Budget Travel Tips For Disabled Travelers

Is it really possible to travel on a budget when you use a wheelchair, cane or walker? Can disabled travelers find those same great travel bargains that are available to their able-bodied counterparts?

The answer is a qualified yes. The deals are out there, if you know where to look. The good news is, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to hit the road if you need accessible services. With that in mind, here are a few money-saving tips to help you stretch your travel dollars.

  • Many budget properties offer excellent access, so seek them out whenever possible. For example, Microtel gets consistently high marks for access, as all of their properties are constructed from the ground up with access in mind.
  • Consider staying in a hostel to trim your lodging costs. Although previously only an option for young travelers and backpackers, today hostels welcome everyone. Many hostels are wheelchair-accessible, and some even have private rooms.
  • For a zero cost lodging bill, consider a home exchange. Although most home exchange services don’t specifically list accessible homes, the Institute on Independent Living in Stockholm has a great message board filled with accessible home exchange options (www.independentliving.org/vacex/index.html). Best of all, it’s free!
  • The YMCA is another budget lodging option that’s often overlooked by disabled travelers. Most Ys have swimming pools and some even have weight rooms; and many offer excellent access.
  • When flying in the US, save your taxi fare and choose a hotel that offers free airport transportation. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, if a hotel has a free shuttle service, they must also provide accessible transfers at no charge, even if they have to contract out the service.
  • Most major museums have good wheelchair-access, while many offer special free days every week or month. Check the museum website for information about their free days, and then adjust your schedule accordingly.
  • Many college campuses also boast top notch museums, which offer free admission. Most of these are wheelchair-accessible because they are on campus. Contact the college visitors center to see what they have to offer.
  • Enjoy the great outdoors, with the America the Beautiful Access Pass, from the National Park Service. This free lifetime pass is available to anyone with a disability. It provides free admission to all national parks and national monuments, and offers a 50% discount at all national park campgrounds. It’s available at any national park entrance.
  • Be on the lookout for free cell phone and MP3 tours. You can take these tours at your own pace, and most cover downtown areas that are largely accessible. Many Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) have them available as a free download on their websites.
  • Many factories offer free or low cost tours with lots of samples and other fun freebies. A good resource for searching out accessible factory tours is Watch It Made In The USA, by Karen Axelrod and Bruce Brumberg. This detailed volume contains information on over 300 factory tours across the US.
  • Last but not least, don’t forget about cruising, as it’s a very accessible vacation choice. To save a little money, get a group of friends together and book as a group. In most cases, you’ll get one free berth for the first eight cabins you book, and a full cabin for the next eight. You can take the free cabin yourself as the group leader, or sell it and pass along the savings to the entire group.

Three Sailing Tips for Safer Sailing Today

What sailing tips could you put into play today to make your small sailboat a safer platform for her sailing crew? Do your inexperienced crew members know the body motions they must use for safety at sea? Follow this simple sailing safety advice and pass it along to your crew.

Falling overboard remains the #1 nightmare of sailors worldwide. Serious injury from the fall could render a person unconscious. Darkness and heavy seas hamper recovery efforts. If coastal sailing, you must set up the deck to aid the crew in moving about the boat.

Rig jacklines from a stout bow cleat back to a large stern cleat on both sides of the boat. Wear a safety harness if alone on deck, at nighttime, or during heavy sailing weather.

Equip harnesses with dual tethers armed with carbiner or quick-release hooks (such as those made by Wichard). Clip on to the windward jackline to move fore and aft. Keep the crew inside the cockpit as much as possible.

Practice these three basic sailing body motions for safety at sea in any sailing weather. When the heavy stuff hits the fan, you and your sailing crew will be ready:

  1. Grasp a Handhold

Hold onto something whenever aboard, whether at the dock, at anchor or underway. Grab lifelines, grab rails, sailboat mast or boom.

It’s rare to find proper overhead grab rails down in the cabin. Mount several between the galley and forward v-berth. Handicap grab bars provide a good alternative to teak handrails at a fraction of the cost. Cover them with rope fancy work for a practical, attractive, salty look.

  1. Look Before You Move

Look down, then forward before you move. Step over headsail sheets, winches, rope clutch gear, deck cleats and slippery boat sails. Keep lines coiled and out of the way to prevent injury.

  1. Squat Below Upper Lifeline Level

Keep your knees below the level of the uppermost lifeline. If thrown against the lifeline, this offers more area to brace your body. Squat like a linebacker to move fore or aft. This lowers your center of gravity toward the deck. In heavy weather sailing, lower your center of gravity even more. Crawl on your belly if necessary.

Pass these sailing tips along to your sailing crew today to keep them safe and sound on the waters of the world. You will enjoy stress-free sailing once you do–wherever in the world you choose to go cruise!

Budget Travel Tips For Families on the Move

There is no doubt that there are lots of people who are spending thousands of dollars on their one week getaway. But this shouldn’t always need to be the case as there are lots of budget travel options that can let anyone save a few bucks when traveling. Anyone can stay on their budgets and still experience a remarkable and fun-filled trip with their families or kids if they only know how to use their creativity and knowledge.

Traveling by plane can be quite expensive but many still opt to travel by air over land because they want to save time and gasoline cost. To lessen your airfare, it is wise to check the Internet for some great discounted online fares or last minute flight fares. To save some bucks even more, it would be good if you can have flexible travel dates. Oftentimes, the days that have higher rates are Monday, Sunday and Friday. So it would be best if you schedule your trip on Saturday, Thursday, Wednesday or Tuesday in order to obtain better rates.

There are lots of online booking websites that allow travelers to check which day has a lower rate and find out what options could be best for you. Getting your ticket earlier or later can help you save some money on the price of your ticket. You may also check the airports that surround both the arrival and the departure city. In most cases, an hour drive or two may be needed to reach the arrival or departure airport but if it can help save you a few bucks on each of your ticket, then it will be worth the drive.

Another budget travel option: if you’ll be driving to your destination, is to pack a cooler that is filled with foods. It may be a bit tricky taking up some space in the trunk for your cooler but eventually you’ll take in the cost savings of not eating out at restaurants or food chains each time someone feels hungry and you’ll be glad you have brought food with you.

To save a few bucks on lodging, explore the Internet for cheap lodging or hotel options. Most well-known holiday destinations typically have multiple hotels and almost of them have a Web presence. Through the Internet, you can easily make some comparisons of the room rentals and land on something that could offer you maximum value. Typically, good hotels and vacation homes also offer a few add-ons, such as free or discounted breakfast, free sight seeing, inexpensive pre-arranged tours and more.

The Internet is always a good option for budget travel. It can also be a good tool if you’re planning to shop around or look for shopping centers near your holiday destination. Traveling on a budget does not mean you have to cut back. It may means you need to be flexible and creative. As long as you know how to find cheap sources or budget travel options, you will be able to at least save some bucks.

Steps and Tips to Buying Cheap Tickets

With just a little planning and flexibility, it is possible to reach your desired destination without breaking your bank. Follow the steps and tips given in this article to make sure you buy the cheap tickets for your travel.

Step 1: Always update yourself on airfares by reading the newspaper and watching the news. Wait for the announcement of promotional cheap tickets and fares released by different airlines.

Step 2: Have a flexible flight schedule. You can normally buy cheap tickets for flights scheduled on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, late-night or red-eyes flights, very early morning flights and flights with at least one stop.

Step 3: Ask airline companies if they offer travel packages so you can save some money in some areas. For example, you can get discount for a hotel room or rental car when you purchase them with the airline ticket or vice versa.

Step 4: Inquire if the fare stated on their website is the cheapest. It’s also best to check more than one site and make a comparison of the rates.

Step 5: Ask for standby fares if you are planning to fly off-season. It’s bad to fly standby during high season because most airline companies overbook their flights, making it hard to find cheap tickets for available seats.

Step 6: You can buy cheap tickets from consolidators as they purchase blocks of tickets and offer them at discounted prices to help airline companies fill up their available seats. You can find ticket consolidators from the newspaper’s travel section.

Step 7: Book flights early. You can buy cheap tickets if you will reserve your flight 21 days ahead.

Step 8: Use the same airline for the entire trip so you can receive connecting or roundtrip fare discounts.

Other Tips:

  1. Refund and exchange policies on airline tickets are quite strict especially on sites offering tickets at discounted price.
    2. It’s a good idea to join a travel club if you travel frequently in a year.
    3. If you have the same trip to different countries, ask your travel agent if you can have open-jaw flights.
    4. Ask airline companies or your travel agent if you can get student, military or senior discounts, or whichever may apply to you.
    5. Cheap tickets are really cheap and may save you money but before purchasing them, make sure to read refunds or exchanges policies as well as the terms and conditions of the sale.

Light Wind Sailing Tips

Learn to sail like a pro with these sailing tips for light wind sailing. Use these easy tips for light air sailing in the gentle winds of dawn’s first light or the ghost-like breezes of a moonlit night.

Keep Your Boat Moving Forward

Imagine that you have your foot on the accelerator of your car, moving ahead at a slow speed. All of a sudden, you run out of gas. You need to find a place to pull off to the side of the road. You see a spot way up ahead about a half mile. Your car slows down more and more.

You will need to use every trick in the book to keep your car’s forward momentum going to make it to the pull-off ahead. You could try to keep the wheels straight to provide less resistance, look for inclines to build up a bit of speed, keep the tires on the smooth part of the road, or steer as straight as possible. All of these could make a difference in the acceleration or deceleration of your “out-of-gas” auto.

You can use these same techniques in super light air in sailing. For this article, we will concentrate on winds of 0 to 5 knots. Some sailors call these winds ‘zephyrs’ or refer to this type of sailing as ‘ghosting’. Your #1 goal will be to maintain forward momentum at all times. Just like the opening scenario, you want to keep moving to reach your objective. Slow down too much or stop and it will be difficult to get her going again. Follow these five fast tips to maintain momentum in light air sailing.

Use Smaller Sails to Fill and Go

You might think that light wind means you need a bigger sail to catch all the wind you can. But sails have weight–lots of weight–and weight won’t keep your boat going forward. Use a little-known strategy and go for a smaller sail on a super light air day. Choose sails that are smaller, lighter weight to help your boat maintain forward motion in zephyr winds.

Under Trim Your Sails

Wind flows onto both sides of your sails. Your objective will be to keep that wind attached from the luff to the leech as long as possible. In light air, you will have more wind near the top of the mast. That’s because less surface friction allows the wind to flow without resistance. Ease your sails more than you think necessary. This will cause the upper part of your sails to ‘twist’ just a bit to help the wind stay attached longer. Use the magic of under-trim in ghosting conditions and you will often be rewarded with better performance.

Move Like You Whisper

Ask your crew to move fore and aft along the center-line as much as possible. Keep the boat level to prevent loss of speed. If they need to shift to the other side, move at a slow pace. This will help keep the boat flat with forward momentum.

Sit Forward and to Leeward

Sails have a tough time in light air. The weight of sailcloth can cause them to flap like clothing on a line. Shift the crew weight forward and to the downwind (leeward–pronounced “loo-ward”)side. Weight forward lifts the stern a bit, which means less hull friction; weight to leeward will help the sails fall into their natural shape through gravity and prevents ‘slatting’ (flapping in light air).

Use Swooping When Beating to Windward

Use swooping to maintain forward motion when your destination lies upwind. In light air on a close hauled course, your speed may drop off quite a bit. When it does, fall off to a close reach course. Wait for the boat to build up speed again. Use a slow, smooth motion with the wheel or tiller to ‘swoop’ back up to your close hauled course. Keep sailing close hauled until your speed starts to drop off again. Then, fall off the wind to a close reaching course to build up speed; then swoop back up to your close hauled course. Repeat this swooping sequence to keep your boat moving with good forward motion when beating in super light air.

Learn to sail like a pro with these light wind sailing tips. You will experience more speed, power, and performance in the gentle breezes over the water-wherever in the world you choose to sail!

Top Money Saving Budget Travel Tips

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All that is required when looking to travel on a budget, is a bit of planning. For instance, a great place to find a budget hotel is the internet. They often give you a discount for booking online.

Here are some more budget travel tips:

1) Set yourself a maximum spend amount on a daily basis.

2) Consider staying in a hostel if you are on a real budget. They are much cheaper than hotels. You could even take a tent – the ultimate cheap accommodation.

3) Go off-season. Because there is less demand at this time of year, the prices for accommodation are lower.

4) Look out for discounts. Make enquiries with travel agencies to see what is on offer. They often offer cheap packages.

5) Consider how you are going to travel. Decide if you are going to take your own car or if you are going to rent. Renting a car can work out more expensive. Other cheaper alternatives include taking the train or bus.

6) Consider paying for a flight only and arranging accommodation when you arrive ( Or arrange this in advance as oppose to paying for an ‘all-in’ package that can work out to be more costly ). Local prices are often cheaper as there is no middle-man to hike the price.

7) Ask your travel agent to search for an airline that offers a good discount.

8) Make sure you have travel insurance. Not having it can prove to be very costly if you are unfortunate enough to incur losses due to medical expenses or lost luggage etc.

If you arrive at a destination without a reservation, there are hotel booking services at most airports and train stations. They will charge for this service. A map can also help you to save money, not to mention making your holiday a more enjoyable proposition when you know where you are heading in the surrounding area of your accommodation.