Jan 9, 2013 19:45 - mperkal | 1,845 views
With the biggest holidays past us and a new year ahead of us, now is a great time to plan trips to those places you’ve always dreamed of visiting but couldn’t afford before. The reason that it is more affordable to travel to many popular destinations now such as New York and DC is because this is what is considered the off season. While you may be able to snag a few deals on flights if you travel during the off season, you must not forget the other expenses that can quickly add up when traveling. The good news is that if you plan ahead you can save yourself a lot of money and a few headaches.
After you’ve booked your dream trip you first have to think about how you will get to the airport. While this may seem like a pretty simple task, airport parking can sometimes be a nightmare. Spend time looking for cheap airport parking that is also secure. Airport parking is technically the beginning and end of your journey, so be sure that where you park makes your trip as comfortable and easygoing as possible. Book your airport parking reservations in advance to avoid over paying or having to spend hours searching for a lot the day of your trip.
While the best trips may be the ones where you find spontaneous activities to try, you still want to have a few things that are planned out for you to do. Whether it be going to the landmarks of the area or trying out a popular local restaurant, spend a little time doing online research and have a top three list of things you would be disappointed to have not done or seen while you were visiting your travel destination. Always leave yourself plenty of time to wander around the city leisurely.
Nothing reminds you that your trip is a reality like having to pack for it. Packing may be a bit time consuming but it is definitely one step that can ultimately make your trip less stressful for you and your budget.
- Go online and read the TSA packing guidelines. Even if you think you are a master packer, guidelines change frequently and your entire airport trip can be set back tremendously by having too large of a bottle of shampoo. Follow the strict guidelines to make getting through airport security a breeze
- Check your airline’s bag checking guidelines. If you are allowed to check a bag for free, do not hesitate to do so especially if you have a lot of walking to do through the airport.
- Weigh your bags ahead of time to be sure they are not over the limit. Overweight baggage fees can definitely add up.
- Be sure that you have cash and identification handy and not inside a bag that you may check.
- B.Y.O.S. – Bring your own snacks. Eating out can be extremely costly so by packing your own snacks you can help your budget and your waistline.
Also, be sure you arrive at the airport at least 2 hours early to account for any setbacks such as a random security check.
Getting around a new place can be terrifying. However, there is no better way to get to know a city than by traveling as the locals do. Whether it is by public transportation, biking, or simply walking, be sure that you research to see what the most budget efficient means of transportation will be. Always take into account the amount of time that you will be on vacation and the distance you plan on exploring so that the means of transportation you choose is not only budget efficient but also time effective as well.
These travel tips are provided by The Parking Spot: the leading near-airport parking company in the United States with an array of amenities that make airport parking more enjoyable. Visit www.theparkingspot.com to book your airport parking reservations now.
Jan 4, 2013 13:04 - dunyacarter | 1,333 views
Cambodia receives several million tourists every year. This number has grown incrementally every year, leading to a rapid increase in venues such as hotels and restaurants that directly benefit travelers. However, outside of the main cities such as the capital, Phnom Penh, even basic infrastructure can be lacking. While on the face of it this can present a challenge for travelers, it can also be an opportunity to experience the authentic rhythm and vivid color of Cambodian life and culture without the polish of tourism.
Places to Visit
Angkor Wat is a world treasure and the single most famous site for exploration in Cambodia. Passes to visit this historical gem come in one to five day increments. Hiring a local guide to assist in touring the ruins is a great way to get the most out of a visit. Most guides are knowledgeable and can provide a vehicle for getting around as well as information on the history and significance of each location.
Siem Reap, the gateway city to Angkor Wat, makes a fun diversion for those experiencing temple viewing fatigue. The restaurants, galleries, markets and boutiques in the city’s center all cater to foreigners and offer the opportunity for hours of exploration.
Sihanoukville is a beachside city offering sugary white sands that rival any of the finest beaches in Southeast Asia and is quickly becoming a popular resort town.
Kampot is a laid-back town perfect for experiencing typical Cambodian life. For a bit of adventure, visitors can rent a motorbike and explore the nearby Elephant Mountains.
Things To Do
Boating on the Mekong River in Phnom Penh is a great way to experience the city’s skyline and see something of this famous river. Tours last anywhere from an hour to two hours and pass areas of note, such as the Royal Palace, before continuing on to view one of Cambodia’s famous floating villages.
Visiting one of the many street markets in any city gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy Cambodian handicrafts, art and food items.
Gastronomic tourists will enjoy experiencing distinctly Cambodian dishes throughout the country. Cambodia’s past ties to France have left its culinary stamp on the local food scene, making food tourism an exciting and delicious pastime.
Making Travel Arrangements
The opportunity to experience the quintessential Cambodia can begin right at the border. There are many points of access into Cambodia, from commercial airlines that fly into the country from places such as Bangkok or Singapore, to overland border crossings from Vietnam or Thailand. All visitors to Cambodia, except for citizens of Laos, Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia, must have a valid visa upon entry. These can easily be obtained before entering the country from a Cambodian embassy or consulate, or the Cambodian foreign office. Travelers can also obtain a visa upon landing in one of Cambodia’s airports, although it is really best to have a visa before entering the country.
In recent years, the influx of travelers wishing to visit Cambodia has helped to increase the presence of five-star hotels and resorts in many parts of the country. The luxurious Cambodia reminiscent of the bygone Khmer Empire can still be felt in these fine resorts.
As part of the developing world, traveling in Cambodia with children can sometimes be a challenge. However, this is not to say that families with small children should avoid the country; its many sites of historical note, friendly inhabitants and opportunity for cultural exchange make most cities an enriching setting and the perfect opportunity for family adventures in Cambodia.
Conscientious travelers who enjoy giving back to the communities they visit will find opportunities to volunteer in Cambodia. Aid agencies will provide ample information for those interested in a vacation that involves working with those in need in the communities they visit.
Cambodia is a conservative Asian country, especially in the less-traveled regions. While Cambodians are becoming more accustomed to outsiders, respect for Cambodian traditions is appreciated and expected.
Cambodia presents an opportunity for visitors to experience a vibrant and engaging culture that is just coming into its own after many years of hardship. Any visit to this fascinating country will provide travelers with an experience that is richly educational and infinitely rewarding.
Jan 3, 2013 14:58 - emilygreen | 1,659 views
When it comes to making travel arrangements, everyone is always looking for ways to get deals. Delta Airlines was one of the first airlines to offer vacation packages on its website, and it is also an airline that offers its customers many different ways to save money. If you are looking for a deal on your next flight, whether it is a business trip or a personal vacation, you will want to take a look at what Delta has to offer.
The Delta Website
The first place a traveler should look for discounted Delta flights is on the Delta website itself. Unlike other airlines, Delta often has discounts on flights and even allows travelers to check for any canceled flights that could be available at a discount. The travel industry is starting to get away from using travel agents, and Delta is one of the airlines that has shown an ability to get customers some good deals on flights.
Delta Airlines is a company that understands the marketing power of the Internet, which is why it tends to offer more online coupon discounts than most other airlines. Delta has been known to offer online coupons for individual flights as well as complete vacation packages. Before you book your flight on Delta, do an Internet search to see if there are any online coupons or other promotional discounts available that will help you to save money.
If you are looking for a deal on your travel arrangements and want to have more options, then the discount travel sites can be great ways to book your trip. Travelers can find significant discounts on Delta flights, and even full Delta vacation packages, simply by checking out the discount travel websites and bundling their travel arrangements.
One of the great things about booking you trip online is that you can compare various scenarios to find something that will save you money. Delta Airlines offers discounts on your airfares that depend on how you travel, when you travel and where you are going. If you are willing to do a few layovers, then Delta can save you money. If you are willing to fly on a Monday instead of a Saturday, then you could save money on your trip. Use the Delta website to run through different travel arrangements until you find something that fits your schedule and your budget.
Delta Airlines has developed a lot of ways to give travelers discounts on travel and vacation arrangements. When you are ready to book your next trip, be sure to check out the deals Delta has to offer.
Dec 31, 2012 14:00 - emilygreen | 1,834 views
International calling can be complicated. Whether you’re calling Europe from the United States, or the other way around, it’s important to understand your cell phone and its plan. Follow along to find out how to call internationally without breaking your budget.
Calling the United States from Europe
Directly dial the US by first entering the international access code (00 for Europe), and then the country code (1 for the US). Enter (001) followed by the seven-digit number that you would like to call. A single exception is found with Finland, which uses prefixes beginning with 99. If you are dialing home from Finland, you will want to look into the appropriate procedures for making calls.
Things get more complicated when you want to dial locally and long distance within Europe (aside from just dialing the US). Check out a European calling chart to plan for this inevitable need.
Will Your Phone Work?
It’s nice to know how to dial home. However, it won’t be valuable if your phone won’t allow you to make these calls. According to JD Rinne, you should find out if your service provider is compatible with the wireless network in Europe, called GSM. Additionally, make sure quad-band frequencies are supported, as well as international roaming.
If those three items are compatible with your phone and service plan, you should be prepared to call home from Europe. Of course, it would be a very good idea to talk to your provider to understand your plan when making calls within Europe.
How Can You Save Money?
You may want to buy an international voice/text/data plan for use overseas. Rinne notes that you’ll be looking at about $1.29 per minute, if you go with the normal rate. Thus, if you will be using your phone frequently in Europe, you might want to look into an international plan.
Make sure that you are prepared for data features on your phone. Overseas data plan rates can skyrocket your cell phone bill. If you don’t opt for an international plan, make sure you turn off these features or otherwise prepare for them. They can certainly be a burden.
Looking into affordable prepaid phones can save you a great deal of money. For instance, you could add a $10/month International Unlimited Talk and Text plan that could be a strong option overseas. Make sure you consult the provider’s list of countries and rates to check your specific destination with this kind of plan – or any plan that you want to have when you travel.
Overall, research your destination, cell phone plan, and cell phone to check with compatibility and rates. Determine if an international plan or prepaid option is the way to go. With a few simple steps, you can ensure that you won’t be paying too much to dial home when abroad.
Dec 29, 2012 18:21 - Regina Falkowski | 1,563 views
Opinions as to what countries comprise Eastern Europe vary depending on who you ask. The region has been the flag on the tug-of-war rope between Russia and Western Europe for the past century, and the countries repeatedly changed their names and affiliations. But the history, character, and cultural diversity of this geopolitical entity are rivaled by few other places on the planet. There’s no way to see everything Eastern Europe has to offer without committing several months of travel and expense. That is why we’ve narrowed it down to the must-see cities and attractions and added a few tips to make your trip as efficient and memorable as possible.
Ljubljana is the capital and largest city of Slovenia with 272,000 residents. Ljubljana is an infusion of Slavic, Germanic, and Latin cultures. The medieval castles, museums, and Orthodox Church buildings can easily enthrall visitors for days at a time. Slovenia is home to several winemakers and viticulture rivaling those of their Italian neighbors to the west. There are several wine bars, including Dvorni and Vinoteka Movia, which offer dozens of wines dating back 200 years. Ljubljana recently launched a bike rental program which eliminates the need for a car and the expense of taking taxis. A long day of sight-seeing and wine tasting can conclude with a performance at the newly restored Slovenian National Theater, Opera and Ballet Ljubljana. The venue hosts some of the classics like “Phantom of the Opera,” but also premieres the newest works by the best artists Slovenia has to offer.
Prague & Budapest
These two cities are just a short bus ride apart and offer two contrasting styles of elegance, beauty, and historical grandeur. Because of the international travel between three countries, insurance such as that provided by TravelGuard would be a safeguard against any unforeseen issues that may come up. Prague is home to several Baroque Churches, breweries, and peppered with Art Nouveau architecture. The Church of Mother of God before Týn, often translated as Church of Our Lady before Týn, is a dominant feature and breathtaking attraction in Old Town Square. The 700-year-old Gothic-style structure has the oldest pipe organ in Prague inside, and is the burial site of Danish astronomer and planetary observer Tycho Brahe.
Budapest is known as the “Paris of the East” because of its scenery and unique architecture. The Gothic-style basilicas and Turkish baths are just the beginning of this architectural wonderland. The historical Danube River used to separate the two cities known as “Buda-Pest” until unification in 1873. A sightseeing cruise down the Danube gives tourists a unique look at the city and can even include a walk down Margaret Island.
Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria and the 15th largest city in the European Union. This is one of the last places on the planet where you can see someone driving a Mercedes Benz on one side of the road, and a horse-and-buggy on the other. Sofia is one of the oldest cities in all of Europe and one of the most passed through areas by Roman military companies and Crusaders. The Memorial Tomb of Alexander I, Bulgaria’s first head of state, is one of the first attractions history buffs should visit.