Luxury Cruise Deals Can Mean Vacation Savings

Finding luxury cruise deals is something that nearly everyone can do if they take a little time to do some research on what type of cruise they would like to take and spend some time comparing cruise rates. There are two ways to approach this; you can go wherever the best deal is or you can have a particular destination in mind and see if you can find a cruise deal that fits your plans.

With well over three hundred different ports of call to choose from it is not hard to find a trip to where you want to go. Because of the competition within the cruise industry it’s usually not to hard to find a discount special wherever you want to go. It may take a little research, but when trading time for savings it can be well worth it.

What many people don’t realize is that there can be a few choices they need to make while looking for that elusive discount cruise rate. There are quite a few cruise lines out there with different sized ships that cater to different types of people.

For a truly pampered and more intimate cruise try one of the smaller cruise ships that are becoming more popular. They are capable of carrying from maybe a dozen passengers up to a hundred or so. These ships have a more personal feel to them but because of their size and more exclusive feeling the prices may be higher then you are expecting. This does not mean you can’t find good deals on these smaller cruises but you’ll probably have better luck with the larger companies that operate the much larger cruise ships.

The largest cruise ships hold upwards of three thousand passengers and have all manner of activities and amenities on board. Because of the fierce competition within the industry it is vitally important that the cruise lines fill their cabins for each cruise. During the off-season they offer all manner of cruise deals to keep their ships at capacity. Having empty cabins is bad for the bottom line and the larger the ship the better the chances of getting a good discount.

Calling the cruise companies directly and simply asking what sort of specials they have currently or coming up in the future is probably the easiest way to find those money saving deals. Travel agents and travel sites on the internet are another good place to get prices. The biggest money saving tip anyone can get is to shop around. Don’t jump at the first “cruise deal” you get, you may be leaving money on the table.

Holiday Survival Guide – Top 10 Tips To Keep Off Those Holiday Pounds

TOP 10 TIPS TO KEEP OFF THOSE HOLIDAY POUNDS

Change your mindset – If you are already planning to fail, you surely will!

Write down your goals Before New Years – Written goals are 80% more likely to be accomplished than those not put to paper.

Drink plenty of Water to control appetite – many people mistake thirst for hunger. I recommend 2-3 liters per day for females, 3-4 liters for men.

Schedule your Workouts in advance – having a personal appointment to take care of your body makes you Much more likely not to skip your workouts. Go relieve some stress!

Keep to your Eating Schedule – skipping meals all day and eating big at night does not work the rest of the year, why would it work now?

Become More Sensitive – Having a really hard workout Before you pig out (even the day before) will make your body better able to handle excess calories.

It is only 3 Days – There are really only 3 Holiday Days, that does not give you reason to binge for 3 Months!

Have a High Fiber Snack – Before you go to eat, have something like a protein shake with flax seeds and an apple. You will be pretty full, and thus will not eat so much crap!

Be a Designated Driver – A Simple way to keep the holiday drinking to a minimum is to Volunteer to be the DD. You can still enjoy yourself, but is it not more fun to laugh at the other drunk people?

Plan your Meal Ahead – This goes for all year, but especially now. If you wait until you are hungry to find something to eat, you will almost always choose the wrong thing. There is an article on my website called the Sunday Ritual that gives busy people many strategies to have healthy food all week long.

Holiday Tips – How to Survive the Airport

For many people, the airport is the most stressful part of the holiday. Sometimes the process is a dream, but much more commonly it feels like a nightmare. If it isn’t a giant queue at check-in, then it’s frantically checking your million bags for your passport or losing your way in the maze of gates and having to run through the airport to catch your plane. Indeed, airport experiences are never going to be perfect, but here are some tips to make sure yours is as painless as possible:

Before you get there:

– Check and double-check your itineraries
– Make sure any special needs are sorted out before you leave for the airport
– Gather all important documents together and store them in a safe place so you won’t spend ages panicking and searching for your passport
– If possible, use a check-in online option. Maybe airlines offer them these days and they can safe you a lot of time, particularly if you only have carry-on baggage.
– Double-check you have no banned items in your carry-on luggage: be extra careful, as this can be include harmless-looking things like nail files
– Seal any liquids, gels and creams you’ll be taking with you in a clear plastic bag ready for inspection. Check online ahead of time how large the containers are allowed to be – often it is less than 150ml and includes things like makeup and cosmetics.
– Research the airport online to find out how long it usually take to get from checking in to reaching your gate.
– Dress comfortably – dress in layers so you can be comfortable whatever the temperature happens to be.

Getting to the airport:

– Allow yourself plenty of time – two hours ahead of your departure time for international flights and one hour ahead for domestic flights.
– If necessary, plan your transport and route to the airport.
– If driving, make sure you have booked airport parking in advance. If a friend is driving, make sure they are aware where drop-off points or short-term parking are.
– If taking public transport, check beforehand that there are no road works or expected delays that could lengthen your journey time.

On arrival:

– Prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario – bring some snacks and something to read in case of long waits
– Do not leave your baggage unattended (this goes without saying, surely?)
– Watch the display boards announcing your departure gate for any updates.
– Drink plenty of water before the flight to avoid becoming dehydrated.

World Ventures Dream Trips – Good Deal Or a Joke?

World Ventures is a travel company that offers “dream trips” to people looking to experience travel. They also provide an income opportunity to people looking to start a travel business. The company is controversial, and many have questioned whether it is a legit opportunity. We blow away the smoke and review what this business is all about.

World Ventures – At A Glance

As a travel company, world ventures provides vacations (called “dream trips”) to clients. They book these trips online, and by doing so, claim to have “combined the power of the Internet with network marketing”.

The company was started by Wayne Nugent and Mike Azcue, who have ties to another company called GTT. World Ventures launched December 10, 2005, and claims to generate sales of just under $150,000,000 in revenue, and it costs $400 to join the company.

World Ventures Dream Trips – A Closer Look

The first controversy starts with the connection of the owners to GTT. This company has come under significant criticism for it’s marketing practices. The executive board has some interesting titles as well, such as “Chief Strategy Officer” and “Chief Visionary Officer”. How unique.

The Bottom Line

The real issue with the company is the marketing that is advocated and taught. The old MLM model of recruiting “friends and family” is still alive and well there, and for all the lip-service, they do not encourage the use of the Internet (beyond email) to grow your business. They do have pretty graphics and fancy java-script on their website, but their marketing strategies are strongly rooted in the 1950’s.

To sum up, this COULD be a good opportunity is a marketer that had skills stepped in and applied those skills. The average person looking to cash in on the travel industry will find some significant lacking in the actual marketing system that drives sales.

Anticipatory Grief and Holidays: 12 Survival Tips

Anticipatory grief – a feeling of loss before a death or dreaded event occurs – is a hard journey. Holidays make it even harder. At a time when you’re supposed to feel happy and joyful, you feel sad and anxious. You’re on pins and needles and wonder what will happen next.

Remember, your grief stems from love, and you may find comfort in that. Holidays don’t erase your reasons for feeling sad and lonely, according to the National Mental Health Association, and “there is room for these feelings to be present.” So accept your feelings and, if you feel like crying, go ahead and do it.

Crying will help you to feel better. Here are some other ways you can help yourself.

BE REALISTIC. You don’t have to create a “perfect” holiday. Do you really need to knit sweaters for everyone? No. Do you really need to serve a six course meal? No. What you need to do is set realistic goals, get organized, and pace yourself. Rather than focusing on one day, the National Mental Health Association recommends focusing on “a season of holiday sentiment.”

ASK FOR HELP. You don’t need to do everything yourself. Family members and friends will be glad to help with planning, decorating, and cooking. One family member could bring a traditional dish, such as pumpkin pie. Another family member could provide linens and launder them afterwards. Your request for help makes others feel needed.

BUDGET. Finances can cause stress at any time, but they cause lots of stress during the holidays. Set a budget for gifts, decorations, and entertaining. Staying within your budget will make you feel better about the holidays and yourself. Your gifts don’t have to be new. Holiays are a perfect time to pass along family possessions – a flower vase, historic photo, or beloved book. Stick a short note about the item in with your gift.

EAT RIGHT. Because nutrition affects brain chemistry, you need to eat balanced meals during the holidays. Yummy as they look, pass up the candy and cookies that come your way. Choose lots of fruits and veggies from the buffet table and one dessert. Keeping a supply of healthy snacks on hand will also help you to eat right.

DRINK MODERATELY. Alcohol makes the holiday blues worse, according to the National Mental Health Association. Too much alcohol can cause you to say things you’ll regret later. If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation or skip it all together. Drink sparkling cider, non-alcoholic punch, or flavored water instead of alcohol.

GET ENOUGH SLEEP. You’ve probably thinking, “Yeah, right.” But you need sleep to survive the holidays. Getting enough sleep is hard to do with so many holiday events going on. However, you may be selective about what you attend, leave early, and get a good night’s sleep. Balance a late night with a short nap the next day.

LIGHT YOUR WAY. Vanerbilt University wellness experts say more people get depressed during the holidays than at any other time. Some of these people have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). If you live in a cold climate and the days are short you may wish to be evaluated for SAD. Phototherapy (intense lighting) is usually recommended for those with SAD. Even if you don’ have SAD well lit rooms will lift your spirits.

EXERCISE. Daily physical activity is a proven way to cope with stress. Walk around town or the local mall and look at holiday decorations. Play catch with your kids or grandkids. Bundle up and go cross country skiing. A half hour of physical activity per day helps to chase the blues away.

BE CONCILATORY. According to http://www.MayoClinic.com family tensions may flare during the holidays if members are “thrust together for several days.” Holidays aren’t the time to settle family disputes, they’re a time for concilatory and kind behavior. Discuss family grievances at a later date.

HELP OTHERS. Holidays are associated with families and togetherness according to Jill RachBeisel, MD, Director of Community Psychiatry at the University of Maryland. But, due to the divorce rate and fragmented families, many don’t have this kind of holiay experience. Still, you may connect with a substitute family by volunteering a a senior center, reading to shut-ins, or tutoring children.

MAKE NEW MEMORIES. The memories you make during this holiday season may comfort you in the future. Take digital photos of holiday events and put them on a CD. Send copies of the CD to all family members. Every family has stories to tell and you may create new memories by tape recording some of these stories. You may also videotape holiday events.

SAVOR THE MOMENT. Though you are sorrowful, you’re alive, able to be with those you love and care about. Surround yourself with life: family members, dear friends, colorful flowers, a tail-wagging dog, and hobbies that make you happy. For every moment of life – even the sorrowful ones – is a miracle.

Copyright 2005 by Harriet Hodgson. To learn more about her work go to http://www.harriethodgson.com

Planning Senior Citizens Trips – The Benefits of Bus Tours

Are you retired, or planning to retire? Would you like to see the world without the hassle of preparing for a vacation?. Planning your future senior citizens trips can be hassle free if you decide to consider bus tours Read on to see how much easier it is to join a bus tour instead of planning your vacation from scratch.

The Problem With Vacations

The main problem with vacations is the preparation you have to do beforehand. All that effort put into booking flights, finding hotels, creating an itinerary, finding travel insurance providers, etc. can really take its toll, which is ironic when you remember you’re a senior trying to relax!

That’s why bus tours and group tours for seniors are gaining popularity as a hassle-free alternative to the traditional way of vacationing, particularly those planning their senior citizens trips in retirement or semi-retirement. All you need to do is find the tour package that suits your expectations, pay the price, and then follow the travel agency’s instructions!

The Advantages Of Bus Tours

The main advantage of bus tours is the fact that it’s stress-free and hassle-free on your part — the travel agencies have done all the work for you! All you have to do is to choose the package, pay up, be there in time for the bus, and then start taking photos!

Another advantage of bus tours is the cost. When you plan a vacation the traditional way, almost every move costs money. When you book your flights — money. When you make hotel reservations — money. When you take cabs to the six tourist spots you plan to see today — money!

But when it comes to bus tours, you pay a single fee for the whole package, which can last several days. What’s more, seniors bus tours often come at a discount, making the whole vacation even more affordable and enjoyable for you! Just sign the dotted line, and off you go.

How To Prepare For A Bus Tour

The first step in preparing for a bus tour vacation is choosing your destination. What part of the world would you want to see? What town or country has been on your “must-visit” list for the past few decades? Now’s the time to take your pick without having to think about work when you get back!

Next, find suitable travel agencies that have tour packages in your chosen destination(s). Choose the travel agency with the package that fits your budget and schedule perfectly. You can also check if the travel agency offers travel insurance — very important if you REALLY want to enjoy yourself!

And finally, start packing! Bus tour packages can last several days, so make sure to pack enough clothes, medicine, and toiletries for the entire trip. Take a backpack if your back is strong enough, but if you don’t mind having only one free hand most of the time, take a lighter travel case on wheels.

Don’t Believe The Bad Hype!

Most younger vacationers dismiss bus tours as “boring” and “predictable,” but they don’t enjoy the sophistication that only age can bring. As seniors, we tend to enjoy a more relaxed, more cultured pace. So leave the stress to the young ones and take that vacation you’ve been waiting for all these years!

Brazil – Just Sensational!

Because Brazil is the country that gave birth to the carnival, the dazzling costumes and glorious beaches of Rio de Janeiro, will allure you to the rhythm of the Samba. The mix of colors shows Brazil’s great diversity. It has a hospitable spirit unequaled anywhere else in the world. The country of Soccer, good food, exotic beaches, rain forest, waterfalls, and many other topics make Brazil come together and the ideal destination for those who wish to be well received and treated as if at home. This is a place where many people leave their hearts.

Indubitably it is an ideal destination for travelers that deserve a very luxury custom program, service and money wise tour provide. It’s obvious that so many costumes arrive home already day dreaming of returning.Whoever visits Brazil always comes back. And every time you come back you will witness a different spectacle. Travel to Brazil for an awesome experience in a life time.

Brazil is a unique mix of races, Breath – taking Mountains, Amazing wild life, and a great pleasure. Come and get a glimpse of Brazil rich biodiversity. Those who come, fall in love. Don ‘t miss the opportunity to get your vacation in vacation.

Covering almost half of South America, it occupies an area of 8,547,403.5 square km. It is the fifth largest country in the world. The Atlantic ocean extends along the entire East Cost of the Country offering 8.5 thousand km of marine coastline.

Large International Hotels and good quality of service area way of life. Growing numbers of tourists are coming to Brazil, every year and 96% of the American citizen says they want to return to Brazil.

From Amazon to Iguassu Falls it’s a fantastic scene with beautiful views of cities, Brazil eco-tourism, Unbelievable forest and happy and smiling people. From the big cities to the little ones, you are always going to find many magic spots and a reason to come back to a paradise named Brazil.

Buying Cheap, Discounted Airline Tickets and Vacation Packages Online

I love buying airline tickets and vacation packages on line for two reasons. Convenience and price. Convenience because I can look and then purchase them on my own time and then can spend less time in lines at the airport. With an e-ticket, purchased on line I can check my baggage at a kiosk or at curbside (for a small price) and then proceed directly to the gate, no waiting for my boarding pass. And I like getting the best price I can. But I had to learn a few things about how to get the best price first.

When is the best time to buy the cheapest airline ticket? Buy early; the best prices may be 21 days or more prior to your travel day. The fares will generally increase after that. The highest prices are fourteen days prior to travel. Buy late; sometimes you can purchase tickets for the following weekend at cheap rate if the plane has empty seats. But you may have to return on Monday or Tuesday.

What is the best day to buy the cheapest airline ticket? Most airlines release the new prices on Wednesday, so the best time to look is between midnight on Tuesday and early Wednesday am.

When is the best time of year to travel? The highest rates are June, July and around the holidays, although sometimes a good price can be obtained for the actual holiday itself. Most people do not want to fly on Christmas or Thanksgiving. The lowest price trends tend to be mid January to mid February, April to May, and mid September to mid October.

Where should I fly to and from? Flying through an airline hub may get you a lower price on that airline. For example Southwest has a hub in Phoenix, so check for lower rates there, and American has a hub in Minneapolis, so check for lower rates with them there. Try an alternative airport. Often arriving at a smaller airport just a few hours away can save you a lot of money. Balance the price of a rental car or travel time to see if is worth it to you. Often it is.

What should I purchase? Combining airline tickets, hotel and car rental can decrease the price of your plane ticket. Look at purchasing the whole package from one place to save money.

I think if you use these tips for looking for and purchasing your airline ticket and vacation package on line you will love it as much as I do. Give it a try!

Five Important Senior Travel Tips

Often when we near retirement, seniors have big dreams of all the places they want to visit. However, as we get older, traveling often isn’t quite the delight we hoped it would be. Although it can be great fun traveling to new places and meeting new people, the logistics of traveling can be challenging for many seniors.

This is especially true if you are traveling alone. However, with some advance planning, you can make your next trip much more pleasant and enjoyable. Here are some travel tips that I follow myself, to make sure my trips are as enjoyable as possible.

First, consider your particular health conditions. If you need to take medication daily and you are traveling internationally, it is important to make sure that you always carry medications and copies of your medication list with you at all times. Never check your medications in airline baggage, as you may be facing a life threatening situation if your baggage gets lost.

Second, plan well in advance. Although spontaneity is great for many things in life, as we age, making well thought out travel plans is very important. This is especially true for those who face mobility challenges. For example, if you have trouble standing in lines for a long time or climbing stairs, then you will want to avoid situations that requires this. Ask the questions you need to ask before you leave on your trip.

Third, make back up plans as well. Even the best plans can backfire, and having a contingency plan for when things do not go as planned is important as well. Although the idea of making not one, but two (and maybe even three) travel itineraries may seem overwhelming, if things go wrong you will be very happy you made the effort.

Four, travel as lightly as possible. You do not need the added difficulty of lugging heavy bags around. There are some wonderful new luggage models that have very useful features such as wheels and multiple handles. Don’t go with the cheapest you can find either, as you want your luggage to be durable and last.

Finally, always think about safety. Seniors are often the target of pickpockets and thieves. Consider investing in a money belt, and maybe even carry a decoy purse or wallet with only a little money in it in case you get robbed.

With proper thought and preparation, you will find that your journeys are much more comfortable, safe and enjoyable!

Top 10 Kayaking Tips for Beginners

Number 10:

For your first time, make sure that you are with an experienced kayaker, or at least someone who has been out at water several times before. Never go out by yourself on your first time. When with a group or an experienced individual it will ensure that if you do get into trouble, someone will be at hand to help.

Number 9:

Make sure you have the correct equipment! Find a local reputable and experienced shop to get your equipment from. Not only will they be able to make sure that you have everything that you need, including a suitable kayak, buoyancy aids and wet suits, they will also be able to offer additional help and advice on the best places locally to kayak.

Number 8:

Know the difference between sea kayaking and river kayaking. There are a great many different types of kayak on the market all design for specific types of water. Sea kayaking has become increasingly popular, but there are also kayaks for white water kayaking, river kayaking, there are sit-on-top kayaks, sit inside kayaks, surf kayaks, racing kayaks and many many more. Speak to an experienced kayaker if you are unsure of which type to go with.

Number 7:

Learn how to capsize safely. At one point across your kayaking adventures you are bound to come up against a large wave, a fast current or some rapids that will capsize your kayak. It is always best to be prepared for this by learning how to capsize safely. If you practice capsizing in calm water in a group or with someone else, you can practice escaping from the hull, coming to the surface and getting back in your kayak.

Number 6:

Take out personal accident insurance. If you are planning an extended trip, kayaking somewhere with high currents, or perhaps can not afford to take any time off of work due to an accident, make sure you protect yourself financially with personal accident insurance.

Number 5:

Go exploring! Treat kayaking as a way to explore new and exciting places. Whether you are paddling across canals, rivers or the sea, there are plenty of places to explore. Why not pack up some lunch and paddle to a distant shore for your sandwiches? There is a whole world to explore, if you follow the rest of these tips you will hopefully stay safe!

Number 4:

Check the weather. It may seem like an obvious one, but trust me I have overlooked this one on many occasions. High winds and heavy rain can make for very choppy water and an increased risk of capsizing. Fast currents can often be very unsafe, so make sure you are fully aware of the conditions before you set out.

Number 3:

Choose your location carefully. Don’t just jump into any old stretch of water and start paddling. If its a beautiful day at a lovely stretch of open water and there arn’t any other kayakers around, there is normally a reason for it! Check online, join forums or ask your local retailers for advice on the best places to kayak.

Number 2:

Don’t underestimate yourself! Yes kayaking can look very daunting to get into and complex to master, but it is very easy to pick up the basics. If you follow these tips and stay safe, there is no reason that you can’t have years of memorable adventures without a single mishap.

Number 1:

Take out kayak equipment insurance. Kayaking equipment can often be very expensive, and is put under a tremendous amount of stress and strain. Hidden rocks in rivers can crack kayaks, fast currents can crash it into the shore and equipment can even be stolen. Specific kayaking insurance from Harrison Beaumont Insurance not only covers all your expensive kayaking equipment, it also covers all your personal effects, such as smart phone, sat nav, digital camera etc. From only £40 for the whole year, its my number one tip for any kayaker, beginner or fully fledged enthusiast!