Here's how to fly to Hyderabad by paying less

Hyderabad – the sixth most populous metropolis is the capital of Andhra Pradesh. It is also known as the "City of Pearls". If you are planning a visit to Hyderabad then continue to book your cheap air tickets which are almost like train tickets. Now you don't have to spend long tired hours in trains. Instead of a long train journey, you can choose a comfortable and short flight.

The city has various tourist attractions that invite thousands of visitors each year. It is also known as the IT hub due to larger companies located in the city. Not only in the IT sector, but Hyderabad is also a major center for pharmaceutical companies such as Matrix Laboratories, Dr. Reddy & Labs, etc. People often travel all over the city to make it easier for the business. People come and stay in the city because of its IT hub, which provides employment for thousands of job seekers.

There are various flights flying daily from Hyderabad Airport called Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. It meets the need for millions of passengers. The main flights flying from the airport are Indian Airlines, JetLite, IndiGo, SpiceJet etc. There are several places to visit in the city such as Charminar, Birla Mandir, Hussain Sagar etc. You will be amazed at the breathtaking views of architecture of the state of Nizams . Shopping freaks visit the city to buy pearls, bracelets, jewelry, silverware, etc. All of these things showcase the culture and ethnicity of the past.

If you haven't seen the glories of the city, pack your bag and book a flight. There are many direct flights from different cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Cochin, Bangalore, Goa, Udaipur etc. You just need to check a travel website to make flight booking. Different airlines run their cheap flights and they give big discounts on airline tickets. The best way to get cheap airline tickets is to plan your vacation or travel. Somehow, if you are unable to plan, no need to worry, call the airline's help desk and ask for the ticket, they give last-minute concessions if the plane has available seats.

People who commute regularly can receive additional discounts from the airlines. You just have to be smart enough to reduce your fare. If you book flights through a travel agent, ask him to give more discounts because they buy bulk tickets from the airlines and can offer you huge discounts.

Which Costa Rica car company is best?

Do you rent a car in Costa Rica? Which company should you choose?

There are so many hire-a-car companies to choose from in Costa Rica – from the big international companies to the smaller national agencies. Reviews on the Internet are always damned or sing the praises of each company to the extent that they are almost useless. So how do you choose the best place to rent a car for your trip?

Many tourists renting vehicles in Costa Rica complain that they have been ripped off when they realize the additional cost of insurance they are required to pay or that they have been charged a dollar rate that reflects the exchange rate and not the specified course. Understanding the insurance laws and fees that bind the Costa Rica car hire companies can help you ask the right questions when booking your vehicle and avoid an ugly shock on arrival. If a company is not upfront with its additional costs; you may want to consider whether it is a company you choose to take your business to.

I have worked in the tourism industry in Costa Rica for the past six years and have lived here since 2000. I am familiar with the feelings that many visitors to the country experience when dealing with rental car companies. These can range from pleasure to discomfort to outright rage; sometimes because of the inefficiency or even dishonesty of the rental company, but also because of the tenant's lack of understanding of the legally binding restrictions within which Costa Rica car rental companies must work. I hope that although this article does not guarantee you hassle-free car hire; it may make you a more knowledgeable customer.

Insurance needs, additional costs of rent and surcharges are considered in the following:

Insurance:

Basic insurance is compulsory. Costa Rica legislation is very clear on this, and your rental car company cannot allow you to leave their car without having agreed to pay it. Expect to pay somewhere between $ 9 and $ 20 per day on top of your car rental. An honest car rental company will make this very clear in their pricing. If it is not clear whether the insurance is included in the rental price; ask for clarification and be aware of other potentially unspecified costs.

Check if your insurance policy covers you for driving in Costa Rica. Some policies include exceptions to collision damage and will cover Central America. If you are covered, bring proof (in writing) to your car rental company. If not, consider whether you would be more confident in paying the extra cost of this extra coverage. This part is not mandatory.

Zero liability is offered by hire-a-car companies. You may need to consider whether you feel more comfortable knowing that you would not be responsible for costs should anything occur while renting their vehicle. You are not required to purchase this supplemental insurance.

Additional fees:

Many car rental companies charge extra fees for a child / baby seat, additional driver, luggage rack or cooler. You can expect to pay up to $ 8 daily for each of these extras. Although you can shop around, you can find companies that will offer some or all at a lower price or even for free.

Since Costa Rica roads are notoriously poorly signposted and the entire country operates on a landmark address system rather than road names or numbers, a GPS is important to many car owners. You usually pay between $ 8 and $ 15 a day for this service. It is relatively common practice to allow tenants to use one of their cell phones for the duration, but if you wish to use it for your own calls; you will of course be charged.

Appendix:

Some rental car companies incorporate taxes and extra fees into their rental costs; others don & # 39; t. Make sure you know what you are being charged on top of your rental. Airport charges can be charged at 13% of your rental rates, which is a significant fee to pay in addition to an agreed rental fee. You may also be charged a license fee, environmental tax and / or any other charge that the rental company must comply (or pocket).

The prices of the rent are given in US dollars, but as the local currency is colones, you should understand that exchange rates change daily and what you are charged on your credit card on the day of payment may vary slightly from what you were quoted.

Criteria for assessing car rental companies:

In this article, three (3) main points were considered for each company:

1) Value: Is the rental price competitive?

2) Efficiency: How quickly do they respond to customer needs?

3) Transparency: How clear is the information provided by the company?

You may have your own criteria, but based on complaints from previous clients on community sites such as Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet, etc., the requirements of these clients appeared mainly around these three basic areas.

The companies surveyed below are a mixture of local and international companies. Each company was investigated based on a one-week rental of a Daihutsu Bego with mandatory insurance.

Dollar Rent-A-Car:

Value

– $ 300 + USD.

– Extras are at average prices.

efficiency

– They have 3 offices nationwide.

– Email inquiry is returned within 24 hours.

transparency

– Rental car prices are shown on site, but a side box contains a & # 39; Daily RA & # 39; with dollar amounts. This is the mandatory insurance policy.

– Reservation price is set as & # 39; Base rate & # 39; and does not include insurance.

– Dollar has received mixed reviews on places like Trip Advisor.

– There's a toll-free number.

Vamos Rent-A-Car:

Value

– $ 300 + USD.

– Only the use of GPS and mobile phone is charged. All other extras such as child seats are free.

efficiency

– They have 3 offices nationwide.

– Email inquiry is returned within one hour.

transparency

– The website clearly states prices and insurance.

– There is a free number and live chat.

Wild Rider:

Value

– $ 300 + USD.

– Additional driver is free.

efficiency

– Email inquiry will be returned within 2 hours.

transparency

– Prices are shown very clearly on site and include insurance.

– The company has almost 100% positive reviews, but with a fleet of only 30 vehicles and a central office; It can be difficult to help clients who are in trouble outside the capital.

– They can't deliver a vehicle to Liberia Airport, just San Jose.

Budget:

Value

– $ 400 + USD.

– Extra charges for baby seat, extra driver, etc.

efficiency

– The company has 9 offices nationwide.

transparency

– No prices are displayed with vehicle details.

– Budget has received mixed reviews.

– Surprisingly for a large company, it provides no live chat or toll free number for customers in the US.

Car Rental Service:

Value

– $ 400 + USD including mandatory insurance and taxes.

– Optional extras such as extra driver's and child seat are charged, but at lower prices than most companies.

efficiency

– The company has 5 offices nationwide.

– Email inquiry is returned within one hour.

transparency

– Their prices are clearly shown on the spot.

– The service has received mainly positive reviews.

National Car Rental:

Value

– $ 400 + USD.

– Extra prices are slightly above average.

efficiency

– They have 23 office locations, though some are Alamo.

transparency

– Price estimates online do not include insurance or extra fees; however, they appear in the full offer.

– They've received mixed reviews.

– Both live chat and a toll-free number are provided.

Economy Rent-A-Car:

Value

– $ 200 + USD, but it seems possible to reserve a vehicle without the inclusion of any insurance.

– Extras are average in price.

efficiency

– They have 12 offices nationwide.

– Email inquiry returned within one hour, but email with inquiry request was not returned.

transparency

– The website does not make mandatory insurance clear.

– Economy has several negative reviews.

– Both live chat and toll-free number are provided.

Hertz Costa Rica:

Value

– $ 400 + USD but the actual rental price is not made clear.

– Extras are expensive.

efficiency

– 6 offices nationwide.

– No contact email.

– Phone numbers are available for various offices around the country.

transparency

– Very confusing supply system. Two courses are offered for one vehicle and selected dates. The cheaper option does not include compulsory insurance and it is in very small print below the final offer price. The more expensive option includes non-compulsory insurance along with compulsory.

– Mixed reviews.

– Both live chat and toll-free number are provided.

Adobe Rent-A-Car:

Value

– $ 400 + USD.

– Extras are at low prices.

efficiency

– The company has 9 offices nationwide.

transparency

– Online estimate includes insurance.

– Adobe has received mixed reviews.

– A toll-free number is charged.

Tricolor Car Rental:

Value

– $ 300 + USD.

– No pickup or airport charge.

– Extras are not listed or quoted in the offer email even though the mobile phone price is set.

efficiency

– 3 offices nationwide.

– Email will be returned within 2 hours.

transparency

– The site is not very user friendly.

– Reviews are mixed.

– There is a toll-free number.

Completion of the three criteria:

Finance seems to be the cheapest company to rent with, but unfortunately, it is because they do not declare all the costs incurred by the renter, rather than a genuine, good bargain. For real value, Dollar, Vamos, Wild Rider and Tricolor come out on top to get competitive prices for basic rent, plus mandatory insurance. Vamos is noted to be the only company that does not charge extras such as Child seat or surcharge. Adobe and Service have low costs, while Hertz has the most expensive extras. Wild Rider does not charge anything extra for a driver.

Only finance did not respond to email inquiry. All other companies responded quickly and with clear answers to queries. Wild Rider, as the smallest company, cannot offer nationwide service, but reviews suggest that to date they have met customer needs. All other companies can offer services from offices in locations outside the capital – increasing their ability to serve customers effectively.

Adobe, Wild Rider, Vamos and Service have websites that clearly show rental rates and insurance. Economy and Hertz somehow seem to be deliberately misleading on their sites. The other companies & # 39; websites provide the required information – though it can take some time to hunt them down.

conclusion:

This brief study suggests that Vamos, Service, Tricolor and Wild Rider would be the best companies to begin your rental research, whereas finances are best avoided.

Now you know as much as I do! The information here is assumed to be your starting point and not the end point. Hopefully, you know the right questions you can ask when looking for a rental car to make sure your dream vacation starts off smoothly without any bad bumps, like hefty extra costs when you land. Enjoy the drive!

Baseball Road Trip Planner – Oakland and the Bay

If you are looking for a unique baseball road trip destination, Oakland and Bay Area is an ideal choice. Not only is the weather good, but there is plenty to see and do in addition to attending a game. Let's take a look at …

Oakland: An overview

Part of the San Francisco Bay area, Oakland has long been considered the poor stepson of San Francisco, a cosmopolitan city immediately to the west. And yet, the weather in Oakland almost always trumps San Francisco.

Weather patterns in the Bay area make it cooler and windier in San Francisco than in Oakland. Oakland is on the west side of the bay and east of the coastal foot. The net result is good weather all year round, with summer temperatures constantly hovering in the upper 70's and low 80's.

Especially two neighborhoods will appeal to baseball road trip travelers and tourists. The first is Jack London Square, located by the water and overlooking San Francisco in the distance. Jack London Square is a shopping and dining destination and a great place to stay as there are several hotels nearby to choose from.

The other neighborhood is the bustling Piedmont area, not far from downtown Oakland. This is where much of Oakland's nightlife is centered, as well as a variety of shops to suit every taste and budget. A great place for great food and a cold beer is Cato's Ale House, located in the 3800 block of Piedmont Avenue.

Ball park

The Coliseum is one of the few ballparks left in the major leagues that still host baseball and football. It has a spherical seating arrangement and seats are consistently available at the ticket offices on game days.

Sight lines are excellent and the seating area is comfortable. Rain outs are rare, and while the nighttime temperatures can be a bit chilly, it's generally a very good place to watch a game.

Best of all, the ballpark is very close to the Bay Area's efficient public transportation system, known as BART. The trains whip you to almost any destination in the Bay, including San Francisco, San Jose, Berkeley and both major airports.

Summary

Oakland is an underrated destination that should be explored at any visit to the Bay Area. It is easy to navigate with several interesting neighborhoods to explore. The weather is almost ideal and it is an excellent choice for a baseball road trip.

Book flights to Accra in advance and save a lot!

A bird's-eye view of the African continent will certainly highlight the importance of Flights to Accra and the cause of their fame over the past few decades. Accra is the capital of Ghana that promises to cater to the innate needs of tourist seekers from all over the world who book cheap flights, and next to the city, the city is a perfectly modern metropolis where, in addition to tourism, you enjoy all the modern features that adding to declare a city as a cosmopolitan.

Flights to Accra anchor a full set of joy and enchantment and let you enjoy the tropical holidays this year. Undoubtedly there are plenty and are available at low cost, but still you have to act smart by booking one before hand and right before your planned visit. Don't just wait until the last minute as they won't save on your budget until you're lucky enough to hit the bulls. Browse the various locations on the major airlines over the internet and the well-known travel agencies and look for cheap flights Compare the cheapest prices in Accra and get the cheapest rates, as the same figure is likely to rise over last minute bookings.

There are countless opportunities and many opportunities for you to experience the city's attractions, and these are countless in number. Some of everything to name is:

Waikiki: The area claims an exotic nightlife as it is full of lush hotels and resorts over the incredible beaches. Flights to Accra are complete with this place as you are never bored here and benefit from a wide variety of entertainment deals here.

Shai Resource Reserve: A sumptuous nature reserve that requires a large amount of natural attractions for travelers of cheap flights to Accra.

Botanical Gardens: Travelers on flights to Accra can't afford to miss these, as a skilled lucrative facet of serene natural surroundings awaits you to explore.

Guide to car rental companies in Costa Rica 2015

Guide to car rental companies in Costa Rica

Rate comparisons for 2015

Car rental in Costa Rica is an opportunity to explore the remote beaches and quiet corners of this breathtakingly beautiful country. Drive without the restrictions laid down in public transport roadmaps and with freedom of group tours. For the unprepared traveler; however, renting car expenses and services can be a rude shock and blow to this holiday budget.

Renting a vehicle for your vacation is likely to be the most expensive part of your budget, so understanding the terms and managing expectations is very important. The information below is not intended to be an exhaustive manual, but should guide you towards an informed decision on your car rental needs in Costa Rica.

Why is car rental so expensive?

Visitors outside Costa Rica are often surprised by the cost of car rental. While hotel rooms, restaurant bills and trips are lower than the prices paid at home, it may seem strange that car hire should be more expensive.

There are two simple reasons for this high price:

  1. All vehicles in Costa Rica are imported and a tax is levied. Because of this heavy taxation, the cost of buying a vehicle is higher than in other industrialized countries. There are some car rental companies that rent older vehicles to reduce their costs.
  2. The cost of compulsory insurance (see below).

Factors Affecting Car Rental Costs

Compulsory insurance

Third-party insurance, which can be called TPI, PDW (Partial Damage Waiver), SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance) and other acronyms, is a legal requirement. Car rental operators must charge the customer for this coverage, which may or may not appear in the offer received by the customer.

Insurance itself is not the issue. After all, many other countries require car owners to pay compulsory insurance; including: New Zealand, Italy and Mexico as well as a number of US states such as California. The problem that creates doubts in Costa Rica is that these costs are not always clearly displayed on the car rental operator's website or in an offer. Customers then discover the extra cost of their rental upon arrival.

The cost of compulsory insurance varies from company to company and also depends on the category of car that is rented. The cost of a small sedan can be as little as $ 12 per day, while a premium 4×4 vehicle can be as much as $ 25 for insurance per vehicle. Day. This in addition to the rental cost.

Credit cards in North America usually offer car insurance as an added benefit to the credit card holder, and especially North Americans are unused to having to pay for insurance on top of rental costs. However, no credit card covers this insurance need.

Ask if the quote given includes third party insurance and check the prices of the car rental operator's website.

Waiver of collision damage

This is not insurance, but an exception. The basic level comes with a deductible that can vary up to $ 1,500. For a higher daily rate, a zero deductible CDW can be purchased to free the tenant from any financial liability in the event of damage or theft thereof.

Many tenants get their CDW through their credit card. However, it is worth noting that the responsibility for making an insurance claim lies with the customer and not with the car rental operator. Some tenants may choose to purchase additional internal coverage to avoid having this liability.

There will be car rental companies that hard sell their own coverage plans by guaranteeing peace of mind, but in the end, this is the tenant's decision. It is worth remembering that employees of car rental companies like in other parts of the world will sometimes earn commission for insurance sales.

If the customer's credit card does not provide CDW, the customer must purchase this internal coverage.

Car rental operators require written proof that the customer's credit card provides CDW. Ask the car rental operator for the exact details of what they need and in what form. Some may accept a forwarded email from the credit card company, but others may ask that a printed copy be displayed at the time of rental.

Security deposit

The required deposit depends on whether the customer chooses to use a car rental operator's internal CDW or takes this coverage via a credit card. Expect to pay a much higher deposit if the internal CDW is rejected. Deposit may also depend on the rental car model. This amount, which will be held on the renter's credit card until the end of the rental period, can be from $ 750 up to as much as $ 3,500. It takes a maximum of five days to deposit the credit card refund on the return of the vehicle. Some car rental companies accept debit cards to withhold deposit, but the return period for this amount may take weeks.

Make sure that the deposit is calculated in the holiday budget, as an unexpected stay of a few thousand dollars on a credit card could otherwise severely cut holiday expenses.

Airport Taxes

Customers who rent from a car rental operator's counter in an airport building are required to pay the airport fee.

These car hire operators with a counter in San Jose & # 39; s Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) is: Alamo / National, Budget, Dollar, Economy and Hertz. These companies will add an additional 12% tax to the rental cost.

These car hire companies with counts at Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) are: Newspaper, Budget and Economy. These companies will add an additional 3% tax to the rental costs.

To avoid this tax, take an airport shuttle with the car rental operator to an office located outside the airport grounds.

Surcharges and other taxes

There are a number of other mandatory fees that car rental operators can add to rental rates, display on-screen or show in the offer, or leave unannounced until the customer arrives. These potentially hidden costs may seem small when viewed individually, but these are typically daily rates, so they will add up quickly!

These may include:

License Site : Less than $ 2 daily but different from company to company.

environmental tax : Less than $ 1 daily.

VAT : All sales transactions in Costa Rica are subject to a 12% public tax applicable.

Car wash fee : Bring an exceptionally dirty car and the cleaning fee may be added to the final payment. One car rental operator charges $ 20 for this additional service.

fuel taxes : If the fuel tank is not filled to the same level as it was at the start of the rental period, the car rental company will charge (usually to the nearest eighth of a tank). This charge is dictated by the car rental operator and is not subject to the state-set fuel price found at any gas station.

Where should I reserve the vehicle?

A common confusion for travelers booking a rental car is the discrepancy between international car rental operator sites and the Costa Rica website for the same brand. Often, the international sites are unaware of, or do not disclose, insurance, taxes and surcharges charged at the counter. This may be because many reputable car rental company brands in Costa Rica are not a foreign branch of the branded car rental operator, but are instead a franchise activity. This factor is also worth considering in terms of customer service expectations and other finer details. The Costa Rican franchise office may have its own mode of operation except for the same policies and guidelines as the customer may have experienced in other parts of the world.

Of course, an online reservation is best made through the local site and not the international site where possible. A number of companies do not have a local site. In this case, check the details with a local employee by phone and ask for a written confirmation of the offer. Experience with live chat on the international sites suggests, however, that staff are trained to the terms and conditions of the head office (usually the United States); they understand little of the policies that must be adhered to in Costa Rica.

Car rental comparisons

In May / June 2013, I compared the prices and services of a number of car rental companies in Costa Rica and published the results. To my surprise, the article is still regularly plagiarized on the Internet, suggesting that it is still useful and therefore an update was required. Prices for this comparison were obtained in December 2014 and January 2015.

The ICT (Costa Rican Institute of Tourism) reports that there are thirty registered car rental companies with eight others, pending approval. However, there are many more agencies that rent cars for visitors. The car hire companies chosen are the ones most commonly used by travelers:

Adobe

Alamo

Newspaper

Budget

dollar

Economy

Fox

Hertz

national

Pay less

Service

Thrifty

Toyota

Usave

Vamos

Wild Rider

Exclusion of companies from the final comparison

Budget, finance, payless and Toyota were contacted, but these four companies did not provide accurate online rates. Finance & Budget & # 39; s sites have a price regardless of the dates entered, and customers have to reserve a vehicle in order to respect the price displayed. Unfortunately, Toyota's site only worked until March. On top of that, the pricing showed $ 0 for the remaining year. Payless has this disclaimer on their site: "Taxes and surcharges are not under our control and are subject to change without notice."

Sending individual queries for each time period resulted in inconsistent results: Budget offered the same price for all three time periods examined when you received an email request, which is highly unlikely; Economics responded with different quotes for the same dates from different employees; and Toyota's mailed quotes for time periods last March prices quoted online did not match the stated March rates (perhaps the priced quotes included taxes that were not displayed online). Unpaid can provide offers via email and phone, but did not conform to pricing in different seasons.

Newspapers are only excluded from the price comparison as they do not have an intermediate SUV category in their fleet.

comparison Information

Car rental, all taxes and surcharges as well as third party insurance costs are calculated (assumed) and classified accordingly below based on the week's rent of a BeGo or similar intermediate 4×4 from a place in San Jose / Alajuela (not from the airport).

Rates are calculated weekly and divided by seven to provide a daily cost that is easier to compare. Since not all prices are completely transparent, prices are as accurate as possible based on the information provided by the car rental operators & # 39; websites, phone calls and / or emails. Airport taxes are not included in these figures.

Shoulder season (offers July 13 to 20)

1. USave $ 43.37

2. Service $ 54.92

3. Fox $ 55.64

4. Hertz $ 58.17

5. Adobe $ 60.13

6. Alamo $ 60.99

7. Wild Rider $ 62.86

8. Dollar $ 63.35

9. Vamos $ 64.15

10. Nationally $ 67.04

11. Thrifty $ 74.39

Low season (offers May 13-20)

1. National $ 37.04

2. USave $ 43.37

3. Dollar $ 46.49

4. Adobe $ 52.57

5. Vamos $ 53.15

6. Service $ 53.49

7. Hertz $ 54.59

8. Fox $ 55.64

9. Wild Rider $ 55.71

10. Alamo $ 60.99

11. Thrifty $ 74.39

High season (quote from 13 to 20 March)

1. Dollar $ 55.92

2. USave $ 56.22

3. Hertz $ 56.37

4. Fox $ 59.36

5. Thrifty $ 64.69

6. Service $ 66.63

7. Vamos $ 67.14

8. Alamo $ 69.56

9. Wild Rider $ 70.00

10. Adobe $ 70.63

11. Nationally $ 73.90

Summary of the comparison

Interestingly, there is not a clearly expensive or cheap company from those being compared. The variation in location between seasons is marked and customers should consider their holiday dates when choosing the car rental operator. For example, Thrifty appears to be the most expensive for both the low and shoulder seasons, but is only in fourth position in the high season rankings.

It is also important that the pricing does not match the ranking of car rental operators in other car categories. For example, Vamos & # 39; pricing is the cheapest for a premium vehicle in the shoulder season; even though they are not in first place for the intermediate category, and Adobe, which appears to be competitive, are the most expensive for this period and car category.

Car rental operator information

Adobe Rent-A-Car is a local car rental operator that has eleven offices across the country. The website is simple and easy to use without any obvious hidden costs. The compulsory insurance costs are shown as part of the online offer. The company receives mixed reviews online, but more positive than negative comments are made. Emails receive a response within 24 hours, but may not fully answer the questions asked.

Toll-free number: 1-855-861-1250

Child seat: $ 3 / day

Booster: $ 1 / day

Additional driver: $ 3 / day

GPS system: $ 9 / day

Alamo works in partnership with National and has thirteen offices throughout the country. As with many big names, Alamo Costa Rica is a franchise and not a branch of the Alamo per se. Third-party insurance and basic CDW are included in the online offer, although CDW may be denied by providing proof of coverage through the customer's credit card. This makes prices seem high at first glance, especially when Alamo, unlike other car rental companies, includes airport taxes in their online offer, which is why their pricing is honest, but as a result is much higher than other companies. Prices vary on the company's international website, although the terms and conditions specify the fees to be paid on arrival. This price discrepancy is the main reason for negative reviews for this company. Emails are answered within 24 hours.

Toll Free Number: 1-855-533-1196

Child seat: $ 3 / day

Additional driver: $ 6 / day

GPS system: $ 12 / day

Newspaper & # 39; Website obliges one to choose a car protection option, but it fails to show a final offer or price for the coverage selected online until an email offer is sent. Coverage costs can be achieved by clicking the & # 39; Explained protections & # 39; at the bottom of the screen.

No free phone number

Child seat: $ 5 / day

Additional driver: $ 5 / day

GPS system: $ 9.99 / day

Budget has an easy-to-use website, but pricing is the same for all seasons, which suggests it's not correct. Email replies were usually quick, but some were missed. Email quote offers showed the same price for all seasons that the site did. Mandatory insurance is not included in the online offer, but in lower case, this must be paid at the counter. Budget receives mixed online reviews.

No free phone number, but live chat is offered

Child seat: $ 5 / day

Additional driver: $ 5 / day

GPS system: $ 14.99 / day

The dollar seems to have very competitive prices, but airport taxes will be applied if the vehicle is collected from airport counters. You can find this in their terms and conditions, but not in their online offerings. Car wash tax is enforced for very dirty vehicles. There are four offices in Liberia and San Jose. Email replies are within 24 hours. Dollar receives mixed reviews from online travel forum.

Toll free number: 1-877-767-8651

Child seat: $ 5 / day

Additional driver: $ 5 / day

GPS system: $ 9 / day

Finance has twelve offices around the country. They have no Costa Rica site. Scroll down their page to find and click on insurance costs. Airport taxes are not included in the offer. Emails receive either a quick reply or no response at all. Economy has the worst online reputation for any big name car rental operator in Costa Rica.

Toll Free Phone: 1-877-326-7368

Child seat: $ 10 / day

Additional driver: $ 10 / day

GPS system: $ 15 / day

Fox works in partnership with USave. Offices are located at both international airports. Emails receive a response within 24 hours. Online reviews are generally bad.

Toll Free Number: 1-800-225-4369

Child seat: $ 5 / day

Additional driver: $ 10 / day (unless spouse)

GPS system: $ 9.99 / day

Hertz has six offices in the country. Reservations can be made through a Costa Rica website. The original online offer does not include VAT but also includes CDW – although CDW can be waived with proof of credit card coverage. Emails receive a response within 24 hours. Mediocre reviews on travel forum.

No free phone number

Child seat: $ 5 / day

Additional driver: $ 13 / day

GPS system: $ 12 / day

National works in partnership with the Alamo and has thirty offices operating across the country. The company has a Central American site as well as the international site that clearly shows the distribution of prices. CDW is included in the online offer, but it may not be ticked to get a quote with just the compulsory insurance. Please note that the airport charge is also included in the online offer. Immediate answers to questions are available through Live Chat on their site. Reviews are mixed, but there are more positives than negatives.

Free phone call option via website

Child seat: $ 6 / day

Booster: $ 6 / day

Additional driver: $ 5 / day

GPS system: $ 12 / day

Payless is part of the international car rental company and does not have any Costa Rica site. Online deals do not include third-party insurance, although the information on this can be found by reading the policies for the San Jose location. Emails receive a response in less than 24 hours, but tend to refer back to the site instead of new information. Reviews are more negative than positive.

Toll Free Number: 1-800-PAYMENTS

Child seat: $ 5 / day

Booster: $ 5 / day

Additional driver: $ 10 / day

GPS system: $ 9.95 / day

Service is a local business with five offices in the country. On an otherwise clear site, click & # 39; Reserve now & # 39; and not & # 39; Get an offer & # 39; for an online price control. Rember is the employee mentioned in the travel forum reviews for his helpful customer service, and the company generally gets good reviews. Emails are answered within 24 hours and usually provide requested information.

U.S. Phone Number: 1-305-897-3718

Child seat: $ 3.50 / day

Additional driver: $ 3 / day

GPS system: $ 7.50 / day

Thrifty does not have a local site, therefore information is through the international site. Coverage options or third party insurance information is not found on the booking page when clicking & # 39; Protection information & # 39;. Emails receive a response within 24 hours, but may not answer site-specific questions. Reviews are often negative due to pricing complaints.

Toll free number: 1-800-344-1705

Child seat: $ 5 / day

Booster: $ 5 / day

Additional driver: $ 12 / day

GPS system: $ 11.99 / day

Toyota is a big name; although their site appears to be professional at first glance, it simply does not work, or at least it did not work to get offers later than March 2015. Their online offer does not include VAT. Emails receive quick replies, but quotes for different seasons seemed contradictory. However, Toyota has a good reputation on travel forums. Eight offices are located across the country.

Free phone call option via website

Child seat: $ 5 / day

Cooler: $ 1.50 / day

Additional driver: $ 3 / day

GPS system: $ 10 / day

USave works in partnership with Fox and has three office locations. Insurance options appear for the online offer, but it needs to be selected and & # 39; recalculated & # 39; the pressure before it is included in the pricing. Emails receive a response within 24 hours. The company receives general bad reviews, although there are some positive comments on travel forums.

Toll free number: 1-800-467-3659

Child seat: $ 5 / day

Additional driver: $ 10 / day

GPS system: $ 9.95 / day

Vamos is a local company that is a popular choice for Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet experts because of their customer service and pricing. The site is easy to use with specified charges clearly displayed. The Live Chat setting enables instant personalized offers and responses from English-speaking staff. The company has three offices.

Toll free number: 1-800-950-8426

Child seat: free

Booster: Free

Additional driver: free

GPS system: $ 8 / day

Wild Rider is a small, local company located in San Jose only. The website is simple with third party insurance included in the pricing. At the start of this study, prices were not up to date, but this has since been remedied. This car rental operator stands out by having only positive reviews and it is highly recommended by travel forum users. The owner, Thorsten, answers within hours of inquiries during office hours.

US Phone Number: 1-917-477-7712

Child seat: $ 5 / day

GPS system: $ 8 / day

Overall summary

Clarity

Adobe, Alamo, National, Service, Vamos and Wild Rider provide clear and complete pricing on their sites. The other car rental operators were less transparent with surcharges or taxes, such as airport taxes or sales tax. Prices for extra extras were not always easy to find, and Avis, Thrifty and Toyota had to be contacted for these details.

Announcement

The level of communication has improved since the first comparison, although it seems wise to request a local number and confirm a response at the Costa Rica office with international car rental operators, as international chat operators or email responders do not always appear to be 100 % confident in local policies and may even provide incorrect information.

Be prepared to exchange a number of emails to get full answers to questions with a number of companies: Budget and finances were especially prone to this – ask for a lot of information to make an offer. It is not unreasonable for employees who work in another language to miss aspects of an email so that you can ask questions in a clear and simple language.

Live chat on both Budget and Vamos sites means information can be delivered right away and still documented, as opposed to a phone call.

pricing

The comparison above shows that prices between companies depend heavily on the season and car category being considered, rather than a clear choice between more or less expensive rental prices.

Customers need to consider pricing other items, such as extra drivers or GPS systems, and families will compare car seat prices. Wild Rider offers the first additional driver for free, Vamos does not charge any extra except GPS, and generally the international companies have higher fees for these extras than the local companies.

So who do I rent from?

Clearly, the local car rental operators still trump the big names in their transparency and customer service when comparing their sites and online reviews. The difference from the previous interest rate comparison from a few years ago is that pricing has become more difficult to compare.

Adobe, Alamo and National appear to classify well as international car rental operators. It is worth noting that National is the most expensive in the high season for the middle category, but still the cheapest in the off-season. Adobe and Alamo are medium-priced for pricing.

Wild Rider is unusual in having zero bad reviews, but is based only in San Jose and has a much smaller vehicle fleet. Of the other local companies, Service and Vamos come out well, and Vamos & # 39; free extras appeal to budget-conscious travelers and families with young children. Service also offers these extras at low daily prices.

Last but certainly not least …

If you've made it all the way through this article, you're ready to begin your vacation rental investigation, armed with facts and ready to recognize the prices that are just too good to be true! Have a wonderful (and affordable) vacation in beautiful Costa Rica!

The eerie, terrifying effect of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

The events and problems surrounding the loss of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have created a package of uncanny and uncanny concerns for international travel, mobility, security and risk drivers as a result. Many do not yet understand the full implications this event will have for the world. The problems range from technology deficiencies, crisis management, skilled threat sources, news reporting to aviation security and governance. Also, a few new questions we explore here that will also affect the future of travelers and management alike. For those tasked with preparing and managing affected people and assets, this will help you with your analysis and future planning.

Many more people are now looking at all the associated issues now, some for the first time. What the world now knows about a number of related issues they once took for granted or simply had no interest in is now of enormous concern to them. Deservedly!

Technological deficiencies: planes against smartphones

If the planes were cars, most would not & # 39; t & # 39; buy them. An alarming number of aircraft are 10, 20, 30 years or older, still servicing commercial and domestic routes. The technology available on most aircraft is much more dated than last year's smartphone technology, including emergency communications and surveillance systems. Not to mention the lack of international integration for those who have better and more capable technology solutions.

There is a common misconception that aviation technology is evolving at the same rate as commercial technology as seen on computers, phones, cars and so on. When in fact that is not the case at all. It is not only the aircraft that is dated, but also support systems such as radar, communication, reporting and database access as well. While the assumption is that everything works fine when there are no incidents or scandals, it is often not a topic of discussion or concern until one or more events occur and many more become aware of what industry insiders have been aware of on and lobbying to change for some time.

Coincidence and Cause: Delay indicators are not future insurances

2012 and 2013 were celebrated as two of the safest years in aviation history. The problem with this fact is that the end result is not qualified or specified as a result of deliberate actions that created the result, or if only a series of random coincidences peaked in these times. There are several airlines, multiple planes, multiple destinations, more pilots and more travelers each year, which puts a significant burden on all the associated elements in different ways, at different times with very different consequences. The reality is, despite recorded incidents and data, aviation health, safety, security and risk management are not 100% controlled and incidents and events will and do happen, with often disastrous results.

Airspace Management: World Access and 100% Monitored?

The average laymen are under the impression that there are supercomputers that track every air movement across the globe and all centrally accessible, verifiable and accurate at any given time. They saw it on their iPhone app or desktop computer through a site, so it should be the same for both commercial and military flight control as well, right?

An increasing number of reports and observations have revealed that take-off and landing are truly the only closely monitored and interactive phases of domestic and international air movements. Some sites still have message boards to alert pilots and providers about changes in airspace on given days or locations, and civilian and military systems do not interact or focus on or even see the same data. What happens and what is monitored in the hours between take-off and landing is not as consistent, nor is it universal anywhere in the world.

We had noticed and commented in a previous article on Australia's airspace interoperability shortly before the official news release as well.

The fact is that humans or an incident was able to make a large, modern aircraft with over 200 souls on board disappear without a trace while the whole world watched, despite all the current technology and monitoring available to civil and military agencies.

Who's watching ?: NSA and other global overwatch perceptions

Many have become excited and shaken by the Snowden revelations about civilian and social surveillance programs. Everyone therefore believes that everything is monitored at all times and traded. This is not true or realistic either. If true, all storms would be reported to the affected before they hit, murder victims warned of the imminent threat and all accidents such as plane crashes would be caught, reported and responded to before the plane actually crashed.

Despite what most people and even informed professionals thought, many probably important activities such as aviation movements are not monitored in real time at all times and reported or traded in the case of the slightest variation. Even finding data or related information after that can be difficult or impossible. Not to mention that even if there were data on certain events, data, source and collection funds would never be published in the interest of protecting secrets.

Despite apps and desktop / online portals to access airline plans, flight tracking, aviation statistics and even in-flight radio broadcasts, the amount of data, channels and activity in one minute of any day, 24/7 is a staggering numbers and a long, long road away before there is anything close to achieving real-time, universal monitoring and access to such activities. The bad guys know that too.

Warning signs: Related, studied, practiced or random?

During the first few months of 2014, there were already a few key events involving aviation safety and security related to Malaysia Airlines MH370.

Ethiopian Airlines flight 702 was important not because it involved the alleged hijacking of an aircraft heading to the EU and a larger capital, but because the story was not released by professional or government agencies, and it involved one of the crew as the alleged hijacker. Online enthusiasts, rank amateurs and other crowds from the crowd where they are responsible for identifying, reporting and tracking the incident, which in turn fed the international news community. If not for this incident and talented online community that meet at that particular moment and watch the event until the end, it would just have been a single line news update online or in the evening news. Non-franchised crew members also surprised many purchase surprises as a potential source of misuse of an aircraft.

Recently, Etihad aircraft EY 461 had a chain of events that went uncontrolled and lacked adequate risk control and oversight, placing commercial interests above more practical risk management principles for both providers and travelers. We noticed several listings and improvements in an article we wrote on the topic recently.

Crisis Management: Planned and learned skill, not part of your promotion right

Governments, national carriers, military leaders and many more have been exhibited collectively and very publicly as a result of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, with many showing an alarming level of unpreparedness, lack of coordination and cultural constraints that are not very good with international news and affected audiences.

Catastrophic mistakes, accidents and random events are not always blamed for those left to communicate and coordinate response, but when their actions are inadequate, inconsistent, suspicious, uncoordinated or just completely random, everyone begins to question their involvement in the tragedy and become less and less accommodating and increasingly hostile to those who & # 39; s job titles require that they act on behalf of the victims and the interests of all involved. It has become painfully obvious to the spectators of the world and those who are tragically affected by the event in which most are neither prepared for such an event nor effective in engaging, communicating and coordinating an event that was not written in advance. .

Global news and reporting: Random and misleading

The quality, accuracy and every shifting focus of news and media interest around the event has been, to say the least, incredible. Not because of the lack of detail, but the random frenetic change in focus, theory and data used to create and release stories. A perfect example has been a story titled & # 39; Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Runways in Range " which is neither accurate nor related to the event in any effective way. A random selection of runways, in the unconfirmed state, never had a large commercial airplane land on it, have no instrument approach options at night without a control tower or ground emergency resources do not qualify as an opportunity for an airplane in harshness at the time and circumstances of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. This has been representative of the hours of conspiracy theories and random topics released by an industry that they themselves have seen diminished in scope and capacity in recent years, part of the reason why the aforementioned group of amateurs providing critical information to the world news services under the Ethiopian Airlines suspect hijacking.

Airport Security: Hatred and disgust by many

Despite continued loss of interest, tolerance and funding for airport security since the September 11 catalyst, it has seen a resurgence as a result of the incident. Most airport security is ineffective against intelligent, coordinated and skilled threat groups with more focus and application for random, individual actions and highly reactive to yesterday's threat: which is part of why it frustrates so many. There is also little international connection between the use and implementation of aviation security, which in turn encourages the search and exploitation of vulnerable, accessible channels by more skilled international threat groups.

The retrospective admission and revelations that this one flight had so many airport security anomalies will lead to change, innovation and frustration for travelers as a result.

Beware: A growing illegal market and utility

Similarly, technology has been a very slow improvement in the commercial aviation area, also has passports and passport control. Paperbooks used for international travel in a world where interaction between money and currencies along with electronic identification and verification takes place in seconds seems almost ridiculous, but a reality for some time to come, as not all countries and users have the resources or the technology for something more advanced. This means that they can also be used fraudulently.

For many years, international agencies such as Interpol have sought to raise awareness of the gaps and threats that especially stolen passports pose. Along with the ever-growing attempts to collect valid passports by illegal and fraudulent means, this results in a significant number of international travelers or opportunities to move among the commercial traveler. The risk of detection is also reduced when screening measures are not complied with or there are routine and regular lapses in verification systems. Those who use or exploit these vulnerabilities range from the frightened escape to the deadly en route.

Successful Plans and Ideas: A Catalyst for Next Generation Threats

A better price always attracts a better quality and prepared competitor. So does the world with criminal, violent or terror-based threats. Education and tactics have always been shared by these individuals and groups thanks to cultural ties, technology and even institutions where you end up with a concentration of like-minded partners. However, when one or more of these groups are successful and their planning and tactics are then published, a whole host of skilled and potential threats are free to pursue similar plans. We have seen this over the past decade, from the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pakistan, Mumbai and Algeria that have occurred with each group learning and improving the last one.

Direct impact and likely results of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

Aviation technology is facing renewed pressure for modernization and upgrades. This will put a financial burden on an already squeezed industry and will likely drive some providers or services out of selected markets as a result. Governments will also be pressured to regulate and use this area, but inconsistent international results will not close the gap or resolve the issue in the next decade. This gap will remain a key vulnerability for competent and persistent threat groups.

Aviation standards and risk measurements are reviewed in light of the complete disappearance of an aircraft and the inability of the world to locate it in a timely manner. Some standards will be too burdensome for some providers or markets, further widening the gap between developed and emerging economies. No evidence of deficiency will no longer be considered as evidence of no deficiency by regulatory authorities and consumers. Buyers and consumers will change their spending habits for what they see or feel as better indicators of safety, security and risk management.

Changes in airspace management are needed. Aging infrastructure, public / private spending will be required, but without direct cost coverage it means for most. Events, whether conscious or accidental, will continue to occur as with flight MH370 until effective change is implemented in this space. Transparency and inclusion are likely to take precedence over real changes with traditional practices being challenged.

Self-help monitoring and attention have already started. Buyers and consumers are now more suspicious and are actively seeking ways they can monitor or self-help in the event of routine or emergency situations. There is little collective trust or confidence in the industry, as evidenced by the individual applications and online portals already used or referred to as a means of consumer transparency in the wake of perceived or government deficits or reluctance to share. A cottage industry will speed up appealing to consumers and providing access to & # 39; behind the scenes & # 39; data and information.

New trends and tactics for the future threat groups will include one or more areas of exploitation now published in the Malaysia flight MH370. Inspiration and focus will lead to high end, international, coordinated governmental / non-governmental actors who now consider this a viable option for their cause or campaigns.

Crisis management failures will result in institutional lack of confidence in Malaysia's governance, regulatory agencies and national carriers. Although individual failures will result in termination or replacement, corporate damages and setbacks will have significant financial and confidence effects on all those affiliated or held responsible for the poor management and response to the event. Malaysian citizens will be affected by the election and support of public officials who have demonstrated long-standing association with a system that enables failure in processes and progress.

News recording and reporting will be less credible and become a secondary, unverified source in related events. Social journalism and sourcing or verification of communities and qualified specialists will be promoted and applied across conventional, ordinary mass media channels. Short, updatable content in various forms will, for the most part, inform and educate lay people on technical and related issues during high priority or emergency communication events.

Airport security will undergo a restructuring and focus. Social profiling will in turn be justified and more exploratory background information sought about travelers as a profession and affiliation. The air crew will also be subject to increased screening and verification. Both inbound and outbound aircraft will be subject to increased screening for routes to selected destinations such as the United States. Impact safeguards will be introduced and commuter comfort reduced due to improved measures. Significant differences between standards will result and vary from one airline, location and cultural hub to another.

Passports and verifiable databases are downloaded. Limited steps will be taken to upgrade the current identification formats with a view to a secondary identification document required by some locations or jurisdictions on boarding passports, passports, visa applications and other already ineffective documentation requirements for capable, resourceful criminal and threat groups. Increased costs will be passed on to providers with longer delays to travelers as systems try to talk to each other and access data through secure, timely and ever-changing and failing systems.

New threats, concerns and controls will emerge as the full details of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 show up and are investigated. Immediate, reactive measures will abound, and family and community groups will unite to put pressure on those who are identified as responsible. While public interest and support may win, there will be sustained campaigns that update the public, news agencies and invested parties. Tactics, experiences and new or improved solutions to those aspects that did not work fully will be refined and practiced by threat groups. A new generation of experts in aviation, terrorism and related security will be supported, contributing to the incident comment and the renewed pursuit of preventing or capturing the selected individuals and groups who are capable or intending to repeat the fear and tragedy associated with Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

conclusion

The events and issues surrounding the loss of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have created a package of uncanny and uncanny concerns for international travel, mobility, security and risk drivers as a result. It is now understandable how and where this incident will affect or change the aviation and travel industry. The problems range from technology deficiencies, crisis management, skilled threat sources, news reporting to aviation security and governance. These issues will also affect the future of both travelers and management. For those tasked with preparing and managing the affected people and assets, you have a more complete overview of your analysis and future planning.

Business Travel – Is it time to centralize your program again?

Business travel has undergone a lot of changes in recent years, the most important being the emergence of easy access to airfare through the Internet. As more travelers found value in better control of their schedules using the internet, many organizations loosened their travel policies to allow travelers to book on their own online. In fact, this perceived benefit to travelers has cost businesses quite a lot in terms of lost productivity, lack of control over unused tickets and lack of access to flight programs that can save the company significantly in all journeys.

Can we agree that online travel, though advantageous in some ways, has not been all we had hoped it would be from the start? I hear stories from travelers every day about how difficult online booking can be and how even when using the internet, travelers simply cannot be sure they are getting the best fare. This uncertainty gnaws at travelers and coordinators and for good reason. It is difficult to be sure what you are getting online because there is no track record of success and no level of trust between the organization and the travel provider.

Collaboration between your organization and your chosen travel management provider is critical. This collaboration will reap benefits for your business in the form of a better working relationship and an expectation of your current and future needs as they relate to the constantly changing business travel environment.

Centralized travel needs to make a comeback for the sake of the company's travel program and the health of travelers and travel coordinators. Since all distribution channels have access to the same prices and prices, there are fewer reasons today to proceed with a decentralized travel policy. Management-level acquisitions are critical, and it is easy to allow travelers to maintain control levels while still requiring travel bookings through the preferred corporate channel. Most brick and mortar agencies now offer online booking solutions that can be customized to meet the needs of the unique business travel policy.

The benefits of centralizing the journey again are many. Here is a comprehensive, but certainly not an exhaustive, list of reasons to regain control of this important but under-controlled budget. It will certainly have a positive impact on your business and its ability to serve your customers and improve the morale of travelers.

  • Access to flight and hotel discount programs through agency and provider contracts
  • Centralized booking allows travelers to be more organized and efficient
  • Unused tickets can be tracked and hotel cancellation policies can be managed
  • Centralized hotel billing and car rental
  • More efficient booking processes
  • Effective customer service for the inevitable changes and problems that come with business travel
  • Customized and centralized financial and accounting reports

Many companies find that the best solution is a combination of booking options, with most using an online booking portal provided by their agency partner along with real live agent help when travelers are pressed on time or have more complex travel plans. The key in my opinion is to resume the travel program from every angle. There are more flight programs available to businesses than ever before. New opportunities to save money and streamline processes are out there for you. United Airlines recently began offering a discount on each fare for corporate partners. This includes the cheapest coach class seats that even many Fortune 500 companies do not have access to. This is just one example of underpublished opportunities for your business that can be accessed through the old-fashioned agency relationship.

It was time we took a new pass on the business travel program to see where efficiency can be found and savings opportunities can be uncovered. Your travelers and coordinators may even get back to what they actually paid to do. Take care of your customers and drive your business forward.

Redwood National Park – Three tips for effective travel to Redwood by Amtrak train and bus

Redwood National Park was created in 1968 to protect land adjacent to California's state redwood parks, formed in the 1920's. Currently, the combined states and federal states are managed under a joint agreement between the National Park Service and the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The total parks cover 110,000 acres including 37 miles of pristine California coastline.

As Delta is the only commercial airline in the local airport, flying into the area is expensive. While not close to an Amtrak train line, there is bus service from Amtrak stations to the Redwood area, which is possibly the cheapest way to travel to the park. Here are three tips / tips for effectively traveling to / from Redwood by land:

One: Martinez, California is your Amtrak connection to Redwood National Park. The San Joaquin line from Bakersfield (with connecting service from San Diego and Los Angeles) and Oakland (with connecting service from San Francisco) stop there. Martinez is also on the Capitol Corridor line from San Jose, Oakland and Sacramento (with connecting service from Reno.) From Martinez, there are two Amtrak Thruway motor coaches departing at 1 p.m. 10:25 and 3:25 on the six to seven hour trips to the Redwood area.

Two: Since there is no shuttle service in Redwood National Park, rent a car to see the entire park. That's why the McKinleyville stop at Arcata Airport is the destination of your bus trip. If you arrive before the rental car closes early in the evening, you have a choice of businesses to rent. If you arrive when the rental car counters are closed, you can take an additional shuttle bus to your hotel at night and return to the airport in the morning to rent your car. There are a number of hotels in the area that provide this service. Motor coaches back to Martinez leave McKinleyville at 1 p.m. 6:15 and 10:30.

Three: The need to make reservations for the train part of your trip depends on the service you take. Although Capitol Corridor trains are not reserved, San Joaquins are all reserved trains. Even if you do not need reservations for the Thruway Motorcoach Connection service, you may be able to receive discounted advance or special rates for students and seniors by purchasing both your train and bus ticket in advance.

Adventure in Costa Rica

Pura vida! Welcome to Costa Rica, fantastic home with rainforests, volcanoes, beaches, big cities and small villages. The people here are warm and friendly and there is enough adventure for everyone. The culture is inviting, the scenery magnificent, and the weather is just right. This is a "green" country. The population, mostly a mixture of Spanish and Indians, is called ticans. The language is Spanish, although many people speak English. "Pura vida" is the tikan way of saying "Enjoy life!"

Day 1

While Costa Rica is well known in many ways, it has enough unknown aspects to be exciting. Driving from the airport to our hotel in San Jose, we saw a cow grazing at the crossing and a horse trot along the road.

We spent the first day at the Gran Hotel, a luxury lodge in the 1930s style. It is the only hotel in the country considered historic. During lunch and dinner a piano concert was in progress. Very elegant! Our breakfast was typical Tican: beans, rice, chorizo ​​and cheese with strong coffee. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The maître d & # 39;, Rudolpho, was especially kind. We visited the zoo, the Musee Nacional and a butterfly garden. While almost everyone we met was warm and friendly, hang on your purse and camera. Theft can be a problem. An outdoor Mercado or market has clothes, books, souvenirs, purses and much, much more. Great shopping! We chose Nuestre Tierra for lunch. The lunch was cerviche, a delicious mix of shrimp and fish. Again we were greeted with warmth by the staff. After an afternoon of wandering, dinner at the Hotel Robespierre, a wonderfully tender steak dish, was flavored with rosemary, thyme and sage.

Cars were only allowed to drive on alternate days, depending on the last digit of the plate, odd or even. This reduces traffic and air pollution. We didn't need the car as we walked everywhere! Stay in the areas where there are people and do not go into the less populated neighborhoods to avoid problems. The city of San Jose is lively but also crowded. Most of the shops are completely open on the street side. Shopping is diverse, just like in any major city. All over the city are cow sculptures: dancing cows, chess cows, pink cows. It's called the Cow Parade. It is very quirky!

Day 2

We visited the small National Theater Museum to reveal the history of Costa Rica. The early people wore beautiful gold ornaments. We saw exhibits on native animals and more. The plaza was great for people watching and feeding the pigeons. Everywhere there are fresh produce and small kiosks selling magazines, toys, snacks and the like. It makes a very colorful urban scene! Parks provide green spaces and tranquil oases. Mountains are always in view. We walked over to the zoo where alligators, tropical birds, big cats, monkeys, snakes and flowering plants in vibrant colors drew around us. Ponds and streams created a natural habitat.

Spanish influence is evident in the ornate wrought iron and decorative wood. At the Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, we discovered more about this beautiful nation. There are dioramas from the early natives, 16th-century Spanish cannons, burial customs, pottery, native animal exhibits, colonial furniture, displays highlighting the coffee and sugar industry, and the painted oxcarts that are part of the culture.

Day 3

After a breakfast of fried yucca and sausage in tomato sauce, which was very tasty, we left town to the country and drove the highway two with hundreds of other cars. At one of the sodas or snack bars, we stopped for lunch. It was next to a calm river and was very comfortable. Most sodas are open on the sides to get the breeze. We enjoyed the trip to see the mountains, forests and small villages. Each has a church, school, soccer field and soda. We stopped at the Do It Center, a Tican version of Lowe & Home Depot. It was fun to check it out! There were toys, cookware and appliances for children. It is a non-profit community organization. Our drive took us to the Pacific Beach, at Playa Hermosa to the hotel, El Valero. Our hotel had a pool, private beach and outdoor dining. It was the opposite of San Jose when he was very small and quiet. It's a paradise! A little animal made some interesting scribble designs in the sand! We swam in the warm water and watched the glorious red sunset. As it is near the equator, it was dark at. 7:00. The staff was once again very pleasant. The dinner was delicious, a Chateaubriand. It is made with beef, mustard, mushrooms and sherry. Our room was comfortable, and a porch catches the sea breeze.

Day 4

Another hearty Tican breakfast of tortilla, cheese, beans and rice with strong coffee helped us start our day. We spent the morning snorkeling and swimming. We were almost alone on the beach! We saw some very beautiful fish and found some unusual shells. The water was very clear and warm. What a great way to start the day! We were curious about Play del Coco, a seaside resort not far away. A short drive brought us to a colorful and sleepy little town. We shopped at Mercado (shoes, dresses, masks, CDs, etc.) and had a cool drink in the secret garden for a soda. One of the pubs was called The Louisiana Restaurant and Bar. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is the Catholic church in the city. It is open to the public, is a very beautiful church and a great place to have a quiet moment. We enjoyed our long walk on the beach. On the way back, we shopped at a supermarket which was much smaller than an American supermarket, but had Costa Rican food and that was most interesting.

Our dinner was tapas at Ginger near the beach: summer rolls, salmon caprese, Azteca soup and Ahi tuna. It was all lovely! We sampled the native liquor, guaro. It is from sugar cane, very popular with the Ticans. It was very sweet and we didn't tend to taste, even though it was better in a mojito. A moonlight beach trip and it was time to turn in for the night. Tomorrow I dive!

Day 5

Today was exciting because I went diving! Marine wildlife was plentiful! We say many varieties of fish and sea turtles. The water was clear; the guides knew their sites. I & # 39; love to do more on another trip! This was my first Pacific dive. Greg sat on the deck and did sightseeing. Then we drove over to Playa Panama on the winding road which consisted of a small hotel and beach. Great to really get away! We arrived back to our hotel to find out electricity. Apparently, this often happens and someone is guessing when it will return. We all succeeded and tonight the hotel was BBQ. The food was delicious, of course. There were many people from the community who came in and we met some Americans who now live in Playa Hermosa. We had some interesting conversations! We joked with the bartender! The day was good! We really like Coast Rica!

Day 6

Now that we know the beach, we want to get acquainted with a volcano! Mt. Arenal is an active volcano in central Costa Rica. The roads were winding, narrow, hilly and gave us a beautiful view! We took photos, of course! We stopped at a combination of German bakery / cafe / original craft store! German food in a Central American country was a twist. While eating our bratwurst, a man on horseback came from behind the street and then back again. We can't see it in cities in Florida! We review the small market and then move on. Lake Arenal is breathtaking! We have noticed that wild flowers are a combination of tropical and those we grow at home, which makes them quite exotic. We stopped for coffee at a small cafe overlooking the lake. A security gate at the entrance reminded us that there is a crime problem if we are not careful. The trip to Arenal Park took us 6 hours due to roads not being paved and our stop. We saw a monkey run across the road. We spent the night at Mt. Arenal Observatory Lodge, with a clear view of the volcano! We heard and felt the rumbling, and after dark we saw the red, glowing lava flowing down the mountain! It was a fantastic experience! How often can you sit in bed and watch a volcano! The park has hiking, windsurfing, fishing, cycling and more. We wandered in the rainforest, an exciting experience! When we reached a waterfall, we splashed in the pool to cool off. Everywhere we saw hummingbirds and butterflies! Two specialty drinks are offered at the bar, both flames in honor of the volcano! Tomorrow we will go rafting!

Day 7

The rafting adventure was magnificent! We ran on three rivers with skilled guides. Our guide, Tony, caught an attractive, though poisonous, little blue seed for Jean to show us. We knocked, jumped and flew down the water. After the grueling raft trip, we had our tasty lunch with our group at a tican steakhouse. A sloth hanging in the tree caught our attention. A quick tour of the charming town of La Fortuna lets us appreciate the culture of Costa Rica, especially the relaxed pace of life and appreciation of education in this country. We like the colors, the food, the music, the friendliness.

Santa Elena is a mountain town, reached by a single very narrow, unpaved, winding road. There are holes, no guard rails, and a creek ran across the road in one spot. It was dark along the way. I didn't know if we would get to the top. Santa Elena, however, is all worth it! It is a wonderful place to visit! We stayed at Hotel Finca Valverde & # 39; s. As we followed the porter up a long, talking path, we were able to settle down in our hotel room in the middle of the rainforest.

Day 8

We sat on the porch and had coffee and watched kinkajous, toucans and other tropical birds. After breakfast there was Orchid Garden. It was heavenly! So many species! Colors, sizes and shapes varied. There were Chunches, a cafe / bookstore / laundry. It's a great place with a huge selection of books and lots of food choices! This is where we met Cindye, a Texan who loves living here, and knows where to find something! There was the Serpentarium. It was full of snakes and lizards of all kinds. There was the coffee / sugar cane trip. We drove in an oxcart and made sweets at the end of the tour to take home. How often do we get it! So much to do in one day! There were hotels, restaurants, shops all with a small urban flavor. The city is very small, so walking distance is the best way to get around. At the end of the day we were tired but very happy to have seen and done so much. And tomorrow we slip into the canopy!

Day 9

Today's breakfast was at the Treehouse Hotel and Restaurant, which has an actual tree growing up through the roof! The Tican coffee has become our favorite. It is strong and fully flavored. We ate heartily because today was our Canopy Tour in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest at Selvatura Park. It was raining, but we were in the rainforest! There are trails and gardens that can occupy time while waiting to get on the zip. A sky walk was exciting and gave us a spectacular view. Vegetation is huge! The feeling of being zipped over the canopy is like flying! We looked down at the trees and flew through them from one platform to the other. This was our first zip and we loved the experience! Fantastic! I went on the Tarzan swing while Greg watched! How fun! We saw some monkeys playing in the trees. It kept raining, so we suggest packing ponchos to get out and about.

For dinner we drove the short and steep distance to Chimera in Monteverde, where Cindye works in the evening. The views were lovely. The food, the tapas, was delicious! Particularly tasty was the mango sorbet. Very average price too.

Day 10

A hike up to the Treehouse for breakfast, only to find the coffee machine broken! Oh no! Fortunately, Chunches and Cindye were available, so we had breakfast there and chatted with our new friend.

The Monteverde cheese factory has many varieties of handmade cheeses. We bought some tasty Gouda. A few shops along the road were open so we looked inside. Back in Santa Elena, we visited the Frog Pond, full of tropical frogs and toads. This was a good time when it rained again. The butterfly garden was nearby with dozens of delicate, beautiful, colorful butterflies. Glasswing has transparent wings! Both attractions were fun! Unfortunately, it was time to go down the mountain. We had to say goodbye to Santa Elena and Cyndye! Back down the narrow, steep and serpentine road to San Jose again. Along the way, we stopped at a soda for lunch. A man drove his small herd of cattle along the road past us. Very picturesque!

Day 11

Back in the heart of San José, we stayed at the Gran Hotel again. We felt like old friends how the staff met us. From our room we had a good room for street entertainers on the corner. We were facing the Teatro Nacional Plaza and all the people. We had dinner at Le Monastere, a former monastery perched high on a hill with stunning views of the city lights at night! The food was excellent! It was highly recommended by the hotel staff and well worth the drive to get there! A night walk through town was great for people watching our last night here. There were some street performers and music flowed from clubs.

When we were once at the airport, we found that most foods only take cash and the ATM machines were both out of business. By counting our change, we were able to buy a drink and a bag of chips each for lunch! Adios, Costa Rica! The prices for most places were average, the amenities were modern, the weather was good, and the people were excellent! We look forward to another visit!

A New Look at Costa Rica for Retirement and Investment: Disrupting Popular Myths

For many years, Costa Rica has been touted as one of the best retirement paradises in the world. With a stable democracy, growing economy government friendly to foreigners and tropical climate, as well as incredible natural beauty, it rightly earned the phrase "Switzerland in Latin America."

Is this still true today?

Is it as expensive as Switzerland?

Will retirees still come here?

Should they still consider Costa Rica?

For many people, it seems to be cheaper retirement places like Panama or Nicaragua. For others, Costa Rica has become too touristy. Still others believe that Costa Rica is overrun with "gringos."

I will delve into these notions and others and suggest that Costa Rica is still a great place to retire or start a new life if you are not yet retired, especially if you choose your location and activities carefully.

Costa Rica is too expensive!

I have lived in Costa Rica for about two years but have been in and out of the country frequently since 1989 and based my extensive travel throughout the country in connection with my "Boomers in Costa Rica Retirement Tours", I have found that there are still inexpensive areas to live, especially if you stay away from nearby suburbs of San Jose.

Take, for example, the wonderful city of San Ramon, an agricultural town of 70,000, located on the northwest edge of the Central Valley. Home to three former presidents, including "Don Pepe", who abolished the army in 1948 and set the foundation for today & # 39; s robust democracy, San Ramon offers a peaceful environment where you can live, but it offers all the services of a major city with several supermarkets, a mall with a three screen theater, many excellent restaurants and warm, welcoming local. It is also only 40 minutes to Alajuela International Airport, one hour to San Jose and 40 minutes to the Pacific Coast.

San Ramon also offers a variety of lots for the construction of a & # 39; s retirement home, either in the mountains, which the "Tico Times" calls "Tuscany or Provence of Central America," or stunning ocean views where you can see the Nicoya Peninsula, the Pacific and the bustling port city of Puntarenas.

Land prices still remain low with some lots as cheap as $ 15,000 for a half-acre lot, at $ 75,000 for an incredible 2.25-acre ocean view lot. With another $ 60,000 to $ 75,000, you can have an incredible ocean view lot and house, complete with all the services you need for under $ 200,000. If you decide you do not want a sea view, you pay even less, maybe about $ 100,000 for a nice party and home.

Property taxes are very low, only 0.25% of the registered value of your home / country. I paid $ 66 in property taxes for a whole year! The municipal office even asked me if I would pay my taxes every quarter!

If renting is more your style, you can still find lovely two-bedroom, modest houses for rent for under $ 200 / month. Low housing costs combined with very low food and utilities prices make San Ramon an excellent bargain. The cities of Grecia, Sarchi, Atenas and Naranjo also offer excellent value; you just need to know where to look or hook up with an experienced and knowledgeable local or gringo to help you.

I also eat cheap, maybe a $ 1.50 for breakfast, $ 2.00 for lunch, and then I squirt for dinner, maybe $ 4- $ 6, and that's if I go out to eat! If you visit some of this wonderful outdoor market in this country, you will of course find the freshest meat, fruits and vegetables and you can cook for yourself and spend even less.

I need good and practical medical treatment!

Some foreigners living in Costa Rica complain that the medical system here is crowded and it often takes hours to see a doctor. Yes, in some areas there are less doctors per day. Resident than in the United States, but this generally applies to people living in the San Jose area, and often relates to people who have chosen to enter the "CAJA" system, which is the most basic government-run health insurance program, that most Ticos belong to.

When you leave the San Jose area, even if you are at CAJA, the lines diminish and more often than not, you form a good relationship with a well-educated English-speaking physician and, in some cases, will even make house calls. There are also other privately owned programs that allow you to see any doctor, and even these programs are much cheaper than insurance programs in the states.

Costa Rica also has several excellent hospitals that provide the same level of service and service you can find in the United States. CIMA Hospital San Jose, affiliated with Baylor Medical Center in Houston, is a brand new facility with all the new technologies you would find at any top hospital in the United States. In fact, my doctor at CIMA has more advanced technology in his office than my doctor in New York City. Clinica Biblica, also near San Jose, is also another top hospital with the same quality of service that you would find at CIMA.

There are too many tourists!

Costa Rica is definitely a well-traveled tourist destination and sees over 1 million holidaymakers a year. If you visit the beaches of Manuel Antonio, the rainforest of Monteverde or Arenal Volcano during the dry season, yes, you will see many North Americans and Europeans. When you live here, especially in cities like San Ramon or Grecia, you would hardly know that it is the tourist season. These cities and others see few tourists and move at their leisurely but constant pace year round.

In fact, visiting tourist destinations in the off-season is a significant advantage of staying here, especially given that prices are significantly lower than in the high season.

Costa Rica counts some 40,000 North Americans among its residents, mostly from the United States. They come from various reasons from wanting to leave their company's career for more meaningful work to simply retiring and enjoying a slower, relaxed pace of life that Costa Rica offers.

While these expatriates are spread throughout Costa Rica, most of them live in the suburbs around San Jose such as Escazu, Santa Ana and Cuidad Colon. There are many ex-pats in beach communities up and down the Pacific Coast, while a smaller number of people live on the Caribbean coast. However, many people are starting to take note of the smaller cities in the Central Valley such as Grecia, Sarchi, Naranjo and San Ramon as well as even smaller puffs around these cities. These cities and peacocks offer a relaxed pace of life, reasonable property prices and an overall lower cost of living.

So you can live in Costa Rica and not feel crippled by gringos or the high prices in other parts of the country. But if you want to live among "your own species", you can too!

Historically, Costa Rica was a country that was primarily attractive to retirees; those people in their late 50's or early 60's (and in some cases much older) who wanted a small house and could live far less cheaply than in North America or Europe. However, Costa Rica has also begun to attract a large number of baby boomers, especially people who are not yet ready to retire.

In addition to living a quieter, simpler life, these people are definitely not done working yet. They can own businesses they can run from virtually anywhere. They can also be writers or artists. Still others come here to invest their time and money into new businesses. Many people have made the successful transition from a business career in the states to running a bed and breakfast, managing a surf shop, offering tours, investing in real estate and more. Costa Rica is a very business friendly country and the possibilities here are still endless.

The roads are terrible!

Like any developing country, especially a country with a rainy season for part of the year, and with trucks and cars sharing the same, often two-lane road, it can be difficult to maintain the roads in perfect condition all the time.

Fortunately, under the new administration of the Nobel laureate, President Oscar Arias, significant steps are being taken to address these concerns. Millions of dollars are set aside for new road construction and repair. Costa Rica has come a long way in terms of infrastructure improvements and it is only getting better.

No hablo espanol!

While you can do without knowing much Spanish, you will have a better experience if you try to learn at least some keywords, phrases and phrases. Additionally, a friendship with a Tico (hopefully a bilingual one!) Will go a long way in helping you get things done here.

On our retirement trips, for example, we offer a post-trip relocation service where we connect our clients with a Tico to help with some critical "post-move" tasks, such as getting a driver's license, connecting electricity, telephone and internet services, and a number of other stuff. I couldn't do without my "Tico connections" and my Spanish is getting better all the time.

But Costa Rica is in Central America!

Central America has a reputation for being very poor, and historically a region is choking full political chaos, dictators, communists and interference from foreign countries. However, Costa Rica has had a continuous and stable democracy since 1948, and the transition to new administrations has been as peaceful as in the United States. Yes, there are poor people here, but it does not resemble the poor poverty found in Nicaragua or Honduras, for example.

Costa Rica has also not experienced the gang warfare that is rife in El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras. It remains somewhat dangerous in these countries and the political systems are still not completely stable. Housing and land may be much cheaper, but is it worth paying less to live if you experience power cuts for six to eight hours each day (as is the case in Nicaragua recently) or more importantly: living in fear?

I've also found that the people are much more accommodating to us gringos than in other countries in the region, and that I don't just become friends with us for our money. They are very hardworking, really interested in learning about North Americans, and for us it is not difficult to integrate into the Costa Rican community. I can't tell you how many parties and dinners I & # 39; have been invited to the Tico home since I moved here. They are friendly people!

With millions of baby boomers in North America – over 70 million of them – retiring now or over the next 20 years and living longer than previous generations, living in retirement will require a lot of money, especially in the United States. Is Costa Rica still a good alternative? Yes! Do you want to do well here and enjoy yourself? Absolutely! Come visit and introduce yourself to the wonderful people and the natural environment that we still call paradise. We are here, living our dreams and happy to help you! You can even email me at: boomersincostarica@gmail.com.