Travel Tips And Hacks

Instead of hitting up all of the major attractions at your destination, check out these local resources for an educational, exciting and relaxing time for a smaller place.

  • Local Park Districts – Get into the local scene of your vacation destination with events like local concerts, ice rinks and zoos.
  • Cultural Events – From San Francisco’s Chinese New Year Parade to Pow Wows in New Mexico, cultural events are an easy way to see traditions you’ve never experienced before, wherever you go.
  • Smaller Historical Sites – See history reveal itself at smaller historical plantations, monuments and battlefields. They offer a similar experience for a fraction of the cost of larger sites.
  • Museums – There are museums around the world for every interest, so be sure to search for them on your next getaway for free or a small donation.
  • National Wildlife Refuges – Beautiful views and world-class recreation for a fraction less than national parks and monuments.

Travel during the off-season this way you will get good deals that will fall easily into your budget. You can also join reward programs for different hotels they can offer you great deals. Keep following your hotel on different social media platforms to keep a check on their deals and offers.

Transportation Deals

  • Save The Date – Bear in mind that booking your flight for less-popular times or days of the week can usually save you money. Avoid travelling on Fridays and Sundays as these are the most expensive days.
  • Flying? Pack Light – The majority of airlines charge you to check baggage. The fees many not seem like a big deal, but they can build up and eat into a tight budget. The fewer bags you pack, the less it will cost.
  • Go Public – Public transportation is an inexpensive, efficient way to travel. Buying a weekly or 24-hour pass can save you big money if you’re staying for a couple of days or more.
  • Ride The Bus – Bus companies offer steep discounts getting you from city to city, some even as low as a few dollars. Go on their website 30 days before your trip for the best prices.
  • Renting A Car? – Price your car rental even after you make your reservation and make your reservation at a non-airport location to save. Many rental car companies will provide pick-up service to and from the airport.

Things Not to Do in Japan

Don’t shout on the train

Trains are very common in Japan. However, people don’t make noise while in trains. They are always silent. If you have to speak to someone, do it in a low tone. Use your earphones if you have to listen to some music.

Don’t use your phone on trains

As indicated earlier, Japanese don’t like any noise in the trains. You will rarely find someone using his phone to make a call in the train. If you have to use your phone, send a message or talk in a low tone so as not to distract other people.

Don’t eat on trains

Japanese do not eat when traveling on commuter trains. Drinking is okay unless the train is too crowded. However, in long distance trains, eating and drinking are allowed. Food and beverages are also sold in such trains.

Don’t forget to remove toilet slippers

Once you get to Japan, you will notice that there are slippers only used when going to the toilet. These slippers are easily noticeable since they have particular words or pictures. Always remember to remove them when entering your house or walking on the streets.

Don’t tip anyone

While it is common to tip anyone after an excellent service in many cultures, Japan is an exception. No matter how satisfied you are with their service, they never accept tips. In fact, someone will come running after you, returning the tip!

Don’t ignore someone you are speaking with

If you are talking with a Japanese person, always stay calm and attentive. You may sound impolite and rude by just failing to show that you have understood a point. Whenever speaking, show your attentiveness by talking back.

Nile Cruises in Egypt

In Aswan, the guests enjoying their vacations in Egypt would visit the High Dam, the most significant architectural achievement of modern Egypt. The High Dam was constructed in the 1960s to control the water of the flood of the River Nile and to generate electricity. After a long story of struggle to collect the money to fund such a huge project, the Egyptians were able to do it!

The other visits tourists who travel to Egypt enjoy in Aswan are the Philae Temple, one of the finest Greco Roman temples of ancient Egypt. The temple was relocated after the construction of the High Dam. The water reserved due to the dam exposed many historical sites to drawn in the River Nile. The rocks Philae temple were divided, numbered, transferred, and then assembled it its new location in Agilika Island.

One more historical site tourists enjoying their holidays in Egypt explore as part of their Nile Cruise is the Unfinished Obelisk, the largest piece of rock humans have ever dealt with. The visit is a marvelous chance for travelers to know about how and why the ancient Egyptians constructed these huge buildings.

In Luxor, the guests who tour Egypt will spend two days discovering the secrets of the city. They would visit the Temple of Karnak, the largest and most impressive ancient Pharaonic temple in the world that was constructed over a period of time that exceed 1000 years. They would go on with their visits to explore the Luxor Temple, another magnificent temple of ancient Egypt.

In the second day, the guests who spend their vacation in Egypt in a Nile Cruise would visit the Valley of the Kings, the ancient necropolis of the New Kingdom of Egypt where Howard Carter discovered the intact tomb of Tut Ankh Amun in 1922. This is in addition to several impressive colorful tombs like these of Ramses VI, Tuthmosis III, and many other kings. The guests would go on to visit the Temple of Hatshepsut, the splendor of splendors, as historians prefer to call it. This temple is a marvelous masterpiece of the art and architecture of ancient Egypt. The last place tourists explore in Luxor is the Colossi of Memnon, these two huge statues that are the only remaining parts of the once quite magnificent temple of Amenhotep.

Even the historical sites located between the two cities of Luxor and Aswan are included in the travel package to Egypt that includes a Nile Cruise. The guests will have the chance to visit the Temple of Kom Ombo, this Greco Roman temple dedicated to Sobek, the local crocodile god and the Horus, the famous Pharaonic god. The other place to be visited between Luxor and Aswan is the Temple of Edfu. Dedicated to the god Horus, this temple is the best-preserved temple built by the Ptolemies in Egypt.

It’s not only about the visits, the Nile Cruise ships themselves are luxurious as they offer the highest standards of services and they offer the best facilities including a sundeck and a swimming pool. This is in addition to that all the meals are served in open buffet in the ship with international and local dishes to please all the passengers.

Hawaii Cruise Deals

It doesn’t matter if you opt for a short or long cruise itinerary, Hawaii will impress you with its plethora of activities, attractions and gorgeous scenery. The winter months are the most popular times to take a cruise ship around Hawaii. If you’re interested in whale watching, November through early May is whale season. The downside to cruising in the Pacific during this time period is that the weather can be very rainy and the flights to the departure cities are expensive.

Hawaii cruises last anywhere from 7 to 21 days, with the most average being 11 – 15. Departure cities include Vancouver, Long Beach, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, and Honolulu. While Hawaii cruise deals don’t usually include airfare to the departure city, you still might be able to save if you book everything at once.

Excursions are a significant part of any cruise. While the ship may have tons of entertainment and fun, you don’t want to turn a chance to get off of it here and there to enjoy Hawaiian sand and sun. A lot of experts recommend that travelers book their own excursions, as the excursions arranged by the cruise line often have unnecessary fees and expenses tacked on.

Excursions on the Hawaiian Islands include helicopter tours, volcano tours, hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, wine tasting, sightseeing, and more. Whether you want a close-up view of all of the scenery, participate in outdoor adventures, or simply relax in a spa or restaurant, there is no shortage of activities for you to participate in during your time on land.

There are many ways to search for Hawaii cruise deals. You can search for all of the upcoming cruises over the next year or so and compare prices. Searches can be filtered and narrowed depending on the departure city, price, number of days, dates, cruise line, ship, etc. You might also want to sign up to receive phone alerts and email notifications of when a new cruise package is available for the Hawaiian Islands.

Be A Good Guest In A Homestay

Learn about the Culture of the Place

Culture can be a very important aspect of a person’s life, especially in Asian countries. So, let’s say, for instance, you are booking cheap flights, take some more time and read up about their culture too. This will help you gel well with your hosts and make you seem less foreign.

Be at Your Best Behaviour

Remember that when you are lodging at a homestay, you are using someone’s home. Before you start your stay, ask them if they have any specific rules you need to follow. This way, you will not be disturbing them while enjoying your vacation. Also, be warm toward them so that they don’t have a skewed idea of the country you are representing.

Treat it Like a Homestay

Most often people forget the basic difference between a homestay and a hotel stay. At hotels, staff members will be at your beck and call. They will assist you with anything you want. But when you are staying at someone’s home, they might not have the manpower to do so. Try and help out as much as you can. If it’s not too much of a work, keep your room and bathroom as clean as possible. Additionally, try cleaning up after you have finished your meals.

Care for their Home

People often host guests to earn some extra cash on the side but that doesn’t mean, it’s not difficult to give up a portion of their house to strangers. Which is why, as guests, it becomes your duty to take care of their furniture and infrastructure. Don’t damage the property and try to treat it like your own home. Remember that someone has built it with as much love and care as you built your own.

Find the Best Travel Buddy

Personality

A great place to start in the search for a travel buddy is to find someone with the same or similar type of personality. Whether you are the relaxed type or those that are constantly on the go and energetic, you will find it benefits to travel with the like-minded companion. Also, the type of activities in the travel plan can influence the travel buddy.

Additionally, it is important to make sure the travel itinerary is able to complement both parties. It will certainly help if the personalities match in this area because a happy-go-lucky person and an organization junkie may have difficulty getting along.

Budget

Many travelers prefer to stay in a decent hotel on their travels and eat at restaurants in the evenings, while others will have no issue with moving from one cheap guest house to the next and eating out or even enjoying the street food scene in certain countries. Instead of getting frustrated with a travel buddy about the cost of travel, it will benefit to have a proper conversation in order to come to a satisfactory agreement before getting on the road.

Shared interests

It will certainly help to travel with a travel buddy that has shared interests if you want to avoid long periods of awkward silence. The ability to keep a conversation going will be very difficult if both parties have completely different interests. For this reason, you will find it benefits to travel with someone who shares one or more of your interests.

Practice runs

A great way to decide if a travel buddy is the right fit for a long trip is to take a practice run. This can simply involve taking a short trip together for the day. It can help to travel to a completely new place for both parties and see if you can both agree on things like finding a preferred restaurant, activities, transportation, etc. It may be necessary to compromise at times, but the all-round experience should still be fun and enjoyable.

Cruises Bound For Antarctic

Concerning its wildlife diversity, you cannot find land mammals, reptiles, or amphibians which we commonly see. What you can expect to find are penguins, sea lions, migratory birds, fish, and marine mammals. You will truly get a very unique experience in Antarctica but it will be a very rewarding trip. Your travel agents will provide all the necessary information you need to do and expect while you cruise Antarctica. There are cruise ships that cuts down icebergs as you cruise in the area. There are also ships that offer fine cuisines.

Travel agents will show you the natural attractions and man-made endeavors that can be found in the Antarctic. The natural attractions include the cold landscape and unique animal species such as killer whales, blue whales, sea lions, and penguins. The man-made attractions are the numerous research stations.

What are the things you need to do as you journey on cruises along the Antarctic coastline?

  1. Look for jade icebergs or ‘chocolate icebergs’ which are the result from glaciers picking up mud and pulverised rock from underlying ground.
  2. Cruise around icebergs to discover their incredible range of colours. Your travel agents can book you for a zodiac cruising. Zodiacs are easy to maneuver.
  3. Meet the popular emperor penguins which are the only animals on the surface of Antarctica’s coasts during winter season.

Many cruises have experienced speakers who can give amazing and interesting background on the history of Antarctica. During the trip, you can gain valuable information about marine life. There are cruise packages that will suit your expectations for a truly amazing experience.

As you research on options available for cruises to Antarctica, you better have an idea on how long would be your vacation and what would be your purpose. Do you want to have a historical experience? or an adventure-of-a-lifetime? or get face-to-face with its unique wildlife?

Your travel agents will help you prepare your itinerary, accommodations, and transportation according to your budget. Remember that you will be on board for almost the entire journey, so you also need to prepare yourself for the trip.

Research the Perfect Cruise Destination

The great thing is that these days there are so many great options to choose from when it comes to cruise lines. You can disembark from popular locations like San Diego, Los Angeles and Miami, and if you want to go a little more high end you can even choose cruises that leave from New York, Puerto Rico, and multiple destinations in Europe and Asia.

So where do you get started in your journey? There are a lot of travel sites out there that can help you choose a trip, but if you’re like me you want a bit more information than a single screen that’s just trying to get you to book a cruise ASAP. That’s why I always opt to request free cruise brochures from all of the different cruise lines I’m interested in. The majority of them offer them at no cost, and the detailed information you get about your possible cruise destination is without rival.

Armed with your new cruise brochure, you can more easily make the choice that will send you on your way. There’s a lot of things to take into account when going on a cruise. You’re going to be on a giant boat moving through the ocean, and because there’s limited space everything will have a cost. Do you not mind a smaller room on the interior of the ship, or are you the type of person who needs to have a view? If you want a view you can be talking about something as simple as a porthole all the way up to a private walk-out balcony on the higher decks of the ship. If you have a little pricier type of flavor, you can also upgrade to many different types of suites that have much more room relative to the standard rooms, with many of them also coming with nuanced perks like a shorter distance to the lido decks and restaurants. No matter what you choose, one thing is almost certain: you’re going to have a great time when you figure out exactly which cruise line, destination, and length of trip you want to take. Lucky you requested those free cruise brochures, right?

Hotels In Scotland

The difficulty facing anyone looking for 5 star accommodations in Scotland is choosing from a host of wonderful locations. For the city traveller there is a good choice of 5 star hotels in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Glasgow’s One Devonshire Gardens is discreetly located in the city’s quiet West End – where luxurious bedrooms filled with stylish antiques and the best of furnishings ensure a wonderful setting for a romantic getaway. In Edinburgh there are many luxury hotels including The Edinburgh Sheraton sitting statesman like in front of Edinburgh Castle and offering every 5 star convenience including a gourmet dining experience. At the other end of the city is The Glasshouse, a contemporary luxury hotel with a fantastic roof garden offering spectacular vistas out over the city and across to the Kingdom of Fife and the Highlands.

Away from the city there are many luxury hotels offering a 5 star experience. In the Grampian region, famed for whisky distilleries and salmon fishing, guests can enjoy every luxury at the Marcliffe Hotel just a few miles from Aberdeen city centre. Fishing trips, distillery tours and escorted visits to the many local castles including Balmoral can be arranged by the hotel’s concierge.

If your dream is to stay in a Scottish Castle then consider Inverlochy Castle which sits proudly on the loch side with a backdrop of mountains behind. An impressive Scottish 5 star hotel, it was a firm favourite with the young Queen Victoria.

Perhaps the pinnacle of 5 star luxury is to be found in the international golf and spa resorts that can be found throughout Scotland. On the west coast you will find Turnberry Golf & Spa Resort and on the east coast there is The Old Course Golf Hotel & Spa overlooking the famous Old Course of St Andrews. In central Scotland there is Gleneagles, the ultimate golf and spa resort and the gateway to the Scottish Highlands.

What defines the 5 star experience is open to discussion. There are essentials such as the quality of the rooms, the furnishings and luxury accessories such as robes, slippers and toiletries. There are those unique aspects of stunning views, wonderful gourmet dining combined with impressive service in a magical setting. Add the rich cultural experience of Scotland’s historic cities and impressive landscapes and you have a memorable 5 star hotel experience.

River Cruises Are Great for Family Vacations

Not as Crowded

While some may view a river cruise as less engaging due to the smaller boat size and range of on-board activities, it actually offers families a better opportunity to bond as opposed to family members jumping off to different cruise activities.

Thanks to the more intimate setting provided by a riverboat, family members are less likely to get distracted by the usual cruise features and actually enjoy time with each other.

Learning Opportunity

Some of the best options for river cruises aid passengers with on-board guides and lecturers that help improve the touring experience by providing relevant information on the tour sites.

Kosher tours like Kosherica and Kosher River Cruises, for example, include in their European tours several spots significant to Jewish heritage. To further enrich the experience, historians and even people who experienced the significant events themselves are present to provide more in-depth discussion.

Relaxed Luxury

Despite a more simple setting compared to the typical cruise ship, rest assured that your river cruise experience won’t fall short on luxury. Whether it’s with the boat’s amenities or the crew’s service, there definitely won’t be a shortage on quality.

Moreover, there will be a more relaxed atmosphere on cruise boats. With a smaller crowd and less distractions around, guests get to take in different sceneries and attractions as relaxed as possible.