Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Blue Whales - The Largest Animal That Ever Lived

By Terry Hunefeld
Blue Whales are magnificent creatures. One of the very best places to view them is on a boat from Southern California. Whale watching trips go out regularly from San Diego, Los Angeles, Oxnard, Ventura and Santa Barbara.

Blue Whales are the biggest animals that have ever lived on the face of the earth " far bigger than the largest dinosaurs. They have been weighed up to 180 tons which is 20,000 pounds heavier than a DC-10. The largest elephants only weigh a bit over five tons. Blue Whales have been measured by scientists up to 100 feet long, although today the largest average around 75 - 80 feet. They have been measured at more than 110 feet - compare that to the longest dinosaur skeleton of less than 90 feet from tail to nose.

There are many myths about these creatures, one is that the heartbeat can be heard for 20 miles which is ridiculous because nobody can even hear a Blue Whale heartbeat from ten feet away.

Interestingly, one of the smallest seabirds on earth, Cassins Auklet, and the Blue Whale, the largest animal ever to have lived on earth, both subsist primarily on the same prey: krill. Blue Whales are baleen whales. Instead of teeth, they have a series of flexible plates called baleen that they use to strain up to four tons of these tiny shrimp like crustaceans from the ocean each day.

Blue Whales have been known to interbreed occasionally with the second largest animal on earth, the Fin Whale. Four of these hybrids have been scientifically documented by DNA analysis.

Blue Whales are often found alone or with one other Blue Whale. We do not know for sure how long Blue Whale pairs might stay together because it is so difficult to track them as they cross entire oceans. Blue Whales can rarely be found in groups 45 whales if there is a lot of food (krill) in the area - however this is very rare because they do not usually form large pods like some other species of whales.

Blue Whales are fast, strong swimmers with an average speed of about 12 miles per hour with an ability when alarmed to move at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.

Blue Whales are known to inhabit oceans all over the world. They are especially attracted to Pacific Ocean waters off California and Mexico which can host up to 30% of the worlds entire population during the warmer spring and summer months due to the excellent supply of food.

Blue Whales can be found in every ocean on earth, but experts still don't know where they breed or give birth. They are known to frequent feeding grounds in tropical, moderate and cold polar oceans, and it is suspected that they give birth in warmer climates.

Blue Whales once numbered in the hundreds of thousands until man developed the technology (like exploding harpoons) to exploit these magnificent creatures in the early twentieth century. For nearly 40 years they were hunted almost to extinction by whalers who destroyed 99 percent of all Blue Whales on earth. They became protected in 1966 when on the brink of extinction. Its estimated that there are only 5,000 to 10,000 Blue Whales left worldwide today.
About the Author:
Terry Hunefeld retired from a CEO career in 2007 to pursue his passion of going to sea to observe birds and marine mammals. He and his wife Ann own the beautiful Inn at Moonlight Beach on the Pacific Ocean of San Diego. If you are looking for a Del Mar Bed and Breakfast or a Carlsbad Bed and Breakfast, be sure to check out Inn at Moonlight Beach.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Islands You Should Go Visit in the

By Matthew James

Caribbean islands are one of the centers of tourism in the world. Travelers visit here for beaches, sun, and water activities. These islands are very popular with US residents. There are many small islands in the Caribbean that attract tourists in groups. These places make people think about cool breezes, swaying palms trees, white sand beaches, clear water rum and cocktails after sunset. The most popular islands in the Caribbean are Barbados, Puerto Rico, Saona Island in Dominican Republic, Haiti, St. John.

One of the best places to enjoy the sun in this part of the world is Barbados. This island is relaxing, has great food, really friendly locals who speak great English, beautiful beaches, and clear water. This is an old British colony and there is a lot history here. There are great gardens, historic churches, and a really cool museum. If you are looking to relax, you should consider Barbados.

Puerto Rico- This romantic spot is great for newly weds and couples who want to pamper themselves in luxury and comfort. The island has many great spas and resorts. Then there is the island's natural beauty. Besides surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling and other water sports, the wildlife and adventure on this island is also great. Not only that, Puerto Rico has a rich cultural heritage and a vibrant culture that cherishes dancing, partying, and celebrations. On this island, you can spend your days enjoying the outdoors and then spend your night celebrating with good dancing and great dining.

If you are looking for a remote destination, you should head to Saona Island. Saona Island is part of the Dominican Republic. This island is famous and has appeared in a lot of Hollywood movies. The island has great wildlife and fish around it. You can swim and scuba dive as well as take a tour of the island on a catamaran. There are a lot of things to do here besides the beach so despite the island being small, you can stay busy.

The last island that should be on your list is the island of Haiti. Haiti was one the first independent nations in the Caribbean. Founded by Christopher Columbus, this island is lush with fruits and towering mahogany trees. The island is home to a lot of bird and animal species found nowhere else in the world. Haiti also has exotic and mouth watering delicacies well known to tourists who gorge on the delicacies. Most people know Haiti from the bad press coverage it gets but there is more to the island than that and it is worth your time.

The tropical islands in this part of the world are stunning. For those in North America who can't afford an expensive holiday to Fiji or the Seychelles, this area of the world is just as good. You'll find everything you could want from a tropical island here and the beauty is that they are cheap too. When you plan your next holiday, check out this part of the world.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New York Life and Bazaars

By Mercie Hallow

There was a time when I overheard my sister in law claimed that New York was her favorite city in the world. She told me of her fun encounters in this city with jubilant eyes and enthusiastic expression. I second the motion. New York is a very charming city and is a place that is bursting with life and people. Every corner and every street in New York is a great place to be. New York is one place that spells out fun and fabulous.

New York is a city full of shops, retail outlets, malls, boutiques that cater to the tastes of people from different walks of life. The city is filled with restaurants, historical edifices, offices, theatres, apartments, churches, schools and also well, queer spaces. The list is endless. You can almost find anything during these events, be it a piece of jewelry, a yummy farms produce or a lovely hand made item. The city is also a perfect venue where crafts fairs and bazaars are usually held because of its wide population.

Creative New Yorkers are able to create a good business opportunity through crafting. They are people who successfully managed to turn their hobby to a money making opportunity. Crafts making is not a daunting task, as a matter of fact it is a piece of cake and a no-brainer for people who are naturally gifted with creativity and talent. Coupled with a good business sense and financial education, their little hobby can be a successful business.

A New York craft fair is always colorful, lively and fun. Numerous pieces for sale that is combined in different color and textures excite the buyers and give them a pleasing sight. The fair is sometimes coupled with a live band and dance performance which further enrich the experience. A New York craft fair is an event that is bursting with life.

New York bazaars fascinate me. I cannot wait to attend one and have lots of fun!

About the Author:

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ithaa Undersea restaurant at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Ithaa Undersea restaurant sits 16 feet below sea level at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, a hotel resort in Hilton's luxury brand that occupies two islands.
Maldives is a country of almost 1,200 islands about 300 miles from the southernmost points of India and Sri Lanka.Diners eat beneath glass walls at the Ithaa Undersea restaurant. The cuisine is decribed as Maldivian-Western, and the restaurant seats about 12.
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily from 11 a.m. to midnight, according to the resort's website.
The hotel recommends making reservations up to 14 days in advance at the restaurant, a great place for cocktails while watching reef and marine life above.

Celebrate Earth Day

By Swift Nature Camp

Million people across America celebrated the first Earth Day in 1970. It was a bad time for the environment, their was smog and polluted rivers caught fire. Today, Earth Day is celebrated annually no longer natiionally but around the world. It was the efforts of grassroots organizations, and citizens like you, combined with the government that started this day of environmental recognition which has evolved into a worldwide campaign celebrating our environment.

The earth is in better shape than those early days yet, there is a staggering divide between children and the outdoors. Richard Louv, child advocacy expert, directly blames the lack of nature in the lives on today's wired generation. He calls this phonomenon nature-deficit order and he links it to some of the most alarming trends for our kids. Including rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression.

Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder has spurred a national dialogue among educators, health professionals, parents, developers and conservationists. This is a book that will change the way you think about your future and the future of your children. The bottom Line we and our youth need to spend time outdoors.

Schools have realized this for some time. Teacher Judith Millar, Lucy Holman School, Jackson, NJ, more than five years ago, began an environmental project in the school's courtyard. It has become quite an undertaking--even gaining state recognition. It contains several habitat areas, including a Bird Sanctuary, a Hummingbird/ Butterfly Garden, A Woodland Area with a pond, and a Meadow. My classes have always overseen the care of this "Outdoor Classroom", but now it's practically a full time job!! My students currently maintain the Bird Sanctuary--filling seed and suet feeders, filling the birdbaths, building birdhouses, even supplying nesting materials! In addition, this spring they will be a major force in the clean up and replanting process. They always have energy and enthusiasm for anything to do with "their garden".

Despite schools doing their best to get kids to play outside, we as a nation have lost the ability to just send our kids out to play. Yet, it seems we are learning that Summer Camps help children grow into mature adults. A new British study finds that most modern parents overprotect their kids. Half of all kids have stopped climbing trees, and 17 percent have been told that they can't play tag or chase. Even hide-and-seek has been deemed dangerous. And that dreaded stick..."will put out someone's eye".

Can technology be the blamefor the decline in outdoor play? Adrian Voce says "Children are not being allowed many of the freedoms that were taken for granted when we were children," "They are not enjoying the opportunities to play outside that most people would have thought of as normal when they were growing up."

According to the Guardian, "Voce argued that it was becoming a 'social norm' for younger children to be allowed out only when accompanied by an adult. 'Logistically that is very difficult for parents to manage because of the time pressures on normal family life,' he said. 'If you don't want your children to play out alone and you have not got the time to take them out then they will spend more time on the computer.'

Many play providers see the benefits to children of taking risks. "Risk-taking increases the resilience of children," said one. "It helps them make judgments," said another. We as parents want to play it safe and we need to rethink thr benefit of adventure in a childs life.

Examples of risky play that should be encouraged include fire-building, den-making, watersports and climbing trees. These are all activities that a Summer camp can provide. At camp children to get outside take risks and play, this while being supervised by responsible young adults.

Swift Nature Camp is a Traditional OUTDOOR CAMP in Wisconsin. Where Boys and Girls Ages 6-15. enjoy Nature, Animals & Science along with Traditional camping activities. Swift is a Nature Camp that develops a childs desire to know more about nature but also on acquiring a deep respect for it. Our philosophy is to engage children in fun-filled learning through active participation and natural curiosity.

Our Noncompetive atmosphere promotes all skill levels. Swift Nature Camp provides activities that allows children to excel and enjoy thus, giving each camper the opportunity to participate and have fun, rather than worry about results.

Out-of-camp trips, such as biking, canoeing, backpacking and horse trips are a great way to get kids out in nature. Kids love to discover new worlds and learn to be comfortable in them. This is why Swift is so much more than just a SCIENCE SUMMER CAMP.

Earth day has provided so much..but their is more we can learn from nature. This summer help your child regain their appreciation for nature by sending them to Swift Nature Camp. This is an opportunity that will be treasured the rest of your child's life.

About the Author:

Do Not Go To Camp without Asking

By Lonnie Lorenz

Here are some things to consider when visiting a camp, watching a video or flipping through the brochure. iPlease note many of these areas may affect your child's stay at summer camp. Be sure to ask the camp director if you can not find information that you feel is a top priority for your child.Summer Camp

Facilities Take careful note of the condition of the facilities. Are the buildings well maintained, or do they show clear signs of a lack of maintenance. Though well worn and rustic buildings are perfectly ok, make sure that they are not being neglected. Specific things you'll want to look for and ask about include:

Bunks: * Do children live in cabins, tents, or dorms? * How many beds are in each cabin? * Are they bunk beds or individual cots? * How do the campers choose which beds they want? * Where do the campers store their belongings? * Are the cabins to crowded? Is there enough storage space? Has the camp overbooked and crowded extra campers in? * Are the cabins clean? Are beds made by the campers and belongings stowed? * How many counselors sleep in each Cabin?

Bathrooms: * Where are the toilets? Does each bunk have it's own toilets or is there a common bathhouse? * If there is a common bathhouse, do children have to walk alone at night? Is the path lighted? * Are there showers in each bunk? * Do campers have to walk in their bathrobes/pajamas to the showers? * If the camp is coed, how separate are the shower facilities? * Who cleans the facilities, and how often?

Waterfront or Swimming Pool: * Can the pool accommodate all swimmers? * Are the waterfront areas for swimming, boating, water skiing and diving separate and clearly marked? * What kind of waterfront toys are provided? * What is the supervision and ratio of lifeguards to swimmers? * Are life jackets always worn whebn boating? * Are swimming tested on skills? * How do the camp keep track ofr swimmers? Buddy board?

The Grounds: * Are playing fields freshly reseeded and mowed? * Are the trails clearly marked? * Is the equipment in good condition?

Dinning Hall: Believe it or not this one of the most important areas at camp. Nearly 25% of their day is spent in the Dinning Hall. So the Camp needs to understand this and work to make it a clean, exciting and nutritious experience Will the camp meet your dietary needs. Don't be forget to make sure they can accommodate you Kids Summer Camp * Are there alternatives if your child does not like the offering? Is there a salad bar? * When, how and what Are the snacks? Is there a canteen/camp store? * What does a typical menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner look like?* Is there enough space for the whole camp to be served in one seating? * Do cabins eat together? This is your child's friends. * Are meals buffet style or are campers served family style? If they are served, who serves the food? * Who is the kitchen director and what are his or their credentials? How long have they been at this camp? * What are the safety and cleanliness standards? Who inspectes the state and local codes?

Remember this article has to do with the comforts of camp and not with safety at camp. The American Camp Association has a certification program that looks at over 300 different aspects of camp. It is always best to select a camp that has been ACA Accredited. ACA CAMPS

You can learn more about selecting a wonderful Teen Summer Camp by visiting Summer Camp Advice Finding a Summer Camp

About the Author:

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Key Pieces of Vegas Shows

By Deniss Durrell

When spending time in Las Vegas, it looks like most of the experience is focused around gambling in the casinos. Though , one of the greatest points to see in Las Vegas is to take in Vegas Shows. The shows in Las Vegas are some of the preeminent in the world, and there is a large variety for you to choose from.

Perhaps the most traditional type of Vegas show is the traditional type that features lots of showgirls dancing in elaborate costumes. These types of shows have been around for decades, and are highly regarded because of their intricate showgirl style and choreography. Some of the more famous are Bally's Jubilee and the Follies Berger.

However, Vegas shows are changing. There are more than just the traditional shows that entertained the crowds of past decades. Instead, now Las Vegas is becoming the second Broadway in the United States. With shows like The Phantom of the Opera and Mama Mia! running in Las Vegas and pulling in crowds there has been a turn toward creating Vegas-sized versions of traditional musical theatre.

Another terrific form of Vegas shows is a comedy show. There are loads of good comedians in Las Vegas, and they give a great night of amusement. If you are looking to entertainment very much then you might desire to check out one of the enormous Vegas headliners.

Perhaps the most popular form of Vegas shows are the Cirque de Soleil shows. There are some different shows presented on the strip for you to pick from. Visitors come from all around the world to enjoy this awesome blend of circus and performance art. Going to see a Cirque show, you are definitely to undergo something that you have never felt before, and it is well worth the price of ticket!

About the Author:

Areas of Interest in Tropical North Queensland

By Joseph Richards
The Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest and Atherton Tableland can all be found in Tropical North Queensland. Tropical North Queensland is the only spot on earth where the rainforest meets the sea.

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the natural wonders of the world. It stretches some 2300 kms and can even be seen from space .More than 2,000 species of fish and innumerable species of hard and soft coral are found in the waters here which makes it extremely popular for snorkelers and scuba divers .The whole area is strictly monitored by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority but this is all for a very important reason. This place is so beautiful and so breathtaking that it is imperative that it is conserved for future generations to enjoy .The Barrier Reef is also home to wonderful wildlife above the water too, such as a huge variety of tropical bird life as well as dolphins, sharks, whales, turtles and sea snakes.

At 1200sq km the Daintree Rainforest, just north of Cairns, is the largest around. It is home to over thirty percent of the regions frog, marsupial and reptile species as well as sixty five percent of all Australia's bat and butterfly population.

If you drive west of Cairns you will come across the Atherton Tablelands. Here you will discover cute little towns, villages and many great attractions. This is a great place for a little getaway.

You must keep in mind the time of year you are visiting and what the weather will be like. It is wiser to travel to these places during the Australian winder (June to August) and the summer months tend to have high rain fall, monsoon and cyclones.

About the Author:
If you are interested in Port Douglas Hotels you should go to www.tropicalnorthqueensland.com. Here you will also be able to find a variety Port Douglas Accommodations that you are looking for.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Middle East key growth area for World Travel Market

The Middle East region is one of the largest growth areas at World Travel Market with both visitor and exhibitor numbers increasing year on year.
This year WTM will welcome over 400 exhibitors from the region where new products and services will be launched further increasing awareness and recognition of this growing tourism region.
Along with the growth of Middle Eastern representatives at WTM, increasing numbers of visitors from around the world are interested in finding out more on the region and actively selling it to their customers. 36% of visitors, comprised of over 8,000 international senior buyers who attended WTM 2007 actively sell the Middle East to their clients.
More than 47,000 travel professionals, senior management and buyers are expected to attend World Travel Market 2008 at ExCeL London, representing regions, countries and industry sectors throughout the world.
It is this scale and calibre of visitor which has persuaded the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) to sign on as WTM’s Premier Sponsor for 2007 and 2008 and, according to its Director General, His Excellency Mubarak Al Muhairi, the sponsorship is paying dividends.
“Last year we used WTM for the international launch of our new brand and achieved huge global awareness. This year we will build on the solid foundation of the past 12 months and have major announcements in the pipeline for the show.”
“Overseas promotion is a key strategic business priority of ADTA’s five-year plan 2008-2012 which looks to achieve 2.7 million hotel guests a year by 2012 – 1.25 million more than the annual guest stay achieved last year. This managed approach to growth holds out substantial opportunity to the travel trade and hospitality investors who are looking to play a role in the advancement

Travel Etiquette - the new travel rules

People are travelling more frequently and farther afield than ever before, thanks to the huge growth in affordable travel and easier access opening up of areas previously off the beaten track to visitors. The exhibitor list for November’s global showcase, World Travel Market, in London underlines how the world is getting smaller as more destinations target tourism. But does travel broaden the mind? As we jet off to distant lands and come face to face with different cultures are we really savvy travellers? Apparently not, judging by the plethora of etiquette guides in high street and online book stores telling us how to behave when we travel so as not to upset our hosts. They could be just more examples of political correctness gone mad, of course. Yet the trend would seem to show that while we are taking holidays in ever more exotic and distant lands, our understanding of these country’s cultures and the sensitivities of their people is sadly lacking. We may have smiled at HSBC’s series of TV adverts highlighting the differences in cultures around the world, notably the business traveller whose Chinese hosts order ever-larger eels for him at dinner because he mistakenly thinks he has to eat everything on his plate, but committing faux pas in other countries is a serious issue and can have repercussions. In 2004, the government of Thailand announced that it would publish an etiquette guide for visitors to try and tackle the problem of insensitive foreigners after posters for the film Hollywood Buddha showed a man sitting on the head of Buddha – deeply offensive to the nation of devout Buddhists. The poster also upset monks from Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Burma and sparked large demonstrations. It was quickly withdrawn by the producer, but not before the damage had been done. Uncouth behaviour while on holiday is another no-no which can upset locals as well as embarrass fellow holidaymakers. We all know about Brits behaving badly in Mediterranean holiday hotspots such as Ibiza or Faliraki, on Rhodes, from TV documentaries. But it isn’t just a British phenomenon. Germany’s Travel Channel produced its own guide advising German travellers how to behave abroad in 2005 after conducting a survey which found three out of five holidaymakers from the country cringed when they encountered loud-mouthed and beer-swilling compatriots abroad. Lack of understanding about what is acceptable in other countries is again a problem, too. “Many German tourists are naively oblivious to the most commonplace rules of behaviour in other countries,” the guide said. They included blowing your nose or using a toothpick at a meal table, both practices considered acceptable at German dinner tables according to the respected Knigge Guide to Etiquette. But lack of cultural understanding is a two-way street, with local residents often unaware their habits or blunt questions may offend or upset visitors. Prior to this summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing, officials from the Dongcheng district of Beijing put up posters to educate locals on how to properly welcome visitors during the Games. They advised residents to avoid asking questions about visitors’ age, salary, love life, political views, religious beliefs and other sensitive topics commonly discussed. Other pre-Olympics campaigns aimed to educate Beijingers included how to queue and to avoid spitting in the street. Silly questions posed by visitors to tourist attractions run by WTM exhibitor English Heritage take the biscuit when it comes to lack of understanding about where you are visiting, however. During a tour of palatial Osborne House on the Isle of White, the former summer home of Queen Victoria, one visitor asked if it was where Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne lived. Another asked why the English were so fond of building ruined castles.

The next level of life coaching - a travel coach?

Professional coaches are a part of everyday life now. As we try to manage our ever-stressful lives we seek help from experts for everything from health and fitness to careers, finance, image, parenting, relationships, time management, spiritual development and personal goals in our lives.Now, according to World Travel Market’s Global Trends research commissioned by Euromonitor International, more people are turning to travel coaches to ensure they enjoy a personally fulfilling trip when they go away. It says time-starved travellers are employing coaches not only for advice on where and how to travel but also how to use their previous leisure time to ensure that they return mentally stronger and ready to tackle life’s challenges.North America is the trendsetter, and travel mentors are particularly popular with business travellers. The coaches examine clients’ life and career goals to plan how travel can help achieve them. They even handle logistics of trips, which can be long and often involve helping companies with sabbaticals or job relocation for employees.Individual travel coaches are also prevalent, advertising their services in mediums from local directories to online communities. The advice does not come cheap, either. A focus on the emerging trend in 2006 in the New York Times cited fees of $500-$2,000 or more per month for up to four one-hour sessions per month, in person or over the phone, backed up by emails and text messaging. One Toronto company specialising in personal development training undertakes travel coaching trips. Its inaugural trip took six women on a nine-day trip to Italy with their personal coach, the reason for coaching in new environments being to allow people to examine their own personal “environment” according to the company’s website. “During this trip to Italy, the women and Italy each provided a landscape upon which the women could examine their choices about how they treated themselves, how they felt about their beauty and, consequently, how they expressed themselves in the world,” it enthuses.As for the need for travel coaching, it adds: “When we journey into another country or culture, we automatically see that life happens in very different ways. We are reflective of our own situation, culture, beliefs and choices.”Lifebreak coaching is how one San Francisco-based trainer describes his one-on-one programme to help clients plan and take their much dreamed-of sabbatical, such as sailing off the Greek coast for six months. “Lifebreak coaching is for anyone who's looking to refresh, renew, or recharge their life by stepping off the daily treadmill and trying something different for awhile,” he says. Visitors to the World Travel Market trade show at London’s ExCeL in November are unlikely to find coaching gurus on stands of exhibiting destinations. However, travel coaching has made its way across the Atlantic. Polish-born writer and sometime London resident Rafael Wlodarski, author of several guide books for WTM exhibitor Lonely Planet, has travelled through more than 60 countries and offers travel coaching and consulting in person or by phone. Topics include advice about responsible and ethical travel, helping motivate people to plan, save for and enjoy the trip of a lifetime and discussing cultural sensitivities, “reducing culture shock and laying the foundation for a richer travel experience.”A four-star Welsh guesthouse even offers guests an on-site holistic therapist “to soothe away the stresses of the day” – in case its private Brecon Beacons garden and airy bedrooms don’t do the trick.

Top Travel Trends for 2009

Authentic travel, second-city travel, and "climate" sightseeing

American Express Travel specialists revealed their top travel trends for 2009, including the continued growth of trends that have been building steadily over the past year. Though some emerge out of this year’s economic downturn, others show travelers determined to create new and fulfilling travel experiences despite the economy.

Second City Travel— Visiting smaller, lesser-known cities within a destination can yield a more affordable, though equally enriching, vacation experience. For example, visiting Birmingham, England instead of London; or vacationing in Calgary, Canada instead of Toronto.

Tried and True Travel— Travelers are expected to return to destinations that they know and love in greater numbers. Not only is it a safe way to ensure an enjoyable vacation, it allows travelers to explore destinations more thoughtfully, while giving them a true sense of costs.
Closer to Home Travel— Expanding beyond this year’s “staycation” trend, travelers are expected to seek “closer to home”, affordable alternatives to overseas destinations. For example, visiting Montreal instead of Paris.

Vacation Home Rentals Support Multi-Generational Travel— Vacation home rentals and villas that offer multi-generational families a “home away from home” experience while on vacation, will continue to gain popularity.

Value Vacations Expected to Grow— Value oriented vacations, such as all-inclusive resorts and cruise lines that continue to expand their offerings will become more appealing to travelers that had not considered them in the past.

Other trends indicating that some consumers are moving forward with their travel plans regardless of the economy are:

Climate Sightseeing— A growing number of travelers are moved to visit destinations threatened by climate change such as the Galapagos, Machu Picchu, Alaska and Canada’s Churchill, an area whose polar bears are threatened by extinction.

Authentic Travel and Niche Tours— According to American Express travel agents, demand for vacations driven by special interests will continue to rise in 2009. Among these, agents named both “authentic travel”— experiencing a destination more intensely through longer stays and deep cultural immersion— and niche tours, where groups of people with like-minded interests travel together.

Solo Travel— Travel agents expect to see a rise in solo travel due to lifestyle factors, and the rising age of couples getting married.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Five Tips to Better Travel

We asked the busiest traveler we could find, John Storey, worldwide director of public relations for Lacoste, for ways any man, woman, or child could improve the quality of their transit.

1. If you fly regularly, make friends with the premium-services director at your local airport. He or she can make things happen for you in a pinch.

2. If you pay full fare for any flight, demand a paper ticket. In case of any problems or delays, you can get your paper ticket endorsed and transferred to another carrier.

3. If you ever have to switch planes in the UK, do not carry on more than one bag. When you touch down, they will make you go through immigration in order to check in again.

4. If you travel with extra luggage or sporting equipment, British Airways allows each passenger a piece of sporting equipment in addition to his luggage allowance.

5. Don't try to bluff your way into an upgrade. They are not free, and you will just look ignorant. The best way to get an upgrade is to always fly the same airline.

The Best Travel Gear for the Man on the Go

Whether you're carrying on, checking, or doing the whole wheelie thing, this luggage makes practical, stylish sense

To Carry
Bags made of buttery soft leather are great in theory. But for those of us who live in the real world of dog-eat-dog airports and freak rainstorms, it's wiser to invest in a light-weight, durable nylon bag. This Coach "gear bag" is scratch-resistant, waterproof, and, if you're not up for abandoning luxury altogether, trimmed with leather.
Top: Nylon weekend bag ($398) by Coach.

To Wheel
Easy on your arms, light in your stride. Practically speaking, the wheeled suitcase is a no-brainer. But there is the small matter of pride, that itching notion that a real man carries his bag, so if you must wheel, do it with some what-are-you-looking-at style. With, say, a Louis Vuitton Darnier case in cool, masculine graphite and black.
Bottom left: Leather-and-canvas Darnier trolley bag ($2,230) by Louis Vuitton.

To Check
Ever see luggage loaded into the belly of a plane? Sides of beef get more respect than your precious cargo. Tumi's signature ballistic-nylon exterior can handle whatever Bernie that baggage handler can dish out, and this 24-inch wheeled case — just big enough for a week or so away — is expandable by up to two and a half inches in width.
Bottom right: Ballistic-nylon suitcase ($750) by Tumi.

All Abloom in Georgia

By Mercie Hallow

Cherry blossoms are widely situated in Asian countries such as China, India, Japan, Korea and Philippines. Cherry blossoms or its Japanese counterpart name Sakura is a pink flowering tree. It is very symbolical and an icon widely used in Japan and China. It is always mentioned in songs, films and lyrical plays where it symbolizes love, beauty and friendship. Cherry blossoms are also found in other countries such as Germany, United States, Canada and United Kingdom.

Sakura or Yoshino cherries in the United States are located at the Sakura Park in Manhattan. History tells that the cherry blossoms are actually a gift from Japan to US on 1912 as a symbol of the two countrys friendship. Well, that was before the Pearl Harbor bombing at least. Japan reportedly donated 3,020 pieces of Yoshino trees to United States where it was then planted at the Sakura Park in Manhattan. The park continues to draw in tourists up to the moment.

The Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, Georgia is an event commemorative to the 300,000 pieces of Yoshino trees in Macon. This town is indeed the cherry blossom capital of America where it gathers locals and tourists from near and far to witness and commemorate this annual event. How the Cherry blossoms in Macon, Georgia got into existence is indeed a unique and warming history to tell.

Yoshino cherries in Macon has a history as rich as its trees. In 1949 a horticulturist named William Fickling Sr. upon discovering a Yoshino cherry tree in his backyard. He happened to chance upon the same tree again while visiting in Washington and thus began his quest to plant as many as possible with the help of his enthusiastic neighbors.

Carolyn Crayton, a female philanthropist learned about this mission and upon seeing how beautiful these trees were, invited Fickling to plant the same trees in her hometown. Soon the 300,000 cherry blossoms began in existence at the very heart of Georgia.

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Down Sleeping Bags Provide Superior Comfort And Warmth

By Sam Bradford

There have been many advances made in the area of sleeping bags, since the days when cowboys used bedrolls to sleep. Today many materials and designs, that are quite high tech are used to provide you with warmth even on the chilliest of nights. Below are some things you should think about when trying to find your next sleeping bag.

You will probably go on at the very least one camping trip in which the temperature at night will turn chilly. You would be wise, because of this fact, to purchase a sleeping bag which has a rating for the lowest temperature range that you would experience on your outdoor adventures. In the summer you may only need a sleeping bag with a +35 degrees and over rating.

For the higher altitudes in the warm summertime, or the spring or fall months, the bags probably need to be a +10 to +35 type rating. The wintertime adventure seekers need to look at the range of -10 to +10 for the rating on bags. Now for the ones going on the long cold weather expedition type trips, they will need the warmest bags of all with the -10 or lower type rating.

You need to know that these ratings are just estimates for the lowest temperatures the bag will work to warm you at. So just use these numbers to steer you in the right direction, everyone feels the cold at different levels. You may get so warm that you don't like a lot of blankets on you when you sleep, if this be the case then go 10 degrees less warm on your sleeping bag (or the +35 rated). But if you get cold real easy then go 10 degrees warmer.

The most critical section on your sleeping bag is by all means the insulation. The sleeping bags today either have down or synthetic insulation in them. They each have there pros and cons. Down is the one that does best in the warmth given compared to what it weighs.

Down is nice, light and very easy to compress to roll the bag up, but gives you fantastic insulation. How do you think geese can be so warm and fly too during the cold weather? Reports show that down is durable over the long haul and even can insulate after you using the bag for years.

But don't sell the synthetic bags short though, the ones being sold today are very high quality and are still being improved upon. This type of bag is a bit heavier to carry weight wise, but has higher performance when wet than down does. Yes the one big con or negative point about down is that when it is wet it is no longer able to insulate you.

So for those wet condition type trips definitely reach for the synthetic sleeping bags. Another thing to remember is that while you will find people allergic to down the synthetic has a reputation of being hypoallergenic. Down will cost you more than the synthetic, which is more reasonably priced. You can have your budget and your fun!

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Holidays are great fun and right now there are lots of good deals available both offline and online. Grab yourself a bargain holiday today!

By Sofia J Booth

Holidays are something that a lot of people dream about and many people are lucky enough to go on holiday once a year which is fantastic. A lot of people enjoy holidays and they are probably one of the only times when people can properly relax and enjoy life.

Holidays are usually very variable in terms of prices and you can find them in a variety of places online and offline. You should be able to get some great deals at the moment. The best places to find holidays are usually online on major websites and main comparison websites which will help you get the best deals.

Finding a place you want to visit should be easy because there are literally hundreds of destinations available for your holidays. A lot of holidays are separated into different categories which are usually Sun, Beach, Sports and family or couples holidays.

If you have a few locations that you'd love to visit then you should definitely consider holidays at the moment because things are cheaper right now. If you're not really sure where you want to go then there are plenty of places to help you decide on destinations for your hoidays.

Holidays are really fun and are supposed to be the time for you to relax and enjoy the world and your life with no distractions from work etc. Holidays abroad are very popular but there are holidays available in the UK where you can stay in country hotels or take city breaks to London or other major cities.

Holidays are perfect for relaxing and this is why so many people take holidays each and every year in order to relax and enjoy themselves. To make sure that you get the best deals possible you should always do some research online and offline before you buy any package deals.

You should start your research online because the majority of the best deals are available on major UK holiday websites and blogs. You should definitely look up the hotels for your holidays so that you can read reviews and learn about the facilities and the services available where you'll be staying.

Holidays abroad are by far the most popular and some of the most popular destinations include France, Spain and of course The Canary Islands. Most holidays abroad are popular because of the climate and the beautiful scenery - many European countries are ideal for sun, sand and beaches.

If you're interested in going on holiday abroad then you should look into the climate as well as the scenery so you can get a feel for the place before you go. Make sure that you look at some reviews of the area you are planning on visiting just to make sure that you're going to enjoy yourself and that the service is to your standards.

You won't have a problem finding the review and opinion websites because there are plenty available online. Lots of them cover holidays so you should get the info you need. You will definitely need to do research when you're looking for hoildays abroad because it's vital to get all the information you can possible find.

You will need to do more research than simply looking at pretty pictures on holiday websites so make sure you're prepared. A lot of holidays are easy to find and many places will be simple to book. Make sure that they are suitable for your tastes and have the facilities you need.

Overall, holidays are a great venture and you'll certainly have a fantastic time away if you plan your trip accordingly and do the research you need to do. Holidays are popular with a lot of people and they will remain popular for a long time to come. Travelling the world is great fun and you should have a great time.

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