Some Useful California Travel Information

It is critical to highlight California travel information, given that the state has a reputation for being a hot vacation spot. There is so much to explore in the huge state of CA, including the state’s breathtaking beaches; the Golden Gate bridge; wine tasting regions; Monterey Bay in San Francisco; the San Luis area; and child friendly parks such as Disneyland and Legoland.

Tourists remain enthusiastic about the breathtaking beaches in CA. Gorgeous beaches can be located all across the state, though Southern CA has a climate that is more suitable than the northern part of the state where going to the beach is concerned. Some of the beaches in CA include Huntington Beach, also known as Surf City, and the gorgeous beaches in Anaheim that surround the theme parks in the city.

Another well known tourist magnet in CA is the Golden Gate bridge, which is located in the famous city of San Francisco. This bridge has set the backdrop in many films, and it can be seen via an antique fire truck; helicopter; or movie tour. Kids typically enjoy the antique fire truck tour. Viewings of landmarks in San Francisco are usually included in tours of the bridge.

California is also renowned for wine tasting, especially in San Francisco’s Napa Valley region. While Napa Valley conjures thoughts of grown-ups sipping divergent wines, a region located in the area called Calistoga actually has quite a few activities that are suitable for families to enjoy together. They include Harry Potter activities, a safari, and a train ride.

Another place to see in CA is Southern San Francisco’s Monterey Bay. It is a lively tourist spot that is home to Cannery Row, which is also the label of a Steinbeck novel. The Monterey Bay Aquarium and a profusion of sea otters sea lions, and whales are just a few of things to see by the bay. Big Sur Coast is not far away from the bay. It is by one of the most gorgeous and scenic dives in the world. Area beaches are breathtaking, but the water in them is cold.

San Luis is an inexpensive place between Los Angeles and San Francisco that is great to visit in California. There is a great Children’s Museum and Natural History Museum there. Also, a profusion of cheap hotels are located in the vicinity, on top of beaches. An farmer’s market that is free offers many activities including live musical entertainment is a great place for families to enjoy within San Luis.

Disneyland and Legoland are two of the best known theme parks in the world. People with children are well aware of them, and they both contain lots of kid friendly activities. The drawback where these parks are concerned is the expense associated with going to them.

The top places to dine, lodge, and go for entertainment can all be found via the Internet. Many online travel sites exclusively cater to these topics, and they can be found through the major search engines.

In conclusion, there are quite a few things to do in CA, and many places to eat, sleep, and enjoy entertainment in exist around the state. They include the state’s breathtaking beaches; the Golden Gate bridge; wine tasting regions; Monterey Bay in San Francisco; the San Luis area; and child friendly parks such as Disneyland and Legoland. The Internet has a lot of good CA travel information available.

Travel Guide – The Best Way to Plan Your Holiday

Holidays form a very important part of our lives because they recharge our batteries and refresh us completely. The only thing that can lighten us up and invigorate our spirit to work and live life dynamically is a holiday. Not just that, a holiday is something that helps us better understand the place we are visiting; there may be so many things we wouldn’t have known about the place if not for the visit. Most of all, it helps us build memories, which stay with us and probably never fade away until we become extinct. Furthermore, holidays bring us back on track and help us keep the momentum going once again with a new, rejuvenated and vibrant spirit. As humans, it is highly essential for us to take regular breaks from packed and hectic life schedules and enjoy the precious moments that a holiday brings about.

The travel guide can simplify the planning part of a holiday. It gives information pertinent to the destination and its various features. For instance, if you are planning a trip to Goa and you want to know the major tourist attractions, the answer can be got by looking up in a travel guide. Not only that, a travel guide also contains information about the various hotels that are located in the particular destination. For tourists, travel guides have come very much in handy and have helped in developing an understanding towards the various aspects about destination that is being visited. Referring a travel guide is a trend that is widely followed these days.

Travel guides are often documented by travel agencies. Since they deal with helping people enjoy their vacations in different places round the world, these agencies have an in depth knowledge about major and minor tourist destinations. Travel agencies are the best way to obtain travel information and the attractive aspects of a particular place you want to visit. Travel agencies also suggest places that can be visited on the basis of your preferences and priorities. The travel information about a particular place is provided by travel agencies and these agencies also take care of transport and accommodation services. Travels agencies have tie ups with the hospitality industry, both working in mutual coordination in order to promote their own services and increase their brand value. So remember, if you decide to go on a holiday to a particular place, approaching travel agencies is the best option since these agencies provide full travel information of the place you’d be visiting.

Traveling round the world is an exciting prospect and provides something very different when compared to visiting different places in your native country. For one, the culture is completely different and so are the people. Interacting with locals in a different country is as exciting as visiting the attractions there. You can travel world round and enjoy the sights, the cuisines and the wonderful locales which foreign countries can provide. A good source of information about international destinations is travel world magazine. The travel world agencies also give detailed information about the most sought after tourist attractions in the world.

Top 10 Events to Celebrate on a Party Bus

A San Francisco party bus can be an excellent transportation choice for a wide variety of activities. Instead of renting a traditional limo, you can kick the party up a notch with more space and entertainment. Most buses include amenities like a sound system, plasma televisions and plenty of comfortable seating. These ten events are the perfect opportunities for chartering a party bus.

Club Hopping
Bay area party bus drivers know all the hot spots in the city, and they will help you make the rounds. Most bus services will offer club hopping packages that will include entry to two or three clubs along with plenty of onboard entertainment in between.

Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties

Give the bride or groom a night to remember with a party aboard a San Francisco party bus. You can add your own refreshments and entertainment.

Weddings

Get your wedding party to the church on time in extreme style. A party bus can provide extra time for the wedding party to spend together and add another memorable element to the special day.

Concerts

A party bus makes it easy to see all your favorite entertainers. The bus will pick you up at your front door and drive you right to the front of the arena or concert hall. After the concert, your driver will be ready and waiting to keep the party going on the way home.

Sporting Events

The tailgating is on the bus, and what a party it is! You avoid the hassle and expense of crowded parking lots, and those plasma televisions onboard come in quite handy for catching the pre-game shows.

Birthdays

Have a big birthday coming up? A San Francisco party bus can get you to your destination in high style. If you prefer, party onboard while your driver gives you a unique tour of the city.

Prom

There is simply no better way to impress the senior class than by showing up to your prom in a Bay area party bus. This party on wheels can be the perfect way to start and end your special night and parents can rest assured that kids will make it home safe and sound.

Graduation

That graduate worked really hard to get where he or she is today. Why not reward them with a special trip to the graduation ceremony? Afterwards, a San Francisco party bus can be the perfect way to make the graduation party rounds.

Family Reunions

Get the clan together by hopping aboard a party bus to take you to the reunion site. You can book a Bay area party bus big enough to hold the entire crowd so that everyone gets to the reunion together.

Obama's Sesame Street Bus Tour

You could call it the Trailways tour, or the non-campaign tour, or the I hope I run into Sarah Palin at a truck stop tour. But I’m going to call President Obama’s bizarre three-day road trip around the upper Midwest his Sesame Street tour.

Sesame Street, as in “brought to you by the number 270 and the letters G, O and P.”

With America’s rural population at a record low (only 16 percent of us live outside urban areas), and with sky-high commodity prices making the farm sector one of very few vigorous parts of the U.S. economy, Obama’s decision to spend three precious days of his term talking about jobs in places like Cannon Falls, Minn., and Decorah, Iowa, doesn’t seem to make any sense. Tooling down the heartland’s two-lane byways in a tricked-out $1.1 million Secret Service brontosaurus seems politically tone-deaf, too. It cannot have made the president’s green supporters very happy. On the other hand, the presidential behemoth must have put a few smiles on the faces of corn farmers, who are happy to sell their crops to ethanol and biodiesel makers.

There is a method to the apparent White House madness, however, and I am pretty confident it has a lot to do with the Electoral College.

Presidential races are not determined on the basis of who gets the most votes. If they were, we would all remember the Gore administration. Instead, it takes 270 Electoral College votes to win the White House. At this early stage in the campaign, the president’s prospects look pretty dim.

Florida, oddly enough, is the key to understanding this week’s bus trip.

Let’s create our own map of the possible Electoral College results next year. The website 270towin.com makes this very easy. For starters, let’s give Obama all six New England states, plus the Democratic-leaning Northeastern states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Delaware, as well as the District of Columbia. Pennsylvania is not a sure thing, but we will be charitable toward the president. Let’s also give him all the Pacific states except rock-ribbed Republican Alaska. He is entitled to his home state of Illinois, and we can throw in Michigan, if only because Obama can (and certainly will) claim credit for rescuing General Motors and Chrysler. Finally, we will give him Minnesota. It is a pretty evenly divided state, and home to Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann, but Minnesota has gone to Democrats in every presidential election since the Nixon landslide in 1972.

That’s 236 electoral votes. If Obama could count Florida in his column, he would be up to 265. He would need to pick up only one shaky swing state to get over the hump, even a small one like Nevada, with six electoral votes, or New Mexico, with five. That is a manageable goal.

The problem is that Obama’s chance of winning Florida is slim, and getting slimmer. He carried the state in 2008 with a heavy turnout among minorities and solid support among independent white voters. This time his white support is far weaker, and his hard-core Democratic base is far less motivated than his Republican opposition. Obama has to brace for lighter turnout in the Democratic-leaning South Florida metroplex, and stiff resistance in the critical corridor along Interstate 4, running from Tampa to Orlando to Daytona Beach.

If he loses Florida, as he probably will, Obama’s prospects are bleak. States like Virginia and North Carolina, which he pulled into the Democratic column last time, are hopelessly out of reach. His chances don’t look good in Ohio either, though this may depend on whom the Republicans nominate and how effectively that person campaigns. He cannot count on Ohio. Missouri, another important swing state, is probably also beyond Obama’s grasp. Health care reform pushed that state sharply to the right.

Without Florida or Ohio in his column, Obama’s only hope is to run the table by winning every other state in which he conceivably has a chance. That would be Wisconsin, Iowa, Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico. He also cannot afford to lose any of his base states, notably Minnesota and Illinois.

Now the motivation for the bus trip becomes clear. Motoring his way through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois gave Obama a chance to show some love for the region. He also guaranteed himself plenty of exposure in neighboring Wisconsin, which was busy on Tuesday with the last of its recall elections stemming from this year’s legislative fight over public worker unions.

Wisconsin is undoubtedly causing the president and his political handlers plenty of aggravation. Without Florida or Ohio, they cannot win without Wisconsin. Yet Democrats and their labor allies spent tens of millions of dollars in nine recall elections affecting state senators with unsatisfying results. They picked up only two of the six Republican seats they challenged, leaving the Legislature in GOP hands. They also lost a stiff challenge to a sitting, Republican-leaning state Supreme Court justice. Wisconsin remains a close call, but it clearly leans Republican right now.

Why didn’t Obama ride his bus there? Probably timing. A visit on Monday or Tuesday would have looked like blatant interference in the recall elections and might have sent Republicans streaming to the polls. A visit on Wednesday would have risked embarrassment if one or both of the Democratic senators who were challenged this week had been knocked off. The safest course was to stay out but stay close, and that is what the president did.

Sesame Street has always been one of the most instructive shows on television, and the Sesame Street Bus Tour was equally informative. By staying away from Florida, Obama taught us a lot about the reception he thinks he will get down there. By confining himself to the upper Midwest, he underscored how important the region has become to his presidency. Presidents usually take faster transportation options, and nobody relishes the thought of three days on a bus. Not even one tricked-out by the Secret Service.

Fundamental Career Guide Towards All Travel Agency Career

The majority of those who desire a travel agency job are the ones thinking about traveling. A travel agent position will certainly open up opportunities for you to go to the Caribbean, Venice, Egypt, Tuscany, Malaysia, Morocco and any place else in the globe, however, not always. But in many instances, having a travel agent position allows you for you to visit the well-known narrow walkways of Baghdad, bargain with carpet retailers of Turkey and gesture with the man-eating tigers of Nigeria. That is a fantastic possibility for many, especially those who do not want a desk job in an 8-5 office.

Keeping a travel agency position requires that you be passionately in love with traveling and also have enough knowledge to influence plenty of people as possible to go with you to vacation packages in unfamiliar destinations. It is primarily the infectious travel love that makes your agency’s consumers be interested in just what the planet boasts also in doing this supply you with the revenue. A career in travel agencies indicates you can actually motivate others to enjoy everything you have loved during you expeditious journeys. Traveling for you becomes an enterprise when it is exciting for other people.

Fundamentally, a travel agency career involves assisting others schedule, organize and prepare for their vacations. Your task is to arrange and book their tickets and accommodation packages for as many vacation goers as you can influence. The education qualification needed for you to join a tour operator career is not as high as with many other career paths. You need at least a high school diploma and then professional training as a travel agent and the required certification. Main travel firms demand that their travel agents have a suitable degree. You may therefore seek such a degree or select the vocational schools offering specific in travel.

Besides the college background and professional education, your odds of acquiring a travel agent position may also depend on considerable business working experience. It helps if you’re able to prove to be a devoted traveler or to have enough knowledge about holiday destinations. Such expertise and knowledge adds volumes to your resume. The very best method towards such a CV is very first to get formalized training on travel to develop insight on how the business functions. Look for expert courses in such areas as sales and marketing, travel destinations, holiday package salesmanship and such relevant fields in the travel business.

The best vocational colleges’ diplomas or university degrees usually uncover you to the geography, history, languages, and communication expertise essential when traveling to several nations around the globe. A good method right here is always to go with the training with self initiative to master about the tourism, about the planet leading to internet businesses. Today, the world-wide web is the best reservoir of knowledge that you need to continually exploit as a confident or practicing travel agent.

It will likewise do you lots of good to help keep abreast with current routines. In this regard, apply for continuing classes in the travel sector such as the CTA qualification (Certified Travel Associate) as well as the CTC certification (Certified Travel Councilor). Even while, understand that your success in the travel agent job is determined by how trustworthy you are to clients, how dependable, how effective, how structured and just how innovative you might be while coordinating the itineraries of one’s clientele.

You must discover ways to successfully communicate while selling certain locations and packages to travelers while also being able to organize a creative traveling schedule, dependable in rent cars or taxis for travelers, booking hotel rooms, assisting specific travel budgets etc, for these are the basic features of a successful travel agent. When the art is learn, having a travel agency career is among the many enchanting encounters an outdoor individual may ever ask for.

The Tao Philosophy of Independent Travel

What is an Independent Traveler?

There is a certain philosophy that the independent traveler adheres to. While the tourist looks for comfort, convenience and a home away from home, the independent traveler prefers to become part of the culture as much as possible. The independent traveler likes to leave home behind.

There are many different terms in use to describe independent travelers. A hobo, in this sense, is someone without a home, spends very little or no money, and travels to work. A backpacker is a traveler on a budget who’s luggage is usually a single backpack. A flash packer has more money to spend than the hobo or backpacker, but still prefers the lifestyle of independent travel.

Regardless of the term used, independent travelers share a common philosophy.

The Independent Traveler:

1) Does Not Like to be Pampered

Independent travelers have a distaste for typical, over-priced packaged tours. They avoid rigid itineraries, instead preferring to plan their own trips. Rather than being pampered during their travels, independents feel more comfortable on their own. When one is told when to eat, where to go and how long to stay, it is like putting a noose on experience. Independents rely on their own judgment, they do not let others think for them or tell them what to do.

2) Spends Less Money to Enjoy More

The less money an independent traveler spends, the more he or she enjoys the trip. Big spending tends to isolate the traveler from new, vibrant experience. Rather than getting caught up in the consumer trap of buying expensive souvenirs, paying for useless accessories and the “convenience” of doing what you are told to do on a tour, independents do more of the things they enjoy doing, rather than buying things that distracts one from the experience of the trip.

3) Travels Light

Traveling with lots of luggage is a huge inconvenience that costs the traveler time, money and worry. All those things that tourists take with them on vacation actually impedes the trip, rather than enhance it. One of the purposes of travel is to enjoy what is there, not what is at home. Traveling light provides more freedom for the traveler and instead of baby-sitting all those “important” material possessions one can focus on experiencing life.

4) Becomes Immersed in the Culture

It is very difficult, even impossible, to experience a new place or culture when you are sheltered in a tour bus, or in a fancy hotel. The only way to maximize the experience of new things is to step into them and participate with an open mind. One travels to a foreign place to experience the foreign. Yet, too often the tourist erects shields to become isolated from the foreign experiences sought. The independent traveler does not fear what is foreign, but seeks it out and slowly, courteously, attempts to let it become a part of his or her life.

5) Goes with the Flow

Worry kills enjoyment. Time schedules, tasks and material things contribute to worry. When worry pounds away in your head you cannot truly experience what is there. It is easy to see with the eyes, it is an art to understand with the mind. The independent traveler knows that not everything always goes to plan; a flight might be canceled, a bus could be delayed, the weather may not be ideal. With a tight schedule these things could ruin a trip. With flexibility one can actually learn to enjoy them. Sometimes things happen for a reason. Sometimes you can find without seeking.

6) Believes that a Vacation is an Education

When one continues to do the same things one has always done, he or she will continue to receive the same results. Travel to the independent is more than a vacation, it is an education. Independent travel allows the individual to try new things, to see beyond one’s mental and cultural background, to experience, to learn and to grow. When one travels with an open mind learning becomes a delightful activity. Acquaintances learn from the traveler, the traveler learns from them, and therefore learns more about his or her person than otherwise would be possible. Learning extends beyond the four walls of a classroom to include the world.

7) Enjoys Freedom

To achieve freedom one does not need more. One needs less. The independent traveler has very few time constraints, material possessions, itineraries and lists of things to do. The independent is free to take advantage of any opportunity that comes along. The independent may stay up late to watch the sun set, wander into an isolated village, discover healing rituals of a disappearing culture, enjoy extra time with old friends and accept the gracious hospitality of new ones. The independent traveler understands that baggage should be left at home.

Leave things behind to take the world with you.

Travel Risk Management: Travel Health, Safety and Security Benefits

Introduction to Travel Health, Safety and Security Benefits

When it comes to travel risk management and the benefits of travel health, safety and security, this is what every travel, human resources, risk and general manager should know. In this article we will cover workplace health and safety standardization, productivity, efficiency and safety that complies with the company’s social and legal obligations. By reading this article you will be able to identify the main business benefits of enhanced travel health, safety and security for business travelers and determine if you our your company have a demonstrable travel risk management system that support workplace health and safety and fulfills your social and legal primary duty of care objectives.

After all, why would you exclude business travel from your overall business health, safety and security strategy and objectives?

Workplace Standardization: Travel Health, Safety and Security Benefits

Travel Risk Management Benefits

Have you ever seen or visited a worksite/office where they proudly display the amount of hours or days since the last significant incident that disrupted work progress or endangered employee safety? Most likely. Have you ever seen similar or specific information displayed and communicated relevant to the last significant incident that disrupted business travel or endangered business traveler’s safety? Probably not.

Travel risk management is not, and should not, a stand-alone or extra-ordinary risk mitigation system. It is merely a standardization between the more traditional or know workplace, office, and site health and safety requirements and expectations for employees. It is simply an extension to include all mobile and traveling personnel by means of concern, planning, resourcing and support to maximize business performance, efficiency and safety as it relates to business travel.

Any business that does not have a universal approach, that is inclusive of business travel, is sending mixed messages to their employees and most likely exposing them unnecessarily to compliance and litigation issues.

While the primary motivator for travel risk management by way of health, safety and security enhancements, should not be compliance and litigation avoidance, embracing the objective of improved and acceptable workplace health and safety for all employees will certainly take a step in the right direction to meeting both of these outcomes.

Improved whole of workplace health, safety and security
The war for talent is far from over and one of the considerations by high value talent is the demands and support associated with business travel. Awareness of business travel health, safety and security has risen significantly in recent years but is still significantly more advanced than the supporting travel risk management systems and processes. Employers of choice and those maintaining competitive advantages in the market have been the first to adopt the principles with both tangible and intangible benefits.

Creating false class or safety standards within a company is never an advisable strategy, however failure to adequately support and care for you business traveling population results in exactly that. There should be no noticeable difference to travelers of all levels of experience and status in the company’s workplace health and safety mechanisms and planning, when transiting from a fixed office/workplace to that of a mobile business travel workplace or journey.

A simple standardization for those yet to implement a working travel health, safety and security strategy is advisable. Those with existing systems and processes need only ensure they remain extant and consistent with the overall company business travel objectives and social or legal expectations.

Improved Productivity, efficiency and safety
Standardized and effective business wide health, safety and security systems have proven and measurable business benefits.

Productivity derived from managed business travel can increased dramatically when inclusive of travel risk management. Lost hours, delays, disruptions, reduced work capacity and cost containment are all by-products of travel health, safety and security via travel risk management.

Given that multiple overlapping departments support and manage business travel, the total amount of wastage and efficiency management is rarely visible in a single report or budget review. Significant efficiencies can be realized when the entire system is standardized to support travel administration, planning, health, safety and security. Compounding savings and harmonized expenditure can result in thousands of dollars in working capital saved or re-injected back into the business.

Conclusion: Travel Health, Safety and Security Benefits
The benefits of travel risk management relating to travel health, safety and security should now be apparent to any business owner or manager. While workplace health and safety compliance does apply to business travel it will also result in sizable business savings and cost efficiencies if undertaken correctly, while meeting or exceeding any compliance or company’s social and legal obligations. Objectively review your current travel health, safety and security systems specific to travel risk management and use this advice as a guide to make comparisons or rectify any omissions to your processes immediately.

Explore Outdoor Bonanza Vacation in Phoenix

Family vacation gatherings and out-of-town adventures are the usual activities that most children and their parents enjoy during summer or semester break. These are the moments that they are able to spend each other’s company and have more time to interact to each other.

Even adults enjoy these times by taking a time-out from busy office work and away from the daily noise and on-the-go ambiance of the metropolis.

A busy life at school or in the office makes us feel stressed most of the time. Whenever we are given the chance to unwind, let’s take this opportunity by thinking better ways to make our vacation productive and enjoyable. Sometimes, staying at home is boring and limiting.

Indoor routine like cleaning your room, sleeping, or watching your favorite DVDs may somewhat be ordinary. Surfing the net, chatting or calling a friend may not be enough to spend a memorable vacation. Why not go somewhere? Visit your ideal resort or any place that you like? If you have the budget, grab your bag and do the packing. A variety of choices are available in the net. All you have to do is pick a location closest to your heart.

If you are looking for a sunny location with a desert-like atmosphere, Phoenix, the largest city in Arizona, may interest you. Its location in the central part of Arizona near the Salt River Valley makes the city popularly known as the “Valley of the Sun.”

Phoenix has an estimated population of almost three million inhabitants in the metropolitan area, along with other cities such as Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe and Mesa, making it the fifth largest city in the U.S.

For first timers who would visit the place, don’t worry it is very easy. The frequent visitors who come from the east or west take their car using the Interstate 10 as their common route. If you still need guidance in planning your route or in taking other possible routes. Don’t forget to bring your water jars while traveling, especially during summer months or hotter days to avoid dehydration.

Traveling by air is also fun and fast since Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is made available to service 20 airlines, especially visitors from UK using British Airways with six times a week nonstop flights.

Other airlines include Air Canada and Aero Mexico. All you have to do is to visit these airlines’ websites and make early bookings to make sure that your vacation will be set to your planned date.
Information about on-going flight schedules in San Francisco is available by calling the hotline number at 602-273-3321.

Rail terminals in Tucson and Flagstaff can also be used as means of transportation when visiting Phoenix. When you are already in the place, hotels, resorts, museums, restaurants and other places can be reached using several bus routes. For customer care concerns and other queries, you can call 1-800-872-7245 for specific details.

As a customary practice for foreigners in Phoenix, tipping is made for taxi drivers and staff of hotels, restaurant and others in U.S. at 15% rate.

In Phoenix, the sunny days from November to April are the best time to visit the place. During these months, resorts are full of vacationers in the valley and enjoying the popular outdoor activities like golfing, hiking, hot air balloons and scenic sightseeing in the deserts and mountain towns.

Other lovely places to visit are the world-class restaurants, hotels, museums, shopping centers and sports arenas. With all these things to look forward to, you will never miss to consider Phoenix as your vacation destination.

What Is Multi Trip Travel Insurance and Who Can Use It?

Those who love to travel try to visit as many places as they can during their travel. During their travels it is best if people take advantage of insurance so that they can be protected while they are in transit. The kind of insurance that avid passenger may need is the multi trip this insurance compared to purchasing for each trip.

This multi trip travel insurance can be applied to numerous travels, so instead of having a separate one for each flight, this is more sensible. Insurance for multiple trips is also referred to by agencies as annual this insurance or yearly this insurance because all your traveling for this entire period will be covered. No matter how many trips you take, this policy will still suffice.

Any trip you will be taking in the span of one year can be insured with the multi trip insurance. At least now you will not have to worry about anything when you travel like emergencies and accidents. You should look into this kind of policy if you are a person who travels more than three times a year.

There is an added bonus when it comes to annual travel insurance when you are used to traveling with your family. When traveling with children policies of this kind typically provide free coverage for up to four children. This insurance plan is inexpensive and can provide the needed coverage for the whole family.

The need for this insurance might still be questionable to some. People may be in a weak position at this time. Being away from home, this will give travelers the security and protection they need.

Paying for medical expenses in another country can cost a lot of money so it is best to get travel insurance. One other purpose is when accidents may happen that are out of the travelers hands. It is also essential that you have travel insurance so that when you lose some belongings you will be covered.

It is essential that travelers get annual this insurance. Aside from being able to have insured travels for up to a year, there are still a lot of advantages travelers will receive from multi trip travel insurance. Sometimes, there are companies who give out free ski insurance along with the coverage already included for the four kids under the age of 18.

Yearly travel insurance has both international and domestic travel insurance and a traveler can get both. A travel will spend less if he gets the multi trip travel insurance. This is also much saving when a person takes more than three trips on a year with all the coverage that the trip would require.

There is a lot to gain from multi trip travel insurance by contract workers and those who always travel. The jobs of these people require them to travel a few weeks each time for a project. This insurance plan will allow them to save a lot of money.

Remember that if you travel often, never go for those separate insurance policies because they amount to a lot of money. As a cheaper substitute, have a look at multi trip travel insurance. With all the free coverage in store for you and your whole family you will also get the chance to save money.

Taxi Medallions For Yellow Cabs of New York City

The Taxi Medallion of New York City

The New York City Taxi Medallion is an interesting form of property. It represents a transferable right granted by the City to pick up passengers, but through regulation the dollar value of this right is now nearing a million. In Fact, Some of the Richest Workers In America are Taxi Drivers In New York City.

Trading in the price range of $600,000.for the individual medallion, and almost three quarters of a million for the coveted corporate or “mini” fleet medallion, the New York City Taxi industry has seen its overall value increase by almost five-hundred percent since the turn of the century.

The Taxi Medallion is a special license plate affixed to the hood of a New York City Yellow Taxi cab. It represents the license for picking up passengers from the streets. No other transportation service has this right.

The medallion system began in the 1930’s. In the 1960’s all medallion taxicabs were required to be painted yellow.

The medallion number is must be clearly visible on the taxicab roof light, license plates, as well as on the door exterior, and in the vehicle interior.

There are different types of “Medallions”. The individual, the corporate or fleet medallion, and the Handicap Access Medallion.

The individual medallion requires the owner (post 1990), to operate the yellow taxicab 210 nine-hour shifts per year. This underlying requirement guarantees the availability of taxi transportation. It is not unusual for two taxi drivers to form partnerships and share the medallion, or for an individual owner to lease out the taxi for the shifts he is not working.

The corporate or fleet medallion does not need to be operated by the owner. In fact, the owner need not have a NYC Taxi operator’s license at all. The fleet medallion can be leased, and often is on a shift-by-shift basis, twice per day, for as much as $140 per twelve hour rental.

There is a network of brokers and agents who manage and lease taxicabs and medallions to independent taxi drivers under daily, weekly, and long-term arrangements for investors.

As an investment, the most interesting aspect of the New York City Taxi Medallion is the anti-cyclical valuations. In2009, as the US and world economies are shrinking, medallion value is soaring.

When banks and stock brokerages, construction companies and retailers lay off workers, one of the first places the unemployed workers seek income is in the taxi industry. So, as the general economy suffers the number of available taxi cabs shrinks as more people seek them and those already working are forced to work more shifts as competition for fares increases.

There are a limited number of medallions. Currently just over 13,200. This number was constant at 11,787 for more than sixty years when in the 1990’s then Mayor Rudolph Giuliani approved NY City Taxi & Limousine Commissioner Christopher Lynn to conduct three auctions, selling four hundred medallions.

The sales netted the City approximately one hundred-million dollars. The politics behind the sales was very intense and telling, as shortly after the sales were completed the industry applied for and received a rate of fare increase. After a few short years another proposal for new medallion auctions was approved by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The successive medallion sales created slightly more than one thousand-forty new medallions. During these auctions the Handicap Access Medallion was introduced at a substantial discount to regular market prices. This was to entice owners to pay the extremely high price of retrofitting vehicles with automatic ramps to accommodate wheelchairs. They were all sold, and on a percentage basis have risen in value more than other medallions.

Is it Still Safe For Your Child to Ride a School Bus?

Riding a school bus to school in the mornings and the afternoons has been a tradition for many years now. It has always been a concern for parents on the first day their put their child on the bus because they worry about whether or not they will be afraid or if their safety should be a concern. Usually after the first couple of weeks it becomes routine and most parents never give it much thought after that.

However, in recent years there are a number of reasons that parents are having to be cautious when they have children that ride a school bus to and from their schools. This is because in recent years especially, there has been an alarming increase in the number of children that fight on the bus even as the bus drivers watch in their rear view mirror. There have been many serious incidents where children have been ganged up on by several other kids at one time.

Another concern that has just recently came to light is the risk of a child being molested on the bus by other children on the bus. Older students have been found guilty of molesting smaller kids as they ride to or from school. This is such a serious concern and fifty years ago such a thing occurring on a school bus would have been unthinkable.

There have also been incidents where small children have been accidentally left on the school bus in the morning after the run has been made. It is the responsibility of a bus driver to walk the entire length of the bus after each route has been finished to make sure there is no one left on the bus. Evidently this is not a practice all bus drivers care to make sure they do because when the bus is taken to a temporary parking place until the afternoon route, they were surprised to find a small child had fallen asleep in the morning and had been left on the bus all alone for the entire day. This can be a very dangerous and scary situation when a five or six year old wakes up all alone and is made to sit for hours in hunger and sometimes cold or very hot temperatures in a closed up and empty bus.

Even though the aid of cameras have been installed in many school buses around the country, these types of incidents are still continuing to rise overall. Parents need to take the time to get to know their child’s school bus driver and find out how responsible they might be. Be sure to ask your child about what is going on their school bus and if there are any suspicious things happening that they tell you about, take it to the school principal or even the school board to make sure your child’s bus ride is as safe as possible.

3 P's to Relieve Parent Stress While Travelling With Kids, Toddlers, and Young Children

Traveling with “little ones” can be one of the most joyous events of all-it can also be one of the most stressful. Parent stress is usually high when traveling with small children or toddlers as children in this age bracket have multiple needs, short attention spans and are easily bored or agitated when cooped up for a long time. Traveling with children can be stressful, but with enough preparation and forethought you can ensure a relatively tears-free trip, for both you and your child.

Here are the 3 P’s to prepare you before traveling and alleviate parent stress:

Plan:
Planning… Planning… Planning, there is no escape from this. If adventurous, unplanned holidays gave you a high in the past remember one thing – they have to be forgotten when you have kids – else you will only create more parent stress. There are ways to reduce anxiety when traveling with little children, though it takes meticulous planning in advance and flexibility during the trip. Planning involves:
o deciding where to go to,
o how to go,
o what to do and know about the place you are visiting and
o how to be prepared for the travel.

For deciding where to go, ask your travel agent for family-friendly suggestions. See your doctor about vaccinations beforehand. The most important step is to decide how to travel. Take all the pros and cons of different modes of travel before deciding the mode of travel. Depending on the mode of travel, plan for stuff like breaks, overnight stays, availability of airport transit facilities etc so that you and your child are comfortable.

An important tip to relieve parent stress while traveling is to ensure that you have enough rest breaks. Do not jam-pack the trip with lots of activities; have days of relaxing so that your children do not feel very tired. Keeping your trip as simple as you can and it will reduce the number of problems.

Prepare:
Once you are through with planning a trip the next step is to prepare for the trip. This step involves actually mentally, physically and emotionally preparing you for the trip. Once you have decided on the place to travel and the mode of transport you will need to prepare for the following:

o How do you prepare for the place you are visiting?
o What sort of accommodation you want?
o What to bear in mind and prepare depending on the mode of travel?
o What do you need to carry with you?

Preparing for the place you are traveling requires you to know about the facilities that the place provides like supermarkets, availability of key food and hygiene brands required for your child, availability of medical care, what to avoid eating and drinking, where to avoid visiting etc. This research will help you to be better prepared for the trip and you would know what to expect.

The most important preparation is for the mode of transport. If you are traveling by air or train remember to:
o Purchase an extra ticket if you can afford, else request an aisle seat, which can give you more mobility and quicker access to your seat when boarding and de-boarding. Also, in case of air travel ask for bulkhead seats or seats near an exit to give your child a safe spot to play on the floor.
o Schedule the flight during night so that your baby sleeps most of the time.
o Allow more time for security checks, getting to the gates or your platform at the station, and unexpected events.
o Bring nutritious snacks for your kids and for yourself; you don’t want to be caught hungry with no food options in sight.

When traveling by car:
o Use appropriate restraints, such as seat-belts or car seats.
o Don’t stack items in a way that they fall all over if you have to brake suddenly.
o Use shade cloth to keep the sun from shining in your child’s face or wear sunscreen.
o Be prepared for plenty of toilet and rest stops are taken to reduce motion sickness. This needs to be planned in the travel. Also check with your doctor on the drugs you can give to your child to reduce motion sickness.

The last step in preparation is to decide what you should carry with you when you travel. Here the key tips are:
o First aid box containing items such as baby paracetamol, thermometer, anti-itching lotion, oral re-hydration preparation and band-aids. Also pack sunscreen, hats and insect repellent.
o Take sterilizing equipment if your child is bottle-fed.
o Pack, lots of toys that keep your child busy and not bored. Also avoid too much of sharing between kids, which can lead to quarrels.
o Prepare to carry loads of nutritious snacks and food when going out for sight seeing.
o Take your own stroller or pram, even though it is bulky.
o Take some familiar items from home – blanket, stuffed toy – this will keep your child occupied and give them some comfort.

Pursue:
The final step to relieving Parent Stress, while traveling is to pursue your plan and execute on it when you are on vacation. Before you even embark on your travel, if the baby is sick, postpone the travel – if they get sick during the travel try and cut the travel short. Actually visit the doctor and get all vaccinations and clear all doubts regarding the place you are visiting.

Before traveling, to help pack for the trip and to keep your child’s various supplies organized, it might be a good idea to make a personalized travel box for each child. If traveling by air, feed your baby or child when starting and towards end of the trip, as the frequent swallowing can help prevent the build-up of pressure inside the ears. Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids to reduce the risk of dehydration. During the flight, stick to smaller and more frequent feedings. Also supervise flight attendants when they heat your meals for the child.

If traveling by car, make sure your child eats something before traveling, but avoid heavy or greasy foods. Entice your child to look out the window by pointing to several things along the way. Also try and have a few surprises up your sleeve, like a travel toy or game that can be opened only after you begin your travel. This will avoid boredom in travel for kids especially when doing long haul flights or long road/train journeys.

Once on holidays, take all precautions when visiting new places – like not leaving the child unattended, being vigilant about the potential dangers of unfamiliar places, such as not fenced swimming pools or balconies. Try to keep a little bit of familiar mealtime routine so that the kids do not get cranky. Ring ahead and check out for availability of children’s menu to avoid surprises and for younger kids prepare them to eat “jarred” or “tinned” baby food as fresh food might not always be available. Wherever possible, use disposable items and use any babysitting facilities at your hotel so you can have a break.

The most important thing, however, is to be flexible! Your baby won’t be able to have the same sleeps, so if you think the baby is tired, take a day off. Use the extra days you have planned to relax and don’t pack them with more travel.

For kids above five years, you can allow them to choose some items to pack or provide them with a choice of seat or allow them to move around the platform or terminal while waiting for next train or flight. This will help them gain a sense of control in the experience and they will be lot better behaved and less bored. Finally maintain a cool head during the trip. Remember to focus your attention on the trip itself and all the fun that comes with it, rather than on the hassles of travel as these hassles are short lived. This way you can have a wonderful time with your family.

Top Reasons To Look Into Party Bus Rentals

Planning a big night on the town can turn into a big pain in the neck when more than a few people are involved. Between selecting where to go and what to do, few adults have the time to think about who will serve as the designated driver or drivers. When party bus rentals are considered, this concern is eliminated and quite a few other perks are delivered, as well.

Looking into party bus rentals makes sense for everything from prom night to bachelor parties and beyond. Whether the party is in Los Angeles, Las Vegas or elsewhere, these buses can really help ensure the fun continues without any hassle.

Some of the top reasons to look into party bus rentals for small-to-medium-sized parties include:

· Convenience. It is often much easier to look into party bus rentals than to try and figure out who will do the driving. When these services are used, it is even possible to make arrangements for everyone in the party to be picked up and then dropped back off at their own homes at the end of the evening. It doesn’t get easier than that.

· Onboard entertainment. The rules of the road for drinking in regard to party bus rentals might vary from state to state, but the fact of the matter is the fun can continue en route. With many party bus rentals offering onboard restrooms, TV/DVD combos and rather nice sound systems, getting there can be half the fun.

· Professional drivers. Party bus rentals always come with professional drivers at the wheel. This takes worry out of the proposition and puts the burden of dealing with traffic on a pro who knows how to handle the job. In big cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas, this can be a real big hassle that’s instantly removed. In some cases, party bus rentals come with drivers who also know how to jazz up the ride by providing tour information, onboard entertainment and more.

· Logistical simplicity. It is infinitely easier to put an entire party onto a bus and have everyone stay together at multiple stops along the way. When party bus rentals are used, everyone arrives at the same time.

· Economical. In most cases, it is very economical to look at party bus rentals versus driving a number of private vehicles. When the hassles that are removed from a party are considered, the cost savings really can amount to a lot.

· Safer. When adults are looking at party bus rentals for big occasions, it is generally just plain smart and a whole lot safer to let someone else drive. This ensures that everyone can have a good time and leave the concerns about drinking behind. When door-to-door service is added into the mix, the benefits really add up.

Party bus rentals in California, Georgia and elsewhere make a great deal of sense for small parties and large. When getting there is half the fun, these rentals can very much shine.

Avail Your Transfer Needs From Taxi Services

Airport taxi service has come a long way since they were incorporated as a part of the system and there is hardly an international traveler that can get by without the airport taxi no matter how sporadic their travel.

Airport transfers are meant to bring the journey to a befitting conclusion while heightening the expectation of the impending trip and with our airport taxi transfers the journey has never so comfortable.

In the 20th century taxis to airports were the most beautiful contraptions you ever saw and although these taxi transfers were effective for the period the client may not have experienced anything out of the ordinary except that they got to the destination in one piece.

History aside our modern fleet offers the client convenient airport transfers and the wide array of taxi van services to choose only serves as a reminder that this taxi transfer is the top-notch.

These airport taxi services are also on hand to transport individuals from Gatwick to their final location in a luxurious manner. This gives the punter options that may not have previously been open and with the alternative of a taxi van service at your disposal the client is surely spoiled for choice.

When looking for a taxi transfer the patron is sure to be inundated with copious alternatives but for paramount service our taxis services are the cream of the crop and will move you effortlessly form one locale to the other.

On the other hand there is the Gatwick taxi that is sure to suit your fancy no matter how specific your requirements. All these taxi services are within reach for the discerning client that would like to have a taxi service fit for royals.

This UK airport taxi is the favored option for the first time or repeat visitor to this city and whenever there is the need for a quick trip to or from the aerodrome these taxi transfer services are well worth it both in terms of panache and comfort.

For taxi services that are sure to leave a positive and lasting memory these mini cabs are surely the only way to travel.

Taxi Services in Mississauga

If you need a taxi in Mississauga, you have no need to go to a taxi rank or special taxi stop. Taxis roam the streets looking for fares. So if you hail one, it will stop for you. You are permitted to sit in the front or the back, as you choose. If you need to order a taxi to fetch you at a designated place or at a certain time, you can telephone the taxi company and arrange it beforehand.

The taxi driver has the right to refuse to transport you if you are offensive or if you are under the influence of alcohol. He may also choose not to transport an excessive amount of baggage, or more than his allowed quota of passengers for the type of vehicle he has. This is typically up to about four passengers. He will expect you to hire a second taxi as well, if you exceed his limits for passengers or baggage.

Taxi tariffs are standardized in Ontario. In Toronto the initial fee when you get into a taxi is $4-00, and this is $4.25 in Mississauga. Thereafter the meter starts running, and it will cost you 25 cents for every.155 km. That works out at about $1-60 per kilometre.

Mississauga is the home of the Pearson International Airport. At the airport certain rules concerning taxis and limousines apply. You are permitted to use any taxi you like to drive you to the airport and drop you off, but arriving at the airport on a flight, you are allowed to use only the 360 taxis and 276 limos that are already parked there and have the regulation permits to pick up passengers.

Many taxi companies have a flat rate to and from Pearson Airport. These fares are usually a little cheaper than the metered rate per kilometre.

If you have a special preference among taxi or limousine companies you will need to pre-arrange this to allow them time to obtain a temporary permit to fetch you from the airport. If you have special needs, such as a wheelchair enabled taxi or a baby car seat, for instance, you can pre-arrange this with either a taxi company or with the airport itself.

At the airport the taxis and limousines parked there have standard permitted tariffs that they are allowed to charge you, for different destination areas of Greater Toronto, as well as out of town. Sometimes there is a flat rate to certain areas that are a little cheaper than the metered charge. The average tariff for taxis with permits for picking up passengers at the airport is about $1-45 per kilometre for taxis, and $1-55 per kilometre for limousines.

Do remember that in a taxi, as in nearly all road vehicles, you are required by law to wear your safety belt. Your taxi driver ought to warn you about this, but he is not required to do this by law unless you are under age, or need help owing to a disability. So if the taxi is stopped by a traffic officer, you could personally face a fine if you have not buckled up.

Must See California Travel Destinations

California is the third largest state in the United States. It has great appeal for visitor because of its diverse culture and star magnitude. The Golden State is home to Hollywood, Oakland and the capital city of Sacramento. The warm climate and things to do everywhere a visitor goes, it is no surprise that California travel is one of the most popular in the world.

The west coast appeal gives California an environment for great travel. There are many large cities in California. The large amount of attractions are spread out along the state. California travel is so diverse that there is something for everyone in this state.

Los Angeles is located in Southern California and home to the more people than any other city in the state. Los Angeles has great attractions like Hollywood and is very diverse in cultures.

San Francisco Bay is the home of the Golden Gate Bridge, an architectural miracle. Oakland and Silicon Valley can be found in the Bay area. This part of California is known for its liberal views and as home to the respected Stanford University. The great legendary prison Alcatraz can also be found in the Bay area.

Napa Valley offers California’s wine country. Sonoma is also located here north of San Francisco. There are numerous wine tasting establishments to visit here.

Besides the great cities, California travel also offers some great attractions. Disney World, Sea World, Six Flags and the San Diego Zoo are only a few of the popular tourism destinations. There is defiantly no shortage of things to do in California.

California travel means a diverse range of activities and places. Travelers will enjoy everything from wine to art to roller coaster rides when visiting California. California travel is very popular and it isn’t hard to see why.

Top 3 Travel Trends For Today's Travel Agent

You must be the change you wish to see in the world

1869-1948, Preeminent leader of Indian nationalism

Trend #1 – The Internet

Everybody knows that the internet has changed virtually everything… especially the Travel Industry. Online giants like Hotels.com, Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz have revolutionized travel. Even Travel Agents & Agencies are booking online while the general public searches and buys their own vacations online. In fact, it’s estimated that 82% of all travel is now being booked online. Travel is one of the most researched topics on the internet… and also the most profitable.

The internet is simple, seamless and the perfect medium for the travel industry. We just point, click, and pack our bags. Before the internet, however, an agent’s bread & butter was commissions earned with business travelers… predominantly flights. American Airlines was the first to pull the plug on paying commissions on flight purchases as the internet started coming into its own and more business travelers were finding better deals online.

Since 1997 well over 200,000 agencies went out of business. Over 1 million travel agents lost their jobs to the internet. That number grew after 9/11. The days of brick & mortar very quickly got taken over by click & order, making for a far more efficient system. However, those very few agents & agencies that could foresee the positive impact the internet could have for them, jumped right into the explosive opportunity that the internet introduced, to maintain as much of their client base as possible. Very few, a decade ago, opted to go with the flow of change. Today, everyone understands that the internet is here to stay. When we are adaptable to change, we flourish… and profit.

Because of the internet, the online travel agent is also home-based. Because of the tremendous opportunity, continuous industry growth, and #1 industry training, today’s travel agent is your mother, cousin, aunt, neighbor, best friend, etc. and earning 60-100% of the vendors commission. It’s for everyone.

Trend #2 – Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing has been and always will be the best way to market anything. Statistics prove that 80% of all vacations (most anything really) are taken because of a recommendation from a friend, family member or co-worker. Think about the last time you came home from a vacation. Did you keep it a secret? No way! We talk about it for 2 months before leaving and talk about it for 2 months after we get back! And we show everyone pictures and videos! And we recommend the destination and hotel to everyone (or not) and tell them where we bought our terrific deal!

Familiarization trips (FAMs) play a huge part in word-of-mouth marketing. The only way for agents to really learn about what they sell is to experience it first hand. FAMs are put together by cruise lines, hotel chains and destinations worldwide. They usually include accommodation, tours, meals, shows, transportation, etc. Prices are slashed making it affordable for agents to travel multiple times a year… VIP!. The vendors roll out the proverbial red carpet for agents when they arrive. They’re given the most exclusive experience possible because vendors know that when agents return home… they’re going to talk about it!

The average person will purchase his vacation online at retail, once a year.

Agents will travel multiple times a year, all over the world as far and wide as they want to go, for pennies on the dollar. For this, FAMs continue to be one of the major perks today for agents in the industry.

Which takes us to…

Trend #3 – Home Based Business

Travel students, Baby Boomers and everyone in between are bringing travel home!

Leading agencies smart enough to follow the internet trend, have gone online and now offer just about anyone the opportunity to be professionally trained to operate and sell travel from home!! Woohoo!! That’s right! YOU can sell travel from the comfort of your own home and get paid!

Doesn’t it make sense that if you’re going to travel anyway (especially as much as the Boomers), that you buy it from yourself and get paid? Or get paid commissions on the trips your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers are taking already? Of course! Most people will do business with someone they know & trust. You may as well be that person, right?

Agencies quickly caught on to the franchise phenomena online and have opened up the opportunity to just about anyone with a valuable work ethic who is willing to learn. Coupled with word-of-mouth marketing… you’ve got a winning combination! The more knowledgeable you become, the more perks, FAMs, FREE trips, upgrades, etc, become available to you… cha-ching!

I’ve been selling travel for years. Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a travel industry professional. For more than two decades I’ve been asked “How did you come by this work?”

But I also get asked, “What’s the best place to go for our honeymoon?” or “Can you recommend a Caribbean cruise itinerary?” or “What hotel should we stay at in the Mayan Riviera?”

Hey, it’s not rocket science!! If I have the answers and I can get paid for the sale… Hello??

The internet made it possible for me to have my own online agency and benefit even more from the extraordinary perks available to travel professionals! Being online means I don’t really even have to be home. Because my business is online, I am accessible to the world, 365 days of the year, 24/7! Friends and family can book all by themselves while I’m hiking with my dog! I can even book flights or all-inclusive vacations right from my BlackBerry!! WOW! So my home-based travel business is really my mobile travel services!! Super cool!!

We must not forget the amazing benefits that come with owning a business from home as well!

Aside from the obvious travel perks, just about every family vacation now becomes a FAM. As professionals, when we take a few minutes to inspect and ask questions about the accommodations, tours, restaurants that we ourselves are experiencing while on vacation, we’re really educating ourselves for our customers. So our personal vacation now becomes classified as a business trip… and an expense that we can write off! Super cool, again!

On a personal note, I’m only 45 seconds from my bedroom to my office!

It’s a beautiful thing to be able to work from home, anywhere in the world, to have your own business and to qualify for such incredible travel-insider perks. Retirees, at-home-moms, students on the run… it’s available to just about anyone with a can-do attitude, has a strong work ethic, loves to learn, and is highly self-motivated. A few hours a day can earn hundreds to thousands of dollars! No bosses, no limits!

A Unified Theory of Time Travel

Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity suggests that time travel to the past is possible via rotating wormholes and/or black holes. The actual technical practicality of actually carrying out such journeys need not concern us since this essay is in the realm of the thought experiment. Now Stephen Hawking says time travel to the past is not possible because he proposes that there is such a thing as a yet undiscovered Chronology Protection Conjecture that prevents this and thus makes the world safe for historians. I’ve come up with a unified theory of time travel into the past that incorporates Einstein’s general theory of relativity; Hawking’s Chronology Protection Conjecture, along with other assorted bits like parallel universes that are thrown into the mix.

Time travel is a staple in sci-fi stories, novels, films and TV series. And, time travel is possible – in theory. We all know about journeying to the future which we do at the rate of one second per second whether we like it or not. Apart from that, if one travels at close to light speeds relative to your place of origin then you can travel to the distant future (with respect to that place of origin) without aging an equivalent number of years (the twin paradox). Travel to the past is apparently allowed too, via the weird physics inherent in rotating worm holes and maybe Black Holes which is where Einstein’s general theory of relativity comes into play. The problem there is that relativity theory predicts worm holes, if they exist at all, will exist for nanoseconds and be very tiny to boot, and thus not very useful in the foreseeable future for the purposes of time travel. Because we don’t know exactly what the inside of a Black Hole is, and where it leads, if anywhere, current thinking suggests that jumping into Black Holes are a more useful means for committing suicide than for traveling to the past, but the jury is still out on that one.

Anyway, the fun bit about time travel is the various paradoxes that arise, the most famous one being the grandfather paradox. That is, what if you travel back in time and kill your grandfather before he sired your father (or mother). If you did that it means that you could never have been born, but if you were never born you couldn’t go back in time to kill your ancestor. This is the sort of stuff sci-fi authors (and philosophers) love – ditto physicists! My favorite time travel paradox however is the one where you get something for nothing. Say you have this edition of “Hamlet”, and you want Shakespeare to autograph it. So back you go in time to Shakespeare’s era. You knock on his door, but the housekeeper says he’s out for the day but if you leave the book he’ll autograph it and you can come by and collect it next morning. When Shakespeare comes home, he sees the book, reads it, and is so impressed he spends the night making a copy. You come back the next morning, collect your now autographed edition of “Hamlet”, and return to the present day with your now very valuable book. The question now becomes, where did the original “Hamlet” come from? You didn’t write it; but Shakespeare didn’t either as he plagiarized your copy which he then passed it off as his own work.

Another favorite is you meeting yourself. Say you’re 50 and not all that well off. You get the brilliant idea to travel back in time and convince your younger self to invest in some stocks you know will pay off big time later on down the track. And so it comes to pass that your younger self so invests, and becomes filthy rich, only, in leading such a high life, dies of a heart attack at the age of 45! Or you always regretted not proposing to the love of your life when you were young, and thus go back and convince your younger self to muster up the courage and do so. He does, but as they fly off on their honeymoon, the plane crashes with no survivors. Sometimes you don’t know when you’re well off.

Or if you can travel back in time, then of course others can to. Naturally there’s going to be lots of people interested in particular events, maybe even at the time, seemingly trivial events (yet which turn out in the long run to have had major impact(s)). And so you might have any number of people going back to particular historical focal points, each with their own particular agenda (most of which will be mutually exclusive), and ultimately causing havoc. I mean if person one goes back and influences an event producing a new outcome, then person two might go back and has a go at that result and things get altered again, which will then prompt person three to go back and influence things more to his liking, etc. In other words, history would never be fixed, rather always be fluid. The world is not safe for historians. Since we believe that history (or the past) is fixed, then that what’s written on your history book page today will not alter overnight. Thus, you have probably concluded that time travel cannot happen, will not happen, and has not happened, however much you yourself might wish to go back in time yourself and change something. (Don’t we all really wish some past something, personal and trivial, or perhaps something of major significance could be changed and you’d be that instrument of change?)

Its paradoxes and situations such as the above that prompted Stephen Hawking to postulate that there is as yet an undiscovered law or principle of physics which prohibits time travel to the past – he calls it his ‘Chronology Projection Conjecture’. Since we have never seen, according to Hawking, to the best of our knowledge at least, any time travelers – tourists or historians – from our future, he’s probably right.

So, putting it all together, here’s my theory of time travel: my unified theory of time travel, at least to the past.

Relativity theory has passed every experimental test thrown at it, so the theory isn’t in much doubt and one can have a high degree of confidence in what it predicts, even if that prediction is currently beyond any experimental test. Relativity theory allows for time travel into the past, but, IMHO, only to parallel universes (otherwise known as alternative or mirror or shadow universes) where no paradoxes can happen.

Why only parallel universes? The ways and means by which you can use relativity theory to time travel backwards involves rotating Black Holes or wormholes. There are serious reasons behind the speculation that what’s on the other side of a Black Hole and/or wormhole is another universe. So, therefore it’s relativity’s time travel allowance, but probably to another universe. The Black Hole or wormhole ‘exit’ isn’t within our Universe.

Whatever you do in that parallel universe is predetermined. It’s fate. It’s destiny – all because causality rules. Therefore, there are no unexpected ripple effects other than what was destined to happen. You were meant to be there and do what you do. Therefore, there will be no paradoxes arising.

Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has proposed his Chronology Protection Conjecture that prohibits time travel to the past within your own universe because of the possible paradoxes that could arise. Why can’t you go back in time in your own universe? That would mean that at a specific time and place you both were not (originally) and were (as a result of going back) present. That’s a paradox. And if you were to travel back in time to a set of time and space coordinates you were actually originally at, then there would be two copies of you occupying the same space at the same time – also a paradox.

But take the grandfather paradox. If you go back in time and kill your grandfather, but your grandfather in a parallel universe, then you don’t prevent your existence, just the eventual existence of yourself, your other self, in that parallel universe. In the case of Shakespeare and “Hamlet”, you gave your copy to a parallel universe Shakespeare. In your original (our) Universe, Shakespeare is still the legitimate author.

Once you time travel from your universe A, to parallel universe B, you can’t return again to universe A because of Hawking’s Chronology Protection Conjecture – paradoxes could arise. However, you could go from parallel universe B to parallel universe C, but, hence never return to either universe A or B – Hawking’s Chronology Protection Conjecture again.

Perhaps some people you’ve seen or known or heard about might be time travelers from a parallel universe’s future. If they then time travel to another parallel universe, then that might account for some missing persons’ cases!

In short, we can time travel to other parallel universes but not to our own; entities from other parallel universes can visit our Universe. No paradoxes need arise. Both Einstein (relativity) and Hawking (Chronology Protection Conjecture) are satisfied and happy campers.

Is that right? No, it’s wrong!

There’s still one very nasty loose end here. What’s to prevent those from a parallel universe meddling and altering our time stream? It’s not enough for them to have a Prime Directive against that – we all know Prime Directives are meant to be broken! So, it looks like Hawking’s Chronology Protection Conjecture must apply to those visitors from parallel universes to our Universe as well. I mean what difference does it make to your existence whether you travel back in time within your own universe and kill your mother before you were conceived, or some serial killer escaping from a parallel universe to our Universe who kills your mother before you were conceived – even though in the latter case there’s no paradox, you still wouldn’t have been conceived of here in anyone’s philosophy!

OK, so relativity allows time travel back in time, but only to parallel universes. The Hawking Chronology Protection Conjecture not only prevents time travel paradoxes in general, but it also prevents parallel universe time travelers meddling and altering our timeline; ditto we humans time traveling to someone else’s parallel universe. But how would the Hawking Chronology Protection Conjecture actually accomplish this? My best guess is that parallel universes aren’t in phase – they aren’t polarized or synchronized in-phase like a laser beam, or the light that passes through your polarized sunglasses – otherwise we’d have some rather hard evidence of them; certainly way more than we do now.

So, if we go to parallel universe B or those from parallel universe B visits us, we’ll, or they’d be respectively out of phase with respect to the universe they are now in. Translated, they, or we, could look, but not touch for all practical purposes. I say for all practical purposes as now and again what’s out of phase (high probability – the usual state of affairs) will sync into phase (that’s rare). But the in-phase times are so few and far between, and last for such a brief duration that it’s unlikely to result in any inadvertent or deliberate timeline alterations. That’s my rendering of the Hawking Chronology Protection Conjecture – he could well have other ways and means in mind.

So another way of putting this is that time travelers would be spectral or ghost-like in their host universe, and maybe that’s where our traditions of ghosts and other things that go bump in the night come from! This is much like the parallel universe ghost or shadow photons that are conjectured to explain some highly mysterious aspects or phenomena contained within the famous quantum double slit* experiment. Now an obvious question is how do all the parallel universe ghost photons get into our physics labs where double slit experiments are carried out? I mean there are no local macro Black Hole or wormhole exits present – are there? Yes in fact there are! Not a macro wormhole, but a micro wormhole – actually wormholes. Theoretically, micro wormholes should exist all around you. It’s just that they are at quantum levels – incredible tiny; way subatomic in size. And they exist for just nanoseconds before collapsing. They are just part of the quantum foam** reality at super microscopic levels, a reality at the level where all things exhibit the quantum jitters or quantum fluctuations. Thus, every second of every day, everywhere, there are little quantum gateways – quantum sized wormholes connections between universes which quantum sized particles – like photons – can traverse! From the standpoint of the double slit experiment, it doesn’t matter whether the parallel universe’s ghost photons came from the past, future or present – just as long as they are, indeed, present!

Now you may think it would be easy to detect these ghostly photons. Just put a photon detector in a totally dark and sealed room. Well, not quite so easy. Some photons can pass through ‘solid’ matter. X-Ray photons anyone? Radio wave photons pass through the walls of your home. If you look at a bright light, you’ll still see light even if you close your eyes. So, your photon detector in your dark and sealed room could easily detect our local variety.

The ghostly bits aside, parallel universe time travelers (or even ordinary time travelers from within our Universe assuming Hawking is wrong)) might explain the sometimes uncanny, often incredible look-a-likes that we all seem to have. A long shot to be sure, but something interesting to ponder.

There’s still one more problem on the horizon. Just because a macro Black Hole or wormhole plunks you into a parallel universe (and of course you’ve got to be able to survive the trip itself which might be problematical), doesn’t mean you’re going to be with spitting distance of your ultimate destination(s) – say a parallel Earth(s). So, time travelers might also need more conventional transport – like Flying Saucers (okay, forget the saucers – like spaceships with fins and rocket motors). But then what’s really there to distinguish a visiting time traveler from a parallel universe from say a run-of-the-mill extraterrestrial from within our own Universe? Maybe you could just put out the welcome mat for both options!

One final thought. Could there be a Clayton’s time travel? – Time travel without traveling in time? At the risk of making Einstein turn over in his grave; I’m going to propose a universal NOW across all universes. Now I know that NOW, when it comes to observers, is a relative thing. An observer in Martian orbit sees Mars’ NOW somewhat before you on Planet Earth sees the same Mars’ NOW because the speed of light is finite. And relative motions and velocities complicate what is NOW. But, I propose (a thought experiment remember) to instantaneously freeze-frame the entire collection of universes’ NOW. Everyone and everything everywhere comes to an instant standstill. Right! We now have a universal NOW that we can study at our leisure (the freeze doesn’t apply to you and me – we’re outside the space-time continuum).

Let’s focus on that subset of all parallel universes – all parallel Earths and time travel between them. Now there’s no reason to assume that all parallel Earths are identical in all aspects. Indeed, some parallel universes may not even contain a parallel Earth! There maybe some parallel Earths identical or so close to identical to our Planet Earth as makes no odds – abodes you’d feel right at home in. Other Earths would differ in various ways, some minor, some major. Still others might be really weird and alien, as in having evolved a dinosaur society, civilization and technology. There was no parallel asteroid impact 65 million years ago; thus no human beings around the traps 65 millions later.

Your subset of parallel Earths would show near infinite diversity in infinite combinations. I say ‘near’ because you can only stretch the term ‘Earth’ or ‘Earth-like’ so far and no farther, before it’s not Earth or Earth-like. A 100% oceanic world is not Earth. If a parallel ‘Earth’ has Venus-like temperatures, it is not Earth-like. If it has a density approaching that of a neutron star, it is not Earth-like. If it has no life on it, even though in all other respects it is a near carbon copy of our Earth, it is not Earth-like.

Now it’s back to the NOW subset of parallel Earths and Earth-like abodes. There’s no reason to assume that evolutionary development; that evolutionary development rates would proceed in each and every case in an identical fashion. Some parallel Earths would still be in the dinosaur era (if they had dinosaurs of course). In some parallel Earths, cavemen and saber tooth tigers rule. In others, it’s Biblical times, or Medieval times or the era when Britannia ruled the waves. Others in our absolute NOW, on yet other parallel Earths, or parallel earthlings, might have just invented the wireless or landed on their Moon (if they have one). On some parallel Earths it may already be what to us will be the 23rd or 24th Century with interstellar warp drive capabilities at hand – and even way beyond that. So, you could seemingly travel to the past and future while actually remaining in our NOW. You’ve traveled in time without really traveling in time, or, time travel without the paradoxes – but maybe that spoils all the intellectual fun of contemplating time travel in the first place!

*The problem solved here is how can you get a classic wave interference pattern behind two slits you fire photons through; even when you fire the photons at say a rate of one per hour? Who you gonna call – ghost photons of course to the rescue.

**Quantum foam – the world may look pretty smooth from a distance, but as you keep magnifying the finer details, the micro world gets ever so slightly bumpier. Close in some more and things get rougher still, until at quantum level everything is a seething cauldron of tumultuous activity. It’s like the sea that looks perfectly smooth and tranquil from Earth orbit, but at rowboat level, you’re terrified as that 50 foot wave comes crashing down on you.

Miami And The Florida Keys – Reflections

The earliest known residents of what is now Miami were the “Tequesta” Indians. Little is known of the Tequesta Indians other than they resided along the banks of the Miami River over twelve hundred years ago. Believe it or not there was a small natural rapid a few miles upriver from where it emptied into Biscayne Bay. The Tequesta Indians hunted and fished along the banks of the River. In the 16th and again in the 18th century the Spanish established a few small missions along the banks of the Miami River. Spain originally possessed the area now called “Florida”, but ceded Florida and of course Miami to the British in later years. The first American Settlers began arriving in Miami Florida sometime in the early to mid 19th century and settled in and around the River. Agriculture in addition to fishing was one of the few economic mainstays of the area. The River’s water source was the Everglades and it was believed that the wetland could be drained by removing the rapids. Thereby providing additional cultivatable land for the new arrivals to settle and develop as farms. I am very sure that real estate sales and potential profits were a motivational factor as well. Real Estate in Miami has been a motivation from the beginning to present. Regardless of the reason(s) a decision to remove falls by dynamiting was made and implemented in mid to late 1800s. Other than during those years of the Seminole Indian wars the population steadily increased as did the real estate industry.

In the beginning Dade County was a huge track of land that extended from the southern tip of Lake Okeechobee (Fort Worth Florida) south to Key West Florida. Indian Key was the the seat of Dade County until sometime between the years 1860 and 1870. Prior to these years residents of the Florida Keys, other than those at Indian Key were counted as residents of Dade County.

MY RECOLLECTIONS AND REFLECTIONS

Once upon a time there was a little fishing village located in Dade County, towards the southeastern tip of Florida. The name of this village was Miami. Many people living in Miami at the time, pronounced the name “Miama”.

I offer these remembrances’ as one born in the Biltmore Hotel; a land mark hotel in Coral Gables Florida, a town located in Miami-Dade County and a veteran’s administration hospital during the years of WW II. If my stories and recollections seem somewhat disjointed to the reader I beg forgiveness. They are all or at least most inscribed from memories. My only reason for attempting to write this article at all is to impart a few of my impressions/reflections to an interested reader regarding the conception of, development of, metamorphosis of and transformation that has occurred to the area that is today Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys. My intention is to offer the reader a comparison of sorts to the areas mentioned, the inhabitants, their way of life compared to then and likewise now. I have no intention of smearing of chastising any particular group of people but too simply record the facts as I believe-remember them to be. I will leave it to the discretion of the reader which Miami, Florida Keys he/she prefers to relate. The then version 1945 to 1970 or the now version 2010, in order to provide a comparison between the two I will offer, in addition to my recollections, a few bygone happenings and circumstance conveyed to me by my predecessors on my mother’s side of the family, all residents of the Keys and Key West dating back 150 plus years ago, some still living there. To do this I am going to begin with my earliest recollections following WW II living first in Hamburg Germany, my father was an officer in the Air Force during the war and was at the time stationed there. Since he had not received his discharge my mother and I joined him, I think, sometime in the year 1946.

KEY WEST CONCHS

They Don’t Call Them Conchs For No Good Reason! (yes I know that’s double negative but I use it for emphasis)

Those that have eaten conch can relate to what I mean by this statement. Conk is a very tough marine mollusk. Rumor has it that in the early 1800s the doctors of Key West prescribed for new born babies, that they be set out on the porch to allow mosquito bites. The reason for this was to make the baby immune to the bite of a mosquito. What does this have to do with conch; man those people had to be tough to live in that environment during those very early years. Screens for windows did not happen until late in the 1800s so it is safe to say that these early Keys inhabitants did not have such luxuries. Don’t forget they had no present day amenity such as air conditioning either.

WALTER C MALONEY, JR.-KEY WEST FLORIDA

The Economies of Key West-1800s

It is a fact that at one time Key West was not only the most populated city in Florida but also had the highest per capita income in Florida and rivaled that of many other US cities. The economy was driven by numerous industries during this period of time.

AGRICULTURE

My relatives speak of one, Mr. Walter C. Maloney Jr. (Maloney was my grandmother’s maiden name). The story goes that at some point in time, during the year 1885, Walter left Key West to travel to what was then known as the Gainesville Land Office in Gainesville Florida. There under Grover Cleveland’s land act, I think for the price of fifty cents per acres, he purchased 67 acres of property in what is now known as Marco Island, Collier County Florida. In reality the land he purchased was located on “Horr’s Island”, AKA “Marco Key”, located a mile or two west of Marco Island, Florida. Mr. Maloney’s purpose was to plant, grow, harvest pineapples on this island and sell his produce to the Key West market. To me it’s amazing that a man in his late forty’s’ and then fifty’s would board a sailboat in Key West and navigate his way across one hundred miles of Florida Bay to sell pineapples in Key West. The reader should understand that the waters of Florida Bay are prone to sudden violent storms during much of the year. In addition there were no cell phones or GPSs.

My granddad once told me of a relative, I believe last name “Hart” that would travel from Key West to Chokoloskee Florida to hunt. Chokoloskee is an island located south of Everglades City. This was also a very long boat ride from Key West. Chokoloskee boasts an elevation of 20 feet above sea level. Rumor has it that the reason for its’ elevation was discarded shells of various types deposited by the Indians of the “Ten Thousand Islands”, living in the area many years ago.

Obviously these were a different breed of people during that time in our history.

The Keys and Key West produced other crops in addition to pineapples, tomatoes, I call charcoal another because of the process used to produce it. Hookie-Pokee Ice Cream, made in the shad and sold in the sun, if you aint gotta nickel you cain’t have none. Yes with the heat and humidy ice cream was big in Key West. Cigar factories were also big in Key West.

FISHING INDUSTRY

Like Miami, the fishing industry was and still is a driving economical force. Florida lobster (commonly called crawfish) is still a big ticket industry. In early times turtle and conk were plentiful; today these are for the most part protected throughout the state. I will offer additional experiences I had as youngster with the seemingly unlimited conk and spiny crawfish that could be easily taken from the waters surrounding Key West and Miami Florida.

THE NATURAL SPONGE INDUSTRY

Before the invention of synthetic sponges, sponges were harvested from the sponge beds located in the waters surrounding Key West.

SALVAGE

The waters surrounding Key West also had arguably the most treacherous reefs of any found elsewhere in the world. The history books are full of accounts of ships hitting these reefs and sinking, Spanish galleons loaded with gold taken by force from the natives of North and South America crashed on the reefs and sank with unbelievable regularity.

One of the better known salvage operations of recent times was that of Mel Fisher’s. He and his team of researchers and divers located the long lost “Atocha”. The Atocha crashed and sank on a reef west of Key West in the early 18th century and was loaded with over 400 million dollars worth of gold, silver, precious gems and other valuable artifacts. Most of which stolen by Spanish missionaries and Conquistadors (conquerors) from the Aztecs of Mexico and Incas of South America among many others.

During the 1800s, ships were still crashing on these same reefs. The series of light houses now erected on the reefs were not there during most of the 19th century. This resulted in a very lucrative salvage business during the 1800s. I have heard family members mention that years later, after the warning lights were built on the reefs some residents of the Keys would either allow them to burn out or manually extinguish them for the purpose of causing shipwrecks on the reefs to promote their salvage businesses. All productive salvage operators and operations were required by law to register their salvage ships and any salvaged items with the authorities in Key West which of course served to boost the local economy.

Prior to the erection of light houses on the reefs in an effort to reduce the number and severity of ship wrecks in these waters, the federal government commissioned “light house ships”. These ships and their captains were charged with the task of anchoring on the reefs, 24/7/365 to keep and maintain warning lights. One such ship was captained by another relative of mine Captain Whalton (my mother’s maiden name). Drinking water and other supplies were brought to land locations of these ships and deposited on shore. The crews would then leave the ship in a row boat, get the supplies and row back to their ship. The story goes that one night Captain Whalton and one sailor traveled to shore to transport the supplies back. For some inexplicable reason they traveled ashore unarmed, a war part of Seminole Indians waited, hidden in the bush. Both the captain and the sailor were killed.

FROM HAMBURG GERMANY TO KEY WEST and Back to Miami-THE YEAR 1947-1950 +/-

During my time in Germany but sometime after my Dad was discharged from the Air Force. My Grandfather Whalton called and suggested to Dad that together they should open a hardware store in Key West. At the time Key West did not have a hardware store. Purchasing a “Western Auto” Franchise they opened for business at 515 Duval Street directly across the street from the San Carlos Theater, now a land mark, in Key West Florida. The family remained in Key West for about 2-1/2 years, while Dad and Granddad operated the hardware store. The year was 19850 maybe 1951. The commercial passenger airline industry was stirring-ready to be born in earnest. National Airlines called my Dad and asked him to fly for the airline. Flying being my Dad’s first love, we moved from Key West to Miami, Florida. My parents rented a little house near the main hanger for National. The hanger was located on the east side of Lejune Road but Miami International Airport was located on the west side. We had one car; so when it was time for my Dad to fly, my mother and I would take him to the hanger. There he would board a two engine aircraft renamed for it new purposes a DC 3. The same plane, a C-47, Dad flew during the war with some seats bolted to the floor and some paint applied to the fuselage. A policeman would stop the automobile traffic on Lejune Road and my Dad would taxi his plane across the road and onto the end of the only runway that the airport possessed at the time, which was runway 9. For those of you that have passed through MIA recently I know this seems a bit bizarre, but as was Miami the airline industry was in its infancy. During this time 1950-1955, I would be surprised to learn that Miami Florida’s population exceeded 300 thousand.

After we moved to Miami, I for many years thereafter traveled from Miami to Key West. During summer vacations I worked in the store that my granddad still owned and operated. He had left the Western Auto Franchise and then operated the store as “Walton’s Auto Toys and Hardware.”

Each summer for about 5-6 years my mother would put me on a “Greyhound Bus”. Greyhound ran regularly between Miami and Key West. The bus station as I recall was in Downtown Miami, 8th street, AKA the Trail, AKA US-41. The driver would take a route west on 41 to US-27 or Krome Avenue, turning south on Krome proceeding through Homestead Florida and then left to US-1. Within a few minutes of entering US-1, we would be traveling at rate I believe to be over 80 miles per hour. I feel comfortable that this was so because the land distance from Miami to Key West is 160 miles and the trip never took more than 1 hour and 45 minutes. Folks on a trip today from Miami to Key West by car, you cannot do 35 miles per hour once entering the upper keys.

During the years that I worked in this store, the store would open for business 5-/12 days per week. On Thursdays the merchants of Key West would close at noon. My Granddad, my Grandmother and I would travel out “Overseas Highway”, US-1. With a “four pronged gig” and a bucket walking into the Mangroves that lined both sides of the highway, we could gig enough crawfish (Florida Lobster) for crawfish enchilada to be served at dinner that night, conch style with black beans, rice and fried plantain. During that time, Florida Lobster was plentiful in the Keys; there were no restrictions against harvesting them. Today, first you cannot use a four pronged gig without the risk of incarceration; second harvesting Florida Lobster is restricted to certain times of the year. This is also true of conk that could be taken a few yards off the beaches of Key West and sea turtle cannot be taken at all.

My point is, the quality of life in south Florida has been reduced by the influx of too many people from all over the US, south America and Cuba. I don’t believe that State and Federal authorities have done their jobs in protecting the things that were here when I was young and growing up. I believe that some measure of prudence could have and should have been applied a long time ago. The experiences that I had my children will be denied they will never have the opportunity to know the area the way I knew it.

As one that makes his living as a builder and General Contractor in the State of Florida but has known this area intimately for so many years, I have a number of questions in mind that I deal with on a daily basis, the questions are, 1. What could we have done previously to reduce the impact of uncontrolled influx here and thereby preserve more for future south Florida generations. 2. Is there a possibility of regaining some measure of the resources that were here in the earlier years?

I do believe that these are questions that some of the Florida agencies and law makers now deal with on a daily basis as well. But I’m not certain that the legal vehicle and money resource is available to accomplish the task if so be it possible.

But then with similarity to some higher mathematical problems, I think that the only constant is change and the only variable is time. Is this not also a statement of the development-over development and maybe the resurrection, restoration of south Florida?

Traveling Nurse – The Benefits

Being a traveling nurse has many attractive benefits over regular nursing Firstly, nurses are in demand constantly not only in the US but worldwide. For a nurse that has the desire to travel and earn money, becoming a traveling nurse would be ideal. Of the hospitals and medical facilities rely on traveling nurses to fill roles when staffing levels are lower than normal, but further than that to bring a new level of expertise that may be lacking in the nursing in the respective hospital. So now for the advantages and benefits of becoming a traveling nurse.

Money, like most things in life, would be one of the main reasons someone would choose to become a traveling nurse. Traveling nurses, make considerably more money than their full-time counterparts. For a start the basic wage will be higher for a traveling nurse, when this is combined with overtime or penalty rates such as night shifts- the earnings can become quite substantial. The pay and calculations are performed by the traveling nurse agency and are therefore much more effectively managed. Becoming a traveling nurse is a great way to save money.

Traveling can be a major part of being a traveling nurse. If a nurse wants to see the world- there is no better way than becoming a traveling nurse and seeking work in the areas they want to see. If the traveling nurse is a native English speaker, there will always be a high demand in the US, UK, Canada and Australia (Specifically as they are experiencing a shortage of nurses). Traveling nurse agencies will actively seek nurses, and will assist in organizing visas, accommodation and appropriate work.

Harmony in the work environment for a traveling nurse is not as important as it would be for a full time nurse. The traveling nurse may only be working in the respective environment for a month before moving on to the next assignment. For this reason workplace politics will play a lesser role than in other professions.

The social benefits for a traveling nurse are massive as well. They will get to meet new people regularly and benefit from constant social interaction and communication- which is a large part of being a nurse.

In most cases a traveling nurse will also receive generous health benefits. In most situations agencies that specialize in traveling nurses offer these medical and dental benefits to entice new traveling nurses to them. Some nursing agencies also have 401K plans, which is obviously fantastic.

Working as a traveling nurse, is a fantastic way to quickly build an impressive resume. The experience a traveling nurse receives could be argues that in a shorter period of time the experiences will amount to much more than would be learn via all time position in the one hospital. It will prove to prospective employers that you have life experience, and are mature to deal with all scenarios and situations.

Certain traveling nurse agencies will also offer incentive bonuses for referrals’ to their agencies- recommend a friend and receive a payment. As a traveling nurse is constantly working at new locations with equally new nurses, the opportunities for referrals are high. Further to this, some agencies also offer a completion bonus simply for completing the assignment or placement.

Traveling nurses often travel in pairs or groups. It is a great way to travel obviously, and will also provide a support network for less confident individuals.

Traveling nurses also have the opportunity to assist in the case of natural disaster’s and missionaries where medical attention is urgently required. This may not be for everyone, but the opportunity to be involved tin the rehabilitation of such an event could be considered an honor by some.

Deducting Travel As a Business Expense

As a general rule, travel expenses are deductible as a business expense as long as the expense is considered by the IRS to be an ordinary and necessary business expense under (IRC section 162). But when you incur a travel expense outside the United States, that is when the rules begin to change. Do not assume that 100% of your foreign travel expenses are tax deductible. And better yet, consult with your CPA during the planning phase of your foreign travel in order to maximize your opportunity for a tax deduction.

General Rules Regarding Travel Expenses:

Travel expenses traditionally includes the following categories of expenses associated with at least one overnight stay (i.e. where sleep is required while away from home):

1. Transportation Costs – Transportation includes airplane, train, bus, car, or ship between your home and business destination. It also includes commuter bus, taxi and limousine transportation.

2. Baggage and Shipping Costs- This category includes the cost of sending baggage, samples, display materials between regular and temporary work locations.

3. Lodging Costs – Such costs include overnight hotel stays and temporary housing costs.

4. Meals – Allowable meals expenses include food, beverage, tips and tax. If the meals qualify for a tax deduction they may be 50% or 100% deductible. Meals between employees/employers are generally not deductible unless a business purpose can be substantiated. In cases in which there is a business purpose, the meal is eligible for a 50% tax deduction. Meals also include customer-related meals in which business is discussed (50% deduction).

Also allowed are meals related to business-related travel that includes an overnight stay (50% deductible. If the overnight travel is related to an employer-sponsored social or recreational event the meals are 100% deductible. If the meal is related to promotional activities that are made available by the business to the public such costs are 100% deductible.

5. Cleaning – This category includes dry cleaning and laundry expenses incurred during your travel period.

6. Telephone – Business calls, fax costs or other communication costs associated with the business travel are deductible.

7. Tips paid for any travel expense category are allowed as a tax deduction

8. Other – Other costs related to the business travel might include internet fees, computer rental fees, equipment rental fees, supplies etc.

Travel expenses must be temporary in nature. What this means is that the travel period cannot last more than one year. If the travel lasts more than one year all of the travel expenses become non-deductible.

Special Rules:

1. Conventions – In order for travel costs associated with a convention to be tax deductible, such costs must be directly related to your company’s business and must benefit your company’s business. Conventions outside North America are allowed, however, there is reasonableness test that must be met. Reasonableness is based on the purpose of the meeting, activities taking place at the meeting, activities of any sponsors, homes of sponsors and other material facts and circumstances that the IRS will consider in determining eligibility for the tax deduction.

2. Cruise Ship Conventions – If the convention meets the ordinary and necessary business purpose test and the reasonableness test then the IRS will permit a tax deduction equal to $2,000 per person, per year for travel expenses incurred in connection with the cruise ship convention as long as the ship is a U.S. flagship and all ports of call are located within the United States or its possessions. In order to deduct cruise ship convention travel expenses the business must attach two written statements to their tax return. Statement #1 must be signed by the business owner. This statement specifies the number of hours each day that were devoted to business activities, total days of the trip and the program of business activities on the ship. Statement #2 must be signed by an officer of the cruise ship convention organization and provide detailed schedules of the meetings and the number of hours the taxpayer attended.

3. Travel Outside the United States – Only costs associated with the days in which business was conducted are allowed as a travel tax deduction. Business days include days spent traveling to and from the business destination. Days spent on non-business activities are not counted as business days. Weekends and holidays are considered business days if they fall between the business days. Where part of the foreign travel includes non-business days, travel costs must be prorated by dividing the number of business days by the number of total days. This
percentage is then applied to the total travel costs in arriving at the tax deductible travel expense deduction.

4. Non-Convention Cruise Ship Travel – The travel deduction allowed for this type of travel is determined by the IRS every year, so it changes every year. IRS publication 463 lists the daily deductible amounts allowed(called per diem rates). You multiply the per diem rate by the number of travel days in arriving at your tax deductible travel expense amount. If meals are a separate charge you are allowed to deduct 50% of the meal costs in addition to the per diem amount.

Five Vacation Planning Travel Tips to Save You Time & Money on Your Vacation

Vacation planning is fun and easy so you don’t need to get overwhelmed. The first thing I want you to do is to take a deep breath and don’t panic. If you’ve never done this before, relax. I am here to help you with some simple steps to plan a great vacation.

1. Determine Your Budget.

There are many ways to go about determining your budget, but I usually set a price of how much I want to spend (per person) and then go from there to determine how to find the best travel deals based on where I want to go on a cheap vacation. You need to be reasonable regarding what the budget will be for your vacation or getaway. A very realistic and reasonable budget for a cheap vacation is between $800-$1200 per person including airfare, hotel, car rental, food, tips, and airport parking. I’ve traveled all over the country on business and the average budget for a two-to-three day business trip is about the same amount so it’s a very reasonable for a cheap vacation for an entire week (especially when it involves air travel and a much longer stay).

2. Choose Your Destination.

Here’s a little insider travel secret. I’ve traveled to some amazing vacation destinations at amazing prices, but I don’t usually choose my destination. The destination chooses me. It can get a little frustrating but I can tell you that if destinations did not chose me, I would never have went to Jamaica and seen a live starfish swimming underwater when I was snorkeling off of a beach in Negril, climbed the Great Wall of China, traveled through the Panama Canal or met a baby sloth at a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica just for starters. I went to those vacation destinations not because I had a deep desire to travel to Montego Bay, Beijing, Panama City, or Puerto Limon, but because I was chasing a travel deal. Now, vacation planning via chasing a deal is a great way to get cheap vacations and save a lot of money. I have been on some incredible trips and gone to vacation destinations I never would have had at the top of my travel destinations “bucket list,” but I realize chasing the travel deal has prevented me so far from going to Tahiti’s island paradise of Bora, Bora (my life long travel dream) and I still want to do the “Sound of Music” tour in Salzburg, Austria. So you usually have a choice: chase the best travel deal or choose your travel dream.

3. Book Your Airfare, Hotel, and Car Rental.

When you’re vacation planning, the best way to save hundreds of dollars on your vacation is to book everything together as a complete travel package. I don’t have any technological reason as to why this saves you money, but it does. Feel free to experiment with your own online travel booking engine of choice with this concept by making queries separately and then as a package, but it’s been done before and proven to save you money. I do know that Rovia Travel has the best online price 68% of the time as compared to Travelocity and Expedia according to a recent independent survey by Topaz International so you may want to check them out.

4. Research Your Vacation Destination & Plan Your Travel Itinerary.

Researching my vacation destination and planning great itineraries is one of the things that I sort of excel at in vacation planning because I love researching the hot tourist attractions of the vacation destination I’m visiting. I know some people just like to “wing it,” but that lack of vacation planning can really add hundreds of dollars to your trip. There are two great ways to do your research. First, there are so many online tools at the local tourism offices of the areas your visiting that have all the main information at your fingertips, plus many have coupons or travel deals you may not have been able to find in other ways. The second thing I like to do is pick up a great guide book for the destination I’m going to. Frommer’s Travel Guide Books and Rick Steves’ Travel Guide Books for Europe are very well researched and written and these authors update their books almost yearly so you know you have up-to-date information.

5. Make Two Checklists.

Now you need to make two checklists for your vacation planning. One is a list of things to do before you go on vacation. This includes finding a pet sitter, getting a neighbor to pick up the mail, calling your mobile phone service to arrange for a text/email package while you’re away if you’re traveling internationally, secure a passport or visa (if you need them), get medical vaccinations if necessary, call your credit card companies to let them know you’ll be traveling and what cities or countries to expect charges to come up on, and things like that. The second list for your vacation planning is a list of things to pack.

Now that wasn’t so bad, was it? Now you see how simple vacation planning is even for an inexperienced traveler. These are the basics of vacation planning and now that you know how to plan your vacation, we have a lot of extra bonus travel tips my travel website (see below) to help you discover a world of ways to see the world. Bon Voyage and have a fabulous vacation.

Time Travel Not Possible?

Introduction

I said that I would give time travel further consideration in my paper on what Time truly is. My theory of Time dealt with time dimensions and how our concept of time is different from the reality of time. This, true time, includes the motions that we measure with time and my belief that the fourth dimension of time can actually be divided up into the 4th,5th, 6th, and 7th dimensions of time. I had to consider the possibility of time travel in that discussion, but I never made an formal claims. I have now formulated a hypothesis based upon what I believe our concept of time travel is as it relates to true time (All 4 time dimensions).

Hypothesis

It is tempting to believe that time travel is somehow possible. I myself would be lying if I said that I wished there was no such possibility of time travel. The thought is far to tempting to want to believe anything else to the contrary. After giving it much thought, I am 99.9% sure that time travel is not possible and I base this on the following argument.

In order to fully grasp this hypothesis I must first describe how the human race perceives time. It is this perception that has lead to the belief that time travel should or could be possible. I use the analogy of the digital recorder that is so popular with Direct Television or Tivo. This technology simply digitally records a program and then allows you to access that information at any time. You can rewind during the show, fast forward up to a point, or save it to watch at another time. When we eventually watch our show, we are in a sense, traveling back in time. That is to say that a past event, the show, has been recorded and can then be played back later. This allows your mind to experience a segment of time that has already occurred. This is very much the same as how our brain works. The past is nothing more than a collection of our memories. Every event that we have experienced up until the present is stored in our brain whether we can remember it or not. This is the digital recording. Our brain has taken in information and saved it for later use. The future is nothing more than our ability to conceive of future events. I wonder what studies in the area of psychology have been done on this subject. I would have to believe that it is our past that allows our brain to conceive of a future. We know that events have happened so it is reasonable to assume that we can use the creative side of our brain to try and formulate what could happen in the future. This is slightly different from making plans. A person can plan to go to dinner on Saturday with a friend. This is simply a matter of our ability to conceive that another Saturday will come, because we have had reoccurring Saturdays in the past. So, we know that eventually it will be Saturday again. So, we plan to have dinner on that day at some predetermined time. We then commit that appointment to memory, so we can make the date. We can’t exactly count this as foretelling the future, because sometimes we forget the plans we make. By making the plans we increase the likelihood that the event will take place. I guess this leaves us with two ways our brain looks at the future. There is the creative future, where we may dream about or conceive of what events we would like to come about; and there is the Planned future, where we make a plan, commit it to memory, and try to make sure we are there to see the outcome of that future event.

This is how we conceive of our reality. We are born and our brain begins taking in all sorts of information. We commit this to memory for later use. I would assume that memory is merely a remonence of our survival instinct. It used to be that our parents would teach us the things we needed to survive. We also committed as much as we could to memory. If we didn’t then we simply died. Our parents would show us that leopards are bad. If we didn’t have the ability to commit things to memory then we may try to pet the leopard later and get eaten. That is bad. In order to survive we had to rely on our memory so that we could tell what we should or should not do based upon the situation presented to us. Fast forward thousands of years and we come to a point in our history where our standard of living has removed us from those leopard like situations. Now we are faced with a new challenge, surviving in a technological and hectic world. The new lessons are, work to get paid so we can eat and have a home. If you do not do these things then you end up homeless, starve, and die. A new set of survival information that has to be committed to memory. No other species has come as far as we have. They still have to rely on the good old leopard method or True Primal survival instincts.

Our environment and lifestyle has changed but our old abilities remain. Our ability to learn and commit things to memory is still with us. We now find ourselves faced with having to find new and varied things to commit to memory. We have education, and careers, social interactions, entertainment, sports, etc. etc. The list goes on and on. We have so much more to commit to memory and it seems that our memory and brain has adapted to allow us to handle this new life style. Our brains have grown larger and along with it our ability to cram more information in to that brain for storage. Along with all of these new things to commit to memory comes our concept of time. We can conceive of a past, because our past is committed to memory. Whether we can recall it or not, the information is still in our brain. From the day we are born we are storing this information to call upon throughout our life. We draw on these past experiences to conceive of a future or to make plans for the future. All the while the only true reality is the present. This point in time.

What I am saying is that the time line itself is nothing more than a memorized past coupled with an imagined future. That is all. The reality is that the present is all there is. In this present events are occurring all across the universe based upon the laws of physics. Events take place based upon these laws and it is why we see a cup fall to the ground and break instead of the other way around. Can you remember the last time you saw a broken cup fall upward and piece itself back together as it lands upright on the kitchen table? No, just as we have never seen a bunch of leaves fall upward and attach themselves back onto a tree. Events progress in a certain manner. Cause and Effect. If we remove human beings from the equation and look at other animals and objects. No doubt a dog has a concept of time, but do plants? Animals have a concept of time, because they need to call upon past events in order to survive emerging events. Their concept is no where near as developed as ours, I wonder how close an elephants or a dolphins concept of time is? Better still, I wonder how a chimpanzee or a gorilla conceives time? I am sure that their concept is different than ours, less evolved and more primitive. It still serves them for survival. Let us now consider a rock. What is this rocks concept of time? I would have to bet that it has no concept of time. It doesn’t need one, because a rock does not have to survive. No survival means no memory. No memory, means no concept of time let alone anything else. It is that way with any object that has no need for survival, because it is not alive. An asteroid floating through space was set upon a path based upon an interaction. If another body were to come along and strike it then that asteroid would move in some new direction until gravity or another object dictates otherwise. I assure you that the asteroid has no concept of time, of anything for that matter. It is not alive so does time not exist for that asteroid? No, time exists. It exists because the asteroid is in motion. It is undergoing a series of events that are determined by the forces that have acted upon it. Since there is motion then there is time, because the asteroids motions can be measured. I explain this concept further in my paper on my theory of time.

Another analogy I like is this; “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” This analogy perfectly illustrates the difference between reality and human conceptions. Does it make a sound? Yes, it does make a sound. What is the definition of sound? Webster’s New World Dictionary defines it as; 1) that which is heard, resulting from stimulation of auditory nerves by vibrations (sound waves) in the air ; 2) the distance within which a sound may be heard ; 3) the mental impression produced /the sound of his report/

The funny thing is that the above definitions are also concepts that fit within what we believe terms to mean. What I am saying is that these words I am typing would not exist if the human race did not exist. The first definition is the most useful, because it points out the difference between reality and conception. “That which is heard, resulting from stimulation of auditory nerves by vibrations” We can conclude from this that the falling tree is not heard. If no one is there to hear, than how can it be heard? What we need to consider here are the facts. A tree falls. The trunk breaking releases energy and the tree hitting the ground and anything on the way down also releases energy. This energy sets the air molecules around it in motion. This sound waves moves outward as the energy is dispersed in all directions. Eventually the sound wave will dissipate, because the energy will be lost along the way. We have to consider these two words, sound, and heard. The falling tree is not heard because no one is there to receive the sound waves. The sound waves still exist based upon how we perceive the travel of sound through the air. So, yes the falling tree makes a sound, but it is not heard.

The 1%

I hope that all you have read up until this point has allowed you to attain a clearer picture of the world around us and how we perceive the world around us. The universe would still go on being the universe whether humans do or do not exist. We know the universe existed before humans so it is reasonable to assume that it would still exist if we did not. So now let us move onto the other 1%. The possibility that time travel is possible. Under what circumstances could we achieve time travel? I will start with the speed of light. The magical notion that by traveling faster than the speed of light then we will somehow be able to travel backwards or forwards in time. Light is a part of the universe, not the master of it. If we were in a ship and traveled faster than the speed of light and we were some how able to maintain our structural integrity then, what? We would get to where we were going a lot faster. We would, however; not pass through time.

I did conceive of this; ” What if we could somehow get every single object in existence to run in reverse?” This is impossible, but just for arguments sake. What if we could get every single object in motion to run in reverse? Nothing would happen, and I will tell you why. We would end up with a universe full of objects violating the laws of physics along with other motions that would simply be occurring in the present. No time travel here. What if we moved towards the sun at faster than the speed of light? Would we then go back in time? Nope, we would simply get to the sun and back again a lot quicker. I say this because even if we travel faster than the light from the sun interacting with objects on the earth, it would not matter to other objects out in the universe. In order to travel back in time all things would have to be involved. You can’t just have a localized event somehow effecting everything in the universe. Just as it takes light millions of years to reach earth from distant parts of our galaxy, events occurring there are different from the picture we are seeing. In fact, much of the universe when we look out into space is different then what we are seeing. So we must look elsewhere for our time travel scenario What if we could somehow punch a whole in the universe, a bridge between two events. Calculate the exact position of the earth on a certain day in the past and then create a bridge between the present and the past? Would this somehow work by calculating the position of the earth in the future? Again, I do not conceive of a way to punch a whole in space leading to the past or future. This scenario would have to include the notion that every single possible event that can occur has occurred. This leads to the creation of new dimensions. Billions upon billions of dimensions and when we punch our hole we are not traveling to the past of this dimension, but the past of one of those alternate dimensions. Perhaps this is not the case. Instead, perhaps; every single moment that has ever occurred exists in separate dimensions. In this case then we could calculate the position of the earth, punch a hole to that dimension and in a sense travel back in time.

This is the one percent that I consider. That the time line is actually a series of universes stretching back through time containing every single second. An infinitesimal division of time that exists in an infinite number of universes that represent the time line Calculate the position of the earth in the past and then travel to that dimension. In reality the time line is composed of nothing but the present, just a present contained in a dimension for every event that has ever taken place on earth or the universe. The only way to travel into the future would have to include the belief that the future has already occurred. Think of it as a long string stretching from the beginning to the end, assuming the universe will end. Take a slice from this line and that is a dimension.

Everything that has happened up to this point and will happen in the future is divided up into dimensions. Each dimension representing the present. We could then conceive of the possibility that we are traveling through dimensions right now. It is always the present, but as events in the universe continue, we move into the next dimension. It would then be possible to travel backwards and forwards in time by somehow bridging the gap between “Dimensions of the Present”. Another unique concept of time travel would be that of the mind. Our bodies are constantly moving forward through “Present Dimensions” . Conceive of our birth to our death as a subdivision of these dimensions.

If we could then somehow transport our consciousness throughout this subdivision of our life then we would, in a sense, be time traveling. In this case our awareness would be moving through our “Present Dimensions”. The film “Butterfly Effect” illustrates this concept nicely. So, the 1% is composed of two possibilities of time travel. 1) Physically creating a bridge between this present dimension and some past or future present dimension. In this case we have to deal with the problem of having two of you in the same dimension. Don’t touch yourself, it could be bad. 2) Instead of transporting our physical being via a bridge, we instead try to move our consciousness back and forth through the “Present Dimensions”. The intriguing thing about number two is this. Our mind could conceivably be connected to the dimension immediately before us and in front of us. The same can be said for the us before that and in the dimension ahead of that. In this case it would be like taking a butter knife and smearing you from birth till your death. This smear represents your life and the sub dimensions of your life. You are, in a sense, connected to your entire past and perhaps your future as well. It would then simply be a matter of transporting your consciousness to some version of you in the past or future. This could possibly be achieved by using energy. Convert your consciousness into data and then try and transport that energy into one of the other present dimensions. It could also be as simple as altering your brain waves in some way to allow for this movement along your time line. In this case though the time traveler could only travel along the length of your own life span.

The beauty of number one is that you are not limited by your life span. You can punch a hole into another present dimension. For as long as the universe has been in existence, events occurring, may have led to the existence of an unlimited number of dimensions contained within our universe. This would represent the “Time Line”, that we like to believe exists.

If this form of time travel is possible we would then have to consider what would happen if we did something to alter the past. This may then lead to branching of the time line. If I travel to an alternate present dimension and change something then a new series of dimensions would be created along with the old time line. This is one possibility The other possibility could lead to the destruction of every dimension from that point forward. Everything you do from that point on would lead to the creation of a new dimensional time line where every event in the universe may occur exactly the same, but includes what you may do differently. Perhaps it is a combination or perhaps all events could occur differently leading to a completely new dimensional time line? I dare not venture any further, because messing around in this manner could lead to any number of outcomes. I shall have to consider these possibilities further.

Conclusion

I still cannot exclude entirely the possibility of time travel. In reality it would be dimensional travel. We would travel to a dimension containing a slice of all of the events that have ever occurred in the universe at one exact moment. Each dimension representing a snapshot of events scoping the entire universe. If such a trip were possible we would then have to consider how smart taking that trip would be. For all we know, the destruction of every dimension from the point you travel back to forward could lead to an explosion that would take out existence as we know it. Then again, maybe nothing would happen. The most important point of this hypothesis is that time does not exist the way we believe it does and time travel is not possible the way we conceive of it. Human conception is the biggest factor. The way we perceive the world may not necessarily be, in fact, reality. What I mean by reality, is the way things exist in the present universe. It is an interesting exercise, but remove humans from the equation and then try and conceive of how events take place in the universe. Events that are independent of our observations. Time exists, because things are in motion in the universe. Humans just are not there to make the appropriate measurements and observations. This is the essence of true reality. The way matter interacts in the universe when humans do not exist. If we can conceive of this, then we can conceive of how the universe truly exists.

France Singles Vacation – What to Pack and Travel Info

Planning a France singles vacation to Europe and not sure what to pack. The France country information and trip tips below will make sure you have everything you need to ensure a wonderful vacation.

Visas are not required for US, Canadian and European citizens. To enter France, a passport valid for at least three months beyond the length of stay is required by all nationals. South African citizens must have a passport that is valid upon their arrival, and a valid Schengen visa, to enter Italy. All other citizens please check with your local embassy for visa requirements.

The Currency in France is the Euro and comes in both paper and coins. Paper Euros come in different colors and sizes depending on the face value, 500 bills are violet, 200 bills are yellow, 100 are green, 50 are orange, 20 are blue, 10 are red and 5 are grey. The coins are either 1 Euro or 2 Euros, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cent.

France is on Central European Time (CET), which is 6 Hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST) and 9 Hours ahead of Pacific Standard (PST) – During daylight savings time, France is 5 Hours ahead of EST and 8 Hours ahead of PST.

Electricity in Italy, as in the rest of Europe, comes out of the wall socket at 220 volts alternating at a 50 cycles per second. Italy’s electric outlets are either two or three round-prong socket. If you are traveling from North America you will need to use an electric converter.

France’s weather can be very diverse and changes from region to region and city to city. Paris and Lyon share some of the country’s coldest winters and summers are usually warm, with temperatures in the mid 70’s F in Paris and the low 90’s F in Lyon. Be prepared for a quick thunderstorm in July and August. Mediterranean climate can be found along the French Riviera and summer is the best time of year to vacation in the south of France. The average temperature is around 85 F.

The French are all about the fashion. If you don’t want to look like a tourist then don’t wear any of the following: white sneakers and white socks – baseball caps – fanny packs – sweatshirts or sweatpants. For easy travel, pack clothing that can be layered depending on the day’s weather. Neutral colors are always easy to match. Add a sweater or lightweight jacket that you can carry with you in case it gets cold.

France is one of the world’s top shopping countries and even people who hate shopping enjoy shopping in Paris. The most important word to know when shopping in France is SOLDE – English translation – SALE. Prices displayed in shops in France always include sales tax (“la TVA” – value added tax) and the price on the label is the price you will be pay.

The Rise of Crazy Taxi and Other Taxi Games Online

CRAZY TAXI

Crazy Taxi is a racing game that was released around 1999 and it was a huge success…

This game was one of the first of its kind, and therefore attracted a large number of people and is one of the most popular games today.

Due to the crazy and non violent nature of the game, it has successfully been able to achieve a huge fan base, with users of all age groups Crazy Taxi is a racing game that was released around 1999 and it was a huge success…

The online version of the game is based on flash. It has many restrictions as compared to the original game, but is still very entertaining. In this version of the game the user has to drive as fast as he can, ceaselessly jumping over other cars to reach the checkpoints on time, thereby extending the length and the jest of the game. The level of the game amusingly keeps increasing as per the number of checkpoints reached.

OTHER FAMOUS TAXI GAMES

Due to the rising popularity of the online version of crazy taxi, many developers are now developing more and more games based on similar themes. Today there are thousands of taxi games available online for free.

These games have attractive themes which give the users an enjoyable experience. Below is list of few of these games, with a brief introduction of each:

1) Taxi Driving School

Want to see yourself in the list of legendary taxi drivers??? But for that you have to pass the highly endorsed exam of our taxi driving school, you have to get through the 14 practice sessions inside the set time limit, without crashing the taxi. There are arrows on the road, guiding you to complete the practice sessions. See you at the taxi stand!

2) Limo Parking

Limo Parking is a very addictive parking game. in this game, the player plays the role of the driver of celebrities and has to make sure that the celebrities reach the destinations on time, without damaging the vehicle. Limo parking requires the player to be smart and on guard.

The game has a very interesting theme and consists of many levels, with the difficulty increasing at each level. So here’s ur chance to drive the limo and that too for famous celebrities. You DON’T want to miss it.

3) BUST A TAXI

If you though that taxi drivers are the safest people on the road, for they obey traffic rules, think again! In Bust A Taxi you drive a crazy, taxi running ferociously on the road. The objective is to control the taxi and avoid accidents with other cars to prevent damage to the taxi. You have to gain points to get to the next stage, and to do so, you have to crash the trash boxes and avoid running over people, for they make you lose points and also because: they are people. So get ready to be a crazy cabbie!

4) Sim Taxi

In this awesome game, you get to play the role of a real taxi diver, and you have to pick and drop passengers to earn cash, so you can upgrade you taxi.

The game is highly entertaining and the city is very well build with realistic dialogues and destinations.

Game modes

New game: standard game, can same and load progress
Practice: Learn how to earn cash
Time attack: Complete missions within time to get a high score

5) Monkey taxi

Mr. Arthur is the fastest cab driver in the city, and he’s also a monkey.

In monkey taxi, you play as Arthur, and your aim is to pick five passengers one by one and then drive them to their destination. But, that’s not all, you have to drive as fast as you can to reach the destination as quickly as possible and avoid hitting other cabs and police cars at the same time, to save yourself from getting busted. Because the police doesn’t really like monkeys driving a taxi, BEWARE!

6) Zombie Taxi

The beautiful city is under rampant zombie attack and very few people are left uninfected and you are one of the lucky people driving a taxi. You are city’s one last hope. so get as many people as u can in the taxi, and drive them you safe drop zones before they all get eaten by the craving zombies and the city becomes a ZOMBIELAND. And don’t forget to slay a few zombies with your speedy cab.

7) Zombie Taxi 2

Zombies are roving the city once again and once more, all eyes are on u to rescue the passengers and also the VIP’s from the scary and spooky zombies. Try to save as many people as you can by picking them and dropping them to safe drop zones. You can also kill the zombies by running your speedy taxi over them. So go out there, and save the city from this epidemic.

8) LONDON MINICAB

Ever dreamt of driving on the bustling roads of London??? Here’s your chance to live the dream. In London minicab, you are a busy taxi driver in the hectic city of London, looking to earn cash by picking up passengers and dropping them to their destinations at the earliest. the fact that makes this game special is that it has the actual layout of London city. The landmarks and other places also replicate the London city.

So don’t get absorbed in the buzz of the city as you also have to be careful about getting your car repaired and refueled from time-to-time!

9) Bombay Taxi

Pakya, is a frustrated taxi driver after a long day at work in the crowded streets of Bombay. He now, is confronted by another inevitable problem, the problem of parking. You have to help Pakya to maneuver the wheels against the hijacked parking spaces. Cramped parking spaces require good driving skills.

I Hope you will not add to Pakya’s frustration, rather help him with your skills.

10) Future Cabbie

If you think you’ve mastered driving on the roads of today, and you get bored driving on roads, here we are with an all new challenge for you! In future cabbie, we take you to year 2050, where you get behind the wheels of your flying taxi, and work as a cabbie for FuturCorp in this futuristic taxi game.

You have to pick and drop passengers in your flying taxi and meet the fares quota to reach the next level… Enjoy driving, I mean flying!

What Are the Benefits of Hiring an Airport Car Service Vs Transporting Yourself?

When you need to get to or from the airport, there are a number of travel options available. Discover the benefits offered by airport car services so that you can make an informed decision about your airport transportation the next time you fly.

Air travel can be an extremely stressful experience, especially when you consider the time and hassle it often takes to get to and from an airport on either end of a journey. Working with a private airport transportation service can help mitigate this stress so that you can get to or from your on-the-ground destination with minimal difficulty. Find out what benefits a private shuttle service to airport destinations can provide versus self-orchestrated travel, and consider if airport car services would be right for you the next time you fly.

In terms of self-directed car travel to or from an airport, driving yourself or having someone else drop you off are the two most common scenarios. While these do offer some cost benefits and a degree of travel flexibility, they also have their shortcomings. In both of these cases, you’re creating the opportunity for a lot of travel-related stress. When you drive yourself to the airport, you’re forcing yourself to focus on driving in a high-traffic area while also trying to adhere to an extremely time-sensitive schedule. That’s guaranteed to raise your blood pressure! Once you get to the airport, you’re also locking yourself into paying for parking for the whole time you’re gone. If you try to avoid the parking cost by having a friend or family member drive you, you still end up engaging someone else in the stress of traffic and the time crunch of an airport run. Many of us take these airport travel stressors as par for the course. However, they don’t have to be. There are other travel options available, such as private airport shuttle services or car services.

Very often the word “shuttle” may conjure up images of minibuses or vans crammed full of travelers. While those types of airport shuttles do exist, they won’t necessarily reduce your stress load during your travel experience! A door-to-door airport car service, however, will. In this context, the terms “shuttle” and “car service” are used interchangeably to reference a town car or other private vehicle that will get you to or from an airport. The drivers of these cars are fully trained, licensed, and insured, and provide fast, reliable, and, above all, comfortable airport travel. When you engage this type of airport shuttle service, all you need to do is give them the details of where you are, where you need to travel, and what your time frame is. The company will do all the rest, from calculating departure or arrival times to loading and unloading your bags for you. This type of assistance can be especially helpful if you’re in an unfamiliar area, or if you just have a lot on your plate and need to have one less detail to think about.

Top 3 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent

Why should I use a travel agent to book my trip instead of booking it myself on the internet? This is a question I had to answer recently for a potential client with whom I was speaking to for the first time. As a travel professional, I get this type of question a lot.

In this article I will reveal to you how I answered this question and how you can benefit from using the services of a professional travel agent versus booking your own travel online using a travel search engine.

1. Save time.

Sure you can spend hours, days, even months researching destinations and going from website to website in order to plan your own travel itinerary, but why would you want to do that? Time is a precious commodity that we can never get back. While you are spending all this time doing research and going from website to website to see if you can get a better deal, you could have more easily picked up the phone to have a travel agent do this research for you.

Professional travel agents are trained to do this because it’s their job. A travel professional can do all the research, coordinate all the logistics, and put together a complete itinerary for your trip in a fraction of the time you can do it for yourself.

2. Use the agent’s knowledge and resources.

Travel agents are trained travel professionals. It’s their job to know the ins and outs of popular travel destinations. Although there is a ton of information on the internet readily available to the public, travel professionals have first-hand knowledge of many or most of the destinations you may choose to visit.

Secondly, travel professionals often have resources to inventory, special offers, and discounts available only to travel professionals to offer their clients. By using an agent, you’ll be able to take advantage of these resources.

3. The travel agent advocates for you should something go wrong on your trip.

Let’s say you have booked a flight and hotel online on one of the highly-advertised travel sites. Bingo! You’re all set. Or are you?

You check your confirmation and realize that you booked the wrong date. So you call customer service and you wait and wait; then finally you get a customer service representative who then tells you that there’s a fee to change your reservation. Okay so you pay the fee, after all you don’t have much of a choice.

The day comes for you to catch your flight. You get to your destination, but your luggage does not. The airline has lost one of your bags. So you’re stuck again with a problem, and call customer service again. You get to your hotel to rest from your long day, and find that your hotel room isn’t ready. Here you go again.

Now I’m not implying that a travel agent could have prevented all of this, but as a member of the travel industry, travel agents have special relationships with travel vendors. A complaint call or letter from a travel agent is more likely to get an expedited response than a letter from you, because of the agent’s relationship with the travel vendor.

I know what you’re thinking. You think that you’ll pay more to use a travel agent. It’s an incorrect assumption to think that using the services of a travel agent will be more expensive than booking your own travel online. Although some agents charge a service, the benefits of using a professional travel agent far outweigh the risks of not using an agent.

What Travel Agents Need to Know About Corporate Travel Today

This is rightly named as the age of traveler centrality and with the evolution of the new era of personalized travel; it is leading to research and development of a host of new so-called intelligent services. The command-and-control perspectives of traveling have changed a lot from the past and the focus has shifted more on the traveler and the productivity of each trip. It has become essential to maintain that the travelers have the greatest return on investment on each trip. New generations of young employees and managers, who have been growing up and dwelling in a digital age, are moving up the ranks as travelers. It has become essential to recognize the need for greater flexibility acknowledging that the employees who travel on corporate trips also consider a percentage of their trip to be a leisure outlet. With increasing globalization and rise in companies sending their staff overseas to network and connect with their offshore prospects/customers/suppliers, corporate travel is a highly profitable tourism segment. Before we talk about how tourism companies can better cater to business travelers, let us first look at why they prefer to use specialized corporate agencies over traditional agents

Why do businesses use Corporate Travel Agencies?

This might be the most basic question for a travel agency as to why they need to use agencies specializing in corporate travel when there are plenty of regular travel agents in the market. Here is the importance of corporate travel agencies who have online systems which allow business travelers access to their complete itinerary.

The following information is at the fingertips of the CTAs:-

  • full business itinerary details
  • up-to-date tracking details of flights (including delays or rescheduling)
  • transparent details about additional costs such as baggage fees or in-flight fees
  • travel alerts, if any, in the destined area
  • complete and up-to-date details about the visa procurement policies and identification required
  • currency requirement and conversion rates

What do corporate clients expect from Corporate Travel Agencies?

Negotiated Fares

The Corporate Agencies tend to have tie-ups with hotels, car rentals, flights etc. giving them access to lower fares which can be used only by the frequent business travelers. Discounted prices are not the only advantage though as they also offer flight upgrades, room upgrades, and VIP check-in lines as required.

In-depth information about the travel industry

Corporate travel agents have access to many travel resources and most importantly, quickly, than any other leisure travel agent. Additional information helps to make the business trips convenient and comfortable.

Changes in Itinerary

When an airline ticket needs to get rescheduled or cancelled, chances are the airline or the online service provider will charge lofty fees. When booking with a corporate travel agent, most of the times schedule changes can be done at zero or minimal extra charges.

Viable emergency contacts

It is important for the business travelers to reach the correct person at the need of trouble. Corporate travel agents have the experience and professionalism to relieve stress for both the traveler and the company.

What you need to consider as corporate travel increases?

Business Travel Barometer reported that corporate travel is witnessing an accelerated growth. However, when poorly managed, it may be no longer an advantage to companies and may, in fact become a burden. There are some factors which the corporations and CTAs must consider to get the best out of the time spent traveling.

Adopting a travel policy

The corporate must define a travel policy which is applicable to and respected by travelers at all levels. This policy should be used to establish the standards which will help to track the improvement of business travel. It will eventually help to reduce the costs of the entire package.

Do not limit the traveler’s autonomy

The management is responsible for budgeting the travel policy which helps to improve cost management however, it is also essential to give a degree of autonomy to the traveler. The policy should be flexible enough to allow the employee to adapt the trip as per the situation.

Traveler’s security should be a major concern

Business travelers need to have security in place. The company needs to stick to its definition of standards to ensure the employee’s integrity. The CTAs should have reliable partners (travel insurance, airlines, hotel chains etc.).

Mobility and automation

To optimize time and ease the processes, the administration of management platforms should have automated processes. This means they should adopt mobile solutions where search options, travel alerts, ticket reservations etc. can be accessed quickly, easily and on the go.

Corporate Travel Trends in 2016

Corporate travel trends tend to change regularly. 2016 has also not been any different and the travel management companies (TMCs) and corporate travel agencies (CTAs) are quite focused to provide steady if not strong axis all over. A growing MICE sector, investments in mobile and big data and enhanced focus on duty of care are some of their areas of focus.

Rising prices

The consolidated buzzword among global suppliers, airfares, hotel rates etc. is the rising fares. It is sometimes the move of the suppliers to generate discounts which encourage travel if there is a strong decline in demand. A positive 2016 world economy has been bringing an increase in air fares of a few percentage points, hotels are expected to see 4%-6% rise in average global rates and the competition will remain moderate in the car rental services.

Duty of care

Risk management is one of the major points of emphasis for corporations. Corporate customers are allowing new policies and improved technologies to monitor employees’ location in case of an emergency, especially when they are traveling to foreign destinations. For instance, Concur Risk Messaging helps to identify the travelers moving around in the world and alerts them with alternate travel arrangement as and when needed.

Focusing on MICE

Meetings industry is a major growing sector and the corporate travel trend is developing on it. The corporate travel agencies should better start aligning the various meeting procurement methodologies with its transient travel sourcing. One of the ways could be to broaden the variety of meeting services by incorporating incentive trips within it.

Investing in technology

A sharper focus on increasing value and becoming more traveler centrist can be done by bringing in mobile friendly technologies. Mobile and big data are definitely the two most significant technological investments which any corporate travel agency must focus to make their platform more appealing.

Business travel analysis after Brexit

Following Brexit, ACTE and CAPA shared their speculations. According to them, the greatest short-term effects on the travel industry will come from the weakening of the pound against other world currencies. Greeley Koch, executive director for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives said that the business travel industry will trend on currency fluctuations; with some companies taking advantage of the weaker pound and traveling more, while others may withhold business travel until world markets find their own level.

Impact of terrorism on corporate travelers

Travel policy makers and administrators need to be guided by rising terrorism scare. For executives and staff undertaking travel on behalf of businesses, the travel agents and corporate travel agencies (CTAs) should prove the reassurance for their safety through the travel policies. It is more than likely that the surveys conducted over corporate travelers reflect the general concern of the global business travelers about the spate of terrorism. However, there is no denying the fact that terrorist threat is changing the patterns of business travel. The key impact of this is to keep in mind that the companies providing travel services for business travelers need to enhance their focus on security and the associated risks in delivering the services to corporate clients. According to a recent finding, travel managers have higher estimation of their policy’s effectiveness in addressing risk compared to skeptical business travelers.

Concluding

Although the corporate travel sector has continued to progress, there are a plethora of challenges faced by the industry. A rapidly changing consumer market, the emergence of new business models, the impact of technology, man-made and natural crises are some of the fulcrum points that need to be considered before planning corporate trips.

Travel Insurance – How To Get The Best Value Travel Insurance

If you are an occasional traveler you’ll probably buy your insurance from the travel agent. But if you travel more than twice a year, it is much more cost effective to have one insurance lasting all year round, than buying one every time you travel.

Think ahead, plan ahead. Annual travel insurance easily pays for itself with just a couple of trips. But not all insurances are worth the same and as always cheapest is not necessarily the best. More on this later.

Annual travel insurance is not compulsory but it gives you the peace of mind case of illness and loss or damage to property and many other events. Where is the best place to buy annual travel insurance?

1. Your bank is probably the first place you’ll try. Banks have in recent times become highly competitive and in order to retain your business, may offer better rates. For example my bank has upgraded my checking account to a premium account and for that I pay $20 per month.

As a result I get several privileges including free, worldwide, comprehensive travel insurance. But here is the best part … I get all this free travel insurance not just for myself but also for any member of my family traveling with me including my parents and siblings.

I said free because I am already getting other benefits which are worth a lot more than $20 per month if I were to buy them individually. I also save a lot of time as I never have to look around for insurance. So don’t ignore your bank.

2. Credit card companies also offer similar insurances, with some added advantages. In case of theft or loss of your credit card, they will supply you with an emergency one, often within a few hours.

In addition to travel insurance offers, there is another advantage in checking your credit card company’s terms. If you book your travel using your credit card, pretty much all card companies give excellent cover against many of the things that can go wrong.

Some credit card companies also have specialist travel departments which not only give you travel discounts but also give you even better protection, i.e. better travel insurance and at a much lower cost. But note that all insurance offers exclude you making a claims, for the same item, to multiple sources even if you do have multiple insurance cover.

For example, let’s say you have bought travel insurance separately and you have bought your travel ticket using your credit card. If your luggage is lost, you can almost certainly make a claim to either of the two sources but not to both at the same time.

The reason is that the insurance companies have suffered massive fraud in recent years. Allowing multiple claims simply encourages fraudsters to have multiple insurances and make multiple false claims.

For example, they can take an already damaged suitcase on a long journey knowing that it will fall apart. They can then claim damage and loss of property from multiple insurers.

3. Insurance companies are a popular and obvious source for annual travel insurance. If you drive a car or have home insurance get a quote from your insurance company. Remember, because you are already a customer, your car insurance often entitles you to a very good discount.

Here’s a tip: if they don’t give you a competitive insurance, tell them that you will be looking else where for a good package. Let them know you will be looking for a package that includes great home insurance, excellent travel insurance and also good car insurance.

Listen, fear of loss WILL make them bend over backwards for you and if they don’t? Here’s another tip: When you talk to any other source to get your competitive travel insurance, make sure you mention your other assets that you could be insuring with them, such as your car, home, home contents, etc.

This won’t work with travel companies but works absolutely beautifully with most insurance companies. I have done it many times and saved myself thousands of dollars, yes thousands, over the last few years.

The insurance industry is massively competitive. For once, this works in favor of the “little guy” (you and me), so let’s use it.

4. Certain types of home insurance may also give annual travel cover. Do look into pretty much any insurance cover you have. Some home insurance policies include some forms of travel cover including loss or damage to your property while away from home.

Tip: even if you live with your parents, ask them to check their policy for you. You will be amazed to see that even “your” property is covered while away from home.

Just one word of caution: do not assume what is covered or the level cover. If you are not sure just ask the insurer. If the cover they describe seems even better than what you expected based on the policy document, then do ask them to put their clarification in writing.

Why? When any major loss occurs, the insurer will send a local expert to assess the damage. These guys are called loss adjuster. Their job is to save money for the insurance company. And I tell you from bitter personal experience, they take no prisoners.

They will screw you down to the ground, if you don’t get things in clear black and white writing. Just do it. It takes minutes to request clarification in writing but can save you thousands of dollars when you have one of these mean loss adjusters arguing with you over the policy.

5. You can also buy last minute travel insurance from travel agents and airlines at the airport. Expect to be taken advantage of, heavily! Needless to say, this is one of your most expensive options. Just avoid ending up with this option, see to your insurance long before you need to travel.

Now here’s the thing. Travel insurance policies are not all identical. As well as considering price, you absolutely must read the terms and conditions carefully. For example, the upper age limit of some insurance companies may vary.

Some companies may limit the number of annual trips, whilst others may have no limit at all. Look, most travel insurance policies cover a range of events and claims. But as they say, the devil is in the detail.

The problem you will definitely face with some really cheap policies from unknown and possibly disreputable companies is what they put in the fine print. You know what I’m talking about? … all those tiny little statements they put on the back of the form? Or if you are buying insurance online (and you should), notice all those pages of really small text they ask you to agree to?

Well, that’s where they bury lots of little conditions and limitations. Most people don’t read all the terms. Do yourself a huge favor and on this occasion, do read it all. If the insurance policy terms are full of “weasel words” or complex language, just move on and do not buy.

All insurance companies are quick to point out how many millions you can claim in “total”, in case of a serious accident. But they all limit the amount per item within your claim. So claims for loss of cash will be capped and so will claims for electronic devices, clothes, etc.

This means that with the cheaper policies you will have a really low limit. For example, if you claim for a mobile phone and an MP3 player, you may find that the limit on personal electronics is not enough to even pay for “one” of those devices, let alone both. Don’t wait for an unfortunate event to show you the flaws in a dirt cheap policy. That is the worst time to find out and it is a time when you need the most help.

What must all policies cover?

1. Loss or damage to property and cash

2. Flight delays or cancellation

3. Accidents

4. Sickness

5. Your expenses when an event occurs

6. Your potential liability to other people

7. Legal services

In comparison to your total costs, annual travel insurance is only a very small item. If you are covered for any eventuality, you’ll have less to worry about, which will translate to more relaxation and enjoyment.

Travel Risk Management: Are You Ready for a Crisis?

Introduction

If you know that business travel is not without its risk and the potential for crisis, then you need to read this article. In this article we are going to talk about the management and containment of crisis as it relates to travelers and travel managers. The objective of this article is to share with you the collective knowledge on managing crisis and significantly improve your ability to identify and manage a crisis but also improve your business travel efficiency.

During this article I am going to discuss travel risk myths, crisis management, plans and options so you can immediately compare or improve your own travel risk management system for your travelers or travel management department.

Crisis by definition is something you didn’t have a plan for or something in which you are unprepared. Additionally, it can be a series of events that in concert create a crisis. Events or issues that occur, to which you have a plan and strategy, is merely an incident.

Crisis Management/Leadership

The first thing is to clarify what is the difference between crisis management and leadership. More importantly, which one is the more important?

Crisis management relates to the response to event/s that threaten your business, travelers or travel activity. The event leads and you follow with plans, decisions and actions.

Crisis leadership, on the other hand, is more about getting ahead of the events and issues to prevent, management and even contain the impact to your business or business travel activities. While management is a portion of the leadership demand, your actions and involvement lead the outcomes rather than a more passive wait and act approach with pure crisis management.

Crisis leadership is the less practiced of the two, but the most significant in terms of results and reduction in risk and impact. If you take nothing else away from this session, it should be that your focus should always be on Crisis Leadership, not crisis management.

Myths

There are many myths and half-truths about crisis, disruption and threats within the travel management sector. Much of this misinformation has originated from travelers themselves, media, travel managers, friends and family or so called “experts”.

For example, many travelers and planners are focused on terrorism. The reality is, you have a very, very small chance of being exposed or affected directly by a terrorist act. It doesn’t mean you should discount it as a threat altogether but it shouldn’t dominate your plans or processes if not a proportional threat to you and your travelers. Conversely, almost everyone overlooks motor vehicle accidents. Yet, they happen far more frequently, can have devastating affect on travelers and are the least common plan contained within company travel management departments.

Travelers and travel managers must be prepared, educated and have supporting plans for any event that has the potential to delay, disrupt or harm the traveler or the business.

The most common events include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Airline delays or cancellations
  • Airport closures or disruptions
  • Transport delays
  • Bad weather
  • Sickness and illness
  • Petty crimes
  • Hotel fires
  • Political disputes
  • Demonstrations and gatherings

Motor vehicle accidents within your own country can be stressful and dangerous but on an overseas business trip they can be 100 times more challenging and dangerous. Consider language, local authorities, first respond, standard of healthcare, families and support in your plans and initial response.

Airline delays and cancellations. They happen all the time but they are not just an administrative response. You may need to consider safety, transport, quarantines, security threats, government response and wide spread suspension of services to overcome the issue and maintain safety of your travelers.

Airport closures or disruptions. Failed systems, electrical problems, threats, weather, construction and so on can prevent you even getting to your flight. Consider the impact this has on your plans and how your traveler will need to possibly extend stay, move to alternate airport or find accommodation.

All other transport delays and disruptions can create crisis when everyone no longer has access to trains, buses, key roads or even water transport. Have a plan and add it to your immediate decision making process.

2010 and the commencement of 2011 has seen travel of all kind affected by natural disasters and weather. Weather and natural forces have and always will impact travelers. It does and will continue to occur. It is highly concerning how unprepared travelers and companies are for volcanic eruptions, typhoons, floods, earthquakes and general bad weather.

People get sick or feel unwell all the time. This is compounded significantly when traveling. Standard of care, language, access, cost, complications, choice and numerous other location based concerns will determine just how at risk your traveler will be. A single, “one-size-fits-all” plan or solution will fail and you need to be aware of these issues immediately with the onset of an affected traveler.

Crimes are a reality of any city in the world. However, travelers seldom know the risks and may be preyed upon by thieves and criminals. The loss of phones, money, and other items may seem less likely to constitute a crisis but when overseas, injured or not able to speak the local language, all these simple events can create a major concern for your business travelers. This can be amplified if you have a senior executive or a group of executives affected.

Hotel fires and emergencies are more common than most people think. The immediate threat to an individual is fairly obvious but the impact that the lack of accommodation choices can create from the temporary or permanent closure of a hotel is a much bigger concern. This was graphically displayed during the Mumbai terror attacks (as extra ordinary as the event was) when most of the best/preferred hotels were now unavailable in a key part of the city. This removed thousands of rooms for business travelers and forced many to cancel or significantly alter travel plans just because there were a lack of suitable accommodation options, whether affected by the events or not.

Any event that alters the political stability of a location or region or results in thousands of people out on the streets constitutes a risk to your business travel plans and travelers. They can happen spontaneously or take time to develop. The immediate dangers and the ongoing disruption can have a major impact on your business or traveler.

Again, plans, preparation and thought to these issues will greatly reduce the impact and improve your business too.

Now that we have removed the most common misconceptions, let’s focus on the management and containment of a crisis.

Crisis management

The key to successful crisis management is planning, training, plans, decision-making and adaptability.

Planning

Given the issues previously covered, you now have a better insight into how and why planning is important to remove the more emotive issues from the realities of real business threats and events.

Planning needs to include multiple departments and perspectives to be truly effective. One of the greatest weaknesses I see regularly is that departments continue to manage the risk of travel through multiple departments with multiple plans. The input and plan needs to be unified. Depending on the company, it may include travel managers, security, HR, finance, marketing, C-suite and operations.

All plans need to be continuously updated, location specific, aide in the decision-making process and modular enough have elements extracted quickly and effectively. Modern, effective plans embrace technology. Rapid, efficient access to information, along with running updates is the hallmarks of a modern sustainable plan, regardless of the size of the issue or the company.

Training

No plan is effective without training and rehearsal. Training, whether through simulations, drills or live, full-scale exercises are vital to the success of any crisis situation. Such sessions don’t need to be boring or overly complicated but must include travel managers and planners along with the more common crisis and emergency managers.

Increasingly, training is becoming a mandatory requirement for key positions and roles. It can be linked to internal HR processes but must support the business objectives and measurable on how it reduces the risk to people, business, brand and travel demands.

While the plan creates the framework for crisis decision-making, teams can learn a lot from training on how and when to adapt their plans. How the team interacts, strength, weakness, leaders, followers, limitations, tools and many more planned and surprise outcomes are possible with effective training.

Adaptations

No plan will completely script all the events, issues and options available for every plausible travel delay, disruption or crisis. You need to be able to adapt and evolve from the original plan and intention. This can only be achieved with planning, plans and training.

Solutions So what do I need in my plan?

Here is the best travel risk management content for your plan:

  • Objective(the single most important part of any travel policy)
  • References
  • Scope
  • Legal
  • Insurance
  • Finance
  • Reimbursements
  • Limits
  • Priority/precedence
  • Management Authority/ies
  • Situations

Procedure will likely cover:

  • Planning
  • Resources
  • Tools
  • Authority
  • Executive Decision making
  • Limits
  • Budgets
  • Training
  • Compliance
  • Pre-trip admin
  • Providers
  • Booking
  • Accommodation
  • Airlines
  • Ground Transport
  • Safety and Security
  • Health and wellness
  • Emergency
  • SOP/Actions on
  • Insurance
  • Travel Monitoring /tracking
  • Reporting
  • HR
  • Entitlements
  • Threat/risk levels
  • Shelter in Place
  • Relocations/evacuations
  • Management Authority
  • Review

Don’t forget your risk assessment will need to include the key elements:

  • Traveller
  • Location
  • Activity
  • Support/Resources
  • Response

Conclusion

There you have it. Now you know what is required, how do you rate your current plans and preparedness?

You now have the most relevant issues and areas to focus upon that will reduce or contain the majority of incidents you may face your travelers will be safer, your business more profitable and your costs will be contained by reducing your exposure to expensive crisis events.

We have debunked popular travel threat myths, identified the difference between crisis management and leadership, outlined plans and options so you can immediately compare or improve your own travel risk management system for your travelers or travel management department. Review your plans and make the immediate improvements.

You will know when you have an effective crisis management system for your travel risk management strategy when you have little to no crisis.

You may have numerous events or incidents but you have a plan, you’re prepared and your decision making is fast and consistent. If not, you have failed and you will run from crisis to crisis on a regular basis.

Travel Insurance FAQs

There are a lot of misconceptions related to travel insurance, and understandably most people aren’t as well versed in the fine details of this type of cover as I am – I can’t say that I blame them! However, many misconceptions put people at risk of spending unnecessary amounts of money on areas that could and should be covered by their policy.

So, I’ve compiled this mini travel insurance FAQ to assist those who have doubts, worries or questions about what they should look for.

Q: What should I do before going abroad?

A: Make sure you have checked the FCO Travel Advice for the countries you are visiting. Check you have sufficient money and that your passport is up-to-date. Take a photocopy of your passport details and keep in a safe place. Check what inoculations and visas are required. Note down the numbers and addresses of the UK embassy and consulate in the country you’re traveling to.

Q: Should I take out travel insurance before my holiday?

A: I may be a little biased on this one, but yes! It is extremely important that you take out adequate travel insurance even for short trips or visits to Europe, and absolutely imperative in countries outside the EU where different conditions make illness more likely and affordable medical cover that bit more difficult to get hold of. It also covers for cancellation as soon as you book your trip.

If you travel to a country, or part of a country, against FCO advice, it is unlikely that your insurer would meet any claim, however. Should the FCO advice change after you have booked a holiday, check the position with your tour operator and travel insurance company.

Q: Should I be looking at single trip or annual multi trip travel insurance?

A: Only you can answer that really – although single trip is (generally) cheaper, it does exactly what it says and covers you for just the one trip. By contrast, annual multi trip travel insurance will cover you for the whole year on various breaks, making it the choice if you think you’re likely to travel that much. You may find that just taking two trips a year would make annual multi trip travel insurance cheaper than the single trip variety!

Q: What sort of reason for cancellation is valid to ensure cover?

A: As long as your reason is within the scope of cover provided by your policy, then you should be entitled to claim in most cases. Legitimate reasons for cancelling your trip could include an illness or death in the family (as defined by your policy), freak weather conditions suspending travel for 24 hours, burglary or damage to your home, being a victim of criminal assault resulting in you being medically unable to travel, being called up for emergency military service or jury duty (subject to the specific terms and conditions of the policy). Likewise, if the hotel or resort (for independent travelers) you’re due to visit suffers from a terrorist attack in the days leading up to your travel, you will generally be able to claim.

Q: Who pays if I need to be hospitalized overseas or flown back to the UK?

A: If you have proper cover, the travel insurance company should pay such fees. If not, the cost will fall to you or your relatives and friends.

Q: Is a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) the same as health insurance?

A: No. The free European Health Insurance Card shows that the holder is entitled to reduced or free emergency care only within the EU. You will still need travel insurance to ensure you will be covered fully in the event of illness or injury. The EHIC card will help though, by reducing your initial outlay before you can be reimbursed by your insurance company.

Q: Is my pre existing medical condition a big issue?

A: Generally, yes. Check the wording of your policy to ensure it covers pre-existing medical conditions. Often they’re not covered unless you pay an extra premium, and if you fail to declare your condition when you buy your cover, you’ll be unable to claim on it. As always the key advice here is to check the policy wording with a fine tooth comb.

Q: How can I find out whether it is safe to travel to a particular country?

A: It is strongly advised that you check the FCO Travel Advice section of their website. This information is regularly updated and should give you solid advice on where is and is not safe to travel (remember, areas officially outlined as ‘unsafe’ will seldom be covered by travel insurance policies).

Q: Is it safe to travel after a terrorist attack overseas?

A: Unfortunately, there is no such thing as risk-free travel, and the absence of advice against travel to a particular country or area does not imply that the FCO guarantees safety in that country or area.

I hope this travel insurance FAQ has proved useful – it’s only really scratching the service and each policy is different, but with this advice you should be in a better position to shop around, next time you need to purchase travel insurance.

Why Travel Solo – My Reasons For Travelling Solo

Many of you reading this article are thinking to yourselves ‘why travel solo… are you crazy’, while others are reading this in total agreement. Like for all travel needs, individual tastes, interests and goals will be the concern for any person traveling.

For me personally I prefer to travel solo myself but It all boils down to the type of trip you’re taking and what you plan on doing… obviously there are times where group or couple travel is inescapable and is of course still going to be a great experience… all travel is. These times could be team getaways, events such as weddings or corporate and clearly for a romantic getaway or honeymoon where I’ll assume that you would prefer not to travel solo.

Maybe you don’t have a partner or perhaps you didn’t know anyone else you wanted to travel with you… but you know with all your heart you want to go, have to go. Are the people who said no going to stop your travel? If so, why? Is it safety concerns, is It the unknown? Those questions might be on your mind, but think about it this way… doesn’t it make it more exciting? Wouldn’t you feel more accomplished if you did it by yourself?

Let me explain why I travel solo and the reasons why.

Avoid The Drama Of Others

Drama is often inescapable as all people including myself has some sort of drama in their lives. However in my experience below

A few years back I backpacked Europe and after about a week or so met up with a group of friends for roughly a month. In this time the couple traveling with us had a bad break up, which in turn almost severed another relationship. That night while this couple was fighting, bags were snatched, wallets stolen and because of the public outburst questioned by the police… and this was just the beginning of the drama, we still Christmas to get through after this. When the whole group of my friends had left I felt relief and like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

You may not want to travel solo but if you’re single then my recommendation is that you at least don’t travel with a couple, not without at least some other single people there.

Indifference Of Ideas

All travelers have their own ideas of what they want out of their travel and so they should. Compromise can be much easier in a couple and certainly traveling solo but in a group it can be a nightmare. You may want to go to a museum you’ve always wanted to see where as the others in your group want to just hit the pub.

Whoever has the numbers or the dominance will most likely win which puts you in an awkward situation. Yes, you could leave and go the museum by yourself but then what do you friends think of you and say about you later on. You may also not be contactable by phone, being in another country without a sim card which makes it much harder to meet up and find out when others will be back etc.

I remember road trip we took just 2 hours away from home with six guys and we had one of the worst weekends away possible. Some of us wanted to go prawning, others wanted to go somewhere else for fishing and some of us just wanted to hang out at the hotel by the beach and drink. The problem was we were all stubborn and because we only had the one car and two sets of keys it caused arguments left, right and centre.

Living In Close Quarters

When traveling with others, particularly for long periods of time you need to ensure that your travel buddy is someone you could live with in close quarters for however long it is you are traveling. We all have friends that we know that are good friends but you could never live with them, maybe they are messy, maybe they are snappy and the list goes on. If you can’t live with them… what makes you think you can travel with them?

Be Who You Want

A bonus to traveling solo as well is that others you meet along the way and you get to be the person you’ve always wanted to be or at least be able to interact differently with others. I truly believe you meet a lot more people when traveling solo as you have more reason to talk to others and you will meet more like-minded people to you as there are no indifference to ideas of what to do.

These are four of the main reasons why I travel solo but there are many more personal reasons like independence my goal when backpacking Europe was to get out there in the world and do it all myself. Escapism is another big reason for me sometimes with work and the same old routine you just need to escape the daily grind and get in some alone time.

Traveling solo isn’t for everyone and isn’t for all kinds of travel but if you’re after a fulfilling holiday and experiences then there really is nothing like traveling solo. You will not only meet more like-minded people, get to be who you want, gain independence and a sense of fulfillment as well avoid an indifference of ideas, living in close quarters and avoid anyone else drama while you enjoy what you want to do on your dream holiday. This is why I travel solo.

School Bus Safety Tips For Drivers and Their Children

Imagine: millions of students nationwide start their day by getting on and off the school bus. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that year after year, pedestrians who are usually below the age of 19 have died in school bus-related crashes. More school-age pedestrians have been killed between the hours of 3 and 4 p.m. than any other time of day. The NHTSA has even formulated several safety tips for both drivers and children:

Take note of the crosswalk/school zone sign.

 

  • Drivers: This means that during mornings and afternoons, these areas are likely to be crowded with children — some even on their bicycles or in-line skates. All of them are no match to a bus, so extra care in part of the driver is needed.
  • Children: Do what you learned in pre-school: look left, then right to see if vehicles or people are going to pass before crossing the street. If you could, go along with other children/people using the crosswalk.

Learn the “Flashing Signal Light System”that school buses use.

  • Drivers: Alert motorists if you are preparing to/stopping the school bus using the yellow/red light.
  • Children:Just because they are in a stop position does not mean there is no more danger. Take note of the danger zones around a stopped school bus, namely, the front and back (which are the most dangerous zones) and the driver’s side of the bus.

Slow down.

  • Drivers: Be alert around school zones. Young people may be rushing about on their way to class or to meet a parent.
  • Children: No need to rush when getting on or off. Wait until the bus hits a full stop, with the doors wide open before getting in. Use the handrails to avoid falls.

Visibility.

  • Drivers: For a vehicle such as a school bus, you really can’t see what’s directly below you. Be careful before speeding on.
  • Children: When crossing in front of a bus, put a safe distance (say, 10 feet) between the bus and where you plan to cross. Use sidewalks and walkways where you’re sure the driver sees you.

Backing up.

  • Drivers: Be aware if children/bicycles are crossing behind you.
  • Children: Never be the children/children-in-bicycles who cross behind buses.

To enforce traffic safety, the state of Florida has enforced tougher penalties for passing a stopped school bus while loading or unloading children. Previously the fine was $65.00, however now they are required to attend a 4-hour basic driver improvement course. This course explains Florida traffic laws and provides a refresher on defensive driving techniques.

So, for all drivers before you rush to pass a stopped school bus remember that the school bus uses the red flashing lights for a reason. And for pedestrians and children always but safety first and proceed with caution when exiting or entering the bus or in school zones.

Travel Pre And Post Internet

Travel Pre Internet:

I’ve been traveling for over 40 years – by thumb in my early days, by boots in the Scouts, a Lambretta came next and then my first old banger followed by newer old bangers to the beaches of the Costa Brava.

My thumb, boots, bikes and bangers took me all over Europe and the UK before finding that a charter flight to Spain on an old ‘Connie’ could get me to the beaches and bars a lot quicker and allow more time to enjoy the local travel opportunities by horse and cart and the occasional bus and train.

‘Go West and Prosper’ seemed to be a good idea so instead of taking an 8 hour flight I took an 8 day transatlantic crossing from Tilbury to Montreal on the Stephan Batory of Polish Ocean Lines ensuring that jet lag did not trouble my travel plans. Some years later I crossed the pond again on a ship but this time it was 5 times bigger and I traveled in style on the QE2 and dined in the Queen’s Grill somewhat removed from my earlier experience. I highly recommend ocean voyages but cannot see myself on one of the modern cruise ships going from port to port with constant line-ups to get on and off to buy t-shirts. However, I have done 10 Windjammers and a Star Clipper cruise in the Caribbean which were all memorable (let’s hope Windjammer Barefoot Cruises recover from their woes). But I digress.

I had read that Canada is a spectacular country, from sea to shining sea, and my entrance into the St. Lawrence River to Montreal and then heading west in an old Econoline van from the Great Lakes, across the Prairies to the Rocky Mountains before ending up whale watching off of the Pacific Coast of Vancouver Island was a trip of wonder to a bloke from London. Today the scenery is still spectacular and the best way to go is still by road so rent or buy a car, motorhome or motorbike, take the train or tour bus but remember the maps, a fly rod, good boots and take your time.

My favorite part of Canada / USA for adventure travel has to be Northern BC / Alaska, to hike the Chilkoot Trail in the steps of the goldseekers of 1898. The Northwest Territories to canoe the Nahannie River and the Yukon to drive from Dawson City to Chicken, Alaska. If you like the outdoors and can put up with a few bugs, cast a fly and scale a few hills or drive on endless dirt roads sharing the space with moose, caribou, elk, bears and eagles, then these are the places to put on your list. The pleasures and experiences in driving to Inuvik on the Dempster Highway or to Prudhoe Bay on the Dalton Highway or even the Canol Road can only be felt by doing them. I would have mentioned the Alaska Highway but now it is an easy drive unlike the aforementioned.

Today the costs of driving these distances may mean that sharing the journey with others is required, but RVing or simply vanning and camping is a great way to see beyond the horizon. Some enroute adventures now need to be booked in advance whereas when I hiked Denali and the Chilkoot Pass it was just a case of turning up, registering with the local ranger office and heading on out. A little more forward planning is needed for today’s traveller and cost considerations of lengthy flights or drives have to somehow be countered with more careful planning. In the days of reasonable gas prices I would not even consider the driving or flying costs and have driven to Key West from the northwest coast, down the west coast to the Baja and to the west coast from New York. I once even flew my 1946 Fleet taildragger from the Pacific to the Atlantic and back using around 5 gallons an hour of avgas. Before the oil and credit crisis I drove from Rio de Janeiro to Lima, down to Tierra del Fuego and back to Rio covering over 15,000 miles of spectacular scenery and with no consideration about the cost of gas. South America should be on your itinerary too! Some other memorable drives that may now require a mortgage with the gas companies include London to The Nordkapp, Norway, Skippers Canyon in New Zealand and the loneliness of the far north of Australia and the amazing coast of Western Australia stopping by at Monkey Mia and Wave Rock.

We tend to forget that the real cost of traveling is often less today than over the 40 years of my travels. In 1977 my round-trip airfare from Canada to Australia cost over $1700 in 1977 dollars so today it is far cheaper to fly, even with the airlines gouging for fuel, extra baggage, no service and no pleasure. The ‘Big Mac’ method of price comparison as developed by The Economist newspaper gives us a good gauge for most expenditures of today compared to yesterday but my $1500 cost to get a private pilots license in the 1970’s seems cheap by comparison to today, but obviously not when using this Big Mac principle. Other travel costs are also far cheaper today but this should not mean that travelers should disregard the many methods of saving costs that can then be put to extended or improved travel experiences

Travel Post-Internet:

In my 40 years of travel I have had to use travel agents to make even the simplest of reservations and buy tickets, not even thinking to ask them if they had “been there, done that?” It was just a case of there being no other options to buying travel. Now we have unlimited choices and can seek out better travel agents, better prices, better selections and information about anywhere in the world for our travels – without even leaving home.

The Internet now gives travelers ideas and options of Where to go, When to go, Why to go, What to do, Who to book with and How to save money and offset costs. We can search and find experts for every travel option. If we are comfortable with the Internet we no longer have to go to a travel agent to make reservations and buy tickets except to book with some of the larger travel companies that still produce glossy brochures and offer all inclusive packages or tours that only sell through the agency system. The Internet also allows those of us who are smart enough to know when to seek out a top travel agent with knowledge, experience and expertise (KEE skills) of destinations and activities about where to find them. There is no longer any need to only use our local agents when we can find one somewhere else in the world. When we do not need ‘the knowledge’ and can do it ourselves we simply surf the web so that we can book directly with tour and travel operators wherever we have decided to go.

Some travel agents operate their own tours, some are both wholesale and retail, some limit consumer selection by only selling their ‘preferred’ suppliers and some have professional consultants with years of experience invested in gaining knowledge, experience and expertise and are worth their weight in gold to the savvy traveler. Beware though, as some are also called destination specialists and some of these designations merely require the agent to take a rudimentary test offered by tourism offices, destination marketing groups or even tour operators and in my opinion can harm the reputation of the travel industry. A specialist is not necessarily an expert.

Travel is probably the most used commercial aspect of the Internet and if retail agents want to harness this exciting medium to offer ‘the knowledge’ and their ‘kee’ skills to a global audience, not just their local community, they must embrace the changes that are happening. Travelers now have the ability to seek answers to the 5 W’s of travel and the important ‘How to’ save money and offset costs by having information just a click away.

And then it occurred to me that even internet travel prices often include a commission element even when sold directly to the consumer. If we book directly with operators we should not have to pay full retail prices as we are doing for ourselves what a retail agent would normally do for us. A dilemma for the operator is that to show a both a retail and a cost price option could deter many agents from selling the services as travelers could use an agent for free advice and book directly with the operator to get a ‘net of commission’ price. Obviously this two tier pricing is not often available but travelers who do not need advice should also not be penalized by retail pricing. A new way had to be found and I think I have found it!

The need for fairer fare prices is why I developed the Top Travel Voucher program at The Top Travel Club and I even found a dot com for it. All travel selections on the site are at ‘net of commission’ prices for members who handle there own travel arrangements directly with the operators linked on the club website using our voucher program.

I am inviting travel operators from around the world to join this program, from B&B’s, Motels, Hotels, Luxury Lodges, Eco Resorts, Beach Resorts and Tour and Adventure Operators who want to promote their products and services to travelers who are comfortable with direct bookings and reservations.

I am also inviting Travel Agents with knowledge, experience and expertise of destinations and activities to showcase their skills to a global audience of travelers and to the members of this new travel club. I am leery of ‘specialist agents’ and only want experts to showcase their services.

This opportunity is available to the travel trade at no cost except for them to offer net, wholesale or outlet prices to club members and visitors to the website using top travel vouchers. I believe this program offers fairer fare prices to direct-booking travelers. The operator would normally be paying commission anyway but now travelers get the savings because they make their own arrangements.

The Top Travel Club opened in mid-April 2008 offering thousands of top travel vouchers for travel in over 70 countries with around 150 travel operators on-board. Every week we add more travel operators with more choices for members. Currently you can get savings on accommodations, adventure travel, boat charters, culinary tours, hike, bike and dive tours, auto and RV rentals fishing lodges and guides, safaris, vacation rentals, single travel, women only and dude ranches. Members get the vouchers free of charge by paying an annual membership fee and non-members can buy the vouchers on the internet at Top Travel Sites at deeply discounted prices to the face-value. The future growth will include restaurants, travel clothing, travel insurance and the opportunity to access air ticket consolidators who want to deal directly with consumers.

The way I have traveled and the way I see travel is that consumers should have unlimited access to every travel opportunity with the ability to do their own due diligence or to find a professional who can offer quality advice and services at fair prices, and to find all of this without needing endless hours of searching.

To find out more about the new way of cost offsets for travel please go to The Top Travel Club and my apologies for some of the spelling (traveler / traveler) but that is what I was taught. As long as we all understand the meaning, vive le difference!

Benefits of Collaboration in the Luxury Travel World

The luxury travel industry has been the core of my business world for many years. In my role as marketing consultant have seen travel companies grow and fall as the trends for vacations and short breaks changed in line with needs for the industry’s most important component – the customer.

From just one holiday or vacation a year, the trend has grown to a pattern of two maybe even three vacations. For those with more disposable income, a sprinkling of short breaks throughout the year has become a typical indulgence… until now.

With the onset of the financial recession from 2008 onwards large families and travelers in their 40-50s were hardest hit in terms of the number and quality of holidays taken. Excited at the opportunities afforded by budget flights and exciting destinations many families looked forward to a few weeks in the sun with cheap food and drink plus the opportunity to pick up some duty free luxuries and a tan.

But the fall out from flight route closures on the cheaper airlines, the rising costs of hold baggage and the affects of currency fluctuations have made larger numbers of potential holiday makers taking the cheaper option and staying at home.

The younger singles market still managed the short luxury breaks to European cities such as Prague and Barcelona and the island retreats of Ibiza and Mallorca. But even this market is being eroded as salaries dip in line with recession. Currency fluctuation and exchange rates have hit the cost of bed and board rises dramatically in the once celebrated destinations. Add in the effect of ‘global warming’ on the conscience of the younger travelers and its easy to see why so many of the budget holiday companies are falling on difficult times.

And what about the luxury end of the market? Believe it or now but some of the top end companies are having a very profitable time. How? They have talked to each other, joined forces and shared resources to help bring their marketing costs down and in many cases their market coverage up.

I have seen groups of top Scottish Hotels who might have been fighting for a customers attention, become a collaborative marketing group whose aim is to sell the destination first and then divide up the spoils among their spa resorts, golf complexes, boutique hotel partners and city centre apartments.

I have also seen small specialist travel agents collaborate by forming a collaborative venture specializing in high end luxury travel destinations – each member having a unique destination or service. With one innovative marketing message they have a louder voice than they might have as individual travel operators.

On the customer side collaboration is also proving very beneficial. Instead of taking lots of individual holidays there is a growing trend for groups who might have booked separate hotels and a similar destination to team up and book a large villa or apartment. Combining their entrepreneurial skills, purchasing skills and cooking skills they are able to eat well, organize great activities while staying at some of the most exclusive holiday destinations.

Business Travel Agents Tips: A Corporate Travellers' New York Airports Guide

New York City is one of the most popular key travel destinations for corporate travelers worldwide. The city is the center of much that’s great, dynamic and profitable in America. It is home of one of the world’s principal financial centers (i.e. anchored by Wall Street), and a popular business hub for the publishing and entertainment industry at the same time. So, it’s no surprise it features three airports, Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and J. F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). As a frequent corporate traveler you probably may have flown to one of the three New York airports at some point or another. With JFK being a major international gateway to the US, this city guide aims to provide some helpful travel agents tips for corporate travelers flying to or from JFK Airport.

New York JFK Facts & Figures

Located about 25km away from Manhattan in Queens, JFK Airport is the largest airport in the state of New York and one of the busiest business travel hubs (over 50 million travelers/year) in the US and internationally. It has six operating terminals (numbered 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8; terminal 6 was demolished in 2011, Terminal 3 in 2013). Currently, the 4th runway is under redevelopment to comply with the needs of Group VI aircraft (until December 2015 as planned so far), which may cause delays, but measures are in place to minimize them, so you shouldn’t be too much affected. With more than 90 airlines arriving and departing from JFK, various business travel solutions for flights to New York can be arranged. Points of origin and destinations include places within the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Pacific, Australia/New Zealand, basically all over the world. The airport offers corporate travelers a choice of non-stop flights to about 100 international destinations which may prove convenient for your next business trip. However, JFK is very susceptible to weather-related delays due to its position. Corporate travelers are well advised to consider and prepare for possible thunderstorms in summer, causing delays across the US, as well as snow, icing and assorted slush throughout the winter season. For the months between June and November the risk of potential hurricanes is increased.

In general, our business travel agents team advise leisure and corporate travelers to allow plenty of time for getting to and from JFK. Serious traffic incidents on the way between the city and the airport left many wondering whether they’ would be able to make it in time or miss their flight. Furthermore, don’t forget that this is America. Therefore, bear in mind that the TSA rules supreme over security checkpoints. So, take a deep breath and take maybe a book with you or something else to keep you busy. Make sure you arrive early.

Useful JFK terminal facilities for corporate travelers

In most public areas within most terminals, corporate travelers will conveniently find that Wi-Fi is available for free for up to 30min. You can get online near the ticket counters, boarding gates, designated work stations and food courts. The Wi-Fi access is provided by Boingo Wireless Company. If you need to use the internet for longer than 30mins., consider the following options: 1) $4.95 (£3.01, €3.77) per hour (pay as you go), 2) $7.95 (£4.83,€6.05) for unlimited access throughout a 24-hour period (day pass), 3) $9.95 (£6.04,€7.58) per month (unlimited access via a monthly subscription, to be used worldwide), or 4) if you already have a user account, simply log in using your user name and password. ATMs, currency exchange options (Lenlyn or Travelex), a rental phone shop, and more than 100 shops alongside various dining options are available at the terminals.

Ground transportation services from JFK Airport to New York City

The most convenient, stress-free way for travel from and to JFK Airport is to take the AirTrain. It is a cost efficient and helps you make sure you arrive at the airport in time, whilst avoiding possible traffic jams. You can access AirTrain services via the New York City subway system, which is also connected to the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). The journey from/to the city takes just over an hour. AirTrain is operated 24 hours on 365 days a year. Within the airport area, it connects terminals and also enables you to easily access car rental services, hotel shuttle areas and parking lots. At peak times the trains depart every 7 minutes and at off-peak times they go every 15 minutes. However, be clever in choosing your business travel route, as various routes make different stops within the airport. Good news for corporate travelers is that travel within the airport is usually free of charge. However, travel outside the airport is subject to a fee. AirTrain prices generally start from $5 (£3.04, €3.81). For more details on ticket prices are provided on the JFK Airport website under costs and tickets. If you travel via New York’s public transport network, then it is a good idea to use MetroCard, which is widely accepted and is worth to purchase for travel via subway, local trains, or buses. You can find vending machines for buying a MetroCard at Howard Beach and Jamaica Station. A good alternative for corporate travelers would be to take a taxi (for up to 4 passengers). Simply wait in the cab line for a licensed and insured cab to take you to your destination (about $52, i.e. about £31.58, €39.59, flat rate between JFK and Manhattan, excluding tips and tolls). The time for this trip should be about an hour. However, it can take much longer during rush hour.

Shared-ride shuttle services are a cheaper option than taxis, but can involve a lot of waiting and being driven around New York City to drop other people off first. You can find a full list of providers on the airport authority’s website. But remember to tip appropriately, as tipping (around 20% of transfer cost) is quite common and keep in mind that bridge/tunnel tolls are not included in the shared-ride shuttle services fares. Another option is to ask your business travel company to arrange a shuttle service for your trip from and to John F. Kennedy International Airport as prices can vary greatly depending on location and number of passengers. In this way you can ensure that you are traveling with a reliable supplier.

An express bus service is also available for a nominal fee from Penn Station (reachable e.g. by AirTrain or taxi). The service operates from early morning to late night, with buses running at least every half hour.

The airport is also home to several car rental agencies. Leisure and corporate travelers can choose between a number of car major rental companies including Advantage, Thrifty, Dollar, Enterprise, Budget, Hertz, National and Avis.

So, which mode of transport should corporate travelers choose for a trip from JFK to Newark and LaGuardia airports? Usually the best way to get to Newark Airport from JFK Airport is to simply take the AirTrain. However, if you need to travel to LaGuardia during your business trip, it we recommend to take advantage of a convenient shuttle bus service, using the free Route A (running every 10-15 minutes from 4:00am to 11:30pm) or Route B (running every 10-15 minutes from 6:00am to 2:00am).

Hotels near JFK Airport

Hotel booking services for corporate travelers flying to New York JFK Airport-although there are no operating hotels at JFK Airport at the moment, New York provides corporate travelers a huge choice (from budget accommodation to luxury suites) of hotels and motels, which are conveniently located nearby the airport. Most hotel accommodations nearby offer shuttle services. Alternatively you can take the AirTrain to the Federal Circle station and follow the “Courtesy Hotel Shuttles” signs. There are telephone services for the hotel courtesy shuttles located at the AirTrain Federal Circle Station and in the arrival areas of the airport terminals ($5, i.e. about £3.04, €3.81, Service Charge for making reservations). The range of motels and hotels include the Hilton*, the Courtyard* by Marriott, Hampton Inn*, Sheraton*, Hilton Garden, Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Fairfield Inn* by Marriott, Days Inn, Best Western and Howards Johnson. The ones marked by an * are also offering conference and meeting rooms for corporate events.

© Copyright Flight-line Travel Management Ltd. All rights reserved. All prices correct at time of publication.

In part two of our New York City Airport guide we’ll provide you with some business travel agents insider tips on Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and LaGuardia Airport (LGA).

Does The Internet Benefit Small Travel Businesses?

Yes, of course it does, but as much as it should?

When you think of the number of travel directories and websites available to travelers you would think that this is a world free of the normal conventions of business but unfortunately it is often bound by restrictions that travelers would not appreciate. Pricing of travel is one of the conventions that are not yet totally free of restrictions and understandably so due to distribution considerations.

Travel businesses using the traditional distribution chains for the sale of their products need to allow for the payments of commission to various levels of middlemen, Inbound Tour Operators, Wholesalers and Retailers, all who need to take a percentage for their efforts in enabling travel services and products to reach the consumer.

Websites however, reach directly to consumers and enable them to make direct bookings with travel providers but they can still incur the costs attributed to these middlemen. But, to place a two-tier price for each product could deter the agents from representing products so a new way had to be found. This is where TopTravelSites stepped in with their newly developed service for the travel provider who wants to continue with the traditional supply chain but also wants to encourage travelers who are comfortable with making their own arrangements directly with providers and who do not need the services of travel agents, just the internet.

The service called TopTravelVouchers gives travelers a ‘fair fare price’ on direct bookings but the provider still incurs the cost of commission.

This new price format is achieved by the travel operator issuing a voucher in exchange for marketing, promotion and deliverance of travelers directly to their websites to make their bookings. The voucher is sold to travelers at deeply discounted prices to their redemption values enabling the traveler to be the beneficiary of a ‘nearly net’ price for the travel package or service. The operator of TopTravelVouchers does not have the normal costs that are attributable to retail and wholesale agents such as shops, reservation systems, brochures and high staffing and is thus able to encourage travelers to book directly with their clients and to get a price saving for their efforts. It is in effect a travel agent that does not sell travel, only travel vouchers, which are to be used towards travel purchased from the travel companies who are participating in the service.

Many travel businesses do not use middlemen, often due to the small size of their travel operation, but they would still be prepared to pay a commission or fee for a referral or a sale. They still need to make travelers aware of their products and services and to be able to offer encouragement and a reward gives them an opportunity to reach out to travelers who prefer to deal directly with operators.

There are thousands of smaller travel businesses around the world ranging from B&B’s, Family Boutique Hotels, Small Tour Operators, Adventure and Eco Tours that are rarely seen by the vast majority of travelers. These operators are not found in the glossy travel brochures or represented by travel agents but they often have excellent products and services which can be seen on their websites. Many of them are willing to pay a commission to a seller of their products but are not able to get travel agent representation. This new voucher system allows them to encourage and reward travelers who prefer to handle their own arrangements directly with the operators by offering a price that reflects discounted commission costs and thus savings for the do-it-yourself traveler.

TopTravelVouchers sell at three price levels according to the savings on each: $30, $50 or $100usd or equivalent currency if purchased outside of the USA. They may often be purchased in multiples, benefiting families or groups and at the time of this article there was a voucher costing $100usd with a value of 1,500euros (around $2,000usd) offered on a small ship cruise in Greece that is also a small travel operator not normally represented by the agency system.

Travelers are given 100% money-back guarantees if the vouchers are not used within 1 year of issue but maybe this should be for two years as the vouchers are normally valid for 2 years. Even after the completion of travel and travelers are unhappy with the quality, the voucher cost is reimbursed by TopTravelSites and the problem taken up with the travel operator.

It is obvious that this service will only work for TopTravelSites if supported by the world of travel providers who need to expand their representation as the retention of only a small percentage on each sale needs to be followed by high volumes of voucher sales but it is a unique service offering benefits to both travelers and the smaller travel businesses in the travel industry utilizing the logical use of the internet for direct bookings.

Travel Agency School and a Turn Key Booking Site Equals Success!

Are you searching for a travel agency school that will teach you all you need to know about starting a travel business and becoming a travel agent?

Does the intrigue and romance of the travel industry sound fascinating to you? Can’t you just picture yourself basking in the culture and fine cuisine of a faraway land that you’ve e only dreamed of traveling to? Or relaxing on a tropical beach while sipping frozen cocktails, mesmerized by the sound of crashing waves on the powdery, white sand?

You may call this vacation, but many home based travel agents are combining pleasure with business and taking what they often call “paycations”. Upon becoming a travel agent anybody can build a lucrative income and enjoy the amazing fringe benefits that home based travel agents enjoy, including

  • Discounted travel
  • Commissions on their own travel (and all other travel booked on their sites)
  • Tax deductions on their travel expenses
  • Even free trips

Due to the popularity of online booking sites, becoming a travel agent can be an inexpensive and easy venture. Along with receiving a fully operational online travel site, you can learn everything there is to know about marketing and operating a travel business by enrolling in an online travel agency school.

Those who are already working another job enjoy the fact that becoming a travel agent doesn’t need to be a full time undertaking. Several factors have made it possible for home based travel agents to create full time success on a part time basis. Consider these facts

  • Online travel sites provide a self-serve business model, becoming a travel agent no longer requires the agent to research or book travel for customers
  • As a result of the paradigm shift created by online travel booking sites, starting a travel agency no longer requires a brick and mortar storefront, or employees
  • Many companies allow their home based travel agents to choose the level they wish to reach in travel agency school, more education equates to higher commissions
  • Once enrolled in a business, anyone can attend travel agency school on a part time basis

Does the thought of becoming a travel agent sound appealing to you? Well, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. You see, many home based travel agents have built businesses with companies that offer a guaranteed income. Yes, you read it right, guaranteed income! Up to ten thousand dollars in the first year, even for those who choose not to attend travel agent school!

If the thought of starting a travel agency appeals to you, there has never been a better time to go for it. Just think, a total business in a box, full support, access to online travel agency school, and even a guaranteed income. How can you go wrong?

Enjoy Partying at a Whole New Level With a Party Bus for Hire

Name a party that you want to have and you can all do it with a party bus for hire. You can unwind from a hard day’s work if you enjoy yourself in parties once in a while. At other times, you also want to try out something new and have more fun doing fun activities with friends and family. Typically, when you want to celebrate a certain event, you would normally rent the venue for the party or celebrate it at home. Private vehicles and vans cannot accommodate all the invited guests at once. A trip would be more enjoyable if you can be all at the same vehicle and everything you need is already there. Here are some fun ideas to do when you get to have a party bus for hire.

The night is still young and you might be already tired of partying at the same club. With a party bus, you can continue on partying at the bus with your friends while heading out to the next club. The fun never ends and you also get to meet new people as you do the club hopping. If you had too much alcohol, all you need to alleviate your drunkenness are also in the bus. Aside from that, the bus is operated by well trained individuals ensuring your safety while you and your friends enjoy the party.

You can also celebrate a love ones special occasion on a party bus. May it be a birthday party or a bachelor/bachelorette party; you will all have a good time together on the road. Aside from that, you get to visit places, watch sporting events and get to enjoy the scenery along the way. All you need to do is just enjoy yourselves and the rest will be taken care of by the party bus employees.

Most party bus companies have different buses with different kinds of amenities. Of course, you will be able to get to choose the kind of bus which is suitable for the party that you want to celebrate there. Some of these amenities include karaoke machines, excellent sound systems, neon lights, private toilets separate for men and women and a lot more.

You can try something new once in a while and explore other ways of having fun. One way of doing so is getting to have a party bus for hire to celebrate good times with friends and family. Also to maximize the rental you paid for the bus, it would be best to maximize the amount of people you invite to come with you. More guests to celebrate a party with, the more fun it will get. That way, the cost for the party bus will definitely be worth it.

First Time Travel Info For the Philippines

Before traveling to the Philippines one must be aware that this is a tropical country and therefore you need to have tropical gear and such. The Philippines is known history as the Pearl of the Orient and the Gateway to Asia. It is the only Christianized nation in Southeast Asia, most of its neighbors being Muslims or Buddhists.

Definitely before traveling to the Philippines you will need your travel documents in order. Should you be coming from another country which is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, then you will not need a travel visa and you can enter and stay in the Philippines from two to eight weeks without any visa. Tourists from Europe and from Australia and the United States may stay in the country for up to 2 months without a visa, but this is granted on a case to case basis.

Going back to the part where the Philippines is a tropical country, you can expect the country to be hot and humid, especially in the summer months of March to June. The monsoon months begin starting in July to December, but it usually rains strongest near August. Traveling to the Philippines around December to February is the coolest time when Siberian winds travel from Northern China and hit this island archipelago.

The medium of exchange in the Philippines is called the Philippine Peso. This is due to the country’s almost four hundred years of being a Spanish colony and strong ties to Mexico in the past. Thus expects a lot of Spanish type architecture, traditions like the siesta and fiestas when you travel throughout the country.

When traveling in the Philippines, travel light. Bring along light clothing made of cotton if available. It is not uncommon to see tourists in the capital city of Manila wearing beach shorts and flip flops. The weather is more than agreeable to this kind of clothing.

Plenty of hotels of international quality are found in the main cities of Manila in the north, with Cebu and Davao in the south. These three cities are the main hubs of tourism and commerce so they should always be included in one’s itinerary. There are adequate bus and air systems to ferry you back and forth within and through these cities.

Within the main cities the traditional jeepney is a popular mode of transportation, much like a small bus invented and adapted from the World War 2 soldier transport. However due to the heat, it may be more convenient for the new visitor to take a taxi around the cities. Taxi fares begin at roughly 50 cents for flag down rates and 25 cents for every kilometre.

The main cities of Manila, Cebu and Davao are centers of tourism where you can book your other travels to the 7,000 islands of the country whether you want to go to beaches, forests and the like. One is encouraged to visit the museums, shopping malls and nightspots to get a taste of a country that some have called the only Latin American country in Southeast Asia.

Travel and Its Benefits

Why do we need to travel? Why it is getting increasingly important that we, once in a while, change our environment and travel outside our country? Why it is sometimes a necessity for our emotional health to travel?

Travel’s importance is underestimated by many people. Travel is not only fun, entertaining and enjoyable. With our current lifestyles and work conditions, travel has become more than an option. It is more than just having fun. As Augustine of Hippo said ” The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” During travel you are able to do things you usually don’t do. When traveling, you go outdoor and be away from computers, and TVs and you are likely to be mixing with different people and cultures. People travel for different reasons. Some travel for fun and to have a good time. Others travel as a hobby. Travel can be an escape away from the hectic pace of life in big cities. Some travel just to change and move, as Robert Louis Stevenson said “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake”. Some people like to learn from different cultures, as Mark Twain said ” Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” Travel gives the person the opportunity to discover, to explore and to feel the sense of adventure.

Many people around the world are discovering the benefits of travel to the extent that the tourism industry is growing worldwide and has become one of the major profitable sectors in world economies. No wonder that travel is growing year by year. According to figures published by the World Travel & Tourism Council WTTC, world tourism industry grew by 3% in 2012, and contributed $6.6 trillion to world GDP by direct and indirect impact. In 2012, for the first time in history, international tourist arrivals reached 1.035 billion.

Here are the main benefits of travel:

1-Stress Relief: As you travel miles away from your environment, you are able to be free from your responsibilities and then begin to relax and rest. Not only you rest your body, but also your mind. Knowing that you can wake up anytime without an alarm clock, without the need to be physically available at work, will take off a lot of mental stress. Here, you can sense freedom. Stress relief is a major reason for travel. The moment you think you are heading for Hawaii or Bali, you get immediate sensation of excitement and stress-free feelings. It is this mental peace that makes travel a very good stress-relief. Sometimes travel can be stressful if your trip has a lot of sightseeing, or meeting a lot of people. But travel stress is different from home stress because it is positive stress. Travel stress does not associate with it anxiety or worry.

Travel is a great way to connect with nature which is very helpful for your relaxation, mentally or physically. Nature is a stimulus for activating your right brain. Right brain domination is one major cause for stress-relief. Also, during travel there is no sense of urgency which is usually associated with home behavior. Change of scenery is by itself helpful for relieving stress.

2-Physical Benefits: You move more when traveling. You walk more frequently whether riding the subway or exploring the streets of a historic city or even visiting a museum. By swimming or laying on the beach, you get a high dosage of vitamin D from the sun, something that is very useful for your bones and also for your positive emotions. Outdoor activities associated with travel can lower risk of diabetes, lead to weight loss and reduce cholesterol level. Some medical experts recommend traveling once every six months for cardiovascular health and for the heart. Some studies show that travel even improves better sleep.

3-Cultural Benefits: Sometimes we need to be anonymous. Sometimes we want to be free from any responsibility. Travel allows you to exercise both while meeting new people and experience new cultures. You will know how different people accomplish their goals with different ways. You will learn new ideas that you have never thought of before.

4-Relationship Benefits: Traveling with a companion and sharing same experiences and situations together will enhance your mutual bond. 93% of youth ages 8-18 consider travel as “a quality time” spent with their parents. 3 in 4 parents say that family vacations are very helpful for the family. Meeting new persons in new locations can result in long term relationship for many.

5-Happiness: Many persons associate happiness with travel. More than 50% of adults buy souvenirs just to remember their vacations. Most travelers store photos of their destinations as a way of remembering those trips that are about tasting new food, beautiful sights, historic monuments, and new music. This is one reason that travel can be addictive, especially if have enough time & money. It has become a hobby for thousands of people around the world.

Remember, you can travel and have fun with a limited budget. Plan carefully and spend wisely. Read and learn saving tips.

Why Sound Business Travel Reporting Matters

For any company that has their employees engage in regular travel, it is important to have a good corporate travel strategy. Part of developing and improving on a corporate travel strategy is solid business travel reporting. Business travel reporting provides the company with details about the cost of travel and how the money is being used. This data not only helps to keep track of expenses but it also can be used to identify areas of waste and inefficiency. When this information is tracked and analyzed it can be used to improve upon your company’s business travel strategy. Using the service of a corporate travel agency is an effective means toward achieving all of these goals.

Due to their experience and their connections in the travel and finance industry, a corporate travel firm will be especially suited to provide these services with the highest degree of detail. A corporate travel agency uses a variety of methods to analyze and track a clients business travel expenses. They can use data from banking and credit card records along with the travel records to identify the most and least efficient travelers in your company. They can help to manage airline data to find which carrier is providing the most business friendly service for the most affordable price and they can help to identify waste and abuse of funds.

A corporate booking agency can also help employers to analyze information in a way that can determine how effectively the employees travel and how well they stick to the itinerary and how closely the individual employees stick to the travel strategy. This can be achieved by referencing the data accumulated from credit cards, expense accounts, airline data, hotel bills and rental information. Once all of the data is collected and analyzed, the corporate travel firm can prepare a complete report. The reports will cover a variety of different areas and will often be accompanied by a written summary of the overall information. Clients can also request specialized reporting from a corporate travel agency. These may be to address an area of concern or to see how a new aspect of the travel strategy is working.

Most business travel agencies recommend that their clients schedule regular meetings with their travel manger to go over the business travel reporting and to find ways to improve the corporate travel strategy. The management of a business should meet with their corporate travel manager at least once a year. In these meetings the travel manager can help the client go over the business travel reporting and understand what all of the data means. The manager will help to identify areas of waste and point out parts of the travel plan that are working well. At this time the client can address their concerns about the travel strategy and work to adjust the business travel strategy. A corporate travel agency can also help their client with a plan for implementing the new strategy and addressing the changes with their staff.

Having the services of a business travel agency is a necessity for any company that engages in regular travel. Having a well thought out strategy will not only save the company money, but it will also make sure that the staff is getting the most out of their trip.

How to Be a Travel Agent

If you plan to become a travel agent or want to learn how to start a travel agency from home, you’d be glad to know that there are plenty of agencies that offer certifications, training, and the chance to own your very own travel agency.

A travel agent’s job functions may vary from assisting with booking/selling reservations to referring people to travel booking sites, where an agent receives commission.

Here are some tips to help you become a successful travel agent.

Research Travel Institutions and Education

The minimum educational requirement for individuals who want to become a travel agent is a high school diploma. Computerization and technology have increased training needs and most employers prefer applicants with a higher level of education such as a post-secondary vocational award.

There are vocational schools that offer full time travel agent programs as well as weekend and evening programs. These programs are also offered in community colleges and universities.

There are colleges that also offer a bachelor’s or master’s degree in tourism and travel. Although there are only a few courses that directly relate to travel and tourism, college degrees with background in world history, foreign language, communication and geography are often preferred by employers.

The American Society of Travel Agents features a correspondence course that teaches the basics of travel industry. While most travel agencies offer on the job training programs for their employees, there are also many reputable websites that give free detailed information and offer travel agent study course on how to start a travel agency business from home.

Be a Certified Travel Agent

Certifications will enhance your reputation as an agent and will show clients that you have met the professional standards set by an institution in the industry. The travel industry features several certifying organizations that are widely recognized today.

Experienced travel agents can take advantage of study courses from the Travel Institute that leads to a Certified Travel Counselor professional designation. The Travel Institute also features sales/marketing enhancement programs and destination specialist programs that provide a detailed knowledge of regions like:

•Western Europe

•The Caribbean

•North America

•The Pacific Rim

Cruise Lines International Association or CLIA offers various certification programs that are recognized and respected in the travel industry.

Get a Travel Agent Job

Find a job with an agency or partner with an agency to help you run your own travel counseling business. Try to work with an established agency.

There are also travel agencies that allow you to work from home. Find a host agency that will help you in establishing your own travel agency. A host agency will show you how to start a travel agency from home, provide services, back office support, travel suppliers, marketing support and access to reservation portals.

Become a Registered Travel Seller in Your State

There are states that require registration. This type of regulatory requirement helps protect consumers and ensures that agencies are legal. Don’t forget to check with government offices for local regulations.

Become a Part of Organizations

Joining organizations is a great way to stay up-to-date on trends and news in the travel industry. These societies also offer continuing education and updates to their members. If you expect to be booking online airline tickets, become a member of the International Air Transport Association or IATA.

Business Traveller Flying to London? A London City Guide for Getting to the Centre

London. The vibrant, beating heart of the United Kingdom. It’s one of the world’s most popular destinations for tourists, and for business travelers too. The amount of commerce that goes through London is staggering, with a financial center second only to New York, and service industries that cater for both the UK, European and international markets. As the world’s most multicultural city – there are over 300 languages spoken by a population of over eight million people (twelve million if you include the metropolitan area) – the opportunities for business are clear.

With the UK strategically positioned for the business traveler on the western edge of Europe, London is a global hub for air travel, providing easy access to mainland Europe, and a stepping stone to the United States. Primarily served by five airports – Heathrow, Gatwick, City, Stansted and Luton – London is easily reached from anywhere in the world. But with the exception of London City Airport – smallest of the five and located in East London, close to the business district of Canary Wharf – the other four airports are satellites evenly dispersed around the city. The most popular, Heathrow, is located to the west of London; Gatwick is situated to the south; Stansted to the north east; and Luton to the North West. Knowing this before you make your travel plans can be useful. Since the greater metropolitan area of London covers over 1,000 square miles, your final business destination may not be right in the center. Researching which airport is closest to your destination can save you time, effort and money.

However, whether you’re a business traveler flying from within the UK or from overseas, your starting destination may often determine the airport you arrive at. Other factors, such as your chosen time of travel, budget and availability will also make a difference. For example, if you’re travelling with a major international carrier from a major city, such as New York, the chances are you’ll arrive at Heathrow or Gatwick (Stansted also receives flights from New York but is the smallest of the three). If you’re traveling locally from within the UK with a budget carrier you’re more likely to arrive at Stansted or Luton (though not exclusively). And if you’re traveling from a major European city, particularly a financial capital, such as Frankfurt, London City Airport is a likely arrival point (the airport was created specifically to cater for short haul business travelers, particularly between financial centers).

Each airport is served by comprehensive rail and road infrastructure, providing business travelers with a variety of options to enter London. All five airports offer direct rail travel into the heart of Central London, coach travel to the main Victoria terminus, and hire car, mini-bus, licensed black cab and taxi services by road. If you’re a VIP business traveler, chauffeur services are also available, and with the exception of London City Airport, each also offer direct helicopter transfer into the heart of the city.

London Heathrow Airport

The busiest of the five airports is London Heathrow. Located less than twenty miles from central London, Heathrow is situated to the west of the city within the M25 motorway metropolitan boundary. The fastest route into London is via the Heathrow Express train service, taking just 15 minutes from terminals 1, 2 and 3 to Paddington station (located on the western side of Central London). If your flight arrives at either terminal 4 or 5 it’s a further four and six minutes travel time respectively, and you’ll need to transfer on to the main London-bound service at terminals 1, 2 and 3.

The service is excellent, offering comfort and convenience, but does not always suite everyone’s travel budget. The standard ‘Express’ single journey ticket costs £21.00 (€25.00 / $35.00), but business travelers can get better value when purchasing a return ticket, priced at £34.00 (€40.00 / $56.00). The ‘Business First’ ticket is more expensive, with singles costing £29.00 (€35.00 / $48.00) and returns £52.00 (€62.00 / $86.00), but it does afford business travelers considerably more leg room, the privacy of a ‘single seating’ layout, and a fold out table. The experience is akin to that of air travel. All passengers across both pricing structures enjoy access to electrical sockets, USB ports and free Wi-Fi. The overall quality of service and passenger experience generates a ‘wow’ factor, and if your budget can afford it, is certainly the smoothest, quickest and most convenient way to travel into London from Heathrow. Trains run regularly every fifteen minutes in both directions, particularly useful for last minute dashes to the airport.

There are two further rail options available to business travelers, both considerably less expensive, though this is reflected in the quality of service. That’s not to say either is not a good solution for business travelers, just that there is a noticeable difference in convenience and comfort.

With a service typically running every thirty minutes, and a journey duration – depending on the time of day – of between 23 and 27 minutes from terminals 1, 2 and 3, Heathrow Connect is more than adequate for business travelers who are not in a hurry. Like the rival Express service, Connect also arrives at Paddington station, but unlike its faster rival stops at up to five other stations before reaching its terminus. The ‘inconvenience’ of this less direct journey is compensated for by a considerably less expensive ticket price. Single journey’s cost £9.90 (€12.00 / $16.00) while a return is £19.80 (€24.00 / $32.00). There is no saving to be made from purchasing a return ticket. While the convenience and comfort of the traveler experience cannot match the Express, the Connect business travel solution is an acceptable compromise that suits a greater number of travel budgets.

The third – and least expensive – rail option is the London Underground ‘tube’ network. Despite the network’s name the majority of the journey from Heath-row is overground, until the business traveler nears Central London. Starting on the Piccadilly Line, the service connects all five Heath-row terminals and provides frequent trains into London, stopping at a considerable amount of outlying stations before arriving in the capital’s center. This continually ‘interrupted’ journey – there are seventeen stops between Heath-row terminals 1, 2 and 3 and Paddington Tube station (the nearest equivalent tube terminus for a fair comparison) – and takes approximately fifty minutes journey time on average, considerably slower than its more direct rivals. This journey comparison also requires the inconvenience of a transfer between lines.

So why would the business traveler consider using the tube from Heath-row to Central London? Simple. The frequency of service, the array of destinations, and the cost. At a cash price of just £5.70 (€6.80 / $9.50) for a single journey in either direction during peak hours (06:30am to 09:30am), financially the Underground is an attractive option. At nearly half the price of the Heath-row Connect, and at just over a quarter of the price of the Heath-row Express, this service is comparably good value for money. Further value can be found if the business traveler purchases an ‘Oyster Card’, the ‘cashless’ electronic ticketing system beloved by so many Londoners. Available to purchase at Heath-row London Underground stations, this useful option allows you to get tickets cheaper than for cash – in this case a reduction to just £5.00 (€6.00 / $8.30). Off-peak travel with an Oyster Card offers even greater value, with Heath-row to Paddington in either direction costing just £3.00 (€3.60 / $5.00) per journey. The Oyster Card can also be used for unlimited travel on buses and trains throughout London, with a maximum daily spend capped at £17.00 (€20.00 / $28.00) peak time and just £8.90 (€10.60 / $15.00) off-peak for a six zone ticket (destinations across London are divided into six main zonal rings. Traveling from Heath-row to Central London crosses all six zones).

The Underground is primarily a city-wide mass transit system, rather than a ‘train’ service. As such the level of comfort and convenience is substantially less than that of both the Heath-row Express and Connect services, and at peak hours can be considerably uncomfortable. Having endured a recent flight, business travelers who choose this option run the risk of having to stand up the entire journey if traveling during peak hours. If the carriage is full to squeezing point (as is often the case at peak time) managing your luggage can be a challenge. It should also be noted that the tube network – which, as the world’s first urban mass-transit system is over 150 years old – is often prone to signal failures and delays. If the time between your arrival at Heath-row (don’t forget to factor in clearing immigration control, luggage collection and customs) and your business appointment is tight, particularly during peak hours, it is not unfair to say that you are taking a risk if you choose to use the Underground.

Compared to using rail, traveling by road into Central London is far less convenient. Like every major city around the world, traffic congestion plagues the streets of London. The M4 and A4 route from Heath-row into London is always busy and in parts can be slow moving at times. No matter what your method of road transport, the business traveler is vulnerable to the risk of delays and accidents.

Buses and coaches are plentiful. The dominant carrier is called National Express. They operate services between Heath-row Airport and London Victoria, the main coach terminus in London. From here travelers can travel to many other destinations around the UK. The coaches run from Heath-row Airport Central Bus Station, which is located between terminals 1, 2 and 3. Its well sign posted so easily found. If you’re arriving at terminals 4 or 5 you’ll need to first take the Heath-row Connect train to the central bus station. From Victoria Station you can get to any other part of London with ease, via the Underground, plentiful buses, local trains and licensed black cabs / minicab taxi services.

A single journey tickets start from £6.00 (€7.20 / $10.00), while returns cost £11.00 (€13.20 / $18.00). Although you can purchase your ticket at Heath-row, it is advisable to do so in advance, and online. This will ensure you have a guaranteed, reserved seat on your coach of choice, and also provide you with the opportunity to select a time of departure and/or return that best suits your needs. Typically this service runs three coaches per hour to and from London Victoria coach station. The journey time can vary, dependent on the route taken, the time of day and traffic conditions, but you can typically expect your journey to take between 40 and 90 minutes.

National Express also offers business travelers a Heath-row hotel transfer service to and from the airport, known as the Heath-row Hoppa. With hundreds of services each day running around the clock, it’s a clean, comfortable and affordable way to get about, costing £4.00 (€4.80 / $6.60) for single journey and £7.00 (€8.40/ $11.50) for a return journey. This service is particularly useful if your business appointment is located close to Heath-row and you have no need to travel into Central London.

An alternative to coach travel is taking a bus. This can be particularly useful if you arrive at Heath-row late at night. Depending on the day of the week, the N9 night bus runs approximately every 20 minutes to Trafalgar Square in Central London, from 11.30pm to 5am. The journey time is approximately 75 minutes, subject to traffic delays. It’s a very affordable service, and as part of the Transport for London infrastructure a single journey can be paid for with an Oyster Card (£1.40 (€1.70/ $2.30) or by cash (£2.40 (€2.90/ $4.00).

If your journey into London requires the freedom to choose to travel whenever you want, to wherever you want, or you simply require privacy, then private hire transport is readily available at Heath-row. If you’re just interested in getting from A to B and back again, without any other journeys in between, taking a licensed black cab or minicab taxi may suit your needs. Traveling in an iconic licensed black cab into Central London will take approximately 45-60 minutes, subject to traffic delays, and can typically cost between £50.00 (€60.00/ $83.00) and £80.00 (€96.00/ $132.00). If you do find yourself delayed in traffic the journey will cost more, since black cab meters also charge for waiting time when not moving. Black cabs are readily available at all hours, and good sign posting at Heath-row means they’re easy to find. At a squeeze up to five business travelers can be accommodated, though if you all have large luggage it will be a problem.

An alternative private hire to black cabs are licensed taxi services. This could be a better option for the business traveled, particularly if a number of people with luggage are travel ling together. An array of vehicle types are available, ranging from standard 4/5 seater saloon and 6/7 passenger people carrier cars, up to 15 or 17 seater minibuses and even coach taxis. An added advantage is you can book your vehicle of choice in advance and at a fixed price. With so many different companies offering these services, prices – and quality of service – can vary, but typically for a single journey the business traveler can expect to pay a fixed, advance price of £40.00 (€48.00/ $66.00) for a saloon car; £50.00 (€60.00/ $83.00) for an estate car; £55.00 (€66.00/ $90.00) for an executive car; £55.00 (€66.00/ $90.00) for a people carrier; £65.00 (€78.00/ $108.00) for an 8 seater minibus; £80.00 (€96.00/ $132.00) for an executive people carrier; and £165.00 (€198.00/ $272.00) for a 16 seater minibus. Savings can be made on all tariffs if a return journey is booked in advance.

Traveling by black cab or licensed taxi affords the business traveler the freedom to travel at his or her own pace, and can take the hassle out of a journey. It can be a very relaxing way to commute from the airport into London, particularly after a long flight, and offers the business traveler an opportunity to unwind prior to their business appointment.

If you need to arrange senior executive or VIP transportation, chauffeur driven services are readily available (booked in advance) between Heath-row and London. The vehicle type and the length of time you require it for will dictate the price you’ll pay. Chauffeur driven services are readily available to find online. The same is true of helicopter charter services which can transfer the executive business traveler from Heath-row into Central London (Battersea Heliport) in approximately 15 minutes. Flight-line Travel Management is experienced at providing our customers with both modes of transport, and we’re happy to take your inquiry.

© Copyright Flight-line Travel Management Ltd. All rights reserved.

All prices correct at time of publication.

Closer To Truth: Is Time Travel Possible?

There is an ongoing PBS TV series (also several books and also a website) called “Closer To Truth”. It is hosted by neuroscientist Robert Lawrence Kuhn. He’s featured in one-on-one interviews and panel discussions with the cream of the cream of today’s cosmologists, physicists, philosophers, theologians, psychologists, etc. on all of the Big Questions surrounding a trilogy of broad topics – Cosmos; Consciousness; God. The trilogy collectively dealt with reality, space and time, mind and consciousness, aliens, theology and on and on and on. Here are a few of my comments on one of the general topics covered – Is time travel possible?

# Is time travel possible? Actually I personally don’t believe time exists. Change exists, and time is just our measurement of rate of change. IMHO time is just a concept. Time is a mental construct that helps us come to terms with change. Some cosmologists say that time was created at the Big Bang, as if time were a thing with substance and structure, but I challenge them to actually create some time in front of their peers or maybe a TV audience or at least produce a theoretical equation or two that would create time. In the meantime, here’s a trilogy of points.

First, the concept of time travel is one of those fun parts of physics. Whether true or not, it is entertaining to play the ‘what if’ game. If nothing else, the concept makes or forces one to think about the nature of reality.

Secondly, Einstein and others have postulated that time travel is a theoretical reality and I’m not in their sort of league that I can dispute the theories. I’ll leave that to others who know the field inside and out.

But thirdly, and most importantly, you can never actually be in the future or the past, only in the future or the past compared to where and when you are now. In other words, no matter how you slice and dice things, you exist in the where-ever and in the whenever in that where-ever’s or whenever’s NOW or in other words in the present. You cannot literally be in any future or in any past since you only experience the NOW which is the present. If you should somehow travel back one hour, you would still experience things as belonging to NOW. If you sleep for one hour then wake up, you are in the future relative to when you went to sleep, but you still find yourself in the NOW.

# Is time travel possible? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, we can travel into the future at one second per second, we do that anyway whether we like it or not. Yes we can travel into the future at a slightly quicker rate by going to sleep or otherwise having our sense of consciousness, our awareness of rate of change (which is what time really is or measures) incapacitated. You get drunk and pass out and the next thing you know you are 12 hours into the future. Yes we can travel into the future as outlined by Einstein’s twin ‘paradox’ where one twin travels at a very high rate of speed outward bound, stops and returns to home base, while the stay at home twin, well, stays home. Upon their reunion the traveling twin finds their stay at home twin to be far older, so the traveling twin has traveled into the future more rapidly than would otherwise have been the case. Yes, you can travel back in time, in theory, according to the apparent theoretical properties that wormholes or black holes can have. No, you can’t travel to the past because of all of those nasty paradoxes. I like the variation on the grandfather paradox whereby you travel back just one hour into the past and shoot yourself dead. That’s a novel way of committing suicide! The other paradox I like is when you go back in time to have Shakespeare autograph your copy of “Hamlet”. Shakespeare isn’t home but the maid promises to have him autograph your book when he returns. Alas, your timing is slightly off and Shakespeare hasn’t yet written “Hamlet”, so when he receives your copy from his maid to autograph, he reads it, and after you return to Shakespeare’s home and receive back your now autographed copy and return home to your own time, Shakespeare now writes “Hamlet”. The paradox is, where did “Hamlet” come from since Shakespeare only wrote it after he had already seen your copy. No, you can’t travel back to the past because if that were possible there would be hoards of time-traveling tourists who went back in time to witness some important historical event or other. No hoards of photo-snapping tourists have ever been documented being present at Custer’s Last Stand, the Battle of the Alamo, the sinking of RMS Titanic, or any one of thousands of similar historical events. Yes, you can travel back in time but only into a parallel universe. If you shoot yourself but it is another you in another universe, no paradox arises. You travel back in time to have Shakespeare autograph your copy of “Hamlet” but in that parallel universe Shakespeare can now write “Hamlet” based on your copy and no paradox results. However, the one point I find interesting is that if you end up in the future, or in the past, are you really in the future or the past? No, the only time you can exist in is the present, your right here and NOW time. It might be a different time from what you previously knew, but still wherever and whenever you exist, you only exist in the NOW.

# Is time travel possible? It could already be the case that time travel has been documented at the quantum level although that could be open to interpretation. Before I get to the specifics, I just need to point out that with respect to the laws, principles and relationships of physics, time is invariant. Operations in physics remain invariant in time whether time is moving as we normally perceive it (past to future) or back to front (future to past). For example, gravity would operate as per its normal grab-ity self in a world where time flowed backwards. There’s many an operation one could film that when the film were run backwards, one wouldn’t be any the wiser. Tree branches blowing in the wind comes to mind, or the coming together, collision, and rebounding or separation of two billiard balls. Okay, having established that when it comes to physics, physics doesn’t care which direction time is flowing, there will be no violations in those laws, principles and relationships of physics future to past, we now come to the delayed double slit experiment.

In the normal double slit experiment, you have an electron gun that fires one electron particle at a time, such that one electron completes its journey before the next one is fired, at two side-by-side slits. If one or the other slit is open, the one-at-a-time electrons pass through the open slit to a detector screen behind the slits. The detector screen gets hit in nearly the same spot every time after each and every electron particle passes through the single open slit. That is straight forward. If both slits are open, the electron shape-shifts into a wave (how I don’t know), passes through both slits (as only a wave can), morphs back into a particle and hits the detector screen. The difference is that after enough electrons have been fired, and have passed or waved through the double slits, the hits on the detector screen are not in just one or two spots but all-over-the-map, albeit all-over-the-map in a classic wave interference pattern. Okay, that’s the classic experiment.

Now we do a variation on the theme, the delayed double slit experiment. Electrons are fired one-at-a-time, with both slits wide open. An all-over-the-map classic wave interference pattern should appear on the normal detector screen after enough electrons have been fired. However, in addition to the normal detection screen, there are two other detectors positioned behind the normal detector screen that are each in an exact line-of-sight with each of the two slits. The electron is fired. It morphs into a wave and passes through both slits then morphs back into a particle. But before the electron, which has already passed through both slits, can hit the detector screen, the detector screen is removed to reveal behind it the other two line-of-sight detectors. Now presumably once the electron has passed though the double slits it’s too little too late to change its mind about where it’s going to hit. Only a tiny few should be detected by the two line-of-sight detectors aligned with the two slits. Alas, each and every electron will be detected by one or the other of the line-of-sight detectors. It would appear that the electron CAN change its mind after it has already gone through both slits and instead appear to have gone through one or the other of the two slits. One interpretation is that the electron, after having passed through both slits, realized the gig was up, traveled back in time, retraced its path and passed through one or the other slit.

As an aside, the late Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman noted that the double slit experiment went to the heart of quantum weirdness. I mention this because it was the same Richard Feynman who suggested that a positron (an anti-electron) was just an ordinary electron that was going backwards in time.

# Is time travel possible? I have several other points to make about the concept of time travel.

Firstly, there is Stephen Hawking’s idea of a Chronology Protection Conjecture which postulates that there is some as yet undiscovered law of physics which prevents time travel to the past and thus makes the cosmos a safe place for historians to strut their stuff.

Secondly, it has been said that you cannot travel farther back in time than the date your time travel ‘device’ was constructed, be it a wormhole or some other gizmo. So if some genius builds a time traveling ‘device’ in 2014, he’s not going anywhere into the past. But in 2015 he can travel back to 2014 and in 2114 he could travel back to any time between 2114 and 2014. The analogy is that you cannot travel through a tunnel prior to when that tunnel was built. Thus, we don’t see human time travelers because no human time traveling ‘device’ has yet been constructed. The flaw there is that doesn’t prohibit ET from visiting who might have constructed a time traveling ‘device’ millions of years ago. Recall those pesky UFOs though they don’t seem to cluster around significant terrestrial historical events so maybe ET doesn’t care about our history and are just here on vacation from their future.

Thirdly, presumably your time traveling ‘device’ is fixed at some sort of celestial coordinates. Because everything in the cosmos is in motion, when you re-emerge into that cosmos after starting on a time traveling journey, while you may be at those same fixed celestial coordinates the rest of the cosmos would have moved to differing celestial coordinates. So, if you start out in London you won’t end up in London on down, or up, the time traveling track. Finally, the concept of your, or the future or of the past or your past is only relative to what you choose as some fixed point. If you pick your date of birth as that fixed point, then clearly you are now in the future relative to your date of birth. If you pick the concept of an ever ongoing NOW, the present, as a fixed point, you are neither in the future or the past relative to the NOW nor will you ever be. That of course doesn’t mean you can’t recall your past, what existed before your NOW (although the past in general is more abstract) or plan for your future after your NOW (although the future in general is beyond your control).

# Is time travel possible? There’s yet another form of time travel, or at least the illusion of time travel, and that’s via the cinema. Films and TV shows involving time travel are many and often legendary. But that’s not quite the medium I wish to explore here. One can program time travel into a computer simulation. You can have a video game where the characters travel backwards (or forwards) in time, or have a software program that loops around back to the beginning. Now the question is, might we be characters or virtual beings in a Simulated (Virtual Reality) Universe? If so, the software programs that run our virtual show might allow for time travel, or virtual time travel, yet still time travel that would appear to us to be quite real. Now where does our sense of deja vu really come from?

# Is time travel possible? There is one other form of pseudo ‘time travel’ towards the future that can be debunked. Presumably the only way you can know what the future brings, without benefit of any theoretical ‘device’ that can propel you there at a greater rate of knots than at one second per second, is to stay alive. Once you kick-the-bucket that’s it. Your second per second journey towards the future is over. It’s a pity that that worthless stock you hold just happens to sky-rocket to fantastic values within a week of your demise, or maybe you’d really like to know if ET exists but the discovery happens a few days too late as far as you are concerned. Of course some might claim an afterlife will enable you to keep up to date with future happenings from that heavenly vantage point high up in the sky, but apart from that, there are those who claim to have led past lives or existed in past incarnations. Thus, you can still continue your journey to discover what the future holds by passing on to another body via being conceived again (and again and again). There’s one huge problem however with ‘remembering’ alleged past lives. Your mother’s egg cell cannot remember your past lives. Your father’s sperm cell cannot have any recollection of your past lives. Therefore, the you that comes to pass at conception cannot hold any memory of past lives. So, where did your memory of past lives come from? Might I suggest that it was internally generated out of wishful thinking, that perhaps a belief that you existed in the past will give rise to a belief that you will exist again in the future, and as a pseudo form of afterlife and as a pseudo form of ‘time travel’ that gives you comfort. Anyway, that concept is a really far out methodology of ‘time travel’ but one which can be dismissed despite the many people who seemingly believe that they indeed have ‘time traveler’ towards their endless future via this method.

Cheapest Airline Tickets – How to Find Best Travel Deals

So you are in the market for cheap airline tickets, but not sure where to start and how to find the best travel deals. The reality is that in order to find the cheapest flight fares and schedules you need to know when and where to look and how to search. Yes, it is that easy, and all you need to know is several tricks. First of all, do you need a domestic or an international travel ticket?

Domestic Air Travel

These can be US domestic flight or flights within Europe, or within any country or other continent. If you are looking great flight deals, you need to know WHERE to look for low airfares. If you are looking for flights within the US, you may contact local US airlines or travel agencies or look up flights on the online travel search engine.

Airlines compete among each other and they can give great flight deals (just know WHEN to look). Travel agencies might also find you great deals. Here is the truth… lately several airlines and several large and well known travel agencies started having some issues and several airline banned those huge agencies from selling their airline tickets. Therefore, small and specialized agencies still do have very good contracts with major airlines of the world. So, my advise is to look who has the best flight deal, not at the size of the agency or the popularity. At the end of the day, it matters how much you pay for the ticket and that you have a confirmed seat.

Most smaller travel agencies have online only booking so they can save YOU money by eliminating staff salaries. Most of the time travel agencies use the same fares as airlines offer (unless negotiated better rates), but usually with 0 commission. Since agencies need to survive, they are forced to add a small service fee on the top of the ticket price. If you do not mind that, call your travel agent or best of all go online and check flights yourself. If you are traveling within Europe, you might want to contact a travel agent or search online travel agents’ websites first. In Europe local travel agencies and agencies outside Europe that specialize in international travel will have low fares because they use very low so called consolidator fares. This is nothing else, but negotiated contracts with airlines to sell special very low priced airline tickets.

International Travel

Whether you live in the US or other country, you travel internationally if you leave your country of residence.

What concerns transatlantic, transpacific or other between countries international travel, your best bet is a travel agency. The consolidators will offer you the best fare deals and will find you the best schedules. Depending on personal preferences, some might prefer talking to a travel agent, while others would want to do their own fare search online at their own pace. There is no right or wrong choice here. As long as you find a flight and a fare that works for you, you succeed. HOW to find a travel agency or a good travel website Always work with the travel agent or travel website that specializes in your travel destination or region. For example, if you need to fly from the US to Europe, search for ‘flights to Europe’ or so. Usually online search will give you best results. Check several websites or call several travel agents and compare the deals.

NOTE, you might know lots of huge agencies like Travelocity, Orbitz, etc. They might seem attractive to you because they are big and well known. But they will not always give you the best flight, hotel or cruise deals. They might be good for US domestic travel, but not always for international travel.

HOW and WHEN to search for best fares

Where you need a flight, hotel or a cruise, you need to know how to find the best fares and when to look for those. Let’s say that you found a travel agent or travel website that specialized in your travel destination.

5 tips on How to Find your Best Travel Deal:

  1. Be Flexible. In order to find lowest price, you might need to be flexible on travel dates, arrival/departure times, airlines, and sometimes destinations. In short, there are different price levels for every flight and the only difference is the price and number of seats an airline assigns to that price level. Therefore, all depends on when you buy a ticket, how popular is the destination, travel season (peak or low), and how full the flight gets.
  2. Book domestic travel tickets as early as you can (this applied to some international travel as well). Most domestic airlines have best fares with 21, 14, and 7 day advance purchase. This means that you may find lower fares when booking (= purchasing) a flight this many days before the flight.
  3. ‘Play’ with the search. This means that you need to be creative when searching for flights. Check flights couple days or weeks (if possible) earlier and later, check various airlines, different connections (an airline might have several hubs or fly with 1 or several connections), search based on price and try searching based on schedule (you’ll see different results).
  4. Check travel package deals. If the purpose of your travel is vacation, instead of booking flights, hotel, and car rental separately, check on travel package rates. Sometimes your total package rate is lower that if you book everything separately.
  5. Use miles or points when possible. Apply for airline/ hotel/ car rental, etc. frequent traveler programs. They are FREE, and you can get lots of benefits. For example, I cannot remember the last time I paid for a hotel room when Hilton Hotel is in my destination. Check out hiltonhhonors. Go to the airline, car rental, or hotel websites and sign up. The only disadvantage of using miles and points is that you need to book your travel early as there is limited number of seats for miles or points on the plane and they go fast.

If you cannot decide whether to use an airline or a travel agent, here are some suggestions.

AIRLINE vs. TRAVEL AGENT/AGENCY WEBSITE

Advantages of booking a ticket with an airline:

  • you are talking directly to the carrier, the entity responsible for a flight
  • it may take much less time to deal with the airline directly (if an agent knows his/her job)
  • airline customers representatives are usually open 24/7

Advantages of using travel agents or travel websites:

  • lower negotiated (consolidator) fares
  • more flight options; travel agents/travel websites search all possible airlines, not just one
  • low fares available 24/7 given that an agency has a online booking system

Please send in your comments on how you find your best deals, and I shall be happy to share them with the rest of the world. Good luck!

The California Travel and Tourism Commission is a Great Touristic Resource

It has been said that those who are considering vacation travel to the great, golden state of California really have an underlying desire to “be Californians,” even if it’s only for the brief time that they are vacationing there. As a result, more and more potential California vacationers are looking to the state’s completely redesigned travel and tourism website to help them learn all about becoming a “temporary Californian.”

The state of California has an official department, or commission, that is structured to help promote and encourage people to travel throughout the vast state to take in all of the sights and wonders of the many tourist attraction destinations. It is the California Travel and Tourism Commission, or CTTC, which began promoting the idea of calling vacation travel visitors “Honorary Californians.”

The essential idea of this nomenclature is to encourage tourists to do much more than just visit the various tourist destinations. Instead, the California Travel and Tourism Commission wants vacationers to embrace the full experience of California’s easygoing, laid-back lifestyle and soak up the culture just like a local.

The CTTC has put together an extensive website. The impressive online presence is an attempt to compete aggressively for the attention of those planning to travel and who are looking for vacation ideas, for the ideal family vacation and great tourist destinations. They have provided an online tourism and travel guide that is intended to help potential visitors to the state to fall in love with the destination even before they arrive.

The CTTC website has gone a long way in accomplishing this goal by giving the website visitor a great deal of information about the “must see” tourist attraction options, as well as highlighting the many world renowned landmarks around the state. And, if that were not enough, there is also extensive revelations about “inside scoops” that further give people insights about where to go and what to see to make the vacation travel visitor feel even more connected and like a Californian, honorary or not.

And, true to the very image of style, fun and uniqueness, the state’s website provides all of this information, and much more, in a way that is visually appealing, engaging, and fun. This approach certainly helps to set the stage for the California experience and helps to draw people in and retain their attention. In the highly competitive world of travel tourism, this is very important and the consensus is that the CTTC has done a very good job at providing a compelling tourist guide.

From where to gingerly sip a trendy drink at a casual Los Angeles hideaway, to catching the rays on a sun-baked San Diego beach, to soaking up the high life at a posh Napa Valley spa, the California Travel and Tourism Commission’s website, at “Visit California”, has captured and cataloged the local California hot-spots and revealed hidden state treasures. For travelers who like to pre-plan their itinerary, the site even offers an extensive menu of trip ideas, complete with Google maps.

How to Book Your Next Bus Trip

There are so many reasons why you need to make use of a bus service the next time you travel on vacation to Florida. I will list all of them down below so that you can evaluate and make your decision a lot easier. When it comes to traveling to any destination in a large group, loads of fun is generally had by all. The reason being is that you will get to socialize and meet a lot of people. And, you will be able to experience everything that Florida has to offer without you having to worry about driving to a destination yourself. Trust me, Florida is a way too beautiful for you to be doing the driving and not getting to really experience or take in the scenery that it has to offer.

Another great reason for bus travel is the cost effectiveness of it all. You can really spoil the group by going to Florida on a guided bus trip. In this way you will get to see and experience the very best of Florida. Another reason would be to have a personalized service that will enable you to get the best service when it comes to you going to a tourist hot spot or restaurant. You might even get better pricing by making use of a service such as this. Plus you’ll have loads of fun and meet all the other people on board the bus too.

You will also need to remember when booking a bus trip of this kind that you actually meet everybody’s needs. It would be in your best interest to make sure that there is a planned itinerary with this bus trip so that everybody will get to do what they want. Everyone in the group can get to experience what they want and more. I highly recommend you make use of a bus trip service so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your next bus trip to Florida.

Kennedy Space Center in Florida

Orlando, Florida is home to many interesting places to visit no wonder the place is one of the well loved vacation spots around the world. One of the best places to come to during your stay in Orlando is the Kennedy Space Center.

Kennedy Space Center entertains it visitors by making them understand how the place first began and how historical it is. It also shows people mankind’s endeavours to knowing more about not just our planet but including the things in space. The space center is accessible to go to because it is just an hour away from Disney World. The space center has kept some of its parts closed to the public which is why the Visitor’s Complex is where they opened their doors to the public to let the world see what is going on in such an interesting facility. Visitors can also catch a glimpse of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The KSC also has attractions inside which are wildlife sanctuary, Mosquito Lagoon, Indian River, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Canaveral National Seashore. The KSC is also included in the list of National Register of Historic Places and is one of the 10 major NASA field centers.

The KSC Visitor Complex was once called as the Spaceport USA and it is under Delware North Companies which lets visitors see displays and attractions in it. When you come to the space center, you get the chance to know how it feels like to be in space and this is done through the Shuttle Launch Experience. It is a simulation ride that “takes” you out into space. There are also IMAX theatres that will show you great clips. The KSC has two of the IMAX theatres and bus tours.

Once you get in, you are then brought to the tour-bus transportation off to the Apollo-Saturn V Center. It is a large museum that has the Saturn V launch vehicle as its center piece. You also see other space articles exhibits and one of which is the Apollo capsule. The IMAX theatres give the visitors a treat by showing them the Apollo program days. One of the theatres simulate what it’s like to be in the space craft’s firing room during launch while the other theatre simulates the Apollo 11 moon landing. If that’s not enough, guests get the chance to visit the Space Station Processing Facility where they get to see modules tested for the International Space Station.

Don't Risk It, Get the Protection and Security You Need With Travel Insurance

Let’s face it, getting travel insurance can be a very overwhelming and tedious process, making it easy to put off and even forget entirely. But before you head off on your international adventure, you might want to consider getting coverage through some travel insurance, just to be on the safe side.

With some luck, you’ll be glad it’s something you have and won’t need to use. But we all know that in life things happen, so it’s a good idea to find a travel insurance policy that fits your individual needs, travel agenda, and budget. Many travel agents and private companies offer travel insurance, and they have a wide variety of types and options to choice from.

What does Travel Insurance cover?

Basic coverage of travel insurance includes some financial losses while traveling, as well as limited medical expenses, including medical evacuation. The most common type of travel insurance is trip cancellation or trip delay insurance. This type of policy covers you and your travel companions in case you need to cancel, interrupt or delay your trip. However, the acceptable reasons for canceling or interrupting your trip will depend on the insurance policy, but most likely you’ll be covered for the following reasons:

o Sudden business conflicts
o Change of mind
o Delay in processing your visa or passport
o Illness or injury
o Weather related issues

In case your flight is canceled or delayed, travel insurance companies may provide additional coverage such as expenses that the airlines won’t cover, like taxi fares to the hotel or meals during your wait at the airport.

It’s also a good idea to have a plan with medical coverage of up to $1,000,000 in the case you become ill, need medical assistance, or have a flight accident occur. It’s also good to review the amount deductible by your insurance plan (this is the amount you’ll need to come up with before the insurance company picks of the rest). Make sure it covers repatriation (evacuation to your home country, rather than the nearest regional medical facility); make sure that does not mean you will be sent to the country where you purchased your travel insurance plan either, but your home country. If you’re planning a visit to multiple countries, make sure all the countries are included in the region covered by your insurance policy.

To learn more about these types of coverage and more specialized coverage, read The Basics of Travel Insurance.

To invest or not? How to make travel insurance work for me.

Purchasing travel insurance is great for insuring your money, should any unforeseen events pop-up, especially if you invest large sums of money on extravagant travel packages. To determine whether you want to invest in travel insurance your not, ask yourself these questions:

o Did you invest a lot of money into your travel plans?
o Are you traveling overseas?
o Which regions or countries are you visiting and for how long?
o Are you planning on participating in any extreme sports?
o Can you afford the cost of your trip back home if any emergency arises?
o Will you be able to afford medical care if you or someone you are with gets sick and needs immediate medical attention?
o How old are you and how is your overall health?
o Do you have any pre-existing conditions that need regular, special attention?

You can purchase your travel insurance for a single trip, multi-trip, or with an annual policy, all depending on how frequently you travel and the length of your trip. Comprehensive travel insurance can cost anywhere from 4% to 8% of the cost of your trip, depending on type of coverage, the length of the trip, the destination, and the age of the travelers. It is best to purchase your travel insurance between 7 to 21 days of purchasing your travel itinerary. Usually the maximum coverage period for insurance providers is for one year abroad.

Go through the fine print on your policy and check whether you will have to pay on the spot and redeem the money later for any medical expenses, or will the insurance company pay providers directly. If you have to claim it later on, you will want to hang on to all documents.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition, get an insurance policy that will specifically cover it. Also examine which adventure sports and activities the plan does and does not cover (rarely does it include scuba diving and hang gliding). Lastly, for your benefit, a policy that is flexible and can be extended while you’re already away is recommended. You never know whom you’ll meet, and you just might want to extend your trip.

Another good tip would be to get in touch with your credit card issuer before investing in travel insurance. At http://www.creditcards.com/, a credit card information site, suggests calling your credit card issuer to see if you have any free travel benefits that you may not be aware of, for example, insurance on lost or damaged luggage. However, according to USTIA, canceling a trip at the last minute and being reimbursed by your credit card company is the most common misconceptions among travelers. And sometimes credit card companies have limitations on only cover up to 3 months of travel. It’s worth investigating.

Lastly, if you have existing health coverage, it would be wise to get in touch with them before hand, especially if you will need vaccinations and other medicine for your trip. Depending on your health insurance plan, ask for a ‘travel packet’ and they will send you important information regarding your coverage, if any, while abroad. It might turn out you might already be covered for somethings, but not for others.

Where can I purchase Travel Insurance?

There are many sites and companies offering travel insurance online. Among them are leading companies such as World Nomads, Travel Guard, and InsureMyTrip, just to name a few. A new online resource called Squaremouth, helps travelers easily and instantly compare all the major travel insurance plans at one site. You’ll be able to get immediate quotes from several major, reputable travel insurance providers and compare policies and their prices. It’s a good starting point and one that you can trust.

Helpful Tips for once you’ve purchased your Travel Insurance:

o Scan your insurance policy electronically and save it somewhere securely online
o Make one copy for yourself to bring on your trip
o Make another copy for a trusted family member to keep at home
o Have the emergency hotline number accessible during your trip, but make sure you try it out before leaving home to ensure its operating and correct
o List out any medications you are taking (including vaccinations for your trip), and a list of allergies you have; keep this with your insurance emergency number
o Keep all receipts at home
o Review all the fine print in your insurance policy and determine which adventures you will be taking and which risks might not be worth it

Finally, get ready for a trip of a lifetime! Hopefully you’ll avoid ever using your insurance plan, but it will give you and your loved ones more security knowing you’re protected.

Train Travel

Train travel is an ideal means of transport in the UK and the rest of Europe. Rail travel is fast, practical and convenient in both urban and more rural areas. Railway stations often allow for car hire services if you need access to a car or perhaps need to venture to an area not accessible by train.

Rail travel is often convenient even if you have flown partway to your destination. Train travel works well for personal or corporate travel, and can be an economical way to transport staff to a conference, event venue, or meetings. It can also be a luxurious and comfortable way to transport clients quickly and efficiently. Train travel is a viable option for conferences, annual meetings and other events throughout Europe. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that you can easily opt for rail travel to or from the UK and mainland Europe.

Booking rail travel is easy thanks to online interfaces that offer planning, scheduling and trip organization services. Both personal and corporate travel arrangements can be made easily and practically online. Whether you need to simply book a rail ticket or opt for a full package, both can be done with little effort. Corporate travel to events including annual meetings, conferences, and other events can be planned quickly and easily. Many online trip organizers even allow you to book airline tickets, car hires, rail travel and accommodations in one step. A well planned trip can be especially important for group travel, or for corporate travel arrangements. Discount on rail fares are even available for groups of more than ten.

Euro star services offer fast check in and a short trip between London and Paris or Brussels. Euro star allows you to travel in high speed comfort, with champagne, drinks, and food available at your seat in Leisure Select and Business Premier Classes. Business Premier may be an ideal choice for corporate hospitality or business travel to general meetings, conferences and PR events. Business Premier offers even faster check in services as well as additional business amenities. Standard class offers affordable and practical travel between London and France. Euro tunnel can also offer those traveling by car a helpful and cost effective rail option as you simply drive your car onto the shuttle and make a short 35 minute trip via shuttle to Calais, France.

Train travel is ideal in many ways as a corporate travel option, or even for corporate hospitality events. Comfortable rail travel is convenient and practical, and some train travel routes even offer wireless internet access and charging capabilities for laptop computers. If you are transporting important clients for PR events, product launches or exhibitions, rail travel can be an excellent choice. Train travel is an ideal choice for corporate hospitality, allowing your clientele to use their travel time for business needs or work.

While train travel works well for shorter trips, it is also ideal for longer trips. Sleeper cars are available on some train routes, allowing for a comfortable night’s sleep. While train fares can be quite economical, first class seating in the UK and Europe will allow travelers an enjoyable and relaxing ride to their destination. Long distance train services are most apt to offer first class services. These may include more comfortable seating, tables, upgraded decor, meal services and more. Business travelers will also appreciate access to first class lounges in many train stations with Wi-fi, power outlets for charging mobile phones, laptops and other electronics, comfortable spaces for meetings, and more.

Rail travel can be more convenient than air travel today, particularly in terms of check in times, and some travelers may simply prefer train travel. Passengers are allowed three pieces of luggage on trains in the UK, two larger items and a smaller piece of hand luggage. Excess luggage may be carried for an extra cost, as can some larger items. Check in via many rail travel companies is quite quick, with Euro star and others estimating a less than 30 minute check in time. Business travelers in particular may find this speed and efficiency helpful.

If you are planning a corporate event, a product launch, PR events, an annual general meeting or perhaps a corporate conference, offering train travel as an option can be ideal. Train travel is both affordable and comfortable, and can offer the kind of luxury business travelers often prefer. Ample conveniences and accommodations for business travelers will appeal to your clientele. Online booking technology can allow you to schedule your event, book accommodations, rail travel, car hires, and air travel in one easy step. Consider consulting a corporate hospitality specialist to assist you in this sort of planning and make your event a true success. Your clients, employees and others will find train travel an ideal way to begin and end any event.

Bus Travel Service – On the Rise After Decades of Decline

Brief History

After World War 2 the middle classes deserted bus travel in favor of travel by private automobile, and later by airliner. Just 10 years ago, affluent travelers saw buses as the last resort, a sign of desperation.

Rising Bus Travel 

Today most Americans travel by bus or plane when undertaking long distance travels. High gas prices have boosted bus travel after decades of decline. There are more, and more of briefcase carrying travelers venturing back to the bus, as other forms of travel are slumping. What does that tell us, traveling by bus is on the rise again

Travel Planning

The Bus systems often run on a schedule of some sort, which allow you to plan your travel agenda and book your tickets in advance. Popular routes have buses leaving every couple of hours, generally all day long plus at least two or three buses traveling overnight. Buses in route on long travel tend to make stops primarily in major cities and are very pleasant to travel in. If you’re traveling on weekends or during busy holiday times on popular routes, it is sensible to reserve tickets in advance.

Contribution Factors

The development of traveling by bus corresponds to increasing package tours that evolve every year. In 1983 the number of holiday travelers that participated in package tours was roughly 8.4 million, and has increased each year since then.

A bus requires less energy to operate per passenger mile than air travel, which allows very reasonable fares. No matter what bus route you end up on provides a mode of travel that allows you to view the countryside at leisure, not to mention many small towns between destinations you would otherwise not know existed.

Cities are now involved around the world to improve the benefits of bus travel while they address the issues that have traditionally set back buses effectiveness. For example adding dedicated bus lanes on highways among other plans cities are involved in. This has been great for bus travel systems both locally, and long travel, as they have been able to modify to better promote & serve customers. It allows travel agency’s to offer fewer stops, and take additional efficiency measures to add time saving technologies that make bus travel reliable, fast, and effective.

Other factors mostly influencing tourists’ preferences for bus travel are the good opportunity’s it provides for social interaction and its entertainment value. While traveling by bus you will be surrounded by all different types of people.

There is also a new awareness of our carbon footprint, which has just about affected every industry, in fact if it has not affected a specific industry yet, it will very soon. To that end fuel costs, combined with interest in traveling “Green” have played a big role in the increased interest in bus travel. It is clear the bus is a much greener form of transportation, and as riders return to buses, the old stigma of bus travel is evaporating.

Bus Budget Travel

For a nation that really enjoys there private automobile, they are seeing bus ticket prices that are to attractive to pass up. If you’re traveling independently on a budget, the bus will certainly be a lower cost choice. Don’t worry cheap tickets can still mean high quality bus travel.

A growing number of budget travelers are taking a close look, and noticing buses are an viable alternatives to flying. There are several bus passes available that give you unlimited travel within a given area. Seems they are so cheap, busing around specific regions should be a serious consideration for the budget traveler.

Bus Travel Training

Did you know there are even self-paced bus travel training programs for people who are interested to learn to travel independently using the regular bus system.

As you can see there is a lot of value in traveling by bus both financially, and for the quality of a trip.

Of Taxi Games and Fishy Games

You have seen the taxi cabs that are plying their routes haven’t you? To be sure, you have ridden a taxi at least at some point in your life. While some taxi drivers make the journey somewhat more interesting than they should be, oftentimes, taxis are rather boring. The only time that they really get interesting is if when your cab driver happens to be just a little crazy, you see some sort of awe-inspiring sight or when you are in another country and the taxis act very differently from what you are used to. So are these the only times really that taxis become interesting? You might think that is the case but you might be surprised and even intrigued to know that there are some ways that taxis become very interesting and that is when they become taxi plots!

A Crazy taxi game? What in the world is that you may ask as you slowly scratch your head as if you are perturbed. Yes, it does sound somewhat loopy to someone who has no clue but really, it is just that, a crazy taxi game. But what are taxi plots? You might ask again since you are still somewhat confused as to the concept of what taxi stakes are.

You can be given a little information about it but in order to fully appreciate what taxi stakes are, you might want to experience them in your own. In order to do that you will have to go online and try them out for yourself. They are a lot of fun as opposed to the real taxis that you see on the road and that is a promise; another plus is that you do not have to pay to play.

While you are online anyway, why don’t you try to play a fishy game instead of a crazy taxi back? If you like the taxi games, you are guaranteed to like the fishy game even more since it requires a lot of concentration on your part.

What are you still waiting for? Go on and start playing a crazy taxi game and fun a fishy game today.

Travel Agents Event Management

It does not matter the size of the conference or where it is, travel agents can be a major help in their planning. Travel agents can be especially helpful if it is an international conference. Travel agents can have knowledge of the area as well as such things as transportation, accommodations, and hospitality issues. One of the main hassles when planning a conference is taking care of the needs of the people attending.

It doesn’t matter if it is a press release, convention, training seminar, or product launch, travel agents can take care of many of the needs of the attendees so that the people attending or the people running the conferences do not have to worry about those details. The larger the conference the more travel agents can be of service.

One of the main ways that travel agents can help with conferences is with transportation and travel needs. Many times if the conference is international the people attending the conference will need a way to get there. Travel agents can help with flight, train or bus information as well as procuring tickets. The larger the group traveling to a conference the more travel agents can be used and many times they can also get better deals. Travel agents are in direct contact with airlines, train lines, and bus services so they can find out if there is space available as well as the best price for the ticket. They can also contact charter services, as it may be cheaper to travel this way for larger groups. Another advantage of using travel agents is that they can be available to coordinate travel times so that it can be easier, once the people arrive, that they do so around the same time making it easier to either get to accommodations or to the conference itself.

Another beneficial aspect when using travel agents when dealing with conferences are accommodation issues. Much like travel issues the travel agent can have direct contact with hotels and inns as they can find accommodations for people that are traveling to the conference. Also much like travel they may be able to find better rates than if the people traveling to the conference booked accommodations themselves. One thing that travel agents have as well are information about package deals, which can save people, or a company, a lot of money as travel, accommodation, and transportation services can all be packaged in one deal.

When people travel out of town to go to a conference they will also have transportation needs so they can get to and from the conference itself. They can also help with such things as arranging for car rentals and taxi services to and from the conference. Travel agents can also find accommodations that are closest to the conference site. If a travel agent is working with one group of people there is also a better chance that they will be staying in one location, or, at least, close to each other. This is a crucial aspect of a conference if many people from one organization or company are in attendance.

While travel agents can be used for many types of conferences one of the most important ways in which they can be used is for companies that need to have many employees in attendance. For example, if the company is having a training seminar for hundreds of employees their main goal is to make sure that the seminar runs smoothly. The company needs to find a conference site and deal with the information that will be presented at a seminar. If the company uses travel agents there is a huge amount of time and resources that can be saved that can be used in areas of more importance. Any time that the company needs to take care of the travel needs of the people in attendance travel agents should be used.

Travel agents can also be of service when dealing with hospitality issues as well. If the conference runs more than one day they can find out information such as where to eat and what there is to do in the area that people are traveling to. If the people that attend the conference do everything for themselves they will not be as informed, as if a travel agents took care of them. Travel agents can find restaurants, make reservations, book lunches, and rent out halls, just to name a few things they can do.

The hassles that can arise when traveling to conventions can be great for the people traveling to them and the people running them. By using travel agents many of those hassles are taken care of. When dealing with conferences, especially international ones and ones where many people will be in attendance, the things that travel agents can take care can be invaluable to both the company and/or the traveler.

Travel Guide

Who likes taking vacations? Of course, that would include approximately 99 percent of the population. The 1 percent would more than likely be workaholics that just do not like taking work along with them on vacation. And, no matter who you are, you probably like getting that travel deal.

Travel deals can come from the actual airplane flight, a hotel discount, car rental savings, cruise packages, and you can obtain travel deals from travel guides.

What are the most popular travel deals? The most popular travel deals include

1) last minute labor day deals or otherwise last minute getaway for the holiday weekend savings. You can save up to 70 percent on these last minute getaways for the holiday weekends. Usually, these featured deals include both air fare and hotel packaged-savings. A lot of times the travel package deals come with flexible departure dates from Thursday to Saturday. Of course, the travel packaged-deals expire within a limited time offer period, usually a weekend only packaged-deal.

2) Compare and save on air fare. Now you can see if you are getting a good travel deal. A lot of sites offer this option of compare and save on air fare and other flight services. Example, you can compare and save for Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year air fare flight rates. Often, you can get last minute travel deals with last minute packages from $199, United States dollars.

Other popular travel deals. Looking for a travel deal to London, Paris, Venice, Barcelona to New York, Arizona, or other popular hot vacation spots? Frequently, Norwegian Cruise Line, Westin Kierland Resort and Spa, and Continental Airlines offer hot deals on travel packages. You will find offers for travel credits, one way, round trip, pre-purchase, and other fantastic travel deals. Some popular travel deal destinations can include Atlantic City, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, Orlando, San Francisco. Some popular international travel deals include travel locations such as Aruba, Bahamas, Cabo San Lucas, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Paris, and Puerto Vallarta.

Popular travel deal sites. You can search and find travel deals with carrentals, Orbiz, Delta Air Lines, Travelocity, Expedia, travel yahoo, travel channel, travel nytimes, cnn, and County Visitors Bureaus. For US citizen traveling abroad, try travel.state.gov. For car rentals, you can search and find deals from $10 and up for a weekend car rental deal. For hotels on sale nationwide, you can search and find deals from 30% off. For last minute fares, you can search and find weekend air fare deals. For county visiting bureaus, you can search and find hotel discounts and gift card options. Travel guides, travel magazines, travel zoo, train travel, last minute travel, cruises, and airlines offer many appealing travel deals.

Take advantage of all the travel deal options. To do this, you may want to explore package deals, not just a particular travel deal for flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and vacations. There are many available travel deals for many popular travel destinations in the United States and Internationally. Search all travel destinations if you are not set on one particular vacation hot spot. You will find different travel deals for various hot spots, vacation location destinations, throughout the travel holidays and seasonal travel deals as well.

Destination Dorset, UK – Travel Info

With the current financial climate forcing all of us to cut back on spend for the non-essentials this year, many Brits are considering a holiday here in the UK instead of travelling abroad. As a result, prospective holidaymakers are becoming fully aware that if they choose to stay in England it is unlikely that they will be the only souls with that idea – so choosing a destination that is less known, sooner, and booking early is a great idea. Dorset is the perfect destination, especially for those seeking camping or cottage holidays. It is a less obvious choice than Devon and Cornwall, but is equally as unique and enchanting a place.

Lyme Regis is perhaps one of the best known tourist destinations in the county. The town lies on the Jurassic Coast (a World Heritage Site) to the east of the county and equidistant between Exeter and Dorchester (25 miles from each). The town’s rich history is related closely to the progression and growth of shipping and exploration in the 13th Century, and was once home to George Somers (who founded Bermuda). Today, one of the major pastimes in the town is fossil hunting. The Blue Lias rock of the cliffs is host to many intact fossils that are revealed by coastal erosion, and easy to find by visitors.

The county’s unique geography is also exemplified by Chesil Beach. This barrier beach connects the Isle of Portland to the mainland, and stretches 18 miles north-west up to the village of Burton Bradstock. The intriguing beach bar structure offers a natural barrier to Weymouth and Chiswell against the harsh channel and sea. Behind the beach in-between the Isle and the mainland lies Portland harbor, the second biggest manmade harbor in the world after Sydney. The harbor is a popular destination for sailors, wind surfers, and divers.

Bournemouth is the largest town in Dorset and is situated on the coast at the east of the county. The town is considered the regional centre for leisure and recreation, and consequently offers many things for tourists to do. The Russell Coates Museum contains collections of 19th Century paintings from countries as diverse as Japan and Russia. Bournemouth is also home to the well-renowned Royal Bath Hotel which has been the temporary residence to such celebrities as Oscar Wilde, H. G. Wells and Shirley Bassey.

There are numerous other sights to see in the county to satisfy all tastes and interests: from castles to tank museums. Monkey World is certainly worth a visit. The primate sanctuary is continually growing and progressing its environmental efforts, with a range including Gibbons, Marmosets, and Lemurs. However the icon that is no doubt most known around the world is that of the Cerne Abbas giant – an 180 ft tall chalk drawing to the north of Dorchester.

What to Do When Planning a Charter Trip and Charter Bus Rental of a Motorcoach and/or School Bus

There are many things to consider when planning to rent a charter bus with a professional driver-whether it is a full-size motorcoach, a smaller coach bus, or a school bus. By the way, school bus charters are mostly rented out by the bus operators for strictly local charter trips. In any rate, I would like to outline a few important and essential things to consider and resolve before, during, and after renting a coach or a school bus from any bus rental company. These points to note come from the extensive experience working as a bus company operator and having made, as well as witness many clients make, many mistakes and blunders resulting in charter delays, bus/bus-driver scheduling errors, and other such inconveniences like having no-shows on the day of the charter trip. I realize along with our clients that any charter trip begins and ends with a functional and clean coach/school bus being driven by an enthused and punctual coach bus or school bus driver. There are, however, ways to ensure that all of the logistical fronts are covered for the clients to be satisfied with their chosen charter bus rental company and the bus operating company in turn to be happy with their clients. It all boils down to effective and efficient communication.

Firstly, the relationship between the client and the bus operator begins with the client requesting a charter trip quotation or a charter trip appraisal. There are many things that are taken into consideration before a bus rental company issues a quotation. For example, the season, month, day of the month, bus fleet availability, and the rates given by the 3 largest charter bus rental companies in the industry for a given date-just to name a few. At this stage, the client is strictly focused (like tunnel vision) on getting the best price for the best possible charter bus services. And they rightly should be; however, not at the cost of neglecting their focus on very simple but profound details. Such crucial, albeit simple, details include making sure to submit the exact and correct dates for the charter trip; provide the correct time of departure and arrival; and outline the itinerary details, like extra charter-trip destination stops. Once, these details are provided to the charter bus rental company, the bus operator issues a charter trip quotation with a trip-rate. The client is now at the stage of either accepting the charter bus rental company as their vendor or not. Once the charter bus company is chosen and the client confirms the booking of their respective charter bus (be it coach bus or school bus) a formal trip confirmation is issued by the charter bus rental company to the client.

At this stage, it is crucial to double-check all of the aforementioned “simple” charter trip details. Many times, clients get quoted for a different date than what the trip confirmation states. That is there is a discrepancy between the trip quotation and the trip confirmation. Any bus rental company ultimately goes by their trip confirmations when scheduling and finalizing their bus rentals and schedule. These trip confirmations are also signed by the client upon the finalization of their charter trip booking. In my personal experience, some clients end up not getting their charter bus arriving on the right date. This seems to be a ridiculous mishap and it is. But it all stems from neglecting to focus on the contracted details stated on the trip confirmation.

I plan to continue the series of articles focusing on such logistical details in order to help clients and operators to foresee and overcome such blunders and to ultimately provide a reliable and professional charter bus rental service to our community. Please stay tuned for future publications on how to rent a charter bus and, equally important, how to make sure that all the charter trip logistics are put in place.

Get the Most Out of Your Travel Agent

Booking air travel, making hotel reservations and arranging vacation travel in general has changed completely with the advent of the internet and many people try to be their own travel agents. While you can arrange seemingly most of your travel yourself, you can’t do as well as your travel agent in a long run!

Travel processionals, whether your local travel agent, tour operator or destination specialist still possess contacts that you as an industry outsider do not have. As in number of other professions, travel agents, whether in a shopping center near your home or an online agency, wherever they may be located, do know something you do not, have way to book and arrange travel for you in ways unavailable or unknown to you.

Traditionally you could contact a travel agent and ask for a quote, whether a price of an air ticket, hotel or a vacation package. For the most part travel agents still provide that kind of information, although there is a limit how much information they may disclose as not all information is readily available to them.

First of all, most travel agents indeed may have at their fingertips routine cost of air ticketing, hotel rates or certain vacation packages available and will be happy to provide the price information to you instantly when asked. But once your travel request will need to be somewhat customized, whether tailored to your dates of travel or your other travel preferences, to find a relevant answer will be time consuming. Because of this time element involved, do not automatically assume an agency is keen to spend the time to furnish the information you seek when there is no commitment you will travel at all.

Look at the situations from the following perspective. In the old days if you had a problem with your car, you’d drive it to your neighborhood car mechanic and asked him to see what was wrong with it. You would drop the car off at the garage, the mechanic would have a look and tell you what the problem was. He would also give you an estimate and it was up to you to decide if you wanted him to fix it right then and there, wait or seek another opinion and another quote. His services cost you nothing.

But not anymore. These days, no garage, no car repair mechanic is willing to spend time trying to find out what’s the problem with your vehicle without charging you at least one hour labor upfront. Pay and he will look and tell you. Up to you if you will decide to take your car to another shop or have him fix it, he has covered his time spent diagnosing what’s wrong with your car.

Similarly, many travel agencies and professional travel planners and tour operators will charge you an upfront travel planning fee if you are requesting travel arrangements that first of all are time consuming, or there is no guarantee you will book anything. All you are after are essentially private tailor-made travel arrangement s and there are no simple answers or options to give you, and the only way to find out will be for the agent to dig and consult all sorts of different sources he has at this disposal and then present the travel alternatives to you for you to decide upon.

When working with a travel agent, travel planner or any other travel professional such as a knowledgeable destination specialist, keep in mind that a certain protocol will assure you will get not only the kind of travel arrangements you want in general but also you’ll gain a true partner that will always work in your best interest whether you’ll travel away from home on business or for pleasure.

1. First of all, when contacting a travel agent, whether in person or online, don’t hesitate to give them your name – don’t worry, most agents won’t spam you back. Without your name when you’re asking for a valuable travel advice most agents won’t take your request too seriously. Call if you wish but most agents prefer not to take notes, email is a way to go and for an agent to look up a fare often a time means he has to plug in a name, so might as well that name will be your real name. If you decide not to accept the booking the reservation will expire and no harm done. If you decide later to purchase the reservation the agent does not have to rekey it into the system all over again.

2. If you’re trying to be you own travel agent, even in part, say you plan to book your own hotels online, disclose it to the agent your are contacting for assistance, he/she may still be interested to help you with the rest of your travel arrangements. Don’t hide your intentions from the agent as agents don’t like to be used for information gathering purposes only.

3. If at all possible, always contact your travel agent or destination specialist as soon as you know when and where you wish to travel, not last minute before your intended departure. That is even more important when you’re planning a trip to a lesser frequented destination.

4. Don’t book your flights and hotels online and ask a travel agent to do the rest, namely the difficult parts, such as complex transportation connections, travel arrangements in remote locations or to book segments that you just feel are not safe for you to book online yourself. Give your agent to design and book your entire trip for you. The worst you can do is design your own vacation package, then copy and email the same request to dozen different agents to see who may be the lowest bidder. Yes, the internet is perfect for that kind of information gathering but look at this from a perspective of a travel agent. If he/she knows you are sending the same request to dozen agents many of them will not be too interested in dealing with you. Then again, telling them the truth they will appreciate knowing what you are doing and approach the whole thing quite differently and in the end they just might offer you a deal.

5. If you’re after booking shoe-string cost of travel, for example wishing to book the lowest type of accommodations, best be your own travel agent. Do realize that agents can’t book services that are simply too cheap to begin with, not to mention that that kind of suppliers do not pay agent s any kind of commission. The agent may still help you but keep in mind he will be doing you a favor and will be working for you at no charge. If so, appreciate it, email your thank you.

Do realize that to ask an agent million questions, get all the answers, including time consuming quotes, only for you to never replay again is definitely rude and turns agents off completely. If you are polite and respectful many will often work without any commitment on your part, providing you with information you need, working for free. But because of those that just siphon info out of agents so they could possibly book travel on their own leaves not only a sour taste in agent’s mouth but certainly induces the decision to charge au upfront planning fees when a next inquiry comes.

6. On another hand, when it comes to upper end accommodations keep in mind these hotels routinely offer discounts to agents that agents can markup and still offer you room costs below hotel rack rates. Genuine agent is not interested in selling you a higher end hotel in order to make a higher commission but to tailor in a better trip experience for you where he deems it desirable.

7. Keep in mind that there is a difference between a travel agent and a so called Destination Specialist. Most travel agents use online reservation systems to book transportation, hotel and vacation packages. They essentially book or resell ready-to-sell travel offers from a variety of suppliers that do not require more than filling in your name and dates of travel. When it comes to you needing customized arrangements, they will need to contact tour operators and destination specialists that are either part of their consortium or a network they belong to. Depending on the connections they have they will or will not be able to help you.

8. Destination Specialists pride themselves in really knowing their destinations. Many of them have indeed not only traveled extensively but know a particular destination inside-out so they can arrange travel logistics for you based on knowing, rather than looking it up in a brochure or some kind of data base. Many Destination Specialists specialize in difficult, custom designed itineraries and do not sell travel packages. Often a time though not always that kind of service reflects higher markup.

9. Last, please note that many destination specialists as well as travel agents work 110 or more hours per week because especially custom-design travel is indeed very time consuming. Being good at travel logistics does take experience and while with the internet it seems second nature to be able to arrange travel on your own, many travel professional are indeed very good at what they do! They do know more about travel than you, give them a chance, they can save you not only money but also many headaches and above all, they can assure not only that you’ll travel worry-free but that you may have a trip of your life! Keep in mind, a good agent is not after selling you a single ticket or a package tour, they want you to become a repeat client, their go-to-travel processional for rest of your life.

Taxi 'Recap' – The Short Version; Part 1

For the record, here is a précis of the brief I received:

…what it really entails and why taxi operators are up in arms about it, probably for the March 2007 issue, although it’s quite topical now. By then, some progress will hopefully have been made. “It should discuss why and when the program was introduced, implementation date, cost to government and taxi operators, operators’ response during this time (last week of Nov ’06) and the chaos and violence caused on the roads, etc; where progress with the program will stand by January/February and the road forward. Negative comments by experts infer that the program treats the symptoms and not the causes: lack of driver training, non-roadworthy vehicles, overloading, ineffective policing, etc.”

N B: All the quotations in boxes come from an address by the Minster of Transport to Top Six Management Ltd, August ’05.

Forgive me my levity, but herein lies an entire research project and a history that dates back to the early ’50s. I don’t have all the answers to hand and won’t be taking six months to assimilate them. Taxi violence, though, has been with us for two decades plus and the taxi industry has also taken considerable blame for the train violence experienced during the ’80s.

“Deregulation of the transport sector in the late 1980s brought its own problems. This has seen destructive competition among taxi operators, as well as self-regulation by the taxi industry.”

My collection of 66 news clippings from 2005 (and a filed copy of the Minister’s speech) exists because I proposed a research survey on what taxi drivers and operators actually understood and thought about the process. At the time, research funding for Transport/Traffic/Road Safety was completely discontinued. Taxi operators are still striking a year later, which, I believe, says something about government’s understanding and perception of feelings on the street.

“Taxi associations and their members have become…protective of their turf…impeding access to lucrative routes and ranking facilities to…operators from rival associations…this has resulted in conflict within the taxi industry.”

At its inception, during the mid-’90s, ‘taxi recap’ was considered a ‘done deal’. It still is. The only real problem with that appears to be the refusal of the industry to do, without question, exactly as it’s told to do. ‘Done deal’ or not, doing takes a lot longer than planned!

Space allows only a rough explanation of some of the factors leading to the present, but there can be very few South Africans who have managed to play ‘ostrich’ efficiently enough to have ‘taxi recap’ pass overhead, unnoticed. By virtue of their profession, the traffic fraternity should already have, at least, a vague understanding of the processes involved.

Potted history

By the late ’50s, the black taxi industry was already a reality in Alexandria and Soweto. The vehicles generally used to transport paying passengers were large sedans of the Cadillac/Valiant variety. The industry may initially have begun when one Mr Big Shot, extremely-proud-second-hand-vehicle-owner, realised that running a car costs far more than polishing it and watching it stand idle.

In a world where few families owned a second car, and most people relied on public transport to get to and from work (bus and train services were not much better then, than now), most jobs required daily trips to a common destination. Suburbs and townships were residential facilities only. Industry and business knew its place – in the heart of city centres – and presented the practical possibility of car ‘pooling’ to share commuter costs.

The original minibus taxis were second- or third-hand VW ‘Combis’ that had risen to fame in the flower power era, when students could live, love and lubricate from interior foam mattresses. They were then discovered by those mums whose sole, practical, out-of-home function was to negotiate the daily school taxi rounds. Once they moved on, by the late ’70s/early ’80s, a pay-per-person ‘khaya’ taxi industry became a reality.

“There is no doubt that the aging and unreliable taxi fleet poses serious problems and challenges, not only to the commuters, but to the operators as well.”

Entrenched industry

Initially, trips were over short distances, but later, long-distance passengers began converting from train for their bi-annual trips back to rural villages and different provinces. Taxis would be stacked high with cases, bags, mattresses, furniture and animals (for slaughter); luggage that would have been rejected by rail authorities – and voila! South Africa had found its very own, unique, distinctive, mode of transport.

“The taxi industry was able to take advantage of the gaps in the formal public transport system, and positioned itself as the public transport mode of choice.”

While it is true that Apartheid showed far too much concern about what was actually carried in minibus taxis (regular, road-block army searches uncovered an endless supply of weapons during the ‘struggle’ years) it virtually ignored the industry’s core function: transporting people.

“The apartheid government did not view the taxi industry as part of the formal public transport system, and denied it access to the subsidy and other forms of support.”

Train and bus services were invidiously replaced by taxi services, especially as industrial and business areas mushroomed across the landscape, suburbs and rural areas. It became too much trouble for the authorities to run several different public transport routes, and the more easily maneuvered taxis serviced a desperate market. Long-distance rail services became obsolete, although a vicious war between short-distance rail, bus and taxi commuter services was declared.

Violence on trains and buses forced passengers to patronize the taxi industry and wherever sufficient custom could not be found to fill the cabs, it seemed that shots were sure to follow…drivers and associations apparently poached each others’ territory and were merciless to the paying public. Probably as many people fell off trains, as fell into SAP/army hands.

“Transport deregulation was the root cause of the so-called taxi wars that ripped through the industry and our society during the 1990s.”

Come 1994, with stability and optimism top-of-mind, our new political minders showed a worthy determination to regulate all those areas of concern that had been previously neglected. And what better group could there be to effect change?

The ANC had overthrown an entire nationalized dynastic policy; its populace was wildly delighted with the party’s overwhelming success and bubbled with approval. Who better to invoke new rules of law? During the initial post-1994 honeymoon period, all appeared quite quiet on the taxi front. Had the governing party moved quickly, they may have found transformation really easy. But they delayed.

I guess they just didn’t realize that their ‘freedom’ would be compromised by regulation. And once they realized, they didn’t particularly like it. (My personal theory is that our revolution is still alive and well: military rule so often crushes resistance; benevolence allows distension to carry on thriving.) Concerned citizens, although somewhat slow to digest the enormity of the possible consequences that the original taxi recap plan conveyed, now continually voice their objections, in a manner that gets results.

“It is important for the industry to appreciate that self-regulation breeds conflict and will never assist anyone to achieve the goals that we have set ourselves as a collective.”

Initial plans

While the initial taxi recap plan doubtless intended to improve travel for the average citizen, certain features of the plan were so astounding, it is amazing that it managed to find its way onto paper without serious, public contention and outcry. How any free-market country could seriously believe itself entitled to dictate which brand people are entitled to buy and which bank they are entitled to borrow from, is ludicrous, but that’s how it all began.

Many people still believe that proposed kickbacks were at the core of the initial thinking. The Sheik/Zuma arms-deal affair confirms these suspicions and many people still question other ‘deals’ made by Transport during that era.

“The main objective…is to assist taxi operators to replace their ageing fleet with new taxi vehicles that meet certain Safety Requirements, as published by the Government.”

DoT, having set specifications to improve safety conditions (overloaded, top-heavy taxis were inclined to roll easily and had no seat-belts, for instance) proposed putting the replacement vehicles out to a limited number of manufacturers for development, via a tender process. The war was on and at least one manufacturer went insolvent competing with the ‘big guys’ for the pleasure of government’s business.

“I am confident that working with the industry, the banks and manufacturers, we will be able to ensure that the new vehicles are affordable to the average operator.”

Thankfully, it was later decided to adapt and allow all interested manufacturers the opportunity to develop vehicles that met the specifications, and to allow taxi operators to decide for themselves which brand to buy and which bank package to contract to. Since manufacturers could no longer be sure of the numbers involved, prices, also always at the mercy of the economy, rose accordingly.

Specification changes occurred at intervals along the way: only diesel-powered vehicles are now acceptable, for instance, to help contain the high volume of crude-oil imports. The motor industry is committed to the success of the programme, but then, why wouldn’t they be? There are high profits to be made…

Originally excluded by virtue of specification drawbacks, Toyota again entered the field with a model by the name of ‘Quantum’. Since this will probably keep Toyota’s hi-jack figures sky high, the challenge to find a suitable nickname is on: ‘Quantum’ could refer to ‘How much?’ (free, if hijacked) or ‘How many? (can be squeezed inside).

“Government will endorse initiatives aimed at ensuring that the taxi industry develop business interests in sectors such as petroleum, financial sector, vehicle manufacturing, and wheel and tyre sectors and [others] where suppliers benefit from the taxi industry.”

The SA National Taxi Council (Santaco), doubtless ANC aficionados with struggle affiliations, put their money and faith into the Russian 16-seater GAZelles. These were initially sold for R179 900 VAT inclusive, but appear to have cost their 3 000 to 5 000 new owners dearly.

Labelled ‘death traps’, there are concerns as to how they passed SABS specification checks and are said to spend more time off the road than on. Who’s biting the bullet now, Santaco? Or must Gorky, GAZ SA and McCarthy face the firing squad on account of the vehicle’s fourth recall (deadlined for March 2007)?

Tata and Mahindra also joined the race and access to Indian spares will hopefully be better than to Russian ones. Whatever the make, model or specifications of new vehicles, if they are regularly overloaded, not suitably regulated/enforced, are not driven competently or maintained well, their ability to keep death off our roads will be nil and we can expect to experience déjà vu once their warranties expire.

Safety first

“Our interactions with commuter organizations indicate that commuters are as much concerned about their own safety and the unroadworthy nature of most of the taxi vehicles.”

When results of a survey into household transport usage were tabled in Parliament (September 2005) distressing levels of dissatisfaction with all three major public transport modes, were revealed, with the minibus taxi industry labelled the worst offender. Of the nearly 2.5-million people who regularly commute to work, by taxi, 30% appear to regard their personal safety (due to crime, bad driver behavior, or motor accidents) to be at serious risk.

“The most critical and immediate challenge facing the taxi industry is safety. Government has a major role to play in this regard.”

As a virtually immediate (for government) result, the taxi industry sped into 2005 at a reduced speed limit of 100km/h. This aimed to reduce the high percentage of people-carrying vehicles that are involved in fatal crashes. By August of the same year, the ‘big possibility’ of advanced driver training for taxi drivers was revealed by Santaco.

Of which, not one word more has appeared in the media, since! Also dropped from the wish list, was a national electronic management system: declared ‘too advanced’ for the still-developing world. This single omission appears incredibly relevant to the original objective of regulating the taxi industry.

Without efficient regulation, it has become notorious for anarchy, instability, corruption and mafia-type operations around lucrative routes. Curbing the free-for-all is essential. If the process compromises our national devotion to ‘African’ time, disregard for pre-arranged obligations, total onus for regulation and enforcement immediately reverts to the traffic officer on the ‘beat’.

“…it is the duty and responsibility of Government to ensure that all public transport operators, not only taxis, observe the rules of the road at all times and show respect to other road users.”

It is this lack of effective regulation that causes violence to punctuate the industry’s effectiveness. The job functions of traffic authorities make it impossible for them to curb taxi violence. Officers do not go out in large numbers, as a fighting force, with protective shields and in military formation. They are easier to pick off, one by one, than stray mosquitoes in the midday heat.

And they know it! It’s not what they signed up for. Expecting an isolated traffic officer to deal with organized crime is a bit like sending a girl guide into a war zone to effect peace. (Sorry, Guys; no offense meant). The military structure, through which they deliver, does not make them an effective hit squad!

The scrap metal deal

“I wish to also address concerns of many taxi operators that the R50 000 scrapping allowance will be inadequate for them to be able to purchase new vehicles.”

Transport has seen a turnover of three Ministers: Maharaj, with the vision, Omar, who appeared to delay and Radebe, who has determined to play out the scenario. Much of the delay was caused by the high budget needed to accomplish the deed and the ‘recap’ budget, together with additional resources of R885-million, to improve traffic law enforcement, was finally granted, in Parliament in February 2005.

Since the original figure of R100 000 per scrapped vehicle was touted, it has been halved. Either the taxi ‘park’ has grown (doubtless) or the number of taxis had been miscalculated. Ten years on, vehicle prices have risen more than most of us imagined. The delay in delivery has caused the media to wonder whether Transport had “bitten off more than it could chew” (when R7.7-billion was approved by cabinet in August 2005).

“…at the same time enabling other taxi operators whose vehicles could be impoundment due to unroadworthiness to remove their vehicles from our roads…”

A R250-million allocation was to be used to establish ‘scrapping’ systems in 2005, deputy director-general of public transport at National DoT confirmed in March of that year. He later (it was whispered) succumbed to death threats from within the taxi industry and moved on, but not before the minister and Santaco had confirmed their readiness to begin the process by April, after the tender had been allocated.

We were also assured that most of the aging taxi fleet would be “history” before the 2010 World Cup. One April, I am told, is very much like another, in the world of politics. It was November 2006 before the first token taxi was symbolically, and very publicly, crushed beyond repair (a very difficult thing to do to a taxi, notorious for remaining on the road minus several, generally considered essential, moving parts).

“These operators will be expected to register…their intention to exit and voluntarily surrender unroadworthy vehicles in exchange for the R50 000 scrapping allowance.”

The intention has always been to reduce the taxi fleet to less than 100 000, thus preventing ‘overtrading’ on lucrative routes. The scrapping allowance, although promoted as an incentive to drivers to renew their vehicles, was not necessarily intended to allow those with limited means to trade up.

There was also the possibility that large operators would consolidate their scrapping allowances and either invest the hard cash or use it to enter other industries. There has been continual unrest from drivers who believe their futures to be insecure and if and facts, figures or statistics have been presented to reassure them that they will still have jobs, after the fact, they have completely passed me by.

10 Tips to Buy the Smartest Travel Insurance Policy

Why invest in travel insurance?

Travel insurance is the backbone of your travel plan as you can not only be at peace but also can ask for compensation in case of any uncertain event occurring during your vacation. There are many benefits of investing in a suitable travel coverage plan. The frequency of uncertainties has increased these days. Terrorist attacks, thefts and robbery are some of the commonly happening events. You never know how bad you will be affected by such uncertain events while you are out in an unknown destination for a vacation. Insurance is a tool that helps you stay protected throughout your trip and offers you good amount of compensation in case of any emergency or an uncertain event. Nowadays, buying suitable travel coverage tops the list of any travel plan. The tourism industry in India is doing a great job by offering attractive travel packages to the residents. Buying a suitable travel insurance plan to match your vacation package has never been so easy before.

Buying travel insurance online

It takes just a few clicks online to search for available travel plans and compare them with their features and coverage details. Comparing available travel coverage plans through online quotes is the smartest way to search for the most suitable ones. As premium is the primary factor to consider, you can calculate the premiums associated with different plans by using the online calculators and invest in the smartest one.

Tips to buy online travel insurance

Here are some effective tips to buy travel insurance policy that suits your requirements:

• Before searching for the travel coverage policy, firstly decide about the place where you would like to spend your vacation at. After you finalize the travel destination, search for reputed travel companies online and ask for the variety of plans that they offer.

• For aged people, it is a must to opt for a plan that covers emergency charges and medical expenses along with ambulance and hospitalization fees.

• If you are a regular traveler, you can easily locate a discounted travel coverage policy.

• Your coverage elements would differ as per the place where you are planning to visit. For an adventure trip that includes activities like sea diving, mountain climbing and rafting, make sure that the policy covers compensation for loss of luggage and personal injury.

• There are different insurance policies for business travelers that usually cover compensation for loss of business related accessories and uncertain expenses.

• Students travel policies would cover uncertain events during their abroad visits for education.

• Family travel policies would offer compensation to your entire family against events like delay in flights, loss of checked baggage and interruptions due to hijack.

• Avail assurance from the insurance company that they would refund the tourism amount in case of cancellation of trip due to uncertain events.

• Be ready with your coverage checklist before applying for any travel coverage plan.

• Some insurance companies also offer pet insurance policies to travelers who want to take along their pets for the trip.

For a safe and peaceful journey, buying a suitable travel insurance policy is a must.

Why You Should Travel Young

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”

-Henry Miller

Traveling is simply a brutality of humanity, it is when we travel that we see things for what they truly are and not how we imagined them to be. Traveling also lets our imagination run wild without expectations, it lets us see things from a new perspective, without the alleged prejudice of the world. And while all of this seems to be an adequate reason to travel, many are still naïve to the idea of traveling.

But just as many are left in the dark to wonder and wander, some are out there exploring and enjoying what the world has to offer them, for it is in that brief moment of youth that we can truly experience life, as we know it.

Now the question of many remains, “Why Should I Travel Young”? Personally, I can give you a hundred, even a thousand reasons why you should travel when you’re young but if you’re desire to see the world begins and ends with your “Wish to See the World” then I’m afraid no amount of reasoning would suffice to convince you to go after what you want.

You see, traveling as much as it is a form of recreation is also a commitment, a vocation for some, but ultimately, it is a responsibility. A responsibility you should be willing to take onto yourself. Many people say that the young are lucky to have the health and the wealth to see the world but what they do not realize is that the young are often distracted, deceived and sometimes, deluded.

So if you’re one of the young who wish to unearth the world’s greatest places and learn life’s most valuable lessons, but are afraid to make it happen, read along, maybe I can convince you to travel while you still have the gift of youth.

  • Traveling teaches you a sense of adventure- Don’t quote me on this one but based on my experience, traveling allows you to have as much as fun as you want without having to worry of what other people will say about you. You don’t have your peers or parents to warn you and judge you, so you can be young, wild and free. Life is an adventure and traveling lets you experience that.
  • Traveling teaches you to be compassionate- Other than the photos, the souvenir and the life-long memory that traveling gives you, it also edifies you of the real situation and teaches you to care for other people, sometimes not of your own kind.
  • Traveling allows you to be culturally diverse- If you think traveling is all about sight-seeing and marveling at the wonders each country has, then you’re right. But there’s also something more important that traveling teaches us, it allows us to be culturally diverse. Whenever we travel, it is important that we follow the local practices of the country/destination we are going to. As the old saying goes, “Respect begets Respect” If we learn to respect and even appreciate the culture of other nationalities then we become more aware of our own. That’s the mutual benefit we get from traveling.
  • Traveling makes you more attractive as a person- they say that the most attractive people in the world are those that have seen it. Do you agree? I do. It is because of the invaluable and immeasurable life experiences we have with our travels that make us a better person, and when you feel you’re better, you become more attractive.
  • When you travel young, you travel more- let’s face it, we’re all bound to grow old and lose our health. But while we’re young and at the peak of everything, it’s best to take advantage of it and start traveling, after all, you’re only allowed until your 30s to hike a mountain or ride the rapids of the river.
  • Traveling makes it easy to make friends- if back at your hometown you tend to cling to the same group of people bound by a circle of friendship, then maybe you should travel more often. Traveling has been proven as one of the best ways to gain friends and build bonds, after all, you are all strangers to one another at one point but because of your common interest to see the world, you are bound by it as well. And get this; wouldn’t it be nice to have friends in all parts of the world? That would be way cool, way cooler than your friends back home.
  • Traveling makes you a better storyteller- You might not get this now but when you have kids or grandchildren, you will. Those who travel young have more opportunities to experience everything there is to traveling. With the many countries that you’ve visited and you’ll be traveling to is a story waiting to be told. Traveling gives you things to share over breakfast, lunch or dinner. When you travel, you will never have a hard time thinking of a topic to talk about; not to mention you’ll keep everyone with your story.
  • Now if for some strange reason, after citing all these reasons why you should travel young and you’re still not convinced; it’s pretty obvious that you have a fear inside you that you’re just trying to hide so everyone won’t think you’re a coward who can’t face it. Is it fear of heights? Fear of the unknown? Fear of being independent? Whatever it is, know that traveling, especially alone, will help you address that fear. You just have to take the big leap of faith and make the first step to make your traveling dreams a reality. You only live once; and you’re only young for a short period of time, if you don’t travel now, when?

    The Health Benefits of Humor When Traveling

    Traveling makes people excited to arrive at their destinations. But sometimes the destination is not the only thing that travelers should take into account. The journey can be as enjoyable as the destination. The only thing that people need to remember is to always have fun. If you know how to have fun while traveling, then you know that traveling is more than just an activity. It is an enjoyable activity. A funny travel attitude can make any journey less strenuous. Your problems will actually be lighter to carry. Humor can aid in the promotion of a traveler’s physical health. These benefits can be achieved through the laughter that people have in a funny travel experience. Laughter as proven by studies can make the body adapt to many situations. A good laugh can make problems easier to solve, relieving the traveler of the stresses that problems bring in the trip. It also aids in the development and support of the physical health of the person.

    Some things may go wrong while traveling. The possibility that a humorous travel experience will occur increases when wrong things start happening in the journey. If you have the right attitude, having fun is easy and free. Travelers do not have to pay more just to have fun in the trip. The spontaneous events that in any moment can happen while traveling make the activity more exciting. Expressing and sharing humor while traveling will let travelers be more spontaneous, less defensive, release inhibitions and be able to express true feelings. Being spontaneous, travelers get along well and easy. Travelers will have less doubt and forget prejudgments of their traveling buddies if they let go of defensiveness. Less defensiveness will in turn release inhibitions that will make the travelers relaxed with each other. And the last of these funny travel tips, is that travelers need to let go of their feelings; this transparency can make traveling relationships fun.

    If people are all having funny travel stories, traveling will never be seen as a boring and strenuous activity that people do. A good laughter has many healthy effects on the physical body of the traveler. Laughter relaxes the whole body, boosts the immune system, releases endorphins and protects the heart. A good laugh can make the body’s muscle relax up to 45 minutes after the laugh. It also decreases stress in hormones and thus creating better functioning immune systems for the traveler. A good laugh can make any traveler at the worst situations feel better because fun triggers the release of endorphins. Laughing also exercises blood vessels and arteries; this protects the heart form cardio vascular diseases and heart attacks.

    There is no harm in funny travel. Fun can never be gone in any situation; all that it takes is to recognize it. Travel jokes can go far for any traveler. It does not only assure a good laugh but it also puts the traveler in a higher state of well being and health. Traveling and humor are perfect buddies as they spread happiness all around.

    Why Travel Medical Insurance Is So Important

    Travel medical insurance is an insurance package that offers certain medical coverage while traveling. These plans are similar to that of normal health insurance policies, but are associated with traveling. Travel medical plans consist mainly of one of two types of policies, namely temporary travel medical plan and permanent travel insurance program.

    To acquire travel insurance, an individual needs to pay a monthly premium to the insurance company through a travel agent. The company then pays for all medical care required by the customer while traveling.

    International travelers, who travel frequently, mainly require this type of insurance. There are various choices to be made among travel health insurers, which offer help to numerous traveling people. If travelers develop some medical troubles outside their country, these travel programs provide them with all the necessary medical assistance and protection.

    These travel health insurance scheme provides hospital security benefit of $100 or more per night, for travelers going outside the US. They also provide $15,000 and more to cover suitable medical expenses for previous health conditions. These are the most attractive feature of these travel plans.

    Reasons To Get Travel Insurance:

    Is travel medical insurance necessary or waste of money? This is a common question arising in the minds of many people, when they think of a travel insurance program. There are certain reasons that show how important travel health coverage can be to a traveler.

    While seeking an affordable travel package, people need to pay attention to its price structure. Most of the available travel medical plans are of low cost. The traveler is ready to spend the vacation money for fun, but chances of medical complications can add extra money. To avoid this, it is very necessary to buy a cheap travel health insurance package.

    Most medical policies provide health care assurance all around the world. However, they do not offer full amount as per the coverage. For instance, if a person is traveling on a cruise ship, the basic health insurance plan will cover only 50 percent of the doctor’s visits on the ship.

    However, the medical travel package covers the full amount and sometimes more. Therefore, travel insurance programs are the best choice for international travelers to protect themselves while relaxing.

    Many travel medical insurers offer policies, without a medical or health examination. The package takes care of all the medical expenses associated with any medical crisis, while traveling.

    Final Advice:

    Travel medical insurance provides peace of mind, during your entire trip. To make the vacation more enjoyable without any hassles, it is very important to have travel medical insurance. For those travelers, who have previous medical history this is even more important.

    Travelers with previous history have a high risk of medical complications during traveling and there is no chance of extra expense, if they already have travel coverage. You really don’t want to take the risk of not having it.

    A travel agent generally offers the travel health insurance when making bookings, and a large number of travel agents, who provides these policies, are available online. To conclude, travel health coverage provides an extra level of comfort and deals with all the medical complications get a quote below.

    Business Travel Insurance

    Anyone that travels a lot should consider travel insurance, but those that travel for business often overlook the importance of this protection. Business travel insurance is simply a good idea because it can provide you with the protection that you need whether you are traveling just a short or long distance away from home. You never know when you are going to need the protection that insurance can provide, so you should look into business travel insurance before you go on your next trip.

    The great thing about business travel insurance is that the individual can purchase it or a company can purchase it. Many companies are choosing to purchase the insurance for all of their employees that travel. This is a very economical way to buy the coverage as many companies can offer bulk buy discounts. This can be a particularly good idea for companies that host a lot of conferences, meetings, team building events, training courses, product launches, and the like. Many businesses offer corporate hospitality outings and the like, and even on these fun getaways employees should be protected and business travel insurance is a great way to get that protection.

    If you happen to be an employee that travels to a lot of business oriented annual general meetings, exhibitions, seminars, or conventions and you aren’t provided with business travel insurance you can buy it yourself. The coverage is not at all expensive, and you may even be able to purchase the coverage at the same time that you plan an event or plan your travel, which will make it convenient to purchase. When you purchase this protection you can go on your business travels and not worry about what would happen if you were robbed, if your luggage was lost, or if you needed medical attention in an area where your usual medical or dental insurance was not valid.

    Many of us think about travel insurance when we are going on vacation or visiting exotic vacations, but this is not the only time when you need the protection that this type of insurance can provide. Business travel insurance is just as important as the insurance that you would buy when flying across the world for an exotic vacation or honeymoon because there is just as much opportunity for you to encounter health problems or circumstances that you just did not plan for. Why should you be any less equipped to handle these problems on a business trip than you would be when you are on vacation? When you leave home you should feel safe, secure, and confident in your abilities to handle any situation and with business travel insurance you can do this.

    If you don’t travel often or you only travel once a year you can opt to purchase your business travel insurance for just one trip. All you have to do is disclose when you will be traveling, where you will be going, and when you will be returning. This is generally very affordable and will offer you the protection that you should have on your one trip. If you travel all the time for work you can choose to buy your business travel insurance for the whole year. While this is more expensive in the beginning, it is cheaper over the course of the year than it would be to purchase the coverage every time you go away on travel. Many times there are also different levels of coverage to choose from, so you can choose from very basic coverage to very extensive coverage, based on your needs. When you purchase the travel business insurance you may want to consider the areas that you travel to as well as what sort of coverage your other insurance coverage may provide as this information will help you determine what sort of coverage you need.

    It used to be more difficult to buy travel insurance, and that is why many people simply opted not to do it. In many cases you had to go right to an insurance agent and you had to fill out a ton of paperwork, or you could go to a travel agent and do the same thing. Now, you can purchase your business travel insurance right along with your other travel needs such as but not limited to your event planning services, your car rental services, lodging, transportation, and airfare. This is very convenient and allows for those that didn’t want to bother with the coverage before because of the hassle to purchase the benefits of travel insurance. Next time you receive notice that you have to travel for your job, why not look into travel business insurance and see what protection it can offer you? It’s better to have the protection and not need it than need it and not have it!

    India Travel Forums – The Traveler's Delight

    We have all heard the word “forum” and the present world, fast transcending into an “e-world” has umpteen umber of such forums. A web forum can be simply defined as an online message board or a bulletin board for endless and detailed discussions on various issues. One of the most upcoming forums in India is the “India Travel Forum”.

    As the word suggests, India travel forums provide a hands-on experience on travel within India. Such discussion forums also guide travelers visiting India to make their travel a pleasurable one.

    Indian travel forums have certainly become a useful tool for all the vacation lovers who wish to explore the natural wonders of India. The members of forums can share their pictures, suggestions, and first-hand experiences on several destinations. Technology features like “chatting” enable the forum members to get swift responses to all their travel related queries. The personal travel experiences shared by the members give an honest review of the place visited. From the route to be taken, the tips to be followed, the places to be visited to the money you need to expend, you can actually get all the required information as to everything that a traveler can think of. Indian travel industry is expanding rapidly as every other Indian is eagerly looking forward to a getaway within India to discover the mystique landscape and the breathtaking water bodies. As they say: “Better late than never”, India has finally struck on the right keys with several Indian travel communities being set up to make travel as easy as it can get.

    The Indian travel discussion forums have eventually made their mark and have come a long way from taking advice from a few friends before heading for a vacation to sharing it on a much larger platform with thousands of real-time travelers. Travel forums are not only for people seeking answers to their travel related queries, but also for people who have immense knowledge about the Indian hot-spots or frequent travelers as they can share or guide the other members. There are countless advantages of being a member of the India travel forums as listed above but a fairly important one is being saved from the exaggerated views of the Indian travel agents about any destination, which may land you in a highly praised location but does not suit your interests. Most of all, if you pay a hefty amount and do not get the worth then all that remains is an unhappy traveler-the basic purpose of travel being defeated. You are no more rejuvenated but remorseful after your trip, this is where the forums step in with the genuine common people (travelers) ready to lend a helping hand. To the contrary, the forums might just suggest a travel agent or a tour operator who turns out to be a blessing for your vacation offering cost-effective packages.

    The picture-sharing feature of the forums help you to get a look and feel of the place you wish to visit. Thus, Indian travel forums can save your time, money and offer you an expert opinion by the travelers themselves. Next time when you are making your travel plans, be it a South India tour, a North India tour or any corner of the Indian subcontinent, you know where to find the travel gurus. Be a part of the change, be a member of the Indian Travel forums. Happy traveling!!

    Top Advantages Of Using A Car Rental When Traveling

    The most significant advantage to using a car from a rental service is cost and freedom. If you are a regular business traveler or are simply traveling for leisure, having your own vehicle to move around in is more convenient, not to mention more cost effective, than using a taxi or public transportation. This is especially true for those who are traveling for site seeing or are spending longer periods (typically 3 weeks to a month) in a foreign nation. In this article I list a few advantages of renting a car when traveling that you may find useful.

    Anyone traveling on vacation with a budget will immediately see the benefit of renting a car from any international rental company. If you want an appropriate balance between cost of transportation to complete your explorations and site seeing, and freedom to leave your residence at any time of day with a car, then a rental is your only option, short of buying a car there. If you are a member of a loyalty program with a car rental company back home that has an international presence, you may be eligible to receive better discounts at your destination.

    If you are traveling from the US to an Asian country, the disparity in fuel costs can work to your advantage. On average (because of the value of a dollar) you can gain slightly more fuel for a dollar in many Asian countries than you would back home. Unfortunately this wouldn’t necessarily apply for European countries as the cost of pump fuel there is higher than it is in the US.

    You can expect the same high quality standard of vehicles from rental car companies in Europe as you would expect to find in the US. Not only does the European Union enforce strict rules on emissions, the level of competition coupled by the massive market of travelers to Europe who rent cars on a daily basis ensures that you will find affordable high standard car rental companies.

    If you have just landed in a foreign country and are at the airport, the typical cost of a taxi is normally a huge fraction of the total cost of a car rental for an entire day. Many of the well established car rental companies have offices in the major airports of the world, making it easy and convenient for you to rent a car almost immediately you land in the country.

    Travel Health Insurance: It's Easy to Get and Cheaper Than You Think

    Of the concerns people have when the topic of world travel rears its exciting head, few feel as serious as the concern of getting sick or hurt in a foreign country without any form of health insurance to take care of the problem. Compared with the fear of running into serious health problems abroad, the concern of not knowing where to travel, or the worry about getting scammed, or insecurities surrounding your ability to make the money necessary to travel all seem trivial. None of those fears can kill you- getting sick or hurt abroad without any form of health insurance can.

    Most forms of health insurance are nationally based, they are domestic, which means the insurance you use at home isn’t going to do much of anything for you abroad. Thankfully, getting health insurance while you’re traveling, or getting insurance that will cover you as you travel, is a lot easier than you think and it doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg.

    An Important Question

    Before we get into the nitty gritty of how to acquire health insurance that will keep you secure and feeling good during your travels you need to ask yourself a single important question- do you plan on traveling to one country or multiple destinations?

    The answer to this question will determine what sort of insurance you will need. If you’re traveling all over the place than you need a more comprehensive, far-reaching insurance. If you’re traveling to a single city or country and setting down roots for a few weeks or a couple months then you only need to get health insurance valid within that country.

    Even though you should avoid overly-detailed travel planning to figure out the answer to this question before you leave home, it is a good idea to plan your health insurance needs.

    Single-Country Insurance Strategies

    As far as insurance goes, if you’re traveling to a single city or country you have it easy– though it’s important you act fast for peace of mind and safety’s sake. You should purchase local insurance the first day you arrive.

    Doing this not only makes sure you’re protected no matter what happens, resolving to buy insurance your first day in a new country is also the best way to be sure you actually get it done. It’s easy to put off chores and busy work, the less sexy elements of travel, when you’re excited to be in a new country and itching to start exploring. Getting all the boring stuff out-of-the-way as soon as possible protects you against the dangers of procrastination- dangers that are potentially lethal when it comes to medical coverage.

    But how, exactly, can you find local insurance?

    Well, you have two options.

    • You can spend hours trying to research local medical coverage plans online, often browsing through poorly translated websites in an attempt to compare one plan with all the others. Or,
    • You can take the easy route and just ask an employee at your hostel or your hotel what local health insurance they have and what insurance they think you should sign up for. Then find out if their insurance coverage is available to visitors. Hospitality workers are there to help you out, and the more personally owned and operated your lodgings the better the chances of receiving some good advice from them.

    Multi-Country Insurance Strategies

    Owning local insurance in addition to global insurance is almost always a good idea. After all, it’s a safe bet local hospitals will accept your local insurance card but there’s no guarantee local hospitals will accept your international coverage. That being said, if you’re traveling to a large number of different locations, you don’t really have much of a choice. You need to get the most comprehensive global health insurance you can afford.

    When it comes to global health insurance you have a couple options at your disposal.

    1) First, you can take a look at your existing domestic health insurance and determine whether it provides any sort of worldwide coverage at all. The bigger the insurance carrier the more likely it will provide something for you when you’re out crisscrossing the globe. If you don’t know where to look and you’re unsure about your current coverage you should get on the phone with a representative and start asking questions.

    If your current coverage won’t help you overseas you need to ask whether there’s any plan provided by your carrier that will help you out as you travel. If there’s an upgrade to your insurance available and if the upgrade will cover you abroad you’d be wise to pay a little extra to make sure you’re secure. Acquiring traveler’s insurance isn’t really difficult but ultimately it’s a lot easier to stick with the carrier you already have than to unnecessarily jump ship.

    2) If your current carrier does not provide travel coverage while you’re traveling and if they do not offer any sort of upgrade, add-on or package that will cover you abroad, then you need to locate a new carrier.

    You can either switch over to a large carrier who provides a wide range of insurance options, or you can just sign on with a carrier who specializes in traveler’s insurance.

    3) Travel Health Insurance is a LOT more common and a LOT cheaper than you’d think. Don’t be surprised if you find travel health insurance that is considerably less expensive than what you’re paying for your existing domestic coverage. Not only that, but travel health insurance tends to be extremely flexible. You can purchase insurance for a single trip, you can purchase insurance for trips of varying lengths (such as 30, 60 or 90 days) and you can purchase insurance for those times you’re going to travel indefinitely.

    So how cheap can travel health insurance be? How does less than $1,000 dollars a year sound to you? Compared with the normal $300-$500/month you’d pay for your own health insurance, if it’s not covered by your employer’s travel insurance, this represents a really, really good deal.

    What Types of Travel Insurance Do You Need?

    When you start researching travel insurance you’ll soon realize there are many types of travel insurance out there, all covering a different corner of the traveler’s experience.

    • The average traveler simply needs to purchase the most comprehensive Travel Health Insurance they can find. But if you’re traveling to snowboard the alps or something else that may be considered risky, then Hazardous Sports Insurance might also be worthwhile.
    • Evacuation Insurance might make sense to help get out of countries if political or environmental situations turn ugly, but only if you are in a country where you could reasonably assume you could be evacuated by helicopter.
    • You can purchase Identity Theft Protection in case someone swipes your passport and credit cards.
    • You can purchase Cancellation Insurance to make sure you end up at your destination even if your airline starts messing with your reservations or some other unforeseen problem arises.

    Whether you purchase these different forms of insurance or not depends a lot on where you’re going and what you plan on doing there.

    But after you settle the issue of travel insurance, what’s keeping you from finally taking that trip you’ve always dreamed of?

    Save on Travel Now: Discover How Much Money You Can Save on Travel Now Using This

    Who else wants to save on travel today? I realize that may sound like a silly question and the fact is, economic times are rough right now. Most people (including myself…) are looking to save big money on their travel prices. If you want to save a lot of money on your travel expenses, the solution to doing just that is actually a lot easier than you think. If you want to go to a nice luxurious hotel, resort, or cruise, the reality is you really can and at affordable prices that everyone can afford…let me explain…

    The answer to saving on your travel has nothing to do with travel sites that have been known to save you up to 30%. I am talking about are travel memberships wherein you pay a one-time fee and gain immediate lifetime access. You can literally begin saving up to 80% off your travel needs for the rest of your life. No restrictions of when you travel, either! I am speaking highly of something known as a travel discount club that many are now discovering for the first time.

    If you have never heard of a travel membership, basically what this mean to you is this…..it eliminates the high prices when it comes to travel prices. Have you ever gone to a hotel thinking that you paid way too much? Me too! These overpriced prices have gone on for far too long in my opinion. So in essence what these memberships do for you, is save you a log of money.

    When you are a paid member, you then have access to over thousands of highly sought after travel locations from around the world. This will save you up to 80% off of your travel expenses around the world. You do not have to worry about when you travel because you get to decide that.

    You can literally go anywhere and save a lot of money. You will save limitless amounts of money if you are member. If you are a member, you will have the luxury of being able to stay at some of the very most luxurious relaxing condos. You can also take advantage of scenic cruises, villas and cottages and best of all, when you want!

    Savings are available at many of the finest of resorts, too. You can stay at 4 and 5-star hotels and be treated like a king or queen! For many, this is a dream come true because of the fact that you will have the ability to stay at some of the very best resorts from all over the world. This is not a timeshare, mind you.

    These memberships do not require you to pay any additional fees, at least the ones that I have checked out. No maintenance fees or annual fees is a huge plus to many, who have been burned by timeshares. That is something that no timeshare can even come close to when comparing the two. If you compare the amount of money that you would have to pay on a retail vacation, a membership blows the retail price right out of the water. You will easily save over 50% or more.

    Do your own research and see for yourself. Having a membership to for access to thousands of luxury hotel locations at rock-bottom wholesale prices is what makes this an easy decision for many. When you compare the savings to the retail price that you would have to pay, it just makes good sense..

    Take for example the fact that you can get:

    a 2-bedroom condo at multiple worldwide locations for less than $200 for a seven-day vacation stay. The only question is why would would you want to spend several hundred more than what you need to? The retail price for this vacation retailed for $998 on a site that offered the exact same amenities.

    When I first learned of these savings, I jumped on the opportunity because I hate having to spend more money than I really have to. When you join, you will gain immediate private access and be a part of the vacation club that allows you to profit from these vacation deals. When I first took a look at it, I could not believe the savings. In fact, I thought there had to be a catch….I was pleasantly surprised when I realized there was no catch on having access to unbelievable discounts on these luxurious vacations. It was a dream come true for me.

    Another big advantage is that you will also have access to travel advisors. These are advisors who will assist you with various travel needs on other travel related expenses. When you are getting ready to go on a trip, the less that you have to worry about is priceless.

    These memberships are the answer to saving money when it comes to traveling throughout the entire United States, but all across the globe. While memberships are not free, you could easily make your money back on one vacation alone. So basically, you get your money back after your first vacation. Keep in mind that there are pretty high priced memberships compared to other clubs.

    If you want to save some serious cash, consider a membership because it will certainly save you more than just a few bucks when you consider the fact that you can save several hundreds of dollars on your first trip. I cannot say enough about these memberships. They really are the way to travel when it comes to saving money at worldwide luxurious hotels, resorts and cruises.

    No matter if you are casual traveler or a business traveler, saving up to 80% on travel related expenses is the perfect solution for literally anyone who travels I do not know about you but most everyone I talk to travels at least once in a while. So even if you just travel once in a while, you still save a lot of money.

    If you want to save money on your travel, having a membership that will save you several hundreds of dollars on resorts, cruises, fine hotels and many other vacation expenses, is the best deal. The reason is that having one of these memberships pays you back every time you access your membership privileges. It allow you to take immediate advantage of for the unlimited savings.

    Travel Insurance FAQ

    Travel Insurance is an essential part of any trip and is something that should not be put aside. Most soon-to-be travelers usually have heard about travel insurance, but might not know the specific reasons why they need travel insurance. This is an important article about frequently asked questions for travel insurance. This article also provides a link for further reading about travel insurance.

    What is travel insurance protection?

    Travel insurance is a type of insurance that covers you financial for any losses or illness that may unfortunate occur while you is on your trip. Travel insurance can be bought for international or national (within your country) trips.

    Why should I buy travel insurance?

    Since travel insurance protects you while traveling, this will help and provide the necessary protection you will need in the occurrence of a unfortunate event. Any individual traveling anywhere without travel insurance will be in a dangerous situation if an accident occur.

    What is the coverage for travel insurance?

    Travel insurance should provide coverage for medical cost, transportation to a medical facility, and reimburse you for certain or some nonrefundable costs due to a interrupted trip, and financial loss of funds.

    How much does travel insurance cost?

    How much the cost of your travel insurance will be depends on your insurance company provider and their policy. The cost of travel insurance usually will range up to 12 percent of the cost of your vacation/trip.

    Is travel insurance really important and how many people actually get paid for their claims?

    Travel insurance is highly recommended, there are usually about 10% of people who file claims. Sometimes some travelers make have taken a overly expensive trip that they would have to pay out of their own money if they have not bought travel insurance.

    What is the medical care coverage?

    When there is a case of illness or serious injury, medical transportation to an appropriate medical facility, and medical treatment will be covered. You should also have coverage for if it is deem necessary to bring you back home.

    Does travel insurance cover business trips?

    This will depend on the insurance company. Most insurance companies will provide travel insurance for a business trip, but the coverage may be separate from the standard coverage.

    How long will travel insurance provide coverage for me?

    You can often buy travel insurance starting from as little as two weeks, up to a year. Different insurance companies may vary with their service of coverage.

    When is the best time to buy travel insurance coverage?

    The best time to buy travel insurance is as soon as possible before you go on your trip or vacation. You want your travel insurance active during your whole trip.

    What will happen if my money is lost or stolen?

    If you can not receive traveler checks replacements many insurance companies provide a service where a travel agent can arrange a money transfer or traveler check for you to receive. You will have to ask more about this to your travel insurance provider.

    Base Tendriling Travel Expenses

    As business travel expenses nose upward, companies are realizing that better cost-management techniques can make a difference

    US. corporate travel expenses rocketed to more than $143 billion in 1994, according to American Express’ most recent survey on business travel management. Private-sector employers spend an estimated $2,484 per employee on travel and entertainment, a 17 percent increase over the past four years.

    Corporate T&E costs, now the third-largest controllable expense behind sales and data-processing costs, are under new scrutiny. Corporations are realizing that even a savings of 1 percent or 2 percent can translate into millions of dollars added to their bottom line.

    Savings of that order are sure to get management’s attention, which is a requirement for this type of project. Involvement begins with understanding and evaluating the components of T&E management in order to control and monitor it more effectively.

    Hands-on management includes assigning responsibility for travel management, implementing a quality-measurement system for travel services used, and writing and distributing a formal travel policy. Only 64 percent of U.S. corporations have travel policies.

    Even with senior management’s support, the road to savings is rocky-only one in three companies has successfully instituted an internal program that will help cut travel expenses, and the myriad aspects of travel are so overwhelming, most companies don’t know where to start. “The industry of travel is based on information,” says Steven R. Schoen, founder and CEO of The Global Group Inc. “Until such time as a passenger actually sets foot on the plane, they’ve [only] been purchasing information.”

    If that’s the case, information technology seems a viable place to hammer out those elusive, but highly sought-after, savings. “Technological innovations in the business travel industry are allowing firms to realize the potential of automation to control and reduce indirect [travel] costs,” says Roger H. Ballou, president of the Travel Services Group USA of American Express. “In addition, many companies are embarking on quality programs that include sophisticated process improvement and re-engineering efforts designed to substantially improve T&E management processes and reduce indirect costs.”

    As companies look to technology to make potential savings a reality, they can get very creative about the methods they employ.

    The Great Leveler

    Centralized reservation systems were long the exclusive domain of travel agents and other industry professionals. But all that changed in November 1992 when a Department of Transportation ruling allowed the general public access to systems such as Apollo and SABRE. Travel-management software, such as TripPower and TravelNet, immediately sprang up, providing corporations insight into where their T&E dollars are being spent.

    The software tracks spending trends by interfacing with the corporation’s database and providing access to centralized reservation systems that provide immediate reservation information to airlines, hotels and car rental agencies. These programs also allow users to generate computerized travel reports on cost savings with details on where discounts were obtained, hotel and car usage and patterns of travel between cities. Actual data gives corporations added leverage when negotiating discounts with travel suppliers.

    “When you own the information, you don’t have to go back to square one every time you decide to change agencies,” says Mary Savovie Stephens, travel manager for biotech giant Chiron Corp.

    Sybase Inc., a client/server software leader with an annual T&E budget of more than $15 million, agrees. “Software gives us unprecedented visibility into how employees are spending their travel dollars and better leverage to negotiate with travel service suppliers,” says Robert Lerner, director of credit and corporate travel services for Sybase Inc. “We have better access to data, faster, in a real-time environment, which is expected to bring us big savings in T&E. Now we have control over our travel information and no longer have to depend exclusively on the agencies and airlines.”

    The cost for this privilege depends on the volume of business. One-time purchases of travel-management software can run from under $100 to more than $125,000. Some software providers will accommodate smaller users by selling software piecemeal for $5 to $12 per booked trip, still a significant savings from the $50 industry norm per transaction.

    No More Tickets

    Paperless travel is catching on faster than the paperless office ever did as both service providers and consumers work together to reduce ticket prices for business travelers. Perhaps the most cutting-edge of the advances is “ticket-less” travel, which almost all major airlines are testing.

    In the meantime, travel providers and agencies are experimenting with new technologies to enable travelers to book travel services via the Internet, e-mail and unattended ticketing kiosks. Best Western International, Hyatt Hotels and several other major hotel chains market on the Internet. These services reduce the need for paper and offer better service and such peripheral benefits as increased efficiency, improved tracking of travel expenses and trends, and cost reduction.

    Dennis Egolf, CFO of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, Ky., realized that the medical center’s decentralized location, a quarter-mile from the hospital, made efficiency difficult. “We were losing production time and things got lost,” he says. “Every memo had to be hand-carried for approval, and we required seven different copies of each travel order.” As a result, Egolf tried an off-the-shelf, paper-reduction software package designed for the federal government.

    The software allows the hospital to manage travel on-line, from tracking per-diem allowances and calculating expenses to generating cash advance forms and authorizing reimbursement vouchers. The software also lets the hospital keep a running account of its travel expenses and its remaining travel budget.

    “Today, for all practical purposes, the system is paperless,” says Egolf. The software has helped the hospital reduce document processing time by 93 percent. “The original goal focused on managing employee travel without paper,” he says. “We have achieved that goal, in part due to the efforts of the staff and in part due to the accuracy of the software.”

    With only a $6,000 investment, the hospital saved $70 each employee trip and saved almost half of its $200,000 T&E budget through the paper-reduction program.

    Out There

    Consolidation of corporate travel arrangements by fewer agencies has been a growing trend since 1982. Nearly three out of four companies now make travel plans for their business locations through a single agency as opposed to 51 percent in 1988. Two major benefits of agency consolidation are the facilitation of accounting and T&E budgeting, as well as leverage in negotiating future travel discounts.

    A major technological advance that allows this consolidation trend to flourish is the introduction of satellite ticket printers (STPs). Using STPs enables a travel agency to consolidate all operations to one home office, and still send all necessary tickets to various locations instantly via various wire services. As the term implies, the machinery prints out airline tickets on-site immediately, eliminating delivery charges.

    For London Fog, STPs are a blessing. London Fog’s annual T&E budget of more than $15 million is split equally between its two locations in Eldersburg, Md., and New York City. Each location purchases the same number of tickets, so equal access to ticketing from their agency is a must. With an STP in their two locations, the company services both offices with one agency in Baltimore. Each office has access to immediate tickets and still manages to save by not having to pay courier and express mail charges that can range up to $15 for each of the more than 500 tickets each purchases annually.

    Conde Nast Publications’ annual T&E budget of more than $20 million is allocated among its locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Detroit. Since 1994, travel arrangements have been handled by a centralized agency, Advanced Travel Management in New York City, by installing an STP in each of these five locations. In addition to increased efficiency due to consolidation, Conde Nast now has the ability to change travel plans at a moment’s notice and have new tickets in hand instantly.

    The real benefit is that the machines are owned and maintained by the travel agency., so there is no cost to the company. Due to the major expense involved, however, STPs remain an option only for major ticket purchasers. “STPs are a viable option in this process for any location that purchases more than $500,000 per year in tickets,” says Shoen.

    As airfare averages 43 percent of any company’s T&E expenses, savings obtainable through the various uses of technology have become dramatic. For example, the ability of corporations to collect and analyze their own travel trends has led to the creation of net-fare purchasing-negotiating a price between a corporation and an airline to purchase tickets that does not include the added expenses of commissions, overrides, transaction fees, agency transaction fees and other discounts.

    Although most major U.S. carriers publicly proclaim that they don’t negotiate corporate discounts below published market fares, the American Express survey on business travel management found that 38 percent of U.S. companies had access to, or already had implemented, negotiated airline discounts. The availability and mechanics of these arrangements vary widely by carrier.

    What’s the Price?

    Fred Swaffer, transportation manager for Hewlett-Packard and a strong advocate of the net-pricing system, has pioneered the concept of fee-based pricing with travel-management companies under contract with H-P. He states that H-P, which spends more than $528 million per year on T&E, plans to have all air travel based on net-fare pricing. “At the present time, we have several net fares at various stages of agreement,” he says. “These fares are negotiated with the airlines at the corporate level, then trickle down to each of our seven geographical regions.”

    Frank Kent, Western regional manager for United Airlines, concurs: “United Airlines participates in corporate volume discounting, such as bulk ticket purchases, but not with net pricing. I have yet to see one net-fare agreement that makes sense to us. We’re not opposed to it, but we just don’t understand it right now.”

    Kent stresses, “Airlines should approach corporations with long-term strategic relationships rather than just discounts. We would like to see ourselves committed to a corporation rather than just involved.”

    As business travel expenses nose upward, companies are realizing that better cost-management techniques can make a difference.

    US. corporate travel expenses rocketed to more than $143 billion in 1994, according to American Express’ most recent survey on business travel management. Private-sector employers spend an estimated $2,484 per employee on travel and entertainment, a 17 percent increase over the past four years.

    Corporate T&E costs, now the third-largest controllable expense behind sales and data-processing costs, are under new scrutiny. Corporations are realizing that even a savings of 1 percent or 2 percent can translate into millions of dollars added to their bottom line.

    Savings of that order are sure to get management’s attention, which is a requirement for this type of project. Involvement begins with understanding and evaluating the components of T&E management in order to control and monitor it more effectively.

    Hands-on management includes assigning responsibility for travel management, implementing a quality-measurement system for travel services used, and writing and distributing a formal travel policy. Only 64 percent of U.S. corporations have travel policies.

    Even with senior management’s support, the road to savings is rocky-only one in three companies has successfully instituted an internal program that will help cut travel expenses, and the myriad aspects of travel are so overwhelming, most companies don’t know where to start. “The industry of travel is based on information,” says Steven R. Schoen, founder and CEO of The Global Group Inc. “Until such time as a passenger actually sets foot on the plane, they’ve [only] been purchasing information.”

    If that’s the case, information technology seems a viable place to hammer out those elusive, but highly sought-after, savings. “Technological innovations in the business travel industry are allowing firms to realize the potential of automation to control and reduce indirect [travel] costs,” says Roger H. Ballou, president of the Travel Services Group USA of American Express. “In addition, many companies are embarking on quality programs that include sophisticated process improvement and re-engineering efforts designed to substantially improve T&E management processes and reduce indirect costs.”

    As companies look to technology to make potential savings a reality, they can get very creative about the methods they employ.

    The Great Leveler

    Centralized reservation systems were long the exclusive domain of travel agents and other industry professionals. But all that changed in November 1992 when a Department of Transportation ruling allowed the general public access to systems such as Apollo and SABRE. Travel-management software, such as TripPower and TravelNet, immediately sprang up, providing corporations insight into where their T&E dollars are being spent.

    The software tracks spending trends by interfacing with the corporation’s database and providing access to centralized reservation systems that provide immediate reservation information to airlines, hotels and car rental agencies. These programs also allow users to generate computerized travel reports on cost savings with details on where discounts were obtained, hotel and car usage and patterns of travel between cities. Actual data gives corporations added leverage when negotiating discounts with travel suppliers.

    “When you own the information, you don’t have to go back to square one every time you decide to change agencies,” says Mary Savovie Stephens, travel manager for biotech giant Chiron Corp.

    Sybase Inc., a client/server software leader with an annual T&E budget of more than $15 million, agrees. “Software gives us unprecedented visibility into how employees are spending their travel dollars and better leverage to negotiate with travel service suppliers,” says Robert Lerner, director of credit and corporate travel services for Sybase Inc. “We have better access to data, faster, in a real-time environment, which is expected to bring us big savings in T&E. Now we have control over our travel information and no longer have to depend exclusively on the agencies and airlines.”

    The cost for this privilege depends on the volume of business. One-time purchases of travel-management software can run from under $100 to more than $125,000. Some software providers will accommodate smaller users by selling software piecemeal for $5 to $12 per booked trip, still a significant savings from the $50 industry norm per transaction.

    No More Tickets

    Paperless travel is catching on faster than the paperless office ever did as both service providers and consumers work together to reduce ticket prices for business travelers. Perhaps the most cutting-edge of the advances is “ticketless” travel, which almost all major airlines are testing.

    In the meantime, travel providers and agencies are experimenting with new technologies to enable travelers to book travel services via the Internet, e-mail and unattended ticketing kiosks. Best Western International, Hyatt Hotels and several other major hotel chains market on the Internet. These services reduce the need for paper and offer better service and such peripheral benefits as increased efficiency, improved tracking of travel expenses and trends, and cost reduction.

    Dennis Egolf, CFO of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, Ky., realized that the medical center’s decentralized location, a quarter-mile from the hospital, made efficiency difficult. “We were losing production time and things got lost,” he says. “Every memo had to be hand-carried for approval, and we required seven different copies of each travel order.” As a result, Egolf tried an off-the-shelf, paper-reduction software package designed for the federal government.

    The software allows the hospital to manage travel on-line, from tracking per-diem allowances and calculating expenses to generating cash advance forms and authorizing reimbursement vouchers. The software also lets the hospital keep a running account of its travel expenses and its remaining travel budget.

    “Today, for all practical purposes, the system is paperless,” says Egolf. The software has helped the hospital reduce document processing time by 93 percent. “The original goal focused on managing employee travel without paper,” he says. “We have achieved that goal, in part due to the efforts of the staff and in part due to the accuracy of the software.”

    With only a $6,000 investment, the hospital saved $70 each employee trip and saved almost half of its $200,000 T&E budget through the paper-reduction program.

    Out There

    Consolidation of corporate travel arrangements by fewer agencies has been a growing trend since 1982. Nearly three out of four companies now make travel plans for their business locations through a single agency as opposed to 51 percent in 1988. Two major benefits of agency consolidation are the facilitation of accounting and T&E budgeting, as well as leverage in negotiating future travel discounts.

    A major technological advance that allows this consolidation trend to flourish is the introduction of satellite ticket printers (STPs). Using STPs enables a travel agency to consolidate all operations to one home office, and still send all necessary tickets to various locations instantly via various wire services. As the term implies, the machinery prints out airline tickets on-site immediately, eliminating delivery charges.

    For London Fog, STPs are a blessing. London Fog’s annual T&E budget of more than $15 million is split equally between its two locations in Eldersburg, Md., and New York City. Each location purchases the same number of tickets, so equal access to ticketing from their agency is a must. With an STP in their two locations, the company services both offices with one agency in Baltimore. Each office has access to immediate tickets and still manages to save by not having to pay courier and express mail charges that can range up to $15 for each of the more than 500 tickets each purchases annually.

    Conde Nast Publications’ annual T&E budget of more than $20 million is allocated among its locations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Detroit. Since 1994, travel arrangements have been handled by a centralized agency, Advanced Travel Management in New York City, by installing an STP in each of these five locations. In addition to increased efficiency due to consolidation, Conde Nast now has the ability to change travel plans at a moment’s notice and have new tickets in hand instantly.

    The real benefit is that the machines are owned and maintained by the travel agency., so there is no cost to the company. Due to the major expense involved, however, STPs remain an option only for major ticket purchasers. “STPs are a viable option in this process for any location that purchases more than $500,000 per year in tickets,” says Shoen.

    As airfare averages 43 percent of any company’s T&E expenses, savings obtainable through the various uses of technology have become dramatic. For example, the ability of corporations to collect and analyze their own travel trends has led to the creation of net-fare purchasing-negotiating a price between a corporation and an airline to purchase tickets that does not include the added expenses of commissions, overrides, transaction fees, agency transaction fees and other discounts.

    Although most major U.S. carriers publicly proclaim that they don’t negotiate corporate discounts below published market fares, the American Express survey on business travel management found that 38 percent of U.S. companies had access to, or already had implemented, negotiated airline discounts. The availability and mechanics of these arrangements vary widely by carrier.

    What’s the Price?

    Fred Swaffer, transportation manager for Hewlett-Packard and a strong advocate of the net-pricing system, has pioneered the concept of fee-based pricing with travel-management companies under contract with H-P. He states that H-P, which spends more than $528 million per year on T&E, plans to have all air travel based on net-fare pricing. “At the present time, we have several net fares at various stages of agreement,” he says. “These fares are negotiated with the airlines at the corporate level, then trickle down to each of our seven geographical regions.”

    Frank Kent, Western regional manager for United Airlines, concurs: “United Airlines participates in corporate volume discounting, such as bulk ticket purchases, but not with net pricing. I have yet to see one net-fare agreement that makes sense to us. We’re not opposed to it, but we just don’t understand it right now.”

    Kent stresses, “Airlines should approach corporations with long-term strategic relationships rather than just discounts. We would like to see ourselves committed to a corporation rather than just involved.”

    Do Travel Agents Get Free Trips? Part 2

    Yes: travel agents DO travel for free

    There are several scenarios that could allow travel professionals to travel for free. In a previous article, I discussed 4 ways that travel agents do come out of their pocket to pay for their trips. This time around I will explain how they also save and even travel for free.

    Booking Groups Could Get You a Free Pass

    There are incentives for booking groups (the fact that group travel is the most lucrative bookings in the travel industry should be incentive enough). If an agent books so many rooms (hotel) or cabins (on a cruise), they cold get a free room or cabin or money (not counting the commission) that they could use toward their room or cabin. Of course this all depends on the vendor’s group policy, quantity needed and who is assigned as group leader.

    Actually you do not have to be a travel agent to get this benefit I am described above. If you are not a travel agent and you decide to book a group, if you are the group leader, you could very well get these benefits (ask your travel agent they should tell you that up front). This is the only way (outside of a frequent guest program) that a non-travel agent could get perks extended to them… so if you want to get some perks out of your trip…think in groups!

    Travel Contests

    Another way an agent could go free could be based on sales volume for a specific property or destination in a particular niche. Some travel vendors and agencies may offer free trips to top agents as incentive or awards for sales performance. These kinds of awards are offered as contents too! I’ve seen some really exotic destinations, life a fully expense paid trip to Costa Rica (wow!) offered to contest winners in my agency, which makes it really worth trying to get your sales

    Travel Perks can be Good

    Agents can sometimes take advantage of extended ‘courtesies’ or perks, which is an added benefit of being in the travel industry. We call them courtesies because no vendor is obligated to extend perks just because a travel professional identifies themselves as such. If an option for a room upgrade or car rental upgrade is available, agents will ask first if of course, and it’s up to the vendor to extend free services, amenities or perks to agents up presentation of valid credentials. These perks may also include shows, attraction tickets, tours and much more.

    Agents Travel Free in the Long Run

    This is the part I love about being a home-based travel professional! It really is all free in the long run! How is that? Travel professionals are allowed to legitimately write off their travel 100%. Yes, they can, so regardless if you are an agent who paid for their trip, you are in the business of travel, which makes all your travel 100% tax deductable. So if you are a travel agent, the key is to document your trip and save your receipts so you can legally write off your trips at the end of the tax year!

    Just to recap, there are 4 main ways travel agents can travel for free:

    1. Booking groups and getting room, cabin, or monetary credit
    2. Agency and Vendor Contests
    3. Perks & upgrades
    4. Write-off your travel 100%

    Attention All Agents: save those receipts and document, document, document!

    How To Travel Vacation And Grow Rich Part 2 of 5

    This is about taking advantage of the travel industry’s secrets. Taking that dream vacation at wholesale and making money!

    Remember that Expedia was sold for $5.1 Billion Dollars! Wonder why?

    I really wondered why such a high price was paid for an internet travel store until researching some important facts.

    People love to travel. It is the number one (1) thing that people say that they would do if they had the money and the time to do it. Because of the major trends that are taking place, more and more people now have the time and the money to travel.

    So They Are Traveling!!

    82% of all travel is booked online meaning, through the internet. 79 million Americans booked their travel on line in 2005.

    In the last decade, more than 200,000 travel agents have lost their jobs. By 2004 there were only 103,000 travel agents left in the United States.

    People like you and me were buying travel from the Internet Travel Stores.

    The travel industry today is a 1.3 Trillion dollar business here in the US.

    7 Trillion worldwide. Wouldn’t you like a piece of that! That amounts to $56 million a minute spent on travel in the U.S. alone.

    The travel industry is growing 23% faster than the global economy.

    Of that economy, tourism accounts for 11% of all consumers spending worldwide.

    The travel industry is bigger than the oil business.

    There is continued growth of Internet e-commerce. Consumers spend billions on the Internet, and travel is the fastest growing segment of that trend.

    Consumers are comfortable buying things such as cars, homes, and, of course travel online.

    Baby boomers are retiring at the rate of 1 every 8 seconds and what do they want to do? That’s right, Travel.

    Because of this the travel industry is about to experience an explosive boom: it is expected to double to $14 Trillion worldwide in the next 10 years.

    Why Would You Or Anyone, Not Want to Own An Internet Travel Store!

    Let’s See Why:

    You and the people you know are going to travel anyway, so, doesn’t it just make sense to…

    1.Get paid for that travel?

    2.Make a substantial amount of your personal travel tax deductible rather than paying for it with after tax dollars?

    3.Travel as an insider, with potential perks and benefits, rather than as an outsider?

    WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO THROW MONEY AWAY FOR NO REASON? This Is So Unique—It Has Two Opportunities in one!

    1. You own your own travel business with a company supported website and Earn 60% of the commissions from all travel booked on your site!

    2. You benefit from the greatest referral compensation plan in the industry and Make money every time you and your Rep team refer someone to the travel business. Just like I am showing you!

    I don’t want you to be confused, so the first one is an Online Travel Agency where you have travel credentials and are referred to as a referring travel agent. This is where you make 60% of all commissions on all travel booked on your travel site. You, your friends and family do the booking on your site.

    The second is as an Independent Marketing Representative showing your friends about this opportunity. The Company Is Financially Solid

    The company was founded in January 2001 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of YTB International, a publicly-traded company (YTB.PK) The last three years the company has gotten the highest award from Carnival Cruise line for travel bookings. WOW

    Southern California Travel Agent Location Highlight

    Northern California travel agents just aren’t as busy as those who work in LA, mainly because when hearing “California”, most people quickly think about Metropolitan Los Angeles which is recognized for the theme parks, entertainment industry, classy accommodations, busy beaches, superstars, movies and the like.

    A Northern California travel agent seldom experiences the hustle and bustle of the agencies in the heart of Los Angeles because their place isn’t so daring and fancy. LA is the residence of the rich and famous along with Hollywood, the Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Disneyland, Universal Studios, water parks, Beverly Hills, Kodak Theater and the list goes on. Visiting the residences of stars and their lifestyle is fascinating and watching the shooting of a live TV show is just as exciting. It’s a no shocker that many tourists flock Los Angeles for these purposes.

    Shopping additionally draws crowds to LA. Melrose Avenue presents retro stores while the Grove is a superb site to hang out and enjoy the outdoors. Obviously, Rodeo Drive tops the list, if you have the budget for it. Fun destinations such as theme parks, Santa Monica Pier, beaches and boardwalks could all be found in Los Angeles as well. So that is why take you should take the time to visit down south. An instant call to a Southern California travel agent will surely encourage you to take a drive because it is really worth the travel. The Southern part has a lot to offer which Metropolitan Los Angeles can no longer offer since it’s too packed and busy.

    Fun in the sun is one of the main attraction of Southern California. It is filled with beautiful and not too busy seashores. Coronado Beach, Black’s Beach and Imperial Beach are only few of the many beach locations with broad sandy shores and crystal clear water. Other water activities draw people to this section of California like Knott’s Soak City Water Park and Sea World in San Diego. For those with little ones, visiting San Diego Zoo is a good idea, having its central African rainforest feel. The zoo recreated the natural home of the animals so children can picture how they live in the wild, furthermore, there’s a petting zoo where children can freely socialize with animals that area safe to be around. A Southern California travel agent offers passes for these fun-filled places.

    Apart from “fun in the sun”, heritage lovers drive down south for some museum hopping. A lot of the more popular ones would be the Women’s Hall of Fame, Marston House, Junipero Serra Museum, Museum of Modern Art and the list goes on. What makes the south appealing to tourists is the fact that if offers pleasure from the hustle and bustle in the city. Peaceful respite and quiet leisure is one thing we need from time to time. Though LA is glamorous, it doesn’t capture the whole essence of California. Contact a Southern California travel agent now to explore other exciting places in California.

    Driving Safety Near a School or School Bus

    Driving near a school or a school bus can be dangerous if motorists don’t take proper precautions to ensure not just their own safety, but the safety of children in the vicinity. Here’s a guide to help you understand the right protocol to follow as a motorist in a school zone, or near a school bus.

    Picking up or dropping off children at school:

    • Every school has a system to pick up and drop off children. Make sure you educate yourself on the rules of the school and adhere to them
    • Don’t double park because it reduces visibility for other drivers, and can endanger students
    • Park in the allotted areas (these have been designed keeping in mind the safety of students), and take permitted turns while navigating the school grounds. Avoid making U-turns and three-point turns.
    • While driving, watch out closely for children on bikes coming onto the roadway from between parked cars. Also keep a safe distance of at least 3ft between your vehicle and the motorcycle, and always check your side-view mirror before exiting your car
    • As a rule, ensure that your child is safely buckled in with the seat belt or in an age-appropriate child car seat before starting the car. Also, make sure your child enters or exits the car only via the ‘safety door’ which is the rear door on the kerb-side

    Driving in a school zone:

    • Don’t exceed the 25mph speed limit imposed while driving in school zones. Most often this speed limit is imposed in school zones between 8 a.m. and 9.30 a.m., and 2.30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Motorists must adhere to this speed limit even if there are no children in sight
    • Slow down when approaching a school crossing
    • Do not proceed past the school crossing until the crossing supervisor’s hand-held sign is no longer displayed, or until he/she indicates that you can continue
    • If there is no crossing supervisor, but ‘CHILDREN CROSSING’ flags are displayed, the motorist must stop and wait until all the pedestrians have crossed the road
    • While driving through a school zone, avoid honking as it might scare children and cause them to stumble or fall in the way of oncoming traffic

    Driving in the vicinity of a school bus:

    • Learn to understand the flashing light system on school buses.
    • If the overhead lights on the bus are flashing yellow, then prepare to stop. These lights indicate that the bus driver is planning to bring the vehicle to a halt to load or unload children.
    • If the overhead lights are flashing red, and the stop sign extended, it means that the bus has stopped and that children are getting on or off the bus. At this time all motorists, regardless of the direction in which they are moving, must come to a halt until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign pulled back, and the bus resumes motion. In all 50 states of the U.S., it is mandatory for all vehicles on both sides of the road to come to a halt during this process. However, if a median divides the road, this may not be required.
    • If you are passing a school bus, make sure that there is plenty of visibility and space in the next lane. It is illegal in the U.S. to pass a bus on the right side, as this is where the loading and unloading of children occurs. Therefore, vehicles may pass the school bus on the left side on multiple lane roadways
    • Remember, though buses have large mirrors to assist the driver in his/her navigation, these vehicles also have huge blind spots. Stay cognizant of this, and pull back and slow down if you see a bus flash its blinkers, and allow it to move into the next lane.
    • Be especially vigilant near bus stops. Children may be playing at the bus stop to kill some time, or might be arriving late for their school bus and may inadvertently dart into oncoming traffic.
    • Bear in mind that buses stop frequently, so maintain at least 3ft distance between your car and the bus, to allow yourself enough time to come to a halt too
    • Do not park at or near a bus stop. In fact, maintain enough distance between your vehicle and the bus stop to allow children to enter and exit the bus with ease
    • Always remember that children can behave in an unpredictable, often rash, manner. In their haste or enthusiasm, they may not remember the safety concerns associated with walking on the road or picking up something they’ve dropped on the road. Therefore, it’s important to look very carefully to make sure the way is clear before navigating traffic behind a school bus.

    These tips will help you drive in a safe, responsible manner while driving in a school zone, or near a school bus. If you would like to share your thoughts or suggestions of your own, we’d love to hear from you. Leave us a comment below!

    DIY Travel Should Save You Money

    Travelers or Travelers today, whether experienced or not, have unlimited choices, so why use a travel agent?

    Savvy travelers or travelers, when in need of information relating to specific destinations or activities, seek out travel agents with knowledge, experience and expertise of those destinations and activities.

    It is not always easy choosing a travel agent. Many agents are called specialists, but sometimes the qualification to be a specialist is a simple test run by a tourism office or tour operator. Sometimes, these tests do not require the agent to have ‘been there, done that, got the t-shirt.’ Some of these tests are too simple and could harm the reputation of the travel industry if allowed to continue unchecked. A ‘specialist’ can mean, ‘I know the brochure product’ or ‘I have seen a training video’ or ‘I have taken a test given by a Tourism Office.’

    If you find a specialist, ask about their expertise. Ask them if they or their colleagues have any direct knowledge, experience and expertise of where you want to go and what you want to do, after all, it is your hard-earned money.

    Experts are out there. Find them locally or use the internet and then do your bookings with them. You may have to use different experts for different destinations and activities, just as you would select any other professional for accounting, legal, medical or mechanical matters, except in your lifetime you will probably (or hopefully) spend more on travel than all of the others put together.
    Reality Check: “I once tried a major chain of travel centers to get 2 tickets to Mexico from Canada. I was only offered 2 airlines. I then used an internet search and came up with 5 airlines and made my bookings online. Perhaps the travel center did not earn commission or was not able to charge a fee for the booking or did not want an ‘air only’ booking or did they only offer their ‘preferred products’ which limits client choices?”

    The Nomad

    If you do not need an expert agent you can use the internet to find all kinds of global travel choices and then you can make your booking directly with an online agent or travel operator. If you decide to make your own bookings directly with the travel operator you should not have to pay the full retail price which has a built-in amount for commissions to be paid to sellers of their travel products. Retail agencies that have their own in-house tour products which are sold through other agencies should also be prepared to sell at a net price for a direct booking from a consumer.

    It is only fair that agents and agencies earn commissions and fees from travel providers such as hotels, lodges, tours, cruises or mark up their own tour products to allow for a third-party sale. They all have overheads which have to be covered to give local consumers the convenience of local shopping and it is important to support your local businesses as long as they offer excellent pricing and service. At the same time, it is only fair that consumers who make their own bookings directly with travel operators should not have to incur this extra cost. Fair fare prices should be available for consumers who want to handle their own direct bookings.

    If you are comfortable with dealing over the internet directly with the travel providers and you want to get fair fare prices you can check out a travel website that was launched in April 2008 that, for members only, offers free travel vouchers that saves them the commission or fee elements in retail travel prices. The site offers thousands of travel vouchers for travel in over 70 countries ranging from simple B&B accommodations to complex adventure travel, all at net of commission prices. This travel site is operated by an online travel club that does not sell travel or make reservations and all monies therefore, are handled directly between the members and the travel operators.

    The internet has just about everything a traveler or even a traveler could want, whereas agents and agencies can only offer limited selections of brochures from travel providers and operators. There are thousands of travel businesses that never get to see the inside of a travel agency or brochure, but they would still be prepared to pay commissions to sellers of their products. This online travel club allows travel businesses to promote their products and services at no cost except the requirement to issue travel vouchers that represent the normal commissions and fees in the retail price. 100% of these savings are then passed on to members who do their own direct bookings. As a member, all travel vouchers are free but if you do not want to join there is an associated website that sells the same travel vouchers without requiring a membership fee.

    A tip from the website. When you make your own direct bookings, do make sure that the time in the time-zone that you are calling is appropriate as “it is embarrassing to wake up a Greek Sea Captain at one in the morning somewhere in the Greek Islands to discuss their listing.” The Nomad at The Top Travel Club.

    This site is continually adding new travel selections and as long as you are comfortable and prepared to be a D.I.Y. Traveler or D.I.Y. Traveler over the web, you might find some interesting trips and adventures, some of which are not readily available elsewhere.

    In closing, I hope you find the little bits of attempted English language humor humorous and as I consider myself 1 L of a Traveler, I say 2 L with travelers but at last I am happy to have found a web travel centre centered around saving me money. Apologies to both Websters and Oxford dictionaries.

    What to Pack for Travelling

    This is what I consider to be essential items for any traveler/backpacker. These are items which I have used in my past travels, and have served me well.

    Backpack

    The first most obvious thing for any traveler to decide on is whether to use a backpack or a suitcase. During my first solo travel experience to Southeast Asia, Korea and Japan, I traveled with a backpack. For under 50 I bought a Eurohike 55 litre backpack with a rain cover, which came in handy during the monsoon season! The pack was top-opening, and didn’t really offer much by way of security. I therefore bought a special backpack transit case which I put my backpack into and made it secure from theft, but also made it secure from airport conveyor belts. I had heard that the conveyors in airports sometimes broke clips from backpacks if they were not properly secured, and that some airlines didn’t even want to have backpacks on their airplanes because they were a safety threat. I actually lost the backpack case during the course of my travels, and had to resort to wrapping my backpack in black bin bags and tape in order to prevent the clips from catching airport conveyors. The backpack was comfortable, with some very nice cushioned padding. However, I realized as my trip went on that the pack was a little too large. I had read on many different websites that the smaller and lighter your pack, the more comfortable your trip will be. This is so true. It is not just about how light the pack is for you to carry, but also practical reasons like traveling on packed trains and subways with a giant wardrobe on your back. The backpack was incredibly annoying whilst traveling on busy subways, as I didn’t know if, and how badly, I was bumping into people – but I am sure that I definitely was! However, it was great to have my hands free when I needed to pay for tickets and also carry bags and water bottles.

    Suitcase

    On my second trip to Japan, I decided to ditch the backpack and travel with a medium sized suitcase. I was traveling for 3 weeks, and had planned to move around the country quite a bit. I was worried about the condition of the suitcase’s wheels by the end of the trip, but altogether I preferred the comfort of a nice suitcase. The suitcase takes up the use of your arms, but it does relieve your back. I found time and again that my backpack was becoming too heavy and cumbersome for longer walks; a suitcase, meanwhile, makes walking a pleasure. Trying to find your hotel in the humid and busy conditions of Bangkok with your gigantic backpack is not a pleasant experience. Though, going up stairs is a pain with a suitcase, but with a backpack it is a breeze. This may be important to you as it is best to travel around a Japanese city (and many other Asian cities) via the subway system, and sometimes they have enormous staircases leading to the platforms. The final clincher is that a suitcase makes you look more businesslike and professional; a backpack makes you easily identifiable as a traveler or tourist, and makes you stand out far more. If I entered a nice hotel with my backpack, I wouldn’t be given the same service as if I travelled with a suitcase. I believe that backpackers have a bit of a bad name in some countries, as backpackers tend to be younger people who are more prone to loutish behavior due to letting of some steam after finishing university.

    Daypack

    You don’t want to take your suitcase or backpack with you on your daily walks or excursions, so you need a nice convenient daypack. I actually took a shoulder bag, as it looked more stylish than a small backpack. But be warned, a shoulder bag can give you some irritating neck and shoulder pains if you over pack it with large water bottles or souvenirs. In this instance, a nice mini backpack is better as it transfers the weight evenly on your back and shoulders.

    Travel Insurance

    I always take out travel insurance as you never know what could happen during your trip. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Medical help abroad could cost you thousands if you do not have the correct insurance, so always read the insurance policy properly. When I search for insurance I always turn to comparison sites, such as moneysupermarket. This way you can compare all the different companies offering insurance and their relative policies.

    Skype

    Skype is a free service which allows you to call anyone in the world (who also has a Skype account) for free. The service is completely free when using the Skype-to-Skype service, and the prices are competitive if you want to call mobile phones or landlines. You can use Skype on your iPod Touch, an actual Skype phone or on your laptop. If you are taking a laptop abroad, you can even use your webcam to make video calls, but if you are not taking a laptop, I found that many internet cafes in Asia had Skype already installed on their computers. Skype also allows you to send instant messages, play games and even transfer files. All in all, Skype is a great device which you should be make use of whilst traveling.

    First Aid Box

    I like to take a mini first aid box when I travel. The boxes come in some very nice convenient sizes with everything you could need for your trip. Items can include: plasters, antiseptic cream, insect repellent, and various tablets for common travel sicknesses.

    Clothing

    I will not speak at great lengths on clothing, as I believe this is a personal choice and dependent on different people’s needs. However, I will say that you should always pack light, and think about whether you will ACTUALLY need an item of clothing. Sometimes, I have fallen into the trap of packing far too much clothing ‘just in case’. Whilst traveling in Asia you can always pick up cheap clothing, so there is no need to over pack. The minimum I would take for a month traveling is: 3-4 t-shirts, 2 shirts, trousers, two shorts, swimming shorts, 2 pairs of socks, trainers/sneakers (I would buy some that look formal but are as comfortable as trainers).

    Travel Washing Line

    I take a small washing line on my trips in case there is not enough places to dry my clothes. If you are packing light, you can just wash your clothes more often, and you will sometimes need a washing line for extra space.

    Travel Sink Plug

    I used this occasionally when I stayed in hostels. In some budget accommodation you will not have a sink plug, which makes shaving difficult. The travel plug is therefore recommended if you are considering staying in budget accommodation. Also, even some higher grade hotels have faulty plugs in their bathrooms, so it is generally a good item to take.

    Toiletries

    As a dandy backpacker I have a vast array of toiletries. My toiletry bag consists of: shavers, moisturizers, sun cream, nail clippers, eyebrow tweezers, aftershaves (which I tend to buy from airport duty free), lip balm, deodorant and more!

    Rain Mac

    If you are traveling anywhere that has a monsoon season then a rain mac is a great idea. Monsoon rain is awesome, and can just take you by surprise and leave you drenched. A little rain mac can be scrunched up into a very small size and can easily be carried in your daypack.

    Swiss Army Knife

    I sometimes take this on my travels as it has various useful devices: a bottle opener, scissors, toothpick, tweezers, screwdriver heads and numerous knives of varying shape and sizes.

    Travel Towels

    I recommend taking a large travel towel. These can be folded into an incredibly small size and take very little space in your luggage. They also dry quicker than ordinary towels.

    Camera

    I really don’t know much about cameras but I definitely know that you will need one on your journey. It’s a way of recording experiences that are not possible in any other way. I just bought an 8 megapixel camera in Bangkok – it has served me well.

    Batteries

    You will need these for your camera, so make sure you take enough spares from your own country, which tend to be cheaper than whilst abroad.

    Mobile Phone

    A mobile phone is now a necessary gadget in all parts of life, and is very important during your travels. It is a great device to keep in touch with other travelers, but is also a safety device if you become lost or in danger. Remember to take you charger though, or it will become useless after a few days.

    Backup Sim Card

    Just in case you lose the first Sim card you can just take another Sim, which are usually free.

    Backup Debit/Credit Card

    I would take a backup card just in case I lost my main card. If I lost my main card I could just cancel it and then transfer the money from my main account into my backup account via internet banking.

    Pens and Paper

    You will occasionally need to write things down, such as directions or contacts, and a pen and paper would be very helpful. I would always travel with a mini pen and small notepad in my daypack so that it was easy to get to. You can always use your mobile phone or iPod Touch for this as well.

    Travel Adaptors

    Travel adapters are necessary if you want to charge your iPod or mobile phone. Once you know where you are going, you can find out what converter plug you will need. It will save you having to search around in your destination country. Some plugs are all-rounders and cover everywhere.

    iPod Touch

    My iPod Touch has been irreplaceable during my travels. Not only is it great for watching movies, listening to music and playing games whilst waiting for your flight or on long train journeys, it also has practical uses. By downloading free applications via its Wi-Fi capabilities you can turn your iPod Touch into a hotel or hostel finder, a currency exchange service, a travel guide and much more. I also bought a special, and inexpensive, earphone and microphone set for my Touch, which allowed me to use Skype wherever I had free Wi-Fi. Actually you can find free Wi-Fi everywhere in Southeast Asia: McDonald’s, Starbucks, shopping malls, hotels and even airports. However, I surprisingly found that Wi-Fi access is not so easily found in Korea or Japan, and tends not to be free if it is offered.

    iPad

    I don’t actually own one of these but they just seem to be a large iPod Touch. All the convenience of the iPod Touch being a nice pocket device which is easy to take everywhere is lost on this device. But maybe I am missing something about it.

    Travel Guides

    I love to read travel guides and always take them on my trips. My favorite guides have always been DK Eyewitness Travel Guides. I regularly use DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: Thailand, Japan and Rome to name a few. I found them incredibly helpful, but most importantly I loved the focus on culture and historical sites. The guides are wonderfully illustrated, easy to navigate, and the pictures and captions are beautifully presented. In addition, the historical sections are informative, well illustrated and a joy to read. I would also recommend Rough Guides and Lonely Planet, which I have also used in the past.

    Money Belt

    I originally bought one in order to hide my valuables, but then just used it to hold my bus/train tickets or small change so that it was easily at hand and I didn’t have to rummage though bags or my pockets. The money belt can be used as just a regular bum bag (fanny pack if you’re American) without valuable items and just left on display rather than inside your clothing. I just used it as an extra convenient pocket.

    Start a Home Travel Business and Profit From the Multi-Billion Dollar Online Travel Industry

    Yes, it is true. You can make money online working from home and can actually make a lot of money if you work hard, stay focused and execute. You can build a home travel business and live the Internet lifestyle you always dreamed of by operating an online home travel business. This article will put to rest any misgivings you may have had about starting an online travel business. I will not sugar coat it. In fact much of what I have to say will probably cause an up-roar in some parts of the online travel industry. I am aiming to tell it like it is.

    The TRUTH!
    Who really Makes Money in Online Travel. The truth is that you can’t really make a lot of money reselling other businesses travel products. This statement is directed towards the home-based travel agent market. Yes, its easy to get started as a home-based travel agent and the online travel agencies can provide you with your own personalized white label branded website, including quality customer support but in the end you are NOT building a business, you are only paying yourself a salary.

    Don’t be fooled.

    I am amazed at the amount of junk that there is online out there catering to the make money online from home crowd, touting selling travel as the route to freedom and riches. This truth is probably the most important fact anyone will ever tell you if you are just thinking about entering the online travel business. Let me repeat this for you one more time.

    It is difficult to become rich and build a company reselling other companies travel products. You can become rich over time by building a business that sells your own uniquely branded travel products. You can get rich and build a business if you “own the travel product.”

    Owning the travel product means that you are contracting directly with travel suppliers under your company’s own contracts, you are not just reselling a travel product owned by another travel business, tour operator, travel agency or travel consolidator. Your business creates the travel product by doing deals directly with travel suppliers. Your contracts with the travel suppliers become your businesses own unique inventory for the travel products you will be selling. The new travel product becomes your own brand. Your online travel business sells the travel product directly to consumers online or wholesales it too other travel agencies, travel agents, tour operators and re-sellers.

    The Home based Travel Agent Dilemma.
    I know I am opening up a can of worms here by disclosing this information but it’s really the truth. My intent is not to knock anyone down but to provide insight into how the online travel business really works and to show you WHO is really making the money and how you can make real money by deciding from the get go to actually build a business.

    Yes, if you want to make $20,000-$50,000 working from home then reselling cruises or popular travel products will be the best option for you but if you want to make real money, six or seven figures and you want to build a business that has real tangible value and can be sold later then you need to develop and sell your own travel products.

    The Internet is NOT causing Travel Agencies too shut down.
    I believe that the main reason that brick and mortar travel agencies are closing is not because of the Internet but because all they are really doing is reselling other companies travel products. The Internet contributed to the destruction of the traditional brick and mortar travel agency but the biggest factor in the down fall of travel agencies and travel agents in the travel industry is due to the fact that they are not selling anything unique or different from anyone else. It’s really a business model established to fail in the long run.

    How do you own your own travel product? You can own your own travel product in two different ways.

    1. Your business acts as a travel supplier providing tours, guiding, travel and tourism related activities or you own a lodging property.
    2. Your business partners with two or more travel suppliers to resell their individual travel products under a unique package that you own.

    What type of Online Travel Business do I need to start where I can own my own travel product, sell packages and build a real business?

    -Online Travel Agency
    -Online Tour Operator
    -Online Tour Guide
    -Online Travel Broker
    -Receptive Tour Operator
    -the Hybrid

    Let’s discuss a little about each type. There are many directions you can go.

    OTAs or Online Travel Agencies traditionally sell everything underneath the sun; including lodging, air, cars, vacation packages, and much more. On a hierarchy level of all online travel businesses, this would be the most expensive and most challenging type of online business to start. It’s doable don’t get me wrong it would just take much longer and be more expensive to startup.

    If you second tier niche and focus on contracting your own lodging deals and contracting with activity suppliers you could easily build a smaller more focused OTA. Another option would be for you to utilize the Global Distribution System (GDS) for air, car and for lodging that you could not contract yourself. I don’t recommend this last option as you’ll be just reselling product you don’t own but as long as you can combine the non-owned GDS products with your own contracted travel products you could create a nice win-win for the bottom line.

    Online Tour Operator’s sell dynamically packaged trips and pre-packaged trips to vacationers. I believe building an online tour operator business is your best option at building a successful online travel business.

    Now let me first state that the name is a little miss conceiving because of the word “Tour.” There is a big difference from a tour and a trip. On a tour there usually is a tour guide or person leading the tour with the travel participants. On a trip the traveler is traveling by themselves or with other people but there is no tour guide involved. In the travel business they call this a FIT trip, Drive vacation or Fly-Drive package.

    I favor selling trips, where the traveler buys a tour or trip product then attends the trip by themselves on their own time. The reason being for this is two parts.

    1. You don’t have to be the tour guide and you don’t have to hire one either.
    2. You have 100% more freedom by not actually participating in the tour itself. Just think of the time involved of actually going on a tour with a group or individual people.

    We operated tours when my wife and I owned the Yellow Breeches House Fly Fishing Lodge and B&B. We ran fly fishing excursions with lodging and guiding. Guess who was one of the guides? Yes, you got it. Yours truly. I would not change the past for anything. I learned so much from being a fly fishing guide and owning a lodging property. I just wouldn’t want to run that type of business again. There are much better travel business models out there. That’s part of the beauty about this report is that I am able to share some true life, realities for you.

    Sell Trips not Tours. This is the most important thing I can tell you regarding wanting to live the Internet life style and working from home enjoying the freedom that comes from owning your own online travel company. You won’t be living any Internet lifestyle if every week you are giving tours.

    Online Tour Guide’s provide tours to individuals and or groups. If I didn’t scare you off from above that’s ok, the tour guide business is a great business and it’s easy to get started with limited investment. This is a great business to enter the travel business and starting learning about how to build a business.

    If you love dealing with people and spending much of your time outside then this is probably the best travel business for you. This is serious work, day-in-and-day-out, as you are always outside in the elements. This travel business could be a stepping-stone for you to then go ahead and build an online tour operator business. I have a really good friend that owns a kayaking guide service. He runs Eco-adventures that include island hoping for three to five nights. He just loves it.

    Let me share a little strategy with you that will totally change the way you build or grow your existing tour guide business. Hopefully by now you’ll already see it and be way ahead of me but if not here it is.

    Create packages for your tour guide business that includes lodging, meals and your guide or tour service. You probably sell trips, guiding and or tours as an hourly or day product. Take the next step and package in lodging and meals and maybe a third activity. Sell packages to your clients and you will super-charge your revenue in a very big way.

    Example:
    Take an existing kayak guide that sells day trips for $250 for 2 people. Now create overnight packages. Create a new product line for your business.

    1. Contract with a lodging supplier to buy lodging for your kayak packages.
    2. Contract with two local restaurants to buy dinners for your kayak packages.
    3. Sell a 2 night, 1-day kayak excursion, with 2-dinners. Make money off the lodging, dinners and a 3rd activity and you can seriously start adding more profits to your business.

    Online Travel Broker – this is a new business category I stumbled upon. I believe this is a type of business you could start with literally no money. It’s just a matter of understanding the travel business. Here is how an online travel broker operates.

    Every travel supplier needs sales representatives. Your travel broker business contracts with travel suppliers to represent their business and help them sell more of their travel products. Many smaller travel businesses don’t have sales representatives. This may be your entry into the online travel business industry.

    Let’s say you live in a resort town or area and there are 4 golf courses nearby or 3 ski resorts. You represent the travel supplier’s products, finding larger partners and or re-sellers that would resell or distribute your client’s products. This business is just a matter of finding other travel suppliers that need sales representatives and finding larger companies looking for new travel products to sell and distribute. You make money by earning a percentage of all future sales booked or earn a flat fee per contract you sign. This would be a great way to enter the travel business as a part-time business. You could start with not much investment and build out slowly.

    Receptive Tour Operators receive inbound travelers from foreign countries. This is a B2B business (business-to-business). You build an Online Tour Operator business but you don’t sell your travel products directly to consumers or vacationers online, you sell your owned travel products to wholesalers or other tour operators in foreign countries that then resell them directly to travel agencies and the consumers in their country. If you live in a world- renowned destination area or region where foreigners come visit you can build a successful receptive tour operator business. The receptive tour operator business takes longer to develop as the buyers of your travel products will be other travel companies, tour operators and seasoned travel business won’t necessarily want to do business with a company that is new or just in startup mode. Adversity can be overcome though, through focus, determination and having an owned travel product that a wholesaler or foreign tour operator believes he can sell and make money.

    The Hybrid – build an Online Tour Operator business that caters to individual vacation travelers. After the business starts selling trips and or tours, start building a Receptive Tour Operator business component.

    I hope you have enjoyed a little insight into the world and possibilities of the online travel business and what it will take to start a home travel business.

    Travel The Majestic Canadian Rockies In Luxury

    Each major mountain range of the world is known for its scenic splendor and the Canadian Rockies are no exception. The Canadian Rockies are a must-see location for travelers who enjoy the majesty of mountain ranges or for anyone who desires to be counted among the well-traveled world explorers. For over 125 years, savvy travelers have taken advantage of the superior opportunities to view the panoramic scenery of the Canadian Rockies through luxury train excursions.

    The historic trains of Royal Canadian Pacific (RCP) offer a luxury travel experience like no other. At the 2006 World Travel Awards ceremony RCP won the “World’s Leading Luxury Train” award, winning over such notable train experiences such as the famed European Orient Express and The Blue Train of South Africa. RCP guests can be assured of five-star luxury service in an intimate atmosphere as only 32 guests are on board each rail excursion. Chartered individual tours can be arranged for the ultimate in privacy and service.

    The fully restored railcars hail from the 1920’s, the era of luxury travel of such notable society names as Rockefeller, Carnegie, Churchill and the British Royal Family. Wealthy individuals traveled to the famed lodge on Lake Louise to spend the summer season in the cool natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies. Travelers seeking the best in luxury travel can relive the elegant lifestyle of the pre-war American and British elite, admiring the unchanged scenery of this majestic part of the world.

    The Royal Canadian Pacific train originates in Calgary in the province of Alberta. The tour package includes limousine service between the airport, hotel and train locations as well as gourmet dining experiences in Calgary before and after the tour. RCP provides first-class amenities and service from beginning to end.

    Another well-known train service to the highlights of the Canadian Rockies, the Rocky Mountaineer, travels between Vancouver, British Columbia on the west coast, to Calgary with stops at the popular tourist destinations of Whistler, British Columbia, and Jasper or Banff in Alberta. Travelers originating or terminating at Vancouver can easily extend their scenic experience with an Alaskan cruise which includes whale watching and spectacular views of Alaska’s famed glaciers.

    The Rocky Mountaineer takes a 2-day journey to the national parks at Jasper and Banff and features glass domed bi-level rail cars. Travelers enjoy the panoramic views from the second storey. Gold Leaf Service provides seated first-class dining en-route. Overnight accommodations and dinner are provided at a moderate hotel. While not the award-winning luxury trip of RCP, the Rocky Mountaineer provides an alternate means of reaching the famed tourist spots of the Canadian Rockies from the west coast of Canada.

    A knowledgeable travel consultant can combine the train trip with a stay at a luxury resort nestled in the pristine forests of the Canadian Rockies. There are any number of modern first-class premier resorts that provide tourists with upscale accommodations and service nestled in the stunning forests near the numerous clear lakes of the area. Anyone seeking an Eco-friendly luxury travel experience in a peaceful and private spot in the world need look no further than a Canadian Rockies adventure.

    How I Made My Travel Certificates

    Although my company is deeply involved in the design and sales of Travel Related Incentives and Rewards, first and foremost, we are a travel agency. Everything we do here is for the purpose of gaining access to travel customers.

    Travel Agencies have been through some pretty big changes over the years starting with the airlines deciding that we didn’t deserve a commission for our services anymore. That sort of snowballed through many other travel service providers as the Internet opened up access to many of the same travel sources that we travel agencies used to call our own.

    Today, instead of earning a commission by simply booking reservations for their clients, travel agencies must specialize in areas where they can guarantee travel service providers a large number of travelers. This allows the agency to negotiate rates below what is available to the consumer directly. So, the travel agency of this new era is now working for the travel services provider instead of the traveler. To make the new concept work, agencies are always looking for favorable pricing on the most desirable types of travel and then struggle to find the 1000’s of travelers they need so they can keep their contracts.

    I developed my business model a number of years ago before the commission crunch began and unknowingly got a jump on the trend. I decided to try and market travel packages through the Human Resource departments of large companies. I put together cruise packages based on favorable rates I was getting from a few cruise lines sailing out of Florida. I offered these discount packages to employees as a company benefit. The companies loved it and were quite willing to put my flyers in their employee’s pay envelopes each week. That was almost 20 years ago and I still have a few companies that still use my original program today.

    Getting really low rates on the most desirable types of travel is great but getting it for free is even better! While most agencies were desperately looking for more travelers, I knew if I could provide the travel services for little or nothing, this would never be a problem for me. I just had to figure out how I could get someone else to pay all or at least some of the travel expenses.

    Living in Florida I watched as condominiums were being built one after the other from one coast to the other and all points in between. These were time share condo developments and they were some of the nicest resorts that Florida had to offer. They had a lot of empty suites week after week and they were looking for travelers too. I made a few calls and soon after I had arrangements with dozens of resorts that would give me access to their accommodations simply to have the opportunity to show my travelers around in hopes they would buy. All I needed now was a cost effective way to let people know what I had to offer.

    It wasn’t just me that was looking for customers; everyone that was in any kind of business was looking for customers. I got together with a few marketing managers I knew and proposed that we work together. If they would cover the cost of the fees, I could give them a travel certificate that they could in turn give to their customers in reward for their business. It wasn’t long before I had several business owners who were promoting my travel packages by purchasing travel certificates from me and then giving them out to all their customers. It was the perfect idea: Travelers got to go to great places almost for free, my business associates got terrific sales incentives at a great price and I got plenty of travelers to fulfill my contracts with all my fees prepaid!

    Since then I’ve design 100’s of travel certificate programs. The scope of each program is based primarily on the amount of money the business wants to pay per certificate towards the fees. The travelers makes up the difference but still has access to deeply discounted travel services that they would not be able to get elsewhere.

    Travel Website Dictionary

    For the benefit and convenience of the traveler and adventure lover travel dictionary is compiled. This dictionary provided a complete guide to all the aspects of traveling. You might be a regular business traveler looking for some discount on travel cost or the wanderlust looking out for a vacation that many travelers do not take. For every kind of traveler with whatever their requirements, website dictionary is the solution.

    There are a number of things that go into planning a vacation and without a good travel dictionary this is impossible on your own. The road map has to be conceptualized and the itinerary must be sorted out. While you can get a customized itinerary for you self you can also select one suitable to your travel destination from an array of great tours travel website dictionaries boast of.

    Only a travel website dictionary will be able to get you the latest updates on prices of tours, discount packages and the umpteen frills all travelers look out for. You can get them right in your inbox by signing up with them. The latest fares and the festivals are all listed on travel website dictionaries.

    Before spending your hard earned money on a lavished tour it’s always a good idea to sample its preview. And what better way to do that than through the eyes of experienced travelers and their travelogues. On a travel website dictionary you get the opportunity to communicate with there travelers who have been to the sites where you plan to go. Get the best tips and cultural information on the food habits, dress code and religious customs before you arrive.

    A travel website directory is one that gives you the chance to sit back in your easy chair and book a travel guide over the net. Isn’t it a better proposition to have your travel guide waiting for you on arrival than to scout the alien city seeking one out. Travel agents who register on travel website dictionaries have a name for themselves, and can give you the right information which many guide books are unable off.

    A travel website dictionary is also regularly updated and you will get all the latest information about new sites to visit, the recent change in hotel room tariffs and what is new in town. You can source contact numbers and get more information from their websites and agencies that have been listed. A Travel dictionary has a huge list of hotels, taxi services, insurance companies, travel guides and travel tips that you cannot expect to find any where else.

    Details About Working With an Online Travel Agency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    By And Large, Business Travel Is Not A Pleasurable Experience

    Business travel has become so common that a considerable proportion of the corporate world of America is spending more time in airplanes and hotels than on their couches or in their automobiles.

    According to a recent estimate, about 40 million adults in the US travel on business at least once a year to a location about 50 miles from home. More than 20 percent of the trips made by African Americans, for instance, are related to their work.

    Those who do not need to travel frequently on business consider business travel glamorous and exciting. However, in reality, business travel is often arduous.

    It is tough physically, tough on the family, and especially tough on the pockets of businesspersons who do not have the luxury of generous expense accounts to take care of their travel expenses.

    In addition, those who travel on business regularly, quickly wise up to the fact that a stress-free and safe journey requires the smooth functioning of a number of interconnected factors, which includes the vagaries of the weather.

    According to a study conducted recently, monitoring business travel trends:

    – 58 percent of business travel is undertaken for association meetings and conferences,

    – 43 percent comprising of business travel made by individuals,

    – and 29 percent for corporate meetings.

    The study also identified some of the most popular destinations within the US for business travel. They are:

    – Washington, D.C.,

    – New York,

    – Los Angeles/Long Beach,

    – Chicago,

    – Atlanta,

    – Boston,

    – Houston,

    – Minneapolis-St. Paul,

    – Detroit,

    – and Dallas.

    Irrespective of what the destination is, business travel is seldom an enjoyable experience. Some companies will allow their business travelers the opportunity to enjoy their travel surroundings but this is usually short lived depending on the demands of the trip.

    Business travelers, who have to make frequent trips, need special facilities to ease the hassles of traveling. Airlines and hotels are increasing the levels of services they provide in order to meet the growing demands of business travelers:

    Usually, business travelers research fares on their own and make their reservations online. According to a survey, it was found that only 32 percent of corporate travelers used the services of travel agents for their reservation needs, while the rest, 68 percent, preferred using the internet or online services to plan at least some part of their business traveling arrangements.

    Business travelers are usually technologically conversant; hence, choose to handle all their traveling arrangements through the Internet, limiting the necessity of having to interact with travel agents and professionals dealing with customer service.

    Most tourism related sites offer one-stop travel facilities for reservations of flights, booking rooms in hotels, and providing transportation on the ground.

    Major airlines like Delta and American have included travel-friendly features like locating cheap fares, finding economical hotel accommodation, and hiring cars on a rental basis inexpensively on their websites.

    Travelers, thus, can make arrangements for an entire business trip, which includes seating preferences, confirming special food requests, and a text message or e-mail verifying their flight status and information about the departure timings with a few clicks of the mouse button.
    Most of these sites provide boarding passes that can be printed out and online check-ins within 24 hours of the departure of the flight.

    At the airport, those travelers in a hurry can take advantage of check-in kiosks in order not to have to wait in long lines, and get their boarding passes and their seating information.

    Frequent Flyer Miles, Automatic Upgrades, and Comfortable Seating:

    One of the biggest perks of traveling frequently on business is the facility of accumulating points, which can be exchanged for vacations. Travelers, therefore, are always on the look out for hotels offering generous points facilities.

    Frequent air travelers also favor automatic upgrades and comfort inside the airplane, such as generous legroom and additional storage facilities overhead. Business traveler programs like Elite-access provided by Continental Airlines offer comforts like guarantees of no-middle-seat and upgrades to the first class if possible.

    Getting Value for Money:

    Companies are constantly curtailing overhead expenses by cutting down on the travel allowances they give their executives, while business travelers look for ways in which they can maximize their allowances to the fullest.

    For example, several hotels offer free breakfasts, while others provide complimentary facilities such as a welcoming snack or allowing their guests to make free long distance and local calls. Many hotels also offer free newspapers, tea and coffee.

    6 Things To Consider Before Choosing An Auto Transport Company

    In my previous article of this series I discussed some things you should know before you decide to transport your car across the country. In this installment I am going to give you some additional advice to follow before actually deciding on a particular transporter or method of transport. And I will also give you a few general tips that you should follow to make your move as painless as possible.

    Check for Adequate Insurance

    Prior to entrusting your vehicle to an auto transporting company, be sure that the company is correctly accredited, and insured. Cars can occasionally get damaged in the course of a move; therefore you need to ensure that your service provider has adequate insurance to cover any damage your car may receive while in transport. Be sure you know what the transport company’s insurance policies cover and the amount of insurance deductible you would need to pay out in case there is an insurance claim. You should also check with your own insurance carrier to see what they will cover in the unlikely event that your car in damaged during transport.

    Have your Vehicle Inspected

    Before giving your vehicle to the transport company for inspection, take it in for a complete servicing. This is to make certain that it is in good working condition with no mechanical, electrical or other problems. Regarding the inspection of your motor vehicle, always keep in mind that it is for your benefit as well as for the benefit of the transport company to have your car or truck inspected prior to having it loaded onto the transport carrier.

    To make the vehicle easier to inspect, you should ensure that the vehicle is thoroughly clean. The outside should have no dirt on it, and the inside should be neat and uncluttered, making it easy to inspect for any signs of damage or general wear and tear. Document any dents, dings, or any minute scratches on your vehicle together with the company so there will be absolutely no possibility of a later misunderstanding once your vehicle is returned to you. Another inspection will likely be administered at the drop off location.

    Although damage is unusual, it can unfortunately occur. Therefore it is critical that you document any damages to your vehicle on the bill of lading, as soon as your car comes off the truck, and before you drive it away. The transport company will not take responsibility for any damage that you report to them after you have already taken possession of your vehicle.

    Minimum Requirements for Non-Working Vehicles

    If your vehicle is not working it can still be hauled. Although it is certainly possible to haul an inoperable vehicle, your car at the very minimum should be able to be rolled, steered, and braked. Otherwise a forklift will need to be used at both the pickup and delivery locations, which will add to the complexity and cost of your move. Keep in mind that your inoperable vehicle must be located in an adequate sized lot for the truck and forklift to have access to it if necessary.

    Should You Use A Broker?

    Brokers act as intermediaries between you, the client, and the transporter or motor carrier, and are in fact the primary source of freight for the majority of motor carriers in the industry. The majority of brokerages are non-asset based, meaning that they do not actually own any trucks but rather work on behalf of their clients to get their car moved quickly and at a reasonable price using their large network of pre qualified motor carriers. Since brokers typically don’t own any trucks they do not have to burden of having idle trucks just sitting around that need to be on the road, but instead can focus on locating the best auto shipper to transport your vehicle.

    Brokers frequently weed out the trucking companies with poor customer service or lots of complaints as they do not want to utilize a transportation company that doesn’t deliver top quality services. They utilize tools that you simply do not have access to that enables them to track the transport company’s safety record, driver history, insurance coverage, or fraudulent activity (if any). This is priceless information you simply cannot obtain just by searching the Internet, so using a broker to facilitate your vehicle move can save you a lot of time and headache. You basically make a single phone call to the broker and they’ll help you get a list of available, reputable companies to work with.

    The best vehicle transport brokers will make sure that their customers be given a variety of transport options to enable them to make a suitable choice based on their budget as well as their particular transport requirements for his or her motor vehicle.

    Vehicle transportation brokers provide transport services across the United States and in many cases internationally as well. Utilizing vast databases of carriers, they are able to easily locate a carrier which offers car or truck transport services within your general location and arrange pickup inside of 2 or 3 days. Brokers offer transport solutions for virtually any type of motor vehicle, and though they don’t ship the vehicle themselves with regards to motor vehicle transport, this is your best option.

    How Much Will It Cost?

    Your rate will likely be determined by the method of transportation you choose and will differ based upon the transport company and your pickup location relative to your desired drop off destination. In general, the more accessible the location and the destination the more affordable the transport conversely out of the way regions will be far more costly to transport your vehicle to.

    Typically the most cost-effective way to transport a motor vehicle is on an open car carrier. This is the type of large, multilevel, truck that we so often see on the road. An open car carrier can hold as much as 15 automobiles simultaneously depending on the situation. Typically car manufacturers and dealerships use commercial transporters such as these for getting their cars and trucks from one location to another. Open car carriers are quite dependable, however they aren’t appropriate for every situation (I will discuss this further in the upcoming article).

    The transport process may take roughly 2-10 days for the mover to pick up your motor vehicle. The timing is determined by a number of factors such as the region of the country that the automobile will be picked-up from, and the distance that it must travel to get to its final destination. Keep in mind that lengthier distance moves usually takes more time to coordinate., and that after your car or truck is picked up for transport, it may take as much as 21 days to deliver your vehicle to the specified drop off location. However the actual amount of time it takes will really depend upon your pickup and drop locations.

    If you need your vehicle picked up and delivered ASAP most transporters will offer you an expedited service for an additional cost. In general the faster you want your vehicle delivered the more it’s going to cost you. You can get a wide range of prices from a number of transport companies simply by searching on the Internet, and this is a good place to start when you begin shopping around, however do not let price be your only criteria for choosing a company. Look for a company that provides quality service even if they are more expensive, you will be happy that you did.

    Overall, if this is your first car moving experience it is probably best to go with an experienced auto transport broker who will save you a lot of time and headache. They have the knowledge, the connections, and the negotiating power to get you through this as painlessly as possible.

    General Tips

    If access to your home is limited because of a narrow street, trees with low hanging branches, speed bumps or very tight turns, the driver may ask you to meet the truck at a different destination or we will arrange a convenient location, like a shopping center or major street crossing, to pick up or deliver your vehicle for Car Move.

    Remember when relocating to a cooler climate make certain you check all antifreeze and fluids in your car or truck prior to transport. This will guarantee that no part of the engine will be damaged during cold starts in frigid temperatures. The Automobile Transporter will not take responsibility for any problem with your car that they didn’t directly cause.

    Also keep in mind that if your house is restricted by narrow roadways, low-hanging trees and shrubs, speed bumps or tight turns, the driver might request you to meet him at a different location like a shopping mall or major street crossing, to either pick up or deliver your motor vehicle to you.

    Lastly, it’s never a good idea to store personal items in your vehicle during transport. Any personal items left in the car or truck is not going to be covered if it gets lost or stolen. Remove any valuable items before your car gets picked up.

    Corporate Travel – Is It Time to Centralize Your Program Again?

    Corporate travel has undergone a ton of changes in recent years, the most important being the advent of easy access to airfare via the internet. As more travelers found value in better control over their schedules by using the internet, many organizations loosened their travel policies to allow for travelers to book on their own online. This perceived benefit to travelers has actually cost businesses quite a bit in terms of lost productivity, lack of control over unused tickets, and lack of access to airline programs that can save the company significantly in all areas of travel.

    Can we agree that online travel booking, while advantageous in some ways, has not been all we had hoped it would be from the outset? I hear stories from travelers every day about how difficult online booking can be, and how even when using the internet, travelers simply cannot be sure they are getting the best fare. This uncertainty gnaws at travelers and coordinators, and for good reason. It is difficult to be certain of what you are getting online because there is no track record of success, and no level of trust between the organization and the travel provider.

    Collaboration between your organization and your chosen travel management provider is critical. This collaboration will reap benefits for your company in terms of a better working relationship and an anticipation of your current and future needs as they relate to the constantly changing corporate travel environment.

    Centralized travel needs to make a comeback for the sake of the corporate travel program, and the sanity of travelers and travel coordinators. Because all distribution channels have access to the same fares and rates, there are fewer reasons today to continue with a decentralized travel policy. Executive level buy-in is critical, and it is easy to allow travelers to keep the level of control they like while still requiring travel booking through the preferred corporate channel. Most brick and mortar agencies now offer online booking solutions that can be customized to meet the needs of the unique corporate travel policy.

    The benefits of centralizing travel again are many. Here is a comprehensive, but certainly not an exhaustive, list of reasons to regain control of this important but under-scrutinized budget. It will certainly have a positive impact on your company and its ability to serve your customers and improve traveler morale.

    • Access to airline and hotel discount programs through agency and provider contracts
    • Centralized booking allows travelers to be more organized and efficient
    • Unused tickets can be tracked and hotel cancellation policies can be managed
    • Centralized billing of hotels and car rentals
    • More efficient booking processes
    • Effective customer service for the inevitable changes and issues that come up with business travel
    • Customized and centralized financial and accounting reports

    Many corporations find that the best solution is a combination of booking options, with most using an online booking portal provided by their agency partner, along with real live agent help when travelers are pressed for time or have more complex travel itineraries. The key in my opinion is to re-examine the travel program from every angle. There are more airline programs that are available to businesses than ever before. New opportunities to save money and streamline processes are out there for you. United Airlines recently began offering a discount off of every fare for corporate partners. That includes cheapest coach class seats, which even many Fortune 500 companies do not have access to. This is just one example of under-publicized opportunities for your company that can be had through the old-fashioned agency relationship.

    It’s time we took another pass at the corporate travel program to see where efficiencies can be found and savings opportunities can be uncovered. Your travelers and coordinators may even be able to get back to what they’re actually paid to do. Take care of your customers and propel your business forward.

    Time Travel: It's Been Done Before!

    Could we really travel through time? The short answer is yes! That’s right. We all have the ability to leap forward through time, even if we don’t realize it. If you wanted to jump to the future, you can simply go to sleep and wake up a few hours later right? Of course that’s cheating the question. We want to be able to go back and redo those silly mistakes we made many years ago. who doesn’t wish they could go back and talk to their 15-year-old self? Tell them not to make the mistakes you did (or they will). Or perhaps you’d rather travel 500 years into the future and see those flying cars we were promised by the year 2000. Fortunately, time travel is theoretically possible.

    In fact there is no law in physics that prevents time travel. That’s right, according to all the laws of physics we know, it’s perfectly plausible to travel through time at will. But as the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility. Time travel is an extremely dangerous endeavor with devastating consequences, and is also riddled with paradoxes.

    For example, what if I traveled back in time and prevented World War II? Sounds like a brilliant idea right? Countless lives would be saved, I’d be hailed as a hero! Not necessarily. Although I’d be saving lives, I’d also be destroying others. What about all the technology that we rely on today that was developed during the war, such as jet engines and nuclear power. In fact the world map could be completely different. We could actually be worse off than simply leaving history as it was.

    Another famous time travel paradox is the grandfather paradox, which basically states that if we were to say for instance, I travel back to a time before my parents were born and prevent my grandfather from meeting my grandmother. My parents couldn’t have met and thus, I would never have been born. So how could I have gone back in time to prevent my grandparents from meeting in the first place.

    So we can see that time travel could be a bad idea, but let’s say we really want to go back in time, how would we do it? Well first we need to understand how time works.

    Time is something we are all very familiar with, we all know what it is, but yet we can’t see it, touch it, we can’t seem to interact with it in any way, we can only observe it. Isaac Newton thought that time was constant and never deviated, which would of course make time travel impossible. Even Einstein believed it was impossible, yet it is his equations that make it possible. Einstein theorized that space and time are inexplicably linked in what he refers to as “space-time”. So in theory, if I was to warp space with something extremely powerful like a black hole, I would also be warping time. While this appears to be true and scientists continue to explore its possibilities, the real possibility for time travel, seems to be in his other theory; Relativity. In fact time travel using relativity isn’t just a theory, it’s actually been done, several times! Now you probably think I’m crazy but the secret seems to be in going extremely fast.

    According to Einstein’s theory of general relativity, no object with mass may travel faster than the speed of light, which is an astonishing 299,792,458 metres per second in a vacuum (that’s no air). That’s an incredible 1,080 million kilometres an hour! So according to General Relativity, we can only travel at 99.99% the speed of light. But lets say for instance that I’m sitting at the back of a plane traveling at the speed of light and I walk to the front of the plane from the back at a rate of 10 kilometres an hour. I’ll leave the equations out of this, but that would mean that my speed plus the speed of the plane would mean that I’m traveling at 1,080 million and ten kilometres an hour, which is 10km/h faster than light, right? Wrong. According the theory of relativity, time would actually slow down for me to prevent me from traveling faster than light. Sounds weird doesn’t it.

    Of course this scenario would never happen in real life, as I have already said we can’t travel at or faster than the speed of light. In fact you would need more than an infinite supply of fuel to travel faster than light, which is obviously impossible.

    So then what is relativity? Einsteins theory of relativity basically states that if I’m driving down the road at 50km/h and drive past someone standing on the side of the road, to them I would appear to be traveling at 50km/h, I’m sure you already know this. However to me in the car, they too would travel past me at 50km/h. But then if someone where to drive beside me in another car traveling at 50km/h, to them I would appear to be completely stationary. Hard to believe? It’s the same thing that makes it look the car driving beside you on the highway sometimes seems to be floating just outside your window. I’ll leave the complicated equations out of this for now, but you can use simple addition and subtraction to confirm this theory. If you’re traveling in the same direction as the object you’re observing, in this case the other car, you subtract your speed from theirs. So 50km/h minus 50km/h is equal to 0km/h. so they would appear to be stationary. If we’re traveling in the opposite direction we add our speed to theirs. So 50km/h plus another 50km/h is equal to 100km/h. So if we drove past the other car at the same speed in the opposite direction, they would appear to be traveling at 100km/h.

    So how does all this work, and more importantly, how did they actually manage to travel through time? Well as it turns out, the faster we travel, the slower time will pass. This was proven when scientists placed an atomic clock, which is an extremely accurate clock down to one billionth of a second, on the space shuttle and observed it its behavior. Before launch the clock was perfectly synced with another atomic clock here on earth, and once the shuttle had returned to earth they put the two clocks together. They then discovered the clock from the shuttle was slightly behind the clock that remained on earth. meaning time had past slower for the clock on the shuttle than the clock that remained on Earth.

    So basically astronauts are in fact also time travelers. Sergei Krikalev, the current record holder for the longest time spent in space (about 804 days or 2.2 years) is actually half a second behind the rest of the world. furthermore, scientists have actually calculated that if we could orbit the Earth at 99.99% the speed of light for 7 whole years, we would actually land back on earth 500 years in the future. This effect is known as Time Dilation. What a spectacular realization! Time travel may actually be within our reach after all. The only problem is inventing a machine or vehicle capable of traveling that fast. Unfortunately it looks like that might be just out of our reach for now. We would actually need the power of a whole star to get to that speed.

    But what about traveling back in time? So far neither general or special relativity allow for traveling backwards in time and it appears as though no other laws of physics will allow travel to the past. Such travel to the past, as stated above would lead to paradoxes that could result in the collapse of an entire universe, or a completely new one to be formed. This is part of the Many World Interpretation of Quantum Theory. There are other theories to travel both forward and backwards in time such as black holes and wormholes, but I’ll discuss those in the future.

    So for now it looks like we could theoretically travel to the future, but unfortunately we can’t go back and tell our younger self not to buy that car from that dodgy looking salesman, or to buy stocks in Apple and Microsoft when they first start out. So we’ll just have to settle for traveling forwards in time at the same rate we always have, and just to wait to see what the future holds.

    Top 7 Tips to Achieve Success With a Travel Blog

    For travelers, starting a travel blog is not a bad idea at all. By sharing your ideas and travel experiences, you do not only derive pleasure but you also get an opportunity to make money online. Passionate travelers such as Kate (of Adventurous Kate), Matt (of Nomadic Matt), Earl (of Wandering Earl) & Stephanie (of Twenty Something Travel) have been successful in turning their travel blogs into full-time businesses, which earns them good amount of money. There are hundreds of such bloggers who have achieved success with their travel blogs.

    If you have a strong passion for traveling too, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity of setting up your own travel blog. While starting a blog about travel takes only a couple of minutes, managing it successfully may take months or years.

    With some expert tips at hand, however, you can also popularize your travel blog and make money from it without wasting too much time.

    Given below are seven tips that you can use –

    #1. Share Unique Experiences

    If you want to make your travel blog really unique, avoid talking about destinations, cities or towns superficially. There are plenty of travel websites that offer general information on popular travel destinations around the world. What you need to do on your blog is share unique experiences or things or activities that very few people will rarely get a chance (or even think) to do or enjoy.

    #2. Learn to Write Well

    When it comes to sharing your travel experiences, you should also be able to do it in an expressive manner. You can go to any place or city of the world and indulge in as many interesting activities as you may find. But if you can’t share your story in your own unique style, it will only dilute the impact that you want to make.

    Therefore, it’s important that you learn to write well. In any case, avoid copying anyone else style. Instead develop your own (if you don’t want to bore readers).

    #3. Become an Avid Reader

    If you want to become a successful blogger, you don’t just need to travel. You also need to read travel literature extensively. Find out about the most popular travel authors, books that they have written and read them to broaden your knowledge base. Subscribing to popular online travel magazines is also a good idea. If you focus on a specific niche, as a travel blogger, reading relevant travel writings can help you a great deal. To write well, you need to read really well.

    #4. Take Attention-Grabbing Pictures

    What’s a travel blog without pictures? A travel blog without good pictures looks dead. Like you learn to write well, you also need to photograph attractively. A well-crafted travel blog post coupled with great pictures has the potential to go viral in minutes. And you can never tell a good story without using great pictures.

    #5. Be Consistent

    Success doesn’t come overnight. Once you start a travel blog, you need to share your experiences, stories and other relevant pieces of information on a regular basis. If you make your readers wait for an entire week or month to read the next post on your blog, you’ll simply lose them forever. So, plan out the content strategy in advance.

    #6. Stay Genuine

    While sharing your travel stories with readers, you should always stay genuine. By being genuine and honest, you’ll soon be able to develop a personal attachment with readers, an essential ingredient to help you achieve success.

    #7. Pay Attention to SEO

    What’s your purpose of writing travel stories? Well, you do it so that more and more people can read them. Though content is always the king, you can never neglect the importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Most of the travel bloggers think that writing great travel content and doing SEO are two different things, which isn’t true. In fact, great writing always remains at the heart of great SEO.

    Therefore, don’t let your travel blog fall deeper and deeper into an ocean of obscurity by neglecting SEO.

    [It’s a good idea to seek the help of a SEO professional.]

    Do you have a travel blog? Feel free to share your views or opinions.

    Why Traveling Makes Us More Creative

    Traveling is a wonderful hobby for millions of people across the globe. This also provides various advantages to people. Here’s why traveling is important. The ability to move around from one place to the other place is the main virtue one can ever have. All humans and animals have been secured with this ability, but humans are always a step forward. We humans being, have an extraordinary virtue of seeing, experiencing and learning from it, and this is exactly what makes our traveling more satisfying and enriching.

    A person who went on a long-distance journey returned home after some years. Till then, his family had either no or very little information regarding his situation and well-being. In some thrilling cases, a person would never return. In despite of all these barriers and difficulties, people traveled; not always because they needed to, but many times, also because they loved to. And why not? Traveling not only takes us to distant lands and explains us with various people, but this also removes the dullness of our lives.

    This is certainly very unlucky that some people feel traveling is a sheer waste of time, energy and money. Some also discovery traveling a very boring activity. However, a good majority of people across the world wish traveling, rather than staying inside the partial spaces of their homes. They love to travel to new places, meet new people, as well as see things that they would not find in their homelands. This is a very common attitude that has made tourism, one of the most money-making, commercial sectors in the world.

    People travel for different reasons. Some travel for work, others for fun, and some for finding mental peace. Though every person may have his/her own reason to go on a traveling, this is significant to note that traveling, in itself, has some inherent rewards. For one, for some days getting away from everyday routine is a pleasant change. This not only refreshes one’s body, but also mind and soul. Traveling to a distant place and doing fantastic things that are not thought of otherwise, can refresh a person, who then returns home, ready to take on new and more problematic challenges in life and work. This makes a person forget his worries, problems, prevention, and fears, albeit for some time. This offer him a chance to think wisely and usefully. Traveling also helps to heal; this can mend a broken heart.

    For many people, traveling is a way to achieve knowledge, and perhaps, a quest to find answers to their questions. For this, different people prefer to go to faraway and lonely places. For believers, this is a search for God and to gain higher knowledge; for others, this is a search for inner peace. They might or might not find what they are looking for, but such an experience certainly augments their lives.

    With people, with their culture, opinions and ideas also travel. When they go from one place to the other place, they are bound to meet people and share their thoughts and experiences with them. This is where the exchange of ideas takes place, and it definitely broadens a person’s outlook. This makes him/her think in a different way, from a different viewpoint. When we speak of cultural influences and exchange, food is one of the important factors. The food habits of people say a lot of things about them. It is very interesting to discover new and unknown ways and values; they really add spice to life.

    Traveling also makes lifelong memories. Whether a person travels solo or along with family and friends, the experience certainly gives him/her nice and thrilling stories, which he/she can share with people back home. A good long holiday with loved ones allows him/her to spend some quality time with them, which in turn, benefits to renew and restore relationships and makes very strong one-to-one and family bonds. In fact, traveling away from home and spending time with near and dear one(s) can bring the relationship an entirely new perspective and possibly, people may begin understanding each other in a good way.

    Addition to the above, traveling and getting away from our homes allows us to spend some time with our own selves. This makes us subtler and more tolerant towards others. This also makes it easier for us to meet and mingle with various kinds of people, and also explains us to live life to the fullest. Some of them travel from richer countries to poorer ones in pursuit of cheaper medication; some others travel from inferior countries to more developed ones to get the right medication. Medical tourism is today, one of the most essential parts of the travel and tourism sector and more than 50 countries have recognized it as a national industry.

    Personal health is what makes travel very important. People here, travel because they don’t have an option in most cases. One might wonder that if a person becomes medical aid only after he reaches his/her destination, what importance does traveling hold in this case? Well, traveling stimulates hope in a person. As a person travels and gets more and more faster to the destination, the hope of getting preserved and living a healthy as well as smooth life ahead goes on increasing. Thus, traveling makes a person more confident towards life. Traveling can therefore be a very enchanting and inspiring experience that may help recover the quality of your life. So, let the travel bug bite you so that you experience the excitement and the serenity of life at the same time, and arise a different person altogether.

    Traveling To America? New ESTA Registration Mandated January 2009

    For years, visitors from certain foreign countries have been able to travel to America without first getting a formal Visa sticker placed in their passport. Implemented in 1998, the “Visa Waiver Program” (VWP) has allowed for visitors of several countries to come to America for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without getting a Visa put in their passport. During 2007, more than 15 million visitors from VWP countries arrived in the United States.

    As of January 12, 2009 America’s new ESTA program requires Visa Waiver Program visitors coming to the U.S. for tourist or business purposes via a plane or ship to “register” online before entering the United States to see if they pose a law enforcement or security risk to the U.S. ESTA is not required for land crossings. Officials are asking that the ESTA registration be done at least 72 hours prior to leaving, but theoretically it is possible to register at the last minute. An ESTA Travel Authorization is free, valid for 2 years, and valid for multiple entries.

    Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for ESTA Travel Authorization:

    What Countries Are in the Visa Waiver Program?

    Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

    Where Do I Apply for an ESTA Travel Authorization?

    A website, operated by the American government, is where you register for ESTA: esta.cbp.dhs.gov. The ESTA information you submit via the computer is compared with certain American law enforcement databases and then either approved or denied. Foreign travelers will not be able to submit ESTA applications at American airports after arriving or at a U.S. Embassy in their country.

    What if I Don’t Have Plans to Travel to the U.S. Yet?

    VWP travelers are not required to have specific plans to travel to the United States before they apply for an ESTA Travel Authorization. As soon as VWP travelers begin to plan a trip to visit the U.S., they are encouraged to apply for travel authorization through the ESTA website. Applicants are not required to update their destination addresses or itineraries if they change after their ESTA Travel Authorization has been granted.

    Does the ESTA Travel Authorization Guarantee Entry to the U.S.?

    An ESTA Travel Authorization only authorizes a traveler to board an airline or ship for travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program. After they arrive, travelers who obtained an ESTA Travel Authorization may still be denied entry (also called “admission”) at a U.S. port of entry, such as an American airport. An approved ESTA is not a guarantee of admissibility at an American airport. In all cases, the American airport officers make the final determination whether a foreign traveler can enter the U.S. or not. You still have to establish to the satisfaction of the inspecting officer that you are entitled to be admitted to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program.

    Can I Change My Travel Itinerary?

    It is possible to change an itinerary on an existing ESTA Travel Authorization; ESTA is designed so that you can update parts of it at any time. Travelers who did not get an ESTA approval may be denied boarding by the airlines, experience delayed processing, or be denied admission to the U.S. at the American airport.

    What If I Already Have a Valid B1/B2 Visitor Visa?

    While the ESTA Travel Authorization is completed online with no interview, there are Visas that require a U.S. Embassy interview. The Visa process has separate procedures, which generally require an appointment, travel to a U.S. Embassy, an interview with a Consular Officer, processing time, and the payment of an application fee. If a foreign national already went to the U.S. Embassy and has a valid B1/B2 Visitor Visa pasted in their passport it is not necessary to get an ESTA Travel Authorization because the traveler will be entering with a B1/B2 Visitor Visa and not through the Visa Waiver Program. Keep in mind that an approved ESTA Travel Authorization is not a Visa.

    Can I Re-Apply for an ESTA Travel Authorization if Denied?

    Yes, but you must wait at least 10 days to reapply and your circumstances must have changed. Unless there is a change in a substantive fact, re-application will not change the result. Keep in mind that applying for an ESTA Travel Authorization with false information can cause a foreign national to be permanently barred from ever entering America. The ESTA system is designed to try to prevent individuals from changing and manipulating an ESTA entry until they receive an approval.

    What If I am Denied an ESTA Travel Authorization and Have No Changed Circumstances?

    There are three types of responses to an ESTA application; approved, pending or travel not authorized (denied). Applicants who receive a “pending” response are advised to check the website 72 hours later. Applicants who are denied will be required to go to a U.S. Embassy to apply for a formal non-immigrant visa, such as a B1/B2 Visa, which may take months.

    Can a Traveler Find Out the Reason Why an ESTA Application was Denied?

    The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security has stated that travelers may contact the DHS Travel Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP at dhs.gov) but there are no guarantees that information about a denial will be divulged. U.S. Embassies and Consulates are not required to provide details about an ESTA denial nor resolve the issue that caused the ESTA denial.

    What If I Have a Criminal Record?

    Only those qualified to travel under the VWP are eligible to pre-register through ESTA. Persons who have been arrested and/or convicted are generally not eligible for VWP and probably require a formal Visa, such as a B1/B2 Visa, to travel to America. If a foreign national has received tickets for speeding (which don’t usually result in an arrest or conviction) they are probably still eligible for the VWP and ESTA. If a foreign traveler has been denied entry into or deported from the U.S., they require a formal Visa.

    Do Any Other Countries Have a Similar Program?

    Australia has a program called the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) that mandates travelers to submit an ETA application electronically through a website requesting permission to travel to Australia. Airlines may refuse to accept passengers who do not have either an approved ETA or Visa to enter Australia.

    How Long Will the ESTA Application Data be Stored? Who Can Access It?

    The ESTA Travel Authorization is valid for two years or until the traveler’s passport expires, whichever comes first. The American government will maintain the information for at least 15 years to allow retrieval of the information for law enforcement, national security, or investigatory purposes. Information submitted through ESTA can also be shared with any U.S. government organization.

    What Information Does the Airlines Get?

    Airlines will receive confirmation of a passenger’s ESTA status visa the “Advance Passenger Information System” (APIS) which shows whether the ESTA authorization has been granted for a Visa Waiver Program traveler. It is recommended that the traveler print out the ESTA application approval in order to maintain a record of their ESTA application number and to have confirmation of their ESTA status.

    What About Children?

    Accompanied and unaccompanied children, regardless of age, are required to obtain an independent ESTA Travel Authorization.

    What if a Mistake was Made on the ESTA Application?

    The ESTA website will ask applicants to review their application before submitting it. Also, there is an update function for certain information such as email address, telephone number, or flight information. If an applicant makes a mistake that cannot be “updated,” he will need to submit a new ESTA application.

    What if I Only Have a Connecting Flight Through the U.S.?

    Visa Waiver Program visitors who have a connecting flight in the U.S. are required to either have ESTA Travel Authorization or a Visa from a U.S. Embassy in their passport to travel through the U.S. even for a one hour stop. If a traveler is only planning to stop in the U.S. en route to another country, the traveler should enter the words “In Transit” and his final destination in the address lines under the heading “Address While In The United States” on the ESTA application.

    What Are the Questions on the ESTA Travel Authorization Application?

    The traveler must provide (in English) biographical data including name, birth date, country of citizenship, country of residence, email address, sex, telephone number, passport information, destination address in the U.S., travel information (round trip airline ticket, flight number and city where you are boarding) as well as questions regarding communicable diseases (chancroid, gonorrhea, granuloma inquinale, HIV, leprosy, lymphogranuloma venereum, syphilis [active], tuberculosis [active], and others), physical or mental disorders, drug addiction problems, arrests, convictions, past history of visa cancellation or denial, and prior deportations from the U.S. The traveler will also be asked whether they are seeking work in the U.S., have ever been deported or tried to get a visa by fraud or misrepresentation. The traveler will be asked if they have ever detained a child of a U.S. Citizen granted custody of the child, and whether they have ever asserted immunity from prosecution.

    Do I Select “Business” or “Pleasure (Tourist) at the Airport Port of Entry?

    After the ESTA Travel Authorization is granted, the foreign traveler will be interviewed by government officers at the first American airport they land. The officer will ask what the foreign traveler will be doing in America and the questioning can take up to four hours in a detained setting called “secondary inspection.” The officer may ask the traveler “what else are you doing in America?” repeatedly to try to get “the real” answer. If the traveler is only going to be a tourist, they are not allowed to do any business, including meeting with any attorneys, applying for a bank account, meeting with real estate agents, or other business consulting activities. Even though the traveler is going to conduct just one business meeting while in America, they are required to report it and enter as a business visitor. The business visitor is allowed to participate in tourist activities, but the tourist visitor is not allowed to participate in any business activities. Therefore, if any business might be conducted while in America, it is best to tell the government officers about it at the airport to avoid being accused of lying, put immediately on a plane back to your home country, and barred from America for life.

    What Else Do Can the Airport Officers Make Me Prove After I Land?

    The airport officers will ask the traveler proof of a foreign residence (address on foreign driver’s license), whether their intention is to depart at the end of the visit (round trip airline ticket), whether the traveler has a job (letter, paystub, business card) and family in their home country, (marriage certificate, children’ birth certificates), and whether the traveler has the money to travel around America (bank statement or credit cards with bank letter showing credit limit). The airport officers are also required to ask where the traveler will stay in America (hotel reservations or friends/relatives’ homes) and have been known to pick up the phone to verify all of the aforementioned information.

    Can I Be Searched in the American Airport? Am I Entitled to Legal Representation?

    While being interviewed at the American airport, all luggage (even locked bags) can be searched, as well as the traveler’s body and his/her cell phone (including text messages and phone numbers) and laptop (including hard drive). The officers may “google” a traveler’s name and check out their myspace, Facebook or hyves pages. The traveler is not allowed to be represented by an attorney or even call their attorney while in “secondary inspection.” Bathroom visits, water and food may be limited, so it is best to prepare for such an occasion while still on the plane before landing.

    Do I Still Have to Go Through the “US-VISIT” Program at the American Airport?

    Foreign travelers arriving at American airports and seaports must still be photographed and fingerprinted every time they enter the U.S.

    Who Should I Ask For Help to Fill Out the ESTA Application?

    The information a traveler provides on the ESTA application can remain in their file with U.S. authorities for a minimum of 15 years – probably longer. If a foreign traveler has some questions about how to answer the questions so as not to be permanently barred from America, it would be prudent to them to pay for a legal consultation with an American Immigration Attorney who is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Beware of unauthorized private websites that offer ESTA application assistance for $49.99 – they are usually not authorized to practice immigration law and are asking travelers to pay for a copy of the application questions, which are free on the dhs website.

    If I Am Denied the ESTA Travel Authorization Will it Effect My Ability to Obtain a Visa at the U.S. Embassy?

    When the ESTA Travel Authorization is denied, the foreign traveler must make an appointment at a U.S. Embassy in their country to apply for a formal Visa. The U.S. Embassy is operated by the U.S. Department of State and there are no expedited procedures for those who have been denied ESTA Travel Authorization. Because the ESTA program is so new, it is impossible to predict how badly a denial of the ESTA Travel Authorization will impact a traveler’s application for a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or impact their future travel to America in general. American Immigration Attorneys are in close contact with their foreign clients and will share the denial information with each other starting in January 2009. Currently there are no government policies regulating this area of the law, or opportunities to appeal a denial.

    When Is the a “New” ESTA Travel Authorization Required?

    A new ESTA Travel Authorization is required during the two years if (1) the traveler is issued a new passport (2) the traveler changes his name (3) the traveler changes his or her gender (4) the traveler’s country of citizenship changes or (5) the circumstances underlying the traveler’s previous responses to any of the ESTA application questions requiring a “yes” or “no” response have changed (such as a new arrest).

    Can an American Immigration Attorney, Travel Agent or Employer Fill Out the ESTA Application?

    A third party, such as a relative, travel agent or American Immigration Attorney, is permitted to submit an ESTA application on behalf of a VWP traveler. Be aware that the traveler is still responsible under the law for the answers submitted on his or her behalf by a third party.

    Over 68,000 travelers have already voluntarily registered by using the ESTA online system in the last few months. Applicants are reminded to obtain a new “e-passport” which has an integrated computer chip capable of storing biographic information from the data page, as well as other biometric information, when registering with ESTA.

    An Overview on Taxi Driver Jobs in New York City

    Taxi driver jobs in the city of New York have been prevalent since more than eight decades using the very popular yellow cab. Those who are looking for employment as taxi drivers in New York City should bear certain factors in mind. Being a taxi driver in the city of New York is not that simple. This profession is a viable option for earning a stable and substantial income even during times of recession since the demand for cabs is always consistent.

    Taxi driving is not exactly like any other job. It is more like a business where you have to put in some amount of commitment and dedication. You will require investing somewhere from four hundred to almost a thousand dollars for receiving your driving license for qualifying for a taxi driver’s job in New York City.

    Getting such a job is not so easy because every yellow cab driver requires passing the exam of New York City and a majority of candidates are not really experts in terms of the topography of this city. Being home to scores of highways and bridges, five boroughs, hundreds of theaters, museums, parks, schools, hospitals, schools, relevant landmarks and a lot more, taxi driving can be quite challenging here.

    In order to be best prepared for the test of taxi driver jobs would mean to be well prepared to drive any yellow taxi in New York City. For most potential taxi drivers, especially those of whom have been out of school for a few decades or those coming from other parts of the world or belonging to local suburbs or even different regions of U.S.A, extensive navigation and geography preparation becomes mandatory.

    Some popular taxi companies of NYC are New York Water Taxi that provides tourism and commuter services for the entire region of Manhattan and Michelin the Green Guide New York City. There are two major regulatory offices for taxis in NYC.

    Every taxi, car and limousine service in NYC is regulated by the Taxi and Limousine Commission – Financial District and the Taxi and Limousine Commission – Long Island City. All complaints about and taxis are reported here. The website NYCabbie is dedicated to taxi drivers of NYC while the site NYC Taxi Cabs provides information resource on NYC taxi service that includes taxi tips and fares.

    The New Face of Modern India in Travel & Tour

    Today, India has the potential to become the Global Super Power. Now, India is the 2nd fastest growing economy in the world after China with the growth rate 8.5%, and by 2013 we will beat China and will be on the 1st Position. India is territorially a large country, geographically a peninsula with a strategically dominating view of three major seas which could potentially provide a basis to control ship traffic from the Indian Ocean to Pacific Ocean by putting toll gates at the Malacca Straits, a long continuing civilization (over ten thousand years), a large and young population(average age of 29 years as compared to of China of 38 years, and Japan of 47 years)- which is termed as Demographic Dividend, and as proven inventors of cutting edge scientific discoveries in mathematics, astronomy, surgery and recently in high quality IT software. At present India has demonstrated innovative capacity in Chip design, Thorium reactors, Biotech, and pharmaceuticals.

    Travel & Tour is also the fastest growing industry in India. India tourism is gradually increasing every ending year. Nowadays, Indian people are traveling all around the world. The way of traveling by Indians is slightly different, preferring the luxury travel & tour.

    Organizers of the recent Travel and Tourism Fair (TTF) in Ahmedabad conducted a survey among Gujarat attendees, and results showed a significant number of Indian tourists prefer luxury travel and accommodations.

    TTF found that one-third of those surveyed had an average travel budget of Rs 80,000 as reported by the Times of India. Foreign tourism departments in attendance have taken notice of this trend and are offering more options for Indian travelers seeking upscale opportunities.

    “Switzerland provides tourists an option of staying together in fully furnished homes or chalet with a kitchen where one can cook one’s own meals,” Swiss travel agent Puneet Sehgal told the news source. Sehgal also noted that at least 400 Indians choose Switzerland for group vacations each year.

    Japan has been focusing promotions towards Indian tourists, specifically for theme parks. One Japanese travel agent at the fair told the Times of India that Osaka’s Universal Studios is a major attraction for Gujarati.

    More than 15,000 people attended this year’s fair, including exhibitors from Egypt, China, Dubai, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and many other nations.

    Celebrations times for Travel Industry…

    Travel Magazine has been informed there has been an increase in Package Holiday bookings this year compared to last year even though we are still in a trick economic climate. High Street Travel agents such as First Choice and Thomas Cook are celebrating after people looking for Holiday Deals in September helped increase bookings this year by 75% compared to booking for holidays last September.

    Some of the leading travel agents like Lets Travel India have been offering value deal holidays to help increase trade after the industry predicted early this year that the travel industry could suffer due to the unstable economic growth in the UK.

    Some of the top selling destinations which have helped increase trade for travel agents have been Canary Islands, India Tour and Spain with people looking for cheap package holidays as a large number of families could not afford holidays last year.

    Wise holiday makers have been keeping an eye on travel agents such as Lets Travel India to search for cheap package holidays after the company announced they were slashing prices on a large number of their holidays, while other holiday makers have been booking their own cheap flights and booking hotels abroad via the internet reducing the cost of their holidays.

    It was feared that a large number of travel agents would see themselves left with thousands of unsold holidays but with holiday makers looking for cheap deals after leading travel agents were forced to reduce their package holiday prices, this fear has now been reduced and travel agents are now claiming most of their unwanted holidays for September have been sold.

    The Indian travel industry is doing well with Indian flights. After having suffered from a somewhat slow season in 2008-2009, once again India is leading travel industry to the front, taken lime light and is seeing a growth in its travel industry of what is expected to be between 5-6% & 1-1.5% higher than the global average.

    There are two reasons behind this boom: one is the upcoming Commonwealth Games being hosted in Delhi in October & 2nd one is the Indian government efforts to boost the travel industry through improvements to international travel services and accommodation. This includes the completion of Terminal 3 of Delhi’s International Airport. The terminal is now the sixth largest in the world with a capacity for 37 million passengers per year. For the tourist and business travelers, this means shorter queues, more comfortable lounge areas, plenty of shops and increased flight offerings from UK airports including Birmingham, Belfast International and direct from London Heathrow as airlines bolster the number of Delhi-bound flights.

    In anticipation for the Commonwealth Games, the Indian government has also been giving the city of Delhi itself a major facelift; to such a point that professionals within the travel industry are anticipating that Delhi is quickly becoming a top contender as a one of the major travel destinations for world tourists.

    Of course, with all of this attention focused on India, destination-bound airlines and hotels are offering tempting fares and fabulous budget accommodation prices for Delhi bound tourists and business travelers – both in October during the Commonwealth Games 2010 in Delhi and beyond.

    Avoid Turning Travel Into Burden

    People travel for different reasons. Most people travel for reasons of relaxation and recreation. The idea of travel appeals greatly to those who want to take the time off from their daily routines and off from dreadful workloads and stressful deadlines. Thus, people in the travel industry have designed their services to provide the best possible convenience and comfort for clients. In fact, countless travel agencies around the world designed travel deals and vacation packages in the most customer-friendly features as possible.

    Yet, despite myriad of choices and long preparations; some dream travel vacations turn into nightmares. In some cases, well-drafted travel itineraries unexpectedly come across problems in airports, hotels and resorts. Unfortunately for some, a minor delay in one of the travel stops lead to a series of related and similarly exasperating troubles. In minutes, all that was carefully arranged for weeks or months turn into a chaotic chain of events. When the situation becomes this worst, most travelers prefer to cut-off the escapade and return home with great disappointment and enormous regrets.

    While there are uncontrollable circumstances, a traveler can take some precautionary measures to make sure that the trip would go smoothly. By observing these measures, the traveler can reduce the possibility of the trip going wrong. These practices can also help when things start to go out of hand while on travel.

    First and foremost, people should check on the reliability of their travel service provider. Some discount travel offered by irresponsible travel agencies also discounts the fun in the travel. Such companies’ partnership with airlines and hotels could not be trusted. Entrusting your travel concerns to these companies may only lead to delayed flights, reservation problems, booking issues and others. Choose a travel agency that has a respected name in the travel industry. Companies like Expedia Travel have reliable backgrounds and dependable experience in the industry for many years. Their partnerships to other travel service providers are proven strong and efficient. And their deals on travel ensure greater travel fun and experience.

    Even after all the arrangements are made, travel planners should not be excessively laid back of the travel details. With the help of a trusted travel agency, travelers must continually check on the status of their travel reservations. One can never know the tendency of reservations to changes especially those that can easily be affected natural forces. For example, schedule of flights can change if there are problems in the weather.

    Travelers must also make sure that they are knowledgeable enough on the basic details of their destinations. It is best for people to know the culture of the place to avoid offense on local practices. A tourist must also be aware of the different activities that can be done in the place. This could be helpful, especially when there are cancellations of activities in the middle of the trip.

    Finally, one must see to it that they have everything taken cared of before traveling. Chores and tasks that were left done could cause major disruptions on the travel. Having something to worry about the travel reduces the fun factor of the trip. Make sure important matters like financial related chores, home and properties security, work requirements, necessary notifications and others are already settled before setting out.

    When problems occur during your travel and you feel the need to be assisted by the right company, turn on to Expedia. The company has coupons that you can purchase online. Expedia also has the reliable connections to air carriers and hotel across the globe.

    Make your travel experience a pleasantly memorable one. Don’t let problems ruin your dream travel.

    How to Understand, Start and Run a Successful Home Based Travel Business

    Why this is such an excellent choice for a home based business, and How To Get Started

    Are you seeking information on a Home Business, or possibly you’ve read a whole lot and now you are trying to sort out what might be the BEST home based business? This is a long article, but stick with it all the way and we’re very confident you’ll have your answer(s).
    Are you looking for the Best Home Based Business ? Recent polls show that over 70% of people who search the Internet are looking for such an opportunity. But does something like this really exist?

    Here’s the problem: if you asked ten different people what the “best” home business was, you would probably get ten different answers. The truth of the matter is it really comes down to finding the best one for YOU.

    We are all coming from a unique background. Each of us first has different wants and needs, and a want or need will determine what is best. Then we all have different abilities, and yes.. your abilities DO match up to what might be the best for YOU. What’s best for a friend or neighbor and might work for them might be a total mismatch for you. This article will give you a good instigate and provide a direction on what is one of the most universally agreed upon as a “Best” business.

    We all have different interests and personalities, interests , abilities, and personalities. We have different strengths and weaknesses. We also come from all sorts of different circumstances. So it makes sense that not all of us are going to be interested in the same home based business model.

    If there was truly ONE business that was for everyone, can you imagine how competitive that field would be? It would be VERY difficult for anyone to make any money!

    You have probably seen advertisements all over the internet about THE #1 income making opportunity. Don’t get fooled by all the hype and so-called ways to make easy money. There is no such thing.

    That’s where this article comes in. This article is NOT a comprehensive list of reviews of the thousands of home based business ideas out there. It’s an article that tells you some parameters of a good home based business, then discusses the travel industry. We give you the pros and cons both of a job and being in business; we tell you the history of our industry, and then why it’s so good and the place to be right now as it rides two major trends: Travel and the Internet.

    I have researched and tried (sometimes failing miserably) many home based businesses, both online and in the real world, BUT, I have found and chosen something that is a legitimate way to make a great income from home. That’s what this is about. It’s a great fit for me, but because you are NOT me and probably have a different personality (thank heaven!), it may not be for you.. and that’s ok. But if you see things as I do, and as is presented here…

    The best home based business for ME is a HOME BASED TRAVEL BUSINESS. I know it will also be for many of you.

    But other than the fact that I’m just a normal, ordinary guy with no special talents.. and in fact, I’m probably older than most readers at 69 and I started this just last year, this article is not about me. It only points out that about anyone can easily get involved in the home based travel business. This is about YOU and what YOU want from life and your “working hours”, whether you are a stay-at-home-mom, a retiree, or any other category.

    So the question becomes, out of all the various choices: Why start a online travel business?

    We are going to discuss first the “Why”, then a little about the various types, and then the “how”. This will take some time, so grab a beverage of your choice and read on. In fact, I suggest you print this out while the coffee is brewing so you can really digest it. Mark it up. Pencil in questions.. and let’s get going!

    First and foremost, when choosing a home based business, it’s really important to ask yourself “Why” are you doing this, and are you prepared to take it seriously and treat it like a business? That means regular hours of commitment of time and a commitment of money as any and all businesses you own are going to require some degree of investment.

    This is probably as good of a time as any to differentiate between a JOB and a Business. ..

    A job, including a home based “job” is one where you are going to essentially be trading time for money, and the assumption is that you have an employer of some sort who is going to pay you either on a dollar value per hour spent, or some dollar value for certain production. That production could be sales production as it often is; it could be manufacturing production, or it could be service production.. so many envelopes stuffed; so many calls made, so many of about anything done. That person is going to pay you for that, but you know that person or company is only doing this because they are going to make a certain amount of money on you. You are essentially paid what the job is worth; what the employer could get a replacement for you for. Regardless of your skills, you are not being paid what YOU are worth, but what the job is worth. For accepting this, you get some degree of security knowing that if you do “the assignment” or “the job” you are going to receive a certain, predictable amount of money. You may even receive some benefits. But the “security” is a joke because everyone knows that there is very little security. First the employer must remain in business. He must have a market for whatever it is you are doing, and markets change.

    Next, your value is relative! Maybe that employer has a cousin who would like to do your job, or maybe someone comes along willing to do your job for less money. How secure are you? People tell me every day, “I don’t want the risks of a business.” Guess again everyone! You certainly have RISK as an employee as well!. And as to investment… well, many businesses have employee borne expenses, and even the IRS recognizes this. It’s just that there are SOME “out there” that don’t require any CASH investment, but don’t kid yourself.. you ARE making an investment, only it’s hidden in the fact you’re paying it in work and in the sense that you’re not being paid as much as you might if you absorbed certain expenses yourself.

    In contrast, a BUSINESS, including a home based business, is one where you choose and control what ever it is your business makes or does. It could be virtually anything, and probably the best business is one where you control the product or service. Here on the internet, Information products are tops; these are followed by service products. Then comes those things you manufacture or make, and finally, there’s the category of items someone else controls but makes available to you for resale. Affiliate programs fall into this category. But you really need to be aware that if you are going to have a BUSINESS you are going to have business expenses, even a home-based business. These are the expenses of the office first, and then you may need to have some product or have been a user of some of the service so you truly KNOW what you have and can do business from a credible point. The product or service should be one of value that if you were the buyer, you’d consume it yourself at retail. Watch the line though… you don’t want to is get into a business where you are required to purchase X dollars amount of product every month, whether you can use this or not. That’s not a legitimate business.

    Depending on your philosophy, you’ll probably agree that it is very important to choose a business that interests you. Pick one that you will enjoy doing, ideally something you are passionate about. Think about it, if you are going to start a business from home, it makes sense to choose something that you will enjoy. And if you enjoy it, then you’ll probably learn more quickly and have your heart more into it when the going is tough.

    But we’d put just a couple things ahead of this and put “enjoyment” as a luxury. Those things are market size and market growth. Where is your business product or service in terms of life cycle? Is your market expanding and you can ride a wave, or is it declining. And what is the market size and potential. Will there be a business available for you in 5 years? Ten?

    Then lastly, we’d probably mention that the business should be ethical and compatible with what you believe. Many people who research businesses, particularly Internet businesses, know that the porn and gambling industry meets the criteria of growth and market size. You may be tempted to look in those areas, and if you are, kindly close this report or article and tear up you paper copy. This is not a part of the business world we want anything to do with. Money and income is just not that important to us.

    After evaluating many, many, many businesses and participating in several since 1969, including an early successful involvement with Amway, then Free Life, and a couple others, including a few that just didn’t “go” for us, we became aware of the opportunities in the online travel business. This is a business model that has just evolved over the past few years, and is now in full momentum.

    It is also important to be a part of trends. Fortunes are made by riding trends. Currently, travel is a trend to the tune of 6 trillion dollars a year! By 2010, that number is estimated to be 14 trillion dollars!

    Think of all the baby boomers that will be retiring in the coming years. And what do people like to
    do when they retire? What would you like to do when you retire? If you’re like me, travel is probably very near the top of that list.

    That is why the travel industry provides the perfect business for opportunity seekers. It is simply taking advantage of a trend that is just starting to gain momentum. When looked at as a home based business, it rides the second trend: the growth of the Internet as a business medium.

    Let’s look at how and why this has evolved into a viable Internet Based Travel Business.

    People “booking travel” for others has evolved possibly in three stages. We also should consider the two major market segments: Business travel and personal or leisure travel, and in the later category, we’d include as a very close association, travel and leisure and recreational activities and lodging. We are going to focus on personal leisure travel and recreational travel market.

    STAGE 1: Probably dates back about 75-80 years when the primary mode was train and ocean liner. There were no condos, few motels, and little air travel. But there were many lodges and luxury hotels. We’ve all heard of the Baltimore and others. And there was some degree of business travel, but not to the extent we had a few years ago before travel (particularly sales meetings) became so expensive. Other than those vacations to places like Atlantic City, travel was really more in the hands of the more wealthy part of the population, and most of THOSE people just did not want to be bothered making their own arrangements, or even checking places out. A small cadre of “travel agents” was born, although they probably had many more duties along the line of concierge, personal assistant, etc. In large companies, specialists were brought on board to do those arrangements… and seek out bargains and discounts for their companies.

    STAGE 2: Now we have more cars, the DC-3 and early airlines are starting to emerge. We have reliable telephones; we have some early forms of fax but the telegram was the primary means of communication on short notice as mail took longer, and people are becoming aware that they can earn money booking travel for others. Providing essentially two services: Knowledge of destinations and Administrative tasks such as actually buying the travel arrangements on behalf of a third party. That third party could be a business or an individual.

    Natural business evolution follows and at first small partnerships were formed because now two people might have the knowledge and experience of two different travel destinations, but as a single entity (the travel agency) be able to offer clients more options. Then this single agency could bring more volume to a travel provider such as an airline, hotel, etc than a single person, and hence negotiate better discounts, or as more often was the case, better commissions as not all discounts got passed on. Everyone benefited.

    Airline traffic was particularly challenging to book, and in the late parts of Stage 2, computers began to come more and more into play, although they were both expensive and highly specialized. The affordable home computer had not yet really evolved and there were limited travel networks. Travel agencies could afford these computer systems and gain access to the various vendors, which at that time were mainly airlines, and book travel conveniently and easily. This was about to change!

    STAGE 3: Change took place almost over night. The airlines deregulated as one part, and competition evolved to a point where commissions were almost non existent to the agencies. The Internet and access to travel databases within the airlines and hospitality industry literally exploded into being, and now EVERYONE had at least almost nearly equal administrative access to the services and could bypass the agencies which started going out of business at an alarming rate. The one thing certain agencies DID retain was a cadre of people who HAD traveled and did have personal experience with various providers… resorts, cruise lines, etc. But as profits to the providers themselves started to decline, so did the availability of FAM trips, and there were fewer agencies.

    But along with this evolved another trend! The population is growing and there’s more travelers available, particularly in the leisure market than ever. And many of these travelers just don’t have the time to really do the research, or even to truly shop for the best and lowest costs.

    But individuals devoted to and loving to travel such as stay at home moms in travel find that they can provide the same services that the old large agencies did!

    All they needed was a vendor willing to work with them, and at this time, new vendors started to emerge.

    The emergence is primarily in the area of recreation and resorts as unlike the airlines which have cut back and in many cases have a SHORTAGE of seats and product, resorts (and cruise lines) have continued to build and expand where today, they have an excess or surplus of inventory except for very limited times of the year.

    The question becomes: How do we fill these empty rooms? These empty staterooms? These empty golf courses? These unused campsites?

    The answer is: Through You!

    But you don’t know where they are, or how to negotiate the pricing.. but a newly evolved list of consolidators do! Currently there are three major consolidator groups doing business in the USA, and one stands out above the other two as it has more contacts, more experience, more inventory, and essentially a better pay plan offering the customer more options. What YOU have is a list of contacts or the knowledge and time to introduce the traveling public to these options. Because you are working with the suppliers of SURPLUS inventory who is willing to fill these vacancies at deeply discounted rates, you can pass these rates on, if only you knew how to get your hands on them.

    Actually, about anyone can get their hands on any one location at any time at a discount, and many people have been doing that using services such as Orbitz, Travelocity, and others But these are very sharply targeted and focused, and deal much more with just hotels, car rentals, and to some extent, airline travel. One can pick up a major magazine or metro newspaper and find condos for rent from owners, at discounts. But again, this is very limited.

    How Do You Get Started?

    First, you learn about the 3 major consolidator firms offering travel, and if you just let the word out that you are looking for a homebasd travel agency or company, you’ll find that these people find you very quickly. Or you can do an Internet search using terms like that and find them. Most of the firms have a fairly similar makeup in that they are offering an entire travel package or membership for a fee. This entitles the purchaser to the inside track on deeply discounted travel services.

    If they are essentially all the same, what do you look for? We focus in a legitimate business first on product, so we look for product value. We look for a company with flexibility and a product mix. Not all people want to travel internationally, so is there just a domestic package? What is offered that you or your customer can do when they get to a destination? Are there name resort and theme parks? Golfing? How about great meal discounts, as we all “eat out” when we travel? We know cruising is “big” but we know the cruise lines vary from very family oriented to “swinging singles”. Is there a good mix? How about time limitations on the travel package?

    As a business, what kind of support tools are available? Training is a must, and is it real, and in real time, with real live people you can talk to and ask questions of? A solid, reliable web site is a must. Does the firm you are looking to join provide one? None will do a good site free, but is this a fair and reasonable cost?

    Will you have access to a personal mentor? Can you become a certified, card carrying travel agent as well if you want?

    These are but a few of the questions.

    The “How Do You Get Started” in the home based travel industry is best summarized by 3 words: “Do Your Homework”

    Well, now that you know some of the history, let’s look at a couple more things, starting with some of the advantages of this, particularly in comparison to other options you may have selling nutritional products, informational products, skin care, diet products, or many others.

    Aside from the money making potential in our industry, there are many other advantages.

    It is easy to start. This facet never ceases to blow me away With the invention of the internet, businesses that have traditionally always been brick and mortar establishments are now available to all of us. The internet makes it easy for everyday people like you and me to start a small business online. We can reach people all over the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from the comfort of our own home. People can be checking out your business while you are sleeping, on vacation, or whatever. Phone services like Skype let us actually talk to people all over the world (one of us might be sacrificing some sleep due to time zone differences, but technically, it’s possible!)

    Your business is relatively inexpensive to start, particularly compare to a more standard travel agency business. Because you no longer need a regular office, insurance, and employees, businesses. In fact, if you set up a legitimate IRS qualifying home office, many of the costs you have at your current home now become tax deductible (see your accountant, and if you don’t have one.. get one. Maybe you can even barter some travel services for HIS services).

    Your potential clients include almost everyone. Who doesn’t like to travel or need a vacation? And if the economy slows, your business grows! Previous travelers who thought nothing of paying full price now start to look for discounts.

    You can save a lot of money on your own travel.

    What’s the point of owning a business if you don’t get some fringe benefits? With a home based travel business, you become eligible for some incredible discounts. And because you are your own boss, you will have more free time to go on vacation and take advantage of these discounts.

    Is there a downside to a home based travel business? Sure, there is in any business.

    Travel is a very competitive industry.
    In order to have an edge, you have to differentiate yourself from the rest by branding yourself with a superior product. Those who read this article and find a specific interest and contact us as the author will be given some very specific knowledge on how to do this and succeed.

    Other than that, I have not come across any other disadvantages to a home based travel business.

    We hope you have found this article to be greatly helpful and look forward to seeing a few of you join us in this exciting industry soon.

    The School Bus "Danger Zone"

    As unbelievable as it may sound, there are a large number of fatal accidents which continue to occur in this country involving students while getting on and off the school bus.

    According to published figures from the Kansas Department of Transportation and other sources confirm that fatalities and injuries in the loading and unloading zone, rightfully called the ‘danger zone’, accounted for 13 fatal accidents, involving K-12 school children. Of the 13 fatalities, 7 occurred behind the bus and 6 were killed by a passing motorist.

    Pedestrian fatalities at the ‘danger zone’ are three times as many as school bus occupant fatalities. This makes the time of getting on and off the school bus, one of the most potentially dangerous part of the bus ride.

    The reason why the ‘danger zone’ is potentially so hazardous is because this is the area on all sides of the bus where the children are not seen by the driver (ten feet in front of the bus where the driver may be seated too high or ten feet on either side of the bus where a child may be in the driver’s blind spot, and the area behind the school bus).

    Considering the rise in such fatalities there have been several mandatory product and design changes in school buses implemented. For instance, the federal rule requires all new buses to have an 8-amp lamp warning system and stop signal arm.

    While the number of such accidents in the ‘danger zone’ has significantly reduced over the years, the School Transportation Section of the National Safety Council recommends that training on various aspects of getting on and off the bus should be given both to pupils and students.

    Here are some simple guidelines which you could train your child while he is getting ready to get on and off his school bus:

    – Avoid any rowdy behavior while waiting for the bus. Stay calm and do not stray on to the streets.

    – Remain away from the street as the bus approaches.

    – After entering the bus, find a seat and sit down.

    – Keep your head, neck and arms inside the bus.

    – When the school arrives, wait for the bus to come to a complete halt before getting up from the seat.

    – Keep the aisle of the bus clear of clutter.

    – Walk at least 10 feet ahead of the bus along the side of the road, if you have to cross the road in front of the bus.

    – Wait for the driver to give you the ‘walk’ signal before you start to cross the road.

    – While crossing the road, keep your eyes for oncoming traffic.

    – Always stay away from the rear wheels of the bus.

    How Goods Transportation Has Evolved Over the Years

    From ancient times goods have been transported from the countryside to big cities and towns and vice versa. Goods also have been traded with neighboring and distant countries. The best example is the ancient Silk Route. The Silk route made use of different modes of transportation according to the region. While in some places camels were used to transport goods in the form of caravans, in coastal areas ships were the preferred mode of transportation.

    Goods transportation, a boost to the global economy

    Transportation of goods is a broad term which includes several kinds of activities and modes of transportation. Moving raw materials from mines or forest areas to factories, transporting the finished goods to markets, distribution of goods to various consumer centers worldwide are just some of the activities that come under the category.

    Another example that can be stated is that of agricultural produce transported to a food processing unit. The processed goods are then stored in a warehouse to be transported to distribution centers.

    The mode of transport used in this process would vary widely according to the volume of goods to be moved, the urgency and the geographical topography of the region. Today goods are transported using various modes of transport giving rise to transport corridors. Transport corridors along with favorable customs and tariff duties have boosted trade in different parts of the world.

    Efficient transportation of goods is based upon

    • The Infrastructure
    • Vehicles or mode of transportation
    • Operations and administration
    • Energy or fuel supply and consumption

    The different modes for goods transportation

    Roadways

    Road Transportation (Roadways) is the oldest means of transport used for moving goods. Whether in the form of caravan trails or paved paths, roads have been used extensively in the past. The automobile revolutionized road transport and today freight trucks, wagons and trailers carry large volumes of goods across highways.

    Also with improved methods of lying roads using material like concrete and tarmac, roads are now much more durable. Further advances in civil engineering have meant that bridges can be built across water bodies facilitating movement of goods across regions separated by rivers.

    Marine transportation

    Maritime transportation has always been an important mode to transport goods across countries and continents. Consuming less energy as compared to roadways or rail, cargo ships can carry thousands of tons of freight in a single trip from one port to another.

    With the advent of containerization, goods can now be easily transported using ships which can be unloaded at ports and then transported via rail to inland markets.

    Railways

    After the Industrial Revolution, rail transport began to be extensively used for moving goods. Rail technology has improved considerably over the years. Today diesel-electric locomotives haul large quantities of freight in most parts of the world.

    High speed rail transport has proved to be efficient in transporting goods over large distances in countries like the United States, Russia and China and in Europe.

    Airways

    The use of aircraft in transporting cargo has generally been limited to areas where urgency is the primary need. Large airfreight carriers like the Boeing 707 and 727 can transport significant amounts of cargo at a time.

    However the cost of transportation and limitation in the volume of goods that can be transferred at a time has prevented large scale use of aircraft in goods movement.

    Planning is crucial

    While Goods Movement, Transportation has an obvious impact on the economic sphere it also has a visible effect on the environment. Planning is vital to manage the various factors involved. A well planned transport system would make optimum use of available facilities and ensure a streamlined and Eco-friendly transportation process at lesser costs.

    Confused With All the Travel Information on the Internet?

    There is so much information available on the internet right now regarding travel. There are online travel sites for cruises, hotels, air, trains and any other type of travel. But what is the correct product for you? Is the location of the hotel where you want to be? Is the type of room or cabin the right fit for you? Is that cruise line the one you should be booking? Not all products are created equal nor are the products right for everyone. How do you tell? Contact a travel professional.

    Do travel agents exist?

    There have been multiple articles, and even the President of the United States, has said travel agents don’t exist or are going away. In a way they are right. Travel agents in the past were just someone who booked a trip for someone who called or came in to the storefront office of a travel agency. Storefront travel agencies are few and far between now a days as most of the “travel agents” have gone home to work. Even the term “travel agent” is going away because what they do now is different than what they did before.

    Travel Professionals/Travel Counselors

    Travel Agents are now more a counselor and an adviser so they are now called Travel Professionals or Travel Counselor. Even the travel industry is trying to get away from using the term “travel agent”. They no longer just book a trip for someone, they know more than what is available to the traveling client. The travel professionals now are constantly learning, constantly traveling, receiving input from other travel professionals about where they have traveled and are a resource for what is required to travel now a days.

    When you use an online travel agency like Expedia, Travelocity, etc. you aren’t able to have someone protect your back. They book the travel for you and then you are pretty much on your own. Say your flight gets cancelled, who is going to book a replacement flight? You are, not them. If you use a travel professional that travel professional will do it. If something goes wrong on your trip, if the room you booked is not like what you thought it would be, who is going to make it right? A travel professional will also check constantly for price drops before final payment and whether a new promotion offered would be more beneficial than what was booked with a deposit. All these things can be addressed before final payment.

    A travel professional works with you from the time you first talk to them until you are home safe and sound and any and all problems have been solved or addressed.

    It Costs More to Use a Travel Professional

    This is not always true. True, some travel professionals charge fees but not all of them do. This is because some vendors, like airlines and some hotels, don’t pay commission or some of the vendors have decreased the amount of commissions paid to the travel professional. In order to make ends meet, some travel professionals charge fees. I charge $50 per person for airline reservations domestically and $100 for airline reservations internationally. I will also charge a fee sometimes for hotels for the same reason or if I am putting the various sections of the trip together myself. If I book a cruise or a tour, I don’t charge a fee as the vendor pays me a commission. Remember, whether you use a travel professional or not the commission is still being paid as it is automatically included in the price from the vendor. So, why not use a travel professional and avoid the hassle and save your time?

    The rules for traveling are constantly changing and it is the travel professional who is able to keep their clients on track with them.

    Examples: Passports

    For instance, did you know that come January, 2016 you may need a passport to travel by air domestically? This is due to a law called the REAL ID Act. This requires all travelers to have a REAL ID compliant identification that includes all of these fields: full legal name, signature, date of birth, gender, unique identifying number, a principal residence address and a front-facing photograph of the applicant. Unfortunately there are still a handful of states that are non-compliant. Do you know which states are compliant and which aren’t? Your travel professional does. By the way, outright non-compliant states/territories are American Samoa, Louisiana and New Hampshire. The states of Minnesota and New York offer an optional Enhanced ID at a cost, so because it is optional, a large percentage of residents don’t have one. Some states have applied for additional extensions, but it is unclear if those will be granted. Currently, only four states (Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire and New York) and American Samoa are technically non-compliant.

    Also, we still don’t know if January 1, 2016 will be the date of the requirement or will it be later? Because of this law, the passport processing time for all will be affected. All the passports issued in 2006 to meet the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative that went into effect in 2007 are now expiring, causing a slew of renewals. So, because of those renewals coupled with the possible REAL ID enforcement, passport waits are expected to further increase. As of October 11, the current wait has already increased a week to four to six weeks for standard passports and three weeks for expedited. Expedited in person could be up to eight days based on travel need.

    Ultimately the REAL ID Act will require all state-issued drivers’ licenses to include “machine-readable technology” or chips to help keep us safe and secure while traveling.

    Also, passports are recommended for cruises just like they are required to fly outside of the United States. The reason being is if you do need to fly back to the United States from a foreign port you have a passport to do so. Just because you are on a cruise leaving a United States port, technically you are traveling internationally just as soon as you step on the ship as most ships are registered outside of the United States!

    Example: Visas

    A travel professional would be able to help you determine if visas are required to travel to where you want to go. If they don’t know for sure, they know where to send you for that information and get confirmation that you do or don’t need one for the type of travel you are taking. For instance, for most cruises if you leave an U.S. port and return to the same U.S. port you probably don’t need a visa to visit the ports. This is called a “closed loop” trip. But, again, most of the cruises. Always double check to see if one is needed.

    Example: Travel Insurance

    Again, not all travel insurance is created equal. Should you purchase travel insurance? Absolutely!!! I recommend to my clients not to purchase travel insurance, for the most part, from the supplier of the cruise or product. The reason being the coverage is not as comprehensive as third party policies. Travel insurance is not only purchased for travel delays, luggage lost/damage or cancellation protection. Some health insurance companies do not cover you when traveling outside of the United States. Medicare does not. Travel insurance will act as your primary health insurance during your travel, from the time you leave to the time you return to your home. Also, it provides emergency evacuation for health reasons and protects you for other items. Always read the policy and information provided by the issuer of the travel insurance to see what is covered. Your travel professional will know which is a good travel insurance issuer.

    How Do Timeshares Work? How's Their Value Compared to a Travel Club?

    My beautiful wife, Nancy, and I love to travel… a lot!!

    We’ve taken over 70 vacations & trips together in just over 8 years as a couple, which means we’ve got a little experience being tourists and in vacation mode.

    So over the years we had heard about timeshares many times and had been solicited to go to presentations for freebies but we never once bothered…

    …not really sure why not?

    Maybe it was the thought of wasting several hours of our vacation getting pitched to spend lots of money, maybe it was the thought of it being too much money or that we didn’t want to keep traveling to one property all the time, etc.

    Whatever it was, we just simply never went to a presentation… wasn’t worth a free dinner or tickets to us.

    But over the past 18 weeks, as we’ve been traveling around to awesome places in Hawaii, California, Arizona & Florida, we’ve been staying at many great resorts through an International Travel Club that we’re members of and we’ve talked to many timeshare owners (there are lots of them) staying at the same places…

    …and we’ve been chatting it up with some of these people trying to figure out why they bought, whether they liked it/disliked it, etc.

    Basically, we figured it was time for us to see if a timeshare could benefit us with all the traveling we do.

    So with that said, in Las Vegas a couple of months ago, we took the plunge and went to a presentation.

    (Side note: The $150 in dining vouchers we were offered to go to the presentation had nothing to do with us attending… we simply wanted to learn and would have seriously considered buying if it made sense.

    Tip: Our recommendation would be to never attend a Timeshare presentation for “the gift”… if you’re truly not interested, you’ll be wasting several hours of your vacation and you’ll be putting yourself in a high-pressure sales situation… we were there for 4 hours, even though they said 90 minutes max, and they said no pressure sales up front but let’s just say, that was not so)

    What was our experience like?

    To be honest, we’re still confused from the whole thing.

    As mentioned, we’ve traveled a ton over the years and I was a top-selling travel agent for years but pretty much the whole idea went way over our heads and we’re not really sure why billions of dollars of this gets sold every year.

    Now don’t get me wrong, if you’re an owner yourself we’re not knocking you for buying… if we didn’t know of a better alternative we may have considered.

    But when we logically looked at the #s, it just didn’t add up for us.

    Of course, like many purchases, we understand most people buy on emotions, not logic…

    …travel is a powerful motivator… look at us, 18 weeks ago we sold all of our “stuff”, are now homeless, we travel full-time…

    …and have never been happier in our lives!! LOL

    For most people, that wouldn’t be a logical thing.

    So we get that many people buy emotionally to “lock” in an annual vacation and commit themselves to get away… and we’re huge promoters of that… our eBook we wrote is all about that.

    But logically, we couldn’t figure the whole timeshare thing out.

    They were going on about buying points and how many points you need depends on things like how many weeks you want, time of year you travel, resort you stay at, room type, your “status”, and on and on.

    But they wouldn’t give us real examples of what an amount of points would get us, what availability was like, how much ongoing maintenance fees would be, etc.

    We had to make a decision “there and then”, that was it… no info to take with us to evaluate or think about it because “no-one comes back and buys once they leave” we were told…

    …it was actually a little insulting as we felt we were expected to make an immediate decision without doing any due diligence on a “points” system that felt like you needed a degree to understand with all the variables, exchange options, add ons, upgrades, etc.

    Being a couple that spent $40,000+/year on travel the last several years (and that’s before we started traveling full-time) we feel we were great prospects but unless we were willing to make a decision ‘on the spot” our business wasn’t wanted…

    …very weird business practices!?

    When we initially joined an International Travel Club earlier this year, it wasn’t till 3 weeks after we first saw it we joined. That was AFTER we did a bunch of research and flew to Las Vegas to check out 7 of their properties, and they were happy to take our business.

    So we can now understand why many people who buy timeshares regret the hasty decision they made (Google timeshare and you’ll see owners selling them is a huge market) as they were so confused and pressured at the time they didn’t really understand what they were buying.

    Anyway, enough about our experience on that.

    What great thing came out of it though was that we feel better then ever about our decision to join a Travel Club rather then buy a timeshare… let’s compare the #s and see why that option made better sense to us.

    Regarding the timeshare we saw, depending on how many points we bought based on when we wanted to travel, we would have paid either $18,000 or $26,000 up front for 1 week per year… and if we financed that at their 15.99% rate over 10 years it would have doubled that #.

    On top of that you have monthly maintenance fees that you’re locked into for LIFE.

    They were $50-$70/month depending on the package we bought… let’s use $60 for our example.

    Over 30 years we’d pay our initial $18,000-$26,000 up front and $21,600 in maintenance fees. (Keep in mind maintenance fees ALWAYS go up… that’s the biggest complaint owners tell us… we talked to one who’s fees jumped to over $2000/year due to a hurricane and major repairs being done… for our example though, we won’t even factor in higher fees)

    So when you add it up for 30 years of JUST 1 week/year we’d pay $39,600-$47,600.

    And if you want more weeks you have to buy more points. (Which could double or triple or more the above #s depending what you want) And if you can’t travel due to illness you still pay maintenance fees, etc.

    It’s a HUGE commitment!!

    Now let’s look at the travel club option.

    For a typical, good quality Travel club, you’ll pay, approximately, a ONE-TIME $5000 fee for life-time access which allows you to book up to 10 weeks/year at the resorts for the price range of $298-$799/week.

    On average members pay around $550 for each week they stay at a resort.

    So in 30 years you’ll have paid $5000 up front and $16,500 for 1 week/year… $21,500 in total… that’s 46%-55% less then a basic timeshare.

    So you can see why being a member of a Travel Club, financially speaking, makes sense!

    And here are a few things to consider:

    1. You can book up to 9 more weeks per year in a Travel Club and just pay the $550 on average per week…. over 30 years you’ll pay $16,500 per extra week whereas an extra timeshare would be MUCH more… basically you’re saving over $20,000 for each extra week compared to a timeshare… the more you use your club the savings get ridiculous!

    2. You’ll have no maintenance fees, ever! If you can’t travel in any given year or ever again, no big deal, you’ll never pay another dime… no contract locking in ongoing fees.

    3. As mentioned, your up front cost will be around $5000, that’s it! Not $18,000-$26,000. Not sure about you but we don’t want to pay for years and years of vacations today… we have better things to do with our hard-earned dollars!

    4. All the above timeshare #s are based on a studio or one bedroom which is all you need if you’re a couple… if you have a bigger family though and need 2 rooms or heaven forbid 3 or 4 you’ll need a ton more points… your costs will sky-rocket. With a travel club, the $298-$799/week can be for 1-3 rooms, based on your needs and availability… they’re not penalizing you and charging double/triple for your large family.

    5. Most people don’t need to “finance” an upfront $5000 fee with a travel club… with the $20,000+ for a timeshare, many do… the high interest rates double your #s and really make a timeshare pricey.

    Alright, enough said about the whole timeshare vs travel club option… I could go on with lots more pros/cons but I’m pretty sure about anyone could look at the above and easily decide which one logically makes more sense and can at the same time get emotionally satisfied with the monetary savings.

    As I said at the beginning, this post isn’t about knocking timeshares or owners… Nancy & I love all industries that promote travel as we believe it’s so important and we know many of you love the “ownership” aspect of timeshares and that’s cool.

    But we know our readers & most travelers love to save money, like savvy travelers like us do, and we want to make sure you’re fully informed on the options…

    …and in our experience, most people don’t necessarily want “Vacation Homes” or “Vacation Ownership”, they just simply want consistent vacations and in our expertise…

    …being a member of a Travel Club vs owning a Timeshare is a much more economical and smart option… in this volatile economy…

    … or in any economy for that matter!

    I appreciate you.

    Shawn

    Tips on What You May Need When Travelling – Travel Bags and Accessories

    Many people enjoy traveling and will always do so at any available opportunity. Some people travel often because it is part of their job requirements. There are those who rarely travel but will gladly do so once in awhile especially during vacations. When leaving your home for a night or more, it is always very important to take along with you everything you need to make yourself as comfortable as possible for the period you are away from home. Also take with you everything you need to fulfill the purpose of your travel, such as things you may need if you are on official/ business trips. If you forget something you would have taken for your travel, it may not only frustrate you but also sour your spirit, You may even incur extra expenses because you may be forced to buy something you would otherwise not have bought. So it is important you plan ahead and decide what you need for your journey and what kind of suitcase or luggage bag will be most suitable for your journey. What you may need for your journey and the type of travel bag you will need depends on the length of time you will be away from home and also the mode of your travel. What you may need for a business trip will be different from your needs when going for a vacation. When you have made a good mental recollection of what you need for your travel and your mode of travel (travel by air or drive yourself to your destination), you then have to decide on the type of travel bag to pack your things in. You have to choose the type of suitcase or travel/ luggage bag that will give you the greatest flexibility and allows you to travel light.

    Traveling With Luggage Bags /Garment Bags for Official/ Business Trips

    Most people prefer to fly if they are traveling for official or business purposes such as attending business meetings or going for conferences. In this case you may be spending a night or two away from home, then your best choice of travel bag may be a carry-on bag with wheels or a messenger bag. The messenger bags and rolling bags are available in many sizes ranging from 13″ to 21″. Each of these travel bags lets you travel light because you can fit your computer into your travel bag. The unique design of each bag allows you to comfortably store your notebook/iPad in addition to clothing and personal accessories in the same bag. Each bag has special overnight luggage section that provides enough room for the clothes you need while on your journey. Each bag is perfect for short official/business trips. Each type of carry-on case has all necessary notebook case features including a zip-down workstation with storage for your mobile accessories, pen loops, key clip and business card holder. The rolling carry-on bags have smooth-rolling wheels and telescoping handle that makes the rolling case a perfect companion for the businessperson on the go.

    Some people may prefer to travel with a garment bag, computer /notebook carrying case or a multipurpose handbag (for women). The garment bag is great for protecting clothes while traveling. The clothes stay neat and wrinkle free. The garment bag has multiple pockets and can hold up to 4 garments. It has four interior pockets that provide enough room for shoes and accessories like cosmetic/makeup bags, toiletry bags and curling hot iron cases. It also has one exterior pocket where you can put the book you want to read on the plane or any other thing you want to be handy while you are on the plane. This garment bag is very stylish, lightweight and durable. It has full-length center zipper that gives you easy access to the inside. It also has full exterior zipper closure that ensures that everything inside the bag is secured. When you have packed everything you want inside the bag, you can fold the garment bag into two. The bi-fold bag has two handles that makes it easy to carry. It also has a metal hanging hook that allows you to hang it on a wall. You can then use your multi-purpose handbag or computer/notebook carrying case to carry your computer/iPad.

    Some other travelers may prefer to travel with an overnight bag. The overnight bag has zippered main closure with three zippered side pockets and two Velcro end pockets. It has adjustable shoulder strap and carrying handle. It also has a black linen inside lining that makes it great for wiping out and keeping clean.

    Travel Accessories- Snoozer – Travel Neck Pillow / Blanket in Velura

    Beside the travel/ luggage bags that you need to pack everything you need for your journey, you may consider other travel accessories such as a luxurious Velura covered neck rest that not only carries a soft, easy care Velura 40″ x 60″ blanket inside, but also has an inflatable pillow that allows you to enjoy a warm and comfortable trip. The PVC inflatable pillow is easy to inflate and deflate and the blanket is so soft that it easily folds back into the pillow cover. This snoozer-travel neck pillow/blanket in Velura is a compact, easy to carry travel item that you can use to provide comfort for yourself on any journey. This travel accessory is ideal for business or recreational travelers.

    What You May Need When going on Family Vacation

    Many families choose to travel by road when on a family vacation; Traveling together in a car is part of the close family experience that every family cherishes and long for every year. Preparing for this long traveling experience for the families can be a sweet challenge for parents, especially when the journey involves very young kids. The thought of how to keep them engaged and entertained all through the long journey can also be daunting.

    It is no brainer to say that you need suitcases to pack the family’s clothing and needs while on vacation, The challenge is what type of suitcases do you need. Do you need a suitcase for everyone in the family or do you need to put everyone’s clothing in a common suitcase? Depending on the number in the family and the ages of the kids, you may have a common suitcase for clothing and another for other accessories. Alternatively, each kid can pack his/her accessories in his/her backpack, while you have a common suitcase for everyone. In another arrangement, you can let everyone in the family use a garment bag to pack both his/her clothing and accessories. This is one of the “sweet-bitter” choices parents have to make.

    Use A Thermal Cooler Bag to Pack Enough Cold Drinks For Everyone While On The Journey

    Depending on the length of the journey you might want to travel with enough cold drinks packed in a thermal cooler bag. The thermal lining of the cooler bags prevents the drinks from absorbing heat as such the drinks will remain cold for a very long time. The idea is for you not to stop to buy cold drinks each time any member of the family wants something cold to drink. Having sufficient cold drinks handy when you need them gives you enough driving time and also lets you stop only when you need to break the journey for any other thing other than just buying some cold drinks.

    Make Your Kids Comfortable With Kids’ Travel Accessories

    Besides having enough drinks handy for anyone who needs it during the journey, it can also be a challenge to keep the kids comfortable during a very long journey. You can keep your kids comfortable all through the journey by allowing them to use kids’ travel accessories such as travel buddies. Kids’ travel buddies are ultra soft neck pillows that allow kids to snuggle with their buddy while “visiting the land of dreams!” These buddies that are available in different animal characters are perfect for strollers, cars and any other place kids drop off to sleep.

    Scosche back STAGE pro II Vehicle Mount for Tablet PC

    Apart from providing cold drinks for your kids when they need them and making them (kids) comfortable while they sleep during the journey, keeping the kids engaged during the course of the journey is another challenge. Some parents allow the children to read their books during the journey, and play their video games when they are tired of reading. These are good ways to keep your kids engaged. Another way is to have them watch videos/movies on iPad while you drive. In this instance, back STAGE pro II is very suitable. Use the back STAGE pro II to securely and rugged mount your iPad 2 to the back of any headrest so that your children can enjoy hands free viewing of movies, apps, games while you drive. This device is ideal to keep your family entertained with ease when you are on a long journey. The backstage pro II has a charger that plugs directly into the headrest mount and provides a continuous charge to your iPad 2. It has wireless IR headphones for private listening and a USB port that supports flash drive use for viewing images.

    These are some of the things you need to consider when preparing for a business trip or family vacation, to ensure that you have the most comfortable journey whether you travel by air or travel by road with your family on a vacation.

    Slash Thousands From Your Business Travel

    When it comes to your business travel we all know that this comes write out of your bottom line, but in order to keep good customer relations this is something that you must do. One of the most common things to do is to hire a business travel manager to handle all your business travel arrangements.

    Did you realize that the median salary for a business travel manager is $73,000.00 per year? (FACT) Where’s the savings?

    The best way to slash thousands from your travel expenses is to out source. You can have a travel agency do the same things as a business travel manager without spending thousands doing it. By having a travel agency handle your travel arrangements, you can save anywhere from 80 to 90% depending on how many traveler’s you have. By doing this makes your bottom line more profitable.

    Let me ask you, would you rather spend 73,000 or 10,000?

    The responsibilities of a travel manager are to choose transportation and lodging for company employees, advise about passport and visa requirements, rates of currency exchange, all things that a travel agent is already doing. Additional perks of hiring a travel agent is they can handle convention planning and group vacation organization for employees.

    One of the best benefits from hiring a travel agent over a business travel manager is that a travel agent is offered reduced travel rates from preferred vendors as to where a business travel manager is not.

    By out sourcing and hiring a travel agent over a travel manager, you are not only saving from paying a large salary, but you also save by not having to provide benefits such as health care and retirement. These could easily bring the cost of hiring a business travel manager to well over $100,000.00 a year. That’s Insane!!!

    There are so many more benefits from hiring a travel agent over a business travel manager because they are so much more knowledgeable in the travel industry. How, when, and where travel is booked whether online or offline is very important when it comes to saving money on your business travel. These are techniques that only travel agents will know because they deal directly with travel vendors. Nine times out of ten a business travel manager will either call a travel agent or go to a travel agent’s web site for their information.(FACT)

    Haven’t we learned in the past couple of years that foolish spending is not the way to go? Look at what it has done to big business. It’s time we get smart and trim the wasted fat. Wouldn’t you rather spend the money growing your business than hiring someone that’s probably looking out for them self rather the company?

    When looking for a travel service for your company make sure that they have incentive and rewards programs. Look for a service that has the customer’s best interest at heart.

    I understand that customer service must come first in order to have long standing business relations. I want to help you to accomplish this same goal.

    Five Insanely Odd Florida Attractions

    Some rave of Florida’s pristine white sandy beaches, others its endless array of world class theme parks and still others its equally endless array of senior citizens. For us however, there’s one thing to rave about above them all; its spectacular selection of bizarre roadside attractions. Here are some of its best:

    1. World’s Largest Shuffleboard Courts: St. Petersburg, Florida

    Grab your friend Ethel, give Gertrude a call, heck, clear out all of Florida’s old age homes and bring the gang here to the world’s largest shuffleboard courts. This may not be Florida’s oldest attraction, but it certainly attracts its oldest people.

    The Shuffleboard courts here are so large in fact that your Aunt Bertha will have trouble making it to the other side without her angina acting up. Don’t let her leave home without her meds.

    Once your aching back has had enough, head inside to the World Shuffleboard Hall Of Fame and pay your respects to Shuffleboard Legends Mae Hall and Lucy Perkins. Cooperstown has nothing on these guys.

    2. Las Margaritas Grill: Homosassa Florida

    Not since the American Revolution has Patriotism bled as strong as it does inside the doors of Las Margaritas Grill. On Friday and Saturday nights, patrons are handed American flags, and asked to take part in the singing of God Bless America, I’m Proud To Be An American, God Bless USA and the National Anthem. Those refusing to stand and sing (not to mention those who partake in flag burning) are promptly asked to hit the road.

    Loyalists to the British crown, the French, Osama Bin Laden, we suggest you check yourselves at the door.

    Las Margaritas Hormossa Springs

    3. Mini Golf With Live Gators: Sarasota, Florida

    Windmills, castles and clown noses no longer doing it for you on the mini-golf course? Try throwing a few live gators to the mix. The threat of losing your ball (or your hand) to pack of deadly 10 foot gators will have you putting with laser like precision.

    After your round, you can even purchase a pile of raw meat to feed to the resident reptiles. Or alternatively, just jump in and feed them for no charge.

    4. French Café Themed McDonalds: Orlando, Florida

    Here a Big Mac becomes Le Big Mac, and mere French fries become Les French Fries. In fact, if not for the McDonald’s arch standing out front, you’d think you’d walked straight into a Parisian café.

    Along with Le Big Mac and other classic McDonald’s favorites, you’ll also find such upscale fare as, blackened grouper, Portobello eggplant, Italian amaretto spumoni and of course, wine. We recommend the 1997 Ronald McDonald Red; a fine, fine year.

    5. Boat n’ Trailer Racing: Bithlo. Florida

    For those who have yet to achieve their NASCAR Dream, Boat n’ Trailer racing is their chance to prove their worth. Brave men and women hitch a boat to their vehicle, put the pedal down, and unleash a pile of carnage in their wake.

    Should the above automotive violence still leave more to be desired, stick around for school bus racing, where you’ll see these massive yellow machines whisk around the track doing deft defying figure 8s. Hail to the bus driver indeed.

    Mine Haulage and the Transportation of Minerals

    Transportation has always been one of the main industries in Australia, playing a vital role in any operation, most companies nowadays requiring loads transported safely to their destination. One of the most challenging and also successful types of transportation is mineral transportation. In today’s growing society, more and more people nowadays need minerals transported safely, within the time-frame and without any incidents happening during the period of the transit.

    Minerals such as coal, ore, iron or even expensive minerals such as gold, silver, or even diamonds are often transported in Australia every single day, making mineral haulage one of the most successful and demanded types of transportation in today’s society. In this article we are going to feature mineral transportation and also the equipment used in the process of transporting minerals.

    Mining companies have always viewed the actual transportation of these minerals to their destination one of the most problematic steps of the whole mining operation, minerals being hard to deal with and requiring much precaution and safety measures. Choosing the best mining company is of vital importance if you need minerals transported safely to their destination.

    Coal is one of the most commonly transported mineral, requiring much attention and proper care from the transporting company. The whole transportation process is quite simple. Usually small cars or coal trucks load the coal in the mine and transport it outside the mine to the actual transportation area where the coal is loaded into heavy coal carrying trucks which are going to transport the load to its destination for example to a wash plant.

    The loading and unloading process of the minerals are also vital steps in the whole transportation system, many accidents occurring all of the time, requiring much experience from the transportation company. In order for the minerals to be properly loaded and unloaded from the carrying trucks, special equipment such as cranes or shoves is used. Bulldozers and excavators are also commonly used in the loading and unloading processes. Drag line buckets have also seen much popularity in the past few years, being a much more flexible system bringing the user with a safer and faster transportation process.

    Many minerals require transportation all around the world and only the best transportation companies, providing only the finest equipment and crew are needed for the entire operation to work flawlessly. Precious minerals such as gold, silver, or even diamonds are very often transported in Australia, requiring much more attention than the transportation of cheaper minerals. Titanium and nickel are also popular minerals around Australia, requiring transportation often from shipping companies.

    Cities like Perth and Queensland are very busy regarding mineral transportation, many companies working and transporting materials in those areas, making Australia one of the busiest centers for transportation of minerals.

    As a conclusion, mine haulage is of vital importance for the whole mining operation to work, requiring only the most experienced crew and the finest equipment in order to fully provide a safe transit and also transporting the minerals within the time-frame provided without any accidents occurring during the actual transportation of the minerals.

    The Many Benefits Of A Travel Club Membership

    There are many benefits to having a travel club membership, especially for those people who are keen travelers (or wish to be keen travelers). But up until recently, for most travelers, owning a travel club membership has not been an affordable option.

    In the past, getting your hands on a quality travel club membership would easily run you $3,000-$10,000…and although these travel memberships were well worth the price, the average family or traveler could never afford it.

    But now, with the internet causing raging competition within the travel industry and companies eager to get their hands on their share of the $7 Trillion travel industry pie, travel memberships have become much more affordable and readily accessible.

    There are several option to choose from when picking a travel club membership, but with this article I will only be focusing on the many benefits.

    (*Note* I am NOT an expert on ALL travel memberships…as all memberships are created differently. I will be generalizing from my own experience, but you will find that most of the benefits I present ring true across the board.)

    1. The first major benefit to having a travel club membership is obviously the discounts. Depending on the membership you get, you can expect to receive 50%, all the way up to 80% off of regular room prices.

    2. Second, is that you are never tied down or committed to just ONE property. Unlike owning a timeshare, where you pay BIG money to be permitted to stay at one location, a travel club membership allows you to stay at ANY of the properties that your travel membership company if affiliated with. Depending on the travel membership you choose this can be in the hundreds, to tens of thousands of properties from all around the world.

    3. Speaking of timeshare, the price for one of these properties can run anywhere from $10,000 all the way up to $90,000 or more. And that doesn’t even include ANNUAL maintenance fees. Travel memberships are often a fraction of the price of a timeshare property, with NO recurring fees.

    4. Unlike most timeshare properties where the ‘owner’ is only permitted to stay ONE week out of the year, travel club members are often allowed to vacation multiple weeks per year. Some companies even have a ‘NO Black Out Dates’ service, which means members can vacations 52 weeks out of the year if they so please. If you haven’t got a calendar handy, that is EVERY SINGLE WEEK of the year.

    5. Unlike the usual method for booking a hotel room where you pay per person, per night…with a travel club membership, you pay PER ROOM, PER WEEK. Obviously when you’re booking a vacation at 80% off for the room, with some rooms sleeping up to 4, 6 or even 8 people, there are HUGE savings to be had.

    6. Your travel club membership is not subject to just hotel rooms either. Many travel membership clubs have all sorts of different vacation packages ranging from luxury resorts, hotels, condos, cruises, and much, much more. Some companies even provide the option to book discounted airplane tickets, rental cars and family activities as well.

    7. Most travel club membership companies pre-book their rooms, so there is little-to-no chance that members will ever miss out on the vacations they desire.

    8. Members of a travel club can book their holidays at the drop of a hat, even during busy peak seasons like Christmas and New Years, all without having to pay ridiculous prices or worry that they won’t get a booking.

    9. Travel memberships allow you to show your family and friend the world, for pennies on the dollar.

    10. Having a travel club membership allows the average person or family to enjoy the lap of luxury and the kind of lifestyle that is usually only reserved for the rich and famous.

    Obviously, there are many benefits to having a travel club membership, but remember, not all travel memberships are created equal. While some are OVER PRICED for the service they provide, others are just not up to scratch at all…So make sure you do your homework before spending your money on a travel membership.

    Paid to Travel? Can You Really Get Paid to Travel (or for Free?)

    Traveling… ahh yes, doesn’t EVERYONE LOVE TO TRAVEL? Well, I know, I know… the pains of connecting flights, delays, cancellations, dragging luggage a mile across terminals… the hassle of renting cars, fighting traffic in a foreign country (and figuring out which side of the road to drive) and trying to figure out what the guy is telling you when all’s you asked was “where is the bathroom?”… Aside from all of that, is it not the greatest feeling when you can step away from the normal routine, take a few deep breaths and realize you have nothing to do but sit on the beach… your hardest decision is if you’re going to have steak or lobster that night… and your biggest worry is if you have enough sun screen? That’s what traveling is all about… when it transposes us from our everyday lives and places us in a completely new culture… seeing, breathing, eating and dancing to what people 10,000 miles away from you are doing and thinking to yourself “this is the kind of stuff you see on TV”. That’s when it’s all worth it… that’s why traveling is so amazing.

    But, one of – if not “THE” – biggest obstacles in traveling is that little green piece (or many pieces) of paper called MONEY. Whether you’re trying to visit a friend in Dallas or take your wife to Bora-Bora, it all costs Money-and a lot of it. The days of those Southwest “$49.00” fares are long gone and even the little weekend getaways whack a dent in your pocket book. There are definitely ways to shave off a few dollars here and there, but no matter how you slice it, traveling is expensive. Not everyone has a cush, 6 or 7 figure salary that allows them to take off 6 day weekends or weeks at a time to party in Ibiza. So, is there really a way to travel-and I mean really travel-and either get paid or travel for “free”??

    The travel industry is an $8 TRILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY. Yes, you read that right… that’s Trillion with a capital “T”. So, other than the hotels, airlines and luggage manufacturers, how can you get involved?

    Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can earn a living, traveling across the world:

    Flight Attendant: This is actually a great way to visit a LOT of places-FAST. The average flight attendant makes $37,000.00 a year, with the higher level salaries hovering in the $75,000.00-$90,000.00 range. It’s definitely an advantage if you know more than one (1) language. Flight attendants receive a daily per Diem for meals, along with flexible work schedules, discounts on flights, hotels and travel expenses for vacation. The downside is that when you are working, the flight schedule can be grueling-traveling to multiple cities in a 12, 18 or 24 hour time frame. When you finally stop to rest, the urge to go sight-seeing or check out the city, is traded out with the simple need to sleep in a bed. Oh yea, I forgot to mention… have you ever NOT seen a few angry, annoyed or upset people on your plane? Yep, be prepared to deal with those rude customers during your 12-24 hour shift!

    Commercial Airline Pilot: Same deal with flight attendants, in terms of work schedule, but the pay is much better-depending on the size of the jet and company, you can be making $121,000.00 a year. If you want to go to flight school, pass your minimum 250 hours of flight experience, go for it! Just make sure you have perfect vision and hearing. Again, if you want to make this a career, you will visit cities all over the country (and the world), but be prepared to deal with thousands of customers, weather and equipment problems, grueling schedules and the stress that comes along with the responsibility of flying so many people to different places.

    Travel Agent: As you may already know, travel agents know all about the best places to visit. They are the middle men between the hotels, airlines, tourism bureaus and the travelers. More than likely, they have an opportunity to visit some of these places so they can see everything for themselves-that’s a pretty sweet perk, eh? Typical salaries are anywhere from $25,000.00 to $35,000.00 and most likely be required to enroll in some sort of training, typically with the Travel Institute.

    Freelance Writer or Photographer: What a cool job this would be… traveling all over the world… spending your time with various cultures, observing how the people communicate, eat, sleep and worship. You truly are “free”, relaying what you see and experience to the people sitting on their couch, thousands of miles away. Only catch… well, it’s that one thing we talked about a little earlier: MONEY. Obviously, you are not going to get paid before you get to these places, so be sure to plan this out a little bit, stock up some green in your checking account and pick up some pointers on how to express yourself with the pen & paper or with the camera. Try to develop some sort of “following” so you have a good base of people reading and viewing your content. Do not try to fly to India with a thousand bucks and an iPad, expecting to start a travel blog that generates cash, allowing you to wander the world for the next few years. You might as well go to your nearest casino and play blackjack. If you can pull of this occupation (and to those that currently do this), I tip my hat to you-great work!

    Okay, now that we have gone over a few of the travel “jobs”, you may be saying, “well, I like my job right now and don’t really feel like dealing with all of those people and flying across the country 6 times, only to sleep in Des Moines for the night.” If you’re in between jobs, just out of school or simply want to take a “sabbatical”, why don’t you consider these routes in traveling the world:

    You Speak English?: Speaking English can provide access to countries in all places across the globe. Some companies offer free room & board in exchange for you to help their employees enhance their English speaking skills and knowledge. There are also programs you can find on the web that well set you up with a certain country and company in order to train their people English. Now that you have your room & board covered, now we just need to figure out how we can pay for food and drink…

    Start Giving Back: Feeling charitable or want to help others? Why not look to jump on a church mission trip, Habitat for Humanity-International, or if you can take off more time, join the Peace Corps? Obviously, this is not going to be as glamorous as sailing the Mediterranean, island hoping the Greek Isles, but if you want to feel good about helping out people less fortunate-and work hard-pack your bags and sign up for a volunteer opportunity. You will definitely see some places without paved roads, running water and people simply looking for a roof over their head. Giving the less fortunate the simple things we take for granted: food, clothing and shelter, will give you new sense of gratitude, after completing one of these tours.

    All of these ways to travel are great and all, but how many people have the opportunity to take off extended amounts of time or have the nerve to just walk away from their job and become a commercial pilot or join the Peace Corps? Everyone has a job because it pays the bills and gives us financial security. I don’t know about you, but I am responsible for my wife and three(3) children, thus taking the plunge on the “unknown” is absolutely NOT realistic.

    So, back to the original question above… How can you realistically travel for free? And when I say, “travel”, I mean, really travel… That means taking a care-free vacation… not having to worry about if you can afford to leave the resort for dinner that night, or buy those extra pair of sunglasses… Care-free travel means doing what you want, when you want and not worrying about the bill when you get back home. Let’s break down a few ways in which we really can travel for free (or as close to it as we can get)… or even better: GET PAID TO TRAVEL!

    Use Those Points!: You know, I always knew I was going to be thankful for all that money I spent on my credit card. Now that I racked up all that debt, I also racked up all those points! Points I can use towards booking a new flight or maybe pay for my stay at the Bellagio in Vegas… where I can blow even more money!… I’m kidding!… kind of. Whenever you are looking to obtain a new credit card, choose the card that offers the most, when used. Compare the interest rate for charges and cash advances, the annual fees and also the credit card that provides the best rewards. If you fly a certain airline, be sure to input your frequent flyer number to gather those miles. Use travel sites that allow you to accrue points when you purchase flights, hotels, cruises and rental cars. You’re paying for this stuff anyways, so why not try and earn a little more for the next time you want to take a trip?

    Vacation Packages through a Resort or Company: Very similar to a travel agent, only you are selling pre-packaged vacations at a discount to consumers. Instead of creating a customized travel package based on what and where the customer likes, you are selling a pre-packaged stay at a specific resort or hotel/resort/meal itinerary. They come in all shapes and sizes… and they can be dirt cheap (think: hotel next to Senor Frogs-Cancun during Spring Break), or the Rolls Royce type of trip. Depending on the type of company or resort, there are many perks with the access to all of their locations, with commission schedules pretty generous. There are limitations on the demographic of the clientele and if you are representative a company or resort with mediocre selections-and reviews-then it may put you in a rock in a hard place.

    Direct Selling with a Travel Company: With this, you really do have the opportunity for the best of both worlds-traveling the world on the cheap (or in some cases, for FREE!) and making money. Typically, people that get involved in this industry already have a full time job and are looking for a better, cheaper way to travel and an additional source of income. It can be extremely lucrative, in terms of creating wealth and a residual income, but a lot of the members simply take advantage of the fact they can generate a few extra dollars every month and access to the premium resorts at wholesale pricing. The direct-sell companies in the travel industry offer 5 star packaged vacations at 2 Star pricing, as well as access to their trip planning website that works like an Expedia or Travelocity. Also, confirm there are ways you can accrue points, when you buy flights, vacations, or even their travel mall, so you can use those points for a free trip. Bottom line: do your research… choose a company that has a great reputation and make sure you have a good support system… thousands of people are catching on to these companies and are really capitalizing on the residual income and extremely low cost of travel.

    As you can see, traveling for “free” is really only for professional poker players and the kids with enormous trust funds. You are going to have to work one way or another-whether it’s building up a stockpile of cash and funding an overseas trip or jumping into a new occupation on a plane or abroad. There are multiple ways you can get paid to travel, as well as minimizing your travel costs through various companies and resources… it’s all a matter of preference on what you want to do and how much time you have. Traveling can be a life changing experience or simply a much needed time-out from our crazy lives. Whatever you choose, just make sure to not take it too seriously and enjoy yourself!

    Prepare For Long Term Travel

    Preparing For Long Term Travel

    Traveling abroad is an art. It requires intellect to plan, courage to enact, and perseverance to endure. When planning your dream trip, you must walk a fine line between over- analysis and not-so-blissful ignorance (summer in Sudan, anyone?).

    There are several things you should consider before booking your travel, and the most important will be deciding where and when to go.

    Where to Go

    After working in a cubical and day dreaming about traveling around the world, most people already have a pretty good idea where they want to go. It’s a personal choice and there are amazing places to see and experience all over the globe. If you intend for your systems to pay for your travels, the main factor in deciding where to go is your budget.

    How Much the World Costs
    These numbers assume a few things. Firstly, you travel slowly (no more than one out of every four days). Second, you stay in clean, basic accommodations. While it’s certainly possible to rent a $3 room in Cambodia, most people mature enough to run a business want a little more comfort. We’re talking rooms with a bathroom, hot water, shower, towels, a bed, and a TV… but not much else.

    The prices below are for two people and include food, room, laundry, toiletries, visas and overland (usually local) travel:
    o Southeast Asia: $50
    o UK and Ireland: $100
    o Australia and New Zealand: $80
    o South America:$55
    o Africa: $60
    o Western Europe: $90
    o Eastern Europe:$65
    o Indian subcontinent:$40
    o Japan: $90
    As you can see, expenses can be very reasonable, far more reasonable than what you may be currently paying back home. However, you will want to travel somewhere that your systems can afford.

    You can escape home faster and live better if you visit third world areas such as Southeast Asia and India. Though we’ve visited the UK several times, my wife and I are still a long ways away from living it up in London! There’s another more powerful reason for going third world initially: a new perspective. Chances are, if you’re reading this you are probably raised in the Western world. When you board that plane, you will no doubt be ready for a change, and the transition from first to third world will be as eye opening as the transition from worker to entrepreneur.
    All in all, their calculations have been fairly close to my personal experiences.

    Money Saving Tips

    These are some tips I’ve learned from both working as a travel agent and personal experience. There are many, many ways to stretch your budget:

    o Purchase tickets ahead of time, or last minute. So many people lament over rising flight costs, when they should have bought the damn thing months ago and saved a bundle. Here is my rule of budget travel: purchase tickets ahead of time if you know where you want to go, purchase last minute if you don’t. For example, there is currently a special discount flight to Hungary from San Francisco for three hundred dollars, last minute. Did you plan on going to Hungary? No, but when the opportunity arises, you should take it.
    o Slum it, then go all out. My wife and I cycled across Ireland without breaking the bank, and yet we stayed in quality bed and breakfasts (including an old Irish castle). How did we do this? Simple: for every one night in a great location, we camped two nights. Once we arrived at our room for the night, we cleaned up and had a good time. The next morning we showered and hit the road. Following this approach you only miss a shower for one day at a time…
    o Change your drinking habits. One of my largest grievances with budget travel writers is their silly notion that you should sacrifice a cold beer in the name of saving money. There are far better ways to save a dollar while you’re traveling. What you should avoid are bars. You can drink cold beer or local spirits for cheap from bottle shops (or oddly enough, 7-11’s). I found myself contemplating buying a can of Guinness in Thailand for more than it cost back home! True, it was an Irish pub on St. Patrick’s Day, but come on…

    Health: Avoiding Problems

    Vaccinations

    You need to start getting some of your vaccinations at least two months before departing on a trip. Several inoculations require three or four visits, spaced two to three weeks apart. Here’s a short list of the most common vaccinations required (or highly recommended) for global travel:
    o Hepatitis A and B. (if possible, get the combined vaccine)
    o Japanese encephalitis
    o Polio, diphtheria and tuberculosis
    o Rabies
    o Tetanus
    o Typhoid
    o Yellow fever

    Malaria

    While there is no vaccination for malaria, there are a number of anti-malarial tablets you can take to help combat the disease (though none of them is 100% effective). Check with your doctor to see which prescription is right for you.

    To get these vaccinations, visit your local travel clinic or speak with your physician. If you’re currently employed, check if your benefits will cover vaccinations. I was able to save over $700 on vaccinations thanks to the health insurance provided by my previous employer. Talk about a severance package!

    Food
    When it comes to food, I follow a few simple rules:

    1. Eat at restaurants with a lot of people and high turn over. It probably means the food is fresher.
    2. Eat cooked food. Try to avoid any raw vegetables and raw fish. Fruits and vegetables that you can peel are a safer option. Consider bringing vitamin tablets if you’re not getting enough fruits and vegetables.
    3. Don’t over eat. If you stuff your face with contaminated food, you’ll feel a hell of a lot worse than if you ate a smaller portion. The only two times I’ve been sick abroad were shortly after a three or four course meal at a high end steakhouse.

    Water

    Depending on where you travel, you might need to bring a water purification system. I use The Steripen Adventurer UV purifier. The same size as a screwdriver, this wonder tool can purify one liter of water in one minute using an ultra violet light bulb and lithium batteries. Though it isn’t cheap- retail is about $130- the Steripen is both lightweight and effective. Keep in mind it doesn’t work with ice, a common cause for getting sick among travelers.

    If you’re planning on buying bottled water over seas, keep in mind that many merchants refill used water bottles with local water and resell them. If the plastic seal is broken- and it often is – you probably don’t want to drink it.

    Traveler’s Diarrhea

    Traveler’s diarrhea claims 30-50% of tourists abroad within the first two weeks, and is often accompanied by vomiting. In other words, don’t be surprised if you’re leaking out both ends… it’s natural. The best thing to do? Take over the counter anti-diarrheal medicine or antibiotics (rather than something that just plugs you up), drink lots of water, lay low and let the good- or bad- times flow. Symptoms should clear up within a few days. Any more than that, contact a doctor.

    Tying Up Loose Ends
    Before you hit the road you’ll need to close up shop. While most of these steps aren’t necessary for short term travel, they are imperative for long term wandering.

    o Three – Six Months Out:
    o Get a passport (if you don’t have one).
    o Book your airplane flights.
    o Visit your doctor or travel clinic to get vaccinations. Check if your employer’s health insurance covers them before you quit!
    o Determine how to handle your living situation. Consider renting out your residence furnished. This saves you the hassle of storing your belongings, and moves you one step closer to paying off your mortgage. Most people interested in furnished accommodations are working abroad for a year or more: perfect for your intentions.
    o Book a dentist, doctor, and optometry appointment for one month before you go to make sure you have a clean bill of health. This gives you time to handle any cavities before you leave.

    o One Month Out:
    o Set cancellation dates for all insurance policies, credit cards, and other miscellaneous items.
    o Close any unnecessary accounts (e.g. banking accounts and department store accounts).
    o Sign up for Online Banking (if you don’t already have it).
    o Set up a forwarding address with the post office to a friend or a P.O. Box in your name.
    o Find someone to rent your car while you’re gone. Make sure they get insurance and to draft an automobile leasing contract.
    o Go to your dentist, doctor, and optometry appointments.
    o Get travelers insurance.

    o Two weeks out:
    o Give your two weeks notice to your employer.
    o Email yourself copies of your passport, driver’s license, insurance policy, credit card, and any other important information you might need while you’re away.
    o Get travelers checks and email the security numbers from those to yourself.
    o Notify your bank that you’ll be making purchases in a foreign country with your credit card.
    o Have a garage sale. If you don’t manage to sell the majority of your belongings, have another garage sale following week. My wife and I made over $1,500 of two days work selling our stuff- worth over a month of travel in Southeast Asia. If you can’t sell your stuff, look into a storage unit.
    o Get a visa if applicable for your first country.

    Remember, you don’t need half of what you may think you do, a truism that applies to a crucial step in preparing: packing for long term travel.

    What (Not) To Pack
    Prior to departure: create a checklist of items you need to take. At a maximum you should include:
    Passport
    Drivers license (international if possible)
    Airline/train tickets
    Credit cards, travelers checks and US dollars
    Photocopies of important documents
    Youth hostel card
    Scuba diving certification (if applicable)
    Passport photos (1 or 2 per country)
    Money Belt
    One small day pack
    Sunglasses
    A good book
    Pen and notepad
    Laptop and headset for Skype
    Two pairs of light weight pants
    One pair of shorts
    Three shirts (one for going out)
    1 Pair Sandals
    1 Pair Shoes or Boots
    Underwear
    Swim suit (if applicable)
    Toiletries
    Silk sleep sack (not a sleeping bag)
    Sewing kit
    Nail clippers
    Ear plugs
    First aid kit
    Swiss army knife

    Possessions will only tie you down. For example, let’s say you purchase a brand new digital camera before your trip (chances are you will). Sure, it’s a great way to document your experiences, but it weighs you down a lot more than you think.

    You have to think twice about swimming in the ocean for fear someone will steal it. Crossing a river could potentially destroy it. Strangers become potential threats.

    And these are just the tangibles. The worst, and most common, is that it prevents you from truly experiencing a place before reaching for your camera. This effectively removes you from your surroundings, preventing you from ever really gaining anything at all.

    Why Einstein Was Wrong – How to Travel
    The theory of relativity states that time slows down when as speed increases. For example, imagine a friend whizzing across or solar system in a spacecraft while you remain here on the Earth. Einstein proved that your friend’s clock would seem to tick more slowly than your own.

    Sadly, the opposite is true when traveling. People who travel near the speed of light- or at least sound- arrive home seemingly unaware of where they had just visited. Locations become nothing more than a check box on their itinerary, an experience not to be savored, but shown off to others. They develop the classic “If it’s Tuesday, this must be Rome” syndrome. Speed is not better, which is why you shouldn’t try to travel at the speed of light.
    My advice is to travel at the speed of smell.

    As I write this, there is a large Vietnamese market going on less than five meters away. The smell of pho boiling over and the sounds of locals conversing is something I wouldn’t have noticed on a five day whirlwind tour of Vietnam.
    In order to really experience your surroundings, you must slow down. While guidebooks may offer walking tours that allow you to “do” a city in a day, it takes much longer to “feel” it out.

    Somewhere along the line, we lost the point of travel. People visit pagodas, temples, churches, museums, and art galleries not out of personal interest, but out of some misplaced obligation. If you aren’t interested in art, skip the Museum of Modern Art. If you don’t like sports, forget the Superdome. Can’t stand witnessing first hand poverty? Don’t go to India.

    It’s not about seeing the most acclaimed sights. It’s about experiencing those that affect you the most.

    Your First Night Abroad: Make It a Soft Landing

    Your first two days in any new region should be seen as a transition period. Don’t throw yourself into the mix right away; book your hotel prior to departure and stay there for at least two nights. This will help you acclimate to your new surroundings, and sleep comfortably for the first few days. Your first few nights shouldn’t be concerned with travel plans, budget, or any other logistics… just unplug and rest while your body adapts to the new sights, smells and time zone.

    Lunch at 4AM? How to Deal With Jet Lag
    There are several ways to combat jet lag, a common problem among travelers. It certainly hits some people harder than others; it takes me over a week to adjust, while my wife takes it in stride. Here are some ways to battle jet lag:
    o Don’t eat. Studies have shown that your liver takes longer to adapt to a new time zone than any other part of your body. By not eating for 12 hours or more, your body will adjust much more quickly. If this seems like too much, try eating on your intended destination’s clock a few days before departure (dinner at 10 AM, anyone?).
    o Sunshine. The sun helps you set your circadian clock, so the more the better. Exercise also helps.
    o Pop some pills. There are additional over-the-counter pills that claim to help with jet lag. Though I have no personal experience with them, several people I’ve spoken to swear by No Jet Lag.

    Staying Connected
    Now that you’ve freed up your time and location, you’ll need to monitor your systems and stay in touch with loved ones. Here are several crucial tools to maintain your systems abroad.

    Poste Restante
    A great way to pick up care packages from home. Get the address of the main post office in whatever town you’re in (or will be shortly) and have people address your mail to the following:

    LAST NAME, First Name
    Poste Restante, General Post Office
    Town, Country

    When you arrive at the post office, simply present your passport as identification and you’ll be able to claim your mail. Generally post offices around the world will hold mail up to two years.

    Blog
    A great way to keep in touch is to start a travel blog. You can do so with free services such as Blogger.com or WordPress.com; both are free and can be set up in a matter of minutes. By creating a travel blog, you are able to avoid sending out group e-mails, which always come across as forced and rather generic. This way, people who were really interested in your trip can check up on you whenever they like, leave comments, and engage other people visiting your blog.

    Also, blogs allow you much more creative freedom than sending emails. You can include pictures, video, polls, international clocks, maps and a whole host of other customization, all of which provide a great scrapbook after your travels.

    Word of the Year: Wifi
    Wireless is the name of the game. As time progresses, connecting to the Internet will only become increasingly important, so you might as well get used to ranking “free internet” higher than amenities such as free breakfast, swimming pool, and massages. Let’s face it: you’re now able to create systems that pay for your lifestyle, completely free of employees. Free of fax machines, cubicles, commutes, and water coolers… so logging into your accounts to make sure the money’s coming in doesn’t seem like too much of a hindrance, does it?

    Expect internet cafes to run around $1-2 USD an hour. Seeing that your business is Internet based, you may want to consider traveling with a laptop depending upon your goals.

    Laptop: Luxury or Necessity?
    If you intend to develop more systems while traveling, a laptop is necessary. You will need to upload web-pages to your sites, conduct phone interviews with prospective freelancers, and keep tabs on your expenses and revenue streams. If you intend to just monitor or expand your existing systems, you can use internet cafes, though working amidst Chinese computer gamer ain’t what it’s cracked up to be.

    Laptops also provide more security. You don’t know what kind of spyware (programs that remember your keystrokes for future use) might be on some random computer. To paraphrase sex ed teachers, a trusting, monogamous relationship is one of the best ways to avoid viruses.

    Cell Phone
    Though I personally don’t use one, cell service is getting better all the time, and can save you a lot of time if you need to call people who don’t use Skype. For example, I spent thirty minutes in search of an international phone to call my bank for a phone call that lasted two minutes.

    Skype
    You can’t go wrong with free international phone calls, and Skype provides just that. Get your friends and family back home to sign up and you can chat through your laptop for free. More and more businesses are jumping on the bandwagon, though banks and credit card companies are still behind the curve.

    An additional feature that may be of some use is the ability to forward calls from a US based phone number to your cell phone abroad. If you handle customer service questions, it pays to list a domestic number. After all, would you buy a product from a company that requires you to call East Timor with questions?

    Dragon Naturally Speaking
    If it wasn’t for this software, this book would never have been written. For less than thirty bucks you get a microphone, headset, and the ability to dictate to your laptop. I’m able to “write” at about 120 words per minute. An added bonus is that you can use the microphone and headset with Skype.

    USB Card
    An absolutely essential tool. There will be times when you won’t be able to access the Internet with your laptop, and a handy USB allows you to backup your work.

    Other Technological Marvels for Working Abroad
    o GoToMyPC : This software allows you to access your home computer from any other computer in the world. If you are abject to traveling with a laptop, this is the way to go. Just remember, you’ll have to pay for internet connection along the way, making this a better solution for short term travel.
    o World Electronics USA: Get information on global phones. Good explanation of which GSM frequencies and “bands” function in which countries, which will determine the phone you purchase for travel (and perhaps home).
    o Universal Plug Adapter: I’ve purchased adapters in several countries in order to power our digital camera and laptop, though it can be a hassle if you’re exploring several different regions. This universal adapter works wonders around the world.
    o World Electric Guide: This site is a life-saver when it comes to handling electronics abroad. It breaks down voltage, wattage and a slew of other technical requirements by country.
    Use what you’ve learned and hit the road!

    Overseas Travel Insurance Plans – Costs Less and Offers More

    Everyone craves for vacations to enjoy some quality time with their loved ones and Indians are no exception. The outbound travel sector of India saw a robust growth this year because international travel destinations are highly sought-after among Indians in 2015. Obstacles like inflation, skyrocketing ticket price and depreciation of rupee couldn’t deter the wandering spirit of Indian travelers to travel around the world. Over 60% of Indians remain unmoved by the depreciating rupee and are raring to go to travel. However, the rate of availing travel insurance to safeguard the trip is still dismal among Indian travelers.

    Young generations prefer to travel to international destinations once a year at least. According to a survey, 90% of these travelers make use of their own savings for overseas trips and don’t consider travel cover. Quite surprisingly, this is the mindset of young internet savvy generation as ICICI Lombard conducted the survey in the age group of 25-35 among 1049 people across six metro cities in India who had international trips in the previous year.

    The survey further reveals that Singapore is the most preferred travel destination among young Indian travelers; the second and third places are held by US and UK.

    Let’s take a look at the travel plans available and their prices for those who favor these destinations. Let’s start with Singapore.

    Travel insurance plans available for Singapore trips

    The following list of top 5 policy quotes in terms of lowest premium are for one 30 years old person looking for a single trip to Singapore. The trip duration is 10 days and the chosen sum insured is US$ 500000.

    1. Universal Sompo – Premium of Rs. 942
    2. HDFC Ergo – Premium of Rs. 1015
    3. Reliance – Premium of Rs. 1129
    4. TATA AIG – Premium of Rs. 1234
    5. Religare – Premium of Rs.1666

    The lowest premium is Rs. 942 for a travel insurance plan for a 10 days trip to any Asian country such as Singapore, Thailand. This means one has to pay less than Rs. 100 per day to make his trip safe and secured. Indian travelers must know that travel plans are not only inexpensive but they also provide coverage for loss of baggage, passport, hijack and even emergency treatment.

    Travel Insurance plans available for UK trips

    The following list of top 5 policy quotes in terms of lowest premium are for 1 person looking for a single trip to UK. The trip duration is 10 days and the chosen sum insured is US$ 500000.

    1. Universal Sompo – Premium of Rs. 942
    2. Bajaj Allianz – Premium of Rs.991
    3. HDFC Ergo – Premium of Rs. 1015
    4. Reliance – Premium of Rs. 1129
    5. Bajaj Allianz ( Travel Elite Platinum) – Premium of Rs. 1139

    Universal Sompo provides the lowest premium. The premium of travel insurance plan is also Rs. 942 for a 10 days trip To UK.

    Travel insurance policies for US trips

    The following list of top 7 policy quotes in terms of lowest premium are for 1 person looking for a single trip to US. The trip duration is 10 days and the chosen sum insured is US$ 500000.

    1. Universal Sompo – Premium of Rs. 1344
    2. HDFC Ergo – Premium of Rs. 1438
    3. Bajaj Allianz – Premium of Rs.1441
    4. IFFCO-TOKIO – Premium of Rs.1456
    5. Bajaj Allianz ( Travel Elite Platinum) – Premium of Rs. 1658
    6. TATA AIG – Premium of Rs. 1694
    7. Reliance – Premium of Rs. 1783

    The lowest premium is Rs. 1344 for a travel insurance plan for a 10 days trip to US. Just imagine, you are getting all types of risks covered just by paying less than Rs. 140 for each day of your trip.

    Best travel insurance plans in India in terms of baggage and medical coverage

    The survey also made clear that 79% people buy travel plan to cover medical emergencies. Safety of baggage is the second most vital reason as 60% people behind purchasing travel insurance policy. So let’s find out best travel insurance plans in terms of medical emergency and luggage safety.

    From the above list of travel policies for US, two plans by Reliance and Bajaj Allianz look best in terms of baggage cover.

    Reliance Travel care platinum provides US$1500 for the loss of checked baggage for a premium of Rs.1783.

    The Travel Elite Premium plan by Bajaj Allianz provides US$ 1000 for a premium of Rs. 1658 for the loss of checked baggage.

    To get the best coverage for medical emergencies, the Titanium plan by HDFC ERGO is the best. It primarily covers:

    1. Emergency Medical Expenses
    2. Permanent Disablement/accidental death
    3. Hospital Cash
    4. Loss of Personal Documents
    5. Accidental Death
    6. Loss of Baggage
    7. Financial Emergency Assistance
    8. Personal Liability

    What is the cost of international travel policy for a couple?

    According to the survey, 52% of travelers prefer to have trips with spouses. So, if these people can avail a travel plan for visiting US or UK or Singapore, how much do they have to pay?

    Let’s start with US trip for 10 days for a sum insured of US$ 100000 covering 2 people who are 30 and 28 years old.

    Religare offers the best plan which comes at a premium of Rs. 2407.

    If you compare travel plans available for couples who wish to visit UK, keeping the same criteria for trip duration, sum insured and age of the traveler, Religare provides the best plan. The premium of the plan is Rs. 1537.

    For a trip in countries like Singapore, Thailand within Asia which has been the top travel destination of 2015, a couple has to spend even less for a travel insurance policy. If you compare travel insurance plans that cover Asia, you will get the lowest premium of Rs. 1218 from Explore Asia plan provided by Religare.

    The positive part of the survey is the increased awareness among Indian travelers. More than 90% of young generation is aware of the travel insurance which is a significant rise from last year’s 80%. One of the major provider of travel insurance plans in India; ICICI Lombard underwritten a total travel insurance premium of Rs 100 previous year, one can expect the premium to increase by 5-10% in this year. The problem is not with the awareness; it is the lack of understanding about the benefits associated with these travel covers.

    27% of the total respondents in the survey choose not to avail a travel insurance plan simply because they were under the wrong conception that such plans cover only accidents, loss of baggage and theft but don’t provide medical coverage. This is far from being the truth as the complete break-up of Titanium plan by HDFC ERGO shows extensive coverage for medical emergencies.

    25% surveyed people didn’t buy any travel plan because they thought such plans are costly but it is not so. The price of all plans for person mentioned here are about less than Rs. 100 to less than Rs. 140 for each day of a 10 days trip. Travel insurance policies for couples are even cheaper as they cost in the range of less than Rs. 65 per day per person to less than Rs. 125 per day per person for destinations like US, UK and all countries in Asia including popular destinations like Singapore, Thailand.

    Indians love to spend their holidays in international destinations. An international travel insurance plan doesn’t cost much and offers a lot in return. If you are also a travel freak, you should insure the total duration of the trip so that you can enjoy your holiday with complete peace of mind.

    The Main Reasons Why People Travel

    There are two levels of answers to the question of why people travel. The first is the obvious one, and probably the reason we give ourselves and quote to others. We travel so that we can see sights, experience other cultures, attend events and learn more about the world.

    These are exciting reasons. But there are deeper reasons for traveling that have less to do with what we do when we travel, and more to do with what traveling does to us. These five sets of changes to ourselves are at the heart of what makes travel so compelling.

    Travel Enriches You, Before, During & After

    The anticipation of a trip is almost as stimulating as the trip itself and the memories afterwards. Knowing what you have ahead, and imagining it in detail, lends excitement to life, and relieves the tendency to fall into a workaday rut. The more detailed the image of the trip, the more a future trip will excite you in advance.

    During the trip itself, daily life can be intense. Living in these moments fully, and noting everything around you, makes for heightened living. Clearly, this kind of intensified experience is a quality of a style of travel that takes you beyond the bus and out into the streets and squares, landscapes and waterways, of the places you are visiting. Independent travel is a world apart from “contained” travel.

    Travel Broadens Your View of the World

    Through travel you gain a framework for the history and significant touchstones that brought you to your current life and point in time. Now you are standing in the evil Borgia pope’s office, surrounded by the very walls that contained the man with sufficient power to write a Papal Bull-a mandate-that claimed all the wealth of the Western Hemisphere for Spain and Portugal, and secured it for the next 200 years. As you pause in the spot where that happened, the events and significance come alive with new meaning.

    Now you are looking down at the stairs that lead to a tunnel connecting the home of Leonardo da Vinci with the royal palace across street. It was through this tunnel that King Françoise traveled to sit and talk with his genius friend. And now you are in Bayeux, where the French William the Conqueror built his naval vessels to cross the English Channel and claim the throne of England.

    Each of these experiences broadens your view of the world and your firsthand sense of time and place.

    Travel Makes You More Vibrant and Interesting

    Travel gives you something to look forward to… to prepare for… to study for… and later to share. You will bring home stories. Life can get somewhat monotonous if you let it, particularly after you retire and your work life ends. Anticipation is worth at least as much as the trip itself and the memories that follow the trip.

    How much better to have travel stories and observations to share then to have your conversation limited to your latest doctor visits and your frustrations with the weeds in your lawn.

    Travel Re-Energizes You

    Travel, and the anticipation of travel, recaptures your enthusiasm. You look ahead with excitement instead of experiencing the dulled-over feeling that comes from repetition and routine.

    Travel challenges you to be at your most effective and focused level. Comfort zones may be comfortable. But it is good for you to be taken out of your comfort zones regularly. Otherwise, your social skills can begin to atrophy, and your ability to think on your feet and solve problems may decrease due to disuse.

    Travel Improves Your Health and Well-Being

    Travel gives you a reason to stay healthy. And it keeps you sharp longer! The challenges of travel test your acuity on a daily basis. Travel can be demanding, especially if you are not being “led around by the nose” on a group trip. You know you will need to be on your toes – to be situational aware – to pay close attention. You will need to walk extensively, including up and down hills and stairs.

    Generally by the time you return home from a trip, you will be in better shape than you have been for months, or even years. And if you begin immediately to anticipate another trip ahead, you will have a genuine incentive to keep up these improvements and be ready for the next time.

    Changes and Benefits

    These changes and benefits to you from travel can become permanent ones. Your life will become punctuated with enrichment, you will think more broadly. You will find yourself incorporating deliberate lifestyle changes learned during travel. You will be more vibrant and interesting as you are periodically re-energized. And you will experience enhanced health and well-being.

    Ask Your Local Travel Guru: What's New on the Travel Industry Wire?

    As a travel guru for many years now, I have seen the travel industry wire adapt in so many ways. As you already know, we now live in a world with instant and infinite amounts of information, right at our fingertips. Like everything else, the travel industry has adapted, grown and cultivated a new identity with our present day world of information. Until beaches start disappearing and people can be teleported across continents, there will ALWAYS be the want and need to visit our regular and new destinations.

    The travel industry plays a substantial role in the global economy. During 2015, the travel industry wire forecasts global GDP to grow by 3.7% and employment by 2.6%. This demonstrates the sector’s enduring ability to generate economic growth and create jobs at a faster rate than the global economy, which is due to grow by 2.9% in 2015. By the end of 2015, the Travel & Tourism sector will contribute US$7,860 billion, 10% of global GDP, once all direct, indirect and induced impacts are taken into account. The sector will account for 284 million jobs, 9.5% of total employment, or one in eleven of all jobs on the planet. By 2025, the global travel & tourism sector is projected to contribute 357 million jobs and generate $11.4 Trillion dollars. Ask your favorite travel guru and he will show you the various components all contributing to these massive amounts. Let’s check out what the travel industry wire says:

    Hotel Industry

    Among all the sub sectors of the travel & tourism industry, Hotels is one of the biggest fragments. The travel industry wire explains that hotels generated a global of $457 billion dollars in 2014. Your travel guru has most likely coordinated a recent trip within the Intercontinental Hotels Group. The company contributed the highest revenues, earning $22.8 billion dollars. In the United States alone, the total revenue within the hotel industry climbed to $163 billion dollars. The majority of tourists visiting the United States of America (65.1%) choose to stay in a hotel, where the average daily is a healthy $121.30.

    Aviation industry

    Although the major corporations, leading sector, seem to always changing names and planes, the industry cultivated a whopping $783 billion US dollars in 2014. Your travel guru may have whispered about some of the airlines not performing, but the industry continues to grow at rate of 7.4% every year. The travel industry wire indicates that Europeans, Americans, Chinese & Brazilians combine for the highest market contributors.

    Cruise Industry

    Cruises have steadily become a popular choice of travel the past few years. These are an easy sell for your local travel guru… The luxurious ocean liners, offering food, fun & music for the entire family have created a loyal gathering that continues to grow. Due to the growth rate of 6.55% every year, Cruise lines have postured their company growth strategies, by building larger capacity ships, ship diversification, more local ports and more destinations. The travel industry wire indicates that the average cruise traveler spends approximately $1728.00 every year, with over 22 million people jumping on the floating palace. The cruise industry contributes about $39.6 billion dollars in 2014, and is poised for a solid 6-7% increase.

    Online Travel Market

    Any travel guru, coupled with the travel industry wire statistics, will tell you that the online travel industry has EXPLODED over the past 5 years and will only continue to skyrocket. As more and more people use smartphones and as these smartphones continue to develop into personal super computers, the more information we have, the more we want. Online travel revenue reached $340 billion dollars back in 2011, worldwide and 39% consisted of American bookings. Obviously, the deluge of data & information has contributed to the online travel industry, but hotels and hotel broker websites have been the main proponents to this boom. As everything turns to online information, bookings, etc… the travel agencies, travel gurus and everyone associated with the industry has jumped in. Rarely do you see a corporation dependent on the travel & tourism industry, that hasn’t adapted to the online market.

    The Future of the Travel Industry

    The travel & tourism industry is an enormous portion of the global economy and will only continue absorb market share. The travel industry wire explains that the sectors and their respective technologies are developing at a rapid rate, procuring the consumer process into a much easier-and faster encounter. Just ask your favorite travel guru.

    Are Travel Agencies Outmoded?

    It seems like you cannot enjoy television for more than one hour without seeing a commercial with William Shatner referring to Travelocity or perhaps that silly gnome discussing Orbitz. When you have browsed a few of these travel sites, you might have noticed that they’re amazing in the diversity of travel choices that they make accessible. And it is difficult to deny that lots of thousands of individuals have taken advantage of these services. As a business traveler, however, your requirements are usually relatively distinct from the typical airline traveler.

    There are several very specific services a living and breathing local travel agent can only provide, that just cannot be replicated by an automatic site such as Travelocity or Orbitz. Some of those services that the seasoned business traveler could be hard pressed to live without contain…

    1. Focus. You being a business traveler are not arranging this journey for enjoyment. An individual possess specific business objectives as the primary goal. So should you need to take time from preparing for your business task to bother with travel itineraries, hotel and rental car bookings and the like, that’s time that you are not being productive for the business. In the event that it is possible to contact a gifted local travel agent who knows the travel profile effectively and delegate those arrangements to that particular representative, they do their work to locate the ideal accommodations to suit your needs and you are liberated to complete what you do best, focus on your company and the upcoming business travel.

    2. Economy. It is hard to find which balance between finding the lodging that match the demanding schedule of a business person on the road which is well-intention of the companies travel budget too. If you use an automatic online travel support, you might have to compromise convenience, schedule or place for economy. A great local travel agent will continue to work hard to get the correct schedule while getting as near the organization travel cost restrictions as it can be. And they are going to do it without taking up plenty of your time.

    3. Back up. You don’t need help if the trip goes flawlessly as designed. But if you experience issues traveling, you can find yourself in need of assistance or rescheduling flights and finding new hotels to work around terminated flights, weather issues or some other unforeseen disruptions to your plans. These traveling unfortunate occurrences are not aware of your tight deadlines to satisfy your company objectives. But if you have a travel agent who is focused on offering you support, they can see those other ways and resources to accomplish all they can to get you to your desired destination to help you conduct your business promptly.

    4. That personal touch. A person might have travel preferences that you want to accomplish with every trip you take. A travel agent has your profile as well as your travel history so they can do the things they can to accommodate your preferences. But moreover, if you have certain special requirements like a diet plan limitation or perhaps a need for accommodation as a result of disability, it will likely be the travel agent which sees to it that your needs are given for and you’re simply properly cared for on the road.

    5. Issues. When your travel itinerary requires making connections with business partners who’re journeying through varied workplaces, intricate travel agendas and itinerary challenges that simply cannot be described to the generic monitors of an online travel service, you can explain these types of complications to your travel agent and they can work along with other travel agents working to organize the meeting to see to it that the schedule fulfills the needs you have.

    As the online travel services do give a valuable and inexpensive substitute for the overall traveling public, it is easy to notice their limitations if you’re attempting to arrange an outing that’s tricky or if you have specific needs that the monitors don’t anticipate. Which is why dealing with a human travel agent guarantees this travel professional will devote on their own to the task of making certain your journey works to your own specifications and you get to your destination prepared to conduct business and be successful in your reaching ones ambitions.

    Impress Your Clients With Corporate Limousine Service

    Whether you’re making a first impression on a prospective client or entertaining a client you’ve had for years, your business will benefit with the corporate limousine service of Platinum Ride Limo. Their luxury vehicles and private chauffeurs will help you close deals and strengthen partnerships in comfort, class and style. From Phoenix airport transfer for clients visiting from out of town, to Scottsdale hummer limousine service for hosting a corporate party, this Phoenix-based limo service is available all over the Valley.

    For a client flying in from out of town, you want his travel plans to be as easy as possible. The last thing you want is him waiting around at the airport for a ride, or him renting a car himself and trying to navigate the roads in a foreign town. His head needs to be in the same place yours does – on the purpose of your meeting, not the logistics of getting there. That’s something you can arrange for him beforehand with reliable, on-time Phoenix airport transportation that’s like your client’s own personal taxi limousine shuttle. The chauffeur will bring the client to you or pick you up first so you can greet your client at the airport for an extra touch that’s both personal and professional.

    Of course, corporate limo service for visiting clients need not be limited to Phoenix airport transfer. Pamper your client throughout his visit for ultimate impact. That means scheduling your client’s taxi limo shuttle for trips to and from his hotel, your office, restaurants and anywhere else your client might need to go. You can join him as often as you like, ideally taking the time to entertain your client with all the must-see sights in the Valley, from the Superstition Mountains to historic Heritage Square downtown. Just think of all the progress you can make with your client – personally and professionally -tooling around town with ease while having fun.

    And it’s not just out-of-town clients you can impress with Platinum Ride Limo. Host a party for your local clients with corporate limo service. Your clients are free to relax and have fun knowing their own private chauffeur is designated to drive. Whether you host the event in one venue, or it’s scattered across the Valley’s hottest night spots, there’s a stretch limo for you – from the Limobus, to the Scottsdale Hummer Limo, to the Chrysler 300M with Lamborghini angel-wing doors.

    Time and Money – The Two Things You Must Have to Travel

    “He who does not travel does not know the value of men.” – Moorish proverb

    If you had more time and more money, what would you do more of?

    The overwhelming response is:

    “Travel!”

    Almost everyone wants to travel more. But there are two things most people need more of that are essential to travel:

    1) Money
    2) Time

    Let me explain that money really is not the issue for many people, although most tend to think that it is the #1 thing they need more of to travel.

    This simply is not true. Travel agencies have programed us into thinking that travel is expensive. They try to make us think that it costs $4,000 plus round-trip airfare for a short 10 to 14 day vacation.

    Travel agencies try to sell us travel. The fact of the matter is – trying to sell travel is like trying to sell air – it’s completely unnecessary.

    But they certainly try to charge you for it.

    World travel can be done for only $1,000 a month – or less. No, this does not mean that you’ll be sleeping on the streets and eating out of dumpsters.

    Instead, you’ll be doing everything you want to do, and travel very comfortably as well.

    When you cut-out those ridiculously over-priced packaged tours, you pay what the locals pay. In some countries you can have a full-blown buffet at a nice restaurant for a measly $0.50, or book a 3-star hotel for $10.

    When you know how to do it, the cost of world travel averages to only $1,000 a month (there are others who travel without spending anything – do a Google search on Peter Jenkins for an example).

    As you can see, when you know how to travel independently, money isn’t the problem.

    The #1 thing people need to travel is – TIME.

    Earning $1,000 a month is easy. What you need is the time to travel. We’re not talking about a once a year two-week vacation. I’m talking about traveling as much as you like, when you like.

    The biggest problem most people have with getting the time to travel is their job.

    You could earn more than enough money to travel the world at your job, but you don’t have the time. If you quit your job to have the time to travel, you don’t have the money.

    If I was making $10,000 a month at a job I hated that wouldn’t let me travel, or if I could make just $2,000 a month and have the time to do anything I please, I’d choose the latter.

    What you need is a way to make money while traveling. Let’s say you earn only $2,000 a month – but you do so from anywhere on the planet. It only costs about $1,000 a month to travel the world. So this way you’ll have the time and the money (with $1,000 left over each month) to travel anywhere you want to, at any time, for as long as you desire.

    Most of us are simply clueless when it comes to making money while traveling. However, there are scores of ways to do. Do a Google search for “travel jobs” and “adventure jobs” to find several opportunities that allow you to travel while earning money. Pick one or two potential jobs and study them.

    Some jobs that earn you money while you travel are: internet marketing, travel writing, internet stock photography, online auctions and work as a group travel organizer.

    When you make money while traveling you will have an abundance of the two essentials to travel – time and money, and you’ll be able to travel where you want, when you want.

    5 Things You Must Know About Medical Travel

    There are FIVE very important things you need to know before taking your next travel assignment:

    1. SALARY, SALARY, SALARY.

    Chances are INCREDIBLY HIGH you are NOT getting paid top dollar for your assignment if you accept the Standard Benefit Package travel companies offer.

    Most travelers (both new and seasoned) do not realize that the Standard Benefit Package offered by a travel company is only a STARTING place for negotiation. Because the initial salary offered is higher than what they receive for a stationary job position, often travelers quickly take the standard salary, not realizing that negotiating for MORE is relatively easy.

    I know for a fact that I have worked along side other medical travelers doing the same job I was hired to do at the same time in the same hospital and they were making less per hour than me…And some of these people were not new to the travel game! Why? They might either be unaware of the pay range for their job title and competency and/or they simply thought that their current assignment “just paid that particular amount.”

    But the real NUMBER ONE reason they aren’t getting top dollar is they don’t know what to ask and how to ask for it!

    Just knowing what to ask can signal to a recruiter that you are a savvy business person and immediately increase your changes of getting the best deal.

    Don’t take years to “catch on”, losing money all the while, when you can start smart right out of the gate. And if you’ve already hit the road and are suspecting you’re not getting the best deals, you can change that today!

    2. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!!

    You can end up in some very undesirable locations if you don’t know how to access the best travel assignments.

    When I first began medical travel I had no idea of the broad scope of places I could visit. I merely took the only job I was offered and set out to drive across the country in my own car. I arrived to spend a very desolate 13 weeks in a little out of the way town that offered nothing of interest. In addition it was a very dull working environment. So much for the glamour of travel!!

    The type of job I just described is obviously harder to fill with a more knowledgeable traveler and therefore many companies merely take advantage of the traveling novice and send them packing to the outer parts of nowhere. After all, the travel company gets paid for you to work…where you work is your problem!

    However, even those who have been traveling for awhile often do not know how to land the most desirable job locations. It took me several years to figure out the “nuts and bolts” of ending up where I really wanted to work and visit. (After all, one of the main reasons besides salary to hit the road is to enjoy the view!!) Looking back, accessing the BEST job locations was really just a matter of know-how and not complicated at all.

    3. TRAVEL NIGHTMARES!

    You can get booked on some flights from “you know where” if you are unaware of the options the travel company can provide.

    Some years ago I took a job in Oregon that necessitated me flying across the country from my Florida address. I was still in my medical travel learning curve and thus ended up changing flights three different times complete with hideous layovers plus I arrived at 1 am in the morning at an airport that was two hours away from the town where I would be working! I took the rental car awaiting me and drove to the hotel where I was to spend my first night (if crawling into bed at around 4 am could be called going to bed for the night!) On top of that the motel ended up being a colossal dump with a stuck heater system that turned my room into a steam bath, finally driving me out into the early morning air exhausted and angry.

    Since travel companies normally cover your travel expenses, they can save money by re-routing you all over the place and by having you arrive at weird hours and in towns or cities within “driving distance” of your destination. Trust me, it happens often! If you don’t know your “rights” you’ll have the experience fairly quickly once you begin to travel.

    So just know that because you’re told your “travel plans are all taken care of” it doesn’t mean you’re going to like the arrangements one bit!!

    4. HOUSING…LOUSY, JUST AVERAGE, OR GRAND!

    There are many ways to either enjoy or rue the day you took an assignment and one of those factors is the type of housing accommodations the travel company provides for you.

    Most assignment last 13 weeks and 13 weeks is a long time to live somewhere you don’t like and enjoy. I’ve had just about every experience possible since I began traveling, from fairly lousy, to just average, to absolutely grand. And as any traveler will tell you, GRAND is always better!

    To tell you the truth I could just kick myself when I think back to some of the housing conditions I accepted. It wasn’t that they were terrible (well, one was pretty bad!), many were just “ho-hum.” (Certainly not directly overlooking the ocean, which I have now experienced on two assignments…all due to the negotiating techniques I’ve learned along the way.)

    But now I go first class on each of my assignments and I do that on a regular basis. And believe it or not, it’s very easy to get those upscale housing considerations. Very easy! Among the many considerations I ask for and receive besides an upscale apartment complex or condo community ( a good start in and of itself!), are a BIG television (I like sports and I don’t want to squint to see the action!), a washer and dryer inside my personal apartment or condo (no trips to the local wash-dry-and-fold for me!), availability of a pool and work out room, a really well stocked kitchen (not just a few barely adequate necessities) and even a hide-a-bed sofa at my current assignment just in case I want to have guests. These are just a few examples of the things I ask for and receive…My list goes on and on!

    5. THE RIGHT JOB!

    There are some very simple but critical things you need to ask to determine if you’re walking into a job straight from the pit or into smooth sailing complete with a great environment and friendly co-workers and physicians.

    You will be interviewed by a recruiter from the travel company to see where you are best suited to work and you will also be interviewed by a representative of the hospital where you are being considered for a travel position. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll be able to interview them too.

    I am still appalled when I hear even seasoned travelers tell me they ask very few questions, other than the basics, when they are considering a position. As a result, horror stories constantly make the rounds about travelers arriving at jobs that turned out to be anything but what they expected. And now they are bound by a legal contract to complete the assignment!

    To me, not asking the right questions is not only totally foolish, it’s completely unnecessary. Almost without exception I can spot “red flags” about a job just by asking some critical questions of the travel company recruiter and the hospital representative. In fact, you’ll be awed at the information people will volunteer if you just ask the right way!!

    Case in point…not long ago I was interviewing for a position in my home state of Florida. It had all the criteria on the surface that made it seem the perfect set up. However, after asking the questions I’ve learned over time to ask, I knew I would be walking straight into one those situations I wanted to avoid at all costs. For example, just one of the red flags that presented was this…three people had left all at once from this particular department, indicating there were some major problems there. I would not have known that if I hadn’t asked the right question. The exit of those three employees leads me to ask a few more questions. As a result, I quickly moved on to another assignment.

    The interesting follow up to this story is that some months later I returned and took this exact assignment. Why? The whole stage had changed…new people, new environment…things had settled down and the unworkable situation had been corrected. And the job was great this time around. One of the other travelers that had lasted out the initial nightmare and had renewed his assignment told me I had certainly avoided the worst. Hear, hear!

    Now, I’ve given you just five things from the many chapters of my book, Insider Secrets to Medical Travel that you must know before taking your next travel assignment, whether you’re a novice or a seasoned traveler who has become dissatisfied with the deals you’re being offered.

    Implementing any ONE of these five things in an informed manner can bring you tremendous benefits while saving you untold grief and a lengthy, painful learning curve.

    Medical travel can be a lucrative, fun, exciting, and fulfilling career…IF you know how to navigate the system and access the highest salary, most desirable locations, comfortable travel plans, nicest housing accommodations, and the best job scenarios.

    How To Travel On A Budget And Make Money While Traveling – It Is Possible!

    Many of us wish to travel the world whether it be to places near and familiar or places way from home and much more exotic. The thought of plane tickets, hotel accommodations and food is daunting but rest assure that there are many ways to travel this beautiful world of ours on a budget and even ways to travel while making money. Wherever your destination (or destinations) may be there are many tricks of the trade that make being a world wanderer a feasible and budget friendly a reality.

    While you can still travel on a budget, (we will discuss that in the next section) some travelers prefer to travel while still making an income. Many hopeful travelers rule out the idea of working to travel and working abroad because of a potential language barrier but in most cases that is not the correct scenario. There are plenty of work opportunities where speaking English will actually benefit you and will give you the extra income necessary to explore the world.

    1. Au Pair: We have all seen the job of an Au Pair in a movie or television show. In literal translation, the French word Au Pair means an extra set of hands. Ambitious world travelers can work as Au Pairs for families looking for extra help with their children and light work around the home. An Au Pair is typically a college and above aged person who seeks traveling the world and in exchange is paired up with a host family who provides food and board and a wage as well. There are several programs that can be found online that will pair an aspiring Au Pair with families around the world. Many Au Pair programs offer the option of attending school/university while working with the possibility of traveling even after the contract is expired. Working as an Au Pair is a great opportunity for English speakers because the majority of host families are looking for a Native English speaker to teach their children English. If the idea of an Au Pair sounds thrilling but also intimidating at the same time, make sure to check many resources available online that can help you in your search.
    2. Teach English abroad: As mentioned above, being a Native English speaker can raise your likelihood of finding a job abroad. Teaching English abroad is a great way to be able to travel and make an income. If you have decided that this is the route you want to take in your endeavors to travel and get paid, the first thing you must do is decide your desired country and research the rules of the country for teaching English. Some countries have differing rules, regulations and requirements before you can teach English there. Some countries in Europe even require you to join the European Union. Before embarking on your journey, it is imperative to get a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate in the USA. The TEFL program can also be taken in your desired country after you obtain your certificate. It is important to take a TEFL class in the desired country so that you can meet fellow peers, learn the country’s customs and potentially be placed in a job after the class. The most important thing to remember before embarking on such an important journey is to research, research and then research some more. It is important to know when the peak hiring season is, rules and laws and of course about the culture.
    3. Cruise Ship: The idea of working on a cruise ship and traveling may sound glamorous and alluring but it is a lot of hard work and long hours. Working on a cruise ship also means you must live and coexist with your fellow crew members which may or may not be a problem. There are several job options if you decide that working on a cruise is the route you want to take. Job options range anywhere from child care, restaurant work, bar work, maintenance, customer service and much more. The variety of jobs makes it a great hub for those who want to work and travel because there is literally something for everybody. Working on a cruise has many great perks and can be a great way to travel the world and meet new people so remember that there will be a lot of competition so do your research and make sure your resume stands out.

    While there is the option of traveling and working there is also the option of traveling on a budget. Believe it or not, you can travel the world on a very limited budget, granted you may have to give up many luxuries that can come with traveling.

    1. Hostels: Hostels are a great way to travel on a budget and meet new people. Wherever you go in your travel expedition there is sure to be a hostel for you to stay at. Sure some hostels are much nicer than others and some are for the brave but there are options. Here is where research comes in handy again. Before you travel seek to learn information about the hostels where you will be staying, you can also find several reviews online from former guests. When you do your research, you can see the prices of the room, if you will have a private room or communal room and how far the hostel is from all the landmarks you wish to see.
    2. CouchSurfing: The new craze in budget traveling is. What is CouchSurfing you might ask? CouchSurfing is a social media platform that allows users to literally surf from couch to couch at host’s homes. CouchSurfing is available in more than 10,000 cities world-wide and is free to users. CouchSurfing offers the traveler a place to stay with a host family, it also offers the “couch surfer” a different way to meet new people and new places. CouchSurfing is attractive to many people because they feel as if they are getting an authentic travel experience from a local of the destination and saving money.
    3. Food: Many ambitious budget travelers worry about food costs when traveling. The reality is that if it is done correctly, obtaining food can be extremely cheap and in many instances even free. Many restaurants/cafes all over Europe practice throwing away food at the end of the day. A great way to get free food is by visiting family owned food establishments before close and asking if you may have the food they are planning on throwing away. In many instances they will give you more food than you planned hence you will have food for days while traveling. Another option for obtaining low-cost meals is to shop at small farmer’s markets. Many farmer’s markets in Europe and other parts of the world offer fresh fruits and vegetables at a ridiculously low price. Keep an eye out for fruit stands on the side of the road as well. If you are staying in a hostel this is another great way to save on food as chances are there will either be a communal kitchen you can use to prepare the food you bought at a low price or many hostels provide at least one meal a day withe their nightly price for stay.

    It may seem intimidating but traveling on a budget can be done and attainable. You must first concoct a plan and develop your research from there. Seeing the world is a possibility and it can also be your possibility with some drive, determination and hard work. It may take some time to device your final plan but in the end it will be worth all the work when you are looking back at the people you met, the places you discovered and the memories you made.

    A Short Note About the Variety of Travellers

    Traveling is a fruitful entertainment. It gives utmost pleasure to the travelers and makes them enjoy their life time by traveling to different destinations. Traveling is the basic activity got closer to the life of human. Humans started traveling even before the ancient civilization grows up. Hence, it is the activity mingled with the human nature. So traveling is not the newly invented entertainment. In this article, I would like to explain the different categories of travelers. Generally, travelers have been categorized with respect to their needs, shapes and gender. Let us see the different variety of travelers in detail.

    Backpacker:

    A traveler packs all of his or her stuffs into a backpack is called as “Backpacker” These stuffs include food, water and shelter to sleep. They carry these gears in highly compacted mode as a backpack. Backpacking is a combined activity of hiking and camping in a single trip. Generally, a backpacking trip must include at least one night stay in the wilderness.

    Women Travelers:

    You can understand the meaning and the type of travelers from the title itself. It refers to single female traveler or a group of females traveling together.

    LGBT Travelers:

    LGBT is the abbreviation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgenders. Travelers belongs to those category are known as LGBT travelers.

    Disabled Travelers:

    You can understand the variety of traveler from this title itself. People who travels even with their disabilities are called as “Disabled Travelers”. It is necessary for them to take enough medications. The visually impaired travelers would be helped by the Royal National Institute of the Blind to hail taxis but a simple sign up is required before you start traveling. There are no restrictions and limitations for the disable. Anyone can enjoy their tour.

    Festivals abroad:

    People who would travel to any country with the purpose of festive season are known as the kind of “Festivals abroad”. They would be starting for the vacation and they will be back after the season.

    Winter, water and extreme sports:

    These are all the travelers who travel on that particular season in order to participate in the sports. For ex: Travelers who are all going to Christmas Ski or bungee jump or any winter sports etc. They should carry appropriate medications and fully prepared to avoid the injuries.

    Overseas weddings and civil partnerships:

    These categories of travelers are the people who are willing to get married in other countries. They may need to travel to that country and have to be clarified with the legal terms. In such cases, perfect documentation is required. Hence, planning far before the date of wedding is necessary. Some process would take few months.

    Hajj pilgrims:

    Hajj Pilgrims are a variety of travelers who travels from a country to Hajj, the largest annual pilgrimage in the world. They are a kind of spiritual travelers. Only the people who belong to Muslim religion would travel to Hajj.

    Visiting friends and family abroad:

    These types of travelers start their travel to other countries to visit their friends and family.

    Traveling abroad for medical treatment:

    People who are traveling to abroad for the special medical treatments would come under this category.

    Traveling football fans:

    People who travel to other countries to enjoy the football tournament comes under this kind.

    Cruise ship passengers:

    People who travel through cruising are called as Cruise ship passengers. It is one of the safest mode of traveling.

    Antarctica visitors:

    Antarctica is a unique travel destination and highly protected place on earth. People who are all traveling to Antarctica is called as Antarctica visitors.

    Winter Olympic & Paralympic Games:

    The sports lovers who are all traveling to enjoy the winter Olympic and Paralympic Games are comes under this category of travelers.

    These are the different types segregated according to the purpose and the identity of the travelers.

    5 Criteria to Select Travel Websites For Your Travel Planning

    With the world now becomes a global market place, travel is increasingly turning into the number one activity that people do on a regular basis. Equipped with rapid internet penetration at travel destinations around the world, people are making travel arrangement online.

    Websites such as priceline, travelocity and cheaptickets all of sudden attract high interest to savvy travelers who are looking to plan their travel at convenience.

    Besides the above three travel websites, there are numerous sites that specialize into different market niches.

    Like the old saying ‘don’t put all your eggs into the same basket,’ selecting one travel website for all your travel needs is unnecessary. You should find the best site that meets your objective. After all, competition is always good for customers.

    What question should you ask yourself before jumping into the one travel website? Here are a few criteria that you should consider when selecting travel websites:

    1. Objective

    If you take a step aback a little bit and ask yourself your current travel situation, you should be able to find out what the real goal is at that time.

    For example, if during holiday you unexpectedly receive news that one of your close relatives just passed away and you need to be there the fastest way possible, how do you make your travel arrangement?

    Would you still go to priceline and bid for the lowest fare – or hit for ticket at lastminute right away? Priceline specializes in the lowest fare on bidding situation, so it will take a certain while to get the best deal. However, if you go to lastminute, you will be able to get the lowest fare at the last minute.

    Under other circumstances, bidding through priceline can be more desirable than lastminute.

    Forget about purchasing directly from the airline company. It costs more for them to serve your purchase – customer support, advertising, maintenance and all the sales overhead are incurred to fulfill your purchase. This translates to higher ticket price for customers.

    On the other hand, travel websites acting as ticket middlemen purchased tickets at wholesale price. They are in competition with other travel websites to attract you to their websites. More competition translates to a better pocket for customers.

    2. Country

    Next tip is about the country you are visiting. Each country has a specialized or national travel websites that cater to foreigners.

    For example, if you travel to the Great Britain or Paris, the national travel association offers unlimited entry pass to visit a multitude of attractions at one price. If don’t know about this offer and purchase tickets at a number of independent websites, you are guaranteed to spend more money, time and hassle.

    On other occasions, if you travel to unfamiliar developing countries where infrastructure is not as adequate, it is better to make your arrangement via a trusted national agency who has long been in business.

    3. Trustworthiness

    Purchasing online is essentially the same as purchasing offline. The difference is security and convenience. Now that you are aware of the convenience, I will explain about security.

    Online travel websites need to be secure and trustworthy. I am not talking about fraud only. From handling promotion, sales process to customer support, the company needs to be able to demonstrate its strength in doing business online.

    I would typically look for Better Business Bureau (BBB) sign, investigate how long they have been in business, what guarantee, terms and conditions that the company holds before landing on one travel website.

    Another indication is browsing through customer testimonials. Although they might be orchestrated, reading testimonials is a great way to understand the products and services of the company.

    4. Savings

    For budget-conscious customers, saving money on flight is definitely a win. The best advice is to plan your travel way in advance. Take advantage of pricing comparison websites or recurring promotions from each travel websites.

    However, if you are on a time or budget constraint, knowing what website to baseline from will be beneficial. Again depending on your situation, I would recommend you start with priceline and bid for the lowest price. In parallel, you would go to special niches websites such as lastminute to shop around for ticket pricing.

    For business flyers though, they are prepared to pay a higher fee for their ticket price. Business customers usually fly during weekdays and make last minute arrangements. The airline companies know this – that’s why last minute tickets are costly.

    5. Uniqueness

    The last important factor to select the best travel websites is how unique they are, compared with other websites.

    Some websites are more user-friendly and informative; some others are very clunky yet professional. Finding what makes each website ticks will play well in your decision.

    Availability of travel guide or blog is also crucial in my opinion. It shows that the company cares enough not only to sell the best priced tickets, but also the best total value experience.

    In conclusion, selecting travel websites that suit your particular travel situation is important. Due to a heightened competition, customers will find the best value to their dream travel experience. Taking the time to understand which website is good at which niche will be beneficial in both short and long run.

    Why Every Travel Writer Needs to Have a Travel Niche

    I’m often asked by travel writers to look at their website and make suggestions. Because of this I’ve discovered a lot of really great travel blogs. I always offer constructive feedback, however, most of them make a common mistake that keeps them from getting any significant amount of site traffic, and few, if any, comments.

    What’s this grave mistake that prevents them from becoming authority sites? As great as they are, as well written as their content often is, they lack specialization, or more simply, a travel niche. They have no specialty that would set them apart from every other travel blog out there.

    There are some travel writers who do an exceptionally good job with their travel blogs – they travel frequently and regularly add fresh travel content to their blog. Their sites are well organized and easy to navigate, and I enjoy reading their travel articles. But let’s be honest here – there are thousands of travel writers out there, many of whom are also doing just as good a job.

    So how do you stand out from the crowd? The answer is simple – choose a travel niche. Find a specific topic that you are passionate about (and no, “travel” is not specific enough), and focus on writing about that topic.

    A perfect travel niche for you should be:

    • Something you love, and
    • Something you know a lot about, and
    • Something you have firsthand experience with

    Your travel niche can be a specific place or a specific type or method of travel. Examples of some travel niches for which I’ve seen websites that are very well done include:

    • Place – bloggers who write about what’s going on in their hometown, expats who live abroad and write about their adopted place of residence as they explore it, and travel writers who focus on writing only about the Spas of the world;
    • Type – bloggers who write about solo travel, traveling with small children or pets, girls getaways, Eco-tourism, voluntarism, adventure travel, and spiritual pilgrimages;
    • Method – bloggers who write about backpacking trips, bicycling or walking tours, river cruises, and even some of the worlds best train trips.

    The reason these websites do very well is that they remain focused on a small travel niche that they can dominate by regularly adding new, interesting, valuable, and focused content about that niche. By doing that, it’s far more likely that people who are searching for information on that topic will find them.

    In addition to attracting more site visitors, when you write on a specialized travel niche topic, you have the opportunity to be perceived as an expert in your travel niche. And being an Expert is a good thing. People love to quote experts, especially in print. People love to ask experts for help and advice. Experts get offered opportunities – frequently paying opportunities – that others don’t get.

    When Publishers want content on a specific locale, they look first for writers who already know that particular destination well. When an Editor or Journalist needs a quote on a specific subject, they look for an expert on that subject. Experts get asked to sit on Panel and Advisory Boards, judge competitions, give speeches or lectures, contribute to new projects, and much more. The fastest way to become an expert is to pick a niche that you know very well and write about it. Teach others. Share your knowledge.

    The bottom line is that if you choose to write about all things travel and all destinations, you might be able to succeed and make a living from it, but it will certainly be challenging because you have a lot of competition in that market — some really good competition, too. But if you pick a niche, and work to become the go-to person in that niche, success will be easier and opportunities will come sooner.

    Intelligent Transport Systems

    Both describe the use of computerized communication technology applied to improving the conditions on our roads. A system is programmed to achieve a particular set of goals, according to brief, further goals can be added, in the future, but need to be programmed into the system.

    Any difference, therefore, lies in details of software programming and its application. Where traffic-related ITS deals mainly with traffic enforcement and toll collection, transport-related ITS aims to provide more pleasant and effective travel to those using public transport and help traffic to run more smoothly. The eThekwini Transport Authority has incorporated ITS into its plans for the future.

    The eThekwini Transport Authority

    In January 2004, the eThekwini Transport Authority (ETA) was established to take responsibility for all transport-related issues within the Municipality. Its particular mandates are public transport and the reduction of traffic congestion. It therefore hopes to encourage the people who presently indulge their use of private transport, to see the benefit of swapping to public transport.

    In the Durban area, this includes buses, mini-bus taxis and trains, none of which presently operate very efficiently. Some services are duplicated, under-utilised and over-subsidised while others, that by virtue of their popularity should receive subsidies, do not.

    Buses and trains are subsidised to the tune of R400 million a year, but taxi commuters -historically the poorer people of our society – are required to cover the entire cost of the service.
    13% of Durban’s residents (roughly 400 000 people) have no access, or cannot afford to access public transport, in any form. The eThekwini Transport Authority’s current initiatives aim to apply technical intelligence to change and improve the status quo.

    The ‘recap’ and EMS

    The average distance of a public-transport trip is 20km and takes roughly 48 minutes from start to finish. Taxis are often (at best) uncomfortably crowded and (at worst) in a frightful condition, putting the lives of commuters at great risk.

    Taxi ‘recapitalization’ goes far beyond exchanging hard cash for beaten up vehicles and dedicated, regulated, route monitoring. An Electronic Management System (EMS), which operates far beyond fare payment issues, is an important feature of the R7.7 billion x 7-year program.

    This “total operating solution” will monitor such things as vehicle speeds, where and when stops are made, vehicle-maintenance management and the automatic provision of medical and funeral insurance cover for passengers (in the event of injury or death). It will, in fact, control and totally revolutionist an industry that caters to 68% of the country’s daily commuters.

    Incentives for change

    “Positive discrimination” incentives that will hopefully cause motorists to change willingly to public transport, include priority right-of-way (dedicated) bus lanes enforced (to keep other vehicles out) with the help of CCTV number plate and facial recognition systems, which will allow for automatic prosecution of offenders.

    Dedicated bus lanes increase the speed of buses while decreasing the speed of all other vehicles. Electronic transponders, fitted to buses, can further ensure that the buses encounter green signals at robots.

    All well and good; but the Durban Municipality may need then, to double the staff in its traffic camera office. As a nation, we are known for our lawlessness on the roads; citizens regularly ignore the regulations. As for taxis: does one exist, that could resist an empty lane? A huge increase in number-plate violation and the skipping of red robots can be expected as a result of this initiative.

    More importantly, you cannot catch a bus that does not function in your area. Perhaps pre-emptive lanes, reserved for buses and taxis, would leave motorists to travel in comparative safety, even if more slowly!

    A fair fare system

    Due to the low value, but high volume of public transport fares, ticketing systems have traditionally been deemed the most acceptable proof of payment. Cash presentation either wastes the time of the driver, who must provide correct change, or incurs the need for an extra person, a conductor/ticket seller, either inside the vehicle or in an alternate office.

    Integrating and preloading a ticket for use across various forms of transport (taxi, bus or rail) would offer an opportunity for seamless travel between the various transport modes and make the fare-collection process faster and more efficient. It would also reduce opportunities for fare collector fraud and would bring all public transport operators within the SARS (tax) net.

    Previously, this solution was not considered viable because the organization that would hold any central float of pre-paid funds (and thus benefit from its interest) could not be decided amicably. Any involved transport operators would have benefited enormously from having a few billion Rand to their credit.

    Electronic or e-payment systems allow for bank-issued smart cards, linked to the bank accounts of individuals, so trip costs can now be deducted from personal bank accounts and paid directly to the relevant operators. This recent development is likely to change the face of public transport.

    Information systems

    The ‘talking trains’ in London are fascinating. Not only are passengers warned, by digital carriage displays, of distances between stations and stops, but an electronic voice, in anticipation of the next station, also kindly suggests when it would be appropriate to gather your luggage and head for an exit.

    Trip information is vital to those commuting in unfamiliar places and, if managed competently and available 24 hours a day, causes far less consternation and stress to travelers. The London Underground now also sends SMS messages to regular passengers to reassure them that their services are running normally.

    Presently, individual South African commuters are at the mercy of an imperfect system (though, to expect absolute perfection of any system, is not realistic). Our high road accident rate regularly causes havoc on our roads. Traffic reports, now featured on radio, during peak traffic hours, help to reduce congestion, but buses and taxis are unable to change their routes due to waiting commuters at pre-ordained stops.

    People like to feel in control of their own movements and those who have used their own transport to travel to and from work, in South Africa, are unlikely to take kindly to any system that does not disseminate whatever information it can, to them, the road users.

    Individual Benefits

    Intelligent Transport Systems will, in the future, monitor any incidents of abnormal traffic congestion on the feeder arterials, even showing the causes for delay. They will relay this information to the eThekwini Emergency Response Centre. While Metro Police close the main arterials affected, the Freeway Management System will automatically send appropriate warning messages to message signs posted at key (driver) decision points on the route/s affected, diverting traffic onto less congested routes.

    Automatic Vehicle Location and Real Time Passenger Information systems will operate from a central Public-Transport Call Centre, where reports received about delayed public transport vehicles will then be relayed to bus and taxi stops along the revised and initial routes. The data can also be posted on digital displays within public-transport vehicles.

    Passenger Information Signs within a 20km radius of any delays will thus inform commuters, allowing them to decide whether to make alternative plans, warn others of delay on their cell phones or utilise a different mode of public transport. Commuters subscribing to a new ‘Buspass’ payment system will be able to receive this information, by SMS, on their cell phones.

    If, for instance, a would-be passenger has not yet left the office for his evening trip home, he might prefer to work late, or use the train, rather than stand for an extra hour at a bus stop. The system, in fact, will present viable options to passengers, depending on their destinations and time restraints.

    Integrated ticketing

    The concept of integrated ticketing also allows for unlimited possibilities. In London, for instance, vehicles are recognized by CCTV camera systems, as they pass certain points. Toll fees are charged to the vehicle owners accordingly. Accounts are paid on presentation, at regular intervals.

    Your municipal rates/electricity/water account might, for instance, carry an extra charge, according to how many toll cameras your vehicle had passed during the preceding month. Obviously, this could prove a problem in a country where people allow their service accounts to accumulate and then demand everything ‘free’ after several months.

    Whether tickets are paper, smart cards, pre-paid cards or even cell-phone link-ups, the intention is to allow one form of payment for any and every trip. In case of a MetroRail strike, passengers would be able to use buses for the duration, without incurring extra costs – essential in a country where many families are on so tight a budget that finding several extra Rand mid-month can leave them without food until payday.

    Once again, London provides the best idea I have yet seen. Monthly underground rail cards can be kept inside a purse or wallet and yet are still activated as commuters pass through the checkpoints. There is no need for searching of pockets or handbags for inoffensive little pieces of plastic or paper. Just as metal (very often bra under-wiring) activates x-ray machines at airports, so technology at the checkpoints can recognize a hidden ticket: an ‘extra-smart’ card.

    Only people who travel regularly would probably use such an advanced, pre-paid option. A facility to allow once-off passengers to buy their tickets at bus stops would probably also be necessary and could be similar to the parking payment machines inside airports. When the ease with which South Africans buy cell-phone airtime at outlets on practically every street corner, is considered, this should prove no problem – you see: it can all be far easier than we at first think!

    Ticketing procedures like this would do away with queues, the need to carry cash, the need to make special trips to ticket outlets, the need for fare collectors and inspectors and the need for drivers to count change while at the wheel. They would allow subsidies to be distributed exactly according to mode usage, after the fact, rather than, in advance.

    The facility doesn’t need to be limited only to fare payment, though. The intention is to facilitate a program for the 2010 World Cup that will allow soccer fans to pre-load electronically formatted entrance tickets for combined transport, refreshment and memorabilia usage – a ‘one card pays all’ system. The possibilities of this format are endless and depend more on the ability of service/supply organizations to co-operate within centralized visions, than anything else.

    Safety

    With one of its prime objectives being the attraction of private motorists to public transport usage, reluctance to give up comfort and convenience has been cited by Darryll Thomas, Manager of the Urban Traffic Control Branch (eThekwini) and President: SASITS (SA Society for ITS) as a main disadvantage.

    I find it difficult to believe that public transport authorities will ever be able to supplement ‘own travel’ with an improved alternative, in South Africa; where presently, options do not exist, they would need to be provided, regularized through a 24/7 cycle and operated in a holistically safe environment.

    Not only would the mode of transport need to be 100% safe, but vehicles parked preparatory to public-transport trips, would also need to be safe, while parked. On their return, commuters would again need to feel safe as they claimed their vehicles. For most to consider public transport a worthwhile option, pedestrian commuters would also need to feel considerably safer walking between destination and their choice of public transport.

    Mr Thomas agrees that: “If the public are frightened to use the services, inevitably the policy is doomed to failure” and believes that it is the safety aspect that deters many commuters from swapping from own transport to public transport, despite the fact that attacks on passengers are rare.

    He agrees that vandalism and criminal attacks need to be curbed, and claims they can be, with the help of technology. He also believes that visible CCTV surveillance could nullify this fear; that public education would alert us to “video analysis techniques that can alert staff automatically to suspicious behavior on stations, trains and buses”.

    His intention to educate the public about all the technological measures that would be employed to combat crime, on public transport, is laudable. He insists that, “should something untoward occur”, help will be “very close at hand” and acknowledges that “vandalism and attacks on public and staff are an evil curse that, as a civilized society, we need to attack with all the technologies we have at our disposal”.
    Consumer safety priorities

    I sense that, from his positions with SASITS and in the municipality, he is considering public safety only as it relates to public transport usage. Personally, I am less frightened of using the service than getting from my home to the service point, from the service point to my destination and then reversing the process later in the day.

    Every commuter is likely to be a pedestrian at either end of his/her public transport usage and it is as much during this point in their journeys, as actually while on public transport, that safety is a huge concern to most people, who may need to carry laptop computers, cell phones and even their public-transport tickets, in whatever format, through city streets.

    The pertinent question: does the Municipality intend to position CCTV cameras at every point along every journey, even the pedestrian ones? If so, well and good, but this would require immense financial investment (though probably slightly less, long-term, than installing the same number of Metro policemen in those positions, 24/7.

    Mugging and petty thievery, on the streets, cannot be left out of the safety equation! I personally believe that safety is the crux of this issue and is generally hopelessly oversimplified. Another important concern is the number of people who are expected to use their ‘business’ vehicles for work purposes during the working day.

    In some areas where options already exist, taxi strikers have stoned commuters who choose to travel by bus or train. Some commuters find it safer just to remain at home, instead of trying to get to work. It seems clear that the ‘grip’ that striking workers in any industry have, over others, has been allowed to get out of hand. This, too, should be classified as a public-transport safety issue. Most Durban motorists approached, insisted that the Municipality would need to pay them handsomely to use public transport on a regular basis. The reason? Always the safety issue…

    Co-operation

    Thomas, ultimately, agrees that: “as long as the perceived inconvenience of public transport persists, the majority of motorists will prefer to use their car regardless of any penalty imposed”.

    Improving the quantity and quality of public transport vehicles, he concedes, is necessary and will involve a far larger investment than has been presently budgeted. It is not only the mindset of the public that needs to undergo change, but that of transport planners throughout the country.

    ITS is an effective and necessary means to an end but, unless used creatively and within revised norms, it will not provide all it could. Disciplines, such as policing, security, public-safety and transport services, need to co-ordinate and co-operate to a far greater degree to get the effective results that are necessary – and possible – especially regarding general public safety.

    Party Bus Rentals for Your Next Party

    If you reside in a big city chances are you’ve seen those giant buses that people rent for private use. Party buses are becoming very popular in Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta, Texas and most other big cities in the United States. Many smart parties like to rent a party bus so they can get to their destination with class and of course safety. When you rent a party bus for your event you don’t have to worry about anything other than having fun!

    How much does it cost per Hour?

    That all depends what city you live in and what options you prefer. If you are in California and you want to rent a small 10 to 20 person Bus, chances are you can find something decent around $100 to $250 per hour. Another thing to keep in mind is if it’s a Vegas trip, you can split the costs between all the passengers to make things more affordable. We did that on our last trip to Vegas and we all had a blast. We ended up renting a Freight-liner Bus since we had 34 people in our party. We split the costs between 30 of us and I can honestly say we would have spent more on gas if we all took our own cars instead.

    Where can I find a reliable Limo/Bus rental company?

    Your best friend should be Google or other search engines you like. You should do a local search with the keyword “Party Bus Rental” and contact couple of them and get more details and pricing.

    Party Bus Rental Scams

    Before I end my article I did want to bring another important matter to your attention. Be extremely cautious when renting a party bus for your next event. Always verify the limo company you are dealing with and make sure they are an “actual” business and not someone who is operating a “party bus” without all the legal permits. Cops are well aware of the problem and they are cracking down on the “Bandit Party Buses” but we the consumers need to be more alert and verify everything.

    Can you drink in a Party Bus?

    Why else would they call it a Party Bus if you weren’t allowed to drink alcohol? You can but as I mentioned before please make sure the company you are dealing with is licensed and bonded. You can end up getting in lots of trouble and end up losing lots of money if you end up hiring a person/company who are not properly licensed. So gather all your friends, rent a Party Bus and spend the night having fun and enjoy life a little!

    Tips for Over 50 Travel

    For active, sophisticated people, stepping over the age of 50 means more opportunities to travel! But planning a holiday can get confusing, especially in a highly-competitive, dynamic tourism industry like ours. Here are some tips to plan your over 50 travel adventures with as little stress as possible!

    Tip 1 – Try The Internet.

    The Internet is an invaluable tool in planning your next holiday. It’s easy to get information on any destination, and the rates that online travel agents (OTA’s) have online are updated almost every day. That means it’s easy to compare different OTA’s and their offerings.

    It’s also easy to pay for your flights, accommodations, and tour packages over the Internet. Just be careful with your credit card information, and feel free to ask any questions you may have. Some OTA’s may even offer discounts for travelers for over 50 travel and seniors travel!

    Tip 2 – Watch Out For Shady Online Travel Agent’s (OTA’s).

    Here’s one thing you have to remember about online travel agents — competition is VERY high. More and more online travel agents are popping up every single year, so rates and offerings can change frequently throughout the year.

    The best way to keep yourself safe is to look for the better-known, more reputable OTA’s. The best ones out there are licensed, and don’t give any “too good to be true” travel packages — which, by the way, are a sure mark of a scam artist travel agency!

    Also, the best OTA’s out there encourage their customers to take out adequate travel insurance. It’s a definite must for anyone who wants to travel. If you can’t afford insurance, then don’t travel at all — and that’s a piece of advice that any good OTA will give you.

    Tip 3 – Visit Travel Review Websites.

    Travel review websites are great places to check reviews of hotels, restaurants, and other points of interest in your chosen destination. The reviews are written by real people who have actually been in those places, making these websites very reliable.

    But do be careful — some unscrupulous people have been exploiting travel review websites lately. For instance, some unscrupulous hotel owners write bad reviews of competing hotels, while writing good reviews of their own. These are fake reviews, and should always be disregarded.

    Here’s how to tell whether a review is trustworthy — check if the reviewer has written several reviews already. Most fake reviews are the only one in a user’s record, and well-traveled individuals tend to write more reviews. The more professional and well-written the review is, the more trustworthy it is!

    Tip 4 – Visit Real Travel Agencies.

    Finally, it’s also a good idea to compare the deals offered by real travel agencies (at the mall, or two blocks down the road, etc.). Some travel agencies specialize in certain destinations, and offer travel packages that include visits to exotic spots not included in others’.

    It’s a good idea not to hold back when you have any questions about your destination. Ask the agent if he’s been there himself, and if he has any advice for you. You may also want to know if there are any perks for over 50 travel!

    And, as always, ask your agent if they offer travel insurance. The protection you get will be invaluable in case your flight gets canceled or if you lose your luggage or wallet. And, since you’re over 50, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount!

    Travel Info – What You Need to Know About Vegas!

    The city that never sleeps and the place where prostitution is actually legal. Those are only two of the many things you need to know about Las Vegas before you plan a trip there. Here are a few bits of Las Vegas travel info that will help you plan a vacation that will be filled with memories.

    When it comes to Las Vegas travel info the first thing you need to know is that there is really something for just about everybody. From casino gambling to dinner shows and more. Some of the finest restaurants, golf courses, hotels, arcades, shops, and casinos are in Las Vegas. Plus there is an incredible night club atmosphere if that is something you love as well.

    The next thing you should know is that around every single corner there is something different. Even though Vegas is known for its nightlife and is the perfect place for a bachelor party, there is more to it than that. There are plenty of family shows and activities that you can enjoy along with plenty of adult type of activities as well.

    The last piece of Las Vegas travel info you need will save you some serious money while you are there. Before you go to Las Vegas you need to shop around online for the best package deal for your hotel and airfare. You also need to spend a little bit of cash and get a coupon book for Vegas. These two tips can take your $1,000 trip to Vegas and make it about a $400 trip.

    3 Great Reasons To Get On Board A Party Bus

    You are planning your partner’s 30th birthday party and you want to do something different, something unique. You want to plan something that he and your guests and family will remember for years to come.

    Let’s take a look at 3 great reasons why you should host this 30th birthday party on a party bus:

    More room for all your friends

    You have the option to book a party bus to suit the number of guests you wish to accommodate; so if your party is a small group, get a small bus, but if you’re inviting everyone he’s ever known, there are party buses big enough to handle them all.

    You can arrange for the bus to pick every one up at one designated place. Then when the party is over, the professional chauffeur will return everyone back to their pick up point, safe and sound with no need to worry about anyone drinking and driving. No matter the size of the group, there is a party bus available to suit any size party.

    Move around and see the sights as you party

    Let’s face it, no matter how hard you try, or how much effort you put into entertainment for your party guests at your home or at any other venue, it can get stale and then the party goes dead. All good parties have had this happen and you can avoid that problem by having that 30th birthday party on a party bus!

    With a party bus, you, the birthday boy and his guests can party on while the professional chauffeur drives you all around town. Enjoy the bright lights and night life as you enjoy your own party on wheels cruising around. You can even arrange for the party bus to make a stop at the birthday guy’s favorite club or restaurant and treat everyone to dancing and dinner. When that’s done, it’s back on board the bus for more partying.

    Delight and impress your friends

    With a party bus, your friends and guests will enjoy a fabulous decked out venue with a night club atmosphere that includes surround sound stereo with your choice of music and strobe lights to give it a festive touch. A professional DJ would give it extra pizzazz! You would possibly have previously arranged for refreshments and appetizers just as if you were hosting this party at home and your guests will be delighted as they mingle together and enjoy each other’s company.

    Yes, there is room for everyone to sit comfortably with plenty of leg room; space to get up and move around too and maybe even dance if they feel so inclined. Your guests will get so wrapped up in the party going on, they’ll forget they are on a bus!

    It will be a smooth ride with a professional chauffeur taking them from point A to point B without having to worry about private cars and designated drivers.

    Make his 30th birthday party bash a night to remember!

    5 Great Tips to Stop Travel Anxiety

    While most of us enjoy holidays and traveling, many find the associated travel anxiety tough to bear. Travel anxiety isn’t a disease but it is rather the fear of the unknown. Fear of travel is usually caused by several factors. Some people may worry about their house and pets when they are away while others might have had unpleasant traveling experiences during their previous trips. Others are afraid of flying. Some fret that the trip will turn out to be a disaster and worry about all of the details. All of these are examples of worries related to travel that can lead to varying degrees of uneasiness. Regardless of the causes or intensity of your anxiety, it can really compromise the pleasure and excitement of your trip.

    Although, travel anxiety is common in both experienced and novice travelers, most travelers have positive traveling stories to tell. Probably, they learned how to manage their anxieties and have regained the joy of travel. It is not too late; you can also overcome travel anxiety by following a little advice. The following 5 tips to stop travel anxiety could prove invaluable to you in planning your next holiday.

    5 Tips to Stop Travel Anxiety

    1. Spend time making Preparations Prior To Your Trip

    From past experiences, to think of the details and annoyances that bothers you about traveling. For example, you think that your house will be in a mess once you step out of the door hire a house cleaner to clean your home prior to your return. If flight travels frightens you, you can equip yourself with your iPod or your favorite book to keep you busy while you’re traveling. Simply make a list of those things you think you’ll require in your trip and those things you won’t want to be left running while you are away. The time spent organizing, planning and taking care of all the details well in advance will help to stop travel anxiety.

    2. Don’t Procrastinate

    Some people are well aware of their travel anxieties and they’ll often avoid taking care of the details; eg. booking a ticket, packing, etc. They will make excuses, avoid and procrastinate due to previous poor experiences with traveling. Just because you have travel anxiety doesn’t mean that avoidance will eradicate your fears. If you really want to take control over travel anxiety, get yourself involved in the action by preparing early and taking care of all necessary details. Keep in mind, travel fears are just made up fears and they are never real.

    3. Learn How to Cope Up With Flight Phobia

    For those people who worry about flying, you may wan to dig a little deeper to find the root of this fear. Get to know exactly what frightens you. Are you are acrophobic or claustrophobic? Perhaps the mechanical sounds bother you or air turbulence puts the fright into you. All of these fears are irrational meaning you can counter them with rationality. Airlines have strict safety measures on board. Once you are aboard, try to listen to attendant instructions to calm your nerves. Also, use anything that you like such as music to disrupt your thoughts while you are traveling.

    4. Meditate

    To effectively manage their travel anxiety, many individuals use meditation to gain control. Meditation makes use of a kind of self-hypnosis, so you can calm your nerves and mind down. Various self-hypnosis scripts designed specifically to ease travel anxiety can be found online. Meditate on these scripts and your mind will be at ease during your time of travel. The scripts are great tools of converting people’s subconscious minds into a friend rather than a foe. Instead of having a subconscious mind that is deep-seated in travel anxiety, you’ll have a subconscious mind that is confident and not frightened of flights.

    5. Get rid of the Unknowns

    Illuminate your travel shadows by doing a research prior to your trip of things you’ll expect to encounter once you’re at your destination. Apart from visiting various travel blogs, you can also use travel guides to become well-informed with your destination point. Go online and checkout your accommodation so you will know what to expect. Have your looked into travel from the airport to the hotel? What about meals and special dietary requirements? The little unknowns add up and will add to your travel anxiety.

    Besides the 5 tips to strop travel anxiety strategies listed above also ensure that you maintain proper communication using Facebook, MySpace, etc. Keeping the communication channels open with loved ones back home will keep you connected.

    Observing the 5 tips listed above is a great way to start you on the path of happy travels. Best of luck!

    What You Should Know About a Party Bus

    A party bus can go by many names. You might hear it being called a luxury bus, party van, limousine bus, limo bus or even a party ride. In essence a party bus is a large vehicle that has been converted from a more conventional motor coach or bus. It has generally been modified and then designed to be able to carry more than a dozen people for purposes that are recreational and might involve some sort of celebration. In the main, the bus will typically be driven by a professional driver who is in the employ of the company that owns the bus.

    Types and Sizes of a Party Bus

    Party buses come in a variety of sizes. Some are small and will only carry 10 people while others are much larger and have a seating capacity for 69 people. In some instances these buses have been made from a converted mini bus or van chassis while in other cases the chassis will have been converted from a motor coach or urban coach.

    A bus may have a variety of amenities that can include things like different floor plans, equipment to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, toilet facilities, strobe lights, disco lights, laser lights, smoke machines, back up cameras, luggage partitions, audio and video equipment, passenger entry doors that are air actuated, stripper poles, seats and fabric that have been upgraded, power windows and door locks, fast idle controllers, electrical systems that have been upgraded and even more.

    Why Hire a Party Bus?

    Mainly it will be used for things like city tours, birthdays, a night out on the town, casino trips, bachelorette and bachelor parties, proms and weddings. That said, you will also find that they are sometimes used for events such as week-long tours or even just a day trip. Most of the time, this is a type of vehicle that is for hire. It provides an alternative that is more accessible than taxis or limos.

    No matter what your event is, you can make it stand out with the sleek and stylish party bus at your service. The drivers and staff of the companies know that your plans can change at the last minute and they are always professional and can help you with these changes with courteous accommodation.

    Private outings are a great reason to hire one. No matter where you are planning on going, your group will arrive in style. They can be had for small tour groups as well as for large ones. You will be able to relax and enjoy the day without having to worry about the stress of traffic and dealing with maps and other driving annoyances.

    You can hire a party bus for a single day or for a set period of time and then use the bus for casino trips, concerts, theater events, athletic events, dining, shopping, sightseeing and even more! Whatever your event might be, it can get you there safely and comfortably.

    Selecting a Corporate Online Booking Tool For Your Travel Program

    Online booking of travel is one of the earliest business applications to come out of the internet explosion and is clearly one of the most successful. There are so many options when it comes to booking travel online, it is a wonder how anyone can keep them all straight. There are new booking tools coming online all the time. What makes one different from another, and when should I use one versus another? There are two different kinds of travel, and two different kinds of sites to consider. Leisure travel bookings have certainly done very well on the internet, but this article will focus on the many options for corporate booking online and what you should look for if given the task of finding the right solution for your company.

    First of all, you certainly have the option of going directly to an airline website to complete your reservation. This is a great way to do it in certain circumstances. You may be familiar with the flight you need and know exactly what the fare should be from previous experience. Also, the airline websites sometimes offer mileage bonuses for booking online, and there is no fee in most cases for booking directly on the airline site. Sounds great, right? But actually there are many shortcomings by going directly with the airline websites. You are likely getting the lowest fare available for that airline, but you will usually have better options if you look at many airlines simultaneously. By going with a solution that looks at all airlines at once, you’ll guard against a traveler using their preferred airline for the mileage benefits without regard for price. What you will pay in booking fees with one of these solutions will likely be more than made up for by the lower fares you will find on multiple airline searches. Booking sites like Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia are examples of this kind of travel search engine.

    Most people are familiar with these websites for leisure travel, but there are also business travel divisions of these companies with excellent alternate websites specifically designed for business travel use. What can you expect from a business travel site that differs from the leisure sites? You will get multiple traveler profile information stored on the site, as well as corporate reporting capability. You will see the ability for a travel coordinator to book travel for someone else, using a variety of credit cards. There will be some additional business friendly options, including options to book a car and/or hotel along with the air reservation. One of the best reasons to utilize an online system like this is that you can take care of the entire business trip in one shot instead of visiting multiple sites or making additional phone calls. So what exactly should you be looking for in a corporate travel online system? Let me give you my thoughts on the biggest issues.

    Can it be customized?  This is a must for any company that really wants to get a handle on the travel program. There should be the ability to input corporate contracts for negotiated airfare (with detail down to the market or fare class level). This is also crucial for car contracts and individual and chain-wide hotel contracts. The reason this is so important is two-fold. First, your travelers need access to the absolute lowest fares and rates possible. Equally important but often overlooked, is the fact that in order to keep your current contracts, you need to perform to certain standards. If you need to drive 35% of your business to American Airlines, for example, you need to ensure that your online booking tool will help drive volume in the appropriate direction. This also holds true for the number of room nights you have agreed to with your hotel partners. Some of the newest online tools will automatically drive the volume to the right places based upon your input. While many are not this sophisticated, there are still ways to remind travelers of their corporate obligations as they are booking through pop-up reminders, banner headlines, etc.

    Can it be integrated and branded?  For many companies this is an important way to drive adoption of the tool.  If you can brand the site with your logo and other design options, your travelers will be more likely to use the product.  Brand identity is important both inside and outside your organization.  Also, if you have a corporate intranet that travelers are used to using on a daily basis, you should be able to integrate the system using a Single Sign On application so users can access travel booking internally without having to remember another password for another system.

    What kind of reporting can be generated?  If the whole idea of an online system is to better track traveler activity and spending, you need to be sure the available reporting meets your needs.  Many corporate systems may offer some baseline reporting, but it probably won’t be anything close to what you are used to, especially if you’re working with a Travel Management Company that customizes their reports to your specifications.  Make sure you have access to the information you need as it’s being generated.

    What kind of backup support it offered?  This is perhaps the most critical issue you’ll come up against.  The larger online systems like Travelocity and Expedia have call centers to back you up in emergencies.  But do you need a better level of service in these situations?  There are many reasons to utilize a Travel Management Company’s online system instead of going with a larger, better marketed company.  If you partner with a TMC that offers an online system, you can get the support you need not only for complex reservations and emergency situations, but you’ll also get better support in programming your system.  Which brings us to another area of importance.

    Who is responsible for programming the site?  Travel program changes happen all the time.  You’ll have travelers coming in to the company and leaving.  Your contracts, if you have them, will be renewed and canceled.  Your company policy will change, and it’s different for different level of employee.  In all these changes, your online booking system will also change.  When these changes happen, who is responsible for updating your system?  If it’s left up to you, do you have anyone that is trained in how to make the changes you need?  If it is the TMC’s responsibility, how quickly can they implement the changes?  And remember, an online booking site is only as good as it is programmed, no matter which way you go.  So who takes responsibility for programming errors?

    Who takes care of training users?  Just as a system is only as good as it’s programmed, travelers can only benefit from the system insofar as they’re properly trained.  Most of your travelers are likely familiar with online booking either for personal travel or in previous business travel, so it shouldn’t be difficult to train them on a basic level.  However, each site that you investigate will have different strengths and weaknesses that travelers need to know about.  Online training can be effective, but personal training is even better.  Is your representation at the company local or willing to send a trainer to your location(s) for more in-depth training?  This goes for both end user travelers, travel coordinators booking for others, and anyone that needs to know programming of your site.

    Get Paid to Travel – Five Careers in Travel That Pay

    Want to get paid to travel? There are dozens of careers in travel that are not only rewarding, but also pay well.

    Some of these opportunities involve finding a salaried or hourly wage-paying job, like becoming a traveling nurse, an airline hostess or pilot, a traveling chef, a cruise ship worker, yacht crew member, a massage therapist or hospitality worker at a resort.

    There are several other travel careers that are easy to enter, let you go wherever you please, make money as you go, and even earn royalties for years from the work you do today.

    Not only that, but you have the choice whether you want to make this your full-time occupation, or only a part-time travel job, when you have the time and desire to see the world, and make money doing it.

    Get Paid to Travel Career #1: Lead Tours for Fun and Profit

    Do you have an interest like yoga, wine tasting, cooking (or simply eating), writing poetry, painting, coffee, art history, or snorkeling? If you have a hobby, an academic interest, or particular expertise, you can find people with similar interests to pay you to take them on vacations with you.

    Know something about wine? Lead a tour of wine country in Argentina, Italy, South Africa, even Morocco or China.

    Get paid to lead tours to your favorite places in the world, or to the places you have always wanted to go.

    Though you do not need to become a travel agent to lead tours for profit, you can make more money if you do have the ability to book the airfares, cruises, and accommodations of your clients yourself.

    Get Paid to Travel Career #2: Make Travel Videos

    Video sharing sites like YouTube are very popular, and resorts will pay you to create videos for them in the hopes of getting more business.

    There is very little barrier to entry in this field, and not much competition. In fact, you can get started with a Flip recorder, or even the video camera on your phone. If you have $400 or $500 to invest in a quality digital video camera, you can make even more profit by creating travel videos to sell on Amazon.

    You will need a laptop and some video editing software – and the desire to have complimentary stays at some of the world’s best resorts while they pay you to work!

    Get Paid to Travel Career #3: Write Travel Articles

    If you can write a postcard, then travel writing may be the career for you. Many publications look for short reviews of restaurants and hotels from new writers. Then, as you become more established, you can get paid more for longer articles.

    Better yet, often resorts, hotels, restaurants, and other travel-related businesses will offer you their services at no charge in return for a review.

    In most cases, you can republish the same article a number of times, drawing a check each time the article is printed in a different publication.

    You might at some point want to write a travel guidebook, for which you could earn royalties. You can also publish your articles on web travel directories that share advertising revenues with writers.

    Get Paid to Travel Career #4: Sell Your Travel Photos

    There are several ways to make money with a career in travel photography.

    You can combine travel writing and photography to earn more by submitting photos with your articles.

    Also, you can upload your photos to online stock photography sites, and every time someone buys your photo from the agency, you earn a commission.

    Even if you don’t have your own website, you can sell your travel photos online in a number of ways. You can sell prints of all sizes, posters, postcards, calendars, screen savers, even t-shirts and coffee mugs with your images on them.

    You can also sell your work as fine art from the walls of coffee shops, restaurants, and galleries.

    Get Paid to Travel Career #5: Start a Travel Publication

    With your own website and newsletter, you can combine as many of the above methods as you want. You can publish only the content you create – articles, photos, and videos – or you can invite others to submit their work to your site, too.

    Having a quality website gives you instant credibility and immediately establishes you as an expert in your field, whether it’s luxury travel, cruises, coffee, yoga, wine, or any other interest.

    You can make money through advertising, promoting your tour business, selling your photos, and by referrals to hotels and other travel businesses.

    These five careers in travel can not only help you get complimentary stays in resorts all over the world, but they also allow you to actually get paid to travel.

    Southern California Travel – Top Five Places of Things to See and Do When in Southern California

    When you travel to Southern California, it’s always wise to keep a checklist of the top places to see and things to do. To better help you plan your next invigorating escape to this amazing destination, here are my picks for top five places and things to see and do when in the Sunshine State.

    Hollywood Boulevard: Don’t miss the Walk of Stars, where the most famous actors, actresses, film producers and directors have their very own star decorating this walkway. Other notable sites include the world famous Whiskey A Go Go – where Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix performed – the Viper Room, and hundreds of stores and shops that line this amazing, historical street; a must-see when you travel to Southern California.

    Pacific Coast Highway: Is a few hundred mile stretch of highway that is one of the most famous and historical highways in the United States. The views that you will see when driving along the Pacific Coast Highway are second-to-none. Stop off at any of the dozens of beaches along the way to lie in the white sand and watch the tide roll in.

    San Diego Zoo: One of the largest and most amazing zoos in the entire world awaits you with more animals and exhibits than you will find almost anywhere else in the world. Make sure that you have a park map, sunscreen and some bottled water handy, as this park demands one or two days to really take it all in and see all of the sights.

    Santa Monica Pier: This pier sits alongside Boston’s and New York City’s as one of the most famous piers in the entire country. The best time to visit it is at night, when the shops and the trademark Ferris wheel are all lit up brilliantly. One can easily spend hours of time walking from vendor to vendor, people watching, strolling along the beach, or visiting the many different attractions.

    Sea World: One of the largest and most exclusive water parks in the world is the place to go if you want to catch one heck of show. Learn about exotic large fishes, and see some pretty fabulous shows. If you get lucky, you can even pet the bottlenose dolphins or offer them a tasty, fishy treat.

    Travel Nursing Jobs As a Career Option

    If you are thinking of becoming a travel nurse then it is a viable career option as you will have more salary than the permanent and para diem nurses. If we look back then it is in the year1920 when traveling nursing jobs came into existence after the shortage for nurses was felt. It is the most popular career in USA as the demand for travel nurses is mounting owing to less number of nurses in specific regions. There are around 25,500 travel nurses in USA and about 340 US travel nurse companies. Travel nursing jobs are the short term nursing jobs (4 to 52 weeks) in which the nurses have to travel to different parts of the country. The contract that is outside the country is of longer period like one to two years.

    Travel nursing job gives you the wonderful experience of meeting new people and enjoying different seasons and states of the country. Depending upon the project you can choose the period of stay in the travel nursing job. Like some nurses prefer to stay for one month other for one year.

    How to become a traveling nurse?
    To become a travel nurse one will have to complete the education from the affiliated nursing school to get the Registered Nurse degree. You can go for any of the following types of education

    • Four years BSN degree
    • Two years ADN program
    • Three years diploma

    Along with this one must have the clinical experience of one year as a licensed nurse in the area of his or her specialization to get into traveling nursing jobs. It is recommended that you must get two to three years of experience for the International travel nursing jobs. The requirement of experience vary with the specialization. Like LPN/LVN requires three years of experience where as for Psychiatric nurse job, Med-Surg and Rehab you need the experience of two years to get travel nursing jobs. Also clearing NCLEX-RN exam is must in USA. Along with this you will have to get the license of that particular state. You travel nursing company will help you in getting that.

    Apart from the education and experience you must have a charming personality, easy to adapt nature and good communication skills.

    Traveling nurse jobs is obtained through the travel agency or travel nursing companies that are tied up with the hospitals. Travel nursing companies not only help you in finding the travel nursing jobs but will also help you with the relocation, housing and registration with local authorities. But you will have to be very careful while choosing the travel nurse company as the services provided vary a lot from company to company. So always ask for the entire services that travel nurse agency or company is going to provide while giving the travel nursing job to you. Do ask for clinical support, type of health insurance and 401(k), type of housing, salary and associated benefits, work assignments and loyalty programs.

    You can tell your requirement of travel nurse job to your travel nurse company so that can find the best suitable match. You can start your travel nurse jobs after accepting and processing of your job offer. This can take one week to one month’s time.

    Benefits of Traveling Nurse Jobs
    First of all travel nurse salary is more than the registered nurse working in the same hospital. Apart from this travel nurse will get the housing facility while on work by the travel agencies with basic furnishings of washer dryers, dishwashers etc. Housing stipend is given to the nurses who choose to live independently of travel agency. The amount of stipend is more than the actual wages or it can be substantial.

    Along with this the travel allowances are also paid by the travel agencies that but the coverage of the travel cost vary. So you must inquire about this things before getting travel nursing job. Tax advantages are also given if the nurse maintain tax home while working in the traveling nurse job.

    Salary
    Travel nursing pay vary a lot and generally changes with the location, hospital need, housing cost of the area and negotiation ability of the traveler. Like you will find more travel nurse salary if you are given travel nursing jobs in north or west America than the southern American States. The RN travel nurse salary can be $40 per hour whereas surgical technologists, respiratory therapist and LPN will get pay close to $28 per hour. Some of the hospitals and travel agencies also give bonus that can reach to $6,000 and given at the end of the assignment.

    You can also begin your traveling nurse job with your friend or family. So no need to worry about anything to begin the adventurous career as a travel nurse.

    Nursing And Allied Travel Jobs – The Real Story

    THERE’S ALWAYS TWO SIDES TO THE STORY!

    I’ve been a medical traveler for many years now and have had numerous occasions to review a large number of Travel Company web sites. Most of them contain some type of Q & A section that explains how they work and what they offer. I’ve found that the information given, while accurate, is very incomplete.

    Most of what I’ve learned about the medical travel industry has been learned through the proverbial School of Hard Knocks. It occurred to me recently to write an article that expanded on the usual information given on medical travel websites, an article that presented (as Paul Harvey used to say) the “Rest of the Story.”

    And so…here we go!

    SALARY

    Travel Company: On their web sites Travel Companies usually state a salary range that they offer depending on the type of position, your area of expertise and your experience.

    Rest of the Story: What you are initially offered for a travel assignment is usually not the top dollar that is available for that assignment. Most travelers merely accept what they are offered believing the “deal is the deal” for that particular assignment. I used to do that too… but not any more!

    You especially limit your chances of getting the best salary for your assignments if you choose to register with only one travel agency. When you do that, you give away all leverage to negotiate for better pay. I am always registered with multiple travel companies so I can compare several potential assignments at once and negotiate for the best over all packages.

    There are numerous other “pitfalls” when it comes to getting the most compensation for your travel job. For example, it behooves you to clarify the stipulations for receiving certain types of bonuses and whether you must work solely for one company to earn those bonuses. Again, if you work for only one company, you may unknowingly forfeit higher compensation in other areas of your benefit package in order for the company to offer you those bonuses, in which case they can hardly be called a bonus.

    Remember, you can always, “work your best deal,” (negotiate) with several companies while still remaining highly professional. In addition, knowing how to ask for more will telegraph to a recruiter that you know your business and will position you to receive the best offers.

    HOUSING

    Travel Company: Travel companies always state they will provide you with fully furnished housing while you are on your assignment.

    Rest of the Story: You may be asked to share a two bedroom apartment with another traveler, even a stranger, who is working at your same location unless you know you can request a one bedroom separate apartment.

    Some travelers have been “required” (because they merely accepted this arrangement) to live in an extended stay facility for the entire 13 weeks of an assignment. This is very cramped quarters and becomes extremely wearying after just a couple of weeks.

    I have seen travelers deal with other conditions that were very undesirable such as having their housing located too far from the hospital. I had this experience on one assignment (before I learned to clear all that up in advance!). Each morning I had to make my way through 10 miles of early morning rush hour traffic to reach the hospital.

    In addition, fully furnished means different things to different people. If you don’t know what to ask for in advance you can be stuck with things like a poorly furnished kitchen (only a few sad looking pots and pans for cooking) as well as sparse and unattractive furniture (an ugly green sofa and purple chair spring to mind).

    Knowing what your options really are and how to ask for them is paramount to having a comfortable, safe, convenient and enjoyable living arrangement. Multiple considerations are there for the asking, but you definitely have to ask. By clarifying in advance what I need and expect, and by applying simple to learn negotiating techniques I’ve perfected over time, I now receive the very best housing accommodations on all my assignments.

    GENERAL BENEFIT PACKAGES

    Travel Company: All travel companies offer a variety of benefits besides housing and salary which can include per diem pay, travel expenses, bonuses, clothing and equipment reimbursement, insurance, continuing education, 401 K’s, etc.

    Rest of the Story: Travel benefit packages are definitely not all equal! For instance, one travel company’s insurance coverage may not start until 30 days after you have begun your assignment versus a policy offered by another company that becomes effective the first day on the job. These and numerous other “small print” concerns can come back to bite you if you’re unprepared!

    I’ve also talked to nurses who were never offered per diem pay (the average is $30.00 a day or $210.00 a week) but others were receiving it simply because they asked for it! Some were told they could elect to have per diem pay but would receive fewer benefits in other areas if they chose that option. However, that was not the case for other travelers who refused that trade off. I know I continually receive per diem pay on ALL my assignments without sacrificing any reduction in other areas of compensation.

    To make your travel experience the most lucrative and enjoyable, it pays (literally!) to know what is available as well as how to access those top of the line benefit packages.

    TRAVEL PROVISIONS

    Travel Company: Travel companies offer a variety of ways to cover your travel expenses. If you are required to fly to your assignment, your flight costs will be paid in advance and your travel itinerary arranged for you plus a rental car will be provided once you arrive at your destination. If you are desirous of driving your own car to your job site, you will receive mileage compensation and/or a flat fee amount for travel expenses.

    Rest of the Story: Travel companies can save a lot of money by booking you on flights that leave or arrive at undesirable times of the day or night or that re-route you all over the place, necessitating you change planes frequently.

    I had that experience early on in my travel career (oh what a novice I was then!), when after 3 stops, and long layovers, I finally landed at an airport at 1 am in the morning that was a full two hour drive away from my job site! Just to add to the misery, after that two hour drive in the middle of the night I arrived to find the hotel booked for me was the ultimate rat’s nest with a stuck heater system that turned my room into an unbearable steam bath.

    I also have some rather interesting stories about the type of cars that were rented on my behalf (tin can anyone?). Fortunately I’ve learned how to avoid all those nightmares and now travel comfortably and at reasonable hours.

    The point is that if you don’t know your way around the available travel options, plus know how to negotiate for the best travel considerations, you can have some pretty nasty travel experiences.

    JOB LOCATIONS

    Travel Company: Travel companies paint a somewhat glamorous picture of the places you can travel and the wonderful experiences you can have.

    Rest of the Story: If you’re a traveling novice there is a very good chance you will end up in some out of the way place or hospital that is anything but glamorous. Travel companies are anxious to fill whatever positions that present (after all, that’s how they make their money!) and so they can offer less than desirable job locations to those who don’t know how to navigate the system. That certainly happened to me the first time I took a travel position. I landed in a miserable little town with a very boring job assignment. It made for a very long 13 weeks!

    Just knowing you might get dealt the “low end of the deck” if you’re new to the game can help you avoid something really dower. However, even seasoned travelers are often not getting the best assignments that are available. Thankfully, over time I’ve learned what to ask for and what to avoid, and more importantly, how to spot a bad job location no matter how many bows are on the package.

    THE BEST JOBS

    Travel Company: Travel companies accurately state that a recruiter will contact you about a job opportunity and will give you a general overview of the job, its requirements, and what salary and other benefits are being offered. You will also have an opportunity to ask whatever questions you wish concerning the position.

    Rest of the Story: Recruiters are going to provide the basics of the potential job assignment to you but they are not going to go into any great detail unless it is in direct response to your questions. You should also be prepared to ask pertinent questions of the hospital representative if you should decide to interview for a position presented to you by the recruiter.

    I remain astounded at the number of even experienced travelers that either do not ask many questions concerning a potential job assignment or don’t know what to ask to find out the “nitty gritty” of what the job really entails. As a result, there are many travelers who are quite “surprised” (and not in a good way!) about the real facts once they reach their job destination. And of course, like it or not, they are bound by a legal contract to fulfill their assignment.

    Just by asking the number of staff that will be working on your floor or in your department, the number of patients or tests you will be expected to oversee or perform, and the ratio of permanent and travel staff, you can begin to get a definite feel for what you will encounter. Recently while considering a position, I was able to ask those questions plus several others that revealed there had been a recent “uproar” in the department with people leaving in mass, leading me to decide not to jump into the fray.

    I am always being treated to the latest horror story concerning jobs that were anything but what they were thought to be. That doesn’t have to be your story if you learn the right questions to ask in order to get the real picture.

    IN CONCLUSION

    As you can see, knowledge is power! Without it, you’re in for a very bumpy ride in the medical travel world. I’ve explained just a few Q & A areas where travel companies are only giving you the basics of the process. Unfortunately, relying on “just the basics” will have you collecting a few horror stories of your own!

    Travel Clubs

    Are Travel Clubs worth the investment?

    My traveling days have slowed down since I’ve become a new mom, my priorities have changed, but my husband and I still try and take a vacation at least once or twice a year. My boss travels several times a year and was telling me about the opportunities that come along with them and suggested that I check things out. Well, my curiosity got the best of me and I started searching different sites for information on the pros and cons. I hope my findings help you with your decision on whether or not to purchase a membership.

    Wondering what a travel club is? Members a charged a membership fee in return for providing travel at cost or an extremely discounted rate. There are several different types of clubs, ranging from luxury leisure travel to affordable adventure travel and a whole slew of others.

    My boss chose to go with “Travel RCI”, which guaranteed the lowest prices for flights, hotels and other forms of travel. He has been very happy with the services and said he wished he would have joined earlier. The savings have truly added up for him, and they might for you as well.

    Benefits

    Becoming a member can be extremely beneficial if you travel more than just once a year. Most memberships come with several free trip offers each year. Travel club memberships offer cheap trip options that are not available to the general public. Investing in a membership can range anywhere from unlimited flexibility in travel options, trip packages in thousands of destinations. You can save on all the extras that go hand in hand with planning a trip, like car rental, hotel reservations, airline tickets and discounts on food and drinks. Travel club membership also works like airline mile rewards programs, giving you additional benefits for traveling more.

    Types

    There are a handful of different types, ranging from women’s only clubs, sport-specific like ski or golf travel to clubs for traveling singles. Most memberships require a one-time nominal fee, while other may require annual or monthly membership fees. There are also several companies that coordinate for the professionals, like teachers and dentists, with professional services related travel opportunities.

    With the vast array of options and types, just about every traveler can find a club that is unique to their individual tastes. An important factor is convenience. A travel club allows members to maintain up-to-date profiles based on their travel interests that help the club to weed out potential offers and trip options for them. With a vast array of traveling tools, a travel club can simplify your travel planning process for you by keeping everything you need on an easily accessible site.

    Advisory

    Like any other special offers and discounts you may find on the Internet today, travel club options should be thoroughly researched for legitimacy. There are many travel-related Internet scams on the Internet and they prey off vulnerable trusting individuals. Be sure to check out the company’s reputation by conducting a basic Internet search. Like contacting the Better Business Bureau, or simply calling the company in question to ask for more information.

    Also, remember that the benefit of a travel clubs really ramps up once you travel twice in a given year. If you do not travel at least twice a year you will likely not save enough money to justify the cost of your membership. If you travel more than twice a year your travel club should be a great investment.

    Conclusion
    Travel clubs can be a great investment for the avid traveler. If you plan on traveling several times a year I would highly recommend that you research the different travel clubs and see which one will best suite you and your family and/or business needs. Please take the time so you too can get the best out of your future travels.

    Travel Nerves and How Best to Intervene

    When litigating a road accident claim, travel anxiety and associated stress is one of the typical sub headings of damages. Depending on whether physical injuries exist, the severity and level of disruption socially and occupationally of any travel anxiety are crucial to accurate and viable quantum assessment. Paul Elson and Karen Addy both have considerable experience in differentiating clinical and sub-clinical types of ‘travel nerves’.

    Travel nervousness following a road accident is almost a universal psychological consequence among those people unfortunate enough to suffer such an event. The level of nervousness displayed by individuals varies considerably. For some people it is very mild and soon disappears as they return to driving. This can essentially be considered a normal response that does not require treatment. For others however the level of nervousness suffered is more problematic. This group of people fall within three categories, namely those for whom the problem is considered ‘mild’, ‘moderate’ or ‘severe’.

    Mild travel nervousness describes those people who, while displaying a clear degree of travel anxiety, are nevertheless able to travel in a vehicle without too much difficulty and as such there is no avoidance behavior. Those people with a moderate degree of travel nervousness display increased nervousness and have consequently reduced their level of travel, typically limiting their travel to essential journeys only. Finally, those people whose problem is considered severe display both marked anxiety regarding the prospect of traveling in a vehicle and in addition have markedly reduced such travel or even avoid travel altogether. The level of travel anxiety suffered by those people for whom it is considered mild is unlikely to meet the criteria for a psychological disorder, ie it is not clinically significant. The level of travel anxiety suffered by those people for whom it is considered moderate may or may not meet the criteria depending on the level of anxiety suffered and the degree of avoidance involved. For those who are suffering from severe travel anxiety it is likely that they will be suffering from a diagnose psychological disorder, most commonly a specific phobia.

    There are various approaches to tackling these problems. First, a person may benefit from learning strategies to relax, such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation. This may be available on the NHS (usually via the person’s GP), privately, or could be accessed through simply buying a relaxation tape that will talk the person through the skills needed. This approach would be of particular benefit for those people considered to be suffering from mild travel anxiety and could be sufficient to help the individual overcome their nervousness. Behavioral approaches, such as encouraging an increase in travel practice, are essential to recovery as avoidance of travel maintains the nervousness and reduces confidence in traveling. Thus encouraging a person to increase the time or distance involved in their traveling would help them regain their confidence. Refresher driving lessons can also play a part in increasing confidence and reducing avoidance; this approach is likely to be beneficial to all three levels of travel nervousness.

    For people with more severe travel anxiety and those that meet the criteria for a specific phobia, more formal psychological treatment is often required. The most common and evidence-based therapy used in such cases is cognitive behavior therapy. This is a well-established psychological treatment that seeks to teach people to overcome their nervousness by tackling both the individual’s thought processes (the cognitive component) and by working on the degree to which they actually travel or else avoid doing so (the behavioral component). It is practically-oriented, involving the teaching of skills and homework-type assignments. Its effectiveness is grounded in scientific research. This approach would be indicated in those individuals whose problem is moderate or severe and usually consists of a course of 8-10 sessions. Ideally, the person receiving the treatment should possess a degree of psychological mindedness, ie they possess the ability to reflect on their thoughts, feelings and behavior.

    Another form of psychological therapy used to treat travel nervousness is that of Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR). This approach involves encouraging the client to bring into awareness distressing material (thoughts, feelings, etc) from the past and present and which is then followed by sets of bilateral stimulation, most usually side-to-side eye movements. Once the eye movements cease the individual is asked to let material come to awareness without attempting to ‘make anything happen’. After EMDR processing, clients generally report that the emotional distress in relation to the memory has been eliminated, or greatly decreased. EMDR is primarily used to treat post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), for which there is some scientific evidence demonstrating its benefits, and although it may also be used to treat travel phobia, the research evidence supporting this is more anecdotal.

    The above approaches are not mutually exclusive and it is likely that in practice a combination of treatment approaches is needed. For example, a person undergoing cognitive behavior therapy is also likely to benefit from being taught relaxation techniques and to increase their travel practice, components which usually form part of this therapeutic approach. They may also be receiving EMDR treatment.

    While the approach to tackling an individual’s particular problem is partially determined by the nature and severity of the problem, as outlined above, it is also dependent on the preference of the individual concerned, as some people would rather try tackling the problem themselves, having received some simple informal advice, while others would prefer something more formal, such as psychological therapy. Either way, the person needs to be motivated to tackle their problem and ideally possess some belief in the effectiveness of the approach that they are using.

    The following case highlights a typical anxiety reaction to a car accident and the recommended treatment for such symptoms:

    Mr. M was a 28 year old who was in an accident in May 2008. He was a front seat passenger, in a car driven by a friend. The car they were traveling in was hit from the rear by a lorry and pushed into another lorry whilst on a motorway. Mr. M was trapped in the car and was cut free by the fire service. He received whiplash injuries and burns to his legs as a result of the car’s water tank spilling on him. Early psychological symptoms (developed within 2 months of the accident) were stress symptoms of intrusive thoughts, nightmares, some avoidance phenomena and persistent arousal symptoms. These symptoms as described did not meet the full criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (DSM.IV 309.81).

    However, he experienced mood disturbance with variable low mood reactive to pain, feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem, sleep disturbance, reduced appetite and weight loss, lethargy and reduced motivation, consistent tearfulness, loss of interest in usual activities and consistent irritability, exacerbated by physical discomfort. He also stated that he was generally more anxious, describing worries about potential hazards and being more jumpy and hyper-vigilant to perceived danger. Following the accident Mr. M avoided driving and at the time of the interview (15 months since the accident) he had not driven. In addition he avoided traveling as a passenger whenever possible. There was social withdrawal due to travel anxiety and low mood. He reported stopping usual activities such as going to the gym and going out with friends. Mr. M had not worked since the accident. He reported that he was physically unfit for approximately six months, however had not returned to work due to a fear of traveling in a car preventing him from accessing work.

    The symptoms described by Mr.M meet the criteria for a Specific Phobia (DSM.IV 300.29) related to travel and a Depressive Disorder (DSM.IV 311). Mr M completed a course of cognitive behavioral therapy (12 sessions) which included a graded approach to increasing his travel practice and incorporated general relaxation techniques. After six months Mr M had significantly increased his driving and passenger travel, had started to work part time and no longer met the criteria for either a specific phobia or depressive disorder. It is unlikely that without appropriate psychological treatment such improvement in Mr M’s condition would have occurred as evidence suggests that maximum natural improvement in symptoms will occur 6-12 months following the index accident.

    Travel anxiety, a common response to experiencing a distressing road traffic accident, is a well documented and understandable phenomenon. It can and does improve with self help, advice, and where appropriate, professional help.

    The Joys (and Sorrows) of Travelling Alone

    There is no one “right” way to travel, especially when it comes to the number of partners you choose to travel with as you explore the world. Yes, if you travel with others, you should only travel with those whose presence you enjoy. And yes, I’d argue you’ll have a lot more fun by traveling with some close and adventurous friends rather than traveling through a foreign destination with a group of tourists who barely want to leave the hotel. But, assuming you make a few wise choices regarding the company you keep, there are unique benefits hidden within traveling with one person, with three people, or with a dozen people.

    Not that you actually need to travel with anyone else. In fact, the intensity of traveling alone often outclasses anything you’ll experience traveling with others- intense in its highs and its lows. Intense in its connections and its loneliness. Intense in its opportunities for building confidence, and intense in its opportunities for dealing with doubt and fear. And it’s this intensity of often-conflicting experience that makes traveling alone for an extended period of time an absolute necessity for each and every one of us.

    Travel is About Growth

    A quick aside.

    Some people may be put off by the ideal of intensity I’ve used to drum up travelling alone. I understand this. An intense experience can be uncomfortable to think about. But in reality, an intense experience is often more uncomfortable to think about than it is to actually live through. But our discomfort surrounding intensity lies at the heart of every growth opportunity we ever encounter. We grow the most when we feel most alive and when we push through vague anxieties to expand our sphere of comfortable action.

    In other words you shouldn’t avoid the intense experiences and the discomfort they temporarily produce- you should run towards them. Sometimes traveling is about just enjoying yourself, but at its heart traveling the world is about running towards intensity, embracing discomfort, and expanding the world you inhabit.

    So yes, the thought of traveling alone can sometimes feel scary. That’s sort of the point. Don’t use this fear as an excuse to live in a smaller world than you need to.

    Others

    When you travel alone your experiences will swing wildly back and forth between being deeply social and deeply lonesome. Often the tone of your experiences changes overnight. One night you meet some new friends you spend hours and hours with as you talk, as you explore, as you bare your souls- as you get drunk together and dance together and as you wander foreign streets late at night together, invincible in the moment. The next day they leave and so does the last person you know in your current location and you’re alone again. In that moment you can be active and reach out and meet others, but you’ll feel shocked how often, in that moment, you’d rather spend your time totally alone.

    Through expat bars and hostels and alternative tours, traveling provides you with a never-ending opportunity to meet new people. When you travel by yourself you’ll only ever be as alone as you want to be. You’ll be able to meet others without preconceptions, without strings attached, without checking in to see if everything’s cool with your friends and without worry what others will think about the relationships you build and leave behind. When it comes down to it traveling by yourself provides you with social freedom you could never experience back home or traveling with others.

    And that includes the freedom to truly be by yourself. The relief of occasionally spending a day on your own when you’re back home does not, and cannot, compare with the depth of the solitude you will experience when you are alone for hours, days, or weeks at a time in cities, countries and cultures far from your everyday experience. These silent, lonely moments will make you feel so many things, they will give you the time to process and to question and to answer, it’s in those moments of total separation from everything and everyone related to home that you can gain the most perspective on your life and make the hard decisions about who you are, what you want, and how you’re going to get there- decisions you just can’t make when you’re grasping on to even the slightest thread of connection to the life you used to know.

    Yourself

    I hope I don’t sound like I’m bearing down negatively on others. So many of your opportunities for some semblance of enlightenment will come to you in the company of others. We are intensely, and intrinsically, social creatures. As E.E. Cummings said, “We are for each other,” and every nugget of insight you learn as you travel by yourself exists for the sole purpose of helping you better serve the world and the others who live in it. I’m merely suggesting there are benefits and insights out there in the wild you can only gain when you disconnect completely in the way you only can when you vacate normal life and search for something else on your own.

    If you need any greater indication that humans are truly social in nature consider the powerful feelings of doubt and fear you’ll feel when you cut yourself off from others. Even thinking about traveling alone you’re probably thinking that it isn’t something you could ever do. When you leave home on your own you will feel incredibly scared of what you’ll find way out there and whether you’ll be able to handle it. Traveling alone you will repeatedly question pretty much everything about yourself and whether you can even survive, in a basic mental and emotional sense, without continuous close contact with others.

    And moving through these cycles of fear and doubt you will learn something- that you can handle it. You cannot only survive but you can thrive. You learn how tough you really are, how little you really need, and with that knowledge of your own inherent indestructibility and with that understanding that life can be great even if you lose everything, you will gain the confidence and courage to actually act on the dangerous insights you accumulate while you travel. Traveling alone not only lets you see what difficult choices you need to make when you return back home, traveling alone lets you know you’re strong enough to risk it all and act on them. Traveling alone makes you both a wiser and a stronger person in a way traveling with others never, ever could.

    Party Bus Services

    Is there a party coming up and you have planned everything except the transportation. No one wants to miss the party. There are many people who reach the party very late; this is because they do not have the correct transportation mode. The solution to this problem is Charlotte Party bus. You will never be late by booking a limo for your party. You do not have to worry about any kind of traffic or parking lots, no hassle at all! Charlotte bus takes care of your transportation needs.

    Make your more convenient, safe and reliable with Charlotte occasion bus service. Party buses are especially for the kind of people who want to stay together and party. A party bus can accommodate all of your gang, keep it safe and you do not have to worry about the driving at all.

    Are you thinking of what to get for your occasion? Then make sure you go for a occasion bus, it has it all. There are many people who think that a stretched limo is more comfortable than a party bus. But this is not true; there are many Charlotte occasion buses that offer the same amount of comfort as the limo. a occasion bus offers more space and comfort. A party bus offers more space to move around, you can even stand in a party bus. There are a lot of amenities in the party bus. A party bus is a perfect choice for a group of people; it will offer them comfort, luxury and at the same time a lot of space to party.

    A Charlotte occasion bus has a lot of amenities like, sound systems, flat screen TVs, entertainment systems, lights, wooden floors, built in bars and mush more all there is in a occasion bus that you need to party.

    Keep all of your friends together. What if there is a party and your friends are late. So it is a good idea to book a occasion bus sop that the whole gang stays together and arrives at the spot on time, safely and in style. A Charlotte occasion buses is driven by an experienced driver, he is well trained and knows the roads, and he will take you to your place of party in style and safely without any traffic hassle. While renting a Charlotte occasion bus you have to be sure the company is licensed, the drivers are licensed and the fleet of party buses is large enough to fulfill your party needs.

    Top 5 Basic Things to Consider When Choosing a Travel Agent For Traveling to Antarctica

    Travelers planning a trip must perform due diligence with the task of choosing a dependable travel agent. This becomes crucial when the planned trip is to Antarctica. The harsh and unpredictable weather as well as remote and inhospitable geographical conditions of the region demand that experienced and capable people handle the affairs of an expedition be it by air or sea.

    Choosing a dependable travel agent is a tricky job as there are a dismayingly large number of travel agencies out there. Anyone with a little knowledge of Internet ticket booking and awareness of travel destinations can set up a travel agency. It is hard to expect quality and dependable service even from registered travel agencies as the registration process is simple and doesn’t require much more than filling out a simple form and paying some fees. Airliners and cruise liners affiliations are also meaningless. Let the lure of visiting the White Continent not make you overlook some basic factors in choosing a travel agent. If I were traveling to Antarctica these are the things I would be concentrating on for selecting a travel agent.

    Reputation

    This is the prime consideration while choosing a travel agent. Usually, the more reputable a travel agency the better is its service. Ascertain whether it’s lower cost or quality service that makes a particular travel agent special. Your target is clearly reputation based on the dependability of service. Cheap and best are not applicable always. You don’t drive the cheapest car, don’t wear the cheapest dress, and don’t eat out in the cheapest restaurant. So why choose a travel agent that specializes in providing cheap services. You are going to Antarctica, remember. Everything should be top notch. You should concentrate on getting that. Getting better rates becomes secondary to getting top equipment, facilities, and services.

    People assume that the longer a travel agency is in business the better will be the quality of their service. This is purely a common assumption and there are no statistics to support this. Not how long has the travel agency been in service, but how well is it serving travelers now should be the question uppermost in your mind. The fact is that there are many old travel agencies on the verge of running out of business and there are many new travel agencies offering better services with newer and appropriate policies. Reputed, experienced, and efficient should be the preferred criteria of your choice. Equally important is to choose tour operators that specialize in expeditions to ice covered lands like the Arctic and Antarctica.

    Check with Friends, Clients, and Suppliers

    The best opinions that you can get are from trusted friends and associates that have traveled to Antarctica. If you can tolerate a little exaggeration or understatement you will get honest opinions from them. However, don’t take a single emphatic recommendation as final. Check and verify with others about any recommendation. Find from the recommended travel agent if they are giving any benefits to clients for bringing in referrals. Make sure that your friend has not referred you mainly to earn benefits for himself.

    Get a list of existing clients and suppliers from the travel agent to verify its claims. Find out how the travel agency performs on a bad day. Be careful as it’s natural on the part of a supplier to say only positive things about a travel agent if the latter is the former’s client. You should contact a reliable and reputable supplier to establish the truth whether or not the travel agent does business with it. Clients can better testify about the veracity of the claims made by a tour operator. Get an exhaustive list of clients so that the travel agent will not know which ones you are going to contact. If you are taking the contact address of a few clients then contact them right away so that the travel agent gets no time to tutor clients and dress up testimonies.

    Dependable Team

    The competencies and expertise of the expedition team are crucial to an Antarctic expedition. In the unending stretch of ice and cold water you have only them to ensure your safety. A dependable team should comprise of at least one veteran captain having several expedition experiences, expert sailors, environmentalists, geologists familiar with the topography of the continent and specializing in glaciology, oceanographers, marine biologists, polar scientists, and polar educators. It’s essential for all the above people to have previous Antarctic expedition experience. Make sure that the team has all the qualification and experience to make your expedition a safe and enjoyable one.

    Sturdy Ship

    Special attention must be paid for the kind of ship the travel agent is going to put you on and the team that will lead the expedition. The ship must be in top condition. It must have all the latest communication tools as well as expedition equipment. Find out how well the ship can cope with disaster?

    Ask the travel agent about which cruise liners are listed in their agency and how many voyages the cruise liners have made to Antarctica? The more successful voyages made by a cruise liner the better – the rule is simple. Is your travel agency offering good ice breaking ships or ice strengthening cruises? If you are more adventurous you should prefer the ice breaking cruises as they will take you to places that just ice strengthened ships cannot take. Ask the tour operator what kind of logistics the ships offer (zodiacs and helicopters). What kind of gear and equipment do they make available on the ship? Will the ship have qualified guides, naturalists, geologists, and sailors to make the expedition safe and successful?

    Some More Questions to Ask the Tour Operators

    There are expeditions led by people that have explored the entire Antarctic. Your expedition can benefit immensely from the knowledge of such people. Find out whether the tour operators are members of International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO). IAATO is a private body, which has laid down the rules to be followed by tour operators while going to Antarctica and about conduct on the continent.

    Ask the travel agent this precious question, “what service they offer which any other agents do not or cannot offer”? Compare the results and answers of the travel agents and go for the most reliable one.

    If you plan to fly over part of Antarctica then find out from the tour operator whether the pilot and crew members have previous flying experience to the continent. Some travel agencies make sure that the captain of the airplane has flown to Antarctica at least once before.

    These are just five basic factors that you should consider when selecting a travel agent for an expedition to Antarctica. There are more things that you should take into account while doing the due diligence in this regard. Look up on the Internet and guidebooks to cover all the aspects to make sure that you have taken utmost care in selecting a travel agent. Do not always trust what is posted in forums without cross checking. For that matter trust advise or information only when they come from an authentic and reputed source. Cross check them to be absolutely sure. Have a safe and happy voyage.

    Benefits Of A School Bus Driver Endorsement

    A position as a school bus driver is a perfect job for a CDL driver who wants to work regular work hours and enjoys working with children. Most school bus drivers transport public elementary school, middle school or high school students. These are stable jobs paid for by the various school districts of the counties the driver is employed by. These jobs usually offer good salaries and employee benefits which include health insurance, holiday pay and vacation pay. School bus drivers usually work a set schedule. A typical schedule involves picking children up early in the morning to take them to school and returning to schools in the afternoon to pick them up to return them to their neighborhoods. Drivers can also earn extra money by driving students to special events. Middle schools and high schools often have after school activities which include various sports events. Football games, basketball games and other sports events are often held at different locations through the city. Drivers can earn extra money by transporting the athletes, cheerleaders, dancers, etc. to these games.

    Another benefit of a school bus drivers schedule is that a typical drivers work day starts early. Most children are picked up early in the morning and dropped off at their schools between 7:30a.m. and 8:00a.m. depending upon the schedule set by the school district. Drivers are then off duty until they return to schools in the afternoon to pick the children up and return them to their respective neighborhoods. This allows a sufficient amount of time for drivers to work a part time job or attend classes either during the day or after their work day ends. Some drivers like to use their off duty time to exercise, do chores, or take a morning nap. Whatever drivers like to do with that time, a school bus driver schedule allows them the flexibility to do so.

    To be qualified to become a school bus driver you must receive a Commercial Driver License (CDL) with a school bus driver endorsement. To qualify for the school bus endorsement you must meet specific criteria. Applicants must take and pass a driving skills test in a vehicle of the same vehicle group that the applicant intends to drive. Applicants must also pass the knowledge test for obtaining a passenger vehicle endorsement. The knowledge test demonstrates knowledge concerning the proper loading and unloading procedures with children. This includes knowledge of the safe operation of:

    Stop signal devices
    External mirror systems
    Flashing lights
    Emergency exits and procedures for safely evacuating passengers in an emergency
    State and Federal laws and regulations related to safely traversing railroad-highway rail grade crossings.
    Knowledge of other warning and passenger safety devices required for school buses by County, State or Federal law or regulation
    Other operating procedures and practices required by law but not otherwise specified.

    Many school bus drivers have found their jobs to be very rewarding and a good career choice for them. It is a very challenging career which requires a high level of responsibility as you will be responsible for the safety of a bus load of children in your care. If you are up to the challenge, you too may enjoy a career as a school bus driver.

    School Bus Rental – The Yellow Bus Company

    If you have somewhere to go with a class or with specific children, you don’t just have to do it by hoping enough individuals will be able to have their family drive them to school. One of the ways that you can get to your destination is by using school bus rental. This will give you the ability to get to your desired point of destination with the best option for travel to the area that you want to go.

    Even though school buses are used for public transportation of children, they are not necessarily required to stay only in one area or with one route. School buses also function as a company that can provide extra transportation so that you can have direct routes to the area that you are going to. This will allow individuals to get to the points needed for the best price and for the options that will provide the best of getting to the desired destination.

    When you are looking into buses that are a part of school bus rental, you can start by examining the different companies and options that are available. Typically, you will be working with a school bus driver as a part of the company in order to drive you towards your desired destination. This will allow you to find a school bus that is convenient and has the same qualities as other types of rental bus companies, allowing you to get the most convenient option.

    Not only will you want to find the most convenient bus, but will want to find a school bus that will get better mileage and gas, dependent on how many people are going along for the ride. This will be combined with different types of bus formats that are available, such as a regular sized bus or a minibus. Each school bus area will be able to find you the best option in buses, dependent on how many people are traveling to the destination needed. These options will provide you with the ability to get to the location that you desire in the best way.

    Not only can you find the best school buses through these rental options, but can also look into the comfort with the transportation, as well as the needs that you will have. For instance, if you are renting a school bus for a school function, the best option will be to go through the company that has the school buses in order to get the best options available to you. This will allow you to get all of the children to the competition, project or area with the most convenient type of transportation. If you are looking for something that has a longer distance or that doesn’t have the same functions, you will want to find a different type of company to provide you with the best.

    If you are ready to get places, you can start by tapping into the yellow bus as an easy and convenient way to get to your destination. If you want to look at some of your best options, than finding a school bus rental will be able to provide you with a way to get to your desired destination in the most convenient way.

    Travel Risk Management and Foreseeable Risk

    Introduction: Travel Risk Management and Foreseeable Risk

    When it comes to foreseeable risk, foresee ability and travel risk management, this is what every travel, human resources and manager should know. In this article we will cover foreseeable risk, foresee ability, hazard identification and travel risk assessments to mitigate or eliminate the risk of travel and comply with the company’s social objectives and legal obligations. By reading this article you will be able to confirm the true meaning of foreseeable risk as it relates to travel risk management and determine if you and your company truly have a demonstrable travel risk management system that complies with your social and legal duty of care objectives.

    The first point is to clarify as the the legal definition of foreseeable risk.

    Foreseeable Risk and Foresee ability Defined
    Foreseeable risk is defined as a danger, hazard or threat which a reasonable person should anticipate as the result from his/her actions. Foreseeable risk is a common affirmative defense put up as a response by defendants in lawsuits for negligence. A skateboarder hits a bump on a road, falls and breaks his wrist. This is a foreseeable risk of skateboarding. A woman is severely injured while flying on an aircraft when the the aircraft suddenly descends due to turbulence and she hits her head on the over head luggage compartment. While there is potential risk, she had the right to anticipate that the aircraft was properly maintained, the pilot aware of the approaching weather conditions and did not assume the risk that her seat-belt would fail. Signs that warn “use at your own risk” do not bar lawsuits for risks that are not foreseeable.

    Foresee ability is the facility to perceive, know in advance, or reasonably anticipate that damage or injury will probably ensue from acts or omissions.

    In the law of negligence, the foresee ability aspect of proximate cause-the event which is the primary cause of the injury-is established by proof that the actor, as a person of ordinary intelligence and circumspection, should reasonably have foreseen that his or her negligent act would imperil others, whether by the event that transpired or some similar occurrence, and regardless of what the actor surmised would happen in regard to the actual event or the manner of causation of injuries.

    Hazard, Threat and Dangers Identification

    Travel Risk Management and Foreseeable Risk

    An officer of the company must demonstrate the process and implementation, whereby any person of ordinary intelligence can identify, document and in advance mitigate or eliminate dangers, threats and hazards that would ordinarily imperil a business traveler. Policies and notification that warn business travelers of risk do not bar legal recourse, even if the events were not foreseeable.

    Forward planning supported by past incident capture and analysis aid in this process. Generic, global or regional identifications are inadequate with specific locations, actions, competencies and supporting elements required in order to reasonably anticipate in advance any damage or injury that may ensue from acts or omissions. This process should be continuous and timely. Obligations are not limited to what the actor surmised would happen in regard to the actual event or the manner of causation of injuries.

    Travel Risk Assessments
    The analysis and assessment of business travel related threats must be evidence based and cannot be fully outsourced to providers or third parties as the business comprehension and obligation remains with the person/s within the company charged with the authority and responsibility of duty of care for business travelers.

    Collection, processing, analysis and distribution of travel risk management elements such as traveler, location, past event, current circumstances, special events, forecaster changes and business activity must be inclusive of the process.

    Consistency and clarity of travel risk assessments are required if the process is to be replica, transferable and applicable for any and all business travel.

    Travel threats, danger and hazards relative to business travelers must be distinct and focused exclusively on business travelers and the act of business travel and not bundled with broader business risk assessments.

    Similar and exact acts related to business travel and travel threats must be evaluated for relevance and impact. Leisure travel threats may need to be considered also if proximate to business travel locations and business travelers. Regardless of what the company officer surmised would happen or the event that transpired, along with similar occurrences, proof of process and outcomes are required.

    Conclusion: Travel Risk Management and Foreseeable Risk
    Now that you understand the importance of foreseeable risk as defined by legal opinions, you will probably see your approach and effectiveness in a whole new light. Foreseeable risk and foresee ability does apply to business travel risk management and your business travelers. In order to prove or effectively demonstrate travel risk management foreseeable risk actions you need consistent, audit-able and effective evidence if you are to mitigate or eliminate the risks associated with business travel, convey confidence to business travelers that you are proactively fulfilling your duty of care and defend or confirm your compliance with the various acts and legislation. Objectively review your current preparedness and processes specific to travel risk management and use this advice to make your comparison and rectify any omissions to your processes immediately.

    Don't Have Time to Travel to Your Favourite Destination This Year? Think Again

    Believe it or not, our life revolves around travel everyday! When we think of the word “travel,” we would normally think about exotic vacations, airplanes, road trips, our dream travel destinations, all inclusive hotels on a tropical island, you name it! Traveling is simply moving from point A to point B. This includes but not limited to traveling to work, traveling to school or even traveling to a destinations a few blocks away from our home.

    Humans and animals travel for various reasons. During the winter time, some birds such as the Canadian geese, travel south to far as Mexico to escape the cold (humans do that too!), we as humans travel to work in order to make ends meet and the list can go on forever. Not to mention, we travel to other places on this planet to temporarily escape our chaotic environments, then we come back to it rejuvenated. Sometimes we even travel permanently to other destinations for various reasons such as seeking a “better life,” reuniting with family and taking up a new job offer.

    Just about everyone has their own dream travel destination. Many people in developing countries dream about traveling to the USA to taste the American dream; many people from developed cold countries dream about traveling to tropical countries such as Jamaica to taste at least two weeks of sunshine and many others from various regions around the globe dream about exploring other countries that are known to have extraordinary scenery.

    Now unfortunately, many of us don’t get a chance to fulfill our travel dreams in our life time for various reasons such as lack of finances, can’t get the time off from work or just simply having to fulfill other commitments. These common excuses mentioned here are all understandable; however, the truth is you can still fulfill your travel dreams if you work hard at it. The question I have for you is, “How important are these travel dreams to you?” If your dream travel destination doesn’t have any form of priority in your life, don’t expect to be going anywhere soon! Yes, I would certainly encourage you to be realistic with your finances and resources at the same time. If you really want to go on that trip that dreamed about all your life, make it happen!

    Start planning ahead with your family about the family travel plans. If you plan at least 1-2 years in advance, you can make it happen (depending on where you’re traveling). For example, if you’re planning an all inclusive trip to the Caribbean for a family of four, and save at least $200 US or more a month, you’ll be amaze to see how much you’ll end up by the end of the year!

    You may say “I can’t afford this” but think about all the unnecessary things that you’re purchasing and add up how much you can be saving and who knows, you and your family can be able to fulfill that travel dream in less than a year! By saving up from now, you can pay for that vacation with cash without going in to debt if you start saving now. Yes, it’s going to take some sacrifice but at the end of the day, it’s all worth it. It’s good to also plan ahead with your boss when you want to take time off from work. If you own your own business, plan ahead of time to set aside some days off from work.

    Did you know that there are some benefits about traveling? Education may be the first benefit. Yes, traveling can also be a learning experience. A person from a developed country who travels to a developing country may learn how to complain less and appreciate life more in his own developed country. A person from a developing country who travels to a developed country will learn that he can have a “better life” in another environment though this may not be true all the time.

    Traveling to other nations may give you the opportunity to discover developmental and business opportunities. If you’re an entrepreneur or investor who is on a vacation in another country, you may learn about some investment opportunities that may come with great rewards.

    Traveling may be good times to get know your friends and family much better. Not to mention again, it’s one of the best opportunities to relax and escape the stressful world for a while. I enjoy traveling myself and I also enjoy encourage people to travel other places, and even locally. My traveling experience has taught me that there is much more to life than I thought before. In other words, my view about life has changed for the better.

    Happy New Year to you! I hope that you, your family or friends, would be able to fulfill the travel dreams that you have in mind during this year. Remember, your traveling journey starts now by implementing the plans. All the best!

    Become a Travel Agent – Reap the Benefits

    Become a travel agent and capitalize on reaping the benefits of 7 trillion dollar and counting industry. The travel industry is probably the largest in the world and America is in the top 3. The internet continues to literally explode with opportunities and home based businesses really rocket into the limelight.

    Air travel has come a long way since its humble beginnings and today it is possible to fly to the farthest corners of the earth without any difficulty whatsoever. More people are being attracted to flying overseas for annual vacations and business travel. If you have landed on this page don’t go away – you can read all about the benefits you will enjoy when you become a travel agent.

    Once you take a look at the grand benefits you can avail of when you become a travel agent my guess is there will be no turning back.

    A travel agent gets to save as much as 80 percent on travel to several of the world’s finest resorts and travel destinations. General discounts include but are in no way limited to:

    • Complimentary upgrades on airlines
    • Hotel room discounts
    • Hotel room upgrades
    • Car rental discounts and upgrades
    • Discounted or even complimentary cruises
    • Vacation package discounts and benefits
    • Earn visits and discounts to theme parks, shows and attractions
    • Luxury cruise discounts of up to 70 percent
    • Comprehensive training

    You could become a travel agent and enjoy familiarization (FAM) trips; supplier offer these trips to travel Professionals to familiarize them with the facilities and gain first hand knowledge about an airline, hotel, travel destination, etc. A travel Professional cannot be an effective sales person if they have never actually experienced the joy of visiting a particular place; flying a particular airline or staying at a particular hotel. This first hand knowledge will help convince clients that the agent is knowledgeable and knows what he or she is talking about.

    When you travel a distinct benefit is the fact that suppliers roll out the red carpet for you. They tend to go overboard in convincing you that their hotel or package is the best on the market.

    Independent travel agents can avail of tax benefits and you need to check this with a CPA or professional tax authority to get the right information.

    Travel Professionals earn travel agent commissions on travel undertaken by clients and self.

    You will need to do your research to find a good company to tie up with depending on whether you want to be an independent travel Professional or work with a big travel agency. You will also need a license to become a Certified Travel Professional need to do research on companies who offer independent travel agent.

    Renting a Party Bus

    A party bus comes in handy for many who want to go out at night and party. A party bus is mainly used for personalized trips, drop offs, weddings, proms, bachelorette and bachelor parties, city tours, birthday parties and picks ups from various nightclubs and bars. A variety of party bus rentals have party limos such as exotic limousines, antique limousines, exotic limos, standard limousines, party buses and L Series cars that one can rent out.

    The advantage of renting a party bus is that one can move from one place to another easily without worrying about driving and safety issues. This is because most of these come with chauffeur services. Most party limos have limousine features that are reliable hallmarks of success such as AM/FM stereos, a CD player, upgraded seats, luggage partitions, laser lights, on-board restroom and power window locks Whether one needs a party bus for a corporate trip, bachelor or bachelorette party, they can always rent out a party bus which comes in different shapes and styles and let the professional drivers do their job. Renting a party limo saves one the headache of arranging for transportation later on in the night.

    A party bus can be rented for a day, week or month. A party bus that is hired for more than a day is charged a daily rate or mileage rate. Chauffeur tips and overnight sleeping arrangements are not included in the price. Reservations for a party bus need to be made as quickly as possible especially during the summer. Sometimes a deposit is necessary to make a reservation and is usually applied to one’s overall charge.

    When hiring a party bus from party bus rentals, one should ask a number of questions and make sure they fully comprehend all deposits and costs. Research should be carried out about party bus rentals and their policies in case a breakdown or accident occurs. Evidence for liability insurance must be obtained and one should ensure that the party bus has an operating license. Tour bus and party limo operators must have their licenses registered and displayed on their vehicles. It is important to know the number of passengers the party bus can hold. Having completed one’s research on party bus rentals and the services they offer one can easily pick a party bus that meets his or her needs. It is necessary for anyone who experiences problems when trying to obtain the best party bus to do earlier planning and seek out help from executives of party bus rentals. These executives will ensure that the party bus rentals offer efficient and quality services. Their profound experience and knowledge in handling party transport will ensure that a party bus travel goes smoothly.

    It is very important to correctly estimate how long one will use the party bus for billing purposes. Most Party bus rentals will require this information to bill upfront. Others may require that the bill be paid at the end of the night. In both cases, time must be properly managed to avoid additional penalties for late returns. It is essential to note that most party bus rentals have party buses and limos for every occasion and therefore they come in handy.

    California Travel Medical Insurance

    California is situated in the western part of United States. It is a well-populated state and people in California are in the farming industry. Californians are known to travel either within the country or go for inter continental trips. They travel for both business and pleasure. The mode of transport varies from a rented car to luxury jet liners. Most of the travelers have an insurance cover. This is to ensure peace of mind for the traveler, in the eventuality of any medical emergency during travel or at a foreign place. Insurance companies that provide travel medical insurance assure worldwide service. Travel medical insurance insures or covers against a specific loss, occurring due to medical emergency during travel in return for premiums paid.

    Most of the insurance companies provide round the clock assistance worldwide. Accidental insurance is included in travel medical insurance. In case of an accident in any part of the world, these companies cover for expenses incurred. Travel medical insurance can be applicable for an individual, family, or a group. Many of the companies provide political evacuation or a medical emergency reunion. Comprehensive plans are available such as the international term life insurance policy. There are many countries that specify coverage for travel medical insurance. Insurance companies in California are able to cater to the needs of people at an international level. They offer surprisingly affordable coverage for minimal premium rates. Some of the plans do not require medical history or medical examination. These plans offer a long-term benefit to the insured and his family.

    It is highly advantageous to be covered under a travel medical insurance as this takes care of an important aspect of travel ? medical expenses. The insured person can travel without carrying the burden of an eventuality of illness or hospitalization during travel. Claims to medical insurances for travel are settled immediately, and some plans take care of the expenses directly with the hospital, the insured is admitted to. Consultants from Californian insurance companies can suggest appropriate plans fitting needs of the traveler.

    Excellent Thailand Travel Info For Your First Step in Thailand

    If you plan to travel to South East Asia you should definitely consider taking a trip to Thailand. Thailand is one of the most beautiful countries in Asia and there are millions of tourists visiting Thailand each year. This article will provide Thailand travel info to anyone who interests in this charming country.

    First is the time for your visit. The most popular time to visit Thailand is between November and March. This is not only the pleasant temperature the country has, but also this period is the main season for festivals in Thailand. You will be having lots of fun participating in the Loi Krathong and New Year festivals.

    However, if you come at the end of this period and stay longer until 13-15 April, you will be able to experience some extra fun with the extraordinary water festival, called Songkran in every part of the countries. A little tip is that if you expect to enjoy this Songkran festival in Pattaya, you will have to stay a little longer as Songkran in only pattaya is held during 17-19 April each year.

    This period is also Thailand’s peak tourist season. As a result, if you want to avoid crowds and expensive room rates, you should choose the least crowded months like from April to June or September to October.

    Although the rainy season is not a very pleasant time to visit the country, you should not dismiss this season entirely. The temperature is much cooler and tourists are fewer and the landscape is green and lush. The most important thing, there are great deals of accommodation and other services during this time.

    Once arriving Thailand, most people are like to visit Bangkok as the first start as this is the main transit, Suvanabhumi International Airport, where people step in this country. Bangkok is a city you should not miss in your trip. You will be amazed at the unrestrained glory of the city. There are countless shopping centers to satisfy your shopping need.

    Moreover, Bangkok is the place where tradition and modernity intermingling with each other. You will be able to visit a typical Siamese village when you step outside of your affordable world-class hotel. You will be able to buy famous brand-names from sky-high shopping centers as well as participating in an open-air market. You can choose to eat the popular Thai food either in a luxurious restaurant or street-side market.

    The excitement of the city will keep you alive. There are many shopping centers that open all night long, enabling you to wander around if you cannot sleep. You will never feel bored when you are in Bangkok. Hope this Thailand travel info will help you for planning your first step in this country and wish you a happy trip in Thailand.

    Dynamic Packaging for Travel and Hospitality Industry

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

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

    CAPABILITIES

    A typical dynamic packaging application will need the following capabilities:

    1. Search and Availability

    2. Memberships

    3. Shopping Cart

    4. Booking and Reservations

    5. Payments

    6. Cancellations

    SEARCH AND AVAILABILITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ACTORS

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

    1. The Traveler

    2. GDS (Airlines and Hotels Rate Distribution)

    3. Airlines

    4. Car Rental Companies

    5. Hotel Central Reservation

    6. Tour Operators (Buses, Ground Transportation)

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

    MORE ACTORS

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

    8. Travel Agents and Meeting Planners

    9. Call Center Agents.

    SHOPPING CART

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

    Travel Insurance Options for Traveling Abroad

    Travel insurance is just one of things that are necessary when traveling abroad. Travel insurance can be a very practical solution to providing protection for unexpected emergencies while traveling. This type of insurance protects your investment and allows individuals to travel with peace of mind. There are several options available for going abroad depending on the length and type of trip. Travelers can easily compare plans from leading providers, receive quotes and purchase a plan instantly. Travel insurance can insure against unexpected illness, injury, employment loss, luggage loss and more.

    It can provide coverage for Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption. This insurance provides coverage due to unforeseen illnesses or death. Pre-departure trip cancellation insurance provides protection in the event of the traveler having to cancel flight or hotel reservations due to an immediate member of the family’s death or illness or other covered events. Trip interruption insurance provides benefits if the traveler is unable to continue the covered trip after departure due to covered events. As an option, there are companies that also provide policies that cover cancellation for any reason.

    Another option available for travelers insurance is for medical emergencies. This type is beneficial particularly when visiting abroad. Insurance for medical emergencies will provide coverage for doctor visits, medication and even evacuation for medical emergencies. This is particularly important for individuals with chronic conditions or those traveling to underdeveloped countries. Travelers may also have the option of insurance that will provide coverage for tickets that are not refundable and the trip has to be cancelled. Some insurance will even cover missed flights, which can be, a life saver due to delays and overcrowding.

    Baggage protection is another type of insurance available. This type of insurance covers direct loss, theft, and damage of your luggage during the covered trip. Travel Accident Protection is another insurance choice that is available. This type of insurance provides coverage for accidental death and dismemberment. This type of insurance provides protection if the traveler is injured in an accident and suffer a loss while covered under this type of plan. A comprehensive travel insurance plan is a great option and a very popular choice for vacationing abroad. This option can provide a wide range of insurance coverage and may even allow travelers to choose what options to incorporate which is why it such a popular choice.

    There are several types of companies that offer insurance for travelers. Most travelers prefer to purchase this insurance directly from travel insurance agencies or companies. It is also offered by most companies that offer tours as they generally offer insurance to their clients. Major cruise lines as well offer the option to purchase travel insurance. Cruise line operators usually offer a host of plans to travelers when they schedule a cruise. Travelers can purchase insurance from a travel agent which is very convenient to purchase travel and insurance in one place.

    Once you think about the high price of travel and the low price of insurance, this type of insurance is a very reasonable investment. There are plenty of things to worry about when traveling but by protecting your vacation plans with affordable traveling insurance, unforeseen events do not have to be one of them. Since it is not possible to foresee what may happen during travel, a insurance plan is a great value. Travel insurance can slash your losses in numerous situations.

    Productivity Tips for Travelers – How To Be A Productive Road Warrior

    You have seen them, they all look alike, the regular ‘road warrior’ with their determined expression, wrinkle proof suit and pulling a beaten up carry on bag…whether you travel a little or a lot with your company there are many ways you can boost your personal productivity when you travel. These before, during and after strategies will help you maximize your time, limit your stress and overall increase your travel productivity.

    Before You Travel

    Buy the tools – you wouldn’t build a house without the right tools, travel is no different. To be a productive traveler you want to ensure you have a variety of tools to assist the comfort and productivity of your trip. Tools to consider purchasing are quality luggage, Ipod, noise cancelling earphones, soft briefcase and GPS system.

    20-22 inch Carry On expandable luggage – I like Briggs and Riley, it is durable, light weight, expandable, self healing and well made. These are allowed in the US and other countries as carry on baggage. When you are buying luggage look for features such as pull along, strong wheels, stability foot on the bottom (in case it gets too heavy), external zippers (to hold travel documentation and the Ziploc toiletry bag) and also make sure the pop up handle is a ‘one pull’ action.

    IPOD or MP3 – this is not a luxury, this is a requirement for any travel. I have a created a selection of play lists, including one with very relaxing music so that when it is time to sleep I can turn to this group and fall asleep.

    Noise canceling earphones – these are a little bit of a luxury, but I wouldn’t travel anywhere without them. My husband previously flew many long international flights and he turned me onto this great invention.

    Briefcase – I like a soft tote briefcase that allows me to include personal and work related items. My favorite is from Coakley Business Class (sorry guys these are just for women) and they are the best travel briefcase I have ever found (and you can use it everyday!). For the gentleman, try the soft Samsonite one, it has great suspension in the shoulder strap. When looking for a brief case also make sure it has the feature to be able to slide it over your carry on luggage (many have a soft strap or a zippered section to allow you to do this).

    GPS (Global Positioning System) – this was the best gift I ever got! They are now getting smaller and smaller and are perfect to plug into your rental car when you arrive in another city. Also when we were in Italy last year we downloaded the European maps and it was great fun to get around tiny little towns. I have named mine ‘Bella’ – she keeps me company when I am driving late at night or in a city where I don’t know my way.

    Consider clothing – When you are regularly on the road I suggest a few strategies to help make your life easier for both packing and arriving looking together.

    Travel Outfit – Create your own travel outfit, yes it can be the same every time. Mine is a pair of black pants, black top (I have a short sleeve one for summer and a long sleeve one for cooler months), pantyhose and a pair of black patent leather flat slip on shoes. I wear the same silver jewellery with it all and I know when I arrive at the security line I don’t have to remove anything (except my shoes) – that is why pantyhose (or socks) are good when you have to take off your shoes. The fabric of this outfit doesn’t crease and is comfortable (which makes a huge different on those long flights).

    Airport shoes – think about the quality and make of the shoes you wear to the airport. I suggest slip ons of some description so you are not awkwardly trying to tie up laces or straps. Also ensure they are comfortable and well made as you often have to walk long distances between gates or to the parking area.

    Carry a pashmina – for the ladies, I recommend you invest in a dark colored pashmina that has many uses. On the plane it is a great blanket (and so many airlines in the US don’t supply pillows and blankets). When I rent a car it becomes a booster seat for me (he he). When I have to sit on an airport floor (yes I have done that living here in the US) it is great to place on the floor … oh and yes I can wear it if I need to keep warm.

    Jewellery – wearing the same silver jewellery when I travel I know I can wear it the next day and I can walk through the screening area without having to remove it. It simplifies the process and speeds up the line.

    Belts – if possible, don’t wear an outfit that requires a belt as it is only one more item of clothing you have to remove at the airport line.

    Productive Packing – there are many opinions on what to pack and I find the most productive way for me is having a series of pre-packed bags. This includes luggage, carry on plane survival kit, brief case, make up and toiletry bags.

    Pre-packed luggage contents includes:

    • Ziploc toiletry bag
    • Underwear
    • First aid items (band aids, safety pins and head ache tablets)
    • Make up bag
    • Gym gear
    • Clothes brush (I have a long haired cat and her fur seems to make its way across the world with me)
    • Book of interest
    • Cell Phone charger
    • Laptop power pack
    • Stamped stationery (note cards and envelopes)

    Carry on plane survival kit contents include:

    • Ipod
    • Noise cancelling earphones
    • Spare battery for noise cancelling earphones
    • Lip balm
    • Eye mask (for those long flights)
    • Pen
    • Eye drops
    • Travel size toothbrush and toothpaste
    • Breath mints

    Make up kit – ladies if you travel a lot I suggest you buy a full set of make up and make up brushes and tools and keep them in a separate make up bag so you never have to go looking for something and you never forget something on your trips.

    Ziploc Toiletry Bag contents include travel sized:

    • Decanted shower gel
    • Skin care
    • Hair care products
    • Travel sized perfume or aftershave (most brands now supply a smaller size compliant with airline safety standards)
    • Toothpaste
    • Spare contact lenses

    Many department stores and pharmacies carry a range of travel sized products. I was fascinated when I was in Sephoria in Times Square recently that the merchandising near the payment counter had changed significantly and provided 50+ choices of regular band products in travel sized convenient containers.

    Plastic helps – My friend Camille was an airline goddess for many years and gave me this great tip, using the plastic you receive from your dry cleaners around your clothes helps avoid creases.

    Duplicate copies – to be more productive (and for a few extra dollars) consider investing in duplicates of everything you travel with. If you are a regular traveler, having a pre-packed bag will allow you to leave with minimum notice and save time and stress before any trip. On your list of items to buy you could include:

    • Toiletries available in travel size
    • Brushes – make up brushes, hair brushes or combs
    • Cell phone charger
    • Laptop power pack
    • Make up
    • Stamps and stationery
    • Spare items i.e. pantyhose, clothing brush.

    Choose your seat – I like to sit in an aisle seat so I can get in and out and I don’t feel cramped by others. For longer flights (especially the red eye), my friend Shawn books the window seat so you can lean against the window to sleep, choose your seat wisely. If you have an option of an exit row choose this seat as it gives you more leg room. You may like to check out – it is a great website to see exactly what your seat will be on most major airlines.

    Pre-print your boarding pass – whenever possible go online 24 hours before you fly and select your seat and print your boarding pass. This will save you time in the long lines at the airport check in and also help you find the seat you want.

    Join airline clubs – if you fly frequently to same cities join the airline programs of those major airlines so you can also gather frequent flyer miles for all your travels. You may be able to use them for a fun trip with those you care for later on.

    Join airline lounges – if you fly with the same carrier regularly to invest in a membership for that lounge so you have a quiet place to snack, get changed or to catch up on reading. I noticed in Australia this was a great use of money and well worth it however in the US the gates and lounges are so spread out and there are so many options to travel with different airlines this hasn’t been a worthwhile investment for me here, however if you fly the same airline every time it might be worth it for you.

    Create a one page itinerary – create a one page template that includes your confirmation codes of all flight details, hotel and rental car information. Include on this template all your frequent flyer clubs and associations also so that if you arrive and they haven’t included this in your booking you can quickly get credit for your travel.

    During Your Travel

    Allow extra 30 minutes – add at least 30 minutes onto any amount of time you think it will take you to get to the airport or park. This additional time will save you stress if you are stuck in traffic, can’t find a car space or the security line is longer than you expected. If you have pre-packed a book or magazine you can use that 30 minutes to read or to connect with a friend or client.

    Know the Parking Garage – if you regularly travel on the same airline, know the shuttle system or design of the car park so you can get in and out quickly.

    Take your ticket – when you receive a parking receipt/ticket on your arrival place it in the same compartment of your bag or briefcase so you know where to find it upon your return.

    Write the parking space on your ticket – in the US the parking garages are so big that I always write the color and space on my parking receipt so that when I arrive back after a few days away (often late at night), I can quickly find my car and not waste time wandering around the parking garage.

    Ground transport notice – when you enter an airport, notice where the taxis, rental car shuttles or parking garages are. This will save you time when you return and allow you to quickly make your way to the next place.

    Regular rental – Use the same rental company each time you travel will also boost your productivity because you will expect a certain standard each time you fly. You might also consider joining their frequent customer program too. I like using Enterprise because they are affordable and also each time you arrive they look so happy to see you and they pay attention to small details including water bottles in the car and also pre-printed local lists of radio stations and areas of interest.

    Play music – by creating different play lists on your IPOD you will enjoy your travel more if you can listen to music and block out the noise around you. This is effective in the airport lounge, at the gate and on the plane. You might also like to include a CD in your packing checklist for the rental car.

    Getting through security – there are several tips to help you get through the line faster:

    • Wear an outfit that doesn’t require any removal of items or have any metal.
    • Place your cell phone and keys into your briefcase or purse before entering the security line.
    • Keep your Ziploc bag of toiletries in an outside zippered compartment for quick access.
    • Get your laptop out of your briefcase before you reach your place in line.
    • Place your laptop, shoes and toiletries in one container on the security screen belt.
    • Keep your boarding pass and photo identification in your hands.

    Check in or carry on – I always carry on luggage (up to a five day business trip), I have learn to pack well and have invested in a minimum number of outfits. I think there is so much time wasted waiting for luggage (not to mention the concern it may not arrive with you!) wherever possible try and carry on luggage for your business travel.

    Laptop … or not – if your trip doesn’t require you to take your laptop, leave it at home. It is one less thing to juggle through security and some laptops add significant weight to your briefcase. Leave it behind if you can. If you have to take it with you consider buying a smaller, light weight model one that is easy to use and you can balance in small places. You do pay more for smaller, lighter models but it is money well spent.

    Keep a reading file – as you collect articles, newspapers or journals you want to read, take them with you when you travel. Each week I receive the Philadelphia Business Journal and I take it with me on the plane to read and enjoy. It is a paper that keeps my interest and small enough it doesn’t crowd the person beside me.

    Buy bottled water – part of my routine as soon as I get through the security line is to head to the nearest store to buy 2 bottles of water. During the flight it is essential to drink water to keep you hydrated, two bottles allows me to drink before the plane arrives (has been helpful when there are large delays) and during the flight.

    Eat healthy – many airlines don’t supply quality food on board so try to find healthy solutions within the airport to satisfy your hunger. You may also like to buy something to eat on board for longer flights so you are snacking on healthy items. I like to travel with a bag of almonds and pecans so that I always have a yummy (and healthy) snack available. AS you are flying from the same airport each week, become familiar with the food offerings inside the terminal so you can quickly find something you enjoy eating.

    Hotel routine – no matter what time I arrive at a new hotel I have the same routine. I open my suitcase, remove my suit and hang it on a hanger. If it has gathered small creases in the travel I take it into the bathroom, hang it up and turn on the hot shower to create a ‘steam room effect’ and this removes any creases. Now for my Australian readers who are experiencing a drought right now that seems very wasteful so you may want to hang these clothes while you are showering the next day to avoid water waste. You might like to take this opportunity to iron your clothes instead. I then plug in my laptop, set up my cell phone charger, set my alarm and pull out the documents or reading for the next day. By having the same routine each time you will be productive and not forget important details (and you save time in the morning also).

    Exercise – if you don’t have a gym in the hotel consider either taking a walk outside at the beginning of your day or exercising in your room. I often place a towel on the floor and then do a series of stretches, yoga, sit ups and push ups. You can establish a routine especially for travel that doesn’t require any equipment i.e. push ups, sit ups, squats and any yoga.

    Call a client – you often have down time in the airport so it is a great time to reconnect with a client or colleague. I use this time to touch base with important people in my life and it becomes part of my business development time.

    Be strategic – time in hotel rooms can be lonely or unproductive so I use this time to design new products, review my business plan, catch up on reading and design new models or programs for my business. Some of my best ideas have come while sitting in my hotel room – use this time for strategy and thought space instead of turning on the TV to keep your company.

    Stay connected – when you arrive at your location notify someone important to you. I like to call my husband when I have arrived in my hotel so he knows I am safe and sound and I get to hear his voice. Calling your family or friend is a great way for you to keep connected on the road.

    Write thank you notes – because I carry stamped stationery with me when I travel, I use the flight home to write notes to people I met during my trip. When I arrive my next destination I post them. It is a great way to reconnect with people after you have met them and is a productive use of flight time.

    After Your Travel

    Know the quickest route home – understand the quickest and least traffic congested way to get out of the airport so you can be home with those you care for in the smallest amount of time. Where I live there are 2 major ways home and if you take the wrong one at some particular times during the day it can add up to an hour to your ride home (not so much fun after a long flight) so know which ways are best at different times during the day.

    Unpack quickly – if you arrive home early enough, unpack your bag, refill any necessary toiletry items and allocate clothes for washing or dry cleaning.

    Refill and replace – update any items in your ‘pre-packed’ toiletries or luggage that need attention to save you time for future trips. Note any additional items you may have forgotten on this trip and place them in your luggage so you don’t forget them next time.

    Debrief your trip – recall any items you missed, notice things that you enjoyed or frustrated you and make the changes that are within your control. Each time you travel you may learn something new that will help you save time or save you frustration for your next travel experience.

    Thank your team – if you have an assistant, let them know what went well about the trip and any enhancements you would like to make for your next trip. Thank your travel agent for the trip planning and also let them know if something didn’t go well and discuss how to fix it for the next trip. Thank your client for the opportunity to work with them. If you experienced great service at some point in the trip take the time to email or write a thank you note to that organization. The simple art of thanking people is often overlooked but is one of the most powerful things you can do to boost your productivity and make someone else day!

    Gather your receipts – there is so much paperwork collected on trips including boarding passes, rental agreements, and food and hotel receipts. Keep this in a central place when you travel (I take a clear plastic folder for this very purpose each time I travel). When you arrive home quickly sort through the paper, action business cards and file any receipts or keep them aside for your clients. Process all your paper within 24 hours.

    Action business cards – if you have met new people during your productive trip take the time to now action those cards. You might like to write a ‘nice to meet you’ note, scan them and add them to your database and write a note for any follow up action required. Following this process diligently each time you travel will avoid piles of business cards gathering on your desk (reminding you of action you haven’t taken!)

    Be grateful – if you are traveling for business it means you have a successful job that is supporting you and your family. Stop hating it and start enjoying it. Giving thanks for the opportunity to see new places, meet new people and share your experience is a privilege.

    Change your language around travel, enjoy it, embrace it and you will be more productive! Next time you see another road warrior smile at them and let them know you understand. You can be more productive every time you travel by applying these before, during and after you travel strategies… now where am I off to tomorrow?

    Truth in Travel Pricing

    None of us should be surprised at these quotes from a travel article in the TimesOnline (Oct 2008) by Stephen Bleach:

    “Massive discounts on cruises were exposed as a con last week after leading line Fred Olsen admitted it had not sold a single cruise at full price for a year.”

    A further quote from the managing director of the line, Mike Rodwell:

    “the big American operators started it and the rest had to follow.”

    Another surprise. On the same laptop page as this excellent article were three Google ads offering:

    “Cruise Deals. Search The Top Online Cruise Deals. Read Reviews & Book Online Today.” Followed by:

    “Cruise Discounts 75% Off, All cruise lines, all destinations.” And another:

    “Huge Alaska Cruise Sale, Free Upgrades, Exclusive Deals & More with Guaranteed Lowest Prices!”

    The travel operators behind these advertisements must think the traveling public is naive or even stupid but they would probably not use them if they did not work.

    Also, these Google ads were run against a very negative, but truthful article about misleading advertising for cruises.

    The traveling public continues to be treated with disdain by travel operators and advertising companies, not only by cruise lines and airlines but by all types of travel suppliers. What could be more misleading and false advertising than an airline advertising their fares in headlines that shout out:

    “$49. one-way to Smithville” IN LARGE PRINT, and then:
    ‘based on return purchase, plus all taxes, surcharges for fuel, surcharges for security, checked baggage is extra, seat selection fees, and on and on and on.” And by the way, have fuel surcharges been reduced enough?

    Not only cruise prices and airfares but also consider hotel pricing that often requires much investigation as regards the offered discounts:

    “75% off! But off of what? A rack-rate that is rarely charged?

    And, why can you often get cheaper rooms at an online reservation office than at the hotel front desk even when you are in their lobby and ready to book?

    Next in line for pricing questions could be the packaged holiday market. How many of these are sold at the brochure price? Or, as with the above cruise line, are packaged tour operators simply following the lead of others?

    Not only is the public being mislead by questionable advertising and pricing practices but once captured by a cruise line, airline or packaged resort operator they can be open to additional gouging whilst on-board the ship, aircraft or resort.

    Apart from the on-board costs of alcoholic drinks which should be at duty-free prices (i.e. cheaper than onshore). Extras, such as shore excursions can also be more expensive when purchased on-board rather than ashore or even pre-departure using the internet. Similarly with resorts that have onsite booking agencies for off-resort activities. The prices are often cheaper when purchased directly from the operators or again at pre-departure directly over the internet. Airlines however, who are charging for all sorts of basic amenities from blankets, pillows, soft drinks and soon even water may not be free, have a more captive audience (the movie, ConAir comes to mind) and will continue to be the most reviled part of the travel experience.

    There is hope for the future but so far only in Europe. In 2009 new rules for advertising standards will come into effect offering more protection for travelers. We must hope that these new rules will eventually spread to the rest of the world with further improvements to protect consumers worldwide.

    In the travel industry. Where has the originality and creativity gone? Where are the leaders? Where has “lead, follow or get out of my way” gone? Only the followers know.

    Another aspect of travel pricing is when consumers want to handle their own travel arrangements directly with the operators of hotels, lodges, tours and transportation. The pricing should reflect the fact that the products are being purchased directly from the source and not at the retail level. In other words, reduce the price by the commission that would have been paid to an agent, broker or retailer and give the traveler a direct booking discount. This action could encourage more travelers to make their own direct bookings, leading to more business and a competitive edge for the operator.

    Of course, the traditional distribution channels have to be protected as many consumers require help and assistance and as yet not everyone has or wants the internet.

    Travel providers do not normally show different prices on their websites as this could lead to potential clients seeking advice at the retail level and then booking directly with the operator to get a discounted price. It is unfair for retailers to lose their commissions when they have performed services for their travel-trade clients.

    Consumers on the other hand, if they do not need expert advice or booking services, should have the opportunity to go directly to the source and get a direct booking discount.

    Originality and creativity has returned to the travel industry. Travel providers are now able to offer travelers a direct booking discount service by using a new travel voucher system that has been introduced. With a website and the internet they can now reach out to the global travel community, not just travel agency or local traffic.

    Any travel operator, from the smallest b&b to the grandest lodge or luxury tour, can offer this service. The voucher values represent the normal commissions that would have been paid out to sellers of travel but now will be given back to the buyers of travel. And, the discounted price does not have to show on their websites.

    The service is leading with this new initiative and now wants to promote the thousands of small travel providers and other businesses around the world that do not use selling agents and therefore do not have sales commissions built into their pricing. The operators of the voucher service suggest that lower yields with higher volumes of direct booking discount travelers may achieve better overall returns.

    Members of a new online travel club can get these vouchers free with membership and non-members can purchase them at deep discounts to their face values at another similar website. At present there are vouchers covering travel in over seventy countries from b&b’s to adventure and luxury tours.

    The Club operators say that they do not charge businesses for listing their services as long as they participate in issuing vouchers enabling members to get direct booking discounts.

    There are many directories linking the world of travel to the world of travelers but this new concept offers a directory with discounts on every travel selection if you are willing and able to handle your own travel bookings and arrangements directly with the listed operators.

    The club operators are aware that many travel operators will continue to adhere to the business style of Mike Rod-well of Fred Olsen Lines and will continue to follow rather than lead and it is unlikely that they will ever be represented by this travel club. They are also aware that there are enough independent travel businesses that will find that their new business style of expanded selections and direct booking discounts is a better way of offering travel directly to consumers around the world.

    Yosemite is a California Travel Treasure

    Roughly 175 miles from San Francisco, San Jose or Sacramento and about 300 miles from Los Angeles, Yosemite National Park affords a California vacation experience you’ll never forget. If you’re traveling here from out of state, the closest airport to the park can be found in Fresno, which is about 55 miles from the park’s southernmost entrance (near Oakhurst).

    While you’ll find unparalleled opportunities for outdoor activities like camping, hiking and fishing here, you won’t be disappointed even if your tastes tend more along the lines of “civilized” activities like photography, learning about the valley’s cultural history and enjoying gourmet meals at the magnificent Ahwahnee Hotel.

    If at all possible, plan your trip during April or May. In addition to missing the summer visitor onslaught, these months typically offer incredible wildflower and waterfall displays. Fall is also a good time to visit, especially if you enjoy trout fishing (September through December is peak season). Most of the park’s trees are of the evergreen variety, however, so you shouldn’t necessarily expect a terrifically colorful autumnal show.

    In the winter months, you may enjoy skiing at Badger Pass, California’s oldest downhill skiing area. Be sure to keep apprised of driving conditions, however, as chains may be required. Highway 140 through Mariposa offers the lowest-elevation route into Yosemite Valley, and it is the least likely to be affected by snow and ice.

    If you visit in June, July or August, be sure to pack some extra patience, as it is typically extremely crowded during the summer months, especially on weekends. Actually, plenty of patience and keeping apprised of conditions are good ideas for any Yosemite visit, no matter the season.

    A free shuttle bus system operates year-round in the valley, and visitors are encouraged to use this system since parking at several park destinations during the peak season is often nearly impossible to find. The shuttle system is free (included in the park entrance fee of $10/person or $20/car at the time of this writing; see the National Parks System site for more details). It is also pleasantly open air and easy to hop on and off.

    Even if you’re just visiting the park for a day, some other things you may want to add to your “to pack” list:

    • An extra memory card for your digital camera or extra film
    • Plenty of battery power for your camera
    • Sunscreen (frequently apply SPF 30 or higher throughout the day)
    • Plenty of water for everyone in your party
    • change of clothes (shorts/slacks, t-shirt/sweater, socks) for variable conditions

    A “don’t miss” feature of Yosemite National Park is its Giant Sequoia groves. There are three separate groves: the Mariposa, Tuolumne and Merced. The Mariposa Grove is the most popular and is the largest, too, containing about 500 mature trees. (Giant Sequoias are also known as Sierra Redwoods, but should not to be confused with the Coastal Redwood found in a separate range along the state’s coast.) There is limited parking at the Mariposa Grove, and you should plan your visit for either early morning or mid-to-late afternoon. During summer months and spring and fall weekends, the Grove parking lot is usually full by 10:00am, and parking often doesn’t open up again until after 3:00pm. A free shuttle bus runs from the Wawona Store to the Grove during the peak summer season.

    California Travel Agents – Film Choices

    These days, California travel agents give trips of vintage films for movie fanatics. A lot of devoted followers normally acquire this trip since they’d like to learn more about the filming and filming of their favorite motion picture.

    The 1978 thriller movie sends chills to its audiences, rearing their worry of shark attacks. Directed by Steven Spielberg, Jaws is a hit classic. Everyone is aware of the heart pounding music upon seeing the shark fin, knowing that it’s going to attack. It’s surely a must see plus a hair-raiser to the old and young alike. It is therefore successful that a lot of folks grown phobia in the wide open sea, believing that sharks might strike their fishing boat as well as cause it to capsize. This movie is such a hit that the ride in Universal Studios is dedicated to this movie. Ask California travel agents about it.

    The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 musical film by Victor Fleming. It talks about the ventures of Dorothy who flew to Oz mistakenly, met new friends and in the end conquered the Wicked Witch of the West. The fantasy in the script and high level of musicality involved in the film makes it wonderful especially for children who want their imagination to be involved. Also filmed for kids, E.T., an American science fiction movie by Steven Spielberg and produced by Universal pictures became a hit and had become the most financially outstanding movie of its time. Experts highly recognized it because it speaks about a “timeless story of friendship”. Like Jaws, E.T. has also a ride in Universal Studios taking children to flying bike rides. Call California travel agencies about it.

    Released in 1942, Casablanca made it to the list of “one of the best movies of all time”. Starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid, this movie won 3 Academy Awards which includes Best Picture. The lines are legendary that everybody knows “Here’s to looking at you kid” was cited by Rick to his leading lady. Another great story is about the Trapp family. Sound of Music is the film all kid knows the songs. It has popular songs like “My Favorite Things” as well as the theme song “Sound of Music” titled after the movie. California travel agents often have tours dedicated to both of these films.

    These are only 5 of the thousands of films filmed in California. Many of them are worth looking at. Although it is excellent to see them on silver screen, it’s even better to go to the actual places when the movies were shot and California travel specialists will make this happen. By providing film tours designed for enthusiastic moviegoers, California travel agents showcase the success of the Golden State in the movie industry.

    Are Travel Agents Old School?

    It appears you can’t stare at the TV for 60 minutes without seeing a notice with William Shatner discussing Travelocity or that senseless dwarf discussing Orbitz. These travel sites have been extremely effective at encouraging voyagers to book their own particular carrier and lodging reservations on the web. So with this colossal push from the web to assume control over the travel business, one needs to ask, “Are travel agents old school?”

    In the event that you have searched for some of these travel web sites, you have watched that they are stunning in the assorted qualities of travel choices that they make accessible. As a business traveler, be that as it may, your requirements are fairly unique in relation to the run of the mill aircraft traveler.

    There are some certain administrations and genuine help that a living and breathing travel agent can give that basically can’t be duplicated by a computerized site like Travelocity or Orbitz. Some of those administrations that a prepared business traveler would be unable to live without having…

    A Travel Agent will give you…

    – Focus. You as a business traveler are not orchestrating this excursion for excitement. You have particular business goals as a main priority. So on the off chance that you should remove time from planning for your business assignment to stress over travel agendas, lodging and rental auto reservations and so forth, that is time that you are not being beneficial for your business.

    When you get the chance that you can call a skilled travel agent who knows your travel profile well and delegate those courses of action to that agent, they carry out their occupation in finding only the right facilities for you and you are liberated to do what you excel at, spotlight on your business and the up and coming business trip.

    – Economy. It is hard to find that harmony between finding the housing that fit the requesting timetable of a businessman out and about and is conscious of the organizations travel spending plan too.

    On the off chance that you utilize a computerized online travel administration, you may need to relinquish accommodation, timetable or area for economy.

    A decent travel agent will endeavor to get you the right schedule while getting as close the corporate travel cost confinements as would be prudent. Furthermore, they will do it without taking up a considerable measure of your time.

    – Back up. You needn’t bother with help if your excursion goes totally as arranged. Be that as it may, in the event that you experience issues out and about, you can wind up in need or rescheduling flights and finding new lodging to work around scratched off flights, climate issues or other surprising intrusions to your arrangements.

    These travel debacles are not aware of your tight due dates to meet your business objectives. In any case, you have a travel agent who is committed to giving you administration, he or she can locate those option courses and assets to do whatever they can to get you to your destination so you can direct your business on time.

    – That individual touch. You may have travel inclinations that you need to accomplish with every outing you take. A travel agent has your profile and your travel history so they can do what they can to suit your inclinations.

    Yet, in addition, when you have particular unique needs, for example, an eating regimen constraint or a requirement for convenience because of an inability, it will be a travel agent that sees to it that your needs are accommodated and you are well dealt with out and about.

    – No Complications. In the event that your travel agenda includes making associations with different business accomplices who are going from various workplaces, complex travel calendars and schedule challenges that just can’t be depicted to the nonexclusive screens of an online travel administration, you can disclose these inconveniences to your travel agent and they can work with other travel agents attempting to arrange the meeting and see to it that your agenda meets your prerequisites.

    While the online travel administrations do give a profitable and moderate other option to the general voyaging open, it is anything but difficult to see their confinements on the off chance that you are attempting to book a trek that is dubious or in the event that you have particular needs that the screens don’t suspect.

    That is the reason working with a human travel agent ensures that this travel proficient person will devote themselves to the assignment of ensuring your excursion attempts to your details and that you get to your destination prepared to lead in business and be fruitful in your accomplishing your objectives.

    New Zealand Travel Info – Part 3

    In this third article we will know more about New Zealand – Heaven on Earth for sure.

    Transport Options:

    Getting around New Zealand is very easy and safe. There is good public transport connectivity between different parts of New Zealand. However for tourists the best mode of transportation is Self Drive in New Zealand.

    New Zealand’s domestic Airlines Jet Star and Air New Zealand covers almost all the parts of New Zealand through air network.

    Apart from the standard airlines, you also have lot of chartered flight options to go from one place to another.

    Other option is a very well planned coach network. New Zealand is well connected with coach network across the country. There are various options of Hop – On and Hop- Off bus for one destination to another. You also have option of adding or clubbing the sightseeing packages in to your bus pass.

    Third option is the Ferry. If you all remember, there are two major islands of New Zealand, North & South. The Ferry runs between Wellington & Picton. It is a 3.5 hours sail through beautiful waters of Marlborough Sounds. Amazingly, you can also carry your entire car or even motor homes as well through the Ferry. It is once in a life time experience and one should never miss it if you are in New Zealand.

    Last option is the train service. However it is not widely spread across the country. There are couple of major train journeys.

    1. The Northern Explorer: Runs between Auckland & Wellington. Travel time is approximately 10.5 hours

    2. Tranz Alpine: Runs between Greymouth & Christchurch. One of the top 10 train journeys in the world. Approximate travel time is around 4.5 hours and one should not miss this one. Absolutely must do activity.

    Driving in New Zealand is one of the best and safest options to travel through the country. Rental cars of different categories are easily available across the country. However one should keep in mind that most of the car rental company needs a valid Credit Card of the person who is renting the car.

    Minimum age to rent a car in New Zealand is 21 and the charges are different if you are below 25 years of age. Also an Indian Driver’s license is valid and recognizable and you do not need an International Permit to drive in New Zealand.

    Can it get easier than this?

    Catch you in next article with some more useful information on New Zealand.!!

    Devising An Efficient Public-Transport System In South Africa

    The background for this article was derived from a speech made by Wrenelle Stander (Director General: Department of Transport) to public-transport role players and stakeholders, in 2004. Subsidies, Ms Stander said, “must be viewed within the context of passenger transport funding rather than as an isolated service for poor people. Both needs and funding must be weighed against what is possible”. She conceded that making eventual choices, on this basis, might not be easy.

    The status quo

    Currently, minibus taxis are the dominant mode of public transport, serving 64% of the 3.8 million workers using public transport. There are, in fact, roughly 9.8 million workers who travel regularly. We can deduce, from these figures, that 6 million workers provide their own transport.

    Minibus taxis currently receive no subsidies. Train services are subsidised and are used mainly in metropolitan areas, to serve roughly 24% of public-transport commuters. Subsidised bus transport services 42.5% of the public-transport commuters in rural areas.

    74% of the country’s households have no private transport available to them. In rural areas, 62% of the households believe that public transport is either not available, or is
    too far away for convenience. Of metropolitan households, 46% are dissatisfied with its proximity.

    Public perceptions, though, may not accurately reflect true need and more detail is necessary to providing practical input. The minibus taxi industry, to a large extent, has fulfilled the needs dictated until now, and no vehicle of any sort profits by running half empty. If not even a taxi service exists there may be insufficient call for frequent public transport. A less regular, but committed service, may suit the situation.

    Poor service options

    Public-transport users are otherwise dissatisfied with the options they have. 48% who use taxis are unhappy with the overall service, as are 42% of the train users and 31% of those who travel by bus.
    .
    Train dissatisfaction has been voiced, as follows:
    · overcrowding, 71%;
    · lack of security between home and the stations, 64%;
    · lack of security on the trains, 62%, and
    · unsatisfactory toilet facilities, lack of punctuality, lack of off-peak frequency and the long distances that commuters must walk between their homes and the stations (over 50%).

    Dissatisfaction with bus services were categorised thus:
    · a lack of facilities at bus stops (74%);
    · passenger overcrowding, 54%, and
    · off-peak lack of frequency, 50%.

    More than 50% of taxi users were unhappy about high fares, passenger overcrowding and driver behaviour. Other concerns noted were:
    · the lack of facilities at taxi ranks, 64%;
    · the poor roadworthiness of taxis (59%), and
    · the imminent danger of accidents (67%).

    No complaints by own-transport users were included, though Minister Trevor Manuel recently made no secret of the fact that traffic congestion was seriously impacting on his ability to get to work at a reasonable hour.

    Exercising restraint

    Ms Stander made the point that the majority of South Africans do not have regular access to either private or public transport. She used the example of scholars to clarify this:
    · scholars number 15.7 million, which means that there are over 60% more traveling regularly to educational facilities than the 9.8 million workers who also travel regularly;
    · 12 million (76%) of these walk to school. 75% of these can make the two-way journey, on foot, within one-and-a-half hours, but roughly 550 000 children spend over two hours a day walking;
    · 9% of school children use taxis to get to school; another 9% travel in cars, and
    · 73% of white children travel to school by car, while only 3% of black children do.

    While the intention, here, may have been to infer that white school children have superior facilities at their disposal, the point should, in fairness, be made that, quoting a figure for car usage but none for rail, buses and walking for white children, is misleading. Also, without taking into consideration why children use particular transport modes, a true picture does not emerge.

    How far is too far to walk? No one enjoys a long walk with heavy shopping or other parcels, but door-to-door vehicular transportation may cost this nation its health. A half-hour walk, twice a day, for adults, is considered advisable and children should exercise for no less than that – two hour’s of low-impact exercise is not extreme.

    During November 2004, news headlines bewailed the fact that in schools where PT and sports are not actively promoted, children are not exercising enough. Walking a reasonable distance is a healthy alternative. It is more important to ensure that those children, who walk long distances, have food in their tummies. The provision of school meals, might offer better options. The pitfall here is to avoid abetting corrupt practices, which may make dealing directly with manufacturers a better option.

    Where distances take in excess of forty-five minutes (one-way) to walk, scholars would be better peddling to school than using motorized transport. The manufacture of an initial 550 000 bicycles would provide much-needed jobs, but the recipients would then need income for repairs and maintenance and might need to form cottage industries making postal and grocery deliveries in their areas, to this end.

    Safety first

    Would scholars be safe riding alone? If not, surely safety is the main reason that people require better public transport? Whether people live rurally or in urban situations; in townships, informal settlements or up-market suburbs; whether they walk during the day or at night, they risk the loss of possessions or their lives.

    My teenage, rugby-mad son avoids walking routes and distances, in Durban, that I regularly tackled twice a day in my youth. His need to be fit is more than mine ever was. The difference? Where once it was safe to walk, it is no longer safe even to drive a car, let alone walk. When he was younger and at school in Gauteng, children were not allowed to ride to school on bikes, because too many had been hi-jacked.

    Suburban, working parents with cars are more able to choose between schools than rural parents. They easily drop their children off en route to work, without significant detours. Cars that enter the city limits with only one occupant may have left home with up to five – school runs and car clubs have become part of middle-class culture and some families still boast two parents, who may work some distance apart.

    But “single occupant cars” are considered “inefficient road users during peak times” whereas those who share vehicles, walk, ‘cycle or use public transport are considered more socially deserving. I don’t quibble with that, but the logic used to come to this conclusion may be incomplete and deserves, I suspect, more consideration.

    Few of the 73% of white children transported by car are picked up directly after school. Many join extracurricular activities or childcare groups until their parents’ working day allows them to collect their children on their way home. For many white children, the school day runs from 6:30 until 18:30. Safety is again pertinent; few families still afford full-time assistance and children, returning to empty homes, are vulnerable.

    Financial limitations
    Preliminary results from the National Household Travel Survey, Ms Stander continued, indicate that: “low household incomes, even in the richer provinces, constrain the affordability of public transport services”.
    · Users who do not travel daily, may need to be able to move about in search of work and to shop;
    · 5.8 million households (nearly 47%, of which 3.1 million are rurally situated) run on less than R1 000 per month. Financial resources are obviously strained in these circumstances, and
    · a further 2.85 million households manage on R500, or less, per month and half of these spend more than R100 of their earnings on public transport.

    There are, it seems, 10.7 million workers in the country. 9.8 million workers travel to work regularly, so it must be presumed that 0.9 million workers work out of their homes, live on employer property or work on a contractual basis for short periods.

    Of the 9.8 million regular travelers, 32% (roughly one-third) use cars, 39% use public transport and 23% walk. Worker transport, Ms Stander maintained, is then characterized by a mixture of “car dependency, public-transport captivity and walking dependency”. Her choice of words is interesting.

    The curse of congestion

    A specific problem that faces the viability of future transport systems is growing urban congestion. The number of vehicles that enters cities during working hours must be reduced – funding must be channeled into “public transport and non-motorised transport initiatives”.

    Facts that appear to be entirely relevant (and thought-provoking) include:
    · the increase of rural to urban migration, over the last ten years, has put undue pressure on suburban, peri-urban and inner-city facilities;
    · city populations and industry have decentralized and spread, which makes the provision of efficient public transport a far more complicated