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Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Travel to Cuba

by amit.uniyal 26. February 2015 03:37

Cuba is one of those exotic, fun locations that everyone should travel to at least once. With flight rates at some of the lowest ever, it is even easier to skip on over to Cuba for a week. From enjoying the fresh mojitos to enjoying the surf and sand of the Caribbean, there are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t wait to get over to Cuba.

To help seal the deal, we have compiled some of our favorite things to do in Cuba once you arrive.

cuba

Get Fresh Cuban Cigars Straight from the Plantation
Take a walking tour of the local tobacco plantation. Located in the southwest area of Pinar del Rio, you’ll find a spot where they have been growing fresh tobacco since 1845 - and in 1997 they launched a famous line of cigars known as the Vegas Robaina.

This plantation has been unofficially open to the public for quite some time. But, if you visit, get ready to do a little work to earn those cigars. You’ll have to take a walk through the fields, see the tobacco-making process and even check out the wrappers and rolling process yourself. There is an on-site café that gives every guest a complimentary cigar, but you can also purchase a few more to go if you would like.

Visit Downtown Havana
Havana is easily one of the most popular spots in all of Cuba. There is plenty to do right here and you could spend your entire vacation in this one spot and have access to amazing food, stores, and of course the beach. Its central location is perfect for quick travel and the historic districts provide you with plenty of sights to take in. Don’t forget to check out the even more exciting nightlife that Cuba is known for while you’re in the downtown area.

Visit Christopher Columbus Cemetery
Also known as the city of marble, the Cemeteries de Colon is worth the time. Here you will find a beautiful mixture of tombs and you can even hire a guide to take you through and give you a little background on the cemetery, including its inhabitants.

Take in the 50’s
One thing you will notice from the moment you get off the plane is that Cuba is all about the 1950’s. You’ll see plenty of 1950’s automobiles in mint condition still driving down the streets of Havana. Here owners have a real sense of pride in their vehicles and these relics to the United States are still used for everyday getting around in Cuba. You can even rent a 1950’s car at some car rental places or take a taxi ride down the coast in one.

Drink Delicious Mojitos Just About Anywhere You Go
You cannot visit Cuba without having a mojito or two. Make sure no matter where you go you are getting the authentic Havana Club Rum though - for the true experience. Some great places to get authentic mojitos include Hotel Nacional de Cuba, La Bodeguita del Medio and El Floridita. While most of these bars are full of fellow tourists, they still offer some of the best drinks in Cuba.

If you go at the right time of the day you will even see first-rate artists playing music. But, if you are bar hopping mid-day, don’t be surprised to find a lot of establishments closed. Cuba is known more for their nightlife, which means you won’t see the best bars open their doors until well after the sun goes down.

Spend a Day at Playa Ancon
One of the finest beaches in the world is in Cuba. Playa Ancon, with its perfect white sand beaches and crystal blue water, is considered one of the finest beaches in the area. You’ll find plenty of all-inclusive resorts parked right here on the shore, snorkeling lessons and even opportunities to go diving into the reefs just off the sand.

Walk through Museo Historico Municipal
Get a real taste of Cuba’s culture at the grandiose museum located just off of Plaza Mayor. This mansion used to belong to the Borrell Family until 1830 and eventually was passed down to the Cantero family. You can see all of Trinidad from the top of the tower, check out the neoclassical decorations inside each room, and more. The view alone makes it worth every penny of the admission fee -but we recommend showing up before 11am so you can avoid the tourist crowds.

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Travel Advice

Flight Cancelled, Now What? Tips for Handling Flight Cancellation

by amit.uniyal 25. February 2015 03:31

Inclement weather, medical emergencies or just bad luck - there are plenty of reasons why your flight may be cancelled. But, a flight cancellation could mean you are stranded at an airport waiting around for another flight or worse, you are scrambling from airline desk to airline desk to find someone else to get you home. No matter the reasons why, there are good ways and bad ways to handle those overwhelming flight cancellations.

Flight Cancellation

Always Have Extra in the Budget
Flight cancellations happen - and always unexpectedly. You can be better prepared by having a little extra in the travel budget for these situations. Extra funds could help you stay a little longer in a comfortable hotel or even pay the extra cost of switching airlines last minute to get home. If flights are cancelled because of bad weather, you may have a few days where you are stuck in your current location, so pad the budget enough to handle food, accommodations and even a rental car for at a couple days.

Decide How Long You’re Willing to Wait
There are times where getting home is important - or you just cannot deal with another day in your current location. There are ways around flight cancellations, but it might mean traveling to a different location and catching a connecting flight rather than a direct flight back home. For example, your flight from New York to California was cancelled, and you cannot stay in New York another day. Your only option for getting home in one day rather than next week is to fly to Denver, wait overnight, and then fly to California. While it is a hassle, it gets you home when you want to be there.

If your flight is cancelled decide how long you are willing to wait or how far you are willing to go to get home.

Check Your Flight Status before Going
Before you check out of the hotel or even pack your bags that day, check your flight’s status online. If it’s cancelled, start the hunt for alternate flights right away. Even if there are no flights, keep looking. New flights pop up and sometimes due to connection issues, seats will open up on flights that were already booked full.

Always Fly with Airports that Maintain Multiple Airlines
Small airports are limited on how many flights they have coming in and out. But, large international airports can cater to over a dozen airlines at once - increasing the chances you will find another airline to take you home even if your flight was cancelled.

You Can Go to Another Airport
Just because the airport you are at now doesn’t have any flights does not mean you are out of luck. Other airports in the area may be able to accommodate you. For example, your flight at Burbank Airport in California was cancelled. But, if you take a cab or shuttle to LAX, you will have a plethora of new airlines and flights to choose from that aren’t.

Don’t be Afraid to Call
If your flight is cancelled, call the airline and see what they can do. After all, it wasn’t your fault the flight was cancelled. Airlines may be able to find you a connection flight or another flight leaving from a different airport. Also, an airline may be willing to compensate you for an overnight hotel stay, last minute flight change, etc. - especially if the cancellation was not due to poor weather.

Book through Travel Agents

The money you pay a travel agent helps in these situations. A travel agent has access to hundreds of flights at their fingertips. When your flight is cancelled, give them a call and see what flights they can find. They will be able to continue to look for a flight faster and more efficiently - and even be able to purchase you a ticket on a new flight. Even if they cannot find a flight right away, your travel agent can find a hotel or some form of accommodation so you are not stranded at the airport or sleeping in the lobby.

Flight cancellations are never fun and they can be stressful. But, by being prepared with a padded budget, flight information at your fingertips and access to backup plans, you don’t have to feel stranded. Even if you are in a foreign country, a flight cancellation can be an easy fix. Just use these quick travel tips and handle your next flight cancellation like a pro.

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Travel Advice

The Luxurious and Affordable Business Class Travel

by amit.uniyal 4. December 2014 07:24

The frequent fliers especially on long-haul flights tend to choose business class. The benefits for the elite passengers offered in business class are worth spending your hard-earned money. Gone are the days when business class seats were highly expensive. One can find affordable business class deals with ultimate comfort. There are many exclusive privileges for business class travel that lure more and more passengers to fly in the cabin.

Check-in Privileges
Even before the flight takes off, the premium passengers start availing their benefits at the airport. They check-in separately, they are seated sooner than economy passengers and they get to wait in luxurious lounges while enjoying complimentary Wi-Fi and hot meals in many airport business lounges. The lounges also offer shower rooms, sleeping rooms and private eating space.

Dinner in Airline

Business-friendly Facilities
The businessmen who travel for their meetings, conferences or business deals cannot affords to waste their precious time on long haul flights. Hence, many airlines now offer exclusive facilities for the passengers including USB ports, power chargers on each seat, satellite phones and in-flight Wi-Fi to connect their personal smart phones or tablets.

Comfortable Seating
The business class seats are extremely comfortable and not as expensive as first class. This class is perfect for anyone who likes to travel in comfort. Most of the airlines have started offering lie-flat seats with 180 degrees recline. Some of them offer Sky Sofas, Cocoon style seats or Executive pods which offer privacy as well as more space for passengers. The airlines also ensure that passengers get direct aisle access and have spacious legroom. The seats also feature massage functions and retractable tray tables for laptops. The storage is ample too with exclusive pockets for tablets, laptops and knick knacks.

Better Dining Options
Most of the airlines are focusing on the dining options that they give to the premium passengers. Top airlines offer food from Michelin starred restaurants or on-board chefs who prepare menu according to the passengers’ choice. The elite travelers also get to choose the food before boarding the flight with pre-order menu on few of the airlines’ websites.

In-Flight Entertainment
The airlines are incorporating the latest technologies in the flight for better customer experience. From 18-inch touch screens to dual screens with gaming and 100 hours of the latest video content, the airlines ensure that the travelers do not get bored during the flights. Some even offer gate to gate entertainment options.

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Travel Advice

Kid-Friendly Airports in the United States

by amit.uniyal 27. November 2014 02:34

The long-haul layovers can torment parents, let alone the kids. Keeping the little tykes occupied at the airports can be a herculean task which makes parents to consider road trips. However, there are few domestic terminals that ensure that they cater to all your children’s needs. The top 5 American airports have earned their wings for offering the best children activities.

kid friendly airports

Orlando (MCO)
Orlando International Airport is the gateway too Disney World and it does a great job even before the theme-park vacation begins. A King of Kong video arcade, free Wi-Fi, plethora of restaurants, automated tram service to the gates and shops offering Disney, Kennedy Space Center, SeaWorld and Universal merchandise. The giant aquarium in the food court is magnificent.

Detroit (DTW)
The McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metro Airport offers several play areas, Motown and Henry Ford stores. Jelly sandwiches and gourmet peanut butter are sold at food concessions. Free Wi-Fi keeps the teenagers occupied while Play Port which is a soft sculpted playground at the North Terminal offers fun time for kids. There is a padded clouds slide and an aircraft.

Seattle (SEA)
The airport has four Starbucks outlets for the parents to enjoy respite. Sea-Tac International offers special playlists for teenagers that allow them to ‘Experience the City of Music’ via video screens, speakers, free Wi-Fi and a smart phone application featuring the top performers of Seattle. The younger tots can play in Children’s Play Areas located between the concourses A and B.

Minneapolis (MSP)
Minneapolis- St. Paul Airport offers two different play areas in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2; Lindburgh and Humphrey respectively. They have control towers with slides, mock airplanes and device charging outlets for adults while they wait. A statue of Snoopy at Terminal 1 is great for capturing photographs. A video arcades trio and free Wi-Fi keep the teens occupied. In case, you forgot to carry all your infant supplies, the Diaper Bag Basics vending machine in Terminal 1 has it all.

Denver (DIA)
The Denver International Airport is a treat for art lovers. 30 installations and sculptures include A Subterranean Journey and Deep Time/Deep Space. The light and sculpture installation in the inbound train tunnel at West Terminal is a mile long. DIA also offers free Wi-Fi and four scavenger hunts. You can find toys for your kids at Kazoo & Company or sports merchandise at Sports Terminal.

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Travel Advice

One-way Tickets versus Round-trip Flight Tickets

by amit.uniyal 25. November 2014 02:56

If you are a savoir-faire traveler, you must know your way around cheap airfares to a particular destination. As a rule of thumb, round trip tickets to and from any destination are usually more affordable than two one-way tickets.

An avid traveler would be familiar with these terms, but for those who are yet to board their maiden flight, one-way tickets offer an onward journey to a destination but do not include a return flight. One-way tickets can be direct or include a halt at another city airport. On the other hand, round trip tickets include a flight to the destination and return flight from that destination back to where you started from. These tickets may also have direct flights or stop over flights.

Round Trip Flights

If a ticket offers better flexibility, it will be more expensive than a ticket that offers limited options. For example, a one-way ticket does not include minimum or maximum stay restrictions or open jaw restrictions. Open jaw trips are applicable for roundtrip tickets wherein the passenger does not land at the departure city or does not board a flight from the arrival city. For instance, a traveler can fly from New York to Birmingham, travel from Birmingham to London and fly back home from London to New York. However, this option is not available in one-way ticket. These kind of round-trip tickets are beneficial for those who want to explore different cities in a country and head back home on the return date with cheaper airfares. Round trip tickets in general have restrictions due to which you get lower prices.

For others who are not sure of the duration of their stay at a particular destination, like in the case of students studying abroad or visiting a sick relative, buying cheap round trip tickets would not help since one cannot commit to a return date. If you happen to buy a round trip ticket, you would have to pay the change fee. For these travelers, open tickets are an option with a flexible return date usually within a year of the departure date, but they are rather expensive than one-way or round trip tickets.

A good way around more affordable one-way tickets is to check prices for different airlines since you have an option of choosing a different airline for your return journey. Airlines also offer cheaper one-way airfares for the frequent fliers. So, if you like the service of a particular airline and it goes to your destination of journey, you should stick to it for starting journey.

Another way to get cheaper one-way tickets is to look for red-eye flights, early morning flights and flights on certain days like Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Airfares are usually expensive on Fridays and Sundays which are the busy travel days. So it is advisable to plan your journey with a return flight on weekdays. Another point to note is that tickets are usually cheaper within four to six weeks of departure date and are expensive around two weeks from departure date. So, the best way to go about it is observing the flights on various websites well in advance and finding the most affordable one-way or round trip depending as per your needs.

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Travel Advice

Important Tips to consider when booking a Red Eye Flight

by amit.uniyal 24. November 2014 02:51

Air travel can be costly as well as cheap, which however depends on the destination and duration of the flight. One would always want to have his/her flight cheaper. A red eye flight can fulfill your objective of making air travel cheaper, particularly when you are traveling within North America.

Typically, Red Eye Flights are those flights making late departures at night and arriving to the destination quite early in the morning. Such kinds of flights normally don’t come under the purview of that common operational day.

Red Eye Flight

In the United States and Canada, the red eye flights usually make their departure from the west coast and make arrival on the east coast. These flights begin their departures between 10 pm and 1 am and arrive at their destination between 5 am and 7 am. For instance, if your are having a 6-hour flight from Los Angeles to Boston which departs at 9 pm L.A. time, and when the time difference is added, then you will be arriving at 6 am Boston time. Booking a red eye flight is advantageous as you will be able to make great savings on your tickets.

Here are some of the valuable tips that will make booking a Red Eye Flight easier for you. In the process, this will prove to be a significant money saver as well.

Look out for the best deals
The best deals would come after you vigorously shop them around for. Conduct an extensive search on online booking websites and also check with the travel agents as well. Be flexible with your travel plans. It would be always good if you book your tickets late in the evening. The best deal could come at 9 pm or even at midnight. Various airlines also provide discount offers and you need to keep a keen watch over them.

Booking flights in advance always pays
Do remember that flight tickets tend to become costlier as the date of flight comes nearer. The closer the flight dates would be, the costlier the ticket prices would be. It is therefore always a wise thing to book your tickets in advance. For a red eye flight, you will however need to purchase your tickets at least 21 to 30 days prior to your scheduled departure. This will surely get you the best prices.

Mid week travel is cheaper
Make your plans for your travel particularly during the middle of the week. You need to check out at least a week before and after your scheduled and preferred dates of your journey. Traveling on a Wednesday can be cheaper rather than traveling on the weekend.

Consider flying to smaller airports
Smaller airports have two benefits. They have less traffic and your tickets would be cheaper when flying here. So, why not make smaller airports your destination instead. There are multiple airports in large cities, and at least one or two airports in these cities would be situated on the outskirts of the central part of the city. By choosing to arrive at one of the smaller airports you will be able to save money and also reach in the central part of the city by taking a bus.

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Travel Advice

Best ways to book Last Minute Flights

by amit.uniyal 22. November 2014 02:24

Traveling during an emergency situation is more often fraught with obstacles and just might prove to be a costly affair. This is equally true with air travel, particularly at a shorter notice. It is cost prohibitive. Booking last minute flights can prove to be tedious and pricier.

There’s a general perception that it costs a lot to book last minute flight tickets. But this has proved to be wrong quite often. Patience and a keen eye are the buzzwords to find a good deal. This however largely depends on the time of your booking and the destination you are flying to.

Last Minute Flight

Many would simply ask now as whether it is possible to book tickets at the last minute and what are exactly the best ways to book flights during emergency situations or at extremely shorter notice. And, of course, there are many ways to search for good prices for such flights. Let us have a look into some of the effective ways that would ultimately get you the best deals for these flights.

Flexibility is the key factor
Flexibility is undoubtedly the key factor to find short-notice flights. Missing out on a last minute flight would be the last thing you would want in case of urgency because you are just not ready to bend on your flight timings or the airports you want to fly to. When it comes to selecting airports, airlines, departure and arrival times, being flexible has always paid rather handsomely. Compromising sometimes is indeed rewarding. To get your flights cheap at the last minute, stopovers might be involved. Be ready to take more than one flight in order to arrive at your destination, and if you want to save more on your tickets. You should also prepare to take red eye flights and early morning flights as well. Flights departing on a Tuesday or Wednesday also prove to be cheaper and easier to find.

Get Internet-only deals
It is always possible to find the best deals on online booking engines. This is particularly because the airline wants to leave no stone unturned in filling up a flight rather quickly. In such a case, the airline and other travel websites post Internet-only deals for flights at the last minute. You need to constantly monitor these websites. You may also consider signing up for email alerts as well. Fares are typically posted mid-week for the flights departing on the following weekend. You should however remain cautious about non-refundable tickets and also watch out for loopholes too.

Keep an eye on auctioned flights
Bidding could be yet another fantastic way to find a cheaper flight on short notice. There are many airlines and travel websites holding auctions for cheap flights. This may also some time include car rentals and hotel deals as well. You must however read the fine print before bidding. You should be aware that some websites would have restrictions, such as a flight at the last minute would be guaranteed only during specific times.

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Travel Advice

Best time for booking flights

by amit.uniyal 22. November 2014 02:10

Booking flights can sometimes prove to be quite frustrating, annoying and often confusing. This is simply because prices of air tickets fluctuate frequently and it rather becomes difficult to even assess whether one has got a good deal or not. The usual tendency with a frequent air traveler is to keep on constantly checking multiple websites, and this could even amount to several times a day. If the search for the best deals is perceived to be complete then a nonrefundable ticket is finally booked considering it to be a sale offer, but only to discover later on that the customer has rather overpaid.

So, one would rather ask as to what after all is the best time to book a flight that would come cheap and you are able to save a significant amount of money on your tickets. Most of the frequent flyers and those in the commercial aviation business would say that booking tickets in advance is always cheap. This, however, depends on the number of days you are booking your tickets ahead of your scheduled departure date.

passenger assistant

Let us have a look at some of the ways and the best time indeed for booking your flights. You will soon discover that booking flights would rather become convenient and simple.

Best Days to book flights
The airfares are usually at their lowest on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. These two days of the week are therefore undoubtedly the best to purchase your air tickets. It has often been seen that many airlines in the sheer hope of securing sales for the following week announce special discounts on a Monday evening. These discounts are then matched by the rival competitors and thus the prices of airfares are lowered further. In this way, the customers stand to benefit vastly when booking on these two particular days. Most of the discounted tickets are thus sold out by Thursday or latest by Friday.

Best time for booking in the month
Is there any best time of the month also to book your flight tickets? Of course, such a query is true for a medium budget or salaried person. The 7th day of the month is considered to be the best for making plans for travel and booking air tickets. It is the time when many workers receive their pay checks and have enough money to afford a holiday. The airlines come up with fabulous discounts and competition among rival carriers increases. This is also the best time of the month to get a good flight deal.

Good months to book flights
If you are particular about saving money on your tickets, then there are at least two good months when booking flights would be the cheapest and best. The months of July and November are considered to be the best for getting cheap airfares. During these months people seldom plan for their holidays and the demand for airline tickets is low and therefore the airfares also tend to be low. However, avoid booking tickets during September and January as the demand is high and so are the prices.

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Travel Advice

Finding cheap Thanksgiving flights – A few tips!

by amit.uniyal 14. November 2014 05:31

Thanksgiving is round the corner. Have you made plans to spend the 12-day-long holiday with your family and friends? Finding cheap Thanksgiving flights might prove to be difficult if you haven’t booked it well in advance. Here are some valuable tips on how to book cheap flights for Thanksgiving and save money.

Being flexible is absolutely one of the best ways to find cheap airfares for your holidays. Flexibility, after all, is the key to get the best deal. Holidays are always the expensive and busiest time for travel. You need to be alert and book your tickets in advance or else be flexible with your dates in order to save on your tickets.

Thanksgivings

The time of day is yet another significant factor to determine whether you will be able to get cheap tickets or not. Flying during the peak business travel hours from 8 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 7 pm can be most expensive. If you want to save on your tickets consider departing quite early in the morning between 5 am to 7 am. You may even consider late evening flights after 8 pm. These also tend to be cheaper.

Flying nonstop can be expensive. So, why not book a flight with a stopover. It will be cheaper and help you save some money. But you must be alert at the same time and avoid connections at the airports having poor on-time track record.

Searching and comparing for cheaper flights is surely the best way to save money. For this you will need to constantly browse multiple websites to get the best deals. If however you don’t want to spend time to search manually, then consider signing up for fare alerts.

These are some of the ways to adopt in order to land the best deals for your Thanksgiving holiday.

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Travel Advice

Is Travel better with Wearable Technology?

by amit.uniyal 16. October 2014 06:31

Recent technological advances in air travel have streamlined the checking-in and checking-out process.
Air passengers are also getting accustomed with wearable technology for boarding flights in the most convenient way possible. A recent market survey depicted that 77% of more than 6000 passengers would be comfortable with use of wearable technology like Google Glass or smart Watch to make their journey pleasant.

wearable technology

Among the fliers assessed, 97% of them carry a laptop, smartphone or a tablet while flying and one out of five carry all three. Passengers are eager to stay connected even during flight with over 76% using the airline applications. 53% of the passengers want alerts about flight delays on their phones while 57% want airport terminal directions and maps. The demand for in-flight connectivity is drastic. 56% of the travelers want to be able to stay connected on their laptop or tablet for entertainment purposes during their flight.

The huge demand of customers worldwide has encouraged innovative minds to develop technology that helps you throughout your journey. Miami International Airport, for instance, is the first ever airport to deploy iBeacon technology covering the check-in point, baggage and parking areas across the airport.

The passengers are given relevant information related to boarding gate, directions and boarding time on their phones through the use of Bluetooth Low Energy technology. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has released an update of iOS and Android devices featuring a Voice Concierge.

AirBerlin, Iberia and Vueling, and have also recently unveiled smart watch boarding pass for owners of Pebble Steel, Samsung Gear 2 and Sony Smartwatch 2. With just a shake of a wrist, the devices scan the watch like a digital boarding ticket on a phone.

Well, these dapper gadgets will certainly help you board your flight on time and have a fun flight.

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Travel Advice

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