Monthly Archives: May 2016

Low Cost Vacation Tips

Taking a vacation these days has become a very costly affair. One has to keep aside a huge chunk of the bank balance, to enjoy a vacation. However, not everyone is ready to spend a fortune on a vacation, when there can be other pressing needs, yet one needs a vacation. This is when the low cost vacation ideas come in handy. With summers (the best time for a vacation, according to me) around the corner, it is not uncommon to see a number of people planning their vacations. There are some people, who would rather go for two low cost vacations as opposed to a high-priced vacation. To be very frank, I am one of them. I love unwinding at regular intervals and cannot wait to take the next vacation. Hence, instead of saving up on one big vacation, I opt for two small vacations.

Vacation Ideas for Shoe String Budget

There are a number of ways, which one can use to save up on some precious dollars. The most important tip I would like to give you at this stage is that you will have to be flexible as far as your vacation plan goes. If you are rigid with the plan, then you will find it very difficult to find a suitable low cost vacation for yourself. I would rather be a little flexible and take a vacation as opposed to not take a vacation at all.

Plan in Advance
This is one trick that I use all the time. If you are planning on a low cost family vacation, then you will want to follow it as well. When you plan in advance, the tickets cost less and so do the hotel rentals. The best part is you will be able to choose the best of the flights or hotels, but at a minimum cost. You can look up the internet to find the best and cheapest deals for the duration of your vacation.

Plan for Weekday Vacations
Most people travel out on the weekends, which is exactly the time, when everything related to a vacation becomes costly. Right from the airfares to car rentals, or hotels. Hence, it is recommended that you travel on a weekday and make the most of the low airfares, car rentals and hotel bookings. There is an added advantage of traveling on a weekday. You will not be surrounded by a number of people and you will be able to visit the different tourist spots at peace.

Opt for Low Cost Carriers
If you are looking for affordable family vacation ideas, then you will want to save some on airfare. There are many low cost, no frill carriers, which you will want to consider. They may not be as comfortable, as the regular carriers, but yet you will be able to travel cheaper. If the destination is a couple of hours away, then the inconvenience should not be a big problem. However, if you have kids with you, then you will want to take some form of entertainment for them.

Go as a Group
Vacation is the time, you would want to spend with your loved ones. If you can form a group and travel together, it is no doubt cheaper. You can take just a bigger car and you will save on gas expenses. Sharing hotel suites will reduce staying cost as well. The destination for such a vacation is aptly the beach or national parks, etc.

Hiking or Biking Vacation
One of the low cost vacation destinations are the hills around. You can choose one of the areas, where you can go hiking or biking or both. It will not only help you to save some money, but you will stay in closer proximity with nature and refresh yourself. If you are going to a tourist destination, then you should opt to buy yourself a map of the place and explore it on a bicycle, rather than going for a guided tour. You will enjoy it much better than a guided tour.

Go Camping
Great low cost vacations are the ones, where you go camping with your family and friends. All you will need is a reservation at a camping ground. Take a tent along and enjoy a nice vacation in between nature. Carrying your eatables around will also ensure you save some more. We often go for potluck camping vacations with friends. It is a great stress buster. The other alternative can be to opt for recreational vehicles. They are a good alternative if you have small children with you. Since they have kitchenettes, you can cook in there as well, which will save you the trouble of cooking and packing eatables. A barbecue party is something, which can be planned to add some more fun to the vacation.

Vacation is about spending some relaxed moments with the loved ones and making some memories to remember for a lifetime. Hence, it is the time that one has at the vacation that one will eventually remember rather than remembering that it was a low cost vacation.

Tips for Find Cheap Ski Holiday Packages

There’s never been a better time to go skiing, what with several travel portals offering steal deals for travelers since the past few seasons. But mind you, when we say ‘cheap’ you can’t really expect to have a rollicking ski trip that costs you under USD 500. A more realistic version will set you back by at least USD 800/person, for a weekend trip, especially when you take into account the traveling, accommodation, renting the equipment, and the likes.

But provided you keep a few things in mind, you can always cut down on the extravagance without compromising on the fun elements. Here’s how you do it.

Choose your destination wisely
The best skiing destinations will always seem appealing, but they can turn out to be equally expensive as well. Therefore, it’s better to forgo the glamor, and head to lesser destinations that are all about the skiing. Having said that, travel portals like Expedia, along with Ski.com offer some awesome deals even for top-notch destinations. It goes without saying that picking the right deal involves hours of patient research and analysis. If you are in doubt, heading to a trusted travel agent will help you get your queries answered.

Whole hog vs. DIY
Packaged deals, more often than not, tend to cover everything including the travel expense, stays, meals, lift passes, and all there is. This works well if you are traveling with a group, as you may land even better deals. On the flip side, though, packaged deals never leave room for any tweaks, so you can’t really indulge in some spur-of-the-moment adventures. So, if you’re heading as a group with plain skiing on your mind, a packaged deal would suit you well.

On the other hand, if you’re going solo, you may want to have a holiday that’s tailor-made for you, as you certainly won’t be looking for huge rooms or family-friendly hotels. DIY is the way to go; and if you need assistance, there are plenty of travel agents to head to.

Time your trip well
If young children aren’t in the picture, you can easily avoid scheduling a trip during the school holidays. Early December, most of January, mid-March, and late-April are the times when most ski towns see moderate to low business, and are actually handing out deals on a platter.

Snag it early
As with all travel deals, booking early definitely gives you an edge when it comes to saving money. Savings may be in the form of slashed rates (percentile discounts) or valued add-ons (free extended stays). The downside to this is that later modifications to your trip may not be entertained, and you’d actually end up spending more to accommodate the tweaks in your plan.

Or nail it late
The travel business is tricky, and highly contradictory. So, where on one hand you have the early-bird mayhem, you also stand to gain some last-minute steals. If you are willing to take the risk of scheduling last minute, you may actually land a reasonable package in the lull period (early December, mid January, or post-Easter). Keep in mind, though, that last-minute deals may, at times, only be very basic, so stay away from these if you hold lofty expectations.

Look out for value additions
Always keep an eye out for freebies that suit you. There are packages that let your child in for free, allow you to rent equipment for less, or give discounts if your group is large enough. These freebies may or may not be advertised, so you can contact the hotels directly, or ask your travel agent for more information. For families or largeish groups, living in a sale-catered apartment or a villa will work out to be cheaper than living in hotel, where you’d have to fish out extra for meals.

However
whatever you do, ensure that you do not compromise on safety measures in order to save a few bucks. This means that you absolutely have to shell out a decent amount on insurance, considering how risky skiing can be. Also, if you happen to be a beginner, do make sure that you take lessons and use the right gear to make the experience memorable, comfortable, and safe.

Guide to Caribbean Cruise

Considered to be the exclusive domain of the rich once upon a time, cruising has nowadays become one of the most popular modes of travel―not only because they offer you luxuries and amenities that fit perfectly into your budget, but also owing to the plethora of activities that these “floating resorts” offer. Plus, cruises enable you to see numerous, so-called exotic destinations in a single trip. Many tend to think that taking a cruise vacation is not very cost-effective, and that such a holiday would burn a large hole to their pocket. However surprisingly, contrary to this popular belief, most cruise fares are all-inclusive, thus, making it one of the most affordable travel options.

Planning a Caribbean Cruise: A Traveler’s Guide

These days, cruise ships sail to a number of exotic locations throughout the world. Nevertheless, the Caribbean continues to remain the number one cruising destination. A picture-perfect “sand and palm tree” tropical paradise that the Caribbean is, it offers several opportunities to tourists, both for adventure as well as relaxation. Considering each and every rocky outcropping and sandbar, there are hundreds of large and small islands that are surrounded by the Caribbean waters. However, out of the 45 or 50 that make it onto the world map, about 25 are regularly frequented by ships, operating through various cruise companies all over the globe. Here are a few tips to help you plan a hassle-free Caribbean cruise.

Choosing an Appropriate Cruise Line

  • As of now, roughly about 20 cruise lines from the US sail the Caribbean waters. These include both the big ship cruises as well as those which are smaller in size.
  • Big ship cruises offer a plethora of luxurious amenities and activities on-board; however, owing to their huge size, generally only the largest ports are covered in their itineraries. So, choose such a cruise line only and only if you intend to visit just the major ports and not the more exotic ones.
  • The main advantage of opting for a smaller ship is that it can get into smaller harbors, which often have more to offer than the larger ports, in terms of beauty and serenity. There is no doubt that these might be lesser-known, lesser traveled ports and harbors; however, this very thing might also put them on the list of the most beautiful ones, undisturbed/less affected by excessive human intervention. So, if you intend to explore the less-trodden paths, opt for a smaller ship and experience the sanctity of the Caribbean.

    Tip: If you are traveling on a budget, opt for a bigger ship. You might avail some great discounts and luxury amenities, fitting just right into your budget. Smaller ships, owing to their “exotic” itinerary, mostly offer limited number of bargains.

Planning an Itinerary

  • t is important to note that in spite of numerous picturesque islands all across the Caribbean, not every island is a cruise port. Keep this in mind while planning your itinerary.
  • In-depth research is the key. While you pen down your probable itinerary, check your wish list thoroughly with respect to whether or not a particular place is accessible through a cruise ship.
  • Before planning your itinerary, decide upon what you wish to do most during your vacation―whether you wish to indulge more in sailing and in adventures such as scuba diving or whether you want to stay more on land.
  • As of now, Caribbean cruises offer two broad categories from which you can choose your itinerary.
    The first category is of the western Caribbean islands, meant specially for those who intend to do a lot of sailing. This involves places such as Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Costa Rica.
    The second category is that of the eastern Caribbean islands, meant for those who prefer to stay on land and indulge in some serious shopping. Destinations such as the Bahamas and Puerto Rico form a part of the itineraries of this category.
  • Moreover, as mentioned above, depending on the size of the ship you choose to sail in, your itinerary will vary between big ports and small harbors.

    Tip: Several cruise lines, such as the Disney Cruise Line, also offer stops at some private islands. So, if budget is not your constraint, you can opt for an elaborate itinerary like this.

Duration of the Cruise

  • One of the most important aspects to look at when planning a Caribbean cruise vacation is the duration of time you want to be at sea, and whether it is feasible.
  • On an average, the duration of a standard cruise ranges from one week to about ten days. However, longer cruises are also available.
  • It is vital that you also consider your overall budget while deciding the total duration of your cruise as both these factors are directly proportional to each other.

    Tip: If you wish to opt for a longer cruise, choose an itinerary such that there are more number of and preferably, longer port calls. You surely don’t want to end up falling sick, right in the middle of your vacation.

    Best Time to Cruise

  • The peak season for cruising the Caribbean waters is between mid-December and mid-April. This is the time when most cruises are jam-packed, owing to which, there are limited numbers of discounts and bargains. On the contrary, you may have to pay higher prices.
  • If you plan to go during the peak season, ensure that you book your cruise well in advance, at least a year ahead. The earlier you book, the more discounts you may avail. Last-minute discounts during the peak season are available, but are extremely rare.
  • On the other hand, if you wish to avoid large crowds and avail great discounted offers, choose to go in the off-season, i.e., between the months of June and November. The overall rates for cruises during this time are usually lower, sometimes even up to 50% less than the normal rates.

What’s Included and What’s Not

  • This is an important aspect that needs thorough checking before booking the trip with a particular cruise line. The number of things that your cruise package includes will determine whether or not it is a good deal.
  • In general, an all-inclusive cruise fare includes: (i) breakfast, lunch, and dinner; (ii) tea and coffee; (iii) a basic room; (iv) tap water; (v) daily room cleaning; (vi) charges for entertainment; and (vii) transportation charges.

    Tip: Booking a lower deck will not only save you money, but also keep seasickness at bay!

  • If you wish to book an airline ticket through your cruise line, you will have to book your package that way. Otherwise normally, airfares are not included. It is essential to note that booking an airline ticket via a cruise line is, more often than not, an expensive deal, and it is rather a better idea to book one on your own.
  • An all-inclusive cruise fare will not include expenses such as spa services, shopping at on-board boutiques, fitness classes, casino gambling, expenses incurred on alcohol, and so on. All these are ways for a cruise line to earn additional revenue.
  • Moreover, if you wish to book guided excursions with your cruise line, you will have to inquire in detail regarding the same. Whether or not these are included in the basic fare varies from cruise line to cruise line.

Budget Hotels in Gurgaon

Gurgaon city is referred to as the millennium city and is the fastest growing cities. This hub of Haryana is under the National Capital Region geographical purview. This city is witnessing a considerable and massive growth in the development spheres that Haryana has emerged as the largest city and is the choice of many people that it is established as an ideal area for relocation.

The advantage of Gurgaon is the NH8 proximity, highway connectivity, Delhi International Airport and excellent communication network. The city is witnessing a constant increase in the locals, expats and travelers number. The Gurgaon city also boasts of hotel accommodations for travelers available in all ranges, cheap hotels in Gurgaon and also luxury hotels.

Gurgaon hotels are to suit every pocket regardless of whether one is looking for a guest house, a budget hotel in Gurgaon, cheap hotels in Gurgaon, fun backpacking hotels, plush five star hotels or inns, every requirement can be fulfilled. The services are the best offered in terms of gastronomy and rooms. All these hotels are decently designed offering plethora of amenities and facilities.

The advantage of Gurgaon is the NH8 proximity, highway connectivity, Delhi International Airport and excellent communication network. The city is witnessing a constant increase in the locals, expats and travelers number. The Gurgaon city also boasts of hotel accommodations for travelers available in all ranges, cheap hotels in Gurgaon and also luxury hotels.

Gurgaon hotels are to suit every pocket regardless of whether one is looking for a guest house, a budget hotel in Gurgaon, cheap hotels in Gurgaon, fun backpacking hotels, plush five star hotels or inns, every requirement can be fulfilled. The services are the best offered in terms of gastronomy and rooms. All these hotels are decently designed offering plethora of amenities and facilities.

Gurgaon has plenty of affordable choices of hotels. The city accommodates motley of people, organizations and group of industries.  With the advent of industries and residents, Gurgaon is approached by people for different needs that it has become an affluent city. There is a huge rise in budget and cheap hotels in Gurgaon.

Gurgaon is visited by business delegates and tourists, alike. The city other also houses many tourist attractions. The city is a city of Malls and a shopper’s paradise. Thus, serving the inflow of population there is a plethora of cheap hotels in Gurgaon. These cheap hotels feature sophisticated facilities as per the subsequent global standards and tastes of the visitors. These cheap hotels are within the reach of tourists considering cost-effective residing options in Gurgaon.  To name a few include Lemon Tree Hotel at Udyog Vihar, Hotel Star Villa, Hotel Bizzotel, Gurgaon, Hotel Swanso Palace- DLF City, and many more.

The advantage is the strategic location that it is close to many multinational and national organizations. It has well furnished rooms, 24×7 coffee shop and a multi-cuisine restaurant. The facilities also include guest rooms, conference room, fitness center, swimming pool, broadband net and meeting rooms. The services include currency exchange, travel assistance, housekeeping and safe deposit lockers. These hotels are also close to international and national airports.

Gurgaon is visited by business delegates and tourists, alike. The city other also houses many tourist attractions. The city is a city of Malls and a shopper’s paradise. Thus, serving the inflow of population there is a plethora of cheap hotels in Gurgaon. These cheap hotels feature sophisticated facilities as per the subsequent global standards and tastes of the visitors. These cheap hotels are within the reach of tourists considering cost-effective residing options in Gurgaon.  To name a few include Lemon Tree Hotel at Udyog Vihar, Hotel Star Villa, Hotel Bizzotel, Gurgaon, Hotel Swanso Palace- DLF City, and many more.

The advantage is the strategic location that it is close to many multinational and national organizations. It has well furnished rooms, 24×7 coffee shop and a multi-cuisine restaurant. The facilities also include guest rooms, conference room, fitness center, swimming pool, broadband net and meeting rooms. The services include currency exchange, travel assistance, housekeeping and safe deposit lockers. These hotels are also close to international and national airports.