Why Do You Pay Commissions When You Do Your Own Travel Bookings?

When you buy a travel package, tour or service your price may include a number of levels
of commission added to the original pure cost of the product direct from the supplier.

To give an example of such:

Let’s take a tour operated in Australia at a cost direct from the operator of say $1,000:

1. This tour may be listed with an Inbound Tour Operator.

2. The ITO buys for $1,000, marks up 10%, sells to Wholesaler, tour price now $1,100.

3. The Wholesaler buys for $1,100, marks up !0%, sells to Retailer, tour price now $1,210.

4. The Retailer buys for $1210, marks up 10%, sells to Traveler, tour price now $1,331, (prices changes if percentages are higher, or less if the ITO is not in this equation) (without the ITO the retail price would be $1,210 at 10% or $1322 at 15%).

The commission element, without the ITO at 10% mark-up is $210 per tour per person (21%).

The commission element, without the ITO at 15% mark-up is $322 per tour per person (32%).

So the Traveler pays variable levels of middleman commissions.. When you have 2 or 3 or a family of travelers, this is a considerable amount of cash and if you have a tour costing in excess of $1,000, just do the math.

Similarly, brochure prices have commissions built in to them for the retailers of 10 – 25%.

If a consumer goes to an Outlet Store they expect outlet prices, if they go directly to the Manufacturer they expect ‘go-direct’ prices, so why not handle travel arrangements in a similar way?

Because, it is only fair that each level of the product sales cycle earns revenue for the business involved and these businesses are necessary and needed to ensure that some products are marketed, promoted, brochures and sold to consumers around the world who may not be comfortable with handling their own bookings and need the assistance of an expert professional travel consultant.. However, with the growth of the internet and the ability to now find the source of travel products, travelers who handle their own arrangements should get a fairer deal on the pricing as a middleman is not needed in the purchasing process.

It does not make sense for most travel operators to show different prices on their websites, Retail, Wholesale or Internet Direct etc as this could undermine their supply chain by deterring the efficient middlemen from representing their products, so we have to find a way for all of the ‘do-it-yourself’ bookers to get a fairer price.

There is a way. A new service has been introduced that enables travel operators to encourage and reward travelers who are comfortable with direct bookings and for them to get a fair price break for the commission no longer required to be paid out. The new service, operated by TopTravelSites, offers TopTravelVouchers for sale that have values equivalent to, or more than the commission elements on the operator’s travel products. These may be purchased by travelers at very deep discounts to their redemption values, getting closer to the direct cost price of the travel product for the consumer… think outlet pricing or go-direct deals.

The Travel Operator still incurs the commission cost by issuing a toptravelvoucher but the beneficiary of the price break is the traveler, not the middleman. By encouraging and rewarding travelers, the operators should get more traffic to their websites.

TopTravelSites can be compared to a retail travel company but it does not sell travel. It only introduces travelers to operators involved with the program and invites them to go directly to the travel websites of its clients. If travelers want to do business directly with the travel providers on the site they can get a price break by purchasing toptravelvouchers online at prices of $30, $50 or $100usd (or equivalent foreign currency). The vouchers have a 100% money-back guarantee and if, after the travel has been completed, the traveler is unhappy with the product, the cost of the voucher is reimbursed and redress is sought from the operator.

Hundreds of vouchers are currently available and new vouchers are being added each month but when you see a voucher valued at 1,500 euros for sale for $100usd it may not be long before you will see thousands of choices. Many other vouchers are available and can be
purchased by single travelers, groups or families, leading to very healthy savings for all ‘do-it-yourself- bookers.

Many travel operators will continue to only sell through a supply chain but this is a program that could be added to their marketing options in the future but there are thousands of travel businesses around the world that want to improve their representation and for their services to be seen by a wider audience of travelers. Most travel operators would always be willing to pay a commission on sales and so this site should appeal to them. It will attract travelers who are comfortable with booking their own arrangements as they are being rewarded by rebated commission and as long as the site operator keeps to low overheads (no bricks and mortar stores or expensive brochures) they will be able to continue rebating commissions to self-booking travelers.

Long Term Travel Insurance Is All Important For Long Term Travelers

For most businessmen and their associates, travel is an important part of the business. It is in traveling that they get the chance to meet investors, clients and promote their company. Many business executives choose to meet their prospective clients outside their home country to impress them. These are the businessmen that love to show off their traveling capacities. Aside from businessmen, some housewives also tend to travel a lot nowadays. In the past decade, the majority of travelers are men and it is still true today but it has been notable that there is a vast increase in the percentage of female travelers. One of the reasons is that since there are many men who work abroad, they barely get the chance to see their significant other.

Therefore, it is the women nowadays who do traveling to visit their husband for some tender loving care. Also, a certain percentage of the overall travelers include students. More and more students are encouraged to leave their country and seek education in another land. For some, they do this to lessen their expenses since studying in another country is cheaper. Say for example, many Koreans, Japanese and even Indians are studying English in the Philippines because it is much cheaper than their motherland. On the other hand, some Filipino students choose to study abroad in order to be more competitive with the real world. Other countries also have many different specialties when it comes to education. The Philippines is well known for its world class facility, the International Rice Reserve Institute while Harvard is best known for its Law and Economic courses.

Whatever the travel’s purpose is, still, many travelers are vulnerable to the perils of loss of baggage, medical needs, and all the others that come in between. Long term travel insurance is the answer for travelers who stay in a place longer than the usual leisure travel. Some of the packages are valid for one hundred eighty days to three hundred sixty five days. Of course, the package is all up to the consumer. This type of travel insurance must be bought directly to a reputable insurance company. A well known insurance company that provides long term travel insurance is the 1Cover Travel Insurance. They are always ready for inquiries regarding long term travel insurance. They understand the needs of every traveler and are always willing to cater to their client’s insurance needs. They also give quotes for those who are interested in getting insurance.

In conclusion, it is very much obvious that long term travel insurance for long term travelers is all important. Perry Wilson quotes, “The world is so accessible now, even more so than 10 to 15 years ago and gap years have grown so popular that employers are becoming increasingly flexible in allowing employees a few months off to travel. However when you are older you have a greater number of responsibilities than those of a younger age so taking out a good backpacker travel insurance policy is as necessity.”

Transport Your Vehicle At A Low Price With Auto Transport Services

If you want a company to move your vehicle, you will need to engage in some serious research first. A simple internet search term for “auto transport discount” will reveal thousands of hits and it is your job to find the best ones. However, unless you really know what you are talking about, how do you recognize with auto transport discount offer is genuine and which one should not be trusted with a raw egg, let alone your vehicle? One great thing is that simply by looking into the different companies that are around, you will already learn a lot of about methods of transportation.

Finding Quotations For Auto Transport Discount
As stated earlier, the best way to learn about transporting your car is by contacting companies. However, as also stated before, an internet search will present you with thousands of hits and you probably don’t have the time to try them out both. People usually presume that the hits that appear on the first page are also the best. They usually are, but you should not accept this blindly. It is possible that the owner of the website is better at SEO marketing than he or she is at offering auto transport discount. So, unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as contacting the top five companies and hoping for the best. So how do you get a shortlist of companies that you can ask for quotations? Using common sense is generally the best policy. Look through the results for auto transport companies that you have found and think about which ones strike you as genuine and which ones do not. As stated earlier, most of the really good companies offering auto transport discount do manage to get on the first page of Google, so realistically you only have to sift through those results, or perhaps go to the second page as well. Take a look at the websites and dismiss the ones who have a website that is poorly designed or poorly written, as well as those that are too flashy. That is a very common sales gimmick and quite simply not what you should be looking for. Hopefully, once you have completed this, you should be left with no more than five different companies offering auto transport discount and with a bit of luck, the best nationwide car transport service is among that. Getting five quotations is always the best policy, because it allows you to really compare the different offers and find out who offers the best value for money. Always remember that value for money does not mean cheap. Speak to each of the companies you are considering and tell them about the vehicle that you want to have transported. Ask them how they intend to transport it. This will allow you to get a good idea of the methods employed by companies offering auto transport discount. Always ask why they choose a specific method, as this will give you a better idea of what seems safest to you.

Using The Online World Even More To Find The Best Nationwide Car Transport Service
You can actually use the internet to your benefit even more. As shown, the internet should already help you to find the best nationwide car transport service, but it also allows you to have a wider search range. If you were to use the yellow pages only, you will be limited to your geographical area and this is not necessarily the best auto transport discount that is out there. Not just that, if you were to purchase a vehicle that is far from your geographical area, it will make much better business sense to use a company that is nearer to the location of the vehicle, rather than your location as this will usually work out cheaper.

Using the internet will also help you to keep costs down significantly. A lot of companies claim that if you can find the same like for like quotation at a cheaper price, they will match it or even go below it. True, this can add some time in your quest for the best auto transport companies, but we live in difficult economic times and getting the best deal on something is very important. Also, the internet may even provide you with price comparison websites for auto transport discount, where you will be able to find the best price at just a glance. Remember, however, that finding the best price does not necessarily give you the best possible company so make sure you still check the companies out one by one. Last but certainly not least, finding a company online and booking your car transport online may give you even further discounts. Clearly, the internet is your best friend in the search for auto transport discount. Make sure you use it to the best of your advantage.

What To Expect From The Service
Armed with all this information, you should be able to find the best value for money on your auto transport service. But what can you expect from an auto transport company? What service will you receive and what will they actually do? An auto transport company is able to transport vehicles from one location to another. This can be beneficial if you work for a salvage company or own a scrap yard. Or perhaps you have seen the car of your dreams on the other side of the country and don’t actually have the possibility to go out there and drive it back yourself. An auto transport discount service is there to load up your vehicle or vehicles and drive it to whichever destination you want. The vehicle is securely strapped on the back of a truck, together with any other vehicle, and is taken to its destination. The best nationwide car transport service will always be happy to explain further details about this to you. Don’t confuse auto transport discount services with tow trucks. A tow truck tows a car over a relatively short distance. This can be because they have committed a parking violation or because they have broken down alongside a road. Whichever the case, the key here is that this service is not applicable for long distances. After all, you couldn’t tow a car all across California for example.

The Bottom Line
Basically, you should never feel rushed in making a decision. An auto transport company tends to transport an item that is generally of high value. A car, after all, is not a cheap toy that can easily be disposed of. Make sure you pay very close attention to all the quotations you receive. Read all the small print on any details that you get sent from the auto transport discount company. Think about such things as what sort of insurance they have, what would happen in case your vehicle arrives damaged, what would happen if they don’t arrive on time. If your car has to be transported over very long distances, make sure that the auto transport discount service has measures in place to protect the health and safety of their drivers. Do they have machines installed that force the trucks to go no faster than a certain speed? What arrangements do they have in terms of working hours? Also look at the company’s history. Have they had mainly satisfied customers and if not, what were the complaints? When looking at the complaints that an auto transport company has received, it is not so much about the content of the complaint, it is about how the company has responded to this. Remember that there are people out there who feel complaining is a national sport, which makes it clear that the reaction in dealing with any complaint is far more important.

You should now be armed with all the information that you could possibly need to find the best auto transport company. Always remember that it is good to look for an auto transport discount, but that price should not be the main driver in finding the best nationwide car transport service. Indeed, what is important is that the auto transport discount company that you intend to work with is safe and experienced in dealing with what you need. Do they know the vehicle or vehicles that you want transporting? Do they understand how to keep things safe and secure? Do they protect their staff? Do they have a good track record? For one last bit of security, you could once again use the internet to find reviews on the different auto transport discount services that are out there. Do make sure that these reviews are independent and not actually from the company itself. Also, don’t trust the reviews you read on the company’s website. They are highly unlikely to post anything on there that is highly negative. This doesn’t mean that the positive reviews on the service aren’t genuine. However, they will not give you the complete picture of customer experience. Never be afraid to ask questions, a good company should be happy to answer any query.

At Your Own Risk – 10 Countries Where Travel Insurance Won’t Be Able To Help You

The foreign and commonwealth office draws up an extensive list of countries that should not be traveled to quite regularly and it is from that our, and other global travel insurance providers’, underwriters decide which countries travel insurance should be provided for. We look at the government travel advice and decide from that whether or not we can provide insurance to travelers.

Although global travel insurance does, by its nature, cover the majority of the world, the current climate ensures that there are some places where the likelihood of incident means that UK travel insurance providers are unable to offer protection. Thankfully, the list is clear of the majority of popular holiday destinations, and you’re unlikely to have your big holiday plans affected. The most likely group to have their travel plans altered by the foreign office’s travel advice are business travelers.

The foreign office’s travel advice is not to travel to the following countries, even if it means losing business – the risk from the war-zones listed below is just too great to make the reward worth the danger:

Here’s our top 10 countries to avoid traveling to, and the reasons for the high risk factor! The risk is far from conclusive (the foreign office’s travel advice lists many more countries), but to me, these are the ones that all travelers should avoid like the plague:

10) Liberia

Economic hardship in Liberia is currently making outbreaks of violence common, and foreigners (especially westerners) are at risk targets due to their affluence. This extra likelihood of incident ensures that no UK travel insurance provider would risk offering you cover if you choose to visit Liberia

9) Nepal

Occasional acts of terrorism and political violence in urban areas make Nepal off-limits for those who want to get travel insurance. In September this year, three nearly simultaneous bombs went off in the capital of Kathmandu, killing 3 and injuring many innocent bystanders.

8)Haiti

Haiti is considered off limits to many travelers on account of the high risk of kidnappings and civil unrest that is prominent. At the time of writing, there have been 12 kidnappings of American travelers in 2007 – mostly criminal in nature. In the past, these kidnappings have ended in physical and sexual assaults and shootings. The potential for spontaneous protests and demonstrations has also been known to result in unexpected violence, day or night. It’s no surprise that the government’s travel advice is not to travel here!

7)Yemen

Due to the high levels of terrorist activity in Yemen, westerners are advised to steer clear of Yemen. If this is not possible, then all travelers are encouraged to stay vigilant and to keep a low profile to avoid attacks or kidnapping. The situation is so grave that the US Embassy often restricts American citizens from certain hotels, restaurants and shopping areas.

6)Israel

The Gaza Strip and West Bank has seen immense violence in recent months between Israeli and Palestinian factions, and shootings, kidnappings and violence demonstrations have occurred in each. The region’s continued instability makes travel to Israel widely recommended against – the risk of abduction or worse makes travel insurance impossible to obtain.

5)Democratic Republic of Congo

The democratic republic of Congo remains one of the most dangerous places to travel in Africa, where violence, neglect and corruption has left the country distinctly damaged. Fighting erupted in the streets of Kinshasa in March this year, and the situation remains volatile despite the immediate threat of violence calming down. Travel outside of Kinshasa is difficult and dangerous with security, especially in the north and easy, being unstable. Any traveler brave enough to travel to the Congo should be extremely cautious, avoid the North Kivu district which is the backdrop to armed conflict between government troops and army rebels, avoid crowds and keep a close eye on local media.

4)Burma (Myanmar)

While the human rights situation makes Myanmar an ethically uneasy place to visit, currently there is a lot of personal risk involved as well. Throughout September, the anti-government protests sparked a violent crackdown from the authorities and made international headlines. Although the dusk-til-dawn curfew imposed in some of the towns has been lifted, it still remains an uncertain time to visit the country and you’re unlikely to find any global travel insurance company who will insure you.

3)Colombia

Colombia remains one of the most dangerous places to travel in the world thanks to the crime the country suffers from. The illicit drug trade in urban areas such as Cali and Buenaventura means that there is often a high risk of violence, while the more rural areas expose visitors to the country at risk from narcoterrorist groups who will often kidnap civilians to use for ransom or to gain media attention. Naturally UK travel insurance companies are loathe to insure travellers who choose to ignore these warning and travel to Colombia anyway.

2)Afghanistan

With the war on terror in Afghanistan still fresh in the mind, it’s no surprise that the country remains a big no-go area. Western tourists are obvious kidnap and assassination targets, as many of the disbanded Taliban and Al-Qa’ida forces remain at large and hostile to the new regieme. Additionally, the country remains unsafe due to tribal groups, explosive devices, landmines, military operations and acts of terrorism. Unsurprisingly, the government’s travel advice is to avoid traveling here at all costs!

1)Iraq

Given the high profile nature of western kidnappings by various insurgent groups, and the regular acts of terrorism and hostility to Western troops, it is no surprise that no travel insurance companies will insure travelers to the troubled country. The instability is caused by various groups – Ba’ath regime remnants, transnational terrorists and criminal elements have been known to attack convoys en-route to venues, hotels, restaurants, checkpoints and police stations.

While holidaymakers are unlikely to be affected by these less touristy locations, their riskiness means that business travelers will have to forgo their travel insurance if they are unable to cancel their trips.

7 Best Online Travel Communities

True, Tripadvisor, Frommer’s and the Lonely Planet are some of the best online travel communities going, but they’re far from the only ones amongst the greats. So go on, expand your travel community horizons and check out our 7 Best Off The Radar Travel Communities:

1. Travelistic

From YouTube to Hulu to Yahoo, were a video obsessed bunch. Travelistic has cleverly taken this to head and created a travel community wholly centred around video.

Log on and you’ll find over 10,000 user submitted travel videos, to view, comment on and inspire your future travels. Want to visit the Great Wall? Journey to the top of Everest? You can do it all on Travelistic, without ever leaving home.

2. Igougo

A masterful all in one travel community, where you can plan your trip, compare flights and hotels and share your travel experiences with the world.

Just type in a destination and you’ll be instantly connected to a plethora of photos, reviews and users who have traveled or reside there. When you’re ready to go, create your very own trip journal and give back to the community by sharing your own travel experiences.

3. Trip It

Less of a travel community and more a travel service, Trip It is perfect for the organization nut in all of us. Just enter your flights, hotel stays and destinations and let trip it create an optimized travel itinerary for you in seconds. Never miss another plane or train again.

For those who truly want it all, upgrade to the pro version and Trip It will automatically alert you if there are changes or delays in your travel plans. That means less time at the airport, and more time at the beach.

4. Dopplr

Create a map with the dates and location of your travels; share it with the Dopplr community, check out other’s maps, then meet up with those whose travel plans overlap with your own. If you’d like to keep your location a secret from some (mom, dad, a raging x), don’t worry, you can control who can and can’t see where you are.

Along the way you’ll get a wealth of location specific travel information, so you’ll always know where to stay, where to eat, and what to do. Taking the thinking out of traveling, we like that.

5. Travbuddy

Travbuddy’s got all the ingredients that make for a killer online travel community; helpful forums, honest reviews, stunning travel photos and a dedicated membership 1.5 million strong.

Travbuddy ups the ante by giving you your very trip blog, allowing you to easily post your stories, pictures and reviews as you go. There’s even a built in mapping feature that builds a map of your travels as you venture across the earth.

Wherever, you’re headed, this is one buddy you don’t want to leave behind.

6.Travelers Point

Besides being a great place to plan, book and share your next trip, Travelers Point has hands down one of the best travel resources on the web; wiki travel guides.

These 100% user created and edited travel guides, give you the collective wisdom and travel experiences of over 250,000 members, right at your finger tips. From country and city guides, to travel health and safety information, you’ll find everything you need to get in the know, before you go.

7. Travel DODO

Travel DODO takes travel reviews and puts them into a fun, easily digestible format, Travel Do’s, and Travel Don’t.

Want to find out which restaurants, hotels and attractions are best avoided in France? Just click on the location on the interactive map, and you’ll be given a list of places to cross off your list (travel don’t), so you spend your valuable vacation time wiser.

Frankly, you’d be a DODO, not to check up here before you GOGO.

Eco Travel World Wide

Although the words Eco travel have been popping up a lot more over the past few years, its definition is often misunderstood or not known at all. Possibly you have also heard the word Eco tourism and they are used interchangeably because of their common definition. So what do they mean? Eco travel is planning a responsible vacation to places that conserve the environment. They also contribute to the well being of their community while practicing ethical policies.

The amount of interest in Eco friendly travel has soared, as people become more and more aware of environmental issues. Recycling and reducing vehicle emissions. Lowering the use of energy all makes a difference. Now your Eco travel vacation can also make a difference.

There are different things to look for to know if the vacation your are planning is environmentally and socially friendly. Let’s say for an example you went to a resort. You would check if they use environmentally friendly, recycled products? Are they committed to preserving their wild and marine life and the environment? Increase knowledge of local community and benefits socioeconomically and affordability? Not using wasteful products to make the area more attractive? Do the profits go back into the community? Do they employ local people and pay them fair wages, which is referred to as fair trade? These are all things to consider before deciding on your destination

Government and local communities are starting to work together to conserve their environment while providing much need employment in the area. There are many programs now available to help people in the tourism industry and program directors increase their knowledge of Eco travel, Eco tourism. Consumers that are ethically aware of fair trade have drastically increased sales in the tourism industry by over 50% on any given holiday.

There are now a wide variety of areas in different Countries that offer Eco travel vacations. The industry has grown so much over the past few years that it has become difficult to choose which one. From Costa Rico to Hawaii to Antarctica the choices are endless. Be aware of conservation of our environment and make Eco travel part of your next vacation.

Italy Travel Info – Plan a Better Trip

Italy is a hot vacation spot and there is so much to see you can get quite overwhelmed planning your vacation. Everybody feels compelled to hit the big three, Venice, Florence, and Rome. These are incredible cities with many great sites to visit and famous objects (art, architecture, etc.) to see. Here’s some Italy travel info to help you plan a better trip.

Here’s a simple fact, you cannot see everything in a single vacation, and the attempt to do so becomes very stressful, robbing you of the fun and excitement you planned. The thousands of years of history found in Italy (about 5,000 years of civilized history to be more precise) make it impossible to absorb in a few days, weeks, or months. You need to decide what you really want to see and build your trip around this rather than try and see everything. I would like you to think about a better way to see Italy with less stress, less expense, and more enjoyment. How? Plan your trip and get out of the major tour cities and into the lesser strained hill towns and fortified villages.

Say you are planning a trip to Florence. Identify the top three to five sites you wish to see and give yourself two or three days to see them. Once this is scheduled, take out a map of the region and start looking at the many incredible sites within a couple of hours of Florence. The big secondary sites include Pisa (worth a half a day at least), Lucca (also worth at least half a day), and Montecatinni (a spa town with open markets, grand parks, and an ancient hill town overlooking the town below). To the south of Florence are such well known sites as Siena (easily worth a full day), San Gimingano (get here early to avoid the crowds), and Volterra (worth at least half a day and one of the most interesting of Tuscan hill towns).

By picking day trips to one or two of these other towns between your planned excursions in Florence will allow you to experience a more intimate Italy. Enjoy a walk along the curtain wall surrounding Lucca (the wall is now a park and trail), then pop over to Pisa for a gander of the Tower, Basilica and more white marble than you have ever seen in one place. Another day you can stroll the narrow medieval streets of Siena, Then head on over to Volterra and explore the Etruscans, Romans, and the architecture and fortifications of a typical walled hill town.

Each of these towns is rich in history and tradition and will give you a better sense of rural and small town Italy. Each of the big three have dozens of great secondary sites nearby, all worth a visit, making planning trips as described above easy and fun.

Relax and get in sync with the slower pace of rural Italy, wander the myriad shops and caf├ęs, and watch lovely sunsets or sunrises. A trip to Italy should be fun, relaxing, and truly a trip of a lifetime. The true beauty of Italy is that you can have several of these “trips of a lifetime”, never seeing the same places twice (unless you want to, I know we have).

Should Travelers Who Book Direct Get Fairer Fare Prices?

A travel website that does not sell travel but enables travelers to save money on travel as long as they do their own bookings is now offering services to internet travelers. This service is a unique addition to travel options for all travelers comfortable with direct bookings using a new type of travel document called a TopTravelVoucher.

The operators of this service are addressing the issue of travel pricing which often includes a 10 to 25% mark-up to allow for the payment of travel agent commission to either wholesalers or retailers but when travelers buy directly from the provider (accommodations, tours or transportation) they can still pay the price inclusive of commission. To overcome the travel providers’ problems of showing multiple prices for the same products and services on their websites, they can now offer ‘fair fare prices’ by issuing TopTravelVouchers.

Travel Providers are given marketing and promotion in exchange for their own travel vouchers, equivalent to or more than, the commission that would be payable upon sale of their various travel packages and services, so they still incur the commission cost on sales but do not have to alienate their distribution chain of wholesalers and retailers by offering a retail, wholesale or ‘direct’ price on their website. This is done by the voucher operator who sells their vouchers to travelers at deep discounts to their redemption values to be used when making direct bookings, hence a travel agent who does not sell travel, only travel vouchers and therefore is not a travel agent.

According to the website information of the voucher operator, they are able to offer the ‘Fair Fare Price’ option because they do not have the normal operating costs of travel agencies such as shops, reservation systems, brochures, advertising and high staffing levels, but can still offer the traveler and the travel provider a service that is fair to all users.

Before purchasing TopTravelVouchers, travelers are advised to check for quality and availability directly with the website of their travel selection and when satisfied, make a direct booking mentioning the voucher, then purchase the voucher. All vouchers come with a 100% money-back guarantee and in the event that the traveler is not happy with their travel purchase upon completion, the cost of the TopTravelVouchers will be reimbursed and the matter taken up with the provider.

There are three levels of vouchers, $30, $50 and $100usd achieving various levels of savings but to give an example, at the time of this article there was a voucher valued at 1,500 euros (around $2,000usd) on sale for $100usd. If the vouchers are purchased outside of the USA the price is shown in the relevant currency. All vouchers are issued online and the provider is also sent a duplicate with the traveler details to encourage assistance in any travel itinerary planning of the traveler.

So as not to deter expert travel agents and agencies from participation in this service the site invites them to identify any destination and activity expertise and to also offer vouchers to encourage travelers to seek out expert professional agents. Many retail agents offer their own travel packages and tours and many are comfortable in dealing with new clients from anywhere in the world over the internet, telephone or skype. The site cautions travelers to be careful when selecting ‘specialist’ agents who are not necessarily experts and who may have just taken a simple test operated by a tourism office or tour operator promoting their own destination or products.

The travel selections with TopTravelVouchers are limited at present but the site operators are confident in the growth potential, but if you want to see what is available, you can find them at toptravelsites.

Top 12 Blogs For Travel Bloggers

This is a list of creative travel blogs that I read and follow. They are written by independent travel writers, the list include those that I consider as heavy-weights in travel blogging. These bloggers are associated with large travel sites/blogs but their focus is on living a unique life (getting to see the world around them) and be an insightful writers. All of them are fun and inspirational to read.

Blog: Everything-Everywhere

Writer: Gary Arndt

Gary has been on the road since 2007 as a professional traveler. On the blog you’ll find interviews with leading figures in the industry like Laura Bly from BlyOnTheFly. The posts are factual yet personal as they include Gary’s insights and reasons for visiting each of the destinations. Everything-Everywhere is the top travel blogger on Twitter according to its Klout score.

Most recent post: This Week In Travel – Episode 152

Blog: Nomadic Matt

Writer: Matt Kepness

Matt offers practical and tactical advice about how to travel better, cheaper and longer. The blog gives down-to-earth details about the best ways to explore the world. The blog is more of a collection of useful tips rather than a chronicle of Matt’s adventures although there is a travel guide section with info gathered from Matt’s travels since 2004. The site includes videos and a list of resources.

Most recent post: How To Travel Anywhere For Free

Blog: Go-See-Write

Writer: Michael Hodson

Traveling since 2008 he circumvented the globe without getting on a plane. The blog includes Michael’s adventures and experiences as he goes through each of the travel destinations. Dubai travel is included in the long list of destinations you can read about and there is a section of travel destination tips. The blog is a personal journey of a solo adventurer exploring the world.

Most recent post: Visiting One of the World’s Highest Lakes

Blog: Fox Nomad

Writer: Anil Polat

Chosen by the Huffington Post as one of the top travel writers to watch Anil is a full time traveler but a gadget geek as well, so the focus of the blog is often on the technical aspect of travel. He often visits countries which are off-the-beaten-track and gives practical advice about how to cope in places like Yemen and Iraq. On the blog you’ll find destination tips, tech posts, resources and insights into green travel and culture.

Most recent post: The Landmarks To Look Out For When Flying Into Istanbul

Blog: Legal Nomads

Writer: Jodi – A former Lawyer from Montreal

She has been traveling and eating her way around the world since 2008 and the blog focuses on food, culture and her adventures. One of the plus points about this travel writer’s blog is that it is ad-free (except for Amazon links) which makes it a very clean-cut blog to look at. This is a good blog to watch if you’re into food related travel, the blog is on the MSN list of top travel blogs.

Most recent post: Thrillable Hours: Doug Barber, Co-Founder of Minaa

Blog: Almost Fearless

Writer: Christine Gilbert

One of the top ranking travel & leisure blogs written by a mother traveling with her family since 2008, this blog has beautiful photography and the blend of family, self and travel. The family travel focus can be seen by the blog sections – life, kitchen, photos and kids. You’ll find some useful destination tips but more general life insights.

Most recent post: How I Spent 10 Years To Get Where I Started

Blog: Camels and Chocolates

Writer: Kristin Luna

One of the top travel writer blogs according to Elliott.org and other “top” lists due to the well written text. The writer is a professional journalist, has interviewed the stars and in addition is a travel addict. She covers a long list of travel destinations recording her adventures with the occasional travel destination tip thrown in. The blog boasts many photos of the travel writer in the various travel destinations.

Most recent post: Photo Friday: Columbus, Ohio

Blog: Johnny Vagabond

Writer: Wes

Another of the Huffington Post picks for best travel writer blogs, the charm of this blog is in the well written descriptions of the writer’s adventures. Wes is traveling around the world on a tight budget and taking brilliant pictures as he goes. The writing is engaging, intelligent and entertaining as well as giving you plenty of info about the travel destinations.

Most recent post: A Love Letter from the Philippines

Blog: 48 Hour Adventure

Writer: Justin Morris

A very useful and highly practical blog where each post is dedicated to a 48 hour plan of what to see and do in various travel destinations. What makes this travel & leisure blog standout is its no-nonsense usable quality. You’ll find a “48 hours in Dubai” post if you’re interested in Dubai travel, listing sites, how to get around, orientation and plenty of large photos.

Most recent post: 48 Hours in Reykjavik

Blog: Global Grasshopper

Writer: A team of travel writers Gary and Becky

Unlike many of the blogs on this list it is not a chronicle of any one person’s travels but rather a collection of inspirational travel stories and travel destination tips written by travel writers. For example you’ll find “top 10” lists, cool hotels and beautiful places as well as the section for travel snobs!

Most recent post: 10 of the Best Travel Destinations

Blog: Travel Business Success

Writer: Tourism Tim Warren

Since 1994 Tourism Tim Warren works to inspire, guide & connect tourism pros’ to realize their dreams. From Michigan to Mongolia, Baja to Bolivia, “Tourism Tim” Warren has helped 1000’s of small start-up tour operators to international business development agencies increase sales, arrivals and profits via his book, online courses and webinars. An entrepreneur at heart, he enjoys helping current & future travel entrepreneurs succeed financially following their passion of a profession in tourism.

Most recent post: 5 Travel Website Sales Tips

Blog: Y Travel Blog

Writer: Caz & Craig Make-peace

Caz & Craig originally from Central Coast of Australia alongside their daughters have been traveling round the world. Y Travel Blog was started in April 2010 as a way to share personal travel tips and stories to help others live their travel dreams. There consistency, dedication and global travel knowledge makes their travel site one of the best.

Most recent post: What a Day at Famous Hyams Beach Looks Like

Taxi Insurance – Understanding The Nuances

Those of you who own a vehicle or taxi need to purchase the right type of insurance, so that you are adequately covered in the event of an accident or untoward happening. Irrespective of whether you own a taxi or a fleet of taxis, it is imperative that you buy it and make sure that it meets your budget as well as requirements. There are a number of taxi insurance providers who offer discounts, if you purchase the insurance online. The best way to identify taxi insurance is to browse the internet. There are online insurance directories that will direct you to the respective insurance provider and within minutes, you will have complete information at your finger tips.

Check out for insurance comparison websites as they will be able to guide you choose the right policy for your requirements. To begin with, you may want to invite insurance of taxi quotes from three to four providers and based on these, take a call on the right policy. Fill in the insurance of taxi quote form and email it to the sites. Within minutes, you will have the filled quotes or quotations. The quote form will ask for some basic information and based on the data provided by you, the insurance provider will tailor-make the policy.

There are many ways of attracting good discounts on your taxi insurance premium. Having a clean driving record will help you achieve this. The lesser the number of accidents, the greater are the benefits. Similarly, over fifty drivers also get the benefit and good discounts on their insurance of taxi. Above fifty drivers are considered as matured and are less accident prone.

The taxi insurance premium may vary from one location to another. The type and model of the taxi also have a bearing on the insurance premium. Insurance providers encourage taxi owners to purchase the policy online as they can also get the benefit of good discounts. Once you have bought online insurance of taxi, you will be sent proof of the policy. You only have to take a print out of this copy which is a valid and legal document.

Depending on the number of taxis or vehicles you own, the insurance premium would vary. You may want to go in for group taxi insurance if you are running a fleet of taxis. The experience and age of the taxi drivers may also be taken into consideration by the authorities before extending the policy. The lesser the risk, the lesser will be the premium and vice versa. It is important to understand that a basic insurance of taxi policy may not always be enough. You may have to check out for a policy that extends other advanced features. In the event of an accident or damage to your taxi, both the parties do not have to bear the brunt of the accident.

It is advised to take adequate medical cover for the driver along with the taxi insurance, so that the coverage is spread accordingly and claiming compensation becomes simpler and easier.