Vacation Rentals: How to Hunt for the Best Deals

In the past there was really only one way or two ways to search out those really good deals for vacation rentals. You could rely on the advice of a travel agent, or you could send off for brochures and wait for them to come back in the mail. There were some disadvantages to both methods. Travel agents often had arrangements with certain resorts and were more interested in getting you there than they were in finding the absolute best deal. Brochures took time to arrive and generally were not going to give you all the information you were seeking.

We are lucky now though. We live in the age of the internet. There has to already be a million really good uses for the internet and now we can add one more. The web is the best place to hunt for the best deals in vacation rentals. Almost every location where vacation rentals can be found is going to have its own web site. The site will give you all the information that you need to make your choice. It is like having a full size brochure on every possible choice all at the same time.

When you are ready to begin your hunt, you can start by making a list of your requirements. How many people are going to be with you and what are there ages? What is the maximum amount in your vacation budget to pay for your vacation rental? What time of the year will you be taking your vacation? These are some of the questions you should have answered in advance. Then simply put your destination into a search engine and start comparing.

To get an idea of how much information is available to us by the internet search method, I picked the resort area of Cabo San Lucas as an experiment. I was searching for the best deals on Cabo San Lucas vacation rentals or Cabo San Lucas villas. I was pleased to discover that not only did most of the lodgings have websites, but also there were sites operated by the Mexican equivalent of the Chamber of Commerce, as well as some private sites that listed and linked me to the individual sites. In a short time, I was able to prepare a list of rental sites that matched the needs list I had prepared, and were well within my budget. Once I had a list of potential sites, it was time for that visit to the travel agent or to begin contacting the rental sites me. The internet is a powerful tool for this kind of comparison shopping and it is the best way to hunt out those really good deals.

Plan a Honeymoon in a Private Villa

When celebrities get married and go on a honeymoon, they most often stay in private villas. You may think this is something that only the fabulously wealth can afford, but that is simply not the case.

Spending your honeymoon in a private villa can be more affordable than you think. Like any other accommodations, there is quite a range of prices depending on the size and amenities of the location.

Planning a honeymoon in a private villa is often not difficult. This is because most villas offer some sort of package deal where you can get food service, as well as tour guides to take you around the area. Tuscany villas are some of the most beautiful in the world, as they combine beautiful historical architecture with all of the modern amenities.

In fact, picking what amenities are important to you is pretty much the hardest decision you will need to make when planning your villa honeymoon. You will be pleasantly surprised at how many amenities are available to you when you stay in a private villa. Villas in Tuscany often feature private pools, historical furnishings, and beautiful views. If you enjoy the outdoors, you’ll find villas that are located near the water, skiing or golf courses. Of course, the activities will vary depending on where you stay, as Tuscany villa rentals might offer things that villas in another area may not.

You will want to decide whether you want maid service and whether you plan to utilize a chef to prepare your meals. Some villas come with kitchens that you can use, while others might just have a fridge or microwave. If you require any accommodations such as handicap access, make sure you call ahead or check with your travel agency to make sure your needs are met. Some villas allow you to bring your pets while others do not. If you are a smoker, you’ll want to check on the smoking policy of the villa as well. Do you need to get online while you are away? Check into what internet access is available.

Once you have an idea of the activities you want to do and the amenities you need, you can start looking at pictures of various villas. Villas vary greatly both in size and in the number of people they will accommodate. For this reason, they are good for private honeymoons as well as housing large families. If you have a destination wedding, you might consider renting a villa for your guests and then a separate one for you and your spouse. Either way, staying in a villa can offer you unmatched privacy and exquisite accommodations in a beautiful setting. It will help provide the perfect start to your new life together.

Natalie Aranda

Christmas season is just around the corner, but planning holiday travel is not just a wintertime matter. Holidays occur throughout the year and you will have more than one opportunity of getting your luggage ready and planning a trip.

However, when it comes to holiday travel, the sooner you begin jotting down your desired destination and associated activities, the more successful your travel will be.

One of the missing items in most travel plan lists is reviewing your tote bags, briefcases, and trunks; you can come across with a fact: you may need to renew your luggage.

Samsonite luggage is durable and yet fashionable, with a full collection of styles matching anyone’s criteria. Put on the top of your holiday travel list a visit to your local mall, or browse Samsonite’s online catalogs to find its complete line of products.

If your travel involves air traveling, another of the priorities in your holiday travel list is determining your travel dates. Even though you can leave anytime, wise planning will help you save in both headaches and services fares.

In fact, the next item on the list is finding the best accommodations and airline fares, based on your lifestyle. You can allow yourself luxury transportation and loading, but if you enjoy the simplest things in life, choosing facilities accordingly allows you to save money for more day of fun.

When travel by road, jot down an approximation of the cost and review if there is enough space in your car for luggage, otherwise add the accessories for transporting your bags.

Weather hazards can be a problem when transporting your items on a car’s roof basket carrier, however, weather is not a problem if you are using Samsonite luggage, which has specific models for when climate conditions have to be kept in mind.

Holiday travel is fun when you have a well-designed plan, including the destination cities that you and your family are wanting to visit, but also a list of activities and attraction to visit once getting there.

Traveling abroad requires additional planning, learning more about entry and exit rules to the country where you are going. Luggage may undergo special inspection at the airport where sometimes it is checked with intense x-ray process.

Samsonite luggage can pass this type of checking without causing the colors or materials to deteriorate, whether you choice fabrics, vinyl or leather, and also protecting your belonging as well.

Food costs must not be left out when you are setting up your holiday travel list, because if you are planning a budget vacation, restaurants can ruin your plans. Doing research in advance and using a tour guidebook with alternate destinations to your plans is a good practice for wonderful holiday times, particularly during the last months of the year.

America’s Top 3 Luggage Brands

When it comes to picking the ideal luggage, there are many options ranging from different prices, colors, materials, and styles. However, there is nothing more disappointing than the experience of getting cheap bags that will only last through a few trips.

Buying luggage with your vacation in mind is not the only think to consider before going shopping. Your bags need to be durable, affordable and have style, such that you can find with Samsonite luggage.

Quality is crucial to the survival of your luggage through all the handling it will endure during holiday times so buying your set of bags from one of the top luggage brands in America is an investment not an expenditure.

Samsonite luggage is one of the leading brands worldwide, along with American Tourister, and Victorinox, the renowned manufacturer of the Swiss knife that almost any household in the world has.

Buying the top America’s brand guarantee your luggage set will withstand any event during your vacations, just keep in mind where are you going to and determine the size and quantity of luggage you may need.

American Tourister is the way to go to enjoy the spirit of pride reigning in the United States. Under this brand you can find luggage collections with suggestive names such as American Tourister Tribute, and American Tourister iLite American Set.

There are also premium collections including carry-on expandable upright or spinner luggage sets, similar to those available through the Samsonite luggage collection.

Victorinox is a brand that offers the “Carry with Confidence” guarantee that covers airline damage. The guarantee itself speaks aloud the quality found in each luggage set.

Keeping with the adventurer style, all the collection has suggestive names such as Victorinox Swiss Army NXT Luggage, Victorinox Swiss Army Werks Traveler, Victorinox Swiss Army Lingo, and Victorinox Swiss Army Adventure Gear.

However, Samsonite luggage is the top American brand and the favorite worldwide. Samsonite luggage has a motto that summarizes its popularity and durability: “Samsonite worldproof.”

Samsonite luggage mixes quality with style and reliability, matching any budget with a large collection that includes, among others, the Samsonite Pro-DLX, Samsonite Aspire Lite, Samsonite Silhouette 9, Samsonite F’Lite, Samsonite X’ion, and the Samsonite Signature Series.

Now, that you know about the top brands in America, determine your budget and find a reputable luggage store to buy your set. Keep in mind expandability and the requirements of heavy-duty wheels that you might need depending on the place to go.

Make sure that your luggage size fits the requirements of airlines and get only the approved carry-on size if you need to take a plane to enjoy your vacation.

Whether Samsonite luggage or any other brand, your bags should also have the possibility of expanding or accommodating additional items in case you decide to continue with a longer trip.

Stephen Kreutzer

A beach wedding is a romantic’s dream. The sand, water and sunshine make it such a peaceful location for a wedding. With any outdoor wedding there comes many considerations. A beach wedding also brings extra concerns because of the sand and water. The following gives considerations that any couple should make when planning a beach wedding to make sure that everything goes off smoothly.

1. Weather. This is a typical concern for any outdoor wedding. Beaches are windy, open spots, so there are more weather concerns than if the wedding were to be held in a backyard. Winds can get strong and therefore anything that could blow away or tangle up in the wind should be avoided or secured. The sun is also strong at the beach. Guests comfort should be considered. Guests should be made aware so they can bring sunscreen and dress appropriately. Shade should also be provided. Rain is always a possibility, so the couple should rent a tent just in case.

Wedding entertainment has an endearing importance, as the bride and the groom are interested in entertaining the guests to make the day memorable. Music entertainment also means performance either by musicians and singers, solo or in groups. A pianist playing your favorite music while the guests enjoy the delectable food can be very soothing.

2. Special Beach Concerns. Beaches are made of sand. People sitting in chairs sink into the sand. This means a couple should rent a floor for the ceremony. The tide is another consideration. The couple should know when the tide comes in and how far, so they can plan the wedding in an area where they will not be flooded out. Due to the windy, noisy nature of the beach sound is another consideration. The couple should think about having a sound system to broadcast their wedding so guests can hear. If the beach does not have restrooms then the couple will have to rent those as well. Another thing for the couple to think about if using a public beach is that other people may be around. It is important to not stage the wedding in a popular spot. The rules of the beach must also be followed, so the couple should check those out ahead of time.

These two points mention the major things couples often overlook when planning a beach wedding. Of course the size of the guest list may affect some of these considerations. Whether or not the reception will also be at the beach may bring on more things to think about as well. Beach weddings are romantic and they often go smoothly. When couples really plan out the event a beach wedding can make this magical day even better.

Stephen Kreutzer is a freelance publisher based in Cupertino, California. He publishes articles and reports in various ezines and provides wedding tips at Just Wedding Savings!

Travel Connections – Staying In Touch

Travel connections with home are easier than ever. New calling cards, cell-phones, e-mail, satelite phones, and better phone lines everywhere are making it a smaller world. Here are some suggestions on how you can stay in touch – when you want to.

E-Mail: The Travel Connections Champ

Most libraries in the United States now have internet access. When traveling the country, we often stop in small towns to use this free service. We check e-mail and even check our bank accounts. In other countries, finding internet accesss is even easier. When computers are too expensive for most people, there’s demand for cheap internet access. The result is that, in places like Quito, Ecuador, there’s an internet cafe on almost every corner.

Hotmail and Yahoo still offer free e-mail accounts. Sign up now, if you haven’t already. Then, wherever you are in the world, your friends and family have a way to contact you and you have a way to contact them. For some reason, even though the internet largely operates by way of the same phone lines, it’s more reliable than phone service in many countries.

Snail Mail

You’ll may still use the Post Office when you travel. Pre-address and stamp your envelopes if you’ll be writing family, friends, or whoever. Usually, it’s easy to find a mail box, but a hassle to find stamps and envelopes. When you need something sent to you while on a trip (in the U.S.) have it addressed to your name, then “general delivery,” and the city and zip code where you’ll be in a few days. The package should be waiting at the post office when you arrive.

Phone cards are a great help when traveling in the United States. You’ll need an International Calling Cards while traveling aboard.

Phone Cards

Phone cards are a great help when traveling in the United States. The best are not even cards, but accounts that you recharge on the internet. The one we use costs just 2.9 cents per minute to call anywhere in the U.S., with no connection charge. It’s only 15 cents to call my wife’s family in Ecuador (It cost me over $2 per minute just 4 years ago). The only extra charge is 50 cents for pay phone use, which is mandated by law for all cards now.

You use these accounts by funding them on the internet, using any credit card. With most, you can open an account for $20. You get a toll-free number to call, an account number (usually your home phone number), and a 4-digit PIN. To place a call, you dial the toll free number, then enter your account number, PIN, and number you’re calling. Many buttons to push, but then you can call Paris, France for 3 cents per minute. That’s cheap! Recharge your account from anywhere there is internet access, and you’ll never have a phone bill, since you pay in advance.

Other Travel Connections Tips

E-mail a list of important information and numbers to yourself, like the one to call if your credit card is stolen, or the number of the U.S. Embassy where you’re going. E-mail yourself a copy of your passport, and other important documents. When you need these things, they’ll be available in any internet cafe in the world.

Staying in touch is a mixed blessing. I find it less than comforting to have the protection of a cell phone when my brothers and I go into the Canadian wilderness. It means constant calls, and worries that could have been forgotten until the trip was over. My final tip then, is to call friends and family when they’re not home, and leave nice messages on their machines. Then they’ll know you’re okay, and if they need to contact you, they can e-mail you.

Steve Gillman hit the road at sixteen, and traveled the U.S. and Mexico alone at 17. Now 40, he travels with his wife Ana, whom he met in Ecuador. To read their stories, tips and travel information, visit: http://www.EverythingAboutTravel.com

All Inclusive Travel Planning

Ever tried to cram all your travel plans into one small budget and short schedule? If you have, you will know the true meaning of a frugal and haphazard vacation. Some people think that all-inclusive vacation packages leave very little space for them to have fun and there’s no flexibility. But they are wrong.

You can save money with an all-inclusive vacation package

If you’re really tight on the budget, booking an all-inclusive vacation package can save you quite a big chunk of cash. Because these all-inclusive package vacation companies have close ties with hotels and popular tourist spots in the country, they can get a better rate than you can! Hence, normally, the discounts and savings will be passed on to you – the all-inclusive vacation customers, tourists and visitors!

All-inclusive vacations are hassle-free

Planning a vacation can give you headaches! When you book an all-inclusive vacation package, you’re actually giving yourself the chance to COMPLETELY enjoy the vacation without having to worry about the nitty-gritty details. Your accommodation, food, entertainment and traveling are all taken care of. The only thing that you and your family members have to worry about is how much fun you’re going to have during the vacation. Some tourists and vacationers like to get an all-inclusive vacation package because there’s lack of time. Some people have to contend with last minute plans. The all-inclusive vacation packages can be real life savers in this instance. Even honeymooners love all-inclusive packages because they don’t want to have to worry about meals, entertainment, activities, transportation and accommodation when they should be focused on each other!

Mealtime fun with all-inclusive vacation packages

One of the most worrisome things for tourists is WHERE to eat. Because we are not familiar with the country and the booklets that we can get from airports are hardly accurate (most of the time), meal times are worrying. When we’re visiting another country, we want to try another delicacy, something new….and cheap. Who better to tell you where to find it than an all-inclusive vacation planner? They have all the ropes, hang on to them and enjoy the meal!

All-inclusive packages – tells you the cultural differences between races and religions

You can read all you want from the Internet or from books on the different cultures and religions in the country that you’re visiting…and yet, whenever you’re on an all-inclusive vacation package, the tourist guide will STILL tell you things that surprises you! and this is an important point because you don’t really want to step on someone’s toes when you’re in THEIR country.

Besides all of that, with all-inclusive vacation packages, you don’t have to worry about where to have fun because they plan everything for you. All-inclusive vacation packages are definitely worth it!

Dakota Caudilla, journalist, and website builder Dakota Caudilla lives in Texas. He is the owner and co-editor of http://www.vacation-source.com on which you will find a longer, more detailed version of this article.

Dakota Caudilla, journalist, and website builder Dakota Caudilla lives in Texas. He is the owner and co-editor of http://www.vacation-source.com on which you will find a longer, more detailed version of this article.

Vacation Rental Checklist

Vacation rentals are so appealing and romantic whether you plan to stay in a villa in Tuscany, Italy, a lovely apartment in Paris, France, or a cozy condom in Vail, Colorado. Vacation rentals are full of fun and excitement whether you plan your vacation for a week in Vermont

in winter, or a month in Florida in summer.

Vacation rentals are perfect choice for you to experience local lifestyle if you plan to stay in the same place for about a week. if you travel with children, especially younger kids or even toddlers, you cook the food they like and eat whenever you and kids want to eat instead of gong to restaurants everyday. Staying in a condos or apartment could also safe your money.

The secrets to a relaxing and fun vacation rental is preparation – do your homework a few months before the anticipated travel.

Find Right Vacation Rental

The variety of vacation rental properties are at all price levels – Villas, Condos, Apartments and Log Cabins. You can find almost anything you can hope for – swimming pools, fireplaces and certain number of bathrooms. You start your research on the Web, of course.

If you plan to relax in Florida, typing “Florida vacation rentals” in major search engines will give you a long list of

places where you can explore further. If you’re excited about winter fun in Vermont, keyword “Vermont Vacation Winter Rentals” will lead you to many sites that have beautiful pictures of winter Vermont.

Learn about Local Culture

Traveling in foreign countries is even more rewarding and sometimes erotic if you’re fully prepared. Besides learning the basics of local culture and possibly new languages, you need to learn how to survive in a totally new environment – how to shop for groceries, how transportation works and what kind of food is available. Unlike staying in commercial hotels, their front desks understand English and can help you arrange transportation, you’re on your own while staying in vacation rental properties. What’s also where the excitement is for travel – to experience a different culture and lifestyle.

Pack your Stuff

Besides all necessary things that you’ll need for a vacation, you’ll also need to pack the things you’ll normally find in and get from hotels – a portable alarm clock, a can opener, bandages etc.

Backup Plan

It’s also important to have a back-up plan for your travel – what are you going to do if you’d lost you luggage at airports or the reservation isn’t available for unexpected reasons, what are you going to do if the attraction you have planned for is closed for

a day or two, and what are you going to do if one of your kids were sick.

The more you plan, the more room there is to have fun. Your vacation goal is to about to explore and experience new culture and new lifestyle, not just to see as many people and places in as few days as possible.

Be Prepared to Travel & Enjoy Your Vacation!

Traveling requires advanced planning and these easy to follow travel tips can make any trip more enjoyable. Being prepared can help travelers avoid many frustrating situations. Have a smart plan when flying, plan your packing, and have a home security plan.

With today’s busy airports and increased security, it is crucial to come to any airport well prepared. Start and finish your vacation on a good note. Take time before any flight to ensure that you have a great trip by following these simple tips.

Arrive Early for your Flight – Most airports have long check-in and security lines. Plan ahead.

Bring Proper ID – Drivers License, ID card, or Passports may be required upon check-in.

Security Pouch – Place ticket information, travel papers and ID in one easy to reach travel pouch.

Seat Assignment – Be sure to call ahead for advanced seating.

Allow for Connecting Flights – Schedule at least 1 to 2 hours between connections.

Prepare to Wait – Bring snacks, drinks and something to occupy your time if you are delayed.

Carry-on Bag – Always have prescriptions with you. Be aware that toiletries and other liquids can break and leak in the non-pressurized luggage compartments. A spare set of clothes can also be helpful when making connecting flights. Lost luggage can take 24 to 48 hours to catch up to you.

Airplane Air Quality – Cabin pressurized air is sometimes thinner than “sea-level” and always very dry which can leave passengers dehydrated. Have plenty of water on hand. Some passengers feel “tired” during and after flights due to thin, dry air.

Safety – Familiarize yourself with your seat location on the airplane relative to the exits. Read all safety information provided by the airline. Count and memorize the number of seat backs to the nearest exit in the event that cabin visibility is reduced.

Be sure to pack smart. Ever taken twice as much as you needed on a trip? Packing for any vacation no matter how short requires good planning and organization. If you leave packing until the last minute chances are you will be frustrated later. Help anticipate problems before they occur by following these tips.

Have a Security Pouch. Place ticket information, travel papers, confirmations and ID in one easy to reach travel pouch.

Organize a Smart Carry-on Bag. Always have prescriptions with you. Be aware that toiletries and other liquids can break and leak in the non-pressurized luggage compartments. A spare set of clothes can also be helpful when making connecting flights. Lost luggage can take 24 to 48 hours to catch up to you.

Store Toiletries and Cosmetics in appropriate places. If they are not in your carry-on take care to place them in water tight bags away from clothes in case they break or leak.

Have a plan for Laundry. Pack large kitchen bags or an empty duffle to hold laundry. This is helpful if you are changing locations during your vacation. You won’t need to mix clean items with dirty clothes.

Pack a Beach Bag. Avoid having to look for all beach related items you packed by placing them in one bag. Place sunscreens, hats, towels, rash guards and bathing suits in a bag that can double as your beach bag. This is especially important when traveling with children. They will want to dive right into the pool or water when you arrive. Just grab one bag and go!

Keep clothes Dry and Fresh. When traveling to a humid climate it helps to pack clothing in large zip-lock bags opening only those you need. For fresh smelling clothes pack dryer sheets between clothes. Storing shoes in air tight bags will eliminate shoe odor in your luggage.

Avoid Wrinkles in your Clothes. Rolling items together with the most wrinkle-prone item on the outside of the roll can help reduce wrinkles. Another packing method involves laying wrinkle-prone items flat in your suitcase with the rest of the item lapping over the edge of the suit case. Place wrinkle resistant clothes on top of the clothes that are still lying flat and then carefully fold the wrinkle prone item over the clothes on top. If done correctly the result it a gentle curve that avoids a crease.

Plan Ahead for Souvenir Shopping. Pack an empty duffle in your luggage that can be checked-in as luggage on your return flight. This is a good way to have space for all your vacation souvenirs. It can also be used to hold dirty laundry.

Prepare your Home! Preparing your affairs at home before you depart is important for the security of your property. When leaving for more than a few days, be sure everything at home is secure. By following a few steps, your home will be ready for your vacation too.

Suspend all Routine Deliveries. Either stop your mail and paper delivery, or arrange for a friend to pick it up.

Create a House Watch Plan. Even if the paper and mail deliveries are stopped, have a friend come by the house each day to check for unexpected deliveries. They should also walk around your property to make sure everything looks normal.

Leave someone in Charge. Always let someone know your plans and your vacation schedule in case of any unexpected emergencies.

Pay Bills before Leaving. When traveling for more than two weeks, check with all utility companies, credit card providers and mortgage lenders to insure an uninterrupted flow of service with out incurring service charges. In some cases you may need to pay bills in advance of your departure date.

Many frustrating situations will arise when traveling. If you have planned ahead well, many of these pitfalls can be avoided, and those that are unavoidable are more tolerable. Plan ahead and enjoy your vacation!

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