Friday, June 27, 2008

Winter Vacation? Start Planning Now!

Ah, summertime, my favorite season of the year.

Summer means long lazy days, barbeque's, hanging out at the beach, swimming in the water, flip flops, warm nights and a vacation.

Many people actually plan their summer vacations in the midst of the winter. Not only can the idea of a trip cheer you up on those cold, dark days of winter, it also makes a lot of sense financially and based on the best availability. In fact, to get the best of everything (rates, seats, hotel rooms, entertainment tickets, cruises, etc.), it is recommended to book international trips about six months in advance.

In reverse of summer vacations, as we are approaching the month of July, it's time to start planning your winter vacation. This means that somewhere in between picnics and hanging out at the beach this summer, it's a great idea to get started planning that winter vacation.
And when we are in the midst of the cold, dark winter days, heading someplace warm is just what the body and mind need.

Call a Travel Agent today to get started planning your winter getaway. Some great suggested destinations include Fiji, Tahiti, basically anywhere in the South Pacific as it's their summertime during our winter season. Bring summer to you this winter!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Airline Baggage Fees

It seems that everyone is feeling the effects of the record breaking fuel prices in some way or another. For most of us, it’s when we go to the gas station or buy food. Every time I fill up my car, the prices are higher than the time before and a few items at the grocery store breaks the bank. Because of this, I’ve been trying different methods to use less gas, be more fuel efficient and I decided to plant a garden.

This also means that companies using large quantities of fuel, such as airlines, are finding ways to either reduce their consumption through alternative fuel research and/or by charging for what used to be included in all flights such as drinks and snacks. They are looking for any way to cover the costs.

Unfortunately this means higher airfares and more fees for passengers. Many airlines have started charging fees for all checked bags, including the first one. I have a feeling that all domestic airlines will be charging these fees soon if gas prices don’t start going down soon.

For a complete list of which airlines are charging fees for checked bags, speciality seating and snacks, check out this link or contact your airline.

Even with the high fuel costs, there are incredible deals for all international travel. Airlines still want their planes full and look at the bottom dollar. To find out about the best prices and the inside, up-to-date scoop, contact your Travel Agent for all your travel needs.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Pack Light, Travel Light New Baggage Policies

With more and more airlines charging fees for checked bags these days, many travelers are trying to find ways to avoid checking bags all together.

Packing light has many advantages, besides just avoiding airline fees. For example, you don't have to stand around for an hour waiting for your bags to show up on the baggage carrousel upon arrival at your destination and there's no chance that your bags will be lost or damaged en route. It's also easier to get through busy airports and train stations with fewer and smaller bags, and it makes it simple to take public transportation, rather than relying on high costs taxis and limos.

Here are some tips and suggestions for packing light, and fitting all your travel luxuries into one easy, carry-on bag.

  • Make a Packing List base on items and clothing that you know you'll need on your trip and stick to it! Try to avoid bringing items that you think you might need.

  • Wear layered clothing when you travel, that stretches and breathes giving you more room in your bag

  • Pack wrinkle-free clothing as much as possible

  • Rolling your clothes instead of laying them flat in the bag will provide more space

  • Select one or two color scheme. Sometimes it's a good idea to add a few items with dark patterns, such as plaids as they help hide wrinkles, stains and dirt

  • Reversible clothing, especially tops, are great choices since they effectively double your clothing choices.

  • Pack clothing that will dry quickly as you may need to wash some items during your trip

  • Consider using a dual-purpose bag (suitcase/backpack combined) if you're going to be doing a lot of walking

  • Remember the TSA 3-1-1 Carry-On Liquid Rules:

  • Any liquid or gel packed in your carry-on bag must fit in a container that is a maximum of 3 ounces

  • 1 Quart: Containers carrying your liquids and gels must be packed in a clear, plastic bag that is no larger than 1 quart and has to be able to close completely

  • 1 Person: Every person is allowed to bring one clear, quart-size bag of properly sized containers noted above. Many stores have increase their supply of toiletries that meet the TSA guidelines

  • To simplify things for yourself, consider buying toiletries such as shampoo and toothpaste during your trip
For more information about up-to-date baggage policies and fees, check with your airline as it may change often. To book your next trip-of-a-lifetime, contact your experienced Travel Agent for travel to the South Pacific including Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, as well as Hawaii and Europe.

"If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light."
Cesare Pavese

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cruising with a Theme

Have you ever thought about taking a vacation that incorporates your special interest or hobby?

Cruise lines are making it easy with more specialty and theme cruises being added every year! That's right, most cruise lines including Carnival, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Costa and Celebrity all offer some type of specialty or theme cruises.

These cruises offer the opportunity to indulge in a favorite hobby or increase your knowledge of a wide variety of subjects, from gourmet cuisine and fine wine to sports or music.

Programs may include special menus, guest speakers, performances by the noted entertainers, theme-related shore excursions and the chance to interact with leading figures in a particular field.

Some passengers might prefer to entertain themselves while at sea, but many are welcoming the growing thematic trend. Special-interest programs give passengers the opportunity to look at the destination from a different perspective.

There are a variety options to chose from, including:

Wine and Food Festival
Spotlight on Chocolate
Baseball Greats
Antiques Roadshow
Elvis Cruise
The Rock Boat (Rock 'n Roll Festival at Sea)
Gotta Dance Cruises
Mind, Body and Spirit Cruise
Grow Younger, Live Longer with Deepak Chopra
Christmas Markets Cruise

Embarking on a themed cruise is a great way to meet like-minded individuals and find time for your interets that you may not have time for at home. Start planning your cruise today by calling an Expert Cruise Agent. An agent is a great way to answer all your questions, get the inside scoop and the best way to find the lowest price. Cruise with your hobbies today!