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.
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.
AIRPORT TIPS YOU CAN USE
To make your way to a flight on time and to get throught security as quickly as possible you can try the following tips:
1) Sign up. The TSA's PreCheck, a trusted traveler program, has spread to more cities across the U.S. and is now available at some 40 airports. Members of the program are pre-screened and can then whiz through security, sometimes without having to take off their shoes or remove laptops from cases. The U.S. Customs Department's Global Entry program is another shortcut for frequent international travelers, especially as the federal government contracts and customs lines potentially get longer.
Critical Security Checkpoints:
To make clearing security as easy as possible...
-Review the guidelines for liquids and gels on your Flight carriers Carry-On Baggage page before your flight.
-Have your government-issued photo identification and boarding pass ready for inspection.
-Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off, since all footwear must be x-rayed.
-Remember to place all coats and jackets in a bin for x-ray screening.
-Make your laptop easily accessible for inspection.
-Avoid wearing anything metal or place these items in your carry-on baggage for screening
2) Check flight status. Although this is obvious, many people often fail to do this one simple but critical thing.
I recommend doing the same before abandoning your ride or your car just before you head to the terminal; flight status updates change by the minute, so a last-second check is always a good idea.
Most airlines will text you flight status updates if you sign up on their Web sites, and sites like Flightaware.com do the same by text, on the Web and through smartphone apps.
4) Check in online. Especially if you are not checking bags, this can save you a heap of time. I have found that when checking bags, having the pre-printed boarding pass in your hand doesn't help all that much, and check-in agents often reissue another boarding pass when you check in your bags -- but it sure doesn't hurt.
5) Before you leave for the airport, put your ID, credit card and boarding pass (if applicable) in an easily accessible part of your wallet or bag. There are two reasons for this: one, by going through this exercise, you make sure that you don't leave home without these crucial items. Two, you don't waste your (and other people's) time fumbling around for them at the moment you need them.
Check the airport parking situation online. Knowing ahead of time where to park, which lots are open and how far they are from the terminal can save you a lot of anxiety on your drive in, as well as keep you safer as you navigate tortuous and almost always poorly marked airport ring roads. Additionally, during peak travel periods, lots fill up quickly, so you will want an alternate parking plan.
When you are ready to board always take inventory of what you will need to do when you get to the front of the security line. Do a quick mental review of everything you are wearing that you will need to remove (such as shoes, jewelry, watch, jacket), and what you have inside your carry-on bag that might need to be taken out (liquids, electronics). When you get to the front of the line, blast through your mental inventory and make it happen. Done well, you can go from fully clad for winter weather, with laptops and iPads in your bag, to a T-shirt, pants and socks, and all your sensitive electronics in their own bins, in seconds.
Using these tips will get you through the airport, on your flight and towards your destination as quickly as possible.
more traveler informaiton tips available at the TSA website:
YOUR PERFECT ENGLAND VACATION
To go to England as a vacation can be something you will always remember and can be a part of you the rest of your life. There is so much history and so much to do in England that thousands of pages could not be enough to explain it all!
Below you will find the 10 things you must do while in England inorder for your vacation to be complete and perfect:
The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is an obligatory stop for tourists in London. The ceremony takes place daily from March 31 to July 31 and on alternate days the rest of the year. The Queen's Guard's iconic fuzzy hats, called "bearskins," can be up to 80 years old and are handed down from generation to generation.
London's Kew Gardens, formally called the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, began as a private garden at a royal estate in the 16th century. In 1759, after several ownership changes, Princess Augusta began to build the garden's exotic plant collection. It now holds about 33,000 types of living plants, millions of dried specimens, and a voluminous research library. Here, a gardener carries the massive pad of a Victoria amazonica lily.
Hadrians wall was named for the Roman emperor who commissioned it in A.D. 122, Hadrian's Wall stretches 73 miles (117 kilometers) across northern England from coast to coast. Its purpose: to deter the barbarians in what is now Scotland from their raids on Roman Britain. It was eventually breached in A.D. 367, and Roman rule in Britain ended about 40 years later.
Visit Stonehenge, on Salisbury Plain, is arguably England's greatest archaeological treasure. Though weathered and broken, its ruins are a window on a prehistoric world, guarding secrets after more than 4,500 years. Here, lights from the nearby town of Amesbury lend a lavender glow to the sky above the enigmatic monument.
World renowned for its focus on archaeology, London's British Museum started in 1753 from three private collections. This view from above shows the recently completed glass-and-steel canopy over the Great Court. In the middle is the famed circular Reading Room, where such literary luminaries as Karl Marx and Virginia Woolf once went to study and write.
England's famed Lake District, in the northwestern county of Cumbria, boasts breathtaking scenery that has inspired some of the country's most famous poets and novelists. Blanketed by rolling mountains, the isolated region is home to an abundance of wildlife, some found only here and nowhere else.
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in Bankside, London, represents a well-studied best guess at what William Shakespeare's original 1599 Globe playhouse might have looked like. Finished in 1997, the Globe was constructed near the site of the original theater using techniques and materials common in the 1500s, including a reed-thatch roof. Here, actors perform Julius Caesar before a packed house.
The cathedral-like Central Hall of London's Natural History Museum boasts a towering arched ceiling ribbed with exposed iron beams and adorned with hundreds of hand-painted tiles depicting plants and animals. Designed in the 1860s in the German Romanesque style by architect Alfred Waterhouse, the building first opened its doors in 1881.
Among the most famous spans in the world, London's Tower Bridge is named not for its massive support structures but for its proximity to the Tower of London. Completed in 1894 after eight years of construction, it was the largest and most sophisticated bascule bridge (drawbridge) of its time. In 2008, work began on a three-year, $6.6 million restoration project, including a new coat of paint for the bridge's flashy blue suspension chain.
The first tower of Windsor Castle, the sprawling royal residence and fortress in Berkshire, England, was completed nearly a thousand years ago. It is currently the oldest continually occupied castle in the world, and the largest, spreading over 13 acres (5 hectares) of land. This vantage shows a portion of the Queen's Jubilee Garden, built in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's 50 years on the throne. go to: UK official website: