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Here are more small articles all about traveling in general and cruising abord cruise ships!

Planning for Your Personality
 
If you know you are not the type of person who likes rugged conditions with a lack of amenities then maybe you should plan your holiday to suit your personality rather than putting up with conditions that won't allow you to maximize the benefits of your travels.

By doing your homework first and talking to experienced travelers and travel agents you should be able to plan a holiday that will suit your needs.

Even small factors like an inability to feel comfortable with delays can have a detrimental affect on your vacation when traveling to areas where time isn't a priority with the people you will have to deal with.

Maybe you don't like a lot of children and the associated noise that they bring. If so you should find out whether the resort where you are staying is family orientated or not.

If you are a person who likes lots of adventure then don't travel to places where you are likely to get bored by the second day.

Also - you will need to consider how much adventure is available in a region and whether or not you will need to spend a lot of your time traveling from one spot to another to get your fix of excitement.

There might be other places that you can go where you will have more options to do more of what you like without all the associated travel in between.

Talk to people you know and trust to see what their opinions of holiday destinations are like but also consider their personal circumstances. The reason I mention this is because people who are close to you with similar interests might have vastly differing opinions of what makes a good holiday if, for example, they have a family and you are single.

You won't have any need for child minding services whereas that might be the best service they could hope for on their holiday.
 

Planning Your Departures

Be sure of all your arrival and departure times and double check if there are any possibilities for misunderstandings.

In foreign countries it is very easy to misunderstand instructions where people talk with a heavy accent and even more difficult when you don't understand the language at all.

You could be charged additional fees for vacating your accommodation after the correct checkout time.

And while on the subject of checkout times, you should also consider paying a small additional fee for the hotel to store your luggage until a later hour so you can continue to enjoy your holiday on the day of departure.

This is particularly useful if there is a big period of time between having to vacate your room and the time that you will be boarding your flight to your next destination or home.

You won't want to be lugging your baggage around with you for hours, or leaving it in the trunk of your car while you are sightseeing, when the hotel might only charge you a minimal fee for secure storage for a few hours.

If you are traveling outside of the peak season and there aren't other people waiting for your room you can often get another half day accommodation for a small fee at many places and this can be very convenient allowing you to continue to enjoy your holiday to the last minute and still have the benefits of the facilities at the hotel with your own room and bathroom.

Hotel owners will be more willing to provide such services if they think you will be coming back at some time in the future so it is always a good idea to let them think this is so.

You should also make sure that you are ready well in advance of your flight departures as a missed flight will cost you additional fees including more accommodation, and in particular in the peak season, last minute accommodation could require that you pay a premium.

Later flights might also mean you lose any discount rates that have already been arranged.

While on holiday, time costs money so try to be on time all the time where possible and if not make arrangements as soon as possible to save money.
 



Quote: The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience.
The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him.
He goes "sight-seeing."
- Daniel J. Boorstin

Planning Prior to Traveling
 
Remember that you cannot always trust people you meet in your travels, as you never know what motives they might have for giving you certain information.

Suggestions on what to do and where to go can be expensive when talking with locals who may have an interest in the businesses that they are recommending. You can avoid being taken advantage of if you have sufficient information beforehand to compare with what you are hearing from the people at the places you are visiting.

This is not to say that you shouldn't ask for advice from the locals but you should also have some knowledge to compare with what you are hearing.

Hotel staff will often give you good advice but then again they will often be working with local businesses and recommend those who will help one another even where their price might not be the best if they can get some of benefit for their own business at your expense.

There are unscrupulous people in all places throughout the world waiting to exploit tourists and take advantage of their lack of knowledge by overpricing goods and services.

The more familiar you can become with the customs of the people and the way they operate the better prepared you will be to deal with them and in doing so save yourself a considerable amount of money.

Not only will you be able to save money but it will also help you to stay safe as it is common for people on vacation to 'let their guard down' and that is when they are more susceptible to danger.

Good planning prior to departure is your key to having a successful and enjoyable vacation where you will get the maximum benefits for the least expense.

Mistakes cost money and you will want to make as little of them as possible.

Even the timing of your vacation should be planned according to what is happening at the place you intend to visit as special events can result in surcharges being placed on accommodation to account for the extra demand and the lack of supply.

Unless you specifically want to take in such events you should try to avoid them to save money. 
 

Pre-Holiday Planning
 
 Before you set out on your trip to your destination be sure that you have as much information about the places you are going to before you leave home. It is easier and quicker to do research at home using resources such as the Internet to find where the best deals are.

By saving time when you are away on vacation you will be able to get more benefit from the vacation and make the most of the money that you have spent getting there. It also means you get to spend a lot of fun time looking forward to your vacation before you go.

You can get information from the various tourist boards and from travel centers that will help you make decisions where you want to go and stay.

It will not cost you anything other than time to get this information and you might decide to change your travel plans after you do this kind of research.

It will cost a lot more if you decide to change your plans once you get to your destination and in some cases it will be difficult, if not impossible, to change plans once you have made bookings.

You can save a lot of money by doing this research and you will have the leisure to compare prices and even negotiate better deals with travel agencies, hotels and other providers of accommodation.

If possible, talk to people who have already been to the places that you intend to go as there is nothing quite like prior experience to save time and money. Travel brochures sometimes paint a rosy picture of areas, where people you can trust, might tell you otherwise.

Some of the best places to get other people's opinions are on the forums on the Internet where people will discuss their travels and give their opinions on what they liked and whether they would recommend those places to other people.

They will also offer cost saving and other suggestions based on their own experience. These can be invaluable.
 
Cruise Ship Tip: most major cruise lines have an extensive web sites that allow you to book your shore excursions ahead of time, sometimes at a discount. So check that out, and plan ahead. If you wait till you're on board to book, not only may they be more expensive, they may be already book out. Also, make sure and read the reviews. Often what the web site describes and what actually is can vary.