- September 30th 2011
You may wonder why anyone would want to go on a cruise during hurricane season, but nevertheless many of us do. Cruise holidays can be as much as 50% cheaper during this season and not surprisingly they tend to be emptier too but the chance of actually encountering any problems is minimal. Hurricane season runs from:
- 15th May – 30th November in the Eastern Pacific.
- 1st June – 30th November in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
- Peak Hurricane Season (when you will find the cheapest cruises) starts in the middle of August and ends at the beginning of November.
So what can you expect if you opt to cruise during the hurricane season? Read on and I’ll tell you more!
Before I start talking about what could happen to you if you decide to take a cruise holiday during hurricane season, let me first point out that the chances of a hurricane disrupting your holiday are minimal and most cruises taken during this time are in beautiful weather. However if bad weather is expected your captain will divert your ship away from the danger. Here are some of the disruptions that could occur:
- Your ship may have to leave earlier than you expect – make sure you check the weather so that if this is the case you still manage to board in time.
- Your cruise could end later than you had initially planned – it is a good idea to plan to stay in your destination location for a few nights before and after your cruise leaves and departs just in case this happens.
- You could be sailing in stormy weather and rough seas – if you suffer from sea sickness, cruising during hurricane season may not be such a good idea.
- Your cruise itinerary may be disrupted.
- The city you return to could have been hit by a storm. If this is the case you may return to a city with floods and a loss of power – it is a good idea to make sure you have some cash handy just in case this does happen.
Most trips do go as planned but just in case your cruise does get interrupted you may want to have prepared for a few things. Below are a few handy tips that may come in useful.
- Buy Travel Insurance – trip protection is not good enough, you need to make sure you buy a complete travel insurance package. If your trip is interrupted you may have to rebook flights or in the worst case, pay for medical issues. Your travel insurance policy should cover both.
- Book any shore excursions through the cruise company – Although it is often cheaper to book these independently, if something does happen leaving your ship unable to dock at a certain port, it is down to the discretion of the excursion company as to whether you will get your money back. If you book through the cruise company and this happens you WILL get your money back.
- Pack some extra supplies of prescription medicine just in case the cruise does take longer to return to port. You might also want to pack a raincoat, some extra warm clothes, an extra battery for your mobile phone and important telephone numbers, including that of your travel agent.
- Plan to arrive at your cruise destination city early and leave late so that if there are disruptions to the cruise schedule you can still board the ship/catch your flights.
- Pack some ginger candy – it is great for sea sickness although no-one seems to know why!
Hurricane season can be an extremely cheap time to take that cruise holiday that you have always dreamed of. Be prepared for the unexpected though, and understand that if there are disruptions to the schedule they are happening to keep you safe. I’m sure you will have a fantastic adventure either way!
If you want to book a cheap Caribbean cruise during hurricane season, you can compare the prices of a number of different cruise companies with Major Cruise. They do all the hard work so you can spend more time planning for your adventure!
- September 29th 2011
If you have wanted to take a vacation that is entirely different from one you’ve ever taken before, you have a lot of choices.
Some of them may require you to do a little work, but even that can open your eyes to circumstances different from your home.
Here are some ideas:
Go on a Mission or Humanitarian Trip
Depending on what you are doing, the chances are you will stay at a central location and take all meals there. You will also most likely have transportation to the “field” or “site” if you are not within easy walking distance.
Local churches and other houses of worship are good places to find out about these types of trips. You can also check with national and international charities, such as the Red Cross or others.
Join a Working Farm
Some foreign countries, such as Mexico, have these. You work on the farm a few hours a day or only on weekends, which gives you plenty of free time to sightsee. Your host family provides meals and lodging when you’re on the farm and in the city, lodging may have been arranged for, or you might be able to find reasonable accommodations on your own.
You may have to stay a certain amount of time, say a month, and you may have to travel with members of the same sex, but still, even with these limitations, you should enjoy yourself.
Teach English as a second or alternate language in a foreign country or offer to teach summer school at a school outside your home state.
Summer school classes usually only last a few hours a day, leaving you free time in the afternoon and at night to sightsee. For ESL classes, you may be able to set your own schedule, especially if you are teaching only a few people. You may need a teaching certificate or college degree in order to do this.
If you go through an educational organization to do this, your room and meals will be provided, or you will at least be given information on where to stay and eat for reasonable prices.
Build Hiking Trails
If you like to hike and camp, and don’t mind getting a little dirty, consider helping maintain or even build a new hiking trail. Accommodations will most likely be camping ones – possibly even relatively primitive tent camping – but generally you won’t work all day. Some of these assignments are located in the U.S. Virgin Islands, so you can actually choose a tropical locale to do this at.
If you do decide to do something like this, make sure your passport is in order if you will be leaving the country, and check with your local health department to see if you need any vaccines. Also, check the U.S. Government travel website to see if any countries have recently been added to the list of those where travel is prohibited or advised against.
These types of trips are a great way to broaden your horizon, experience a new culture, help others, and save money. Having international experience is very appealing on college applications and resumes.
- September 28th 2011
Did you catch the Pan Am pilot at the weekend? I must confess to a feeling of nostalgia as I saw the immaculately turned out air crew head for the Clipper, as it portrayed an era of air travel that is long gone. Here are some of the things I noticed:
- the passenger seating area was more spacious than today’s business and first class cabins.
- no-one seemed bothered about whether hand luggage was stowed under the seat or not.
- you got a menu from which to select your in-flight meal.
- there were real meals, with multiple courses and with real cutlery.
- you could go and visit the cockpit, and there was little security on the outside.
- you didn’t have to worry about legroom.
- there was no in-flight entertainment as far as I could see; getting on the plane was more than enough excitement for most people.
- you could just walk onto a plane with no security and no shoe removal.
- everyone dressed up to fly.
- JFK wasn’t yet JFK; it was still New York International Airport.
- you couldn’t be married and be a Pan Am stewardess.
How did you feel about the pilot?
- September 27th 2011
Today, I’m pleased to feature Andy Hayes, aka That Travel Guy, in our series of travel blogger profiles. I’m a big fan of Andy’s approach to the travel business. As well as Sharing Travel Experiences, his Travel Online Partners site is a great resource for travel industry professionals. Over to you, Andy.
Andy, what’s your travel background?
Well, my travel days (daze?) started out when I was in the software industry. As a niche consultant for a large software company, I traveled on average about 250k miles a year. (In case you weren’t sure, yes, that is a LOT. Two flights a week on average.) Can’t say I’d ever be in a hurry to repeat those years, but I learned an awful lot about the sorry state of the traveling public, how to pack a carryon like a ninja, every frequent flyer mile and seating trick in the book, and what airports have decent food options (answer: none).
My later years in that industry I slowed down the travel quite a bit – by intention – and about 4 years ago I left that world to start my own business, focused exclusively on the travel/tourism industry.
What’s different about your blog or site?
From the beginning, I’ve always been focused on the experiences. Travel itself is an experience and some of the most amazing travels experiences I’ve had are just the simple things – a sunset here, wine and dessert there, a hike with a view. That’s how the site got its name, Sharing Travel Experiences.
These days we’re also talking about value luxury – about how to upgrade your travels and make yourself feel a little more special while still sticking to a budget.
What’s the most unexpected thing that has ever happened to you when you travelled and how did you handle it?
Hmm. How about that time I got hit by a car in Amsterdam? No worries – I was fine – the bike took much of the blunt, and thankfully I had a friend who was waiting on me and came to my rescue when I texted her! It was a reminder that bad stuff can really happy on a trip so you need to be able to compose yourself and always have a line to a friend who can help.
Complete the sentence: I never travel without … because …
I never travel without my running shoes, because fitness is so important to me. (Plus it’s a great way to fight fatigue and jet lag.)
When it comes to travel and travel blogging, who is your mentor/hero and why?
Without question, Chris Guillebeau. He understands business, he understands travel, and he not only is trying to change the world but also help others do the same too.
What place is on your travel bucket list? Why?
Victoria Falls. I love waterfalls but this one is the largest – like a huge chasm in the earth’s crust, with a huge river running right into it.
What is your favourite travel planning tool?
Google. You can get to almost everything you need from blog post trip reports, restaurant recs, photos, video. (Mr. Google is not always right, but it’s certainly a good start.)
Anything to add?
You know it’s funny but now that I have my smartphone (an iPhone, of course), I cannot imagine traveling without it. Whether it’s the phone, the notepad, or useful maps and apps, it’s just such a useful tool. Once you get used to it, you can’t go without!
Want to be featured in this slot? Leave a comment on this post to be considered.
- September 26th 2011
I’m still loving Google+ for connecting with other travelers and in the past few weeks, I’ve added some of my favorite travel and lifestyle people (mostly nomadic) to circles. Here are my picks (along with a description from their about page):
- John Bardos – Location Independent, Entrepreneur, Marketing Consultant, Blogger
- Corbett Barr – I write for adventurous entrepreneurs at CorbettBarr.com, and help people build thriving online audiences at Think Traffic.
- Jodi Ettenberg – Former lawyer currently eating my way around the world, one country at a time.
- Avril G. – Travel. Volunteer. Teach. Learn. Experience. Inspire Action.
- Christine Gilbert – Writer of almostfearless.com, filming the documentary The Wireless Generation and full-time traveler.
- Chris Guillebeau – Pursuing World Domination, Visiting Every Country, Writing Books etc.
- Andy Hayes – Managing Director of Travel Online Partners (TOP), a resource for small business in travel and tourism to get help with online technology.
- Juha Liikala – Location Independent Online Entrepreneur & Blogger.
- Cody McKibben – Entrepreneur, writer, permanent traveler, magician & casanova.
- Shannon O’Donnell – Active traveler, storyteller, lover of books, and vegetarian all rolled into one happy package :
- Sean Ogle – Currently doing the stuff most people just talk about doing
- Brian Peters – Currently traveling the globe after being playing the corporate game for way too long.
- Anil Polat – Digital nomad traveling the world indefinitely.
- Chris Richardson – An aussie with a desire to see the world.. cliche maybe but oh so true
- James Schipper – Blurring the lines between work, life and play!
- Lea Woodward – Brought Location Independent to life. Founding pioneer at Kinetiva. Forever connecting the dots to bring ideas to life. Yes, I’m a domain name addict. Happy just being me.
You’ll have noticed that there are only 16 names here, so why the +? That’s because I’m hoping to add to the list. I’d love to find some more nomads and lifestyle bloggers to circle and connect with, so if you should be here or know someone else who should, drop a link to your (or their) Google+ profile and a one line description and I’ll make the addition when I update the list! (Oh, and if you’re looking for me, you can find me here till Park Ride Fly USA gets a business Google+ profile.)