Need to Know
How do I choose a cruise?
A while back, cruise lines used to have specific identities. Carnival was the line for younger partiers, Royal Caribbean was family oriented, Holland America catered to an older crowd. Recently those distinctions have changed. Instead, the individual ship, price, itinerary, time of year and departing port play into the deciding factors. Here are a few ideas for choosing your next (or first) cruise:
Pick an itinerary: The Caribbean and Alaska appeal to families. If you want more sightseeing in the ports than spending the time on the ship, choose the Mediterranean. River cruises have become popular because they offer expedition itineraries and usually attract an older, well-traveled clientele.
What’s your budget: Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Carnival are considered moderate lines. Holland America, Celebrity and Princess typically cost more. Luxury lines include Oceania, Seabourn, Silversea, Regent Seven Seas and Crystal.
Consider the group: The newest, biggest ships offer more kid-friendly activities. Couples who want fewer children onboard should cruises outside traditional school holidays.
I am a woman travelling alone. What do I need to know?
Gender should never be an obstacle to travel, but unfortunately some countries are not as welcoming to women as others. Always know where you are going. Research in advance safe neighborhoods and methods of travel. Choose a hotel in a lively area with a constant stream of people. Ask a hotel concierge for ride recommendations (cab or chauffeured ride). Always make sure that someone knows your general whereabouts. Wear plain clothes and follow local dress custom. Sign up for group tours.
I’ve never been to Europe, what do I do?
Try narrowing your trip down to 9-10 days and up to three cities. Don’t try to do too much. If you are a first-time traveler, try visiting countries where English is commonly spoken, such as England, Holland or Ireland. Check out escorted group tours.
Do I need a Passport to cruise?
It is important to be prepared so you can enjoy your trip with peace of mind. If it is determined by your cruiseline that you need a passport, you should apply early or make sure your current passport will be valid at least six months beyond your travel dates and has two or more blank pages. It is highly recommended you always bring your passport in case of an emergency, such as an unexpected medical air evacuation or the ship docking at an alternate port in an emergency. Check out the state gov’s website for more information.
Why do you need to turn off all your electronic devices before the airplane takes off and lands?
Four out of ten passengers disregard the warnings to turn off their devices. There is little evidence behind the claims that electromagnetic emissions from devices can interfere with airplane computers. The issue is still being debated, so for now go ahead and turn off your device.
When should I buy my airline ticket?
Book a ticket when you need it. Research suggests that if you buy your ticket when most people do – between one and four months before you fly – you’re more than likely able to find the lowest price. Fares tend to rise as you get closer to your departure date.
What are some common items savvy travelers bring with them?
Here are a just a few smart items to carry:
Power strip – ideal for keeping all your devices close
Photograph of your luggage and passport on your mobile device
How to travel more than 5 hours comfortably on an airplane.
- Be prepared
Request a special meal when you book your flight
Wear comfortable clothes
Set your watch to your destination time
Drink plenty of water
Stretch, stretch and stretch
Pack a kit in your carry-on (ear plugs, toothbrush, toothpaste, eye mask)
Watch entertainment on your mobile device
What’s one way to sleep on a plane?
Pack lavender oil. It’s so calming and it’s a great simple item to bring on your trip. A few drops on your travel pillow, on your wrists and temples will help you sleep.