Sunday, October 31, 2010

7 Tips For Travel Trips

We love taking trips, whether it’s a short road trip, or a longer trip by air to some distant exotic place. But all too often we fail to plan for our trip and the result is frustration and annoyance.

1. For road trips, get the right maps and plan your route thoroughly. Everything won’t go exactly to plan, but at least you’ll have much fewer nasty surprises.

2. Never, ever make a joke about bombs or terrorists near security at an airport. Many people have jokingly mentioned they have a small bomb in their case as their luggage is being inspected. Later at the police station they deeply regretted their stupidity.

3. Be immediately suspicious in airports, railway or bus stations when someone bumps into you. It may be a pickpocket. Also be aware if something is spilled on you, or a spot on your clothing is pointed out to you. These things are designed to distract your attention from what is really going on: the theft of your valuables.

4. While cruises make planning easy with their all in charges, there is likely to be many extra items that you should budget for. These include, taxes, surcharges and fees, tipping, drinks, some shore excursions, shopping purchases, etc.

5. The most obvious thing to check on before setting off on a foreign trip is the state of the local weather where you are going. You don’t want to arrive in a tee shirt if it’s snowing, or in a fur coat if it’s in the 90s.

6. When travelling with children bring along recent photos of each one. If a child gets lost, the photo will prove invaluable in helping to locate the child again.

7. A trip to a theme park will suffer from a lack of careful planning. Some parks are so big that planning is essential. Get a list of all the rides and a map of the park, as well as opening and closing times, before setting off.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

7 Tips For Successful Travel

We all travel a lot more now than our ancestors did. We travel all over the world and only think of the jet lag, and not the vast distances we cover. Our world has become smaller and more reachable. And this is a good thing. It helps us to understand different cultures, different people with different ways of living and working. But there are a few essentials you should always check before setting off.

1. It may seem obvious, but many people don’t bother to find out the most basic things about the country they will travel to. You should do this to avoid surprise or disappointment.

2. Check on the kind of weather you will find where you are going. If you live in Florida and travel to northern Greenland, you will be in for a shock unless you know that much colder weather is normal there.

3. Be sure that the medical and general insurance coverage you have (you do have, don’t you?) is adequate for your destination.

4. Do you have all the paperwork and documentation required for your trip? If not, get it!

5. Are there any diseases you will need immunization against where you are going? Check and find out before getting exposed.

6. If you plan on driving in the place you intend to travel to, check that you have an acceptable licence. You may need an international driving licence, for example. And are you familiar with the local driving laws where you are going? If not, become familiar, fast.

7. Finally, the most obvious one of all: is your passport up to date? And if not, do you have enough time to renew it before you set off? You’d be surprised, amazed even, at how many people get this one wrong.

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Friday, October 29, 2010

7 Killer Ways To Beat Jet Lag

When you’re headed out on a vacation or business trip the last thing you need is to feel tired or run down. But with these seven tips to beat jet lag, you’re sure to stay alert and ready for your entire trip.

Keep it the same

When you’re not traveling for long, you can usually avoid jet lag by sticking to your normal routine. Keep your watch set to your ‘home’ time and just do what you’d normally do at home—eating, sleeping, exercise, etc.

Your body won’t even notice the time chance when you do this, and it will readjust without any problems on the way back.

Sleep like a baby

When you’re traveling out of your normal time zone, you’ll want to try to keep to normal bedtimes. And while you might have troubles at first, try to get the same number of hours of sleep per night. This will help your body fall into a new rhythm for the time when you’re away.

Even if you can’t fall asleep right away, try to get into bed and close your eyes until you fall asleep. Eventually your body will pick up the clue and you’ll get all the sleep that you need.

Fill yourself up

Many times jet lag can be made worse by becoming dehydrated on your trip or while you’re headed there on the plane. To combat this you’ll want to make sure that you’re drinking plenty of fluids as you travel—water and juices especially.

Alcohol can dehydrate the body so it should be avoided if you can. And if you’re expected to drink at a business function, just follow each glass with a chaser of water.

Find the rhythm

When you’re headed into areas where the time will change significantly, you want to set your watch when you get there and start following the local hours. You’ll want to eat when you are supposed to eat, sleep when it’s dark, etc.

By changing the routine that you’re used to directly into the new hours, you can help to offset jet lag before it even starts. Follow your new daylight and darkness hours to adjust your circadian rhythms.

When you arrive

One of the best ways to avoid jet lag is to do some form of exercise when you arrive at your destination. This can be as simple as a walk or a few calisthenics in your hotel room. Do a few jumping jacks to get your heart pumping or start touring the town.

When your body gets exercise, it can ‘bank’ the extra energy and help you adapt to changing light conditions.

If you just can’t sleep

When all else fails, you can try a sleeping pill to re-teach your body when to sleep. Normally this isn’t recommended, but when you’re on an extended trip or you have to switch time zones frequently, a sleeping pill can help to give you some rest in order to be alert during the day.

Natural cues

And if the sleeping pill doesn’t appeal to you, you can try aromatherapy.

Find a good travel kits that includes oils that you can smell for energy as well as soothing oils for relaxation, like lavender.

With all of these tips, jet lag will no longer follow you on your next trip.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

5 Common Techniques For Getting Luxury Discount Travel

The majority of people are not financially well off, but would like to be. Sometimes you can temporarily live like the “rich and famous” and enjoy the excitement of luxury travel.

So, as the saying goes, if you have champagne taste on a beer budget, let’s get going.
We’ll explore a few techniques on how you can enjoy luxury travel on a budget.

A laid out plan will be the most important aspect of obtaining luxury deals and accommodations without spending any more money than a lower rated resort. Travel in style with the following strategies.

Technique #1. Find Affinity And Loyalty Programs.

Capitalize on the flexibility and leverage you have in the competitive travel industry. Many companies want your business and offer lots of incentives to compete for your travel funds and to keep you as a customer.

For example, if you provide a service, you typically look out for your best customers and give extra perks to keep them coming back. These companies reward travelers who remain loyal to them with unadvertised specials and extras. This is the general idea behind frequent traveler programs and such.

Technique #2. Select The Right Travel Specialists To Work With.

As you’re researching destinations and comparing pricing online, note that all online travel companies aren’t equal. Lots of agencies have preferred status with suppliers who can in turn pass on these deals to you.

Again, this is just like we talked about earlier, only this time, the companies and suppliers are getting the great deals to pass on to you.

Technique #3. Turn Problems Into Opportunities.

Choose a few top-notch companies that you would like to use over and over again so that you can obtain loyalty bonuses and discounts. If they make an error, take advantage of the situation in a professional manner, but don’t take advantage of the situation.

These companies desire to maintain consistent levels of quality and rely on their customers to provide constructive feedback and satisfaction/dissatisfaction. If a representative is not willing to work with you, ask around to find someone who will.

Technique #4. Just Ask.

One of the easiest and simplest techniques you can do is to just ask. All they can say is no. Sometimes a special occasion may be enough to get you an unexpected surprise. Simply do it and don’t be afraid to ask.

You can simply ask for an upgraded vehicle, accommodation, or airline seat. It doesn’t hurt and you’re no worse off than you were before you asked. In other words, you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

Technique #5. Timing Is Everything.

Keep this in mind that travel is at it’s most expensive during holidays and other peak times of the year. However, if the time of year to travel is important to you, such as a special event you’ll be attending, traveling during major holidays or school vacations, and if you desire to get luxury travel for the best value you want, try to book as far in advance as possible.

Don’t forget the power of the internet. It can be one of your most effective tools in researching destinations, while getting luxury travel at bargain prices.

Have fun and happy travels!

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

4 Star Hotels

Everyone wants to go on a nice, relaxing, and quiet vacation every once in a while, but not everyone has the kind of money that can buy a 5-star hotel stay for the weekend. In that once every few years chance that you have saved just enough for a lush weekend trip, you have the choice to go all out on a first rate hotel and have little left for going around town, or to pick a more reasonably priced 4 star hotel and still have a good budget for seeing the best that the hotel’s surroundings has to offer.

No matter what popular tourist destination you go to, there are 4-star hotels that are more than capable of competing with the first class hotels in the same town. Despite the difference in ratings, it is possible that the only disparity that counts between 4-star hotels and their 5-star counterparts is the price range, especially if you’re one customer who is only slightly particular about the kind and range of services offered in the hotel you choose to stay in. Some 4-star hotels even offer a wider range of amenities than some 5-star hotels at a lower price. Also, some 4 star hotels are considered the best in a certain region, as a 4-star rating is the highest for the hotel grading body ruling that area.

However, notice that the prices also differ according to the hotels’ respective distances from the center of the city or town; the prices reduce as the location moves farther from the center. The factor of how much of the city center you want to see should therefore play a role in planning your luxurious weekend getaway. After all, what you save in accommodations could easily turn into expenses when you need to spend more on transportation between the hotel and tourist spots you intend to visit.

Four-star hotels are also suitable for business travel, as business centers and conference halls are available in most. The business traveler can also benefit from the luxurious service a 4-star hotel offers, as the hotel can easily cater to a mix of business and pleasure. Some can even be a source of inspiration and tranquility, particularly those with extra provisions for privacy, such as soundproofed rooms, and wellness facilities, such as room massage service and a Zen garden.

Here’s a list of 4 star hotels that may be worth spending a weekend in someday: the Sofitel Paris Porte de Sevres, which also offers wireless Internet access in some rooms, 3 restaurants catering to different tastes, and the option to stay on one of its eight non-smoking floors; the Hotel Forum in Rome, with a roof-garden restaurant overlooking the Venice Square and the Colosseum; and the Elite Hotel Praha in Prague, which is located in a quiet, yet scenic part of town, and features a day bar with a small leisure garden and a grill club that showcases the best of French, Argentinian and Spanish cuisines.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

4 Season Tents - Your Top Tips Buying Guide

Basically, the difference between 4 season tents and regular tents is that a 4 season tent is tighter, with heavier and tougher outer walls. When it is all zipped up, there is no space anywhere for the ruthless natural elements to get in and disturb your peaceful sleep. In addition, 4 season tents are often more durable so that they can shield you safely from extremely heavy storms if need be. This does not mean, however, that you cannot use 4 season tents in more pleasant weather. Many styles of 4 season tents come with the option to unzip the outer fly so that you can catch cool breezes on summer days, while still being able to endure Ice - Age -type of temperatures in the winter.

Basically, the difference between 4 season tents and regular tents is that a 4 season tent is tighter, with heavier outer walls. When it is all zipped up, there is no space anywhere for the elements to get in. In addition, 4 season tents are often stabler so that they can resist extremely heavy storms if need be. This does not mean, however, that you cannot use 4 season tents in nicer weather. Many styles of 4 season tents come with the ability to unzip the outer fly so that you can keep cool on summer days, while still braving near-arctic temperatures in the winter.

You will find, however, that the more extreme the conditions for which it was designed, the more specialized a 4 season tent will be. For example, some true mountaineering 4 season tents are not things I would advise you to bring for camping on a warm summer night. The ventilation panels are narrow and the end result is that it will be stuffy and hot at night if you are camping during the summer with them. Additionally, they are made of heavier, stronger stuff, and as a result are an added weight for your normal camping trip in which lightness is a virtue.

And of course, good 4 season tents can come at exorbitant prices, running  up to $500 dollars and more sometimes. Compare this to an ordinary 1-2 person summer tent that you might grab at your neighborhood camping store. I got mine for a tiny sum of $30 dollars and, although it provides little warmth, it gives me all the comfort I need during the summer when combined with a decent sleeping bag.

The truth of the matter is, it is important to think about what you will be doing before you go out and buy expensive mountaineering equipment and 4 season tents that you will not need. You must make sure that your equipment fits its purpose.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

3 stars hotel in Rome

Rome is a reality. For Rome, more than for most cities, this always has been the central dilemma of city life:how to maintain its priceless heritage while improving the lot of its cheerfully inhabitants. Certainly the 2000 year Jubilee inspired efforts of recent years and have made a difference. Transport has been boosted, new museums have been opened and old ones renovated, and the long awaited Auditorium has opened to universal praise. The city hasn't re-found the heady days of la dolce vita, but it's looking good and it's feeling better than it has for a long time.
Pride also informs much of the typical Roman character: romans are first and foremost Roman and only then italian.

In a country of unparalleled beauty, both natural and architectural, Rome remains the jewel in the crown. In no other city you can see so much in such a short space of time and yet merely scratch the surface. About 10 feet below ground level exists another world, with traces of other settlements deep still. In Rome every period has left a mark. In fact from the time when it was a caput mundi ( center of the world ), through the development of Christianity to the present day ( a period of more than 2.500 years ), Rome has become an unsurpassed anthropological and archaeological archive of Western culture. And it's enough to wander the streets to see this.

The art of Michelangelo, the sculptures of Bernini, the palaces and the cobbled streets, the perfectly formed piazzas, Rome is all this. Nothing is hidden, it's all there waiting for you much as it has been for hundreds of years.
Rome is yet the capital of the world:it's a city of palaces and temples, more glorious than those which any city contains. And it's also a duty of the Rome hotel owners to keep efficient this immense heritage.

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

3 Star Hotels

Finding a hotel that suits your budget comes easy when you take into consideration the activities that you will be busy with, or what you want to achieve during your stay. If being extremely pampered and totally worry-free comes last on your list, then you’re welcome to try a 3-star hotel. This is not to say that 3-star hotels do not offer any degree of comfort or luxury; it just seems impractical to be paying for lavish amenities when you won’t have the chance to take advantage of them.

If you’re a business traveler, who intends to be primarily engaged in, well, business matters, and not that concerned with having a fun and relaxing time, then a 3-star hotel with provisions and facilities that are useful for conferences and business correspondence would be a good recommendation. Furthermore, the affordable price is more attractive if you intend to keep the business expenses low. Also, an in-house restaurant, bar or lounge eliminates the need to go elsewhere for lunch or dinner meetings, and thus saves you time that you can spend preparing for presentations instead.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the tourist spectrum, a weekend traveler who has a planned itinerary can find good value in a 3-star hotel that is within minutes of a popular tourist destination, such as Paris or Amsterdam. Just because you’re visiting a top tourist spot doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot on accommodations. For instance, three star hotels like the Hotel Windsor Opera in Paris (only over a kilometer away from the city center) even offers services such as a business center facility, room service, and a fitness center, with rates that are at least about fifty percent lower than the best hotels located in the heart of the city.

While 3-star hotels may be expected to offer more than basic accommodations, it may be best to assess them and make a choice according to your expectations and needs. For instance, you may deem access to a fitness center more important than room service, or prefer Internet access and a business center to availability of a swimming pool. Whatever you prefer, be reassured that you can consult with an online guide and make sure to ask the right questions that will ultimately lead to a pleasant 3-star hotel experience.

Here are other 3-star hotels that may be of interest: the Hotel Sylter Hof in Berlin, which prides itself as a good location for business functions, and is immediately accessible to the city’s major airports; the Hotel Diplomatic in Rome, which is within close range of the Spanish Steps and the Vatican, and boasts of a fitness center, a swimming pool, and impeccable service; the Kensington Close Hotel and Healthy Spa in London, which offers an indoor swimming pool, beauty treatments, a health and fitness club, and three restaurants; and the Circus Circus Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, which is a family oriented hotel that offers live circus act performances and boasts of the Grand Slam Canyon theme park.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

01 What can lanzarote offer you on your next holiday ?

Where is Lanzarote ? -

It is located on the eastern side of the Canary Islands and is a mere 13 miles wide and 40 miles long, so you can travel to each and every part of the island and spend the whole day not having to worry about lengthy journeys to and from excursions and one of the most appealing aspects is the climate as it offers warm temperatures and scarce rains all year around, turning it into a great place for those who wish to spend time at the beach and enjoy as many outdoor activities as possible.

Whether you are in to Land, Sea or Air sports there is plenty of everything here :

Cycling, Go-Karting, Golf, Horse-riding, Jeep Safari, Quad-Bike Safari, Rancho Texas & The Tropical Park

Boat Cruises, Catamaran, Fishing, Submarine or perhaps you just want to go to an aquapark.

Flight Tours, Hand-Gliding & Parasailing

If you prefer the more cultural aspects of a location, then you have to come to 'heaven'. This side of Lanzarote is best summed by the mere mention of one mans name - Cesar Manrique, a man whose influence can be seen all over the island at places like Castillo de San Jose, Ceuva de los Verdes, Fundacion Manrique, Jameous Del Aqua, Jardin De Cactus, Mirador Del Rio, Museo Campesino and the fantasic Timanfaya ("Fire Mountain") and in future articles I will write about each of these.

Lanzarote is the only place in the world where you have your lunch in a cafeteria that is built on top of an active volcano, where the heat to cook your food comes from the volcano itself ?
- See my article 21 on Timafaya

and where else can you go deep into a cavern in the middle of nowhere and find a huge ampitheatre used for live concerts, aplace that doubles as a nightclub two evening a week ?
- See my article 22 on the Northern Attractions

If you want a great beach, then again Lanzarote has one to compare with the very best.
- See my article 11 on Yaiza Beaches and Punta de Papagayo

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Friday, October 22, 2010

0 to 60 in 4.5 Seconds

Any one who has ever gotten on a race bike and felt the acceleration knows that such temptation is just to great. Once you give it some throttle you want to take it thru the gears. Yet, if you do choose to take it thru all the gears and redline the sixth or last gear you find yourself often over 135 miles per hour even on a 600 CC race bike. On the 750’s and 1000 plus CC race bikes you are well over 160 miles per hour at redline. Those of us who dare know that you must really pay attention when you are going at such speeds while sitting out in the open, namely you need to hang on.

Why do we sell these motorcycles to teenagers if we know that there is no possible way and no current teenager alive who owns one who has not sped on it? It is safe to say that such a statement is correct. Perhaps we ought to have speed limits within reason; for instance if you have taken a super bike class and have shown you can handle the raw power and speed; then you should be allowed to open it up all the way when no one else is around to get hurt. Montana use to have such a law on their roads, unlimited speed limit as long as you were not endangering others, this seems to be a good rule. Germany has the autobahn, yet we are denied the pursuit of happiness because some lawmaker who has no balls is afraid we might get hurt and it might go into the newspaper and make a few weak voters sob? No one has the right to deny those capable and willing to push the envelope a little our pursuit of happiness as such rules are in complete contrary to what it means to live in a free country.

Just because there are Jerry Springer guest stars out there still wearing their free T-shirts for being on the show and a few Jeff Foxworthy “here’s your sign” recipients is no reason to make laws to protect the weakest link of humanity from their destiny and happiness. The need for speed is an innate characteristic of mankind and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. For those who cannot perform, they can win the Darwin Award, but we should not make laws to protect the stupidest human and deny the crème of the crop their destiny. Think about it.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

"No! We're Not There Yet!"- Surviving the Family Road Trip

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, travel is increasing every year and it is predicted that even more people will be on the road this year. Traveling with the family can be a great way to spend quality time together but it can also be stressful. Increase your chances of a fun, stress-free and safe vacation by following these simple tips:

• Beat boredom with child's play. "Are we there yet?" What is it about these words that go straight to a parent's spine? Keep kids entertained with some great car games that make getting where you're going half the fun. Magnetic board games, portable video games and classics such as the license plate game, "I Spy" and the alphabet game will keep energetic kids in good spirits and actively engaged no matter how long the journey.

• Stop smart. When stopping at rest stops, make sure it's just your kids getting back in the car and not the bacteria and germs they pick up in the bathroom. Bring products that keep your family healthy, such as hand sanitizer and Lysol Disinfectant Spray, to kill rest stop germs that can be transferred from the rest room to the surfaces in your car. To prepare for those inevitable spills and "oops" moments, keep paper towels or wet wipes handy.

• Eat right. Sure, you can stop at the rest stop for food-along with the thousands of other people on the road. But roadside dining doesn't always offer the healthiest choices. Instead, keep your family's bellies full with snacks that you can eat right in the car, such as trail mix, string cheese, fruit roll-ups, bottles of water, and fruit. These easy, convenient snacks are yummy (for them) and healthy (for you).

• Keep everyone happy. Pick a destination that has fun activities for all ages. While it's tempting to head for the place that the kids will love, make sure there's something for mom, dad and grandma to do as well. Some top family vacation spots that offer something for everyone include Orlando, Fla., Anaheim, Calif., Williamsburg, Va., Hershey, Pa. and Yellowstone National Park.

Family vacations can be chaotic but immensely rewarding. And if you keep these tips in mind, you can help ensure safe and happy travels-at least until you get there.

When stopping at rest stops, make sure it's just your kids getting back in the car and not germs they pick up in the bathroom.

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