Of course I was not the one who was paying for any of this, so it not like I was going to complain about how much money got spent. I mean this was a really over the top bachelor party. I know that a lot of this guy’s friends are rich and apparently a number of them chipped in until they had a lot of money together. They found this Toronto party bus rental place and got three of those things for the night. The first thing that they did was to go from one club to the next, we did a lot of drinking and of course this is the sort of club where they have adult entertainment. I must admit that I was really impressed by the quality of the entertainers. That is not something you could call me an expert in. What is really the point of staring at a girl when that is the only thing that you can do. Continue reading “I Went to a Bachelor Party”
We have been working on this for a week, but of course we have competing pressures from different parts of the family. I was working on something else the other day when I realized that the mother of the bride wanted me to look into the cost of Toronto party bus rentals for the wedding reception. I was not really sure what the reasoning behind that was, but when I talked to her she was talking about the fact that they were going to serve alcohol and that they did not want to have people driving away from the reception drunk. Continue reading “Working As a Wedding Planner”
When I was in high school I was a total band geek, frizzy hair, braces, the whole nine yards. I definitely was a late bloomer and I sure bloomed in college. I decided that if I ever got the chance to show the people in my home town how much I had changed I would. This silly plan included getting all dolled up and going to a professional stylist and I planned on getting one of those fancy Diamond limo party bus rentals. As the years have gone by though, I care less and less about what people think so I hadn’t planned on doing anything like that any time soon. Continue reading “You Can Go Home Again”
In anticipation of the mad dash of parents trying to make their children’s night a perfect one, I prepared for my daughter’s prom early. I helped her pick out a dress, rent a limo, and even booked a hair salon appointment months in advance. Everything was set, until one thing happened that threw the entire plan out of place. The limo company had been shut down by the government because of illegal business practices. This happened days before the prom, so I scrambled to find a replacement limo, and stumbled upon http://paradisetorontolimo.ca, where I rented a new limo.
I guess no matter how much you prepare for something, there is still a chance that something can go wrong, so it’s best to have a backup plan. Continue reading “One Hitch in the Preparation”
As a travel guru for many years now, I have seen the travel industry wire adapt in so many ways. As you already know, we now live in a world with instant and infinite amounts of information, right at our fingertips. Like everything else, the travel industry has adapted, grown and cultivated a new identity with our present day world of information. Until beaches start disappearing and people can be teleported across continents, there will ALWAYS be the want and need to visit our regular and new destinations.
The travel industry plays a substantial role in the global economy. During 2015, the travel industry wire forecasts global GDP to grow by 3.7% and employment by 2.6%. This demonstrates the sector’s enduring ability to generate economic growth and create jobs at a faster rate than the global economy, which is due to grow by 2.9% in 2015. By the end of 2015, the Travel & Tourism sector will contribute US$7,860 billion, 10% of global GDP, once all direct, indirect and induced impacts are taken into account. The sector will account for 284 million jobs, 9.5% of total employment, or one in eleven of all jobs on the planet. By 2025, the global travel & tourism sector is projected to contribute 357 million jobs and generate $11.4 Trillion dollars. Ask your favorite travel guru and he will show you the various components all contributing to these massive amounts. Let’s check out what the travel industry wire says:
Among all the sub sectors of the travel & tourism industry, Hotels is one of the biggest fragments. The travel industry wire explains that hotels generated a global of $457 billion dollars in 2014. Your travel guru has most likely coordinated a recent trip within the Intercontinental Hotels Group. The company contributed the highest revenues, earning $22.8 billion dollars. In the United States alone, the total revenue within the hotel industry climbed to $163 billion dollars. The majority of tourists visiting the United States of America (65.1%) choose to stay in a hotel, where the average daily is a healthy $121.30.
Although the major corporations, leading sector, seem to always changing names and planes, the industry cultivated a whopping $783 billion US dollars in 2014. Your travel guru may have whispered about some of the airlines not performing, but the industry continues to grow at rate of 7.4% every year. The travel industry wire indicates that Europeans, Americans, Chinese & Brazilians combine for the highest market contributors.
Cruises have steadily become a popular choice of travel the past few years. These are an easy sell for your local travel guru… The luxurious ocean liners, offering food, fun & music for the entire family have created a loyal gathering that continues to grow. Due to the growth rate of 6.55% every year, Cruise lines have postured their company growth strategies, by building larger capacity ships, ship diversification, more local ports and more destinations. The travel industry wire indicates that the average cruise traveler spends approximately $1728.00 every year, with over 22 million people jumping on the floating palace. The cruise industry contributes about $39.6 billion dollars in 2014, and is poised for a solid 6-7% increase.
Online Travel Market
Any travel guru, coupled with the travel industry wire statistics, will tell you that the online travel industry has EXPLODED over the past 5 years and will only continue to skyrocket. As more and more people use smartphones and as these smartphones continue to develop into personal super computers, the more information we have, the more we want. Online travel revenue reached $340 billion dollars back in 2011, worldwide and 39% consisted of American bookings. Obviously, the deluge of data & information has contributed to the online travel industry, but hotels and hotel broker websites have been the main proponents to this boom. As everything turns to online information, bookings, etc… the travel agencies, travel gurus and everyone associated with the industry has jumped in. Rarely do you see a corporation dependent on the travel & tourism industry, that hasn’t adapted to the online market.
Traveling… ahh yes, doesn’t EVERYONE LOVE TO TRAVEL? Well, I know, I know… the pains of connecting flights, delays, cancellations, dragging luggage a mile across terminals… the hassle of renting cars, fighting traffic in a foreign country (and figuring out which side of the road to drive) and trying to figure out what the guy is telling you when all’s you asked was “where is the bathroom?”… Aside from all of that, is it not the greatest feeling when you can step away from the normal routine, take a few deep breaths and realize you have nothing to do but sit on the beach… your hardest decision is if you’re going to have steak or lobster that night… and your biggest worry is if you have enough sun screen? That’s what traveling is all about… when it transposes us from our everyday lives and places us in a completely new culture… seeing, breathing, eating and dancing to what people 10,000 miles away from you are doing and thinking to yourself “this is the kind of stuff you see on TV”. That’s when it’s all worth it… that’s why traveling is so amazing.
But, one of – if not “THE” – biggest obstacles in traveling is that little green piece (or many pieces) of paper called MONEY. Whether you’re trying to visit a friend in Dallas or take your wife to Bora-Bora, it all costs Money-and a lot of it. The days of those Southwest “$49.00” fares are long gone and even the little weekend getaways whack a dent in your pocket book. There are definitely ways to shave off a few dollars here and there, but no matter how you slice it, traveling is expensive. Not everyone has a cush, 6 or 7 figure salary that allows them to take off 6 day weekends or weeks at a time to party in Ibiza. So, is there really a way to travel-and I mean really travel-and either get paid or travel for “free”??
The travel industry is an $8 TRILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY. Yes, you read that right… that’s Trillion with a capital “T”. So, other than the hotels, airlines and luggage manufacturers, how can you get involved?
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can earn a living, traveling across the world:
Flight Attendant: This is actually a great way to visit a LOT of places-FAST. The average flight attendant makes $37,000.00 a year, with the higher level salaries hovering in the $75,000.00-$90,000.00 range. It’s definitely an advantage if you know more than one (1) language. Flight attendants receive a daily per Diem for meals, along with flexible work schedules, discounts on flights, hotels and travel expenses for vacation. The downside is that when you are working, the flight schedule can be grueling-traveling to multiple cities in a 12, 18 or 24 hour time frame. When you finally stop to rest, the urge to go sight-seeing or check out the city, is traded out with the simple need to sleep in a bed. Oh yea, I forgot to mention… have you ever NOT seen a few angry, annoyed or upset people on your plane? Yep, be prepared to deal with those rude customers during your 12-24 hour shift!
Commercial Airline Pilot: Same deal with flight attendants, in terms of work schedule, but the pay is much better-depending on the size of the jet and company, you can be making $121,000.00 a year. If you want to go to flight school, pass your minimum 250 hours of flight experience, go for it! Just make sure you have perfect vision and hearing. Again, if you want to make this a career, you will visit cities all over the country (and the world), but be prepared to deal with thousands of customers, weather and equipment problems, grueling schedules and the stress that comes along with the responsibility of flying so many people to different places.
Travel Agent: As you may already know, travel agents know all about the best places to visit. They are the middle men between the hotels, airlines, tourism bureaus and the travelers. More than likely, they have an opportunity to visit some of these places so they can see everything for themselves-that’s a pretty sweet perk, eh? Typical salaries are anywhere from $25,000.00 to $35,000.00 and most likely be required to enroll in some sort of training, typically with the Travel Institute.
Freelance Writer or Photographer: What a cool job this would be… traveling all over the world… spending your time with various cultures, observing how the people communicate, eat, sleep and worship. You truly are “free”, relaying what you see and experience to the people sitting on their couch, thousands of miles away. Only catch… well, it’s that one thing we talked about a little earlier: MONEY. Obviously, you are not going to get paid before you get to these places, so be sure to plan this out a little bit, stock up some green in your checking account and pick up some pointers on how to express yourself with the pen & paper or with the camera. Try to develop some sort of “following” so you have a good base of people reading and viewing your content. Do not try to fly to India with a thousand bucks and an iPad, expecting to start a travel blog that generates cash, allowing you to wander the world for the next few years. You might as well go to your nearest casino and play blackjack. If you can pull of this occupation (and to those that currently do this), I tip my hat to you-great work!
Okay, now that we have gone over a few of the travel “jobs”, you may be saying, “well, I like my job right now and don’t really feel like dealing with all of those people and flying across the country 6 times, only to sleep in Des Moines for the night.” If you’re in between jobs, just out of school or simply want to take a “sabbatical”, why don’t you consider these routes in traveling the world:
You Speak English?: Speaking English can provide access to countries in all places across the globe. Some companies offer free room & board in exchange for you to help their employees enhance their English speaking skills and knowledge. There are also programs you can find on the web that well set you up with a certain country and company in order to train their people English. Now that you have your room & board covered, now we just need to figure out how we can pay for food and drink…
Start Giving Back: Feeling charitable or want to help others? Why not look to jump on a church mission trip, Habitat for Humanity-International, or if you can take off more time, join the Peace Corps? Obviously, this is not going to be as glamorous as sailing the Mediterranean, island hoping the Greek Isles, but if you want to feel good about helping out people less fortunate-and work hard-pack your bags and sign up for a volunteer opportunity. You will definitely see some places without paved roads, running water and people simply looking for a roof over their head. Giving the less fortunate the simple things we take for granted: food, clothing and shelter, will give you new sense of gratitude, after completing one of these tours.
All of these ways to travel are great and all, but how many people have the opportunity to take off extended amounts of time or have the nerve to just walk away from their job and become a commercial pilot or join the Peace Corps? Everyone has a job because it pays the bills and gives us financial security. I don’t know about you, but I am responsible for my wife and three(3) children, thus taking the plunge on the “unknown” is absolutely NOT realistic.
So, back to the original question above… How can you realistically travel for free? And when I say, “travel”, I mean, really travel… That means taking a care-free vacation… not having to worry about if you can afford to leave the resort for dinner that night, or buy those extra pair of sunglasses… Care-free travel means doing what you want, when you want and not worrying about the bill when you get back home. Let’s break down a few ways in which we really can travel for free (or as close to it as we can get)… or even better: GET PAID TO TRAVEL!
Use Those Points!: You know, I always knew I was going to be thankful for all that money I spent on my credit card. Now that I racked up all that debt, I also racked up all those points! Points I can use towards booking a new flight or maybe pay for my stay at the Bellagio in Vegas… where I can blow even more money!… I’m kidding!… kind of. Whenever you are looking to obtain a new credit card, choose the card that offers the most, when used. Compare the interest rate for charges and cash advances, the annual fees and also the credit card that provides the best rewards. If you fly a certain airline, be sure to input your frequent flyer number to gather those miles. Use travel sites that allow you to accrue points when you purchase flights, hotels, cruises and rental cars. You’re paying for this stuff anyways, so why not try and earn a little more for the next time you want to take a trip?
Vacation Packages through a Resort or Company: Very similar to a travel agent, only you are selling pre-packaged vacations at a discount to consumers. Instead of creating a customized travel package based on what and where the customer likes, you are selling a pre-packaged stay at a specific resort or hotel/resort/meal itinerary. They come in all shapes and sizes… and they can be dirt cheap (think: hotel next to Senor Frogs-Cancun during Spring Break), or the Rolls Royce type of trip. Depending on the type of company or resort, there are many perks with the access to all of their locations, with commission schedules pretty generous. There are limitations on the demographic of the clientele and if you are representative a company or resort with mediocre selections-and reviews-then it may put you in a rock in a hard place.
Direct Selling with a Travel Company: With this, you really do have the opportunity for the best of both worlds-traveling the world on the cheap (or in some cases, for FREE!) and making money. Typically, people that get involved in this industry already have a full time job and are looking for a better, cheaper way to travel and an additional source of income. It can be extremely lucrative, in terms of creating wealth and a residual income, but a lot of the members simply take advantage of the fact they can generate a few extra dollars every month and access to the premium resorts at wholesale pricing. The direct-sell companies in the travel industry offer 5 star packaged vacations at 2 Star pricing, as well as access to their trip planning website that works like an Expedia or Travelocity. Also, confirm there are ways you can accrue points, when you buy flights, vacations, or even their travel mall, so you can use those points for a free trip. Bottom line: do your research… choose a company that has a great reputation and make sure you have a good support system… thousands of people are catching on to these companies and are really capitalizing on the residual income and extremely low cost of travel.
There are really as many type of travellers as there are people. Here we take a tongue in cheek look at some of the common types.
1. The Complete Budget Traveler
The complete budget traveler travels on a strict budget and does not vary from it, no matter how exciting the recently discovered opportunity is. No extra drinks for this traveller unless someone buys him/her one.
2. The Perennial Party Animal
The perennial party animal has one focus and that is to have fun usually at a bar. These travellers find places to party where others cannot. Perhaps they should be partnered with the complete budget traveler!
3. The Flexible Go-anywhere Traveler
The flexible go-anywhere traveler just chills out where-ever he/she is. There is no need for planning – everything is good. They go with the flow and to not need to know where they are going. Perhaps the traveller that enjoys any experience.
4. The Methodical Planner
The methodical planner does not do anything that is not pre-arranged. Every second is planned and when things go wrong as they inevitably do, they feel unloved. They will always be found where ever the plan tells them to be.
5. The Modern Techie
The modern techie can only travel if he/she has the latest travel accessories and gadgets. Stay close to the modern techie to learn what items works and what items are a waste of money for your next trip.
6. The Avid Souvenir Buyer
The avid souvenir buyer has money to spend and anything that he/she wants to remind them of the holiday. The head for the markets and shops and not interested in spending any time with the perennial party animal. Usually has trouble with baggage weight limits on the homeward journey.
7. The Know it All Traveler
The know it all traveler studies everything from the guidebooks and internet prior to travel. He/she finds great joy in asking the most in-depth questions of the guides or continually interrupts the guide with statements of “fact”. Not sure who the know it all traveller should travel with.
8. The Fancy Photographer
The fancy photography will probably have the most expensive camera (and don’t forget the lens) and take the longest to take any photograph. Other travellers are always waiting for him/her at any special sight. They also like to get out very early to “catch the light.”
9. The Constant Complainer
The constant complainer finds everything on the tour not to his/her usual standard. Usually claim to be frequent travellers and often want to “talk with a higher authority”. Probably should stay home and enjoy the things that are there!
10. The Helpless Traveler
The helpless traveler finds everything a little too much. He/she will ask the most unusual and often useless questions. Often there will be someone on the tour who takes the helpless traveller under their wings to protect them from the others.
11. The “I am looking for myself” Traveler
The “I am looking for myself” traveler is searching for something. It is something unique for each or the “I am looking for myself” travellers. Beat to let them find themselves but make sure that they get about safely.
12. The Incessant Talking Traveler
The incessant talking traveler does not leave anyone alone. They crave a discussion on almost any topic. Often they are quite interesting people but enough is enough.
13. The Travel Light Traveler
The travel light traveler needs only one cabin bag to see the world. They a proud of their achievement but their travelling companions struggle when there is no time for washing clothes. They tend to like to borrow things.
14. The Repeating Traveler
The repeating traveler goes to the same place or holiday each year. He/she can provide at least 101 reasons why you should join them. They take pride in telling you that they have seen three management changes at the hotel and the last manager was better than the current one.
15. The Exercising Traveler
Finally, the exercising traveler rises every morning to a vigorous physical workout. Only stay at hotels with gymnasium and swimming pool. Usually fussy with food and claim to eat “healthy” until the free wine is put on the table.
Whatever type of traveler you are or come into contact with – enjoy the experience and learn from them. Even the most tedious travelers will have something interesting to say.
According to Project: Time Off, 40% of Americans don’t use all of their allotted vacation days. Many people don’t even think about their travel options until they have made the decision to take time off and go somewhere. In many cases this is not very far in advance and can be stressful to plan.
There are so many ways to book travel today with hundreds of travel websites, travel clubs, and discount travel companies out there. Travel is something that everyone loves to do if done the right way. Planning travel and creating great experiences make travel so much more relaxing and allows for the recharge that everyone needs.
Let’s look at a couple travel options that many people have heard about: Travel Clubs and Timeshare Ownership. Both offer many different options when planning travel, but these are the two ways of traveling that are the most controversial. Many people love these options and many hate them.
Travel clubs offer a unique traveling experience much like a timeshare; however you pay a fee to receive a specific number of points to use for travel within their network of resorts and destinations all over the world. This membership allows you and your family to use the points in a given time or accumulate those points over time to cash them in at a later date for travel with a larger group.
Other travel clubs offer discounted travel options where you pay a monthly membership fee and in turn you receive discounted rates for trips that are already planned out. All you do as a member is book the trip and pay. In some cases travel to the destination is on your own, but the information is outlined in each trip description.
With some travel clubs there are options for customers who are already members to make money and receive commissions for every person who signs up under them in the travel club program. This is a type of network marketing program where many people have made money or received free travel while others have made nothing and feel they have lost money. Network marketing is a legitimate form of business, but it is not for everyone. It is not a get rich quick program.
Not everyone has the skills for corporate event planning in NYC. It takes persistence, dedication and knowledge to organize a summer event that participants will truly enjoy. Although event planners generally have help, they are still in charge of putting all the party puzzle pieces together. This is not always an easy task, especially when assigned helpers have little imagination. If that happens, the summer event organizers will have to rely on their past experiences and tips, such as these:
1. Know your budget – The amount of money you have at your disposal for your corporate event planning in NYC will largely determine what kind of summer event you can organize. Will you have enough to hire an entertainer and rent a tent, or will you have to settle for a potluck picnic in the park?
2. Know your guests – Planning a summer event for children will be different than festivities for adults. There is also a huge difference between a celebration that includes entire families, and one attended by company executives. Be smart, and ask your audience what they enjoy the most.
3. Find the perfect location – Keep note of the information employees have provided. If many live on one side of New York City, do not plan your corporate bash on the other side. If you do, few people will show up. The event location should be easy to find and have ample parking – always provide maps and driving instructions.
4. Do not forget the details – Experts in corporate event planning in NYC know how important details are. When you rent a tent, you will also need seating, tables, a stage, a dance floor, lighting, and a bunch of other accessories. Do not forget the ceiling fans as temperatures can rise quite high during the summer.
5. Drinks and food – Plan your refreshments, snacks and meals well. Offer lost of choices so everyone will find something they like.
A backpacking holiday can be a great way of seeing the world but although it’s a fairly spontaneous way of travelling, it’s one that really benefits from thorough preparation. Here are a few things to think about before you set off on your adventure:
Travel insurance is a must for this kind of undertaking yet the ad-hoc nature of a backpacking holiday means that most standard policies aren’t really applicable. Luckily, many insurance providers cater for this kind of extended sojourn and offer some sort of annual backpackers policy, which will cover you for a wider variety of circumstances and for a longer period than your average policy. Having the option to extend your policy or make claims whilst you’re still on the road, or to be insured for a wide variety of locations and activities can often be essential for a backpacker. Research your options thoroughly before you decide but make sure that you have some form of cover; no one wants to have their journey of a lifetime brought down by a stolen bag or a broken leg, especially when they’re hundreds if not thousands of miles from home.
Round the World or DIY flights
An important factor in choosing your insurance policy is planning where you’re going to go on your travels. If you plan on going around the world, then you may better off buying a Round the World ticket – a plane ticket that will allow you to travel to and from different countries without needing to make separate arrangements. This kind of ticket can often save money in the long run and has the benefit of providing an overall plan for your journey, without tying you down to specific destinations and deadlines.
Of course alternatively you can Do-it-Yourself and book your flights independently. Whilst this does give you a huge amount of freedom in choosing who you travel with and where you go, the disadvantages include uncertain costs, a lot more planning and organisation and a lack of certainty on how things will pan out when you need them to.
Travelling under your own steam often costs less initially than a conventional holiday but it also requires you to take a fair supply of money with you to cover the inevitable expenses of accommodation, food and other such essentials. You probably won’t know exactly where you’re staying or what you’ll be doing in advance, which may be an important part of the appeal but also means that you need to work out the best way of making sure you can access funds in a pinch.
Taking large amounts of cash is obviously a risky strategy and it’s probably not all that useful anyway if you plan on visiting several different countries. Instead, you should try and keep the cash that you carry down to about what you think you’ll need in a week – and you should always make sure that you keep some back for emergency situations.
The safest way of accessing and carrying your funds is through an ATM or a bank – but keep in mind that if you’re going way off-track, you won’t be able to reach them. You should also make sure that you won’t pay excessive costs or exchange rates if you access your account overseas. It’s also a good idea to take a few traveller’s cheques as a backup to ATM; although they have their drawbacks, if you lose your card then they can be an essential way of getting money in a foreign land.