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Navigation Systems you can use for Holiday Travel

September 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Holiday Travel Tips

Nothing is more frustrating that trying to travel for the holidays and not be able to figure out how to get there. Even if you have a plan when you leave home, things can get turned around quickly if you don’t have a good sense of direction. Stopping for directions isn’t always effective because people don’t always have the information you need to get to your destination.

There are plenty of amazing navigation systems you can use to help take the frustration out of holiday travel though. Advances in technology offer us a great way to have these tools at our fingertips. Many people travel with their laptop computers and you can access travel routes either online or with various types of computer software programs.

Even a simple compass in your vehicle can assist you when you least expect it. I was recently driving along when there was a detour due to road construction. I followed everyone else and then came to some signs. It said 5 miles East and then 11 Miles North to get to my destination. The problem was there were no arrows and I didn’t know which way I was headed on that road. Luckily my car has a built in compass so I was able to figure it out. If you vehicle doesn’t have one then you need to purchase one. It will come in handy as you travel for the holidays.

This information will allow you to find the fastest route as well as the shortest route to get to your holiday destination. You can also find the route that has access to hotels, restaurants, and rest areas. This is great information if you are traveling with children because you will find you have to stop more often in order to keep everyone happy.

Having a laptop can also keep you up to date with the weather conditions during your holiday travel. This is important because if roads are closed or there are delays due to an accident you can easily find yourself an alternate route. Many people have similar types of navigation systems on their cell phones. The most high tech gadget is the very popular iPhone. If offers access to the internet and has a 3 ½ inch monitor for you to view the information on.

Many vehicles feature a Global Positioning System known as GPS. There are some models you can purchase separately and then add them to any model of vehicle that you have. This is a very good tool that you will always have when you are operating your vehicle. Even if you don’t know exactly where you are, a satellite system does and it send that information to the GPS system. You can then enter the information for your travel destination and it will give you the directions you need to get there.

Don’t spend your time traveling for the holidays caught up in traffic or bad weather. You also don’t want to drive for hours and then realize you have been going the wrong direction. The landscaping of the area can change over the years leaving you unfamiliar with the way to get there on your own. These types of navigational tools will definitely help you to get your barrings and to arrive for the holidays on time.

Are you ready to Travel for the Holidays?

September 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Holiday Travel Tips

Going to another country for the holidays is a great way to learn about a new culture. In some instances the travel is to visit family that is located there instead of just for a vacation. Regardless of the reason why you are traveling to another country during the holidays, you need to make sure you are prepared for the trip.

For most countries you are going to need a passport with a photo ID. This will allow you to remain in the country for a specified amount of time. Generally, this time frame is from 30 days to 90 days. You can take your passport photo at any post office, but it is going to take several weeks to get it back. There is an expedited option and it is very expensive. If you wait until the holiday time to obtain your passport it is going to take much longer, even for the expedited option.

Make sure you keep your passport and other pertinent travel documents in a safe place. You don’t want them to get lost or stolen as this can delay your travel plans. Make sure you arrive early for your flight so that you can get through all of the necessary inspections and verifications in plenty of time.

There may be vaccinations that you are required to get and others that you are encouraged to get before you can travel to certain countries for the holidays. Plan ahead and find out what these vaccinations are and then schedule appointments with your doctor. Some of the required vaccinations have to be given in a series with a specific amount of time between each shot in the series to be administered. Therefore you don’t want to wait until close to your time of travel to take care of this matter.

Depending on where you are traveling, you may have to deal with a different type of currency. You can get your money exchanged at your local bank before you leave. This will save you time trying to take care of it when you arrive in the other country for the holidays. There may be language differences as well that you need to take into consideration.

Be careful what you pack when you travel for the holidays. Most modes of transportation have strict guidelines on the size of your luggage, how many bags each person can have, and the weight guidelines. They will be enforcing these restrictions during the holidays because of the volume of people traveling. You don’t want to have to get rid of some of your items or purchase more bags at the gift shop.

Make sure you are aware of how much luggage you have for your return trip as well. While it can be fun to purchase items while you are there, think about how you will get them back. It may be a good idea to pack an extra bag in your luggage when you go so you can fill it up for the trip back. Another idea is to have items shipped but that can be quite expensive.

While traveling to another country for the holidays can be exciting, you need to remember that their customs may be significantly different than your own. Be respectful of such differences to avoid any conflicts while you are in that country. It is a good idea to read about the various customs that will be in place so you won’t reach them by accident.

Holiday Cruises

December 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Holiday Travel Tips

Cruise ships are becoming more popular for holidays than ever due to the amount of entertainment they offer. Many people have always had the belief that a holiday cruise is more than they can afford. Yet the prices are quite reasonable and you can choose various amenities the cruise ship offers as well as the location. This is a great way for the entire family to share the holidays without anyone having to plan the activities, cook the food, or make enough room for everyone.

Make sure you book your holiday cruise early though as they sell out fast. If you have a large number of people in your party you don’t want any of them to get left out. You can get the best prices and choose the cabin size you want too by booking your holiday cruise early. You will be responsible for your own transportation to the port so make sure you consider that in your price as well.

If you decide to take a holiday cruise for Christmas you will find everything is decorated with the theme. There will even be a Santa Claus to greet children on the cruise ship. You can bet the lines will be much shorter than those in your local department stores. Some of the most popular holiday cruises are those by Disney that include a trip to Disneyland or Disney World. If you are looking for a white Christmas then you may want to travel to Alaska or Antarctica. For a warmer Christmas you may want a cruise to the Caribbean.

In order to get the most enjoyment out of a holiday cruise, find out the various activities that are offered. Make sure there is plenty for everyone in your group to enjoy. If you find a particular cruise offers too many activities that you won’t take part in you need to look for another cruise that is more compatible with your hobbies and lifestyle.

The internet is a great place to compare prices for various holiday cruises and you can take a look at the different pictures too. Knowing the exact layout of the cruise ship and what your cabin will look like can help to relieve the anxiety associated with it. This will also help to build the excitement for all who will be traveling with you. Simply e-mail them with the information so that they can look at it too.

Your local travel agent will also have plenty of brochures you can pick up for free to explore the options for holiday cruises. They can help you plan the trip that you want for the very best price if you aren’t able to do it yourself. This is a great option if there are several parties going on the holiday cruise and they want to each pay separately. They can ensure everyone gets rooms by each other and take care of other such details to make the holiday cruise even more of a success.

In order to ensure everyone enjoys the holiday cruise, let those attending has a say in where you will go and the type of cruise you will have. The price may be a factor for some of the people involved so make sure you try to find something moderately priced. There are holiday cruise ships specifically for adults as well as those designed for families.

Popular Vacation Spots that are perfect for the Holidays

December 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Holiday Travel Tips

Many people get time off over the holidays, and they want to make the most of that time. There are plenty of places where you can spend the holidays enjoying a lovely vacation. Disneyland and Disney World are among the busiest places on holidays, including Christmas day. People of all ages find the magic kingdoms to be a delightful place to make memories for the holidays with their entire family.

Since Thanksgiving falls on a Thursday, many people find themselves with a four or five day weekend over that period of time. Going to Las Vegas is a great place to spend this holiday as it is always alive with action 24 hours per day. You will also find plenty of restaurants in Las Vegas that offer you the best Thanksgiving Day meal you have ever been a part of.

Las Vegas is also one of the most popular locations for New Years Eve. The entire strip is shut down from traffic and people are dancing, drinking, and having a good time in the streets. Many people compare it to the activities taking place in New Orleans for Mardi Gras.

Spring break is a very popular holiday for the high school and college crowds. They often choose to spend that time at various beaches including those in Florida and California. Hotels are over run with these people having parties all night long and then spending their days at the beach.

Most of these beaches host fabulous activities during spring break to make sure people keep coming back year after year. Live music, dances, and various contests are just a sample of the different contests you can enter. Since spring break falls differently for various schools, these beaches are often full from the second week of March until the very end of the month.

Surprising someone you love with a fun vacation to another country or a part of the world they have always wanted to see is a great way to share the holidays. Imagine waking up Christmas morning in Spain or Paris instead of at home. There are plenty of great places that you can see during the holidays so don’t limit your options.

The down side to traveling to popular vacation spots for the holidays is that they are in demand. That means you will likely pay more to visit them during that time of year than normal. You will also need to make your reservations early or you will find that all the flights or the hotels have sold out and you won’t be able to spend the holidays there.

Take a look at various vacation package deals to help you save as much money as possible when you take a vacation over the holidays. Most package deals for travel include your airfare, hotel accommodations, and a rental car if you want one. You can also choose to add tickets for shows or events you want to take part in.

Once you have decided where you want to spend the holidays, you can start comparing prices. Find out what your local travel agent can offer you and surf the internet on your own. Don’t forget to look in the travel section of the newspaper or to take advantage of advertisements you get in the mail. For many people the ability to be able to take a vacation over the holidays will depend on the price they are able to get the trip for.

There will also be more people to deal with at that particular vacation spot over the holidays in most instances. If you don’t like being a part of a large crowd or you hate to wait in line, you will want to prepare yourself for these issues while vacationing over the holidays. This way you can focus on having a great time instead of getting stressed out over such issues that you have no control over.

Holiday Travel with your Pets

December 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Holiday Travel Tips

 

The holidays are a time when many people travel, and that leads to the dilemma of what to do with the family pets. Many people choose to bring them along because they don’t have anyone to care for them and they don’t want to place them in a dog kennel for the duration of their holiday trip.

Traveling with your pets for the holidays can be a pleasant experience if you are prepared for it. Otherwise it can turn into a nightmare due to the care your pets need and where you will be staying. If you are visiting family or friends of the holidays you really need to make sure they are comfortable with you bringing you pets along.

Keep in mind that most hotels won’t allow you to keep pets in your room. Make sure you look into this information before you secure the reservation. Those hotels that do offer you the right to bring your pets will you will charge you a deposit just in case your pet destroys something in the room during your stay.

Most airlines will make accommodations for your pets to travel in the plane but they have to be secured in a carrier. This can be very stressful for pets that are used to roaming around freely. They will have to fly in the cargo area of the plane unless the airline allows small cats and small dogs to be placed under your seat for the duration of the flight.

If you plan to place your pet in a carrier let them get used to it in the weeks prior to your travel plans for the holidays. This way they won’t be so overwhelmed by the concept of being in the carrier for the duration of the flight. This can be quite traumatic for your pet and you don’t want them injuring themselves during the flight.

Keep in mind that they will charge you more if your pet is aboard the plane with you instead of with the cargo. Still, this is a great way to ensure your pet is being well cared for while your travel for the holidays. If you have any connecting flights though you will definitely want to keep your pet on board with you. The risk of losing your pet this way will really put a damper on the holiday festivities.

You will not be able to take your pets along with you on the bus lines or the train due to their strict guidelines. The only exception to this rule is seeing eye dogs as not allowing them on board is a violation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. As a result many people traveling with pets for the holidays decide to take their own vehicle.

Make sure you have plenty of food and water for them so they can stay hydrated and feeling well. If you are traveling by car you need to plan to stop often for them to exercise and use the bathroom. It is a good idea to take along their favorite toys or blankets in order to minimize their stress during travel.

Pay close attention to the weather for your holiday travel as it can be quite a change for your pet. They are likely used to their normal climate and they may have trouble coping with the extreme heat or the extreme cold.

It is very possible to travel with your pets for the holidays but it take plenty of planning. You want them to be as comfortable as possible without it affecting your ability to enjoy traveling for the holidays as well. Even though you may want to have your pets with you, carefully weigh the decision. If you determine that they travel conditions won’t be right for them then find a quality kennel for them to stay at so you can still enjoy your holiday travel.

Planning a Flight around the Holidays

December 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Holiday Travel Tips

There is always a chance that your flight will get cancelled or delayed regardless of when you fly. However, the holidays are a very busy time for airports and you don’t want to spend Christmas there instead of with your family. Be prepared for long lines at the check in desk and security. Even though you should be at the airport two hours before your plane takes off during normal travel times, you will want to increase that up to three hours when you travel around the holidays.

Try to keep the amount of items you bring along to a minimum. It will make checking in your baggage easier and prevent such items from being lost or damaged. If you are traveling for Christmas and you want to send gifts it is a good idea to mail them separately and they will be there when you arrive. If you do decide to pack them don’t wrap them as they are subject to being inspected. You can wrap the gifts when you arrive at your destination.

Traveling around Thanksgiving or Christmas always comes with the risk of the weather being a problem so make sure you are prepared. Some travelers have had their flights delayed for a couple of days due to storms coming in during these times. It is a good idea to arrive at the airport prepared for the worst. Make sure you have plenty of activities with you for children to stay busy with. You also want to carry snacks and drinks so you don’t have to pay the outrageous prices at the airport for these items.

If you have specific dates of travel in order to be spend the holidays away from home you will want to secure your travel arrangements early. Look for the best possible deals online and with a travel agent. If you want until the last minute though in hopes of prices dropping you may be disappointed that you won’t get to go because the flights are sold out.

Many people save money on flights by taking connections or accepting a layover or two. You may want to skip this money saving tip during the holidays just because most airports will be very busy. You don’t want to have to deal with hurrying across a busy airport terminal to find your connecting flight. If you can get a decent price on a direct flight then make sure you do so.

It is very important that you have all your travel documents and a printed copy of your travel itinerary. Most airline staff will be overwhelmed with people asking for assistance during this time of the year. You don’t want to arrive and discover that you don’t have a reservation after all and that there is not a space on the plane for you.

If you want to avoid the crowds during holiday travel, consider taking a very early morning flight or a late evening flight. You will find these are often less expensive as well. While it may interrupt your normal sleep patterns, it can help to reduce the amount of stress and anxiety while you are traveling during the holidays.

For those planning to fly with children around the holidays, make sure you keep a careful eye on them. They can quickly become separated from your family in the crowd of people moving around. Strollers are a good option for small children. Make sure all the adults in the party know which flight they are taking and the airline in case they get separated as well.

You can have a fabulous trip to visit your family and friends over the holidays if you are prepared. Paying attention to the guidelines of the airlines is very important to ensure you have a save trip. Being on time will help to ensure that you don’t have your plans crushed because you have to catch a plane in the following days.

Preparing your Vehicle for Holiday Travel

December 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Holiday Travel Tips

No one wants to have their holiday travel plans ruined due to their vehicle breaking down, so make sure you give it plenty of attention before hand. Complete a thorough check of all the routine items on your vehicle. The oil should be changed and you will want to check all the fluids including the transmission fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and brake fluid.

Don’t wait until something breaks on your vehicle to replace it, especially when you are traveling for the holidays. Carefully inspect all of the hoses for signs of wear as you never know when they will end up breaking. If you haven’t used your windshield wipers for a while make sure they are in good condition.

Have someone stand behind your vehicle so you can make sure both of your turn signals work as well as your break lights. Replace any bulbs that are burned out or seem to be dim. Do the same for your headlights on both low beams and high beams. This will ensure other vehicles are able to see you coming and know when you are planning to stop or to turn. It is a good idea to carry fuses in your glove box so that you can replace any that may burn out during your travel for the holidays.

Your tires are very important when you are traveling for the holidays. Check the wear patterns on the tread to make sure they are in good shape. Of the two front tires are wearing unevenly you may need to have your vehicle aligned. You may find it is time to rotate the tires on your vehicle as well. This involves moving the front ones to the back and the back ones to the front.

Depending on the time of year when you travel for the holidays, you may experience bad weather. Make sure you have a survival kit in your car that includes tire changes which many end up being mandatory to drive on the roads in some areas. You also want this survival kit to include a flashlight with fresh batteries, flares, food, water, a first aid kit, blankets, a car jack, and a gas can.

It is a good idea to make sure you have a cell phone will you as well. Most models come with a battery charger that plugs right into your cigarette lighter so you don’t have to worry about the battery running low while you are traveling for the holidays. If you don’t want to get caught up in a lengthy cell phone contract, look for those offered at retail stores. They are inexpensive and they work well. However, you buy the amount of minutes you want for the phone in advance. When the minutes run out you can choose to buy more or simple get rid of the phone.

It is never a good idea to be in a vehicle without seatbelts for all passengers. However, some states don’t require the use of a seatbelt so people don’t pay attention to them working or not. If you are traveling out of state for the holidays you may be going through those that do require them and you need to be prepared.

Accidents can still happen even when you have properly prepared your vehicle for holiday travel. Seatbelts and car seats offer you a way to reduce the chances of serious injury if such an event does take place. In your glove box you should have a disposable camera so you can take pictures of the accident scene for your insurance company. Make sure you have a pen and paper handy as well so you can exchange insurance and personal information with the other party involved.

Thousands of people choose to travel for the holidays using their own personal vehicle. Doing your very best to make sure your vehicle is in excellent working condition will help you to arrive at your destination safely.

Ways to Save Money for Holiday Travel

December 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Holiday Travel Tips

Many people want to travel for the holidays but they don’t feel like they can because their budget doesn’t allow for it. Yet there are plenty of ways you can raise money to be able to do so. The sooner you start making a plan and determining how much money you will need the more successful you will be. Come up with as accurate of an amount as you can so you wont’ fall short. If you overestimate the amount of money you need for holiday travel then you can enjoy it later on.

Make a commitment not to touch the money you save for holiday travel under and circumstances. Place it in the bank or in a piggy bank that you have to break to get into. This way you won’t be tempted to remove any of the money for another purpose. The money you save for holiday travel will safely continue to grow until you are ready to travel.

Everyone needs to remove clutter from their home now and then so get it done and have a yard sale. Price the items cheap so that you won’t have to haul it all back into your home again. Making some money off the items you no longer need is better than not making any at all. You may want to place some of the items on the various online auctions so that you can get a better price for them. Do your research to see what is selling on these sites so you can have a good chance of selling yours.

Take a close look at your income and think about how much of it you can reasonably put away for holiday travel. Even if it is only $10 a week you can start putting it away and it will add up quickly. If you get paid every two weeks there will be months when you get three pay checks. Make a plan to save at least ½ of those paychecks for your holiday travel plans.

You may find making some adjustments to your family’s budget can help you to save enough money for holiday travel as well. Instead of paying for a cup of coffee on the way to work each day make your own. Rather than going out to dinner and to a movie consider ordering a pizza and renting a movie. All the extra money that you save needs to go towards your holiday travel plans.

Ask your boss about any additional shifts or overtime hours you can have in order to save money for holiday travel. This means you may have to give up some of your free time but it will be a worthwhile sacrifice. Let other people know you are for hire too so they can pay you to baby sit, clean their house, or paint their garage. These little projects can be very fun and add up to some nice cash for the holiday travel plans you have.

If you are traveling for the holidays to see your family or friends ask them about a no gift rule if you want to go for Christmas. Explain to them that you will be saving all your money towards coming to see them for the holidays. The amount of money you will save on gifts quickly adds up, and being able to spend time with your family and friends will be a gift you can’t put a price on.

Look for excellent deals on holiday travel as well. It will be wonderful if you find a cheap flight or a discount of the train or bus. This means you will have less money to save up for your holiday travel. It may take some effort and some sacrifices but it will be well worth it when the holiday of your choice rolls around and you are able to go where you want to go.

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