How to Put Together a Fishing Trip For a Group of Friends

If you want to put together the perfect vacation for you and your friends then why not turn your love for fishing into a reason for you all to get away. A couple of years ago I did this for the first time, I regularly fish with a small group of buddies and I thought what better way for us to all spend our vacations than to head off with our gear and fish somewhere new whilst having a great time?

Over the years we have had some incredible vacations, we hit the Great Barrier Reef for a great week of game fishing, last year we went to Russia for salmon fishing and this year we’ve gone upscale and decided to do some luxury fishing in Miami. If you want to put together a fishing trip for you and your pals then here are a few things that I’ve learnt since I started organizing them.

 Get Your Numbers in Early

When it comes to how many people are going to be on your trip it will be best that you get concrete numbers in as early as possible. When you are looking at making group bookings in hotels or on fishing tours, you will often be given a discount based on numbers and it will be best that you know exactly how many people are going before making enquiries.

 Get The Money First

When it comes to people paying their money for the trip it is important that you get this from them before shelling out any money on deposits or other expenses. The problem is that very often people will say that they have every intention in the world of going on the trip but when the time comes to pay up, they will go missing. I ended up losing quite a bit of money from our Australia trip a few years ago because I put the trip on my credit card and then two people didn’t come, I managed to fill one space but couldn’t fill both. Since that year I learnt to get the money from my friends before booking anything.

 Call Ahead for Gear Hire

If you are organizing your own fishing tour and will require rental of rods and equipment then you should absolutely call ahead of time and let them know what you are going to need. The last thing that you want is to turn up for your fishing vacation and find that the equipment which you are after isn’t available. Naturally you will be going fishing in peak season, much like many other people who have exactly the same idea as you and who will no doubt be wanting to rent some equipment. A couple of years ago we had to make some emergency arrangements during our vacation to ensure that everyone had enough equipment for the vacation, we end up losing a day trying to make these arrangements, all because we had not called ahead to reserve what we needed, don’t make the same mistake.

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A Night Owl? Here’s a List of the 5 Singapore Night Attractions Worth Visiting

Singapore is one of the richest countries in the world. However, this doesn’t mean that you should spend a fortune when visiting this place, because you can actually enjoy what Singapore has to offer without burning a hole in your pocket, especially if you’re going to explore at night. That said, here are the top 5 Singapore Night Attractions worth visiting.

A Night Owl Here's a List of the 5 Singapore Night Attractions Worth Visiting 2

1. Have a Stroll at the Southern Ridges

For art lovers, the Southern Ridges has the perfect blend of both natural beauty and fine art. It’s a 9km chain of green and outdoor space made up of amazing connection bridges and foot trails, such as the very popular Henderson Waves.

What’s amazing about this place is that at night, the bridge has an ambient glow because of the soft lighting. This creates the perfect atmosphere for those who want to set up a night picnic. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll even see some monkeys during your trip here. Be sure to hide your goodies, as these monkeys can be mischievous at times.

2. Check Out the Night Safari

No, it’s not just like your any other zoo. There’s more to expect in the night zoo in Singapore.

For one, it is packed with nocturnal animals – these are the animals that are usually asleep during the day, and fully awake at night. As for the park itself, the lighting is only as bright as the full moon; so as not to distract the animals living in the zoo.

With that, the visitors would have to rely on the light of the moon to get around the place – which can be a fun and exciting experience, especially if you have never done this before.

3. Night Cycling

In Singapore, there are a number of places that are more beautiful at night. The reason behind? Well, it’s because the weather is cooler, and obviously, less crowded! Thus, it will feel that you have everything for yourself.

That’s why night cycling is one of the most popular activities for tourists that are also night owls. Some of the places where you can go cycling includes Punggol Waterway, Changi Village, and Ulu Sembawang.

4. Enjoy the Beauty of the Gardens at the Bay

The Gardens at the Bay is one of the newest mega-projects in Singapore, and it’s also the city’s free-for-all attraction. Located adjacent to Marina Bay Sands, going to the Gardens at the Bay is convenient, because you simply have to ride the MRT to reach your destination.

Tourists love the Super Trees the most; as it looks like something that has been pulled off from a science fiction novel.

5. Keppel Island

Last, but definitely not least would be the Keppel Island, located just off the coast of Singapore and linked to the main island by a narrow bridge. It’s the place where there are plenty of aquatic toys just waiting to be discovered. Don’t worry, even if you don’t own a yacht, nor a boating license, this wouldn’t prohibit you from enjoying the place, because there are still a lot of activities and attractions to take advantage of.

A Night Owl Here's a List of the 5 Singapore Night Attractions Worth Visiting

There you have it; these are just some of the places and activities that you should include in your bucket list next time you visit Singapore.

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4 Vital Shopping Tips for First-Time Video Camera Buyers

There are numerous things to keep in mind when purchasing any gadgets for the first time. It could be daunting to know what the right gadget to buy, but it will definitely be worth it. All you need to do is to research thoroughly about the particular gadget you want to purchase.

In case you are to shop for a new video camera, you have to know every important detail about it. Apparently, there is a selection of the best video camera from Choice that you can choose from. You just have to set your budget wisely, decide the features you want, as well as know what type that meets your personal preferences.

Hence, here is a helpful shopping guide on how to own the right video camera for you:

Purpose

You are buying a video camera for a reason. So, make sure to determine the purpose why you are purchasing one. Whether it is for professional use or simply a hobby, still you need to know the real purpose behind it. You are not wasting your hard-earned money just because you feel like it. Picking out the ideal video camera for you will be easier if you know what it is really meant for.

Type

Video cameras come in various types to match different shooting styles. When planning to buy yours, you must identify what type you really want. Since there are different types available out there, you must make up your mind as to what suits your needs. Additionally, these video cameras are of different sizes and shapes as well. Therefore, opt for one that really matches your lifestyle and personality.

Audio

One of the underrated features of a video camera that needs to be considered as well is the audio. You also have to focus in knowing whether the gadget has a good audio quality or not. There is nothing more satisfying than hearing your recorded videos loud and clear. Thus, see to it that you never forget to  take into consideration the audio of the video camera you are eyeing prior to purchasing it.

Resolution

To get a great detail and clarity of your footage, you must select a video camera that has a higher resolution. The video camera’s resolution implies the number of pixels present in the footage. The more pixels, the higher the quality of the recorded videos. You can select one that has 720 pixels, 1080 pixels, high definition (HD), or 4K. Depending on your choice, you get what you pay for.

Overall, it is essential that you list down first all the things you need and want in a video camera. You have to think carefully of the features and specifications you would love to see in your gadget. To help you decide on this matter, you have to take note of these things mentioned above. Absolutely, these useful tips will guide you in selecting the best video camera for your travels or special occasions. Your next adventure will surely be one for the books if you have the perfect video camera with you.

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What Are The Top Rated Luggage Brands?

Everybody needs a good luggage set. Frequent travelers and jet setters may have a closet full of suitcases and carry-on luggage but even people who do not travel that often should also invest in a sturdy luggage set, or at least a durable suitcase. Of course, it is still better to buy a suitcase, a carry on, a toiletry kit and even a garment bag.

There are also many things you need to consider in choosing your own luggage. You have to choose something that is durable and yet comfortable to use, fashionable but can be maximized and lightweight but has strong wheels and handles. Quite easy? Wait until you are already in the department store; every brand will offer you those qualifications!

Every single brand of luggage will undoubtedly attract you with their products and stuff by convincing you they have everything you are looking for. The task may seem easy to the veteran traveler but for newbies, the task seems daunting. To help you out with the task, here is a list of some of the top rated luggage brands in the market.

Tumi Alpha Frequent Traveler 22-inch Framed Expandable Carry-on

The Tumi Alpha Frequent Traveler carry-on has it all; it has a roomy space inside, it can be classy and rugged at the same time. It is also made of ballistic-nylon which proves to be a very durable material. Some reviewers have tested the bag by throwing it down the stairs and yet the Tumi Alpha emerged undamaged, even unaffected by the effort.

This may be the reason why people still buy it despite the limited warranty of 1 year for damage and 5 years for defects. Who will need an unlimited warranty if your bag is practically indestructible? Experts say it will last longer than most of its less expensive competitors. In many conducted tests, it seems as if the Tumi Alpha is king in terms of space, convenience and durability.

For travelers who would like to travel light though, and those avoiding the dreaded excess baggage weight, the Tumi Alpha may not be ideal as the empty luggage alone weighs more than 11 pounds. It can also be a little awkward to place in the overhead bin according to some reviewers. On top of that, the Tumi Alpha proves that everything has a price, itself costing around $600.

Red Oxx Air Boss

*Est. $225 Learn More For its size and weight of 4 pounds, the Red Oxx Air Boss can be considered expensive at around $250, but the price is worth it because the bag is made of urethane-coated Cordura nylon which is an extremely durable material. It can accommodate several days’ worth of clothing in its three compartments and you can even fit a laptop inside.

Ideal for business travelers, the Air Boss can be rugged and classy at the same time. It also provides real convenience because it is very easy to carry especially when the user carries it with the single shoulder strap. The Air Boss also provides a full lifetime warranty with free repairs so it is really a great investment.

Unlike the Tumi Alpha, the Air Boss is much convenient to place in the overhead compartment of the plane because its size meets the carry on requirements and is not at all bulky. For the fashion conscious, the Air Boss also comes in 12 colors. It will also help you stay organized with its many compartments and keep your things protected with the zippers which have protective flaps over them.

Eagle Creek Tarmac 22

Many reviewers say that the Eagle Creek Tarmac 22 has got to be the best luggage we have in the market today. It is very durable but at just 8 pounds, it weighs less than its other luggage competitors. Eagle Creek also offers a lifetime warranty for its luggage and the warranty even covers airline damage, so there’s practically no reason not to get this one.

The only thing lacking with the Tarmac 22 is a garment bag, which is nothing compared to the benefits you get from using this luggage. It is said to be a lot better than both its cheaper and more expensive counterparts. The Eagle Creek Tarmac 22 is expandable and has clever compartments including a zippered shoe holder

Though the size of the carry-on may exceed the typical airline rules and regulations by a teensy bit, no user has yet reported that they were not allowed to bring their Tarmac 22 on board. Also, even if it did exceed the limit, it is not awkward to place it inside the overhead bin because it fits just right. And the best thing about the Tarmac 22 is that it only costs a little over $200.

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Choosing The Best Time Of Day For Flying On Grand Canyon Helicopters

It’s summer vacation time again, and this year, you should do something fun and exciting. A helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon would be the perfect experience. You’ll have several choices when it comes to helicopter tours, so you’re sure to find one that fits the time and adventures that interest you.

Timing The Tour

Summer is very hot in the Grand Canyon, and you can expect the temperatures to climb up to 100 degrees. If you hate hot weather and prefer to stay cool, book an early morning tour or one that flies in the late evening.

Taking an early morning tour is a great way to begin your day, and the good thing is you will still have plenty of the day left after the tour to do other fun things. Just remember the sun rises early too, and if you leave too early the glare from the sun might get in the way of your sightseeing.

Therefore, if you want to fly early and have the best sightseeing experience, you should pick a flight that departs between 8 am and noon. The air is less turbulent in the mornings too, and it is less hazy than later in the day.

Plus, thunderstorms are more likely in the afternoons on hot summer days and by flying early, you can avoid the rain and a choppy ride. If you book an afternoon flight, it has a higher risk of being canceled due to frequent afternoon thunderstorms.

An evening flight is the perfect way to wrap up a fun day of vacationing. It’s cooler in the evening and you’ll be treated to a colorful sunset view. The air fills with dust during the day and those particles add bright colors to the sky as the sun sets over the canyon. If you opt for a deluxe helicopter tour, you’ll also be treated to a fantastic aerial tour of the lights of Vegas on your return flight.

The Difference In Helicopters

Besides choosing the departure time for your flight, you also have to choose your aircraft. A lot of the tours use Bell Ranger helicopters, but the deluxe tours fly on EcoStar 130 aircraft. You’ll still get good views from a Bell Ranger, but if it’s comfort you want, book a flight on an EcoStar. The EcoStar helicopters provide the best possible views from their panoramic windows, plus the ride is very comfortable thanks to larger cabins, improved stability of the aircraft, less cabin noise, and comfortable climate control. So you should consider booking a deluxe tour if you can.

Which Rim Is Best

You can choose to take a helicopter tour of the South Rim or the West Rim. If you’ll be in Vegas, you’ll have many West Rim tours to choose from since the West Rim is a lot closer to Vegas than the South Rim.

If you opt for a deluxe helicopter tour out of Vegas, you’ll even receive complimentary transportation to and from your hotel in a limo. Vegas South Rim tours are a little more complicated since the South Rim is too far for a Vegas chopper to fly to, instead, you’ll have to get to the South Rim another way such as airplane or tour bus.

If you like adventure, then the West Rim is the best destination because you can book a tour that descends into the canyon and lands on the canyon floor. If you’d rather see beautiful vistas, then the South Rim is best because it is a very beautiful part of the canyon.

The South Rim tours can be upgraded to include a little adventure too, for instance, you can add on a Jeep tour. The Jeeps hold nine passengers and they give you an exciting ground tour of some notable Grand Canyon landmarks.

The Ultimate Vacation Awaits

A Grand Canyon tour is a great way to spend a vacation day this summer. A Grand Canyon trip is perfect for a romantic celebration or a fun-filled family vacation. There are several tours and adventures you can choose from to match your interests. An exciting and fun vacation experience is waiting for you.

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The Three Distinct Types of Travelers Or Tourists

This may seem a strange travel tip but knowing what kind of tourist or traveler you are will help set your expectations and probably improve your travel adventures. Read the following list of three types of traveler to see whether or where you find a match.

The Recreational Traveler: Usually looking to unwind, disengage and is not interested so much in local flavor or local customs and the culture. Might be one to simply sit on the beach and relax, read a book, play golf or just rest. Is not opposed to foreign locations but not interested in being immersed deeply in a new culture. May just want to recharge their batteries before another year in the office.

The Experiential Traveler: This traveler searches for meaning within other cultures. Inquisitive and inquiring, this traveler gets beneath the exterior of strange new worlds and seeks to get the most experience (learning) out of a destination as possible. Willing to risk in order to gain experience, this traveler will have deep desires to engage a different culture and find deeper meaning within it. No expatriate bars and restaurants for this type!

The Experimental Traveler: Not only willing to try new things but almost actively seeks them. May be looking for meaning outside their present existence and are willing to try (and perhaps fail) in travels to new destinations rather than not travel at all. A subset of the experimental traveler is the existential traveler. One who indeed finds meaning in a new culture and now wishes to engage in it long term even. May be back home pining for that favorite city or country, favorite beach or mountain trip and actively saves for another trip to the same spot or even a new destination as an experiment. They have already disengaged from their routine and have inwardly relocated to their desired place.

There is room for all expressions of tourist in the world of travel but what causes ‘bad vacations’ usually results from one not understanding what type of traveler they are. The recreational tourist may not want to go on a guided tour, walks or hikes into the mountains and won’t be happy if forced to by a travel partner. Their partner in turn may not want to sit on the beach all day either. When traveling in pairs or groups, accommodations may have to be made for others so they can find the extent of their desires. While those traveling to foreign locations and NOT wanting to actively engage in a new culture may be short-changing themselves, it should not cause a whole trip to be ruined.

Knowing what type of traveler you are should make it easier to choose destinations and then enjoy the trip much more since you are setting up your trip for success rather than failure.

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5 Reasons Why College Visits Are Important For College Admissions

College visits are one of the most important steps in the college search and selection process. They are the only way to get a true feel for a campus and find out whether it is the right fit for your student. College tours help students to find out about the admissions policies, programs, and campus culture.

Here are 5 reasons why college visits are important for college admissions:

1. College visits are a great way to check out potential schools and light a motivational fire under prospective applicants. They also help to get students excited about going to college. A college visit can also help students understand what the college admissions process is all about and what is required of them in order to be successful. There is also no substitute for a personal visit to help students gain a better focus for their applications.

2. The more colleges students see, the easier it will be for them to know what they like and do not like about different kinds of schools. College trips are a critical part of coming up with a balanced list of schools to apply to. They also make it easier for students to make informed college decisions based on what they have personally observed.

3. A college visit demonstrates to a school that students are interested enough to come and find out whether the college is right for them. This is something that schools consider when they are making college admissions decisions. They want to know what kind of contact students have had with their school. Have they met with a college representative, had an off campus interview, visited with someone at a college fair or most importantly, come for a college visit?

4. Students should not believe everything they see in a view book or on a college website. Colleges are pros at marketing themselves with glossy photos and flashy DVDs. A college tour helps students find out about any unexpected surprises that might not be obvious without a college tour. Sometimes the surrounding area is not what students thought it would be or safety is a real concern. These issues are only evident when you take time to tour the campus.

5. College visits help students to make up their mind when it is time to decide on a final college decision. Hopefully, students have written down the pros and cons of the schools they have seen and are able to weigh these up as they finalize their college choice. It is most important that students choose a school that is the right fit for them. It is not the name of the school, but the experience you have as an undergraduate that will contribute the most to a successful future.

On a college visit, students should take the time to stand in the middle of a campus and look around and ask, “Could I see myself as a student here? Is this where I would like to spend the next four years of my life?” Your answers will be very revealing and hopefully lead you to the school that is right for you.

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5 Team Building Exercises to Develop a High Performance Team

Team building exercises can be a critical component to developing a high performance team. The following are five simple exercises that can help your team build trust and optimize collaboration.

Egg Drop

Provide a team of three to five people with 1 egg, several straws, masking tape and other materials that might protect an egg (paper plates, cotton balls, popsicle sticks, etc.). Using these materials the team’s goal is to create a structure (such as a landing pad) that will prevent the egg from breaking when dropped from a height of 7 ft.

Lap Sit

The entire group stands in a circle shoulder to should. An instructor has everyone turn 90 degree so they are facing the back of the person in front of them. Next, have the group sit on each other’s knees. The goal is to produce a fully seated circle for at least 30 seconds.

Group Push-Up

The objective of this activity is for the entire team to figure out a way in which they can safely support themselves off the ground using their hands to steady the group. This is easiest performed in a group of four.

Toe to Toe

In groups of two, ask the participants to sit toe-to-toe and holding hands. The objective of the activity is to stand up while still maintaining toe-to-toe contact and holding hands. To make this activity more difficult, expand the size of the pair into fours and then sixes.

Human Spring

In groups of two, ask the participants to face each other as if they were performing “patty cake.” The participants should begin standing 1 foot apart. Keeping their elbows in, the participants lean forward so that their hands lay flat against each other (fingers should not interlock). From here they push into each other to create a spring effect. The partners then take small steps apart and repeat the activity. The idea is to see which pair can stand furthest apart and perform the task with their trust still intact.

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Cosmos Vs Globus

Visiting Europe is more affordable than you might think. The Globus family of brands has two options to choose from. Cosmos offers a great vacation value for those on a budget, while Globus offers premium escorted travel.

In order to understand the difference more clearly, I am going to use an example I came across earlier this week where a client was planning a trip to Spain, but was undecided between the Cosmos “Grand tour of Spain,” and the Globus “Spanish Fiesta.” Specifically, the client wanted to know why she should pay $500 more for the Globus trip, when the Cosmos goes to the same places and is one day longer?

This is one of the best questions you can ask your travel agent! The tourist industry is a very competitive field and if one company is offering the same itinerary at a decidedly different price, there’s got to be a reason. As we sat and discussed the two itineraries, here is what the client learned.

She would land in Madrid on either tour; both would have meet and greet, (if airfare had been purchased through the tour operator), and each would have a hotel room reserved in her name. Now where the difference begin, is that the Globus tour director would host a welcome dinner that evening and she would meet the other travelers. The Cosmos tour director would only be in the hotel lobby to say hello. Dinner will be on her own, and perhaps she would meet up with other travelers and join them.

After a buffet breakfast (included each morning in either tour) the Globus group will have in depth sightseeing in Madrid, seeing all the major sights, with entrance to the world famous Prado Museum included and paid for. The afternoon will offer free time. The Cosmos group leaves Madrid, and is driven to Valencia (via Aranjuez and Cuenca), a distance of about 222 miles, with a stop at the Royal Palace along the way. The driving time is about 4 hours, but there will be photo stops as well as a stop for lunch, although not included. The Cosmos tour would then stay in Valencia two nights, which no included sightseeing.

On day two, the Globus tour will head north to Vitoria, stopping at Segovia and Burgos…with photo, rest and lunch stops, of course. Lunch is not included with the Globus on this day either. The distance is about 175 miles, or about 3 hours.

I won’t continue the day-by-day comparison, as the article would be quite lengthy, but be assured that these differences continue throughout. Example: Globus has in-depth sightseeing in Granada, Cosmos offers it as an optional. The Globus tour takes you to Gibraltar, with entrance fee included; Cosmos does not go to Gibraltar. Globus stops for guided, fee paid sightseeing in Toledo; Cosmos does not stop at Toledo. The Cosmos visit in Madrid is at the end of your tour, no inside visits are included.

There are also more subtle differences that a Globus tour includes over Cosmos, such as extra nights in major cities to allow for more free time, a few extra meals throughout the trip, perhaps with wine included or entertainment. With Globus you often each at local restaurants, where we Cosmos you frequent the hotel’s restaurant.

To sum it all up, if your goal is to travel comfortably, with clean hotels, some meals, a tour guide as your shepherd and information source and at a price you can afford, go “budget,” which is with Cosmos tours. Just remember, there will be many “optional” tours and meals, so do the math. If you want to see as much as possible, gain access to outstanding museums and sights, stay in centrally located hotels and avoid many of the optionals, so more is included in your up-front price, you will find that Globus tours is the better way to go.

Keep in mind they are both owned by the same company, who have offered escorted tours for over 80 years, so you will not be disappointed either way, as long as you are clear on what’s included in the price.

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Camping Holidays – Advantages and Disadvantages

The advantages of camping holidays begin with adventure. A family can go wherever they want and camp there for as long as they have. From a camping base a family can go for walks out into the wild and see nature in its true habitat. They can also make their way over to huge lakes to fish or swim, and if they find an adventure park they can spend the day zip lining around the trees as fast as they can go, which is fun for everyone.

This is also where the disadvantages begin however, because some people like the routine they have and won’t want it disturbed by living in a tent for a week or two. Sometimes there are no shower facilities and people will need to use a solar shower, which isn’t a problem for most, but some people could feel self-conscious about their body when using one. Toilets are another big disadvantage if a camp site doesn’t have the facilities provided, as people will need to go and dig themselves a hole to use, or use a communal one, which many consider to be worse.

For others the freedom of being in the outdoors outweighs all disadvantages relating to homely comforts such as showering and using the toilet. They also enjoy not being able to use their mobile phones, as these are an invasion which can ruin a holiday if someone is using theirs constantly. Whilst camping, people will also be away from the thick smog of the city, something many consider to be unhealthy. The great outdoors has nothing but fresh air, and most people consider this a huge advantage of camping holidays.

To break it down to a list of the core advantages and disadvantages, this is what most people think of camping.

Advantages

1) Adventure

2) Seeing Wildlife

3) Clean Air

4) No Mobile Phones

5) No Internet

6) No Traffic

7) No Interruptions

Disadvantages

1) No Toilet

2) No Shower

3) No Food Provided For You

4) Living In A Tent

5) Bugs

6) Little Or No Electricity

7) Nothing Much To Do If You’re Not Adventurous

In conclusion, the advantages and disadvantages of camping seem to be entirely based on opinion. What people need to realise is that camping can be great fun as long as everyone is involved in enjoying themselves, because once someone isn’t having fun, the trip is ruined. If worst comes to worst, building a huge camp fire and staying up late into the night is something everyone enjoys doing.

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Choose Between Independent, Hosted and Escorted Tours

You’re browsing online for your next tour and some of them look absolutely fantastic and so inexpensive! But wait, there are a couple words that I’m not sure of recently: hosted tours and independent tours. You know what they mean in general conversation, but what do they mean where travel is concerned?

Good question, with a simple answer, but knowing the difference will make a significant impact on your travel decision.

“Independent” means you are on your own. The travel company will book your hotels and, if you’re traveling to various cities, perhaps they’ll also book your train seat. When your plane lands you’ll make your way to the hotel and, if you want to see the sights, and well, that’s why you’re traveling, isn’t it? You will for the most part, have to make your own arrangements. You’ll get to each place by any method you choose…car, cab or bus. Carry a good guide book or perhaps hire a local at the sight.

Why book this type of package if you are on your own for the majority of the time? Well the tour companies have buying power, so you may save a little money by purchasing a hotel stay from them, but that’s not always the case. Check with your travel agent who will be happy to price it both ways for you to ensure you receive the best value.

“Hosted” involves a little more hand holding. You may be met at the airport and transported to your hotel, which is pre-booked for you as well, and you’ll have breakfast daily. Your “host” is a local tour professional (usually) who represents the tour company with whom you booked. This person is available to you at certain hours of each day, to advise you on sightseeing, restaurants and shopping in the area. They will also have available optional tours you can book through them and travel. You will have plenty of time to do your own thing, but have the security of being able to consult someone throughout your stay. If you are visiting multiple cities, then the transportation is also arranged for you in advance including train, bus or flights.

Escorted is the best choice if the language of the country you are visiting is very foreign (In most European countries you will find many locals who speak English fluently). Your guide will meet you, great you, introduce you to others in your group…because escorted tours are almost always of a group of 24 to 40 people. (The exception are luxury tours in which your group consists of only you and your travel companions with a private guide.) All of your hotels and transportation are included. The guide checks you into each hotel and hands you the keys. Your luggage is taken to each room and then picked up and placed back on the bus so that you can relax. The guide and driver will accompany you on all sightseeing tours, smooth your admission to museums and monuments, entertain you (hopefully) on the bus ride to the next town and, all in all, act as your “big brother” or “sister.” You will be well taken care of and probably get the most out of your journey. Knowledgeable guides make a career of sharing their inspiring insights, and are well versed in local customs and must see hidden treasured. Most travelers agree that the tour guide is the key to good vacation due to their wealth of information, warmth and efficiency.

In conclusion, “independent travel” is best suited for the very savvy traveler who knows what he wants to see and do, but is happy to have someone book his hotels and train seats. A “hosted” trip is good for those who are capable of budgeting their time, is up and out to see all there is to see, and has done their homework. The traveler may need or want some assistance in choosing from the many sights the city or a specific venue has to offer. “Escorted tours” are the most comprehensive way to visit another country. It doesn’t mean you’re lazy…just time-conscious and maybe not too well versed in the history and lore of your chosen destination. Better to have a professional show you all there is to see.

Tour operators offer a variety of travel options to meet each travelers needs. Whichever travel style you select, know what you’re buying in advance.

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