Learn All You Can About Your Next Travel Destination

This is the village of Oia, perched on a clifftop at the end of the island of Santorini. Our cave house was near the bottom of the developed part of the hillside.

If you have an upcoming vacation in mind, is it all planned out and ready to go?

For countless travelers, reaching that next travel destination may seem like a major task at first (finances, planning etc.), but it certainly does not have to be the case.

For example, the Internet gives you so much information these days when it comes to where you might want to visit next.

Whether those destinations will be spots you visit for the first time or over and over again, there is always something to learn about them.

Keep in mind that many vacation spots like to upgrade their offerings over time, so things will in fact change. From new offerings to changing prices (typically higher), you need to stay up to speed on what is occurring.

So, how knowledgeable will you be the next time you starting thinking of getting away from it all?

Turning to the Travel Pros

In order to better appreciate and enjoy your next vacation, having travel professionals working with you is certainly a good idea.

For instance, are you interested in learning about and exploring one or more regions of the United States, jet-setting across Europe, or perhaps discovering more about specially curated Brazil vacation packages? No matter where your travels will take you this year or down the road, being as educated as possible about your destination/s is crucial.

Secondly, ask the travel pros if there are any regions of the world where travel is not highly recommend at this time.

While there can be myriad of reasons for such travel advisories, some of the more common ones include factors such as political upheaval, devastation from weather happenings, poor economic conditions, threats of terrorism etc. By having as many details in-hand, you are better suited to decide where you want to go.

Do You Research

For starters, you can do lots of your own research before you ever sit down to talk with a travel company.

Among the areas to cover:

  • Do they have customized packages available? If so, what all do they include?
  • How do their rates compare to other travel companies, some of which you may be interested in dealing with?
  • Do they have any money-back guarantee offers regarding their trips?
  • How far in advance should you typically book a major trip?
  • Do they recommend travel insurance for your vacation?

Whether you have a travel addiction or you’re just the occasional traveler, do your best to be educated on where you’re going and how you are arriving there.

Best Times to Travel?

Certain worldwide destinations are better off going to during particular times of the year.

For example, someone wanting to see all of Alaska’s beauty is not typically inclined to go there in the wintertime. Not only can many of the roads be impassable, but transportation just getting there can prove quite difficult.

Meantime, are you currently in a cold weather region of the U.S., looking to escape that for a week or two? If so, heading south of course is your best option.

If you like crowds, heading to Brazil for the famed Rio Carnival may very well get your attention. Not only are you sure to fine lots of people and entertainment, but the weather should be rather ideal for snowbirds needing a break from cold and snow.

Also look at what the expenses will be in going to a site that is in particularly high demand from travelers.

Although some area may not be your first choice, going there may save you some dollars, money saved while other travelers have flocked elsewhere.

At the end of the day, knowing all you can about your next travel destination is what should be your top priority.

By knowing all you can about it, you can determine if it is truly where you want to go.

If it isn’t, then turn your focus elsewhere, allowing you to get to that place you will remember for years to come.

10 Signs You’re Addicted to Travel

Is traveling is your passion and your whole reason to live? Whenever you’re home for more than a week, do you start feeling like it’s time to pick your bags and hit the road again? There’s always a new, mysterious destination lying beyond the horizon, waiting for you to discover it. But are you a true travel junkie, or are you just looking for the best place to settle down?

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Image used with permission from http://www.thecanvasfactory.com.au/

You’re always telling stories about your travel experiences

Whether you are on your cousin’s birthday or talking with your friends, you somehow find a way to relate your traveling experiences with the topic of the conversation. That’s why your friends can always count on your crazy stories to amuse them in a party.

You can sleep anywhere

Hotels? Please, those are for tourists. A true traveller can sleep over his own luggage if need be. For you traveling is not about staying on a nice hotel and getting tanned next to the pool, but about exploring cultures and places you’ve only seen in your dreams.

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You are jet lag-proof

You have travelled through so many time zones that your body can recover in no time. Those days where you still felt sick a week after landing are in the past and jet lag holds no power over you. Now, you only need a bed and a couple of days of rest before you’re ready for your newest adventure.

You have friends all over the world

Traveling is more than just looking at scenic places. For you the most memorable moments of your trip are those shared in the company of friends and strangers that you meet during your trip.

You never unpack your suitcase, even when you’re at home

A true adventurer never stops traveling, so why bother unpacking when you’ll be on your way soon? For you, home is where the heart is.

You spend your free time at home browsing travel websites

You don’t really care about the news or the latest best seller. All that you care is that there’s so many interesting places out there you haven’t seen yet; so what could possibly be a better use of your time that learning about them while you’re grounded at home?

You can give directions in cities you don’t even live in

Traveling has helped you develop an acute sense of orientation. That’s why you feel at ease whether you’re walking through the streets of Sydney, or catching a ride in Karachi. You’re basically a human GPS that can find its way to any city on the world except home.

You haven’t finished a trip when you have already begun to plan the next

You always keep a mental list of the places where you want to go. It doesn’t matter if you’re visiting the exotic Bali, or marvelling at the pyramids of Chichen Itza; you always know that there is a fascinating place out there you haven’t been to…YET!

You keep trying to convince your friends to travel

Somehow, every time you’re catching up with your friends you always end up trying to convince them to come with you on your next trip. And why wouldn’t you? After all, every adventure hero needs a sidekick, right?

As soon as your trip is over you want to do it all over again

Traveling is expensive, exhausting and sometimes extremely frustrating; but no matter what obstacles you find on your way, you wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.

Why taking a multi centre holiday is the way to go

You may like mountains, but want if your SO wants to spend time at the beach? A multi centre holiday solves this problem ... photo by CC user Kaustabh on wikimedia

While single destination holidays are still the standard in the travel industry, the multi centre holiday has begun to emerge as a desire to see and do more grows as boomers continue to retire. With all the time in the world and the money to fuel extended trips, its no surprise that this evolution is occurring, but in case you are scratching your head as to why people would want to see multiple centres on holiday, allow us to explain this trend in further detail below…

Variety is the spice of life

As cliché as it is to say, it’s true that sprinkling in different places, things and experiences in your life on occasion does a great deal to jolt you out of the funk that we all find ourselves in from time to time. While there is a certain level of comfort in going to the same old all-inclusive year after year, it can tend to get stale after doing the same holiday over a long period of time.

By spending some of your free time in an exciting city before headed to a world class beach, you get to experience the strengths of each destination, as well as feeling a sense of satisfaction that comes from varying contrasts in different environments.

If you’re stuck on how exactly how to plan a trip of this nature yourself, there are some companies that employ skilled travel agents that are experts at piecing together some great multi centre holiday ideas that will blow your usual seven day resort vacation out of the water. What do you have to lose by giving a well-informed travel wiz permission to craft together an awesome holiday plan anyway?

Satisfy those in your group with different interests

Traveling with friends and family can be an intensely rewarding experience in ways that solo travel can’t match, but it also comes with its own set of hair-pulling challenges. While some people might treasure every minute spent baking in a sun lounger, this activity might prove to be as interesting as watching paint dry for those that find it hard to sit still for longer than five minutes.

By mixing in more stimulating urban destinations onto the itinerary of a trip that also features time spent at a beach resort, you can give everyone a chance to have a portion of their journey where they really felt engaged with the possibilities and activities that lay before them that day.

Revive the memories of the wandering days of your youth

Most package holidays keep you rooted in one spot, and while there are often many things to see, do, and explore in these places, they lack the continuous movement that was part of the excitement of your backpacking days all those years ago.

With a multi-centre holiday, a greater portion of your time overseas is spent on the move to different places, giving you both the thrill of the journey in addition to the satisfaction of a world class destination.

Go all inclusive in the city

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I absolutely love city breaks. Giving you the chance to immerse yourself in the local culture, they are also usually the best choice for nightlife, cuisine and shopping. What’s not to like? For me, the way to get the most from a city stay is by booking into an all inclusive hotel – here’s why.

Why go all inclusive?

At first, recommending you stay in an all inclusive hotel might sound like a slightly odd tip – after all, your accommodation rental can’t make that much difference to your trip, can it? Well, actually it can – and in more ways than one.

The first is in terms of your budget. Most cities will offer a range of cheap all inclusive hotels, which is good news if you’re not feeling too flush. While you will, of course, need to read the fine print to check what your particular package offers, generally all inclusive deals will factor your meals and drinks into the price.

This is a big part of how they can save you money on any kind of holiday, but is particularly important on city breaks, where food and drink in the local restaurants is bound to be pricey.

But it’s not only your wallet that this kind of establishment is good for. You see, since all inclusive hotels take care of everything for you, you generally have more time. This can then be used to see as much of the destination as possible before heading home.

Great destinations for all inclusive city breaks

Now, let’s take a quick look at some of the best places to head to for all inclusive city breaks.

Milan

Milan is a city of art and fashion, so getting a taste of both is pretty much a must. In terms of art, the ultimate work to see is Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper.

World-famous, this painting depicts Jesus’s last meal before the crucifixion, and is considered to be one of the very best works of the Renaissance. You should book tickets to see it in advance to avoid disappointment.

In terms of fashion, you should definitely hit the designer stores that fill the city centre. But don’t worry, you don’t necessarily have to pay premium prices, because Milan is actually home to a fair few discount stores too – you just need to know where to look.

These include Il Salvagente on Via Fratelli Bronzetti, and Fox Town in Mendrisio (outside the city centre).

Rome

If you fancy seeing some of Europe’s greatest historical sights without breaking the bank, then booking an all inclusive hotel in Rome is a good way to go. Home to the spectacular Colosseum, this city is also famous for its romantic ambience and coffee culture.

The number one place to visit is, as you might have guessed, the Colosseum, which is around 2,000 years old. It was the largest amphitheatre in the Roman Empire, and in its heyday could hold a huge 50,000 to 80,000 spectators.

Attracting thousands of visitors year after year, this marvel can take a while to queue for, so it’s best to book tickets in advance to shorten your wait.

Trying some good Italian coffee is another must, and there are loads of historic coffee houses to choose from, like Caffe Greco. You’ll find this at 86 Via Condotti, where it has stood since opening back in 1760.

Five Tips for Finding Cheap Airfare

When planning a trip or vacation, airfare can be the most expensive part of your planning. There are many factors that can make airfare daunting such as excess fees, expensive food, delayed flights, layovers and crowded cabins.

Honestly, there really isn’t an easy way to finding cheap airfare. To get the cheapest deal you have to shop around for the lowest price. However, there are tips for finding cheap airfare to reduce costs.

finding cheap airfare

Buy Your Tickets Early

The best tip for finding cheap airfare is to buy them way ahead of time. The sooner you buy your tickets, the cheaper the price. Keep in mind that airfare prices usually go up about two weeks before a scheduled flight. As well, airfare can be extremely expensive during peak travel times.

Oftentimes you can get tickets at half the cost by purchasing a month or two in advance. If you are booking a flight overseas, then it is best to buy your tickets three to six months in advance.

Buy Your Tickets Late

Oftentimes you can buy tickets at the last minute at a very low price. This is because airlines usually get several cancelations and need to fill the seat(s). You will have to be flexible with your dates and itinerary but it can be well worth the price. Just keep in mind that you take a chance in availability.

Many airlines also have weekly newsletters that offer last minute specials. Additionally, check sites that specialize in last minute flights such as LastMinuteTravel.com and LastMinute.com.

Always Shop Around

It is always best to shop around even if the first fare you see is at a reduced price. There are several reputable online travel providers you can check for prices such as Cheap Tickets, Travelocity, airfare watchdog, Independent Traveler and Trip Advisor. Also check the airlines, sometime they will guarantee the lowest fares. As well, airlines will occasionally run special sales or promotions.

If the prices seem too high, wait a few days and then check them again. Sometimes the prices will go down. In addition, many major booking sites will send an email alert when your fare is at a reduced price that you are comfortable with.

Know When to Buy Your Tickets

It is easy to keep on searching for the best price and delay purchasing your ticket(s). Buy waiting for the cheapest fare is not always advisable. As you will find, the prices can vary from day to day. If you wait to long the fare prices will remain high.
Fortunately there are companies that can assist you in selecting the best time to book a flight and help you make a decision such as Bing Travel. If you are traveling in the US or to a select international destination, Bing Travel can offer fare predictions for most major cities. Another great site that offers fare history graphs for US and international flights is Kayak.com.

Also bear in mind that most airlines typically have their sales on Tuesdays. Instead of buying your tickets on Monday, the best tips for finding cheap airfare are to just wait one day.

Remember to be Flexible

If you live in a large city with more than one airport then check out all fares at all of the nearby airports. The prices can vary a great deal. Other tips for finding cheap airfare are to be flexible with your travel dates. Sometimes a month, week or even a day can make a huge difference in cost. As well, keep in consideration peak travel times because they are the most expensive. Additionally, the best days to book the lowest fare are typically on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.