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Guided Tours Vs. Luxury Travel Vacation Packages

So, you have decided to book a luxury vacation. It is time to call your travel agent. The first question most travel agents will ask you is “Are you interested in a cruise, a tour, or a travel package?” You know that cruises are not for you, but what about a tour? And what exactly is the difference between a tour and a travel package anyways? With different definitions and inclusions, it is important for any traveler to be informed enough to make the best decision for their unique needs.

Definitions

When you are considering booking a tour for your luxury travel vacation, keep in mind that “tour” implies several things. First of all, a tour is usually guided, and consists of a group of other tourists. A vacation package is usually considered a combination of flights, transfers, hotels and car rentals. If you so desire, you may add on minor excursions that are usually with a group or guided.

Pricing

A tour is usually a really good deal. You get to stay in the nicer hotels of the areas, and in most situations, it is usually more than one hotel. All your transportation is included, such as to and from the airport and transportation to all the local sites and tours. All the attraction tickets are calculated into the price, so you will not have to pay entry fees to art museums or shows. There are additional tours and excursions that can be purchased, but usually at a reasonable price. Most tour packages will also include some meals. With your luxury travel vacation package, all that is included is the cost, fees and taxes of your air, hotel and car rental. Sometimes there are special availability of free breakfasts of a city tour, but this is not the norm.

Destination Studies and Personal Preference

So when does it benefit you to book a tour verses a vacation package? That really depends on the destination and your personal preferences. If you are planning to vacation in a place like Rome or Paris, there is so much to see and do that travelers are better off being escorted to the sites and having most of the entry fees included in your price. But if you wish to visit these cities to simply bask in the incredible ambience, and you don’t have an interest in touring the “big attractions”, then a luxury travel vacation package is for you. You would not want a guided tour of Jamaica or Hawaii. Chances are you just want to bask in the sun and relax. Consider where you are going and what you want to do on your vacation. For more information on luxury travel vacations visit http://www.amtvacations.com.

Now that you know the facts, the time has come to make a decision. Looking at the definitions, a tour and a luxury travel vacation package each offer something different. They are each priced a bit differently, and have different inclusions. So it comes down to you and where you are going. Chances are your travel agent can steer towards the best choice for your travel needs, but now you know why and you can make the decision for yourself.

How to save money while visiting Rome – Part 2

Rome may be famously expensive, especially now given the ever increasing value of the Euro, but with a bit of forward planning, careful budgeting and good old common sense you don’t need to break the bank to enjoy the eternal city. Want to live the Dolce Vita on a shoe-string? It can be done, and here’s how!

Travel – Getting there: Arriving in Italy by plane is definitely the cheapest way to travel since the explosion of low cost airlines. As a regular commuter between Rome and London, UK, I’ve found that Ryanair offer the cheapest flights, along with BMIbaby (summer-time only. Seat numbers provided). Easyjet come a close second. Although none of these airlines offer luxury travel, and often depart long before any of us would like to be out of bed, they’re streets ahead on price. However, with a bit of forward planning some low cost British Airways flights are also up for grabs by the lucky few. Prices start from 50 including taxes Gatwick/Heathrow – Rome and the travel experience is worth the money. The flights leave at convenient times, you have your own seat number (thereby avoiding the mad scramble seats of Ryanair flights) and even get fed on-board. Ciampino and Fiumicino are Rome’s main airports but, being the capital, taxes are much higher than in other regional airports. Italian trains are pretty cheap by Eurpoean standards, especially if you avoid the Eurostar and go for the slower Regional or Intercity. It can, therefore, be cheaper to fly into another airport (Pisa, Parma or Bologna are good options) and take the train south. If you are short on cash but long on time, take a train from the north, sit back on enjoy the view. If you are coming from the States, check if a flight to London or Paris, plus a budget airline transfer, isn’t cheaper than a direct flight. You might be pleasantly suprised.

Travel – Getting around: All travel information for Rome can be found at www.atac.roma.it (Italian only) Day (4euro) 3 day (11 euro) and week (16 euro) tickets are available, from tabacconists or ticket machines in metro stations, which give unlimited travel on the metro, bus and trams in Rome. If you’re planning a long stay in Italy and are under 26, get a green card. Available at any train station, this card gives you 25% discount on most rail travel. See www.trenitalia.it (available in English) for more details. If you plan a day trip outside Rome take a regional train not the high speed Eurostar -