground lockers. I tried a couple different ones including slings. Due to the fact that I am taking a laptop, camera and Kindle a sling was big enough. Larger slings are also not as comfortable as a regular backpack. I chose the STM Laptop bag:I did try a Pacsafe backpack. These packs a bit heavier and have generally fewer compartments. The big plus is that they are slash-proof and have wire reinforced straps.Why would you need a slash-proof, wire-reinforced backpack?It is not uncommon is less developed countries to have your backpack be a very big target for petty thefts. The thieves could try to pull the backpack from your shoulder by yanking and breaking the straps. This will be difficult with wire reinforced straps. The second strategy is to use an exacto-knife to slash the bottom of the backpack so that some of the heavier, and usually most valuable content will fall out, good luck slashing through metal wire.I didn’t really like how the pacsafe I tried had only 2 large compartments, and very few smaller pockets for small items.Tents – Look for the Lightest OneOne of the heaviest items I’ll be carrying is a tent. A 2 person tent is really too small for 2 people. We chose to go with a Marmot Limelight 3 person tent which fits 2 people comfortably with a bit of room to spare as well as a place to put our backpacks.Make sure the tent is sealed and waterproof. You will definitely want to get a footprint. A footprint is a plastic layer that goes below the tent; it’s waterproof and easy to clean. Some tents will come with one, as ours did.If you choose to go with a smaller tent, make sure that there is space to store your backpack while you are inside the tent. Some 2 person tents have small vestibules created by the extending rain-fly. You can generally fit a smallish backpack under the vestibule (this will not be watertight).
Most travel writing is rubbish. The kind of travel writing that gets published in national newspapers and magazines is usually just there to fill in the space between the glossy photos and the advertisements. Any travel related articles that are challenging, controversial, or even just interesting, are likely to be rejected if there is even the slightest chance of alienating potential advertisers. Few magazines are now willing to take the more long term view, that quality content will attract more readers over the long term, leading eventually to higher advertising revenues.The other big problem is that travel writing – even for national publications – is so poorly paid, that it is only really viable if you were already planning to visit somewhere, or if the trip is being paid for by an advertiser. Any criticism, questioning or even irreverence, is therefore unlikely to go down particularly well. Most travel writers eventually realise that if all they are going to be doing is writing disguised advertising copy, then they might as well get a better paid job doing this elsewhere, and use the extra money to pay for their own holidays.Most of the travel books currently being published are either written by television personalities, involve aspirational lifestyle changes, or revolve around some kind of novelty quest (an ideal travel book proposal would probably involve Katie Price bouncing to Tuscany on a space hopper). Every now and again, however, a more interesting kind of travel writing will be unleashed upon the world.Here is a list of some of the best alternative and anti-travel writing to have ever have been published:P.J. O’Rourke: Holidays in Hell
This is the first book that I read by P.J. O’Rourke and it’s still one of his best. It’s basically just a collection of articles written over several years, in which he visits some of the world’s less obvious tourist attractions. I couldn’t help feeling that all of these destinations seemed far more appealing than the thought of spending a fortnight by the beach at a luxury hotel. Clever, funny and different.Daniel Kalder: The Lost Cosmonaut
According to Daniel Kalder: “The duty of the traveller, of the voyager, is to open up new zones of experience. In our over explored world these must of necessity be wastelands, black holes, and grim urban blackspots: all the places which, ordinarily, people choose to avoid. The only true voyagers, therefore, are anti-tourists”. I actually liked the idea of the book more than the book itself. Nevertheless, Daniel Kalder is a writer with some good ideas who is not afraid to challenge the conventions of travel writing.Dave Eggers: You Shall Know Our Velocity
Strictly speaking, this isn’t actually a travel book, but a novel about a series of related journeys. If Douglas Coupland were to write a travelogue, then it would probably end up being something like this. Others have drawn comparison to beat writers such as Jack Kerouac but the style if far more contemporary. While not as good as his acclaimed debut ‘A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius’ it is still clever, stylish and interestingly odd.Andrew Mueller: I Wouldn’t Start from Here
As with ‘Holidays in Hell’ this book consists of a series of articles written about some of world’s least touristed but most interesting destinations. Subtitled ‘The 21st Century and Where It All Went Wrong’, the author visits recent hot spots and interviews a series of influential figures. Being as much of a rock journalist, as a foreign correspondent, his explorations of some of the darker realities of the modern world are often punctuated by references to popular culture.
A vacation to Disney World brings out the child in all of us. Disney World Florida is one of the most popular family destinations. We all know that travel can be stressful. Add a baby or toddler to that journey and the stress level can be off the scale. However, it does not have to be that way.I have traveled extensively with my children, and visited Disney World many times, and there are definitely ways to make it an easier experience. The planning starts before you go. Firstly, you can pack lightly if you plan. Remember that it is not going to be the end of the world if you forget something. There are lots of stores at Disney World! If you start with this mind set then you will find that it no longer seems like a good idea to pack a huge suitcase just for your baby. Pack a couple of days supply of diapers, wipes and any special food that you need in your suitcase, and a days supply in your hand luggage. Remember that clothes can always be washed, diapers and food can be purchased when you get there. If you stay in a Florida vacation rental this is very easy – you will have a washer and dryer and will be located close to stores, or may even have a sundry store on site, to stock up on supplies.If you fly with a child aged under 2 you can decide if you want to purchase a seat for them or not. If you do not buy them a seat you will have to travel with them on your lap. It is tempting to save money and not book a seat. Your primary concern will of course be the safety of your child. You will be very glad that you purchased a seat for your child if you have a turbulent flight or bumpy landing. If you have a seat for your baby then you can take your FAA approved car seat and strap it into to the plane seat.You should take your car seat on board with you even if you do not have a seat for your child. It may be that there are empty seats on the plane which you can use, and also, if you have your seat with you then it will not be damaged or lost in checked luggage. When an airline lost one of my car seats and I was stuck with hiring one for the week I decided that never again would I trust my seat to the checked luggage lottery!Always take your own stroller. Yes, you can rent them in the Disney World parks, but obviously this adds to your costs, and isn’t any use in the airport! When traveling with a young baby I always carried the baby in a sling and used the stroller to carry the car seat. This also makes it easier when you are getting through airport security. You have to fold up your stroller and put it through the X-ray machine and this is easier to do if you have your child in the sling. You will then have to take your child out of the sling and follow the instructions of the TSA screener to walk through the metal detector.Many airlines allow you to pre board with young children. Ask the check in staff if this isn’t clear company policy and they may let you pre board anyway. This is particularly important when traveling with airlines that do not have seat assignment – you really do not want to fight your way to your seat with a baby, your car seat and your hand luggage.On board remember to take your child’s favorite, quiet, toy. Pack lots of small items in an easily accessible bag. Do not expect your baby or toddler to find the in-flight magazine entertaining once they have chewed it for a couple of minutes.You need to remember that many airlines do not offer any kind of meal service. Any snacks they offer are not likely to be suitable for your baby or toddler. So always take a supply of snacks. Remember that your flight may be delayed so always have more with you than you think you will need!When you arrive you will probably be renting a car. It is much easier to choose an on airport location. You really do not want to travel on a shuttle bus with your baby, your luggage and your car seat. There are many on site car rental agencies at Orlando International to choose from. Make sure that there are enough seats in the vehicle that you choose to accommodate the car seat safely. Always take adequate time to fit the car seat safely. A cost advantage of taking your car seat with you is that you will save a lot of money – yes you can rent a car seat from the car rental company but you will pay a lot for the privilege. If you are renting for a week you could buy another car seat for the cost of a rental!When choosing a place to stay always check for baby and child friendly features. Many hotels now have kid welcome packs, free use of cribs, and kids can eat free in the restaurant. Another option is to stay in a Florida vacation rental home. This option offers a home away from home with all the facilities that you need. Some homes are particularly geared towards children with free use of travel crib and highchair.Traveling with a baby or toddler to Disney World can be a great experience with some advance planning.
Imagine having had the luxury of traveling to South Africa to enjoy the excitement of the FIFA World Cup, and extending your stay to enjoy those exquisite beaches far and wide? But then maybe the cost of staying at a popular Timeshare resort put you off; and not just the cost, but also the availability of suites can make them difficult to book.You would not be alone if the cost of accommodations and other travel related expenses put you off… and you would not be alone, either, if you – like many other families out there today – consider putting this fear behind you by exploring a new and increasingly popular trend in global travel.Travel Club members are one group of people enjoying the benefits of access to desirable timeshare resorts at a fraction of the cost Timeshare owners pay. If you were to visit South Africa, there are few better ways to escape the crowds in this land of unlimited, unspoiled beaches on both the Cape Province and Natal coasts where Timeshare Resorts and Destinations are plenty.”So, what, exactly, is the benefit of being a Travel Club member” – you may ask?Bear in mind that for people, both young and old, memorable holidays are always a good excuse to “Jabulani!” together and celebrate life… This has led to the development of beautiful resorts and holiday destinations worldwide. At first Timeshare was a very popular way to enjoy such places, but increasingly Travel Clubs are cashing in on the Trillion Dollar family travel industry by leveraging the power of “bulk” bookings. These dates at numerous resorts, condos, villas, suites and cottages around the world are then made available to Travel Club members at unheard of prices.It is not difficult to see why Travel Clubs are proving so popular and increasingly cost effective. Especially, in the wake of ever escalating levies and fees that plague a lot of Timeshare owners today… If this tweaks your beak, just take a good look at how Travelers can save money through joining a Travel Club? Choose a destination… look at the different resort prices online; and then deduct up to 70% of the cost… This is how much you stand to save on your accommodation prices at 3 to 5 star resorts in thousands of quality accommodations worldwide.These are often real time inventory listings which change from day to day as supply and demand fluctuates at the different resorts around the world. If it is a quality travel club you are a member of, and you need time to decide on a resort, they should give you the opportunity to reserve your booking for 24 hours i.e. put it “On Hold” while you consult with family and friends, before you confirm, book and pay ahead of time.With the escalating cost of travel, booking your spot at a popular resort in Hawaii, up to a year ahead, will have clear advantages – even if there is no refund. You will have saved ahead of time, no last minute scramble to see if there are any “too good to be true” deals online where there is no guarantee of what you get the other side.Your shoulders are free; you and your family have up to a year to look forward to your next family vacation, months to save (or splash out on a new set of Golf Clubs) and weeks to anticipate the pleasure of shopping for other accessories and gear you plan to enjoy using. Sporting holidays are increasingly popular too, so join those already chasing the ball around the courses and beaches of the world where exciting activities beckon… if you are saving on your accommodations, there will be more to enjoy elsewhere!This is one popular way to ensure families enjoy a lifetime of memories on their vacations and holidays around the world… certainly worth it for some. How about you?
It’s not wrong to claim that we are surrounded by a world of travel myths. They stop us from building the courage and making our travel dreams come true. Most of these are complete devoid of any logic and we still do not question them. Travel myths can be very absurd.Here are some commonly believed travel myths that we must stop believing in soon.1. Unaffordable CostsA lot of us drop our travel plans because we believe it is too expensive to travel the world. It’s true that you will have to face travel costs, but they don’t have to be abnormal for the trip to be a successful one. This is where careful planning plays a major role. Sadly, a lot of travelers do not realize it and end up giving up on their travel plans. Travel can be very expensive to plan if it’s not done right.There are plenty of ways you can save on your trip. From booking early to opting for budgeted airlines, there is a lot you can do to enjoy a budgeted break.2. Unsafe WorldHere is another reason why some people fail to travel. The television and newspaper are full of depressing news about how unsafe the world has become. This plays around with the mind and travelers think it is just not safe to travel around the globe.The destination you travel to can be very unsafe for you. However, that goes for all the places on this planet; even your hometown. There are several ways through which you can ensure that you are safe and sound. Firstly, if you are traveling alone ensure that someone from back home knows about all your travel plans. At the new destination, act street smart and avoid roaming out and about alone.3. Too Less TimeThis is one of the most common reasons for people not to travel. They believe they can’t let their travel dreams come true because they simply have no time for it. Work commitments can often make them delay their travel plans. If you are one of those, you are not alone there.However, let’s face the truth. It is very easy to plan a break and you certainly don’t need a lot of time. Simply a weekend getaway can be ideal for making memories and taking a break from the same old routine. You just need to plan sensibly.4. Shopping at the AirportSome people never buy anything when they travel to a new destination and wait to get to their airport. This is because duty free shopping is considered the cheapest one out there. However, it doesn’t always work out to be the cheapest. To indulge in the duty free shopping, you must know the prices well because some things turn out to be costlier at the airport. Similarly, not all airports have the same pricing.