Strange Travels: Jules’ Lodge is an Underwater Hotel in Key Largo

If animated movies like Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid left you fascinated with the undersea realm, then you may be delighted to know that you can live underwater with real tropical fish – at least for a night or two. At Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key West, Florida, guests can pay for the privilege of scuba diving down to an aquatic research lab that has been enterprisingly converted into a small underwater hotel. Created by Neil Money and Ian Koblick in 1986, Jules’ Undersea Lodge welcomes a mix of couples, families, and curious celebrities for pampered overnight stays in a kitschily decorated enclave. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2006, this novel underwater hotel named after author Jules Verne was the first lodge of its type in the world.

Instead of 20,000 leagues under the sea, Jules’ Lodge rests a mere 5 fathoms (30 feet) into the fish-filled waters off of Key Largo. But that hasn’t negated the novelty of scuba diving to this steel and acrylic container, which consists of two bedrooms and a common area connected by a wetroom for equipment. Visitors enter the compressed-air lodge via a special moonpool in the wetroom. Looking something like an abandoned spaceship that crashed into the sea, the underwater hotel features 42-inch round windows in both bedrooms so that guests can enjoy watching their neighbors swim by. Because Jules’ Lodge was originally a research station, it is located in an exotic underwater thicket of maritime life featuring angelfish, barracudas, and other entertaining creatures along with the more contextual sponges and sea anemones in Key Largo’s Emerald Lagoon. So most guests try to log as much diving time as they can, using Jules’ Lodge as a resting place between their scuba adventures.

When guests tire of diving and window-watching, they can enjoy music and movies or feast on filet mignon prepared by the resident “merchef” for the underwater hotel. The result is an active diving component combined with a relaxing, pampering overnight stay. Within the womb-like confines of this submerged station, guests can rest assured that Jules’ Lodge is being monitored around the clock by staff and that it has numerous backup systems in place for protection and communication. In fact, to stay at this underwater hotel, one need not be an experienced scuba diver. The minimum requirement is a three hour class which teaches the essentials for a safe descent and resurfacing.

The novelty of this underwater hotel habitat is available for just under $400 per night per person. For information on booking, visit Jules’ Undersea Lodge online.

Getting Through Security when You’re Traveling

Getting Through Security when You're Traveling

Security today is now tighter than ever because if the September 11th events. In airports today, no stone goes unturned. Unfortunately, this can make traveling far more annoying, and if you get checked out, you may be delayed for your flight or overly upset unless you take certain measures.

There are a number of ways to make sure that your trip runs as smoothly as possible, even if you get checked by security. These simple actions will make all the difference in the timeliness and efficiency with which you get through security.

Make sure when you arrive at the airport that your bag isn’t locked. If it is locked, the lock will be broken. Arrange everything as neat as possible so that the person inspecting your luggage doesn’t have to dig around. If they can glance in and rifle it a bit without missing anything, you’re good to go.

Put anything at all sharp in your check-in luggage, even if it’s a pair of tweezers or nail clippers. This is highly important, as anything security deems a threat will be confiscated. The same goes for things like bobby pins and hair sticks.

Wear easily transferable clothing. If you wear a jacket, make sure it’s easy to take off. Also, wear slip on shoes that can be easily taken on and off. Whatever you do, don’t wear a belt that has a metal buckle. Go no belt at all or cloth.

If you have any bodily element, like a metal plate or pin, get a signed copy of a doctor’s note and have it ready to show authorities if the alarm goes off.

Always carry your boarding pass and ID in your hand. Security always checks for this, so make it easy on you and on them.

If you’re wearing metal or even silver jewelry, best practice is to tuck it away in your jacket pocket, and the same goes for watches. Better yet, don’t wear any jewelry; carry your jewelry or watch in your jacket or purse.

Watch your luggage as security checks it. You have the right to do so, and it’s a good idea, especially if you have valuables. Another passenger or stranger could lift something, and security doesn’t always notice.

Pack your valuables in a portable bag and carry them on to the plane. Don’t check them in, as this can be heartbreaking if your bag is lost or stolen. Put them in the most secure spot and leave them there.

Flying with Pet Rodents: The Rules for Traveling With Your Rabbit, Guinea Pig, Hamster, or Rat

Flying with Pet Rodents

Most travel agencies address traveling with pets such as dogs and cats, but tell an agent you’re bring along a pet rabbit, guinea pig, hamster, etc. and you’re likely to get a confused pause and then be passed among numerous people, none of whom know the proper procedure for bringing your furry friend aboard an airplane. But, if you’re slightly knowledgeable about the rules for your carrier and have allotted extra time before your trip to make arrangements, traveling with a pet rodent can be easy and relatively stress-free for both of you.

You’ll want to take your pet as a carry-on in the cabin with you as most rodents are too fragile to travel as checked luggage. Of course it goes without saying that your pet should be in good health before you attempt to travel with it. So, the first thing you must do is determine what the restrictions are as far as traveling carriers go for your airline. Most airlines post the dimensions on their websites, typically under the “Special Needs” section. For example, Continental’s maximum dimensions for hard sided carriers are 22″ Length x 14″ Width x 9″ Height. These dimensions are very important to follow because if your carrier is too large to fit under the seat in you will have to check your pet. Personally, I prefer a soft-sided carrier for my guinea pig as I’ve found that fewer people in the airport (children mostly) approach it asking what I have inside and peering into it.

The fewer people poking at your pet’s carrier the better as travel is already fairly stressful for them and you want to create as calm an environment as possible. You should also be aware that you might only be able to bring one pet per person in the cabin and that advance arrangements or notifying the airline are usually a requirement. Most airlines will be able to accommodate two small rodents if you make advance arrangements and if both animals travel in the same carrier, but it’s best to call your particular carrier’s customer service to ensure this is an option. When you do call to make arrangements be prepared to explain exactly what type of animal you have and how large it is (both size and weight).

Once you’ve got your pet’s carrier and advance arrangements have been made you’re ready for the actual day of travel. You’ll want to feed your pet at least 4 hours before your flight. A full stomach can be uncomfortable for them with the pressure changes, so it’s best to feed them well ahead of time. Water, however, should be available before the flight. I typically bring along a small bottle and allow my pet to drink before boarding the plane and during any layovers we might have. Putting a soft towel, or t-shirt that smells like your pet or you inside the carrier will also help with stress as well as providing an absorbent layer for any “messes” that might happen along the way. Most rodents burrow when frightened, so a bit of extra fabric allows them to tunnel should they begin to feel unsafe. You will not be able to check-in from a self-service or curbside and will want to allow plenty of extra time for checking in at the counter. Most, if not all, airlines have a fee for bringing pets on board so be prepared to shell out extra cash at check-in in order to get your live animal sticker and the ok for your pet to board.

Security checkpoints are not a hassle if you know what to expect. Know that you will need to take off your shoes, jacket, and take your pet out of its carrier and hold it as you walk through the metal detector (the carrier goes through the x-ray machine, sans critter). I recommend wearing slip on shoes for ease and letting the guard know you have a pet before you start opening the carrier. Your pet might be frightened by all the new sounds and smells so you’ll want to be as calm as possible and speak in a soothing voice to help them know everything is ok. It also helps to hold your pet close to your chest and support both its front and hind quarters to repress their natural urge to flee. Once you make it through the metal detector place your animal back in the carrier and give your boarding pass and any papers you were given for your pet to the security representative. Then, you can head to the gate to await boarding. Please note that you will not be able to take out your pet on board the plane and possibly while in the airport.

Once you reach your destination, open the carrier and coax your furry friend out of it’s carrier with its favorite treat. Know that it might take awhile for your guinea pig, mouse, hamster, rabbit, rat, etc. to become accustomed to its new surroundings. If you’ve done everything you can to be well prepared for your trip however, it should be a fairly hassle-free experience for both you and your pet. Happy Vacationing!

How to Pack Light for a Trip to Europe

Pack Light for a Trip to Europe

When traveling in Europe, it’s important to pack for the occasion. If you are staying in multiple destinations, it is a good idea to pack lightly. Some airlines charge extra fees for luggage that exceeds their weight limit. If traveling by train, it is a difficult to swiftly board and exit with a lot of baggage. It is also a chore to find space for all your bags on a crowded train. You can maximize your space by following some simple tips in this article.

It should be fairly easy to find hostels or hotels with laundry facilities near by or in-house. This makes it easy to pack fewer clothing and maximize space by minimizing the dirty laundry you carry around. Coin operated laundry facilities are usually inexpensive compared to the burden it can cause to tote extra clothing around. For a three week trip, it is a good idea to take two pairs of jeans, one pair of shorts, two pairs of walking shoes (in case one gives you blisters or gets wet), socks and underwear for no more than five days, one jacket, one sweater and no more than four shirts. This offers a lot more luggage space and makes for cargo that is easier to carry in a smaller bag.

There are certain things that will be less hassle or even cheaper to buy while in Europe. Electrical outlet converters are easy to find in train stations, grocery stores and airports. They also often cost about half the price in Europe than in the U.S. On that note, instead of taking along a bulky laptop, it might be best to check out the list of best gaming laptops under $300 from DigiArch.

Packing food is generally not ideal. It’s hard to know how food items will fare in the flight. Flying to Europe, there is usually at least one lay over and with all the luggage handling, there’s no way to know how much of a mess it may have made in your bag. A few granola bars or a small package of crackers is not going to make much of a mess and may come in handy when you land and at the airport and they’re selling a bag of chips for $6.00. But plan on buying most of your food at your destination instead of taking up valuable room in your bag.

It’s a great suggestion to buy travel containers for your toiletries or buy travel/trial size toothpastes, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, shaving cream, etc. to conserve room.

Remember that a lot of hotels or hostels will have a blow dryer to use so you won’t need bring one.

It’s a long trip from home to hotel and you may have to walk with your luggage from the train station or bus. Keep your cargo as minimal as possible to make your time on foot less awkward and your trip less stressful.

Travel Tips for the Budget Conscious

Travel Tips for the Budget Conscious

Traveling this summer? Are high gas prices causing you to rethink your travels? Not sure if you will have enough money to get to your destination after filling up your tank? Are airline tickets too pricey for your liking? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. Many people are rethinking traveling altogether because of budget concerns. If thought out carefully and with a budget in mind, you can take a great trip this summer you just have to know how to plan accordingly, to save yourself that much needed money!

Once your destination is decided, it is important to start thinking about lodging. If lodging is too expensive at the particular city you are visiting, try looking at surrounding cities. Often times the smaller surrounding cities have much cheaper lodging than the larger cities. Begin your search for budget saving lodging by scouring the Internet. Many times websites such as,, and have excellent hotel deals on most major tourist destinations.

Another secret that many may not know is to actually call the hotel you are interested in. Many times booking directly with the hotel can save you money over booking online. If not calling the hotel directly, get as many different quotes from all the different online sites as possible, then compare who can get you the room the cheapest. The obvious answer would be to book with the cheaper site, since you are traveling on a budget.

Once you have found quotes on a hotel, the decision needs to be made as to how to get there. Will you be driving, flying, taking a bus or a train? For many people, driving this summer will be expensive it may end up almost as expensive as flying. If choosing to fly, think about how you will go from place to place once you reach your destination. Will you rent a car, take a taxi, or will you easily be within walking distance of each attraction you wish to see? If you know that walking won’t be an option and decide to fly and then rent a car, think about this added expense. Renting a car can be expensive especially when added onto to your airline fare; it may be cheaper to drive to your destination.

If flying, there are ways to not break your budget. Many websites do offer cheaper flights. However, another little unknown tip is to call the airline directly or book through the specific airline’s website. I have found numerous flights directly on an airline’s website that are much cheaper than booking through an online travel site. Many people are not aware of this secret, but it can save an airline passenger quite a bit of money, especially if booking early.

If flying, most of the time it is much cheaper to fly out of major metropolitan airports than smaller city airports. Try flying into a major city also; this cuts back on budget busting airfare prices. If you absolutely cannot fly into our out of major cities, many smaller airports offer airlines such as Southwest, Air Tran, Jet Blue and Frontier. Flying one of these airlines, if possible, can be much cheaper than booking a flight with one of the bigger airlines.

If renting a car once you arrive at your destination, know that you need to book a car rental at least 14 days in advance to receive a discounted rates. Car rental agencies also offer coupons for travelers and many agencies give discounts if renting the vehicle for one week. Another tip on car rentals: don’t rent from the airline car rental terminal. These terminals may charge you an airline fee to rent the car. If possible, rent a car from an agency not located at the airport. This little bit of information can often times save you from 10 to 15 dollars a day.

With gas prices so high these days, many people may think flying or taking a train is cheaper. Train travel can actually be expensive, if you choose to purchase a sleeping car. These cars are much more comfortable and allow for a bed to sleep on, but are much more expensive than just renting a chair in one of the travel cars. If comfort isn’t important to you, and you have extra travel time, than train travel may be for you. Keep in mind that train travel can go very slow, with many starts and stops throughout your journey. If your wish is to get to your destination more quickly, than train travel may not be the right choice for you.

If you choose to drive to your destination, no matter how far it may be for you, remember that you may need lodging throughout the trip until you reach your destination. If you are brave, many people choose to drive straight through until they reach the city they want to vacation in. This can be tiring and it can mean a grueling amount of time in the car. But, it can also save you the cost of extra hotel stays on the way.

Gas prices are high. A good way to decide if it would be cheaper to fly, drive, or take the train is estimate how much each form of travel will cost you. Make sure to add in extra hotel lodging, car rentals, etc. if needed. Once you have determined which form of transportation is cheapest, then you can begin to actually book your flights. If driving, a good website to find the cheapest gas in each city you may be driving through is the following: This website should be able to tell you where the cheapest gas is found in many cities throughout the country. The best part is, it is absolutely free!

Traveling, especially with the high price of everything these days, can be expensive. Knowing some important tips can help to save you money, and may even allow you to take a much-needed vacation to a place you thought you couldn’t afford!

Travel Tips for International Vacations

International Vacations

International vacations can be extremely fun. There’s just something about traveling to a different country in a different part of the world that is exciting. You get to experience a different culture, different food, sometimes even an entirely different lifestyle than your own. When you travel on an international vacation it is important to follow some general guidelines and safety tips.

Safety is one of the most important things to take into consideration when you travel on an international vacation. When you travel on an international vacation you should do whatever you can to keep from becoming a victim of theft. This is important regardless of the part of the world that you travel to on your international vacation. Make sure that you do not wear expensive jewelry or clothes. If you travel to a poor neighborhood, do not have your camera out.

Try to secure your belongings as much as possible when you travel on an international vacation. When there is a safe available at your hotel or hostel, use it only if it looks secure. When you travel with money on an international vacation, use a money clip only when you have to and use the kind that is worn on the inside of your clothing.

When you travel on an international vacation you should never leave your luggage unattended. This is one of the most important things to do when you travel on an international vacation. As long as your luggage is with you, no one will get a chance to steal it. Use padlocks if you can to deter thieves from breaking into your luggage when you are on an international vacation.

Make sure that you are always aware of where you are going. Many people that travel on an international vacation tend to wander around aimlessly. This makes them a target for muggers and thieves. Use a map to determine where you will be going on that day. Memorize the route so that you know what streets to look for. If you travel on an international vacation and walk around with a map in your head, others will know that you are lost. If you need to refer to your map along the way, you should move out of traffic and place your back on a wall that is still in or near the bustling parts of town. Look at the map and try to memorize the next few steps that you will make. Once you have done this put the map away and continue on.

Always be aware of your surroundings when you travel on an international vacation. Feel free to enjoy the sites and the culture because that is the purpose of the international vacation. Just make sure that you also pay attention when you travel. Trust your instincts and gut feelings about where you are. If something seems wrong, then it probably is. It will be hard to know the unspoken rules of the place that you travel to on an international vacation, but try to be as sure of your surroundings as you possibly can.

Six Tips for Travel to Germany (and Any Other Country)

Tips for Travel to Germany

             1.Know before you go – events

Way back in 1985, I’d had my first ‘real’ job for a year. I’d spent the entire time saving up money so I could take a nine-day trip to England as soon as I had earned my five days worth of vacation (awarded after one year of service). I wanted to see some plays in the West End, (London’s theater district), and I wanted to travel north to see some of the places associated with King Richard III, whom I’d become fascinated with after readingThe Murders of Richard III by Elizabeth Peters and The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey.

I could have gone over at any time, but I was impatient and went over literally the day after I was awarded my vacation days – in May, 1985. I had a good time…up to the point when I went to Bosworth Battlefield: the place where Richard III had died and the War of the Roses had ended. Like most ancient battlefields there wasn’t much to see, just placards placed along a walking path explaining what had happened where. Interesting, but it needed imagination to hear the sound of horses’ hooves, men yelling, the sound of blade against blade. After I’d walked over the ground, I went into the gift shop to buy some souveniers. And there I saw a poster advertising the Re-enaction of The Battle of Bosworth Field, which was to take place on August 22, 1985, the 500th anniversary of his death. Hundreds of uniformed soldiers, lots of fighting, Richard’s final desperate charge on horseback that led to his death…Now that would have been something to see…and I was four months too early. If I had but known…

In this day and age of the Internet superhighway, when detailed information on any subject is just a click away, there’s no need to miss an event that you’d want to see ‘if only you’d known.’ Whatever your hobbies or interests are, start doing your research well ahead of time so that if an event is going to take place at a certain time, you’ll be able to plan accordingly.

(And there may be times that you absolutely want to avoid, such as dates for big sporting events, or big festivals which will attract more people than you might want to deal with.)

             2.Know before you go – the language

Unless you have a gift for languages, you’re not going to learn enough German in less than a year or so to be fluent. Nevertheless, it’s worth your while to study the language for as long as you can – simply because it will add to your comfort level. Yes, quite a few Germans speak at least some English, but not all do, and it’s a joy to be able to read and understand phrases on buildings or posters.

At the very least, you must pick up a phrase book…and don’t wait until you need to know a phrase to start looking it up in the book. Familiarize yourself with its contents…memorize the phrases for use at hotels or in restaurants…to ask for the police or other emergency services, etc.

Think you don’t have time to listen to language CDs? Of course you do! Check out some from the library, and listen to them on the way to and from work.

             3.Luggage matters

Black seems to be the luggage color of choice. It looks ‘cool,’ right? It also makes everything look alike, especially if you’re just off the plane after a tiring trip and standing at the luggage carousel anxiously awaiting your bags. So instead of black, choose red or blue or green! If you must have black bags, tie bright red bows or something to the handles to easily distinguish your bags from somone else. This wll enable you to see your bags easily, and it will prevent other people from accidently making off with your bags – which has been known to happen.

  1. Know the Airport

Depending on where you live and where in Germany you’re going, you’ probably fly into either Berliln or Frankfurt. If you’re having someone meet you – familiarize yourself with the airport. There are diagrams of the airports at their respective websites. Important: Pay attention to the steward(ess)’s spiel at the end of your trip – they’ll tell you at which carousel your luggage will be arriving. But don’t put on your headphones and tune out while you wait – five minutes later your luggage carousel location might change, and it’ll be announced over loudspeakers. Once you get your luggage you’ll go through customs. (You went through passport control first thing.) If you have nothing to declare (duty free liquor, etc.) it usually won’t take too long…you just walk through the right door. You can be met here – *or you can arrange to be met at the official Meeting Point (there’s one in each terminal – and are usually used by tour companies who want all their people to wait in one place, but you can take advantage of it too.)

You can change your dollars into euros at plentyof places here. Practically all service personnel at the Airport will speak good English, so you’ll be able to ask questions if you have to.

              5.Don’t try to do too much

If you travel a great deal, you’re the best one to know how quickly you recover from jetlag. If you’re taking your first international trip, be aware that your first day in Germany will probably not be a fruitful one. Even if you can sleep on a plane, you only get a few hours shut-eye before you are wakened. So you’ll be tired. Try to schedule this day as one where you can simply relax. Try to stay awake as long as you can, at least until early evening, so that you can sleep straight through to the next morning and thus get onto German time…but again, it’s up to you to best know how your body responds.

Once you’ve recovered from the flight, don’t try to jam-pack your days. That’s the “If its Tuesday this must be Belgium” syndrome. Better to get a good look at a few things than a brief look at a lot of things that will simply blur together in your memory.

             6.You’re in Germany

It’s a common point of humor – don'[t drink the water in Mexico. The same thing holds true in Germany as well. You’ll find that Germans don’t drink tap water – they drink bottled water. Follow their example.

Depending on where you are in the country, you’ll find food just like home – McDonald’s are ubiquitous, there are Pizza Huts, Kentucky Fried Chickesn and other fast-food, chain style restaurants. While its fun to go in these places and see what’s the same and what’s different…you are in Germany! Try the local food! Try the local beers – but please don’t over-indulge.

Stores are usually closed not only on Sundays, but also for a couple of hours during the middle of the day on weekdays. This includes large cities as well as the smaller towns.

Throughout Europe, the Euro is the currency of choice. You can use German Euros in France, French Euros in Germany, and so on. (The countries have their own ‘national’ design on one side, but they’re accepted everywhere.)

There is a network of highways in Germany called the autobahn…and people drive really, really fast on them. There are no speed limits. If you want to drive on the autobahn, make sure you learn the meaning of the international road signs, and make sure you know the rules of the road. Fast cars drive in the left two lanes, slower cars in the right. There is *no passing on the right hand side. Plan your journey in advance on an atlas, and make sure you know not only the name of the town you’re heading for, but also the names of surrounding towns, so that if you see highway signs listing various city names, you’ll know if you’re heading in the right direction or not.

Germany has an excellent train service, so consider going places by train.

When it’s time to go home, remember that you’ve got to get to the airport with a couple of hours to spare – so that you can go through customs, have your luggage checked, etc.

The more prepared you are for your vacation to Germany, the better you’ll enjoy it, and the more you’ll be able to remember of it as the years go by. So be prepared, do your homework, and have fun.

Air Travel in Smaller Planes Not Too Bad

Air Travel in Smaller Planes

Flew to Washignton State from California and back recently on Horizon Airlines, an affiliate of Alaska Airlines.

Horizon uses compact turboprops instead of full-blown jets. They are nimble, not as noisy or cramped as you might think, and the flight process was smooth from reservation to end of the trip.

Getting a seat is best done by consulting a great overall site,, which will search for you for the cheapest possible seat. From California to, say, Portland, Seattle or Spokane, Horizon always seems to be the best bet. In April, I booked a one-way to Spokane for about $125 and the return flight was $132.

Booking two one-ways has a bunch of advantages. First, it enables you to change that return flight if you have to. Second, it seems cheaper in some cases. The cheapest round trip I could find was $325.

Web check-in is fabulous. When you arrive at the airport, in this case Sacramento, you don’t have to mess with the long baggage check-in line. Instead, you enter the reservation number on your ticket into one of the terminals located right there at Alaska Airline, then deposit your bags in the Web Check-in Line, which is almost always vacant!

Airlines like using the Internet because it’s cheaper for them, and Alaska-Horizon passes that savings on down.

The Horizon turboprops definitely have a problem with turbulence, moreso than bigger jets, but seem to slice through it effectively enough, and the frame seems solid enough for a rough bashing without safety issues in the air.

Some stops are a necessary evil. For example, ny Sacramento-Spokane flight stopped in Boise, ID, and my return flight stopped in Portland. No big deal, fairly big savings and convenience.

Beats traveling by car and paying $3 a gallon for a 2,000-mile round trip.�

Avoid Motion Sickness While Traveling

Avoid Motion Sickness

If you have a queasy stomach and get sick every time you travel you will be happy to find out that there are ways to beat motion sickness. By following these tips you will be able to avoid the sickness, and enjoy your trip.

  1. Do not eat a heavy meal before you depart on your trip. This will upset your stomach and cause it to become irritated during travel. Try to eat something light such as crackers or a piece of bread.
  2. Try to stay facing forward during your trip. By turning around you will throw your body out of sync. Also, try to keep your eyes affixed on an object that is straight ahead.
  3. Keep a carbonated soda handy. By sipping on this you will be able to combat any uneasy feeling that may start to come about.
  4. Consider taking medicine before leaving on your trip. There are plenty of motion sickness tablets available on the market today. The most popular and effective is Dramamine.
  5. Fresh air can go a long way in helping to fight off motion sickness. If you start feeling nauseated open the window and take in some fresh air.
  6. You may have a medical condition that is causing you to become sick during travel. Consult with your doctor, and he or she may be able to cure you of your problem for good.

Advice for Couples Planning a Trip

Couples Planning a Trip

When a couple decides to travel, it is a time for unwinding and bonding. Taking the time to separate from the every day routines and problems is good for most relationships. It is important that couples lay out some ground rules before dashing off on a trip togther. Even couples who have a long marriage bond need to have some guidelines to improve the quality of the trip.

If the couple traveling together are just two friends heading off together, the rules are still much the same. The primary difference is that the question of who pays for what needs to be addressed from a more detailed perspective. Unless one partner makes it clear that the cost does not need to be divided, plan on a 50/50 split.

For the married or committed couple, the traveling rules change only slightly from that of friends. Splitting the cost of the trip is not an issue because it is paid from shared funds. Instead of worrying about who will pay when or should a meal ticket be split, more effort should go into itinerary, the overall cost of the trip, and mode of transportation.

Choose the destination and purpose of the trip together.

Couples almost always travel to spend time together and enjoy some new experiences. This may mean an entirely new place to visit or an opportunity to spend more time enjoying or exploring a familiar place. It could be a romantic get away to a favorite or meaningful spot. The key is to make sure that both halves of the couple understand the why behind the where.

It is never good if she went for romance and shopping, and he went for golf and sleeping. Both of these goals can be attained, but probably not together. This needs to be worked out before the trip even gets to the financial stage. Often, the destination is dependent upon the purpose. It would be rare to go to the beach and not intend to partake of the sun and surf. A snow skiing resort would bring another obvious reason for choosing a given destination.

Work Out a Budget Both Partners Like.

Trips that run short on cash are not very much fun near the end. For that matter, it can make for an uncomfortable trip if you are worrying about money the entire time. Plan your trip within your means. A trip to Europe is not a good choice if you only have $500 to spend. Small budgets usually imply a trip of less distance and less duration. You can still accomplish many of the goals for traveling. You just have to plan a trip that fits the budget.

You also want to avoid having a great time on a trip and come home and file for bankruptcy. Well, that is, unless that was your plan. It still would not be a very good one. Keep traveling within your personal budget, as well as, establishing a traveling budget.

Pick the Mode of Travel.

You can go by car, train, jet, or ship. The trip can even combine several of these. If you are traveling a thousand miles to take a cruise, you will want to decide well ahead of time if you will drive or fly. You might even choose a bus, but not many couples will. A trip to Cancun will almost always require flying. Make sure that you and your partner are both comfortable with the mode of transportation.

Agree on Food and Lodging Needs.

As a couple, you need to layout plans that include what type of lodging is acceptable to both parties. Younger people tend to want cheap while older couples look for a little more luxury. The same is true for eating. Some couples will choose a cooler and sandwiches. Others will want a full service meal several times per day. This is simply something to consider within the realm of your likes and your budget.