Monday, December 15, 2008
Northern Territory and Western Australia. In director Baz Luhrmann's tribute to his native Australia, aristocrat Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) takes an arduous journey across the country with a rough-and-tumble stockman named the Drover (Hugh Jackman) as World War II is about to break out.
Arriving in Oz
Sarah disembarks from a ship in Darwin, Australia, with so much baggage that she has to enlist four porters to help her off the vessel. The scene was shot in Bowen, a beach town in northeastern Queensland with excellent snorkeling and diving.
Beau of the ball
Sarah is surprised to see a rather dapper-looking Drover, whom she hired to help her drive cattle across Australia, at a high-society party one evening. The scene was filmed at Strickland House, an 1850s Italianate villa in Sydney, built for the city's first elected mayor, John Hosking. You can only tour the home once a year (the 2009 date is April 13), but visitors can stroll through the villa's manicured grounds year-round and eat a picnic lunch on a hill that overlooks Sydney Harbour (011-61/2-9337-5999, house tour $3).
In love in the Outback
Sparks fly between Sarah and Drover as they traverse hundreds of miles across the Outback to a cattle station that Sarah has inherited in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. "The area has the most incredible sunsets and sunrises, and practically everything in the scene is authentic—the sunshine really burns, the dust is real," says James Fisher, one of the film's still photographers. You can explore this rugged countryside via a bus tour, which leads trips through the red-rock valley that surrounds the Ord River, with stops at an aboriginal art gallery and Ivanhoe Crossing, which has some of the best crocodile spotting in the region.
2. "Mamma Mia!"
Greece. Based on the hit Broadway musical, "Mamma Mia!" tells the story of Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), who's on a quest to find out who her real dad is before she gets married. After narrowing the pool down to three men, she invites them all to her mom's hotel on the fictional Greek island of Kalokairi. The result? Chaos, and a whole lot of Abba tunes.
Sophie's prospective fathers meet for the first time when Sam (Pierce Brosnan) and Harry (Colin Firth) miss the last ferry to Kalokairi and Bill (Stellan Skarsgård) offers to take them on his boat. The scene was filmed on Skiathos, an island in the Aegean Sea about 85 miles north of Athens. Ferry tickets can be purchased in Greece, and cost about $95.
Boatloads of fun
When the men learn that Sophie's mother, Donna (Meryl Streep), doesn't want them at her daughter's wedding, they make a hasty retreat back to the mainland on Bill's boat. Determined to stop them, Sophie swims out to her could-be dads, and the group sings a playful rendition of "Our Last Summer." A peninsula off Glysteri beach, on the island of Skopelos, served as the scene's backdrop. Boats can be chartered to explore the peninsula, along with the isle's many beaches and coves.
Going to the chapel
The wedding takes place in a tiny church built on a steep rock formation overlooking the Aegean Sea. Before Donna climbs up to the chapel, she pours her heart out to Sam, singing "The Winner Takes It All." The scene was filmed at the rustic Agios Ioannis sto Kastri on Skopelos Island, where you can scale the 100-plus stairs to the top of the dramatic cliff.
3. "Quantum Of Solace"
Italy, Austria, England.
The highly anticipated sequel to Casino Royale marks the return of 007 (Daniel Craig). Bent on avenging the death of his lost love, James Bond outwits the British government and the CIA on a covert mission that takes him around the globe.
In the fast-paced opening scene, Bond chases a spy through a warren of medieval aqueducts in Siena, Italy. In the summer, tours are available to the public. Bond eventually pops up through a manhole in Piazza del Campo—directly into the path of the Palio horse race. During the competition, which has been held in Siena since 1310, riders must complete three laps around the piazza, avoiding spectators along the way (July 2 and Aug. 16, free).
Opera on the water
Bond tracks down villain Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) at the Bregenz Festival House, a 7,000-seat concert hall with a floating stage on the banks of Lake Constance in Austria. The 2009 festival season runs from July 22 to August 23 and features Verdi's tragic opera Aida (tickets start at $40).
4. "The Other Boleyn Girl"
England. Sibling rivalry really heats up when sisters Anne (Natalie Portman) and Mary (Scarlett Johansson) catch a glimpse of a young Henry VIII (Eric Bana)—and his spectacular palace. The movie is based on Philippa Gregory's best seller, which took its inspiration from English history.
Henry VIII's home, Whitehall Palace, burned down in 1698, so production designer John-Paul Kelly turned to Knole, the king's country manor in Sevenoaks. Kelly was struck by the house's massive scale: "It looks more like a small town than a building!" The estate has 365 rooms, 52 staircases, 12 entrances, and 7 courtyards. From mid-March to early November, you can tour the rooms—complete with opulent Jacobean-era furnishings—as well as the Japanese sika deer park that surrounds the 1,000-acre property (nationaltrust.org.uk, $18).
Get thee to the nunnery
Queen Catherine of Aragon (Ana Torrent) gives the Boleyn girls a rough welcome to court, forcing a timid Mary to sing for the queen's ladies-in-waiting in Lacock Abbey. Today, visitors to Wiltshire can explore Lacock's main hall, octagonal tower, botanic gardens, and medieval cloisters—which also had a cameo in two Harry Potter films (nationaltrust.org.uk, $18).
5. "The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian"
New Zealand, Poland, and Slovenia
The Pevensie clan—Lucy (Georgie Henley), Edmund (Skandar Keynes), Peter (William Moseley), and Susan (Anna Popplewell)—returns to Narnia only to find its creatures have been forced into hiding by the Telmarines. So the children set out to help Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) reclaim his throne—a spectacular journey that was filmed in four countries.
One minute the kids are in a London Tube station, and the next they're emerging from a rock arch onto a white-sand beach in Narnia. The arch is part of Cathedral Cove, a marine reserve on New Zealand's Coromandel Peninsula. Boat tours to the reserve, along with the other North Island film location can be booked in advance (tickets are $44).
As the foursome sets off in search of the Narnians, Peter leads the group through a lush forest dotted with jagged rock formations, refusing to admit that he's lost. Fittingly, the scene was shot at Lost Rocks, in Poland's Góry Stolowe National Park ( pngs.pulsar.net.pl, $2). "It looks like the Grand Canyon, but full of greenery," says executive producer Perry Moore of the park's sandstone passageways. "The truth is that some of the best magic in the Narnia movies is grounded in reality."
The movie's epic battle between the Narnians and the Telmarines culminates in a showdown along the banks of Slovenia's Soca River. "It was a complicated location to scout," says producer Phil Steuer. "We needed access to a river and permission to build a bridge." Wedged amid the Julian Alps, the Soca River valley is an adventure-sports haven for hikers, rafters, bikers, kayakers, and paragliders. If you want to hit the rapids, the Bovec Rafting Team arranges white-water trips (011-386/5-388-61-28, half-day tours from $50).
Original Article : The Most Travel-Inspiring movies of 2008
To get started booking your vacation to any of these amazing destinations, contact a Professional Travel Agent today!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
When airlines began adding such fees earlier this year, most cited high fuel costs for the changes. However, airline consultant Bob Mann tells the Journal-Constitution: "I think that was a convenient excuse." Regardless of why, the new "a la carte" pricing system appears to be becoming increasingly entrenched. "I think quite frankly the environment that we're in we're really unlikely to roll any of those back," AirTran CEO Bob Fornaro is quoted as saying by the Journal-Constitution about his airline's fees. AirTran officials say the carrier could make as much as $130 million a year combined from its first-checked-bag fee and from selling advance seat assignments.
AirTran CFO Arne Haak discussed the move toward a la carte pricing -– and customers' purchasing behavior -– last month while speaking at a conference. "For many years, airlines have stuck with one price gets you everything whether you need it or not," Haak is quoted as saying by the Journal-Constitution. "Really what is happening is an unbundling of the services… . That’s how customers respond. Our customers will spend three hours on the Internet figuring out how to save $8 when they buy an airplane ticket. Then they're going to come to the airport and spend $20 to buy a soda, a bag of chips, a candy bar and a magazine that they could have bought for half the price."
Still, not all airline attempts to add fees have worked. United, for example, backtracked from a plan to sell meals on some of its trans-Atlantic flights out of its Washington Dulles hub. Others, including Delta, have scrapped fees that they had been charging fliers to use the curbside "skycap" check-in option. But, for now, at least, many of the new fees appear to be permanent.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Rates start around $300 USD per night.
Contact a Professional Travel Agent to book your next international trip!
Thursday, December 04, 2008
All passengers, including first and business class travelers, should arrive at least three hours before their scheduled departure. There is extra focus on New Delhi's India Gandhi International Airport , Chennai International Airport and Bengaluru International Airport following an e-mail warning of an attack on 6 December, the anniversary of the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya in 1992..
Friday, November 21, 2008
While there are industry-wide efforts to improve on-time performance, perhaps more effective are the steps that individual airlines are taking. US Airways, which had the lowest on-time performance in 2007, with just 68 percent of domestic flights taking off on schedule, began offering its employees bonuses for improving conditions. In 2008, its punctuality record ranked near the top. And the worst offender, American Airlines (running last during the first eight months of 2008), is also changing its ways. The carrier has scheduled longer periods between flights to give staff more time to prepare planes, and it’s building up its spare-parts inventory so that repairs can be made more quickly.
And the worst? Last year’s worst carrier, Atlantic Southeast, dramatically improved its on-time performance from 2007, moving from 63 to 72 percent. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to keep them out of the top five. Gone from the 2008 list are JetBlue and US Airways, but taking their place are two other large carriers: American and United.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The MS Europa offers 10-20 day cruises all over the world, including Europe, South America, South Africa, Australia, Tahiti, China and the Caribbean.
Friday, November 14, 2008
By Brian Walsh
The economy is in meltdown, consumer spending is dwindling and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is seriously considering priming the monetary system with change he found inside his sofa. That just means you need a vacation more than ever — and the good news about the bad news is that the financial crisis has made some typically pricey destinations suddenly affordable.
Thank the 98-lb. weakling — the U.S. dollar — which, over the past several years, has made foreign travel outrageously expensive for Americans. Today, given the financial crisis, investors see the U.S. as safer than other markets — even though the downturn is largely the responsibility of Americans — and are flocking to the dollar. (Apparently there's no financial penalty for irony.)
For Americans, that means many foreign destinations have effectively become 25%, 30% even 50% cheaper than they were just a few months ago. You may feel a bit like a financial vulture visiting these countries but, hey, this may be the dawn of Depression 2.0. No one's turning down cash these days — not even from ugly Americans.
CANADA Drop in currency value since a year ago: 21% If Canadians didn't want us to make fun of their traditionally weak currency, why did they call it the loonie? A year ago, the joke was on us — a Canadian dollar was actually worth more than its American counterpart. Fortunately, economic catastrophe has reasserted the natural order of U.S.-Canadian relations. From the cosmopolitan charm of Montreal to the amazing skiing of Whistler (and, in between, Saskatchewan), America's neighbor to the north is a great place to spend strengthening greenbacks. Bonus: Global warming will make those biting Canadian winters just a little bit more endurable.
AUSTRALIA Drop in currency value since a year ago: 28% The Aussies' unoriginally named currency almost managed parity with the American dollar in recent years. Not anymore. The Down Under dollar now gets you only about 66 cents. But that opens the Land of Thunder's many delights to the American budget traveler — once, of course, you mortgage your devalued home for a plane ticket. Round-trip tickets from New York City to Sydney are going for about $1,400. On the upside, when it's winter in the North, it's summer over there. (Except financially — then it's winter everywhere.)
GREAT BRITAIN Drop in currency value since a year ago: 23% Admittedly, it's difficult to put England on any kind of budget-travel list, given that a brief, one-way trip on the 145-year-old London Underground will still run you more than $6. But compared with a year ago, when you needed more than $2 to buy a single coin with the Queen of England's face on it, Britain has gotten considerably cheaper — relatively. Book a spin on a "champagne flight" on the London Eye — the giant Ferris wheel (and millennial white elephant) on the banks of the Thames — for a mere $692. Or don't.
SOUTH KOREA Drop in currency value since a year ago: 30% For South Koreans, the current economic meltdown has a sickening familiarity. During the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the South Korean won lost 52% of its value against the dollar. Things haven't gotten that bad yet in 2008, but there are still plenty of sudden bargains in the Land of Morning Calm, long an unjustly ignored travel destination. Bewildering Seoul boasts dramatic mountains, spicy street food and gorgeous royal palaces. Beyond the capital — where almost half the country lives — South Korea has arty port cities like Busan and cultural centers like Gwangju. And anywhere in the country you can get soju — the potent rice wine that will enable you to forget the recession, along with everything else.
Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the South Pacific can offer a great getaway, a trip to remember and destinations where your dollar will go a lot further. Trade in your greenbacks for some downunder travel and tell your friends to stop watching the news and get on a plane with you!
Today, it only takes $0.66 USD (United States Dollar) to buy $1.00 AUD (Australian Dollar) and only $0.57 USD to buy $1.00 NZD (New Zealand Dollar). Thinking of checking out Fiji? It will take only $0.55 USD to buy $1.00 FJD (Fijian Dollar). Compare all this to it costing $1.27 USD to buy $1.00 EUR (European Euro) for travel throughout Europe. See the huge advantage of taking that vacation downunder? It’s a steal!
To give you an even bigger picture:
If you buy $1000 AUD, it will cost you only $660 USD
If you buy $1000 NZD, it will cost you only $570 USD
If you buy $1000 FJD, it will cost you only $550 USD
If you buy $1000 EUR, it will cost you $1270 USD
Thursday, November 13, 2008
By: Ashleigh Wilson
With Luhrmann scrambling to complete the much-anticipated film before its official release in two weeks, Winfrey dedicated her show on Monday to the production starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.
And while Kidman used the show to reveal a photograph of her daughter Sunday Rose, and Jackman spoke about his love of Sydney Harbour, it was Oprah's celebrity endorsement of Australia that will be credited with building excitement for Luhrmann's film in the US market.
"Our hearts are all swelling because, my God, it's just the film we needed to see. I have not been this excited about a movie since I don't know when."
Winfrey dedicated her entire show to Australia ahead of its November 26 general release. The show was pre-recorded last month, and featured a specially constructed replica 1930s outback cattle station where the film is set.
Winfrey's endorsement will also delight Tourism Australia, which has based its advertising campaign around the film.
"It's the best movie I've seen in a long, long, long, long time," Winfrey said. "It is epic, it is magic, it is a spectacle and the scenery is so gorgeous you can barely stand it. Australia is going to make you jump on a plane and go Down Under."
In his interview with Winfrey, Luhrmann told how, as a child, he fell in love with "sweeping epic" films.
"I'm not pretending we're Gone with the Wind, but a film like Gone with the Wind has something for everyone," he said. "It's a really inclusive, big film. It has comedy and romance and action and drama."
During the show, Kidman said she had agreed to do the film without seeing the script because of Luhrmann's involvement.
He views the world, she said, in a "very unique way".
"He just called me up and said: 'I'm thinking about this film'. And I'm like: 'I'm in. I'm yours', because I feel also that there are directors that bring out something in you that nobody else brings out," she said.
Jackman said Kidman convinced him to do the same.
After months of shielding her daughter from the media, Kidman flashed a photo of Sunday Rose that her husband, Keith Urban, had taken. She said her daughter looked so much like Urban she called her Keithette.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Our winter is the ideal time to travel to pretty much anywhere in the South Pacific, including Australia, New Zealand , Tahiti or Fiji, since it is their summer! While airfares to these places can be a little higher during these months, keep in mind that with the current exchange rates between U.S. dollars and Australian or New Zealand dollars makes it very affordable once there!
Same thing goes for South America, whether it be Brazil, Argentina, Peru or Chile, our winter is their summer. If it is a laid back, sunny getaway with great food and wine that you crave, any of these countries are a great choice!
Hawaii is a good place to vacation during the winter too, as long as it is not over major holidays or mid-winter school breaks. Those weeks tend to book up about a year in advance and are very pricey. Otherwise, it’s a great location for a winter getaway, with average temps in the low – mid 80’s, beaches not as crowded as other times of the year, and hotels often have lower rates. Besides, it’s just a 5 hour flight from most west coast cities!
Southern California is a great place for those who don’t want to leave the country, or travel very far. Los Angeles/Anaheim/Disneyland area is always a good choice for families. While it’s not going to be as warm as the Caribbean, you can usually be on at least mild weather. Also, January-February is usually the slowest time of year for Disneyland, meaning little to no lines.
Friday, November 07, 2008
The biggest change for U.S. citizens will become effective on June 1, 2009, passports will be required for all U.S. citizens re-entering the United States. This includes entry from Mexico, Canada and all sea ports (such as cruises). From what I understand, the US Passport Agencies are pretty backed up right now. If you are planning a trip outside of the US over the next year and do not currently have a passport, or need to renew yours, make sure to allow ample time, like 2-3 months.
Another change coming in early 2009 is that all airlines will be required to quote the TOTAL price for all tickets to or from Europe. They will no longer be able to quote the airfare and the taxes separately. This includes all airline taxes, airport fees and fuel surcharges.
Contact a Professional Travel Agent for more information regarding current travel rules and regulations, or to start planning your next trip!
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Buenos Aires is a great city. Mendoza wine, food, and scenery are spectacular. Iguazú Falls is one of the natural wonders of the world.
The Hotel Bel Air in Buenos Aires was very nice. It was clean and the staff members were attentive and helpful. English was spoken by all front desk staff, although some staff members were more helpful than others. The hotel probably would be 4 star ranking. The location in Recoleta is good but not close to the subway system.
Buenos Aires tours were good. The ½ day city tour is a good idea for a first time visitor. Buenos Aires can be a little overwhelming and it is good to have an orientation to various areas of the city. Tourists only visit a small portion of the city anyway.
One final thing I did in Buenos Aires was taking the boat to Uruguay (Colonia del Sacramento). This is worth a day trip to experience another country. I would not do this if you have only a few days in Buenos Aires, but with the enough time, it was worth a visit.
The trip to Iguazú Falls was well worth the time. This is a sight than cannot be appreciated just by the photos. It is like the Grand Canyon, spectacular in pictures but even more awesome in person. Puerto Iguazú is probably the best option to stay in.
The tours in Mendoza were spectacular. There are two English language tour companies, Ampora and Trout & Wine. Both are excellent small tour group companies. I took two wine tours and one Andes tour. The food, wine, and scenery are absolutely amazing. I would recommend either of these companies to your clients.
My overall impression of Argentina was extremely positive. I like the people, food, wine, and scenery. The cost was very inexpensive in US dollar terms. In other words, what a great place to visit! Safety and security were not significant issues (of course common sense is always necessary when traveling). I was comfortable walking the streets of Recoleta at night but I do not stay up late. The late time for dinner was a struggle for me to get used to. I may be back to visit the southern part of Argentina in the future.
I would recommend Argentina without reservations to your clients!
Friday, October 31, 2008
Following dinner, the resident astronomer takes the stage to guide you through unbeatable star gazing and storytelling with telescopes, while the digeridoo is played in the background.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Atlantis Resort, located in the Bahamas, has some huge price drops for stays this Fall and Winter, not only for accommodations, but also for dining options.
Disney Cruises have reduced their rates for families cruising in November, December and January. Cruises are a great option for family vacations, as there are activities for everyone, including free kids clubs.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Consider the benefits of business class:
- Speed of check-in, security, and boarding
- Increased Comfort
- Personal Service
These days, probably the most obvious reason to book business class is the ease and speed of checking-in and getting through security. With your own business class lines, you’ll quickly be checked-in, through security, and on your way to relax in the Business Class lounge. While conversely, due to the increased security measures, economy passengers may be held-up for hours!
After enjoying a pre-flight drink or snack, or even grabbing a quick shower or nap, you’ll leave your business-class lounge for your gate, where you’ll be the first to board the plane. While everyone in economy is fighting over luggage storage space to the sound of babies crying, you’ll be peacefully relaxing in your comfy chair in the privacy of the business class section, sipping a glass of complimentary wine or scotch.
One of the main benefits of choosing business class is the added comfort it brings to air traveling. By now, most of us travelers have seen pictures of the famous British Airways Flat Seats: airline chairs that fold full-back into a 180 degree bed. (Also available on airlines such as Qantas, Air France, Lufthansa, and SAS are Angled Lie Flat Seats which recline to a slightly less 170 degrees.) And don’t forget: along with these flat seats comes increased seat-width and legroom, to give you plenty of space to stretch out, even when seated upright.
Not only is the sleeping better, but the food is tremendously better, as well—choose your meals from menus prepared by world-class chefs. And don’t forget: alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as snacks, are complimentary during your whole trip.
Providing great personal service, flight attendants will be there to attend to your every need, with one attendant serving 3-5 passengers, compared to economy, where the ratio is—as we all know—significantly higher.
Enjoy video and music on your personal player, with most airlines offering Audio and Video on Demand (AVOD) for their business class passengers. Power-up your laptop or cell-phone, or even surf the web, as more and more airlines are offering an internet connection.
Remember the bathroom lines in economy? Well, no need to worry about that, since business class has its own bathrooms.
Once you land, you’ll be the first off the plane and into the customs lines. Thanks to your flat seat, you’ve a had good night’s sleep, so rather than wasting your first few days of vacation recovering from jet lag, you’re refreshed and ready to see the sights and enjoy your vacation!
And so, why not choose business class for your next trip? Why fly half-way across the world, only to waste the first few days of your valuable vacation time, only to recuperate from the flight? Enjoy yourself; you deserve it! Look into flying business class—you’ll find the added investment is well-worth the comfort and relaxation you’ll get in return.
Still not convinced business class can be affordable? Check out our website for our Business and First Class Airfares to anywhere in Europe and the South Pacific or contact a Travel Professional today!
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
We flew Air Pacific from L.A. to Nadi, unfortunately the flights from the U.S. to Fiji all arrive in the early morning hours, and we arrived at 5:00 am. After clearing customs and collecting our travel documents at the tour desk located inside the airport, we caught a taxi to our first hotel, the Sheraton Royal Denarau (which is now the Westin Denarau Island Resort).
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Now that almost every home in America has a computer and internet access, many people are trying to do it all by themselves. For an international trip, the typical person will spend many, many valuable hours online doing research and making reservations if they do it alone. Why not just go to a Travel Agent? That’s what they are for.
Someone to call in case of an emergency. If you should have some type of a glitch or emergency while abroad, trying to get through to an actual person at an airline or online agency can be practically impossible. It can be very reassuring knowing that you have someone that you can call in case of an emergency.
Unique Travel Itineraries. Travel Agents can help you put together a trip and itinerary based on your interests. Tell a Travel Agent what you like to do during vacation, how active you want to be and your budget, and she will give you suggestions based on that. This usually results in a more enjoyable vacation that following an itinerary of a friend or family. Just because your friend enjoyed a specific tour doesn’t necessarily mean that you will.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Almost every American is feeling the effects of our current economic situation in some way or another. We all seem to be finding ways to save a little cash wherever we can, whether it be eating out less, riding our bikes more, carpooling, or making our coffee at home.
Friday, September 12, 2008
When planning a vacation to the Caribbean, Mexico or Central America during the late summer and fall, it is important to keep in mind that there is a chance your plans will be changed or cancelled. Already this year, many cruises in that area have had to alter at least one of their routes to avoid a hurricane, flights have been cancelled and some hotels have had to close briefly.
If you are going to be travelling during hurricane season, remember these tips for a safer trip:
- Get Travel Insurance, and make sure that your policy covers hurricanes. Also, make sure that you purchase the insurance before the hurricane forms, otherwise it most likely won’t be covered.
- Use a Travel Agent. This is a perfect example of why to use a Travel Agent instead of booking online. In case of an emergency or cancelled trip, the Travel Agent is there to help you.
- Check with the airline, cruise line, or tour operator about their travel services back to the U.S. in the event of a hurricane.
- Minimize your risk of encountering a hurricane by traveling to the lowest hurricane risk islands of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, or Trinidad and Tobago. Or take a cruise, since cruise ships are mobile, they are able to avoid hurricanes all together.
- Leave a detailed itinerary with a friend or family member at home.
- Make sure you have the phone number of the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate with you at all times.
Contact a Professional Travel Agent today for assistance with planning your next vacation!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Some of the most popular attractions in Brisbane are:
- South Bank is a community vibrant in arts and culture, situated on 16 hectares of waterfront property. It is full of outdoor markets, cafes, restaurants, walk ways and bike paths. And for those warm Aussie days, cool off at Streets Beach by taking a dip in the swimming lagoon. Home of the Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland Museum, Queensland Gallery of Modern Art and the Performing Arts Center it’s a great destination with those who have art in their hearts.
- Story Bridge. Bridge tours are available on this famous bridge. A guide will take you on a 2 ½ hour climb, almost a kilometer up the bridge, providing stunning 360 degree views of the city, the Bunya Mountains and the Brisbane River.
- Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary. The Sanctuary offers opportunities to get close to many different types of Australian wildlife, including kangaroos, wombats, dingos, and of course koalas! You can even experience holding a koala. The soft marsupial will cling to you like a young child; it is not your average animal!
- Riverlife Adventure Center is a perfect way for any outdoor adventurer to spend the day. Located on the edge of the Brisbane River, they offer rock climbing, abseiling, kayaking, cycling and rollerblading.
- Moreton Bay Islands are just a short drive and ferry ride from Brisbane. Offering dozens of sandy islands in the sheltered blue waters, Moreton Bay is a favorite getaway for Brisbane locals and visitors alike. Here you can feed the wild dolphins or make the rewarding hike up to the summit of Mount Tempest.
Check out our Australia Independent Packages to help you get started planning your trip or if you like a more organized style of traveling see our Australia Escorted Tours. Any way you travel to the great land of Oz, be sure to include Brisbane on your itinerary.
Friday, September 05, 2008
1. Changi (Singapore) International - The airport hotel rents rooms by the hour, free massage chairs in the Oasis Lounge, free internet kiosks, showers (for a fee), pool and sauna, free movie theater, comfortable seats, clean bathrooms and 24 hour restaurants.
2. Seoul Incheon International, South Korea – This airport features long couches, luggage lockers, clean bathrooms, free internet café, Korean Sauna, wide variety of shops and restaurants.
3. Hong Kong International, China – Clean bathrooms and showers, seats with massagers, 24 hour buffet, 24 hour internet café, comfortable, padded seats, and a nursery/kid’s area.
4. Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, Finland – Clean and quiet, soft benches, clean bathrooms, friendly, helpful information staff.
5. Auckland, New Zealand - Internet kiosks, long couches near gates, kid’s play area, luggage storage, clean bathrooms, telephones which offer free local calls!
1. Paris Charles de Gaulle, France – Cold metal benches, and bucket seats with arm rests, some gates do not have seats, dirty, smelly bathrooms, noisy, expensive food.
2. Mumbai (Bombay), India – Restrooms are filthy and smell bad, food is awful, no services at night, mosquitoes, check-in areas crowded, lack of signs/information.
3. Indira Gandhi (New Delhi) International, India – Lack of seats, dirty bathrooms, lack of signs, mosquitoes, rats, crowded, minimal services and restaurants.
4. Jakarta, Indonesia – Uncomfortable seats, very few restaurants, many peddlers/beggars, dirty, squat toilets.
5. Kiev, Ukraine – Cold and noisy, restrooms do not have toilet paper, hard plastic seats with arm rests, dark, customs officials try to bribe.
Contact an International Travel Specialist today to start planning your next trip!
Thursday, September 04, 2008
2. O’Hare International / Chicago, Illinois, 926,973 flights last year. This airport offers a good variety of restaurants and eateries, including Goose Island Brewing Company and Johnny Rockets.
3. Dallas-Fort Worth International / Dallas, Texas, 686,711 flights last year. DFW has two on-premise hotels, the Hyatt Regency and the Grand Hyatt.
4. Los Angeles International / Los Angeles, California, 680,954 lights last year. Located 20 miles southwest of downtown L.A., there is public transportation to and from the airport via Los Angeles County Metro, Culver City Bus Lines, Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, and Torrance Transit.
5. Denver International / Denver, Colorado, 619,941 flights last year. The Denver Airport has Hospitality Ambassadors, easily spotted by their white cowboy hats, who are there to assist travelers with information or directions.
6. McCarran International / Las Vegas, Nevada, 619,941 flights last year. If you’re in a hurry to get started gambling, there are slot machines located in the airport. Try to avoid traveling on Thursdays and Sundays, as those are the airports busiest days.
7. George Bush Intercontinental / Houston, Texas, 603,641 flights last year. Most of the airport security personnel at this airport have been trained in CPR and how to use a defibrillator.
8. Phoenix Sky Harbor International / Phoenix, Arizona, 539,211 flights last year. This airport features 2 dog parks and an Airport Museum in Terminal 3.
9. Douglas International / Charlotte, North Carolina, 525,943 flights last year. Douglas Airport is famous for being the first airport to offer rocking chairs through out.
10. Philadelphia International / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 499,683 flights last year. There is a free cell phone parking lot for drivers picking up passengers.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Here is what our clients had to say about the resort: “It was quite a large resort, very spread out and peaceful. …The gardens were immaculate. The bures (villas) were roomy, with good air conditioning and the cleaning (staff) was thorough. All members of the staff were amenable, agreeable, and always smiling.
There was entertainment of one kind or another every evening. We ate dinner there every night and the menu changed every night too. The food was delicious. …All in all, I would go to Fiji again. I would recommend (Hideaway Resort) to anyone who does not expect a 5 star…”
The Hideaway Resort offers the following amenities:
· A large multi purpose swimming pool with water slide, children's wading pool, conversation dish, 8 people spa, area for water games and aqua aerobics, reading blocks, and ideal deep end for scuba diving training.
· Pool surroundings are equipped with lounges and tables for outdoor dining
· Large theater restaurant overlooking a beautiful lagoon
· Cannibal Cafe, poolside with views overlooking lagoon
· Health and beauty spa
· 5 Palm Padi Dive School
· Handicraft Shop
· Wood Carving Center
· Professionally Equipped Gymnasium
This resort is just one of hundreds available to enjoy in Fiji. Take a look at a select few of our Fiji Vacation Packages and contact one of our Fiji Experts today to book your dream vacation to Fiji.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Size of Ship: There are small, medium and large ships that can accommodate up to 900, 1300 and 2500 passengers respectively. Of course, there are the super small vessels that carry only 100 or fewer passengers but you pay more for that luxury. Decide whether you’d like to recognize individuals throughout your cruise or blend into the crowd – there is the perfect size ship to suit your needs.
Style of Ship: Ships tend to be either more formal or very causal. You will want to choose if you are more interested in wearing flip-flops to dinner or prefer to dress a bit fancier a few nights, or during the whole duration of the cruise.
Length of Cruise: The amount of days you want to cruise is definitely a component you'll want to consider. There are anywhere from 3-27+ day cruises available on a variety of cruise lines.
Kids or No Kids: Cruise lines offer certain sailings that are geared towards family with lots of activities for the kids and plenty of fun for adults. If you are searching for a more quiet cruise or one that has been designed for couples, those are available as well.
Dining Options: Some ships offer simple “open” style dining meaning you can eat whenever you want. Others offer both open and sit-down options and some only offer reserved dining meaning you have a set time for dinner. There is usually a formal night on most cruises so you could be casual for 90% of the cruise and have one gourmet evening of dinner and dancing.
Type of Port Stops: Cruises offer a variety of port stops. Depending on whether you want the freedom to explore at your leisure or you want scheduled shore excursions like a guided tour, choose the cruise that best fits the way you like to explore a new place.
Destinations: Weather and type of eco-systems might be a consideration for you. Do you like scenic places to travel to or is warm weather a must? You can have both! There are culture-rich and plenty of adventure type of destinations as well.
Reason for Taking a Cruise: Think about why you want to experience a cruise. Is it for a Family Reunion? A cruise is a fantastic place for such a gathering. All that you and everyone else have to do is get on the boat! If you are looking to relax and rejuvenate, keep that in mind. Many ships are improving, adding and/or expanding their spa offerings. There are cruises that specialize in hobbies from music to naturalists with presentation and well known speakers. Bringing your employees together for a business retreat is a great way to reward their hard work and bring the group closer together. Some other reasons you may consider is the ease of travel a cruise offers and if you simply want to be pampered by having others do the dishes and serve you delicious meals.
Cruising offers a great variety of choices and can usually satisfy everyone in your travel group. Use these tips to start your planning process and narrow down what you’d like to experience on this amazing adventure.
Browse our Cruise Listings and call one of our Cruise Specialists to discuss the unlimited possibilities and to help book your cruise today!