How to Travel on the Cheap

travel-inexpensivelyTraveling can be a wonderful eye opening experience. It can also be an exhausting, expensive painful experience.

To prevent travel from becoming the latter, a very important thing needs to happen: planning. Having money helps too! For those of us who are not blessed with unlimited funds, though, there are some ways to travel on the cheap.

 

  • Be Flexible. Buying a plane ticket on a Thursday instead of a Friday can make a money difference. Try to be as flexible as possible and check those prices about three to four weeks out.

 

  • Plan and research. Make a plan of top things to do and see first then make a list of things to do and see if time allows. Research the area, hotels, restaurants, culture, etc.

 

  • Never exchange money at an airport. Airports charge commissions for exchanging currencies. If traveling to another county that requires a different currency, check fist with your bank. They are usually able to get a good exchange rate and can get the money to you before you travel. Just make sure to give them at least 3 days to complete this. Other places to exchange currencies include banks and exchange businesses.

 

  • Buy bus tickets online. Traveling by bus is often the cheapest way to travel. However, purchasing bus tickets online ahead of time is even cheaper. Buying tickets at the bus ticket counter can sometimes cost twice as much as the online prices depending upon how far in advance the ticket is purchased.

 

  • Save some room in that carry on. Of course the best way to save money is to just travel with a carry on but not everyone can fit everything they need in that one tiny bag. Traveling with checked luggage is fine but there is a weight limit. Going over that weight limit will cost you. Most airports are nice enough to allow weighing the bag first on their scales before it gets checked. Just ask to do this ahead of time. If it is overweight, the extra can go in the carry on.

 

  • Call your cell phone carrier (if traveling to a different country). Don’t get charged overages for using the internet or sending a text while away. Some cell phones do not even work outside the country.

 

  • Warn your credit card companies that you are traveling and check the expiration dates. The last thing anyone wants on their travels is for a credit card to be declined simply because it is past it’s expiration date. Some credit companies will put a hold on credit cards if they see it is being used in a different location.

 

 

One of the best ways to take the stress out of traveling is to hire a travel agent. Travel agents can help plan, arrange and book travels. If this is the route you decide to take, plan the budget accordingly; using some of the funds for the travel agent and the rest of the funds for the traveling itself. Whatever you decide to do, have fun and bon voyage!

Post by Marlin Travel New Brunswick

“Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

Top Best New Apps for Travelers

best-travel-apps.jpgIn order to have a smooth vacation, it’s essential to do a little planning beforehand and then be prepared for anything. There are dozens of useful smartphone apps that can help you plan and enjoy your vacation. Here are just a few of our favorites.

1. Expedia

If you’re planning on flying anywhere during your vacation, those tickets can get pricey. With this app for iPhone or Android, you can find the cheapest fares for wherever you need to go. It’s also great for finding last-minute discounts on hotels — some of these discounts are even exclusive to the app, so you’ll get deals here you can’t get online.

2. Photosynth

It’s a given that you’ll want to be taking great photos as you travel. This free photo app makes it easy to piece together your photos to create gorgeous panoramas. It’s a must-have if you want to capture those beautiful landscapes.

3. Weather+Free

This is a simple weather application that tells you the local time, temperature, wind speed, humidity, and more. Use it to plan the day’s outfit before you leave your hotel. You don’t want to be caught off guard by a sudden rain storm when you could have planned for it.

4. GateGuru

For international vacations, it sometimes seems like you spend more time in airports than you do anywhere else. This app can help you navigate the ins and outs of airports all over the world, recommending the best places to eat, rest, and get an Internet connection.

5. Postagram

Send personalized travel postcards to your friends right from your phone! Take a picture and provide a mailing address, and the Postagram app will print and mail that postcard for a small fee. You get to choose your own photos and won’t pay any more than you would for a postcard in a souvenir shop.

6. Urbanspoon

Out on the town and looking for a good place to eat? Use this app to find local favorites. It’s a free app that uses the GPS on your phone to determine what restaurants are open in your current location.

7. Free Wi-Fi Finder

As you’re using all these apps on your phone, chances are you’re using up a lot of your mobile data too. Use this app to find free wi-fi connections so you can check your email and Facebook without running out of data.

Sources:
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2422245,00.asp
http://www.forbes.com/sites/traceygreenstein/2011/09/29/the-10-best-travel-apps/
http://travel.usnews.com/gallery/10_Best_Free_Travel_Apps/

How to Travel with Kids like a Boss

travel-with-kidsTraveling with kids is a great way to introduce them to different cultures, foods and people. Don’t listen to those people who’ll tell you that kids don’t appreciate–and learn from–travel. Those uncluttered minds absorb everything they see. Plus exploring Canada–and the world–with your kids is a great way for a family to bond. However, traveling with kids is not without its challenges. To make your family vacation go more smoothly this season, we offer a few travel tips:

1. Arrive early. Families generally have more gear to get through security and onto the plane (or into the hotel or cruise ship) than most single travelers. Allow for the extra time this will take by arriving early for your departure. You don’t want to start the trip stressed out and neither does your family.

2. Bring a first aid kit. Kids seems to have a way of getting sick or bruised during even the most careful vacation. Plan for this eventuality by bringing a family first aid kit with aspirin, bandages, cold medicine and antiseptic wipes.

3. Plan ahead. Making your flight, hotel and cruise arrangements well in advance means that you’ll be more likely to get the seat assignments, type of hotel room and cruise cabin that works best for your group. You don’t want to be that family of five with five middle seats scattered throughout the airplane.

4. Have a contingency plan. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as we plan on vacation. Flights can be delayed, bags can get lost, attractions can be closed and rain can spoil that idyllic day at the beach. To keep the family fun going, it’s a good idea to have at least one back-up plan in mind (if not two) at all times

Traveling with your kids doesn’t have to be a headache. Plan carefully, allow plenty of time and be flexible and you’ll all have a vacation that you will remember fondly for years to come.

5 ways to Get Through the Airport Faster

avoid-airport-linesGone are the days when you could drop your bags at the curb, breeze through the airport and walk right onto your plane. Today’s airport experience is filled with security check points, long lines and changing regulations. However, you don’t just have to suffer with long delays getting from your car to the plane. There are several things you can do to get through most airports more quickly.

Five ways to get through the airport more quickly

1. Arrive early. Getting to the airport early can not only make things less tense, but can even get you through the security check points more quickly. Most travelers arrive at the airport around one hour prior to departure. Get there ahead of that rush and you’ll avoid the longest lines.

2. Dress for success. How you dress can help you get through the airport more quickly. It’s more convenient to wear slip-on shoes since shoes are screened by security. Persons with piercings should leave their body jewelry in their carry-on when they travel, as metal studs and other such jewelry can set off the metal detector at security. You should also skip wearing a belt to the airport and keep your pockets empty of change, keys and other metal items.

3. Pack smart. According to the Travel Security Administration (TSA), packing smart can help you get through security faster. They advise travelers to pack all coats and jackets in their checked luggage and to be sure not to bring any prohibited items.

4. Use the self-serve kiosk. At most airports, you can print your own boarding passes at the self-serve kiosk. This avoids the long line at the counter. You can do this even if you have baggage. With baggage, you’ll still have to get in the baggage drop-off line, but this is generally much shorter than the general check-in line.

5. Opt for the line with the lone security agent. Security lines with two agents usually means that one is a trainee. Opt instead for the line with the agent working alone. It will usually move more quickly.