travel-brochure

20 Tips You Need to Know For Holiday Travel

It is nice to get away for the holidays, especially to warm climates. However, it can be very stressful since everyone else has the same idea and everyone flocks to the airport at the same time. Here are 20 tips that we feel you need to know for holiday travel.

  1. Be prepared for crowded airports and long line-ups. The more you prepare yourself for this fact, the less stress you will likely feel.
  2. Check-in online to reduce the wait time at the airport.
  3. Check different airlines, flight dates, and alternate routes for best price and fastest flight.
  4. Get a direct flight, with no connections, if possible. Connecting flights can be stressful, especially at big airports.
  5. Sometimes you can get a better price if you buy one-way ticket to and from your destination. But this requires more preparation and price hunting.
  6. Look for package deals that include air/hotel or air/hotel/car. There is a lot competition for vacation travelers during the holidays so you may find a great deal.
  7. Cheapest flights are either early morning or red-eye (overnight) as most people prefer to be asleep during those hours. But flying at those times will mean you also will get an extra day, or most of a day, to enjoy your destination.
  8. Make sure to leave for the airport with plenty of time as security checks are longer than usual and you may miss your flight as a result.
  9. Traveling on Christmas/Christmas Eve or New Year’s/New Year’s Eve Days can have less travelers than other days around the holidays as most people are busy celebrating.
  10. The holiday travel period is a good time to use those travel points you accumulated.
  11. Make sure to pack any medicine you may need, including sunscreen, medication for diarrhea, headaches, etc.
  12. If you can get away with packing everything in carry-on luggage you will move quicker through the airport since you can skip the check-in and luggage pickup. This means you can start your vacation faster.
  13. Buy gifts at the Duty-Free shop to have more time to enjoy your destination. And also reduce the need for more luggage space.
  14. Take advantage of short-cuts at the airport such self-service ticketing, checking-in, and visa kiosks if available.
  15. Fully charge up your mobile devices.
  16. Make sure you know your roaming costs. Smartphones are constantly checking the Internet and if you are not connected to WiFi you can get a very expensive surprise when you get back home.
  17. Get flight protection. Winter flights can be postponed or canceled if the weather is really bad.
  18. Download your own entertainment that you can enjoy on the flight and your hotel (if there is unexpected inclement weather).
  19. Take a snack and water with you to the airport to avoid the expensive food and drink sold at airports. Take just enough to finish before you go through security. Being hungry or thirsty can make you more tense and irritable.
  20. Install travel apps on your phone, especially one from the airline you will be traveling to get updates. Make sure the airline has your email address so they can send you updates specific to your flight.

Bonus Tip

Enjoy your vacation!

A cruise is an excellent option for couples to spend their honeymoon or a quick romantic getaway. After the stresses and rushing to get everything arranged for your wedding day, cruise getaways can offer the needed release from worry about details and just to enjoy the ride and be pampered. A cruise ship has many amenities and luxuries all in one place that you won’t find in a resort or a single destination vacation, even if it is all inclusive. You don’t have to be ‘just married’ to go an a honeymoon cruise either. Whether you are planning a honeymoon for the first time, a romantic wedding anniversary vacation, or just a romantic trip for the two of you, a romantic cruise can be an unforgettable experience. You will see breathtaking views every day, travel to many different exotic locales, get off the ship for day trips for some shopping and local restaurants, plus much more. You can even take a quick romantic cruise getaway while you are vacationing in a specific destination. If in the past you had written a romantic cruise off because of perceived expenses, then perhaps now is a good time to revisit the idea. Prices for many cruises have gone down as more options have come into the market and more cruise lines compete for your business. Even a romantic weekend getaway on a cruise can cost less than spending it on the town. You have the option for shopping around for the best deal or find the cruise that has the exact itinerary that you want. There are great cruises that will take you to the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, the South Pacific, or the Mediterranean, each with a unique experience. You also will need to look at the ports-of-call of each cruise that tell you where the ship will stop for a day or so for the guests to get off and wonder about. A romantic cruise can be spoiled if there are many young children around which can happen especially during peak holiday seasons. As such, you may want to inquire whether a cruise ship has adults only areas or look for an adults only cruise. Additionally, you would not want to miss your cruise because of flight delays. So, depending on where your cruise departs from, you may want to have at least a day between your flight and the cruise departures. Here are some ideas for taking a romantic cruise: There are lots of choices if you want a quick weekend cruise getaway. For example, Princes Cruise Line offers 1 and 2 night options such as a 1 night Pacific coastal cruise between Vancouver, Canada to Seattle, Washington, or a 2 night Australia coastal cruise from Melbourne. Cruise to the Bahamas – If you are looking for a weekend cruise getaway then a Bahamas cruise is an excellent choice. Carnival and Celebrity cruise lines offer 2 and 3 night cruise options that depart from Florida. The cruise ship stops at Nassau, the capital of Bahamas. Baja, Mexico – Another great option for a weekend cruise is Baja, Mexico. The cruise departs from Los Angeles or Long Beach, California, USA and takes you down the Pacific coast into Baja California stopping at Ensenada, Mexico, a popular tourist city rich in Mexican and European culture, as well as American influence. If you are holidaying in Australia, then you may want to take a weekend Australian cruise which departs from Sydney. Celebrity Cruises offers a nice option for this short getaway. There are no other ports-of-call on this one. Caribbean cruise – The Caribbean offers many things to see and enjoy. This cruise logically is longer, between 5 and 7 nights, and has a number of ports-of-call such as Bahamas, Mexico, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, and other stops, not all of them on the same cruise, of course, but at least 2 or 3 different ports-of-call on a single cruise. A romantic cruise can offer you a much needed R&R, a special time for the two of you to spend together, and spectacular scenery to enjoy. Whether you return to a hotel or your home, you will have wonderful memories to recall from your romantic cruise getaway.

Quick Romantic Cruise Getaways

A cruise is an excellent option for couples to spend their honeymoon or a quick romantic getaway. After the stresses and rushing to get everything arranged for your wedding day, cruise getaways can offer the needed release from worry about details and just to enjoy the ride and be pampered. A cruise ship has many amenities and luxuries all in one place that you won’t find in a resort or a single destination vacation, even if it is all inclusive. You don’t have to be ‘just married’ to go an a honeymoon cruise either. Whether you are planning a honeymoon for the first time, a romantic wedding anniversary vacation, or just a romantic trip for the two of you, a romantic cruise can be an unforgettable experience. You will see breathtaking views every day, travel to many different exotic locales, get off the ship for day trips for some shopping and local restaurants, plus much more. You can even take a quick romantic cruise getaway while you are vacationing in a specific destination.

If in the past you had written a romantic cruise off because of perceived expenses, then perhaps now is a good time to revisit the idea. Prices for many cruises have gone down as more options have come into the market and more cruise lines compete for your business. Even a romantic weekend getaway on a cruise can cost less than spending it on the town. You have the option for shopping around for the best deal or find the cruise that has the exact itinerary that you want. There are great cruises that will take you to the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, the South Pacific, or the Mediterranean, each with a unique experience. You also will need to look at the ports-of-call of each cruise that tell you where the ship will stop for a day or so for the guests to get off and wonder about.

A romantic cruise can be spoiled if there are many young children around which can happen especially during peak holiday seasons. As such, you may want to inquire whether a cruise ship has adults only areas or look for an adults only cruise. Additionally, you would not want to miss your cruise because of flight delays. So, depending on where your cruise departs from, you may want to have at least a day between your flight and the cruise departures.

Some ideas for taking a romantic cruise

There are lots of choices if you want a quick weekend cruise getaway. For example, Princes Cruise Line offers 1 and 2 night options such as a 1 night Pacific coastal cruise between Vancouver, Canada to Seattle, Washington, or a 2 night Australia coastal cruise from Melbourne.

Cruise to the Bahamas – If you are looking for a weekend cruise getaway then a Bahamas cruise is an excellent choice. Carnival and Celebrity cruise lines offer 2 and 3 night cruise options that depart from Florida. The cruise ship stops at Nassau, the capital of Bahamas.

Baja, Mexico – Another great option for a weekend cruise is Baja, Mexico. The cruise departs from Los Angeles or Long Beach, California, USA and takes you down the Pacific coast into Baja California stopping at Ensenada, Mexico, a popular tourist city rich in Mexican and European culture, as well as American influence.

If you are holidaying in Australia, then you may want to take a weekend Australian cruise which departs from Sydney. Celebrity Cruises offers a nice option for this short getaway. There are no other ports-of-call on this one.

Caribbean cruise – The Caribbean offers many things to see and enjoy. This cruise logically is longer, between 5 and 7 nights, and has a number of ports-of-call such as Bahamas, Mexico, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, and other stops, not all of them on the same cruise, of course, but at least 2 or 3 different ports-of-call on a single cruise.

A romantic cruise can offer you a much needed R&R, a special time for the two of you to spend together, and spectacular scenery to enjoy. Whether you return to a hotel or your home, you will have wonderful memories to recall from your romantic cruise getaway.

listening-ocean-nature-sounds

How to Extend Your Post Vacation High

If you are like me, then you likely start feeling a low coming on as the end of your vacation approaches. This can usually begin a day or two before your return flight. Then, once you return home, you can get into a bit of a depression for a few days, especially if you return to wintery weather and daily routine. This is commonly reffered to as post vacation blues. Here are a few tips on how you can extend your vacation high after you return home.

Bear in mind that a lot of what we take in through our eyes and ears impacts our emotions. So relive your vacation through those senses. Did you go to the islands or another tropical place? Why not listen to local traditional music. Make sure you buy yourself a CD or DVD of the music while on vacation to listen back home. Yes, you can download it probably on iTunes or Amazon.com but having a physical disc with art and photos has an effect on both eyes and ears, and even touch of the hands. Try to get your hands on recording of natural sounds from the destination you visited. Listen to it with your eyes closed and picture yourself still there. Or listen while looking at the pictures you took. This is a great way to relax, especially before going to sleep. The day-to-day hustle of your life at home can slowly fade away as your mind drifts to the beautiful place you visited. Did you forget to buy music and sounds during your vacation? Don’t worry. You can purchase these vacation souvenirs online once you are back home.

Buy yourself souvenirs that are big enough to place as decoration in your home. Things like art work, paintings, large prints of photographs, etc. These will be a constant reminder of your vacation and you will get a feeling that you had when you were there each time you look at these souvenirs.

You will like this next tip. Try to learn to make dishes indigenous to the place you visited. Did you go on a vacation to Mexico? Learn to make tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, gorditas, etc. Did you vacation in Jamaica? Learn to make roti. The same can be said of vacations to Europe, Africa, Asia, and other places. This is a fun way to recreate some of the experience you had on vacation. Plus, you are adding another sense to sight and hearing, that of taste.

Another sense that you can reignite to feel your vacation high is smell. I love the smell of coconut oil. It makes me feel like I am at the beach. It is a very particular smell of lotions that people put on while on the beach. Smelling it can lift up the mood and make you remind you of the feeling you had in that place you visited. Can you think of other smells that remind you of your vacation? It might be certain perfume, or food.

Now imagine putting all of these tips together and bringing the senses of sight, sound, taste, and smell into a harmony so that each reminds you of your vacation at the same time. You will certainly feel that vacation high long after you return home, and avoid the post vacation blues people commonly experience. That would be sweet, wouldn’t it?

passengers-airplane

10 Things Not To Do On an Airplane

It’s no secret that travel on an airplane can potentially be stressful, especially if you have connecting flights. However, there are things that you can do, or rather not do, to minimize the stress and even enjoy your flight. Here are the to 10 things not to do on an airplane:

Don’t bare your feet – Planes have very limited space. The sight of bare feet, let alone the smell, is very uncomfortable and inappropriate in such a closed confinement.

Don’t abuse the seat recline – Again, due to limited space if you recline fully you reduce dramatically the space for the passenger behind you. Also, if you recline rapidly you risk hitting the passenger behind if they are not sitting back. If you must recline, then do it slowly and try to avoid fully reclining. The only time a full recline of the seat is warranted is if it is a red eye flight, that is, overnight.

Don’t abuse the overhead compartment – These days the overhead compartment space is very limited due to the number of passengers per flight. Airlines try to fill the flights as much as possible and this means that the overhead compartment space is very limited. If you can fit it below the seat in front of you then don’t put it in the overhead compartment. It will just take away space from someone that will need it. And when you need to use the overhead compartment, then place your item in such a way as to allow more space for other items.

Don’t talk loudly – If you do carry on a conversation then don’t talk so loudly that your neighbors must hear every word. Keep your volume to the minimum and allow others to snooze, watch inflight programming, or just close their eyes. Also if you discipline your child then do not talk at the same level the child is making a noise.

Don’t go to bathroom when food is served – The aisle is very limited in width, just barely enough for the food cart. It would be extremely inconsiderate if you decided to go to the bathroom when food is served and make the flight attendant back up all the way to let you pass. Not only will it inconvenience other passengers but also the flight attendants are on a tight schedule on most flights.

Don’t insist on talking when the other person is not interested – There is nothing wrong with introducing yourself, saying hello, and having a conversation if there is mutual interest. But if the other person is not interested in talking then do not insist on it. Look for obvious signs like the other person is not saying anything in response, is looking at a newspaper or magazine, fidgeting or constantly adjusting their position, looking away, etc.

Don’t make dumb jokes – People are tense enough flying and trying to get to their destination safe. So don’t talk stupid by making jokes like “I think there is something wrong with the wing”, or anything to do with bombs. You may enjoy seeing people freak out but this type of humor does not belong on a plane and may even get you kicked off the plane (remember the movie Meet the Parents?)

Don’t invade the other person’s space – Unless you are in first class then your seat real estate is very limited. As such, respect the other person’s space by not taking over the elbow rest between the two of you. Don’t stretch your legs or open them so wide the person must sit knees-together.

Don’t pray out loud – Praying is fine. But do it silently. Praying out loud can make people very nervous, especially if you include phrases like “please don’t let us crash”. And the non-religious tend to pray out loud only when they think their life is about to end. So imagine what may go through their minds.

Don’t disrespect the flight attendants – Being a flight attendant can be a very stressful job, especially when the plane is full and/or when there are very demanding passengers. A flight attendant may have carry-over stress from the previous flight as well. Calling them names like “Hey, sweet-cheeks…” or “doll” or something demeaning like that can just aggravate the situation. Also by being rude when they bring you the wrong thing or are late getting you something can also make them feel worse. In the last year or two there were at least two cases of flight attendants just losing it on a plane, reported by mainstream news. So don’t provoke things by mistreating the flight attendants.

Don’t hog the aisle – This is especially true when getting on and off the plane. Don’t make the passengers wait unnecessarily when you place your bag in the overhead compartment. When getting off, if you know that it will take you a while to get your things together it is better to let the other passengers pass you by. When you see another passenger behind you is getting their things, thus temporarily halting the line, this is the moment to get your things as well. However, even during the plane trip don’t stick your leg out into the aisle. This is a tripping hazard.

OK, so the list has 11 items or things not to do on a plane. But 10 is just a nice even number that is easy to recall. Hope this list will help to make your next plane trip more enjoyable and smooth.

real-jamaica-ocho-rios

Don’t Get Stuck in a Resort – See the Real Jamaica

The temptation to go away on a well-earned vacation and spend the week holed up in a flash resort lying by a sparkling swimming pool sipping cocktails is all too strong in today’s hectic and stressful world. Make no mistake, this style of vacation sounds idyllic to most and the idea of a week doing nothing but relaxing is very appealing, but discerning travelers these days want more from their break and from their well earned and costly vacation.

Ocho Rios is the gateway to a number of authentic and rewarding experiences and excursions on Jamaica’s north coast and surrounding areas. The most famous attraction in the whole of Jamaica is that of Dunns River Falls. Starting on the beach at the base of the falls, you can experience a thrilling climb along rocks and through the crystal clear waters whilst surrounded by tropical plants and wildlife. For the more sedate, spend an afternoon exploring the serene beauty of Coyaba Gardens and Falls or Shaw Park Gardens. These lush tropical gardens feature many varieties of native flora and fauna, and allow visitors a relaxing couple of hours strolling through water gardens and enjoying stunning viewpoints of the bay of Ocho Rios. Further afield is a cultural Mecca for all visitors to Jamaica, the village of Nine Mile and the birthplace and final resting place of reggae legend Bob Marley. Hiring a car rather than taking an official tour allows you to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Fern Gully and hidden villages where locals go about their lives without the distraction of the mainstream tourist crowd. The journey inland is punctuated by places to stop to sample traditional Jamaican food and to get a glimpse of rural Jamaican life not available from a resort or an official tour. How about an early morning fishing trip to see how Jamaicans use the Caribbean Sea as a way of making a living? Watch and participate as local fisherman catch tuna, barracuda and snapper amongst others using traditional methods and near telepathic knowledge of where the fish are to be found on any given day.

Jamaica and specifically its utopian north coast is just begging to be explored from beyond the confines of a luxury resort. Renting a luxury villa, for example, enables you and your family and friends to enjoy the trappings of a five star resort with the added benefit of the staff’s local knowledge and the ability to explore the surrounding area. Even if staying in a resort is a must, it is easy to rent a car and explore this fun and laid-back country. You will fall in love with the place and its people and will have made your hard earned vacation truly worthwhile.