Dealing With a Travel Agency for Your Trip

When you are going on a trip to attend conferences or to have fun like going to a safari, it starts with searching for travel packages online or getting help from a travel agency. However, before deciding, you must know what you can expect from an online agency to find out the best way to match your needs. The level of service you need would depend on your personal preferences as well as the requirements of your trip.

There are lots of options available whether you choose self-service wherein you can do the searching and booking by yourself, or full-service travel agency that would take care of everything on your behalf – accommodation, meal plans, sites to visit, etc. Depending on the type of trip you will have, there are also different choices you may consider. Some travel agencies only offer packages and others offer a la carte travel services, where you can pick items and pay for each separately.

Expectations on Online Travel Agencies

There are also expectations that are common to every online travel agency. It has something to do with the affordability and quality of the services as well as the level of service offered. When going on tours, the travel expert must meet these expectations before choosing them as your travel plan partner.

Variety of Packages and Destinations

It is not important what specialty the agency have – from niche travel, such as unusual destinations or cruises, to full-service travel. Regardless of what they sell, you need a travel agency that offers options. If you think that the first option you find has the best value, you have no way of verifying that unless there are other options available for you to compare. A reliable self-service or full-service online travel agency provides comparison information to help you decide.

Offers Same Types of Travel from Different Providers

An example of this is when you choose among available flights between two airlines for the same flight leg. An online travel agency cannot be considered as such if they represent only one brand, and if so, customers have no way of determining whether the products or services they offer are valuable or useless. If you can choose among several providers, it means the travel company updates their website with the best options and prices available.

Price Competitiveness

When going on a tour, such as the safaris, some travel companies charge fees to their customers in order to offset their expenses, but those fees should be fair. The rates for the travel services indicated online must be simply what you need to pay if you decide to directly deal with the provider. You should actually pay less for a package plan with other services.

Make You an Instant VIP

Sometimes, it is just hard to get a reservation in some restaurants, and a good travel agency can get that for you. They can even provide you private guides, access to exclusive exhibits, and cheaper premium airfares.

Service-Level Guarantee

This will ensure that you will be treated in a polite manner and you will get what you pay for. They can also take care of little details such as a car hire to make sure that you will not be ripped off. They should also provide you with an assurance that no probable action on their end or the service provider will disrupt your travel.

Possibly the best thing about going online when looking for a travel agency is that you can see customer reviews. You can read their comments about their experiences on the tour, even things such as their transportation from the airport to the hotel and other destinations. You can expect a lot of things from an online travel agency, but if they have these qualities, it guarantees that you will have the best deals.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Strategy 2 for Extraordinary Travel: Have a Well-Designed Plan, Adapted To Your Liking

When you travel in the great trip style, your trip will be independent but well planned. You will be traveling to places that are so remarkable, and seeing things that are so interesting, you will immediately begin to reap the benefits of traveling independently. Before you leave on your trip, you will adapt your trip to your own preferences, interests, style and pace. And you will have the flexibility of altering your timing according to your interests… to pause and fully experience what strikes you.

Traveling anywhere you please using the great trip travel style, either by using a pre-planned trip book of your choice, or by carrying out your own investigation and planning, you will have a complete trip blueprint, based on in-depth research. You will have a good idea of what your options are before you arrive. So you will be able to avoid the frustration of missing out on rich opportunities you really would have liked to experience “if only you had known in time.”

Lack of preparation can add to stress levels on any trip, especially a trip to a foreign country like France or Italy, where people speak a different language, and you may have limited access to the internet while you are traveling. Doing some preliminary groundwork before you leave home will make a tremendous difference in how smoothly your trip goes, and how much fun you have along the way.

With a little pre-planning, and by observing a few simple keys to being a more balanced traveler, you will have better experiences and more fun, and be assured of a great trip every time you travel. These keys include:

1. Balance your trip with a range of activities.

2. Maintain a comfortable pace.

3. Avoid traveling with the crowds.

4. Keep your trip relaxed and fun.

5. Adapt your trip to your liking.

Balance Your Trip with a Range of Activities

You will have the best experience if you maintain variety in what you do. Too much of anything can get tiring. More does not necessarily mean “better,” even for activities that are immensely interesting to you.

As an example, two castles a day, for three days in a row, is definitely out of balance. If you attempt this pace, the charm and the magic, the history and the amazement, will be lost. Stop at four per trip! By the time you reach your fifth castle, you will be on “château overload,” dragging yourself through the motions, and thus “wasting” a castle. It will be much better to save some castles for another year, and intersperse other types of activities into your castle days to break things up a bit.

Maintain a Comfortable Pace

Often travelers try to pack in as much as they possibly can, thinking that by doing so they will get more value for their money and have a more enriching experience. While this may seem to make sense intellectually, it can be a recipe for disaster. It’s easy to get so caught up in the excitement of trying to do everything that you end up feeling rushed and exhausted by the overly-aggressive pace you have imposed on yourself. Ultimately, such errors in pacing can make the enjoyment go out of the trip, or even cause you to get sick. And this you do not want, for numerous and obvious reasons.

While you are on your great trip, traveling independently with your trip-in-a-book guide or your own detailed plan, you will be in control of the pace of your trip. When you need more time, take it. When you spot something marvelous, stop and enjoy it. Lounge on the steps outside d’Orsay, listening to the marvelous pianist playing his full-sized piano on the sidewalk. Hang out watching the sidewalk artist beside the Pompidou Center as he completes his chalk drawing masterpiece. If you discover an organ concert in progress in Notre Dame, take the time to listen to it for as long as you like.

When you are out and about, there’s no need to push yourself too hard. Give yourself permission to slow down, to take “power pauses” to recharge your batteries, and to experience things that pop up along the way. Sometimes “less is more.”

Often you will be walking… at your own pace, pausing where you wish. On your strolls through the elegant Tuileries Gardens, with its vibrant colors and striking sculptures, you will reach a large pond surrounded by inviting chairs, where Parisians gather to sit and bask in the sun. And you will have the freedom to find yourself a chair and join them before you climb the hill to stand in awe surrounded by the misty loveliness of Monet’s waterlily murals in l’Orangerie.

If you have a yen to linger over a coffee, or a glass of wine in a café… If you feel that you’re at the end of your rope and need to sit awhile on a park bench to regain your energies, while watching the parade of people passing by… Even if you’ve just had enough for the day… Set your own pace. When it suits you, especially on the day after a strenuous travel day, allow yourself the luxury of a slow morning, with a relaxing breakfast. Ease into your day as you would on a Saturday at home, after a hard week at work.

Remember, this is your vacation, to be spent as you like. There is no need to set new records of how many museums and attractions you can see in one day. Traveling is not about doing everything you possibly can. It’s about relaxing, unwinding and having great experiences.

Avoid Traveling with the Crowds

When you travel with a group, every place you go will be crowded because you are a crowd. By definition, traveling in the company of 30 others produces a constant reality of “hurry up and wait.” You will suffer through long lines for hotel check-in, to purchase tickets, and to use the restroom. At restaurants, you will be one of 30 people placing your dinner orders at the same time, then awaiting the arrival of your drinks and food, and later your check.

On your great trip travelling independently, you will be in crowd-avoidance mode, moving against the crowds, not with them. Wherever you encounter swarms of people, and see that the lines are building up, you will have the flexibility to go somewhere else instead, then come back later when the crowds disband. So you will be able to admire Monet’s pond lilies, or Van Gogh’s self-portrait, or the model of da Vinci’s rotating bridge, without throngs of people blocking your view. And you will be first in line for ice cream in da Vinci’s park. In Paris you will have in your pocket the “magic” Museum Pass that will allow you to skip the lines at museums. And you will have advance tickets to avoid the lines at the Eiffel Tower.

While you visit the châteaux of the Loire Valley, you will have the time freedom to fully explore these phenomenal and historical palaces, inside and out. If there are crowds blocking the door to Chenonceau, you will be able to shift the order of your visit to take in the gardens first and delay your entry to the palace itself until after the masses have dispersed. You will have time to wander the gardens, as well as to visit the ballroom and royal chambers. And, if you so choose, you will be free to pause for lunch right there, sitting at an outdoor table, with a view of the castle.

When you visit Mont Saint-Michel, again you will enjoy the considerable benefits of traveling against the crowd, moving about in a pattern that separates you from the throngs. Since you will be staying overnight on the Mont, by the time the masses arrive and flow like a torrent through the gates, you already will have climbed up to the Abbey at the top. When the hordes complete their climb to reach the entrance to the Abbey, you will be making your way back down by way of the ramparts.

As the throngs flood the restaurants on the Mont for lunch at noon, racing to bolt down a meal in time to get back to their buses, you will be at liberty to snack on the cheese and crackers you gathered earlier, and wait to dine later, after the streets have emptied and you have the Mont more to yourself. So you will dine at a window table as you watch the spectacle of the tides advancing across the sands at the speed of galloping horses, until the sea surrounds the Mont and renders it an island again.

Keep Your Trip Relaxed and Fun

Have you ever been on a vacation that turned out to be more stressful than your normal work and life at home? Let’s face it, traveling anywhere can be remarkably challenging, whether it be visiting relatives nearby, making your way to a national park you’ve always wanted to see, or embarking on a grand adventure overseas. You find yourself plucked out of your comfort zone and in unfamiliar territory. But travel doesn’t need to add to your stress level, raise your blood pressure, or make you run for antacid tablets.

Go easy on yourself. Anytime you travel and step out of your comfort zone, the number of things that can “challenge” you dramatically increases. Cut yourself some slack when traveling. There’s no reason to get upset when things that are normally simple, and a matter of routine, trip you up and get in your way.

For example, when traveling in a foreign country like France where you don’t speak the language, even finding a restroom can be a challenge. The food is not what you’re used to, and asking simple questions with unfamiliar phrases from a book can feel daunting and embarrassing. Even going to the pharmacy to buy basic essentials can be an ordeal, with unfamiliar brands, not to mention that everything is in French.

Allow yourself some extra time to “flounder” a bit. Quickly get over any initial shyness you have about asking for help whenever you need it. These “permissions” can make a huge difference in how smoothly your travel days will go. And you will be surprised at how quickly the French people will make every effort to assist you once you overcome your hesitations about asking for help.

If you let the intriguing uniqueness of the French culture and lifestyle be part of the adventure of your trip, you’ll find yourself eliminating stressors, having a lot more fun, and making friends along the way.

Adapt Your Trip to Your Liking

Make adaptations to your trip based on your own particular interests, adding more of the types of activities that you will particularly enjoy. And don’t forget to keep your travel partner’s interests in mind when you do. One way to ensure that neither of you tires of a single type of activity, is to take turns deciding what comes next for the day.

The Day Pages in each pre-planned trip book, or that you will set up for yourself, will provide you with a full schedule, and lots of specifics. But what if you discover that tomorrow is Market Day? Or you hear enchanting pan flute music drifting down the shopping street and emerge onto the square to find live performers playing in the sun beside a café that faces a lovely old church?

What if you spot a shop that sells Santons-those remarkably detailed artisan-created figurines, popular for collecting, that portray all the chief characters in the village including the baker, the “goose girl,” the old couple, the crazy man, and the ladies of Provence, as well as Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the shepherds and the Wise men? Or when you encounter a wine-tasting tour in the candle-lit catacombs of a former abbey?

When these and other golden opportunities present themselves, you are free, even encouraged, to deviate from the plan, alter your path, and otherwise seize the moment, then rearrange as needed. Take advantage of happy coincidences that occur. Experience Market Day. Listen while the pan flute music soothes your soul. Pause in the Santon shop to pick out a few figures that strike your fancy-maybe the woman carrying a basket of lavender or the little drummer boy.

When you happen upon the old abbey that offers wine tasting in its crypt, pay the few Euros for your tasting cup, and pick up a form to record your descriptions and scores of the wines you taste, placing asterisks beside your favorites. Then walk through the catacombs, pausing in front of the wine barrels to pour yourself samples by the light of the candle.

As you shift your plans for the day to get the most from unforeseen opportunities, you may need to do some rearranging of what you had planned, according to what is most important to you. But you will always have your original Day Pages as a guide to help you avoid missing out on any of the “must see” items at the top of your list.

As you make choices, and reprioritize how you spend your time on this trip, remember that you likely will return here again in years to come. So you will have other chances to do what you miss doing this time.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Here’s Why You Need to Charge Your Electric Vehicle At Home

It is no wonder BMW is at the forefront in making both stylish and functional vehicles that never compromise safety. Charging your electric vehicle with a home charging station has more benefits compared to public charging stations. With BMW’s electric model ranges, you will experience an entirely new driving experience. No feeling is better than gliding silently through urban and rural traffics. All of this is free of fumes and harmful emissions that impact the planet. Going electric with BMW is one of the best things you can do for you.

While BMW iX3 Charging Station is available in many places and shopping malls in Australia, it is a good idea to invest in home BMW charger as it offers a plethora of benefits. In fact, charging your electric car with a home charging station has benefits compared with public charging stations.

Here’s why you need to install BMW home charging station:-

Save money

Instead of buying battery power from a third-party source every time you need to charge your BMW, it is a good idea to pay a flat fee for a residential BMW charging station and have unlimited energy from the same source that keeps your house warm and other electric appliances running. Of course, you would see a spike in electricity bill. But, you’ll save money by saving yourself from frequent trips to the public station and paying for recharging your car. Home charging stations pay for themselves in the long run.

Finding your home charger is affordable too. There are many electric vehicles charging station providers in Australia from whom you can buy and rely on them for support. There are three different types of home chargers, including level 1, level 2, and level 3. Based on the type of charger you buy, the cost will be anywhere between $300 and $2000.

Convenient

On average, it takes anywhere from four to six hours to fully charge your BMW with a level 2 charger. Let’s imagine that you need to drive 50miles to attend a meeting and your EV is running low on battery. If you have to wait the whole night, take your vehicle to the nearby charging station, recharge, and then drive. Wouldn’t that consume your productive hours? The same scenario is much more manageable if you have the home charger installed. All you need to do is, plug the car in and go to sleep. By the time you wake up, you’ll have a fully charged BMW ready for the drive.

Safe

Charging at home is much safer than public charging stations for a range of reasons, including the safety of you and your vehicle. You’ll have to wait for a long time in the public charging stations to charge your EV, and there’s no safety, especially if you are in the middle of high way.

As you see, they’re less expensive, more convenient and completely safe as long as it is installed properly.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Comments Off