Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thinking About a Cruise With A Baby? Read This First

By Brooklyn Sterritt

My husband and our 10 month old daughter and I just returned from a wonderful one week cruise in the Caribbean on the Crown Princess cruise ship. We wondered how difficult it would be to cruise with a young baby - it turned out that it was actually quite easy. Sure there are some things that we would do differently, but for the most part we did a lot of things very, very well. We are now planning our next cruise.

If you or someone you know is planning a cruise vacation with a young baby you might be interested in reading what our days were like on the cruise ship.

First of all it was great that Princess Cruise Line provided us with a very nice playpen for our daughter to sleep in. Our daughter is a good sleeper - so every day she would sleep until about 7 o'clock. We would take her out of her playpen, change her diaper, and bring her into bed with us for some family play and snuggle time.

After the family play time we would wash our daughter up, change her into some dry clothes and then my husband would put our daughter into our stroller (we brought one with us - don't leave home without one) and take her for a walk on one of the outside deck - either one of the top decks or the promenade deck. While they were gone - for 45 minutes or so - I would hop into the shower, get dressed, pack the diaper bag for the day and tidy up the cabin a bit. When they returned my husband would have his shower and get ready for the morning.

The three of us would than meet at the buffet area of the ship for breakfast. One of us would put our girl into a high chair (again provided by the cruise ship) and the other would go to the buffet to get breakfast.

Our daughter loves the water - so most days after breakfast we would head back to our cabin - change into our swim suits and head off for the kiddie swimming pool. On the ship that we were on babies that wear swim diapers are allowed in the kid's pool (so make sure you pack some on your trip).

After swim time back to the cabin for a morning nap for our daughter. One of us would stay in the room while the other took off on their own to explore the ship. We took turns doing this.

Once our daughter woke up from her nap we would get out the stroller, put her in it and our family would head off exploring the ship. Eventually, we would stop in the buffet for lunch - after lunch maybe more swimming - or more exploring - and then it would be afternoon nappie time.

The best part of the day was getting all dressed up for dinner and then having dinner in one of the formal dining rooms. We would leave our cabin and go to one of the bars on the ship (there are lots of them) and have a cocktail before dinner. After our drink we would go to the dining room around 6 pm. Every dinner was spectacular and the service from the dining room staff was excellent. All the staff loved talking to our daughter.

Before going to the dining room we would make a quick trip to the buffet area and pick up a few pieces of fruit to take with us to the dining room for our daughter to eat during dinner.

When we were seated at our table in the dining room (again there are plenty of high chairs available) my husband and I would look over the menu, place our dinner order (we loved the food on the ship) and our daughter would munch on her fruit, some pieces of bread and on some other snack food that I brought with us.

Our daughter would eventually be ready for her real food. I fed her a jar of baby food and some cereal mixed with water. We pre-ordered the baby food from Princess about a month before the cruise. After dinner the three of us would sit and relax and enjoy being together as our daughter had her bottle.

After dinner we went back to our room. Our room did not have a bathtub it only had a shower. We would plug the drain in the shower and run some water into the shower and it was plenty deep enough for our daughter's bath.

After bath time we put her in her sleepers and we put her back into her stroller and off we would go to a show, to see a comedian, listen to some music, or just walk the ship.

Our daughter loved watching all the excitement that was going on around her - and in about 30 minutes or so she would fall fast asleep in her stroller. We adjusted the stroller seat so that she was reclining as she slept.

As our daughter slept we would continue doing things on the ship until my husband and I were ready to call it a day. We would back to our cabin, tuck our daughter into her playpen for the night, and then tuck ourselves into bed as well.

Going on a successful cruise vacation takes some advanced planning. For us cruising is a wonderful way to have a stress-free vacation, enjoy our daughter and enjoy being a family.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Coeur d'Alene: The City by the Lake

The name Coeur d'Alene, like several other names for Idaho towns and monuments, comes from the French, but its meaning is sometimes disputed. Coeur d'Alene literally means, "heart of the awl," in which, "awl," is taken to mean, "shrewd," but others argue that the name was originally Coeur de Leon ("Heart of the Lion") but has since been anglicized and corrupted.

In any case, the name was first bestowed by French-Canadian trappers to the local Indian tribe, allegedly to characterize their strict trading practices. In the 1870's, when General William Tecumseh Sherman came through, he oversaw the building of a fort on the lake which he named Fort Coeur d'Alene (later renamed in his honor), which inspired the name of the town which grew up around it. Local residents sometimes refer to it as, "Lake City," or even by its initials, "CdA."

Coeur d'Alene is the county seat of Kootenai County in the Idaho panhandle. It is a small town of around 50,000 according to an estimate made in 2006. The city itself is surrounded Coeur d'Alene National Forest, Lake Coeur d'Alene (as well as other smaller lakes amidst the forested areas), and foothills. Its closest urban center is Spokane, Washington, about thirty miles from the town.

Coeur d'Alene is not far from two major ski resorts of the area: there is Silver Mountain in nearby Kellogg and Schweitzer Mountain, just north in the town of Sandpoint, so this occupies residents and visitors for the long winter which has an average snowfall of forty-nine inches in a year.

The surrounding forest hosts numerous campgrounds, and since the average summer temperature is less than 83 degrees Fahrenheit, camping and lake-related sports are common from May to September, the only frost-free months.

Coeur d'Alene has also become a destination for golf-lovers, as the Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course has been noted for some of its unique challenges. For example, the fourteenth hole is known for being the only floating, movable green in the world.

Each year in June, the town also features an event called, "Car d'Alene," which is a combination of a car show and a beauty pageant: the finest cars and the most attractive women, young and old, emerge to be displayed.

The city's Christmas Lighting Ceremony was showcased on Good Morning America not long ago, as it was one of the largest such displays in the nation.

Coeur d'Alene is, ultimately, a town with a rich history and a number of distinguishing features which set it apart from other similar settlements.

To learn more about how to get, "a little slice of heaven," as Barbara Walters named Coeur d'Alene, be sure to visit Associated Brokers (, the, "go to," people in Coeur d'Alene real estate. Art Gib is a freelance writer.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Disney World as a Honeymoon Destination

Most people think of Disney World as a place to take the kids, but more and more newlywed couples are discovering that the Happiest Place on Earth is also a wonderful place to celebrate your honeymoon.

Affording a Disney World Honeymoon

It isn't always cheap to stay at Disney World, but even so, it's lower cost than going on a cruise or heading somewhere like Fiji. If you can't afford the vacation on your own, why not set up a honeymoon registry where guests can donate to a honeymoon fund or even specify where they want money to go (toward a hotel room, park tickets, meals, etc.). Even if you don't raise the full amount, this can be a great way to lower the cost of such a delightful vacation.

Where to Stay

There's really nothing as luxurious or romantic as staying in a major Disney resort. While many of the hotels located on Disney property are aimed at children, you'll find that the Animal Kingdom Lodge is the perfect place for a happy couple. Book a room overlooking the savannahs where you can see giraffes wandering outside your window in the morning for a truly romantic getaway.

What to Do

Disney World isn't short on activities for adults. For a great honeymoon, look at doing more than just jumping on your favorite roller coasters!
An afternoon at the spa could be just the thing to relax and prepare for a romantic evening after a day in the parks. Enjoy a massage, facial or even a pedicure for women. This offers couples a little alone time, something that is necessary, even in newlywed bliss.

Disney often features special shows by Cirque du Soleil and other famous acts that make the perfect evening activity. Book ahead, though, since these tickets tend to go quickly. You can find out ahead of time which shows will be on while you are there.

Within the parks, there are often evening parades and light shows, as well, that can be fun to catch and the perfect opportunity for a little cuddling in the chill of the evening.

Most visitors to the parks assume that you need to visit the parks every day, but this certainly isn't required. It can be lovely to take a day to rent bikes and cycle around the enormous property or play a round of golf, if you are into it. Another option is to go swimming in the resort's pool, or just relax in the hot tub together.

There are plenty of grown up attractions at the parks to enjoy together. From the safari in the African section of the Animal Kingdom to visiting countries around the Pavilion, you'll find more than enough non-kiddy rides and attractions to keep any couple busy.

At night, if you are in the mood to party, you can hit one of the two nightclubs on the Disney property and dine in one of dozens of amazing restaurants in Downtown Disney or Disney's Boardwalk. The fine dining options are many and ensure that you'll have a great experience while celebrating your honeymoon.

Be sure to take things slowly, chances are you won't want to be involved in a whirlwind of activities throughout your entire honeymoon. It's good to schedule in some relaxation time, as well, where you can be together, just the two of you and enjoy the fact that you are now a married couple.

It's something that many people forget in their rush to enjoy a Disney World honeymoon but you'll enjoy it far more if you leave some down time in the schedule.

Train for your future as an E-Commerce Web Designer at triOS College located in Ontario.

Looking For A Cruise With A Difference?

Cruise ship companies are continuing to add ships to their fleets and they are also becoming far more imaginative with the cruise itineraries that they are providing. The Caribbean and Mediterranean are still the most popular cruising destinations, but there is now a large range of exiting cruises that are available around the World.

This article attempts to give you some inspiration on where you should think about taking your next cruise holiday.

South America can offer a huge range of diverse cruises ranging from a trip up the Amazon to the throbbing cities of Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires as well as offering natural wonders like the Galapagos Islands, Chilean Fjords and the Andes mountains.

Many of these cruises start from US ports and otherssail from the major South American cities. The majority of cruises to the Antarctica start from Ushuaia in southern Argentina. Several cruise companies including Voyages of Discovery and Hurtigruten offer expedition-style Antarctica cruises.

Dubai, as well as being a luxury holiday destination is starting to become an established cruise port. Costa Cruises is sailing seven cruise itineraries in 2009 calling at Abu Dhabi, Oman and Bahrain.

Dubai and other gulf ports often feature on world or repositioning cruises which means you can pick up a cruise bargain by choosing one of these cruises.

North Africa is well served by many cruise ships that also include the Mediterranean but what about the rest of Africa? Some world cruises sail down the west coast of Africa to Cape Town, as an alternative to cruising through the Suez Canal in Egypt.

Cruising the west coast means that you can visit countries such as Senegal, Gambia and Namibia as well as the Cape Verde Islands and St Helena. In southern and eastern Africa some cruise lines offer departures from Cape Town and also the Kenyan holiday resort of Mombasa.

Silversea Cruises offers several trips from these ports which call at destinations such as Zanzibar, Madagascar and Assumption Island. Hebridean International Cruises and Voyages of Discovery are also featuring cruises around this region.

Cruises to Alaska are still as popular as ever. These cruisese start from Seattle or Vancouver and make their way up the Inside Passage taking in some of the worlds most spectacular scenery. NCL, Princess and Royal Caribbean are just some of the cruise lines offering Alaskan cruises, which can also be combined with a land tour.

The Baltic is the second most popular cruise region in the European summer season. A Baltic cruise would visit the stunning cities of St Peterburg, Stockholm and Tallinn, whilst of course Norway offers the incredible Fjords, the midnight sun and The Northern Lights. Hurtigruten is famed for its coastal voyages around Norway.

The Far East and in particular China has seen a big growth in cruise customers. Many cruises start from Hong Kong and cruise north to China and Japan. Other cruises head south where you will cruise to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

Australia and New Zealand feature on most world cruises by cruise companies such as P&O, Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean.

So, what are you waiting for? Cruising has never been more popular and with the ever increasing choice of both exotic and exploration cruises available there has never been a better time to book a cruise.

David Brice was writing on behalf of cruise experts White Rose Cruise,

Mendenhall Glacier: Juneau Alaska's Top Attraction

The Mendenhall Glacier, located in Juneau Alaska, is absolutely unique: it is the only glacier situated inside the city limits of an American municipality. It is also the most popular Juneau rourist attraction for visitors to Alaska's capital, especially those arriving on Alaska cruises.

Motor coaches depart from cruise port in downtown Juneau for Mendenhall all day long on the half hour. If you arrive in Juneau on and Alaskan cruise ship, look for the buses labeled "Mendenhall Glacier Express. These vehicles are generally retired school buses, and they have been painted blue, making them easy to spot. The entire cost of the bus ride is only around ten dollars round trip, making the one of the most economical shore excursion options along the entire Alaska cruise route.

The Mendenhall Glacier Express buses will drop you off right at the visitor center for the glacier. Upon arriving at Mendenhall, always double check with your driver as to the time of your return bus, since you would hate to miss your cruise ship's departure or get stranded at the glacier.

The Mendenhall visitor center is a great launching point for day hikes. From the visitor center, it is only a short walk to the lake at the base of the glacier, which is one of the best places to take pictures in all of Juneau.

After arriving at the lake, you have several great options for hikes. If you are in decent shape and you have sufficient time, you can take the East Glacier trail. This path continues for about 3.5 miles, and it brings you through dense rain forest and alongside roaring waterfalls. Best of all, the trail has some absolutely picture-perfect views of the glacier from on high.

If you only have a limited amount of time to spend at the glacier, consider taking the East Glacier trail hike as it is often considered the best short hike in all of Juneau.

In addition, stay on the lookout for grizzlies hunting for salmon in the small river below the lake, especially in late summer. Viewing grizzlies at this river can really be an unforgettable and amazing experience.

At the end of your stay at the Mendenhall Glacier, catch one of the many return buses back to the cruise ship docks, taking in the views of quaint and historic downtown Juneau along the way. It's a great way to wrap up a fantastic, unforgettable day in the Alaskan Inside Passage.

Learn all about the Mendenhall Glacier and other Juneau attractions at

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Where Can You Stay During the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics?

The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics are going to be here in no time, so it is not too soon to start thinking about where to stay while in Vancouver. If you're one of those individuals fortunate enough to acquire tickets, it is time to start thinking about your accommodations. Your goal is to stay as close as possible to the venues that will be hosting the events that you're attending. Then again, you may wish to stay elsewhere because there are other attractions in Vancouver that you want to enjoy.

Whatever your reasons for wanting to stay in a specific area in Vancouver, you have to be aware of the accommodations that are available to you. First of all, you have to know that the exact area in which the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics is being held is the village of Whistler. It is the commercial center, which means it is going to have your largest concentration of restaurants and shops.

Other attractions

Whistler is also known for its skiing. Some say the lodging in this area is unattractive if you're staying in the village because you will still find yourself quite a distance away from the ski lifts. You're looking at a walk of around 10 minutes to the skiers plaza. Basically, this is definitely not a village for those looking for peace and quiet, especially with the Olympics going on. Nevertheless, there are accommodations in the Upper Village that allows easy access to the ski lifts and also offers up spectacular views.

You'll also find legendary night clubs. Really, you need to look at all of the attractions and determine what it is that is important to you. If you intent on hitting the night clubs every night, but you're only going to be attending a couple of Olympic events, you may want to ensure you stay near the clubs. This is especially true if alcohol is going to be involved. You may want to be able to take a short cab ride back to your hotel or be within walking distance.

Where to stay

As for your exact lodging options while attending the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, there is a wide range of lodging options available in Whistler. You can visit a condo or a chalet if you don't want to stay in a hotel. These are great for the luxury traveler or those traveling in groups. You also have to take into consideration the length of your stay. Longer stays usually require a higher degree of comfort.

However, when it comes to hotels, you have many options available. This is a tourist town and it is going to be a hotspot when the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics roll around. You have your choice of 1 to 5 star hotels. Most will give you mountain views that are breathtaking. An example of a 5 star hotel that you may want to consider is the Fairmont Chateau. It is right in the heart of Whistler.

Book your 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics packages from the industry leader in sports travel. Sport travel company provides Winter Olympics tickets, 2010 winter Olympic hotels, preferred seating and more.

Experience Ancient Civilisation At Its Finest On Santorini

Santorini is the southernmost island of the Cycladic group in the Aegean Sea, located 63 nautical miles north of Crete. Regarded by many as the most spectacular of the Greek Islands, visitors come to Santorini for its impressive archaeological sites, its famous beaches and above all its weather.

The island enjoys a marvellously dry climate with virtually unbroken sunshine year-round. Even during the winter months, consecutive rainy days are uncommon and the coldest months have a relatively mild average
temperature of 12 degrees Celsius.

Santorini received its present name in the 13th century, when the Crusaders named the island after a chapel of Santa Irene.

The island owes its existence to a volcano, whose last major eruption took place 3,600 years ago. Visitors come to see the island's large, sea-filled caldera or crater, the remnant of what might possibly have been the world's largest ever eruption.

Although man is known to have inhabited the island during the Early Cycladic civilisation from 3,200 - 2,000 BC, an eruption around 1,500 BC buried the entire island and all traces of civilisation disappeared for several centuries.

Evidence of more recent volcanic activity is apparent, and the two small islands of Palea and Nea Kameni are the youngest landmasses in the Eastern Mediterranean. The latter began to form just 425 years ago and represents the volcano's latest activity in 1950.

Santorini, like many of the Greek Islands, holds significant interest for archaeologists, boasting remains of both prehistoric and Greek civilisation. The ancient city of Akrotiri is the most important prehistoric settlement in the Eastern Mediterranean, thanks to its excellent state of preservation.

Mesa Vouno, meanwhile, is an ancient Greek city, built on limestone rock during the ninth century BC. Until the spread of Christianity, Mesa Vouno was the only urban centre on Santorini.

The Archaeological Museum, which is located in the island's capital, Fira, is well worth a visit as it houses a wide range of sculptures, inscriptions, vases and clay figurines which document the island's lengthy past. Also in Fira is the Museum of Prehistoric Thira, which contains artistic masterpieces from the prehistoric Aegean.

For the less culturally-inclined, Santorini is renowned for its scenic beaches, mainly spread along the eastern and south-eastern edges of the island. Perivolos and Perissa are black-sand beaches which benefit from a range of hotels, restaurants and tavernas.

The beaches of Monolithos, Avis and Kamari are located on the south-east of the island and are particularly popular with families with young children.

The island benefits from a range of accommodation, from budget hotels through to luxury apartments, and also has a selection of some 300 restaurants to choose from. Food on Santorini is a pleasure rather than a necessity and everything from the Greek salads and vegetables through to the local goat's cheese and fish is as fresh as you could find anywhere.

In addition, the island is well-known for its outstanding wines and it is possible for visitors to indulge in a little wine-tasting at six different wineries. Even if you don't manage to get to a tasting, make sure you try some of the local dessert wines when you are out.

Santorini is a 40 minute flight away from Athens and charter flights travel directly to the island during the summer months. With an ever-increasing number of cheap flights travelling to the Greek Islands, there has never been a better time to travel to Santorini and experience its ancient charm firsthand.

David Brice was writing on behalf of Greek islands holiday specialist

Monday, November 24, 2008

Save On Luxury Accommodation, Spend On Shopping In Thailand!

If one of your favourite weekend activities is shopping, and the only thing that prevents you from doing it seven days a week is your bank balance, you are living in the wrong country! Thailand is famous for its plentiful, cheap shopping opportunities and the vibrant and colourful settings that house them.

However, many people have been put off by the fact that Bangkok is a bustling, busy, noisy place to stay and bemoaned the fact that they couldn't have the best of both worlds, staying in a tropical paradise while shopping til they dropped in the heart of the city.

Well, they actually could have had it both ways! There is plenty of beautiful Thailand accommodation, Pattaya villas and luxury villas for rent in Thailand that allow you to relax in a tropical paradise, while filling your return flight's cargo allowance to its limit!

Markets are a more uniquely Thai experience than the huge Western style shopping centers are - although these do offer some great bargains and a wide range of traditional Western style goods (at Thai prices!). To make your shopping an event in itself, whether or not you buy anything, try Suan Lum Night Bazaar - described as Bangkok's VIP outdoor market.

There is a centrally located snack bar, as well as restaurants with cuisines from several nationalities if you want to combine dinner and shopping. Walkways are covered, and bargains are everywhere!

If you can tear yourself away from the spacious, fresh luxury of your villa for rent in Pattaya or other Pattaya accommodation for a daytime trip into the city, try Gaysorn Plaza for all the brands that you could never afford back home, or Siam Discovery for the younger generation's brand names.

At these two famous plaza you'll find genuine Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Guess?, DKNY and Mac as well as plenty more. Designs from Thailand's freshest up and coming young couturiers are found here also, and while you won't need to deck out your luxury villa in Thailand, you can certainly deck yourself out to match it!

The Patpong Night markets are another exhilarating experience for shopaholics in Thailand. Patpong has been known as one of the more red-light districts of Bangkok, however a recent clean-up has made the night markets a much more family friendly place.

However, as busy as this market is in the night time, you will definitely need your Thailand accommodation or luxury villa for rent in Thailand to be as relaxing as possible!

As much of a bargain as those you'll be picking up at the markets and plazas of Bangkok is the Thailand accommodation which you'll find in and around Pattaya. This beautiful town is far enough from Bangkok to have fresh air, quiet streets and a beach, right at your doorstep!

Baan Chatmanee is one of the Pattaya villas for rent that makes Thailand so famous for its great value accommodation. At the same price that you'd pay for a three-star single hotel room in many Western countries, you can have full use of this private bungalow, sleeping 6 over 550 square meters of living space.

There is a 9m by 5m private pool, complete with a shallow area for safe swimming for kids, and underwater lighting if you would rather relax in your luxury villa in Pattaya than check out the night markets at least for one night! This Pattaya accommodation also has a natural outdoor shower, sunbeds, and outdoor seating for 12.

Ban Hin Wong is another of the striking luxury Pattaya accommodations you'll find within easy driving distance of Bangkok. This villa in Thailand sleeps 9 people over 5 bedrooms, at the same price that you would pay for dinner at a medium-class restaurant in many European cities!

All the furniture at this Pattaya luxury villa is locally made, and if you are there for shopping, you should be able to find many similar pieces at the markets and department stores of Bangkok. This luxury villa rental in Thailand is air conditioned throughout, with linen and sound system provided.

A communal pool is available in the complex - but there is also nature's own communal pool, the tranquil turquoise ocean, only minutes from this wonderful Pattaya accommodation! provides accommodation options in various locations around Thailand and features some of the most beautiful villas available. Book your vacation today at

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A US Holiday is Still a Bargain for Brits

Residents of the UK who chose to vacation in the United States this year were pleasantly surprised at how cheap it was due to the weakness of the U.S. dollar. For the most part British tourists were getting close to two dollars for each British pound. Even with the increased cost of gasoline, tourists in the U.S. were able to get pretty good deals.

Though air fares are going up and some transatlantic flights may be cut back, it is still possible to take advantage of the weak dollar. If you are planning to book a holiday in the U.S. later this year or in 2009, keep in mind that the dollar has begun to climb a bit and may continue to do so.

Don't be put off, however. The U.S. continues to be a great holiday destination. There is so much to see and do in the States. Cities from New York to San Francisco offer enormous variety. If it is culture you want, New York has great museums, including the Metropolitan and the MOMA. Broadway's theaters offer something for everybody. Even off-Broadway is a mecca for cutting edge entertainment. Shopping in New York is legendary. From Saks Fifth Avenue to Bloomingdales and from Macy's to Century 21, New York is unparalleled.

On the west coast take your pick. Los Angeles with its movie culture and San Francisco featuring Nob Hill and cable cars and the stunning Bay vistas greet residents and tourists alike. A few miles to the north and you are in the wine country of Napa and Sonoma.

Don't overlook what falls between the coasts. The Grand Canyon will take your breath away, as will Monument Valley and the Painted Desert. Nestled in the Sierras is the famed Lake Tahoe. Tahoe is the skiing destination on the west coast, and the view of the lake from the slopes of Heavenly Valley is stunning. In the summer the gondolas ferry tourists to the top of the mountain where they can spend a day or several hours taking on spectacular sights.

Don't forget Las Vegas with its over-the-top casinos and hotels. You can spend days taking in a dizzying array of luxury hotels like the Bellagio and Circus Circus, which features its own amusement park.

Speaking of amusement parks, the two most visited parks in the world are in the U.S.: Disneyland in Anaheim and Disney World in Florida. As always, Disney has new and more exciting attractions in the works at any given time. Whether you stay at a Disney hotel located within the parks or a nearby hotel, the Disney experience is not soon forgotten. If that is your preference, be sure to check out whatever special deals the parks are offering. You may be surprised at how affordable a Disney vacation can be.

Though Disney is still the leader of the pack, other amusement parks are worth visiting as well. Universal Studios and MGM Studios both feature Hollywood extravaganzas. You can find yourself in the middle of a Spiderman episode or an Indiana Jones adventure.

The real drawing card for any number of amusement parks are the death-defying roller coasters. With their incredible loops and twists and 360 degree spins, roller coaster rides are the thrill seekers ultimate thrill. Knots Berry Farm in Southern California has some of the best thrill rides going.

The U.S. is such an expansive and diverse experience that just traveling from region to region illustrates this better than anything else. From the Old South to the Yankee Northeast and from the Midwest to the Northwest, the differences are both noticeable and distinct. Regional differences are pretty much defined by geography. The geography within U.S. boundaries runs the gamut from lush green forests to deserts, to endless plains and mountain ranges.

So if you are contemplating a holiday and deciding where to spend it, give the U.S. a good bit of thought. Even with a strengthening dollar it may still be well within your budget. Take out the calculator and do some Internet surfing to get the latest deals in all the areas you find attractive. If you plan ahead and book early, you may still come out way ahead.

Information about hotels and airfares for the USA from the UK can be found at

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Guide To Taking Ionian Sailing Holidays

The Greek islands are a popular destination for many holiday makers whether you are single or travelling with family, in a group or with a partner. Ionian sailing holidays are a popular choice for many people, whether they are travelling on a chartered yacht or a skippered boat or even bareboat, this provides a trip across the Mediterranean seas that much more satisfying. This allows the crew to really take in the scenery and view the splendours of the island, as opposed to viewing from a far in the window of an aeroplane.

An Ionian sailing holiday is more suitable for a family looking experience the joys of swimming in the sea whilst travelling to nearby beaches and landmarks. The Ionian Islands are a group of islands situated in the Western portion of Greece. These are located on the Ionian Sea, with the main islands being Paxos, Ithaca, Lefkas, Corfu, Cephalonia, Cythera and Zacynthus. These are also located by the coasts of Peloponnesus and Epirus.

Ionian sailing holidays enable people to become familiar with the island and its history. Some skippered yachts cater for travelling information and provide tourism information that may be of interest to many of the travellers. The Ionian Islands hold much more than glorious views and beautiful scenic spots that encourage tourists to fall in love with the surrounding beauty. Its rich history provide an insight into why this is one of the most popular holiday destination and why it has continued to impress people all over the world.

The first inhabitants of the island were the Ancient Greeks who had arrived around the 9th or 10th century BC. It was later then conquered by outside Western Civilisations, namely the Romans in 146 BC, Byzantium 300 AD and the Venetian Empires in 1204 AD. The island was then acquired by other countries such as Russia in 1799, France in 1807 and then by the British in 1815. It was then conceded to the Greeks in 1864 making it the country's official territory and claiming the island.

Since the time of its eventful history, the Ionian Islands have seen much tourism and support of officials of being a Greek island and accepting it as its own since the time of the early settlers. The islands are more traditionally known as Eptanisa, which is translated as the Seven Islands due to the main seven islands that make up for the Ionian Islands. Its mild to hot climate has seen many holiday makers put this above all other holiday destinations.

The islands became one of Greece's most visited yacht charter holiday, because of its attractive ports, open space for motor sailing, bareboat sailing, yacht chartering and flotilla manoeuvring. Due to its calm and tranquil sea the island makes for a good spot for sailing for beginners and families. Skilled sailors can also enjoy the vibrant culture, relaxed warm climate, endure good use of space for using their skills and take advantage of the numerous harbours and docks which are often used as charter bases.

Anna Stenning enjoys going on Ionian sailing holidays, because it gives her more opportunities to learn about its Ancient history. For more information on the holiday

Finding the Best Arizona Vacation Rentals

Headed to Arizona? You should allow yourself plenty of time because there is so much to do! Whether you are traveling with the family or with friends there are many places for you to see and so many fun things for you to do. There are plenty of State Parks that are spectacular, tons of sports and recreation, national monuments, museums, city parks, arboretums, art galleries, and so much more. Some of these places are geared towards children and others the children might not enjoy so much.

Northern Arizona offers a serene atmosphere and beauty that can not be described. Whether you're in town for a short visit, a meeting, or the vacation of a lifetime, you'll find comfort, convenience, and surprising value at any Arizona vacation rental home. Savor spectacular sunsets from an outdoor hot tub. Once you're refreshed, explore the rich cultural, recreational, historic, and natural wonders of Arizona.

Arizona vacation rentals are the best choice when you simply want to get away from it all. But how do you begin looking for that perfect property to spend that time of peace and quiet? When you look for that perfect vacation rental just ask yourself what might make this vacation absolutely perfect. Do you want to be near a beach, go for a nature hike or just meditate and enjoy the downtime? Maybe you would like to spend the time fishing? All your vacation rental plans would not be feasible if you don't have a projected budget on your hands. So that is why your budget should be your foremost consideration when you're already on the hunt for that perfect vacation rental.

Vacation rental homes have become an extremely popular option to the traditional hotel room. Lodging is usually one of the biggest expenses of a vacation budget and most savvy travelers want to make sure that every dollar is spent wisely. Not only are vacation homes clean and conveniently located next to many major attractions, but they can also be very affordable. You will find more living space than you will find in the typical hotel room and are a great value for the budget-conscious. These homes are perfect for large families that need a little more room or maybe two families are traveling together and want to stay together. Most rental homes offer several bedrooms and can sleep many people, which often makes the cost per person far less than that of a hotel.

Planning ahead and booking your vacation rental home several weeks or even months ahead of time can save you money as well as give you peace of mind. Renting a vacation home usually requires an agreement and a security deposit with the vacation property owner. This agreement is legally binding and provides more detail than the standard form you might find at a hotel. Vacation rental homes can provide a home-like environment for those who spend most days enjoying the outdoor activities that Arizona has to offer. From modest to extravagant, selecting a vacation rental that fits your personal style, accommodation needs and budget can be the beginning of a lasting vacation memory.

Get access to the best Arizona Rental Properties where you can save big and stay in style!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What to Look for in a Toronto Hotel

By Amy Nutt

Travel can be exciting and interesting, but it's the little things that matter - like where you're going to sleep for the night, where to eat and how to get to where you're going. These are all concerns that travelers tend to have and choosing the right hotel is a huge factor in how much you'll enjoy your trip to Toronto. Hotels can literally make or break your trip, whether you're in town for business or pleasure.

Toronto hotels are many and the price ranges vary drastically, depending on what level of luxury you want. While price is not the only thing to consider when choosing a hotel, it is certainly a factor for most people. Here are some other things to think about when searching for a place to lay your head.


You'll want your hotel to be conveniently located, if possible. This makes it easier to get around. If you're attending a conference, for example, getting a room within the same hotel is best, but anything nearby will be good, as well. Some places further off the beaten path may charge less, but remember that you'll need to factor in transit times, car rental or taxi costs.


There really is nothing worse than bad service at a hotel. When you need an extra blanket or more fresh towels, it's important that these be provided. A good hotel will offer quality service, no matter what price range they're in. Also take into consideration any extra features you'll need, like room service or internet access in your room.


How big are the rooms? You'll find that some Toronto hotels are barely habitable because of the size. Unless you are really on a tight budget, there's no need to cram into a matchbox sized room. Adjoining rooms are also a good idea if you have children, but want to keep two separate rooms.


This is part of price, but you need to look at the cost per person. Some hotels allow you to have just one or two people per bed, while others are fine if you want to cram a few more in. This all works out to a cost per person.


Using membership cards, either from a hotel chain or American Express can sometimes get you a nice upgrade, so check for hotels that let you do this. It will really make a difference in your trip.


Are there special features you would like to have included? These might include a pool, spa, or just a nice place to sit outside and read. Different hotels have different levels of features, some might be very basic, while others will include everything from a spa to waterslides for the kids.

Choosing a hotel is a very personal choice. Your own preferences and budget will determine what sort of Toronto hotel you'll want. If you are traveling alone, you might not need as many amenities, but with your family, you could opt for something a bit more entertaining than a plain hotel.

Toronto hotels have options for everyone. Keep in mind that hotels near major attractions will tend to be higher priced than those away from the action, but don't forget to factor in the per person cost and transportation, as well. It might be worth getting a room nearer certain attractions if you can save on the rental car cost. With a little research, you'll be ready to start making reservations and booking your trip.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Ten Tips for Your First Vacation With Your Baby

By Jen Stoddart

Your first vacation with your baby can be exciting and it also takes some advanced planning to ensure its success.

Here are ten tips to follow to help you when planning your trip.

1. Anticipate where you will get food and water for your baby. It may not be an issue if you are traveling to a popular tourist destination, but it may be if you are going to a more remote area.

2. It will be easier to treat any issues that your baby may experience when away from home if you pack the right medicines with you before leaving home. It is much easier and more effective treatment for sore tummies, low grade fevers, diaper rashes if you have the right medicines with you - rather than trying to find a drugstore after your child starts to feel under the weather.

3. Accommodations. Think about reserving a room with a balcony that you can comfortably sit on viewing the ocean, or overlooking a mountain range. You can count on spending more time in your room as your baby will need their regular nap times. If your room has a balcony you and your spouse can still enjoy your time together - sitting on the balcony - while your baby gets their needed sleep.

4. Plan for time for each parent to head off on their own to see the attractions or sites that they are interested in. During those times the other parent will be caring for the baby. Plan upfront when these times will be and work towards an equal split of time so that there is plenty of time to be together - and time for everyone to see or do what is important to them during the vacation.

5. Guard against too much time in the stroller for the baby. Taking a comfortable stroller with you on vacation is important - just make sure that your child doesn't sleep too much during the daytime. Many babies love to fall asleep in their stroller - which might cause them not to sleep well at night. Make sure there are plenty of opportunities during the day to take the baby out of the stroller and play with them.

6. Takes direct flights when flying. When possible avoid connecting air flights. Flying for babies is not always easy. The change in air pressure during take-offs and landings can be hard for babies.

7. If you plan on bringing a travel bed with you on your trip don't wait for the vacation to get the baby accustomed to sleeping in it. A couple of days prior to your trip let the baby start sleeping in it to get them used to it.

8. If possible bring your own car seat. The ones provided by car rental companies are sometimes questionable.

9. A month or so before you travel contact your baby's doctor to advise that you will be travelling with your baby. Ask the doctor if there are any required vaccinations for the places that you plan on visiting during the trip.

10. Check list. Write a list of the items that you will carry with you as you travel and a list of the items that you will pack for your baby to be used during the trip. Check the list a week before the trip and then check it again the day before the trip to make sure that you have everything.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Family Cruise Vacations Can Be Great Fun

By Captain B Eye

Thinking of a family vacation aboard a cruise ship? Obviously, there are a dozen activities you can choose from, which will be just as fun as well, but nothing beats the pleasure of a vacation aboard a ship. You can camp, go on a picnic, visit new places and shop but nothing beats the excitement of being on board a ship.

Setting sail on the water is a something that many individuals would like to do. The problem is, most of us do not own a boat nor are skilled enough to operate it. We have an interesting piece of information for you: a family vacation aboard a cruise ship can be for anyone irrespective of whether they understand sailing or not. You can experience the wonders of sailing across the deep blue waters on a cruise vacation.

So will your family enjoy a vacation being aboard a cruise ship? There are a lot of things you can do on a cruise ship. Individuals of all ages can enjoy participating in these activities.

So, a family vacation aboard a cruise ship may be what you are looking forward too but before you decide consider all of these following points. These activities would be welcomed if you are a gregarious and sociable person. Being cruise liner means you have plenty of opportunity to participate in activities. These activities may include swimming, gaming, gambling, eating, watching movies, and dancing.

The good news, just about every family cruise ship vacation has first class provisions for looking after children so the adults can have some time off. The child can be left for an hour or two while you pamper yourself with some private time with your spouse, or alone. They are often free to use and dropping the children off is an easy matter.

A benefit of family cruise ship vacation many individuals do not consider is the quality time spent together. The times you spend together on a cruise ship are often more memorable than time spent anywhere else. Many travelers view the close corridors as a disadvantage, but in a way it may benefit your family. This would often be felt most by teenagers who often find it embarrassing to spend too much time with the family as teens for instance do not see time spent with the family as being important.

Now you can spend quality time reconnecting without being too pushy. Do take along a camera and camcorder as a permanent reminder of the trip. In addition to enjoying your cruise in the present, you and your family will also be able to enjoy it in the future. Anyone can enjoy these trips as they are aften offered at low prices.

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Shopping Centres - 5 Major Shopping Centres In Singapore That You Must Visit

Singapore is a shopping paradise. There are lots of good shopping destinations in Singapore. If you intend to visit Singapore for holidays, there are some shopping destinations that you cannot afford to miss out.

In this article, let me highlight 5 major shopping centres in Singapore. At these 5 shopping centres, you can get all kinds of goods, whether be it branded fashion goods or electronics.

1. VivoCity. VivoCity is the largest shopping centre in Singapore. It is relatively new and there are lots of boutiques and restaurants there. VivoCity is located at HarbourFront. HarbourFront is the place where you can take a cable car to visit the beach at Sentosa, a small island off Singapore that is famous for sun-tanning and beach volleyball. You can actually plan an afternoon getaway to Sentosa, and return to VivoCity for dinner and shopping.

2. Takashimaya. Takashimaya is located along Orchard Road, the street famous for shopping. In Takashimaya, you can almost find any boutique or shop that you can think of. It also has a departmental store whereby you can get slightly cheaper but quality goods.

3. Paragon. Paragon is also located along Orchard Road. It is well-known as the place for branded goods. Almost all major brands such as Ralph Lauren, Guess and Dunhill can be found over there. If you are into branded goods, you cannot miss out Paragon.

4. Sim Lim Square. Sim Lim Square is famous for electronic goods. It is the place whereby all the geeks will love to visit. In Sim Lim Square, you can buy custom-built computers, as well as other electronic goods such as MP 3 players, mobile phones and watches. For tourists, you can get to enjoy tax-free shopping in Sim Lim Square too.

5. Bugis Junction. Near Bugis Junction, it has a flea market where you can actually buy lots of nice stuff at bargain prices. Of course, how much bargain you can get, it all depends on your negotiating skill. So if you intend to visit the flea market, do not take the initial price for any goods as the final price. Always ask for a discount and if you negotiate well, most likely you can get a bargain.

These are 5 major shopping centres that you cannot afford to miss out when you visit Singapore. If you do not know the exact location of these 5 shopping centres, just go to Google Earth and type the names of the centres and you should be able to get the exact address. Have a nice trip!

For shopping in Singapore, visit the website below to view the Singapore shopping centres and malls now:

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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Visiting Greece in the Winter

Vacationing in Greece is a pleasure in any season. Most folks opt to visit Greece during the summer months, when the sun is high and the surf is warm. But little do people know that a visit to Greece during the winter months can be equally as exciting and fulfilling, and even more steeped in pure Greek culture.

The benefits of visiting Greece in the winter months (considered December through March) are that while most of the other tourists are off vacationing elsewhere, those who call Greece their home embrace the off-season tourists with a first-hand look at what it means to be Greek.

For those of us who enjoy a little less of the tourism factor in our vacations, Greece in the winter is the ideal get-away. Hiking, biking, any exploration of nature is easier now, with the slightly cooler weather, and the number of other tourists at a minimum. Winter is the time to delight in the food the locals savor, to enjoy the nightlife known only to the locals and to participate in some activities and celebrations the locals relish only with their own.

Skiing in Greece is an after thought, or nonexistent one for most looking to vacation, while in fact, Greece provides some of the best skiing mountains in the world. Macedonia, Pelion, the Peloponnesus, Pelion and other cities to the north have ski centers and chalet type buildings in the mountains that provide ski lifts for downhill as well as cross-country runs.

Because Greece is blessed with such a temperate climate and beautiful natural environment, sailing in the winter is also a preferred sport by some. The cooler weather and less hustle and bustle from tourist crowds make it easier and even more enjoyable to sail and enjoy the natural surroundings. Whether it is bird watching, or ruins exploration.

Island culture abounds in the winter months, when tourists do not outnumber the locals. The usual tourist spots that are open in the summer months tend to close come wintertime. This means that the establishments that are open, are regular spots the locals visit. In turn, this generally means better Greek food to enjoy, and better yet, deeper, richer Greek culture including dog slide races, river wild rafting, and Alpine skiing.

Another great positive for enjoying Greece in the off-season, is of course, the lower rates. Traveling over seas is already costly enough, but if Greece is calling you, add lower rates on everything from airfare to hotel rates to the list of positives.

Apokreas, or carnival season, takes place in Greece around the end of February. The island of Skyros, Athens and Patras hold huge celebrations at this time of year. Apokreas refers to the time right before the 40 days of fasting before Easter begins. This involves feasting, celebrating, drinking and dancing - every night. What better way to see Greece than during this time, when many locals are celebrating more than they do the rest of the year?

More reasons to enjoy Greece in the wintertime is that ferries are always running to and from the mainland to the islands. If the weather becomes questionable or nasty, travel may become difficult, but for the most part, winter weather still tends to be quite exceptional.

The ruins are much more enjoyable to visit during the winter. The crowds are not in place, and neither is the heat. So it is easy to linger among the ruins, such as the Acropolis, the monasteries on top of the rock towers in Meteora or the Oracle of Delphi. One of the most amazing views of Athens can be seen from the Acropolis at sunset. Part of the reasoning behind visiting Greece is, no doubt, to explore the history of the native land, and the ancient ruins, so why would not someone want to take as much time as possible?

The picking of olives and production of olive oil is an important aspect of living in Greece. Homer referred to it as a "liquid gold" which is more a true statement today then he could have ever believed. A full 60% of Greece's cultivated land is devoted to growing olives. The fruit is hand picked by families and even relatives and neighbors join in on the fun. Since this process generally starts toward the end of the year, those visiting Greece during the winter can help pick olives themselves, and really be a part of Greek family traditions.

With so many reasons to visit Greece during the winter months, how could anyone who is thinking of planning a trip not be seduced by the history and natural beauty that are in abundance in this amazing Mediterranean country.

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Two New Marinas for Cyprus

Cyprus is an island country in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey and north of Egypt. More than 2.4 million tourists per year enjoy vacations in one of the many cities and towns on Cyprus. The unique cuisine of Cyprus is one of the many attractions. One Cyprus-original recipe called Halloumi consists of cheese made from goat and sheep milk is commonly served sliced and grilled. Popular seafood dishes include calamari and octopus in red wine.

Some locals worry that the newly announced marinas, Limassol and Coral Bay, will have a detrimental effect on the local property market. In fact, it is projected that the new marinas will have quite the opposite effect. Existing properties have experienced some growth in the past few years. The addition of these marinas with moorings for about 2,000 boats is only the beginning of improvements in the near future for Cyprus.

Limassol Marina

The Limassol Marina is one of two large marinas soon to be under construction in Cyprus. Limassol is the second largest city in Cyprus with a population of nearly 180,000. Located on the southern side of the island, Limassol is the perfect scenic location for a marina meeting the quality standards of the proposed marina. The Limassol Marina will consist of 1,000 berths for small to large yachts docking in Akrotiri Bay.

Coral Bay Marina

The Peyia municipality, more specifically Coral Bay, will be home to the new Coral Bay Marina. Coral Bay is located about 6km north of Paphos. This beach-front area is already home to several hotels and is considered to be one of the best beaches in Cyprus. Like the Limassol Marina, Coral Bay Marina will consist of 1,000 berths for small to large yachts docking in the Mediterranean Sea.

New Marinas in Cyprus

Only the most experienced operators will be hired to work the two newest marinas. Quality and luxury are the primary goals. Each new marina will be enhanced with luxury residential properties, shopping areas, restaurants, bars and hotels. The addition of the Limassol and Coral Bay Marinas is expected to bring with it a boom of tourism. The changes won't happen immediately of course. The marinas and all other luxurious accommodations and activities are due to be complete in 2011.

Golf Courses in Cyprus

Cyprus is currently home to three golf courses. The Aphrodite Hills Golf Club is a short drive from the Paphos-Limassol motorway and overlooks the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite. The Secret Valley Golf Club is also located near the birthplace of Aphrodite, Petra tou Romiou. The valley's beautifully landscaped gardens help bring out the beauty of the natural rock formations. The Tsada Golf Club is on the grounds of a magnificent 12th century monastery near Tsada village.

The addition of the marinas also includes ten new golf courses. Several of the new courses will be championship quality. Six of the new courses will be in the Paphos region. One PGA international standard course will be constructed just outside Paphos. In all, the investment is 300 million Euros.

Luxury Property in Cyprus

A wide variety of luxury property is already available in Cyprus. Construction on new properties, restaurants, bars, hotels and shopping areas will begin in the coming months. Some of the luxury accommodations include 5-star hotels, luxury villas and apartments. Restaurants will range from delis and sidewalk cafes to dine-in restaurants with a variety of local and international cuisine.

A travel guide for Cyprus holidays is available at