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USELFUL LINKS:
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Important news before you travel:

If you are in the United States you should be aware of certain Travel Advisories which are given to citizens who choose to travel abroad. These advisories can affect you and may even change your travel plans. So before you go to the airport you should always check to see if your destination country is on the List of the United States Government Travel Advisories.

For more information: Check out the link below which will send you to the US Governments official website.


https://travel.state.gov
TIPS ON MAKING HOTEL RESERVATIONS:


When traveling for business or fun, there’s nothing worse than thinking you have a reservation and learning your hotel reservations been lost, your room has one bed and not two bedrooms, or you thought your check-in time was noon, only to find out it is really 3:00pm. To help avoid these things from happening, there are a few helpful hotel reservation tips seasoned travelers recommend:

Always use a credit card when making a hotel reservation. A credit cards offers the guest some level of protection should the hotel stay go awry. Any disputes a guest may have with the hotel, or with the billing can more easily be rectified through the credit card company. The card company will act as a mediator once their client can show effort to resolve the dispute. Additionally, if a dispute cannot be resolved, the credit card company has the authority to remove the charge from a client’s bill. If cash were paid, a hotel guest would have no recourse. Note: If you don’t use your own credit card to secure a reservation, be aware that the person whose name is on the card will be responsible for showing the card and signing at check in. If the card does not belong to the person staying at the hotel, notify the desk before leaving home (prior to arrival) and ask what their identification procedure is. They may accept a letter from the credit card holder authorizing use, and a copy of both the front and back of the card.

Ask for deals/discounts at each hotel. Many hotels offer corporate, AAA, senior, or even mid-week/off-season discounts. If one is not offered - ask about them. Many hotels now offer ‘rewards’ programs and some hotels reduce rates by $50 or more, for simply signing up for their program. If making reservations online, look for internet-only rates and shop various websites to find the best deals. Travel agents can often secure unadvertised specials or late check-in opportunities which can translate into huge savings.

When making reservations speak clearly and repeat spelling of all names. There have been many reservations lost because of inaccurate spelling and guests have been told they did not have rooms when a hotel or an entire city was booked to capacity. If any special requests are made, verify them and if possible get them in writing. Also make sure to get the name of the employee. Verify everything spell names and verify information/requests etc. Double check reservations prior to leaving for hotel and make sure names of all hotel employees you’ve spoken to are taken.

When reservations are made, changed and cancelled-confirmation numbers are given. Make sure all numbers are kept in a safe place until credit cards are billed and all charges are verified. Cancellation and confirmation numbers are often the difference between being charged for a hotel reservation that was cancelled, the possibility of a free upgrade when the hotel overbooks and you can prove when your reservation was made, and being stranded away from home without a room for the night.
Discuss hotel policies prior to making reservations, and verify them at check-in. Some hotels require credit cards at check in for any hotel charges, such as telephone usage, room service, meals in the hotel, or even take -out arranged through the hotel with area restaurants, etc. If a credit card is not available, a cash/check deposit maybe required for any services/fees that may accrue during the hotel stay. Determine when check-in/check-out times are, when cancellation policies go into affect and verify occupancy limits if staying in a room with multiple occupants.

Remember these hotel reservation tips when scheduling your travel plans. Whether by internet, through a travel agent, or by telephone, it pays to research the hotel and be meticulous when making arrangements. A little pre-planning when making reservations can save major headaches when traveling away from home.
WHY A TIMESHARE PROPERTY MAY BE YOUR PERFECT VACATION ANSWER:

You may not know it but many people throughout the world have Timeshare properties which they use for vacations.

A timeshare is a property with a particular form of ownership or use rights. These properties are typically resort condominium units, in which multiple parties hold rights to use the property, and each sharer is allotted a period of time (typically one week, and almost always the same time every year) in which they may use the property.

Units may be on a partial ownership, lease, or "right to use" basis, in which the sharer holds no claim to ownership of the property.

Two basic vacation ownership options are available: timeshares and vacation interval plans. The value of these options is in their use as vacation destinations, not as investments. Because so many timeshares and vacation interval plans are available, the resale value of yours is likely to be a good deal lower than what you paid.

Both a timeshare and a vacation interval plan require you to pay an initial purchase price and periodic maintenance fees. The initial purchase price may be paid all at once or over time; periodic maintenance fees are likely to increase every year.

Deeded Timeshare Ownership. In a timeshare, you either own your vacation unit for the rest of your life, for the number of years spelled out in your purchase contract, or until you sell it. Your interest is legally considered real property.

You buy the right to use a specific unit at a specific time every year, and you may rent, sell, exchange, or bequeath your specific timeshare unit. You and the other timeshare owners collectively own the resort property.

Unlike a vacation home which may be vacant part of the year, you only pay for what you use. Thus, the use of a very expensive property could be more affordable; for one thing you don’t need to worry about year-round maintenance.

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HEATHROW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TIPS

Heathrow Airport is used by over 90 airlines flying to 170 destinations worldwide. The airport is the primary hub of British Airways, and is a base for Virgin Atlantic. With 190,000 passengers arriving and departing every day, Heathrow handles more international passengers than any other airport in the world.

Of Heathrow's 69 million passengers in 2011, 7% were bound for UK destinations, 41% were short-haul international travellers and 52% were long-haul. The busiest single destination in passenger numbers is New York, with over 3.8 million passengers between Heathrow and JFK / Newark airports in 2011. The airport has five passenger terminals (numbered 1 to 5) and a cargo terminal.

Full body scanners are now used at the airport, and passengers who object to their use after being selected are not allowed to fly. These display passengers' bodies as a cartoon-style figure, with indicators showing where concealed items may be. The new imagery was introduced initially as a trial in September 2011 following complaints over privacy.

Hand luggage restrictions at Heathrow airport:
Hand luggage at Heathrow airport
Only one piece of hand luggage with most airlines
Maximum size for most airlines: 56cm x 45cm x 25cm
You can take a handbag as well as your hand luggage
Liquids are permitted in containers of up to 100ml
They must fit into one transparent resealable bag no bigger than 20cm x 20cm
Anything bought after security is allowed on the plane

One of the latest security rules include turning on electronic devices to see if they work normally. If you are flying to the US please make sure any of your electronic devices are charged before you travel. If your device does not switch on you may not be allowed to bring it onto the aircraft. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/hand-luggage-restrictions

Heathrow's Terminal 2 closed for renovations in late 2009 after nearly 60 years of operation. The new and improved Terminal 2 is due to reopen in 2014.

Heathrow Airport Arrivals can be found on the ground floor of Terminals 1, 3, 4 and 5. After you leave the aircraft, you'll pass through passport control, baggage reclaim and Customs. In the arrivals hall, you'll find shops, restaurants, currency exchange, car rental and hotel reservation desks.

Heathrow Airport departures can be found on the first floor of Terminals 1 and 2, the ground floor of Terminal 3 and the top floor of Terminal 5. All passengers must clear security control before entering the departure lounge, where you'll find shops, bars and cafes.

The Heathrow Express is the fastest way to travel into Central London. Trains leave every 15 minutes and the journey takes about 20 minutes. Trains to London leave Heathrow Airport from approximately 5am until 11.45pm. Standard adult fares are £21 for a single ticket purchased online or at a ticket office/machine (or £26 when purchased onboard).

Heathrow Connect services run from London Paddington, calling at Ealing Broadway, West Ealing, Hanwell, Southall, Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow Central (Terminals 1 and 3). For Terminals 4 and 5, there's a free Heathrow Express transfer service from Heathrow Central. Heathrow Connect journey time is about 25 minutes from Paddington to Heathrow Central and adult single tickets cost £9.50.

There are usually taxis queuing for customers at London's airports. Only use a black cab or reputable minicab and never use unauthorised drivers. Ask the driver or minicab company how much your journey will cost beforehand. A metered trip in a black cab to/from Central London generally costs from £50 to £80 and takes 30 minutes to one hour. All Heathrow Terminals have an approved taxi desk and authorised taxi rank.

for more info go to Heathrow Airport




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