Monday, August 31, 2015

10 Reasons Why Your Family Should Go On A Disney Cruise

 1. You have children age 12 and under

Every child should experience the magic of Disney at some point during their childhood. It is a special trip they will never forget and will cherish forever. The only way they’ll ever experience Castaway Cay is aboard a Disney vessel. A Disney cruise is an excellent way to experience everything Disney has to offer.

2. You have teenagers

Disney cruises realized long ago that small children grow older and developed programs for teenagers also. If you go on a cruise without your teens, you’ll worry about what they’re doing while you are away. So bring them along on a Disney cruise – they’ll love it.

3. You are planning a cruise without your children

Why leave the kids with grandma when you can take the kids along on a Disney cruise? Disney cruises plan itineraries for your children (all the way to midnight) no matter the age group. So, each of you can enjoy yourselves separately, and come together for meals, ports-of-call, etc. When the children are with you, all the worrying about their well-being is eliminated.

4. Away time for the parents

With the kids safely onboard and their fun-filled itineraries planned, Mom and Dad can enjoy some time on their own with the peace-of-mind that their children are safe. Should the need arise; an onboard paging system can make contact with parents at any time. Whether you want to go to an onboard coffee shop, health spa, or a nightclub – Disney cruises understands and can accommodate you.

5. Excellent dining

Opulent dining choices are always at or near the top of all cruisers’ lists of what they want in a cruise. Disney understands this and offers excellent cuisine for all. There is even an adults-only formal restaurant, the Palo, which specializes in Northern Italian cuisine. The kids will like Animator’s Palate where Disney scenes decorate the walls and change from black-and-white to vivid color before dinner is done.

6. Onboard entertainment

Disney boats feature original productions at the Walt Disney Theatre. These area all live, Broadway-style productions with a cast of Disney characters the whole family is sure to recognize. Also, movies are featured in two locations onboard – at the state of the art Buena Vista Theatre, and under the night sky near the Goofy Pool on a jumbo LED screen. Plus, there’s more to the onboard entertainment than plays and movies – activities have been custom-tailored for all types of passengers. The Oceaneer Club is designed for the youngest sailors, ages 3-7 complete with a trained staff to help them enjoy the fun. For kids a little older, ages 8-12, there is the Oceaneer Lab with interactive games on a giant video wall. Also, kids can enjoy playing ship captain at Ocean Quest. Finally, for teens there are teen-only clubs designed to look like an apartment or dorm room where the tough-to-please can socialize with their age group. There are also activities designed for the whole family to enjoy together like the Studio Sea where Mom, Dad and the kids can participate in a live game show and sing karaoke together.

7. Locations visited by Disney Cruises

Disney Cruises feature a stop at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island. Other stops featured on the Caribbean cruises include Nassau, St. Maarten, St. Thomas St. John, Key West, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The Mexican Riviera cruise features a trip from Port Canaveral through the Panama Canal with stops at Castaway Cay, Aruba, Cartagena, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Capo San Lucas.

8. You want to do something different for Spring Break

It may be a little-known fact that Disney Cruises are a very popular choice for the college-age crowd during Spring Break, and it’s easy to understand why. A Disney cruise provides an alternative for those young adults not wishing to participate in the regular rites of debauchery in which so many other young adults partake.

9. You’ve never been to Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island and it has features perfect for the whole family. Kids and teens can venture to Never Land and adults can go to Shangri-La. Of course, the whole family can relax together on the beach and take in some sun.

10. You’ve never been on a cruise

Disney Cruises is a great choice for those travelers who have never been on a cruise. Even if traveling without children the excursion will be a trip you will treasure forever. Disney cruises has many ship excursions planned no matter the season and there will surely be a trip that fits into your busy schedule.

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Try this to save more money for your disney world travel
  1. Disney World Vacation And Savings Travel Guide
  2. Plans For Disney World
  3. Orlando Florida Holiday Guide
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Dublin (Ireland) Hotels Minimum Check-in Age 18 years Old

Minimum check-in age policy differs for each hotel. Most hotels allow only 21 year old to book and check-in. You must check the hotels check-in policies for minimum check-in age which will be either 18 or 21.

If you are looking for Dublin (Ireland) hotels with minimum check-in age of 18 check the following list of hotels. They have a minimum check-in age policy of 18. They allow 18 year old's to book and check-in.

Clayton Hotel Leopardstown formerly Bewleys Hotel Leopardstown
Holiday Inn Express Dublin Airport
George Frederic Handel Hotel
The Regency Hotel Dublin
Dylan Hotel
Trinity City Hotel
The Dawson Hotel and Spa

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If you know any other Dublin (Ireland) hotels with minimum check-in age policy of 18 please list them in your comments.You can also report any hotels mistakenly listed here that does not allow 18 year old.  

Sunday, August 30, 2015

10 Travel Adventures That Won’t Break The Bank

 Dreaming of taking a Big Trip? Finances a bit tight? Well, take a look at the following destinations.

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Magic, thrills and adventure, yes. But for the budget-conscious globe-trotter, what’s equally important is that these are places where your dollars will stretch a long, long way. As a travel writer, I’m lucky enough to have experienced all 10--but I’d love to revisit every single one as a vacationer.

Vietnam

Vietnam packs a lot into its borders. Highlights include misty Halong Bay with its fairytale seascapes of limestone outcrops and islands; the Mekong delta with its floating markets; the old Vietcong tunnels at Cu-Chi near Saigon--now officially known as Ho Chi Minh City. (Don’t worry about getting stuck: one tunnel has been specially widened for westerners.) Backpacker beds are exceptionally cheap, but decent hotels often cost less than $40. A filling bowl of pho bo beef noodle soup or six seafood spring rolls is less than a dollar. In local hangouts, Saigon Export beer costs 40 cents a bottle.

For the ultimate traffic tale to tell the folks back home, head for Hanoi’s old quarter. Any attempt to cross the road turns into a heart-racing adventure. Not only are you contending with psycho-cyclos (rickshaw bicycles), there are thousands of motorbikes and scooters whose riders regard a red traffic signal as a suggestion rather than an instruction. Best place to experience the utter chaos is from within a cyclo rickshaw.

Lithuania, Eastern Europe

The southernmost of the Baltic States, visitors usually couple Lithuania together with Latvia and Estonia. However, you can easily spend a week in Lithuania alone. Quirky cities like Vilnius and Kaunas are steeped in art, music and historical curiosities...mushroom-scented woods and farmers riding on haycarts...mysterious sites steeped in pagan traditions…the windswept sands of the Curonian Spit where you can beach-comb for amber.

Mid-June would be a great time to go. A national holiday in Lithuania, the old pagan festival of Rasos marks the summer solstice. It’s an all-night affair with singing, dancing, bonfire-leaping, hunting for "magic" ferns, and floating garlands down rivers. Despite some serious alcoholic partying, most people manage to stay awake to greet the sunrise. As for prices, how about $2.54 for three potato pancakes with smoked salmon and sour cream and $1 for a glass of Svyturnys beer?

Granada, Nicaragua

From the laid-back colonial city of Granada, you can do a lot in a week in Nicaragua: tackle volcanoes...take Spanish lessons...visit Masaya craft market and also the villages where rocking chairs, hammocks, and pottery are made...explore the Selva Negra’s cloud forests and coffee plantations...chat with expats in the beach surfing town of San Juan del Sur...go to colonial Leon, where you might get to meet indigenous Indians.

Settling into a rocking chair with a cold Victoria beer is a pleasure that generally costs under $1 and spending more than $7 on a meal is difficult. The Alhambra Hotel on Granada’s main square costs a mere $30 a night.

Goa, Southern India

India is beyond fascinating, beyond anything you’ll ever experience elsewhere. The easiest introduction to this teeming country is the seaside state of Goa. Baking below a tropical canopy of banana, coconut and mango trees, this drowsy world of Arabian Sea beaches, backwaters, and spice-laden breezes is stamped with more than a few reminders of Old Portugal. You’ll find sunrise yoga on the beach, full massages for $8, dolphin trips for about $6, and colorful hippie markets.

Including four beers, two people can eat in a beach shack for under $10. And if you want to cut your expenses to the bone, there’s accommodation in simple beach chalets for as little as $8 a night.

Porto and Northern Portugal

Famed for its port wine lodges (yes, they do offer free samples), Porto is Portugal’s second city. An historic Atlantic trading port, its warren of laundry-hung alleys plunges down to a waterfront of boats, nets and fish restaurants. Sheets of cod (bacalhau) hang outside grocery stores with original art nouveau tiled facades; the church of Sao Francisco has a gold leaf interior that would make King Midas salivate. Don’t miss the Bolhau food market or the Torre dos Clerigos, Portugal’s highest belfry tower. From the top, you’ll get great views over the jumbled cityscape of churches, bridges and red-roofed houses.

By EU standards, the price of dining, accommodation, and public transport throughout the region is astounding. Trains and buses are an affordable way to make exploratory day-trips along the coast and into the interior of terraced vineyards and green river valleys. Don’t miss Braga and the thousand-stepped stairway of Bom Jesus church. On holy days, some pilgrims tackle these steps on their knees.

Montenegro

After its split from Serbia, Montenegro is Europe’s latest holiday hot spot--and also the world’s newest independent nation. Along with three-course meals for $7 and rooms in private houses for $10, you’ll find a land of craggy mountains with a switch-backed Adriatic coastline of bays, beaches and villages of pale gray stone. The sea sparkles like blue topaz and medieval walled towns with crumbling fortresses and palaces are often emblazoned with the winged lion emblem of the Venetian Republic.

Now paint in monasteries slotted into mountain crevices and fishing villages of red-tiled roofs and deep-green shutters. Roman mosaics...olive groves...water-lilied lakes...deep canyons and the mighty Boka Kotorska, Europe’s southernmost fjord...the border town of Ulcinj with its minarets and tales of pirate slave-trading.

Austria

The Alps? There’s no denying that Switzerland is one of the most scenically gorgeous countries on earth. But unless you’re armed with an expense account, I can promise you that exploring its mountains, lakes and medieval towns will wreak havoc on your finances.

Winter or summer, neighboring Austria has just as much of the alpine wow factor...plus the city splendors of Vienna and Salzburg. And it’s a lot less expensive than you may think. For example, in the Tyrolean village of Fendels, you could rent a furnished apartment for two in a chalet next spring for as little as 175 euro ($230) per week. Surrounded by hiking trails, Fendels village makes an excellent base--the Tyrolean Oberland is close to the borders of Switzerland and Italy. (Go to the Austrian Tourist Board’s web site at http://www.tiscover.at and you’ll find plenty more self-catering accommodation at similar prices.)

Penang, Malaysia

A melting-pot of Malay, Chinese and Indian culture, Malaysia offers up powder white beaches and virgin rainforest teeming with wildlife; the bustling capital of Kuala Lumpur and the historic port city of Malacca; inexpensive seafood and inexpensive spa pampering; sailing, snorkeling, diving, fishing, golf and island-hopping.

With a distinct Chinese flavor, one of Malaysia’s star turns is Georgetown, capital of Penang island. You come across snake temples, arcaded shophouses and tiny workshops specializing in mahjong tiles and dice; kong-teik craftsmen who make funerary paper artifacts; fish getting dried like laundry in the open air. On the Weld Quay waterfront, around 2,000 fishing families live in rickety wooden dwellings on the Clan Quay jetties.

Chania, Crete

On the Greek island of Crete, Chania is one town that it would be criminal to miss. Crete’s former capital, its history goes back 5,000 years. In the Old Town’s skinny alleyways you’ll find icon workshops...lyres hanging in dusty musical instrument repair-shops...bursts of white jasmine cascading from archways...cats snoozing on balconies...the unlikely sights of a pencil-thin minaret above church towers and a mosque squatting on the waterfront.

Strung with garlands of colored light-bulbs, Chania’s old Venetian harbor at dusk truly is the stuff of romance. The water shimmers in waves of crimson, sapphire and emerald, the Venetian lighthouse sends out its beady wink, and stalls do a steady trade in pistachio nuts. Alleys that were afternoon-silent become thronged with locals taking the volta--the evening stroll. Even in July and August, you’ll find studio apartments here for under $40 a night...plus you can eat well for $10.

Bohemia, the Czech Republic

Prague teems with tourists but few people realize what the rest of the Czech Republic offers. One of its regions is Bohemia, blessed with a spellbinding mosaic of castles, frescoed houses and Rapunzel-style turrets straight from a sword-and-sorcery tale. At Cesky Krumlov you can peer into a medieval bear pit complete with bears. Sedlec, a suburb of Kutna Hora has a chapel entirely decorated with human bones, right down to its chandelier.

Many towns have stoupas...lofty "plague pillars" adorned with chained devils. They commemorate deliverance from the plagues, which swept Europe during the Middle Ages. Then there’s Karlovy Vary, the oldest of Bohemia’s grand spa towns. With spa water bubbling up all over town which visitors can collect for free, it’s a gorgeous place of baroque buildings in sugar-plum colors, flowery parks, and shops glittering with Bohemian crystal.

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A Simple And Easy Guide To Renting A Service Apartment In Bangkok, Thailand

 What are the best areas of Bangkok to rent? What facilities and services can I expect from a Bangkok serviced apartment? What are the best and worst serviced apartments in Bangkok? Read on to learn the answers to these questions and much more in my simple and easy guide to renting a serviced apartment in Bangkok for both expats and travelers.

Bangkok is the Center of Southeast Asia

As the commercial center of Thailand and the hub of business and leisure travel within Southeast Asia, Bangkok has exceptional hotels of all kinds catering to the business elite and casual traveler.

Recently, a new kind of accommodation has gained favor with business executives on short stays in Bangkok--the luxury serviced apartment. With increased commercial expansion over the past several years, serviced apartments are quickly becoming the favorite choice of living style for their affordable luxury.

What is a Serviced Apartment?

The serviced part of the equation usually refers to the daily or twice weekly cleaning of your room, the furniture, kitchen amenities and so on that normal apartments do not include. Some service apartments also function as hotels, and these are called Aparthotels.

What's So Special About Bangkok Serviced Apartments?

Real estate and relocation agents believe Bangkok has the most number of sophisticated apartments the world has to offer. There are not just one or two luxurious apartments, but close to 50. This is because skilled labor is cheap in thailand, and the city itself is a major business hub for the southeast asia region.

Renting a serviced apartment in bangkok can be a daunting task for several reasons--the primary one being there are so many 'fine print' and extra costs involved when signing a weekly, monthly or yearly contract.

I have been living in Bangkok for a few years now, and have gone through several serviced apartments, learning on the way which 'services' are included and what to expect from your stay in Bangkok.

Bangkok's City Plan

The Bangkok Jungle has several meanings, one of them being that the city was never built with a city plan or urban design in mind. The city is a sprawling landscape, a montage of residential and commercial buildings juxtaposing one another. It is home to 10 to 15 million people, depending on who is arriving from the rural country and abroad. The people as well, from poor to affluent, live side by side.

The city itself is lopsided; if you look down any major road in bangkok, you will see that both sides of the road arent balanced, building heights are different, and there is an overall lack of symmetry. This is what makes Bangkok unique and charming. And what makes it a jungle.

The Best Areas To Live In Bangkok

Bangkok contains inexpensive to exclusive apartments, but the best ones are found in the following regions of Bangkok:

    * Sukhumvit, the main road or artery of Bangkok

    * Asok, one of the most exclusive and expensive areas to live

    * Thong Lo, the chic and fashionable street,

    * Sathorn, the business district of Bangkok

    * Silom, another business and red light district

    * Ploenchit, business district

    * Chit Lom, business district

The areas listed above are all within easy access to shopping, dining, entertainment, trains, skytrains, and expressways. If you choose to live in one of these areas, you will experience life in the center of Bangkok's thriving business and shopping centres while indulging in an ultra private serviced apartment in Bangkok. I personally recommend Asok and Chit Lom, as they are the classiest areas of Bangkok, but if you are looking to be close to the night markets Silom is perfect, and Sukhumvit is always a colorful experience.

Facilities and Services of Typical Bangkok Serviced Apartments

These vary between the different types of apartments and condos, but a standard of excellence has been establlished from the increasing competition among serviced apartments. Facilities and services are upgraded regularly to keep up with rival residences. However, before investing in a serviced apartment, be sure to check if these services and facilities are available.

5 Services That Should Be Included Free of Charge:

    * Room Cleaning

    * Water/Utilities

    * Internet Usage

    * 24 Hour Security

    * Room Service/Errand Boy

4 Facilities That Should Be Included

    * Restaurant

    * Gym

    * Pool

    * Convenience Store

The Loopholes: Length of Stay, Deposits and Electricity

If you are staying for a month or year, the serviced apartment may charge you for electricity. Make sure that you negotiate this price to 6.5 Baht/Unit. A lot of times the apartment owners will charge 8 Baht/Unit for more profit. They only pay 3 or 4 Baht/Unit.

Be careful when signing leases; most require a 2 month deposit, and if you move out before your contract is finished you forfeit this deposit.

Make sure the serviced apartment has a laundry service, either in house or out of house. Most serviced apartments have coin operated laundry rooms as well as pick up services. More deluxe suites will have washing machine in the room. Note that most places do not have dryers.

How much Should I Pay?

This is a difficult question to answer, but the more facilities a serviced apartment has, the more it will cost. If a serviced apartment has a pool, gym and also functions as a 24 hour hotel, then the monthly price will be above 30,000 Baht.

Location also has a large part to do with cost of a bangkok serviced apartment. If you are staying in an area not close to skytrain or subway access, your price will be much lower. Conversely, staying in the business districts of Silom or trendy spots like Ekkamai or Thonglor will raise your monthly rent.

Which Serviced Apartment Should I Choose?

The serviced apartment market in Bangkok is lead by three groups, The President Group, The Ascott Group, and Centre Point. Most of them offer first class accomodation and have a decent system of serving their customers. However, there are numerous independent serviced apartments to choose from.

The 2 Worst Serviced Apartments in Bangkok

    * Ascott Bangkok Sathorn

There have been several articles written in trade journals about the decline in service at the once famous and most prestigious serviced apartment in Bangkok. Once known for attention to customer relations, their lack of it is now glaringly obvious to everyone who stays there. This place is an example of a chain serviced apartment becoming too much like a corporation with no human touch of service.

    * Lebua

Rumor is their staff is very untrustworthy. Read the trade journals and 'google' the residence for reviews.

Top 2 Most Luxurious Bangkok Serviced Apartments

    * Siri Sathorn Apartments

Siri Sathorn is a five-star luxury `boutique` property which epitomises private and elegant living in a residential setting. It is a concept of the perfect home which appeals to international traveller. This place caters to Japanese clientelle but of course is open to everyone.

    * Fraser Place Urbana Langusan

They have an exclusive 45-metre driveway leading from the main road to the serviced residence for great privacy. They also have some of the best services and customer relations I have ever experienced, pampered is the only word that comes to mind

Best Value Bangkok Serviced Apartments

    * Silom Convent Garden

Newly built in November 2006, this chic serviced apartment is located in the Silom-Sathorn area but has some of the cheapest rates for this business and night market district. For 36,000 Baht/$1000 a month you can have a 38 square meter, 1 bedroom, fully furnished luxurious apartment complete with full kitchen, washer machine, flat screen tv, and rain shower. The only drawback is the place doesn't have a pool or gym, but thats the reason the price is so low and why its one of the best values in Bangkok.

If you are still undecided whether to have a stay in Bangkok on your next trip, it was just recently announced that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) plans to make Bangkok a "paradise" city. The article from the Bangkok Post states the BMA will establish a fund to address trash, pollution and traffic problems. Now is the time to take your next vacation or business trip to Bangkok, as life couldn't get any better in the City of Angels!

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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Asking Yourself: "How Could I Possibly Pay For A Cruise?" Well...

How Can You Pay for A Cruise?

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It’s one thing to say that you are going to take a cruise, choose the perfect package, and even get prices for your dream vacation, but it is a whole different thing to actually save up the money to pay for it and hand it over to your booking agent. It’s during this part of the vacation planning process that most people give up on taking a sea voyage and end up taking a short excursion inland.

When asked, many people admit that taking a cruise has always been their dream vacation, but they have not been able to quite pull it off. Why? While some simply just can’t get the time away from work and responsibilities, most people are locked out of taking a sea vacation because they cannot afford to pay for it.

If this sounds like you, don’t worry. Cruises are more affordable than you think, and there are ways that you can pay for the vacation of your dreams without maxing out your credit cards or taking out a second mortgage.

The first thing to consider when trying figuring out how to pay for a cruise is the actual cost for the cruise. Many people take one look at the fare pricing and view it the same way that they would hotel pricing. (I write about this in a previous article: "Are You Saying You Can't Afford A Cruise? Think Again!") In their mind they are visualizing this as the base cost of the vacation with extras like food, entertainment, and other expenses added on. But the truth of the matter is that cruise packages include all of these costs. This means that the vacation that you have always wanted could be just as affordable as or even more affordable than the land-based vacation that you have always taken.

And if that’s not enough, you can cut the cost of your cruise vacation even further by cashing in on special promotions, booking and paying for your trip well in advance, and taking your cruise during the off-season. Booking passage on a smaller ship rather than the largest, most luxurious ship will also save you a great deal of money. You can even cut costs by choosing a smaller stateroom located on the inside of the ship over a room that faces outward and has a terrace or other amenities.

Even after you take off all of the possible savings, you will still have to come up with something to pay for your cruise. And just how will you do that? Well the key to saving for anything is early planning. If you save throughout the year rather than just for a few weeks or months before your trip, you will be better able to put something away toward your trip without having to let other financial obligations slide.

You should never finance a holiday with credit. No matter whether or not you get a great interest rate, funding vacations with credit is never a good idea. This is because you will end up paying much more for your vacation over a longer period of time than you would have if you would have saved for your trip before hand. Financing a vacation often makes it impossible to take future vacations until the financed holiday is paid for, and it may even create financial hardships. This can lead to resentment and hard feelings over a time that was supposed to only generate happy memories.

So unless you have a very generous aunt, paying for your cruise is going to be all up to you. Don’t worry, though. Paying for a vacation is possible even on the stingiest income if you know how to save.

The key to saving up for anything is consistency. You can’t simply say I’m going to put back any extra money that I have until I have enough saved up to take a cruise. If you go about it in this way, you will never save anything. When’s the last time you had “extra” money? And if you did have it, how long did it stay in your pocket? To save you need a plan, and you need discipline to stick to that plan.

The first step to making a savings plan is to decide when you will be taking your vacation and how much it will cost. Divide the amount of the vacation by the number of weeks you have until you have to have your cruise passage paid in full. This will tell you how much money you will have to put back each week in order to pay for the holiday. If you cannot possibly afford the amount that you need to tuck away each week, you may have to postpone the date of your vacation or make some adjustments to your living expenses.

Next, look at your budget. If you don’t have one, make one. Include everything that you spend money on each week. Don’t leave out extras. You would be surprised by how much income slips through your fingers only to be spent on frivolous purchases. Look for areas where you can cut expenses to free up some income to put toward your trip. Do you stop for a latte every morning or eat out frequently? By simply cutting out these extras, you could free up enough income to pay for your trip and then some.

Now that you have figured out where the money is going to come from, you will need to decide on a safe place to put it. This should be a place that you cannot raid if you feel the need to splurge. A savings account is a great idea if you can deposit money into it and forget about it. You and your significant other can check up on each other. If you think that you may be tempted to make withdraws from the account, you may want to have a trusted friend or relative open an account for you with the stipulations that they are not to withdraw any money for you for any reason. If your vacation is going to be well into the future, savings bonds are also a great idea.

Here's a simple saving tip: At the end of every day any change PLUS any one dollar bills you have go into a jar for the cruise fund. That's it, just be disciplined about it. $3 dollars a day for a year is more than $1,000. Don't buy something everyday? Then step it up a notch? Never pay for anything with dollar bills so you will accumulate them throughout the day. If something is $2.50, than you have to pay with a $5 or $10 and get $2.50 in coin change and one dollar bill change that you will save. So now every single purchase will contribute to your cruise fund!

But no matter where you decide to keep your holiday savings, be sure that you make weekly deposits and stick to your savings plan. Don’t give up. The vacation of a lifetime is within your grasp. It's up to you. Make the dream a reality.

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6 Things To Remember When Traveling With Your Partner

Going on holiday with a partner is the true test of a relationship. Here’s how to get it just right.

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What makes a perfect partner? Someone who wants to have sex first in the morning, never asks you to go shopping with her and renounces all rights so the remote control on Saturday afternoons? Maybe, but no relationship, no matter how erotically charged and compatible, is proven until your first holiday together.

Ah, the holiday, that breeding ground of vice and corruptibility. You go on holiday to relax, but unless you know exactly what you’re getting into, going on holiday with a partner is likely to leave you more stressed than you were when you handed in your leave form.

There are sound reasons for couples fighting when they’re on holiday. Because you’re out of your familiar, everyday situation, holiday actually increase some stress levels. Also, because you’ve convinced yourself that you should be having a wonderful time during every second of your precious holiday small fights and irritations tend to get magnified. A lot of couples break up on holiday, over things that would not have mattered quite as much had they happened during their normal routine.

Everything is more intense when you’re on holiday because it’s such a valued time for most of us. But more holiday fights are caused by lack of planning than unrealistic expectations. You might not be able to do anything about your heightened holiday emotions, but you certainly can plan for physical eventualities, and in so doing hopefully prevent quarrels in Quebec and sulks in the Seychelles.

So if you are planning to go away with a partner – especially if it’s the first time the two of you will be taking a trip together – follow these rules and perhaps you’ll still want to look at each other when you return.

1. Make sure you both want go go to the same place – It’s no use dragging her off to go hiking in the Himalayas if she’d far rather be lying on a beach in Thailand. If your idea of a good holiday is vastly different from hers, perhaps you shouldn’t be together, or perhaps you should take separate holidays. Or you could compromise and choose a place that offers both your types of enjoyment (such as a resort where one of you can go scuba diving while the other lounges next to the pool with a book and a pina colada).

Of course you might not know what her interests and idiosyncrasies actually are until you get there and find yourself shuffling from monument to monument to examine ancient firesoes, despite your longing to examine an affable pub. Holidays show us sides of our partners that we didn’t even suspect existed. That’s why it’s important to discuss you idea holiday before you book the hotel room. If you think she might be agreeing with your choice of destination only to please you, that’s her problem, but give haer a chance to voice her preferences.

It is always more fun to do the things you love with a partner who loves the same things, but it’s inevitable that there will be areas of common disinterest between you. Make it clear that you don’t mind pursuing your quest for the tallest redwood on your own, and make sure she knows that you don’t intend accompanying her on visits to Cambodian orphanages (unless you want to, of course).

2. Divide the money. Money and map navigation are the two most common causes of holiday tension. Money is perhaps more important because even if you’re lost, you’re still okay if you can afford a bed for the night.

No matter how compatible you might be in other spheres, in every couple there is a partner who is the spender. This is increased a hundred-fold when on holiday. The one with the more careful nature will shy away from impulse purchases, while the other spontaneously lashes out on memorabilia that you don’t need and that doesn’t fit into your suitcase.

Some couples try to prevent money fights by nominating one partner as holder of the resolve arguments by saying. “I’m the one in charge of the money and I say we can’t have more than one ice cream a day” is only going to lead to acrimony. Even if one of you is financing the holiday – in fact, especially need to have access to your own money, or the power imbalance will lead to bitterness.

Workout the budget for the entire trip. Say accommodation is paid for, work out how much you’ll need each day for food, and if one of you wants to exceed that budget on a particular day, then economize the next day. Divide your spending money in two and share it. Then, if one of you blows their entire allowance on a three-meter mahogany giraffe. It’s only faire for the partner who still has money to dictate how it’s spent.

3. No bagging the navigator- Democracy does not work when it comes to directions. Whether you’ve driving yourselves around or simply have to find taxis or stations in unfamiliar places, either draw lots or play roulette before you leave home to decide who will be in charge of navigation. Or split the duties, but when one of you is driving or reading a map, the other keeps his or her mouth firmly shut.

Talk about this before you go, otherwise you’ll end up in a ditch when you slam on brakes in the pouring rain and shout, “Do you want to drive?” If she’s driving don’t say a word. And if you know she took a wrong turn, never admit later that you knew the right road to take all along.

Stick to this rule and there’s a good chance you’ll have a happy holiday and perhaps an entire life. The words “shouldn’t you have turned left there?” have been the death knell of too many relationships.

4.Find out if she snores. It’s seldom that a couple goes on holiday without first getting to know each other well, but it happens. You may have shared a bed, but do you know each other’s bathroom? Does she know it takes you half an hour to do your hair? Has she done her morning yoga routine in front of you? Are you familiar with other’s most irritating habits?

A first holiday can bring nasty surprises, if you discover on your fist night away that she grinds her teeth, it could ruin your trip. Alternatively you could be prepared for some irritation, and decide beforehand that, unless it’s a non-negotiable violation of every value you hold dear, you will allow certain annoyances to wash over you.

Say you know each other quite well already and have learnt tolerate each other’s curious habits. You could still find that being on holiday with her drives you nuts (or vice versa) because she thinks that being away means she doesn’t have to be considerate of your needs as would be when you’re both at home.

Being on holiday does mean you can relax, but it doesn’t mean turning into a complete slob. If she doesn’t clean up after you at home, don’t expect her to do it when you’re away. And if she thinks being on holiday gives her licence to use your razor on her legs, explain (gently) that it doesn’t.

5.Don’t combine buddies and new lovers – You have a friend with a pad in Manhattan who’s been begging you to come and stay. “Bring your new girlfriend”, he says. “You guys will have the best time here.” No you won’t. not if you’ve never been away together before and you want to spend a lot of time catching up with your old buddy. They might like each other and get along fine, but a first time holiday is about romance, and you’re not going to get that when you’re trying to divide your time and attention between a friend and a lover.

Perhaps neither of you is the romantic type and you’re both quite keen on the idea of going away with other people. If these are mutual friends, no problem, but going away to meet someone whom only one of you knows isn't a good idea, don’t do it if it's the first time the two of you will be spending time together.

You might also discover when on holiday that that one of you is more sociable that the other. She wants to invite those two couples you met on the train to join you for dinner; all you want to do is spend time alone with her. These are things you can’t predict. All you can do is reasonably explain your desire to socialize – or your objections to talking to strangers – and try to reach a compromise.

6.If it all goes wrong.- There is no way to guarantee that your first holiday together will be fight – free, but you can stop fights from turning your holiday into a nightmare. It may sound stilted, but if you can face up to it, talk about how you’ll deal with fights before you go away. Make a pact that neither of you will storm out, even if it means spending three days in silence. There’s nothing more mortifying than returning home alone. Having the staying power to see it through gives you time to get over fights.

If all else fails then remember to;

Always keep your own passport and ticket if she leaves with your documents, you’re going to look an idiot in a foreign place.

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travel advice, traveling with partner, advice for couples, dating

Are You Saying You Can't Afford A Cruise? Think Again!

 Gee, How Much Does A Cruise Cost?

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Okay, let's say that you’ve decided to take the family on a cruise, or just you and your significant other, and now you need to figure out how much it’s going to cost. Your first glimpse at typical fares offered online has left you more than a little skeptical about the affordability of taking your vacation to the seas. But before you nix the whole cruise idea and book a stay at a dude ranch, why not take a more thorough look at cruise pricing? You may just find that you are getting a great deal and that cruises are actually cheaper than your typical run-of-the-mill vacation.

The problem with cruise pricing is that cruise lines hit you right up front with the numbers, (WHAM!) and that can be a little hard to swallow. But if you can get past your initial shock and not click off your browser, you will find that most cruises are all inclusive, meaning that the entire cost of your vacation is included in the fare price.

Far from just providing you with accommodations, your cruise fare will cover the following: meals and snacks, admission to lounges and nightclubs aboard ship, and tickets to view live bands, productions, and comedy shows. In most cruise lines, the cost of meals alone accounts for up to $75 per day of your fare. Once you subtract this amount and the amount that it would cost for daily entertainment while on a land-based vacation, you could very well be getting your accommodations aboard the ship for free. Sounds like a bargain, huh?

The price for taking a cruise varies greatly and depends on several factors. In some cases, you can book a fare for well under $1,000 per person. Others can cost up to $6,000 per person. It really just depends on your preferences and also how you go about booking your trip. Following is a list of several factors that can affect the cost of your cruise:

1. Time of year - The time of year that you plan to take your cruise will greatly affect the cost of your fare. As with most vacation destinations, the cost of a cruise fare is lower during the off season and higher during the peak season

2. Length - Obviously the length of the cruise will affect the price. If you’re looking for a cruise vacation at a great price, you may want to choose a shorter, 3-day cruise instead of a cruise that lasts 10 days or more.

3. Destination - The cruise destination will also affect the price of your ticket. Generally, the most popular cruise destinations cost more and are harder to book.

4. Type - Many cruise lines offer themed cruises or ones designed for a special group of people. These normally cost more than cruises open to the general public.

5. The cruise line - Different cruise lines have different pricing tables. If you have a favorite line that you wish to travel with, you might be limited when it comes to finding a lower fare. But if you are flexible, you might be able to find a cheaper deal to the same destination simply by choosing a different cruise line.

6. The type of ship – Cruise lines have different types of ships with different pricing tables for each. A smaller ship will likely have fewer amenities than a larger ship and will therefore be less expensive to book a passage on.

7. Accommodations – The size of your room, the view from your cabin, and how many people are staying in it will affect pricing a great deal. To save money, many people opt for an inside stateroom rather than a room that faces outward and has a terrace. The deck that your room is located on will also affect the cost.

8. Package options – Many cruise lines offer extras or upgrades that can be purchased along with your fare.

9. Promotions – If you book a cruise as part of a promotion or special offer, you can save a lot of money on your fare. You can also save money by booking in advance and paying for your fare quickly.

Other cost considerations that you will need to make when calculating the cost of your vacation include any traveling costs to get you to the location where your cruise takes off and a little bit of spending money for souvenirs and purchases made while docked.

Other than that, normally what you see is what you get in cruise pricing. But I do want to say to be sure you ask about any thing that is not included so you don't get surprised. Ask about any additional taxes, charges, surcharges and even take a look at tipping and also figure out of pocket expenses on shore excursion or the purchase of any items or services on the ship that might not be included. Some offered tours on some of the shore excursions might have their own price. If your not sure ask your travel agent, or someone you know that has been on a cruise, or look for what you think is a good cruise forum on the web and maybe post a question or two, or even write/email the cruise line itself and then you'll have something in writing. This way the budget for your cruise will be more accurate and you'll feel more confident and relaxed. And getting away to relax is the point, right?

Yes, you may pay a little more up front, but all the things already included in the costs makes a cruise vacation quite a bargain over many other types of vacations. Plus, during a cruise you can visit numerous exotic locations instead of being stuck in one place for the whole duration of your trip and you don't have to do any of the driving. And that’s the real attraction of taking a cruise, it becomes many little exotic adventures...

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Safari With The Tanzanian Great Migration

 You have decided to take a safari and without hesitation I would advise a Serengeti Safari in Northern Tanzania. A Safari across the endless plains of the Serengeti to witness the last, great migration on earth is an unforgettable experience. The whole safari across the huge Serengeti is a package with an abundance of animals rivaled no where else in Africa. It is compounded with majestic landscapes and the fascinating tribes you meet. It is here you will realize that you are in Africa proper.

The great migration safari in the Serenegeti comprises of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest in a never ending cycle of movement, closely followed by the predators looking for an easy meal. The Wildebeest follow the rains and migration is therefore as unpredictable as these rains. It is the last remaining great migration on our planet, and as such, it is a must to take a safari to witness first hand this great event.

Many safari companies try to predict the whereabouts of the animals. The success of this is dependent on three main things. a. The rains being on time. b. The rains lasting long enough to influence the animal to move. c. The experience of the company organizing migration safaris in the Serengeti. The problem with these predictions is that in recent years the rains have not been on time or they have even failed, leaving some safari-makers with clients in the wrong lodges in the wrong area of the Serengeti. Recently many people on safari in Kenya [as the migration crosses the border and for a short time the migration is in Kenya] experienced the failure of the long rains and with this failure most of the animals remained in the Northern Serengeti, leaving many people on the safari not only in the wrong lodges but in the wrong country!

How to solve this problem involves a little work on your part, in researching your subject and booking your safari vacation with care. Below are a few simple steps as a basic guideline.

1. If you are wanting your safari from late July through to the end of September/October then it is necessary to book well in advance. This time of year is so busy that most of the lodges will become full.

2. Have you heard of overcrowding in the Serenegeti? If you have, the chances are the safari took place between these over crowded summer months and most probably the safari was in the Seronera Valley, in the central Serengeti. This area of the Serengeti has a good, reliable concentration of animals with a year round water supply. Many safari companies [especially the bargain priced safaris] are lazy and send their clients to this part of the Serengeti only. This ensures lower mileage, bigger profits and happy clients because of the abundance of animals. Do ensure your safari includes two areas of the Serengeti. One should be the south or the north of this huge park, depending on the time of year and where the migration is heading.

3. If you have the luxury of booking when tourists are few in Tanzania, then try to leave the actual booking of the safari until a few weeks before your departure. If it is low season, March through to the end of June, then the safaris [that is the accommodation and to a lesser extent transport] are at bargain basement rates. Keep checking on the whereabouts of the migration and then book your accommodation through a quality operator accordingly. Safari operators should be able to get luxury accommodation cheaper than your booking directly - this is how the safari operators make their profit.

4. Unfortunately the easiest way to a successful migration safari in the Serengeti is also the most expensive. Book a luxury safari in a semi permanent luxury tented lodge. They are semi permanent as they move several times per year as the migration moves. This almost guarantees you will be up close and personal with the great migration.

[Do not let the tent bit put you off. They are huge tents with double beds and furniture and even en-suite bathrooms. Some boast of private butlers for each tent. They are small camps and have an intimate relationship with the surroundings.]

How it is possible to keep a check on the whereabouts of the migration is easier said than done. There are many sites that claim to have regular updates but some I checked recently are almost two years past their sell by date. I would suggest keeping in touch with two or three of the small boutique tour operators in Tanzania – they have vehicles with drivers who are returning from the Serengeti every week and so know the movements of the animals. They will not mind keeping you well informed of what is happening in order to [hopefully] get a safari booked.

Take time and plan your safari carefully as the planning is a part of the adventure. Take time to research a little and make sure your ground operator in Tanzania is willing to make your safari special. Many of the safari operators are [rather sadly] only bothered about making a quick buck and the client’s wishes are of no concern to them. Beware of such companies as they exist at the luxury end as well as the budget end of the spectrum. Tanzania and the Serengeti are amazing. Ensure that with careful planning your safari experience will be an exciting and memorable one.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Review On Travel Insurance - Do You Need It Or Not?

 Personally I think it would be very foolish not to have some sort of travel insurance, especially if you are flying abroad. People sometimes make the mistake in thinking that their local insurance policies will cover any losses and have a big shock when they come to make a claim. Besides, if you have the right policy, it takes all the worry out of your trip.

You should always be offered insurance, by your travel agent, when you arrange your trip. If not, ask, because it will be on your own head if anything goes wrong.

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A Cheap Policy or Not?

When a travel insurance policy is issued there are a number of allocations if the premium, agents commissions, administrative costs, some goes towards profit and what's left over goes towards the actual insurance coverage. So, you can see, if it's a cheap travel insurance policy, something is going to miss out and you can bet it will be the level of coverage.

If you buy a regular travel insurance policy, that is, you fill out a form and send it to the insuarance company with your remittance there are a lot of costs involves. A better way would to get a wholesale policy (which travel agents do sell) where the administration costs are dramactically reduced, meaning more money is spent on the actual coverage.

Some tour operators and agents provide an "in-house" travel insurance policy and, often, all it covers is their own cancellation fees and little else. It may be cheaper but will not give you much travel insurance coverage.

Another way to reduce costs, which depends on the level of travel you are going to do, is to purhase an annual travel insurance policy. This is buying in bulk and is likely to be much less expensive than the one-off trip policy.

Primary or Secondry Travel Insurance Cover?

These 2 types of cover determine the way the payouts are made. The primary travel insurance cover means that the company will "Pay First", that is the payment will be paid to the claim maker. The secondary travel insurance cover means they will pay only after you've have claimed as much as you can from other insurance cover that you may have. So, you can see that the primary cover is a lot better than the secondry cover.

What Type Of Coverage Will You Need?

It's fair to say the 2 biggest risks that are covered by most travel insurance policies are the costs of changing your travel plans and and any medical care and emergency assistance that is required while you are away.

Most travel insurance policies will include a few hundred dollars for baggage/loss/damage/delay, loss of travel documents and other small sum for flight delay or interuption. Some will also cover for someone to fly out to you if you are to be hospitalised for more tha 2 or 3 days.

Another major cost, and I must admit I never thought of this one before, can be supplier bankruptcy. Many time the supplier of your travel insurance policy are unable to have the policy to cover thier own bankruptcy. This would be another good reason to have an independant policy from the company arranging your travel.

Most travel insurance policies include a large ammount of air death insurance, but surprisingly, it's of very low value item about 25 cents for a $100,000 cover. I suppose this indicates how safe air travel is.

Some travel isurance policies will also cover car rental risks and this may be an important thing to consider as car rental insurance policies are extremely expensive.

Trip Cancellation/Change Coverage

To understand the possible costs that you may need if you have to change your itinery or cancel the trip, if you have pruchased an unrestricted first class ticket there may be not any costs associated with changing the ticket as this is usually covered in the purchase price.

It may seem strange but the the cheapest ticket has the most risk attached to it as far as cancellation/change is concerned. It can cost a heap more to change the cheap fare to return home on a different flight than the original purchase price of the ticket.

You will have to be aware that when some travel insurance policies state that they will cover 'your total trip cost' you may think that the full charges are covered, but this may not be so. Let's say that your discounted fare cost $590 and you have a package that actually costs $895 and you have to change you may find the return trip will cost more than the whole package. Maybe you will have to pay another $1120 to get home on a no advanced one way return ticket.

I had this experience a few years ago when I had to rush home for my Father's funeral. Because of time restrictions I had to buy a non-discounted ticket. After not feeling well all day, when I finally arrived at the airport I succumbed to a middle ear infection. So with all the vomitting and the different air pressures that come with flying there was no I could get on a aircraft. But, as I had purchased a full fare, there was problems in changing my flight to the next morning. Goes to show that you can't always control your circumstances.

The more restictive travel insurance policies may exclude circumstances that are deemmed 'under your own control', and perhaps this may include work related issues. Let's say you are about to leave work and you are told there is an issue that has to be solved and that you leave has to be deffered. There's a very good chance that this type of travel insurance would no pay out because of this reason.

Medical Care and Emergency Assistance

Some people mistakenly think that their home medical insuarnce policy will cover all costs wherever they are in the world. They may find that that it doesn't cover at all, or the deductions will be much higher or perhaps their medical costs are covered but not any related transport costs.

You may be on a cruise and you need some medical attention by the ship's doctor. There is a good chance that their services are charged for as with any other doctor. You may have to be flown home on a stretcher and this will involve blocking out nine seats, can you imagine how much that would cost. You should make sure that you have travel insurance of at least $10,000 or more to cover these emergencies. Let's imagine you are in a remote area and you break a leg and you need to be lifted out by a helicopter, this is what good travel insurance is all about.

To Summarise

Imagine your worst case travel mishap scenario and decide whether you need travel insurance. This may be the cancellation of the whole trip coupled with the associated cancellation costs or some emergency medical mishap that will require medivac and local care. I know these are horrible thoughts but if you can't afford to self-insure the expenditure of around $100 on travel insurance will give you the piece of mind and one less thing to worry about.

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5 Honeymoon Money Saving Tips

The honeymoon will always be an important aspect in every wedding plan no matter how tight the budget is. While the wedding ceremony is the highlight of every relationship ending up in the altar, the couple will always look forward to the honeymoon.

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Every newly- wedded couple will always feel the stress of wedding preparations. Even couples who are wise enough and who are capable of getting a wedding planner will not be exempt from the after- wedding desire to be stress- free. Thus, almost all couples will always consider their honeymoon the best part of getting married.

Honeymoon is a time to rest after all the wedding- related stress; it is a time to enjoy the company of each other away from the peering eyes of friends and relatives. It is a time for the couple to get to know each other better and intimately.

While majority of couples want their honeymoon to be wonderful, there is always the financial aspect that they have to contend with. The wedding ceremony may be the focal point of the whole preparation but the preparation itself requires a budget. The bride and groom and the entourage has to pay for their wedding dresses and tuxedos. The couple has to pay for the wedding services, the license, the wedding cake, the dinner and all wedding requirements.

What usually happens is that the couple spends too much on the wedding preparation that they end up having little and sometimes no budget for the honeymoon. But who said a couple could not have a romantic honeymoon if they o not have a large budget?

A honeymoon is basically already a romantic event because it is the time when the newly- wedded couple bond with each other. This alone should make the honeymoon romantic and memorable. Of course, there are at least five ways to make honeymoon a memorable event, even for a meager budget.

Every couple should take note of these five honeymoon money saving tips so they can have a fabulous time on their honeymoon without worrying about large financial requirements.

1. Avail of the services of a honeymoon registry so the guests will know what you need and want as a wedding gift

Gone are the days when a couple has to suffer in silence while opening the fifth identical wedding gift they have received; a dinnerware set. Through the wedding registry, the couple can inform the guests that they want or that they are in need of a honeymoon package. Guests who can afford such package can give them a free honeymoon instead of giving a gift that the couple does not need or a gift that they already have. Some of their friends may pool their resources together and gift them with a honeymoon package. This would mean great savings for the couple as well as a fabulous and free honeymoon.

2. Plan the honeymoon ahead of time and avail of promotions offered by resorts as early as one year away from the wedding date

Planning is till the best way to keep your resources intact and become more cost effective in your expenditures. With proper planning, the couple can take advantage of honeymoon packages or resort promotions offered by resort owners. There are honeymoon destinations that are offering big discounts for reservations made ahead of time. Some even offer as much as fifty percent discount for couples who book their honeymoon months before their wedding. This is to ensure the future income of the resorts. By availing of these promotions, the couple will not only be able to save on their finances but will also be able to plan their honeymoon itinerary ahead of time.

3. Spend your honeymoon in a fabulous tourist island but take advantage of home- stay programs offered by some areas

Some areas offer home- stay programs to promote their tourism at a lower cost. Local governments sometimes promote their tourism by gathering responsible folks and training them to become home- stay partners. Under this scheme, the homes of respected locals are accredited by the tourism officials and they become official tourist h9ome- hotels. Home stay accommodations are generally less expensive than hotels. Availing of this package can save the couple thousands of dollars that would have been spent for hotel accommodation alone.

4. Why not try being one with nature and go camping for your honeymoon instead of staying in an expensive hotel?

Couples who are nature lovers can go backpacking for their honeymoon and enjoy others company with only the moon and the stars as witnesses. His could be the best and the most romantic idea for a non- expensive honeymoon. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for hotel accommodations save the money for other important matters and take a nice trip to a deserted island.

5. Timing is important so plan your honeymoon, if not the wedding during off season

Tourist and honeymoon facilities offer as much as fifty percent discount for tourists who would visit their establishments during non- peak seasons. Do not time the honeymoon with summer or other dates when tourists would be flocking to the islands or resorts because this would be very expensive. Visit these areas during the off- peak season can mean less cost and more privacy.

While majority of couples want their honeymoon to be wonderful, there is always the financial aspect that they have to contend with. The wedding ceremony may be the focal point of the whole preparation but the preparation itself requires a budget. The bride and groom and the entourage has to pay for their wedding dresses and tuxedos. The couple has to pay for the wedding services, the license, the wedding cake, the dinner and all wedding requirements.

What usually happens is that the couple spends too much on the wedding preparation that they end up having little and sometimes no budget for the honeymoon. But who said a couple could not have a romantic honeymoon if they o not have a large budget?

A honeymoon is basically already a romantic event because it is the time when the newly- wedded couple bond with each other. This alone should make the honeymoon romantic and memorable. Of course, there are at least five ways to make honeymoon a memorable event, even for a meager budget.

Every couple should take note of these five honeymoon money saving tips so they can have a fabulous time on their honeymoon without worrying about large financial requirements.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

A Journey Through The Grand Cayman Islands

 The Cayman Islands, made famous for their incredible diving, white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and year round Caribbean sunshine, are made up of 3 different islands. Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman; a fuse of Caribbean allure and American efficiency made complete with an inescapable charm from the friendly locals who will welcome you anytime. Although very small, the total landmass of the 3 islands is just 100 square miles, the grand Cayman Islands offers you the best of all worlds.

Cayman Islands weather is almost perfect year round. The winter months, Nov-Apr, the temperature ranges from 72-86 degrees during the day and 64-72 degrees at night. In the summer months, May-Oct, the temperature during the day ranges from 85-90 degrees and 73-85 degrees by night. Also, most people don’t realize just how close to the equator that these islands lay and that means that the sun is HOT. The islands are cooled by the prevailing trade winds but don’t let this fool you, take the sun in small doses and always wear lots of sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses. Given the beautiful Cayman Islands weather, do be aware that it does occasionally rain there! You might want an umbrella just in case. The rainy season starts in May and ends in October with the 2 rainiest months being May and October. March and April are usually the driest.

One of the things that you will experience on the Cayman islands, is world class dining. With over 150 places to eat that range from elegant fine dining to budget fast food and take out, there is something for everyone. Traditional Cayman cuisine has a strong Jamaican influence. Traditional dishes feature seafood cooked in a variety of ways, lobster and conch. Local dishes are often served with coconut, plantain, yams, rice and peas, along with other West Indian side dishes. You can also find many other alternative choices that include; Italian, Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, German and so many others! When it comes to tipping, keep in mind that most hotels add a 5-10% service charge and many restaurants add a 10-15% service charge but some don’t. It’s best to check your bill to see if the service has been added and feel free to reward those who give what you feel is exceptional service.

Shopping and nightlife; there is certainly no shortage on the Grand Cayman islands! You will find a wide variety of nightlife and entertainment from lively nightclubs, to watching live international and local bands perform, to pool halls, lounges and the theatre. Bars, clubs and dancehalls close at 3am during the weekdays, midnight on Saturdays and there are no nightclubs open on Sundays. When you arrive, you will be able to find local informational magazines, free of charge that will list all the special events and current happenings on the islands. The Cayman Islands enjoy tax free status which also means they have duty free status. You will be able to find items such as fine jewellery, watches, crystal, perfumes and china that can be as much as 30% cheaper there. One of the best places to go shopping is in the capitol of George Town in Grand Cayman, it is home to one of the nicest shopping centers in the Caribbean! The local currency is the Cayman Islands dollar and it is equivalent to $1.25 USD. It is a fixed exchange rate and never changes. American currency is generally accepted, as well as all major credit cards, and the CI dollar.

There are many options for getting around on the Grand Cayman Islands; taxis, public transportation, car rentals to mopeds and scooters. Upon arrival, you will find many taxis that are available from the airport and are readily available from all resorts. You will find fixed rates per vehicle or per person to all points on the island. This information is available from the taxi driver and there is also a sign with current rates posted at the cruise ship dock in George Town. One of the Caribbean’s most extensive fleet of modern rental cars are found here in the Cayman’s. Driving is on the left hand side of the road but you can find many rentals that feature right hand driving. Visitor’s need to obtain temporary driver’s licenses from the rental agency but this is easily done by presenting a valid driver’s license from your country and being over 21, although not all agencies will insure you if you are under 25. Rentals are readily available from Grand Cayman while there are more limited numbers of them on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. Car rentals can be booked before arriving on Grand Cayman and it is advisable to do so during the winter months. A public bus terminal is located in downtown George Town and serves as a dispatch point to all the districts, service starts at 6am. There are also several mini buses that are operated by licensed operators that serve 8 routes.

The Cayman Islands have so much to offer and possesses unsurpassed beauty under the sea due to their protected Marine Parks. You can easily see why so many people realize their dreams here and love visiting this tropical paradise.

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5 Things You Must Experience On Your Costa Rica Vacation

Are you tired and worn out? Do you need a break? If so, then, there is no better place than the amazing waters of Costa Ricas breathtaking beaches and lakes. If you really want to experience the grandest vacation getaway you can ever imagine, take a plunge and explore the wonders of Costa Rica, check- in to its world- class hotels, and the rest, as many people say, is a saga.

With 46,768 species of different animals and insects such as orchids, birds, butterflies, and freshwater fishes, Costa Rica is a place where nature abundantly sits on its 51,100 sq. km. land area.

Bordering the North Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica is home to luscious tropical rain forests, lovely beaches, coral reefs, mangrove swamps, cloud forests, volcanoes, and a large set- up of lakes and rivers. With these remarkable features, Costa Rica is one of the worlds most wonderful vacation destinations.

So if you have not yet experienced the best vacation in the world, then, going to Costa Rica will definitely make you see how magnificent Gods creation were.

With its great warm temperate climate and abundant nature, you can do many things while you enjoy your grand vacation getaway in Costa Rica.

Of course, to make the most out of your break, it is best to take note of the recommended activities in the area. These things will surely make your time in Costa Rica something worth remembering all your life.

Here are 5 things you must experience on your Costa Rica vacation -

1. White water rafting

Costa Rica provides a number of the worlds best white water rafting rivers. These remarkable types of waters will let you dive into the unknown tropical boondocks of Costa Rica.

So whether you are a novice or a skilled white water rafter, an adventurer or a nature aficionado, it is extremely important to experience white water rafting in Costa Rica. You will never know the kind of experience that awaits you if you will not try it.

2. Aerial adventures

With its abundant tropical rain forests, Costa Rica can give you one of the worlds best natural parks. Also, the best way to enjoy these extraordinary features is to try the Aerial Adventures. This refers to a chairlift- style trip that was built for optimum wildlife and bird viewing.

Aerial Adventures is the ultimate alternative to cable rides, especially if you are one of those few people who gets scared with hanging cables mounted on top of the trees.

3. Beach escapades

If you think you have already seen the best beaches in the world, think again! If you have not yet visited Costa Ricas lovely beaches, then you are nearly missing half of the bets things life has to offer.

When you have your vacation in Costa Rica, it is a must that you try and experience plunging into its exquisite beaches.

Costa Rica has a long range of glamorous beach resorts and first- class hotel accommodations. For example, in the Caribbean Coast, you can go to Cahuita, a miniature Oceanside community, with a beautiful national park attached to it. This place can give you the best snorkeling and swimming experience.

While on the Pacific Coast, you can visit Playa Samara, one of Costa Ricas stunning white sand beaches. It is blessed excellent coral reef situated in tranquil, shallow Costa Rica waters.

4. Wind surfing

With the strong Tradewinds blowing within the region, wind surfing has been one of the most sough- after activity every vacationer would like to experience.

Among the many lakes situated in Costa Rica, Lake Arenal is one of the finest windsurfing sites in the world. Compared to Columbias River Gorge and Lake Garda of Italy, Lake Arenals Tradewinds creates winds with extraordinary strength.

In fact, reports say that all through the dry season, the average wind speed amounts to 33 miles per hour. Only the professional windsurfers can manage this speed.

Hence, with great equipments and superior wind surfing ability, you will definitely enjoy this fun activity while you stay in Costa Rica.

5. Fishing and Scuba diving

Fishing and Scuba diving will never be the same again if you will experience this in Costa Rica. With its famous, Manuel Antonio National Park and Quepos, you can only be assured of a remarkable vacation near the waters.

Quepos Manuel Antonio is the place that created Costa Ricas world recognition. Blessed with many kinds of fishes, anglers will surely have a grand time catching the best inshore and blue water fishes in the world. You can also have a taste of fresh water fishes at Lake Arenal.

If you want a more extreme adventure, you should try scuba diving. With Costa Ricas great coral reef, you will surely enjoy your time under water.

All of these things are definitely some of the best activities you must experience on your Costa Rica vacation. Otherwise, it will just be like your other vacation trips.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Save Money with a Timeshare for the Holidays

Anyone that travels over the holidays knows that accommodations are generally more expensive than during other times of the year. They can also sell out fast if you don’t make your reservation very early. One way to save money when you travel for the holidays is to invest in a timeshare. They are available in most locations that people often travel to for a holiday vacation.

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What you may not be aware of is that may other towns and cities around the world have timeshares too. This means if you are going to visit friends and family for the holidays you can still get a great price on a timeshare. You definitely will need some time of your own while you visit for the holidays and you don’t want to crowd other people in their home. A timeshare property can be a home, apartment, condo, and even a hotel.

For those of you not familiar with timeshares, they involve a group of people buying property together. Each person is an owner of the property and they get the privilege of using the timeshare for a specific period of time each year. You have the ability to sell your timeshare at any time so you aren’t obligated to keep it forever if you don’t want to continue using it.

You also have the right to sublet your timeshare when you are authorized to use it. This means if you decide to travel somewhere else for the holidays or to stay home you can let someone else use it. This way they get a great deal on their accommodations for the holidays and you aren’t out any money since you didn’t use it yourself. You can advertise your timeshare slot online and likely get plenty of excellent responses right away from interested parties.

If you don’t have time to purchase a timeshare right now before you travel for the holidays you should take a look online at those that are being sublet. This way you can take advantage of the availability of the property for your holiday travel. This is also an excellent way to find out about the different types of timeshare properties in that area that you may want to invest in down the road.

You may be surprised to find that you can also purchase timeshares from various hotel chains. The most popular one is Marriott and you can transfer it all over the world. This means you can travel anywhere you want for the holidays and take advantage of your timeshare at the local Marriott hotel. Since this popular hotel chain is very common you will likely find one nearby.

It is very wise to take your time looking for the right timeshare to use over the holidays though. You don’t want to get yourself involved in a scam and find out the actual property doesn’t even exist that you have paid for. Take the time to research information about the company and check with the Better Business Bureau. This way you know who you are dealing with.

Take your time to read over all the details of a timeshare property before you invest in it. Don’t just take the sellers word for it that you will be able to use it over the holidays when you want it. Make sure you have all that information in writing. Don’t be pressured into signing paperwork either until you have had the time to read it. They will often tell you that other people are interested in the timeshare to get you to make a rash decision.

You will be able to save plenty of money when you use a timeshare for your holiday travel. However, you will only be able to do so if you take your time to research what is offered. This way you can make an informed decision to purchase the right property for your holiday travel needs and for your budget.

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