Post about "Travel and Leisure"

Pre-Travel Planning Checklist: Essential Things to Do Before You Go

Passport. Make sure your passport is valid through the length of your trip, even better if you have at least six months to spare. Check, because some countries will not issue you a visa if you have less than six months’ remaining on your passport.Banking. Buy travelers’ cheques if you plan to use them. Call your bank(s) to be sure your ATM/debit cards can be used overseas. Ask what the fees are for using your card abroad, such as transaction and foreign currency conversion fees. Tell them what countries you will be visiting and when. Get phone numbers to call from overseas if you need to. Most banks have international collect numbers that you can call from a pay phone if need be.NOTE: Look at your bank cards and credit cards to be sure they won’t expire during your trip. It’s a very easy thing to overlook, but the biggest pain in the butt to fix!Documents. Photocopy important documents such as your passport, credit cards, visas, travelers’ cheques, travel insurance policy and itinerary. Leave a copy with a reliable loved one so that if need be you can call and have the documents faxed/emailed to you. Email a copy to yourself, and make sure your email password is as tight as Uncle Scrooge.Travelers insurance. You will probably never have to use it, but it’s a must. Compare policies. Nomad and travel1 are excellent companies I’ve used.Keeping in Touch. If you are planning to take your mobile phone with you, call your carrier to find out exactly what the rates are to make and receive calls and texts in each country you plan to travel to. Even better, get your phone unlocked and buy a local SIM card when you arrive. Usually for just a few dollars, you can have your own number on which you can receive calls for free (someday, hopefully the United States will get on board with the rest of the world and not charge you to receive calls…).Skype. If you don’t already have a Skype account, set one up now. This is your best bet for calling home or anywhere else. Not only can you talk for free with your friends who have Skype, you can also call anywhere you want to for pennies through the computer. You can get a local Skype number that for just a few dollars a month that you have forwarded to you wherever you are (watch out, though; with this option, YOU pay to receive calls). Most internet cafes now have Skype-ready machines. If it’s the middle of the night or you can’t find an internet cafe (they do seem much less plentiful, what with every cafe, hotel and even hostel offering wi-fi these days), an international calling card is a good idea. Even the worst ones will give you far better rates than your mobile carrier from home will give you for international calls.Bills. If you are going away for a month or more, make sure to pay any monthly bills that will come due while you are gone. Even better, set up online banking so that you pay all of your bills with a few clicks of a mouse. It’s free, provided by your bank (if not, you need to find a bank that has entered the 21st century! Hello!), your payments arrive faster because they are sent electronically, and you don’t have to find envelopes or lick stamps. Done.First night accommodations. It’s a good idea to make a room or bed reservation for your first night. Write down their address, phone number and directions.Know how to get out of the airport. If you plan to navigate yourself with public transportation, write down specific directions, and don’t be shy about double checking with the bus driver to make sure you’re going the right way. If you plan to take a taxi, find out what the distance is and/or what the taxi fare should be, and don’t be shy about disputing the fare if the driver tries to charge you three times what you expected. Unscrupulous taxi drivers routinely rip off tourists in every city in the world, but when you call them out on it, you usually end up paying a more fair price.

Experience the Elegance of Venice Through Private Tours to Venice

Venice is without a doubt, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, as evidenced by the countless literary masterpieces that the city has inspired. It is for this reason that private tours to Venice are so popular, especially for those who want to experience the city’s infectious romantic vibe. The Floating City, Venice is best known for being built on water. In fact, no car can access the city and canals lead to everywhere you want to go. Venice comprises of some 118 islands, interconnected with countless bridges and winding canals.

Private tours to Venice are even more enjoyable with at least a few hours spent on a Gondola ride. These small canoes are ubiquitous in the city and they are definitely the best way to get around, especially if you want a unique view of the city through the waterways. This said, walking tours of the city’s centuries old streets are also very common, especially for those who want to admire Venice’s rich collection of Gothic architecture that dates back as early as the Byzantine and Ottoman periods. Ca’d'Oro the Doge’s Palace, and Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti are only among the must-see architectural marvels in the city.

Surrounded by water, it is no surprise that Venice is also a huge seafood haven. If you want to try a different side of Italy’s cuisine, Venice is definitely a great place to sample its seafood delights. The city doesn’t run out of fresh supply of fish, shellfish, and other seafood favorites hauled out from nearby lagoons.

Private tours to Venice are also not complete without a visit to the Burano Island, which is one of the most iconic fishing villages in the region, known for its floating houses that paint a rainbow-colored backdrop for your excursion. Another interesting island to spend a tour in is Lido or the Golden Island, which is best known for its private beaches and golden dunes.

About the Author

Italy Luxury Tours is the go to source for Exclusive Private Luxury Tours of the Italian Peninsula and its Islands. We provide Italy Private Tours, Enogastronomic Food and Wine Private Tours in most Italian Regions, Italy Off The Beaten Path Private and few selected Sport and Adventures Tours. All our Tours are fully customizable to suite your travel needs, interests and dates. Italy Luxury Tours specializes in delivering Italy Custom Tours where we will create your itinerary from scratch.