Work Less and Travel More

For any number of reasons people, and perhaps yourself, believe international travel is expensive. This is a common misconception. Never forget, travel can be as cheap or as expensive as you want to make it. The cheaper you make it the longer you can stay away. Cheap doesn’t have to mean nasty and constantly skimping on things, another misconception.

Pause for a moment and conjure up images in your mind of where in the world would you rather be right now. Then think to yourself what is stopping you from going there. At this point most people will say money, money is stopping me, not having enough, bills to pay, etc. What is really stopping you is you. Your decisions or your excuses.

Excuses are the primary reason none of us achieve what we are capable of.

Sure you can’t just up and go right now because of money, bills and commitments you may have but if you start planning now, re adjusting your priorities, habits, spending now and make a commitment to yourself, your dreams can and will become reality. Just set a date say twelve months from now and draw up a simple plan that will guide you financially and that will help you to remain focused upon your goal. Planning and sticking to the plan is the key. So many people don’t do this, then they wonder why or make excuses as why they failed. Without sticking to a plan you will lose your way, your focus will slip as will your savings and your dream to travel will remain exactly that.

The following is a quick outline of some travel tips on how you may structure your plan.

Take control of your spending – Sounds obvious enough, but how? Work out exactly how much you spend on everything, rent, bills, food, insurances etc. Hopefully it is less than you earn for the remainder you must put aside for your trip.

Now that you know where all your money is going (sometimes this can be a shock) it’s time to see where you can make some spending adjustments that won’t impact too much on your life style. In other words stop buying crap you don’t really need to get by like new cloths, DVDs, computer games, TV’s or whatever. Remember the more you save now, the more you will have for travelling which means you can stay away longer or live it up more when on the road.

You must make your upcoming travels your priority. Until you do, you won’t save enough, you won’t make the necessary adjustments to your spending, and you won’t make it to the airport. Make it a priority, because like I said your travels will open your eyes and change your life.

Set a date and stick to it – Again obvious enough but many people make their goals a moving target then wonder why they don’t reach them. Fix a date that will be appropriate to your financial situation and then stick to it. Write it down and stick it on your fridge or something. This way you see it every day and in turn helps to keep you motivated and focused.

Don’t leave it to the last minute to book your flight. The longer you leave it the more expensive it will get. If you can, book at least six to eight months out from your set date of departure.

Make a list of things you must do before departure – By this I mean financial cut backs you can make, bills that will need to be paid up and maybe even closed depending on how long you intend to travel. Mail redirects, notify bank of your travel plans, copy your travel documents etc (these things are covered later)

Make a list of things to buy/pack – Obvious this one I know though a good packing list will prevent you from loading yourself up with stuff you don’t need or maybe only use once. The lighter you travel the easier it will be. Revise this packing list so as you can cut back to the bare essentials. Think of the part of the world you are visiting and then pack accordingly. Common sense should tell you what to pack and what not to.

Begin planning your trip – Write out a list of places/countries you must see, must do experiences and how much time roughly to spend at each. A short term traveller will likely plan out the entire trip to the day and pre book. A long term backpacker will not need to be so exact with their travel plans as time is not such an issue and their travels will generally evolve as they go.

Stay focused – Read up about your destination. Not only does this give you some vital information it will also help keep you focused and excited about your upcoming adventure and do not leave buying all your travel gear till the last minute. Not only could you forget something, though you should not if you made a list, actually seeing your new travel gear building up gets you pumped up for hitting the road, which in turn helps keep you focused and on target.

The hardest part is often making the decision to jet off on a long overseas adventure, the second hardest part is keeping your resolve, sticking to the plan, being strict on yourself with your spending, doing the extra overtime (if available) for the extra holiday money and possibly as it was for me, throwing in a well paid job that I actually did not mind doing. But guess what… it was worth it. That seven months of travel changed my life and to top it off within a week of my return home to Australia I got my old job back and so I started saving all over again.

Most decisions have their risks attached to them. They seem daunting to begin with and they feed your doubts, though never let the concerns of money stop you from either going or worry about not having much, if any cash left after when you get back for it is your travels that lay before you, here and now that matter and who knows what opportunities await you both on your travels and beyond all thanks to taking a risk and embarking on an awesome holiday.

Remember, the biggest risk in life is not taking a risk.

The following would have to be one of my favourite travel related quotes:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – Confucius

I look forward to sharing more travel tips with you in future articles

In my eBook: Work Less and Travel More – The Best Backpacker and Travel Tips Handbook, you will find the core concerns of the independent globe trekker are covered.

As an experienced backpacker I can put your mind at ease and provide you with the necessary clear and concise insight and knowledge that will not only make your dreams of international holidays become a reality, but will also guide and prepare you for what life on the road has waiting for you.

Train Travel

Train travel is an ideal means of transport in the UK and the rest of Europe. Rail travel is fast, practical and convenient in both urban and more rural areas. Railway stations often allow for car hire services if you need access to a car or perhaps need to venture to an area not accessible by train.

Rail travel is often convenient even if you have flown partway to your destination. Train travel works well for personal or corporate travel, and can be an economical way to transport staff to a conference, event venue, or meetings. It can also be a luxurious and comfortable way to transport clients quickly and efficiently. Train travel is a viable option for conferences, annual meetings and other events throughout Europe. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that you can easily opt for rail travel to or from the UK and mainland Europe.

Booking rail travel is easy thanks to online interfaces that offer planning, scheduling and trip organisation services. Both personal and corporate travel arrangements can be made easily and practically online. Whether you need to simply book a rail ticket or opt for a full package, both can be done with little effort. Corporate travel to events including annual meetings, conferences, and other events can be planned quickly and easily. Many online trip organisers even allow you to book airline tickets, car hires, rail travel and accommodations in one step. A well planned trip can be especially important for group travel, or for corporate travel arrangements. Discount on rail fares are even available for groups of more than ten.

Eurostar services offer fast check in and a short trip between London and Paris or Brussels. Eurostar allows you to travel in high speed comfort, with champagne, drinks, and food available at your seat in Leisure Select and Business Premier Classes. Business Premier may be an ideal choice for corporate hospitality or business travel to general meetings, conferences and PR events. Business Premier offers even faster check in services as well as additional business amenities. Standard class offers affordable and practical travel between London and France. Eurotunnel can also offer those travelling by car a helpful and cost effective rail option as you simply drive your car onto the shuttle and make a short 35 minute trip via shuttle to Calais, France.

Train travel is ideal in many ways as a corporate travel option, or even for corporate hospitality events. Comfortable rail travel is convenient and practical, and some train travel routes even offer wireless internet access and charging capabilities for laptop computers. If you are transporting important clients for PR events, product launches or exhibitions, rail travel can be an excellent choice. Train travel is an ideal choice for corporate hospitality, allowing your clientele to use their travel time for business needs or work.

While train travel works well for shorter trips, it is also ideal for longer trips. Sleeper cars are available on some train routes, allowing for a comfortable night’s sleep. While train fares can be quite economical, first class seating in the UK and Europe will allow travellers an enjoyable and relaxing ride to their destination. Long distance train services are most apt to offer first class services. These may include more comfortable seating, tables, upgraded décor, meal services and more. Business travellers will also appreciate access to first class lounges in many train stations with wi-fi, power outlets for charging mobile phones, laptops and other electronics, comfortable spaces for meetings, and more.

Rail travel can be more convenient than air travel today, particularly in terms of check in times, and some travellers may simply prefer train travel. Passengers are allowed three pieces of luggage on trains in the UK, two larger items and a smaller piece of hand luggage. Excess luggage may be carried for an extra cost, as can some larger items. Check in via many rail travel companies is quite quick, with Eurostar and others estimating a less than 30 minute check in time. Business travellers in particular may find this speed and efficiency helpful.

If you are planning a corporate event, a product launch, PR events, an annual general meeting or perhaps a corporate conference, offering train travel as an option can be ideal. Train travel is both affordable and comfortable, and can offer the kind of luxury business travellers often prefer. Ample conveniences and accommodations for business travellers will appeal to your clientele. Online booking technology can allow you to schedule your event, book accommodations, rail travel, car hires, and air travel in one easy step. Consider consulting a corporate hospitality specialist to assist you in this sort of planning and make your event a true success. Your clients, employees and others will find train travel an ideal way to begin and end any event.

Travel Agents Are Still In Demand

Although their are numerous online travel services a traditional Travel agent is as much an important part of the trip as comfort is to traveling! The role of a travel agent has been increasing with the times and today most people are dependent on them for executing most of their travel plans so that they can rest easy and just enjoy their trip.

It is the responsibility of the travel agent to help and guide the travelers about the constantly changing schedules and airfares, availability of packages for vacation, and a lot of travel information that the traveler may not know about.

Choosing a reliable travel agent can be an important decision, since how you travel and your comfort will be largely decided by the travel agents. You should verify the information given by the travel agents, to be on the safer side and minimize your travel hassles. Incase of International travel, choosing a proper agent becomes more important.

The right agent should be able to foresee your problems and guide you about them. They should provide information related to customs regulations, important documents like visas, passports, currency exchange rates and certificates of vaccination.

Many hotels, cruise liners, resorts, and special travel groups make use of travel agents to market their travel packages to the ever increasing rate of people choosing to travel both inland and overseas. Most agents advice you on destinations and make arrangements for hotel stays, transportation, tours, car rentals, etc.

Information on weather conditions, restaurants, tourist attractions, and other such necessary information are also provided. A good travel agent could also take the trouble of checking out hotel services to gauge their quality of service in order that they can base references on a first hand report.

With the changing times, the travel industry has seen a big development in terms of Internet bookings and travel related information made available on the net. The number of people using online services is growing. This has resulted in a change in the view of the convenience of traditional agencies.

A poll result of American tourists revealed that over 92 percent of them generally buy their travel related necessities online. According to these consumers, online travel agencies have cheaper rates, are the easiest to use and offer all the relevant information. A word of caution is necessary for those using the Internet for their travel bookings. Be sure to navigate the site, verify that the agent has a good back-up system.

Also ensure that there are no added costs that are credited to your credit bills.

Till a few years ago, travel agents provided free services to their customers. Travel agents worked as agents for airlines, hotels, rental car companies, etc. The agencies worked on a commission basis from these suppliers.

But free travel agent services began changing as a result of certain changes in the rate of commissions. For example, in 1995 Delta Airlines imposed a $50 limit on domestic airline commission rates.

Be A Conscientious Solo Traveler

To a greater extent, more people prefer to spend their holiday vacations in discovering new destinations abroad. Recently, there have been trends in going alone for a holiday vacation. Solo travel can be a lot of fun contrary to what most people think of as a boring set-up. Traveling alone can actually be very exciting and rewarding. There are certain times that we want to spend some time away from the thoroughness of our daily busy lives.

Planning out a solo travel tour could stress you out, particularly if you are unfamiliar about your travel destination and how to find the best single travel deals. Here are guidelines that will help you enjoy a pleasurable and soothing vacation while keeping yourself safe at the same time.

-Be conscientious in making travel arrangements and don’t forget the basics. Have a duplicate copy of your important documents such as IDs, passport, and itineraries. Inform your family and friends of your vacation plan and when you will be leaving and returning.

-Travel around by means of a travel company; they usually have travel operators who plan vacations for single tourists. Since you travel on your own, it is likely that you will meet new people and make new friends within your tour group. Going out on a solo travel tour with a small group of people and a travel guide will help you stay out of harm’s way.

-Travel companies typically cater to people in pairs. Solo tourists frequently get the shaft of it and more likely they have to pay additional charges for the tour when they avail single travel deals alone. Thus, it will be worthy if you look for a single travel deals with the least fee.

-Finding out and learning as much as you can about the culture of people in your travel destination is one of the most excellent ways to keep yourself safe. In that manner, you do not give idea to the locals that you are a tourist. The World Wide Web is at your disposal in keeping yourself informed with the latest guide books about how the locals act and speak, what they wear, and where they eat. Make sure also to acquaint yourself with the local bylaws and customs. It is likely that you will become a prospect for theft if you act like the locals do.

-Mingle and make friends with other travelers. Solo travel can be lonesome but it can also be fun; that depends on how you deal with the circumstance. When you get into a solo travel tour, it is good to make new friends with your fellow tourists within the tour group, the travel guide,

Planning on travel alone and booking single travel deals do have intrinsic risks. The aforementioned guidelines will be able to keep you out of repressive situations out of the country. If you have smoothened out all the essential details about your trip abroad, you’ll do just fine on your solo expedition.

Top 6 Best Travel Gifts

It is never easy to choose a perfect and dashing travel gift for your friends and family. At times, you simply get blank as to what type of gift you must choose for your brother, sister, cousin, father, mother, classmate, girlfriend or boyfriend. When it comes to travel gifts, one does not have much choices. Especially when you do not know anything about traveling. So what type of travel gift is right for your friend? Here is a list of top 6 travel gifts to make things easy for you.

1- Card Cover
A traveler card cover is especially made for travelers. Most of the travelers do not keep their wallet with them when they travel. And even if they do, they put their cards elsewhere for various reasons. Travel style card cover is made from PVC. Your friend can put all his/her cards in it. It is very easy to use card cover and these come in different colors. Choose one for your loved one today.

2- Earphones
Earphone is something that every traveler needs. They used to listen to their favorite music when they travel from one place to another. So why not you give them a perfect earphone for their next tour? Earphone is a cheap but very attractive gift.

3- Earphone Pouch
Earphone pouch is also a must when we talk about travel earphones. I mean, it is not easy to take care of a small earphone especially when you are on the move. So every traveler needs an earphone pouch to keep his/her earphone safe. You can either give away earphone pouch or you can give both the earphones as well as its pouch to your loved ones.

4- Travel Bag
A travel bag is the most important thing that every traveler needs. It is one of the basic necessities of traveling. Whether it be a small folding bag or a giant size travel bag, every traveler needs one. And this could be a great gift for your traveler mate. Buy a folding bag for him and surprise him with your smart choice.

5- Scratch Map
Not all the travelers use scratch maps but all of them do use a map. A scratch map is a modified form of traditional maps. However, most of the travelers now use Google maps, GPS and other more effective tools while traveling, but most of them still use traditional maps. You can send a scratch map to your buddy and I am sure he will love it. You can choose to buy a world map or a map of a specific country for your family and friends.

6- Passport Cover
Made from pure PVC, these passport covers come in different bright colors. Since travelers have to move with their passports and identity cards, so why not give a passport cover to your friend so that he can keep his passport safe all the times. Passport cover will keep it safe for years.