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.

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.

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.

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.

10 Top Budget Travel Tips For Tokyo and Japan

Tokyo on a Budget

You’re coming to Tokyo but you don’t want to spend an excessive amount of money. Follow these tips to help you keep within your budget and have a great vacation!

  • Trains – Rail fares on local trains are not expensive in Japan. My train route to work costs me 250 yen. This is just over 1 British pound or 2 US dollars. The same distance in the UK on London transport would cost me around 5 pounds. When you get here use the local train system as much as you can to reduce your travel costs.
  • Rail Pass – Planning on traveling across country from Tokyo to Kyoto, Osaka or other major destinations? Consider buying a Rail Pass. Note that the Pass can only be bought from your home country before landing in Japan. The great advantage of a Rail Pass is that it can be used on the shinkansen/bullet train along with all other JR lines including local. Pay one price and have access to unlimited travel for 1, 2 or 3 weeks.
  • 100 Yen Stores – The 100 yen store is the equivalent of a dollar or pound store. You can buy a multitude of items here. Pick up your souvenir gifts and also stock up on any treats such as crisps or chocolate.
  • Izekayas – If you want a good night out without spending a fortune, an izekaya is the best and most entertaining way to go. On top of that you’ll get a taste of real Japanese culture in action and see the locals really let their hair down as they socialize outside the rigidity of their normal business lives.
  • Capsule Hotel – Capsule hotels are a great way to save money – particularly if you’re a guy. Why guys? Many hotels are still men only, although there are some that now allow women too. Average cost in Tokyo is around 3,000 to 5,000 yen per night. This is approximately 15 – 25 pounds or 28 – 47 US dollars.
  • Business Hotel – Some hotels are known as business hotels as they do not have the same luxury of space as some of the bigger chains. If you don’t fancy staying in a capsule hotel you should consider the business hotel alternative. Prices usually start from around 7,000 yen and go to 15,000 yen per night.
  • Museums – It’s worth including some museums on your itinerary as they are not expensive in Japan compared to many other countries. Some are even free! Choose from science, history, art or technology museums and more.
  • Kaiten-Zushi – Sit at a revolving conveyor belt and eat to your hearts content. Notice that there are normally 4 or 5 different colours of plate. The reason is that each colour is a different price. Check how much they are and pick the ones that match your budget. Keep each plate after eating and then add them up for your bill.
  • Noodles and Ramen – Stand up with the locals and enjoy a delicious bowl of noodles or ramen at one of the many restaurants dotted around. Find them either inside, or in close proximity to, both subway and overland train stations.
  • Lunch – At lunchtimes take advantage of the range of set menus that are available, both Japanese and international. Many places in the center of Tokyo offer an all you can eat option for 1,000 yen – 5 pounds or 10 US dollars.
  • Want to know more about the city of Tokyo. Check out the link below.

    5 Tips to Travel Nepal in Shoestring Budget

    Whether you are heading for challenging Langtang Tilman Pass Trek or rigorous trek in Everest region or simply going for short travel in touristic spots of Nepal, every travelers thinks of grand reduction in their bank sum. But it is not true when you find some travel tips.

    Visiting the touristic place in Nepal on budget isn’t difficult task when you find cheap accommodation and food place. However budget travel isn’t just about cheap food and stay, it is also about spending less money. So if you want successful budget trip in Nepal while taking concern of your bank sum, we got some few tips for you:

    1) Learn to Bargain

    Bargaining is something that is sure to come handy on your travels. Whether you are going for street shopping or dealing your stays, you must bargain to pay less. The first rule of bargain is that you never settle on initial rates mentioned. Nepalese have great bargaining skills and never let it go waste.

    2) Find cheap place to stay and shop

    If you are travelling Nepal in shoestring budget but want to savor local dishes and shop souvenir, always find cheap place. Most of the touristic place charges high rates, but you can get it in cheaper price in another part of city or town. Find out the best place and save the money.

    It applies same when you are trekking in mountainous part of Nepal. For Instance: When you head for Everest three pass trek, stay in local homestay rather than finding out expensive deluxe hotel.

    3) Stay away from main market

    The main market area are always expensive and crowded that street in Nepal. You can save some dolor if you stay in less popular area rather than in main market. Be sure you have access to local transport or hire private vehicle to go around the town easily.

    4) Benefit the local

    Local access the huge information about the place than any travel guide or guidebook can offer you. They have been living here and know the place properly. You can ask the local about the price of hotel and foods and find out the best. Be friending or simply talking to them can save your money and also adds unique travel experience.

    5) Buy budget travel package

    If you are seeking to buy premier travel package, we suggest to opt for budget travel package. There are numerous travel and tour package which offers attractive budget travel package for their clients. Search the best travel package, bargain and find the best rate for your adventure.

    If you wish to travel Nepal independently, we suggest you to hire a guide in Kathmandu which can be lot cheaper than budget travel package.

    Be noted to book the hotel and airplane ticket in advance in peak season to secure your travel.

    Luxury Travel on a Shoestring Budget – Money Saving Travel Tips

    Love to travel but don’t have the thousands of dollars to do it?

    You can get luxury travel on a shoestring budget by planning your vacation or trip just a bit more carefully.

    Read a few of these tips, and then go on your well-deserved getaway without burning a hole in your pocket.

    Always remember: When planning your trip, timing is key.

    For example, school vacation weeks are the worst times to plan trips. Most parents have no choice but to travel at these high-peak seasons, so school vacation periods in any country are always going to be crowded. The airfare is always sky high – no pun intended.

    If you’ve traveled during these peak seasons, you may noticed that coach seats during a school vacation week could cost you more money than a first class ticket during the off-season. So remember, unless you MUST travel during these peak periods, avoid winter and spring breaks at all costs.

    Here’s another important tip: Regardless of how you decide to book your luxury travel arrangements – either through a travel agent or through an online travel website – make sure that you know exactly who you are working with. For example, your best bet to save on a hotel and car rental package is probably going to be with Priceline.com’s “name your own price” option. However, Priceline.com is not the best choice for international airline travel. You’d be better off with an agent. Either way you go, try to use the same travel agent or service. This makes sure that you build a solid relationship with the company you’re dealing with. If you are loyal to them, they will be loyal to you. Always remember, they want your business.

    Think about how frequent flier programs work: if you choose their airline consistently, they’ll reward you by giving you a free flight. Granted, you’ll need to do a lot of flying if you’re just going to earn points sitting on a plane, but with a little research, you’ll find ways to make loyalty programs work in your favor. When booking online or with an agent, make sure you always ask questions. You will never get anywhere from being silent.

    If for some reason the company you’re working with makes an error, be sure to take advantage of it. Most companies want to keep up a high level of customer satisfaction, and they rely on their guests to provide them with information on how to achieve that. See if they could possibly upgrade an aspect of your trip. Your coach tickets could turn into first class, or maybe your suite could turn into a deluxe version. Don’t be scared to ask for upgrades. If they say no, then you’re no worse off than before. Your criticism will ensure that yourself (and other travelers) will have a satisfactory luxury vacation.

    When you’re looking your vacation online, you should search travel review sites for agents or an agencies who have shown they willing to work with unhappy customers, an have proven that they excel at customer service. Many times, customer service representatives get aggravated with customers who complain, or the service reps are based in a foreign country and can only read from a script. And you probably already know that scripts don’t cover every possible customer service issue that a traveler may encounter.

    You’ll find just about any travel service rated on a review site somewhere. Just keep in mind that people like to complain about bad experiences, so you’ll find many more complaints than good reviews for even the most well-known travel services. So take the complaints with a grain of salt. Look for the most commonly re-occurring complaints (like bad customer service). Most bad experiences are not usually the fault of the service. Rather the experience occurred because of the traveler’s misunderstanding of the travel site policies.

    * * * Read your travel site’s terms and conditions BEFORE you book reservations * * *

    You want to consider all aspects of your deal; not just the price tag. Quality wins over quantity in some cases. You find a rate online offering a room at $20.00 a night. It may sound appealing, right? Maybe you’re taking your family to Disney World and you figured you just need someplace to rest your head at night. But when you check-in, that’s when you discover the bathroom is shared with everyone on the floor, there’s police tape strung across the the door to the room next to yours, and you see prostitutes wandering in the parking lot. Maybe this deal WAS too good to be true.

    Do your research. There’s plenty of information available to educate yourself on discounted travel mastery. Most of it is available for free; some of it you may have to pay for if you don’t want to do the research. Go to travel websites and forums specific to the type of trip you’re planning to take: Cruise, adventure tour, etc. If you are itching to take a trip that you don’t want to pay full price for, and you opt to pay for money-saving travel information online, I’d recommend that you only consider offers that give you a 100% money-back guarantee. If you don’t get great money-saving travel tips, at least you can get your money back.

    Follow these simple practices, and you’ll have the luxury you want on a shoestring budget.

    Important Travel Tips to Get the Low Budget Travel Packages

    You could enjoy the low budget travel packages also if you are ready to compromise with your dreams. The dreams of most of the people need more money than the total bucks in their bank account. If you are among those who want to enjoy their vacations by traveling to the distant places but your budget is limited then you should know all the tips that can help you to reduce your traveling expenses. You can plan your vacations with in your budget if you can compromise a little bit with your dreams. Continue reading the important travel tips to know the ways to reduce your expenses.

    Select a cheap destination

    Countries where the cost of living is low can be the good travel destinations for you if your budget is limited. You will not notice much difference whether you are visiting the seashore of America or Asia because you will enjoy the same level of cool breeze at both places and your body will be relaxed similarly at both places. The only difference you will see at both the tourist spots is the cost because the cost of living is low in Asia so the cost to visit the seashore of Asia will also be less as compared to the cost to visit the seashore of America.

    Select a hotel according to your requirements

    The next step to reduce the total cost is to select a hotel with less facility. Many tourists use hotels just for staying in night and so if you are also among those who do not need to enjoy all the facilities that a five star hotel can offer you then why to pay for those extra services that you are not going to use. The rate of five star hotels are high because they offer extra services than other four star hotels but if you are not going to use those services that a four star cannot offer then you should plan your stay in a four star hotel. This is because a four star hotel can be better and cheaper than a five star hotel for the limited services that you may need. For example, if you do not need to go to swimming pools or gymnasiums then why to pay for these additional services. Book your travel package in a hotel that does not offer these services and is relatively cheaper. These hotel travel tips will reduce your hotel expenses.

    Research to get the lowest packages

    There may be many travel websites offering cheap travel packages or discounts on packages. You can find the discount packages every time because travel websites offer these discount packages to compete with other travel websites. You can take benefits of such offers only if you know these offers and this could be possible only if you do good research before registering for a travel package. Browse the good travel websites and look at their recent discount packages. You can also talk to the traveling agents to find a best travel package that is most suitable to you.

    Follow the tips discussed above and book the most cost efficient travel package.