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.

My Travel Agent is a Crook and Other Horror Stories

There was a recent article on CNN where a women listed all the various ills she experienced in her vacation because of a “bad travel agent”. The airplane ticket she bought wasn’t upgradeable or refundable. The hotel wouldn’t upgrade her to a better room. Her car didn’t have unlimited mileage. She said the travel agent had done all these things in order to earn a bigger commission. And the list went on…

My first reaction as a traveler is that she had a good right to be angry and upset that her vacation wasn’t fantastic. My first reaction as a travel agent was – hold the fort – did she ASK for any of those items when she met with the travel agent?

We aren’t mind readers. We do are best to screen our clients to find out likes, dislikes and preferences. However, the client DOES pay a large part in the process.

To understand how best to utilize a travel agent, you should understand how a travel agency operates.

In “the good old days”, travel agents receive commissions from airlines, hotels, cars and resorts for travel purchased on behalf of a client. With the advent of the internet, these commission checks began disappearing. Regular airfare (without hotels or car rentals) is generally not commissionable. That means when the travel agent does the research for your best fare, s(he) isn’t going to receive any money for the time and effort spent on your behalf. Booking airline tickets alone is actually a money losing proposition for the travel agent. However, many good agents will continue to book these flights as a gesture of goodwill in hopes that you will bring them your other travel.

Your budget determines the type of airfare and accommodations you will receive. If you are on a tight budget, you will likely end up with non refundable / non changeable plane tickets and hotel rooms that won’t allow you to upgrade. Make sure to discuss your budget options and the pros and cons associated with your airfare, car and hotel before you make a purchase. Keep in mind that your travel agent is likely to receive a higher commission on the refundable / upgradeable fares so buying non refundable / non changeable tickets really doesn’t benefit the travel agent.

If you want to use airline or hotel points for upgrades, make sure and tell your agent up front. That way s(he) can find you the best upgradeable bargain.

Your travel agent can be an invaluable asset when planning your next trip or vacation. You, as the consumer, do have certain responsibilities to volunteer information if not directly asked.

Questions to ask your agent.

1. Do you charge any research or other fees?

2. Will you work with me if there are any issues?

3. Do you work with any companies that allow me to pay out my vacation?

4. Is there a 24/7 phone number in case of critical issues?

Questions your agent should ask you

1. What areas of travel interest you?

2. What kind of budget do you have?

3. What types of travel do you like – air, cruise, all inclusive etc?

4. Do you have airline seating preferences?

5. Smoking or non smoking hotel rooms (if applicable)?

6. What level of service do you expect – budget, 5 star etc?

7. Ask about visas and passports for international travel.

Fantastic vacations start with detailed planning. So, get together with your travel agent and start planning your next dream trip.

Travelling Costa Rica on a Budget? Yes, It’s Possible!

Transportation is the most desired necessity that is required to travel from one place, state or country to another. It is difficult to travel long distances without having proper transportation facilities. This is the easiest way to go around the roads where you want to save the money, time and efforts. With the growing modernization, we are benefitted by various modes of transportation, which include road, air, water and rail transportation services. But when it comes to Costa Rica, then the country is offering the best of their transportation services to the tourists to make their visit an everlasting memory.

We all are well aware of the rainforest, volcanoes, sandy beaches and magnificent diversity, which makes Costa Rica a land full of adventure. For many of us, it is one of the dreams to relish such beauty of its destinations that combine the peace of mind with the happiness of heart. The heights of gorgeousness can be seen itself from the San Jose international airport, if you fly into. So, you impressed now, and got more excited? The ultimate journey starts after stepping out from the airport.

Costa Rica is an easy country to get around, with the numerous transportation options including buses, taxis or air connections, with an easy, comfortable and reliable ride. To make you go around the roads, there are a number of Costa Rica transportation services that provide a level of comfort combined with trust, surety, and affordable prices to the visitors. These services are not limited to taxes or cabs, but provide a huge range that fulfills your needs. Following are some transportation options that are offered to the tourist for their successful journey in Costa Rica:

Air Transport – If you like to be on the top always, you can enjoy the view of Costa Rica from the sky by hiring helicopter flights on shared or private modes. These services are available at affordable prices either for fun or on any emergency condition. If you have a good budget, you can go for charter flights to rent an entire plane and pilot for your personal use.

Ground Transport- Costa Rica Transportation Services include various facilities to explore the roads smoothly. You can hire the ground transportation services either on shared or private means to enjoy the astonishing destinations from the pacific to the Caribbean side, from the city to the mountains. Not only this, it also includes airport shuttle services, i.e. cars or taxis to and from the airport to make your journey contented. Rent a car is an ideal option to travel local areas to experience the panoramic view at your own pace.

Water Transport- To explore the flora and fauna of Monteverde in Costa Rica, taxi-boats are the most adventurous and wonderful way. This makes the trip more beautiful and exciting. To lessen the travel time, a ferry between a port in Puntarenas to the port on Nicoya Peninsula can be used. Last, but not the least, in order to connect the travelers to the far separated areas of the country, Montezuma and Jaco, a water taxi service is the best and an ultimate ride that can’t be expressed without experience.

The best part of availing these Costa Rica transportation service is that all these services are readily offered at very reasonable prices. You can hire any of them within your budget to make your trip more enjoyable and fearless.

If you are thinking of planning a vacation in Costa Rica, there is nothing to panic about. With the ease of the internet, you can contact the transportation service providers for your help. Browse your internet and search for the best Costa Rica transportation agencies that tailor your needs or that perfectly suit your wish list of exploring the ultimate destination including beaches, wildlife, and a lot more amazing options. As with the endless choices of transportation agencies you can make your trip more memorable, exciting, and joyful. Plan your trip to Costa Rica now, to enjoy the destinations full of diversity, adventure, and surprises!

How to Plan a Christmas Vacation on a Budget

Christmas is just a few days away and it’s time to plan your vacation if you aren’t staying back home this year. However, it’s important to note that this is one of the most preferred holiday seasons of the year as people will be getting leave from schools, colleges, and offices. So, you will have to make sure that you plan your vacation in a way that you can avail the best of your holidays and money. If you are wondering how to have an amazing Christmas vacation without spending a lot of money, here are some tips for you.

Pick a place that’s not too far away from your native place.

Remember that the farther you choose, the more money you will have to shell out. So, unless you want absolutely want to visit a particular place, choose a nearby town or city that you like. This way, you will be able to have a nice and memorable vacation without travelling too much. But, if you are planning to travel abroad, you should start early so that you don’t end up saving a lot on your tickets.

Start booking early to get the cheapest airline tickets

A lot of people visit their friends and families during Christmas so most flights are either fully booked or have expensive tickets. So, if you don’t want to be left behind, you should start booking your tickets as early as September so that you don’t have to shell out a lot of money. To do this, however, you will have to pick the place you are visiting quickly.

Choose a place that is known for its Christmas celebrations.

Since you will be travelling during one of the most colourful times of the year, it will be nice to visit a place where this festival is celebrated with fervour. If you are planning to take a break from family dinners and lunches, then your best bet is to pick a city or town where you can still enjoy Christmas eve along with getting to know new people.

Pack light so that you don’t have to carry a lot of luggage around.

During this time of the year, airports will be packed with people and there will be fewer taxis on the road. So, unless you want to spend a lot of time tugging your luggage around, it’s better to travel light. Just make sure you pack in your bare essentials and your winter clothes. This way, you will be able to save a lot of time.

These are some of the ways in which you can plan an amazing Christmas vacation with spending a lot of your festival bonus.

Online Bus Ticket Booking – Gets a New Trend of Skill With Budget Travel

Bus ticket booking was a bigger problem in India. And bus is one of the main affordable options to travel one place to another. The first choice of people in India which belongs to common people they preferred bus to travel one city to another city with affordable rates. But it was not very easy to book bus tickets in quick way or in less time. A numbers of people frequently use bus services in India to traveling in different cities and states in India. Traveling by bus services is more popular for the use of tourism, tours by travel services provider in India. But in the present situation as the technologies emerged, we have a comfortable way of booking bus tickets online.

Now, it is so simple and easy to book bus tickets online in just a few minutes of time period. It’s a great advantage in the internet field that bus ticket booking were involved and using to book tickets through online services. It’s a great useful for busy travelers who don’t have enough time to book/buy tickets to go through at ticket counters.

Booking tickets through ticket counters takes so much precious time which you do not desires to give it. There is no need to go through at ticket counters or met personally with travel agents or agencies. Just go through online and book your tickets as per your choice and needs without any hassle.

There are many online sites which provide Online bus ticket booking services to consumers with a simple steps following. Travel agents and travel companies are together now launching their websites and providing travelers to book their tickets at ease. There are various types of bus services available as per your choice, needs and budget on Bus ticket booking. Look out the facilities when you book bus tickets online these are; A.C luxury, express, deluxe, super, Non A.C luxury, private, intercity, and Volvo A.C buses are available. Book your tickets for Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Agra, Goa, Nagpur, Kolkata, Bangalore & many other cities and towns in India. Book your bus tickets online now with a grin on your face.

5 Money-Saving Tips To Follow When Travelling Outdoors

If you’re a fan of the outdoors, whether it be camping, hiking, backpacking or even vacationing on mountain cabins, you know that you need to set aside a certain budget to be able to maximize your trip. You’ll need money for gas, food, gear, supplies and other essentials and most of the time these all add up to a big amount.

If you’re on a tight budget, consider these money-saving tips when travelling outdoors:

Be frugal when buying gear and supplies

If you’re planning to purchase/replace camping gear for your trip, be smart about your buying choices. You don’t need a huge and fancy tent that costs $500 if you’re camping alone, or a sleeping bag with all those features that you won’t even personally use. Get a good quality basic gear that is appropriate for the season and weather of your trip – this will give you what you need while saving money.

Choose a cheaper location

If you’re on a tight budget for your next camping adventure, don’t choose a campsite that charges fees that are out of your budget, especially if you’re staying for more than a few nights. Consider camping at a more remote location or at National Forests (which are usually free of charge unless otherwise noted), but these sites don’t usually offer plenty of amenities so you have to come prepared.

Consider camping close to home

If you’ve already set a budget for your campsite fee, consider choosing a good site that’s close to home. This will save you plenty of other expenses such as gas and food (the farther your campsite, the more stops for food you’re going to make).

Take public transportation

This is especially ideal for solo campers or even couples. Taking a bus or a train to your outdoor destination is an adventure in itself, and you get to save money on gas. You’ll be good and ready to enjoy the outdoors, too, as you’re not exhausted from driving. Just remember to pack light!

Split expenses with your friends

This is a great way to lower your expenses when travelling outdoors. From gas, food to campsite fees, split the expenses among you and your friends. The more there is in your group, the less you’re going to have to shell out.

Follow these money-saving tips for when you’re camping or travelling outdoors – you won’t have to spend a fortune to be able to relax!

Where to Find Vacation Deals – A Guide to Comparison Search Tools, Travel Discount Apps, & More

There are many ways to find vacation deals these days. The average person who once didn’t have access to airfare and hotel discounts can now easily look over and compare tons of great deals for business travel, vacation packages, cruises, and more. If you’re wondering where to find vacation deals, you’re already off to a good start.

One place you’ll want to look is comparison sites. These sites work with most major and budget airlines in the world, hundreds of thousands of hotels, all the car rental companies, dozens of cruise lines, and so forth. They provide search tools that are easy to use. All you have to do is enter the dates you’re interested in traveling, your departure city, intended destination, and number of people traveling. There are options to search for airfare alone, hotel accommodation alone, car rental alone, cruise fare, or a combination of these. Sometimes extra savings are possible if you bundle everything at once.

If you don’t have anything specific in mind, there are “Daily Deals”, “Vacation Packages”, “Things to Do”, etc… sections to check out. You will be able to view all of the current deals on both domestic and international vacations.

While this is a great way to find discounts on popular vacation spots like the Caribbean, Cancun, Vegas, Paris, New York, Orlando, Hawaii, etc… , you still might be wondering where to find vacation deals at destinations that aren’t as popular. Just enter the first couple of letters of the destination and the search function will automatically suggest the name of that destination as well as the nearest airport. Play around with the dates – the more flexible you are, the easier it will be to find a discount rate.

Where Else to Find Vacation Deals

Another place to find travel discounts is with newsletters and apps. Have the newest deals sent right to your inbox or smartphone the very second they pop up. Some apps will even let you specify your budget and the destinations you are interested in. There are newsletters dedicated to general travel deals and some that are for specialty travel, like Caribbean cruises and Maui adventures.

There are bidding sites as well that will allow you to bid on hotel rooms and airfare. However, you need to be particularly savvy and this strategy isn’t for everyone.

Now that you know where to find vacation deals, be sure to use a service that is reliable and offers 24/7 customer service, whether you choose to the search and comparison option, newsletter service, app, etc. Also, use promo codes and other special offers to bring the price down even more.

Get all of the savings opportunities you need online. It is by far the best place to search for, find, and compare travel rates. You can also book right through the sites or apps. This is where to find vacation deals and affordable business travel services. Be sure to use online coupons when you book your trip.

20 Safety Tips for Budget Travelers

1) When taking taxis from an airport to your hotel, travel in the more expensive airport taxis and ensure that the drivers have official identification. Never take a taxi waiting outside the airport grounds.

I know this sounds extreme, but it is by far better to be safe then sorry.

2) When traveling from your hotel to the airport, go with a taxi recommended by the hotel.

Again, taxi’s can be very dangerous. I can’t express that enough.

3) Try not to arrive in a new city or town late at night.

This can just go wrong in a number of ways. It is much easier getting checked in during the day time and security at night in certain areas is just horrendous.

4) Travel in a group if possible.

Since when is traveling in numbers not a good idea?

5) Learn the basics in the local language before you arrive. Don’t expect that people will speak English.

English is becoming more widely spoken these days, but you want to be sure. You should always check on these things before your arrival.

6) Keep your valuables hidden.

A money belt is great if it is an option that you willing to look into. There are many different styles of money belt. One of the most popular is an “over the shoulder” style wallet on a strap that you were underneath your top. This makes it very difficult for a thief to make off with your valuables.

7) Avoid going on your own to remote areas/ruins where tourist would be expected to go. Seek local advice or take a guide.

8) Read the guide books and talk with other tourists to find out which areas are best avoided.

9) When leaving discos late at night take a taxi home no matter how close your hostel is. Outside most discos you’ll find a street vendor selling cigarettes. Usually these people know all the taxi drivers and can recommend a safe one.

10) When arriving in a new town, keep to your original plan and stay in the hostel that you have decided on. Don’t let the taxi driver persuade you that your hostel is fully booked and that he knows a cheaper and better one. He’ll be working on commission and the hostel probably won’t be in a safe part of town.

11) Even better, when arriving lane/train in a new city, try to reserve your hotel in advance, preferably with a hotel that has an airport/station collection service.

12) Don’t wear expensive looking jewelry.

13) On public transport have your day pack close to you at all times, preferably with the straps around your legs or padlocked to the luggage rack. On buses your backpack will normally go outside, either on top of the roof or in the external luggage compartments. On long distance buses ask for a receipt for your bags. On short rides just keep a careful eye out each time the bus stops to off-load bags. In the event of having your bags stolen, stay with the bus – you will probably require a declaration from the bus company accepting responsibility for the loss in order to claim any money from your insurance company.

14) Leave your valuables in your hotel safe when making day trips or longer tours. Obtain a receipt not just for your money belt/wallet etc. but for its contents, with each item listed.

15) If you have to leave your passport and credits cards together, place the credit card in a sealed envelope and sign your name across the flap. This way when you return you will know that nothing has been tampered with.

16) If planning on going to market areas, crowded streets, fiestas etc. don’t go with all your valuables. Leave them in the hotel. If you’re planning on buying something expensive keep your money safely in a money belt. Try to be discreet when opening it! To protect small change in your pockets you can stuff a handkerchief in after.

17) If the pavements are really crowded, especially in market areas, walk in the road.

18) If you suspect someone is following you, stop and stare them in the eye until they go. If you really get a bad feeling about a place, go with your first instincts and leave. Bag slashing is rare nowadays but for added safety you can wear your day pack on your chest.

19) If it’s on your back try to walk without stopping. If you need to stop, sway your pack gently from side to side so that you can feel if anyone is tampering with it.

20) When putting your bag down on the floor, to take a photo or just to sit in a café, remember to put your foot through the strap. Not only will it be impossible to snatch, you also won’t forget it! This is the most common type of theft – tourists forgetting bags in cafes and on returning to ask if anyone has seen it, you’ve guessed it, it’s gone.

Budget Travel: Top Tips on Traveling Cheap

Whether you are traveling for business or for pleasure, some of your trips may involve very long distances. So, it would only be natural for you to want to travel cheap whenever possible. Well, aside from poring over travel comparison websites day in and day out and waiting for great deals, there are other easy ways to minimize your travel costs altogether, whether you plan on traveling by train or by plane. Read on.

If you plan on traveling by train, then the main tip you need to follow is to make your reservations early. Remember: some of the best train deals out there can easily be obtained just by booking way ahead of your actual departure date. In fact, you might even be able to afford a First Class ticket this way instead of just getting a Standard Class ticket a few days before your trip.

Another tip you need to follow is to avoid taking the train at peak hours. Peak hours usually cover the period when people go to work and leave work, and will usually be more expensive compared to off-peak hours.

Lastly, try to find out whether you can save money by booking your train tickets in segments instead of paying for a one-destination ticket. A lot of the time, booking a train that goes from one place to another instead of stopping off at other stations will be more expensive, so make sure you check this out.

Now, if you plan on traveling by plane, then it only makes sense to go through various travel comparison websites to find the best airline travel deals out there. There are also a lot of cheap airlines in operation now, in general. However, it would still be well worth your time to check out what your flight would actually include. After all, if you take certain things into consideration, you might get to save more money.

The first thing you should consider is your baggage allowance. First of all: are you paying for it? If you aren't, then how much would you have to pay to take both cabin and checked luggage? Also, are there any penalties if you exceed the allowance?

Next, find out about the on-board facilities. Will you get refreshments? If you won't, how much would food and drinks cost? Also, will you get free headphones for the entertainment system?

Unfortunately, travel costs are necessities that simply cannot be avoided if you have an important meeting to attend abroad or want to take a vacation. However, if you follow all of the tips mentioned above, you should be able to avail of the best deals available on trains and planes, in general. Happy traveling!

Budget Travel Tips for Zurich

A visit to Zurich, the beautiful city in Switzerland, is every tourist’s dream. Apart from being beautiful, Zurich is also the world’s most expensive city. The city has been termed as the world’s most expensive by none other than the readers of the famous magazine ‘The Economist’. This means that only the rich can afford to visit this amazing destination. After all, is Zurich also ready to welcome budget travelers? Ask a budget traveler who had already been to Zurich. And, pat comes the reply! The city is as much accommodating for the budget travelers as it is for affluent tourists.

If you are a traveler planning to visit Zurich on a budget, then just go ahead and book your flights to Zurich now. This splendid city holds lots of surprises and myriad attractions for those who want to enjoy all that is on offer here, and yet not spend much on your travel. A few tips would be helpful to those who are on a budget travel to Zurich.

The first priority for a budget traveler is to get an accommodation that is not too pricey. The biggest concern obviously is getting a cheap place for stay, which may sometimes become rather difficult to get. It is always wise to book your hotel room ahead as soon as you plan for your vacation. If you want to save a lot on your accommodation and spend the amount later on other recreations here, then try booking a hostel stay. These are cheap and don’t cost much. Some of the good budget options here include H.I. hostel, Longstreet Hotel, Hotel Biber and City Backpacker. These accommodations particularly focus on backpackers and are obviously the best for them.

Another major concern for those on budget travel is how to save on food costs. Eateries might turn out to be quite expensive here. Try to save as much as you can on your food. Some tourists spend a great deal on buying bottled water throughout their stay. There are 1,224 public fountains in the city, having water quality better than bottled water. So, you can save by getting water free of cost from these fountains.

Spending on transportation within the city is another major irritant for those traveling on a budget. If you want to explore the city by yourself, it is a good idea to rent a bike for free. These bikes are available in front of the main train station all round the year at Zuri Rolt, or at various locations around the city in the summer. If you are ready to pay a small amount as deposit, you can also rent an electronic bike. When traveling with kids, you can even rent kids’ bikes or adult bikes with children’s seats.

Investing in a Zurich Card for 24 hours or 72 hours is also a good idea to gain free entrance into most of the world class museums in Zurich, getting discounts at shops, and getting free rides on all boats, funiculars, buses, trains and trams at Zurich.