Tag: Vacation Planning

Brexit and Travel Impacts

Three ways travel is impacted post-Brexit:

1. Take Donald Trump’s advice and save some money

Trump explains travel

Trump explains travel

I never thought I’d take Donald Trump’s advice on travel, but today I am!  Here’s the quote: “…. traveling and for other things, you know, I think it could very well turn out to be a positive.”  Washington Post, June 24, 2016

All kidding aside, the British Pound’s trading at about 7% less right now (up from nearly 11% lower yesterday) versus the US Dollar and this has direct benefit if you pay in greenbacks.  Here’s how: Travel to UK or paying for UK goods and services (like a plane ticket, a hotel room or a West End play) will be substantially cheaper. The UK can be kind of expensive, so any discount is well worth seeking out, especially one this straightforward. If you’re thinking of going, book (and pay) soon.

2.  Border travel restrictions won’t change for at least two years.

More of this, in a few years

More of this, in a few years

 According to European Union law, The UK leaves the EU two years after it notifies the EU, about two years from today (the UK hasn’t notified the EU of its intentions.) For Europeans traveling to the UK, that means that travel won’t be impacted by EU resident checks for a few years. Same with UK residents: Travel to non-CTA EU countries won’t be restricted by border checks for a few years.  It is too early to expect more border patrols, but it is likely. This means that border crossing to or from the UK will be affected eventually – more red tape, more delays and more queues – but nothing changes right now.   

3.  A rare invitation into British and Northern Irish political attitudes.

No lack of opinions here

No lack of opinions here

One of my favorite insights about travel is from Mark Twain:

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”  

As Mark Twain suggests, travel offers us a different perspective on our world. From what I’ve read and seen, some areas of the UK were very strongly Remain, and some were decidedly Leave.  What’s the deeper reason? One thing I’m sure of is that British and Northern Irish folks probably have an opinion and might want to talk about it with you! It’s a unique opportunity to learn about the British and Northern Irish people and how they view themselves.

 Amazing Airfare was created to offer travelers unbelievable discounts (in every case at least 50%) on airfare to international destinations.  If you’re a traveler looking to find the biggest discount, or just too busy to keep searching for incredible deals,  Amazing Airfare might be the ticket!

If you’ve found this post useful, or if you’ve got questions or comments, drop in your comment below, we love to hear from fellow travelers!

Five Essential Mobile Travel Apps

We’re passionate about travel. We believe travel experiences should be accessible to everyone, and the tools and talents we’ve learned should be shared with everyone. Having a great experience on your next trip really does start with going places that you can have a great experience, and for us, having a great experience is easier and more predictably enjoyable whenever we use mobile apps.

My first use of a mobile device on vacation was in France, in 2004. I caused quite a stir in Bordeaux when I showed up at Bed and  Breakfast table using Map Point 2004 on my Windows Pocket PC 2002 device! It felt like it was from the future, and it’s fair to say that it was a memorable experience for everyone involved.

Here are five free mobile apps useful after you find a great deal on airfare. We chose these apps for their class-leading utility, ease of use and free price. Many of these could be replaced by a personal preference, and if you prefer your app over an app here, by all means stick with your app! Finally, familiarize yourself with these apps before you go on your next vacation.

Maps: Google Maps:  Google Play iTunes  Not getting lost in a foreign country means getting a map, and mapping applications, as long as you have bandwidth, are a practical and handy way to find your way on the road. Almost everyone has used Google Maps, so sticking with a familiar app is a good idea.

The best reason to recommend Google Maps is that no other map provider offers car/bike/ferry/walk and rail options in the same app. In many parts of the world, where booking a train ticket or getting a seat on a ferry is the norm, this is a key feature. This was only recently added to the app (it had been on the browser version only) so we can now recommend the app over the website. Finally, Google Maps has a great feature that’s missing in most other free mapping programs: airport interior maps. Finding an international gate in a new airport for a connecting flight can be stressful. Don’t miss your flight!

Airline Info: FlightView Free iTunes  Google Play FlightView Free is the best app for real-time flight information. When is that flight scheduled to arrive? Get an alert for that flight. Departure gate changed? Get an alert. Connecting flight changed? Get an alerted as soon as it happens. You can set custom levels of alerts, see real-time flight paths, arrival and departure times (or delays) all updated within seconds. You can even find out information about the plane model. Enter your flight info, the app does the rest. Essential. From OAG.

Translation: Google Translate: Google Play  Itunes The app offers text, speech and snapshot translation, meaning if you can take a pic with your smartphone, you have a great shot at translating the sign. Google Translate now includes French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Portuguese as offline translators for when you’re tight on bandwidth (more on that later.) We still recommend learning a few conversational phrases (and knowing what they mean when you are asked the same phrases) but traveling with a translator opens up another level of great travel experience.

Mobile Device on Vacation

Mobile is for more than pics on your next vacation

Spending and Budget: Mint iTunes Google Play

Saving a lot of money on a plane ticket is a smart way to experience travel. Overspending your budget can be fun, but it can take away the benefits of saving a lot on your next vacation airfare. Mint helps you track expenses and keep your budget in mind when you travel. Since online privacy and security are a big concern too, we feel safe recommending Mint.

Mint is now part of Intuit, who have been making personal finance software forever, so the user experience and features are great right out of the box. 

Itinerary wrangling: TripIt: Trip Planner iTunes  Google Play

TripIt places high on our list of essentials because it’s an easy and free way to keep your travel plans organized. If you forward travel confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com, TripIt will create a streamlined master itinerary for each of your trips that you can access anytime, anywhere, on any device—for free. If you have a Gmail account, it will do its organizing on its own – no forwarding necessary.

Key Features of Tripit are:

  • Instantly creates a schedule with all your travel details in one place
  • Imports travel plans directly from your email
  • Gives you access to your travel plans on any device
  • Adds your travel plans to your calendar for you
  • Keeps family, friends and colleagues in the loop
  • Stores essential travel documents and contacts

Amazing Airfare was created to offer travelers unbelievable discounts (in every case at least 50%) on airfare to international destinations.  If you’re a traveler looking to find the biggest discount, or just too busy to keep searching for incredible deals,  Amazing Airfare might be the ticket!

If you’ve found this post useful, or if you’ve got questions or comments, drop in your comment below, we love to hear from fellow travelers!

Timing Tips on Travel to Europe

Curious why so many great travel deals are specifically timed for mid-March, Mid-April, September and October?  It’s simple:  Most people still go to Europe only during the Summer.  Here’s a big travel tip to save you a huge amount of money:  Learn the travel seasons!

Travel seasons in Europe are divided into three customary periods:

  • Low Season, starting in November, ending in March
  • Shoulder Seasons, actually two seasons, both roughly two months long.  Spring season — Mid-March through Mid-June, and Fall Season — Early September through October.
  • Peak Season or high Season: Mid June through August.

Historically, “Peak season” was the peak travel time because European, specifically North European, weather was unpredictable in the spring and fall, and a majority of the historic public festivals were held in the European summer. Later, with the boom in tourist travel in Europe starting in the 19th Century, more events and attractions were added to the calendar, specifically in the summer months.  

What this means for the Europe-bound traveller is that getting to Europe, travel around Europe, and activities available within Europe are at their peak level during the summer, roughly Mid-June through August.  We definitely see the appeal of pleasant weather, abundant activities and the fantastic cultural activities Europe is renowned for.  Amongst Europeans, who make up the majority of vacationers in Europe, summer season is when most take their holiday.

Cinque Terre_resize

However, for your next trip to Europe, consider planning a vacation around the shoulder or low seasons.  First of all, there’s fewer tourists, so just getting around is going to be less crowded.

Airfares will also be cheaper, since the demand can be half what it is during the very peak season.   Airfare can be cheap during the Low Season too, but take care to avoid booking travel for the holidays, as this can be more expensive, of course.

Finally, lodging and restaurants during the shoulder season will be less crowded, which also means savings.  In particular, low season hotel rooms can be a fraction of the price of high season, especially in beach resorts.  In one of my trips to Nice, France, we booked a beachside stay for 25% the cost of the room rate during the high summer!

One additional reason to consider shoulder season is that while peak season is defined as “warm outdoor summer weather” season in Northern Europe, Southern European countries are arguably at their most pleasant during the Shoulder Season.  In particular, the coasts and islands of southern Europe are both less crowded and more affordable.  In other words, a great time to go!

Amazing Airfare was created to offer travelers unbelievable discounts (in every case at least 50%) on airfare to international destinations.  If you’re a traveler looking to find the biggest discount, or just too busy to keep searching for incredible deals,  Amazing Airfare might be the ticket!

If you’ve found this post useful, or if you’ve got questions or comments, drop in your comment below, we love to hear from fellow travelers!