Category Archives: Travel

Travel Trends

Historical Trends

Perhaps the earliest recognizable female figure is the adventurous women who first explored such exotic locales as Egypt and Africa in the nineteenth century. Many of Agatha Christie’s mystery books featured such a globe-trotting heroine, who was likely modeled after real-life traveling icons such as Martha Gellhorn, an early war correspondent, and Gertrude Bell, an archeologist, writer and politician who traveled far and wide at the turn of the century. The famous anthropologist Margaret Meade is another truly courageous woman traveler or a century ago who comes to mind. These women are unique in that they set aside any trepidations and focused, instead, on their thirst for travel and discovering new destinations. They were the exceptions, not the rule.

It’s Not the Destination, It’s the Journey

It seems there was never a difference between the sexes as far as the level of interest in travel. After all, who doesn’t want to go and see new places, eat new foods, experience new cultures? The only gender diversity is truly the level of adventure the traveler embarks upon. For instance, up until recent years few women were interested in – or brave enough to sign up for – mountain climbing trips or jungle clearing excursions.

As a general rule of thumb, men are often more concerned with the journey and not necessarily the destination while women dream of visiting far-off lands without having to go through a great deal of adventure to get there. Remember this is only a very general observation; certainly there have been and still are women who revel in exciting journeys to uncivilized locales.

Travel Trends Today

For one thing, women are accepted in positions of power. “Allowing” wives and mothers from centuries past to travel unaccompanied meant that men were giving these women a certain power previously only allocated to the male of the species. Learning other cultures and meeting foreign peoples expands the mind and broadens a person’s horizons – things that were not acceptable for women ages ago. And now that there are a great deal more women in the workforce, travel is both necessary and usual for them.

For another thing, travel today is much safer (on the whole) than it was during the era of the highwayman or outlaw gang. There was a reason women didn’t travel alone and it was all about the concept of safety in numbers. Today, women can drive to the airport, find secured airport parking and get on board a plane to any destination around the world in a manner of travel that is much safer than sticking to the roadways.

 

Online Travel Deals

It is a fact that for many people, traveling has been considered a great way of spending their vacation time this, despite the fact that a large number of these people also travel extensively for work. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, you should be sure to investigate the variety of online travel deals available at your fingertips. If you don’t, you’re missing a great opportunity for saving money on your travel expenses.

Of course, there are some travelers who have plenty of money and don’t worry about finding the best travel deals; however, if you’re reading this article, we assume you’re not in this camp! Far and away the most popular place to find online deals these days is through the online travel aggregators such as Expedia, Travelocity, Kayak, and Priceline. Though many of them initially focused solely on one segment of travel (such as flights or hotels only), these sites now offer price comparison shopping for flights, hotels, car rentals, and even package deals combining multiple components. These types of sites scour the internet to try to provide the best deals for any imaginable itinerary Priceline even offers a ‘name your own price’ option to possibly get even better deals. These

Although the travel aggregators outlined above offer some great deals, don’t overlook the possibility of travel agencies. Many travel agencies advertise their offers online, enabling potential travelers to find their holiday destinations with discount packages. The travel agencies often have deals available that aren’t publicized on the large websites. Sometimes this is due to the agencies finding last minute deals; other times, it is due to the fact that only a limited number of discounted packages are available, and the packages never even get published online. In addition to the travel aggregators and travel agencies, also consider the possibility of looking for discount travel through vendors directly. For example, if I see a United flight for $300 on Expedia, I sometimes check the same flight on United.com, and find a slightly better fare. The same can be true for hotels and car rentals.

Benefits of Travelling Alone for Singles

For the single traveller, planning the next trip can be an exciting experience. Wouldn’t it be nice to go on a single traveller’s cruise and meet new people, visit exciting places and have a good time? There are so many options to choose from.

Where would you like to go? What place to visit next?

  • travel to Costa Rica?
  • a visit to Europe?
  • a cruise to Jamaica?

What are your goals?

  • Are you looking to relax and unwind to take your mind off of work?
  • Are you looking for excitement and adventure?
  • Or is it romance that tickles your fancy?

Some places offer a cultural experience that is nothing at all similar to your lifestyle, but completely fulfilling and exciting to indulge in, taking your mind to a new world. Others stand out more because of the people and their pleasant attitudes and welcoming atmosphere. Finally, some may offer the exquisite experience of a more adventurous kind:

  • Go on a Jeep or even bicycle safari (an option only for the most daring solo travellers); see the wild animals really close up in their natural environment.
  • Go white-water rafting down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon with other lone travellers.
  • Go horse trekking in Argentina with singles groups.
  • Take the long difficult journey on foot, along the Inca trail to Machu Picchu; the perfect choice for meeting other people travelling alone.

Whatever the case may be, for the lone traveller, travelling alone is the most exciting way to travel; a time to get to know your likes and dislikes by exploring new things, mingling with new people, and visiting new places you’ve never been before. Each travel destination can offer something unique to the single traveller. The food, the language, the landscape, the music, can all play a part in the experience to come, so having a goal in mind of what it is that you want out of the experience can be helpful. But don’t overlook spontaneity. If you have a sudden urge to visit a romantic culture or adventurous landscape, traveling alone may allow you to have more flexibility in your schedule, as well as the last minute, spur of the moment, excitement in a far off world. Besides transportation and accommodations, there are things such as historic sites, festivals and holidays that may influence a lone traveller’s decision. And let’s not forget that the single traveller (when traveling alone, of course) is more apt to find romance in the air than a family vacation.

Philippine Travels

Traveling, for most people, is a social activity. We travel with family and friends. We travel with colleagues from the office, or even with acquaintances with whom we have the same interests. There are times, however, when nobody in our circle shares our thirst for travel. In such cases, we can either travel alone or don’t travel at all. For the real travel-bugs, the second is not an option at all. A lot of people travel by themselves for this reason. Rather than endure the company of strangers in tour groups, for example, solo travelers prefer to make it on their own, loving the freedom of making choices and changing them, of going to a place and leaving early or staying late, and especially of getting to know and chatting up with people one would not normally talk to if one were not alone. The Philippines is one of those places which welcome and is generally hospitable to solitary travelers. There are a lot of destinations in the country that are conducive for solo travels, maximizing the traveler’s experience of a different culture. The locals are generally friendly to foreigners, and there are many man-made and natural attractions that are not usually frequented by tourists.

Located in Northern Luzon, these two provinces are flocked by travelers who are after captivating ocean views, old churches, World Heritage sites and glorious natural attractions. Its offer of delectable vegetable cuisines such as pinakbet, local delicacies like bagnet and the famous empanadang Vigan has also made it a favorite destination for food enthusiasts. Depending on one’s schedule, these two provinces can be combined in a single trip as they are only 2.5 hours away from each other by public transport. The fastest way is to take a plane from Manila to Laoag. From there, the 45-meter Sinking Bell Tower is easily accessible. Nearby also is the St. William Church built in the Spanish era, one of the largest churches in the Philippines. Vigan, the capital of Ilocos Sur, can be easily reached from Laoag. It is well-known for Calle Crisologo (Crisologo Street), a UNESCO World Heritage site. Calle Crisologo is a half-kilometer street lined up with houses showcasing architecture dating from the era of Spanish colonization. Numerous souvenir shops filled with local crafts also line the area. For a more enjoyable experience, walk around street or hire a calesa, a horse-drawn carriage, to go around town

Different Types of Travel

1. The Package Holiday

The most common type of leisure travel is the package holiday. How good is it when all the planning is already done? Simply pick up the brochure or search the internet and there it is. Call your travel agent, make the booking and pay the price. The most difficult part is the waiting! There are many value options in package holidays with many options as to length of holiday and the activities during the holiday.

2. The Group Tour

There are many different types of group tours – from a bunch of seniors to a bunch of teenagers and everything in between doing almost anything that is available. Choose your group tour wisely as you will be spending many days with your fellow travellers. Group tours are usually organised like packages holidays and they have the advantage that usually the group leader adds value to the experiences in many ways. Another advantage of a group tours is that there is a good chance that you will meet like-minded people who many become lifelong friends.

3. The Weekend Getaway

Busy workers may only have short weekend opportunities to travel. Take a weekend getaway where the travel distance is not that great but the benefits of going someplace new is not diminished. Take the opportunity of last-minute bookings, if you like a mystery.

4. Family Reunion

Visiting family or friends can be so much fun (hopefully). Usually staying with family and friends requires only travel arrangements to and from the destination. Who better to show you around than someone who lives in the place that you are visiting – get the insider information. Accommodation options may also include apartments rather than hotels.

5. Event Travel

Event travel refers to traveling to a particular event, like a sporting match, a concert, an exhibition, a festival etc. The time and place is set and most likely for popular events – book early and expect to pay a little more. Enjoy and event and meet people who have similar passions.

6. Long-Term Travel

The number of travellers who travel for long periods of time is increasing. The type and style of travel will depend on financial position. Backpackers to seniors are in this class. Many seniors opt for long-term cruising as a lifestyle. Long-term travellers have the opportunity to understand the culture, art, history and people of a place well

7. Business Travel

Finally the business traveller. The best thing about traveling for business is that usually someone else is paying the bills. Choice of travel is set by the payer of the bills but generally there are evenings and weekend s to enjoy.

China Travel Tips

Survival China Travel Tips and Tricks

These China Travel Tips, Survival Techniques, will help you get around and make your trip to China easier, so you will be able to experience the real China with a little less stress. China is an odd beast that needs to be respected; the major cities, Beijing, Shanghai, and Xian, all have their own personalities. Some complex situations that you think would be an organizational disaster turn out to be great and you wonder afterward what all the fuss and worry was about. Then the simplest of tasks can turn out to be a major calamity.

These days come and go and are part of the experience of everyday travel in China. One needs to have an open mind when travelling China. It is a place with thousands of years of history and culture that is trying overnight to adapt to Western ways of living. You need to have a very open mind when you Travel in China.
I have listed below a few China Travel Tips that will make life that wee bit more bearable on your Travel China experience.

China Travel Tips – Be Toilet Wise

  • Never expect a clean toilet 100% of the time.
  • Be prepared; Carry some tissue.
  • You may have to use a squat toilet, again if you know this before hand it is not a shock. If you don’t know how to use a squat toilet, try the following experiment at home.

While holding onto something for support with both hands, lower your body down into a low squat position, so that the cheeks of your bottom is almost touching your heels or the back of your calf. Now, let go with your hands. See if you stay in this position for at least 1 minute. If you fall backwards or you cannot get up, then a squat toilet could be a problem for you! Practice, you will be happy you did.

  • If you see a clean toilet, Go… it may not come again for a while.
  • There are many public toilets around the cities, usually the ones you pay for are OK, (RMB .5), the others best to stay away from if you can. You will soon notice them as you walk around the cities.
  •  Be warned that public areas like bus and train stations are usually what I class as “tough toilets”, however if gotta go you gotta go.
  • Outside of the major cities, the toilet systems are old or have very narrow plumbing /pipes and get blocked easily. In these cases a small basket is usually beside the toilet, this is for your used toilet paper.

One of the best China Travel toilet Tips I can give you, is use hotel lobby toilets; these are everywhere and are always clean. Still they may not always have toilet paper. It depends on the class of hotel that you are using. I do not wish to scare you. However, of all the China Travel Tips in all the other web sites I have read, this is a topic not often mentioned, but it is very important to us all. So outside of the major cities conditions can be tough. But most of the time everything will be fine, especially if you book a tour; everything will have been checked out before hand. However even the best laid plans can go wrong, so be prepared, the toilets in the smaller cities, towns and villages can be scary.

Make Traveling with a Disability Easier

The following travel tips, resources and information for the disabled will help make trips, tours, holidays and vacations a lot easier for you, or for a child with a disability, whether short-term or long-term.

1. Plan your trip well in advance! Do you need to order extra supplements, medications or renew prescriptions, fix eyeglasses or change prescriptions, get a physical, have dental work done, have your wheelchair fixed or tuned up, etc.?

2. If possible, always book your travel through an agency that specializes in helping people with disabilities. This is important because specialized travel agents and tour operators for the disabled are experienced and can save you some awful headaches.

3. Besides taking along your travel agent’s phone number, you’ll also want to take with you the phone numbers for the travel agencies that specialize in disabled travel at your destination, in the event you can’t reach your own agent.

4. When traveling to another city, check out the local health and medical associations before you go. For example, get the phone numbers for the local MS chapter if you have MS. These organizations can be great resources.

They offer a lot of good tips and a wide range of services for the handicapped traveler. Among other things, they can arrange for a: wheelchair at the airport, wheelchair accessible hotel room, wheelchair rental, lift-equipped accessible van, full van, minivan, RV, handicap scooter, or any other handicap vehicle. Travel agents for the disabled can help arrange accessible transportation, help plan the best accessible cruise, give cruise line and cruising tips, arrange travel insurance and take care of special needs. Agents can check with hotels for: inner and outer door widths to accommodate your wheelchair, ADA-approved handicap bath tubs, grab bars, or for roll-in showers. Just tell them your needs. Travel agents can help you find cheap airfare, cheap tickets, cheap flights, cheap travel auto insurance, cheap hotels, cheap car rentals, cheap cruises, cheap vacations and cheap travel of all kinds.

Air Travel Tips

Travel by air for people with health issues, handicaps, disabilities or special needs, can be challenging. The following air travel tips will help make your flight and trip, whether domestic or international, easier, cheaper and safer. When making your travel reservations, request any carts, wheelchair services or any other transportation you’ll need. Fully describe your limitations and needs. Get your airline ticket and boarding pass well ahead of time so you don’t have to wait in any lines. You’ll be able to arrange travel at a discount, get better travel deals, and avoid last minute travel headaches. Talk with your airline representative or travel agent regarding the type of restrooms that are on the airplane. Call your airport and find out as much information as possible about the restrooms and handicapped parking at the airport.

You’ll need to find out how you’ll be boarding the airplane at each of the airports involved in your trip. You may need another type of airplane or alternative route so you’ll have Jetways, or jet bridges, into the plane from the airport and not have to worry about stairs. One year my mother and I were going to fly out of the San Jose, California airport and discovered after we arrived that we had to go outside on the ground level with the wheelchair to the tarmac. Four airline employees had to carry my mother in the wheelchair up the steep steps to board the plane. This might be impossible if there are weight issues.

Think about what seat arrangement will work best for you needs. Would an aisle seat make it more convenient to get to the restroom? You’ll want to avoid sitting in the emergency exit row. The passengers in this row may be asked to help others in an emergency situation. Let the airlines and flight attendants know if you have any assisting devices. Find out the best way to store them so they arrive without damage. Always keep in mind what you can do easily and without assistance, as well as situations that would require help.

Business Travel Insurance

Anyone that travels a lot should consider travel insurance, but those that travel for business often overlook the importance of this protection. Business travel insurance is simply a good idea because it can provide you with the protection that you need whether you are traveling just a short or long distance away from home. You never know when you are going to need the protection that insurance can provide, so you should look into business travel insurance before you go on your next trip. The great thing about business travel insurance is that the individual can purchase it or a company can purchase it. Many companies are choosing to purchase the insurance for all of their employees that travel. This is a very economical way to buy the coverage as many companies can offer bulk buy discounts. This can be a particularly good idea for companies that host a lot of conferences, meetings, team building events, training courses, product launches, and the like. Many businesses offer corporate hospitality outings and the like, and even on these fun getaways employees should be protected and business travel insurance is a great way to get that protection.

If you happen to be an employee that travels to a lot of business oriented annual general meetings, exhibitions, seminars, or conventions and you aren’t provided with business travel insurance you can buy it yourself. The coverage is not at all expensive, and you may even be able to purchase the coverage at the same time that you plan an event or plan your travel, which will make it convenient to purchase. When you purchase this protection you can go on your business travels and not worry about what would happen if you were robbed, if your luggage was lost, or if you needed medical attention in an area where your usual medical or dental insurance was not valid. Many of us think about travel insurance when we are going on vacation or visiting exotic vacations, but this is not the only time when you need the protection that this type of insurance can provide. Business travel insurance is just as important as the insurance that you would buy when flying across the world for an exotic vacation or honeymoon because there is just as much opportunity for you to encounter health problems or circumstances that you just did not plan for. When you leave home you should feel safe, secure, and confident in your abilities to handle any situation and with business travel insurance you can do this.

If you don’t travel often or you only travel once a year you can opt to purchase your business travel insurance for just one trip. All you have to do is disclose when you will be travelling, where you will be going, and when you will be returning. This is generally very affordable and will offer you the protection that you should have on your one trip. If you travel all the time for work you can choose to buy your business travel insurance for the whole year. While this is more expensive in the beginning, it is cheaper over the course of the year than it would be to purchase the coverage every time you go away on travel. Many times there are also different levels of coverage to choose from, so you can choose from very basic coverage to very extensive coverage, based on your needs. When you purchase the travel business insurance you may want to consider the areas that you travel to as well as what sort of coverage your other insurance coverage may provide as this information will help you determine what sort of coverage you need.

 

Travel Agents

Although their are numerous online travel services a traditional Travel agent is as much an important part of the trip as comfort is to traveling! The role of a travel agent has been increasing with the times and today most people are dependent on them for executing most of their travel plans so that they can rest easy and just enjoy their trip. It is the responsibility of the travel agent to help and guide the travelers about the constantly changing schedules and airfares, availability of packages for vacation, and a lot of travel information that the traveler may not know about. Choosing a reliable travel agent can be an important decision, since how you travel and your comfort will be largely decided by the travel agents. You should verify the information given by the travel agents, to be on the safer side and minimize your travel hassles. Incase of International travel, choosing a proper agent becomes more important.

The right agent should be able to foresee your problems and guide you about them. They should provide information related to customs regulations, important documents like visas, passports, currency exchange rates and certificates of vaccination. Many hotels, cruise liners, resorts, and special travel groups make use of travel agents to market their travel packages to the ever increasing rate of people choosing to travel both inland and overseas. Most agents advice you on destinations and make arrangements for hotel stays, transportation, tours, car rentals, etc. Information on weather conditions, restaurants, tourist attractions, and other such necessary information are also provided. A good travel agent could also take the trouble of checking out hotel services to gauge their quality of service in order that they can base references on a first hand report.

With the changing times, the travel industry has seen a big development in terms of Internet bookings and travel related information made available on the net. The number of people using online services is growing. This has resulted in a change in the view of the convenience of traditional agencies. A poll result of American tourists revealed that over 92 percent of them generally buy their travel related necessities online. According to these consumers, online travel agencies have cheaper rates, are the easiest to use and offer all the relevant information. A word of caution is necessary for those using the Internet for their travel bookings. Be sure to navigate the site, verify that the agent has a good back-up system. Also ensure that there are no added costs that are credited to your credit bills. Till a few years ago, travel agents provided free services to their customers. Travel agents worked as agents for airlines, hotels, rental car companies, etc. The agencies worked on a commission basis from these suppliers. But free travel agent services began changing as a result of certain changes in the rate of commissions. For example, in 1995 Delta Airlines imposed a $50 limit on domestic airline commission rates.