Top 10 Arizona Travel Tips For a Fun Filled Day Trip With the Kids

There is nothing more rewarding for parents than spending quality time with the kids on a family vacation. Snapping pictures, exploring and discovering new territories while blazing new trails can make for great family fun. After all, isn’t that what a family vacation is all about anyway? Just being together, sharing, laughing, talking – creating some of life’s most memorable moments. All too often though, the hopes of a rewarding vacation or day trip with the kids can slowly dwindle into a day of frustration and disappointment. The kids get hungry, then they’re thirsty, they get tired and cranky, now they want to argue and of course the ever proverbial “are we there yet”…coming from the back seat of the car feels as though it will forever be ringing in your ears. Is this bonding? Well…in a sense – yes.

Certainly, years from now when the kids are grown you can reminisce and laugh about the trials and tribulations of the family vacation and day trips you used to take. But wouldn’t it be more rewarding knowing that you can actually have fun with your kids in the present moment! Why wait until they’re all grownup to reminisce about the good ol’ day trips gone by.

When my family and I take an Arizona vacation or go on a day trip we like to think about bonding with the kids in the present moment. Have fun now, talk with the kids now and share in that hilarious belly laugh now – so that when we all get home we can immediately begin to reminisce about the fun times we had on this family vacation.

No matter where your travels may take you and your family the following travel tips will help get you there with your peace of mind in tack so that you can enjoy all of your wonderful “present moments” with your family.

Advice and Tips for Arizona Travelers and Vacationers:

– Check Your Vehicle: A breakdown could spell disaster for a fun filled day. Whether you are in your own car or a rental, always take a look before you start. Make sure the tires look properly inflated and check the windshield washer fluid. Fill your tank. You can always go to Arizona Day Trails to find out where to buy fuel in Arizona for the least amount of money.

– Pack a Cooler: Purchase a small Styrofoam cooler available in any grocery or convenience store for just a few bucks. Pack it with bottled water and a few light snacks. Avoid sweet drinks because they tend to dehydrate you in the Arizona heat. Water will keep you hydrated and feeling good. Keep a box of crackers and Nilla wafers handy because they are easy on the stomach. And drink plenty of water during your day. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty.

– Dress Properly and Comfortably: Flip flops and sandals are great around the hotel or pool, but on your Arizona day trip wear durable, comfortable footwear. Pack some sunscreen and wear hats. It doesn’t have to be a Stetson; a baseball cap will do fine. The Arizona desert can get cool in the evening and downright cold at times so keep jackets handy.

– Keep the Kids In the Loop: Rotate seats in the car so everybody gets a window. Let the kids help decide things like where to have lunch and spend time at the things that interest them. When our son was 8 or 9 years old he could spend what seemed like all day observing reptiles and other animals at the various places on our day trips. It wasn’t necessarily our idea of heaven but today he is a Biologist preparing for his P.H.D. in Zoology. Who would have guessed? So let the kids pick a place or two to go visit. With a little guidance from you, you may be surprised to find a P.H.D. in your kids too.

– Create Family Memories: Pick up small mementos along the way to remind the kids of the places they’ve been and the great things they have experienced. You don’t have to break the bank. It’s the small things that make a difference and are great conversation starters with your kids!

– Take Lots and Lots of Photos: When you get back home and are sitting around with the kids, looking at your photo collection, it will hit you. Arizona is so amazingly beautiful- sometimes it just doesn’t sink in until you see it in print.

– Don’t Try to Beat the Clock: You can only move as fast as the slowest one in your party. Different size families with kids of various ages travel at different paces. Your family may want to spend more time at one place or another or at one particular activity. Go with the flow and enjoy. Arizona’s wonderful places have been around a long time and they will be there tomorrow. Believe me, you and your kids will be happier enjoying the things you get to do than having the day become a nightmare by trying to rush.

– Travel Safe: If you are doing all the driving remember to give your eyes a rest. There are plenty of scenic areas to park and stretch your legs. Take advantage of them. You are going to see some of the most amazing natural beauty on Earth. Take the time to drink it all in. July and August is monsoon season in Arizona and afternoon thunderstorms occur regularly. Be prepared, they usually only last a short time.

– Talk and Laugh a Lot: Talk to one another about the things you are doing and the marvelous sights you are seeing. It’s a great time for the kids to use their imagination and express themselves. Listen to them. You will learn things about each other that may surprise you and you will be better off for the experience. Laugh, laugh and laugh some more! Leave your stress and cares behind and have fun. You owe it to yourself and your kids. Life will be waiting when you get home.

– Bend the Rules: Extend bedtimes. Take an evening dip in the hotel pool. Have that extra ice cream cone. Whatever it is that is different from the everyday. Step outside late one night with your kids and look up at the sky. The night sky in Arizona is filled with stars to wish on so get out there and look up! City dwellers will be amazed.

We hope you keep these hints in mind during your visit to Arizona or wherever you and your family may travel. My wife, Ronnie and I have spent over 30 years traveling throughout Arizona and have found these tips to be true for our family. We know they will be true for yours too.

We’ll see ya on the trail! And remember to always be good to each other and your mother Earth. Take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints.

5 Holiday Weight Loss Tips & Their Reality Checks

Do you find it almost impossible to stay conscious and contentious about weight and nutrition during the holidays? Of course you do. More than half of all Americans are overweight: You’re not alone.

A new government study might give you a ray of hope though: The study shows that Americans gain only about one pound over the holidays. The study found that people participating were influenced by two main factors over the holidays: The level of their hunger, and the level of their activity. In other words: Those who reported being less active or more hungry during the holidays had the greatest weight gain.

So common sense says: If you can stay focused on dealing with just those two things, you’ll probably win your personal holiday weight loss battle. At the very least, you’ll win by not adding more weight to what’s already waiting to be shed.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of weight gain,” says Dr. Samuel Klein, the Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. “Preventing the increase in weight is a lot easier and better than actually gaining weight and then trying to get it off again.”

So the answer seems simple: Eat less and exercise more. The reality of implementation of course, is far more difficult.

The good news is that most of the people overestimate how much weight they’d gained over the holidays. Fewer than 10% gain 5 pounds or more.

The bad news is: The small amount of weight gained is never lost. One pound of weight gain is quite a small amount, but since it’s not usually lost again: The weight adds up over time – to obesity.

Now we all know there are tons of tips out and about this time of year, designed to help us keep from putting on that extra pound or two during the holidays. Unfortunately what’s usually not talked about is: The reality of day-to-day holiday stress and situations. Let’s explore the tips… along with their reality checks… in depth:

Weight Loss Tip 1: Stay active. The best thing you can do is try to stick to your normal schedule and routine.

Holiday Reality Check: It’s pretty hard to have any kind of decent routine in the busy months of November and December. Busy people tend to sacrifice yoga classes, long walks, and visits to the gym because they need time for extra things like decorating the house, cooking, cleaning up before the visitors get there, and of course: Shopping.

The Good News: Walking around the shopping mall and stores is great exercise, and so is cleaning the house. In addition to those activities, decorating can be quite intensive too: You’re climbing up and down to hang things; lifting, lugging, and dragging boxes out of storage; bending, twisting and turning to get it all looking just right. So don’t beat yourself up about not making it to the gym… you’re getting plenty of activity and every little bit helps!

Weight Loss Tip 2: Don’t let yourself get too hungry. If you go to a party and you’re starving, everything will look even more scrumptious than normal. And of course, you’ll eat much more because of it. Try starting each day with a good, solid breakfast – particularly something with protein. And when you’re at the party, try munching on the veggies to help keep you feeling full. These two things will help your hunger stay under control, and will in turn help you refrain from “gorging” on anything you see just because you’re famished.

Holiday Reality Check: We’re all very busy during the holidays, and it’s not always possible to remember to eat – let alone eat well – particularly in the morning when we may have already overslept and are now running late for everything. And eating healthy at a party isn’t always possible either: Not everyone in this country serves vegetable plates, salads, or fruit bowls. Sometimes the only things in site are junk: Chips, candy, and cookies.

Here’s a suggestion: Try taking your own veggie plate to a party where you know there won’t be one available. A quick and easy way to do this is simply buy a bag or two of pre-cut veggies and some ranch salad dressing. Alternatively, eat a decent meal before you go to the party. Don’t overdo things, but don’t make it a light snack either. Eating first will help you to just “nibble” a bit on the worst of the holiday treats offered.

Weight Loss Tip 3: Stay away from the food. Literally. Just don’t go anywhere near the buffet table, appetizers, or treats… and you’ll be fine.

Holiday Reality Check: In most cases, the food is everywhere. And even if it’s not right in front of your face, you sure can smell it! Trying to just “stay away from it” is pretty unrealistic – and it can feel like torture for some of us. And for most people: When you can’t have something, you want it even more. So trying to stay away from the food will most likely just make you overindulge worse than you would have otherwise.

Try this instead: Allow yourself whatever you’d like. But with a catch. First: Take only half the amount you normally would. And take just one food item. Eat that and enjoy it without guilt. Then, wait a full 20-30 minutes before you get something else. Then repeat the process: One item, half the portion size as you normally would, enjoy it without guilt, then wait before getting something else.

Allowing yourself to eat gets rid of the mentality of “I can’t have it (and thus I’m more determined to have it)” It lets you enjoy the good food and the holidays, without beating yourself up. This is healthy and can help tremendously with the way you view food and eating in general. Only taking half of it though, will help you not take in as much calories, fat, sugar or other bad stuff you usually avoid. And then waiting 20-30 minutes before you get something else will help your body realize when it’s had enough… or too much. So you’re much less likely to overdo things, and feel horrible physically later.

Weight Loss Tip 4: Wear cloths that are slightly tight on you. This should help you feel full faster, and keep you from eating too much food.

Holiday Reality Check: We want to wear looser cloths because we’re looking forward to eating all that great food! Yes, wearing something tight might help us not go back for a second helping of potatoes… or it might ruin a favorite outfit.

In the end, how you approach this tip is up to you, and you alone. Make your decision and be happy with it.

Weight Loss Tip 5: Keep your portions small. Try to load up on salad and vegetables, and take just tiny amounts of anything else.

Holiday Reality Check: Taking just a “bite sized” amount of anything is going to put you into the have-not mental state mentioned earlier. You’ll feel as if you can’t have something, and you’ll want it all the more.

Try the tip noted above instead: Take half the size you normally would. Trying to have just a little bite of pie will whet your appetite for more, but having a whole piece is going a bit overboard – particularly if there’s 5 different pies for you to sample. So try actual sampling instead: Cut a piece half the normal size. This allows you to have a “whole slice”, and more than several little bites. Then wait about 20 minutes before you go and try the next pie. Even if you end up eating a bit of all 5 pies, by having a half-sized slice of each, you’ve drastically cut the amount of calories, carbs and sugars compared to what you would have had with whole slices. And you’ll still feel stuffed and satiated, instead of deprived and resentful.

So there you have it: 5 different, common holiday weight loss and eating tips, followed by the reality check of each, and a suggested compromise that should help you enjoy the holidays to their fullest, without depriving yourself of the great food we all look forward to.

Whatever you decide to do, remember to actually have Happy Holidays!

Holiday Stress Relief – 12 Days of Christmas Stress Busters

If you’re looking at the Holidays as just another stress to add to your already overloaded schedule and life, I’ve got some tips you won’t want to miss. Keep reading for Stress Buster Tips that will keep you moving through the Holidays at warp speed with a smile, plenty of laughter, and cheer to spread around.

1. Minimize. Cut out the excesses, whether it’s food, people, gifts, expenses, or extra duties, cut them out of your life.

2. Personal Time. Give yourself a few minutes of down time every day to regroup, refocus, meditate, and alleviate stressors.

3. Focus. Do one thing at a time. Don’t try to get it all done at once, choose one thing and do that, then do the next thing. (It does help to have a list and mark off each item as you complete it.)

4. Allocate Chores. Delegate chores to others and allow everyone to carry the load normally left for you to bear. Move toward cooperative living.

5. Simplify. Who says the party has to have three kinds of desert? How about providing one desert that is extra special and plenty for everyone to have seconds if they choose? Or add a delightful selection of toppings?

6. Housekeeper. Hire a housekeeper for the holidays. Even if it’s just once a week for a couple of hours to dust and vacuum, if you hire someone else to get that part done, the rest is easier to face.

7. Services. When companies offer services to go with products you purchase, accept them, allow them to take care of details and you enjoy an extra five minutes at the spa getting your nails done.

8. Laughter. Take time each day to laugh. If you feel the stress building up, take a moment right then and read a funny story. Enjoy life! Laughter was created to bring joy – LET IT!

9. Rejuvenate. The most relaxing thing you can do some days is simply to take a nap. It doesn’t have to be long, but five minutes can revive you.

10. Resourcefulness. Be resourceful. If you think you can’t do it, you probably can’t, but…if you think you can, you’ll find a way. Look for options that you might not normally think of. Brainstorm solutions.

11. Ask a friend to lunch. Take a moment during this season to remember your friends and family. A real moment, actually sit down across the table from one person and focus on all the things you’ve missed in that persons life. Truly catch up.

12. Enjoy. Take time to enjoy Christmas. Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth, take some time this season to reconnect with Jesus Christ and remember who He is and what He stands for.

Are you ready to enjoy a true 12 Days of Christmas experience?

10 Family Friendly Travel Tips

Traveling with the family can be a nightmare. Not only is family travel expensive if you can’t find affordable airline tickets, it’s also a huge inconvenience for you and for your fellow travelers. The key to a smooth travel experience is to plan ahead and prepare, as much as possible, for the unexpected.

1. Book non-stop flights. Although you may not be able to find non-stop flights with cheap airline tickets, avoiding extra time in the airport during layovers and the possibility of delays or cancellations is hugely beneficial when you’re traveling with family. Plus you’ll never have to wake a sleeping baby. It can never hurt, however, to check discount airfare sites for the most affordable non-stop airline tickets.

2. Pack your child’s travel carry-on with a surprise. Stuff you kids backpack full of new toys, games, and activities. Or, you may even want to consider wrapping a few old items like a present. You’d be surprised how exciting an old toy can become after it’s pulled out of new wrapping paper.

3. Schedule extra time. Whether you’re traveling with discount airfare or with full-priced airline tickets in hand, every traveler has to go through the same check-in and security routine. Always build in plenty of time for check in and connecting flights; everything takes twice as long and is twice as complicated when you’re traveling with children. Don’t forget to double check that TSA prohibited items list before heading to the airport for updates on carry-on or checked items to avoid delays at the security gate.

4. Reserve seats in advance. Eliminating any unpredictability when traveling with your family is a plus. When buying your airline tickets always check to see if you can secure your seat assignments in ahead of time. Consider booking your family’s seats all together, splitting up the family if traveling with another adult to avoid in-flight sibling feuds, or trying to find aisle seats for easy maneuvering. Also, even if you booked advanced seating, ask at the gate if the flight is full; you may be able to request a vacant seat between you and a fellow passenger.

5. Check flight restrictions when booking. Cheap flights can sometimes come with hidden restrictions such as strict cabin baggage weight limits or fees for checking strollers.

6. Test your stamina in advance. You may be able to benefit from cheap airfare by paying for one less child if you can handle having your child sit on your lap in a chair at home for the length of your flight.

7. Schedule flights during sleep time. Use discount airfare to try to find cheap airline tickets around the time your child normally naps. Also consider booking redeye flights; not only will you find cheap airfare, you may be able to benefit from having you child sleep through a nighttime flight.

8. Board first or last. You receive the same boarding privileges with cheap airline tickets as you do with regular-priced tickets: when traveling with children you’ll have the option of boarding first. Early boarding can be convenient because it allows you extra time to get situated; however, boarding last will cut down on the time your kids have to wait on the plane.

9. Beware of bulkhead seats. What you gain in legroom with bulkhead seats you’ll lack in under-the-seat storage, which is even more valuable when traveling with children. Also these seats often lack armrests, preventing your child from comfortably cuddling with you.

10. Check your luggage. You already have plenty to keep track of when you’re traveling with family – multiple little ones, tickets, IDs, bags – but you can eliminate unnecessary hassle when you check your bags. Think of it this way: what you save on discount airfare you can put toward the extra fees airlines may charge you for checking bags.

Tips For Planning A Great Senior Trip

Finishing high school is a very important achievement, and really a privilege – there are many areas of the world that the average person does not get the opportunity to go to high school.

If you’re like most high school seniors, you want to celebrate your success with an exciting trip. Good idea! Here are a few tips that will help you plan a senior trip to remember!

The first question to decide is where to go. If you’re going with your class, you’ll have to make a joint decision. If you’re going with your parents or friends, the decision might involve fewer parties, which is generally a good thing! If you’re going with a large group, ensure that you pick a destination that will make everyone happy.

The next decision to make is what accommodations you’ll stay at once you get to your destination. This can be very difficult, especially from a distance, but travel agents and travel websites can be a great help here. Be sure that you choose a place that is not only nice and offers the amenities that you want, but is also safe. Safety should be a very important consideration when choosing accommodations.

Food you can often work out day by day once you arrive at your destination, but activities and entertainment you’ll want to do some research on ahead of time. Contact the local chamber of commerce, a knowledgeable travel agent, or someone who has been to the area. Decide what attractions you’d like to visit, then find out what you need to do/have etc to enjoy these attractions. For example, if you want to go jet skiing while you are in Cancun, ensure that you have proper clothes!

Also, you should seriously consider taking a responsible adult with you on your senior trip, especially if you are going overseas. Their wisdom and experience could help you stay safe and have fun!

World Ventures Dream Trips – Good Deal Or a Joke?

World Ventures is a travel company that offers “dream trips” to people looking to experience travel. They also provide an income opportunity to people looking to start a travel business. The company is controversial, and many have questioned whether it is a legit opportunity. We blow away the smoke and review what this business is all about.

World Ventures – At A Glance

As a travel company, world ventures provides vacations (called “dream trips”) to clients. They book these trips online, and by doing so, claim to have “combined the power of the Internet with network marketing”.

The company was started by Wayne Nugent and Mike Azcue, who have ties to another company called GTT. World Ventures launched December 10, 2005, and claims to generate sales of just under $150,000,000 in revenue, and it costs $400 to join the company.

World Ventures Dream Trips – A Closer Look

The first controversy starts with the connection of the owners to GTT. This company has come under significant criticism for it’s marketing practices. The executive board has some interesting titles as well, such as “Chief Strategy Officer” and “Chief Visionary Officer”. How unique.

The Bottom Line

The real issue with the company is the marketing that is advocated and taught. The old MLM model of recruiting “friends and family” is still alive and well there, and for all the lip-service, they do not encourage the use of the Internet (beyond email) to grow your business. They do have pretty graphics and fancy java-script on their website, but their marketing strategies are strongly rooted in the 1950’s.

To sum up, this COULD be a good opportunity is a marketer that had skills stepped in and applied those skills. The average person looking to cash in on the travel industry will find some significant lacking in the actual marketing system that drives sales.

Safety Tips For Motorcycle Road Trips

“Safety first” is a golden rule that each of us needs to live by whenever we undertake recreational activities. It does not matter whether it is a skate board ride or a nighttime stroll that we are taking. Because the chances of accidents during recreational activities are high, we ought to take precautions aimed at minimizing their chances of occurrence. Basic precautions eliminate accidents by preventing mistakes.

Below mentioned are few protection tips that could make your motorcycle road trips secure and most enjoyable:

1. Before setting off for a road trip check your motorcycle:

Before you leave for your road trip, it is essential that you check whether your motorcycle is in proper working condition. You will realize that in rural areas, receiving signals on your mobile phone is difficult so you may not be able to seek help. You should therefore ensure that before you hit the road, your motorcycle undergoes several routine checks to ensure that it is hit & fit for the trip.

2. Watch for animals:

The experience of riding in rural areas could be exciting, with the fresh air and beautiful landscapes. You also get the freedom to meander your way through the roads which are often open. Nevertheless, you should not forget that there are animals that live in these areas and you need to be keen. This is their home and you are likely to encounter a leaping deer or a scurrying possum once in a while. Remember that we need to live in harmony with the animals which have always been there before us.

3. For your safety wear safety gear:

Even though wearing of helmets by young motorcycle riders is only required by seventeen states, helmets play a huge role in reducing crash fatalities. The fact that helmets decrease the danger in case of an accident by over 1/3rd should be reason enough for you to wear a helmet. The helmet should meet specific safety standards and the use of toy army elements cannot be considered as protection. The use of boots, gloves and body wear is also advisable. Since motorcycle riding exposes you to possible accidents, so it is better that you protect yourself.

4. Observe the road signs:

The stunning landscapes are bound to attract your attention when you are on a motorcycle road trip. You might as well enjoy this but be wary of road signs. These will not only give you important information such as changes in speed limits but also alert you on hazards such as curvy roads, crossing moose or even falling rocks.

5. For some elements wear elements:

There is a possibility of weather changes during the trip making it vital for you to prepare for such occurrences. The weather could be rainy, windy, sleety or snowy. Temperatures could also be extreme so that before leaving, you should pack all the necessary clothing to cater for any type of weather. You can dress in layers which help you to keep off hyperthermia and heat exhaustion when you remove or add clothing according to the weather.

Just like in all other activities, safety should be made a priority when taking a motorcycle road trip. Luckily, we can stay safe by following simple guidelines as we maneuver through rural roads and endless highways. Good Luck and have a happy road trip!

Your First Trip to Cebu, Philippines Travel Tips

If you’re coming here on vacation no doubt most of your planning was already done via the company you booked your flight with such as the hotel. Also be aware most major resorts will offer a shuttle service and often at little or no cost. That is something that will instantly save you money when arriving as the taxi drivers are generally looking to make two or even three times the normal amount which is why its strongly advised to always ask for the meter to be put on when entering a taxi and leave if they refuse. Also a good tip is to go across the road at Mactan airport and up the ramp as you will come out at the departure area and the taxis are less likely to give you problems purely because they are looking for rides back to the City. If its late at night you may tip the driver but generally I only tip if they don’t ask for extra.

If your not pre-booked into accommodation and looking for something a bit more long term but know people like myself in the area we can help find you a better deal as often the rents will be hiked on the knowledge of you being a foreigner. Prime example is the rent I pay which is P3,000 per month for a 1 bedroom apartment where someone else is likely to be charged around P7,000 upwards for a similar type and size building as well as bills. The other advantage of asking people like myself is that we can often locate areas which are more suitable for Expats as they are generally areas with an existing Expat population.

What areas are best to stop in for a trip to Cebu? Personally if its a vacation I would look to get accommodation on Mactan island due to its number of hotels and resorts as well as facilities catering for the tourism market such as diving, island hopping and generally good quality beaches. Cebu city itself is less than twenty minutes ride away giving you quick access to the large malls in Cebu or Colon market which is famous for its bargains and an ideal place to pickup souviners a lot cheaper than you will find elsewhere. Colon street also offers several guitar stores for hand made guitars who also produce ornate mirrors.

Touring the island is often something many don’t do but would recommend at least a couple of days of a trip here to travel to the more beautiful parts of the island as the further you head out the greener and cleaner the countryside becomes. It also gives opportunity to experience diving, waterfalls, beaches and local life. Getting around doesn’t have to be so expensive and I can help organise vehicles for such trips which are generally fixed prices for the day and the hire of a vehicle with driver. This allows you to travel around without the worry of being lost or trying to deal with the hectic traffic that exists all over the Philippines.

One of the most important factors many people over look though is “money” you don’t need to change it abroad it is actually a lot cheaper to do it within the Philippines. As well as the fact Western money has a larger currency value so larger bills in a home currency means less money mass and only needing to change money as and when you need it. There are money changers pretty much everywhere, avoid the ones at the airport and use the ones in good locations such as the malls but please check rates as they can vary considerably. If you get a new sim for your phone and let your regular changer know they will often update you by text or call you on a land line with the latest prices.

Do not carry too much jewelery or expensive items as currently we are experiencing a higher than usual number of snatches. Believe it or not someone will grab a chain from your neck and disappear into the crowd quicker than you can look at them. Also carrying personal items that may make you stand out will make you a more obvious risk of robbery. Generally I find Cebu a safe place but like most things you do not want to invite risk if it can be avoided. The general population are friendly and glad to help but like any society there are always some bad elements.

Cheap Family Holiday Tips For Summer

With the rising temperature of summer season, rises the boredom, stress, frustration and the will to take a break from our everyday lives. But for most of us this ‘Break away trip’ is merely a recurring summer dream. Every year, thousands of people actually travel places to spend their summer holidays, and a hundred thousands who just reach as far as estimating the tour’s budget. It is true that a vacation trip is going to cost you a considerable amount of money but keeping a few things in mind will cut down that cost to your budget. has found out that a lot of expenditure on a summer trip is an unnecessary amount of money that people pay because they make a few mistakes in planning the trip. We have come up with few tips for you on how to cut down on those unnecessary expenses and realize your dream of a relaxing summer holiday.

1. Find a Hotel Yourself

What most of the holiday seekers start with is by contacting travel agents and then acting according to what they suggest. This limits the choice and flexibility in your vacation plan. You should do your homework yourself. You can find all kind of information online. Check out every possible hotel and then do the hotel price comparison yourself. A cheap hotel will still serve a good accommodation and you’ll have a lot more to do with your money.

2. Find the Perfect Deals on Hotels

Off season or high season, almost every hotel offers some kind of special deal for the customer. These deals on hotels can be a cut-cost, special passes to other activity areas or a special discount due to any reason. There are many last minute deals that are amazingly cheaper than booking in advance. Doing your research online can find you many such deals on hotels. You should find as many deals on hotels as you can, then again do the hotel price comparisons. You’d be amazed on how much more you can get in a much lesser cost.

3. The Right Time to go

You may not be able to find a perfect deal on hotels unless your timing is perfect. Now if you can’t go to a totally off season vacation, which however is the cheapest option, make sure that you plan your vacation during the very beginning or very end of the high season.

4. The Hard Cash

You know how hard earned your money is. Try to save every single bit of it. Use of Credit cards will cost you quite a few unnecessary pence each time. With the hard cash, you know that you are paying exactly what you need to pay. Another advantage of using this strategy is that you will refrain from going out with too much cash in your pocket and hence save a lot by not being able to do useless shopping.

5. Know your destination

You know where you are going. You know when you are going, you are done with hotels price comparison and you have chosen the best affordable deals on hotels. Now what is left is to get a little pre-acquainted the place you’re going to spend your next few days with.

Avoid wasting money and time going to places where you don’t have to. The secret again lies in doing your research before leaving. Find the attraction you really want to visit and save your money from getting wasted on unworthy places.

Packing Tips For Motorcycle Trips

Most people who ride motorcycles, from enthusiasts to occasional riders, have at one time or another thought about getting away for a long road trip. For such a trip, planning is a very important part of the preparation. In this article we’ll talk about what to pack on your bike.

Make a list First, after the initial rush of energy and excitement when you finally are able to arrange your dream trip, the first thing you need to do is relax and start making a list of all the things you might need. Some suggestions:

  1. Road map. You can buy fold up maps, or if your cell phone has internet access, you can use one of the many free map services (Yahoo, Google, Mapquest). If you really want to get fancy, you can purchase a navigation system for your motorcycle.
  2. Tool bag/kit. Don’t forget to bring along some simple tools in case the need for minor repairs arises. Cable ties, screwdrivers (Phillips and standard), pliers, a couple of standard size wrenches, and a repair manual may save the day in case of a problem. You certainly don’t want to be out in the middle of nowhere and be stuck because of a minor problem that could have been easily fixed with a simple tool.
  3. Clothes. Keep an extra set of clothes handy, and don’t forget your rain gear. It’s best to pack the rain gear last, so you can get to it in a hurry if a sudden rainstorm kicks in.
  4. Snacks. You should pack some light snacks for the road-nuts, dried fruit, power bars, granola bars, water, and a couple candy bars are OK if you have a sweet tooth. Don’t forget to take care of your trash.
  5. Think of anything else you might want or need on your ride, and include that on your list. You can always remove non-essential items if you are getting too loaded down.

After you make your list, gather everything together, and go through each item, checking it off. It may seem like overkill, but sometimes this is the stage where you remember a critical item that you forgot when making your initial list.

Packing Make sure that as you pack your luggage, the weight is balanced on both sides of your bike. An off balance bike is harder to handle, takes much more energy, and safety is always a major issue for riders. When your bike is fully packed, take it on a short test drive to ensure that everything is packed tightly and well-balanced.

Planning for your long bike trip is essential to the enjoyment of the ride, you won’t have to spend time (like I do!) wondering what you forgot, you can just relax and enjoy being on the open road.