Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Experience Comfort and Leisure at Fair Price at Gracious Angeli Travel and Tours Hotel in Baguio

The Gracious Angeli Travel and Tours Hotel in Baguio is meant for those who want to experience comfort and leisure minus the exorbitant expenses. It does this very nicely and in more than an adequate manner.

Rooms and Rates

There are 35 rooms available for guests at this beautiful two star hotel, with the rates beginning at Php 1,200 and not higher than Php 4,500 for the higher end types. Regardless of which you choose though, every single one of them comes with the necessities that you will need. These include tables, chairs, cozy beds, TV with cable, and showers equipped with hot and cold water.

Amenities and Accommodations

The Gracious Angeli Travel and Tours Hotel in Baguio has several amenities that visitors and guests can partake of, not the least of which is the KTV bar. This is the ideal place to hang out with your friends if you enjoy listening to music while having a few drinks. The wide selection of beverages available is another plus for this service.

Another one of the facilities on tap is the function hall or multipurpose room, which is aimed for groups that need to hold conventions, seminars or conferences of some sort. Of course, given its name, one of its specialties is providing its guests with trips around the most interesting parts of the city. If you would like to go out on your own, you will see that it is also near banks, grocery stores and diners.

Location and Contact Information

The Gracious Angeli Travel and Tours Hotel is accessible from the 25 Abanao St. in Baguio City. If you are traveling in your own car, just look for the Maharlika Livelihood Complex or the Abanao Square.

The hotel will be right there. If you are coming from Quirino Street, it is a stone's throw from the police station, and about three blocks from the bus terminals and other public utility vehicles. Thus, if you ever feel the need to go around, you need not go far to get a ride. The fact that it is located very near to these places is an added attraction not to mention convenience.

For more information interested parties may call telephone number 4425078 or 4422746. Their email address is

Given its fine service and proximity to restaurants and malls, the Gracious Angeli Travel and Tours Hotel in Baguio can be a gracious place to stay indeed.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Leisure Hotels - The Next Incredible Opportunity in Indian Hospitality?

A relatively negative economic and investment environment is providing further impetus to the downward spiral witnessed by the hospitality industry starting 2008. Just as the travel industry was beginning to witness a visible revival, thanks to the increased tourist arrivals and upturn in domestic commercial demand post the global financial crisis, dark clouds have gathered over the horizon once again.

The travel and tourism industry in India, despite being an important part of the economy and an attractive employment creation opportunity, contributes only about 2% to the national GDP. According to WTTC's long-range estimates, Indian tourism demand is expected to grow at about 8.8% over the next ten years. The growth compounded over existing several visitations should place India among the top 3 growing tourism markets in the world. This is expected to result in a growth range of 7.0% - 7.5% in total travel and tourism GDP and an annualized increase of approx. 1.0% in travel and tourism employment over the next 10 years.

In these times of uncertainty, it is important to analyze;

- What is a prudent market entry strategy for future hotel developments?

- Has India has reached its peak in terms of travel and tourism potential?

- What will be the impact of a negative economic and investment environment on leisure destinations?

My views on key factors that will drive future demand in travel and tourism in India and on niche markets that offer a unique potential for development over the next 5 years are as follows:

- Weekend Getaways and Integrated Travel Circuits

By 2030 it is estimated that about 600 million people will be urbanized and live in cities across India. While there has been much focus and activity in hospitality projects in metro cities, very little development activity has actually been done to tap the potential of leisure travel, which is now estimated at 250 million active travelers. According to our estimates, there will be sustained demand for weekend travel at major gateway destinations and these markets will grow in the range of 18.0% - 20.0% annually over the next ten years. If the US dollar continues to stay strong, the outbound travel market will shrink and will give further latent demand for domestic leisure destinations. In these uncertain times, Weekend Getaway destinations that are located within 4-5 hours driving distances from key Tier I and Tier II cities are uniquely positioned to benefit from the increased demand base and are ideal for development of boutique resorts and hotels.

- Spa and Wellness Destinations

Long range employment and age demographic trends show that India will add about 270 million new jobs and India's Per Capita Income will continue to witness robust growth. Significantly, higher disposable income rather than lower savings will continue to influence the consumption boom in India. This is good news for travel and tourism industry, as income induced spending is likely to sustain itself for a longer period. Higher disposable incomes and increased health awareness among the urban population is also expected to enhance the concept of traveling for rejuvenation and wellness. This trend is likely to give the necessary impetus to development of destination spas, wellness resorts and wilderness retreats.

- Destinations offering Unique Travel Experiences

From deserts to oceans, rainforests to mountains - India is a land offering extremely diverse travel experiences. Historically most leisure travel, both domestic as well as international, was highly concentrated within a few travel circuits centered around Delhi, Kerala, Goa and Rajasthan. Over the last decade there has been a remarkable improvement in both road and air connectivity to remote destinations and this has provided great stimulus to experiential travel. Further, most popular leisure destinations have been victims of unplanned urbanisation and hence regressed in the overall holiday experience being provided. In our estimate, over the next ten years, destinations providing unique travel experiences such as eco-tourism, forts and palaces, adventure tourism, desert and jungle safaris, pilgrimage and spirituality based travel lodges etc. will offer the next big growth opportunities and will see significant increase in tourist visitations. Niche markets such as culture tourism, the Great Indian Temple circuit, health tourism, weddings, etc. will also grow rapidly and will provide impressive returns to investors.

- MICE Destinations

The acute demand-supply imbalance scenario saw in India between 2004 and 2008 due to lack of quality hotels has had an adverse impact on MICE tourism. In most markets, insufficient room availability and high rates created conditions that were not conducive for large international conferences to be held. Logistical bottlenecks and lack of proper infrastructure in these markets also posed a problem. Various state governments in India have lately expressed keen interest in convention centre developments through the Public-Private Partnership model. Existence of a convention centre generally induces substantial room night demand and a strong growth opportunity exists for products that adopt an aggressive marketing strategy for the MICE segment, as within a few years, demand from this category is likely to rebound very strongly.

Once the uncertainty lifts and the economy's buoyancy returns, initiatives to improve infrastructure, easing of restrictions on foreign investment and, perhaps, most importantly, efforts to communicate the Brand India message - will fuel demand for travel and tourism. India's travel and tourism industry, while still at its infancy, is increasingly being viewed as investment-worthy, both within the country and outside. The long-term outlook for the travel and tourism sector in India is buoyant and will remain so, in our opinion. Over the next decade, India is all set to emerge as one of the world's fastest growing tourism markets and will be hard to ignore.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Finding the Correct Balance Between Leisure and Work

"All work and no play make Johnny a dull boy", the old saying goes. Many people adapt this line to fit what they see as their reality: "Too much play and not enough work make Johnny a poor one." They justify working all the time, with few vacations and little time off. When they retire, they have a problem, as they have not established a good balance of work and leisure.

Leisure time recharges you and can make you more motivated and focused at work. However, many small business owners with a strong work ethic consider planning for leisure time a luxury they cannot afford. Ironically, they may waste time by almost welcoming distractions, but never schedule much time off with their families, for a vacation, or a for day of down time. It is easy to justify this when you are working building a business, trying to make it in a tough economy, working with a down-sized staff. You think that when you retire, it will be different.

You assume you will travel, socialize, and pursue hobbies in retirement. Unfortunately, old habits die hard. Folks who work 24/7 find new jobs, start businesses, or get into a pattern of heavy volunteering that take all their time when they retire, so they still have little time for leisure. Unquestionably, sacrifice is part of owning a business - but business ownership is supposed to eventually allow you more flexibility and more time to pursue your interests.

If you are thinking of retiring, in 10 years, 5 year, or 1 year, the time is now to consider whether there is balance in your life between work and leisure. How do you start?

Start introducing "time outs" into your schedule. This may begin with lunch out of the office. This sounds simple, but you need to take time away from the office, with no work multi-tasking. Join a gym or a team or a club and make time to go.

Make "dates" with your spouse or significant other. Begin the discussion of what you want your retirement to be. You may have different ideas, but when you talk, you can work out a plan so each of you have the retirement you want.

Set boundaries. With the prevalence of smart phone and instant internet, you can always be on duty unless you turn off you phone and ignore messages at night or when you are busy.

Find something you want to try, explore it, and enjoy it - without making it a job. It is never too late to develop a new hobby or change your ways, but if you are obsessive about work, you may approach hobbies the same way to become a fishing or photography zealot. You need to work to change your patterns.

Take vacations, starting with some long weekends, where you leave your job behind. Good planning should make this work. When you return and find the place still standing, you will build the courage to take more time off - and leave the office behind when you shut out the lights.

You do not have to make a choice between being a"dull boy" or a"poor boy," even in retirement. Developing a healthy balance between work and leisure before you get to that point will position you to enjoy your post retirement days and may even make your work years more enjoyable and productive.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Take Flight With A Travel And Tourism Diploma

Do you dream of an adventure-filled career? Do you have a passion for tourism and travel? Do you crave new experiences abroad that do not chain you down like a typical 9-5 job may? Then look into a Travel and Tourism diploma. Mixing classroom theory and practical hands-on training, a tourism and travel program will introduce you to all aspects of the industry, including preparing you for certification exams needed to become a Certified Travel Counsellor.

Turn your passions and interests into a real-life career with a travel and tourism diploma program which will typically include 600 hours of on-campus training, 160 hours of on-the-job training within a tourism company and much more.

In fact, there is no better time than now to join the ever-expanding tourism industry. An estimated 84,500 new skilled tourism workers are needed in British Columbia alone by 2015. Discover now how a tourism and travel course can propel you into an exciting new career.

Graduates in a travel and tourism program develop the necessary skills and techniques needed for entry-level positions in this fast-paced and exciting milieu. Students can expect to take courses such as the following: Travel Tourism Introduction; Accommodation; Ground Transportation; Marine Transportation; Tours, plus administration of client bookings; airline industry; Apollo "live" GDS; airline fare structures; total client management; professional selling skills; career development and sabre airline reservation system. These courses help prepare for entry-level positions in the airlines, cruise lines, travel agencies, hotels and resorts.

A travel and tourism diploma provides an enormous wealth of skills and training for a wide range of career opportunities within the industry, including: airline ticketing agent; airline guest services agent; flight attendant; reservations agent; hotel concierge; conference sales; corporate travel agent; leisure travel agent; wedding planning; tourism marketing; travel counsellor; tour guide; adventure tour organizer and much, much more.

You can be sure of the quality of the tourism and travel diploma course curriculum you are receiving if the school has a 5-star rating from the Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors. This represents the highest level of industry validated tourism curriculum in Canada. Also, look for a school that is an International Air Transport Association's (IATA) authorized training centre.

A school with a comfortable learning environment and a staff made up of caring individuals can make a big difference as well.

Instead of only dreaming about a new career, take the steps today to look into a travel and tourism diploma program. You may just find it to be the welcome change you needed.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Travel and Leisure Jobs

Travel and leisure industry is one the most favored industry sector for job seekers worldwide. It offers you the wonderful opportunity of seeing new places, getting acquainted with new cultures and helps in developing a more comprehensive viewpoint about world affairs. So if you are one of those persons who are passionate about travel, and like to meet new people a variety of job opportunities are available in various segments of travel and leisure industry.

Here are few of travel and leisure industry which provide extremely good job opportunities, if you possess requisite skills for the job.

Online Travel - With the advent of internet, travel industry went online. Now you can book flight tickets, hotel rooms and buying tickets for the venue. These ventures require computer programmer, web designer, customer support and sales team.

Event management - This industry specializes in the creation of festivals and events which vary in scale from Olympics to the neighborhood Birthday party. Event managers are in great demand by companies.

Cruise ships - Cruise ships are a classy mode of travel which is popular amongst a section of tourists. These massive structures require hospitality professionals, maritime professionals, entertainers and security personnel.

Tour operators - They come in handy for those people who travel internationally and don't have time for a "do it yourself" holiday. They take care of all the details of the tour saving their clients from the intricacies.

Airlines - Air travel is the most popular means of travel for tourist especially international tourists. Pilots, air hostess and flight crew are some of the most desired career. However an airline employs more people as ground staff in the form of air traffic controller, ticket checker, baggage checker and personal service assistant.

Travel websites, magazines and guides - These guide people on popular tourist spots, the best route to take, best time to visit and must see places amongst others. Here contractual or freelance writers can work as travel writers. Also photographers are hired to shoot photos documenting the journey.

Animation - Animation industry makes animated films some of which are hugely popular like Ice Age. Also they design and execute computer games. Animators, illustrators and designers are widely in demand here.

Cosmetics Industry - The desire to look beautiful is innate in every woman and man. This industry "claims" to make people beautiful. Cosmetics and the beauty industry require hair stylist, beauty therapist, manicurist and shampoo technician.

Games and toys industry - This sector produces games and toys for people of all ages and groups. It requires creative professionals and game designers.

Fitness sector - This sector works on making people fit through exercise and alternatives like yoga. It requires certified fitness trainers and yoga teachers.

Hotels and resort industry - When you travel anywhere you stay in one of these hotels and resorts. Hence this industry plays a very important role in the overall travel and leisure industry so much that hotel occupancy rates are an important indicator of the state of the industry. It requires waiting staff, interior decorators, management professionals and catering services personnel.

The travel and leisure industry is very often the dream job of many people. But many people are unaware of the tremendous job potential of this industry.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Dynamic Packaging for Travel and Hospitality Industry

The concept of Dynamic Packaging is to bundle all the components chosen by the aspiring traveler and create one reservation. Regardless of where the inventory originates, the package that is created is handled seamlessly as one transaction, and requires only one payment from the consumer.

To a traveler, there is nothing better than a one stop shop for his traveling needs. The Dynamic Packaging Engine uses a travel component inventory and prices. Regardless of where the inventory originates, the package that is created is handled seamlessly as one transaction, and requires only one payment from the consumer. It automatically applies rules defined by the suppliers and the travel marketer to build and price travel packages. This package configuration process determines which components are used, what combinations of components are allowed or required, and handles inclusions such as taxes, fees or additional package features. Rules also determine how the final retail price is computed.


A typical dynamic packaging application will need the following capabilities:

1. Search and Availability

2. Memberships

3. Shopping Cart

4. Booking and Reservations

5. Payments

6. Cancellations


A traveler always seeks a destination. Even though he may well be aware of where he needs to go to, he will search for the most appropriate place to stay and enjoy his visit. The search starts with a Transportation and Travel components, Hotel Property, Leisure Components. The search therefore has to be divided geographically to include destinations and neighboring destinations that meet the search criteria. An example search could be travel to New York City, stay at Stamford, Connecticut, Golf at upstate New York. Clearly the Dynamic Packaging engine needs to know the dates of travel, from and to destinations, closest airport to hotel, rental car or other desired ground transportation from selected airport to hotel and access to tee times at the neighboring golf courses. Like the traveler, businesses also seek travel related information.

Travel Agents, Call Centers, and Meeting Planners need packaged information on behalf of their clients. Such a search is riddled with rules and complexity. Besides, the customer needs to have choices that can vary from comfort to price and everything else in between.

1. Proximity: The search uses parameters that can narrow down possibilities yet offer extended possibilities. In our search example, Westchester Airport would have been the best choice. La Guardia airport would be an ideal choice. JFK and Newark and Teterboro are the next choices from a distance to Hotel point of view.

2. Fare and Rates: The traveler will look for the best fare. In our example though Westchester is close to the hotel, offers limited Airlines and perhaps not the best fares. Some fares maybe very attractive, however when it comes to flexibility and cancellation they are not the best. Flexibility of change, penalties associated with change and cancellation are important factors to include in the search results.

3. Travel Times: That's another important factor for the business traveler. How many flights are there to the airport and at what intervals. Check in times and total time to travel also helps in determining his choice. Therefore non-connecting and connecting flights with layover times need to figure in the search.

4. Accessibility: Another key factor often not paid attention to is accessibility. Physically impaired travelers, people who need meals on a flight, wheelchair access, and quick access to rental cars or trains or ground transportation play a very important role in travel. Do the hotel(s) have wheelchair access? Is it possible to get ground transportation to destined hotel that has wheelchair access?

5. Amenities: Does the hotel offer standard amenities like restaurants, swimming pool, health parlors, spa, fax and printing, broadband Internet access etc? Similarly does the rental car come with GPS, insurance, inter state travel? Does the Golf Course allow only cart access? Are ski rentals available near the resort? The inclusion of amenities in a search result ensures the traveler is not in for surprises at the first lap of travel.

6. Prepackaged: You want to travel, stay in a semi luxury hotel, play golf, why search for each individually. A prepackaged deal would also be more attractive than customizing the travel. Perhaps cheaper.

Travel should be far from being hostile. It is after all a home away from home. A home is a pivotal source for living and entertainment. One uses the home and its peripheral surroundings to make the best of living. The travel destinations and the mode of travel should be as non hostile and as hospitable as is possible. A dynamic packaging should offer a wealth of choices to the traveler yet not inundate the traveler with so much information that he/she is nervous wreck at the end of an itinerary creation.


From the above description one can determine who the obvious actors are in this case.

1. The Traveler

2. GDS (Airlines and Hotels Rate Distribution)

3. Airlines

4. Car Rental Companies

5. Hotel Central Reservation

6. Tour Operators (Buses, Ground Transportation)

7. Proprietary Aggregators (like Golf, Ski etc.)


The Dynamic Packaging should be capable of extending the services for business-to business operations. Which would imply that our actors now are?

8. Travel Agents and Meeting Planners

9. Call Center Agents.


The key item in dynamic packaging is the Shopping Cart. The results of search can be selected and added as line items in the shopping cart. It bundles all the components chosen by the traveler to create one reservation. This shopping cart based vacation builder allows comparison shopping of packages that can include plane tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, insurance, attraction tickets and other features. Regardless of where the inventory originates, the package that is created is handled seamlessly as one transaction, and requires only one payment from the consumer. It automatically applies rules defined by the suppliers and the travel marketer to build and price travel packages. This package configuration process determines which components are used, what combinations of components are allowed or required, and handles inclusions such as taxes, fees or additional package features.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Travel and Leisure Magazines

Where should I go on my next vacation? How much will a 7-day cruise cost? What are the latest vacation hot spots around the world? What place has the most beautiful beaches? The most delicious foods are found in what country? The most interesting culture can be seen in what part of the world? What is happening in the travel industry today? These and many more questions can be answered if you had magazine travel and leisure literature to browse.

Magazine travel and leisure articles will put you in the know about hot travel destinations throughout the entire world. It would answer all the questions you may have about where to go on the next vacation, the cost of a 7-day cruise, or where the world's top beaches are at. It essence, magazine travel and leisure information would enlighten and educate you about the travel and leisure industry as a whole. The magazine travel and leisure discounts offered are usually a tremendous savings opportunity that will have you traveling more each year, as you save money on all your trips. It doesn't matter if you travel for business or pleasure, or whether you travel alone, with family or with groups, travel discounts make sense for the travel savvy. The better informed you are about the places you wish to travel to, the more likely it is that you will have a satisfying and rewarding experience when traveling.

Valuable and informative cultural awareness can also be obtained from magazine travel and leisure articles. What are the dos and don't of visiting certain countries? Is it acceptable to always shake hands when meeting someone in a foreign country? Or do some cultures frown upon the traditional western greeting of a handshake. Do you need to take off your shoes when entering someone's house in Asian countries? How much of a tip is it appropriate to give when dining in a fancy restaurant in Paris? Knowledge about such issues can be found in magazine travel and leisure articles. You will be pleasantly surprised at the kinds of tidbits you can pick up in these types of articles.

In magazine travel and leisure articles, you will visit far away exotic destinations, without ever leaving your own home. The newest travel trends will be at your fingertips. All the necessary information about the best hotel and resort deals, the most economical transportation options, and other important travel and leisure information will be within reach. Receive all the info you require from one source of information; magazine travel and leisure articles.

An informed traveler is a happy traveler. With magazine travel and leisure information at your disposal, you will know what hotel or resort to stay at, what city spot is a must-see and which restaurants to eat at in the top cities in the world. You'll be up to date on the latest travel and leisure trends in the travel industry. Don't make those travel plans until you are fully informed with the latest data from every destination hot spot.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Search Results

Planning on travelling for knowledge, to unwind, relax, or recharge? Whatever your expectation for your next trip overseas, here are my top tips for making your trip a smooth one.

1. PASSPORT - Make sure you have a valid passport and required visa permit. Fill in your emergency contact number at the back page of your passport in case of emergency. Before you travel make sure to also leave a copy of your travel document and possible contact number overseas with your family and friends also in case of emergency. You can never be too cautious.

2. LIST - Have a list of things to do before you travel like inform your Bank at your home Country about your oversea trip. Make a list of what to pack and pack appropriately especially during winter or summer season. You can never have enough lists. Also, make sure you don't have banned items like scissors or liquids on your carry-on bags or jackets. Carry a change of clothes in your carry on bag in case your baggage is delayed.

3. HOMEWORK - Learn about the culture and people. Read up about the Country, the dos and don'ts of the area you are visiting. Learn the customs and local practices also important is the knowledge of the current currency conversion rate. Update your vaccination requirement and make sure your medical insurance covers you overseas. Medical travel insurance is a must when travelling overseas.

4. BUDGET - Have an estimate of how much your trip will cost from airline ticket, hotel (number of nights/days, star rating,) airport meet & assist to entry fees at tourist attraction centre's. By setting a budget, you will have a picture of the type of holiday experience you want to have will cost you.

5. DECISION - Decide on which Destination Management Company or Agency to take charge of your sightseeing tours. Ask for the past clients experiences or testimonials. This way you will discover the level or quality of service the agency or tour operator offers. Bargaining and openly discussing what your expectations in a holiday of a lifetime can be an avenue to separate a good travel agency or tour operator from another. Discuss discount offers too. Otherwise, your hotel concierge at the destination should help you with this aspect.

6. CHECK IN - Checking in online will save you a lot of time from airport queue. Do arrive at the Airport early because it is better to arrive early that miss you flight totally.

To your success as you make the most of your trips in 2013.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Seattle: The Perfect Vacation For Sight-Seeing And Leisure

Standing with a fresh-brewed, steaming cup of coffee in Seattle is a dream come true for many a coffee fan. Combine this silky cup of Joe with the salty sea air and gentle Pacific breezes, and a trip to the Emerald City will be an experience for any traveler to treasure. While visiting Seattle attractions, visitors absolutely must spend time at the Space Needle to gaze out upon the city and tranquil Puget Sound before treating themselves to a wallet-friendly, all-American treat at the local burger chain, Dick's Drive In.

The Seattle Space Needle is located at the heart of the city, which means it provides the most comprehensive and breathtaking views of the area. This iconic structure was created to bring a focal point to the Seattle World's Fair in 1962 - little did designer Edward E. Carlson know that his mere sketch would turn into an internationally-recognized landmark, with some help from architect John Graham. Over the course of the World's Fair, approximately 2.3 million people visited the tower and today the stately structure remains the city's top tourist destination. Not bad for a tower that was built for only $4.5 million!

While the elevators might have been one of the last parts of the Space Needle to be completed, they will be the first step on a thrilling, 43-second journey to the observation deck. Visitors will travel the 520 feet up to the deck on elevators that move 800 feet per minute. This will be a pleasant alternative to the 848 steps that individuals would otherwise have to climb! Stepping out into the observation deck, it will certainly be fun to choose which view to explore first. Some will want to spend a few moments watching planes land on Lake Union, while others will choose to rush over and look at the Puget Sound. Either way, everyone will be able to zoom in on their favorite views thanks to a little help from Swarovski Telescopes stationed around the deck.

After all the Space Needle excitement, tourists will come back to earth to grab a local snack. Since the Space Needle was completed in the 1960s, it makes sense to try some retro-themed fare, and tourists will easily find Dick's Drive In located just across Seattle Center on 500 Queen Anne Avenue. The low-cost burgers, shakes and fries won the 2008 "Best Cheap Eats" award from Seattle Magazine's People's Choice Awards. Here, visitors will bite into juicy burgers fresh from the grill and almost smell the leather seats in a 1950s Cadillac.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Enjoy African Charm and Leisure

Lagos is the former capital of Nigeria, which currently is the commercial hub of the country and at the same time it receives a major influx of tourists from all over the world booking their flights to Lagos on a relatively frequent basis. Lagos initially was much known to the business travelers from all over the world who always looked for cheap flights to Lagos to explore the city for business purposes. The reason behind this is that Lagos is a port city of Nigeria - all major business activities including the import and export is carried out from here. But after the hosting of the auspicious event of FIFA world cup, the tourists from all over the world happen to explore the region and found Lagos to be catering the tourist's needs the same way as any other lush tourism resort can. Immediately after that the fame of Lagos went out like 'Chinese whisper' and now the city receives major influx of tourists from all over the world booking cheap flights to Lagos and enjoying this dazzling city of Nigeria.

Lagos is the populous most Nigerian city and the second most populous city of Africa after Cairo. Pertinent to the increasing demand of cheap flights to Lagos the ministry of Lagos tourism has taken some positive initiatives to promote the city's tourism and this exuberance of the city has ranked it amongst the seventh most fastest growing cities in the world which caters the needs of both - the business travelers and the tourism seekers, at the same time. Undoubtedly, you get to enjoy endless possibilities of leisure once you land here through cheap flights to Lagos which are now easily available online, offered by all the major air lines.

The city is replete with the natural beauty; the beaches, awesome sights, natural landscapes - you get to see every thing what it all takes to be making your trip memorable. The modern metropolitan traits give you an opportunity to enjoy a luxurious life style and opulent life style plus ritzy accommodation at an economical rate. Abreast, cheap flights to Lagos cuisine is very famous as well amongst the foreign travelers which they love to enjoy, upon arranging their flights to Lagos.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Travel and Learn

Many of us dream to travel the world when we grow up. To see what life looks like beyond the figments of our imagination. To see a new place, explore and experience.

Practically speaking, it is impossible to go around the world in a lifetime. For most of us, this dream remains only a dream because as we grow older, we also find that our priorities change. The little of the world we have seen beyond our homes remain only the few places we have ventured out to, for studies, work, or health care and hardly leisure.

Afterwards, travelling becomes a luxury that only rich people with time can afford. We could be fond of travelling, but even that becomes a not-good-enough-reason to pick a suitcase and go somewhere just like that. We are battling against time and money, priorities and families- the process which is likely to go on till we age and are no longer eager to see that new place anymore.

This, however, does not necessarily mean that we cannot travel anymore in the positions we are placed. After all, it's all in the mind. As Henry Ford has said, "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right."

It may be impossible for all of us catch an international flight and go abroad, or for that matter, even visit a city outside the state for leisure. But who says only those places are worth travelling to? I have always observed with wonder children and teenagers who come to bigger towns for the first time from far flung rural areas. It is magical to see in their eyes, the sheer wonder of spotting magnificent buildings in the town, even as they try to count the cars passing by.

It leaves me with a nice feeling. I think it is joy that they express in their faces. The joy of travelling. Because there is always an element of surprise in a new place, and I think they feel and experience that. It maybe no big deal for town dwellers, but it is for them, who can even count the number of vehicles visiting their villages in a year, and suddenly, they see hundreds of them swarming the road.

We must travel to learn and widen our thoughts. Especially young people must travel as much as they can, whenever they can. Because one can only have that youthful zest when we are young. We are also open to more ideas, and willing to learn when we are young. And also because, youth is fleeting and it is only once that we get to be young.

Travel. Not necessarily to big cities in the country, but to wherever you can. How wonderful that we can learn and enjoy each other's culture, provided, we step out of our comfort zones; meet new people, learn new things, simply experience the joy of travelling.

We must travel because unless we do, we never know how blessed we are. We never know the random kindness of those people we call our own unless we venture out to feel and experience it. But above all, take chances to travel because there are some insights that only travelling can teach us.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Stop - How To Reduce Your Travel And Vacation Expenses By 50%

The Travel business is a $7 billion per year industry and growing year on year .The travel and vacation business is changing from a store front strip mall business to a business that is supported by home based agents. Online travel and vacation business in the US has reached the stage of maturity. Therefore the online travel and vacation business is the logical low risk, potential high return choice for minorities interested in a home based business.

Online sales of leisure and un managed business travel reached a total of $65 billion last year that the total will grow to $122 billion by 2009 a near doubling of the market in 4 years. The news about healthy new competition in the travel and vacation business is welcome in the overall business community.

The conclusion you can draw from the increase is simply that the online travel and vacation business is still a burgeoning market with plenty of potential. The work from home business on the internet has become a rapidly expanding market in recent years.

As a part-time travel agent you can use your free time to sell travel and vacation and take advantage of all these people you come in contact with in the course of your work many are prime prospects for a travel and vacation business. You can make a handsome income and enjoy some wonderful fringe benefits,just by specializing in the travel interest and needs of folks like you.

Even if all you want to do is save money on travel and vacation for business or pleasure, becoming a home based travel and vacation agent is one of the best ways to do just that. If you're eager to start a fun,moneymaking home business ,you'll find that it can be done easily and cheaply. It is now a relatively simple matter to translate the knowledge and enthusiasm you already have into powerful presentations.

According to Business standard,online travel and vacation business is the logical low risk potential high return choice for minorities . Whatever schedule works best for you you can design a travel and vacation business to accommodate it. Here's a business that allows you to set your own hours like few others offering you a genuine opportunity to run your own highly profitable online turnkey travel and vacation business opportunity. We can guide you towards realizing these aspiration.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tips For Traveling With Toddlers

Our family loves to spend time together traveling. From a day trip, to a weekend getaway, or flying across the continent to have a vacation with our ever-missed bunch of relatives and big family circle, we put our perspectives to enjoy and have fun in our journeys.

Our three and a half year-old son - Benjamin has grown up and as we walk our ways in the road of parenting, we have picked up so many treasures of life lessons even just in traveling alone; as we continue our trip of wonderful and beautiful life... here are some thoughts I can share when bringing your toddler boy for a travel.

- Give him a mindset. A day or the night before the day out, for a longer travel, a few days or a week before the trip, talk about the place to go, what to see, whom to meet, and activities or things to do. If we are going to have a picnic and swimming tomorrow, telling him that he's going to meet his friends there to play gives him a sense of excitement and something to look forward to.

- Allow or promote enough rest and sleep. He will need that energy for the trip.

- Prepare and bring enough snacks/drinks, extra clothes, essential toiletries, don't forget the wet wipes, it will come handy; basic first aid items even just few pieces of band aid.

- Drinking a lot of fluids is important too to prevent dehydration so the next thought would be: "Where is the restroom?" If he's still wearing diapers you can change anytime; if he's potty trained first thing to know is the restroom, if you're in the mall, restaurants, parks, airplane it is good to know where to go when nature calls. If we are having a long drive by car, we have at least some bottled water not only for our hydration but the empty bottle will be the sweetest thing when my toddler boy asks for a pee while you're on the road. You can pull over safely and let him pee in the bottle. My son would tell me: "Mom, don't drink this one, okay?" We also have his small potty chair along with us in case he needs to do "number 2" while we are in the middle of nowhere.

- Pick up a few pieces of his favorite toys to tag along. At this stage, he is into power rangers and monster trucks so I make sure I have grabbed 1 or 2 of them so they are available in time of need.

- Portable entertainment is a must these days. You can have your tablet or smart phones or for Benjamin's case, his DVD player along with his favorite DVD tapes can make him occupied and entertained. There are times when he loves watching cars and big trucks along the road/freeways and counting how many BMW's he saw or "MAC" - the big truck from the movie "CARS". He also enjoys the games on IPod so we make sure; these gadgets are charged or bring the car charger if applicable to have an easy ride.

- Lightweight books are essential too. He loves looking at his books and making up stories from the picture that's in it. He keeps us entertained too!

- When traveling by plane, we have to bring his seal plush toy and his favorite fleece blanket for comfort during nap time.

- Allowing him to explore and have fun and setting appropriate limitations for safety keep our travel more enjoyable. Giving him a chance to take care of his own stuff like keeping an eye for his backpack helps promote his sense of responsibility.

- Bring the camera, we don't want to miss capturing the moments as they grow so fast and time just flies!

- Mom and Dad should get enough rest as well to have the power when traveling with our cheeky little monkey.

I'm sure these are just few of the many things we have to consider when traveling with a toddler boy but I hope we have got the same goals to make our holidays memorable every time & in every place we go. Have a great summer holidays!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Loyalty Programs in Travel and Hospitality Sector and Key Role of E-CRM



The travel sector offers quite a few loyalty programs - some of which are quite well-known, and successful as well. Within this sector, the sub-vertical that definitively takes the lead in loyalty program adoption and innovation is the Airlines sector.

Airlines were among the first businesses to introduce loyalty programs to their customers. Frequent-flyer programs date back to early 1980s when American Airlines started the now iconic American Advantage (AAdvantage) program. Through the Sabre computer reservations system, American Airlines had amassed a database of around 150,000 of its best customers.


The Star Alliance Network is a partnership where frequent flyers can accumulate and redeem miles on the following airlines: United Airlines; Lufthansa; Air Canada; SAS; British Midland; Varig; ANA; Singapore Airlines; Austrian Airlines; Thai Airways; Air New Zealand; and Mexicana.

VARIG's Smiles Program is the most popular frequent flyer loyalty program in Latin America. With Smiles, passengers can earn miles on every VARIG flight, as well as regional, domestic and international flights on Rio Sul, Nordeste, Pluna, South African Airways, Spanair, Alitalia and participating airlines of the Star Alliance. Miles earned can be exchanged for free tickets, upgrades and other benefits.

US Airways offers its members greater privileges through additional offers by its Dividend Miles program on travel on US Airways and its partners. The features differ for its three membership types - Silver Preferred, Gold Preferred and Chairman's Preferred.


In the days of inception, the hospitality industry offered loyalty programs together with the travel industry. With time, as the airlines stated their own Frequent Flier Programs, the hospitality industry launched independent frequent guest programs as well. Holiday Inn was amongst the first to launch its own loyalty program, in January 1983 followed by Marriott with its Honored Guest Awards program in the same year.


The recent launch of "Any hotel, Any where" card by the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), the world's largest and most global hotel company, is one of the best initiatives in the context of new age loyalty programs in the hospitality industry. IHG has recently added a new feature to its customer loyalty program: Priority Club Rewards.

Starwood Preferred Guest is another of the best loyalty programs in the Industry. The program made headlines when it launched in 1999 with a breakthrough policy of no blackout dates and no capacity controls, meaning members can redeem free nights anytime, anywhere.

Park Hospitality, part of Minneapolis-based Carlson Hospitality Worldwide, consists of Park Plaza and Park Inn hotels in North America. The hospitality group primarily offers services to a range of guests in suburban and leisure destinations. Park Rewards, part of the Gold Points Rewards guest loyalty program, is based on a point system awarding 10 points for each U.S. dollar spent on accommodations at Park Plaza and Park Inn hotels in North America.

Radisson Hotels and Resorts' channel-based Relationship Building Loyalty Program, called 'Look To Book', has been very successful as well. Radisson is the only hotel company to offer a patented on-line loyalty program for travel agents, which allows them to automatically earn points towards valuable merchandise and incentive awards in return for booking Radisson hotels.

Hyatt offers a global loyalty program - Hyatt Gold Passport. Hyatt Gold passport offers features like earning points towards free nights with no blackout dates, selecting in-hotel services and special offers, beginning with the very first stay. The benefits offered are based on the type of membership the guest holds. The three memberships offered by Hyatt Gold Passport are Gold, Platinum and Silver, based on the frequency/ number of visits.

Hospitality industry in developing economies such as in India are not left behind either The Welcom Award program recognises the needs of a business traveller and through its strategic alliances with travel partners, endeavors to build rewarding relationships.


While the consumer awareness of loyalty programs as well as the business priority accorded to them are both growing in tandem, the effectiveness of such programs, and the consequent ROI that a business generates out of them continue to be significant challenges. Here below are a few key areas that deserve focused attention of enterprises that are implementing or running such programs:

"7 out of 10 loyalty card owners own more than one loyalty card," avers a recent Frost & Sullivan research. The problem out of this rampant loyalty card and loyalty program proliferation, researchers say, is that surprisingly few consumers know which hotels are covered by their frequent-stay cards, thereby missing out on earning hundreds, even thousands, of points. Blame it on poor communication by the companies or the sheer numbers of brands, say the experts.

Traditionally, customer relationship management focus in hospitality has always began and ended in one phrase: "customer satisfaction." The presumption is very simple: Customers will appreciate good service so much that they would not go to your competitor. In other words: Customer satisfaction plus quality of services equals customer loyalty.

The truth is that customer satisfaction does not always equal customer loyalty.

Research shows:
• 40% of satisfied customers switch hotels without hesitation (Forum Corp.)
• 65% to 85% of customers who choose a new hotel claim to be satisfied and very satisfied with the
former one (Harvard Business Review)
• 85% of customers claim to be satisfied, yet willing to switch to other hotels (University of Texas).

These are compelling numbers, clearly indicating that even for the best-of-class service provider hotels there is a crying need for focused and ongoing relationship building and relationship deepening exercises with their key clientele.

Electronic customer relationship management (e-CRM), in the context of the exploding Internet distribution and marketing in hospitality, is a business strategy supported by Web technologies allowing hoteliers to engage customers in strong, personalized and mutually beneficial interactive relationships, increase conversions and sell more efficiently.

This means that almost every time an Internet user lands on a hotel Web site a branding interaction occurs, thereby creating either an opportunity, or a threat, for the hotel. This branding interaction can be positive (brandbuilding) or negative (brand-eroding).

A. Customer Knowledge

Knowing your Web site visitors is an extremely important consideration when conceptualizing and designing your hotel Web site and your e-CRM strategy.

The 2004 RUSH Report shows:

• 56% of all visitors on hotel branded Web sites are leisure travelers and 32% are business travelers. Approximately 3% of hotel Web site visitors are involved in meeting or event planning.
• 34% of all visitors on hotel branded Web sites seek information about the hotel, while 30% of the visitors come to make or change a reservation.
• Business travelers look for directions and high speed Internet.
• Meeting planners look for function room floor plans and capacity charts.

The benefits:
• Identifies your most valuable customers with best lifetime value perspective (20:80 principle)
• Allows guest-centric data mining: Guest history, guest profiles, past bookings, preferences, etc.
• Enables informed decisions in real time
• Allows fast response times
• Offers real-time guest lifetime value
• Delivers business insight to executives, marketers, sales

B. Personalization
Personalizing the customer experience on the hotel Web site is a powerful conversion and retention tool. Customizing your interaction with your most valuable customers (those 20% who generate 80% of your business) will provide significant long-term rewards.
Personalization at the property level should start by:
• Identifying all "electronic touch points" with your customers (hotel guests, meeting planners, travel professionals, etc.) and creating an action plan.
• Personalize all electronic communications with your customers. Adopt a policy on how to address your guests via e-mail (first name only, Mr./Mrs. plus last name, etc.).

C. Customer Support

It is important to understand that customer service is only one aspect of e-CRM and is primarily a reactive function aiming to improve performance and efficiency, while e-CRM as a whole is a proactive long-term strategy.

Customer support in the Internet age relies on a wide range of tools and techniques. Here are some to consider:
• Web Self-Service Tools: Intelligent service channel management and natural language search engines; directing customer requests to most appropriate support information and services; FAQs; "Ask the experts" self-service chat rooms; interactive maps, directions and business locators.
• Live Service Tools: Push-to-talk functionality and real-time interaction with live agent; instant messaging and chat-room type assistance; Voice-over-Internet Protocols applications; and automation to pre-screen live support (selective approach).
• E-Mail Service Tools: Inbound e-mail management; and automated e-mail response systems capable of automating 80%-90% of e-mail volume with 98% accuracy, dramatically improving service and reducing support staff by up to 40%.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Pleasant Surprise For A "Worldly" Traveler

I am not one to drop names, brag, or tell you how well-traveled I am. I am, however, well-traveled
and for a reason. Not because I am among the jet-setting rich, no, far from it. In 1988, I created the
Scandal Tours, or "Theater On The Bus" as the front page Wall St. Journal headlines heralded it. From
that point for another four years when I sold the business, it was not unusual for me to be on Peter
Jennings ABC News, Paula Zahn CBS Morning, Japan Nippon TV, Australia TV, major worldwide
magazines and newspapers and periodic reports from AP, Reuters, and UPI (each time we updated
the tour and issued a new release).

Our tour began at the Washington, D.C. Ritz Carlton, and of course we brought them a great
deal of business, given that many of our tours were groups for conventions and conferences.

So wherever I stayed in the world, I could stay at the Ritz for free or nearly free as "a gift"
if you will. In addition, the wife of possibly the largest hotel chain in the world was a neighbor of
mine in my childhood years (she wasn't married yet into that hotel chain) and we remained friends as
she was a very close friend of my mother's. So whether it was Hawaii or Martinique, I knew
accommodations would be lovely. They were.

My "better half" Rosy, an attorney on the west coast has seen more of the world than I have, and
given her station in life, has seen it from a "higher plateau" with (let us say) better/quicker room
service (or any service) for that matter.

But that is not why I am writing. It is only a preface to give you an idea of our travel experiences.

This article is about the humble, quiet, yet lovely Hampton Inn at Dulles Airport on Holiday Drive
in the Washington, D.C suburbs of Dulles, Va.

I live in Hot Springs, Ar and Rosy in Los Angeles. We traveled last week to meet her niece from
Russia arriving on Air France to study in America on a student exchange program.

Rosy booked a room at the Hampton Inn Dulles.

"Hampton Inn?", I thought. "Oh my." "Is it safe"? She assured me it was fine.

Then I remembered I had stayed at a Hampton Inn in my hometown once and it was

From the moment we arrived at the Hampton until the time we left, we were treated like
royalty. The rooms were immaculate and every single employee was upbeat, funny, fun to
talk to, and the service surpassed many of the best hotels in the world. I was shocked as I
believe Rosy was.

Room service was "on top of things". If we needed something it was there fast and with
a smile.

If we needed directions, we got them from the desk clerk who was as professional if not
more-so than any large-city concierge. Again, more shock.

The room decorated with an artistic flair that could have been in any major hotel. Again,

I write this not to be patronizing, and, no Virginia, I own no stock in Hampton Inn's or any of
their subsidiaries.

It would be unfair to finish writing this article without mentioning Ruth and Yvette, both employed
at the Dulles Hampton. I am not sure of their positions at the property, but they were both a bundle of energy. It was almost like having two magic genies in a bottle and "our wish was our command". There was never a negative moment and no matter what the situation, they handled it with a smile. I have never experienced anything like that (nor had Rosy) at the finest hotels. I know I am gushing
at this place, but I guess it was such a pleasant surprise. One would be hard-pressed to find such
professionals at the finest of establishments. Their kind and friendly service makes people want to
go back again.

And the surprise was not necessarily that it was a medium-priced hotel (a Hampton), but an Airport
Hampton and an "Airport Hotel" at that. Airport hotels are not known for their "genuine hospitality" but a fast-paced environment in which people generally spend a short night and take an early flight so a just are looking for a bed, tv, and maybe continental breakfast on the way out. This was so much more.

The purpose of the article is for the traveler to know there are economic ways to travel safely,
given a clean room, and immaculate service without spending a fortune. If ever in Washington, D.C.,
though clearly off the beaten path, we will certainly go to the Hampton.

For this worldly traveler who thought he was so worldly, he learned a new humbling thing or two.
One not need stay at the best to be treated the best.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Top Business and Leisure Destinations of India

On the verge of being a developed country with economical development taking place at a fast pace, India has emerged as one of the hottest business destinations. The country is already home to countless tourist attractions. Right from the Taj Mahal, erotic temples of Khajuraho to the Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Gateway of India, Ajanta & Ellora caves, the list just goes on and on.

Amid the business destinations in the country it is Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore that top the list. While Bangalore is the cyber city, exporting IT services across the world, Delhi as the capital city is one of the most happening business hubs with Mumbai as the Bollywood city as well as the financial capital of the country. All the three cities witness both business and leisure tourists round the year. Hotels in Delhi, hotels in Mumbai, and hotels in Bangalore are available for all classes of travelers. You may as well find a chain of hotels in all the said cities representing a single brand.

If you have to travel quite often to these three cities, it is advisable that you become a member of a hotel chain. A membership entitles you to a number of benefits besides a confirmed stay, extra attention, and gaining of points with each stay. There are membership plans to choose from; choose the one that well suits your preferences. Most of these chains of hotels in Mumbai, hotels in Delhi, hotels in Bangalore and hotels in other cities offer honeymooners' package, unified holiday package, etc. You may avail airport transfers, complimentary premiere rooms, breakfast, meals as per the terms and conditions mentioned in the package.

Vacationing in any of these cities can turn out to be the vacation of a lifetime if you plan your schedule well beforehand. All the hotels in India right from hotels in Mumbai, hotels in Delhi, hotels in Bangalore to hotels in other cities offer limitless hospitality to the satisfaction of the guests. The hotel staff never leaves any stone unturned to satisfy every guest.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Important Things to Ponder Before Travelling

Travelling around to different places is what everyone wants. Being able to see a certain country's culture, seeing the beautiful spots, tasting different delicacies, meeting new people are just few of the goals when we travel. Somehow, the happiness and excitement we get when we travel is really one of a kind that we always keep on coming back for more most especially when we are given proper treatment and greeted warmly. In spite of it being very costly, still many people love to travel and go sightseeing for the reason that they want to relax and give time for themselves.

When we travel, we get to reward ourselves from the hard work and from being a workaholic. It is truly a fabulous experience when we get to see new people, new landscapes and everything that is not on a routine for us. It will surely be very memorable and fun on our part when we get lost from over riding a bus, or perhaps from not understanding the map of a certain country, poor directions and not being able to understand the language spoken. We will just charge everything to experience though.

Before we even pack our clothes and other things in our luggage bags, we first need to settle a lot of things that way from the very beginning of our trip to the very end, everything will go smoothly and organized. There are so many things that we need to plan ahead of time or before the desired date of the trip. Important things like airline tickets and hotel accommodations. These two things are probably the most expensive and costly when we travel.

As soon as we have decided which country to visit, booking for an airline ticket comes next. It is important to book for tickets weeks before the desired departure that way will never miss great package deals and discounts on airline tickets. Not only do we get to save money, but we also get to have the chance to reschedule or cancel the whole trip when problems arise.

Hotel accommodations need to be reviewed and planned as well. It is important for us to have enough background on which hotel we would prefer to stay during the whole trip. This can be done through reading magazines or doing an online research about different hotels in the country you plan to visit. Checking out the hotel's location whether it is near or far from the city, if they have conducive rooms for sleeping, and if they have tight security to keep you safe all the time.

Knowing the location of a certain hotel will let you know whether you will still need a ride or a cab to get to the city. Now this is more costly. Choosing hotels situated in the city proper allows you to simply walk down to stores, or shopping malls, restaurants and other shops. It also important to know the hotel's security system that way we are assured of our safety during our stay. Security guards usually have stun gun tazers that will help them protected and will keep the hotel guarded. Checking out for the room rates and whether it is conducive will give you ideas on which among the hotel is best and perfect for you.

Once everything is planned with regards to booking airline tickets, and hotel reservations, it is time to pack things and get prepared for quality leisure time. First of all, it is important to have a checklist of the things you need to bring. This will keep things organized and prevents you from bringing useless stuff. When travelling, it is wise to pack and carry light clothes. Light clothes dry easily making you save a lot of money from laundry. Also, carry only few clothes if you do not want to carry a heavy luggage. And lastly, never to forget to bring stun guns pepper spray for your protection during the whole trip.

If you want to make your vacation worthwhile, fun and memorable, always make sure that the important things are very well planned. This keeps you from spending too much and gives you an organized trip.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

East Grinstead - West Sussex - An Excellent Location For Adventure and Leisure

East Grinstead is a wealthy town in West Sussex, England. Much of the population found in East Grinstead commute to London for work. Many of the commuters prefer to live in this quiet town and work in the busier city of London. It has plenty to do and see for residents and visitors alike. There are an abundance of shops to occupy the time, looking for that perfect souvenir. Outdoor activities are many, for those wishing to spend time out of doors.

Besides the many shops in East Grinstead, the buildings themselves are architectural wonders. High Street is filled with 14th century buildings that beg to be seen, even though almost all of them have been altered in some way or another.

Old St. Margaret's Convent is located on this same street, no longer an active convent; it has been changed over to housing. Almshouses that were founded by the Earl of Dorset in 1609 are used by Sackville College and are supported by descendents of the Earl.

Another architectural delight is St. Swithin's Church that was brought back to life, from scratch, in the 18th century following the collapse of its tower. There are three graves in this church that belong to martyrs who were burned at the stake in 1665. For history buffs and art goers, the East Grinstead Museum is a great way to enjoy a leisurely afternoon. Other historical pieces can be found in Standen, the Victorian house filled with objects from the 1920s that relate to the Arts and Crafts Movement.

The Bluebell Line travels through the gorgeous countryside of the city, it is the steam railway adored by many. This scenic area is a wonderful place to explore on foot as well, especially in the Weir Wood Reservoir. Created in 1951 and consisting of 280 acres, there is plenty of room for walkers to revel in the beauty of the surrounding forests.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Litchfield CT: Connecticut's Best Cities For Your Home And Family

Located in the rolling hills of northwestern Connecticut, Litchfield is an affluent summer resort community with a distinctive New England character and fascinating history less than two hours driving time from New York.

Founded in 1719, Litchfield has several homes on the National Register of Historic Places including the Oliver Wolcott House who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation. Built in 1753, it is the oldest house in Litchfield and was the birthplace of several generations of Connecticut Governors.

In 1776, the Sons of Liberty pulled down the statue of King George III on horseback that stood on Bowling Green in New York City. The shattered pieces of the statue were sent to Litchfield, where the town's women and children melted them to convert them to 42,000 bullets in the orchard behind Oliver Wolcott's home.

During the Revolutionary War, with the Connecticut coastline under constant attack and New York occupied by the British, Litchfield prospered as a critical supply depot for the Continental Army with stores and munitions. It was considered a "Safe Town" to jail important Loyalists prisoners such as William Franklin, the royal Governor of New Jersey and son of Benjamin Franklin. David Matthews the mayor of New York City who was charged with an attempted kidnapping of George Washington was also held prisoner in this Continental Army stronghold on the strategic crossroads of northwestern Connecticut.

On the night of September 23, 1780, George Washington ate and slept at the Wolcott home during the Revolution and Lafayette was also a visitor to the house. The birthplace of Ethan Allen is another Revolutionary War hero's historic home in Litchfield.

Litchfield was the county seat for many years and in 1784 Tapping Reeve created the Litchfield Law School which was of the first law schools in America offering a standardized curriculum so all students had access to the same body of legal knowledge. The town was also the site of one of the first women's schools in America, Sarah Pierce's Litchfield Female Academy.

Litchfield's early "Golden Age" over the next fifty years from 1784-1834 made it the center of Northwestern Connecticut's intellectual, commercial, legal and cultural center with an unusually high number of college graduates and an intelligencia that made it stand out as a progressive New England community.

Litchfield's economy suffered in the mid 19th Century industrial revolution because the community didn't have a sufficient water supply and railroads to attract factories. This enabled it to retain its rural character and by the late 1800's Litchfield became a resort community with weekend and summer vacation homes. Litchfield's architecture is strongly influenced by the Colonial Revival style characterized with the community's many white wood siding houses and black shutters.

Today, Litchfield is a relatively small town of approximately 8,000 people with carefully preserved 18th and 19th century homes along contemporary houses. Enjoy its architecture, restaurants, shops and scenic outdoor beauty that includes hiking, biking and boating at Litchfield's Bantam Lake.

Bantam Lake at over 900 acres is the largest natural lake in Connecticut. The lake was a favorite hunting ground of the Pootatuck Indians and the large number of arrowheads on the north end of the lake suggest frequent skirmishes with the Mohawks coming from the Hudson River Valley to the west.

Bantam Lake offers some of the best fishing in Connecticut with the main species being Northern Pike, Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Yellow and White Perch. It also has as a very active sailing and ice boating community.

With its beautiful setting in the rolling hills of northwestern Connecticut that's made it an ideal vacation home resort, together with its close proximity to New York and Hartford makes Litchfield one of Connecticut's best cities for your home and family.

Monday, October 7, 2013

How to Use Business Travel Secrets for Personal Travel

Business travelers are subjected to several travel secrets since they take an average of seven long distance trips every year which has been established by the Travel Industry Association while it has been estimated that the leisure travelers take an average of less than three trips each year. Normal vacationers do not fly, drive or stay in hotels as much as the business travelers do, but vacationers can take the opportunity to learn certain significant facts and tips about how business travelers move through the airport or the hotel lobby and can also learn to get better deals from hotels and airlines as well. Some of the advantages includes lesser expense, shorter wait times and access to more convenience.

1) Stay at business hotels
Most of the business hotels are conveniently located close to places which host meetings and conventions, especially near to airports or close to the downtown commercial district which has easy access to the major highways. You will be surprised to learn that consumers might get even better deals than business travelers as hotels which cater to business clients are usually busy during the work week and their prices drop during the weekends so that they can fill the empty rooms.

2) Book Y-up fares
Generally, all the Y-up, Q-up and Z-up fares are actually full-fare coach seats which comes with a guaranteed upgrade to first class and you will be surprised to learn that Y-up fares are a well-known trick of the business travel trade. In case, as a consumer you were going to go for the business class, then Y-up and other auto-upgrade fares will certainly be a less-expensive and better option.

3) Be Loyal
Loyalty certainly comes with its privileges and airlines, hotels and car rental agencies often offer repeat customers ample of rewards and complimentary upgrades. In this way, you can rack up miles in your rewards account and can also result in certain nice perks. Airlines take great care of their frequent fliers and certainly offer them inexpensive upgrades which are available at check-ins. Your loyalty also pays off more quickly with car-rental agencies' reward programs.

4) Fly in all business-class airlines
Business class airlines like to eliminate competition by offering their clients roomier seats and in this way customers end up paying significantly less for a business-class or even premium economy seat on other airlines. In the peak season or the demand seasons, fares will just be $100 higher to that of the economy class and this will offer more legroom, superior food and other perks and the extra $100 is rightly justified in this manner.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fractional Leisure Ownership - Pros and Disadvantages

In spite of the international turmoil impinging on the real estate business, fractional vacation ownership showed its impressive development in the economy, by exceeding guests' expected results through constant improvement in services.

Families, couples, and even singles engage in timeshare getaways, mainly because of the benefits that it brings. Yet, there are people who refuse to purchase one, no matter how great the offers are, because of the expected issues and hazards of partially owning a property that may be thousands of miles away from their domiciles.

And while all of us hope to have that worry-free dream vacation that the industry claims, we must always keep in mind that there are inevitable benefits and negatives in getting a timeshare investment. And these are things that we all need to look into before diving into the timeshare business.

A CONTINUING INVESTMENT. Since the depression made it more complicated for everyone to use their disposable income, it is essential to take into account whether it is really worth your hard-earned finances. One of the merits of possessing a timeshare is its economical benefits. As opposed to obtaining a complete property that you will only use probably once every year during your annual vacation trip, or absurdly paying out thousands of dollars to stay in a hotel for a long period, you just pay for your share of the week in a timeshare setup.

SAME OFFERS. Not because you paid less that means you get less. As a matter of fact, the best part of timesharing is that it gives the same benefits and coziness that you have when you own a property. Hotels and condominiums that can be bought for a fractional price supply luxury guestrooms or suites, fully-equipped kitchens, large common rooms, and access to other comforts and facilities just like your normal luxury hotel or resort.

An additional plus is that vacationers do not have to be troubled about maintenance of their vacation houses, because the yearly maintenance and administration costs are supposed to spread this cost out. Families or bachelors who own timeshare properties need not worry about the preservation, because the management will be responsible for the said task.

Nonetheless despite these dazzling benefits, having a timeshare has its own difficulties as well. For one, if you're not one who can afford to take vacation trips every year, then this is not a very sensible choice for you. You won't be able to benefit from and make the best out of the upkeep fee that they charge you annually.

This growing business has also become the avenue of scams, and vacationers who do not spend time researching properly may end up losing money because of timeshare scams. Bonuses and extra packages are one of the prominent promises that unsuspectingly bait customers who aspire to have timeshare assets. Being extra-cautious is a major requirement too in order to avoid being a victim in this field.

There are also occasions when timeshare owners decide to sell their property. This is most frustrating for said assets are very hard to sell, especially these days with the huge downturn of the real estate market.

The timeshare industry is easily one of the most costly in the world. And in an industry where big money is the price for comfort and convenience, it is essential to research and consider every point imaginable prior to making any last decision and parting with hard-earned cash.

Research is the key to save a traveler from the traps of timeshare ownership. It is also the key that will open a vacationer to the possibilities of having a dream-come-true vacation. But of course, the decision still relies on the individual's lifestyle - no matter how excellent or affordable the offers are.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Travel and Leisure - The Best Combination

There is no better way to spend your leisure time than by traveling, for those bitten by the travel bug. In case you don't remember the meaning of the word "leisure", it means "free" as in free from domestic duty and "free" from that pesky all consuming thing called a job that a lot of us have, even if we are "free" just for a day or two.

Leisure and travel are two words that fit together quite well. It was like they were made for each other. One rarely goes anywhere without the other. Travel for fun is best done at a leisurely pace. A week of vacation jam packed with two weeks' worth of activities usually require a vacation to recover from the vacation. If you plan your schedule well, your leisure and travel time will be time well spent and you will get the maximum of enjoyment out of your leisure time.

Travel allows us to experience other worlds and cultures as well as different events and activities that normally do not take place in our own personal sphere of existence. Leisure and travel gives us a different view and perspective and broadens the life lessons that enrich our lives. It also gives us a better appreciation of what we have.

How do you plan your leisure and travel time? First, decide the things you really want to do and the places you want to visit. Your list will most likely change as your travel experiences increase so don't be afraid to change it up when the mood strikes. A visit to a desired destination might spark an idea to visit another place or it may serve to discourage a visit to a place on your list. Remember to be realistic with your wish list. It is always good to dream but if you dream big all the time you may find all you have time to do is dream. A destination and activity doesn't have to be worlds away. It can be something in your home state, your home town or even your own neighborhood.

Once your list is in place, decide on how much time you will take for leisure and travel. Or you may decide which destination you want and decide how much time you need to make that trip a reality. Be realistic with your time off, however. You don't' want to spend all your vacation time all at once and have nothing left for the rest of your life. When planning your leisure and travel, don't micro-manage your time but don't leave your schedule wide open if you want to include certain activities in your plan. The ultimate objective is to see and do those things on your list.

Sometimes leisure and travel require a passport and perhaps a visa. Allow ample time to have those two things processed. Maybe look up the requirements and time frames for each anyways and have an idea what is involved - just in case you get the urge to travel out of the country. Depending on your destination, any exotic plans may have to include shots or some type of medical clearance. It is better to do your homework well in advance and be prepared than to be stopped at the border with just a note from mom.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Comprehensive List of Travel Agents

Travel - it is the most inevitable part in many people's life. Business travel and leisure travel are that two types of travel that is mostly prevalent. Whatever type of travel that you may need to undertake, it would definitely involve a certain degree of preparation from your part. However, there has been a sea change in the preparation scenario. Yes, gone are the days where you were required to make all your travel arrangements without adequate guidance.

Travel agents and efficient ones at that, are functioning across the globe. With many of them vying with each other to sign up a customer, there is a confusion that prevails among the travelers. Do I get the best deal? Am I dealing with a licensed travel agent? Will my tour be hassle free? These are some of the questions that are foremost in the minds of a traveler trying to book a travel agent.

All these questions will be satisfactorily resolved if you can get hold of a comprehensive travel agent guide. When you have comprehensive list of agents, you can check out each and everyone on the list by either calling them up or visiting their website to find out about the services rendered by them.

The World Wide Web is playing a very vital role in the life of every individual who has access to the internet. You can select a travel agent on the internet, check out their services, and book them online in a jiffy. And, interestingly you can do all this no matter in which part of the world you happen to live in.

If you have been planning to go on a tour along with family and friends, then you would want it to be comfortable. But in case the cost factor plays a pivotal role in your tour idea, it is important that you check out for travel agents that will work a plan that will be within your budget. Many agents do understand that affordability is an important factor in attracting clients and hence work a plan that would be suitable for one and all.

Apart from merely booking the flight, train,or bus tickets, an agent should also take care of your local transportation, sight seeing, book hotels or bed and breakfast, arrange for guides etc. All these additional services are very important for a traveler.

Therefore, choose the best one from a comprehensive list of travel agents and make your tour a grand success.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Details About Working With an Online Travel Agency

When you are looking to book your next vacation or your next business trip, you may be considering using an online travel agency. Before you decide to do so, however, you should be aware of what to expect from an online travel agency so you can determine how best to match that to your own unique needs. There are several different levels of service in which to classify online travel agencies, the level you need depends on your trip requirements as well as your personal travel and leisure preferences or desires.

Quite simply, you should be able to find an online travel agency that can fulfill any expectation you may have. Whether you prefer self-service travel plans where you do all of your own searching and booking, or a full-service online agency that handles every detail on your behalf, there are many options available. Depending on the type of travel you will be undertaking, there are also various options that you can consider among online travel agencies. Some specialize only in travel packages, while others offer a la carte menus of travel services for you to pick and choose.

There are several expectations, however, that are universal to all online travel agencies. These have to do with the minimum level of service provided and the quality and competitiveness of the types of travel being sold. It is best to qualify the online travel agency on all of these expectations before you choose to enter into partnership with them for the travel you are seeking to plan.

The first universal expectation that you should have for your online travel agency is having a variety of destinations and packages available to choose from. It does not matter what specialty the agency might have, from full-service travel to niche travel such as cruises or unusual destinations. No matter what is being sold, you always want to partner with an agency that provides options. While the first option you see may very well end up being the best choice or the best value, you will have no means of determining that unless other options are available for comparison. Good self-service travel sites will readily offer you comparison information. Full-service online travel agencies should compile that same information and present it to you when you are in the process of making a decision.

The second universal expectation you should have when using an online travel agency is that they offer the same basic types of vacations from more than one carrier or provider. For example, you can choose between two major airlines for the same New York-to-Miami flight leg of your trip. If an online travel agency represents only one brand, they are not truly a travel agency; instead, they are a representative of that brand. If only one brand were offered, customers would have no means of evaluating whether the services and products offered were of value or were worthless. Having a number of providers to choose from when selecting hotel or airfare or cruise line shows that the travel agency is actively updating its site with the best prices and options currently available.

The third universal expectation that you should have for your online travel agency is price competitiveness. Although travel agencies sometimes charge fees to travelers in order to off-set their cost of doing business, those fees must be fair. The charges for the actual travel services you see published through online travel agencies should be no more than what you would pay if you went directly through the provider, and, in fact, less if bundled with other services.

The final universal expectation that you should have for your online travel agency is a service-level guarantee that ensures you get what you pay for and are treated in a courteous and appropriate manner. Online travel agencies should also offer some form of a guarantee for your purchases that no foreseeable action on their part or the part of the service provider will interrupt your travel. They cannot warrant against freak or random occurrences, but they can ensure that their own offerings are solid before offered.

Perhaps the best thing about using an online agency is the availability of customer reviews and feedback you can read before making a final purchase. Another nice convenience, for repeat customers, is the ability to create your own customer profile that allows you to save certain options in your preferences that will streamline future vacation planning. You can save time and hassle by storing any corporate or membership discount numbers, frequent flyer numbers and other pertinent information on your customer profile.

The expectations you hold for the online travel agency you select as a partner may be varied. If they can uphold these four basic standards of quality, you can be assured that you are getting sound representation and the best deals available.

Traveling and Touring China in Style - Luxury China Tours

People planning to travel to China are always worried about the cultural differences they may experience on their china touring holidays.

Before you finalize your travel plans for China, you need to do a lot of research about the country, regarding the food, culture, transportation, vaccination, visa formalities etc, but sometimes you may not need to stress yourself with all these information. This is the reason why tour operators were created; they provide all forms of travel related services from flights, hotels, escorts, cars, food and entertainment for your stay in China from start to finish; all you need to do is relax and enjoy your vacation experiencing the unique Chinese lifestyle.

Luxury Travel in China has not been more exciting and adventurous especially when you choose the right China tour operator. For a country like China with an ancient history and culture, your travel within China can be a deluxe or first class tour by visiting the major cities in first class air travel, luxury and character hotels, using VIP services and escorts making you feel like a superstar. For example, having a plate of local Chinese dumplings in your 4/5 star hotel while watching a piece of Beijing Opera translated in English could be one of the greatest travel experience you’ve ever had. Perhaps, you may want to climb the Great Wall in style by having a French picnic privately or with other visiting tourists from around the world. There are particular sections around the world where many renowned public figures have visited and you too can be a part of visiting these sections.
If you are not aware of the tropical side of China, then, you may want to bask in the sun this summer on China’s most beautiful beaches in Hainan and Hong Kong after which you are treated to a great spa experience in some of the exclusive resorts around.

Chinese gastronomy is another interesting activity you may want to experience during your travel in China. These include Chinese cooking styles and traditions of the various ethnic tribes in China. If you would like to take on this cultural experience, Chinese gastronomy tours is your perfect answer to discovering the exotic wonders of fine dining and a unique culture on your China tour.
Golfing is becoming a popular sport in China especially amongst the elite Chinese locals. This has led to the discovery of some of the world’s finest golf courses and resorts all filled with oriental touches. Some tour operators have deluxe golf travel packages designed to allow international tourists spend some time golfing in the lush country sides of Kunming and Beijing. The best place to enjoy golfing in China is in Kunming popularly known as the “Spring City”.

The special administrative region of Hong Kong is also one of the major tourist hubs in China where many international travelers love to visit. Hong Kong is the metropolitan city of China which is very fast paced and still retains much of its oriental culture. Leisure and travel in this part of China is usually considered as luxury and upscale with first class hotels and restaurants. The famous Repulse Bay and Victoria Peak is a major site of interest when visiting Hong Kong.
China may be under developed but with its fast rising growing economy and exposure, you can indeed enjoy traveling in China with style and class.

For more information about China Travel, China Tour [] Vacations, visit Passport to China.

Entertainment, Restaurants and Bars in Kingston Upon Hull

Being a port with an ever changing population of seamen and travellers, Hull has plenty of bars, restaurants and entertainment venues to satisfy all of both the visitors and residents in the city; it also offers several 'Hull' festivals throughout the year. Possibly of interest to people who like visiting pubs is that it has one of the highest concentrations of pubs and bars in a UK city. Nightlife is also buoyed up most weeks due to the presence of a university campus at the north of the city boundary. Alternatively, if you fancy something a little quieter it's easy to get out into the county of Yorkshire and sample a having a drink or meal in a village pub.

Bars and Pubs:-
Difficult as it is to pick out any pubs in particular for Hull the following are some of the more established and well known ones. The Olde White Harte on Silver Street is undoubtedly one of the oldest pubs and buildings in Hull. Located in the splendidly named 'Land of Green Ginger' area of old Hull, it is a 16th century courtyard pub and is believed to have once been the residence to the Governor of Hull at the time of the English Civil war. Old and dark wood, stained glass windows and 'sit-in' fireplaces denote the age of this pub which serves an excellent selection of guest beers and a decent range of food in its Pelham's restaurant. Not far way, still the Land of Green Ginger, is an 18th century Grade II listed building that hosts the Olde Black Boy pub on the High Street. This pub is a combination of modern pool tables and live music as well as offering traditional ales and dominoes. Even better it serves Timothy Taylor's Landlord beer! On the northern edge of the Land of Green Ginger, situated in a former Post office building is a Wetherspoons drinking hall called 'Three John Scott's'. This building on Lowgate serves the usual large range of beers and some good 'pub grub' that you'd expect from this national chain of pubs. To the north of the city the Gardeners Arms on the Cottingham Road is worthy of note. It is also housed in an old building and serves guests ales as well as meals all through the week, the pub is regularly featured in CAMRA revues.

One of the newer restaurants in Hull is the Boars Nest, on Princes Avenue to the north of the city centre. Jointly owned by top chef Simon Rogers and Dave Stead, from Hull's Beautiful South band, it is housed in an Edwardian butchers building and shares its name with the restaurant from the TV show - The Dukes of Hazard. A three course dinner, without wine, will cost about £30 per person. Mr Chu's Restaurant is John Prescott's, the Hull MP and former Deputy Prime Minister, favourite one in the city. Great Chinese food, excellent service and superb views over the Humber Bridge make the trip out to St Andrew's quay well worth it. Staying with the river theme the Two Rivers Restaurant is at The Deep - an aquarium and tourist attraction - which is at the confluence of the rivers Hull and Humber, off Citadel way. It serves a wide range of European food including meat, fish and vegetarian meals. Being a port close to the North Sea, it wouldn't be right if there weren't some restaurants specializing in seafood dishes. The family owned Old Custom House restaurant at the Market Place offers just such fare. Its house specialty is lobster and it has a wine list of over 50 wines. With a buffet meal available for under £10 per person The Taman Ria Tropicana offers authentic 'Masakan Melayu', which means a strictly Malayn cuisine, as opposed to the more generic Malaysian one. The Tropicana is on Princes Avenue to the west of the city centre. The restaurant offers a reasonable selection of wines at very good prices, but don't expect to sample any vintages here. Of course, just outside Hull at Welton, is the Green Dragon pub and restaurant. This is a very popular venue for people who enjoy and appreciate a night out in a restaurant. The menu is mainly traditional British cooking, but it is exquisitely prepared and presented in a warm and cosy restaurant.

Recent changes to UK licensing laws have had the effect of forcing some nightclubs to close; now there is no real incentive to go to a club just so you can have another drink. However, nightclubs still open in Hull include the small Zebra Club near North Bridge. Although only big enough to cater for 160 people it is a popular disco/rave venue. Also still open is The Venue, which is held on Saturday nights at the Welly Ballroom on Beverley Road and can accommodate over 800 clubbers. Hull City Hall on Paragon Street and the Hull Arena are the venues most large touring shows and bands appear at in Hull. Built in 1939 the now somewhat idiosyncratically named New Theatre at Kingston Square is the city's main theatre. Productions of plays, musicals opera and ballet are all performed here including the annual pantomime. With a national reputation, the touring Hull Trucking Company theatre group also has a permanent home venue in Hull in Spring Street. Originally established in 1971 some of the best known names in British theatre and TV have been amongst its actors and crew. A new theatre is currently being built for the company off the Ferensway.

The Difficulty of Distinguishing Work and Leisure Today

In "Work and Leisure" by Roger C. Mannell and Donald G. Reid, "Emergent Working Society of Leisure" by Neil Ravenscroft and Paul Gilchrist, and "Working at Fun" by Deborah Rapuano, the definition of work and leisure has undergone a transformation from the traditional separation of the two terms into combining the different spheres of activity in different ways. A key reason is that as society has changed, becoming a global economy and providing new sources of creative endeavors for some members of society, some individuals have been able to combine their work as an economic activity with intrinsically motivated work that provides the same kind of personal fulfillment that usually occurs in leisure activities.

An example of this combination of work and leisure is the "work" of artists, architects, and other creative professionals who gain personal satisfaction out of what they do, as described by Ravenscroft and Gilchrest. At the same time, other individuals who start out pursuing an activity as a leisure time pastime, such as some of the pub musicians described by Rapuano, may find what started out as a fun activity becomes a source of work as it is turned into a marketable commodity for which they receive pay.

Accordingly, while work and leisure can be two different aspects of life under some circumstances, they become intermingled and might become part of a continuum depending on how different individuals pursue a work-life balance. On the one hand, for some individuals, especially those at the lower economic stratum of society, work and leisure are generally separate, such as for a factory or farm worker, who has to work to make a living, and leisure for them is largely a non-work activity, devoted to activities with their families, social drinking with friends, participating in or watching sports, going to movies or musical gatherings, and enjoying other sorts of celebrations. While there might be small opportunities for leisure activities during the work-day, such as on short coffee or lunch breaks between shifts or listening to music while doing routine activities, generally employees, commonly called "workers" to highlight that they are considered workers in this role, engage in leisure time activities off the job.

Conversely, for professionals, knowledge workers, managers, company owners, and entrepreneurs, especially those who have attained a higher economic status, work and leisure become comingled, and many activities that might be considered leisure activities if they were not engaged in with others in the same profession, industry, or profession, have a work component. For example, a sales manager or company owner might go to a sales conference to improve his or her success in sales, but before, between, and after seminars, the individual might visit exhibits, participate in breakfasts, luncheons, dinners, and networking parties, and have drinks at a local nightclub with others at the conference that are both enjoyable and for business purposes. While part of the event is devoted to learning about techniques and strategies for improving one's ability to work better and smarter, much of the event is devoted to having fun. Yet, even while having fun, one is engaging in these activities with business colleagues who might be a source of future business, so leisure is contributing to one's success at work. As result, leisure becomes an independent variable as well as a dependent variable, which is shaped by the type of work the professionals, managers, company owners, and entrepreneurs are engaged in). However, since what is work and what is leisure at the conference are so intertwined, can they really be separated?

Mannell and Reid point to this difficulty of keeping work and leisure separate under changing times, requiring a new way of defining them. As they observe, the earliest research was based on considering work and leisure as separate spheres of life, so that researchers examined such things as the "changing allocations of time between work and leisure" or the trade-off people engaged in between earning money (at work) versus having more free time (in leisure). Also, researchers examined the relationship between leisure as an independent variable, and examined how the type of work people engaged in influenced their leisure activity. Some of their theories reflected this perspective, such as the spillover theory in which people engaged in leisure activities with characteristics "similar to their job-related activities and tasks," such as the computer professional enjoying activities on the internet during their free time. Another of these theories is the compensation theory, in which a person is viewed as making up for their deprivations at work or seeking to satisfy needs not fulfilled in work by engaging in very different activities, such as when a sedentary worker goes on an adventure travel expedition for fun. Even the neutrality approach is based on the idea that work and leisure are two separate domains, in that people "compartmentalize their experiences of work and leisure."

However, while Mannell and Reid illustrate how leisure and work was defined as different spheres by the earlier researchers, they illustrate how later researchers developed changing definitions in response to changes in society. As they conclude after describing a number of studies showing individual differences in the way people relate work and leisure in their lives:

"These types of findings suggest that people do differ according to the ways in which work and leisure are related and organized in their lives. There does not seem to be one dominant relationship between work and leisure, but rather a variety of possibilities that differ depending on immediate social and economic circumstances, and important individual differences in needs, attitudes, and personality that are likely the result of socialization influences."

Mannell and Reid also make an important distinction between leisure just for fun and relaxation and "serious leisure", which involves participating in pursuits that require developing skills and expressing a long-term career-like commitment. Though they discuss this type of leisure in the context of research on retirees, who find that engaging in more active and serious forms of leisure help them feel more positive about themselves and better cope with retirement, this distinction could apply to anyone who takes up a leisure activity seriously and may later turn it into a career. Two examples of this are the weekend painter who decides to become an artist or the player in a garage band who decides to go on the concert circuit and earn enough money to make a living with his music.

This idea of the merging of leisure and work is also expressed in the notion of a continuum of work and leisure practices discussed by Ravenscroft and Gilchrist, citing the work of Rojek in proposing the notion of civil labor which is based on the idea that the "separation of work from subsistence needs in Western societies has allowed people to develop suites of activities through which they can express their identities." Building on Rojek's ideas, Ravenscroft and Gilchrist propose that there has been the emergence of a "working society of leisure" in which leisure is comprised of self-determined work and through which people can gain a mix of "social, psychological and financial rewards." Such a society, they contend, is illustrated by the creative workers they studied in Hastings in South East England, who chose to work at creative activities they loved, even though they might not make enough money to sustain themselves through that work, but found other ways to keep their creative activities going, from using savings, inheritances, or part-time work to support themselves.

This kind of blending of work and leisure is also shown in Rapuano's description of some pub session musicians in Ireland and Chicago, who may be drawn into turning their music into work, because of market-driven, profit oriented incentives resulting in commercialized sessions. Though most of the musicians still participate for fun, some turn this into work, such as becoming session organizers and committing to play on a regular basis for a paying audience.

Thus, I would agree that under certain circumstances work and leisure can be considered two completely different aspects of life, such as when people dislike their work or clearly distinguish their activities as work, and they engage in other activities which they consider leisure non-work activities. On the other hand, for other people, work and leisure may blend together, such as for the creatives or professionals who gain their identity and fulfillment through their work. To a great extent, the distinction can be economically based, in that those on the lower socio-economic levels who hold lower status jobs may be more apt to think of their work in one sphere and their leisure in another, while those in higher income and higher status jobs have the luxury of choice, so they may select jobs which they really enjoy and find fulfillment.

Still, there are exceptions, such as the creatives who love what they do but don't make much money at it such as the creatives described by Ravenscroft and Gilcrest, as well as actors, artists, and writers anywhere, who have difficulty making a living at what they do, but continue to do it for the love of their art.

However, apart from economic considerations, this distinction should be viewed from the perspective of the subjects and their way of defining leisure and work - a more phenomenological view. While structural patterns, such as economic conditions, may contribute to work and leisure being defined as separate domains of life or combined in some way as part of a continuum where the work-leisure balance shifts for different people based on their lifestyle and time devoted to work or leisure activities, the meaning of the activity engaged in is also important, since different individuals may define the activity in different ways. What may feel like work to one person (like the factory worker) may seem like leisure to another (such as the creative worker who feels totally fulfilled by what he or she is doing). Thus, it is important to combine both a structural and an intrinsic motivation approach in defining work and leisure.