What To Expect With A Vacation Package (3)

What To Expect With A Vacation Package (3)

If you have never been on a Vacation Package, it can be very difficult to gauge whether it is going to be for you. The lure of free food and drink for your entire stay sounds great - as does the beachfront location, the available water-sports and the hotel entertainment, but what does it all mean?

So here is a quick guide to what you should expect and what to watch out for…..

The Flight

You will usually travel on a charter flight which means that it will be full to the brim with other people, probably all going to the same or neighbouring resort as you - some of these people will even be staying at your hotel. These flights come with optional hot meals, but will sell snack foods and drinks regularly through the flight as well as duty free goods and sometimes novelty gifts and raffle tickets, etc. You should also have in-flight entertainment including free headphones, with several movies to choose from, music channels and comedy and cartoon offerings. You also get a blanket and pillow with overnight flights and maybe even an eye mask and toothbrush set!


When you arrive at your destination airport, clear customs and leave the airport, all the representatives from the tour companies should be outside, holding up ID cards. Find your rep and they will check you off, and tell you which one of the huge number of waiting coaches to get on. When your coach is full, it heads off to your hotel and possibly a few others on the way. You will normally get a rep or other guide on your coach who gives you an information pack, and describes journey times and any important information for check-in, etc. They will also tell you what time your welcome meeting is the following day.

Check In

In the reception you will be given a welcome drink and a room number and sent on your way with a map. At many all inclusive resorts, and sometimes others, you will be required to wear a brightly coloured non removable wristband for that hotel. This allows the staff to know that everything you eat or drink is free, and to tell you apart from those who have to pay. You head off from here and get your first look around on the way to your room, and at some point after that a concierge will bring your bags and expect a tip!

Your Hotel

Now you are there and settled in you need to find your way either to the main restaurant or the bar depending on your order of importance (!) It’s also an opportunity to read all the relevant information about your safety as well as fire (and hurricane) procedures. Also to find out whether your room is not to close or too far away from the important things to you. If you are not too active do you need a room closer to the reception and restaurants? Do you like your sleep, so want to be further from the thumping disco? Closer to the beach? Now is the time to change rooms, as you haven’t even unpacked!

Your Room

Will be vaguely as stated in your brochure, usually containing local decor and bright colours! Your chambermaid will clean it every morning for you, changing the towels if necessary, and replenishing water and mini bar as appropriate. They will sometimes leave you flowers or make swans out of your new towels, which will be wearing your hat or sunglasses if they are to hand……. Don’t leave the doors open at night though, unless you want to be eaten alive by mosquitoes that are attracted in by your lights!! You may have a resident gecko in your room (which is good, as they eat insects), as well as ants or beetles if you leave food around…… The room are not airtight!

Welcome Meeting

These are not compulsory, but they do offer an insight into the local area, buses, taxi’s, hotel amenities, etc. They also tell you the history of the country you are visiting and will offer you a vast array of trips you can go on while you are there, usually including a boat trip, a fishing trip, a culture tour, a capital city tour, a local village tour and a national food or drink plantation (banana/sugar/cinnamon/etc). These vary from $40 to £300 depending on what you want to do.

Restaurants and Bars 

Order what you want from the bar - it’s free (well, not including the really expensive stuff, or things that have to be imported). You can chat to your bartender and he or she will help you to work your way through the cocktails and spirits on offer during your stay! Fresh fruit juice, tea and coffee are usually available as are ice creams in some locations.

The restaurants vary in hotels, but basically all inclusive offers a buffet style meal 3 times a day. like 7-10am, 1-3pm and 7-10pm. Some resorts have more than one restaurant so find out what meals they offer as it may only be lunch or dinner. There are usually speciality restaurants that you can eat in free but you have to book a table and the number of visits you have may be limited. If the hotel also offers half board or bed and breakfast, you may find other restaurants there that you have to pay for even though you are all inclusive.

Some hotels offer 24 hour all inclusive deals which sound great, but sometimes the only food on offer through the night are ham rolls or cheese toasties! Some hotels do offer great hot 24hr food, but the brochures do not normally specify which ones they are!

Hotel Rep 

This person would have hosted the welcome meeting and will also be available to you during your stay, but they may rep for several hotels so your access to them may be limited or over the phone initially. They are always available for any questions or complaints you have in the hotel, although some hotels off their own customer service representative, or the reception staff may help. If you want to make a formal complaint though, you must go through your rep.


This usually involves young members of staff making a lot of noise around the hotel. They try to get you to dance, play volleyball, come to their evening shows, enter raffles, and play sports. It can get a bit annoying if you want to relax around the pool, but you can normally get away from them at the beach! They also run the kids clubs during the day if available.

The entertainment or animation team also put on loud evening shows for you, sometimes by the main bar and sometimes in a theatre area away from the main hotel, usually basic dancing and panto-like shows from 9-11pm - so make sure your room is far enough away from these if you do not intend to go!! Some hotels even offer a late night disco until 2am……

Sport equipment varies, so always check what exactly is free (sometimes its only your first go, or the first hour, etc) and how to book it. It’s always different in every hotel, so make sure you ask as early as possible once you are there otherwise you could miss out. Check for the safety of things offered as well, as standards vary. Most hotels also offer a small library where guests can borrow, swap or leave their books for others.

Tips- All the staff will know when you are leaving and they will all be that bit nicer to you as a result. But if you have had a great service, or service above what you expected, and you wish to tip for it, then check with your rep what is expected and how best to do it, or for multiple persons - ie - the whole bar was great, who do you give the money to?


Depending on your flight time, you may have to leave the resort before breakfast, or you could have to sit about with your cases for several hours after check out time, waiting for your coach - not too good if you are wearing your jeans and coat!! Some people sunbathe up to the last minute, and others get private taxis to the airport early to get the best seats on the plane and avoid the long queues when all the coaches descend on the airport at the same time!

Think it’s for you now?

Looking for Cheap Hotels in Bali.

Kuta is one of the tourist area in Bali, located in the southwest of the island. Kuta is known as a tourist area since tourism began to flourish in Bali. Kuta was once a fishing village since the tourists seemed tersulap kindahan glanced his Kuta beach is white sand, choppy, and has a beautiful view of the sunset. Since then, little by little Kuta opened up as a tourist area.

As one of the favorite tourist area, Kuta  provide a wide choice of accommodation facilities are spread almost throughout the territory. Hotel - This hotel stands along the coast, the center - shopping, nightlife region such as pubs, bars, discotheques, to the corners of the alley diarea in local settlements. Various means of support for these diarea wisatawanpun built, ranging from entertainment centers, shopping malls, local art market, the vehicle terminal, shops souveir and others.
Cheap Hotels in Bali.

There are virtually hundreds of pieces hotels in Kuta which is divided into several categories ranging from budget hotels / non star to five-star hotel of international class. All accommodation facilities offer varied pricing options ranging from cheap hotels to hotels with rates that are quite expensive. All were influenced by the facilities and services provided by each hotel.

Cheap hotels in Kuta are generally categorized in the form of lodging, inns, inn, up to three-star hotels are mostly located in areas some distance from Kuta beach, but still within walking distance to the beach. This hotel offers all the standard amenities such as hotels in general in Bali, such as air-conditioning, TV and telephone availability, a swimming pool and a restaurant, have a private bathroom, and others. You can find some cheap hotels in bali with opening banner below
Planning To Backpack Around Europe?

Planning To Backpack Around Europe?

Ever fancied something just a tiny bit different from the normal holiday?

How about heading off with just a month long train ticket and no set plans?

Sound like your kind of thing? Then maybe a trip round Europe with just a guidebook and your backpack is what you need to be doing for your next holiday!

You don’t even need to plan anything if you don’t want to. If you have long enough (at least a month), and would rather glide around this continent more like a local than a hurried tourist, you can just head off with a rough plan of countries to visit and soak it all up at your own pace, floating around each country between cities and villages - or nightlife to nightlife! As long as you have enough time to get back to your airport, enjoy yourself.

But, if you want to make the most of it and are more pushed for time, then planning is essential.

How long have you got? - Decide how long you can go away for as this will have a direct impact on what you can see while travelling. Yes, you can get from London to Madrid on the train in less than 12 hours, but you won’t get to see much on the way and it’s a nearly whole day’s sunshine wasted!

If you only have a week, then you will need to either be very restrictive with the area of the continent you travel to (i.e all the countries close together), or you will need to travel at the speed of light to see your favourites.

Basically in a week you will only get to enjoy about 3 cities with a couple of nights in each one. I did get to see 4 countries in less than a week one time, but only really got a ‘feel’ for 2 of them.

In two weeks, you can travel further afield, and may well stay in around 7 cities depending on where you start and finish from. And in a month you could have hit about 17 or more countries!

Where do you want to go? - Don’t worry about routes yet, leave the train timetables well alone - just get your guidebooks and start reading!

List places you would like to see or the festivals you want to attend in the order you come across them; the cities, landmarks, museums and castles, etc. Write them next to the country they are in and mark each with either a ‘definately’ or just a ‘maybe’, then the fun begins….

Now get yourself a basic map of Europe with just the countries showing and 2 colors of pins, stickers or whatever you want to use as markers - one color for ‘definately’ and the other for ‘maybe’. Then get going with them - putting one sticker for each thing on your list onto your map, nice and spread out. Soon you will start to see which countries are coming out on top!

When completed you will be able to write off any countries with only a few maybe’s in them, and start focusing on the countries with the most definitely’s.

Choosing a route - Now you have places to see organised, you can start looking at your route. How many days will it take to see all the places without including the journey times? Are the places too far apart? Have you picked too many things to do?

The only way to find out is to start looking at a rough pathway through your dots, aiming for the definitely’s at first, then look at the one’s out the way and see if they are worth missing. Keep arguing with yourself over what you really want and what can be avoided for a better or smoother journey. The last thing you want to worry about when travelling is keeping a tight schedule where missing a train causes all sorts of timetable changes. You are supposed to be enjoying yourself!

Only when you have less things you ‘definately’ need to see than the number of days you are travelling for, can you stop. You have now got your trip round Europe. By all means keep a few as ’spares’ in-case of bad weather or train delays, or you could just sit with the locals enjoying something impromptu like a game of chess or taking photos of the buildings instead!
Costa Rica Vacation - The Preparation

Costa Rica Vacation - The Preparation

Me and my friend have been planning to go to Costa Rica for  the whole of April for some time, and although we had a rough  idea of the things we wanted to see and do - the departure date is fast approaching and the only thing we have booked is the flight!

First Things First - We know we will have to stay near the airport on arrival as we touch down at around 8pm local time, and it will take around a half hour or more to clear passport control and customs. We are definitely going to arrange for an airport transfer to the hotel, so we have nothing to worry about after a whole day flying. It likely we will stay there a second night, just to get our bearings. We’ll book the same place the night before we depart as well for the same reason.

Next Thing Next - Well we haven’t decided what’s next yet, but we have narrowed it down to four main locations and we need to start thinking of the best route for them and a timescale of things. So far it looks like this:

Monteverde Region - 10 days

Arenal Volcano Area - 4 days

Peninsula de Nicoya - 4 days

Puntarenas Region - 10 days

That’s around 28 days, plus the 3 in San Jose and we are done!

Planning a Route - 
Well we are nowhere near done are we? We haven’t yet considered travelling times between these places as San Jose is in the middle of the country; Puntarenas is at the southernmost point and all the others are in the North! This should be fun!

We know the buses are very cheap and run regularly but we have heard that most bus stops are not marked at all - so things could get interesting. We are really excited about using the buses as we will get to see so much more of the country this way, than if we flew or travelled with other non-local tourists.

Must Sees - We have both decided on our ‘must sees’ which will help to select specific locations to visit. Mine includes sloths, giant anteaters, tapirs, armadillos, coatis, morpho butterflies, macaws, an exploding volcano - possibly a minor earthquake too, huge waterfalls, a canopy walk, toucans, manatees, whales, turtles and of course a jaguar!

Yep, that just about covers the wildlife basics for me. There are 69 National Parks and Protected Areas so I should be sure to find everything I’m looking for…………..

Additional Things - I have also still got to buy a few travel essentials before we go, including a new rucksack. I don’t have one anymore and I am sure that I don’t want to travel around Costa Rica with a large solid plastic mango-coloured suitcase! Yes, It has little wheels on it, and keep everything inside safely protected but it’s not very practical for dragging on and off of buses!

I’ll write again when we have made any more progress…….

Vacation Facts:

Location: Costa Rica - Central America

Accommodation: Not known at the moment! Possibly 4 main locations and the first night around San Jose, but unsure of actual accommodation at present time.

Flight Cost: $920/£460 per person, return airfare with

Continental - from the UK, via New York.
Reader Postcard - 7 Hour Atlanta Visit

Reader Postcard - 7 Hour Atlanta Visit

Here’s a little story of what I did with my 7 hours stopover in Atlanta, Georgia.

Basically, I was flying from South America with a group of 6 people - on route to the UK - and the flight went via Atlanta where we had to wait some time before our connecting flight. Why waste the transit time sitting in the airport we thought - lets go investigate.

As we were transit passengers, we just checked our hold luggage straight back in after collecting it from reclaim, and headed outside. It took us about 30 minutes in total to get off the plane and out into the street as we had had to get on a local tube for a handful of stops.

We had a mini meeting and worked out that we had to be back to check in one hour before the flight, so we had 5 and a half hours to fill here - we headed for the nearest mall grabbing a coffee on the way!

Luckily it was quite early, so the mall was reasonably quiet as we entered and tried to find our way around. The couple from our group said they would spend the time alone, so we were down to 4 - then we saw the sign for the movie theatre…….

There was only the new Texas ChainSaw Massacre film showing in the next few minutes, so that was the one we watched! Bearing in mind this was around 11am it wasn’t our preferred choice - but time was against us and it was an easy way to pass the time.

So, shocked out of our skins 2 hours later, we emerged from the movies a bit paler than we went in! There was almost a hush across the group as we hit the sunlight again, before we remembered where we were: 2hours 15minutes remaining.

The only man amongst us said that he fancied a new pair of trainers while he was here and one of the girls said she wanted to look at some scents (?) so we split up - arranging to meet at the big restaurant we had seen at the entrance to the mall in just under 2 hours.

I had started to get a bit of a cold by now (great!) so I was on the look out for a drugstore. I made the mistake of walking into the entrance lobby of a department store and was imediately doused in scent spray from the over-zealous sales assistants and promptly started sneezing continually until I was well away from there! Great sales technique ladies - scare people away from the entrance to your store!!!

So with shrunken watering eyes I kept looking until I finally located a drug store tucked away in a corner and started reading labels. We had a long flight ahead of us and if I had a cold, I wanted something to send me to sleep - I needed ‘drowsy’ in big letters on the packet!

Failing to find one, I asked the assistant for ‘drowsy’ and she told me in no uncertain terms that ‘NOTHING’ she sold would make me drowsy - ‘why would I want that?’ Obviously she thinks everyone wants to stay wide awake when they are ill???

I brought something non-drowsey anyway - and plenty of tissues, then headed to the restaurant a bit early. I sat myself down at a table for 4 much to the annoyance of the staff and ordered a lovely chicken fillet with curly fries and BBQ sauce to cheer myself up.

The others all arrived one at a time with bags of new products and ordered something themselves and we chatted away about anything really while we ate.

Then, time was up and we had to head back to the airport.

Looking back it would have been great to have researched it more thoroughly, and since I have another long stop-over coming up with my family this time, I found an Internet sight showing trusted tours and attractions for Atlanta and other US cities to help us make more use of the time while we are there.

Spain Vacation Tips and Ideas

You will find that Murcia is known for the mild weather, common in Spain. You will find that the daytime temperatures are about 40 degrees Celsius, but it is also a great place for you to vacation through out the year. The temperatures in winter never fall below 10 degrees Celsius.

As for the warm, mild weather, this part of Spain happens to be beneficial to the culture. The area is well known for the wineries, many fruit groups, flowers, and even olive oil production. You will notice most of these plantations are around the Segura River because it will allow the crops to be easily irrigated. You will want to go to Spain and to the Murcia region just to get some of the crops freshly produced.

As for the climate, the summer is very dry and hot, while the winter is mild and wet. There happens to be very little rain when it comes to the summer months, however, fall and winter are well known for many storms and heavy downpours. Keep in mind that this area sees the sun at least 300 days per year. There are very few times where rain will effect your travel plans.

As for the summertime, you will notice that this is the best time to travel to Spain. It is the best time to see the sights without having to think about rain clouds. As for rain, it averages about .22 inches in August. This is very little rain compared to what you might get the States.

As for the springtime you will notice that this is the most wonderful time to go because everything is in bloom and the weather is hot and sunny, but not uncomfortable. You will notice that the average monthly rainfall for the spring is about .35 inches, but it can get up to almost an inch in rain. Again, that's not that much. There are places in the world that get 12 inches of rain a month, but Spain is a beautiful place that is dry and sunny for at least 300 days of the year.

As for the autumn and wintertime, the weather in murcia is not as hot, but it's also still very nice. Of course, it will begin to cool, but the temperatures rarely drop below freezing and it very rarely snows. These seasons are still acceptable for vacation. As for those who do not like to be in the hot sun constantly, you will find that the weather is perfect for you in the fall and winter.

Murcia is a great place to go on vacation. You can have the ultimate vacation by sunbathing in the warm, hot sun, or you can take in some of the local culture.