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

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

6 Tips That Will Help Save On Hotel Bills

Many of us have walked away from a hotel desk without checking the hotel bill and paying the bill blindly. According to an administrator of a leading company, " a company could save thousands of dollars by reconciling hotel bills." For both the business traveler and personal traveler an aspect of travel that is becoming a growing problem is hotel over billing. Corporate management consultants found that people over pay hotels in excess of USD 1.8 million everyday. The billing error rates are known to be as high as 25 %.

To save on hotel bills you the business or personal traveler must know:

1. Always find out what the room rate should be. Do a comparison of rates. Many hotel directories on the internet encourage travelers to find out what actual rates are. And, get the rate in writing at the time of booking a room.

2. If you are booking on a corporate rate or a package find out what the package includes. When paying the bill ensure that items that were supposed to be free are not billed for, like a free meal or use of the spa.If the booking included one night free ensure that it is actuality free and not charged.

3. Find out before you check in what the nonnegotiable surcharges are. Many charge for use of the phone, room safe, and resort pool.

4. Many large hotels add a service charge to your bill. This means the tip is included in the bill and you do not have to tip for service separately if you don't wish to.

5. Know whether or not the food and drink kept in the room is free or will be billed to you. While some hotels offer a fruit basket or welcome drink free others charge the customer for whatever is used.

6. Many hotels charge greater amounts for room service. For example breakfast eaten in the coffee shop may be cheaper than if it is served in your room. Some do mention this fact on the room service menu.

Many hotels bill clients for facilities they may never use or don't know of. Many travelers have been forced to pay larger bills because of the presence of an Olympic size pool, gym, or internet connection.

It is to your advantage if you insist that the hotel disclose upfront all charges and costs including taxes and surcharge before you check in. This way you will not be in for any surprises when you settle the bill.

And unlike other fields where consumer protection is in place the hotel and travel industry do not have any watchdogs that guide hapless consumers. Most travel articles do not address the "dark side" of travel as the incentives and sops offered by the industry are great temptations. To set right wrongs a concerted effort must be made by travelers—they can writ forums, blog posts, and more all over the World Wide Web and create a consortium that will wage a war against unfair practices and over billing.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Kenya Coast Five (5) Star Beach Hotel - Best Kenyan Coast Hotel

The Indian Ocean beach club Kenya is possibly the most up market hotel on Diani Beach. It definitely has the best setting on the Kenyan beach. Located at the northern most part of Diani, close to the winding Tiwi River mouth, the club looks over wonderfully clean golden sands and good surf. There are enormous old baobabs, and right next to the club, nestled in a forest of these ancient trees, is a 16th century Arab mosque.

The club has been designed as a Swahili village, with clusters of white washed cottages arranged on both sides of the large main buildings. There are 100 rooms, all of which face the Indian Ocean. Some cottages are single-storied with makuti-thatched roofs while others, housing a few rooms, are double story with flat roofs in the Swahili style. The main building, with its grand red tiled roof and wooden shutters, is more reminiscent of colonial Kenya. The overall effect is a rather busy mélange of architectural styles.

The public rooms are simple and elegant. "Spices," the large and airy upstairs dining room, seems to have no walls, just a series of arched-top windows lined in wood. Instead of glass, there are wooden shutters, opening to reveal glorious views of palms, white sand and blue ocean-all only steps away. Below this restaurant is an open sided breakfast area and a large free-form swimming pool with water flowing over the edges.

The Indian Ocean Beach Club does not intend to be just another hotel-on-the beach. Arriving guests are greeted with scented towels and then, instead of queuing up at a long reception counter, will be ushered to chairs at individual welcoming tables. There are message boxes outside of each room and a 24 hour valet service. Many water sports are included in the tariff such as windsurfing, sailing, goggling and there are guided bird walks up the Tiwi River. In addition to the large main pool, three plunge pools are scattered around the grounds.

The rooms also evidence quality and detail. There are king sized Lamu beds, cushioned window seats, nice stone-tiled floors, dark mangrove beams set in white ceilings, and the hotel logo of a fish painted on the tiles above the bath. There are fancy extras-direct-dial telephones, hair driers, and air conditioning, which automatically turns off when you open the door. The rooms feel cozy. The arrangement of the cottages is such that some rooms are very close together-ideal for families or groups.

To an appreciable extent, it is the clubs location which makes it so special. The baobabs are truly awesome-enormous bulges in undreamed of shapes-hundreds of years old. They provide interest and focal points to the grounds which are still rather lacking in shade or colour. Because there is a gap in the reef, waves are able to reach the shore and even at low tide, the water is deep enough for swimming. This is quite unusual along this coast. With exposed sand banks and indigenous vegetation, the gentle meandering channels of Tiwi River add a special interest. Children were leaping off sheer cliffs of sand into the river, and then floating gently upstream in the clear ocean water of the incoming tine-great fun.

Special offerings

Free sports facilities (tennis and squash) including green fees at the Nyali Golf Club, unlimited water sports (extra charge for deep sea fishing and scuba diving), free courtesy shuttle bus to Likoni and Diani, fully equipped conference room with air conditioning, gift boutique, beauty center, children's club.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, May 25, 2007

Travel Expense Management - How to Utilize A Professional Service

There is much more to controlling your company's travel budget than just allowing your employees and clients to make their own travel arrangements and submit expense reports.
Many companies who are going this route are not only sacrificing service but they are in fact losing money by not implementing a strict travel program that allows them to effectively manage and control their travel budget.

A professional travel service can offer significant advantages.

As I write this article, I am reminded of a colleauge who called was on a business trip in London. While over there, the meetings went better than he anticipated. He subsiquitly wanted to make an imediate change in his itinerary. His return from London back to Los Angeles needed to be a day earlier than it was currently scheduled for. At 8am local time in London England (that makes it 3am EST here in the States) he wanted to speak directly with someone. He didn't want to risk not being able to get the availabilty for a next day flight as it was already a one day time difference in London. It was very important thet he reach someone right away.

A professional Travel service can offer a management team capable of handling virtually everything that a traditional in house travel department would do. For a contracted cost, your company can partner with a company that operates with efficiency. The "hands on" service is well worth the cost. The simple truth is as professional travel agents they can do an array of things that discount travel web sites cannot.

A professional travel service can utilize their negotiated contracts with the airlines to offer fares that are often less costly than the airline's published fares. They have at their disposale access to search engines that aggregate all available fare types. Allowing them to be able to virtually guarantee the lowest possible fares across all markets. In addition to being less expensive, in many cases a Travel service can offer less restricted tickets as well, while still maintaining the lower fares – this is critical to the corporate traveler who is often subjected to inflated pricing structures in order to allow flexibility.

A professional Travel service can also offer complete management of all trips, meetings or any travel related issues. The arrangement of hotels, ground transportation, meeting rooms, and other various special assistance requirements are all areas that your professional will take care of.

A professional Travel service offers all of these things and so much more. They do virtually all of the paperwork, and handle all itineraries and invoices. They can submit on a bi monthly basis spreadsheets, updates, expense reports, credit card consolidation statements, and consolidated airline purchase reports. They can offer complete customization based on each account's unique needs, and work hand-in-hand with their accounting departments as needed.

Going back to my colleuge in London - who else could he call at 3am EST (remember it's 8am in London)? Would he feel comfortable leaving a message on a voice mail machine and hoping that they get a response in time to arrange an urgent change to an international ticket? His company's contracted Travel service had assigned an agent to him, and that agent was personally able to gather all of the information from them, in "real time" (and time IS money in these situations!). He was assured that he was able to check availability for his request to change his return flight. He was able to verbally let them know that everything was under his control and that he had already started the change process. He was given his new schedule and everything from the hotel to ground transportation in London and in Los Angeles was taken care of within hours.

Again, I can't stress enough the importance of having someone who will be there when your clients need to make an adjustment in their schedule. As professional service companies they put themselves in your employee's shoes and they cater to all of their travel needs. They set up profiles to ensure that your employee's personal needs are met, with all of their loyalty programs information on file. If someone needs a business class seat and it's within the company's guidelines they can provide options. If your employees need to stay in a hotel in Europe or in any city in the USA, they can offer options and service there as well.

Beware of going it alone as a business. Your Travel Budget may need Professional Help.
Visit us at for more information on "ALL of Your Travel Needs".
We have also recently added a staff of fully Licensed Bodyguards to accommodate our many clients in the Music & Entertainment industries. Try that on Orbitz or Priceline!

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Anglesey Beach Silver Coins Treasure Find

A beautiful Anglesey beach is a real treasure trove following an amazing discovery of ancient silver coins at Llanddona beach.
Beachcombers will sit up at the idea of an exploration to a soft, sandy remote beach on a paradise island off North Wales.

Coin experts estimate the 600 silver coins found at Llanddona date back to the late 13th century. In fact, this secret beach location has yielded almost 1,000 silver coins in over 6 years of beachcombing by treasure hunters.

The treasure hunters who found this latest treasure trove have been searching for over 6 years. They reckon each coin will be valued at about $8.
Now the National Museum of Wales says these silver coins are similar to those found in Ireland, Scotland and the rest of Europe and dating back to the late 1200's.

This Anglesey beach at Llanddona is a regular winner of the European Blue Flag Seaside Award for quality bathing conditions and good facilities.

The coastal and sea views from here are spectacular and well worth a visit. Looking north you will see the soft sandy beaches stretch along to Red Wharf Bay and Benllech.
And at the furthest point is Moelfre, a small eastward facing coastal village famed for its maritime tradition.

From here the famous Moelfre lifeboat was launched to save mariners in distress off the north east Anglesey coast.

With so many shipwrecks along this treasure island coast over the years, it is possible that some of the silver coin discovery is linked to such disasters.
There are many old accounts of gold sovereigns being discovered along some Anglesey beaches after major shipwrecks.

So as you view the magnificent Anglesey coastal sea views at Llanddona, just think as you feel the soft sand between your toes what might be below the surface.
The beachcomber who found the silver coins now believes the sandbank has shifted since last winter.

It's quite possible there are more 13th century silver coins waiting to be found on this beautiful Anglesey beach, but it may be more difficult to dig them out.

So whether you are into beachcombing, treasure hunts or just chilling out and appreciating lovely sea views, Llanddona is your perfect start for a break on an Anglesey beach.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, May 21, 2007

St Thomas Villas

While on vacation is St. Thomas I decided to look at real estate. St Thomas Villas are reasonably priced and can earn a lot of extra revenue. You have to decide on what type of St Thomas villa you need. You can choose from luxury villas, to condo's to apartments. What's important is what you'll do with the villa.

I decided that a 4 bedroom luxury St Thomas villa was the best investment for me. This way I could rent the villa out to families as well as corporations. I looked at St Thomas condos as well. This seems like a good way to go because they are maintained for you on a regular basis.

The pros of owning a St Thomas villa versus a St Thomas condo are:

- Privacy in the villa

- Larger in size

- No condo rules to follow

The cons of owning a St Thomas villa are:

- more expensive to purchase

- more expensive to maintain

- higher taxes

You'll also need to find a good vacation rental agency to work with. They can be invaluable as they know St Thomas and the locals. They can help you on location of the property, where to hire vendors, and what's important to potential renters. They usually collect a villa rental for of 15-20% for their efforts.

St Thomas is a small island but the most popular in the US Virgin Islands. They get cruise ships on a daily basis so tourism is critical. You need to determine if you want to capitalize on this by purchasing a villa in St Thomas.

Some things you'll need to consider for owning a villa are:

- Water. Water is scarce on the islands and all homes are set up with a water catching system called a cistern. Water is funneled to a cement holding container that you use for your St Thomas villa.
- Electricity. Power is very expensive on the island of St Thomas. Running AC units on a daily basis can cost you $1000 per month. So buying St Thomas villas in the breeziest location may save you a lot of money.
- Service. You're not going to get a pizza delivered in St Thomas. Get use to the fact that good, fast service doesn't exist in the Caribbean.

I would recommend you do a lot of research before you look for St Thomas villas. If done correctly you could make large profits.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Summer Travel and Family Fun at Henry Vilas Zoo

The Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin is the perfect zoo experience that takes just several hours, great for families with young children or anyone else looking to take a short walk on the wild side . Admission is free, as is parking, but there are only two lots and they fill up fast. Street parking is available.

The zoo is easy to navigate on a circular path. The majority of the exhibits are outside. Three indoor exhibits (Tropical Rain Forest Aviary, Discovering Primates and the Herpetarium) allow further walk throughs in the animals more natural habitats.

The carousel began spinning as of last year. As part of the new addition in progress, the Children's Zoo, rides are $1.00 per person. Adults are free when accompanying children under 42 inches tall. Check out the Wisconsin scenes on the top panels of the ride!

The gift shop, open March through November has animal themed souvenirs from clothing, stuffed animals, pencils, jewelry, postcards, games, toys, crafts –plenty to catch a young person's fancy. Strollers, wagons, and wheelchairs may be rented here for $4.00 plus a driver's license. There is an ATM inside.

With plenty of picnic tables and grassy areas to spread a blanket, bringing lunch and snacks is very popular. Just remember to pick up when done. The concession stand is open April through November and has snacks, hot sandwiches, pop and ice cream. Everything is ala carte with prices from $1.99-$2.99 per item. Outside vending machines with pop and water are located in several areas.

The Zoo is open year round. Grounds are open 9:30 am to 5:00 pm as are the concessions and gift shop during the months they are open. Buildings are open 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Again, admission and parking are free but donations are gladly accepted. For more information visit www.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sicily, Italy - A Perfect Place For Travel Photography

The Island of Sicily is an autonomous region of Italy, on west of the southern end of the Italian peninsula. Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, separated from the mainland Italy by the Strait of Messina. An island of great natural beauty, this is a great location for travel photography and this is discussed below.

The beautiful island of Sicily is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea on the west and south, by the Ionian Sea on the east, and by the Tyrrhenian Sea on the north. The island is almost entirely covered by hills and mountains (continuations of the Apennines). Mt. Etna (over 3,000 meters high), in the east, is the highest point on the island. Sicily also includes the Egadi Islands, the Lipari Islands, the Pelagie Islands, the Pantelleria Island, and Ustica Island. The land area of Sicily covers 25,000 km² and hosts a population in excess of five million Sicilians. The language of the natives of Sicily is also called Sicilian; Sicilian also the name of the language - a language whose origins originates from a number of other languages including Spanish, Catalan, Latin, French and Arabic.

The beauty of Sicily and what makes it an ideal location for travel photography is a combination of the climate, locations, history and deep culture. You can take photographs high up on the Etna Volcano with the snow black (black due to the affects of colourisation from the black lava) and on the same day you can take photographs in the sunshine on the coast. There are also many classy and cute villages and sites. Hisrotical sites include Roman Ruins, while more natural sites include the rocky coast and the man made vineyards and olive farms which you can easily find. Sicily is so rich in culture that for travel photography, this is an island which gives you so much to capture on camera. It is hard not to get good pictures on this stunning Mediterranean island.

Sicily has a number of tourist attractions that offer a opportunities for travel photography. Some of the major attractions of the island include Augusta (a town north of Syracuse), Cefalu (Sicily's main beach resort), Eraclea Minoa (Greek ruins above an attractive beach), Gole dell'Alcantara (a deep impressive gorge), Milazzo (gateway to the Aeolian Islands), Monreale (impressive cathedral above Palermo), Mount Etna (impressive 3323m high active volcano), Piazza Armerina (home of impressive Roman mosaics), Ragusa (impressive baroque architecture), Segesta (greek temple and ruins), Sciacca (quite south coast port) and Selinunte (impressive greek temples).

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Flying To Dubai - Airport And Travel Guide

There are direct flights to Dubai from most European and Asian cities, however if you are flying from North America or Canada then you will need to fly via Europe or Asia. However, looking on the bright side, this makes the flight cheaper and also gives you the opportunity to explore Europe with typical stop overs in either Paris, Amsterdam or London.

The main airlines for Dubai are Emirates airlines (, Gulf Air ( and Air Arabia flies out of neighbouring Sharjah. if you are looking to keep the costs of airfare to a minimum then a good option is to fly Gulf air via via bahrain, or even Qatar airways via Doha. However bear in mind that connecting flights although usually much cheaper can be inconvenient - you may find yourself hanging around airport lounges for many hours doing that airport "game" of endless waiting followed by endless queueing, is it really woth it to save a few £'s?

it tends to be more expensive flying to Dubai in the June - August period and also over Christmas (in fact from the beginning of Dec right through to end Jan). So try and avoid flying at these times if at all possible - remember prices in the UAE are regulated, there are no bargain bucket shops nor last minute deals so book your flight as early as you possibly can to get best price.

On a side note Emirates airlines to date have a PERFECT safety record, they are not the cheapest airline but they are regarded as having superior service and that safety record is something worth taking into consideration!

Dubai international airport is the busiest airport in the Middle East, almost 25 million passengers in 2005 ( as a comparison Seattle airport handled 29 million passengers in 2005 and is listed in the top 30 busiest airports worldwide). Apparently the government are investing a further $2,5 billion in expansion of the airport due to rapid growth of tourist traffic. We should see Dubai international being listed as one of the worlds busiest airports in 2007.

getting to/from the airport is easy and inexpensive. You can choose from Municipality buses, airport buses, taxi's or limo's. Additionally most of the reputable hotels, particularly those on Jumeirah beach, will offer free transfers to and from the airport. Costs for are approx Dh1.50, a taxi will cost around Dh 60 to the Jumeirah beach area. ( The Emirates currecy Dh Dirham is pegged to the Dollar, so 1Dh = $1, simple!).

Other points you should note before planning a trip to Dubai - technically if you have evidence of travel to Israel in your passport you will be denied entry, also you must have at least 6 months validity from your date of arrival. Assuming you meet these requirements a 60 day visa is available on entry from the airport. There is no charge for a standard 60 day visa.

Lastly, as with most foreign travel, a little bit of effort in terms of learning the language can go a long way. Here are some simple everday words you may find helpful - "Marhaba" hello, "al-salaam alaykum" Peace be upon you (typical arab greeting), "shukran" thank you.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

'Le Pierre aux Oeufs' A Late Neolithic Sacred Stone Near St Chaffrey, Serre Chevalier, France

At thirty minutes up from St Chaffrey in the pine wood a sacred stone can be found lying on the ground next to the edge of the Ravin de Réguinier, the other side going down to the fields of Dormilliou which was cultivated up until 1914. The sacred stone is 0.70m wide and 1.15m in length. The thickness is 42cm. 13 cups which average 4 cm in diameter have been hollowed in no apparent special order. The stone is set towards the north-south long ways. This cannot be the work of erosion or that of freezing. It must be that some men have attacked the block by striking it successively in a rotation motion with small stones or pebbles.

This megalith with cups is similar to those which have been detailed in Maurienne and Tarentaise, and in particular around Lans-le-Villard, Saint-Martin-de-Belleville and Bourg-Saint-Maurice. There the cups are more or less regular. Engravings of sun forms or spirals sometimes accompany them. Similar stones have been listed in Briançonnais, for example, at the 'Table Percée'' on the Col of l'Echelle, is the "Pierre de Fontenil".

Recently, two new megaliths of the same kind have been discovered: one on the road to Puy-Saint-Pierre, and the other in the mountain pastures of L'Eychauda near Monêtier. All are situated at the same level (at about 1500m). These stones emanate from a similar pastoral civilization that carved stone axes that have been discovered at Oulx, Salbertrand and Cezanne in Italy and Freissinière (near L'Argentière) and in Ubaye (just south of the Lac Serre Ponçon) in France. François Arnaud discovered no less than 27 in Ubaye made out of the green stone of the high Durance, which indicates they were made in Briançonnais.

These lucky finds are localised in the mountain pastures, like the 7 stones with cups at Maurienne. All these testimonies are proof of a Neolithic human presence in these areas, but the Alps, having been covered with ice, were uninhabitable before the 4th millennium. It is from this period that the climate warmed up and that the glaciers moved back. Thus the first populations could not have been here before 2000 years BC. The archaeologists agree that the age of the stones date to late Neolithic. It is thought at the beginning of the Bronze Age, towards 2000-1700 BC. The same techniques were used for a long time and it is possible that this stone was cut by a group of farmers who came here at the beginning the 2nd millennium.

Elsewhere, the cups are sometimes accompanied by drains and it is thought that these megaliths may have acted as sacrificial tables, collecting the blood in the cavities. It is absolutely not the case at St Chaffrey. Here this megalith is called the stone of the eggs, because tradition goes that food for the lepers and the plague victims of the Middle Ages was left there regularly by the people of the village. Indeed, while continuing higher on right bank of the ravine, at the end of cliffs called Combe de Ricou, which finishes the ravine, one can find shelters under rocks and a small cave whose entrance today is obstructed by debris and at the foot of which a water source spouts out. It is in this hollow called 'grotte des lepreux', according to local tradition that fugitives with the plague always went. This is not a chance stone has been chosen to feed the plague victims but indeed a sacred stone.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Robotic Aircraft Washing Equipment - Where Are We Today?

Is Robotic Aircraft Washing Equipment a viable industry to participate in? Are there any robotic aircraft washing systems out there? Well, there are several "Rinse Systems" that are used both by private and military sectors. In 1-1-1 of the Air Force Manual it states that an aircraft taking off over salt water 3 times to a full stop must get a fresh water rinse. Corrosion kills.

How does it work? Well, the aircraft will taxi underneath an arc which puts out sufficient GPM to rinse the aircraft and give it a fresh water wash. In Singapore there is a Lady who runs a huge company cleaning aircraft with a robotic arm device which is hooked up to a water tank and pressure washer but it puts out more in the neighborhood of a 2 inch fire hose when cleaning, not too dissimilar to De-Ice units.

Lately, I have seen huge advances in robotic aircraft washing units with rotating brushes, Also if you will look you will see that UUV underwater unmanned vehicles using similar technologies exist used by Military and Commercial Fleets. The scrub the bottom of the ships and some can look for "evil doer" devices which may have been attached too!

You will see these technologies advance using several different systems to maintain safety while washing to prevent damage, such a Lidar, Optical Flow Sensors, electronic eyes (car wash industry) and other sensors used to win the DARPA Grand Challenge like the superstar engineer kid from Stanford. Also you will see more unique devices for sensing. Such as "Stereo Sound" wave sensors of many different types of waves low to high frequency.

Haptics will also play a part in aircraft washing sensing how much pressure to place onto an aircraft as to not damage horizontal, vertical stabilizers, flaps, etc., which is very critical on Aluminum Aircraft of course. In the future with carbon nano-tube construction it will not be as critical yet the machine needs to be able to limit water flow in flap tracks, wheel wells as to not de-lubricate them.

I suppose as these robotic units get to be fully-autonomous, oh yes they will! That they will also be a street sweeper cleaning the ramp of any waste wash water. Any other questions along this line of thinking - well let me know on that, because I see a robotic aircraft washer in your future.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Save Time Using Charter Flights

High-powered business executives know that their time is worth much money to their company. There are only so many hours in the day, and you have to be focused to spend them in the most profitable ways. One way you can save time in terms of required business travel is to choose a plane charter the next time you need to fly.

If you travel using commercial airlines, then you know what a waste of time it can be. You need to arrive at the airport hours before your flight takes off. After searching for parking, you often wind up far from the terminal and then need to track down a ride. After all that, your time is spent waiting in long lines for security clearances and boarding. You do not have time for this, so instead consider putting your valuable time to better use when you take charter flights.

The luxury charter flight experience begins in the comfort of your home or office. You simply make one phone call, and your personal air concierge will handle all of the specifics concerning your travel arrangements. You tell the concierge what you require, and he or she will make sure that everything is ready when you are. Within four hours of your phone call, we can have you up and in the air flying to any destination of your choosing.

One time-saving aspect of air charter is that you do not need to arrive hours early. You arrive before the flight, and a member of your personal flight crew escorts you to your private jet. It's that simple.

If you need to work while in-flight, we can accommodate any additional help you may require. We have quality secretarial, legal, accounting, and technical personnel standing by and ready to help you prepare for your next big deal at the end of your journey, so that your time is maximized.

In order to be ready for an important meeting, you may need to also relax as you travel. If you don't take care of yourself, you might not be in top form when it counts for a presentation or meeting, so it pays to rejuvenate when possible. Your flight can be a great time to luxuriate in five-star cuisine, of any variety of your choosing, which can also conform to any religious or liquor requirements. Nannies, hairdressers, and masseuses, as well as other assistants, can help make sure your travel time is well-spent, and help you relax before your important event.

No matter where you wish to travel, with whom, or what you require, it can all be handled with elegant ease by utilizing air charter, saving you precious time.

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, May 04, 2007

Parking at San Diego International Airport

San Diego International Airport (SAN) is one of the USA's major airports. The airport estimates that in 2005, more than 17 million passengers made their way through San Diego International, and on any given day, an average of 40,000 passengers arrive or depart. With that many people coming & going, parking for long term trips is at a premium.

The airport itself runs three separate parking lots, two lots on North Harbor Drive and one on Pacific Highway. There are approximately 3,200 spaces available at these three lots and the price per day ranges from $10 - $12 per day. All locations offer free shuttle service and safety measures like security gates, lighting and personnel have been implemented.

During the busy traveling seasons like the summer months & Christmas, finding a parking space at SAN could be difficult. Private operators around SAN offer off-site airport parking to eliminate the hassle of finding a space. These off-site facilities often offer rate at or below those charged at SAN.

The San Diego Airport Parking Company is one privately run airport facility only 7 minutes from SAN. This operator has rates lower than that of the long term parking lots located at SAN and offers other services while your away. These services include Oil changes, auto detailing, and car washes.

Another privately owned parking facility is Park N' Fly. This lot is located on Kettner, only minutes from the main terminals of SAN. Like the San Diego Airport Parking Company, Park N' Fly offers free airport shuttles to & from the airport. Park N' Fly has the benefit of covered parking spaces in addition to standard economy parking. Valet service is also available.

Finally, Park Shuttle & Fly offers off-site airport parking for travelers of San Diego International. Located on Lee Court right next door to San Diego International airport, Park Shuttle & Fly lets you get in, get parked, and get on your way. With rates starting at $10 a day, it is one of the more affordable parking facilities serving SAN.

As you can see, there are numerous parking options for San Diego International. It's needed given the high volume of travelers making their way through this busy Southern California airport.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Hammock Tents: Environmentally Friendly Comfort When Camping

Shelter is critical when camping out of doors. You need protection from the elements, as well as the local creatures and insects. Your shelter needs to be portable, lightweight, and if you are mindful of environmental impacts, leave little to no trace of your stay. An ideal choice for you is a hammock tent. Hammock tents are becoming a preferred shelter for campers and backpackers who want maximum comfort while enjoying nature's beauty.

What Is A Hammock Tent?

Traditionally campers are sheltered from the elements outdoors overnight by pitching a tent and rolling out a sleeping bag inside it on the ground. A hammock tent is just a conventional hammock suspended in air with the addition of a protective covering or tarp that is used for sleeping and shelter. You can use a regular hammock (without the spreader bars) and suspend a tarp over it using cords and stakes; or buy one of the many fine hammock tents on the market.

Hammock tents that you buy are constructed so that the protective covers are part of the hammock. You can buy them with mosquito netting as well as rain protection. Hammock tents have an entry system that can be closed using a zipper, Velcro or other closure system.

Benefits of the Hammock Tent

There are many benefits in using a hammock tent. Hammock camping fans enthuse that hammocks don't damage the environment like a traditional campsite. Hammock tents are generally secured between two trees. Correctly fastened, there is little or no marking on the trees' bark. In contrast, when conventional tents are pitched and bags are rolled out their negative impacts and impressions are seen on the area.

The camper benefits as well from the hammock tent. Because you're suspended in the air, there are no problems with crawling insects, small animals or pests as when sleeping on the ground. Sleeping in a hammock tent lessens the risk of sleeping uncomfortably on a hard or otherwise rocky surface. In fact hammocks enable you to pitch your "tent" where many conventional tents could never be set up. Then there's the near-legendary comfort of a hammock for sleeping.

Some say that it's harder to stay warm in a hammock tent because the materials are so lightweight and thin. You may wish to use the hammock tent for warm weather camping only; or try some of the solutions devised by campers such as using a closed cell foam pad inside the hammock. You might even use your old sleeping bag as a quilt top.

Once you try a hammock tent, you may give up your conventional tent and sleeping bag altogether.

Labels: , , , , ,