It’s that time of year when you need to decide where your next family vacation is going to be. Rather than choosing an overcrowded beach or tourism destination, why not choose an experience that will leave your entire family with an out-of the ordinary memorable vacation? Costa Rica offers just such a destination, and some excellent family package holidays are available. Here are some essential tips to consider when planning a Costa Rica Vacation:Pack lightly when traveling to Costa Rica: Travel to Costa Rica is mostly to rainforests, mountains and beaches. Chances are that your local plane or boat will limit your luggage. Plan on bringing a typical plane carry-on bag.What to pack? Bring shorts and T-shirts, a raincoat or poncho, a hat and swimsuit and a lightweight jacket. Leave your elegant clothes at home – the animals don’t care what you wear! Bring along a camera and extra batteries as there is lots to photograph in Costa Rica! Also take insect repellent and plenty of sunscreen.Costa Rica Driving: Driving in Costa Rica can be difficult – the roads are often inaccessible due to the tropical climate. Instead, short plane trips between locations a good alternative as they are inexpensive, safe and save time.Take along some good plant and wildlife books: To fully appreciate the beauty and rarity of the flora and fauna species Costa Rica features, take along some good books to identify plants and wildlife you will undoubtedly spot.Handling Money: Costa Rica’s banking system can be strange. In smaller towns and tourist areas, there is often only one ATM. Costa Rican ATM’s are known to decline cards for no reason, so if you’re heading for smaller places, take out money before leaving. If traveling to smaller towns, it is worthwhile to consider taking along travelers checks.Costa Rican Coasts: Spend time at least at one of Costa Rica’s two diversified coasts, and if possible on both – the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Caribbean Sea on the east. Both coasts host several national parks, such as Manuel Antonio National Park on the Pacific and Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean. Both are well worth the effort.Spend enough time at each location: To get a feel for the places you are visiting, spend at least 2 – 3 nights in each location. It makes for less stress, giving families the opportunity to relax and enjoy the experience.Use the services of a guide: To really see wildlife in the wild, on its own terms, utilize the services of a naturalist guide. They will not only provide astounding knowledge but will also point out wildlife sights you would never see on your own (they have the eyes of hawks). Freelance guides are readily available for hire at the entrance of Manuel Antonio, Carara and Tortuguero national parks. If you plan on visiting a series of wildlife reserves, consider utilizing a guide for the duration of your trip.Wildlife spotting: For wildlife spotting, timing is everything. Early morning is the best time to spot the animals, followed by late afternoon. Walk quietly, stopping of ten to listen and watch. Look at all levels, from the ground up to the canopy overhead. Choose an inconspicuous spot near a clearing or stream and if possible, sit absolutely still for a half hour – you will almost surly see amazing wildlife.
Many pregnant women are understandably concerned about flying in their condition. Assuming that you have a healthy and normal pregnancy and you are not too close to your due date, there is no need to alter your travel plans. However, you probably should not fly if your condition has complications such as hypertensive disease, extreme nausea, placenta plevia or pre-term labor. If you have to fly during your pregnancy, there are many ways to make your trip more comfortable, and less stressful.First, allow yourself plenty of extra time at the airport, by making sure you check in at least ninety minutes early if you are traveling domestically, and two hours early for international flights. If you need assistance navigating the airport, do not hesitate to take a ride on one of the little electric carts, or request a wheelchair from your airline. A wheelchair can be booked in advance and it should be available for you upon arrival, at no charge.Most airlines have some kind of policy for pregnant travelers, it should be clearly stated on their website, or you can call the airline for more information. Make sure you are speaking to the right person. Most airlines have staff that are trained to assist not only pregnant passengers, but also passengers with disabilities and special needs. The restrictions can be different depending on whether you are flying over land or over water; and if your trip involves different airlines or traveling overseas, it can be difficult to keep track of the various rules and restrictions.If you are flying during the first or second trimester and have a healthy and normal pregnancy, you should not have any serious problems either with your own comfort or with your airline prohibiting you from flying. In fact, the second trimester is often considered the safest time to fly, as the first difficult months have already passed and there is no risk yet of premature labor.It is the third trimester that may cause problems – if you are flying during the last few weeks of your term, make sure to check with your airline for their rules regarding how close to the due date you are able to fly. In general, airlines do not like you to fly within a week or so of your due date (the exact rule depends on the airline). In addition, if you are flying during your third trimester, you may need a letter from your doctor stating that you are healthy enough to travel.Seating is important if you are pregnant, and you want to be as comfortable as possible during the flight. You may want to have an aisle seat, which provides easier access to bathrooms, and a seat close by them to minimize the required walking distance. If you are lucky enough to have an empty seat or two, you can stretch out, be sure to take advantage of them.You may not be able to sit in the emergency exit row if you are pregnant and you are still required to keep your seat belt fastened, which can be a challenge. The extra room in business or first class is definitely a major benefit for pregnant women. If you are taking a long trip, consider paying the difference for an upgrade or cashing in some of those hard-earned frequent flyer miles.Be sure to wear loose and comfortable clothing when you fly. This can increase your comfort level resulting in an enjoyable flight. You may also want to wear some compression stockings to help blood circulate from your ankles to your heart and lungs. Try to move around regularly to keep your blood flowing – even if you cannot get up, there are some beneficial exercises you can do while seated, such as rotating your ankles or flexing your feet.Some pregnant women also wonder if it is safe to fly because of the pressure in the airplane cabin. All commercial flights have pressurized cabins and are quite safe but you probably should not fly in a smaller plane that does not have a pressurized cabin. Some wonder if it is safe to walk through the metal detector at the airport. It is perfectly safe because it is not actually an x-ray machine, and it should not harm you or your baby in any way.Flying can be stressful enough. Just because you have a baby on board does not mean you cannot have a safe and comfortable flight. Make the most of it before you have all the stress of traveling with a baby! When flying while pregnant is completely safe but it is best to fly during your second trimester. It is possible to fly during the first or third trimester but it is not recommended. If you planning a vacation while pregnant, consider these tips and you can be on your way to a wonderful vacation.
Just because you want to travel on a budget there is no reason why you should not have a fantastic holiday. Budget travel can still take you to exotic destinations if that is where you wish to go.Budget travel is more about information and planning than it is about just ‘cheap travel’. Budget travel is means getting the best value holiday for the lowest dollar. That does not necessarily mean a cheap nasty holiday.You can only make these decisions if you thoroughly research your destinations. As we all know it is a great big, big world out there and to catch the tourist, operators have to be inventive in their promotions and at certain times will lower costs or add in extras to get the customers. These promotions by the operators can make a big difference to your pocket.Your research will help you find these facts and figures and when you have the answers you are searching for, then you can go ahead and book.By researching everything in the area you are planning to go to, you can establish if there are any special events on at the time you are arriving, which of course will elevate the cost of accommodation and blow out any idea of budget travel. Such changes can
make a lot of difference and can cost you a lot of money.Be careful when booking ahead and read the fine print on anything that you are paying. It is often in the fine print that there are extra charges. Examples that come to mind are extra costs for parking the car, extra costs for room cleaning, and other similar services that may have always been taken for granted in the past or on previous trips.In certain places like Aspen for example, you are going there for the snow and the fun, so you could probably have just as much fun living in cheaper accommodation, whereas if you were going to a place like Ibiza you may wish to be able to have a room with a view and cut back on other costs.It all depends on what sort of holiday you are looking for, and where you want to spend your time and money.Of course, with any travel overseas always check before you book what documents, visas, duties, taxes, entry fees, etc you may need to visit certain countries. These costs and visascan make a big difference, and may even stop you wanting to go where you want to go.When you are doing your research always check to see that the information you are gathering is current. This is most important because if it is a couple of years old, anything could have changed in the meantime.Budget travel can be just as much fun for you as for someone with an open check book. In fact, you will probably meet more locals and have a greater experience by mixing with them. Locals make a trip. Geographical beauty is one thing, but leaning about the locals is another. With budget travel you can experience both.
If you intend to travel to Ireland anytime soon, there are some things that you must remember if you plan to go there, enjoy your stay and have a good vacation in one of the top tourists destination of the new world.
Remember that Ireland is the third of the largest islands in Europe. Be ready to bring a map, a compass and extra batteries just in case you will need to contact a their tourist information center.
Knowing the land area of the country makes sure that you are ready to get lost and enjoy your way back to civilization or your hotel.
When buying souvenirs for your trip down in Ireland, keep in mind that their rich culture summons you to buy one of their souvenir items that have intricate designs. These designs are termed Irish interlace or Celtic knot work. It is evidently the greatest souvenir that you can have from the Irish heritage.
Gaelic football is the Irish version of a football and perhaps the most famous sport in Ireland. And what sets it apart from the others is that it ensures the interaction between the community and the people living inside the communities.
Irish people love races. They enjoy both the greyhound racing and horse racing. To have the ultimate Ireland experience, you must attend one of these two races and feel the difference.
In terms of diet, the phenomenon of white salted butter placed in bread is perhaps the greatest experience that one should have in his or her Ireland experience.
Whiskey is the best alcoholic drink that Ireland can offer. Try it and be happy with the taste of genuine Whiskey from the Whiskey capital of the world.
Make sure that you will be ready to party as the Irish are relatively nice and party people. When wanting to buy food souvenir, it would be best to buy whiskey and their world famous cheese that you will love to save for the next Holidays.
Before leaving your hotel, bring your passport and visa and identifications always. This is Standard Operating procedure for any tourist.
Finally, remember to have fun. It is your vacation in Ireland and you have all the right to go out and smell the Irish coffee in the morning, Irish bread and butter for lunch and the Irish way of partying in the evening.
Observing fellow passengers on my recent flight, I noticed several mistakes and evidence of poor planning that caused the travelers unnecessary distress. Traveling by airplane and through airports is stressful enough as it is. Why not do everything you can to make it easy on yourself?Here are seven simple suggestions of what you can do to make your next flight more comfortable and pleasant.1. Set your intention. Sounds weird, but it works. Arrive at the airport with the mindset that all is going to go smoothly and that you are going to meet helpful people. Pleasing conditions are much more likely to occur if you expect them than if you are expecting hassles.2. Wear slip-on shoes. Face it, getting through security these days involves partially undressing in front of a lot of strangers who just want you to hurry up and get out of the way. You always have to take off your shoes, so make it easy on yourself by wearing slides.3. Use a carryon with wheels. Think of it as your airport supply kit. Even if you are checking luggage, you still want to have a small wheeled carryon bag, and here’s why: carrying the odds and ends in a bag over your shoulder is tiring and limits your freedom of movement. Instead, a wheeled carryon can act as a sort of cart for any additional items you pick up along the way: food, water, magazines, etc.4. Bring food. Buy it at the airport if that’s easiest, but be sure to bring healthier choices than offered by the snack boxes you can buy on the airplane — unless you like snacks virtually absent of nutrition and high in fat and carbs.5. Hydrate. You will feel so much better if you drink plenty of water. The air on the planes is very dry, and since the cabin is a contained, pressurized environment, the air is recycled during the flight. You’re breathing in a lot of crud, and water helps your body deal with it.6. Wear noise-canceling headphones in flight. What more can I say? Wow. They are totally worth the investment if you fly very often at all. Planes are extremely noisy. The powerful engines, the crying babies, the talkative neighbors. All of the grinding and rumbling and whining and blasting become mere background whispers when you’re wearing noise canceling headphones.7. Bring disposable entertainment. During flight and on layovers, there are a multitude of things you can do to pass the time, ranging from working on your laptop to filling in the newspaper crossword puzzle. But you need a pen to do the puzzle, a plug-in to work on the laptop for long, a credit card to sit in a lounge and watch TV… you get the idea. Think ahead about what entertainment you might like to have on hand that is portable and convenient to interrupt during the many phases of your passage from one location to the next. Easiest is a magazine because if you space out and leave it behind, it is readily replaced.When you have these seven suggestions in place and you keep your overall airport supply kit (the handy wheeled carryon) lightly but thoroughly equipped, your air travel experience becomes more manageable and effortless.
Ahh… summertime. Warm weather, school is out, longer days, and of course-vacation. Just because this summer is flying by does not mean you missed your chance to book a relaxing getaway cruise!FINDING THE BEST CABIN LOCATION
There’s a lot of confusion and misinformation concerning cabin location
choice on modern cruise ships. High speed elevators whisk passengers from lower to higher decks and return in seconds. Modular construction insures that cabins on lower decks are identical with their counterparts further up. If these premises are correct, what should the savvy cruise traveler be looking for in their cruise cabin location and does it really matter at all?Modern cruise ships are fully stabilized and in normal weather conditions,
display no discernible difference in motion between deck locations. Our vast super liners ensure the comfort of even the most motion sensitive passengers in almost all circumstances. However, in some inclement weather scenarios, cabins closest to center ship may have less motion than forward or aft cabins. Imagining a pendulum will explain the comparative motion as it relates to deck location. Ironically, cabins located on lower decks are generally lower in cost and yet also may indicate less motion under certain conditions than a comparable higher deck cabin.Based on these assumptions, why pay a higher rate for a higher deck cabin? It comes down to convenience. On many cruise ships, decks that contain restaurants, show rooms, pool decks, spas etc tend to be on middle to higher decks which are more easily accessible from higher deck cabins. The decision of whether to pay more is more a function of budget limitation rather than overall enjoyment of the cruise experience. The choice is yours.UPGRADING YOUR CRUISE CABIN
Getting an upgrade on your cruise cabin means that you pay a lower rate and get a cabin which is listed in a higher category on the published deck plan without paying a supplement. Upgrades may be in the same cabin type such as inside to inside (no ocean view) but located on a higher deck or they may be in a different cabin type such as inside to outside (ocean view). How can the savvy cruise traveler arrange a cabin upgrade?1. Special Promotions – Cruise Lines sometimes offer cabin upgrades as an incentive based on a qualifying factor. The qualification may be membership in a past passenger group, a group promotion, payment with a certain credit card, frequent flier promotion, or other qualification. Check with your agent at the time of booking to confirm whether any of these promotions are available.2. Guarantee- To Be Assigned (TBA) Some cruise lines permit booking in a guaranteed category with the POSSIBILITY of upgrade with the actual cabin number assignment being made closer to sailing date. As the name implies, the passenger is guaranteed that his cabin will be at least the equivalent of the rate paid. Booking on a guaranteed TBA requires some flexibility on the part of the passenger but in many cases, rewards this flexibility with a cabin upgrade3. Registration for Upgrade – Some cruise lines allow passengers to register for a possible upgrade if one becomes available. This approach normally gives the client an immediate cabin number and the option of accepting or rejecting an upgrade if available. The upgrade option is usually offered close to sailing date.
Singapore is a modern city that boasts an efficient subway train system. In the past 10 years alone, there had been several expansions made to its subway train network to include more lines that helped to make places more accessible within Singapore. Here is a detailed report on the different subway lines available in Singapore.Green Line: East – West LineThe Green Line, commonly known as the East – West Line is one of the oldest subway train lines in Singapore. It is operated and managed by SMRT group. The East – West Line actually has two lines within. The main line serves Joo Koon area in the west to Pasir Ris area in the east. Additionally there is a separate line from the Changi International Airport in the east to the Tanah Merah Interchange in which it is a transiting station to the main line. This route is one of the most commonly used routes as it runs right through the city center of Singapore, therefore you will see during rush hours that this line coming from both directions will be busy.Red Line: North – South LineThe Red Line, commonly known as the North – South Line is the next busiest subway train route. It is also operated and managed by SMRT group. This subway track is actually a loop that connects from Jurong East station in the west and runs all the way up north serving the major areas of Ang Mo Kio and Bishan / Toa Payoh, and then finally running back south towards the city ending at Marina Bay. It is also quite busy as it connects right through the Orchard Road shopping district of Singapore.Purple Line: North – East LineA newer subway route called the Purple Line or the North – East Line runs from Harbourfront Interchange station in the South and then travels north east ending at Punggol station. This line is quite popular with the tourists as it travels through major sightseeing areas such as Chinatown, Little India, and Orchard Road (at Dhoby Ghaut station). It is operated and managed by SBS Transport.Yellow Line: Circle LineThe newest line that was recently completed in Singapore is known as the Yellow Line or the Circle Line. This route is a loop that connects through various places in the central part of Singapore. It intersects all the other lines (Green, Red, and Purple Lines) at various interchange stations. With the addition of this subway route it has helped ease congestion on many of the other lines and has made it more flexible to get to numerous places in Singapore which in the past you could have only gotten there by bus.So there you have it, a quick overview on the various Subway tracks in Singapore.
Orange County, California, was once a quiet community just south of Los Angeles. Thanks to Disneyland and other family destinations, Orange County is now a hotbed for vacationers. Like any tourist destination, the prices have risen along with the number of attractions, but it’s definitely possible to fund an Orange County vacation without breaking the bank.Before you get started planning your vacation, it’s best to set a budget. This way you know exactly how much you have to spend, and how much you need to save in order to go on vacation. When you have a budget, it becomes easy to make choices on where you should save and where you should pay full price. For example, if you can save money by driving to Orange County, rather than flying, it will allow you spend more on accommodations or vice versa.One of those important choices is which amusement park you are going to visit, and how much money you plan to spend at each. With Disneyland, California Adventure, LegoLand, Magic Mountain, Knottsberry Farm and several other smaller parks within driving distance, trying to hit them all will cost you a lot of time and energy. It’s best to choose one or two. That way you can really enjoy each park and not stretch your budget too far. Some parks even offer 2-for-1 deals, such as Disneyland and California Adventure, which allow you to visit two parks for one price.Check for discount tickets for tours and attractions before you go. You may be surprised at the discounts available for savvy travelers who check around for prices online ahead of time. You may also consider purchasing an Entertainment coupon book for the zip code you plan to visit. That will save you on dining, and it may save you on lodging and attractions as well. If you belong to AAA or other groups, check the group’s website before you go to see if showing your card will save you money on attractions.If your vacation time is flexible, consider traveling in the fall or the early spring. Crowds tend to be thinner during these times of year, and the weather is still nice enough that you’ll enjoy your stay. The prices drop around these times of year as well, so you’ll pay less than you would if your visit were during peak times. The large travel sites may, throughout the year, offer various coupon codes for their more popular destinations, such as Orange County, so get on the email list of your favorite sites so you can monitor any new deals.There are a wide variety of hotels and motels surrounding the major Orange County attractions. You can stay at a smaller motel with fewer “frills” and be within the same traveling distance as you would if you stayed at a high priced hotel. If you plan early and travel in the off-season, staying at the Disneyland Hotel is very reasonable. You’ll also save money on travel because there are free tram services to and from the park.Balance your visit to an amusement park with some free activities, such as visiting the beach or strolling down some of Orange County’s beautiful parks and natural areas. Since the weather is pleasant during most of the year, take advantage of simply being outdoors and taking in some nature during your visit. The beach and mountains are within driving distance of most Orange County towns and Southern California boasts some of the country’s most gorgeous national parks.Traveling to Orange County doesn’t have to cost as much as you may think. With a budget in hand, a plan for your activities and an open mind to taking in some of the natural beauty in the area, you’ll be able to travel without spending your entire savings account.
Travel is exciting, especially when you will be exploring somewhere out of your regular realm. It is important, however, to be aware and safeguard yourself from possible situations that could potentially ruin your vacation.Important Travel DocumentsYou cannot travel anywhere without a passport or visa these days, so safeguarding your travel documents are a priority. Have a photocopy or two of your passport/visa located somewhere safe in your luggage, not in a carry-on. It is also a good idea to scan your passport and leave it with someone at home like a friend or family member so you will have an electronic copy on file in the event your documents are lost or stolen.Look Out for Pricey Exchange RatesUsing your credit cards when you travel is usually the best and safest idea. Just in case, before you leave for your trip, call your credit card companies and ask them if they charge any special fees for international charges. Keep in mind that exchange rates at border crossings and embassies will offer you better rates also.Let Credit Card Companies Know You Will Be TravelingIf you are suddenly using your card like crazy in another country, your credit card supplier may suspect theft and freeze your account. Let them know you will be out of the country so they don’t “flag” your account so you cannot use it.Be Careful How You Pack Your Carry-On LuggageHave your essentials with you, such as your identification, boarding passes and passports. Also keep any jewelry you want to bring, a change of clothes, and any important medication you may need just in case your luggage is lost.Blend In Wherever You Go!Whatever you do, try not to act like a tourist! Be aware of how you dress and carry yourself so you don’t stand out. Tourists are often unfortunate targets of thieves, so it is important that you always remain aware of your surroundings. It is a good idea to carry a “decoy” wallet with you with a few useless credit cards and a small amount of money in the event you are robbed, the thief will take off quickly, and you will have lost virtually nothing because of the crime.Respect Local PeopleRemember – you are on THEIR turf, so behave yourself like you are a guest in their home. Before you leave for your trip, learn as much as you can about local customs and traditions, perhaps even learning a little of their language. It’s always interesting and fun to ask local residents to recommend their favorite places to eat and visit and they will love you for this. They typically take a lot of pride in where they live and love to share information with you. This is a perfect opportunity for you to soak up a unique travel experience!Miscellaneous TipsBefore you leave, check out websites such as the U.S. Department of State International Travel Information. Make sure you are aware of any and all warnings or travel alerts.Protect yourself by purchasing a good travel insurance policy, especially when traveling internationally. Register your credit cards with one company that specializes in protecting you if your cards are lost or stolen, such as Holiday Secure (the information for this service, among others, can be found on my website). This way, one simple process will protect you and your family from fraud, identity theft, or criminal use.When traveling internationally to a new location, thinking ahead and careful planning is a must. I hope these tips help you have a wonderful and safe vacation!
If you are traveling to Ibiza this summer then you are in for a treat: this is an island with everything from the top nightclubs and elegant dining, through to stunning beaches and a rich cultural heritage. But with so much to choose from what should you do? This article takes you through some of the highlights to help you plan your trip.Ibiza Town has a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its medieval section known as Dalt Vila. Along with that there is the harbor, which houses a very impressive collection of yachts. The bars and restaurants are high quality, and when it comes to shopping there are plenty of boutiques offering that something special. So I would definitely put Ibiza Town on your list of places to visit.There are also some less visited areas, that many tourists don’t bother with: the salines saltpans and northern Ibiza. It would be a mistake to overlook these sites. The saltpans have a rich history: they were developed by Phoenicians, and were the main industry in the island during the years of the Armada. Salt was a major trading currency in those days. Up in northern Ibiza you will find the least populated part of the island. It has many pine forests, pretty villages, and stunning cliff top views that the average tourist does not visit.Of course, there is also the club scene. The hippest club is something that is always changing so the best thing to do is head to Sant Antoni and see which establishment has the longest lines of people waiting. Savannah is always a safe bet if you like electro-house, and it is open until 4am.