Have a Wonderful Trip

Entertainment at Walt Disney World

By June 15, 2016 Disney, Making Plans, Trip Planning

magic kingdom showOne of the most fantastic parts of a visit to Walt Disney World is the chance to see the entertainment.   There are shows playing all over the parks at various venues and at various times. Whether it is watching Finding Nemo the musical at Animal Kingdom, the Indian Jones Stunt Spectacular at Hollywood Studios, Holidays around the world at Epcot or any of the countless other entertainment options that are offered in Walt Disney World you will want to ensure you do not miss out.

finding nemo

 

If you plan ahead you can time your breaks and stops to coincide with nearby entertainment options. To help you in planning your stops to watch the entertainment I am including a link  Disney Entertainment .

 

Indiana_Jones_Stunt_Spectacular

Remember that anything underlined can be clicked on to provide more information.  The site also provides timings for the upcoming years’ events.

This information can help you to have a wonderful trip.

 

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Cruising on a Budget

By June 15, 2016 Budgeting tips, Cruising, Making Plans, Trip Planning

Vacation planning usually begins with a budget in mind.   There are so many places to go that you will want to ensure you get the “best bang for your buck”.

Cruising can have some budget friendly options.    The budget conscious traveller can choose to go with the more budget friendly seasons to travel, the budget itineraries or a budget cruise line.  By budgeting wisely you have an opportunity to  take upscale cruises at a more budget friendly price.

 Travelling in a budget friendly season

Just like everything else; in peak season you pay higher prices. For those able to adjust their schedule you can have the exact same cruise as others but by adjusting the time you travel can have significant cost savings.  Generally the shoulder seasons (those at the beginning and end of the cruising season) tend to be the most budget friendly.  A tradeoff may be the weather, (less than ideal at times) but the destinations are not usually as crowded and airfare can be significantly less as well.  An example of this is to cruise Alaska in May or September, when weather is a bit cooler and fish, animals and flowers may not be as abundant. northern lights alaska cruise  But for instance May is typically less rainy than summer and September offers a chance for the “northern lights” sightings.   So if you research the area you will be able to find information such as typical temperature and then make a decision based on what you find the most appealing to you.

Autumn tends to be a bargain time in most regions with the lowest prices usually offered in the Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico. There tends to be less travel in general from Labour Day to Christmas but also this is the hurricane season in both the Pacific and Atlantic/Caribbean regions.   So you need to do your research and decide if you want to travel to these areas at this time.

Another factor that affects the cost of cruising is if there is unrest in the area where you are sailing.   Some of the Mediterranean cruises have been affected by the global state of affairs in the region.

Itineraries for the budget conscious

The cost friendly options seem to either have a greater number of days at sea or may be those of the shortest length, some are just overnight, or two day ones.   These tend to have the lowest total per night costs.    These can be to a number of different destinations; an example may be Vancouver to Seattle.   This alternative might be a good way to add onto a trip….…if you were going to be there anyway this could be a pleasant add on.

cruise iteneraryAnother option is the three and four night cruises like the ones offered to the Bahamas, some in Mexico or western Caribbean as well as some four and five night Canada sails. Note that the shorter cruises seem to attract a younger crowd so there may be a party atmosphere on board which can be a bonus for the right person.

One of the most often overlooked is the repositioning cruises.   Usually at the end of seasons, such as spring or fall, ships reposition themselves to move a ship’s region….such as from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean.  This cruise will have limited stops and lots of sea days, allowing the opportunity to explore the ship and enjoy the cruise atmosphere.  This can be a great opportunity to try out a more upscale line like Cunard for instance at a reasonable cost.  They tend to be of ten days or longer so are popular with mature and retired people.

Also even more savings can occur if you are someone who is able to take advantage of the last minute deals for your trip.

Budget Cruise Lines

While the thought of cruising does not exactly bring to mind a budget vacation there are ways to enjoy the luxury of a cruise by following some simple tips.   For instance you can go with the older vessels as opposed to the newer ones.   But don’t think because it is older it is not as good, they are fine vessels that have a lot to offer.   Fleets like Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean come to mind but there are others as well.

Grand_Celebration_(cropped)

There are also some of the smaller lines that only have a few ships that sail in specific areas that sometimes offer some great deals as well.   Bahamas Paradise Cruise line is one which seems to cater to first time cruisers wanting a cheap way to try out cruising with a two night cruise from Palm Beach, Florida to the Bahamas.   Their ship Grand Celebration carries 1800 passengers and has 4 restaurants, eight bars and lounges, a casino, theatre, spa, gym, two pools, three hot tubs and a child program and waterslide. They offer inside, outside and suites so you get the full experience.

So there are a number of factors that can affect the pricing of your cruise and it is possible to shop for the best deals but do so after careful research and ensure you are fully aware of why a price may be lower.   Hopefully this will help you to have a wonderful trip

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Cruises…….not all are created equal

By June 9, 2016 Cruising, Making Plans

cruise shipsSo you want to take a cruise…….a quick look at the cruise lines websites and the fares and you’ll soon see that not all cruises are created equal.  There are cruise lines to cater to every lifestyle.

You’ll have to decide which cruise line suits you best…..they range in price and are rated similar to hotels with stars to indicate levels.  Look at the various lines, see what the ships are like……do you want a larger or smaller one….. see if it offers cruises where you want to go…..for instance the large ships may not be able to do river cruises.  You can research it online, or through word of mouth……ask others who have cruised before what’s their favorite …..ask them why….what do they like specifically about that cruise line and have they sailed on others.

We’ve used sites like Cruise Critic and Trip Advisor (see links below) to see what others have to say.   Read the reviews…..I not only look at the numbers but also make sure to read what they said….. what may be bad to them may not be an issue for you…….I once read a horrid review about a hotel where the main complaint was that there were too many children staying in the hotel using the pool.

Some ships, like Disney, cater to children and provide the Disney experience at sea so it may be a drawing card for some families.   However, keep in mind that many other cruise lines offer child programs onboard as well.   There are ships that offer cooking classes, or adventure type activities.  Just about everything you can imagine is available.

If you are flexible consider 3 or 4 different lines, then you are able to make decisions based on other factors like dates, the places they visit and cost.  Most cruise lines offer some form of loyalty program that is meant to reward frequent travelers.    As a return customer you move up levels where there are specific advantages offered.

Once you have an idea of the cruise line you then need to pick a stateroom…….check out the ships online, see the categories and what they each offer.  Rule of thumb seems to be  the higher the deck within a specific category, the higher the price, and the higher the level of rooms.  You can decide if paying the extra for a different class makes sense for you.  Some view it as only a place to sleep so choose the lower cost alternatives,  while others really enjoy the privacy and sanctuary that a balcony brings. Weigh out the pros and cons for your perfect trip.  On most ships, with a few exceptions, whether your room is on the lowest or highest deck you are offered very similar amenities,  entertainment is the same and the dining rooms offer the same meals.   Some have notable exceptions reserved for the more expensive class of rooms, for instance Celebrity has an Aqua class where they have a special dining room that serves different meals from the main dining room.

The great thing about having the internet is that you can research the amenities and costs.   There are all kinds of tips on which room to pick and why.  Look at the company website for the cruise companies you are considering and use it as a starting point and then shop for the best price using both their site and other sites to get the best bang for your buck.

 

Cruise Critic Cruise Ship Reviews

http://www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/

 

Trip Advisor Cruise Ship Reviews

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g1-i12105-k4849807-Cruise_Ship_Reviews-TripAdvisor_Support.html

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Walt Disney World Vacation….where dreams come true

By June 6, 2016 Disney

 

January photoSo you’ve decided to head to Walt Disney World in Florida.  Children of all ages dream of visiting here.  So much to do and see , some end up returning multiple times.

Disney has 4 main parks in Orlando, you can spend as little or as much time in each as you want .   Just pick where you want to spend your time and start making your plans.

Our first trip there was actually with our son, daughter in law, two grandsons and her mom and dad.  It was a wonderful trip full of exciting adventures.

For the first trip we decided to stay at one of the resorts, Wilderness Lodge……wow, what an amazing place.   There are a couple of good reasons to stay on the grounds, you get access to the Magic Express, a bus which picks you up at the airport.  They even collect your luggage for you and take it to the hotel.  Unless of course you need to clear customs in Orlando, if that is the case you will need to get the bags to do so.  This unique perk for staying at the resorts helps take away the stress of transportation to and from the hotel.  We found that since our plans were only to go within the Disney world properties we did not rent a car, the Disney properties all offer transportation to the various sites either by rail, bus or boat so there was no need to worry about parking or maneuvering in traffic.  Another benefit of staying at the resorts is that you are able to gain additional time at the parks as a perk for being their guest.Picture 018

On our second trip to Disney we stayed off site with friends & family and rented a car.  We had a great trip both times but I am glad that we stayed onsite the first time around as we did spend all our time going between the various resorts, parks and at downtown Disney for shopping, all of which we could use the Disney transportation to reach.

When you go to the parks there is so much to see and do……I recommend doing some research so that you don’t miss the things that are unique to each of them.  Be sure you catch some of the great shows and of course the parade and fireworks at magic kingdom.   You will have numerous opportunities to purchase the admission tickets ahead of time and various sites offer them,  in various combinations.   We took the park hopper where you paid for 4 days and got the 5th free.   This one allowed us to go to more than one park in a day.   We did use that feature as one day we went to Animal Kingdom and then later in the evening went over to Magic Kingdom for the fireworks and some rides.  Don’t forget to check out what may be going on at the resort you are staying at as they have fun things lined up as well.

December photos

There is so much to do and see make sure you have taken the time to do your research regarding the activities, timings and any special happenings while you are in the area.

Above all this is the place to have fun, have a wonderful trip.

 

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Consider purchasing Travel Insurance

By June 2, 2016 Health and Safety tips

Although not a topic you may want think about, sometimes things we don’t go exactly as planned.   That’s one of the reasons they sell insurance, just in case something goes wrong.  But be cautious as not all insurances are the same.   Similar to your home or car insurance make sure you look over the offerings types that are offered.   Read the websites or pamphlets and call and ask questions to be sure you know what you are getting.   One thing to watch is that some activities you are considering may not be covered if you get injured while doing them, so be sure to check it out first.

Insurances are available for purchase from travel agents, online,and through various organizations but you need to know what you are getting,  be aware of what is and is not covered.   Some insurances you may want to look into include trip cancellation, emergency medical coverage, and collision damage waiver insurance. Often times there are forms of comprehensive insurance that combines two or more types at a lesser price.

Although price is a major consideration, it is equally important that you are aware of the fine print.  You also will want to check to see if you may already have some forms of coverage…..such as travel insurance through your workplace benefits or a credit card or maybe your own car insurance has a clause to cover rental car collision damage.     But ensure you look at things like maximum limits.   For instance, some emergency medical coverage have a $50,000 limit.   With the high cost of health care that is not likely enough to help if you are hurt seriously.  Your provincial health care will not be enough if you are injured.

Ensure you know what you are purchasing, it is too late after something happens and you think you have coverage but do not.   Be sure to look around for the best price when purchasing the insurances, they can vary a lot, check places like travel agents, CAA, Blue Cross, your current insurance company and also organization you belong to may have an arrangement with insurers for their members.

Once you decide and have purchased your policy, get your paperwork and read it…..make sure  it covers the things you think it does.   I would suggest that you do a cheat sheet, a single page, written in simple language that summarizes the coverage and most importantly what the procedure to follow if you need to use it.    In an emergency it is a lot easier to have that done ahead of time rather than having to scan a long document when someone is upset.  We leave a copy home or with a friend, email a copy to ourselves and also take a photocopy in our baggage besides the one in with our carryon paperwork.  We both are aware of the procedure and have the card with us in case we need it.  Note that a lot of the emergency medical policies offer translation service as well to help in communications.  They may require that you  call them right away so that they can communicate with the doctors to help determine the best course of action.  I strongly recommend getting the emergency medical…….it is well worth the peace of mind knowing you are covered in the event something happens.

Trip cancellation insurance has very specific criteria that you must meet in order to be eligible for reimbursement.    Make sure you ask questions about it as well prior to purchasing.  Do not just assume it is covered.  Check on things like what would happen if for instance your spouse or children were injured prior to the trip and  could not go  are they covered and is that reason for you all to cancel?  After you determine what is covered and you can make an informed decision as to whether or not it makes sense to purchase this insurance.

Collision damage waiver is used when you are renting a vehicle.   Often times you can purchase the rental company insurance but it can add up your costs.    You could check with your insurance company to see if perhaps your own policy could be used or if they may offer some alternative.  Be sure to ask them relevant questions to see if it makes sense to use it.

Most people never need to use the insurance but, like your home and auto insurance, it is there for peace of mind and in case you are unfortunate enough to need it.  A small premium could save you a lot of money if something were to happen.

 

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Budgeting Tips

By May 31, 2016 Budgeting tips

For most people the money for a trip is not just sitting in the bank.    When planning a trip it is a wise idea to set up a budget for it.

The earlier your start the better it is for you.   Even if you have not finalized the plans on where to go and how much it will cost you can start putting aside some funds to help.  Set a target for when you would like to travel even if it is two years out.   A little each week is easier than coming up with a large amount all at once.   The more you save and have ready for the trip the less likely you will be to spend on credit and then spend months trying to pay it off.

Dave started a long time ago saving change…..it is easier to get and less missed.   When either of us come home each day he takes all the change.   He made a bank out of a large decorative tin that held popcorn.   In the beginning he just riveted the top on and then we saved for a long time before opening.   As the years have gone by he now only keeps it in the tin and periodically opens it and may stick it in a savings account if it is a high amount.    This method has been very successful for us to help with the trip funds.   He also decided  a while back to cut out the morning run to Tim Horton’s and has opted to take $20 a week ($1040 a year)  and put in the can instead.   We also put any kind of ‘unexpected money’ in as well.  It really adds up quickly that way.  Some weeks we put in a bit extra just for good measure, Dave likes to say things like ‘we were out today and didn’t eat lunch so I am throwing in $20’.

Another way to budget is to set a specific amount per pay aside into an account and watch it build.  You could also try strategies like taking a percentage of your income tax return or if you got a raise take a percentage of that…….so if your raise was $50 a week you did not have that before so take half $25 and put it aside, that way you still get a raise of $25 to use everyday and a happy sum to use in the future.   If you do this the first pay and keep it up you will not miss the money.

Some people have a yard sale or sell handicrafts for example and take the money they earn to put towards a trip.  This could kill two birds with one stone and help clear out the unused items you have around the house.  The possibilities are endless.

The second part of budgeting is when you are making your travel plans.   Be realistic, do you need to spend that much, check out the prices, the same trip or flight could be cheaper elsewhere, sometimes adjusting your dates makes it cheaper.  Getting the best bang for your buck is important and also gives you a great feeling.   Some destinations offer coupons and deals for attractions, check online and ask others.   When we went to Alaska we had a coupon book that I researched, it cost us $99 to purchase but we saved a lot of money using the coupons.   We actually used it for some excursions on our cruise.   We went on the same excursion, on the same bus with others from the cruise for half price in some instances with a two for one ticket.  It did not take long to pay for itself.    A good place to start to look for these is the travel bureau for the place you are going, the rest is word of mouth and online searches.   Go onto travel forums and ask if anyone knows of anything for discounts, someone may be able to help you find a great site.

While on your trip it is a good idea to plan your expenses.   For instance if you know you are going somewhere that you assume you will spend a lot on the second last day of the trip, you will want to think about how much to put aside so that you do not over spend earlier.

Spending while on vacation can be easy to do so you need to keep a mental note, record on your phone or even have a small notebook to track your spending.  In our early travel days we bought a lot of souvenirs, some of which are now in boxes, as we matured as travelers we have bought less.   Before buying that trinket think to yourself do we really want this item and what will we do with it at home, where will it go.

Some people only use cash on holiday so they will not be tempted to use credit and have access to more than they have saved.    We tend to use a mix of cash and credit.   I never use credit unless it is somewhere I feel secure with their systems like a major hotel chain, the Disney properties or onboard a cruise ship.

The main thing is to know how much you  can afford and plan accordingly.    There are trips for every budget and you can have a wonderful trip whether you spend a ton or a modest amount.

 

 

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Packing for a Cruise- the do’s and don’ts

By May 27, 2016 Cruising, Packing tips

Trolley-travel-bag-travel-bag-20-trolley-bag-trolley-luggage

One of the most challenging things to do is to pack for a cruise.    Since cruise ship cabins average only 175 square feet, much less than the average US hotel room of about 300 square feet, smart packing is a very important portant  undertaking  (Source: NBC News.com).   Not only is it hard to manage this in such a small space but also consider how you get it there, airlines are charging fees per bag and it keeps going up.   Therefore if you decide to pack too much your wallet will suffer.   Also the more you bring the harder to manage at places like airports, car rental places and cruise port both coming and going.

But more important you will likely find that there is a lot you just do not need to take.  Each successive cruise we have taken less, we just do not need all that stuff.   You will hear a lot of people who have gone on cruises joke about how they had over-packed.   Be wary and take a look as some cruise packing tips and advice and you will get along fine even if it is your first cruise.

What should you pack?

It all depends on the destination.   I’ll provide some insight for southern cruise destinations like Bermuda, Bahamas, the Caribbean and Mexico in this article For cruise packing tips for Alaska,  check out the tips in this article .

There’s a lot of packing advice online for cruises and we have tried a few things.    I recently read one which I am planning to use for our cruise this summer- Packing Tactics: Wear and Recycle    The article gives samples for  a male but a woman can do it the same, coordinating outfits and accessories can help dress them up or down with.  You could wear the same basic dress for different dinners using different accessories.   Note that wearing the dress for just 3-4 hours, it will still be fine to wear again.

Some useful hints to make your packing easier:

  •  Pack in a uniform color scheme.
  •  Use accessories that can work with different outfits.
  •  Limit the shoes, pick a color that works for all like white or black
  •  Remind yourself how heavy that luggage gets and the cost to transport it on a plane!
  • if travelling with someone else, divide your checked items into two suitcases with outfits for both in each. That way if something happens to one suitcase you still have outfits in the second one for each of you.

What not to pack

All airlines and cruise lines  have prohibited items.  Things like weapons, illegal drugs, flammable liquids, irons, candles, and most small electrical appliances.  Cruise lines generally ban large coolers, though a small, personal cooler may be allowed on some ships.   Cruise policies change and each cruise line has different regulations so be sure to check what’s allowed before you go it will save packing it and embarrassment.

Attached is a link to the some of major cruise lines’ lists of prohibited items:

Packing your carry on bag

Cabins are not generally ready until later in the day so you want to pack items in a carry on that you may need on the day of arrival.   Planning what to pack will make your life easier and more enjoyable.   You want a nice blend of what is necessary but not too much for weight.

Here is a sample list of what you should include:

  • All cruise boarding documents which will include boarding passes, photo ID, passport and any other paperwork required by the cruise line.
  • All prescription medication.  Note that this should always be in carry on luggage for any trip in case luggage is lost.
  • Sunscreen: I buy a small one for the carry on and have a larger one in my luggage
  • Sunglasses for everyone
  • Hats or visors
  • Swimsuits…..note the boys could wear their swim trunks as shorts while girls could wear theirs under their clothing as well making for less weight in the carryon
  • Electronics, things like computers, ereaders, tablets and phones.  You may want them but also they are valuable and luggage may be left unattended during the boarding process.
  • Camera…..if comfortable, you can pack the charger etc but ensure you have the battery charged so you can get the photos during the day.
  • Wine or other beverages if the line allows….be sure to check the policy.   If it is in checked luggage they may hold the luggage and require you to go to the security area.
  • Valuable jewellery………I try to travel with very little jewellery or costume jewellery so you do not have to worry about it
  • Diaper bags with supplies for the younger set, don’t forget toys it could be a long time till you get to the cabins

Things you do not need to carry in the carry on

  • a change of clothes, you will get access to the cabin before dinner time and the first night is usually casual so even if luggage were late it will not matter.
  • towels.   they are provided
  • chargers for all the electronics, leave them in checked bags, less to carry.

Additional hints and tips

Whenever you travel take a photo of your checked luggage that day.   This way if it is lost or held by cruise security you can show them exactly what it looks like which will make things go quicker.   You also will not have to rely on memory for name brand etc.

There are a lot of black bags the same out there, we usually try to put something unique on our luggage.   The last couple of trips to the US we bought luggage tags with Canada flags which worked good.  Got them at the Dollarama so not a huge expense.    We have also bought luggage straps to go around the outside of the large checked suitcases that are brightly colored.    Have you ever seen the mess when a suitcase breaks open, this may also help hold it closed so at least some of the stuff it not all sticking out.

One final thing to remember

Your cruise is meant to be a fun and carefree time.    You will not end up needing a ton of different outfits and if you can plan it ahead of time you will save yourself the hassle of carting along a lot of unnecessary things.   Go relax and have a wonderful trip.

 

 

 

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Additional non clothing items to pack for your cruise

By May 27, 2016 Cruising, General, Packing tips

In addition to clothing, some necessary and some useful things to pack:

  • — airline tickets or e-ticket confirmation
  • — cruise documents
  • — passports and visas (if necessary) or proof of citizenship (check with your cruise line about their requirements)
  • — vaccination certificate (if required)
  • — wallet and fanny pack
  • — driver’s license and auto insurance card for car rentals
  • — medical insurance cards and medical history – this is especially true if travelling alone, along with emergency contact info
  • — another picture ID – if you don’t take driver’s license
  • — credit cards – check with your credit card company to alert them when you will be travelling.
  • — watch
  • — pre-paid phone card or cell phone able to use in this area
  • — cash or traveler’s checks (traveler’s checks receipts should always be kept in a separate location)
  • — 3 copies of airline tickets, cruise tickets, passports/visas, itinerary – I take 1 copy in my carry on, 1 copy in checked luggage, and leave one copy with someone at home .
  • — contact numbers to report lost/stolen credit cards or traveler’s checks
  • — emergency numbers at home
  • — prescription drugs and any other essential medications in carry on bag
  • — glasses, contacts, contacts cleaner, sunglasses
  • — maps, guidebooks and other port of call information
  • — foreign language phrase book or dictionary
  • — reading material – books or e-reader for the plane or lounging by the pool
  • — notebook with pen/pencil – for making notes to about your journey and experiences
  • — business cards with email address to give out to new cruise friends
  • — currency conversion chart or app on your phone
  • — plug adaptor and converter if necessary
  • — cell phone and charger
  • — Tablet and charger
  • — home & email addresses of friends/relatives back home – for sending
  • — laptop computer
  • — binoculars
  • — disposable underwater camera – for snorkeling or beach days
  • — digital camera, battery, battery charger and extra memory cards and manual
  • — extension cord with multiple plug-ins (most cabins have very limited plugs)
  • — duct tape or strapping tape in case you need to repair luggage
  • — MP3 player (for walking on deck or on treadmill)
  • — small travel alarm clock – battery operated
  • — plastic cable-lock ties for securing luggage on return trip (better than locks, one-time use)
  • — extra luggage name tags (in case yours are lost on the outbound trip)
  • — ziploc bags in various sizes and garbage/laundry bags
  • — small flashlight
  • — night light
  • — Swiss Army knife or something similar with screwdriver head, ( in checked luggage)
  • — small umbrella or rain poncho
  • — collapsible travel pillow for those long airplane flights
  • — ear plugs
  • – small first aid kit (band aids, Q-tips, vaseline, dramamine, antibiotic cream, bandages, anti-diarrheal medication, cortisone cream, aspirin/tylenol/advil)
  • — Crazy glue
  • — playing cards
  • — bug spray
  • — sun screen/sun block and lip sunblock
  • — germicidal hand cleaner
  • — hand lotion
  • — hats/caps/visors
  • — insulated large coffee mugs
  • — empty folding tote bag – for souvenirs or the beach
  • — sewing kit and scissors (pack in checked luggage)
  • — travel-sized Woolite in case you want to wash something by hand
  • — handi-wipes

These are some of the things that can help make your life easier onboard.   Have a wonderful trip

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Airline Websites

By May 27, 2016 Airplanes, Travel websites

There are numerous websites where you can find flights.   I always check a number of them prior to booking.

The actual airline site itself should always be checked as well.   Note they have the complete list of flights available for the timeframe.   Some of the other websites may only have certain flights that they are promoting so will not have the full line up.

Below is links to some of the airlines available.   There are lots more, this is just a list of some that I am aware of or we have travelled on

Canadian airlines

Air Canada

West Jet

Porter Airlines

Transat

 

American Airlines

Delta

Southwest Airlines

United Airlines

Jet Blue

American Airlines

Alaska Airlines

 

Other airlines

British Airways

Air France

KLM- Royal Dutch Airlines

Lufthansa

Air China

Japan Airlines

Swiss

Air India

Aeromexico

Air New Zealand

These are by no means all encompassing but they are links to some of the more popular airlines where you can check prices and flight information.   There are numerous others you just need to check the country you are destined for to see what airlines fly there.   Hope you have a wonderful trip.

 

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Travel Safety Tips

By May 17, 2016 Health and Safety tips, Making Plans

You do not want your perfect vacation ruined by a mistake.   You are not at home so need to be sure that you act with caution and think safety first.  The following are some tips that you should read to help you think about safety in your travels.

safety tips

  • If you must bring jewellery, make it fake. You don’t need  expensive pieces with you…..it is just something else to worry about and it could also attract the wrong kind of attention.
  • Know the area you are visiting, for Canadians it is wise to check the government website for warnings Canadian Government Travel Advisories   while US travelers should be checking their government site warnings US Government Travel Advisories for US citizens . Don’t be overconfident, a little pre-trip research can ensure you are well aware of any dangers or advice.
  • Be extra alert when going out anywhere after dark regardless of the area.
  • Separate your cash.   We usually divide the cash into segments with each carrying some.   We also put cash in a separate part from your id’s that way you could pull out money and offer to them without losing your ids as well.   we put cash is two or more spots so that it may not all be seen at once when paying for something.
  • We purchased a money belt and will sometimes wear that with our passports and some of the funds there.
  • Hotel or cruise ship safes are another option.  We have left money in the cruise ship one and always put our passports there while onboard however when we leave the ship we do leave some of the cash but take my passport.
  • When travelling we always leave any unnecessary id’s, credit or bank cards at home and travel with only the bare minimum.
  • We take scans of all our id’s and credit cards so that if stolen we can prove id and have the numbers to cancel cards.
  • You should always carry some cash on you so that you have something to offer a robber, better to offer a bit of cash then face their wrath if they stop you and you have nothing, no need to make a bad situation worse.
  • You could also carry a decoy wallet, one with just a bit of cash in it and no unreplaceable ids that you could give. Ensure the id’s and cards in it do not have identifying info on them like home address, phone number , Social insurance numbers, birthdate. Identity theft is a real thing and you do not want to supply any info that they could use.
  • Knowledge of self-defense is something that might help if only for your peace of mind Self Defense Tips
  • Stay alert to potential dangers, don’t let your guard down and trust your instincts.
  • Travel with a group…..there is sometimes safety in numbers.   A larger group is more daunting to a potential attacker.

We are not trying to scare someone but it is better to be prepared and to exercise caution so that you can have a wonderful trip.

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