How to Save Money on Holiday

Going on holiday can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are plenty of ways for people to book and plan their holidays cheaply, but what about when you’re actually at your destination?

Things can easily get very expensive very fast, what with travel, activities, eating in restaurants and staying in hotels. But it doesn’t have to be so bad – there are many ways to reduce the impact on your wallet. Here are some various ideas, suitable for all kinds of holidaymakers.


Youth Hostels: Despite the name, many youth hostels have family rooms! If you imagine grotty, cramped and noisy accommodation, get those ideas out of your head. Youth hostels are definitely no-frills, but if you do your research ahead of time, you will find many clean, well-located and at very least with good sound proofing!

House-swapping: This system have been around for a while now and there are many sites set up to cater for those who would rather switch houses with other travellers than fork out for a hotel room. Make sure you choose who will swap with you based on good reviewers and trust your gut feeling.

Couchsurfing: Fantastic for the single traveller, not so much for families. Couchsurfing is a relatively new phenomenon. The idea is you get to know people through the website and they will offer you accommodation in their home. Usually it is free, although sometimes people exchange services or gifts in exchange for sleeping arrangements! It is also possible for couples to find accommodation, although it is more tricky.

Budget hotels: They are certainly not a romantic or special option, but if you plan to use your hotel room only for sleeping, then why pay extra? Big hotel chains often have locations in many countries across the world and offer very cheap rooms.

Haggle for hotel rooms: Try calling a hotel to ask about room availability. Then leave it a few weeks and call them again – if the room is still available, there is a strong possibility they will be willing to haggle. You can also do this by email if you hate talking on the phone.


Picnic: This is the easiest, but probably the most work. Just head into any cheap local shop and buy food you can prepare easily. It will definitely not be a gourmet meal, but it’s cheap and easy and you can eat outside enjoying some people watching. If you find little local delis, you can also make it a bit special. Imagine a brie and baguette picnic with a bottle of vin rouge in Paris, for example. Yum!

Research: If you do your research ahead of time, you can find out which restaurants and bars locals prefer and hopefully which have the lowest prices. Local knowledge is really important if you want to save money, because otherwise you are unlikely to find places unless you stumble right across them. In addition, I’ve always found that the best places are usually tucked away and you’d need someone to tell you they are there!

Go veggie: Vegetarian options may sound like a drag for some, but you have loads of choice these days. In addition, they are always cheaper than meat menus and sometimes even come in much more generous portions!

Shop at sundown: It depends on where you are, but many shops will sell food cheaper at the end of the day, particularly if it is on or past its sell-by date. Baked good also generally come down in price. Have a look and see.


Coupons: Have a look online before you go and see if there are coupons available to sights or attractions you want to visit. If so, make sure you use them! Also check out prices to see if there are age-related discounts or loyalty schemes.

Go free: In many cities, you will find free attractions everywhere. For instance, in London, most of the museums don’t charge. Particularly in Summer though, it’s easy to have an entire vacation without having to go the paying attractions.

Check your timing: particularly for events such as plays, show and concerts, timing is an issue. Ticket costs vary wildly. Matinees are usually a good bet and cost a fraction of the evening price. Otherwise, find out if standing or cheap tickets are sold on the night. This is the case with many theatres and opera houses, although if you get standing tickets be prepared for it to be hard on the knees! You can also try hanging around the location just before the show begins – you will often find people trying to offload their tickets due to an emergency or change of plan.


How to Increase Your Online Travel Service Ratings

Online travel service ratings are being regarded as the backbone of travel and tourism service providers. The web travel and tourism industry has evolved quite dramatically in the past one decade. Today, an increasing number of people turn to search engines to plan their holidays and vacations, offering potential opportunities for online travel service providers to expand their business.

However, your potential customers are more informed today and your competitors are even hungrier. In the face of intense competition in a rapidly evolving travel business, the web travel service ratings play a key role to help sustain your travel and tourism business.

Therefore, it is imperative for the online tourism service providers to focus on the following points in order to boost their travel service ratings.

Offer Attractive Vacation Packages:

Your prospective customers are web-savvy and search the Internet for the best vacation packages before they book for their holiday online. They may not be looking for the exact vacation package you offer. Therefore, allow the customers to assemble their own trip by empowering them with customization. This will help improve the online travel service ratings for your business.

Encourage After-trip Feedback:

When your customers are back from their trip, encourage them to share their travel experience with you by offering valuable feedback. This not only allows your customers to feel privileged, but also offers you an opportunity to take your service quality further and build a bonding with the customers. This may go a long way to increase the online travel service ratings for your company.

Introduce Coupons for Loyal Customers:

Treating your loyal customers with care is crucial to building your online travel business further up. Make sure you offer special discount coupons to your repeat customers. This offers them a very good feeling about why they should use your website again and again.

Build Long-term Relationship:

Online travel service providers should foster a long-term relationship with their customers in order to ensure repeat business. You should stay connected to your customers round the year by introducing them new tour offers and special tourism packages based on their past vacation priorities. For instance, you can send news letters to your customers about any attractive tour discounts they may take advantage of. Again, this may add to the online travel service ratings for your business.

Allow Customers to Write Reviews:

In order to boost online travel service ratings, you should encourage satisfied customers to write reviews about your services. You can be sure that these reviews will further influence other people to sign up for your services. User reviews add credibility to your services since it is a direct reflection of the satisfaction of clients. Not only can they make your ratings go up, but they also invite other clients.

Run A Travel Blog:

When it comes to improving your online travel service ratings, nothing works like running a travel blog. It is essentially a fun way to interact with your potential customers and show them the beautiful side of signing up with your tour services.

You can also allow your satisfied customers to contribute to your blogs occasionally as guests. This not only creates a sense of value among your customers but also adds to the credibility of your travel business among many other potential customers.

Focus on Social Integration:

Social networks are the epicenter of product promotion for online service providers, especially in the travel and tourism industry. Developing a powerful social presence via Facebook fan page, Twitter and LinkedIn is almost inevitable to promote your travel business online. When you allow your satisfied customers to write a review or share their tour pictures with you on your Facebook fan page, it works wonders for other potential customers.

A dedicated approach to maintaining your social presence can go a long way in ensuring excellent customer satisfactions and online travel service ratings.


Cheap Phuket Hotels – How Good Are They?

When you are planning a Phuket vacation, the first step is to look for a decent yet reasonably priced hotel. Cheap Phuket hotels are available in plenty for all types of travelers.

The rising popularity of Phuket as a tourist destination has led to the construction of a slew of hotels in all price brackets. Now, for the tourists visiting the island beach resort, choices are many – from luxury resorts with every conceivable facility to minimalist hotels for the budget-conscious traveler.

The definition of ‘cheap hotel’ is different for different travelers. For many, a cheap hotel means just a room to stay like in a hostel or a guesthouse. However, for those traveling with families, this may not be comfortable. According to the price range desired, it is possible to search for a hotel in Phuket. It can be done either before landing in Phuket or even after arrival.

If ‘cheap’ means paying around $20 per night, online booking agents offer the best bet. Sometimes, if you are incredibly lucky, it is even possible to corner a steal deal for less than $15 per night. Most of these are 2-star hotels suitable for families.

When ‘cheap’ means dirt cheap, hotels for less than $10 are available in Phuket town. These are decent places concentrated along the Phang Nga Road and Ranong Road. Even the popular beaches of Patong, Kata and Karon have some cheap lodgings. During low season, some of them even go for as low as $5. These rooms are nothing to rave about, but are good enough to stay for a few days. Many travelers on tight budget opt for these cheap Phuket hotels for their low rates.

Cheap Phuket hotels do not necessarily imply that you will be ending up with below-par facilities and service. At times, good hotels offer amazing discounts to lure guests during off-season.


Cheap Hotels in Chicago Guide to the Most Affordable Accommodation Options Throughout the City

Since it’s the third most populated city in the US, Chicago is filled to the brim with hotels, inns, hostels, and every type of accommodation available. It’s a hub for both international business and tourism. There is such a wide range of accommodation that you should be able to find a place to stay regardless of your budget. Cheap hotels in Chicago are found in every neighborhood, including the downtown area and surrounding areas.

The great thing about many of these hotels is that even though they’re cheap, they’re still pretty nice. Take the

Warwick Allerton for instance. It’s a four-star hotel in North Michigan Avenue that gets a lot of positive ratings. You might also be interested in the Congress Plaza Hotel down in South Michigan Avenue. It has some very gorgeous rooms with free Wi-Fi and a business center.

If you’re a business traveler or simply want to stay in the Magnificent Mile or “The Loop”, there is the four-star Talbott Hotel, which is a short walk to the John Hancock Center. Its highlights include a business center, Free wi-fi, laundry facilities, and pet-friendly rooms. Some cheap hotels in Chicago, such as the Sofitel in Magnificent Mile, are four-and-a-half stars luxury hotels. There are Economy Rooms, Luxury Rooms, Superior Rooms, Suites, etc.

A good family-friendly budget hotel is The Lincoln Park Inn. It has free breakfast, family rooms, concierge, and air conditioning. It’s situated near a variety of restaurants and shops. The Willows is another inexpensive hotel located in a low traffic area close to Lincoln Park.

Wrigley Field is a popular attraction for baseball fans. It’s the home of the Cubs and is surrounded by cheap hotels and sports bars. The Majestic Hotel is located a mere 0.6-miles from Wrigley Field, and offers free breakfast and Wi-Fi. Another option is the City Suites Hotel, which also offers great amenities. Hotel Versey Days Inn (by Wyndham) is not only affordable, it features spacious rooms with very unique decor.

Other Cheap Hotels in Chicago

• The James Chicago

• Club Quarters Hotel (Central Loop)

• Freehand Chicago

• Motel 6 Elk Grove Village (near O’Hare Airport)

• Chicago’s Essex Inn

Decide whether or not you want to include airfare and a vehicle rental with your trip planning. You can book everything at once or separately. Online travel price comparing sites often offer discounts on full packages or “bundled” deals. Chicago ins’t the easiest city to get around, as traffic can be stressful, so you might want to opt for public transportation, of which there is a’plenty.

During winter months you will find cheap hotels in Chicago with the lowest rates. However, winter in Chicago can be pretty extreme.

Regardless of what time of the year you go, you’ll always find deals on cheap hotels in Chicago at Travelocity. Go ahead and use the site to book your airfare or train ticket as well. There are travel guides and resources available to help you plan your itinerary. Use Travelocity hotel promo codes to save even more.


10 Ways to Make Your Cheap Flight Search Simpler

Choose budget airlines

With a little compromise on comfort and benefits, you can save aplenty. Many a low-cost carriers fly to international destinations along with long-haul flight options. Don’t just search for US-based airlines; there are European and Asian airlines that would help save you some dollars.

Fly when nobody wants to fly

Flight prices differ with the day and time of travel. Weekdays will give you better airfares than weekends; as would morning and late night flights. Holiday periods have everyone venturing out for vacations which won’t give you cheaper flights. Search for flights right after a holiday or in seasons when fewer people travel.

It’s okay to take a connecting flight

More often, connecting flights offer cheaper airfares than direct flights. You would spend more time on travel and transit, but get a better deal.

Search and discover destinations

It’s best if you are flexible with the destination. Travel websites give the option of choosing your destination based on the cheapest airfares available. Punch in your departure airport and look for the cheapest fares for destinations you would want to visit.

No two web portals are the same

Many airline websites and search engines leave out certain routes and airlines from the listing, especially low-cost airlines. You might also see different prices. You would n’t know unless you compare the same search on another portal.

Take multi-city flights

If you have time to spare or are looking to visit different places, use the multi-city flight option while searching. You can select the origin and destination for all the cities and get prices at one go.

Avail discounts

Look out for discounts by airlines for students, senior citizens and family or groups. Some websites have offers on specific cards and digital wallets.

Think solo

Buy one ticket at a time. If you are searching for multiple seats, airlines will price all seats at the highest rate instead of calculating individual rates.

Buy a refundable flight

A refundable flight often gets you cheaper tickets. You can cancel it later if you get a better deal or for any changes in travel.

Check for added fees

Low-cost and other airlines often charge additionally for checked bags, choice of seats and other services. So factor in the total cost during your search.

It is true that there are no straight ways to find cheap airline tickets, yet people fall for many myths scribbled on the Internet. Depending on a particular fact about getting cheap flights is always a win-win situation; either you get it, or you do not.


Pernera Cyprus Travel Guide

Located on the outskirts of the popular resort of Protaras, Pernera attracts families and couples looking for quiet relaxing holidays. Just 30 minutes from Protaras and less than an hour from Larnaca, this lovely beach resort has the most quiet, uncrowded beach in the area, complete with a good choice of beach-front restaurants. Pernea itself has a good selection of restaurants, cafes, bars and shops but for a much wider choice of restaurants and tavernas you will have to go to Protaras. And for more livelier entertainment you will need to visit the famous resort of Ayia Napa.

Pernera beach itself is one of the nicest sandy beaches on the eastern coast of Cyprus. All of the beaches around Protaras have fine sandy beaches with calm clear blue waters which make them an excellent choice for families with young children. The Protaras offers an abundance of watersports including diving, snorkelling, windsurfing, paragliding, water-skiing, jet-skiing, speed boats and banana boat rides. Pernera has its own dive centre which offers everything from dives for beginners and fish feeding dives to dives to the Zenobia wreck which is one of the world’s top diving wrecks. Whilst diving here you will encounter reefs, caves and no end of fascinating marine life including parrot fish, rays, sea bass, groupers and eels.

The area around Perera is great for walks to explore the surrounding sights. Walking to the west of Pernera you will reach Fig Tree Bay beach, Flamingo beach and the resort of Kepparis. To the north there are small secluded coves just waiting to be discovered. The whole family will enjoy exploring the beautiful unspoilt coastline around the headland at Cape Greko to the south of Pernera. There is an excellent scenic coastal path from Protaras to Ayia Napa beach which takes you past ancient ruins and sea caves.

There are lots of places to see when taking one of the many holiday packages on offer to Cyprus including the capital Nicosia with its unique old town, Larnaca with its old fort and museums, Protaras, Ayia Napa and the traditional Cypriot village of Paralimni. A great day out for the whole family is a visit to the Troodos Mountains where you will discover lots of quaint traditional villages, pine forests, hiking trails, Byzantine churches and the highest point on the island, Mount Olympus.

When the children want a break from the beautiful beaches there is a local waterpark and also the larger Water World at Ayia Napa. A mix of Ancient Greece and modern rides, the Ayia Napa waterpark is a must for the kids on your cheap holidays to this wonderful island.


Holiday & Travel Guide For Rome, Italy

A Long time popular destination, Rome is famous for the classic Roman buildings and the culture that surrounds the city. Set half way down the leg of Italy, on the Western side, the city is now 2,700 years old.

What is Rome like?

Rome is a beautiful, historic city full of architecture and the hustle and bustle of Italian life. Home to shops of leading worldwide fashion designers, some nestled in near the Spanish Steps, and also the famous Colloseum, Trevi Fountain and more, there is often too much to see rather than too little. The streets of the capital city of Italy are very busy, but have many quaint restaurants and lovely Gelato (a real taste of Italy, extremely sweet and refreshing hand made ice cream) shops spread about, particularly if you venture into some of the outskirts, so you will get a real Italian experience.

Things to do

The Vatican City, home to the Pope of the Catholic Church, is nestled within Rome. A trip into this tiny land-locked sovereign state of its own is an interesting experience. Remember to take something to cover your shoulders with as a sign of respect, something important to note if you wish to wander in the Vatican. With small shops lining the outer streets of this area, it is a good excursion and easy to get to from central Rome. Make sure you visit the Sistine Chapel, with Michelangelo’s painted ceiling and St. Peter’s Basilica while you are there and maybe even send a post card to get the Vatican’s post mark.

Around Rome are many tourist traps, such as the Colloseum, the Trevi Fountain (legend has it that if you throw a coin in, you will return one day, and if you throw two coins, you will find your true love), the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon. Getting around the city to see everything is easy with the Metro underground system and many buses.

Try and visit places such as the Villa Borghese gardens, near the Spanish steps, and the wonderful bridges that cross the river Tiber, to get away from the main crowds. Ask locals in back street restaurants, or in the hotel, in order to find some hidden gems the city has to offer. There are many museums filled with classic Italian art, for example, and it is easy to take day trips to less tourist filled, but equally nice areas of Italy, such as Assisi, Palestrina, and Frascati via train services or coach tours.

You will never run out of things to do in Rome, why not start off with an open top bus tour to get a feel for the Eternal City and its layout, and then plan your days from there?

Things to think about

It is important to realise that, because of the popularity of the City, it also has a high crime rate for pickpockets. Use a hotel safe for all of your valuables and never take out all of your money or passports when you go out: just carry what you need. Remember, with the sheer volume of people, you will rarely catch a mugger after they have struck.

Rome can also be a fairly expensive place to travel, so make sure you give yourself plenty of money if planning to take a trip there. Try booking accommodation around the Stazione Termini (the main train station in Rome) if you want something a bit cheaper but still nice, this will allow you to use the train to travel around, but without the expense of the main part of Rome.

Happy Holidays


The Pros and Cons of Owning a Camper

Campers or motorhomes are a sight seen more and more on the roads of the UK these days. So just why does it seem that every body has one and is it for you? Read on to find out the advantages and disadvantages of a camper.

On the plus side has to be the outdoor lifestyle, cheap holidays and the opportunity to spend quality time with the ones you love. Most people are drawn to the a motorhome by the lure of the outdoor and simplistic way of life. Many have enough of their city life and office jobs and like a slice of country living for the weekend, to relax. Spending time in your camper is usually accompanied by walking, trekking, fishing, swimming, kayaking, surfing etc. At the very least a football or Frisbee is thrown in the garage space. Although the initial outlay for a camper can be considerable, once you own one you can have an inexpensive getaway. If you find a nice wild camping spot, your only expense can be fuel. You can even power your getaway from your leisure battery. It’s also true that many leisure vehicles are purchased so that families can spend time together. Ideal for parents holidaying with kids, it also works for couples looking to spend time alone in an intimate setting.

Looking for negatives of owning a campervan, well there are a few. The cost is usually the most prohibitive reason for not owning one. If you want a newer model you will pay for the luxury. Additionally your running costs of fuel, tax, insurance and maintenance can be enough to put some people off the idea. The ever increasing cost of fuel is a major concern to all motorhome enthusiasts. Maintenance can be expensive with horror stories of people replacing broken windows, lights, accessories etc. The very fact of driving a vehicle the size of a large coach built can also deter some from buying. In some countries a regular car drivers license is not sufficient to drive a larger camper.


Places to Visit in Fiji

Fiji is an island nation in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean. It has two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The climate in Fiji is warm most of the year round with minimal extremes. Rainfall is variable and winds are moderate. The country boasts of soft coral reefs which is an excellent destination for scuba divers. It is the ‘soft coral’ capital of the world. Most international visitors come from Australia, New Zealand, and USA. To get the best experience of traveling to Fiji, early booking for cheap flights is a wise decision.

Holidays in Fiji are very affordable. If you want professional people to help in planning your itinerary, travel agents are the best choice. Your itinerary will include visits to wonderful locations in Fiji that will truly amaze you. The Naihehe Caves are very stunning and will suit you if you are an adventurer. You will also hear of its rich history. Near these caves is the Natadola Beach which has the whitest sands in the world. The underwater scenery is spectacular and breath-taking.

The Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple is also an incredible place to visit. It is a religious site and has a wonderfully detailed architecture. If you appreciate relics and artifacts, the Fiji Museum contains a rich history of culture and past civilisations. You can also shop in the Suva Municipal Marketplace. A beautiful vista of nature is found in the Albert Park. Travel agents will help you get to these wonderful places.

It is exciting in Fiji when you book cheap flights during the holidays. If you love plants, travel agencies recommend that you visit the Garden of the Sleeping Giant in Nausori. You will truly be amazed by the diversity of orchid species in this garden. It only shows how the Fiji people love orchids.

Travel agents will also help you book your holidays in the Taveuni Island. It has a rain forest located in the Bouma National Heritage Park. You can do many activities in this park such as hiking or swimming. If you like to see the beauty of nature, you can avail of hiking through the trail of the Lavena Coastal Walk. The Taveuni Island is also where you can find the beautiful Tavoro Waterfalls. It has three waterfalls with different altitudes. You will have your most relaxing time. There are also clubs and lounges where you can enjoy superb tropical drinks you have never tasted before.


Cheap Personalized Gift Ideas For Friends And Loved Ones

Giving gifts is just around the corner. Christmas is coming and probably some of us are now thinking of holiday gifts for their friends and loved ones. Finding and purchasing gifts is no longer challenging, as we are now blessed with the so called “Internet.” Shopping anything has been a breeze because of the Internet, and most likely almost everyone of us will shop for holiday gifts online.

If you are among the people who are now hunting for holiday gifts for friends and loved ones, you might want to consider personalized gifts. Anything that is made truly for you is something that you will gladly receive and appreciate, isn’t? This also holds true when it comes to personalized gifts, as usually they are thought about according to one’s personality.

Personalized gifts don’t need to be expensive. In fact, if you opt for one, you can have a cheap novelty item engraved or embroidered with names or initials of your recipient to make it personalized. This is an economical option for those who are on tight. It really depends on the availability of your resources. If you want to spend more on the gifts, feel free to do so and you can always have those expensive items be personalized.

If you are trying to look for personalized present, make sure that to consider your recipient’s personality. It pays to know him/her well, including his/her hobby, pastime, interests, and likes. The more you know your recipient, the easier you can perceive which one is perfect to buy.

If you are targeting something, for example you want to give your recipient a gift that he/she can use for work, don’t worry because there are so many websites that you can count on. Simply visit online shops that specialize on business gifts, as they usually offer work-related gifts – from desk and office accessories, business gift baskets, to a lot more. Opting for personalized business gifts may lead you to listing down work-related items that can be engraved with your recipient’s name or initials, such as business card holders, desk clocks, pens, paperweights, desk organizers, desk frames, pen and pencil holders, and etc.

Gift baskets always make good holiday gifts for friends and loved ones. You can never go wrong with this one. Again, it depends on who your recipient is when selecting or making a nice holiday gift basket. It is either you will choose a gender-specific basket or go for something neutral that would be best for both sexes. You can get very creative if you chose to make your own version of personalized gift basket. For example if you are giving a woman a unique kind of holiday gift, you may consider using personalized tote bags where a number of items can be placed in. The items you may want to include are cosmetic products, personalized picture frames, personalized travel jewelry boxes, perfumes and other else. These personalized gift bags can be as cheap as you never thought they would be. The only tick here is to think unique and practical.