Everything is packed! The luggage is in the car. Everyone is waiting for you to turn on the alarm and lock the front door. But you just want to do one final check to make sure that everything is switched off, all plugs are unplugged, all taps/faucets are fully turned off. Maybe it would be better to turn off the water at the mains. You know what damage a leaking pipe or radiator can do, especially upstairs. All those things that run through people’s heads are understandable.Now it’s time for you, yes you! I’m talking to you, to close the door and say out loud, “That’s it, I’m off on a holiday that I’ve been waiting the whole year for!! I’m going to make this the best holiday I’ve ever had! I deserve it. I’m going to chill out in Ireland for a week or two or more.” That’s the way to go! I’m proud of you! You see, there would be no point in coming to the Emerald Isle if you didn’t think like that. It would be a complete waste of time, effort and money. If you haven’t been to Ireland before, let me give you an idea as to what to expect…You will visit some of the most spectacular scenic places in the world. The southwest coast of Ireland is packed with places of interest. It’s mountains, lakes, valleys and dells, are breathtaking. The hundreds of miles of sandy blue-flag beaches, some of them you will find void of another living person, are spectacular, ideal for volleyball, tennis even, land-sailing, sailing, surfing, and paragliding. Hill-walking and mountain climbing are very popular here. Make sure to take every safety precaution and that you follow the rules and regulations.Golf is one of the many reasons people holiday in Cork and Kerry. Our parkland and links courses are second to none. Some of the legends of the game have commented on them. Tom Watson said that “We (meaning the Americans) have never played links golf until we played in Ireland”. The great ‘Tiger’ stated that he always practised on links courses in Ireland before playing the British Open. Courses like Ballybunion, Waterville, The Old Head of Kinsale and Fota Island are mouth-watering for every golfer.Fishing is another tourist attraction to our shores. Our rivers, such as the Shannon, Blackwater, Feale, Laune, Bandon and Lee are all great salmon and trout rivers, along with other types of fish. The Lakes of Killarney, the Caragh Lake, Waterville, Inniscarra and Ballyhass are all well-stocked lakes.
Most travel insurance firms recommend that you follow the advice of the government as laid out on the official FCO website. At the beginning of the swine flu epidemic the government were advising against all essential travel to Mexico and with this advice many tour operators and holiday insurance companies opted either to pay out or allow customers to change their holiday dates and destinations.Now that the government have lifted the ban, your travel insurance company would not cover you if you opt to cancel your flights to the country due to your own perceived threat. Likewise, if you ignored the government’s original advice and traveled to Mexico anyway, you would have not been covered by your holiday insurance policy.It is always advisable to continue checking the FCO website to see what advice is offered as this in turn will affect your holiday insurance policy. At the time of writing the government are advising against all travel to Somalia, so it would not possible to get travel insurance at all if you are planning on holidaying here. Most of the FCO advice is regional so whilst you can easily get travel insurance for a holiday in Delhi, traveling to the region of Kashmir will not be covered under most policies.In the event that your holiday company cancels the trip and not you, they should allow you to either choose a new holiday or ask for a refund on the original. The holiday company will not usually offer to compensate you, but if you have a valid travel insurance policy then you can claim compensation for any inconvenience through them.In the event that you had booked a flight to Mexico on your credit card and your flight or hotel was canceled because of the swine flu epidemic, then your credit card company is also equally responsible for refunding the cost of your original booking.Once you reach your destination there are plenty of precautions that you can take to ensure that you don’t become ill whilst on your holidays. Making sure that you follow the local health advice is crucial; if your Lonely Planet guide says that it isn’t safe to drink the water then don’t think that you can chance it. Wash your hands whilst out and about and use anti-bacterial gels to prevent the transmission of germs. Also try to avoid touching your mouth, eyes or nose as this spreads the disease.Make sure that your meat is properly cooked all the way through as viruses, such as swine flu, die at 70 degrees Celsius. So although it isn’t really practical to carry a thermometer out and about with you to local restaurants, you can still get an idea of if the meat is safe to eat by checking that all the cooking juices are running clear and that there is no blood on your plate.Last November Bangkok Airport saw a different kind of threat to tourists as anti-government protestors took over the airport and flight cancellations meant that thousands of overseas travelers were left stranded. Although situations like this rarely happen when they do having a valid travel insurance policy in place can be a god-send.In Bangkok, customers were transported back home via Phuket and their holiday insurance policies footed the bill for inconvenience that they had suffered as a factor. So whilst you shouldn’t let the thought of threats put you off taking a holiday this year, making sure that you have an extensive travel insurance policy means that you will be covered for all eventualities.
This is the season to travel. The holiday season is upon us and visions of family and friends dance happily in our heads. It’s a festive time of the year with planning parties, preparing for the family get together, and searching for those perfect gifts that will bring smiles and hugs our way. However, the family and friends we so long to embrace live in a land far, far away and the Christmas cash is limited.So whether you are currently nodding your head, finding yourself in the same situation, or you simply want to get away from all the crazy, hustle bustle of the holiday rush and snuggle up in a cozy foreign oasis with your love, here are some things to do to find holiday travel savings.Travel AgentThe most common method travel shoppers utilize is their local travel agent. This is an excellent choice if you are looking for a package that includes hotel accommodations, car rental services, area sightseeing information, etc. However, shop around for the best deals.Travel agents use the same networks to put together their travel packages. This gives all travel agents access to the same prices. The difference is that travel agents charge varying fees, therefore it is prudent to shop around or even haggle with them to get reduced savings. Check around for those golden travel nuggets of savings.Even if you are only searching for a flight to your desired destination, you want to shop around for the best deal providing agents. Do a bit of research yourself on some of the different air lines available in your area and then ask the agent a lot of questions. There is a great deal of competition between travel agents during the holidays so they will often take some cuts in commissions themselves if it means grabbing your holiday dollars.Direct ContactFor those of you that are looking for a simple flight to your beloveds destination, contacting the source is often the best way to receive a miracle deal. In essence you are cutting out the middle man. This may take a bit more of your precious holiday time but the results could be well worth it. Again, shop around. Do your research and call around or surf the web. Go directly to the provider. When you find a decent deal, use that as leverage to see if the next air line will beat it. Or sometimes the smart thing to do is take a nice rate and see if you can get a better, more prestigious air line to match it.Helpful TipsNo matter which way you decide to go, here are some tips for hooking that special deal.o Ask Questions – Don’t be shy. Ask the agent or provider a lot of questions. Often times there are numerous discounts available but they are not openly advertised. In this case curiosity keeps the cash.o Shop Early – Many airlines offer early bird specials or increase their rates the closer it gets to a scheduled holiday.o Be Flexible – Most airlines offer price slashing rates if you take an early or late flight. Also, great discounts are offered when a flight doesn’t have several passengers show up. Stand by is a wonderful way to save if you’re willing to sip a cup of cocoa while waiting.o Be Nice – This is a biggie during the season to be jolly or anytime. If you do your holiday shopping with a pleasant, patient attitude then you just might be the bee that finds the honey in holiday travel savings.