Why Travel Agents Are Important for Travelers

Nowadays, more people are choosing to travel by air. We have all heard of the rich and famous who do not just fly when they need to, but instead take a helicopter, speedboat, or even a ponycar when they need to relax in some exotic location. There are even travel agencies that offer luxury, off-the-beaten-path trips that do not require an in-flight meal. I am not going to tell you that these services are an entirely new concept; I am telling you that people are doing them now, and they are enjoying them, too.

travel agency

In my mind, a travel agent is a great service for someone who wants to get away from it all. While a helicopter ride might seem like a good idea at first, a full-fledged trip on a ponycar would be like flying back into the days when it was quite common to hire someone else to look after you while you were away from home. Nowadays, it can be much more convenient to do all of this yourself. The basic principle of a travel agent is to find you places you may want to go, from out of the ordinary places.

A travel agent will normally set up your flight arrangements so that you can enjoy your vacation, while you are still in the right time zone. Usually they will also try to keep you at a destination where the hotel has a smaller rate than a higher priced one. Your agent will also be able to set up a budget for you, based on what you can afford. It really comes down to what you can pay.

I once worked for a travel agency that had a promotion for parents to come to their office and book flights for their children. The parent could then pack their own travel bags, and pay a fraction of what it would cost to fly on their own.

Sometimes a travel agency will provide you with a vacation package that includes everything you need. This way you can save a lot of money and get exactly what you want without having to pay the full price of the package. If you want to go out to dinner on your birthday, and you don’t mind paying a bit extra, it may be an idea to go out to dinner.

If you have a full-fledged trip planned, with a hotel, restaurant, dinner, and activities planned, a travel agent may not be the best choice. There are also times when a travel agent has a package that is a little bit more expensive, but it is more economical and will probably include everything you want.

Some people travel a lot and end up with a travel agent for the rest of their lives. These people believe that the travel agent can help them save money over the long run. They don’t think twice about booking tickets for themselves and the rest of their family, but the travel agent will likely find some other way to save money for the family.

Of course, there are times when the travel agent can make the vacation package more affordable than it should be. I have had the fortune of working with travel agents who have been very flexible with me when it comes to setting my travel itinerary.

There are times when a travel agent can give you the option of booking a vacation package early in the year, so that you are guaranteed the cheapest rates. In other cases, they may not allow you to book your vacation at all, so that you end up paying for every penny.

In the end, whether you choose a travel agent or an airline, you will be in charge of your own vacation. You will decide when you are ready to go, and you will be in control of your own travel plans. It may be a little harder at first, but in the end, you will realize that you can enjoy your vacation in any order you want.

For example, if you are planning to take a ski vacation, but you want to see a great sunset over the mountains, you can do so on the airline and you can have the best vacation of your life because you booked yourself first. So, book your vacation first, and never look back.

How to Travel and Make Money From the United States

Do you know how to travel and make money from the United States? I don’t think anyone has ever asked this question before. Of course, you can do it, but you’ll need to plan ahead.

how to travel and make money

Travelers usually talk about it all the time. They love to tell their friends and relatives about how they’ve gone and what they did while they were there. It’s a good way to travel, but it’s also very expensive. So, how do you travel and make money from the United States?

There are many things you can do, but one of the best ways to travel and make money from the United States is to go online. The internet is full of people looking for the same things you are. They want to travel and they are in search of ways to travel and make money from the United States.

If you know any of the millions of people that are now moving from the United States, you know the cost of living is extremely high. When you’re already a low income family or single person, how can you afford to stay there? What are you going to do when your children start school, start paying the bills, etc. ?

The answer is to start making money online from home. This way, you don’t have to worry about anything else but how to travel and make money from the United States.

Now, when it comes to the internet, many people think it’s all about how to make money, but it isn’t. Actually, the internet is a great way to make money from home.

Here’s a method that will show you how to travel and make money from the United States. It involves online marketing and earning money.

First, you need to get a computer software. It will help you track your product(s) so you can start making money. You don’t want to waste your time creating lots of information.

You need to determine how you want to market it. Will you simply advertise it on blogs and websites, send out mass e-mails, etc.

Affiliate marketing is another option. You can do sales using the affiliate links you find.

There are many methods you can use, but the one I used and recommend is how to travel and make money from the United States. It took me about two years to learn how to make money online from home, but I’m making thousands every day now.

Where to Travel in October – Not a Great Time to Go?

It’s the first weekend of October and it’s time to start thinking about the ultimate autumn holiday. Have you ever thought about where to travel in October? It’s a good time to think about the fun that you will have when you travel, and a really good time to plan for the travelling, not only for this coming autumn but also all year round.

It’s a Saturday afternoon and you’re at home in New York City and you decide to do some shopping or you go see a movie. You have no idea where to travel in October, so you’re in the wrong place. You get out of the car and wander into a New York fashion store and all you can think about is all the outfits that you’re going to buy for your family.

True story. I once went to a Brooklyn coffee shop and I was in a mall trying to locate a place to go on a vacation. They pointed me in the direction of this cafe and I didn’t even know what they were serving! That’s when I knew that October is the perfect time to think about going somewhere.

There are more fun things that you can do in October than in any other month. Fall holidays are much more popular than you might think. It’s a great time to go on a summer vacation and find out that there are a whole lot of other places to go in the winter.

The United States is one of the best countries in the world to go and visit in the fall. Why? Because it’s so beautiful and there are a lot of places to see.

There are many museums and art galleries that are open in the fall and they are all conveniently located. The Woodrow Wilson International Airport is an easy drive to Philadelphia, New York City and many other cities in the US. Why not take advantage of it?

There are many tourists who do the National Mall tour each spring. I have been on this tour and it is so exciting! There are so many things to see.

There are many events going on in Washington D.C. This means that you can also go to the Capitol and see the various historical sites. There are amazing pictures of the Lincoln Memorial that you can take home with you.

The second part of this tour goes to the White House, the Theodore Roosevelt museum and the Rose Garden. Some of the buildings there have been opened up to the public and they are gorgeous. Some of the buildings will be open during the summer, like the Lincoln Bedroom and the Navy Yard.

My favorite part of America, where it gets even better, is the Disneyland ride in Anaheim, California. I love the environment and I love that there are so many different attractions. You will want to plan some time to go to this destination.

Planning your Vacation in the Maldives: Things to Consider

If you are exploring the Maldives for the first time, and you are thinking about the things that you should consider first, this article will help you.

The Maldives is a group of islands located in the Indian Ocean. It is a majestic collection of tropical islands, complete with sprawling beaches, clear blue skies, fantastic views, coral reefs in the ocean, great food, wonderful hospitality, and excellent hotels for you to stay in. The resorts in the Maldives are situated within their own islands, ranging in size from two and a half to one hundred fifty kilometers across. This means that the amenities that the hotel that you will be staying in, such as restaurants, sports facilities, bars, and entertainment areas, are the only ones that you will get to use during your entire visit.

Most of the hotels in the country offer boat rides to nearby fishing village islands. All in all, there are approximately more than one hundred hotels for you to choose from when visiting and exploring the Maldives. However, if you want to experience the authentic feel of the archipelagic nation, the best choice will be to consider staying in one of the guesthouses available in five islands that offer reasonably priced rooms.

The major international airport of the Maldives, the Hulhule Airport in the capital Male, sits on its own island. Therefore, to get to your hotel where you will be staying, you will have to take modes of transportation such as a boat, a domestic flight, or a seaplane, depending on the distance of your hotel from the airport. If your resort requires you to board a seaplane to get there, it is essential to know that seaplane services are only available during daylight, so if you happen to arrive too late, you will have to spend the night at Male to wait for the next seaplane schedule.

With the Maldives being known for its glorious beaches, underwater life, and watersports, there is so much to do when exploring the Maldives, especially if you are a diver. Hotels usually do not offer an excursion or tour, except for the few instances wherein they will offer a visit to a local inhabited island. Therefore, if you are not into sports or into a quiet time under the golden sun with a book in hand for extended hours during the day, then this may not just be the place for you.

When looking for a place to stay, the price is the top consideration. Luckily, Maldives offers choices for different people with different budget limits. When it comes to accommodation types, Maldivian hotels offer various room types. However, you should be wary of any changes you may make such as a room upgrade or a switch for a better view since this usually significantly affects the total cost of your vacation.

Also, you should also carefully check the amenities that the hotel you choose offers since no excursions will be made outside and you will mostly have to make do with the hotel’s amenities during your stay.

Five Things to Do in San Francisco

California is known for its numerous beautiful cities, and one of them is San Francisco. It is located on the top of a peninsula surrounded by two big bodies of water – the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The city of San Francisco is also known for its year-round fog, hilly landscape, and countless tourist attractions. The city is notable for its iconic Golden Gate Bridge and lines of colorful Victorian houses. The notorious Alcatraz Island that used to serve as a prison and housed some of the world’s deadliest criminals can also be found here. Here are five things to do in San Francisco:

Visit the Golden Gate Bridge

things to do in san francisco

One of the most famous landmarks in San Francisco is the Golden Gate Bridge. It was first built in 1937. The world-renowned bridge is 1.7 miles long and links San Francisco to Sausalito. It is said that around 120,000 vehicles drive across the bridge daily. Pedestrians can cross the bridge on foot by walking on a pedestrian walkway. Bikers can also enjoy the view of the city on the Western side of the bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge’s orange arches have become the city’s enduring and iconic symbol for several decades now. The Golden Gate name can be attributed to the Golden Gate Strait, the body of water that connects the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Most tourists say that the bridge is perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring sceneries in the city, making it one of the most photographed landmarks in the whole world.

Ride a cable car

Since the late 19th Century, cable cars have been one of the conventional modes of transportation in the city of San Francisco. The cable cars run on tracks and are moved by huge underground cables on three different routes. Even from several blocks away, the bells of the cable cars can be heard.

Riding the city’s iconic cable cars can be a thrilling experience as they move past up and down the hills of the city. You will be able to see breathtaking neighborhoods along your route. The cable car experience is perhaps one of the things a tourist wants to do while in San Francisco. However, there are only a few places to go, and the wait can sometimes be too long. If you are persistent, the wait is not an issue as the experience is worth it.

Visit the world famous Alcatraz

What was once a notorious place has become one of the most visited landmarks of the city. It is an island that houses a prison of the same name. The Alcatraz Prison used to house some of the world’s notorious criminals. The prison was closed in the year 1960, and the stories about the prison have become some of the world’s legendary tales.

A visit to the Alcatraz can be a very exhilarating experience to any tourist. The mysticism behind the place’s beauty was further pumped up due to the several movies that depicted the lives of criminals who were once incarcerated inside Alcatraz.

Visit the old Chinatown

Dragon’s Gate is what they call the entrance of San Francisco’s world-renown Chinatown. The entrance is located at Grant Avenue and Bush Street. Inside Chinatown are 24 blocks of hustle and bustle, most of which take place in the oldest street in the city, Grant Avenue. The Chinatown is perhaps the best place in San Francisco to travel on foot as it is full of food markets, exotic shops, restaurants, and museums. Visitors can enjoy shopping and dining. You can buy some ancient potions and artifacts from some stores located in the area, or you can also taste some of the great dim sums and witness how fortune cookies are made from some food stalls in the area.

Dine at world-class restaurants

It is said that any travel experience is not complete without tasting the place’s local food and delicacies. San Francisco is considered one of America’s best restaurant cities as it houses some of the world’s most popular restaurants. San Francisco culinary chefs are known for their excellence and ingenuity when it comes to cooking. They combine fresh local ingredients while also incorporating international flavors. You can choose any cuisine of your liking- from Chinese, Italian, Spanish, French, Japanese, Indian, Mexican or even “fusion,” a combination of two or three different cuisines.

These are just five things to do in San Francisco. However, there are so much more to do in the city aside from the five mentioned. You may need to come up with a solid itinerary when visiting the city as you may get lost due to the many exciting things that this city has to offer.

Secured Vacation in the Rainbow Nation

Visiting and staying in South Africa, like any other country in the world, requires, in the part of the traveler, background research in advance and following the necessary safety precautions to ensure a worthwhile experience that is both enjoyable and safe.

safe south africa

And while this country is usually feared for its increasingly high crime rates, familiarizing oneself with the place and strictly taking note of these safety tips can keep travelers who intend to stay in South Africa safe:

Before setting foot safety tips

  • Familiarize yourself with the place. Make sure to research and plan your route well in advance. Be updated with the latest news and happenings in the country and make sure to always carry with you a detailed, up-to-date map of particular places you wish to see. Save contact numbers of essential agencies and government offices in advance.
  • Pack bags and luggage carefully and make several copies of your valuable documents such as passport, other valid IDs, and debit or credit cards.
  • Bring your own set of medical kit in case of an emergency where you won’t have the luxury of time to buy from drugstores.

Arrival and Hotel safety tips

  • Keep in mind that tourists are frequent targets of crime and the airport is precisely where fugitives will start with.
  • Be very cautious when walking around and outside of the airport and do not accept transportation offers from unauthorized people. Make sure you get an official taxi that works for the airport.
  • When you arrive at your designated hotel, ask hotel staff the safest routes to travel when going out and back the hotel and take note of the local dangers around the area.
  • Always keep your door locked and only entertain authorized hotel staff. Leave your valuables in the safety deposit box, and again, make sure to bring copies of your passport all the time.

Traveling with private vehicle

  • When driving, keep the doors locked every time and do not drive with the windows open. Keep your tank full as much as possible because gas stations are rare in some places. Visibility of valuables inside the vehicle also increases the risk of robbery and carnapping so make sure that it is either kept in the trunk or well-hidden under the car seat. Always bring your driver’s license with you.
  • Remember to park in well-lit areas and streets that have car guards roaming around to check on your vehicle once in a while. Trust only those people with an official ‘bib’ that authorizes them to work as car guards and be cautious of con artists. Be sure to give them a tip.
  • Do not stop at strangers asking for help especially in open roads and be mindful of possible “roadblocks” that criminal gangs set up to lure motorists. Just drive past through them and report them to the authorities. Be aware of carjacking hotspots in areas you are visiting and stay alert while driving through or in those areas. Take into consideration aggressive driving of some of the locals. Make sure you have the police emergency hotline: 10111 and other related emergency hotlines.

Traveling via commute/walking

  • Refrain from wearing flashy and expensive clothes and accessories and limit the amount of cash you carry with you. Try to distribute your money in different pockets whether in your pants, shorts, or inside the bag and wallet.
  • Do not make it look too obvious that you are a tourist and refrain from checking your map in public. Do it discreetly and only when necessary.
  • Avoid going into central business areas at night or anywhere isolated and secluded where most crimes are known to occur. Avoid doing this even if you are in a group.
  • Bus and taxi rides are predominantly safe but be sure to watch over your possessions all the time. Always take taxis at night, especially when traveling alone.
  • If you plan to visit towns, make sure that you are in a group and are escorted by a guide. If you get to visit Safari, be very mindful of the guide’s instructions as you are entering a territory that is full of wild animals.

Follow and keep in mind these safety reminders to make your travel and stay in South Africa not only meaningful and satisfactory but safe and secure. Do not let your fear refrain you from visiting and discovering the cultural beauty that South Africa has to offer. It is as safe as you make it.

Your Thrifty Guide around Napa Valley

Napa Valley, a vast, lush green, picturesque travel destination in the California region housing premiere and world-class wines are being flocked not only by wine lovers all over the world but also of tourists from all walks of life. This is due to the place’s highly recommended restaurants offering delectable foods, hotels of immensely great accommodation, a variety of activities to experience, and the personal touch of nature, which is a breath of fresh air from the usual urban destinations.

Labeled as California’s Wine County, the acres of wine yards, bordered in between two magnificent mountain ranges, are surprisingly not the state’s largest wine-generating region. Napa Valley is known as such not so much because of quantity but more on the exceptional quality of their wine. With all these information, a tourist is naturally expected to cash out a lot of money for this trip to happen, but knowing these practical tips will make you enjoy the journey without the need to splurge too much.

Let’s start, of course, with the pride of Napa Valley – Wines.

Napa valley guide

Wine Tasting

  1. Wine tasting done at wineries around the area is usually for $15 to $20 per winery.
  2. For cheaper tastings, you may avail of a Napa Downtown Card for $30 to get the chance to taste different wines from 12 different tasting rooms instead of wineries. All these at your own pace – no need to hurry through all of them in just a day. Five rooms a day is ideal. The card can be purchased at the Napa Valley Visitor Center where you can also ask for current, additional discounts, promos, and specials, or you may call: 707 257 0322 in advance.
  3. For those interested in the process of winemaking, they may avail free educational tours offered by particular wineries such as Frog’s Leap and Robert Mondavi Winery with a $20-$25 tasting fee.

Accommodation & Lodging

  1. If you’re a solo traveler, one way to save money for lodging is to seek help from Couchsurfing.com, a website that connects the locals with the travelers who are in need of a place to stay and don’t mind becoming an honorary member of another family for a while. On the bright side, you get the chance to witness what it is like to live there as a local, personally experiencing their rich culture, and even bag handy, insider tips to keep in mind when roaming around Napa Valley if you have a tight budget. Bear in mind though that reservations must be made in advance since they always receive a lot of requests and there are only limited hosts to cater the tourists.
  2. You may also check out Airbnb.com which is another search engine made explicitly for tourists looking for places to stay based on their location, within the range of their budget (starting from as low as $10), and the type of room (whether you plan to rent the entire place, a private, or shared room) they wish to avail.
  3. There are also many motels and inns that have prices that range from as low as $79 to not more than $200 such as the El Bonita Motel, Flamingo Conference Resort & Spa, Calistoga Inn Restaurant & Brewery, and the Jack London Lodge.

Filling in your Hungry Stomach

  1. If you’re aiming for budget-friendly food purchases, stick with sandwich shops or markets like the Oxbow Public Market for quick meals where you can also buy products that you can bring home with you for your family and friends. For fresh pieces of bread, you may check out Model Bakery located just behind the Oxbow market. Food trucks like AdHoc and burger stands like Gott & Roadside also offer fried chicken meals and burgers for lower prices.
  2. And what better way to save money in food than to bring your own and cook it where you’ll be staying.

Transportation

  1. The cheapest mode of transportation around Napa Valley is with the use of a bike. Bike rentals cost around $45/day, and you can rent them in Calistoga Bikeshop and Napa Valley Bike Tour.
  2. Other than bikes, you may also rely on Uber as it is known to operate around the world and charges $14 per 15 minutes of a 5-mile drive.
  3. If you have your own car, it would be better to designate someone to do the driving for you. If not, you can settle for hired car services that cost from $35/hr. to as much as $115/hr.

Should You Buy Travel Insurance?

You have decided to go overseas for the next family vacation. The dates have been settled, the itinerary is set, and the kids are all excited. As you canvass for the cheapest airfare options available, the question arises: should you buy travel insurance?

travel insurance

Travel insurance packages may be purchased from these vehicles: the chosen airline or cruise service itself, a third-party travel insurance agency, or your credit card provider. Buying the insurance from the same airline or carrier will prove less of a hassle as you can directly transact with them in case an emergency occurs under their watch. Travel agencies may offer more comprehensive packages with a broader network of participating countries as well. Credit card companies may provide flexible payment options for their valued traveler clients. Regardless of what platform you prefer, it is the insurance coverage that should help you decide.

Trip Cancellation or Interruption Insurance

Travel agencies often recommend travel insurance as most plane or cruise ship tickets are non-refundable, so many travelers experience the misery of canceling a paid flight and thereby wasting cash or being charged with additional fees when rescheduling a missed trip in spite of a justifiable cause. The cancellation clause allows one to reimburse all related payments in case a trip was aborted due to reasonable claims such as critical illness, severe weather, prior accident and others as may be listed in the policy.

The interruption policy meanwhile protects the client if unable to continue with an ongoing trip, allowing the client to reimburse the fraction of the cost of service not rendered. This will prove worthwhile when traveling with senior citizens or sickly relatives. Many organized tours already include this provision in the tour package, but it is still wise to carefully examine the coverage.

Medical and Evacuation Insurance

While it seems unfitting to talk about accidents in the middle of a vacation, it is still worth-caring to subscribe to an evacuation insurance policy during your trip. This insurance type covers the cost of receiving medical attention in case of an accident or health problem that would have occurred to you from remote locations. It is different from the usual healthcare plan as it also covers the cost of rescue, repatriation or (heaven forbid) transportation of remains. Other medical plans do not shoulder such expenses; hence, it will save you up to 50,000 USD should you get travel insurance with this inclusion.

Luggage Theft, Damage or Loss Insurance

Most airfare tickets automatically include a baggage protection clause that will allow you to reimburse lost or stolen items from your luggage under their watch. You may still want to look closely at the airline’s regulations as there may be certain limits and item restrictions. Some travel companies provide a separate or upgraded luggage insurance policy that can cover expensive items such as laptops, cameras, or jewelry throughout the tour. This will prove handy for travelers who use digital devices at sea or high altitudes.

All these inclusions may seem to hijack you further, but they also provide value in unspoken ways. So, should you buy travel insurance? Are you confident that no harm will go your way and that you can handle all finances by yourself? The answer deeply hinges on your resolve. Make sure to do your research as you organize your trip. A well-planned excursion is a well-spent vacation.

The Essentials of a Traveler’s First Aid Kit

Whether you are an adventure savant or an amateur traveler, you should know the essential items that constitute a first aid kit. Be sure that you are ready to attend to any kind of emergencies – from simple to serious ones – to avoid any disruptions in your itinerary. Listed below are the essentials for preparing a traveler’s kit.

Bandages, moleskin, and gauze pads

These are the basic necessities of a first aid kit. They can be used for treating small injuries, cuts, scrapes, blisters, and wounds. They won’t take up much space on your kit, so be sure to stock up on these items in various assortments.

Surgical/Medical Tape

When you get a slightly deep or bigger wound, a surgical tape will help hold the gauze and dressing in place. Additionally, it can help strap sprains, strains, and other minor injuries.

Tweezers

A pair of tweezers may come in handy in removing splinters and other stinging objects. Tweezers can be used in cutting bandages, gauze, and surgical tape.

Thermometer

Be sure to pack a thermometer in your first aid kit. If you are backpacking and suddenly feel feverish, a thermometer will help in keeping track of your temperature.

Rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is a recommended item for every traveler. Make it a habit to keep your hands clean. Same goes with rubbing alcohol. It can help in cleaning cuts and wounds. Rubbing alcohol is also used to sterilize any equipment you will need. Rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizer will help keep you clean when water is not accessible.

Electrolyte powder packets

These would save your day in case you get diarrhea or vomiting – cases common amongst travelers. If you are traveling to an exotic locale, the food and surroundings may overwhelm your stomach. Packing your electrolytes will surely help rehydrate and replenish you. Drinks rich in electrolytes, such as Gatorade, can also be used.

Topical solutions

Topical solutions include any medication or product applied to the skin. An antibiotic ointment will help in healing small cuts, wounds, and scrapes. Adding a hydrocortisone cream to your kit will help in getting rid of rashes, insect bite, and blisters. Lastly, sunscreen is a must-have for any traveler’s first aid kit. Pack a tube of your favorite sunscreen to block out harmful UV rays anywhere you go.

Allergy medications

When traveling, it is essential to have access to a wide variety of allergy medications. Even if you don’t have allergic reactions that you are aware of, it is still a good idea to pack some allergy medications into your kit. You’ll never know what would trigger a reaction. Furthermore, there is a possibility that you would develop a type of sensitivity to some things that you haven’t encountered before.

To be safe, always be ready and take your Benadryl and antihistamines with you. It would be better if you have an EpiPen. Even if you don’t have known anaphylactic allergies, it won’t hurt to pack one. You may not even need to use it, but others might. Be sure to keep these items on hand.

travelers first aid kit

Over-the-Counter drugs

For over-the-counter drugs, pack the commonly used for treating any ailments that may occur suddenly. Always include pain reducers for mild headaches and sore muscles. Add fever reducers, ibuprofen, Imodium, anti-hyperacidity tablets, and other vitamins.

Personal medications

Be sure that you have your personal medications with you whenever you travel. Add your prescription drugs into your first aid kit. More importantly, do not forget to carry your prescription copies with you, just in case you run out of meds and need to buy more.