Handy Tips While Travelling Abroad on a Business Visit

1) Have obtained all the necessary visas

2) Have booked and obtained flight Tickets

3) Have obtained necessary Insurance for the required period.

4) Have your Visiting cards ready

5) Have your Laptop with all your files ready

6) Packing your Clothes and Toiletries

(Clothes have to be taken in accordance with the type of climate in the country).

7) Appropriate Formal Shoes

8) Appointment Diary and Scheduler

9) List of Addresses and Phone numbers of all the Existing and Prospective Customers

10) Stationary: – Pens, Pencils, Stapler etc.

11) Currency used in that country and the exchange rate

12) The amount of currency we need to take with us should be estimated and the currency like US Dollars should be arranged beforehand.

13) Travelers Cheques should be obtained beforehand.

Travelers Cheques are much safer than carrying cash because they can only be exchanged for cash through our counter signatures in presence of the person giving the cash.

(When we receive the travelers cheques, then we sign in a designated space immediately upon receipt and when we are abroad and we have to exchange them for cash, then we have to counter sign them in presence of the person encashing it. This makes them very safe for carrying around).

14) Hotel Bookings

Hotel bookings should be done and reconfirmed in advance and the confirmation number should be with you. If you are going there for the first time, then it is advisable to request the hotel for airport pick up to avoid any tension.

You must also have the hotel name, address, telephone number and the name of the person who did the booking all written down on a separate sheet of paper. This would be very helpful in case you come out of the airport and do not find the person from the hotel who has come to pick you up.

More to Follow

South African Airways

South African Airways (SAA) is the largest domestic and international airline company in the whole of South Africa. Its headquarters are located in Airways Park, which is on the grounds of the OR Tambo International Airport. The company flies to 37 destinations worldwide, and has hubs in both Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Before South African Airways, there was the Union Airways, which the South African government bought and was given its current name in 1934. The company’s growth was relatively slow, being heavily effected by WWII. However, in 1945, SAA achieved a longtime company goal; operating a route through to Europe.

In the 1950s, the Boeing 707 was implemented, followed by several newer models of the “jet age”. Further advances happened regularly until the 1970s, where even though the airline was steadily growing; the effects of apartheid were starting to show regarding the international status of the airline. The U.S. Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 banned all flights by South African-owned carriers including SAA. In 1987, SAA’s services to Perth and Sydney were ended, due to Australia’s opposition to apartheid.

In more recent years, SAA launched a restructuring, which was aimed to ensure that all employees are skilled up to date with current international standards, and to resize the business to make it more profitable.

SAA flies to five domestic destinations and 32 international destinations in 26 countries and along with British Airways, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways and United Airlines – is one of only nine airlines that fly to all six inhabited continents.

Have A Fun Family Weekend In Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a great place for a weekend of family fun as there is so much to do, you can be sure to find something here that everyone will love, make sure you have means of getting around because LA is a big place and it will be cheaper to travel by car.

Why not head down to the luxurious Santa Monica Beach where you and your children can enjoy a ride on the Ferris wheel as well as many other attractions. If you want to indulge in some water sports then you can always make your way to Marina Del Rey, here you can rent a boat or even a kayak if you wish and enjoy a great time on the water.

Once you're done with splashing about on and sometimes in the water and fancy seeing some wild life then, Malibu creek is the place for you, here you will get to see a whole load of wildlife and if you're very lucky, sometimes even some gray whales.

Not everyone is a fan of the water so thankfully there is a lot more Los Angeles that the incredible beaches; The Los Angeles zoo which is too good to miss, as well as the beautiful and somewhat intriguing animals you will find various picnic areas and shops for you to browse in before buying a little something that will serve as a reminder to your wonderful vacation.

For something a little slower in pace there is always the Griffith Observatory, this can be found in the Hollywood hills and was built in the Thirties. For an amazing view of Los Angeles, one of the best in fact, visit the observatory and make sure you find the walkways for a great photographic experience. Do not forget to have a look inside though! Because you will find the museum of astronomy and planetary science, and will help keep your children occupied for a good few hours as well as being tremendously fun and informative; suitable for all ages This is an attraction that is not to be missed and guaranteed to be loved by all.

All this walking around is hungry work and there are so many fabulous places in LA to eat in including The Original Pantry which is open all day and dies out some great big portions for the hungry visitors; you need to take cash with you though cards are not accepted. If you're looking for somewhere to really entertain the kids then there is always Medieval Times, here you will eat in a European-style castle that has a stable full of horses and promises to be a great place to eat.

Do not worry about the expense of visiting Los Angeles for the weekend you can get some really cheap flights to Los Angeles that will mean you can afford to go on vacation time and again.

The Rise of the Airport Transfers Industry

A few years ago the airport transfers industry did not really exist, prior to the internet the only way to book your holiday was to either shop around travel agents with armfuls of brochures looking for the best package holiday deal or for the technology-conscious , to sit in front of Ceefax. Endlessly trawling through page after page of deals quickly trying to note down the destination, price, phone number and check wherever they were ATOL approved before the page flicked from page 5 of 55 if you were not quick enough you knew you would have to sit there for 20 minutes waiting for it to come back round again. Then when you did call them about a Ceefax deal you were inevitably told "oh sorry, that one has just gone but we have got an almost identical one for an extra £ 200".

Fortunately those days are long gone and the rise of the internet means that the holiday transport industry is thriving and airport transfers popularity grows stronger every year. Because so much information is at our fingertips and we no longer have to take the word of travel agents that they are giving us the best package deal they have available, we feel brave enough to delve into our holidays and get real value for money. By booking airport transfers, flights and accommodation separately we can save hundreds of pounds off the price of a package holiday, and not only do you save a money, you feel a sense of achievement that you know exactly where your hard earned money is going.

The airport transfers included in package holidays were often grossly inflated in cost, when in reality some deals start from under £ 3 depending on the destination and form of carriage you want. Airport transfers with private taxis etc can cost more, but for a basic coach ride to your hotel or apartment the costs are really low. The choice of reputable airport transfers companies out there is wide ranging and intensive and because of this competition, costs are very low and almost any worldwide destination can be accommodated. If you want to save money on your holiday, then sourcing your own airport transfers is a great place to start.

Holidays in Florida – Where to Go and What to See

Florida, also known as "The Sunshine State" is so called for its clear skies and warm, inviting climate year round. And one of the Sunshine State's top destinations is the centrally located city of Orlando. Attracting international tourism for decades, Orlando is action packed with many places to see and things to do.

Hotels in Orlando range from the first-class and deluxe accommodation to the budget-friendly two star and up lodging conveniently located near to the city's main attractions. If your destination destination is Disney World, you may choose from Orlando hotels located inside the park and enjoy a special discount with Disney park admissions. In addition, you may opt for the surrounding Orlando area hotels, many of which will provide free shuttle service to and from Disney World.

Orlando is located in the center of the state, so first time travelers to Florida may wish to spend some time on one of the state's pristine beaches. Try an international flight into one of the seaside resort areas such as Miami, located about two hours from Greater Orlando. Miami hotels abound with options for sea view rooms or moderately priced accommodation that is walking distance to the beach.

Disney World and Epcot Center are the main attractions for the millions of visitors that make their way to Orlando each year. Tickets may be purchased at the main gate for a one-day's admission, or preferably, you may opt to purchase a multi-day pass.

In addition to the Disney attractions, Orlando is teaming with interesting places to explore. For an adventurous evening out for dinner and floor show, try Medieval Times for a hearty meal and interactive entertainment. The show is set in a lavish English-style castle with a thrilling performance from the knights on horseback. Watch the jousting and expert equestrian showmanship while pampered by your "wench" with a four course meal. Medieval Times is opened daily and reservations are strongly recommended.

And when you need to find that perfect souvenir, Orlando is a shopping paradise with many outlet malls to serve you. Shop till you drop at Orlando Premium Outlets for best bargain deals and savings up to 75% off retail. Located at 8200 Vineland Ave, this mega shopping center has over 150 stores that carry international brands to include Armani, Barney's of New York, Fendi, Nike and more.

Another popular choice for best bargain shopping is the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, located just minutes from Walt Disney World at 15657 S. Apopka Vineland Road. This favorite shop spot features Disney merchandise at huge discounts and has an action-packed playground for the kids. Free shuttle service may be arranged from participating Orlando hotels with pick-ups listening at 9 AM.

Booking your holiday in Orlando may be made through a pre-planned itinerary or a self-guided tour with local hotels. The length of stay in this bustling city should be at least five nights to enjoy everything Disney has made available and take in the sights, sounds and flavors of Orlando's fine restaurants and nightlife.

Europe Vacation – A Trip For Everyone

Geographically, Europe can certainly seem a long way from home, particularly if you live in the Oceanic region as I do. Americans have a somewhat better opportunity to visit Europe than we do because of the relative proximity of continental Europe, but, we hear the expression “the world is getting smaller” and it is certainly true as far as more varied opportunities with air travel become available.

The days have long gone where you had to depend upon one airline to take you from one place to another. Global partnerships seem to have alleviated all those problems and with the press of a computer key, into the fascinating world of the internet, we are able to book the dream trip without having to move away from the hot coffee our travel agents provide while compiling our best and most convenient itinerary.

I suppose it is true to say that being originally from the United Kingdom, Europe vacations perhaps do not hold the mystery for me that they do for some of my neighbours and friends. As far as I was concerned then, a Europe vacation entailed a fortnight in Spain, Italy, France, Portugal etc, etc.

This does not alter the fact though that a fortnight in the sun was still a very attractive proposition after a year of saving and the length and inclement weather of the English winter. It was indeed something to look forward to.

My outlook has changed somewhat I must admit. My last trip to Europe entailed a stop off in Germany, with a wonderful five day trip through Bavaria and back to Northern Germany and Frankfurt for a Saturday morning flight to England. This was followed by a couple of weeks touring round the “Old Country” catching up with relatives and spending a week in Ireland, the birthplace of my mother.

Other people would have much more exotic designs on European vacations. Rome and Paris I guess would have to be two of the most popular destinations on the European mainland. Not surprisingly, since both these beautiful cities have so much to offer. It may be said that you could spend two weeks in either of them and not see everything in the tourist brochures.

My next European vacation is taking the form of 26 capitals in the same amount of days. Hectic it may sound, but if there’s one thing to be said of a European bus tour, it’s that your only requirements are to be able to get a good night’s sleep, be not too deaf to listen to the tour guide’s information and make sure you make the most of the wonderful scenery that Europe has to offer – oh, and have a good pair of walking shoes!

The magic of a European vacation will never wane, no matter where you live now. But attraction to it, if the truth be known, is not just linked to Europe. We all know that many places in the world have equal beauty – if only we could see them all!

What Is the USPS EPacket Service

In January 2013, the USPS will be increasing their rates for First Class International Mail for packages dramatically. In many cases, the rates to ship a package internationally will double. Although this may seem like very bad news to many Amazon and eBay sellers, there is some good news. The USPS is officially launching a new International Service called Commercial ePacket in the United States.

Commercial ePacket is a USPS product offered via the services of a USPS approved Pre-Qualified Wholesaler (PQW). This service seems to be very beneficial to many shippers sending lightweight low value items overseas. Amazon & eBay sellers can now take comfort in the fact that they will no longer have to prepare the documentation and required labels for exporting from the USA. The USPS PQW that you select, will take care of all the necessary documentation. In addition, all eRetailers can now track these packages on USPS.com to the 14 participating countries.

Some key features of the Commercial ePacket Service are as follows:

  • Economical eCommerce postal product with tracking and delivery confirmation
  • Lightweight low value merchandise, < 2 Kilos & < $400 value
  • Dispatched as commercial Letter-Post Packets and utilizes overseas foreign prime post network.
  • Transit time is 4-7 days
  • Postal Customs Clearance (Duties & Taxes paid by recipient)
  • Free returns on undeliverable items
  • Tracking is performed right on USPS.com
  • 14 Participating countries: Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, New Zealand, Sweden, Spain. Ireland, Finland, France, Portugal, and UK.
  • Delivery scan rates of 90% on average for all countries
  • Pricing provided by a USPS approved PQW
  • Induction sites are New York, Chicago, & Los Angeles
  • Acceptance scan by USPS and delivery scan by foreign post
  • Unique Label and Barcode ID – LX item prefix
  • Electronic manifesting, labeling done by Pre-Qualified Wholesaler, & dropped off in sacks ONLY

How does ePacket work?

Customers would contact a USPS PQW in their region and speak with someone regarding how they can get started. Ideally you would want to select a PQW who has mailing capabilities in all three acceptance cities. This becomes extremely important during inclement weather and natural disasters. Using a PQW with multiple facilities located in all 3 acceptance facilities ensures that your mail can be re-routed to another acceptance center if one becomes closed or has no flights departing as we saw during Hurricane Sandy.

The PQW will walk you throught the process of setting up your labels and data capture features. Once you have all of the data capture features running, you will either send your shipments or the PQW will dispatch a vehicle to your location. Each day you will need to provide the mail you are dispatching and send a manifest electronically outlining all the customs information for each package.

Once your packages arrive at the PQW, the PQW will confirm that they have received your electronic manifest for that particulars days shipment. If the PQW does not receive your manifest they can not process your mail through the Commercial ePacket service. After receipt of your manifest the electronic information will be uploaded into the USPS system and all the labels and necessary customs documentation will be generated. The packages will then have the proper labeling and will be sacked by country of destination and delivered to the USPS designated International Service Center (ISC).

Once accepted at the USPS ISC, the sacks will be opened and every package scanned as evidence of posting and placed on the next available outbound flight for that destination country. After flight arrival, the packages will clear through customs via the Postal Customs Clearance mechanism. This ensures that your packages move quickly through the clearance process and will not be impacted by typical delays incured by the normal airfreight clearance system.

After Clearance, packages will then be entered into the PRIME network and will receive priority processing within the destination country. Customers that are waiting to receive their packages, can have confidence that they will see the tracking information directly on the USPS website. This one feature should eliminate many customer service calls that many Amazon & eBay sellers receive daily from their customers.

Once the packages make it through the postal system of the destination country, the package will be scanned as delivered by the mail carrier once it is delivered.This scanning event will then be uploaded into the USPS site and available to all who wish to monitor the progress of each shipment.

Based on my initial findings, this service seems to be an excellent offering for companies shipping 100 or more packages daily. However, some customers that are shipping less than 100 packages per day, may also be able to benefit from this service if they decide to consolidate one or two days worth of orders before dispatching. Obviously, each customer has their own idiosyncracies that may factor into when a service like Commercial ePacket becomes beneficial. However, depending upon how far you are from JFK Airport, O’hare International Airport, or Los Angeles International Airport it may become feasible to use the service daily even if you have less than 100 packages daily. For specifics regarding the service, I would contact a USPS approved PQW today.

10 Tips to Beat Your First-Time Business Traveller’s Jitters

Being properly prepared:

1. Take advantage of airline miles: If you are making your flight bookings yourself – use a credit card that offers free miles when you purchase tickets (e.g. American Airlines Citicard or Capital One Rewards) and use these on future bookings.

2. Pack light: If your trip is only for 2-3 days – try to pack what you’ll need in a carry-on. Pack a few basic clothing items in neutral colours, which you can rotate; take travel-size toiletries; and minimize the amount of extra items you take with, such as books and bulky electronics.

3. Master your Itinerary: Organise your trip itinerary into a tracker that will arrange and simplify your travel plans for you. For example, TripIt syncronises with your calendar, as well as weather reports and maps as you travel. Remember you can use this whether you or your company booked the trip.

4. Avoid Out-of-Pocket Expenses: Steer clear of spending unnecessary time and effort on compiling your travel expense report – keep all your receipts in one place, like an envelope in your wallet or a folder in your briefcase. By having all your business expense receipts together – you can keep better track of your business expenses and so eliminate having to pay for items out of your own pocket.

Business, then pleasure:

5. Careful scheduling

Be sure to schedule your meetings and appointments with enough time between them to ensure you don’t accidentally overbook yourself. When working out your schedule – consider unpredictabilities, such as traffic and unpleasant weather, and allow yourself enough travel time so that you always arrive expediently. Also arrange your dinner plans slightly later than normal – until you can navigate the city comfortably.

6. Be aware of your limits

Keep in mind that you are on a business trip and therefore are representing your company.. Save your excitement and new city adventures for a leisure trip. Business comes first and you should know your limits on a night out, as any misconduct on your part will reflect badly on your company and may be reported to your CEO. Remember to keep it professional and don’t allow yourself t o get out of hand as if you were out with your mates.

7. Skip the All-Nighters

It is vital that you get a decent night’s sleep before you start a day of meetings. When you’re out enjoying the nightlife – don’t forget about your morning agenda and cut the evening outing short, when you know you have a big day ahead.

Room-sharing with a colleague:

8. Split the space: It might feel uncomfortable and like an inconvenience to have to share a room with a colleague, but the best you can do is make it work. Respect their privacy, don’t take too long in shared space (such as the bathroom), avoid awkward encounters by and offering to exit the room while they dress/ undress and hope they do the same – otherwise get ready in a private/ closed space.

9. Plug it in: Make sure you have fresh earplugs to offer your colleague if you know you snore or have a pair for yourself in case your new roommate is a snorer. Alternatively – use your headphones and ensure you get a good night’s rest.

10. Couch-surfing: In the event that your room only has one bed – suggest that you rotate between the bed and the couch. If your colleague offers to sleep on the couch for most of the trip – express your gratitude by taking care of the housekeeping tip or buying them breakfast.

Make any business trip worthwhile and uncomplicated by keeping these tips in mind, wherever you may travel.

To ensure your business trips are made simple and are well planned, engage with a few corporate travel agencies and find one that is a good fit for you. Their experience and know-how will go a long way into making future trips a breeze.

A Beginner’s Guide to Learning How to Fly A Drone

Drones are the hottest topic going around the tech world these days and everyone is trying to get their hands on one of them. Whether you are a professional photographer who wants to take your business up a notch or you are a hobbyist looking for some, it’s important that you learn how to fly a drone the right way. Although they are quite small in size it isn’t easy to fly these aerial vehicles. This article focuses on the key things to know when flying your drone.

Obstacles in Flying Drones

There are several hindrances you may encounter when learning how to fly a drone. They include:

· The drone does not stay stable in air.

· The drone does not follow commands.

· The drone’s movements are jerky.

These are just a few of the problems that the new fliers experience when learning how to fly a drone. In order to get the hang of flying a UAV, you must make sure that you know everything about its working principle.

Terminologies Involved in Flying Drones

You may have read the user manual that comes with your drone but most of the time this isn’t enough. You will need to learn and understand a few terminologies if you want to learn to fly your drone like an expert.

There are a few general terms that you should be aware of when learning how to fly a drone. These include:

· Line of site: This is the direct visualization of your drone while you are flying it.

· FPV or first person view: You as a pilot can see your drone through the camera.

Parts of Drones

When learning how to fly a drone, there are key parts of the drone that you need to be familiar with such as:

· Transmitter or remote control: This is the main controlling unit that lets you fly and control the drone.

· Propellers: These are four in number and help the drone in taking off from the ground as well as maintaining a horizontal stable position.

· Camera: This is not present in all the drones and is optional but helps in keeping the pilot informed about the surroundings of the drone.

· The frame: The frame connects all the parts and keeps them in position. The frame comes in two arrangements such as X or +

· The motors: There are four motors in a drone and that is why it is also known as quadcopter. Each propeller is powered by a single motor. The voltage of the motor will determine the speed or rotation of the propeller.

· Electronic speed control: The wires that connect the battery with the motor are known as ECS.

· Flight control board: This is the master control and regulates the accelerometer as well as the gyrometer directing the speed of the motor.

· Battery and charger: This is important as it provides life to the drone to take flights.

Controls of the Drone

When learning how to fly a drone, it is very important that you understand the following controls:

· Roll: This is used to roll the drone right or left generally using the right stick on the remote control

· Pitch: This is the tilting of drone and is carried out by pushing the right stick forward or backward.

· Yaw: This is the rotation of drone in right or left direction by moving the left key towards left or right. This helps in changing the direction of your drone.

· Throttle: If you want your drone to higher or lower than its present position the use the left key to engage and disengage it by pushing the key forward and backward respectively.

· Trim: This is adjusting the above mentioned features in case you want to adjust the balance of the device and can be done with the help of the buttons on remote control.

· Rudder: Controlling yaw is the main function of rudder which is also the left stick

· Aileron: Same as right stick

· Elevator: Same as right stick moving forward and backward.

Modes of Drone Flying

When learning how to fly a drone, you should be familiar with the modes in which your drone can fly. These include:

· Manual: you can adjust all the positions of the drone manually. You need to operate it in and out of balance.

· Auto level or altitude: in this mode the leveling of the drone is done by itself when the stick is released to its neutral position.

· GPS hold: in this mode the quadcopter will come back to its original position when the stick is released.

Mastering the Controls

When learning how to fly a drone you should master the controls of the drone before you take on responsibilities outside of flying for recreational purposes. Similar to driving, in the beginning it may appear to be a very difficult job but as you get used to it, you will not even think before making any move.

The main thing to keep in mind is that you need to push the stick gently for smoother movements of the drone. You must start by moving the drone slightly in each direction. Knowing the controls and how they work is the key to flying this device smoothly and moreover it is the dexterity and quick response time that will help you fly your drone like an expert.

Operating the Remote Control

The remote control, which is also known as the transmitter, is the only thing that will let you control your drone and fly it in the way you want it to. The name transmitter is an apt one because it transmits signals to the drone as soon as you move the stick or press the buttons.

You can very easily fly your drone using the stick and the button on the remote control. However, before you try to make a full fledged flight you must first trim and adjust the controls so that the drone remains in balance. When for the first time, you try to lift the drone using your remote control you will notice that the drone tilts in one direction and also moves in that direction. This is one of the reasons you find it very difficult to fly this device initially. This happens because the balance is not right and you need to adjust the pitch roll, yaw and throttle accordingly so that while lifting up the drone maintains a horizontal position parallel to the ground.

In conclusion, learning how to fly a drone can be a lot of fun and can earn you some extra cash, but there are processes and maneuvers you must master before you risk crashing your drone, or worse, causing bodily harm.

Transportation Tips For Travelers

AIR TRAVEL TIPS:

Book at least a week in advance. For the best discount airfares make a reservation one, two or three weeks before the departure date.

Keep in mind that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday flights are usually less expensive.

Night time departures flights are usually cheaper.

Try to choose the same airline for the entire trip.

Do not forget to reconfirm your flight times a day before your departure. Inquire about the check-in procedure and the luggage permission.

Consider packing into transparent plastic zippered bags for easy inspection. Plan to arrive to an airport at least two hours prior to flight time. Do not leave your baggage alone at any time. You may be asked to turn on all of your electric and electronic appliances.

Save up to 65% when purchasing air tickets online through TravelMake, check out our airfare search form.

BUDGET FLIGHTS EXPLAINED:

Budget airlines offer cheap fares around the world. Reserve your flight on the web or by phone, using your credit card to pay.

Most discount airlines' tickets are unchangeable and nonrefundable, some offer changes on the return dates for an extra fee. In the latter case you need to make changes at least 24 hours before your departure.

Most budget airlines offer one-way flights without a cost increase or penalty which provides an excellent way to connect cheap flights, to link flights with ground transportation. Plan to leave some extra time for the connection, the delay of one flight will cause you to miss another linked flight.

Every budget airline has its own luggage restrictions, make sure you learn them before booking. Many of them allow very limited check-in luggage for free, sometimes only 15 or 20 kg (33 or 44 lbs) charging up to $ 15 per kg (2.2 lbs) of extra weight.

Discount airlines quite often use obscure airports located far away from the city center. It can cost you extra money and transfer time.

TRAIN TRAVEL TIPS:

Make sure you catch the right train at the right place. Cities often have more than one train station, so pay attention. If confused, ask for help.

Each car in a train is labeled separately, cars are usually added and dropped here and there along the journey. Be sure that the city on your car's label is your destination.

Theft is quite common on trains, so stay alert and observant. Clip your backpack to the overhead rack for safety.

For overnight trips get a couchette – a sleeping berth in a compartment. Reserve it at least a day in advance from. Sheets, pillowa and blankets will cost you extra money.

For an average independent traveler planning to see lots of Europe, the best way to go is Eurailpass. Eurailpasses offer you unlimited first-class travel on all public railways in 17 European countries. Most passes can be purchased from six months in advance to one week ahead. After you buy a railpass, you have six months to validate it in Europe. You can validate your railpass at any European train station by presenting your railpass and passport to a railway official at a ticket window, who will write in the first and last dates of your travel period.

CRUISE TIPS:

We recommend you to book a cruise early, at least a month prior to the sail date.

Try to be flexible about your travel plans, off-season cruises are almost always cheaper.

By getting a four-day cruise in the middle of the week instead of the popular three-day weekend cruise you might get that extra day at a good rate.

Choosing the right cruise. It is totally up to your taste. The most populat destinations among first-time cruisers are the Caribbean or Mexican Riviera, where you float from one island paradise to the next. More experienced travelers choose Alaska or Canada where you'll experience calving glaciers and magnificent whales. Cruises to Europe with a few days of trans-Atlantic voyage, culture shock and information-rich shore excursions are recommended for the most experienced cruisers.

Cruise length. Three-day weekend, four-day midweek, week and two-week cruises are the most popular.

Cabins are listed as inside (no windows) or outside (with windows, higher priced). If you plan to spend most of the time in your cabin, choose the largest room you can afford. Standard cabins have twin beds, which can usually be converted into a queen-sized bed, while bunk beds in other rooms can not be converted.

RENTAL CAR TIPS:

There are four types of car rental rates: a daily rate with a mileage charge; a daily rate with a limited number of free miles per day; a daily rate with unlimited mileage; and a rate that has free mileage over an extended period. Vehicles are economic when changed by the week with unlimited mileage. Daily rates are usually quite high, but there are some good 3-day deals. Rates vary from company to company, month to month, and country to country.

Your age may affect the rate. Younger renters (below 25 years of age) can get charged extra money, like being required to buymore expensive insurance. Some companies will not rent a car to a person under 21. There are also maximum age limits which vary from company to company. If you are beyond the lower and upper age limits, look into leasing a vehicle, which has less age restrictions. Leasing a car gets around many tax and insurance costs and is a great deal for people needing a car for three weeks or more. The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy are popular places to lease cars.

All car rental companies require a valid drivers license. Some car rental companies check the driver's record and will deny a car to a customer with a poor driving record. In some foreign countries, an international drivers license may be required.

We wish you a successful and safe trip!