The importance of packing light cannot be overemphasized, but, for your own good, I’ll try. You’ll never meet a traveler who, after five trips, brags: “Every year I pack heavier.” The measure of a good traveler is how light he or she travels. You can’t travel heavy, happy, and cheap. Pick two.
One Bag, That’s It
My self-imposed limit is 20 pounds in a 9″ × 21″ × 14″ carry-on-size bag (it’ll fit in your airplane’s overhead bin, at least on your transatlantic flight — though many European airlines restrict hand luggage to even smaller weights and dimensions). At my company, we’ve taken tens of thousands of people of all ages and styles on tours through Europe. We allow only one carry-on bag. For many, this is a radical concept: 9″ × 21″ × 14″? That’s my cosmetics kit! But they manage, and they’re glad they did. After you enjoy that sweet mobility and freedom, you’ll never go any other way.
You’ll walk with your luggage more than you think you will. Before flying to Europe, give yourself a test. Pack up completely, go into your hometown, and practice being a tourist for an hour. Fully loaded, you should enjoy window-shopping. If you can’t, stagger home and thin things out.
When you carry your own luggage, it’s less likely to get lost, broken, or stolen. Quick, last-minute changes in flight plans become simpler. A small bag sits on your lap or under your seat on the bus, taxi, and airplane. You don’t have to worry about it, and, when you arrive, you can hit the ground running. It’s a good feeling. When I land in London, I’m on my way downtown while everyone else stares anxiously at the luggage carousel. When I fly home, I’m the first guy the dog sniffs.
These days, you can also save money by carrying your own bag. While it’s still free to check one bag on most overseas trips, you’d likely pay a fee to check two. If you’re taking a separate flight within Europe, expect to be charged to check even just one bag.
Remember, packing light isn’t just about saving time or money — it’s about your traveling lifestyle. Too much luggage marks you as a typical tourist. It slams the Back Door shut. Serendipity suffers. Changing locations becomes a major operation. Con artists figure you’re helpless. Porters are a problem only to those who need them. With only one bag, you’re mobile and in control. Take this advice seriously.
Spread out everything you think you might need on the living-room floor. Pick up each item one at a time and scrutinize it. Ask yourself, “Will I really use my snorkel and fins enough to justify carrying them around all summer?” Not “Will I use them?” but “Will I use them enough to feel good about hauling them over the Swiss Alps?” Frugal as I may be, I’d buy them in Greece and give them away before I’d carry that extra weight over the Alps.
Don’t pack for the worst-case scenario. Pack for the best-case scenario and simply buy yourself out of any jams. Bring layers rather than take a heavy coat. Think in terms of what you can do without — not what will be handy on your trip. When in doubt, leave it out. I’ve seen people pack a whole summer’s supply of deodorant or razors, thinking they can’t get them there. The world is getting really small: You can buy Dial soap, Colgate toothpaste, Nivea cream, and Gillette razors in Sicily and Slovakia. Tourist shops in major international hotels are a sure bet whenever you have difficulty finding a personal item. If you can’t find one of your essentials, ask yourself how half a billion Europeans can live without it. Rather than carry a whole trip’s supply of toiletries, take enough to get started and look forward to running out of toothpaste in Bulgaria. Then you have the perfect excuse to go into a Bulgarian department store, shop around, and pick up something you think might be toothpaste.
Whether you’re traveling for three weeks or three months, pack exactly the same. To keep your clothes tightly packed and well organized, zip them up in packing cubes, airless baggies, or a clothes compressor. I like specially designed folding boards (such as Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Folder) to fold and carry clothes with minimal wrinkling. For smaller items, use packing cubes or mesh bags (one for underwear and socks, another for miscellaneous stuff such as a first-aid kit, earplugs, clothesline, sewing kit, and gadgets).
For the best deal on long-term rentals, book in advance from home. If you decide to rent a car while in Europe, try calling around to local car-rental agencies, or book through a local travel agency. When renting a car, you’ll need to make a few decisions, including whom to rent from, what kind of car to get, and where to pick it up and drop it off.
Which Rental Company?
These days, most of us start our search on a travel-booking site such as Kayak, Expedia, or AAA. Of course, if you have a favorite car-rental agency at home, consider using the same company in Europe.
When shopping around, don’t stop at just comparing initial price quotes. You’ll want to determine which company’s offer involves the best combination of rates (including all fees and any extras you want), service, and pickup/drop-off locations (with workable office hours) for your trip. Even with the wealth of information that’s available online, you may find that it’s easier to make a phone call to get all your questions answered.
It’s generally an advantage to go with a larger company, with a wider choice of pickup and drop-off locations. Most of the big-time US rental agencies have offices throughout Europe, as do the two major Europe-based agencies, Europcar and Sixt. With these companies, if you get into car trouble, a replacement car is likely to be close at hand. Still, it’s smart to make sure you choose a company that thoroughly covers the areas where you’ll be driving.
It’s also worth considering renting through a consolidator, such as Auto Europe (my favorite) or Europe by Car. These companies compare rates among various companies (including many of the big-name firms), find the best deal, and — because they’re wholesalers — pass the savings on to you. You pay the consolidator, and they issue you a voucher to pick up your car in Europe.
With a consolidator as a middleman, it’s especially important to ask ahead of time about add-on fees and restrictions, since you might not learn this critical information until you pick up the car. If any dispute arises when you show up at the rental desk, call the consolidator to try to resolve the issue — ask to use the rental office’s phone (the consolidator’s number is toll-free from any land line). Once you sign off on something with the vendor, it’s difficult for the consolidator (or anyone else) to reverse what you’ve agreed to. If you have a problem with the rental agency, the consolidator may not be able to intervene to your satisfaction, but at least you’ll have gotten some help in resolving the problem.
No matter whom you rent through, be sure to hang onto all your paperwork (including the checklist used by the company to check the car’s condition when you turn it in) for a few months after the rental period, in case a billing dispute arises.
Choosing a Car
Expect some differences between your typical American rental car and what you’ll likely get in Europe, where midrange cars have less passenger room, vast trunk space is unheard of, and manual transmissions are the norm. Automatics are more expensive (usually about 50 percent more) and may only be available if you upgrade to a bigger, pricier car. (Some Americans find automatics worthwhile in Great Britain and Ireland, where it can be enough of a challenge just to learn to drive on the left.) Since supplies are limited, if you must have an automatic, you’ll need to arrange it farther in advance than a manual-transmission car. Ideally, skip the automatic and brush up on your shifting skills. It’s worth doing some lurching through your hometown parking lot to save the expense (or to be prepared in case your reserved automatic doesn’t materialize).
When checking out options for budget rentals, you’ll see some familiar makes (Ford, VW) — though not always familiar models of these — as well as some less familiar ones, most commonly Opel, Fiat, Citroën, Peugeot, Renault, Škoda, and Seat (“SAY-aht”). Don’t waste time carefully choosing among models, since you’re not guaranteed to get the exact car you signed up for, just a “similar” model.
I normally rent the smallest, least-expensive model with a stick shift — not just to save money, but because larger cars are not as maneuverable on Europe’s narrow, winding roads. If you’re traveling with more than one other person, it can be worth it to move up to a larger class of car. But if you pack light and have only one other person in tow, the smallest models should have plenty of room, even if it’s a little less than what you’re used to.
Choosing a Pick-Up (and Drop-Off) Place and Time
It’s best and less stressful to begin your driving experience away from big cities, so try picking up your car away from major destinations. A pleasant scenario for a trip to England would be to start out (sans car) in the smaller city of Bath, rent a car when leaving Bath, explore Britain at your driving leisure, then drop off the car in York and take the train into London, where you can rely on the excellent public transportation system. That way you’d enjoy the three major city stops on your England itinerary — where the last thing you’d want is a car — without paying for one.
That said, beware the possible inconveniences of picking up your car in a truly small town — a tiny regional office almost certainly has a smaller fleet on hand, and the staff may be less equipped to handle the concerns of foreign renters. Don’t plan to pick up or drop off your car in a small town on a Saturday afternoon or Sunday — or anywhere on a holiday, when offices are likely to be closed (except for train-station and airport locations).
Picking up a car at an airport usually costs more than picking it up downtown. If you don’t need a car immediately after your flight, look into a cheaper rental with a downtown pickup price. But airport pickup may still be worth it; many central car-rental locations have shorter hours (and may close at midday) or are buried in a maze of narrow streets. Also consider traffic — it may be easier to drive away from an airport than a parking garage in the heart of the city. Before choosing a rental location, find it on a map. You may find that a train-station office is handier than a downtown one (though some station pickups come with airport-like fees). Fortunately, airport/train-station fees apply only to your pickup location, not your drop off.
European cars are rented in 24-hour periods, so think carefully about selecting your pickup and drop-off times — if you pick up the car at 10 a.m. on the first day and drop it off at noon on the last day, you’ll be charged a whole day’s rental for just those two hours. Don’t book your pickup time for earlier than you really need the car. If you can, book a drop-off time that falls within that location’s office hours (rather than just leaving the keys in an after-hours drop box); it’s best to finalize and receive your paperwork in person.
Sometimes it can make a lot of sense to start and end your car rental in different cities. One-way rentals are usually free within the same country (Germany and Portugal are the main exceptions), but dropping off in another country will likely cost you a hefty extra fee. Expect fees of $100–300, but beware that this cost can top $1,000, especially if the start and end points are quite far apart, or if the drop-off point is an out-of-the-way location. Certain places seem to be especially expensive for one-way cross-border trips no matter what (Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, and far eastern Europe). The extra cost of a one-way rental can still be worth it if it saves you a very long drive back to your first country. But if the last leg of your trip isn’t too far from the border of the country you started in, a small tweak to your rental plans can save you plenty. Let’s say you’re renting a car in France for a trip that ends in Barcelona. By simply dropping the car off within France (as close to the border as possible) and hopping a train to Barcelona (roughly $25 per person), you could save hundreds in drop-off fees.
When booking, also ask about your options (and the costs involved) in case you change your plans en route and want to drop off your car at an office in another city or on a different date.
More Tips for Renting a Car
Get quotes for weekly rentals. Typically, the longer you rent, the less it’ll cost per day. You may find that renting for a full seven days costs the same as, or even less than, five or six days.
Double-check currency conversions when comparing prices. Some foreign-based rental-company sites use fudged conversion rates that make the price in dollars look cheaper than the price that’ll actually show up on your credit-card bill. Convert prices yourself on a conversion site such as Oanda.
Pay upfront. It’s almost always smarter to prepay for a rental car when you book, rather than at the agency counter in Europe. Not only are you likely to get a discount, but, assuming that your quote was in dollars, you’ll know you’re paying the exact amount you were quoted. You’ll also avoid getting dinged with an overseas transaction fee on your credit card. If you’re purchasing a collision damage waiver from the rental company, that’ll likely also be cheaper when paid upfront. But beware cancellation fees: Don’t pay until your itinerary is firm, and be clear on the company’s cancellation policy.
Read the fine print. To minimize the chance of being blindsided when you show up at the rental counter, carefully read your entire reservation voucher before you leave home. Even if you booked the rental over the phone, the agent may well have skipped over certain details. Many travelers end up overpaying (or at least worrying they might be overpaying) if they’re jetlagged or too eager to hit the road to sort through the details. By asking about fees in advance (and taking along a hard copy of your reservation voucher), you can avoid unpleasant surprises.
Take precautions on the flight. Long flights are dehydrating. I ask for “two orange juices with no ice” every chance I get. Eat lightly, stay hydrated, and have no coffee or alcohol and only minimal sugar until the flight’s almost over. Avoid the slight chance of getting a blood clot in your leg during long flights by taking short walks hourly. While seated, flex your ankles and don’t cross your legs. Some people are more prone to clots (factors include obesity, age, genetics, smoking, and use of oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy).
Eat nutritiously. The longer your trip, the more you’ll be affected by an inadequate diet. Budget travelers often eat more carbohydrates and less protein to stretch their travel dollars. This is the root of many health problems. Protein helps you resist infection and rebuilds muscles. Get the most nutritional mileage from your protein by eating it with the day’s largest meal (in the presence of all those essential amino acids). Supplemental super-vitamins, taken regularly, help me to at least feel healthy.
Use good judgment when eating out (and outside Europe). Avoid unhealthy-looking restaurants. Meat should be well cooked (unless, of course, you’re eating sushi, carpaccio, etc.) and, in some places, avoided altogether. Have “well done” written on a piece of paper in the pertinent language and use it when ordering. Pre-prepared foods gather germs (a common cause of diarrhea). Outside of Europe, be especially cautious. When in serious doubt, eat only thick-skinned fruit…peeled.
Keep clean. Wash your hands often, keep your nails clean, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Hand sanitizers, such as Purell, can be helpful. However, since they target bacteria, not viruses, they should be used as an adjunct to, rather than a replacement for, hand washing with soap and warm water.
Practice safe sex. Sexually transmitted diseases are widespread. Obviously, the best way to prevent acquiring an STD is to avoid exposure. Condoms (readily available at pharmacies and from restroom vending machines) are fairly effective in preventing transmission. HIV is also a risk, especially among prostitutes.
Exercise. Physically, travel is great living — healthy food, lots of activity, fresh air, and all those stairs! If you’re a couch potato, try to get in shape before your trip by taking long walks. People who regularly work out have plenty of options for keeping in shape while traveling. Biking is a great way to burn some calories — and get intimate with a destination. Though running is not as widespread in Europe as it is in the US, it’s not considered weird either. Traveling runners can enjoy Europe from a special perspective — at dawn. Swimmers will find that Europe has plenty of good, inexpensive public swimming pools. Whatever your racket, if you want to badly enough, you’ll find ways to keep in practice as you travel. Most big-city private tennis and swim clubs welcome foreign guests for a small fee, which is a good way to make friends as well as stay fit.
Get enough sleep. Know how much sleep you need to stay healthy (generally 7–8 hours per night). If I go more than two nights with fewer than six hours’ sleep, I make it a priority to catch up — no matter how busy I am. Otherwise, I’m virtually guaranteed to get the sniffles.
Give yourself psychological pep talks. Europe can do to certain travelers what southern France did to Vincent van Gogh. Romantics can get the sensory bends, patriots can get their flags burned, and anyone can suffer from culture shock.
Europe is not particularly impressed by America or Americans. It will challenge givens that you always assumed were above the test of reason, and most of Europe on the street doesn’t really care that much about what you, the historical and cultural pilgrim, have waited so long to see.
Take a break from Europe, whether it’s a long, dark, air-conditioned trip back to California in a movie theater; a pleasant sit in an American embassy reading room surrounded by eagles, photos of presidents, Time magazines, and other Yankees; or a visit to the lobby of a world-class hotel, where any hint of the traditional culture has been lost under a big-business bucket of intercontinental whitewash. It can do wonders to refresh the struggling traveler’s spirit.
Basic First Aid
Be proactive to stay well. If you do get sick, take action to regain your health.
Headaches and Other Aches: Tylenol (or any other over-the-counter pain reliever) soothes headaches, sore feet, sprains, bruises, Italian traffic, hangovers, and many other minor problems. If you’re buying it overseas, Europeans may be more familiar with the term “paracetamol” (pare-ah-SEET-ah-mall).
Swelling: Often accompanying a physical injury, swelling is painful and delays healing. Ice and elevate any sprain periodically for 48 hours. A package of frozen veggies works as a cheap ice pack. If your foot or leg is swollen, buy or borrow a bucket and soak the affected area in cold water, or sit on the edge of a cool swimming pool. Take an anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Use an Ace bandage to immobilize, reduce swelling, and provide support. It is not helpful to “work out” a sprain — instead, cut back on activities that could aggravate the injury.
Fever: A high fever merits medical attention, particularly for children. A normal temperature of 98.6° Fahrenheit equals 37° Celsius. If your thermometer reads 40°C, you’re boiling at 104°F. You can use Tylenol to bring down a fever, along with putting cold washcloths on your forehead for relief.
Colds: It’s tempting to go, go, go while you’re in Europe — but if you push yourself to the point of getting sick, you’ve accomplished nothing. Keep yourself healthy and hygienic. If you’re feeling run-down, check into a good hotel, sleep well, and force fluids. (My trick during the hectic scramble of TV production is to suck on vitamin C with zinc tablets.) Stock each place you stay with boxes of juice upon arrival. Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) and other cold capsules are usually available, but may not come in as many varieties.
Abrasions: Clean abrasions thoroughly with soap to prevent or control infection. Bandages help keep wounds clean but are not a substitute for cleaning. A piece of clean cloth can be sterilized by boiling for 10 minutes or by scorching with a match.
Blisters: Moleskin, bandages, tape, or two pairs of socks can prevent or retard problems with your feet. Cover any irritated area before it blisters. Many walkers swear by Body Glide, a solid anti-chafing stick sold in running shops and sporting-goods stores. For many, Band-Aid’s Friction Block stick is a lifesaver for preventing blisters in spots where your shoe rubs against your foot.
Motion Sickness: To be effective, medication for motion sickness (Dramamine or Marezine) should be taken one hour before you think you’ll need it. These medications can also serve as a mild sleep aid. Bonine also treats motion sickness but causes less drowsiness.
Diarrhea: Get used to the fact that you might have diarrhea for a day. (Practice that thought in front of the mirror tonight.) If you get the runs, take it in stride. It’s simply not worth taking eight Pepto-Bismol tablets a day or brushing your teeth in Coca-Cola all summer long to avoid a day of the trots. I take my health seriously, and, for me, traveling in India or Mexico is a major health concern. But I find Europe no more threatening to my stomach than the US.
I’ve routinely taken groups of 24 Americans through Turkey for two weeks. With adequate discretion, we eat everything in sight. At the end of the trip, my loose-stool survey typically shows that five or six travelers coped with a day of the Big D and one person was stuck with an extended weeklong bout.
To help avoid getting diarrhea, eat yogurt, which has enzymes that can ease your system into the country’s cuisine.
If you get diarrhea, it will run its course. Revise your diet, don’t panic, and take it easy for 24 hours. Make your diet as bland and boring as possible for a day or so (bread, rice, boiled potatoes, clear soup, toast without butter, weak tea). Keep telling yourself that tomorrow you’ll feel much better. You will.
If loose stools persist, drink lots of water to replenish lost liquids and minerals. Bananas are effective in replacing potassium, which is lost during a bout with diarrhea.
Don’t take antidiarrheal medications if you have blood in your stools or a fever greater than 101°F (38°C) — you need a doctor’s exam and antibiotics. A child (especially an infant) who suffers a prolonged case of diarrhea also needs prompt medical attention.
I visited the Red Cross in Athens after a miserable three-week tour of the toilets of Syria, Jordan, and Israel. My intestinal commotion was finally stilled by a recommended strict diet of boiled rice and plain tea. As a matter of fact, after five days on that dull diet, I was constipated.
Constipation: With all the bread you’ll be eating, constipation, the other side of the intestinal pendulum, is (according to my surveys) as prevalent as diarrhea. Get exercise, eat lots of roughage (raw fruits, leafy vegetables, prunes, or bran tablets from home), and everything will come out all right in the end.
Which do you lean toward? Do you like the bigger voyage transports that hold more than 4,000 travelers or the littler boats that hold under 1,000? A few ports don’t handle the bigger vessels and the regard for the traveler is better on the littler boats. Along these lines, look at the potential outcomes with these extravagance voyage lines.
A portion of the extravagance journey lines have littler boats. I’m talking Azamara Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Seabourn Cruises. This implies you get more decisions of ports. Yes, they may cost all the more yet the advantages may simply make it justified, despite all the trouble. These extravagance voyage lines put forth a valiant effort, most are even comprehensive. That implies no additional beverage bundles, no additional items that are surprising.
Azamara Cruises concentrates on Destination Immersion where longer stays, more overnights and night visiting are incorporated on 100% of their voyages. You get the opportunity to investigate everything from nightlife in Stockholm and morning strolls in the French Riviera to throughout the day undertakings in Costa Rica’s downpour woodlands. You’ll experience boutique-style ships with a greatest of 686 visitors, staff and group can rapidly take in your name, tastes, and inclinations. Every one of this with heaps of comprehensive pleasantries like standard spirits, worldwide lagers and wines, tips, and an AzAmazing Evenings occasion (on most voyages) – all with their compliments. Additionally included for all visitors are filtered water, soda pops, forte espressos teas, English head servant administration for suite visitors, self-administration clothing, transport administration to and from port groups (where accessible) and attendant services for individual direction and reservations.
Visit ports like Marseille, Amalfi, Crete or even to the doorstep of Bangkok (while other substantial journey lines dock a couple of hours away), the heart of Seville, and the downtown area of Bordeaux. Experience the way of life, food, landscape and individuals of your destinations. The group truly get a kick out of the chance to blend with the visitors and are satisfied to call attention to extraordinary things adrift and coastal and go well beyond your desires.
Precious stone Cruises/Crystal River Cruises/Crystal Yachts
Another comprehensive voyage line. this incorporates complimentary tips, unparalleled decisions of feasting choices including strength eateries, complimentary fine wines and premium spirits, free drinks administration in all parlors, and all non-mixed refreshments. Additionally, you get 24-hour room administration, high tea, golf lessons, PC/innovation classes and an innovation attendant, Crystal Visions Enrichment Program, stimulation and complimentary launderettes. One shore outing is incorporated on each voyage as a feature of your “We Care/You Care” program. What’s more, you can bring your own particular wine/alcohol with no corkage charges!
Dominatingly non-smoking inside (with the exception of the Connoisseur Club Cigar bar) this is an awesome and exquisite contrasting option to the vast boats. They now offer waterway travels, yacht travels, extravagance air and living arrangements. Booking is open for 2017 and 2018. The yacht is a comprehensive super-yacht with 31 extravagance suites and two complimentary Crystal Adventures shore outings in practically every port, contingent upon the destination. Water sports from the yacht’s marina stage is likewise accessible and bear in mind the cutting edge remote ocean submersible pleasing two travelers and ensured pilot. The stream travels will be home situated in Paris and will have different length travels, all suites and will have its first cruising in July, 2016 with 2-for-1 charges and overnights in well known ports.
Oceania Cruises gives you a chance to see a dynamite choice of different and outlandish destinations with style. They are interesting agendas particularly intended to showcase the most entrancing destinations. They are personal and lavish, going by memorable urban communities to current meccas to beguiling ocean side towns settled along starting coastlines. Every day offers energizing chances to encounter the history, craftsmanship and cooking of a wondrous new destination. Appreciate feasting enlivened by Master Chef Jacques Pépin. Extravagant complimentary enhancements proliferate, and there are never supplemental charges in any of the installed eateries. Esteem bundles guarantee that tasting vintage wine, surfing the web or getting a charge out of a shore journey is both helpful and reasonable.
Oceania offers obliging its travelers as it holds only 684 to 1,250 visitors, contingent upon the boat. It is nation club easygoing feel with customized administration. It offers port-serious voyages including overnight visits and developed night port sits tight. Experience luxurious enhancement programs, including immersive Culinary Discovery Tours on the planet’s most entrancing destinations. The spa is an acclaimed Canyon Ranch SpaClub.
Official Seven Seas Cruises
Official Seven Seas offers a really luxurious and extremely individual experience. You can expect a remarkable excursion to the world’s most prominent destinations where everything is incorporated, regardless and without trade off. Official’s admissions incorporate 2-for-1 All-Inclusive charges, early reserving investment funds, free boundless shore journeys, free lavish lodging bundle in Concierge Suites and higher, free claim to fame eateries, free boundless refreshments including fine wines and premium spirits, free open bars and parlors PLUS in suite small scale bar recharged every day, free prepaid tips, free 24-hour room administration, free exchanges amongst air terminal and ship and numerous different civilities. The clothing standard is exquisite easygoing dress. An advancing installed experience is enlivened through The Smithsonian Collection by Smithsonian Journeys. There are Broadway appears, virtuoso exhibitions, culinary shows and wine samplings and the terrific Canyon Ranch SpaClub health programs.
There are tempting voyages to more than 250 ports the world over in the solace of a smoke free environment all through just about the whole of their boats. These ports are a portion of the more close ports that bigger vessels can’t reach on a vessel that is all suites with 97% of them with a private overhang. There are just 490 or 700 visitors, bringing about stellar administration, no lines and no holding up.
With Seabourn you cruise with your own private club, where individuals offer far reaching open decks, welcoming social spaces, and the customized consideration of an outstanding group. There are one of a kind schedules to must-see urban communities and concealed jewels where bigger boats can’t go. These are close ships without any than 300 open suites with clearing sea sees, most with verandas. The instinctive staff is energetic about satisfying their visitors. Gourmet feasting encounters that opponent the finest eateries anyplace, complimentary welcome champagne and in-suite bar loaded with your inclinations, complimentary eating venues where you eat where you wish, when you wish and with whom you wish. This is a comprehensive involvement with open bars all through the boat and fine wines poured at lunch and supper. Tipping is neither required nor anticipated.
Seabourn visits basin wish destinations and little ports like Saint-Tropez, France and Palarmo, Spain. Visit the lesser voyaged Caribbean islands of Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, the Grenadines, Guadeloupe and Saint Barthelemy and St. Kitts. Shore journeys are accessible for buy with loads of time to investigate every port of call.
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Travel is surrounded by a sense of glamor. It is a universal desire to see far off places, meet extraordinary people, experience beauty and adventure. Our travel dreams are more likely to come true if we engage in careful planning. Here are tips to help you make travel more enjoyable.
If the country to which you’re traveling requires certain vaccinations, make sure you carry with you the certificate stating you got the treatment. This comes into play whenever you are attempting to enter or leave a country, and can even be a problem when traveling between cities in the same country. Without the certificate, authorities have no way of knowing that you’ve had the vaccination and may have to detain you for quarantine.
While savvy travelers know that buying tickets directly from airlines saves them money, they also know that package deals from online travel agencies are an opportunity to save. By getting a single deal that includes airfare, hotel stay and car rental, a traveler can save money overall, even if certain portions of the package could be bought more cheaply on their own.
When traveling to poor countries or countries with high crime rates, keep all of your valuables out of sight. Don’t wear a camera over your shoulder or even a cheap watch on your wrist if you don’t want to attract the attention of thieves and beggars. Carry a shoulder bag for these types of items instead.
Tip your concierge! Whether it be on a cruise or at a hotel, your concierge will be your go-to guy for reservations, directions and almost everything else! Many concierges have admitted that if someone is willing to tip them well, they will go out of their way to make sure those great tippers, have a fantastic time.
When traveling by plane make sure you take every precaution you can to ensure smooth travels. You first want to make sure your luggage does not exceed the maximum weight requirements by the airlines. You also want to label all of your luggage so that there is no confusion with other passengers who have similar luggage to yours.
When going on vacation, make sure to purchase travel insurance. Taking this step can cover you in the event that you need to go to the hospital or have a medical evaluation while away from home. This is especially important, if you are thinking of participating in adventure activities or sports.
If you plan on going abroad, you should make sure you understand the exchange rate for the foreign currency. Bring a pocket calculator if necessary. You can exchange your money for the foreign currency at your local bank, if you plan ahead of time. Avoid using your credit card abroad, if you do not wish to be overcharged.
The enjoyment of travel begins with anticipation, as you plan that special trip. Shrewd advice, based on other’s experiences, may keep you from foundering on one of the many obstacles that may face you. We hope these tips will help you put together a perfect plan so you can realize your travel dream.
Few places on Earth are as unique and magical as the Galapagos Islands. A wildlife haven and tourist hotspot, this collection of random rocks and islands situated 1,000 miles from Ecuador enjoys legendary status. Famous for giant turtles, oversized cacti and rat-eating lizards, the growing threats to the unique environment that sparked Darwin’s theory of evolution have become impossible to ignore in recent years.
Problems in paradise
The Galapagos Islands are no strangers to the negative effects of both the presence and the behaviour of human visitors on their ecology. From 16th century pirates who stopped by to purloin giant turtles – the perfect long-life food supply while at sea – to the scientists who introduced alien life forms of wildlife, this once isolated haven has battled to survive many serious threats.
The first human settlers arrived in the early 19th century and carved out a simple lifestyle for themselves. As the century progressed, so did interest in conservation, and The Galapagos became an official national park in 1959. Unfortunately, the 1960s wave of “tourists” caused the focus to switch from ecology to economics, sparking a rush in development projects and cruise boat visitors.
In 1986, the Galapagos Marine Reserve was created, and laws were passed to limit fishing and other damaging marine activities. New methods are in place to protect indigenous species from foreign competition, while conservation work is increasingly being undertaken to combat pollution and practices that damage the natural order, such as shark fishing.
Whether you are looking for a wildlife-based break or a unique family experience, Galapagos holidays appeal to all age groups. Where else could you catch glimpses of unique wildlife, flora or fauna while enjoying temperate weather, a beautiful coastline and delicious food?
If visiting the Galapagos Islands is on your must-see list – and it really should be – it is now possible to do so without leaving a heavy social footprint. Booking through a company that practices responsible tourism, such as http://www.steppestravel.co.uk/galapagos-islands, means you can enjoy the trip of a lifetime without compromising nature to get it.
The desire to preserve the wonders of the Galapagos Islands for future generations has driven social and political agendas for many years. Hopefully, the balance between progress, ecology, social need and tourism practices can be maintained for centuries to come.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Ft. Lauderdale, FL)—Carefree Yacht Charters has recently announced that they are now booking summer vacations for those who are considering BVI crewed yacht charters at the end of this current 2015/2016 season. The Carefree staff stands ready to offer their expertise and advice on the best crewed yachts as well as assisting with all phases of the vacation booking process. Those who would like to inquire about summer bookings are encouraged to give their staff a call or fill out and submit the contact form on their website.
Lynne Campbell, the founder of Carefree Yacht Charters, commented “Summer is right around the corner, and there’s no better summer activity that we can think of than planning for a relaxing BVI or Caribbean crewed yacht charter. Right now is prime time for booking, as many clients are starting to make their plans for the summer season. Our team here at Carefree Yacht Charters has made it our mission to assist our clients in making sure that they have the best vacation possible. This means listening to their needs and desires and recommending what we believe will be the yacht charter that best fits that description. We serve our clients by being knowledgeable and offering up our expertise and guidance.”
Carefree Yacht Charter’s help in booking crewed yacht charters doesn’t just stop with their advice. As a top 5 BVI Yacht Charter Brokerage with over 20 years of experience in the business, the Carefree Yacht Charters staff assists with all phases of the booking process. This includes creating the actual booking, talking through and completing the Charter Information and Client Preference Sheet, and helping the client obtain trip insurance, fishing licenses, and any other necessary items for their vacation.
As Campbell goes on to say, “We specialize in helping to create magical experiences with memories that will last a lifetime for our clients. We got into this business because we truly love seeing people happy and enjoying themselves. We’re ready for another summer season with our clients and can’t wait to hear all about the amazing experiences we know they’ll have.”
About Carefree Yacht Charters:
Carefree Yacht Charters is owned and operated by Joe and Lynne Campbell. Their mission at Carefree Yacht Charters is to know and recommend the best yachts and crews in the BVI and Caribbean, offer expert advice and guidance at no additional cost, use cutting edge technology and systems to streamline the charter process for their clients, and provide exceptional customer service from start to finish.
Finding the Ideal Cruise Specials for You
There are families who have a hard time choosing what place to vacation in so that is why it would be more ideal for these people to choose cruise specials provided by travel companies. You can take this awesome yearly trip because it’s something that you and your family deserve. There are so many travel companies all over the world willing to give you these opportunities so there is basically nothing to worry about in the least.
A cruise is an amazing special offer that you should not let pass you by. You have all the options in the world when it comes to these deals so you do not choose something that you think is lacking or you simply aren’t happy with. There are a lot of amazing websites out there that would provide you with everything you could ever need and more. You need to be a member of these companies in order to avail of their options so make sure you do so as soon as possible. Your vacation is something that should be planned ahead of time so see to it that the proper steps are followed. You need to do your research and see to it that you are able to spend time in the best places in the world.
Make sure to avoid peak season when availing of these special offers because it’s the worst time to do so. When you spend you vacation during this particular time then you would see how crowded the ship really is and how your travels wouldn’t be as comfortable or as great as you want. When you follow these tips for taking a cruise then you would be able to spend them in the best possible way.
One thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to these matters is that changes need to be made ahead of time otherwise you would be stuck in a place where you didn’t plan on being on your trip. The cruise that you take should be family friendly especially when you have kids around. You need to choose the best and most ideal options for your kids because you want them to be happy as well. You need to be able to rely on qualified staff to watch over your kids as well. You should also be able to spend time with your partner alone. You would be so many awesome locations which you would be able to take advantage of as well. You need to orient your family on these cruises at all times so that they would know what they want as well. You don’t have to worry about anything else when you are all settled before the ship leaves. When you follow these essential guidelines in the best possible way then you wouldn’t have to worry about anything else.
Ways to Effectively Find the Best Cruise Deals
If you ever have the plan in going on a cruise, you actually want to consider getting the best cruise deal bargain that’s offered. There are tons of ways when it comes to knowing how you could save tons of money for your first or next cruise when you have an idea about what you should do. It is actually not that hard when it comes to knowing the secrets to which travel agents know when you are looking for the best cruise deal. You could in fact save a lot when scouting on your own from the cruise line brokers or the cruise consolidators.
There are so many sites that in fact could offer clearance specials and also last minute cruise deals. Another is that there are cheaper, yet riskier cruise classified and auctions. Finding last minute cruise deals are actually not hard to locate because cruise lines actually wants to avoid leaving the port with empty cabins and also do efforts in order to fill them.
You also should be aware that the offers to which you find at some cruise line sites will not be good totally as the ones that you find anything else from cruise line brokers or consolidators. This is why you should make sure that you consider visiting other sites. The next thing that you should do would be in doing comparison with the prices of the cruise lines that comes from their website.
When you have found out what you think would be a good bargain or deal, try to contact your local cruise travel agent and try to find out whether they could meet it. You could actually find some cruise lines that doesn’t permit travel agents in giving out discounts for the cruise, yet this doesn’t mean that the agent already know about the discounted cruises.
It is actually possible to ask for a discount even when there’s already a final price on the cruise. The thing that you need would be to ask whether they have a senior discount, student discount, business discount or a health professional discount. There are even resident discounts or special offers when you are living in a certain state.
The best thing that you also could do would be to consider visiting different sites and compare them and not just to settle immediately to the first one you find. Comparisons actually helps you to know about which of them is capable of offering you with the best and lowest rate.
Consider comparing cruise lines, cruise ships and also the itineraries aside from the price they have. This is really important if you are in search for the best bargain with the cheapest possible cruise rates.
Save Money While Cruising
There are so many people today that love cruising, some do this regularly especially if they are able to find a great deal for their next cruise. It is very wrong to think that cruising only wastes money because this is what many people believe. In fact there are so many benefits that you can get from it and the experience and enjoyment you get from it cannot be paid by how much amount of money you can acquire. A lot of people have a different strategy when it comes to cruising because they would always be on the look for the newest deals and discounts by cruise agencies and they would grab the chance to get lesser cost for their cruise. This article will be able to show you how these pros do it.
The First Step Of The Journey
We all know that cruising is only for the rich but that is all in the past now, this is because the economy that we are in right now have so much to supply for all of the people in our generation. One thing also is that people can easily pass and acquire information and this include getting to know about the latest deals and discounts travel agencies are giving out in the public.
Today people are able to find whatever they are looking for and this includes the best deals for cruising with the use of the internet. You should know that there are now so many websites that is solely dedicated for cruise ship deals and tours.
One thing that you should know about these cruise deals is that most of the time, agencies would give discounts depending on the season or depending on the special events that you can come across and that would also depend on the agency that you have chosen. Never miss any information when it comes to choosing the right cruise agency because you might have to pay for additional things rather than just getting the discount and this is why you should also check their prices if it fits on what they would give for their passengers.
Comparing two or more agencies on how much discount they could give to a passenger is important so that you can be sure to get less cost of what you should be paying and this can be done easily if you are doing your search on the internet. Now you know the secret of how pros do cruising without spending so much money but enjoy so much of their travel.
Tips On How To Find The Best Cruise Deals
It is common for people to think that cruise vacations are for the rich. All inclusive cruise ship vacations are already available today. Cruise ship companies are now making their packages available for each and every one, this is because of the hard financial times that everyone experiences. In order for you to get the best cruise ship deal, juts follow these steps and for sure you will be off to your dream vacation.
The first tip is for you to know what cruise you want and you should be flexible. It is very important that you know where you want to go, the ship that you want, the dates and the price that you can afford. Remembering these details will give you a narrower option.
The second tip is to plan ahead of time. Travel guides suggest that you book your vacation between the months of January until March. It said that during these months, you can get the best deal offers from cruise ship company’s. Don’t lose hope if you were not able to book during the said months as last minute cancellation deals can still be possible.
Online deals often give out the best offer, check them often. many people can get amazing deals online, always keep a look out for it. If you can book deals online, you saved your time and effort. Just make sure that after booking, print the details of your cruise.
For you to be sure, check the cruise lines directly. For you to be always sure of the deals that you are going to get, you can directly go to the cruise lines websites and double the check the information. Some deals can only be availed through the cruise lines website only. If they offer a newsletter, don’t hesitate to sign one. It is in newsletters that some of the latest updates on great deals are seen.
If you want a helping hand, you can go ask a travel agent. Most travel agents are the ones that book your travel despite getting the deals online. The travelling industry’s updates are always on top of every experienced travel agents mind. It is the travel agent that will put together all the things to make your vacation a memorable one. In addition to that, good travel agents can also create side trips that will make you enjoy your vacation more. These side trips are something that you don’t find on bookings online.
Make it a habit of comparing prices and always look for the best deal. Take time and compare all the deals that you got. Before you make the final decision, make sure that you have already considered all the possible benefits. Don’t be afraid to haggle with prices. Most travel agencies will give in to your conditions once they now that the completion is stiff.
Getting The Best Out Of Your Cruise Deals with A Few Simple Methods
Cruises are known to be something that is only reserved for the rich for a long time now. Of course, this is no longer something that is observed nowadays. Because the economy now is in a state of such unpredictability, businesses in line with cruises are doing everything they can to expand their market and because of this, more people can now afford to go on cruises. Here are some of the steps you can follow if you are looking to go on a cruise.
Whether you are looking for a family cruise or you want a cruise for yourself, you will find that there are a lot of available choices for you. You should know that some factors have to be taken into account first when you are looking for a cruise to go to such as the place of your destination and of course, your budget for the cruise. The most important thing you need to do is remember these details because they will be the ones that will allow you to get the most out of your cruise deals.
You should know that are ideal times of the year when it comes to the best cruise deals search and that would be the in the early first three months. Since many people would be booking for their cruise vacation at these times of the year, the rates are at their best. This is one of the best ways to get the best out of the cruise deals that are available throughout the year. Of course, you can do it in another way if you are not available at those times. Advanced and last minute booking are also one of the great ways to get great cruise deals.
You should also know that there are many online sites out there that can help you out when it comes to this. At present, you will be able to find a lot of cruising line websites that provide you with all the details you need make a comparison and contrast and find out which deals work best for you. When you take full advantage of this, you can get the best cruise deals out there.
Sometimes, updates happen and checking them out even after you have already gotten the deal you think is best would be ideal. You can make sure that everything goes according to plan this way. If you did find your deal over the internet, don’t forget to make a follow up. The best cruises is waiting for you out there and all you’ve got to do is find them.