Tag Archives: vacation

Hot Travel Destinations in 2011

Have you been wondering how one or other place suddenly become ‘hot destination’? I was but never got more or less reasonable answer. What comes to the nature – there are so many nice & beautiful places in the world. Almost every big city in Europe has some  great architecture and historical sites…

What are the reasons besides the regular travel destinations like New York, Paris or Rome suddenly Prague or Stockholm became popular? It is kind of funny but many people discovered Prague after ‘Mission Impossible’ with Tom Cruise was released or seeing ‘Lords of the Rings’ made many people wonder about New Zealand. The power of images is great and often films are the ones that makes us want to pack and head out to world.

But if  we look at the most popular destinations during last few years, Las Vegas, Cancun and Hawaii remained constants on the ten most popular domestic and international destination. Whether planning for Spring Break or looking ahead to finding the perfect location for your summer vacation, think of Las Vegas as a popular destination filled with great hotel and nightclub experience; Cancun – a place with pristine beaches and varied entertainment; Hawaii has been great vacation destination already but with Aulani Disney Resort opening in August 29 will make it magical destination for all ages.

Last year Stockholm got a lot of attention because of royal wedding. But  this year much more visitors will head to London at the end of April. Prince William and Kate Middleton are to marry at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011. In Britain it will be 4 days of public holidays and big celebrations. Guess how many people from around the world already have booked the tickets to London?

Another hot destination of year 2011 is going to be Australia. Why Australia?  Because Oprah did announce, “We’re going to Australia!” on seasons premiere in September, 2010. Since then this destination has been on the radar of media and travelers for sure. With all the media attention and a $5 million marketing campaign launched by Tourism Australia more and more people will think about going ‘down under’.

P.S. Travelers – get ready for Russia in 2014! Russia is working hard to make winter Olympic Games in Sochi event of the year.

Busiest Times for Traveling

According the Orbitz, one of the biggest online travel company, there are 5 weeks in a year with a lot of traveling going on:

  1. Christmas Week  (Dec. 19 –  25)
  2. First Week of August (Aug. 1 –  7)
  3. Forth Week of June, (June 20 – 26)
  4. Third Week of June, (June 13 – 19)
  5. Third Week of March, (Mar. 14 – 20)

Interesting, while Thanksgiving Week (Nov. 21 – 27) did not make the top 5 list at Orbitz.com bookings, November 24 (Wednesday before Thanksgiving) was the single-busiest travel day of the year. Here comes the advice you can read in any travel planning resource – try to book you travel any other day but this…

What comes to other  busy travel days to watch out are Friday before Labor Day, September 3 and Friday before Fourth of July, July 2.

Busiest travel weeks and individual days were determined by total air bookings (domestic and international) made on Orbitz.com from Jan 1 till Dec 31, 2010.  Though Orbitz.com is big US travel booking resource, the tendencies this are similar everywhere – time around public holidays & school holidays and breaks are busy travel time.

There is no big surprise that honour of busiest air travel week goes to Christmas Week – many people are going home to visit family &relatives or using time between Christmas and New Year as a short vacation. But there is one more reason that increases the number of travelers. Many hotels & ski resorts have lower rates in November – mid December and now people who been using ‘low season’ offers are returning home as well.

In conclusion I’d say like that – if above mentioned weeks are the only option for you to travel, make all the bookings good time in advance. If  you are more flexible in travel times, book your trip any other time to get better price and travel less crowded airports.

Budget Travel Resolutions for 2011

Time before New Year is the one when people are thinking about the good things they intend to do next year. If you like traveling, then there are few resolutions you should consider. If you are already doing some of this then take it as a reminder of  things for budget friendly traveling in 20011.

1.- Plan your trip and book transportation, hotel in advance.

This will save you a lot of money, if you’ll make flight reservation 5-6 months in advance. Think about possible travel options  and do a little online reasearch.  You’ll see that there are many great deals right now to choose for next summer traveling. Same applies for hotels.  Few days ago I was checking hotel prices in Paris for June and actually few budget friendly  accommodations with good location were already fully booked.

I know many people will say that last-minute deals are better. Well yes – they are better if to compare with prices 2-3 month in advance because airlines/hotels try to sell out last empty places. But if to compare those prices with the ones that are booked 5-7 month in advance, then they don’t seem so great any more.

2.- Sign up for Twitter and Facebook!

Are you familiar with these social media networks? Many travel related companies – airlines, hotels, attractions are often posting special offers and rates to their fans and followers. Sign up for an account and follow the brands you might be interested.

3.- Avoid unnecessary hotel add-on fees!

When booking a hotel read all the small print what comes with the great deals – resort fee, breakfast bill, parking fee. Besides – before using ‘room service‘ or ‘local phone calls’ check the price for these services.  Be aware of the prices of in-room mini-bars. many of them are with sensors for removed items and $5 mini-candy bar will be added to your bill.

4. – Practice light traveling.

10 day vacation doesn’t require 4 bags per person. Lately many airlines practice baggage fee for checked-in items.  Actually there are charges for over-weight luggage as well.  They are not dramatic but count how many times you will need to pay for transportation/ storage per piece and count.

It is allowed to take on board 2 pieces of carry-on luggage – a bag and a purse or laptop case. If traveling doesn’t take more that a week then with this amount of luggage you should be fine. Just think of the items that are really necessary and which ones you maybe will need ‘what if… happens’. Read more at travel packing advice.

5. – Look for hotels with complimentary breakfast and free wireless Internet included.

Dont expect that every hotel will provide these services. even if the room price seems great, count how much it will cost if you will have to pay additional $10 up t $20 per breakfast every day and $3 to $5 per hour for internet access.

Travel planning for 2011

Time around Christmas and New Year’s Eve is the time when people think about their plans. Very popular subject is New Year’s resolutions. Well, I would say – it’s kind of setting a plan for the things we wish. Sometimes people just think  – it would be nice if I … but if you really mean it, then you need a plan to reach a goal.

But to make new plans we need to be clear about things that we have already implemented from previous ones. Do you remember what were your resolution for 2010?

What are the things you have already achieved? …hmm… feels good to say – I did it!

What are the things you decided to skip? Why? It turned out to be unrealistic or you changed your mind?

What are the things you havent done? Why? –Will you take it to the next years resolutions or leave behind?

From there we can go to next years resolutions. First of all – they have to be REALISTIC. If I dream to go to Australia I will not put it in next years plans because this trip is time-consuming (in my understanding at least 2 weeks) and is kind of expensive.  But what I can do right now is set aside certain amount of money each month for this trip.

The best way is to put everything on paper. When you’ll see ‘the picture’ and actual numbers it will be easier to make a decision. In order to prepare for the possible trip, there are few basic questions to ask for planning a vacation/ trip:

WHAT you would like to do? ->  Trip to Europe

WHEN ? -> actually right now is the perfect time to decide when you need vacation weeks off.

WHAT TO DO ?-> sightseeing <-> relax <-> adventure <->event

BUDGET needed ? -> flight, hotel,  meals,  sightseeing, car rental fees.

If you will set all that on paper, then you can easily see can you afford that or no.  Any resolutions set on paper become a goal. Any goal with ‘road map’ is already a plan. And plans are achievable. If not in short-term (next 3 month) than in long-term (in 2-3 years) definitely it is possible to do.

Lately economic downtime is effecting almost everyone. Just because there are less money you don’t need to give up with your dreams. Look for opportunities that come in your way. And do more planning for your trips.

Actually you could take an advantage of economic downtime. Prices are down – hotels are cheaper, there are more special event prices, “sales”. Two simple things that might lower your travel expenses – choose less perfect flight time or instead of  hotel accommodation rent a cottage together with friends.

If you are willing to  travel Europe on budget there are many money saving  ideas you can apply. But before you start your trip check out basic cost of all travel expences to/at particular destination.

Hello world!

Welcome to my blog in  WordPress.com. This is my first post so I’ll introduce with myself:

Hi! I’m Latti and I’m from Latvia. That’s my home country – small country somewhere in Europe 🙂   Since I was a kid I’ve travelled a lot – summer vacations with my parents to Black sea, sport competitions in different cities all over Europe. Later I have worked in different countries like US, Malta, Russia and Ukraine. So from one hand travelling has become kind of passion for me. Because I think the more people have seen, the more they know. I think it’s fascinating – new places, new experiences, new people. It’s hard to say when and where it started – from long years in sports when hotels are your home are much later when I got this feeling that if I want, I can go anywhere…

Therefore now I’m glad I have put these two thinks – knowlegde and experience – together and come up with this project  Handy Travel Agency. Your own HandyTravelAgency. Why handy – because it’s always at your hand when you turn on your computer. Why yours? – It’s your computer 🙂  …and you can plan and organize everything from comfort of your home.