Northern Hemisphere Summer Deals

  

travel Denver

If you need some ideas for budget destinations during the Northern summer, here are the cheapest cities to visit when the sun comes out. Although some of these cities are not particularly warm during the Northern summer months, they may offer other attractions such as culture, arts and culinary delights, plus they offer good deals during the months of June, July and August.

Boston, Denver and Seattle top the list as the cities offering the best travel deals. This is due to the robust competition among low cost carriers including Frontier, JetBlue, Spirit and more. For all history lovers, Boston will sweep you off your feet. Denver (cheerleader photo) is opens the gate to discover the Old (and new) West, while Seattle is a combination of sophistication, scenery and great nightlife. Even though it might be rainy all-year round, let's not forget that Seattle was the birthplace for the music genre Grunge and it enjoys a vibrant underground music scene.
Chicago and Washington, DC are other cheap destinations also due to the increased airline competition. If you are willing to ditch the beach, the capital of the USA will impress you with its monuments and museums. Perhaps not as history-submerged as Washington DC, but just as interesting, Chicago is always a fun a destination. There you can enjoy attractions such as the Navy Pier on Lake Michigan and gorge on the deep-dish pizza.
Dublin is Europe's best kept secret when it comes to budget holidays. In fact, the Irish capital has been of the cheapest cities of Europe for years. Immerse yourself in the city's many charms, hop in a rental car to visit castles and countryside. You can also use Dublin as your jumping-off point for the rest of Europe with cheap flights and discounters like EasyJet, Ryanair and more.
There have been some amazing deals to two Scandinavian cities - Oslo and Stockholm - thanks to European low cost carriers like Wow Air and Norwegian Air Shuttle.
Cancun and Costa Rica also make the list tanks to the robust competition between JetBlue and Southwest. If you are looking for sunny paradisiac beaches, this is the place to visit.
Paris is the cheapest of the Big Three (the others being London and Rome) to fly from the US. Regardless of the coast, seeing the Eiffel Tower or The Louvre and to walk along the Seine are worth it.
Airline prices to Vancouver have been going down. Therefore, this is your opportunity to visit this glittering British Columbia city and enjoy its unique charms like lots of outdoorsy fun amidst glorious scenery plus elegant and electric dining and club scenes.

 

Cons of Travel Agents vs Online Booking

  

Travel Agents vs Online Booking

While travel agents may a variety of discounts, special rates, insider information and travel offers, they also work on a commission-based salary with no guarantees of success and a high rate of failure.

Although travel agents sometimes save you money with deals, you are most likely to get a better price when you book online yourself. If your agent only looks at the industry reservation system, the best airline fares may not even be visible.
Travel Agents Charge a Fee
Agents often charge fees to book an airline tickets. Some charge more than $250 to plan an international vacation.
Unlike booking online, if you go to a travel agent, you'll be paying an extra fee. Whereas using a travel agents has many advantages, this is one of the biggest drawbacks. For instance, when booking an international flight with an agent, you be charged a ridiculous amount extra that can amount to a couple of hundred dollars. The fee totally varies from one travel agent to the other, so beware when you book anything. Spending more money for the convenience is up to you, but budget travelling is your priority, you are better booking your own flight.
Travel Agents Work on Commission
Since travel provides often pay agents on commission and this might be percentage of the fare, your agent isn't really motivated to get you a low price. Although travel agents might be able to get incredible deals from travel providers, they may not necessarily be willing to give them to you. The truth of the matter is that many agents work on commission. That means that the more you spend on your trip, the more they make. That's why it is pivotal you find a travel agent that you can trust. Ask around to family and friends and get some recommendations. That way you'll be sure you are using a travel agent that puts your interests first.
If you book online directly through airlines, cruise companies or other providers, you don't have to wait for the travel office to open. Online agencies such as Expedia or Orbitz allow you to compare multiple airlines on one site, but unfortunately, some airlines are taking their business off the third-party sites. Obviously, this trend is going to affect the travellers and the time they spend online searching for a deal as they'll have to check multiple websites instead of one.
Regardless of the pros and cons of using a travel agent, what it all comes down to is how comfortable you are with booking your own trip. Do you need the help of a professional to save you time, to assist you with tips, information about visas, vaccines, tours, transportation, accommodation and so on of the place you don't know about? It also depends on how complicated your trip itinerary is.
Even if you are a veteran when it comes to booking online, perhaps this time you need help getting a room when your destination is packed or your don't know the regulations of a particular country. It also depends on how much work you are willing to put in yourself and your budgetary concerns. You need to consider what suits you best and that will help you make a decision.

Pros Using a Travel Agent

  

travel Pros Using a Travel Agent

Nowadays, everyone has access to book online 24/7. If you are an Internet savvy that knows where to check for deals and where to get legit reviews, you might be able to to nail exactly what you want. In all fairness, even if you are not so knowledgeable when it comes to perusing the Web, you might still be able to land the deal you are after. However, every holiday varies from one another. Booking a flight to your friend's wedding is nothing compared to booking a three-week trek through seven countries in Africa. Both booking online and using travel agents have advantages and disadvantages. What suits you better really comes down to you and your travel needs.

Agents for Advice When you use a good agent, you have someone to turn to with all of your questions on what to pack or how much things cost. A travel agent has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to tours, hotels, documentation, places to eat and transportation. From sightseeing to visas and vaccines, a travel agent can help you advise on you everything you might need to visit an unknown destination. Unless you are an expert, you might need an agent to help you plan cultural trips, such as safaris or guided visits to ruins.
Agents for Deals Travel agents are sometimes able to get you special deals or upgrades or cruises or hotels, among others. Although some agents work on commission and they might charge you extra fees to make a booking, sometimes the companies such as the airlines, cruise lines or tour operators pay the agent just to get recognition, costing you nothing. Agents might enable you get a discount they get directly from cruise lines. Agents who belong to trade groups get other bonuses they can pass on, such as free airfare. In foreign hotels, some agents can get you certain upgrades such as free breakfast or drinks.
Agents for Solutions If you are embarking on a complicated trip, you'll be particularly thankful for your travel agent who can point out potential hazards and arrange your tours in advance so you don't hit a dead end or wait in ticket lines. When your destination is packed, your travel agent has a better chance than you to book a room. Some agents can even find frequent-flyer flights during the hard-to-book times.
Although most people are comfortable with booking flights and accommodation online, there are plenty of products that are difficult or impossible to book online. Furthermore, there are still plenty of travellers who prefer to have the advice and back-up of a travel agent, or they just don't feel confident enough to make their own booking online.
A recent study by British operator responsibletravel.com found that while 98 per cent of those tested could book a flight online, only a third could complete a rail booking online.
The study showed another issue with internet bookings and it's the time the traveller spends on the process. Those who did manage to complete a train booking spent an average of 12 minutes making the booking, much longer than a typical phone booking. Not to mention the time the traveller might spend online just research tours, accommodation and transport in the place of destination. This is how an agent saves time, since they are already experts and once they listen to your needs, they are able to tell you straight away what suits you best based on their knowledge.

 

Best Cruises for First Timers

  

Best Cruises for First Timers

With all the choices there are in the market, planning your first cruise adventure might be a major overwhelming task. From party boats to luxury yachts, there is a large assortment of cruises out there that cater to every whim and every taste. That is why it is good to get investigate its details and discover which is best for what so you don't drown in a sea choices.

First of all, you need to do some soul searching and find out which type of traveller you are and which type of vacation you want. Are you a solo traveller or you are perhaps travelling with friends or family? Are you looking for relaxation or adventure? Would you prefer to party or delight yourself with the surroundings? Is your primary focus fine dining, a party scene, adrenaline-pumping activities, nonstop socializing or just a chance to sleep all day? Don't forget to factor into the equation practicalities such as budget, the length of the trip and where are you are travelling from. Once you've completed this task, you need to figure out which Cruise line goes along better with what you are looking for. Here are the best cruise ships for each type of traveller.
Best Value for Money: Carnival Cruise Line
You might wonder why this cruise ship is so popular and the answer is simple: it offers a crazy-fun escape for people on a budget. With Carnival's sizable feet, its popular destinations - Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico - and dedication to accessible 3-to-7-night itineraries translates to low prices and frequent deals. If you book on the right season and ahead of time, you could save a great amount of money: it might even cost you less than if you'd stayed at home - say $30 to $50 per person, per night. Carnival Cruise Line is an international cruise line with headquarters in Doral, Florida.
Best All-Around Cruise Line: Princess Cruises
From Alaska to the most exotic African place, Princess' itineraries cover the globe. This cruise ship is a crowd pleaser offering a mix of tradition and innovation. While the cruise line offers all the classic amenities such as spa, multiple dining venues and varied entertainment, it is never afraid to innovate and was the first to introduce poolside jumbo movie screens, spa-like deck spaces and dining-shopping-entertainment-people-watching hub in its atriums, called the Piazza. Princess Cruises is a cruise line owned by Carnival Corporation & plc. The company is incorporated in Bermuda and its headquarters are in Santa Clarita, California. It was previously a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises, and is part of Holland America Group, which controls princess cruises brand.
Best for Luxury-Seekers: Regent Seven Seas Cruises
If money is not factor that affects which cruise ship you choose and you are actually looking for luxury, seek no more, Regent Seven Seas is the cruise ship for you. With most of its all-suite accommodations boasting balconies, meals in main and specialty dining venues, pre- and post-cruise tours and hotel stays, gratuities, shore excursions and beverages from liquor to sodas, this cruise ship is arguably the most inclusive of the biggest luxury brands. From a butler in your penthouse suite to a meal prepared by Le Cordon Bleu chefs, you'll find luxury all over the cruise ship. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is a luxury cruise line, formerly known as Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, headquartered in Miami, Florida. The company offers cruises which visit over 300 ports worldwide. Regent Seven Seas specializes in ships with a small passenger capacity.

Bucket list ideas for a Family Holiday

  

Bucket list ideas for a Family Holiday

Family holidays are not what they used to be in Australia. They are better. Now it's the time of the whole family sharing together a new experience abroad. Parents take their kids with them when they go on holidays instead of leaving them at the kids' club or with their grandparents.

Intrepid Travel family product manager Tim Winkworth has seen a 60% increase in family trips taken by Australians each year. “Instead of going away and sticking them (the children) in the kids club, they're getting together and having shared experiences as a family,” he says.
“For us, it's all about marvelling at the natural wonders of the world,” says travel blogger Caroline Makepeace from Y Travel Blog. “And we don't want to experience it through a quick ‘I was here' snap. We like to spend time absorbing it.”
So you don't miss out on any experience, here are a list of must-do experiences for you and your family:
California: Yellowstone and Sequoia National Parks With its sky-scraping trees and easy access, Sequoia is one of the favourite American National Parks for families. A trip to Yellowstone - the best place to camp in the US - is a delight for both toddlers and adults, with its 300 enchanting geysers. The most famous geyser - Old Faithful (in photo) - is as reliable as its name states since it erupts 17 times a day, so you won't miss it. Join the Junior Ranger programme - with guides for children aged over 4 - is a great way to navigate the park together.
A cultural odyssey: India With its interesting culture, wildlife and culinary richness, India is the perfect destination for families. If you need some guidance when it comes to touring the country, Experience Travel Group specialises in tailor-made holidays to Asia. This UK-based travel consultants are well-informed about the areas they cover as they have lived or travelled extensively throughout the country, so you will get the best advice on which destinations are best for your family, crafting an Indian holiday with opportunities to engage with local people.
Action-packed holidays in sunny Dubai One of the perks of Dubai is that the sun is guaranteed. With that weather, the whole family will be able to enjoy the multiple theme parks - specially water parks - scattered around. Besides, these parks will blow thrill-seeking children away as well as their action-loving parents: Legoland's water park features a half-million-gallon wave pool, and Legoland's Dragon roller coaster is designed to reach speeds of 60km per hour. After an exhausting of roller coasters and slides, you can chill out by the pool and sunbathe the next day.
A jungle safari: Costa Rica With a rich variety of wildlife adventures all crammed into a small geographically space, Costa Rica offers an exciting and interesting holiday package for the whole family. This beautiful Latin American country caters for the children and parents alike. While adults might crane into the canopy for sloths, monkeys and macaws, children will be exploring at ground level for poison-arrow frogs and other bizarre mini beasts. If you are looking for more excitement, you can also go zip-lining and river-rafting. However, you can also relax and steam in the natural hot springs of the volcano slopes.

Travel Clubs

  

travel club

Spending money on travel club memberships can save you money elsewhere but is it really worth it? Although sometimes you can land those deals on your own, what a travel club offers you is guidance is you are kind of lost when it comes to landing a bargain.

For instance, let's look at American Automobile Association. The deal is that you pay $38 for an annual AAA membership that gets you free roadside towing and lock-out services, discounts of 5 to 15 percent at thousands of hotels, and offers up to $30 off weekly rentals at Hertz - this offer tops Hertz's own membership deals. However, what you pay is for the service since you might get similar deals without being a member.
Another example is Spirit Airlines $9 Fare Club. An annual fee of $40 allows members to exclusive fares, sometimes for as low as a penny. This membership is worth it only if you are going to take more than one flight a year, which might be a challenge for many travellers. Deals are usually last-minute, off-peak, and they are only to 40 cities, particularly to the East Coast of the USA, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
Another example is Tablet Hotels, a booking engine for boutique and luxury hotels which each week offers its members discounts of up to 70 percent at certain properties. They also include extra bonuses such as spa vouchers, upgrades, complimentary airport transfers and late checkout.
Even though the bonuses are exceptional, the annual fee is $195, which is very high. Another downside to this membership is that Plus members' “exclusive” deals are exclusive for only 24 hours.
Although sometimes travel clubs' perks are not as obvious once you check its downside, ultimately travel clubs take the planning out of holidays. If you have the money but you don't have time to plan or you'd rather have someone guide you through because you don't know where to start, travel clubs might be the answer. There are also travel clubs aimed at specific groups to attend to your needs.
For instance, 50+ Travel Club is directed at seniors or just everyone over 50. The company organises all from tours, to cruises and events. The company offers a 50+ Travel Club Advantage that offers exclusive savings, invitations to special events, complimentary return private Home-To-Airport transfers, complimentary overnight accommodation before or after you tour, on selected tours, priority on pre-release tours and cruises, discounts on travel insurance, 24-hour and 7-day assistance while you are away, discounted business airfare options, invitations to ship inspections, whey they become available, referral discounts - refer a new client and you will be rewarded -, a personalised itinerary with included luggage labels, ticket wallet and touring information, individualised travel programs (so they agency asks you questions and makes a customised plan, offering suggestions to best cater to your travel needs), and fortnightly to monthly e-newsletters.

 

Around the World in Music Festivals

  

music festival

Whether you are into electronic music, rock, pop or any other genre, these festivals, either in the desert or in the rain, cater for every taste.

Electric Zoo Festival, Randall Island New York, USA Held annually over Labor Day weekend at Randall's Island in New York City, Electric Zoo is an unmissable attraction on the electronic-dance-music circuit. Like its name indicates, the event has a zoo theme which prompts most of its over 100,000 attendees to dress up accordingly. So just get a onesie of a cute animal or wear your dancing shoes, and party till dawn.
Tomorrowland, Belgium If you are into electronic music, Tomorrowland is a must for you. One of the biggest electornic music festivals in the world, this three-day festival takes place in Boom, Belgium. Fairytale-themed, this event offers more elaborate, otherworldly stage designs each year. Here you'll see world-class DJs fuel epic dance parties till dawn, amongst fireworks and volcanoes lighting up the stage.
The Falls Festival, Australia One of Australia's biggest festivals, Falls takes place in three different destinations simultaneously. A remarkable venue is the one in Marion Bay outside Hobart. There you can watch the performance of international acts in the wilderness. Hidden in the bush is the Village - the extra special party that sits away from the main festival and is home to a few extra special acts.
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Palm Desert, USA If you head to the Californian desert to attend Coachella, you won't just enjoy the music and dance till your feet hurt, but you will also be able to spot celebrities from all walks of life. Most festival-goers opt for wearing cut off shorts and flower crowns, but it is not mandatory.
Glastonbury Festival, England Taking place each year in the county of Somerset, south of Bristol, Glastonbury is England's most popular music festival. The origin of the festival dates back to 1970 when the ticket used to cost £1. Nowadays, tickets run out in minutes with headliners that include the biggest musicians of the moment performing at more than 100 stages. Make sure that your dancing shoes are waterproof or at least they are gum boots as the field tends to get muddy.
Splendour in the Grass, NSW This three-day festival takes place in Byron Bay and it is dedicated to contemporary arts. Local acts share the stage with international heavyweight in stages tucked between the gum trees. Apart from the music, the festival is also about live art, installations, dance performances, and even a day spa on site. There is also a section for the little ones called Little Splendour and there's another section called Splendour Crafts for those who want to take a break from the music.
Fuji Rock, Japan Even though some people might think that rock is now old-school with electronic music taking over, this genre remains strong, particularly in one of Japan's biggest rock festivals, Fuji Rock. Despite its name, the festival doesn't take place near Mount Fuji but on the Naeba Ski Resort in the Niigata Prefecture. Over 100,000 people descend on the field, where stages sit on the mountain slopes. International stars from far and wide headline this festival, attracting not only locals but also fans from all over the world. Apart from the music, this festival is also about the hot springs and hammock forests that surround the event.

Saving Money Quotes

  

Gandhi

Since people on this website are looking to travel and get good deals, priority number one should be to save in order to afford to travel. Therefore, here are some inspirational quotes to motivate future travellers to save in order to afford the holidays they've been dreaming of.

“Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
“A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.” - Jonathan Swift.
“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” - Epictetus
“Money often costs too much.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Everyday is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one is rich, no one is poor, we've got 24 hours each.” - Christopher Rice.
“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” - Ayn Rand.
“Financial peace isn't the acquisition of stuff. It's learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can't win until you do this.” - Dave Ramsey.
“Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant.” - P.T. Barnum
“Try to save something while your salary is small; it's impossible to save after you begin to earn more.” - Jack Benny.
“You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.” - Dave Ramsey.
“Every time you borrow money, you're robbing your future self.” - Nathan W. Morris.
“Never spend your money before you have it.” - Thomas Jefferson
“Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” –Steve Jobs
“The habit of saving is itself an education; it fosters every virtue, teaches self-denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains to forethought, and so broadens the mind. –T.T. Munger
“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.” –Joe Biden
“Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give. –William A. Ward
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. –Mahatma Gandhi
“It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. –J. K Rowling
“Screw it, Let's do it!” –Richard Branson
“People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing – that's why we recommend it daily.” –Zig Ziglar

 

Inspirational Quotes to Travel

  

get out there

Sometimes we need to listen to an inspiring quote to get us excited about travelling, so here are a compilation of the best travel quotes:

“Adventure is worthwhile.” – Aesop
“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” – Anais Nin
“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill
“The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” – Sir Richard Burton
“No place is ever as bad as they tell you it's going to be.” – Chuck Thompson
“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmache
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert
“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” – Ray Bradbury
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain
“Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” - Matthew Karsten
“It is not down in any map; true places never are.” – Herman Melville
“Oh the places you'll go.” – Dr. Seuss
“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.” – Robert Frost
“Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.” – Wendell Berry
“Once in a while it really hits people that they don't have to experience the world int he way they have been told to.” - Alan Keightley
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch
“Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.” – Roy M. Goodman
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
“I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine.” – Caskie Stinnett
“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
“The more I traveled the more I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends.” – Shirley MacLaine
“Every man can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure.” – Irving Wallace

 

Best Websites to Save on All Else

  

luggage

Flights and accommodation might take the biggest chunk of your holidays' budget, but you can also save by scoring deals on other commodities, such as a cruise, rental cars, frequent flier miles, among others.

If you want to book a cruise, you might want to visit CruiseCompete.com, which features over 300 travel agencies competing to give you the lowest prices for dates, ports and ships you specify, whether you are booking in advance or at the last minute. All you have to do is set up a CruiseCompete account to receive their best offers. The site also has live agents available to guide you through the process through a live chat or by phone.
When it comes to rental cars, the go-to website is Hotwire.com, offering the best published deals on cars by collecting rates from its eight rental car company partners, such as Alamo, Enterprise and Hertz.
The site also offers “hot rates” from rental companies unidentified until after you've paid. However, this is less risky than booking an unidentified hotel since a car is a car, regardless of the company that provides it. Another option is to go to Priceline.com and try to bid for a better bargain.
Even though Hotwire offers some good prepaid rental car deals in international cities, AutoEurope will offer better bargains in the European continent. Said website offers rentals at more than 20,000 locations worldwide, and if you have problems with the rental-car provider you are dealing with, AutoEurope will help you resolve it.
For currency conversion, check XE.com for reliable, mid-market exchange rates. Apart from a simple and functional network of conversion rates on the homepage and a host of other tools, XE.com features calculators for travel expenses, credit-card charges and currency conversions.
For all the information you need regarding your flight, FlightStats.com can help you plan a hassle-free trip by advising you on the best time of day to fly from a specific airport and which terminals to avoid for connecting flights. The site also allows you to view live updates of flight delays and you can sign up for free e-mail and phone alerts.
When it comes to collecting Frequent-Flier Miles, at WebFlyer.com you can see how your miles convert between programs. The site allows you to discover changes to your frequent-flier program and learn how to maximize the value of your mileage points when you redeem them for merchandise or services.
It is hard to foresee what emergency might spoil your travel plans and you don't want to find yourself in a foreign country without coverage. You can buy them from agencies and travel provides but that is not really the best option because of price markups and restrictions on filing claims. That is why it is recommended to get travel insurance at InsureMyTrip.com where you can compare plans and prices from multiple insurance providers with just one search. You can also narrow your search results by specifying the kind of coverage you are looking for.

 

  
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