Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Winter Vacations in Disney World

The majority of those visiting Disney World do so in the summer. The reason for this is pretty simple, that`s when people have vacations and the kids are out of school. There are some great advantages to hitting the happiest place on earth during the winter months, though.

Benefits of Winter Disney
The main reason you`ll enjoy visiting Disney World in the winter is the amazing lack of people. Since the majority of vacationers won`t be hanging around the parks until spring, you`ll be able to walk right onto rides, often with only a couple minutes of waiting. Not only does this mean you get to ride more often, it also lets you see a lot more in a shorter amount of time.

The weather in Florida is warm year round, so you don`t need to worry about a winter vacation being too chilly. In fact, many prefer winter in Florida because it`s cooler than the summer months, making walking all over the parks a far easier task and much more comfortable.

It`s often worth taking the kids out of school for a few days to enjoy the relative peace of the parks during this season. You`ll find that you`ll have even less competition for rides and events if you hit the parks on a major holiday, such as Thanksgiving, when everyone is celebrating at home. The parks are still running and will be virtually empty!

Another fun part of visiting in the winter is that you`ll get to see the seasonal shows. For example, there are Christmas parades that you wouldn`t be able to see at any other point during the year. These are definitely worth watching and won`t be available during the summer months.

You may also find hotel rooms are cheaper at this time of year, since there are fewer tourists in the area. Look online for discounts ahead of time to get the best deals and you can end up staying very near Disney for a fraction of summer prices.

Planning Your Winter Vacation
Remember that during the low season is when rides are often under construction, so if there is one that you particularly want to visit, check first to make sure it will be running when you arrive. Planning ahead will make your vacation easier and ensure that it runs smoothly.

Buying park hopper tickets is your best bet, no matter when you go. These allow you to jump between the four Disney World parks and stay at one for more than one day, should you choose. Regular park tickets will only let you visit one park on the specified day and don`t allow for changes in plans. You may find that you`ve had enough of the Animal Kingdom after half a day and park hopper tickets will let you head to one of the other parks for the afternoon, if you wish.

By planning your trip early, you`ll be able to make the most of discounts on everything from plane tickets and hotel rooms to rental cars and park tickets. Searching online will turn up coupon codes and sale prices for all of these options. Your local travel agent will also be able to help you get good deals on transportation and hotels. Most hotels in the Disney area have free shuttles.

A winter vacation in Disney World is a great way to maximize your enjoyment of the parks. There are few crowds and your patience won`t be tested. It`s the ideal time to enjoy the thrills of Disney, while spending less time and money.

Auto club provides travel insurance Canada and Disney World tickets for your next exclusive getaway. Ensure you are protected while you travel with worldwide health assistance and extensive coverage.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Planning Your Family Beach Vacation

Beach vacations are popular with families, and for good reason. With a myriad of activities and plenty of fun in the sun, there is sure to be something to appeal to everyone. But how do you make the most of your vacation. By planning ahead of course and the tips in this article can help.

First, decide how you are planning to get there. Planes are the fastest way, of course, but also the most expensive. The good news is that if you are planning a beach vacation on the off season, the fares are much cheaper, and there are less fellow tourists as well. If going on the off season is not an option for you, and flying is necessary, check both the airline websites and travel websites to find the best deals before you click the buy button. If your departure date is flexible, see if leaving a day earlier or a day later can save you some money.

It goes without saying that the real first step is to choose your destination, and this article assumes that you have done so. Now that you have your transportation options ironed out, the next step is to familiarize yourself with the activities and points of interest that will be available to you. Of course, a beach vacation is primarily centered on, well, the beach, but that does not mean that you cannot visit museums and attractions nearby. Do your research and plan some additional activities and day trips as a family.

Now, what to pack. Bathing suits for everyone, that goes without saying of course, and wide brimmed hats and sunglasses. You should bring plenty of summer clothes, but also a lightweight jacket and long pants for everyone in the family, since it can get cold near the ocean at night. Make sure that everyone has their necessary medications, contact lenses, and personal products, and if you are traveling by plane, make sure that carry on items of this type conform to TSA regulations. Leave some room in your suitcases, though, for souvenirs, and keep in mind that each bag checked is a fifteen dollar charge each way depending on the airline you have chosen and their specific policies.

Above all, remember to relax and enjoy yourself. Preparation can be stressful, but the more prepared you are the more you and your family will be able to appreciate your beach vacation.

The author regularly vacations in Hilton Head Island, if you'd like more information about local attractions and activities, visit

Where To Go In Vietnam

Westerners are interested in seeing Vietnam after the American war, and some have the connection with the country like they came there for the fight before, or they have an adopted child. Those reasons and many more make this country an attractive place to go for people. So, here are some suggestions of where to go in the country, which we would go from the North to the South.

In the very north of the country, you can go to Sapa, which is very suitable for someone who is interested in trekking, high-mountains climbing, or just for relaxation. They have all kinds of flowers here, especially many kinds of orchids. Sapa is also famous for its food. Free-ranged chickens here are the best in the country. Also, you can do no wrong with the plenty of fruit here from apple, mango, Asian pear, passion fruit. It seems they have everything here like fresh air, trekking, and good food. IF you are interested in traditional textiles, you can purchase tons of them here from scarves to skirts. They are all beautiful and handmade, which is quite impressive to me because I do not know from the bank of trees they could make those beautiful scarves and skirts.

We cannot miss Hanoi as well because it is the capital of Vietnam. Here you can wander around the French quarter and Old quarter. Most of expats gather here, and if you are in Vietnam, you would definitely spend several days in the old town. For local people, it seems unremarkable, but for foreigners it is very interesting. Imagine you are walking 36 streets, which are very narrow, crowed with many people, and the streets have existed for more than 100 years and nothing changes. It feels like something old, and traditional around here. If you can do shopping here too, however, it might be a little expensive because the price here is designed for expats, but not for Vietnamese local people. So, if you want to get a good deal, you should ask a local person, and they will tell you where to go.

Down to the central Vietnam, Hue is also a good place to go. Hoi an is like the old town in Hanoi, but it is much quieter, and peaceful. If you do not want to be in a crowded street, and just relax while want to feel like something old, you definitely want to go to Hoi An. Hoi An has many old houses which can be there for a couple of hundred years, and also nothings changes since then. Many people prefer Hoi an than the old town in Hanoi, because of its origins and its quietness.

If you are a businessman, or want to experience something more modern, you definitely want to go to Saigon. It is a new and a developing city, where you can find anything you want, go to a restaurant where you feel like you are in New York or Tokyo. One friend of mine say that In Saigon people live faster, get up earlier and stay later at night. It is all because of the new city with full energy and tons of people from all over the country rushing here to make money.

James Brown writes about

Vacationing in the Cayman Islands Presents an Exceptional Aqua and Terra Firma Experience

Vacationing in the Cayman Islands is one of the nice things to do by travelers. Simply, these islands are the most flourishing lands located in the Caribbean chain, making an average income of $35,000 almost. Essentially, the island chain is composed of three islands namely: Cayman Brac; Little Cayman; and Grand Cayman.

A Beautiful Experience

Many of the vacationers to this Caribbean paradise kept on coming back because of the beaches, water sports, and friendly accommodations. But what makes vacationing here unforgettable is the water sports experience. In fact, the Caribbean's deepest water is found here; the very reason why diving enthusiasts flock into these islands every year.

A Remarkable Adventure

Among the three islands, Grand Cayman is the biggest and the mostly visited island. Towered here are numerous restaurants and mainstream of hotels. Meanwhile, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac are only medium in size so they only present limited restaurants and accommodations. However, these two islands are rich in isolated vacation spots, fantastic diving and snorkeling, less jam-packed beaches, local cuisines, and a chance to mingle closer to the native populace.

The populace on these two islands has a mindset that they are packed with more people, accommodations, and traffic. So then, vacationing here are both convenient to people who love the crowds and to those who prefer solemnity.

For Aqua Beauty Lover

Vacationing in this virtual paradise on Earth is not for people who are dreaming to see numbers of tropical flowers. Instead, this is designed for people who have great appreciation to the beauty found in water. The area presents a stretch of mangrove swamps as well as coral reefs. In fact, the local government and people are strict in protecting the beauty of their waters such as the coral reefs since the water here is considered as the most pristine throughout the Caribbean.

Therefore, visiting here is ideal for people who would love to see a plenty of tropical fish either in diving or snorkeling.

Indeed, making a special trip to the islands is really a good experience. Apart from witnessing the beauty of water; vacationers here may also visit several interesting spots such as the Stingray City, Turtle Farm, and Hell town.

However, since numbers of people are being attracted to take a vacation in these Islands, new comers should expect to experience traffic--especially in the Grand Cayman. It also has to be taken note that driving here is on the left side.

Grand Cayman Villas ( the place to get your Cayman condo. Art Gib is a freelance writer.

Andorra Skiing Gets 2009 Vote Of Confidence

As ski resorts face the coming ski season with some trepidation given the economic downturn, Andorra has been successful in having two of her resorts named in a leading ski internet site's top ten - something which might help Andorra win a bigger share of the European ski market this year.

The skiing holidays site suggests nearly a million Brits alone will be hitting the slopes this winter, but with the economic recession other leading travel companies such as Tribune think this figure will be revised down.

The good news for the Andorra resorts comes firstly because of Arinsal.

Arinsal topped the poll and won because, with some sixty per cent of British skiers fitting in the novice category, the Andorra ski holidays resort is perfect for them. Away from top class skiers, the whole village atmosphere makes for happy new skiers - and happy new skiers are likely to continue skiing in future years, boosting the ski holidays industry not just in Andorra but with other resorts too.

As well as friendly ski slopes, Arinsal has a good mix of accommodation. Hotels are from hostel standard to four and five star luxury, while there is self catering too with aparthotels, privately available apartments by the week, and the occasional chalet too. Arinsal offers ski instruction in either groups or on an individual basis from novice to advanced, to complete the ski holidays scene.

The second piece of good news for Andorra is that a second resort also makes the ski holidays travel sites' top ten - an accolade in itself.

They place Pas de la Casa at number four of its top ten ski holiday areas and praise the Andorra resort for its low prices, adding 'The happy hours, discos, lively cafes and restaurants also give the Andorran resort of Pas de la Casa its reputation as one of the liveliest resorts in the mountains.'

Pas de la Casa is Andorra's highest ski resort, and consequently has the earliest and deepest snow, with well known Soldeu at a slightly lower altitude.

Andorra started to develop her ski resorts for tourists back in the 1980's. For the first decade Andorra decided to go for the budget skier, and was able to provide ski holidays at a lot less cost than neighbouring France, and other ski countries in Europe including Austria and Switzerland.

But now Andorra has moved away from the image of the poor man's Switzerland for skiing to one that is pretty upmarket, with ski resorts such as Soldeu, Arinsal, Pal and Pas de la Casa attracting serious skieres to her slopes as well as novices. In Soldeu for example there is a good choice of Andorra hotels, including four and five star ones, while spa hotels are dotted around the country.

And while the skiing fraternity might be a bit more upmarket with money to match, so are the new residents who move to Andorra to live there full time and take up residency in Andorra.

While Andorra property averaged between three and hundred thousand Euros a few years ago to new residents, the average now is closer to double that. Not because Andorra has seen her property prices rise that much necessarily, although it is true to say it has risen close to fifty per cent in the three years preceeding the current worldwide recession, but because more and more people are choosing Andorra over Monaco as a tax haven.

Ski holidays in Andorra can be found at

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Experience an Adventure Cruise in the Kimberley

By Willie Strongarm

For years, tourists have been enjoying northwest Australia's Kimberley Region, as well as the almost a thousand islands just off the coast. They offer secluded beaches, beautiful bays, mangroves and rainforests, and they're best seen by boat.

Cruises can be found to fit any interest, from photography and birdwatching to beach combing, fishing and hiking. Longer trips allow for island exploration and swimming in waters that are home to jewel-like fish, dolphins, turtles and more.

You'll get the chance to check out jewel like fish, sea turtles, sharks, birds, whales and even saltwater crocodiles, as well as the unique erosions of Strickland Bay. Check out the pure white silica beach at Hidden Island and the iron mine on Kooland Island.

You'll also have the chance to see Aboriginal art, waterfalls and pearl farms and to collect oysters or fish near the coral reef. Some cruises offer the day's catch as a meal choice to anglers.

Check out the Horizontal Falls at Talbot Bay, too - this real horizontal waterfall is caused by the way water flows through the narrow passage in the cliffs. With water building up in front of the gap faster than it goes through there's a difference of four to six meters in water level, creating a waterfall between bays.

Described as one of the world's greatest natural wonders, these falls should be seen under safe circumstances, such as a cruise. Rough and extreme water conditions in this part of the world have caused many fatalities over the years among sailors and pearl divers.

Fortunately, it's safe if you travel with someone who knows what they're doing, and boats even pass through the horizontal waterfall, if you're looking for a thrill. Want to see the spectacular sight without getting wet? Consider a helicopter or seaplane ride instead.

If you want to get the most time on the islands, look for a cruise that does most of its distance traveling at night. Check out what you'll get on the tour, too - items like fishing and snorkeling gear or all your snacks and meals are sometimes provided, and sometimes cost extra.

If you're planning on an Australian adventure cruise, you'll need to take the right clothes, like lightweight fabrics that keep you cool, good walking shoes you don't mind getting wet and a wide brimmed hat. Don't forget to keep insect repellent and sunscreen, and keep your camera close to hand.

Most tours travel during the dry season, between April and November, but some run during the wet season, due to the many locations for shelter if the weather becomes rougher. Choose your cruise time according to what sights you want to see and the kind of weather you're willing to put up with.

Kimberley adventure cruises are a great choice for anyone who's looking for fun. Pick a cruise that lasts long enough to let you see it all, and get all cruise details before you leave, so you'll have a great time.

About the Author:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Why You Should Consider a Holiday in Mozambique

Tourism is nothing new to Mozambique; it has just been interrupted by wars, communism, floods and landmines. In the sixties and seventies, before the war for independence and civil war which only ended in 1992, Mozambique enjoyed welcoming more tourists than South Africa and Rhodesia combined.

With 1,500 miles of white sandy beaches, bordered with thick tropical vegetation and palm trees, Mozambique is an idyllic tourist destination. The locals serve giant prawns in lemon-infused olive oil in gigantic bowls.

What has changed in Mozambique is the style of tourism. While it used to consist of very basic locally-owned hotels, it is now populated with upmarket, luxury hotels, which are of the same high standard as the accommodation to be found in South Africa.

But the similarity between resorts in Mozambique and South Africa is largely down to financial aid and trade from South Africa, which has helped install phone lines, railways, roads and supermarkets. By the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, when millions of visitors are predicted to swamp South Africa, a four-lane motorway and railway line from Johannesburg to Mozambique will be open, opening up access to the beauty that is Mozambique.

Despite its close proximity to South Africa though, Mozambique has held onto some rustic allure. With miles of white beach and warm shallow turquoise seas, Mozambique is a picture of paradise. You can go for a snorkel and try to catch a peek at one of the many reef fish that populate these waters, or perhaps even a dugong.

Tourism has been slow to recover in Mozambique, and there is still a perception that it is a troubled country, despite a stable democracy being established there for over a decade. It was further set back in 2000 by devastating floods, and some of the effects are still visible.

Slowly Mozambique is starting to be considered one of the coolest destinations in southern Africa. It has everything which the Seychelles or Mauritius can offer in terms of beaches, but with all the flavours of Africa, and a Portuguese colonial history.

The diving is excellent and the fishing first-rate. Portuguese is still the main language and although not everyone speaks good English, Mozambicans are always ready with a beaming smile and a willingness to make visitors feel welcome. As the world begins to forget its troubled past, you can bet that more and more will return to this beautiful country to experience a beautiful African beach paradise.

John Mce writes on behalf of Africa Collection. Africa Collection specialise in holidays to Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean. Experience the Deserts & Dunes of Namibia with Africa Collection.

5 Useful Tips for Women Traveling Solo to Australia

Did you know that Australia is one of the world's most popular holiday destinations for single female travelers? It is not difficult to see why. The climate is warm, the locals speak English, it is safe and the weak Aussie dollar allows you to travel very cheaply.

As a professional travel writer, I meet many single women. Most are in the 20 to 50 age group and they all love the personal freedom and independence solo travel allows.

Single traveler, Sue from Madison Wisconsin said: "It allows me to explore and discover cities and attractions that interest me. I have recently traveled in the Kimberley region of outback Australia and being single allowed me to meet many different people. If I had been traveling with a partner or in a group, this would have not been possible".

If you are planning to visit Australia, here are 5 useful tips.

1. Avoid flights that arrive late at night.

There is nothing more daunting than arriving at a strange city late at night. Very often public transport is irregular and taxis may charge you an arm and a leg.
If you can arrive before noon you have plenty of time to arrange transport to your accommodation in daylight hours.

2. Take advantage of free public transport.

Most cities have free transport within their city blocks. Melbourne has free trams and buses. The Melbourne City Tourist Shuttle travels around the outer rims of the city. The red and gold city circle tram covers mainly the streets of the central business district.

Perth has an excellent system of free CAT (central area transport) buses covering the CBD and attractions outside the central city area.

If you must take a taxi, try to organize it with your accommodation and ask them how much you should expect to pay.

3. Stay at Youth Hostels or Backpacker Hostels.

The great advantage of Youth Hostels or good backpacker hostels is the opportunity to meet others in safe congenial surroundings, but still remain independent.

Very often they arrange group outings or excursions and you have the choice of a single room or a shared room. When I travel around Australia, I always stay at youth hostels.

Some are in amazing locations. If you love the beach, 2 hostels stand out. The hostels on Great Keppel Island in Queensland and Dunsborough in Western Australia are right on the beach.

If you are planning to visit Melbourne and want to be close to the vibrant city nightlife, Urban Central at Southbank is close to all the action.

4. Mix with the locals.

If you want to experience the real Australia, go to areas where the locals gather. Aussies love their sport and great meeting places are football and cricket matches. If you are in Sydney, enquire about cricket (summer) or football (winter) at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Melbourne residents love their football and in this southern city they worship a unique brand of football called Aussie Rules. Enquire about football matches at the Melbourne Cricket Ground or the Telstra Dome, then go along and enjoy the entertainment. At half time, why not do what the locals do? Buy a meat pie and wash it down with a cold beer!

5. Unwanted attention.

Many single women encounter this problem. Here are some suggestions:

If you get unwanted attention from men, don't say you'll meet them later and try to get rid of them. They will turn up. Say "no" politely and firmly.

Wear a wedding ring and say you've got four kids, if anyone asks. If you're only 23, make it two kids, but the message is the same. Yes, you shouldn't have to, but sometimes it's the only way to fend off unwanted advances.

What do you want to know about Australia? You'll find all the answers including great budget accommodation, in Australian travel expert Graeme Lanham's new book. Available at: within minutes! For a limited time, claim your 3 FREE special reports, valued at $57.

Discover Your Wild Side In Krabi

Krabi is Thailand's newest and best unspoiled tropical destination - if you had the pleasure of visiting Koh Samui ten or fifteen years ago, it would have been much like Krabi is now.

Krabi's beaches are the ones you have most likely seen on tourism brochures about Thailand, with their stunning tall palms, impossibly blue waters and impeccable beaches. If getting back to nature is the way that you prefer to relax and unwind, Krabi is for you. Come explore the best of this wild paradise with us, including the best day trips and natural activities, and the most luxurious Krabi villa rentals and other Thailand accommodation.

The Phi Phi islands are known as the jewel of the Andaman Sea, and are the perfect place to discover your wild side. In fact, you'll probably discover that your wild side is really quite warm, relaxing, brilliantly colored and stunningly beautiful! Phi Phi Don featured in the Hollywood blockbuster, The Beach, and Bida Nok and Nai islands are not much more than large rocks, but are perfect for basing diving adventures from, if you like to explore the underwater wilderness.

Rock climbing is one of Krabi's wildest activities, feel just like James Bond (only perhaps with a bit more adrenaline pumping through your veins!). There are thousands of sheer rock faces made of limestone, and these faces have about 600 routes mapped and bolted out.

They are all graded, so you know how difficult a climb will be before you start it. Or you can try sea kayaking for a still wild, but slightly safer thrill, on Krabi's calm ocean waters just in front of your luxury villa for rent in Krabi. You can rent a sea kayak by the hour from most beaches, or go on an organized day trip with others.

Wild in a very different way is the luxury accommodation that you will find in the quiet beach resort town. Luxury villas for rent in Krabi like the Pimalai Beach villas are wildly luxurious, with their open-air living room and dining area, equipped with TV and DVD so you can miss as little of the gorgeous Krabi climate as possible.

There is an enormous 35 square meter infinity edge private pool, where you can swim in your own luxury villa for rent in Krabi, while watching the wild beauty of the Andaman Sea. This Krabi villa can sleep 6, has air conditioning throughout, as well as high speed internet access and fully equipped kitchen.

The Pimalai luxury continues with the pool version of the above Krabi villa rentals, with a few more beds for friends to share the beauty and freedom. The three bedroom Pimalai Krabi villa for rental comes at a price made for special occasions and sharing with friends - and there is certainly room! This luxury villa for rent in Krabi sleeps 9, over 422 square meters of living space with a total land area of up to 1000 square meters.

Bedrooms with air conditioning and ceiling fans ensure a comfortable sleep to get you ready for another day exploring Krabi's wild adventures, and you can keep that natural theme going into the night with outdoor living features like an outdoor sala, sun bathing deck, and outdoor dining area in this vacation villa in Thailand. Just remember that at some point, you'll have to return to civilization. provides accommodation options in various locations around Thailand and features some of the most beautiful villas available. Book your vacation today at

Tips For Choosing The Best Family Vacation

Choosing a family vacation destination requires a certain amount of planning and research, but the good news is that the tips in this article can help you. Finding the perfect vacation spot may be difficult, but it is not impossible.

Keep in mind that young children and older people both tire easily, so if you are planning on taking young children or elderly relatives with you, choose a destination that offers a variety of activities for all energy levels and interests. Ask for the input of all family members, what they want to do, what their top destination picks are, etc. Many people plan vacations with the expectation that the entire trip will be kid focused, adult focused, outdoor activities focused, etc, and while this strategy may work for some, there is no reason to limit yourself or your family when it comes to a fun trip.

Think about how you are planning to get to your destination. Flying is faster, but it is also the most expensive way to go. Car trips can be fun, but also cut into total vacation time. Think about the weather, in the winter months flight delays and cancellations may be an issue depending on where you are going and where you are coming from. You should also consider the condition of the car that you are planning on driving, and make sure that if you choose this option that the car undergoes a complete service check.

Consider your budget. Most people do not have an unlimited amount of vacation funds, so it makes sense to choose a destination that offers a variety of activities and things to do, as well as affordable lodging options close by. If you cannot afford an all inclusive resort vacation, this does not mean that you cannot get the most out of your vacation. Pick a few choice attractions near your main destination, and plan out an agenda of must see places and must do activities in advance to make sure that you will be able to afford to do the things that you want to do.

If you end up having to compromise when it comes to everyones activity and destination preferences, plan on giving family members who have had the least say this year more of a say next year. Hopefully this will also help you jumpstart your planning for your next family vacation no matter where you decide it will be.

The author regularly vacations in Hilton Head Island, if you'd like more information about local attractions and activities, visit

The Town of Lakeway on Lake Travis

Lakeway is the name of a scenic lakeside community in western Travis County, and it is a wonderful place to live. Lakeway is a reasonably new city, and the city was formed around the original Lakeway Inn, a 48 room hotel built in July of 1962. Honored guests at the grand opening celebration were Lady Bird Johnson and former Governor John Connally, and the hotel opened in July of 1963..

Lakeway has a total area of 6.1 miles, and in the 2000 census the population of Lakeway was reported to be 8002 residents. At the time of the census, there were 3,124 households and 2,496 families, and the population density was considered to be 1379 people per square mile. The city is largely White, with 96% of residents reporting Caucasian ancestry, and along with a 4 % Hispanic population, there are a few other ethnicities as well. The elevation of Lakeway is roughly 823 feet, and the average household size in the community is 2.52 people. The median household income in the small city is about $86,000, so Lakeway is a reasonably affluent community as well.

Students in Lakeway attend Lake Travis School district schools, including an elementary school, middle school, and high school. There were 3,501 housing units during the census of 2000, and Lakeway is sixteen miles west of Austin. The area of Lakeway includes 0.3 square miles of water, which are the waters of Lake Travis.

There are numerous luxury homes in Lakeway, as well as moderately priced homes and other housing options. Since its construction in the 1960s, Lakeway Inn has expanded to become a world-class resort, and now includes the Lakeway Resort and Spa and the World of Tennis. 71% of the families in Lakeway include married couples, and around 34% have children under the age of eighteen living at home. At one point, Lakeway was considered a home for snowbirds, or people who primarily lived there in the mild weathered-months, but now it is a year-round home for many, with award winning schools, restaurants, lodging and many other attractions.

Lake Travis itself is over 25 miles long, and offers boating, fishing, skiing, jet skiing, swimming, and many other water-related activities, and most of the homes have lake access or lake, or beautiful hill country views. There are also many other nice resorts, plus bed and breakfast inns and R.V. parks, marinas, campgrounds, and inexpensive motels and cabins for visitors. There are also two golf courses, Live Oak and Yaupon, and both are members of Clubcorps and run by the company as well. There is a small airport in the area too, and the small city is accessible via highway 71 West and Ranch Road 620 from southern Travis County, and Highway 183 to 1431, then to R.R. 620, from northern Travis County, along with another option, Ranch Road 2222 to 620 from northwest Austin.

There is an art gallery, a fire department and police department in Lakeway, and numerous shopping plazas and boutiques, as well as snack shops, convenience stores and the like. The city government is the mayor-council form of administration, and there is a city hall, library, and chamber of commerce in Lakeway. Since Lakeway has many winding roads, trees, and foliage, deer are very abundant in the community, and drivers must use caution when traveling at night to avoid accidents with the deer and other small forms of wildlife.

All and all, Lakeway is a great place to visit or to raise a family or retire, and all of the amenities of a big city can be found, along with the peace and tranquility of rural life, and since choices of habitation and lodging are so plentiful, the town is a great place to consider when coming to Austin!

Ki helps buyers interested in Austin real estate his website has a free search of the Austin MLS along with updates on his Austin real estate blog

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Stop! Don't Go On a Cruise With a Baby Until You Read This

By Brooklyn Sterritt

We just came back from a Caribbean cruise on a Princess ship with our ten month old daughter. We had such a wonderful time that we are now planning our next cruise vacation.

There is some planning to be done beforehand, but the planning is well worth the effort. There are many things that you will need for your baby on the cruise vacation. Here is our list of the top 10 must things to have on a cruise vacation with a young baby.

1. Number one on our list is a comfortable stroller. Comfort for your baby is important - but it also important that the stroller can be folded so that it can be taken on an airplane and so that it won't take up too much room in your cruise ship cabin. Our stroller was in constant use from morning to night. We walked our daughter on the promenade deck every morning; we took our daughter to all of our meals in her stroller; we didn't want to miss out on the night-life on the ship - so every evening after dinner we bathed our daughter, dressed her in pyjamas, and then placed her back into her stroller. We then walked the ship with her, went to some clubs on the ship with her and before long she would fall fast asleep.

2. Diapers. Make sure that you pack enough disposable diapers. The way that I figured out how many to take was to the week before our trip I kept track of how many diapers our girl went through each day to get an idea of how many diapers are needed per day. Based on that calculate how many are required during the vacation. We didn't purchase the diapers at home. We had time between our flight arrival in Ft Lauderdale and the time to board the ship so we took a cab to a Target store and purchased them and some other supplies before getting another taxi to the ship. That way we didn't have to carry them onto our airplane.

3. Even when travelling with a young baby you will want to swim during your vacation (if your cruise is a warm-weather location). All ships have kiddie/toddler pool and in order for your baby to enjoy the pool they have to wear swim diapers or be potty-trained.

4. If your baby is on formula make sure that you bring enough formula with you for the length of the cruise. We brought powdered formula since it is more compact than pre-mixed formula. Rather than bring it from home, we purchased the required formula in Florida before embarking our ship. Keep in mind that any formula entering the ship must be sealed & in the original container.

5. Kettle - taking a kettle (with an auto shutoff) on the trip means that you can boil water and know that you have safe water to mix with the powdered formula.

6. Baby's food is obviously very important. We brought a formula dispenser with us. We did this so that we could fill several bottles with clean water and when it was time for a bottle for our daughter we just had to pour the pre-measured formula into the water and give the bottle a shake.

7. Scented bags for dirty diapers. Because you will not have a diaper dispenser for dirty diapers with you - taking a supply of these bags will help reduce any bad odours in your room. They can be purchased at a dollar store or Babies r Us.

8. Soap for baby's bath. Most cruise cabins don't have a bathtub - ours did not. What we did was plug the drain on the shower and put enough water in the shower in order to give our baby her bath.

9. Sun Cabana - if your cruise is taking you to a warm climate like the Caribbean purchase a very lightweight sun cabana before your trip. You can use it when you visit the beach during the cruise. Keeps baby comfortable and protected from the sun. If you rent a cabana on the beach it will cost about $80 to $100.

10. Zip lock bags - these are great for everything - snack holders, put really dirty/soiled clothes away until you get home. Use for things that leak - (ex. medicine). Use the bags on the ship to pack bibs, spoons to go for dinner so when they are dirty you can throw in the bag & clean when you get back to your room.

These are the essentials that can't leave home without. There are more items to consider, but start your list with these items.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Visit Fascinating Dover In The UK

The English Channel mostly faces Dover in England, and that is why called The Lock and Key of England. First to come here was Julius Caesar landing at Dover, in 55 BC to conquer England and later many followed like the Vikings and William the Conqueror also invaded Britain through Dover.

Its history as a military HQs town can be seen by its massive extensive remains of its Roman forts, 19th century forts and defenses during both the world wars, when it was Britains front line defense.
Today Dover depends a lot on its port for to stay intact. It is the busiest passenger ferry terminal in world, the busiest cruise liner terminal of Britain and its freight, especially fruit and perishable goods, move up and down via massive reefer cargo ships from here.

Only a few Stone Age axes were found in Dover because of its restless sea coast. About 6000 years ago, first known inhabitants of Dover in the River Dour Valley were the already perished Stone Age Farmers who came here by boats with animals and corn seeds.

Britains introductory shipwreck ever found, which went down in 1100 BC occurred in Dover during the Bronze age as 350 bronze tools, weapons and scrap metal were found on its coastline. Many Bronze Age graves were located around 1992, when they were preparing a lone road at the town centre, a big boat made of wood in the Bronze Age was extracted in a deep watery hole.

During the Romans rule, this British harbor was the nearest to the remaining of the Roman Empire, making Dover a bustling business town and it was sprawled over 5 hectares next to the Dour valley and everybody called this town DUBRIS after DUBRAS, the meaning waters in English.

The Roman Empire had a huge harbor, joined by two lighthouses and three forts. There are about 60 locations traced from the Roman era still existing in Dover, some of these resemble the Roman Painted House at Dover, the Roman lighthouses or Towers in Dover Castle grounds and the Roman fort of Rich borough near Sandwich. Its museum has a huge collection of Roman Samian.

Since 5th century when the Romans left Britain, the German tribes went over the North Sea to reside in Kent, which at that time was called DOFRAS. It became a significant residence for the Vikings living in Kent.

Many Saxon things were discovered from the Dover area like the Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Buckland, which was discovered in 1951, while constructing a new house estate there. 170 more graves were also discovered on this site, several had weapons, jewelery and household goods such as combs and pottery.

Amanda Wilson has other articles also visible on this site

A Trip To Hampshire Is Highly Recommended

Look no further than Hampshire while shopping on the South-coast. Millions of people go for shopping at Southampton where West Quay shopping centre is an excellent one. Forever bustling streets make Southampton one of the best shopping malls of Britain. Here you can shop till you drop.

At this place the Southampton Boat Show takes place between 12 to 21 September annually and it includes Europe's biggest and the best purpose built docks. You can explore all branded name stores here like John Lewis, wrangler, Marks and Spencer along with hundreds of restaurants, hotels, pubs shops and places to eat. You will certainly get a guaranteed experience in shopping at Basingstoke.

Basingstoke provides around 165 stores, 28 restaurants and lots of bars and cafes. At Festival Place you will find many fashion and home wear shops. Most of the stores remain open till 8pm on weekdays and lots of free space for parking is provided.

You will also find many lively and weekly markets, selling everything from fashionable goods or antiques to fresh fruits and vegetables. Have a delicious and seasonal taste of Hampshire at any farmers markets, which are held on every weekend in various town centers all over the county. They offer quality at its best with their produce of locally sourced watercress, trots, pork, wine and beer.

Something is always going on in Hampshire and it makes your stay exotic, comfortable and exciting. Travel along the city, on its seagoing heritage center at Portsmouth Historic Harbor and also take a trip across the harbor of Gosport. You can go to the beautiful beach in Hayling, where you can do windsurfing.

You will find several country parks, rivers and pretty lakes close to the sea. If you do not have the time and plan to visit just one garden then go to Sir Harold Hillier Gardens which is a necessity for everybody. It thrives in an area of 180 acres having unique collection of more than 42,000 plants of 12,000 different varieties. Any visitor to this garden will discover something very enchanting to look at in every season throughout the year.

Cool and frosty days of January with the smell of witch hazels different spidery flowers changing in to the decorative blooms of the spring flowers like azaleas, camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons. These are often followed by the sweat smelling scents of Summer's flowery shrubs and also the herbaceous plants before the autumn season shows its fiery appearance.

If you are an aesthete then there are various art galleries in Hampshire such as the Southampton City Gallery, Millais Gallery, Allen Gallery, Flora Twort Gallery, ArtSway, Gosport Gallery and Hansard Gallery. At Hamble Valley and you will find Britain's best kept secrets, a beautiful scenery is waiting for you here in rural Hampshire. Here is an area where you will find Britain's 2 nd oldest cathedral in an impressive place and there is also Rochester, which is a planters paradise in Borde Hill. You are requested to find some time to explore the timeless treasures of this area.

Amanda Wilson has other articles also visible on this site

Plenty To See And Do In London

See London and view a Modern Metropolis from the windows of a limo. Londons history is full of economic difficulties, bombings from the sky, urban decay and many such things, still London is breathing and in spite that the 20th century had thrown at it, London has jubilated more powerful than ever.

Very few nations are arrogant and proud of the views that are presented at their entry points to tourists who arrive at their doorstep. Same is true at Heathrow airport. Right at the start the M4 motorway, which is often crammed, it penetrates through some of the scattered dreams of 20th-century schemers.

When you move out of the city the journey begins with such ideal places like Hampstead Garden Suburb that was created before World War I, in the suburbs. A semi neutral house with a garden and garage, ribbon buildings and stretched outlying towns like Staines and Slough are worth seeing.

Ritually the present westerly wind has dominated that the grimiest, foulest and polluted industries, eg tanning, which were established in the east end corner of London, because of their polluted smells might not make the richer residents flee, who used to live in the western side.

In the 20th century, cleaner industries came as electronics arrived. Factories were established on the western side of London, where they had to promise its workers about the decent new housing. So throughout the 1930s decent suburban homes emerged, the better of them in Art Deco pattern, which were painted white with stylish windows that looked like ships bridges.

The factories started coming in style, extending up to Great West Road and the A30, the next road to London when the M4 is blocked. More recently, American and Japanese companies have situated themselves in business at the head of the M4 Corridor, with their glass shining along the road that goes into city.

The fragile Stockley Park is situated in 100 acres is an architects showpiece and is just five minutes from the airport. As the city's traffic slows down over Hammersmith flyover, your attention is diverted by the stunning abnormality of the London Ark, which is made of glass, and Seagrams have hired it, claim to be Britain's first bionomical sound office block. The setting of wind and sound tunnels have made local residents furious. Britain's capital London, has developed slowly piece by piece in centuries, without any important long term plans. It had to be rebuilt twice in its history.

Amanda Wilson has other articles also visible on this site

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

An Introduction To Some Of China's Greatest Tourist Spots

I have always wanted to go to China for a long time. It is not that I want to see the origin of our civilization but also I want to see the changes of today's China. So, I am going to introduce you to some of the greatest monuments in China today.

First of all, let's visit the Greatest Wall. We went there and the place was packed with so many people both tourists and local Chinese. I thought: Oh, man how can people build such a kind of structure without the help of modern methods these days? I would not be impressed if today we can build this kind of structure. We have invented so many machines and tools which help facilitate building and construction.

However, years ago, they all did it by hand. I was surprised when I heard the number of people who died because of this. But now I do understand why they had so many working for this project. My second thought is that people can think of invading this country when they see this wall. I am one who is from modern society but I think even nowadays it is still very difficult to do such. However, in the past, they had no planes, why did they dare to do such with this country? The Chinese army would just push them off or even soldiers of the invading countries would walk back because they would be scared when they see this wall.

My second stop in China was the national aquatics stadium. The reason why I chose to visit this is because I did the translation for the movie which presented the whole process of making this building, so I am interested in seeing what it's like, and if it is like what I heard and saw through the movies. I was amazed. I could not believe why the architects can think of such a sustainable design for the building 'Water cube.'

As I remember from my translation, it is made of bubble and ETFE paper. ETFE is the magic material that blocks ultraviolet but at the same time enables sunlight to go inside the structure. All of the things just blew my mind. One of my friends who went with me said, 'She has never seen anything like this in her life.' I thought she meant it and it is true. The Water cube presents China's hope and dreams and one of the main things China can be very proud when they tell expats about the Water Cube is that this building was built by them and for them. The transparent walls are also the magic of this building. If it is made of glass, it is common to be able to see the inside of the structure, but it is actually made of plastic. Isn't it amazing?

My last stop was some of the orchid gardens near Beijing. I feel like I was in the movies or things like that. All kinds of fruit are around me like apple, apricot and Asian pears abounded. They are so close to me that when I sit down, I even can get an apple without so far reaching out of my hands. I took many pictures so that when I get home, I can show my friends. I am sure they would be very jealous.

My only regret is that I could not speak Chinese, so we had someone who translated for us for the whole journey. However, I thought it would be nicer if we could speak some Chinese. I am sure we would talk more with the locals, and they would be for sure very proud to tell us about their culture and recent achievements.

James Brown writes about

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Luxurious Vacation Aboard A Cruise Ship

By Ned Dagostino

Looking for an extraordinary vacation? Then look no further! A trip on a luxury cruise liner will be a memorable vacation that will last you a lifetime! Cruise operators give you so many options that you can always find one to fit the bill, whatever yours is. From three-day shorties to fortnight-long cruises, everything is available. A vacation on a cruise ship is all inclusive and will suit every age group and every taste.

The best thing is that when you pay the fare, it covers everything that can be counted as a normal vacation expense. Drinks depend on you so that charge is excluded. Off-board activities, like sight-seeing tours, are excluded. There might be a few more exceptions, but these are usually very reasonable and can be expected.

The cruise ship is a luxury liner with every facility on board for your enjoyment. The rooms are all well-appointed, with extremely courteous and efficient room-service. There is a party atmosphere on most of these cruises because that is what you want, don't you? Merriment, relaxation, recreation, rest, entertainment and a feeling of having left it all behind (your troubles, that is). The scenic beauty of the balmy ocean, the fantastic breeze playing through your hair, and the thought of Bill Grady doing the annual reports makes it feel a little bit like heaven.

You have so many avenues of amusement, entertainment or just plain ol' fashioned relaxation open to you! Swimming pools, covered promenades, courts for games like shuffleboard and squash, reading rooms, beauty salons, spas, gyms, you name it and a courteous attendant will direct you to it. All these facilities are of the highest standard, and nothing short of luxurious. The evening entertainment is usually in the form of events performed on a grand scale by professional troupes. Some of the special guest artistes are specially flown in every day for the evening's entertainment. After all, they're called luxury cruise ships!

But what about the kids? Special camps are organized for children, covering a lot of interests, from computers to BeyBlade. They are happy as larks! And the baby? Baby can be put into the onboard baby-sitting service whenever you and the wife want some quality time for yourselves.

There are many vacation plans on offer, so you don't have to be disappointed budget wise! From deluxe suites to interior cabins, there is a range of fares to suit every pocket. Choose the one that is best for the occasion, for you! Just between us, if it is an anniversary cruise, get a cabin with a balcony and you'll have your wedding days all over again!

So whether it's just the two of you, or whether it's the whole family, a cruise on a luxury cruise liner is going to be an experience that will last you a lifetime! So come on! Put your name down for the "Hawaiian Holiday" cruise and you'll come back wearing a smile and a lei!

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

What One Needs to Know When Travelling In Japan

Many people are interested in Japanese cultures and want to explore this island country. Nowadays Japan is becoming more and more attractive to foreigners and many westerners or people from developing countries want to travel to Japan. However, when you travel to Japan, there are several things you have to put into your mind.

First Japanese do not use foreign currency. Most of hotels or restaurants there do not accept US dollar, EU or any other kind of currency but only Yen. It may be strange that they do not accept US dollar, but it is true. Some people may assume that everywhere in the world people accept US dollar when they do business. However, this is wrong if you wish to travel to Japan, make sure you exchange some dollars to get Yen if you do not want to be embarrassed because you cannot pay for the food you eat, and the things you buy.

Second, Japanese are very extreme about their culture. Some other Asian countries may be very open but Japanese is very different. If you meet Japanese, you should lower down your head, and if you want to give them anything, give them with two hands. Japanese is famous for being difficult in this especially for older people. They would give you a face if you do not do this, and they would consider this an insult.

Food is also one thing you should care about. If you are a big fan of sushi, you will be satisfied. However, make sure you have a big pocket. One of my friends traveled there one time, and shocked at the high price of sushi. People tend to think that sushi will be cheaper in Japan, where it comes from. However, sushi is not cheap at all, even sometimes more pricey than in other countries. One sushi meal on average costs more than one hundred dollars, which is extremely expensive, especially for people, who come from the developing countries, who make several bucks per hour or even that much for the whole day.

Besides, there are plenty kinds of fish there. You can try them all if you have enough money and are brave enough. Some kinds of fish are very dangerous, and if you do not process them right, you can die when you eat it immediately, which is quite scary for me.

Underground train is the best and cheapest way to travel in Japan. You can pay several bucks and travel all around Tokyo. Taxi there is extremely expensive. You can burn 100 dollars within an hour, which is quite horrible. I have one of my friends who have been living in Tokyo for a couple of years, and he has never taken a taxi there. He would rather walk a couple of hours than getting a taxi.

So, you can imagine how expensive it is. If you travel there, buy a map of all routines of underground trains to figure out where to go and which train to catch. You do not have to wait for a long time for a train, because it is very easy to catch a train there, and the frequency of train there is very intense.

James Brown writes about

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Discover Sea Fishing in Africa

In the recent past, there has been an exponential rise in the number of people getting booked on sea fishing holidays in Africa. There is a number of probable reasons for this increasing popularity of sea fishing holidays to Africa.

For one, most of the African coastline is tropical, and is thus home to species that cannot be easily found in other waters. Of course this is a fact which has always been there, only that it is only recently that it has received the marketing publicity it deserves. The fact that most of Africa's waters are tropical increases the possibility of catching a 'trophy fish,' which is the ambition of many a fisherman.

Furthermore, the warmer temperatures in Africa's waters make them ideal for fish breeding, which translates into bigger fish stocks. Nobody wants to go fishing and come empty-handed, you know. Indeed, the huge fish stocks in Africa's waters have even attracted commercial trawlers, with some travelling from as far as Europe and China to the Southern and Eastern African fish-rich coastlines.

The fact that commercial fishing in Africa caught on much later than in other continent's waters means that there are bigger fish stocks in Africa's waters - though this is a dynamic which is fast changing.

Secondly, there is the friendly fishing climate - which is also a function of Africa's location on the tropics. As it were, most of Africa's coast does not experience the bitter (freezing) winters which make fishing virtually impractical and which are experienced elsewhere. This means that one can comfortably go fishing Africa waters at almost every time of the year.

Of course this can't be said of the other continents' waters. Indeed, it is virtually impossible to go fishing in some other continents' waters for up to half of the year.

The third factor that has contributed to the increased popularity of tours that are mainly aimed at fishing Africa waters is the emergence of companies offering well organized fishing charters. The major companies offering fishing charters to fish Africa waters have modernized their operations, and developed well targeted marketing strategies and a strong web presence to an extend where a tourist can organize for a fishing charter right from the comfort of his home somewhere in North America or Australia, and sometimes months - even years - before the expedition to fish Africa waters.

And with increased efficiency and competition, most companies that offer boat charters to tourists to go fishing Africa waters are becoming more and more affordable. Indeed, gone are the days when a fishing expedition to Africa was considered a high-cost trip. Nowadays you can find a reasonably priced fishing tour to Africa.

In terms of fishing charters, people planning to go fishing Africa waters have a choice of either a crewed fishing charter of a bare-boat fishing charter for their expedition. The bare-boat charters are generally quite good if you are fishing along the shorelines, but if you are to step into the high seas, you certainly need to book a fishing charter which is backed by professional crew, unless you are a knowledgeable sea-fearer conversant with the African waters. Professional crew are more likely to know the best fishing routes and getting in the high seas is not a very far off possibility if one is not an experienced navigator.

Ultimately, the increased popularity of African sea fishing tours can be seen as a combination of the increased awareness about what the African waters have to offer and better organization and marketing on the part of the companies that offer fishing charters to Africa.

Now you have discovered the reasons to take a fishing tour in Africa. Go to to find out how you can book your space.

Park City Ski Resorts: Winter Wonderland

In the realm of winter sports, there is no place more recognized than Park City. A virtual playground for celebrities and ski bunnies alike, they all flock to see what the city has to offer when the snow falls. Along with world class dining, shopping, spas and festivals, this winter wonderland offers a wide range of ski resorts and activities for young and old alike.

Park City offers activities that anyone can enjoy. From snowshoeing to ice-skating, to sleigh rides and snow tubing, it's impossible to be bored in Park City. Stay out all day on the slopes and then warm up with a four star meal at any one of the city's acclaimed restaurants at night.

The Park City ski resorts are world-renowned. With three major resorts within the city limits, any snow enthusiast, from the beginner to the professional will be satisfied. The Canyons Resort, a mere thirty minutes away from the Salt Lake City Airport, has been hailed as one of the top North American resorts by SKI Magazine. It boasts over 3700 acres of perfectly groomed terrain, complete with 163 trails for any skier to enjoy.

Not a professional skier? No problem, as they offer private and group lessons for enthusiasts of any age. When you've hit the slopes at The Canyons, ski on over to the Park City Mountain Resort, a haven for skiers and snowboarders alike. The resort not only offers miles of terrain and breathtaking views, it also is the home to the famed Alpine Coaster.

Snowboarders will love its extreme superpipe, where professionals like Olympic medalist Shaun White have trained. Finally, Deer Valley Resort, voted the number one ski area in North America, offers not only beautiful slopes with a 300 annual inches of snow, but a five star hotel with luxurious amenities such as spas, ski valets, child care and more. Its little indulgences mean you're pampered, on and off the slopes. Deer Valley Resort is sure to make your ski trip a vacation to remember.

When planning your Park City ski trip, remember to pack your goggles, your skis, and your sense of adventure! There is so much to see and do that this vacation destination is not for the faint of heart. Its ski resorts will have you catching your breath while experiencing "The Best Snow on Earth" during the day, and winding down and hitting the town at night for food, fun and entertainment.

The Park City Chamber ( is a Salt Lake City business advocate organization promoting Park City Ski vacations, among many other things. Art Gib is a freelance writer.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Great Aspen Resort Ski Vacations

When you think of all the ski resorts in the world one of them stands out in your mind. Aspen offers a variety of ski areas for all levels and it covers 4,500 acres or more spread over four mountains. This resort is known for its nightlife because of the downtown area and the quieter Snowmass resort area has something to offer everyone.

Aspen provides all the restaurants and bars you could ever want or need You can take a stroll through this luxurious city and find many boutiques and much more. There is a lot of history in many of the buildings that are in the downtown area. One of these buildings is the Ute bank; this building can be dated back to the silver area around the 1800's.

With everything that there is to do in Aspen you shouldn't find yourself getting bored. Aspen is located in Colorado, and with the various mountain ranges, you are sure to find slopes that are suitable for your level. Snowmass is one of the most popular resorts in the world, so be sure to make reservations well in advance.

Aspen Mountain has long been known as the playpen of the rich and famous, and it is. But it is also a great place to take a family ski vacation. Christmas in Aspen is especially wonderful! Aspen Mountain rises above the town of Aspen, with a top elevation of 11215 feet and a vertical drop of 3269 feet. There are 76 trails suitable for beginners, intermediates, and experts, accessible by eight lifts, including seven chair lifts and one cable car line.

While Aspen has much to offer skiers, as well as those who enjoy the night life in a ski town, you should expect lots of crowds and lift lines on the slopes. Again, this is the playpen of the rich and famous, and many people choose this ski vacation spot simply for that reason, as well as for the great runs and nightlife.

There are numerous places to stay in and around Aspen, with more than 100 restaurants to choose from as well. Ski instructions and equipment rental are abundant in the area, and snowboarders are welcome.

If your family wants to go skiing on your next vacation, but you don't know how to ski, go ahead and plan that ski vacation anyway! You can learn how to ski, and you will have a great time doing it. You don't even need to know the first thing about skiing before you arrive at the resort, all of the knowledge you will need is there waiting for you, and you can literally be skiing down a mountain after an hour of instruction.

Discover the secret of the perfect golf swing at

Top Ten Places to Visit on Your Next Vacation

Not sure where to go on vacation next year? Looking for a place to relax, have fun, maybe get a little adventurous and meet real people? Well here's my short list of unique, fun-filled vacation destinations:

1. Mexico - If you are looking for a place where you can experience everything you ever wanted and then some, consider versatile and exciting Mexico! There is a large selection of vacation packages to choose from in Mexico: beautiful beaches, cool hotels and exotic historic interests. Popular tourist spots like Acapulco and Guadalajara are great if you like the nightlife and are looking for something a little crazy and wild. Mexico is also well-known for its breathtaking landscapes: deserts, quaint resorts, mountains, villages and jungles.

2. Aruba is another very popular tourist destination for those who are looking for pleasant, sunny climates. Aruba's coast is resplendent with beautiful white sand beaches both to the south and west. After a full day of water activities, make sure you save some energy for the famous carnivals held annually between January and February.

3. Hawaii is one of the most highly visited places in the world. You will love Hawaii's pleasant climate, warm hospitality, amazing volcanoes, and beautiful beaches. This island has so many tourist spots you'll need more than just a week to hit them all. If you enjoy hiking, you'll love the experience even more when traversing the countryside near the Hawaiian volcanoes.

4. France - Be amazed by all that France has to offer from its beautiful architectural attractions to its wonderful cultural history. Whether you choose to visit the large bustling cities or the small countryside villages and vineyards, French food, wine, and culture will make your vacation a memorable one.

5. Machu Picchu, Peru - This is a world wonder you must make time to visit! The mysterious lost Inca civilization will be not only a new hiking experience, but also a very tangible lesson in ancient archaeological finds. Visit the ancient Inca villages and temples and travel throughout the astoundingly beautiful countryside. Imagine the stories you will tell your family and friends when you get back.

6. Swiss Alps - If you are looking for an adventure-filled vacation, check out the Haute Route in the Swiss Alps. This place is a haven of adventure, interesting culture and hospitality.

7. New York City - Wow, New York City is packed with sights! From the Empire State Building, to Ellis Island, to the Statue of Liberty and much more, you will find a feast for the eyes around every city corner. While touring the city don't forget to stop at a corner vendor to try one of NYC's famous hot dogs or pretzels.

8. Thailand - Learn why Thailand is called "The Land of Smiles." This place has so much to offer: friendly natives, cool destinations, a welcoming culture and fascinating civilizations. Thailand is filled with exotic sights and historic beautiful temples that are sure to bring a smile to your face, too.

9. Los Angeles - One taste of LA's beautiful sunny weather and you'll know why the rich and famous settle around here. You can tour the homes of some of your favorite stars and visit many different attractions. But don't wear yourself out all day, because LA has a tremendous nightlife, with restaurants and bars known for their exotic meals and entertainment.

10. Las Vegas - Go ahead, walk on the wild side and see what all the buzz is about when you visit Sin City. Las Vegas is yet another destination where a week isn't enough time to see all the sights, live shows and still hit the casinos. No matter what your schedule, though, be sure to try the Gondola Ride at the Bellagio, a must-do attraction. And always remember, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."

Elaine Rojas is a writer, entrepreneur and inveterate traveler and is partner in an e-commerce site, that sells handcrafted jewelry from Peru using native materials and the highest quality silver jewelry.

Top Places To Visit In Namibia

Namibia definitely deserves a visit. It is known for its contrasting landscapes and captivates every one of its visitors. From game viewing in the Etosha National Park to sand boarding in the Namib Desert, it has something to offer every traveller.

Spot a black rhino at the Etosha National Park
The Etosha National Park should be the first place you visit in Namibia. Located in the north west of Namibia, it is Africa's third largest national park. The park is home to most African animal species, but is best known for its endangered black rhinos and black-faced impalas. It is estimated that in the park there are around 300 rhinos, 250 lions, 6,000 zebras, 2,500 giraffes, over 2,000 elephants and more than 20,000 springboks.

Around a quarter of the park is covered by an enormous salt pan. During the summer months the pan temporarily fills with water, attracting flocks of pelicans and flamingos. The best time to visit the park would be in the cooler months between May and September.

Hike the Fish River Canyon
The Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world and is the second most visited tourist attraction in Namibia. It is around 180 kilometres in length and stretches south from Seeheim to the Orange river.

The Fish River Canyon has become a popular destination for hiking and most find it an amazing experience. The hiking trail follows 90 kilometres of the canyon and takes around 5 days to complete. The ideal time to hike Namibia's canyon is during the cooler winter months between May and September.

Watch the sunrise from the sand dunes of Sossusvlei
You cannot visit Namibia without spending time taken in the sights of the sand dunes. The sand dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert offer spectacular scenery and brilliant photographic opportunities. They are the ideal place to first experience sand boarding and to capture the sunrise on camera.

Probably the best place to watch the sunrise is from Dune 45 which stands at over 170 metres. The climb to the top usually takes an hour, so a 5am start is necessary to reach the top before the suns rises.

Take a flight over the Skeleton Coast
The Skeleton Coast stretches along the entire length of the Namibian coastline. It is one of the most undeveloped and remote areas of Namibia and offers a huge contrast to other regions in the country.

Its name derives from the skeletons of whales and ships washed up onto the beaches by the winds and currents of the South Atlantic. The best way to take in the views is by opting for a fly-in safari or by taking a scenic flight.

John Mce writes on behalf of Africa Collection. Africa Collection specialise in holidays to Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean. Experience the Deserts & Dunes of Namibia with Africa Collection.

Must See and Stay in Phuket For Nature Lovers

Phuket is Asia's most popular beach destination for good reason - there is a wonderful mix of restful, lazy days, and fun-filled thrilling nights to be had, all in gorgeous natural settings. The fact that luxury accommodation in Phuket and beach villas in Phuket run at a fraction of the price that you'd pay in Western countries, yet with better service and views doesn't hurt either! Her we look at the best of Phuket's natural wonders - and man-made accommodation wonders, for nature-lovers!

The first place that you'll go after you hop off your plane at Phuket international airport is most likely your beach villa in Phuket - and if you are staying at Layan Estate L, you could be forgiven for thinking that the rest of Phuket couldn't possibly get any better than this! This exclusive private estate is in the Laguna area, and the villa for rent in Phuket is surrounded by lush landscaped gardens, with beautiful mountain views on one side, and only a ten minute walk away from Layan beach on the other side.

This luxury Phuket villa for rent also brings the comforts of technology to you - if you are travelling with children, you will know how valuable DVDs and the ability to play them are! This villa in Phuket has a cinema style projection screen - good enough to keep them occupied while you catch a few Z's after an exhausting plane ride! There is a 20m swimming pool on the estate, and a hundred-thousand kilometre one only ten minutes walk away!

If you are coming to Thailand to live the high life, natural style, with a group of friends, Maan Tawan 12 is a Phuket villa for rent that sleeps 6 people in superb style. Only 150m away from Bangtao beach, and with a gorgeous modern tropical theme in the decor, this vacation villa in Phuket has 336m square of living space, with three bedrooms, an open plan kitchen, and wrap around balconies on the outside of the Phuket accommodation.

The swimming pool echoes the natural turquoise-crystal color of the water at Bangtao beach - which you will see for yourself before long! When some people talk about nature holidays, there is a decidedly active and adventurous overtone that causes many to sprint back to their luxury beach villa in Phuket and hide under the Thai silk sheets!

However, nature doesn't have to involve exertion - you can appreciate the most beautiful natural wonders of Phuket with your primary sense - sight - at some great viewpoints around the city. Head to Promthep cape from your vacation villa in Phuket, to see gorgeous sunsets and ocean life from afar - the air is so clear that you can see the trees waving on Phuket island.

Kata viewpoint is another one to tempt you away from your luxury villa for rent in Phuket, with its views over Kata Noi and Karon beach. If you have had enough lazing around (is that possible?!), you can even walk up to this viewpoint from Rawai - only for the physically fit. The Biug Buddha, Ko Nakkerd, is another wonderful Phuket sight. Not technically natural, but you can climb up inside the shrine for some awesome views over Phuket island and the Andaman Sea.

The Gibbon rehabilitation center is another of Phuket's wonderful natural sights - enough to re-inspire your faith in man. Located in Kang Phra Thaeo National Park, abandoned pet gibbons are re-trained to live in the wild. It is the only one of its kind in the world. And if connecting with nature means experiencing the wildlife to you, take an elephant ride tour of inland Phuket, seeing Phuket's rubber plantation, schools and temples, as well as the best luxury Phuket villas for rent there are to offer! provides accommodation options in various locations around Thailand and features some of the most beautiful villas available. Book your vacation today at

Reasons to Visit the Greek Islands

The beautiful mountainous islands, scattered throughout the Mediterranean, Aegean and Ionian Seas, offer a unique perspective of Greece. Each of the islands, of which there are more than 150, is unique. The beautiful islands open a door to a different way of life that lets visitors get away from it all and escape from the real world into somewhere they've always wanted to be. Though life on many the islands mimics everyday life in the rest of the world, with a similar atmosphere, the internet and cars, each island is different and offers a piece of history and relaxation that can be found nowhere else on earth.


The various islands have numerous places where one can explore archaeological sites. Crete, the largest of the islands, has these sites, interspersed with ancient cities, all across the island. Other islands, like Aigina, have similar ruins. Aigina has dozens of ruins and temples, including the Temple of Aphaia. Rhodes offers one of the best medieval cities in the world.

Life Without Cars

Though many of the islands have the same transportation as we do everywhere else, some Islands, like Ydra, Poros, Hydra and Spetses don't have them at all. You can explore these islands by bike, ferry, horse-powered vehicles or on your own two feet. They're small, so cars are unnecessary and it's possible to see everything just on a walk. Other islands that don't offer rental cars provide buses and mopeds for transportation, so you don't need to drag your things to the hotel.

Beautiful Beaches and Watersports

Some say the island, Spetses, has the most beautiful beaches in the world. Some are sandy, some are pebbly, but they're all beautiful. Others say the beautiful sandy beaches of Ios are best, and others say the sandy beaches of Milos, with rocky structures to explore and white-washed buildings nearby are best. Skopelos has beautiful, semi-private beaches that are only accessible by boat or small foot-trails. And still others say that Naxos has the best of the beaches, with beautiful golden sands. All the islands, though, offer beautiful beaches that are ideal for enjoying the sun, tanning and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

Each island has boating, sailing, fishing, windsurfing, parasailing, snorkeling and other watersports that visitors can enjoy.


What's a vacation but a chance to shop? Crete, in addition to its other assets, has dozens of villages and stores for shoppers. Santorini, known as the top destination for honeymooners, is something of a shopping paradise. Naxos and Paros have smaller shops and stores.


On the island of Mykonos, when the sound goes down, the people go out and it's time to party. Hydra has an exciting night-life and lots of bars, restaurants and people ready to party. Likewise, Aigina also has a vibrant night life. Don't be worried about being stared at, if you're there to party, you'll be welcome.


It's expensive, but it's abundant. Each of the islands offers traditional Greek food, as well as International choices that can suit anyone's palate. Try something new, but don't eat anything you're uncomfortable with.

Next time you're considering going on a vacation, don't discount the Greek Islands. Imagine seeing the white-washed buildings surrounded by oceans of deep blue water, the calm and serenity of a different life, and a chance to party. You'll never regret the decision.

Nick Nikolis is working in Atlantica Hotels and Resorts as It manager in Rhodos. Atlantica Hotels and Resorts is a Europe hotels chain currently offering accommodation holidays in Greece Cyprus and Egypt.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Jewel Of The Caribbean, Aruba

Visitors to Aruba can expect to encounter an island ripe with pure beaches, gentle breezes, and a welcoming island culture. This diverse island offers a little something for everyone. Lovers and families will appreciate the immaculate beaches and tranquil waters of the western shores.

Palm trees swing in the fresh trade winds and the water is always warm and inviting. Nature lovers will appreciate the stunning views along the northern coast. Natural caves and bridges are carved by the forceful waves along this side of the island.

Visitors and natives alike take pleasure in relaxing in the natural pool, a calm oasis carved out by a circle of rocks in the midst of violent waters. For the adventure lovers, most of the rest of the island is rugged dessert that can be traversed only by jeep or ATV. Both of these things can be rented at very little cost, and ensure hours of fun exploring the terrain.

Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba, offers a unique mix of culture, shopping, and nightlife. While the local language is Papiamento, many locals also speak English and are all too happy to share knowledge and friendship with tourists. There are many places to shop for gifts as well, especially for jewelry lovers.

The Kukoo Kunuko, or party bus, offers an entertaining way to visit all the nightlife spots. This brightly colored bus can be seen driving the streets at night, crammed with people singing and dancing to the loud island music blasting from its speakers.

One of the best ways to enjoy this wonderful island is to stay in an all-inclusive resort. There are many of these on the island, and they offer a stress free vacation, no matter which of the many things the island has to offer you are interested in. As well as offering all meals included, unlimited drinks and use of their amenities, most also offers bus transportation to and from the airport.

Many also offer classes and activities, or will help you acquire them at a reduced price. While these resorts are often pricey, many people will appreciate having everything included, with little room for surprises.

Most hotels in Aruba offer, most exclusively, the all inclusive package. These include Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort, La Cabana Beach Resort and Casino, Manchebo Beach Resort and Spa, Wyndham Aruba Resort, Divi Aruba, Tamarijn Aruba, Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort, Occidental Grand Aruba and Renaissance Aruba Resort.

DJ Raymond loves to write about travel To learn about All Inclusive Vacations and Discover Aruba , visit Upscale Vacation Resorts

5 Top Reasons To Visit Egypt

Are you looking for a great travel destination, but do not want to visit the same old tourist haunts? Are you looking for a place that can provide an exotic and interesting environment? Then consider taking a trip to the unique and ancient land of Egypt. If you love to explore the architecture and lifestyles of the old world, then a getaway to the mystical land of Egypt is the perfect place to indulge your dreams. Here are 5 top reasons for you to visit Egypt, listed from number 5 to the number 1 reason.

#5) Nile River
Known as the longest river in the world, the Nile is not only visually stunning, but is the focal point of several centuries of ancient history. From legendary tales of Biblical times to the stories of Cleopatra, this river has many tales to tell. Treat yourself to one of the Nile River Cruises, viewing Egyptian life on the river. The Nile is a very important part of Egyptian life and lore. The pyramids and tombs were often built along the river, since ancient Egyptians believed that the river was an influence on life and the afterlife. The Nile River Valley is also the place of much of Egypts agriculture and farming.

#4) Cairo
As the largest city in Egypt, Cairo is the center of industry and commerce. Here you will find not only the modern conveniences, but also many bazaars and outdoor markets with local goods and merchandise that has been imported from the region. While in Cairo, be sure to check out the Cairo Tower, located on Gezira Island. This 187-metre structure gives a fantastic view of the city and outlying areas. The public transit system in Cairo has been greatly improved in recent years, allowing for easier travel around the city.

#3) Mt. Sinai
As a very important and historic Christian site, this is proclaimed to be the place where Moses led the children of Israel and received the Ten Commandments from God. It is also claimed as the place where Moses saw the burning bush and spoke to God. The site is currently the home of St. Catherine's Monastery, also known as the Monastery of the Transfiguration.

#2) Ancient Temples
You will find temples dedicated to various gods scattered throughout the country of Egypt. In Abu Simbel, in the southern region of Egypt, you will find the Temple of Ramses II as well as the Temple of Nefertati. Heading north up the Nile River to Luxor, you will come to the valley of the kings. Filled with ancient temples and statues, this valley is the one of the most well known areas of Egypt for studying ancient Egyptian architecture. This is also the place where you will find the burial chamber of Tutankhamun and also the sarcophagus of Ramses IV.

#1) The Pyramids
The most recognizable and popular tourist site in Egypt, the pyramids are filled with legends and mysteries. Located in Giza, the Great Pyramid is known as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Built during the second century B.C., these pyramids stand as witnesses of the Egyptians architectural and engineering mastery. They have been studied by many archaeologists and have been the subject of thousands of articles. Your visit is not complete until you see these ancient structures.

Your vacation will become much more memorable when you include a trip to Egypt. You will have stories you will be telling for years to come. You will be glad you chose to venture out of the ordinary and typical vacation spots and who knows, you might even discover something you didn't know.

Nick Nikolis is working in Atlantica Hotels and Resorts as It manager in Rhodos Greece. Atlantica Hotels and Resorts is a Europe Hotels chain currently offering accommodation holidays in Cyprus Greece and Egypt.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

4 Award Winning Wineries in Australia's Great Southern Region

Rolling hills, mountain ranges, award winning wineries and luxury accommodation. The Porongurups region, just a 4 hours' drive south of Perth, cosmopolitan capital of Western Australia, has it all.

Yet unlike the popular wine regions of Margaret River and the Barossa Valley, it is off the beaten track and has few tourists. Therein lies its attraction.

The road to the Porongurups region, east of Mt Barker is draped on either side with grape vines, glittering in the sun like golden chains. The rugged Stirling Mountain Ranges to the north add a sense of grandeur and drifting from sweeping paddocks are the unmistakable scents of sheep and hay.

I stopped the car and drank in the mesmerizing landscape. Under a huge blue sky, arcing from horizon to horizon huge gum trees kept watch over these valuable fickle trellises.

This is real Waltzing Matilda country with sheep, shearing sheds, kangaroos, distant mountain ranges and the intoxicating smell of the Australian bush. Added to this slice of Australiana in a remote region of South Western Australia, comes a flourishing and sophisticated wine industry and luxury accommodation equal to the best in Australia.

To add to the pleasure of the day, I sampled the award winning wines of 4 of the regions finest wineries and stayed overnight on a farm with breathtaking views of the distant mountains.

4 Award Winning Wineries.

1. Zarephath.

Zarephath wines are made from premium quality fruit grown by members of the Christ Circle, an independent monastic community. The vineyard is situated at the eastern end of the Porongurups on well drained granite soil. Their cellar door sales include Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. The 2006 Chardonnay was a gold medal winner at the 2007 Qantas Wine Show.

2. Abbey Creek.

Abbey Creek vineyard is on the northern slopes of the Porongurup Range. It is a small family owned vineyard producing Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon /Merlot. The cool climate of the Porongurup is ideally suited to these varieties.

3. Jingalla.

Jingalla wines are located on the northern slopes of the Porongurup Range. As well as the standard varieities popular in this region, this winery also produces a range of individual blends as well as a Port and Liqueur Muscat.

4. Springviews Wine.

This winery is located on the cooler southern slopes of the Porongurup Range and is irrigated with a unique supply of ground water. The resulting wines have a unique balance, flavour and aroma. The three wines produced are Chardonnay, Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Luxury Accommodation at Cloud 9 Spa Chalets.

As I stood on the verandah of my accommodation looking north to the jagged peaks of the Stirling Ranges and watching kangaroos hopping in the paddocks in the gathering dusk, I found it hard not to be struck by the sheer Australian-ness of it all.

My home for the night was a new luxury cottage, one of 3 built on a farm in the middle of the Australian Outback.

Hosts Stan and Shelley Sypko had done everything to make my stay at their retreat a memorable experience. I was greeted with a complimentary bottle of local champagne and a warm inviting wood fire. After a luxury spa bath I enjoyed a home made pizza delivered to me personally by my host.

Cloud 9 Spa Chalets is a new venture by Stan and Shelley. Their goal is to provide first class accommodation in this developing wine region for visitors to use as a base to explore the other attractions of the region. These include mountain climbing and bush walking in one of the most scenic areas of Australia.

To those who want to discover the very best of Australia, "Travel Tips Australia" is the book for you. Australian travel expert Graeme Lanham outlines in easy to read style all you want to know about his homeland. Available at:
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