Caribbean Travel Guides – Are They Worth It?

As well as being a raving shopaholic, Jane Morris is also a dedicated Travel Buff. This is just one article on her many visits to the lush clear waters of the Caribbean

Imagine all the stories and films you have seen on pirates in the Caribbean, Spanish galleons laden with gold, pretty girls all around, beautiful white sandy beaches, swaying palm trees, clear blue seas, and reefs that have ripped the bottom out of many a fine sailing ship, now beautiful diving territory.

Well, this is what makes up the beauty, the mystery, and the attraction for many people as a dream holiday. In fact, there is so much to do that unless you plan your holiday carefully there is so much to miss.

That us why it is so important that you know all there is to know about the vacation destination of your dreams – that is exactly what a Caribbean travel guide offers.

But are Caribbean travel guides really godsend? Or are they just patronizing materials designed for commercial purposes?

Well, they’re probably a little of both actually. After all, the people behind Caribbean travel guides do need a source of income in order to continue to publish their guides. But a tremendous amount of research has been placed in these guides so don’t dismiss them as useless sales and promotion material.

What else is more nifty, informative and convenient than a Caribbean travel guide?

Sure, the Internet may prove more updated when it comes to information, but you can’t carry the Internet everywhere. And believe it or not, it’s always much more gratifying to pull out a Caribbean travel guide from your carry case, flip a few pages open, then slip it right back when you’re tired of reading. It sure beats having to wait in the airport, sitting bored silly and wondering whether or not your flight’s going to be delayed.

That said, don’t cling to travel guides religiously. Many travelers make that mistake. They are not the bibles that they are made out to be by some people. You should know that published materials, including travel guides, are out of date the moment they are published, because by then, there would have been new updated material that came up and it would be too late to include them.

So, how are you supposed to use Caribbean travel guides then? How would you know which information to believe and which facts are outdated? Unfortunately, there is no exact answer to that. To get the most out of your Caribbean travel guide, use them sparingly for basic orientation.

So once you have the basics right down to a tee, go out there and discover the towns and cities on your own. That is, after all, what traveling is all about – adventure and discovery of new things. At the very least, when all other signs look foreign, the information on museums and places of interest are great.

Remember where such facilities exist, always try and look for the local ‘City’ tour. I did just that on my first holiday in Cuba over 15 years ago. After a 2 hour tour on a coach, I was fully oriented with the sites, and then settled down to a delightful tour on foot – clutching my trusty travel guide of course, so I didn’t miss any of the delights that the beautiful but run-down city has to offer.

However, when it comes to hotels and restaurants, each to his own taste and budget. Remember that bargains rise in price with popularity, so there’s every bit of chance that that hot new deal in your Caribbean travel guide isn’t much of a deal anymore, considering how pricey it has become. And then sometimes, too, the places get easily full with foreigners and travelers like you, so you can’t always expect your Caribbean travel guide to point you in the right place all the time.

Then, if you do wander around on your own, you will surely find quality rooms with reasonable prices. They may be located in out-of-the-way places that Caribbean travel guide writers may not know about. Remember that because you in the destination, you are in a far better place to get what you want out of your vacation.

So to close it off, don’t be a sad type who writes to say that “it wasn’t like what you said in the book”.

Here’s a tip: open your eyes, and if the island you are on is Spanish – make sure you can speak some of the local language, as you will get such a nicer welcome from the locals in the infrequently visited spots – and make sure you take your time to explore for yourself!

Travel and Tourism Online – Learning From a Distance

A lot goes into traveling outside the actual trip. The plan to get to a destination is only a small detail when compared to the overall experience of a vacation or business trip. Online colleges offer training in travel and tourism for the individual who wants to think and do all the necessary things that go into planning a trip. Prospective students can earn a degree online and be working with clients to help them get the most of their money when traveling.

There are a variety of benefits from attending school online.

  • Learning from a distance allows individuals to choose their study pace and take classes inside the comfort of their own home.
  • Online schooling in travel and tourism permits students to study on days that are set by them not the college or program.
  • Students have the ability to complete all the phases of education without the hassle of commuting to a campus everyday.
  • This is a high advantage for disabled individuals who are unable to commute to a campus and attend classes.

More colleges and universities are adding online degree programs in travel and tourism, which is enabling students to gain a better education with higher degree choices than a certificate program or associate’s degree.

Prospective students have numerous choices when it comes to education programs. Students have the option to gain an education from accredited online colleges and universities starting at an associate’s degree in travel and tourism to a master in business administration for hospitality and tourism management. The opportunities for students to gain an online education in this field is widening and programs are preparing students in numerous ways. Through coursework students will learn about:

  • sales techniques
  • travel destinations
  • bookkeeping
  • reservation systems

An online degree in this area could provide the best career preparation and have graduates working in many different aspects of travel and tourism.

Travel agents have more responsibility to their clients than just booking travel and securing them a discount. The job description for a travel agent encompasses the entire trip whether it’s for leisure or business. A travel agent will arrange:

  • transportation
  • hotel
  • food options
  • tours
  • entertainment

Whatever a client is looking for in regards to their trip a travel agent will spend time getting the best discounts, looking up travel packages, and exploring what activities the destination has to offer their client. Along with the above responsibilities an agent will be the number one source on things like the weather, local customs for international travel, site attractions, money exchange rates, and more.

A new trend is developing for individuals who gain a travel and tourism degree through an online school. More students are becoming specialists in a particular area. Meaning they are choosing to become highly knowledgeable in one area like a culture, destination, or interest. This type of travel and tourism agent is particularly useful for clients who are traveling internationally. Becoming a specialist will require the student to learn the customs and in some cases the languages of a chosen location. With increasing demands on travel agents from their clients, gaining a degree in the field is becoming extremely important.

Use your passion for travel and exotic destinations to start your career training online. Accredited schools provide the best quality education. There are numerous agencies like the Distance Education and Training Council (www.detc.org) that provide full accreditation to educational programs. Students can research accredited colleges that offer a degree distinction that fits their goals and begin working towards their personalized career in the hospitality industry.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.

Enjoying Cheap Flight and Hotel Packages

Air travel used to be one of the most expensive modes of travel in the 1980s and because of the high cost of operation, price of air tickets was sky-high in that time period, and only few people could afford it. With changes in research and technology, and market structure, it has become one of the most cost-effective travel options, considering benefits. Now, people can easily travel cross borders with cheapest air tickets international, offered by budget carriers. However, the prices have not magically dropped by more than 50 per cent in just a few decades.

Hassle-free Tours

Many carriers offer flight and hotel packages also, which are usually cheaper and convenient for travellers. They offer complete information of the place of stay and tariffs charged for them. These offers are suitable for leisure travellers, who randomly select a destination and visiting there. It saves time of tourists that they may have wasted in searching a proper accommodation after reaching the destination. However, these budget flights and hotel packages may not be suitable for everyone, as people have their own preferences about accommodation, location of the hotel and seat offered in-flight.

New Strategies

A number of strategies and cost cuts have been introduced in order to make it available for a larger section of the society. One such strategy is de-bundling of services offered along with the ticket. It simply means segregating service charges from fuel surcharges and base fare that passengers have to pay. Now, travellers need to pay only for the services they avail like for headsets, Wi-Fi connection and window seats. The other is the increase in the number of seats in the aircraft, so as to offer seats to more people. However, there are a number of steps that can make a journey, especially long-haul journeys.

Smart Steps

As advised by frequent travellers, the first and foremost step towards a comfortable journey is a smarty-packed backpack. Irrespective of the destination and number of days of stay, a bag should be as light as possible. Travellers can get bag arrangers, shelves and other accessories that help in keeping it organised and slimmer. It not only eliminates the issues related with carrying it at the terminal, but also passes the security check in just a matter of minutes. People can check the baggage instruction of the respective airline they are travelling with and can avoid the items that they may be asked to remove during checking process.

After being done with packing, they can opt for electronic check-in process, which saves a great deal of time. Nowadays, the parking status is also available on the internet that can be tracked down for quick entry and parking at the airport. Many airlines provide this information on telephone, so if it is not available on the internet, they can go for the customer care services to know the current status. Sleeping kit is easily available at the airport stores, which are a must-have product during inter-continental journeys.