Cost of Giving Birth in the USA

Cost of Giving Birth in the USA

The idea of giving birth in a country that’s not one’s home country or country of residence has become a popular trend that’s generally referred to as ‘Birth Tourism’. People now decide to have their babies in countries like USA,CANADA,GERMANY,FRANCE,UNITED KINGDOM etc The two most popular reasons for this is mainly for better health care and secondly the prospect of a brighter future for their child who can in some instances become a citizen of the birth country. However the cost of giving birth in the USA makes it really difficult to easily head out there to have your baby without careful planning.
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cost of child birth USA

The US is however believed to be the best place in the world to have your baby if you are interested in ‘Birth Tourism’, not just because the US is the number one country to visit, live or work in but because its health care system is one of the best. They also provide immediate citizenship to babies upon their birth and giving birth in the US as a visitor is totally legal as long as you can foot all your medical bills, and also demonstrate that you can. Giving birth in the US comes with so many benefits for your child like:
  1. Access to state of the art facilities and medical personnel, this is especially important in the event you expect any form of complications during childbirth.
  2. Dual citizenship which allows the child to visit the United states and 166 other countries plus an additional 29 countries based on the Nigerian passport amongst several other benefits.
  3. The right of your child to file for USA permanent residence for his parents and siblings less than 21 years of age
The cost of giving birth in the USA is quite flexible and in some cases unpredictable just as child birth itself is. There are usually two components;
  1. The Doctor.
  2. The Hospital.
Quite unlike the practice in Nigeria where paying for the hospital entitles you to the services of the doctors, in the USA, after paying the hospital bills, you then have to get a doctor who will handle the delivery of your child. The Doctor and Hospital prices vary significantly across the USA; you can however find some of the best prices for giving birth in the USA here. A lot of factors can affect the cost of giving birth in the US; some of these are ; Birthing type - Are you going to have a vaginal delivery or a caesarean section? The answer to this question could as a matter of fact make a difference from the range of $2000 to $30000 in your hospital bill. Vaginal births without any form of complications could cost $2500 on an average while a caesarean section could averagely cost $4500, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project about 7 in 10 births are vaginal deliveries and 3 in 10 for caesarean sections. It is noteworthy that a caesarean section is a major surgery that requires anaesthesia, longer hospital stay and high risk [higher instances of morbidity and mortality] according to Toni Stern, M.D. Chair of Obstetrics and Genecology at the Coney Island Hospital. A caesarean section simply means more resources and expertise are required and used. The Mother and her Baby’s Health post delivery - Although everyone hopes for a healthy mom and baby after birth, a single complication can drastically increase the Hospitals cost. Some other important Factors that could affect the cost of giving birth in the US especially for non residents are; Accommodation - On the average the cost of a small short let apartment in the US could start from as low as $500 a month and the duration of your pre-natal and post-natal care is going to be a huge factor here. Others are transportation and feeding.   There are a number of tips and tricks that can significantly reduce the cost of giving birth in the USA, the important thing is to start out planning and do so early.      
Dubai Visa – All You Need to Know.

Dubai Visa – All You Need to Know.

Dubai is one of the few developed/developing countries in the world that a Nigerian can get its visa without going to an embassy or any of the elaborate processes usually required to get the visa. This is probably why most Travel Agencies in Nigeria offer the Dubai Visa service, there are actually loads of fakers out there so you have to be careful. Also there are measures in place that make it difficult for Nigerians (especially Males) less than 40 years of age to get the Dubai visa, actually very few (you can count them in fingers of one hand) Travel agencies in Nigeria can get Dubai visa for Nigerians less than 40 years, yours truly is one them few travel agencies in Nigeria that get it, irrespective of age, gender or whatever limitation you might have read of out there,you can see our press release when the restriction came into place here. Actually, a lot of our customers are millennial; we’ve gotten Dubai visas for 19-year-old male Nigerians without any hassles.  Actually getting a Dubai visa can be as easy as paying $100, providing your international passport data page and waiting for 48 Hours to get the 96 Hour Dubai visa. Yes! you read that right, there is a 96 Hour Dubai Visa and yes you can get it in as little as 2 days. So this blog post will try to educate you on the correct names for the various Dubai Visa types, their requirements and application processes, what you can or cannot do with them and importantly the cost of getting one. Immigration Update!! UAE Immigration now requires additional information and supporting documentation for the processing of all entry visas for the United Arab Emirates for all Nigerian Single Travellers / Business Persons: The following details are required at the time of processing visa applications:
  • The last 3 months personal bank statements (Up to month prior to travel, If family booking, only required for head of the family)
  • Credit Card copy in the name of the traveller
  • Hotel booking must be in place prior to visa application
  • Family Travellers can apply for a tourist visa which will entitle a max 30 day stay. Individual Travellers / Business Travellers can only apply  for a service visa will entitles a max 14 day stay. If your client wishes to have an extended duration they must exit the UAE and apply a new visa.
  • Service Visa charges are the same as Tourist Visa charges
  • Visa applications cannot be submitted for processing without the required supporting documentation
  • Family is defined as: Husband & Wife, with or without children. If the surnames on passports differ, a copy of the marriage certificate will be required
  • 96 hour visas are only available if a valid visa is in place for the next destination. Proof of visa is required.
The above requirement is applicable with immediate effect and any pending visa applications cannot be processed without the required information. 96 Hour Dubai Visa (Also known as Transit Dubai Visa, very few travel agencies in Nigeria can get this type of Dubai visa) Price: $100 Requirements:
  1. Visa Valid For Maximum 96 Hours Stay in the UAE
  2. Only valid for entry / exit via DXB & DWC(you will not be granted entry with this Dubai visa type if you arrive through any other Emirates besides Dubai, however, you can visit all the Emirates after entry via Dubai)
  3. Valid for 14 Days
  4. No age or sex restriction
  5. Quick visits, stop-over’s, short Holidays, tourism, family & friend visits
  6. The 96 hours is measured based on the flight timing
  7. A Hotel booking from our travel agency is required
  8. Valid International e-Passport data page and a passport photograph taken on white background is required to process the visa
  9. The international Passport must have at least 6 months validity remaining at the time you return from the trip.
  10. Visa process will take our travel agency 3 working days, please note that work days are Sunday to Thursday, Friday/Saturday is weekend
  11. Our travel agency’s work is administrative in nature, the decision to grant or reject visa is the prerogative of UAE Immigration
UAE Tourist Visa (Single Entry - Max 30 Days – also known as tourist Dubai visa) Price:  $140 Requirements:
  1. This visa is non-extendable
  2. Tourist Visa (Max 30 Days)
  3. Valid for 60 Days
  4. Entry from all UAE airports
  5. No age or sex restriction
  6. Used for Holidays, tourism, family & friend visits
  7. A Hotel booking from our travel agency is required
  8. Valid International e-Passport data page and a passport photograph taken on white background is required to process the visa
  9. The international Passport must have at least 6 months validity remaining at the time you return from the trip.
  10. Visa process will take our travel agency 5 working days, please note that work days are Sunday to Thursday, Friday/Saturday is weekend
  11. Our travel agency’s work is administrative in nature, the decision to grant or reject visa is the prerogative of UAE Immigration
Multiple Entry Cruise Visa Price:  $170 Requirements:
  1. Multiple Entry Visa Valid For 30 Days Stay from first date of entry in the UAE
  2. Valid for 60 Days
  3. This visa is non-extendable.
  4. A valid cruise ship booking must be in place to utilize this visa.
  5. Entry from all UAE airports
  6. No age or sex restriction
  7. Travel agency processing time of 5 working days (work days are Sunday to Thursday, Friday/Saturday is weekend)
  8. Used for cruise holidays only
  9. Hotel/cruise booking from us required
  10. Valid International e-Passport data page and a passport photograph taken on white background is required to process the visa
  11. The international Passport must have at least 6 months validity remaining at the time you return from the trip.
  12. Visa process will take our travel agency 5 working days, please note that work days are Sunday to Thursday, Friday/Saturday is weekend
  13. Our travel agency’s work is administrative in nature, the decision to grant or reject visa is the prerogative of UAE Immigration.
UAE Urgent 30 Day Tourist Visa (also known as Emergency Dubai Visa) Price: $175 Requirements:
  1. This visa is non-extendable
  2. Tourist Visa (Max 30 Days)
  3. Valid for 60 Days
  4. Entry from all UAE airports
  5. No age or sex restriction
  6. Used for Holidays, tourism, family & friend visits
  7. A Hotel booking from our travel agency is required
  8. Valid International e-Passport data page and a passport photograph taken on white background is required to process the visa
  9. The international Passport must have at least 6 months validity remaining at the time you return from the trip.
  10. Visa process will take our travel agency 3 working days, please note that work days are Sunday to Thursday, Friday/Saturday is weekend
  11. Our travel agency’s work is administrative in nature, the decision to grant or reject visa is the prerogative of UAE Immigration.
UAE Short Term Visit Multiple Entry Visa - 30 Days (Also known as Multiple Entry Dubai Visa) Price: $315 Requirements:
  1. Multiple Entry Visa Valid For 30 Days Stay from first date of entry in the UAE
  2. This visa is non-extendable
  3. Tourist Visa (Max 30 Days)
  4. Valid for 60 Days
  5. Entry from all UAE airports
  6. No age or sex restriction
  7. Used for Holidays, tourism, family & friend visits
  8. A Hotel booking from our travel agency is required
  9. Valid International e-Passport data page and a passport photograph taken on white background is required to process the visa
  10. The international Passport must have at least 6 months validity remaining at the time you return from the trip.
  11. Visa process will take our travel agency 5 working days, please note that work days are Sunday to Thursday, Friday/Saturday is weekend
  12. Our travel agency’s work is administrative in nature, the decision to grant or reject visa is the prerogative of UAE Immigration.
UAE Service Visa - Single Entry - Max 14 Days (also known as \Service Dubai Visa) Price: $150 Requirements:
  1. This visa is non-extendable
  2. Service Visa (Max 14 Days)
  3. Valid for 14 Days
  4. Entry from all UAE airports
  5. Not suitable for Nigerian Males less than 40 Years Old
  6. Used for Business, Holidays, tourism, family & friend visits
  7. A Hotel booking from our travel agency is required
  8. Valid International e-Passport data page and a passport photograph taken on white background is required to process the visa
  9. The international Passport must have at least 6 months validity remaining at the time you return from the trip.
  10. Visa process will take our travel agency 7 working days, please note that work days are Sunday to Thursday, Friday/Saturday is weekend
  11. Our travel agency’s work is administrative in nature, the decision to grant or reject visa is the prerogative of UAE Immigration
UAE 90 Day Work Visa (also known as Dubai Work Visa) Price: $500 Requirements:
  1. This visa is non-extendable
  2. Service Visa (Max 90 Days)
  3. Valid for 90 Days
  4. Entry from all UAE airports
  5. Not suitable for Nigerian Males less than 40 Years Old
  6. Used for Business and Job search.
  7. No Hotel booking is required
  8. Refundable deposit (upon exit from Dubai) of $1650 required
  9. Valid International e-Passport data page and a passport photograph taken on white background is required to process the visa
  10. The international Passport must have at least 6 months validity remaining at the time you return from the trip.
  11. Visa process will take our travel agency 15 working days, please note that work days are Sunday to Thursday, Friday/Saturday is weekend
  12. Our travel agency’s work is administrative in nature, the decision to grant or reject visa is the prerogative of UAE Immigration
 
Dubai Tourism Packages…Etihad or Emirates?

Dubai Tourism Packages…Etihad or Emirates?

DubaiTourismPackages I get this question a lot from people interested in Dubai Tourism packages or Business, which of the UAE airlines offer the best flight service to Dubai? Both Airlines offer great service, have good safety record and are aggressively competing against their long established European and American competitors. My travel agency counterparts think it’s a pretty straight forward comparison, they’d usually advice you go with Etihad if you’re on a tight budget but if you have an issue with not flying directly (flying to Abu Dhabi and connecting Dubai by Road) or the one hour bus ride offered by Etihad to connect Dubai from Abu Dhabi and have the extra money to spare then go with Emirates.  I don’t totally agree with that, so this blog post will try to x-ray some of the key elements to evaluate, in the end you’ll be the judge. Just a few caveats before I start;
  1. This evaluation is just for the Lagos – Dubai route, it does not include other destinations
  2. This is my opinion, I can understand any difference in view so please feel free to join the conversation and share your Dubai Tourism or Business trip experience in the comment section
I will look at the following elements;
  1. Flight Schedule/Frequency
  2. Pricing
  3. Flight Check-In Process
  4. Check-in Process
  5. Airport Experience/Duty Free Shopping
  6. Cabin Crew
  7. In-flight Entertainment
  8. Meals
Flight Schedule/Frequency        This is one of the clear cut parts of this comparison. I was utterly disappointed when Etihad reduced flight frequency last year; I was even more disappointed with how they handled the rescheduling of already scheduled flights (they didn’t offer adequate palliative and left most of the legwork to the Travel agency). We were actually expecting them to increase frequency to two daily flights(from one daily flight), that way they’ll have one morning and one night flight, that would have really put them ahead of Emirates which offered afternoon and Night flights(the afternoon flight isn’t a very good schedule for Dubai tourism packages). Presently Etihad offers six flights per week compared with two and one daily flights respectively from Lagos and Abuja daily offered by Emirates. There’s really no comparison here, it’s a KNOCK OUT! Pricing Emirates is usually about thirty to sixty thousand Naira more expensive that Etihad. Etihad is rarely more expensive. If you consider the impact of the price difference on the entire Dubai tourism packages, especially if it’s an entire family, you’ll agree with me that it is substantial. Some folks will try to justify this with the fact that you’ll be flying to Abu Dhabi and connecting Dubai by Road when you fly Etihad. This segment should be called Value for money but that’s the objective of this entire post so you can decide at the end of it which of the two airlines offers more value for money. Additionally there are some exclusive deals you can get on Hotels if you flight Emirates for instance there are Emirates exclusive rates for Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Burj Al Arab. Check-In Process This one really beats my understanding, Emirates’ check-in area is usually a lot more organised than Etihad’s. More often than not, Etihad’s check-in area looks like an Oshodi or Obalende, yes really crowded and a little disorganized, don’t get me wrong, the people are not unruly or anything like that(they have a good class of Nigerians flying Etihad) but it’s just always over crowded, there’s obviously something they’re not getting right Baggage Allowance This one clearly goes to Etihad though I wouldn’t call it a knock out as there’s still room for improvement…actually a lot of room if you consider how much shopping Nigerians do in Dubai. A good number of folks that buy a Dubai tourism package do so for the shopping opportunity that it offers Emirates’ Standard allowance: 30kg in Economy Class 40kg in Business Class 50kg in First Class Excess baggage rates per kilogram: USD 35(plus applicable taxes) – This can be purchased both from a travel agency and online   Etihad’s Standard allowance: 2 X 23kg in Economy Class 2 X 32kg in Business Class 2 X 32kg in First Class Excess baggage rates per kilogram: USD 35(plus applicable taxes)   3rd to 6th Piece of not more than 23kg per piece purchased via; Online/Travel Agency: $140 Contact Centre: $160 Airport: $200 Airport Experience/Duty Free Shopping This is one of those overhyped things not just for Dubai but for all countries, you’d be surprised how often you pay more for an item while thinking you’re getting a bargain because you found  it in duty free shop. I’d advice to buy only things you have a good idea of the price, that way you can tell if it’s a bargain or not.  This one goes to Emirates, yes that’s one of their strengths, the duty free shopping experience, and the entire airport experience is actually way up there. Etihad is a smaller airport and doesn’t offer half as much options as you’ll get at Emirates DXB Airport. The DXB airport feels like a major hub which it truly is. Several Dubai Tourism Package customers have complained about being treated discourteously at the Abu Dhabi airport, that’s just another reason why I prefer the Dubai airport experience. Cabin Crew I kinda find Emirates cabin crew to be less helpful and fashionable than Etihad’s.  The crew at Emirates consistently act phoney when you ask for a second helping of a meal or drink. I’ve been lied to (oops we’ve run out!! But then you still see them serving it) and even avoided (they promise to get it and just avoid you subsequently or pretend to not recognize you afterwards).  Etihad’s crew are usually fashion on point, perfect dress size, perfect make up etc while Emirates usually have petite, slightly bland and unfriendly Asians. Both airlines lack local content, I’ve never seen or heard of a Nigeria crew or  heard of a crew that speak a local language, I actually find it quite offensive when they boast about having a crew that can speak several languages including Punjab, Hindi etc Hello!!!! This flight is from/to Nigeria, besides English we speak Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo and over 50 other local languages, is it too much to ask that you speak one of the local languages or maybe pidgin English? No offence to folks from India but your Punjab and Hindi language skills is not useful to Nigerians as we do not speak or understand it. In-flight Entertainment I’ll lean slightly towards Etihad on this one as I prefer the user interface, screen responsiveness and general usability of the E-Box (Etihad’s In-flight Entertainment system). e-boxDon’t get me wrong ICE (Emirate’s in-flight entertainment system) is great and offers a whole lot of variety just like the e-box. I particularly like the fact that you can place your Duty Free Orders via the E-box. I noticed a few Nollywood movies on Emirates, while I’m not a big Nollywood  fan, I think lots of Nigerians will find it interesting. They should make efforts to improve their Nollywood content, I believe IrokoTV has rights to a very impressive selection of Nollywood movies, the best out there I might add, it shouldn’t be difficult for to arrange a deal for their rights. I was also slightly put off by how much commercials that ran on ICE advertising top resorts like the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Atlantis etc Meals You’ll most probably eat some curry or cheesy stuff on both flights, while this is not a problem for me; it is for most Nigerians so both airlines need to substantially up their game in this department. While the curry and cheesy stuff are great, our poundo/Amala with Egusi or vegetable soup taste better to us. It’ll be great to have rice and plantain too. I learnt Emirates now offer rice, Eforiro etc Way to go guys! Based on that I’ll give this one to Emirates. You can have your Travel Agency put in a special meal request which is subject to approval for both airlines. Our travel agency has however not ut in a request for a local meal before, we will try this in the next days The Verdict! This evaluation so far is as seen and experienced by me, add to that also the fact that I work for a travel agency, so customers also share their Dubai Tourism travel experience I’d really let to get your opinion of both airlines, feel free to drop your comments
How To get a Free Flight/Hotel Upgrade

How To get a Free Flight/Hotel Upgrade

Do you ever wonder what goes on behind the drawn curtain separating Business/First Class cabin from the Economy cabin? Collapsible, wide and leather seats, gourmet food served in proper plates (not plastic), welcome champagne,high end amenity kits and the general air of "Very Important People". It usually cost an arm, a leg and maybe an ear to get this. Now imagine you can get an upgrade so you can enjoy all that without breaking the bank or possible for nothing!  All that will taste a lot better if you are not paying any extra for it.You can get that upgrade for little or nothing if you follow this guide and have a bit of luck on your side. Read for the tip and please, do not hesitate drop any tip you have that is not include here, we'd greatly appreciate it. FLIGHTS
  1. Join a frequent flyer program.You will more likely be upgraded if you have a relationship with the airline, pledging your loyalty to the airline can be considered a great relationship, additionally the high you climb u that loyalty ladder by logging more and more miles, the more like it is that you will get that upgrade. This is an investment that might not yield dividends immediately or in the sure run but surely will in the long run. You can actually be able to use accumulated points from the logged miles to get an upgrade or a fresh ticket depending on how many miles you have accumulated.
  2. Subscribe to the airline's email newsletter and follow them on social media, the airlines contact you close to the flight date you offer cheap upgrades, Qatar air is popular for this.
  3. Long Haul fights offer so much value for money or points so don't shell out those hard earned points for short city hops.
  4. There are often staff perks that you can take advantage of so if you have family or friend working for an airline, it is time to ring them.
  5. If you are celebrating a milestone like birthday, wedding or anniversary, let the airline staf know, have your travel agent put a comment on your booking to indicate that the trip is an anniversary get-away. They might have heard this a million times  from several others so you might want to have a proof with you, you might just get that upgrade.
  6. Do you have a professional title? If you can precede your name with Doctor or Professor, ensure that you have proof for the title, there's just a chance you might get that upgrade.
  7. Being nice to the airline staff might not guarantee an upgrade but being nice and friendly with a smile to the check-in counter staff can help.
  8. Business/First class usually have folks who are at the top of their fields of endeavor, the rich and beutifful so you might want to dress like you are one of them so you don't look odd, that increases the chances of getting the upgrade.
  9. Don’t  pre-order a special meal if you can do without it. If you order a special meal, it rules you out of an upgrade as flights usually do not care spare special meals, you can be in Business class and eat economy class meal.
  10. It is helpful to be flexible. When a flight is full, airline staff might “push” passengers onto the next flight. This move might be a lucrative one. Incentives for accepting the move might include an upgrade. If you can afford to to be pushed, don't forget to inform the airline staff during check-in.
  11. Discreetly inform the gate attendant!
  12. Be first in the line. When the flight gets overbooked, it may just be a case of first-booked, first-pushed. However, the opposite might just be the case. There’s no sure way of predicting this in advance. When a flight is overbooked, the last passengers to check-in may just find themselves in the stretched seats.
  13. Arriving a little late, but not very late, could help too. You’re expecting the economy seats being filled already.
  14. You need to be strategic when choosing your flight times. Early morning flights are common with business travelers so it's more unlikely to get an upgrade on such flights, however your chances of upgrading are higher if the flight is for later in the day. Also During school holidays, top holiday destinations will be busy but maybe not in all classes. Hard pressed families will most probably be in economy class and this frees up space in business/ first class.
  15. Fights during Bank Holidays and other lower times of the year when business travelers usually don't travel is a good time. Don't just consider US or UK holidays, consider your origin and destination country. Check out what's happening like Conventions and expos, these are periods you should avoid as the business travelers keep the business/first class cabins filled up.
  16. If you’re really want to get an upgrade, do a bit of research, you can actually find the air plane seat configuration on seat guru, from there you can tell the flights with more business/first class seats and target those as you have higher chances with them.
  17. Look up your flights a day before departure to see how full it is. A sold out flight might just mean that the airline will look for volunteers to push to the next flight, this presents a nice opportunity to negotiate for an upgrade.
  18. Have some cash with you on your travel date. You can inquire at the counter how much an upgrade will cost, since it's a last minute upgrade you might just get a very good deal.
  19. Travel alone. If you are by yourself without any child or partner,it'll be easier to get an upgrade, if there are two of you but only one stretched seat, they will usually skip you and look for a single traveler.
  20. It is quite rare for a family to get an upgrade but you can increase your chances by ensuring that your children are well behaved, you can push things further by making separate bookings for each family member, that way even when there are few seats, some of you can get them.
  21. If a cabin crew asks you to move to create space for another passenger, please do so. There might just be a stretched seat upfront that they'll move you to.
  22. If there’s an issue with your tray table, seat or any other thing, politely and discreetly tell the cabin crew, if there isn't a a free seat in economy class cabin, you might just be moved to business/first class cabin.
HOTELS
  1. The rules her are quite similar, sign up for the hotel's loyalty program.
  2. Ensure that you are subscribed to their news letter and follow them on their social media channels.
  3. Don’t book the cheapest room, go for the  second and next in line. As far as the hotel is concerned, the jump to a suite will not be as far as it will from the cheapest room type.
  4. Do not be too specific about your booking. If you are flexible with the room type, you most likely will not be assigned to a room until you are about to check-in and which time you can nicely ask.
  5. As the case with flights, let them know how important the trip is. Is it a honeymoon, life event, wedding anniversary, birthday etc Inform the hotel about this at the point of booking(you can easily put a remark to inform them), even if you don't get an upgrade, you can actually get other freebies.
  6. Be polite and friendly. If there's a problem with your booked room, explain nicely you might just get that upgrade if the same room class is no longer available.
  7. Make your booking directly with the hotel, you can do the on their website or by writing them an email or even calling them.
  8. Do a bit of research before booking, you can tell them you saw a cheaper price online and negotiate the upgrade based on that as they will naturally try to better the offer.
  9. Travel out during low season. Boutique hotels in particular  (hotel that cater to business travelers) are more likely to have available rooms when the business travelers are not there.
  10. Conversely, during high season most of the the cheaper rooms in the hotel may be occupied so the hotel can bump you into more comfortable room.
  11. It is generally easier to get an upgrade for shorter stays, one or two nights ideally.
  12. Arrive late. Rooms may free up during the course of the day and the hotel will be keen to fill them up. You also want to speak to a staff that has the power to upgrade your room who will usually close at about 5pm so don't leave it for too late.
  13. Search out new hotels or hotels with new management. They’ll be working hard to impress you and get your referrals.
2015 Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Awards

2015 Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Awards

Trip Advisor compile reviews for the various destinations to come up with the Traveler's Choice Award. This award is as real and unbiased as it gets because it is strictly based on user reviews, so when users bad reviews of a  destination, you'll see it go down or even leave the list. I'll give you a really practical example, I decided to include a 3 night Istanbul stop over in my summer holiday mostly because it had the number one spot in 2014 awards so I figured I had to see things for myself, I'd been to Istanbul a few year back but it didn't wow me that much I wanted to see how things had improved. Things indeed had improved but I didn't quite like the traffic plus I had a nasty encounter with a taxi driver(if you find yourself in Istanbul, be very careful with the taxi drivers, they're thieves and scam artists and will easily gang up against you) which I later learnt a number of folks experience the same thing. You'd imagine the first country I checked out when the 2015 list came out....I wasn't totally disappointed as Istanbul had dropped to the 3rd spot, I would've preferred a double digit spot.So without further ado, here are the top 25 destinations for 2015.....Enjoy #25 Destination(Lost 3 spots): Sydney #24 Destination(Lost 7 spots): Dubai #23 Destination(New): Hong Kong #22 Destination(New): Queenstown #21 Destination: Budapest #20 Destination: Athens #19 Destination(New): Kathmandu #18 Destination(Gained 2 spots): Bangkok #17 Destination(Lost one spot): St. Petersburg #16 Destination(New): Cusco #15 Destination(New): Ubud #14 Destination(New): Goreme #13 Destination(Gained 2 spots): Barcelona #12 Destination(New): Zermatt #11 Destination(Gained 1 spot): New York City #10 Destination(Gained 9 spots): Cape Town #9 Destination(Lost 2 spots): Paris #8 Destination(Gained 6 spots): Buenos Aires #7 Destination(Lost 5 spots): Rome #6 Destination(Lost 3 spots): London #5 Destination(Retained Spot): Prague #4 Destination(Gained 4 spots): Hanoi #3 Destination(Lost 2 spots): Istanbul #2 Destination(Gained 7 Spots): Siem Reap #1 Destination(Gained 5 Spots): Marrakech