Thailand Martial Arts and Outdoor Adventure Travel – Long-Term Travel in Thailand on a Budget

1. Amazing Adventures in Thailand

A few years ago, I decided to migrate the majority of my efforts, lifestyle and long-term ninja training programs to Thailand. This decision was based on number of pros as compared to our original California program. First, I like change and I like to stretch what we can offer to students. I have run programs in Europe, the United States and now Asia equally.

Does it mean that California or the United States does not have a lot to offer? No, it just means there are other options and I have a lot of pros to talk about for the Adventurer that can financially manage a long term trip to the U.S. or Europe.

Thailand has a lot to offer serious students and adventurers. Especially those participating in our long-term Martial Arts Training camps.

There is a popular commercial in Thailand called – Amazing Thailand. It highlights the plethora of adventure and fun that is available in one small location.

In Bangkok for example, you can spend time shopping in a 7 story mall (even purchase Ferrari in one of the stores), visit historical temples (feel like a king in the Grand Palace or say hello to the emerald Buddha), or perhaps enjoy an endless variety of nightlife (have a drink on top of the world overlooking the city). Bangkok is an internationally known pit-stop and great for students to spend some time adjusting to the Asia before heading out to see what else Thailand has to offer.

For me, the major draw to Thailand was the tropical outdoor options that are available. I have taken students to the mountains of Pai near Chiang Mai to the warm blue waters of the Andaman sea. We have trained on beautiful islands like Koh Samui and climbed some of the best rock climbing available in the world in Krabi province. When you are not training in the martial arts, there is plenty of adventure in Thailand.

Enjoy a fresh and extremely healthy coconut on the beach, or go snorkeling and diving for a price that you can feel great about. Feel like checking out the bridge over the river Kwai or exploring the Erawan Waterfall in Kanchanaburi? No problem. How about taking a trip to Hua Hin where the King lives and enjoy the long ocean strip. You name it, adventure is abundant and access to that adventure is made extremely accessible.

It might sound silly, but many of my students found that renting a moped and cruising around the islands to be one of the best experiences. Simple adventures like taking a long tail boat from one island to another can be quite thrilling. Adventure is often equated to new experiences and Thailand has plenty to offer.

I believe Thailand offers the best of Southeast Asia, but one of the added benefits to being in Thailand is that with a hop, skip and a jump you can be in experience new adventures in Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos, or Cambodia. You can stretch that just a bit to visit China, Singapore, Hong Kong or further to places like Taiwan and Japan. When you are in Thailand, other locations in Asia feel closer and you are more likely to explore.

What Thailand has to offer is of course amazing. However, the real benefits of Thailand hit when we get practical and this is determined by how much of a hole any trip will have on our pocket book.

2. A big reason students love Thailand is financial

As with any functional service – money is an important tool. Students that attend my programs, often do so for long periods. Many students prefer 1-12 months of training as opposed to weekend seminars or weekly courses that often cost far more.

Another benefit of a long-term program in Thailand is the students lower personal costs as compared to what they would pay in the States. There are too many discounts to list here, but here are a few to consider.

3. Cheaper Food in Thailand

You can pick up a decent healthy meal for about $2.00 in Thailand, and that is in a restaurant. On the street, you can get a filling bowl of noodles for 50 cents. In California, you are lucky to get a meal for $5.00 (though Subway helps with their $5.00 foot long sandwiches) and 50 cents might buy you a candy bar. I also tip a minimum of $5.00 in restaurants in the States. A tip like that in Thailand would be outrageous, even 20 Thai Baht is high and that is less than a $1.00

4. Entertainment can be costly, but not in Thailand

In Thailand, you can see a movie for about $5.00. In California, a movie ticket can cost you closer to $10.00. In addition, the quality of movie theaters in Thailand is often superior to what you find elsewhere. For example, you can choose to sit in a reclining mini couch, and choose your seats in advance (even pay less depending on where you want to sit). In the States, if you cannot choose your seat in advance you are forced to arrive early to get a good seat and also be forced to sit through previews and commercials.

This savings extends to almost every sector of entertainment, whether you want to rent a motorcycle, go to a nightclub or ride an elephant, the costs in comparison are outstanding.

5. Shopping in Thailand

Although students and adventures may not have shopping on their mind, it can still be a factor for those that like to buy and why not save some money in the process. Thailand is famous for getting a great deal on your purchase and has shopping streets all over the country. You can pick up designer jeans for $20 as opposed to $200 or invest in a work of art. I managed to buy gifts for Christmas for everyone in the family in Thailand and spend the same amount (including flight, hotel and gifts) as I would have spent just on the gifts themselves (judging from my normal spending habits) in California. I also am able to buy items that are unique and not just another gadget to clutter their closets. Many people have made their short term stay in Thailand into a business and fund their new lifestyle by purchasing items in Thailand to sell in the States.

6. Travel in Thailand

You can travel from the mountains of Pai (north of Chiang Mai) all the way south to the islands of Koh Phi Phi (where they filmed the movie the Beach) for about $60. This would cost you in the hundreds in the States. When I lived in Pai, I would fly to the city for only $30. The bus ride down the mountain is about $5 and takes 2 hours. This travel savings extends to almost every type of travel in Thailand. You can take a taxi anywhere you want for about $10 an hour or hop in a tuk tuk for $5.00 and take a scenic route. Students have rented mopeds for an entire month in Pai for only $50 or $150 in more expensive locations like Samui Thailand. If you want to jump on a short flight to Cambodia to see the Angkor Wat (a wonder of the world) or take a train to Malaysia – no problem, and it won’t hurt your pocket book. I often fly to Singapore from Bangkok and it costs me less than it would to fly from city to city in California.

7. Housing and accommodation in Thailand

A great thing about Thailand is that you have a choice of stay that will meet every budget. In California, a typical hotel is $100 per night and for a month at a basic hotel you will pay about $3,000 or more. This is usually without Internet, without food and without additional benefits. In Bangkok for example, you can get a one-month stay in a great hotel that will include internet, give you a great breakfast buffet (usually for two), swimming pools, fitness gym, lounge use and daily maid service all for $1,000. Not to mention these locations can be found with a small kitchen area – much like Extended Stay of America only at half the cost. Now $1,000 a month may not be cheap to many, but this is for an upscale location. You can also stay in a small house for as low as $200 a month in many locations. I have stayed in a $2,000 a month location on a tropical island and I have stayed at a $300 a month location on the same island. Both locations were great and no, you do not have to live in the alley to get a great price.

All of this is very important to a long-term student of the martial arts. They often only have so much money to spare and they need it to last them a long time. Students that come to California programs often run out of money in a few weeks (going out to town to eat, seeing movies, buying ridiculously pricey popcorn and hanging out with friends). Whereas in Thailand, they can stretch that same money into months and actually get more entertainment – not to mention enjoy the splendors of a tropical island or globally famous city.

8. Medical care

One time flying to Thailand for another adventure I couldn’t help overhearing the couple in front of me. They were not together but seated next to each other. One person asked the other why they were going to Thailand. His response at first startled me. He said he was going to Thailand to see a dentist as it was just too costly in the States by comparison.

I have not seen a dentist in Thailand however I do remember a student that had a cavity removed for only about 500 baht in a great location off of a main Soi in Bangkok. I also remember visiting the hospital in Chiang Mai and after visiting three doctors for three separate issues (thought I would try to get as much covered as possible at the same time) it only cost me about 1000 Thai baht (about $35 U.S. Dollars). Naturally, this person must be getting some major dental work done to spend $1,000 or close to it to fly to Thailand to see a dentist.

However, Thailand is famous for those looking for high quality medical care for a low price. I often catch myself saying, “I will wait till I am back in Thailand to get that checked out.” Many people have a poor view of Thailand when it comes to health care. Yes, you don’t have to get a prescription when you want some medicine to fight off a major virus and you don’t have to get 5 screenings before you can see an expert. All of the facilities I have been to in Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and even the island of Koh Samui have been top notch locations with modern equipment and English speaking doctors. I would wager that I received more attention and better care than I have in the States.

As a martial artists and adventurer – it is important to know that when I am traveling that there are up-to-date medical solutions in the event of an accident.

9. Culture of new locations

I once heard that there was more culture in Yoghurt than there was in the California. This might be why websites like EscapeAmerica.com are springing up supporting life outside our borders. Some people are looking for more than freedom of speech. Now I love California and I am proud to be an American, so I will not have much to say about negative concerns. However, having run adventure programs for the better part of 20 years and teaching students for the same amount of time, I know where they can get more for their money.

An exciting part of travel and adventure is meeting new people and learning new languages. Going to places like Thailand will offer a NEW approach and with that comes a benefit that is hard to measure. If you live in the United States already, traveling to another location in the U.S. will not offer much variety. It is hard to grow if you are not challenged to adapt to new locations, meet new people and learn new languages.

10. Friends in Asia

Naturally, you can meet friends almost anywhere you go, but there is something unique about traveling in a country with others of like mind. When you are abroad, you will meet others that have taken the time and have the time to spend – people from all over the world. In California, you are likely to meet more people just like you. This can be boring. My first trip to Thailand I made good friends with people from places like Holland, England, Norway, Australia and of course Thailand itself.

11. Time to play in Thailand

One of the reasons I created my long-term program was to offer a lifestyle that is against the grain of modern society. If, for example, you come to a typical city in the United States, you will meet people that are more than likely following a very specific path. They are working, going to school or busy with their family or business.

Long term students can however get together easily to take a road trip almost any time to either explore a new location, go rock climbing or take a road trip. The same ability to meet new people and adventure with them spontaneously is available in Thailand. This is because Thailand and places like Bangkok is an adventure hub of the world.

In a typical city in the U.S. you are more likely to be challenged with schedules and a tight work week. In Thailand and for students and adventurers alike, the weekend is whenever they want it to be.

12. Moving to Thailand

I ran my long-term martial arts program in California for more than 5 years. I have not had one student of hundreds, move to California (other than to train at our camp) for a new lifestyle. However, with only a few years in Thailand, I have had already three students that are trying or have tried to move and set up life in Thailand (outside of our program). Is it because their American dollar will go a lot further? Is it because they have additional freedoms they are excited about in a new country? Is it because they can escape the almost forced social strategy that is pushed in the U.S.? Any of these might be true, and they are a few reasons that so many foreigners attempt to set up life in Thailand. Even if it is just for a change of pace and a break from the typical norm. Many might head home in a year or two refreshed and ready to settle down in their home country.

My last visit I met a man that was to only be in Bangkok for a few weeks decide to move and live there. He was only there to organize shipments of gems to the U.S. and realized he could spread his wealth and live like a king as opposed to just getting by in the States.

One of my students made the comment the first week I introduced him to Thailand that he had seen enough to know he never wants to come back – that same person is now living in Thailand and has been for more than a year now. It only took another week to convince him that his typical Untied States views of Thailand were way off base.

Do students want to live in Thailand? Some might, but the point is that for a long-term program to be successful, you need to be able to survive in a location long term. As a child, living on a tropical island was a dream and a goal. Living on an island in Thailand is not as challenging as some might think.

Our program also serves as a stepping-stone for introducing students to a new life. I too am able to fully appreciate the good with the bad. As I am from California, I am spoiled with majestic mountains and National Parks like Yosemite. However, I have found that I appreciate the wealth the United States has to offer by living abroad.

13. Freedom to be YOU

As a U.S. citizen you truly have a lot of freedom, but you will only begin to respect your real freedoms when you travel to a country where you have even more opportunities to do what you want and how you want to live. In Thailand, for example, if you want to live in one location for a week or months, it is very easy to do so without the hassle of paperwork, credit checks and other headaches that limit you from actually feeling free. Naturally, every country has limitations and Thailand has many. However, for the long-term martial artist or adventurer – Thailand has plenty of options to make you smile.

Consider being able to pick up a moped in a matter of minutes, or rent a 1 month serviced apartment without anything other than your passport (and the ability to pay of course). In the States, most houses or apartments that you rent (other than outrageously expensive hotels) charge you first month’s rent, last month’s rent and a security deposit. Many only charge a security deposit, but this is usually the same as the rent.

In Thailand, there is a lot of flexibility with how you decide to use your rental space too. Usually you are not charged more if you have more people in your room. This is great for students that are looking to adventure with friends and get the best deal. If book a hotel in the States (including Extended Stay Hotels) and add another adult, you will most likely be charged more for the same room and service. If anything, they should be giving you an additional benefit, such as breakfast.

My point is to point out the positive benefits for long-term students to choose Thailand as their destination for growth. I expect everyone to return home with tales of adventure and eventually settle down where they are happy and can make a successful life for themselves. However, the truth is that jobs will always be there and family and friends will be waiting for you to return. Therefore, while you are focused on training and personal growth, you might as well get the best adventure and experience that your money can buy.

14. Self-Power

I remember something that I either read or heard from a public speaker more than 20 years ago. The quote or text was something like this:

If you want to be a success – leave home.

Thinking about my experiences over the last 20 years, I would have to agree that my time away from home has taught me some very important lessons. Thailand has a lot to teach any open minded individual, but the big lesson is already available as the student must leave their country and embark on a journey. This step alone is a big step for any adult and one that I believe will help to teach them more about who they are as a human being.

One of the major differences between our martial art system and others label based martial art styles is the fact that we really push self-powered training and personal growth. It is about creating a lifestyle that you love.

I remember traveling for the first time on the boat to Koh Phi Phi island from Phuket thinking how great it would be to share this experience with students. It reminded me of the feeling Bruce Lee’s character might have felt on his island trip where he was headed to deal some kung-fu fighting in the film Enter the Dragon.

What about you? Have you ever been to Thailand? Have you ever dreamed of going to Thailand? Do you know anyone who had been to Thailand? Share your experience or thought with us!

Join NinjaGym Live-In Martial Arts and Adventure Camp in Thailand and bring balance to your Mind (with the mental martial art of Winjitsu), Body (by teaching the Martial Arts and Ninjutsu) and Spirit (outdoor adventure – travel and climbing). Whether you want to learn how to become a Ninja, get in shape fast with our NinjaGym fitness boot camp, or be part of the an island adventure, we can help.

Adventure Travel Destination Marketing

There are various websites which offer great opportunities in traveling. Each and every person in this world loves to go for a holiday. It is very important to choose the right kind of place as your holiday destination. Before choosing your destination it is always very important to discuss it with your family.

When you log on to the internet and look for the travel companies you will get lots of websites. Adventure holiday marketing has become quite popular these days. Adventure travel destination.com is one of the websites which provides you proper information about the adventure travel suppliers.

This website has lots of things like information about the car rental companies which are local, various adventure activities, information about different kinds of hotels and resorts. There are lots of tourism suppliers present all over the world. These suppliers can access the marketing pages of this website directly.

They will find lots of opportunities for them in these kinds of websites. Other than the suppliers the travelers also get various benefits from the website. So whether you are interested in adventure destination marketing or in an adventure holiday you can look forward to this website.

As a traveler you can check out the website for the various specials as well as deals offered. There are lots of travelers who like to go for an adventure travel once in a year. There are certain travelers who prefer to deal directly with local hotel owners as well as tourism operators.

They want to deal directly with them because by doing this they get special rates and offers on the holiday package. Other than this, there are many more privileges that are offered by the hotel owners and operators.

When you enter into this website you will different kinds of information as well as blogs written on this topic. You will also mingle with lots of other travelers who can share their experiences as well as reviews.

This website also has a page which is called the vacation special and this page offers you with the list of travel experts. These experts can also offer you with the knowledge about the special offers and packages. Other than this, you also have the destination guide pages.

This page offers you with the opinions of the travel experts. Adventure travel destinations.com is the website which has become quite popular these days. This website is actually a part of the AXES marketing network for tourism.

If you choose the local hotel owners and contact directly with them then you can enjoy the local activities much better. You can contact with the local hotel owners and operators for destination marketing with the help of this website. There are lots of adventure travel destinations in this world.

You will get information about all these destinations from this marketing website. Online booking options are also available in this website. Other than this, there are lots of other facilities that are available with adventure marketing. So get the best deal now.

Planning Your Adventure Travel

It certainly would not be an exaggeration if it is said that it is difficult to find anyone who is not interested in traveling! There are many people who also find great pleasure in ‘adventure travel’ and take it as lightly as an evening walk. As the name itself indicates, adventure travel is a trip that provides an unusual and exciting experience to the traveler seeking adventures. There are a great many kind of experiences that fall under the category of adventure travel – cultural journeys, expeditions, wildlife adventures, and active adventures to name a few.

One who wishes to go on an adventure travel may certainly have a very clear picture of what kind of adventure he plans to take on. You can plan it on your own but it can take a lot of time and a lot more confusing than you can imagine. To make things easier and to make the travel comfortable, the best option would be to approach a good travel agent. The thrill and excitement that you would get on your trip will be numerous and the trip all the more enjoyable.

You can find several adventure travel agencies ready to serve but the wisdom lies in choosing a professional travel agent or company. Professional guidance helps the traveler obtain personal satisfaction.

There are several reasons which speak in favor of a good adventure travel agent or travel companies. A good agency is one which organizes everything perfectly for the traveler. They usually arrange for a tour leader who is well aware of the place, the customs of the people and any specific problems associated with the area, if any. There are many of us who will be traveling alone because we are unable to find a good companion. In such instances, seeking the help of a good agent will provide us with ready-made traveling companions. A good agency aims at the personal satisfaction of the travelers that come to them. Many travel agencies try to lure customers by offering discounts, but discounts sometimes mean cutting on the services offered. Cheap vacation packages would only rob you of comfort which is normally provided to the traveler. A good travel agent is always there for the traveler in case of a problem or if something unfortunate goes wrong.

Seeking the help of the adventure travel specialist saves a lot of time and money since they undertake the arrangements like transportation, early bookings on discounts in hotels and resorts, domestic and international travel. They also provide the required help with passport and visa applications. In short, they cater to all the needs of the traveler.

The professional background of the adventure travel agent enables the traveler to get an idea whether or not the agent is trained well and can make his trip a pleasant, thrilling, comfortable and exciting one. A professional agency has its personnel trained in business management and tourism or their personnel must pass a course with the Institute of the Certified Travel Agents.

Vacations are something that almost everyone enjoy. Not only because it allows for rest, relaxation and a chance to rejuvenate but also because some vacations, such as adventure travel, can be exhilarating. Adventure travel is only worthwhile and enjoyable though if it is planned properly. It is important to utilize the help of an adventure travel agent when planning your vacation so that you can avoid any problems or difficulties once you are actually on vacation. Don’t let your vacation be spoiled, call a reliable, trustworthy travel agency today!

Taking Adventure Travel to New Heights!

It is said that it’s difficult to find anyone who is not interested in traveling! Many people also find great pleasure in “Adventure Travel.” Adventure travel is a trip that provides an unusual and exciting experience to the vacationer seeking that never to be forgotten vacation adventure. There are a great many kinds of experiences that fall under this category of travel and we have taken our role in the fascinating world of adventure travels very seriously.

A Little History on Adventure Travel Rentals. A Travel Aggregator is a company that makes a mission out of introducing the American vacationer to all this world has to offer for a fun-filled vacation of heart stopping adventure travel. By building a reputation on not only offering the traveler rentals like RV’s, Snowmobiles and Jet Skies, but showing the adventure traveler the many options on where to go and how to turn their adventure vacation into a memorable one. As a long-time adventure traveler, I once envisioned the opportunity to help people throughout the US plan and execute that vacation by matching up the adventure traveler with a person who has all of the adventure “toys” to complete the vacation. Thousands of people have vacation “toys” just sitting around their house, gathering dust but we have solved that problem by showing Americans how to rent out their idle toys from the comforts of their home and even more importantly making money on an adventure toy that would otherwise sit unused. A traveler planning a trip to Yosemite during the winter may look to rent a rustic mountain cabin as well as a snowmobile to explore the vast trails and natural scenery. We can facilitate this entire process.

It’s a wild wonderful world! Follow your heart and let the adventure begin. Repelling down the mountains of Arches National Park in Utah for some extreme camping, thrill seekers hiking the Bruce Trail in Bruce Peninsula National Park, or white water rafting in the Grand Canyon are all adventure vacations that are heart stopping yet they are also the type of vacations that make you feel young again! Because, after all, aren’t we all trying to stop the march of time? At least that’s what it feels like to be an adventure traveler, time has stood still while you gaze at and experience the very best America has to offer.

America’s 58 national parks are the jewels of the country. Escaping to a safe and peaceful wilderness setting has wide appeal for families seeking a stress-free vacation with a little or allot of adventure. Reserve a spot at one of the thousands of campgrounds in America, and you’ll not only have a memorable time sleeping under the stars but you may come back a few years younger.

Try going off the beaten path to see the untamed vistas of Mount Moran in Wyoming’s Grand Tetons, the fourth highest peak in the Tetons or the deep forests and majestic trees of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Michigan. Surely, a sight never-to-be-forgotten.

RV Travel is not what it used to be. In 2010, the RV turned 100 years old. Three prominent RV historians, renowned RV collector David Woodworth, RV/Motor Home Hall of Fame and Museum archivist Al Hesselbart, and Smithsonian Institution curator Roger White have cited 1910 as the start of the RV industry. Today some 82 million households now own RV’s according to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. In 1936, Airstream came out with the Clipper, and America’s adoration of this particular RV brand took shape. In 1952, RV manufacturers started to realize the marketing benefits of a whole home on wheels. RVs and trailers started to get bigger, and bigger… and bigger. RV travel has become the way families come together in an economical and flexible way to see this beautiful country for their family vacations. Whether they travel in a small trailer RV or a luxury RV Motorhome there is no denying it’s one of the best ways to travel and see the countryside.

RV camping opportunities abound with more than 16,000 RV parks, campgrounds and resorts on America’s public and private lands. Some of the most beautiful places in North America can be reached by RV’s and the destinations are well worth the drive! How about, Mt. Desert Narrows Camping Resort, in Bar Harbor, Maine. This RV Camping Resort is known as the only national park in New England. The Leisure Resort on the San Marcos River in Texas offers full hook-up RV sites, a fenced pet park for Fido as well as pet-friendly trails, and a scenic riverfront. The Sunshine Key RV Resort and Marina is in Big Pine Key, Florida just some 38 miles from Key West. In the mood for a spa or golf vacation? Try The Great Outdoors RV Nature & Golf Resort Titusville, FL. This park is for the big guys, only 18′ ft and longer are allowed. No pop-ups or tents allowed! Sam’s Family Spa Hot Water Resort was built in 1971 on over 50 acres of selected desert property with underground hot mineral water springs. It is an RV park with all amenities to reserve in America.

RV’s have pumped in a new enthusiasm for this kind of camping. Luxury RV’s like the Bounder Diesel have it all: a spacious floor plan with triple slide-outs, an impressive galley, comfy furnishings, four beds, and lots of storage. Its finishing touches include detailed molding and contemporary light fixtures making the RV feel like a home. Or is “Green” Rving more your thing? Try the first eco-friendly RV, the Ever-Lite by EverGreen, built with all composite, wood-free outside wall construction and all the design characteristics of an eco-friendly home.

Today, people purchase or rent RVs with thoughts and dreams of going on adventures, exploring the country, and building lasting memories with family and friends. Camping in an RV at one of the many nation’s parks, forests and campgrounds is perfect for experiencing nature up close with all the conveniences of home.

Not sure everyone wants to go through the expense of buying an RV? Then why not rent one and find out what some 82 million households have already found out. RV Travel is Adventure Travel at its Finest!

Ronald Silbermann has a combined, extensive work experience in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa. He has made a mission out of introducing the American Adventure Traveler to all this country has to offer for a fun-filled vacation of heart-stopping adventure experiences. Rentzio is part of a vision to build a reputation on not only offering the traveler Recreational Vehicle rentals, but showing them the many options on where to go and how to turn their adventure vacation into a memorable one. Rentzio is the premier aggregator for rental agencies and individual owners to rent out RV’s, motorhomes, trailers, motorcycles, ATVs, bikes, watercraft and vacation homes. Rentzio accomplishes this by using the latest in social media and technology to amass the best offers for a fun-filled trip. The company strives to transform the way the industry does business by providing a one-stop-shop platform that brings together the vacationer, these agencies and individual owners. Helping travelers plan, that never-to-be-forgotten vacation is the company’s vision. Rentzio is also proud of its commitment to creating a sustainable environment to do business in and fostering the same behavior in customers and rental partners.

Adventure Travel Inspiration and How to Find It

All travellers know the feeling, “I want to travel, I want to experience new things and I want to do something completely different to what I am doing now.” The corresponding feeling is usually along the lines of, “But what? Where? And how?”

This is actually made harder with the vast selection of trips currently available, especially to adventure travellers. Below are three ways to make inspiration a little easier for those of you reading with travel on your mind.

Travel Reviews

One of the best ways to find adventure travel inspiration is by reading about other peoples’ experiences. This is easily done by looking at travel reviews. These travel reviews provide an insight, not only into the service and value of adventure travel providers, but also the experiences that people have had. Adventurers are drawn to places of interest, especially ones that not many have been. Never underestimate an adventure traveller’s need for that feeling of exploration.

Travel reviews also provide inspiration through density. For example, the crowds may congregate in Kenya for a Safari or in Peru to hike Machu Picchu, both areas would then receive a high number of reviews. With this knowledge, an adventure traveller can easily pick his or her ideal experience, based on how crowded they want their trip to be.

Adventure News

Read adventure news and updates. One of the most useful sources of inspiration comes from adventure travel industry news. Details of current adventure vacation offers, new destinations available and new activities to try will really get your imagination going. It’s also helpful when you’re on a tight budget – discovering new adventures on your doorstep is the latest travel trend.

How do you find the best deals in the market? Just keep a watchful eye on the best adventure news. Finding fresh adventures is one of the fundamental reasons that the adventure travel market continues to grow (even in spite of economic/political challenges). Travellers are always on the lookout for the next destination or activity and one of the most fruitful sources for inspiration is blogs from explorers and adventures on the cutting edge. New routes through jungles, new epic cycle journeys or a new way to use a helicopter to launch your adventure, these blogs have the answers.

Adventure Travel Market Overview

Finally, finding inspiration can be a simple as looking at the adventure travel market as a whole – what can I do and where?

This might be browsing through an atlas and pointing at the topographic point of interest or looking at a list of adventures on a provider’s site. An easier option still is to utilize some of the powerful adventure travel search sites out there. Simply click on an activity or country and see where or what you can do.

So, if you need adventure travel inspiration remember these three points:

1. Read travel reviews
2. Keep an eye on adventure news and
3. Look out for global adventure travel search sites.

Good luck in discovering your next adventure.

What Travel Agents Need to Know About Corporate Travel Today

This is rightly named as the age of traveler-centricity and with the evolution of the new era of personalized travel; it is leading to research and development of a host of new so-called intelligent services. The command-and-control perspectives of traveling have changed a lot from the past and the focus has shifted more on the traveler and the productivity of each trip. It has become essential to maintain that the travelers have the greatest return on investment on each trip. New generations of young employees and managers, who have been growing up and dwelling in a digital age, are moving up the ranks as travelers. It has become essential to recognize the need for greater flexibility acknowledging that the employees who travel on corporate trips also consider a percentage of their trip to be a leisure outlet. With increasing globalization and rise in companies sending their staff overseas to network and connect with their offshore prospects/customers/suppliers, corporate travel is a highly profitable tourism segment. Before we talk about how tourism companies can better cater to business travelers, let us first look at why they prefer to use specialized corporate agencies over traditional agents

Why do businesses use Corporate Travel Agencies?

This might be the most basic question for a travel agency as to why they need to use agencies specializing in corporate travel when there are plenty of regular travel agents in the market. Here is the importance of corporate travel agencies who have online systems which allow business travelers access to their complete itinerary.

The following information is at the fingertips of the CTAs:-

full business itinerary details
up-to-date tracking details of flights (including delays or rescheduling)
transparent details about additional costs such as baggage fees or in-flight fees
travel alerts, if any, in the destined area
complete and up-to-date details about the visa procurement policies and identification required
currency requirement and conversion rates

What do corporate clients expect from Corporate Travel Agencies?

Negotiated Fares

The Corporate Agencies tend to have tie-ups with hotels, car rentals, flights etc. giving them access to lower fares which can be used only by the frequent business travelers. Discounted prices are not the only advantage though as they also offer flight upgrades, room upgrades, and VIP check-in lines as required.

In-depth information about the travel industry

Corporate travel agents have access to many travel resources and most importantly, quickly, than any other leisure travel agent. Additional information helps to make the business trips convenient and comfortable.

Changes in Itinerary

When an airline ticket needs to get rescheduled or cancelled, chances are the airline or the online service provider will charge lofty fees. When booking with a corporate travel agent, most of the times schedule changes can be done at zero or minimal extra charges.

Viable emergency contacts

It is important for the business travelers to reach the correct person at the need of trouble. Corporate travel agents have the experience and professionalism to relieve stress for both the traveler and the company.

What you need to consider as corporate travel increases?

Business Travel Barometer reported that corporate travel is witnessing an accelerated growth. However, when poorly managed, it may be no longer an advantage to companies and may, in fact become a burden. There are some factors which the corporations and CTAs must consider to get the best out of the time spent traveling.

Adopting a travel policy

The corporate must define a travel policy which is applicable to and respected by travelers at all levels. This policy should be used to establish the standards which will help to track the improvement of business travel. It will eventually help to reduce the costs of the entire package.

Do not limit the traveler’s autonomy

The management is responsible for budgeting the travel policy which helps to improve cost management however, it is also essential to give a degree of autonomy to the traveler. The policy should be flexible enough to allow the employee to adapt the trip as per the situation.

Traveler’s security should be a major concern

Business travelers need to have security in place. The company needs to stick to its definition of standards to ensure the employee’s integrity. The CTAs should have reliable partners (travel insurance, airlines, hotel chains etc.).

Mobility and automation

To optimize time and ease the processes, the administration of management platforms should have automated processes. This means they should adopt mobile solutions where search options, travel alerts, ticket reservations etc. can be accessed quickly, easily and on the go.

Corporate Travel Trends in 2016

Corporate travel trends tend to change regularly. 2016 has also not been any different and the travel management companies (TMCs) and corporate travel agencies (CTAs) are quite focused to provide steady if not strong axis all over. A growing MICE sector, investments in mobile and big data and enhanced focus on duty of care are some of their areas of focus.

Rising prices

The consolidated buzzword among global suppliers, airfares, hotel rates etc. is the rising fares. It is sometimes the move of the suppliers to generate discounts which encourage travel if there is a strong decline in demand. A positive 2016 world economy has been bringing an increase in air fares of a few percentage points, hotels are expected to see 4%-6% rise in average global rates and the competition will remain moderate in the car rental services.

Duty of care

Risk management is one of the major points of emphasis for corporations. Corporate customers are allowing new policies and improved technologies to monitor employees’ location in case of an emergency, especially when they are travelling to foreign destinations. For instance, Concur Risk Messaging helps to identify the travelers moving around in the world and alerts them with alternate travel arrangement as and when needed.

Focusing on MICE

Meetings industry is a major growing sector and the corporate travel trend is developing on it. The corporate travel agencies should better start aligning the various meeting procurement methodologies with its transient travel sourcing. One of the ways could be to broaden the variety of meeting services by incorporating incentive trips within it.

Investing in technology

A sharper focus on increasing value and becoming more traveler-centric can be done by bringing in mobile friendly technologies. Mobile and big data are definitely the two most significant technological investments which any corporate travel agency must focus to make their platform more appealing.

Business travel analysis after Brexit

Following Brexit, ACTE and CAPA shared their speculations. According to them, the greatest short-term effects on the travel industry will come from the weakening of the pound against other world currencies. Greeley Koch, executive director for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives said that the business travel industry will trend on currency fluctuations; with some companies taking advantage of the weaker pound and traveling more, while others may withhold business travel until world markets find their own level.

Impact of terrorism on corporate travelers

Travel policy makers and administrators need to be guided by rising terrorism scare. For executives and staff undertaking travel on behalf of businesses, the travel agents and corporate travel agencies (CTAs) should prove the reassurance for their safety through the travel policies. It is more than likely that the surveys conducted over corporate travelers reflect the general concern of the global business travelers about the spate of terrorism. However, there is no denying the fact that terrorist threat is changing the patterns of business travel. The key impact of this is to keep in mind that the companies providing travel services for business travelers need to enhance their focus on security and the associated risks in delivering the services to corporate clients. According to a recent finding, travel managers have higher estimation of their policy’s effectiveness in addressing risk compared to skeptical business travelers.

Concluding

Although the corporate travel sector has continued to progress, there are a plethora of challenges faced by the industry. A rapidly changing consumer market, the emergence of new business models, the impact of technology, man-made and natural crises are some of the fulcrum points that need to be considered before planning corporate trips.

Base Tendriling Travel Expenses

As business travel expenses nose upward, companies are realizing that better cost-management techniques can make a difference

US. corporate travel expenses rocketed to more than $143 billion in 1994, according to American Express’ most recent survey on business travel management. Private-sector employers spend an estimated $2,484 per employee on travel and entertainment, a 17 percent increase over the past four years.

Corporate T&E costs, now the third-largest controllable expense behind sales and data-processing costs, are under new scrutiny. Corporations are realizing that even a savings of 1 percent or 2 percent can translate into millions of dollars added to their bottom line.

Savings of that order are sure to get management’s attention, which is a requirement for this type of project. Involvement begins with understanding and evaluating the components of T&E management in order to control and monitor it more effectively.

Hands-on management includes assigning responsibility for travel management, implementing a quality-measurement system for travel services used, and writing and distributing a formal travel policy. Only 64 percent of U.S. corporations have travel policies.

Even with senior management’s support, the road to savings is rocky-only one in three companies has successfully instituted an internal program that will help cut travel expenses, and the myriad aspects of travel are so overwhelming, most companies don’t know where to start. “The industry of travel is based on information,” says Steven R. Schoen, founder and CEO of The Global Group Inc. “Until such time as a passenger actually sets foot on the plane, they’ve [only] been purchasing information.”

If that’s the case, information technology seems a viable place to hammer out those elusive, but highly sought-after, savings. “Technological innovations in the business travel industry are allowing firms to realize the potential of automation to control and reduce indirect [travel] costs,” says Roger H. Ballou, president of the Travel Services Group USA of American Express. “In addition, many companies are embarking on quality programs that include sophisticated process improvement and reengineering efforts designed to substantially improve T&E management processes and reduce indirect costs.”

As companies look to technology to make potential savings a reality, they can get very creative about the methods they employ.

The Great Leveler

Centralized reservation systems were long the exclusive domain of travel agents and other industry professionals. But all that changed in November 1992 when a Department of Transportation ruling allowed the general public access to systems such as Apollo and SABRE. Travel-management software, such as TripPower and TravelNet, immediately sprang up, providing corporations insight into where their T&E dollars are being spent.

The software tracks spending trends by interfacing with the corporation’s database and providing access to centralized reservation systems that provide immediate reservation information to airlines, hotels and car rental agencies. These programs also allow users to generate computerized travel reports on cost savings with details on where discounts were obtained, hotel and car usage and patterns of travel between cities. Actual data gives corporations added leverage when negotiating discounts with travel suppliers.

“When you own the information, you don’t have to go back to square one every time you decide to change agencies,” says Mary Savovie Stephens, travel manager for biotech giant Chiron Corp.

Sybase Inc., a client/server software leader with an annual T&E budget of more than $15 million, agrees. “Software gives us unprecedented visibility into how employees are spending their travel dollars and better leverage to negotiate with travel service suppliers,” says Robert Lerner, director of credit and corporate travel services for Sybase Inc. “We have better access to data, faster, in a real-time environment, which is expected to bring us big savings in T&E. Now we have control over our travel information and no longer have to depend exclusively on the agencies and airlines.”

The cost for this privilege depends on the volume of business. One-time purchases of travel-management software can run from under $100 to more than $125,000. Some software providers will accommodate smaller users by selling software piecemeal for $5 to $12 per booked trip, still a significant savings from the $50 industry norm per transaction.

No More Tickets

Paperless travel is catching on faster than the paperless office ever did as both service providers and consumers work together to reduce ticket prices for business travelers. Perhaps the most cutting-edge of the advances is “ticketless” travel, which almost all major airlines are testing.

In the meantime, travel providers and agencies are experimenting with new technologies to enable travelers to book travel services via the Internet, e-mail and unattended ticketing kiosks. Best Western International, Hyatt Hotels and several other major hotel chains market on the Internet. These services reduce the need for paper and offer better service and such peripheral benefits as increased efficiency, improved tracking of travel expenses and trends, and cost reduction.

Dennis Egolf, CFO of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, Ky., realized that the medical center’s decentralized location, a quarter-mile from the hospital, made efficiency difficult. “We were losing production time and things got lost,” he says. “Every memo had to be hand-carried for approval, and we required seven different copies of each travel order.” As a result, Egolf tried an off-the-shelf, paper-reduction software package designed for the federal government.

The software allows the hospital to manage travel on-line, from tracking per-diem allowances and calculating expenses to generating cash advance forms and authorizing reimbursement vouchers. The software also lets the hospital keep a running account of its travel expenses and its remaining travel budget.

“Today, for all practical purposes, the system is paperless,” says Egolf. The software has helped the hospital reduce document processing time by 93 percent. “The original goal focused on managing employee travel without paper,” he says. “We have achieved that goal, in part due to the efforts of the staff and in part due to the accuracy of the software.”

With only a $6,000 investment, the hospital saved $70 each employee trip and saved almost half of its $200,000 T&E budget through the paper-reduction program.

Out There

Consolidation of corporate travel arrangements by fewer agencies has been a growing trend since 1982. Nearly three out of four companies now make travel plans for their business locations through a single agency as opposed to 51 percent in 1988. Two major benefits of agency consolidation are the facilitation of accounting and T&E budgeting, as well as leverage in negotiating future travel discounts.

A major technological advance that allows this consolidation trend to flourish is the introduction of satellite ticket printers (STPs). Using STPs enables a travel agency to consolidate all operations to one home office, and still send all necessary tickets to various locations instantly via various wire services. As the term implies, the machinery prints out airline tickets on-site immediately, eliminating delivery charges.

For London Fog, STPs are a blessing. London Fog’s annual T&E budget of more than $15 million is split equally between its two locations in Eldersburg, Md., and New York City. Each location purchases the same number of tickets, so equal access to ticketing from their agency is a must. With an STP in their two locations, the company services both offices with one agency in Baltimore. Each office has access to immediate tickets and still manages to save by not having to pay courier and express mail charges that can range up to $15 for each of the more than 500 tickets each purchases annually.

Conde Nast Publications’ annual T&E budget of more than $20 million is allocated among its locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Detroit. Since 1994, travel arrangements have been handled by a centralized agency, Advanced Travel Management in New York City, by installing an STP in each of these five locations. In addition to increased efficiency due to consolidation, Conde Nast now has the ability to change travel plans at a moment’s notice and have new tickets in hand instantly.

The real benefit is that the machines are owned and maintained by the travel agency., so there is no cost to the company. Due to the major expense involved, however, STPs remain an option only for major ticket purchasers. “STPs are a viable option in this process for any location that purchases more than $500,000 per year in tickets,” says Shoen.

As airfare averages 43 percent of any company’s T&E expenses, savings obtainable through the various uses of technology have become dramatic. For example, the ability of corporations to collect and analyze their own travel trends has led to the creation of net-fare purchasing-negotiating a price between a corporation and an airline to purchase tickets that does not include the added expenses of commissions, overrides, transaction fees, agency transaction fees and other discounts.

Although most major U.S. carriers publicly proclaim that they don’t negotiate corporate discounts below published market fares, the American Express survey on business travel management found that 38 percent of U.S. companies had access to, or already had implemented, negotiated airline discounts. The availability and mechanics of these arrangements vary widely by carrier.

What’s the Price?

Fred Swaffer, transportation manager for Hewlett-Packard and a strong advocate of the net-pricing system, has pioneered the concept of fee-based pricing with travel-management companies under contract with H-P. He states that H-P, which spends more than $528 million per year on T&E, plans to have all air travel based on net-fare pricing. “At the present time, we have several net fares at various stages of agreement,” he says. “These fares are negotiated with the airlines at the corporate level, then trickle down to each of our seven geographical regions.”

Frank Kent, Western regional manager for United Airlines, concurs: “United Airlines participates in corporate volume discounting, such as bulk ticket purchases, but not with net pricing. I have yet to see one net-fare agreement that makes sense to us. We’re not opposed to it, but we just don’t understand it right now.”

Kent stresses, “Airlines should approach corporations with long-term strategic relationships rather than just discounts. We would like to see ourselves committed to a corporation rather than just involved.”

As business travel expenses nose upward, companies are realizing that better cost-management techniques can make a difference.

US. corporate travel expenses rocketed to more than $143 billion in 1994, according to American Express’ most recent survey on business travel management. Private-sector employers spend an estimated $2,484 per employee on travel and entertainment, a 17 percent increase over the past four years.

Corporate T&E costs, now the third-largest controllable expense behind sales and data-processing costs, are under new scrutiny. Corporations are realizing that even a savings of 1 percent or 2 percent can translate into millions of dollars added to their bottom line.

Savings of that order are sure to get management’s attention, which is a requirement for this type of project. Involvement begins with understanding and evaluating the components of T&E management in order to control and monitor it more effectively.

Hands-on management includes assigning responsibility for travel management, implementing a quality-measurement system for travel services used, and writing and distributing a formal travel policy. Only 64 percent of U.S. corporations have travel policies.

Even with senior management’s support, the road to savings is rocky-only one in three companies has successfully instituted an internal program that will help cut travel expenses, and the myriad aspects of travel are so overwhelming, most companies don’t know where to start. “The industry of travel is based on information,” says Steven R. Schoen, founder and CEO of The Global Group Inc. “Until such time as a passenger actually sets foot on the plane, they’ve [only] been purchasing information.”

If that’s the case, information technology seems a viable place to hammer out those elusive, but highly sought-after, savings. “Technological innovations in the business travel industry are allowing firms to realize the potential of automation to control and reduce indirect [travel] costs,” says Roger H. Ballou, president of the Travel Services Group USA of American Express. “In addition, many companies are embarking on quality programs that include sophisticated process improvement and reengineering efforts designed to substantially improve T&E management processes and reduce indirect costs.”

As companies look to technology to make potential savings a reality, they can get very creative about the methods they employ.

The Great Leveler

Centralized reservation systems were long the exclusive domain of travel agents and other industry professionals. But all that changed in November 1992 when a Department of Transportation ruling allowed the general public access to systems such as Apollo and SABRE. Travel-management software, such as TripPower and TravelNet, immediately sprang up, providing corporations insight into where their T&E dollars are being spent.

The software tracks spending trends by interfacing with the corporation’s database and providing access to centralized reservation systems that provide immediate reservation information to airlines, hotels and car rental agencies. These programs also allow users to generate computerized travel reports on cost savings with details on where discounts were obtained, hotel and car usage and patterns of travel between cities. Actual data gives corporations added leverage when negotiating discounts with travel suppliers.

“When you own the information, you don’t have to go back to square one every time you decide to change agencies,” says Mary Savovie Stephens, travel manager for biotech giant Chiron Corp.

Sybase Inc., a client/server software leader with an annual T&E budget of more than $15 million, agrees. “Software gives us unprecedented visibility into how employees are spending their travel dollars and better leverage to negotiate with travel service suppliers,” says Robert Lerner, director of credit and corporate travel services for Sybase Inc. “We have better access to data, faster, in a real-time environment, which is expected to bring us big savings in T&E. Now we have control over our travel information and no longer have to depend exclusively on the agencies and airlines.”

The cost for this privilege depends on the volume of business. One-time purchases of travel-management software can run from under $100 to more than $125,000. Some software providers will accommodate smaller users by selling software piecemeal for $5 to $12 per booked trip, still a significant savings from the $50 industry norm per transaction.

No More Tickets

Paperless travel is catching on faster than the paperless office ever did as both service providers and consumers work together to reduce ticket prices for business travelers. Perhaps the most cutting-edge of the advances is “ticketless” travel, which almost all major airlines are testing.

In the meantime, travel providers and agencies are experimenting with new technologies to enable travelers to book travel services via the Internet, e-mail and unattended ticketing kiosks. Best Western International, Hyatt Hotels and several other major hotel chains market on the Internet. These services reduce the need for paper and offer better service and such peripheral benefits as increased efficiency, improved tracking of travel expenses and trends, and cost reduction.

Dennis Egolf, CFO of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, Ky., realized that the medical center’s decentralized location, a quarter-mile from the hospital, made efficiency difficult. “We were losing production time and things got lost,” he says. “Every memo had to be hand-carried for approval, and we required seven different copies of each travel order.” As a result, Egolf tried an off-the-shelf, paper-reduction software package designed for the federal government.

The software allows the hospital to manage travel on-line, from tracking per-diem allowances and calculating expenses to generating cash advance forms and authorizing reimbursement vouchers. The software also lets the hospital keep a running account of its travel expenses and its remaining travel budget.

“Today, for all practical purposes, the system is paperless,” says Egolf. The software has helped the hospital reduce document processing time by 93 percent. “The original goal focused on managing employee travel without paper,” he says. “We have achieved that goal, in part due to the efforts of the staff and in part due to the accuracy of the software.”

With only a $6,000 investment, the hospital saved $70 each employee trip and saved almost half of its $200,000 T&E budget through the paper-reduction program.

Out There

Consolidation of corporate travel arrangements by fewer agencies has been a growing trend since 1982. Nearly three out of four companies now make travel plans for their business locations through a single agency as opposed to 51 percent in 1988. Two major benefits of agency consolidation are the facilitation of accounting and T&E budgeting, as well as leverage in negotiating future travel discounts.

A major technological advance that allows this consolidation trend to flourish is the introduction of satellite ticket printers (STPs). Using STPs enables a travel agency to consolidate all operations to one home office, and still send all necessary tickets to various locations instantly via various wire services. As the term implies, the machinery prints out airline tickets on-site immediately, eliminating delivery charges.

For London Fog, STPs are a blessing. London Fog’s annual T&E budget of more than $15 million is split equally between its two locations in Eldersburg, Md., and New York City. Each location purchases the same number of tickets, so equal access to ticketing from their agency is a must. With an STP in their two locations, the company services both offices with one agency in Baltimore. Each office has access to immediate tickets and still manages to save by not having to pay courier and express mail charges that can range up to $15 for each of the more than 500 tickets each purchases annually.

Conde Nast Publications’ annual T&E budget of more than $20 million is allocated among its locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Detroit. Since 1994, travel arrangements have been handled by a centralized agency, Advanced Travel Management in New York City, by installing an STP in each of these five locations. In addition to increased efficiency due to consolidation, Conde Nast now has the ability to change travel plans at a moment’s notice and have new tickets in hand instantly.

The real benefit is that the machines are owned and maintained by the travel agency., so there is no cost to the company. Due to the major expense involved, however, STPs remain an option only for major ticket purchasers. “STPs are a viable option in this process for any location that purchases more than $500,000 per year in tickets,” says Shoen.

As airfare averages 43 percent of any company’s T&E expenses, savings obtainable through the various uses of technology have become dramatic. For example, the ability of corporations to collect and analyze their own travel trends has led to the creation of net-fare purchasing-negotiating a price between a corporation and an airline to purchase tickets that does not include the added expenses of commissions, overrides, transaction fees, agency transaction fees and other discounts.

Although most major U.S. carriers publicly proclaim that they don’t negotiate corporate discounts below published market fares, the American Express survey on business travel management found that 38 percent of U.S. companies had access to, or already had implemented, negotiated airline discounts. The availability and mechanics of these arrangements vary widely by carrier.