Holiday Travel

Holiday travel deals and services can be difficult to find. Check out information on holiday travel deals and destinations to have the trip of a lifetime.

How using a Travel Pro can pay off

In the sometimes complicated world of travel, using a travel professional to decide your vacation options can pay dividends.

Here are five ideas to consider:

  1. So Many Options, So Little Time – Planning a great vacation often takes time, knowledge, patience and perseverance, a combination of resources often in short supply. This is where a Travel Agent can become a valuable member of your team. The pros can get to know your travel criteria, discuss budgets and offer suggestions for trips you’ve had on the drawing board as well as options you might not have known existed. Then, they’ll use their experience and skills to make even the most complicated itinerary your reality.
  2. How It Works – Individuals and Families benefit from top agents’ access to upgrades, value-added options and other perks they can pass on to their clients. For many busy Individuals, Parents or Grandparents, handing off the job of trip planning to a professional is key to avoiding procrastination and getting a vacation on the calendar, And should your trip take a surprising turn, a good agent will have your back to help with canceled flights, unexpected health challenges or your need for a last-minute shift in the itinerary.
  3. Choose A Specialist – If you are eager to take a cruise, visit a Disney resort or explore a specific country or region, using an agent with that specialty can pay big dividends. Those pros can sort through the long list of cruise lines for the brand that best matches your travel dreams. They’ll know how to book the best cabins, sort through meal and activity options and provide insight into how each member of the family might make the most of the sailing. Theme park pros know the best weeks to visit, have tips for avoiding long lines and which lodging options will work well for your crew. Eager to explore Italy? Find an agent who can steer you toward your desired accommodations and prepare a specific itinerary that will appeal to every age group.
  4. Travel Is Educational – A good agent can help incorporate travel into your educational plan. Are you interested in boosting your child’s school curriculum by adding literary or historical sites to your travel itineraries? Do you want more art, music and theater in the mix? A good Travel Agent can help create a week, month or summer plan that marries your family’s educational goals with your love of travel.
  5. Time Well Spent – Family, Group or Individual travel time is a precious resource. Whether you’re traveling for a milestone birthday, anniversary celebration, family/school reunion or any special itinerary, you no doubt hope to return with precious memories rather than tales of a trip gone wrong. A Travel Agent’s professional guidance, grounded in research, expertise and insider knowledge, can provide the edge you need to avoid snags and to experience a relaxing and stress-free holiday

If you’re ready to take that much-needed and well-deserved vacation, Bargain Travel is here to help you.

Please contact us on our toll-free number at 1-800-820-4567 or by completing our Cruise Request Form or Land Vacation Request Form and one of our experts will help you make your dream vacation a reality.

10 Reasons Travelers Still Need a Travel Agent

In the age of technology, booking trips online is an easy choice for travelers. and yet the business of travel agents in the United States soared last year (ASTA reported) that more of half of all agents saw an increase in clients, transactions, and revenue in 2014 over 2013, and their profits are expected to grow 12% in 2015.

Here are 10 reasons that help explain why that is, from a customer’s perspective.

1) Accountability – A travel agent’s job is on the line with every trip. They are a real person clients can speak with to work things out.

2) Knowledge – Travel agents have been doing the job for years and know all the ins and outs.

3) More For Your Money – When booking an expensive trip, a travel agent can ensure that your dollars go a long way.

4) Setting An Itinerary – A travel agent can give a clear-cut schedule & keep records of what will be happening on a day-to-day basis.

5) Budgeting – A travel agent can help map out exactly how much a trip will cost, so there are no surprises.

6) Insurance – Things happen. A travel agent can offer insurance in a number of ways, from guaranteeing that your hotel is safe and the company and the company running the tour excursion won’t rob you, to actually advising on which insurance policies you need, from trip cancellation to medical emergencies. They also insure that you have the correct travel documents, so you don’t end up missing your plane or cruise. And when things do go wrong, travel agents have the resources and the contacts to get you to the head of the line.

7) Resources – At the touch of a travel agents’ fingertips, they have resources a traveler simply does not. Yes, we have the internet, but there is so much still left unknown, especially in places that are undiscovered.

8) Exclusivity – A travel agent knows the new destinations and the new places in them – and often they can get you in. Through their partners, they also often get freebies for their customers ranging from a free drink to an exclusive admission to a hot event.

9) Time Savings – A travel agent will spend time getting to know you and what you’re looking for, and then put together an entire vacation customized for you.

10) Leverage – Travel agents spend years developing long-term relationships and travel companies understand how important their repeat business is. Travel agents have leverage with most hotel companies, resorts and cruise lines, and they are more likely to get what they want than a single consumer.

In short, if you have never visited a travel agent, you are missing out on a chance to save time, hassles and aggravation – and often, money as well.

Please contact Bargain Travel at 1-800-820-4567 and allow our 40+ years of experience guide you to your next hassle-free and relaxing vacation!! You can also submit a land vacation request or a cruise vacation request and we will respond immediately with information on your next getaway!!

Tips For Stress-Free Holiday Travel

Along with seeing friends & family, the holidays mean crowded airports and packed roads. The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts that 43.4 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from their homes to celebrate this Thanksgiving. Millions more will be flying and driving over the Christmas break. Lessen the aggrevation by maintaining your sense of humor, allowing extra time for everything, and by following these stress-busting strategies.

Strategic Planning:

  • Travel On Less Busy Days
  • Consider A Smaller (Regional) Airport
  • Lighten Your Load (Luggage)
  • Bring The Correct Travel Documents (Especially When Traveling Abroad)
  • Pack Insurance Cards & Insurance Forms
  • Battle Germs (Bring Sanitized Wipes)
  • Make “What If” Plans When Meeting Up With Family/Friends (Just In Case Your Cell Phone Battery Dies or When Cell Service Is Not Available)
  • Keep The Essentials Handy (Extra Battery Packs for Phones & Video Games, Diapers & Bottles for Babies)

At The Destination:

  • Do a Safety Check (Escpecially When Traveling With Children)
  • Know The House Rules
  • Bring Or Buy Special Needs Foods (Especially If Some Family Members Are On A Specific Diet or Only Eat Certain Foods)

The Best Way To Carry Money Overseas

Before you leave for your next trip abroad, take a moment to think dollars and cents — or should we say pounds and pesos? Get the most for your money when traveling internationally by doing a little homework first. The most important step is to know your options. In days of yore, traveler’s checks were the most popular way to carry money overseas — but today’s travelers are much more likely to rely on credit cards, and ATM withdrawals, which usually offer better exchange rates and lower fees. What’s the best option for you? And how can you avoid those pesky currency conversion fees when making purchases abroad? Here are some tips.

  • Credit Cards – The first thing you should do if you are traveling abroad with a credit card, even if you only plan to use it in case of an emergency, is to call the issuer and ask which fees will apply to your purchases, both in local currency and in dollars. We recommend calling before each trip, as these policies may change without notice.
  • Debit & ATM Cards – If the ATM card from your home bank isn’t connected to the worldwide Cirrus or PLUS networks, you may want to look into getting a MasterCard or Visa debit card. While they look and can be used like regular charge cards, they actually debit your checking account the same way your ATM card does.
  • Cash – The first 24 hours of your trip — to tide you over until you can find the nearest ATM.
  • Traveler’s Checks and Check Cards – Emergency backup if you can’t find a functioning ATM (checks) or a secure alternative to cash (checks and check cards).
  • Sending Money Abroad Best For: Emergencies when you need money sent overseas in a hurry. Pros: If you find yourself stranded overseas without cash, someone at home can wire money to you and you’ll have it within a day — or even a few minutes. Cons: Fees for sending money abroad can run anywhere from 1 ot 10 percent or more; the faster you need the money, the more expensive it will be. What You Need To Know: The best-known companies for sending money are Western Union and Moneygram. Both charge variable fees depending on how much money you’re sending and where you’re sending it. The slower the service you choose, the more economical he price. Other Choices: Bank wire transfers or international postal money orders from the post office. While less expensive, these methods may take more time.

New York Hotels – 10 New Hotels from Frugal to Spendy

Trying to find a new hotel in New York City? Here are 10 stylish independent hotel properties that all opened within the last 10 months or to be opened in late 2013/early 2014:

  • Hyatt Place New York Midtown South, 185 rooms on West 36th Street, Opened March 2013.
  • Hyatt Union Square New York, 178 Rooms on Fourth Avenue, Opened April 2013.
  • The Jade Hotel, 113 Rooms on West 13th Street in Greenwich Village, Opened March 2013.
  • Holiday Inn Express Herald Square, 135 Rooms on West 36th Street, Opened January 2013.
  • Holiday Inn Express NYC West Side, 177 Rooms on West 48th Street, Opened May 2013.
  • Holiday Inn Inn NYC Lower East Side, 132 Rooms on Delancey Street, Opened  March 2013.
  • The Refinery Hotel, 197 Rooms on West 38th Street, opened May 2013.
  • The Viceroy New York, 240 Rooms on West 57th Street, Opened October 9th.
  • The Hyatt Times Square, 487 Rooms on West 45th Street, Not opened yet, but is taking reservations for stays beginning December 3rd 2013 and after.
  • Holiday Inn Jamaica Queens JFK Airport, 201 Rooms on Brookville Boulevard (about 10 minutes from JFK Airport and 45 minutes from Manhattan), Not opened yet, but is taking reservations for arrivals beginning January 5th 2014 and after.

Additionally, there are two more upscale Manhattan hotels due to open sometime soon:  (1) The Quin on West 57th Street and (2) The SLS ” Coming to Park Avenue in 2014″.

On your next trip to New York City, if you would like to stay at one of these great hotels, please contact Bargain Travel at 1-800-820-4567 or send us a land quote request and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Tips for Surviving Holiday Travel

Holiday Travel Tips

What’s not to love about the holidays? You get to spend time with your loved ones, relax and enjoy the season. However, traveling during the holidays can become a pain quickly if not planned properly. Here are steps that can help your trip go as smoothly as possible.

Avoid Peak Travel Days

The bottomline is that it’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find an amazing deal on airfare during peak travel times. Not only can you expect overpriced tickets, but also congested airports and delayed flights as well. Believe it or not, sometimes traveling on the holiday itself is a better option. You will not only save on your airfare, but also save time because less flights means less delays, and a less congested airport means fewer lines. And by booking an earlier flight, you can still enjoy time with your loved ones.

Book Your Trip Early

When planning a trip during the holidays, holding out for a great deal can be a waste of time. It’s best to be proactive and book a flight, hotel room, or rental car as early as possible to save money. By booking early, you provide yourself ample time to tailor your trip to your exact needs. When you have your entire trip planned out ahead of time, you can stress less knowing you’re good to go!

Utilize the Web

The Web is the ultimate tool for booking your perfect trip. The ability to shop around and find the best deal within minutes is extremely helpful when it comes to holiday travel. If you dig a little bit, you can find the best deals on airfare, hotels, rental cars and more. The last thing you want to be doing during your vacation is regretting overspending on your plane ticket.

Not only can the Web save you money, it can save you time. Whenever possible, be sure you print out the necessary paperwork for your flight from your computer. When you print out boarding passes and check in your luggage online, you avoid lines at the airport and some possible stress. If you can’t print your boarding pass or check in your luggage online, definitely use a kiosk at the airport. Kiosks are easy to use and leave you with one less line to deal with.

Traveling with Gifts

Bringing gifts on an airplane can cost you time and money. Luggage fees can make loading up your suitcase with gifts expensive. Try ordering your gifts online and having them shipped to your destination, or at a nearby store so you can pick them up once you arrive. If you absolutely must bring gifts on your flight, make sure to use a gift bag instead. Airport security may open the package to make sure it is safe. By using a gift bag, it makes it easier for everyone.

Traveling can be a hassle but when you take the necessary steps you can guarantee a relaxing, fun experience. With Bargain Travel Cruises, our goal is to create the perfect vacation for you at a reasonable price. We can help customize your vacation, find the best rates and provide our expertise to help make your vacation a memorable one. Call us today at (800) 820-4567 and let us help you plan the trip of a lifetime!