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Tour Travel Tips - Planning

When planning your trip, there are some things you should do in order to keep it as hassle free as possible:

Make sure that you find out about the wet and dry seasons, or other possible weather conditions that may affect your holiday. If you are using a travel agent then make sure that you ask about this, even though they should tell you.

Ask your agent, or other sources to find out whether the hotel or even the destination has any work going on. Again the agent should tell you, however he/she may have over looked the hotel that is being built right next door.

If you are travelling to an area that may be considered a 'hot zone' (possibly dangerous) then check with your insurance company to verify whether you will be covered in case something goes wrong. If they do not, and you still want to travel, then find one that will.

If your itinerary may change, ensure that there are absolutely no charges if you do change the dates or times of flights. Ask your agent to fully explain the restrictions that may appear, on your ticket, to ensure that they meet with your needs.

If you are flying with one of the alliances, such as Star or One World. Just verify with your agent what plane is going to be used. They should tell you, but it is surprising how often you will see people complaining that they expected to be on a Singapore Airline plane, not the Lufthansa one that they find themselves on. This is the result of the code share agreements that the airlines are using.

If money is valuable and if you are buying a plane ticket on a certain airline and have been told that due to these code sharing agreements you will actually be flying on another airline. Then call around or check if you can buy any cheaper tickets on the actual airline that you will be flying. Believe it or not code share does not mean price share and you may be able to find much cheaper.

It is recommended to buy your holiday using a credit card. This gives you the comfort of official records, and also additional insurance that comes with the card. One of the best for travel is American Express, where you can also transfer your points to your frequent flier programme.

 

Tour Travel Tips - Research

What type of research should I do before I travel?

Do some research, learn as much as you can about your destination.

Check to see what type of weather the area has so you can plan accordingly.

Check with the Indian Government concerning safety warnings for Indian tourists at your destination.

Find out if you will need a passport to enter the country. Make sure your passport is up to date and valid. Some countries will not let you in if your passport will expire within six months of your return home, extend it, if you are close to expiration.

Find out if you will need any visas to enter the country. Check to see what other type of paperwork and documentation you will need to travel.

Find out what type of diseases are common to the area you'll be visiting and take actions to prevent your exposure to those diseases.

Find out what types of vaccinations you will need to enter the country, there may also be medications you'll need to take before, during and even after your trip.

Find our what type of electrical outlets the country uses, you may need a special converter or adapter to use your electrical appliances.

Check your own medical coverage to see what type of coverage you'll have when away from home. Consider purchasing trip insurance.

Do some research about the costs of local items so you can set your budget. Don't forget to budget for taxes and tipping, many governments charge high taxes for travel related services.

Check the financial section of your newspaper, they usually post exchange rates and checking in advance can give you an idea of how much you'll need to budget.

Do some research with Indian Customs to find out what you can take with you and what you may bring back.

Build some basic language skills in the local language. Check the dates of local major holidays, since services may be limited on those dates.

If you plan on driving, investigate the local road conditions, laws and other driving requirements.

Most of the world uses the metric system, so try to become familiar with this system. 1 kilometer = .62 miles so 100 kilometers per hour = 62 miles per hour. 

Tour Travel Tips - Packing

SELECTING LUGGAGE - Having appropriate luggage can make a world of difference. It may mean the difference between carry-on and stowed (which may mean the difference between lost and not lost!), health or a hurting back, and damaged vs. undamaged belongings.

Note: This section assumes that you are packing for a plane flight; travelling by train, bus, or car may be slightly different.

GARMENT BAGS - Garment bags can be exceptionally nice for short business trips. Most airplanes have little compartments with a bar that you can hang them on. Be advised, however, that those compartments fill up pretty quickly, and you may have to jam it into an overhead bin, wrinkling your suits and dresses.

However, garment bags are not particularly easy to carry if very full or for a great distance.

WHEELED LUGGAGE - If you must take heavy items (like, for example, six computer manuals and a replacement power supply), seriously consider some sort of wheeled contraption. One can purchase carts that can fold up and go inside the suitcase or suitcases that have wheels and a handle built in.

Suitcases with stiff, center-mounted racks are much more manageable than suitcases with "leashes". The leashed suitcases have a tendency to wobble, tip, get stuck, fall over, etc. The leash is always too short for your height, so you end up walking hunched over anyways. Leashed luggage is exceptionally ill-suited for those lovely, picturesque cobbled streets that your charming little pensione with no elevator is on.

A good, hard-sided suitcase with a rack can be a bit pricey. However, consider that this is much, much cheaper than back surgery.

CHEAP LUGGAGE - On the opposite end of the spectrum, you should remember that it is not mandatory to purchase a special valise for carry-on items. A few sturdy garbage bags can work just fine.

You can also put things in boxes. Be sure to wrap them extremely securely with glass-reinforced tape, and recognize that they will get very rough handling. Furthermore, the airlines will not take responsibility for damaging anything in a cardboard box. You take your chances.

DUFFLE BAGS - For long-term, low-end travels, your personal luggage of choice is an old, beat up, blue nylon duffel bag. It is large enough to take a week's worth of clothes (if you are not too fussy) and small enough that you can't fill it fuller than you can easily carry. It fits in the overhead compartment and it weighs practically nothing.

Furthermore, it does not scream "Wealthy Tourist!!"; you could just be returning from figure-skating practice or something like that.

BACKPACKS AND CAMPING GEAR - You can ship camping-style backpacks as well. Some airlines will put them in large plastic bags to help keep things from tearing off. Otherwise, make sure that anything that you have attached to the pack (sleeping bag, tent, roll) is securely fastened. And, as with packing in cardboard boxes, airlines will not take responsibility for damaging anything in a backpack. Do not pack the good china in the backpack.

Tour Travel Tips - Arriving

Whenever you arrive in any country, whether it be by train, plane or whatever you are vulnerable. You have all your cash, cards, documents and anything else valuable on you right at that moment. It is even worse if you have never been there before and look like you haven't, there are always people who are willing to "help". Every precaution you take will help to avoid any potential problems. After all you do not want someone to "help" themselves to your belongings, when you have just arrived. Here are a few tips that should help.

Before leaving for your trip, try to get some prior information as to the rough layout of the airport where you will be arriving. This will help, to have a vague sense of where you should be going and where the taxis are located etc.

Whenever possible, especially in certain countries we recommend taking either the airport limousine, or a hotel pick up.

Never take a taxi that seems just to be hanging around, offering its services when there is a taxi queue available.

Try to keep your wallet and valuables safely secured in a handbag or in one of your hand luggage.

Change some money into the local currency before you depart. This gives you one less thing to worry about, and will stop you from pulling a large amount of money out at the airport arrivals.

Keep a small amount of this local currency, easily accessible in a pocket or something, and away from the majority of your well earned money. You will need sufficient for the ride into town, a tip (perhaps) and a little for unforeseen needs like toll ways or a bottle of water.

If you have not been able to find anything out about the airport that you are visiting then ask one of the airline staff, or the government tourism booth (if they have one at the airport) for some assistance, or tips on the best way of travelling.

Most countries really are very safe, but in others it is really very advisable to take to take as many precautions as possible. No matter what, the most important is that you have a great holiday.

Tour Travel Tips - Health

How can I protect my health when I travel?

If you have any food allergies, learn the names of those foods in the languages used in the countries you'll be visiting. This way you'll be better equipped to stay on the look out for them.

Find out what types of diseases are common to the area you'll be visiting and take actions to prevent your exposure to those diseases.

Find out what types of vaccinations you will need to enter the country, there may also be medications you'll need to take before, during and even after your trip. Get your vaccinations early in case you have a reaction and need some recovery time.

You should consider a dental appointment if you haven't had a check up in a while.

Be careful what you eat and drink.

Carry complete health information with you on your trip.

How can I protect myself from travelers diarrhea while traveling abroad?

When you are traveling abroad, don't forget that drinking another country's water can be dangerous.

Stick with bottled or boiled water and carbonated soft drinks.

Remember that the ice in your drink turns into water, so order them with out ice.

Wipe off the tops of cans before you drink from them, or better yet, bring some straws to use for drinking.

Avoid raw foods, as they can also be a good way to get sick.

Only shut when you are in the shower, even an accidental spray can get you sick

 

Tour Travel Tips - Rental Car

How can I save money on my Rental Car rates?

Shopping the Internet can be the quickest and best way to compare many Rental Car rates.

If you are planning on purchasing extra items such as a damage waiver or insurance, you should also comparison shop those rates.

Make sure their mileage policy is favorable to you so you can avoid extra charges.

Airport fees can be quite large so you might see if it is worth it to use an off-airport facility. However, if the off-airport company picks you up at the airport, you'll probably still have to pay some of the fee.

You can check their national reservation centers and their local offices; one may be offering a better deal than the other. ASK, if this is the best rate they have available.

Make your reservation as soon as you have decided on plans. Most Rental Car Companies increase their rates as reservations come in and their fleets become booked. Also, certain classes of cars will sell out and you may have to end up reserving and paying for a larger vehicle than you want.

Being flexible about your travel plans can save you money. Rental Companies that focus on the business or replacement market customers often have great weekend specials. The best rates are found during the off season and at other times when the Rental Companies have extra cars sitting around.

Check into booking your vacation as a package. You might be able to save by booking your car along with a certain airline, hotel or attraction ticket package.

Book the smallest car that you will need and hope for a free upgrade. But, remember you may get stuck with that small car.

Check into other size class vehicles. They may have extra cars in a certain class and be offering discounts for that size class.

Apply any special discount programs for which you are eligible.

When you get to the counter, ask if there are any upgrade specials available, they might have some good deals.

Tour Travel Tips - Honeymoon Tips

Tips for the Perfect Honeymoon

Use a travel agent. Agents rarely charge for their services, and, thanks to their expertise and computerized systems, good travel agents almost always save their clients money as well as time.

Begin planning early. The sooner the better. That way, you will have plenty of time to research your trip it's actually part of the fun! and you'll be able to get exactly what you want. (Some places are reserved as much as a year in advance for popular dates.)

Share the planning. After all, this honeymoon is for both of you. If you make all the decisions, you'll feel guilty if things don't go perfectly. Conversely, if you don't take part in planning, you may end up dissatisfied.

Set a tentative budget. Talk about your expectations and priorities so you can agree before you go about what you'll splurge on and where you will skimp. This way, you'll avoid money hassles in route. Suggestion: Splurge on your accommodations. Even if you think you won't spend much time in your room, you'll probably be sorry if it's not special.

Take it easy. The first few days so you can recover from post-wedding exhaustion and focus on each other. Don't try to do too much remember, you'll have lots of time to travel together, but only one honeymoon.

Take advantage of free info. Call your destination's tourist board many have toll-free telephone numbers and websites for free information on hotels, restaurants, activities and festive events. Some even provide discount-coupon books.

Register for your honeymoon with a travel agent or tour operator. Gifts are put toward the total cost of your trip.

Planning to take your spouse's name? Unless you are taking a delayed honeymoon, you won't be able to amend your passport, driver's license, etc., until after you've returned from your honeymoon. Even though you'll be anxious to start using your married name, it can be a real nightmare if you haven't legally changed it yet. Instead, use your maiden name on visas, airline tickets, etc., so they match your name as it appears on your official documents.

Pack a sense of humor. A bit of flexibility can go a long way on a honeymoon. Expect that things won't always go as planned. Do what you can to remedy the situation, then relax and enjoy your honeymoon. Years, or even a few hours from now, you'll probably laugh.

Tell the world you are honeymooners! Don't be bashful about your status you are likely to enjoy special treatment such as complimentary champagne in-flight, or a gift basket in your room.

 

 

Tour Travel Tips - During Stay

It is very important to enjoy yourself when on a trip, whether it be for business or pleasure and you must not be constantly thinking about what you should or should not be doing. Instead the tips below are meant purely as a guide, for you to take some points from and others to leave all together.

Try to look as if you know where you are going, this may not be so easy if after all it is the first ever time in that country, but even still look confident as IF you know.

Carrying maps around looking perplexed, and stopping to look at monuments or buildings, obviously shows that you are from out of town, and may attract the wrong type of attention.

Using travellers cheques, will always be helpful, as will using a credit card for any purchases made so that you can take advantage of the additional insurance offered.

Do NOT pull large amounts of cash out of your pocket. This will catch attention, no matter what country you are in. It sounds so silly, but it is amazing how many people pull out a mound of cash to be some small item.

Try to think about where you are going that day and carry sufficient cash for that and any unforeseen extras, plus a card. That should cover all you need and will limit any losses if anything did happen.

Do NOT accept drinks from anybody that you have just met, especially if in dubious surroundings or do not know, they could be laced with any type of concoction.

Try not to go on "wonderful trips" or to a "super shopping centre" rides with people who approach you in the street. This could lead anywhere, and will probably cost you a lot more than by taking a normal taxi. Ask your concierge or read through this site.

Check on your first day whether you need to reconfirm your next flight, if so do it then. Some airlines do not require this anymore but it is still worthwhile calling them so that they at least have your contact details, in case the flight is delayed or whatever.

Do not carry your passport around, leave it in the safe in your hotel. A photocopy will suffice if local law states that you need to.

 

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