Monday, September 27, 2010

Munich's 200th Year of Oktoberfest

It's been 200 years since Bavaria's Crown Prince Ludwig celebrated his royal wedding with a big public bash that was such a hit it became an annual event, what we now know as "Oktoberfest." It's now considered an important part of Bavarian culture.

Munich's Oktoberfest is now in full swing through October 4th. Traditionally the festival lasts 16 days, however this year it will be 17, in celebration of the 200th anniversary. The city has also set up a special area with Oktoberfest history as well as a beer tent serving a special brew, the "Jubilee Beer," for which Munich's six normally competing breweries joined forces in a historic beer truce.
What started as a small local festival two decades ago has become a massive international event featuring about a dozen cavernous beer tents, some seating more than 10,000 singing, inebriated people at a time.

An estimated 6 million visitors attend Oktoberfest each year, consuming about 1.6 million gallons of beer and 500,00 chickens at the festival every year.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Australia is the Happiest Vacation Destination

Recently a survey was done on 1000 travelers, by Skyscanner, on what makes for the best vacation. Several components were examined, including length of flight, quality of accommodation, length of trip, details of paying for the trip, and food.

It was revealed that people are typically happiest when they go abroad, and the farther the better. The top "happiest" destinations were: Australia, South Africa, India, France and Thailand.

According to this survey, some other things that make for a very happy holiday are;

Travel companions: Genuinely getting along with and enjoying the company of your travel companions plays a very big part in how enjoyable your trip will be.

Motivation: Traveling to a destination you've always dreamed about, or holds a special fascination or interest for you.

Lodging: Contentment with accommodations, which includes the comfort, cleanliness, service, location and also the food.

Destination: The further away from home seems to have a direct correlation with the enjoyment of a vacation.

Weather: The predictability of temperature, winds, daylight and dryness all combine to decrease psychological stress and increase mood and relaxation.
Contact a Professional Travel Agent today to get started booking your dream vacation!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Recycled Queensland Eco-Lodge

Relocated from the former Wrotham Park Station Lodge, this Australia eco-accommodation was dismantled in 28 days and transported over 1,700 miles to its new home in the Mary River Wetlands in Australia’s Northern Territory. This is one of the greatest examples of “recycling in Australian tourism” to date. Contractors were able to salvage seventy percent of the original structure, including power generators, the water treatment system, and the electrical infrastructure. It is part of the Anthology Traveller’s Collection, one of four experimental destinations in Tasmania and South Australia.

Wildman Wilderness Lodge is located half-way between Darwin and Kakadu on the Mary River Wetlands. This Australia accommodation is slated to open in April 2011 and will include a bar and restaurant, 10 air-conditioned rooms, and 15 safari tents – five of which will be suited for groups and families up to four.

Contact an Australia Travel Specialist to get started booking your next Australia vacation today!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Tips on Traveling During Hurricane Season

This year's hurricane season, which ends Dec. 1, is expected to beactive to extremely active” according to NOAA. Travelers heading to affected areas should heed the following tips:

  • If you’re flying, check your airline’s Contract of Carriage to determine what the carrier will do for you in the case of “force majeure” events such as extreme weather; this document can be found on the airline’s website.

  • If you’re booking through a travel agent or tour operator, ask in advance about contingency plans for hurricanes and severe weather. Travel insurance is very affordable and can protect you.

  • If you’re going to be cruising in potentially threatening waters, speak to your travel agent or cruise line about the potential for delayed, diverted, or cancelled itineraries.

  • Before booking a hotel or resort, inquire about cancellation penalties due to hurricanes.

  • If you’re driving, learn the safest routes to avoid catastrophe, since even natives can be caught off-guard by a hurricane. Earlier this month, AAA reported an online survey revealed 33 percent of Florida residents are unsure of their emergency evacuation routes.

  • If you’re overseas, check the US State Department’s Travel Page for updates on severe weather. The site offers traveler tips as well.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Berlin Offers Toilet Tours

A Berlin tour guide is now offering a tour of Berlin's public conveniences. Tour guide Anna Haase wanted to take visitors in Berlin off the beaten track and came up with the novel idea of showing them some of the German capital's most famous toilets.

She takes groups around the city's lavatories, telling them about the history of the toilet's development from biblical times to the present day and showing them toilets ranging from the oldest and most primitive to the newest and most technical. Highlights of the tour include a visit to a toilet block dating from the late 19th century, and also a trip to the Kaiser's fully restored bathroom at the Potsdamer Platz square.

Haase says that the toilet tours are in demand, especially from clubs and societies, as well as from people with a specialist or professional interest in the topic. The meeting point for the tour is at the 19th century toilet block at the Gendarmenmarkt Square and ends at a restaurant called "The Loo," where tourists are shown a Japanese automatic toilet which costs as much as a small car.

Contact a Professional Travel Agent today to get started booking your next trip to Germany.