World Wide Travel Insurance: Travel Without Tensions

Saturday, November 3, 2012 4 comments

Is your travel plan taking you out of Europe this holiday? Then, you definitely need a worldwide travel insurance policy for yourself and your family members.
Many people are traveling out of their country or continent to far off places. Traveling worldwide is not a new phenomenon. With the fast growing up of speedy transportation facilities, people in large numbers are traveling to distant countries; the countries you are not familiar with. What if you fall ill there? What if your flight gets cancelled due to some or other reason? You might not have any idea of the costs of treatment in that country. It may be much higher than your home country. The solution to all these problems lies in purchasing worldwide travel insurance.
Worldwide Travel insurance is of various types:
Single Trip Travel insurance: Be it visiting Ibiza or the Caribbean islands, single trip world wide insurance is the best insurance to purchase if you are planning to travel for once a year. You can buy this policy for yourself individually or for all your family members.
Multi-trip or annual travel insurance: This is the perfect policy if you and your family like to travel more than once a year.
Adventurous travel insurance: Are you planning to go for tracking in the Great Himalayas of India, or go on a trip to the Sahara desert? Whatever may be the reason, if you like adventurous travel, buy adventurous worldwide travel now.
Business travel insurance: If you have to travel frequently to different countries for your business, then business world wide travel insurance is the best policy for you.
It is good if nothing happens to you during your world wide travel, but no one can envisage what is in store in their future. Any incident can happen; so it is better to purchase world wide travel insurance than be sorry.
To search for the perfect quote you need to do a lot of research. You have to find out about the various companies that offer world wide insurance, and then you have to find out their rates, compare them, and finally purchase them. All of these require a lot of time and patience. But now with the internet facilities this work is made easier and less time consuming. Browse through the pages and purchase for yourself world wide travel insurance.

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Travel Wise: Selecting A Virtual Travel Specialist

Saturday, October 27, 2012 1 comments

Gone are the days of relying on your neighborhood travel agent or spending the first day of your vacation hunting for a local outfitter or guide. Reliable travel specialists are located in virtually every corner of the world and can now be accessed on the web.
Whether you are searching for a tour operator, travel agency or outfitter, the following tips will help you weed through the plethora of travel specialists hawking their wears online.
Websites
The design and content of a company’s website speaks volumes about the way they do business.
• A travel specialist’s website should provide information that is useful, informative and fun.
• The contact information, including a phone number and an email address, should be easy to locate.
• The site should also include all relevant information, such as the cost of an excursion, maps and directions. And, for those engaging an adventure specialist, a packing list, either directly in the content or in the form of an FAQ (frequently asked questions).
Visible track record
Great website but how do I know they can deliver? Assessing a travel specialists credentials is not as difficult as it sounds.
• Many industry associations and tourist boards list members and accredited agencies on their websites.
• Check references, read testimonials from previous clients, pose questions on a travel forum.
Knowledge and experience
Nothing can be a substitute for knowledge and experience.
• Determine the agency or outfitter’s knowledge of your travel destination as well as the type of adventure you wish to experience.
• Find out how long they have been in the business and whether they are accustomed to organizing tours for singles, families or seniors.
Location of the outfitter
If they are not located in the country you will be traveling to you may also wish to understand:
• Who will sort out any problems, accidents, or emergencies that may arise during your holiday?
• When was the last time they biked down that country road?
• Or how they will obtain a refund for the boat tour that was cancelled due to inclement weather.
Client service
If communicating with the specialist is a challenge there is a good chance your trip will turn out to be a disaster. Select a specialist that is committed to organizing quality trips and returning satisfied clients.
• How quickly does the agency or outfitter respond to your emails and telephone calls?
• Are they eager to assist you with the planning of your vacation?
• Do they go the extra mile to customize your itinerary?
• Does the proposed itinerary reflect your interests?
Cost vs. Value
Get more than one proposal and compare.
• Find out what is and what is not included in the price.
• Determine the location and quality of the accommodation.
• How many meals are included and whether they are buffet or a la carte.
• Is the trip fully guided or will you be touring on your own?
• In addition you will want to know what, if any, sightseeing is included and whether you will have any free time.
Conditions
Make sure to read the fine print before you commit. The terms and conditions should clearly spell out your responsibilities as well as those of the specialist.
• What is the company's policy on reservations, deposits and cancellations?
• Can a tour or excursion be cancelled for a lack of bookings?
• Who is responsible for additional payments in the event of a currency fluctuation?

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Travel To Austria – Your Year-Round Travel Destination

Saturday, October 20, 2012 0 comments

So you want to travel to Austria. Well, you've made a wise choice. Austria is considered one of the top year-round travel destinations. Because of its beautiful Alps, winter sports are quite popular in Austria, providing Austria with high tourist attendance in the winter and giving you a reason to travel to Austria any time of the year.
If you want to travel to Austria, here are some quick facts you should know when you go.
Austria – The Region
A land-locked country, Austria is located in Central Europe. It is a mountainous country with an area of 83,855 km2. Austria consists of nine provinces: Vorarlberg, Tyrol, Salzburg, Carinthia, Styria, Upper Austria, Lower Austria, Burgenland, and Vienna. Approximately 99% of Austrians are of Germanic ethnic origin and 78% are Roman Catholics. As for the terrain, the Alps occupy the southern and western regions of the country, and numerous forests, valleys, lakes, and rivers can be found throughout Austria.
The Weather
When you travel to Austria, it's important to have an idea about the weather and Austria's seasons. Austria has four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Summers are generally warm and pleasant with cool nights. Rain does occur during the summer season but the showers are normally short. Austria's winters are sunny, with reliable and frequent snowfalls. Winters are also cold and accompanied by warm and dry winds in some parts. However the weather overall is changeable throughout the year, so when you travel to Austria, pack appropriately.
The Culture
When you travel to Austria, you'll quickly realize why Austria is widely recognized for its rich cultural past and present. Austria's affluence of artistic achievements is obvious in its architecture and structures like the Stephansdom (Saint Stephen`s Cathedral), Schönbrunn Palace, Hofburg Palace, the "Goldene Dachl" in Innsbruck, Melk Abbey, and the "Loos-Haus" or the "Hundertwasser-Haus". Austria is also the birthplace of composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss Jr., Johann Strauss Sr., and Johannes Brahms. Like most European countries, Austria has a rich culture and affluence that awaits anyone who decides to visit.
The Activities
If you pre-plan your activities for your trip to Austria, here's a heads up. Because of Austria's mountainous terrain, two of the more popular activities for tourists tend to be skiing in the winter and hiking. There are a number of different resorts to fulfill your skiing desires. If you prefer flat terrain to hills, cross-country skiing opportunities are also available anywhere where there's sufficient snow and few buildings. As for hiking, there are thousands of kilometers of hiking trails that will allow you to explore the Alps and its breathtaking views. If you're looking for things to do when you travel Austria, skiing in the winter and hiking are two very popular and exciting Austrian activities for tourists.
Austria has a lot to offer travelers and those who want to travel Austria. From its rich culture to mountain activities, Austria is the answer to those who want to travel in Europe year-round.

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Pet Friendly Travel – 10 Tips For Hassle-Free Travel With Your Pet

Saturday, October 13, 2012 2 comments

In the United States alone, over 60 million households have one or more pets. Pet owners in 15 million of those households travel with their pets, and the majority stay in pet-friendly lodging. Fortunately, pet friendly hotels, condos and vacation home rentals do exist. If you will be traveling with your pet, here are some pet friendly tips to remember for safe and trouble-free travel.
1 - When you make your reservation, double-check that pets are allowed. An important advantage of reserving online is that you can see - in writing - whether or not pets are permitted and any restrictions. Online, you can print out your reservation receipt that includes the "pets allowed" information. Verbal reservations leave more room for misunderstanding and miscommunication. If reserving by telephone, ask the reservation person to mail you a confirmation receipt that includes the “pets allowed” information.
2 - Is your pet an experienced traveler? If not, you should begin getting your pet more accustomed to traveling. Begin by making your car a fun place for your pet. Get in the car with them, play with them, give them a treat – have them enjoy being there with you. Then take a short drive with them. Gradually increase the length of time and distance that you drive with them. Before making a long trip with your pet, the idea is to have them comfortable with being in the car for extended periods of time.
3 - Remember that securing your pet while traveling in the car is crucial for their safety and yours. Consider purchasing a dog safety harness for your pet to use while traveling in the car. If you have a station wagon or SUV, you can purchase a vehicle barrier that keeps your pet confined to the rear area. They are usually sold at pet stores or are available online.
4 - Be sure that your pet has an identification tag and wears it while on the trip. The tag should have your pet's name, your name and phone number. If possible, use your cell phone number, a home number and the number of where you will be staying.
5 – Carry a photograph of your pet with you on your trip. If your pet should ever become lost, you’ll be able to show others exactly what your pet looks like instead of just relying on a verbal description.
6 - Check with your vet for any recommended vaccinations appropriate for your trip - exposure to ticks while hiking, exposure to other dogs while boarding or heartworm prevention if your dog will be exposed to mosquitoes are examples of important preventative measures to take before your trip. If your pet is a dog, have an up-to-date rabies tag for your dog's collar. If you decide to day board your dog while on vacation, you may be required to show paperwork proof of the rabies vaccination.
7 - Once you arrive at the pet friendly lodging, inform the check-in person that you have your pet. You can inquire if there are any restricted areas where your pet should not be taken. Pet friendly lodging staff should be very accustomed to answering these kinds of questions and will appreciate your awareness.
8 - In your hotel room, condo, cabin rental or vacation home rental - never let your pet use the furniture or beds to sit, lay or sleep on unless you've covered the furniture or bed with your own cover. Place your pet’s food and water containers on a mat or newspaper in the bathroom, where cleanup will be easier. When staying in pet friendly accommodations, you may choose to feed your pet outdoors.
9 - If you'll be leaving your pet alone in the room or vacation rental, make sure the front desk or rental agent knows. Be sure that you leave your pet secured in their travel container or crate if housekeeping staff will be entering the room at any time to clean. You certainly don't want a housekeeper to enter and be surprised or even attacked by your pet! A pet may also run out of the room when housekeeping enters if left unsecured.
10 - Be very careful in warm or hot weather with leaving your pet in the car. Even when the outside temperature is only in the 70’s or 80’s, the interior of a vehicle can reach 100 degrees and higher, especially when parked in the sun. It doesn’t take long at these temperatures to cause serious or even fatal harm to your pet.
Traveling with pets and staying in pet friendly lodging can be lots of fun - after all, your pet is part of your family too. Just using common sense and planning ahead makes for an enjoyable and surprise-free vacation.

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Travel Writing - 4 Ways to Make Money As a Travel Writer

Saturday, October 6, 2012 3 comments

Have you ever wanted to travel the world and make money for writing about what you see? It's not as hard as you may imagine. Using a few underground techniques, you can be making a healthy income in no-time flat for writing about traveling the world!
Here are the ways you can make money as a travel writer:
1) Traditional Method: Selling Your Stories To Travel Magazines and Newspapers
This is the most common and most well-known method. Ironically, it also pays the least of all the methods.
You can take two paths when selling your article to a magazine. First you can query a magazine on their interest about a particular subject. If interested, they will agree to buy your article if it meets their standards. The second method is to write the article, then try and sell it.
To find magazines and periodicals that purchase travel stories, go to the library and check out the most recent Writers Market and you'll have over a dozen periodicals that pay anywhere from a few hundred bucks to a few thousand dollars for an article.
The risky side to this is that there are no guarantees of payment, and you must either have a great story or be a great writer to make this work. Not impossible, just tough.
2) Writing For Other People's Blogs
If you can write a 400-1500 word post on any given subject, you can sell the post to a blog at a set price. Heres why: Blogs constantly need new content. It's how they stay fresh with their readers and how they stay well-ranked in the search engines.
However, writing a new post every few days is a difficult task! If you take over that task for a blog owner, you're going to be saving them a TON of time and effort, providing their readers with great value, and making an income for a project that is relatively easy for you to complete.
You can get paid anywhere from 20 bucks to a few hundred dollars for this kind of writing... and it's a LOT easier to do that writing for a magazine.
Think of it: You spend a day writing 5 articles and sell the articles for $30 dollars each. Now you've made $150 dollars for a couple of hours of work and everyone is happy.
3) Writing for Your Own Blog
Another option is to write your own blog and use your travel stories to drive traffic to it. You'd be surprised at the number of bored, lifeless people who want to live vicariously through someone traveling the world. You can then monetize your blog by selling adspace or selling products related to your blog. This sounds basic, but it has made many-a-traveler tens and even 100's of thousands of dollars per year.
4) Completing Writing Projects on 'Project' Sites
There are literally hundreds of writing projects posted every single day on Elance, Guru, DoMyStuff, and other 'project' posting websites.
All you have to do is set up a free account as a content provider, then answer people's requests for writing projects. Once you're done, the funds will be electronically deposited into your bank account, and you can withdraw the money from any ATM in the world. You can then pick up another project... or complete several projects all at once!
Many projects go for $1000+ dollars, so it doesn't take a lot of these to be able to travel well and travel often. You can even do the work on the airplane ride to your next destination!
If you have any writing skill at all, you will be able to pick one of these methods and become a well-paid traveler.

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A Review of the Prestige Travel Service (PTS Travel) Income Opportunity

Thursday, October 4, 2012 0 comments

Whether you have a real love of seeing everything that the globe has to offer, or you simply love thinking about exotic locations while never leaving your cozy home, the idea of being a travel agent, someone who gets everyone where they are going, can be quite an attractive one. It is this idea that Prestige Travel Service (PTS Travel) is founded upon, and if you've ever wanted to help travelers get where they are going, they might have the perfect plan for you. When you are considering getting involved in what Prestige Travel Service (PTS Travel) is offering, take a look at some of the important things to keep in mind below.
Essentially, Prestige Travel Service (PTS Travel) can be started simply because you are looking for a deal on your own travel, whether you are traveling for business or pleasure. You can earn commissions through working for your friends, family and co-workers, and you'll find that by integrating travel into your life, you can see even more of it. The idea of being an independent travel agent can help you launch your goals and see the world all at once, so don't delay.
With Prestige Travel Service (PTS Travel), you will be working from home, independently. As long as you have a phone and an internet connection, you can make sure that you are in a position to take advantage of this unique opportunity. Many people this opportunity the one that they devote all their time to, and as such, you'll find that many people make a full time living from the proceeds. If you've ever wanted to be our own boss and ensure that you got to make your own dress code, this might be just what you are looking for.
There are many reasons to work for Prestige Travel Service (PTS Travel), but you'll find that the independence is definitely high on the list. You'll find that not only will you be working independently on a day to day basis; you'll also be in a position to make your own rules when it comes to when you want to work and how much effort you want to put in. While the effort that you put in will most definitely reflect your paycheck, this is still entirely up to you.
With Prestige Travel Service (PTS Travel), many people have made helpful inroads into their retirement. Many people are concerned that their retirement money won't stretch very far, and this is the perfect opportunity to supplement their funds. With the ability to work full or part time, excellent tax benefits and generous deductions, there are many people who have entered into this opportunity in order to make a life long connection after they have retired.
If you love travel and are hoping to have some of it subsidized, or you simply want some extra money to pay for luxuries to keep you afloat, this is a great opportunity. Take a look to see if it is for you, and if you decide it is, don't delay!

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Budget Travel Tips : Packing Clothing to Travel Light

Tuesday, October 2, 2012 1 comments

What clothing should you pack when you must carry all of your luggage yourself and you want to travel light ? Take a "bare" minimum of clothing with you. Dress comfortably and casually. Choose your clothing for its practicality. In warm climates loose lightweight cotton clothing will feel better against your skin than sticky synthetic fabrics and tight-fitting clothing. If you plan to visit tropical regions you can protect your skin from too much exposure to strong sunlight and disease-carrying mosquitos if you resist the urge to wear as little clothing as possible. You'll be far safer with long-sleeved shirts, high necklined tops and long trousers. Just keep to light colored, lightweight natural fabrics and loose-fitting clothes to maximize the comfort of your clothing.
Casual comfortable clothing, especially if you veer towards the sloppy, will also decrease your odds of being marked as a wealthy target by local thieves who work the tourist spots. If you want to look a bit more dressy for the evening, add a thin, weightless, colorful scarf to your simple neutral-colored day clothes. Leave your jewelry at home. It's heavy, bulky and could attract thieves. If you're a clothes horse, try to resist the urge to pack one set of clothing for casual daywear, a fancier set for restaurants at dinnertime and a third set for an elegant evening out. You'll just wear yourself out trying to be fashionable if you must drag all of these outfits around from locale to locale. Don't worry about being seen in the same set of clothing two days in a row. No one but your travel partner (or the hotel clerk) will see you more than once anyway and, if your partner is practical, he or she will also be wearing one set of clothing throughout the trip.
As to clothing choices, in general I wear one comfortable, loose-fitting pair of casual trousers and assume that if I get caught in the rain, it won't kill me. I'll dry out soon enough. I pack no spares. Extra pairs of pants or skirts can add considerably to your luggage load. Pick something in a neutral color that will go with anything else you'll be wearing. Trousers with plenty of pocket space are a plus, especially if you might be buying small odds and ends in souvenir shops, or a little junk food, as you stroll around sightseeing each day.
To travel light, I just pack one or two spare tops that are lightweight, comfortable and can easily be rolled up, as folding causes more creases than careful rolling. I pack just two pairs of underwear and socks for an entire trip. It's easy enough to wash out underwear, socks and shirts in hotel rooms and hang them up to dry for later reuse during the same trip. The choice is simple. For a two week trip you can lug fourteen pairs of underwear everywhere you go, or you can lug just two and regularly wash them out with soap and water in a hotel room sink. I suggest packing two pairs, not one, so that there is still a fresh change on hand for days when you may arrive in a place one evening and plan to move on to another town the very next morning, allowing for too little drying time. When you hit a larger city like Paris or London or Rome, where you plan to stay put for at least a couple of days, you can catch up on all your washing and know that clothing has plenty of time to dry, even if the air is damp.
Pack thin, lightweight natural cotton underwear and socks that breath and won't require as much drying time as heavier cottons or other fabrics. In summer weather clothing can dry out very quickly. In cooler damper months you might be running a radiator and that can double as a heat source for drying. Just be careful not to put wet things directly against radiators or electrical appliances and be careful, too, not to let wet items of clothing drip onto hotel room carpets. Wring clothes out well and keep them hanging in the shower until they no longer drip. Don't use new brightly colored clothing items that might drip colored dyes that can stain bathroom floors, floor mats or carpets in hotels.
Pack plenty of plastic bags. They take up little space, are weightless, and will be useful in a hundred different ways, from storing opened packaged foods to keeping your laundry well organized. For example, I'll use one bag for clean clothing such as underwear and socks, a separate bag for dirty ones (if I have to move on before clothing can be washed and dried), plus a third for items of clothing that have been washed, but are still damp when the time comes to vacate a hotel room and tackle the next leg of a journey. At the next stop they can be hung up to finish drying. By the way, washing clothes with ordinary soap eliminates the need to transport any additional type of cleaning agent.
If you'll need some sort of warmer clothing to wear on cooler days or on cool evenings, carry one item only. It can be used whenever you need it. Keep it lightweight, nonwrinkling and non-fussy. For example, a single cozy sweater or sweatshirt in a color that does not show off dirt is a very practical, soft and warm choice, far more practical that a bulky jacket (unless you're doing some real cool weather or winter traveling). When not in use, you can tie your sweater around your waist. That way you can keep it with you while you sightsee on days when the temperature is variable. If it remains tied around your waist you'll feel it less than if you add it to the weight of your backpack and it can even double as a pillow on long, drowsy train rides.
If you're traveling at a time or to a place where you'll need rain gear, a thin fold-up plastic poncho or rain coat is the least onerous thing to take with you. It can go right into your pocket and can easily be whipped out in case of a sudden shower. For city travel it's very easy to duck under awnings or into shops, making bulkier rain gear unnecessary. Sturdier rain gear or umbrellas are only needed for places where you expect serious rain or a lack of quick access to shelter.
Keep sleepwear light and minimal, as well, and if you absolutely must have slippers to wear while in your hotel room buy a pair of cheap, thin, weightless fabric slippers that can be slid into your pack without adding extra bulk.
Do not pack an extra pair of shoes. Shoes are the ultimate in unnecessary extra bulk and weight when considering travel clothing. In the movies the leading man and leading lady who are off on a journey appear in a different set of clothing and a new pair of shoes in every scene. Clearly, they are not carrying their own luggage around with them and, in fact, their bags never look quite large enough to even hold everything they wear. So much for the difference between movies and reality. I never pack extra shoes. I take my chances and figure that if my shoes get wet, I'll find a way to dry them out. I simply wear one pair of thoroughly broken in sneakers that offer good support in the soles. Nothing could be less practical than tight shoes or high heels, and the toll that they take on your feet may severely limit your enjoyment of a trip. How long can you walk around picturesque towns or stand around in museums when your feet hurt ? Wear low-heeled sturdy, but presentable, shoes with solid arch support. Wear shoes that have already been broken in and are comfortable enough for hours of daily walking but - beware - even shoes that you are accustomed to walking in daily can cause blisters when you're suddenly walking far more hours each day than normal. Keep a few bandaids or callous pads handy. Be sure that the shoes you choose for the trip are lightweight. Hold them in your hand and compare the various pairs of shoes that you're considering for the trip. When you expect to take thousands and thousands of steps each day of a trip, plus carry a backpack around each time you travel from one tourist destination to another, it's extremely counteractive to do it in a pair of shoes that themselves are heavy and require additional effort for every step that you take.
Try out some of these tips for traveling light by packing very little clothing, and then see what you think. You may never want to pack all sorts of stylish outfits again. You and your clothing can still look nice, just focus on quality and not quantity. See your clothing more for its function than for its fashion and you'll be free to enjoy the joys of traveling light.

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Comparing Online Travel Services To Your Local Travel Agent

Sunday, September 30, 2012 0 comments

Sites such as Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity claim to offer the best price - sometimes even guaranteed. They may even claim to offer the best rates on a luxury world cruise, a trip that travel wholesalers publicly prefer to be sold by agents. Others offer to beat any price or to match it. The emergence of online travel sites have put many agencies out of business, and claim to have conquered the consumer base by offering quality product at a lower cost. The volume done by these sites is said to make up for their marginal profit. But these are no more than half-truth cover stories. Let us debunk these myths one at a time.
What it the Product Difference?
When you call your local travel agency and ask for a price quote on an air and hotel luxury travel vacation package, most consumers will check against one of the more popular travel websites to see what prices better. True, two thirds of the time, you will find that the Internet will beat the travel agent price by about $150. So what is the difference? The travel website will assure you that it is the same package. They will even give you the exact same flights. But when you book with Orbitz or Expedia, they often do not take the seats off of the availability list immediately like travel agents do. This makes it easier for your flight to be over sold. And because your seats were the last tickets to be issued, you will be the first travelers to be bumped on an overbooked flight.
In addition, your hotel room will be in a “less requested area.” This means that while your room will be the category promised, you might have the ocean view room next to the ice machine or the ocean view above the resort nightclub. You may find your room in the only wing that did not receive renovations. And the worst part is, once you arrive and discover your room to be lacking, the help desk with the Internet travel sight can do nothing to help you, if you even get through in the first place. The resorts and hotels are aware that you are going to be in the most unfavorable rooms, in fact, that is why they sold them to the Internet travel site at a discounted rate in the first place.
How do These Sites REALLY Make Money?
Travel service sites proudly proclaim that they are able to further save customers money by selling large volumes of travel and collecting a smaller fee. There is some truth to this. Orbitz and Travelocity do have a large volume of travel reservations made, but what little they make in commission they make back in changed or canceled reservations. When you book your package, the price may not cover a number of other fees, such as a daily resort fee, an out of state car fee or some other taxes and fees that are asked to be paid at the airport, resort or cruise ship. Agencies will include this in their pricing.
And heaven help you if you have a change in plans. Depending on which site you book with, small changes to your itinerary can cost you between $50 to $100. Most travel agencies offer a travel insurance that covers you and your travel companions if you should have to cancel for a medical or personal emergency.
American Express Travel offers a cancel for any reason insurance that even covers your airline tickets. These Internet booking engines are now beginning to offer "insurance," but it rarely covers cancellations in full. Should you have to cancel your Internet trip, you might get less than half of the total cost of your vacation, or none at all.
So buyer beware! The Internet is a beautiful thing, but for travel arrangements, it is not always as good as it seems. Your local travel agent is there to offer the customer care you need back at home while you’re traveling abroad. When it comes to planning luxury travel vacation, you are truly better off using a travel agent. You will be guaranteed your place on a plane. If you don’t like your room, your travel agent can have it fixed in a matter of moments. And should there be a problem or if you should need to cancel, your travel agent will fight the battle to reschedule your plans at the lowest cost possible. Travel agents are not focused on quantity, but quality. In this day in age, travel agencies stay afloat with their repeat clients, who swear by them. So travel safe, not sorry, and call a travel agent to hear more benefits that each agency offers their clients.

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Bollywood’s Own Stars And Sights: Travel To Mumbai - Travel Information

Sunday, September 23, 2012 0 comments

Situated on the Arabian Sea, at the very western edge of India’s subcontinent, lies the country’s most populous and prosperous metropolis. Mumbai, formerly Bombay until 1995, is a massive island city bursting with life at every turn. Mumbai is home to the Hindi film and television industry, also known as Bollywood, and offers hundreds of movie houses including the largest IMAX dome in Asia.
Travelers to Mumbai may find themselves struck by the incredible disparity in wealth and lifestyle among the island’s inhabitants; however, most travelers will also notice a general friendly cheer during their daily excursions. Almost all of Mumbai’s population is not native to the island, which creates an eclectic mix of ethnicities, beliefs, cuisine and culture that has encouraged acceptance among most of the people.
Mumbai from the Outside
Mumbai has one of the most heavily traveled ports in India, making the large Bombay metropolis India’s commercial and financial capital. Visit the spectacular Gateway of India, the magnificent basalt structure built for King George V and Queen Mary in 1911 that greets nearly all travelers arriving in Mumbai by boat. From here you can catch a ferry to Elephanta Island to witness the most famous and intricate cave temples of Maharashtra. For people watching, head down to the Marine Drive Chowpatty and enjoy the beach breezes, shop the street-side vendors and get yourself a relaxing head massage.
Within the city limits lies Sanjay Gandhi National Park, which serves as a necessary sanctuary for breathable air in the north of Mumbai. Make sure to catch Bombay’s famous prowling leopards during your visit. There are also many walking and boating tours available as a means to experience the city. This is the best way to get your initial bearings and learn the general history and architectural background of Mumbai/Bombay.
A Bombay Treasure Island
The Mumbai municipality is a literal treasure hunt for the adventurous explorer. Centuries of history are written in the architecture, museums, bazaars and personal accounts littered all about the lively neighborhoods. St. Thomas’ Cathedral is a reminder of the British rule in Bombay and also the oldest English building in the city. The remarkable contrast of the whitewashed church against the detailed and ornate backdrop of Mumbai is a noteworthy sight. Visit the Prince of Wales Museum, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum, and discover ancient remnants of Maharashtra while inside an architectural landmark set among splendid gardens.
Mumbai, and certainly all of India, is the place to be your adventurous self. The first step is finding airfare to Bombay right here on cFares. Once you touch down on the tarmac in Mumbai, indulge your senses in the flavors of curry, the treats of street vendors, and the delicacy of fresh sweet pastry. Expand your senses and stretch your mind in a yoga class or meditation session, many of which are open to the public. This is your opportunity to discover the most unique and welcoming city in India, dive in!

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Sunday, September 16, 2012 0 comments

Today was our relocation day: we moved from our vacation apartment in Solana Beach in San Diego to the chic Sofia Hotel in downtown San Diego. On another brilliant day we arrived at the hotel at about 10 am, but our room was not ready yet, so we decided to embark on some brief local explorations.
Seaport Village’s Victorian, Mexican and East Coast style architecture and its four miles of meandering cobble-stoned walkways create an inviting waterfront environment for shopping and dining. The assortment of merchandise includes souvenirs, clothing, kites, wind chimes and unique gift ideas. Galleries and art retailers round out the offering, and live music is offered frequently throughout the year. An original 1895 carousel with hand carved animals enchants adults and children. Culinary options include four fine dining restaurants and thirteen casual eateries.
An outdoor exhibit of oversized globes currently adds extra interest to Seaport Village. “Cool Globes – Hot ideas for a cooler planet” features 40 inspiring globes that depict simple solutions to global warming. The globes were designed by local, national and international artists and have been traveling on the road in places such as Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco and will be on display in Los Angeles and London in 2009.
Further north of Seaport Village is the Embarcadero which features the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier that was in operation between 1945 and 1992. It was donated as a museum ship and has been moored on San Diego’s Navy Pier since 2004. Visitors can tour the ship’s flight deck, mess hall, bridge, flight control area, officers’ quarters, sickbay and portions of the engine room. Evening events are frequently held on this massive ship and a café adorns the rear of the ship. A portion of the ship overlooking San Diego Harbor can be accessed free of charge while admission to the rest of the ship is $17.00.
San Diego has long been a centre for the US Navy and the area around the USS Midway features many reminders of military history including the Battle of Leyte Gulf Memorial, dedicated to a historic naval battle in 1944. The Bob Hope Tribute, also called the National Salute to Bob Hope and the Military, is an impressive collection of larger than life-size bronze figures that commemorate Bob Hope’s five decades of support in entertaining soldiers, airmen and sailors, starting in 1943.
The National Salute consists of 16 figures on a circular plaza that surround a sculpture of Bob Hope, entertaining the crowd in front of a microphone. The surrounding figures are authentic depictions of military personnel from different eras including World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War era and the first Persian Gulf War.
Among the many pieces of public art along this waterfront walk, one of the most stunning is “Unconditional Surrender”, a 25-foot sculpture of a sailor kissing a young nurse. The sculpture commemorates the moment when World War II was finally over, and joy and euphoria swept the world. Inspired by a famous photo of the V-J Day Celebrations on Times Square, this sculpture by Seward J. Johnson is on loan to the San Diego port until the end of February of 2009.
Further north along the waterfront is the Cruise Terminal, located at the B Street Pier along North Harbour Drive. San Diego is a port of call for many major cruise lines including Carnival, Holland America, Celebrity, Royal Carribean and Princess Cruises. Almost 620,000 cruise passengers arrived in San Diego in 2006. Local harbour cruises can also be accessed in this area, and a central office of the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau is located right across the street from the cruise terminal.
Now it was time to head back into the head hotel and finally check in. Within less than ten minutes I had arrived at the Sofia Hotel. The front office staff was very friendly, and our suitcases had already been brought up to Suite 602, a Deluxe Studio Suite. Our sleek modern bedroom was enhanced by a sitting room with a second flat screen television and an ergonomic desk. Our bathroom featured a full bath with a luxurious shower head, and a vanity area complete with fresh orchids in the bedroom area.
Always driven by my curiosity, I managed to convince two of the hotel’s employees to give me a tour of the entire hotel a few minutes later. Brian Wells from the front desk and Danny Miranda, a bellboy, graciously agreed and started by explaining the history of the Hotel Sofia to me. Two of the hotel’s towers were built in 1926 and opened a year later as the Pickwick Hotel. The property was part of the Pickwick Corporation, a company that provided 22 stage coach routes in California. The design was Neo Gothic and in 1928 two additional hotel towers were added.
From 1928 to 1944 the hotel even became the location of a broadcasting station called KGB (no association with the former Russian secret service agency). In 1929 Pickwick Stages merged with the Greyhound Corporation. During the 1940s and 1950s the Pickwick Hotel remained a popular tourist and entertainment location, and locals and guests alike enjoyed the Piccadilly Lounge. During the 1950s city council required the decorative architectural elements to be removed from the façade, to prevent potential injuries during an earthquake.
From the mid 1950s to the mid 1980s downtown San Diego experienced a protracted decline and lost its luster as a retail and entertainment destination. Now under new ownership, the Pickwick Hotel started to show its age as well.
New owners Ken Winslow and Harki Parekh purchased the property in 1986 and systematically started to repair the hotel over the next 20 years. With the opening of the immensely successful Horton Plaza retail mall, the rejuvenation of the historic Gaslamp District and the construction of Petco Park, downtown San Diego became a desirable destination again. The location of this hotel was absolutely ideal for us in our discoveries of downtown San Diego.
After this brief introduction of the hotel’s history, we stepped outside the hotel, which is located at the intersection of West Broadway and First Avenue. The statue of the businessman outside the entrance was dedicated to the Center City Development Corporation and City Council as a way of thanking the city for revitalizing this entire district. Brian pointed out that Horton Plaza and the Gaslamp District are literally just a 10 minute walk away. The Sofia is also just seven blocks from the waterfront and the Port area.
Talking about history, the Sofia Hotel became a member of the Historic Hotels of America last year and is the only historic hotel in downtown San Diego. A photo in the entrance area shows the radio towers that used to adorn the hotel in 1934 where 50,000 Watts of airwaves were beamed out all over San Diego.
In a hallway to the left of the lobby we stopped to admire some pictures of the renovation. Brass pictures of the designer, the architects and the owners adorn the wall. One of the pictures shows the renovation, and the unique thing about the entire remodeling process was that the owners kept 12 housekeepers as well as Brian and Danny on staff to help with the demolition. The team removed carpets, ceiling fans, sinks and toilets from 242 hotel rooms, and 720 old doors were ripped out. Danny and Brian said it was great to keep their jobs during the renovation phase and to participate in the transformation of this hotel. Their sense of ownership and pride of the newly restored and glamorous Sofia Hotel was obvious.
Less than three weeks away from Christmas, the lobby was aglow with holiday decorations. Brian added that the hotel currently features a total of 14 Christmas trees, all decorated by the owners. Real orchids adorn the common areas as well as all the hotel rooms. At the back of the lobby facing the entrance is a painting of a young girl on the beaches of Coronado. This girl, Ken Winslow’s granddaughter, is named Sofia and was the inspiration for the new name of the completely remodeled hotel. A cozy sitting area invites guests to sit down and relax by the fireplace.
To the left of the lobby is the business centre which features three brand-new desktop computers, high-speed fibre-optic Internet, colour and black & white printers and fax capabilities. This business centre is available to the guests 24 hours a day.
Strolling back out into the lobby we turned right into “Currant”, the sleek modern 120-seat restaurant on the- main floor of the Hotel Sofia. Established in 2007, Currant offers upscale American-French cuisine and is open every day for hotel guests and the public. High ceilings, graphic tiles, elaborate chandeliers, uniquely-styled furniture and a private room secluded with sheer curtains, offer a sophisticated ambience.
Heading upstairs now we were on the mezzanine level where several of the Sofia’s awards are proudly on display. Within less than two years since its reopening, the Sofia Hotel has won two Best of Citysearch awards as well as an Expedia Insider’s Select Award. This distinction is only granted to the top 1% of hotels. The restaurant has also won some awards, and the Sofia has also garnered an ASID Design Excellence Award.
Around the corner Brian and Danny took me to two state-of-the-art conference rooms that are equipped for video conferencing and projection. The larger boardroom holds 32 people while the smaller 20-seat boardroom is anchored by a massive antique wooden table. Down the corridor we stepped into the Yoga and Fitness Centre, an amenity that is open 24 hours a day. The hotel even has its own yoga trainer and offers guests TVs, DVD players, fresh towels, bottled water, and infused orange water. The Sofia Hotel has even produced its own yoga DVD!
After the common facilities Brian and Danny took me to room 633, a corner room. A standard room with a queen bed, this room offers an excellent view towards the Port of San Diego. A smaller-size but well-designed room, it features high-quality beds, therapeutic queen pillow tops and luxurious down comforters. A flat-panel TV, digital safe, ironing board and iron, and blow dryer add to the amenities. A coffee maker and a microwave allow guests to look after their most basic needs. Ice machines on different floors provide the necessary cooling power for a private evening retreat with champagne.
The hallways are decorated in a sophisticated sage green colour scheme and the carpet is of upscale quality. After the renovation, the number of rooms was reduced to 211 guest rooms, down from the original 242 rooms. The extra space was taken up by the conference rooms and the yoga / fitness studio.
Steps away in suite 601, Brian illustrated the conveniences of a private bedroom featuring a queen size bed and a sofa pullout bed in the sitting room. A queen-size suite can therefore accommodate up to four people. High-tech reading lights can be angled in any direction, and the alarm clock radio comes with an Ipod / MP3 docking station. Flat panel TVs are available in the bedroom and the sitting room. All the vanity areas feature attractive dark wood cabinets, all adorned with real orchids. Upscale soaps and toiletries pamper the guests, and bottled water is complimentary.
To conclude the tour, Brian and Danny gave me a few tips for exploring San Diego: Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, Seaworld, Old Town, Seaport Village and Coronado are among the most popular local tourist attractions. The upscale area of La Jolla and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography are a little further afield. I was already looking forward to joining tomorrow morning’s tour through the Gaslamp District, offered free by the Sofia Hotel. A visit to Balboa Park would round out our adventures in San Diego.
Not only had we found a great central location in San Diego; by staying at the Sofia Hotel we had also connected with local history and discovered a unique place that has tastefully preserved a 1920s property and brought it into the new millennium with top-notch modern amenities.

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Cheap Annual Family Travel Insurance: Travel Without Tensions!

Sunday, September 9, 2012 3 comments

The growth of fast and speedy communication system has given a boom to traveling industry. Many people are traveling at regular intervals to different places, be it home or abroad. Earlier, people went for holidaying only once a year, because of the harassment and the price involved in traveling. But because of the presence of this speedy and cheap transportation system, families all over UK have started traveling more than once a year. However, emergencies may happen any time; you might need emergency medical treatments, flight cancellation. All these can empty your savings account to a great extent. Therefore you should definitely buy a cheap and affordable family travel insurance policy for you as well as your family.
Who does not want their family to be safe and secured, either at home or when they are not at home? But, we are no God! Misfortunes do happen; instead of crying over what has happened, we can prevail over those misfortunes. A Cheap and affordable annual travel insurance will assist you in overcoming this.
Many people in UK are not so much enthusiastic about buying a family travel insurance policy because they assume that a family travel insurance policy is only for the wealthy few. But, that was the case some years back; today with the coming up of many travel insurance companies, the cost of family travel insurance has also drastically come down. So before any misfortune strikes and you lose all your money, be secured with a cheap family travel insurance policy.
Cheap annual family travel insurance will not only ensure the safety of your family when you are traveling with them, but also when they are traveling alone with some other groups. Say for instance you can get coverage for your child who is traveling in school trips, or your wife who is traveling with her friends.
Wherever you are planning to go, it is advisable not to step out of your homes without a cheap family annual travel insurance. A thorough research of the market has to be undertaken, if you want a cheap family annual travel insurance. This study and research is now made much easier with the internet facilities. You can compare any number of companies that are offering you with cheap family travel insurance and purchase the best policy out of all those policies. So go get cheap family travel insurance now!

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Life’s A Peach, And So Is Georgian Travel - Georgia Travel Information

Sunday, September 2, 2012 1 comments

Georgia is deeply entrenched in United States history, big business corporations, and welcoming hometown hospitality. The Peach State is overflowing with American heritage, monuments, battlefields and museums as well as sandy beaches and forested hiking trails. Travel down south this season to Georgia for a truly revolutionary experience.
Gone With the Wind… Not Quite
Georgia is probably most famous in history for its Civil War participation in the Confederacy. Union General Sherman’s "March to the Sea" burned just about everything from Atlanta to Savannah. The battle and the following massacre of fire inspired the famous novel and movie, Gone with the Wind, which takes place in Atlanta’s neighboring Marietta. Travel to the Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum to see the greatest collection of memorabilia and historical accounts related to the event. The museum is located on Marietta Square, a historic location surrounded by unique boutiques, exhibits and parks.
Interestingly, Sherman agreed not to burn Savannah after the mayor allowed his troops full run of the city. What results today is one of the only southern cities with authentic antebellum architecture and the colonial charm of Georgia’s first city. Savannah is an eclectic and often open-minded Georgian city, notorious for its parties and drinking and well rounded with Savannah College of Arts & Design, numerous theaters, countless annual festivals and a plethora of historic sites that are still standing.
Travel Georgia’s Guaranteed Getaways
Georgia offers an amazing array of activities and outdoor spaces, including the beautiful green and rugged paths of the Appalachian Trail. Hike portions of this winding trail or start from the beginning in Springer Mountain. Jekyll Island was once the prestigious private club getaway for the likes of the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers; but today its 5 miles of beaches, resorts and condos are open to the public. Vacation with Georgians during the summer and enjoy golfing, fishing, or snorkeling.
Also a bastion of modern history, Georgia features the legacies of national and international figures such as President Jimmy Carter and civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King, Jr. The capital city of Atlanta hosts the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, which preserves his childhood home and church among other exhibits. The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site is located near Plains, Georgia, and preserves such places as Carter’s home, school and railroad depot for generations hence to enjoy.
When you book your airfare to Georgia you will also be able to visit the solemn Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, the very same trail that the Cherokee Tribe took when they were forced to relocate to the west in 1838 while some 4,000 individuals perished along the way.
Travel to Georgia is a journey through time with all the luxuries and amenities of the perfect vacation along the way. From the mountain trails to the sunny beaches and rural countryside to major metropolises, Georgia is ready for you.

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The Travel Junkie And The Benefits He Can Get From Travel Reward Credit Cards

Sunday, August 26, 2012 0 comments

Fond of traveling? Always on the go? If you're the quintessential jet setter, then you definitely should go for this - travel reward credit cards. It's the brand-new, ultimate solution to the ultimate globetrotter who always needs to be on the go. But what really are travel reward credit cards and how 'beneficial' are they for the cardholder?
Getting to Know Your Travel Credit Card
Travel reward credit cards give airline mile rewards to cardholders for availing the card. The cardholder accumulates points depending on the dollar amount of his purchases with the credit card. Once the number of points has been reached, the cardholder is entitled to an airline travel or any such related reward. There are actually three categories or types of travel reward credit cards, the airline miles earning card, the travel point card, and the hybrid card, a combination of the first two types. Airline mile earning cards earn 1 mile for every dollar spent while a travel point card earns 1 point for every dollar spent. The points can then be redeemed at the credit card's travel agency. The hybrid card earns 1 point for each dollar spent and can be exchanged for airline miles or used as travel points.
The jet-setter or the frequent flyer should consider an airline mile card or a hybrid card. With an airline mile credit card or a hybrid card, one can avail of free trips in first class even faster. Cards like Aerogold Visa and Royal Bank British Airways Platinum Visa can convert those economy trips to first class. On the other hand, for those who are not frequent flyers, the ideal choice to go for is the travel point card, or even the hybrid card. While these cards may not give free trips in a year, it can, however, provide discounts on your travel needs. As they offer points for every dollar spent which are redeemable as cash equivalent discounts through the credit card company's travel agency or reward center. Most cards offer $50 off for every 5000 points redeemed. These discounts can come in handy when the times come for that much-awaited trip or vacation.
Depending on the type of card, the reward may also cover purchase of gas, auto rentals, hotel accommodations and even purchase in shops and boutiques.
They also provide cash advances when you're on the road. There's also travel insurance that would include worldwide emergencies like medical evacuation, lost luggage, and emergency expatriation.
Travel Reward Credit Card SOS
The important thing with travel reward credit cards is you determine the frequency of your travels as well as your own spending habits. Before choosing which credit card to go for, assess the possible uses of these travel reward credit cards. Then, look for cards that offer the biggest savings on the types of purchases that you most probably will be making. If you're not the only one traveling, travel reward credit cards offering airline or car rental perks are good to go because it benefits, not only you, but your travel companion as well. Know also the schedule and value of the travel rewards these credit cards offer.
Of course, don't forget to read the terms and conditions, like the airline miles you gain for every dollar spent, or the airline miles you need to accumulate before qualifying for a free airline ticket or other rewards. And lastly, they come with an annual fee, so check to make sure that you know the charges to your account.

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How a Graco Quattro Tour Deluxe Travel System With Snugride32 in Townsend Can Be Useful

Sunday, August 19, 2012 1 comments

Shopping for a quality baby stroller to give as a gift or for personal use can be an off-putting task, but it can end up interesting & even fun once you get updated about stroller trends and innovations. It’s amazing how the baby stroller has evolved throughout the years. Nowadays, people have different ideas about the `perfect’ stroller, mainly because they intend to use it in different ways. Some need an all-terrain stroller, while others require only a basic model for occasional use. Then, there are other factors like the age of the child, and safety features that are deemed essential. Style, color and fabric also come into the picture. The Graco Quattro Tour Deluxe Travel System with Snugride32 in Townsend is a great find as far as satisfying these criteria is concerned. It’s more than a nice stroller. It’s a godsend for most moms who need baby gear that can aid them in a big way.
Before you purchase the handsome vessel that doesn’t come cheap, though, with the end in view of using it as well for a future offspring (which the Graco line may very well answer), know that stroller safety standards are regularly reviewed, so you may have to invest on a more updated set of wheels for a future child.
In any case, Graco Quattro Tour Deluxe Travel System is one of the sturdiest and smoothest rolling wheels you can find. It can accommodate your baby’s growth. The Quattro Tour Deluxe Stroller is made of aluminum tubing which ensures long use. The travel system’s infant car seat comes with foam liner that absorbs energy and gentle cradles baby's head. The car seat has a lock-off and adjustment dial and is crash tested to meet and surpass US safety standards. If your baby, like most tykes, needs a few toys to hold his attention and avoid tantrums or fidgeting, the stroller comes with several handy features like a tray where you can put baby snacks or safe toys. Before buying a stroller, though, check that there are no small parts that may be hazardous to your child.
Babies who love napping on the go or are easily lulled to sleep in their stroller also benefit from a Graco stroller’s adjustable canopy with window & sun visor shades. Of course, smart moms know better than to be strolling around when the sun gets really scorching.
Once you’ve purchased a good quality stroller, you still need to remember some precautions. For one, make sure the stroller is fully locked before taking it on the road. Graco Quattro Tour Deluxe Travel System offers front swivel wheels which can be locked, and with suspension to make it seem like baby’s gliding away. A secure harness that may be adjusted as baby grows comes with the travel system. Moreover, efficient one-touch foot brakes add to the important safety features.
Indeed, when it comes to choosing baby gear for your precious infant, it pays to go for a reputable brand or manufacturer with a track record in churning out quality innovations. Opt for a zippy baby stroller which is the result of intensive research, with features that offer tons of convenience for both mom & child.

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Detroit Travel: A Walking Tour of Brush Park and Dinner at the Ren Cen

Sunday, August 12, 2012 0 comments

Susanne Pacher
After having learned so much about architecture during my morning walking tour of downtown Detroit, we embarked on another urban discovery: a walking tour through Brush Park, one of Detroit’s historic residential areas with a location very close to downtown. Bob Goldsmith, our local expert from Detroit Tour Connections, met us at 97 Winder Street, location of a recently restored bed and breakfast, and started explaining the history of the area to us.
In its Victorian heydays, Brush Park was an affluent neighbourhoood with numerous mansions for upper-class families. The area’s beginnings date back to the 1850s when local entrepreneur Edmund Brush started subdividing his family’s property. Construction activity peaked in the 1870s and 1880s, and in 1906 one of the last mansions to be built was renowned Detroit architect Albert Kahn’s personal residence.
The neighbourhood stretches for 24 city blocks and originally included about 300 homes of which 70 were Victorian mansions. As transportation and the use of the automobile expanded in the early 20th century, people started moving further afield, and the Brush Park area started on a long road of decline. Many of the houses were subdivided into smaller apartments during the Great Depression, and during the post-war years numerous houses were abandoned altogether and fell into disrepair.
Many of the abandoned mansions started to attract criminal activity and in many cases the city moved to demolish the homes, leaving large empty lots of land behind. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as “urban prairie”. At the turn of the new millennium, less than half of the original structures were still standing in Brush Park.
Bob, a true Detroit connoisseur, came equipped with a series of articles about the various historic structures, many of which outlined the new owners’ story and the cost and extent of the renovation effort. Brush Park was truly an interesting experience, with its mix of beautifully restored mansions that might sit right next to a burned out ruin which in turn might be located adjacent to an empty plot of land where one of the former buildings had been taken down.
The highlight of our tour was when a local resident invited us to come inside her apartment: Lisa Rush, a friend of Bob’s, recently bought a renovated studio apartment in one of the historic apartment buildings in Brush Park. As we were walking through the neighbourhood, Bob called her and she invited us in to show us the apartment. She even offered us to use her washroom if we needed to.
Lisa’s apartment is a sleek studio with a living room area and features a kitchen with an island and a bedroom area that are all aligned in a long rectangular space. Off to the side was the bathroom. Lisa is a member of Preservation Wayne, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and protecting Detroit’s defining neighbourhoods and structures. Lisa was just celebrating with a few friends, and I was amazed that she would invite three complete out-of-town strangers into her beautiful apartment. This local connection was definitely unexpected and totally exceeded my standard expectations of hospitality.
Walking further north on John R Street we turned left and walked by a mansion that is owned by a University of Windsor professor who restored a beautiful Victorian era home that dates back to 1870. Similar to Lisa, this professor has also invited Bob’s tour participants into his personal home to show them his art collection. A welcoming attitude like this where locals open their private homes to complete strangers would probably be unheard of in many other places.
We also saw two churches, right next to one another, one boarded up and out of use for several years now while the neighouring church was a fully intact impressive Richardson Romanesque sandstone building. A few steps further up the street is the Bonstelle Theater, which was originally designed by Detroit architect Albert Kahn as Temple Beth El in 1903. Historic buildings abound in this area of Detroit.
On our way south on Woodward we stopped at the upscale Zaccaro’s Market at 3100 Woodward Avenue which offers a variety of delicatessen and fresh, organic foods. Detroit has a marked absence of large supermarkets, so stores like Zaccaro’s fill in an important need for local residents.
Our tour was slowly coming to an end and Bob took us back to Winder Street. This walking tour had certainly started to introduce us to some of the historic and socio-economic issues of Detroit as well as some of the recent rejuvenation efforts that have happened over the last 10 years.
After a coffee inside the stunning Guardian Building and a brief rest at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel my travel partner Linda and I were ready to head out again and decided to explore another Detroit landmark: the Detroit People Mover. This 3 mile (4.5 km) long transportation system hauls people through downtown Detroit on a single-track one-way loop. It only moves in one direction (at present in a clockwise direction) and encompasses 13 stations throughout the central business district.
We entered the People Mover at the Renaissance Center, and the two rail cars were absolutely packed due to a Detroit Red Wings game. Detroit is a big sports town, with six professional sports teams, the most well-known of which include the Detroit Tigers (baseball), the Detroit Lions (football) and the Detroit Red Wings (hockey). Fans dressed in red hockey jerseys were entering the vehicle, and things were getting crowded. For tourists, the heavily subsidized People Mover transportation system is a great way to get around the downtown area and even do some sightseeing from the elevated vantage point. At a cost of only $0.50 per ride it is an absolutely affordable and fun way to see different parts of the city.
The entire People Mover loop took us about 20 minutes and brought us right back to where we started. We went inside the Renaissance Centre, the world headquarters of General Motors since 1996. The seven building complex includes the 73-storey Marriot Hotel which is the highest hotel in the Western hemisphere. The top of the Marriott is crowned by the Coach Insignia restaurant, which is also the largest rooftop restaurant.
We admired the large GM showroom on the main floor as well as the five-storey Wintergarden, an airy glass enclosed space which provides access to the Riverfront and a great view of Windsor across the river. Now hungry from all our explorations we headed straight to the rooftop to see if we could have dinner at Coach Insignia.
Although the restaurant was packed and we did not have a reservation, we were able to get a seat by the bar and were fascinated by the gorgeous view over the Detroit River, Windsor and the Detroit business district. Belle Isle was visible in the north and the Ambassador Bridge dominated the view in the south. We enjoyed a tasty series of vegetarian appetizers of which the asparagus with sauce hollandaise and the Caesar salad truly stood out.
We spent a fabulous evening at the top of Detroit and enjoyed the slowly sinking sun and the golden glow it cast over the city. Tired and satisfied after a long day of explorations we headed back for a good night’s sleep to the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel. We definitely needed to rest up since tomorrow our discoveries would take us to The Henry Ford Museum and the recently renovated Detroit Institute of Arts.

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Kenya Tour And Vacation Travel: Your Ultimate Tourist Guide

Sunday, August 5, 2012 0 comments

Airport Nairobi
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is approximately half an hour’s drive from Nairobi City centre. Taxis are readily available but establish the fare before getting into the vehicle as there are many drivers who will approach you for business. The JKI Airport is a busy hub for both the Kenyan tour and vacation travel and the East and horn of Africa region.
The state-controlled Kenatco taxis work on a fixed rate using reliable and clean vehicles. Other taxis tend to vary: some appear to be old wrecks and as they do not come under the control of the municipal councils, you may find they are not insured. Always check first. Most Kenya tourist hotels have their own minibus transport for your Kenyan tour, which can be arranged through reception.
Mombasa Airport
The new Moi International Airport on the Kenya coast is approximately 10 minutes from the city centre, although most of the Kenya tourist hotels are situated to the north and south coastal regions. Allow an extra half-an-hour to your journey to the south coast because of the Likoni ferry crossing. The traffic Jam at the ferry has been a pain to many travelers on their Kenyan tour, especially during departures. Most visitors on their Kenyan beach vacation prefer to arrive and depart from Moi International airport.
Important airport fees
For international departures there is an airport tax to pay of $20 and Kshs 200 for internal flights which is normally included in the price of your ticket. This is mandatory for either Kenya vacation and business travelers.
Kenya Car hire company
Most international car hire companies are represented in Kenya in addition to some of the enterprising locals. Some rates may vary on a daily or weekly basis depending on type of vehicle ranging from four wheel drives to small saloons. Vehicles travel on the left-hand side of the road-and most cars are right-hand drive. A current driving license with photograph is accepted for up to three month’s stay. Self-driven Four wheel cars are also on hire for the do-it –yourselfer Kenyan beach, wildlife or safari vacationer.
Public transport in Kenya
City buses operate in Nairobi and Mombasa at reasonably low rates. However, avoid peak hours as most transport is crammed full. Fares are paid to the conductor.
Trains transport in Kenya
There is a rail service from Nairobi to Mombasa and Kisumu where first and second class accommodation is available. The train is especially a favourite of the 6-14 day Kenyan vacationer who wants to sample a lot of the country offering.
Kenya Communications and Postal Services
Post offices are identified by the words posta Kenya and mail posting boxes are red. Usually you can buy stamps at post offices, stationers, souvenir shops and hotels. Post office hours of business are from 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday and from 9am until 12noon on Saturday at main post offices.
Telephone services in Kenya
Telkom Kenya provides advanced telecommunication services that include voice data, internet,
and multi media, whilst cellular mobile services are provided by Safaricom (0720/0721/0722/0723) and Kencell communications (0733,0734).
Faxes, telexes and emails can be sent from your hotel via the operator. International calls can sometimes be dialed direct or operator assisted by dialing 0195 or 0196. Telkom Kenya also runs a few international public assisted call offices in selected areas in major towns.
Public payphones are fully automated. Simply pick up the handset and follow the digitalized prompts on the screen to make your call. Card and coin phones are available. Phone cards of different denominations may be bought from Post Offices or international call offices in major town. You can also make use of hotel phones but the charges are usually 100% more. Local dialed calls cost a minimum of Kshs 5, so have plenty of change on your Kenyan vacation travel.
As from 4th July 2003, all Nairobi area codes changed so check if the number you are calling is still operational.
Kenyan Currency
Kenya’s unit of currency is the shilling (Sh/s) (slang: Bob), written 1/-, 2/50 etc. Divided into 100 cents (c). There are copper coins of 50 c and 1/- and silver and copper coins of 5/-, 10/-, 20/- and 40/-. Bank notes are available in denominations of 5/-, 10/-, 20/-, 50/-, 100/-, 200/-, and 1000/-.
Currency restrictions
There are no restrictions on the movement of currency into or out of Kenya for currency transactions.
Banking Hours
Banks in Nairobi and other large towns open from 9am-3pm Monday to Friday and 9am-11a on the first and last Saturday of each month. 24 hr access to your account can be facilitated by ATMs country wide.
Banks in Mombasa and the coastal areas, open and close half an hour earlier. Some banks at the international airports open round the clock every day as do the new foreign exchange bureaux. This is to ensure that the Kenya Traveler accesses currency at point of arrival.
Credit cards accepted in Kenya
All the major international credit cards are accepted in Kenya and most ATMs can accept any international VISA and MASTERCARD credit cards.
Standard chartered bank’s computer network allows access to over 60 ‘Moneylink’ ATMs situated at all its branches, major shopping malls, gas stations and other strategic locations countrywide. Holders of VISA cards can also link up to their home bank or credit card account through money link ATMs around the clock.
KCB have 55 visa and visa electron compliant ATMs available 24 hrs nationwide accepting international credit cards.
Travelers’ cheques in Kenya are also readily recognizable and accepted at most places.
Voltage
All regions in Kenya are supplied with 240 volts AC. Some safari, wildlife and beach lodges have independent power generators which may carry. The plug in use through out Kenya is of the three square pin, 13amp type.
Security in Kenya
As in other countries, it is always advisable for a traveler to hand in their passport, traveler’s cheques, excess money and any other valuables at hotel reception desks for placing in their safe for security. Alternatively, where available, you will find a safety deposit box in your hotel room.
It is a sensible precaution not to walk alone in isolated towns or beach areas, particularly after dark. Ask for advice from your hotel manager or tour representative if you are with a package holiday company.
Kenya Hotels Bill payment
Most Kenyan hotels expect vacation and business travelers to pay in convertible foreign currency such as US dollars. However, in some Kenyan tour lodges and hotels, tourists may have the option to pay in Kenya Shillings or credit card if this method is preferred.
Tipping
Tipping is not mandatory but not forbidden as in some other African countries. Tipping is entirely at your discretion and most hotels and restaurants include a 10% service charge to the bill.
Clean safe Water
Nairobi and Mombasa hotels are virtually 100% safe for drinking water for Kenyan vacationers. However, if in doubt, a variety of bottled water is available in most places. Most isolated lodges keep filtered water in jars or flasks which is a direct warning that tap water is not safe, even for brushing teeth.
Water Conservation
Shortage of water due to inadequate rainfall means that you should ensure that you try and conserve water as much as possible. Responsible travel calls for sustainable and conservative use of water and energy resources in your Kenyan tour.
Kenyan Visa requirements
Most incoming Kenya tourists whether for business or pleasure, now require a visa irrespective of nationality. Multiple and single entry visas are available. The single entry fee is US$ 50 (Correct at time of writing this article) or the equivalent in local currency and can be obtained upon arrival at the airport.
Visa applications can be made at any Kenya High Commission or Embassy prior to traveling. For more information contact your nearest Kenya High Commission or Kenya Embassy.

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Travel Chicago - Tour The Must See Sites Even Local Chicagoans Visit!

Sunday, July 29, 2012 0 comments

The allure of Chicago is completely understandable. Located in the middle of the country amongst corn fields and pressed up against Lake Michigan, this fast paced action packed city is full of excitement. The winters are cold, but the summers are hot and fun-filled. There is more to do in Chicago, than someone could possibly complete in a lifetime.
But, for those travelers interested in seeing some of Chicago’s favorite sites through its residents’ eyes, please read on.
Signature Room at Hancock Tower - The top of the Hancock Tower provides one of the most amazing views of Chicago around. The Sears Tower may be taller, but the Hancock is closer to the lake and offers views of the Sears Tower itself. Skip the observation deck and instead make a trip to the Signature Room. You might run into local Chicagoans during brunch when prices are quite reasonable. Drinks are similarly priced to other lounges, so a nightcap is always a fun option, but dinner will set you back quite a bit. The restaurant is actually one floor above the viewing deck so you can enjoy an amazing view while eating and drinking. Location: Michigan Ave
Chicago Blues and Jazz - Chicago has long been well known as home to some of the world’s best Blues and Jazz musicians. This fact became evident even to non-music lovers in the 70s and 80s with classic movies such as the Blues Brothers and Adventure in Babysitting. For music fans, a trip to Chicago is not complete without experiencing some good blues or jazz. There are a wide variety of blues clubs located on the South Side and Jazz clubs such as the Green Mill in uptown, which has said to be frequented by Al Capone and other Chicago notables. But, if you are in town, check out the Chicago Blues Fest held in early June. Other summer music festivals include the Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago Gospel Music Festival, and more. Location: The Green Mill is located at 4802 N. Broadway Ave.
Tru Restaurant - Charlie Trotter’s restaurant has made a name for itself throughout the United States and the world as the best place for a multi-course tasting menu. But locals know that the knew up and coming restaurant to beat is Tru’s restaurant. A four party visit will involve up to 12 courses, with each member of the party receiving different selections. Wow! One imagines how the cooks can possibly keep up, but throughout your 3 hour meal, you will never be disappointed by the wait staff or the chef. Location: 696 N. St. Clair St.
Chicago Museum Tour - Chicago has some of the best museums in the country. The Art Institute has one of the most amazing and large collections in the world. Take a walk through the museum on a Tuesday, when admission is free (although donations are always recommended) and if you are a movie fan remember the walk by Ferris Bueller. But, the Art Institute isn’t the only great museum in Chicago. The Museum of Science and Industry is a great museum where you can actually walk through a sub, and of course the FieldMuseum home to the Sue the largest T-Rex skeleton in the world.
Chicago Architecture Tour - Chicago’s name in architecture, began in the 1800s and continues today. If you want to take a walk and see the great architecture of Chicago, there is more than a day’s worth of sites. You can begin with famous buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright (check out the Unity Temple at 875 Lake St) and Louis Sullivan (Visit his famous Carson Pirie Scott flagship on State St). The Monadnock, and Mies van der Rohe’s Post office are also well worth a visit. For some modern masterpieces, visit the Illinois Institute of Technology’s campus to see Mies’ Crown Hall, Rem Koolhaas’ Campus Center, and Helmut Jahn’s new Dorms. A visit to Millennium Park is also worth a trip, where you can see one of Gehry’s latest and soon Renzo Piano’s addition to the Art Institute.
Chicago is home to some of the most city proud residents. And there is no wonder why- there is so much to see and do in Chicago! Check out the favorite tourist sites, but if you are interested in seeing some of the local’s favorite Chicago sites, check out the list above and see some of what truly makes Chicago special.

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Detroit Travel: A Bicycle Tour Through Corktown and Mexicantown

Sunday, July 22, 2012 0 comments

My discoveries of Detroit were slowly but surely coming to an end, and I had seen so many interesting places already in my whirlwind tour over the last four days. Just before I was ready to hop across the border to Windsor again, I had one more adventure on my schedule: a biking tour of Southwest Detroit to cover Corktown and Mexicantown.
After a filling breakfast at the Inn on Ferry Street I took their complimentary shuttle downtown to Rivard Plaza, right next to the Detroit Riverwalk. At 10 am I met Kelly Kavanaugh, co-owner ofWheelhouse Detroit, Downtown Detroit’s first bike rental facility for more than 30 years. Wheelhouse also provides bicycle repairs and service and offers a variety of tours of different Detroit neighbourhoods.
Wheelhouse Detroit was founded by friends Kelli Kavanaugh and Karen Gage, two young women who have been active in the Detroit non-profit and urban planning scene for years. Equipped with advice from fellow entrepreneurs, start-up funding from the city’s micro-credit program and their own savings they embarked on their entrepreneurial venture and bought 30 bicycles which includes comfortable cruisers, city mountain bikes, kids bikes, trailers and even a tandem.
Their bikes are made by Kona, a philanthropically inclined manufacturer that donates bicycles to non-profit organizations in Africa. Along with other people I have met over the last four days, Kelli and Karen are an example of the new breed of Detroit entrepreneurs who combine their love for the city with hard work and entrepreneurial creativity.
On a brilliant but rather cool and windy October day Kelli and I headed off westwards along the the Detroit Riverwalk and quickly passed the General Motor Renaissance Centre and Hart Plaza, the civic centre of Detroit. The Detroit International Riverfront covers an area stretching from the Ambassador Bridge to Belle Isle and encompasses numerous parks, restaurants, retail shops, skyscrapers and residential areas along the Detroit River. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been raised in the last few years to revitalize this extensive area.
The Detroit Riverwalk is a recreational multipurpose path that stretches 5.5 miles (almost 9 km) along Detroit’s riverfront and provides separate lanes for pedestrians and bicyclists or inline skaters. Wheelhouse Detroit is located inside Rivard Plaza, an outdoor space that features the Cullen Family Carousel, an inlaid granite map of the Detroit River, fountains and gardens. Rivard Plaza was opened in June of 2007 and also features the Riverwalk Café.
Cycling west on the Riverwalk, Kelli started to tell me about her venture and about her passion for cycling in Detroit. As the city is quite spread out and a lot of the traffic concentrates on the city’s characteristic sunken expressways, the downtown area is surprisingly free of traffic congestion and cycling-friendly. In my past four days in Detroit I did not encounter any traffic jams downtown, a surprising experience when you come from a congested place like Toronto.
As we pedaled against the wind we passed by several more Detroit landmarks - Cobo Arena, the Cobo Convention Centre and the Joe Louis Arena - home of the Detroit Red Wings. Leaving the downtown area behind we headed into southwest Detroit.
The first neighbourhood that greeted us was Corktown, Detroit’s oldest neighbourhood, so named after the Irish immigrants from County Cork that settled here. The houses in this area date back to 1834 and feature nicely restored Victorian homes, many of them brightly painted. Corktown also has many cool gathering spots and eateries, including the funky Zeitgeist Gallery, a bar called Nemo’s which was voted No. 3 “perfect sports bar in the US by Sports Illustrated , and LJ.’s – a hip karaoke place, as well as a wide range of other diverse restaurants.
We snaked our way through this pleasant neighbourhood and crossed over a railway bridge that provided a perfect view of one of Detroit’s most stunning architectural structures: the Michigan Central Depot, also called the Michigan Central Station. Although now abandoned and in poor condition, the Michigan Central Station is a railroad station that was built in 1913 for the Michigan Central Railroad. Its main Beaux-Arts train station is flanked by an 18 storey office tower, a monumental building whose outline dominates South-West Detroit’s skyline. Due to its sheer size and its magnificent architectural detailing, the Michigan Central Depot is still one of Detroit’s most impressive buildings, despite its sad current state.
Past the railroad bridge we arrived in Mexicantown, a vibrant neighbourhood that has undergone significant economic growth in the last few years. Kelly showed me the Michigan International Welcome Centre, a brand-new commercial development in close proximity to the Ambassador Bridge. 85 businesses will welcome visitors in The Mercado, and they will cater to locals and out-of-towners alike with a broad assortment of merchandise.
Further west we cycled by a long strip of Mexican restaurants that include popular eateries such as Mexican Village, El Zocalo, Evie’s Tamales, Lupita’s and Xochimilco. A ride through this neighbourhood revealed an extensive collection of late Victorian homes fronted by large trees. The main streets in the area are Bagley Street and Vernor Street which are flanked by numerous storefronts and eateries.
Away from the main thoroughfares and tucked into the neighbourhood is St. Anne De Detroit Catholic Church, the eighth church in this location whose cornerstone was laid in 1886. The church was originally founded on July 26, 1701, two days after Antoine Mothe de la Cadillac (the founder of Detroit) and his French settlers arrived. Today it is the second oldest continuously operating Roman Catholic parish in the United States. Nowadays the congregation includes many Hispanic parishioners who come together to worship in this impressive Gothic Revival structure.
One stop on our bicycling tour included the Hotel Yorba, which inspired the hit single by Detroit garage rock band “The White Stripes”. Today this former hotel provides subsidized housing. We started cycling back to the main road and passed by Clark Park, a large public park on Detroit’s southwest side. Cycling back east on Vernor we saw another strip of Mexican-owned businesses.
On the way back we made a stop in front of the Michigan Central Station where Kelly explained that this is the departure point for the annual “Tour de Troit” event, a 40-mile cycling tour of Detroit that has been attracting biking enthusiasts since 2001. Both Kelli and her business partner Karen have been actively involved in helping to organize this popular biking event. Attendance increased from 650 participants in 2007 to 1100 participants in 2008. Kelly explained that biking is definitely taking off in Detroit. The Tour de Troit event also raises funds for dedicated bicycle trails.
We now turned onto Michigan Avenue, one of Detroit’s main thoroughfares. Stopping regularly we had a look at various bars, cafes and galleries that populate this stretch of the road. One of our final stops was at the Old Tiger Stadium, the former home of the Detroit Tigers baseball team. The stadium was originally opened in 1912 and unfortunately partially demolished in 2008. A group of dedicated local citizens is fighting to keep the remaining portions of the stadium intact.
Our tour concluded with a ride through Detroit’s downtown business district and ended back atWheelhouse's location on Rivard Plaza. Given that I am an avid bicycling enthusiast myself, exploring Detroit on two wheels was a real highlight of my five-day stint in this city. Bicycling is simply the best way of discovering a city – allowing you to cover great ground at manageable speeds while getting much needed exercise. Being able to easily stop anywhere is a great added benefit for an avid travel photographer like me.
Now thoroughly invigorated I thanked Kelli for introducing me to a completely different side of Detroit and set off to have lunch in the open outdoor space in front of the Wintergarden at the Renaissance Centre. The “RenCen”, the international headquarters of General Motors, consists of seven skyscrapers centered around the 73-story central tower that holds the Detroit Marriot Hotel. This structure has also been the highest building in Michigan since 1977.
The top of the hotel holds Coach Insignia, a fine dining restaurant with the most fabulous views of the city. In 2003 GM renovated the entire complex at a cost of $500 million which added the five-story Wintergarden, a light-flooded glass-enclosed atrium that overlooks the Detroit River. I grabbed my lunch, went outside and enjoyed the fall sun and the magnificent view across the river to Windsor while reflecting on my five action-packed days in Detroit.
Shortly after I called the shuttle service of the Inn on Ferry Street and minutes later I got whisked away. I made a final stop in Greektown, one of Detroit’s most popular entertainment districts. Most of the houses along Monroe Street date back to the Victorian era and today feature restaurants and cafes on the main level. The Greektown Casino is a major attraction in the area.
This exciting morning had concluded my visit to Detroit. I picked up my suitcase, hopped in my car and took the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel back to Canada. On the way back to Toronto I reflected on what an exciting and fascinating destination Detroit had been. During these past few days I got to see so many different facets of Detroit, and I had a chance to meet several people who are truly passionate about their city. It’s always great to get to know a city from the perspective of an insider.
I had had a thoroughly great time in Detroit and over the past five days I had seen so many things I had never expected. And I realized there were so many more places I didn’t get to see.

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Adventure Travel Tour Guiding Among Best Summer Jobs

Sunday, July 15, 2012 0 comments
Adventure travel companies are similar to land tour companies. Guides give guests the time of their lives while they are in Alaska for vacation. Seasonal work with adventure companies is available for people wanting to see the country from a slightly different angle.

College students and other adventure seekers can come to Alaska and work their way across the country. Adventure travel is popular for those people that are looking for a more active type of vacation. Guests no longer want to sit on the sidelines and just observe the happenings. They want to get involved. This is where adventure touring comes into play.
Adventure tours allow guests to view the unspoiled nature of Alaska. They can take a wildlife excursion to view Alaskan bears, caribou, moose, and Dall sheep. Seeing the land from a zipline is breathtaking and fun for the younger visitors to Alaska.

Some adventure travel is associated with wilderness lodges. Guides lead guests on bicycle tours, hiking trips, and river rafting tours. A guide needs to be able to troubleshoot problems with equipment and medical situations during the adventure. You may be called on to take fishermen out for a day on the lake or guide a hunting party.

Adventure travel companies lead all sorts of tours. Eco-friendly tours are conducted to national parks and preserves in Alaska. These tours allow guests to see the country but are more for learning about nature and its components. Tours are conducted on land and along bodies of water.
Adventure travel jobs are varied. Workers can choose from several guide positions: jeep guides, nature guides, kayak guides, white water rafting guides, bus escort, bus driver, canoe guides, bicycle leader, backpacking guide, fishing guides, rock climbing, walking guides, and wildlife jobs. Depending on where you work in Alaska, you could be a skiing guide.

Travel companies also need to fill office positions within the company. Tours have to be organized and the logistics of travel worked out before guests arrive for their adventure. People in these support positions work hard to see that the jobs of the others are a bit less hectic. These positions include bookkeepers, administrative assistants, and booking agents. Adventure companies associated with lodges need administrative help at the sites. These positions give seasonal workers a chance to see Alaska as well.
Room and board are provided by the adventure travel company for their workers. Toru guides travel with the guests from place to place. Guides associated with adventure lodges are housed in staff quarters and provided with gourmet meals like those enjoyed by the guests. Workers can also use the facilities available to guests and enjoy adventures as a perk of their employment.

When applying for job openings with an adventure travel company, play to your strengths if you can. Any experience that you have in a particular area, say fishing, white water rafting, and mountain biking, will help to acquire a guide job with an adventure company. This is not a requirement but it helps.
Let's look at a job as a canopy guide for example. The position requires that guides lead guests through the zip course. They are responsible for the safety and training of the guests while they are in their care. Guides also keep up with inspections of the equipment used and the course followed.

It sounds like a lot, but most employers are willing to train guides for the job. Generally, they are looking for people who are outgoing, possessing customer service skills, and are willing to work hard. Many tour guide training programs are punctuated by skills assessments and tests before the worker is allowed to guide a group. Interviews allow employers to size up workers to see if they possess the skills to make it in a position with the company.

Sometimes certifications are needed for various positions. You can learn this ahead of time by studying job descriptions. If you have narrowed down the position you want, take steps to fulfill the certification requirements after you apply for the job. This shows how serious you are about working and will impress the employer during an interview.

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