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Finding A Cheap Cruise And How To Enjoy It

There are many cruise companies, and so many ships it seems like a perfect time to take a cruise. Taking a vacation on a cruise ship is exciting, but can be very expensive. Cruise companies may offer cheap rooms, but then surprise you with on-board expenses. Non-included…

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There are many cruise companies, and so many ships it seems like a perfect time to take a cruise. Taking a vacation on a cruise ship is exciting, but can be very expensive. Cruise companies may offer cheap rooms, but then surprise you with on-board expenses. Non-included restaurants, high priced drinks and outrageous internet prices will all add up. But don’t despair, there are ways to cruise affordably, it just takes discipline, and a bit of skill for you to pull it off. So how do you book a cheap cruise and then enjoy it?

Booking a cheap cruise is quite easy, you just need flexibility. If you are flexible on where you are willing to go, and aren’t set on having a particular room. it will be easier for you to find an inexpensive cruise. Cruise pricing is similar to tour pricing, the closer you get to the departure date the lower the price becomes. Cruise companies don’t want to sail with half empty ships, less passengers mean less on-board spending. On-board spending is where the cruise companies make the majority of their money, so as the departure date approaches the prices become lower. You can also book far in advance for good pricing, but last minute prices are usually better. The only real benefit to booking early is to secure the room you want. Don’t travel when everyone else is traveling, when the kids are in school the rates are the best. This is especially true for family activities such as a cruise. 

To book your cruise you have two options, you can use a travel agent, or you can book it yourself. There are many do it yourself options, but it’s best to start with a travel agent as they often get better rates and last minute deals. They will also act as a liaison with the cruise company if something goes wrong. If you choose to book the cruise yourself there are really only three sources you will need:

Cruise Sheet

Vacations To Go

Cruise Deals

These websites scour the web for the best cruise deals. Cruise Sheet is a website that crawls the web for information and then displays cheap fares. This site makes finding a cheap cruise easy, and seems to find all the best deals. Vacations To Go is more of a travel agent/operator so often has better deals. They can negotiate directly with cruise companies, but they do add fees. Cruise Deals has a weekly newsletter that is worth subscribing to. When booking your cruise think small. Smaller ships tend to be less expensive since they offer less attractions and fewer amenities. Always choose to travel off season, you will get much cheaper fares. Consider taking a repositioning cruise, this is when a cruise company moves a ship from one part of the world to another in anticipation of the upcoming season. These cruises are a great way to sail down the coast of a continent or cross an ocean on the cheap. Don’t book your flight with the cruise, booking it separately is a sure way to save money. If you have booked your cruise and the price drops, contact the cruise company or your travel agent, you may be able to get the difference as an on-board credit.

Now that you have booked your cruise how can you enjoy it without going broke? A cruise in the past was most always all-inclusive, but that is becoming increasingly less so. Cruise companies want you to spend money on-board since this is where they make their biggest profits. But if you are smart and disciplined you can enjoy your cruise for little more than the price of the cabin itself.

Avoiding the casino, the shopping and the spa are obvious ways to save money, there are many more ways to save. Watch what you drink. Sodas used to be free, but are now usually high priced, and buying alcohol on-board can really add up. Stick to the free drinks offered; water, iced tea and juices. If you want soda or beer on the cruise, Cruise companies will let you bring one case of your own water, soda or beer as well as a bottle of wine onto the ship. Avoid the non-included restaurants on board, the food in the dining areas and buffets are just as good. Avoid the cheesy professional photos. Using your digital camera or your phone camera, you can take your own photos and have them printed when you return home at a fraction of the price. Plan your own shore excursions. The cruise run shore excursions are overpriced and usually crowded. Do a little research on-line before your trip and you can plan your own activities. You will not only save money but you will support the local economy more directly. Don’t have your laundry done on the ship. Bring enough clothes for all occasions to make doing laundry unnecessary, or bring Woolite with you and wash your clothes in the sink. Don’t take advantage of the airport transfer the cruise company offers. You can find a cab for a much cheaper rate. 

On a cruise you can get away from it all, have a chance to relax and recharge. Put away the wallet, head to the gym or the all day buffet and have the time of your life without breaking the bank. 

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Travel

Best Travel Laptops

How to Choose a Travel Laptop When traveling with technology, my rule of thumb is simple: pack light. I understand that you want the best functionality with your travel laptop but sometimes it pays to go with the minimal option. I always look at multiple choices when I’m contemplating buying technology and laptops are no […]

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How to Choose a Travel Laptop

When traveling with technology, my rule of thumb is simple: pack light. I understand that you want the best functionality with your travel laptop but sometimes it pays to go with the minimal option. I always look at multiple choices when I’m contemplating buying technology and laptops are no different.   I look at cost, battery life, storage, functionality and portability.

 

It’s smart to weigh your options and figure out what exactly you plan on using the laptop.

Do you want to watch movies?

Are you trying to surf the web?

What programs will you need to run?

Will you need internet accessibility?

How much are you trying to spend?

Just how portable do you need your travel laptop to be?

 

These questions and many more may arise in your decision process and I’m here to help.

There are 3 main types of lightweight travel laptops: 2-n-1s, ultra books and Chromebooks.

 

2-n-1s

These are versatile laptops and tablets in one, hence the catchy and practical name. These are very functional and convenient for travel since they have multi-functionality. They convert from a laptop to tablet easily and extremely portable. Sometimes you just want to watch a movie and other times you need the capability to access Microsoft office, so a 2-n-1 may be for you.

Microsoft really owns this market with their functional Surface Pro 2-n-1. The highlight is obviously their transformative properties and touch screen capabilities.

You will enjoy how easily they change from full laptop to e-reader or tablet.

The Surface Pro starts at around $800 USD and can be upgraded easily. The baseline model weighs less than 2 pounds and the battery lasts on average for 9 hours. That’s plenty of time for a long flight and layover.

Surfaces can be used with or without a keyboard, which adds to its portability.

 

Chromebooks

Chromebooks are your budget friendly option but are cheap for a reason. These computers don’t run a full operating system like Apple OX or Windows; instead they run off a basic OS that uses the Chrome browser. Now that the name makes sense, lets discuss these laptops.

Chromebooks are hampered by their weak operating system, which doesn’t allow Adobe products or Microsoft. Their simple functionality allows users to browse the internet, watch movies or back up files like your travel photos. If all you need are these basic functions, then a Chromebook may be for you. Without internet connection however, you may not be able to perform basic word processing.

Check out the Acer Chromebook for only $225 USD, which is really cheap for all that it does. With an 11-inch screen and extreme portability these guys are great picks.

 

Ultra books

These bad boys are your traditional laptops but made smaller and lighter for your travel needs. They blend high performance speed and functional portability to create the high-end travel technology you may need. These are best for people who actually have to get work done while traveling. They can do all the normal functions of a laptop but with less weight and bulk. 

The Apple Macbook Air is my clear pick; especially since I’m an Apple man myself. These slick powerhouses pack all the frill with half the weight. They start at around $850 USD and pack the same processor as their bigger brothers the Macbook.

Do your own research and figure out what your digital needs may be, and purchase your travel laptop.

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Travel

Must Have High Tech Suitcases

Must Have High Tech Suitcases   Suitcase technology hasn’t changed must in the past twenty years, except for maybe the advent of advanced roller wheels. Times have changed now that smart technology is making it s way into suitcases. The luggage business is a multi billion-dollar industry that technology is just making its way into. […]

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Must Have High Tech Suitcases

 

Suitcase technology hasn’t changed must in the past twenty years, except for maybe the advent of advanced roller wheels. Times have changed now that smart technology is making it s way into suitcases. The luggage business is a multi billion-dollar industry that technology is just making its way into. From smart tags to charging capabilities, suitcases are making their way into the 21st century, so hold onto your bags, cause they are going places.   And leading the way literally is Modobag, the world’s first rideable suitcase. Yea, I said rideable, this suitcase turns into a mini scooter to catch that distant connecting flight or just kill time cruising the airport.

 

Modobag

The world’s first motorized luggage is here and so very cool. The upstart company boost that their rideable suitcase can carry passengers up to 3 times the average speed of walking and the battery lasts up to six miles. Yes, SIX miles, which almost replaces the airport, shuttle as well. Their bags carry a maximum weight limit of 260 lbs so don’t go eating that extra donut at the morning meeting if you plan to cruise in your Modobag after work. Another great feature is the ability to charge up to two electronic devices using the attached USB plugs. The Modobag will be fully charged in less than one hour and ready for your trip, wherever you may be cruising.

 

Raden

Developed by a private equity lawyer, the Raden was engineered by consultants from Tumi and Beats by Dre, so you know this bag is hip. It features built in chargers, GPS functionality and a built in scale so you never have an overage fee again. All Raden bags are scratch proof to help deal with the ground service tossing them to and fro. They come in two sizes a carry on and checked bag dimensions. Prices range from $400 – 600 USD and are pretty sweet little bags. I certainly can appreciate the GPS functionality so you always know where your bag is and if it gets lost, is it really lost?

 

Rimowa

This specific bag is designed to make check in a hassle of the past with its digital display. Rimowa is revolutionizing the way people travel with this particular bag. They decided that the old school paper tags that airlines were using for bags was out of date and needed an upgrade. The digital display is great and totally replaces the scan able destination tag and your personal identification tag, all paper that could be lost easily.

Unfortunately these bags aren’t yet available in the US but the technology is advancing daily so the future of Rimowa is very bright. Available in Europe for around $700 Euros, so next time you are on the other side of the pond, check them out. Currently Lufthansa allows the use of these bags and their cool technology to bypass the old paper tags.

Technology is amazing and with these cool updates to the standard luggage we are all used to make traveling quite exciting again.

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Plan Ahead: Super Bowl 52 in Minnesota, February 2018

Plan Ahead: Super Bowl 52 in Minnesota, February 2018 The biggest show in all of sports is the Super Bowl and it’s never too soon to start planning your trip. The next Super Bowl is scheduled for February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. If you have any inclination that you may want to go, you […]

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Plan Ahead:

Super Bowl 52 in Minnesota, February 2018

The biggest show in all of sports is the Super Bowl and it’s never too soon to start planning your trip. The next Super Bowl is scheduled for February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. If you have any inclination that you may want to go, you should start planning now. Tickets for the game are always tough to get but even if you don’t have tickets, there is plenty to do surrounding the game.

In conjunction with the Super Bowl, Minneapolis is planning the Bold North Festival, which is 10 days of merriment, festivities and food all centering on football.   The atmosphere around the super bowl is infectious and there is always plenty to do to keep entertained, especially if you are into football.

The game will be held at he recently finished US Bank Stadium, which is a state-of-the-art facility located in Minneapolis. All events will be held close to the stadium for the convenience of the fans.

Plan your visit with this easy to use website, provided by the Super Bowl Host Committee. 

More than a million visitors will make their way to Minneapolis to enjoy the Super Bowl festivities so its best to book early.

 

Hotels Close to US Bank Stadium

Best Western Plus The Normandy Inn & Suites

405 S 8th St, Minneapolis, MN

(612) 370-1400

This hotel constantly receives great ratings form guests and is located within walking distance of the big game. Walking is recommended, as over one million people will be hovering around the stadium and its Super Bowl activities. The location is super convenient to US Bank Stadium and the hotel offers free outdoors parking, perfect for tailgating. Grills and beverages will be allowed for pre game enthusiasts.

 

Aloft Minneapolis

900 S Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN

(612) 455-8400

This modern loft style hotel is a modest walk to the stadium and is expected to offer it’s own Super bowl party in their lounge. An indoor pool is offered and good ting it is because only polar bears are swimming outside in February in Minnesota.

 

Hyatt Place Minneapolis/Downtown

425 S 7th St, Minneapolis, MN

(612) 333-3111

Less than a mile walk, this hotel is a fantastic option when looking for Super Bowl accommodations. The rooms are large, almost suite size so you can really pack in the fans and save money for tickets and beer. The entry way is a little awkward but that may keep the unwanted riffraff out while the hordes of fans flock to the downtown area.

 

Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot

225 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN

(612) 375-1700

This is the closest hotel to the stadium, so if location is your number one qualifier, then this is your spot. The coolest location of all these hotels, this one is set in an old train depot in the business district, so imagine steam punk vibes with a classy downtown feel. There is even a seasonal indoor ice skating rink, to get the real deal Minnesota experience. It is the land of 10,000 lakes, so you might as well jump in feet first.

 

Good luck to whatever team you want to win and best of luck planning ahead, accommodations will go fast.

 

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