How To Guide … Save By Being Your Own Travel Agent

The internet has revolutionized the way we live our lives. We can now make international phone calls across the internet for only a few pennies. We can plan, book and check in for a holiday with a few clicks of the mouse. If you’ve ever turned up at a hotel only to find out they don’t have your booking then this ‘how to’ guide is for you. Read on.

The internet has hundreds of websites that are designed to help you book a hotel. Unfortunately, some of them just seem to make the process harder. In a few short paragraphs below we’ve included some hints and tricks that will help you feel confident about booking a hotel online.

You where you’re headed but where do you go from there? Ask yourself questions like: What attractions do I want to see? Where do I want to visit? What is going to make my trip worthwhile? Take a few minutes to understand what you want. It’ll help down the road. There’s no point booking a hotel in New Jersey when you want to spend your week exploring Manhattan. By knowing what you want to see and where you want to go you can narrow down the number of hotels to choose from.

The next step is to think about how much you want to spend. What’s your price range? Will you pay more to be closer to the tourist spots? Travel websites like Expedia and Travelocity will let you organise the hotels in price order. That way you can quickly skim the list and rule out any hotels that are too expensive.

Once you know what you want you’re ready to log on and start browsing the web for hotels. There are a multitude of hotel booking websites that can be found with a quick Google search. Some of the larger hotel booking sites include: Expedia, Travel-o-city, Hotels.com and Lastminute.com. Most of these sites will give you detailed information about the listed hotels. They will tell you what attractions are nearby, the approximate room prices, availability in the hotel and any price offers that may be running. Ensure you choose a site that offers instant booking confirmation. If they don’t then move on.

Choose a few hotels that you like and then look them up on a review site like drakeandcavendish.com. Review sites will give you that little bit of extra information from past guests and independent reviewers. Information you won’t probably won’t find on the hotels website. You can judge the quality of the hotel from the reviews and work out your preferred choice.

Now you should be ready to book. Keep the email confirmation that the website sends you. The confirmation is that extra bit of insurance should any problems come up. It also pays to make sure that there is a little yellow padlock in the bottom right hand corner of your screen as you enter your credit card details. This padlock means that the site is secure and the financial information entered is safe.

Good luck and happy travelling.

Travel Safely and Comfortably

Traveling is always a part of our life. When you decide to travel to another country, there are precautions you should mind. Safety in all areas must be considered. Even before you embark on that trip, the safety measures start already.

First, research from the internet basic information about the country you are planning to visit. Know its culture and traditions, especially its taboo practices. Look for its present news status. Is there a security alert in that area? Consider the political and rebel situation as this is a reality in some countries. Inquire from others who have been to these places and learn from their experiences. Aside from these views, here are some tips on traveling safely to another country:

1. Have the necessary vaccination prior to your travel. Also, contact your health insurance agent regarding their international coverage in case you need to be admitted in the hospital while abroad.

2. Have triple photocopies of important documents like I.D.’s, driver’s license, passport, medical records, birth certificate, plane tickets, insurance documents, and any papers relevant to your travel. Have these in your bag or pocketbook.

3. Leave some of the necessary above documents to a friend or relative and the second copies keep it in your hotel room or safe.

4. Contact a travel insurance and have their services in case of lost or stolen items while you are traveling.

5. Be sure to have copies of important family, emergency, and other contact numbers like your national embassy, family doctor, hotel, and others. Save it in your laptop, notepad, and cellular phone.

6. Choose a hotel with a transportation service which can transport you from and to the airport.

7. In choosing your hotel room, pick one in the middle part of the building such as one in the 4th or the 7th floor. This is farther from any possible threats. Also, ask information from the hotel desk for the location of fire escapes in the building.

8. E-mail your contacts your itinerary for the day. That way, someone has an info of your whereabouts.

9. When doing your tour, do not attempt to haphazardly tote your laptop or use a transparent bag with cellular phones and wallets inside visible.

10. In countries where beggars abound, avoid giving them money as others will surely crowd on you for their share. Also, there may be a local law banning the giving of alms in public.

These tips will be a great help in traveling safely to other countries. Stick to it and enjoy your stay.

Worried About Your Travel Provider Collapsing?

Almost 1000 holiday makers were put under undue stress last week when the accommodation company Xcapewithus.com went under. This brings the toll to over 70 holiday companies who have collapsed over the past year including XL Leisure and Freedom Direct. What can you do to avoid this happening to you.

In the case of Xcapewithus, they were not a member of ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) and did not have an ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s License) so customers who paid by any other method other than credit card do not have much of a chance of seeing their hard earned holiday money.

Imagine, you save for a year putting aside a little every month to treat yourself and your family to a dream holiday. You scour the Internet looking the perfect hotel and the best flights. You hand over the cash to your holiday provider and eagerly anticipate your upcoming holiday, then you find out your travel provider has collapsed. How could this have happened?

What precautions should you take before booking your holiday?

Check to see if your travel provider is ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) protected. ABTA offers protection for all holiday types, including hotels. If you are booking your holiday online they will usually have their ABTA number displayed on the website.

If your travel provider has the proper cover in place then you will be protected if something goes wrong. So it is a must to make this your first priority.

Get travel insurance! If you can’t afford travel insurance then you shouldn’t be going on holiday. Shop around online to see which travel insurance best suits you, there are tons of options out there.

Paying by credit card is somewhat safer is your credit card provider is protected by Consumer Credit Act. It is always best to check the terms with your bank.

Should you be worried about booking a holiday? No, and important to remember many travel providers offering flights, cheap hotels and transfers are indeed reputable companies. Just check that the travel company is protected before you book.

Defining Travel-Health Insurance

Ever heard of stories of how people go travelling or go on vacation in perfectly healthy conditions, and come across some mishaps during the journey that render them hospitalized? It is no laughing matter when this happens as you are away from home, and you end up with a medical bill that could go up to a few hundred, maybe even thousand dollars. How do we avert from facing this situation? Definitely by investing in a credible and trustworthy, yet affordable health insurance plan for travels.

When we talk about individual health insurance plans, many are not aware of such a thing called travel health insurance. Well, now that you have heard of it, let us look at what it really is. Normally health insurance companies only provide coverage for you within your own country, thus when you are travelling, you are completely exposed to the dangers of travelling without the security of an insurance policy to back you up. However, this could be easily remedied by purchasing a short-term travel protection plan that insures you against health hazards and accidents while you travel beyond the borders of your country. Most travel agents and insurance companies offer this service for the benefit of travellers, and you should take this plan up if you are planning to venture out of your country. Normally this short-term policy covers emergency services, hospital bills, doctor’s fees and other similar expenditure that you might face in the case of an accident abroad.

There are two main varieties of travel insurance offered by insurance companies, namely the international medical insurance plan as well as the travel protection plan. The international medical insurance plan can be either short or long term, and would reimburse you for any medical expenses that you bear during travelling or living in a different country. The travel protection plan on the other hand would normally provide you refunds on non-reimbursed travel expenses in the case of an emergency (such as airline strike, sickness, etc) occurring just before you leave for your trip and causing you losses. The plan usually includes coverage for lost or damaged baggage as well, as well as a small allocation for medical expenses incurred.

Remember never to leave your country without a travel health insurance plan with you, or you might be stranded in a strange country without the ability to settle your hospital bills. Not a pretty sight if you ask me.