Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Use This Strategy To Get Cheap Holidays

We all know someone like my friend Carol. She has done fairly well for herself and holds down a reasonable job. She works as a primary school teacher here in the U.K. but quite frankly her salary is nothing to write home about. Yet, (and this is the amazing thing), Carol always seems to be able to take the most remarkable holidays outside of term time. Amongst our group of friends she is known as the “supremo of cheap last minute foreign holidays” as she always seems to be away on some Caribbean cruise or safari in Africa. One of her cheap vacations last year wasn’t quite so glamorous - she visited Argentina and stayed in some metal shack type accommodation, but when you are literally booking holidays at the last second you have to be prepared to take the rough with the smooth sometimes.

All in all, I know that Carol has had some great experiences and doesn’t regret any of the holidays she has taken. She is the most travelled person I know, which can only enrich the lives of the children she teaches. A couple of months I invited Carol over to my house for dinner with an ulterior motive in mind. I had been curious about her ability to find the low-cost holidays for some time and finally my inquisitiveness had got the better of me. The moment I had served dinner I decided to ask her outright how she managed to afford so many wonderful exotic holidays each year. She stared back at me for a moment, with a somewhat perplexed look on her faced as if I was trying to pry into her soul for some dark secret she was keeping, then she merely gave the answer that I had been expecting all along. She told me she used websites like lastminute.com to source the best holiday at the best price. However there was more to it that this – to Carol what had started as a bit of fun had now become a regular pastime. Carol admitted that she spent a lot of her free time searching out the best deals.

Part of the reason for me asking the question of Carol was that I had a holiday planned and needed to find a cheap vacation myself. When I asked for her best tips she really surprised me. From what little she had told me so far that her methods I assumed Carol found all of her low cost holidays by searching the Internet. But this was not the case. It transpired that Carol had many contacts in the travel industry itself, and could receive a call from personal call from any one of them at any time with an offer of holiday a discounted price. Because they had known Carol for a long time, they were familiar with her requirements exactly, they were well aware of her personal situation in terms of here availability i.e. when she did not work and the fact that she would be willing to travel at a moments notice Because of Carol’s availability and willingness to travel, this made her a very good contact to have for the travel agents and this was reciprocated by the agents in that Carol’s was able to get some of the very best deals available.

If you are looking for cheap last minute foreign holidays and cheap vacations, keep a close eye on site like last minute.com. That said, it is equally important to develop a close relationship with you local travel agent, making then aware of you exact requirements in terms of location and price and contact them often.

Author : Peter Craske

Top Ten Places To Visit In Egypt

There’s no other place in the world that holds more mystery than the country of Egypt. The smell of the mysticism of the ancient Egyptians still lingers over the place. This ancient atmosphere seems to fill its every nook and cranny with secrets yet untold.

1. Pyramids of Giza
And perhaps there is nothing more mysterious, and more worthy of seeing in Egypt than the esteemed Great Pyramids of Giza. These are the pyramids of Khufu, Kafhre, and Menkaura. These perfectly shaped structures leaves everyone in awe and in wonder about how exactly they were made, considering that the ancient Egyptians had no advanced technology to work with.

2. Sphinx
And of course, if you’re going to go to the Great Pyramids, then you might as well go to the Sphinx. This is one of the most mysterious structures in Egypt. Even now, archeologists are still arguing about its origin and its purpose, making it the subject of the famous phrase, “the Riddle of the Sphinx.”

3. Abu Simbel
These two temples were built by Pharaoh Ramesses II to commemorate himself and his wife, Nefertari. It’s a breathtaking place, and its temples are hailed as one of the most beautiful in Egypt. What’s even more interesting about the Abu Simbel is the amount of effort put into relocating and preserving it.

4. Cairo
And of course, if you really want to immerse yourself in Egyptian culture, it would be best for you to go to the capital city, Cairo. The place is teeming with bazaars and restaurants where you can buy your taste of Egyptian culture. It’s surely not a place to miss.

5. Temples of Karnak
What better way to experience ancient Egypt than to visit the very place where they worshipped their gods. The Temples of Karnak is the biggest site for Egyptian worship. It has a monument to just about every god in the Theban religion.

6. The Nile River
And of course, you can’t miss out on the famous Nile River. It is, after all, what nourished Egypt and turned it into the place of wonder that it is. In fact, what’s great about visiting the Nile is that you can take a Felucca and sail down the legendary river, taking in the sights of the city and the sunset.

7. Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings or Biban El Moluk is the place where Egypt’s most esteemed pharaohs were buried. This place is teeming with mummies and undiscovered treasures. In fact, this is the place where archeologists found one of the most famous mummies of all time – Tutankhamun.

8. Egyptian Museum
Of course, since it would be unwise to leave the Egyptian treasures in the tombs they were found in, the archeologists put them in the Egyptian museum where they would be put under high security. If you want to learn about Egypt, this is the best place to start. There’s no other place with a higher concentration of Egyptian artifacts, and you can even follow the tour so that you can be oriented with the history of each of the artifacts.

9. Siwa Oasis
Egypt isn’t all about temples and pyramids, there’s a place where you can just let loose and have fun – the Siwa Oasis. Here, you can take a swim in the cool waters to ward off the desert heat. It is rumored that Alexander stopped here during his great conquest.

10. Necropolis of Sakkarah
And indeed, you can’t miss something as intriguing as a ‘Necropolis’ or, if translated, a City of the Dead. Here, you will find the less popular pyramids of Egypt, the step pyramids. However, though they are less popular than the great pyramids, they’re still suffused with great history and culture.

Author : Jonathan Williams (www.destinationguide.tv/egypt)

Tips On Dealing With Jet Lag

Jet lag is an awkward side effect of jet travel when you cross too many time zones for your body's liking. Face it, most of us have enough problems when we shift just an hour to daylight savings. Follow these tips on avoiding jet lag to help reduce the effects.

Not all these tips are relevant for every trip, especially if you're traveling on business at short notice, but at least some of them should be useful for you.

1. Adjust your sleep time
Start helping your body clock to adjust to the new time zone by changing the times that you go to sleep at night and awaken in the morning. You'll start to become accustomed to the new times. Make the adjustment about an hour each night.

2. Set your watch
As soon as you board your flight, set your watch to the new time. We look at our watches an amazingly high amount of times, so adjusting the time as soon as possible will help your mind realize that it's changing clocks.

3. Drink water. Lots of it
Sure, you can ask the stewardess for water but they have hundreds of other passengers to look after as well. Buy a bottle of water once you've passed through airport control and drink plenty of water during your flight.

4. Say no to coffee and alcohol
They both act as dehydrators. So they'll help to dry up your body even more than the flight already does. Soft drinks or water are to be preferred.

5. Get some rest on the flight
Depending on how enthusiastic the cabin staff are, this may be easier said than done. And if that child behind you rocks your seat once more, then that's another story. If you get the option, a window seat or one in the center of a block of seats will minimize the number of people who need to ask you to move out of their way. Noise canceling headphones aren't standard issue on many flights, so if you are a regular traveler then treat yourself to a set. They really do cut down the disturbance of engine noise.

6. Go walkabout occasionally
OK, this is at odds with getting rest. But sitting down for hours on end isn't a good idea either. Walk up and down the aisles a few times. Not so much that you're pacing them but certainly go for this exercise a few times on a long flight. Just be certain not to time your expedition for meal or drinks or duty free services.

7. Adjust to your new time zone on the plane
If it's daytime at your destination, stay awake. If it's night where you are going, get some sleep. You can catch up on the in flight entertainment when you've got a bigger screen and better sound. Start adjusting as soon as you can.

8. Keep adjusting at your destination
Even if you've been on a plane for hours and hours. The sooner you start adjusting, the better. So if you arrive in the dead of night, get to sleep. A dose of melatonin may help here - it's a natural sleeping aid that's already produced by your body.

Author: Trevor Johnson [www.squidoo.com/copewithjetlag]

Top Romantic Weekend Getaways

There are tons of places all over the world that are worth visiting; however, there are some places that are just more romantic than others. Whenever you are trying to plan romantic weekend getaways for you and your loved one, you may have a hard time coming up with the best places. That is why, today, we are going to cover some of the best romantic weekend getaways you could ever choose to go on. We are going to talk about the top locations around the world that just scream romance. Taking your loved one to any one of the places we are going to talk about today is enough to make their heart beat with joy.

The first place on our list is Malta. The Maltese Islands are a great place to go just because of how tranquil it is there. Not only that, but all the islands have this kind of charm to them that you just can not find anywhere else. Of course, the Maltese Islands are also very well known for having over 6,000 years of culture to soak up, which is sure to last you more than just one weekend. If those islands do not sound like a place that you want to go, then you may want to choose to take some of your romantic weekend getaways to the Greek Islands. The beautiful crystal clear waters and the breathtaking sunset have enough romance in them to last you a lifetime!

Of course, if culture isn't your idea of romance, then you need to check out Vienna, Austria. This is a place that has amazing historic cities that are worth taking a look at. However, the rich culture and, of course, the overall atmosphere of the place is enough to drive your love for each other sky high! From there, maybe you will want to go to Portugal. Here you would stop by Algarve to have the time of your life. The beaches here are enough of a reason to make you want to travel there, but the travel resorts around this area are spectacular as well. Not only are you going to discover a whole lot of things to do in Algarve, you may just discover a new level to your relationship.

All of these places are nice, and all of them have a lot of romance in their atmosphere. However, what place should you put on the top of your list? The number one spot that is king over all other romantic weekend getaways would have to be Paris, France. This is the city of love, after all. The city is full of very rich history and art that will blow you away. Not only that, but you can not have a romantic getaway without some great food, and there is no lack of great food in Paris. When you are in France, it is very easy to lose yourself in the moment, and that is what romantic getaways are all about. This is one of the best places on earth when it comes to spending some alone time with the person you love. If you do not believe it, then plan your next romantic getaway to Paris, France, and you will see why it is the most romantic place on earth.

How to Save for a Round the World Trip

One of the reasons that people avoid extended travel is because they assume it is expensive and feel they be able to afford it. This is untrue. One of the myths about travel is that it is pricey. Everyone assume that to travel you need to be rich because all they see on TV are advertisements for expensive holidays and think all travel is like that. But it isn't. However, travel can be very cheap. You can travel around the world for under $15,000 dollars for one year of travel. If you only go cheap parts of the world, you will spend even less.

That may sound like a lot of money but when you consider that covers all your expenses, it is actually quite reasonable. Most people spend more than that in one year. It also sounds impossible to save but you're wrong again. There are many ways to save that much money in a year. It simply requires persistence and making saving money a habit and priority.

That much money is is about $1,200 dollars per month, which is a lot but manageable if you curb you're spending and cut your bills. To save that much money you need to become frugal and cut out your extra spending. It is mind blowing how much money people waste each day. Cut out your extra spending and watch your bank account rise and rise.

The easiest things to cut out are your vices. One cup of coffee a day is $150 dollars a month. A pack a day smoker would save $210 dollars per month. A typical night out on the town can cost around $50 dollars or more in a big city, and since most people go out two nights a week, you could save $400 dollars. Already we have saved $400 or more dollars, depending on your habits.

Those are the low hanging fruit though. The real way to save money is to eat in and consume less. If you are an average person, you probably eat out 5 to 7 times a week. If each meal costs an average of $20 dollars, that is between $400-$560 dollars per month. Eating can cut your cost down to $80 dollars per week. That saves you a lot of money, since you probably already do some grocery shopping too.

Cut out your consumption and buy only things you need. That is the real secret to saving for a trip around the world. Buy only what you need and save the rest. People spend hundreds of dollars a month on little things that they don't really need- DVDs, music, movies, drinks, and a lot more. All of that adds.

If you only eat in and go out once a week, you will only spend $340 per month and save over $800 dollars per month just by doing those two things. To save more money, move into a smaller apartment or get a roommate. Even consider moving home if you have that option.

If you do all of these things, you will be able to save the amount of money you need per month for your trip by simply living frugally and smartly. Your associates may think you are living like a monk and, though it may seem that way at times, picture the prize you have waiting- one year around the world. The trouble will make the victory that much better.