Great Family Spring Break Vacations

The following are Travel & Leisure recommendations of special family destinations, ranging from a mega resort with a waterpark in the Bahamas to a charming hotel with a private beach in Cape May, N.J.:

·      The Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas comes with a 141 acre waterpark called “Aquaventure” which pumps over 20 million gallons of water over its maze of slides.  It is also home to over 40 restaurants and bars, a 63 slip marina, and offers many sports and entertainment options.  Many outdoor lagoons and aquariums can also be found on the property.

·      The Portola Hotel & Spa in Monterey, CA, is a waterfront retreat consisting of 379 newly remodeled rooms which overlook the magnificent central California coast.  This is a kid friendly hotel that offers a Pirates Program that takes young “crewmembers” on scavenger hunts and local explorations.  The world class Monterey Bay Aquarium and the stunning redwood forests in nearby Big Sur are some of the surrounding “can’t miss” attractions.

·      The Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C. is located within a mile of the White House and next to Georgetown.  It is home to 415 rooms with original art, a 17,500 sq foot fitness center, and Juniper restaurant where guests go to enjoy comfort food.  Kids love checking out the giant pandas at the nearby National Zoo.  Pandas are close to extinction with only about 1,600 still living worldwide.

·      The Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds Plantation in Lake Oconee, GA, is well known for its world class golf courses.  This lush resort sits on 10,000 acres along the shore of Lake Oconee, only 75 miles from Atlanta.  The resort offers 251 rooms, designed as if they belonged in an upscale country home with antique reproductions, richly colored fabrics, Frette bed linens, and roomy granite and marble baths.  Favorite kid activities include kayaking on the dazzling lake and eating s’mores around a campfire.

·      Congress Hall in Cape May, NJBusiness Management Articles, has 108 rooms with a “guest only” beach which makes crowd concerns a non issue.  This historic beachside hotel sits on a sweeping lawn overlooking the Atlantic.  It recently underwent an extensive $26 million renovation.  This seaside town offers charming salt water taffy shops and activities including fishing and bird watching.

Ways to Save When Traveling Overseas

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or plan to head overseas for the first time, there are many simple ways to cut costs without impacting on the fun or comfort of your trip.
Thumbing through well-researched, up-to-date guidebooks helps in discovering little-known delights- and also helps to save money.
Countries differ but, when it comes to shaving costs, here are some general rules to apply.

MONEY

Never change money at hotel reception desks.

Foreign exchange is an easy profit source for hotels. Staff may tell you their exchange is competitive, but, hotel rates are almost always terrible.

In many countries, money-changer kiosks offer better rates than banks- but not always. Exchanging on the street is begging to be ripped off.
It’s a good idea to have some local currency when arriving in a country. But do a little checking: sometimes it’s better to change money on arrival at the airport rather than in your own country. Also, try and convert what currency you have left at the airport rather than after you get home.

Getting local cash from the ATM is generally cheaper than exchanging money- but check your card will be accepted.
You may also consider having some travelers’ cheques issued in local currency before you leave home to avoid unfavourable exchange rates. To get around paying fees, instead of cashing the cheques at local banks, buy something small with a large cheque and use the change.

CREDIT CARDS

Credit cards are a handy way to carry money, as they save on transaction costs and offer reasonable rates of exchange.
The trick is to deposit enough money on to the card to fund your trip before you leave so it acts as a debit card instead of a credit card. Withdrawing money from a credit card that isn’t cashed up is treated as a cash advance.

Withdrawals generally attract a high interest rate which kicks in immediately. The cost of whatever you bought with the cash you withdrew will multiply before you’ve landed back on Australian soil.

Adventure Travel in South America

Adventure Travel in South America can be understood in many ways but I would like to focus in one of the possibilities. Let’s say you are in a career break in your life, let’s say you have some spare time, let’s say it has come the point in which you want to take this once-a-lifetime trip to discover a continent you are passionate about. What would you do? Well, here you are going to find a good proposal.

There is a company which is organizing trips on the 5 continents around the world. They are not what I would call “adventure travel”, but they are the kind of off-the-beaten-path ones. Traveling with them means you are going to find yourself in a kind of real tourism, sleeping many times in guest houses but not in luxury hotels, doing some easy-level treks and using many means of local transport. You shouldn’t go there if you are expecting luxury, but if you are looking to discover the real country life and go face to face with nature and local culture, then it is a must do activity.

One of their proposals is a trip which goes around South America, starting from Ecuador and running down to Peru, going inland then to explore the mountains and the jungle, reaching Bolivia, going back into Chile, south through the coast into Santiago, further south then, and finally turning right to reach Argentina, cross Uruguay and enter into Brazil running up along the coast reaching the end of the Amazon river.

Travel in Amsterdam by Car

Amsterdam is indeed a lovely place to roam around, and has been one of the top choices of foreigners for vacation. Because one can do so many fun-filled activities and visit a lot of tourist attractions there, travelers may find it convenient to rent a car so he can easily get from one site to another.

There are virtually countless places to see in Amsterdam. Museums abound in this city, something that lovers of arts and history will truly appreciate. Some of the most well-known museums in this place include the following “Van Gogh,” the “Rijks,” the “Rembrandt,” and the sex museum.

There are also fine restaurants and plenty of shops that visitors may want to visit for souvenirs. For easy site-hopping, having a vehicle would indeed be a wise idea for travelers.

A caution, however, is that renting a car in this European city is quite expensive. To rent a regular car for a week will cost around $275. Renting a luxury sedan for the same period will cost around $1,000. Nonetheless, if one has the money and is willing to maximize his tour of this lovely place, then he may find it worthwhile to travel in Amsterdam by car.

Parking a vehicle may also be expensive, especially on weekdays. On Sundays, however, parking is free outside the city-center. On the other days, one can avail himself of a full-day parking on the city’s outskirts for only 5.50 Euros. After parking, one may take a short bus ride if he wishes to go to the city-center.

Sports and Hobbies in France

Sports is a popular pastime in France with football, judo, tennis and basketball dominating the sporting arenas. France also involves itself in grand racing car events, bicycle racing also making its presence felt in the world of tennis and martial arts.

Popular sports

The most popular sports is soccer but the French have a known taste for speed and endurance in car and bicycle racing, grace and precision in tennis and soccer, as well as the rough and tumble spectacle offered in the two rugby styles of League and Union

Bicycle racing – The Grands Tours of France are renowned worldwide as being the oldest and most prestigious. One of them, the Tour de France is the world’s most famous cycling event.

Motor car racing – Endurance racing in sleek and fact sports cars is a test to the limit for both driver and car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The race is rated as the most famous held on the speed track of Sarthe.

Tennis tournaments – The Grand Slam tennis tournaments are a spectacle to watch on the French turf. One of the four Grand Slam tournaments known as the French Open is played and so is the Paris Masters.

Olympic Games – A French aristocrat by the name of Pierre de Coubertin was the inventor of the modern Olympic Games by his enthused call for a revival of the Games at the end of the 19th century. The hosting of the first Games went to Greece as a fitting gesture for the landwhere the Games were born. France hosted the second Games in 1900 and became the first home for the International Olympic Committee. Since then, France has hosted 4 Olympic Games, with one again in Paris in 1924 and 3 Winter Olympics in 1924 (Chamonix); another in 1968 (Greoble) and the third Games in 1992 (Albertville)

Hold Travel Notebook Athens, Find Yourself

Louis Vuitton, proud for its luxury culture, so, must do something about the culture. That is Travel Notebook series. It seems to say hi friends, do not indulge in the material world. You need some fresh spirit to enrich your mind. Just like us, Louis Vuitton. In fact, we care about the culture more about our clothes and bags. So, get our travel notebook, travel around the world, and write down every marvelous moment. By the way, if you like, Louis Vuitton outfits will give you a gorgeous and sumptuous journey.

It is indeed a sly yet smart merchant. Nevertheless, that does not interfere with Travel Notebook series. There are six Travel Notebooks, respectively Paris, New York, Rio, Athens, Mumbai, and Peking. My favorite is Athens.

The pure blue is from Aegean Sea. The painting on the cover is the famous Athenaeum. Travel Notebook Athens catches the city’s features and enchants my heart. I really love that city. Everywhere is blue and white. Pure, simple, and unaffected, far away from prosperity and fickleness, it is Athens.

Walk along the narrow pebble street, gaze the endless Aegean Sea, chat with local people, and enjoy the local cuisine. Then go back to the hotel to write down your feeling on the travel notebook. I have to say, it is a so special and absorbing experience nowadays. Every people are used to computer. But you still write down everything on paper. It is a process to find yourself, the origin one, through silently writing.

Get the Best Deals While Travelling

You’ll be totally surprised at how much you can save while travelling. Travelling is a life enriching activity which makes it an excellent way to spend holidays either with family, friends or on your own. However, as enticing as it is, we cannot discount the fact that it may be taxing for other necessary objectives we may have. Therefore, planning for a less expensive yet relaxing kind of trip is a must. The idea may sound like it can take so much time, unless you already know how to go about it. The first thing we usually do when travelling is to look for a place where we can comfortably stay. This task requires at least basic information about the area which will guarantee the best deal possible. Here’s how:

Check the destination’s government authorized tourist website for a more secure and reliable information. These websites usually have “.gov” at the end of the website address or URL. Most of the time, the site offers freebies and discounts for tourists, tour recommendations and the address for its nearest office from where you will stay. You may also check the site if there are hotel discounts you can take advantage of while booking the hotel room. Most countries have these helpful schemes to promote tourism.
You can also check other government sponsored websites such as the one I found for Italy. On this site, I found a listing of hotels in Rome with prices ranging from a few hundred Euros to as low as 30 EUR. There is also a satellite map for the city and the entire country where the hotel locations are marked. The website allows a customized search according to your hotel specifications. I found a 2 star hotel, 150 meters from Termini Station, center of Rome for 40 EUR per night including breakfast, TV, direct dial telephone, mini bar and air conditioning. I checked the hotel’s home page and it matches the address and rate in the government listing. On another listing, I found a 1 star hotel with a Junior Suite for only 13 EUR per night, with WIFI and other amenities, 100 meters from Termini Station. However when I check its homepage, there is not a room type and rate listed under this category.

Info About Public Transportation in Athens

The Athens Transit System consists of a large bus fleet, a trolleybus fleet that mainly serves the downtown area. The city’s Metro, a tram line connecting the southern suburbs to the city centre, and the Athens Suburban Railway service..

Athens Metro
While its main purpose is transport, the stations house Greek artifacts found during construction of the system. The two lines (red and blue) were constructed largely during the 1990s and the initial sections opened in January 2000. The lines run entirely underground. The metro network operates a fleet of 42 trains consisting of 252 cars with a daily occupancy of 550,000 passengers. The Blue Line runs from the western suburbs  through the central Monastiraki and Syntagma stations to the northeastern suburbs  and covers a distance of 16 km (10 mi), It then ascends to ground level and reaches Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport using the Suburban Railway infrastructure and extending its distance to 39 km (24 mi). The Red Line runs from Aghios Antonios to Aghios Dimitrios and covers a distance of 11.6 km (7 mi). Extensions to both these lines are under construction, most notably westwards to Piraeus and southwards to the Old Hellinikon Airport East Terminal (the future Metropolitan Park). The spring 2007 extension from Monastiraki, westwards to Egaleo, connected some of the main night life hubs of the city of Athens, namely Gazi (Kerameikos station), Psirri (Monastiraki station) and the city centre (Syntagma station).

Electric railway
This network runs the original metro line from Piraeus to Kifisia and serves 22 stations, with a network length of 25.6 km (15.9 mi), a fleet of 44 trains and 243 cars and a daily occupancy rate of 600,000 passengers. The historic Green Line is set to be extended to Agios Stefanos, a suburb located 23 km (14 mi) to the north of the city centre, reaching to 36 km (22 mi) in length.

The Acropolis in Athens – a symbol in Greece

This way, the Acropolis is the most visited destination in not only Athens, but in the entire Greece as well, being a major attraction for tourists from around the world who approach this region in order to meet these constructions.

The Acropolis hill, also known as the Sacred Rock, contains several ancient symbolic constructions such as per example, the Parthenon, the Temple of Nike, and the Erechtheion. These spots, built within the years 450 and 330 BC have gone through several different historical moments and meeting them is without any doubt as meeting the past in the present.

The Parthenon, in The Acropolis, is the most symbolic construction from Ancient Greece. The Parthenon was built between the years 446 and 432 BC in honor to the Goddess of Athens Athena Parthenos. This construction was built almost entirely with Pentelic marble and shows 8 columns at its two shorter sides and 17 columns at its longer ones, containing a statue of Athena in its central area.

The Temple of Athena Nike, another major construction in The Acropolis, was built around the year 420 BC. This construction shows four columns at its shorter sides and walls in the larger sides. This construction’s walls contains depictures of gods’ conferences and battles at each side. The Erechtelion, is another major construction in The Acropolis. This construction was originally divided in two main sections which were dedicated to the Goddess Athena and the God Poseidon.

Another major spot located in The Acropolis in Athena is The Propylaea. The Propylaea was built between the years 436 and 431 BC following a design of the architect Mnesikles. This construction was built with the purpose of being the main entrance to The Acropolis and contains rows of columns and decorated walls. It is interesting to know that, due to its paintingsFeature Articles, this construction is often known as the Pinakotheke.

Kensington Palace and the Glorious Revolution

At some time, no doubt, upon our travels together, we will pass by this royal palace, where once upon a time a prince and princess used to live in happier days – namely the current heir to the throne and the now deceased Lady Diana, who became the Princess of Wales.

So you may ask, what on earth could be the direct connection between this Royal Palace and a revolution that was known as “Glorious”? Why glorious anyway, you may well ask? Well, there we are – the story gets longer and longer, and eventually disappears into the mists of time.

This royal palace, although nowadays no longer a principal royal residence, is still used by certain members of the royal family even after the recent death of the queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, the death of the Princess of Wales on 31st August 1997, and the departure of HRH Prince Charles, following the separation of the couple in 1992.

The idea of this palace came about with accession of the Prince of Orange, the Dutch Stadtholder, as our William III, who was the son of the eldest daughter, Mary, of the executed (yes executed, in 1646) King of Great Britain, King Charles I. Interestingly, William III was married to an English Princess, also called Mary, who was a daughter of Charles II’s brother the Duke of York, who himself became a King, namely James II. So reader, if you are thinking “but this makes them cousins”, then you are quite correct.