When most people think of ski resorts, they naturally picture mountains full of fresh fallen snow and people huddled around a roaring fire enjoying a cup of hot cocoa. While this image is certainly accurate, and ski resorts are some of the most popular of all vacation destinations, the prices of these resort getaways can often be beyond the means of the budget traveler.There is another way, however, to enjoy these upscale resorts for a fraction of their in season costs. Many ski resort locations stay open all year round, and the prices of lodging, meals and local entertainment often drops precipitously after winter has passed.Visiting a ski resort in the middle of the summer does not mean there will be nothing to do. In fact, many people prefer visiting these resorts in the off season, since their mountain locations provides for a comfortable, activity packed getaway.For instance, most ski resorts have ample hiking trails through beautiful mountain vistas. All those great cross country ski trails become wonderful hiking and biking trails after the snow has melted, and the scenery can be even more spectacular, and more comfortable, without the cold and snow of winter.Besides hiking and biking, there are a great many other activities to be offered as well, including horseback riding, fishing swimming, and other outdoor activities. In addition, many ski resorts use their ski lifts as fun summer sky rides, and open their slopes to such summertime activities as tobogganing down the side of the mountain. The kids in particular love these fun rides.Another great thing about visiting a ski resort area in summer is that the mountain location often means cooler temperatures. Even when the lowland temperature is stiflingly hot, the temperature in the mountains can be refreshingly cool and comfortable. Of course, it is important to check the monthly weather for your destination and to avoid the rainy seasonThere are ski resorts in many states around the country, and the northeastern and western parts of the country have a great wealth of these resorts. While many of them stay open year round and offer a host of off season activities, not all do, so it is important to verify the summer activities of the resort you are considering. It is also a good idea to research the activities that are offered by each resort. With the concentration of ski resorts in some areas of the country, it will be easy to compare the various offerings and choose the one that best suits your individuals needs.It is also important to research the surrounding area and see what else there is to do when you are not at the resort. While many ski resorts have plenty of activities to keep you busy for days, you will probably want to venture off the property at least a few times.
People going on long vacations are often worried about leaving their pets alone. Well, if you love your pets like other members of your family, why not take your beloved pet with you? Traveling with pets can make your vacation much more exciting and it is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your pet. Pets tend to feel neglected when left alone and often develop inappropriate behaviors when they are left at home. Nowadays, traveling with your pets has become easier and widely acceptable, especially on airlines. However, this requires careful planning and advance bookings as most of the airlines allow a maximum of seven pets on a single flight.There are multiple travel options available with airlines to make sure your pets reach the destination safely and easily. For example Delta Airlines gives you the advantage of making your pet travel as carry-on baggage, checked baggage, or air cargo. Continental airlines also provide the similar options. As a safety measure check out the government regulations as you may be required to take a health certificate and proofs of vaccination too. It always ideal to select non-stop flights and travel during early morning or late at night when the temperatures are comfortable. It's important to check out what kind of pets are allowed to travel. For Example cats and dogs are the only types of pets accepted for travel on American Airlines whereas Delta Airlines allows pets such as dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs to travel in the same cabin you are traveling in . However, the passengers traveling with these airlines are have to make prior arrangements for taking the pets along. Another important point before making the reservation is to check for the destinations where you can travel with your pets and its equally important to ask for kennel dimensions to make your pet easily fit under the seatt in front of you. On the day of the flight, it is advisable that you do not feed your pet at least six hours before the flight to avoid motion sickness. Take away the water one hour before departure. Moreover, do not put food or water in the carrier as it may spill and create a mess. Most importantly do not ever use a tranquilizer before departure. Consult your veterinarian before giving any such medication and if desired, use the drugs recommended in the prescription.Lastly, pets should have proper identification. The dog tag should bear the owner's name, address, phone number and the name of the dog. For more advice and information, visit the Travel Buzz forum on Tripmama.com to get tips and advice on traveling with pets from the real life travelers.
* Do not discuss your business or travel plans in public areas where they may be overheard. Discuss your travel plans and movements during your stay with as few people as possible. * Selecting a hotel room on the third to fifth floor generally will keep you out of reach of criminal activity from the street but still within reach of most fire truck ladders. * Do not entertain strangers in your "hotel room" . If you feel you must, require them to leave a valid ID card with hotel security or the front desk. * Be alert to overly friendly locals who may have criminal intentions. They may offer to take you to a "special" restaurant. Their ruse may be to offer drugged refreshments. * Never leave valuables in your hotel room exposed or unattended, even in a locked suitcase. * Place valuables--money, jewelry, airplane tickets, credit cards, and passport--in a hotel safe deposit box or room safe. * Familiarize yourself with escape routes in case of fire or other catastrophe. * Use the door chain or bolt lock whenever you are in your room. * Use the door viewer (peephole) before opening the door to visitors. * Do not discuss your room number while standing in the lobby or leave your room key on restaurant or bar tables. * Keep your room neat so you will notice disturbed or missing items quickly. * Secure your laptop to an immovable object using a lock and cable. You can purchase one of these for about $25 online. If you have sensitive files on your laptop, consider removing your hard drive and bringing it with you when you go out. * Carry a business card from the hotel to make it easier to get home in a foreign country where not many taxi drivers speak your language. * Carry a color copy of your Passport wherever you go. Some countries, like Thailand, require you to carry your Passport at all time, but most law enforcement officials will not penalize you for having a copy and going to your hotel room to get the original. * Make sure you know the local phone numbers for police, fire and emergency. Countries like Thailand have tourist police in addition to the regular police and they are trained to speak foreign languages and assist tourists. * Try not to let your credit card get out of sight. It is very easy for someone to skim your card in just a few seconds.Just because you are on vacation doesnt mean you should let your guard down. Big cities are big cities everywhere in the world and all big cities have their share of crime.A little prevention can go a long way in a "foreign country" and make your vacation a memorable one.
San Diego, like any touristy type city has their share of great deals at great prices. The great deals however are usually found in packages of activities, transportation or some other visitor attraction. The lower rates are like many in tourist areas are also available in low season when fewer visitors are in town.Low season in San Diego however is just as nice as high season. Due to the almost perfect year round weather, anytime is a good time to visit and enjoy San Diego. Places like Sea World of the pacific, Old Town, Downtown, and the perennial favorite the San Diego Zoo all are open and waiting to see you.To find accommodations however it's important to recognize that occupancy is what any hotel is looking to achieve. So check around and see what kind of deals can be found using local and web based travel agents. Some travel agents specialize in San Diego tours and act as consolidators, booking blocks of rooms and travel arrangements. We're not talking about a sightseeing tour, though these are also available should you choose to purchase. These tours are simply designated and mean nothing more than a group of people, staying in the same accommodations. If you're looking to visit San Diego in the high season, which is summer when most kids are out of school, expect to pay higher rates. Here also, it pays to plan ahead. Check the timing of your trip or vacation and don't arrive when there's major events such as a convention in town. You may want to check the visitors bureau for a list of what's happening in town on the dates you plan to visit.The secret to lower hotel costs even in high season is your membership in other groups. The automobile club, American Association of Retired Persons, or even your employer may have discounted rates established at many of San Diego's nicest resorts. Another way to save is by booking a longer stay. San Diego is a beautiful place to base the rest of your vacation. Disneyland is a couple of hours away, as is Six Flags Magic Mountain, Universal Studios, Knotts Berry Farm and Amusement Park and many other attractions. Remember to always ask for available discounts when booking. Remember the occupancy need of hotels. Sometimes, hotels will offer a discount especially if you have a close by competitors rate offer in hand. A quick call to several hotels in an area will provide ammunition to get the best deal from the reservation desk. Although many 4 and 5 star hotels will have higher rates, remember to look for discount packages and stay a while longer. After all, it is your vacation!
Budget travel is not just about finding ways to spend less. The point is to have just as much fun while spending less. Here are some tips to get you started, and afterwards, a suggestion on how to think about travel.Are you considering a long trip? You may want to rent an apartment in an interesting city. We did this for two months in Tucson. It saved us at least $600 per month, compared to even the cheaper motels. It was fun to have a "home base" for our travels, from which we took day trips to Mexico and or up to Mount Lemmon, the furthest-south ski resort in the country. Many cities have apartments that are furnished and available on a month-to-month basis.In general it is the traveling part of travel that costs the most. This is due to the cost of gas, convenient fast food, and the expensive hotels you are forced to pay for when you just can't drive any further. So if you find a place with a reasonable motel, and a lot to do in the area - stay for a while! We find that a place becomes more interesting when you have a few days to explore it.Because of the growing popularity of RV (recreational vehicle) boondocking, the BLM has begun to establish areas for longer stays, particularly in Arizona. They have a permit fee is around $140 now. Although you can still park your RV for free on most BLM and National Forest land, paying for the fee areas means you get to stay up to six months (The free stays are limited to two weeks). You'll also have pump stations, dumpsters and water available. You can find out more from the BLM's Arizona web site.Budget Travel Quick TipsThe federal tax on airfare isn't due if you are taking a flight from one city in the U.S. to another in order to catch an overseas flight. Show your ticket to another country to the agent to have the tax removed.You may be able to get a senior discount if you are 65 or older. Ask. If you are using an internet site to search for tickets, they may not include this information, so you may have to call the airline direct. Recently, Expedia.com has included a box to check if you are over 65.For cheaper hotel rooms, use the coupon books at gas stations along the highways. We've almost always found good deals using these. It's rare that a manager won't honor the coupon. Generally, only if they're absolutely full will they refuse. Read the fine print, though. They often charge more for certain dates, or for two people.The above is a good example of how to travel cheap without sacrificing a thing. The same room will often be $20 more without the coupon, and you have to stop for gas anyhow, so why not grab those coupon books? Save on a room for a few nights and you can pay for another day of vacation. Just keeping your eyes open for opportunities like this is one of the keys to budget travel.