Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Internet Access in Mainland China for Business and Leisure

Internet access in China

It was difficult getting internet access in China a mere 6 years ago. Corporate leased line were difficult to apply for, hotels had no internet access, dial-ups were extremely unreliable, xDSL or cable were largely unavailable and cybercafes largely denied foreigners access.

Today, China is one of the easiest country in the Asia to make internet accessible to businesses, homes, travellers and students.

If you are a business traveller or tourist, you will be pleasantly surprised that almost all hotels, down to 3 stars hotels, even in more remote cities offer broadband internet access in their hotel rooms. Most rooms will have an ethernet port for you to hook up to the hotel's broadband. Access is mostly automatically DHCP with dynamic IPs but in certain hotels, you may need to call the reception to allow access from your room.

You can also visit a cybercafe or 'wang ba' as they are known in China. Cybercafes are everywhere in China and can be a dingy 5 computer setup to large cybercafes with hundreds and hundreds of computers. Most cybercafes in China are patronized by young people whose sole purpose are computer games or online-chatting. These youngsters can spend days in the cybercafes without going home. If you find them too noisy for your liking, you can even request for a private VIP room to surf in peace and comfort!

As a foreigner, you will need to show your passport before you can be allowed access to a cybercafe. In many provinces, the local law requires your picture to be taken and your particulars submitted to a central database. The cybercafes are pretty strict about this or they are liable to have their operating licences taken away. Cybercafes are lucrative businesses in China and you can be sure that they implement the required laws most strictly!

One of the problem that you may face in a public cybercafe is that all the log-in procedures and computer operating systems will only be in Chinese even in the touristy areas. Hence, you will need the cybercafe operator assistance before you can eventually start answering all your Hotmails and Gmails.

If you like visiting coffee cafes, you will also find that many of the newer cafes offer internet points for you to plug in your laptop. Most of the time, usage is free. At this point of time, wireless internet access does not seem to be entirely popular as compared to wire access in these cafes.

If you are running a business, getting a corporate lease line or xDSL broadband is a breeze with very competitive ISP fighting for your business. Monthly charges are low and access speed is decent. In fact, many newer office buildings offer broadband access as part of the rental deal and you need not apply separately to the ISP.

Home users are well taken care of as well. Many new apartment also comes with broadband access or you can apply to the ISPs directly. Charges for monthly sDSL broadband can be as low as US12.

Control of the internet

China is one of the countries with strict internet laws. Having said that, internet usage in China is very, very high for both business and social use. Because personal computers are still expensive by China's income standard, most people access the internet from cybercafes or from offices.

All websites hosted in China needs to be a approved by a government unit. One of the first thing you will notice in China is that domestic sites are blazingly fast but foreign hosted sites tend to be very slow. This is due to foreign sites having to go through a proxy as well as a bottleneck on China's limited conduit out to the international internet pipes.

Many foreign sites such as CNN, Falungong, Playboy and other sites deem sensitive to China's society are blocked.

Web applications and development in China are often of a high standard. Many domestic sites such as Alibaba and Sohu has made it to the very competitive top internet arenas. Many web development companies from Taiwan, South Korea and even the USA has also made China their development base for their web applications as China offers a large pool of competitive and high qualified web developers.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Travel And Vacation At Barbados In The Caribbean

Escape to a world of endless summers and sun-kissed beaches, where the dazzling ocean welcomes you each morning and a painted sunset settles along the western shores of the Caribbean every night. Nestled on the "Island of Eternal Summer

Barbados is a relatively flat island rising west to east in a series of terraces to its highest point Mount Hillaby, which is 1100ft. On the western side of the island, the sea is relatively calm. However, on the eastern side where the waves roll in from the Atlantic the coast is much more rugged. This is a perfect choice for a Caribbean family vacation or a special island holiday. Noted also for its excellent scuba diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, sailing and boat cruises at its best. There is easy access to horseback riding, tennis, and special rate golf.

The island has one airport, Grantley Adams International which is a thirty (30) minute drive from the capital, Bridgetown. Barbados is serviced by a number of international airlines including Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways, Air Jamaica, BWIA International and Virgin Atlantic. Barbados, with over 900 miles of paved roads, is considered to have one of the best systems of roads in the Caribbean.

The resorts start at $52.00 dollars a day to $141.00 a day. Two of many choices!

Time Out at the Gap at $52.00 a day

Affectionately referred to as Time Out- this place was created for relaxation! Parties and local entertainment three times a week are the rule around the nicely landscaped pool and at the Whistling Frog Restaurant & Bar, outfitted with large screen TV, pool-tables and dart boards. As the Party Monarch of the South Coast, this three-star hotel is located in the St. Lawrence Gap area ?the best known, most kicking party scenes in Barbados. With its frequent happy hours, its always happening bar even attracts local professionals who go there to mingle and be happy.

The Savannah at $99.00 a day.

Truly a complementary blend of the traditional and the modern, the Savannah is the most prestigious of the Gems. From here, a world apart, one is just ten minutes away from down town Bridgetown and twenty-fine minutes from the International Airport. Almost two hundred years old, its original main building is nicely complimented by the ultra modern architecture and tropical foliage of its newly built extension. Together, they comprise ninety-eight of the most luxurious rooms on the South coast. Boasting a beachfront location, the Savannah also offers its guest the choice between two fresh water pools, one of which meanders through the length of the dramatic setting of the new wing.

Together with the fitness and beauty facilities for both women and men, Swedish massage, facials, manicures and pedicures, help ensure a leisurely pampering experience. Two restaurants offer a delightful mix of Caribbean and International cuisine and three bars, including the ever- popular swim-up bar mix exotic tropical cocktails. Nightly local entertainment (including weekly Managers Cocktail Parties) add sparkle to one of the finest holiday experiences that guests can expect on the South Coast of Barbados.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Boating Safety And The Pleasure Craft

Boating safety applies not only to seagoing cruise liners and merchants but also to pleasure craft. While the rivers, streams and inland lakes can be idyllic, there are some rules and laws that any boat owner in any country should know to make an afternoon out or a week of water fun, safe and enjoyable. Just as driving a car combines common sense safety with laws so does piloting even a small pleasure craft.

Many regions enforce water safety laws with specialized enforcement officers. These individuals are often empowered to issue citations or sanctions if laws are disobeyed. Water safety officers help keep even inland waterways safer for commerce as well as pleasure boating.

Knowing the local laws is perhaps the most critical of all pointers for a safe waterway. Laws are created to govern waterways to protect everyone. These laws and ordinances may also include protection for indigenous or endangered local aquatic wildlife. It is important to know if a license is required locally and to acquire the necessary certification before taking a pleasure craft out on the water.

Motorized pleasure craft may be forbidden in some areas or restricted as to speed. Familiarity with the local regulations as well as any imposed by the province or state can make sure that everyone has a good time on the water including the residents of the area. Being respectful of the laws and of other pleasure craft operators can go a long way towards safe boat operation.

Safe operation of any watercraft also requires thorough knowledge of some maritime conventions. It is important that the operator know when they have the right of way over another vessel and even which side they should pass another vessel. Many areas have instituted certification or licensing tests to assure these conventions are understood and obeyed since there are no highways and few road signs out on the water.

There are laws imposed to assure safe operation of pleasure boats and there are also safety considerations that are behind these laws. Most areas do not let pleasure boat operation under the influence of alcohol or drugs as these can affect judgment and be dangerous for both the operator and their passengers. An operator whose reaction time or judgment is impaired can be just as hazardous on the waterways as on the highways.

The water is for most people, wonderfully peaceful and relaxing. However, the watercraft operator should assure the necessary safety equipment is in good repair before taking a craft on out on the waterways. Such safety equipment can be as basic as a life-preserver for every person on the boat. Areas that require operator certification or licensing for boat operators will also need the operator to know and understand boating safety equipment requirements.

Boating safety is important and some of the simplest rules or conventions if overlooked can have disastrous consequences. Even if a license or certification is not required by the local regulations, most operators will find that a boat safety course assures they know and understand laws as well as conventions and can handle their pleasure craft on the water as safely as they handle their automobile on the highway. Assuring that everyone arrives home safely from a day on the water is the reason these courses are offered.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Are You Traveling Smart?

Businesses everywhere are finding they have to finance an increasing number of trips to meet and service their customers; instant communication and the popularity of the Internet have been given the blame! Stress is the biggest problem with business travel because it's generally not as glamorous as most people perceive it to be. There are some things you can do to reduce the amount of stress and fatigue that occurs and some interesting business travel tips and information that is supplied in this article.

Unfortunately, personal baggage goes missing from time to time and even if you are fortunate enough to have it returned, it may be too late for your meeting. An easy remedy to this is to pack as much as possible that you absolutely must have for you meeting, in your hand luggage.

Having everything to hand means that your checked luggage get delayed you will still be able to meet with clients and get your work done while you wait for less essential stuff to get chased up by the airlines. Of course when you are packing your main suitcase for the journey, it will be much simpler for you if you only include items that are essential and is an important business travel tip to remember.

In order to accomplish this, make do with a pair of casual shoes and a pair of business shoes only, and be sure to only bring enough work clothes to last you through the trip. The remaining items to pack will be toilet essentials and any other work related documents that aren't important.

A little business travel tip that flight attendants use when they pack is to roll up their clothes, then place them into cylinders which compresses the clothing and reduces the number of creases. To go one step further, if you want to ensure that even if food or drink are spilled on your clothes you won't need them laundered; use dark colors which are also handy because creases don't show as much.

With all this done, it should be quite easy to just get off the plane and use a couple of freshen-up wipes (those in travel packs) that will make you feel and smell better before you meet your customer. If you are only away for a couple of days make sure your cell phone and any other electronic equipment are fully charged so you can continue working at your convenience.

If you make effective use of your day time downtime while you are traveling, then you may be able to spend evenings exploring the areas once when you arrive at your business trip destination. These tips make sure that no matter what happens when you travel on business you will be able to continue with your plans and will not be left wondering what to do next.

Business travel does not have to be all work and by using the business travel tips shown here, there should be time for rest and relaxation too.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

All Aboard! Train Travel Around the World

Everything about trains evokes the true essence of travel. You not only see the landscape passing by, but can feel it rattling under your shoes. Trains are the best way to experience a long distance journey. Air travel is an abstraction; you're seated in a pressurized metal tube, and after a few hours of being out of touch with the world, land in a different continent. To go by bus or car means being strapped into a seat and left to the mercy of a driver. Train travel gives the passenger the freedom to roam the rumbling wagons while gazing out the window at the passing scenery. You can eat and wander about, snooze, and stare out the window. Train travel is freedom.

There's nothing like the moment when a train departs a station. Unlike the roar of a plane's take-off or the gunning of a bus's engine that marks the beginning of a journey, the departure of a train is a peaceful, unassuming start. Outside, the world begins to slowly roll by - baggage handlers wheeling their carts, travelers fleeing for their connections - and then the engine picks up momentum, the rhythm below your feet keeping pace with the passing scenery. Pedestrians wave at you, dreaming of where you could be bound. The wagon, your world, sways around you as the train takes a tight curve. Outside the clanging of a passing crossing signal grows loud, louder, before changing pitch as it quickly disappears.

Trains around the world are microcosms of the countries they serve. They reflect the economy and cultural norms of the nations they ply. To enjoy America's Amtrak you need to have money to afford the dining car and a private berth. England's train network, once the pride of the nation, is in decay, expensive and grungy. Russian trains, with a steaming samovar in each wagon, still harbor a bullying Soviet air of authority; an attendant is assigned to each wagon to scold passengers . Egyptian trains are manned by soldiers guarding against attacks by Muslim terrorists. The hustlers and touts found in every Indian city are concentrated on the nation's Taj Express that runs between Delhi and Agra eager to scam tourists out of their seats.

Train travel is slowly disappearing, a victim of the world's reliance on buses and taxis. Up until a half century ago Americans were able to reach the most remote of towns through an intricate network of spur lines. My mother could arrive to her tiny Kansas hometown from a distant college without relying on a vehicle. Now the spur lines are gone, torn up, or overgrown with weeds. Until recent years, Canadian trains allowed affordable transcontinental access, until the lines were privatized, and now a train trip through the Canadian Rockies is an expensive endeavor. In Mexico the passenger train network has disappeared, replaced by modern bus stations and affordable buses.

To enter a train station is often like stepping into a museum setting. Britain's smaller stations still harbor ladies' waiting rooms, a relic of earlier Victorian times, while in Thailand a uniformed officer in starched white linens bangs a large gong to announce an approaching engine.

Staring out a train window at the world speeding by is a hypnotizing experience. You experience the gradual cultural shift that occurs while traversing countries during a long sojourn. As a Russian train departs from Western Europe en route to St. Petersburg, the 21st century disappears somewhere in eastern Poland. Looking out a dirty window I spied leather-skinned farmers navigating horse-drawn plows. In the border town of Bialystok a gaggle of Slavic women, squat, toughened babushkas in head-scarves and heavy boots, gossiped amongst each other, or hawked snacks to passengers. Soon all sense of time disappeared as the train was swallowed into the vast birch and pine forests of Byelorussia.

Staring out the window of an Indian train, I grew fascinated with the traffic that lined up at the road crossings, waiting for our procession to pass. The train rumbled by a striped pole behind which waited bicyclists and idling motorcycles, farmers with their ox-carts old schoolbuses, the roofs crowded with sun-darkened men. A few smiled and returned my cheerful wave.

In Eastern Europe the numerous nations released under the yoke of the USSR now post their border guards and customs officials at every frontier crossing. The Russian train bound for St. Petersburg constantly stopped and started as it traversed the borders of Byelorussia, the Baltic states, and finally Russia. I studied the uniforms of the guards, the official colors, the missing buttons and frayed collars. From a neighboring compartment I could hear the protesting of a smuggler whose large stash of vodka and cigarettes had been uncovered. Later, when escaping Russia, a pair of strapping young Ukrainian guards eyed my passport curiously. 'Amerikanyets'. I had no transit visa for their country. Did I need one? They shrugged their broad shoulders. 'I dunno.'

I recall everyone who I've ever met on a train. I remember the two Norwegian girls and the young Czech man I met on a trip to Kansas. I sat in the dining car with an elderly woman who in an astounded whisper announced how she had been seated with a black man that very morning for breakfast. A dour old man still grieving for his long dead wife stared out the window as the Texas prairie rolled by outside.

In India a pair of teenaged girls stared amazed at a huge map of their country that I showed them. An Indian father traveling with his family to a wedding in Delhi tried to engage me in conversation, but his thickly accented English was incomprehensible. "What? Huh?" After a few conversations like this he finally grew frustrated at my puzzled looks and stared out the dirty window.

On a Russian train I shared a compartment with an obnoxious volleyball coach accompanying his team to a play-off in Byelorussia. When I had trouble closing the sliding door, he smirked. "Weak American."

I pointed at the stubborn door. "Russian door."

"It's an East German door. This is an East German train."

"What's the difference?"

And in northern Italy my brother and I shared a compartment with an elderly nun who resembled Mother Teresa's older sister. She was a wizened old creature, a mask of fury chiseled on her face from decades of punishing pupils. My brother grabbed my phrase book of various European languages, and began reciting random excerpts of Italian, and began asking the nun for her phone number. "Please . . . give me . . . your . . ."

The nun gave me a puzzled look as I quickly snatched the book from my brother's hands.

As the cost of fuel continues to rise, perhaps there is some hope for the future of train travel, which has proven to be an energy efficient means of getting from point A to point B. Amtrak reports increased numbers of travelers in recent months. In this world of break-neck speed communications and hyperactive schedules, a slow train ride across the frontier may be enough to save our sanity.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Where Can You Travel and Cruise During Winter?

If winter is not an agreeable season for you, you should be able to come up with any excuse to escape it. Are you planning for spending some quality time with your family? If so, getting out during the winter holidays to have a family tour can be really fun! Or are you deciding to take your wedding vows? Do it in the winter when you can ride away with your wedded lover from the snow and the cold for your honeymoon!

To run away from the winter blues, you can go take refuge in a tropical place with beaches and leisurely hammocks where you can sip your drink and pass the time under the sweaty sun. But before you make your decision, you have to see where it is you want to go and then decide on the means to travel. What can you do for the journey? Here are some tips and advice for your comfort:

o If you are crossing the border to reach another country, you have to go for air rides. And by air rides we mean only one thing: airplanes. Of course, you can also journey by ships, but that is very expensive and you will need a lot of time to reach the place of destination. Airplanes are still the most convenient and cheap and safe way to travel. Plus here, there is no chance to get sea sick.

o But if you are going somewhere within the state or a little farther away, you can as well as drive all the way with your family. But make sure that the route you choose is good for safe driving and that you take the necessary winter protections along with you. But car drives have a little bit of risks involved, like there might be a possibility of road accidents and you may often have to stay in a motel if the ride is long. That is why many people prefer airplane rides. But there are advantages and disadvantages in all the cases and that is why you have to choose carefully.

o Mainly people, who stay in the eastern and Midwest regions where it is very cold, travel a lot during winter. They generally look for respite from the biting cold and therefore often go down to the beaches for comfort.

o You can even go for cruises to some of the most exotic places in the world like Hawaii, Mexico and Caribbean and even the Orient. If you want to take the weekend off, you can easily make it to the Caribbean since it is not very far away. You can be there by Friday and come back home by Monday.

o But if you want to get away for the whole weekend, the perfect get away spot would be the islands of U.S.V.I where you can do snorkeling, visit historic sites and do shopping or just laze around in the beach.

o Winter cruises during September to December is considered to be off-season due to hurricanes that often occur during these times. That is why this time you will be able to cruise on a low budget. But if you are in trouble, the ship will immediately sidetrack and stay away from the hurricane's way to keep you all safe.

So what are you waiting for? Beat away the winter blahs by going out to the hottest destinations to spend the time with your loved ones. This will be fun, plus, where everyone else will be blue with cold, you would come back home with a gorgeous tan! Pretty impressive, huh?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Life and Leisure in Historical Elstree ' Hertfordshire

When traveling around Europe there are a variety of places to visit as well as popular activities to take part in. If you are looking for a destination that is new and has quite a bit to offer tourists, Elstree ' Hertfordshire is a great place to visit. This little village can speak volumes in terms of nightlife and all around fun for travelers.

This small village is located north of London and can be traveled to by taking the A5. You may have heard of Elstree Film Studios where a variety of big UK movies were made. These film studios were actually named after the village of Elstree and have been booming ever since.

When you are traveling in the London area and you want to stop in Elstree ' Hertfordshire for some fun, you will have a variety of options at your fingertips. There are many leisure parks that you and your family can enjoy as well as motor sports such as carting and racing. There are many Theaters and shows that you can enjoy as well seeing as this is a big site for major movies!

If you are traveling with a few close friends without the whole family make sure to get out to see the nightlife here. There are many nightclubs and bars that just about anyone can get in and enjoy. These clubs can be full of people dancing and having a good time, or you can sit down with your pals in a pub and enjoy long talks with a few cold beers.

Make sure to plan ahead when you are booking your accommodations. Look for at least a 3-star hotel in Elstree, which is not going to be very hard to find. Guests have had a lot of good luck finding wonderful accommodations as well as great ways to get discounts when they book in advance.

Try getting away from the busy London scene for a night or two and enjoy what Elstree ' Hertfordshire has to offer. This is a great place to sit back and relax and enjoy what a small village has to offer. Start booking your trip in advance today to ensure that you get the best trip rates possible!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Mumbai Hotels - Excellent Business and Leisure Hotels

Mumbai hotels are known for their splendor and luxury and many of these hotels cater to the affluent. There are many 3 star and 4 star hotels in Mumbai that offer excellent services at relatively cheaper prices. There are many hotels in Mumbai that offer an excellent bargain and they manage to strike a fine balance between providing good hospitality and accommodative prices. There are many 3 star and 4 stars as well as budget hotels that are available in Mumbai for those looking to stay on a limited budget.

You can pick your choice among these hotels by deciding on your preferences. If you are traveling with your family, a budget 3 star hotel or 4 star hotel should be your best bet, given the number of members in your group. You will find these hotels to be pleasantly well maintained, and equipped with the latest technology. The services provided by these hotels are also very good, although they are not as extensive as the services provided in many luxury hotels. If you are traveling alone and are on a short sightseeing trip to the nightlife capital of India, then you might as well opt for a room in one of the luxury hotels.

Some of the four star hotels that are located in Mumbai are an excellent place to stay and they provide fine luxury services at affordable prices. Some of the 4 stars are Hotel Quality Inn Parle, Midtown Pritam, Kohinoor Continental, Fariyas, Mecure Guestline, The Ambassador, emerald, West End, Horizon, Lotus Suites, Ramee Guestline, The Mirador, The Shalimar and Sands. These four stars cater to businessmen who are on a lower budget and also for leisure travelers. These hotels offer personalized service and even the most demanding guests are made to feel comfortable.

For leisure travelers who are on a budget the three star hotels offer good services at very affordable prices. Some of the three stars are Hotel Transit, Days Inn, Heritage, Godwin, Sahil, Ajanta, Four Seasons, Kings International, Grand, Airlink, Hotel Mina International, Highway View Mumbai, Hotel Comfort Inn Heritage, The Gordon House, Sea Palace, Royal Garden and Benzy Palace. These three hotels serve both the tourist as well as the business traveler. Hotels in Mumbai have good facilities for businessmen in terms of conference rooms and Tele- communication infrastructure as well.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Understanding Foreign Currencies When You Travel

When traveling internationally, there are a number of monetary and financial considerations you need to think about. Aiming to understand foreign currency echange can be both confusing and frustrating for the first-time traveler, yet there are a few easy approaches to control the local money before you start spending.

1st, you must find out what kind of currency is used in the country which you're headed to and what it's termed. The simplest way to do this is by a Google search for "[insert country name[]|] currency", that ought to yield lots of informative results about the currency.

You'll also desire to discover what denominations are used, including amounts for bills and coins. Be aware that every currency system is somewhat different, so while you might be used to having a particular type of coin or bill available in your own currency, other currencies may possibly not have these types of denominations, or may have added denominations that you are not used to. For instance, the Euro and many other world currencies have €1 coins, that are very convenient and may be unclear at first for Americans.

Next, you'll most likely be itching to determine just how much things cost in said country and just how much to pay (or not pay) for particular things, so that you do not get scammed. Learning what things cost on average can be a little more difficult.

Start off by asking a currency exchange calculator, such as the XE Universal Currency Converter, which will provide you the going rate for your home currency against the foreign currency you're learning about. Learn how much $1 (or your home currency) equals in the other currency to get an idea of how much you will receive when you trade cash. Remember that exchange rates adjust daily, if not hourly, so what currencies are worth is different pretty much every day.

Once you know how much $1 is worth in X country, you'll have a better idea about how much things might cost, though costs of living in different places do vary widely. To get a better grip about this, consult a guidebook for basic information on entry fees, hotel prices, transportation costs, and this will give you a good idea about how much you should expect to pay. Be sure to look at the publication date on the guidebook, and if it is a few years old, compare the prices with today's exchange rates to get a better idea of current costs.

After that, there is a short period of trial and error, where you might create some mistakes in how much you pay, or you could overpay for some things. That's okay! For first-time travelers, the point is not to get the very best deal possible - that's the work of experienced travelers and expats with good language skills and lots of time under their belts.

Newbie travelers must focus on having fun and studying the new culture and customs that they are experiencing!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday & Travel Guide For Skiathos, Greece


The picturesque island of Skiathos is beautiful and ideal for those wanting to just relax on the beach or leisurely take in the few historical sights the island has to offer. The best way to view the island is by foot or bicycle, there are many walks and trails all over the island with some delightful panoramic views, but if your mobility is limited then hiring a car is a must. With lots of monasteries and churches to view dotted all around the island, you won't want to miss them. The island is extremely picturesque and has some great photo opportunities. Bourtzi has a wonderful harbour with ancient ruins of a fortress dating back to around the 12th century; it's the ideal place to sit having a meal and watch the small fishing boats come in. Public transport is very reliable, with regular buses taking you to the popular places on the island, or you could perhaps hire a boat and do some island hopping, or if your budget can stretch to it, charter a yacht.


Skiathos is a traditional island serving mostly Greek cuisine and there is a lot of choice, with many restaurants and tavernas all over the island and a wider choice in Skiathos town. You will be sure to find something to suit your palette. The prices are very reasonable in a lot of the restaurants, they will suit most people's budgets, but there are restaurants that are overpriced so make sure you shop around a little before you decide on where to eat. The most popular meal on the island is lobster and taramasalata which is made from mullet roe, with delicious tasting casseroled dishes readily available too. There is a wide choice of pastries on the island that are extremely nice, you will probably leave Skiathos a few pounds heavier than you arrived, the Greek yogurts are very tasty too. Wine is very affordable so enjoy a glass or two along with your meals throughout the day.


Skiathos town does have a reasonable amount of shops to visit, with some small boutiques selling designer clothing and some attractive pieces of jewellery. It's not really a shopper's heaven resort, but it's more than adequate for you to purchase gifts and souvenirs as well as some very nice beach wear.


This is what you come to Skiathos for; the beaches. They are magnificent beautiful long stretches of white sands with warm waters to swim in. Water sports are available on most of the beaches, with the usual jet skiing and boats to hire, but mostly this is a sun lovers heaven, with plenty of sun loungers available to hire on the more popular beaches. If you have hired a car or fancy a leisurely walk you will also be sure to find some smaller and more secluded beaches. The heat reaches its 30's in the summer months and the rest of the year it is still pleasant enough to sunbathe. Skiathos is also quite popular with the elderly wanting to escape from cold winters.

Happy Holidays

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Kullu - A Great Place for Fun and Leisure in Winter

Kullu area in Himachal Pradesh is one of the most amiable and charismatic tourist destinations in India. Positioned on the banks of River Beas at a height of 1230 m, Kullu is one such destination where tourists can actually spot the real nature and mesmerizing views of the mountains and river valleys. Gifted with green carpeted hills, apple orchards, superb scenic assets, scintillating rivers, snow capped mountains, Deodar trees, distinctive flora and fauna, chatty mountain stream and ancient temples, which engross and fascinate travelers on their visit. Kullu Holiday Tour doesn't end here; the beautiful and crimson climate of Kullu in winter will hold you at this destination beyond your plans.

Know more about Kullu and its attractions by shedding some light on the below mentioned popular destinations:

Bijli Mahadev Temple

Offering spectacular views from the height of 2460 m above the marine level, this temple is visited by plenty of devotees every year. The Paravti valley and the surroundings of Kullu can be seen from the temple. The story of the temple is believed by every traveler who pays a visit to the temple. To reach here, you can either hire a cab or take a bus, which goes up to the close by Chansari village.


Situated about 20 miles from Kullu at a height of 1760 m, Manikaran is the holy place for Sikhs and Hindus. It is believed by lots of travelers that Goddess Parvati's earrings had fallen into the water when she was relaxing by the river with God Shiva, and made the water pure. The profusely flowing water is so hot; you can even make food in it. In addition to the sacred place, mountainous land offers incredible yet great trekking opportunities for the voyage lovers.


It is situated on the banks of Parvati waterway on the way to Manikaran. Divided into old Kasol and new Kasol on the sides of the bridge, the place has completely transformed into a hot spot, which is remained crowed with lots of tourists throughout the year. Here you can experience the natural beauty amid the green trees and scenic valley and lots of famed attractions. Moreover, food lovers can take delight in lots of flavors by visiting the restaurants situated on either side of the main way of Kasol.


Famous camping destination at a height of 1456 m, Kullu vacation is incomplete without visiting Raison, a destination situated among the orchards, greenery and valleys; making an enthralling spot for adventure lovers.travelers can effortlessly reach here within 10 minutes by car or bus from Kullu.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Plan A Hassle-Free Vacation With Travel Agencies

Dealing with a travel agent from a travel agency will take away the headaches of organizing your trip, so that you would take pleasure in it - from choosing the destination to your flight back home.

Arranging a vacation is a very tedious job. Aside from preparing all the paperwork and setting aside the money for the vacation expenditure, there are other unseen assignments that will make the process more exhausting and demanding. As an example, you must finalize your flight schedule, arrange an accommodation in a hotel, plan your itinerary in your tour, and many others. Without having professional help, your effort at saving by not hiring a travel agent may cost you even more. Travel companies focus on this kind of work, so working with them would leave your hands free to do more things before you go on that well-planned holiday.

Los Angeles travel agencies generally have contacts with airlines, hotels abroad, and tourist guides in different tourist area. Because travel agencies work with other firms in a wide network, it is simple to allow them to communicate with other companies whose expert services you will need in your holiday. Los Angeles travel agencies therefore have an easier time in organizing your vacation from the flight, lodging, tour, and other trip aspects needed to be looked after.

Working with Los Angeles travel companies especially in planning your trip has advantages. Since they are the professionals in the travel and leisure industry, they are fully aware of the locations that are commendable to visit in your chosen destination. Working with them, therefore, allow you to take full advantage of your stay in the area as you were able to check out all the great places there. In this manner, you have maximized your holiday and you will feel that the vacation was worthwhile.

Working with these travel agencies is often a practical and sensible decision, especially if it is your very first time to go out of the country on a holiday. Getting professionals can save you time, effort, and cash while making sure that your vacation will be a worthwhile trip you won't ever forget. So, next time you plan on going overseas, don't hesitate to get hold of a travel agency. Do not forget to work with a great travel agent who is able to carry out the many positive aspects for you. Contact or check out the website of LA travel agencies to book a vacation now. This is something that you do not want to pass up to truly enjoy your trip.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Travel & Leisure - Oxymoron?

For me, travel and leisure, like sweet and sour, is an oxymoron. I don't find travel relaxing. On the contrary, I find it stressful, frustrating, and too much like work. My worst nightmare is the thought of packing a suitcase. It's on par with The Exorcist and the Night of the Living Dead, in terms of sheer terror. I feel as if I have been assigned the task of pounding round pegs into square holes or playing tennis with an unstrung racquet. It just can't be done (by me anyway)!

Then, there is the planning and worse yet, re-planning, because this date isn't available, that hotel is booked up, and this flight is full! It's enough to challenge your patience, if not your sanity.

When all these obstacles have been conquered, you must then attend the post 911security theatre playing now at an airport near you!

Honestly, if some entrepreneurial genius would just launch a new airline (they could call it "Air Naked") for nudists or anyone, for that matter, willing to fly sans apparel, the security lines would move faster than Roadrunner dodging Wile E. Coyote's falling anvil because even nuns would shed their habit to get past TSA (Totalitarian State of Airport) with some alacrity.

Are we over-reacting, or what! I really don't understand the mentality. One nutcase tries to set his shoe on fire and now we all have to shuffle barefoot through airport security. I'm half expecting to be forced to fly "commando" after the underwear bomber incident. What next? Some nerd uses his laptop battery to convert his Dasani to hydrogen and oxygen (ala the Hindenberg) and we all have to give up water on the plane! Where does it end? Who among us will draw a line in the sand and say, 'I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!' It has reached the point that being protected from terrorism is more terrifying than terrorism! What happened to the United States of America, whose president defiantly quipped, 'We have nothing to fear but fear itself.' Did that United States of America crumble into same dismal pile of rubble as the twin towers? If so, then the terrorists have chalked up a victory and we are a defeated nation that simply has not acknowledged it.

If I've offended anyone with this expression of my views on current travel issues, I do not apologize. I am entitled to my opinion. If you find yourself in disagreement, write your own article. Yes, we still have the right of free speech, although anti-terrorist legislation allows it to be "bugged" sans warrant.

Until these aforementioned problems are resolved, I am determined to become the quintessential "staycationer". A leisure pursuit designed just for people like me. No stressful preparation, planning or packing. Just come home from work one evening, settle into the recliner with a six-pack and turn on ESPN. A week or two later, shower, shave and head back to the office. Perfection!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Incentive Travel - Organized Leisure For Staff Motivation

Incentive Tourism is a branch of the well-known MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) industry. It is a form of business travel used most often by large companies or corporations to reward or motivate staff, and to cultivate informal relationships with important clientele. Incentive tourism differs from other forms of MICE travel because its primary purpose and focus is leisure and entertainment, and not professional or educational development. Incentive travel has been recognized to further motivate individuals to feel involved and interested in their company's success. As a result, in the past decade, companies worldwide have begun to realize the benefit offering incentive travel can have on their business, thus making it an increasingly large market in the world of MICE tourism.

Incentive travel is particularly beneficial to companies wanting to improve relationships between employees and management, motivate sales departments to increase their transaction numbers, foster client relationships, reward staff for excellent on the job performance, boost staff loyalty and build team dynamics among important employee groups. For this reason, the programming for an organized incentive tour will generally include team building activities, exciting events and parties, and unique dining experiences, in addition to regular historical and cultural tours around the travel destination. Incentive tours must be exciting, unforgettable and unique. The company's objective in organizing the tour is for its participants to return home with fantastic memories of the trip abroad. If the objective is achieved, those staff members or clients will have enticing stories to share with co-workers and will foster an interest for others to excel so that they will be able to join the next program.

Overall, the goal of incentive tourism is to inspire appreciation and gratification in the participants toward the sponsoring company. Rewarding success with money has proven a long-term failure to excite or motivate; it becomes dull and repetitive for staff after a certain point. Incentive travel, however, is never boring and a destination need never be repeated. Therefore, by utilizing incentive trips, rather than cash bonuses or other more standard employee incentive techniques, companies are better able to motivate staff and clients to succeed. It acts as an enticing and unique benefit that no employee will want to miss out on.

Given the exceptional objectives of an incentive travel tour, the professional tour operators planning these trips take great care in understanding the company's motivation for funding the incentive tour. Accommodations, sightseeing, gala dinners, themed events, transportation and all other aspects of the trip's program must fit into the budget outlined by the company. Branding opportunities must be found to remind guests of the company's tour sponsorship and highlight positive feelings created while abroad so that staff will return motivated to work and/or clients will return interested in expanding business relationships. Staff in incentive tour companies work to create flawless tours and events so that those travelling can focus on their task at hand: leisure, entertainment and relationship building with clients, employees or colleagues.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Top Travel Destinations Over Time

When many people travel, they try to learn about the history of the destination area. Learning the history of the early days and how the early settlers came from the old world to the new world is a fun educational experience. Traveling to 'old' and 'new' world destinations to learn how settlers and regions flourished is a great way to spend a vacation. If you are a history buff interested in taking a vacation into the past, below you will find a list of the top travel destinations over time:

New England / England: There are six states that make up historical New England. Some of the earliest European settlements in North America were established in New England. When visiting the region, you will view some of the oldest cities and historical sites such as the historic Plymouth Rock. You will also get to experience old England's history in New England's sites and architecture such as Boston College

New York / York: As one of the oldest and majestic cities in the US, New York is one of the most famous cities in the world. New York gets its name from a Yorkshire city. The two river cities, the Hudson and the Ouse, offer such cultural attractions as the Yorkshire Museum, Cathedral of St John the Divine, Carnegie Hall, Theatre Royal, The Met, and York Minster.

New Amsterdam / Amsterdam: In 1626, the settlement of New Amsterdam was established at the mouth of the Hudson River. A 17th century Dutch colonial settlement, many sites contain anglicised versions of Dutch words. For example, Coney Island was derived from "Konijn Eiland" (Rabbit Island) because of the once plentiful supply of animals. New Amsterdam is also an example of the beauty of multiculturalism.

New Jersey / Jersey: Over a century ago, Jersey Shore's Atlantic City was a fashionable resort. It now consists of piers and a boardwalk that contain wonderful amusements. There is a distinct Anglo-French cultural blend of the Channel Islands. New Jersey reflects its own unique charm.

Nova Scotia / Scotland: Derived from the word 'New Scotland,' Nova Scotia's Scottish heritage runs deep in the province. It has been documented as the first Scottish settlement in the Americas. It still has about 2,000 Gaelic speakers. As well, the region has its own provincial tartan which is recognized by Scotland. There is much to see and do in Nova Scotia.

New Brunswick / Brunswick: The "old" Brunswick is located in Lower Saxony, Germany. New Brunswick is the largest Maritime province. It received its name in 1784 in honour of King George III, the Duke of Brunswick. Its famous attractions include lighthouses and covered-bridges.

Newfoundland: Newfoundland is one of the oldest settlements founded by Europeans. The 16th century fishermen and whalers gave Newfoundland its name. Evidence has been found showing that Vikings settled in Newfoundland for a brief time around 1003AD. There is much history to explore in Newfoundland.

Traveling to 'old' and 'new' destinations is a great way to learn about the history of early settlers. There are so many places to visit, explore, and learn how settlers and regions evolved and flourished. Consider a historical destination for your next vacation. You will learn a lot while having a fantastic time making great memories.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Norfolk Broads - Heritage And Leisure

The Norfolk Broads consist of over 200 miles of navigable rivers, lakes and man-made waterways. Its formation was long thought to be the result of glacial activity during the ice age. However, it has since been discovered that the landscape was actually formed by medieval excavations for peat and turf.

Farming and fishing dominated the Norfolk Broads during the 16th century with the waterways playing an integral role in the transportation of goods. Drainage windmills were introduced to encourage cattle grazing and the local economy flourished, as marshmen tended the land and maintained the water levels and dykes. During the 19th century the introduction of the railways heralded a boom in tourism as trains brought city dwellers to The Broads who were keen on escaping the harshness of city life. Traditionally used for trade, Wherrys became the most popular mode of travel on the waterways and they were soon built for pleasure rather than trade. But the Second World War brought about an agricultural revival as all the available was used for the war effort. This renaissance in Norfolk's farming economy would last through to the 50's and 60's as Government funding was made available for new tools and equipment.

It became clear during the 1970s that measures needed to be taken in order to protect Norfolk's heritage - the ravages of the weather and the onslaught of tourists was beginning to take its toll. As a result over 5000 buildings became listed and large swathes of land protected. The Norfolk Broads is now the largest protected wetland in the United Kingdom. Rare insect species such as the Norfolk Hawker dragonfly thrive, while birds such as the Kingfisher and Greylag attract birdwatchers from far and wide. The natural splendour of the region is made more accessible by paths such as the Hoveton Great Broad Trail. Nature reserves like the Wildlife Centre at Ranworth Broad vividly exhibit the rich variety of wildlife that inhabits the area.

The waterways that criss-cross East Anglia still remain very popular amongst pleasure-seekers and water-sports enthusiasts. Altogether there are 30 Broads, threaded together by the River Bure and its tributaries. Other rivers such as the Wensey and Waveny offer some attractive, picturesque routes through the countryside and feed into Breydon Water - for long stretches, these waterways are actually set below the level of the surrounding countryside.

Towns such as Wroxham and Beccles seem to epitomise the character of the region. The old town of Beccles for example is a notable attraction and is dominated by a 97ft bell tower that dates back to the 14th century. The busy resort town of Great Yarmouth is a particularly popular destination with tourists, its piers and fairgrounds contrasting sharply with the wooded tranquility of nearby Horning.

The combination of natural beauty and human ingenuity make the Norfolk Broads one of the most intriguing, enchanting regions in the United Kingdom. Despite its popularity with tourists, people dedicated to the preservation of this wonderful region ensure that the influx of visitors does not have a detrimental effect on the natural surroundings and as a result Norfolk, like some of the best holiday regions, has something to offer everyone.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wine Travel - Tiny Rhode Island Is Big On Wine

If you've never been to Rhode Island, let us be the first to encourage you to visit. Simply put, the smallest of our 50 states is unforgettable. Often nicknamed "America's First Resort", tiny Rhode Island is much more. Its climate is tempered by the Atlantic Ocean, and there are miles upon miles of breathtaking beaches (and views) to savor and enjoy.

Further inland, Rhode Island offers the cosmopolitan and historic city of Providence and a surprising array of agricultural activity, punctuated by a small but thriving wine industry. If this surprises you, you're not alone ... it surprised us too! But grapes grow in plentiful numbers here, and winemakers have adapted their art in accordance with what nature provides.

There are five wineries in the state, making this is a perfect weekend wine travel destination. Interestingly, Rhode Island's climate is very similar to the north of France, which is famous for its wine production. Since Providence is our starting point, let's learn a bit more about this charming and vibrant city adjacent to Narragansett Bay.

Exploring Providence

We were delighted to discover that Providence, the capitol of Rhode Island with a population of 175,000, is a very walkable city. What better way to explore a city than to feel its pulse on foot? Among Providence's neighborhood destinations are Wayland Square, Federal Hill, and of course the downtown area.

Federal Hill, long known for its "Little Italy" area, teems with dining opportunities. If you're a fan of independent stores and shops, don't miss Wayland Square on the city's east side. And let's not forget downtown Providence, a destination for dining, nightlife, and historic architecture.

Rhode Island Wine

Since Rhode Island is such a small state, one could quite possibly visit all five wineries in two days. However, you'd miss the simple pleasure of discovering all that Rhode Island has to offer. We were struck how lush, green, and rural the area became as we traveled outside of Providence.

Just a few minutes from the Massachusetts border is the small town of Cumberland, home of Diamond Hill Vineyards. Located on a 34 acre site, it's so picturesque here that weddings and special events are common in front of the 220 year old vineyard house. Known for its Pinot Noir grapes, Diamond Hill also has an excellent reputation for fruit wines.

South of Providence in Newport County, you'll find three wineries: Greenvale Vineyards, Newport Vineyards and Winery, and Sakonnet Vineyards. Each location is a scenic gem! In addition to the gorgeous scenery, each winery hosts numerous seasonal events, perfect for relaxing and enjoying crisp, delightful Rhode Island vintages.

Leaving the Newport area and heading toward Rhode Island's southwestern coastal area, you'll find Langworthy Farm Winery in Westerly, just a stone's throw from the Atlantic Ocean. Langworthy is situated on a family farm with an 1875 Victorian farmhouse that welcomes overnight guests. The grounds feature a stunning Norway maple tree that is reportedly the largest of its kind in the state.

You'll find wine for any palate at these charming wineries, from deep complex reds to light and crisp Rieslings. So, here's to little Rhode Island ... small in size but very very big in wine, taste, and scenery! Once you visit, you'll never forget. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Some of 2010's Most Popular Family Vacation Travel Spots

Figuring out some of the best travel and leisure family vacations is hard to do. Going on vacation with children, especially young children, can be a hassle. What is the easiest way of getting there, are there activities for everyone in the family, are there resources that allow you to be able to go off without the kids (if you'd want to) and is it reasonably priced?

Family vacation travel time is supposed to be a time of family bonding. Of doing things together and making memories while also staying on a budget and being safe. This list of top vacation spots will give you ideas on how to make your family travel vacations worthwhile.

1. Orlando, Florida - Orlando is known as the theme park capital of the world! Along with Disney World and Universal Studios (which houses the new Harry Potter theme park), there are also water parks and hotels with "beach pools" in this land locked city for everyone to enjoy a day on the beach. Disney World usually has deals for families no matter what time of the year it is. For great Orlando vacation package deals click here.

2. Cancun and Mayan Riviera - a two for one deal. The two are extremely accessible to one another; can easily make a day trip to whichever you don't stay in. Cancun's 25-kilometer Hotel Zone has shopping, dining, urban pleasures and beaches. Although very crowded, Cancun also has slightly more secluded areas like Club Med Cancun Yucatan on the end of a peninsula. The Mayan Riviera is a bit more low-key and has Mayan ruins, snorkeling and an Xcaret eco-theme park. Keep in mind the exchange rate.

3. Caribbean All-Inclusive Resorts - If you are looking for wet family vacation travel, look no farther. Caribbean resorts have beaches, water sports and amazing kids clubs to give you some alone time.

4. Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg is a secret treasure of the east coast that combines history with roller coasters! Busch Gardens and Water Country USA are two theme parks just outside the city. The city itself has actors and volunteers portraying people from over 200 years ago, bringing you back to an age right before the American Revolution.

5. Arizona - Usually overlooked for vacationers by its neighboring states of California and Nevada, Arizona offers just as much for family vacation travel for half the price. Monument Valley, the Colorado River, Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon are breathtaking natural beauties where the family can learn about the native Navajo as well as have exciting raft rides. There are also dude ranches and the Wild West for those young children who want to grow up to be a cowboy.

6. Myrtle Beach and South Carolina - Myrtle Beach is the most widely visited place in South Carolina. It borders 60 miles of beaches called the Great Strand. Although one of the most visited places in America, it is a budget and child-friendly place; many of the hotels have activities for children. Theme parks and a boardwalk add to the excitement of this small town city.

7. Hershey, Pennsylvania - "Chocolate Town, USA" is the home of Hersheypark, voted top amusement park by FamilyFun Magazine. If the aroma of chocolate is too much to handle, there is also the Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park and the Hotel Hershey. The town is an affordable alternative to the more expensive Philadelphia which is only 90 minutes away and New York City which is three hours north.

8. Wisconsin Dells - This quant town of only 4,000 is the indoor water park capital of the world. Over 20 resorts have indoor water parks. Many also offer outdoor attractions in the summer.

9. Southern California Vacation Spots - The LA and San Diego area might be expensive, but is filled with great travel and leisure family vacations spots. Disney Land (which is much smaller than its counterpart in Florida) houses the Magic Kingdom and California Adventure parks. Legoland has rides, live shows and towns made up of millions of Lego blocks.

10. Oahu, Hawaii - Oahu has the best of two worlds; the upbeat exciting city of Waikiki on the southern end of the island, and the less developed quieter northern end of the 597 sq. mile island. The family can learn about American history at Pearl Harbor as well as explore the oceans by boat trips, dolphin shows, surf lessons and Atlantis submarine outings.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Eurostar Plus for Leisure Travel and Its Benefits

Eurostar is a high speed train service that offers its services from UK to various destinations of the European continent. Eurostar services are very popular since they are super fast, reliable, convenient and overall better in comparison to other means of transport. For its regular customers Eurostar has introduced a new program that is indeed a leisure loyalty program known as Eurostar Plus.

Eurostar Plus that is an extension of Eurostarservices offers avariety of discounts for its travelers who usethe passenger trains of Eurostar. If you are using Eurostar Plus Your each pound is rewarded with the cash bank that you spent on your Eurostar ticket

How to use Eurostar Plus and its benefits?

Firstly you have to create an account on the Eurostar website. Once your account is created for every £1 that you will spend on Eurostar travel; you will also earn one point. When you will have a sum of 300 points then you will automatically receive an e voucher of £20. This e voucher will be valid for one year. You can use this e voucher during your next travel on Eurostar.

You can also use your Eurostar Plus for various other options like Eurostar plus Shopping, where it will provide you good discounts and you can also be lucky to get a invitation for private fashion show on Paris' chic boulevard Haussman at Lafayette flagship store Galeries. By using EurostarPlus Trip-planner youcan create your perfect personal schedule by using interactive maps almost all the destinations in Europe. In addition to this Eurostar also provides services like Eurostar plus Culture i.e. entry at the optimum galleries and museums of Europe by just showing your Eurostar tickets.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Travel and Leisure World

Travel and leisure world is one place that everybody wishes he or she can go to. This is most common in Europe where millions and millions of tourists flock each and every year. Europe, more than any other continent is known for its grandeur and ambiance. There are the Royal Caribbean Cruises which make this wonderful travel and leisure world more than just a mere vacation. As you set out on your journey, be sure to start your experience of a lifetime in this fleet of ships. They have everything that anyone could expect in a travel and leisure world.

You should never get worried that you will miss a chance in these luxurious ships because they are always available. What prompts anyone who has been in these ships to call them a travel and leisure world are the amazing features that you find in them. Secondly, they have very courteous and friendly cabins on board who offer quality services. As you plan on how much you are going to part with, you should first realize that there are several options to choose from. The Royal Caribbean Cruises are quite a number and it depends on your choice of which one to travel in.

Your decision should be first and foremost influenced by your financial position and capability. Secondly, you should consider whether you are going to travel as family, couple, or as friends in a group. This travel and leisure world offers you the power to develop the cruise setting that you want. As if that is not enough, you are also left with the option to choose between cabins as well as dining options. As for the restaurants, they are quite a number.

The services and foods offered in this undisputed travel and leisure world are nothing but a mixture of brilliance and quality. There are both options of fine dining as well as casual. Generally, anybody or family which chooses to travel through this means is spoilt for choice. Even if you have a young child, you can order for anything that the baby eats and within a few minutes, you have it ready. This feature is what has brought the great fame and popularity that the Caribbean Cruise enjoys.

However, despite all the above favors the main aim of your vacation should not be over shadowed by these wonderful offers. You should make sure that you have a clear view of all sites in the travel and leisure world. This calls for hiring a person who will guide you on the ports to follow. He or she should also help you to organize your cruise and journey in such a manner that you are able to have a clear and good view of your favorite cities.

During your journey throughout Europe, especially in Ireland and Great Britain, you will get a clear and precise answer as to why this continent is referred to as the travel and leisure world. There are numerous sites which are not only natural tourist attractions, but they also tell so much about the continent's history.

At the end of your travel and leisure world visit, you will have more than stories to tell.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Travel and Tourism Career Training Possibilities Online

Career education programs are available online for those who can't commit to attending traditional classes. Deciding to pursue a career in the hospitality field can give students the chance to gain the skills they need to enter the workforce. Knowledge learned will prepare students to seek employment in the specialized area of their choice. Online schools and colleges provide students with the opportunity to obtain an accredited education in travel and tourism. By doing so students can pursue a number of careers by obtaining various certificates and degrees.

Students can learn a number of things prior to enrollment in an online training program.
The level of education students choose to obtain will decide on the career possibilities available to them. Coursework will also depend on the level of education and desired career of each student. Students can prepare to work with people providing travel services and information when needed. Studies can be completed from the comforts of home at the students own leisure, allowing students to continue their current employment.
Obtaining an education will prepare students to seek the employment that they dream of.

Degree Options

Online career training programs can be completed at a variety of levels. Each individual student will need to complete the degree program that is necessary for their desired career. Training options can include earning a:

  • Certificate
  • Diploma
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree
  • Master Degree
Students who pursue an education at these levels will be able to prepare for the successful career they need in travel and tourism. These levels of education can be completed by studying and passing all required courses.


Students will be required to study various subjects based on the career they long for and the level of education being pursued. Accredited online training will allow students to attend courses in accounting, reservation systems, bookkeeping, travel destinations, cruise lines, sales techniques, and other subjects that related to specific careers in this field. Learning the skills and knowledge provided by these courses will prepare students for an exciting travel and tourism career.


There are numerous career possibilities when it comes to working in the hospitality field. Students who choose to gain an accredited online education have a number of career options to pick from. Training will prepare students to work in hospitality as travel and tourism managers, travel coordinators, travel agents, travel clerks, and other professions in this field. By pursuing the online educational training needed to enter into these careers, students will be on their way to seeking successful employment.

Accredited online travel and tourism training programs give students the chance to gain the quality education they deserve. Fully accredited online schools and colleges are approved by agencies like the Distance Education and Training Council ( http://www.detc.org/ ) to provide students with the best quality education available. Enrolling in an online educational program will allow students to prepare for their desired travel and tourism career. Students can research to learn more about the one that's right for them.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 - All rights reserved by PETAP.org.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Leisure Travel Helps Travel Industry Show Increase

High fuel costs and economic stress are taking their toll on yet another industry. The travel industry. An industry with multiyear growth is beginning to level off at mid year. And may only have a slight chance of ending the year with an increase, thanks to leisure travel sales.

The continued rising gasoline prices have already forced some consumers to cancel their vacation plans, according to a key consumer survey. Although leisure travel is still expected to continue growing this year, even if families are forced to vacation closer to home.

Although the number of domestic trips taken this year and next are not expected to decline, it has been suggested that the spending patterns and consumer choices may change. Substituting domestic travel for international trips, trading down in hotel quality, foregoing in-trip shopping or entertainment spending, and shorter stays are all viable options that will be considered.

Leisure travel was predicted to grow by 0.8% in the second quarter of 2008, and then pick up more speed with a 1.1% increase in the third quarter. Leisure travel is predicted to greatly increase in the second half of the year as Americans spend part or all of their tax rebate on travel. Time will tell if this prediction comes true.

The travel industry growth is being hurt mainly by the decline in business travel due to corporate cost controls and increased reliance on technology-based alternatives. This is expected to carry on through into the year 2009, as well. Unless we see some sign of relief at the pump, then some of these changes may be more temporary in nature.

But on a high note for our economy, the International travel to the United States will continue to grow. Due to the fact that our foreign visitors will continue benefiting from exchange rates and other factors that have combined to create an increase of international visitation. This is following strong increases from last year as well. It has been forecasted for foreign visits to reach 62.1 million next year, which is even 4.8% higher than the current year stats.

Although some reports indicate leisure travel to weaken in 2009, if problems caused by the credit and housing crises continue to hurt the overall economy. The total number of trips could decline by 0.4%, to 1.996 million, and leisure travel would see its first decline since 2003.

As a person that loves to travel and enjoys time away from the daily routine, I believe I speak for all of us when I say that I hope the economy starts to turn around soon. I wouldn't want us to have to go home to our families and break the news that there will be no summer vacation next year.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Charleston SC - An Introduction - Be a Traveler and Explore!

A Introduction to Historic Charleston and Surrounding Areas: Mount Pleasant and Islands, West Ashley, John's Island and Summerville

Charleston (Downtown)

Travel %2B Leisure magazine's readers survey has rated Charleston and its surrounding area one of America's five Best Cities. Charlestonians regard that as somewhat incorrect, as there obviously are no better cities than Charleston. Almost 300 years old, Charleston wears its age with pride in its history and a lively willingness to engage the future.

Charleston history is a gloriously colorful tapestry of events that are in many ways unique. It has been captured and occupied during two major wars: the Revolution and the Civil War (still known among graciously firm minded ladies of a certain age as "The Late Unpleasantness"). It's been attacked by pirates, burned to the ground, destroyed by earthquake, and walloped by several huge hurricanes. All of these events were generally regarded as irritating interruptions in the continuation of Charleston's stately lifestyle.

When you visit Charleston, you find yourself in a city that's European in many aspects. The colorful downtown area is really a walking city, best seen from the sidewalks. There are shops, antique stores, restaurants, coffee houses, art galleries, taverns, and a wide variety of performing arts, not to mention festivals. There's even the Market, a covered area full of little places and stalls where almost anything you didn't know you wanted can be found for sale. Market Street is composed of small shops that are equally eclectic in their wares.

In true Charleston juxtaposition, only a block away is King Street, the main shopping thoroughfare with large and small stores featuring everything from designer clothing to jewelry to antiques. Unique items such as original sculpture and hand rolled cigars can be found on King or its side streets.

Away from the shopping areas, there are narrow streets full of houses that are up to two hundred and fifty years old. Several of these are open for you to tour and others have become small inns. A stroll through the old section (South of Broad Street) is the best way to see what Charleston looked like back in its first glory period as a major eighteenth century seaport or get a feeling for how people lived before the Civil War. The churches are worth a look-see, too. Many of the graveyards are open to visitors, and the old grave stones tell a vivid story about city residents of centuries past.

Charleston is also, among many other things, a college town and the Bohemian aspects of some parts of the city reflect the presence of the College of Charleston in buildings, dormitories, and fraternity houses scattered throughout its heart. Young men and women in uniform are walking evidence of the Citadel, one of the few remaining state military colleges. The Citadel has dress parades every Friday afternoon and visitors are welcome to tour its beautiful campus at any time. Located in the hospital section along western Calhoun Street is the Medical University of South Carolina, another of the major centers of learning that the city hosts.

A wide variety of restaurants cover every aspect of the dining spectrum, too. You can have a sandwich in a fast food shop or dine on expensive haut cuisine. In between are places that feature down home Charleston cooking, excellent sea food, or just a good cup of coffee and a pastry.

West of the Ashley (West Ashley, James Island, John's Island, Folly Beach)

Cross over the Ashley River bridges and you're in one of the major suburbs of Charleston, but it's more than a residential area. Follow Old Town Road to Charles Towne Landing, a state park located where the first colonists landed. The park has a brand new interactive Visitors' Center that graphically portrays early eighteenth century life in early Charles Town. For a different dose of history, travel Highway 61 and you pass several classic plantations, all open for touring, that give a visitor the feeling of pre-Civil war plantation life.

On James Island, follow Folly Road to its end and you're at Folly Beach, the "Edge of America". It's a laid back fun and funky little beach town that is known for a relaxed lifestyle, sense of humor, and some of the best surfing on the east coast. Lie on the beach, walk out on the fourteen hundred foot fishing pier, or dine at any of several little restaurants during your visit. You'll enjoy it all.

Rural John's Island is pure South Carolina back country within easy reach of the city. Gorgeous moss-hung oaks line the roads, but the grandfather of them all is the Angel Oak, nearly 14 centuries old and massive in stature. It's truly living history.

East of the Cooper (Mount Pleasant, Sullivan's Island, Isle of Palms)

Cross the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, an architectural wonder that's the longest cable span bridge in America, and you are in chic Mount Pleasant. Here you'll find exclusive communities surrounding a small town full of outstanding shopping and dining. Along the Cooper River is Patriots Point Museum with it's collection of naval ships from the 20th Century, including the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown.

For the beach lover, Sullivan's Island and the Isle of Palms both offer beautiful clear sand and rolling waves. Sullivan's Island is a classic small beach community with the amenities of a county park while the Isle of Palms features upscale homes, a great resort, golf, and exclusive island living.

North Charleston

The city of North Charleston is the area's business, transportation, and manufacturing center, but it also has the North Charleston Coliseum with its Convention Center and Performing Arts Center featuring national touring entertainment. The Warren Lasch Conservation Center houses the conservation efforts for the Confederate submarine CSS Hunley, the first submarine in history to sink an enemy ship - in 1864. The sub and the ongoing work of conservation may be viewed on weekends.


The bedroom community of Summerville was originally where Charlestonians went to escape the heat and humidity of the Charleston summer. Nowadays, modern air conditioning makes that effort moot, but Summerville is still worth a visit since it has over 700 buildings on the National Historic Register. Every spring, The Flowertown Festival celebrates the blooming of azaleas in public parks and private gardens that turn the city into a riot of color and natural beauty. Although growing, Summerville still has its small town feel.

There's no single color, shape or tone to Charleston and its surrounding area. Instead, the old city and its environs have a kaleidoscope of shifting aspects, so you'd best be prepared for something a little different everywhere you look. The one constant to Charleston is its courtesy to everyone. So feel welcome, visitor. Please enjoy your stay.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Set Jetting: Travel Tips For Film Buffs

For true film buffs, nothing could be more exciting than actually visiting the locations and structures used as settings in their favorite films. The number of travelers who have become caught up in the desire to combine travel with entertainment tourism increases every year. You want stats? The Annals of Tourism Research have recorded an increase of 50% in movie location tourism in the past few years. Now, travelers who make it a point to visit places where their favorite films are set have their own name: set jetters.

In the United States alone an estimated five million movie fans choose to spend their holidays visiting filming locations. Due to the increase in demand, many travel and tour companies are now offering package deals that specifically include movie locations as destinations. This booming source of tourist money has prompted the U.S. Department of Commerce to set up a million dollar fund for a marketing campaign entitled "You've Seen the Movie, Now Visit the Set".

The U.S.A. is far from the only country capitalizing on this new travel trend. New Zealand has seen a surge of set jetters visiting Peter Jackson's version of Middle Earth from the epic trilogy Lord of the Rings. Similar movie locations such those picturesque places seen in the film Eat, Pray, Love are also experiencing an uptick in tourist traffic.

In Europe, set jetters can be spotted flocking towards Dunkurque, France (one of the locations used in the Keira Knightley-James McAvoy film Atonement) and the Belgian city of Bruges (background for the British black comedy film In Bruges, described by actor Ralph Feinnes in the film as a fairy tale town).

The Sean Penn film Into the Wild, based on a real-life story, is partly set in the dramatic and rugged Alaskan wilderness. Believe it or not, jet setters are even flocking to Alaska; they are literally following Emile Hirsch's footsteps into the wild.

The popularity of set jetting is good news for smaller countries that have had trouble attracting tourists in the past. On the flip side, there are more well-known locales that have also been featured in the movies that aren't necessarily hot spots for set jetters. For example, Edinburgh and London have both been used as the setting for very dark films about heroin addicts and zombies. Many set jetters aren't interested Fortunately, those two cities are historical enough to attract tourists for a different reason.

Set Jetters are a valuable demographic for the tourist offices of small countries, such as New Zealand. One might not be the greatest fan of hobbits, but promoting the location through its association with a blockbuster film (and accompanying tour package) will definitely boost tourism and satisfy the needs of film fanatics and perhaps create a few future set jetters at the same time.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Travel and Tourism Career Training and Preparation Options Online

The field of travel and tourism requires a special knowledge of hospitality mixed with the desire to work with various people assisting them in their vacation and travel needs. The skills needed to work in this field can be obtained through an accredited online school or college. You can choose to study a specialized area of the field or gain knowledge of every aspect. Online career preparation options include earning an accredited certificate or degree, and training can be completed from home without jeopardizing you current employment or lifestyle.

There are numerous career options to choose from when looking to enter into a profession in travel and tourism. Online studies can help to prepare you for an exciting career in travel and tourism or hospitality. You can seek out a career as a:

  • Cruise Sales Manager
  • Reservationist
  • Travel Agent
  • Corporate Travel Counselor
  • Property Manager

...and many other professions.

When pursuing a career in this field you should make sure the educational program you choose carries full accreditation. This will help you to gain the quality education you need and deserve.

Depending on the career you wish to enter, you can expect to study a variety of subjects. Coursework will relate to the career and level of education you choose to pursue. Studies may consist of courses in bookkeeping, sales techniques, reservation systems, accounting, cruise line information, travel destinations, and much more. You can prepare for a career working with various people to plan and create the travel experience they desire. Training online will give you the leisure to study when it is convenient for you. Training in this exciting field will help you to obtain the skills needed to pursue the employment you desire.

You have the option of choosing to obtain an accredited online certificate or degree, by enrolling in the school or college that fits your personal needs and goals. Online career preparation is available to prepare you for the career of your dreams. You can choose to gain an accredited:

  • Certificate
  • Diploma
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree
  • Master Degree

The level of education you choose to pursue will help decide the length of time you will need to spend on coursework and training. Accredited certificates and diplomas can range anywhere from six months to one year. Obtaining an associate level degree will require two years, and a bachelor program can take four years to complete. Completion of a master level degree training program will require an additional two years of online study.

Online schools and colleges are designed to assist you in receiving the knowledge and skills necessary to seek out a successful career. Accredited learning programs are available to supply you with the highest quality education possible. Agencies such as the DETC ( http://www.detc.org/ ) are approved to provide full accreditation to qualifying educational programs. Begin the path to an exciting new career by researching online travel and tourism training options and enrolling today.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 - All rights reserved by PETAP.org.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Idea of Travel and Leisure

It is a big treat to travel not for any business or work-related reasons but simply for leisure and pleasure. For those who are new to this kind of thrill, there are a thousand ways to plan an itinerary given that one has the right knowledge and the right financial budget. The main essence of travel and leisure is not to simply travel and see places but to bring the concept of traveling to new heights by allowing oneself leisurely experiences while exploring the sights and sounds of the entire area. To determine the right fitted itinerary for your specific needs, a great consideration should be placed on the questions that most travelers ask. Will I be traveling alone or with a companion? What do I need to know if I plan to take the whole family for a leisurely vacation?

Traveling Solo

Most of the practical neophytes opt to go for a pre-planned itinerary that contains a complete set of services including the two-way travel ticket, the accommodation, the course of trips and tours, and other add-on services and perks that some travel agency offers. Going for a cruise type of solitary vacation is getting popular nowadays especially that the romantic promises of an immense horizon and endless waterworld-type of environment is too much to resist for people who escapes from the busy buzz of the urban jungle. Try the Caribbean or Norwegian cruise that would certainly break the monotony of your cyclical and routine-based existence. When you travel alone, try to bring a book, an ipod, or maybe something that would keep your hands busy such as art and painting materials or a writing implement to preoccupy your mind. There are also hotels and resorts that have customized their accommodations for those who want to spend their time alone and relax without worries.

Traveling with a Loved One

The concept of leisure and travel especially for honeymooners requires a focused planning especially in the creation of an itinerary of activities. To make it easier for couples and lovers, there are resorts and hotels that provide holistic services from wellness activities to superbly executed food and dining services. For a leisurely experience, couples mostly engage in activities that are not usually possible when they are on their usual ground. Some of these activities are scuba diving, parasailing, skiing, island hopping, mountain trekking, and even game hunting. In sharing a leisurely but quiet togetherness, couples could simply pamper themselves by getting a spa massage with soothing music on the background or by engaging in yoga and tai chi sessions to maintain the harmony of mind and body.

Traveling with the whole family

This is a tricky vacation getaway especially if you are bringing a baby or a toddler on your trip. Some wealthy families think leisure and travel hiring a nanny to look after the baby but some believe that carefully planning the whole vacation spree will eliminate most of your headaches when the actual trip already begins. One advice is to only bring the things that are necessary to at least minimize the bulk of luggage that you will be dragging with you. There are hotels and even restaurants that cater for a bigger number of customers and clients. Make sure to check out these places before barking on a family journey.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Wonderful Travel + Ideal Leisure = A Cruise

For those who want a vacation that combines travel to exotic destinations, great food and entertainment, pleasant accommodations and the convenience of unpacking once, there can be but one answer - a cruise.

Cruises are fun, and they offer the opportunity for a luxurious trip at a modest price. With numerous embarkation ports located in many cities from Boston to Seattle and from Miami to San Francisco, they are convenient to get to for most people. There is always parking available, so what to do with your car is never a problem.

When asked what they enjoyed most about a just-completed cruise, travelers gave many different answers. Some replied that waking up in the morning, docked at a place they have never been, with a whole day to tour was best. Others replied that the three wonderful meals with so much variety were what they enjoyed most. Shipboard activities such as the gym, casino, bingo, lectures, games and activities were the most outstanding part of the trip for some. One relaxed-looking man said, "For me, the best part was just being able to find a quiet place to read a book." While it was not the very most enjoyable thing, many people commented that being able to travel for seven or ten or twenty-one days and just unpack once is a real highlight.

Another wonderful thing about cruises is they go everywhere. Want to see Europe in style and comfort? Take a cruise. Want to go to the Caribbean islands or several ports in South America? Take a cruise. A cruise ship is the ideal way to go to Alaska. Cruise ships visit not just one of the Hawaiian Islands, but all of the major ones. Cruises are an ideal way to see the world. In fact, World Voyages around the world are available if you have enough time and money to spend more than three months on a cruise.

Probably the best thing about cruises for many is that they can afford to do all the things a cruise makes possible.