Reasons to Use a Full Service Online Travel Agent

Online Travel AgentWhen it comes to planning your vacation, it’s tempting to go the do-it-yourself route. After all, it’s easy enough to book an airline flight reservation. Why shouldn’t you also do your own booking for a car rental, hotel, or even a cruise? Here are five reasons why you should leave your vacation planning to a professional, full service online travel agent:

1. Terrific Deals

You can do your own booking, but you won’t necessarily get a low far or the best deal. Airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, and cruise ships count on people to make their own reservations and charge higher rates to those who do. Yet they don’t really make a profit until they’re completely booked.

Think of hotel rooms, airplane seats, and cruise ship cabins as perishable commodities. Just like an expired carton of milk has to be pulled off the grocery store shelf, on any given night, an empty hotel room is lost revenue that will never be regained. Similarly, an airplane is going to fly and a cruise ship will embark whether or not the seats and cabins are full. It’s in the best interest of hotels, airlines, and cruise ships to be fully booked. That’s why they offer discounted fares to an online travel agent, who can then pass along the savings to you.

2. Full Packages

A full service online travel agent can put together package vacations to destinations and hotel properties to which you might not otherwise have access. Perhaps you’re a golfer, and want a dream golf vacation. Maybe a Caribbean vacation is on the horizon. Or maybe you are looking for the perfect cruise package. Although it’s sometimes possible to book travel packages with the destination, you often don’t get the options that best meet your needs. An online travel agent can put together packages that work best for you and your family.

3. Great Service

When you go the do-it-yourself route, it’s often difficult to coordinate all aspects of your travel. Making sure that your flights depart and arrive at optimal times, that your hotel reservation is in order, that your car rental will be available, and that you’ll have everything in order to board a cruise ship is no walk in the park. An online travel agent can do all the legwork for you so you can concentrate on preparing for your trip. And, if you have a change in plans, the great service that an online travel agent provides can make the transition a smooth one.

4. Group Travel

Extended families often travel together, and businesses have group travel requirements from time to time. In either case, a full service online travel agent can easily book trips for people who have the same destination but who are traveling from different places. Having a group travel coordinator gives everyone peace of mind and ensures that the group’s needs are met.

5. Honeymoon Registry

If you’re planning your honeymoon, an online travel agent can provide you with the latest trend in wedding gifts: the honeymoon registry. When you register with a full service online travel agent, your guests can contribute funds to your honeymoon, or they can buy specific services (such as a spa treatment or a romantic breakfast in bed) that you have on your wish list.

While it’s possible to book travel yourself, why would you want to? After all, the advantages in using a full service online travel agent are limitless.

Travel Agents For Your Vacation

There are numerous advantages of planning your vacation with the help of a travel agent. Travel agents, or travel consultants have experience not only about the location, but know the important things that one should take care of when traveling to a certain destination. With their expertise and experience, you can obtain access to free travel tips like airline tips, hotel tips, how you can save money on airfare, insurance tips, international traveling tips, budget location tips, and so much more. The travel consultants have links, contacts, and the resources required to plan a holiday within an individual’s budget and provide you the help you need in case of an emergency. They can provide you with the right airline traveling tips and different packages that are within your budget. Many travel agents offer the package that has everything from toll taxes to airfare. You should consider using the following travel tips in order to find the best travel agent.

Agents are still a vital part of the industry. Since the internet has revolutionized the industry many people have taken to making their own arrangements. An agent still provides valuable time saving, money saving convenience and personal attention that you just can’t get from your computer. Here’s how using an agent can help you have the best experience.

They save you time.

You can spend hours searching for the right place at the right time and the right price. Who has that kind of time? An agent does the work and has the insight to match the travel with the appropriate needs. This is especially helpful when the itinerary is complex. Agents have the expertise to efficiently find the perfect arrangements for you.

They save you money.

An agent will help to get you the best value for the money. They also have access to pricing and package deals that are not available to the public. They are connected directly to the resorts, cruise lines and hotels so they can get the first and best for you.

They offer personalized service.

Agents offer a personal touch to your planning by offering help and advice that a website cannot provide. An agent can prepare you a personalized trip based on where you want to go and what you want to do. If you’re not sure about that, an agent can provide you with suggestions based on your interests.

They lessen your stress.

Traveling away from home means many details have to be looked after. To avoid the headaches, agents can handle every aspect of your trip from airline tickets to lodging, ground transportation, car rental, activities, tours, passport and visa requirements and more.

They are experts.

Like other professionals, agents keep up in their field and have ready access to the most current information and trends. At their fingertips is the latest information from airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, visas, and other services .

Airline Traveling Tips

When a travel consultant is helping you organize a trip, then you should keep in mind that you can obtain tickets on a discounted price from numerous airlines. These travel consultants have links with airlines and can help you get a discount on the purchase of tickets.

Hotel Traveling Tips

If you would like to avoid having to face any last minute issues, then you should ask your travel agent to book your hotels in advance. Book hotels at all the places that you are going to visit so you have a place to go to when you get there. Also, it would be wise to book a hotel ahead of time because hotels charge a lot of money when they see a traveler who is desperate for a room.

Tips for Senior Citizens

Travel agents can help you organize a group tour for different vocational and age groups. Group tours are cheaper and safer, especially if you are a traveling senior. The advantage of group tours is that you will not feel alone on the trip. You will make great friends throughout the trip. Travel agents fix a schedule for group tours, so a number of destinations are covered up easily and within your budget.

Historical Visits

Travel agents can employ a guide for the travelers to explain different historical monuments of a destination to the tourists. Your visit will be made memorable if you leave the country knowing about its past heritage visiting monuments around the destination. The best part is that you do not have to pay for the guide all by yourself because the cost is spread over the entire group!

To sort out the many options, agents help you to make the best possible arrangements. The next time you want to go on a trip, instead of turning on the computer use your phone to call your travel agent.

Tips For Successful Travel

We all travel a lot more now than our ancestors did. We travel all over the world and only think of the jet lag, and not the vast distances we cover. Our world has become smaller and more reachable. And this is a good thing. It helps us to understand different cultures, different people with different ways of living and working. But there are a few essentials we should always check before setting off.
1. It may seem obvious, but many people don’t bother to find out the most basic things about the country they will travel to. You should do this to avoid surprise or disappointment.
2. Check on the kind of weather you will find where you are going. If you live in Florida and travel to northern Greenland, you will be in for a shock unless you know that much colder weather is normal there.
3. Be sure that the medical and general insurance coverage you have (you do have, don’t you?) is adequate for your destination.
4. Do you have all the paperwork and documentation required for your trip? If not, get it!
5. Are there any diseases you will need immunization against where you are going? Check and find out before getting exposed.
6. If you plan on driving in the place you intend to travel to, check that you have an acceptable licence. You may need an international driving licence, for example. And are you familiar with the local driving laws where you are going? If not, become familiar, fast.
7. Finally, the most obvious one of all: is your passport up to date? And if not, do you have enough time to renew it before you set off? You’d be surprised, amazed even, at how many people get this one wrong.

Tips To Saving Money On Beach Vacation

ere’s a really simple way to save on beach vacation travel. We are going to show you 3 ways to save you some bucks when booking your next beach vacation. The beach is an incredible experience. No matter whether you’ve traveled to far western Australia or taken a quick weekend trip to the Jersey Shore, barring rain, the beach is usually a really enjoyable experience. We’ve taken trips all over the world we’ve missed giant opportunities of money savings that were seemingly all around us if we had just taken the time to do a little extra research. Well, you are in luck. The travel research has been done for you, all you have to do is be willing to keep reading. Before you know it, you’ll be taking the beach vacation of your life, for a steeply discounted price. Here we go:

1) Buy it used. Well, not really used: more like discounted (or unused actually). Sometimes, people can put their vacation opportunities up at real discounts. Did you know that there are all sorts of people out there who own time shares but can’t use them for various reasons? Maybe the season isn’t right, or they can’t seem to get the flight that they need. Ebay has a thriving market for timeshare opportunities. A lot of the listings are permanent (e.g. people looking for others to buy their times shares out completely), but sometimes people are just looking to monetize a weeks worth of timeshare that they can’t seem to use themselves. Their loss can be your opportunity. Ebay is an auction, and the highest price wins usually.

2) Compare everything. Guess what? Expedia and Orbitz seem like they are juggernauts of internet travel and they control a lot of the market. BUT, they don’t have every vendor available. A lot of the discount airlines like SouthWest and JetBlue don’t use either of these massive companies and you can only get their deals by going directly to their website. Don’t’ tell anyone, but from what we’ve heard JetBlue is supposed to have really nice seats and monitors on new planes with really good prices. We haven’t used JetBlue ourselves yet, but it’s supposed be really good (especially at delivering good value on Northeast to Florida routes). That tip alone could save you some bucks while getting you a really nice flight.

3) The first 2 points are perfectly valid in any trip planning but almost worthless when you consider that you might have to shell out a lot more bucks for destinations abroad. There is a beautiful beach state located not too far from anyone East of the Mississippi. That’s right. Florida. Florida is back and it’s beaches are still fantastic. Florida is still beautiful. There has been a lot of development of Florida during the last 50 years, but Florida is still a massive state with plenty of undiscovered beaches. The state of Florida can be great if you know where to look. It’s pretty nice. Trust us….the undiscovered spots of Florida can really be something else. However, they are becoming more and more difficult to find as thousands of people move to Florida every month.

Do Your Research Before Traveling

When planning to take a trip, it is advisable to spend some time doing research even if you are booking through a Travel Agent.  This research could save you a significant amount of money and perhaps prevent a miserable stay in a sub-standard hotel.

Many people have moved away from using Travel Agents.  This is understandable due to the availability of cheap fares and hotel rooms available through the internet.  However, it is wise to consider the benefits of utilizing a professional particularly when proposing to visit somewhere that you haven’t previously been.  Some of the advantages of using a Travel Agent are gaining the benefit of their expertise, experience, personal service, ability and indeed the obligation to clarify and inform you of details in the fine print which you may miss if booking on your own account, their up to date knowledge of the latest deals and their ability to distill and interpret information to hopefully offer you the best value deal for your trip.

With that said, it is still prudent to conduct your own research.  The Travel Agent can provide suggestions about a range of airlines you could use and different fares and advise on hotels in good areas within budget guidelines.  At this point you have some great information to work off.  You have not had to start from scratch.  You have an idea as to which are the better priced airlines and the areas you should look at staying taking into account what you’re looking to do in a particular place.  Now you can see if there are internet deals that may beat the air fares the Travel Agent has quoted you.  In many cases these days, the Travel Agency will do what they can to equal or beat whatever publicized deal is out there.  It is a very competitive industry.  In the cases of hotels, many of the chains as well as some independents are claiming to have the best internet deals on their own sites.  This is of benefit to both the consumer as well as the hotel.  They don’t have to pay commission to a third party and you are dealing directly with the establishment that you are proposing to stay with who can answer any queries that you may have regarding elements of your accommodation as well as possibly saving money.  You will also find that when booking direct off the hotel website that you may be offered upgrades or specials not available anywhere else.

The internet is also a great and up to date resource which can allow you to read reviews from consumers regarding airlines, hotels, sightseeing trips and just about anything that you can think of.  This can be invaluable.  If you go to a site such as www.tripadvisor.com you will find reviews on just about any hotel in the world.  Many of the reviews provide excellent information about the hotel rooms, restaurants, attitude of the staff, cleanliness, activities and pool if they have one.

Don’t underestimate the value of a good Travel Agent but be prepared to put in some time to conduct your own research.  The worst you could do is add to the excitement of planning for a trip and maybe you’ll even save yourself some money!

Travel Tips For Canada

Canada is a great vacation destination and has many things to offer to its visitors like the majestic mountains, beautiful winding roads, lush green forests, wildlife and the multicultural cities. I traveled to Canada last year in December using my air Canada miles, my trip was simply awesome. Here I want to share with you my five best travel tips for Canada.

First Tip – Purchase A Good Travel Guide:

When you are traveling to some foreign country, it’s always a god idea to carry a travel guide. Canada is also a no exception, if you don’t want to buy a travel guide there are always many good travel tips and guides present online which you can print.

You can find some good travel guides for Canada on top web pages like Fodor’s, Lonely Planet or Rough guides. A good thing about travel guides is that it provides you with an insight about the destination, like where to go, what to eat and drink, things to do and see, where to shop etc. Investing in a travel guide is not bad and it only helps you in knowing the place better.

Second Tip – Always Consider The Climate:

Before you pack your bags for Canada, don’t forget to consider the season you are traveling in. If you are heading for the Maritime Provinces then you must know that they tend to be more humid than the other provinces in the west. In Nova Scotia, Halifax, you can expect to experience weather that is temperate in summers and freezing in winters.

If you are staying in the mountainous areas of Canada, then you can expect to see a lot of diversion in the climate. Keep yourself layered up if you are staying in this region. On the other hand, areas like Victoria and Vancouver are more temperate and don’t usually see too much freezing temperature.

Third Tip – Plan To Cross The Border:

Traveling to Canada is not that easy anymore like it once used to be. The new restrictions have made it difficult to cross the borders, the documents needed for traveling to Canada are always changing from time to time. So it’s best that you check the documents and verify that you don’t need anything extra before you head for Canada.

Fourth Tip – Know The Currency:

Another important tip for traveling to Canada is that you should know the importance of comprehending the currency before you leave. Canada uses Canadian dollars, though you can also use US dollars. It is always wise to carry a traveler’s check in Canadian currency since they can be accepted anywhere.

Fifth Tip – Tips On Tipping:

Also remember when you are giving tip in Canada you need to know how the Canadians take gratitude. Tips are not included in the restaurant bills and a standard tip for good service is $12 to $15.

Outdoor Cooking Equipment

If you are looking for outdoor cooking equipment, but are not sure what you need, look no further. There are units out there that serve multiple cooking purposes. These units come by many names, but they can help you cook whatever you’re heart desires.

These versatile cookers will allow you to grill, smoke, stew or deep fry anything all with one outdoor cooking appliance. You can use charcoal or propane, depending on what you are doing. They can be a gas grill, gas smoker, charcoal grill, charcoal smoker, or gas cooker and deep fryer. What more could you ask for? You can take it on a picnic and charcoal grill a steak. You can take it tailgating with a propane tank and deep fry chicken wings or stew up some chili. You can stay at home and smoke a brisket using propane or charcoal, whatever your preference.

If you are limited on space, have a small back yard, or a small area to store equipment while traveling, an outdoor cooker like this is a must have. Most of these units tend to be cylindrical, so they take up less space than a traditional propane grill. They are bulkier than a table top propane grill, but you can’t deep fry or smoke things with a table top grill. Using a unit like this can open up whole new world of menu options for the camp ground, tailgating, or even your own patio.

If you like to cook all different kinds of food, and you love to cook outdoors, why not find a unit that can perform multiple tasks? There is no reason why you should have to settle for just a grill, or just a BBQ smoker. Every outdoor chef needs to have the choice to cook whatever they want, when they want. Why be limited when you can do so many things with a cooker that does it all in one?

Travel Tips For Orlando

It was not too long ago that the main reason that people traveled to Orlando was its Air Force base. However, when Disney World opened in 1971 the influx of tourists started happening and more and more people every year experience the beauty of Orlando. Nowadays Orlando is one of the most popular and most massive tourist destinations and home to many different amusement parks. If you want to know some cheap travel tips for Orlando be sure to read on, because there a few ways that you can get better deals when you travel towards the Magical Kingdom.

Know when to fly

If you have the option to decide which day you are going to fly, you are always better off flying in on days like Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and sometimes you can get a good deal on a Thursday too. If you compare prices, the tickets for a Friday and Sunday flight tend to be more expensive and there are not often deals for those particular days. Because Orlando is a favorite destination for families, you can get some great deals when the kids are back in school, between Thanksgiving and Christmas you will notice that there are some great deals available when you want to travel to Orlando.

Deals may be available

Because Orlando is such a massive tourist destination it should come as no surprise that it has an incredible number of hotels available. Nevertheless, did you know that Orlando almost has the number of hotel rooms that Las Vegas has? Because of that, you can often get a good package deal if you look in advance or simply get lucky.

Get up early – stay up late

There is no denying that people prefer the traditional ‘during the day’ flights, is why you can often get a discount if you take an overnight flight. These are often labeled as ‘red eye’ flights. If you are willing to be a little uncomfortable when it comes to your sleep schedule, you can find some pretty good deals on airfare.

Fly in somewhere else

It is very true that Orlando International Airport has the perfect location for those people who want to enjoy everything that Orlando has to offer. After all, it is a mere 6 miles outside of downtown. But if you want to save some money on your flight you can often find that deals are to be had when you fly to Daytona Beach International Airport (located 71 miles from the Orlando airport) or Tampa International Airport (92 miles from the Orlando airport) so while these may not be as convenient, they can be a great way to save money.

Holiday Air Travel Parking Tips

We all know that the holiday season – that period between Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day each year – is the busiest and most stressful for airline travelers around the globe. Everyone wants to get home to see their family, often traveling with young children, and patience runs thin while stress and frustration top the charts. Of course, there are lots of tips for making holiday travel easier, cheaper, and more relaxed but have you thought about how airport parking options can help?

Wonder no more! Here are the top five holiday air travel parking tips.

1. Use an Offsite Parking Lot

Cheaper, less crowded, and more apt to get to you the departure gate on time, offsite parking lots eliminate a lot of stress when you arrive at the airport. Airport lots are closer, but often you end up walking halfway across the asphalt before you ever spy a shuttle to take you to the terminal. And the odds of finding a spot close to the terminal entrance? Slim to none. Quit spending precious minutes looking for the perfect spot, then waiting for a shuttle while keeping an eye on your kids and a hand on your luggage. Offsite parking is one of the best kept secrets of savvy travelers.

2. Reserve Your Space

Another benefit of using offsite parking is that you can make a reservation ahead of time. This ensures that the lot can accommodate your vehicle and also gives the proprietor a better idea of how many shuttles they need to run, and when. Reserving your space also saves time since the vendor will already have all your pertinent information on file when you check in. Get in and get out quickly!

3. Condense Your Luggage

The fewer pieces of luggage you have, the less you’ll have to pay – and worry about. With tight airline restrictions, weight limits, and extra baggage checks, the fewer pieces you carry, the better. Check the airline’s rules and regulations before packing so you’re not surprised by extra fees at check-in. It may be cheaper, and less stressful, to ship holiday gifts rather than put them in your suitcase.

4. Plan For Extra Time

Even if you use an offsite parking service, the holiday travel season is incredibly busy. Add an extra half hour to the time you need to arrive at the airport in order to accommodate any possible parking/transportation delays.

5. Make Safety Your Number One Priority

During the holidays there are more thefts than ever from airport parking lots. Another advantage of offsite parking is the added security. The facilities are well-lit, completely fenced, and provide 24/7 surveillance for your safety. Nothing can ruin a holiday trip quicker than theft or damage to your vehicle so ensure you are parking in a safe and secure location.

Airports are extremely busy during the holidays but if you make the right decision regarding your parking options, you are bound to enjoy a more stress-free trip.

Travel Ideas For the Holiday Season Which Won’t Break the Budget

People these days are keeping a close watch on their budgets. Worrying about paying the mortgage, putting food on the table and getting to work puts vacations down the list of our priorities. Some people do not even consider the idea of taking a vacation. However, you know what they say about all work and no play …?

Here are five travel ideas that you can do, even when you’re on a tight budget. Let’s have a look at how you can do it. Try thinking of it as therapy for your spirit. Just a brief rest from the rat race can certainly work wonders at relieving all that built up stress and re-energizing your spirits!

1. How well do you know all the towns and attractions within a 50 mile radius of home? When you are thinking of a vacation, that fabulous little coastal town just 20 miles away may not even cross your mind. One thing to consider however is that if you have never been there, you will have absolutely no idea how it gained it’s gorgeous reputation. Why not go online and check it out. You may be surprised at what you find. Is it an artsy community, full of bed and breakfasts’, artisans, a cheese factory or even a winery? Go and check out their calendar for local festivals and theatre productions. A one night stay at the historic B&B and two days filled with exploring the town won’t ruin the budget and serves to put enough distance between you and the same-old same-old to allow you to lose yourself for just a couple of days, returning home refreshed and cheery, ready to face another month of toil.

2. Why not trying to modify the parent-only romantic weekend. Depending on where you live, you may not even have to leave your home town! During the colder months, hotels often run specials to attract visitors during the slow season. Check your local newspaper and give some of the better hotels a call to see if they’ve got anything going. If your goal is to take it easy, have a swim, watch movies without having to get up and make breakfast, this extremely affordable travel idea could just be the ticket. Think of it this way, should an emergency arise, you can be home in ten minutes!

3. If you are lucky enough that your purse allows for a bit more extravagance, go and scour the travel newsletters for those last minute bargain airfares. They are out there, you just need to be diligent in checking them regularly. Many are all-inclusive packages that get you to some beach front paradise. Even if you have to set aside money from each paycheck for a few months, this travel idea can have you snorkeling, sun bathing and enjoying an exotic array of food in a new and exciting culture that satisfies your travel itch and lasts for months to come.

4. Certainly don’t forget that the travel industry is in somewhat of a slump. They need your business. You have probably seen the television ads for resorts, offering gas coupons and plenty of other incentives, along with reduced rates. Choose ones which are within driving distance and take advantages of these cheap prices. These days, you need to think outside the box for travel ideas that are affordable and still exciting enough to provide that break you need.

5. The last travel idea applies to when you’re traveling by air. Considering now that airlines charge over the top for extra baggage, pack wisely and save. Wherever you’re going, there’s absolutely no reason to take more than a carry-on, even when traveling in winter. Wear your coat, boots and at least one sweater when you board. Roll the rest of your clothes. Buy your toiletries at your destination. Two dress outfits, one pair of dress shoes, a pair of jeans, a few pairs of undies and a couple of t-shirts is really all you’ll need.

It can be almost guaranteed that one of the above travel ideas will fit in perfectly with your vacation plans. Enjoy!

Finding Discount Travel Packages

If you dream of visiting faraway places but want to get the most bang for your buck, consider buying a discount travel package. These packages often come with flights, hotel stays and other perks that you couldn’t get otherwise. Booking a discount travel package is easy if you know when, where and how to look.

Before you start planning your vacation, spend a little bit of time researching the cheapest times of the year to visit your destination of choice. Every location has peak seasons. If you travel during a time when prices are low, you’ll be able to get a good deal on your travel plans. Study the travel listings to see when prices drop their lowest and then plan your vacation for that time. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that there isn’t a reason for the discounts that will change your travel experience. Even if you can save a few bucks, for example, it might not be worth booking a travel package to a tropical island during the rainy season or the hurricane season.

Once you’ve decided where and when you want to travel, there are several tactics that you can use to get a discount on your travel plans. With planning and a sharp eye, you’ll be able to grab a good deal when you see one. Here are a few more tips to help you find discounted travel packages.

1. Use Internet travel sites to alert you of discounted travel packages the moment they come on the market. Many of these services will allow you to nab discount packages immediately. Keep in mind that the travel times are normally within a few days or a week of their posting.

2. If you’re a frequent flyer with one of the major airlines or have rewards points through your credit card, you may be privy to special deals that will lower your travel costs. Make sure to read the fine print on your agreement so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Visit the website of your airline’s frequent flyer program or your credit card company’s rewards program to find out what you need to do to take advantage of their discount travel programs.

3. Make sure to contact the visitor’s bureau of the location you’ll be visiting, especially if you are traveling within the United States. They can notify you of any special events that are taking place that might interfere with getting a good deal. For example, if there’s a local festival going on in the location of your choice you might have a problem finding reasonable priced travel packages.

4. Before you book your discount travel package, be sure to read the fine print. You want to understand exactly what you are agreeing to and what will be included in your travel package. If you are deciding between two different packages, make sure to write down all of the details so you can compare them equally. Don’t go only by price. You may find out that one package is more expensive but it includes features that the other package does not.