All-Inclusive Is Not For All Travelers

Located throughout the Caribbean, all-inclusive resorts lure visitors with affordable vacation packages. Encompassing airfare, lodging and onsite activities, these Caribbean beach resorts are enjoyed by families and couples hoping to relax in the sunshine. Yet, many visitors have left such all-inclusive resorts with a bitter taste in their mouths. If you – like many of the travelers disappointed by the inflexibility of all-inclusive resorts – want to establish your own itinerary, sample traditional Caribbean dining options and explore many different activities, these Caribbean beach resorts are simply not for you. Here’s why.

First, plenty of travelers have realized that many all-inclusive vacations come with certain strings attached. When examining all-inclusive packages on the internet, the fine print may reveal a startling number of contracts and other binding difficulties. Some all-inclusive resorts entice travelers with low-priced vacation packages, only to bombard their customers with sales pitches for timeshares.

It is often difficult to determine where an all-inclusive resort is located if you are unfamiliar with the area. While it may suit your fancy to spend your vacation outside of the Caribbean hotel zones, many travelers have been disappointed by the lack of activities available at many all-inclusive resorts. If you choose to leave your all-inclusive resort, you will have to pay for additional activities. When staying at smaller all-inclusive resorts with limited access to other tourist opportunities, your additional costs could very quickly surpass the money you saved upfront.

Many travelers have also complained about the lack of payment flexibility that comes with a stay at an all-inclusive resort. In addition to requiring large upfront payments, many all-inclusive resorts have tricky refund policies, making it difficult to change plans when necessary. This difficulty also applies to the charter flights that often accompany all-inclusive packages. For many, these troubles are compounded by the fact that travel days may be limited, forcing you to alter your desired timeframe for your Caribbean vacation.

Once you arrive at your Caribbean location, you might also be responsible for your own luggage and transportation to the resort. For the resorts that do offer shuttle service, the included transportation will most likely be limited to airport pickup and drop-off. For instance, if the resort is located in a secluded area, transportation to other locations will not be included in your package. Furthermore, consider the fact that many all-inclusive resorts are located much farther away from popular sites than average hotels and resorts. So, unless you care to spend your entire Caribbean vacation basking beside the same swimming pool, a nightly rental resort will put you much closer to the action.

While many criticize all-inclusive resorts for not contributing to local Caribbean economies – due in part to their distance from major cities and tourist areas – it can also be said that such packages prevent you from experiencing the unique culture of your destination. Since you decided to take a Caribbean vacation, you probably want to get out of the hotel and see what the Caribbean has to offer. Yet, all-inclusive resorts anticipate their guests spending most of their time at the resorts, locations that are often devoid of any local cuisine or custom.

Another important thing to consider regarding all-inclusive resorts is that tipping is usually expected, even at some resorts that advertise tipping as unnecessary. Many travelers have found themselves in uncomfortable positions, receiving sub-par service at all-inclusive resorts as a result of such misunderstandings.

When planning your Caribbean vacation, think about what kind of traveler you are and what you want to accomplish. Do you want to set your own agenda, enjoy diverse Caribbean dining options and engage in truly unique activities? Or would you rather relax at a resort, forget your troubles and soak up the sun? While families and couples on strict budgets might enjoy all-inclusive resorts, any adventurous traveler will relish the freedom of planning their own Caribbean vacation.

20 Safety Tips for Budget Travelers

1) When taking taxis from an airport to your hotel, travel in the more expensive airport taxis and ensure that the drivers have official identification. Never take a taxi waiting outside the airport grounds.

I know this sounds extreme, but it is by far better to be safe than sorry.

2) When traveling from your hotel to the airport, go by a taxi recommended by the hotel.

Again, taxi’s can be very dangerous. I can’t express that enough.

3) Try not to arrive in a new city or town late at night.

This can just go wrong in a number of ways. It is much easier getting checked in during the day time and security at night in certain areas is just horrendous.

4) Travel in a group if possible.

Since when is traveling in numbers not a good idea?

5) Learn the basics in the local language before you arrive. Don’t expect that people will speak English.

English is becoming more widely spoken these days, but you want to be sure. You should always check on these things before your arrival.

6) Keep your valuables hidden.

A money belt is great if it is an option that you willing to look into. There are many different styles of money belt. One of the most popular is an “over the shoulder” style wallet on a strap that you were underneath your top. This makes it very difficult for a thief to make off with your valuables.

7) Avoid going on your own to remote areas/ruins where the tourist would be expected to go. Seek local advice or take a guide.

8) Read the guidebooks and talk with other tourists to find out which areas are best avoided.

9) When leaving discos late at night take a taxi home no matter how close your hostel is. Outside most discos, you’ll find a street vendor selling cigarettes. Usually, these people know all the taxi drivers and can recommend a safe one.

10) When arriving in a new town, keep to your original plan and stay in the hostel that you have decided on. Don’t let the taxi driver persuade you that your hostel is fully booked and that he knows a cheaper and better one. He’ll be working on commission and the hostel probably won’t be in a safe part of town.

11) Even better, when arriving lane/train in a new city, try to reserve your hotel in advance, preferably with a hotel that has an airport/station collection service.

12) Don’t wear expensive looking jewelry.

13) On public transport have your day pack close to you at all times, preferably with the straps around your legs or padlocked to the luggage rack. On buses, your backpack will normally go outside, either on top of the roof or in the external luggage compartments. On long-distance buses ask for a receipt for your bags. On short rides just keep a careful eye out each time the bus stops to off-load bags. In the event of having your bags stolen, stay with the bus – you will probably require a declaration from the bus company accepting responsibility for the loss in order to claim any money from your insurance company.

14) Leave your valuables in your hotel safe when making day trips or longer tours. Obtain a receipt not just for your money belt/wallet etc. but for its contents, with each item listed.

15) If you have to leave your passport and credits cards together, place the credit card in a sealed envelope and sign your name across the flap. This way when you return you will know that nothing has been tampered with.

16) If planning on going to market areas, crowded streets, fiestas etc. don’t go with all your valuables. Leave them in the hotel. If you’re planning on buying something expensive keep your money safely in a money belt. Try to be discreet when opening it! To protect small change in your pockets you can stuff a handkerchief in after.

17) If the pavements are really crowded, especially in market areas, walk in the road.

18) If you suspect someone is following you, stop and stare them in the eye until they go. If you really get a bad feeling about a place, go with your first instincts and leave. Bag slashing is rare nowadays but for added safety, you can wear your day pack on your chest.

19) If it’s on your back try to walk without stopping. If you need to stop, sway your pack gently from side to side so that you can feel if anyone is tampering with it.

20) When putting your bag down on the floor, to take a photo or just to sit in a café, remember to put your foot through the strap. Not only will it be impossible to snatch, but you also won’t forget it! This is the most common type of theft – tourists forgetting bags in cafes and on returning to ask if anyone has seen it, you’ve guessed it, it’s gone.

Article was provided by https://www.hotelsetc.com 

Cutting Costs For Your Travel Business

In order for your travel business to be profitable, your revenue must exceed your expenses. A way that you can begin to increase your revenue is to look for ways to lower your expenses.

Look over your current expenses and place them in one of two groups: one are expenses you cannot do without (like utilities, Internet access, etc), the other is for expenses you may be able to lower or eliminate. Here are tips to help you with your costs.

Travel and Fun

The areas where many home businesses can begin to whittle down expenses are with travel and fun. For example lower the cost of holiday purchases by purchasing less expensive but better gifts like engraved or logo stenciled marketing tools that also cross-promote your business: not pads, stickie pads, pencils and pens, magnets, etc. And discuss travel perks, packages, discounts and coupons with your local travel agent or an online agent who has great packages or plans to offer you.

Needed Expenses

Annually take a look at your monthly and other regular expenses like utilities, office meeting space, Internet access, etc. Take at least one to three days total and comparison shop all of them for better rates and packages to service yours in more efficient financial ways.

Also, seek ways to cut back on using so much; using too many utilities like power for all the computers, phones and other gadgets that may be able to be turned off in the night time to save on energy bills. Lower your heating and air conditioning, too.

And recycle where you can. Use the back sides of printed papers for note taking and daily phone notes and calculations that can be keyed into the computer later.

Buy in Bulk

Another good way to save on your travel business expenses is to buy in bulk – either taming up with another entity, a neighbor who also has a home-based business, or working via a wholesaler. When you cut out any middle people – like drop ship coordinators and retailers, you can help lower your expenses.

Also, try to use what you have. See about revising what you have on hand or learning how to re-package it with something else – like upgrading old software instead of buying new.

To cut your travel expense down be sure to find a reputable travel membership that can save you a ton of money.

In summary, it is all too easy for business expenses to spend. Watch your costs and cut what you can!

Aspen Ski Vacations

Aspen Mountain has long been known as the playpen
of the rich and famous – and it is. But it is also a
great place to take a family ski vacation. Christmas
in Aspen is especially wonderful! Aspen Mountain
rises above the town of Aspen, with a top elevation
of 11215 feet and a vertical drop of 3269 feet. There
are 76 trails suitable for beginners, intermediates,
and experts, accessible by eight lifts, including
seven chair lifts and one cable car line.

While Aspen has much to offer skiers, as well as
those who enjoy the night life in a ski town, you
should expect lots of crowds and lift lines on the
slopes. Again, this is the playpen of the rich and
famous, and many people choose this ski vacation
spot simply for that reason – as well as for the great
runs and nightlife.

There are numerous places to stay in and around
Aspen, with more than 100 restaurants to choose
from as well. Ski instructions and equipment rental
are abundant in the area, and snowboarders are
welcome.

Looking for a place to rest your head while in Aspin?
Always look for ski discounts and hotel discounts before
heading out.

 

5 Tips To Help You Choose The Perfect Hawaiian Vacation Destination

Have you recently decided that you would like to take a trip to Hawaii? If so, have you already decided on a destination? What is nice about Hawaii is that you have so many great vacation destinations to choose from. For starters, you can choose from the Hawaiian Islands of Big Island, Maui, Lanai, Molokai Oahu, and Kauai.

When it comes to choosing a Hawaiian vacation destination, there are a number of factors that you should take into consideration. Five of these important factors are outlined below for your convenience.

1 – Overnight Accommodation Options

When vacationing on one of the many popular Hawaiian Islands, you will find that you have a number of different overnight accommodation options. For instance, popular choices among tourists include booking a stay at a hotel, vacation resort, vacation home, vacation condo, or vacation villa. Although many Hawaiian destinations have each of these overnight accommodations available, not all do. For that reason, if you have your heart set on staying at a Hawaii villa, you will first want to examine Hawaii villa rentals and their locations.

2 – Your Vacation Wants and Needs

Speaking of having your heart set on something, it is advised that you take a step back and think about what you want your vacation to be. What do you expect to get out of your next Hawaiian vacation? For instance, would you like to spend your vacation along the beach or farther inland examining all that Hawaii has to offer? Taking your vacation wants and needs into consideration is one of the best ways to find and choose the Hawaiian vacation destination that is best for you, the rest of your traveling party, and your needs.

3 – Nearby Activities and Attractions

An important component of having the perfect vacation involves having constant fun. Boredom is one of the quickest ways to ruin an otherwise fun vacation. For that reason, you will want to take the time to examine Hawaii vacation destinations and nearby Hawaii activities and attractions. Doing so will enable you to find the Hawaiian vacation destination of your dreams, as you shouldn’t experience a moment of boredom.

When examining Hawaiian vacation destinations, namely the Hawaiian Islands, and their activities, you will want to use the internet to your advantage or you can request free vacation guides. When doing so, you will see that you have a number of different options. For example, when vacationing on Molokai, you can go out and examine the tallest sea cliffs in the world or you can visit the Kalaupapa National Historical Park on a mule’s back.

4 – Available Vacation Rentals

As previously stated, it is important to make sure that your intended Hawaii vacation destination has a number of vacation rentals to choose from. In addition to having a wide range of options, it is also important to make sure that the rentals are available for your tended dates of travel. If you do find an available Hawaii vacation rental that peaks your interest, you may want to consider making your reservations as soon as possible.

As important as availability is, there are additional factors that should also be taken into consideration, when looking to find a Hawaii vacation rental. These factors should include size, onsite features and amenities, rules and restrictions, and cost.

5 – Cost of Travel

Speaking of costs, cost should also play an important role in choosing your Hawaii vacation destination. For example, if you were to choose to visit Molokai, you may need to make multiple travel arrangements. Not all of the Hawaiian Islands take flights directly from the United States and other countries. These additional travel arrangements may play an important part in your Hawaii vacation costs.

The above-mentioned points are just a few of the many that you will want to take into consideration when looking to choose your next Hawaiian vacation destination. Although you will likely be pleased with your trip, no matter which Hawaii destination you choose, you should still take the time to examine all of your options.

We recommend joining a vacation discount club such as Hotels Etc. that offers members up to 75% off public rates.