Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Learn some tips for saving your budget on car rental

Knowing some money saving options can increase your chances of finding the best rental deals. There are benefits and risks associated with each that should be considered before you make a final decision.

Blind Rental Sites

For travelers who do not care who they rent from, it is possible to get great deals through these sites. You may end up with a well known car rental agency or a lesser known one. It is a risk you take when you use these sites. Only you can decide if the discounted price is worth it or not.

Use an Aggregator

You can comparison shop at aggregator sites. All you need to do is enter your travel information such as departure and arrival dates and times. You will need to provide personal contact information to get quotes from multiple rental agencies. Review the quotes to see which offer the best services at the lowest rates. Then make your reservation. It is that simple.

Rent Locally

This means if you travel internationally, you can get better rates using the rental companies in your destination country. You have a better selection from which to choose when you add them to the mix. There are websites that can help you with this so you can get the lowest rental rate possible. You will most likely have to have an international driver's license to rent a car locally.

Avoid Airport Rentals

Airport locations are the most expensive option because they are often legally required to add surcharges to your rental fees. And this additional cost can increase your final price by nearly 45%. Never pay more than necessary.

Understand Restrictions

Violating restrictions can cost you. If you drive your rental car to restricted areas, you may have an additional fee to pay. Rental companies in countries that limit travel use GPS devices to monitor the location of rental cars so there is no way to trick the company. There may even be limits on the number of miles you can drive during the rental period.

Check Conversion Rates

International car rental companies may involve currency conversion. If you do not have the option of using your own currency, be sure you know what the conversion fees are so you are not surprised by the additional cost with such cheap car rental services.

Popular Travel Destinations and Cheap Flights

Traveling can be a wonderful experience. But it can also be expensive. Fortunately, travelers can get cheap flights to even the most popular destinations if they are willing to follow these basic guidelines. You must be willing to be flexible in your travel schedule to get the very lowest airfare rates.
Time Your Flight
Peak travel times cost more - there really is no avoiding this fact. If you must travel during holidays or on weekends, you can still save money by booking several weeks in advance. You can also select the day before or after peak days for your own travel departure times. For example, airfare on the day before a major holiday costs more than if you fly on the actual holiday.
Try Secondary Airports
Tickets at major airports often cost more than those at smaller nearby airports. Regional airports may offer additional discounts to encourage travels to use their services. And you can still travel to popular locales from these airports. Smaller airports may have limited destinations but are still worth checking out if you are headed to a major destination. You may even be able to take a flight to another major airport that is closer to your destination which can save you money.
Take the Long Route
If you are willing to stop in multiple cities on the way to your destination, you will find lower airfare rates. Travelers pay more for the privilege of direct flights. But a more leisurely approach can save you quite a bit of money. These layovers may or may not require you to de-board the plane. People who just do not like flying may be unwilling to do this and will need to seek other options to get cheap tickets.
Use Connecting Flights
This takes the previous recommendation one step further. You can save money if you do not mind changing planes along the way. Most travelers do not like doing this if the departure times are too close together or because the chances of you losing luggage increases. But if you plan it well, using several short connecting cheap flights can produce significant savings.
Travelers have many options when it comes to saving many. Cheap flights are available to those who are willing to be flexible and enjoy flying. And you can use online aggregator sites which can easily help you in developing your flight itinerary.

Injury claim

If you have been involved in an accident, and through no fault of your own have suffered an injury as a result, then chances are you will be able to claim compensation. No matter how minor your injury appears to be at this stage or who the person or company at fault was, making an injury claim is your right and should be exercised to bring justice to a difficult situation.

What types of injuries can be claimed for?
One of the most frequent types of injury claim submitted relate to accidents on the road. Whether you were a driver or passenger of a car, or were travelling on public transport or a bike at the time of the accident, if you were hurt and another driver was at fault, you can claim. Common injuries include back and neck injuries, including whiplash, and injuries to the head or hands as a result of the collision.
Less common, but still a source of regular claims, relate to slips and trips when out and about. Building owners, local councils and workmen have a responsibility to ensure public rights of way and the public areas within buildings are kept safe, clean and free from hazards that could cause a trip. Slipping on wet floors, broken paving slabs or tripping over trailing cables can all result in a range of injuries, from twisted ankles to broken wrists, all of which are regularly seen by professionals handling injury claim cases.
Sometimes even the workplace is not as safe as it should be, and workers sometimes become injured as a result of faulty machinery, poor training or bad health and safety practice. In cases like this an injury claim will often result in remedial action by the employer, meaning other employees will be safer at work in the future, so it is especially important to make a claim if this has happened to you.

When should you claim?
As a general rule of thumb, the sooner the better applies to any type of injury claim. The sooner you can start the claims process, the easier it will be for your solicitor to contact any witnesses and get hold of any other evidence required. Also your injury will be fresh, so if you need to see an independent doctor they will be able to see first hand the extent of your injuries.
Personal injury law understands that making an injury claim is not necessarily the first thing on someone’s mind after they have been involved in an accident. That is why claims can still be started up to three years after the accident happened. In the case of industrial disease and other issues that take years to reveal themselves, there is still a chance to claim beyond the three year cap.

How much does it cost?
These days, the majority of solicitors who deal with injury claim cases will work on a no win no fee basis. This means you will not have to pay them anything if your claim is not successful, and there will be nothing to pay up front. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Making a booking with car rental companies

The chance to fit you into one of their various set packages is something that any car rental company with a fleet of cars to rent out wants. By default, if the booking is imprecise, you'll find yourself arbitrarily dumped into their "standard" vehicles on the "usual" terms. Perhaps this will work well for you. But when it proves a bad guess, you need to unpick the agreement when you arrive at the collection point without causing a major war. Remember you need the company to give you a vehicle at a good price so upsetting the local representatives before you start is not the best way to win. Indeed, you should have done all the heavy lifting by email before you set off for the collection point.
The length of time you wish to rent the vehicle for will be your first question. If this is literally one or two days, you will nearly always do better with one of the national or international companies. The large companies always carry a big fleet of vehicles of different sizes so can more easily fit you in for short periods. When you approach a "local" company, it will want you to take the vehicle for a minimum period, usually a week. If you insist on a shorter period of hire from a small company, you will be denied any possibility of a discount. Companies that rent out on predictable cycles can be left with a vehicle sitting in the lot waiting for the start of the next period of hire to start.
The distance that you are looking to travel will be your next question. If this is going to be within the immediate area, going local will be safe. Should you breakdown or hit problems, people can come and rescue you. But if you're planning to take off into the boondocks, a national company is going to give you more protection because, hopefully, you will always be within range of a branch office or the national company can tap a local garage to give roadside assistance. Alternatively, ensure you have membership of the national roadside rescue services in the countries you propose to visit. You always need to be just one cell phone call away from help.

Car rental companies and discounts

It is always worth asking about discount if you want to get the best possible deal. It's a rule of life. If you don't ask, you never get a discount. If this is going to be a regular event, ask about a loyalty program. Most are free but, some times, you pay a small amount to join. Once in, you get a discount on all the bookings you make. The same applies if you're already a member of frequent flier programs or your credit card provider has a local promotion. In the other direction, always ask about any terms entitling the car rental companies to impose charges or fees. For example, what are the no-show rules? Some companies charge you only if you fail to collect at all. Others charge you if you're late. So, if you're stuck in traffic on your way to the collection point, are you calm or is there frustration because a fee will be imposed unless you can get there in the next five minutes? Car rental companies like the chance to add to your bill. Know what you're getting into before you sign up.

Guidelines for Finding Cheap Car Rentals

Travelers love sightseeing and learning new cultures. They can do without the expensive car rental fees. By following these guidelines, travelers can get cheap car rental rates from reputable rental agencies that also provide quality services to customers.

Select the Right Car

Depending on its popularity and value each type of vehicle has a separate rental fee. If you are willing to rent on the lower end of the spectrum, you can get lower rates. Also, consider the cost of gas when choosing a vehicle. Larger cars will require more gas and are not as good on gas as some smaller cars.

Ask About Discounts

If you want even lower rental fees, ask the rental agency about possible discounts you may be eligible to receive. Common discounts include savings as result of membership in certain auto organizations such as AAA. You can also get discounts if you are willing to take a rental car that nobody else wants.

Understand the Fees

The decisions you make will affect whether you can avoid certain fees or not. For example, you may have to pay surcharges if you use an airport rental company. They are not trying to rip you off - they are required by law to charge you those fees.
Avoid Cleaning and Refuel Fees
Be sure to clean the car before returning it. Many rental agencies charge a cleaning fee so they can make the car suitable for the next customer. But if you handle this yourself, you can ask that the fee be waived. Same goes for the refuel fees - top off your tank before you return it so you are not charged if they have to refuel the car.

Negotiate Rental Fees

The final price that you are offered is not necessarily the one you have to settle for. There is absolutely nothing that prevents you from negotiating with the rental company until you reach a compromise on the rental rate. If the counter representative is unwilling to negotiate, ask to speak to the manager.

Comparison Shop

Get online quotes from rental agencies so you can compare services and cheap car rental rates. Gathering this information can help you make informed decisions so you pay lower rental fees. If you are willing to be flexible in your travel dates, you can obtain even lower rates. On average, renting is cheaper on week days than on weekends. By comparison shopping it is easy to get cheap car rental.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The problems of airline industry and cheap tickets

Airlines spend a vast amount of capital money on buying the planes and crewing as well as maintaining them. To earn a realistic rate of return on this investment, they must maximize the number of seat sold. Twenty years ago, this was straightforward. Air travel was the accepted way to move long distances, whether for business or pleasure. Only a small percentage of the population were prepared to drive long distances. Following 9/11, the need to maintain a high level of security has forced airports and airlines into major changes. Many of these changes have created difficulties and reduced the number of people prepared to fly. With rising gas prices, many people now stay home or drive only short distances for holidays. Recognizing the problem, the US has been holding a number of consultations with interested parties including Airlines for America, the trade association representing the airlines. The need is to promote travel and tourism without sacrificing safety and security.
As to international travel, the american market has already lost a great volume of business from the countries that used to be able to visit on their own passports without a visa. Now advance notice of an intention to travel to the US must be given and, upon arrival, people are fingerprinted, retina scans are taken and, from their point of view, they are treated as little better than criminals or terrorists. No countries treat American citizens in this way. Tens of thousands of potential tourists are therefore voting with their feet and refusing the visit America. Why should this matter? In 2011, only sixty million people visited USA. Nevertheless, they spent spent about $135 billion and paid for about 7 million jobs in the hotel, food and beverage, and retail markets. When you add in domestic travel, travel contributed about $1 trillion to spending. The US government has therefore committed itself to speed up the visa application process and to make the Visa Waiver Program more welcoming. In this, the US government has accepted the need for there to be equal treatment between countries. This means employing far more staff and upgrading the computer systems to allow passengers to be processed more quickly.
So can offering cheap air tickets help the industry?
As to purely domestic travel, the government is reviewing the current security systems. In doing so, it is acknowledging that many now consider the procedures to get on a plane excessive. In particular, they consider some parts of the process highly intrusive. Again, this is all a question of balance, looking for a compromise that will respect a legitimate desire for privacy against the need to prevent terrorists from interfering with flights. With so great a contribution being made to national consumption, both state and federal authorities have to consider how best to bring more people back to air travel. This is not just a case of offering cheap tickets. People have been driven away by some very poor PR and it will take a serious effort by all interested parties to restore trust and confidence. This does not deny that cheap air tickets will help. The low-cost, discount airlines have proved there is a real market for budget travel. But even there, problems arise with a lack of transparency on prices. Everyone needs to work together to boost air travel's appeal.

Affordable Car Rental Companies

Drivers are always looking for good deals and affordable rates. Rental rates often seem somewhat mysterious. Myriad factors are included in the rate calculation used by car rental companies. The more you know about the different rate factors, the better prepared you are to negotiate with your current rental agency or simply find a new one that offers more competitive rates.
Reservation Fees
You will be assessed a fee when you reserve your rental. If you are unable to follow-through on your reservation, you may still be required to pay this fee which will be charged to the credit card you used to make the reservation. Some agencies drop the fee if you honor your reservation while others add it to your bill.

Rental Fees
Each rental company calculates their fees differently. Some base rates on distance traveled while other rental vehicles by the hour. Fuel expenses may or may not be included in the fee structure. If you plan to drive in areas deemed to be high-risk by the rental agency, you will have higher rates.

Taxes and Surcharges
Added to your rental fees, these can be the hardest to understand. You may have multiple taxes depending on the particular rental agency as well as its location. Even if you ask for clarification, the counter representative may not be able to fully explain the surcharges. Do not accept a vague response. If they do not know why a particular charge is included, ask them to remove it.

Rental Insurance Costs
Not all renters buy the additional insurance offered by car rental companies. Those that do will have that added to their rental cost. Not everyone needs to purchase rental insurance. If you already have this included in your regular car insurance policy, it is not necessary to also purchase it from the rental agency.

Vehicle Damage Fees
What happens if you are involved in an accident while driving a rental car? Who is responsible for the damages? You need to know this before signing a rental contract because if the car is stolen or damaged and you are held responsible, it can cost you.

These are the last to be applied during the rate calculation. You might get discounts because you belong to AAA or another membership organization. Special offers may be given by car rental companies during slow rental times to encourage drivers to rent from them.

Monday, May 21, 2012

About cheapcheap flights and boarding the plane

Cheap flights and boarding the plane

Getting to the gate at an airport and finding it empty is something that has probably occurred to many travelers at some point. There's something strange about the way airport communicate with those in search of planes. In theory, there are speakers located at strategic points about each terminal and, no matter where you sit or stand, you will always be able to hear each announcement perfectly. Indeed, when you pay attention, you can always hear calls for other flights. Yet when it comes to your own, there's a strange disconnection as if the message suddenly enters a parallel dimension and fails to reach your ears. So then you find yourself in the wrong place and, naturally, there's no one around to ask where you should be. When you do finally track down where you should be, have you noticed how everyone gets asked to board the plane before you? That means you get to your seat to find the space in the overhead compartments up and down your aisle has been taken up.
Once your baggage has been stowed and you are finally sat down, the fact you are not in the air yet dawns on you. You'll be pleased to know there are federal regulations that limit the time you can be held in the plane on the ground. For domestic flights at the larger airports, you have to be offered release after three hours. The airline is also to ensure you have enough to drink and the toilet arrangements are adequate. There are fines for both US and foreign airlines if they leave your international flight on the tarmac for more than four hours. In theory, this makes it more economic for the plane to take off than go back to the terminal.
It probably hasn't escaped your notice that once you are in the air getting something to eat or drink unless you spend money is a difficult task. It's well known food has never been great but, in the days before pricing got less than transparent, you used to get one of those trays with something edible on it as a part of the ticket price. Now the airlines seem to think the only thing you get for your ticket is permission to sit in a seat. Remember, never ever say anything that could be interpreted as insulting about the airline or any of its staff. Even more important, never joke about terrorism. Indeed, until you get in the air, it's probably safer not to talk to anyone about anything connected with flying. Paranoia is everywhere and, if you're considered a threat to security, an air marshal is likely to arrest you and drag you off the plane to a holding cell.
In a perfect world where you have realized the American Dream, you have your own private jet and people bow and scrape as you walk majestically through the airport and board when it's convenient to you. Until that day dawns, you're in the cheap flights with the rest of us and pathetically grateful because, if you were thinking about using the train as a substitute, it would take you more than fifty hours on the California Zephyr to get from Chicago to San Francisco. No matter how comfortable the train, even a cheap flight may be more convenient.

The popularity growth of companies offering car rentals

The increase in the popularity that is currently being experienced by car rental companies is not all that surprising. Local drivers are responsible for this boost in demand for rental services. Rentals offer tangible benefits for local drivers who are seeking alternatives to the expense of gas-guzzling vehicles that have costly price tags, require ongoing maintenance, and are parked more than they are driven.
Hiring a rental is cheaper than paying for a taxi or using public transportation when available. And if you share the cost of a rental, your personal expenses drop even further. Many companies offer discounts to local drivers as an added incentive to use their services over other transportation options. Rental rates that are based on mileage can be particularly cost-effective for local drivers.
Reliable Transportation
The use of public transportation by young people in the last few years has seen an increase. Now they are turning to rentals so they are not tied to a public transport schedule. A group of friends or coworkers may go in together to share the cost of a rental. They do not have to worry about a car payment or maintenance. And they save on gas expenses by sharing the costs between them.
Hiring a rental is more convenient than relying on taxi services. You do not have to wait to be picked up. You can just get in the car and drive to your destination. It is common for travelers to rent transportation once they reach their city of destination. They prefer to be in control in their travel schedule rather than depending on people they do not know.
Public Image
In an effort to present their prospective clients with an image that is more sophisticated many local professionals use car rentals. You may be picking them up from the airport or meeting them at a restaurant. Whatever the case, you want to manage how they view you and the type of vehicle you drive says a lot about you.
Environmental Concerns
Sharing the expenses of a rental car basically reduces the need for additional cars on the road. Many car rental companies include eco-friendly vehicles as well as hybrids in their fleet. You can have a real impact on the environment by using rentals rather than purchasing your own vehicle.
It is anticipated that car rental companies will continue to grow in popularity, especially in cities and high-growth urban areas. See if this is a money-saving option for you.