An Organized Vacation is a Relaxing Vacation

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An Organized Vacation is a Relaxing Vacation

Summer is  here – the most popular time of year to go on vacation. While you may be looking forward to your vacation destination, you may be dreading the last-minute scrambling that typically accompanies your pursuit of relaxation. These tips will help make sure your trip is actually as relaxing and enjoyable as you’ve imagined it will be by helping you get organized before you leave.

Have a single place where all of your travel information is stored.  Use a notebook, file folder or binder to hold your itinerary, airline tickets, car rental information, passports, maps, travel agent information, brochures, etc.

Use lists to help you make sure that you have everything taken care of before you leave. You should have a packing list for each family member, as well as a to-do list of all the things you need to take care of before you go. My APPLES Resource Guide includes a comprehensive vacation checklist to help you get started.

Prepare instructions for whoever is taking care of your house, mail, pets and plants.  If members of more than one family will be caring for these items, let them know who the other people are so they won’t be surprised to see them in your home. Write down exactly what you expect each person to do while you’re gone. Give them phone numbers where they can reach you in an emergency (both hotel and cell phone numbers). 

Set aside an area to accumulate your travel necessities as you pack. A spare bedroom or an unused corner of a bedroom is ideal. Start gathering things several weeks before you’re scheduled to leave so that you don’t have to endure a last minute shopping and packing marathon. You don’t have to actually start packing the suitcases yet (although you can), but at least start to pull together some of the items on your packing list. If you’ll be traveling to a different climate, make sure everyone’s off-season clothing still fits.

Think carefully about what clothing needs to go with you.  Many people pack significantly more clothing than is necessary. Carefully consider the weather and the activities in which you’ll be participating. If you can avoid changing clothes every day, you may be able to lighten your load and save on baggage fees. Also consider wearing some of your grungiest, most worn out clothing (including socks and undies) for long car trips.  After you’ve worn it, you can throw it out and make room for the souvenirs that you pick up along the way. If you plan on some of those souvenirs being t-shirts, pack fewer shirts at home.

Set a budget ahead of time. Nothing ruins a vacation as quickly as the constant refrain of “No” when your kids (or fellow adults!) ask you to buy something for them. Communicate ahead of time how much you’re willing to spend on souvenirs, and then stick to your budget. Consider being nonjudgmental about how your kids choose to spend their allotted souvenir money – if it’s not illegal, immoral, or dangerous, and it will fit in the suitcase, you can use it as a teaching moment. Not only will they learn that once they’ve spent their allotted funds there’s no more money available, but they might also learn that photographs, postcards, and memories of good times will last longer than any trinket.

If you’re traveling by car, have it serviced before you go. Don’t wait until the last minute in case your mechanic has to order a part that might otherwise delay your trip. Make sure you have an emergency kit on board, including a flashlight (with spare batteries), first aid kit, and jumper cables.

Enjoy yourself.  Have a great trip, and make notes about any suggestions you may have for making your next trip even more enjoyable.

Bangkok Sightseeing Vacation – Frugal Tips

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Bangkok Sightseeing Vacation – Frugal Tips

Have you been planning a Bangkok sightseeing vacation but always holds it back because of budget constraints? Don’t worry because there are many ways to enjoy Bangkok even with limited vacation funds.

Bangkok is really one of the best places to visit if you want quality but inexpensive vacation. It has numerous tourist attractions that are usually accessible by public transportation. So before you cave in to the luring sales pitch of the tour guides that charge hefty fees, it is worth to read the following frugal tips for your future Bangkok sightseeing vacation plan.

Use the Map. You can ask a free copy of Bangkok map at the hotel concierge. If you cannot find any, though rarely, you can always refer to the maps located in the public transportation stations of the metro train or express boats.

Also, majority of the tourist attractions have tourist information booth nearby that you can approach.

Research Earlier. Guided tours are always expensive because you pay for their service and knowledge. Tour guides will provide you with the history, its significance and other related information of the sights you wish to go.

But why spend a dime for information that is widely available with no cost at all. Before you pack your things, do some little homework. Research and read about those famous tourist attractions that you plan to visit. This will save you a substantial amount of money while you will enjoy the thrill of exploring unguided Bangkok sightseeing tours.

Take Express Boat. This is the great way to get around in Bangkok because it is cheap and fast, away from the congested roads. Express boat is also known as the public boat. With regular trips and several routes, you can visit major tourist attractions using express boat.

Here are few local tourist attractions that you can reach through Express boat.

• Emerald Buddha & Grand Palace
• The Golden Buddha
• The Reclining Buddha
• The National Museum of Royal Barges
• Wat Arun

Tour guides will approach you in every sightseeing site. Don’t succumb to their overcharged fees as most of the local attractions are just walking distance from the pier (where the express (public) boats dock).

For instance, Wat Arun is located just across the pier Tha Tien where you get off for the Reclining Buddha. There is available ferry that will take you for five minutes or less to the Wat Arun from the Tha Tien pier for only 3 bhat per way.

Bangkok Mass Transit System. It is also known as BTS Sky train, a quick and convenient way to reach shopping malls and other tourists destinations. Aside that it gives you a top view of the city, BTS Sky train is also clean. It will cost you between 30-40 baht per trip per way.
Here are few places you can go using the BTS Sky train.

• Siam Square (Bangkok’s shopping heartland)
• Victory Monument
• MBK Shopping Mall
• Chatuchak or Weekend Market

Pack Extra Traveling Bags. Bangkok is always associated with shopping because there are so many things to buy at reasonable prices from clothes, shoes, silk, tailor-made suits, jewelries to souvenir items. You will definitely end up with an extra travelling bag on your return.

To pack all these new shopping goodies, you will need an additional suitcase on your return but why you have to buy an extra suitcase when you can pack some old folding traveling bags you keep in your closet back home.

Now that you know few Bangkok sightseeing vacation frugal tips, it’s about time to let go your travel qualms and enjoy the thrill of exploring frugally the various local attractions in Bangkok.

Perth's Cultural Attractions

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Perth's Cultural Attractions

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Perth is a five hour flight from the eastern seaboard cities of Sydney and Melbourne and with a population of less than two million it is simply not economical to shift large touring bands such a great distance for potentially, such a limited return. This does not mean, however, that Perth lacks attractions and to say its music and arts scene is quiet simply could not be further from the truth.

Indeed, it is precisely because Perth is so isolated that the local arts and music scene has become so vibrant. The city has earned the nickname The New Seattle because independent acts and artists have been forced to take up the gap where overseas or east coast figures are not able or do not have enough funding to, make regular trips to Perth’s entertainment venues.

These include the Burswood Entertainment Complex which is a multi use centre that includes everything from a palatial casino replete with five star hotel and exclusive fitness centre to a several thousand seat entertainment centre called the Burswood Dome which is used, variously, for sporting events and live concerts.

Each visitor will select their preferred Perth hotel. The choice is certainly not limited to the large commercial precinct around the Burswood Entertainment complex. In fact when it comes to any and every kind of hotel Perth provides. In all areas of the city are mid range, medium priced hotels that suit business travelers and families. Elsewhere, there are plenty of dirt cheap student dormitories.

Located on the picturesque Swan River, Perth is compact enough to be navigated on foot, at least in its central areas. There is no need to worry about metro maps in a city that is compact like Perth. For day trips and excursions to regions such as the beautiful nearby Margaret River, however, hire cars will definitely be required.

However, many people who venture to the Margaret River choose to do so on bus tours with a driver. This is because the area is justifiably famous for its wineries and so wine tasting days and getting behind the wheel of a vehicle do not often go together very well.

It is much more convenient to have your own wheels, but if a lot of wine is going to be sampled, and on day trips to the Margaret River this is invariably the case, sometimes a driven tour group is a better option since when this is arranged, everyone can let their hair down and no one has to go without in order to be the designated driver.

Perth’s shopping scene is not really on a par with that in Sydney and Melbourne, the eastern cities where fashion and design are very highly prized. However, Perth’s proximity to Australia’s vast mining areas means that precious stones and associated jewelry such as opals and gold are in abundance in Perth.

They are not necessarily any cheaper in Perth than they are anywhere else, but the range and quality is top notch. Gold fine chains are very good buys and one of the attractions in Perth is the surfeit of jewelry stores and expert jewelers in town who are able to give really expert advice to novice shoppers. They can be trusted.

A brief visitor's guide to Ayodhya

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A brief visitor's guide to Ayodhya

Ayodhya is known for being the birth place of Lord Rama. It is one of the most important pilgrimage centers situated in the North Indian State of Uttar Pradesh. An ancient city as per being mentioned in the epic Ramayana, Ayodhya has all the traits of the old world charm. Since Lord Ram is one of the most venerated deities in India, Ayodhya holds a special place in the hearts of the Hindus in India. The visitor’s guide to Ayodhya will tell you more about the places to visit and also how you can reach this city.

You can feel the divinity in the air as you pass through the lanes of Ayodhya. Mainly Hindu tourists flock to this place in thousands in the festive seasons like Ram Navami (Lord Ram’s birthday). The visitor’s guide to Ayodhya will brief you about the tourist attractions at this place. Ramkot is the chief place of worship in the city of Ayodhya where the Lord’s birth is celebrated pompously. The Hanuman temple is also a major tourist attraction at this place. If you want a walk in the past, you can visit the museums which showcase all kinds of prehistoric specimens and scriptures, safely guarded.

The visitor’s guide to Ayodhya will also tell you more about how to reach the city. The nearest airport is in Lucknow, 135 km away. The airport is well connected by flights with the rest of the country and you have the option to choose from Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Air Sahara. The nearest railhead is located in the district of Faizabad, 6 km away from Ayodhya. Regular bus services are available from the neighboring cities and districts. So if you are planning to fly to this place, get off at the Lucknow Airport and you can reach Ayodhya by either train or bus.

The visitor’s guide to Ayodhya will also cover the climatic conditions of the city. Though the temperatures are quite mild throughout the year, it is best advised that you travel to this place in the winter months of November to February to avoid the summer heat. Though Ayodhya maybe an ancient city, it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t developed much. There are quite a good number of hotels here with the government sanctioning funds to improve the tourism department of this place. The hotels are all well equipped meeting international standards.

Taking a Gap Year

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Taking a Gap Year? a Taste of the Non-conventional

For many people a Gap Year is their only opportunity to do something non-conventional before delving into university or 9-5 employment. Many people consider a Gap Year a last hurrah before a string of responsibilities set in, such as school debts, mortgages, and marriages.

Need a break? Need a bit more time to discover who you really are and what you want to do? A gap year might be the right recipe, so now you have to decide what you’d like to do. The opportunities are endless, and they are all very tempting. A modern Gap Year tends to involve a healthy mix of volunteer work, educational travel and relaxation. How does learning Spanish in Guatemala sound? Have you ever dreamt of working with Big Game in Africa? There are orphanages in Nepal that could use your help, or perhaps you’ve always wanted to dive on the Great Barrier Reef.

More and more young people are taking the opportunity to take a year out before continuing their education or embarking upon careers whether it is to work, study or travel. These are what have come to be known as “Gap Years” or a “Year Out”, an idea that has been popular for many years in the UK and Germany and that is catching on phenomenally in the USA. For many people, a Gap Year is a chance to see the world, visit other countries, learn new skills or do voluntary work. Gap Year travellers enrich themselves while also giving their CV/r?sum? a real boost. While traditionally a Gap Year referred to the time before starting university, young people now take Gap Years during university, after university, before settling down with a “real job” or pretty much whenever they feel like it.

Finding money a deterrent? Wait until you have a mortgage and a family! If you don’t win the lottery and your family isn’t particularly keen on funding your adventure, then get a job. If you are considering a volunteering program then the opportunities for fund raising are endless. Alternatively, there are opportunities where you can spend time abroad and actually earn a paycheck!

A properly planned gap year can be one of the most rewarding, challenging and exciting periods in your life. However, a well planned gap year takes a considerable amount of work, and it’s important to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where do you want to go?
  • What do you want to do? Volunteer? Learn a new skill? Speak a language?
  • How will you fund your gap year and how much money will you have to work with?
  • How long do you want to go?
  • Will you be happier going by yourself or with friends? 

Ready to go?

A host of Gap Year programs await you. If you fancy a program, do your homework about the organisation. If you have any doubts, ask for alumni references. Farewell and have fun!!

Why Travel Agents are Still so Popular

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Why Travel Agents are Still so Popular?

The online UK market is brimming with a plethora of online travel agents that are serving the most lucrative and attractive travel deals to their clients. These travel agents and their virtual existence on the Internet has become widespread, with a lot of clients coming in and selecting the most lucrative deals out of all that are available with them. However, this article is not about the online travel agents and their deals, but for a change we can see the benefits of age old method of booking your tickets through your local travel agents.

This sounds very strange in a world that is full of fundamentals of online marketing and deals that look impressive to the mind of any ordinary user. But, the local travel agent is not an obsolete concept and its importance cannot be ignored, even in these times. Let us try to figure out the advantages of a travel agent over the online travel deals that you can directly avail from the Internet. It is often said that you can find some of the best deals yourself on the Internet without the help of these travel agents. However, a travel agent allows you to save much on your time in locating, choosing and freezing the right travel deal.

Also, the online travel industry is full of travel websites and you might not be able to find the right deal on your own. These travel agents know a lot of lucrative websites that are full of profitable travel packages that should suit the your budget and requirement. They also have a fair idea about the best and the most sought after tourist destinations, and they also have the knowledge of the most beefy travel packages to these destination. So, you don’t have to put in special efforts in locating as to which is the right kind of the deal for you.

Travel agent also have a fair idea about the local deals that serve well in your domestic area as much as in your favourite tourist destination. They are also dexterous enough in cutting down the extra expenses of your trip and providing you with economical deals that you wouldn’t be able to locate anywhere on the Internet.