24 Lanzarote Attractions – Aqua Park, Costa Teguise

Located next to the Golf course in Costa Teguise, you will find Lanzarote’s one and only Aqua Park, which is open every day from 10.00 to 18:00. Most hotels offer excursions to the Aquapark (with Ticket prices including coach transfers). If you are staying in a private villa and have hired a car, it’s relatively easy to find. Even though there are no sign posts as such, the slides can be seen from a distance due to the low lying land in the area. We were 2 adults and 2 children. Admission cost €20 per adult + €15 per child. €2 Euros per locker, €2.50 for a sunbed, it was not the cheapest excursion, so be prepared.

The Aquapark offers a wide range of slides and pools and is an ideal day out for families of all ages. It’s fun for all the family and makes for an unforgettable day out, but go prepared.

My two boys were 6 and 11 respectively when we went there and age/size can be a problem, so make sure you check the rules on each ride before joining the queues as they will not let small children ride on the white knuckle slides (eg ‘kamikaze’ and perhaps ‘spiral’ depending on height). Both my lads enjoyed the ‘fast-river’ and the eldest was brave enough to try the kamikaze (but only once !). The youngest will have to wait a few years. There were gentler options like the children’s pool, and play area (free) and on the day we went there was a bouncy castle, trampolines and paddle boats (extra charges apply for these).

There is also a shop and a restaurant. We had packed lunches, but having inspected the menu, we found the prices reasonable, so will probably eat there next time.

None of the pools are heated, so again choose your day. If its cloudy or overcast, it will probably be be cold in the water too. We were fortunate as the weather turned in the afternoon and it was very hot, so we were pleased the water was cold.

The life-guards were fewer than I had expected but they did seem to be very aware an at least as good as anything I’ve seen in the uk. There were also limited inflatable rings on some of the rides, perhaps because people had taken them into the pool or kept them by their sunbeds !.

Conclusion : The waterpark was a great day out. Yes, the water is cool, perhaps even too cold , but so is the water everywhere (unless you’ve got a heated pool of course). There were not too many people in the waterpark on the day we went, which meant few queues, but I’d guess this changes in the six weeks school holidays !

24 Hours In Panama : A Travel Guide To Panama City

Panama is an adventure wonderland just waiting to be discovered. The country’s expansive rainforests are among the richest and most complex on the planet. It’s the only country where jaguars and pumas prowl just a short drive from the capital. Its vast, roadless jungles are home to over 940 recorded bird species and 105 endangered species, including the spectacled bear, the Central American tapir, the American crocodile, the scarlet macaw, as well as several eagle species.

This small, untapped country offers some of the finest diving, birdwatching, and deep-sea fishing in all of the Americas—yet only the most avid adventurers are aware of it. Panama boasts scores of deserted palm-lined beaches, miles of lush rainforests, great national parks, mysterious mangroves (where you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back to a time when dinosaurs walked the earth), steamy cloud forests, mountains, waterfalls, raging rivers, abandoned forts, as well as desert.

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In Panama you can spend the morning diving in the Caribbean and the afternoon swimming in the Pacific. You can explore historic ruins of the colonial era…dive for Sir Francis Drake’s lead coffin (supposedly buried at sea near Portobello Bay)…see the rainforest in an aerial tram…ride a dug-out canoe to a native Indian village…discover the remote and mysterious forests of the Darién region right on the border of Colombia (where the roads end a few miles before the border, leaving you with the feeling you’ve reached the end of civilization)…come nose-to-nose with a red-napped tamarind monkey or a trio of colorful toucans…

Conde Nast Traveler, in an article from its February 2005 issue said “Panama has temperate rain forests, great surf and beaches, and more birdlife than any other country in Central America. Now…it also has a newly elected administration that wants travelers to enjoy every bit of it.”

Fortunately, Panama is a small country. In a short one- or two-week trip, you can see much of what this diverse country has to offer.

In this special report, the IL team proposes a plan to get the most out of 24 hours in Panama. From a traditional Panamanian breakfast to a trip to the Miraflores Locks to evening drinks in a little boutique hotel overlooking the Bay of Panama…we have it all thought out.

Breakfast in El Trapiche

Exploring the best Panama has to offer is hungry work. Start your day on a full stomach and head for breakfast in El Trapiche, a busy diner in El Cangrejo (Vía Argentina, tel. (507)269-4353). Here you can enjoy breakfast Panama style and indulge in a hearty feed of carimañol—a yummy roll made of mashed yucca and stuffed with ground beef and boiled eggs—and a side of corn tortillas, that more resemble silverdollar pancakes than taco shells. The bill should be less than $8, even with that second café con leche.

Trip to the Miraflores Locks

No trip to Panama is complete without seeing the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” the Panama Canal. According to the Panama Canal Authority “The history of the construction of the Panama Canal is the saga of human ingenuity and courage: years of sacrifice, crushing defeat, and final victory.” This statement, while true, doesn’t go far enough to describe the mighty toll taken by the building of the Panama Canal. Construction began in 1904 and took 10 years to complete. It remains one of the greatest engineering achievements of all time, completed despite landslides, disease, setbacks, and the loss of 75,000 lives in total. Engineers directed most of the actual construction, which cost $375 million, and involved the excavation of 240 million cubic yards of earth.

The Canal, 51 miles long, opened to shipping in August 1914 and was formally dedicated on July 12, 1920. In 1921, the U.S. paid Colombia $25 million as redress for the loss of Panama; in exchange, Colombia formally recognized Panama’s independence.

On average it takes a vessel eight hours to travel from one ocean to the other, passing through three sets of locks. The best place to see the Canal is from the Miraflores Locks (open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., admission free). Make sure to get to the Miraflores Locks for 9 a.m. as this is when you are most likely to see large ships passing through.

Tamales in Casco Viejo

By now you’re probably feeling a tad peckish… Time to hop on a bus or hail a taxi and make your way toward Casco Viejo for tamales. If you’re in luck, you’ll bump into Luis Antonio Visuette on the streets of Casco Viejo, where he has been selling delicious homemade tamales, wrapped in plaintain leaves, for more than 10 years. With his Yankee cap and five-gallon bucket of hot and spicy tameles calientitos, Luis is hard to miss. These lunchtime treats are available in both large (50 cents), and small (25 cents), and are a real hit when washed down with an ice-cold drink. International Living’s local office is located in the Casco Viejo area, in the Cathedral Plaza, next to the Panama Canal Museum and just in front of the stunning Metropolitan Cathedral, so if you want to enjoy your tamales in our office (Luis will be making the rounds) call in for a Panamanian style “power lunch.”

Explore Casco Viejo

Located at the mouth of the Panama Canal, Casco Viejo is the oldest city on the Pacific Coast of the Americas…although it was there long before the Canal was built.

In fairness to history, the original Panama City (now known as Old Panama or Panama La Vieja) was founded in 1519, about two miles from the center of Panama City as we know it today. From here, expeditions were mounted to conquer the Inca Empire of South America and all of the wealth pillaged from Peru, Chile, and California flowed to Spain through Old Panama. It is no surprise that this booty attracted pirates like Henry Morgan, who looted the city in 1671.

During Morgan’s attack, this original Panama City was burned to the ground. Two years later, in 1673, the capital was moved two miles to the west, and present-day Panama City was founded. This is the area now known as Casco Viejo.

As the city was being rebuilt by the Spanish settlers, they decided to build a massive surrounding wall and a stronger fortress for its protection and to ensure that the enormous wealth in gold and silver that passed through it would never again be susceptible to the likes of Henry Morgan.

The new city boasted a cross-sectioned design of 38 blocks, with three main streets running from east to west and seven streets running from north to south. Unfortunately, this urban development was interrupted by various fires that devastated its streets. In 1737, the “big fire” destroyed two thirds of the city, and the “small fire” of 1756 destroyed more than 90 houses. These and other catastrophic fires help explain why so few true examples of Spanish colonial architecture exist today.

The fortress still survives, though, and today houses several important, cultural, and historic buildings and monuments. But it is the architecture of Casco Viejo that makes it so special. The old Spanish colonial style is overlaid with French balconies and architecture, remnants of the French inhabitants who made the initial attempt to build the Panama Canal in 1881. Over the years, a Caribbean influence also took hold and, today, Casco Viejo is a melting pot of architectural inspiration and style, with some buildings dating as far back as 300 years.

Museums, shopping, and fortune telling

Up until the early parts of this century, Casco Viejo remained a thriving cultural center. But as Panama City modernized, and as the automotive age made transportation easier, it spread outward, leaving Casco Viejo behind. The old city’s narrow labyrinth streets were difficult for cars to maneuver and its buildings were obsolete in comparison to modern skyscrapers being built. By the mid 1900s, Casco Viejo had gone the way of most city centers of that century. No longer the center of Panama City, it was too oppressed for the upper class and quickly became a poor area of tenement-style housing.

The area is currently undergoing a complete transformation, however. Restaurants and bars are opening with gusto, tourists are coming in growing numbers, and people from all over now want to make their homes in Casco Viejo.

In 1997, UNESCO declared Casco Viejo a Patrimony of Humanity. Today, it is revered as the historic center of Panama City. Two- and three-story houses with flower-adorned balconies overlook narrow streets. At its tip is French Park, where you will find the French Embassy and a monument to the hardy French builders who began the Panama Canal. On one side is an historical Spanish building called Las Bovedas, now housing an art gallery and French restaurant. Panama’s Supreme Court was once housed here. A walkway around the monument offers a nice view of the Amador Causeway, Bridge of the Americas, and Panama City’s skyscraper skyline to the east. A plaque commemorates the firing of canon shots to ward off a Colombian warship and solidify Panama’s independence from Colombia in 1903.

There are excellent museums in the Casco Viejo area, including the Museo de Canal. Here, you can learn about Panama’s history as the connector between the Atlantic and the Pacific from pre-Hispanic to modern times. Next door is the Museum of National History and across the way is the National Cathedral. Nearby is a small museum dedicated to religious art, found in the old Santo Domingo monastery. This is where you will find the famous Flat Arch, which reportedly helped convince engineers that Panama was earthquake-proof and a geologically stable area for building the Canal. A few blocks away is the old San Jose Cathedral, with gleaming spires inlaid with mother-of-pearl and its beautiful gold altar, intricately carved of wood and gilded with gold. This is a must-see when you visit Casco Viejo.

Casco Viejo is home to the Presidential House. If you want to see this, be sure to come on a Sunday as it is closed to the public for the rest of the week. Famous sons and daughters of Panama also make their homes here, including actor/singer (and now Panama’s minister of tourism) Ruben Blades, and boxer Roberto Duran.

Bargain hunters can take a break from the historical sights at Salsipuedes, which roughly translates to “get out if you can.” Located just before the entrance to Casco Viejo, it is Panama’s bizarre bazaar, a street so narrow and filled with vendors that it is dark at noon. A few steps away is Santa Ana’s Plaza, where you can have your fortune told for just $5.

Dine at The Bristol

To finish off your day in style, make your way to The Bristol Hotel, just a short taxi journey from Casco Viejo. Dining at the Barandas Restaurant at The Bristol Hotel is an event to savor. The Panamanian-inspired gourmet cuisine, restful ambiance, stunning presentation, elegant settings, and attentive service combine to create an unforgettable dining experience.

A Trip To Panama Caught Your Fancy?

Hopefully, this special report has given you a few ideas on how to spend your time in Panama, but don’t forget that this amazing country has much more to offer. Pacific Coast beaches near the city; Coiba Island National Marine Park; and the Darién Province to name just a few.

8 Tips For Traveling With Your Dog

Just because you have a dog doesn’t mean you have to stay home all the time. If you plan ahead and take a little care, it is easy and fun to travel with your dog.

Here are some tips to make the trip easier on both you and your pet:

1. Get your dog used to riding in the car by taking him on short trips. Go to fun places like the dog park, the fast food drive through (where you can feed him bits of meat from your burger), or to visit friends. You want him to think that trips in the car are fun. You don’t want your dog to think that all car trips end up at the vet’s office.

2. If your dog tends to get carsick, don’t feed him the morning of the trip. Having your dog travel with an empty stomach will help to prevent any car sickness.

3. Bring plenty of water and a water dish along. You will need to give your dog periodic drinks of water when you stop for a rest. It will be easier to get your dog to drink if it is familiar water from home. Water in different places often smells or tastes differently, and your dog may not want to drink it.

4. Be sure to pack your dog’s food, treats, favorite bed, toys, and leash.

5. If your dog uses a crate, bring that along too. If you don’t have a large vehicle, you can buy crates that fold up. When you get to your destination, you can put your dog in his crate while you go somewhere that you can’t bring him along.

6. How should your dog travel in the car? Some dogs like to sit or lay on the seat, so bring a blanket to protect the upholstery. Other dogs may need to be kept in a crate in the car. Be sure the crate can’t slide around and scare the dog while you’re driving. You can also purchase dog seat belts to keep your dog safe while sitting in the car.

7. Make a stop every few hours to walk your dog and give him some water. Some dogs are frightened by the noisy trucks driving by, so try to walk in a quiet area. Be a good citizen and bring plastic bags along to pick up the mess.

8. If your dog is anxious about staying in a hotel or strange house at your destination, he might not eat or drink. You don’t want him to get dehydrated, so be sure to get him to drink, at least. You can mix chicken broth or gravy into the dog’s water. That will usually get him to lap it right up. You can mix chicken broth or gravy into the food too.

The first trip will be the hardest, because your dog will not realize that you are coming back. With the first trip behind you, if you have taken the time to make sure it is pleasant for your dog, future traveling with your dog should be a breeze.

See also: Top Baby Products

23 Lanzarote Attractions – Rancho Texas, Western Theme Park

Rancho Texas is located on the outskirts of Puerto del Carmen and on one of our many trips recently, we decided to spend a day out their with the children. Rancho Texas features amongst its attractions, an Indian amphitheatre where we witnessed a stunning display in falconry, a Nature Park where our children watched and even played with some of the animals, a Goldmine Where the big water-wheel runs water to gold-bearing sands and where the children can try to find hidden treasure and an Indian Village where they took a ride in an Indian canoes and visited the Tepees.
If you’re looking for somewhere for the adults, then why return when they host one of the now legendary Rancho Texas Country and Western Nights.

We started our visit in the Nature Park, host to a wide variety of Animals and Birds. This area includes ‘The Opera’- A round enclosure with a great variety of singing birds where you can experience amazing sounds, ‘The Promenade of colour’ – with its sensational variety of birds and colours, ‘Liliput Farm’, where the children held the worlds smallest farm animals and saw much larger ones in the form of Turtles, Iguanas, Armadillos and Prairie dogs.

Before we could finish, we were attracted to crowd gathering in the Indian Amphitheatre (one of three live shows we would witness on the day). Once we settled down, the guide entertained us with a fantastic falconry demonstration, part of which involves the falcons flapping people on the head with thweir huge wings as they swoop from high gantries to the central ‘stage’.
After this, we took the children to the Indian Village to calm them down a bit. Our youngest (4 at the time) played in the Tepees, paddled a Canoes and found ‘Treasure’ having followed the water from the big water-wheel to the gold-bearing sands. Our eldest (9 at the time) thought it was too young for him but agreed to ‘look after his brother’ and clearly enjoyed himself, although he denied it at the time.

Next we were attracted to the restaurant area as we were informed that a second show would start in 15 minutes time. Like everyone else, we decided this would be a good time to have something to eat and drink and were surprised to see our Falconry ‘expert’ helping out behind the food counter (we assumed he had washed his hands !). This would not be our last meeting, as he hosted the Parrot show whilst we had lunch. Another good show and some great pictures for the family.

Our two boys wanted to let off some steam, so we let them play for a short while in the adventure play area, before going back to complete out tour of the animals.

Our third show of the day, was to be the best. Our ‘expert’ returned (clearly multi-talented) and decided he’d jump into a pit with the Alligators. He then crept up behind one of them and played with it (in case you’re wondering, he has very quick reflexes). Toward the end of the show he decided to jump on the Alligator and sis finale involved holding the Alligators mouth closed between his chin and his chest – some show !

The children were as amazed as we were and it just about rounded off a great day out and fantastic value at 14 Euros per adult and 9 Euros for the children (under twos are free).

One of the most modern of Lanzarote’s attractions, Rancho Texas, still has an element of the Manrique influence, with 60,000 m² of theme park, designed with the utmost respect to the ambience and everything built with natural materials such as stones and wood.

At night the place comes alive with the Rancho Texas Country and Western Night, legendary in these parts. A party night for the whole family and the entertainments team (yes… he was back), kept everyone entertained with Live Music and Line Dancing and special entertainment for the Kids. You can eat as much of the American Food, BBQ and Desserts as you like and enjoy free-flowing Beer, Sangria and Soft Drinks.
Adults: 44,00 € Children 2-12 years : half price Children to 2 years: free

and… finally, if you want to Discover Lanzarote on horseback, Rancho Texas also has riding stables. Why not plan your day to include a trek on this wonderful island (three hour trek to the beach, for experienced riders only @ 54€ or a One hour trek, no experience needed @ 21€).

Air Travel Tips for Parents with Teens

Are you the parent of a teenager? If you are, are you in the process of planning a trip that requires air travel? If so, you may be looking for tips that can help you and you family have a nice and pleasant flight.

When traveling with a teenager, you will find that you are very lucky. This is due in part to your child’s age. Teenagers are likely to be more pleasant and cooperative on flights, especially when compared to toddlers and preschoolers. Still, you may be looking for some extra tips, just in case.

One of the first things that you will want to do is teach your child the importance of watching what is said at the airport. With security concerns, it is not uncommon for travelers to be detained for a closer look, even just when joking. Many teens do like to joke around, so be sure to let your teen know the danger of doing so. Make sure that they know not to repeat certain words in an airport, such as knife, gun, bomb, or terrorist. Your teenager may already know this important piece of information, bt there is no harm in providing a quick reminder.

If you let your child pack their own bags for your trip, be sure to give them a quick look over. The checking of your teen’s carry-on luggage is extremely important. Does your child have anything in their carry-on bag that may result your family being stopped at an airport security checkpoint? As for checked baggage, make sure that your child’s bags are not overfilled. Also, make sure that they don’t put anything of great value or importance, like a digital camera or a laptop computer, in a checked bag, as damage can occur.

You will also want to make sure that your child has a drink or snack for the trip. This is particularly ideal for short flights or picky eaters and drinkers. Although many dry snacks, like chips, are okay to pickup before arriving at the airport, drinks are another story. Due to a limit on liquids, have your child get a soda, water, or juice at an airport store, namely one that is positioned after you have passed through all needed security checkpoints. This approach may cost more money, but the end result is much less hassle.

Since all passengers are allowed a carry-on bag, you will want to make sure that your child brings things that interest them. For example, books and magazines are cheap ways to keep teens occupied on an airplane ride. Extra items that are perfect for teens include handheld video gaming consoles, DVD players, and MP3 players. There are some locations in the United States where you can rent these items if you or your teen doesn’t already own them. When using anything electronic, be sure to bring a few extra batteries and keep them in your purse or in a carry-on bag.

As highlighted above, there are a number of steps that you, as a parent, can take to ensure that your next family flight is pleasant for you and your teenager. Although teenagers are more likely to be pleasant and cooperative, the above mentioned points can still provide you with much needed assistance, as well as comfort and peace of mind.

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12 Easy Tips To Guarantee Stress Free Group Travel

If you are planning to go on a group tour, there are lots of things you can do to make the trip fun and enjoyable for yourself and for your fellow travelers. Here is a great checklist to get you started.

1. Pack a small bag to carry along on the bus.
While your main luggage will go in the designated area of the bus, you should pack a small carry on the bus. This will be handy for snacks, books to read, and other accessories you may want easy and quick access to.

2. Don’t’ forget your camera. And once you have packed your camera, don’t forget to take pictures! I know that sounds obvious, but I always get so caught up with the sights and sounds that I actually forget to take pictures! (Duh!)

3. Get a collection of great jokes, riddles, and experiences to share with the group! And it only takes one joke to get the rest of the group going! We had a great time sharing riddles, and jokes and laughing all the way to the next rest area.

4. Take along some great movies. Many tour busses have DVD players. At least ours did. Find out in advance and if it does, rent some great movies for “en route” entertainment” . Be sure to pick a variety of movies, such as cartoons if you have kids in your group, action movies to keep the teenagers engaged, and perhaps documentaries or family drama’s for the adult crowd.

5. Take along some great music CD’s. Many group tour busses also have CD players. We played our favorite and enjoyed group singing. Perhaps you can organize an “on the road” karaoke contest for your group.

6. Don’t’ forget your medicines. This is essential. Perhaps this should be at the top of the list, but be sure to keep all necessary medications close to you in the carry on bag you take on the bus.

7. Pack A small pillow for sleeping comfort. If you are like me, a moving vehicle and a well cooled environment is an open invitation for a good snooze! To boost sleeping comfort I took along a small pillow, and had a good nap between rest stops! The group leader has the photo’s to prove it! His “hobby” was collecting photo’s of sleeping travelers! Maybe I will post that picture here! (Not)

8. A blanket may be necessary. Those tour buses can get COLD!!! My blanket came in very handy.

9. Binoculars. If your tour involves outdoor sightseeing, a pair of binoculars is a must.

10. Bathing suites. Most hotels have swimming pools. This is a wonderful “treat” for kids who behaved nicely while traveling all day! And if you will be anywhere near a beach…you’ve got to take a dip!

11. Don’t forget your passport. If you are traveling internationally, you will most likely need a passport. Be sure to make copies of the passport and other important travel documents and keep them in a safe place!

12. Don’t forget you Airline tickets. This may seem obvious, but it has happened before. Thank goodness most airlines are switching to e-tickets, so this may soon be thing of the past. After all, there are enough other things we have to remember.

13. BRING A BIG SMILE! Smiles are contagious! And most of all… they are FREE!

A short guide to travel insurance

Travel Insurance – A Need to Know guide?

Travel insurance protects holiday expenses against adverse events such as cancellation and interruption and also reimburses medical expenses, the loss or damage of property and transit delays.

Many millions of travellers and holiday makers purchase some form of insurance every year, but few people know really what it is and how it can be defined. If you know what is included, and what is not you will be able to make the most of your protection, and get reimbursed fairly.

There are four main categories of travel insurance:

1. Health and Medical reasons

Emergency evacuation: This garuantees emergency transportation to either a local hospital in the event that the traveller is unable to get there by themselves or back to a hospital near the traveller’s home town. If family members are covered on the same policy they can travel back home also.

Medical reasons: This reimburses emergency medical and dental costs. Nearly all holiday insurance plans work by reimbursing the traveller after they have paid locally for treatment. Claims are usually paid within 7 – 10 working days. Pre-existing medical conditions are covered by most policies if the policy is purchased within (at the most) 21 days from the date the traveller made the first payment or deposit.

2. Delays and cancellation or curtailment

Cancellation: Re-imbursement comes into effect if travellers have booked and paid for a holiday, but are unable to embark because of personal illness or injury, death (of the individual or of a family member), adverse weather conditions, transport strikes, terrorism, bankruptcy, sudden unemployment, jury duty or by sustaining serious damage to their home causing it to be uninhabitable due to fire or flooding.

Delay: This reimburses travellers for hotel, food or clothing expenses in the event of a flight delay. Some plans also cover costs associated with catching up with a cruise should another delay cause the traveller to miss embarkation.
Interruption: Insurance companies pay money to policy holders abroad if they have to cut short their trip due to illness, death (of the traveller or a family member), terrorism, weather, airline strikes, bankruptcy, sudden unemployment, and other adverse conditions which mean that, due to events outside the control of the holiday-maker, a trip has to be curtailed.

3. Death:

Accidental death – covers death or dismemberment at any time of your trip. Usually garuantees the lowest amount of coverage due to a higher risk
Air Flight accident – this covers death or dismemberment during an air flight only. Usually garuantees the highest amount of coverage due to fairly low likelihood of this occurring.

Common carrier – Covers death or dismemberment while travelling on public transport such as a plane, ferry, train bus or taxi.

4. Loss or damage of property:

Baggage loss – reimburses travellers for lost, stolen or damaged personal items. This coverage is usually restricted to the duration of the trip and not confined to baggage damaged or lost by the airline. There are two policy limits, total claim and per item maximum. Some policies also place limits on the type of items that can be claimed for – such as precious jewellery, laptops and sporting goods

Hire Car damage – This reimburses travellers for damage or loss to a rental vehicle. It is designed to allow the traveller to decline collision damage waiver (CDW) coverage offered by the car rental companies. Liability coverage should still be purchased through the car rental company. Rental Car Damage coverage is also often included with the credit card used to pay for the car rental which is often matches the coverage provided in the policy.

Assistance services – garuantees a 24-hour collect telephone advice and assistance service to travellers. This service can be used anytime a traveller needs advice. Make sure you keep a copy of this number in several places in your luggage or on your person when you move around.

Article provided by AndyPicks.com, AmyPicks.Today and WhatWeBuy.net.

Healthy Cruise Travel Tips

Taking the advice of well-traveled cruisers is the best thing for first time cruise passengers to do. After all, why not learn from someone else’s mistakes or mishaps? Of course, you will still have a few of your own, but that is what makes your first cruising experience memorable.

You’ve got your cruise booked and are counting the days until you set sail. However, there are a few things for you to do before you even start to think about packing. Check with the cruise line to see what vaccinations, if any, are needed for your journey. You’ll have to make a trip to your doctor to get current on any shots.

While you are at the doctor, ask them about tips on staying healthy and avoiding the flu or colds before you depart for your cruise. It is no fun having to travel sick or canceling all together. Also ask about seasickness remedies. Some of these medications are prescription only.

Stock up on any other prescription medications just in case they are scheduled to run out during your trip. Often, insurance companies will make exceptions and allow a prescription to be refilled early if you are traveling with no access to a chain pharmacy. One last thing – get a letter from your doctor on official letterhead listing your prescriptions and stating that they were all legitimately prescribed for you. If you have to go through customs, a letter will sometimes keep you from being detained while your medication is inspected.

If you are on a special diet, let the cruise line be aware of this fact when you book your cruise. Most diets are easily accommodated, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. A few weeks before you depart, check in with the cruise line again to go over your reservations and special needs diet.

Pack a small first aid kit for those “just in case” emergencies. Include antacids and anti-diarrhea medications for those episodes of “Montezuma’s Revenge” that seem to strike no matter where you travel. Aspirin, antibiotic cream and aloe vera gel for sunburns also come in handy.

Stow away sunscreen, moisturizer and lip balm in your luggage too. When you are having too much fun outdoors, you tend to forget things like sunburn. Be sure to apply the sunscreen lotion before heading outdoors. Moisturizer and lip balm keep your skin soft. Sometimes the temperature changes from the cold air conditioner to the heat outside can wreak havoc on the skin and dry it out.

In addition to the sunscreen, protect your skin by wearing hats and sunglasses. When you are on the ship’s deck gazing at the waves, the sun’s reflection off the water can be pretty bright. The sunglasses will protect you from harmful UV rays from the sun. Of course, the hats will shield you from the sun’s rays and possible sunburn on your ears and face, two places that people sometimes forget to apply sunscreen lotion.

With the right preparation and precautions, you are well on your way to a healthy and happy first cruise. And when in doubt about something, ask your cruise line. They want to make sure your cruising experience is trouble-free. After all, they want you to sail with them again.

Article by http://www.doctorpicks.org

An Icy Adventure Travel

Spending time at home during a thick episode of snowfall is definitely boring. You do not have to be a genius to be able to figure that out. You want to go out but there is nothing fun to do outside, except make some snow angels, and you have been doing that ever since you entered your puberty stage. This time, in your money-making age, you decide that you want something different, something that is worth paying for, and something that is totally memorable. Thus, you decide to embark yourself on a snow-type adventure travel.

Why not head to Yellowstone and experience the beautiful view glistening right before your eyes? The park has a geothermal generator, which gives a contrasting background to the thick blanket of ice poured over the park’s landscape. You would like to walk through it, but your shoes are definitely deep in the snow, nothing dangerous though, just a funny event seeing you trying to stop yourself from falling face first into the snow. Then you realize, that you not only get to your destination quicker, but you also get to have some good clean fun! How is that, you ask? Well, for starters, you can make use of the park’s snowmobiles.

Guys, would you like to see some geysers?

There are lots of places in the park that will satisfy your need for adventure. There are geysers that will take your breath away as ice water is spurted out from the icy grounds mouth. Two of the most major geysers are Norris and Old Faithful. These attractions are sure to pull a crowd unlike any other.

An icy waterfall.

Aside from these fabulous geysers, there are also frozen waterfalls, which will just make you realize how wonderful and genius the creator is. Take some pictures here, some pictures there, take lots of pictures everywhere! The frozen waterfall is definitely a sight to see. Waterfalls are wonderful, but a frozen one? Now that is rare!

A different experience every time.

Every adventure travel you take will take you to a different exit, and in every exit is a different arcade. The arcades have souvenir shops, restaurants and inns. You would definitely want to stay longer. Just think of that hot chocolate while facing the glow of the fire in the fireplace, just thinking about it makes you want to have a comfortable position on that couch and sip your own hot chocolate. The hot shower is oh-so-divine as you get to have that hot, but not scalding, water run through your body after being out having fun all day.

Are you excited with your snow adventure travel? Then head over to the Old Faithful Snowmobile Tours since snowmobile tours in the one and only Yellowstone Park is where they excel. This adventure travel agency has been in their business for twenty years, and with very good feedback from their satisfied clients. With the Old Faithful, you are housed in the finest lodges and are able to dine in the most delicious restaurants. The guides they provide you with have been in their line of work since God knows when, thus they are very good at what they do.

So wait no more and have your holiday adventure travel at the Yellowstone Park now because you know that every cent you give for it is most definitely worth it of Best Hot Tubs For Sale.

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Air Travel: Is It Right for You?

Are you interested in taking a vacation? If you are, you may be required to fly. There are many popular vacation destinations, such as Hawaii, Europe, and the Caribbean, that cannot be reached any other way. With that in mind, if you are looking to vacation within in the United States you may have more options. For that reason, you may want to first decide if traveling by airplane is really right for you.

When it comes to determining if air travel is really right for you, for your next trip, you will first want to look at your destination. Just because you do not have any oceans to cross, it does not mean that you don’t need to fly. For example, if you are looking to travel from New York to California, it may be within your best interest to fly. This is particularly true if you are limited on the amount of vacation time that you have available from your work.

Your budget is another factor that you will want to take into consideration, when trying to determine if air travel is right for you. For example, there are many other cheaper alternatives for those who must travel a short to medium distance. For example, if you will be traveling from Texas to Nevada, you may be able to buy tickets for a bus or train. There are many different options when you look for them. For many individuals, riding a bus or a train is a much more affordable option. Perhaps, the only downside to this approach is the time that you will spend on the road. For many, it would just be convenient to drive their own car.

Speaking of driving your own car, if you are looking to avoid flying, you will want to examine your alternative option of driving yourself. As previously stated, keep your location and distance in mind. Also, it is important to take the cost of your trip into consideration. Many of us automatically think of gasoline and the cost of it, but it is also important to take the cost of vehicle wear and tear into consideration. For that reason, many end up renting a car for their trip or ride on floor scrubber. However, it is important to return back to traveling by air. For long distance trips, the cost of renting a car can be the same, if not more than hopping on a flight that only lasts a few hours

What does all of this mean for you? It does mean that you will likely be better off traveling by airplane if you are looking to travel in the United States. With that said, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, you should never fly if you can drive to your destination in an hour or two, as doing so can be considered a waste of money. Also, if you are a motor home owner or if you can find an affordable rental nearby, you may want to drive to your destination instead, as doing so can sometimes be better than flying.

For the most part, the only individuals who should have trouble flying are those who suffer from claustrophobia or a fear of flying, even flying is safe. Individuals with other disabilities, including the need of an oxygen tank or those who are wheel chair bound, can still fly to their destination, as many airlines will go out of their way to provide needed accommodations and services.

Papua New Guinea: Adventure Traveler Mecca With Butler And Health Club

One of the few still untamed, if not unspoiled destinations, Papua New Guinea is a raw land. Nearly 85% of the main island is carpeted with tropical rain forest.

With its international reputation for Scuba Diving thanks to spectacular coral reefs, Papua New Guinea is still a Mecca for the serious adventure traveler who will find swamp and jagged limestone; mud and moss forest; suffocating heat and Highland chill; plumed, pearl-shelled villagers and prosaic hill people; tiny tree kangaroos and enormous Queen Alexandra Birdwing butterflies. And fascination, unspoiled beauty, the exotic experience of a lifetime. But also personal butlers at hotels. Fine dining. And now even a stunningly designed Health and Racquet Club.

The new club is at the Airways Boutique Hotel in Port Moresby and covers 600 square meters fitted out in stylish décor, and includes state of the art “Wellness in Motion” Techno Gym cardio and strength equipment, a 20-metre infinity lap pool, air-conditioned squash courts,imak compression gloves, floodlit tennis court,blood pressure machine, aerobics and exercise room, massage rooms, separate male and female steam rooms and saunas, and a Zen garden with views over the valley, the sea, and the mountains, for winding down after a workout or massage treatment.

A full range of professionally organized classes and lessons offers Club members and hotel guests a variety of invigorating fitness and exercise programs and routines. There is also an outdoor exercise trail through the hotel’s lush botanical gardens.

The Airways Hotel, located at the Port Moresby airport, is anything but your typical airport hotel. Exquisite dining, the unique combination of the exotic and the modern in a luxurious tropical setting, and an excellent, friendly service provide for a matchless airport hotel experience.

The hotel is nestled into the mountainside in its own botanical gardens, with stunning views of the crystal clear waters of Bootless Bay to the majestic mountains of the Owen Stanley Ranges. The stylish rooms have a hint of designer decor with a simple elegance. For the ultimate luxury in service, book one of the Orchid Suites and Rooms that come with a 24-hour personal butler to cater to your every need. Art and artifacts of Papua New Guinea are on display throughout the hotel.

Four restaurants, four bars, boutique, chauffeured limousine service, swimming pools, tennis courts, yoga and aerobics, Chef’s Master cooking classes, diving, and spa complete a hotel offering that one does not expect at an airport hotel in an exotic destination.

The Airways Hotel is an Emerald Collection member of Boutique Hotels & Resorts International, a highly acclaimed alliance of genuine boutique hotels from around the world, and has been nominated for the World Travel Awards.

If your travels take you to the exotic islands of Papua New Guinea, be it for a longer stay or just for a day, the Airways is the place to be.

 

Hong Kong Visa

The TCG section on Chinese visa explains the general principles of what entry visas are.  Although Hong Kong and Macau are parts of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), as Special Administrative Regions (SAR), each has its own entry regulations.  This also means that you might need a visa to the HKSAR from the Chinese mainland and one to enter the Chinese mainland from Hong Kong – so if you are on the mainland and want to visit Hong Kong and return, you must have a valid entry Chinese visa or obtain a new one in Hong Kong (and although it is normally granted, it is not a 100% certainty).

Always remember that each country (and Chinese SARs) has the right to refuse entry to any person, whatever the regulations permit, and that even when you have a visa you can be denied entry at the border.   Also, the information provided here is for people travelling on standard passports, not special ones like diplomatic or service passports, nor special or restricted passports.

Generally, Hong Kong is very open to foreigners who simply want to visit as a tourist to conduct business activities for an overseas business such as visiting clients and prospects, providing training, or attending trade fairs.  Overall, the rules are essentially the same as under the British administration that preceded the SARs return to Chinese control.

There are special rules applying to residents of the Chinese mainland, those living in Taiwan, for Macauans visiting HK.  These are described at the end of this article.

There is full information on the HK Immigration Department webpage:
http://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/immigration-entry-guideline.html
You can get all the forms and the guidelines from the website.

If you still need clarification on any point and you should contact a Chinese consulate, or in Hong Kong, contact the HK Immigration Department, or on the Mainland, from the Beijing Office of the Government of the HK SAR, whose official webpage is www.bjo.gov.hk/en/home/index.html.

Basic criteria for all foreign visitors
The following are the official minimum requirements for foreign visitors to HK.
• have a minimum validity on your passport of 1 month beyond the intended stay (or the duration of the visa may be restricted so that there will be one month after the visa expiry)
• properly complete the immigration card on arrival
• have a visa if your nationality is required to have one
• have onward or return travel arrangements
• have sufficient funds for your stay without working (based on Immigration’s definition, not yours)
• not have a serious criminal record or be likely to be involved in crime, nor be considered a security risk

Most travellers, especially from western countries, are not checked for compliance with the last three but all travellers should allow for the possibility that immigration might choose to check you.  You should also check with your airline’s regulations as they may not allow you to fly if you do not meet stated entry requirements.

Entry as a tourist without a visa
Most tourists do not require a visa for a visit to HK, please see the Non-Visa to Hong Kong for Foreign Countries/Areas. All arriving visitors at Immigration control points will be issued with landing slips in lieu of stamping on their passports/travel documents. Conditions and limit of stay in HK, as well as visitor’s personal information and arrival date will be included in the landing slip. Upon departure, no slip will be issued and the travel documents will not be stamped.

It is not possible to list the requirements country by country, but you can check out your situation at the HK Immigration Department website.

In summary, the most favoured are British nationals who, provided they meet the basic criteria, may enter HK for 180 days without obtaining a visa in advance.  Canadian, Australian, New Zealand most European nationals may enter for 90 days.  Others are variously restricted to 90, 30, or 14, or 7 days, or in the case of a few countries will only be permitted to enter having previously obtained a visa.  Most tourists can easily take the ferry from HK to Macau which has a policy similar to Hong Kong’s and typically you will not normally require a Macau visa. You can exit Hong Kong and re-enter for another stay.  There is usually no problem re-entering unless the immigration authorities feel you are breaking some other rules such as being engaged in business.  However, you may be allowed to visit for a longer duration by applying for a visa prior to travel – but it is at the discretion of the consular office whether to grant it or not.

Visitors are not normally permitted to change the type issued (or move from a non-visa situation to obtaining one) after arrival but of course it is easy to exit HK and apply for a Hong Kong Visa again.

Related: China visa application form Malaysia

Air Travel: Is The Clothing You Wear Important

what-not-towear-on-plane

When it comes to air travel and clothing, we are all different.  There are some travelers who are dressed in business suits, others in traditional jeans, and others who wear something as comfortable as possible, such as their pajamas or sweat pants.  With the recent increase in airport security and the recent change in air travel rules, there are many individuals who wonder if the clothing they wear to the airport is important.  If you are one of those individuals, you can rest assure because, in most cases, it is not.

It seems as if ever since airplanes became the popular way to travel, a focus has been placed on comfort. Regardless of whether or not you will be taking a long flight, you will want to be comfortable. There is nothing worse than wearing an itchy sweater or tight pair of pants up in the air. Unless you bring a chance of clothes with you and place them in your carryon bag, you are out of luck. That is why it is important that you think of what you will be wearing before you leave for the airport.  Even if you are traveling for business, you should be able to change in to your business clothes as soon as you arrive at your destination, even in the airport bathrooms.

When it comes to comfort, as previously mentioned, many air travelers make the decision to wear sweat pants and a comfortable top.  In addition to being comfortable, you will find, in most cases, that these types of clothes are the best for airport security, especially when entering airport screening checkpoints. This is because most sweat pants are not made with any metal items.  Essentially, this means that you should be able to enter the security checkpoint and leave it quicker than most other travelers, such as the travelers who are decked out in accessories.

When it comes to clothing accessories, you will find that a number of different items set off airport metal detectors. That is why most airport security officers request that you remove all of your jewelry.  Once your jewelry is removed, you will need to place it in a small bin, which will be scanned right along with your carryon luggage.  Whether you have rings or a necklace, you are advised to remove them, if you can.  For your convenience, you can leave your earrings on.  If by chance, you earrings set the metal detectors off, you will likely be pulled a side and airport security should easily be able to tell whether or not your earring were what set off the alarms.

In addition to jewelry, you will find that your belt may even set off an airport’s metal detector. For that reason, a large number of airports have requested that you remove your belts before entering the metal detectors.  Since a large number of travelers wear belts, this is done to help speed up the process of checking each and every passenger. If you do not enjoy removing some of your jewelry or removing your belt, it is advised that you leave those items at home.

Recently, a number of new air travel rules have been implemented. One of those rules requires that all passengers remove their shoes.  Your shoes, once removed, will be scanned by an x-ray machine, right along with the rest of your carryon luggage.  In recent years, only random passengers were asked to remove their shoes, but now everyone is. For that reason, you will to wear simple shoes that you can easily remove and put back on.

Another air travel rule, recently implemented, is the ban of liquids.  This means that adults are no longer allowed to bring a drink onboard, even bottle water.  It also means that you are prohibited from placing liquid beauty supplies in your carryon luggage.  One concern, made by many women is the allowance of gel or water filled bras. Currently, you are allowed to wear these types of bras onboard an airplane.  Honestly, unless you mention it to airport security, there is a good chance that they would never even know.

Since there are really no rules or restrictions on the clothing that you can wear while flying the great skies, you need to choose for yourself. Whether you want to be fashionable or comfortable, it is all up to you.