Friday, February 28, 2014

Finding The Best Vacation Packages And Holidays

Many people like to plan for their vacations early on. Some individuals like to plan them the year before they go. Other individuals prefer to grab last minute deals. There are all kinds of vacation packages and holidays available.

There are plenty of choices to choose from, such as voyage a rabais, all inclusive holidays, and cheap ones as well. It is worth considering your budget first, and then just what you want to get out of it next, in order to see if the two can work together. Then you can decide where to look first: Newspapers and magazines, your local travel agent or the internet are usual choices.

If you are looking for a bargain, then there are plenty available these days. There are some companies available that search purely for special deals or last minute cheap deals. It may well be something to consider looking at if you want more from your money.

If you do not mind departing the same day or the day after you book your holiday, there are some fantastic holidays available on very short notice. The reason these holidays are much less expensive than the normal cost is because some hotels or resorts have most of the places filled for a certain booking period. However, they would rather have them all filled if possible when it gets very close to the time.

Many individuals manage to get their holidays this way every year. And depending on the length of the holiday, and how much they have to spend, it can sometimes be possible to have several holidays a year at a low cost this way. However, it is best to not be overly choosy on just one destination when searching for such great deals.

If you like to plan your holidays well in advance to get what you want, including advanced booking discounts, then this is also a popular choice. Shopping around for just what you want can be fun and finding the ideal escape can be a rejuvenating experience in itself. Of course hidden costs, airport tax and high prices can be extras that may need to be considered before you start to pack your bags.

It is also good to consider other things as well, such as your camera. One that has a self-timer is a great idea. It can capture your whole family together enjoying themselves, instead of always having someone missing from the photographs. Alternatively, if you are going alone, then it is even more important to choose the right self-timing camera so that you actually have photographs showing you on holiday, rather than a lot of photographs that resemble postcards, simply because anyone could have taken them, due to your absence in them all.

Sometimes, a waitress or waiter may be a safe person to ask to take a photograph of you or you and your family or friends, in a dining establishment, or resort. However, it is always wise to be careful with your belongings when you are in new places. Vacation packages are usually fun and very rewarding experiences, but only you can choose the ideal one for you.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

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

Located on the scenic Connecticut River on the northeastern edge of Hartford County beside the Massachusetts border is the city of Enfield. Originally home to the Native American Pocomtuc tribe who had two villages here, Scitico and Nameroke, Enfield's first Europeans settlers were John and Robert Pease who arrived in 1679 from Salem, Massachusetts. The two brothers spent the first winter camping in a shelter dug into the side of a hill before sending for their families.

Although first considered part of Massachusetts when Enfield was incorporated in 1683, in 1749 it was determined that a surveyor had mistakenly marked the State's boundaries and Enfield seceded and joined Connecticut.

Undoubtedly the single most historic event that took place in Enfield's early days was what is widely regarded as the most famous sermon ever delivered by Jonathan Edwards "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Lord" in 1741. A revival movement had begun in Massachusetts in the 1730's called the Great Awakening that had spread to the Connecticut River Valley where Edwards was an American Puritan theologian and delivered the quintessential fire and brimestone sermon.

"The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked. His wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else but to be cast into the fire. He is of purer eyes than to bear you in his sight; you are ten thousand times as abominable in his eyes as the most hateful, venomous serpent is in ours"

Throughout the sermon Edwards was repeatedly interrupted by people moaning, shaking and crying out "What shall I do to be saved?" However, his preaching style so focused on fear and hatred of damnation - together with the lamentations, trembling and convulsions of his audience were criticized by many conservative Puritans who said Edwards was leading his congregation into fanaticism.

Several people became so profoundly shaken and depressed convinced of their own damnation by the Great Awakening revivals that they committed suicide - including Edwards' own uncle Joseph Hawley who was a member of his congregation. Edwards wrote that "Multitudes" had been so compelled - presumably by Satan - to kill themselves.

He became embroiled in controversy regarding the "bodily effects" of the holy spirit's presence in his congregation's swooning and fainting, and the resulting "Suicide Craze" effectively killed the first wave of the Great Awakening revival in Connecticut.

For years Edwards continued to preach his message to the Mohicans. Jonathan Edwards died at 52 as a result of a smallpox inoculation he had specifically requested to serve as an example to the Indians he ministered to to follow.

He is buried beside his Son-in-law, Aaron Burr Vice President of the United States. On a side note, Burr is probably best known as the person who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel after Hamilton intentionally discharged his pistol into the air to settle their dispute honorably, after which Burr took aim and killed him. Today, Hamilton appears on American ten dollar bills - and most people remember Burr as the person who killed him because he was rigid and couldn't back down in their dispute.

Many of Enfield's historic homes dating back to this era can be found in the 1106-1492 blocks of Enfield Street and King Street which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Modern Enfield was formed by the union of Enfield, Thompsonville, and Hazardville, named after Colonel Hazard who manufactured gunpowder in the Powder Hollow section of town. The factories were built so that if one section of the mills exploded it would not set off a chain reaction and the walls could be set back up almost intact. Men who worked keeping the powder wet when it was being milled sat on one-legged stools so that they would fall over if they fell asleep rather than allowing an explosion.

Hazard was the biggest single manufacturer of gunpowder during the time of his products biggest boom - the Civil War. However, Hazard's gunpowder factories blew up repeatedly over the years, killing over sixty workers - including one of his sons. The ruins of these buildings and the dams that powered the mills are open to the public. Powder Hollow Park in Enfield Hazardville neighborhood district has baseball fields and hiking trails.

Today, Enfield's range of housing includes single-family homes, apartments and condominiums set in historic neighborhoods like Hazardville, North Thompsonville, Shaker Pines that was the location of an early Shaker community, and Southwood Acres.

Thompsonville in the center of Enfield has more of an urban environment with old Victorians and boat launches on the Connecticut River. Headquartered in Enfield is LEGO, the plastic building toy manufacturer and is also the town's leading employer. There are numerous shopping centers, including Enfield Square Mall off Interstate 91 and Stateline Plaza.

North Thompsonville is primarily a residential section of Enfield with several parks and schools. The Presidential Section consists of streets that are all named after former presidents of the United States. Scitico named after the former Native American village is located in the eastern end of town is a suburb with scenic winding roads, a park, and quite cul-de-sacs.

Enfield is located in the region commonly referred to as the "New England Knowledge Corridor" due to the 27 colleges and universities. Enfield is centrally located on the major north south, Connecticut River Valley transportation corridor and the east west New York to Boston overland routes. Bradley International Airport is approximately ten miles south of Enfield and is a primary transportation hub.

The combination of friendly neighborhoods and close proximity to major metropolitan areas makes Enfield one of Connecticut's best cities for your home and family.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The 10 Important Tips on Cruise Ship Travel Etiquette

The most luxurious gift that you can give to you and loved ones is a cruise. It will be the most relaxing and still thrilling experience of your life. Cruising to countries where you will be able to disembark to shop in boutiques and dine in restaurants in foreign cities will create memories that will last for the rest of your life.

For those who will be cruising for the first time, it is important to research all aspects of cruising from motion sickness to cruise etiquette.

Believe it or not, there is etiquette for cruise ships. It is simple guidelines that need to be followed in order to maintain a certain level of order among the thousands of other passengers on the ship.

* Be pleasant! You and your fellow passengers are on a cruise to relax and have fun. Nobody wants to hear complaints or be around a crabby person. People will respond better to someone with a good attitude.

* Manners should be used all the time, however, when you are on a cruise with thousands of other people, using manners will maintain a degree of order and you will not be considered to be rude.

* If you bring your children on a cruise with you, it is important to maintain a certain amount of control. It is natural for them to be excited, however when they are over stimulated, bring them to your cabin to calm them down.

* Dressing inappropriately can offend many people at the same time. Dress appropriately for the function that you are attending.

* When you participate in activities that the cruise ship offers, it is important that you know what time the activity starts and be there on time. You will avoid asking questions that may have already been answered.

* If you decide to see one of the many performances that cruise ships have to offer, it is only good manners not to talk or even walk out before the show is over.

* When you disembark for a day of shopping at one of the ports of call, it is crucial that you know what time to be back. When you are late, you will risk causing a panic or being left behind.

* Be considerate of those around you. If you are a smoker, ask to be seated in the smoking section or go outside to smoke. With the rising concerns of second hand smoke you will avoid being labeled as inconsiderate.

* Listening to music can be relaxing and even soothing. However, not everyone will appreciate your choice in music. Keep the volume down, or even better, wear earphones when you are by the pool or on deck.

* It is an honor to be invited to dine at the captain's table. The whole process is elaborately done with invitations complete with an RSVP. It is important that you respond immediately with your decision.

Cruises were meant for people to relax and have fun, and to meet new people. By following these guidelines, your cruising experience will sure to create memories and possibly friendships that will last a lifetime.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Family Holidays and Leisure Planning Made Simple

The important advantage of selecting to stay in a villa is space. Because children have sufficient room to play, and it even contains swimming pool and garden. The entire family can spend their nice time in villa. Here each person in the family can find their own way of relaxing and comfortable space.

Here people will not have to fight with one another for the remote control, murmuring in the balcony when the power is out, no gossiping on each other. Elder people also can enjoy the facilities of the villa. Parents will be having fun activities every evening in villa. Finally people won't find any kind of irritation from the services of villa.

Kitchen facilities are also available in villa in order to give the families absolute control over the food and the meal times. Food is a major problem that all the families face when they travel with small children. The kitchens in villa are equipped and if people demand they will provide chefs also. They will allow parents to prepare food to their children; here servants are also available to help the family members. Each villa will be examined and repaired daily. People can spend their time as in one's own home.

Almost all holiday villas offer high quality chairs and cots as standard; this will be like a hotel of good standards. Villa managers will arrange for a family tour or an outing with full range to the families who stay in the villa, people can also make use of this and spend their time in beautiful destinations.

Villa provides all the facilities that people require to spend their holidays. Here convenient stores like market are also present in order to make sure that emergency necessities are provided. Finally villa staff will take care of everything to all the visitors who comes to spend their holidays.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Traveling the World to Shop: The Destinations

Shopping is more than just a hobby. It is a way of indulging on a foreign culture, while sufficing the typical desire to just spend money for nice things to bring home. Whether people come to places on cheap tours or first-class flights, shopping is certainly a common denominator for travelers.
Around the world, there are many shopping paradises. But among the endless choices are ten cities topping the list. They are as follows:

1. Madrid

First and foremost, one cannot expect to experience some total budget shopping in Madrid. However, it is known as one of the most affordable places among the most luxurious shopping venues on Earth. There are several malls around the city, but streets and alleys are usually the destination for its charming shophouses selling souvenirs, textiles, fashion items, and more.

2. Dubai
The city of extremes at the United Arab Emirates is surely a good place for a total shopping spree. Dubai has the world's largest mall - complete with specialty stores, designer outlets, dancing water fountains, Olympic-sized ice skating rink, theme parks, aquarium, and more.

3. Vienna
If you are looking for the 'cheapest shopping venue' based on the European ratings. Basically, luxury items are sold here for cheaper prices compared to other cities in the continent; but it is really the tempting delicacies which are must-buys here. It is especially beautiful to do your shopping in Vienna during Christmas as streets glimmer with Christmas lights on trees and buildings.

4. Buenos Aires
Leather lovers will find exquisite pleasure at the malls of Buenos Aires. Lots of leather shops are established around the city, making it easy for everyone to find nice items. Tailoring is also done in the area. But the better thing is haggling is permitted.

5. Hong Kong
The exciting atmosphere of Hong Kong is very conducive to an ultimate shopping spree. People are generally attracted not just to the various items sold on each boutique; but also to the impressive surroundings of Hong Kong's shopping streets, which are usually dominated by neon lights.

6. Paris
When we talk about shopping, Paris is definitely the first thing to come to mind. Home to flagship stores of different luxury brands, people will definitely find it truly amazing to shop until they drop while getting astonished with the beautiful surroundings of the city. Of course, the Eiffel Tower is the main attraction.

7. Seoul
The vibrant ambiance in the shopping streets of Seoul sure attracts many. Specialty stores and malls stand side by side, providing people with various options on where they can shop. But if you want to shop while experiencing real Seoul, go to Myeongdong and Dongdaemun. For more upscale shopping, head off to Apgujeongdong or Chungdamdong in Gangnam.

8. Tokyo
Home to the most unique fashion, Tokyo is often visited by shoppers who wish to keep up with the trend. Shops are everywhere, particularly in the Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ginza areas. If you wish to shop for gadgets and anime stuffs, you can visit Akihabara. A typical Tokyo tour package would include stops to shopping venues.

9. New York
There is no better place to shop in the United States of America than the Big Apple, New York. Particularly concentrated in Manhattan are lots of designer stores where great signature items are sold.

10. Manila
Manila is much more than a crowded capital city of the Philippines especially when it comes to shopping. Two of the largest malls in Asia are in the city. Both gives home to local and international specialty stores. If going for budget shopping, it is advisable to visit Tutuban or Divisoria for really cheap items.

Shopping is a spice that makes every trip infinitely exciting.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Holiday & Travel Guide For Athens, Greece

The incredible city of Athens, home to the ancient Gods and what a city to explore. The history and myths of this land are truly amazing, but be warned, the heat can sour to well into the 30's during the hottest months of June to August so make sure you carry plenty of water and cover yourself from the scorching heat whilst touring the magnificent ancient ruins of Athens.

Let's start with the Acropolis site, as this is what most tourists visit Athens for. These magnificent buildings are said to date back to the 4th century BC. The Parthenon building was originally constructed as a Temple, it has since then been a church and then a mosque. This building is easy recognised by anyone around the world, its vast size is jaw dropping and no amount of pictures that you have seen will prepare you for the true enormity of this site. Also, there are the ruins of a great theatre, that had once been used in the Roman times for gladiator fighting, nowadays the theatre is still used but for the more gentile performances of Ballet and other concerts. After you have spent most of the day exploring the wonders of this ancient site and listening to the myths that surround it from the guides, you will probably need a good rest before you prepare yourself for more wonders, along with the many museums full of ancient relics. Children as well as adults will love the Children's Museum and for those that love music, there is also a Music Museum, then a Greek Folk museum. Actually, there are quite a few museums and all of them are worth of a visit along with the art galleries. You can't miss the day tour to Delphi, to marvel at the ancient sanctuary of Apollo or the magnificent monuments and bronzes in the museum. For those who want another cultural trip, visit Cape Sounion where the 5th century temple of Poseidon stands, then the famous theatre of Epidaurus in Argolis. There is so much to see you may be better off hiring a car so you can do the tours at your own leisure and cut down excursion costs.

Shopping and eating
You will have a great time shopping in Athens modern town, with a multitude of shops to choose from, but the best place to visit has to be the old town "La Plaka" with its narrow pedestrian streets and quaint shops. You can spend hours searching for your ideal gift or souvenir in any one of the shops, as they are crammed full of delightful items, like jewellery, paintings and copies of ancient relics and buildings. There is something for everyone; you won't leave the old town without purchasing something. If your feet are tired then there are plenty of cafes for you rest up in and have a well earned drink, and more than enough restaurants in the old town that serve a variety of meals from moussaka and stuffed tomatoes to filled baguettes, snacks and delicious pastries. For those looking for more international foods then the modern city centre would be the place to find it, as well as most of the glitzy nightlife of the city.

Happy Holidays

Friday, February 21, 2014

Travel and the Economy in 2008

In 2007, the real estate market shifted to favor homebuyers. Gas prices went up and the value of the U.S. dollar fell, but the number of American travelers planning a vacation in 2008 has stayed strong.

According to an article: Travel Trends: What's Hot in 2008 by Beth Harpaz in the December 17, 2007 issue of USA Today "the Conference Board's most recent consumer survey found 45.8 percent of Americans intend to take a vacation within six months."

Authorities throughout the travel industry seem to believe travelers in 2008 want to be practical, yet still enjoy amenities that make vacationing simpler and more relaxing.

"In 2008, experts say, Americans may take shorter trips or choose destinations closer to home where their dollar goes further," Harpaz continued.

Family Comes First: Family Travel on the Rise

In our fast-paced American culture, two income households, sixty-hour work weeks, fast food and cell phones have become the norm - all to make life more convenient. However, the modern conveniences of our daily lives now seem to require a lot of attention and personal energy. In response to the stress modern life has developed over the last century, Americans are now returning to their roots. The importance of time with family and a healthy quality of life is moving up on the priority list.

Luxury travel industry expert Karen Weiner Escalera and her Florida-based travel marketing firm, KWE Group, firmly believe that family travel is on the rise for 2008. In one of Escalera's most recent articles on the Travel Industry Wire, Top Ten Luxury Travel and Lifestyle Trends for 2008, the number two trend is "Relationships with family and friends take center stage." According to Escalera, "Accelerating since 9/11 and fueled by a backlash against a contemporary world dominated by 24/7-work schedules and dehumanizing technology, family travel is growing at a faster rate than all other sectors of leisure travel."

A recent survey of American Express travel agents also revealed a significant rise in luxury travel among families - 82 percent wanted high-end hotels with kids' programs and 56 percent were traveling with nannies.

"Parents, grandparents and friends are looking to travel as a way to reunite, and to celebrate life's landmark events. Business trips with the whole family will become as common as tag-along spouses, while high-end business hotels and resorts will roll out the red carpets for families with special suites and villas," Escalera added.

Concierge Condo Rentals and Timeshares versus Second Home Purchases

The modern traveler believes that there is no reason why the comforts of home cannot be available while on vacation. Vacation planning is greatly enhanced when you consider concierge condo rentals or timeshare options. Many families especially appreciate the opportunity to save time and money when cooking in a private kitchen or receiving tourist information and discounts from a personal travel concierge. These kinds of amenities allow travelers to spend more time relaxing and less time organizing, mapping and making decisions about travel plans. A timeshare can offer the benefits of owning a second home for vacations, without the headaches of year-round maintenance and cost.

Recently, Howard C. Nusbaum, President of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) recounted his experience at the Travel Industry Association (TIA) Marketing Outlook Forum, an annual conference of travel and tourism professionals that highlights future industry trends. He describes how Peter Yesawich, Ph.D., CEO of Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown and Russell, explained during the forum that the most recent Travel Monitor study completed by his company detailed large numbers of travelers interested in condominiums instead of traditional hotels.

The Travel monitor study also showed an increasing number of travelers interested in vacation ownership products such as private residence clubs and timeshares. The impressive data from his (Yesawich) survey furthered the buzz that timeshares were no longer a niche product, but rather a staple of today's diverse travel industry.

In 2008, vacation ownership specialty products will provide stiff competition for second home sellers as traveling individuals, groups, and families opt for practical comfort and luxury while on vacation.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Travel And Leisure In This World And The Next!

Travel obligates a plan for destination. One journey, studiously considered by theist and atheist alike is the journey of life. This relatively short journey is worthy of some thought as to the method of transport and result of effort. The trip need not be constrained by tradition but freely and joyfully pursued. Life can and should be undemanding and without invented hazards.

Whether we like it or not, we travel ever onward to an uncertain reality; but in the karma of progress, we can enjoy great rewards, even while reaping much pain and delusion along the way. Pleasure and pain are but points of reference, each magnifying the alternative. On the other hand, delusion is the product of acquiescence to false impressions. This author offers relief from a particular delusion so common in the human psyche and root of life's greatest worry.

Depending on geographic circumstance, we are born to and prejudiced toward a particular metaphysical influence; most strident and demanding are the Judaic, Christian, or Islamic persuasion. Alternately, one can declare atheism as his conscience-clearing mien; however, it is not declaration but substantiation able to soothe the human psyche.

Most people make extensive plans for physical travel, leisure, and destination; but plans for immortal travel are left more to chance and circumstance than intellectual wit. In this regard, we offer a scholarly means to weigh existing evidence.

Both theism and atheism form their debate from a very flawed position, basing their belief more on speculation and desire than reason. Debate bounces back and forth without advantage, for they neglect the mediating link hidden in Bible symbols and numbers, the only source for a sensible determination. Both belief and unbelief, in ignorance of the hidden agenda, are but expressions of opinion and emotion. Only in a correct evaluation of Bible symbology can proper interpretation resolve the atheist/theist dispute. The truth will shock all who dare to investigate the bottom line in eschatology and Parousia time frame!

One example of biblical mystery, among many, is the Ezekiel creature's habitual walk to and fro in the earth, contemporaneous with the beasts traveling this same road in Daniel's Four Beast parallel. Over past millennia, these beasts were assigned various identities, the most consistent being Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman. Would it surprise those evaluating this metaphysical road to discover the infamous beasts have been falsely named over these many years, completely subverting Bible intent? Would it surprise readers to discover all Four Beasts to be the very same, at differing stages of evolvement? This discovery allows us to delve into even greater mysticisms.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Uzbekistan - The Hot New Travel Destination! 10 Things to Know Before Going to Fun Filled Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is the high point of the ancient Silk Route. For decades it used to be part of the former USSR. It is a fascinating, affordable part of the world. A few words of advice before you go:

1. Make photocopies of your passport and visa. Allah forbid that you lose any important documents while traveling. Photocopy all your travel documents, and keep them in a location separate from the originals. These copies will save you time and headaches at your Embassy.

2. Learn a few phrases of Russian and Uzbek. Uzbeks will love you if you learn a few phrases of Uzbek, such as 'A-salaam aleikum' (hello), or 'Yak shamisez?' (how's it going?). Old Uzbek women have been known to cry with joy when hearing a white person try to speak their language - seriously. Russian, which is spoken in the big cities, will also come in helpful. Find a phrasebook and learn a few words.

3. If you are invited home for dinner by a trusted acquaintance, take him/her up on the offer. Many Uzbeks have rarely met foreigners, especially Americans. If a trustworthy acquaintance invites you home for dinner, take them up on the offer. You will sit on the floor and be served rice pilaf, and be peppered with questions, while being treated like royalty.

4. Stay away from meat products. Nu-uh, don't go there. If so, partake only in the cleanest appearing restaurants in the big cities. Otherwise you'll be making Jackson Pollock proud in the outhouse.

5. If stopped by the police, be polite, but watch your belongings closely. This isn't Kansas anymore. Show the police respect. If stopped, shake hands, and be courteous. If they want to take your passport or visa for a closer inspection, insist that you accompany them. Usually police are only curious about tourists, but always keep your eye on all your bags if they want to inspect anything.

6. Find a trusty taxi driver, and hire him for your whole stay. There's a special place in hell for most Uzbek taxi drivers. Ask at your hotel for a trusted driver. If a driver quotes a price, bargain hard with him down to 30% of the quote. When you find a trustworthy driver, communicate that you want to keep him for the length of your duration in your city. A tourist will always be overcharged by a driver, but the damage is minimal, only by a few dollars.

7. Carry a bottle of drinking water with you. The summer temperature in Uzbekistan can soar to 120 degrees. Always keep a bottle of water with you. Avoid the tap water.

8. Carry a roll of toilet paper with you. You never know when nature will call. And when it does...

9. Overcome your fear of pit toilets. If you dread squatting over a hole in the floor, Central Asia is not your kind of travel destination.

10. Be ready to enjoy the fascinating cities along the ancient Silk Route. Samarkand is a must. If time allows, travel further east to Bukhara. And even further east is Khiva. Wander amongst the mosques and alleyways, and pretend as if you stepped into a tale from the 1001 Nights.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Booking Travel Online Vs Travel Agents

This topic is a hot one. My previous job was as a travel consultant for one of the largest travel consulting agencies in the world and I have traveled to over 22 countries in the past 8 years, and have booked travel using every method possible.

The truth is, it really depends on how much time and effort you are willing to put into planning your trip. Planning and purchasing something as simple as a round trip flight online could not be easier and I highly recommend it to save money and time. It requires very little information and thought. Travel agencies charge for their service, and that charge could be between $20.00 - $200.00, depending on the flight and destination. As well, there is nothing that the travel agent can provide for you that the internet cannot.

If you are planning a larger trip, with multiple destinations, internal flights or tourist attractions, booking online could be a bit more work. Having said that, it is still not that hard. It is just a matter of doing your research. If you are planning a trip to Spain and are planning to travel on to Italy by boat afterwards you would simply have to search the information on busses or trains for your overland travel in Spain, and the ferry information for your boat to Italy. Sometimes you are able to pre-purchase your internal travel or tourist attraction tickets online, sometimes you can take care of it when you arrive at the location.

However, if the research is something that you do not have time for, or you feel a bit more secure having your trip planned by someone who does this as a profession, a travel agent may be the answer for you. They have the ability use a plethora of travel resources and their experienced co-workers, but this will come at an extra cost for their service.

Here is an example of a fairly large trip I planned as a travel agent. Two clients of mine wanted to travel to the UK for 3 weeks. They asked me to plan everything from international and domestic flights to the hotels and travel insurance. By the time that this entire trip was booked and paid for, the clients ended up paying roughly $500.00 more than they would have online. As a travel agent in this particular company, as with many companies, you are expected to mark your products up, and are penalized for not doing so. The clients did not see this mark up as it was hidden in the grand total.

Everything that I planned and booked for these clients could have been booked online. As a travel agent I had access to a few cheaper hotels than they would have found online, but as a travel agent, I was expected to mark them up! The security of having them reserved and paid for when they arrived was worth it to these senior citizen travelers. Travel agents are not rip off artists, but it is part of their job to "mark it up".

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Use a Travel and Leisure Magazine to Plan Your Getaway

Whether you are looking to find a romantic weekend for two or a week long getaway for the whole family, a travel and leisure mag can make your planning easier. You can find recommendations for destinations and hotels in the area, a list of things to do, and reviews on lodging, restaurants, and attractions. In addition, you can usually find special offers available only to the readers of the travel and leisure mag that can save you some serious money.

You can read your travel and leisure mag online, or purchase a copy at your local newsstand. Either way, you will find fascinating articles and a wealth of information. Many sponsor contests for the readers of their travel and leisure mag, so you just might win the trip you've been longing to take.

Detailed hotel reviews are to be found at almost every travel and leisure site. You can find out whether they are quiet, clean, and efficient, as well as whether they have restaurants or clubs on the premises. Any other services, such as valet parking, turn down service, concierge, and currency exchange will also be provided by the travel and leisure mag.

One of the best sources for information on cruises is a travel and leisure mag. You will discover which lines or ships provide the most activities for children and which ones are planned for adults. You can also find out whether cruises are planned for singles, couples wishing to take a second honeymoon, or the entire family from Grandma to toddler. Often, you can find discount coupons at a travel and leisure magazine online site that will make your cruise even more affordable.

A travel and leisure magazine can also provide recommendations for destinations that may not have been on your list, but are exactly what you are seeking. Perhaps you want to find a beach resort that is off the beaten track, affordable, and far from the crush of civilization. Browsing a travel and leisure mag may be able to provide you with a list of several destinations that fit the bill.

Even if your travel plans are many years in the future, you can still use a travel and leisure mag to plan the vacation you will someday take. Anticipation is half the fun, anyway, and a vacation that you take only in your imagination still offers some benefit to your psyche.

A travel and leisure mag is practically an essential for couples planning a honeymoon. Together they can search for potential destinations and select one with features of interest to both. They can compare hotel rates and amenities, learn how to reach their destination, and perhaps find discounts to make their honeymoon even more special.

You can also use a travel and leisure mag to plan a day trip for the entire family. Almost everyone has state or national parks, amusement parks, or museums within a few hours' drive. The magazine will provide with information on location, hours of operation, cost, and what is offered. That way, you will know in advance what to expect when you take your crew out for the day or weekend.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Enjoy Las Vegas on Next to Nothing - Eat and Drink For Less

Las Vegas is famous for its food specials. There was a time you could get a complete steak dinner for $2. Those days may be gone, but overall, the cost of dining in Las Vegas is still better than in many parts of the country. How long has it been since you've really had a blast? Is Las Vegas on your list of fun places to go? Learn what the locals know about having a good time on a budget. Their Staycation just may be your dream! Since there is a major difference between catching a bite to eat and fine dining, or finding a drink and clubbing, we will be looking at these subtitles: Breakfast Lunch and Snacks, All You Can Eat Buffets, Restaurant Dining, Where to Get Cheap Drinks, andNightclubs and Lounges With No Cover Charge.

Eat and Drink For Less

Free Comps are anything but free. The casino management will be glad to give you a meal, pay for your room, or get you some show tickets. All you have to do is win or lose a lot of money. They rate you by how long you gamble, and how much you gamble. You have to sign up for their slot club or their table games club, insert your Player's Card into the machine or ask to be rated at the tables. Then after four hours you will likely qualify for some kind of Comp. After four hours of gambling, you will also have likely spent more than the Comps were worth!

Just the same, many of the specials require a Player's Club Card. It's not required that you use the card, only that you have one. And naturally, every casino has its own club. Fortunately, several of the clubs share an owner, and will honor cards from their affiliates. Club Cards are free, but for those of you who consider the Club Card thing just a little too much of a hassle, I will point out which specials require a card, and which ones don't.

Locals also tend to frequent their neighborhood casinos rather than the touristy ones; and the neighborhood prices are lower across the board. But when you come to Las Vegas on vacation you're not expected to spend an hour crossing town to find an obscure place to eat, so this list will focus on places within a mile of The Strip, and on Freemont Street (downtown.) If you were to do an exhaustive internet search you could find many of the same deals listed here, they do all advertise, but this will simplify matters for you. There is no way for me to cover all of the choices, as there are hundreds; and the establishments are not under my control, so they may change their specials; but this is where I'd go for specials on a regular basis. I hope you enjoy the variety and the prices.

Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks

Starting out the day, there are breakfast buffets in most casinos, some pricier than others. The Station Casinos tend to have better breakfast food at lower prices when compared to the big name casinos. Assuming you'd rather save the buffet for later in the day, here are a couple of alternatives that won't wreck your wallet.

Early Breakfast is also known as the Graveyard Special, and there are quite a few choices for this one. As long as you're done partying before 6 a.m. here are a few of the best places to catch a bite.

At The Burger Joint inside the Flamingo, between midnight and 6 a.m. they serve a Ribeye steak and eggs for $5.99, or a Burger and fries for $2.00. No matter what time you go, expect a 20 minute wait. They always cook the steak to a medium temperature without asking, and they throw in some hashbrowns and toast. If you go for the burger, the fries are fabulous if you like them steak cut and crispy. (In the center of The Strip by Flamingo Road.)

About a mile off The Strip to the west on Tropicana Avenue, the Orleans serves Steak and eggs with toast and hash browns for $3.99 at the Courtyard Café, between midnight and 6 a.m. Service is a little faster than at The Burger Joint above, and the steak is cheaper - but not a Ribeye. If you're not in a steak mood, the Courtyard Café is one of the few remaining places to have a lot of graveyard breakfast choices for fabulous prices between $1.99 and $2.99. The Courtyard Café also has Asian and Pacific food on their menu at very reasonable prices.

SPOTLIGHT: Ellis Island Casino & Brewery

Don't be put off by the outside appearance. This place is almost always busy because it draws both tourists and locals. Also plan to wait for a table, and service can be slow if you want to eat at traditional times. Fortunately, you can get a deal here at any time, 24 hours a day. And like the sign says, this is also a brewery, so you have the opportunity to try one of their several microbrews, or even their own root beer if you prefer. Next to the restaurant you'll find the bar, which is a local's favorite for karaoke. Ellis Island is located behind Bally's on Koval Lane, by Flamingo Road.

For an early traditional breakfast (Two scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy and bacon or sausage,) Ellis Island only charges $1.95 between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. for the special.

Later in the morning, or at night before crashing, you might consider New Yorksteak and eggs for $3.45 at Ellis Island. They serve breakfast between 11 p.m. and 11 a.m.

In the 24 Hour Restaurant, [yes, that is what they actually call it,] you can also get a 10-ounce Steak Dinner for $6.99. The steak comes with green beans, potato, bread, and a Beer. Overall the meal is very tasty and may be the best value meal in town. This special is not always in the menu, but if you ask for it, it is always available.

Inside Tip:Down town every casino has specials on the marquis. These specials are sometimes for specific time frames, and are not always up to date - but usually good deals - so verify the price when ordering!

Lunch timemay require a sandwich special. One of the best deals is the $1.25 Hotdog, at the Gold Coast. It is available between 10 a.m. and 6:45 p.m. at the Sports Book - look for a vender's cart. Expect a Chicago Style Beef Hotdog with the works. You don't have to place any bets to take advantage of the Hotdog Vender, and there are usually plenty of seats with monitors everywhere for viewing the races or the games while enjoying your dog. (On Flamingo road, about a mile west of The Strip.)

If you'd rather not leave The Strip, O'sheas Casino in the middle of The Strip between the Imperial Palace and the Flamingo serves a Hot dog with a Beer for $3.00, 24 hours a day. For more information on Q'sheas Casino, read further down under Where to Get Cheap Drinks.

Downtown for lunch with a big appetite, Uncle Joes's Pizza has one of the better deals. $3 will get you two oversized slices of Pizza and a Soda. Uncle Joe's is a small authentic NY style pizza house; so expect a traditional crunchy crust, good sauce, plenty of cheese, and laid back friendly but not too fast service. (On Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard.)

Another choice would be to pick up a Hot dog and a Coke for $2.95 in the Fremont Club at the Lanai Express. Lanai Express is known for its reasonably priced Chinese dishes served cafeteria style, so you don't have to wait for your meal. American food like Hamburgers, Hotdogs, and Shrimp Cocktail will give you more choices than you'd usually find at a Chinese place; so there's something for everybody, even those who don't want the Hotdog deal. (The Fremont Club is in the center of the Fremont Street Experience.)

SPOTLIGHT: Mermaids Casino and Lounge

Famous for vintage slots rather than glitz, this place is a funhouse for those who are not looking for quiet, high-end class. The brassy waitresses cater to the drinkers, slot players, drinkers, socializers, drinkers, eaters and drinkers. If you end up spending much time here, the waitresses will even remember what you like to drink; you'll notice a personal touch. The strings of welcome beads you discover around your neck tend to be financed by the nickel slots, and the treats here are unique. Mermaids is between the Golden Gate and the Golden Nugget on Freemont Street, downtown.

Snacksat Mermaids Casino and Lounge include the 99 cent Fried Twinky. They also have Fried Oreos and a Chocolate Covered Banana on a stick. If that's too radical, you can also get a Nathan's hot dog for 99 cents at the Snack Bar.

Snacks in Las Vegas have traditionally included a Shrimp Cocktail Special. I believe that tradition started at the Golden Gate downtown on Fremont Street over forty years ago. Sometime their menu changes faster than their Marquis, so remember to verify the price. Nowadays just about everyone has some form of Shrimp Cocktail Special priced between 99 cents and $2.99, so look around for it, both downtown, and in many of the smaller casinos on The Strip.

All You Can Eat Buffets

If anywhere is famous for their buffets, it's Las Vegas! Almost every casino has one, so we'll only focus on a few of my favorites that have personality. There was a day when buffets represented the best deal in town. They are still a great deal for what you get; but with the Las Vegas transition into a family destination, the cost of food has gone up across the board to reflect the lack of gambling by minors.

In general, the lower priced buffets will charge an extra $5 for all you can eat crab legs and shrimp on Seafood Night (usually Friday), whereas the higher priced buffets will serve seafood every night. Another thing to note is that buffets generally charge the same price for Sunday Brunch as for their regular evening Dinner. Most buffets also present an assortment of Asian food in addition to any other international cuisine.

Breakfast buffets will run from $4 to as much as $10 less than the regular Dinner price. And Lunch buffets will usually cost between $3 and $7 less than Dinner. The listed price for the following buffets will be the regular Dinner amount unless noted otherwise.

Garden CourtBuffet

Located at Main Street Station, this international buffet is likely the best choice in the downtown area. The selection of Asian dishes is respectable here. Garden Court Buffet only charges $10.99 on most nights, and a Buy1 Get 1 coupon is usually available online. Their Friday Seafood Buffet runs $5 more, on Thursday they have a Filet Mignon & Scampi Buffet for only $3 more, and a T-Bone Buffet on Tuesday for $3 more. Dinner starts at 4 p.m. and lasts until 10 p.m. This has been one of my favorite places to eat downtown, for years. I also have to remember to save room for the deserts here. (Just one block north of the Fremont Street Experience on Main Street, and connected to the California Hotel by an over-the-street walkway.)

Le Village Buffet

I'm a sucker for French cuisine, and this buffet is probably my very favorite, anywhere in town. At Paris, Le Village Buffet only serves food from the different regions of France; it is not a world buffet. If the $24.99 price is too steep, you might consider going in for late lunch, which is served until 3:30 p.m. By arriving around 3 p.m. and casually enjoying a two hour meal with someone special, you will just be finishing around 5 p.m., and you will only have paid $17.99 a piece for a fabulous meal that would run north of $49 in any other city. Le Village Buffet serves the same selections for lunch as they do for dinner, except for the choices in shellfish, and they don't close down between Lunch and Dinner. Be sure to find the made-to-order crapes for desert! The line at Le Village is always long, so plan for that too. (On The Strip across from the Bellagio, near Flamingo Road.)

French Market Buffet

If you are looking for more of a bargain, while still in The Strip area, the French Market Buffet is inside the Orleans. Don't let the name fool you; for $13.99 you can enjoy this multi-national all you can eat treat between 4 and 9 p.m. Lunch is about half the price; but they clear the dining room between meals here, so you can't stay through into dinner. They also offer Friday Seafood for $5 more, and Wednesday Steak for $2 more. This is another locals hang out, so the lines can get long; but they usually move pretty quickly, except on Senior Tuesdays when the lines seem to grow beyond expectation. (About a mile west of The Strip on Tropicana Avenue.)

Restaurant Dining

Most casinos also offer specials of some sort in their 24 hour cafés. Some specials are always available, and other specials are not on the menu, but are available by specific request! Here are a few of the many specials, starting with the Downtown area.

SPOTLIGHT: The California Hotel

The California Hotel seems like it could be renamed the Hawaiian Hotel, as they specialize in Pacific Island specialties. For example, this is one of the few places to find Spam on a menu. And their best lunch is in a place called Aloha Specialties. For cheap drinks The California offers Heineken and Corona for $2 in all of their casino bars, 24 hours a day. Located at Ogden and Main Street, it is one block north of Fremont St, and behind the Las Vegas Club. The California Hotel is also connected to Main Street Station by an over-the-street walkway.

Located inside the California, Aloha Specialties has an assortment of cash specials available between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Chicken Super Bowl for $2.85 is served over rice with either gravy or teriyaki sauce. You can enjoy a Hamburger with macaroni salad for $2.85, a Chicken Tofu Saimin Noodles or a Loco Moco for $4.75. Loco Moco is a bowl of rice with fried egg and a hamburger patty drenched in gravy. Or a Large Saimin Noodles dish for $5. The Market Street Café offers a Prime Rib Special for $7.95. The Prime Rib is served between 4 and 11 p.m. and comes with soup or salad, potato, vegetable, and a desert! Reservations are recommended at Pasta Pirate which is more than just a pasta house. They are offering what is likely the classiest dinner deal in town! Steak and Lobster Tail with a choice of pasta, potato or rice, plus a saladand a glass of Wine for only $16.

Magnolia's Veranda

Four Queens is part of the Fremont Street Experience. Inside Four Queens, Magnolia's Veranda offers a Prime Rib Dinner between 4 p.m. and midnight for $9.95. The special comes with soup or salad, choice of potato, vegetable of the day, and a roll.

Player's Card holders get a $2 discount on the special. Magnolia's also runs a Buy 1 Get 1 offer on line as part of the Fremont Street Experience. This 24 hour café is upstairs and overlooks the casino, so if you'd rather more of a restaurant feel, ask to be seated in the back room. (Located between Fitzgerald's and the Golden Nugget.)

In The Strip area, most of the deals are a few blocks away. This is their bribe to get you off The Strip.

Bougainvillea Café

Bougainvillea Café, at Terrible's Casino & Hotel offers two specials that are not on the menu; you have to ask your server for them specifically. The Half-Chicken Dinner is $5.99 and the T-bone Steak Dinner is $9.99. You can also find many other selections priced between $4.99 and $6.99. Located upstairs in the Mezzanine level, this 24 hour café has Mexican, Chinese and American selections. The Chinese food is better than you get in most casino buffets, and there is nothing terrible about these values! And for an even better deal, look for their Buy 1 Get 1 offers. Bougainvillea is also famous for their very large portions, so come hungry; you'll find the food is better than it needs to be for the price. So if you've been down on your luck and want some good food for less, this is the spot. (On Paradise Road, about a mile east of The Strip, by Flamingo Road. Only a block away, the Hard Rock Hotel is within walking distance.)

Mr Lucky's 24/7

The café at the Hard Rock Hotel offers a Gambler's Special for $7.77 that is not on the menu. This is a Steak with three grilled Shrimp, salad, and a choice of broccoli or potato. The Gambler's Special is available 24 hours a day, but you do have to remember to ask for it specifically. Mr Lucky's 24/7 has large comfortable tables, generous portions, good service, reasonably short lines, and a nice selection of beer. (On Paradise Road, about a mile east of The Strip, by Harmon Avenue.)

Where to Get Cheap Drinks

First a little note of caution; the "free drinks" in the casinos for gamblers are not all that free. If you can stay on your budget while alcohol happy, go for it. But the casinos have found that alcohol happy gamblers spend much more than sober ones!

Many of the restaurants in Las Vegas offer Happy Hour Specials; often a two drinks for the price of one type of thing.

On The Strip, O'sheas Casino offers Domestic Draft Brews for $2. I've seen Beer Pong played here, and this is the only place I've ever seen Casino Backgammon. The crowd tends to be under thirty, and everything here is on the cheap. Try to imagine a Frat House Party with the Sorority Girls in attendance. O'sheas Casino is tucked in between the Imperial Palace and the Flamingo.

Benny's Bullpen in Binion's Horseshoe serves Miller Lite, Jack Daniels or Southern Comfort for $2. Next to the Sports Book, Benny's Bullpen is a more comfortable place to kick back with a few drinks while watching your game. Benny's Bullpen also runs a $10 Pizza and Pitcher special... best with friends. (Downtown in the middle of the Fremont Street Experience.)

If you prefer cheap mixed drinks, The Plaza serves Well Drinks for $2.50 all the time. The Plaza was once a fabulous new casino, but that was eons ago. Nowadays they tend to attract the cheapskates and low-life's. To make this work for you just remember to generously tip your waitress and smile; she won't be expecting it, so you're likely to get better service than anyone else. If you're looking for glitz, this is the wrong place; if not, the Sports Book may be the best place to hang out. The Plaza is on the Main Street side of The Fremont Street Experience.

Nightclubs and Lounges With No Cover Charge

Locals have free access almost everywhere, and most of the time. Seeing that sign can really irritate you if you happen to be from out of town. Ladies also get treated special at many of the Las Vegas clubs; on Ladies' Night the drinks are often free until 11 p.m. - for ladies only.

Although the drinks may not be free for most of us, here are some of the clubs that usually have no cover charge - so you can regulate your expenses according to what you drink while dancing and having a blast.

Caramel Bar & Loungeat the Bellagio is a hybrid high energy dance club and smooth intimate ultra lounge combination. Chocolate oversized leather furniture under warm caramel lighting, accented by a marble topped center island, creates a warm and inviting ambience that delivers both comfort and sophistication. The dance floor is animated by local DJs turning Hip-hop and Top 40 hits. And a light appetizer menu is available between 5 and 9 p.m. to compliment the full service bar. Since proper club attire is required, bling is not out of place here. You'll find that this is the perfect place to kick back with friends, or spend some intimate time with someone special.

Cleopatra's Barge Nightclub atCaesar's Palace has reinvented itself to attract a younger crowd than in the past. Cleopatra's Barge has a floating dance floor with DJs turning R&B and Classic Rock hits through the night. This Egyptian themed dance club is served by a full bar, with tables scattered across the "dry land" and a few more tables "on deck" that are usually reserved. If you're looking for a quiet romantic spot, this may not be it; but if you just want to have fun, this is the place for you.

Mist Bar & Loungeat Treasure Island is a fusion of two ideas. On the one hand Mist is very similar to the Caramel Bar & Lounge, just a little darker and bit more intimate. With Persian rugs, dark leather lounge style couches, warm ambient overhead panels, candle lit coffee tables, and potted plants, against dark burgundy walls, Mist is the perfect hotspot to mingle with close friends or unwind with a little romance in mind. DJs spin a tasteful blend of Hip-hop, Rock, and the popular current hits at a volume that allows a comfortable mixture of conversational privacy, intimacy, and people watching. On the other hand, Mist also sports an oversized plasma TV for game night and a few beers with the guys. This is like partying in a larger version of your own truly cool living room!

Level 107 Lounge, (formerly the Romance Lounge,) at the Stratosphere, located on the north end of the fabulous Las Vegas Strip, features the most spectacular views in town. Level 107 Lounge sits on a circular balcony high up in the Stratosphere Tower. Low lights and a deep red décor combined with great cocktails and incredible breathtaking views, make this a great place to unwind or to create a most memorable experience. Level 107 also overlooks the restaurant which makes appetizers available. Live music by Afterglow between 9 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. is a plus on Wednesday through Saturday nights. Afterglow has a unique sound that combines Jazz, Pop, and Contemporary music.

SPOTLIGHT: The Silverton Hotel

The Silverton Hotel is worth a mention here. It is no where near anything on the Las Vegas Strip, but if you just happen to have some extra time on the way in or out of Las Vegas from the Los Angeles direction, or if you simply want to get out of the traffic if your timing allows, there are several deals here. They have no choice but to bribe you since they are so out of the way from Las Vegas proper. Although, they do have easy freeway access at Highway 15 and Blue Diamond Road!

The Silverton Hotel has an aquarium as their major attraction. This is no ordinary aquarium as you can expect to see mermaids in addition to 4,000 tropical fish (including three species of stingray and three species of shark.) The room sized curved acrylic tank is located by the bar, and the mermaids put on a 15 minute show every half hour throughout the afternoon and evenings on Thursday through Sunday. During the day, everyday, you can also watch the sharks and stingrays being fed in the afternoon at 1:30 and 4:30 or in the evening at 7:30 p.m. There are also a few creatively lit small jellyfish aquariums in the bar.

At the bar they serve Miller Genuine Draft for $1, and the show is free. While you're there, the Sundance Grill serves a sirloin steak, golden fried shrimp, soup or salad, and your choice of baked potato, rice, or fries for only $12.99.

Have a Lot of Fun for Less

With these tips it is possible to eat for under $20 a day, and still get as much as you want.

A few things to remember though: Most of the Las Vegas employees get paid next to nothing, and actually live off of their tips. Typical tips start at $1 to $2. If you happen to be a winner, you might tip a little more; you'll be surprised at the increased quality of service when you do. So please remember to appreciate the service, especially when it is excellent.

For further savings and to avoid tipping situations, here are a few suggestions:

Avoid Room Service! Room Service always includes additional charges and requires a tip for your server. Most all of the hotels have a 24 hour Café that will cost you much less. Also refer to the deals mentioned above.

Watch Your Beverages! Soft Drink and Bottled Water prices are designed to make up for the food deals in Las Vegas. Beverage prices tend to run $4 and $5 a piece. So if you want water, just ask for a glass of water, (it's free and it taste good here.) Wine is more affordable by the bottle than for a few glasses. And brewed Coffee or Tea tends to be priced more normally.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Harley-Davidson Heritage: Sport and Leisure in Bikes

"The automobiles that ran on board-tracks were as specialized when compared to the racing locations themselves."

The birth of biking at the turn of the 20th century brought along with it not just the most popular kind of transportation, but also numerous other sporting activities that filled and complemented it. Board-track racing was one of these exciting sporting activities that joined Professional Sports and Activity in the motorbike world, and carved out a place for the adrenalin pumped biker.

According to the first velodromes, wooden rails used in bicycle racing in the later part of 1800s, this part of history was the rise of this type of racing. At its very heart and soul, board-track bike racing included speed competitive events held on oval wood paths constructed from 2 X 4 planks, and the tracks were diversified in distance from an eighth of a mile, 1 / 4 mile, and 3rd of a mile right up to two miles.

The grandstands for watching were assembled on the top of the race tracks, and the viewers looked all the way down on the event to take everything in. The motordromes, as they were termed, were banked tracks, which pushed and covered speeds of over 100 miles-per-hour. The degree of banking diversified by track but can also be as extreme as 50 degrees. Competition day often see thousands of fans simply because this was a hugely popular viewing affair for the day. The manifestations of velocity, courage, and adrenalin pumped driving created for fascinating experiences. For folks in search of intrigue and drama, there was clearly absolutely nothing far better during the early teens.

The tracks were constructed near hugely populated places in order to attract the largest potential audience. They desired large crowds of people and high-volume admission revenues to compensate the cost of these colossal race tracks. A team of carpenters was continuously fixing and swapping the wooden planks, often mid-race, from below as soon as the racers had passed over them.

The machines that ran on board-tracks were as specialized as compared to the racing sites themselves. Tailor-made, factory-prepared bikes were made specifically to go to war on the boards.

These motorcycles were in essence nothing more than a frame, an electric motor, a compensator sprocket, and a double roller chain drive that drove the rear wheel. The sprockets used on the motorcycles, varied by track and range and came in sets that traveled along with the competitors. The motor engines were factory-built specials; they evolved eventually to incorporate the newest in motor racing technology. The F-head configuration gave way to the overhead valve setup, and OHV four and eight-valve motors appeared. These renowned motor engines were the supreme build for board-track racing, and these days both Harley and Indian 4 and 8-valve racers are classified as the Holy Grail of motorbike lovers. Clincher wheels, no brakes, and decreased handle bars spell out the design of a board-track racer.

The earliest advertisement I have seen promoting a race-ready motorcycle to the open public was for a limited-production 1915 Indian Model D-1 Speedway motorcycle. The ad boasted about "Dynamometer tested-20 HP," and said that "We guarantee this unit will provide a speed of 70 Miles per Hour when it leaves our manufacturing facility."

The track problems like oil-soaked boards made bike handling treacherous (much like driving on ice sometimes); flying splinters that felt like arrows kicked up to the rider's faces, eyes, sweaters, etc; chemical deposits from the boards stung their skin; and loose boards knock you off your bike as fast as possible. This gives you some idea of the hardships earned in the name of wining. Death was a steady companion and occurred frequently that the race tracks were occasionally called as Murderdromes.

The end of board-track motorbike racing was a product of a mixture of events for a duration of several years. The death of the well-known racer Eddie Hasha and several young spectator boys at a motordrome in New Jersey, the constant cost of production and up-keep of the track, the rise in attention of dirt track racing, and the trend of amusement choices all appeared to be the death of board-track racing. By the 1940s, the final tracks were disassembled and board-track bike racing slipped into history but its heritage of speed and courage continues to motivate and push us to further evolve the speed racing industry.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Online Travel and Tourism Career Preparation

When looking to pursue a career in travel and tourism an education will help you to obtain the skills and knowledge you need to be successful. Becoming a professional can require you to learn various skills in order to provide the best services. Online career preparation is available through numerous schools and colleges. Online learning programs offer training at the certificate and degree level. You can start by looking into the level of education and career you wish to obtain.

Learning to work in the field of travel and tourism can be done by completing an accredited educational training program. This can be done online from the comfort and leisure of your own home. Training options include being able to pursue various certificates and degrees ranging from an associate to a master level. The length of training will be based on the level of education you decide you want to earn.

  • Certificates can require anywhere from several weeks to one years of accredited online training.
  • Associate degrees typically take two years to complete and obtain in the field of travel and tourism.
  • Bachelor degree programs can require you to fulfill four years of online learning to obtain.
  • Master degrees will take you an additional two years of accredited online study to earn.

When you choose to pursue an education and career in this field, you will be able to study various topics that will help you to complete all required training.

Coursework differs between online career preparation programs as well as the level of desired education. You can expect to learn a variety of subjects that relate to your specific career and education goals. Subjects of study may consist of:

  • Marketing and Sales Techniques
  • Computer and Reservation Systems
  • Accounting and Bookkeeping Courses
  • Cruise Line Information
  • Travel Destinations

...and many other courses that may relate. Online learning provides you with skills in these areas to help you enter into a successful career. You can choose from a number of professions in travel and tourism by earning an accredited online degree or certificate.

Possible career will vary based on the level of education you choose to pursue. You can expect to receive the training needed to enter into employment as a:

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

...and many other travel and tourism related professions. You can be sure that the education you receive will prepare you for career such as these by ensuring it carries full accreditation.

Fully accredited learning programs and online schools and colleges are guaranteed to provide you with the best education possible. There are numerous accrediting agencies like the Distance Education and Training Council ( that can approve online learning programs that offer you the quality education you deserve. You can start by researching online travel and tourism programs to find the one that will best fit your individual needs, and enroll today to start the path to the exciting career of your dreams.

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

Copyright 2010 - All rights reserved by

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Travel and Leisure Yourself to Putrajaya

Putrajaya isn't just a government city but also lots of great events held there. Like the Power Boat International Race, The Internation Fireworks Competition, the OIC Summit and other grand event as well. The buildings here well-architected with world class designs. Imagine that a Ministry building is size of three block shopping mall liked. Not only that, there are 7 amazing designed bridges connecting to the man-made island of Putrajaya. And there great cruising leisure around the island. You have to come and see it for yourself.

The view in Putrajaya has a beautiful city-liked scenic. You can see the sun rises or even the sun sets between the hills of the area. When the sun sets, you can see how beautiful and alive the city lights makes of Putrajaya. The place is well guarded with police always patrolling the area thus makes you feel safe to move around.

The people are nice and helpful too. If you are having problem, don't worry because there are always people around to offer help. This is because people of Putrajaya act towards anyone in Putrajaya as a family member.

Foods here in Putrajaya are available around where there are lots of food outlets. If you like shopping then there is a shopping mall named Alamanda. In there you find a lot of goodies or items to satisfied your needs. To go there or even the buildings around is a walking distance but since it is a new place thus the buildings gaps is very wide and spacious.

Come drop by to Putrajaya, Malaysia to experience it....

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Travel and Leisure Book Review - Palm Springs Life - Sun, Fun, Stay, Play

Tired of the weather up North? Well, you are not alone, as every year 100s of thousands of folks come to Palm Springs CA and the surrounding areas to get out of the cold weather, snow, blizzards, ice storms and thundering rain. Why do they call it Palm Springs? And why have people chosen this desert paradise for over 50-years now?

Let's see, it would take me thousands of words and 100s of pages to explain it all, but it might be better if you go and pick yourself up a picture tourist book from Palm Springs, CA and the neighboring desert cities such as Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells and La Quinta. Let me recommend the perfect book for you, which also makes a wonderful coffee table piece for your living room:

"Palm Springs Life - 2007-2008 Edition" printed in conjunction with California Prestige Magazine and Hilton Resort Palm Springs. Edited by Milton W. Jones - copyright 2007.

This 380 page volume has gorgeous pictorials on nearly every page, with suggesting to the finest restaurants, spas, golf courses and attractions. You will be amazed that there are so many things to do and see. Whether you are looking for a vacation home, snow-bird rental or just a couple of weeks in a desert paradise, this is one book that will bring it all to life.

All the museums, art galleries and world renowned shopping districts are listed with maps, advice and specialties explained. One thing occurred to me, when I picked up my last copy, this years edition; "What if every tourist destination had a book like this?" Well, with all the traveling that I do, my shelves would be full and I would be a happy man.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Caribbean Vacation Rental for Luxury and Leisure in Privacy of Home

Warm weather, blue ocean waves breaking on white sand, relaxing on hammocks under the swaying palms - are what one thinks of an idyllic Caribbean summer vacation. And vacation always means complete relaxation and pure enjoyment that rejuvenates you both mentally and physically after a long tiring period of hard work and business. The quality time you spend with family and friends can be more enjoyable in the tropical paradise of Sint Maarten in the Caribbean where you have luxurious vacation rentals located right on the oceanfront - opulent yet affordable.

Hotels are quite common as an accommodation option. They may offer you a range of amenities, and readily available services, but curb your privacy and peace of mind in return. If you are traveling with family and it's a big one you keep counting the cost of additional room booking as well as additional service charges. As you sit idle in the lobby of the hotel you have strangers to accompany you. You go for a splash in the pool only to find there are other people intruding your space. You find foreigners all around, many of them might be from your own country. So, what's the point in being in the Caribbean when you cannot feel the essence of that very place? Won't your holiday trip remain unfulfilled if you cannot immerse yourself into the culture of this vibrant land?

A Caribbean vacation rental, on the contrary, not only ensures complete privacy and freedom but also offers the comfort of home. With spacious rooms with windows opening to the beachfront, comfortable furnishing, fully equipped kitchen and bathrooms, inviting interior along with a range of entertainment amenities a vacation rental is a "home away from home". You can have your own swimming pool, tennis court, play ground for children, game rooms with pool tables, PlayStation video systems and many more in a Caribbean vacation rental exclusively for you and your family.

Booking via vacation rental agency may get you a rental car on reservation - endless freedom to explore the tropical beach paradise the way you want. There are a number of reliable vacation rental agencies in the Caribbean that offer superior private houses, villas and condos on rent along with a range of services that a vacationer may need.
So, if privacy, luxury and leisure are your priority in a Caribbean vacation, vacation rentals are the place to stay.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Travel For Leisure And Profit The Cruise To Cash Way

Almost all of humankind love to travel. Traveling is one of the dictates of man's genetics. We have been nomads from Adam's days. It's just that technological advancements have transformed us into becoming savvy travelers. Pleasure, education, business, adventure, even criminal hood (fleeing fugitives comprise 25% of the traveling population) incite our need and stimulus to travel.

Our travel habits and idiosyncrasies have caused it so that travel and tourism have become the nation's second largest services export industry, third largest retail sales industry and one of America's largest employers. After 9/11, people got comfortable traveling again, resuscitating the travel industry that now rakes in more than $600 billion into the nation's economy, directly providing more than 7 million U.S. jobs and continues to be an economic generator. Who would not want to partake of the gravy and all the accompanying adjuncts that travel yields?

Fact is, we would want to take off into occasional excursions at every opportunity we can grab, but we need money to satisfy our travel itch. How convenient it would be that when the urge attacks, we could just pack and go. A lot of us, work it to the bones 51 weeks a year to afford to buy one week's vacation. This can be the very reason why Cruise to Cash system was designed - to provide a means for the greater many to travel leisurely and profitably. It is this philanthropic feature that's drawing in more and more people to it. A member can realistically earn $477 or $977 commissions (which is 100% of his sale) and get unlimited vacation vouchers everywhere anytime. It's the home-based business hunter's prototype.

The short time that it has been in the market, Cruise to Cash has proven its worth, and it soars to success due to the collaborative efforts of its satisfied members.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Adventure Travel - Explore the Wonders of the World

People have been planning to have a Europe tour or Africa tour or tour to Caribbean islands. Few are planning to spend vacations in deserts of Dubai to enjoy safaris. Some want to see architecture in India, and many want the cozy beaches of Bermuda. But what an idea it would be if these vacations take you, covering all these sites, you carve to see. This can be possible if you steer your vacations to wonders of world. The wonders of world cover all: the Ancients, the Mysteries, the Architectural Wonders and the Wildlife.

The ancients include the Great Pyramid of Khufu, one of the most mesmerizing landmarks on earth, towering above the desert sands of Egypt. Tourists can also visit the nearby Sphinx and various temples dedicated to gods and goddesses, such as the one at Kom Ombo, built, in honor of the falcon and crocodile gods. Ancient Egyptians believed that pharaoh will become king of under world after death so their bodies have to

Mummify to serve that world. The Chinese believed in the afterlife, Qin Shi Huang began the construction of his sepulcher in Xian when he was just 13 years old. For the emperor that unified China and began construction of the Great Wall, it was because he wanted to hide his burial-place.

Nazca Lines are near the southern coast of Peru where no one dares to go since 1927 when airplane baffled capturing the sites. Easter Island, known for isolated and deserted land with 900 large carved sculptures, called moai with average statue of 13 feet tall and weighs 14 tons. They were produced by the early inhabitants of the island, but its unknown how the sturdy monoliths?

In modern world we are able to see skyscrapers which is not a fashion of today; it's from centuries that people are building huge buildings and world has become rich in architecture. Latest wonder is 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, china which is an unusual design and piece of art. Burj-Khalifa, the world's tallest building in Dubai, 2,717 feet high, is claiming the highest number of stories (more than 160). The amazing architecture of Taj- Mahal is never to be forgotten in Indian city of Agra.

Galapagos Islands are part of Wild life wonders. The Galapagos symbolize one of the most isolated habitats on Earth, home to a range of prevalent species including marine iguanas, penguins and numerous species of finch. About 2 million years ago there was a volcanic eruption which resulted as the Ngorongoro Crater in northeast Tanzania. There is a variety of lions, leopards, buffalo, rhinos and elephants. There are best chances that you can encounter the endangered black rhino.

There is a lot more pertaining worlds wonder. It is waiting for you to explore it. These wonders are surely the best place to spend vacations with all fun, excitement, thrill and adventure.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

San Felipe - A City Of Fun And Leisure

Officially known as the United Mexican States; Mexico is the fifth largest country in the America by total area and the thirteenth largest independent country in the world. With an approximate population of 112 million, it is the eleventh most populous country and the most populous Spanish-speaking nation. It is located between latitudes 14° and 33°N, and longitudes 86° and 119°W in the southern portion of North America. The Tropic of Cancer effectively partitions the country into temperate and tropical zone. It experiences one of the world's most diverse weather systems. With over 200,000 different species, it is the home of 10-12% of the world's total biodiversity.

Mexico is also considered the second country in the world in ecosystems and is fourth in overall species. In terms of economy it has the 13th largest nominal GDP and the 11th largest by PPP (purchasing power parity. According to Goldman Sachs, it will have the 5th largest Economy in the world, by 2050. It is the twenty-third highest spender on tourism in the world, and is the highest in Latin America. The vast majority of tourists come from the Canada and United States. Others come from Asia, Latin American countries and Europe. In Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, 2008; it was fifth among Latin American countries, and ninth in the America. As regards the communications; telecommunications industry is mostly dominated by Telmex, the Mexican satellite system is domestic and operates 120 earth stations, usage of radio, television, and Internet is prevalent. There are about 1,410 radio broadcast stations and 236 television stations in total.

Baja California Sur, known as the Free and Sovereign State of Baja California Sur, is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District. Before it became a state on October 8, 1974, it was known as the South Territory of Baja California. Baja California Sur was designed by Gustave Eiffel. It is characterized by mountains, deserts and coastal flatlands. The climate is Marjory desert-like in the state. Plants such as mezquite, cardon and wild-lettuce, animals like mountain lions. The state is known for its natural features. Varied flora and fauna are found in Baja California Sur. Notable among the tree species is the Bursera microphylla, Elephant tree, which exhibits a contorted multi-furcate architecture. Vacation rentals are also available in this part. Many vacation homes rentals operators offers variety of services.

San Felipe is a town on the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) 190 km south of the United States border and within the municipality of Mexicali, in the Mexican state of Baja California. It is located in a unique ecosystem, where the deserts meets the sea. The Bay of San Felipe is 3 meters above sea level. It experiences one of the largest tidal bores throughout the world. The port of San Felipe is a small town formerly dependent on fishing but now on tourism, and caters mostly to U.S. travelers and containing an international airport. San Felipe is a popular spring break spot for residents of the Western U.S. states and northern Mexico, due to its many tourist attractions. Visitor's attractions include the sulfurous, geothermal, hot springs at Puertecitos on the Sea of Cortez, cooled by sea water. Nightclubs and bars dot the beach areas. Some visitors may enjoy camping on the beaches or off-roading on ATVs and also the dirt bikes in the adjacent desert. Other activities include off-road racing events such as the Baja 250 and San Felipe 250. In recent years, San Felipe locals and tourists have enjoyed a new and adventurous activity, Carnaval, which is often referred to as a Mexican Mardi Gras.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Looking For The Perfect Travel And Leisure Destination, Try Cat Island

Picking a vacation destination for yourself and your family can be difficult. Sure, you could go to the same boring places that everybody else does; I'm talking about Disney World or the Grand Canyon or on a cruise, but why not mix it up with something a little more original and off the beaten path?

Whenever I think about a place to go on vacation I have two requirements; it has to be relaxing and it has to be sunny, (and if you can throw in a sandy beach or two that's even better).

The problem is, I don't want to go to the same beach resorts that everybody else does. That's why I recommend Cat Island.

Many people have never even heard of it but it's the sixth largest island in the Bahamas. Many people believe that it's the most beautiful and certainly the most unspoiled of all the many islands in the Bahamas. It's basically located southeast of Eleuthera and a little north east of Long Island.

When picking a vacation spot, it's also important that the location has a story and Cat Island is no exception. Legend has it that Columbus landed there originally when searching for the New World.

What can you expect to find, and more importantly what can you expect to do while visiting this idyllic island in the Bahamas? Well of course there are the beaches and the crystal clear waters that are absolutely perfect for snorkeling.

You can also explore Mount Alvernia which is the highest point in the entire Bahamas at 206 feet above sea level.

The island is named after Arthur cat who was a famous British sea captain but some people think that the island was named because when the English first arrived they found the entire island populated by large hordes of wild cats! You can't make this stuff up. Legend has it that the cats were left by the Spanish who were looking for gold in South America.

The entire island is only 50 miles long and between four and one mile wide, so it's not a very big place. The first settlers arrived in 1783 and cotton plantations were built to support the island economically. You can still see the remnants of the original plantation mansions as well as the remains of some slave villages.

It really is one of the most beautiful islands in the Bahamas and has many high cliffs with amazingly spectacular views and a densely forested foothill section.

Cat Island is definitely worth your time as a great vacation destination.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Bahamas - A Great Choice For Travel and Vacations

This group of 700 islands, beginning sixty miles east of the Florida coast, is dazzling in its diversity. Activities like golfing with your family, world class bone fishing, or just hanging out and relaxing at the beach. For diving and snorkeling the Bahamas boast the world's third longest barrier reef and visibility of over 200 feet. You can also explore the world's longest underwater cave and cavern system at Lucayan National Park on Grand Bahama. Great shopping, and the resorts start at $33.00 dollars a day up to $300 a day.

The island of New Providence is divided into three main tourist areas -- Nassau, Paradise Island and Cable Beach.

Hotel complexes dominate expansive Cable Beach, which underwent a recent facelift, transforming it to a mecca for visitors who prefer beach combing with options for exercise and lively entertainment nearby. Luxurious accommodations are offered in resorts of all sizes and types with gourmet food, world-class entertainment, sports facilities (including a golf course) and some large casinos never more than a few steps away.

Nassau, the capital, adds a grand British undertone to island life. Pink government buildings at Rawson Square (actually a circle) face cruise ships whose passengers are drawn to a day of duty-free shopping downtown. A new museum interpreting the colorful Junkanoo tradition is tucked at wharf side in the ships' shadows. Tiny pubs and restaurants dot Nassau's narrow side streets. And a bustling straw market houses hundreds of vendors ready to bargain with souvenir merchandise. You can even catch a ride on a horse drawn carriage.

Cross the bridge to Paradise Island where beaches are first- class and the resort selection is excellent -- from upscale chic on stately estate grounds, to a yoga retreat, condo facilities (great for family vacations), and large luxury properties (one with a glass tunnel for viewing marine life and a low-key water park). Activity abounds at every turn. Paradise Island has an excellent golf course and its own small airport.

Grand Bahama, with resort development at both Freeport and Lucaya, has the same features on a smaller scale. Golf, tennis, water sports and duty-free shopping are popular and plentiful. And the island moves at a leisurely pace.

Kick back further and visit the Out Islands, favored by explorers who prefer their island life quaint, quiet, simple and barefoot. No rules here, just relaxation and recreation on land and sea when the spirit moves you. Interesting and excellent small and mid-sized hotels and family-run guest houses are interspersed with touches of history and hundreds of friendly faces. Out Island exploration is especially popular with eco-tourists in search of unspoiled island atmosphere, game fishermen seeking a record catch and all those who prefer to daydream in idyllic surroundings.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Life of a Travel and Tourism Pro

You want to go to travel and tourism college? Once you obtain the necessary travel and tourism degree, then what? Tracy Snelling, an account manager at Atlas Travel International, a travel agency in Milford, MA, never went the traditional route of going to travel and tourism college, but she can tell you a lot about the career in store for you. The award-winning innovative company in products and services, not only prides itself in their excellent company culture, but her ability to help her clients. So what does it take to be a travel and tourism pro?

How Snelling's Travel and Tourism Career Began

When Snelling was in college, she was drawn to work at a small agency in North Carolina part time. "I thought it would be nice to travel," she recalls. "Little did I know it really wasn't that much about traveling." But the job did have its benefits. In fact, Snelling's experience at Atlas Travel International landed her an accounting job. Sure, she was in the back of the Atlas office doing the books, but she soon realized her true calling on the job.

"When I realized that accounting would drive me crazy, I used my customer service skills and moved to the front office as a travel consultant," explains Snelling who also worked on leisure trips and corporate reservations. "As a travel agent, I loved working with people to provide them what they were truly looking for in travel," she says. Within a few years, Snelling found herself managing the travel and tourism agency, training agents, and more. Snelling's largest account hired her to start their client services department. She then moved to Massachusetts where her travel and tourism career flourished.

A Typical Day for a Travel and Tourism Pro

For Snelling, there's no such thing as a typical day in her travel and tourism career. "It's so fast-paced that change is the only typical expectation," she explains. "You can expect that what ever task list you start with will not be the one that you follow throughout the day." From internal customer service requests to numerous external requests, most of which are not planned on.

When it's all said and done, the daily stresses are outweighed by Snelling's satisfaction from assisting those in need of her travel and tourism expertise and assistance. "The industry has never been typical or predictable It keeps my juices flowing," says Snelling. "Learning about all the great destinations of the world also makes the job incredible."

Snelling's Advice: From Travel and Tourism College to Work

Of course, tourism education is paramount. You will need training at a travel and toursim college before you land an awesome job like Snelling. Combine what you learn at a travel and tourism college with experience, advises Snelling. "Get as much experience in customer service and business management as possible," she says. "If you can learn anything at all about the travel industry, that will definitely help you."

Snelling adds that travel and tourism careers are very unique, so do your research first. Once you've earned the necessary travel and tourism degree at a travel and tourism college, you can find placement with a good company. "Stay with that company and learn from them," Snelling explains. "Work hard, and enjoy the challenges you face."