e-Travel FAQs: Great Vacations Made Easy Using The Internet
Vacation! It provides memories, relaxation, and exhilaration a
time to gather experiences and stories to share with others. When
planning your vacation, the Internet offers you the opportunity
to explore your options and there are literally thousands of them
available. The Internet places you in the unique position of being
your own travel agent. As such, you can customize a vacation that
suits your needs whether it s basking on the beach, sightseeing
in an exotic place, or a family adventure to remember.
Where Do You Start?
With your keyboard as a control panel, you begin your planning
by zooming in on your desired location. You can do this by following
these five steps:
- Make a list of the places you think you might like to go at
this point, don t worry about price, mode of travel, or accommodations.
Just brainstorm, getting all your ideas on the table.
- Make a list of the activities you would like to enjoy on your
trip. Do you want to go deep sea fishing, gamble, or play in the
ocean s waves? What about golfing, horseback riding, or fine dining?
Rate these from the most important to least important.
- Browse the Internet using the places you have chosen as keywords
in your search. Read about the places on your list in more detail
to determine if, in fact, each place will match your desired vacation
activities. Consider the activities at the bottom of your list
as dispensable, if all other aspects of the destination match
your needs. Each destination will likely have its own website.
At the very least, you should be able to find a local Chamber
of Commerce or a Convention and Visitor s Bureau site connected
with the places on your list. These provide information on where
you can stay, what you can do, and also provide maps and contact
information if you have further questions after conducting your
- By following the steps above, narrow your list to your top two
or three destination choices.
- Begin an online search for the best prices for those you have
Mode of Travel
The mode of travel best for your trip will depend upon your destination
some places are most easily accessed by airplane, others are more
car friendly, and still others might be best reached by train.
There are many sites dedicated to air travel. These sites offer
competitive prices on packages and also offer combinations that
include two of the following: airline tickets, rental car, hotels.
Many sites rate the hotels so that you can determine the level of
luxury and location you desire whether it is just a place to hit
the pillow each night or a resort that offers so much more.
You ll find the best deals if you look at the sites that specialize
in reduced rates. And you will almost always find better prices
on travel web sites than through an airline s company website.
Some sites worth checking out are:
You may want to consider traveling by car if the distance between
you and your destination is relatively short (Less than 500 miles),
picturesque, and accessible. Keep in mind that you won t want to
be in the car for so many hours that you and your family are grumpy
and irritated upon arrival. However, if the path you need to take
involves spectacular natural beauty or unique attractions, you may
not want to pass up the road trip as an added vacation bonus.
When traveling by car, you can still take advantage of the same
websites that you would use if you were traveling by plane -- simply
review the hotel ratings. Additional places to find out more about
hotels are the online full service travel agencies like Expedia.com
and Travelocity.com, local visitor s Bureaus, and specialized sites
like hotels-search-engine.org, lodging.com, and Hotels.com.
Hotels.com has a section of their web site devoted to road trips,
which allows you to create a road trip based on how far you are
willing to drive from home. In addition, map sites like Mapquest.com
provide driving instructions and information on hotels, attractions,
and dining along the way and also at your final destination.
Travel by train is an often overlooked option. Yet it offers some
of the sightseeing benefits of traveling by car, but with an added
speed factor. If you decide to hit the tracks, Traintraveling.com
offers information on rail tours and tourist trains in the United
States and also abroad. The site offers tips for traveling with
kids, a related news archive, and links to special deals.
As opposed to travel by airplane, where you get the best deals
through discounted websites versus the individual airlines, you
should check out the train companies directly as there is not as
much competition. Amtrak information can be found at amtrak.com
A Word About Cruises
Most of the online travel sites also have information on cruises.
As in traveling by air, you will always get better rates by visiting
an online travel agency or ticket vendor than by going directly
to the cruise lines. At the travel sites, you ll find cruise line
reviews, ship information, calendars, and details on the ports of
call. You can always visit the various cruise ship sites to get
more detailed information, and then go back and purchase your tickets
at the discounted prices offered elsewhere.
Making It All Come Together
Once you have planned a vacation online -- even just once -- you
will never want to do it any other way. Your keyboard literally
delivers the world to your fingertips, offering you the opportunity
to plan a dream vacation that won t bankrupt your budget. While
searching online, you may discover vacation ideas that never wandered
through your mind before -- ideas that would be perfect for building
memories, finding relaxation, and for experiencing exhilarating
Putting together a vacation online is easy. All you need to do
is to select your destination, activities, and mode of travel. Then,
simply search the online sites for the best deals; Packages offer
more vacation fun for less money. Finally, pay for your package
and print your confirmation. Read the confirmation thoroughly to
make sure it is accurate. It is easier to correct mistakes early,
waiting could cause additional fees and inconveniences.
To ensure a well-planned trip, start planning early so that you
can spot any possible problems with your plans and to ensure that
you find the cheapest rates. The closer your departure, the more
expensive the trip tends to be.
Cruise Vacation Resources
Golf Vacations - thinking of a cruise vacation around the Carribean. How
about joining a bit of golf into the program.