Author Archives: blue

How to Find the Best Cheap Air Tickets

For the last three years or so I’ve been a nomad, in exile from my home country of England. Back in 2006 while travelling through Mongolia I met a pretty young local lady in a bar. We spent the night drinking far, far too much and speaking to each other in French (I spoke no Mongolian, and at the time she was visiting home from her masters degree course in French language somewhere in Paris).I stayed in Mongolia for a month, during which time I spent as much time as possible with Ogi, the Mongolian girl, and for the next two years I visited her in France and Mongolia several times before we eventually realised we were made for each other.Unfortunately we were at the mercy of our respective countries visa regulations. As a Mongolian Ogi would find it difficult to gain residency in the UK, and as an Englishman I can only visit Mongolia for two months at a time. While both of us are employed in good jobs, neither of us has much in the way of the sort of skills required to obtain work overseas.So, for the last three years we’ve lived as nomads around Asia, living in each country until our visas expire. We spend a month at a time in China, four months at a time in Thailand, weeks in Laos, Cambodia, Hong Kong and Macao. When we reach our visa deadline we catch a train, bus or flight to the next country and start all over again. It’s tiring, to say the least, but it’s an interesting life and, most importantly, I get to live it with the love of my life by my side.

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The only problem, though, is the high cost of flights between countries. At least five times a year we need to take a flight, and between the two of us the cost would account for more than half of our income if we couldn’t find a way to find cheap air tickets.Fortunately, in our years of travel we’ve learned a few tricks of the trade to keep the costs down. The first, of course, is to shop around as if your life depends on it. Travel agents often promote different fares throughout the year as each destination hits its peak and off-peak seasons. If you hit the sweet spot you can find some incredible deals.For thrifty shoppers the Internet is an invaluable tool. Flight comparison sites gather price data from hundreds of ticket vendors, and finding the lowest fare is as easy as clicking a mouse. I never book a flight without first checking a flight comparison site – not even if the flight I’m looking at is already marked as a ‘discount’ flight. Just because the price has been reduced doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t discounted it even further.Second, keep an eye out for travel coupon codes. Travel agents and other ticket vendors often release coupon codes to promote a destination that’s been undersold, and if you have a sharp eye you could get a whopping 10% (or more, if you’re really lucky) off the cost of your flight.Finally – and this one may seem a little mercenary – if you’re flexible as to the destination you may consider travelling to a destination that has recently suffered some sort of disaster (bear with me, it gets better).Let me give you an example. In late 2011 Thailand suffered from its worst flooding in half a century. Parts of Bangkok were submerged, my own home in Chiang Mai was knee deep in water and hundreds lost their lives. As I write this in January 2012 I’m back in Bangkok after two months of travelling. The water is long gone, but the hotels are quiet. Tourists have, for a little while at least, lost confidence in the country, and they’re staying away. They have no reason to – it’s the dry season now, and flooding is pretty much impossible – but for the next few months the flights to Thailand will be discounted and hotels will lower their rates.

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While it may seem cruel to profit from tragedy, tourism is just what the doctor ordered. After any major event such as this the economy is shaken, and the best gift you could give is a little of your tourist money.So:Check flight comparison sites
Keep an eye out for travel coupon codes
Stay flexible with your destinationIf you follow these rules you’re sure to find cheap air tickets.

Barrier-Free Travel Tips – Finding the Right Travel Agent

Do you need really need a travel agent to plan your next vacation? The answer is a qualified yes, especially if you have access needs. Although booking a flight these days is a relatively simple procedure; people who need wheelchair-accessible lodging, ground transportation or other accommodations, may benefit from working with a qualified professional. Finding the right travel agent can be a real trick though; so here are a few tips to help you along the way.· Make sure your travel agent is a true accessible travel expert. If they claim to hold some certification or professional membership, ask how many hours of training or experience it entailed. Some agents become “experts” after a quick afternoon seminar.· Although you want to find an expert, beware of any agent who claims to be an expert in everything. It’s virtually impossible for any one agent to be a true expert in every type of accessible travel. That old saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none”, applies here.

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· Ask any prospective agent if they have booked trips for other people with your same disability. Ask them how many clients they have handled with your disability, not how long they have been doing it. Remember, a travel agent could be in business for many years, yet still have not had that many clients.· Ask friends who share your same disability if they have any travel agent recommendations. Remember to also ask about the trips they booked with their recommended agent.· Ask your prospective agent for references, but don’t totally rely on them. Remember, almost anyone can pretend to be a reference.· If you have a specific destination or trip in mind, ask about the agent’s experience with it. Some agents only specialize in a few destinations, so try and find someone with an expertise in your top choices.· Some agencies advertise that they are “owned and operated by a person with a disability”. Although there’s nothing wrong with stating that fact, be wary if that’s the agent’s only qualification. Just because someone is disabled, doesn’t automatically mean they’re knowledgeable about accessible travel.· If your travel agent claims non-profit status in advertisements, then ask about the services the agency provides for the community. If the best answer the agent can come up with is, “We negotiate good deals on travel,” then you may be dealing with a non-profit in name only. Remember, operating a non-profit organization doesn’t necessarily guarantee altruistic motives.

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· Be wary of travel agents who don’t travel. Ask them how long it’s been since their last trip or ship inspection.· Ask some trial questions to test the agent’s knowledge of the Americans with Disabilities Act. A true specialist should be aware of basic access regulations.· Last, but not least, don’t be afraid to eliminate anyone you just don’t like. After all, this is a personal service. You don’t have to become best friends with your travel agent, but you do need to maintain a cordial working relationship.

Business Travel Secrets Revealed by a Frequent Flier

I’ve had people ask me many times for advice on airlines, hotels, traveling with children, etc and I figure its about time I share some tips and tricks I’ve learned. Some of these seem like no brainers to the experienced business traveler, and some are little tricks of the trade I’ve learned the hard way.Booking a flight:1. Unless absolutely necessary book at least two weeks in advance, preferably three. If you have elite status, the earlier you book, the better chance you’ll have of an upgrade.2. Stick to one airline and choose an airline that makes sense with regards to where your home airport is. If you’re based out of Chicago, you should make United your airline of choice. Based out of Dallas, fly American. Based out of Philly, Fly USair. I have people tell me all the time that they refuse to fly a certain airline because of a bad experience they had with one airline. Let me tell you, the good, bad, and ugly exist with all airlines and in the end likely even out. (Although the luggage handlers at PHL have successfully motivated me to avoid US Air at all costs in that city, thanks guys.)3. Save your frequent flier miles for expensive flights. Was it really worth it to fly for two years so you could cash in your miles for a $200 ticket to Denver? Frequent Flier miles should be cashed in for First Class flights, Hawaii, or International travel…enjoy your reward! Also, don’t fall victim to those up charge fees to get additional miles when you check in…the value just is not there.4. Get Elite Status anyway you can and fight to keep it. If you’re not going to be able to keep your elite status, call them up. If you’re close, some airlines will allow you to keep the status. Elite status is not just for the upgrades. For example, I fly United Airlines. With elite status, I get moved to the top of the list if I’m on standby. I don’t pay to check bags. Yes, I know Southwest doesn’t charge you to check bags…but as a business traveler, is Southwest really worth the hassle? As an Elite, you also have a separate 800 number for customer service, which greatly cuts down the “on hold” time.5. Layovers are not necessarily bad things. To get closer to elite status or the next tier, consider taking layovers to boost your flight segments. I do recommend that you limit these to return trips only. Missing your connection on your way to business meeting can throw off an entire trip. Also, its wise to choose your layover city carefully. Choose layovers in big cities, preferably the hubs for your airline. This way, if you miss your connection there is likely another flight available later. I try to book my United layovers in Denver as I know they fly to Chicago about every 90 minutes or so

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6. Get miles for other things you normally do. Make sure your credit card gets airline miles. Join their dining clubs and get miles for eating at places you normally eat at. When shopping online, especially with United Airlines, use the United Shopping Mall. Most major retailers are partners and they simply just ask you to log in and then transfer you directly to the retailers website. Popular stores such as Best Buy, Toys R Us, Target, and many others participate. This is also a great way to make sure your miles are not taken away if you do not fly much as most airlines require some sort of mileage activity each year or so.7. For the best rates and mileage benefits, book directly with the airline on their site, not through Orbitz or other bulk travel websites.8. Be polite to the gate agents, pilots, check in staff, etc. Remember, they work hard, have their benefits/pay cut often, and most importantly…it wasn’t their fault that your flight was cancelled or delayed. They didn’t make the call to have your bag pulled for inspection and they ultimately want to help you any way they can to make both of your days more pleasant.9. Be efficient going through security. Don’t make a scene or count on being singled out for a more “thorough” search. If you’re chosen to go through the new body scan machines, it’s in your best interests to make sure that your pockets are completely empty. Otherwise, count on getting a pat down. If you are chosen for a pat down, don’t give the TSA worker a hard time. Their just as thrilled about this part of their job as you are. Wear shoes that can be easily taken on and off. Always take off your jacket before going through. Learn which belts/watches/jewelry/etc will go through the x-ray machines without you taking them off. And yes, your laptop/iPad does have to go in its own container. Be aware of the carry on rule for liquids. Following these tips will get you through quicker and lower your chances of being selected for a pat down.10. Most US flights are either on Boeing 737’s or Airbus 320’s. Airbus seats are slightly wider if that is a concern. Aisle seats will give us bigger guys a little more room. When you book your flight, try selecting a seat at that time. Getting stuck in a middle seat is about as bad as it gets, especially if you’re not tiny.11. When the flight attendants ask you to turn off your computers and cell phones, do it. Your email is not important enough to the hundreds of other passengers on the plane to delay the entire flight.12. Understand that children will cry on a plane. They are likely scared to death by this new experience and the vast majority of the time, parents are doing their best.13. Be the good guy. Good Karma is a great thing to have when traveling. Offer to switch seats so that a parent can sit with their children or a couple can sit together. Speaking as a parent, I can’t tell you how much it means to me if someone switches seats with me so that I can sit with my children. It also doesn’t hurt to offer to help put a bag in the overhead bin if you see someone struggling.14. It’s your right to recline the seat, but do the person behind you a favor and do it slowly.15. Share the armrest.16. Chatting with your neighbor can make flights go by quickly, but if they don’t want to talk…don’t force them.17. Say hello to the flight attendants when you board. I can’t tell you how many times I see flight attendants say hello and people just brush them off. A smile and a kind word can brighten anyone’s day. It’s always safe to assume that someone gave them a hard time already today. If you’d really like to brighten their day, bring them a candy bar or two.18. If the pilot is saying good bye when you leave, say it back. Landing is the most difficult thing for a pilot to master. If you want to brighten his day, mention how smooth the landing was.19. Turbulence happens, but if you ever hear a pilot tell the flight attendants to take a seat…it’s going to get real rough, real quick.

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20. Don’t abuse the carry on privilege. Put one item in the overhead. And don’t act surprised if you are asked to gate check an item. Some travelers just don’t understand why they cannot bring their golf bag sized carry on with them.Hotels1. It should go without saying, but try to always stay in the same hotel or at the most, choose two brands and stick with them. Points clubs are free to join and rewards are easy to get. Some, such as Hilton Honors, gives you hotel points and airline miles. One way to choose is pick a hotel that you’d like to vacation at and book your business stays with that brand. I usually book at Hampton Inns as there are many Hilton’s that are great for vacations. La Quinta also has a decent program and in particular, there is a very nice, new facility in Scottsdale, AZ that I will be taking my family to for vacation due to my points.Rental Cars1. Go to a web based travel site, such as Orbitz or Yahoo Travel and get the rates for all of the rental car companies in the area you are going to travel and then go directly to the companies website and book direct. You’ll get the best rates and you’ll have a chance to enter your frequent flier number.General rules of thumb:1. Dress the part. I can tell you from experience, you’ll get treated better in a suit than you will wearing torn jeans and a vulgar T shirt.2. Arrive to airports early. You can always get a coffee, snack, beer, etc if things go quickly. No one is concerned that you are in a hurry because in all likelihood, they are in a hurry too.3. Do everyone a favor and don’t bring food that stinks on board. Most flights in the US are only a few hours at most and you can buy a snack on the plane or eat before/after.4. No one likes a drunk sitting next to them, exhibit self control at the bar.5. Don’t put disgusting things in the seat back cushion before you leave, I’m likely to reach in there on the next flight.6. Be patient.I hope some of these tips are helpful to everyone and happy/safe travels to my fellow frequent travelers!

Cheap Travel Websites – The Best of the Best

Over the years travel websites like Orbitz have changed the game of travel. Or so people think. The truth of the matter is, most travel agents (at least the good ones) laugh at a lot of these websites. Why? Simply put, those sites have no brains behind them. They simply show you what you request, and don’t think of different routes to try or places where it could buy a wholesale fare. That’s why I want to take a few minutes and show the travel websites that will get you cheap flights.

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Kayak.com As a travel agent, many of us would use this website as the index for what people would expect to pay for a flight. Of all the travel websites out there, Kayak was the only one we measured against. I always recommend this site to people in a rush.Vayama.com A trade secret, though not for much longer. Unlike many other travel website, this one has access to wholesale fares, and you will often find flights here cheaper than anywhere else. The catch? These special fares are usually only worthwhile on international trips.Wholesalers. While this isn’t one website, it’s worth it to search for the term “airline consolidators.” This is an age old industry trick, where you buy at wholesale and sell at retail. The secret is leaking out; many companies are getting smart and selling directly to consumers. Call them up for a quote and compare it against your travel agent’s price: this tells you how much they make if you buy with them.

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Travelocity.com/lastminutedeals. As I mentioned earlier, most of the big cheap travel websites don’t offer much value, but I have used Travelocity’s last minute deals page on several trips.Swabiz.com This gives you access to Southwest Airlines web only fares. Probably the best website for cheap travel. Seriously.

Everest Base Camp trek reviews

Everest Base Camp is well known all around the globe. The might Mount Everest arranged in Everest locale is the mainstream goal of everybody for mountaineering and trekking. Loads of individuals visit Everest consistently to observe dazzling magnificence of Everest. Everyone has one of a kind affair to share about the time they spent in the Everest Region. The vast majority of them have great surveys over Everest Base Camp Trek which assumes essential part for fresher to support taking a visit in Everest Region. That is dependably been so useful on the off chance that some person is intuition to experience trek to Everest Base Camp. Audits incorporate every one of the happenings, great and awful outing knowledge, challenges and deterrents and also enough data about the spots and the courses.

As indicated by the trekkers who’ve been the distance to Everest Base Camp it was a decent affair for every one of them that they will always remember. The trek nepal is just great to vanish and interface with loads of individuals from various culture and custom. They want to walk completely through the sub tropical snow capped timberland entire day encompassed by stunning mountain crests. Individuals are discovered sharing their experience about the warm friendliness of local people in eateries and cabins. They were such a great amount of awed with the way of life and custom of the Sherpas and Tibetans. Recognizing the doormen and aides can be seen in the greater part of the trekker’s survey. As indicated by them aides were so useful and supportive the distance.

The vast majority of the spots are remote and the purported business centers Lukla and Namche Bazaar have no offices of ATMs. Along these lines, commentators propose bringing money USD and in addition Rupees while voyaging. There is complimentary wireless internet in Lukla and Namche Bazzar with the goal that they can share their emotions and their wonderful shots of the trip over web. Purchasing riggings and types of gear in the middle of excursion is so exorbitant so we should purchase every one of the apparatuses we require in Kathmandu to spare cash and get great nature of apparatuses. Everest Base Camp is not appropriate amid winter however since the outing turns out to be additional testing both physically and rationally. The courses are risky amid snowfall and it’s practically difficult to walk. Bring chocolate and any treats that feels great to eat while going high elevation. Tang will regard season water since water can get really exhausting and you need to stay away from lack of hydration at elevation. Seasoned water will indicate enthusiasm over water and will make your trip sound. AlsoHealth Fitness Articles, water cleaning tablets or any water purifier regards convey in pocket to maintain a strategic distance from any infections brought on from debased water found in transit. Climate is capricious so we ought to be set up for most pessimistic scenario in every day of climbing. We ought to convey the lightweight garments that come being used while temperature diminishes. Bringing book can dispose of weariness. These are great companions while lying in quaint little inn time. There are sufficient book shops in Kathmandu to get a few yet in the event that you overlook then can get at Namche Bazaar also. Nourishment particularly meat is not exactly clean above Namche Bazaar since meats are conveyed by Sherpa and trekked for a considerable length of time and it is not ensured to be new. In particular releasing is the significant issue because of low temperature so batteries ought to be kept near your body or inside dozing sacks. Charging batteries is much excessively costly and cost $5 every hour.

A Guide As to How You Can Meet and Even Exceed Your Travel Insurance Quota

When it comes to exceeding your travel insurance quota there are several tips worth paying heed to that can help you make thousands of dollars each month. Unless you know of the right way to sell your travel insurance policies you cannot hope to double your income. Many people that are engaged as sales people in the travel insurance business wonder if all the tales they hear of others just like them making six figure incomes are true or not.Well, the first thing you need to do is not only meet your travel insurance quota but also learn how to get more appointments with the right kind of clients and then learn what it takes to close the sales. It is important that if you want to exceed your quotas that you understand the true psychology behind being successful in selling travel insurance policies.

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The simple truth is that insurance sales agents by and large are a confused lot and even after spending years in the business they will still not have mastered the art of not only meeting their allocated quotas but exceeding them as well. The first thing that insurance must understand is that unless they care for their clients it will not be possible to meet their quotas let alone exceed them.It means that the insurance agent needs to put into practice all the promises the insurance company makes in their brochures and on the billboards which is the best way of inducing a customer to purchase their travel insurance from you. You should even look at meeting your quota as being an exercise similar to making burgers in the neighborhood fast food outlet or it can be thought of as being manufacturing a widget.You, as person selling travel insurance, will be pushed by your superiors to process maximum number of clients and to sell them everything that your company sells and to also ensure that you sell these policies right now. Someone once defined insanity as having the ability to do repetitive work with the expectation that results will be different each time.However, there are better ways to sell your policies than being a zombie. You need to look beyond the normal tried and trusted routines such as leaving your calling card with a prospective client and calling before holding an appointment with the client. These methods are not the most effective and they certainly won’t help you exceed your Travel insurance quota.

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What you may have to do in order to earn that fat six figure income is to do things in a manner that firstly makes sense to you and secondly offers you a chance to close the deal. You may even need to use software to teach you how to improve your sales presentations and to ensure that you presentation illustrates the benefits of your insurance policy in a way that is easy for the customer to understand.Only if you learn the tricks of the trade can you expect to have a realistic chance of meeting your quotas and even exceed them.

Trek to Everest Base Camp

Climbing Everest is constantly hazardous because of elevation varieties and murders individuals on account of absence of acclimatization. Many individuals have lost their lives while endeavoring after Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay initial step summit in 1953. The trail is so risky because of shake fall and profound open split in an ice sheet which makes challenges amid climbing. Different components like yaks assault and trailing down a lofty slope may ruin the trek. We would prefer not to surge and complete the trek before the genuine time it requires. Because of height distinction enough time must be given for acclimatization. On the off chance that we disregard the reality then we will get elevation affliction and that could result to death.

There are heaps of things that should be dealt with before trekking in Everest Region. The as a matter of first importance is legitimate hardware and riggings like lightweight climbing boots, climbing socks, lightweight warm tops, windproof coats, sun cap and scarf, warm gloves, medical aid unit, shades and numerous more adornments that are required. Mountaineering saddles and ice-hatchet is basic alongside helmetPsychology Articles, climbing sling and two locking carabineers for climbing and mountaineering. Climbing equipment is fundamental just amid the season of climbing mountain. Protected water jug and purifier is required to keep away from lack of hydration and keep from water infections. Cerebral pain and elevation disorder are the real issues while trekking in higher height so we have to take after the trekking arrangement and few days rest as acclimatization. We ought not convey overwhelming pack with garments and sustenances to stay fit as a fiddle and dodge exhaustion with intemperate load. Level of oxygen ought to be kept up legitimately for safe trekking. There are HRA workplaces which help you by giving great learning about oxygen level on blood and look after it.