Thursday, July 12, 2012

On Buying Car Rental Insurance

I was talking to a friend of mine who is the manager of car rental franchise in Mexico. I happen to know her for many years and I was surprised to hear that every time she travels to the US or, anywhere for that matter, and rents a car she always buys all the insurance being offered. Why do you that? I asked. And her response was: "I don't want any problems whatsoever and paying a few extra dollars is worth it in this case because it gives me peace of mind and lets me enjoy and concentrate on the reason for my trip", which in her case is shopping and as we all know that is a very involved affair that needs all your concentration and bargain-hunting abilities.

Now, my friend has been in the car rental business for many years, longer than I know her, and I don't think that she has ever worked anywhere else but the car rental industry, so she knows the business inside out, and she is savvy about spending her money, so it seems to me as solid and powerful an argument for buying car insurance from the rental company as you are going to find.

Of course, there are many ways to be protected, if not from accidents to happen, at least from the expense involved... you can use your own policy which is likely to cover, at least in part, the cost you may have to incur, and at times it does not include all, or you can buy special insurance before your trip, or you can rely on the insurance that may come with the use of a credit card, and so on. However, if you just want to the least amount of problems than buying the coverage at the rental counter is the way to go. With any insurance policy you will be required to fill out forms and possibly follow up with calls, etc. Good luck trying to make effective the coverage offered by the credit card as it may take some doing. With the coverage purchased at the counter you may have to complete an accident report and, in all likelihood, you'll never hear anything else about it. That has been what I have seen, in most cases anyway. You simply walk away.

Now if you are renting in a foreign country, then the choice becomes clearer because if you do not purchase the coverage and are involved in accident - something much more likely to happen since you are in unfamiliar territory - you will be required to pay for any damage immediately, regardless of any insurance coverage you may have. The car rental company is not likely to let you walk away with a promise of payment from your insurance, and this can lead to a most uncomfortable situation, as you can imagine.

Vacation Planning Should Include Car Rentals

Going on vacation is always a great deal of fun for everyone. Plans have to be made and suitcases have to be packed. You must then figure out what transportation will work for you as you travel to your favorite destination. Some people choose to fly there while others take a bus or train. Other vacationers drive, especially if they want to take in the scenery along the way. To make your trip more carefree, you may wish to rent a car for your journey ahead.

Choosing to rent a vehicle will not only reduce your stress levels, but you can confidently know that you are getting a vehicle that has been well maintained and is running properly, giving you peace of mind while you are traveling to your destination. Worrying about the vehicle while on a long trip should never be part of the vacationing experience for anyone. You can also purchase extra insurance offered by the rental company to ensure that you are protected in case you become involved in any accidents that most always are unplanned and unforeseen.

Car rental companies are experts in helping you with your vehicle vacationing needs. They have many makes and models as well as sizes and options available. If you gas budget is limited, no problem. You should also be aware that rental companies have very different prices for the same models and anyone is encouraged to price shop before they rent to get the best deal for their needs.

The number of people in your traveling adventure will usually determine the size and model of rental vehicle. One two or three people can comfortably travel in a compact and enjoy the benefits of saving gas during the trip. If more people are joining you, you will seriously want to step up to a larger SUV or van that can comfortably transport all your passengers and their luggage with room to spare and make sure to trip gets off to a great start.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Treat Yourself To A Luxury Ski Vacation

I think that an annual vacation is something that most of us spend a lot of time looking forward to. There may be a number of reasons why you're looking to get away from the daily routine, including taking the opportunity to escape from stresses that `re associated with working life.

In truth, many people would probably like to get away for vacations on a more regular basis. Instead, what tends to happen is that many of us plan a single, lavish trip away. This may well be due to the fact that regular commitments mean that there's something of a limit on the amount of time that we have available for leisure opportunities.

When you think about these issues and your own approach, you may well realise that it's important to ensure that you plan trips that will be truly memorable. You don't want to travel to somewhere that will ultimately prove to be disappointing. So how can you go about making travel plans that will meet your requirements and that are able to match your aspirations?

Ski vacations have held a place in the mind as offering luxury travel options for a long time. They enable you to combine sporting activities, with entertainment and opportunities for relaxation. There are numerous ski resorts, located throughout the world. As might be expected, many people tend to head for the leading European resorts.

If you're thinking along similar lines, then you may well be thinking about a trip to France, Switzerland, Italy or Austria. Each of these locations boasts a range of wonderful options, enabling you to create a vacation experience that you'll be able to remember for years to come. You'll find that there are no limits to the type of experience that you'll be able to enjoy.

Ski the Slopes In Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, New Zealand, is the Southern Hemisphere's premier four season lake and alpine resort. Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown's stunning scenery is inspiring and revitalising.

With such a huge range of activities in Queenstown, no two days will ever be the same. You can choose activities such as skydiving, bungy jumping, white water rafting, helicopter flights, taking a wild ride on a jetboat or relax and try some of the best wines in the world.

Take a day trip to the beautiful Milford Sound which is absolutely breathtaking,  or go by 4WD and explore the "Lord of the Rings" country. Whatever your appetite for adventure or exploration, Queenstown has something for everyone.

The winter months is when Queenstown really shines. It's a beautiful town nestled in the southern alps of New Zealand and is a mecca for international tourists all year long. Because of its popularity as a great destination, accommodation is booked up quickly, so looking for a great deal during the ski season means that you will have to book months in advance. There are always plenty of different options to choose from as far as your accommodation is concerned, so take the opportunity to compare prices and get the best deal.

One of the major winter attractions is skiing and Queenstown has some of the best skiing to be found anywhere. Tourism is quieter during winter as the main focus is on skiing and Queenstown is within easy reach of Coronet Peak ski resort (20 minutes away) and The Remarkables ski resort (40 minutes away). The skiing at Queenstown is great for all skiiers as the weather seems to be much more stable, giving skiiers every opportunity to get out on the slopes. Added to this is the fact that these two ski resorts rarely close, because the weather is so favourable. The scenery from the top of Coronet Peak will take your breath away so be sure to visit even if you don't ski.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dr. Barnes in Philadelphia

One of Dr. Barnes' "ensembles" contrasts a cozy family portrait by Renoir  with a painting by C├ęzanne of nudes in a hostile landscape
With jubilation and some residual sour faces from the bruising legal brawl that preceded the occasion, the Barnes Foundation opened its Center City Philadelphia campus on May 19, 2012. A hundred years ago, Dr. Albert C. Barnes began buying Impressionist, post-Impressionist and early 20th-century art, assembling one of the world's great collections, larded with old masters such as El Greco, Hals and Goya and African and Native American work that intrigued him. He was also interested in Pennsylvania German folk art and furniture and in centuries-old metalworking. He liked the inventive shapes of hinges, locks and keys and ornamental metalwork.

Dr. Albert C. Barnes as painted by Giorgio de Chirico
The doctor, who was born in 1872 in what might politely be called a "working class" neighborhood of Philadelphia and whose father was a butcher before he lost his right arm in the Civil War, made a fortune with his invention of the antiseptic Argyrol. Barnes used his money to buy art, which he installed in a building that he commissioned in Merion, a suburb of Philadelphia. From behind that barred door, he spurned the art critics, socialites and celebrities who had spurned him. He turned down their pleas to see his collection, admitting factory workers, young artists and others who gratefully feasted on the wonders that Dr. Barnes had amassed and carefully arranged.

Under the tutelage of the educator John Dewey, who became a friend, Barnes developed his own methods of education. There would be no mind-numbing curatorial explanations in his galleries. He wanted his visitors to look, not to read. Barnes stipulated in his will that his collection was to remain exactly as it was at the time of his death and that of his wife, Laura. Nothing was to be loaned or moved.

Dr. Barnes was killed in an automobile accident on July 24, 1951. Laura died in April 1966. For the ensuing 40 or so years, the Barnes collection remained sequestered in Merion with comparatively few visitors and insufficient funds to maintain the building and the grounds of the doctor's estate. But the legal wrangling necessary to break Barnes' will and move the collection to Center City Philadelphia was intense.

Monday, May 7, 2012

What to Expect in Kerala Tour




Kerala is one of the best travel locations to visit. This place has a wide range of scenic beauties to offer. This article will discuss about all these locations that it offers. This article will help you explain what to expect in God’s Own Country, Kerala.

Beaches- Kerala is well known for its long beaches. This is a state which is located at the cost and thus, sea food is also a delicacy here. There are many beaches in this state and each has its own specialty. It creates lagoons and many other natural formations made by the sea. People love to enjoy this Kerala beach location with family and friends. Contrary to the Goa beaches, this is a calmer place. Some of the well known beaches are Alappuzha beach, Bekal beach, Fort Kochi beach and many more among the long list.

Hill stations- contrary to the beaches, there are hill stations too. Hill stations provide a great place for honeymoons and summer travel holiday spots. To name a few hill stations, there is the Chembra Park, Chithirapuram, Idukki, etc. Out of these, the best and the well known hill station is Munnar which is a tourist attraction to people all over the world.

Backwaters- Kerala Bacwaters tour are the main tourist attraction to all. Beaches can be found everywhere but the backwaters can be found only in Kerala. The main formation of the backwaters comes from the 44 rivers which flow through Kerala. There are various destinations for the backwaters and mentioning one will not justify the others. Thus, choosing the locations on the basis of your needs and penchants will be the best option. Travelling and even staying on a boathouse is a must do when you visit the state.

Forests and national parks- Kerala is also a home for forests and wildlife. There are national parks as well as sanctuaries that protect the flora and fauna of the land. There is the Eravikulam National Park which homes the much endangered Nilgiri Tahr tree. The UNESCO is also considering the decision of making this national park a world heritage site. Kerala also has the Idukki, Chinnar, and Periyar wild life sanctuaries along with a few bird sanctuaries like Kumarakom, Thattekkad, and a few others.

Kerala is home to all these diverse places in it. In short, Kerala is a smaller version of India hosting all the elements which makes a complete India, albeit a few like snow-capped mountains. The state is also culturally and traditionally rich as it hosts some world famous temples and traditions. With this, it is the home to the spice markets which was the main attraction for the British and other foreign countries to step in and invade India. Even today, these species are grown in the kitchen gardens as a common plant and herb. It also hosts markets for the medicinal herbs, oils and powders while travelers visit the state to get treated for all their illnesses. Thus, one can expect a lot and even get it from Kerala.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Titanic Trail in Manhattan


In the run-up to April 15, 2012 — the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking — museum
exhibits, lectures, concerts and even entire museums are memorializing the collision between the opulent ocean liner and an iceberg that killed more than 1, 500 people. But Manhattan tells
the Titanic story with more than just ephemera.

The Titanic was headed for Manhattan when she went down at 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912 off the coast of Newfoundland. The Carpathia brought the survivors to Manhattan. Many of the people on board were New Yorkers or were bound for New York City to make it their new home. Manhattan, therefore, has more authentic sites connected with the Titanic than anywhere else except for Belfast, where she was built. Unlike a museum visit, the Titanic Trail in Manhattan takes travelers to fascinating places in the city — a shrine for America’s first native-born saint, the South Street Seaport, an old-fashioned hotel where the bellmen wear 1930s regalia, lower Broadway with its famous statue of a charging bull and thd gorgeous Hudson River Park with its gardens, fountains and five-mile promenade along the river.

The 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking will come and go. In Manhattan, the Titanic is part of the city's fabric — Pier 54 at 13th Street, where the words "Cunard White Star Line" are still visible in faded paint on the rusted ironwork, 9 Broadway, where the White Star office was located at that time, the American Seamen's Friend Society Sailors' Home and Institute, now The Jane, a hotel at 113 Jane St., where the surviving crew members of the Titanic were housed, and more. Long after the centennial, in Manhattan the Titanic and its story will live on.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Taj Mahal Tours- How to Select a Tour?


Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This wonder is located in the heart of India and is a tourist attraction to foreigners all over the world. The state revenue comprises of a major contribution from the tourism industry of the city of Agra. There are various Taj Mahal tours made for the foreigners as well as the Indian residents.
The Taj Mahal is a symbol of love built by Shah Jahan to his wife Mumtaz. This piece of art took 22 years to be completed. An interesting fact is that the Emperor wanted to build the same monument in black marble for his tomb but this dream did not fulfill as he was imprisoned by his youngest son, Aurangzeb. Talking about the architecture, the colored stones used in the designing of the monument each were bought from a different country. These stones came from places like Sri Lanka.
The Taj Mahal tour packages will vary depending on the location you are coming from and the time that you want to spend there. For example, if you are from Agra and a local resident, the amount will be very small as the India travel agent is providing commute for a small distance and this will be a one day trip. The entire package will include travel from a particular place as decided by the agent and the sight seeing of the wonder. Taj Mahal and return to the agreed spot. This is a one day trip for the local people.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Philadelphia Flowers

Philadelphia's famed flower show, which has been presented with few interruptions since 1829, closes today (March 11) but other flowers are still blooming in Philadelphia. A captivating exhibit called "Van Gogh Up Close" continues at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through May 6.

Van Gogh loved flowers and painted them over and over -- in vases and in fields and gardens where he marveled at their colors as they played
against an abundance of greens that evoked every nuance of his palette. Van Gogh's passion is
readily felt in his flurries of brush strokes, stipples and thickly applied paint. As he experimented and grew more sure of himself, his paintings become luminous with deftly applied layers of color that feed off each other -- orange and yellow and lavender and blue violet. Van Gogh's love of nature is a balm in our technologically saturated times. People are flocking to see his paintings. They look at them in reverential silence.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Beauty and Adventure Attraction of Ladakh

The high mountain passes of Ladakh make it is a thrilling place to visit. The geography and culture of Ladakh are amazing. The Tibetan-Buddhist culture draws a lot of tourist attention. It is also one of the most preferred destinations for adventure tourism in India. The Ladakh region is situated between the two great mountain ranges in north and south, which make it a perfect place for adventurous activities like trekking, mountain climbing, mountain biking, etc.
Some of the exhilarating trekking trails, which can be covered in Ladakh during Ladakh tours, are:
Himalaya Mountain Biking Tour:
Enjoy the pleasing experience of going through the high passes of the mountains on bikes (bicycles). Enjoy the ride as no city pollution or traffic will be there to hinder your trip. It will be both fun and challenging to cross two of the highest mountain passes of the world. While going through these rough terrains, enjoy the spectacular view of snow-capped peaks and landscapes.
Trekking in Ladakh
With two neighboring mountain ranges, trekking is one of the most famous tourist activities in the region. During your Himalaya tours you have to make plan as per sightseeing and places to visit in ladakh region. Trekking is a great way to see the wonders of Nature from a closer distance. With proper preparation and a clear weather, you can enjoy trekking with ease.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Famous Tourist Hotspots of South India

South India is a place full of amazing things. The state of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu along with the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry holds many tourist attractions. Each state has plenty of natural and man-made wonders. Natural wonders include backwaters, beaches, forests and wildlife while temples, monuments, ruins of ancient buildings and the hill stations are the man-made wonders. All these places are a must visit during your South India Tours.


Kerala is listed in the list of ten paradises of the world and is also called the God’s Own Country. Kerala Backwaters are famous throughout India and the world. Other major tourist attractions are the beaches, lake resorts, Ayurveda spas, temples, hill stations and wildlife sanctuary.

Tamil Nadu’s tourism industry is based on tours of Hindu temples. There are 34000 temples in Tamil Nadu. It also has many UNESCO world heritage sites. Other places of tourist interest are backwaters, Wildlife sanctuaries, Water fall, Hill stations and beaches. It is also famous for many colorful festivals like Pongal, Mattu Pongal, Karthikai Deepam, etc.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Why India is called Incredible India!


Out of the many countless reasons, here are some of the top reasons why India is called Incredible India and why you should visit India on your next vacation tour.
India is a big country - Being the 7th largest country by area in the world, India has very diverse natural features. Mountains covered with snow, hot and dry deserts, beautiful beaches and islands, rocky mountain range and dense forests, you can find all of them in India.
Colorful Heritage and Culture - The heritage of India is as vast as the size of the country. One of the oldest civilizations in the world, its heritage is rich in customs and traditions. So many different cultures have co-existed in the past and have blended together to form the present Indian society.
Great Architectural Wonders - The old rulers and emperors of India were great admirers of art and craftsmanship. The architectural marvels built by them are the proof of it. Temples, mosques, tombs, palaces and forts built by these kings are so mesmerizing you will not get enough of them.

Monday, January 9, 2012

India Tourism Industry Growth Rate 2011-12


The Indian tourism industry showed a tremendous growth of 8.9 percent which is almost double as what was expected to be around 4-5 percent in 2011 by the United Nations World Trade Organization (UNWTO). India also did well as compared to the other Asian countries as more than 6.29 million tourists visited India last in 2011.

The growth is the sign that India is regaining its position as the most favored Asian tourist destination. The growth percentage of 8.9 was lower than 2010’s growth rate of 11.8 but still the total number of tourist of 6.29 million was greater then last year’s 5.78 million.

The global slowdown and the travel advisories issued at the end of the year were some accountable factors but still not strong enough to hinder the growth of the Indian tourism industry. In fact, the last month of the year, December proved to be a great month for the tourism in India as roughly 715,000 foreign tourists visited India in December of 2011 as compared to 680,000 tourists visited in the same month of 2010. The growth percentage in December was about 5.2 percent comparing to 4.7 per cent in November.