You are ready to do some traveling, but the old bank account is a bit of a problem. Welcome to charter flights, one of the cheaper ways to see the world. Tip on Upgrading To First Class On Charter FlightsAs you know, flying anywhere these days is a particularly pricey option. Fuel prices are through the roof and airlines are hurting financially. This does not mean, however, that you have to get stuck with the high price of a flight. Charter flights offer a fairly amusing, but always cheaper alternative. Charter flights are cheap because the airline is usually very small and only flies part time. Obviously, each company is different, but most fall within this definition. The advantage for you, however, is said companies have much smaller overhead than big airlines and their prices reflect it. During the summer, for instance, you can usually get a roundtrip ticket to Europe for anywhere from twenty to fifty percent less than the going rate on major airlines. Given the cheap price and small nature of the company, there are some downsides to flying charter. First, the planes are not exactly new. Second, the company only has a few flights a year, so they pack passengers on. On a fourteen hour flight, a packed, older plane can leave much to desire. Fortunately for you, however, there is a solution. One of the interesting things about most charter flights is they offer first class accommodations. This is interesting because it is hard to imagine exactly who would fit the customer profile. If you have the money to fly "first class" , you probably are not hunting through the charter flight listings. In fact, few people ever seem to book the first class section. The economy section looks like the mosh pit a concert, but only a few people sit in first class. This situation is a golden opportunity for the savvy traveler. Yep, you can upgrade from economy to first class with little of complexities of a major airline. Oh, I should also mention the upgrade is incredibly cheap. I did it on a flight from Paris to Los Angeles for $50. Best money I ever spent. To get the upgrade, you simply ask for it when checking in for the flight. The charter company is trying to wrestle every buck they can out of the flight, so they are more than happy to give you an upgrade to first class for the flight. I have done this no less than five times and usually pay $100 or so for the upgrade. The most I ever paid was $200, but it was a 20 hour flight back from Asia and I was willing to pay more!If you are looking for a cheap flight, charter airlines offer a potential solution. Where else can you fly first class for less than an economy ticket on a major airline?
Safety on the StreetUse the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home. Be especially cautious in (or avoid) areas where you may be more easily victimized. These include crowded subways, train stations, elevators, tourist sites, market places, festivals and crime-ridden neighborhoods. Don't use short cuts, narrow alleys or poorly lit streets. Try not to travel alone at night.Avoid public demonstrations and other civil disturbances.Keep a low profile and avoid loud conversations or arguments. Do not discuss travel plans or other personal matters with strangers.Avoid scam artists by being wary of strangers who approach you and offer t be your guide or sell you something at bargain prices.Beware of pickpockets. They often have an accomplice who will: * jostle you, * ask you for directions or the time, * point to something spilled on your clothing, * or distract you by creating a disturbance.Beware of groups of vagrant children who create a distraction while picking your pocket.Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest and walk with the bag away from the curb to avoid drive-by purse-snatchers.Try to seem purposeful when you move about. Even if you are lost, act as if you know where you are going. Try to ask for directions only from individuals in authority. Know how to use a pay telephone and have the proper change or token on hand.Learn a few phrases in the local language or have them handy in written form so that you can signal your need for police or medical help. Make a note of emergency telephone numbers you may need: police, fire, your hotel, and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Some countries have tourist police that speak multiple languages and are used to working with tourists.If you are confronted, don't fight back -- give up your valuables.Be aware of "scam artists" . They exist in every country in the world. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There are many reports online of gem scam artists that may have accomplices from your home country. Dont try to make a fast buck; you will wind up losing many, many dollars.Do not even think of getting involved in drugs or drug trafficking. You do not want to spend the rest of your life rotting in a foreign prison. Remember, you have to follow the laws of your host country and you may not be afforded the luxuries that criminals back home receive.Be smart, use "common sense" , and have a great vacation.
Shopping In ItalyItaly's hottest shopping draw is of course fashion. Milan is home of the country's fashion industry, but Rome is the main Italian bazaar where the threads are put on the market. Here you can find the ultra chic garments of celebrated designers numbering in the hundreds. Quality is very high and the range of materials includes leather, cotton, silk and wool. Other than garments, Italy is pre-eminent in the production of quality glassware, furniture, jewellery and porcelain goods.Shopping In RomeWhile Rome is overrun with international fashion boutiques, shopping in the Eternal City can still offer its own very Roman flavour. For the ultimate in windows shopping, the area around via Condotti at the foot of the Spanish Steps is the place to go. You can gaze at the creations of Armani, Prada, Versace, Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci and the other grand names in the elegant windows under the baroque or neoclassical facades. But remember that rents in Rome are sky high and so are the prices. For antiques, head to Via dei Coronari. It's a narrow pedestrianised street near Piazza Navona. The 500-meter long thoroughfare is lined with antique stores and galleries. For the true Roman experience, you have to visit one of the city's many markets. The Sunday morning flea market at Porta Portese is an overcrowded event where you can buy almost anything. It's held on via Portuense south of the Porta Portese gate. Beware of pickpockets.From Monday to Saturday, the morning market is in via Sannio, just outside the Roman walls by San Giovanni in Laterano. Here you can browse huge volumes of cheap clothes.Shopping In VeniceVenice has long been a place of trade and remains a busy retail center. Though the big name fashion houses are well-represented, the joy of shopping in Venice lies in hunting down those local novelty items that evoke the spirit of La Serenissima.However if it's brand name fashions you're after, Venice won't disappoint. The island's busiest shopping strip is the Merceri. It runs all the ways from the Piazza to the Rialto Bridge and almost all the celebrated Italian labels have boutiques here.For other items, Calle della Mandola is the place to browse books and glass beads. And Campo Santo Stefano is the square for antique hunting. However, you can't leave Venice without getting a souvenir carnival mask.Carnival is the great event held every February but the masks are manufactured as souvenirs all year-round in Venice's small workshops. You can get everything from full size porcelain masks with a hefty price tag to inexpensive ornaments such as silver earrings in the shape of carnival masks.The other great specialty of Venice is glassware from the island of Murano. These include such items as vases, clocks and wine bottle caps. And you can also get decorative items such as rings, bracelets or pendants made out of the delightful colored glass. These can be very inexpensive and make great souvenirs of Venice. Other delights special to Venice include porcelain dolls and Burano lace work.
In 1999 the festival was a way of celebrating the Bridge's 150th birthday and than it has become an annual festival. The old bridge, connecting Buda to Pest, is the symbol of Hungarian Capital. In summer it is closed to the traffic and transformed into a huge stage. It hosts a series of free events and musical and theatrical performances. The visitors enjoy the pleasant views of the Danube while watching performances from jazz to classical music. There are also a number of stalls and cultural displays.The good news? All performances are free! The Festival takes place on every summer weekend from June to August! Enjoy it!If you are looking for a budget accommodation Budapest, remember that the city can be overbooked quite soon. Tip: better book in advance to get the best prices and offers! However, Budapest offers plenty of accommodation options to any kind of pocket either for independent travellers, like backpackers or families. Private apartments are usually a very good choice, as youth hostels.In terms of apartments, the city of Budapest is lately offering upper standards of comforts, with well refurbished and tastefully decorated flats or apartments. Expect to pay something like 10-30 euros per person. Some good apartments located downtown Budapest are the Anna Center apartment, Akademia Apartments, Apartment St, Michael, Gabriella and Elizabeth Apartments, Navigare Apartments, Budapestin flat, Arcadia Apartments, Aida Apartment. Youth hostels have cheaper rates per person. Some of the best located youth hostels and top rated by customers in Budapest are Mellow Mood Central Hostel, Moha Hostel, Goat Hostel, Domino Hostel, Marco Polo Hostel, Karat Hostel and guest house, Grand Hostel of Budapest, Riverside Youth hostel. 1st ( first) hostel with prices ranging from 12 euros per person per night in a shared dorm room.
Traveling is a great way to escape the rat race and experience new cultures and places. Alas, your experiences can fade with time. The best way to prevent this is to keep a travel journal for your trips.Travel JournalsTake a minute to give some consideration to your most recent trip. What sticks out in your mind? Now think about the first trip you ever took. Undoubtedly, you remember few things about the trip. The experiences youve forgotten are lost to time. If you had kept a journal, this wouldnt be the case.There are famous instances of people keeping journals throughout time. Of course, Anne Franks Diary is the best example. In her diary, Anne kept a running commentary of the two years her family spent hiding from the Nazis. While your travels will hopefully be more lighthearted, keeping a journal will let you remember them as the years pass.A good travel journal combines a number of characteristics. First, it should be compact so you dont have to take up unnecessary space for other things. Second, it should have a case to protect it from rain, spills and so on. Third, the journal should contain blank areas to write your notes. Fourth, the journal should contain cue spaces to remind you to keep notes on specific things. Cues should include:1. Who you traveled with,2. Where you stayed and if you enjoyed it,3. Who you met and contact information for them,4. Places to eat, and5. Things to see and if you would visit again,At the end of the trip, you should be able to get the following from your journal:1. Contact information for other travelers and people you met,2. Enough detail to provide you with a guide if you travel to the location a second time.3. Memories to reflect upon years later, and4. Something to give you children and grandchildren later in life.To get the most out of your travel journal, you should spend a few minutes writing in it every day. Every day of a trip brings new experiences even if youre just sitting on a train or bus. If you get writers block, you can note whom you met, what you saw, etc.Traveling is a chance to experience new things and meet new people. Dont lose these experiences to time.