Is There a Travel Consultant on Your Team?

OK, I have to admit… I book my own travel. I’ve been vacillating back and forth for months and months on whether to add a travel agent (aka travel consultant) to my team of experts that help make my life easier and I just haven’t done it yet. Now don’t get too impressed that I have a ‘team of experts’ – the list is short. It includes the lawn guy who’s also now the pest control guy, the maid, my hair stylist, my all-important driver to and from the airport, and that’s about it. But they’re all people who can save me time, save me money and can make recommendations based on their experience with me and my preferences. Hmmm… sounds like a travel consultant also.

So to help me make my decision, I thought I’d pretend that you’re asking me questions and I’m giving you the answers. It makes the writing so more interesting than just talking to myself.

Q: So why in these days on online booking of everything should I use the services of a travel consultant?

A: Online booking of travel may be the best way to go if you have a simple flight to book, have no long list of special needs, and know what you’re doing. I like to go to Travelocity or Expedia and search out my options and prices, but then I book my ticket on the airline’s direct site. I just trust that if I have any issue with my ticket that their airline will be more helpful to me.

I’ve only ever booked a ticket on one of these online sites when I needed a flight that had one airline on the outbound and another airline on the return.

Because I routinely fly to the same city, I just jump on that airline’s site and can have a ticket booked within seconds. But when my husband and I are both flying and we’re originating in different, then a travel consultant makes much more sense. I spend an excessive amount of time searching multiple airline sites trying to get us to arrive and depart at somewhat the same time.

If you have special needs (allergic to peanuts, pets, people, etc.), then a travel consultant can help ensure that your seats and/or flights are suitable for you. If you’re traveling internationally and are concerned with connecting flights, tight connections, passport or health requirements, go to the expert on your team.

Q: What can a travel consultant really do that I can’t do myself?

A: Besides what I just mentioned above, they can also:

Scout out lower prices than you may be able to find.

Help you with recommendations and prices on cruise bookings and most other forms of travel packages (guided tours, all-inclusive resorts, safaris, etc.) based on YOUR needs and desires.

Keep you in the know about luggage fees, luggage limits, TSA, travel rules in other countries, best times to travel based on weather and more.

Help resolve travel issues (cancelled flights, oversold hotels) and complex travel itineraries.

All with personal service and expert knowledge.

Q: What does a travel consultant charge to use their services?

A: The fee depends on the consultant. While some of the more luxury agencies have higher fees, the average fee is quite marginal. Some travel consultants will even drop the fee or offer a discount once you have finalized your trip with them. Plus, you can always ask an consultant upfront what their fees are and decide for yourself if it’s worth it. Your time is valuable also… so consider the value of the hours that you’re searching for your own travel and the fee for the travel consultant then looks very reasonable.

Q: So what are the requirements for a travel consultant to become part of your ‘team of experts’?

A: Just a few minor requirements to fulfill:

  • They recognize who I am when I call and say “Hi, it’s Carol.” I do not want an agency where I speak to someone different each time I call.
  • They know my preferences and my type of travel. When I say “Bruce and I both want to get to New York City around 6pm on a Thursday,” they’ll know to put me on Continental, him on Delta, and get us both aisle seats (exit row for me, any row with a power outlet for him).
  • They know our 1,000 places to see before we die, know where we’ve already been, and call us when they see a great deal to a place we’ve yet to go.
  • They book our cruises and our hotels and airfare. No more cruise-only people that leave the rest up to us.
  • They provide recommendations for places to see, things to do, restaurants, etc. because they’ve already been there!
  • If they’re not an expert in a certain area, such as finding us a house to rent in Santorini, they’ll find someone who is.
  • They offer reasonable fees and throw in a freebie now and then because we use them so much (is that too much to ask??).

Q: So are you still going to book all of your own travel?

A: Heck no! I’ll take resumes starting today from any travel consultant who can meet my requirements! — I’m interviewing!

Benefits of Self Planned Travel

The advent of the internet has really speed up and made self-planned travel more pervasive and easier. These days, travel destination, airlines, hotels, car-rental companies and others advertise their product more aggressively and allow the individual travelers to self-plan their own travels. It is an exciting new way to travel that appeals to more and more people.

The most obvious benefit here is the flexibility in the self-planned travel holidays. With this form of travel, you can customize the self-planned travel right down to the last minute details. Things and sights that travel agents avoid can now be included in the program, allowing travelers to be more targeted in their travel objectives. Travelers can take up more unconventional destinations and activities and include these into their plans. The weirdest combinations are now possible. You can plan a wine tasting tour together with a skiing tour now. Many people interested in this form of self-planned travels, see this flexibility as a great asset.

Secondly, with the internet, choices become more varied for the self-planned traveler. Through the internet, travelers actually can have more options for flights, hotel, transport, activities and so forth. Very often, these companies are willing to offer personalize service to secure the business of these form of travelers.

The varied choices in travel products and services also mean that there is a high chance of getting the lowest price for the products or service. For example, airlines charge different rates to fly to the same destinations. For the budget conscious self-plan traveler, this lower price range is an important factor. And very often, the travel companies know this price competition is around and are willing to lower their prices or offer special discounts to travelers, resulting in travelers getting higher class products at lower cost.

Very often, self-planned travel involve a fair bit of self-drive vacationing. This offers the travelers a great way to alter or change their travel plans at will. If a town appears interesting and full of excitement, travelers might just extend their stay. If someone mention that just a couple of hundred miles down the road is an exciting place of interest, the travelers might just change their original plan and head for this new place of interest. This form of positive change makes the entire self-planned travel program more meaningful.

Next,the group size of the self-planned travel can now be up to the traveling group. There is no more such thing as a minimum size group to travel. Small groups are also very possible for people to travel in.

Another key benefit is the improved cultural exchange between the self-planned travelers and the locals. In group tours, extended mingling with the locals are often difficult as time is limited. People are always rushing from destination to destination. But in a self-planned travel program, travelers can afford to spend more time interacting with the local population, thus gaining more insight into the community. Self-planned travels are often repeated because strong ties are established in previous trips.

Traveling in this form of self-planned travel is indeed gaining popularity as the benefits are substantial, especially with the flexibility, ease of planning and also the cultural exchange. But before anyone head into any self-planned travel, it is important to consider some detail planning first.

Five Reasons You’ll Love Being a Traveling Nurse

In your wildest dreams, could you imagine a job where you get to practice your skills, travel the world, see exotic sites, explore distant cultures, and experience the thrill of adventure every single day? Maybe it sounds too good to be true, but this is the kind of lifestyle that a traveling nurse lives.

Obviously, the life of a travel nurse is not 24/7 tourism. There is work to be done, and difficult situations to face. Despite the challenges of the job, travel nurses experience a whole new level of intensity that a traditional nursing position could never offer. Here are the reasons you’ll love it.

You get to see the world. Is there really a job that lets you travel world? Yes, but there aren’t many of them. Travel caretakers may work in third-world countries, remote regions, or isolated mission hospitals. While many travel caretaker agencies only utilize nurses within the U.S. you may select an agency that sends nurses worldwide. Either way, you’re going to travel somewhere.

You get to experience new cultures. Each area of the country and each region of the world boast its own unique culture. When you move from point A to point B, you will be immersed in a new culture. Cross-cultural experiences are enriching opportunities, allowing you to increase both your personal and professional skills.

You experience variety. Are you the type of person that doesn’t like to be tied down to one place, one job, and one role? Becoming a travel caretaker will put you in a situation where variety is the name of the game.

You receive higher pay. Generally speaking, travel caretaker receive higher pay rates than traditional stationary nurses. There are, of course, a lot of variables that affect the salary issue, including experience, licensing level, area of service, etc. Usually, a travel nursing contract provides for your housing including utilities. In situations where the agency does not provide nursing housing, they usually provide a generous housing stipend.

You develop a strong resume. Employers love to see travel or international experience. You may remain a travel assistant for the remainder of your career, or you may wish to settle down and look for a stationary position. Whatever your choice, you are adding invaluable experience to your resume by traveling. Being a travel assistant is a wise career move in more ways than one.

Travel nursing isn’t for everyone. It comes with adventure. This is precisely the appeal of the job for many nurses. If you have a sense of adventure, being a traveling nurse is probably the right calling for you.

Impact of Cloud Computing on Travel Industry

Introduction

The last decade has seen major changes in the travel distribution landscape. First, it was the Internet that started a revolution and forever changed how the travel industry operates. This online boom followed by subsequent economic slowdown has created new dynamics in travel distribution. The proliferation of smart phones and social media has resulted in further creating both chaos as well as new opportunities. While opening up new avenues for growth, these developments have also created new operational challenges.

Challenges faced by travel distribution industry

Dynamic Demand

One key nature of the travel industry is that the demand for travel is highly seasonal and cyclic. This creates a challenge for any operations manager in terms of capacity planning and right sizing of the IT support infrastructure. Planning for peak size can result in underutilization and lead to higher marginal cost. On the other hand, not planning for peak load runs the risk of lost transaction opportunities, unsatisfied customers and finally business losses. This is one of the primary reasons why most travel distribution players end up having higher IT infrastructure cost and lower operating margins.

Increased Search Volume

Increased number of travel portals along with a changing pattern of travel booking behavior of the travelers, has resulted in a huge surge in ‘look to book’ ratio. This increased number of availability request per booking now runs into thousands from a mere single digit number few years back, putting an enormous pressure on existing IT infrastructure. According to Pegasus Solutions, global processor of hotel transactions through the GDS and ADS channels, the look-to-book ratio soared to around +60% over 2009 levels and is expected to rise further. Today’s common look-to-book ratio is almost at a 2,500 -3,000 to 1, -primarily due to growth of online reservation and the changing consumer behavior who is now looking ‘value for money’ deals. For this, travel shoppers use multiple avenues such as search engines, referral sites, websites, mobile applications, and social media.

Business Disruptions

Just prior to the recession, online travel booking soared to all time highs attracting further investments in IT infrastructure in demand anticipation. However, discretionary travel was one of the first spends that was cut down during the slowdown. This caused a severe strain on financials and travel companies had to rethink their models yet again.

Increase in number of sales channels

Popularity of smart phones has persuaded travel players to embrace mobility as a medium to manage bookings and provide other experiences to increase customer stickiness. At the same time, social media sites have also become very popular and travel portals are trying to utilize this trend by integrating different social media components with their sites. Of course, more number of channels also increases complexities in product management.

Cloud computing from a travel distribution perspective

The Cloud helps enterprises to have a dynamically scalable abstracted computing infrastructure that is available on-demand and on a pay-per-use basis. This model not only saves the IT teams from investing heavily on infrastructure, but also shields them from the intricacies involved in infrastructure setup and management. Presently, apart from providing the on-demand IT infrastructure, cloud service providers typically provide interfaces for other related IT management services. To understand the application of Cloud computing to the travel industry, availability searching or shopping is probably the best example; it is by and large the biggest resource consumer in a typical travel process. In today’s circumstances, travel enterprises who run their entire travel application on a single infrastructure platform put unnecessary stress on operational budgets. One of the probable solutions to this problem is to decouple the availability search functionality from the traditional CRS system transfer it on an infrastructure that can support flexible demand. At the onset, it seems to be a complex and upheaval task, as it creates operational challenges such as latency. However, these challenges can be handled through a cloud based solution which offers higher scalability by using modern architecture patterns. On the other hand, mobility is witnessing an unprecedented growth in demand – this is another area where a cloud strategy can bring in competitive advantages for travel organizations. The key challenges that travel enterprises are facing today regarding mobile and social media channels are manifold, viz.,

  • With the advancements of mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android, Symbian, and Blackberry, travel enterprises need to invest in leveraging these to further their distribution and fulfillment channels.
  • Mobility, being a rapidly evolving technology, is difficult to predict in terms of short term as well as long term demand. Due to this, travel enterprises are facing a challenge in scoping the required infrastructure for supporting mobility channel.
  • Travel enterprises need to create a business model to measure increase in revenue and profit against the costs incurred on mobility & social media investments.

Cloud based flexible and on-demand infrastructure enables a travel enterprise to offer mobility and social media channels without incurring any fixed cost. Using a cloud infrastructure, a travel enterprise can start in a small way and grow into these evolving markets with a lower risk and financial strain.

Key concerns in adopting cloud based system

Availability of a Service

Organizations worry about whether utility computing services will have adequate availability, and this makes them wary of Cloud Computing. But in reality, cloud infrastructure providers such as Amazon and Google have much lower outage compared to any internal IT system.

Data lock-in

The primary way to access the cloud platforms is through proprietary APIs. Thus, enterprises feel that they cannot easily extract their data and programs from one site to run on another. But in reality, all major service providers have an obligation in their contract to return the data to the enterprise. These service providers also have data access APIs that can be used to extract data in standard formats.

Data Confidentiality and Statutory Requirements

Many enterprises believe that their data will not be secure in the cloud, since current cloud offerings are essentially public networks. However in reality most of these cloud service providers have better data protection and security mechanism than most IT organizations. They achieve this through the usage of audit trail, encrypted storage, and network middle-boxes. Service providers also comply with various statutory and audit requirements related to enterprise and personal data security and usage.

Integration with external systems

Since travel distribution systems interact with multiple external applications, travel enterprises always have a concern about integrating the cloud based system with other external systems. However, all major cloud service providers have web service interfaces that can be utilized to integrate the cloud based system with other external systems.

Solution for the ‘long tail’

As we know, the travel industry comprises of many small to mid-sized companies. A large majority of which are very entrepreneurial and niche in terms of the products and services they offer. Companies in this ‘long tail’ have little or limited IT knowledge or support and rely on numerous third parties for IT. Such companies always find it difficult to balance their IT spending between IT upgrades and innovating on their solutions, and this tends to become a barrier for business growth. Even today, many small time travel enterprises do not even have an IT system, because they cannot afford to setup an IT operation in-house. Economics of Cloud environment can change this basic premise and make it both affordable and beneficial for travel enterprises of any size who can use this service to derive a competitive advantage. Such an environment brings tremendous advantages to such companies because it also helps them to manage their cash flow better. At the other end of the horizon, start-ups are finding it easier to build and offer products like CRSs, tour operating systems, distribution systems or basic inventory systems on a SaaS model, which is a stronger value proposition and provides a competitive edge to their offerings.

Business outcomes of using cloud based systems

From the above discussion we can conclude that travel enterprise can achieve business growth by leveraging the power of cloud computing:

  • A cloud-based solution reduces the total cost of IT ownership for the travel enterprises and offers performance, reliability, security, and flexible scalability advantages
  • Travel enterprises are able to increase customer base due to higher availability, low congestion, and additional sales channels
  • Competitive advantage to the small and mid-sized enterprise in the form of lower fixed or upfront capital cost
  • Improved operational efficiency due to low marginal cost
  • Ability to manage risks better by reducing fixed investment on any new initiative

Why Your Business Needs Corporate Travel Management

Are you a manager or business owner constantly finding yourself sending employees and sales people to conventions, networking events, and seminars all around the country? You are probably finding the process a bit stressful and have already tried different techniques to make things easier. If you have not made much progress in streamlining your corporate travel, it’s understandable. After all, organizing corporate travel can be a challenging task regardless of the size of your corporation. That’s why you should contract a corporate travel management firm. An established firm has the experience and expertise that will make your business travel organization a walk in the park. You would be surprised at how much time and money you can save on your corporate travel operations by allowing a professional to tweak, track, and trim a few things here and there.

If you have been organizing your corporate travel in house, it’s time to allocate your time more effectively and outsource your travel management to a firm. Did you know that you could be saving money on corporate travel expenses in more ways than one? Whether your employees are attending seminars in the US or traveling abroad to expand international markets, you will be able to benefit from the services of a corporate travel manager. From discounts on airline travel and hotels to important expense accounting tricks, a travel management firm has that special sauce that helps your company save.

One of the most attractive advantages to working with a corporate travel management firm is the savings on airfare. If you decide to partner with a large firm who purchases airline tickets in bulk you will easily pay for the management fees using the savings you realize on airfares alone. By working with a travel management service you increase your buying power by orders of magnitude and keep more cash in your expense account. Another way business travel firms can save money for your firm is by connecting your employees ahead of time with several discounted hotels so you don’t just save money on hotel costs, but your employees save time researching hotels. And, as we all know, time is money.

Another excellent benefit of travel management that should not be understated is the tax and corporate accounting advice that is included. A good travel management company will have a unique way of recording and combining travel expenses that allows you to deduct more taxable expenses from your corporate income taxes. If you have not considered, recorded and tracked every single transaction that is accounted for during a corporate voyage (which includes food, drinks, an entertainment expenses) then your company is paying too much in taxes. The key is to write off everything related to every business travel. This is a smart and perfectly legal method that can save your company even more money. You might be thinking about the absolute nightmare of tracking every employee travel expense, but don’t worry, your travel manager will have that figured out too.

Corporate travel management firms these days are incredibly savvy when it comes to technology. Many firms offer a free app that allows each employee to track every single expense as they go about their day on any given trip. The data is uploaded to the app server in real time allowing you to track expenses, compare to other employees and generally keep an eye on which expenses are being billed to the corporate account and why. If you prefer not to see or deal with this information, you can simply request a status report at the end of each month or after each trip and the firm will deliver a summary of all expenses to your smartphone or laptop.

Corporate travel management is crucial for any corporation whether big or small. Keeping track of expenses, obtaining cheap airfares and hotel stays as well as keeping the expense accounting up to par is not a luxury, it is critical for staying competitive and running an efficient business. Most travel management firms will charge a reasonable fee that will pay for itself with a portion of the savings realized. Besides, what is the dollar value that you place on your own time and that of your employees? Any wise business owner or corporate manager knows that time is money.

Feel Secure With Best Travel Insurance Coverage

Bajaj Allianz life insurance is a distinct corporate among the world giants such as Bajaj auto and Allianz group. Bajaj auto is the largest manufacturer of two-wheelers and three wheelers in the world and Allianz group is one of the top ranked insurance companies in the world. Bajaj Allianz insurance company has more than 800 offices around the whole world and about 4 million satisfied clients. Bajaj Allianz life insurance company provides an extensive variety of insurance plans and policies.

Bajaj Allianz insurance offers convenient payment schemes like debit cards, credit cards, cheques, or directly from their customers bank accounts. The friendly and patient agents of Bajaj Allianz life insurance helps in the specifications of insurance policies, quotes and terms that best suits each individuals needs.

Bajaj Allianz offers a wide variety of insurance in India. Travel companion, travel elite and student travel are the most important insurance plans under Bajaj Allianz. They are also providing other travel plans like corporate insurance, travel Asia and travel swadesh yatra. Let’s go in to some details of these plans.

Travel companion is a travel insurance policy which is a comprehensive package which provides complete medical and health cover to the international traveler. You can choose a suitable plan according to your requirements from the travel companion insurance plan which offers customized plans for individual, family and senior citizen of age, 61-70. This policy covers personal accident, medical expenses and repatriation, loss and delay of checked baggage, personal liability, loss of passport, cashless service, hospitalization expenses, hijack cover, emergency cash advance, trip delay, golfers hole-in-one etc.

Travel elite is a customized online travel insurance that provides the discerning traveler a good range of policies to choose from, where each policy will be customized to meet your specific requirements. One can choose the policy depending on whether they are a student, a businessman, senior citizen, corporate executive or one traveling with the family. There are plans for individual, family, and senior citizen of age, 61-70 and senior citizen of age, 71-75 in the travel elite insurance plan offered by Bajaj Allianz.

Student travel insurance plan is specially designed for students to make their travel risk free. This plan offers protection for a student’s as well as coverage for other essential needs like medical and hospitalization help. There are three plans which come under student travel. They are study companion plan, student elite plan and scholars guide and brilliant minds.

Corporate international travel is a comprehensive plan which provides complete medical and health cover to the international business traveler. This plan covers your business trips abroad. Bajaj Allianz offers customized plans for virtually every requirement of corporate employees traveling abroad. Companion, elite and age 61-70 plans come under the corporate insurance plan.

Travel Asia policy is a comprehensive plan which offers complete medical and health cover to the international traveler. You can choose from the travel companion and travel elite plan which come under the travel Asia policy.

Don’t worry. Bajaj Allianz also provides travel for the domestic traveler. Travel swadeshi yatra is an insurance plan that takes care of all your needs during domestic travel. This policy comes under 4 different plans which are customized to suit the various needs of a domestic traveler.

Over 65s Travel Insurance – 4 Reasons Why It Is So Important

Is you are wondering if holiday insurance is really worth it, It is far more important than you think! If you are thinking about not taking out insurance to save a few dollars, think twice. You could financially ruin your retirement. It can be obscenely expensive to access health care overseas. There are a few companies out there that specialize in over 65s travel insurance. You just need to do a Google search to hunt them down. Here are 4 of the top reasons why getting travel insurance is absolutely necessary, especially when you’re looking forward to enjoying your retirement.

In travel, there’s a wise saying that goes: “If you can’t afford to get travel insurance, then you can’t afford to travel at all.” Getting insurance has always been important, but it’s even MORE important today, with the state of world travel. Here’s reason #1:

Reason #1 – To Cover Health Emergencies.

It’s a hard fact to swallow, but most of us simply aren’t as healthy and strong as a senior citizen as we were in our 20’s and 30’s. That’s why it’s always a good idea to get travel insurance to cover health emergencies. Adequate travel insurance will even cover the costs if you have to be flown home, even if you’re on a stretcher and have to take up the space of six to nine seats! However, don’t expect to be covered for pre-existing illnesses, you are considered a high risk. This fact should save you hours of search time.

Reason #2 – To Cover Travel Delay Costs.

Cancellations and delays are a fact of travel. Just in case your first flight gets delayed and you miss your connecting flight, adequate travel insurance will cover the costs of re-booking, hotel, and food. It’ll soften the blow of the delay, and perhaps even give you a chance to explore the town of your stopover a bit!

Reason #3 – To Cover Trip Cancellation.

Remember that weekend trip that got canceled because you got sick on Friday? Unfortunately, that can also happen now, even if you’re already free from the stresses of work! So as a precaution, get some travel insurance to cover the costs in case the trip does get canceled.

Getting adequate travel insurance will also make sure you’re covered in case your travel agency suddenly goes bankrupt. Unfortunately, it happens, particularly online travel agencies. There are so many small travel agencies popping up these days, some unfortunately not as deep-pocketed than others.

Reason #4 – In Case Of Insurrection.

Switch on the news these days, and you’ll see a revolution here and there, an earthquake, cyclone or tsunami. Unfortunately, things aren’t doing so well in many parts of the world. These things tend to happen without any warning! What will you do if a situation changes at your destination?

Ask the travel agency (or the travel insurance provider) if they cover the costs incurred by such events. If you’re not sure, read the fine print. If you’re not 100% about the peace-and-order situation in your intended destination, then you’d better get covered. Travel insurance should not only cover trip cancellation in case your government releases a travel warning to a particular destination, but if something should happen when you are in a country, they can help with evacuation.

So the next time you plan your vacation, factor in the costs of travel insurance. After all, you can’t totally enjoy your vacation if you don’t have the peace of mind that only travel insurance can give you! There are plenty of options available for seniors and over 65s travel insurance.

Ten Tips for a Trouble Free Paris Taxi Experience

If you’re visiting Paris for more than a few days, you will most likely have an occasion to use a taxi. Maybe you’ll be using a taxi for your Paris Airport transfer – traveling from Charles de Gaulle or Orly airport to the Paris city center. Or maybe you’ll want to splurge for a night when you visit the Paris Opera. The Parisian taxi system is heavily regulated, so these tips will help to ensure that you’re Paris taxi experiences don’t turn into Paris taxi adventures!

    1. Know how to find an unoccupied taxi – Spotted from down the street, it’s not always easy to tell if a taxi is occupied or not. Luckily, the “Taxi” light on top of the car tells you everything you need to know. The old system (which will be phased out by July 2012) uses a white plastic sign that is either lit or unlit. IF the light is lit (yellowish light), the taxi is unoccupied and you may stop it. If the light is off, the car is occupied, the driver is on a call, or the driver’s shift has ended. The new system, beginning in 2011 uses a white plastic sign with a green light (unoccupied) or a red light (occupied).
  • Taxi Stands – In Paris, certain locations throughout the cities are set up as taxi stands. Whenever you’re ready to get a taxi, simply go to a main thoroughfare and look for a sign next to the street that says “Taxis”. On busy streets during busy hours, you may find a few people already waiting. The rule is first come, first served, so locals will not treat you kindly if you try to jump the queue. Taxis are prohibited from taking on passengers within 50m of a Taxi Stand. So if you are having problems getting a free taxi to stop for you, but they all stop at the end of the street. Take a look and see if there is a Taxi Stand close by.
  • Extra Fees – Taxis are allowed to charge you an extra fee for certain services. Pickups at train stations, airports allow a supplement of up to 1€. Each suitcase put in the trunk (over more than 5kg) maybe be charged 1€. Animals and a fourth passenger may be charged a supplement.
  • Busy Nights and Rainy Days – Be aware that the number of taxis available is regulated and is not necessarily the number that would be available in a free market. On rainy days during tourist season (April – October) in touristy areas and on weekends on the Champs-Elysees after 2AM, it may be very difficult to find an unoccupied taxi.
  • Use a radio taxi – If you are in an out-of-the way location, consider calling a taxi. You’ll pay a little bit more, but you’ll also avoid very long waits in the case of a busy night or a rainy day during tourist season. If you’re in a hotel the reception can call the taxi for you. If not, you can use a service like Taxi G7 or Taxis Bleues.
  • Pay in Cash – Most taxis don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay in cash (Euros). A tip of approximately 10% is standard.
  • Avoid unlicensed taxis – Legal taxis in Paris have a TAXI sign on the roof. From time to time in touristy locations and at the airport you will be approached by people asking if you need a taxi. These offers should be declined. Legitimate taxis stay in their cars and wait for passengers at the taxi stand (including at the airport). The unlicensed taxis could charge you much more than the normal fare.
  • Write your destination address on a piece of paper – Many taxi drivers in Paris only speak French. So unless your French language skills are very good, in order to avoid misunderstandings, it’s best to write your destination address on a piece of paper and hand it to the driver
  • Know the fare system. Parisian taxis charge three different fares: A,B, and C. The A fare is the cheapest, it is valid during the daytime, inside the city limits. The ‘B’ fare is more expensive, it is valid during evening hours and on weekends inside the city limits, and at night outside the city. The ‘C’ fare is the most expensive, it is valid outside the city limits and inside the city limits at night on weekends
  • Take a ride along the river Seine late at night. Driving along the Seine while Paris sleeps is a good way to experience the City of Light. Late one night, between 3am and 5am, take advantage of the opportunity to see Paris in a new way. Ask the taxi driver to drive you along the Seine between Bastille and Place de la Concorde. You’ll be glad you did!
  • Cheap International Travel Insurance – How To Find The Best Plan

    When traveling abroad, one must always take in consideration good and cheap international travel insurance. Travel insurances have now become a necessity when traveling. Many travel companies and insurance companies have coincided so as to make sure they provide the customers with the superb service they truly deserve. There have been many packages that come together with the booking of travels. Several cheap travel insurance can be searched online and offline, through a visit to a well respected travel agency or insurance company. This travel insurance makes sure that a trip is well secured with the assurance that the client will not have to worry about sometimes inevitable situations. Several coverage terms are available for different companies. They key to getting a good deal is through rummaging amidst the plethora of the offers available.

    Being well informed of the availability of the offers is one good way to start a deal. Overseas travel is an adventurous risk which could lead to several uncertain situations as well. Countries have different cultures and even their medical systems are quite different from each other. A traveler may have a medical plan but having one does not assure that the international medical needs will be covered. Aside from these, basically, the two main reasons why a person must get cheap international travel insurance is the fact that sometimes, a trip is cancelled or it is delayed. When this happens, the travel insurance can take care of the expenses to be incurred. Cheap travel insurance worldwide is required for security. It will also provide the client the peace of mind he or she deserves when on the trip. Worldwide travel insurance is a must have for every traveler. An ideal plan covers the trip cancellation, medical transportation expense, baggage loss, delayed departure, curtailment, legal assistance or even overseas funeral expenses. However, carelessness will not be taken cared of by the company. The insurance can be arranged upon the time of booking the trip.

    Most travel agencies offer cheap international insurance on packages. These packages are based on the traveler’s needs and wants. The traveler is therefore always the one in charge. He or she is the one responsible of choosing the perfect plan to suit his travel.

    There are also some travel networks sites on the internet which provide information that is always easy to understand and offer rates that are within your budget. Having cheap online travel insurance can make someone smile without all the worries of unexpected expenses. A couple of them also offer a free and instant quote for the traveler to know what type of insurance he or she is most likely to avail.

    There are several types of travel insurance. There is this thing called the emergency evacuation covering the medical expenses, group travel, annual multi-trip for those who travel on a regular basis, international insurance benefits for families and many more. Global travel insurance is the best way to ensure that the trip will be hassle-free.

    Bermuda Travel Info

    Bermuda is a very popular tourist destination is located about 600 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and is known as the best tropical island in the Atlantic Ocean. Before you travel to Bermuda there is a lot of travel information that will be very useful in making you trip easy and enjoyable.

    Keep these travel tips in mind before you even get to Bermuda:

    An important piece of Bermuda travel info is to remember if you are flying into Bermuda you will need a passport. If you are a taking a cruise to the islands you will only need a government issued I.D. showing the status of your citizenship.

    There is plenty of good medical care available on the island should the need arise, but it is very expensive.

    Another important thing to remember is that in Bermuda, you drive on the left hand side of the road. If you are not experienced in driving on the left hand side there are taxis and bus lines that run throughout the islands.

    Bringing any kind of firearms, many types of knives, or any ammunition at all is illegal and will result in consequences by the law of Bermuda.

    Bermuda does not receive much rain and when the islands do they are usually very short rain storms.

    Bermuda is considered a sub-tropical country so make sure you bring your summer clothes and bathing suits.

    Almost every place in Bermuda will except US dollars.

    Bermuda is one hour ahead of eastern standard time.

    English is the main language of Bermuda, although many locals speak other languages also.

    Anything you will need to purchase in Bermuda will be very expensive due to high import taxes.

    When looking for accommodations, here is a little Bermuda travel information to take into consideration:

    There are many hotels, resorts, and bed and breakfasts to choose from. There are also cottages available to rent throughout the islands.

    There are no all inclusive resorts at all in Bermuda.

    While you may see people camping, it is not allowed for tourists, only natives of the islands.

    While on the islands there are many activities to enjoy:

    The beautiful blue waters and white sandy beaches are one of the main reasons people visit this beautiful group of islands.

    Some of the most popular activities include, golf, snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing. There are also many places you can charter your own boats for deep sea fishing.

    A lot of the restaurants on the islands are English. You will notice English breakfasts, teas, and dinners all over Bermuda.

    Bermuda has excellent seafood. Regional fishermen provide some very tasty and unique fish for the island.

    There is also many historical sites and tons of shopping opportunities available on the islands.

    Another very important piece of information to know while traveling to Bermuda is that there has been an increase in crimes on the islands. The crime rate is much lower than most island nations but remember to keep your eyes open all the time and always be aware of your surrounds.