What To Expect From A Travel Agent

Finding the right travel agent can be as hard as finding the right doctor. You want someone you can trust to get you the best deal. Someone you who is knowledgeable about the area you are wanting to visit and has the resources to provide you with all the information you need. Travel agents book about 75% of all air travel, 30% of all hotel reservations, and 95% of all cruises. Even with all the information online most people still prefer to avoid all the hassle and use travel agents.

The first step to finding a good travel agent is to check their credentials. Check to make sure they are a certified travel counselor. To be a certified travel counselor a travel agent with at least five years experience must complete a two year graduate level program offered by the Institute of Certified Travel Agents. For the travel agency itself you have to look for membership in one of two associations. The American Society of Travel Agents and The Association of Retail Travel Agents are the two travel agency associations.

One of the easiest ways to find a travel agent is by word of mouth. Ask your friends and family who they use. Try to pick friends and family who have similar interests as you , that way you can find a travel agent who will understand your needs. Most people use a certain agent and not a certain agency. Not all agents in a travel agency are the same. One might specialize in cruises while another specializes in low cost travel plans. Make sure you get the name of a specific agent when talking to your friends and family.

A good travel agent will keep a portfolio of all your travel needs and preferences. Things like frequent flyer miles, credit card details, hotel or airline favorites, and any other personal requirements should be kept by the travel agent in a specific folder. This saves you time when you go in to book a trip, by having everything already filed out you wont have to do it each time.

A good travel agent will also find out your preferences, like places you enjoy visiting. This way if they come across an unpublished bargain for a place that is of interest to you they can contact you with the information. A good travel agent is always looking for the best deal for their client. This includes informing you if changing the dates of your vacation or changing your itinerary can lower the price for you.

Finding a good travel agent can be frustrating and time consuming. When you find a good travel agent you should use them for all your travel needs and refer them to any one who is looking for a travel agent.

Another place to look is online. Search for one near you. Don’t always go with the cheapest. Ask them their credentials upfront. If they try to avoid the question, move on. Do they provide phone contact information on their website and give office hours? This is a good way to tell if it’s an agent you may want to deal with.

Tips For Successfully Flying Standby

Stand by flying has changes in recent years. In the past, standby tickets were available that allowed you to fly much cheaper, as long as you were willing to risk sitting at the airport for an extended period of time. Now, these standby tickets are no longer available, but flying standby still has its benefits. When you make reservations, you most likely choose the most convenient and the least expensive flight from your preferred airport to your destination. However, after making your reservation, others may have cancelled, businesses could have released blocks of tickets, or someone could have not shown up to fly. An airline dislikes flying with empty seats and the airline will do everything it can to fill these empty seats. You can benefit from this by taking an earlier flight by flying standby.

To fly standby you must already have a ticket for a flight, and you can only fly to the same destination as your current ticket, typically on the same route, if there are layovers. If you want to fly standby, head to the ticket counter as soon as you arrive at the airport, since standbys are typically on a first come, first serve basis. Once you are on the list, do not leave the area. The agent will not hold your spot and it will be lost if your name is called and you are not present.

The first rule of flying standby is to pack lightly. When an airline makes the decision to put people on an earlier flight, they often do so at the last minute. If you have bags to check, or have already checked bags for a different flight, your chances of flying standby are reduced significantly. Therefore, to increase your odds of flying standby, pack only what you can carry on.

If you are curious about flying standby, and would like to try it, call the airline several hours before your scheduled flight and ask if there are any open seats on earlier flights. If there are a few extra seats available, head to the airport since you cannot be placed on standby over the phone.

An important consideration when flying standby is what happens in the case of connecting flights. If you standby and board a plane four hours before your confirmed reservation, you will arrive early at the next airport, but if you are connecting, there is no guarantee that the connecting airport will have openings on their flights. You may end up waiting at that airport until your originally ticketed flight arrives. One of the best scenarios for flying standby is when you are able to convert your confirmed ticket with layovers to a standby, same price, ticket that is non-stop. If the flight has layovers, head directly to the ticket desk when you land, and ask to be placed on the standby list for the connecting flight.

Increase your success of flying standby

There are a variety of ways to increase your success of flying standby. If you are traveling by yourself, your chances of success are greater than if you are traveling with your family. This makes sense, as there is a much greater chance of finding one empty seat than finding four empty seats. Because of the decrease in the odds of flying standby, it does not make sense to fly standby with children. To successfully fly standby, you need to arrive early at the airport, and spend a good deal of time waiting around. This is too much to ask for children right before climbing on board an airplane.

Take time to consider the time of year as well. If you are traveling on a holiday weekend or on the edge of bad weather, flights are probably overbooked already, and showing up early will not be very beneficial. Airlines give first choice on standby flights to those who have been bumped from another flight, so showing up early will not put you at the head of the line.

Flying standby is a great way to take advantage of cheap plane tickets as long as you are willing to be flexible. Cheap tickets, for late night arrivals, are easy to find. Once you buy your ticket, pack lightly, and on the day of your flight head to the airport early, or call ahead and see if there are any empty seats on flights heading to the same destination. Using this method, assuming that you are not traveling at a busy time of the week, midweek is best, you are very likely to standby on an earlier flight, and arrive at your destination at a reasonable hour.

Amazing Jamaican Delicacies

Amazing Jamaican Delicacies

To most folk, Jamaica brings to mind beaches, rum and Reggae. But talk to anyone whos been there, and theyre bound to mention the food. Theres a staggering amount on offer; rich-tasting, diverse and well worth trying out. These are the five things you really should taste when visiting Jamaica.

Jerk

Jerk is a staple in Jamaican food, often sold by street vendors and at beachside huts, but as youll see its on offer in bars and restaurants too. Youll come across jerk chicken, pork, goat, beef or even jerk fish because “jerk” basically describes the method of cooking. Meat or fish is marinated in a special sauce. The sauce used includes pimento seeds, herbs, and peppers. After a very long marinade the meat is cooked slowly, normally over an open flame. Each cook is likely to have a slightly different take on what goes into his or her sauce, and with some its a closely guarded secret!

Patties

Patties are to Jamaica what burgers and hotdogs are in the USA. They are sold everywhere in Jamaica, and there are heated opinions about what and who makes the perfect patty. Patties are filled and fried pie. Whether they contain meat or vegetables, theyre a very tasty, rich and filling fast food. Find a busy patty stand and you know youre in for a treat.

Rundown

Rundown is normally served as a starter. Its a fish-based dish, and as youd expect the Jamaicans are experts at cooking seafood of all kinds. Prawns or fish are cooked in coconut milk and seasoned slowly for a long long time, until the flesh is so tender it can literally run down your face. Creamy and smooth, its a real taste of the Caribbean.

Escovitch Lobster

Another fish-based favourite, Escovitch Lobster should be tried at least once by everyone who visits Jamaica. Escovitch is probably best known as a lobster dish, but there are many seafood Escovitch versions. Describing it as fish cooked in vinegar and served with a vinegar sauce may be factual, but it really doesnt do the dish justice. Its a staple for restaurant menus for a very good reason. Fortunately that means that finding a place to sample it shouldnt be too difficult.

Dukunnu or Duckoono

Dukunnu (which is also called blue draws or tie-a-leaf) is served as a desert or a sweet snack. Coconut, grated yam or bananas, spices and cornmeal are mixed and tied up or wrapped in banana leaves. It is very rich, smooth, and very very tasty.

Online Travel Solutions Revoluntionize The Reservation Process

Online travel booking applications are one of the biggest benefits that the internet has provided the travel industry. These online booking solutions have revolutionized the way the entire travel industry interacts and conducts business with customers. Today, anyone with access to the internet is just a few clicks away from being able to research and book their own travel arrangements. The travel booking software available today has automated and customized the entire booking process while providing comprehensive and innovative solutions for different segments of the travel industry. There are solutions to book travel available today that will automate the shopping and booking process for any travel component including Airlines, Hotels and even Cruise Lines.

The airlines started this trend years ago by automating the process for travel agents to sell flights by launching their own booking engines for travel agents. By using an airline booking engine, travel agents were able to greatly improve their productivity when selling airline tickets and provide better service to their customers. Travel booking solutions have been evolving ever since, constantly adding new features & functionality as well as new product lines such as Hotels, Ground Transportation, Travel Insurance and even Cruise Vacations.

Applications that are easy to use and contain the information a travel agent or consumer needs to research the options available are critical to success. For example, finding the right hotel based on an individuals specific needs is an important part of planning any trip, but can be overwhelming with so many options available. To help simplify this, many hotel booking engines integrate links to media files & rich content to assist with selecting the right hotel property during the shopping process.Online cruise booking engines allow anyone to quickly research and book cruise vacations with many containing detailed ship and cabin descriptions as well as photos to help in the shopping process.

These easy to use online booking engines are built to automate processesand reduce the amount of time it takes to make a booking and can have agents selling quickly with minimal training.Some booking softwarecan also extend booking capability to an agencys website, allowing customers to research and book travel when and where they want, while still receiving the benefits of using a travel agent.

With so many options available in the market today, it is important to choose the solution that is right for your business. Some things to consider include the type of products you plan to sell (i.e. airlines, hotels, cruise, etc.), the source you plan to secure your content from (i.e. GDSs, Consolidators, Direct, etc.) and the ability to protect your brand identity. You will also want to consider which selling channels you plan to use (i.e. B2B, B2C, B2B2C ) as well as any future expansion plans you may have for your business.

So start using an online Travel Agent Software solution and revolutionize your reservation process, both you and your customers will be glad you did.

Travel Vacation Business Opportunities Reviews

Standard Travel Industry practice is to book big blocks of rooms, cruises, resorts, and air travel during the peak travel times throughout the year. This practice makes it virtually impossible for the little guy to get a great deal booking a vacation. Travel Industry exerts leverage in this way to maximize inventory and profits. The individual is hard pressed to find any deals even in areas with excess inventory since availability is controlled by this standard industry operating procedure. Since most people can’t travel whenever they want this Travel Industry’s model is very effective and continues to work well for the industry bottom line.

Now if you have the ability to travel at the drop of a hat you can get a better deal but you are still in the grasp of the travel industry’s business model, the Travel Discounters, you know the names. When a drop dead expiration date approaches for the larger travel sellers then this same excess inventory is released into the next part of the food chain which are your Discount Travel Brokers. These brokers pass on some savings to the consumer; yet still control large travel blocks insuring profit and control for their business model. This cycle is repeated week after week and there is always inventory that is perishing. This perishing inventory is sizable and creates a great opportunity, but this opportunity is not open to John Q Public. Well at least that was the case till now.

Primo Vacations Club is a brand new travel and vacation club with a very unique business opportunity attached to it. It is situated to become a leading player in the travel industry which by the way is a 7 Trillion dollar industry. Primo Vacations Club was founded by Rob Hanley and Dave Garven who are also the co-founders of the hugely successful Your Net Biz business opportunity. The aim for Primo Vacations is to provide more unmatched and unbeatable value and service, than any other travel and vacations club, while giving savings of up to 80% on luxury condos, cruises, villas, resorts, and hotels at the most desirable destinations around the world.
Primo Vacations Club was designed to be of great value and opportunity.

There are many travel business opportunities out there that range in price from $2,995 upwards to $9,995. Some of these businesses are Global Resorts Network, MOR Vacations, Resorts 360, and Cruise To Cash; they really are not in the travel business but rather in the opportunity business. What I mean by that is that none of these opportunities allow you to sell a travel membership to the consumer directly like Primo Vacations Club does. Here are the costs associated with these business opportunities: Global Resorts Network $3,500.00 plus $149 monthly, Resorts 360 $3,995.00 or $399 and $249 monthly lifetime, MOR Vacations $1,998.00 plus $149 annual, and Cruise To Cash $977.

None of the above mentioned businesses are set up to sell travel but rather sell opportunity with a travel product. Therefore none of the above mentioned business models actually allow you to carve out a niche in the 7 trillion dollar travel business. Furthermore, internet data shows that there are about 23 million people globally looking to start a home based online business. Data collected from surveys reveals that those people say they are only willing to spend $1,000 to start business. That means that if you chose an opportunity like; Global Resorts Network, MOR Vacations, and Resorts 360, you would have lost 99% of the global opportunity seekers market. Why market to 1% of the global business opportunity seekers and shut yourself out completely from the 7 trillion dollar travel industry?

Here are the facts to support this statement: With the Primo advantage you get a sensational lifetime travel club membership with personal travel concierge at unheard of travel savings of 40-80% and there are never any dues. Plus you get to save on, condos, hotels, all-inclusive resorts, villas, cruises, and air fare. The second advantage, should you choose to pursue the Primo business opportunity, is a fully integrated marketing system complete with website integration and a back office to track all aspects of your business. The marketing system provides you with Professional Business Assistants at no additional cost to do the telling, explaining, and selling to your prospective customers. The back office also includes interactive coaching and training along with live coaching calls to help you learn at your own pace and achieve your goals. The system is can-am spam act compliant with a fully integrated automatic responder to follow up with your prospects with engaging emails. Your prospective customer base is comprised of business opportunity seekers along with consumers searching for inexpensive quality travel. These are just some of the features and benefits that come standard with the Primo Vacations Club opportunity. Compared to the other travel business out there it is an amazing value and bargain at $697.

To recap you can become a Primo Vacations Club lifetime member for a onetime payment of $697 and never pay any dues and enjoy travel savings of 40-80% off forever. If you choose to pursue the business opportunity, you become a club member for a onetime payment of $697 and pay $49 a monthly to maintain your Primo Vacations back office. If you decide not to market the business you can stop anytime but you will always enjoy the travel savings as a lifetime member with no additional costs. Many club members say that they joined for the savings and recouped the cost of their membership with the first vacation they booked and were delighted at how simple it was to make money with the marketing system. If you want to know more about this opportunity you will find a helpful link that will take you to the company tour in my resource box titled Go Primo Vacations.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Traveling With Travel Agency And By Your Own

When you decide to go somewhere on vacations the first question you are faced with is how to organize your trip. At least, you need tickets and accommodation. However, if you are going abroad, the situation becomes more complicated. You will need visa, foreign passport and a little bit of information about a country you are coming to. The citizens, living and traveling inside European Union borders are in better position. They are free to visit any EU country without any additional document and visas. But lets imagine you have chosen a country where you need visa. Well, now its time to make some preparations for your trip. At first, whether you trust organizing your trip to a travel agency, or organize it by your own. If you choose the first variant:

Advantages

1) Convenience. You dont have to besiege embassy and wait in long queues. You dont need to worry about buying tickets and booking hotels.

2) Price. Sometimes travel agencies have special agreements with hotels and the price becomes cheaper. The same thing can be said about avia and train tickets.

3) Comfort in the country of destination you are mostly provided with transfer to hotel and the representative of the agency can solve any of your problems.

4) Your vacation is organized. You have a choice of excursions; youll be shown the best shops and the most interesting attractions.

Disadvantages

1) Unfortunately, not all the agencies can be relied on, some of them disappear with the clients money.

2) Some people dont like to be limited – by excursions, by return tickets or by the necessity of staying in the hotel theyve chosen.

3) Its not always cheap often the excursions, offered by the agency representatives are more expensive than in other places in the city.

If you choose the second variant, you should be prepared to some problems, but of course, this variant has its light sides too.

Advantages

1) You are free to choose there and when to go. You are free to change you hotel of your return ticket.

2) You are most likely to see the places, not shown to usual tourists.

3) Its a kind of challenge. Cant imagine your holyday without risk and adrenaline? So, this variant is for you!

4) You can seek and find a cheaper variant and not just accept what the agency offers.

Disadvantages

1) Once again risk. You are not quite safe when traveling alone in the foreign country. Nowadays you are not quite safe anywhere, but still

2) It causes some problems in the stage of organization getting a visa can be a trouble. Interview, invitation and a lot of documents all this can be inevitable. So, prepare to waste some time and nerves.

Anyway, the choice is yours.

Worldventures – Don’t Join Until You Read This!!

Why WorldVentures? This is the question that many ask me when they inquire about what network marketing company I am with.

There are many reasons that I chose a network marketing company in the travel industry and many more key points that caught my attention with WorldVentures.

A good friend came to me and asked me to take a look at her travel MLM company. I immediately told her I had tried network marketing before and didnt want anything to do with it. After avoiding her for a bit, her persistence paid off. I trusted her but the idea of vacationing more with my family and friends peeked my attention more and I finally took a look at WorldVentures.

What I saw in the presentation immediately got me excited. The products just made sense! The questions I asked myself were, would I rather pay wholesale or retail for my vacations? and do I book travel online or know anyone else that does? Both of those questions were no-brainers. So, basically it boiled down to having access to hundreds of wholesale vacations, getting paid when people booked travel on my travel booking site and building a residual income just by helping others do the same. OK, Im in!! But, wait, whats the catch? The kicker was, once I found out how well the company was doing and how fast it was growing, I realized there was none.

There are many factors in my decision to join forces with WorldVentures and I will highlight the main ones that stuck out to me.

1 ~ Product Travel and Vacations. I dont have to convince anyone to go on vacation or want to save money. Most people want to vacation more and save money doing it but they dont know how! Also, we naturally talk about our vacations, so its easy to share because we already do it anyway. The product stands alone even without network marketing and that was critical in my decision!

2 ~ Industry Travel is the largest industry in the world and is expected to double over the next 10 years because of the Baby-Boomers retiring. What do you think they want to do in their golden years?

3 ~Timing – WorldVentures is about 5 years young and still in pre-momentum. Meaning, they are past the point where most MLM companies fail in the first 2 years of business. Also, about 11 countries just opened and huge market share is available. Know anyone in USA, UK, Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Singapore, Israel, Cyprus, Sweden, Germany, Malta or The Netherlands? If you do, these regions are wide open!

4 ~Leadership – Co-founders, Wayne Nugent and Mike Azcue have a proven track record of success! Plus, the addition of Dan Stammen, network marketing legend, as the chief marketing officer solidified it for me. Dan built a sales team which created over 660,000 customers for a New York Stock Exchange listed legal services firm. He has brought his marketing expertise to WorldVentures and built an online system for reps to build their business.

5 ~Training Awesome training system run by Marc Accetta. Marc helped take another MLM go to #1 on the INC 500 list and has brought the same training system to WorldVentures. I thought it was going to be a RAH-RAH session but instead it was nuts and bolts to help build the business.

6 ~ Compensation Plan – A binary system consisting of only 2 teams. This means that you could end up with someone on your team that someone else puts underneath you! When I saw how this worked I was blow away because it is so powerful and helps build the team as a whole!

7 ~ No Monthly Fees All I had to do was sell 4 products and my products and business were free. What?? No monthly overhead?? I know, thats how I felt! Most people will quit MLM because they are spending more than they are making. Help 4 people save money on a vacation and your fees are waived!!

8 ~ Industry Reputation They are the youngest company highlighted in Success from Home 2xs in 3 years and Your Business at Home in the first year. Not too bad for a company only about 5 years old. They received awards from Carnival Cruise Lines and Funjet Vacations and recently I heard that SEARS is now using the travel booking technology to book travel for their corporate website (Hmmmmchoosing WVs booking engine over the other big travel .coms.. kind of shows how well it performs if SEARS would opt to go with it)

So, all in all, the above highlights are the main reasons I chose to join WorldVentures. Not to mention the the integrity behind the company as a whole and always giving back. Whether its raising money for Big Brothers Big Sisters, creating a mission trip or helping change a childs life though their new Manifest Foundation, they seem to always have the right purpose in mind!

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, the people are cool and fun! WorldVentures is a company that offers vacations, FUN and the possibility to earn money helping the people you care about do the same! Works for me!!

Travel Packages Around Delhi With Lowest Price

Garhwal Himalayas the foremost stunning region of Uttarakhand and accommodation facility here is incredibly sensible. There ar variety of lodging facility ar quite good and be obtained at an inexpensive worth. There ar several accommodation choices obtainable here like luxury hotels, budget hotels and hostels. Most of those accommodations ar applicable for budget travelers. Most hotels provide target-hunting tours and activities for its guests as well as activities like trekking and rafting expeditions on the watercourse. Some hotels organize visits to scenic spots around Garhwal. Tourists will witness the charming fantastic thing about Garhwal Himalaya in these tours.
Cheap Hotels of this region ar settled near major traveler attractions of the region and also the vary of accommodation units that ar set with the most recent facilities. you may realize most of the hotels with double, triple occupancy, bedrooms and feeding within the house with multi-cuisine. range Hideaway could be a budget building that serves shoppers with impeccable service and heat welcome. This building has 10 rooms, four rooms ar equipped with watercourse and 4 offer a read of the plush inexperienced forests. there’s conjointly a bungalow and a duplex that ar appropriate for travelers seeking seclusion.
Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Dehradun, Haridwar, Pauri, Uttarkashi, Tehri, Asan Barrage, Chakrata, Chila, Bhatwari and Dakpathar ar a number of the vital places to go to here. you’ll raise at the reception of the building to rearrange visits to those destinations. All spaces of building facilities like predicament and room service along side different services like net access, conference rooms, communication / messenger, doctor on decision, laundry service and parking. Rafting, kayaking and abseiling journey sports ar offered at this building. Lodging facility isn’t a giant drawback here as you may simply realize a good variety of budget hotels; accommodation isn’t a significant drawback. Tourists will continuously check on-line some low cost hotels and do accommodation reservation ahead. you’ll conjointly visit Srinagar Garhwal region of Uttaranchal, that is tucked within the central a part of this region, is understood for its antiquity. it’s the simplest destination for a soothing vacation with friends and family.
There ar many luxury health resorts that tourists head for a refreshing expertise. Ananda Spa Resort could be a advanced of health, for instance in Garhwal giving state of the art housing units. These units ar equipped with trendy amenities. Ananda offers seventy luxury rooms and 5 suites, that ar designed to suit the tastes of their guests. All rooms have facilities for double occupancy with a panoramic read of the sacred river. The facilities given by this building contains of net access, cable TV association, gym, laptops, vapour bath and parking. throughout your visit to here you may get several opportunities to participate in journey activity, because the topography is appropriate for journey sports like sport, water sports and mountain climbing. Lavishness resorts like Ananda is one among the simplest hotels within the Himalayas wherever you’ll do advance booking for staying throughout your trip to here. you’ll conjointly check a chamber Garhwal and book well ahead as a result of it becomes powerful to seek out a space throughout the vacation season.

Visit Siena, one of the best European destinations

The beauty of Tuscany, Italy, is well known to people from all over the world, and this has manages to transform it into one of the most popular tourist destinations. Thousands of tourists come here annually, to spend some time away from the big city life and enjoy the natural landscapes. Siena, the capital city of the province of Siena, is located in the heart of Italy, Tuscany, and represents its historical center, being a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. Besides its impressive architecture and history, the city is also famous for its art, museums and cuisine. The locals are preoccupied by tourism, agriculture and handicrafts, which is why agriturismo Siena has become one of the main source of revenue. In addition to the city center, the surroundings also offer picturesque views. Agriturismo Monteriggioni has become very popular, because people come here to see the ancient wall, built as a fortress in the Middle Ages, during the wars between Siena and Florence. These places have a lot to offer, and they deserve to be included on your travel list, in case they are not already there.

The town is situated on a natural hill, which helps it provide its tourists with amazing views on the surrounding locations, plain grain cultures and amazing color mergers. In Siena, agriculture represents more than an activity – it is actually the locals’ way of living, because all their resources are invested in this practice. They put time, money and passion in their cultures, so this represents a unique character feature of those who live here. People are welcoming and friendly, and these two defining characteristics have helped them transform their residence town into a genuine destination, competing with big European cities or famous beach resorts. It is all a matter of tastes, and those who are fed up with the bustle of a big city consider agriturismo Siena the best holiday option. If you want to come to this picturesque place, you have plenty of accommodation possibilities, and you will me surprised by the luxury and modernity, which strongly contrasts with the traditional architecture and medieval aspect of the city. You are free to choose between luxurious apartments, traditional villas or intimate cottages – all the services are reaching a high quality standard, so that you can spend here the time of your life.

Once you come to Tuscany you will definitely want to come back, and those who have already seen its beauties can confirm that its atmosphere is something that cannot be put into words. A visit to Siena, the hill town, can be compared with a ride in the time machine: you will be transported back to the Middle Ages, because the whole atmosphere will make you think about a medieval knights’ story. The main square of Siena hosts one of the most beautiful churches in Europe, the grand cathedral, has a simple yet fascinating architecture, and you are likely to spend hours admiring both its exterior and interior. Take time to travel to this incredible region, and you will not regret.

If you want to read more about agriturismo Monteriggioni or agriturismo Siena, please click on these links!

Traveldote – Koh Phi Phi Thailand

Not everything opens and shuts in paradise. Which brings me to the question does everything need to open and shut in paradise? And what exactly is paradise anyway? The definition of paradise is: “heaven” or “state of bliss”. I was in a heavenly state of bliss when the window fell out of the wall one morning in paradise.

After injuring myself on a Benny Banana, I suspect a fractured rib, I headed out by myself for the last Pad Thai at P.P Cafe. Three Singha beers later and I was a bit past tipsy and found myself playing a game of Jenga with a “ladyboy”.

Joys story was a tragic one and involved her getting her heart broken by an Australian boy (I thought his nationality was probably interchangeable depending on who was listening). She produced a photo album which documented Joys life from an awkward little boy, to an effeminate teenager, to the star of a cabaret show in Phuket. Her relationship with the Australian ended disastrously after four years. She was heartbroken so left Phuket for Phi Phi, where she is now a wasted talent as a waitress in a cafe.

Entertained enough, I went back to my room situated above a shop. The shop was run by an elderly couple. I had one more beer with the old man and attempted conversation but the only thing we understood was “beer”. I finished my brew and climbed the stairs to my room but was stopped by the old man. He pointed at himself, then at me, then to his bedroom door. I declined graciously. He tried again but with a different approach. He pointed at me, himself, and then my room. I declined less than graciously the second time and headed to my room, alone, wondering what a seventy year old pot-bellied Thai man with a mole (complete with four inch long whiskers) thought I saw in him.

The next morning I was more than eager to leave. I had not used the window previously for fear of mosquito bites and had managed to survive with minimal ventilation. But this morning I decided to open it up and capture one last glimpse over the turquoise waters and the raw limestone cliffs. As I slid the window the grip of the handle slipped from my fingertips and the couple in the adjacent room awoke to a loud crash on the tin roof of the building next door. My window had fallen clean out of the wall.

It was time to leave.

Where: Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
When: November through to March
Why: To kick back in paradise with fantastic food and scenery.
How: Catch a ferry from Krabi (90 minutes) or Phuket (2 hours).