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Thursday, July 9 2020

5 Simple Reasons to Reconsider a Cruise for Your Next Vacation

 

 

Cruise with Costa Cunard Carnival P&O Princess

 

Future.Travel put together the 5 key reasons why you should consider a cruise as your best choice for a holiday vacation.

As the options for a holiday vacation starts to become a bit of a shortlist, here are some serious choices you should check twice to make sure that a cruise is on the list.

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Friday, May 29 2020

19 Top Health and Wellness Thoughts for Cruising

20/20 vision is always a benefit when looking back on a holiday experience. Cruises are the same.


Thinking and planning ahead is essential for maximising the best outcomes for your trip aboard. Here are 19 health and wellness things to consider and follow to keep yourself healthy and safe during your voyage.
 

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Friday, April 24 2020

Future.Travel putting ‘new age gold’ into customers wallets

New Age Gold BTC.jpg, Apr 2020

 

Future.Travel will begin offering 1% of the purchase transaction value back in the form of a BTC-rebate on eligible transactions made online from the 1 May 2020 through the remainder of 2020 calendar year until 31 December 2020.

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Saturday, April 18 2020

Making the purchase online fast and secure in an age of scammers

 

There is no doubt that the world is changing very rapidly. The coronavirus has fast tracked what many see as necessary changes at many different levels. One of the areas being affected is how we actually transfer value to pay for things. Scammers are attacking traditional banking and credit card systems daily costing both consumers and retailers billions of dollars a year, which as a side effect cause overall prices to rise to cover the losses. Adding Crypto currency as a form of payment has stopped the fraud in its spread and has significantly cut the cost of travel.

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Sunday, December 29 2019

5 Star Japan on a 3 Star budget - Go by Boat

 

 

Traveling to Japan is amazing. Traveling around Japan is both amazing and a bit daunting for those who are language and crowd challenged. The good news is Japan is very basically a friendly country that has the ability move masses of people easily. The down side is to do this efficiently as a tourist really requires you to speak Japanese, have a guide who can speak Japanese for you, join an organised tour group that caters to your language, or be an intrepid soul who can take on the culture and language as a challenge to be conquered.

Cruise Japan Future Travel Japan Russia Future Travel Japan to Taipei Future Travel

 

Another lesser known way to visit Japan is by cruise ship. Each sailing season (March to July) Cruise ships home port Japan, as a base of operations for the peak travel season in the country. Costa Crociere has for the last 3 year stationed the Costa NeoRomantica in Tokyo and Fukuoka to support both Japanese and foreign guest for ‘local’ cruising.

The benefit of this type of cruise is the ship is moved while the guest sleep, and awakening guests find themselves in a new port city. As a bonus the cruises also us include one ‘foreign country’ stop so often there is a day in Korea, Taiwan, or Russia as the mandatory stop over.

Around the country cruises are popular as they tend to visit the lesser know parts of Japan and island ports not connected to the main islands, allowing guests to add on pre and post cruise tours and visit to the more  common ‘land locked’ tourist locations. The overall benefit for seeing Japan by ship is to see the cultural significance that the ocean plays in the lives of Japanese and to experience the country from a relaxed 5 star setting, where the days and evenings are spent with friends old and new. Costa Cruises also have a policy that kids cruise free so it makes for a great ‘overseas’ (literally) holiday for the extended family, while staying on budget.

 

Sunday, December 22 2019

20 best last minute travel hacks for 2020 - to get ahead of the game, when time is against you

When it is time to travel, it sometimes is at the last minute, it is often at the expense of prior plans, your wallet, and the clear head to be organised for the trip.  This list of 20 items to pack, plan for, explore and exploit for last minute travel can make the journey a lot easier.

 

1. Have a ride when you arrive

It may seem like a funny way to cover yourself for disaster, but missing the meeting, getting caught in bad weather, getting lost in the world can be a disaster. Have a ride app like Uber, Grab, Lift, Free-Now, etc on your phone so you are just a click away from having a ride that you control.


Have a ride when you arrive

2. Have a Hot Spot in your pocket

In the ready bag for travel, have a spare phone that has multiple-hotspot connection ability. Even better if the phone has dual sim capacity. The ability to buy a local simcard with data only or a combo data and local number means you will save $$ immediately while being connected. <Hint> Buy the simcard on arrival at the airport and have it installed and test before you walk away…. The airport simcard vendor does dozens of phones a day so can make it work to your satisfaction.



 



 

3. Use a Proxy server to Hide Your Ass


Sometimes it is good to be somewhere else. Many websites will not work for ‘foreign’ ip addresses… like your bank when you are travelling. Get a proxy server for setting your IP address to what every country you choose. Hide My Ass works ok… but if you are serious about being connected look at Hot Spot Shield that can automatically protect you and your passwords / email / surfing when you log-on to a public wifi.

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4. So much to do… no battery

Pack an extra battery for charging your phone and your laptop (if possible) for those times when you are caught with out a powerpoint.  Best if the battery can charge multiple devices at one… Have extra charge cables just in case.

 

 

5. No battery, no spare battery…dead phone...Computer rescue


Your laptop comes with a battery… and it can be used to recharge your phone if you have a connection cable to connect the two. No laptop… you might find a television along the way that has a USB port… many of these also can generate the juice to charge your phone or laptop.

 

 

6. Have a spare picture or two

If you are traveling internationally have few extra passport pictures with you in case you need to apply for a visa using a picture. Likewise have a picture of you passport and drivers license in your phone in a ‘documents’ file for easy reference. Email yourself a copy so you can find it in the ‘cloud’ in case of a lost phone.

 


 

 

7. Book your flights with a tested agent



Uncle Bernie’s friend is not the person to test for last minute ticketing. Use an agency that has 24/7 support and test them to see if they respond. They should have multiple methods for contact. Eg. Phone, Live Chat, WhatsAp, Viber, Facetime…. the robot should not answer all calls…


 

 

 

8. Travel with a universal currency card… and a spare


When the time to travel comes, it is good to have a card… and one that works. If your card is stolen/lost/destroyed along the way it very hard to keep moving. Have a spare card that is ‘on file’ and not physically with you. Take a picture/front and back and keep the picture in your password vault. A card like Wirex or Revolut will allow you to have your currency converted to various local currencies or to purchase using Crypto currency and avoid the merchant/exchange fees.

 


 

 

9. How much could it possibly cost…. Just a house or two


You may be heading out the door to cover an emergency need. Don't let the emergency become your crisis. Unexpected things happen when on the way to and from where-ever. If you have time to tick the box, buy travel insurance. The security it buys you for a crisis may be the difference between someone loosing a house to cover your costs and you being responsible for your space.

 

 

 

 

10. Shop online for the fastest service


Last minute travel is often a problem, particularly when the decision to travel is made during the wee hours of the morning. Buying online saves having to wait till the shops open. Choose a full service agency that is also ‘online’. A full service agency can assist you in many cases when you need the extra support to get the best price or a ‘sold-out’ destination.

 


 

 

11. Buy your flights and hotels direct from an agent, not a meta engine consolidator


Everyone wants to save money and yet still loose money after buying ‘a deal’ found on Skyscanner, Wego, Momondo etc. The meta-engines are geared to display the lowest fares that work for them, not necessarily for you. If you suspect you are not seeing ‘all the options’ in your meta engine searches… you are probably right. Meta engines have side deals to limit what they show (limit competition) and reward advertisers (paid to show results). Find an full service agency that operates an OTA (like Future.Travel) and get the real deals available, not a price changed old inventory model.


 


 

12. Don’t trust your phone plan to save you money….

Have a standard number for the world
. Today as you travel across time zones and borders it is possible to have a single number to be reached on via a smartphone. Get a WhatsAp, Viber, Facetime, Telegram, Skype social media account that allows for both incoming and out going calls. As a bonus put a little credit on the account to be able to make local calls where ever you travel.


 

 

13. Get Debit/Credit card that does not require an SMS for security


If you travel outside of the coverage area for your phone plan you may find you can not get a text without paying a roaming fee. Data/voice roaming charges on a phone plan can destroy a budget. Find a bank card that allows for 2D security via email, in ap fingerprint, or using Authy or Google Authenticator. Your life will be much more peaceful as you checkout.


 

 

 

14. Phone a friend to get you out of problems

For the person who has everything, the best thing to have is a friend with money. Leave emergency funds with a friend who can pay for you in an emergency. Things happen we don’t expect, like stolen wallets, hacked bank accounts, skimmed credit cards, lack of internet, SMS requirements for transaction approval and even bad budgeting. Having an offline friend can literally be life saver. Sweet!


 

 

 

15. See the world with clear vision


If you wear glasses or contacts, always have a spare pair (or 2) in your carry on and checked bags. Nothing worse than not being able to see on trip to see the world… or to see long lost friends when it could be prevented by having a spare pair tucked away for the 'emergency' event of someone sitting on your glasses or you leaving them in the coffee shop before you boarded the departing TGV/Bullet train...20 minutes ago...

 

 

 

16. Put your travels to work for charity

When you arrive to your destination figure out what you can do to help those in need. Maybe just arriving will be support. For a passive gift book your flights and hotels through an agency that automatically donates to charity through doing business with them (hint: Future.Travel). Tick the box to give a little when you can. What goes around comes around, your generosity is a gift to be shared with others.


 


 

 

17. When you check-in offer to help and see what happens.

Everyone has a chance to be special. Check-in staff remember who is naughty and who is nice. So as you check in and ask for your coveted aisle seat on the exit row, tell them you are ok to take a later flight if they are over booked or they can move you from your auto assigned existing middle seat to allow a family to sit together. Think of others first and they may think of you first as they move the extra load to first class.


 

 

 

18. Tell the bank you are traveling

A quick call to your bank can save hours of calls trying to sort out a mess of using a card overseas that has been blocked. Call the telephone number on the back of your card and let them know you will be outside your normal buying zone (even country) so they don’t lock your card for suspect fraud usage. Better yet, get a card like N26 that lets you turn the card on or off from your smartphone to prevent fraud.


 

 

 

19. Get local cash from the check-out or ATM

When it is time to head out the door have your ATM card enabled for withdrawals and set to a level of spend you can anticipate for your biggest spend day. If 1 card is not going cover the spend have 2 different accounts (2 different banks) to cover you. Use the ATM in the country you arrive in to get your local cash rather than buying cash ahead of time or on the spot from currency exchange vendors as the exchange rate is generally worse than the ATM. Better yet, in some countries as you make a purchase using a card they will let you add a cash withdrawal to the purchase - take the option and save some exchange fees.


 

 

 

20. Translate is the language of love…. and survival.


When you travel always take a few extra pens and tuck one in every bag, and pocket you can spare. Add a notebook to your carry on for keeping track of important stuff, a list of things, to do, the mud map to the local attraction you just learned about, the address for your new friend…. and for a way to communicate in writing what you want. Your accent may be too much for the locals so the written word works to cross the language barrier. Add Google Translate (down load the languages you will use before traveling) to you smart phone and you will be well on your way to having the interesting times of your life.


 

 

This list of the 20 best last minute travel hacks is not the complete list of things to consider when heading out the door to answer the travel call. At Future.Travel we see many disasters made by travelers and this list certainly would cover 90% of them by being prepared before and when traveling. Choose a good support team for your travels which includes a full service agency ready to support you 24/7 where ever you may travel.

 

Monday, November 18 2019

What could cryptocurrency do for the airline industry?

 

 

Revenue of commercial airlines worldwide from 2003 to 2019 (in billion U.S. dollars) according to Statista the online portal for statistical data.

As a travel agency that has been accepting Crypto for the last 6 years, Future.Travel is aware of the benefits to the airline industry from cryptocurrency.

Here are 8 examples on what Crypto currencies can do if utilised in the airline industry:

  • The first and foremost benefit to the airline industry is the reduction of costs from international cross-border exchange rates and transfer fees. This alone would be worth billions of dollars annually.
  • Second in line to benefit the airline industry is the reduction of credit card fraud, where the airline/agents loose to banks as customers charge back for fraudulent transactions. This alone would be worth billions of dollars annually.
  • Interairline payments where airlines are directly compensating each other with payments. Crypto reduces the transfer times and costs, again saving billions per year.
  • Following on would be the reduction of friction in the transaction (abandoned shopping carts/transactions) as credit card failures or lack of credit cards prevent valid transactions from completing
  • Reduction of time spent in transactions both in processing time and human resources as the fraud issue is reduced to nil. No time/HR required for chargeback defense.
  • Higher volume of profits for airline/agency as costs are reduced. Lower cost to passengers if saving are passed through to the customer.
  • Agencies and Airlines that accept Crypto in the future will become more competitive against their non Cryto peers as volumes of transactions increase.
  • Generational shifts to Crypto as a payment pathway will increase uptake by generational buyers who are migrating away from cash, cards, and border restrictions on their funds.

It should also be noted that some USA/NZ companies are already paying employees in Crypto… this trend will grow and the airline industry can benefit if they are flexible enough plan for the transition away from legacy payment methods.

With the first three items on the list there are billions of $ in annual savings (shareholders love this) from the almost $1 Trillion airline annual revenue stream.

Saturday, November 16 2019

Why are last minute plane tickets so insanely expensive? If they needed to fill up those last few seats, shouldn't they be cheaper?

 

 

Sometimes the funny things happen. Like the day before you’re ready to travel the price for the seat is half of what it was for the previous month. At Future.Travel we see this scenario quite often. It has to do with the airline releasing more inventory. Perhaps it is inventory from other markets that finally gets pulled into the last 24 hours of sales.

As to why this should not be cheaper the closer to the travel date has a lot to do with profitability. In most cases the flight has already reached the break even point of being cost-effective. Each added Passenger/ passenger baggage is a cost of extra fuel that has to be factored into the equation. Hard cargo, freight , is easier to To sell and calculate than The variable of a passenger walking on, maybe. Second to that is because They have already made the profit, by hitting break even, they want to maximise any profit they make so the price will be higher.

Thursday, November 14 2019

What is the average duration of time it takes to go through every single travel website in existence to eventually find the absolute lowest possible airfare price on flight tickets?

 

 

I am not sure about average for the industry, so I can relate the time taken for a Future.Travel shopping experience online.

The average for us is about 3.5 minutes to find the flight, after on average looking at 3 screens of flight summary’s, and .20 screen views of calendar comparable pricing. Most people don’t use calendar as they are focused on particular days.

About another 2 minutes to complete passenger details - longer now as domestic international airlines require more information than just a name.

About another 2 minutes to complete credit card/Bitcoin payment with reply from payment processor of success.

So from landing on site to having confirmation of booking in hand…. about 7.5 minutes.

Wednesday, November 13 2019

What's the difference between Skyscanner and Trip.com?

 

 

 

There is a difference, but you need to understand the relationship the two have.

The Chinese mega OTA - “C-Trip” owns both companies.

C-Trip has expanded it brand name to just become Trip.com

Skyscanner is a meta search engine that returns flight details from agencies/airlines that pay them to display there inventory. Future.Travelcan be found in some markets on Skyscanner, not all markets, as Skyscanner restricts the competition in some (if not all) markets. Trip.com appears in all markets.

So short answer is that Skyscanner is a webservice search engine owned by Ctrip that maximises the platform display to benefit Trip.com which may not have the lowest prices or best service.

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