A beginners guide to booking flights

Booking flights can be a daunting task, there are so many different airlines, so many different places to look and it can be a little overwhelming. I use this specific process when booking flights:

1. Write down the places you want to go and the dates you want to go.

2. Use Skyscanner and type in your flight choices, Skyscanner will give you a list of all the airlines which fly to your desired location, they also have a good calendar view which lets you know which dates are the most expensive and which are the cheapest

3. You can also check Expedia as sometimes it creates different results

4. Identify the airline which gives you the best price, (be warned sometimes Expedia and Skyscanner add flights together which you want to try and avoid booking, so identify the flights with the outgoing and incoming flight from the same airline)

5. Go on the specific airline’s website and search for the same flights, it’s safer to book with the airline direct than a third part company and they are usually around the same price

6. Join the airline’s miles or rewards programme

7. The cheapest days to book flights are Tuesdays or Wednesdays so try where possible to book on these days

8. Clear your computer’s cookies before booking your flights as some companies up the price if they identify that you keep searching for the same thing

9. Book your flights

Some extra tips for you to consider:

  • If you are travelling to South America take a look at the baggage information for the airline as some companies give you two free bags and others only give you one.
  • Try and avoid America as a stopover destination between countries as you have to collect baggage and go through security.
  • Every time you fly through America remember you have to collect your bags and clear customs so allow time for that, I usually leave 2 1/2 to 3 hours between connections at an American airport.
  • Check for nearby airports as they may be cheaper to fly into than a bigger airport
  • Avoid connecting flights at Heathrow as it’s such a big airport with terminals spread out over a large area
  • Remember an airline has to put you on another flight if you miss your connection because of a previous delay but not if you are just hanging around, clearing security/ immigration or collecting baggage
  • If you get delayed by 3 hours or more you are entitled to compensation if you reside in an EU country

Booking flights shouldn’t be a daunting task, it becomes straightforward if you follow these steps and read the tips.

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A Beginners guide to booking flights

Top 40 things to do in Florida

The majority of tourist’s reasons to visit Florida is to go to Orlando and the theme parks. This post is designed to show that there are many more things you can do in Florida as well as going to the theme parks.

  • Spend a day at Clearwater Beach
  • Visit the alligators in the Everglades
  • Walk around the theme parks – Universal Studios, Disney, Seaworld
  • Spend a day at Cocoa Beach
  • Hire a boat and explore the hidden coves in the Gulf
  • Take a day trip to catch fish in the channels or out at sea
  • Play golf on one of the many world-class courses
  • Visit Sanibel Island
  • Take a trip to the Florida Keys
  • Go shopping at the Outlet Malls
  • Visit Fort Lauderdale
  • Eat seafood on Key West
  • Visit Miami Beach
  • Stay in Naples
  • Go whale watching
  • Visit Tampa and Busch Gardens
  • Take a trip to St Augustine
  • Visit Key West Brewfest (Labour Day Weekend)
  • Go canoeing in Wekiva Island
  • Surf in Jacksonville
  • Visit the Castillo de San Marcos, a Spanish Castle near St Augustines
  • Party in Miami
  • Visit Pensacola, take a trip to the beach in Destin
  • Party in Flora – Bama, a bar on the Florida Alabama state line, near Gulf Shores
  • Spend an afternoon at Disney’s community, Celebration
  • Take an airboat tour
  • Wakeboard at Orlando Water Sports Complex
  • Spend a day at the Kennedy Space Centre and maybe see a rocket launch
  • Spend the day at one of the many water parks – Aquatica, Wet n Wild, Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon
  • Scuba Dive in Devil’s Den Springs, Williston
  • Visit Siesta Key beach
  • Visit the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida Keys
  • Kitesurf in Islamorada Islands Florida Keys
  • Stand at the Southernmost point in the States on Key West
  • Eat a meal at Mannys Chophouse, Haines City
  • Visit Tallahassee
  • Watch the Mullet Toss (Fish) in Flora Bama (April)
  • Spend an evening at Disney Springs (Previously Downtown Disney)
  • Watch a Tampa Bay Buccaneers Football game (September – January)
  • Gasparilla Pirate Fest Tampa (end of January)

 

Why you are doing your Florida holiday wrong

When most people think of Florida they instantly think Disney World, however Florida and Orlando are way more than just Disney World.

A very high number of tourists visit Florida every year, specifically Orlando, but the majority don’t make the most out of their time there. There is so much more to do in Orlando than just visit theme parks. The typical holiday to Orlando will consist of a family staying in a theme park apartment for example Disney World hotels, Seaward hotels or Universal hotels. They then spend two weeks going to all the theme parks, this is perfectly fine if that is the holiday a family wants to go on. This isn’t visiting America or Florida though, it is visiting theme parks which just happen to be situated in Florida but in matter of fact they could be anywhere in the world. I’m not saying people shouldn’t visit theme parks or go to them, I’m saying they should but along with other things.

The best way to see Florida would be to rent a villa outside of Orlando, Miami, Naples (wherever your desired location) and hire a car, this will give you the freedom to travel wherever you wish. A two week holiday plan can have a completely different itinerary, Disney World one day, the beach the next day, shopping another day, Seaworld for a day, alligator jet boat tour another day and so on.

There are so many thing to do in Florida apart from Disney, an example of things to do in Florida are the following:

  • Visit the beaches, Clearwater on the Gulf near Tampa or Cocoa Beach (Atlantic side)
  • Visit the theme parks, Disney World, Seaworld, Universal Studios and the Kennedy Space centre
  • Take a fishing trip in Naples or Fort Myers, in the bay or deep sea
  • Hire a boat for the day and discover private beaches, see dolphins and swim in the ocean on the Gulf Coast
  • Go shopping, Orlando has three malls as well as outlets
  • Take a jet boat tour to see alligators in the Everglades
  • Take a manatee, dolphin or whale spotting tour
  • Visit Miami beach
  • Go to the Florida keys and drive through the islands and stop at the hidden beaches
  • Play golf, Florida is home to some of the best golf courses in the world
  • Visit Busch Gardens, the hidden gem theme park in Tampa
  • Visit the major cities, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, St Augustine, Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, Tallahassee, Gainesville and Jacksonville
  • Visit the beaches in Naples and Fort Myers

As you can see, Florida is more than just theme parks- there are so many different activities on offer and things to do and see. I hope this inspires you to take another look at your Florida vacation itinerary.

How to make the most out of your Florida holiday

 

Why your 20s is a good time to travel

I encourage everyone to travel no matter what their age because it’s an amazing thing to do- to discover the world, discover yourself and even make it into a career. This being said, your 20s is an especially great time to travel for a large number of reasons:

  1. You have no commitments
  2. You can make a lot of new friends
  3. You may have just graduated so have some fun before starting work
  4. Have some fun before College/ University
  5. Discover new place
  6. Discover the world is tiny
  7. Learn what career path you want to take
  8. Learn about yourself
  9. Discover what you truly want
  10. Meet your soulmate
  11. Live in hostels
  12. Party all night
  13. Make your own plans
  14. Travel with friends
  15. Make lifelong friends
  16. Make friends in different countries
  17. Make mistakes
  18. Take risks
  19. Spend too much money
  20. Break out of your bubble
  21. Break away from society
  22. For the stories no one will believe
  23. Learn what a small place you occupy in the world
  24. Discover new jobs/career paths
  25. Run away from someone or something
  26. Buy a one way ticket
  27. Travel for a year if you want
  28. Care-free
  29. Education is behind you
  30. Learn new skills
  31. Build resume
  32. HAVE FUN!!

Even if only one of these reasons inspires you to go travelling, you should do it!

Why your 20s is a good time to travel 

Top 10 reasons to visit Greece

Greece is one of the hidden treasures of Europe, it has amazing islands, fantastic beaches, great food and lovely people. In the past year tourism in Greece has fallen, due to 2015’s economic events but this shouldn’t put you off, Greece is still there as it has always been and is a perfectly safe country to visit. Here at 10 reasons why you should visit Greece this summer:

1.The Beaches – Greece is home to the best beaches in the Mediterranean, white and sandy with crystal clear waters and near perfect yearly weather.

2. The Food – The food in Greece is delicious-lots of fresh fruit and  vegetables and most restaurants are family owned and run meaning homemade food and fresh ingredients. Some specialities include: Gyros (a slightly healthier, nicer version of a kebab), Hallumi and feta cheese (you can get it fried, honey fried and grilled), Greek salads, taganaki, bread, all meats and pizza.

3. The People – Greek people are lovely, they run their own businesses, stores, restaurants and have a very ‘can do’ mentality.

4. The Parties – Everyone in Greece loves to have a good time, they will party until all hours. I once went to a bar which provided you with toasties and food whilst you were drinking. The drinks are also usually cheap and Mythos is a great Greek beer.

5. The Outdoor Lifestyle – Everything in Greece is outside- restaurants, stores and bars. It’s normal to spend the majority of the day outside.

6. The Weather – The weather in Greece is usually around 20 – 45c for the majority of the year, the heat is very dry and rain is rare, making it the ideal destination April until November.

7. The Landscape – Greece is a very mountainous country, providing fantastic views when driving. It’s not rare to discover a hidden waterfall, cave or other incredible sights around the country.

8. The Laid Back Lifestyle – Greeks have an amazing lifestyle, they like to drink, sleep during the day and are never in a rush which is why it’s such a lovely place to visit- no one is rushing around and everyone is happy all of the time.

9. The Islands – Greece has some amazing islands and each one of them is different from the next with their own hidden treasures.

10. The Activities – Greece has a lot of different activities you can do depending on where you are staying, including water sports such as water skiing, windsurfing, sailing and paddle boarding as well as other activities such as mountain biking, hiking, visiting historic attractions and I even went to an inflatable water park in the ocean in Greece once.