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Month: March 2018

Guide to Avoid Bad Vacation Homes

Guide to Avoid Bad Vacation Homes

Showing up to your vacation home only to find out it’s not what you expected can quickly ruin a vacation. Before you even pack a bag you want to make sure you can show up at your destination ready to have fun, not ready to scramble to find a new place. Here are a few tips and tricks to consider to avoid bad vacation homes if you are thinking of renting a place in the near future.

1. Rent from a reputable source. Whether you’ve heard of this owner or agency by word of mouth or through your own research, it’s always good to go with a real estate agency that someone you know and trust vouches for. If you’re going someplace new and can’t ask anyone you know, ask professionals in the area and read the reviews of a few real estate agencies that specialize in the kind of vacation house you want to rent. There might be a few odd negative rental experiences people might have had, but look and see if this is their personal issue or an issue that points to the upkeep of the rental home or the mismanagement of the company itself.

2. Don’t make your entire rental payment up front. General practice is to make a security deposit either online or through a transfer, but be aware of the payment method you are using. Make sure it is traceable and returnable if something does go wrong with your rental. This way you can look at the property when you arrive and if not all is up to speed, you don’t lose money.

3. If you’ve gotten to the point of signing a contract make sure there are clauses that protect you as the client from any harm or financial liability. You have just as many rights as the landlord or owner, but it is easy to take advantage of people when they don’t know the local laws and aren’t from the country they are vacationing in.

4. If you are all questioning your rental house when you arrive, have a backup hotel or vacation rental plan in place. No one wants to have to go to Plan B, but it is helpful to have one if that time occurs. If your vacation rental doesn’t end up working out you have another place you can go that will hopefully be better for you and those you are vacationing with.

5. Ask as many questions as you need to from the real estate agency or the owner of the vacation property you want to rent. Feel free to also ask for recommendations. This will be no problem for a reputable landlord or company, but will give you valuable insights into a bad vacation home experience if they can’t answer your questions or furnish good reviews for you to take a look at.
No one wants to have a bad vacation home experience, but unfortunately it does happen. Hopefully these tips help in your quest to find a great rental the first time, every time!

Troubles That Can Ruin Your Vacation

Troubles That Can Ruin Your Vacation

All of us are excited and look forward to our break. No matter how grand or simple our travel plans are, they are special for us. However, when things go wrong, these special moments can be turned into truly disastrous ones. This is the last thing you wish for on a trip. As bad as it may sound, many of us have to become victims of such travel disasters. Here we reveal the most common ones and advise you on how you can escape them easily.

1. Someone Breaking In Your House

Many of us are so fearful about this that we decide not to travel altogether. Sadly, there are criminals always on the watch for you to desert your surroundings so that they can attack them. It’s never a good feeling getting back to your own comfort zone, with many of your valuables being picked up. It is indeed a very scary feeling. This is a common problem, and a lot can be done to avoid it. You may install the professional security locking system. It is advanced and efficient at what it does. Let your neighbors and dear ones know about your travel plans so that they can look after your house every now and then once you are away. It’s best to prepare your house in such a manner that it doesn’t look like it has been vacated.

2. Car Rental Accidents

On a foreign trip, the last thing you would want to experience is rental car accidents. But why have these become so common these days? The problem lies mainly with the car rental companies doing their best to fool you. Because the low rates seem very attractive, a lot of people rush to book the car without looking at the vehicle carefully.

Ensure that when you get the vehicle, you have studied it well. Make sure it is in a good condition. When you see dents already, take photographs that will serve as evidences. Invest in a good emergency kit, it always comes in handy!

3. Scams

Tourists face all kinds of these. Travel scams are very common, and you’ll not fully realize the harm it does until you experience it. A lot of locals dedicate their life to fooling the tourists. They would trick you into believing what they say and cause you financial harm of some sort. Many times, they will appear extremely sincere and you can’t help but fall for their kindness.

In times like these, it is best to keep away from the tourist areas. If you must go, dress and act like a local. Make sure that all your valuables are left behind in the hotel room. If you must carry them, ensure that they are properly concealed. There’s no guarantee that you can escape them, but there is still a chance that you wouldn’t.

Guide For Choosing A Camping Tent

Guide For Choosing A Camping Tent

If you want to go camping during the next holidays, you may want to consider some good camping tents. But if you have no idea what type of tent to buy, you should get help. Choosing one on your own is not a good idea. Given below are 3 tips that can help you pick the right family tents.

Floor

Some camping tents have their own floors. They are made from solid fabric and are sewn to the camp walls. The type of camp will keep the water from getting into your camp. Aside from this, in coldest winter days, the ground can get really hard. As a result, you won’t be able to sleep well in your sleeping bag.

Size

If you have a big family with 5-10 members, you want to buy a camp that can accommodate all of you. Besides, you will need enough space for keeping other necessary items in the tent.

Before you pick a tent, make sure you have taken into account the size you need. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to go for a bigger version rather than a shorter one. A small tent will be enough if you are going to go camping with just one other person.

Ideally, you may want to go for a tent that is easy to set up. After all, you don’t want to end up crashing the tent over and over again. At times, people go for a tent that looks beautiful and don’t think whether it would be easier or more difficult to set up. As a result, they end up damaging the tent trying to set it up during their camping trip.

So, what type of tent should you go for? Well, A-frame camping tents are relatively easier to set up. On the other hand, cabin-type tents are not easier to set up. However, with a little bit of practice, you can use any type of tent out there.

Season

What time of year do you like to go camping? Well, this question is very important if you are going to choose a camping tent. The reason is that many tents are suitable for camping in either summer or winter. For instance, for camping in summer, we suggest that you opt for a lightweight tent. This is true especially if you are going to spread the tent close to a lake.

But you have the freedom to choose either a 3-season or 4-season tent. The later can be used any time of the year as it is designed to do well even in the harshest conditions.

So, these are a few basic factors you should think about before choosing your desired camping tent. Just keep in mind that these camps are not cheap. The highest quality ones cost a lot of money. Therefore, don’t make a haste when choosing one, and make this decision after consulting your friends and colleagues. They can recommend a good family camping tent to you.

The Reasons to Choose a Beachfront Villa for Your Holiday

The Reasons to Choose a Beachfront Villa for Your Holiday

There are many fantastic holiday destinations around the globe offering luxury villa rentals, whether high in the hills with stunning views over mountain ranges and jungle, or right by the beach providing easy access to sun, sea and sand. Whether you are traveling in Asia, Africa or the Caribbean, you will find many stunning hot spots with excellent accommodation options.

Renting a luxury villa is often a popular choice with many as it allows freedom from the constrictions of hotels, and it also can provide greater value for money if booking as a family or a group. Furthermore, this often provides a greater sense of privacy that many people covet.

Villas come in all shapes and sizes, and in a variety of locations, including on the beachfront. Here are several reasons why luxury villa rentals in these particular beach front locations could be a particularly great idea for you and your traveling party.

First of all, a beachfront villa is great for the simple fact that this offers unparalleled access to the sand and the sea, and many villas actually have access to private beaches. For those who enjoy lounging on the soft white sands working on their tan, there really is no better location to book your accommodation.

Furthermore, renting a villa on the beach rather than a hotel on the beach will give you far more private access to the area immediately in front of your property. Hotels can be full of hundreds of guests all looking to get a spot on the beach, whereas you can stake your place early in the morning before any other holidaymakers arrive.

In addition to the easy and privileged access to the beach, luxury villa rentals located in this particular area are also great as they provide the most fantastic views to enjoy on your break. Not everyone has the luxury of living by the sea normally, and renting villa with a view of the sand and the waves can be an incredible treat.

Even if you do not spend that much time on the beach, many villas right in front of the sea will have decking areas or patios where you can enjoy a barbeque whilst looking out to sea at sunset, or enjoy breakfast whilst the sun is rising over the ocean in the morning. All of this will help you feel incredibly relaxed and pampered on your trip away.

It should also be mentioned that being by the sea at night can be incredibly relaxing as you listen to the sound of the waves. Compared to being in the jungle, which can be loud, or in the town center where there is traffic, many beachfront spots are incredibly calm and soothing to stay at.

Thirdly and finally, another great reason why luxury villa rentals on the beach are so fantastic is that they are often excellent value for money. This may seem surprising considering that this is such a prime location, but there are actually many financial benefits to this particular type of accommodation.

The reason for this is that beach villas are some of the most common types of villa available due to their popularity. This means that off season and during quieter times of the year the owners of these properties face a great deal of competition to fill their properties with holiday makers. Considering this, there may be opportunity to get a real price deal here.

Also – as mentioned above – there is also the advantage that you can spread the cost if you are traveling with a group, or enjoy a price reduction when compared to booking a hotel for a family. These savings in addition to the advantages of staying in a beachfront villa can actually make it very financially worth your while and great value for money.

Tips to Avoid When Looking for Vacation Homes

Tips to Avoid When Looking for Vacation Homes

Renters beware. Fraudulent vacation home listings have become increasingly popular. Scammers have grown highly skilled in hacking into legitimate real estate databases and even drafting real lease agreements. Unfortunately, websites like Craigslist simply aren’t aggressive enough in challenging the tricks and techniques today’s sophisticated scammers use. Here are some typical traps and tricks scammers use to defraud vacation home victims:

Too Good to Be True. If the vacation home rental appears too good to be true, you could be its next victim. If the price is far lower than other listings or the amenities seem too palatial for the price, you can expect a scam. Legitimate vacation homes are usually market priced competitively with other similar properties.

Bait and Switch. Scammers love to post glamorous photos of vacation homes and their surroundings. The photos show large expansive rooms, ultra modern kitchens, lavish pools and spas, and manicured landscaping with beautiful tree-lined streets. These properties will always somehow be unavailable, and the vacationer will then be diverted to another, less desirable property. So always ask for the specific address and house number, then use tools like Google Maps to find actual photos of the property and neighborhood. Better still, ask the agent to use web tools like FaceTime or Skype to show you the property live.

Double Book Scam. Scammers will double-book a property, then send the vacationer who arrives last to a second-rate backup, along with sincere apologies.

Wire Money Now and Save Scam. Scammers will often ask for money up front, often in the form of a “security deposit.” And they’ll want you to use money transfer systems like MoneyGram, or ask you to wire money to a specific bank account. If you must send in money to “save the property,” use a credit card or PayPal-both allow you to dispute any fraudulent charges.

No References or Phony References. Scammers won’t have legitimate references to give you. They’ll either offer you the “privacy excuse,” saying their previous renters want to maintain their privacy, or they’ll simply give you the phone numbers of their buddies who are in on the scam. So before you decide to book, give the owner or property manager a call and ask for references. You can also check out reviews linked to Facebook.

Fake Positive Reviews. Fake or disingenuous reviews are a problem in some vacation home listings. “Non-disparagement” clauses are beginning to appear in vacation rental contracts, which means renters are not allowed to post negative reviews of a property. So read these reviews with a grain of salt. Use Google Maps and Street View to weed out any false claims of “stunning property,” or great location just steps from the beach, resort or convention center. Call the owner or property manager and use tools like FaceTIme to reveal actual home interiors.

Inaccurate Online Calendar. The online calendars for many vacation homes can be poorly maintained. Most are an afterthought for some property owners. Even if the listing shows the calendar has recently been updated, call or email the owner/manager and make sure the property is available on the date you need it.

No Professional Property Manager. According to Trip Advisor, 37% of consumers are concerned they won’t have an emergency contact if something goes wrong in a vacation home. Property managers ensure that a vacation home is kept up to date and in good condition. They have relationships with reputable sub-contractors that can handle any property problem that arises. A property manager can ensure the property will be as advertised and that a deposit for a property will be securely handled.

Hidden Fees. Most vacation rentals require a non-negotiable “cleaning fee,” and some even require renters to pay for utilities, cable and/or Internet. So make sure you know all the actual and potential fees before you finalize your booking.

Unprofessional Listing. Beware of listings or emails that are poorly written with bad grammar. These can be red flags. The same holds true for foreign phone numbers, or if the owner/property manager fails to promptly respond to emails.

Avoid Craigslist. Don’t use sites like Craigslist. Check out and book properties direct from reputable vacation home rental sites.

Tips You Must Know When Applying For A Visa

Tips You Must Know When Applying For A Visa

The process of applying for the visa necessary for you to travel or migrate to another country is challenging. For an ordinary person, this may be series of complicated steps. Good thing there are experts who are very much willing to help you simplify the process. Immigration consultants will also help you achieve a successful visa issuance.

Visa Interview Tips

Be Prepared – Experts highly emphasized that you must know some significant information regarding your country of destination. Oftentimes, the more you know about where you are going and why you must go there, the better you will do. There are some officers who begin their interview in a casual way, asking you to search your country of destination in a map. Some officers might have specific questions regarding the program you intend to take up if you are applying for a student visa.

Always speak for yourself – You must not bring your parents or any of your family members during the interview. Bear in mind that you will be interviewed not your parents or relatives. So be very prepared to speak on your own behalf.

Be concise – Be reminded that oftentimes, officers are under a considerable amount of time to perform quick and effective interviews. Lots of decisions are often made on the impressions they form during the first minute or two of the conversation. In other words, what you say first along with the initial impression you create are very crucial to your success. Thus, you need to keep all your answers short and to the point.

Have a clear supplement document – The content as well as the context of your supporting document must be clear at first glance. If you are lucky, you may have about 2-3 minutes of interview time. So make the most of it by being at your very best.

Always have a positive attitude – You must not engage in an argument with the officer who is conducting the interview. In case you received a denied visa, ask the officer for a list of documents he or she would suggest you must bring so you can successfully overcome the refusal. It would also be a nice idea for you to ask the reason why you were denied and put it in writing. If you are denied for your first interview, book for a second on as soon as you possibly can. Also, gather new information in order to address deficiencies in your application or perhaps interview responses. Bring new and compelling information to your next interview to justify the reconsideration of your case.

How To Save Money In Any Family Vacation Destination

How To Save Money In Any Family Vacation Destination

Ask anyone who currently has a family or was part of one, which is essentially everybody, and they will tell you some of their most memorable life moments took place while on family vacation. Vacations are the perfect time to reconnect with your family and step away from your busy life to relax, enjoy each other’s company, and recharge from the stressful realities of everyday living. Finding the perfect family vacation destination can be tricky and planning any trip can be costly. Don’t stress yourself out before going on vacation, follow these 5 ways to save money the next time you plan out your perfect family vacation.

1. Plan ahead.

Taking the time to plan out your vacation will allow you enough time to consider your options and go with choices that are not only fun, but fit your budget. For those who are resourceful and enjoy planning, the internet is full of travel companies and agencies fighting over your business. Peruse different options yourself using many travel sites on the internet devoted to budget conscious vacation planning, or visit a trusted travel agency to help you save money.

2. Choose the perfect destination.

While this may seem like a no brainer, the perception of your money being well spent depends on how much enjoyment you get from your vacation in the first place. Identify what style of vacation you are looking to have with your family. Do you have younger children, or are they older? Do you plan on having a quiet and peaceful time, or do you plan to be very active both during the day and at night? Often times, finding the perfect family vacation destination that suits your exact needs can be the most important choice you make.

3. Use user-review sites and travel forums.

Take advantage of the knowledge of those who have come before you and research your options on user-review sites and travel forums. These are great places to read what previous customers in your same shoes thought about their experiences. These sites can provide you with valuable information on what options are worth your money and which ones are not.

4. Read what bloggers and locals have to say.

Along with reading about previous vacationers’ experiences, try finding a local blog or reading a local online publication. These will be full of useful and honest information you can use to prioritize your activities, find the best lodging and restaurants, and most importantly, save money.

5. Use social media to your advantage.

In today’s tech savvy world, businesses may sometimes offer discounts for posting to your social media. You can sometimes take advantage of the discounts by, for example, snapping a few photos and uploading them, checking in at that restaurant for a 5-10% off discount, or simply tagging your friends throughout your vacation adventures.