“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Travel Tips

Travel isn’t just about getting somewhere. It’s about making the most of wherever you are. It’s about the experience and the adventure. Most of all, it’s about the way a great trip can enrich your life once you get back home. Of course, getting there and back is certainly a part of the process. Many times, it’s the most stressful part. That’s why we have dedicated an entire section to travel tips that will help you make the most out of your time away and help you get back safe and sound. Click on the links below to view our tips for each category.

Hotel Tipping Guidelines

  • Bellhop – $1-2 per bag
  • Concierge – $2-10 or 10 percent of the cost of obtaining a hard to get item
  • Doorman – $1-2 to hail a cab
  • Housekeeping – $1-2 per night
  • Room Service – 15%
  • Valet – $1-2 each time they move your car

Of course, in any extenuating circumstances (like bad weather, heavy bags, or very upscale hotels), tip more.

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Cruise Tips

ship Cruises are a great travel value when compared with other types of vacations and offer a lot of amenities in a relatively small package. The ships are very safe and usually quite luxurious for a boat. Many cruises are becoming like floating cities.

Cruises are available from day trips to two-week adventures. Popular destinations are the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, or the Mediterranean. Never pay the brochure rate, but book early to avoid doing so (at least 120 days out).

Look for off-season cruises to save money. Cabins are available at all levels, including twin beds (which can usually be converted to a queen) to king beds, windows or no windows, balcony or no balcony.

Hurricanes are a concern from June through November if you’re traveling to the Caribbean. Prices are cheaper, and though its rare you will run into one, usually the captain will just change course. Trip insurance is a good idea if you’re considering a cruise during these months.

Don’t forget that alcohol is always above and beyond the price of your “all-inclusive” ticket.

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Cruise Tipping Guidelines

  • Porters – $1 per bag
  • Cabin stewards and waiters – $3-3.50 per passenger per day
  • Servers – $1.50-2 per passenger per day
  • Maitre d’ – $2-10 per passenger for the entire stay

Ready to book? Contact us now. Or sign up for our e-newsletter for more tips.

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Packing Tips

luggageGreat packers know how to plan. Start with a list and stick to it. Not only will this help you avoid packing unnecessary items or forgetting something, but it will serve as helpful protection in the event of lost luggage.

It’s usually best to plan one outfit for each activity or each day of your trip.

Try to take pieces that can be layered for maximum efficiency and usability. Try to take pieces that can coordinate with one another. For example, outfits that match with either black or brown accessories (belt, shoes, purse, etc.) rather than both.

Check on the hotel’s amenities to avoid bringing unnecessary items, like a hair dryer.

Never take expensive jewelry.

Look for travel sized toiletries to save space. And remember that the Department of Homeland Security has restricted the amount of liquid you can bring in a carry on (3 ounces or less and all items have to fit in a sandwich bag).

Know that most trips won’t require you to have incredibly dressy clothing, so save yourself time by trying to keep it casual.

Be sure to check the weather forecast before packing.

Lay everything out first before putting it in luggage. Go back through everything a second or third time and weed out anything you really don’t need or that can’t be used twice. If you have time, iron the items before packing and secure all buttons and zippers. This will help reduce wrinkles later.

When folding, put two pieces together (called interlocking) so that they cushion each other from wrinkles. You can also place tissue paper between your items for the same effect.

Utilize all available space – like the insides of shoes and pockets.

Never put important documents or valuables in your suitcase.

It’s always a good idea to bring essentials (like an extra undergarment or a toothbrush) in your carry on in case you get stuck or delayed.

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Tips for Women

girlphoneResearch a destination before you go, especially if leaving the country. Some areas of the world have different religious and cultural norms that can impact women in particular.

Think carefully about safety in your hotel. Ask the desk agent to write down your room number instead of calling it out, ask for an escort to your room, and most importantly try to get a room off the first floor that is near the elevator, but away from emergency exits and stairways.

Make two copies of your travel documents, leaving one at home with family or friends.

Try to keep yourself from looking like too much of a tourist (i.e. a target for those who prey on unsuspecting travelers). Always be aware of your surroundings. Learn as much as possible in advance and always carry a map. You should also try to pack light, both to and from your destination as well as when exploring. Use covered luggage tags and try to use an address other than home, or use a name and email instead.

Arrange transportation in advance.Whenever you park a vehicle, do so in a well-lit space near an entrance.

At your hotel, always try to get a room with an interior entrance.

Never let anyone enter your room unless you are sure you know who they are.

If you’re ready to put these tips into action, contact us now. Or sign up for our news and specials for more tips.

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