Did you know that numerous studies show that planning a vacation can heighten anticipation and people enjoy it almost as much as the vacation itself?  Studies also prove that a vacation can reduce stress levels, helping you discover new things, strengthen relationships, refresh your attitude and relax. That’s why Best Vacations Ever encourages you to plan an affordable and amazing family vacation with free accommodations by calling 800-656-2780 for better health today!

Getting Physical
Europeans are already packed and on holiday. It’s a yearly must-do! Americans consider it a luxury, given work, traffic, costs of living and airfares that make a vacation seem impossible. But if you really want to stay healthy, vice president of innovation at Cedars Sanai Dr. Glenn Braunstein says,Take a vacation! Stress is bad for your mind and body” and it can have have the following harmful effects:

•    Cause irritability
•    Make one tired & unfocused
•    Hinder the body’s ability to fight infections
•    Lead to unhealthy behavior
•    Load up on fatty foods & smoke
•    Consume too much alcohol

Travel Planning Boosts Happiness
Scientists in the Netherlands found that people were just as happy planning as much as enjoying the actual vacation—the anticipation and planning also boosted happiness for up to 8 weeks. Locale and length are not important. Go to a far-away destination or enjoy a local-resort staycation. Research destinations and picture yourself enjoying all the exciting adventures or just lying on a pristine beach with the stress reducing, planning anticipation, health benefits, and travel savings of free accommodations with a Best Vacation Ever promotional vacation package.

Avoid Heart Problems
Doctors will tell you the harmful long-lasting effects stress, especially as it releases a dangerous hormone called cortisol. A study of 13,000 middle-aged men showed that men who skipped consecutive vacations were 30% more likely to suffer heart attacks than those who vacationed yearly—even missing one increased risk. A Framingham Heart Study found skipping vacations was just as bad for women, who are at risk of heart problems as early as age 21 now. A Wisconsin study showed women who took vacations twice per year were less likely to develop coronary heart disease, and become tense, depressed and tired—plus, the odds of marital dissatisfaction decreased.  

Plus, if you’re in some exotic destination, the odds are slim that you’ll end up sitting around in your hotel room. Being on vacation sparks interest and gets you out doing all kinds of physical activity that improve your health like walking, hiking, golfing, running, ziplining, climbing rock walls or falls,  bicycling, jogging, swimming, taking pictures, sightseeing, shelling, surfing, wading in the surf, snow skiing, partaking in watersports and so much more.

Even just relaxing on the beach is good for you (with SPF). Being outdoors exposes you to the Vitamin D of the sun’s rays, which health reports show helps prevent Cancer, Bone Disease and Depression, and Controls Insulin Levels, Balances Hormones and helps Promote Weight Loss.

Improving Productivity
Remove yourself from the stressors that can have harmful effects like work burnout. Work places encourage vacations because they want relaxed, refreshed, more productive workers. So disconnect from the office, turn off electronics and “unplug.” Another study shows stress is reduced up to 5 weeks after the vacation return. Booking your trip and airfare in advance helps you avoid any stressful last-minute travel planning. Call 800-656-2780 to book an incredible, health-improving and affordable promotional Best Vacations Ever package with free accommodations that saves you hundreds of dollars off your travel budget for much more fun and a lot less stress.

How has a vacation helped you reduce stress and improve your health?

A few helpful tip can help you  capture  amazing travel photos with just about any camera while traveling on your Preferred Guest Resorts’ Best Vacations Ever.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and every traveler wants to take beautiful photographs while on vacation so they document and share their visual story. The biggest mistake vacationers (and people) make is thinking a fancy new camera is the answer, when actually technique is more important than equipment. If you learn its capabilities, practice and learn how to avoid a few pitfalls, you can take beautiful photographs with almost any camera. Preferred Guest Resorts has culminated a top 10 list of tips and techniques from several of the world’s best travel photographers so you can take better photographs while on your Best Vacations Ever journey to picturesque family destinations:

  1. Read the camera’s manual, and learn all its controls and features so you’re prepared. TIP: More advanced information in expanded versions is often downloadable on retailer websites.
  2. Learn what “resolution” is and set your camera for the highest resolution possible. It makes digital altering/editing later much easier, especially if you want to make a vacation storybook. Get multiple large-file holding memory cards because high-rez photos create larger files and take up more room. TIP: Travelers take many more photographs than they expect, so you could be in a destination where it is too hard to buy one or have to pay higher tourist costs.
  3. Practice good focus methods—it’s the number one thing to ruin a photo. Learn how to use your automatic focus, which usually requires a half shutter press. Use the “macro” mode for very close-up shots. Auto focus often works better than manual. Pros often ignore auto focus and use metering to take better photos. TIP: If your auto photos turn out of focus, definitely try manual. You can capture some great close-up on manual at the theme parks and beaches.
  4. Learn how your camera works in varying light; Inside, outside and different times of the day when you get to your Preferred Guest Resorts’ vacation destination. Photos turn out very different in the varying forms of light. Also learn when to use your flash. TIP: Use your flash carefully; don’t use it when you don’t have to.
  5. Avoid red-eye by having people avoid looking directly into the camera or using a “bounce light.” Aiming your flash above the subjects’ heads, especially with surrounding light walls, will help avoid red-eye, too. TIP: Look around for color; red will draw into a person’s eye. There is a lot of color at theme parks for great images.

    Avoiding directly looking into the camera helps prevent red-eye and also creates more dramatic candid photos.

  6. Learn how to set your white balance—the most underused feature—that compensates for different kinds of lighting and how to set it for conditions like cloudy days, shade or bright sun in your vacation destination.
  7. Learn what ISO speed is, and set it to the lowest setting for posed or slow-moving photographs. TIP: This setting is perfect for group or tripod shots while on vacation.
  8. Before shooting, stand very still, frame and focus the photo creatively in your mind; then in your viewfinder. TIP: Avoid distractions and cluttered backgrounds in the photo when needed, although clutter can add texture and detailing to a photo, especially if you’re at a colorful attraction, theme park or exotic beaches while traveling on your Preferred Guest Resorts’ Best Vacation Ever.
  9. Try interesting angles that show minimum shadow and maximum color. Take a risk, and use the Photographers Rule of Thirds, where primary points sit along third lines. Horizon or other lines should not cut the picture in half. TIP: Divide your frame into thirds, and don’t put your subject in the middle of the frame, a helpful tip for any travel photo you take.
  10. Use lines, shapes, color and light to give depth and interest to an image, and add a dramatic, artistic effect to photographs, especially while in picturesque Preferred Guest Resorts’ vacation destinations.

    Depth, texture, color and contrast can create dramatically beautiful photographs while on your Best Vacations Ever with Preferred Guest Resorts.

If a picture tells a thousand words, fill your memory cards and share your expansive journey with more beautiful travel photographs than ever before. Remember, the more practice and the more images you take, the greater your eye becomes behind the lens. Preferred Guest Resorts’ promotional vacation packages can send you to amazingly affordable destinations and your Best Vacations Ever, so call 800-656-2780 today to book a vacation you’ll never forget, especially with brilliant photographs.

What are some of your tips and tricks for taking better photographs while traveling?

Enjoy significant savings this summer with 5 easy tips!

Vacations are expensive, especially during peak summer travel season! From airfare to accommodations and cars, the numbers really tally up and fast. A survey conducted by American Express showed the average person plans to spend $1,180 on a summer vacation—$1,180 per person. That means a family of four could be shelling out $4,720 bucks for a vacation getaway. Due to the economy, promotional vacations and timeshares are increasing in popularity and are a great way to experience incredible destinations at substantial savings. A Preferred Guest Resorts’ promotional vacation package can help ease the burden on your travel budget by offering inexpensive options to incredible destinations with complimentary hotel accommodations, a segment of your vacation travel that can get very costly along with airfare rates. The exponential savings of a Preferred Guest Resorts’ promotional vacation package is priceless, and our travel agents are fueled up to help you find the cheapest airfare options possible.  But what can you do in general to save money on airfare this summer? Darcie Connell, the founder and CEO of the travel site trekity.com, a travel-information packed site that blasts daily e-newsletters for women who love to travel and a forbes.com contributor, recently pulled a few tricks out of her sleeve. Here are  5 extremely valuable tips that can help you save money on airfare this summer:

1. Use Airline Consolidators

Connell says, “Airline ticket resellers work with major travel companies to sell tickets at reduced prices.” Consolidators are wholesalers (that buy in bulk. Existing relationships allow  travel agents to purchase tickets from these consolidators who pass on the savings to consumers. The problem is that some agents don’t pass on the savings and actually mark up the prices before they get to the client. “The best rates are usually found for international travel, as well as U.S. domestic business and first-class flights,” says Connell. When you choose to take one of our promotional vacations, a Preferred Guest Resorts’ agent will also work with you to help you find the best possible fares, presenting you with a listing of multiple available options.

2. Book In Advance

Preferred Guest Resorts always says to book in advance for the best rates! It’s common sense when traveling, especially for vacationing families or groups with four or more people. Connell concurs, stating, “When it comes to finding inexpensive flights, the general rule is the more available seats [on the plane], the cheaper the airline tickets.” Booking well in advance means many empty seats to fill and lower prices. Connell recommends making arrangements a minimum of 21 weeks prior to your departure date and says, “After that, airlines increase fares incrementally up until the departure date. So the closer [you get] to your departure date, the higher the price.” Preferred Guest Resorts has reported research that shows travelers can also find some of the best rates at least 8 weeks out, but not beyond that mark. After that mark, you’re throwing caution and money to the wind. Some airlines do offer last-minute discounts to fill empty seats, starting as far out as 14 days and right up to the days before, as well as day-off standby fillers. But waiting until the last minute is a serious risk, especially during peak season, and often a big disappointment for families of four that ends yup costing your way much more in the long run. Trust your Preferred Guest Resorts’ travel agent to help you find the lowest possible rates by starting to look for and book airfare rates well in advance of your Preferred Guest Resorts’ promotional vacation.

3. Clear Your “Cache”

No, we did not misspell “cash,” though it is pronounced the same way. Most people aren’t

Save lots of cash when you clear your cache!

even familiar with the term cache. Technologically speaking, many people start searching for flights and find an amazing price online during their first visit to a carrier site. But when they try to find that price later to show their husband, wife or travel partner, the price is actually higher than it was before. It becomes frustrating as airfares seem to change with no rhyme or reason. Connell says that this is where your web history and “cache” (recorded web history and searches) come into play. Smart booking sites record or track your browsing and searches, and some use this information to raise prices when they see you’re interested in a flight and make a return visit. She says the trick to beating this is to clear your web browsing data (known as cache) after your first search or before your next and each subsequent search, so there’s a greater chance that you’ll find the original price as a “first-time” visitor again. If you choose to take a Preferred Guest Resorts‘ promotional vacation package, your PGR travel agent knows how to work around such technology tactics and find you the lowest possible fares and options for your vacation.

4. Be Flexible With Dates & Times

“This is the number one way to save when it comes to booking flights,” Connell says, “we’re talking hundreds of dollars.” According to an in-depth analysis of its database, Fare Compare reported that the cheapest days to fly domestically are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, when airlines post discounts but of course, there are exceptions. According to the results, Wednesday is the least expensive day, and Friday and Sunday are the most expensive days to buy airfare. The analysis also reports a big difference on days for international flights, which are still pending. The same report also says that the cheapest time to fly is typically the first flight out in the morning—yes, meaning around 4 a.m.—and even cheaper are those limited red-eye flights. It also states that the next best times to fly are during/after lunch and flights at the dinner.

Another Fare Compare study showed that best time to buy airline tickets and shop for travel (domestically) is Tuesday at 3 p.m. Eastern time: “Yes, shopping on Tuesday is the best time to buy airline tickets, but be careful as most of these discounted airfares are pulled on Thursdays, so your probably paying too much if buying on the weekend,” reports Fare Compare.

Connell says now that booking agents now offer a “flexible date,” finding the cheapest flight is easy. It’s especially easy when you take the reports, stats and tips into consideration to find the least expensive flights.  If you choose to take a Preferred Guest Resorts’ promotional vacation, your travel agent will qualify you for times and dates that fit your family’s intended travel and, if asked, assist you with finding flights based on supplied information as well as best travel dates and options for the lowest fares available. “A simple trick that travel agents use is to search for flights three days before and after an intended departure. This can easily slice a few hundred dollars off international flights!,” she says. “Just remember: If you’re checking throughout the week, clear your browsing history for accurate search results.”

5. Research Carrier Hubs

“Every airline has a “hub”—sometimes more than one—where the majority of their flights arrive and depart, explains Connell. “For example, British Airways uses London Heathrow Airport and JetBlue Airways uses John F. Kennedy International Airport.” So, how does a hub help you? In general flights that are hub to hub are inexpensive because there are more flights/planes to choose from. Connell suggests, “If your final destination isn’t a major hub, check prices to the hub first, and then look for an additional flight from the hub to your final destination. Yes, you’ll have a layover, but you could save a lot of money in the process.” Your Preferred Guest Resorts’ travel agent can also look up this information for you when finding you the lowest airfares and flight options.

Preferred Guest Resorts‘ travel agents can also help you find the best airfare rates while booking you an incredible promotional vacation.

You can fly anywhere you want this summer and can save a lot of money while getting a jump on your summer travel plans. If you’re interested in more information about a Preferred Guest Resorts‘ promotional vacation and how we can help you cut down your travel expenses significantly, call one of our travel agents today at 1-800-656-2780.