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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 »

Best Train Journeys of Australia!

Posted by travelanswerman | November 15, 2012

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, Airlines, Australia, Blogs, Cuisine, Families, General, Green Travel, Hotels, Luxury, Restaurants, Shopping, Singles, Trains, Travel, Travel Guide Books & Maps, Travel Insurance, Travel Tips, Trips, college students | Add Comment »

Free Travel! Free Travel!

Posted by travelanswerman | November 14, 2012

Be patient, be personal, be informed and you can bargain successfully for anything. The real world everyone lives in is like a giant negotiating table in the corporate world, and like it or not, you are a participant. Negotiating is an area of knowledge that focuses on gaining the favor of people from whom we desire things. It really isn’t “rocket science”. What you learn today will pay great dividends in the world tomorrow.

Whether you’re traveling around the world or just across the county line, travel expenses can add up quickly, especially with rising airline and fluctuating gasoline prices. But you don’t need to destroy your savings account to have a wonderful time. There are many ways to get even the priciest of travel requirements at a significant reduction or even for free. Check out these 100 “Best Tips for Free Travel” and help get your next holiday started on the right foot. Your bank account will be glad you did in the long run.

General Tips

These general tips can help you make your trip much easier on your budget.

  1. Surf the net for promo deals. The internet is chock full of travel deals if you know where to look. Sign up for emails and updates from comparison sites like Kayak and have the best promos sent directly to your inbox.
  2. Print out online coupons. There are many coupons online for hotels, dining, and attractions. Simply print them out and bring them with you when you go.
  3. Sign up for free travel contests. While there is no guarantee of winning, there’s no harm in trying. Who knows, you might get lucky!
  4. Go to timeshare presentations. While this isn’t for the weak-willed, time share presentations can be a way to get some pretty great stuff for free. The inexperienced can use this guide to keep from falling prey to the sales pitch.
  5. Contact local tourism bureaus. A simple letter or email to the local tourism bureau of the place you’re planning to visit can garner you some free coupons and maps of the area.
  6. Take advantage of discounts through work. Many businesses have corporate discount programs that can save you a lot of money on admission to a wide variety of attractions as well as hotels and transportation. Check to see if your employer has such a program; it can save you a bundle.
  7. Never be afraid to ask. If you want a discount on a price, just ask, otherwise you might miss out on a potential bargain.
  8. Be frugal, not cheap. While it’s good to be frugal with your vacation money, don’t skimp on important things. It may end up costing you more in the long run.
  9. Try to speak the language. Do your best to speak the language, otherwise you’ll peg yourself as a tourist and possibly get charged higher prices.
  10. Get cash at an ATM. Don’t exchange money before you leave home or at the airport. You will get a much better exchange rate by using your credit card at an ATM.
  11. Check out the rotary club. Rotary Club International offers free travel and accommodations for businesspeople on group study exchanges. You don’t even have to be a member.
  12. Make friends. Just like at home, having the right connections can go a long way towards getting hooked up with free stuff. So be nice, a smile may score you some free goodies.
  13. Be flexible. You’re more likely to get discounts and freebies if you’re willing to be flexible in your plans.
  14. Don’t be ashamed to drop names. Know someone who lives and works in the area you’re visiting? Mention their name; they might have friends in unexpected places that can offer you a deal.
  15. Volunteer. If you’re not opposed to working on your vacation, you can get free lodging in many scenic locations all over the world in exchange for varying degrees of volunteer work.

Flights

Flying can be expensive, but luckily there are many ways to help reduce the cost. Check out these tips to help you save on airfare.

  1. Extend a business trip. If your work has already paid for you to fly somewhere, why not spend a few days after your business is taken care of checking out the sights?
  2. Get bumped. Airlines reward passengers who are willing to be bumped with passes for free travel. While it might be a small inconvenience, it can save you lots of money on travel expenses.
  3. Cash in your credit card rewards. If you’ve got a rewards credit card, cash in the miles for free or discounted flights.
  4. Be a courier. If you’re willing to pack light, you can score free travel all over the world by working as a package courier.
  5. Ask friends and family who work with an airline. Often, employees of airlines can get family members and friends tickets for next to nothing.
  6. Use your miles to upgrade to first class. If you don’t quite have enough miles with your frequent flyer card to get free flights, you can use the miles to upgrade instead, and enjoy your flight from the comfort of first class.
  7. Bring your own snacks. Many airlines have cut out their free snack and beverage services and now charge a fee for those little bags of peanuts. Bring your own snacks and you can avoid having to buy them once you’re in the air.
  8. Complain if you receive poor service. While it isn’t common, occasionally you’ll have a really poor experience with an airline. If you feel you’ve been mistreated, send a letter to the customer service department. While you probably won’t get a totally free flight, you may get free upgrades or miles you can use.
  9. Check out rewards programs that give free companion tickets. Many credit card reward programs not only give you miles when you buy a ticket, but will also give you a free ticket for a friend to come along when you purchase a full-priced fare.

Accommodation

Hotels can be one of the biggest expenses on a vacation. Use these tips to sleep soundly without putting so much strain on your wallet.

  1. Stay with family and friends. If you have family or friends that live near where you’re traveling, see if you can stay with them for a few days. It could save you a lot of money on hotels and you’ll get to spend time with people you care about.
  2. Get motel coupons. For the frequent road-tripper, motel coupons can be an invaluable resource and the Motel Coupons website has discounts for places all over the US. You’re sure to find some for motels near your destination.
  3. Swap houses. If you’re looking for totally free accommodations and have a good amount of trust in your fellow man, swapping houses can be a great option for cheap travel. There are many services that can set you up with other people who want to do a swap and may be more reliable than those you find elsewhere.
  4. Become a hotel critic. For the price of a written review, you can earn a few nights in hotels all over.
  5. Stay in hostels when possible. While most are not entirely free, they are usually extremely cheap, especially if you’re traveling in a group. Many will even provide free breakfast.
  6. Be a house sitter. In exchange for helping someone keep their home and pets safe and sound while they’re away, you’ll get to stay cheaply in places all over the world. Check with some of the larger and more reliable organizations that can set you up with a home that needs watching.
  7. Find free hotels. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Many travel sites guarantee that they have the lowest price. If you find your hotel cheaper somewhere else, it’s on them.
  8. Hotel rewards cards. Many hotels have partnered with credit card companies to create rewards cards. These cards can get to free stays at the hotel, so use them for everyday purchases and cash in the rewards when you travel.
  9. Share hotel rooms. If you’re traveling with a friend, cut costs in half by sharing a hotel room.
  10. Arrange group travel. If you’re good at planning, you can score free travel by arranging group tours for others. As a reward for bringing in a paying group, companies like GlobeTours give the organizer the same trip for free.
  11. Take part in a sister city exchange. Sister Cities International is a nonprofit network that partners hundreds of U.S. cities with similar international sister cities. Many groups travel overseas to these cities and the cost is usually covered by fund raisers and the host family. Of course, be advised that you will have to host other travelers in exchange.
  12. Crash on a couch. Odd as it may sound, there are international networks designed just for the traveling freeloader. You’ll find listings for couches you can sleep on all over the world. You’ll get free lodging and hopefully make some great new friends.
  13. Camp out. There are few ways to sleep cheaper than camping out under the stars. In some places you may be able to camp for free, but in national parks and campgrounds, fees are usually very reasonable.

Dining

Dining out when you’re at home may just be a special treat, but when you’re traveling it may become a necessity. Try out some of these ideas to help reduce the cost of your meals.

  1. Look for restaurants where kids eat for free. If you’re traveling with kids, you can often cut costs by eating at places that let kids eat for free. You’ll save money that you can put towards other vacation expenses.
  2. Get free breakfast at your hotel. If your hotel offers free breakfast, take advantage of it. It’s one less meal you have to pay for out of pocket.
  3. Bring your own coffee mug or water bottle. Buying coffee and bottled water every day can get expensive quickly. Save money by brewing coffee in your hotel room or refilling your own water bottles.
  4. Purchase restaurant gift cards. Gift cards to restaurants can often be purchased on eBay or sites likeRestaurant.com for less than their face value, allowing you to eat at your favorite place and still save money.
  5. Get meals comped. Staying in Vegas? Use your high-roller status to get some free meals.
  6. Make lunch your main meal. Dinner menus might be more extensive, but lunch prices are almost always cheaper. Fill up at lunch so you can spend less when dinnertime rolls around.
  7. Make the most of freebies. If your hotel is giving out free snacks or breakfast, take a little something and save it for later.
  8. Bring your own food. While it isn’t always an option, bringing your own food along on a trip can save you tons of money, especially if you’re vacationing in a place with high food prices.
  9. Flirt shamelessly. There is no guarantee of a free or discounted meal if you flirt, but there is no harm in trying if you’re really hungry and low on cash.
  10. Join a diners club. Members of diners clubs often get special discounts on restaurants which can add up if you will be eating out frequently.
  11. Sign up for emails from your favorite places. Restaurants often send out special coupons and deals in emails, and sometimes you’ll even get gift certificates for free food when your birthday rolls around.

Transportation

Getting around in a foreign city can be hard enough without having to worry about how much it’s costing you. Try out these methods for saving money seeing the sights.

  1. Find a ride. Websites like RideSeek and Ridester make it easy to find and share a ride to your destination, helping cut down on your travel costs.
  2. Check out AAA discounts. If you’re a member of AAA, it’s likely that you can get a number of discounts on rentals and services by using your card.
  3. Take public transportation. Most big cities have pretty good public transportation systems and often there are substantial discounts if you buy several passes at once.
  4. Use your own two feet. While it isn’t always possible to walk everywhere you want to go, when you can, do it. It can save you money, give you some exercise, and allow you to spend time exploring a new place.
  5. Bring your bike. One way to avoid having to pay for transportation is to bring your own. Biking is a great way to see the sights, not to mention good exercise.
  6. Avoid toll roads. Tolls can add up quickly, especially near cities. Use an online mapping program to provide you with an alternate route. It might take a few minutes longer, but you’ll save money and get to take in the scenery.
  7. Don’t rent a car unless you need one. If you only really need a car to get from the airport to your hotel, don’t bother renting a car. You’ll save not only on the rental fee, but gas and parking as well.
  8. Research free public transport. Many big cities, in an effort to cater to tourists, have some kind of free public transport between big tourist attractions. Check out your destination city to see if you can save a walk or cab fare with a free ride.
  9. Become a preferred renter. Most rental car companies have preferred renter programs that can save you big bucks when you go to rent a car. While most programs have fees, they will usually waive it if you send them a request.
  10. Use good driving habits. Save yourself valuable gas by using good driving habits like accelerating slowly and always keeping your tires properly inflated. If you’re driving a long distance the savings can really add up.
  11. Work from your RV. Rising gas prices have driven up the cost of an RV vacation, but you can get some of it back by becoming a workamper. There are a variety of jobs to choose from that allow you to bring in income while still enjoying the comforts of an RV vacation.
  12. Take part in a driveaway. If you’re going on a road trip, there may be a way to do it for free. You can participate in these programs, and get free travel between many different locations.
  13. Charge your rental car. Many credit cards that specialize in travel have free insurance included when you use them to pay for travel expenses. So even if you don’t purchase the additional insurance, you’ll still be protected.
  14. Hitchhike. While it isn’t the safest option, it is free. Use extreme caution if you plan on doing it.

Entertainment and Shopping

You wouldn’t be on vacation unless you were seeking fun and relaxation, so take advantage of these ideas on how you can save money while still enjoying yourself.

  1. See if second day free passes are available. Many amusement and water parks offer free or half price passes for a second day of admission which can save a lot, especially if you’re traveling with your family.
  2. Ask about tickets through your hotel. Many hotels offer free or greatly discounted tickets for nearby attractions as a bonus for staying with them. Ask at the front desk to see if you can save some money.
  3. Visit free attractions. You can often have a great time at places that are totally free like state and national parks and the beach.
  4. Look for free entertainment. Most big cities offer free concerts, parades, and special events especially during the summer months. Before you go, check to see if any pique your interest.
  5. Check out a TV show taping. Get free tickets to the taping of your favorite show with TV Tickets.com. You’ll get entertainment and a chance to get close to your favorite TV stars.
  6. Find out about museum free days. Most big museums have at least one day of the week when admission is free, so take advantage of the savings by planning your visit around those times.
  7. Don’t pay tax. If you’re traveling in Europe, you may not have to pay tax on the items you purchase if the store you shop at participates in the Global Refund program. Simply get a refund cheque from the store when you purchase your items, have it validated when you go through customs, and collect your cash back at their office or through the mail.
  8. Check out student discounts. Many attractions popular with tourists have special prices for students as long as you have a student ID.
  9. Be a trail guide. If you’re the outdoorsy type, you can enjoy a free vacation by becoming a trail guide. Show other hikers through trails at the Continental Divide or along the Pacific Northwest Trail.

Online Applications

The internet is one of the greatest resources for travelers looking for a bargain. Give these free sites a look before you take your next trip.

  1. Travlang For those traveling abroad, Travlang can be a great resource for translating and helping you learn the language.
  2. gas buddy.com If you’re driving to your vacation destination, check out gasbuddy to help you find the cheapest prices for gas anywhere you go.
  3. points.com Chances are good that if you’re a member of several frequent flyer and rewards programs, you have trouble keeping track of all those miles. Points.com makes it easy by tracking your points from multiple programs.
  4. WebFlyer WebFlyer is a great resource for frequent flyers. Keep track of your rewards miles, get special promotions and more at their website.
  5. FreeTrip FreeTrip allows you to create a customized road itinerary and map.
  6. Flightview FlightView can help keep you up to date with your flight, let you know if it will be delayed, and get you information for almost any airport in the United States.
  7. Traffic.com Don’t let traffic jams ruin your trip. With Traffic.com you can keep track of where the problem areas are and figure out alternate routes.
  8. ParkatMyHouse Finding a place to park when you’re away from home can be difficult but ParkatMyHouse does the work for you and finds you reasonably priced parking.
  9. TripAdvisor TripAdvisor can give you advice and reviews for thousands of hotels, airlines and attractions all over the world.
  10. VirtualTourist Get photos, tips, and reviews for travel destinations all over the world with VirtualTourist.
  11. 3DTracking Keeping track of your family at a crowded attraction can be difficult. 3DTracking is free app that lets you know where everyone’s at.
  12. TravelPod Make an online journal of your travel adventures with a free blog at TravelPod.

Travel Necessities

There are some things that even the most frugal traveler can’t do without. Give these suggestions a whirl to help you shave off a few dollars from your basic travel expenses.

  1. Bring along free sunscreen. Whether you’re hitting the beach or the slopes, you’re going to need to bring sunscreen along. Get a free bottle from Quality Health when you fill out a survey.
  2. Take advantage of online travel guides. Even big names in travel guides like Frommers have gone online. Why pay for the book when you can get the same info online for free?
  3. Buy luggage at a discount or thrift store. There is no doubt that suitcases are some of the most expensive necessities for travelers. Save money by getting one at a discount online or at your local thrift store.
  4. Make the most of free wi-fi. Some hotels will charge you to connect to the Internet. Of course, there’s no reason to pay for it when you can go around the corner to the local coffeshop and get it for free. Make the most of free wi-fi in the area and save some money on expensive hotel connections.
  5. Get free vacation photo prints. If you take a lot of digital photos, you can get free and cheap prints of them by using an online printing service like Adorama or Snapfish. Some offer 50 free prints just for signing up!
  6. Buy travel guides and maps on eBay. If you are in need of travel guides, don’t pay full price. Get them for cheap using eBay and when you get back, sell them!
  7. Send e-cards. It’s fun to get mail from all over the world, but you can save money on stamps by sending e-cards instead of postcards. Simply scan in or upload one of your photos and send them in special emails to your family and friends.
  8. Pack light. Save yourself baggage overage fees and hassle by packing light and simply doing laundry at your destination once you run out of clothes.
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Stay fit! Exercise while traveling!

Posted by travelanswerman | November 5, 2012

When most of us travel our daily exercise routine will probably be thrown off. In addition, if one takes too much time off, it may lead to lack of energy and possible weight gain. I live on the road most of the year and don’t have the convenience of the luxuries of home. Fortunately, I found something that will help me to continue exercising and is easy to do. I don’t even have to find the hotel gym or drive to a nearby athletic facility. It’s called RUBBERBANDITZ and allows me to exerciseanywhere…anytime!

The product consists of a number of resistance bands which are light weight, portable, very inexpensive and easy to use! Their exercise concept originates in weight room principles. They enhance normal body movements instead of isolating one muscle at a time. In reality, the bands’ elastic properties are a perfect complement to the way your muscles were designed to work. I really like the idea that you can carry these bands in your small carry-on luggage. No suitcases are necessary to lug around heavy equipment! This is very important to me since I never take a suitcase when flying! Even on long road hauls of up to a month around the world!

When you stay fit, life is a joy and you are at peace with the world! Here’s to your health!

www.rubberbanditz.com

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

Top Luxury Travel Sites

Posted by travelanswerman | October 5, 2012

Bargain traveling is easier on the wallet, but luxury travel is often less stressful and more fruitful. This list of resources will help you find unique and extraordinary destinations that will inspire you to travel in luxury every time. Sure, the yachtsprivate jets and champagne hot air balloon ride are very expensive, but there are treasures to be found for the budget minded traveler looking to indulge in some luxury.

Air Travel

  1. Private Jets: Avoid large commercial airports, long lines, security checks and other travelers. Charter your own personal jet to travel anywhere in the world, with as little as four hours notice.
  2. Chartered Flights: Book your flight on a personal jet or plane to save time, and depending on the destination, maybe even money. Travel in style and comfort, and no fighting for a window seat.
  3. Go High: If money is not an issue and you’re looking for something extraordinary, consider taking a classy hot air balloon ride that includes a gourmet meal and champagne.
  4. First Class Flyer: This website can help you navigate the mysteries of discounted first class air fares & flight upgrades. First Class Flyer, an online newsletter that also has a new blog, is also available on the site.
  5. FareCompare.com: An insightful fare comparison service, good for acquiring a base of information towards an educated buying decision.
  6. www.singaporeair.com They are consistently rated the number one carrier in the world….always on top!

Sea Travel

  1. Tahiti by Gauguin: Sail this luxury cruise ship to exotic destinations. The cruise is tailored for comfort and luxury, it’s like a black tie cruise without the tuxedo.
  2. Charter a Yacht: Sail away to paradise aboard your own private yacht in the Virgin Islands.
  3. More Yacht Resources: A large and useful online resource for yacht charter enthusiasts. Yacht Charters.com is the easiest way to find yachting destination information as well as an extensive listing of yacht charter resources.
  4. www.crystalcruises.com Aboard the two highest-rated ships in the world, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, you will discover the hallmarks of Crystal… extraordinary service, abundant space, exceptional quality and incredible choices.
  5. www.silversea.com Silversea creates exceptional ocean journeys with unique opportunities to explore remote ports-of-call from an intimate haven of incomparable luxury, each voyage a unique masterpiece.

Land

  1. The Orient Express: With six decadent trains, Orient Express is the emperor of luxury train travel. Travel to iconic European destinations such as Venice, Istanbul and Prague on the Venice-Simplon Orient Express, to Machu-Pichu on Peru-rail, to Edinburgh on the Royal Scotsman or through rainforests and past temples of Thailand and Malaysia on the Eastern and Oriental Express.
  2. Rentvillas.com: Rentvillas is a California-based company with a wide selection of beautiful private rental properties throughout Italy. They have a terrific Web site and helpful representatives.
  3. www.kempinski.com Luxury hotels and resorts with remarkable European flair in the most fascinating destinations.
  4. www.rosewoodhotels.com They believe that true world-class status is only achieved when a hotel or resort combines the traditions of its host community with exceptional service, a luxury product and incredible attention to detail.
  5. Romantic Luxury Hotels: Affectionate charm runs rampant in this highly selective list of romantic hotels that are sure to evoke a heightened sense of passion and romance.
  6. The Royal Scotsman: A holiday on The Royal Scotsman is regarded as one of the world’s great travel experiences. Encounter Scotland’s ever-changing landscapes of sweeping glens, towering peaks and mirror-calm lochs as the train weaves through wild countryside and along virgin stretches of coast.
  7. www.fourseasons.com The Canadian-based company has, for nearly 50 years, transformed the hospitality industry by combining friendliness and efficiency with the finest traditions of international hotel-keeping. In the process, Four Seasons has redefined luxury for the modern traveller.
  8. www.ritzcarlton.com The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company sets the gold standard in luxury hospitality worldwide.
  9. www.micato.com Micato Safaris is the world’s best tour operator and safari outfitter. Its list of international awards seem endless!
  10. www.rovos.com Experience the extravagant elegance of rail travel on the most luxurious train in the world. Rovos Rail’s unique train safaris through the heart of Africa combine some of the most magnificent scenery with the glamour and excitement of the golden age of rail travel.
  11. www.bluetrain.co.za

The Blue Train has an aura of mystique about it. Kings and presidents have travelled on this magnificent moving five-star hotel. Its very name has become synonymous with the ultimate in luxury and personal service.

Packages

  1. Luxury Tips: Elegantly appointed site offering a search of the world’s best hotels with online reservations and select city guides with maps, pictures, and travel information.
  2. Tailored Tours: The days of luxury travel live on. This site specializes in catering to those who want to be treated well with tours planned down to the smallest detail including hotel booking, river cruises, safaris and family packages. If the amount of money you spend on a tour is not as important as the amount of pleasure you derive from it…you’ll feel right at home.
  3. Holiday and Leisure Travel: Safaris, cruises on luxury liners and smaller vessels, fine hotels and more all catering to the holiday and leisure traveler looking for the very best.
  4. Luxury Travel Tours: Recognized in the industry for years of experience in arranging African safari tours and now covering the globe with travel offerings from luxury ski packages to French river canal cruises.
  5. Artisans of Leisure: Artisans of Leisure tours are private and highly personalized, created for discerning travelers who expect the highest level of luxury, service, and attention to detail from the minute you begin planning your trip, to the day you return home. Touring is flexible, with your own expert guide and driver in each destination, and each day is tailored to your personal interests, schedule, level of energy, and travel preferences.

Adventure

  1. IExplore.com If you’re looking for more thrills in your vacation, start by exploring iExplore.com. The site offers hiking and biking trips, as well as multi-sport tours. It also boasts expert advice on “experiential travel,” such as a wildlife safari or culinary tour.
  2. Extreme Adventures: Whether it’s a safari in Botswana or sledding with reindeer in Norway, this site has an adventure waiting for you.
  3. Luxury Adventure: We offer a wide variety of rustic- luxury adventure travel options. From adrenaline-packed whitewater rafting in Chile on the Futaleufu River to family, kayaking and multi-sport adventures, we have an expedition to meet your adventure needs and desires. All you have to do is choose an expedition!
  4. Family Adventures: This site gives resources for luxury adventure travel tailor made to fit your family’s needs, with guided tours and experts.
  5. www.wildernesstravel.com Their expert Trip Leaders come from all over the world and from all walks of life—they are naturalists, authors, ecologists, archaeologists, art historians, teachers, and mountaineers.
  6. www.wildland.com For over two decades, they have been leading the way in adventure travel and ecotourism, not just to new destinations, but pioneering new approaches to travel that guarantee your experience with Wildland Adventures will be qualitatively superior.
  7. www.mtsobek.com Their adventures are planned with reasonably paced itineraries, incredible attention to detail, and the right mix of fun, learning, and challenge that ensure a memorable vacation. You will find our adventures physically active and culturally rewarding.
  8. www.keadventure.com KE is the one of the world’s leading independent adventure holiday travel specialist, with 26 years experience of operating small group trekking, climbing, family, cycling and school adventure holidays.
  9. www.geoex.com A pioneer of travel to remote and challenging destinations since 1982, Geographic Expeditions offers a varied portfolio of overland tours, treks, walks, and expeditionary voyages to the world’s most astonishing places.
  10. www.butterfield.com The world’s premier active travel company—designs incredible journeys to the world’s most amazing places.
  11. www.andbeyond.com &Beyond (previously called CC Africa) is committed to providing world-class experiences for discerning luxury adventure travellers in some of the most spectacular natural locations in the world.
  12. www.backroads.com Worldwide award-winning biking, hiking and family vacations, tours and trips.
  13. www.oars.com National Geographic Adventure magazine recognized their company as “The Best River & Sea Outfitter on Earth” multiple times based on education, sustainability, quality of service, spirit of adventure and references.

Travel for Food

  1. Vagablond.com: The globetrotter’s guide to fashionable travel. Vagablond discusses boutique hotels, food, wine, shopping and more.
  2. Gourmet Voyageurs: An e-magazine of luxury hotels, top restaurants, inns and other up-scale travel and food reviews.
  3. journeyPod Your guide to luxury travel around the world. Learn about hippest hotels, hottest nightlife and best food and wine spots.
  4. Luxury Travel Magazine: Magazine provides information about luxury travel destinations around the globe. Site also provides travel news.
  5. Gourmet Experience: Combining luxury travel through breath-taking wine regions with gourmet food and fine wines in the company of some of the world’s leading chefs and winemakers.
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Hawaii Whale Sightenings

Posted by travelanswerman | October 3, 2012

Can you believe more than 3,000 plus Humpback Whales visit Hawaii each year to mate and give birth. They usually can be seen in the waters between Lanai, Molokai and Maui from late November through March. You can take advantage of their seasonal appearance by taking a whale sightseeing cruise that are offered daily from Maui.

On a typical cruise, you might see a Humpback waving its huge oar-like fin above the water.  If you are real fortunate, these large, peaceful creatures might even gently bump your boat and even swim under it! If cruising on the South Pacific is not in your budget, you might be fortunate enough to see the whales playing while you stand on the beach, especially in the Kaanapali resort community and Wailea resort area. The experience will last a lifetime! Aloha!

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Italy Travel – The Italian Alps

Posted by travelanswerman | September 24, 2012

We suggest starting your next adventure holiday in a community called Merano, an important visitor center near the Brenner Pass. It is located in the Province of Bolzano-Bozen which is generally known for its spa resorts and is in an area surrounded by mountains of more than 3,335 m (11,000 ft). A good tip would be to follow the Dolomite Road between Cortina d’Ampezzo and Canazei, with detours over the Sella, Gardena and Falzarego passes.

Huge rock forms surround Cortina, a beautiful resort in a broad, sunny valley. Cablecars to the Tofano di Mezzo and the Tondi di Faloria raise you above these great walls. It is rare that you can drive rather than hike up to an alpine club hostel, but that is possible near Cortina. Simply drive over the Passo di Tre Croci and take the tollroad up to the Rifugio Auronzo. From here it is an hour’s walk to the Rifugio Lavaredo which provides views of three exceptionally large columns, the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, as well as tremendous views of more distant rock formations.

West of Cortina, just above the Dolomite Road, is the majestic Sella group, like a city of rock. Can you imagine such a spectacle? A naturally built city of rock! Significantly different than a city built by man. The route over the Passo Sella provides you with spectacular views of the stone behemoth. With special field glasses, you can watch the athletic climbers moving up these vertical rock walls. The route over Gardena Pass and the Passo Pordoi allows you to loop around the Sella mountains with a different view from each direction. And from the Passo Pordoi you can take a cablecar to the top of the Sella wall and look across part of the upper surface of this stone citadel; you also get incredible views of the snow covered Mamorlada, the largest mountain in the area and the only one with a major glacier.

If your thirst for adventure and a stimulating environment wasn’t orginally peaked, then these descriptions should get your outdoor juices flowing!

Italy is a lot more than tasty pasta, aged cheeses,  locally harvested olive oil, fine wines, and world famous architecture. It is filled with a landscape that defies generous descriptions and is inhabited by a people who live life large!

Contact the Italian Government Tourist Board soon to begin your planning. They have been very helpful and friendly when called upon in the past. Hope to see on a mountain top soon!

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Banff Park Lodge Canada

Posted by travelanswerman | September 10, 2012

The Banff Park Lodge is one of the finest, service oriented resorts in Canada. Everybody else in the hospitality industry should pay them a visit and take a moment to learn from the best. Check out their website at www.banffparklodge.com

The Travel Answer Man has stayed at their property numerous times over the years. It’s just like visiting your immediate family…great staff attitude and incredible value for the money spent. It is a wise investment.

Their location is second to none as they are centrally located in the heart of Banff townsite…close to fine shopping and numerous excellent restaurants. Although during your next stay, you will be tempted to never leave the property as their resort amenities pamper you beyond your expectations…they definitely over deliver when it comes to impressing their guests. The cuisine in their restaurants has always been a big draw in the local community.

Summer…Winter…Fall…or Spring…it does not matter the time of year…your visit will be a lasting positive memory!

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Topics: Adventure, Airlines, Blogs, Canada, Ecotourism, Families, General, Green Travel, Hiking, Hotels, Luxury, Restaurants, Shopping, Singles, Trains, Travel, Travel Guide Books & Maps, Travel Insurance, Travel Tips, Trips, Uncategorized, college students | Add Comment »

The New 1,000 Places To See Before You Die

Posted by travelanswerman | August 20, 2012

For more than 30 years, I have been circumnavigating the globe visiting 140 countries , experiencing different cultures, and making new friends. I wish this outstanding travel book was in my possession from the beginning! Most of its pages would have probably fallen out by now due to over use.

The New 1,000 Places To See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz is a remarkable work empowering the reader to dream way outside the box. The author shares once in a lifetime trips that are unique and definitely off the beaten path. Many of them are captured through stunning photography plus excellent in-depth comments, insight and suggestions for the open minded traveler. It includes recommended outfitters or travel operators who offer tours, treks, cruises, safaris and other customized travel to various destinations. Any actual participation by the reader would likely be a distinctive event remembered the rest of their life! Isn’t that what we are all hoping for when we travel for leisure?

This book will be one of your most prized travel resources. It is without question one of mine!

www.1000places.com

www.workman.com

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Bellagio, Italy – Favorite Hotel

Posted by travelanswerman | July 20, 2012

The Hotel Belvedere Bellagio in Italy is currently one of my favorite properties in  the  world. Here are just a few reasons it may be perfect for you!

Location: This amazing gem stands proudly overlooking the timeless scenery of Lake Como. The name did not come by chance as it means “beautiful view” in Italian. And fortunately, it’s just a few minutes walk from the heart of Bellagio.

Service: As soon as you walk through the main entrance, you are welcomed by an expertly trained staff whose genuine desire is to please. You immediately feel the warmth of people who really care and are obviously difference makers!

Rooms: The attention to detail and quality of materials quickly makes a statement that you have finally arrived in the world of travel. If you secure a lakeview room you’ll get a brief peak at this side of heaven!

Gastronomy: I was expecting nothing less than a superb dining experience! I definitely was not disappointed! The atmoshere, cuisine based on the lake region and service were all superlative! The views of Lake Como were beyond description in any language!

Attractions: Summer evening entertainment in the community offers musical concerts, choral and instrumental performances both open-air and in characteristic buildings or churches. You may also want to consider various folk festivals and daily musical entertainment in the near by bars, cafes and restaurants.

Handicraft and Local Products: The Lake Como area is famous for its ancient tradition of its silk industry. Amongst local craftsmen’s products are carved olive wood, blown and hand-painted glass, leathers and hand-made shoes.

Climate: The luxuriance of flowers and plants is favored by a temperate and mild climate.

As noted by the management, they have spared no effort to enable their guests to savour all the beauty of this little paradise. For them, hospitality is a culture that runs deep in their history!

The hotel has belonged to a local family from 1880 until today. Since then, they have expanded and improved it, year after year, to make your stay an experience fit for a President or a King!

Bellagio is without question, the most exclusive resort community on Lake Como! So breathtaking, so beautiful, so unique, you’ll feel like you just entered the gates of Paradise.

Make your dreams come true by visiting them soon! You can check them out by engaging their website:  www.belvederebellagio.com

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