A Review Of The Best Value Maldives Holiday Resorts (Part 2)

Holiday Island Maldives

Located in the South Ari Atoll, Holiday Island is a four star resort containing 142 super deluxe beach bungalows. It’s a two hour speedboat ride from Male.

There are a range of restaurants to choose from offering both western and oriental delicacies as well as a bar and coffee shop.

Holiday island offers the standard range of activities including diving, snorkelling, water skiing, floodlit tennis, a gym and more.

Huvafen Fushi Maldives

Huvafen Fushi is a five star resort on the South Ari Atoll and it takes approximately 30 minutes to reach from Male (speedboat). The resort is actually set within its own lagoon and is quite a spectacle. Like most five star resorts it’s not for those on a budget.

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The facilities and recreation options are highly impressive with 3 restaurants and a bar for residents as well as a yoga pavilion, outdoor salt water pool as well as a fibre-optic lit indoor pool. A gym is also available. Activities include canoeing, windsurfing, sunset sailing, diving and the fun tube.

There are several different types of rooms at Huvafen Fushi including lagoon bungalows, ocean bungalows as well as beach & deluxe bungalows.

Komandoo Island Resort Maldives

The four star resort of Komandoo is set in Lhaviyani Atoll and is 40minutes away from Male (via seaplane). There are 45 rooms and the resort offers several activities including scuba diving, windsurfing, canoeing, sailing and excursion trips available.

Komandoo also has a main restaurant and two bars.

Kudahithi Island Resort Maldives

This is a tiny three star island resort that contains only seven rooms. The Kudahithi island can be walked in circumference in under ten minutes.

There are very few facilities – this is a place for those who want to come for the peace, quiet and beauty of the Maldives alone. Diving is possible through another resort.

The restaurant at Kudahithi Island Resort serves predominantly Italian cuisine.

Kuramathi Blue Lagoon Maldives

Set in the North Ari Atoll, Kuramathi Blue Lagoon is a four star resort is a four star resort offering 56 rooms (20 beach bungalows and 36 beach bungalows). It’s a 25 minute transfer by seaplane (105 minutes by speedboat).

Kuramathi Blue Lagoon has a good range of the standard facilities found in many of the resorts including a sauna, spa & Jacuzzi, pool, disco, water sports & diving.
Also try Kuramathi Village and Kuramathi Cottage & Spa.

Kuredu Island Resort Maldives

On Lhaviyani Atoll lies the four star Kuredu Island Resort. The resort is approximately 80 miles from Male and is a 40 minute journey by seaplane (4 hours via speedboat).

There are a total of 330 rooms in Kuredu Island Resort and these are split into the following – beach bungalows, beach villas, Jacuzzi beach villas, sunset water villas and water villa suites.

Kuredu has an excellent reputation as one of the best islands in the Maldives for Diving. It also has a wealth of additional activities and facilities for all visitors.

Dining is also a pleasant experience with several choices of restaurant & bars offering a wide range of cuisine.

Kurumba Maldives

A five star resort located in the North Male Atoll and is a 15 minute speedboat ride from the capital. This popular Maldives resort has a total of 180 rooms (various bungalows and villas).

Dining facilities are excellent in Kurumba Island Resort Maldives – six restaurants are offered as well as two bars to keep guests highly satisfied in terms of choice of food as well as ambience.

Further facilities & activities include gym, sauna, spa, water-sports/diving, various excursions, kids clubs and more.

Laguna Maldives

Laguna is a small island that’s well known for its snorkelling. Located in South Male Atoll, Laguna is a four star Maldives resort offering a choice of deluxe villas, deluxe bungalows or water suites. There are 115 room in total.

It’s a 20 minute speedboat ride to Laguna Maldives via speedboat.

Laguna is a five star Maldives resort that offers guests a choice of five restaurants/grills as well as four bars. The resort also offers excellent facilities as you would expect from a five star Maldives resort – these include superb facilities for snorkelling & water-sports and a first class spa. Multiple excursions are also on offer.

Lily Beach Resort Maldives

Lily Beach is located on the South Ari Atoll and is a half hour speedboat ride from Male. It’s a four star resort that offers a good choice of activities and excursions. As you might expect, the water-sports are good and there are also opportunities to engage in beach volleyball, surf biking, carom and much more.

There are three main choices of rooms available in Lily Beach – deluxe suite, water villas and superior rooms.

The resort offers a restaurant, coffee shop and bar. Guests can also enjoy the disco/live band, cultural shows (Bodu beru) and beach games.

Lohifushi Island Resort Maldives

Lohifushi Island is in the North Male Atoll and is a half hour speedboat transfer from Male. It’s a four star resort and is well respected for good diving & snorkelling – excursions to nearby islands are available and the resort offers a good choice of water sports as well.

The resort contains 130 rooms that are split into standard, superior, deluxe and suites to suit a variety of tastes and budgets.

Facilities are good – along with the usual high quality Maldives resort offerings there is also a squash court and sports centre.

The main eatery is the Banyan restaurant but Lohifushi also has no less than four bars available to guests.

Makunudu Island Maldives

This four star resort offers 26 beach bungalows and is located in North Male Atoll (55 minutes speedboat ride from Male).

Decent activities and facilities are available to guests – along with diving and surfing, residents can also partake in dolphin watching and picnicking on a private island.

The main restaurant is Ara Iru and there is also a bar at Makunudu Island.

Medhufushi Island Resort Maldives

This is a five star resort with very good facilities that is a 40 minute seaplane transfer from Male. Medhufushi is located on Meemu Atoll and contains 120 rooms.

The resort offers a good range of facilities including diving, windsurfing & many other water-based sports as well as a disco, fishing trips and excursions.

Meedhupparu Island Resort Maldives

In Raa Atoll lies the four star Meedhupparu Island Resort. The transfer from Male is 40 minutes by seaplane and the resort offers 215 beach bungalows and an impressive list of activities.

Meeru Island Resort Maldives

Meeru is situated in North Male Atoll and is a 20 minute seaplane ride from Male (or about 55 minutes by speedboat). This is a four star resort that has 276 rooms of various types (prices at the lower end are for standard rooms while the most expensive is the dolphin suite – about eight times as pricey).

Meeru offers one restaurant, three bars and a couple of coffee shops to guests – so good food is available at practically any time.

The facilities are also good offering the type of activities that you would expect from a good quality Maldives resort. A few of these include scuba diving, spa facilities, internet connections, windsurfing and several excursions and day-trips.

Mirihi Island Resort Maldives

Mirihi Island Resort is located in South Ari Atoll – this is a five star resort with just 36 rooms. It’s a 20 minute sea-plane ride from the capital of Male.

The resort offers two main types of rooms – beach and water bungalows.

A good number of activities and facilities are available and Mirihi offers a good selection of food and drink for visitors. Recreation facilities include watersports, excursions, diving, spa and a fitness centre.

Moofushi Tourist Resort Maldives

Moofushi is a four star resort offering 60 rooms – it’s set in South Ari Atoll. There are 45 beach bungalows and 17 water bungalows available to guests.

There are two main restaurants and two bars. Facilities include a scuba centre, a massage centre and several excursions such as a trip to fisher-mans island & desert island.

Nika Island Resort Maldives

Nika Islands is a four star resort in North Ario Atoll. The resort is a half hour transfer by seaplane and has 36 rooms of various types.

The resort offers a restaurant and coffee shop for guests and facilities include an Ayurvedic centre, sports/diving centre, .

Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort

Olhuveli is set in South Male Atoll and is a 50 minute speedboat ride away from Male. This is a four star resort with 125 rooms – the room types are deluxe room, beach villa, deluxe water villa, Jacuzzi water villa, and honeymoon water villa.

There are three different restaurants, a poolside barbeque and two bars open for guests.

Some of the facilities include scuba diving, snorkelling, catamaran sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and glass bottom boat riding. There is also a sun spa. Excursion opportunities are good and include island hopping, night fishing and big game fishing. Guests can also enjoy the disco, a live band and cultural shows.

One&Only Kanuhura Maldives

Kanuhura is set in Lhaviyani Atoll and is a 35 minute seaplane ride from the capital of Male. It’s a five star resort offering 100 rooms of various types.

The diving facilities and setting in Kanuhura are excellent – the outer reef is incredibly deep and this means that divers are able to experience a highly diverse range of marine life.

The Kanuhura spa is also highly reputed – it offers a health & beauty centre with a wide range of available treatments.

One & Only Reethi Rah Maldives

Reethi Rah is a five star resort set in the North Male Atoll. It has 130 rooms of various types (choose from eight types of rooms from beach villa to grand beach suite). Reethi is a 55 minute transfer from Male.

Reethi offers a wide variety of restaurants and bars for guests and resort facilities are also excellent offering a large selection of diving/water sports as well as general activities such as excursions and land based sports.

10 Tips When Buying Travel Insurance

Although perhaps not the most glamorous topic in the world, travel insurance is nonetheless an essential part of the holiday process. And unlike the fairly straightforward process of asking ‘which hotel should I stay in?’ getting the right travel insurance can be as confusing as it is frustrating!

This is, hopefully, where I come in. As the managing director of Insuremore (http://www.insuremore.co.uk) I like to think I know a fair bit about the whole area. I’ve assembled this guide as something of a ‘top 10 things to look out for’ when purchasing travel insurance.

And the common question I get asked all the time is whether I think travel insurance is worth buying. Given my line of work, it’s pretty inevitable that my answer will be ‘yes’ but the reason isn’t just because of the extra money it will ensure I receive! Y’see it’s true that the majority of people go on holiday, have a memorable time and come back without any ill consequences, but a small percentage of people will have an unexpected hospitalization or find that their flights are canceled. And believe me, in those instances trying to get help without travel insurance is not only expensive, but horribly stressful. Indeed, the best benefit of travel insurance is the peace of mind it gives the policy holder. A holiday should be about relaxation (or possibly getting your skin to become as lobster like as possible judging from recent case studies!) and how can you relax when you’re constantly on the lookout for illnesses or injuries? I’m sure that even if you could have relaxed before reading this, you will be worried now! So without further ado:

1)Don’t leave your travel insurance until the last minute

Okay, people don’t like to spend money – especially immediately after dropping a load of cash on an expensive holiday, but not getting your travel insurance sorted out immediately can be a massive mistake as you miss out one of the key aspects of it – cancellation cover. Although you may think that there’s no way you’ll cancel, life is full of the unexpected, and we deal with people canceling their holidays due to family emergencies everyday.

As your holiday gets closer and closer, the chances of you needing to cancel are heavily reduced, so you completely lose the benefit of part of your insurance if you don’t sort it out nice and early.

2)Don’t settle for single trip cover if you’re going on holiday more than once

On the subject of single trip cover, is that really what you need? According to a 2004 study by Alliance & Leicester, 2/3rds of people plan to take two or more holidays a year. If you’re in the majority here, then single trip insurance will not be the best priced option (unless you have a phenomenally good value insurance provider) and it’s worth considering multi-trip or annual.

3)Your E111 health card alone will cost you for medical cover

Don’t think that just because you have your E111 European health card you will be covered for free – that’s a myth. You do need the card to show hospitals in the event of an emergency, but you will be charged by the country’s private healthcare system. Make sure your travel insurance covers illness and injury!

4)Be honest about any medical conditions you have

On a similar note, make sure you tell your insurers of all your medical conditions even if they seem irrelevant – too much information is a good thing in this case, as not providing details could later invalidate any claims you need to make.

5)Get the right policy for your holiday

Just like how there are different holidays for different tastes, there are different policies for different people. If you’re looking to go backpacking, skiing or mountain climbing, you’re going to need to track down a policy specifically for these activities to ensure you’re covered in the event of an accident.

6)Buy for the family and save

As I’ve already mentioned, there are different types of insurance for different cover – generally, companies offer single, multi trip, annual and family travel insurance policies. Predict how much you expect to be abroad and buy accordingly. If you are in a family, then it stands to reasons that family insurance is a good option – and some policies include the insurance of under-18s for free!

7)Know exactly what you’re covered against

Cheap travel insurance may seem like a bargain – and there are plenty of legitimate companies offering cheap travel insurance out there – but make sure you go through the policy with a fine tooth comb to ensure you’re not missing out on key coverage, such as cancellation and theft. As a rule of thumb, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is!

8)Check out the excesses on the policy

Actually, it’s worth going through any travel insurance policy with a fine tooth comb – cheap or otherwise. The excesses on different policies can make a huge difference, and it’s a good idea to find a policy with a lower or no excess on an area you think you are more likely to end up claiming on!

9)If you’re under the influence, then you won’t be covered

Sounds obvious, but we often get claims like this, so I’d best cover it: No travel insurance company will pay up on any accidents occurring while the policy holder is under the influence of alcohol or drugs – the policy is not there to allow you to behave more recklessly than you normally would!

10)Look for a company that covers against acts of terrorism for peace of mind

In the current climate, insurance against acts of terrorism is something we’ve found people to be calling out for, and sadly, most companies do not offer it as default with their policies. If I may be allowed a brief plug however, it is something that we at Insuremore include in our travel insurance packages for that extra peace of mind. If it is something that’s worrying you, it is worth ensuring it is part of your policy.

Adventure Croatia Holidays – between the Alps and Adriatic Sea

Magical adventures in Croatia with hundreds of sparkling waterfalls and more than a thousand islands set amid the blue of the sea, green mountain rivers and streams, virgin canyons, wild karst and mellow plains.

Nestling between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, in the south-eastern part of the European continent, Croatia jealously protects eight national parks, ten nature parks and a whole range of special reserves, including plant life, animals, geological formations, hydrological phenomena, all within a small but rich area that can be travelled by car from one end to another in a single day.

Many paths run between rivers, mountain peaks, tiny island ports and beaches, leading to Illyrian hill forts, to Roman ruins, to towns and cities that are themselves monuments, to ethno-entities of popular architecture.

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Countless footpaths and trekking trails beckon you to venture into beauty and discover the magic of nature – in the mountains, river valleys and canyons, through karstic plains and dense forests, to rock-bound islands and lush green hills. Within this most diverse of reliefs walkers and hikers can reach even the most mysterious areas strewn between sea level and the highest peak on Dinara (1831 m): in nature parks, nature reserves, national parks and other areas with particular attractions from the aspect of adventure – in Slavonic and Baranja, Northern Croatia (Hrvatsko zagorje, Medimurje, Podravina), Gorski kotar, Istria, Dalmatia and Zagorje, on hundreds of isles and islands, and down the length of the Dinara range extending along the coastline. Then there are Ucka, Velebit, Mosor, Biokovo, Snijeznica in the far south – oil offering a wealth of challenges.

Sailing It is easy to capture favourable winds among such a number of islands as exist in Croatian territorial waters – whether blowing from the land or the sea. The strength of wind and waves is not unusually excessive, but should you have had enough just sail for the nearest sheltered bay. Fully equipped sailboats of various categories (with or without a skipper) can be hired from any one of the dozens of marinas situated up and down the coast and on the islands. Yachting clubs and marinas are numerous and well equipped. We are recommending sailing regio at Zadar, Sibenik und Dubrovnik.

Alpinists and freestyle climbers will find the right climbing environment in both the continental and littoral regions, with some climbing sites being located quite close to towns and popular Croatia holiday resorts (Zagreb, Ogulin, Rovinj, Paiin, Split, Ornls…]. Routes ranging from several meters long for beginners, to several hundred meters for specialists, are open to climbing enthusiasts on the rocks of Paklenica, Velebit, Ucka, in the Dinara range (including Dinara-Ornis), Mosor, Biokovo and others, and on the islands (Brac, Vis, Mljet). The best known climbing destinations in the continental parts of the country are on the mountains of Klek, Papuk, Kalnik, on Samarske stijene and Bijele stijene

Well, I think yell get a perfect Croatia holidays!

A Florence Hotel That Has It All

What do you look for in a hotel? A Florence hotel is sure to have it all. Some want a quiet retreat while others want to be close to the action. Making your own checklist of your likes and dislikes when it comes to turning in for the night will help you find a good Florence hotel. This will serve as your home base to day excursions or just a walking tour of the city.

Florence Accommodation Checklist

Take a minute to evaluate your preferences by answering a few questions:

1. Do you like an extremely quiet hotel?
2. Do you like to rent a car and drive to most attractions?
3. Would you like a home-like feeling to your sleeping arrangements?
4. Is it important for you to be able to cook small snacks or meals in your room?
5. Will you have children with you on your Florence vacation?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions then you many like a Florence farmhouse or apartment arrangement. A farmhouse will be outside the city limits and apartments can be either in town or further away in the surrounding towns.

Now evaluate yourself on these questions:

1. Do you like to have room service at your hotel?
2. Would you prefer to use public transportation to get around?
3. Do you want to be within walking distance of tourist attractions?
4. Is it important to you to have services available 24 hours per day?
5. Do you like an active night life?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, then you are probably looking for a larger hotel, perhaps a well-known chain, in the heart of the city. Here you will have amenities such as room service, and you will be able to get around without having to rent a car.

The Sites of Florence

Within the general area of Florence there are hotels, bed & breakfast inns, farmhouses, villas and apartments. If you are planning to stay for an extended vacation or 2 weeks or more, it can be more affordable to stay in a villa or apartment where you can shop for your own groceries and not need to eat every meal out.

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If you are looking for luxury and service, then full-service hotels or well-staffed villas are a good option. No matter what type of accommodations you choose, you will want to visit the Florence museums and travel the countryside of Tuscany.

Within the city limits of Florence there is world-class shopping. Gold and leather are especially good purchases, since the quality is extremely high, but prices are low. Also, the museums of Florence house masterpieces by the world’s greatest artists. In the country side you will find the wine of Chianti to be a memorable experience.

Everything is within a short drive outside the city or within walking distance in the city. So no matter what type of Florence hotel you end up staying in, you will not be far from the best tourist attractions. Also within a day’s drive or train ride are the attractions of Venice, Rome, and Bologna. Florence is central to it all.

A Kenya Safari Holiday At A Private Game Lodge Next To The Lewa Conservancy

A Kenya Safari Holiday, part of which is spent at a Private Game Lodge called Borana adjacent to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy may not at first seem to be what you are looking for, because Borana is probably a name you are unfamiliar with.

You are going to spend a lot of money taking any African safari Trip, especially one at the luxury end of the scale, so it is very well worth your while doing a lot of research before committing your hard earned cash to a safari picked because you liked a picture in a brochure. The best Private Game Lodges are very often not in the popular holiday brochures

Choosing a Kenya Safari as part of your Holiday in Kenya can be difficult, and then on top of that there can be a bewildering choice of accommodation from Camps to Lodges. More often than not you will take a package and these decisions will be taken out of your hands, and this can be a great pity.

There are Game Lodges, and private Game Lodges, safari camps and luxury camps, and there are very popular and sometimes overcrowded game parks, and on the other hand places that are less well known, which will have all the game you could want to view with no other vehicles in sight at this time.

There are game lodges where you will pile into a mini bus for a game drive, and others where you have your own 4×4 with your own knowledgeable guide who will go where you want to go.

With this in mind, study Borana Lodge at the foot of Mount Kenya roughly 6500 feet above sea level, and only sixteen miles from the equator.

Your temporary Kenya Safari Holiday Home at Borana Private Game Lodge has six cottages, so it is small, a good thing as far as it meaning personal attention. There are two cottages with large double beds, and four with Queen sized beds. They are all situated well for privacy, and views from their verandahs, and each has an open fireplace, and ensuite bathrooms.

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At Borana there is a selection of available activities which includes Game drives accompanied by rangers and trackers who know all there is to know and more about everything that moves and even stuff that stands still, like trees, flowers, and bushes.

You can take game walks with an experienced guide.

There will be night Game Drives and you will be staggered at the activities of those nocturnal creatures you encounter.

You can explore the 35000 acre ranch on horseback.

Eat farm fresh cooked bush meals wherever and whenever your fancy takes you.

On returning to Borana Lodge you can relax and unwind in the swimming pool which has lovely views over the valley below.

In addition you can choose trips to Lewa Wildlife Conservancy specifically to see the black and white rhino who are protected here.

You can take professionally guided walking safaris.

Above all else remember that whilst you are on a Kenya Safari Holiday, living in some luxury at Borana private game lodge, that Borana is not just a game sanctuary it is also a working ranch, so take the time to be shown round and try to understand the challenges facing those who live and work in what are pretty hostile conditions, where dangerous game such as lions and elephants cause damage and death on an everyday basis.

Borana Private Game Lodge is a very different way to spend part of your Kenya Safari Holiday, but its situation next to the Lewa Conservancy gives you the opportunity of a lifetime to see and do things out of the ordinary.

 

A Cheap Holiday Vacation To Montmarte, Paris

If you are looking for a special holiday location, you will find Montmarte in Paris a beautiful and historic place to visit and spend time. Montmarte is a small bohemian community of artists. The area is three hundred feet above the other areas and you can have a splendid view of the Eiffel Tower. You will see the artists at work, painting, selling and just talking to all the visitors. This is a vacationer’s delight. If you want a cheap holiday vacation, this is where to go, the food and the drinks are affordable since this little community tailors itself to the visitor.

Getting up to Montmarte is a plight all in its own. People line up at the trains for a ride to the top. If you plan your trip to this area, stay in one of the many villas, hotels or B&B’s they have to offer. Once you are at the top, you will not want to come back down. The area is filled with gardens and beautiful artwork that can keep you busy for days. You might even enjoy a stay at one of the lodges near the vineyards. You can take tours of the countryside and the vineyards to see how the wines of Paris are made.

The area is well known for its nightlife and the famous Basilica of the Sacre Coeur. Another famous attraction is the Saint Pierre de Montmartre. If you plan your cheap holiday vacation to Montmarte in Paris, you will hear about some of the famous artists who used the area to paint and become a household name. The names like Van Gogh, Picasso and Monet will be on your list of artists, you can see where they painted and learn a little more about the history of their beginnings.

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You will find thirteen popular restaurants in Montmarte, which serve different types of cuisine. You will find over thirty hotels with affordable prices for your stay on the hilltop. Many people go to Montmarte to see the historic parts of Paris that no one ever talks about or sees. The area is a beautiful holiday vacation and if you want to see the Eiffel Tower from the top, this is the place to stay. You cannot find a better place to stay for restaurants, nightlife and culture than here. If you just visit for the day, you can take the stairs up, which offers more scenery, but it is quite a hike at three feet of stairs.

Anyone who plans a cheap holiday to Paris should stay on the hilltop and venture down to Paris below. You will find your stay enjoyable and very informative. Plan your stay for a week or a few days, but take in the nightlife on the hill. You will experience what the locals do for excitement. You will also get a better idea of how the artists get their creative juices flowing, so they can paint and live comfortable on top of hill. You will not regret a cheap holiday vacation like this. It is an experience of a lifetime.

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.

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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.