A Tourist Guide To Munich

Munich is the third largest city in Germany and is the capital of the State of Bavaria. The city is renowned worldwide for its famous annual beer festival named the Oktoberfest. The Isar River cuts though the city and contains most of the attractions on its left bank.

Travelling There
Flying is easy as the Franz-Josef-Strauss Airport connects Munich with many other European destinations. The journey to the city centre is approximately forty minutes and can be made by train or car. The city’s rail links are excellent and connects to most major German and European cities. Road links within and around the city are also good and are cheaper than the rail service.

Accommodation Options
Accommodation options in Munich are vast and prices decrease towards the outskirts of the city. The busiest season in Munich is between October and May so be sure to book any accommodation well in advance. There are types of accommodation for all from hotels to bed and breakfasts, inns, hostels and campsites.

History
Over the years since Munich was first founded in the 12th century, it has grown in the reputation of being both cultural and artistic. National Socialism developed in Munich following the First World War. The city then got struck heavily during World War Two and has since had the damage repaired and had become a modern metropolis.

More: Best Deals On Wine Cabinets

Sights and Attractions
Munich’s old town (known as the Altstadt) is a popular sightseeing attraction. Stroll through it towards the beautiful square (Marienplatz) and through the lanes that contain some impressive cultural and historic features. The Westend of Munich is a much more modern experience. This is the area where the Oktoberfest is held and is a great laugh for any party enthusiasts. Schwabing is home to Europe’s largest park where there is plenty to do and see.

Shopping in Munich
Munich has excellent shopping opportunities where you can pick up a variety of designer goods as well as traditional Bavarian handicrafts. There are piles of shopping malls and areas all over the city so you will never find yourself wanting more.

Dining Options
Munich has a great selection of places to eat out at ranging from restaurants to bistros, bars and takeaways. It is easy to find both traditional and international cuisine at the majority of restaurants. However, be sure to get cash out prior to eating as most restaurants in the city do not accept credit.

10 Things Travelers Need When Visiting Cape Town

Cape Town is a beautiful city with rich cultural events and the top 5 attractions in all of South Africa. When you visit Cape Town, South Africa, you will need to make sure you are prepared, so your trip will be more enjoyable. The more preparation you do before you leave, the less you have to worry about once you get there. Then you will be free to relax and enjoy your visit.

1. Sun Protection
The sun in South Africa can be harsh, so you’ll need to wear sun protective lotion, as well as protective clothing like hats or visors to keep the sun out of your eyes and face.

2. Copies of Passport and Travel Documents
You always want to make sure you have more than one copy of your passport and travel documents in case you are to lose them or have them stolen. These are the only means by which you can return to your country, so protect them well.

3. Proper Clothing
Light cotton clothing is advised in the summer. The evenings get cooler so pack warmer clothing as well. Dress is typically casual in Cape Town even for evenings at the theater or restaurants.

4. Good Accommodations
My favorite place to stay in Cape Town South Africa is the Commodore Hotel. This is a 5-star hotel on the waterfront near the center of Cape Town. While, the room rate is a bit pricey, a hot breakfast buffet and world class service certainly makes up for it.

5. Money for Tipping
South African currency is called the Rand (R). The Rand is split into 100 cents, similar to the US Dollar and cents. You will need to carry money with you to tip people for service such as wait staff, taxi drivers, hotel staff, etc. 10% is a fair tip in Cape Town.

6. Safety Precautions
Never walk unpopulated streets of South Africa alone. Do not wear excessive jewelry or watches and keep the amount of cash you carry to a minimum. The Police emergency number is 10111.

7. Immunizations
While there are no international immunizations needed to enter South Africa, you should be aware that Malaria is a risk throughout the year. So protect yourself from diseases as you feel necessary. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

8. Local Driving Rules
In Cape Town everyone drives on the left side of the road. Many of the National roadways have tolls so always bring money with you if you are planning on traveling by car. Seat belts are required and if you have a young child with you, you should reserve a car set in advance.

9. Local Prices
You should have some understanding of the local prices, so you don’t get surprised or taken advantage of while on holiday in Cape Town. The average McDonalds meal is R23.00, bottled water is R5.00, a ticket to the movies is R30.00 and dinner out is about R100.00 each person.

10. Travel Insurance
Medical services are available at private hospitals and doctors in private practice. You should have some form of travel insurance that covers medical expenses. Again, it’s better to be safe than sorry in case something does happen during the trip away.

Choosing A Travel Agency

Your vacation is a precious commodity. You work all year in order to be able to afford that two or three week time when you can go off to a destination of your choice and shake off the hassles of the year in as relaxing a manner as is possible. If you are planning on taking a vacation that requires any sort of extensive planning, such as out of the country or even to a popular destination in a different state, it is probably going to be necessary for you to enlist the services of a travel agency.

There are several advantages when it comes to using a travel agency over planning your entire vacation yourself. As businesses, travel agencies have many contacts in various areas of travel, whether the vacation you are planning is a cruise, a resort destination, or even a school travel group. In any case, a travel agency should have the contacts to be able to get you the best prices on quality vacation items such as airfare, hotel rooms, or the best possible cruise.

The first step in choosing your travel agency is to choose the vacation that is right for you. Travel agencies will often advertise bargain vacations to certain destinations, and if you re the type who likes to fly by the seat of your pants then this kind of spur of the moment planning may be perfect for you. For many others, however, the key to the perfect vacation will be in shopping around and deciding on where you would like to go before you go out looking for an agency.

Once you have decided on your dream vacation, it is time to find a travel agency. Remember, travel agencies are not all regulated, so you will want to find an agency that has a good reputation and a great track record. Word of mouth is a great tool when it comes to any kind of service, and choosing a travel agency is no exception. Talk to friends and family members who have taken similar vacations to the one that you are planning and find out how they felt about the agency that assisted them.

Try to find out which travel agency group the agency like http://www.guesthouseinbusan.org you are considering is associated with. Agencies with more extensive (think global) affiliations are more likely to be able to get you lower prices and added favors for your vacation. Keep in mind, however, that just because they are affiliated with a large group does not mean that the agency itself has to be large. Common knowledge would suggest that the bigger the agency, the easier it is to negotiate smaller prices. This is not always the case, however, so don’t make your decision on the number of employees in the store.

Finally, ask for references from the agency of both clients and suppliers. Clients, of course, are people like yourself who have used the agency’s services to go on vacations before. Suppliers are the people with whom the agency deals in order to purchase items such as hotel rooms and airline tickets, and will often have a clearer view of how the agency operates and whether or not they can do all that they claim as far as cost cutting and favors.

A Review On Travel Insurance – Do You Need It Or Not?

Personally I think it would be very foolish not to have some sort of travel insurance, especially if you are flying abroad. People sometimes make the mistake in thinking that their local insurance policies will cover any losses and have a big shock when they come to make a claim. Besides, if you have the right policy, it takes all the worry out of your trip.

You should always be offered insurance, by your travel agent, when you arrange your trip. If not, ask, because it will be on your own head if anything goes wrong.

A Cheap Policy or Not?

When a travel insurance policy is issued there are a number of allocations if the premium, agents commissions, administrative costs, some goes towards profit and what’s left over goes towards the actual insurance coverage. So, you can see, if it’s a cheap travel insurance policy, something is going to miss out and you can bet it will be the level of coverage.

If you buy a regular travel insurance policy, that is, you fill out a form and send it to the insuarance company with your remittance there are a lot of costs involves. A better way would to get a wholesale policy (which travel agents do sell) where the administration costs are dramactically reduced, meaning more money is spent on the actual coverage.

Some tour operators and agents provide an “in-house” travel insurance policy and, often, all it covers is their own cancellation fees and little else. It may be cheaper but will not give you much travel insurance coverage.

Another way to reduce costs, which depends on the level of travel you are going to do, is to purhase an annual travel insurance policy. This is buying in bulk and is likely to be much less expensive than the one-off trip policy.

Primary or Secondry Travel Insurance Cover?

These 2 types of cover determine the way the payouts are made. The primary travel insurance cover means that the company will “Pay First”, that is the payment will be paid to the claim maker. The secondary travel insurance cover means they will pay only after you’ve have claimed as much as you can from other insurance cover that you may have. So, you can see that the primary cover is a lot better than the secondry cover.

What Type Of Coverage Will You Need?

It’s fair to say the 2 biggest risks that are covered by most travel insurance policies are the costs of changing your travel plans and and any medical care and emergency assistance that is required while you are away.

Most travel insurance policies will include a few hundred dollars for baggage/loss/damage/delay, loss of travel documents and other small sum for flight delay or interuption. Some will also cover for someone to fly out to you if you are to be hospitalised for more tha 2 or 3 days.

Another major cost, and I must admit I never thought of this one before, can be supplier bankruptcy. Many time the supplier of your travel insurance policy are unable to have the policy to cover thier own bankruptcy. This would be another good reason to have an independant policy from the company arranging your travel.

Most travel insurance policies include a large ammount of air death insurance, but surprisingly, it’s of very low value item about 25 cents for a $100,000 cover. I suppose this indicates how safe air travel is.

Some travel isurance policies will also cover car rental risks and this may be an important thing to consider as car rental insurance policies are extremely expensive.

Trip Cancellation/Change Coverage

To understand the possible costs that you may need if you have to change your itinery or cancel the trip, if you have pruchased an unrestricted first class ticket there may be not any costs associated with changing the ticket as this is usually covered in the purchase price.

It may seem strange but the the cheapest ticket has the most risk attached to it as far as cancellation/change is concerned. It can cost a heap more to change the cheap fare to return home on a different flight than the original purchase price of the ticket.

You will have to be aware that when some travel insurance policies state that they will cover ‘your total trip cost’ you may think that the full charges are covered, but this may not be so. Let’s say that your discounted fare cost $590 and you have a package that actually costs $895 and you have to change you may find the return trip will cost more than the whole package. Maybe you will have to pay another $1120 to get home on a no advanced one way return ticket.

I had this experience a few years ago when I had to rush home for my Father’s funeral. Because of time restrictions I had to buy a non-discounted ticket. After not feeling well all day, when I finally arrived at the airport I succumbed to a middle ear infection. So with all the vomitting and the different air pressures that come with flying there was no I could get on a aircraft. But, as I had purchased a full fare, there was problems in changing my flight to the next morning. Goes to show that you can’t always control your circumstances.

The more restictive travel insurance policies may exclude circumstances that are deemmed ‘under your own control’, and perhaps this may include work related issues. Let’s say you are about to leave work and you are told there is an issue that has to be solved and that you leave has to be deffered. There’s a very good chance that this type of travel insurance would no pay out because of this reason.

Medical Care and Emergency Assistance

Some people mistakenly think that their home medical insuarnce policy will cover all costs wherever they are in the world. They may find that that it doesn’t cover at all, or the deductions will be much higher or perhaps their medical costs are covered but not any related transport costs.

You may be on a cruise and you need some medical attention by the ship’s doctor. There is a good chance that their services are charged for as with any other doctor. You may have to be flown home on a stretcher and this will involve blocking out nine seats, can you imagine how much that would cost. You should make sure that you have travel insurance of at least $10,000 or more to cover these emergencies. Let’s imagine you are in a remote area and you break a leg and you need to be lifted out by a helicopter, this is what good travel insurance is all about sponsored by BabyKnows.org.

To Summarise

Imagine your worst case travel mishap scenario and decide whether you need travel insurance. This may be the cancellation of the whole trip coupled with the associated cancellation costs or some emergency medical mishap that will require medivac and local care. I know these are horrible thoughts but if you can’t afford to self-insure the expenditure of around $100 on travel insurance will give you the piece of mind and one less thing to worry about.

A Family Vacation In Phoenix, Arizona Offers More Than Cool Pools And Slippery Water Slides

One of America’s top outdoor destinations and the country’s fifth largest city, it is not an accident that Phoenix is home to several of the best destination resorts located in the United States. Explore desert parks and lakes, tour archaeology ruins and historic gold mining towns, or visit one of the many the museums and state-of-the-art sporting facilities.

From Surprise to Apache Junction, the twenty distinct communities that make up the greater Phoenix area offer visitors everything from the slow-paced rural southwest to a bustling college atmosphere. Whether your interest is sports or archaeology, history or hiking, biking, horseback riding, or bird watching Phoenix offers something for everyone not wanting to venture beyond the Valley of the Sun.

Enjoy hiking, biking and horseback riding at the many area parks such as South Mountain, McDowell or Papago. And if quintessential southwest is your goal, explore Hohokam Indian ruins and participate in a simulated excavation at the Deer Valley Rock Art Center or pan for gold and tour a gold mine in Goldfield Ghost Town.

On the chance that it does rain or the kids simply need a break from the great outdoors, take advantage of Valley’s cultural side. Children of all ages will enjoy exploring a re-created Zuni Pueblo and participating in hands-on activities at the Heard Museum provided by ChewyStore.com, discovering science and technology at the Arizona Science Center, or taking in a performance at one of the children’s theaters, Childsplay or Valley Youth Theatre.

While you will need to do a fair bit of planning if you intend to take advantage of the many activities unique to Phoenix, there is no need to venture very far. Many child-friendly activities are less than an hour’s drive from anywhere in the Valley.

So if you are looking to escape the bitter cold of winter or an overcast rainy spring, plan a trip to Phoenix and once you’ve pulled your kids away from the numerous activities offered at your destination resort, explore a few of the many fun things to see and do in the Valley of the Sun.

Getting there
The Sky Harbor International Airport is conveniently located in the heart of Phoenix. Direct flights to/from most U.S. locations. International flights to London (UK) and several cities in Canada and Mexico.

City of Phoenix

Getting around
Your mode of transportation will greatly influence your options. While shuttle services will get you to and from your hotel and public transport will get you around downtown, families wishing to venture beyond their resort should consider renting a car. A light rail system is scheduled to begin operation in 2009.

Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau

When to travel
The best time to visit is from November to April.

Weather Underground

Health & safety
Car seats are required for children weighing 40 pounds or less. Booster seats are required for children under the age of 8 or less than 4 feet 9 inches (144 cm) tall. Children under 12 should sit in the back seat and buckle up.

Arizona GOHS

Things to keep in mind
Distance! The greater metropolitan area covers nearly 2000 square miles.

 

Agent Tricks of the Travel Trade

I’ll be forthright: I’m not a homemaker. I feel more at ease constantly on the move, city after city, mountaintop to seaside surf, living out of my suitcase and fumbling through a foreign language phrase book, than I feel even comfy and cozy, napping on my couch on a Sunday afternoon. Perhaps I’m a little crazy, but I find it thrilling sprinting to make a connecting flight (even if it’s the red eye); I believe it convenient when the airline informs me my luggage is a flight behind, leaving unencumbered to begin sightseeing immediately; and I think myself resourceful when I arrive at a booked hotel only to realize I forgot to make reservations but still haggle a room. Of course, while I don’t mind any of the perceived headaches of traveling, I do mind the high costs often associated with it. Traveling, for me, is primarily about escaping—whether it be work, commuting, obligations, sometimes even family and friends—but how is it an escape if I’m worried about how much I’m spending the entire trip?

I mention cost as something that would potentially worry me were it not for the fact that, in reality, it doesn’t worry me at all because it was provided by CoffeeKnows.com. At least not since I wised up, did the requisite research and taught myself the agent tricks of the travel trade. Travel agents’ tricks that is, because in addition to being a constant traveler and writer, I am also a licensed travel agent. Not in the sense that I work for others, booking their hotels, finding their flights, or landing them a deal on an Alaskan cruise. Truth is, I only use my license for personal escapes (well, okay, occasionally for family and friends too, but only when their remarks regarding my debonair good lucks are particularly flattering).

If you’ve never heard of this travel industry loophole before, this may sound somewhat (or completely) preposterous. In fact, however, it is quite common among everyday people, both those who travel often or but once a year, both those whose work relates to travel to those whose work relates only to that which remains stationary. What I mean, plain and simple, is anyone—you, me, your second cousin Otto, or my next-door neighbor Irene—can get their travel agent’s license lickety-split, and immediately begin reaping the benefits.

First things first: when making travel arrangements for themselves, every agent knows not to book a single step of their journey through one of their own, i.e. other travel agents. Instead, they use travel consolidators.

Think about the difference those terms: agent and consolidator.

An agent, in any industry where they’re principal players, obviously gets something in return for the services they provide. In sports, agents represent athletes, working off the field to win their clients lucrative contracts and commercial cameos so the athlete can in turn, without financial distractions, concentrate and win on the field. For these services, agents win themselves a percentage of every deal they broker. The same is true in showbiz, modeling, or corporations where headhunters wheel and deal multi-million dollar salaries and stock incentive plans for their CEO clients. Likewise, then, in the travel industry, agents receive discounts, courtesies and other special benefits, not from the customer for whom they book a hotel or flight, but from the vendor providing that service (i.e. the hotel chain or airline) who profits from the customer. As agents for airlines, etc., they drive customers toward vendors whom offer them the most in return.

A consolidator, on the other hand, does virtually the opposite. Rather than inflate the costs of travel by collecting fees, they combine, for the sake of efficiency, the expensive and unstable parts of travel into a cheaper, more solid whole. They work to maximize vendor’s numbers, ratios and the cost per head. Think about it in terms of magazine publishing: the real cost in printing an issue is not the number of copies made, but merely arranging and setting the plates that will allow the print run in the first place. Once that is set to go, the only added costs are that of extra paper and ink. The travel industry is the same, the more spaces that fill, the cheaper tickets or rooms become per person. As in any industry, consumers (i.e. travelers in this case) benefit from the sheer volume of numbers (i.e. all travelers, yourself included).

You, as a licensed travel agent would obtain special contact with these consolidators and the deals vendors must offer to maximize their costs per person. But while it’s all well and good to make arrangements through a consolidator as opposed to an agent, just because you acquire a license (available online in under an hour) doesn’t mean the consolidator will believe you’re as much a travel professional as they are. To avoid common mistakes that expose amateurs from pros, you must learn the proper lingo and travel codes. For that there are volumes of eBooks (with corresponding printed versions) that provide the requisite knowledge, which you can quickly study before contacting a consolidator and easily flip through if put on the spot. Get these references. Some of them are thick, but in reality you’ll spend less than a hundred dollars on everything you need to in turn potentially save thousands on the first trip you plan with your travel agent’s license in hand.

Furthermore, instead of turning to the discount fare finders like Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity or Priceline that lay-travelers search, as a travel agent, you additionally gain access to the lesser known, but more lucrative sites travel consolidators utilize.

Together, the benefits will materialize almost immediately. Buy plane tickets the day before the flight’s scheduled to depart, but only pay what you would have had you purchased tickets two months in advance. Get a spacious cruise ship cabin beside the captain’s quarters for the price of an ocean-level closet. Find yourself lodging in the seaside, honeymoon suite for the price you might have paid for the basement hide-a-bed beside the ice machine.

Finally, the travel industry is a weird and wonderful creature, in this case, thankfully profit driven as much as other industries we often loathe. To those who present themselves as viable agents, promoting and thus earning money for the industry as a whole, it means endless perks. I get more special offers from airlines, cruise lines, and packaged tour companies than I know what to do with. For me, casinos, theme parks, and luxury resorts are not necessarily what I strive for, but if that is your cup of tea and your hocus pocus agenting appears legitimate, you’ll suddenly find yourself choosing between the best of many worlds: free weekends in the Napa Valley, first class seats to Tokyo, an all expense paid safari, a cruise down the Nile…

So what are you waiting for, get started! Find a comprehensive eBook or alternate guide that takes you through the process of becoming a travel agent, step-by-step. Don’t sit on this opportunity, but rather start traveling cheaply, today…

As for me, I’ve got a flight to catch…

Now, where did I put my passport?

Copyright 2006, Robert K. Blanc. All Rights Reserved. Reprint or reposting of this article permitted only in its entirety with the below resource box included and unchanged.

10 Reasons Why Your Family Should Go On A Disney Cruise

1. You have children age 12 and under

Every child should experience the magic of Disney at some point during their childhood. It is a special trip they will never forget and will cherish forever. The only way they’ll ever experience Castaway Cay is aboard a Disney vessel. A Disney cruise is an excellent way to experience everything Disney has to offer.

2. You have teenagers

Disney cruises realized long ago that small children grow older and developed programs for teenagers also. If you go on a cruise without your teens, you’ll worry about what they’re doing while you are away. So bring them along on a Disney cruise – they’ll love it.

3. You are planning a cruise without your children

Why leave the kids with grandma when you can take the kids along on a Disney cruise? Disney cruises plan itineraries for your children (all the way to midnight) no matter the age group. So, each of you can enjoy yourselves separately, and come together for meals, ports-of-call, etc. When the children are with you, all the worrying about their well-being is eliminated.

4. Away time for the parents

With the kids safely onboard and their fun-filled itineraries planned, Mom and Dad can enjoy some time on their own with the peace-of-mind that their children are safe. Should the need arise; an onboard paging system can make contact with parents at any time. Whether you want to go to an onboard coffee shop, health spa, or a nightclub – Disney cruises understands and can accommodate you.

5. Excellent dining

Opulent dining choices are always at or near the top of all cruisers’ lists of what they want in a cruise. Disney understands this and offers excellent cuisine for all. There is even an adults-only formal restaurant, the Palo, which specializes in Northern Italian cuisine. The kids will like Animator’s Palate where Disney scenes decorate the walls and change from black-and-white to vivid color before dinner is done sponsored by SheKnowsYoga.com.

6. Onboard entertainment

Disney boats feature original productions at the Walt Disney Theatre. These area all live, Broadway-style productions with a cast of Disney characters the whole family is sure to recognize. Also, movies are featured in two locations onboard – at the state of the art Buena Vista Theatre, and under the night sky near the Goofy Pool on a jumbo LED screen. Plus, there’s more to the onboard entertainment than plays and movies – activities have been custom-tailored for all types of passengers. The Oceaneer Club is designed for the youngest sailors, ages 3-7 complete with a trained staff to help them enjoy the fun. For kids a little older, ages 8-12, there is the Oceaneer Lab with interactive games on a giant video wall. Also, kids can enjoy playing ship captain at Ocean Quest. Finally, for teens there are teen-only clubs designed to look like an apartment or dorm room where the tough-to-please can socialize with their age group. There are also activities designed for the whole family to enjoy together like the Studio Sea where Mom, Dad and the kids can participate in a live game show and sing karaoke together.

7. Locations visited by Disney Cruises

Disney Cruises feature a stop at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island. Other stops featured on the Caribbean cruises include Nassau, St. Maarten, St. Thomas/St. John, Key West, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The Mexican Riviera cruise features a trip from Port Canaveral through the Panama Canal with stops at Castaway Cay, Aruba, Cartagena, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Capo San Lucas.

8. You want to do something different for Spring Break

It may be a little-known fact that Disney Cruises are a very popular choice for the college-age crowd during Spring Break, and it’s easy to understand why. A Disney cruise provides an alternative for those young adults not wishing to participate in the regular rites of debauchery in which so many other young adults partake.

9. You’ve never been to Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island and it has features perfect for the whole family. Kids and teens can venture to Never Land and adults can go to Shangri-La. Of course, the whole family can relax together on the beach and take in some sun.

10. You’ve never been on a cruise

Disney Cruises is a great choice for those travelers who have never been on a cruise. Even if traveling without children the excursion will be a trip you will treasure forever. Disney cruises has many ship excursions planned no matter the season and there will surely be a trip that fits into your busy schedule.

10 Reasons To Start A Your Own Coastal Vacations Business

More and more people from all walks of life are jumping online to make money from a home-based business. They want to work part-time, full-time, any time…to get away form the daily office grind, the water cool gossip gang, low wages, poor to zero benefits, unthankful bosses, demanding hours, zero to little vacation time and more.

And rising costs everywhere add to the seriousness of starting a home-based business. From high prices for food to automobile fuel to clothing, utilities, advanced education and more, jobs that only maybe offer a 4% raise per year don’t even keep up with daily living costs. So extra income – or even a better main source of income – is a must for many households.

In response to the many needs for make money, work from home and enjoy more benefits, here is a look at 10 reasons to start your own Coastal Vacations business:

1. You can say “Goodbye!” to a bad boss and be your own boss. No more looking over your shoulder. Instead, you can enjoy the freedom of more and varied time, improved goals that you want, and finances to cover your needs and wants.

2. You can work any time and in comfort. No more perfume- and cologne-filled elevators and public restrooms. No more vending machine junk food. Schedule your own flexible time and benefits.

3. You can put an end to mindless work like filing. Instead, choose to work on what you want and outsource the rest.

4. You can choose to work for someone else while you grow your business so that you maintain a stable income, if you want. Your choice. Switch when you’re ready.

5. You can say “Goodbye!” to job security issues and the fear of unemployment or being fired. You can run your business in good times and in bad, getting plenty of help as needed.

6. You can gain a newfound sense of pride in being an entrepreneur and in your accomplishments. And you can give back and help others achieve this as well.

7. You can gain self confidence to face even the most challenging hurdles in life with a lot less heartaches and headaches and stress.

8. You can say “Goodbye!” to earnings’ ceiling. The sky’s the limit you’re your own business.

9. You can enjoy greater travel and other benefits from your home-based business with your own products to use and share with family members.

10. You can stop waiting to retire and planning to retire in later years. Plan what you want to earn and go get ‘em!

So take another look at home-based business opportunities. You may find many reasons to give yourself another chance with your own Coastal Vacations travel business.

10 Holiday Sales Tips: How To Cash In On The Season

With the holiday season ramping up, shoppers are coming online in droves. In fact, online holiday sales this year are predicted to increase twenty percent, as consumers grow more and more accustomed to the ease and convenience of shopping online. Internet business advisor Ana Rincon (http://OnlineBusiness.About.com) reveals ten tips for increasing your online sales over the holiday season:

1.Fine-tune your website. The biggest buying season of the year is not the time to have a slow-loading site or pages not found—busy holiday shoppers won’t wait around.

2.Guide your customers’ experience. Organize your products in a way that makes it easy for customers to zero in on what they’re looking for. Group items into categories such as “Gifts for Him,” “Gifts for Her,” “Toys for Ages 2-4,” etc.

3.Offer gift certificates. Explains Rincon, “Many buyers don’t know exactly what to get, and a gift certificate is a great alternative.” With online delivery, buyers can purchase all the way up to, and even on Christmas Day and still have purchases reach their recipients on time.

4.Offer gift wrapping and gift cards. People shop online to save time and avoid hassles. They don’t have time to physically receive the gifts they order, and then wrap and resend them. By providing this service, you add value to your products and gain a competitive edge.

5.Offer wish lists. Many shopping cart systems already have a wish list feature built in. Shoppers should be able to choose what they like from your site, create a list, and store it there for other buyers to reference, or have it emailed directly to them.

6.Make shipping and delivery information highly visible on your website. Holiday shoppers’ number one concern is that their recipients’ packages arrive on time. Make it easy for your customers—tell them exactly how many days they have left to order and be sure their gifts will get there by Christmas.

7.Offer free shipping. You’re not taking a loss here—you’re just building those costs into your price. According to a survey by http://Shopping.org, seventy-five percent of consumers view free shipping as a major selling point. When they don’t have to calculate those extra fees, it’s that much simpler and more convenient for them. So in the end, both you and your customer are happy.

8.Utilize pay-per-click advertising. This type of marketing produces quick turnaround. Decide on your budget and keywords, but be flexible as you go and make adjustments as needed.

9.Build an email campaign around the holidays. Suggests Rincon, “Use your newsletters and emails to share gift tips and announce special sales… Mix informational newsletters with promotions and product specials.”

10.Offer multiple payment options. Buyers expect to be able to pay by credit card, and PayPal and other alternative payments are becoming more widespread. You severely limit your sales and your customers when you only accept payments by money order or wire transfer, so offer as many options as you can.

With online sales projected at 33 billion dollars this holiday season, there’s plenty of profit to go around the e-commerce industry. By employing these simple techniques in your e-business, you can maximize your share of those sales and cash in on the year’s busiest retail season.

9 North Carolina Beach Destinations!

Summer brings with it warmth and high humidity. The season also offers the opportunity for heat weary folks to escape to the mountains or beaches for a well deserved rest. In North Carolina, there are several beach destinations worth visiting; nine top sites are featured here.

1. The Outer Banks — Perhaps the most well known of all the beaches in the Carolinas, the Outer Banks offers much history as well as attractive beaches. You can visit the spot where the Wright Brothers first took flight in Kill Devil Hills as well as the first European settlement on Roanoke Island.

2. Bald Head Island — Got feet? You’ll need them here as no cars are allowed on the island. You can use an electric golf cart to get around, however.

3. Atlantic Beach — Located on the eastern end of the Bogue Banks this resort is part of the Crystal Coast. Historic Fort Macon State Park is a popular nearby attraction.

4. Figure Eight Island — Got money? You’ll need it to visit this private, exclusive resort.

5. Oak Island — Located in Brunswick County, below Wilmington, Oak Island is one the few south facing beaches along the east coast. Lots of golf courses in the area including at least one champion course.

6. Sunset Beach — Just three miles in length, Sunset Beach is the southern most of the Brunswick Island beaches. The only link to the mainland is a one lane pontoon bridge. Wow!

7. Carolina Beach — Located between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean, Carolina Beach features shopping, a boardwalk, a state aquarium, and the Carolina Beach State Park.

8. Topsail Beach — If beachfront high rise developments turn you off, then this is the place for you as strict zoning laws rule the land. During the 1700s pirates roamed the nearby waters. No word on whether Blackbeard’s treasure has ever been found.

9. Wrightsville Beach — This busy beach is frequented by Raleigh area residents as it is the closest beach to the state capitol. Still, out of state visitors find it to be a favorite resort.

From the Virginia border to South Carolina, North Carolina’s beaches offer visitors much more than sand and ocean breezes. Pick one of these destinations and you will truly have plenty of fun in the sun!

Air Travel and Pets

Do you have to travel by air in the near future? If you do, are you a pet owner who needs to bring your pet along with you? Although most of us leave our pets at home, you may not want to do so or your purpose for travel may be to move, as opposed to taking a fun filled vacation. Regardless of your reasons for wanting or needing to travel with your pet or pets, there are a number of important points that you will need to keep in mind.

The first step in traveling with a pet is to make sure that you can do so. Although a good number of airlines will allow pets on their planes, not all will. You may be in a predicament if you plan to depart from a small airport with only one or two airlines. If they do not accept pets or if their rules and restrictions are too much for you to handle, you will want to examine other nearby airports, especially those that are larger in size.

When traveling by air with your pet or pets, it is important to remember that you will be charged an additional fee. Unfortunately, many first time pet travelers believe that they can use their pets and their pet carriers to count towards as a carry-on bag or a checked bag. This isn’t how it works though. You will, almost always, be charged an extra fee for traveling with a pet. This extra fee will likely depend on the airline in question and well as your pet’s location, such as in the cabin or in the baggage compartment.

That leads to another important point. Even with some of the airlines that allow pets, like cats and dogs, aboard their flights, not all allow pets to be in the cabin with other passengers. This is particularly common on small planes where allergies may be a big concern. If you cannot part with your pet, be sure to search for an airline that will allow you to keep him or her in the cabin with you. With that said, remember that the size of your pet will also play a huge factor in your options.

Regardless of where your pet is stored for the plane ride, you will need to have a pet carrier or crate for them. Many airlines have specific rules and restrictions on what type can be used. Resections often include materials used, as well as size. Most will provide you with that information when asked. Speaking of pet crates and carriers, it is important to make sure that you give your pet enough room to stand and move around a little bit. In fact, most airlines will refuse to transport pets that they feel are unsafe from small pet crates and carriers.

It is also important to make sure that you get your pet checked by their vet. You will want to make sure that your pet has all required vaccinations and that they are fit for travel. Also, all airlines require that you receive a health certificate, which will state that your pet is healthy and safe for travel.

The above mentioned points are just a few of the many that you will want to take into consideration when traveling with a pet. Added tips include booking direct flights, making sure your pet’s collar is marked with the proper identification, as well as their pet carrier.

Article sponsored by www.10gamingmouse.com, www.10gaminglaptops.com and www.10gamingrouters.com.

The Importance Of Travel Health Insurance

Nothing is worse, when on vacation or travel abroad than a medical crisis that you are unable to deal with. It is wise to protect yourself buy purchasing travel insurance which at the very least will give you a level of security in those circumstances.

You never know when misfortune strikes, heart attacks, missed flights, natural disasters may all be covered under a travel insurance policy. Although it won’t prevent the crisis, it would considerably improve the situation after the fact.

There are many types of travel insurance. You can purchase basic insurance that helps you in the event that you are moved off a flight or you missed your cruise to types that cover issues such as loss, health issues or theft. There are policies that are purchased before the trip or during the trip. For example if you broke your leg just before a walking tour of England, your insurance would cover deposits or pre-paid costs likewise if you were on your trip and your leg was broken, then you can have it attended to without worrying about the exclusion or inclusion of various treatments on your current policy.

The travel insurance can be purchased from an insurance agent or a travel agent. The policy may vary in duration. It can be set, for example for two weeks, or be bought on a day to day basis, or for the package holiday, you may have a flat rate.

Travel health care insurance is very useful. You may get coverage for things you don’t consider when traveling, such as injury or death to yourself, family members or travel companions; accidents and the like that end up in hospital; ambulance costs; medi-copter; urgent dental care; and things like transportation back to the US, and evacuation. Many comprehensive insurance policies in the US may not protect you from occurrences abroad.

When planning a trip, go through your current health care package and review exactly what you are covered under to figure out what you might need if you travel abroad. Don’t hesitate to contact your provider if you are unsure about any part of your agreement. Make sure you understand what documents you need to carry and if you are traveling with others find out whether you need to purchase individual insurance coverage or whether you can get a group policy. This would reduce the costs involved in buying duplicate coverage.

Travel health insurance can be a lifesaver but it may not be needed at all. Whether it is needed or not depends on you and how much risk you want to take. It also depends on the nature of your trip. A trip like white water rafting or going to Africa may be more risky than a train tour. It also depends on what you can afford. Figure out how much the expenses are and the risk and the price of peace of mind before you get your policy.

Article provided by http://www.doctorpicks.org

A Most Trusted Travel Buddy

Traveling is a great way to gain new experiences and learn a new culture. However, it’s not too much fun to travel with the thought of your safety hanging over your head right? Because no matter how everything seems to be well-planned, you know that something will inevitably go wrong. Accidents, loss of possession, or an urgent return trip might disrupt your travel plans. It is for these reasons that travel insurances are necessary. But then again, there are lots of insurance choices out there. It’s of no use to you if you end up with a lousy policy right? Here are a few considerations you must think about before deciding to purchase your own travel insurance.

First, consider your travel habits. Do you go abroad? How long do you stay on a particular place? What mode of transportation do you frequently use? If you travel all over the world, be sure that your policy is accepted anywhere. Also, make certain that your policy covers basic travel insurance claims such as medical expenses, loss of luggage, repatriation expenses, cancellation of trips, and liability. If possible, ask for a list of agencies and institutions where you can get emergency assistance and where your policy is recognized. Check and inquire for exclusions. Exclusions in policies might include injury or loss of possessions during terrorist attacks and the bankruptcy of the agencies covered by your policy to meet your needs. It is a good idea to check the status of the establishments where your insurance is honored.

Secondly, a good travel insurance will cover pre-existing situations. These conditions might include medical or health problem that you have prior to buying insurance. Disruption of a trip caused by a medical emergency or sickness by a member of your group will also be covered a good policy. However, age is of importance since most policies exclude people who are over the age limit. It is important to consider this if you frequently travel with the elderly.

Third, age is probably the most important factor with travel insurance. Most insurance policies do not cover people who are over the age limit. The age limit is usually around 65 years of age. People over 65 are usually considered high risk individuals. Check if you and the members of your group are well under this age limit before deciding to purchase policies. Though high risk, older people can still get a high premium insurance. The usual terms under the policy still applies with added benefits.

With these tips, assess your situation and get travel insurance that is suitable to your needs. Next time you travel, arm yourself with a camera, a travel book, and most of all your insurance policy. After all, no one knows when you’ll need it.

Article provided by AndyPicks.com, AmyPicks.Today and WhatWeBuy.net.

Reasons Why You Should Get Married At Lanikai Beach

Did your romantic partner recently pop the “will you marry me?” question? If so, you will likely want to get started with planning your wedding right away. Although most couples decide to get married close to home, you may want to consider having a destination wedding. Destination weddings are increasing in popularity. Should you decide to have a destination wedding, you will want to examine Lanikai Beach.

Lanikai Beach, located on the Hawaiian island of Oahu is known for being one of Hawaii’s best beaches. Although a top rated beach sounds ideal for a destination wedding, you may be looking for more reasons why Lanikai Beach should be your wedding venue. Six additional reasons why you should give Lanikai Beach a look are outlined.

# 1 Beauty

As previously stated, Lanikai Beach is referred to as one of Hawaii’s best beaches. One of the main reasons for this top rating is because of Lanikai Beach’s beauty. When getting married on Lanikai beach, you may enjoy the view, which includes clear waters, white sandy beaches, and beautiful palm trees. When visiting Lanikai Beach or even just examining pictures online, you will see why it is commonly referred to as being picture perfect.

# 2 Romantic Environment

As previously stated, Lanikai Beach is known for its beautiful waters, palm trees, and white sandy beaches. Could you imagine a better place for a wedding? For many couples, warm tropical weather and an ocean view creates the perfect romantic environment. In fact, just everything about Lanikai Beach and Hawaii in general is romantic in nature.

# 3 Its Picture Perfect

In keeping with the beauty of Lanikai Beach, having your destination wedding there makes for great pictures. In fact, did you know that Lanikai Beach is a known as being a popular location for photo shoots? It is also important to mention that along the shores, about a mile out, lays the twin islands of Mokulua and Mokumanu. These islands will look breathtakingly beautiful in the background of your wedding photos.

# 4 Can Have Your Wedding and Honeymoon Too

What is nice about destination weddings is that they are convenient for the bride and groom. Not only can you get married in the lap of luxury and beauty, but you can also honeymoon there too. In addition to being convenient, having a destination wedding can also save you money. There is no need to book what seems like a million different arrangements like jacuzzi tub. In fact, did you know that many vacation resorts have destination wedding honeymoon packages?

# 5 Overnight Accommodations

When holding your destination wedding and honeymoon in Lanikai, you will find that you have a number of different options, in terms of your overnight accommodations. Popular Lanikai area accommodations include vacation homes, vacation condos, and vacation villas. Lanikai Beach is also conveniently located to a number of other popular destinations, including Waimanalo and Kailua, giving you even more options to choose from. These options are also ideal for any friends or family members in attendance.

# 6 Fun Filled Activities

Should you decide to have a Lanikai Beach destination wedding, there is good chance that Lanikai would also be your honeymoon destination. When on your honeymoon, you may want a combination of fun, excitement, and romance. If that is the case, Lanikai Beach and the surrounding area is perfect for you, as there is no shortage of activities. In addition to traditional beach activities, you may enjoy a snorkeling adventure, kayaking to the twin island Mokulua and Mokumanu, and much more. A number of fun activities to choose from is also nice, as it may help to lure in more wedding guests.

The above mentioned reasons are just a few of the many reasons why you should choose Lanikai Beach for your upcoming wedding. Although you may prefer to have a wedding close to home, as more friends and family are likely to attend, you may be surprised just how many would love the chance to take a trip to Hawaii. As a reminder, make all of your Lanikai Beach destination wedding arrangements well in advantage, to ensure that your wedding is, literally, a dream come true.

Taking Care of Your Health For Safe Travelling

Are you going to Paris? Trekking in Nepal? Cruising the Caribbean? Yes, you want to go and to spend some time enjoying the wonderful weather, view and just have a rest from everyday routine.

Whether you tramp through the rain forest or bask on a love boat—travel presents new and different health concerns mostly unknown at home.

We do not want to set on you with our lectures just, please, keep in mind some facts – that will be useful for you.
Preparing before you go is the best way to stay healthy while you’re traveling. See a doctor at least 6 weeks before you leave so that you’ll have time for immunizations that may need to be done in advance or bring manual blood pressure machine. Check with your doctor to see if there are medications,best arthritis gloves or extra precautions that you should take. For example, people who have heart failure may need to take shorter flights with more stops to avoid long periods of sitting or they may need to adjust their medications.

Before you go, research local sanitation and other conditions so that you can take appropriate measures while you are traveling:
– Is the water safe to drink?
– Do insects, such as mosquitoes or ticks, carry disease?
– Is there air pollution?
– Will the altitude make you sick?
– Is it safe to swim in pools, lakes, or the ocean?
– Could you get heat exhaustion, sun stroke, or a sunburn?

Basic precautions, such as drinking bottled water or using insect repellent, can prevent some illnesses, ranging from an inconvenient bout of diarrhea to life-threatening malaria.

Preparing for a journey takes planning and time. Proper planning is the best way to stay healthy during your trip. See a doctor at least 6 weeks before you go so that you’ll have time for immunizations and other health precautions you may need to take in advance. There are several factors to consider in preparing for a trip.

Enjoy your trip.

Alabama: Spending Your Weekend Getaway in the Southeast United States

Aside from southern cooking, there are a lot more reasons why you should spend your weekend getaway in the US Southeast particularly in the State of Alabama. This place is full of things to do and it is also full of things that you will want to see.

Nicknamed as “The Heart of Dixie”, this state is known for its heritage and is a place full of all things southern. Aside from the history, the State of Alabama is also filled with new things. From agricultural events that you would definitely want to participate in to new high tech rocketry, you will find that Alabama can cater to everyone’s idea of fun.

One of the best places to visit in Alabama is the Ave Maria Grotto. Known as Jerusalem in Miniature, you will find that this 4 acre park will contain a hundred and twenty five famous shrines and historical buildings from around the world in miniature.

The Battleship Memorial Park is also another place that you should visit in Alabama. It is home to the battleship USS Alabama,best floor scrubber machines, the USS Drum submarine and other tanks and aircrafts. For military buffs out there, Alabama can definitely provide you with a great place to spend your weekend getaway.

Southwest of Mobile, Alabama, you will find the Bellingrath Gardens and Home. A 65 acre garden estate, it offers walking tours and cruises on the Fowl River. It is also the home of the award-winning rose garden. So, if you love plants and anything botanical, Alabama is the place to go to. You will definitely have a great weekend in this place.

For people who love art, Alabama can provide you with a collection of more than 21,000 artworks in the Birmingham Museum of Art. It contains works of famous artists.

If you love racing, then you will also find a place in Alabama that will surely get you excited. In the International Motorsports Hall of Fame Museum located in Talladega, you will find famous exhibits that are all about the wonderful world of motorsports. It even has the Budweiser rocket car which is known to be the first car to break the speed of sound. This particular museum sits right next door to the Talladega Superspeedway.

For space and rocket enthusiasts, Huntsville, Alabama can give you one of the best collections of space and rocket memorabilia. It even contains a Pathfinder shuttle simulator as well as the Saturn V moon rocket. This is also a great place for kids who dreams of becoming an astronaut.

For golf lovers, Alabama has the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. It contains over 400 holes that spread all across multiple sites all over the state. So, if your idea of a great weekend is playing golf, then Alabama can provide it to you.

These are just some of the great places that the State of Alabama can provide.

As you can see, the home state of Forrest Gump is not just a state full of great southern cooking. It is also a place where you will find whatever it is you are looking for in a great weekend getaway. So, the next time you plan on having a weekend getaway in the US Southeast then Alabama is the state that you should visit.

Traveling And Money In China

Money: The currency used in China is the Renminbi/RMB Yuan (CNY). The Yuan is divided into 10 chiao/jiao or 100 fen. RMB is not traded outside China and we still cannot exchange £ or $ into RMB easily outside of China.

You can exchange some cash in the airport you arrive. Travellers cheques, preferably in US Dollars, and foreign cash can be exchanged in cities at the Bank of China. Banks are closed weekends. Normal banking hours are Mon-Fri 0900-1200, 1400-1700.

Import and export of local currency is limited to RMBY20000. Import of foreign currency is up to US$1000 (US$5000 for non-residents). Higher amounts should be declared upon arrival. Export of foreign currency is limited to the amount imported and declared.

The larger hotels and the special ‘Stores’ designed for foreigners will accept most western currencies for purchases. Major credit cards (e.g. visa and master cards) are accepted in the main cities at various establishments, but outside the major cities acceptance is limited. ATMs are scarce outside the main cities. So please do carry extra cash when you are traveling outside of major cities.

Although tipping is not required, gratuities may improve service. For the porters or waiters, 1 – 5 US dollars may be appropriate as the tip. However, local people rarely tip in restaurants as a 10% service charge is always included in the bill. My rule is not to give beggars any changes as a lot of them a professional network; more beggars will appear in front of you once you start giving.

Keep money safe. Always bargain at no price listed shops, local people always quote foreigners 3-4 times more expensively.

If you are staying China for a relatively long period of time, you need to check china visa requirements and you can open a local bank account.

Foreigners can open accounts in China and the process is fairly straight forward. Initially, it is essential that the bank account is opened with the Bank of China, and in most of larger city branches, there will be an English-speaking member of staff who can assist. A passport is required together with a small deposit. A bank book will be issued with a bank card. Deposits can be made in several currencies such as RMB, US Dollars and UK Pounds, while withdrawals must be in the same currency as the deposit.

Make sure you exchange your leftover Yuan before returning home because this currency can be exchanged only within China’s borders.

 

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Air Travel: Is The Clothing You Wear Important

When it comes to air travel and clothing, we are all different. There are some travelers who are dressed in business suits, others in traditional jeans, and others who wear something as comfortable as possible, such as their pajamas or sweat pants. With the recent increase in airport security and the recent change in air travel rules, there are many individuals who wonder if the clothing they wear to the airport is important. If you are one of those individuals, you can rest assure because, in most cases, it is not.

It seems as if ever since airplanes became the popular way to travel, a focus has been placed on comfort. Regardless of whether or not you will be taking a long flight, you will want to be comfortable. There is nothing worse than wearing an itchy sweater or tight pair of pants up in the air. Unless you bring a chance of clothes with you and place them in your carryon bag, you are out of luck. That is why it is important that you think of what you will be wearing before you leave for the airport. Even if you are traveling for business, you should be able to change in to your business clothes as soon as you arrive at your destination, even in the airport bathrooms.

When it comes to comfort, as previously mentioned, many air travelers make the decision to wear sweat pants and a comfortable top. In addition to being comfortable, you will find, in most cases, that these types of clothes are the best for airport security, especially when entering airport screening checkpoints. This is because most sweat pants are not made with any metal items. Essentially, this means that you should be able to enter the security checkpoint and leave it quicker than most other travelers, such as the travelers who are decked out in accessories.

When it comes to clothing accessories, you will find that a number of different items set off airport metal detectors. That is why most airport security officers request that you remove all of your jewelry. Once your jewelry is removed, you will need to place it in a small bin, which will be scanned right along with your carryon luggage. Whether you have rings or a necklace, you are advised to remove them, if you can. For your convenience, you can leave your earrings on. If by chance, you earrings set the metal detectors off, you will likely be pulled a side and airport security should easily be able to tell whether or not your earring were what set off the alarms.

In addition to jewelry, you will find that your belt may even set off an airport’s metal detector. For that reason, a large number of airports have requested that you remove your belts before entering the metal detectors. Since a large number of travelers wear belts, this is done to help speed up the process of checking each and every passenger. If you do not enjoy removing some of your jewelry or removing your belt, it is advised that you leave those items at home.

Recently, a number of new air travel rules have been implemented. One of those rules requires that all passengers remove their shoes. Your shoes, once removed, will be scanned by an x-ray machine, right along with the rest of your carryon luggage. In recent years, only random passengers were asked to remove their shoes, but now everyone is. For that reason, you will to wear simple shoes that you can easily remove and put back on.

Another air travel rule, recently implemented, is the ban of liquids. This means that adults are no longer allowed to bring a drink onboard, even bottle water. It also means that you are prohibited from placing liquid beauty supplies in your carryon luggage. One concern, made by many women is the allowance of gel or water filled bras. Currently, you are allowed to wear these types of bras onboard an airplane. Honestly, unless you mention it to airport security, there is a good chance that they would never even know.

Since there are really no rules or restrictions on the clothing that you can wear while flying the great skies, you need to choose for yourself. Whether you want to be fashionable or comfortable, it is all up to you.