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The Perils Of “Cheap” Holidays (And What To Do Instead)

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When it comes to travelling the world, there is one potential downside that stymies even the most determined of travel plans: the cost. Travelling is undoubtedly a very expensive hobby, which means if your wanderlust is biting and you can’t wait to travel the world, the idea of a cheap holiday is incredibly inviting.

However, cheap holidays are rarely a good idea— in fact, they can be incredibly problematic, and can cause you untold stress. If you’re currently being tempted by a cheap and cheerful vacation, then there are a few things you might want to bear in mind…

The perils of “cheap”

Why is cheap so damaging? Well, it tends to mean that every aspect of the holiday has been chosen not for how beneficial it is to the customer, but to how cheaply it can be obtained for the provider.

This means that you could find yourself at a hotel with malfunctioning electronics, bed linens so uncomfortable you can barely sleep, and just a generally poor level of service.

Cheap flights could mean that you are a victim of overbooking, or that the flight will be landing a huge distance away from the city it claims to be landing at.

Finally, cheap deals — such as sightseeing tours — will often be cut short, poor value, and even fail to deliver on what you have been promised.

Taking all of the above into consideration, does that mean that trying to book anything related to a holiday means that you have to pay over the odds just to ensure your safety and security? Not quite…

There’s a difference between “cheap” and “low cost”

Low cost, on the other hand, means that the hotel or deal is being provided with the budget traveller in mind. Yes, the provider wants to keep the costs down, but that’s not the only factor in the decision making. While holidays with low costs providers and hotels won’t be a byword for luxury, they shouldn’t be unpleasant or outright dangerous.

So, the key question: how can you differentiate between “cheap” and “low cost”?

The signs of a “cheap” deal

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Learning how to spot the difference between “cheap” and “low cost” is incredibly important.

Signs of a cheap hotel  

  • Very few reviews of the hotel on the website
  • Limited number of photos on the site— or worse yet, the only photos on the site appear to be stock images. You can use a reverse image search to see if this is the case for a hotel you’re considering.
  • Little to no social media presence
  • The website doesn’t use a secure protocol

Signs of cheap deals:

  • Vagueness when discussing travel arrangements or requirements; information is never clearly presented.
  • The deal keeps dropping in price, with often only a few days in between the price drops.
  • There is no set itinerary for what you should expect

Signs of cheap flights  

  • Cheap flights will usually be just that— cheap. They are otherwise indistinguishable any other flight.
  • If you spot a particularly cheap deal, you need to do your research. Don’t take the destination city as read. Let’s say, for example, that you’re planning on flying to Rome. This is the destination that the flight is going to, so you might be happy to make the booking. However, a little research will reveal that Rome has two airports; one of which is convenient, the other of which is nearly an hour from the city itself. You will likely find that a cheap flight provider will be flying to the distant airport, while low cost will be flying to the main airport.
  • So always check out the airport that the flight is travelling to, rather than just the city, if you want to be cautious of cheap flights.

So what are the other options?

You want to travel, but your budget is compromised. The only types of deals that you can find within your price range appear to be alarmingly “cheap”, and you’ve decided not to take the risk… but you still want to travel. What are your options? Here are a few suggestions you may want to consider…

Change your destination  

While travelling is often about exploring foreign lands and delighting in other cultures, you can have a wonderful time in your home country if you’re on a budget. Pick an area that you have never visited before and that you know relatively little about, then visit using public transport and your own knowledge of securing good deals in your home country. It might not be the far-flung foreign travel you dream of, but it should be enough to keep your wanderlust under control until you can afford your next big trip.

Lean on your reward points 

If you’re a frequent traveller, then chances are you have amassed a few reward points or frequent flyer miles. If you can add some funds to your reward points, then you might be surprised by just how fantastic a holiday you’ll be able to afford. As inspiration, consider how Alex Miller from Upgraded Points was able to cover the cost of an incredible trip with relatively little financial investment— the rest was covered by his reward points. This is a great choice if you have some money to spend, but not enough money to spend on an entire holiday— use your reward points to make up the difference and secure yourself a great deal.

Wait

Yes, it’s the option that no traveller truly wants to consider; if you want to travel, then the idea of waiting for a trip can feel extremely stifling. However, it’s better for your financial situation and your own well-being to opt to stay home rather than take a risk with a cheap deal. As you wait, you can keep scouring the internet looking for low cost, rather than cheap, deals that might fit into your available budget.

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In conclusion 

So while you may be desperate to travel, it’s important to be careful. Hopefully, one of the alternatives above may help to settle your wanderlust… for awhile, at least!

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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Travel Tips

Get Peace of Mind When You Pre-Book Transportation

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Traveling is extremely fun, right? It helps you go to different destinations and enables you to have exposure to new people, cultures, and ideas. Many people travel with others so they can genuinely get a taste of life and share their experiences in real time with other people.

Remember that life is all about the experiences that you have and the memories that you make as these provide you with a life that is well lived.

Indeed, remember that your travel experiences, and other memories that you make are essential aspects of life because it gives your life a bit more flavor. You can feel a certain thrill when you are transferring from one airport to the other. It can give you joy because you are moving and being more free instead of being confined to one location.

Now, when it comes to a life well-lived, it certainly takes some effort. Most individuals find that they must be intentional about what they are trying to do to have the most opportunities in life.

This is certainly true for the traveler. The best travelers know that traveling is far from easy if you do not have the right amount of preparation.

Remember that it takes quite a bit of work to have a wonderful trip. It can be fun to have surprises, but it is best to have pleasant surprises. Here is what you need to know to have a pleasant trip.

Pre-Book a Transfer From Any Spanish Airport

If you find yourself in Spain, then you would want to make sure that you utilize the right modes of transportation to make sure that you get to your destination with ease. Thankfully, the beautiful country has great service providers that will make your travel life easier in this regard.

Remember that effective service providers will provide a taxi or a minibus. These service options are useful because they can cater to your various needs. For instance, if you have a large party, a minibus would be wonderful. If you have a small group of people, then a simple taxi would suffice.

These different options enable you to meet your needs regardless of the size of your overall party.

More Benefits in Pre-Booking Your Transfers

There are other benefits to pre-booking your airport transfers. Whether you are going to Barcelona City or to Madrid City, it is important to note the various benefits of working with the right transportation firm.

Now that you are aware of the options that you can choose with preeminent services, other benefits include locking in a price, minimizing wait times at the airport, and having a pleasant experience with a wonderful driver.

Instead of having to worry about the price and about cancellation options, or if someone will show up on time, working with a wonderful firm like Solhop enables you to have total peace of mind when it comes to your transfers.

You can also ensure that you will drive in style with the options available to you from the different cars on offer.

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Have Fun On Your Trip

Now that you have your transportation squared away, remember that you are on a trip and remember to have fun. Whether you are traveling from the United States of America or from other places in Europe, you can be sure to have a bit of fun in Spain!

 

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Europe

Travel Tip: Train to Pisa from Florence

Whether you spend a half-day or full day in Pisa, we recommend that you Train to Pisa from Florence. It’s the fastest and cheapest way to get there.

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train to pisa

Traveling by train is one of the best ways to see the beautiful countryside of Italy. The train from Florence to Pisa takes about an hour, and the journey is stunning. The route takes you past vineyards and medieval villages, through tunnels and over bridges, with breathtaking views of the Tuscan hillsides. You can even see the Leaning Tower of Pisa as the train approaches the station.

Woman traveling by train looking out of window

Upon arrival in Pisa, you can explore the historic center and visit the famous cathedral, before enjoying a leisurely lunch overlooking the River Arno. With its stunning scenery and convenient location, a train trip from Florence to Pisa is a great way to spend a day in Italy.

Leaning tower of Pisa, HDR, Italy

How to get to Pisa from Florence

You have a couple of different options for your own half-day trip to Pisa from Florence depending on how you like to travel. But if you are like us and enjoy travelling around Italy by public transport, then you will definitely want to train to Pisa from Florence.

Train to Pisa from Florence

Florence and Pisa are less than 100 km apart and the easiest way is to train to Pisa from Florence. The entire trip one-way takes approximately an hour depending on your route with no transfers.

Trains leave from Florence S.M.Novella for Pisa Centrale a few times every hour. The closest train station to the leaning tower of Pisa is Pisa San Rossore, but it’s not worth the extra time or transfer required. Pisa itself is small and it takes less than 30 minutes to walk to the leaning tower from Pisa Centrale.

Plus you get to explore more of the city such as the River Arno lined with beautiful stately homes.

Pisa River, train from pisa to florence

If you want to book online then a one-way ticket by train to Pisa from Florence will cost from €7.80 (US$10.40) in 2nd class. It is important to make sure that when you are searching online via the Italian train booking site, Trenitalia, you search for “Firenze” rather than Florence.

The train schedules are very easy to understand so we recommend booking your ticket from the self-service machines on the train platform. The return journey is just as easy in reverse. Just watch that you don’t miss the last train around 10pm most days and carry cash with you for the ticket.

Finally, validate your ticket before boarding the train. We forgot a couple of times but used the typical “I’m a stupid tourist” line to get out of any fines.

Bus to Pisa from Florence

Another option is to catch the bus to Pisa from Florence.

There are two main bus companies, Terravision and Autostradale, run regular buses to and from Pisa Airport and Florence Airport into the Florence city centre, they don’t actually go into Pisa itself. The train to Pisa from Florence is so reliable, fast, and cheap, that you may not want to consider this option.

However, there are some advantages to taking the bus. You will see a lot more scenery from the window of the bus, and it’s definitely cheaper; sometimes you can find fares as low as 4 Euros, especially on Fridays.

Travel Guide to visiting Pisa from Florence

Driving to Pisa from Florence

If you have hired a car or scooter in Tuscany then you might look at driving to Pisa from Florence. However, even though the distance is less than 100km, the trip will still take approximately 1 hour.

Aside from the fact that the train to Pisa from Florence typically takes less time than driving, you also have to avoid the crazy Italian drivers. Not to mention trying to find a carpark in two of the most popular cities in Italy. Impossible.

Travel to Pisa from Florence by train, Leaning tower of Pisa HDR

Guided Tour to Pisa from Florence

If you have been enjoying the sunset in Florence and all the city has to offer then you might want to take in a guided tour to Pisa from Florence. Not only do you get a great guide to learn all about the history of the area, you also don’t have to worry about getting to Pisa from Florence.

You might want to check out this guided tour around Pisa or get a little bit more adventurous and try out a segway tour in Pisa. Perfect for the family and it will keep the kids entertained between stops.

If you have a whole day, and haven’t managed to fit in a hike around Cinque Terre, then we recommend looking into the Pisa and Cinque Terre day tour. Lasting roughly 12 hours, you will travel from Florence to Cinque Terre, with a 2 hour stop in Pisa to see all the main sights.

We also reckon guides help you get the best photos, as they have seen all the poses.

Adela funny jumping Pisa

Tell us below if you have taken any funny photos in Pisa!

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Travel Tips

Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Yacht

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Spending time on a yacht is a great way to relax. You can cruise, do water sports, try your luck in fishing, or you can even entertain guests on your yacht. However, a yacht is still a significant investment, so you must learn as much as possible before buying one.

If you are pondering buying a yacht, there are several things that you need to know. You should ask yourself what type of yacht you want to buy and what type best suits your needs.

Aside from this, you also need to determine your budget for purchasing a yacht. Boating safety courses and trial runs are also essential to ensure your safety while on your chosen yacht.

What Do You Want In A Yacht?

 

When buying a yacht, you must ask yourself, “What do I want in a yacht?” Do you want the yacht to be big? Do you want to use the yacht for fishing?

Answering the questions about the yacht you want can help you determine your priorities in buying a yacht. Take, for example, if you want to utilize your yacht for watersports. Certain types of yachts cater to watersports, like wakeboarding and wake surfing.

Another popular way to spend time on your yacht is an overnight cruise. If you want to do this, you should consider the size of the yacht you want to buy. Can it accommodate passengers sleeping onboard?

Questions like these can help determine if you need different amenities in a yacht, like cabins, cooktops, and relaxation areas.

How Much is Your Budget?

Now that you have determined what you seek in a yacht, it is crucial to set a comfortable price for your pockets. When buying a yacht, you can get carried away by all the types and models available.

It might be tempting to go above your budget when buying a yacht, especially when so many options are available. However, it is vital to research yacht prices on manufacturer websites, as well as sites of brokers and dealers.

After all, it is necessary to keep the costs of maintaining a yacht in mind. Some costs of owning a yacht include insurance, repairs, fuel, and general upkeep.

Determining your budget for the yacht and sticking to it can make the most out of your yacht purchase.

Where Do You Buy A Yacht?

Since a yacht is a significant investment, going to a trusted and reliable dealer is your best bet. You can visit websites or written material to gather information about a prospective dealer.

Seasoned dealers need to know your lifestyle to determine what type of yacht suits you best. They can ask questions about your boating preferences, whom you boat with, and other similar queries. They use this information to match you to the yacht that best fulfills your needs at the right price.

Should You Try the Yacht Before You Buy It?

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Try and test the yacht that piques your interest as much as possible. If you know a yacht owner with a model you are interested in, you could ask to check the yacht out. Doing this helps you assess the amenities and features of the yacht before you make the big purchase.

Boat shows, if available, are also good ways to see and assess the yacht of your choice. Well-known brands do these shows, allowing you to see and experience the yacht.

What About Your Safety?

Some places require a recreational boat license for you to sail on your yacht. However, you can easily avail classes to sharpen your boating skills. These can help you learn how to sail on a boat and some basic safety measures while on your yacht.

You can look for information on the official website of your local or national maritime safety authority.

How Do You Buy A Yacht?

Buying a yacht might seem like a long, detailed process, but it is pretty straightforward. First, you need to find out what you want in a yacht. In other words, determine your purpose for buying a yacht.

The next step is to set a clear budget and the amenities and size of the yacht you want to buy.

Conclusion

Sailing on a yacht is not a simple task, so acquire all the necessary documents to operate a yacht. The necessary paperwork can include a boating license, boating safety courses, and other relevant documents.

Test the yacht before you commit to it, and make sure that you are comfortable with it before purchasing it. You can attend boat shows and dealer demos or ask someone with a similar yacht to let you assess their yacht.

Lastly, find a yacht dealer that wants the best for you. Finding the best dealer can make your yacht buying process much more manageable. Reliable dealers will keep your budget and goals in mind while matching you to the yacht of your dreams!

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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