Low Cost Airline Tickets

August 22, 2008

Would you love to go on a far away vacation? With low cost airline tickets this can become very affordable for you and your family.

Unless you are planning a short domestic trip, the cost of airfare is usually a deciding factor in an overseas trip. Most people with moderate incomes simply can’t afford to fly regularly, as much as they would like to. There are, however, some people out there who are flying all the time on regular incomes. The secret to achieving this is a willingness to be flexible and shop around with airfares, as well as employing some tried and true discount travel techniques.

The key to getting a cheap flight is to shop around, and the internet makes this easy for almost anyone to do. There are a plethora of websites that will conduct searches around the world for cheap airfares. Although the internet is a valuable tool in discovering cheap airfares, it’s important that you don’t rely on it entirely. Many sites claim they are searching “all flights” for the cheapest possible fare, but you really don’t have any way of knowing what they do and don’t have access to. Oftentimes the cheapest flights can come from the airlines themselves, and you’d be well advised to check their sites as well in your search.

No matter how much research you do online, you should always visit some travel agents. Keep in mind that these people make their livings selling airfares, and will often have access to deals that aren’t available to you online. Think of it this way: if you really could always get the cheapest flight online, travel agents would be out of business. The fact that they are not suggests that good deals are to found the old fashioned way: by visiting the office of a travel agent.

When looking for discount travel, you should also explore non-traditional methods of finding flights. Websites like priceline.com offer reverse auction systems, that is: you place a bid of what you’re willing to pay on a given route on a given date, and if it turns out that an airline is willing to release a seat for that price, your credit card is billed an a ticket is issued.

Another good avenue to explore is “bucket shops” – companies who buy bulk tickets from airlines at a heavy discount. They don’t have the choice that travel agent has, of course, but if you’re flexible you can often get a good deal. A typical bucket shop system will work as follows: you give them a week-long window during which you’d like to fly and some destination choices, and then if something comes up at the last minute you can have it at a heavy discount.

Another rarely explored discount travel technique is to look into bucket shops and travel agents located in ethnic neighborhoods. Often, foreign airlines sell discounted tickets to these shops, which in turn serve an ethnic community regularly traveling to their home country. These shops have access to tickets from airlines that often aren’t available at your regular travel agent, and can offer a significant savings.

The important thing to remember in terms of discount travel is to explore as many avenues as you can. The more flexible you are willing to be, the cheaper your fare is likely to be – but even if you’re stuck with rigid dates, a compressive search will often result in airfares that are significantly lower than those commonly advertised.

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How To Save For A Cruise Vacation

August 22, 2008

A cruise vacation can be quite affordable if you know how to save for a cruise vacation and how to save money on the cruise itself.

You would like to go on a cruise this year for your vacation. But, just looking at some of the costs that are out there is a sure enough way to worry that you may not be able to afford to do that. Yet, there are many ways that you can save money on the cruise that you plan to purchase. If you are like many of the people out there, you should carefully consider your options. First of all, you should do a little research before you commit to one cruise or the other. There is much to be learned before you do that.

Cruises can be affordable if you know what and when to do it. Depending on where you would like to go, what you would like to see, and what you would like to do, your options may be a little limited. So, what you should do to save money is to be as open as possible about the cruise. If you are able to go at any time of the year, it is best to go in the off season. You can often find the best deals on packages during the winter months. But, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be winter where you are headed. If you live in the north, a winter cruise to the tropical is ideal and it feels like summer there!

Another way to save on your cruise is to comparison shop. Not all of the various options that are out there to be booked are offered for the same price. You may find that the same cruise will cost less on one website than it will cost on another. This is heartbreaking if you choose the wrong one. Take a few minutes to compare your prices.

Also, consider how you will get to your cruise. A sure way to drive up the cost of a cruise is to need to take a flight to get to the cruise in the first place. You may want to consider driving. Or, if you can, consider boarding your cruise ship as close to home as possible. By cutting off a few miles this way, you may be able to actually save quite a bit in airline fees.

There is no reason why you can not save money on the cruises that you plan to take. In fact, if you are one that can pick up and go, some cruises will actually offer very good rates in the off season when they do not have a lot of guests. This is ideally the best time to go!

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Free Vacation Safety Tips

August 22, 2008

Vacations are a lot of fun, but also bring up some safety concerns. Keep everyone safe with these free vacation safety tips.

Family vacations are a fun and wonderful experience. However, it’s normal to be concerned about safety issues especially when traveling with children.

Here are a few tips to help ease your mind.

Airport Safety – Always keep an eye on your luggage and never leave it unattended. To avoid someone else picking up your carry-on bag, try not to place it on the conveyor belt until you’ve been security checked yourself and right about to walk through the metal detector. Once you put it on the conveyor belt keep a close eye on it.

Hotel Safety – Keep valuables in a safe and always know where your closest safety exits are in case of an emergency.

Road Safety – It’s a great experience to drive in another country but it can also be very stressful and even dangerous. Before your trip, get information on what driving is like in your destined country. Once there pay close attention to all road signs, if the signs are in a different language this will make things more difficult.

To avoid being detected as a ‘tourist,’ practice with your rental car controls and features before driving it. And don’t go out in a car with a rental-company logo on the bumper or windscreen, which automatically announces you as a tourist and makes you more vulnerable to attacks by thieves, and for this same reason make sure you don’t leave your maps, hotel documents and guidebooks in the car.

If it’s possible to roam your mobile phone in the country do it, and if not get one to use internationally; it will be useful especially in case of emergencies at your destination and for making contact with your base back home.

Sight-Seeing Safety - Always keep a close eye on your children. Children aren’t aware of the dangers around them and won’t act any different in unfamiliar surroundings. Place a safety card in your child’s pocket including your name, contact details and hotel information. You can also tape this information on a card directly on your child’s back or stomach under their clothes.

Don’t wear expensive jewelry or carry expensive bags, cameras or laptops and try not to appear as a tourist too often. Always, always keep a close eye on your bags. It’s a good idea to actually carry your cash, identification and credit cards in your pocket and not in your main bag.

Be especially careful with your bags when sitting down at restaurants. It’s a common scam for thieves to steal bags from right under someone’s seat when they’re dining and happily preoccupied chatting.

Stay on the main roads and near people at all times. Try not to wander down unfamiliar roads or alleys even if you’re tempted to find a short cut.

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