Rebecca and Shanti were both honest law-abiding citizens with law degrees from Sussex University, so it came as something of a surprise when they were recently arrested in Brazil for committing holiday insurance fraud. The two girls allegedly told the police that thieves had stolen around 1,000 of their possessions, including a camera and laptop computer. However, officers became suspicious of their calm demeanour and the fact that it had taken the girls days to report the alleged offence.
The police subsequently demanded to see the girls lodgings, where they claim to have uncovered all the possessions which the girls claimed had been stolen en-route to Brazils Iguassu Falls. Rebecca and Shanti could face up to five years imprisonment if they are found guilty of committing holiday insurance fraud in Brazil, and this sentence is actually quite lenient when you consider some of the punishments that they could face if they had committed the crime in a different country.
In England, tourists face up to 10 years imprisonment as a result of making fraudulent holiday insurance claims. This sentence could even be on top off additional penalties, such as repayment of the amount you claimed and compensation to your travel insurance company. You would have thought that the prospect of a ten year prison sentence would put most people of committing travel insurance fraud, but last year 4,300 dishonest claims worth 5million were made through holiday insurance companies in the UK alone.
Overseas police forces and travel insurance companies, have now started to get increasingly more vigilant about holiday insurance cheats, a policy which no doubt led to the arrest of Rebecca and Shanti. Details of fraudulent travel insurance claims have now been kept on an industry-wide database, which will be accessed by the Financial Services Authority and insurance companies. This means that anyone caught trying to commit holiday insurance fraud will now automatically face higher insurance costs and have difficulty obtaining other insurance cover, such as home insurance. On top of this, attempting to commit travel insurance fraud may also impact on your credit rating, which would make it more difficult to obtain goods or borrow money in the future.
It is reported that 75,000 Britons have at some point in their lives committed holiday insurance fraud, either by making a false claim or by exaggerating an existing one. Records from travel insurance companies show that Britons lose more Louis Vuitton luggage abroad than is actually ever sold in the UK.
So many fraudulent claims, however, could see the end of cheap travel insurance, as holiday insurance companies may need to put up their prices in order to make up for the losses that they may incur.
Booking air travel, making hotel reservations and arranging vacation travel in general has changed completely with the advent of the internet and many people try to be their own travel agents. While you can arrange seemingly most of your travel yourself, you can’t do as well as your travel agent in a long run!
Travel processionals, whether your local travel agent, tour operator or destination specialist still possess contacts that you as an industry outsider do not have. As in number of other professions, travel agents, whether in a shopping center near your home or an online agency, wherever they may be located, do know something you do not, have way to book and arrange travel for you in ways unavailable or unknown to you.
Traditionally you could contact a travel agent and ask for a quote, whether a price of an air ticket, hotel or a vacation package. For the most part travel agents still provide that kind of information, although there is a limit how much information they may disclose as not all information is readily available to them.
First of all, most travel agents indeed may have at their fingertips routine cost of air ticketing, hotel rates or certain vacation packages available and will be happy to provide the price information to you instantly when asked. But once your travel request will need to be somewhat customized, whether tailored to your dates of travel or your other travel preferences, to find a relevant answer will be time consuming. Because of this time element involved, do not automatically assume an agency is keen to spend the time to furnish the information you seek when there is no commitment you will travel at all.
Look at the situations from the following perspective. In the old days if you had a problem with your car, you’d drive it to your neighborhood car mechanic and asked him to see what was wrong with it. You would drop the car off at the garage, the mechanic would have a look and tell you what the problem was. He would also give you an estimate and it was up to you to decide if you wanted him to fix it right then and there, wait or seek another opinion and another quote. His services cost you nothing.
But not anymore. These days, no garage, no car repair mechanic is willing to spend time trying to find out what’s the problem with your vehicle without charging you at least one hour labor upfront. Pay and he will look and tell you. Up to you if you will decide to take your car to another shop or have him fix it, he has covered his time spent diagnosing what’s wrong with your car.
Similarly, many travel agencies and professional travel planners and tour operators will charge you an upfront travel planning fee if you are requesting travel arrangements that first of all are time consuming, or there is no guarantee you will book anything. All you are after are essentially private tailor-made travel arrangement s and there are no simple answers or options to give you, and the only way to find out will be for the agent to dig and consult all sorts of different sources he has at this disposal and then present the travel alternatives to you for you to decide upon.
When working with a travel agent, travel planner or any other travel professional such as a knowledgeable destination specialist, keep in mind that a certain protocol will assure you will get not only the kind of travel arrangements you want in general but also you’ll gain a true partner that will always work in your best interest whether you’ll travel away from home on business or for pleasure.
1. First of all, when contacting a travel agent, whether in person or online, don’t hesitate to give them your name – don’t worry, most agents won’t spam you back. Without your name when you’re asking for a valuable travel advice most agents won’t take your request too seriously. Call if you wish but most agents prefer not to take notes, email is a way to go and for an agent to look up a fare often a time means he has to plug in a name, so might as well that name will be your real name. If you decide not to accept the booking the reservation will expire and no harm done. If you decide later to purchase the reservation the agent does not have to rekey it into the system all over again.
2. If you’re trying to be you own travel agent, even in part, say you plan to book your own hotels online, disclose it to the agent your are contacting for assistance, he/she may still be interested to help you with the rest of your travel arrangements. Don’t hide your intentions from the agent as agents don’t like to be used for information gathering purposes only.
3. If at all possible, always contact your travel agent or destination specialist as soon as you know when and where you wish to travel, not last minute before your intended departure. That is even more important when you’re planning a trip to a lesser frequented destination.
4. Don’t book your flights and hotels online and ask a travel agent to do the rest, namely the difficult parts, such as complex transportation connections, travel arrangements in remote locations or to book segments that you just feel are not safe for you to book online yourself. Give your agent to design and book your entire trip for you. The worst you can do is design your own vacation package, then copy and email the same request to dozen different agents to see who may be the lowest bidder. Yes, the internet is perfect for that kind of information gathering but look at this from a perspective of a travel agent. If he/she knows you are sending the same request to dozen agents many of them will not be too interested in dealing with you. Then again, telling them the truth they will appreciate knowing what you are doing and approach the whole thing quite differently and in the end they just might offer you a deal.
5. If you’re after booking shoe-string cost of travel, for example wishing to book the lowest type of accommodations, best be your own travel agent. Do realize that agents can’t book services that are simply too cheap to begin with, not to mention that that kind of suppliers do not pay agent s any kind of commission. The agent may still help you but keep in mind he will be doing you a favor and will be working for you at no charge. If so, appreciate it, email your thank you.
Do realize that to ask an agent million questions, get all the answers, including time consuming quotes, only for you to never replay again is definitely rude and turns agents off completely. If you are polite and respectful many will often work without any commitment on your part, providing you with information you need, working for free. But because of those that just siphon info out of agents so they could possibly book travel on their own leaves not only a sour taste in agent’s mouth but certainly induces the decision to charge au upfront planning fees when a next inquiry comes.
6. On another hand, when it comes to upper end accommodations keep in mind these hotels routinely offer discounts to agents that agents can markup and still offer you room costs below hotel rack rates. Genuine agent is not interested in selling you a higher end hotel in order to make a higher commission but to tailor in a better trip experience for you where he deems it desirable.
7. Keep in mind that there is a difference between a travel agent and a so called Destination Specialist. Most travel agents use online reservation systems to book transportation, hotel and vacation packages. They essentially book or resell ready-to-sell travel offers from a variety of suppliers that do not require more than filling in your name and dates of travel. When it comes to you needing customized arrangements, they will need to contact tour operators and destination specialists that are either part of their consortium or a network they belong to. Depending on the connections they have they will or will not be able to help you.
8. Destination Specialists pride themselves in really knowing their destinations. Many of them have indeed not only traveled extensively but know a particular destination inside-out so they can arrange travel logistics for you based on knowing, rather than looking it up in a brochure or some kind of data base. Many Destination Specialists specialize in difficult, custom designed itineraries and do not sell travel packages. Often a time though not always that kind of service reflects higher markup.
9. Last, please note that many destination specialists as well as travel agents work 110 or more hours per week because especially custom-design travel is indeed very time consuming. Being good at travel logistics does take experience and while with the internet it seems second nature to be able to arrange travel on your own, many travel professional are indeed very good at what they do! They do know more about travel than you, give them a chance, they can save you not only money but also many headaches and above all, they can assure not only that you’ll travel worry-free but that you may have a trip of your life! Keep in mind, a good agent is not after selling you a single ticket or a package tour, they want you to become a repeat client, their go-to-travel processional for rest of your life.
Clever safe private luxury travel, tailor-made worldwide adventures and cultural journeys take experience. Do not settle for less, book only with genuine travel professionals! Life is a journey, and travel inspirations for the discerning traveler begin with top travel leads.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3387032
Traveling is one of the best ways to relax, meet new people, and visit beautiful places you have seen in movies. Many people can only dream of traveling to exotic places and seeing breathtaking views. Here are important Travel tips to consider. Get a good deal on a hotel. Unless you are staying with friends or family, you will probably be in the market for a good hotel room. Normally, you can spend your entire budget on hotels and motels. I suggest trying a site like priceline.com. You can name your own price, and get some really great deals on rooms and car rentals.
When you make your reservation, double-check that pets are allowed. An important advantage of reserving online is that you can see – in writing – whether or not pets are permitted and any restrictions. Online, you can print out your reservation receipt that includes the “pets allowed” information. Verbal reservations leave more room for misunderstanding and miscommunication. If reserving by telephone, ask the reservation person to mail you a confirmation receipt that includes the -pets allowed- information. Special Promotions “- Cruise Lines sometimes offer cabin upgrades as an incentive based on a qualifying factor. The qualification may be membership in a past passenger group, a group promotion, payment with a certain credit card, frequent flier promotion, or other qualification. Check with your agent at the time of booking to confirm whether any of these promotions are available.
Make other travel concomitant arrangements on time:
It is important that you make the arrangements for transport, that is, taxis or cabs on a prior basis so that you do not have to wait unnecessarily when you reach your travel destination. In fact, you should also book your accommodation previously so that you are saved of running around in an unknown territory looking for places to find a shelter at. Your travel agent can help you out in both these areas very easily as travel agents have contacts with all good accommodation keepers and transportation companies in various travel destinations. Travel mugs come in a variey of volume sizes too. If you only drink a small amount, consider a smaller 8 oz. travel mug. On the other hand, if you want a large amount of coffee or tea to drink, consider a larger 16 or 20 oz. travel mug. Online discount travel sites are websites that proffer valuable cheap airfare information. You can get cheap airfare by comparing and contrasting air prices on travel websites. Travel websites have one of the most exhaustive lists of cheap airfare information. Set your itinerary. Choose exactly the places that you want to visit. List your itinerary in a piece of paper and also, do not forget to book and reserve your visit especially if you want to go to museums etc.
If you plan to hire a car at your favorite destinations here are the tips for a safe and happy travel. During holiday driving spending hours together behind the wheel may cause fatigue and end up in undesired consequences.
Youssef Edward is an Electrical Engineer and he is the owner of tips-made-easy.info site. Learn more about Traveling below:
Tips For Traveling With Rover
Tips If Traveling To An Area With Bird Flu
In case you are demoralized with the worries and hurries of daily life, and to seek a relief, you are thinking of escaping away to a nearby locale for the coming weekend without travelling too much distance, and spend your weekend by enjoying and relaxing away from your own house, then the vacation homes rentals are the ideal option to fulfill your needs. The vacation homes rentals by owner enables you to organize a short beach vacation, taking an exciting ski trip or rushing to the world of Disney with your little ones, or to a lonely deserted place to enjoy exclusively with your fianc. Similarly, there is much for you to do for the weekend. You can have a quick glimpse at these before booking the vacation rentals USA.
Usually people tend to book a hotel or a rental home as soon as they decide for an outing. However, we are recommending you to opt for a log cabin or a beach house rental, and even a ski in or out condo, which can make your trip more lively and exciting. In case, you are looking forward to organize a trip across the great national park of California or the Florida Beach House across the white sandy shores, there are vacation homes rentals by owner everywhere to offer you the perfect accommodation, so that you can live up every single moment of your trip.
The vacation rentals USA offers various types of rental homes ranging from cheap beach rentals to exquisite vacation homes, at wallet-friendly prices, so that everybody can avail these and the most plausible feature is, that these rentals, offer accommodation for a single person, as well as to those having large families. However, the most rated spots by the tourists include, The White House, the globally famous Statue of Liberty, the Smithsonian Museums, The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia at Pennsylvania, the Redwood Forests situated at California, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the Times Square in New York City, and last, but not the least the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. So, kick start your journey from this weekend onwards with the several vacation homes rentals by owner, that offers you heartily welcome to plan your beach vacation, honeymoon, ski trip, reunion with friends and family or any similar kind of memorable experiences which the great destinations of the United States invites you to share.
Travel Pre Internet:
I’ve been travelling for over 40 years – by thumb in my early days, by boots in the Scouts, a Lambretta came next and then my first old banger followed by newer old bangers to the beaches of the Costa Brava.
My thumb, boots, bikes and bangers took me all over Europe and the UK before finding that a charter flight to Spain on an old ‘Connie’ could get me to the beaches and bars a lot quicker and allow more time to enjoy the local travel opportunities by horse and cart and the occasional bus and train.
‘Go West and Prosper’ seemed to be a good idea so instead of taking an 8 hour flight I took an 8 day transatlantic crossing from Tilbury to Montreal on the Stephan Batory of Polish Ocean Lines ensuring that jet lag did not trouble my travel plans. Some years later I crossed the pond again on a ship but this time it was 5 times bigger and I travelled in style on the QE2 and dined in the Queen’s Grill somewhat removed from my earlier experience. I highly recommend ocean voyages but cannot see myself on one of the modern cruise ships going from port to port with constant line-ups to get on and off to buy t-shirts. However, I have done 10 Windjammers and a Star Clipper cruise in the Caribbean which were all memorable (let’s hope Windjammer Barefoot Cruises recover from their woes). But I digress.
I had read that Canada is a spectacular country, from sea to shining sea, and my entrance into the St. Lawrence River to Montreal and then heading west in an old Econoline van from the Great Lakes, across the Prairies to the Rocky Mountains before ending up whale watching off of the Pacific Coast of Vancouver Island was a trip of wonder to a bloke from London. Today the scenery is still spectacular and the best way to go is still by road so rent or buy a car, motorhome or motorbike, take the train or tour bus but remember the maps, a fly rod, good boots and take your time.
My favorite part of Canada / USA for adventure travel has to be Northern BC / Alaska, to hike the Chilkoot Trail in the steps of the goldseekers of 1898. The Northwest Territories to canoe the Nahannie River and the Yukon to drive from Dawson City to Chicken, Alaska. If you like the outdoors and can put up with a few bugs, cast a fly and scale a few hills or drive on endless dirt roads sharing the space with moose, caribou, elk, bears and eagles, then these are the places to put on your list. The pleasures and experiences in driving to Inuvik on the Dempster Highway or to Prudhoe Bay on the Dalton Highway or even the Canol Road can only be felt by doing them. I would have mentioned the Alaska Highway but now it is an easy drive unlike the aforementioned.
Today the costs of driving these distances may mean that sharing the journey with others is required, but RVing or simply vanning and camping is a great way to see beyond the horizon. Some enroute adventures now need to be booked in advance whereas when I hiked Denali and the Chilkoot Pass it was just a case of turning up, registering with the local ranger office and heading on out. A little more forward planning is needed for today’s traveller and cost considerations of lengthy flights or drives have to somehow be countered with more careful planning. In the days of reasonable gas prices I would not even consider the driving or flying costs and have driven to Key West from the northwest coast, down the west coast to the Baja and to the west coast from New York. I once even flew my 1946 Fleet taildragger from the Pacific to the Atlantic and back using around 5 gallons an hour of avgas. Before the oil and credit crisis I drove from Rio de Janeiro to Lima, down to Tierra del Fuego and back to Rio covering over 15,000 miles of spectacular scenery and with no consideration about the cost of gas. South America should be on your itinerary too! Some other memorable drives that may now require a mortgage with the gas companies include London to The Nordkapp, Norway, Skippers Canyon in New Zealand and the loneliness of the far north of Australia and the amazing coast of Western Australia stopping by at Monkey Mia and Wave Rock.
We tend to forget that the real cost of travelling is often less today than over the 40 years of my travels. In 1977 my round-trip airfare from Canada to Australia cost over $1700 in 1977 dollars so today it is far cheaper to fly, even with the airlines gouging for fuel, extra baggage, no service and no pleasure. The ‘Big Mac’ method of price comparison as developed by The Economist newspaper gives us a good gauge for most expenditures of today compared to yesterday but my $1500 cost to get a private pilots licence in the 1970’s seems cheap by comparison to today, but obviously not when using this Big Mac principle. Other travel costs are also far cheaper today but this should not mean that travellers should disregard the many methods of saving costs that can then be put to extended or improved travel experiences
In my 40 years of travel I have had to use travel agents to make even the simplest of reservations and buy tickets, not even thinking to ask them if they had “been there, done that?” It was just a case of there being no other options to buying travel. Now we have unlimited choices and can seek out better travel agents, better prices, better selections and information about anywhere in the world for our travels – without even leaving home.
The Internet now gives travellers ideas and options of Where to go, When to go, Why to go, What to do, Who to book with and How to save money and offset costs. We can search and find experts for every travel option. If we are comfortable with the Internet we no longer have to go to a travel agent to make reservations and buy tickets except to book with some of the larger travel companies that still produce glossy brochures and offer all inclusive packages or tours that only sell through the agency system. The Internet also allows those of us who are smart enough to know when to seek out a top travel agent with knowledge, experience and expertise (KEE skills) of destinations and activities about where to find them. There is no longer any need to only use our local agents when we can find one somewhere else in the world. When we do not need ‘the knowledge’ and can do it ourselves we simply surf the web so that we can book directly with tour and travel operators wherever we have decided to go.
Some travel agents operate their own tours, some are both wholesale and retail, some limit consumer selection by only selling their ‘preferred’ suppliers and some have professional consultants with years of experience invested in gaining knowledge, experience and expertise and are worth their weight in gold to the savvy traveller. Beware though, as some are also called destination specialists and some of these designations merely require the agent to take a rudimentary test offered by tourism offices, destination marketing groups or even tour operators and in my opinion can harm the reputation of the travel industry. A specialist is not necessarily an expert.
Travel is probably the most used commercial aspect of the Internet and if retail agents want to harness this exciting medium to offer ‘the knowledge’ and their ‘kee’ skills to a global audience, not just their local community, they must embrace the changes that are happening. Travellers now have the ability to seek answers to the 5 W’s of travel and the important ‘How to’ save money and offset costs by having information just a click away.
And then it occurred to me that even internet travel prices often include a commission element even when sold directly to the consumer. If we book directly with operators we should not have to pay full retail prices as we are doing for ourselves what a retail agent would normally do for us. A dilemma for the operator is that to show a both a retail and a cost price option could deter many agents from selling the services as travellers could use an agent for free advice and book directly with the operator to get a ‘net of commission’ price. Obviously this two tier pricing is not often available but travellers who do not need advice should also not be penalized by retail pricing. A new way had to be found and I think I have found it!
The need for fairer fare prices is why I developed the Top Travel Voucher program at The Top Travel Club and I even found a dot com for it. All travel selections on the site are at ‘net of commission’ prices for members who handle there own travel arrangements directly with the operators linked on the club website using our voucher program.
I am inviting travel operators from around the world to join this program, from B&B’s, Motels, Hotels, Luxury Lodges, Eco Resorts, Beach Resorts and Tour and Adventure Operators who want to promote their products and services to travellers who are comfortable with direct bookings and reservations.
I am also inviting Travel Agents with knowledge, experience and expertise of destinations and activities to showcase their skills to a global audience of travellers and to the members of this new travel club. I am leery of ‘specialist agents’ and only want experts to showcase their services.
This opportunity is available to the travel trade at no cost except for them to offer net, wholesale or outlet prices to club members and visitors to the website using top travel vouchers. I believe this program offers fairer fare prices to direct-booking travellers. The operator would normally be paying commission anyway but now travellers get the savings because they make their own arrangements.
The Top Travel Club opened in mid-April 2008 offering thousands of top travel vouchers for travel in over 70 countries with around 150 travel operators onboard. Every week we add more travel operators with more choices for members. Currently you can get savings on accommodations, adventure travel, boat charters, culinary tours, hike, bike and dive tours, auto and RV rentals fishing lodges and guides, safaris, vacation rentals, single travel, women only and dude ranches. Members get the vouchers free of charge by paying an annual membership fee and non-members can buy the vouchers on the internet at Top Travel Sites at deeply discounted prices to the face-value. The future growth will include restaurants, travel clothing, travel insurance and the opportunity to access air ticket consolidators who want to deal directly with consumers.
The way I have travelled and the way I see travel is that consumers should have unlimited access to every travel opportunity with the ability to do their own due diligence or to find a professional who can offer quality advice and services at fair prices, and to find all of this without needing endless hours of searching.
To find out more about the new way of cost offsets for travel please go to The Top Travel Club and my apologies for some of the spelling (traveller / traveler) but that is what I was taught. As long as we all understand the meaning, vive le difference!
A UK Chartered Accountant with over 40yrs of international travel and over 25yrs in the travel industry. Editor of [http://www.thetravelinsider.net] and developer of the TopTravelVoucher service at http://www.toptravelsites.com and http://thetoptravelclub.com
Sales, Server & Technical base: Carlsbad, California Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org skype: nidalap14
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Volvo bus services are gaining great popularity these days because of its punctuality and economical prices. Neeta travels are considered as a pioneer in travel industry as it has been offering unmatched services over the period of very long time. Inspite of being a new company the operator is one of the most common agencies working in the state of Maharashtra. If you intend to opt for Neeta bus than you can select from AC, non Ac, sleeper buses for you to travel. Neeta travels connect Mumbai to most of the cities of Maharashtra and makes travelling joy for the travllers. They even have their own offices where their hospitable staff is there to help you out with your travel needs the travel company stated with just few buses but now has huge fleet. Neeta travels are known for their commutable, safe and on time travel. So this time if you are planning to travel away from your city and give Neeta tour travels an opportunity to cater you with its buses so that you have a perfect journey to the destination of your choice. Neeta tours and travels buses will also ensure that you have a safe and secure journey with your loved ones and come back to take our services again and again.
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Delhi and Chandigarh are the most developed cities of northern India which is well connected by roads. Delhi Chandigarh buses are the most common mode of transport because of it punctuality and economical prices. Delhi Chandigarh bus tickets are very conveniently available with most of the operators; one can also opt for various online resources from where they can book tickets right from the comforts of your houses. So next time if you are planning for a trip to Chandigarh either for vacation or for business trip than opt for these buses as they will offer you lifetime memories.
If you’ve never had the chance to drive across and experience the Southwest region of the United States, you owe it to yourself to do it at least once in your lifetime. The sheer magnitude of the sky and the endless vistas that unfold in front of you are humbling, inspiring and exciting, all at the same time. You can’t really imagine the scale until you see it for yourself.
The state of Texas alone is unbelievably huge, and though somewhat uninteresting and flat for hundreds of miles, there is something fascinating in the amount of emptiness and desolation – the state of Texas is roughly the size of France but the western half of the state is very sparsely populated and filled with an almost eerie stillness (and little else). The drive across the state on Interstate Highway 10 is almost 900 miles, and the distance from Orange, Texas, in the southeast corner of the state to the city of El Paso is roughly the same distance as from Orange to Chicago!
Texas, however, is just the beginning. New Mexico and Arizona have much to offer and the distances between points of interest is not quite so great as in Texas. You could leave Taos, in northern of New Mexico in the morning and be in one of the hotels in Tucson, Arizona by evening, for instance, and though these two states are smaller than Texas, there is plenty to see and do in both. If you’ve never seen a real desert or witnessed a sunset over the Rocky Mountains, then you’ve missed out on a great deal of what the United States have to offer.
Texas, New Mexico and Arizona hotels abound on all the major highways and there are resorts, campgrounds and bed & breakfast facilities everywhere you go, making budget or luxury travel possible, depending on your budget. Do yourself a favor and plan your next holiday in the Great Southwest!