Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"5 Tips on How to Get Cheap Travel Packages"

The travel industry is an extremely fast moving one, and, as anyone who is familiar with booking flights or making reservations knows, prices vary widely. Some price fluctuation is for obvious, seasonal reasons; while at other times it seems that fares and fees change for no reason at all. Here some tips on discount travel:

The Direct Route Isn't Always the Cheapest

In many cases there seems to be no rhyme or reason to how airfares work. There are seasonal changes, time of day changes, variations depending on demand, and then what seems like changes for no reason at all. When searching for discount airfares, look at alternate routes to get where you want to go. In many cases, a combination of 2 flights can be cheaper than one flight.

This usually works by taking advantage of very cheap domestic flights within the USA. For example, a return flight from New York to Montreal, Canada, which is a trip just over an hour, usually costs around $300. For the roughly the same price you can find return flight from New York to Los Angeles. The point is that for reasons have to do with traffic, regulations, and taxes, domestic flights are radically cheaper then international ones, mile for mile.

So depending where you want to go, you may find your airfare is much cheaper if you're willing to make a domestic flight first, before switching to an international one. If you live in the northern United States, for example, and want to go to Latin or South America, it will often be much cheaper to first take a domestic flight to a southern hub like Miami or Dallas and then fly further south from there, as opposed to taking a long flight directly from a northern city. When exploring multiple flights, also keep in mind how close you are to a major airline hub - it will be much more expensive to fly internationally directly from a smaller city then to fly to a major hub first.

In many cases if you're willing to put up with the slight inconvenience of two flights, discount travel can be yours. Just remember that as it stands most discount flight websites don't search for flights in this way, so you'll have to do some creative thinking on your own.

Eat Locally

An often overlooked key to discount travel is food costs, which can be drastically reduced by shopping in local supermarkets rather than dining out. Most places you stay will take advantage of tourists as much as possible, and you often don't realize until you do some currency conversion that you're paying $10 for a bad breakfast at your hotel. Instead, buy some healthy snakes and fresh food from a market to eat during your outings. This doesn't mean, of course, that you have to cook - it just means you should grab something fresh that you can eat on the go instead of stopping for lunch at a touristy restaurant.

When you do eat out, you'll save a lot of money by dining on truly local cuisine. Besides making for a more interesting cultural experience, the food the locals eat will be much cheaper, and most of the time better. American style food - especially when it is quite different from a country's normal dining fare - will always cost a premium, and if you can't expand your dining tastes you will pay for it.

To achieve discount travel through food savings, especially when you are in a second world country, look to where the locals eat. Relatively, they don't have nearly as much money as you, so you can safely assume that the restaurants in which the locals dine will be not only more authentic but much cheaper. Avoid restaurants and grocery stores filled with tourists, and selling North American food and produce.

Look Into Renting an Apartment

If you're considering a long stay in a city, look into renting an apartment. This is usually much cheaper than even the cheapest of hostels, and is a tried and tested method of those interested in discount travel. Many countries that receive an influx of North American tourists have a cottage industry of people renting their apartments for a short time.

Unlike North America, where it is difficult to rent an apartment for less than a few months, in many foreign countries you'll find apartments for rent for times that are as short as 2 weeks. Even the cheapest of hotel accommodations is likely going to be more expensive than a short term apartment rental.

Renting an apartment also helps you in other ways. Firstly, you're likely going to become more immersed in the foreign culture by not staying in a hotel or touristy area. Secondly, you will presumably be able to cook in the apartment, which will give you a radical savings on food costs.

Sometimes you'll find apartments that are rented specifically to those interested in discount travel, which will come with basic necessities. But you should also look around for locals who are looking to make a bit of money while they are out of town. In this case, you're likely to have a more enjoyable experience as the apartment will be more nicely furnished and lived-in.

Whatever apartment you choose, if you're interested in discount travel and plan on staying in a city for more than a few weeks, renting an apartment is almost certainly the way to go.

Be Flexible

This is probably the most important concept overall in terms of discount travel. The entire travel industry is basically geared towards charging people for comfort and convince and if there are a lot of particular things that you want to do and see you will no doubt spend more money while traveling.

If you're willing to be more flexible, however -- if you're willing to be more interested in traveling to, say, "South America" as opposed to a particular country in South America, you'll be privy to massive savings. While, granted, not everyone is in a position to do this, if you can be flexible and open to new things in regards to your destinations you have the option of taking whatever is cheap, and you will often save lots of money.

Discount travel doesn't end with the flight, however. Once you arrive, do your best not to be picky, and remind yourself that you're probably going to pay for every bit of inflexibility on your part. Every country you go to will present you with certain choices that are much cheaper then others. Perhaps you'll find that beef is a fraction of the cost of chicken when dining out, for example. Now you may much prefer chicken, but if you're willing to put that aside, you'll save a lot of money. The same goes for drink: in much of South America, rum will be ridiculously cheap, while other types of alcohol will be relatively expensive - maybe you don't particularly like rum, but if you're interested in discount travel, you do when you're in south America.

By basically sticking to a "when in Rome, do as the Romans" idea with your tastes, you will make your trip much more affordable. And if you're willing to be flexible enough that you want to take a trip as opposed to a particular trip, you will find your travel is heavily discounted.

Stay Put

When you travel, the most expensive part of your trip is usually just that: travel. This doesn't mean simply the flight to your destination, but also the traveling you want to do once you get there. Bus trips, car rentals and train tickets will always be relatively expensive, and when you're on the go you also tend to spend more on food and accommodation.

Many travelers arrive in a foreign land with a long inflexible itinerary of things they want to do and places they want to see that has them on busses and trains nonstop. In terms of discount travel, consider the value of staying put for while. Not only you will experience huge savings on transportation and accommodation, but there's a good chance you'll have a more interesting and valuable experience.

Although it is tempting to try and see as much as possible in a foreign country, if you are constantly moving, and in particular if you are constantly moving in touristy areas, its unlikely you'll get a good sense of what the country is like. If you stay in once place for while, though - let's say you rent an apartment for a few weeks in a city - you're going to get a better sense of what it's like to live there. You can experience the culture a bit more, meet some locals, dine in local restaurants etc. . .

Besides saving you money, staying put will also allow you to avoid what many people get sucked into when traveling: being constantly on the go. Ask yourself if you really want to spend your trip sitting on busses and trains, and never staying in the same place two nights in a row. Not only is there a good chance your trip will be more enjoyable when you stay put, but it's guaranteed that you will save a lot of money.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Travel Tips

There are common sense travel tips, like "Check at least three web sites to get the best deal on plane tickets." Then there are the tips that are more along the line of "secrets." These are the little-known tricks learned by experience. Here are some of the best of those.

Cheap Travel Tips

Find out where local visitors from within the country stay. The cheapest "tourist hotel" I could find when in a resort town in Mexico was $135. I asked a local businessman where to find a cheap room, and got one for $10. There wasn't a swimming pool, but the room was spotless. I was there to travel, not to lounge, so this suited me fine.

Negotiating room charges is common in many countries. In Banos, Ecuador, we negotiated our room rate down from $12 to $6 per night, by paying for several nights in advance. The trick here is to be sure that there are other options, then make your final offer and walk away. Most owners will call you back and lower the price.

Consider hostels, if you don't mind sharing a room. They're much more common overseas. This saves you a lot if you are single, because you pay for the bed. I once spent four days in a hostel for $4 per day, breakfast included. I shared a room with several others, and a TV room with travelers from 16 countries.

Hotels in the U.S. are less likely to negotiate, but we have done it. Most small chain motels are not company-owned, but franchises, so it is usually the owner behind the counter. Paying for several nights in advance, or just starting to walk away, has resulted in discounts for us many times.

Travel is often only as cheap as your plane tickets. For international travel, search the fares to several countries that you would like to visit. Go to the cheapest one now - the others will be cheap another time, and a savings of $500 can buy a few extra days, or an extra mini-vacation some other time.

Anywhere you go, there are things you can do to keep it cheaper. Eat where locals eat, for example, instead of at tourist restaurants. See the free and cheap attractions first. You might have so much fun that you'll never get around to doing the expensive things. Higher prices mean better quality with travel bags, but not necessarily with travel experiences.

Other Travel Tips

E-mail important documents to yourself. These should include a copy of your passport, other IDs, phone numbers of the U.S. Consulate offices where you'll be, and your itinerary or e-tickets for any flights. In this way, even if you are robbed and lose everything, you'll have access to all the important documents from any internet cafe in the world.

On a streetcar, I once had a pocket unzipped and the wallet removed without feeling a thing. Many pickpockets are experts. Fortunately, it was a "decoy" wallet, with nothing but a few pieces of paper, and a fake credit card. Other ways to protect money, cards and documents include putting a bill or two under the inner sole of running shoes, safety-pinning a hidden pocket inside your pants, and hiding cash in several different places.

I see young travelers in other countries walking anywhere they feel like it at night, and then being shocked that they are robbed. Aren't there places in New York or Chicago where you wouldn't walk at night? Ask the locals where it is safe and where it isn't, and trust your intuition when it warns you. Leave expensive clothing and jewelry at the hotel when you are just out for a walk. Safety tricks are the most important travel tips.

10 Travel Tips

Notify Family, Friends and Relatives Before leaving on holiday, make sure that you give all travel information to your family and close friends. If anything should happen while travelling, multiple people know where you are and have a better chance of getting a hold of you and others who might need to reach you. Prepare photocopies of your passport, airline tickets, accommodation booking form. It might also help if you leave telephone numbers of where you are stopping just in case anyone needs to get in touch with you urgently. Do you have a valid Visa and/or passport? ALWAYS check your passport and ensure that you renew your visa or apply for one before departing. Make sure your passport does not expire within 6 months of your date of travel. A large majority of countries insist that your passport be valid for at least that time period or a year. Make a copy, in case you lose it while on vacation, you can send the copy to your Embassy. E111 Medical form. Still thousands of UK holidaymakers go on holiday without getting a signed E111 form from your local medical practitioner. This form is free and means that whilst you are in a country which is a member of the European community you will receive free or subsidised medical treatment. Be warned through this does not mean you are covered for return flights, transfers from destination to hospital, and pharmacy costs. Travel Insurance Millions of holidaymakers worldwide go on holiday WITHOUT travel insurance. How crazy can you people be, for the sake of completing a quick form, or telephone conversation you can be covered for any event whilst on holiday. It is so important that people get back in to the habit of buying travel insurance. The decline in holidaymakers taking out insurance is due to the increase in independent travelling, many UK travel agents insisted that you took out travel insurance as part of your booking. Confirm your Reservations Be sure your airline tickets and vacation rental booking is confirmed, otherwise you may have an unpleasant experience if the owners of the property are out of the country and have not left the keys. Visit the airport website, or if you are in the UK look on ceefax, or teletext for the latest flight departures and arrivals from UK airports to find if your plane is on time, back that up with a telephone conversation with the airline. Location of the Vacation Rental When making your booking, you may want to find out if the property is located near a hospital, chemist, police station etc. These services are great in an emergency, and it's always good to know your way around before you arrive. You will find that most owners will have some literature about local doctors, chemists etc you never know what may happen whilst on holiday. Buy a Destination Guide / Language dictionary. Get yourself some travel books to know all the best spots, cheapest restaurants, best food, and hundreds of insights about your destination. You may want to write down some notes from the travel book relevant to the area you are visiting rather than taking the entire book with you to cut down on weight. Most importantly get a language translation dictionary and carry it with you. Learn a few essential terms in the native language of the country you are travelling to. People will appreciate and be a lot more helpful if you at least make an effort, it can also help you in an emergency. Luggage Advice Place photocopies of your identification in your luggage to help your airline or cruise ship to return it if lost while travelling. Another good idea is to get some masking, insulation tape or stickers and put it all over the suitcase, the worst start to a holiday would be to loose your luggage or get it taken by accident because its identical to another holidaymakers. Use your own padlocks instead of the padlocks supplied with suitcases. It is usually safer. Remember to keep the key(s) in your carry-on luggage., don't do what I did and leave the keys in the suitcase! Photocopy your Identifying Documents Photocopy all documents and cards and store it in a secret place in your suitcase. If your wallet is ever stolen, you will know exactly what you have lost and will have all the telephone numbers to call to cancel credit cards and the credit card numbers, etc. at your fingertips. Or instead of photocopying all your important documents and carrying them with you, you can scan everything and email the images to your email account or family and friends as attachments. Airport Transfers Don't forget to try and arrange your transfer to the vacation property before you set off. Worse thing that can happen is that it's 11pm, and there's no buses, and you have to pay a fortune for a hour drive to your accommodation. Most owners will have a contact for airport transfers, or there own management company will pick you up, there's a charge, but it's certainly cheaper than local taxi companies... it's also safer. Cash Safety. Think of this scenario. You've just got to your hotel, and you see a nice bar over the road, you go to your pocket to get all of your foreign currency, and it's not there! Your in a strange country, with a strange language and it's your first day on a holiday you've been paying for all year. Please remember travellers cheques, order them before you go and you will not be in this scenario. This article is not written to scare you but to put your mind on the important issues you will face when booking and organising your next vacation rental holiday. The best holidays I have had are ones where I have organised them myself. Have fun.. but more importantly... BE SAFE!

Accommodation Travel Tips


Do a hotel research on the net looking not only for the cheapest rates but also considering the amenities and services provided, location, possible references from other people. Travel guidebooks can also be very helpful for choosing the hotel that suits you best. Be as much flexible with your trip schedule as possible. For example, business class hotels often have lower weekend rates.

As soon as you reserved the room(s) online, document all information about the hotel(s). The easiest way is to print out the whole page off your computer screen so you will have a clear statement that you can use as evidence in case of misplacing or incorrectly entering your information by a hotel clerk. Take a copy with you, make another one for your relatives so they will know when and where you are going to stay so they can contact you in emergency cases.


Learn the proper check-in and check-out times. Confirm the amenities and services the hotel provides. Ask for directions, a local map. Get a card with the hotel's name, address and phone number so you can show it to a taxi driver or a passer-by in the street if you get lost.

Some hotels may provide extra services that you may not know about unless you ask for it:

- laundry service,

- hair dryers,

- voltage converters/ adaptors,

- newspaper service,

- complementary meals,

- access to fax machine, copier, printer, computer, Internet connection,

- cable TV, rental movies, video games,

- portable beds, baby cribs,

- complementary shuttle service to airport,

- rental safe for your money, jewellery, documents,

- telephone access charges,

- fees for using mini-bar,

- guided tours, excursions.


Safety should be a priority for everybody and you have to take some precautions. We devoted a whole separate page to travel safety including hotel safety measures so we will skip this part here. When you go out for the day, leave your key at the reception desk. Confirm closing time. Some hotels do lock up at night and you're expected to keep the key if you stay out late.


Check out your room for left-behind items. If you need extra time for staying over the regular check-out time (usually it ranges from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m), make a request in advance or the hotel may charge you an additional night.

Review the hotel bill making sure that all charges are accurate.

We wish you a successful and safe trip!

A Game Plan For Travel Plans

When making travel plans, it is important to strive for those plans that are beneficial to your trip and to your pocketbook. In order to provide you with a little help in planning your travel plans, we have put together a few detailed items we find to be valuable. By using these tricks of the trade, you can have a great vacation and have travel plans set with savings long beforehand.

Let's get planning your travel plans.

Step 1. Be as flexible as you can be. If you are, then you will have many options available to you. If you can pick your travel dates, do so in the mid week. Avoid weekend travelers. This will give you more flexibility in the hotels you stay at. It will save you money as well. Not to mention that it will also reduce line times and wait times. Planning on staying longer than a week? Then book your stay from mid week to mid week.

Step 2. Plan early. The earlier that you book your travel plans the better. You get better rates and you get more choices. Availability is often limited. Also, as the demand for room on a plane or in a hotel increase so do those prices!

Step 3. Shop around. In order to save the most, look for the best deal. You can use online travel agency, a normal travel agency or book your travel plans yourself. There is no better way to save money than to compare the rates of several companies. Remember to include any taxes, fees, and other charges associated with using the online travel agencies as well.

Step 4. Loose the extras. Unless your vacation is centered on the hotel you are staying at, look for those that have fewer frills. No sense in paying more for a hotel with a pool and spa if you won't have the time to take advantage of it, now is there?

Step 5. For airlines, it is often cheaper and less crowded to fly during off peak hours. Again, we are talking about avoiding the weekend rush. Also, if you fly in the middle of the night, you will get to catch a few z's while saving a few dollars as well. Look for routes that may take longer but offer a cheaper price. This could be those that have layovers. If you don't mind, you'll save money this way over direct flights.

The most valuable tips are those that you use. If something does not apply to your travel plans, then find ways of lowering the price in your own way. Driving is cheaper than flying but remember that the cost of gas, the wear on the car and the longer trip means more costs as well. You may have to book a room where as during the flight you wouldn't.

In the end, it is wise to begin planning your travel plans as soon as you can. By shopping around and comparing prices it is easy to save some money. You'll have the security of knowing that everything is ready to go as well. Travel plans don't have to be difficult at all!

10 Travel Tips

Going away on vacation should be an enjoyable experience but everyone has a horror story to tell. Perhaps your hotel room was robbed, or perhaps a careless spouse accidentally gambled away more money than they realized, or perhaps you simply lost your wallets somewhere between the airport and hotel. Here are 10 ways to make sure that your trip is a success in spite of those obstacles.

1. Use a hidden wallet to carry most of your valuables and identification.

2. If you feel comfortable sending it in the mail, mail a money order or a traveler's checks to yourself at your hotel so that even if you lose some of your money, more will be coming.

3. While you don't have to be too strict, you should have an agenda and leave it with someone at home. This way, if something happens in the area where you are vacationing, your loved ones will be able to have a fairly good idea of where you are.

4. Keep copies of identification at home, even if you take the originals with you.

5. When you go on vacation, choose one credit card to bring, rather than bringing all of them. This way, if your wallet gets stolen, you will minimize your losses.

6. Another option is to choose a preloaded credit card, which is really more like a debit card that you put money "on" so that if you end up losing your wallet the thieves cannot wreck your credit rating.

7. Bring important phone numbers with you on your trip and put them in two different places. Bring a phone number that will cancel your credit card; if you're traveling out of the country bring a phone number to reach the embassy; bring phone numbers of close family and friends who can help you if you get into trouble; and bring phone numbers of the hotel and car rental company as well.

8. You'll want to have your travel insurance information. Be sure to keep a copy of your travel insurance at home as well as on your trip so that a family member can access it if necessary.

9. Bring basic medical information with you, like blood type and allergies, and make sure that the medical information is translated into the primary language of the place you are going to so that non-English-speaking doctors will have no problem understanding the situation.

10. Know what kind of insurance is covered on your credit card, if that is how you are using to paying for your trip. For example, some credit cards cover car rental insurance, but may not cover it in the country are you are going to. Be sure to know what insurance you have before you leave.

Health Tips for Traveller

Travelling in Canada Each year, over one million visitors come to Canada to explore this vast land. From cosmopolitan cities to majestic mountain ranges, Canada's landscape is as diverse as its people. Travel, whether abroad or in one's own country, is a richly rewarding experience, but there are always potential health risks. Visitors who travel to Canada are wise to consider a number of health tips before embarking on their journey. The Great Outdoors For the outdoor enthusiast, Canada is a veritable playground. Home to countless lakes and forests, Canada is the ideal destination for adventure seekers. To ensure that illness does not spoil your vacation, be aware of the environmental factors. The weather in Canada can vary greatly from province to province, thereby necessitating that you pack weather-appropriate clothing. To ensure that you are prepared for Canada's extremes in climate, be sure to research the area that you will be visiting. Failing to dress accordingly may result in your health being compromised. In the summer months, be sure to protect yourself from a variety of bugs with insect repellant. Most of them are a mere annoyance, but a bite from an infected mosquito can have potentially dangerous effects. Air Quality & Sunshine Canada's urban centers offer some of the finest cultural events in North America, and much like all large cities throughout the world, Canadian cities can be subject to periodic reduced air quality due to traffic and industry. For those travellers who are prone to respiratory problems, it is smart to equip yourself with any necessary medications before leaving home. In addition, seasonal allergens, such as pollen and ragweed are prevalent in most Canadian cities and can inhibit your ability to enjoy the outdoors. During the summertime, Canadian cities offer an impressive lineup of festivals and other special events, but you can be easily deprived of their enjoyment if you do not protect yourself from the sun. The UV index in the summer months can be very high and travellers can experience the ill effects of over-exposure to the sun's rays. Medical Emergencies Health tips are helpful but they do not guarantee that you will stay in optimal good health while travelling. The best way to safeguard yourself from costly medical bills is to have valid health insurance. If you are a visitor to Canada from another country, sickness can leave you with a heavy financial burden. Before leaving your own country, be sure to purchase health insurance that will cover you in the event of a medical emergency. Provincial Coverage? If you are a resident of Canada and are visiting another province, be aware that your provincial health plan will not cover all medical expenses incurred out of province. For example, citizens of Ontario will find that OHIP does not provide for ambulance costs and accidental dental expenses incurred in another province. A little research will inform you of the omissions in your provincial health coverage. If you do not feel that your provincial health care is adequate, it may be wise to purchase supplemental health insurance before your trip.

Photography Tips While Traveling

Whether you're embarking on a family vacation or your family reunion, it's going to be a special time. When we think of trips we've taken, we tend to remember them best with photographs. Here's some ideas to enhance your vacation as well as your memories of them.

Location Preparation

1) Since you know where you're going (that's a minimum requirement), doesn't it make sense to check out the location before you get there? Create a list of attractions, accommodations, special points of interest, amusement areas, shopping, etc. A good source to help you do this is: the Places and Travel section of msn.com ( [http://groups.msn.com/Browse?CatId=179])

2) Figure out the photo opportunities for each appropriate venue. Anyone can take a "that's nice" picture of the kids at an amusement park. Wouldn't you rather capture a "WOW" photo that could be hung over the mantle?

3) Depending on the location you're traveling to, you can see what books are written about them that highlight the best photo opportunities for the entire area

4) If you're cyber-savvy, start at http://www.google.com and search using different combinations of: your destination, best photography locations, for images of the location, scenic spots, etc. The options are endless.

5) If you're off to a non-big city area, scout out the national parks in the area. The great thing about national parks is that the scenery is usually so breathtaking, that a so-so shot looks
outstanding, just because of the subject. Once in http://www.nps.gov, do a search on photos and you will be presented with terrific shots of all the parks

Photography Preparation

OK, you're either traveling through or you're at a wonderful location full of photo opportunities. You began this leg of your trip at the crack of dawn and as you're pulling into the most scenic overlook for 400 miles, the sun is just starting to crack the horizon.

You instinctively pull the car over, grab your camera and your tripod, and look for the best spot to set up. Just one tiny little problem... YOU FORGOT YOUR TRIPOD! Rather than smack yourself on the forehead then, why not plan these things now, before you leave?

33 Travel Safety Tips

Traveling to unfamiliar destinations can bring to you the sort of troubles you do not want to experience while on the road namely: robbery, rape, or murder. Tourists often fall prey to perpetrators because they do not prepare properly before embarking on a trip. Let's examine some things you should do to prevent your travels from becoming a tragedy:

1. Never list your home address on the luggage tag. If on business, put the company's address on the tag; if visiting friends you can list their address. Use covered luggage tags as well.

2. Stay with your luggage until the luggage is checked. If you must put your bag down, keep one foot on the handle.

3. Carry important papers with you; NEVER check anything that you simply cannot afford to lose. Photocopy your passport, driver's license and credit cards.

4. Bring a small flashlight. You never know when you'll suddenly be "in the dark" and find yourself in unfamiliar surroundings. At night, keep your flashlight by your bed.

5. Make sure that your prescription medicines are filled properly and labeled accurately. In some countries certain prescription medicines are forbidden.

6. Never wear anything that projects affluence. No gold chains, expensive watches and rings, luggage, or other paraphernalia should be in easy view. Better yet: leave your jewelry at home.

7. If possible travel with only one or two credit cards.

8. Women particularly should never accept a drink from a stranger. Keep an eye on your drink at all times.

9. Vary your schedule; try not to come and go at the same time everyday.

10. Only stay in a hotel that uses cards to open room doors and make sure your room has a peephole and a deadbolt lock. Secure the chain and secure the door by pushing a rubber stop under it.

11. Stay in a room near a stairwell. Never take the elevator if a fire or smoke is detected. Always stay in a hotel where the doors enter the hallway and not directly from the outside.

12. Do not wear name tags in public.

13. Do not use unmarked taxi cabs.

14. Sit behind the driver so you can see him, but he cannot see you.

15. Pay the driver upon arriving at your destination and while you are still sitting in the vehicle.

16. If you must rent a car, rent only from a reputable company. Any operating problems that occur could signal sabotage.

17. Be aware of 'staged' car accidents meant to catch you off card.

18. Back into your parking spaces to facilitate a quick exit.

19. Park only in well lit and well traveled areas.

20. If your cell phone does not work outside of the country, consider renting one that does for the duration of your trip.

21. If detained for whatever reason by an official, ask for identification. If in doubt, tell them that you want to see his superior. Keep your emotions in check.

22. If traveling with children, bring along an updated photograph of each child in the event that you become separated from them.

23. Write your child's name and your hotel number on each card; include a close friend's or relative's contact information on the card. Give a card to each child which they will carry with them as long as you are away. Destroy once home.

24. Discuss with your family what they would do in event of an emergency while away from home, e.g. whom to call, how to contact emergency personnel, etc.

25. Do not discuss travel plans, your room number or any other personal information in public within earshot of strangers.

26. Bring along a basic first aid kit with bandages, iodine, mosquito repellant, sunscreen, alcohol packets, dramamine, pepto bismol, diarrhea medicine, etc.

27. Familiarize yourself with train and bus schedules before traveling. Have an alternate plan in place in the event your transportation plans change.

28. Do not flash your passport in public. Discreetly show important documents to officials only.

29. Consider purchasing portable alarms that emit a loud sound.

30. Watch for scams on the street. Children working with adults are notorious as pickpockets.

31. Never flash your money in public. Exchange funds with reputable and recognized exchangers only.

32. Have tips ready in advance for service personnel.

33. Consider renting an escort [security] service if traveling in areas where crime is high.

The key to safe traveling in any area is situational awareness. Distractions because of luggage, children, hotel personnel, strangers, etc. can put you at risk. Know your surroundings and stay in control of every situation.

South of France Travelling Tips

Ahh the Wonderful Sounth of France.

Blue and red parasols, sailing ships, a light breeze and a cloudless blue sky - the Cote d'Azure, or Azure Coast as it is literally translated, lives up to its name.

It is a good idea to plan your trip to the South of France for early September to avoid the madness of the Cannes film festival in May, and the sweltering heat and the crowded coastal highways that besiege vacationers in July and August.

As the high season ends, the hoards clear out and you can truly appreciate the charm of these classy seaside resorts.

The Provence has a heavy Mediterranean influence so be sure to dine heartily in the early afternoon as most restaurants are closed from around three until seven.

The local Nicois cooking is Italianate in flavor and features delights like aioli, a yellow garlicky sauce served over everything from raw vegetables to fish, and ratatouille, a combination of fresh tomatoes, eggplant and squash stewed together with green peppers, garlic and various herbs. Also, don't miss the bouillabaisse, a magnificent fish stew.

In Cannes, make time for some world class window shopping and to engage in a favorite pastime in this glittering bastion of wealth, people watching along the Blvd. de la Croisette, probably the classiest seaside promenade in the world.

If that's not enough excitement for you, drive along the precipitous and tortuous coastal highways that Grace Kelly raced over in Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief to reach the small nation of Monaco. Here, visit the famed Monte Carlo Casino (think James Bond). This gambling resort is no Las Vegas. Ringed by Ferrari's and Rolls Royce's, it features a Private Salon into which only the properly clad (no shorts; jacket and tie required for men) may enter. Also, if the shopping in Cannes didn't exhaust you, Monaco's pricey haute couture will make you drop (at least that's the effect it had on my husband ):O

For those not enthralled by world class beaches, monstrous yachts, and movie stars, you can visit the charming region of the Haute Provence, an area featured in the literary classic The Three Musketeers. Envision moonlight, lavender fields, old abbeys and intimate villages, red wine, and fresh baguettes.

One thing worth doing while driving around the South of France, is stopping to try some fresh french bread accompanied by chevre or goat's cheese (one of the hundreds of delicious fresh cheeses to be found in France).

The Verdon Gorge, in the heart of Provence, is known as the Grand Canyon of Europe. It's 3000 ft. walls of chalky white limestone offer some of the best opportunities for rock climbing and other adventure sports anywhere in the world. While the kayaks bob and weave down the torrents far below, the tourists creep on all fours to the canyon edge to take in the awesome view and watch climbers ascend the sheer cliffs. Like Yosemite Valley, the Verdon Gorge offers experienced rock climbers a big wall experience, but without having to haul loads of gear as you can climb in shorts and rock shoes with a minimum of equipment.

The captivating Haute Provence, with it's blend of white limestone hills, rough stony pastures, and charming villages proved to be the highlight - but sadly also marked the end - of our trip.

The next day, as the plane banked away from the coastline with its piercing light, deep blue waters, and diamond like white caps, we realized that we had only experienced a small taste of the rich landscapes and peoples you will find in the South of France.

Airline Travel - Beating the New Regulations on Baggage

So what do you do now that you cannot take two bags with you without getting charged for the second one? How do you get your golf clubs to your vacation destination for no charge? The new regulations that the airlines have come up with makes you have to shove everything into one bag that you can check. Here is how to beat the airlines and get your airline travel for the right price.

First, you can use travel bags called space bags to pack with. These bags allow you to pack about 5 times the amount of clothing you can get in one suitcase. This will allow you to consolidate your clothing into your carry on or with another person that is traveling with you. This will free you up to check your golf clubs or another bag for travel.

Second, you can check with greyhound to see what the price would be to ship your golf clubs to your destination. Usually they can ship your clubs for a cheaper price than what the airlines want to charge for your extra bag. You can also check rates of other shipping companies as well to see who can offer you the best deal.

Last, you can pack your clothes in with your golf clubs and with your carry on. The airlines still allow you to carry on a small bag and a purse or laptop. This gives you a small suitcase that you could get 3-4 outfits into and, then you can put the rest of your clothing in with your golf clubs. This will save you money and space.

If airline travel continues to become more expensive we will have to go back to the horse and buggy route of travel. Maybe that is a bit out there, but you will need to become more creative so that you can beat the prices that the airlines are trying to charge.

Save a Bundle on Your Next Trip with Airline Travel Deals

Whether your flying to see family across the country or planning your dream vacation it's important to setup a budget. You likely have a destination your thinking of, how ever have you considered the costs of flying there? If finances are tight, which they are for so many, take the time to seek out the best airline travel deals. A lot of people don't realize that airline tickets can be booked eleven months in advance. By booking early often you save a lot of money rather then waiting until just a couple of weeks before your trip. The down side is that if you must cancel your trip for one reason or another, generally you're out the cost of the tickets.

Calling the airline directly can be a great way to get airline travel deals. Often the airlines have the best deals available for decent ticket prices. Also they sometimes have last minute seat saver sales to fill up a few seats left on planes. Something else airlines do is they may have unadvertised seat sales. These are deals you'll only get when calling the airline directly for a ticket.

Another good source for airline travel deals is travel agents. They work as brokers between you and all the airlines, so they can browse all the air travel options for your trip and get you the cheapest price. These days travel agents have lost a lot of business to online airfare websites, so you might find an offline travel agent fighting a little harder to get your business.

Don't forget about the Internet as a source for airline travel deals. The Internet allows you to source out your own tickets over a variety of websites. Don't just take one sites prices as gospel search around and compare options. Don't wait to long to book tickets online how ever because a deal you see this afternoon could be gone in a few hours and not be available that night. There are a few things you should watch with airline travel deals. One thing you always want to be sure you're getting what you're paying for. Read the fine print on all websites before making the purchase, also always double check your information so you don't get stuck with the wrong ticket for a great price.

When making your reservations with a travel agent or airline directly always ask them to read back the information you've requested. Things can get jumbled over the phone, and you don't want to end up in the wrong city or state. Also as soon as you receive your itinerary double check everything to ensure no mistakes. Nothing worse then assuming you got a great price, then the airline travel deal you through you got isn't for the right trip at all. If you catch errors quickly enough, most airlines are more then happy to try and rectify it for you

Tips to Get Airline Travel Discounts

We all need to get away. Our vacations are the one thing that we look forward to all year. Unfortunately what happens sometimes is that we tend to feel the stress of how am I going to afford the vacation that I've been dreaming about? Well I hope that with a few of my tips, you will be able to get some airline travel discounts.

Here are some tips to find the lowest fare air ticket:

  • Buy tickets 3-5 months before your departure date

  • Some airlines offer discounts for early buyers. It's also best to buy your tickets at least 20 days in advance to ensure the best seating possible, most discounted tickets sell out fast. You should also know that Airline Tickets are subject to price increase, especially during Christmas season, so buying early avoids further ticket increase.
  • Never fly on weekends

  • If you're planning a trip, plan to leave on weekdays, preferable Monday to Wednesday. Weekends are high traffic times, for travelers and would probably cost you an additional $25-$40 increase.
  • Don't travel During Peak season

  • Airlines tend to increase ticket prices during Peak travel season due to the increase in demand. Traveling during low season is also advantageous if you want to avoid airport and tourist spot crowds. If you really have to travel during peak season, consider leaving home early and going home late to avoid the rush.
  • How long to Stay

  • Yes your travel stay also affects airline ticket prices. Airlines give discounts if you stay at least a week at your destination and return within 90 days.
  • Consider a Connecting Flight

  • Contrary to popular belief, direct flights aren't always the cheapest. Some people have saved up to $1000 dollars on booking connecting instead of Direct flights. If you don't have a lot of luggage, and aren't very particular with time, it is best, and a lot cheaper to book a connecting flight instead of direct.
  • Use the senior citizen discount

  • Some Airlines offer the same senior Citizen discount for the companions of the Senior Citizen. Ask if it's available.
  • The Early Bird gets the Airline Ticket

  • Call Airlines at 12:01 am on Wednesday mornings. This is when airlines release all the new fares and seat plans. You can be first and choose the best and cheapest tickets at this time.
  • Shop on the Internet

  • The best feature of the internet is that you see all available Prices from a very convenient place, your home. You won't have to canvass travel agencies. Some internet sites even offer internet only discounts that you can benefit from if you use their services.
  • When you do shop on the internet

Check first with travel agents regarding prices, Internet prices aren't always the cheapest, it's best to ask a good old travel agent. It won't hurt to look at news papers too, as some airlines publish discounts on print. If you're planning to buy more than 6 months in advance, it's probably best to ask a travel guide as internet sites don't usually have schedules for longer than six months.Airline travel discounts are everywhere; you just need to know how to find them! I hope that with these tips, that's exactly what you are going to be able to do. Now go out there and get that lowest fare air ticket! Happy travels.

Airline Travel and Air Line Travel

Airline travel has always been the most expedient way to take a trip. Air line travel offers some great advantages. If you have time constraints and need to get there quickly, airline travel is the way to go. If you find that a long journey in a cramped automobile holds no appeal, consider airline travel. If you want to be ready to go when you arrive at your destination, airline travel holds the key. Air line travel will get you where you are going in the least amount of time, in the best physical shape possible and ready to set out on your planned activities.

Some people find the thought of airline travel frightening. Statistics show that air line travel is one of the safest means of transportation. More people die annually from automobile accidents than die in air line travel accidents. The reason for that is that with an air line travel accident more people die at once so the media tends to sensationalize it. There may be 100 people or more killed in a single airline travel accident but compare that with the thousands of people who die each year from other types of accidents. Airline travel has a great safety record and the government tries to make sure it stays that way. Airplanes go through hundreds of government inspections each year to insure the safety of the public.

There are some really great air line travel deals available. A fast check of the Internet will produce thousands of offers for cheap tickets to just about anywhere. This can be a great way to take a weekend trip on the spur of the moment. Last minute air line travel tickets are often offered inexpensively. A fast trip to Las Vegas, New York City or any of the beach resorts is a great way to spend a long weekend. If you would like to plan a little in advance, you might try talking to a travel agent about airline travel. They have some great airline travel deals and can help with other arrangement like hotels and rental cars as well.

Airline travel is a great tool to use in fulfilling the Great Commission. Jesus said in Mark 16:15 "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." As Christians we have an obligation to share our faith not only at home but also in other parts of the world as well. Air line travel makes it less difficult to take mission trips and fly to other part of the world where the Gospel has never been heard. If you are planning a mission trip, make sure to consider airline travel as your means of transportation.

Airline Travel Search - Finding the Best Airline Travel Deal

With the high gas prices causing travel to be expensive it is important to know how to get the best airline travel deals that are out there. There are ways to travel on a budget and there are some great airline travel search engines that you can use to find not only cheap flights, but hotels and rental cars as well. Here is what to do.

The first thing you need to do is compare all the prices that are out there. You can use Priceline, Expedia, SouthWestAir, and a handful of other online sites to make sure you are getting the best deal possible. They will also let you book a flight, hotel, and rental car in a package deal for even more savings. Shop around so that you get the cheapest airline deal possible.

The next thing you can do is book a last minute travel package. A lot of the travel sites have tons of cheap deals at the last minute that you can take advantage of. You can usually save up to 50% doing this and get a great deal on a top destination. You just have to be flexible and willing to go at the drop of a hat.

The last way to save on your airline travel with a top airline travel search engine is to fly out on Tuesday and come back on either a Tuesday or a Thursday. These are the best days to fly for a better price. If you check the websites that book airline travel deals you will find that if you fly on Tuesdays and Thursdays you can usually save about $30 per ticket or so. Sometime even more.

Cheap Airline Travel - Being Flexible Means Finding Airline Travel Deals

Are you looking for cheap airline travel? Have you every heard the stories of people traveling around the world for less than five hundred dollars? Or someone finding a cheap airline travel deal and flying to a conference on the same airplane as you but they were in first class and still paid less than you did? Budget travelers know there is no better feeling then taking advantage of a great airline deal. Everyone wants to save money whenever they can, so why continue to pay full price for airfare?

Cheap airline travel deals are available to anyone who knows where to look. As long as you are not traveling at the last minute or traveling on peak travel days, with a little bit of research you should be able to find airfare deals that will meet your budget. Location does not matter, the airline travel deals are out there but sometimes it will take a little bit of research to really find the special rates and deals.

Finding cheap airline travel means being open to adjusting your travel dates or travel times. You may prefer to depart in the mid-afternoon but the flight leaving at 5am has seats available for half the price. Use online tools that allow you to adjust the dates and times of your desired flights and then compare the prices to find the best published deals. Be flexible in your flight details and the airline travel deals will start to appear everywhere.

You can also find great airline travel deals if you are willing to depart or land in an alternative airport. You could land in San Jose instead of San Francisco and save hundreds of dollars. Many online tools that are designed to help you find the best airline deal will give you options for alternative airports. Just remember that you will be in a different city then the one you want to visit so check out the transportation costs between the two cities before you purchase the ticket, you don't want to spend all your savings on transportation to San Francisco.

Last year I wanted to travel to Europe for Christmas but thought the flights would be too expensive. The days I planned to travel were considered high travel dates and most airlines were sold out when I started to look for available flights in November. But I really wanted to go see my family and was sure I would pay thousands of dollars for a coach class ticket. I was determined to find the best airfare price I could find so I started adjusting my travel dates and was flexible with the flight times as well. I found cheap airline travel for less than five hundred dollars by being flexible with my plans.

Tips For Finding Airline Travel Deals

Setting up a budget is usually the first step in planning for a dream vacation. You have to consider the costs of getting to, and staying at, a particular place, even if you may have a destination in mind. You may have to spend some time in search of some great airline travel deals if money is tight. Fortunately, finding airline travel deals is not as difficult as it used to be.

Booking a flight well in advance is one of the tricks to getting great deals. Airline tickets can be booked up to eleven months in advance. Early tickets are often cheaper than buying them just until a few weeks before your trip. However, you can have some problems if your trip is cancelled because these tickets are often non refundable.

You should call the airline directly if you are looking for airline travel deals. The airlines are the best source for discount prices. They may be eager to get you aboard because of a last minute flight that they would like to fill. They may also have some unadvertised specials that you can take advantage of.

Travel agents are also a good source of airline travel deals. You can ask them to search through all airline offers and find something to fit your needs. You will have a person who has your best interests at heart if you choose to deal with a travel agent.

In recent years, travel agents have lost a lot of business because online airfare sites have become very popular. They will be eager to help you find very best airline travel deals, so that you will still seek their service in the future.

The Internet is also a good source of airline travel deals. Try not to focus your search on just a few sites, search them all if you want the best deals. Since that ticket price change quite often, you should get a ticket if it has a fantastic price immediately. That great price could be gone in a few hours.

Remember that airline travel deals aren't really deals if you aren't getting what you think you are paying for. Read the fine print on any website before you make any ticket purchase. Otherwise, you may be stuck with the cost of the tickets if there is a mistake.

Always ask the travel agent or the airline's representative to repeat all the information back to you so that you can double check your ticket. Don't be afraid to speak up if you discover that there has been a mistake, or that you have not been given the airline travel deals that you should be getting.

Finding the Best Airline Travel Deals

We are all hearing some pretty strange stories about how the airlines are charging people these days. I just recently heard about an airline that is considering laying their passengers and pricing their tickets accordingly. That's pretty drastic stuff in my book, but then again, maybe it is justified. In any event, booking airline tickets can become a pretty expensive proposition.

But we as customers of the airlines have a way to fight back. And what I mean by fighting back is shopping smart and saving money. Whether you're traveling on business or for personal reasons there is no excuse not to be able to find the best airline travel deals. It is a simple matter of knowing where to look and then actually doing your homework by searching out the best airfares. It is not at all difficult and in my opinion, well worth the effort.

I personally like to use the Internet to shop and compare airline travel deals. There are literally dozens and dozens of websites that are independent of the airlines and are therefore not beholden to them. What that means is that it is in their best interest to show you the very best airfares available.

Some of these websites can be a little bit intimidating at first but you will soon find that they are actually quite easy to navigate. They can actually be quite enjoyable once you get the hang of them. I see travel websites as treasure maps and it is up to me to find the treasure, which in this case are exceptional airline travel deals.

What you will find is that these travel sites usually offer a whole lot more than just airline tickets and information. Many of them offer package deals that include hotels, car rentals and visits to attractions such as theme parks and museums. Actually makes perfect sense doesn't it? The bottom line is that you can get great airfares as a part of a travel package.

Another excellent alternative is booking last minute flight reservations. Usually to find the best deals you have to book your flight well in advance. But a little known secret is that if you are flexible enough and can travel at the last minute there are some great deals to be had. Airlines faced with last-minute cancellations will price their tickets to sell as opposed to having those seats go empty and the airline not making any money on them.

If you do find a great deal on last minute cheap flights then you must be prepared to travel at odd times. Usually what happens is that the airlines have most of their empty seats during their red-eye flights. But for my money, traveling at odd hours of the morning and night is an inconvenience that is more than compensated for by the savings enjoyed for the airline tickets.

I have personally had great success and save a lot of money by doing my comparison shopping online and taking advantage of those great airline travel deals that are available. They are out there believe me, you just need to know where to look.

Making Airline Travel Less Stressful

Get cheap airline tickets and avoid the crowds

The Air Transport Association is predicting that 2006 will see record numbers of passengers; especially during the summer season. With nearly 207 million passengers boarding commercial airplanes in the United States this year, terminals are going to be crowded and people are going to be crabby. Additionally, due to the rise in gas rises, which especially affects airlines, the domestic capacity will be down this summer, leaving fewer planes to carry more travelers. Don't let this discourage you from traveling though; you just need to plan ahead. Follow these few travel tips and you'll make airline travel less stressful and make summer vacations moreenjoyable.

Booking your tickets: How to get cheap airline tickets and avoid the crowds Trying to book airline tickets is always stressful. There are so many things that need to be considered, especially the price. Just break down the decisions into steps and the task will be less formidable. The more flexible your travel plans are, the better deals you will get. First, when are you traveling? The best deals can be found if you leave during the week and stay through Saturday. Second, the time of day you leave is almost as important. Often less popular times like early morning or late night departure times will be less costly. Also, the airport will be less crowded during the times and alsoduring the week.

If the prices still are high, try looking at departing or arriving at different airports. Sometimes neighboring airports will offer better deals. For example if you are vacationing in
San Francisco, arriving in Oakland or San Jose may save you hundreds of dollars. Additionally, if you are looking to save money, nonstop flights can oftentimes be more expensive. If layovers are not too bothersome, they can oftentimes save travelers money. The more you shop around - the better deals you will find. Visit multiple airline ticket sites like Priceline or Travelocity. Another great place to find cheap airline tickets online is Studentuniverse.com. This Web site offers cheap airline tickets for students and educators.

Picking the best seat So, you've found the best deal out there, now you get to choose where you are sitting -- this is one of most important airline travel tips. The first decision is front, back or middle. If you are in a hurry or have connecting flights that need to be made, a seat near the front of the plane is your best choice. If you are traveling with children, the bulkhead seats are a good choice because it allows for more legroom, but these seats also do not have seats in front of you to store items under. Children are not allowed to sit in the exit rows. So, if you want to keep clear of children, the exit rows are a good choice to sit in. They also have more legroom, but you are responsible for opening the exits and assisting if there is an accident. If you get airsick or just hate turbulence, the seats over the wings offer the smoothest ride for airline travel. The last decision is window or aisle seat. If you want to sleep the window seat allows you to lean against the side for comfier snoozing. If you have large legs or have to get up and move a lot to get things from your carry on bags, the aisle seat will be the best choice to make airline travel more comfortable

Check-in: Airline travel tips Once again, the crowds will be smaller during the earlier departure times and during the week. However, to expediate the whole check-in process there are several things you can do. First, if you have an electronic ticket, make sure to have your confirmation number and you may want to call ahead and confirm with the airline to avoid any last minute problems. Departure delays and any other flight information can be found on-line prior to leaving for the airport. To ensure you do not miss your flight, arrive at the airport at least 1 ½ hours prior to departure or earlier if it is a busy flying season like holidays. Electronic check-in kiosks are the quickest; make sure you have a credit card and your ID handy. If you have luggage that needs to be checked in, make sure there is an attendant at the electronic check-in to do that. One way to beat the check-in line is to use the curbside check-in service. There usually are no lines outside. The only downside to curbside check-in is if you're checking luggage that it may not get to your destination as quick, and it is not available for international travel. However, I have never had trouble with my luggage getting lost with curbside check-in and it always saves me plenty of time.

The second check point before boarding the plane is security. After September 11, security has been enhanced, but if you know what to expect you can breeze through the security without any problems. First, no lighters, scissors or knives are allowed so don't bring them with. Most airports will you require to take your shoes and belt off, before going through the metal detector. Also, laptops need to be taken out of the case and placed in their own receptacle. Have your ID and ticket ready at all times, because it will be checked here as well. Once you're through with security it's time to find your terminal. If you are unfamiliar with the airport, it is beneficial to print a map off on-line or at least look at it before departure.

No Elbow room: How to deal With fewer planes and record numbers, planes are going to be crowded. According to the Air Transport Association planes may be at as high as 85 percent capacity. So, when choosing your seat keep in mind that the plane may be overcrowded. If you're sitting in the middle or window seat, make sure that you have everything from your carry-on bag that you will need so you do not have to get up frequently. There is nothing you can do about bad airplane food, bad movies or the fact that you are stuck in the middle seat next to a fat guy, with an annoying kid behind you, so prepare for it all. Pack a snack or eat before you leave and bring plenty of things to entertain yourself with. Earplugs always are nice too, if you want to mask out the screams of small children. Most importantly though, just remain calm and do not stress out, you are on vacation.

Elvis has left the building After being crammed on an airplane for hours, leaving the airport as quickly as possible is most surely on your mind. Plan your exit travel plans before leaving. Some hotels offer airport pick-up service, so when booking your hotel ask if that option is offered and plan a pick-up place. Some airlines also offer package deals with airline tickets, car rentals and hotel reservations. If you're traveling with your family this is a great deal, especially if you have lots of children and need a larger vehicle to fit them all. The Transportation Security Administration said it is expecting nearly 200 million air travelers nationwide between Memorial Day and Labor Day, so in order to avoid the crowds as much as possible, get cheap airline tickets and make travel less stressful, follow these simple airline travel tips and you'll be on your way to fun.

Airline Travel

Rising fuel prices have impacted airline travel. Be prepared, and adjust your plans accordingly.

Continental Airlines plans to slash 3,000 jobs and reduce domestic flights in an effort to reduce operating costs. The cuts include pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, administrative personnel, and management.

"These actions will help Continental survive the crisis," wrote Chairman and Chief Executive Larry Kellner, and President Jeff Smisek, in a letter to Continental's 45,000 employees. In a move to demonstrate a personal response and commitment, the executives also announced that they would forgo incentive pay for the rest of 2008.

It has been estimated that charges for fuel will be $2.3 billion higher in 2008 than in the previous year. Beginning in September, Continental will decrease capacity by 11%, and will remove 67 airplanes from the fleet by the end of 2009.

United Airlines announced 14% reduction of capacity planned for fourth quarter of 2008. United Airlines is cutting 1,600 jobs.

United Airlines said that it will eliminate Ted, the discount arm of the airline launched in 2004. Ted catered to leisure travelers with only coach-class seating, but in the spring of 2009, the 56 Airbus A320's will be reconfigured with first class seats and returned to the United Airlines fleet. At the same time, United Airlines will retire 94 Boeing 747's as unprofitable planes and routes.

Delta announced 10% reduction of capacity in the fourth quarter of 2008.

American Airlines announced plans to reduce capacity by 12% in the fourth quarter of 2008.

As oil prices continue to rise, airlines are forced to respond with fewer flights, fewer routes, less staff, more passengers per plane, and higher prices. Reduced capacity translates to fewer flights, and this means that many of the smaller airports may be the first to feel the pinch. While some travelers may have enjoyed the convenience of smaller airports for proximity or to avoid the crowds of large airports, the availability of flight options may be greatly reduced. Airlines simply cannot afford to move aircraft with empty seats, so expect full flights, or expect that route to be on the chopping block.

In an effort to increase the number of passengers per plane, flights that do not have enough passengers may be canceled to combine passengers with other flights to the same destination. While many frequent flyers have experienced this interruption in travel plans in the past, it is likely to become commonplace while the airlines adjust to the new demands. When incomplete flights are combined, the result is typically an overbooking situation, which means more passengers than seats. As a result, some passengers may be temporarily stranded in a city overnight, pending an available flight the following day. Overbooking will become even more common as airlines endeavor to keep prices down by filling every seat on the plane.

What does all this mean to you?

Expect full flights. You will be able to tell your grandchildren about the days when you secretly counted the remaining number of individuals boarding the plane in hopes that you would have an empty seat between the window and aisle. Your grandchildren will think that you are making up stories when you tell them about the complimentary meals and movies that you enjoyed on the plane ride. One day the free meals and movies may sound as ridiculous as allowing smoking on a plane, imagine that.

Expect longer delays at security and check-in counters. Yes it is true, security is becoming more efficient, and automated check-in counters are intended to facilitate faster service. Nonetheless, as routes are consolidated and oversold crowds are consolidated into flight patterns that maximize the productivity of reduced staff to handle them, human traffic jams will occur. It is inevitable that consolidation will occur in the battle to control price increases, and in many ways the check-in lines will more often resemble the crowded lines at theme parks, mouse ears and all.

When possible, book direct flights. While this may be slightly more expensive than those connecting flights that enabled you to eat lunch in Houston and dessert in Orlando, it will also decrease your risk of spending an unexpected evening in Texas. When making your travel plans, consider the risk of an unexpected hotel and transportation in a connecting city, while your luggage goes on without you. Try to schedule your travel on morning flights, as opposed to the typical evening business flights, to allow greater opportunity for another flight without an overnight delay. If you do need to book a connecting flight, make sure that you have at least one hour between flights at the connecting airport. Remember that next flight boards thirty minutes before the scheduled flight time, which means that your seat could be on the roulette wheel if there is any delay on your original flight. Take responsibility to check your travel carefully when booking flights, and reduce your risks.

Allow some flexibility in your schedule, just in case you are delayed. Whether your travel is personal or professional, you will get where you need to go, eventually. If all goes well, you will arrive on time, and without incident. In the event that you are delayed, or your plans need to be adjusted, remember to always be courteous to the individual on the other side of the counter. Odds are that the staff member has lost many good friends and colleagues in the workforce reduction, and is now striving to do multiple jobs at once. Have compassion, for they are attempting to resolve the personal challenges for every passenger, every inconvenience, and every emergency that comes over the counter. Show your compassion, and you are more likely to receive a little in return.

As airline travel is impacted, it will have a domino effect on the rest of the travel industry. As prices increase, leisure travel diminishes, and routes are eliminated, so too must car rental companies adjust the inventory of available vehicles at appropriate airports. Consider booking your car well in advance, especially when traveling to a popular destination or busy airport. It will become more likely for car rental agencies to sell out.

The hospitality industry will also be impacted by decreased activity. Although this will be a delayed result, based on the adjusted number of travelers, the good news is that hotels may offer competitive discounts and incentives to retain loyal customers. You should sign-up for programs and be vigilant for special deals.

Those special airline rates for leisure travelers, and the last minute special deals for under $100, are likely to disappear. Prices for all seats are expected to increase, and fewer route options with fuller flights will mean that special discounts will be placed on the endangered species list. And for those hardy business travelers who have saved those frequent flyer miles in hopes of tropical vacation paradise, expect black-out periods and greater advance planning to use those miles in the crowded skies. If fuel prices continue to rise, consider your options to use those accumulated miles this year. Rising costs will force some airlines to introduce even more restrictions on the use of accumulated miles, since these free seats become a liability to cash-flow. Airlines have adjusted the policies on mileage in the past, and are likely to do it again in 2009. Your mileage may not be protected if your carrier of choice is forced to merge, be acquired, or enforce restrictions as a part of an economic reorganization plan. Take a break of the bad news of rising gas prices and fuel charges, and use your miles to go on a well earned vacation while you can still get the most for your miles.

It's not all bad news. If hotels offer special rates, you might find some nice local vacation packages before the end of 2008, and early 2009. Rising fuel prices, reduced routes, and prohibitive restrictions on air travel may encourage more businesses to use teleconferencing, VOIP, and other technology to collaborate over long distances. A little less travel may mean a little more time at home, and that is always a good thing.

Words of Wisdom

"The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage." - Mark Russell

"The saying "Getting there is half the fun" became obsolete with the advent of commercial airlines."
- Henry J. Tillman

"Here's what I think the truth is: We are all addicts of fossil fuels in a state of denial, about to face cold turkey." - Kurt Vonnegut

John Mehrmann is author of The Trusted Advocate: Accelerate Success with Authenticity and Integrity, the fundamental guide to achieving extraordinary sales and sustaining loyal customers. This revolutionary book applies peak management techniques and leadership skills, with common sense and practical applications to grow business, sustain loyal customers, and use personal talents for personal success.

Budget Travel - 7 Tips on How to See the World With Your Family in Tow

Budget travel and family travel are usually considered as two polar opposites. And in some instances, this can be considered as the Bible truth. However, there are ways you can enjoy a family vacation on a shoestring budget. There are certain things you would need in order to pull this off: 1) your proposed budget, 2) a plan, and 3) each and every family member's utmost cooperation. If you have all three, you can budget travel to almost any part of the world with your family in tow, have a grand time and still save some money on the side. Here are some tips on how you can pull this off.

1. Set aside a certain amount of money for your travels. This is necessary especially if you are planning to fly into your proposed destination spot. Aside from transportation costs, you would also need money for food, incidental expenses and of course, emergency money. The key here is to actually work within your budget, so setting up your budget proposal for the entire trip should really be first and foremost on your list. Once you have a proposed budget, it is easier to narrow down your choices of destination spots to go to, what kind of lodging establishments you can afford, the length of time you will be on this trip and modes of transportation you will use.

2. Even on a shoestring budget, you can take your family out of the country. You just need to research extensively the places where you can take them that you know for certain will not break the bank. More importantly, you will find things to do within that particular place that you know everyone can enjoy. Airplane fares are usually cheaper during the off tourist seasons, but there are some airlines that do offer discounted rates for group travelers. Book your airline seats several weeks in advance, if possible. The same goes when it comes to lodgings. Lodging establishments in various countries usually offer more than affordable rates when it comes to family or group packages after the tourist seasons end. Again, the key here is to book or reserve rooms early. Fortunately, many global airlines and lodging establishments can be accessed to from the web.

3. One of the best ways of getting family friendly travel and vacation discounts is to ask a travel agent to help you with your getaway plans. Although you can probably do most of the online research on your own, there are just some budget travel deals that only professional travel agents have access to. If you can find someone you can trust, tell him or her your proposed budget, and the location where you intend to take your family to. You can compare notes later on when it comes to budget constraints and destinations. However, it is important that you should have the last say in the matter. Try not to feel obligated to reserve or book seats or lodgings, especially when you do not like the area, price or locations that the travel agent is recommending.

4. You might also want to include the rest of your family when it comes to budget allocation. You might propose a vacation savings plan where you ask every member of the family to regularly contribute a little something to the pot. Or, you can ask your older kids to save up on their own incidental expenses (to buy souvenirs, trinkets or what-nots) during the entirety of the trip. Older members of the family (sister, uncle, grandparent, etc.) can pitch in by paying for food for at least one meal (or more!) or pay for entrance tickets to some of the locations you all want to go to. Allocate a small amount of money for your younger kids and tell them what their spending budget is. This is a good way of teaching them the value of money while keeping the purse strings tightly knotted.

5. Try to find lodgings that will allow you to store, prepare and cook your family's own food. We all know how overpriced hotel meals are and dining out may not always be better or cheaper. Fortunately, there are some family resorts and inns that let their clients prepare their own meals. Make sure the rooms you will get have a refrigerator, a stove and a microwave that you can use. Once you have everyone settled in, go shopping for groceries. Not only is this a far healthier option, but you can also save a lot of money by closely monitoring your food expenses too.

6. Plan where you will take your family once you have chosen your destination. You do not have to set up a strict schedule as to where you should go and how many minutes you should stay in one venue. However, for the sake of shaving off a few dollars from your traveling expenses, you may want to know beforehand just how much you are bound to spend in one place, and stick to that budget. Some of the things you need to consider are traveling expenses; rates of entrance tickets; incidental expenses like money for snacks, sweets or water; and even shopping money for trinkets and souvenirs. You would need additional spending money if you are taking your kids on carnival rides or similar forms of entertainment. Naturally enough, there are various tourist spots that you can take your family in for free, but some of them may not exactly be that appealing to the kids or the grown ups, for that matter.

7. Encourage everyone to pack lightly. Traveling light has many advantages. First, this gives your family more mobility. This is great especially if the lodging accommodations are not exactly what you signed up for and you would rather find someplace else nicer or cheaper to stay. The same goes when it comes to finding a tourist spot to visit. Secondly, you do not have to worry about excess baggage if your family is indeed flying in or flying out of the country. Lastly, traveling light means you and the rest of your family members can take public modes of transportation, aside from taking the cab, or hiring a car. Cab fares may not seem much per ride, but expenses can pile up in a hurry especially if you are visiting several spots in one a day. Also, you need to contend with gasoline prices when it comes to hiring a car.

Today's Budget Travel Insider Secrets

Budget travel is the buzz phrase when it comes to planning a vacation today. There are so many ways to actually fit your budget rather than the other way around, and yet some people still have no idea where to begin. What is needed is a frame of reference and this quick guide to budget travel should help you to plan the trip of your dreams for as low a cost as possible.

The purpose behind budget travel is to have the best possible experience and saving money at the same time. This must be done without sacrificing the quality of your travel experience. Many travellers make a game of this and set targets for spending as little as possible for maximum fun and adventure.

The first thing to consider for budget travel is your choice of transportation. Often, the way you travel can account for up to 70% of your total vacation cost. Budget travel forces one to examine the options carefully.

Travelling by car can save you money if the journey is relatively short, but a cross-country jag can really get expensive when one considers the ever fluctuating cost of gas. RV travel can be very enjoyable, especially for families, but cheap it's not when one figures in gas, campground fees, sewage hook-ups etc.
RV travel does bring the many of comforts of home, but at a price. Train Travel is a tremendous bargain and a good choice for those interested in budget travel. Train ticket prices have been greatly discounted to attract more customers. Bus travel can also be a good choice for the budget minded.

An extended stay in one location is another good strategy for budget travel. Using one spot as a home base and traveling to points of interest as day trips can be a lot of fun, offer diverse though related experiences and you can actually save a lot of money by renting an apartment or extended stay accommodation. All this and a central spot that feels like home and is familiar place to rest your head after the day's adventure.

If you have reached senior citizen status, there are numerous discounts available, so be sure to ask. The internet is loaded with discount coupons for entertainment, meals, and more. Many individuals overlook this sort of travel tip and rely on haggling and that's fine too, but coupons can often gain you an equivalent discount without the need to open your mouth. Let's not forget the various travel websites like Travelocity, Priceline, etc. they too can be excellent sources for budget travel opportunities. Some budget minded folks build their entire vacation around the cheap airfare and accommodations they find on those websites.

As you can see there are a number of methods to achieve substantial discounts and great rates for budget travel. So go on out and have a wonderful travel adventure and have fun saving money at the same time!

Budget Travel - How To Get The Best Deals On Your Vacation Travel

Are you looking to travel on a budget? Do you want to find ways you can get great deals on airfare, car rentals, hotels, gasoline, sightseeing, etc?

There are many ways you can score big discounts on your vacation travel. The world of budget traveling is one of the most exciting and interesting, and in today's world keeping travel costs low is becoming more and more of a necessity. Traveling on a budget is important, whether you are a solo traveler or a family.

When it comes to traveling on a budget, the first step should be to decide what is important to you and where you can cut back a bit. For instance, some budget minded travelers are comfortable spending a bit more for a better class of hotel, while others prefer to save money by using cheap accommodations and spend the money they saved on sightseeing or a special meal for the family.

Before you start shopping for the best deals, it is a good idea to come up with a travel budget. Create a budget for the various aspects of your travel, such as airfare, rental cars, hotel, gasoline, sightseeing, etc. Once you have a good idea of what each element of the travel should cost, it is time to start checking out what special deals are being offered.

So, as with other aspects of finance, you need to determine what is most important to you. Then shop around for the best deals.

If you're going on a vacation and are interested in sightseeing, you can score big discounts on area attractions. Often, admission daels on area attractions are the easiest to get, since many theme parks, museums and other destinations run specials to attract out of town guests.

To get good deals on area attractions, the best place to start is the website of the attraction itself. Visit the website and check out the discount offers and specials. Be sure to look for any specials, such as two for one deals, free admission for children, special reduced admission days, etc.

Budget Travel - Enjoy A Great Family Vacation Without Spending A Lot

Some of the most memorable activities your family can do together is to go on a family vacation. For most families finding the money to enjoy a yearly vacation can be difficult to achieve, one of the ways you and your family can enjoy a vacation together is to look into budget travel options.

There are two major strategies that can help families enjoy a yearly vacation together, one is to find budget travel deals that are significantly less than retail travel prices, the other strategy is to set up a travel budget in order to plan and save money through out the year for a vacation.

Regarding budget travel, it is easier than ever to find great deals for family travel. In the last decade, the internet has helped many families plan, compare prices, and ultimately save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on their travel expenses. If you are looking for a quality vacation at a low cost, you can usually find many attractive offers online.

Setting up a travel budget is another strategy. Budgeting is an easy and effective way to plan, organize and control your finances in order to save for the things that are most important to you and your family. For instance, you can set up a travel budget focusing on a yearly family vacation. Depending on your specific family needs, you can decide to put away as little as $20 each week or as much as several hundred dollars each month in order to save enough money at the end of the year to go on a quality family vacation.

Budget Travel - Cruising Can Save You Money

If your vision of a budget vacation is sandwiches and cheap hotels then it's high time you take a look at the cruise industry. From the glaciers of Alaska to the rainforests of Central America vacationing on a cruise ship can be a wonderful experience and it can easily be included in the realm of budget travel.

For most low budget travelers, including honeymooning couples, a cruise vacation offers the opportunity to travel in the luxury of an ocean liner and save money on that budget vacation too.

A cruise ship could be your best mode of travel since it includes in the price of the fare, a place to sleep, all the food you can possibly eat, room service at any time of the day or night and nonstop entertainment that should satisfy nearly any person's interests.

It would be impossible to find a hotel room that could offer you all those benefits at a price that would compare to the price of the fare on the cruise ship. Just about the only thing that is not included in the fare for most cruises are the cost of beverages and the cost of your shore excursions.

For those who like to work out, there is no need to worry about putting on weight while on a cruise. Most cruise ships offer their own gym where guests can work out and burn off some of those extra calories. Your travel agent can tell you whether there will be a charge for the use of the gym or if it will be included in the cost of the fare for your budget travel package on board a cruise liner.

Most cruises offer their guests entertainment in the form of movie shows, casinos, night clubs, discos and even spas. These are all geared to keeping the guest occupied and happy while traveling between ports of call. For those who are interested, there will be lectures on the history of the area as well as classes in such things as ballroom dancing, origami, and bridge and to your pleasant surprise you will find that such forms of entertainment are all included in your budget travel package.

For the more adventurous, some of the cruise ships offer shore excursions which include activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, and horse back riding.

Along with these excursions guest can be taken on sightseeing expeditions into nearby areas of interest. It is always possible to save a little more cash by booking these excursions on your own instead of through the ships facilities which may be a little higher.

Keeping in mind all these points it would be a good idea to consider vacationing on a cruise ship. Your budget cruise vacation could have you traveling on a luxury liner to exotic ports of call at an affordable price that would include nearly everything.

Budget Travel: How to Travel the Smart Way!

The key to budget travel is to plan ahead. When it comes to
family trips, globetrotting, well-deserved vacations and/or
going to see new places we have never been before, the
reality of cost and budgeting is always in the back of our

Planning and spending our travel dollar wisely is a priority
for most families. Curbing spending and costs, while still
enjoying your vacation to its fullest, is the key to
guaranteed success and fiscal responsibility. Your
pocketbook and family will thank you!

The reasoning behind saving money while traveling is simple:
Even if your personal budget is extremely tight, you can
still take a break and enjoy life! Simply put, life is just
too short to never step out of the door or leaving the

Also remembering that while traveling, whether on a budget
or not, even the smallest of things can all add op to a
large vacation or travel bill!

For example, all those hotel extra's, cab-fares, tips,
restaurants, car rentals, gas for your own vehicle if on a
road trip, tickets for special attractions or events,
beach-and-pool-side drinks (if not at an all-inclusive
resort or cruise) and more, adds on and piles up!

This brings us to the some of the rhyme and reason behind
budgeting for travel and planning well. This also applies
monetarily, to ensure your trip is a success, enjoyable and
memorable. Your outlook could be a balance between
replenishing your resources and not breaking the bank in the

How to make "SMART" travel goals that are achievable.

(You may find yourself at the resort of your dreams if you follow
these steps) .

Like anything else in life, travel needs to be planned for
somewhat. It is almost like setting a short-time 'SMART'
goal for leisure and vacationing. Marketers of time-share
and destination vacations, often refer to this as an
argument to invest in a travel solution.

People often suggest that we treat travel or vacationing,
like any other planned financial decision in life. This is
all irrespective of whether this includes house, car,
tuition, health, insurance or other life-expense. Travel and
vacation is justified and 'sold', as just another important
item on the list to think about and budget for.

Setting goals is described and accepted as a powerful tool
to achieve success and keeps people motivated.

Out of the list of dream destinations you just made or have
in mind, you cannot possibly achieve reaching all of them,
and nor should you perhaps. One can but wish and dream ...
Going after these dreams in a planned fashion, will mean a
significant investment of time, money, energy, talent, and
opportunities. You will need to prioritize.

Prioritizing should include travel items, trips, goals and
destinations that you really desire to visit, see, conquer,
treasure, explore and would love to achieve in your

Realizing of course that these 'dreams' though, might not
all be achievable immediately, or at all. You need to view
this as a wish list, shortlist eventually becoming
checklist! Then, move on to making at least the first goal
or location visit on the list happen this year!
(Alternatively, as soon as funds allow and you are able to
make it happen).

Hands-on work, defining and planning for travel in such a
way that it will convey an actual goal or goals,
destinations, budgets and periods.

A goal, in order to be effective and drive people towards
it, should have the following characteristics. The goal
should be Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic,
and Time-constrained. In other words, it must be a SMART
goal, (as referred to earlier).

SPECIFIC: The travel goal(s) should be specific. Detail is
what matters here. Avoid generalizations; get to the point
and crux of the matter. Specify your immediate travel needs
and means. Then plan to go after it pro-actively.

For example, take that tropical island, destination dream
vacation: "I have always wanted to ..." seems a little
general when compared to 'I will travel, with my family to
Hawaii for a vacation of two weeks within the next six

MEASURABLE: The SMART travel goal must be measurable. This
goes along with being specific. A goal defined specifically
might already be measurable. The abovementioned goal stated
intention, involved parties, location, purpose and a
timeframe - all measurable elements.

A measurable travel goal, like going to Hawaii, with a
family of four, including two children under the age of
five, within the next six months helps you identify, plan,
execute and track more efficiently and increase your odds of
actually making it there! Considering the logistics in this
fashion, makes it that more realistic to enable your family
to take the planned trip of a lifetime, as opposed to just
dreaming about it!

ACTION-ORIENTED: A SMART goal must also be action oriented.
It cannot merely be stated. You must relate the goal to
doing something, to indicate what needs to be done. An
action verb will indicate what needs to be accomplished. "I
will travel" is a good example of an action statement,
stated intent and implies preparation and planning, will and

REALISTIC: For any goal to be motivational and get you
committed to reaching it, it must be realistic. When a goal
is not realistic and the person does not really believe it
can be reached, then the commitment is lacking and the
effort will not be there to permit the goal to be realized.

Choosing realistic goals are based on your present status.
What jumps to mind right away in our example, is whether and
how you can afford it and make it happen! (Hopefully this
guide can also offer some tips to get your there).

TIME-CONSTRAINED: In order for a goal to move people towards
it, it must be time-constrained. A timeline needs to be
associated with it. It will entice people to move towards
the goal. The timeline set, will be based on the goal itself
and the present status. Six months is stated here as a
realistic timeline, leaving enough time to save for, plan,
book and take your well-deserved vacation to Hawaii (as in
our stated example),OR anywhere else YOU have chosen to go!


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Budget Travel - Travel For Cheap On Any Budget

Are you thinking about traveling this summer, but are afraid that the high gas prices will make it to expensive for you to take the trip you want to take? There are ways to travel for cheap and they are called budget travel. Here are some tips to help you travel without giving up what you want to see and do, but staying within your budget. First, do not bother driving this year because it is just too expensive. You can book a flight package for a cheaper price than the gas it will cost to get you to where you want to go. This is true unless you have a large family and a very good van that gets tremendous gas mileage. If flying is to expensive, then you can take the Greyhound to save money. If you purchase your bus ticket early enough you can get them for a very cheap price. This is a great way to travel on a budget, but if you do decide to take the bus plan ahead because buses tend to run late and they don't always stop when you want them to. Take things that will keep your children occupied and yourself occupied. Video games, magazines, coloring books, and other easy to pack childrens games are great for the kids and a couple of good books and a radio can keep you occupied. If you decide to travel by bus, then you might want to make multiple stops on your way to your final destination. Maybe plan out a 2 week trip and go 10 hours the first day to a good destination, then stay overnight a couple of nights and take the bus the rest of the way the next day. You can do this on the way back on a slightly different route and actually get to see 3 or 4 great places instead of just one. Second, you can book your entire package all in one. My friend and I recently went to Orlando for 4 nights and 5 days and we were able to package our hotel, rental car, and flight all together for about $350 each. That is a pretty good deal considering we stayed in a 4 star resort that had 3 pools, nice clean rooms, and a couple of restaurants right on the complex. Plus we were only a few minutes away from all the Disney parks. Last, be flexible with your trip. You can save quite a bit of money if you fly on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Check all the different dates and pick the best times to fly. You should check all the major online travel sites because it is hard to know which one will give you the best deal, but if you check them all you can find the best deal without any issues and make your trip a success on a budget. Budget travel is going to be the name of the game for many families this year and you should consider using these tips along with many other things like eating at buffets, cooking meals, and avoiding any unnecessary expenses along the way. If you are organized, plan well, and check out all of your options you will be able to take your vacation this year and get the relaxation you need.