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Train travel in Australia

Posted by travelanswerman | July 16, 2014

If you’re looking for a different train experience, it’s time to visit Australia! The country with so much to offer and a great colorful accent!

Australia is a rail traveler’s dream! Scenic railways abound. The Indian Pacific and The Ghan, both transcontinental, are famous. The Overland runs between Melbourne and Adelaide. But it’s the Sunlander that many people have found the most satisfying in recent years.

The Sunlander runs 1,045 miles and has been voted Australia’s number one rail journey and one of the top 25 rail journey’s in the world. It magically weaves its way along Queensland’s incredible coastline between Brisbane and tropical Cairns, where the Great Barrier Reef meets the timeless Daintree wilderness.

There’s no more relaxing way to enjoy the trip between Melbourne and Adelaide than on The Overland. The Overland provides a comfortable, relaxing way to travel between the cities or to ease into a great holiday in either Melbourne, Adelaide or their surrounding regions.

The Indian Pacific runs Sydney-Adelaide-Perth for 2,704 miles, including almost 300 miles along the world’s longest straight track. It gives you two oceans on one of the world’s longest and greatest train journeys. But most of your cruising will be across the vast continent of Australia. From the spectacular Blue Mountains to the treeless plains of The Nullarbor desert, where the train travels the world’s longest straight stretch of railway track (478 kilometres), see unique landscapes unfold and spot a fascinating array of wildlife from the comfort of the lounge or your cabin.

Get up close and see the sights of some of our most famous outback towns when you enjoy an optional off-train sightseeing tour. The great train offers these tours during scheduled stops at Broken Hill, Adelaide and gold rich Kalgoorlie. A remote outpost on the Nullarbor Plain called Cook presents a further opportunity to stretch your legs.

All along the Indian Pacific route, keep an eye out for a sighting of the magnificent Australian wedge tailed eagle, the symbol of this great train. It’s massive wingspan of up to two metres will make it easy to spot in a clear desert sky.

The Ghan travels 1,851 miles between Adelaide and Darwin through Australia’s Red Center. Experience one of the most fascinating great train journeys of the world. Connections are available on the Indian Pacific and The Overland for guests travelling to or from Sydney and Melbourne. Enjoy 2 nights aboard this great train in either direction. Marvel at the spectacular Australian landscapes from fertile countryside surrounding Adelaide to the rusty hues of the Red Centre, onto the tropical splendour of the Top End. The Ghan is the ultimate journey through the heart of the continent.

Service…cuisine…and a smile as big as the country. You can expect it all and more when you visit the land downunder. Bring your friend and plan to stay at least three weeks or more. You’ll find it difficult to leave.

www.australia.com

http://www.seat61.com/Australia.htm

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Topics: Adventure, Australia, Blogs, Families, General, Hotels, Luxury, Restaurants, Shopping, Singles, Trains, Travel, Travel Tips, Trips, Uncategorized, college students | Add Comment »

100 Countries 5000 ideas!

Posted by travelanswerman | October 8, 2013

This is a fascinating, convincing and detailed travel book helping all who read it to plan their ideal vacation. The 100 countries it includes provides even the most savvy traveler more than enough creative ideas for where to go, when to go, what to see and what to do!  In addition, the appendix is wonderfully organized with an extensive chart that presents destinations and their various offerings for the traveler weighted by significance.

As with all National Geographic products, the superior quality of this book makes it an outstanding gift or memorable keepsake. I have already been using it as a valuable reference tool in my day to day work.

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Topics: Adventure, Africa, Airlines, Art, Asia, Australia, Bed & Breakfasts, Blogs, Canada, Caribbean, Central America, China, Cruising, Cuisine, Cycling, Ecotourism, Europe, Families, France, General, Green Travel, Hawaii, Hiking, Hotels, India, Italy, Luxury, Maui, Mexico, Middle East, Restaurants, Shopping, Singles, South America, South Pacific, Spain, Thailand, Trains, Travel, Travel Guide Books & Maps, Travel Insurance, Travel Tips, Trips, Uncategorized, United Kingdom, United States, Wine Vacations, college students, golf, tennis, wine | Add Comment »

Travel Safety and Security

Posted by travelanswerman | September 30, 2013

Before taking your next trip, especially internationally, there are a number of things to consider for the high profile traveler.

First, hire a security professional. The reasons are usually two fold: one for the country and city in question to understand the political atmosphere, and for the traveler to evaluate the individual risk. After these items are reviewed, a travel plan or travel “blue print” should be implemented. The next point to remember is, the total itinerary should go unpublished. Always select the safest places to stay and never publicize it. Then, hire a trusted transportation provider. And finally, based on your comfort level, consider traveling with experienced security guards.

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Topics: Adventure, Africa, Airlines, Asia, Australia, Blogs, Canada, Caribbean, Central America, China, Cruising, Europe, Families, France, Hawaii, India, Italy, Luxury, Maui, Mexico, Middle East, South America, South Pacific, Spain, Thailand, Trains, Travel, Travel Tips, Trips, Uncategorized, United Kingdom, United States, Wine Vacations | Add Comment »

Call your Travel Agent today!

Posted by travelanswerman | June 27, 2013

The state of the economy, and specific items relating to the rising costs of travel, appears to be on most people’s minds.

The impact of airport issues, hassels, delays, and increased security is still a “pain in the rear” but, the cost of travel and having enough money to do so remains at the top of everyones thoughts. Even terrorism is less of a concern when it comes to things a traveler will think about when making a decision about going somewhere.

Most people still want to get away periodically and escape the pressure and stress of day to day living. Travel has been and will likely always be a great choice! Yet, one wonders if they can afford to “pay the piper” when the next credit card statement comes due. The good news is that in today’s current market there are incredible deals for everyone on a daily basis. If you are willing to take a little time and ask a travel professional, you will be pleasantly surprised by the results. The price of accommodations, airfares, car rentals and more have been significantly reduced almost across the board throughout the world.

Seek and you shall find. Pick up the phone today and call a qualified travel agent to work for you immediately. They definitely have the contacts and an abundant number of experienced and valuable resources to provide the best service possible and get the most significant return in value for your investment. They will be looking out for your best interest from beginning to end….from start to finish. Can you say that if you attempt to make your own arrangements? What if there is a last minute change in plans? Can you count on anybody to help in a time of need? If you do things on your own, you’ll probably be wondering which way to turn and what’s going to happen.

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Topics: Adventure, Africa, Airlines, Asia, Australia, Bed & Breakfasts, Blogs, Canada, Caribbean, Central America, China, Cruising, Cuisine, Cycling, Ecotourism, Europe, Families, France, General, Green Travel, Hawaii, Hiking, Hotels, India, Italy, Luxury, Maui, Mexico, Middle East, Restaurants, Shopping, Singles, South America, South Pacific, Spain, Thailand, Trains, Travel, Travel Guide Books & Maps, Travel Insurance, Travel Tips, Trips, Uncategorized, United Kingdom, United States, Wine Vacations, college students, golf, tennis, wine | Add Comment »

Planet Ocean – A DVD review

Posted by travelanswerman | April 23, 2013

Extraordinary cinematography! It is a wonderfully written and stunningly photographed expose of ocean life above and below the sea! You will never tire watching it repeatedly! A great gift for the entire family!

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Topics: Adventure, Africa, Asia, Australia, Blogs, Caribbean, Central America, Ecotourism, Families, General, Green Travel, Hawaii, Mexico, South Pacific, Travel, Travel Guide Books & Maps, Travel Tips, Trips, Uncategorized, United States | Add Comment »

The Language of Luxe book review

Posted by travelanswerman | April 10, 2013

The Language of Luxe clearly demonstrates uniquely brilliant architecture and interiors along with offering a vision of how everyone will think of the relationship between hotels and the natural landscape in the years to come.

Figuring out living spaces is not without its own set of problems for which architects are constantly looking for creative solutions. The extraordinary answers to these problems are wonderfully communicated in this book. I highly recommend it to all!

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Topics: Art, Asia, Blogs, General, Green Travel, Hotels, Luxury, Travel, Trips, Uncategorized | Add Comment »

Some Diners and Drive-ins for you

Posted by travelanswerman | March 8, 2013

Part of the joy of traveling the world is exposing yourself (and your palate) to new flavors and traditions in the local cuisine. It’s also a great way to meet and touch the local people and discover something about the culture. Use this list to find the cheapest ways to keep your tummy full, your tastebuds happy, and your wallet and stomach full. And while you’re getting pleasantly plump, you might just learn something new.

We always look forward to your favorite suggestions! People want quality grub with a cheap price! Tell us where they are and let us know why they are special to you!

Hot Doug’s: www.hotdougs.com The deal here is encased meats, as in hot dogs and more hot dogs, bratwurst and more sausages. You’ll find everything from Polish to Italian sausage. Weekly specials are really where it’s at, though. It is located inChicago.

Billy Goat Tavern & Grill: www.billygoattavern.com This is one of Chicago’s most famous and colorful burger bars. It’s a funky, no-frills kind of place and a living museum of Chicago journalism. Blowups of columns and bylines of famous writers from days past fill the place. The food is quick, cheap and burger centered (they make a good one, and it’s topped with tasty pickles you’ll want to pile on high). But don’t expect a lot in the way of service.

Shake Shack: Arguably the best burgers in New York City along with juicy hot dogs. Concretes, dense frozen custard blended at high speed with various mix-ins, make for a memorable sweet treat (a favorite is the Concrete Jungle—peanut butter, banana and hot fudge). Beer and wine is also available for quaffing at the tables surrounding the kiosk.

American City Diner of Washington:  www.americancitydiner.com Want a soda? Need a hot dog? Crave liver and onions with mashed potatoes? Then this homey, folksy eatery will fill the bill, especially as it’s open 24 hours a day on Friday and Saturday. It is located in Washington, D.C.

Bread Line: www.breadlinecafe.com Don’t come expecting to have a relaxing lunch, though, for this bare-bones shop near the White House is usually crowded and a bit chaotic, even after the main lunch hour. You’ll find scones and muffins for breakfast; soups, salads and sandwiches for lunch. It is located in Washington, D.C.

Mike’s City Diner: www.mikescitydiner.com Mike’s is the sort of nostalgic American diner politicians choose for photo ops: Indeed, President Clinton once ate ham and eggs with grits at one of its classic checker-clothed tables, among neighborhood folks, cabbies, cops and workers from the nearby hospitals. Mike himself is no longer here, but his practice of roasting turkeys, slicing fresh-cooked ham off the bone, and never skimping on the mashed potatoes—or the coffee—continues. Bring your cash (credit cards aren’t accepted), your appetite (the huge breakfasts are served all day) or your fiercest hangover. It’s centrally located in Boston.

Pink’s Famous Chili Dog: www.pinkshollywood.com Pink’s has been slinging ripe, bursting-with-flavor beef hot dogs into fresh buns for the hundreds of hungry folks who stroll up to its takeout windows longer than almost anyone can remember (about 60 years). It is located in Los Angeles.

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Que: www.foxbrosbbq.com Innovative nibbles include fried squares of mac ‘n’ cheese rolled in crumbs and deep-fried, so the cheese is creamy and the outside is crunchy. Baby-back ribs have the proper slightly pink color at the bone—the so-called “smoke ring”—that proves they were cooked over wood. The meat is tender but just slightly resistant to the bite, as it should be. Smoked chicken comes with rarely seen white barbeque sauce. Ask for some to go with the smoked beef brisket, best enjoyed sliced, not chopped. The Fox standard ‘cue sauce is medium-bodied and just slightly tangy. Pulled pork is spot-on, too. Brunswick stew and all sides are made with fresh ingredients and it shows, and don’t pass up the green bean casserole when it’s offered. Finish with banana puddin’ or chocolate pecan pie. It is located in Atlanta.

Jamaican Jerk Hut: www.jamaicanjerkhutinc.com Nicola Shirley, high priestess of island food, presides, ladling out her famed goat curry and spicy jerk chicken. From English rule there’s oxtail stew with roti (a chickpea pancake used to wrap varied fillings—another Indian influence), and, of course, jerk chicken that’s the island’s own. Start the meal with conch salad or mango salsa, heated by Scotch bonnet peppers and cooled by cilantro. Try crisp conch fritters or calaloo (a spinach-like vegetable) tarts that are one of many vegetarian offerings, such as sides of spinach with groundnuts (true African) or okra. Make yourself some rum punch, enjoy reggae tunes and chow down, but don’t forget to include a slice of Shirley’s carrot or coconut pound cake for dessert. It is located in Philadelphia.

Lankford Grocery & Market: Located in Houston. Part of the delight of the exquisite cooking you’ll find here is the unabashed modesty of the retro surroundings, from old vinyl booths to beer signs. Everything about Lankford’s famous burger makes it justly revered: the thickness of the homemade patties, the perfect grill char, the amount of lettuce and other fixings they support, even the sprinkling of black pepper that flavors each bite. With cheese melted into the bun, this two-handed burger may well be the best in town—or on the planet, some devotees would argue. Daily specials include enchiladas—these Tex-Mexmarvels rival any in town, packed with chicken and swimming in soulful chile gravy.

This Is It Soul Food: www.thisisithouston.com This latest incarnation of one of Houston’s favorite diners has the charm of a school cafeteria with freshly painted walls, faux greenery and black-and-white checked linoleum floors. But what makes this place the heart and soul of home cooking is its combination of friendly servers along the walk-through buffet line and daily specials of authentic soul food—we’re talking ham hocks, oxtails and chitterlings. Less adventurous country-cooking devotees may opt for the basics of meatloaf, barbeque rib ends, baked chicken and smothered pork chops. Soulful sides include mustard greens, black-eyed peas and candied yams. You can top off your meal with a heaping helping of peach cobbler or an assortment of homemade cakes. It is located in Houston.

The Pit: www.thepitbarbq.com On the edge of the Everglades, The Pit is an easily accessible southern respite from the din of the city as well as a must-stop after or before a day in the Glades. The verge-of-collapse shack and barbeque sauce-smothered goodies make for slightly dangerous eatin’ that evokes old Miami. The service and atmosphere may be bare bones but the idea is that that’s all you’ll leave of your ribs, too. Try the fresh-from-the-swamp frogs legs and extra greasy (extra good!) biscuits. It is located in Miami.

The Original Pantry Cafe: Sometimes, all you really want is a big, heaping plate of steak and eggs – at 3 am. For those times, there’s The Original Pantry Cafe, a 24-hour downtown institution owned by former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan. Since 1924, service has been speedy, prices easy on the pocket and portions beyond generous. This unassuming little diner is by no means glam, but there’s something charming about a menu selection ranging from New York strip steak to ham hocks and beans. And though it seems as if every family in the county is in the Saturday morning line, the doors never close (they don’t even have locks), so there’s never a bad time to go for a signature stack of buckwheat pancakes.

Tip Top Cafe: Owned by the DeWese family, opened its doors in 1938 in San Antonio, Texas and began serving heaping plates of fried food to customers. Generations later, not much has changed: The restaurant is still owned and operated by family members, and diners drive for miles to get their fill of all things battered and fried. Mementos of the family and the diner’s history are mounted on the wall, including the memorable stuffed bass. Onion rings and fried chicken are house specialties, but for a true taste of Texas, try the chicken-fried steak — crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and covered in rich gravy —which ranks among the state’s best.

Highland Park Diner: Since its 1948 debut, Highland Park Diner in the quaint Swillburg neighborhood of southeastRochester, New York has undergone a few changes in ownership and function, including one stint as an off-track betting parlor. But for the past 20 years or so, the local institution has remained true to the tradition of gleaming neon-and-chrome diners, serving comfort food in gargantuan portions. Breakfast-all-day specialties include a sweet cheese-topped Belgian waffle and the Highland skillet bowl, a medley of eggs, home fries, gravy and shredded cheese. The current owners have added Greek specialties to complement the traditional diner fare, but thankfully, they’ve kept the classic hand-dipped milkshakes and the renowned apple pie and coffee.

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Topics: Blogs, Cuisine, Families, General, Restaurants, Singles, Travel, Travel Guide Books & Maps, Travel Tips, Trips, Uncategorized, United States, college students | Add Comment »

China: A Portrait of a People review

Posted by travelanswerman | January 7, 2013

World class photography allowing the reader to “taste” a people and culture!

Finally, a book that shows you what’s fun, what’s unforgettable and what is the heart of the Chinese people. Once isolated, but now one of the world’s highly regarded travel destinations. The author and photographer, Tom Carter, shows how China, despite its rapid modernization, is still a land of extraordinary contrasts that will catch some of the most savvy travelers off guard. Tom’s camera and exceptional ability to capture the true spirit of the local people and culture is at its best throughout all 33 regions of the most populated country on Earth.

China is indeed a destination of stunning wonders and sights! If you never are able to visit this amazing place, allow Tom’s book to be the vehicle which transports you across time and space. It will be a memory and treasure you will never forget!

www.blacksmithbooks.com

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Topics: Adventure, Airlines, Art, Asia, Blogs, China, General, Travel, Travel Tips, Trips, Uncategorized | Add Comment »

Cornwall with Caroline Quentin – DVD review

Posted by travelanswerman | November 29, 2012

Actress Caroline Quentin, a two-time British Comedy Award winner, introduces us to a land where time has stood still…Cornwall. A place you can visit and quickly escape the rigors and stress of our competitive dog-eat-dog society. Even the locals suggest they are not really English but Cornish. With her charming wit, Caroline engages the colorful, fascinating locals and allows us to get up close and personal. Something most hosts are unable to accomplish with any degree of success. The exceptional cinematography is worth watching the DVD on its own merit!

Cornwall is one of the most beautiful and glorious regions in England. Its attraction lies somewhat in its climate. Specifically, southern Cornwall has been known as the English Riviera, with subtropical plants growing in its public parks and private gardens. Additionally, it has an abundant variety of scenery, with beautiful sandy beaches and attractive, magical seaside resorts, picturesque cliffs with dramatic coastlines which offer memorable walks along the sea with constantly changing views, tiny fishing villages and in the interior, wide expanses of rolling moorland.

The Travel Answer Man highly recommends your investment in this historically rich travelogue! You may want to contact them directly at  www.acornonline.com

Cheers!

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Topics: Adventure, Airlines, Art, Bed & Breakfasts, Blogs, Cuisine, Cycling, Ecotourism, Europe, Families, General, Hiking, Hotels, Luxury, Restaurants, Shopping, Singles, Trains, Travel, Travel Guide Books & Maps, Travel Insurance, Travel Tips, Trips, Uncategorized, United Kingdom, college students | Add Comment »

Fear sells!

Posted by travelanswerman | November 16, 2012

It is amazing how fear sells. Fear is also a highly motivational tool. If it is used by individuals with the wrong intentions, it has the ability to control people and even a nation…a few well placed words within the powerful media can control people’s actions and possibly paralyze them completely. I’m sure we can all relate and say…yes, it has happened to me.

A few months ago, there was a civil disturbance in a region of the world. The authorities were able to quickly get everything under control. Unfortunately,  some elements of the media widely distributed the story throughout the world causing many to cancel their travel plans completely. The highly provocative story that was circulated caused many potential tourists to stay away. This example has been repeated more than a thousand times over the years. The financial loss is well into the hundreds of billions of dollars to the many vendors and suppliers who were counting on the business which never materialized. Unfortunately, this is followed by a certain amount of “lag” time, which means it will take many months or years for the traveler to “mentally” move on and forget any incident happened in a particular city, region or country. They just take their travel dollars and spend it elsewhere.

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Topics: Adventure, Africa, Airlines, Asia, Australia, Bed & Breakfasts, Blogs, Canada, Caribbean, Central America, China, Cruising, Europe, Families, France, General, Hawaii, Hiking, Hotels, India, Italy, Luxury, Maui, Mexico, Middle East, Singles, South America, South Pacific, Spain, Thailand, Trains, Travel, Travel Guide Books & Maps, Travel Insurance, Travel Tips, Trips, Uncategorized, United Kingdom, United States, college students | Add Comment »


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