When life gives you lemons, take a vacation

“He was a walking refutation of that dogmatic statement, Mens sana in corpore sano. His was a sound mind in an unsound body. He proved the eternal paradox of things. He cashed in on his disabilities. He picked up the lemons that Fate had sent him and started a lemonade-stand.” Marshall P Wilder.

Mass production, mass consumption, mass disillusion; earning a living is hard, nobody said it would be easy, but nobody said it would be this hard either. We live in a modern world with endless options and decisions, something made increasingly difficult in the past two decades with the arrival of the online world and the increased amount of competition it has created among peers.

Truth is, frightening statistics have already proven that this mass build up is not only happening, but increasing,  and it is also the number one reason for mass disillusion or even depression. It doesn’t take very much to understand how busy life has become either, it seems more people are working more overtime, and less time off is naturally leading to less enjoyment in life. While earning a living, being successful and progressing a career are all admirable, the value and benefit of taking time out from this busy lifestyle, should not be ignored.

On the contrary, statistics are on hand to show that people who take more time off work and travel on more vacations, are more satisfied and less stressed. Even if the past few weeks or months have been hectic, even if you have worked every hour of every given day for eight months, having a vacation to look forward to and then utilize to distress is worth far more than any monetary value placed on the vacation.

So why do people not take more vacations? Essentially, this will rarely come down to lack of vacation leave or workload, after all a year is a long time and realistically, everyone can afford to put work on hold for 7 – 10 days to take time out.

The reason most people do not take a vacation is budget, as everyone knows that vacations cost money. However, regardless of whether you are working for minimum wage or a high flying senior investment manager, a vacation is affordable for anyone who looks in the right place. Unfortunately most people still see this “right place” as being a booking engine such as Expedia, Orbitz or another major travel brand when the truth is, these websites no longer offer the value they once did. No, since the arrival of the new rate parity laws, travel brands are no longer able to offer varying prices across different distribution channels which in essence stops them from offering any real discounts or special offers.

The solution? Today the only real way of finding genuine hotel discounts, travel offers, or affordable vacation packages is through a Travel membership club which offer discounts of up to 60-80% to their members in return for a minimal fee. These membership clubs may seem like newcomers to the travel industry but actually, they have been around since the 1970’s and Hotel Etc is one such club who have a five star trust rating, 4 million members and the highest number of repeat customers.

Vacation packages are quite affordable in the modern day but should that be slightly out of the current budget, membership with a travel club is the single best way to find the cheapest hotels or most affordable vacation packages. So next time you feel work gets on top of you or life seems to be moving too fast, for too long; organize your time off, sign up for Hotels Etc, take that vacation  you deserve and leave the phone at home.

It really is true; when life gives you lemons, take a vacation.

5 reasons to take a Caribbean vacation in 2016

At this time of year many people are still putting together their last minute plans for vacation, or planning ahead for later in the year, but the obvious, and difficult decision, is always in terms of where to go. While the US is full of great places to get away for the weekend or take an adventure, let’s face it; nothing beats the excitement of boarding a plane and taking off for some place tropical.

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Here are 5 reasons to take a Caribbean vacation in 2016:

Variety and quality of resorts

Few places in the world can rival the Caribbean when it comes to the variety of resorts; from the budget vacation packages on Aruba, to the high end luxury hotels in Punta Cana, there are options to suit all styles of travel, all budgets and standards.

In fact, it is not just the variety of resorts which is so appealing, but rather the quality. Whether you decide to go all out and book Live Aqua in Cancun, the more modest Barcelo in Punta Cana, or something even half the cost, you can usually expect a high standard in the Caribbean, with spacious rooms and friendly staff.

Affordable Caribbean vacations

As mentioned above, there are many affordable options in the Caribbean and some islands are less popular, and cheaper than others. However, the real advantage when you book a Caribbean vacation online is not just the selection or the number of providers offering to help you out; but rather the re-emergence of travel membership clubs.

Hotels Etc is a travel club which offers their members a simplified process in which you sign up, pick a destination, and make huge savings. Yes, it really is that simple. Hotels Etc provides hotel discounts and vacation packages with between 60 – 80% off. You can sign up for a free trial here.

Things to do in the Caribbean

Another highlight of a vacation to the Caribbean is the wide variety of things to see and do. White sandy beaches are synonymous with every destination, but there are also many options to take adventure tours and participate in local activities.

Volleyball, golf, tennis, scuba diving, snorkeling, and boating are just a few of the activities available from most resorts, while there are usually some excursions to parks, reserves or natural attractions in the nearby area.

The beaches and relaxation

Maybe this should go without saying, but it certainly should not be ignored; the Caribbean is home to many of the finest beaches in the world, where white powdered sands stretch on a far as the eye can see, next to an alluring ocean, with several shades of blue.

The beaches in the Caribbean are the ultimate place to unwind, relax and forget about the stress of modern day living. With no distractions and the soothing sound of the ocean, this truly is the highlight of any Caribbean vacation.

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All Inclusive savings

Hotel discounts and package offers are the best way to get your vacation off to the right start, but all inclusive resorts can also play a big part in the success of a vacation. With so much included in the cost of an all inclusive vacation, planning a trip could not be more convenient; food, drinks, spa treatment, laundry, even tours; an all inclusive vacation in the Caribbean is hands down, the easiest way to save on costs, and the best value for money vacation.

Sign up now for Hotels Etc membership and find out how 4 million members are getting their dream vacations, at affordable prices.

5 Quick and easy ways to save on travel in 2016

Taking a vacation doesn’t have to be an expensive affair. In fact, a little research and smart decisions can go a long way to making your dream vacation happen, for a fraction of the usual cost. Here are 5 quick and easy ways to help you save on travel in 2016:

Check out travel credit cards

A certain stigma attaches itself to the idea of having a credit card, and rightly so, for spending money you don’t have, or buying something you cannot afford, is always a bad idea. However, while they can have the same pitfalls, there is also a risk-free strategy with travel credit cards which can help you make huge savings on future travels.

Providing you do a little research and read the fine print on each one, a travel credit card with free air miles can be obtained with no upfront costs. In fact, there are travel cards which offer free air miles with absolutely no obligation for a minimum spend amount. Furthermore, this bonus will remain even if you decide to cancel the card at a later date and there is no limit to the number of travel credit cards you can obtain.

How to find the best travel credit card: A quick google search will bring up a dozen options for you to consider.

Get Hotel discounts and more

Since the introduction of rate parity laws, there is really no way to find genuine hotel discounts, other than joining a travel membership club.

In recent years, a mass number of booking engines and travel companies have saturated the online market, but what many people have not yet realized, is how the above mentioned law now restricts these businesses from providing the best hotel discounts, vacation packages or travel offers. Essentially, this means you will now find the same price for products or services across all channels of distribution and the end result; no real discount or value.

Thankfully, there is still a way to find the best hotel discounts or special offers, and it’s a very simple process which involves signing up for a travel membership club such as Hotels Etc and getting easy access to huge savings.

Hotels Etc is a reputable company with more than 20 years experience, and over 4 million members.

Invest in an unlocked cellphone, or don’t take one at all

With so much Wi-Fi access in travel destinations, there really is no need to be spending dollars on roaming charges; Facebook, WhatsApp and Skype all have a facility to make calls.

However, an even smarter move when it comes to traveling abroad is to take an unlocked cell phone and purchase a local SIM card on arrival. Most airports will sell a temporary SIM card at very low prices, and the rates for which you are charged while using it, is always a fraction of the costs incurred through data roaming.

Eat local, and eat cheap

Cost is not always a true reflection of the value, and this is most certainly the case when it comes to food. When you think about it; why not have food in the hotel room for an evening? or make some lunch using ingredients from the local supermarket?

Eating at a restaurant for every meal can be a sure fire way to use up the entire budget for a vacation, and choosing to prepare your own lunch every afternoon, can leave you a lot more disposable spending money for other activities. Another alternative is to choose local restaurants away from the main tourist hub; meals are often just as good, and half the price.

Get your timing right, and travel for half the price

Shoulder months are always the most affordable time to travel on vacation, the weather is generally still just as good in this period, and everything cost less. People with children may not have the luxury to plan a trip outside of school holidays, and then sometimes it is difficult to agree on the best time, if there is a group decision involved, but ultimately, it will lead to large savings.

In fact, recent travel deals have allowed Hotels Etc members to travel with up to 60 – 80% off a large variety of hotels and vacation packages. These were not last minute deals, but rather an example of the amazing hotel discounts which are provided through travel membership clubs.

Whatever happens, and whatever the weather, think smart, pay less and have just as much fun.

You can sign up for a free trial with Hotels Etc today and check out all the latest offers.

Finding cheap hotels, and the best hotel discounts

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With Spring break on the horizon, and most people searching for an easy escape to the warm weather of the South, finding cheap hotels, and the best hotel discounts is an idea worth prioritizing.

Anyone with a huge amount of disposable income may not be interested in learning about the new “Rate parity laws” which were introduced to the travel market, but for the average person on the street, knowing how this new law affects the online travel industry can save you a lot of money.

Rate parity and the increase of hotel rates online

It is not simply a case of the major booking engines increasing their rates, but rather that this new law has enforced a regulation which disallows a fluctuation of pricing across different distribution channels. Essentially the big brands, Expedia for example, are unable to offer lesser rates through their smaller, “sister companies” such as Orbitz or Booking.com.

Most often this will mean higher hotel rates when you check through the different options available because the booking engines/businesses are now required to offer a standard rate but more importantly, for you the consumer, it means the best hotel rates are to be found away from these particular websites.

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Reintroduction of Travel club memberships and finding cheap hotels

For some readers, it may sound strange to “introduce” a travel membership club as during the 1970’s these were a powerful source for vacation deals and the only genuine way of finding cheap hotels or the best hotel discounts.

However, it would seem that history is now repeating itself with the Travel club membership now being back at the very top of the list in terms of “the best hotel discount providers”. Travel clubs are exempt to the new rate parity law and this has allowed them to take one step ahead of the major travel brands by offering their customers the one thing, they cannot – genuine hotel discounts.

Membership clubs, such as Hotels Etc, have a long standing history in the travel industry for finding the best hotel discounts and negotiating the best vacation packages for their members. Hotels Etc also have an impeccable trust rating and with more than 4 million members, are arguably the largest travel membership club in the market at this moment. It really is simple, by signing up to such a club, you will have access to the biggest online travel discounts and an opportunity to pay less, and receive more.

Considering you are already reading this article, chances are you wish to find the best hotel discounts, the best vacation packages or travel membership club and in Hotels Etc you already have the best way to find all the most affordable offers in the online travel industry.

With Spring break just around the corner, and the new rate parity laws restricting the major travel brands from providing genuine value, there really is only one way to find the best hotel discounts online right now, and with Hotels Etc offering a free trial, there really is no reason not to sign up now.

Tips for choosing the Best Spring Break vacation package

Tired of the cold weather, the daily grind and lackluster weeks spent indoors? Luckily, one of the best times of year for a vacation is coming up but is your dream trip this year possible?

Winter can have a stifling effect on just about anybody and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out as to why most people are left scrambling to get away from it all as soon as the New Year arrives. Although better known for wild escapades and college trips, Spring Break provides the perfect opportunity for families, couples or mature travelers to escape the daily routine and replenish the soul in a beautiful setting.

However, with the Easter holidays just a few short months away, it’s important to stop procrastinating or thinking about the reasons why you should go such as the cost and instead start planning your trip with the means or budget you have available.

The following travel tips for choosing the Best Spring Break vacation package 2016;

1. Do yourself a favor, Book now

Okay, we get it – you obviously need to know where you want to go first but the point is; the best vacation packages to Cancun, Punta Cana or wherever else you have in mind are always cheaper when you book in advance.
Don’t be enticed by “last minute deals” and don’t keep waiting for “something better to come along”, the chances are if you are reading this post with a month or more to spare, the vacation you want should be available at the price you want, right now. (More on that, later.).

Be spontaneous, save yourself some headache decisions and book now rather than later.

2. Pick the right destination, but not the same one

We all know that couple of family who return to the same resort, the same holiday home or destination each year. Don’t do it or if this sounds like you, stop doing it. Go somewhere new.

The very essence of adventure or life itself is to go new places and enjoy new experiences but we can’t honestly expect anything to be different by going to the same places every year. There are now an endless number of destinations accessible to North Americans regardless of location and there are now also specific websites which allow travelers to avail of hotel discounts or spring break package deals for even the lowest of budgets.

By all means if you enjoy swimming, choose Punta Cana or a destination with suitable surroundings and likewise if you are more interested in history, maybe a trip to Cancun might suit with the Mayan ruins just a short trip away.
Either way, pick the right destination but try not to go to the same place.

3. Go all Inclusive

Whether you are on a tight budget or not, the best value will always come from an all inclusive package which includes your food, beverages and possibly some cocktails.

Almost every resort of any kind will have options to take day trips in the area or at the very least some local amenities and attractions. Having an all inclusive package will make it easier to decide what else you would like to do once on the vacation itself and then also make it much more affordable to experience these options without worrying about having enough spending money leftover.

However, the main advantage with regard to an all inclusive vacation, as touched on above, is convenience. An all inclusive option takes away all the little needless concerns or decisions that can crop up on a vacation and it ensure for the duration of the trip, you will be provided with the bare necessities to make for a memorable time away.

4. Travel smart and use Spring break vacation discounts

The reasons you should use huge hotel discounts for your next vacation doesn’t really need to be explained but maybe you do need to understand the way in which to find such discounts.

You may have noticed how most websites nowadays seem to advertise the same vacation packages as each other and at the same cost. You are not imagining anything, the reason for this is because of a new law which was introduced to the travel industry recently called “rate parity” which effectively means the most well known sites (think Expedia, Orbitz etc) can no longer offer the best prices for your next hotel stay or vacation abroad.

Hotels etc is a travel membership club which is currently enjoying a huge revival in light of this news as they are exempt to the rate parity laws affecting the major travel brands. Essentially this means, they are now the first and really, the only place you need to look for the biggest travel discounts or packages for your vacation.
With a 20 year reputation, an impeccable rating, 4 million subscribers and the widest range of discounts for travel related products or services, Hotels etc are the first step you should take toward making your dream vacation happen.

Choose wisely & Have a great vacation

Choosing the best package for your vacation this coming Spring break won’t be the easiest decision you will make all year but by simply choosing the destination which appeals to you the most and then going with an all inclusive option, you have already decided what it is exactly that you want.

After that, it’s just a matter of getting the trip booked as soon as possible to avoid paying a higher cost later and by using discounts with a travel membership club you are sure to find the best price anywhere online.

Saving on the cost of your vacation will either free up more spending money for extra activities or even just allow for you to take the trip in the first place but the main point in all of this is that whatever vacation you want this year, it is possible and for those who are well enough informed, this year promises an adventure in search of sandy beaches, crystal blue waters and afternoons spent sipping cocktails beneath a palm tree.

So get signed up for Hotelsetc.com and start organizing your best Spring break vacation yet.