Travel

A beginner’s guide to your next family ski vacation

Brainstorming with the family over which holiday to go for next can be quite a task, but you know what’s the ultimate challenge? Getting them onboard for a ski vacation! Witnessing your kids go berserk on a roller coaster on a sunny day is so much more different than motivating them to learn an intricate hobby in cold temperatures. However, there is nothing more fulfilling than watching your kids embrace the thrill of this winter sport. Moreover, it is an incredible way to hone their qualities such as confidence, awareness, perseverance, and balance.

Well, no one can promise you a family holiday in the mountains without its own set of hiccups, but we’re here to help you make it memorable despite the obstacles that you can come across. Here are some travel tips and tricks that can help you plan smartly for your next snow-blanketed adventure with your loved ones.

Preparing for a family ski vacation
Unlike a solo trip, where you can afford to be spontaneous, there are numerous arrangements to be made planning when a family vacation, especially when skiing is involved. To make this process as good as smooth sailing, here are some factors that you will need to emphasize on while planning a perfect family ski vacation.

  • Location
    The location you pick purely depends on your budget and personal preferences. An international ski vacation in the Alps or Dolomites will obviously require you to make a generous investment. However, if you have a budget to honor as well as limited time then you can opt for a ski trip either in the Eastern or Western side of the country. In the US alone, there are approximately 500 ski locations scattered across 37 states which surprisingly also includes southern territories such as Alabama and Tennessee. So, you have plenty of places and options to choose from.
  • Stay
    One of the best parts of taking ski trip today is that there are numerous resorts available that specifically only cater to families. If your kids are too young to ski, then look for places that offer other kid-friendly snow activities and daycare amenities. Likewise, the location of the resort matters a lot when you are traveling with kids as schlepping heavy gear can easily tire them out. It would be wiser to book accommodation that is in close proximity to the terrain so that kids don’t have to cover long distances with the ski equipment. Additionally, some ski resorts offer equipment rental and lift tickets at no cost for kids belonging to a certain age group.
  • Alternative activities
    You have to consider the possibility that your kids might not want to ski after the first few attempts or the destination you intend to go might not have the right conditions for skiing. Fortunately, there are several ways to make the most of your holidays in the mountains. So, while planning a ski vacation, ensure that you have some nonskiing activities included in your travel packages, such as dog sledding, ice skating, ice-fishing, sightseeing and shopping, snowmobiling, and stargazing.
  • Terrain
    For a gratifying experience, it is essential that you choose the right terrain, particularly, when this is your family’s first time skiing. For instance, Aspen (Colorado) isn’t the best pick for novices because this particular area encompasses multiple tricky terrains, suitable for advanced skiers. Learning to ski in such an environment can be extremely intimidating, especially for kids. To get off on the right foot, you should opt for locations such as Telluride (Colorado), Deer Valley (Utah) or Mammoth Mountain (California) which are abundant with beginner terrains.
  • Ski school
    Enrolling the kids in a ski school is the best way to help them develop the right skiing technique. Ski lessons are typically arranged by the resort that you are staying in. Specialty camps, group, private, and semi-private lessons are some common options rendered by most ski schools. It is also crucial to remember that every resort will enforce different rules with regards to the minimum age eligibility, length of the lessons (half or full day), and how many beginners they include in a single session. It might be surprising but taking a private lesson as a family can be more economical than booking slots for the kids in a camp or a common group lesson.
  • Insurance
    While all the dare-devilry on the slopes seems to be exhilarating it is important to make arrangements for your family’s wellbeing. Apart from the safety gear, it is also important to check the range of your medical coverage in case things goes south. If your current health plan doesn’t reimburse expenses for skiing accidents then consider travel insurance. Besides medical expenses, travel insurance can also protect you from damages involving misplaced or stolen luggage, personal liability, and lost holidays due to weather.
  • Season
    The best time to enjoy a family ski vacation is during December and January as the snow conditions and weather are fairly predictable. Moreover, since the winter season lines up with Christmas and New Year’s, your family will get an opportunity to attend some fun events and festivals including concerts, torchlight parades, and fireworks. However, expect the ski locations to be crowded during this season as most kids are on a school break. If you make reservations any time after October then the prices of accommodation and air tickets will surge accordingly. Unable to make a booking during the peak season? Don’t worry! You can plan for a ski holiday in the month of February or March, however, avoid pushing it till April as most ski areas start closing when spring arrives.

Best family ski resorts
Here are some of the most popular options for family ski resorts that you can consider for your next holiday.

10 top family ski resorts in the USA

  • Jackson Hole (Wyoming)
  • Aspen Snowmass (Colorado)
  • Alta Ski Resort (Colorado)
  • Beaver Creek (Colorado)
  • Deer Valley (Utah)
  • Telluride Ski Resort (Colorado)
  • Taos Ski Valley (New Mexico)
  • Sun Valley (Idaho)
  • Vail Ski Resort (Colorado)
  • Snowbird Ski Resort (Utah)

10 popular family ski resorts in the world

  • Alpe d’Huez (France)
  • Breuil-Cervinia (Italy)
  • Åre (Sweden)
  • Whitewater (Canada)
  • Wengen (Switzerland)
  • Gervais Mont-Blanc (France)
  • Gstaad Palace (Switzerland)
  • Ski Welt (Austria)
  • Beaver Creek (USA)
  • Madonna di Campiglio (Italy)

7 ways to save money on family ski vacations
Enjoying a skiing adventure with your family in the midst of snow-capped mountains is a priceless experience, which unfortunately comes at a significant price. Pinning down an average estimate for a family ski vacation can be tricky business as multiple factors come into play including location, accommodation and meals, lift tickets, ski lessons, rental equipment, airfare, and ground transport. Needless to say, it is easy to blow the budget on a family ski vacation. Worried? Don’t be! The next time you plan to hit the slopes with your family, try these hacks to save big on your ski vacation.

  • Get it right with the early bird packages
    There is nothing like relishing a last-minute travel deal, at the same time, waiting for one can be a bit of a gamble. So to be on a safer side, scour for early bird ski packages. Booking sites usually release these travel bundles by the end of May. You can save up to 50% on travel deals if you start making reservations before early October. Apart from the price factor, booking during this window will give you some wiggle room, helping you score the best of deals such as upgrades on accommodation and other amenities.
  • Make the most of all-inclusive offers
    Shelling out money for an all-inclusive family ski vacation initially may come across as a big-ticket expense, but you will have almost no costs to bear during your stay at the resort. Typically, all-inclusive ski vacation comprises flights, ground transportation, lodging, meals and drinks, equipment rentals, and ski lessons. Some packages also might also cover off-piste guiding. Getting a package with lift tickets will also help you save some big bucks. Their prices can surge to almost $100 when directly purchased from the ticket counter. On the other hand, discounted lift tickets included in the ski packages offer almost 40% off on the original price.
  • Get acquainted with all the discounts
    If you are independently organizing a ski trip for your family, then ensure that you are well-acquainted with all the discounts and deals offered by the ski resort. Numerous accommodations have special offers for big families, students, physically challenged individuals, and seniors. These deals can come to your rescue, especially if you have missed the early bird booking window.
  • Try the shoulder season
    December and January are the best months for skiing, however, they are equally expensive. The Christmas holidays and winter break further amplify the demand for ski vacation packages during this period. If you want to steer clear of the steep prices and crowds, then you can plan for a skiing trip in spring or fall. However, ensure that you check your ski resort’s closing time and the area’s weather conditions to avoid disappointment.
  • Save on air tickets
    The classic trick of saving on flight tickets is by directly flying into a local airport instead of busy, domestic ones to avoid extensive road trips to the mountain or completely eliminate the need for a rental. However, this trick won’t work during peak seasons as the flights landing in the local airports are much more expensive. For example, if you have made reservations in Lake Tahoe’s ski resort during the peak season, then it would be cheaper to book a flight to Sacramento International Airport instead of Reno-Tahoe International Airport which is closer to the prime skiing locations. However, if you want to stick to the closest airport, then ensure that you buy air tickets well in advance to dodge the wrath of exorbitant prices.
  • Don’t let the baggage get you down
    If you are bringing your own skiing and snowboarding equipment, ensure that you pick an airline provider that doesn’t charge extra costs for it such as British Airways and Lufthansa. However, the overall ticket prices offered by these airlines might be comparatively expensive. Another way to minimize any baggage expenses is by making airfare payments via an airline travel credit card so that you can get a waiver on a few checked bags. If you aren’t a frequent skier then it would be wiser to rent the equipment at the slopes. In case you don’t want to rent or buy skiing gear, then you can borrow it from family or friends.
  • Pick a smaller mountain
    If this will be your family’s first skiing experience, then it is better to book a resort on a smaller mountain. Ski resorts and schools located near smaller terrains are often cheaper. However, ensure that the budget-friendly resort you choose has all the required amenities. It would be an added bonus if your resort is closely situated to the social establishments in town.

Popular, budget-friendly resorts
If you are craving to spend some time with your family skiing without burning a hole in your pocket, then consider these popular, budget-friendly choices.

10 affordable family-friendly resorts in the country

  • Copper Mountain (Colorado)
  • Big Sky (Montana)
  • Taos Ski Valley (New Mexico)
  • Mad River Glen (Vermont)
  • Steamboat Springs (Colorado)
  • Heavenly Ski Resort (California)
  • Schweitzer Mountain (Idaho)
  • Cranmore Mountain Resort (New Hampshire)
  • Red Lodge Mountain (Montana)
  • Crystal Mountain (Washington)

10 budget-friendly family ski resorts in the world

  • Serre-Chevalier-Briançon (France)
  • Bialka Tatrzanska, (Poland)
  • Kranjska Gora( Slovenia)
  • Les Rousses (France)
  • Vialattea (Italy)
  • Arosa Lenzerheide (Switzerland)
  • Obergurgl-Hochgurgl (Austria)
  • Pamporovo (Bulgaria)
  • Harrachov (Czech Republic)
  • Kiroro Ski Resort (Japan)

Family ski vacations can be full of fun, adventure, and adrenaline. They also give you the chance to relax by the fireplace and cozy up with a book and some hot chocolate. Plan your trip well in advance to avoid hearing that the ski resort your family decided on is booked out. You are now armed with the sources you need and deals to steal.

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Travel

9 romantic getaway ideas for every couple

Poets, songwriters, and artists have waxed eloquence about love since ages. It’s easier to tell your partner that you need their love seven days a week.

But let’s face it – love and romance require some hard work. Whether you are in the initial days of your relationship or celebrating decades of being together, you will always need something extra to keep the sparks shining. Date nights can be one example of spending time together. But they might rarely be enough; unless you guys go through something that Tina Fey and Steve Carell went through in the 2010 film, Date Night. But a regular date night turning into a night full of adventure is best left to the movies. In reality, you need something to give you and your partner a break from your routine. So why not go on an amazing romantic getaway?

A dash of fun and a sprinkle of adventure once in a while can do a lot to keep the romance alive. You can also spend some quiet time with your favorite person in a private resort to fall in love all over again. Here are a few romantic weekend getaway ideas – whether you’re looking for getaways on Valentine’s or to celebrate your anniversary.

Whisk your love away for a quick romantic weekend
Looking for romantic weekend getaway ideas close to home? A quick romantic vacation can be a great way to take a break from the everyday hustle. You can plan a short and sweet surprise for your SO (significant other) by taking them away to one of the best getaways for couples across the country. Here are a few romantic places for a quick weekend getaway:

  • Vintage Surfari Wagon, Los Angeles, California: Are you and your partner more of an adventurous kind? If yes, then this might be just be the perfect getaway spot where you can reignite the spark via road-trippin’. You can rent a VW camper bus from Vintage Surfari Wagons in California and hit the road leaving behind the humdrum for a couple of days. These retro buses from the ‘70s and ’80s are equipped with renovated interiors, a dining table, and a couch that can be converted to a full-size bed. These buses also have camping equipment, kitchen essentials, cleaning supplies, and potable water. You can either go on a pre-planned desert trip, or you can choose to cruise along your own route up Highway 1. The cost will range from $140 to $270 per day depending on the season and vehicle.
  • Blackberry Farms, Smoky Mountains, Tennessee: If you and your partner are looking for a stress-free and tranquil mini-vacation, head out south to Blackberry Farms near Smoky Mountains, Tennessee. This 4,200-acre family-owned farm has been ranked number 1 by Bon Appetit magazine. And why not? It has one of the most extensive wine lists (160,000 bottles!). Moreover, you will get farm-fresh food, as the hotel sources nearly all the ingredients from its own kitchen gardens and farms. Sign up for couples’ activities like wellness workshops, cooking demonstrations, yoga, Zumba, and couples’ massage sessions. You can make the best of your romantic weekend by trying out something new with your partner. Go for kayaking, canoeing, fly-fishing, carriage rides, hiking, archery, paintball, biking, or horseback riding. For cost and other details, check the official website of Blackberry Farms.
  • Firelight Camps, Ithaca, New York: Want to experience the outdoors, but with indoor comfort? Then glamping, an ultra-glamorous style of camping, might just be for you and your partner. Firelight Camps are situated on the grounds of La Tourelle Resort and Spa in Ithaca. The camp has spacious tents, all tastefully done up with plush beds, battery-powered lanterns, and artisanal furniture. Here you can spend some quiet time with your partner as the serene sounds of nature drift into the spacious tent. The tents are covered with mesh screens, so you do not have to worry about creepy crawlies getting in. With two restaurants and a bar with outdoor lounge areas, the camp offers romantic ways to enjoy your meals. If you are in the mood to explore the outdoors, you can simply buy snacks from the camp canteen and walk around. Get a S’mores kit from the canteen and spend the night under the stars near a bonfire. At just around $750 per person, you can bring your partner for a quiet anniversary getaway or even for a Valentine’s Day weekend getaway. Moreover, this modern way of camping can easily be one of the best Valentine’s Day getaways for 2019. Be prepared to use #relationshipgoals in all your pictures!

In the mood for an offbeat romantic break?
You can opt for luxury hotel suites and glamping if you want an easygoing romantic vacation. But if you do not want to go where everyone is heading, you can go for something unusual, especially if you have more than a weekend to spare. Perhaps you can try gourmet dinner on the rooftop of a skylodge overlooking a cliff? Or are you more inclined toward adventure sports with your bae?Like being in the world’s coldest town where there is absolutely no cell phone network? You can pick these off-track romantic getaways if you belong to the school of YOLO. (You Live Only Once, for the uninitiated.)

  • Skylodge Adventure Suites, Peru: Located, 1,200 feet off the ground level, Skylodge Adventure Suites is not for the faint of heart, and especially not for those afraid of heights. What’s more is that you have to hike through or use a zip line to get there. The lodges have clear glass walls. You can see the expansive scenery from a great height all through the day. The rooms have all the basic essentials. If you dare to go there, don’t forget to head out to the rooftop restaurant to enjoy a meal with a breathtaking, heart-thumping view!
  • Oymyakon Valley, Russia: Winter Wonderland gets a complete twist here in Oymyakon Valley. Every inch of the town is covered in inches of snow, throughout the year. In the winter, daylight lasts for just 3 hours. Known as one of the coldest inhabited places in the world, the lowest temperature recorded here was -96.16 degrees F, in 1924. The overall day temperature is around -58 degrees F. But if you are looking for something totally private and totally adventurous, this is the town for you. Book a cozy cottage and get under toasty warm blankets to have a quiet night in. Or if you want to a dose of thrilling adventure, head out for a drive along the infamous Road of Bones.
  • Jules’ Undersea Lodge, Key Largo: For all you water babies, Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo is the ultimate place. It is one of the best weekend getaways for couples who want to experience the bottom of the ocean up close. Situated 30 feet deep, the lodge has everything that a plush hotel has to offer, with the added benefits of magnificent underwater scenes. To get to your room, you will have to scuba dive. You can experience marine life by joining night paddleboard tours. You can swim with friendly dolphins in Dolphin Cove or go parasailing and paragliding, all offered by the hotel.

Fancy a luxury romantic getaway?
If luxury is what attracts you and your partner, nothing short of a deluxe romantic weekend getaway will do. What’s better than spending some delightful time with private pools, exotic spas, exclusive candlelit dinners? Nothing comes close to making your better half feel like royalty. Whether you have a big anniversary milestone coming up, or want to have a spectacular Valentine’s weekend, you can head out to one of these stunningly beautiful luxurious locales.

  • St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort: With hand-crafted cocktails, rare wines, and live music performances all week long, St. Regis Bal Harbour offers the perfect setting for an intimate romantic weekend. You and your partner unwind and enjoy performances by up-and-coming contemporary artists to jazz musicians. It is also the ultimate couples’ spa retreat with Finnish saunas and world-class spa services. This five-star resort offers some of the most exclusive amenities to make your weekend romantic getaway an opulent yet low-key experience.
  • Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain: If you and your significant other share a love for food, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain will be the perfect Valentine’s Day getaway. Located in the desert city of Scottsdale, Arizona, this retreat is an epicurean’s delight. It offers a “Mi Casa, Mi Chef” program, which is a personalized gourmet experience. You will get to stay in a beautiful private estate facing the beautiful Camelback Mountain. A highly-skilled chef will create a customized dining experience just for you. Accompanied by the chef, you get to pick the choicest and freshest ingredients from the local farmer’s market. Love cooking? You and your partner can join your chef in the kitchen. Or you can just lounge in the private patio, drinking wine and enjoying the sunset as your chef whips up your personalized meal.
  • The Chanler at Cliff Walk:  If you are looking for some old-world charm to fuel your romance, head over to The Chanler at Cliff Walk, Newport. This 19th -century mansion exudes elegance and luxury. With just twenty distinctive rooms, it offers an exquisite and private experience to those looking for an intimate getaway. Every room offers a scenic view of the Atlantic Ocean. From personalized butler service, in-room Jacuzzis, to enjoying delectable meals at an award-winning restaurant, you and your partner will surely enjoy it here.

Bring the spark back in your romance at no extra cost
Running low on cash? But still want to take your partner away on a sweet little romantic rendezvous? Worry not. Whether you are looking for a tropical paradise or mountain retreats, we have got some great romantic weekend getaway deals just for you. These are all-inclusive places where you can have the best time with your better half, and you need not stress over burning a hole in your pocket!

  • Winvian: This luxurious rustic hotel is located in the midst of Litchfield Hills. Here, you can book a quaint farm cottage for yourself. You will have your own private patio with a view of the forest and lakes. The cottages have a warm ambiance with a woody décor and a fireplace. Jacuzzis, home-cooked breakfast, a luxe spa, a farm-to-table restaurant, and a lot of couples’ activities like horseback riding and cooking classes add to the old-school charm.
  • Fair Hills Resort: This charming seasonal resort is perfect if you are looking for a serene getaway without the jazzy amenities. Located close to Pelican Lake in Detroit Lakes region, this resort has cabin-style rooms. Each room has a fully-equipped kitchen, private bathroom, and homely furnishings. This no-frills resort offers basic amenities at very affordable prices. The amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, nine-hole golf course, water-based sports, indoor and outdoor games, and a casual restaurant.
  • Red Mountain Resort & Spa: This all-inclusive resort offers the perfect setting for a quiet escape for couples. Located near the Snow Canyon State Park, this resort offers exclusive spa services at very affordable prices. You can book a charming room or a suite for yourself and your partner in one of the many low-rise buildings of the resort. The rooms are done up with elegant décor. They are also equipped with ensuite bathrooms, satellite television, and wireless Internet. The resort has a full-service bar, restaurant, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a fitness center. It also offers a number of activities such as guided hikes, fitness classes, photography classes, rock climbing, kayaking, and horseback riding.

Not every couple is the same, neither is every relationship similar. But what remains constant is the need to keep the romance alive. What’s better than choosing to go on a perfect romantic getaway? A charming resort or an idyllic cabin house in the woods, just pick a place, get away, and watch those sparks from the first date light up again!

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Travel

3 Napa Valley Bed and Breakfasts to check out this wine season

If it’s great wine, scenic beauty and absolute luxury you seek for your next vacation, you cannot go wrong with Napa Valley. With 400 wineries, high-end resorts, cozy bed and breakfasts, upscale modern hotels, hot air ballooning, wine tasting, farmer’s markets and even golf to boot, it truly is one of the best holiday destinations. Calistoga, Napa, St. Helena, Oakville & Rutherford, Yountville, and American Canyon are some of the towns in the valley and each has its own attractions. Calistoga is famous for its hot springs and mud baths; St. Helena is the picturesque one fine-tuned for the shopper in you; Oakville & Rutherford have some of the best Cabernet & Chardonnay wines in Napa Valley; Yountville is for the culinary fiend; Napa has some great night life and American Canyon is family friendly.

A great place to just relax and simply soak in the culture, Napa valley is best enjoyed from the fine Bed and Breakfasts that pepper the locale. Whether it’s old world charm you seek or modern architecture that does it for you, there is something for every taste.

Here’re three B&Bs that are worth every penny you’ve saved up for a vacation.

Embrace Calistoga, 1139 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, CA 94515 – Blending old world luxury with modern day amenities, this European-style luxury inn, reportedly has one of the finest breakfast spreads in the Napa Valley region. Run by innkeepers Brent Riederger and Chris Johansen, it only has 5 rooms with each designed in a unique yet muted style.

Hennessey House, 1727 Main Street, Napa, California 94559 – The Victorian architecture complete with saunas, spas, wine tours and tastings and of course a range of activities makes this one of the best places to vacation at. A short walk to the main attractions, like the Oxbow Market and Napa Valley Wine Train, simply sweeten the deal. With ten rooms making up the entire place owners Kevin and Lorri Walsh have earned the reputation of offering a relaxed vacation experience.

Maison Fleurie, 6529 Yount St., Yountville, CA 94599 – Literally the “flowering house” the architecture is reminiscent of the sunny South of France. 13 rooms complete this boutique B&B that is a part of the Four Sisters Inns Classic Collection, and each room is a blend of modern luxury amenities and European charm. Located in a secluded part of Yountville the B&B is a welcome break from the high energy hotels and accommodations in the area.

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Travel

4 tips for hassle-free train travel in foreign countries

Train travels are adventurous yet so nerve-wracking, especially when in an unknown foreign country. The perplexing schedule, inability to understand signage, bustling stations, and undetectable platforms, when it comes to train travel in a foreign land, there is so much that you must be mindful about. However, train travel also makes for an important part of a holiday and contributes to creating the most memorial experiences. It provides you with a comfortable journey while also making for some great sight-seeing.

If you follow a few tips and essentials before planning train travel, you may rest assured of a seamless journey even in a foreign country. Here are some tips to ensure you have the best train travel adventure abroad.

Plan in advance – Planning ahead is the key when taking on any journey. Ensure that the required tickets and confirmation emails are all printed and in place before taking off on the train journey. The time taken to reach the train station must be considered while planning how you would get there. Preparing in advance will ensure a hassle-free trip.

Be on time – It is common to run behind schedule when on a holiday; however, on days of train travel, it is essential to keep track of time. The train must always be boarded as early as possible with the luggage kept in sight. Also, keep note of the time when the destination will arrive. This will help in knowing when exactly you would have to get off.

Have the essential supplies – There is nothing better than having some key supplies that will aid in passing time when on long train journeys. When embarking on journeys that will run beyond two hours, a travel journal, tablet or an interesting book could help to keep you engaged. While most trains have travel carts that sell snacks and drinks, it is wise to pack some food if you have special dietary requirements.

Know about ticket validation – In some locations, such as Europe, the train tickets must be validated before the train is boarded. Typically, stations hold validating machines wherein one must just insert the ticket and the same is stamped with the date and time. Traveling with a ticket that is not validated can lead to getting fined by an onboard inspector or train conductor. Thus, it is essential to check if a ticket needs to be validated before travel to avoid any issue.

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Travel

Here’s how you can benefit from HotelGuides’ cash rewards program

There is no dearth of travel sites on the Internet which will let you books hotels at your preferred holiday destination. These travel websites require you to make bookings in hotels according to your budget and other preferences. However, most of these popular travel sites require you to pay fees for making hotel reservations and even charge a cancellation fee if you decide to cancel your trip at the last moment.

Though these travel sites reduce the burden of making reservations by eliminating all the intermediate factors, you’ll have to make payments for booking and canceling. Moreover, not all the transactions on such websites are transparent; you might be charged additional fees or have to pay more for a hotel room that is available at a lesser cost on some other travel site. Since most sites require you to shell out money, a travel website that has credible cash rewards programs and amazing discounts is a welcoming change.

HotelGuides™ has an incredible cash rewards program, which will enable you to earn money on booking hotels! Read on to know more about the same.

Cash rewards program
HotelGuides™ has made over 5,000,000 bookings till date, and the users have received money in return for the bookings. According to the cash rewards program by HotelGuides™, when you make five hotel reservations, they’ll send you $25 in return. There is no limit to the number of times you can make the reservations. The travel site writes reward checks to the individual who makes the reservation. This means that you can book hotel rooms for yourself, your business, or any organization, and you can easily earn some extra cash this way. It is quite easy to get started with the cash rewards program. All you have to do is make a hotel reservation through HotelGuides.com and save your confirmation number, once you have five confirmation numbers, email these to rewards@hotelguides.com along with your name and contact number. You’ll soon receive a check for $25.

Another highlight of opting for this cash rewards program is that it is in the form of an extra benefit, which means that the money you receive here will not be deducted from the traveler’s hotel chain rewards point. Also, you can send the confirmation numbers after completing the trip as these rewards do not expire. To reap the benefits of this cash rewards program, you can start anytime you wish.

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Travel

5 reasons to book your next hotel through HotelGuides

If you finally decided to embark on the weekend getaway you have been planning since forever, you’ll definitely want everything to be in order. To ensure that you don’t experience hassles when you reach your destination, it is advisable to make hotel reservations beforehand. Gone are the days when getting hotel reservations was a daunting task; you would have to reach your destination, find a nice hotel, select a room, and pay at the front desk. However, these days, as everything has been transferred to the online realm, making hotel reservations has become extremely easy.

All you have to do is look for an online travel agency, browse through the different hotels, and choose the one that you find practical and within your budget. One such online travel agency that has made more than 5,000,000 reservations till date is HotelGuides™.

If you are still unsure about making reservations via a travel agency, here are some reasons why you should book your next hotel through HotelGuides™.

No fees
One of the major inhibitions that people harbor is the authenticity of the travel website. Moreover, if you pay for making the reservation, and it doesn’t come through, you will have a tough time finding a hotel when you reach your destination. Also, several travel sites charge cancellation fees when you make last-moment cancellations. However, HotelGuides ™ doesn’t charge fees on cancellation.

Lowest rates
HotelGuides™ offers the lowest rates when it comes to booking hotel rooms. However, if within 24 hours of booking via this travel site, you find a lower, comparable rate for the same hotel on a different website, they will pay you the difference plus $10.

Guaranteed refund
HotelGuides™ ranks high when it comes to customer satisfaction. In case you aren’t satisfied with the hotel you have booked through the site, they will give a refund up to the cost of one night’s stay in the particular hotel room.

Pay-at-hotel feature
Unlike other travel sites where you have to pay upfront when the reservation is confirmed, you can use your credit card directly at the hotel you’ll be staying. In fact, 95 percent of the reservations do not require the site users to make any form of payment in advance.

Prompt customer service
Another reason to book hotels through HotelGuides ™ is that they offer excellent customer service. All the email questions and telephone calls are answered promptly, and therefore, you won’t be left helpless in your hour of need.

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Travel

Choosing the right bus tour

While you are on a vacation and have limited time, bus tours can be a good choice to see as many places as possible. However, when it comes to a bus tour, the web is flooded with multiple bus tours by many companies that organize them. Therefore, it is important to choose a tour that is perfect for the kind of vacation you have planned—whether it’s with a small or large group or a solo trip.

Coming to the right bus tour, here are some tips to compare and find the right bus tour for your trip.

Bus tour companies – If you have ample of time before your vacation begins, you can do an in-depth research and go through all the companies that organize bus tours and read their reviews to understand which tour company is safe and right for you.

Itinerary – While you are doing your research, do compare the itinerary of the different bus tours. Tours that give you the option of customizing the itinerary as per your plan are often better.

Payment – Consider all costs and the overall payment you will make from the start till the end of your bus tour. This includes the deposit, main payment, and payment to the guide. It is always better to compare the total cost of different tours against the itinerary before booking.

Intended audience – Each bus tour is intended for a certain type of travelers, such as families, large groups, small groups, or solo travelers. Therefore, it is important to check the type of travelers a bus tour is created for.

Guide – The guide of any tour plays a vital role. You can check who your guide is from the tour company and read their reviews.

Included hotels – While you are selecting a bus tour, check all the hotels that are included in the itinerary, along with their locations. This will help you plan better for your trip. Checking the location of the hotels is important, as you will know how much time it will take you to reach the hotel. It is important to have hotels that are easily accessible, as that helps you save time traveling to and from your hotels.

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Travel

4 factors to consider while selecting a bus tour

Bus tours are a great way to visit popular destinations as the tour operators arrange for your travel and accommodation. Choosing the right bus tour for a road trip across the country is an essential part to make it a fun and memorable trip for everyone. You don’t want to pick a bus tour operator just because it is billed as popular. There are several other factors that contribute to choosing the best operators for bus tours.

Mentioned below are four important factors that you should consider while choosing bus tours:

  • Itinerary: Think about the amount of time you want to spend at each site. Make sure that the tour operator you choose covers the “must-see” sites on your list. Some tour operators have a packed itinerary covering more sites in just a couple of days. So, select a bus tour operator accordingly if you wish to spend more time at your favorite site(s).
  • Intended audience: Almost every bus tour operator mentions the intended audience. If you are a bachelor who booked for a family tour, you might have to visit a lot of sites geared specifically for kids and families. So, make sure you are aware of the target audience before booking bus tours and tickets.
  • Safety: This is one of the most important things to consider while booking bus tours. Make sure that the tour operators hold the highest ratings from the US Department of transportation. Buses should be kept and maintained in top condition to ensure that the travelers onboard are safe, irrespective of the road conditions.
  • Service: Since it is a road trip, operators of bus tours might have tightly-scheduled itineraries. As a result, they look at covering maximum sites within the stipulated number of days. The most experienced bus tour operators will be able to avoid traffic and other delays, ensuring that the bus reaches the next stop on time. The best bus services will have well-experienced coordinating staff and courteous drivers, ensuring that their passengers have a stress-free travel experience.

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Travel

Get the best deals on all inclusive resorts

The term all inclusive can be confusing for first-time travelers. For vacations packages, the term refers to the facilities and amenities that have been paid for in advance. All inclusive includes the fee for accommodation, food, beverages, taxes, and a few special activities that will vary depending on the type of the resort.

All inclusive vacations are the perfect way to spend a long vacation by yourself or with the family. All inclusive resorts, in particular, offer complete entertainment options for children, teens, young adults, and even seniors.

All inclusive resorts may not necessarily cost you a ton of money, even when you are traveling with your loved ones. Here are a few simple vacation booking tips to ensure that you get premium service for the best price.

Assess the fees
Since there is no standard assessment of what all inclusive deals offer, hotels and resorts will have varying tariff rates for their packages. Research is key when it comes to the exact fare of the vacation package, as there are additional cost factors like internet fees, airport fees, and meals and drinks not included in the package. Check with the resort to find out what can be adjusted as part of the package. Make some calls prior to booking and speak to a customer executive.

Booking dates
All inclusive resorts will be packed during the holiday season, not to mention expensive as well. If you want to book a vacation at any popular location, it is always best to avoid the peak season holiday time. Do not book anything during the Christmas season, and stay clear of the summer rush. The ideal booking season for an affordable all inclusive vacation would be the months right after labor day and just before Christmas. Remember, the higher the demand, the pricier the vacation package will be.

Pay as you use
You must have heard of pay-as-you-go phone deals, but would you be intrigued to find out that there is a way to pay for what you use to save costs on all inclusive bookings. Often, paying for an all inclusive package can be a waste of money, as it is nearly impossible to divide your time among multiple activities. Ensure firsthand where you plan to spend your time so that you pay for only those activities that you will be able to enjoy for the price. Bookings and negotiations can be made online or after talking to a customer executive.

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Travel

4 key things to consider while booking all-inclusive resorts

All-inclusive resorts are a blessing for vacations, especially when we have little time at hand. These resorts keep you well covered throughout your vacation and help you stick to your itinerary well. An all-inclusive resort will typically include your stay, breakfast, and, if you are lucky, maybe a couple of trips to tourist attractions. However, there are a few things to consider before you rely on an all-inclusive resort to set your vacation straight! You do not want to land up in a situation where you get lesser than promised.

Family policies
It is quite normal to get excited about booking an all-inclusive hotel and neglecting the policies they have for families, children, and couples. It would not be pleasant to find yourself in a situation where the pool is full of kids. Adult-only resorts are the way to go if you are looking for a break from work and plan to relax while on vacation. Decide the type of vacation you need and choose accordingly before making the booking.

Food
A hungry you is not going to be a satisfied you, and an unsatisfied you is not going to have a good time on vacation. Most all-inclusive resorts include meals around the clock. However, just to be sure, you can check the meals served. You must also check whether you would be charged later for beer, beverages, and other food in the fridge.

Location
Your all-inclusive resort might have a great deal, but it might not be in the best location. This does not help when you are on vacation. Nobody wants to be tied to their resorts throughout their stay. Even if you are going for a short span, check the location so that you can spend some time exploring the city along with your relaxation.

Occupancy
The preference for the size of a resort can be different for all of us. If you are looking to spend your entire weekend in the resort, it would not hurt to be in a massive resort. You can walk around in the evenings, in-between meals, or even after dinner. While the preference and choice are yours, the size of a resort is an important factor to consider while booking an all-inclusive resort.

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