Entries Tagged as 'travel'

Caribbean Cruising for a Deal

This is a Guest Post by Austin Gambino, The Cruise Web Team

There’s a lot that goes into booking a Caribbean cruise. Every traveler is looking for maximum value for their dollar, as well as the right cruise line, region and cruise excursions for their vacation. Want to get the most bang for your Caribbean Cruise buck? Take a look at these tips for getting the best Caribbean cruise deal.

Book Now

The best prices and finest availability for booking a Caribbean cruise is always as soon as the itineraries are released. Although you’ll see last minute deals, and late price drops, the best price will usually be about a year out from the sail date.

So, book now and forever hold your peace.

Use Your Shoulders

The ‘shoulders’ are the parts of the cruise season when taking a Caribbean cruise is considered to be less popular. If you book a Caribbean cruise sailing during the ‘shoulder’ season, you will be more likely to get a lower price.

  • January and February are a good time to sail (post-holiday months).
  • The fall months – September, October and November (hurricane season) – are also great times to sail, at least during non-holiday weekends.
  • Pro-tip: the best price will commonly be found a year out, just after the winter holiday, in January.
  • Warning: there’s a reason the shoulders are cheaper, weather may affect your vacation.

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Save Money While Traveling

Travel saving tipsI always say, my main reason for wanting to be rich is so I can travel. Traveling is a passion, but even there I would like to save money if I can. Here are some ways to save money when traveling; many of which I live by when I travel:

  1. Drive there. If your holiday destination isn’t that far, drive to it. Not only will you enjoy the drive, you can stop where and when you want and enjoy great flexibility. When you arrive at your destination, you don’t need to hire a cab or bother about hotel transfers. Grab a map or your GPS and you’re ready to roll!  [Read more →]

Vacation Planning

miami beach

I met my friends for lunch the other day and the hot topic of conversation was holiday plans over Christmas break. Some were visiting family in Seattle, while others were going to some or the other exotic resort. That got me thinking what I should be planning. My husband’s and my busy schedule had left us little time to plan anything at all. So I decided to get right down to it.

How did a warm holiday on the beaches of Florida sound? Eating, drinking and simply lounging around the beaches of Miami while the kids have a blast at the zoos and parks. Plus a trip to Disney World, the Sea World and Universal Studios in Orlando that the kids will love us for. Complete R&R for the body, mind and soul. Sounded like a plan! We needed a break badly. We had some college friends in Miami who had been asking us over since ages! And we could even catch up with some of my husband’s cousins there over a Christmas eve dinner.

So Florida it was going to be! All I had to figure out was travel plans. And that wasn’t much of a hassle either. I decided to go with Usave discount car rental and rent a comfy drive for 8 days from 22 to 29December, back just in time to spend New Years eve at home with friends and neighbours playing games and dancing all night. Usave has a great record of service with over 30 years in the car rental business. We had booked a car with them over our last 2 road trips as well and had no complaints whatsoever.

Now all that was left was running the plan by my husband and then speaking to our friends in Miami and fixing it all up! Boy am I looking forward to it!!

Top Budget Vacation Tips

Vacations can be expensive – not only do you fork out for the actual travel to and from the destination, you need to pay to stay, eat, sightsee and travel once you reach your destination as well. So how can you travel but not end up busting your budget? Here are some budget vacation tips that will help you save dollars:

Bed and breakfast

The concept of a home stay or a bed and breakfast deal dovetails nicely with budget travel because these can be considerably cheaper than hotels and resorts. Plus you get to enjoy personal interaction with your host, and even get some local insight for free!

Go hiking or trekking

If you’re lucky you may have hiking or trekking trails close to where you live in which case this can work out to be really economical. Even otherwise hiking is a great idea because it lets you commune with nature, enjoy the outdoors and give your health a boost without spending much.

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Travel Tips to Save you Money

We haven’t done a ‘how to save money’ post in a while, and goodness knows we all need to save some moolah right now, with the recession hitting hard. So many of us are in financial dire straits that we could as well forget about a holiday! But you know what? You don’t have to, with a little thrift here and some smart cost cutting there, you can have yourself a good holiday or at least a decent one!

Plan and book early

Did you know that airlines start releasing cheap seats four months before departure, and if you’re looking for an international ticket, the shopping can start five to six months beforehand? [Read more →]

Car Rental Tips to Save you Money

Car RentalsI like to be able to drive my car to wherever I am going, but sometimes it is impossible to do so, such as when you fly to a place where obviously you cannot carry your well beloved car. So when you do decide to rent a car you can save yourself quite a bit of money by just taking care of a few things:

Be suspicious of Upgrades: An offered upgrade may seem like a good idea, but remember a larger car is a less fuel efficient car so will cost you more to run. So unless you really need a larger car, decline the upgrade because a smaller car saves you money.

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Planning a Vacation?

Have you planned a holiday recently? With so many nitty-gritties to take care of, and making sure it stays within budget, it can become quite an arduous task. Yet, a perfect holiday with the loved one is sure to make all the efforts worth it. I need to plan one such fantastic vacation with my significant other. It has been quite a while since we took off on our own for some together time.

So in order to make this work, I was recently looking for sites that could help me find good deals on my travel, hotel accommodation, sightseeing etc. This one had a good search feature to search up the cheapest airline tickets. What is more, they offered higher savings if you booked your airline tickets and hotel accommodation both through them. Again, you can easily search for cheap hotels by city. Now all we need to do is reach a consensus on the destination!

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Spring Break is Around the Corner…

…..And the urge to travel is upon me. If you missed my previous posts about travel, take a look at the best destinations in Europe and read about budget cruises. So if you have decided on where you’re heading maybe I can help you with some travel accessories. We’ll take a look at suitcases, and other stuff you need to carry when on a trip out of town.

Red luggage setLet me start with something that my heart really warmed to: this very smart red 5 piece luggage set from Walmart. The whole set costs $89.88 which I thought was a steal! If you don’t know what you would do with five bags, take a look here at this Staples Trolley bag for just $7.90. On the other hand if you already have some suitable luggage, you should look to getting yourself a folding luggage trolley which is available for $16.99

Canon DigicamIf like the Japanese you are a good tourist, a camera will be an extension of your arm while you are on holiday, especially if you are sightseeing. I thought this 7 mega pixel Canon Powershot A470 Digital Camera was a super deal for $119 (there is an additional $10 off coupon available). The price includes a free 1 GB memory card too! Another really good deal is this Kodak Easy Share 8 Mega pixel camera for $119.95. And if like me you like to record every little thing that the kids do that is oh-so-amazing then go in for this Digital Video Camera for $199.99

Kids pillowsFor rest and relaxation while traveling, especially while flying, some of these travel accessories may come in real handy such as a sleep mask ($9), an inflatable travel pillow ($8) or kids pillows, or even an inflatable back rest ($11). For the beach or a poolside holiday you may want some of these accessories such as a waterproof waist pouch, or water-seal for your iPod etc. Take a look here for some great accessories especially for women (including a very innovative bra stash!). Another really handy accessory is this universal charger which charges up to 4 AA size batteries and also – if you leave the batteries in – will power most cell phones, digital cameras, camcorders, MP3s, iPods, CDs, MDs, multimedia players, and Bluetooth devices.

If you are traveling abroad, some countries will need for you to carry plug adapters so remember to find out what is applicable for where you are planning to go.

In my earlier post Dressing Up a Bit I told you about travel sets with bags that you may also find useful to take a look at.

Budget Cruises

Cruise For a lot of us, the word ‘cruise’ conjures up the idea of luxury and rich other half of the population. But this is not necessarily so, and there are a lot of options for people who have a yen for the sea but not bags of money to spend on a cruise.

Sites like cruise value finder and all discount cruises ask you to fill out a form, where you state your requirements and they get back to you with their best deals. Some of them claim to have deals that start below $200.

At cruiseonly.com, one of the most economical 3 night Bahamas package is for $299 up. The 7 night western Caribbean cruise starts at $649. Some of these cruises offer extras such as $100 free spending or a 15% discount on shore spending.

Cruise Cruise

A 5 night Caribbean or Mexican Riviera Cruise offered by Carlson Travel comes for the price of $440 up. For those who can book before 16 March some added extras such as a pair of robes and free spa treatment are an incentive. Check for availability.

A popular cruise option in Europe (if you are planning to go farther afield), is the barge vacation along the different water ways or rivers of the European Union. Take a look at the barge connection and the barge experts to see what is on offer. Travel through the heart of Europe enjoying spectacular scenery and quaint, historical villages and local wine and food as well. Theme barges and self drive barges are also some other options. This is a high end option, and not a budget one, so you could decide on this one if you want to splurge or enjoy a romantic getaway on some special occasion.

CruiseSometimes certain freight ships have guest accommodation on their ships, and also carry passengers who want to enjoy a bargain cruise, which a travel agent could arrange for you.

If you are planning a cruise, be sure to visit this cruise FAQ page which asks and answers some rather amusing questions like “what do I wear” and “what if I get seasick” and also looks at some important questions like what is and is not included in the package price of a sea cruise and what are port charges etc. It is a good idea to ask lots of questions before you book a cruise lest you come across some unforeseen and unbudgeted-for expenses later.

Let Me Take You Far Away

This post is inspired by that great Scorpions song, Holiday. I was just listening to this song which has all these great memories from my college days, “let me take you far away… on a ho-li-day..” and I began to have a yearning for a few days off, to take a breather, a break. If you’re living somewhere really warm, I bet you would love to take off to cooler climes, or if you are freezing your pants off somewhere, I bet a warm sunny cove somewhere would be ideal! Today I want to see the travel options for some of the most beautiful European cities.

Let’s take a look at some all inclusive packages. This saves you the hassle of doing separate bookings for all your travel needs, and this is especially important when you are traveling with your family, so that there are no glitches for you to deal with at the last moment.

Starting with London, my absolutely favorite city in the world, for $649 per person you can have a 6 night holiday in London. This includes return airfare (ex Atlanta), a six night hotel stay, breakfast, hotel taxes and fuel surcharges. A better quality of stay at the Crowne Plaza London St. James Hotel comes for $1331 per person for a 5 night package including air fare. If you can fork out for 5 star facilities and want to stay in the heart of London at Piccadilly (within easy reach of pretty much everything!), go in for the 7 day package at Le Meridien at $1768 per person.

Then let’s look at Paris, the most romantic city in the world. A 5 night package costs you $525 per person and includes hotel stay, breakfast, a river cruise, airport transfer, and taxes. For $799 you can enjoy 6 nights in Paris. This package includes air fare, breakfast, hotel taxes and fuel surcharges.

On to Amsterdam, one of the most fascinating cities in Europe, perhaps the world. For $1036 per person, there is a 6 night stay at the Park Hotel and the deal includes air fare. A lot of sites specialize in ‘Stag packages’ as well, but I am not going to go into those here. I would highly recommend Amsterdam. I am yet to hear anyone regret going there.

Last but in no way least, let’s look at Rome! Of all the cities mentioned in this post if you asked me where I would like to head, I would say Rome! Not just for its art, culture and history but also for the gastronomic delights on offer! There is more to Italian cuisine than just pizza and pasta after all! For $909 onward you can put together a 6 night package choosing the kind of hotel and the dates for travel that suit you best.

If, like me you are greedy to experience more than one city try the Multi city package which includes London Paris and Rome, which starts at $1269 for a ten day stay!