Trip Planning For Travel With Friends And Families


Time for some trip planning.  You may know exactly where you want to go on your vacation… good for you!  Start planning.  But what if you have no idea where you want to go? I’ve got some tips if you are searching for good places to go.  Some of these may be helpful even if you know what you want… you still need to get information unless it’s someplace you know well or return to often.

So where do you start?  Well, you need to take into account how many days you have and what your budget is…. then start talking to the people you will be traveling with.  The kids will probably say Disneyland or Disney World.  You could do that… again… or you could break out and do something you’ve always dreamed about.

And your dreams about where you want to go can be domestic or international.  Don’t limit yourself when you’re dreaming.  Trip planning can work for you.  If you plan this right, you might just surprise yourself and find that you CAN afford it.  Of course, in this economy, I advocate only taking the trip you can afford, otherwise you will come home full of regret instead of great memories.

A good place to start trip planning is the old TV.  What television programs have you watched that make you want to pack your bags and go there?  Do you like travel shows?  Wildlife shows?  Culinary adventures?

Check out travel magazines.  If you don’t get any yourself, you can probably find them in your dentist or doctor’s office.  You might find a destination that you’ve never heard of before… but it looks inviting, and it fits your budget.

Get brochures.  Look at standard tours.  The pictures will get you dreaming more, and the itinerary will give you an idea of what’s possible for your length of time.  If you want to go to a beach, could you make it a beach in Mexico or on a Greek Island instead of Florida?  (Nothing against Florida and Disney World… just trying to get you thinking outside the box to decide where you want to go!)

Check with your local travel agencies.  They’ll have lots of brochures and information for trip planning.  You may want to book on the internet, or you may find that it’s easier to have an agent set things up for you.  Keep in mind that the economy and airline compensation have changed the way travel agents work.  Some agents now have to charge for their services.  Still, don’t overlook this resource.

Use the state or national travel agency…. Most states in the United States have a bureau that promotes travel to their state.  If you’re thinking of traveling abroad, contact the national travel agency of the countries you think you might want to visit.  You can find these on the internet.

Now back to your budget.  Is this going to be a splurge or a budget trip?  Write down a figure.  Then write down all of the possibilities for where you want to go. If your dream destination will break the bank, you might want to make it a shorter trip or save the research for a later date.  But travel research is never wasted.  If you have ideas written down, you might just find that next time you’re trip planning and thinking about where you want to go, you’ll have a destination all picked out!

Trip Planning Where You Want To Go

Time for some trip planning.  You may know exactly where you want to go on your vacation… good for you!  Start planning.  But what if you have no idea where you want to go? I’ve got some tips if you are searching for good places to go.  Some of these may be helpful even if you know what you want… you still need to get information unless it’s someplace you know well or return to often.

So where do you start?  Well, you need to take into account how many days you have and what your budget is…. then start talking to the people you will be traveling with.  The kids will probably say Disneyland or Disney World.  You could do that… again… or you could break out and do something you’ve always dreamed about.

And your dreams about where you want to go can be domestic or international.  Don’t limit yourself when you’re dreaming.  Trip planning can work for you.  If you plan this right, you might just surprise yourself and find that you CAN afford it.  Of course, in this economy, I advocate only taking the trip you can afford, otherwise you will come home full of regret instead of great memories.

A good place to start trip planning is the old TV.  What television programs have you watched that make you want to pack your bags and go there?  Do you like travel shows?  Wildlife shows?  Culinary adventures?

Check out travel magazines.  If you don’t get any yourself, you can probably find them in your dentist or doctor’s office.  You might find a destination that you’ve never heard of before… but it looks inviting, and it fits your budget.

Get brochures.  Look at standard tours.  The pictures will get you dreaming more, and the itinerary will give you an idea of what’s possible for your length of time.  If you want to go to a beach, could you make it a beach in Mexico or on a Greek Island instead of Florida?  (Nothing against Florida and Disney World… just trying to get you thinking outside the box to decide where you want to go!)

Check with your local travel agencies.  They’ll have lots of brochures and information for trip planning.  You may want to book on the internet, or you may find that it’s easier to have an agent set things up for you.  Keep in mind that the economy and airline compensation have changed the way travel agents work.  Some agents now have to charge for their services.  Still, don’t overlook this resource.

Use the state or national travel agency…. Most states in the United States have a bureau that promotes travel to their state.  If you’re thinking of traveling abroad, contact the national travel agency of the countries you think you might want to visit.  You can find these on the internet.

Now back to your budget.  Is this going to be a splurge or a budget trip?  Write down a figure.  Then write down all of the possibilities for where you want to go. If your dream destination will break the bank, you might want to make it a shorter trip or save the research for a later date.  But travel research is never wasted.  If you have ideas written down, you might just find that next time you’re trip planning and thinking about where you want to go, you’ll have a destination all picked out.

Budget Travel – Get Money Back On Online Travel Purchases

 

Have you ever wondered if you’re paying too much when you click “buy now” on those internet search engines for travel? Wouldn’t you like to get money back on those tickets or that hotel room if you do? Well, now it just might be possible.

There are search engines out there that are supposed to alert you when airfares or hotel prices drop. There are other sites that try to tell you whether they think the price will go up or down further… Hopefully they’re programmed to guess better than you can if it’s the right time to hit that buy button. But what if you and the search engine get it wrong?

The fact is that prices swing several times a day… let alone from day to day. It’s hard to know what to do. Should you book far ahead? On Tuesdays? At midnight? Maybe getting a last minute deal is the best way to go. How can you tell?

Have you ever gotten into a conversation with the person sitting next to you on the plane and just not wanted to tell them how much you paid for that ticket? There always seems to be someone who wants to brag how cheap he got that ticket…. but you’re always afraid it isn’t you.

Seems like some of those websites must have been listening to you… or at least reading your mind. More of them are adding a kind of “insurance” to make it easier to click on through to a ticket or hotel room.

There are new sites that will track the amount you paid for your airline ticket or your hotel room, and they’ll e-mail you if the fare goes down. Many airlines will refund the difference if the fare goes down after you book with them, but you need to know about it first of all… then apply for it.

These new tracking sites give you the information so you can do that. Hotels can be trickier. You might have to cancel and rebook. Make sure there aren’t late cancellation fees that would cancel out any savings.

Some of the big travel booking sites have started giving you guarantees that you won’t be paying too much. Some will automatically give you a credit refund if another customer books the same itinerary or flight for less. You don’t even have to track it yourself or apply for the refund.

Other sites have refunds for package deals if someone else gets the same package for less. There are limits on the amount of money you can get back per ticket…. but at least it’s something.

The bottom line is… you don’t want to be wondering if you’re paying too much, so when you’re booking online, sign up for a free tracking service or check to see what the website’s policy is for a refund if you pay more than someone else.

 

Budget Travel – Find Cheap Restaurants

 

When you’re visiting a strange country or city, how do you find cheap restaurants? Travel can get expensive, and whether you’re on a big budget or a tight one, you might not want to be eating at expensive restaurants every night.

We’re not necessarily talking “greasy spoons”…. Low budget food doesn’t have to be low on flavor. What you want to try to do is go where the locals go. This is often more fun too; you may even end up being the only tourists in the place. If you are, you’ll have way more local flavor than you might in a restaurant that has the menu in four or five languages.

You can try asking the concierge at your hotel, but they might be more inclined to send you to a higher priced restaurant. A better choice might be the bellman… they probably will give you a better budget option. Ask where they eat… where their friends would go.

Heading for a centrally located “restaurant row” full of tourists is the worst possible way to find the magical combination of good food and low prices. That restaurant row may be a little more comfortable, it might be a little easier to read the menu there, but remember what we said about local color…. and the prices!

Knowing some economic rules can help you find cheap restaurants that offer both good food and low prices, no matter what part of the world you find yourself in.

First of all, remember that restaurant row is probably in the high rent district….and rent is one of a restaurant’s biggest costs. For menu prices to be low, that restaurant needs to be in a location where the rent is a little cheaper…. That takes you right back to the advice to head for establishments down side streets or in hard-to-find spots that are patronized mainly by locals.

In the U.S., one place to check is in those ugly “strip malls” along roads leading in and out of towns. In other countries, stay away from areas where the big attractions are… look for neighborhoods where the people live.

Second, remember that restaurants and populations really are going global. Wherever there are significant immigrant populations, there’s usually inexpensive, tasty food. Ethnic restaurants serve customers who know what the food should taste like and who are price-sensitive.

Sure in France you want to eat great French food at chic little bistros, but what’s wrong with Vietnamese “pho” for an inexpensive meal. London is a pricey city, but if you look for noodle joints, you can get a great meal for cheap.

One high-tech way to find cheap restaurants is to check on Twitter. Restaurants are using Twitter… they might post daily specials. Or search twitter for cheap eats where you are and see what restaurants Tweeters talking about.

Want to save even more? You could always go for a big lunch then a small dinner. Lunch prices are almost always less.

 

Traveling On a Budget – You Need To Bargain

 

In most of the world you will need some bargaining tips. Whether you are planning to buy souvenirs or treasure on your vacation, in much of the world, the price tag is only the starting point for bargaining. Haggling and arguing over the price is expected and in many counties it is almost an art form.

First of all, you need to determine if bargaining is appropriate. In most big department stores in Europe and America it usually isn’t. In other counties, you might ask if the price is firm. In street markets and small shops in most of the world, you’d be silly if you took the first price you were quoted.

Next let me say that no matter what bargaining tips we give you, or anyone else gives you, you are not going to win this game. You are going to get the price down to a level you are happy with, and you are going to be pleased with it, but trust me, the merchant is going to make a profit or they won’t be selling.

If you do not want to haggle and buy… don’t ask the price just for curiosity. If you are interested in buying, see if you can determine what the locals pay. There will almost always be a double standard… with tourists paying way more even after haggling.

Think…. do you really want this piece. And if you do… what is it worth to you.

Once you’ve made the decision to bargain, be respectful and polite. We’ve heard people make disparaging remarks about the item they want to purchase. We just don’t think that’s a successful bargaining tip.

Think about the asking price, and indicate it is too much. Don’t be embarrassed about counter offering too low a price… it’s part of the game. We usually offer between a third to a half of the asking price. The merchant will laugh at you, but the game has begun.

You can have a friend or your spouse indicate that they don’t want to buy or that they’re worried about your budget. This might move negotiations faster, but believe me… these merchants have seen all of those tricks, and they know just how to play it.

Don’t hurry if you’re serious about buying. Get to know the merchant and let him tell you about the item. Think carefully before you name each price. If the merchant says OK to a price, you must buy the item. This may seem like a game, but it is serious, and your honor is at stake… once a price has been accepted, you can’t say, “Never mind, I was just fooling around.”

If you get down to your best price, and they say no…. just walk away. Often they will finally meet your price rather than lose the sale. If they don’t run after you or call out one last price, they really won’t sell for that price.

Sometimes prices will fall further at the end of the day, but the price can only drop so much… the merchants will always need to make at least a little profit… that’s only fair.

Our final bargaining tip is to bargain thoughtfully. Dickering over a price can be fun, some people even think of it as sport…. but we don’t think you should take it too far. In poor and developing counties, a few dollars will mean far more to the merchant and his family than it will to you.

 

Budget Multi-Generational Vacation – A Few Ideas

 

Budget multi-generational vacation ideas are not all that hard to come up with. You do need to consider how you are going to accommodate the various generations while being on a budget, and how you are likely to keep everyone occupied, but you have a large amount of options in the event that you just begin to use your imagination.

Some grandparents wish to create once-in-a-lifetime adventures making use of their adult kids and their grandchildren.

One way to budget vacation together as a family that appears to be remarkably popular among people we’ve talked to is cruising.

Cruising provides the most readily useful of both worlds with respect to the cruise line you decide on. You will be completely as a family as often as you want… particularly at meals… and you will set off and revel in different activities once you feel like you may want only a little space yourself. Some cruise companies appeal to families with young children, some do not. So choose your cruise line based on your needs.

Sometimes the planners choose multi-generational vacation ideas that are more unusual or meaningful… perhaps renting a home or villa definately not home. Villas in Tuscany and Provence are simple to arrange. You can find places to rent for your family all over Europe and America for example.

It’s not necessary to go far, a long way away. You can just choose to have a house in another of your preferred holiday destinations. Or rent a couple of condos, side by side in Mexico or Hawaii. Two condos gives different generations more opportunity for some quiet time once they need it.

You might choose a resort someplace tropical. The Caribbean is a good spot because of this. Choose the best one, and you will see something for all. Be careful though. Keep in mind that not absolutely all resorts are ready to accept the youngest generation. At one of the most popular scuba diving resorts, kids under 5 aren’t welcome. Should you want to go diving together, the kids should be over 10 anyway to be certified.

If you’re looking at all inclusive resorts, keep in mind that some all inclusive resorts are for couples or singles only.

If your family is in to skiing, another multi-generational vacation idea is to attend a ski resort…. where in actuality the grand-parents can ski and the younger generation will likely be snowboarding in a different area. Everyone can enjoy some family togetherness round the fire later in the day.

Dude ranches are still another great option with a lot of activities for several ages… horse riding, swimming… why you may even arrive at here is another little roping or something!

Exploring National Parks around the globe could be a great educational opportunity for all your generations.

For families that love the outdoors, camping is a good option. Tent camping is affordable. Some families choose to take their very own or rent recreational vehicles. Wild areas and cities all over the world have spaces for these.

If your family is more the rugged outdoor type, you could test backpacking. When we hiked into the Grand Canyon years ago, we encountered a multi-generational group of hikers. The grand-parents had hiked the Grand Canyon several times… everybody was keeping up and carrying their own weight.

I’m sure that since we now have you started, you can produce some good multi-generational vacation ideas of your personal… ones which will fit your budget and start to become just perfect for your family to create some great memories.

 

Last Minute Travel Deals

 

If you are considering taking on the task of traveling, it is important that you have the information that you need to know before making a final decision. This article will help you find the information you need to make the best travel decisions. Don’t make traveling a hassle, get the knowledge you need.

Check out last minute travel deals. If you have the flexibility in schedule and destination, you can save a lot of money by booking your travel at the last minute. Many hotels and airlines drastically reduce prices for dates in the near future to fill seats and rooms that will otherwise go empty.

It is important that you always try to plan your trips as far ahead of time as possible. Booking between January and March for summer travel is ideal. By locking in your flight dates and tours or activities in advance, you help ensure that you will get the lowest price possible.

Perform a bag check before you leave your house to avoid any scenes at the security gate. You will want to take out anything with a sharp point. You do not want to lose out on a pair of your favorite nail scissors to the security officer. This will make things quicker and save you the loss.

Booking your travel plans on-line is virtually a one stop shop for your vacation planning. Travel sites will help you plan your travel itinerary with minimal effort. You can book flights, hotels, and rental cars all from your computer! Pictures and reviews of hotels are right at your finger tips. Travel sites also offer great deals for planning your trip, including discounts for last minute travel.If you are planning on traveling in a foreign country, instead of taking your luggage with you wherever you go, consider placing your luggage in a secure self-storage unit for a small fee. This way you can enjoy your trip without having the burden of heavy luggage weight upon you.

Making sure that your trip goes off without a hitch, and that you have a wonderful time, regardless of if your trip is for business or travel is the point of this article. If you implement what you read here you should have a nice, calm, uneventful trip next time you leave town.

 

Internet Flight Insurance – Know Exactly What You Are Getting

 

You’re ready to push that “buy it” button, and you see that internet flight insurance is offered with that airline ticket you’re buying online.

Internet flight insurance? You have just seconds to think about it. It seems cheap enough so you add it on to the price of your ticket. But is it worth it?

There are times when you should get some kind of travel insurance and times when you may not want to… but either way, don’t buy insurance impulsively. Take your time. Research what is offered and what your options are. Choose carefully.

We have a story to illustrate this. We heard of a passenger who really wasn’t paying attention. This traveler mistakenly purchased his ticket for the day BEFORE he wanted to leave. This only came to his attention when the check-in kiosk wouldn’t work… It said “see agent”. This fellow was really annoyed with the airline because the kiosk wouldn’t check him in. It had to be the airlines fault, right?

When he found out that the ticket he had booked online, for himself, was for the wrong day, at first he said, “But that’s not when I wanted to go…. I wanted to go today. I HAVE TO go today for a meeting.”

Substitute a wedding or a reunion or whatever…. you get the picture. Travelers incorrectly booking themselves… it happens with surprising regularity. I guess the first lesson here is for you to be careful that you are booking your flight correctly. That’s the problem with computers, they do exactly what you TELL them to do…. even if it’s not what you INTENDED to tell them.

So back to that flight insurance offer. His ticket had no value… That’s what came up in the airline computer…. “NO VALUE”. When he got over the shock of that, he said, “No problem, I bought insurance.”

It was not the airline he could deal with at this point, he had to call the internet flight insurance company. So he went off and got in touch with them. Know what happened? He had insurance for the flight in case it was cancelled or delayed… He didn’t have insurance for missing the flight because of his own mistake.

The internet flight insurance company wouldn’t pay anything. The airline was not responsible. The insurance cost him US $13.50. The ticket only cost him about US $100 in the first place. Not very good value for the risk…. but he bought the insurance because the question popped up just as he was making that online purchase.

I guess we should tell you again to make very sure you have everything right when you purchase those tickets on the internet. They are often non-refundable and non-changeable. And let’s say it again about that internet flight insurance. There may be times when it’s a good idea to get it, but don’t buy it impulsively. Research it and know what you’re getting.

 

Cheap Vacation In Hawaii – How To Find It?

 

Hawaii is the newest of the 50 states in the United States of America. This is known to be the only state which is made up entirely of islands. The country reports a strong history which dates back to 300 BC.

The natural beauty of Hawaii makes it an ideal tourist destination. Its beautiful environment surrounded by birds, plants and flowers makes the state rich in natural surroundings.

Being an island, Hawaii is most famous for its beautiful beaches. Inviting water and waves along with tropical climate and active volcanoes makes the state one of the hot spots for vacations. In addition to its natural beauty, Hawaii is also popular for its unique culture. The distinct culture of Hawaii was formed with the blend of multiple religions and traditions. Their unique performances and dress codes are another reason that makes Hawaii a must visit location. Moreover the warm and friendly nature of people makes the tourists feel at home.

In order to spend a vacation in Hawaii, one would not have to spend a fortune. Instead a cheap vacation in Hawaii is made possible with all new holiday packages. Travelers can save up to hundreds of dollars if the right package is chosen to spend a cheap vacation in Hawaii.

Many discounted hotel rates and air deals are the core aspects to reducing costs and spending a cheap vacation in Hawaii. Booking in advance largely contributes towards spending a cheap vacation in Hawaii. Making reservations at least 30 days in advance could offer great travel deals. Furthermore choosing the peak vacation periods could deliver good offers.

There are many national parks, scenic spots and events at Hawaii, which an individual can add into the vacation to make it more eventful. Thus the cost of a cheap vacation in Hawaii could range based on the type of location, hotel, activities and the duration. In certain instances the rates are indicated inclusive of hotel rates as well as airfare. This delivers a great level of convenience since funds will not have to be allocated separately.

There are many sites that offer tourism related services online, from which the best deals can be selected for a cheap vacation in Hawaii. Comparing rates and options will ensure that the best deal is obtained. Even though such deals can be compared and contrasted between any site, one must make sure to conduct a certain level of research when making reservations online. Identifying if the site is genuine and officially permitted to transact would prevent you from being trapped to internet and credit card related fraud.

Therefore if one wishes to spend a cheap vacation in Hawaii, the above details can be of great assistance to make the holiday an enjoyable one.

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