Budget - The dirty word in travel

When it's time to plan a new trip there's one thing that causes more anxiety than the airport.  The 'B' word... The mention of the word budget causes strange reactions.  People get all nervous, clam up or stutter. some just get downright offended.  It's really not a trick question though. No one's implying you're on a tight budget and want to eat street food and stay in hostels.

You may have no idea what the costs are of a trip, but you know whether you're looking to spend  around two or $20,000.  If you're truly just starting to plan, it's best to set your expectations in the beginning to know what you're in for.  Hawaii is big on everyone's list for some reason until they see what those tickets will cost.  $500 won't get you very far, but I've heard that as a budget. Here are some quick tips to get you started on creating a rough budget for your next fabulous adventure.  


1.A quick google search will tell you a ball park for airline tickets.  This is a big chunk of your budget that won't vary by too much.  You can adjust the number of days you travel and the type of hotel, but you've got to get there somehow.  


2. Think about the type of hotel you like and see what that costs where you want to go.  Our online booking link can give you a starting point for resorts and hotels in Mexico, the Caribbean and Costa Rica.


3. Read guides and blogs to get an idea of what food cost in your chosen destination.  The Travel Channel or Food Network has probably done a show where you want to go.  Look up some of their recommendations and you can gauge how much you'll need for food.  


After you've come up with a ball park figure it is much easier to plan.  Now you know whether you can stay a little longer than you anticipated or need to save a little more.  Then it's time for the fun stuff! 


4. Work with a travel professional you trust.  Whether that's me (I hope!) or someone at your favorite 800 number, building a rapport is crucial.  You need to be comfortable saying 'whoa, that's too much!' or expressing you'd like something a little more upscale.  No one wants you to be unhappy, but we're not mind readers.  


The best packing list to lighten your vacation load


The best packing list to lighten your vacation load

Do you find yourself bring a slew of outfits on trips?  Business trips can be tricky because you need professional and casual clothing.  The weather on vacation can vary and you definitely want to look great in those pics.for your friends and family.  

Could you travel for 7 weeks with one carry on? Here's a great packing list for women that can help you do just that!  Air travel is already such a hassle, why add extra stress of lost luggage, not to mention the cost of checked bags.  We almost never need 3 outfits in one day, so although it may look cute in pictures most of us could lighten up a bit!

Traveling with the Flow

I ran across an interesting quote today online that sums up my views on travel.


"travel" and "travail" have the same Old French root. Go with the flow and treat travel as the character-building endeavor it invariably is."


I like to check out reviews when I have free time and it seems most often complaints arise when people either don't have reasonable expectations (which I addressed in an earlier blog) or are so rigid that one little mishap snowballs into a ruined vacation. Remember that you are visiting a foreign country with different customs. That is the very reason why we are visiting them! Natural beauty combined with an unhurried pace characteristic of the Caribbean is the anecdote for our American plugged-in, fast paced routines.

If you allow it, you'll learn something. We have enjoyed so much getting to know the crew and staff of the ships and resorts we have been to. (usually more than fellow guests) I remember all of my head waiters in the dining room of cruises and of course the bartenders at resorts! Not in a patronizing way, but a genuine personal exchange. I've met someone working to ensure a better life for their children back in the Phillipines, an Ivy League hospitality trained crewmember from India and an Irish-Mexican singer moonlighting as a waiter until they moved back to Ireland with family. Tell me you can get stories like that on your average day at home. Listening to someone can put a whole new perspective on your life and opinions. I met someone in Cancun that was heartbroken over not being able to visit their children in America...put a whole new spin on the immigration issue for me. Another great quote I posted earlier is "Travel is fatal to prejudice..." When you relax you can't help but see we are all much more alike than different. And believe me, once you stop acting like a walking American wallet more than likely you'll be treated better

Top 10 Tips to Overcome Airline Stress

Check out Forbes Traveler's Top 10 Tips to Overcome Airline Stress. I don't know if you can overcome the airline stress, but there are some great tips to deal with it. Airports and flights are just a necessary transportation evil to me. They are a pain to deal with! One of the best parts of living in South Florida was not having to fly to go on a cruise. I wish I could just wake up in my chosen destination without having to go through this pre and post trip torture.

These travel cartoons pretty accurately reflect my view of air travel these days.

Why you should purchase travel insurance

I have always offered insurance to each and every client and require a waiver from those who choose not to purchase it. We are just such a litigious society these days and I don't want to leave myself open to liability in case someone realizes too late they did need the coverage.

So why is insurance so important? Check out Peter Greenberg's advice. Though the article is a couple of years old it is still relevant. Maybe even more so with the steady decline of airline service and increase of fees!

Maybe I'm extra cautious from personal experience with all types of insurance, but I always get it. (living in south Florida we had 5 car accidents in 2 years, only 1 our fault...my health insurance hates me I think) Luckily I've never had to make a travel insurance claim, but the peace of mind is definitely worth it. I have heard some horror stories from people who did.

My personal top reasons to buy travel insurance.....


Medical coverage

It's not just for old people! One couple on vacation in Greece found themselves needing emergency medical attention when the husband slipped and hit his head on a rock during a shore excursion. This will also cover you if you need assistance replacing your prescriptions, or if you personal health insurance does not cover you outside the U.S.



Lost or delayed baggage

The airlines lose an average of 10,000 bags PER DAY! Yep, not a year. It's still a small percentage of the total amount of luggage handled, but it still sucks when it's yours. What happens when your bags are delayed and you're hopping on your cruise ship in a couple of hours. Who's going to reimburse you for all the clothes you have to buy till you get back? (Well, let's hope you're not in this situation b/c you've also taken my advice to never fly in on the day of sailing, but that's another blog)


Travel Guard covers your kids free!

pretty self explanatory, you can't beat free.



Cruisers biggest fear behind 'not being able to drink all that water'. Get your money back, not just a cruise line voucher in the event your trip is canceled.

Travel On Purpose