Even if you are an experienced traveller, it is fair to note that attempting to appraise European hotel star ratings can be difficult. This is due to the far-reaching and complex process used to determine a hotel’s individuals rating, and the numerous factors that contribute to this. While novice travellers are often keen to invest in five star accommodations in the mistaken belief that it guarantees quality, it is important to approach the market from a position of knowledge and strength.
Considerations when booking a Hotel
This is where detailed resources such as Alpharoom’s Hotel Rating Guide come into play, as they offer a detailed breakdown of accommodation outlets throughout Europe. It is also important that you develop a source of independent knowledge, however, and one that includes the following:
- Star Ratings are essentially a Tally OF Multiple Factors
In European cities and locations, stars are assigned after a detailed inspection by tourism officials. These ratings are based on a long and diverse list of criteria, including elements such as cleanliness, the quality of the facilities and the range of amenities available. Once these factors are appraised and scored independently, a total tally of stars in awarded to reflect the overall quality of the hotel in question. It is also important to note that these inspections are not obligatory in every single European nation, so it is well scouring independent reviews of potential hotels to identify any issues or red flags.
- A higher number of Stars does not correlate in Superiority
As a general rule, you can estimate that a four star hotel has a wider range of amenities than a two star building. It is does not mean that it is universally a superior hotel, however, as the European ratings system does not take into account the charm, décor or location of the structure in question. It also offers no insight into the history of the building or the prevailing attitude of the staff, so it is exceptionally important to do independent research before making a final decision.
- There are ways to manipulate the star system
From a hotel perspective, achieving a higher star rating usually enables owners to charge an inflated premium for each individual room. This means that some establishments will attempt game the system, by targeting specific judging criteria and identifying shortcuts to navigate these successfully. Simply adding an elevator can add a star to a hotel, for example, while purchasing simple devices such as a hairdryer for each room can also drive higher price points.
Published on: Sep 2, 2015 @ 16:00
Don’t Forget These Important Steps When Planning to Travel Internationally
Traveling outside of your native country can be exciting, but definitely requires a lot of planning and preparation. While you’re probably visualizing yourself in a foreign country taking in a foreign culture, there are a few things you’ll want to do to make sure your trip goes off without a hitch. Aside from booking the flight, hotel, and rental car service for the trip, you’re going to need to do a bit of research to ensure that you have the best time on your getaway. Below are a few steps that you should follow before heading out of the country:
1. Plan Well in Advance
The best advice you can receive for any type of trip would be to plan it well in advance. However, when it comes to planning an international trip, you really want to keep the procrastination to a minimum. As there are so many things you must do ahead of time, you want to make sure that you’ve dotted all your i’s and crossed all your t’s. For instance, you’ll want to start booking hotels well in advance to ensure that you have the proper accommodations when you arrive. Researching various hotel options and choosing one that fits within your budget can take some time. The same goes for booking flights and car rental services if you intend to drive.
2. Make Sure You’ve Got Your Passport and Visa
You’re not allowed to visit other countries without the proper traveling paperwork. This will definitely include your US passport along with any visas that may be required. If you have a passport already, you’ll want to check the expiration date to make sure that it is still valid. It can take several weeks to apply for a new one which is why you’ll want to start checking this out early on.
Some nations also require that you have a tourist visa on hand as well. You’ll need to do some research to determine what the application process is for getting a visa as it will vary by country. Applying will also be an investment you’ll need to consider as it will take time and a considerable amount of money.
3. Ask Your Doctor About Vaccinations
Depending on the country you intend to travel to, you may be required to get vaccinated to prevent certain diseases. You can generally find information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website on which vaccinations or medications may be required before traveling to a certain country. For those with preexisting medical conditions, it may also be a good time to ask your doctor about filling the prescriptions so that you have them with you during your travels.
4. Make Sure There are No Advisories
Before you embark on your vacation or decide to start booking hotels, it is a good idea to check to see if there are any travel alerts or warnings to the destination you’re traveling to. It’s a good idea to check this out before you start planning your trip as the level of alert or warning may change your mind about the destination you’re traveling to.
5. Don’t Forget the Finances
To prevent your credit card accounts from being frozen for suspicious activities, it is a good idea to give your credit card companies a call and let them know you’ll be out of the country. You also want to do a bit of research on the exchange rates in the country you’re traveling to so you know exactly what you’ll be spending on merchandise.
6. Obtain an International Driving Permit
In most countries, your US drivers license and insurance are not recognized, meaning that if you’re going to be using a rental car, you’re going to need to obtain an international driving permit. This will help you to familiarize yourself with the differences in driving as well as the laws in the foreign country. You may also need to contact the country’s foreign embassy to find out what the rules and regulations may be as they pertain to driving.
7. Brush Up on Your Foreign Language Skills
When you’re in a country that you’re not familiar with, you want to learn a few key phrases so that you can communicate with the locals and get around easily. You want to learn important phrases such as how to greet them and ask basic questions. There are also lots of cheat sheets online that you could print out and keep with you in case you get tongue tied.
8. Make Copies of Everything
To be proactive in the event that your travel documents should become lost or stolen, it is a good idea to make a copy of everything. This includes your passport, visa, driver’s permit, hotel receipt copies, and whatever else you might be taking along with you on your trip.
Traveling abroad can be such a great adventure as long as you’ve done all the proper planning and preparations. All of the above mentioned steps are important to ensure that you’re able to enter the country and experience all it has to offer without any problems. After you’ve ensured you’ve taken care of all the above tips, all that’s left to do is pack for your trip and get ready to have an awesome time exploring new territory.
Travel Tip Troopers,
You’ve been waiting for the holidays to begin. It seems like ages already that you planned to visit Europe or further with your furry friend, excited that pet passports and relaxed rules in the respective country allowed that. So, did you, in your excitement, overlooked facts such as dogs jetting off without insurance are liable to give their owners skyrocketing vet bills?
Have you considered the possibility that your beloved companion can fall ill, hurt someone else, or suffer from injury itself? Take France, for instance. Did you know you will be charged a hefty amount of £3,500 if the animal had a car accident and had to undergo surgery? And just as it’s with human, your pet are prone to bad stomach and inflamed thyroid too, conditions that are expensive to treat.
Further, not all insurance policies are the same on this account, something that individuals like Louis Habash are quick to take note of and point out. It is imperative that you check the insurance policy before you decide to take your cat or dog with you. Even as insurers claim to cover pets abroad, doing so will give you a better idea of what exactly their policy includes. You honestly don’t want to rush to the hospital only to discover the policy was limited to a certain payout and that you had to fund the rest of the treatment cost.
Whether it covers the routine checkup like teeth cleaning and vaccinations or also includes accidental coverage in the package, pet insurance is beneficial if you want to ensure the holiday proceeds along smoothly and have the family fun you wanted. Some policies even compensate if your plans have been disturbed by the accident or illness.
However, Louis Habash feels this is not the only thing pet owners looking up pet-friendly destinations should have in mind. While nothing beats the general check-up and bringing it up to date with specific treatments to see they are deemed fit to travel, you will find the following checklist pretty useful as well.
Refrain from feeding your pet two hours before you have to leave and just to be on the safe side, encourage them to go before driving away from home
It’s a healthy practice to use an approved cage/crate or a harness for your pet when you put it inside the car to keep it safe
Avoid leaving it unattended in your closed car
Try to schedule your journey in a way that lets you stop for break two hours or so to let it out, cool down, be fed, or simply to stretch; it’s better if you had taken them on short trips before as well so they are accustomed to it
Keep its recent photo with you and updating its ID tag is yet another precautionary measure to practice without feeling guilty about it
If you are travelling by air, you should discuss with the vet or pet consultants how to help it cope with stress and feel comfortable especially if you know they are nervous around loud noises; tranquilizers are usually not encouraged
If you are an art enthusiast and are looking for some fine cultural experiences in Amsterdam, we have the right set of ideas for you. The following museums in Amsterdam will make your trip very memorable and lively.
Brace yourself for a trip marked with cultural richness and adventure.
This is one of the most interesting and one of the largest museums in the city of Amsterdam. This state museum has a collection of art and paintings that have no match in the world. You will be stunned by the sheer volume of art present here, all under one roof. Not only are paintings available here, the museum offers some of the most professional photography shots on display as well. The building of the museum itself is of tremendous historical importance.
Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam
This museum is one of the world’s richest collections of contemporary art. Having opened in September 2012, the museum has been the centre of attention of art lovers ever since its inception. The new building is glistening white and is full of surprises for art lovers. There are more than 90 thousand paintings, graphics, photographs and design objects and video art, the center of attention for many younger folks.
Anne Frank House
This is a hidden annex in the well known Amsterdam canal house. This is the place where two Jewish families had hid themselves during the Second World War to escape Nazi persecution. It is in this house that the 15 year old Anne Frank had hid and wrote her famous journal which is a delight for people across the world these days. Visitors are allowed to go through the hidden private rooms of the annex and have a look at the original diary of Anne Frank.
Van Gogh Museum
This museum is comprised of two buildings. One has been designed by a Dutch maestro known by the name of Gerrit Rietveld while the other building has been devised by the Japanese architect called Kisho Kurokawa. This museum is the house of all works produced by the famous artist Van Gogh and depicts the various stages of growth the maestro went through during his life.
Amsterdam Nature Museums and Zoo
Amsterdam is also rich in natural treasures since the Dutch are particularly fond of natural art. The country is known for being the finest as well as the biggest exporter of a wide range of flowers. Artis, the Amsterdam Zoo is an old school building and is a very pleasant place to visit for people of all ages. The garden is one of the oldest in the world and is popularly known by its Latin name Hortus Botanicus.
Amsterdam Technology Museums
It is not only the arts and culture but Amsterdam takes the lead when it comes to the world of technology as well. There are many small technology museums that have been created for kids. Some of the well known places to take note of are the NEMO and the Electric Tram Line Museum. These private collections are a fine illustration of the fact that the locals are very much interested in quickly evolving technology.
There comes a time when the stressors of day-to-day life build up, and people feel the need to relax and let loose. Summer is the most popular season for vacations and trips. They can prove to be a great way to spend time with family and relax. However, it can also be a great way to get away with friends and really let loose, and enjoy oneself. Especially for a special occasion, like a bachelor’s party.
Many choose Las Vegas as the destination to their getaway. Known mostly for its casinos, this great city has everything you need to enjoy yourself, and escape real life for a few days. With world-class nightlife and attractions and incredible places to stay, you’ll feel completely comfortable as you throw your inhibitions to the wind. And you’ll always be comfortable knowing, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Go Ahead, Let Loose
With all the different things that can weight on the average male mind, there comes a time when all men need to just let their hair down and enjoy themselves. Pressure from school, work, family, and significant others provides the need to retreat and get back to being themselves. Las Vegas provides a great destination for a man to enjoy whatever.
One way that men kick back and relax is with their favorite drink. The many nightclubs, restaurants, and bars provide the perfect backdrop to sip your favorite drink and enjoy yourself to your fullest potential. Order your usual or use this list of 12 drinks exclusive to Las Vegas, to make your decision.
Another favorite past time of those that visit Vegas, is the use of different types of tobacco.Luckily, there are many ways to enjoy tobacco. quite possibly the most popular form in restaurants and casinos all over Vegas is smoking cigars. Visit one of Vegas’ many smoke shops to get the full experience.
In addition to enjoying tobacco in this more traditional forms, like cigars and cigarettes, many turn to the use of more modern forms of tobacco use, and find Aspire tanks for vaping. Vaping is becoming wildly popular in modern American culture, and Las Vegas is no different. With many vaping shops located in and around the city, one should have no problem finding what they need, to enjoy what they like, whether that be a favorite drink, smoke, or vapor, Las Vegas has you covered.
Nightlife and Attractions
Many who visit Las Vegas come for the world-class night life, attractions, and shows that can be seen there. With an endless number of casinos, you can come with a little pocket change, and leave a big winner. Some of the more popular establishments, like the Bellagio or the MGM Grand, can make anyone feel like a high roller while they gamble.
However, casinos aren’t the only attraction that Las Vegas has to offer its visitors. The bars and restaurants in this city are also very well known around the world. Some of the bets chef’s in the world come here to share their craft with the world. Additionally, there are plenty of things to do during the day time too.
One of the more popular tours is offered by the Las Vegas rock crawlers, and involves driving your own Jeep off-road from the strip all the way out to Red Rock Canyon. With so many different types of people that visit and call this city home, there is sure to be something for everyone in your party to take part in.
Hotels and Amenities
While it is an incredibly rewarding experience to travel to Vegas and let it all hang out, it can also be incredibly tiring. While you are on your trip, you’ll want a good place to stay after you’ve been out spending all your time in casinos and bars. You don’t have to stay there long, but you should get some rest.
The Venetian, MGM Grand, Bellagio, Hard Rock hotel, and the Mirage are all 4 and 5 star hotels located in Las Vegas, and there are many more as well. With its popularity as a vacation destination, special packages and deals can be found to make your stay at one of these palaces even cheaper.
Additionally, these hotels offer everything you can imagine. Many of these hotels have their own casinos attached, putting some in danger of never leaving their hotels. They also offer the basic amenities like a pool and gym, but most are impressed with the size and beauty of the rooms, not to mention the great views they get of downtown Las Vegas. With all the options, you shouldn’t ever be uncomfortable on a visit to Las Vegas.