Benefits of Travel Planning and How to Get Started

If you travel frequently or travel a lot then you must have realized the importance of travel planning. A well planned trip really gets you your money’s worth. You are aware of your schedule, plus you are not wasting your time in figuring out (at the last minute) what to see, what to do, where to eat, etc. But still a lot of people travel with vague plans and without a complete picture. A lot of people say to me that travel planning is hard and time consuming and that if they were to wait for a travel plan then they would not be able to travel at all.

I disagree with all of them. Yes, it takes time to plan a trip but whats the point of traveling to another country or city if you are not going to see the best sites, taste the local food, or experience the top activities. Following are some of the tips that you can use to plan a near perfect trip for yourself.

First of all, zero out on a location where you would like to travel, it may be another city, state or another country.

Second, Why you would like to go there? Maybe some friend or family member went there and were full of praise or may be you read about it on internet or magazine or saw it on TV. Realizing WHY you want to travel to a particular location will help you plan the trip properly. For example, you may want to travel to the New York city to see the skyscrapers, or/and see Statue of liberty or/and may be visits the Museums.

Third, How long i.e. How many days you want to spend in the new place.

Once you have decided WHERE you want to go, understand WHY you want to travel there and decided HOW long you want to visit for, you can then begin preparing your itinerary.

You should start by asking your friends, family & co-workers about the destination that you have selected. If they have not been there, you should ask if anybody they know have traveled to that place. If yes, then don’t be shy of talking to that other person about their experience. Realize that people love to talk about their trips. This way you would learn a lot and maybe make a new friend in the process.

You can watch YouTube videos or watch Travel Channel to get ideas about the place you would like to visit.

Further, Google is your friend, you can search for the location to get tons of information about any place. There are thousands if not millions of Travelogues written virtually about all places on this earth.

Tripadvisor.com is an excellent site to research about any destination. You can ask questions, read about other’s experience etc. But the research on internet is time consuming and you should be diligent.

Lastly, you can even read the travel books, city guides by Frommer’s, Lonely Planet and Fodor’s. These are very well written and cater to all level’s i.e. Newbies, repeat, expert etc.

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Efficient Sales Travel Planning – Increase Sales and Reduce Costs

There’s no getting around it…for most of us in sales, times are tough. Sales managers everywhere are faced with shrinking travel budgets and getting pressure to reduce their cost of sales. One way to go is simply to stop traveling. This cuts costs, but is death to new business, and ultimately leads to a failed sales plan…and a failed business. In tough times, you need your sales force on the streets more than ever, knocking on doors and bringing in the new business that is still out there. Yet companies have significantly curtailed business travel.

A new survey by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives found that 71 percent of travel managers foresee spending less money on corporate travel and events in 2009. “Business travel is down in the range of 20 to 25 percent on a global basis,” according to, Sam Gilliland, Sabre Holdings chairman and CEO, speaking at a recent business travel News symposium. “Even with large corporations, and in particular financial services, you see travel down in the 30 percent range” according to Gilliland.

So as corporate belts get tightened we continue to cut travel budgets, and end up seeing fewer prospects in the bargain. Seeing fewer prospects results in less sales, leading to tighter travel budgets…and a downward spiral that’s tough to pull out of.

You don’t want to stop traveling, but you still need to cut costs. Here’s how you can reduce your travel costs, while at the same time, increasing your sales. The solution is to help your sales force plan smarter sales travel – maximizing the amount of sales calls they make, while expending the least amount of travel effort and dollars.

As the old saying goes, ‘prior planning prevents poor performance’. So drill it into your sales reps that when planning sales travel, they need to think ahead. Make sure that whenever possible, they schedule sales calls with companies that are geographically close together. Ensure they create an efficient route that moves logically from account to account, taking the quickest routes that cover the least miles. When looking for hotels, restaurants and other business services required on the road, make sure your team makes every effort to choose locations that are on their route of travel so that they save time and fuel.

So how do you help your sales force work their territory more effectively, intelligently planning out a sales strategy that maximizes time in front of prospects while minimizing travel expenses? First, make sure they have the right tools. Tell them to purchase a laptop travel planning software. There are several products to choose from, including Microsoft Streets and Trips, MapPoint, Garmin Mobile PC, Delorme StreetAtlas, ESRI Business map and more. Most laptop software packages are in the $30 to $50 range, and most offer a bundled GPS receiver, with several of the combined packages running under $80.

With a laptop mapping solution, your team can import their prospect lists into the map, so that they see each account plotted right down to their street address. They’ll assign unique identity pushpins to groups of prospects and customers to instantly identify the type of accounts in an area. Seeing the ‘big picture’ will help your sales people to spot opportunities they might have missed.

Laptop mapping programs incorporate planning tools that help sales people easily plan the most efficient and practical way to get in front of the account with the least amount of effort and expense. They are much more powerful than a Personal Navigation Device (PND) because they allow reps to find prospects and generate ‘what if’ routing scenarios based on their calls. PND’s are great for helping you get to where you already know you want to go – but for sales people, it’s more important to decide where you need to go to in the first place.

Choosing a combination package with a GPS Receiver helps your sales force travel more confidently, receiving turn by turn directions right to the prospect’s door. Since they need to carry a laptop anyway, using a GPS receiver with planning software will save you a couple hundred dollars per rep as compared to buying them a Personal Navigation Device . And, it’s more convenient for them, since all of their accounts are right there on the map, ready for them to route to.

You may be asking yourself – why should I have my team purchase software to run on their laptop when there are free online mapping services…I’m trying to cut costs – right? The answer is – when it comes to comparing online mapping versus laptop mapping solutions, it’s best to remember – you get what you pay for.

The features and functionally of the laptop packages far outweigh their online cousins. Laptop trip planning software allows you to load thousands of prospect and customer locations into your map quickly and easily. Your reps can have the map with them at all times, without being dependent on an internet connection.

They’ll update their maps with information that is critical to them while traveling their territory, and be able to respond to changes quickly and efficiently. A new prospect just called in? Plot them on the map and see if they fit into the current trip plan. Have a meeting canceled while on the road? Use the search tools to find a new prospect that’s within a specified drive time. Need a restaurant with free Wi-Fi on the way to the next client? Quickly search the map and add it to the route.

Planning more efficient sales trips that maximize time in front of prospects, and reduce wasted travel time and dollars will increase sales and reduce costs. Sure – times are tough for those of us in sales. But when the going gets tough, the tough look for new ways to get the job done. Laptop mapping software will help your sales team get it done.

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10 Tips For European Travel Planning

1. Keep your money safe – Certain parts of Europe are known for their thieves and pick-pockets that target tourists. Consider bringing along a money belt which you can fasten beneath your clothing to keep your money safe. You should also budget accordingly so you never carry more cash than you need in a single day.

2. Create an itinerary – Leave it with friends and family members back home. It should list your flight information, the address and phone numbers of the hotels or hostels you’ll be staying at, and your travel plans once you’re in Europe.

3. Compile contact information – This includes all important phone numbers such as your credit card companies and where you’ll be staying throughout the trip. In the event you needed to report a lost credit card or call your hotel in advance, you have the information you need.

4. Plan how you will travel within Europe – If you’ll be traveling between various European countries, you may find flying point-to-point saves you time and money. If you’ll be traveling within a specific country or region, traveling by train may be more practical.

5. Know common words and phrases of the language – Knowing a few simple words such as “train” and “bathroom” may be all you need to get around. Also, in many places if you simply say “English” you can find natives who speak English.

6. Make and confirm all your lodging reservations – When making reservations, make sure you include all key information in your reservation requests including the type of room you want, how many nights you’ll be staying, and any special requests you may have. A few days before your scheduled departure, call ahead to confirm your reservations.

7. Know the weather – What’s the seasonal climate like where you will be traveling? Make sure you pack accordingly and consider packing in layers so you can easily dress according to the weather once you’re there.

8. Know the U.S. Embassies – If your passport is lost or stolen, you’ll need to get a new one through the U.S. Embassy so make sure you know where it is located in each country you will be visiting.

9.Do your homework – If you don’t have much time and you’re not sure which cities and sites you should visit, read up on your destination online. Reviews written by other travelers can be a valuable source for your European travel planning.

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Adventure Travel Planning Made Easy

I found myself gazing into the eyes of a gorilla toddler in the heart of Africa. That playful “child” walked right up to me and sat at my feet as I backed up against a wall of sharp nettles with nowhere to go. There were no barriers between us; nothing that separated us.

The toddler’s mother was unconcerned with my presence, and the dominant male let it be known who was boss with his powerful displays. I was right there in the middle of them while on my gorilla trek, and it was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life.

Soon after that trip I started researching new and exciting adventure travel experiences, and before I knew it I had had a wealth of adventure travel planning information at my fingertips. So, I thought I would share it with others.

First, I’ll give you a list of things you need to do, and at the end I’ll tell you where you can find – in one place — the solutions for each and every point. You may want to add some things of your own, but this list will give you a great start.

Get a list of activities by destination. If you’re off to Alaska what can you do there besides dog sledding and snow shoeing? You need to get some activity ideas so you don’t miss out on something you’d enjoy just because you didn’t know it was available.
For those looking for new experiences, make sure they’re a good fit for you. How much risk is involved? What level of fitness do you need? Do you have the right skills? Get these questions answered.
See if the travel and adventure experience is within your budget. Check out different travel companies and compare costs. If it’s an overseas adventure travel destination you’ll also need to check the currency conversion rate. You can shop by destination for a given experience to see which one gives you more bang for your buck.
Make sure you prepare for any possible health concern. There are several sources for global health watch information, and it’s a good idea to check more than one of them to give you a well-rounded view of your destination.
Get some travel insurance. You can find insurance to cover a variety of scenarios from medical needs to trip cancellation. And it’s pretty inexpensive when you consider the security it offers. How much is peace of mind worth to you while you’re in a foreign land?
Confirm that you’re passport is in order. Timing can be an issue. For instance, if you’re a citizen of the USA and at the time of your trip you have less than six months until your passport expires you’re going to have some problems. Be smart and make sure your passport is in order and also check to see if you need a visa for your specific destination(s).
Play it safe by reading all relevant travel advisories. There are pockets of turmoil in the world, and you can avoid them if you know where they are. You would be wise to check out more than one source in order to get a comprehensive perspective to ensure your safety.
Use online travel guides. There are several good online travel guides to help you dig into the details when planning your adventure travel trip.
Ask a travel expert for tips and insider information. Many adventure travelers don’t know about a free resource that lets you tap into a network of travel experts for tips and insider information on destinations all around the world. You can access this new service at the website listed below.
Check the weather forecast for your destination right before you leave. As you know, weather can change in a flash. So, get the local weather forecast and make any adjustments to your vacation schedule (and what you need, or don’t need, to pack) before you head out the door.
Check the time differential. Find out how many hours your destination is ahead, or behind, your local time so you can prepare to adjust ASAP.

You can spend your time surfing and searching the Web for all this information if you like, but all adventure travel planning points listed above can be taken care of quickly and easily at one Web site…and it’s all free. You can find it below.

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Ways to Organize a Multi-Family Vacation Travel Plan

Many a times it does happen that the family members are quite close to each other, yet due to various reasons such as careers, in-laws or personal preferences, it becomes difficult to find time to meet each other. The increasing busier lives of the people has made it extremely hard to make get together a reality and the rising cost for travel is also one of the major reasons for this. It is important to understand that once you are offered the chance of a family get together, you need to make the maximum use of this opportunity. All you require to achieve this is a little bit of upfront planning and then everything will fall into place.

The best times to plan together a family travel plan is during Thanksgiving and the Fall and Winter breaks. Most of the commonly visited spots get filled up fast and when you are on a multifamily vacation, there is no doubt that there maybe more than a dozen participants and thus availability will pose as a big issue in such matters. Keeping in mind, all the problems and possibilities, the following tips have been put together to help you come out with the right multi-family vacation travel plan for you and your family.

Make one person as the in charge of the vacation – This way one responsible person can coordinate different aspects of the family vacation with each other. While each of the members will be responsible for their own itineraries, but there will be one person who will look after the master schedule of the travel plan. In this manner, decisions can be made quickly without much delays and all the members will have a central point of contact which will reduce the confusion and malaise during vacation time.
Early decision on the dates, location and the venue is important – The part of deciding on the venue is the tough task as each of the members has their own likes and dislikes. Taking the opinion of the majority of the members is the best way of planning the trip. Also, each family member has their own budget restriction and thus putting together the family travel plan involves paying great attention to all these fine details.
Choosing the accommodations – Finalizing the kind of accommodations is extremely crucial in the travel plan. Depending on the average budget of each of the group members, you can either decide to go in for a villa rental or cruise or hotels and resorts.

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Adventure Travel An Exciting And Enthralling Experience

You often hear people talking about adventure travel and that makes you wonder as to what adventure travel actually is. It is something by which u can add adventure and fun to your life. So before going for an adventure travel, you must know what it is. Adventure travel doesn’t mean that you have to endanger your life for your trip to be called adventurous!

The term adventurous is a concept that is not defined physically when you talk about adventure travel. This concept is defined psychologically. Different people have different definitions of adventure. Earlier adventure travel meant going abroad or just traveling to different places. However, its definition has changed today. Adventure travel is when you experience an event rather than being a mere spectator in your travels. It is actually living in the present and experiencing the place and not just sight seeing.

Adventure is different for everyone. What may appear adventurous to you could be totally boring for someone. And that is reason that there are so many options available if you want to go for adventure travel. You can choose the one which suits you, and more importantly the one which excites you! White water rafting or kayaking can be fun for someone. On the other hand camping in an interesting place can de defined as adventurous by some people. Hot air balloon ride may sound boring to you but it can be the perfect adventure travel for some.

Adventure travel is when you get yourself involved in an enthralling experience. It includes boating, kayaking, hiking, sky diving, mountain climbing, scuba diving, sailing, bicycling and much more! You should not indulge yourself into any form of adventure travel in which you are not comfortable. The level of risk in your travel is defined by you just like term adventure is defined individually. Adventure travel is getting yourself engaged into a new experience but make sure that you are totally comfortable in what you are doing.

You can choose a tour if you wish to go for adventure travel. Such adventure travel tours are available for couples and families. But don’t worry in case you are single, adventure tours are also available for you. So you can make a plan for an adventure tour. You can choose a tour which suits you best. These tours usually have two groups of people. One group goes on sight seeing and visits their areas of interest, whereas the other group involves itself in adventurous activities. Of course the type of activity depends on the tour which you have selected.

It is a misconception that adventure travel is only for the younger people. You can indulge yourself into it irrespective of your age. Adventure travel is enjoyed by one and all. It’s not uncommon to see an old couple getting engaged in adventurous activities. Having worked hard throughout their life, they want o experience something new and enthralling. You can meet people from all quarters of life in adventure travel. Now, meeting different people from different backgrounds can itself be very adventurous!

You can choose an adventure travel which excites you. It can simply be going out of the country to some distant place or maybe engaging yourself in bunjee jumping. Whichever activity you choose, just make sure that you are comfortable in it, for there will be no fun and no adventure if you are not comfortable!

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10 Tips For European Travel Planning

1. Keep your money safe – Certain parts of Europe are known for their thieves and pick-pockets that target tourists. Consider bringing along a money belt which you can fasten beneath your clothing to keep your money safe. You should also budget accordingly so you never carry more cash than you need in a single day.

2. Create an itinerary – Leave it with friends and family members back home. It should list your flight information, the address and phone numbers of the hotels or hostels you’ll be staying at, and your travel plans once you’re in Europe.

3. Compile contact information – This includes all important phone numbers such as your credit card companies and where you’ll be staying throughout the trip. In the event you needed to report a lost credit card or call your hotel in advance, you have the information you need.

4. Plan how you will travel within Europe – If you’ll be traveling between various European countries, you may find flying point-to-point saves you time and money. If you’ll be traveling within a specific country or region, traveling by train may be more practical.

5. Know common words and phrases of the language – Knowing a few simple words such as “train” and “bathroom” may be all you need to get around. Also, in many places if you simply say “English” you can find natives who speak English.

6. Make and confirm all your lodging reservations – When making reservations, make sure you include all key information in your reservation requests including the type of room you want, how many nights you’ll be staying, and any special requests you may have. A few days before your scheduled departure, call ahead to confirm your reservations.

7. Know the weather – What’s the seasonal climate like where you will be traveling? Make sure you pack accordingly and consider packing in layers so you can easily dress according to the weather once you’re there.

8. Know the U.S. Embassies – If your passport is lost or stolen, you’ll need to get a new one through the U.S. Embassy so make sure you know where it is located in each country you will be visiting.

9.Do your homework – If you don’t have much time and you’re not sure which cities and sites you should visit, read up on your destination online. Reviews written by other travelers can be a valuable source for your European travel planning.

10. Create a route and time-line – Determine a logical geographical order of the places you will visit and when to ensure you make the most of your time in Europe.

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Adventure Travel Agents Provide Great Benefits For Your Adventure Travel

Adventure travel agents make any travel possible and help you to enjoy your travel even more. Traveling is a way of exploring and experiencing what a particular place can offer, and all the things that can be really adventurous. However, travel will not be successful without adventure travel agents.

Planning to have an adventure travel can be confusing and time consuming. That’s why it is important to hire a travel agent. Looking for an expert agent that specializes in adventure travel is important for the success of your travel. They are the ones who will help you in making your plan for your adventure. The agent will not only arrange the various means of transportation but they may be able also to let you save money with special fares, early bookings, accommodation deals, and travel advisories. Not only that, there are also great benefits that you can get when you use a travel agent such as:

* Save Money- agents will really get great savings. With the strong relationships of the travel suppliers and the advancement in technology for computer reservations allow travel agents to access the most up-to-date details on how to get you the best deals and value.

* Travelers Advocate- your best interests are their priority. There are societies of travel agents in America that have a long-standing record on fighting for their clients’ rights, and every travel agent is required to stick to the strict Code of Ethics.

* Convenience- adventure travel agents really provide convenience for their customers. They are the ones that will provide all the things that you need for your travel. They mostly offer one-stop shopping travel arrangements.

* Great Service- agents are knowledgeable and active in their service. The travel agents are well educated and trained in order for them to offer the highest quality of service to the costumer.

With these benefits, your adventure will definitely be exciting and successful. Your personal agent will really work for you and will do everything just to provide you with your travel needs. An adventure travel agent is absolutely the best travel partner that you can have.

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Top 5 Risks Travellers Face in Adventure Travel

Sun basking on the beach with glass of cocktail in the hand may not be an ideal holiday style for everybody, thus a new form of holidaying – adventure sports holidays or adventure travel has become really popular. Adventure sports holidays are where travellers get an opportunity to try their hands at adrenal gushing and challenging activities such as mountain climbing, exploring caves, mountain biking, rafting, bungee jumping etc.

Because of its popularity, adventure travel coupled with adventure sports has become a part of the itinerary of almost all camping sites, resorts and hotels around the world that wish to provide their clients with something extra to do on their stay with there. Inclusion of adventure sports surely adds excitement and thrill to a traveller’s halt, but this comes with potential dangers which loom high on personal safety.

Top five risks involved in adventure travel are listed below:

1. All adventure activities and sports include dedicated gear, which is vital and should be used at all time while carrying out an activity. The gear is properly tested before use and almost all activities are carried out in a close observation of an instructor, whose main motive is to maintain your safety and make sure you adhere to all the safety requirements, but there can be a small chance that the safety equipment may fail. Therefore, safety is always an issue with adventure activities.

2. Mountain climbing can be a risky affair because as you travel uphill, the density of the oxygen in the air keeps decreasing which makes breathing difficult. If first aid is not administered, this can lead to chest pain and acute headaches, which if untreated, can lead to heart attack.

3. Mountain biking can be fun until cyclists try to do a little extra. Mountain bikers are at a risk of altitude sickness (as discussed in risk of mountain climbing above) and are also very prone to accidents because of the rough terrains selected for biking.

4. When you hit the water in a raft, you are always wearing a life jacket and are accompanied by an instructor. But the river current can flip you off the boat. Thus, while rafting you’re always at the risk of drowning or injuring yourself in the water.

5. Caving or cave exploration is one of the most thrilling adventure activities. Activity depends on the cave and how travellers negotiate squeezes, pitches, waters and rocks. Though caving has become safer with safety equipment but still travellers and adventurers are at risk of falling rocks, floods, falling, hypothermia and fatigue.

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Top Adventure Travel Companies In The World

Here are few best adventure travel organizations that provide a discriminating and interesting range of adventurous traveling plans. Hiking the Inca Trail, biking in Morocco and rafting through Grand Canyon are simply the shortest sample of experiences these organizations could provide customers. All their sites list specific adventurous trips, with elaborated travel plans, cost and pictures.

Gap adventures:

This company provides a choice of about 1,200 adventurous trip plans to all 7 continents. To find some discount rates on fascinating tours check out their “Specials” section.

Geographic Expeditions Adventure tours:

This company provides the portfolio of land trips, walks, treks and military ocean trips to the most impressive places in the world, ranging right from travels in Nepal, China and Vietnam to Ghana and Mongolia.

Austin-Lehman adventurous trips:

If you are anticipating adventurous traveling trips that children of all ages could enjoy, or tours only for you or for adolescents, consider this company. Austin-Lehman offers the hike, bike, paddle, climb, ride and Multi-Sport tours– visit such beautiful destination such as Costa Rica, Alaska, Mexico, Bryce, Canada, Yosemite National Parks and Zion.

International Expeditions:

This company provides nature-tours and eco trips to different places comprising the Egypt, Amazon, India, Galapagos and Kenya. International Expeditions provides deep itineraries planned to explore the region’s mortal of the country.

Intrepid Travel:

This is the niche adventure travel company which concentrates on taking customers out-of-the-way track to about ninety place over the world. On this typical tour you could trip in paths similar to localized people, respecting the environment and the culture. This travel tour operator company takes generally public transport, stay and dines in small local-owned organizations.

Small adventurous trips with classic journeys:

This company is specializes in small-group, boutique and soft adventurous trip. Classic journeys functions 3 types of tours: family journeying, cultural walking adventures and culinary trips.

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