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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands (USVI) Rental Villas

There are many ways to travel to St. Thomas. A great way to really see the island is to fly there and rent one of the St. Thomas Villas. Vacationing in a villa can be a really great experience.

Vacation villas can really be inexpensive for a group of couples. Villas range from $3000-$10000 per week but if you have a group of 8-10 it can be a very reasonable price for a top shelf luxury vacation. Most St Thomas condos have private pools, hot tubs and beautiful furnishings. They also have big gourmet kitchens, computers, wifi, beaches and more.

Villa rental can also be fantastic for families. They give you the room you need as well as the privacy. That's really the big advantage to consider, the privacy. You have your own home for 7 nights. No sharing anything with anyone. That's a great added bonus while on vacation.

You can also go food shopping and cook your own meals. This is a great way to save some money while on vacation. Going to dinner 6 nights in a week can be very expensive. So villa rental gives you the best of both worlds. Cook in when you want and go out to dinner a few nights. This works especially well for breakfast and lunch. Nothing beats a cheeseburger by your own private pool.

A second way to travel to the US Virgin Islands is to fly and stay at a hotel. This is a great option for a couple as the room rates are reasonable and villa rental can be expensive for only a couple. There is a wide variety of hotels in St Thomas, ranging from the very expensive to the very inexpensive. You may want to consider a property on a beach or on a hilltop depending on the style of vacation you'd like to take.

Hotels are nice if you like to meet and be surrounded by other people. It's very nice to make new friends while on vacation. Sometimes those new friendships can last a lifetime. The flip side to that is you may have to put up with a lot of screaming kids while on your relaxing vacation. Are you okay with little Johnny from Minnesota yelling that his sister took is toy?

Most vacation on cruise ships and stop in downtown. It's interesting to see the tourists pour off the cruise ships and rush to the t-shirt stands. They seem to love to buy a lot of "stuff".

St Thomas receives 2-7 cruise ships per day. So at any time there could be 7000-30000 people being offloaded into the total population of 50000. That's a lot to consider when traveling to St Thomas.

There is a lot of traffic in St Thomas. Locals have a hard time driving through downtown because of all the cruise ship passengers. Believe it or not it could potentially take you an hour from going back and forth across the island. That's a long drive for an island 4 miles wide by 10 miles long.

A cruise vacation to St. Thomas is a great way to go if you only want to see a few things in St Thomas but you'll certainly miss a lot of other great activities and culture.

Some of the sights to see in St Thomas is Magens Bay. This beach is consistently listed as one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. It's a mile long white sandy beach with lots of great trees for shade. It has one restaurant and bar and a lot of lifeguards. The water is always calm and flat which make it great for swimming. Locals go there every Sunday to celebrate with their friends and family. It is a great beach to visit.

Shopping is terrific on the island. You can get great deals on jewelry and clothing. Plus you won't have to pay any tax. That's great if you're buying an expensive piece of jewelry for sure. The booze on the island is very inexpensive as well. So stock up on your rum.

My favorite way to travel is to research St Thomas Villas and book one that meets my needs. Personally I think that having your own private place is the way to go. You get all the benefits of luxury without having to share it with hundreds of strangers. It's always a relaxing, quiet vacation that you control. Look around for the right house for your needs via the internet. There you can find all the options you want and budgets that you can afford.

About the Author

Villa Nicoletta is luxury St Thomas Villas.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Types and Features of the Yacht Charter Boat

When looking for a different spin on the family reunion or the perfect way to entertain co-workers on a business outing, yacht charters are a great way to plan a unique getaway. While the act of renting a yacht is often reserved for personal rendezvous' and family adventures, there are plenty of advantages to planning a corporate event through this relaxing method, such as creating strong ties with clients or strengthening employer-employee relationships.

Caribbean Yacht chartering involves the renting or chartering of a motor yacht or sailboat with the purpose of traveling about coastal or other island locations. Over the years, the act has become an increasingly popular method of seeing the world while enjoying a nice journey spread across calming water.

Two Different Kinds of Charter

When chartering a yacht, you should know there are two main types to consider - bareboat and crewed. With a bareboat charter, an individual or group rents a boat and then guides the trip on his or her own accord. For the less experienced, numerous bareboat companies provide the teaching of basic seaman skills that aids interested parties.

A crewed charter involves a yacht that already comes with a crew. Depending on your needs, this type of charter may provide the assistance of a duo (such as a husband-wife team) that serves as captain or may utilize the help of a several different crew members, such as a chef, engineer, deckhands, and possibly even a scuba dive expert.

Caribbean Yacht Charter Factors

After you have decided the purpose of your yacht charter, many different factors will affect the way you approach planning a trip. For some, there are limitations to how much money will be spent or the size of yacht needed. Smaller excursions work well with a boat measuring 35 to 40 feet, while larger parties need boats around 300 feet. The age and pedigree of a boat is important as well. Usually, a younger boat provides a stronger sense of safety.

Also, if you haven't decided yet, the most important part of planning a yacht charter is where you will go. The destination will also play a significant role as to what kinds of yacht charters will be available to accommodate your trip goals. Some people will spend up to $25,000 per person for a week on a luxury yacht charter, while others keep their budget below $1000.

How to Secure a Caribbean Yacht Charter

Most people looking to plan a vacation or outing by chartering a yacht usually have a specific destination already planted in their head. Some individuals may also base their trip on price or availability of charters, meaning they are limited to some of the locations they can visit. The world is filled with plenty of international opportunities to explore, including the heat of Mexico to the biting temperatures of Antarctica.

European travel are also quite popular, as Belgium, Poland, Finland, and France all offer yacht charter services. Islands, such as Barbados and Fiji welcome travelers with open arms, while old standbys, such as Canada provide intriguing voyages as well.. Additional destinations to consider include Madagascar, Argentina, Australia, Slovenia, and the Dominican Republic.

Finding suitable yacht charter companies are quite easy. While many people rely on travel agents to point them in the right direction, there are tons of options decorating the Internet with ample details on some of the most popular yacht charters.

Let's say you are interested in yacht charters offered in the Guadaloupe area. Completing a specific search for the destination or searching a database situated on a yacht charter-related website should reveal that there are several different companies scattered about the archipelago. Currently, the most yacht charters are offered in St. Martin with more than ten choices.

For instance, the Northern Child Swan Yacht Charter promotes corporate events, cruising and racing charters throughout the United Kingdom during the summer season and about the Caribbean when the winter months arrive. This particular selection features the assistance of two professional crew members, a skipper and a captain. Luxury boats are also popular, as they are known to accommodate wedding receptions or take honeymooning couples off into the sunset. In St. Martin, Sunreef Yachts provides these kind of custom-made beauties.

To experience the delight of chartering a yacht, planning ahead of time also helps to secure the best deals and make sure you have ample time to make proper travel arrangements if enjoying an international adventure. It is also wise to keep your eye out for changing weather reports - you want to make sure you don't charter a yacht during a time where possible storms, hurricanes, and such will strike.

About the Author

Read about the latest resources for yacht charters at http://www.yachtcharter101.com


Tuesday, May 1, 2007

How To Find Really Cheap Plane Tickets

The best place to buy really cheap plane tickets is online. Travel agencies can't compete with discount ticket sites. Search Google ("cheap airfare south america", for example), or try the well-known sites, like Expedia, Travelocity, Cheap Tickets, Hotwire or Priceline.

Just now I checked fares from Tucson, Arizona to Traverse City, Michigan on the five sites mentioned above. The cheapest quotes ranged from $704 to $432. Nevermind which was cheapest (oh, okay, it was Expedia), because you never know from day to day which sites will find the cheapest flights.

Check at least three places. In this case, it would mean a savings of $272. The flight durations are within minutes of each other, by the way, and the food is probably equally bad on all the flights.

Flexibility For Even Cheaper Airfare

The more flexible you are, the better your chance of getting a really cheap plane tickets. Try different departure and return dates if you can. Check the box "2 or more connecting flights". Mark the "anytime" departure, even if you don't want to leave at midnight - the savings might change your mind. Try all the options. If the savings aren't enough, you can always book first class, direct flights, or whatever you prefer.

Really Cheap Plane Tickets - More Ways

You can buy two tickets. The cheapest airfare from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Tucson, Arizona costs $451 roundtrip right now. Las Vegas to Tucson is only $161, however, and there are regular $199 specials to Vegas from Grand Rapids. It's up to you whether saving $91 is worth booking two flights. (It saved us over $1000 when we went to South America.) There is the problem of whether you'll get a refund if your timing is off on the connections (you probably won't).

Check for package deals, where you pay for plane tickets and your hotel room. I haven't had much luck with these deals, but it can't hurt to look at them.

Buying ahead of time gets you cheaper plane tickets. Any thing less than a week away tends to be expensive, although you never can tell in the mysterious realm of airfare pricing. Sometimes the "last minute specials" are the best thing going.

Priceline still has their "Name Your Own Price" feature. Make your bid, and the airlines say yes or no, depending on whether they have empty seats to fill. First search for the cheapest tickets you can find, then bid lower than that. If your bid is rejected, you can return to the website where you found the best deal and book it.

If You're Really Cheap

My wife and I once took a bus from Michigan to Miami, and flew from there to Ecuador. For us at that time, saving a couple hundred dollars was worth 38 hours on a bus. This won't save you much on domestic flights. Right now, for example, taking a bus from Traverse City to Detroit, then flying to Los Angeles, would only save about $70 (allowing for cab fare to the airport) over flying directly.

There are other options beyond the scope of this article. Courier flights, for example, can be a great deal if you don't mind letting a company use your baggage allowance (you get carry-on only). There are also stand-by deals and last minute deals and other ways to get really cheap plane tickets. Good luck!

Steve Gillman hit the road at sixteen, and traveled the U.S. and Mexico alone at 17. Now 40, he travels with his wife Ana, whom he met in Ecuador. For more on cheap plane tickets, and to read their stories, tips and travel information, visit: http://www.EverythingAboutTravel.com