When travelling, you want to have the most relaxing time possible. But with so many things to do it can be really hard to stay relaxed and to have everything in order. Concierge services come into the picture to take the burden off your shoulders so you have lots of time to do what you want to do most not worrying about personal things that need to be done. Concierge services can be residential, corporate or personal; the personal services are what you will need when preparing for a holiday travel.

Generally speaking, you will have a manager to take care of your daily tasks such as making phone calls, making hotel reservations, arranging spa services, booking transport and even coordinating luggage assistance. Some of the service providers will basically be open to offer you any kind of assistance you may need including pet care, dining bookings and procuring tickets to events that you want to enjoy during your holiday. The services you can enjoy can be as personalized as possible and they will:

Save your time – this is because you won’t have to spare your precious holiday time trying to get everything in order. You simply need to make your request and your concierge will be on the tasks promptly. You will have all your errands run for you as you spend valuable time doing what you want in your travel destination. You will have more time to relax, explore, enjoy and learn when you have a trustworthy manager handling all your personal tasks.

Save your money – It may seem ironical because the extra services will definitely cost you something. But the truth is when you choose to have a concierge you stand to enjoy services from different service providers and vendors working in conjunction with your provider. This increases the chances of enjoying discounts from the partners, including free upgrades, special perks and treatments and complimentary benefits for various products and services. You may get the rare chance of enjoying free trials, upgrades and discounts at top spas, restaurants, transportation and entertainment companies.

When looking for the best service provider for your travel needs, you should check out

The services – Checking what the concierge services offered entail is very important. There are service providers who may have limits as to what their assistants can do on your behalf while others may be flexible and willing to customize the services to meet all your requirements.

Charges – Also important to check is the charges; some charge at an hourly rate, whereas some will charge the services at a flat fee in consideration for everything you want to be taken care of during your holiday.

Partnerships – Concierge services usually brings a number of other service providers together. If you want something like spa arrangements made for you, you may want to check what spas your service provider works in conjunction with to ensure that they can offer you the best services. This should apply to every other arrangement you find necessary for the holidays.

The travel and tourism industry is a massive global industry that caters for the needs of those who have to travel away from home in terms of providing facilities and services like hotel accommodation, air and road transport. Close to a billion people are involved in international travel in this industry which generates billions of dollars every year. Sometimes making a decision on which industry to work for can be quite hard given the many options available today across the globe. Below are five reasons why you should consider working in the travel and tourism industry.

1. There are lots of work opportunities. The travel and tourism industry has a lot of opportunities employment for those seeking employment. You can work in the aviation sector, road, rail and water transport, accommodation providers like hotels and lodges, leisure and business travel agents and tour guides. It is now also possible to work from home thanks to technology which is convenient for some people like mums who have a child or children and do not want to be far away from home.

2. The perks are good. The travel industry provides rewards that not many other industries do. For example those working in the airline industry can get free tickets for themselves and immediate family members to fly to any destination that the airline they work for flies to. Those who work as travel agents can get reduced travel fares and even pay reduced accommodation rates. Then there are the familiarization trips that those who work in the industry have the opportunity to take. Just think of an all expenses paid trip to places like the Seychelles, France, the Kenyan coast of Mombasa to name just a few.

3. It is a growing industry. In spite of the recent downturn because of the threat of terrorism and the world recession, travel industry players are optimistic about its growth. In good times and bad times people always get the urge to move. And with more and more places becoming accessible because of air travel and with both air travel and hotel rates coming down in order to accommodate peoples pocket there is reason to believe that the travel industry will continue to grow and more markets will be reached which is good news for service providers. Furthermore technology like the internet has made it possible to access markets anywhere in the world, at any time of the day.

4. It is never boring. Working in the industry almost means that you will meet new people from time to time. This is especially true for those who work as frontline staff in travel agencies, airline offices or hotels. Those who work in the airline industry as flight attendants have the opportunity to travel to different parts of the world, visit different towns and cities and see and experience different cultures. That can never be a boring job.

5. You do not need years of studying to work in the industry. You may love a certain profession but because of the years of studying involved in learning it you may be discouraged from joining it. Not so with the travel and tourism industry. Three to six months may be enough depending on what qualification you are studying for to get you started working for this exciting industry. Some people because of their love for the work and experience gained in certain areas of the industry have even started working and studied for the paper qualifications later.

When it comes to the choice between using an online travel agency or not for your next trip, there are several factors to consider with several pros and cons.

One of the main concerns that seem to arise with online travel agencies is the trustworthiness and security of paying such large amounts of money online. While online security is a major factor for any online travel agency, this is true of all online businesses. So it is more a matter of choosing a travel agency online with a quality reputation by looking at their customer reviews and see what their actual site itself is like. What’s more, when you are logging on and preparing to pay for any online costs, there should always be that small symbol of a lock at the bottom right hand side of the screen as a sign of the level of security attached.

The benefits of using online travel agencies are that unlike their physical counterparts, they are available at any time, ideal for emergency travel situations, and also for any late after-hours bookings that you need to complete. Additionally you can compare travel deals and special available all over the world in order to find the very best deal for you and your travels. What this means is that while a physical travel agency will have a great range of deals for you, they are limited by who they can work with in terms of other travel professionals. With these online agencies, it up to you to decide who you work with, allowing you to create your ideal travel plans.

What you may also find when working with online travel agencies that you will have a great range of methods to pay for the holiday, offering greater flexibility and financial choice. These choices can range from the standard credit cards and accounts to payment plans and travel accounts.

Overall when talking online travel agencies it is more a matter of preference of the customer and how they prefer to do their business, either online or in person, that should dictate how they book their travel plans.

 

Among the paradise of islands that is the Philippines, among the choices of escapes around the world, and among all the chains of resorts and hotels all over the globe, there exists a hidden secret. This is a secret so coveted, 99% of the inhabitants of the Philippines doesn’t even know its there: the private resort Amanpulo.

The private island is a so luxurious, decadent and extravagant, it is on a class of tourist destinations of its own.

Owned by the AmanResorts luxury group, Amanpulo bears its parents’ name “aman” meaning peace. The word “pulo” on the other hand is the native Filipino word for “island”. Amanresorts is only composed of 15 or so luxury spots in different places, so Amanpulo is no less lavish and exciting as it other more well-known cousins. Amanpulo just opened in the Pamalican Island of Palawan, in the Eastern archipelago of the Philippines. Getting there and leaving there is by private jet, though one can assure you leaving paradise would be pretty hard. Well, at least the jet ride is seamless and comfortable.

Whats more, since this is a private island, getting in is no easy feat. One must know the appropriate channels and get in the right time to obtain a reservation. For a summer vacation in a year or two. One may not know this, but one of the sole entries in the book Places to See Before You Die for the Philippines is Amanpulo, so it is definitely worth the wait.

In Amanpulo, it is said that wide, powdery-white beaches are the wonder, compounded by the seascape proved majestic by the view of nearby Manamoc Island. Sometimes, when visitors stare out at Manamoc form the footprinted shorelines, do they ever wonder whats its like to be on that island paradise, then find themselves on the exact same fantasy in reality? The Aman gives no less.

The Beach Club of course, is said to be Amanpulo’s pride and joy. The relaxing wide are is spread with soft decks and pillows, with walkways leading to the pristine pools or the magnificent beach. The beach is the best choice by morning, while subtly lit pools are the choice place to unwind in romantic nights.

In addition, the place simply called The Restaurant serves both Filipino and international cuisines. And from the sound of the reviews, The Restaurant is on a league of its own, a throwback to when hotel restaurants were the best places to dine in. Serving fresh greens form its own vegetable and herb garden, The Restaurant will settle everyone’s worries over what’s good to eat because well, everything is good to eat.

Beach side casitas, nipa hut inspired but very luxurious lodges, are spaced very wide apart. This gives the impression of having your own beach paradise because you can choose to rarely see other guests. The views are fantastic, and a camera is a must. Maybe an underwater camera is a must too, since only 300m form the shore, a reef so full of color and life awaits anyone.

Coming clean, this is not an advertising ad for Amanpulo or the Aman chain of resorts. This is just a simple yearning to go there, one of the best places on earth unabashedly called paradise by those who have seen it. To taste the secret.

Local Philippines is your one-stop source of information about the Philippines with its fascinating travel destinations, colorful festivals and premier attractions.

One of the main purposes of travel is to gain experiences that allow us to grow and develop as individuals and it is important that people travel the way that bests suits them at a particular time. For example, I like to go on adventure holidays and this invariably includes a small group and expert guide, and I frequently participate in writing retreats around the world with like-minded people. However for me, the real joy of travelling has always been to take off on my own and just ‘see’ what comes along the way. Of course this can sometimes be fraught with frustrations, difficulties and even dangers.

Advantages of travelling alone

  • Freedom
    Most people who travel alone generally cite freedom as the great motivating factor: freedom to please themselves, go where and when they want, change their plans on a whim when they hear about something that is a ‘must’ to see, and to accept spontaneous invitations by locals.
  • No compromises
    This is associated with the previous point. Even if travelling with one other person, be it friend, colleague, lover or spouse, there will always be some compromises required. Not everyone has the same interests or the same energy levels, some people need to be emotionally supported all the time, others are apathetic, some have different attitudes to time. With solo travel, there is no peer pressure over finances, the unspoken need to divide up restaurant bills equally, or guilt trips when you want to go off on your own for a while.
  • Meeting people
    Travelling solo does not mean that you will always be alone. In fact, it allows you to meet more people because other tourists and locals find an individual traveller more approachable than those in a tightly-knit group. Also, people in groups have very little need to reach out to others for communication. I have met more people, had more interesting conversations and invitations and made more long-term friends while eating alone in foreign restaurants or sitting alone at bars. But then I am gregarious. Travelling alone allows you to choose the people you wish to spend time with rather than having to face the day-after-day annoyances of the inevitable clowns and whingers found in any large group.
  • Discoveries
    There is a real sense of discovery involved in travelling on your own, and that includes self-discovery. You don’t have to rely on an often ill-informed guide to lead you around on a leash, and there’s the surprise and thrill when you find something you weren’t expecting, like the time I became lost and ended up in a small Bavarian village with a monastery that contained a library with tens of thousands of Medieval manuscripts. Travelling alone allows you to discover more about yourself as you overcome simple challenges such as missing a bus or boat and realizing there is no other for a day or a week. Then there is the sense of achievement when solving much more challenging problems like finding yourself lost in a strange town at midnight or running out of money on a holiday weekend with no ATM in sight and the banks closed.

Disadvantages of travelling alone

  • The single supplement
    For those who like to stay in decent hotels, there is the unfair single supplement that can add thousands to the cost of your trip.
  • Lack of help
    There is no one to watch your luggage while you go to the restrooms at airports or train stations, no one to help with persistent touts, no one to be there for you if you get sick or if you are being stalked or harassed by a determined male in the street.
  • Photos
    There are times when I would like to have had more taken of myself in certain places, but there again, there are always people willing to snap one or two for you.

I know there will be times in the future when I will travel as part of a group out of choice because I want to visit areas where it is just not possible or sensible for a woman alone, or because I wish to be with family or like-minded people. However, due to my particular personality traits, my preference is to travel alone. I guess it really doesn’t matter how people travel, but that they travel.