Information Ready

It is the fourth month of the year and spring-break activities may be on the lips of every student.  One such activity may be a carefully crafted travel plan.  Groups of exuberant, vivacious travelers will engage in fun and frolic in an attempt to forget the stress of academia, to recharge, and to have a great time in a different place.  These young adults eagerly look forward to executing their customized itineraries with great expectations.  It is their sole intention to share with their loved ones lasting memories of an unforgettable trip.  In a week or two they will feel the buildup of excitement.  The anticipation of what is to come will rise to levels that may seem unbearable before setting out on their adventure.  Still, at this initial stage it is crucial to always know where one can go when one needs help in a strange place.

It is imperative to have a ready list of places/businesses/services you can seek out for help if you need it.  Usually, my first stop in any foreign country when I disembark is the information desk.  There, I ask all pertinent questions re local transportation, hotel direction, area, money exchange, restaurants, etc., before leaving the airport.  In my past experiences while on the road, I have found it may not always be wise to approach a total stranger.  They may not want to assist you or may feel wary of your approach.  So, here are some front-line resources you can use for immediate help if you need it.

sign arrow direction travel

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Police – In all countries, the police are there to serve and protect people.  Do not hesitate to locate the nearest station or approach an officer for help.  They gladly assist tourist in distress, who are lost, needing directions, or other information.

Consulate/Embassy – This particular recommendation may not be one to easily access without an appointment.  However, a request at the guard station may put you in touch with someone who can aid you.

Travel Agency – They are in the business to know all that pertains to the traveler.  They are a good source to find and locate your travel needs.  Use their services for directions, and advice on attractions, area, transportation, recommended tours, etc.  You will find they have up-to-date information and network connections that will put you in touch with whatever you need.

YMCA/YWCA – Usually this organization has its doors open to assist anyone with a need.  Do not hesitate to go to either establishment irrespective of gender.

Church – Any house of worship is a safe bet to enter and appeal for support also.  If your particular church is not in the neighborhood, usually a catholic church can be located to offer back-up.

Hotel/Hostel – The concierge or front desk receptions of these establishments are always willing to help the traveler who needs support.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions there even if you are not their guest.

i-booth – Last but not least, many i-booths are strategically located in major cities just to assist tourist.  Representatives man these stations and they are usually outfitted with maps, brochures and tour operator paraphernalia for the traveler.

Community Peeps, what other places would you suggest to go to for help?  Write your responses in the comment box below.  I am anxious to know your thoughts on the subject and to add them to my repertoire of recommendations for the future.

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Itinerary Planner


Travel Tips for Students on Spring Break

Words have power.

Generally speaking, most students would say they are too broke to travel.  As an Itinerary Planner, my response to that would be, “be careful what you say.”  The claims we make regarding our transient financial circumstances eventually are manifested in our lives.  Therefore, we would be best served if we spoke life into our aspirations, including travel dreams, rather than death.  Using the term “speak life” may be hard to grasp, and may sound a little like hocus-pocus, but, it is not.  Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”  Talk.  Yes, talk of your plans, they have a way of eventually become a reality like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Besides speaking out loud your travel intentions, you should add thoughtful planning.  That’s it.  No formula, equation or complex strategy.   The moment you conceive the vacation idea, tell friends, family, work colleagues, and whomever would listen.  The act of putting it into the air helps to convince yourself (possibly others too) that you can actually do it, and it is going to happen someday.  The more you talk of it the more it begins to take shape because of your interest and actions.  So, to the cash-strapped student who may be pondering spring-break plans, these recommendations are germane for you.

The internet provides a plethora of information re popular travel options.  Wade through the ones that are pertinent to your need, that will give you the result you are looking for.  Like tips on: how to save enough money; premium places to go; best and safest places to stay; budgeting while on leave.  Be prepared to spend a lot of time on this aspect of your research.  You will need a lot of discipline, flexibility and patience.  For example, I always wanted to visit Israel.  I had in mind the places I wanted to go, the things I wanted to do and the money I wanted to spend to cover it all.  I searched high and low until I found a charge that fell in line with my budget.  It took me approximately a year and a half to line up my ducks in a row to make this particular trip happen.  Thank God the trip was phenomenal, worth every penny, and the timing was perfect.

Following are my favorite go-to tips which you may adopt:

  • Save Money.  Look into the many ways you can raise funds to finance your trip.  Think of how much you are willing to spend on air ticket, lodging, food, transportation and tours and set a budget.  You will need money to cover the expenses, but the good news is you don’t have to rob a bank to afford your holiday respite.  If you reviewed the link you will realize that discipline and focus is all it will take to accomplish this number one tip.

  Methodically set aside money dedicated to the trip.  Collect spare change, these add    up.  Scale back or cut out completely spending that is not necessary, scilicet, the          morning coffee, movie tickets, impulsive shopping, restaurant dining, cable, etc.          Control your spending.  Challenge yourself to meet set money-saving targets each        week.

  • Set alerts – You have read this one before on a previous blog.  Bird-dog fare-alerts of the destination you have in mind.  A caveat to setting up your alerts is to occasionally reset or clear out cached data and cookies to avoid repeated data from populating your inquiries.  You always want to ensure recently updated data in your searches.
  • Compare quotes – Do not buy the first hog you see on the various websites.  Call an agency, see if they can beat your lowest quote through their business contacts.  Once you are satisfied you have exhausted all options, choose the one that is below or closest to your target price.  Recently I was able to find a fare below what the agency offered.  Way below.  I am still excited about my find.
  • Book tickets – Opt to purchase tickets that commences your journey on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. This may be difficult for a student who has a Friday class, but if you can wrangle a late-night escape the Thursday evening to begin your journey ahead of the crowd, this would be a sure bet to keeping your ticket cost within reach and affordable.  Always read the fine print and watch out for add-on fees.   Weekends and holidays  prove to be the pricier times to purchase tickets.  Not only on airfare but also tourist attractions.  Here again, choose to purchase your tickets in the country you are visiting versus at home.
  • Rest stop – Nowadays, accommodation trends for millennials include Airbnb, VRBO (vacation rentals by owner), Hostel, and Couchsurfing.  These are the likeliest lodging selections for college students and budget-travelers.  Hotels are still an option too, especially if you prefer a more luxurious and refined place to sleep, and not the backpacker experience.
  • Tour Tickets – Research the tours you find interesting before you leave, BUT only purchase the tickets on arrival at your location.  You will save a bundle if you follow this recommendation.  However, there are exceptions to this rule which may request payment for a tour before leaving your home’s shore.  For example, if you plan to join a group for a camping trip, logistics dictate that a monetary advance be submitted months ahead to accommodate participants.
  • Itinerary Planning – That’s what I do.  Why stress over planning every detail of your trip when you can have someone do the work for you.  Go to my “Itinerary Request Page and purchase a customized itinerary that will save you time and energy, and will ultimately give you a more rewarding experience.

After a hard winter season, choosing where to go on spring-break may be top of mind right now.  You may want to sprawl on a beach, hike up a mountainside, zip-line through a forest canopy or relax poolside.  Whatsoever your vision, it can be achieved by first believing and then purposefully moving towards it by using the steps I have laid out above.  Click the links in this post for added information, which I am sure you will find helpful.

If you have tips you would like to share, go ahead and leave them in the comment box below.  You can also like and follow to show your interest.  As per usual, I want to thank you for reading my blog.

More times,

Itinerary Planner