Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Long-Term Airport Parking Tips: Save Money and Ensure Security

Traveling can be stressful, especially when you're budget-conscious. Long-term airport parking is one area where you can save money and ensure peace of mind. 

Whether you're jetting off for a business trip or a much-needed vacation, knowing how to secure affordable and secure parking is essential. 

This blog post will guide you through the best tips and strategies for long-term airport parking.

Why Long-Term Parking Matters for Budget-Conscious Travelers

For budget-conscious flyers, every dollar saved counts. Long-term airport parking can quickly add up, especially if you're gone for more than a few days. 

By planning ahead and making informed choices, you can significantly reduce parking costs without compromising security. In this guide, we'll share valuable tips that can help you save money while ensuring your car remains safe during your travels.

Planning Ahead for Long-Term Parking

Booking your parking spot in advance can often get you the best rates. Many airport parking facilities offer discounts for early reservations. 

Additionally, booking early ensures that you have more options available, allowing you to choose a spot that fits both your budget and security needs.

Another benefit of planning ahead is the peace of mind it offers. Knowing that your parking is sorted lets you focus on other aspects of your trip. 

To make the process smoother, consider using online platforms that compare prices and features of different parking facilities. This way, you can make an informed decision without spending too much time.

Lastly, look for seasonal promotions or special deals. Many parking facilities offer discounts during off-peak travel seasons or for extended stays. Sign up for newsletters or alerts from parking providers to stay updated on the latest offers.

Choosing the Right Long-Term Parking Option

There are generally two main options for long-term parking: on-air and off-air. Each has its own pros and cons, so let's break them down.

On-Airport Parking:

  • Pros:
  • Proximity to the terminal
  • Often includes enhanced security measures
  • Convenient access to airport amenities
  • Cons:
  • Generally more expensive than off-airport options
  • Limited availability during peak travel times

Off-Airport Parking:

  • Pros:
  • More affordable rates
  • Often includes free shuttle services to the terminal
  • Various choices of parking facilities to suit different needs
  • Cons:
  • Slightly longer commute to the terminal
  • May require advance booking to secure the best rates

Consider your priorities when choosing between these options. If convenience and proximity are your top concerns, on-airport parking might be worth the extra cost. 

However, if budget is your primary focus, off-airport parking can offer substantial savings without sacrificing too much convenience.

Security Measures to Look for in Long-Term Parking

Security is a crucial factor when selecting a long-term parking facility. The last thing you want is to return from your trip to find your vehicle damaged or stolen. Here are some security features to look for:

  • Surveillance Cameras: A facility with 24/7 surveillance ensures that your vehicle is monitored at all times.
  • Security Patrols: Regular patrols by security personnel can deter potential thieves and provide an extra layer of protection.
  • Well-Lit Areas: Good lighting not only deters criminal activity but also makes it easier for you to find your vehicle upon your return.
  • Secure Fencing: A fenced perimeter adds an additional barrier against unauthorized access.
  • Access Control: Gated entries and exits that require a ticket or code to enter can significantly enhance security.

Always read reviews and check ratings of parking facilities to ensure they meet your security expectations. Many travelers share their experiences online, providing valuable insights into the safety and reliability of different parking options.

Cost-Saving Strategies for Long-Term Parking

Saving money on long-term parking can be simple. Here are some tried-and-true strategies to help you cut costs:

  • Use Coupons and Promo Codes: Many parking facilities offer discounts through coupons or promotional codes. A quick search online can often yield significant savings.
  • Join Loyalty Programs: Some parking providers have loyalty programs that offer discounts or free days after multiple uses. If you travel frequently, this can add up to substantial savings over time.
  • Book in Bulk: Some facilities offer bulk booking discounts if you know you'll need parking for multiple trips. This is especially useful for business travelers who have frequent flights.
  • Compare Prices: Use comparison websites to find the best rates and features. These sites often include user reviews and ratings, helping you make an informed choice.
  • Look for Package Deals: Some travel agencies and airlines offer package deals with discounted parking rates. Check if your flight booking includes parking perks.
By taking advantage of these cost-saving strategies, you can significantly reduce your parking expenses, freeing up more funds for your actual trip.

Making the Most of Shuttle Services

Many long-term parking facilities offer free shuttle services to and from the airport terminal. Knowing how to use these services efficiently can save you time and hassle.

  • Check Shuttle Schedules: Before booking, determine how frequently the shuttles run. Some facilities have shuttles that operate 24/7, while others may have limited hours.
  • Arrive Early: Give yourself ample time to park your car and catch the shuttle. Arriving early ensures you won't feel rushed and reduces the risk of missing your flight.
  • Know the Pickup Points: Familiarize yourself with the shuttle pickup and drop-off points at the parking facility and airport terminals. Knowing where to go can save you valuable time.
  • Pack Smart: Your luggage should be easy to handle, as you'll need to load and unload it from the shuttle. Use luggage tags to identify your bags easily.
  • Tip the Driver: If the shuttle service was beneficial, consider tipping the driver. It's a small gesture that goes a long way.

You can make your long-term parking experience smoother and more convenient by utilizing shuttle services.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

How to Prepare for Buying a Family RV

Are you considering taking your family on the open road in an RV? This can be a great way to bond with your kids and create lasting memories.

But before you head to the dealership, there are a few things you should do to prepare. Here's what you need to know about buying a family RV.

Determine the Right Size

Deciding which size RV to purchase can be a daunting task, particularly when considering the number of people in your family. 

To make it easier, consider the type of trips you intend to take - will they include wilderness camping or activities that require a lot of space? If so, you may want to opt for a larger size. 

Additionally, consider how much time you plan to spend on the road and the sleeping arrangements that best meet your needs. 

All these factors will help determine the right size RV for your family's needs.

Choose the Best Type of RV

Choosing the right RV for your family can make all the difference when planning a great trip. There are many different types available, from Class A motorhomes to pop-up campers, so it's important to do your research before making a decision. 

Consider where and how you'll be camping, and choose an RV type that provides enough room to comfortably accommodate everyone in your family. Look at floor plans and consider whether you're comfortable with sleeping arrangements, amenities, and storage options. 

If possible, take a test drive and ensure the vehicle is in good condition before making a purchase. By carefully researching each option, you'll be able to choose the perfect RV for your family!

Research Different RV Brands

Researching different RV brands can be a daunting task - there are so many options that it can take effort to decide which one is right for you. When shopping for an RV, it's important to consider your budget and find a brand with good reviews. 

Do some research online and read what other buyers have said about their experience; this will help you determine if the RV you're considering is the best choice for your needs. 

If a brand has multiple positive reviews, that can give you confidence that it will serve you well on your journeys. Taking the time to pinpoint the perfect RV for your needs helps ensure your long-term satisfaction.

Find an RV Dealer

Taking a test drive before making a purchase can help you ensure that you truly get the right recreational vehicle (RV) for your needs and budget. Finding an RV dealer near you is the first step in this process, as they will have access to a greater selection and inventory of RVs than online sellers

You can find an RV dealer in person or through online search engines, or even ask family or friends who may have purchased from a local dealer for their recommendations. Once you've found your dealer of choice, don't hesitate to take advantage of their expertise and ask all the questions you need to make an informed decision. 

This way, you'll be able to get out on the open road with your RV, knowing that it is perfect for all your future road trips.

Get it Insured and Registered Properly

After a thorough selection process, you've finally found an RV that's perfect for your family's needs. Now, to make sure you can enjoy the journey safely, it's important to get the RV insured and properly registered. 

First, look into the kinds of insurance coverage available for RV owners, like those at Del Toro Insurance 29th St, and determine which type best fits your situation. 

Then, you'll need to figure out all the specific requirements for registering your recreational vehicle in your area, such as any necessary forms or documents that may be required depending on where you live. Once everything is in order, you're ready to hit the open road!

Friday, January 22, 2021

5 Tips for Savings Money on a Big Vacation

Everyone deserves at last one big vacation. Unfortunately, these vacations can be pricier than many think. If you're looking to save a little on your big trip, you'll want to look at the advice below.

Look for Deals

One of the best ways to save money on a big vacation is to look for great deals. Major theme parks run specials during certain times of the year, for example, while some hotels might have greatly reduced prices if you visit during the off-season. 

Changing up the dates on your trip can save you more money than you might expect.

Plan Ahead

The better you plan, the more that you'll save. Know your route ahead of time, make reservations before you get on the road, and have a good idea of what's going to be available to do and to eat any time you stop. 

If you can have a plan for what you're going to spend, you'll be less surprised by your final totals.


A big vacation can be an amazing experience, but that doesn't mean you should expect to do everything. Think about the things you want to do most on your vacation and prioritize those when you're budgeting your money

If you can set your priorities, you can stop yourself from spending money on unnecessary additions before you get to the things about which you care.

Think Outside the Box

Don't follow the same paths as other tourists when you're on vacation. If everyone else is staying at an expensive hotel, you might want to look for a cheaper - but still amazing - vacation rental in the same area. 

Choosing activities and lodging that are off the beaten path can give you time to enjoy your vacation without breaking the bank.

Budget for Emergencies

Finally, make sure you put away money for emergencies. If you have a set amount put aside, you'll be able to avoid the kind of panic spending that comes when things go wrong. The best part about setting aside this money is that you'll still have it in your pocket if things go smoothly.

Big vacations are much less expensive when you put a little thought into how you'll spend your money. If you have the right plan and the right budget, you can go on vacation without worrying about what it will do to your bank account

Even better, your plans will let you enjoy the time you spend on vacation rather than requiring you to think of how you'll have to pay when you get home.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Interesting Things You’ll Appreciate Knowing About Living In Edmonton

Apart from being one of the most sought-after places to live in Canada, Edmonton is the provincial capital of Alberta. There’s more about this city than meets the eye. The city offers a lot to make you appreciate living here apart from the trails through river valleys and the immense dining experience. This article has some interesting things you’ll appreciate about living in Edmonton.


This is a popular activity in this city. It is no wonder that Edmonton has more than 170 km of trails in the river valley alone. The paths run beside the North Saskatchewan River and contributing tributaries and connect to various areas of the city. 

These beautiful routes make a great adventure on a weekend. Cyclists in Edmonton share 275 km of paths and sidewalks with walkers. Equally important to note is the 450 km of unimproved trails and unpaved single track.

West Edmonton Mall

This is the largest mall in North America spanning an equivalent of 48 city blocks and housing about 800 stores and services. West Edmonton Mall was the world’s largest shopping mall until 2004. 

There is a lot to look out for here including a mini-golf, movie theatre, bowling alley, and underground aquarium. The mall accommodates two hotels alongside more than 100 dining places. Some of the major attractions at this mall include:
  • Galaxyland
  • An ice palace
  • World Waterpark
  • Adventure golf

Rat-free city

Rats are pesky creatures that cause significant damage quickly in households. Luckily, one of the reasons to make you get looking for rent to own homes Edmonton is freedom from rats. There are no rats here and in all of Alberta. 

The western province in Canada has been rat-free since the 1950s. This means people here don’t have to worry about rats spoiling and consuming food, grain products, electrical wiring, and damaging building. There is no threat to people’s health posed by the rats.

The rat-free status of Alberta stands strong because of the aggressive rat control program. This ensures that the vermin is outside of the province’s boundaries. Given that a pair of rats can lead to a colony of about 15,000 rats annually, people in Alberta understand the need to call an exterminator on seeing a rat. Acting aggressively and quickly maintains the rat-free status of Edmonton as well.


In Edmonton, the first day of summer has daylight lasting 17 hours and three minutes. Here, sunrise is at 5:04AM with sunset at 10:07PM. This allows feeling like soaking up all the energy from the largest north-most metropolis. During winter, it’s another story. The sun rises at 8:49AM with sunset at 4:16PM. This allows just 7 hours and 27 minutes of daylight.

Golfer’s paradise

Edmonton is a golfer’s paradise with the city bursting with beautiful golf courses. Metropolitan Edmonton has more than 70 golf courses that appeal to people regardless of age and skill. The best thing is the availability of courses to give everyone a chance to hone their skill. Regardless of your level, you can indulge in any of the following:

  • Mini golf
  • Country club golf courses
  • Beginner courses
  • Advanced courses

Great Divide Waterfall

Designed by local artist Peter Lewis, the Great Divide Waterfall was made to mark the city’s 75th anniversary. This was installed in 1980 with a height of 64 meters making it 7 meters taller than Niagara Falls. The waterfall could pump out 50,000 liters of water each minute when turned on during long summer weekends. However, its operation during those five long summer weekends would cost the cist about $2000 hourly or $30,000 annually.

Elk Island National Park

Despite its name, this park isn’t actually an island. And, you are likely to find more bison than elk at Elk Island National Park. The name of the park is after the various tiny islands dotted in the lakes. This park was originally a sanctuary for elk before the introduction of bison. The park is a great spot to relax and enjoy nature in Edmonton.

Reaching the park is an hour from Edmonton for a chance to catch amazing glimpses of free-roaming bison, elk, deer, and moose. The 194 sq km is quite small according to National Park Standards but the largest fully fenced park in Canada. This park is filled with parkland, grasslands, boreal forests, lakes where bison, pygmy shrew, and terrestrial mammals roam in North America.


These are quite a big problem in the Edmonton area with about 30 species. Summers are quire miserable at dusk because of the mosquitoes. The warmer weather encourages mosquitoes to develop faster. These are usually more active with emerging adults seeking bloody meals immediately.

During warm and rainy weather, mosquitoes are in plenty and active. However, the mosquitoes are usually less active in warm and rainy weather. The authorities do whatever it takes to get rid of these pesky creatures using helicopters, ditch trucks, and ground crews. These lessen aquatic larvae from developing.


There are various reasons to make you consider rent to own a home in Edmonton. From the friendly people to the endless shopping at North America’s largest mall to enjoying cycling, there is a lot for anyone. Expect no worry about rats attacking your home and destroying the property and structure of your new home.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mediterranean Cruises – The Thrill of a Lifetime

English: MS Majesty of the Seas, one of Royal ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you have never cruised the Mediterranean then you are missing the thrill of a lifetime. Each morning you awake to a new world while enjoying the comforts of your hotel on the sea with all your meals, accommodations, and all kinds of entertainment available to you. 

If you love to sample different cuisines, study interesting cultures and tour historic locales then a Mediterranean cruise is a travel adventure that you cannot pass up. You can explore this beautiful region on cruise ships departing ports in Greece, France, Italy or Spain. 

When Is The Best Time To Go 

Even though the traditional season for Mediterranean cruises runs from May through October, it may sometimes begin earlier in March and end in November. Should this be the case, some cruise ships may sail south to the Canary Islands. Only a few ships sail all through the year, however, if you happen to book a large cruise ship, and you like swimming be certain that the ship's pool can be covered by a glass dome so that you swim no matter what time of year you happen to be sailing. 

Many cruise ships sail out Europe all year, while others change ports depending on the season, for example sailing the Caribbean in the winter and the Mediterranean in the summer, where the prices and operating costs are usually higher. Even though several of the resort vessels are quite large, most vessels sailing the Mediterranean are generally mid-range (with capacities of 600 to 1,600 passengers) or small (with capacities of 200 to 600 passengers), depending on the port's size. If you happen to select a large cruise ship (housing from 1,600 to 5,000+ passengers) you will be restricted to the larger, busier ports. 

If you plan on bringing the kids along a large cruise ship has will have more facilities and activities for kids, but if you want a more relaxed experience a mid-sized ship is your best bet. It’s easier to get off and on as you visit each port and the quality of the food is usually better. 

Mediterranean Ports of Call 

Many high-end cruise companies have Mediterranean cruises available originating in Monte Carlo, which is found between the Mediterranean Sea and the Alps. Cruises from Rome leave from a port town called Civitavecchia. From this port it is about an one hour ride by bus into Rome, an engrossing trip you won't regret. Nearly every cruise line departs from Rome then going anywhere in the Mediterranean region. 

Another popular route, cruising into Venice by way of the Giudecca Canal, is an happening you will not want to fore go. The cobblestone thoroughfares, criss-crossed by water channels, and numerous historical bridges, sets this city apart as a delightful place to see on foot. 

The Mediterranean is a fabled region full of unending treasures and history just waiting to unfold before you. No matter what piques your interest, it could be the stark ruins of Athens and Rome, or the Holy Land with its sacred locales; or even the beautiful sun-drenched beach fronts of the Greek Isles, it is not an experience to be missed. Traveling on a Mediterranean cruise should be on everyone's bucket list.

Monday, September 10, 2012

One of the Most Beautiful Ski Resorts in the World – The Courchevel Chalets

Courchevel hosted the Nordic combined events f...Courchevel hosted the Nordic combined events for the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Courchevel Chalet is a ski resort nestled in the town of Saint-Bon-Tarentaise located in the French Alps in the Rhône-Alpes locale. The entire resort spans half of Les Trois Vallées and is the largest linked ski resort on the planet. Courchevel is comprised of five separate villages known by their heights in meters as: Courchevel 1300 (Le Praz), La Tania (1350), Courchevel 1550, Courchevel 1650 and Courchevel 1850. The five villages are connected by piste, road and ski lift so you can easily get from one location to another fairly easily.

The alternative villages that make up Courchevel (1650, 1550 and 1300) tend to be less pretentious than 1850. They also have more affordable accommodations, but their prices seem to rising as the market rises.

Though large numbers of Courchevel's patrons are British nationals, the resort also has an elite Russian following that usually visits the chalets when Russian Orthodox Christmas and Russian New Year occur. Because this influx of Russian visitors happens every season, Courchevel has become the "winter playground of the wealthy and famous" of Russia. January's first two weeks have become the height of Courchevel's resort season.

There are many ways to occupy your time while at Courchevel Chalets. If you like shopping, Courchevel 1850 has lots of boutiques, and snowshoeing has also gotten very popular. There is a pedestrian lift available which makes it easy for non-skiers to get around the mountain, and you can book panoramic flights around the mountain from the altiport.

Of course, if you love skiing, there is plenty to be had. With the various ski trails offered by the Three Valleys lift pass you will have trouble deciding which one to try first. The Jardin Alpin also offers access to some great runs for novices, while at the Saulire there are some wonderful red and blue runs. Each of Courchevel’s runs is marked with their famous colors.

The Courchevel Valley is a great starting point for discovering the entire Three Valleys area. You'll find tree runs great for newbies along side the more advanced red and blue runs. There is lots of variety so that skiers of all skill levels can all use the same area. Also, there are lots of black runs available for more advanced skiers.

The Courchevel Chalet is world's most famous ski resort. It towers above all other ski resorts since it provides the most varied range of accommodations of anywhere in Alpine region. No matter what your interests or your spending capacity, the chalet staff and personnel will make sure that you have the ski vacation of a lifetime as you enjoy the strikingly beautiful environs.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

5 Trips to Take the Grandkids On

Cinderella Castle by day
Cinderella Castle by day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Its summertime and the grandkids are out of school and heading your way for a week or so. Want to do something extra special with them this summer? Take them on a trip that they will never forget, here are 5 trip ideas to help you:

Disney: Who doesn’t want to go to Disneyland or Disneyworld? Whether you choose the west coast or the east coast, there is fun to be had for both kids and adults. Disney is a magical place where your grandkids can run wild and use their imaginations. The best time to take them is between about 4 years old to 12 years old. There are always great specials and deals for families, especially in the off season.

Beach: Summer vacations are always best spent next to the ocean, playing in the sand. You can rent little houses or hotel rooms near a beach for a weekend getaway. Avoid big party beaches and aim for family friendly beaches. They tend to be the smaller beaches outside of the big ‘party’ beaches. Find a nice beach to build sandcastle and collect seashells on. And don’t forget the sunscreen and watch the tide!

Camping: There are plenty of camping sites across the United Sates that offer great camping sites. Go big and head to Yellowstone or go local. This is a great time to show your grandchildren things in nature and get them away from video games and television. Whether you want to head to a lake or the mountains, your options are unlimited. Camp by a fire or in a cabin, whatever you do bring the bug spray and the mores.

Washington DC: A very educational and beautiful city to teach your older grandchildren about the history of the United States. There are many things outside of political monuments to visit like huge art museums and the zoo.

Historical cities: If big road trips out of the budget this summer, travel to the closest city for historical landmarks. Major cities like Ft. Worth, Texas, Boston, Massachusetts and San Diego California are just a few examples of affordable cities with rich history and plenty of attractions to visit. Cities like this have a great visitor bureau website to help you plan your next trip!

Call the grandkids, pack the bags and hit the road for a fun summer trip with quality time spent with your family. Pick a location based on their age and enjoyment level for the whole family and go! Have fun and safe travels!

About the Author:

This guest post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger and editor of full time nanny.
She welcomes your comments at her email Id: - jdebra84 @

Monday, July 30, 2012

Consider a Home Exchange for a Money Saving Vacation

Poniente Beach's sight in Benidorm, Alicante (...
Poniente Beach's sight in Benidorm, Alicante (Spain) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It's time again for summer vacations with the family. But with people having a smaller budget for vacations a way to save money is needed. One of the major costs of a vacation is your accommodations. If there was a way to save money on that expense, you could make the trip fit into your budget. A way to save some money is to use your home and exchange it for a home in a destination you would like to travel to.

A home exchange often called “house-swapping” is a great vacation idea that’s been around for a long time. With everyone feeling the economic squeeze, some exchanges are more popular than ever before. With home swapping you can afford to take great trips to Aspen's mountains, Mexico's beach's, London's countryside, and Spain's Benidorm holidays

How it works. 

The idea of a home exchange is that 2 families agree to live in each other’s home (usually at the same time) at no cost. People find one another from home exchange website that give detailed lists of homes available. Exchanges take place within the United States or internationally, and the length of stay is whatever the parties agree upon. Exchangers typically do not meet in person but get acquainted via phone calls and emails before the exchange happens. Details, including pets, the use of a car, and cleaning are all agreed upon ahead of time, usually in a written contract provided by the website.

Is my home a good exchange?

Home exchangers are looking for location, location, location. They want to explore attractions in your area, attend an event, or visit family. A beachfront house in California is highly desirable, as is a condo in an exciting city—and even a home in the suburbs will appeal to the right travelers. Because swappers are primarily looking for a convenient jumping-off point for their adventures, your home’s age, floor plan, and furnishings don’t matter too much, as long as it’s clean, comfortable, and accommodating.

What"s a perfect swap home?

If it’s a rustic cottage on a secluded fishing lake or a condo at a popular ski area, a second home is ideal for exchanges. Logistically, you don’t have to vacate your primary residence, and you have more flexibility as to when the swap can happen.  For this reason, many retirees—who often own second homes and enjoy freer schedules—find home exchanges especially appealing.

How do I list my Home?

Start by exploring a few websites where you can view a lot of information for free. Home exchange websites typically charge an annual membership fee of $50 to $100 to list your home. If you decide to join a service, you’ll provide several photos and a detailed description of your home. You’ll also post your desired destinations and travel dates, and you’ll be able to peruse the homes that meet your criteria. It’s common to trade information with several homeowners before finding just the right match, and the process may take several months.

Is my home attractive or good enough for a home swap?

A clean, clutter-free home is universally appealing, and comfortable mattresses and attractive bedding are a must. Your kitchen should be well organized, and Internet access is a big plus. Your guests know they’re staying in someone’s home, so don’t worry about scuffed baseboards and well-worn furniture.  Likewise, don’t expect five-star accommodations when you step into your host’s home.

The tipping point for a home swapper is can you take the thought of strangers sleeping in your bed and using your home while you are far away. Do you fear coming back to seeing your home trashed? This sort of thing rarely happens. But if you are worried, you are not a good candidate for home swapping. But if you want to save some money and you have a sense of adventure why not give it a try.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Are Timeshares and Vacation Clubs A Good Deal?

timeshare ownership
timeshare ownership (Photo credit: GGtimeshares)

Dreams of warm beaches and bluer than blue ocean beaches pervade the mind every summer. Making plans for that ultimate vacation destination fills your thoughts and just has to be satisfied. You finally take that great trip and just fall in love with the place.

Maybe you think owning a bit of paradise would be the right thing to do. Your thinking of buying a timeshare.

Timeshares and vacation clubs allow you the opportunity to become a part-owner of a resort. The ability to return yearly comes with a certain sense of security; your next vacation is always just around the corner. Most timeshares allow you to trade your allotted time for points to use at other vacation destinations. You can enjoy luxury ski chalet holidays, travel to the Caribbean, or enjoy any city destination that is on your plans list.

What is a Timeshare?
Timeshare ownership has you pay an upfront fee plus a yearly maintenance fee. Depending on the timeshare arrangement, owners either own the rights to a specific, fixed week or a floating arrangement, where you can visit for a week within a period of time each year.

What is a Vacation Club?
Vacation clubs are a newer variation on the timeshare model. Instead of purchasing the rights to a specific unit, as with a timeshare, vacation club “members” pay an upfront sum to purchase a number of “points” which can be redeemed for different vacations each year. Yearly maintenance fees still apply.  

Is This a Money Saving Way to Vacation?
Both plans have different restrictions. Timeshares give you a specific week in a specific place from now on. Vacation Clubs have more flexibility with your choice of destinations but you have to deal with a fixed number of points. 

Both of these plans have large upfront costs with an expensive yearly maintenance fee. For example if you take vacation where you pay $200/ night for a week hotel stay over ten years you have shelled out $14,000. A timeshare at the same property might cost $8,000 upfront, with annual maintenance fees of $550. After ten years, you’d have paid $13,500—only $500 less than it would have cost you to pay for normal vacations. Over 30 years, however, the timeshare becomes a much better deal: At the end of that period, you’d have paid only $24,500 for your yearly vacations at a timeshare, as compared to $42,000 if staying at the hotel.

Are They a Good Investment?
For being real estate you would think there is an appreciation value. The value of your timeshare generally decreases sharply after purchasing.  The reason being the number of timeshares is always increasing. New timeshares have an attraction over an older one which people do not prefer. Add to that, it is really difficult to sell your timeshare if the need exists. If you did resell it, you could receive only half of what you paid for it. 

What to Do?
If you like a particular timeshare destination, rent do not buy. Many timeshare owners can't sell or go to their timeshare so they will offer you a great deal for renting them. 

A great place to look for timeshare rentals is Ebay. I personally had a great experience renting a timeshare in Orlando and everything went perfect. Because you’ll be dealing with an individual timeshare or vacation club owner rather than a hotel, be extra cautious to ensure that the deal is legitimate. Call up the hotel ahead of time to verify that the owner in question does, in fact, own a timeshare at the property. Additionally, ask the timeshare owner for references from previous satisfied renters.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

5 Ways To Save Money on Your Next Cruise

Silver Cloud: A cruise ship from silversea lin... (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the great things about going on a cruise is that your room, meals, entertainment and daytime activities are included in your fare. But if your not careful you could be subject to many of the on board ways to overspend.

1. On thing for sure when you go on cruises, there always is plenty to drink. Whether it's alcohol, soda or bottled water, it's going to cost you extra. You are not allowed to bring your own booze but many cruise lines allow you to bring water and soda. It may not always be convenient to carry your bottles around but it sure makes sense in the cabin. You could also save money by using the ships unlimited drink package, if available. 

2. To make up for the great deal you paid for the cruise, on board amenities like spa treatments are going to cost you double than what they cost normally. It could be either massages or extra charges for select fitness classes, these extras services will dig deep into your pocket.  

3. While on board, you do get all your meals for free, including the midnight buffet. But you will be offered alternative meals such as gourmet specialties by the chef. There is nothing wrong with partaking of these incredible meals, just be sure to budget for them ahead of time.

4. When the cruise ship reaches a port there are always day excursions. Many cruise lines make a ton of money on these side trips. If you plan ahead you could contact local tours and transportation companies that will definitely give you a better price for the same trip. 

5. Of course tipping is the most misunderstood part of the entire vacation cruise experience. At bars and nightclubs on board be sure to check if your bar tab may already have the tip included in the total. This happens sometimes and you end up over tipping or tipping twice. Tips to the crew are sometimes automatically added to your shipboard bill. Again be sure when reviewing your bill to see if you don't double tip or over tip.

When you are prepared and know ahead of time what your expenses are it make the whole trip nicer and anxiety free. If you have any questions when on board, the ship's purser will be glad to explain and help with whatever your needs.

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