After a busy summer season working the Med, the Hamptons or any other summer hot spot, few things sound better than taking a well-deserved vacation before the Caribbean season starts up.
Time off and vacations are crucial for crew. But on yachts, getting a break sometimes can be difficult. Even at the end of the season, the boat might be in the yard or on a repositioning voyage.
A well-rested crew means a safer yacht all round. So when you get the opportunity for a break, take it! For some crew, a break is as short as jumping off the yacht for the evening and checking in to a hotel overnight. Hopefully, though, most crew will have more time to rest, relax and recharge for the winter.
Due to the lack of structure and ever-changing schedules in the yachting business, vacation planning can often be very challenging. During your valuable time off, you want to make the best use of your time and advance planning is the key to any trip. Thanks to some wonderful sites on the Internet, planning is made easier with a wealth of travel information.
Choose Your Destination
One of the most reliable and detail-orientated global sites is www.frommers.com, which specializes in destination advice as well as what to do when you get there.
For great deals on hotel stays around the world, try booking through these websites. All of them are consolidators, which means they buy rooms in bulk in order to get tremendous discounts, which they pass on to you. These sites specialize in hotels globally:
www.offandaway.com – this website also features online auctions, in the spirit of Ebay, whereby bidders can compete to win hotel suites for up to 80 – 90 percent off the regular price.
Tour operators are often forgotten, as most of us tend to put our own packages together. However, for those crewmembers looking for high-level excitement, try www.iexplore.com. This site features over 4,000 trip suggestions that cover the globe, including “World’s Best Hikes,” safaris, expeditions of all kinds, culinary themed trips and more.
For more information about booking a “green vacation” visit www.ecotourism.org. Click on the Eco-Tourism Explorer link to open up a map of the world and learn more about environmentally conscious tour operators and resorts around the globe.
Splitting the cost of renting a larger house or condo in a fantastic destination is a great way to enjoy your vacation with a few friends.www.1001-villa-holidaylets.com features a global selection of vacation rentals. Www.resortquest.com specializes in North America.
Before you book tour operators, hotels, villas, etc., always get a second opinion from www.tripadvisor.com. This website solicits honest feedback from people just like us. I’ve often changed my hotel selection due to a recommendation or negative comment from someone who has actually experienced the product.
Most importantly, when booking your trip — everything from flights to hotels to excursions — make sure you know the refund and change policies. For your air travel, always check with ISS GMT www.flyissgmt.com for refundable and changeable airfares. Being able to book a fully refundable and changeable marine ticket is one of the real perks of working in the yachting industry, as this option is not regularly available to everyday travelers without paying exorbitant prices.
Tim Davey serves as the president of ISS GMT Global Marine Travel and Chairman of the United States Super Yacht Association. A native of New Zealand, Tim is now based in Fort Lauderdale and spends much of the year traveling the globe. He is especially proud that New Zealand is hosting the Rugby World Cup this month and looks forward to catching many of the games with international crew visiting Fort Lauderdale and in Monaco for the Boat Show.