Off-Season Travel Savings

October 20th, 2010 / admin / Comments Off on Off-Season Travel Savings

Wintertime (excluding the holiday season) in the US is considered “off season” for travel to many international destinations.  This can be an excellent time to take advantage of lower costs in travel-especially airfare to many areas of the world, but also for hotels, cruises, and tours.  Let us know if you have a destination in mind and we can check what “off season” pricing is available to make your trip a reality!

Enhancing Your Cruise Vacation

September 15th, 2010 / admin / Comments Off on Enhancing Your Cruise Vacation

Thinking of going on a cruise or already have one scheduled?  There are ways to enhance your vacation before, during and after your cruise.  For example, you may want to  consider customizing some of your shore excursions instead of choosing only from what the ship offers.  There are a number of supplier sources that specialize in shore excursions for cruise passengers.  These can be a very unique local experience and often more economical.  Why not extend your vacation a few days to visit surrounding areas of the departure or landing point since you are already investing the time and money to travel there?  Call us today – we will be happy to discuss ideas!

European Train Tickets

August 8th, 2010 / admin / Comments Off on European Train Tickets

Riding the extensive rail system in Europe is a great experience, but navigating how, when and where to purchase your tickets can be confusing. Not all trains are created equal, and they vary from country to country. If traveling during summer months, a train with air conditioning is a must and if traveling during high season (May – October), tickets for high speed and long distance trips should be purchased well in advance to save money and ensure a seat for your preferred date and train. Seat reservations are required (and helpful!) on high speed trains. If possible, non-stop trains or ones with the fewest changes of train should be selected.

European One-Way Auto Rentals

July 16th, 2010 / admin / Comments Off on European One-Way Auto Rentals

If you are planning to drive while in Europe, be advised that one-way rental charges may apply, especially when a vehicle is picked up in one country and dropped off in another.  This can be significant and is usually charged at time of pickup, so make sure you inquire about full charges when reserving your vehicle.  If possible, you may want to alter your route to leave your vehicle in the same country.  Your travel agent can help you sort this out in advance to avoid surprised.

Mobile GPS Devices For International Driving

June 14th, 2010 / admin / Comments Off on Mobile GPS Devices For International Driving

Planning to drive in a foreign country during your trip?  Consider using a GPS (Global Positioning System) device to help you easily get tho where you want to go.  There are many available for purchase or rent – your current cell phone may even have this capability, or be available with a downloadable application.  They can often be rented through the vehicle supplier as well.  Some are better for certain capabilities such as navigation, mapping, ease of use, etc., so decide your most important  requirements.  This link may be helpful in making your selection, www.reviewgist.com/best-gps-device-international-travel.

Foreign Auto Rental Insurance

May 16th, 2010 / admin / Comments Off on Foreign Auto Rental Insurance

While driving in a foreign country, make sure you have adequate insurance coverage for your rental vehicle.  Insurance requirements and costs vary greatly from country to country.  Don’t assume your own auto insurance and/or credit card provide adequate coverage without confirming the details.  There is no need to be over insured and pay unnecessary costs, yet it is important to have sufficient coverage in case of an accident – whether or not it is your fault.  Many rental companies in Europe have a high dectuctible for theft and property damage, but you can pay an additional premium (less expensive if done before you leave) to get this reduced or waived if you are not comfortable with that amount of monetary exposure.

Medical Assistance While Traveling Abroad

March 8th, 2010 / admin / Comments Off on Medical Assistance While Traveling Abroad

If in need of medical assistance while traveling abroad, there is a referral service for English-speaking doctors and clinics available in 90 countries. You  pay the doctor directly for service provided. Go to http://www.iamat.org/index.cfm to register for one year at a time – membership is free. They also offer medical-related travel planning advice such as immunization requirements.  Don’t forget to purchase your travel insurance before you leave.

Credit/Debit Card Foreign Transaction Fees

February 8th, 2010 / admin / Comments Off on Credit/Debit Card Foreign Transaction Fees

If you travel abroad frequently or for an extended period of time, you may want to apply for a credit card that has a lower transaction fee. Capital One credit card is the only that currently does not charge this fee. Most Visa and MasterCard issuers charge 3%. American Express charges 2.7%. Discover Card charges 2%, however, their card is not commonly accepted worldwide. If you qualify for a card issued by USAA, they currently charge 1%. Fees for the use of a debit card in ATMs abroad vary considerably as well, ranging from a zero to 3% conversion fee and zero to $5.00 flat fee, or combination of both.

Airport Lounges

January 8th, 2010 / admin / Comments Off on Airport Lounges

Make extended airport stays more comfortable by using airline airport lounges. Formerly reserved for First or Business Class travelers, they are now available to all airline travelers on a daily pass or annual membership basis through several sources. Cost and benefits vary but information is available on each airline’s website or membership websites such as Priority Pass, American Express or Delta Reserve Card by American Express. Lounge benefits include comfortable seating, business services, food and beverage, and often times shower facilities.

Holiday Travel Ideas

December 8th, 2009 / admin / Comments Off on Holiday Travel Ideas

When buying gifts for a traveler, I have found these ideas helpful; airline gift cards, Baggallini travel bag, travel hair dryer, TSA luggage lock, luggage scale, small foreign dictionary or phrase book, language DVD or CD’s, GPS, sound canceling headphones, and electronic books. Happy shopping and Happy Holidays!