Top Ten Travel Tips

Top Ten Travel Tips

Have you ever experienced a serious disaster whilst on holiday? If not, it’s merely a matter of time. It has been said there are two kinds of travellers, those that have experienced a problem holiday and those that are still going to.

Tasked with identifying the top ten travel tips immediately got my mind going but an idea soon took shape. Why not use the experiences of the professionals, ask them to identify the more common causes of problems when travelling. Unbeknown to me this certainly dropped the cat amongst the pigeons, largely because limiting this to only ten became a problem, thank you so much to all those who were a part of the panel.

One of the most common problems and a unanimous choice of the panel were problems surrounding logistical arrangements. Largely related to reservations; dates and ticketing, these can be problematic despite the ease and simplicity of the internet. It is imperative when planning any holiday to any destination that all bookings are made well in advance, followed up either by e-mail or telephone a few days before your departure and still in time to rectify problems if discovered. After this has been done, prevent further problems by ensuring you have proof in the form of copies of any relevant document or reference number, this could be a receipt confirmation of a deposit paid or any item depending on your personal arrangements. This is one of those suggestions where prevention is definitely far better than cure.

Our second tip is all encompassing and covers the packing of essential items. Obviously these items might vary according to your personal plans but would perhaps include items such as passports and ID documents; applicable drivers licences; money – credit cards, wallets and other financial needs; mobile phones and camera’s, (get with it, preferably digital) are essential items nowadays, together with supporting items such as chargers and memory cards. On my personal list are always sunglasses, activity equipment, a few books, a pack of cards, a multi-purpose pocket knife and other smaller items or games which always come in handy.

How are we doing so far, the bottom line is that with tip numbers one and two you can go almost anywhere in the world and if you have forgotten anything else you can purchase them en route.

Tip number three is so absolutely boring you might well stop reading at this point but it remains one of the most common causes of holidays being cancelled. Before you leave home ensure that all domestic matters are resolved and tucked in to bed. These will again vary but will certainly surround adequate locking up and security issues; paying all accounts, in particular municipal services; cancelling any deliveries; ensuring access is available to a trusted friend or relative in the event of a fire or emergency; ensuring pets are adequately cared for and that someone responsible is able to contact you in the case of emergency during your holiday. Yes…boring….but oh so often the cause of having to either come back early or returning to face a smelly deep freeze or worse.

The basics are covered and now we can move onto the fun part, tip number four surrounds choosing the right holiday for your needs and enjoyment. To haul three children under ten years old to a game reserve for ten days will stretch your patience and theirs, you might enjoy spending half an hour looking at a bird or waiting for an Elephant to come to a waterhole while sipping a Chardonnay, they certainly wouldn’t. If you have had a really stressful year and are going on holiday for a time out, a few days in London followed by a few in Rome and a low cost flight via Moscow to save a few cents would mean lots of flights; too many airports and complicated transit arrangements. Our panel suggests taking a few extra minutes to analyse the real needs of all travelling partners before selecting your holiday destination.

You have analysed your own needs and decided on let’s say a scuba diving holiday as an example. Tip number five stays with destination choice and is all about research. That’s easy I hear you saying, once you’ve decided what type of holiday you want. However, you could also end up on a scuba diving holiday in monsoon season, perhaps to a great destination at most times of the year but in the month you have chosen, it’s infested with mosquito’s and a temperature of 45 degrees, is that what you wanted.

Perhaps you might be looking for a quiet and romantic getaway and choose a week in a Spanish seaside village only to find out it clashes with a local political election and the local school holidays. Time researching local conditions is well spent, beware particularly of special offers or discounts, these are usually offered for a reason and often due to seasonality or other sub-optimal characteristics of the destination at the time the offer applies. This same principle applies to discounted flights and packages, it’s important to be fully aware of which items and costs are included and not included in the price.

How far have we gone so far, in summary we have the logistics and essential equipment under control, chosen a stunning destination to ensure our needs are covered and we have selected the dates to suit the destination characteristics.

Tip number six is about the modern day wonder of the travellers’ world. You guessed it, the internet. This modern tool enables you to ensure you are fully au fait with all and any information you might need. From disco’s to dive centres, museums to mausoleums, cathedrals to camping grounds, the information is easily available to you from the comfort of your home; office or failing which, an internet café. Referring back to our Spanish village, if you want to know the history, what to see and do while you’re there, the internet provides this service. Even once you’re there, if you want to send pics and news to someone at home, the internet has really made this simple. I read recently that in excess of 70% of all travel arrangements are now made on-line, wow, that is an awesome number and it is no doubt climbing, not without reason.

A list of top ten tips would definitely be incomplete without a reference to the importance of adequate packing. Notice we say adequate as it does vary according to destination and travel method. A car trip to Port Alfred with a trailer and roof rack is a far different scenario than a flight to London. Tip number seven is to pack early; to pack correctly and most of all to pack according to a well prepared list. One often makes the mistake of packing too much, leaving little room for error and no space to include a few souvenirs or that tee-shirt that looked so good in the market. On a personal note our family has a rule, what you pack you carry; this has a fantastic effect of ensuring no one packs without a plan.

The boring battle of the budget. We all have dream destinations we hope to get to one day; this is unfortunately not a reality for most of us. Tip number eight is to ensure you remain within your personal limits of expenditure. Interest rates are high and could get higher; credit offered by banks can be easily obtained by utilising the credit card options so often available. You don’t want to spend the year after your holiday stressed out about how you’re going to pay it back during the rest of the year. Plan adequately before and during your holiday. Whilst it’s certainly fun to spoil yourselves during a holiday, we suggest you allocate a daily allowance to each person and to the whole group; this will certainly help control costs, particularly in an international destination when one is not fully conversant, it can come back and bite quite hard.

The members of our panel are all seasoned travellers, local and overseas. In conversation we certainly learned that all had on occasion bumped their heads or made often silly mistakes. Our unanimous tip number nine is to enjoy South Africa. As residents of this beautiful country we are all absolutely blessed to live within a reasonable distance from either a beach; lake; mountain; game reserve or whatever it might be that appeals to your family. Too often we feel the need to travel far and wide when it’s all on our doorstep. We might travel to an exotic dive destination but haven’t yet experienced Aliwal Shoal; sit on a Mauritian Beach when our coast offers some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, perhaps even camping in France when you’ve never been to the Drakensberg or Clarens.

It might be a cliché but we really do have it all in one country. We certainly hope that our leaders will take every action to ensure that it stays that way. We in turn need to appreciate it and invest in local tourism and the job creation it offers. Our panel felt that we need to market ourselves as a destination a little better than we do, encouraging local travellers that Cairo is perhaps not always better than Cape Town. Local is lekker, it has its place alongside braaivleis, biltong, sunny skies and all the rest.

This might be our last tip of the ten we were confined to but it is the simplest and most important – have fun! You’ve worked hard, you deserve your holiday, please don’t forget to enjoy it. In most cases when on holiday, one is surrounded by those your love the most, those dearest and closest.

What an absolute blessing to be able to spend quality time in a holiday destination with those you love.

Alan Hawkins is the CEO of StaySA. StaySA is a leading South African Accommodationportal. Visit StaySA next time you are looking for a kind of Accommodation in South African

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Airline Travel Tips

Airline Travel Tips

Our number one airline travel tip is: Check in early!

Airlines require domestic travelers to check-in 1 hour prior to departure. International flights require a 2 hour check-in. If you do not arrive on time and if the flights are overbooked, the possibility exists that your seat will be given away. In addition, there will be a greater opportunity when you arrive early to have your name on the “top of the list” for an upgrade.

Be aware that some airlines have restricted carry on luggage policies. For example:

Northwest – Maximum check-in is two and carryon luggage is limited to one piece plus a purse/briefcase/laptop computer for all flights. First class international is allowed two carry on items.
American/TWA – Check one and carryon two or check two and carryon one.
Delta – Check one and carry-on two or check two and carry-on one.
Southwest – Check up to three and carryon two.
United – One carryon in economy and two in business/first class.
USAir – Carryon two
Continental – Carryon two

Store your carryon luggage in the compartment across from you so you can keep an eye on it.

Be sure to carry photo identification.

Be aware of Safe Harbors emergency service telephone number (International / domestic) This will help you with questions concerning your ticket or itinerary changes. The number is printed on all itineraries. Calling the airline directly can cause confusion and be costly.

Never make enemies or be abrasive with airline ticket agents or gate agents. Regardless of the situation, most people are more than accommodating when approached with respect.

Travel Reservations

Do not make a reservation with an airline directly. They will not have all of your company data accessible including your discounted rates, frequent flier numbers, travel preferences, travel policy information and payment procedures. They will only give you their information not competing information where the agency will.

When a travel reservation is made with Safe Harbors, your confirmation number for your flight, hotel room and car is your guarantee! If you arrive at any of these counters and they claim that you do not have a reservation, chance has it that they are trying to sell you a higher priced car, hotel room and airline reservation. This is a common practice for these vendors to recreate a reservation so that a commission will not have to be paid and that last minute availability is achieved, resulting in a higher fare/rate. If this should happen, be assertive and demand the guaranteed rate/fare is utilized on the confirmed itinerary from Safe Harbors.

Safe Harbors Travel Group is shaping a new age of business travel management. Safe Harbors’ expertise in business travel, global travel infrastructure, vendor management, expense and accountability reporting and travel information systems is helping clients achieve their business goals with a higher return-on-travel-investment. Headquartered in Baltimore, Safe Harbors provides global travel management to more than 100 corporate clients.

To learn more visit

For more travel information from Safe Harbors visit

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Cheap Travel Tickets

Cheap Travel Tickets

Three Ways to Find Cheap Fares


If you are planning a vacation, chances are you are probably trying to find some really cheap fares for your travel. There are several places where you can find attractive travel deals but you need to know where to look. Some companies will offer you what appear to be a few great deals but there is so much in the fine print that you may find out it’s really not as cheap as you thought or just not worth the trouble!


Here are three surefire ways to find those cheap fares so you’ll have more cash available when you reach your destination.


#1- The Internet Is a Wonderful Tool


Today, the internet has become one of the best places to start your search for cheap flights. When you browse online, you will find several legitimate sites that offer great travel deals. Some of the restrictions may include traveling during specific times, staying at a specific hotel or resort or purchasing your tickets several weeks in advance. As long as these restrictions don’t limit your original plans, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t grab up the great deals on cheap fares. One of the downsides of browsing online is that there are so many different sites; it’s sometimes hard to know which ones to use. Some are not secure, so scratch those off immediately. Others that require you to purchase a travel program of some sort are best avoided as well.


#2- Check with Your Local Travel Agent


If you are somewhat flexible in your travel dates, your accommodations or even your destination, you may find some fantastic savings at your local travel agency. This is because many agencies buy up blocks of airline tickets, hotel rooms and attraction tickets at greatly reduced prices and pass these savings on to their customers. When combined in a complete travel package, you are also saving time by booking each part all at once.


#3- Approach the Airline Directly


All major airlines have websites now that allow you to search and purchase your ticket in a matter of minutes without even leaving your home. In most cases, some of the best prices will be found on these websites. Most airlines make their lowest ticket prices available several weeks in advance, so signing up for email notifications with the airline is a great way to get the specials delivered right into your inbox. As long as you are not looking for last minutes tickets, the airlines’ websites are one of the best places to start your search.


Don’t Wait; Grab those Cheap Fares Today!


Cheap fares for travel are certainly available when you know where to look. Planning your vacation well in advance is also recommended, as that will help you find lower tickets, too. In today’s economy, it’s tough to find extra cash for traveling, but spending less on your transportation will certainly help!


Cheap Travel Tickets


Do you want to get better travel deals when you next travel? If so, please check out my web page.

Thank you

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Maui Travel Tips: Advice to Make Your Trip as Memorable as Possible

Maui Travel Tips: Advice to Make Your Trip as Memorable as Possible

Are you dreaming of the perfect tropical Maui vacation but need some travel tips to make your trip as magical as it can be?

It is difficult to find another tropical location that provides the blend of fantastic scenery and activity options that Maui can claim. A visit to this island will change your life (if you allow it to).

This Maui travel tips article will provide some foundational tips for people planning travel to Maui. The information can be especially handy for first time vacationers to the island.

Useful Maui Travel Tips:

Plan Your Budget and Create your Trip Using that Budget as a Guideline – Maui offers a large amount of activities that can be either extremely pricey or rather inexpensive. There are lodging options that range from luxury to modest. Depending when you travel, there are great airfares available. Car rentals on the island run on the inexpensive end compared to other resort locations. It is better to understand your ideal budget and stick to it when planning travel so you don’t experience stress the entire trip. For example, staying at a cheap Maui hotel because you plan to snorkel and hike is a great strategy if you don’t plan to be in your room a lot.

If your goal is to save on your trip, the best option is to investigate Maui vacation packages, which will combine flights, lodging (hotels and condos), and your rental car. Maui vacation package options include five star hotels to cheap hotels (and condos), first class or coach air, and a range of rental cars to economy size to luxury SUVs (like Lincoln Navigators).

Plan for a Good Time of the Year – If you going to Maui as a family, most likely you will travel when school is out. This is usually during summers, holidays, or spring breaks. The link below contains a page on planning for Maui family vacations.

If Maui is a romantic getaway for you, honeymoons included, one tip is to avoid dates when family volume is increased on the island. I have determined that February through May is a good time and September through November is great as well. Travel is less expensive and you will miss many of the high tourism months.

Be Sure to Complete Your Research – It is a great idea to visit sites like this one in order to create a desired list of activities that have appeal to you while visiting the island. There are a range of activities that include going to a luau, trying a snorkeling or dive excursion, or hiking or viewing lava fields and a volcano. Make a “must do” determination before you book travel and then make a commitment to do each. There is something to do in every price range to do on the island.

Do Advanced Preparations if Doing Family Travel – When traveling with family, be it your kids or your extended family, be aware of the considerations you must take into account when traveling this way. Again, the link below will offer a link on the left called “Travel Tips” and will provide a link to a Maui family vacations information.

Also visit the same link for additional Maui travel tips that should be planned for when traveling to the island like weather, safety concerns, clothing to wear, and other information that can be extremely useful while there.

If you would like free advice on planning and booking your perfect Maui vacation, visit

Daryl spends a great deal of time traveling and finds magical Maui to always be his home away from home. Daryl, his wife, and three children spend a great deal of time in Maui during the year. He passes on free tips to others looking to experience the island at his website,

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Enjoy Your Vacation at a Cheaper Price with a Cheap Travel Package

Enjoy Your Vacation at a Cheaper Price with a Cheap Travel Package

Want to go in for a dream vacation with your family, and the problem is shortage of funds? Well, now there is a solution to your problem, thanks to the availability of a cheap travel package, designed specially according to your needs, that is available with almost every travel agency or tour planning company. A cheap travel package ensures that you get the same amount of enjoyment that you would get at regular prices.

Travel agencies all around the world give offers for both group tours organised by them, or personal and private family tours or honeymoon etc. Besides, if you do not want to go in for a group tour by the travel agency, and just need help in booking of tickets, accommodations etc., then they also help you to avail discount air travel, as most travel agencies have tie-ups with various airlines. Basically, the earlier you book your tickets, the better are your chances of getting a bigger benefit of cheap air travel.

If you like to do things yourself, and do not want to be dependent on travel agencies for this work, then you could yourself check out the websites of various airlines, in order to gain information on cheap travel tickets or discount air travel. In case you are a regular customer or user of some airline, then after the completion of a certain number of kilometers traveled with that airlines, you may also get Cheap Travel Tickets for your next trip. This type of customer benefit is followed in most airline companies.

Expenditure on air travel eats up a big portion of your planned budget for your vacation, and that is the reason why you should always go in for a cheap travel package, as it ensures that you get a Cheap Air Travel facility. Besides, you also get other benefits of cheaper accommodations etc.

It is always better to plan off-season trips as there are more chances of a cheap travel package being available at that point of time, because airlines, hotels ,travel agencies etc. all want to attract the customers in order to gain business and make profit at that time. So obviously the benefits in a cheap travel package taken up in off season would be definitely more than the one taken up in the regular or peak season.

Michael is a very well known author who writes on topics like Discount air travel,Family Travel Deals and Discount global travel.

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