Posts Tagged ‘travel FAQ’

05
April
2012

A Video Camera Small Enough to Fit in Your Pocket

A small camera with lots of extras and resolution equal to the task of taking great videos. Easy to hook up to computer with built in USB. Carry extra SD cards with you because it has an SD slot. It even has a microphone jack. The Kodak Zi8 is a great choice for taking your videos.

Capture your memories in video with the Kodak Zi8 Camera (text link) Kodak Zi8 Pocket HD Digital Video Camcorder, Black

30
March
2012

What is Included in Hotel Meal Plans?

Hotels offer several different “Meal Plans” depending on the hotel or resort. Having some meals included can make a big difference in your overall vacation expenses.  Check to see what time of the day the meals are offered. There is no sense paying for something you won’t be there to eat. Find out how many people staying in the room the “Meal Plan” will include. Many times the room will hold more people than the “Meal Plan” will provide for so you may be required to pay for additional guests.

(AL) All inclusive Plan (also called Full Pension, or Full American Plan) Check what they mean by all inclusive it could be just 3 meals a day with drinks, dessert, snacks etc. or it may include some meals but not drinks

(EP) European Plan – No meals included

( CP) Continental Plan – Continental Breakfast: This varies by hotel. Usually it is pastries and coffee. I have been in several hotels where it includes fruit and cereal, tea, coffee, juices and hot chocolate so you will have to check with the hotel.

(AP) American Plan – Includes three meals daily

(MAP) Modified American Plan (sometimes called demi-pensions, half pension or half board depending where you are in the world) – Includes some meals

(B&B) Bed and Breakfast – Some sort of breakfast is included with your hotel night stay. The breakfast can range from a drink or coffee with a roll to a full breakfast buffet.

Each hotel, resort or accommodation may interpret the meaning of these terms differently so this is another reason to check exactly what is included before you book your hotel. We always try to have meals included as it usually costs more to purchase meals independently than to have them included in the room rate. It is always good to check and see if the meals that are included in the rate make it a better deal than booking a hotel without.

29
March
2012

Apps, Apps and More Apps Do You Have Travel Ones?

The invention of mobile applications has made getting information while you are traveling so much easier. It used to be that you would have to go to the library or book store and check out or buy a travel book on the destination where you were traveling to. Then came the internet with the ability to look up information from the comfort of your home but you still couldn’t get real time on the spot information. Now we have mobile apps that provide immediate results and information.

The mobile apps can supply you with real time weather, tour information, airline check in, maps, and even information for opening and closing times of the places you are visiting.

What’s even better is most apps are very inexpensive compared to buying all those books, maps, and printing costs for printing from the internet and it eliminated the bulk of room all those things took up. With airline weight restrictions we really need our apps.

23
March
2012

Warning – Before You Book A Hotel or Resort

Before you book a hotel or resort be sure that you know what the price quote includes. You want to know the total that your stay will cost before making a decision on which property to book for your vacation. Extra fees and charges can make one hotel cost substantially more than another. Sometimes you can’t tell by just the basic quote given.  Here are some questions you will want the answer to before booking your hotel or resort.

What Amenities does it include? Amenities can be anything from a microwave, coffee maker, hair blower, refrigerator, air conditioning, spa, exercise facility, breakfast, shuttle service, or swimming pool just to name a few.

 Does it include all taxes? Local, State, Government, Tax Recovery Charge

Does it include resort fees? Resort fees and hotel service fees are mandatory at many hotels even if you do not use any of the amenities. These are often charged at the hotel or resort and cannot be prepaid and are not listed as a cost on the hotel room quote. You have to ask the travel agent or check with the hotel directly to be sure if these will be added to your bill later.

What is the number of people included in the rate? Most times the quoted price is for only two guests and they charge an additional fee for each additional guest with a cap on the total number allowed per room.

Other fees to watch for are – booking fee, transactions fee, processing service fee, facilitation fee, extra person fee, extra bed fee, parking fee, energy surcharge, telephone fees, internet fee, room service, mini-bar use, In room safe, movies and games, gratuities, shuttle fee, bellman, concierges, use of amenities such as workout facilities or the spa, housekeeping charge, air conditioning or heating fee, short stay fee, snack bar, business center, over time stay, breakfast, snacks, etc.

What are the change and cancellation charges? Most hotels have a specific time that you must cancel before or you will be charged a minimum of one night and even up to the full reservation time depending on their policy. You may also be charged for changing your reservation in any way. This is something that you should know before booking.

Extra fees, charges and taxes can be hidden and can add up to a substantial amount. It is important to be informed as to the total amount so that you don’t get a rude, financial slap in the face when you see the total charged to your bill by the end of your stay. Knowledge is power and you want the power to be in your hands.

 

16
March
2012

Hotel Room Categories and Accommodation Requirements

There are different hotel room categories or hotel room types. Hotel rooms come in a variety of bed configurations. Each category of bed configuration or category of accommodation is charged at a different room rate. You may see a deal, special or rate quote that appeals to you but it is best to check to see that the rate quoted is for bed arrangement, number of people and category of accommodation that you want. It wouldn’t do to book that rate and then find out it was a single bed if there were more than one person supposed to be staying in the room.

Here are some of the bed configurations hotels and resort accommodations come in:

  • Single – One bed
  • Double – May be 2 single beds, 2 double beds, or 2 queen beds
  • Twin – 2 single beds
  • Triple – May be 3 single beds or 2 double or queen beds with one single bed, roll away bed, or sleeper sofa
  • Quad – Bed arrangements that will accommodate 4 people, usually 2 to a bed
  • Suites – Larger Rooms that may include another room, sitting area, kitchenette, Jacuzzi or Deck. Depending on the accommodations the number and size of beds may vary.

Categories – Hotel rooms and resort room categories differ as well. The more prestigious the category the larger or more amenities it may come with. Some types of categories are standard, deluxe, jr. suite, suite, executive suite, presidential suite, two bedroom suite, view or balcony, kitchenette or apartment.

The room position – What area of the hotel it is located in, whether it has views, is it near elevator or amenities like the pool or restaurant.

Amenities – Jacuzzi, bathtub, shuttle service, balcony, Mini bar use, breakfast, snacks, gym, swimming pool, restaurant or hair salon. The list is endless and different with each hotel or resort.

 

Before booking a hotel, resort or other accommodation make a list of your requirements:

Number of people in your group:

Number of rooms, beds and sleeping arrangement:

Room category:

Where in the hotel you want the room:

Amenities:

If you have this when you book your room or consult with a travel agent you will get what you want in your accommodation. Even though you book online or with a travel agent always check directly with the hotel to see that they have your reservation correct and that it includes everything that you had requested or believed was to be included in the price. Be sure to check if there are any undisclosed charges or fees that are not included in the rate that you have been quoted. Pre-planning and requesting what you require will reduce your travel frustrations and you won’t be shocked, disappointed or upset when you arrive at your hotel or resort.