• How to divorce your travel agent and plan your own trip
    Travel Websites

    How to divorce your travel agent and plan your own trip

    When thinking about international travel, the first thought most people have is to hire a travel agent. Why? In several years of traveling, I have never been able to find a travel agent that can beat the offer I found for myself. It takes a little more time, yes, but it makes the trip more valuable when you realize you are the one who designed the trip. It’s yours.

    Research your goals The first thing you have to do is research your goals. If, for example, you go to England, decide whether it will be better if you drive or take the train. If you decide to drive, you need to investigate things like insurance, road rules, and mileage. You also need to find out what interests you – do you want to see historic sites? Do you want to visit an amusement park? What do you think is fun? Use the internet to find tourism sites for the area, but don’t ignore YouTube or a simple internet search to find out what other people find in the area.

    Cut your biggest expenses The first cost you will encounter on international travel is your plane ticket. There are many sites out there that will be useful for you. ,, and only three sites. Some sites allow you to receive email alerts when prices drop. Start searching for a few months and make sure you check the closest airport. It seems strange, but sometimes smaller airports can have better offers than bigger ones. Check daily rates or at least every day.

    For hotels in Europe, I have found that it is best to mix and match. Travelodge or Premier Inns are cheap hotels that are good for the wallet, but also great for shopping a little. Bed and breakfasts are one reasonably-priced way to do that. Don’t forget to take into account that you save money on breakfast!

    One way to find cheap hotels is to type “cheap Paris hotels” and see the results. Make sure you check the reviews on the hotel, before ordering!

    For transportation, one cheap car rental place is. Just type in your destination and the site attracts the best prices it has. If you can find a cheaper rate through a rental agency, an AutoEurope customer service agent will often match it. Also, check to see how much it costs for gas in your chosen location. … READ MORE

  • Thailand's Eco Adventure Travel Ideas
    Travel Channel

    Thailand’s Eco Adventure Travel Ideas

    Thailand has been known as a nature adventure destination by travelers since the seventies, when backpackers found a jungle travel tour north of the kingdom. Thailand now provides a variety of eco adventure recreation in all parts of the country.

    The most popular treks in northern Thailand because of its natural beauty. Deep forests, rivers and waterfalls, hot springs, forested mountains and rice fields are dream sights for travelers. The northern part is also rich in cultural diversity with tribal villages which can be experienced by tourists during trekking. Thailand also offers several national parks and wildlife reserves throughout the country where treks can be arranged.

    Pai and Chiang Mai are two destinations where many trips begin in northern Thailand. Many travel agents have treks for periods ranging from three days to one week. Each group consists of two to twelve trekkers and local English-speaking guides. German, French or Japanese guides must be ordered in advance if needed. An overnight stay is arranged in hill tribe villages in the dwellings, mostly bamboo huts. The food is cooked by a guide, with the help of travelers who want to learn to cook local food with Thai ingredients.

    Umphang on the Burmese border near Mae Sot is also famous for its waterfalls. Ti-Lo-Su is the largest waterfall in Southeast Asia during the rainy season and offers beautiful views. Riding an elephant can be arranged for two days, including one night in the forest with pachyderms. In the first part of the Wa river, white water rafting can be enjoyed on a bamboo raft, while the second stage must be passed by a rubber boat to get to the Ti-Lo-Lee waterfall.

    One amazing trip is a 3-day barge cruise between Bangkok and Ayuthaya where travelers experience stops along the bank of the river Chao Phraya to ride bicycles. That way, they can discover the rural villages with local factories, splendid temples and appetizing food markets. The visit of a school to meet Thai students in their classroom is a kind of experience too. The trip ends in Ayuthaya, former capital of Thailand from 1350 to 1767, where over four hundred temples and monasteries can be visited.

    The south of Thailand has seen a growing number of visitors in the last twenty years, and has several national parks for eco-adventure trips. The exploration of Khao Sok, the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world, which … READ MORE

  • 5 Luxury Travel Gifts
    Travel Tips

    5 Luxury Travel Gifts

    1) Talking Translator. There are a few of these on the market and, as is always the case with translation tools, they produce varying results. Still, hunt around for the best and you have a luxury travel gadget that probably goes unrivalled.

    The principle is simple: These handheld devices not only translate what you type into them, they also say it back to you. As anyone who speaks French as a second language will testify, the benefit of hearing a translation instead of reading it is massive – not only does it stick in your head longer, it’s also much, much easier to reproduce when ordering a dish in a top Parisian restaurant!

    When researching for Talking Translators, look to see whether they are either GPS enabled or capable of displaying maps.

    2) Noise-Canceling Earphones. Again, there are plenty of these on the market – though this time, their results are widely regarded. Noise-canceling earphones work with ingenious electronic trickery: A small microphone placed near to your ear picks up ambient sounds, and then produces ‘anti-sounds’ to cancel them out. Clever, eh?

    In fact, so good are noise-canceling earphones, many people use them as the aural equivalent of a sleep-mask – rather than play music through them, they’re simply put in and turned on, allowing the user to drift off in peace.

    3) iPod. Yes, it’s obvious, but an iPod really is an essential luxury travel gadget. Not so long ago people used to lug around entire suitcase of CD’s with them just to play their favorite tunes on the road; now, all you need is a slim white metal box of electronic wizadry and a pair of earphones.

    Thanks to the iPod’s popularity, many luxury hotels now offer special in-room iPod docks, so you can treat your hotel room like your living room back home and play those all important songs morning, evening and night. Travel without an iPod today is almost unthinkable.

    4) Gorillapod. There are a few variations on the Gorillapod, but the basic premise remains the same: These small, ultra-bendy, ultra-strong tri-pods fit in your pocket, allowing you to take a camera mount with you without all the fuss normally associated with the things. Blurry, wonky photos need never be again.

    5) Universal Power Bank. This handy battery set adds up to 100 hours of usage time to your iPod, your iPhone, your Macbook, or (in … READ MORE

  • Choose Your Luxury Travel Package to Exotic Destinations
    Travel Advisor

    Choose Your Luxury Travel Package to Exotic Destinations

    There are many luxury travel packages to exotic destinations throughout the world. For lovers of the best life packages like this is the ideal solution when looking for your vacation. If you want to enjoy one of the best holidays of your life then you might want to remember the following.

    When choosing your luxury destination, you might want to be careful. Although there are many resorts out there, there are those that are more popular than others and may be crowded. If you want relaxation, you need to look for resorts that are exotic yet remote and there are lots of them if you take the time to look.

    Some destinations are more than others classified as luxury resorts, Gstaad and Monaco for example both offer luxury vacations, but offer very different things. But if you look at the map of the world you might find that there are many resorts that may not be well known, which offer the same luxury.

    When looking to book your vacation, you might want to consider what the resort has to offer. For example if you like to sit on the beach by the sea then of course you have to find a seaside resort. If your ideal vacation is winter sports, then usually you need to look for resorts that offer sports and activities that you like.

    There are various luxury standards so be careful when choosing a resort for your vacation. Some resorts usually offer a much better level of service than others. If you want a vacation that meets your every need, then choose a hotel that is famous for its services such as Gstaad Palace Hotel or Grand Hotel Park when vacationing in Gstaad. Or if your ideal vacation is sunny Monaco, then consider booking into the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel or Hotel de Paris. All of these hotels are known for their extraordinary luxury and are among the best in the world.

    When booking your ideal luxury vacation and there are holidays included you might want to check that you can adjust the holiday to your needs. For example there might be a visit to Glacier if vacationing in Gstaad or you might be expected to travel to one of the parks in Monaco. But you might not want to be bound to go to places like that and want to do your own thing, so check … READ MORE

  • Singing And Travelling With A Choir
    Travel News

    Singing And Travelling With A Choir

    Being part of a choir singing-tour is fun. Usually those who participate in these ventures actually sing in a choir, or they are in someway related to one or more of the choir members. Like any other group excursion, these trips can bring a small group of travellers closer together or break former relationships apart. Mainly, the participants get to take advantage of group travel rates.

    Someone who sings on the choir on a lucky tour because they can explore the world doing two things they love at the same time. Because travelling choirs usually consist of more than at least 15 singers, travel rates are offered at a good discount.

    Some travel agent expertise lies in organizing choir tours. In addition to excellent travel fares and lodging rates, the tour group / travel agent will have booked a site-seeing excursion to enjoy in the various countries and cities where the choir will perform. It would be best to book well in advance with one of these services. They are accustomed to getting the best deals at the best places and bookings go fast – especially during the summer months.

    The travel agency will take care of every detail, if so desired, including arranging the singing gigs, or events, and rehearsal spaces. They will arrange transportation, tours, meals, and free events for groups. The agent at the home base might travel with the group on the tour but this is not a normal practice.

    Arrangements are made at the destination for guides who are associated with the home-based travel agency. The main bulk of rehearsals will take place at home as well. Some choirs rehearse for several months before touring.

    Like a rock band, or jazz troupe, some choirs might perform the same repertoire to a different destination every year for many years, adding and eliminating some pieces as they deem fit. This eliminates the need to study, practice and polish several new works for each tour.

    Choir is a fantastic place for people who like to sing regularly. If it were not for choirs, many singers would not otherwise have this opportunity. They are an excellent place to study and polish the art of singing. They are fantastic for budding singers and for those who wish to expand their performance repertoire. In addition, for those who also love to travel, they might get the best of both worlds, for … READ MORE