Don't assume you will save money by driving. Flying is faster and less expensive many times. Of course if you have a large family, driving could save a lot of money.
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Some people just assume that driving is always cheaper than flying, but that's not the case. You have to take into consideration some of the super saver flights, the extra nights in hotels that driving will cost you, the price of gas, and the time it takes. AAA did a comparison of flying, driving, or taking a train. The comparison was going from three different destinations to Orlando, Florida. You will see that flying is less expensive than driving, taking a train, or bus from Boston and St.Louis It is less expensive to fly from San Francisco to Orlando than to drive by around $400 and it takes almost 40 hours longer.
Don't assume you will save money by driving. Flying is faster and less expensive many times. Of course if you have a large family, driving could save a lot of money.
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1. Explore the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens
Built in 1920, this historic estate now operates as a non-profit organization and is open to the public. Guided, 90-minute tours of the meticulously preserved interiors cost $20, or you can opt to explore the gardens only for $10. Among the highlights is an impressive art collection, including works by the home's original owners—important patrons who gifted Pablo Picasso’s “The Old Guitarist” to the Art Institute of Chicago. Quite a few paintings of similar caliber remain throughout the house. The property is open Tuesday through Sunday.
2. Spend the afternoon at a resort
Want to extend your time in the sun? While some hotels charge extravagant prices for a day pass (e.g. The Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale, $300), others are quite reasonable. At the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach, which opened last fall, $75 includes access to the Sky Deck’s pool—plus a towel, chair, and bottled water—for the day.
3. Ride the trolley
You can't miss the Sun Trolley, with its bright red-and-yellow exterior, circling downtown Fort Lauderdale. It covers seven routes (including one from the airport to Las Olas) and costs just $3 for the day, or $1 per ride, making it the easiest and most affordable way to get around. Note that luggage is not allowed on the trolley, but if you’ve left your bags with the airport’s storage service, you’ll be fine.
4. Take a guided bicycle tour
If your legs are itching to move, Riverwalk Rec offers two-hour bike tours ($39) covering Fort Lauderdale’s downtown waterfront (including charming neighborhoods like Colee Hammock and Sailboat Bend), with a stop for gelato or at a bakery along the way. If you'd rather strike out on your own, the company also rents bikes at $5 per hour. Keep an eye out for forthcoming themed tours, including the three-hour FTL Burger & Brewery Bike Tour ($45) and a four-hour ride along Fort Lauderdale's beaches ($79)
5. See the city by boat
Assuming you’re not sick of being on the water, another great way to see Fort Lauderdale is on a narrated cruise. Carrie B Cruises offers a 1.5-hour sightseeing tour on its 112-foot boat (with an upper deck) that takes you past yachts and lavish homes for $23.95 per person. Dates vary by season.
6. Hike Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
This park lies between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, next to Fort Lauderdale Beach. In addition to a 1.9-mile paved road, there are two hiking trails. Drop by the park’s visitor center to learn more about the natural habitat. Entrance fee is $6 per vehicle.
From Sherman Travel
If you need help planning a trip contact info@PetersonTravelPros.com
You can travel more inexpensively by snagging flights with unsold seats and booking hotels when rates are low. Here are a few tips.
1. Check out airfare charts to pinpoint when to go. Fares vary day to day, depending on demand. Websites of carriers — including Delta, Southwest and United — show the cheapest days to fly if your dates are flexible. (It’s often best to go on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, when most business and leisure travelers don’t.) To cast your net wide, punch in departure and arrival cities and a time frame on websites such as Skyscanner or Google Flights. They survey multiple airlines to show the most economical days to travel.
2. Set up fare alerts. If you don’t have firm dates, sign up for a price alert. You can do that on websites such as AirfareWatchdog to be informed when seats cost less. When you search for flights on Kayak, it will advise whether it’s a good time to buy or if fares are expected to go down. You may also sign up for email notification of discounts on many travel websites. One of the best newsletters for current offers comes from Travelzoo, a clearinghouse for discounted flights, hotels, and air and lodging packages.
3. Use frequent-flier airline miles to take off. If flights aren’t filled, carriers may offer more award seats close to departure. Carriers such as Southwest and JetBlue have eliminated blackout dates in loyalty programs, meaning if a seat is available, you can grab it using points. An impromptu round-trip ticket booked in July from Baltimore to Albany, N.Y., costs 15,000 miles on Southwest, plus $11 tax. The cash price would have been $400. It pays to periodically review your miles and expiration dates so that you don’t lose travel that’s nearly free.
4. Use an online travel assistant to do the searching for you. The Hipmunk site is a great source for travel steals. Its new “Hello Hipmunk” feature, which uses artificial intelligence, lets you email what you want (a quick getaway to Vegas, for instance). Within seconds, you’ll be given options for flights and hotels. Hipmunk then sends users to sites including JustFly and CheapoAir to book. It also ferrets out Airbnb rentals in your chosen destination.
5. Pay less for rentals. Owners don’t want properties to sit vacant, so it’s possible to obtain lower last-minute rates via sites such as Airbnb, FlipKey, VRBO and HomeAway.com, where you deal directly with homeowners or property managers. Sometimes you needn’t negotiate: Sale rates for certain rentals are shown
6. Save On Hotels. Have points in hotel loyalty programs? Book a free stay along the way. Or bid for low rates at Priceline.com to score a deal, though you won’t know the name of the property until you book. Priceline’s “Express Deals” don’t reveal the hotel, but also don’t require bidding. If extreme last-minute planning suits you, HotelTonight has access to unsold rooms and can put you into one cheaply the day you wish to stay. You can book up to a week before through its website or app.
7. Last-minute cruises. When ships don’t sell cabins, prices sink. However, now that cruising is so popular, rock-bottom prices are scarcer. This summer, Alaska sailings sold out fast. Sailings everywhere now fill faster, so booking early is a smart move. There was a seven-day Mediterranean cruise from Savona, Italy, in October on the Costa Pacifica for $392.60 a person, double occupancy, including taxes and fees. “Last Minute Cruise Deals” on the website are worth checking out if you are flexible.
8. Go one-stop shopping at Last Minute Travel. Whether seeking a vacation destination, flight, cruise, air and hotel package, or rental car, you’ll find it at the Last Minute Travel site. The website offers “Undercover Hotels” at rates below the norm (you won’t know the lodging name until you book). Join the Last Minute Travel Club for $50 a year to nab even lower prices; if you don’t save what you paid to join, you’ll get a promo code for discounts to make up the difference.
Check out more tips at https://www.PetersonTravelPros.com
What are your dreams? We all start with a dream before we make a plan. It doesn't matter if it is Martin Luther King Jr. or Sophie in Mama Mia. Your dreams may be large or small, but I say dream big. Why not? You have nothing to lose. Lots of us yearn to get away, move to a better climate, relax, or learn about a new culture. You might even want to visit an area having a special celebration. There are a lot of special events to choose from.
Some of them are:
The European Christmas Markets along the Danube River Cruise
St Patrick's Day In Dublin
Shrines of Alpine Europe including Zurich to Vienna Oberammergau Tour
Highlights of Route 66 and the Albuquerque Balloon Festival
Harbin, China Ice Festival
Transylvania Halloween Festival
Rio de Janeiro Carnival Experience
Winter in Italy with Venice Carnival: February -Rome to Venice
Mardi Gras-New Orleans March 2 to 7
Quebec Winter Carnival with Toronto -Feb 7 to 15
Tournament of Roses Parade in LA and San Diego 12/30-1/5
Alaska Iditoarod 2/25-3/4
Holland Tulip Festival, Michigan 5/9-15
Please let us know if you need help planning your next vacation. https://www.PetersonTravelPros.com
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Are you the type of person that plans ahead for your vacations or do you leave it to the last minute? We all know how important it is to take vacations. In-depth research proves that Americans who take time to plan how they will use their vacation time in the year ahead are happier than those who do not. They are happier with their health and well-being, their financial situation, their marriage, and even their overall mood. Research also shows that simply having something to look forward to—like a vacation—improves your happiness. But nearly half of American households fail to take the simple step of planning their time off.
Americans universally say that their vacation days are important to them, yet more than half (54%) of U.S. employees leave time on the table. These unused days carry significant economic impact, threaten the sustainability of a productive and creative workforce, and have a damaging effect on employee's personal well-being and relationships.
In our culture of packed schedules, hyper-connectivity, and work martyrdom, Americans are in serious need of a break. While there are hurdles to overcome in the workplace, there's one step we can all take to put those vacation days to use: planning. Research shows that individuals who plan are more likely to use all of their time off, take more vacation days at once, and report greater levels of happiness at work and at home. Now you know why your employer doesn't let you roll over your vacation days. They want you to use them so you get a break.
Why planning a vacation matters.
National Plan A Vacation Day was January 30, but you still have time to plan for the rest of the year.
I can't tell you how many people call me a month before they want to take a vacation and the prices are high and there isn't much selection. If they had planned 6 months ahead, it would have been a lot more fun for them and for me. I hate telling clients that the non stop flight they thought they could get is not available, and the only option is a flight that has two stops.
When you plan you vacation in advance, you only need to put down a small amount to hold the vacation, usually about $200/person. The remainder is generally not due until 30-60 days prior to the vacation. If you think, “something might come that makes me have to cancel the trip.” You can take out travel insurance that covers that, usually at about 10% of the cost of the trip. It is well worth it if you are planning a very expensive trip. You take out insurance on your cell phone, why not your vacation? Some booking sites let you cancel up to a day or two before the trip and get a refund. Usually you pay a little more for your room when you do that, but it might be worth it.
Take the time to plan the use of your vacation time and enjoy your trip. Don't get stressed with trying to plan a trip at the last minute. It is better for your health and the health of your family.
Judy Peterson email@example.com
Statistics taken from: https://www.projecttimeoff.com/plan#calendar
If you long for an escape from the cold weather, think about the Caribbean. Not only the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, or Jamaica, but some of the less traveled countries. There are so many cruise ships that offer trips to these islands, it isn't hard to find one that is inexpensive and delightful.
Here are some highlights.
Beauty extends beyond the beaches of St. Thomas as you step into Zen-like 2.5-acre gardens (boasting 17 incredible orchid varieties) at St. Peter Greathouse, a shining example of West Indian architecture with photo ops from 1,200 feet. When you savor local Caribbean cuisine, you’ll discover a fusion of flavors in one bite: try West African-influenced kallaloo (a spinach, okra and seafood stew) and Native American inspired johnnycakes, a tasty unleavened fry bread.
Get to know the Garifunas people of Roatán who have held onto their traditions, culture and language to this day. Step into a living history village to experience a lively performance of music and dance, and explore an authentic Garifuna hut to see typical cuisine being prepared. If you’re intrigued by Roatán’s famous handcrafted cameos, learn how they’re carved from corals and shells at Cameo Castle and select a keepsake to bring home your own piece of the island.
Delve into island history when you explore Romney Manor, St. Kitts’ oldest sugar plantation, once owned by a descendant of U.S. President Thomas Jefferson. Today, this site pays homage to Caribbean traditions through its gardens, filled with tropical flowers, and the fascinating Caribelle Batik workshop — be sure to browse among the brilliantly patterned textiles designed with the traditional Indonesian-inspired batik technique.
Imagine driving into a volcano! La Soufriere is a natural wonder filled with bubbling pools of mud and steaming springs. On a guided excursion, you’ll marvel over this volcanic landscape and then stand on what was once a battleground for St. Lucia’s colonization during the 18th century at Morne Fortune.
Soak up culture and spirituality at Mount St. Benedict’s Monastery, an authentic home of Benedictine monks that’s nestled in a lush mountain setting. In this tranquil retreat, you’ll explore an art gallery, church and a café that serves just-out-of the-oven bread with coffee and tea. Take time for a contemplative stroll through the 61-acre Royal Botanic Gardens, one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens, established in 1818.
Aruba and Curaçao
Dutch-Caribbean culture is on full display in Curaçao, an island located just 40 miles from Venezuela. You’ll see a burst of wild pastels in the UNESCO-listed row-houses lining Willemstad’s St. Anna Bay. In Aruba, Oranjestad’s eclectic dining and architecture tap into the island’s Latin and Dutch heritage. Don’t forget to sample pastechi (flaky stuffed turnovers) at Coco Plum! And if time permits, stray from the shore to see the desert on these arid islands.
Contact Peterson Travel Pros to help you plan your next vacation. info@PetersonTravelPros.com
The LII Super Bowl champion has been named. We still hear the cheers about the teams and the athletes. I love to look back and see what we've learned.
Five easy steps are important: have heart, don't give up if you're not picked first, try new things, volunteer, and have faith that you can do it. Things won't always go your way, but you can't let this get to you. You have to reframe your situation and look at the experience as a learning. It doesn't matter if you go to the Super Bowl, Olympics, or position in a company, you need to keep positive. Keep your passion alive and work hard. It always pays off. And don't hesitate to travel to Minnesota. It is a great place to ski, snowboard, and ice fish in the winter, and great for boating, swimming, and sailing in spring, summer, and fall. Come visit our great state.
Judy Peterson, PetersonTravelPros.com
Are you ready for an adventure? There are so many different forms of travel: backpacking, cruises, long-term travel, etc. No two trips are the same, and each trip will provide you with unique memories and exciting adventures that you can share with your friends and family back home. Whether you are taking a trip to see family and friends for the holidays, or want to explore new countries across the world, traveling can be an enriching and memorable experience.
We have all spent hours looking at pictures of gorgeous beaches, luxury resorts, and cool road trips. Before you book, know that travel isn’t always Instagram-worthy. Flights may be delayed, you might run into scams, and you may dip into your budget more than you had originally planned. A battle with food poisoning or lost luggage can certainly put a damper on your trip. Luckily, travelers before you have gone through similar experiences and know how to avoid snafus while traveling. Do not worry; with proper planning, and the following travel tips from travel experts, you can make the most out of your travels and experience the vacation or trip of a lifetime.
Enjoy the next 50 tips for traveling, including flying, taking a road trip, traveling with children, and traveling overseas.
Tips for Planning Your Trip and Booking Accommodation
2. Make Friends (And Save Money) By Staying in a HostelIf you are a young solo traveler, staying in a hotel can get lonely. Meet fellow travelers at youth hostels, which offer cheap accommodation in private or dorm rooms. The quality of the rooms or amenities may not match a 5-star resort, but many hostels have communal areas or activities where travelers can mingle and enjoy a drink.
Hostels are (usually) not available for travelers over the age of 50, but solo travelers can meet people through a variety of websites or apps.
3. Consider Housesitting for Free AccommodationIf you are flexible with travel dates and where you would like to stay, consider house sitting or pet sitting. There are a handful of websites that offer a subscription program in order to search and apply for house sitting jobs. Most of these jobs are in the suburbs, but if you own a car or do not mind taking public transportation, you can get a nice house or apartment with little to no cost.
4. Check The Dates Of Your Trip For Public HolidaysDifferent countries have different religions and holidays that may affect your travel plans. In some cases, the rates for accommodation may be higher, or hotels will book up fast. Other holidays may affect the hours of popular tourist sites or local businesses. In some countries, religious holidays may affect the sale of alcohol. On the other hand, visiting a country or city while they celebrate a big holiday can be very enriching and make your trip more special. Plan your trip accordingly, and know what to expect when you arrive during a holiday season.
5. Read Blogs or Visit Social Media For InspirationIf you pop your destination into Google, you may find a handful of the same restaurants, sites, and hotels in the first page of results. Dig a little deeper and get recommendations from Bloglovin or other blogging platforms. Bloggers, especially bloggers with smaller followings, are more likely to give accurate and authentic information about what it is like to travel; if they are paid by a tour or company to promote their product, they should disclose that information throughout their blog posts.
You can also use social media to find local gems and hidden spots. Searching through Instagram by specific locations or hashtags will show you pretty sites and great restaurants that you might not find on big travel websites.
Tips for Packing6. Know the Weather and Culture of Your Destination Before PackingIn order to properly pack for your destination, do some research about your destination and your itinerary. Check how hot, and also how humid, the weather will be during your trip. If you are traveling during a “rainy season,” you will want to pack more breathable clothes and waterproof shoes. If you are packing for colder weather, you will have to pack layers.
Also consider the culture and dress codes of the area you are visiting. In a country like Thailand or Cambodia, you will need to cover your shoulders and knees in order to visit a temple. Sandals or shorts may also be prohibited if you want to go to a nice restaurant or bar.
7. Choose Luggage That You RecognizeA square black suitcase can be hard to find at baggage claim, and harder to identify if your luggage gets lost. Bring a unique suitcase or backpack with bright colors or patterns. Take a picture of your suitcase before you check it, just in case it gets lost. If you do need to pack a more common suitcase, add a bright luggage tag or tie a ribbon around the handle to easily identify the bag.
8. Pack Solid Cosmetics When You CanIf you want to limit your luggage to a carry-on, you will have to limit the amount of liquids you bring with you, including shampoos and shower gels. Purchase solid cosmetics to get through airport security without throwing anything away. If you need to pack smaller liquids, make sure they will comply with the 3-1-1 rule. These liquids should be kept in a Ziploc bag just in case they spill or burst in transit.
9. Bring Essentials In Your Carry-OnIf you are checking a bag, pack an extra outfit and your essentials in your carry-on luggage in case your checked bag gets lost.
No matter whether you are checking or carrying on luggage, don’t forget to pack the following essentials:
10. Go by the popular 5-4-3-2-1 rule: 5 Tops, 4 Bottoms, 3 Accessories, 2 Pairs of Shoes, 1 Swimsuit
11.Never pack for more than two weeks at a time. You can always visit a laundromat if you are traveling for over two weeks.
12. Pack clothes with neutral colors in order to mix and match outfits easily.
13. Limit all cosmetics to carry-on size. If you are staying a hotel where shampoo, body soap, etc. will be available, leave these items at home.
14. Leave room for souvenirs!
15. Roll, rather than fold, your clothes in order to save space in your suitcase.
16. Put smaller items inside your shoes. Wrap your shoes in a shower cap to prevent other items from getting dirty.Additional Preparation17. Arrange Everything at Home Before You GoIf you and your family are traveling and leaving the house unoccupied, you will need to make certain arrangements to keep your pets and house safe. Alert your neighbors that you will be leaving, and let them know how long you will be gone. Hold mail or newspaper deliveries, or arrange a neighbor to bring in deliveries while you are away. You have many options when it comes to caring for your pets: you can hire a pet sitter, leave them with a trusted friend or neighbor, or drop them off at a kennel. Leave your car(s) in the garage or park them at the airport.
18. Learn a Few Local PhrasesIf English is your native language, you may not have a lot of trouble navigating big cities or popular tourist destinations. Learning a few phrases, like “thank you” or other greetings, will show that you are making an effort to respect the local culture. Learn how to pronounce the name of the street where you will be staying if you need to hop into a taxi outside of the airport or at the end of the day.
Tips for Flying19. Get the Best Deal on Your FlightYou may have heard this classic tip: booking your flight six weeks in advance, on a Tuesday afternoon, will give you the best price. In addition to using this time frame, refresh your browser history before you book. When airlines see that you have looked at a flight multiple times, they might jack up prices.
20. Get to Your Flight Early for Upgrades and DealsIn order to get through airport security, you should arrive at the airport 2-3 hours before your flight boards. The earlier you get to your gate, the more chances you have of getting an upgrade. Flights may overbook and ask for volunteers who will take a later flight in exchange for a flight voucher. Other flights may allow you to checked your bags for free if the flight is fully booked.
If you are comfortable sitting in the emergency exit row, take advantage of the opportunity; you will have more leg room and be more comfortable on your flight.
21. Prepare For Airport SecurityEven if you arrive a few hours before your flight takes off, you will want to zip through airport security as fast as possible. Wear slip-on shoes or sandals that will come off easily before you go through the metal detector. Place your bag of liquids, as well as your laptop and any other electronics, in your front pocket for easy access – these need to be removed while your carry-on is checked. Leave coins at home; they’ll need to be removed too.
22. Avoid Jet Lag While FlyingIf you are traveling across multiple time zones, you may spend the first few days of your trip with “jet lag.” Jet lag can cause serious fatigue, headaches, or stomach problems. In order to overcome jet lag, you must prepare your body a few days in advance for the time zone change. Travelers heading east should sleep and wake up earlier than normal; travelers heading west should do the opposite. Taking naps during your destination’s nighttime will also help to prepare your body before you hop on a plane. When you fly, bring a sleep mask and earplugs so you can sleep comfortably if you are flying during your destination’s night. (A sleep mask and earplugs are also worth packing if you are just going on a road trip.) Keep yourself hydrated on the flight. Drinking alcohol or caffeine will make your jet lag worse.
If your trip is only a few days long, take naps during the day to prevent jet lag when you go home. If you are traveling long-term, take it easy the first few days of travel to account for possible jet lag symptoms. Spending an extra day or two by the pool relaxing will help you get over jet lag faster, and give you energy for the rest of your trip.
Tips for Road Trips23. Take Your Car in For Inspection Before You GoYou’re ready for a big road trip…but is your car? Before you hit the road, take your car to a service station to perform routine maintenance and check to see that the car is running smoothly. Deflated tires, crummy brake pads, or weak batteries will increase the risk of an emergency situation when you’re on the way to your destination. Double check what your auto insurance policy covers, and buy additional travel insurance for your car if necessary.
24. Pack Safety Gear in Your Trunk or Glove BoxIf you are driving long distances, you may run into car troubles. Not all routes have gas stations and help nearby, so having a kit with emergency gear will get you through any tire blowout or stalled car.
Remember to pack the following items:
Staying Safe while Traveling25. Purchase InsuranceWhether you are traveling within your own country or internationally, travel insurance will give you peace of mind in case of any emergency. Travel insurance may cover cancelled flights, lost luggage, or medical expenses during your trip. Before you purchase insurance from a third party, talk to your current health insurance provider, and check on the warranties and insurance policies of your electronics. Knowing what is covered without travel insurance will save you money when you are picking a policy.
26. Avoid International Fees With ATM WithdrawalBefore you travel abroad, visit your bank and discuss your upcoming travel plans. If you do not let your bank know that you are traveling, seemingly random charges in a different country will look like identity theft. The bank may shut down your card without warning.
Some cards will charge an additional fee for using your card abroad. In order to avoid these fees, take out a larger sum of money from the ATM when you arrive in the airport. Having cash on hand will help you stay within your budget; you can physically see how much money you are spending, and ration out money throughout your trip. In many countries, credit cards aren’t accepted at local businesses, so it’s smart to have cash on hand anyway.
27. Check Your Credit Card Statement Throughout Your TripIf you are using cash, don’t neglect your credit card statement. The longer you go without checking your statement, the longer someone can get away with stealing your information or making unauthorized purchases.
28. Keep Money in Hidden PlacesHaving a large sum of cash on hand will help you budget, but may not be safe. Thieves target tourists, especially in big cities. Some of the most notorious citiesfor pickpockets include:
29. Wear a Fanny Pack (Bum Bag)Another way to keep your valuables on your person is to wear a fanny pack. (These are called “bum bags” in England, because the word “fanny” is rather offensive and silly.) A fanny pack can be worn over or under a loose shirt or jacket. In the past, these bags have been regarded as overtly touristy and dorky, but lately, they’ve become almost trendy.
30. Educate Yourself About Scams Before You ArriveYou will meet many loving and gracious people while you travel, but be aware that some locals may take advantage of you because you’re a tourist. Know common scams where you are heading. In general, be sure to avoid unmetered taxis and haggle for goods wherever it’s appropriate. If a cab driver tells you that your hotel, tour, or a certain tourist attraction is closed or overbooked, be cautious. Only book train or bus tickets online or inside the station, not through cab drivers.
31. Talk to Female Staff About Traveling as a WomanIf you are a solo female traveler, some cities and countries can be especially daunting. Unfortunately, most countries still harbour a culture that makes women lesser, and women are more likely to face scams or violence if traveling alone. To stay safe, reach out to local women (including hotel staff, tour guides, or waitresses) and ask about different neighborhoods and ways to stay safe as a woman. Join Facebook groups of women travelers for additional tips and tricks; if you ask for women to go out with and travel with, you may just make a few friends. If you are flying, you will be limited in what self-defense weapons you can bring, but you can always buy a discreet form of brass knuckles or pepper spray abroad to keep you safe in case of an emergency.
Traveling With Children32. Combine LuggageTraveling light is even more important when you’re with children. Once one child decides that they don’t want to wear their backpack or carry a suitcase, the domino effect will begin and you will get stuck carrying more than you bargained for. Pack light; fit your children’s day bags in your checked suitcase to consolidate. Checking less baggage will save you money and muscle strain throughout your trip.
33. Give Them Your Phone Number and AddressIf your child gets lost, they should be able to reach you through phone or by telling a stranger or security officer your name. Children who are old enough should be taught this information; children who are younger should have this information on their person. Give your child an index card with your name, phone number, address, and accommodation information so they can be traced back to you if they wander off.
34. Check for Additional FeesTraveling with toddlers and infants often means your little ones get free entry to parks or transportation tickets, but not always. Research additional fees that parents may have to pay for a child on your lap or entry into tourist attractions. Your children may also need identification if they are traveling, including a passport or visa.
35. Bring Extra ActivitiesYoung children may be face-to-face with Mickey Mouse, standing in front of the Eiffel Tower, or dipping their toes in the Pacific Ocean for the first time – and all they want to do is eat a snack or play with their toys. When they get bored during long lines or on a flight, the wait can become unbearable. Pack coloring books, games, or teething toys in your carry-on or day bag to have on hand in an instant.
36. Take Things Slow, and Be PositiveTraveling with children is not easy, whether they are a newborn or a moody teenager. Plan your itinerary ahead of time and give yourselves extra time at each restaurant or attraction; you never know when your child will have a meltdown or you will have to change plans. Throughout your travels, remember that you will miss these days when your children are grown up. Big families with small children aren’t always treated well by fellow passengers; keep your cool. Positivity is contagious; the more calm and happy you remain around screaming or crying children, the more calm and happy your whole tour group or flight will be.
How to Avoid Getting Sick37. Stay Up to Date On ImmunizationsIf you are entering country, you may risk getting sick from the local food, water, or insects. Before you travel, research recommended immunizations for the countries you are visiting. You may have to get the immunizations two weeks before departure in order for them to work.
38. Avoid Tap WaterBuy bottled water whenever you can. If you are at a restaurant, ask for your drinks without ice. Typically, ice that is shaped like a doughnut (round with a hole in the middle) is produced by a safe company and is okay to drink, but continue to exercise caution throughout your trip. If you are staying in a country with particularly bad tap water, remember to use drinking water while you are brushing your teeth or washing your face.
39. Avoid Food Poisoning By (Carefully) Eating Street FoodIf you are traveling to Southeast Asia or anywhere with a big street food culture, you may be nervous about getting sick. For many travelers, eating street food is safer than eating at a sit-down restaurant. When you order a meal or snack from a stall outside, you can watch the food being cooked. Choose a stall that looks like the food was freshly laid out and not sitting around all day. If you have a choice of different stalls, choose one where a lot of locals are lined up; this means that the food is high-quality and is not known for getting people sick.
40. Be Cautious If You Have AllergiesTravelers with food allergies may run into difficulties at restaurants where the staff do not speak your language. Be patient with wait staff; learn basic phrases that communicate your allergy. Research ingredients of common dishes where you are traveling ahead of time. Pack proper medication in your carry-on or day bag in case of an emergency. If you are traveling alone, pack instructions to give to a witness or stranger who may have to administer medication.
How To Make Travel Meaningful41. Talk With Travel Partners Before You GoIf you are traveling with a partner or a friend, avoid conflicts by laying out your goals before you go. Each person may have a different idea on how much they would like to budget out per day, which sites they would like to see, and the ideal pace of each day. Sit down and look at your possible itinerary and talk about how you would like to budget your meals, shopping, and other expenses. Talking these issues out before you travel will give you a better idea of what your trip will be like, avoiding possible conflicts while you are trying to relax and enjoy your vacation.
42. Rise and ShineIf you have popular tourist attractions on your bucket list, set your alarms. Check the attraction’s hours online and get in line before the attraction even opens. Once the afternoon hits, you may find yourself waiting in long lines with big tourist groups. Seeing the attraction when it’s not crowded will help you make the most of your experience (and have limited photobombers in your photos.)
43. Educate Yourself About Local CultureTraveling does not just involve one or two people. When you visit another person’s home or country, you may have a lasting effect on their land, their property, or their perception of travelers from your country. All humans deserve to be treated with respect, and sometimes, respect looks different around the world.
Consult with etiquette guides about local customs. Know when and when not to tip. Appropriate gestures in your country may be extremely offensive to locals. During meal time, different cultures might have unique rules on who sits at the table first (and where they sit), how food is eaten, and how to let hosts know that you have finished and enjoyed your meal.
If you are unsure of local customs, follow these general rules:
44. Volunteer While Traveling – With Sustainable, Ethical OrganizationsTraveling long-term will certainly eat up your budget, but travelers can cut down on expenses through volunteer work. There are a handful of websites that set up volunteer programs and cultural exchanges between travelers and homestays or businesses. These exchanges generally give travelers free accommodation and free food in exchange for a few hours of work a day or week. There are many travelers currently working at hostels, helping around a family’s home, or farming in exchange for a free stay and free food. These programs can last a week or last for a few months, if you would like to travel long-term.
If you are looking at a volunteer program that requires you to pay big bucks for accommodation and food expenses, be cautious. Conduct thorough research and read reviews of the program. Volunteer work and exchanges can be done without shelling out big bucks. Other volunteer programs do not have a sustainable, positive impact. One example is visiting orphanages; while many tourists believe that a trip to an orphanage is doing a good deed, their visit may actually harm children in the long run.
45. Look Out For Social Enterprise Businesses and CafesTravelers can give back to the community without volunteering. Take some time to research ethically run businesses and tours in the areas where you will be visiting. Visiting a coffee shop or restaurant that offers job training and fair wages give back to the community through a delicious meal. While you are shopping for souvenirs, consider visiting markets that showcase local artisans over mass-produced goods. Some spas or beauty salons are social enterprises, giving opportunities to women who have been abused or sent to jail in the past. Supporting these businesses shows the community that you care.
On the other side, do some research into what popular tourist attractions or sites are not ethically run. Tourists may initially enjoy the idea of riding on an elephant or taking selfies with a tiger, but after researching what practices go into these animal attractions, may not enjoy the activities as much. Read reviews from past patrons and look closely into how the animals are treated before you give them your money.
46. Pass on Advice to Fellow TravelersIf you encounter a restaurant or business that provides excellent service, share this information with fellow travelers! Many websites offer advice and customer reviews on local businesses, and these sites rely on travelers like you to give honest, unbiased feedback about your experience. Leaving reviews will benefit business owners in the local community, and encourage other travelers to do the same.
47. Travel in the Way That Works for YouThere are many different forms of travel, and each person is traveling for a different reason. Before you travel, ask yourself why you are traveling, and what you would like to gain from your trip. Would you like to get a new perspective on the world? Would you like to check items off of your bucket list? Would you like to try new food? Keep these goals in mind during your trip, and know that while other people may have different goals and perspectives, this is your trip. Do what feels best for you when it comes to accommodation, transportation, budget, and your itinerary.
48. Know That Not Everything Goes As PlannedEven if you have your itinerary and budget planned to the last minute, you may have to improvise on the spot. Flights could be delayed, weather could cancel your cruise, or your accommodation may not be as glamorous and relaxing as you think. No matter what happens, remember to relax and have a good attitude. These surprises may end up making your trip more memorable, in a positive way! Be open to itinerary changes and delays. When you have to find a last-minute restaurant or make up plans on the spot, you may end up with a more enriching experience.
49. Plan Your Route (And Where You Will Be Sleeping)We all have GPS devices on our phones or in our cars, but it’s still good to be prepared with an old-fashioned map and knowledge of the routes you are taking. While you are planning your route, plan where you will be sleeping each night. Driver fatigue is involved in 100,000 roadside crashes each year in the United States alone. Hotels are available along most highways for a good night’s sleep, but do not let a tight budget deter you from getting some sleep. Campgrounds, rest stops, and some 24-hour convenience stores will allow you to sleep in your car legally, getting a quick rest before hitting the road again.
50. Document the ExperienceThere are moments from your travels that you will remember for the rest of your life. Bring a small journal or a disposable camera to quickly jot down funny stories or take pictures during your trip. Sure, these photos and notes will look great on your social media, but will also serve as physical memories of an amazing experience. If you take pictures with your smartphone, get in the habit of backing up your photos to a cloud at the end of the day.
Your RV Lifestyle
This is a great time to plan for Spring Break or for your Summer and Fall Vacations.
There are great prices now for your winter escape. Don't let the snow and cold weather get you down.
Some people call me and say, “I'm overwhelmed with all the information on the internet about travel. Please help me.” Yes, it can be daunting and time consuming. Here are a few ways to simplify it.
Travel trends still show that
If you need help planning your next vacation, contact me at: Info@PetersonTravelPros.com
If the destination is less important than the experience, head to the Caribbean, which accounts for more than one third of all cruise-ship travel from the U.S. A recent Norwegian Cruise Line’s four-night Bahamas trip, available 10 days before departure on Last Minute Travel.com, went for $348 a person (a 27% savings).
If you’re looking for a luxury cruise, call the expertsCruise-savvy agents can also negotiateextras such as prepaid gratuities, Internet, and shipboard credits.
Booking sweet spot: 2-4 weeks
Last Minute Travel specializes in discounts on flights, cars, hotels, cruises, etc. And if you're unsure of where you want to go, and just know you want to get the heck out of dodge, they have a "deals" tab that highlights super cheap last minute trips. For travel next weekend, we saw a four-star hotel in the Central Park area of New York City from just $164 per night with taxes. (Tack on an “Everything Chocolate” tour for $49 per person.) Less luxurious hotels are offered from $72 per night with taxes.
A couple of caveats: In several searches, the actual price (particularly for hotels) was higher than the initial advertised offer — it all depends on your travel dates. Also, a la Priceline, the site doesn’t reveal the name of your hotel until after you book. You will be shown its neighborhood, star rating and amenities. However, there is a tab to see the name of the hotel on Last Minute, but the prices are just a little higher than the mystery hotels.
Priceline has a "Great Last Minute Deals" section that features, well, great last minute deals. At the time of typing this, there's a flight from Baltimore, Maryland to Los Angeles, California for $150! That's crazy!
Living Social Escapes
Living Social falls into the "flash site" category (as does Groupon). Find random, last minute (really good) deals on places you might not have thought about going to.
Another flash site except this one specializes in travel. You need to sign up for Jetsetter (it takes 2 seconds), but there are truly awesome deals for places both in your area and beyond.
Another big travel website that has a "Deals" tab. Actually, right now, they're having a "winter hotel sale" that offers deep discounts on warm weather destinations. Fifty-five percent off on hotels in the Caribbean? Yes, please.
Every week, American Airlines offers a variety of Net SAAver Weekend Getaway fares, including domestic fares for both this weekend and the next, and international fares for the next weekend. (From the airline’s Web site, click on Travel Deals and then Sale Fares.) These deals are a good bet for travelers who simply want a last-minute airfare rather than a full-out package (perhaps you don’t need to book lodging because you’re staying with a friend, or you’d rather rent an apartment than stay in a hotel).
American isn’t the only airline peddling last-minute fares; check your favorite carrier’s Web site to see what’s available.
If you have a specific destination in mind, your best bet is often to focus on a Web site that deals with one region specifically. CheapCaribbean.com has a last minute area on its Web site that offers low-cost packages set to expire quickly. However, though you can’t hem and haw about whether or not to go, you will often have plenty of time to plan — some packages can be booked for travel several months out.
Use apps to your advantage. It's never been easier to score a room at short notice—and at a bargain.
It can be hard to deduce which days offer up the best airfare deals, which is where Hopper comes in. The data-analyzing app will alert you when fares for your desired route have hit their predicted low point. Hopper lays out all of the prices in an easy-to-follow, color-coded calendar. If you want a cheaper itinerary and have a flexible schedule, check out the calendar boxes shaded green. If you're booking a domestic trip, shifting your travel dates from red (the most expensive) to green can save you an average of 16%.
Pioneering app HotelTonight helps out truly last-minute guests by offering heavily discounted rates on properties until as late as 2 A.M. on check-in day.
Roomer fills another market need by selling off the prepaid reservations of travelers who had to cancel and want to recoup some of their losses.