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Caribbean Travel Guides – Are They Worth It?

As well as being a raving shopaholic, Jane Morris is also a dedicated Travel Buff. This is just one article on her many visits to the lush clear waters of the Caribbean

Imagine all the stories and films you have seen on pirates in the Caribbean, Spanish galleons laden with gold, pretty girls all around, beautiful white sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, clear blue seas, and reefs that have ripped the bottom out of many a fine sailing ship, now beautiful diving territory.

Well, this is what makes up the beauty, the mystery, and the attraction for many people as a dream holiday. In fact, there is so much to do that unless you plan your holiday carefully there is so much to miss.

That us why it is so important that you know all there is to know about the vacation destination of your dreams – that is exactly what a Caribbean travel guide offers.

But are Caribbean travel guides really godsend? Or are they just patronizing materials designed for commercial purposes?

Well, they’re probably a little of both actually. After all, the people behind Caribbean travel guides do need a source of income in order to continue to publish their guides. But a tremendous amount of research has been placed in these guides so don’t dismiss them as useless sales and promotion material.

What else is more nifty, informative and convenient than a Caribbean travel guide?

Sure, the Internet may prove more updated when it comes to information, but you can’t carry the Internet everywhere. And believe it or not, it’s always much more gratifying to pull out a Caribbean travel guide from your carry case, flip a few pages open, then slip it right back when you’re tired of reading. It sure beats having to wait in the airport, sitting bored silly and wondering whether or not your flight’s going to be delayed.

That said, don’t cling to travel guides religiously. Many travelers make that mistake. They are not the bibles that they are made out to be by some people. You should know that published materials, including travel guides, are out of date the moment they are published, because by then, there would have been new updated material that came up and it would be too late to include them.

So, how are you supposed to use Caribbean travel guides then? How would you know which information to believe and which facts are outdated? Unfortunately, there is no exact answer to that. To get the most out of your Caribbean travel guide, use them sparingly for basic orientation.

So once you have the basics right down to a tee, go out there and discover the towns and cities on your own. That is, after all, what traveling is all about – adventure and discovery of new things. At the very least, when all other signs look foreign, the information on museums and places of interest are great.

Remember where such facilities exist, always try and look for the local ‘City’ tour. I did just that on my first holiday in Cuba over 15 years ago. After a 2 hour tour on a coach, I was fully oriented with the sites, and then settled down to a delightful tour on foot – clutching my trusty travel guide of course, so I didn’t miss any of the delights that the beautiful but run-down city has to offer.

However, when it comes to hotels and restaurants, each to his own taste and budget. Remember that bargains rise in price with popularity, so there’s every bit of chance that that hot new deal in your Caribbean travel guide isn’t much of a deal anymore, considering how pricey it has become. And then sometimes, too, the places get easily full with foreigners and travelers like you, so you can’t always expect your Caribbean travel guide to point you in the right place all the time.

Then, if you do wander around on your own, you will surely find quality rooms with reasonable prices. They may be located in out-of-the-way places that Caribbean travel guide writers may not know about. Remember that because you in the destination, you are in a far better place to get what you want out of your vacation.

So to close it off, don’t be a sad type who writes to say that “it wasn’t like what you said in the book”.

Here’s a tip: open your eyes, and if the island you are on is Spanish – make sure you can speak some of the local language, as you will get such a nicer welcome from the locals in the infrequently visited spots – and make sure you take your time to explore for yourself!

– Documents to be Carried While Traveling

While traveling outside US, documentation is an important part of your trip. Outside US and even in other States, you and your luggage are recognized by your documents. Carrying proper travel related documents and identity proofs could help you avoid unnecessary jitters.

The best international is to carry original copy of some documents and keep one or two photocopies of the other in case of emergency. You should also leave a copy of your documents with some friends, which they can fax to you if you loose yours. Ask your travel agent or friends who have gone to those destinations about the necessary for documents.

Vacations and Business

Whether you are on fun, business or a personal trip, the important documents required while traveling outside US are: Passport, Visa, Driving License, Medical Certificates and Insurance documents. A passport is an internationally recognized travel document that verifies the identity and nationality of the bearer.

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave most foreign countries. The Passport Services Office provides information and services to American citizens about how to obtain, replace or change a passport. To obtain a passport for the first time, you need to go in person to passport acceptance facilities with your two photographs, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as driver’s license and apply for the passport. You can seek for documents from your friends and acquaintances that have traveled to those destinations.

Airline and Visa Requirements

Most countries require a visa before you can travel there. You can board on aircraft only if you have a valid visa and return air ticket for the destination. Few countries allow free passage to US Citizens. However, it is mandatory to carry a valid identification proof with you in these countries to avoid legal complications and prove your identity in case of emergency. It is the responsibility of travelers to obtain Visa, where required, from the appropriate embassy or nearest consulate of the country you are planning to visit. Certain countries have proper validation requirements for Visa applications take some time before approving your visa. It is therefore necessary to obtain the visa well in advance to avoid last minute problems.

Luggage Documentation Tips

If you are carrying valuable and electronic items, good is to keep a copy of the invoice, insurance and troubleshooting manuals with you while you are traveling. While invoice and insurance are needed to prove your ownership, a manual will help the technicians if some problem occurs in it. These documents will also help you to avail international warranty and service facilities wherever applicable.

Travel insurance tips

Most countries require the foreign tourists covered up with insurance before they enter the country. However, insurance during travel is a critical issue due to legal differences between two countries. Contact your insurance company to find if the present insurance covers the foreign trips or not. Even your travel agent can help you with important travel insurance tips.

Five Vacation Planning to Save You Time & Money on Your Vacation

Vacation planning is fun and easy so you don’t need to get overwhelmed. The first thing I want you to do is to take a deep breath and don’t panic. If you’ve never done this before, relax. I am here to help you with some simple steps to plan a great vacation.

1. Determine Your Budget.

There are many ways to go about determining your budget, but I usually set a price of how much I want to spend (per person) and then go from there to determine how to find the best travel deals based on where I want to go on a cheap vacation. You need to be reasonable regarding what the budget will be for your vacation or getaway. A very realistic and reasonable budget for a cheap vacation is between $800-$1200 per person including airfare, hotel, car rental, food, tips, and airport parking. I’ve traveled all over the country on business and the average budget for a two-to-three day business trip is about the same amount so it’s a very reasonable for a cheap vacation for an entire week (especially when it involves air travel and a much longer stay).

2. Choose Your Destination.

Here’s a little insider travel secret. I’ve traveled to some amazing vacation destinations at amazing prices, but I don’t usually choose my destination. The destination chooses me. It can get a little frustrating but I can tell you that if destinations did not chose me, I would never have went to Jamaica and seen a live starfish swimming underwater when I was snorkeling off of a beach in Negril, climbed the Great Wall of China, traveled through the Panama Canal or met a baby sloth at a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica just for starters. I went to those vacation destinations not because I had a deep desire to travel to Montego Bay, Beijing, Panama City, or Puerto Limon, but because I was chasing a travel deal. Now, vacation planning via chasing a deal is a great way to get cheap vacations and save a lot of money. I have been on some incredible trips and gone to vacation destinations I never would have had at the top of my travel destinations “bucket list,” but I realize chasing the travel deal has prevented me so far from going to Tahiti’s island paradise of Bora, Bora (my life long travel dream) and I still want to do the “Sound of Music” tour in Salzburg, Austria. So you usually have a choice: chase the best travel deal or choose your travel dream.

3. Book Your Airfare, Hotel, and Car Rental.

When you’re vacation planning, the best way to save hundreds of dollars on your vacation is to book everything together as a complete travel package. I don’t have any technological reason as to why this saves you money, but it does. Feel free to experiment with your own online travel booking engine of choice with this concept by making queries separately and then as a package, but it’s been done before and proven to save you money. I do know that Rovia Travel has the best online price 68% of the time as compared to Travelocity and Expedia according to a recent independent survey by Topaz International so you may want to check them out.

4. Research Your Vacation Destination & Plan Your Travel Itinerary.

Researching my vacation destination and planning great itineraries is one of the things that I sort of excel at in vacation planning because I love researching the hot tourist attractions of the vacation destination I’m visiting. I know some people just like to “wing it,” but that lack of vacation planning can really add hundreds of dollars to your trip. There are two great ways to do your research. First, there are so many online tools at the local tourism offices of the areas your visiting that have all the main information at your fingertips, plus many have coupons or travel deals you may not have been able to find in other ways. The second thing I like to do is pick up a great guide book for the destination I’m going to. Frommer’s Travel Guide Books and Rick Steves’ Travel Guide Books for Europe are very well researched and written and these authors update their books almost yearly so you know you have up-to-date information.

5. Make Two Checklists.

Now you need to make two checklists for your vacation planning. One is a list of things to do before you go on vacation. This includes finding a pet sitter, getting a neighbor to pick up the mail, calling your mobile phone service to arrange for a text/email package while you’re away if you’re traveling internationally, secure a passport or visa (if you need them), get medical vaccinations if necessary, call your credit card companies to let them know you’ll be traveling and what cities or countries to expect charges to come up on, and things like that. The second list for your vacation planning is a list of things to pack.

Now that wasn’t so bad, was it? Now you see how simple vacation planning is even for an inexperienced traveler. These are the basics of vacation planning and now that you know how to plan your vacation, we have a lot of extra bonus my travel website (see below) to help you discover a world of ways to see the world. Bon Voyage and have a fabulous vacation.

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