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.

Types of Barbados Vacation Packages

Traveling alone can be fun and exciting if you are the adventurous and outgoing type. For other people, they need company in a foreign land to discover and enjoy the place. Travel agencies and airlines often provide vacation packages for people traveling in a group or with company. If you are planning your next vacation to Barbados, here are some Barbados vacation packages you might want to consider to save money on accommodations and flights. Choose the one that suits your needs the most and enjoy the package with your significant other or family.

    • Airline Packages- More often than not, airlines have great flight deals and Barbados vacation packages on offer to increase demand and encourage more travelers to choose their airline over others. Competition is fierce in the airline industry and maintaining long term traveler trust and loyalty is more important now than ever before. Many travelers also choose to travel to Barbados aboard one of the many Caribbean cruises rather than fly and is another reason airlines offer promos and discounts to create and increase demand of airline travel to Barbados. Some great airlines to consider packages to Barbados with are Virgin Holidays by Virgin Atlantic Airways, American Airlines Vacations, Air Canada Vacations, Airline Vacations by Liat, Air Jamaica Vacations. These airlines often offer really low rates on special dates and holidays to attract more people to travel.

 

    • All-inclusive Packages- All-inclusive Barbados vacation packages provide everything that you will need and organizes your island activities beforehand so that when you get there all you need to do is unpack and enjoy. All-inclusive vacation packages to the island usually include round trip flights on a major airline from major city airports, 5 nights or more accommodation in standard room at a Barbados hotel of your choice, daily meals and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and non-motorized water activities.

 

    • Family Packages- These are the best vacation packages to get if you are traveling to this Caribbean island with the entire family. These packages will help you save more money since they offer great discounts for family activities. They also give further reductions for families with children below 12 years old. If you still have kids young enough to join you and your hubby on your vacation, this is the package to get.

 

    • Honeymoon Packages- Many newlyweds choose Barbados as their honeymoon destination and often times this is when they are most strapped for money. Honeymoon Barbados vacation packages offer newlyweds a chance to enjoy and spend their first days being married on a lovely beach in the warmth of the Caribbean sun. These packages usually include a nice and lovely hotel suite, equipped with in-room Jacuzzi, at one of the island’s adult-only luxury resorts, as well as spa treatments for the couple during their stay. They are also provide a romantic dinner on your first night.

 

    • Wedding Packages- For those who are not married yet you can choose a Barbados wedding package instead. Deciding to have a destination wedding in Barbados can be very romantic with the beautiful scenery of the crystal blue Caribbean Sea and lush tropical greenery. These packages offer discounts for couples to be wed on the island, often on the landscape of the hotel and to accommodate all of their guests while allowing for a wonderful stay and beautiful memories.

 

    • Golf Packages- Going on vacation to the island of Barbados and love playing golf? No problem! You can find packages that offer accommodation discounts and cheap flights to Barbados for you if you are traveling for golf tournament or just looking to play golf while on vacation.

 

  • Timeshare Packages- This type of vacation package is continually gaining popularity with travelers who have simply fallen in love with the island, allowing them to share ownership on their accommodation to lessen costs. You will get to spend a specific amount of time vacationing in your timeshare property each and every year! During the time when you are not using it other vacation will stay their instead. This way you only have to pay a fraction of the accommodation cost.

Car Rental Tips

On a recent trip to Indiana I needed to rent a car. Prior to my trip I looked online at various car rental companies. I compared prices for the sized vehicle I needed. Since it was only me and a friend I opted for a full sized car, which turned out to be an Impala.

When I returned the car the following day it came time to pay the bill. Much to my shock and amazement the car that I had rented for what I though would be “x” amount dollars turned out to be “x” amount dollars plus “x” amount of dollars more. In other words there were hidden fees.

This brings me to tip number one. Check all of the fine print when it comes to renting a vehicle. You would be surprised what they hide in there. Most of the time your larger companies such as Enterprise, Hertz and Avis put everything up front and only tack on additional fees for services that you request that will cost extra such as insurance.

That leads me into my second car rental tip. If you have your own car insurance check to see what kind of coverage it includes when you rent a car. Getting the car rental insurance is one of the biggest scams going. OK well it is not really a scam, it is legit, they just inflate the price on you. If you have your own car insurance that covers the basics when you rent a car you do not need to get the car rental company’s insurance. Save the extra $25 to $100 per day they will charge you.

My final tip I want to go over is checking the fuel tank on the vehicle that you rent. Make sure you know the fuel level on the rental car. Also make sure that you have the person from the car rental company write it down. Their policy might be for you to return the car with a full tank of gas but if they only give it to you with a quarter tank of gas, that isn’t very fair is it? No of course not.

So make sure they know that if you get it with a quarter tank of gas they are getting it back with a quarter tank of gas. Chances are that will not happen especially if you rent from a reputable car rental company. If you try a fly by night place you take some major chances on a lot of services.

Before you return the car make sure the gas level is at where it was when you picked the car up. The car rental company adds on anywhere from $0.10 to $0.20 per gallon extra on top of the current days gas prices. Since gas is already at an all time high, I doubt you want to pay anymore than you have to. So put gas in it before you get back to the car rental agency.

Renting a car is not a big hassle and usually doesn’t turn out to be one. However, if you get lazy on the simple things it can turn into a nightmare that could cost you a lot of money it should not have.

Finding the Best Cruise Deals

Cruising aboard the best cruise lines can be a wonderful way to see many different cities without constantly packing and unpacking. The best cruise deals can be great bargains, especially when you take into account that a luxury cruise provides transportation, lodging, entertainment and great food for one price.

And yet, to really understand the best cruise prices you need to look beyond the quoted cruise prices and compare the total cruising costs in order to to get the best cruise deals on the best cruises.

Here are the other factors to think of when you are looking for cruise travel deals:

Excursion Costs.

Trips ashore from the ship are call excursions, and they usually cost extra. So, you will want to add these costs in to your budget. If you are only cruising to different beach towns, you might just decide to go ashore yourself (which is usually free of charge) or get a taxi.

But if you are going to a tourist city with many sites to see (museums, ruins, etc.) then your excursion package may include bus travel, meal charges and admissions fees to attractions. One of those types of excursions could possibly be hundreds of dollars per person (or more). While it is certainly o.k. to pay for the value that you receive, be sure to include those charges when you are calculating your cruise budget.

Tipping Costs.

Tipping on a cruise can involve a substantial amount of money. Be aware that there are some cruise lines will automatically charge a large tip on your bill for your restaurant waitstaff, cabin stewards, and others, and some cruiselines will not really make it clear that you will be charged.

On the other hand, some cruise ships permit each ship staff member who comes in contact with you to ask for a tip. But the best cruiselines are clear about their tipping policies and do not have staff sticking their hands out for tips all during the cruise. Some cruise lines, such as Holland America, will leave it up to you and only have tipping take place in envelopes on the last day of your cruise.

Cruise Ship Cabin Cost Factors.

It is a fact, outside cabins almost always costs more than inside cabins. However, one benefit of an inside cabin that many people don’t realize is that in rough seas you don’t really notice the rocking of the ship as much on the inside of the ship. Think of holding the middle of a pencil in your had and moving the pencil back and forth — the ends travel much farther up and down than the center.

Outside cabins end up moving more as that ship moves from side to side. Also, if you’re going on excursions most days (which may start around 8 a.m. and return right before dinner) and enjoying the ship’s amenities (shows, pools, nightlife, etc.), you aren’t really in your cabin that much. Therefore, an inside cabin can be a nice way to cruise on a budget.

Cruise Schedule Cost Factors.

Another cost factor involves the dates of the specific cruise schedule that you choose. You can find super deals on some of the best European cruises, like Mediterranean cruises, late in the off-season (October-November). However, be aware that the Mediterranean Sea sometimes gets a bit rough during this time. Besides price, another upside of a fall cruise schedule is that the cooler weather can be better for all of the outdoor walking that you may do on the more active excursions.

Entertainment Costs.

Most cruise ship musicals, plays, shows, and other live entertainment are included in the price of your cruise. But you may want to confirm this ahead of time. Other than that, cruise ship casino gambling is obviously at an extra charge to you. Also, don’t forget to figure in the high costs of cruise ship telephone connections and cruise ship internet charges that you might incur (these can be pricey) if you need to call home or check your email during the cruise.

Finding Cheap Flights

Many airlines now offer discounts and budget travel in order to compete with the airlines that have lured their customers away by combining high quality of service with affordable pricing.

How can customers benefit from the competition between airlines? Customers who are looking for a bargain can benefit by searching for and locating the lowest airfares.

Airfare Competition

The airlines are engaged in a competition over customers in air travel. Low-cost airlines that specialize in low prices and cheap flights have forced the rest of the air flight industry to respond to their success.

Many customers found the convenience of rapid air travel combined with affordable pricing to be a bargain. The low-cost airlines that saved money by eliminating extra conveniences and other expenses have begun taking customers from other airlines.

The airlines that were affected by the advent of cheaper airlines were forced into the competition for lower ticket prices and cheaper flights.

Air Travel Customers

Customers were provided with a choice between low prices with bare necessities in air travel and high prices with extra conveniences in air travel. Low-cost airlines sought to attract the customers who wanted no-frills cheaper flights.

Many air travelers opted for lower prices and decided that they could do without extra conveniences and the added expense of the other airlines. These passengers made the low-cost air travel business a profitable venture.

Profit and Low Cost

The low-cost airlines attracted so many customers that the airlines with higher prices were forced to respond with discounts and cheap flights of their own; thus, began the airfare price wars.

Profiting from Competition

The customer who is looking for a bargain can profit from this battle between the giants in the airline industry by seeking out the lowest price for airplane tickets.

For individuals who want to travel but who find the price of air travel prohibitive, a thorough search may lead to surprisingly profitable results. As noted the airlines are in competition for customers.

An airline without customers is a business failure. Accordingly these businesses are trying to appeal to customers and low prices appeal to many prospective customers. One way to find the best deals is direct contact with the airline.

Using the Internet to Search for Cheap Flights

Since the advent of the internet, individuals can purchase electronic tickets online. The purchase of electronic tickets online eliminates paperwork and reduces time spent at the ticket counter.

The next reduction in cost depends on the website chosen for ticket purchase. One of the cheapest options is direct internet contact with an airline.

Although many companies and airline ticket search services offer to find the lowest priced flights, occasionally the airline itself provides the lowest pricing. Go to an airline internet site first and check the pricing. Be sure to compare prices.

Comparing Prices

During your internet search, be aware of price differences according to airport. Sometimes a flight into a different nearby airport may be a cheaper option. Consider landing at different airports that may result in cheaper flights.

Day or Evening Flight

Another consideration is the time of the flight. Flights that take place during the time when airports are at their busiest and airports are congested may cost more than flights that take place at other times.

Comparison shop and determine which time of the day will be the best to fly and will result in the greatest cost-savings and the cheapest flight. If contacting the airlines by phone, you can inquire as to the cheapest time to travel.

Search for Cheap Flights

The individual who is considering travel or vacation would be well-advised to shop around and compare prices before concluding that air travel is not an affordable option.

Considering the competition among airlines for customers, a search for cheap flights is likely to yield good results.

Travel Safety Tips For International Travelers

Crime is a reality of life even on your trip abroad. Many travelers who are caught up in the moment of an overseas adventure or vacation, let down their guard. Savvy travelers know that, from the moment the plane touches down, they need to be more vigilant about their personal safety and belongings. You may be far away from your familiar safety zone. You need to have both eyes open.

It’s easy for natives to spot tourists as they wander through foreign cities with shopping bags and cameras dangling from their wrists. Tourists are a high value targets for those who ‘earn a living’ off them. Pickpockets and travel scammers spend their time trying to separate travelers from their cash & merchandise. Travelers must be alert and cautious. Don’t give up any personal ‘souvenirs’ to local pickpockets.

Here are some travel safety tips. Some seem obvious, but travelers often forget to pack common sense.

• Avoid wandering through unfamiliar territory alone.
• Never accept an invitation from a person you don’t know who offers you hospitality, a personal tour of the area, a drink, etc. Be cautious about communicating personal information to friendly strangers.
• Don’t dress flashy. This is a neon sign that you are a potential victim.
• Travel in legitimate taxis and agree on the fare in advance. If you demonstrate that you are totally clueless about local currency, then look for dollar signs in the cabbie’s eyes.
• Be wary of pre-paying for local events from hawkers on the street, or even standing at the event location. The ‘discount’ may end up being a donation into the scammer’s pocket.
• Are your pocket contents vulnerable? Quick hands in crowded places can find out. Keep your wallet and camera secure. It’s wise not to keep large sums of $$$ in one pocket or in one place.
• Consider travel insurance that covers loss of money and personal property. If you have trip cancellation insurance, does the policy cover wallet and credit card loss?
• Keep a photocopy of important travel documents, credit card numbers and airline ticket information in a safe place.
• Make sure that someone knows your daily itinerary.
• Have a cell phone with you at all times.
• Have phone numbers and contact information for law enforcement and the local U.S. diplomatic offices.
• Stay alert and follow your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it or don’t go there.

Travel Insurance Cover Vacation Rentals

When I got the official “City of Key West Hurricane Guide” this week, I tried to embrace it as a ‘friendly reminder’ to think about hurricane preparedness and travel insurance again. Living in paradise is fantastic, but during the summer months we must begin preparing for the reality that there is a possibility of a storm, and educating our clients of the importance of purchasing hurricane insurance.

Summer is a favorite time for travel to Key West and the Florida Keys. Kids are out of school and families are taking annual vacations to the Keys, and vacation rentals provide a comfortable, affordable, and authentic vacation accommodation. It’s the perfect time of year in the tropics for all the water sports, when the turquoise blue water is warm and clear. Visitors love to come for scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, wind surfing, sail boarding, kayaking, sailing, power boating, jet skiing, parasailing, fly fishing on the Gulf of Mexico, deep sea fishing off the reef and just hanging on the beach.

Many people have saved their money all year for their summer vacation and their focus is to get away and have an island dream trip. So what happens when you are on vacation and there is a storm warning and you are forced to evacuate and face the prospect of losing your vacation?

The hard reality is that in the event of an impending storm, travelers have to follow the official edicts for evacuation. When a ‘hurricane watch’ is declared, properties need to be secured with storm shutters or plywood and outdoor furniture needs to be stored. And when a tourist evacuation is officially ordered, guests must pack up and leave just like all the other tourists.

So how do we address the loss of their vacation rental investment and offer some peace of mind? There is actually a simple and affordable solution, travel Insurance that covers trip cancellation and interruption.

In the vacation rental business, most guests rent vacation properties well in advance of the trip, and most rental companies have no cancellation and no refund policies. While at first thought, a ‘no refund’ policy may seem tough, it’s important to recognize the fact that property owners and vacation rental agencies that provide and maintain vacation rentals, depend on this business income to pay for property mortgages and expenses for their livelihoods.

The good news is “Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance” guarantees guests a refund for non-refundable pre-payments for vacation rentals, while at the same time guarantees property owners and rental agencies their expected income. Prepayments and nonrefundable deposits generally amount to thousands of dollars for a vacation rental, and the insurance can provide coverage for your investment. Insurance can also provide coverage for cancelled flights, an accident, and medical expenses that may not be covered by health insurance.

It is also important to be sure you choose the correct kind of travel insurance that will cover possible loss of stay at your vacation rental. Also pay attention to when the insurance needs to be purchased. It is generally required that you purchase it when the final payment is made for the vacation rental and no later than 30 days prior to arrival.

It is always a good idea to encourage vacation rental guests to purchase travel insurance prior to any trip. But during hurricane season, it is extremely important to remind guests how they can protect their vacation investment by purchasing travel insurance. Why risk losing your vacation investment when you can easily and affordably protect it?