The Best Travelling Destinations of the World

Travelling is an important part of people’s lives, and you can gladly say that you have enjoyed the life to the fullest if you have travelled a lot during your life. Taking a vacation out of the country every here and then is a crucial factor that can lead to your well-being. Nevertheless, as fun as travelling might be, sometimes it can be hard to pick the best travelling destinations to travel to!

There are many wonderful destinations that you should definitely visit, and these destinations may vary from person to person. There are various types of travelling, and all of these types are based on people’s personality. If you are passionate about ancient history, you shall visit various monuments located in all continents, but mostly in Asia. In this country you can find the ruins of ancient civilizations and these ruins are definitely worth visiting! The Middle East in Asia is also one of the perfect travelling destinations for ancient history lovers. For instance, Damascus, Syria’s capital is thought to be the oldest city of the world which still exists today!

On the other hand, if you are into ‘modern’ history, a.k.a. the history of the 20th century, you should definitely visit European countries, including here France, Italy, Spain and UK. These countries are the perfect travelling destinations because they are the place where fashion, music and scientific discoveries took place on the last century. And not to forget, the people who seek to have beach vacations, the top travelling destinations for that are those in Oceania, including Fiji, the French Polynesia and so on, and of course, Hawaii!

Travel Pillow and Sheets – Your Best Travel Companion!

The best travel pillow and sheets are indispensable, especially if your trip is bound to take for hours. Any seasoned traveler knows that it’s a big no-no if you forget to pack the appropriate pillow and sheets during your travel. Travel pillow and sheets would definitely make you feel well-rested and healthy after that long and tiresome flight.

Unfortunately, the quality of service of airlines today is slowly decreasing. When your travel time would take for ages, the most common scenario is that most passengers would want to relax by taking a nap – that’s really not a problem. But, the annoying part is that some airlines either have limited stocks of travel pillows or what they have is not of the best quality. If you think that’s already enough, after checking in a hotel, you’ll soon discover that the bed sheets and pillow cases are filled with bedbugs and dust mites. Now, you see the practicality of having your own set of travel pillow and sheets.

Well, you do have to consider some restrictions in your luggage space. The good news is that most pillows and sheets for traveling are now available in different types and features to make them easier to place in your luggage.

The two features that a great travel pillow should have are flexibility and proper neck support. Actually, inflatable and buckwheat pillows are the two most popular types of pillows today.

The inflatable pillows available in the market are very easy to fill with air – just 10 to 12 air puffs and these are good to go. The air-filled design lets you firmly rest your neck and supports the proper alignment of your neck and spine. Just by releasing the air inside and folding it into several folds, inflatable pillows will completely fit into your luggage without taking up much space.

The type of pillow that’s been gaining recognition these days is the buckwheat travel pillow. Unlike the feather or foam filled pillows, buckwheat pillows perfectly conforms to your neck and back outlines so that there would be no strain exerted on those parts.

Today, it really doesn’t matter anymore if you’ll stay on a cheap or ultra-expensive hotel. As long as you get the cleanest bed sheets and pillow cases, everything else is trivial (Unfortunately, that’s not always the case). To protect yourself from allergens and other bed insects, choose a travel sheet (a.k.a. sleeping bag liners) that’s hypoallergenic and made from high-quality materials, like silk. Silken sheets are convenient because they’re lightweight, easy to clean and will dry off quickly.

Whether you’re an experienced or an admitted amateur traveler, it’s always good to remember that you need a versatile, comfortable, and proper-sized travel pillow and sheets (if you need to find the right one at the kids’ section, you’re more than free to do so). A baggage is only considered complete if you have the best travel pillow and sheets with you.

Best Travel Destinations to Visit With Cheap Airfares

Whether you are going with family, friends, or alone, for business or pleasure, or to enjoy the nature, adventures and romance, get on without any delay for your dream place. There are many destinations that you can visit with a cheap airline fare. Now-a-days, the travel agencies offer many all-inclusive packages, responding to the expectations of the tourists, at very reasonable rates. These agencies organize their stay, sight-seeing, and other additional activities as well. For instance, Wild Discovery, one of the most active travel agencies in the market, tries to offer the best services to the customer.

If you are planning to go for a honeymoon, then the Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Thailand, Malaysia, or the Caribbean are the most-favored places. These dreamy destinations are full of a kind of romantic ambiance suitable for the newlyweds. The heat of the sun, enticing beaches, scuba diving to see the spectacular wrecks laden with corals and sponges and fish and turtle shelters, Getaway Sailing, care and massages based marine products; everything attracts the lovers. Couples like Europe: Prague, Budapest, and Vienna, and Central America.

With regard to families, the Mediterranean is the most-liked destination having Cyprus, Greek Islands, Morocco, Turkey, Tunisia and Cote d’Azur. Cyprus is an ideal place for relaxation. In Morocco, the family can enjoy the dunes, oases and palm groves. Enjoy exploring the valley of roses. Cheap airline tickets to Morocco are available online. China is also an attractive tourist destination. Its main characteristics are its legendary cities, wonderful scenes, its culinary arts, traditions and the charm of its modern cities.

To make your traveling safer, enjoyable, and above all, economic, you must select a travel agency that is renowned and experienced. It will help you to make your plans according to your budget, your tastes and requirements. Before buying any package, it is very important to know about the facilities included in the package. Though the all-inclusive schemes are very popular, you must see whether it matches your expectations or not. The global service includes not only low-cost flights, transfers and hotel, but also many other activities and some meals. It is better to use the prepaid cards instead of carrying cash that can be stolen or lost. Thus, enjoy the best travel destinations with cheap airfares.

Traveling To America? New ESTA Registration Mandated January 2009

For years, visitors from certain foreign countries have been able to travel to America without first getting a formal Visa sticker placed in their passport. Implemented in 1998, the “Visa Waiver Program” (VWP) has allowed for visitors of several countries to come to America for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without getting a Visa put in their passport. During 2007, more than 15 million visitors from VWP countries arrived in the United States.

As of January 12, 2009 America’s new ESTA program requires Visa Waiver Program visitors coming to the U.S. for tourist or business purposes via a plane or ship to “register” online before entering the United States to see if they pose a law enforcement or security risk to the U.S. ESTA is not required for land crossings. Officials are asking that the ESTA registration be done at least 72 hours prior to leaving, but theoretically it is possible to register at the last minute. An ESTA Travel Authorization is free, valid for 2 years, and valid for multiple entries.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for ESTA Travel Authorization:

What Countries Are in the Visa Waiver Program?

Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Where Do I Apply for an ESTA Travel Authorization?

A website, operated by the American government, is where you register for ESTA: esta.cbp.dhs.gov. The ESTA information you submit via the computer is compared with certain American law enforcement databases and then either approved or denied. Foreign travelers will not be able to submit ESTA applications at American airports after arriving or at a U.S. Embassy in their country.

What if I Don’t Have Plans to Travel to the U.S. Yet?

VWP travelers are not required to have specific plans to travel to the United States before they apply for an ESTA Travel Authorization. As soon as VWP travelers begin to plan a trip to visit the U.S., they are encouraged to apply for travel authorization through the ESTA website. Applicants are not required to update their destination addresses or itineraries if they change after their ESTA Travel Authorization has been granted.

Does the ESTA Travel Authorization Guarantee Entry to the U.S.?

An ESTA Travel Authorization only authorizes a traveler to board an airline or ship for travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program. After they arrive, travelers who obtained an ESTA Travel Authorization may still be denied entry (also called “admission”) at a U.S. port of entry, such as an American airport. An approved ESTA is not a guarantee of admissibility at an American airport. In all cases, the American airport officers make the final determination whether a foreign traveler can enter the U.S. or not. You still have to establish to the satisfaction of the inspecting officer that you are entitled to be admitted to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program.

Can I Change My Travel Itinerary?

It is possible to change an itinerary on an existing ESTA Travel Authorization; ESTA is designed so that you can update parts of it at any time. Travelers who did not get an ESTA approval may be denied boarding by the airlines, experience delayed processing, or be denied admission to the U.S. at the American airport.

What If I Already Have a Valid B1/B2 Visitor Visa?

While the ESTA Travel Authorization is completed online with no interview, there are Visas that require a U.S. Embassy interview. The Visa process has separate procedures, which generally require an appointment, travel to a U.S. Embassy, an interview with a Consular Officer, processing time, and the payment of an application fee. If a foreign national already went to the U.S. Embassy and has a valid B1/B2 Visitor Visa pasted in their passport it is not necessary to get an ESTA Travel Authorization because the traveler will be entering with a B1/B2 Visitor Visa and not through the Visa Waiver Program. Keep in mind that an approved ESTA Travel Authorization is not a Visa.

Can I Re-Apply for an ESTA Travel Authorization if Denied?

Yes, but you must wait at least 10 days to reapply and your circumstances must have changed. Unless there is a change in a substantive fact, re-application will not change the result. Keep in mind that applying for an ESTA Travel Authorization with false information can cause a foreign national to be permanently barred from ever entering America. The ESTA system is designed to try to prevent individuals from changing and manipulating an ESTA entry until they receive an approval.

What If I am Denied an ESTA Travel Authorization and Have No Changed Circumstances?

There are three types of responses to an ESTA application; approved, pending or travel not authorized (denied). Applicants who receive a “pending” response are advised to check the website 72 hours later. Applicants who are denied will be required to go to a U.S. Embassy to apply for a formal nonimmigrant visa, such as a B1/B2 Visa, which may take months.

Can a Traveler Find Out the Reason Why an ESTA Application was Denied?

The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security has stated that travelers may contact the DHS Travel Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP at dhs.gov) but there are no guarantees that information about a denial will be divulged. U.S. Embassies and Consulates are not required to provide details about an ESTA denial nor resolve the issue that caused the ESTA denial.

What If I Have a Criminal Record?

Only those qualified to travel under the VWP are eligible to pre-register through ESTA. Persons who have been arrested and/or convicted are generally not eligible for VWP and probably require a formal Visa, such as a B1/B2 Visa, to travel to America. If a foreign national has received tickets for speeding (which don’t usually result in an arrest or conviction) they are probably still eligible for the VWP and ESTA. If a foreign traveler has been denied entry into or deported from the U.S., they require a formal Visa.

Do Any Other Countries Have a Similar Program?

Australia has a program called the Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) that mandates travelers to submit an ETA application electronically through a website requesting permission to travel to Australia. Airlines may refuse to accept passengers who do not have either an approved ETA or Visa to enter Australia.

How Long Will the ESTA Application Data be Stored? Who Can Access It?

The ESTA Travel Authorization is valid for two years or until the traveler’s passport expires, whichever comes first. The American government will maintain the information for at least 15 years to allow retrieval of the information for law enforcement, national security, or investigatory purposes. Information submitted through ESTA can also be shared with any U.S. government organization.

What Information Does the Airlines Get?

Airlines will receive confirmation of a passenger’s ESTA status visa the “Advance Passenger Information System” (APIS) which shows whether the ESTA authorization has been granted for a Visa Waiver Program traveler. It is recommended that the traveler print out the ESTA application approval in order to maintain a record of their ESTA application number and to have confirmation of their ESTA status.

What About Children?

Accompanied and unaccompanied children, regardless of age, are required to obtain an independent ESTA Travel Authorization.

What if a Mistake was Made on the ESTA Application?

The ESTA website will ask applicants to review their application before submitting it. Also, there is an update function for certain information such as email address, telephone number, or flight information. If an applicant makes a mistake that cannot be “updated,” he will need to submit a new ESTA application.

What if I Only Have a Connecting Flight Through the U.S.?

Visa Waiver Program visitors who have a connecting flight in the U.S. are required to either have ESTA Travel Authorization or a Visa from a U.S. Embassy in their passport to travel through the U.S. even for a one hour stop. If a traveler is only planning to stop in the U.S. en route to another country, the traveler should enter the words “In Transit” and his final destination in the address lines under the heading “Address While In The United States” on the ESTA application.

What Are the Questions on the ESTA Travel Authorization Application?

The traveler must provide (in English) biographical data including name, birth date, country of citizenship, country of residence, email address, sex, telephone number, passport information, destination address in the U.S., travel information (round trip airline ticket, flight number and city where you are boarding) as well as questions regarding communicable diseases (chancroid, gonorrhea, granuloma inquinale, HIV, leprosy, lymphogranuloma venereum, syphilis [active], tuberculosis [active], and others), physical or mental disorders, drug addiction problems, arrests, convictions, past history of visa cancellation or denial, and prior deportations from the U.S. The traveler will also be asked whether they are seeking work in the U.S., have ever been deported or tried to get a visa by fraud or misrepresentation. The traveler will be asked if they have ever detained a child of a U.S. Citizen granted custody of the child, and whether they have ever asserted immunity from prosecution.

Do I Select “Business” or “Pleasure (Tourist) at the Airport Port of Entry?

After the ESTA Travel Authorization is granted, the foreign traveler will be interviewed by government officers at the first American airport they land. The officer will ask what the foreign traveler will be doing in America and the questioning can take up to four hours in a detained setting called “secondary inspection.” The officer may ask the traveler “what else are you doing in America?” repeatedly to try to get “the real” answer. If the traveler is only going to be a tourist, they are not allowed to do any business, including meeting with any attorneys, applying for a bank account, meeting with real estate agents, or other business consulting activities. Even though the traveler is going to conduct just one business meeting while in America, they are required to report it and enter as a business visitor. The business visitor is allowed to participate in tourist activities, but the tourist visitor is not allowed to participate in any business activities. Therefore, if any business might be conducted while in America, it is best to tell the government officers about it at the airport to avoid being accused of lying, put immediately on a plane back to your home country, and barred from America for life.

What Else Do Can the Airport Officers Make Me Prove After I Land?

The airport officers will ask the traveler proof of a foreign residence (address on foreign driver’s license), whether their intention is to depart at the end of the visit (round trip airline ticket), whether the traveler has a job (letter, paystub, business card) and family in their home country, (marriage certificate, childrens’ birth certificates), and whether the traveler has the money to travel around America (bank statement or credit cards with bank letter showing credit limit). The airport officers are also required to ask where the traveler will stay in America (hotel reservations or friends/relatives’ homes) and have been known to pick up the phone to verify all of the aforementioned information.

Can I Be Searched in the American Airport? Am I Entitled to Legal Representation?

While being interviewed at the American airport, all luggage (even locked bags) can be searched, as well as the traveler’s body and his/her cell phone (including text messages and phone numbers) and laptop (including hard drive). The officers may “google” a traveler’s name and check out their myspace, Facebook or hyves pages. The traveler is not allowed to be represented by an attorney or even call their attorney while in “secondary inspection.” Bathroom visits, water and food may be limited, so it is best to prepare for such an occasion while still on the plane before landing.

Do I Still Have to Go Through the “US-VISIT” Program at the American Airport?

Foreign travelers arriving at American airports and seaports must still be photographed and fingerprinted every time they enter the U.S.

Who Should I Ask For Help to Fill Out the ESTA Application?

The information a traveler provides on the ESTA application can remain in their file with U.S. authorities for a minimum of 15 years – probably longer. If a foreign traveler has some questions about how to answer the questions so as not to be permanently barred from America, it would be prudent to them to pay for a legal consultation with an American Immigration Attorney who is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Beware of unauthorized private websites that offer ESTA application assistance for $49.99 – they are usually not authorized to practice immigration law and are asking travelers to pay for a copy of the application questions, which are free on the dhs.gov website.

If I Am Denied the ESTA Travel Authorization Will it Effect My Ability to Obtain a Visa at the U.S. Embassy?

When the ESTA Travel Authorization is denied, the foreign traveler must make an appointment at a U.S. Embassy in their country to apply for a formal Visa. The U.S. Embassy is operated by the U.S. Department of State and there are no expedited procedures for those who have been denied ESTA Travel Authorization. Because the ESTA program is so new, it is impossible to predict how badly a denial of the ESTA Travel Authorization will impact a traveler’s application for a Visa at a U.S. Embassy or impact their future travel to America in general. American Immigration Attorneys are in close contact with their foreign clients and will share the denial information with each other starting in January 2009. Currently there are no government policies regulating this area of the law, or opportunities to appeal a denial.

When Is the a “New” ESTA Travel Authorization Required?

A new ESTA Travel Authorization is required during the two years if (1) the traveler is issued a new passport (2) the traveler changes his name (3) the traveler changes his or her gender (4) the traveler’s country of citizenship changes or (5) the circumstances underlying the traveler’s previous responses to any of the ESTA application questions requiring a “yes” or “no” response have changed (such as a new arrest).

Can an American Immigration Attorney, Travel Agent or Employer Fill Out the ESTA Application?

A third party, such as a relative, travel agent or American Immigration Attorney, is permitted to submit an ESTA application on behalf of a VWP traveler. Be aware that the traveler is still responsible under the law for the answers submitted on his or her behalf by a third party.

Over 68,000 travelers have already voluntarily registered by using the ESTA online system in the last few months. Applicants are reminded to obtain a new “e-passport” which has an integrated computer chip capable of storing biographic information from the data page, as well as other biometric information, when registering with ESTA.

The author is Attorney Danielle Nelisse, owner of the Law Offices of Danielle Nelisse. She has been practicing U.S. immigration law since 1999. She specializes in U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residence through marriage, and work visas. She has a staff of translators who speak German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and other languages.

Travel Pre And Post Internet

Travel Pre Internet:

I’ve been travelling for over 40 years – by thumb in my early days, by boots in the Scouts, a Lambretta came next and then my first old banger followed by newer old bangers to the beaches of the Costa Brava.

My thumb, boots, bikes and bangers took me all over Europe and the UK before finding that a charter flight to Spain on an old ‘Connie’ could get me to the beaches and bars a lot quicker and allow more time to enjoy the local travel opportunities by horse and cart and the occasional bus and train.

‘Go West and Prosper’ seemed to be a good idea so instead of taking an 8 hour flight I took an 8 day transatlantic crossing from Tilbury to Montreal on the Stephan Batory of Polish Ocean Lines ensuring that jet lag did not trouble my travel plans. Some years later I crossed the pond again on a ship but this time it was 5 times bigger and I travelled in style on the QE2 and dined in the Queen’s Grill somewhat removed from my earlier experience. I highly recommend ocean voyages but cannot see myself on one of the modern cruise ships going from port to port with constant line-ups to get on and off to buy t-shirts. However, I have done 10 Windjammers and a Star Clipper cruise in the Caribbean which were all memorable (let’s hope Windjammer Barefoot Cruises recover from their woes). But I digress.

I had read that Canada is a spectacular country, from sea to shining sea, and my entrance into the St. Lawrence River to Montreal and then heading west in an old Econoline van from the Great Lakes, across the Prairies to the Rocky Mountains before ending up whale watching off of the Pacific Coast of Vancouver Island was a trip of wonder to a bloke from London. Today the scenery is still spectacular and the best way to go is still by road so rent or buy a car, motorhome or motorbike, take the train or tour bus but remember the maps, a fly rod, good boots and take your time.

My favorite part of Canada / USA for adventure travel has to be Northern BC / Alaska, to hike the Chilkoot Trail in the steps of the goldseekers of 1898. The Northwest Territories to canoe the Nahannie River and the Yukon to drive from Dawson City to Chicken, Alaska. If you like the outdoors and can put up with a few bugs, cast a fly and scale a few hills or drive on endless dirt roads sharing the space with moose, caribou, elk, bears and eagles, then these are the places to put on your list. The pleasures and experiences in driving to Inuvik on the Dempster Highway or to Prudhoe Bay on the Dalton Highway or even the Canol Road can only be felt by doing them. I would have mentioned the Alaska Highway but now it is an easy drive unlike the aforementioned.

Today the costs of driving these distances may mean that sharing the journey with others is required, but RVing or simply vanning and camping is a great way to see beyond the horizon. Some enroute adventures now need to be booked in advance whereas when I hiked Denali and the Chilkoot Pass it was just a case of turning up, registering with the local ranger office and heading on out. A little more forward planning is needed for today’s traveller and cost considerations of lengthy flights or drives have to somehow be countered with more careful planning. In the days of reasonable gas prices I would not even consider the driving or flying costs and have driven to Key West from the northwest coast, down the west coast to the Baja and to the west coast from New York. I once even flew my 1946 Fleet taildragger from the Pacific to the Atlantic and back using around 5 gallons an hour of avgas. Before the oil and credit crisis I drove from Rio de Janeiro to Lima, down to Tierra del Fuego and back to Rio covering over 15,000 miles of spectacular scenery and with no consideration about the cost of gas. South America should be on your itinerary too! Some other memorable drives that may now require a mortgage with the gas companies include London to The Nordkapp, Norway, Skippers Canyon in New Zealand and the loneliness of the far north of Australia and the amazing coast of Western Australia stopping by at Monkey Mia and Wave Rock.

We tend to forget that the real cost of travelling is often less today than over the 40 years of my travels. In 1977 my round-trip airfare from Canada to Australia cost over $1700 in 1977 dollars so today it is far cheaper to fly, even with the airlines gouging for fuel, extra baggage, no service and no pleasure. The ‘Big Mac’ method of price comparison as developed by The Economist newspaper gives us a good gauge for most expenditures of today compared to yesterday but my $1500 cost to get a private pilots licence in the 1970’s seems cheap by comparison to today, but obviously not when using this Big Mac principle. Other travel costs are also far cheaper today but this should not mean that travellers should disregard the many methods of saving costs that can then be put to extended or improved travel experiences

Travel Post-Internet:

In my 40 years of travel I have had to use travel agents to make even the simplest of reservations and buy tickets, not even thinking to ask them if they had “been there, done that?” It was just a case of there being no other options to buying travel. Now we have unlimited choices and can seek out better travel agents, better prices, better selections and information about anywhere in the world for our travels – without even leaving home.

The Internet now gives travellers ideas and options of Where to go, When to go, Why to go, What to do, Who to book with and How to save money and offset costs. We can search and find experts for every travel option. If we are comfortable with the Internet we no longer have to go to a travel agent to make reservations and buy tickets except to book with some of the larger travel companies that still produce glossy brochures and offer all inclusive packages or tours that only sell through the agency system. The Internet also allows those of us who are smart enough to know when to seek out a top travel agent with knowledge, experience and expertise (KEE skills) of destinations and activities about where to find them. There is no longer any need to only use our local agents when we can find one somewhere else in the world. When we do not need ‘the knowledge’ and can do it ourselves we simply surf the web so that we can book directly with tour and travel operators wherever we have decided to go.

Some travel agents operate their own tours, some are both wholesale and retail, some limit consumer selection by only selling their ‘preferred’ suppliers and some have professional consultants with years of experience invested in gaining knowledge, experience and expertise and are worth their weight in gold to the savvy traveller. Beware though, as some are also called destination specialists and some of these designations merely require the agent to take a rudimentary test offered by tourism offices, destination marketing groups or even tour operators and in my opinion can harm the reputation of the travel industry. A specialist is not necessarily an expert.

Travel is probably the most used commercial aspect of the Internet and if retail agents want to harness this exciting medium to offer ‘the knowledge’ and their ‘kee’ skills to a global audience, not just their local community, they must embrace the changes that are happening. Travellers now have the ability to seek answers to the 5 W’s of travel and the important ‘How to’ save money and offset costs by having information just a click away.

And then it occurred to me that even internet travel prices often include a commission element even when sold directly to the consumer. If we book directly with operators we should not have to pay full retail prices as we are doing for ourselves what a retail agent would normally do for us. A dilemma for the operator is that to show a both a retail and a cost price option could deter many agents from selling the services as travellers could use an agent for free advice and book directly with the operator to get a ‘net of commission’ price. Obviously this two tier pricing is not often available but travellers who do not need advice should also not be penalized by retail pricing. A new way had to be found and I think I have found it!

The need for fairer fare prices is why I developed the Top Travel Voucher program at The Top Travel Club and I even found a dot com for it. All travel selections on the site are at ‘net of commission’ prices for members who handle there own travel arrangements directly with the operators linked on the club website using our voucher program.

I am inviting travel operators from around the world to join this program, from B&B’s, Motels, Hotels, Luxury Lodges, Eco Resorts, Beach Resorts and Tour and Adventure Operators who want to promote their products and services to travellers who are comfortable with direct bookings and reservations.

I am also inviting Travel Agents with knowledge, experience and expertise of destinations and activities to showcase their skills to a global audience of travellers and to the members of this new travel club. I am leery of ‘specialist agents’ and only want experts to showcase their services.

This opportunity is available to the travel trade at no cost except for them to offer net, wholesale or outlet prices to club members and visitors to the website using top travel vouchers. I believe this program offers fairer fare prices to direct-booking travellers. The operator would normally be paying commission anyway but now travellers get the savings because they make their own arrangements.

The Top Travel Club opened in mid-April 2008 offering thousands of top travel vouchers for travel in over 70 countries with around 150 travel operators onboard. Every week we add more travel operators with more choices for members. Currently you can get savings on accommodations, adventure travel, boat charters, culinary tours, hike, bike and dive tours, auto and RV rentals fishing lodges and guides, safaris, vacation rentals, single travel, women only and dude ranches. Members get the vouchers free of charge by paying an annual membership fee and non-members can buy the vouchers on the internet at Top Travel Sites at deeply discounted prices to the face-value. The future growth will include restaurants, travel clothing, travel insurance and the opportunity to access air ticket consolidators who want to deal directly with consumers.

The way I have travelled and the way I see travel is that consumers should have unlimited access to every travel opportunity with the ability to do their own due diligence or to find a professional who can offer quality advice and services at fair prices, and to find all of this without needing endless hours of searching.

Travelling Tips for the Disabled

Unlike in the past, today people with disabilities have been recognized, and are less discriminated against. In many countries there are legislations that protect them and make their life a little easier. Also many public buildings have been designed or renovated in order to accommodate people with disabilities.

With all these improvements, people with disabilities are now able to travel for vacation or a business trip to places far away from their home. However, with all these improvements we have made, travelling for people with disabilities is still a challenge for them, especially when they are travelling alone or, they are travelling to an unknown destination. Below is a guide to help people with all forms of disabilities to travel safely.

1. Plan well in advance
Planning is key to any form of success. This is very important because it reduces chances of getting stranded and being inconvenienced. Booking flights and hotel rooms are the top priorities, however if you are going to stay at a friend’s or a relative’s house; notifying them in advance is very important. Then they can be prepared and even pick you up from the airport.

2. Book hotels that are disabled friendly
Hotels with disabled friendly structures are very convenient as they allow disabled individuals to move freely with minimal effort. Most of these hotels also have special emergency protocols that ensure disabled individuals are not left behind in case of an emergency, unlike some hotels where these issues are over looked.

3. Use a travel agent that offers travel packages for disabled travelers
Booking flights and hotel rooms with travel agents that offer travel solutions to disabled people is advantageous in a number of ways. They ensure they book for their disabled clients airlines and hotels that are disabled friendly. They strive to offer services and suggestions that will ensure their clients travel comfortably.

4. Understand and know your rights when at the airport
Travelling, for people with disabilities, is very hectic, especially when they arrive at the airport. They face the challenge of getting proper information and directions. This is further aggravated by the huge number of people traveling and long queues. In airports, there are attendants that are supposed to attend to the needs of those travelling with disabilities.

Disabled travelers should not, and are not, treated differently when they go through security measures. They are also protected from any form of discrimination from any airline. Disabled travelers are advised to be very conversant with their rights to avoid and report any form of discrimination when travelling.

5. Bring extra medication
There is no harm in carrying an extra dose of medication when travelling. People do lose their luggage as they travel so, having an extra dose will act as a backup when one dose gets lost. This also ensures that when travelling, a disabled person does not run out of their medicine forcing them to start looking for a drug store when travelling. These medications should be stored properly to ensure their safety.

6. Take a doctor’s note and contact information when travelling
A doctor’s note contains important information about a condition that a disabled person is facing and this will help doctors save a lot of time on tests in case of an emergency. Contact information for your doctor allows other doctors to get important information from your doctor should the need arise. This small, but vital, information can save lives.

7. Use direct flights
It is very hectic and tiresome for a disabled traveler to use connecting flights. Using connecting flights exposes them to loss of their luggage and even injury as they get in and out of a plane. Using a direct flight cuts all these risks down and saves a lot time and energy when travelling. Direct flights also ensure that those travelling with disabilities are not stranded in an airport as they wait for a connecting flight.

8. Disabled travelers are advised to have some knowledge about where they are travelling to
There is nothing more difficult than looking for directions to a place you do not know about. This is even harder for disabled travelers so, it is advisable to have at least some knowledge and understanding about their destination. This will give them an upper hand when moving around and the knowledge to know where to go and where not to go. This will be very helpful when they are stranded or experience an emergency situation and need urgent assistance.

9. Carry the appropriate luggage
Disabled travelers are advised to carry luggage that they can manage when they are travelling. Unless they have company, travelling with a huge amount of luggage is not easy. Traveling lightly enables disabled travelers to be more flexible to situations that arise besides, a large amount of luggage can also easily get lost.

10. Enjoy travelling
Many disabled people do not travel often because of a lot of limitations which discourages them. However modern technology ensures safe travel for all regardless of their condition. Travelling should be enjoyed by all since it is a chance to experience new things that are different than what they are used to.

Best Travel Tips – Booking from the Internet or Over the Phone

Let’s take a look at the process of booking a flight to give you some of the best travel tips to get cheap hotels and flights. Nowadays everything is set very efficiently in order to allow you to book a flight through the Internet instead of using real persons that earn a salary over the phone. That makes things very easy from the very beginning, as a fare that appears on the Internet will always be cheaper than the one you can get over the phone, as the company will not need to pay any employee for the telephone services.

From this point and on, many possibilities are open to you. There are some companies that have no longer real persons on the phone and the only way in which you can get your tickets or reservations is on the net. These companies will normally be cheaper than others that offer the service over the phone, but of course the level of customer service that you can receive if any problems arise is lower. This is the case of low cost carriers such as Ryanair, EasyJet, German Wings, Jet4You, etc.

If any of these companies covers your itinerary, one of the best travel tips I can give to you is to always book with them. The only thing you need to check is how much baggage allowance do they have and how far the airport they fly from and to is from the main city you depart from and visit. In the case of a hotel, this does not make sense, and simply if a hotel can be booked online it will be always less expensive than the one you book over the phone.

Another of the best travel tips I can give to you is to never book through travel engines such as Expedia, Travelocity and similars. They always charge more than the airlines or hotels booked directly from the web-page or over the phone.

For the following best travel tips, we consider that there is no possibility to book a flight or a hotel only over the Internet. Let’s consider the possibility where all the companies that supply travel to your destination offer the both possibilities. Which one to take?

Bookings over the Internet may be cheaper, but only 15 Euros per person cheaper in many occasions. What I mean with that is that you are saving, yes, but under which conditions? Many of the times booking through the Internet and getting the best e-deals will mean that this tickets are not changeable or that you will receive no refund if booked in this way. It all depend on you. Probably for a cheap trip you will prefer to risk and in the worst of cases you will not lose a lot of money. In any case, one of the best travel tips for long trips or expensive hotels is to book over the phone. This will offer tickets with the possibility to be changed applying a determined fee and even 50% or full refund cancellation policies and you will be paying just a little more.

There is another thing involved with booking online. Sometimes, even if not many, the tickets booked online will be able to be collected only from an office in a determined country. For example, if you book on the Internet from FlightCentre.co.uk, a great company to travel from Europe to the South Pacific, you will need to get the tickets in a UK office, while if you book on the phone you will be paying just 13 Euros more but you will have e-tickets that you can print. Of course this is saving you a lot of money if you are not UK resident, at same time that you get cancellation refunds and changeable flights and passenger names.

To summarize, I think that a good strategy is to take the short flights or inexpensive hotels and hostels on the Internet and get your longer trips on the phone. In any case, I would never give a call to an agent before checking all the offers they have on their web-page. The agent will never introduce you to all discounts, but will try to make you get the most expensive deal for his or her company. If you go directly to him and you tell him which flight or hotel you want, then he will have nothing left to do than to give that one to you.

In any case, and being this one the best of all my best travel tips, it is the one of getting free travel certificates. I just can’t understand why many people pays a lot for 4 or 5 star hotel stays while I pay 10 times less for the same stay. But there is a reason why they do it. Because they don’t know that travel certificates can be taken for free in certain places, and most of them that will never be lucky enough as to read this article will never know.

Best Travel Destinations – The New Tourism

The idea is not to say that tourism in typical European cities or in the US and Canada is decreasing, because of course it isn’t really. But if we take a comparative study of the evolution of tourism during the recent years we may see that the touristic growth of these typical places compared to the one related with more exotic ones is pretty low. Everything indicates that the best travel destinations are about to change soon.

If we take a broader look at the world, we can discover that a recent trend for countries that are on the way to develop have found that tourism is a great way to create some income to finance their projects. Sure, the strategy is not wrong in the first approach. If we don’t have the money, we bring it from the outside. This should work and in fact it does work, but not everything is written in pink. There’s also black there, and very black. They’ve become the best travel destinations but they’ll have a high price to pay because of that.

What is happening is that in the hurry to develop great touristic attractive locations and funding publicity campaigns the money is not going where it should be. In the end, and going a bit to the extreme situation, the result is that conditions on the living standards of people in the country keep being the same while tourists are enjoying an amazing lifestyle, even with low prices compared to their home countries. And this is what is happening with some of the best touristic destinations such as Brazil, India, China, Turkey, Venezuela or Thailand, together with an increase of tourism in countries in Eastern Europe.

And from my point of view what is happening is simply because governments are failing in the approach they give to tourism. In my opinion, tourism does not need to mean luxury hotels and big resorts with expensive personnel or great museums and exhibitions. Many of these countries have the beauty in the sights, in the history you can feel in the streets of their towns and cities, in nature. Taking the example of some African countries, I consider absolutely wrong to build up 5 star hotels in the middle of the jungle. They simply don’t fit. Instead, they should try to take a more cultural approach and build buildings that do fit with the local style, that have some meaning related to the region, taking advantage of the exotic taste tourists could get.

Tourism should be cultural immersion and in the way it is being done nowadays it fails completely with it’s original purpose. In other words, if you want a luxury hotel, keep visiting Paris, but please don’t go down to Kenya. Unfortunately, if you go down to Kenya you will find the same luxury hotel. Furthermore, it seems that nowadays in order to be one of the best travel destinations you need to have a 5 star hotel standing there. Which is the idea of great vacations that people have?

On the other hand, I don’t want to seem a person who is against high quality hotels. Don’t take me wrong. I simply think that everything should be in place and respecting the area and culture where it is placed. A 5 star hotel fits perfectly in the cozy area of central Paris, and this is not something I will discuss. It simply fits, and I personally would take it if traveling there, using any of the free travel certificates that are available on the net in certain places. Which ones, you say?

How to Choose the Best Travel Agents for Your Vacation

Travel agents are not considering as often as in the past due to the beginning of the Internet. However, they are still a great resource of information and provide you with an entire range of services, which will make your trip, run easily, as well as save you time, problem, and cash. Here is the process you should follow when choosing a travel agent.

Things you will need to do:

o Date, Place, and price range of Your Trip.

o List of agencies in your near by area.

o List of query

A good quality travel agent will ask you to outline your trip. They will ask where you’re going and why, how you would wish to travel, how long you plan to stay, and what your travel budget is. Be open and honest with your answers. A good agent will gladly put together a sample tours that describes availabilities in transportation, accommodations, and estimated costs.

Steps for Choosing Best Travel Agents

Recognize your needs

A good travel agent will always take your needs into thought. However, while an agent will typically ask questions to bring out this type of information from you (and you should take it as a bad sign if the agent does not), you will also need to do your part by speaking your mind.

o Clarify the main purpose of your trip.

o Decide where you want to go and when, making sure the trip will fit into everyone’s plan.

o Choose your mode of transportation, whether it’s Airline, Cruise, rental car, or something else fully.

o Try to determine a realistic budget for your trip based on all your other considerations.

Ask the right questions

Once you have pointed your choices, call around to ask questions. You should ask most of these questions to person, in addition, when you meet with those agents:

o What kind of travel do you specialize in?

o Can I contact you 24 hours a day?

o Which services do you charge for and how much will they cost?

Meet With Travel Agents

Travel arrangements like shopping of any car and other commodity, if you are too eager to jump on a deal right away. When you do meet with travel agents don’t feel required to purchase anything. As you start to discuss travel options with an agent you like, keep these guidelines in mind:

o Do not rely on vocal agreements alone.

o Do not suppose your accommodations will look as impressive as they do in the glossy direct mail.

o Always read out the paperwork carefully before you sign on it, especially when it comes to package deals.

5 Best Travel Accessories for Backpackers

Backpacking around the world is a good time, no matter what you bring or how you bring it. Nobody should stress too much over how to pack or what travel gear to bring. Unless you’re scaling Mount Everest, chances are you’ll survive. But there are a few items that are designed help you stay light and mobile, which means you’ll spend less time dealing with life’s basics and more time making new friends and creating new adventures. So here are the five best travel accessories for backpack travelers:

First: A Travel Backpack
By far the best accessory you can bring is also the most basic – a backpack designed for travel. Of course, any backpack will do. But if you want to grab your stuff quickly and easily and keep everything organized, a travel backpack is the best way to go. The main advantage is travel backpacks open like a suitcase. Traditional backpacks open at the top with a drawstring. So if you need to grab something at the bottom of a traditional backpack, you have to take everything out first and then repack it. A complete hassle if you’re in the middle of a train station. With travel backpacks, you have all the same features, but you can open it from the top or side and have access to all your stuff quickly and easily.

Second: Quick-Dry Travel Underwear
Nothing can ruin a trip faster than a little fungus in your nether regions, if you know what I mean. Stuffing damp, cotton underwear in your pack is a recipe for mildew, fungus and odors. With quick-dry, anti-bacterial underwear, you can just wash it in the sink, hang it to dry and it’s ready to pack or wear by the time the next bus arrives. And it’s anti-bacterial coating helps fight fungus between washings.

Third: Packing Cubes
I didn’t even know what these were when I first started traveling. Now, I don’t pack even for a weekend without them. Packing cubes, or compression packers, are essentially mesh or nylon squares into which you pack all of your gear before putting the cubes in your backpack. Not only do they keep everything organized, but they allow you to pack way more stuff in the same space by compressing the materials before putting them in your pack.

Fourth: International Plug Adapters
It’s a wired world and you have to stay plugged in. Each continent, essentially, has its own electrical wall outlet configuration, so you have to bring an adapter to fit it if you want to plug in your electronics. There are a couple of ways to do this. If you’re going for a worldwide trip, or aren’t sure where you’ll end up, bring an all-in-one universal adapter that will fit no matter where you go. If you’re going to be in only one continent, you can also buy an adapter set that includes individual pieces, so you can bring only what you need.

Fifth: Travel or Luggage Locks
I hate to break the positive travel spirit by mentioning security, but you’re a long way from home and it can be a major hassle and time-eater to replace things that are stolen while traveling. So you want to take a few precautions. The best type of locks for backpackers are travel cable locks that include flexible cables to reach multiple zippers. These locks allow you to secure your pack and exterior pockets while in crowded places prone to pick pocketing, or when you are separated from your pack. Some locks with longer cables also let you secure your pack to a chair or other fixed object. Travel locks are small and lightweight. They aren’t going to prevent every theft. But if someone has just a few seconds to pick through a few backpack pockets, these locks will make sure they don’t pick through yours.

So, remember, travel should be low stress and great times. No need to get bogged down in too many how-to guides. You’ll have a blast no matter which travel accessories you bring. But with a few key accessories you’ll stay light, mobile and have more time to spend exploring the world.