Friday, April 11, 2008

Travelling in a Car with Kids

Travelling with kids to any destination by any mode of
transportation is not an easy feat, but with preparation, a
sense of humour, and plenty of bribe material, it can be done. A
driving holiday is as ideal a choice as any when you have
children to entertain. They have easy access to all their stuff,
you can have as many loos stops as you please, and you can
choose when and where to travel.

Every parent is looking for optimum flexibility, which is
guaranteed with a hire car. You can travel in safety and in
style, with pick up and drop off points in central and
convenient locations. The goal is to spend time together, travel
to amazing places and have fun at the same time, which is
possible even with a lot of kids.

There are a number of points that will help you maximize your
family driving holiday:

1) Firstly, keep it simple. Factor in enough time each day to
ensure that children have ample rest and relaxation. If your
itinerary is so jam packed with trips here there and everywhere
you won't enjoy yourselves. There will be plenty of great photos
but you will all be exhausted and cranky. It's better not to
visit as many attractions and save some time for relaxation and
chilling out with the kids. Children do not have as much
patience as most adults, and trudging from one place to another
every hour of the day can stretch the family to breaking point.

2) Pack well. If you are prepared, you will enjoy yourself more
on your holiday. Plan, write lists, stock up and always pack an
extra amount of clothes and food supplies in case of
emergencies. Its great to travel light, but another bag does not
take up a lot of room, and that spare tracksuit or muesli bar
may come in handy.

All children get the munchies, so a few extra treats for those
long drives will instantly help the trip become more enjoyable.
Don't pack them in the middle of your largest suitcase furthest
away from you, rather have them easily accessible at the front.
Your handy bag should always include sunscreen, hats, insect
repellent, small first aid kit, bottle of water and a washcloth.
And of course the treats.

Don't forget the favourite travel games, perfect for children
who are bored and have had enough of endless scenery. The old
fashioned notepaper and pencils will always come in handy, and
for teenagers you may have to give in and allow some extra
technology. Another great idea is for the older kids to have
their own camera and travel diary to record their own holiday
moments.

Your children may never fight for their space in the back seat,
but for most of us who endure this generational curse, some
simple masking tape will ensure that boundaries have been set in
place. Simply stick in a straight line to mark out each child's
'territory' and they should keep their fingers and toes to
themselves.

3) Remember who's in charge. This point seems obvious enough,
but it's amazing how the rules can bend when one small child is
screaming loudly in the back seat sending another into a small
frenzy resulting in instant travelling chaos. The solution would
seem to be to pull over (again) and sort the kids out, but if
you are only half and hour from your destination, you have tried
everything and their needs have been met, sometimes it is better
to just keep pressing on and put up with the high noise levels.
The good news is that it will soon be over.

You will also be requested time and again (from the back seat)
to stop at a lookout or pull over at another service station.
It's ok to stop for a stretch and a run, but if you stop every
time they get bored you will never get to where you are going.
They will have a great holiday, but you will be frustrated and
behind schedule. The simplest rule is, stick to your schedule
with adequate stops, and remember that you don't have to see
everything that everyone in the family wants to see. Your kids
will soon realise that it's as much your holiday as it is
there's, and will sit back to enjoy the rest of the trip.

The aim of a family holiday is to create lasting memories and
relax at the same time. To do this well you need to plan a
simple itinerary that includes all the main attractions and
places you want to see, pack carefully and stay in control. You
will find with some strategic planning that your holiday will be
all you could imagine. You will have time to enjoy adventures
together in plenty of fantastic places, and have such a great
time you will be soon be planning to do it all again next year.



About the author:
Jenny Brewer is a travel agent whose passion is writing. After
spending her leisure time writing time writing childrens
stories, she now enjoys writing about travel destinations. For
more of her articles visit HREF="http://www.discovery-carhire.com.au">Car Hire
Australia

Friday, April 04, 2008

Tips For Traveling Abroad

Traveling abroad can be extremely exciting, especially if you
have never been to a foreign country. There are so many things
to see and experience, so many different cultures and so many
things to learn. It is also important to consider the inherent
dangers as well. Being aware of these can make you trip safer
and more pleasurable.

1)The first suggestion I can offer when going to another country
is to consider travel insurance. Travel insurance is good for
several reasons, it protects you from flight cancellations, lost
luggage and also any unexpected medical cost that could arise.

2)Another thought is to copy all of your documents like
passports, Id's, boarding passes, credit cards, travel vouchers,
and medical prescriptions. This is just in case the event arises
that anything is stolen or goes missing you can still prove who
you are which is a huge potential burden off of your shoulders.

3)When it comes time for you to begin your journey, it's best to
arrive early. This way you can check in your bags and have time
to get through all of the added security. Have passports,
boarding passes and anything else you need to get through
security readily available this way you don't have to fumble
through your bag every time you're asked.

4)When you arrive in a foreign country awareness is the key. To
keep your property safe, keep it close at all times. Try to take
things with you that you are bit going to need. Also make sure
to avoid scams that locals like to play on travelers. Finally,
stay in public places, avoid wondering off down the dark alley
ways in the middle of the night.

5)Lastly it's a good idea to know the currency exchange rate. A
good website to check is www.xe.com/ucc/. Go to a bank
preferably because they offer the most current rate. Finally you
may want to consider travelers checks, you can purchase them
from your local back.

The key point is, when you travel internationally you want your
trip to go as safe and hassle free as possible. Do a little
research, make preparations and don't forget to take some great
pictures.

For more informations visit
http://slapyourtravelagent.blogspot.com/ or
www.slapyourtravelagent.com

About the author:
Kyle Combs is an Independent Certified Travel Professional
specializing in teaching others how to travel at half price. He
has been exposing the closely guarded secrets of the travel
industry for a number of years. You can find out the hidden
secrets of the travel industry and save thousands at
www.slapyourtravelagent.com

Friday, March 28, 2008

Some tips for good travel photography

Photography and travel photography in particular have been a
passion of mine for a long time and now I would like to share
some of the most important stuff I've learned over the years
with our dear readers.

I started with a Nikon EM SLR making mostly slides and upgraded
to digital in 2002. The SLR had served me very well but I
realized I could cut the cost of photography to almost nothing
with digital technology. Making dozens of shots of the same
subject means you're bound to have a good one eventually! Only a
couple of years later I discovered the benefits of image editing
software like Photoshop.

Enough history, let's move on to my tips. In this article I
assume you have some experience with (digital) photography
already and I concentrate on the specifics of "shooting on the
road".

First, choose the right equipment. I like a semi-pro camera with
a fixed lens and long zoom. The Panasonic Lumix series for
example has exceptional value for money. Best travel photos
happen fast. Most of the time you don't have time to change
lenses. Fixed lens also means you have fewer problems with dust.
I always keep my camera on auto-focus and auto-exposure.
Remember, best photos happen fast. You can lose the action
and/or the right light in seconds. Gone forever!

Also, have a decent quality back-up. I like my second camera to
be quite small. If you get invited to a party usually nobody
objects to photos taken with a small innocent looking
"toy-camera". The same goes for temples, gatherings etc.
However, do respect other people's privacy and local customs.

A small light-weight tripod is useful for night/sunrise/sunset
photography. Make sure it folds into your day-bag.

Secondly, learn to use your equipment at home before you travel.
Know it inside out. Practice, practice, practise. When you get
that once-in-a-lifetime shot you don't want to ruin it by
fiddling with your camera.

Also, read a few good books about photography in general and
also on digital shooting techniques. Read them again and
practise different techniques.

Ok, so now you're on the road. You see something captivating.
Start shooting! Shoot a lot, maybe 10-20 shots of the same
subject. Vary angles, shoot from distance and go closer, by foot
or with your zoom. Where is the light coming from? What is
essential for the shot? How to compose the shot? If you have
done your homework, it helps.

Photographing people: This is a sensitive issue. Basically, you
should always ask first. Even pointing at your camera and
looking like a question mark is usually enough and you get a
positive nod. If you are told "no", respect it. You'll find lots
of people who actually want you to take their picture. If you
talk with people, maybe show them some of your shots on your LCD
they often get relaxed and trust you. Hang around later and you
can shoot all you want. They might even pose for you
voluntarily.

Photographing landscapes: Put your camera on aperture-priority
and experiment with different apertures. Do you want a full
depth of field or bring out details focusing on something
interesting and using a wide aperture setting? If you shoot
early in the morning or just before sunset you can get a much
livelier and a more "three dimensional" photo because of the
shadows. This is especially important for rural landscapes as
fields of any crop look really flat without shadows.

Some maintenance tips: Remember that moisture, salt and dust are
real digital camera killers! If the conditions are difficult
keep your camera in its bag until the last moment. Take your
shots, wipe out any visible moisture and dust (carefully!) and
put your camera back in its bag. If it starts raining heavily,
wrap your camera bag in a plastic bag. When you get back to your
hotel, clean your camera at once. Don't give corrosion a chance.
Take out the battery, memory card and everything else that comes
off. Clean everything, preferably with a camera care kit. Don't
forget to wipe the lens and filters. Fully charge your batteries
and delete unwanted shots to free space on the memory cards.

You get home and download the treasure to your hard-drive. Now
begins, at least for me, the most rewarding phase. But wait a
second! Calibrate your monitor first. Many monitors ship with
calibrating software. If yours didn't, most image-editing
software come with something similar. If everything else fails,
just use your eyes! Do pictures on this or any other site look
natural to you? Adjust your monitor's brightness and contrast if
necessary.

Make a hard-copy of your photos on CD/DVD and start playing with
image-editing tools. Delete really bad shots. Copy the best ones
to a different folder and edit them to your liking. I like to
crop my photos a lot to bring out what is essential in every
photo. Also adjust colours, shadows etc. Print on paper, put on
your website or upload to Flickr or some other photo sharing
site for everyone to enjoy and comment on.

Done! Can't wait for the next trip... Practice more, read books,
seek information over the internet, maybe join a camera club,
attend photo exhibitions, even have your own? Ask at local
libraries, shopping malls etc if they allow you to post your
pics.

This is the equipment I use currently. 1. Primary camera:
Panasonic Lumix DMZ-FZ30 , a real bargain these days with its
12x Leica lens, 8 MB and excellent usability 2. UV filter to
protect the front lens of the camera 3. Polarizing filter for
shooting early in the morning and late in the evening 4.
Manfrotto tripod . These are widely regarded as the best 5.
Camera bag 6. Lots of 2 GB SD memory cards and spare batteries
7. Plastic bag to protect my camera when it rains 8. Camera
cleaning kit 9. Backup camera: Nikon Coolpix 3200 10. Photoshop
for image editing

The following are the best photography books in my opinion. I
really like Lee Frost's clear no-nonsense writing and
step-by-step approach to showing you things.

Lee Frost's Creative Photography Handbook covers photography in
general from basics to advanced issues, giving you lots of sound
advice on composition, using light and other essential stuff.
This book is a must if you want to learn from the master.

He has several other books published as well. I particularly
like The A-Z of Creative Digital Photography which is all about
digital shooting techniques as well as lots of very useful
Photoshop hints for polishing your photos. Some other tips show
you how to make really weird, yet interesting creations using
Photoshop's filters. I've had many days of fun with this book!

Thank you for reading!



About the author:
Andy Siitonen spends all his spare time travelling to remote and
exotic countries and getting to know new people and cultures.
Travel photography is one of his great passions.

Website: http://www.farandfurther.com

Friday, March 21, 2008

Ship Condo: The Ultimate in Luxury

If you love to go on cruises but want more luxury, you should
buy a ship condo. A ship condo is similar to a cruise ship,
except that you own your suite or room. You can go on vacation
at any time you want and visit fantastic destinations. You can
even live onboard year round if you want.

These special cruise ships travel all over the world each year.
They visit places like the Panama Canal, New Orleans, Lisbon,
Gibraltar, Casablanca, Paris, St. Petersburg, and Cape Town. The
ships often time their visits to match up with popular events in
port cities, like Mardi Gras or the Cannes Film Festival.

Many of the ship condos that sail the world are the ultimate in
luxury. They often include things like swimming pools, tennis
courts, driving ranges, health spas, movie theaters, and first
class dining options. Some have world class lectures, classes on
various topics, revolving art exhibits, and fully stocked
libraries.

Another popular feature on many ships is the integrated
telecommunications and technology system. This allows
individuals to surf the web, talk to clients or business
associates all over the world, and work on board ship if they
want to. Some individuals run their businesses from the ship,
while they enjoy the sun and sea.

When considering whether a ship condo is right for you, you
should keep in mind several different factors. First, cost of
the units tends to range from several hundred thousand for
smaller, studio units to several million dollars for the larger
condos. Ownership lasts as long as the ship remains running,
usually for a number of decades.

In addition, depending on the particular ship, owners may have
to pay yearly fees for the upkeep and maintenance on the ship.
The amount differs from ship to ship and depends on the size of
your condo. Other ships may not require any yearly fees at all
so it pays to check this out before buying a condo on ship.

You also need to think about whether the lifestyle is for you.
Whether you choose to life onboard or not, buying a condo on a
ship is expensive and the asset will depreciate over time. So,
your ownership isn't so much an investment as it is helping you
live the life that you want to lead.

For some people, the thought of being able to live on board a
cruise ship and sail all over the world excites them. For
others, the cost and living arrangements aren't what they are
looking for. Some individuals, who don't want to live full-time
on one of the ships, buy a partial ownership which allows them
time on the ship but they aren't tied to it.

A ship condo is great if you love cruises and want to visit
exotic destinations all year round. Whether you want to retire
or work while you are on board is your choice; you can easily do
either. Enjoy the ship's amenities while you cruise the world in
luxurious style.

About the author:
frank j vanderlugt owns and operates http://www. ship-condo.com
2 Shipcondocom

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Timeshares: Good Or Bad, You Be The Judge

Timeshare is a type of business model where a company buys
something and sells it to customers for small period of time. It
is mostly associated with vacationing or holidaying where you
buy a place and share the cost of maintenance. Timeshares are
mainly for condominiums or cooperatives at vacation
destinations, now timeshare is also applicable to houseboats,
yachts, campgrounds, motor homes and cruises. It has also gone
as far as sharing used or high end private jets.

It is not necessary that who has opted for time share should
make use of it. He can instead rent out their own usage, Give it
as a gift, and Exchange it internally or externally with other
timeshare resorts. Timeshare will allow you to own a resort at
below resort price.

Benefits of Timeshare

One can assign the usage time to the point system so that it can
be exchanged for airline tickets, travel packages, hotels,
cruises, and amusement park tickets. Instead of renting the
entire actual usage time one can rent part of the points and use
rest of the points. Rent more points from either the internal
exchange entity or another owner to get a larger unit or more
vacation time or a better location. You can also save or move
points from one year to another.

Different Kinds of time shares

Fixed week ownership: Fixed week ownership is the most basic
kind of time share. As an owner you own a deed to use a
specified unit for a single specified week in a year.

Floating: The deed of a floating timeshare will be specific on
how many weeks you own and from which weeks you may select for
your stay.

Rotating: As the name suggests this timeshare is on rotating
basis. In this kind all owners get the best chance for the best
weeks, the weeks are rotated forward or backward through the
calendar. This kind of timeshare is not very flexible though.

Deeded Vs. right t use: A deeded contract depicts that the use
of the timeshare resort is usually divided into week long
increments. These are also sold as fractional whereas with right
to use, the timeshare purchaser has the right to use the
property in accordance with the contract. After the contract
ends and all rights goes back to the property owner.

Points: The number of points required to stay at the resort
varies based on a points chart and it might include popularity,
size, and no. of night's one need to spend in the shared
accommodation. An owner of the time share is legally tied to the
timeshare and is responsible for it unless it is sold or
ownership is transferred. Some timeshare require their owners to
plan their vacation time in advance. It is ideally home away
from home.

About the author:
frank j vanderlugt owns and operates
http://www.timeshare-now.info href="http://www.timeshare-now.info">2 Wwwtimesharenowinfo

Friday, March 07, 2008

How to Make Your Trip to Copper Canyon Mexico Easier

You've probably heard about the train trip through Copper Canyon
in Mexico. The Chihuahua Pacifico, "El Chepe" for short, is the
only passenger train in Mexico. It winds its way through the
Copper Canyon system which is bigger than the Grand Canyon in
the US. It is increasingly becoming a tourist magnet. On our
train ride, there were tourists from the US, France, Italy,
Germany, and Mexico.

You can fly to El Paso and then drive to the city of Chihuahua,
spend the night there and then board the train early in the
morning, like 5:30 a.m. Don't worry, you can get a hot breakfast
on board. There's a dining car and also a bar. The Copper Canyon
train runs between Ojinaga (north) and Los Mochis, in the state
of Sinaloa, near the Sea of Cortez, but passenger service begins
in Chihuahua City.

Your Copper Canyon train trip will take you from sea level to
more than 8,000 feet as the train cuts its way through the
Sierra Madre Mountains. Reports vary (and we didn't count) but
there are over 75 tunnels, and over 30 bridges. The views are
spectacular, covering all types of terrain - farmland, Indian
dwellings, hills, canyons, rivers, springs, waterfalls - you'll
see it all. You can stand between cars for a better view, fresh
air, and great photographs. This is truly a photographer's dream
trip, but great for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts as well.

The train always stops at the town of Divisadero so passengers
can get out and see the view. As the name would suggest,
Divisadero is at a dividing point between the Atlantic and
Pacific watershed. You can see down three of the canyons: Cobre
(copper), Urique, and Tarahumara. You'll also want to do some
souvenir shopping. The Tarahumara Indians sell their crafts and
there are also food stands.

The Copper Canyon railroad was begun in the late 19th century
but because of various problems, not completed until 1961. The
entire trip takes around 15 hours. Worried about disorder?
There's a military guy with a machine gun on board, because I
guess there used to be robberies. Well not any more!

Since this is not a sleeper train, you can stay in hotels along
the way where you may find trail rides, hiking, a van trip down
the canyon, ATMs, local music, sights (like balancing rock),
missions, food and shopping.

Google "Copper Canyon" images and take a look at the photos. If
this whets your appetite, here are some tips to make your trip
easier:

1. Southwest Airlines flies to El Paso. That's a no-brainer. We
spent the night there, and then our guide drove us across the
border to Chihuahua the next day.

2. Be sure you have a valid passport.

3. Use My Power Mall (http://www.excideals.com ). For instance,
when I clicked "Travel", Southwest Airlines was right next to a
place that provides quick passports, and you get a rebate on
both. Then there were stores for buying the necessary vacation
clothes, and then click over to a drugstore where you can get
some Imodium. 4. Yeah, it's a good idea to take something for
turista, just in case. While you're on My Power Mall you can
also check for tours and accommodations. Wyndham is on there,
Hyatt, Marriot. Heck, BritRail Tours is even on there - 1000s of
"stores" to choose from, rebates on all of them. 4. You'll also
need some special clothes for your trip, available at discount
from 1000s of merchants through My Power Mall as well.
Specifically we recommend:

a. A hat or head covering, sunglasses, and good sunscreen. Think
of it like skiing in Colorado. High altitude.

b. Comfortable casual clothes, jeans, shorts, t-shirts are fine.
The temperature can vary. Bring layers. Of course there is
air-conditioning on the train. In one hotel, we turned the heat
on at night.

c. A backpack or something you can put over your shoulder to put
all your things in like purse, passport and camera.

d. Film or batteries for the camera. Trust me - you'll take
hundreds of photos and never tire.

e. Shoes for horseback riding, hiking and the ATV.

f. Something for rain. There were sort of tropical showers in
the afternoons and evenings when we were there.

g. Bathing suit. Some of the hotels have hot tubs and pools.
Check before you go. You may also want to take a dip in some of
the beautiful rivers.

5. Dress clothes optional. Our tour included two really nice
restaurants. So if you like to dress up, go ahead. The one we
ate at in the town of Chihuahua, it was Sunday afternoon and the
families there were dressed. (It was also one of the single best
meals I've ever had.)

6. Any special equipment for your laptop, cell phone etc. you
can do some quick comparison shopping and get a good deal here:
http://www.1audio-equipment.com . Everywhere we stayed had
computer connection, but not always a computer. What was nice
was the ones that did have computers and Internet let you get on
the Internet without charge. They don't do that on a cruise now,
do they?

7. Check with your cell provider before you go about coverage.
There were blackouts for us.

8. A guide. He can handle the luggage, the tickets, the lines,
the local culture, the language and currency, getting through
customs, and they know where the good places and the good water
are. In the towns where we stopped, there was always a place to
buy the things we needed or wanted, like bottled water. Hey! I
needed a pony tail holder. They even had that! And at the local
versions of Stop 'n' Go's, we fell in love with Cremas.

9. Get insurance - if you're driving in Mexico, and also check
your health insurance to see if you're covered in Mexico.

9. One last thing and you can get this on My Power Mall too --
Toilet paper. Yeah, you'll see a lot of the locals getting on
the train with a roll of TP. The restrooms were well-stocked
(and clean), but it seems to be a tradition.

10. Lastly, enrich your experience by learning before you go. On
www.learningtrove.com you can find videos about Mexico, and also
introductory Spanish. If you're taking kids with you, this will
really add to their experience. Comprende? Actually one of the
hidden bonuses about this trip is that your kids may see the
Milky Way for the first time in their lives. There's a great
educational video about the Milky Way on
http://www.learningtrove.com. - just go there and enter "Milky
Way." It may be the first time you have seen the Milky Way in
many years, without realizing it. The stars at night are very
visible. Great learning experience for the kids.

I'd heard a lot about the Copper Canyon train ride. It's one of
those trips that exceeded my expectations. It helps to be
well-prepared, so I hope these tips help you.

About the author:
┬ęSusan Dunn. Join MyPowerMall, http://www.excideals.com/,
dedicated to the power of online shopping. Absolutely no cost to
you, 1000+ stores,millions of products you need,earn shopping
rebates on every purchase you and your team make. 6.5% of corp
profits go to One-Child-At-A-Time.Opportunity to earn unlimited
passive income from a fr** online.mailto:rakemet@hotmail.com

Friday, February 29, 2008

How Luggage Tag Important To Travelers

Using luggage tag is one of the best ways that you will get
difference and uniqueness for your luggage. There are some
problems with many people, especially frequent travelers is
difficult to find the way to have personalized travel luggage.
This is because luggage tag will help you to find your bag
easier, particularly when they are in the airport. Moreover,
having luggage tag helps in case you lost your luggage but you
have contact details on the tag, so other will find the owner of
the luggage easily. The benefit of having luggage tag is not
only making your luggage easier to be found but also preventing
someone else to steal your luggage. Apart from the there are
some more benefits of using luggage tags, which can be
summarized below a) It is very easy to identify your luggage in
case there is a similar design that belong to other person, so
you can find yours easily b) Luggage could also prevent someone
to pick up our luggage, especially during the airport transit,
which there is a chance during airline check-in process. c)
Luggage tag could help to reduce chance for your luggage to be
stolen, this is because thief prefers to steal luggage that has
no identification so they can claim that they have picked the
wrong luggage. The case like this often found with small
suitcase which people generally do not have tag on their small
suitcase. d) This is probably the most important one. If you are
the frequent travel person, you will realise that there is a
great chance to lost luggage during when the luggage managed by
airport or airline staffs. e) Also, if you have suitable luggage
tag, in case if your luggage is misdirect to other flight, it
will be quickly found and return to you without worry

However, it seems that these advantages above only benefit to
the person who travel by air, but in fact it also benefits to
you even you travel in groups by bus, coach or any kind of
transportation as misdirected luggage always happen in all
situation so it is also compulsory to have one. There are
variety of colour and design of luggage to choose from. Some
providers have more alternatives for customers such as leather
luggage tags. As we all know that leather is more durable, look
neat and luxurious than any other material so this kind of
luggage is becoming popular today. Meanwhile many provides have
categorized their product by the material that luggage made from
but some other function, such as air plane luggage, business
luggage tag, briefcase tag and so on.

As mentioned above that luggage tag can be purchased
individually and in bulk, for people who already got a set of
luggage, you may have to buy them in bulk for all of your
luggage, because it is even more easy to identified for a set of
luggage that has same colour and style of luggage tags. As far
as safety is concerned by parents that they always choose
luggage tag that has no sharp edge which will harm to children,
so if you have little kids so this is also one factor that you
have to consider.

About the author:
PisanK is the writer of
http://www.allluggagetag.com
site, if you see this article
helpful, visit our site to get more information.