5 Top Tips For Cheap Holidays

If you haven’t noticed, cheap holidays are IN! For the majority, travel in the next year or two is going to be on a smaller budget. By choosing your destination carefully, you can still afford to travel. You will need to be willing to lower your comfort expectations. But the reward will be trying something you may never have contemplated, when you could afford a more luxurious vacation. These 5 Top Tips should help you decide the most affordable destination for your vacation.

5 Top Tips for Choosing Cheap Holidays:

1) Look for countries that have a good exchange rate with your own currency. If you “make” a little on your currency exchange, it will give you more money to spend in your destination country.

2) Choose a destination that has a good variety of inexpensive activities you enjoy, such as hiking, camping, cycling, swimming or exploring on foot, seeing the culture at work and play. Or where you can indulge a hobby such as painting, photography, fishing etc … something that doesn’t have a price tag to go with it. A beach holiday will be much cheaper than a skiing holiday!

3) Go for a destination with an overall relatively cheap cost of living – research current prices on forums such as Travel Advisor or Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree.This will ensure your living costs will be reasonable if you use the local markets and transport. Many countries that have been cheap in the past, are no longer very cheap destinations .e.g My daughter was in Laos last month. She met people who were on their third return trip and commenting prices had doubled in three years. They were surprised at the high prices for some things. Do NOT assume all third world countries will be a very cheap destinations!

4) Use travel search boxes for comparing airfares to find the best deals, through the internet. And keep a close eye on your local newspapers for cheap travel deals that come out and be ready to make a quick decision. Sometimes they are limited offers that are booked out quickly. Be aware of any extra charges and taxes, and what the deal is if you cancel for any reason. They do vary considerably.

5) Choose accommodation that may be basic, but will be an experience. Homestays, cheap B&B’s, hostels, camping, all offer a roof over your head for a very reasonable price.

There are many ways you can stretch your dollars or pesos, or dong, once you reach your destination. These all add up over a few days or weeks.

A more rustic, back to basics holiday often leads you to really experience the destination at a more interactive level with the locals. This can be much more rewarding than the aloofness of using luxury tourist places where you are a spectator, rather than involved.

Be prepared to be adventuress and flexible when eating and getting around. Travelling in an open air public bus, rubbing shoulders with the locals, will surely be more memorable than a taxi ride? While local markets, restaurants, or street stalls, will have you sampling delicious local food, for next to nothing.

Start planning your cheap holidays now…it takes a bit of time researching and coordinating everything, but I think half the fun of a holiday is in the planning, so enjoy the process.

Hi, I’m Gail Gillespie, a New Zealander traveler. After visiting or living in more than 75 countries, I have experienced travel in many modes, usually on the cheap! I have written this list of ideas to help you too, enjoy travel whatever your finances.

How To Pack For a New-To-You Summer Vacation Destination

Most families that take vacations are used to knowing what to pack for the various vacation destinations to which they are traveling. In some ways, though the “same old, same old” may seem a bit dull to others, it does make for knowing what you actually need to take on your trip with you & what you are better off leaving at home.

The one rogue variable that can cause issues for families is having to pack for a trip to a destination to which they’ve never traveled. Not only are you not aware of what you may encounter, but you have to keep track of so many other variables. If you travel with kids, though, you may find that the newness of the destination and the preparation for it can be enough to throw them off, and this can be a nightmare for parents. What do you do?

Well, if you’re traveling somewhere this summer that’s new for the whole family, here are a few steps to take prior to leaving home that may make the transition a little easier:

1. Have A Family Meeting – Sure, this idea seems a little “sitcom”, but there is value in setting the whole family down for a meeting to discuss what your vacation will be like this time around. This means that a little research has to be done regarding the destination and what it has to offer, plus it never hurts to have some info on where you’ll be staying.

2. Put Together A Plan – Once you’ve established that everyone is on the same page, it’s time to get a plan together. You could make a general plan for the family, or you could make it specific to each member of the family. Make a packing schedule and, if possible, try to have another family meeting to discuss progress on the trip preparation.

3. Check the Weather – Don’t hesitate in checking the weather ahead of time so that you know what to pack for your trip. You can either check the local town’s chamber of commerce for a weather update (i.e., Red River, NM is a perfect example). If you’re still unclear on weather, plan for light layers so that you can either maintain layers if cold or shed layers if things get warm.

4. Have A Packing Checklist – Nothing will throw your trip into a whirlwind like getting to your destination and seeing that one of your kids packed only toys and candy for the trip. Each person should have a checklist as to what items to pack & should check them off as they go. You could even make it a game for kids if they need some extra motivation.

5. Relax – Travel experts often cite one thing to keep in mind for new vacation destinations – have fun & relax. Even with all the planning you have in place, things will fall through the cracks. Luckily, if you need it, there’s usually a place for you to replace it when you get to your destination.

A vacation should be a relaxing time, and even with a bit of a curve-ball with a new destination, always remember that summer vacations are the trips that are the most memorable. Make this new adventure be the best!

How to Choose the Best Hotel Suites for Your Family Vacation

Every family plans for a perfect vacation before travelling but sometimes their expectations do not always measure up. Of course, every parent wishes to provide their kids the dream holiday, but things can go awry if you don’t plan well. One of the most important aspects when travelling should be accommodation. Your destination might be scintillating but the quality of your stay will largely be determined by choice of accommodation.

Well, there are so many hotel suites to choose from in every destination. Finding the best can be a challenge especially if you are a first-time vacationer. To avoid ruining your trip due to poor choice of lodgings, below are some ideas to guide you:

Let The Location Guide You

The choice of location makes all the difference. Make sure you book a property near major attractions in the city. However, don’t go for facilities right in the middle of the city because they are noisy and have terrible traffic. Your choice should be guided by convenience, easy access, security and serenity.

Elegant Décor and Ambience

One aspect of travel that spices up the experience is fine dining and trying out exquisite cuisines. The hotel you choose should provide excellent on-site dining opportunities for everyone. The opportunity to order room service will make the whole family feel like royalty and who doesn’t enjoy a little pampering every now and then?

Kid Centred Features

Always choose hotel suites that are family friendly and to determine this, look for kid activities on the site. These facilities are designed with families in mind, which means they are safer for children to play around in. Better still, you can also get facilities that provide childcare options, such as babysitting albeit at an extra cost.

Elegant Décor And Ambience

If you really want to enjoy your trip, make sure you find a warm and welcoming place to stay. Such facilities feature attractive art and other handiwork everywhere you look and the décor is designed with luxury in mind. Such a setting provides the perfect serene setting for your family to relax when you are not out exploring.

Excellent Features

Excellent facilities define a good place to stay. The best properties go to extra lengths to provide excellent amenities on-site including complimentary W-Fi, fitness centre, swimming pool, in-room entertainment among others. The idea is to provide an idyllic setting for you to enjoy your stay.

Other factors to consider include flexibility in the pricing package, availability of breakfast, personalized services, up-to-date services and interiors, and hygiene among others features. Always seek referrals and recommendations from other families, read online reviews and testimonials and take your time to research the hotel you are booking.

What Things You Should Know About Your Iceland Northern Lights Tour

Most people dream of such a holiday to visit one of the natural yet beautiful phenomenon, which is the Aurora Borealis.

If one is planning go see the Aurora Borealis booking a tour would be best. Booking should be done as early as possible; one can travel by minibus or super jeep. Of course the jeep provides a more personal experience. The tour however is only run when the weather is clear and the aurora forecast shows a higher chance of it showing up that day.

So a tour to Iceland Northern lights has been planned and there are many things that one should keep in mind regarding a tour of such. The tour may last from anywhere between three to four hours. The travel should be comfortable and personal, hence only two people are allowed in the jeep. And as for what one should carry, warm winter clothes are preferable but no jeans. It will be a small group tour where they might drive on the mountain track in Reykjavik or the lava fields depending on the weather of course. Any route they take will depend on the weather itself.

You can enjoy the silence and the beautiful night

There are a few things that one should know about their tour to Iceland Northern lights.

One will be able to enjoy the starry night while searching for the Aurora Borealis. However since there is no guarantee of actually coming across it and there will be 2 extra attempts made by a minibus for free to try and ensure that one gets what they came for. He can also borrow tripods for free. As the journey begins, one will be able to enjoy the night and the stars. If the Aurora Borealis does show up, he can take photographs to make the experience even more memorable.

These beautiful colors are of one natures displays, every single performance is unique and everyone who has seen the lights has claimed that they felt spiritually lifted. Almost everyone has heard of it and to be able to see such beauty makes your breath hitch in your throat and of course it is such an honor.

Although it is a mystery to most people, there are scientific reasons for the Aurora borealis showing up when it does. However, it still cannot be a guarantee as to when it might show up and where precisely.

Many people especially the folks who live in Iceland itself say that it is just a spiritual happening because of all the Nordic folklore and Nordic history. These are a few things one should know about your Iceland Northern lights tour.

Do not become obsessed with just wanting to see the Aurora

There is actually no guarantee that this magnificent show of color will show up on that same day that’s why it is a good idea to just enjoy the winter nights and ones whole holiday in general. Romantic sled rides, the nice people who live there, all of these are good reasons to visit. If one does happen to see the Aurora Borealis as planned then they should surely consider themselves lucky.

The Best Texas Vacations Include These Five Things

Texas vacations are the stuff of legend, at least if you ask a resident of the great Lone Star State. After all, Texas, though thoroughly metropolitan in many areas & very much an international destination, still has wildly diverse landscapes, climates, elevations, and all of the things that lay claim to the notion of the ‘Wild West’ characteristics that evoke tall tales.

In other words, Texas has a lot to offer, but with so much to offer, there comes a need to really define what a vacation in Texas is all about. What are the absolutely “musts” that are a part of the quintessential Texas getaway?

In the same way that a buffet doesn’t count unless you go through the line three times, here are at least five things that any Texas vacation must have to be legit:

1. Driving – If there’s one thing that Texas is known for it’s that you can drive for hours in just about any direction and still be within its borders. The highways & byways of this great state are, in many respects, the definition of what a road-trip is all about. No matter if it’s I-35, I-10, I-45, I-30, or Hwy 6, if you’re heading out on vacation, you need to drive just to for the experience.

2. Road-side Gourmet Food – As you hit the road & partake of water & sodas, you’re going to need to take a pit-stop. While most people might find this a necessary evil and want to move on ASAP, you might want to take a minute to see what kind of eats are available. Whether it’s tacos or barbecue, you’re sure to find something amazing.

3. Small-Town Good Eats – On the subject of food and small towns, any Texas vacation wouldn’t be complete without discussing the almost “mythically-good” you got out of that one town with the great grub on Main Street, Texas somewhere. A perfect example would be the BBQ in Brenham, TX and throughout Washington County, Texas. It may be small-town ‘cue, but it’s world-class.

4. Fun in the Sun – No Texas vacation would be complete without hanging out by the pool, or even better, by the lake. Though there are some pretty popular places around the state, these can get very crowded. Try the more relaxed avenues of the Blue Bell Aquatic Center & Lake Somerville State Park and Trailway.

5. A Sense of Adventure – OK, this may seem a little hokey, but when it comes right down to it, taking a vacation in Texas is all about getting the most out of what the state has to offer. Sure, there’s a push by many cities to become couture & fashionable, but you can find that anywhere. You need to hit the road and explore what the state has out away from the ‘big city’. Be willing to try new things, and don’t be afraid of tangent trips as they may form some lasting memories for you and your family.