Tips, deals, and advice on traveling the continent on a budget.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Where to Go in NJ

By Robert Vrabel

Like many of the New England states, New Jersey is a winter wonderland. Many people think of New Jersey as nothing but city but there are many activities to take part in both in town and on the Jersey shore. Here are a few things that take place in February that are great for the weekend or a family vacation. From the glacial lakes to the cross-country skiing trails, you will find something for everyone in Kittatinny Valley State Park in Newton. In February here are several state park programs including “Tracking the Mammals of NJ: Animal Awareness.” This even is for adults and children ages 10 and up. The park offers pelts, skulls, bones, teeth and tracks that allow you to learn about the fascinating wildlife that call New Jersey home.

At Rutgers University in New Brunswick, you will find the annual New Jersey Film Festival. The film festival looks at various new documentaries and movies that are both heart wrenching and thought changing. The festival is held on campus at Scott Hall and Loree Building. There are several films hosted each year. It’s winter in New Jersey and that means its time for Maple Sugaring at the Environmental Center in Basking Ridge. This is excellent for children, as they will love seeing how maple syrup is made from the sap of the trees. In Basking Ridge you will also find the annual Nature Through a Child’s Eyes Exhibit. This exhibit features Somerset County kindergarteners through sixth graders who have expressed their love of nature.

Hudson Restaurant Week is an annual event that allows guests to try several different restaurants throughout New Jersey. Participating towns include Hoboken, Jersey City, North Bergen and Weekawken. The participating restaurants offer pre-fixed meals for reduced prices. Many restaurants open both lunch and dinner while others may offer only dinner. This is a great way to try out several restaurants that you have been tempted to visit but have remained uncertain. The event is presented by Get Out Hudson! and promotes Hudson County as a premier place to dine, particularly during this part of the year which tends to be slow for many restaurants. Get Out Hudson! is a local magazine for Hoboken and Jersey City that promotes all the events and activities that are available in the county.

Adventure Aquarium in Camden celebrates Black History Month with a variety of activities that are fun for the whole family. The aquarium features performances by African Drum and Dance Ensembles as well story telling. Not only is this a great event for February but the aquarium also features educational exhibits with many water creatures.

Rob Vrabel is the co-owner of, the largest directory of fun things to do in New Jersey. Visit this great directory at

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Playa Tambor: A Place Rich In Bio-Diversity

By Tom Lara

Tambor is a lovely small village situated in the valley of a large and calm horseshoe bay: the Bahia Ballena which means whale bay in English. This place is a gateway to the legendary beaches and breaks of Malpais, Montezuma, Santa Teresa, Playa Cocalito, the Cabo Blanco and Curu Nature Reserves. This colorful place is hugely popular among settlers and tourists. The demand for Costa Rica lots, Costa Rica villas has gone soaring high.

Playa Tambor is rich in biodiversity and diverse habitats. The valley of Tambor is cradled by lush forested hills which belong to the Biological corridor in Costa Rica. The northern side of the bay is close to the Curu Wildlife Reserve which protects various ecological habitats with a wealth of wildlife. It is fronted by the Islas Tortugas, a tropical island paradise which can be visited by boat from Tambor.

Tambor is easily accessible. This place is at a distance of 220 km from San Jose and it can be reached within 4 hours and 30 minutes by driving and 28 minutes by flying. Tambor is a perfect holiday destination for families with kids. The beach is comfortably accessed with a car and shaded by old almendro trees and palms. Low tide produces a broad expanse of fine sand which easily accommodates teams of volleyball and soccer along with children building sand castles and couples on their honeymoon. Hotels in Tambor are often Oceanside or within easy walking distance to the beach. This place is very small and has preserved a somnolent, laid-back atmosphere. If you own here Costa Rica lots, Costa Rica villas, you can feel the cool ambience of this scenic place at each and every spot.

However, four kilometers north of the village of Tambor is Costa Rica's first and only all-inclusive resort, which nowadays many tourists might mistake for Tambor. The hotel also contains a casino and discotheque and an associated country club offers a golf course. Tambor also hosts the only airport of the whole Southern Nicoya Peninsula, which serves several flights per day to Costa Rica's capital San Jose.

Soak in the magic of this place by having wonderful Costa Rica lots, Costa Rica villas and fill your life with exciting activities. Don’t forget to treat your family with sumptuous exotic cuisine when you are at this place.

Tambor – A majestic place loaded with fun and joy that is more than enough to cherish forever.

Tom Lara writes on Gold Jewelry and Health articles where he shares his knowledge about the Related and current hot topic. Author is specializes in producing creative marketing materials and making strategy for both online and offline advertising.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Folding Bikes

By LeRoy Schaeffer

It finally happened. We had been planning for it for years and all our friends knew it would happen soon enough and recently it did. No, not the adoption of our baby boy but instead, the avalanche of stuff that came with him.

One of the best things about my job is that I can ride my bike to it. For the past few years I have saved the bus fare (and hopefully a little bit of the earth) by riding my mountain bike to work. But my mountain bike is very big. New York apartments are very small. So, now with the new little guy and all his gear: the strollers, the cribs, the toys, something had to go. I took my big mountain bike to work and gave it to one of my students (It was old and not very expensive, the bike, not the student!) and got myself a folding bike.

My life has been changed. Yes, yes, the new father thing has changed me, but this new bike. Wow. I feel so cool whipping it out and dashing across the city every morning. I feel like a superhero. And does it whip and dash!

Last year there was a perfect storm moment here in New York for bikes. Gas prices shot up to crazy levels, the buzz about global warming started to really get some traction, and we had a subway and bus strike. All of a sudden there were bikes everywhere. And as I said above, our apartments are small, tiny little things, it would only be a second before bikes followed suit. They were everywhere, these cute, slightly clownish gizmos careening around taxis and down the paths along the Hudson.

Folding bikes have been around for years but they have been a badge of very aggressive environmentalists or the English. Here in America the foldies have mainly been stowed away in campers or brought on sail boats. But their time has come. There is a range of high quality, easy-to-fold bikes with wide price points. (Everywhere from $300.00 to $1,400). Today’s high energy lifestyles have been waiting for these sweet machines. A folding bike would allow folks who commute by train to save that bothersome next leg of their journey and get in a little exercise too. You bike to the train station, fold the thing up and get on the train. Unfold it and bike it from the station. No need to lock it up outside your office, just take it in.

The business traveler could explore his or her new city, get some exercise and not have to lug a big bulky bike around. A folding bike can easily be checked as regular piece of luggage. Campers and boaters have long known the delight of a foldy. Any place where space and size is a concern is the place for a folding bike.

A folding bike may not ride exactly like a full size bike. The wheels are smaller so going up hills means you push a little harder. The balance takes some getting used to as well. But after a little practice you feel quite comfortable, even nimble and light. Some very tall people may have to have one custom made ($$$) though. The higher end models come very close to replicating the ride and performance of a full-sized bike. Some fold smaller and more quickly than others. Some have only three gears, some come fully equipped with bells, lights and racks. The world of folding bikes is broad enough that bike novices or hard core riders both will find what they need.

Author, Geoffrey Perry, son of LeRoy and Janet Schaeffer, owners of

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

How to Find the Best Travel Deals

By Ryan Sevale

If you're looking to find the best travel deals when planning your next vacation, the Internet is your greatest and most convenient resource, offering a wealth of information right at your fingertips-including a wide array of great travel packages and deals, helping you to save a substantial amount of money simply by booking online.

Most everyone wants to save money while vacation planning, and with some time, careful planning, and thorough online research, you'll be able to find the best travel deals, and make your vacation plans accordingly.

If there is somewhere in particular you would like to go, plan in advance as much as possible. Use the Internet to research airline ticket prices and discounts for that destination, accommodation options, as well as attractions and facilities, and find out what kind of deals they have. Some people find that using a very targeted search (i.e., specific destination) helps them find the best travel deals.

However, if you have a more open mind as far as destinations go, you may be able to find even better travel deals. Using this method, you look for what types of special deals and discounts are being offered for various travel destinations-domestically and internationally-and then you make your decision accordingly.

One great vacation money-saving tip is to plan your vacation for the "off-season"-you are almost guaranteed to find better travel deals-for airfare, accommodations, rentals, and activities-if you go this route. Many vacationers actually prefer booking their holiday for the off-season for additional reasons, as well, such as avoiding the crowds and tourist craze.

Timing is important in another respect. Sometimes, if you book online well in advance, you can save a lot of money; on the other hand, with some travel companies and their online deals, it pays to book much later, where you can snag last-minute deals.

Sometimes, you can save money by researching all-inclusive travel package deals online. It certainly is the more convenient route to planning your vacation, and it's true that same all-inclusive plans are money-savers to a certain extent.

However, many people don't know that by booking everything separately-flight, accommodation, rentals, activities, insurance-it really is possible to save a great deal of money; in fact, sometimes significantly more than if you would go with a travel agent and an all-inclusive package.

Booking all the elements of your vacation online and separately can in fact be the most cost-effective thing you do with your travel plans. The Internet allows you to quickly and conveniently compare the costs and discounts offered by hotels and airlines, so you can find and secure the best price. It certainly is worth your time (and money) to go online and research the costs involved in book separately rather than going with a package deal in order to find the best travel deals.

Besides booking individually, make sure you take the time to do enough cost comparison online. Every online travel company will claim they have the best travel deals you can find on the Internet, but you are the one that is going to have to take the time to find out who really has the best deals and prices. The other thing to keep in mind when researching online travel deals is that a particular travel company may have great deals for domestic destinations, but not for overseas. So don't assume that because one company has the best deal in one area, that it necessarily will in another. Research, compare, and research and compare some more.

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