Once in a lifetime

Cheap International Travel - The Secrets

by Steven Gillman

What is the real secret to cheap international travel? It is the same as the secret to doing anything for less. Learn to be an opportunist. Opportunistic travelers get to travel more, see more and do more. Of course, you can ignore this advice if you have unlimited funds.
I went to Ecuador because it was cheap. Honestly, aren't there many interesting places in this world? Why not choose one you can travel to inexpensively? The other places will be there in the future, and you may have an opportunity to go to those places cheaply at some point.
Cheap Countries
Ecuador is my favorite international destination. You can still get a decent meal for two dollars. U.S. dollars, by the way, since that's conveniently the official currency of Ecuador now. From the beautiful snow-capped Andes mountains, to the Galapagos Islands, you'll never run out of places to explore in Ecuador. Travel there is safe and inexpensive.
South America in general is inexpensive, and the most affordable countries are, in my opinion, the most beautiful. These are the countries along the Andes mountains; Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Argentina, thanks to it's recent economic troubles, is once again a cheap place for travelers as well.
In Central America, it costs very little to travel and vacation in both Nicaragua and Guatemala. Nicaragua, in particular, has become more stable and safe for travelers in recent years. Costa Rica is a wonderful too, and though it is one of more expensive counties of Central America, that probably still leaves it cheaper than Europe.
In Asia, India is still low-cost, especially if you stay in the numerous hostels and boarding houses. Thailand and Indonesia are also very cheap. With all international destinations, the plane tickets will be your single biggest travel expense. This is especially true with the asian countries. Being there is cheap, but getting there may not be.
Cheap International Travel Tips
Wherever you go, there are things you can do to keep it cheap. Eat where locals eat, for example, instead of at the tourist restaurants. To keep it really cheap, eat fruit from street markets (wash it well) and packaged snacks from grocery stores.
Visit the free and cheap attractions first. It's possible you'll have so much fun that you'll never get around to doing the expensive things. A higher price means better quality with travel bags, but not with travel experiences.
Busses are cheaper than taxis in any country, but be careful of crowded city busses, where pickpockets hang out. Walking is even cheaper, and it's a great way to learn about a city. Just ask the locals where the dangerous parts are before you wander too far.
For cheap accommodations find out where local visitors from within the country stay. Negotiating room charges is common in some areas. In Banos, Ecuador, we negotiated our room rate down from $12 to $6 per night, by paying for several nights in advance. Consider hostels, if you don't mind sharing a room. They're much more common overseas.
Cheap international travel is often only as cheap as your plane tickets. Use the techniques outlined on our site to save big on tickets, or search the fares to several interesting countries. If one is $500 less than the others, consider going there. $500 can buy a few extra days, or an extra mini-vacation some other time.
Steve Gillman hit the road at sixteen, and traveled the U.S. and Mexico alone at 17. Now 40, he travels with his wife Ana, whom he met in Ecuador. To read their stories, tips and travel information, visit:


International Adventure Travel

by Steven Gillman

International adventure travel: Safaris, balloon tours, swimming with dolphins, bicycling down volcanos, trekking in the Himalayas, Walmart on Christmas Eve - the list is almost endless. This will not be a comprehensive listing of all the adventure opportunities out there. Instead, here is just enough to whet your appetite.
My Own International Adventure Travel
Long before hitchhiking across the country at sixteen-years-old, I had a taste for adventure. At fourteen, a friend and I bicycled 300 miles in a few days during one summer. At seventeen, I went international with my adventuring, hitchhiking from Michigan to half-way across Mexico. Over forty now, I no longer put out my thumb - not very often, anyhow - but I still love to travel.
More recently, my international adventure travel took me to Ecuador. While there I climbed to the furthest point from the center of the Earth. Everest is highest above sea level, but due to the Earth's bulge at the equator, the peak of Mount Chimborazo, at 20,600 feet, is farther from from the center of our planet. The top is all snow, ice, and glaciers.
My guide didn't speak English, and thought I was a mountaineer. I had once used an ice axe and crampons to go forty feet up a sledding hill, in Michigan. The rest of the story is on the website, but you can get information and a guide by talking to almost any hotel manager in Riobamba, Ecuador.
Go On A Jungle Book Safari
In southern Nepal, In the Royal Chitwan National Park, you can see tigers, leopards, rhinos, and sloth-bears. And where better to see them from than the back of a large elephant? The tours are led by naturalists and park rangers. Stay in the comfortable Safari Lodge and take daily tours into the jungle.
Take A Mongolian Horseback Trek
Travel with one of the great nomadic and horse-based cultures of the world. The trips take you beyond tourist routes, and you can customize your trek to fit your schedule and budget. These tours are run from an office in Mongolia, and they provides experienced guides that are multi-lingual.
Go Rock Climbing In Rio
Want an outdoor adventure and city nightlife? Try a rock climbing tour in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. You'll find routes for all skill levels in the Sugar Loaf, Urca, Corcovado and Pedra da Gavea mountains. Tours include bilingual instructors, equipment rentals, and transportation, and start at under $100 per person.
Swim With Dolphins In The Croatian Sea
Escape from the cold this winter, to the Cres-Lošinj group of islands, which is known for it's mild climate. Mali Lošinj on the island of Lošinj is known for its health resort, but recently, the area is becoming famous for the bottle-nosed dolphins that have made their homes in the clear and clean waters of the Cres-Lošinj group of islands. Mingle with them by boat or in your swimsuit.
Climb Mount Kinabalu
Mt. Kinabalu (4101m) is the king of the Borneo sub-continent. It rises 3000 feet higher than other mountains in the area; far above the jungle. It attracts international climbers of all skill levels, who scramble, climb and trek in its unique jungle-alpine environment. Kinabalu is in a world heritage site that boasts a wide variety of plants and animals. Experienced guides will take you trekking, or take you to the top.
Steve Gillman hit the road at sixteen, and traveled the U.S. and Mexico alone at 17. Now 40, he travels with his wife Ana, whom he met in Ecuador. For more on international adventure, and to read their stories, tips and travel information, visit:


Make Travel Easier With a Travel Planner

by Diya Kapoor

A Travel Planner will contain permanent information that should be taken with you on each trip. It will also help you get ready for a current trip. Everything is kept in one place - a three ring notebook. No hunting through stacks of papers for the hotel reservation, airline tickets, lists of clothes and other items to pack, etc.

As soon as you know you are going on a trip you can grab your Travel Planner and begin writing your preparation lists. It will save you time and frustration in the long run.

Here are the things you will need to set up your planner.

1. One inch 3-ring notebook.
2. Notebook paper for writing out current lists.
3. One or two 3-ring binder pockets to hold loose papers.
4. Several clear sheet protectors.

Here is a list of information you want to keep permanently in this planner. This information will go with you on every trip. Put it in the sheet protectors.

1. Write out a list of contact numbers for all the doctors/dentists each family member uses. If you have business cards from each doctor you can make a copy of them instead. You can copy 8 cards per page. If any health issues come up on your trip it will be easy to contact your own doctor if you need to.

2. Make a list of names and phone numbers of places and/or people you might need to contact in case of an emergency at your travel destination or at your home. This may include your home security company phone number and/or a neighbor who is keeping an eye on your home while you are gone. If you board your pets don't forget to list these phone numbers. You’ll also want to include close relatives or someone to be contacted in case something happens to you or your family while on the trip. These phone numbers may be valuable if you are delayed returning home. This list can be put in a separate sleeve protector or on the back side of the one above if there is room.

Each trip will require different itineraries, clothes, etc. Write out everything you need to do on the notebook paper. Here are some tips on what to write.

1. List of things to do several weeks ahead of time.
- make airline or other transportation reservations (put copy of confirmation in binder pocket)
- make hotel reservations (put copy of confirmation in binder pocket)
- set up boarding for pets

2. List of things to do about a week or two ahead.
- arrange for mail delivery to be stopped (can be done online a few days ahead)
- list clothes, toiletries, etc., needed for trip. Leave time to shop if needed.
- stop newspaper delivery or arrange for neighbor to pick it up
- get phone numbers and addresses of contacts (friends, family) in travel destination
- refill any prescription medicines if needed.

3. List of things to do 1-2 days ahead and last minute.
- make sure all clothes are clean and ready to pack
- put liquid toiletries in travel size containers if needed
- set timers for lights
- water plants
- adjust A/C or furnace to save energy while gone
- unplug any unnecessary electrical equipment or appliances to save energy
- turn off computers

The Travel Planner is small enough to put in a briefcase or suitcase. If you want to travel even lighter then take only the sheet protectors with the phone numbers and the binder pockets with hotel, airline, etc., information. These sheets can easily fit in a carry-on tote. A travel planner provide you all the information about tour, special safaris, fort palaces, etc. Rajasthan safaris and rajasthan fort palaces are the famous safaris in India.

Plan ahead and your trip should go a smoother and be a lot more fun. There's also less chance you will forget something.


A Travel Guide You Can Trust

by Erik Wayne

Planning your next trip? Want to see photos from that destination and even consult travelers that have been there? Where do you want to travel? Online communities are rapidly expanding throughout the web. is a fine example for a combination of a travel guide and a social network of travelers.

When choosing your online travel guide you should check that the information is not biased, meaning, no commercial intentions are behind the information suggested about different travel destinations. Sharing travel experiences with people around the globe can give you more ideas about certain places, people, and cultures.

Traveling broadens your knowledge about different countries. It gives you insights on a country's history and culture. You interact with the local people and have an understanding on how they live, so you can learn how to relate to them. Traveling can also give you a feeling of independence. It takes us away from the normal things we do every day. We need to travel to avoid being in the same place all the time. It's a relaxation. Step out from under the rock. There are a lot of places to learn about and visit. Enrich your knowledge about the unknown. Then you'll have great stories to share about your travels.

Whenever you want to visit Asia or just have an enjoyable weekend at one of your neighboring countries, an online travel guide would be the best place to start planning your next trip. What are you waiting for? Make your dream travel destinations a reality.


Business Travel Tips

by Geraldine Dimarco

Business Travel Tips

Geraldine Dimarco

Companies everywhere are finding they need to travel more if they want to meet new customers and to capture new sources of business; with the global popularity of the Internet, even tiny companies can compete, and have customers anywhere. The problem is that business travel is renowned for causing stress and fatigue. While the following business travel tips cannot help reduce traveling, they can help with some useful information to make these trips more bearable.

When business travel luggage, or any baggage, goes missing it is irritating to say the least but for someone on a business trip it can be a whole lot more disastrous. To reduce the chance of a wasted journey, always carry anything that is relevant to your trip in your hand luggage.

Having everything to hand means that your checked business travel luggage gets delayed you will still be able to meet with clients and get your work done while you wait for less essential matters to be chased up by the airlines. Regular travelers know that the main business travel tip when packing is to keep things simple by only including exactly what you need for the journey and that way you won't go far wrong if business travel luggage goes missing.

The order of the day is simplicity, so this means just sufficient business clothes for the trip and a bare minimum for the evenings. If your footwear is restricted to one pair for business and one for pleasure then you will be keeping your luggage to minimum. This will leave room for toiletries, any other extra business materials you'll need.

A way to save space and possibly take a smaller bag plus reduce any creases is to roll clothing up which takes up less room and a business travel tip well worth noting. Dark clothing is very useful for traveling business people as it hides stains and dirt very well, so if you get sweaty or spill a coffee on the flight it won't be as noticeable as if you are wearing a white shirt or trousers.

With all this done, it should be quite easy to just get off the plane and use a couple of freshen-up wipes (those in travel packs) that will make you feel and smell better before you meet your customer. Cell phones and other related equipment normally have good battery life but don't forget to take a charger if you are going to be somewhere for more than a few days.

Using your traveling time to get essential work done will mean that in the evenings you can take some time out to explore the city you're staying in. By following these few quick and handy tips you should find that you will not be on the back foot and no matter what happens during your travel on business, you should have a successful trip.

Business travel does not have to be all work and by using the business travel tips shown here, there should be time for rest and relaxation too.

For useful ( business travel tips, go to the ( New Travel Guide. It has ( business travel luggage info, too.


Sightseeing in London

by Jack Blacksmith

Sightseeing in London

Jack Blacksmith

London is one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world, and there are so many things to do that you will have a hard time choosing.

So here are the ten "must-sees" in London that no visitor to this lovely city should miss.

-The British Museum. This museum was founded in 1753 when Sir Hans Sloan contributed over 71,000 items. It has grown over the years, with a surge of growth in the 19th century and now its inventory of cultural items from all over the world is over 7 million. There are items that are over 10,000 years old. This museum is free of charge, a condition contained in it charter.

-London Eye. Sponsored by British Airways, the London Eye has become a foremost attraction in the city. It is an observation wheel that towers 135 meters over London, offering a unique perspective on the city. It is the tallest observation wheel in the world, and a wide swathe of London can be viewed all at once. Most visitors consider it an essential experience.

-Saint Paul's Cathedral. This stunning architectural masterpiece of Sir Christopher Wren is symbolic of the spirit of London, since it was recreated after the disastrous fire of London of 1666. The dome of Saint Paul's can be seen from many sections of the city and the church is a centerpiece of London life, hosting royal weddings and other celebrations, as well as the funerals of Great Britain's leaders.

-The National Gallery. This is one of the finest museums in the world, home to great art from as long ago as the 13th century, including works by Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet and da Vinci. The construction of the gallery began in 1832 and since that time, visitors have been challenged to see all of the works of art it has to offer.

-London Zoo. This famous zoo is located in Regents Park and has 12,000 animals in it. This is no static exhibit; animal shows occur on a daily basis and visitors are encouraged to learn about the animals, not just gawk at them. It is so large, and there are so many things going on all the time, that it will surely take a visitor at least two visits to get the full benefit of this zoo.

-Tate Modern. London has its share of traditional museums and galleries, but the Tate is known for innovation. The modern art movement is represented here and anyone interested in this genre has to visit the Tate to see the wonderful collection of works by modern artists such as Bacon, Matisse and Andy Warhol.

-Tower of London. The "bloody tower" has always had an evil mystique and therefore fascinates. It is known for all of the famous and infamous Londoners who have been protected, imprisoned or executed there. Despite its nefarious reputation, it is striking looking white stone that originally came from France.

-The Natural History Museum. The great halls of this museum contain the world's largest collection of dinosaurs. The towering halls loom over these giant creatures emphasizing their size and striking visitors with awe.

-The Madame Tussaud's Experience. British history comes alive in this museum of animatronics and waxworks. Britain's not so glorious past is depicted at its most ghastly. Here the plague, murders, tortures and beheadings are all presented, complete with ghoulish sound effects. Be careful, what looks like a statue may just jump out at you when you pass!

-Westminster Abbey. This stunning church is familiar to us all as the site of royal weddings and other ceremonies we have seen on T.V. This medieval abbey founded in 1066 is the final resting place for the famous of England, including statesmen and kings, scientists and artists. The murals, tombs and paintings are worthy of an art museum and the stunning gothic architecture is one of its most famous attractions.

Jack Blacksmith works primarily for, an Internet site about natural attractions in benidorm. You can learn about his ( work on benidorm attractions over at .


Travelling and Exploring Alaska and Canada

by Jerry Blackburn

Travelling and Exploring Alaska and Canada

Jerry Blackburn

Alaska and Canada consists of some of the best the North American continent has to offer in wintry wonders and naturally exquisite landscapes. And these quite expansive regions offer traveling thrill seekers numerous adventure travel opportunities that include rigorous physical activities. There are sights galore in the Alaskan state and the Canadian country as well as on the border between them.

The wide swath of land that comprises Alaska and Canada supplies the picturesque Canadian Rockies on the West Coast of Canada. Cycling, rafting and horseback riding are all popular activities to do in this mountainous region. And of the 41 national parks in Canada, Banff offers exciting hot springs while majestic waterfalls can be found in Yoho. The National parks in this area are varied because of Canada's proximity to Alaska.

Alaska offers Glacier Bay National Park, which rivals the parks in Canada. The wildlife and stark wilderness of Canada gives way to the awe-inspiring beauty of water, ice and snow. Scenes exist everywhere of several yards-thick sheets of ice with bears meandering on them. Kayaking is also is surprisingly possible on the unfrozen waters in this region. And Denali National Park is not lacking of attractions as it contains Mt. McKinley, the highest peak on the continent. Climbing is an option, but if that is not appealing to some, then another incredible sight is nearby on the Alaskan Canadian border.

Tongass National Forest, the biggest national forest in America, is interestingly the residence of at least 75,000 people. So an intriguing vacation in the area would have to include meeting the natives and inquiring about their life in the region. Seemingly going on forever, the Tongass National Forest has a distance of about five hundred miles along near border between Canada and Alaska. The valleys, glaciers and streams in the area make it a landscape of fantasy that would provide any vacationer with an escape from the daily mental and physically grind of work.

Reservations are a good idea to ensure that there is space for a traveler one she/he and their family make it to either Alaska or Canada. Traveling by bike, airplane Or rail are all viable options. It is just important to get in touch with a tour operator a great deal of time before a planned trip is expected to begin. Activities such as forest expeditions and skiing have to be planned ahead of time.

Despite the cold- or better yet- due to it there are spectacular views and activities to be enjoyed in Alaska and Canada and along the border between the two. Colossal, blue-white glaciers, heaven reaching mountain peaks, and mysterious and stunning wilderness provide the best hiking, water rafting, fishing and sightseeing anywhere. And the regulated national parks can provide a safe outing the same as guided expeditions into the heart of the icy, roving sheet-covered Alaska and the stark, pristine nature of Canada. Those wanting to get a vigorous heart-pumping time away from the humdrum of work is more than likely going to get it amid the wild bears and wild salmon in the Alaska and Canada region.

Jerry Blackburn regularly makes short articles on information relating to map of la manga and la manga and murcia villas. On his site you can learn about his publications on ( la manga villa and la manga and murcia villas.


Palm Beach and Its Attractions

by Hispanic

Palm Beach and Its Attractions


Ahhhh sunny Florida --- one of the most lovable places to visit especially during summer. The tourist spots and attractions are endless from parks, beaches, restaurants museum, golf courts and Auditoriums. If you are planning to take a trip to Palm Beach, Florida, here are some places where you can visit.

Burt Reynolds Park (Located at 800 and 801 U.S. Highway One North Jupiter). Enveloped by Intracoastal Waterway, this park packs a punch with its many amenities. Visit any of the following: picnic shelters, boat-launching ramps and day-use boat slips.

Carlin Park: Located at 400 South State Road A1A, Jupiter, this tourist spot is famous for its highly-advanced oceanfront. Many features have been introduced in recent years including a special event amphitheater, volleyball area, bocce court, athletic fields, two-station exercise courses, tennis courts, playgrounds, and rocky beach. Swimming is safe too especially for kids since there are lifeguards in almost every corner.

Gumbo Limbo Nature Center: this nature center, located at 1801 North Ocean Boulevard, Boca Raton, will educate you on everything about coastal marine life. You should check out their displayed seawater tanks, local flora, and fauna. You can enjoy this place through naturalist-oriented tours. You can also tour the place alone and explore the coastal marine life by yourself.

Burt Reynolds Park: Located at 800 and 801 U.S. Highway One North Jupiter, this spacious park is enveloped by Intracoastal Waterway. Among the features of this place are picnic shelters, boat-launching ramps and day-use boat slips. To experience this place fully, it is advised that you plan ahead so that you can book a spot early on.

Take a look at some of ( Palm Beach Attractions to give you an idea of what to expect from ( Palm Beach Attractions in Florida.


Bahamas Food to Tantalize

by Ashley Griffin

Bahamas Food to Tantalize

Ashley Griffin

When you go to the Bahamas you'll want to make sure you're eating the best food possible. There are many different special foods on the island, so make sure you give them a try. You can just eat something like a cheeseburger, but that won't be a new experience and it will cost you twice as much!

The Bahamians love their food. It's not surprising at all that seafood is the preferred food of the island. They love food so much that it is the only thing offered as a major at their local college. There are people who come from all over the world just to get the knowledge of the islands for their hotel and restaurant management degree.

It's amazing, students really do come from different countries just to go to school on the Bahamas island. Just like many of there students, the foods that are not common have to be imported. Were you wondering about that cheeseburger? That has to be imported, which adds a considerable amount to the price tag.

The most popular food that you would find in the Bahamas are conch, grouper, and the spiny tail lobster. You can also find chicken, lamb, goat, and pork entrees. If you want true Bahamas cuisine you would do well to go to the smaller local restaurants. The others Americanize everything so much that you may as well be eating at home!

One of the main foods in the Bahamas is the queen conch. Many believe this to be a great aphrodisiac, which is why it is added to so many dishes. There is problem with conch shell disposal at the beach, however.

You will find dozens and dozens of different ways to eat conch on your trip. You'll find it marinated, mixed with lime juice, put in salads, and chopped. The fun doesn't stop there. You'll also find it put in subs, on pizza, and so much more. Try and eat conch at least a few different ways on your Bahama's vacation.

Not everyone is a seafood eater so the restaurants do try to cater to that. You can find imported meats, and some local chickens. The Chicken Souse is a real winner. Though there can be some surprising ingredients! Always make sure to ask before eating.

You will also love the drinks that the Bahamas island offers. Kalik beer is one that is brewed locally. Enjoy this beer chilled with your favorite meal. Rum is another favorite drink. This is flavored with everything from coconut to bananas.

Be sure to sample as much as you can on your trip to the bahamas, because you'll be glad you did. Book your trip as soon as possible so you can get started.

Before you even book your trip check out the ( Bahamas Island info site. You can also figure out what those ( Goombays are up to!


Tour the World, See it All

by John Bakers

Tour the World, See it All

John Bakers

Being a travel consolidator is going to be thought as of as a high volume ticket broker as they are purchasing many at one time. They are going to purchase a large number of tickets and sell them to the customers for a cheaper cost than the other fares.

Someone that is a travel consolidator is going to purchase many tickets directly from the carriers or the airline businesses. They will get discounts due to the amount they purchase. They will also negotiate with these places to find the better and larger discounts. Some of the travel consolidators are going to have their own contracts with the airline businesses as well.

Usually they will only talk about a certain reason. Getting others to know that this is a great location will help them to sell their tickets easier and quicker. The bigger airlines are going to have different consolidators to help them. They will do this because there are reasons that some seats are not available for a particular flight. The carriers and consolidators are going to sell the seats that are empty at a less expensive cost. The consolidators are going to buy the tickets that are left for a much lower price and sell them to the people that are traveling for a lower price than what normal rates are going for.

It is not realized how consolidating travel works. Some consolidators are going to get the tickets they want at a much lower cost than the regular person would. This is due to the amount of tickets they buy at one time. Because of this, they are able to sell the tickets again at a much lower cost to the people that want to travel. They will make a profit of course. They will sell the tickets for less but this is not going to mean that they will lose the potential money they will make. It is all about money of course. They will understand what they have to do in order to make the money they are looking for. They will also sell tickets at the same cost as the other airline tickets would be and this will give them a much larger profit in the end.

Many of the consolidators will have their own market. There are some that will sell their tickets to the agents only and some will sell to both the public and the travel agents. There are also still consolidators that will also sell the tickets they have on the Internet.

There are different classifications for travel consolidators. They will have those that do the wholesale and those that sell in big volume. Other travelers will consolidate depending on the destination that they are looking for. This is going to mean that they will only buy certain tickets that they want to places. Some will have special stops on the tickets that they sell.

Being a travel consolidator is like any other job. It is going to be good in some ways and bad in others. There are going to be benefits to purchasing tickets under the regular fares and be able to sell them up until the time this flight leaves. There can be bad points too. The ticket that you are going to use will need to have a smaller market. You have to be able to be a good seller and make the intended profits that you are looking to make.

John Bakers published principally for, a website on benidorm beach and transport in benidorm. His work on benidorm maps are published on ( .


Barcelona city guide

by Lenita Carpinello

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, a region within Spain, and the second largest city in the country. Barcelona is the fourth most visited city in Europe, a status which is partly explained by its prime location on the Mediterranean coast, its vibrant atmosphere, rich culture, and the beautiful surroundings you'll find yourself in as you walk through its streets. Here is a guide to a few of the best bits of this incredible city.

One of the best things about Barcelona is how easy it is to get around. When it comes to travelling you have several options: taxis, bus, train, two separate modern tram networks and several aerial cable-cars (which incidentally offer a great view of the city). Having such great accessibility opens up the entire city, meaning you can take advantage of the full range of delights this city has to offer.

While this takes some of the pressure off choosing the location of your Barcelona hotel it's still important to think carefully about it. If you're looking for a quiet holiday you don't want to be in an area famed for its buzzy night-life; equally if you enjoy being able to go from your room to a night-club in under five minutes you want to choose somewhere which will allow you to do that.

If you're working to a budget then it's a good idea to take advantage of one of Barcelona's numerous hostels. Ones like the originally titled Hostel Barcelona offer cheap, centrally located accommodation. If luxury is more your thing though then the traditional Hotel Casa Fuster G L Barcelona might be more up your street; for people looking for a more modern hotel then try Melia Barcelona.

Even if you aren't particularly interested in architecture then you can't fail to be impressed by Barcelona's beautiful buildings. A particular highlight is Antoni Gaudi's "Sagrada Familia? cathedral. A district which mixes some of the most beautiful aspects of Barcelona's architecture with a fantastic atmosphere is the Barri Gotic ("Gothic Quarter), this is well-worth a visit.

If museums are more your thing then 'The National Museum of Art of Catalonia' or the more modern 'Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art' might be worth checking out. Alternatively, for something a little more risqu? then try the Museu de l'Erotica (Museum of the Erotic).

If you are a fan of live classical music then Barcelona is home to the Orquestra Simf?nica de Barcelona I Nacional de Catalunya (OBC) which puts on around 75 shows a season. Fantastic opera shows are regularly put on by the Gran Teatre del Liceu.

For a truly unique way to see the city go to the bottom of Les Ramblas street; there you can normally rent a horse and carriage which will take you on a tour of the city. If you want to escape the urban life for a bit then there are several beautiful parks dotted around Barcelona ? try Parc Ciutadella if you fancy a pedaloe ride, or for a truly eye-popping place look at Parc Guell which was designed by Gaudi himself.

Lenita Carpinello is a Spanish travel expert and freelance writer. They recommend Octopus travel for Barcelona hotels.


Travel In Toronto

by Lenita Carpinello

Some people are just at home in a city. The countryside they find too quiet and eerie, to far from modern civilisation as they prefer to experience it and simply too inconvenient when you just want to pop to the shop to stock up on coffee or a fresh pint of milk and other essential groceries.

For some people going on holiday means cutting themselves off from everything. They want to be as far away from everything that reminds them of the hustle and bustle of the modern world as their advance booking, long distance flight can possibly take them. For city lovers, however, this is not the point of a holiday. In fact, for city lovers, this simply would not be a holiday at all.

City travel can be exhilarating and eye opening and exploring the metropolitan and cosmopolitan hubs of other countries is certainly a great way to get emerged in a new culture pretty quickly. The world is home to many fabulous city break destinations but one Canadian city that you might really enjoy getting your teeth into is Toronto.

Be prepared to feel small on arrival as everything in Toronto is quite simply gigantic. The buildings scrape the skies. The vehicles are largely big, four track style affairs, which become necessary as soon as winter arrives with its three feet of snow and sub zero temperatures. Even the food comes in portions approximately twice as large as those we are used to consuming.

Upon arrival, get to grips with the geography of the city by taking a trip up the CN tower. The views from the top will give you a clear picture of the layout of the city and, on a clear day, are quite breathtaking to behold. Enjoy the cityscape while tucking into some award winning cuisine in the revolving restaurant at the top of the tower.

Shopaholic? Toronto is definitely the place for you. The aforementioned enormous department stores ought to keep you occupied for a while, but if this fails to satisfy, you can always head down to the sprawling underground shopping centre, which is also one of the warmest places to go should you choose to visit during the icy winter months.

Family travellers are sure to love the fabulous Science and Technology Museum. With an array of hands on exhibits and activities this one is sure to entertain and amuse parents every bit as much as it does their little ones.

There are many ways to budget for your trip to Toronto. Check out the hotel deals on Octopus Travel and try using Sky Scanner to find the best value Transatlantic flights.

Long term travel and leisure enthusiast Lenita Carpinello has over 10 years travelling experience, and would recommend booking agents such as when searching for Toronto hotels.


Things to see and do in Abu Dhabi

by Lenita Carpinello

A few hundred years ago, Arabian farmers walking across the desert wouldn't have been able to believe their eyes if they saw the Abu Dhabi of today, instead thinking they were seeing a mirage. But today, this desert oasis is very real and tangible.

Abu Dhabi is a clutch of shimming skyscrapers, palm-lined avenues, lush and colourful gardens and golden coastline. It is a city of luxury and opulence, with more five star hotels, designer boutiques and wealth-driven sporting events than pretty much anywhere else in the world.

However, is it refreshingly not as bold, brash and showy as its Emirate neighbour, Dubai. It has stood back, watching and waiting, with the idea of avoiding the mistakes of the more well-known Middle Eastern city state. This means it is more laid back and against all odds, manages to retain some of its original culture and values. This does mean you can't drink outside the hotel bars however.

The beach is probably where you will spend most of your time in Abu Dhabi. The most accessible, sheltered and best protected is the 2km stretch found along the Corniche. This beautifully manicured and maintained 8km promenade is where people, tourists and residents alike, spend most of their time.

But for pure paradise, drive 20 minutes out of the city to Al Raha Beach. The sea is so blue it looks like a glacial lake, with only its temperature revealing the truth. Likewise, the sand is so white it could be mistaken for snow if it wasn't for all the palm trees slowly swaying in the warm breeze.

Shoppers will fall in love with Abu Dhabi. There are several malls stuffed with designer shops and international brand names. Abu Dhabi Mall is one of the older ones, but remains as popular as ever.

The Marina Mall is the most grand and spectacular. Not only does it have the best shops but its ceilings create indoor storms complete with rain and thunder. Al Wahda Mall is one of the newest and has some of the best shops in Abu Dhabi plus one of the biggest grocery stores in the world.

Finally, Khalidiya Mall is smaller and less impressive, but if you are craving international fast food then it is the place to head to. Inside you'll find Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, Baskin Robbins and Krispy Kreme.

This guide to holidays in Abu Dhabi was written by Lenita Carpinello. For great deals on Abu Dhabi hotels, visit the Octopus Travel website.


Mount Elbrus

by Rob Colbourn

When the Soviet Union opened up in 1985 Mount Elbrus became Europe’s highest mountain once again at 5642 metres. Western mountaineers had not forgotten that Elbrus was 835 metres higher than Mont Blanc; they had just forgotten that Europe extended into the Soviet Union.

Elbrus sits within the Caucasus range which acts as a barrier between Europe and Northern Asia. The area is surrounded by countries that have fought against their political masters in Moscow since the split up of the Soviet Union and for this reason the Elbrus region is considered unsafe to travel around. It can be dangerous to climb Elbrus and the mountains of the Caucasus from the south but entering via Russia is considered safe and is the easiest way to summit Elbrus.

Travelling within Russia is always fun and getting to the Elbrus region on an internal Russian Aeroflot flight to Mineralnye Vody Airport is an experience in itself. Elbrus is a straightforward mountain to climb with regards to technical ability. What makes Elbrus difficult is the fact that summit day is a long one with little respite and can take up to 12 hours to summit from base camp. Those that can ski can descend in just over an hour but for those walking the descent can take anything up to 5 hours.

Although it is a straightforward climb and a very beautiful climb there are many issues that affect Elbrus and the area surrounding it. Most groups stay at the Gara-Bashi huts and set out for their summit bid from this point. The huts are overcrowded, with extremely uncomfortable beds that can make sleeping near impossible. The area around the huts resembles a construction site with electrical pylons, broken concrete slabs and waste scattered around. During the Soviet era the mountain huts and the mountain were well managed and maintained but in recent years everything has a feel of mismanagement about it and the mountain feels like a bit of a dumping ground.

Although these issues affect the experience of anyone visiting Elbrus, once above 4000 metres the Caucasus region and its views open up and the Gara-Bashi huts are all but forgotten. Lava Expeditions offers its clients a way of climbing Elbrus that takes climbers away from the mess of Gara-Bashi and summits the mountain in a traditional way using tented camps between Gara-Bashi and the summit.

The first night of the Lava Expeditions Elbrus climb is spent at Gara-Bashi but after this two tented camps at Diesel Hut (4060 metres) and the Pastukhova Rocks (4640 metres) are used giving climbers a better chance to acclimatise and to spend more time looking at the views and not the Gara-Bashi huts. For more information on Lava Expeditions and their Elbrus climbs visit

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Climbing Kilimanjaro can be achieved for charity, pleasure or personal achievement. Climb Kilimanjaro costs need not be expensive, so contact Lava expeditions, and you could well be on your way.


American Visa Application

by Gareth Hoyle

Would you appreciate help with your American visa application?

Are you excited about the prospect of travelling to America? It shouldn't be a surprise - the United States boasts so many exciting sights and attractions, throughout world-famous cities like New York, Washington, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles. However, you should be warned that travel to the USA is impossible without an American visa, obtainable for citizens of the countries covered by the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP) through the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization).

In this instance, you may feel daunted about having to go through the American visa application process - but actually, you don't have to. Instead, you can request a private company to go through every stage of the American visa application for you, saving you a lot of probable stress. All that company should need is a few brief details from you - like the details on your passport and your travel intentions.

Where is the best place to find companies like these?

You might be tempted to start reaching for the phone book, but you shouldn't; this a terribly outdated method of scanning for any type of companies, let alone those promising help with your American visa application. Instead, just turn to a big name Internet search engine, like Google or Bing, and conduct a search for 'American visa application', or something similar. The choice of appropriate companies you receive through this process should be immense, but it does rather leave the question of how you are supposed to choose among them.

So, what should you expect from the best of such companies?

The fee they charge should be low, of course, but also completely transparent. It should be clear, for instance, that the charge covers the fee of the US government, and that there are no other charges or "hidden extras." To this end, the fee should be paid in GBP (Sterling), thus avoiding any unknown or obscure conversion rates or 'own bank' exchange loading fees. There should also be different possible payment methods, including PayPal and cheque.

Finally, the company should promise to email you your visa on the same day as the American visa application.

More Information: will help you with your American Visa Application.Our team of professional staff strives to enhance with a range of services to take away unnecessary stress. Contact us today for a US Visa.


Diary of a Kilimanjaro ascent

by Rubel Zaman

I climbed Kilimanjaro with Lava Expeditions during the rainy season. I flew to Nairobi in Kenya and spent a couple of days chilling at The Wildebeest Camp (a relaxing haven hidden from the hubbub of the city) before boarding a bus for a 6 hour journey across the border into Tanzania and then onto to Arusha, a vibrant yet relatively quiet town.

I was met by a company representative at Nairobi airport who took me to my accommodation in Nairobi. This is where I met the rest of the group of whom I would spend the next week or so with. We all travelled on the bus together and Lava Expeditions too, who made sure that the immigration process of crossing borders and avoiding some of the dodgy locals ran as smoothly as possible.

Soon after, we arrived at our hotel in Arusha and met up in the evening for dinner and a few cold beverages. This is when we were introduced to more staff including Taddeus Minja, the main guide, where climbing Kilimanjaro runs through the generations of his family.

The next day the Lava Expeditions staff went through each of our kits individually to re-check that we had the correct and enough clothing for our expedition on Kilimanjaro. Only one person needed an extra fleece and a few decided that they needed a few more bars of chocolate. No-one forgot their walking boots which was a blessing.

We all set off the next day, stumbling in the rain through the beauty of the rainforest up to the heathland, where lichen literally drips from trees, all the way to the first camp where we had a glimpse of the mountain. I was in my element the next few days as the scenery was incredible and just so diverse every day. I suffered a little on summit day, not through illness but the altitude zapped my energy and I felt so tired.

The staff at Lava Expeditions was so professional and provided me with endless motivation and encouragement which in turn provided me with one of the best memories I have to date, reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro in bright blue skies with a view of the breathtaking glacier.

I felt prepared, informed, safe and excited about climbing Kilimanjaro and these feelings didn’t change throughout my trip. From the basic process of enquiring and booking my trip to my time up and down the mountain and all the way back to the UK, Lava Expeditions looked after me so well. I would definitely recommend this company to anyone wanting to climb Kilimanjaro.

More Information:

If you have ever wanted to Climb Kilimanjaro then why not look at Climb Kilimanjaro Cost and find adventure.


The Best Summer Break

by Gen Federico

The majority of us will look at summer as the perfect time to get away from Britain, heading off for sunnier climes and finally putting those long winters behind us. However, with costs being bumped up significantly during the summer months and the nicer resorts being filled with fellow Brits, the summer often ends up being one of the worst times to head away.

Not only this, but by heading away you will be missing out on those few precious months of sunshine we actually have, and potentially missing out on Britain at its best. Therefore, why not consider heading away in the winter and keeping the summer for visiting the better parts of Britain.

A stay in London hotels will often end up being a cheaper option and leave you with a huge amount of choice at your disposal. Central London Hotels are not just perfectly placed for you to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the great tourist attractions in the centre, but also give you opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful parks and scenery our country has to offer at the same time.

It isn’t just London hotels that could give you the perfect break either, and there is a wealth of areas in Britain that are begging to be explored. More often than not we look to explore other countries before we have even had chance to fully explore our own.

Whether you choose a short stay in Central London Hotels or a remote getaway in the furthest reaches of Scotland, summer in Britain will often have plenty of sun to offer, a plethora of great beaches and far more of historical and cultural interest than many other places may have to offer. So save that beach break for the winter, and spend your summer having the perfect break in the UK.


The Best Way to Find a Cheap Hotel Online

By: hotelsourcer

Finding cheap hotels in London that are both budget and family affable may be an overwhelming task. London is a great place to visit with its historical attractions and an array of sight-seeing opportunities. But, going for a London vacation can be expensive. Being able to find a cheap hotel online is really a great help for any vacationer. Among the best choices of hotel in London are the Kings Cross hotels, hotels Kings Cross, and hotels St Pancras.

In order to find a contemptible hotel in the Internet such as a Kings Cross hotel, you should visit Here, you can start searching for a Bed and Breakfast accommodation and London hotel deals. Also, you may find information on sightseeing tours as well as discounted box office attractions. When it comes to hotel pricing and getting an option that suits your budget then this is the early step to take. Understand that hotels in London such as hotels London St Pancras and Kings Cross hotels have smaller rooms. Make sure that the hotel room you are going for can well accommodate yourself and your companions. offer discount hotels and different packages as well. It is important that you start researching early just like when you make ticket reservations. When you start your search early, you can make a good choice without having to fret of many things. Last minute wait to book a hotel room will often cause you to make a rushed decision instead of looking for the best price and the tolerable quality. Some websites specialize in finding cheap hotels such as hotels St Pancras and Kings Cross hotels in the last minute but booking earlier will offer a cheaper deal.

Besides, try to find out at which month the hotel has lesser attendance since it is at this time that they offer lower rates. It is also benefit if you do a grouping search. Combine the different search methods accessible such as online searches and telephone directory. Also, you can take advantage of group or extended rates or by using promotional codes.

Hotels London Kings Cross, St Pancras hotels and hotels near St Pancras are the coolest choices for cheap hotels where you can book your accommodation as you spend a holiday in London. Decide for your preference like amenities, location and star rating of the hotel. Make a good search online for the best deals and you must contrast rates. Consider that the more research you are taking, the more likely you will find a cheap hotel online.

The reason on the internet hotel deals is so popular, and why hotels love to do it, is because it eliminates work for everyone involved. Ordering on the internet means there is no travel agent to take fees from the hotel to do the booking, and there is less cause for a hotel agent to actually book it themselves. Hotels save  both time and money, which they then pass on to the average consumer. There are also sites that harness the power of group savings and help pass them on to the consumers that require them.
There are a few things, to care when using the internet to help you find hotel deals. You need to know the exact location of where you want to stay, and also the exact time and date; rates can change based on daily availability, infers that once you decide a date for your stay the rate is locked in. Amenities such as non-smoking or smoking rooms and whether or not you require a handicapped or ground room also need to be determined before booking the stay; these are things that can’t be changed by the hotel once booked.

On the internet hotel deals are yet among the cheapest and best ways to get rooms at a discount, however, meaning you can safely reserve your rate without worry.


Best Airline Seats: How to Get Them!

By Jack Olivor

Everyone wants to grab the best seats on an aircraft. While the term ‘best’ may have different implications for different travellers, the essence remains that comfort is what everyone is looking for!

Comfort becomes paramount if the traveller is looking to undertake a long journey, like flights to India from London and this is where it becomes all the more important to land up with most comfortable airline seats unless you want to become the cheese in a seat sandwich!

Take a look at certain factors that can assist you in landing up with best airline seats on your next flight.

Research Well

Make sure to research well before booking tickets to far off destinations like India. Not only does it help the traveller in netting cheap flights to India but it may also make it easy for them to find the best seats on the aircraft. There are number of travel websites as well as booking engines that provide an illustration of the aircraft you are booking tickets for. Such portals specify what seats are still available for each flight. It sure is the most convenient way to get your preferred seat option.

Book Early

Early booking is a key that unlocks many a locks! Holiday destinations like India are highly popular and it makes sense to book your flights as soon as possible. It goes without saying that with more options available you are in better position to find seat of your choice. Tourists can also net cheap flights to India in case they are smart enough to make bookings months before.

Money Pinching Is No Good

One can also consider spending few pounds more to ensure having an enjoyable in-flight experience. Saving money on a plane ticket might cost you in regards to on-board comfort and relaxation. Especially for long-haul journeys like London to India, it is best to cough up a bit extra to make sure your flight experience is as good as your rest of the holidays.

Compare Seat Pitch and Width

For travellers who are unsure regarding which seats are comfortable and which are not, it is best to compare seat pitch and width dimensions. It must be kept in mind that seat pitch and width can vary significantly with different aircraft type. While one or two inches may not seem much, it can make huge difference when it comes to comfort or lack of it. The best way to go about it is to find the type of aircraft you will be flying in and also find out how many seats the airline is offering in the travel class. It seems logical that in a same plane type, an airline offering more seats than the other is likely to have less legroom.

Exit Rows

Exit row seats are usually snapped up quickly on long flights to India. These seats have more legroom and are thus pretty popular among seasoned travellers. However, many airlines do not permit exit-row seats to be pre-booked. Usually, airline personnel wish to verify that passengers sitting on the exit-row seats are physically capable of opening the emergency exit, should the need arise.


Bulkhead seats, located right behind the partitions that separate travel classes from one another, can also be good option for those looking for extra legroom. With no one sitting in front of you, there is no possibility of anyone reclining back and cramping up your space. It is also easier to enter and exit your bulkhead seat.

Seats to Avoid

Your long flight to India will seem even longer in case you are struck with bad seats. Passengers seeking comfort on their flights would like to avoid seats that are located n front of the exit rows. These seats usually cannot be reclined back.

Seats near the washrooms can also be steered clear off as no body wants people to hover around them waiting for their turn.


How to Cook Ugali

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Ugali is a stiff starch meal made from maize, sorghum, yam flour or different types of grains and roots. It is a common staple food in most parts of east, south and western Africa.
The name ‘Ugali’ is Kenyan, but it is known by different names in different countries. For example in Uganda, it is known as ‘Kaunga’ and Zambia ‘Nshima’.
In most of these countries where Ugali is their main food, the stew that accompanies it is always different, for instance in kenya, the stew that goes along with it is either Sukuma Wiki (Kale) or Nyama choma (roast meat)

Basic Ingredients

  • Maize flour

  • Accompanying vegetables, meat, or soup

  • Water: - depending on the number of people (about 2 cups for 1 person)


Bring to boil the two or more cups of water in a sauce pan, add a few handfuls of maize flour slowly while mixing it with a ‘Mwiko’ (wooden cooking utensil), continue adding the flour as you mix it until it becomes thick, then start reducing the amount of flour as it thickens, make it thicker than cake dough. Shape it into round-oval like ball, over turn the sauce pan on a plate and let the Ugali drop on the plate. Cut into pieces and serve.

Tips: -    Best cooked until produces a slightly sweet burning smell.
-          Dip the wooden utensil in water before shaping the Ugali for better results.
-          Allow the water to boil for at least two three minutes before adding the flour.
-          Cover it for a few minutes before removing from fire for better results.


  • Kale (Sukuma Wiki) - Best prepared with soup and spices (Royco)
  • Meat- you may add to the Kales or fry it separately.
  • Fish- Fried Tilapia is best, with tomato soup.

Nairobi Guide: Expenses and basic needs

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If you are planning on staying in Nairobi for a while, it would be wise to spend some time gathering more information on what to eat, where to stay, where to shop, mode of transportation and so forth. One of the biggest advantage that Nairobi city has over most of other cities in the world, is that most of the major shopping malls, hospitals, nice apartments and other useful facilities are within a distance of about 0.5-10 kilometers.


This is undoubtedly the only basic need that will leave your pockets empty and dry in Nairobi.
If you are planning on living here for a long time, try not to get an apartment in the so called ‘up market’ areas of the city. A decent one bedroom apartment will go for about $500 - $700, while in other areas they would cost you anywhere between $90 to $150.
A two to three bed roomed apartment in areas which are not considered ‘up market’ will cost $120-$300 a month. The only difference between the ‘up market’ and other areas is the distance from the CBD. Most businessmen prefer living close to town which is about 3-6 kilometers from the CBD. Areas not considered ‘up market’ are about 10-15 kilometers from the central business district., which doesn’t make a huge difference an ordinary person.


There are plenty of large and mini buses that ferry people within and out of the city at all times. If you would like to cut down on your transport spending while you are in Nairobi, don’t bother looking for other means like a personal taxi or a car hire since all the areas within the city are covered by the bus network. If you are traveling out of the city center to any of the residential areas within the city, each bus ride would only cost you about $ 0.50 – $1  


Depending on your preference, most food or food related stuff go at reasonable prices, a decent meal at a local restaurant would range from between $3-$15 depending on the area and type of food. If you are planning on having home made meals which are more pocket friendly, then you can decide which market is more convenient for you. There are more than 7 large shopping malls in the city plus other open air markets that sell grocery and other foods.


If you wish to take a walk in the park or grab a bottle of beer, you won’t have to look further, Nairobi has some of the best entertainment clubs in the country, and the good news is that they very pocket friendly. For instance, if you love plays, it would only cost you about $6 to watch a decent one, a bottle of beer will cost you between $1-$1.5 while a session of massage goes for about $10-$20.there are other plenty of stuff to do around the city, you just have to walk around and find out what you like.