How to Pack the Right Luggage

No matter if you like to take a giant wardrobe with you, or even if you’re a minimalist, this is one of the best travel packing tips I’ve received: Use compression bags. You know those cheesy TV infomercials with those bags that you can hook up a vacuum to and it sucks out all the air, and ‘magically’ shrinks sweaters to the size of a nickel? Well these are similar, but instead of using house hold appliances, you seal up the bag, then roll out the excess air through a one way valve. This really cuts down on the amount of room clothes take up!

When packing, don’t pack your bag to the brim! More likely than not, you’re going to be buying souvenirs of some sort. (I’m a T-shirt souvenir kinda guy.) You need to have room for them in your bag on the way back home. Try leaving at least a 1/4 to a 1/3 of your bag available for room to grow.

Consider trying to make everything fit into a carry-on size bag, and one “personal” carry-on item. Most airlines allow for a carry-on that measures 22″ by 16″, and at least one “personal carry-on” item (i.e., purse, or medium-sized day pack that can fit under airplane seat). It makes going through the airport MUCH easier, and you’re guaranteed that your bag is going to make it to your destination along with you.

A backpack is your best friend. With all of those flights, trains, and checking in and out of hotels you’re going to be doing, a backpack is going to make your life soooo much easier than hauling those clumsy wheeled bags! Personally, I prefer the travel packs that have a detachable day pack. This allows for you to have just ONE bag to worry about when you’re hopping on and off trains, walking to your hotel, taking cabs, etc. Osprey’s Farpoint series of packs are awesome! The Farpoint 55 is lightweight, with comfortable and ultra supportive straps, and fits within carry-on specifications. They have a lifetime, unlimited warranty, and they’re just all around great packs!!

For whatever luggage you’ve decided on, buy TSA approved luggage locks for them, and your day pack as well. If a would-be pick pocket sees that, chances are, they’ll move on to an easier target. Now don’t let that scare you. Most places you go aren’t going to be hives of scum and villainy, but there are always people who make their living by preying on unprepared tourists… Which is not going to be you!

 

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How to Choose the Best Rental Car

Are you planning to rent a car for your next business or leisure trip? There are many things you need to take into consideration when choosing the right car for your trip. Read on to learn some of the best tips on how to rent the perfect car for you and your needs.

The first thing you need to decide on is how much you are willing to spend on your rental car. You might have to rent a cheaper car because you need it for a whole week. On the other hand, you can rent a more expensive car if you only need it for a day. Also, you need to remember that bigger cars cost more than smaller ones.

If you are traveling with family and friends then you will obviously be spending more. A budget will help you narrow down your list of choices when it comes to the vehicles you can rent. After setting your budget, you need to decide on the size of your car – for the reasons I mentioned above.

Of course, if you have a more limited budget, you might have to settle for a Honda instead of the Hummer you originally wanted to rent. You also need to keep in mind the amount of luggage space you will need. Cars that are similar in size may have bigger or smaller space for baggage when you compare them to one another.

And lastly, you should only rent your car from a reliable and reputable car rental company. With this car rental advice in mind, you should be more than ready to rent your car.

 

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Business Travel Agents Tips

New York City is one of the most popular key travel destinations for corporate travellers worldwide. The city is the center of much that’s great, dynamic and profitable in America. It is home of one of the world’s principal financial centres (i.e. anchored by Wall Street), and a popular business hub for the publishing and entertainment industry at the same time. So, it’s no surprise it features three airports, Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and J. F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). As a frequent corporate traveller you probably may have flown to one of the three New York airports at some point or another. With JFK being a major international gateway to the US, this city guide aims to provide some helpful travel agents tips for corporate travellers flying to or from JFK Airport.

New York JFK Facts & Figures

Located about 25km away from Manhattan in Queens, JFK Airport is the largest airport in the state of New York and one of the busiest business travel hubs (over 50 million travellers/year) in the US and internationally. It has six operating terminals (numbered 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8; terminal 6 was demolished in 2011, Terminal 3 in 2013). Currently, the 4th runway is under redevelopment to comply with the needs of Group VI aircraft (until December 2015 as planned so far), which may cause delays, but measures are in place to minimise them, so you shouldn’t be too much affected. With more than 90 airlines arriving and departing from JFK, various business travel solutions for flights to New York can be arranged. Points of origin and destinations include places within the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Pacific, Australia/New Zealand, basically all over the world. The airport offers corporate travellers a choice of non-stop flights to about 100 international destinations which may prove convenient for your next business trip. However, JFK is very susceptible to weather-related delays due to its position. Corporate travellers are well advised to consider and prepare for possible thunderstorms in summer, causing delays across the US, as well as snow, icing and assorted slush throughout the winter season. For the months between June and November the risk of potential hurricanes is increased.

In general, our business travel agents team advise leisure and corporate travellers to allow plenty of time for getting to and from JFK. Serious traffic incidents on the way between the city and the airport left many wondering whether they’ would be able to make it in time or miss their flight. Furthermore, don’t forget that this is America. Therefore, bear in mind that the TSA rules supreme over security checkpoints. So, take a deep breath and take maybe a book with you or something else to keep you busy. Make sure you arrive early.

Useful JFK terminal facilities for corporate travellers

In most public areas within most terminals, corporate travellers will conveniently find that Wi-Fi is available for free for up to 30min. You can get online near the ticket counters, boarding gates, designated work stations and food courts. The Wi-Fi access is provided by Boingo Wireless Company. If you need to use the internet for longer than 30mins., consider the following options: 1) $4.95 (£3.01, €3.77) per hour (pay as you go), 2) $7.95 (£4.83,€6.05) for unlimited access throughout a 24-hour period (day pass), 3) $9.95 (£6.04,€7.58) per month (unlimited access via a monthly subscription, to be used worldwide), or 4) if you already have a user account, simply log in using your user name and password. ATMs, currency exchange options (Lenlyn or Travelex), a rental phone shop, and more than 100 shops alongside various dining options are available at the terminals.

Ground transportation services from JFK Airport to New York City

The most convenient, stress-free way for travel from and to JFK Airport is to take the AirTrain. It is a cost efficient and helps you make sure you arrive at the airport in time, whilst avoiding possible traffic jams. You can access AirTrain services via the New York City subway system, which is also connected to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). The journey from/to the city takes just over an hour. AirTrain is operated 24 hours on 365 days a year. Within the airport area, it connects terminals and also enables you to easily access car rental services, hotel shuttle areas and parking lots. At peak times the trains depart every 7 minutes and at off-peak times they go every 15 minutes. However, be clever in choosing your business travel route, as various routes make different stops within the airport. Good news for corporate travellers is that travel within the airport is usually free of charge. However, travel outside the airport is subject to a fee. AirTrain prices generally start from $5 (£3.04, €3.81). For more details on ticket prices are provided on the JFK Airport website under costs and tickets. If you travel via New York’s public transport network, then it is a good idea to use MetroCard, which is widely accepted and is worth to purchase for travel via subway, local trains, or buses. You can find vending machines for buying a MetroCard at Howard Beach and Jamaica Station. A good alternative for corporate travellers would be to take a taxi (for up to 4 passengers). Simply wait in the cab line for a licensed and insured cab to take you to your destination (about $52, i.e. about £31.58, €39.59, flat rate between JFK and Manhattan, excluding tips and tolls). The time for this trip should be about an hour. However, it can take much longer during rush hour.

Shared-ride shuttle services are a cheaper option than taxis, but can involve a lot of waiting and being driven around New York City to drop other people off first. You can find a full list of providers on the airport authority’s website. But remember to tip appropriately, as tipping (around 20% of transfer cost) is quite common and keep in mind that bridge/tunnel tolls are not included in the shared-ride shuttle services fares. Another option is to ask your business travel company to arrange a shuttle service for your trip from and to John F. Kennedy International Airport as prices can vary greatly depending on location and number of passengers. In this way you can ensure that you are travelling with a reliable supplier.

An express bus service is also available for a nominal fee from Penn Station (reachable e.g. by AirTrain or taxi). The service operates from early morning to late night, with buses running at least every half hour.

The airport is also home to several car rental agencies. Leisure and corporate travellers can choose between a number of car major rental companies including Advantage, Thrifty, Dollar, Enterprise, Budget, Hertz, National and Avis.

So, which mode of transport should corporate travellers choose for a trip from JFK to Newark and LaGuardia airports? Usually the best way to get to Newark Airport from JFK Airport is to simply take the AirTrain. However, if you need to travel to LaGuardia during your business trip, it we recommend to take advantage of a convenient shuttle bus service, using the free Route A (running every 10-15 minutes from 4:00am to 11:30pm) or Route B (running every 10-15 minutes from 6:00am to 2:00am). In any case, more details, also for connections to other airports, are available on the JFK Airport Connections page.

Hotels near JFK Airport

Hotel booking services for corporate travellers flying to New York JFK AirportAlthough there are no operating hotels at JFK Airport at the moment, New York provides corporate travellers a huge choice (from budget accommodation to luxury suites) of hotels and motels, which are conveniently located nearby the airport. Most hotel accommodations nearby offer shuttle services. Alternatively you can take the AirTrain to the Federal Circle station and follow the “Courtesy Hotel Shuttles” signs. There are telephone services for the hotel courtesy shuttles located at the AirTrain Federal Circle Station and in the arrival areas of the airport terminals ($5, i.e. about £3.04, €3.81, Service Charge for making reservations). The range of motels and hotels include the Hilton*, the Courtyard* by Marriott, Hampton Inn*, Sheraton*, Hilton Garden, Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Fairfield Inn* by Marriott, Days Inn, Best Western and Howards Johnson. The ones marked by an * are also offering conference and meeting rooms for corporate events.

© Copyright Flightline Travel Management Ltd. All rights reserved. All prices correct at time of publication.

In part two of our New York City Airport guide we’ll provide you with some business travel agents insider tips on Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA).

Complete travel agent services for corporate travellers flying to JFK Airport

 

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Simple Travel Packing Tips

1. The first of our travel packing tips will maximize the room available inside your suitcase by simply folding your clothes in the same way that the clothing stores did when you first but bought them

2. The second of our travel packing tips is what we call the interlocking method of packing. To do this you simply lay two articles of clothing flat and then when you wrap them, you wrap them into one another, this provides a sort of cushion effect and helps to stop wrinkles and creases from forming.

3. Tip three amongst our travel packing tips is another simple way of stopping your clothes from becoming terrible wrinkled once they are squashed into your suitcases, and this it to just place a layer of tissue in between the garments before you wrap them, and also in between each layer.

4. Tip number four and again, simplicity itself, is to pack things in reverse chronological order, so whatever you think you will use last, you put to the bottom of the case, and conversely whatever you think you will be using first, you pack toward the top of the case. This could save you a lot of time grubbing around for things and disturbing everything else when you are searching for something and are not quite sure where you put it.

5. Tip five is to pack everything tightly. You’ll be surprised how things will squash together when you force them, and this can create quite a lot more space for some smaller items, and, strange though it may sound, packing things tightly together will also help to reduce the amount of wrinkling.

6. Tip six our travel packing tips is to utilise whatever space you can, so for example, stuff your sox or items of underwear inside your shoes.

7. Finally, tip seven is to do with your travel documents and other things of value or necessity such as jewelry, keys, traveller’s checks, and any items of medication. Don’t pack these in your suitcases, especially if they are going in the aircraft hold. They may end up getting lost in transit. Always keep these sorts of items in your hand baggage. It could save you an awful lot of worry.

And remember (one bonus tip), it is always a good idea to put a name and address label on the inside your suitcase and to ensure your case is tightly zipped, and locked. You never know, if your luggage goes astray, and the outside label comes off, there’s still an outside chance of recovering it if the label inside is discovered.

Happy packing!

 

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How to Find a Rental Car

When you are busy planning a vacation, it can be quite common for you to forget one integral part. This often happens when you are so caught up with a lot of preparations just to make your vacation perfect. One example is to arrange a good rental car deal for yourself or for your family. When this happens, then you can see yourself faced with a situation that you have to pay more for your car hire needs. In order to avoid this sort of problem, it would be wise to be more systematic with your planning and your actual implementation. Here are some tips to help you find a good rental car deal that can save you both time and money.

If you are already caught up with time, then the best thing to do is to make use of all the resources you have in order to find an economical arrangement. For instance, if you remembered to arrange a car hire service at the time when you are already near your vacation date, it would not be wise to waste time by going to a car hire office just to make the necessary arrangements.

It would be wiser to use the modern way of reserving your car hire needs through the internet.You can simply go online and go to a directory that offers links to car rental companies. From there, you can choose whether you want a well-known rental agency to handle your rental car deal needs or not.

Once you have chosen the car rental agency, you can then focus on which vehicle to get. Some people who go on vacations want to experience the best of what is available so they tend to choose the expensive or luxurious rental cars. Sports cars, for instance are usually more costly to rent than an ordinary sedan. If you have no need for appearances, then it would be more economical for you to get a simple but presentable rental car that fits your needs. It would save you money right off if you get this car rental deal.

Another way to save money with your car rental deal is to maximize the different promos being offered. Some rental agencies offer discounts to first time customers as well as to regular ones. You can also maximize special offers like season discounts or even rent-three-get-one promos. Be sure to read around the site to see if you apply to any of the discount promos. It would also be good to check before hand if the company you work for has special deals with your chosen car rental agency to get you more price slash offs.

If you are flying to another location and you would want to have the car rental agency drive off your rental car to the airport, then you have to take extra care if you want to save time. You have to be give them your flight information so be sure to give as much details as possible. This can help you avoid confusion at the airport that can lead to wasted time.

Saving time and money is possible with every rental car deal. All you have to do is to use all possible resources and be smart in planning. With these tips, your vacation can be better with the comfort and convenience you get form renting a car.

 

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Effective Business Car Designs For Travel Agents

The business card is, perhaps, the least expensive and easily used advertising device available in the world of commerce. Many people do not give the time and proper consideration to the design of this very cost effective tool. It is very possible that your business card is going to create the important first impression of you and your service. Since business cards are often kept and even slid into wallets for later use that first impression might end up being a second or third impression as well.

Therefore it makes sense to put that little bit of extra effort into the design of yours. Custom business cards should contain as many as eleven different and important elements. Several of these elements are for proper identification of your business. These include the business name and the company logo. If you are an independent agent, you can focus your efforts on the remaining elements which will allow you the chance to utilize more graphics.

Regardless of what type of business you are engaged in, contact information is the basis of the business card. Contact information includes your name, phone number, address, email, and even the url of your website. A business card that lacks this information is going to be very ineffective. It is one of the great dangers of business card design. Make sure your graphics do not replace the basic content information. This is especially true of color business cards where the danger is that contact information is not easily read against the colored background.

A travel agent’s card should create the image of travel. This could be done with graphics of airplanes or boats. It could also be accomplished with graphics showing highly recognizable landmarks. Folding business cards are very effective for travel agents. The cards open to reveal a much larger inner area where bulleted lists of services can be listed. The idea of the design is to induce the customer to save the card, and easily recognize it when he is in need of travel agent services. Another value to a smartly designed color business card is that they can be left on bulletin boards and other public places. This is when the carefully selected and travel related graphics will come in handy and make your card jump out at the customer. Do not treat the design of your business card as an unimportant part of your advertising planning. It is very likely to become one of your most important tools.

Natalie Aranda is a freelance writer. She enjoys travel and sports. The business card is, perhaps, the least expensive and easily used advertising device available in the world of commerce. Many people do not give the time and proper consideration to the design of this very cost effective tool. It is very possible that your business cards are going to create the important first impression of you and your service. Since color business cardsare often kept and even slid into wallets for later use that first impression might end up being a second or third impression as well.

 

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Travel Packing Tips

Use a great travel packing list as a key to a low-stress and happy vacation or business travel trip.

With the web there’s no excuse to not use a great travel packing checklist to speed your travel packing and ensure enjoyment. Packing correctly – bringing just what you need, but not one iota extra – can lighten your physical and mental load. By carrying less you’ll move around easier, yet the trick, of course, is being sure you haven’t forgotten anything essential.

Tip #1: Leave home and office in good order. Make sure your home is all buttoned up before you leave and that pets and plants will be taken care off. Leave keys with a neighbor so they can access in case of emergency, empty your refrigerator and stop routine deliveries. In the office, nothing supports a successful trip than a clean desk and empty email in box – schedule a few hours of blocked out time the day before your trip to catch up on all urgent office matters.

Tip #2: Make packing easy by using a great travel packing checklist. There’s no excuse for not using a travel packing list to make sure you don’t forget anything essential. You can use a web search engine to search for ‘travel packing list’, ‘travel packing tips’, or ‘travel packing checklist’ or see the end of this article for a link to my favorite printable travel packing list. Find one you like and print it out. Use it religiously.

Tip #3: Bring the bare minimum. Nothing adds to stress and tiredness on travel like having too much and too heavy of a luggage burden. I always recommend that, once you’re all packed, try carrying all your luggage for 5 or 10 minutes – say around a city block. This begins to simulate the short hauls you’ll have on your trip. After your test haul, you’ll be motivated to lighten up. Find items you can do with out.

Tip #4: Learn and improve. As you use your packing list have a system for marking it up. You might cross out any items that you didn’t bring, and check marks next to the ones you did. No, here comes the critical step – bring the marked up printout with you on your trip. During your trip, if you find you need something that you didn’t bring, note it down on the list. And, just as importantly, at the end of your trip take a moment and find those items you brought, but that you can live without next time – and cross them out. As your packing list gets dog eared and marked up, consider typing it into your computer so you have your own custom list (you don’t have to type it in from scratch, just select and copy the original web list you started from and paste it into your word processor – you can then start editing this complete list).

That’s it – travel light but without out missing any essential items. Use your travel packing list religiously and hone it constantly.

 

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Luxury Vacation With The Help of a Travel Agent

Luxury VacationIf you are planning a luxury vacation with your family, initially you will have to choose a destination. A luxury vacation is the best way to escape from the stress of everyday life. Cruising has become increasingly popular among people as the prices are becoming more affordable and the competition grows between various companies. The price of a cruise vacation includes all your meals and snacks, a cabin to sleep in every night, your transportation, special on board activities and entertainment. There are also discount cruises or vacation packages available. These packages are definitely attractive, but before choosing such a deal, it is advisable to engage the service of a licensed and experienced travel agent. These agents can offer you exclusive luxury vacation packages for both honeymoon couples and families. Travel agents are the best people to contact. Your family members and friends can help you to find an agent who has a good reputation for planning well organized and enjoyable vacations.

Nowadays you can communicate with travel agents in three ways- face to face, via telephone or through the internet. People think that they will save a lot of money if they try to get tickets and plan a journey on their own. However, people pay more when they travel on their own than when they travel with the help of an agent. With the help of a travel agent you can have a comfortable and error free journey.

A travel agent can be helpful to you in offering you several different amenities such as making reservations at hotels or resorts, arranging for car rentals, planning other travel accommodations and offering advice on foreign currency exchange. There are several other benefits if you use an agent for the purchase of tickets and other needs. Tickets will be available even when the tickets are not available at other places. The services offered by these agents also includes buying entrance tickets at various parks or heritage sites, booking places to stay and many other small issues. A travel agent knows many companies out of which they will find the best ones for you. These agents may also offer you less expensive travel packages. You can also find online packages, but make sure that the company is reputable.

The services of a travel agent will help support people and plan their luxury vacation. An agent will help you if you are stuck in a place or can help solve any other problems that might occur during your luxury vacation. A good travel agent establishes a relationship with you and knows your likes and dislikes, wants and needs. They also know your travel needs and offer unbiased information as they work for you and not for the provider. Hence, by availing the services of an experienced and professional travel agent you will be able to enjoy your luxury travel.

There is nothing better than luxury vacations. Not only will you experience the customs, culture and tastes of a foreign place but you can also get the needed rest and relaxation that you desire. If you want flawless luxury vacations, utilize the services of a travel agent to do all of your vacation planning.

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Business Travel Agents Tips

Business Travel AgentsNew York City is one of the most popular key travel destinations for corporate travellers worldwide. The city is the center of much that’s great, dynamic and profitable in America. It is home of one of the world’s principal financial centres (i.e. anchored by Wall Street), and a popular business hub for the publishing and entertainment industry at the same time. So, it’s no surprise it features three airports, Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and J. F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). As a frequent corporate traveller you probably may have flown to one of the three New York airports at some point or another. With JFK being a major international gateway to the US, this city guide aims to provide some helpful travel agents tips for corporate travellers flying to or from JFK Airport.

New York JFK Facts & Figures

Located about 25km away from Manhattan in Queens, JFK Airport is the largest airport in the state of New York and one of the busiest business travel hubs (over 50 million travellers/year) in the US and internationally. It has six operating terminals (numbered 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8; terminal 6 was demolished in 2011, Terminal 3 in 2013). Currently, the 4th runway is under redevelopment to comply with the needs of Group VI aircraft (until December 2015 as planned so far), which may cause delays, but measures are in place to minimise them, so you shouldn’t be too much affected. With more than 90 airlines arriving and departing from JFK, various business travel solutions for flights to New York can be arranged. Points of origin and destinations include places within the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Pacific, Australia/New Zealand, basically all over the world. The airport offers corporate travellers a choice of non-stop flights to about 100 international destinations which may prove convenient for your next business trip. However, JFK is very susceptible to weather-related delays due to its position. Corporate travellers are well advised to consider and prepare for possible thunderstorms in summer, causing delays across the US, as well as snow, icing and assorted slush throughout the winter season. For the months between June and November the risk of potential hurricanes is increased.

In general, our business travel agents team advise leisure and corporate travellers to allow plenty of time for getting to and from JFK. Serious traffic incidents on the way between the city and the airport left many wondering whether they’ would be able to make it in time or miss their flight. Furthermore, don’t forget that this is America. Therefore, bear in mind that the TSA rules supreme over security checkpoints. So, take a deep breath and take maybe a book with you or something else to keep you busy. Make sure you arrive early.

Useful JFK terminal facilities for corporate travellers

In most public areas within most terminals, corporate travellers will conveniently find that Wi-Fi is available for free for up to 30min. You can get online near the ticket counters, boarding gates, designated work stations and food courts. The Wi-Fi access is provided by Boingo Wireless Company. If you need to use the internet for longer than 30mins., consider the following options: 1) $4.95 (£3.01, €3.77) per hour (pay as you go), 2) $7.95 (£4.83,€6.05) for unlimited access throughout a 24-hour period (day pass), 3) $9.95 (£6.04,€7.58) per month (unlimited access via a monthly subscription, to be used worldwide), or 4) if you already have a user account, simply log in using your user name and password. ATMs, currency exchange options (Lenlyn or Travelex), a rental phone shop, and more than 100 shops alongside various dining options are available at the terminals.

Ground transportation services from JFK Airport to New York City

The most convenient, stress-free way for travel from and to JFK Airport is to take the AirTrain. It is a cost efficient and helps you make sure you arrive at the airport in time, whilst avoiding possible traffic jams. You can access AirTrain services via the New York City subway system, which is also connected to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). The journey from/to the city takes just over an hour. AirTrain is operated 24 hours on 365 days a year. Within the airport area, it connects terminals and also enables you to easily access car rental services, hotel shuttle areas and parking lots. At peak times the trains depart every 7 minutes and at off-peak times they go every 15 minutes. However, be clever in choosing your business travel route, as various routes make different stops within the airport. Good news for corporate travellers is that travel within the airport is usually free of charge. However, travel outside the airport is subject to a fee. AirTrain prices generally start from $5 (£3.04, €3.81). For more details on ticket prices are provided on the JFK Airport website under costs and tickets. If you travel via New York’s public transport network, then it is a good idea to use MetroCard, which is widely accepted and is worth to purchase for travel via subway, local trains, or buses. You can find vending machines for buying a MetroCard at Howard Beach and Jamaica Station. A good alternative for corporate travellers would be to take a taxi (for up to 4 passengers). Simply wait in the cab line for a licensed and insured cab to take you to your destination (about $52, i.e. about £31.58, €39.59, flat rate between JFK and Manhattan, excluding tips and tolls). The time for this trip should be about an hour. However, it can take much longer during rush hour.

Shared-ride shuttle services are a cheaper option than taxis, but can involve a lot of waiting and being driven around New York City to drop other people off first. You can find a full list of providers on the airport authority’s website. But remember to tip appropriately, as tipping (around 20% of transfer cost) is quite common and keep in mind that bridge/tunnel tolls are not included in the shared-ride shuttle services fares. Another option is to ask your business travel company to arrange a shuttle service for your trip from and to John F. Kennedy International Airport as prices can vary greatly depending on location and number of passengers. In this way you can ensure that you are travelling with a reliable supplier.

An express bus service is also available for a nominal fee from Penn Station (reachable e.g. by AirTrain or taxi). The service operates from early morning to late night, with buses running at least every half hour.

The airport is also home to several car rental agencies. Leisure and corporate travellers can choose between a number of car major rental companies including Advantage, Thrifty, Dollar, Enterprise, Budget, Hertz, National and Avis.

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Travel Tips on Accommodation

Travel Tips on AccommodationIn all my personal travels, accommodation selection is a very important part of the planning process. I try not to travel on group packages when exploring Asia, they usually take me to cashew nut factories, gem merchants and bird’s nest restaurants, none of which appeal to me. I also often get put up in hotels which are crammed and fairly worn by groups of travelers brought in by the travel agencies.

The internet is my best source for planning a trip, I get great deals on hotels, transportation and on-the-ground arrangements and very good information such as reviews and recommendations from fellow travelers.

When doing a personal trip on a mid-range budget, it is not as easy as business travels where I can pick a reliable hotel chain and book a room. I personally choose my accommodation based on the following:

1. Location – close by to the following, depending on purpose of the trip:

a. The skytrain/underground (for places such as Bangkok, Singapore, London and etc)

b. Shopping center(s) or point of interest, within 10-15 minutes walking distance is acceptable

c. Good hangouts, e.g. eateries or pubs/bars/clubs

d. The beach or nothing for that matter (for pure relaxation, isolation can be therapeutic. I personally like views of the paddy field when in Bali)

For location, I would try to stay away from being located on main streets, on the entertainment row (pounding music at night is no fun nor the sight of men picking up scantily clad women), brightly lit neighboring buildings (which is quite common in Hong Kong),

2. Price – a very important factor, several sites offer very good discounts, here are some I recommend, Asia Travel, Asia Hotels, Asia Best Hotel, PYO Travel. Asia Travel has been most reliable and no issue with internet payments so far. For country specific travels, there are other sites, some local, which offer better discounts. I’ll cover this in a related article. Best is to always compare offers from several sites, you can sometimes save quite a lot – extra money can always go towards the shopping budget :p

3. Traveler reviews – I use the Trip advisor site religiously, they provide rankings of hotels as rated by travelers based on several criteria. This is important as images of the rooms provided by the hotels are usually not accurate. Often I’ve passed on some hotels as travelers did mention that it was old or dirty, important facts that you cannot obtain on brochures or hotel websites.

4. Cleanliness – I’m Virgo and a clean environment is very important to me. Clean carpets, sheets, room walls and bathroom are necessary. Heaven forbid that the room or sheets smell. I can’t sleep otherwise. I’d sacrifice a small room for cleanliness anytime. Try to pick hotels which have been newly opened or recently refurbished. For the latter, make sure they put you in the new wing.

That aside, go out, explore and have fun! Accommodation is important but please don’t stay indoors and explore the room walls when traveling. It should only be a place for peaceful rest in preparation of the exciting travel ahead the next day.

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