• 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Why Do You Need Travel Insurance For Your Singapore Tour?
    Travel Tips

    Why Do You Need Travel Insurance For Your Singapore Tour?

    Why Do You Need Travel Insurance For Your Singapore Tour?

    Singapore is an extravagant tourist destination that offers various activities related to entertainment, adventure, and shopping. It is a country, which has a high cost of living. If you are planning a trip to Singapore, you must invest in an international travel insurance plan to stay protected from an unpredicted financial emergency that might arise during your stay over there. 

    Reasons why you need international travel insurance for your Singapore trip

    Here are a few compelling reasons why you need to buy a travel insurance plan for your Singapore tour.

    1. Cancelation of your flight

    You have reached the airport to catch the connecting flight, but you find out that it has been canceled because of bad weather. Such a scenario is quite common. You can use the travel insurance for Singapore as a cover for the costs of your flight back home.

    2. Loss of passport

    While you are enjoying your holiday, you find out that your passport is missing! What do you do now? It might be a nasty shock for you because without your passport you cannot catch the flight back home. This is when you contact your insurance company to help you with a duplicate passport.

    3. Medical emergency

    You never know what might happen while you are in Singapore. You might slip and dislocate a joint or you might fall severely ill due to food poisoning. The cost of hospitalization in Singapore can be quite expensive. This is why you need an international travel insurance plan. It will ensure that you receive adequate medical care and you will be reimbursed for the cost incurred towards the same.

    4. Baggage loss

    You have arrived at your destination but there is no sign of your luggage. What will you do in such a situation? You are in urgent need of clothes, and you want to carry on with your morning routine, but you do not have your baggage. You can call your insurance provider who will reimburse you for the additional expenses that you incur on the set of clothes and toiletries.

    5. Evacuation due to any political/medical emergency or a natural calamity

    You might need to leave Singapore urgently due to a medical emergency related to a family member in India, political unrest, or natural calamity. In such cases, it is important to head back home at the earliest. A travel insurance plan can help … READ MORE

  • Travel Tips

    Things You Should Do Before Going on Holiday

    Finally, you can forget about deadlines, financial reports and even about your annoying boss and his continuous complaints. You are going away for a couple of days or weeks and you plan to relax, get that beautiful tan you’ve been yearning for all winter and maybe even meet some interesting people. But, before you can go enjoy your perfect vacation, there are some things you must take care of.

    First of all, clean up your home: empty your refrigerator and toss out perishables, take out the garbage, do your laundry and change the bed linens. Taking care of all these chores in advance may seem useless now but it will look like a wise decision when you return. There is nothing better than getting home, after spending a couple of exhausting hours in the car or on a plane, and finding a freshly made bed waiting. A quick shower, a good night sleep and you will be ready to jump back into your daily activities.

    Arrange for someone to take care of your pet while you are away. Also, ask a neighbour to come every once in a while to water your plants and check the house. If possible, ask him or her to come at different hours instead of establishing a tight program. This way people will see activity inside the house and will know someone’s home.

    Pay your bills. The last thing you want when returning from your holiday is to deal with penalties. Plus, you might find yourself facing the uncomfortable and embarrassing situation of your credit card being rejected while you’re shopping or dinning out. This could really ruin your party mood.

    If you are going abroad then you really should consider getting both health and travel insurance. If you’re travelling within the EU, apply for your European Health Insurance Card. It enables you to access state-provided healthcare in all European Economic Area countries and Switzerland at a reduced cost or sometimes free of charge. Still, it is not a substitute for travel insurance. You also need one of those, it’s practically a “must have” when traveling abroad. It will save you a lot of trouble and money in case your flight is canceled, your baggage gets lost or you encounter unexpected problems when getting to your hotel.

    And last but not least, make a list of things to check right before you walk … READ MORE