Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Quick Tips To Enjoy An Even Better Maui Vacation

Maui is renowned for its literally endless white sand beaches, colorful luaus and different sporting activities one can enjoy. Basically, Maui is perfect for every single possible vacation desire. You can find incredible Maui beach condos to stay at, in picturesque locations, and then enjoy a full day of everything you may desire. 

While Maui is definitely a treat, there are always things that can be better if we are to enjoy everything more. This is normal with every holiday destination from around the world. If you want to enjoy Maui even more, consider these really simple tips. 

Choosing An Ideal Maui Vacation Location
Maui gives you access to numerous entertainment sites, hotels and resorts. As a first-time traveler it is so easy to become overwhelmed. You will most likely have no idea where to settle and what accommodation is the best option for you. There is a reason why Maui is locally known as “Magic Isle”. There are 81 beaches available, all filled with rental cottages, condominiums, hotels and luxury resorts to choose from. 
If you love adventure and are looking for action, even if the vacation should be relaxing, go to the west. This is where many outdoor activities and water sports wait for you. If you love shopping, go to Lahaina. When looking for a highly romantic location with the one you love, you want to consider Maui’s southern parts. The white sand beaches there are immaculate and the sunrise is a delight when in a hammock, with Wailea and Kihei being perfect towns to consider. 
If you visit central Maui you can enjoy Hawaiian culture at its very best and when looking for mystery and solitude, eastern Maui should be your destination. 

Where Should You Stay?
Beach resorts and luxury hotels are present all throughout Maui. Many are expensive so you do want to know what your budget is so you fully understand exactly what accommodations you can afford. It is generally a good idea to book ahead, especially when budget is limited. Try to choose based on what is available on the island and what places of interest you will want to visit. There is something unique in every Maui corner so do plan the trip ahead. This should be done before accommodations are chosen. 
When particularly interested in saving on accommodations, you want to consider rental condo units. They include fully furnished bedrooms and have complete kitchens. When you travel with a family or a larger group, these rental units are highly preferred. If you travel with a small group or just with another person, something remote like a cabin is normally what is chosen. 

Make Right Bookings
Whenever possible, it is a very good idea to book ahead of time, before you reach Maui. There are always numerous accommodations available but in many beach resorts and hotels you actually need to book your stay at least 2 weeks before arrival date. The travel itinerary can be created after you make the bookings. Always check with the hotel you consider for available location transfers and tour packages since this can help you to save more money on the long run. 

When worried about the fact that you cannot cancel, remember that most resorts and hotels do accommodate cancellations. You just need to let the establishment know around 48 hours ahead of time. Some cancellation fees might appear so you want to know about them before you make the booking. 

Getting Around
Getting around Maui islands is possible in different way. At the end of the day your choice will depend on how much you want to get around alone. When exploring Maui for the first time, guided tours are recommended. These take you to various popular travel destinations. 
Those that visited Maui several times and are familiar with highways and roads can always rent cars to explore everything in complete freedom. ATV rentals are available and you can easily take advantage of public transportation, which is affordable. 

What Should You Take With You?
Maui is a great travel destination for those that love light packing. The climate is warm so you do not need to take really heavy sweaters with you. If your goal is to be a part of many sightseeing trips, be sure that you have comfortable clothing with you, like light cotton shirts and shorts. Sunglasses and hats are always a very good idea and you should always remember to bring sunscreen or buy once in Maui. Obviously, swimsuits are important due to the numerous waterfalls and beaches that can be explored in this part of Hawaii. 
In the event you want to go up country to visit ranches and enjoy some horseback riding, be sure that you have long pants and closed shoes with you. Biking tours and cycling tours will require specific clothing so preparations should be made in advance. 
Some of the Maui posh bars and restaurants impose specific dress codes. If you want to go there you need casual-formal outfits. However, in most restaurants people can enjoy themselves while wearing casual outfits. Shorts and shirts are very common there.

Final Thoughts
The tips above will make your Maui stay more enjoyable but there is so much more that can be said. Be sure that you take the time you need to actually learn all that you need to, based on where you will go. Maui can be experienced in so many ways that it is a shame not to consider them. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How to Spend Less and Enjoy More On Holiday

I love traveling and feel that it is undoubtedly one of the most fulfilling ways to relax and unwind as distance and difference are the secret tonic to creativity. Exploring new places, meeting new people and learning about different cultures help us to refresh our minds from our daily routines. Home is still the same when we get back from a good holiday, but something in our mind has changed, and that changes everything. As much as traveling is fun, it can also be an expensive affair. Whether it is the air tickets or pricey hotels, traveling abroad is always a challenge if you have a budget restriction. 

However, there are some simple tips that you can follow to save money while planning a vacation so here is your guide on how to spend less and enjoy a pocket friendly vacation abroad -

1. Start a Travel Fund
Unless you have a lot of extra moolah in your bank account, it's time to create a travel fund. The easiest way to do so is to set a recurring deposit where a certain amount gets deducted from your savings account and is stored for your holiday.

2. Buy insurance
Why is insurance important, you ask? I've heard horror stories of people reaching their holiday destination while the airline has lost all their luggage. Then there is one where someone I knew had just gotten to day two of their big fat Euro trip, where the bag containing all their cash, passport and valuables disappeared at a cafe in Barcelona so they had to go to the Indian embassy and return back to India on day 3 of the vacation. Unfortunately we can't predict life and a smooth journey can take a dismal and unexpected twist anytime. No matter what we say or think, we never know what is waiting at the end of the tunnel. Such situations have made me realize the importance of buying a term insurance plan to curtail the impact of unexpected twists. After researching the same, I realized that we can now thankfully get a term plan online and it is affordable and time saving.

3. Choose an off beat destination
The more popular a destination, the more commercialized it will be. Going to underrated and under-traveled destinations can help you save money on accommodations and activities and avoid the crowds associated with top tourist spots. 

4. Make off-season your best friend
Traveling off season is one of the simplest moves that will lower the cost of your international trip. Every location has a peak season when flight, hotel and other costs are hiked up immensely. 

5. Try a Vacation Rental
Instead of choosing the standard path of a hotel, options like airbnb, couch surfing and hostels can help you save a lot of money. We often spend most of our days outdoors while traveling, so it only makes sense to spend more on your stay if you will be spending a lot of time in the hotel premises.
Another bonus of a vacation rental is that you can buy fresh produce and cook your own meals, saving up on restaurant meal costs too. 

6. Stay in a Central Location 
Transportation can add up quickly, so make sure you stay in a central location from all the places you wish to visit. Ideally, somewhere you can walk everywhere would work best. 

7. Look for Free Walking Tours
If you wish to know more about the history, culture or other trivia about the place you're visiting, instead of booking tours and guides, try to look up for free tours online. Many cities around the world offer free guided tours which offer a comprehensive experience free of cost. 

So these were my tips for you to save money while enjoying your holiday! Hope you find them helpful. 

Image source - here

About Aegon Life:

Aegon Life Insurance Company Limited launched its pan-India operations in July 2008 with a vision to be the most recommended new age life insurance Company. Aegon is one of the world’s leading financial services organizations (providing life insurance, pension plans, and asset management) and Bennett, Coleman & Company (India’s leading media conglomerate) have come together to launch Aegon Life Insurance. This joint venture adopts a local approach with the power of global expertise to facilitate a direct to customer approach, leveraging digital platforms to bring transparent solutions to customers and to prioritize their needs.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

A Chick's Guide To Buying A Car

Though I have been driving my parent's cars for a while, I bought my first car exactly one year ago. And for all of you who are contemplating buying one, this is a really good time as numerous major international brands are available in India, and there's something for every need and budget. I'm writing this post from a female perspective so besides the fact that it is much safer to have your own ride than to rely on cabs or other people, it's also really helps to have your own car because you can plonk your shoes, bags and clothes in it! 

If you don't know how to drive or have just learned, it is a good idea to buy or drive a used or old car sometime till you develop the confidence to drive in traffic and at peak hours. In case you don't want to or can't get yourself to learn driving, choose an automatic model. 

 A chick's guide to buying a new car -

1. Budget -
The first thing you need to consider is your budget and analyze which sort of car best meets your needs best.  If you're single or are a family of two, you obviously don't need to buy an SUV or MUV but you need to consider how long you plan to keep the car. Consider your savings and the loan you would like to take for the vehicle. You can make the down payment using credit cards and after choosing your loan amount and monthly EMI, you can instruct your bank so that the EMI gets auto deducted from your salary/business account. This personal loan emi calculator might provide handy for the same.

2. Manufacturer Research -
Go through reviews of cars online from trusted sites and read owner's reviews on Team BHP to see their feedback. Also, ask family, friends and colleagues about their vehicle's performance if you are interested in purchasing the same model. Don't buy a car model that is about to be discontinued as you’ll regret it when you need to find spare parts and you won't get a good resale value either.

3. Petrol or Diesel -
Then there's the age old debate between petrol and diesel. Diesel cars have higher maintenance costs and have a price premium to pay. However, they are more apt if you drive long distances. Some diesels work out cheaper if you consider it from an EMI perspective.

4. Test Drive -
Above and beyond what the world says, this going to be your car and you will be driving it, so make sure you test drive all your choices before zeroing upon one. This is when you get the look and feel of your ride and can choose one of your liking. What is right for someone else may not be right for you so consider details like the comfort of the driving position, pickup and engine response. Take a friend, relative or partner along while test driving as they can offer their unbiased comments or opinions about the car

5. Features -
Safety options such as ABS (anti-lock braking system), airbags are a must and are well worth it because your safety comes first. But the last thing we women care about is alloys, rims and fancy tires, so consider each feature of each model and the cost of the same. 

6. Timing -
Car manufacturers often provide special deals and discounts during the festive season so that is a good time to buy one. Avoid buying a car in December as by waiting for less than a month, your car will be a year newer. Do research on what discounts are available and ask about manufacturer specials and impending price cuts.

7. Insurance -
Dealerships profit from fat commissions on every insurance policy sold. Instead of buying insurance coverage from the showroom, take quotes from a couple of insurance companies as can save anywhere between 20 to 40% on insurance by shopping yourself and bypassing the dealer. If you are buying a premium car, opt for zero depreciation car insurance as premium cars are equipped with premium-priced parts.  
8. Accessories:
Crosscheck accessory prices between the showroom and after-market dealers as authorized dealerships charge much more than accessory shops do. So getting seat covers or other accessories from outside saves you quite a bit of cash. 

So those were my tips on buying a car and I hope this guide is helpful for you if you're confused about how to go about car shopping! 

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