Why Are Luxury Cruises Becoming So Popular With Vacationers?

In this era of faster everything, including faster and larger commercial airliners where passengers are packed in like sardines, one thing seems to remain constant.  That is the wonderful, leisurely world of cruising.  For many years the airline industry has experienced numerous setbacks, while the cruise industry has been growing by leaps and bounds. There are many reasons why you should consider becoming a part of this amazing phenomenon.  Here are some of them.
 

According to recent research from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), ninety-five percent of cruisers give top marks to their cruising experience and more than seventy-five percent plan to cruise again within three years.
 

Contrary to what some people think, cruises are very affordable.  With most vacations you end up paying for air flights, hotels or resorts, restaurants, entertainment, and sometimes car rentals.  If you add all these costs up, cruises can be a real bargain.  When you book a cruise, in most cases you pay for the airfare and cruise.  However, if you live close enough to your cruise ship departure port, you may be able to drive there much cheaper than you can fly.  Even if you have to fly to the departure port you can always get a flight and cruise package deal which is usually less expensive than purchasing your flight and cruise separately.   
 

When you book a luxury cruise vacation, well over 85% of your holiday is prepaid and that includes all meals, night clubs, stage shows, movies, and entertainment, as well as numerous other activities and amenities.  In addition, most ships have onboard activities such as golf, rock climbing, dancing, swimming, scuba diving lessons which can lead to certification, Pilates, yoga, and fitness trainers.  You can also pamper yourself with wonderful spas and body massages. 
 

Another way to save big bucks on a cruise is to book an inside cabin.  If you do not need to have a cabin with a balcony or ocean view, then you will save a lot of money.  You have use of all the shared amenities that your fellow passengers have, but it’s costing you a lot less. 
 

You can also save a bundle on repositioning cruises.  A repositioning cruise is made possible at certain times of the year, usually in the spring and fall, when cruise lines relocate their ships from one part of the world to another.
 

There is a large variety of luxury cruise vacations to choose from, ranging from three day mini cruises to several month long cruises as well as an amazing around the world cruise odyssey.
 

When you cruise, you are traveling in the lap of luxury in a floating five-star hotel.  You will be pampered and feel you are living the life of a king or queen, not just for a day, but for the entire length of the cruise.  Gourmet dining, impeccable service and elegant surroundings are only a few of the superlatives that are used to describe cruising.
 

If you like delicious food you will absolutely love gourmet meals and scrumptious desserts created by great chefs and served in a variety of restaurants.  There are always wonderful buffets available throughout the day and even midnight buffets.  A number of themed lounges are located throughout the cruise ships for your convenience.
   

Love seeing Broadway style shows and theater performances without having to make reservations or pay outlandish prices for tickets?  Then taking a luxury cruise is the answer.  So many things are included on cruises which make them such a great value for your travel and entertainment dollar. From children to great grandparents, there is always something to interest everyone on a cruise.  You have the option to be as active as you like or you can just relax and experience magnificent sunrises and breathtaking sunsets while watching the world go by.  So many wonderful, precious memories and experiences will stay with you a lifetime when you take a luxury cruise. Want to party around the clock?  Not a problem.  Whether you are with a partner or single, it’s always party time.  You don’t even have to plan or clean up after the party, just have a lot of fun!

Businesses from around the world book conferences and seminars, team building get-togethers, new product launches and employee reward vacations on cruise ships.  Cruise lines do not charge extra for conference room facilities and use of audio and video equipment. Group cruises are not only for companies and business people.  Family reunions, honeymoons and weddings, sports groups and clubs, charities and fund raisers are only some of the many kinds of groups that have their events on cruises.

On cruises there is no hassle of having to pack and unpack again and again every time you travel to a new destination.  Another bonus is that there is no limit on the amount of luggage you can bring on a cruise.
 

People with disabilities should have no problem getting around on a cruise ship.  Cruise lines have made onboard accessibility a non-issue as their ships are equipped with ramps, elevators and easily accessible cabins and state rooms.
 

Modern cruise ships have dramatically reduced the problem of seasickness.  Today’s larger ships slice through the waves instead of riding on top of them.  Also, new innovative technologies like stabilizers and counterbalancing systems have greatly reduced the pitch and roll of cruise ships, all but neutralizing any problem of seasickness.
 

Cruising is also one of the safest forms of travel.  The cruise industry has an exceptional safety record.  And as far as assaults and robberies are concerned, they are over a hundred times less likely to occur on a cruise ship than in your own home town.
 

A physician and medical staff are never more than a few minutes away on a cruise ship should any passenger need to see doctor.  Most common passenger ailments and minor mishaps occur less on a cruise ship than on shore.
 

For those that have a fear of flying or don’t enjoy being crammed like sardines into commercial airplanes when traveling to their destinations, here is some great news.  The cruise lines in the United States are making terrific strides catering to cruise passengers needs.  They are opening up more ports of call on both the East and West coasts so more and more people who would love to go on a cruise but don’t like flying, can easily drive or take a bus or train to most departure ports.   
 

 

Dorothy Yamich has a passion for travel. She has lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe as well as traveled in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.  She is a travel consultant and specializes in luxury cruises as well as vacation packages.  If you are looking for information on cheap airfares, fabulous discounted luxury cruises and great holiday packages, visit:  http://www.traveltipsguide.com

 

 

 

What Can Vacationers Do To Reduce The Effects Of Jet Lag When They Travel On Commerical Airline Flights?

Many medical experts have found that air travelers usually experience a worse bout of jet lag when they fly from east to west.  In general, the more time zones that they cross, flying from east to west, the more severe their symptoms of jet lag will be.  However, airline passengers will only experience a milder bout of jet lag when their air flights are going from west to east. 
 

Travelers can fly north and south, or south to north, for thousands of miles without experiencing any jet lag.  But as soon as the pilot of the airplane starts to fly in an east to west direction and crosses more than one or possibly two time zones, they can experience jet lag. 
 

Passengers will not usually experience the symptoms of jet lag until they exit the plane.  That is the time when their biological clocks will start to make internal adjustments inside their bodies to coincide more closely with the local time at their destination.  If air travelers cross one, or even two time zones, their bodies can usually adjust very quickly.  However, if a traveler is in poor health or not feeling well before the flight, jet lag can compound the problemIn general, you should allow one day to recover for every time zone your airline flight crosses.
 

The following suggestions may help you lessen the effects of jet lag when you fly.   
If you can, try and get a good night’s sleep the night before you fly.  It’s better to be well rested and relaxed before flying. 
 

Eye shades, earplugs, and blow-up neck rests or pillows will help with your physical comfort.  It is a good idea to turn the air nozzle above your seat off to prevent the cold air from blasting down on you.  You may want to ask a flight attendant for a blanket to cover up so you don’t get cold.
 

An aisle seat is a better choice if you tend to get swollen feet and legs when you fly.  It is easier to get up and walk back and forth up and down the aisle occasionally to keep the circulation moving in your legs.  This will help prevent deep-vein thrombosis which can occur if the circulation in your legs gets obstructed or cut off for any length of time.   This is a serious medical condition that can happen when you fly.                            

                                          
Try to catch a flight that arrives at your vacation destination in daylight hours.  Immediately fit in with the new time zone and do not go to bed.  If you feel tired and want to take a short snooze, do it in a well lighted place.
 

In the evening, when you are tired, go to sleep in a darkened room.  The darkness will help prepare your brain for sleep.
 

If you can, avoid looking at television or computer screens as they are bright and have high frequencies that can easily over-stimulate your brain. 
 

Until your jet lag symptoms subside, do not consume alcohol or any drinks such as coffee and soda that contain caffeine, as they can disrupt your sleep.
 

You may want to consider taking a melatonin tablet or capsule (as many air travelers do) in the early evening (your time) to help you adjust to the time zone at your destination.  You may still have to take a dose of melatonin for the next three or four evenings in a row before you go to bed in this new location to help you readjust your biological clock.  If you have never taken melatonin before, you should ask your doctor or local pharmacist for more information in regards to the suggested dosage.
 

There is also a product called No-Jet-Lag in convenient tablet form available in some international airports, pharmacies and travel related stores in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, as well as in Asia.  This is a homeopathic remedy that is safe and effective.  Follow the suggested dosage on the bottle for the best results.
  

 

Dorothy Yamich has a passion for travel. She has lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe as well as traveled in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.  She is a travel consultant and specializes in luxury cruises as well as vacation packages.  If you are looking for cheap airfares,  fabulous discounted luxury cruises and great holiday packages, visit: http://www.traveltipsguide.com

 

Flights – How Can You Lessen The Fear Of Flying When On Vacation?

The fear of flying is called Aviophobia.  There are millions of vacationers and business people who travel on commercial air flights as well as potential flyers worldwide that suffer from it, to a greater or lesser extent.  Even though air travel is about thirty times safer than traveling by car, you very rarely hear about people that have a fear of driving.   Maybe the television, radio, internet and print media contributes to this fear when they graphically cover commercial airline crashes and the subsequent large number of air travelers that are injured or perish. 

 
Fear of flying on commercial flights can be triggered by a number of concerns such as the fear of heights, the fear of falling, the fear of the takeoff and the landing, the fear of crashing, the fear of flying over water, the fear of flying at night, the feeling of losing control causing panic attacks, air turbulence, stormy weather, the fear of hijackers or terrorists, motion sickness, and claustrophobia such as the fear of being trapped in the confined space of an airline cabin as well as being packed in like sardines with your fellow passengers, and also other phobias.
 

Some of the other symptoms of the fear of flying can be mild nervousness to extreme anxiety and panic attacks, a shortness of breath and tightness in your chest, chest pains, clammy hands, headaches, as well as nausea and vomiting. 
 

If you feel your fear of flying is severe, you may want to consider enrolling in an intensive treatment program.   However, if think your fear of flying is not severe, there are some things you can do that may help remedy this problem.
 

First, try and book a seat over the airplane wings, preferably not a window seat, so you can not look down at the ground.  When you sit over the wings you will also experience a much smoother flight. 
 

If possible, leave your seatbelt on as much as possible, so if any air turbulence suddenly occurs, you won’t get jarred or bounced about as much. 
 

Eat light and try to avoid eating or drinking any food or beverage that contains sugar, caffeine, or alcohol.
 

It will really help a lot if you try to stay positive and always think only positive thoughts.
 

Try to occupy your mind and calm yourself by listening to soft, soothing music on your I-Pod.
 

It usually helps to wear eye shades and try to sleep on the flight if you can.
 

You may feel less stressed if you can book a flight that leaves at an off-peak time as there are usually fewer airline passengers to contend with.
 

If you are thinking of taking any prescription or over-the-counter drugs to calm yourself down on your flight, be sure that you consult first with your family doctor or pharmacist.  Keep in mind that if you are already taking prescriptions for pre-existing conditions, any new medication, even the over-the-counter ones, may interact adversely with them. 
 

I have a true story that may help you with the fear of flying.  A number of years ago a good friend of mine had a severe problem dealing with the fear of flying.  His main fear was that he was terrified of dying in a plane crash.  A funny thing is that he had absolutely no problem driving all over the country, or taking a Greyhound bus or train when he traveled on his holidays. 
 

Fortunately he got a job selling ads for a local community newspaper near a busy international airport.  As he drove around to sell advertising to the stores in the area, he constantly observed huge commercial airliners taking off and landing every few minutes.  He got used to hearing the deafening roar of airline engines day in and day out.  Slowly, he eventually started to lose the fear of flying. 
 

He finally made a big decision to go on a vacation in Hawaii, which he had always dreamed of doing.  The only problem was that he had no choice but to fly.  Before he left he took out flight insurance just in case the plane crashed.  He wanted to be sure he would leave something for his mom and dad if he didn’t come back. 
 

Before boarding the airplane he took a sleeping pill hoping that it would help to keep him calm.  He bravely booked a window seat as he wanted to be able to see where he was going and what the earth and ocean looked like from the air.
 

When the flight attendant asked the passengers to fasten their seat belts, he cinched his seatbelt  up so tight he said he thought it would break.  Through the long flight to Hawaii he only removed his seatbelt to go to the washroom.  During the flight the only thing that really bothered him was that both his ears got plugged up and hurt a lot due to the changes in the cabin air pressure on  takeoff and landing.  A friendly fellow passenger suggested that he chew some gum and that seemed to solve the problem. 

 

When he eventually landed in Hawaii he was so proud of himself!   After all those wasted years of being hung up on that debilitating phobia, he finally had broken free.  All it took was working near a large airport and watching as well as hearing the constant takeoffs and landings of these huge commercial airliners to reprogram his mind. If you happen to have a fear of flying you must try and rid yourself of this debilitating, irrational fear.  I know that your life will be changed forever when you break free and allow yourself to soar with the eagles and fly anywhere in this big, wide, wonderful  world that you want to. 
 

 

Visit FlyingWithoutFear.com if you want more information on how you as a vacationer, or a business traveler can learn to lessen or totally eliminate your fear of flying.  This neat company offers a free online self-help course that we highly recommend you take.  It is conducted by a currently flying airline captain.
 

 

Dorothy Yamich has a passion for travel. She has lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe as well as traveled in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.  She is a travel consultant and specializes in luxury cruises as well as vacation packages.  If you are looking for information on cheap airfares, fabulouis discounted luxury cruises and great holiday deals, visit:  http://www.traveltipsguide.com

 

How Can Vacationers Avoid Street Scams, Cons, And Thefts When They Travel On Their Holidays?

 Airports, train and bus stations, and any other place where travelers congregate in close quarters are where pickpockets love to operate.  There are many dos and don’ts to avoid becoming a victim when you travel on vacation, most of which are common sense.  Here are some of them. 
 

Do not wear expensive jewelry, even expensive looking costume jewelry or an expensive looking watch as that is just an invitation to be robbed. 
 

Wear a money belt under you shirt or blouse to help foil pickpockets or muggers.  It is a good idea to put your things in a Ziploc bag and then put the bag in your money belt.  The reason for this is that the money belt and the items in it will get soaked from your perspiration, especially in hot climates, and this will keep them dry.  Do not open up your money belt in public to take out cash, travelers checks, or credit cards.
 

Before you leave on vacation, it might be worth it to sew a few pockets on the inside of your slacks, skirts, or underclothing where you can carry some spare cash when you are out and about for the day.  If you are carrying cash, travelers checks, or credit cards on your person, you should divide them up and put them in different pockets.  That way if a pickpocket is successful, he or she won’t get everything.  It also makes sense to use a safety pin to make each pocket opening smaller so that a pickpocket will have difficulty pulling anything out of your pockets without you being aware of it.
 

If a number of children gather around you in the street and cause a commotion, you are likely being targeted by pickpockets who are using the children to distract you.  If a couple of locals start a yelling and shoving match near you, they could be a distraction for pickpockets.  Another method of distraction is to have someone collapse and fall down in front of you.  When you bend over to help them, the pickpocket goes into action.  A variation involves two thieves working together, one gently dropping some ice cream, ketchup or mustard on one of your shoulders and then distracting you by pointing to the mess and helping to wipe it off.  The other pickpocket will then go into action. 
 

Pickpockets prefer to target men with their wallets invitingly exposed in their back pockets, and obese people because they are less likely to feel their pockets being picked.  You must be especially vigilant in airports, bus and train stations and watch your luggage, camera, and laptop like a hawk as they can disappear in an instant.  Keep in mind that pickpockets love tourists, especially when they are in crowds. 
 

Be vigilant when you are wearing a backpack.  Thieves may slash the bottom of it, spilling all the contents onto the street where he and his accomplices grab your possessions and run away in different directions. 
Usually muggings occur at night and not in a busy, bustling part of the city.  If you are accosted by an armed robber, do not argue or resist.  Give them what they want and be thankful that you don’t get hurt.  Whatever they take from you can be replaced and is not worth risking your life over.
 

After we read Bob Arno’s book on how people can avoid cons, thefts, and street scams, we felt that it would be a valuable book for anyone who goes on vacation, or travels for business, to also read.  It is chuck full of information and photos that show you how many scams work.  There is no limit as to what criminals can conspire to think of to rip-off and steal from unsuspecting tourists.
  
Bob is one of the world’s foremost experts on street crime, scams, and identity theft.  If you are interested in learning how to protect yourself when on holidays as well as at home, you may want to read his book, “Travel Advisory! How to Avoid Thefts, Cons, and  Street  Scams  While Traveling“.  It may be available at your local library.  If not, it is available through his website,  BobArno.com, or Amazon.com. 
 

He has been interviewed on CNN, MSNBC, ABC’s 20/20, The Travel Channel, The Learning Channel, Discovery Channel, and has had articles written about him in USA Today, National Geographic Traveler, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, and Time Magazine. 
 

His book is full of humor, true stories, as well as many photos of pickpockets and street scam artists in action.  In our opinion, his book is worth its weight in gold, and is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn how to protect themselves and their family when traveling, and even in their own home town.
 

 

Dorothy Yamich has a passion for travel. She has lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe as well as traveled in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.  She is a travel consultant and specializes in luxury cruises as well as vacation packages.  If you are looking for information on cheap airfares, fabulous discounted luxury cruises and great holiday deals, visit:  http://www.traveltipsguide.com

Holiday Hotels And Resorts – Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite When You Travel On Vacation

Even the best luxurious five-star hotels and resorts can occasionally get an infestation of bed bugs.  This is sometimes unavoidable because many hundreds, or even thousands of travelers and tourists can be staying at a hotel or resort at any given time. These little blood drinking critters can easily hitch a ride on unsuspecting travelers or hide in their luggage.  Hotel and resort managers are very aware of this problem and do their best to prevent this from happening. 
 

What do these pests look like?
 

Bedbugs are very tiny, flat, wingless bugs.  Their size can vary from a head of a pin to about one-quarter of an inch in length when fully mature.  They have an oval shape and look like small watermelon seeds.  Their color can vary from a translucent yellow to a dark reddish brown.  If they have just dined on a person’s blood they may appear dark brown or black in color. 
 

How easy are they to detect?
 

Most travelers are not aware of bedbugs until they see the red bite marks on their bodies and start scratching their itchy wounds.  Bed bugs can be extremely difficult to find if the infestation is light.  Their eggs are very tiny and about the size of a grains of rice which are even harder to see.  To make matters worse they tend to be nocturnal so they are waking up and looking for a blood breakfast when most vacationers are going to sleeping.
 

When you check into your room it is advisable to roll the bed sheets, blankets and comforters all the way down to see if you can find any bed bugs.  A tell tale sign that they are there are dark fecal spots or drops of dried blood on the linen, pillowcases, or in the seams around the mattress or box springs.  You may also find what appear to be shells of bed bugs which are in fact the skins that they shed as they mature.  If you find any sign of their presence, call down to the front desk and ask for another room.  You may be able to get a discount on your room for the upsetting experience and inconvenience.
 

However, bed bugs do not reflect on the cleanliness of hotels and resorts.  These insects do not eat crumbs or dirt, or anything we may associate with unsanitary hotel room conditions.  They only feed on blood. 
 

In terms of a vacationer’s health, current research indicates that these insects do not appear to spread disease even though they can harbor well over twenty-five different pathogens. 
 

Not everybody gets bitten by bed bugs.  Sometimes, if there are two travelers sleeping in the same bed, only one may get bitten.  However, bed bugs do not discriminate.  Given a chance they will gladly dine on anyone’s blood.  Bed bugs are attracted to the heat of our bodies and the carbon dioxide that we exhale when we breathe.  They also release chemicals to attract and find each other.  These night crawlers move fast and are excellent climbers.  They can quietly tag along in a traveler’s luggage or on their clothes. 
 

What can you do to avoid these pests when traveling on your holidays?
 

Unfortunately, apart from checking the bed linen, mattress, box springs, bed frames, behind the bed’s headboard, any upholstered furniture, and along the baseboards in your room, that’s about all you can do. 
 

Bed bugs are a universal problem and can be found in motels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, hotels, pod hotels, resorts, hospitals, airplanes, trains, buses, cabs, cruise ships, etc.  These little blood suckers can be found near any readily available sources of blood, like tired travelers.   Bed bugs can even hitch a ride home with you, turning your home sweet home into a living hell. 
 

What can you do to get rid of bed bugs?
 

You should leave the job to a professional pest control company as these pests are very difficult to get rid of.  It’s expensive and can take time treating an infestation of bed bugs which usually involves using steam and pesticides.  This process may have to be repeated a number of times before the very hot steam and pesticides kill all of them.  Keep in mind that the insects must come into direct contact with the hot steam and pesticides for these tactics to be totally effective.
 

As far as your home is concerned, prevention is a lot easier and far less costly than the cure.  In your home, you do not have to throw your mattress and box springs out.  You can easily cover your mattress and box springs with zippered plastic coverings which will prevent bedbugs from hiding in the cracks and crevices of your mattress.  There are also zippered plastic protectors that are just as effective for your pillows.  This will prevent any possible bedbugs that are inside from getting out.  At the same time it will prevent any new infestations from getting in, thus eliminating the bed as a problem.  However, this is only one part of the solution.  You will still need to apply steam and pesticides to any areas of the home where they could be hiding.
 

There is a new and exciting revolutionary product that looks very promising for monitoring and eliminating bed bugs.  It’s called the NightWatch Bedbug Trap designed by Bio Sensory, Inc..  This small, easy to use product has a kairomone, carbon dioxide, and heat lure that traps and
kills bed bugs.  Under a monitored field test this product captured and killed over a thousand bed bugs.  The company’s website is Biosensory.com.
 

 

 

Dorothy Yamich has a passion for travel. She has lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe as well as traveled in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.  She is a travel consultant and specializes in luxury cruises as well as vacation packages. If you are looking for information on cheap airfares, fabulous discounted luxury cruises and great holiday packages, visit: http://www.traveltipsguide.com

 

How Can Vacationers Reduce The Risk of Losing Their Luggage When They Travel On Commercial Airline Flights?

 

It is estimated that more than a million bags are lost by commercial airlines each year in the United States alone.  How much luggage that get lost in the whole world is anybody’s guess.  Here are some tips that may help you recover your bags if they are ever lost. 
 

You should attach two or three tags with your name, home address, and phone number to the handle and zipper-pulls of each bag that you are checking.  There is less of a chance that all of  your tags will get torn off in transit.  Make sure that you have removed any old airline tracking tags that are still attached to your luggage as they could confuse the baggage handlers. 
 

Also, be sure to place the same contact information, including a copy of your itinerary and destination address inside all of your bags.  That way, if they do go astray and are found in time, it is possible that they could be forwarded to your hotel.
 

Pick luggage with preferably a bright or odd color that will stand out among all black and brown bags.  Know which brand name of the luggage that you are using and attach a small colorful scarf or ribbon to the handle to make identification easier.  Stick decals or a contrasting colored tape to each side of the bags so they are easier to find as it goes around the carousel.  Remember these details, or better still, take a digital photo of your luggage just before you go and bring it with you.  This will help the lost luggage staff at the airport locate your bags if they get lost in transit and turn up at their office.  It will also help if you do have to make a claim.   
 

It helps to make a list of what you have in your luggage and carry that list in you carry-on bag.  The chance of your luggage getting lost in transit increases dramatically when you have connecting, or delayed flights.  Always pack all of your valuables, including your laptop or Blackberry, travel documents, prescriptions, etc., in your carry-on bag.  It makes sense to pack only the things you can afford to lose in your checked baggage.  Most analysts believe that the airline industry’s problem of lost luggage is not going to be resolved anytime soon. 
 

What should you do if the airlines lose your luggage?
 

Go immediately to the baggage claim office and file a claim.  Many airlines have a twenty-four hour window of time starting from when your flight arrives to file and be eligible for compensation.  You will receive a claim receipt to check the tracking of your luggage with the airline by phone, or on the airline’s website.  Make sure you keep all your flight documents until the lost luggage problem is resolved. 
 

How can you guarantee that the airlines will not lose your luggage?
 

There are a number of companies like FedEx, DHL, or UPS, that will send your luggage in the United States, directly to your hotel or destination address for a very reasonable cost.  If you are staying in a hotel or resort, your luggage will be taken to your room by a bellboy.  When you consider that in the U.S. alone, over a million bags are lost by the airlines each year, this service may be well worth considering.  If you are planning to travel by air to and from the countries inside Europe, First Luggage, at First Luggage.com, is one of the companies that can provide this service.
 

 

Dorothy Yamich has a passion for travel. She has lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe as well as traveled in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.  She is a travel consultant and specializes in luxury cruises as well as vacation packages.  if you are looking for information on cheap airfares, fabulous discounted luxury cruises and great holiday deals, visit:  http://www.traveltipsguide.com  

 

 

Can Vacationers And Business Travelers Be At Greater Risk Of Identity Theft When They Travel?

Over seven million people in the United States last year alone were victims of identity theft resulting in almost fifty billion of fraudulent credit card, bank, and other financial charges.  A significant number of these victims were tourists, business travelers, and people on their holidays.  Here is some valuable information that may save you a ton of grief when you travel.
 

It’s very easy when people travel on their vacation to let their guard down.  They have a lot on their minds remembering everything they need to take care of before they go and what they need to take with them on vacation.  Not only that, they want to relax, unwind, and have fun.  Isn’t that what vacations are suppose to be all about?   When they travel they don’t want to have to be on guard all time and constantly concerned about getting ripped off every second of their holidays.
 

There are three major sources of identity theft that you should be aware of when you travel.  Your wallet, your laptop or PDA, and internet cafes.
 

Research shows that most identity thefts occur when people’s wallets are stolen, usually by  professional pick pockets.  Whether you travel on vacation or business you must guard your wallet at all times because you are at more risk than in familiar surroundings.  Never carry your wallet in your back pocket – it’s not called the “sucker pocket” for nothing.  It’s best to carry your wallet in a fanny pack.  Some travelers prefer a fanny pack with a Velcro closure instead of a zippered one because you can hear it being opened.  The usual places you find pickpockets are in crowded areas such as airports, train and bus stations, hotel lobbies, restaurants, and sporting events.
 

Most people carry more personal information in their wallets then they need.  The first thing that you should do before you travel is to go through your wallet and take out any personal information items that you don’t need when traveling such as bank checks, check books, credit card receipts, bills, and memberships cards such as library cards.  You also don’t need to take your social security card as you probably have that number memorized by heart.     
 

Debit cards are a convenient way to take small amounts of cash out of ATM’s when traveling, but are also a great way for thieves to clean out your bank account if they get a hold of them.  One way to reduce this risk is to open up a separate account at your bank before you go and only put as much day-to-day cash in it as you think you may need for your holidays.  Take only that debit card with you.   
 

Credit cards are protected by Federal law so are a much better choice to take with you as you are generally covered for any fraudulent charges incurred.  Also, if you are over-charged or find an error on any of your credit card transactions when traveling, it’s easier to get the charges corrected or reversed from the card companies.  You probably should take two credit cards in case one is lost, or compromised.  You can obtain smaller, limited amount prepaid cash cards from Visa, MasterCard, and American Express that are perfect for daily use.   You can get these cash cards in any denomination.  It is probably best to get a couple of cards with low limits of five hundred dollars or less each.  If they are lost or stolen, the credit card companies will replace any pilfered funds.  Leave your major cards and passport in your hotel room safe or the hotel’s safe along with any other personal information that you do not need from day to day.  Before you travel be sure and check that your credit cards do not expire while you are on vacation.  And be sure to call your credit card issuers and let them know when and where you plan to holiday so they don’t have a seizure or conniption fit and cancel your card when they see a credit charge appearing from some place like Timbuktu.  Make a note of these phone numbers and take them with you on vacation.

 
Another major source of identity theft starts with a stolen laptop.  Over six hundred thousand laptops are pilfered in the U.S. alone, frequently from inattentive travelers in airports, restaurants, and hotel lobbies. Before you travel, backup your laptop and put the backup disc in a safe place at home or in a  safety deposit box at your bank just in case your laptop is lost or stolen.  Put a small strip of colored tape on the top and bottom of your laptop and laptop case as most laptops and their cases look similar in appearance.  Write your name, destination address, and contact information at you destination on a piece of paper and tape it to your laptop just in case it’s lost at the airport.  You shouldn’t use your home address on this piece of paper.  It’s better to use your work or business address and phone number.  There are so many laptops left behind unintentionally.  The lost and found office at airports do not have time to try and gain access to all the laptops which are more than likely password protected anyway. The third major source of identity theft can happen at any public computer or internet cafe.  Your personal information could be at risk even if you are just accessing or sending e-mails.  A key stroke logger could be installed which secretly keeps a record of all user names, passwords and personal information entered on the computer.  Even if public computers are not compromised they still store the information you input in the temporary internet files and history.  Never access any bank or credit card account, or pay bills from these computers.  In general, computers located in the business centers of hotels and on cruise ships are safer to use than other public computers.  

Dorothy Yamich has a passion for travel. She has lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe as well as traveled in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.  She is a travel consultant and specializes in luxury cruises as well as vacation packages.  If you are looking for information on cheap airfares, fabulous discounted luxury cruises and great holiday packages, visit: http://www.traveltipsguide.com 

Can You Reduce The Risk Of Having A Heart Attack By Taking A Vacation Or Holiday?

 

Can you remember when you last had a wonderful, relaxing vacation?  If it’s been a while, you may want to consider taking another holiday sooner than later.  Why?  Because vacations and holidays are playing a more and more important role in people’s mental and physical health.  
 

Recent research has shown that if people go on vacations every year they can reduce their risk of developing a serious disease.  Stress in the workplace as well as at home can effect a person’s mental and physical health in so many ways. 
 

Whatever relaxing holidays you feel like taking, from vacations at all inclusive resorts or exotic beach vacations, to pampered luxury cruises and cruise tours, you can dramatically lower your risk of heart attacks and many other life threatening medical conditions.  The catch is that you need to take at least one holiday every year.  Just as the cumulative effect of not taking vacations can make you sick over time, conversely, taking a two to three week vacation each year can help you stay well. 
 

It appears that the stress of our daily lives caused by a number of factors may be contributing to this phenomenon.  As a result of this recent economic down turn, the workplace is probably the main reason or factor.
 

One of the primary reasons that this is happening is this electronic age we live in where we are so tied to our jobs that we feel we’re at work even when we are not even there.  Quite literally, we are only a phone call, an email, or text message away from our job.
 

Many people have the feeling that they’re on a treadmill that’s speeding up and they can’t seem to get off.  They may be working as hard as they can to try and be successful in their own business, or they could be constantly concerned about how long their job will be there for them in these recessionary times.  It’s the worry and uncertainty that can be all-consuming and can make people very ill over time.
 

This accounts for tremendous stress, trouble sleeping, depression, and a host of other stress related medical conditions.  Even not eating properly, or drinking too much coffee or alcohol can make the problem worse. 
 
It seems obvious many families have had to cut back on, or even eliminate taking vacations completely because of the cost of travel, although the costs of many holidays have actually dropped over the last number of years. 
 

However, some vacations can be less expensive than others.  Here are some holidays that may not break the bank.
 

Perhaps the most relaxing holiday that you can take is a luxury cruise.  It can also be the best value for your vacation travel dollar for a number of reasons.
 

First of all, you are basically living on a floating hotel resort.  You will enjoy all of the benefits and amenities of hotels and resorts all rolled up into one neat, affordable, no hassle vacation.  If you have never been on a cruise before, maybe now is the time that you should have this great experience.
 

Another great benefit is that you are in control of the amount of activities you really want to participate in.  Or, you can just veg out and relax in a comfortable deck chair in the wonderfully warm sunshine and take a refreshing swim in the pool next to you.  You don’t even have to get up to get another drink or some delicious appetizers as deck waiters are always there at your beckon call.  What an incredible stress free holiday!
 

 

You don’t even have to unpack and repack your travel luggage again and again as you sail to ports located in different cities or towns along the way.  All you have to do is enjoy all the amenities on board.
 

The only other cost to consider is a cheap flight to the port where you can board your dream cruise. 
 

However, if you live reasonably close to a cruise line port you can probably drive there and save a significant amount of money.  Even if you have to stay overnight at an inexpensive motel half way to your cruise line port, it probably would still be cheaper than airfares, especially for a couple, or a family. 
 

Check this list below to determine if you live close to any of these following cruise line port cities in the U.S.  The list in in alphabetical order for both the East and the West coasts of the United States.
 

The cruise ship ports on the East and the Gulf coasts of the United States. in alphabetical order are Baltimore, MD, Boston, MA, Bayonne (Cape Liberty), NJ,  Charleston, SC, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Galveston, TX, and Houston, TX, Jacksonville, FL, Miami, FL,  Mobile, AL, New Orleans, LA. New York City, NY, Norfolk, VA, Philadelphia, PA, Port Canaveral, FL, Port Everglades, FL, and Tampa, FL.
 

The ports on the West coast of the United States. in alphabetical order are Astoria, OR, Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego, and San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, Seward and Whittier, AK.
 

And in the aloha State of Hawaii, the ports of Honolulu and Maui.
 

For Canadians there are only two major cruise ship ports.  They are located in Montreal, Quebec, in the East, and in Vancouver, B.C., on the West coast.
 

All inclusive vacations at many wonderful resorts in places such as Mexico and the Caribbean are also among the best value for your holiday travel dollar.  These vacations include your food and drinks.
 

Other money saving travel deals are cheap vacation packages which usually cover your flight and hotel or resort accommodation.  However your food and drinks are not normally included
 

Enjoying a two to three week relaxing vacation each and every year that you are employed in the workforce is one of the best prescriptions to help you maintain your good health. 
 

 

Dorothy Yamich has a passion for travel. She has lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe as well as traveled in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.  She is a travel consultant and specializes in luxury cruises as well as vacation packages.  If you are looking for information on cheap airfares, fabulous discounted luxury cruises and great holiday deals, visit:  http://www.traveltipsguide.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Can Business Travelers And Vacationers Do If A Fire Breaks Out In Their Hotel?

 

Although hotel fires happen infrequently, when they do occur they can have very serious consequences for the hotel guests.  Travelers should take precautions and be aware of some basic information on what to do if a fire happens in their hotel when they are on holidays.
 

First of all, when you are booking a hotel room, try and get a room that is no higher than the fifth floor.  In case of a fire, many fire engine ladders can not reach rooms that are higher.  It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
 

You should carry a small, battery-operated smoke detector in your travel luggage and hang it on the door knob on the inside of the hotel room door, or put it on a chair or piece of furniture near the door.  Now you do not have to worry about whether or not your hotel room has a smoke detector and if it really works. 
 

Always check to see where the closest fire extinguishers are located on your floor.  You should also check where the exit stairs are located in case you have to exit the building in an emergency.  Even if the elevators are working, do not use an elevator if there is a fire. 
 

If you smell smoke or the smoke alarm in your room or in the hotel goes off, do not open the door and rush out into the hall.  Firstly, carefully touch the door to your room and if it does not feel hot, get down on your knees and open it slowly.  If the hall is filled, or starting to get filled with smoke, crawl on all fours to the stairs and exit the hotel as quickly as possible.  If your hotel door is hot to the touch, do not open it.  Instead, roll up wet towels and cover up the space at the bottom of the door with them.  Fill the bathtub with cold water.  Open or take down any curtains, drapes, or blinds covering the windows and balcony door so that emergency crews can easily see into your room. Stay in the bathroom until the danger is over or help arrives. 
 

What should you do if an earthquake happens when you are in your hotel room?
 

In case of an earthquake, get under a sturdy desk or table in your hotel room.  If you can’t get under a solid piece of furniture quickly, then get under an open doorway frame or move next to an inside wall in your room.  Protect your head and neck the best that you can.  When the ground stops shaking you may be able to exit the hotel safely.  Just don’t use an elevator.  The elevator‘s mechanism may be damaged, even if the elevator appears to be in working order.  Even if the elevator is working properly, and people are using it, still don’t use it.  Why?  What if you take the elevator and a major quake occurs when you are in it?  You could end up being trapped inside, so always use the stairs.  When you are outside the hotel, watch out for possible falling debris.  It is  always a good idea to seek an open place away from all tall buildings in case they collapse due to any subsequent small or large tremors, or another possible earthquake. 

 

Dorothy Yamich has a passion for travel. She has lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe as well as traveled in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.  She is a travel consultant and specializes in luxury cruises as well as vacation packages.  If you are looking for information on cheap airfares, fabulous discounted luxury cruises and great holiday deals, visit:  http://www.traveltipsguide.com