Adventure specialist Tucan Travel is taking up to 30 per cent off the cost of select group tours to Africa, for trips booked by May 29 with departures by Sept. 30. Several itineraries are included in the sale, like the 16-day ‘Gorillas Game’ visiting the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and the mountain gorillas in Uganda’s Bwindi forests, and the 10-day ‘Kruger to Victoria Falls’, journeying across South Africa, Zambia and Botswana with time at Kruger and Chobe National Park. Accommodation is a mix of camp sites and hotels, with travel via fully-equipped and custom-designed expedition vehicles. See tucantravel.com.
Though the rate of inflation is unusually low, the desire of overseas hoteliers to wallop the summer vacationer has never been stronger. Today, an eight- to 10-day packaged vacation in Europe, or Central and South America, will cost you more than $1,000 per person, and won’t even include airfare for getting there. That having been said, there still are comparative bargains out there.
The Better Business Bureau serving Nebraska, South Dakota, The Kansas Plains and SW Iowa has issued an ALERT warning consumers about Omaha Travel, an Internet travel promotion company claiming to be located in Omaha, Nebraska and offering low price travel packages online.
BBB investigators have determined that the addresses the firm claims to have in Omaha are phony. Consumer complaints received by BBB reveal that Omaha Travels actual delivery of services is highly questionable and refunds requested by consumers have not been paid. The company has failed to respond to BBB’s request to identify its location, and they have refused to explain why they are falsely claiming to be a BBB Accredited Business.
The BBB reported customer complaints and its findings to the company at the email address the company uses in soliciting business by sending faxes to employers presenting attractive travel offers and directing consumers to its web site at omaha-travel.com. In response to the BBB, the company blamed consumers for failing to follow its procedures, offered no refunds, and refused to identify the operators of the business.
The BBB urges consumers to avoid the risk of doing business online when a physical address cannot be verified and to report complaints about Omaha Travel to the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org – where unresolved complaints will be reported to federal law enforcement authorities.
According to BBBs experience with travel offers, some bogus promoters have been known to take consumers’ money, without providing the travel or trip that was promised. Others advertise rock-bottom prices, but hide certain fees until the deal is sealed. Some promise luxurious accommodations and services, but deliver far less while some don’t reveal that the deal includes an obligation to sit through a timeshare pitch at the destination. Finally, there are promoters who guarantee consumers that they can get a full refund if they decide to cancel the trip, but fail to make good on their promise, stated BBB President and CEO Jim Hegarty.
If you are tempted to respond to a travel solicitation, the BBB recommends that you look for the following:
1. Heavily discounted offers – If the offer is significantly lower than the regular price of travel and sounds too good to be true it probably is. Be sure to shop around to evaluate prices from several companies.
2. Policy changes – A company that will not accept credit card payments is preventing your best avenue of recourse should the company not fulfill their obligations; forcing you to pay by cash, debit card, check or wire transfer instead virtually eliminates your chances of canceling the transaction or obtaining a refund.
3. “One call, one chance” – On the initial phone call, some high-pressure sales companies will put a deadline on their offer to try and get you to commit on the spot, saying that the offer will expire if you do not buy right away.
4. Hidden costs – Does a bargain travel package include all costs associated with the trip, i.e., ground transportation, lodging, meals, port fees, taxes, peak season price increases, and gratuities?
5. False bookings. Before traveling, confirm all arrangements yourself with the airline, cruise line, and/or hotel. Even though you have paid for the trip in full, its possible that your actual reservations dont exist.
6. Use the BBB – Check with the BBB first at bbb.org before signing a contract or making a payment. A companys Business Review will show their BBB grade, complaint history and contact information.
Guests will receive free drinks at the resort’s restaurants and bars when they upgrade their stay
(PRWEB) May 16, 2013
Brisbane, QLD: Shout yourself to a holiday in Mauritius and get all your drinks for free, with a special birthday deal until May 31.
Flight Centre is celebrating Beachcomber Tours‘ 18th birthday by offering travellers a range of $18 deals at selected 4-star and 5-star Beachcomber resorts in Mauritius.
Guests will receive free drinks at the resort’s restaurants and bars, when they upgrade their stay from a half-board to a full-board package, from an extra $18 per person per night.
Other $18 offers include an upgrade to private car return airport transfers, a late 6pm checkout; or a half-day city tour.
Six-night packages at Le Mauricia start from $999* per person for half-board and from $1107* per person for full-board.
Half-board price includes six nights accommodation in a Standard Room, hot English and buffet breakfast daily, dinner daily at a choice of restaurants, land and water sports, nightly entertainment and a travel wallet .
Full-board price includes all of the above inclusions, plus lunch daily, snacks, sandwiches and drinks.
All $18 offers are available to book at Flight Centre stores nationally until May 31, 2013.
Prices are valid for travel between June 1 and October 8, 2013.
For bookings and details, phone Flight Centre on 1300 939 414 or see http://www.flightcentre.com.au
About Flight Centre:
Flight Centre Limited is Australasia’s best known travel agency group and now boasts more than 2,000 leisure, corporate and wholesale businesses in 11 countries. The company, through its retail and corporate brands, provides a complete travel service for leisure and business travelers in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Hong Kong, India, China, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. In addition, the company’s corporate travel management network, FCm Travel Solutions, extends to more than 70 other countries through strategic licensing agreements with independent local operators. Internationally, the company employs more than 13,000 consultants and support staff.
Hoping to woo travellers away from their usual all-inclusive destinations, the new “Barbados Island Inclusive” promotion from the Barbados Tourism Authority comes with $150 – $200 (all prices U.S.) in vouchers, per person, for use at 30 restaurants and attractions across the island. A five night minimum stay gets you $150, per person, while seven nights or more is good for $200, per person, distributed in the form of $50 vouchers at check-in and based on a maximum of two people per room. Companies taking part in the deal include Aerial Trek Zipline Adventure, the Barbados Golf Club and Oistin’s Fish Fry. Car rentals are available too. The colourful Crop Over Festival also has begun in Barbados, with events throughout the summer. Trips must be booked by June 22 for travel through Dec. 21. See visitbarbados.org/islandinclusive .
This follows on from the recent announcement of the launch of the group’s Dubai office, its first outside of the Kingdom, which marked the start of Hanco’s strategic expansion into the GCC, with a further five office openings scheduled for 2013.
The new strategic alliances cover operations in both Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with an agreements signed between Hanco and Jeddah based Haj and Umrah tour operator Mamlakat Al-Asfar Travel Tourism; Qasswa Travel Tourism Company, also in Jeddah; and the UAE‘s Lama Group of Companies.
“In taking our successful business model into neighbouring markets, as well as capitalising on new opportunities within the Kingdom, we are delighted to be providing renowned Hanco service and fleet capability solutions to some of the region’s leading tour operators and Haj and Umrah specialists. This trio of signings is another step in our strategic journey, taking Hanco to new markets and developing our reputation as a market leader,” said Hamad Al-Sulaiman, CEO Managing Director, Hanco.
All three agreements cover the provision of both self-drive and chauffeur vehicles.
Hanco currently offers fleet management, Hajj and Umrah services, equipment rental and logistics support in Saudi Arabia, while rental, operating lease, limousine and bus transportation services are part of both its KSA operation and new UAE presence.
Here are some interesting travel deals to pass our desks in the past week:
BUY A ROCKY MOUNTAINEER PACKAGE AND GET A FREE UPGRADE
Rocky Mountaineer is offering guests a free Upgrade from now until June 28, on qualifying holiday package tours of four nights or more for select departure dates in 2013.
Upon booking, guests receive a complimentary rail seat upgrade. RedLeaf Service bookings are promoted to SilverLeaf Service, while bookings made in SilverLeaf Service are upgraded to GoldLeaf Service. Guests who book in GoldLeaf Service receive a $400 credit towards the package price.
One of the applicable holiday packages is the Western Explorer, which travels between Vancouver and the Rocky Mountains. The eight-day/seven-night journey includes two days onboard the Rocky Mountaineer and stays in popular destinations, such as Vancouver, Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff and Calgary.
The upgrade offer must be requested at time of booking and is only available on select dates and based on availability. For the rest of the fine print, visit rockymountaineer.com.
BEST WESTERN ENTICES TRAVELLERS WITH $50 TRAVEL CARD
Best Western’s Jumpstart to Summer promotion allows travellers to earn a $50 travel card to use during their summer vacation.
To claim the card, guests must be registered members of Best Western’s Rewards program and spend three nights at any Best Western between now and June 9, 2013.
The stays don’t have to be consecutive at one hotel, but can be combined over a period of time at differnet properties.
Complete details can be found at http://www.bestwestern.com/rewards/offers/jump13-faq.pdf.
SUMMER SAVINGS MAKE PARADISE ISLAND STAY MORE AFFORDABLE
Seasonal special offers make it easier than ever to plan a family-friendly trip to Atlantis, Paradise Island in The Bahamas this year.
Available for booking until May 31, and valid for travel between June 20 and August 19, 2013, the summer special rates start from $219 U.S. per night, and includes a complementary Atlantis Kids Fun Pass ($350 U.S. value).
For fall getaways, rates start from $99 U.S. per night, for travel between August 20 and November 3, 2013. Airfare credits up to $300 U.S. are also applicable and a Taste of Atlantis pass is included.
These rates are per person per night, based on quad occupancy for two adults and two children 7-11 years of age for rooms in the Beach Tower Terrace standard room. A two-night minimum stay is required. Also add mandatory taxes, levies, fees, service charges and gratuities from $94 per night.
For all the details, visit www.atlantis.com.
SAVE 30% ON YOUR TGV PASS WHEN YOU VISIT FRANCE
Rail Europe Inc., the largest distributor of European rail products in North America, is offering travellers the opportunity to speed across France for less this summer aboard on one of the fastest trains in the world.
Travellers can enjoy 30% off TGV Premier Tickets between now and June 10 by entering the coupon code FAST30 during checkout online at http://www.raileurope.ca/european-trains/tgv/index.html.
Bookings made online include a choice of meal options while on board.
TGV Premier Tickets also offer travellers the opportunity to relax while waiting for trains in one of 10 TGV lounges called Salons Grand Voyageur. The TGV lounges are available to travellers in select train stations including: Bordeaux St. Jean, Djon, Lille Flandres, Lyon Part-Dieu, Marseille St. Charles, Nantes, Paris Est, Paris-Gare de Lyon, Paris Nord, Paris Montparnasse and Strasbourg train station.
Prices begin at $101 for TGV Premier Tickets.
Bookings can be made by visiting Rail Europe’s website at raileurope.ca or by calling Rail Europe’s contact center.
The offer is limited to the first 400 bookings (each with a minimum value of $350), or until the promotion’s end date of on June 10, 2013, whichever comes first.
Bookings of TGV train tickets to destinations outside of France are excluded from this offer.
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Summer vacations hold a special appeal to me, harking back to the excitement heralded by the final bell on the last day of the school year, so many years ago.
But now that I’m grown up and have to do the leg-work to plan the trip, I’m often exhausted before I get out the door. The wealth of online resources dedicated to travel planning can make it hard for me to make a decision. How do I know when I’ve found the best use of my vacation dollars?
Over the next three weeks, we’ll explore some great online resources to simplify your travel planning (no, really!), as well as tips for how to make sure you get the best price and fewest headaches when booking travel online.
Before you dedicate a week to checking every travel deal site on the net, these consolidators scour the Web for the best deals so that you don’t have to.
When you don’t have a specific location or travel date set, using the Internet to find a good deal or a great resort can be particularly overwhelming. One way to get inspired: keep an eye on Travelzoo’s Weekly Top 20 (www.travelzoo.com/top20/ ). It’s a collection of the best deals from airlines, hotels, cruise lines and travel consolidators like Travelocity, Cheap Caribbean and many more. It sorts through all the travel deals posted to the Internet each week and then presents the “best of the best,” all in one place.
The drawback is that the best deals can sell out fast, so if you know you’ve found what you’re looking, for don’t delay. You can sign up for the Weekly Top 20 to be emailed to you when it’s released if you want to be sure not to miss out.
If you already know where you want to go, Kayak (www.kayak.com) does a quick search across hundreds of airline and travel agent options for your specific trip needs. You’re then presented with a list of results tailored to your specific trip that Kayak has filtered to put the best deals first. If you want to be sure that you have done a thorough scouring of the Internet, Kayak offers a one-click simultaneous search across competitor travel sites such as Expedia, Travelocity, Bookit and more, so you can compare the best offers all at once.
Planning to do Disney? Believe it or not, there are ways to save if you know the insider info. Check out Mousesavers (www.mousesavers.com) for a collection of the best deals on all things Disney. In addition to tips on how to get the best price on tickets, dining and special Disney experiences, discover where to book to get the best rates on hotels, what you can expect on Disney cruises, even what’s planned for upcoming park, resort and ship improvements.
Current discounts and promotions are highlighted on the front page and updated regularly — from how to get the most out of a Disney Visa card discount program to coupon codes and special offers that would otherwise be tough to ferret out. You’ll find up-to-date info about shows, freebies and tips to make the most of your trip, including how to spend less time in line and more time enjoying your trip.
Before you make plans to embark on a cruise, check out Cruise Critic (www.cruisecritic.com) for reviews of cruise lines (by editors and site users) and tips to help you decide the best cruise before you book. The “Deals” tab collects the top bargains by destination, cruise type or departure port. Explore the “How to Cruise” tab for detailed guides and expert advice on how to choose, book and finalize your trip, including things you need to know before you go and how to make the most of shore excursions. Find the best deals, including the best seasons to book by destination, and tips to ensure you set sail on the cruise that best fits your needs and style.
Finally, before you book, submit specific details of the trip you’re considering to Cruise Compete (www.cruisecompete.com) to give travel agents the opportunity to find you a better deal. Simply create an account, submit a request for a quote, and travel agents’ offers will be submitted online with no obligation and without revealing your contact info.
Stay tuned next week for easy ways to ensure you get the best price without sacrificing your sanity when using online resources to book your summer get away.
Nerd Chick Adventures is written by Andrea Eldridge and Heather Neal from Nerds on Call, an onsite computer and laptop repair company in Redding. They can be reached at email@example.com.
Stimulate the senses in India with art, entertainment and culinary delights — and do it with a discount.
Steal: Book the 12-day Oberoi Exotic India Summer Vacation with Geringer Global Travel and get up to 60% off nightly rack rates for travel through Sept. 30. The 12-day Oberoi vacation starts at $3,945 per person — and that amounts to less than $2,000 with the discount.
Experience: High tea with a local family in Agra, an elephant ride at Amber Fort, a Udaipur art gallery visit and discussion on contemporary art, a private boat ride on Lake Pichola and an exclusive tour of a Bollywood film studio.
Book it! Call 1-877-255-7438 or visit online at GeringerGlobalTravel.com.
Enjoy bottomless mimosa breakfasts and the Portola Pirates Kid program at the Portola Hotel Spa at Monterey Bay.
Deal: Book 20 days in advance and receive 20% off the best available rate, through Dec. 30. Rates are from $127.20 a night.
Summer deals are available at the American River Resort cabins.
Experience: Bike the scenic pathways to many of California’s world-famous attractions, like Del Monte Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row. There’s also shopping and fine dining in nearby Carmel by the Sea, Big Sur and Carmel Valley.
Book it! Phone 1-888-222-5851 or go online to portolahotel.com.
Fall asleep to the sound of the rushing river outside your cabin at American River Resort in Coloma, Calif.
Steal: Book a riverside cabin for four nights and get one night free. Plus, get discounts on additional resort activities. The cost is $599 for the complete package (normally $833). Also available: a deal with extra discounts on resort activities for those booking a cabin for two nights — $299 for the package (normally $430). Both deals are valid for weeknight bookings Sunday through Wednesday, through Sept. 15.
Experience: Originally a private getaway built by Sandra Luckman, daughter of George Burns and Gracie Allen. Enjoy the natural oak forest surroundings and challenge yourself to whitewater adventures on famous Troublemaker Rapids.
Visit nearby Marshall Gold Discovery State Park to try a little gold panning. Outdoor activities include hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking and historic Gold Country discoveries along the South Fork American River.
Book it! Call (530) 622-6700 or go online to visit americanriverresort.com.
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