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Friday, March 30, 2012

Water Fountains Are Best in Entryways

Parque de la exposicion, A park, that shows th...Parque de la exposicion, A park, that shows the largest park with water fountains (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By James Harris

Water fountains have frequently appeared throughout the history since 3000 BC. In Egypt back then using water fountains were documented through their tomb paintings and in early Persian history they were used to symbolically represent paradise. Romans and Greeks on the other hand used both wall fountains and floor fountains as public bath areas and drinking stations and in China, where extensive courtyards were built, fountain sculptures were assigned as decorations. With this it can't be denied that water fountains play an important role in the development of ancient civilizations when they become the most important sources of water to cultivate their lands and normally where people get their fill for drinking water.

When people think of garden water fountains they think that the water feature is put in the backyard living area. Many water fountains are actually placed in the front yard as a welcoming gesture for guests and as an appealing main attraction to the house to compliment the home itself. The garden water fountains will make a pleasant invitation to those who will walk past or come to visit especially if they are properly placed in the entryway.

Basically the water fountains look great whether in the front entryway or the front garden areas. There are people that choose to use them in the center of the circular driveway. These types of placements usually call for a border of bright flowers in a variety of hues. Some water fountains look great right at the front of the house with the door location more in the background. Usually this placement is surrounded by grass and taller, more tropical looking trees like Banana Leaf Trees or Birds of Paradise.

The courtyards are also a wonderful place for the garden water fountains. Usually the water fountains are the focal point of the courtyard and are surrounded by an array of plants of varying sizes, colours and types. Another popular spot for an entryway fountain is placing it on either side of the front door. This placement immediately makes guests feel warm and welcome. It is almost like the water fountains are saying leave your stress at the door and come relax inside. Wherever you decide to put your water fountains you can surely make a harmonious and peaceful atmosphere just as easily in a front garden as in a backyard living area.

If you do choose to use garden water fountains at the front of your house instead of the back it is best to choose something that is attractive and that will draw attention as a center piece to your yard. Big statues are quite common in front entryways. Go for the statue that will compliment the overall theme of your house. For example, it would not be a good choice to use a classical, Roman looking statue in front of a country or craftsman style house. But if your home has a tropical ambiance, a dolphin statue or a palm tree looking statue water fountains could be best. The generic tiered water fountains typically match just about any home style. You'll be able to enjoy your water fountains for many years if you will have proper maintenance.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Find The Best Deals On Hotels, Car Rental And Airfare

waiting in the lobby for our rental carwaiting in the lobby for our rental car (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Dustin Faulkner

If you are trying to find the best travel deal possible, you shouldn't leave things up to chance. The best way to get a good deal is to research your option and try to come up with the best possible selections.

The more time you book in advance, the more time you have to keep a close eye on hotel prices and airfare and make exchanges wherever applicable. If you have been keeping up with different prices, and you stumble into a good deal, you will probably be able to recognize it.

Try to look on line for various travel deals. Online booking is usually the cheapest way to arrange for your travel. Simply checking websites that claim the lowest prices isn't enough anymore. Compare as many prices as you can, to ensure you get the best possible deal.

If you normally make last minute decisions, you can check on last minute deals on flights that have untaken seats available. Airlines do their best to fill their planes, so you can save a bundle traveling this way.

When you are looking at fares, make sure taxes and all other fees are included, or you may be in for a bad surprise that could cost you. If not, you may be tacking an additional hundred dollars onto your price.

When searching for hotels, similar to airfare, try not to settle for the first rate you're offered. If you can qualify for any discounted rate, such as senior or military, make sure you ask. Selecting a hotel which is not directly in the midst of the action can also save you a lot of money. Ask for an upgrade to a suite because many companies will do it for free if the room is empty.

You should also ask for upgrades when you are renting a car. It is typically cheaper to rent on line and for a whole week than walking in and renting by the day. Make sure you calculate taxes of the rate that's being offered to you.

Check with your auto-insurance agent to make sure that you're covered in case an accident occurs while in a rental car. Before leaving the lot, be sure to make note of any dents, scratches, stains, or other damages in order to avoid taking the bill for someone else's carelessness.

Selecting restaurants that are walking distance from the hotel will also save you cab fares. This will eliminate cab costs and will make you feel better gaining some fresh air and being able to take in all of the local scenery.

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Top Tips For The First Time Traveller To Nepal

Mount Everest from Kalapatthar.Image via Wikipedia
By Sophie Norton

Countless numbers of people a month travel to Nepal. As a matter of fact, tourism is one of Nepal's biggest earners now, and the vast mountain ranges and friendly people make it a trekker's dream location. Also, it's quite affordable once you arrive there, and having travelled to Nepal on countless occasions myself, there are a number of things you should know about.

The best time to go to Nepal is often up for discussion as it really depends what type of trekker you are. The one time to avoid heading to Nepal though is between June and September as this is the monsoon season, and boy does it rain! Spring and Autumn are good times to visit, but I wouldn't go at the end of September or the very beginning of October personally as some of the infrastructure is still being repaired after the rain (washed out roads etc.). In the Spring it can get a bit dusty, but is warmer. In Winter, it can get very cold. Great time of year for trekking, but at altitude it's well below freezing at night. So, all in all, October, November, March & April I would say is the best time to go.

Where to travel to within Nepal is another thing to consider. Mount Everest is the big pull obviously, and treks to Everest Base Camp are really popular. One doesn't have to be an experienced climber or anything like that, but you do have to be pretty fit for that particular trek. Age has practically nothing to do with it really though; on one EBC trip I did a 68 year old lady from Scotland was with us, and she was often the first person to arrive at the next stopping point. The Annapurna Circuit is also a popular trek, but the thing to realise is that you don't really have to set out to do a large high altitude trek. There are so many treks in different parts of Nepal to do, some including adventure type stuff like white water rafting as well, and these tours can be booked on your arrival in Kathmandu, though if you're going to be there a short time you're most likely going to want to reserve a trek before you go.

Before you arrive in Nepal, you'll need to get your jabs done. Usually travellers need to ensure that Polio, Tetanus, and Hepatitis A shots are all up to date. Nepalese Visas are pretty simple to arrange, and most nationalities can get visas on arrival into Nepal anyway. Please ensure you bring 6 passport sized photographs with you though, as you'll need a photo for the visa, and maybe some more for the trekking permits anyway. When you start out trekking, don't go racing off! Altitude sickness could well be a problem if you go trekking to high too quickly, and you won't know you'll get it, until you get it! If you take things gently and gradually get to higher altitudes, you will get used to the altitude so you shouldn't get sick. The medical infrastructure in Nepal is pretty good as well, so if you do get into difficulty, your trekking company will contact the HRA, as they sort out helicopter rescues to take you back to Kathmandu or Pokhara. However, make sure you have trekking insurance to pay for the ride though, as the helicopter companies charge upwards of US$5000!

Clothing when trekking is also very important. Obviously you'll need some quality walking boots, but the main aspect when trekking is layers! Layers of clothes that can be removed or added to when your almost at the top of a mountain is the most sensible way to do things. For specialist stuff, like 3 season sleeping bags, winter jackets, rucksacks, daysacks etc. can all be rented in Nepal, so you don't have to carry all this sort of kit along with you. In my experience the rental prices are pretty cheap and I've always found the quality of the kit for rent is great as well.

The final point to bear in mind when travelling to Nepal, or any country come to that, is to show respect the local population. The Nepalese are incredibly friendly and warm, but there are a few odd customs which you should respect. Pointing your finger at people or statues is considered to be rude, shaking hands is not the norm either (putting your hands together like praying and stooping slightly is the right way to do it!), and, should you go into someone's house or enter a shrine, remove your shoes.

I always thought to myself I'd travel to Nepal just the once and put a tick against it on my list. I've travelled there six times now, and every visit has been different and satisfying.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cheap Holiday Deals to the Balearic Islands are only a click away

Ibiza stayed loyal to the royal government, wh...Image via Wikipedia
By Wayne Bromiley

You too can enjoy Cheap holidays deals to the Balearic Islands. All you need to do to enjoy this fabulous Spanish territory at surprisingly low rates is to book online and book wisely. There are many ways that you can lower your rates not only on hotel accommodations but also on airfare, cruises, and local attractions. The most common and accessible for you is likely to be by making your plans and booking your Cheap holidays deals to Spain are a Click Away

There are many ways for you to keep the cost low when booking your holiday on line, whether it be a cheap holiday or some other fascinating location, there are many ways that you can make those deals add up to benefit you. If a fantastic holiday is what your looking for then cheap holiday deals is the way forward.

Make sure you look out for cheap cruises, discount air fare's, cheap hotels and package deals that are accessible to make your holiday to the Balearic Islands even more within your reach. A dream holiday does not have to leave you with a huge hole in your pocket. And if you book sensibly you will realise you can sit back, relax and enjoy your holiday without having to worry about how far your money will go.

Things to do on the Balearic Islands- The sun, sea and sand are all part and parcel of a holiday to Spain but there are a few other things you may want to see, like the Abaco Bar. There are plenty of splendid bars and clubs for you to enjoy on the island, you may need to scout about to find the one's that suit you best but there are always plenty to choose from. The Soller Railway (Tren de Soller) is just one of the must see's while on holiday to the Balearic Islands, and as it's a train ride away it will give you the chance to take in some of the delightful countryside.

Fun in the Sun - Families enjoy cheap holidays to the Balearic Islands. One reason to love Cheap holidays deals is that when you aren't blowing the budget on accommodations and airfare you have money left over for the truly important things holidays are made for - making memories. The beaches of the Balearic Islands allow plenty of memory making time but there are other ways to enjoy the great outdoors such as Golf Fantasia, under the sea with Nemo Submarine Tours, and various water parks located on these islands. Sun bunnies of all ages, shapes, and sizes will find plenty of great outdoor activities to enjoy on the Balearic Islands and that is what Cheap holidays deals are all about.

Check out the selections that are on offer with cheap holiday deals to the Balearic Islands, see what it has to offer and still stay within

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Vacations To The Big Island Of Hawaii:A Family Weekend Trip To Hawaii's Big Island

Hawaii Tropical GardenHawaii Tropical Garden (Photo credit: pvanderree)
By John Roney

I will never forget the smell of plumerias after going to the Big Island! As soon as you get off the plane, you are engulfed by the lovely smell. The warm rays caressed my face while the gentle trade winds blew. At that moment I knew I had found paradise. My mom is originally from Oahu, but moved to the Big Island in 1996. I have been visiting her regularly for the passed thirteen years. In that time I have learned a lot about the Big Island. I know where to look for lava, where to look for black sand beaches, where to find turtles, and how to find magical green sand. In this article I will be outlining the best features that the Big Island has to offer.

The package rates will mainly depend on a few factors such as various seasons you could visit the state. Since a weekend trip is very short, you should not risk planning it personally unless you have been to the island previously. Choose a good travel agency to help you plan a safe and comfortable trip. Whether you want to plan the tour personally or want to hire an agency, there are essential things that you should consider. A short family trip targeted to happen from Friday to Sunday must include the following five things.

There are plenty of hotels stay at around Kona and Hilo, but I recommend looking up homestays and vacation rentals online. These are usually private listings from locals who want to rent out their home for certain parts of the year. They tend to cost less than hotels and you can save by cooking at home. If you are backpacking, there are hostels in Hilo, Kona and Volcano. The Holo Holo Inn is the best for your money in Volcano. Dorm beds start at $17. Anyway, lets get to what there is to see on the Big Island! Volcano National Park is located 30 miles west of Hilo on Highway 11. This is one of few places in the world you can see an erupting volcano. In 1983 Kilauea Volcano started erupting and has not stopped since. That is 16 years of continuous lava flow! In the park you can see a more recent surge at Halemaumau crater. Plumes of sulfur smoke rise up to 1000 feet in the air and the glow of lava can be seen from the famous Jagger Museum. Visitors can also drive down the Chain Of Craters, through historic lava from previous eruptions, down to where the lava meets the ocean. On the way visitors can walk through the Thurston Lava Tube, a 100m tunnel left behind by lava traveling under ground. Note: Sometimes the lava flow changes direction, creating an extremely long hike to see the flow into the ocean from the park. If this is the case, then ask a park ranger for direction to the Kalapana flow which is back down the road toward Hilo.

Transportation - To begin with, the travel agency has to recommend an airline service that provides cheap flights to Hawaii over the weekend. If you are the planner then you have to look for this information personally. In this case, you need to start planning the trip in advance to avoid the last minute rush and inconveniences. Once you manage to buy the ticket, consider the transportation cost within the Hawaii's big island. Mainly, guests use taxis, car rentals, and tour buses to get around this beautiful land.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Be A Traveler And Not A Tourist With These Simple Tips

English: Dubrovnik old city and cruise ship.Image via Wikipedia
By George Renoir

Traveling is a common pastime shared by people all over the world. The desire to learn about new cultures, explore different architecture and sample different cuisine, are a few of the benefits to travel. This article contains a number of tips on how to make the best travel plans based on your preferences.

If you are packing for a trip to the beach, it is a good idea to pre-pack a beach bag filled with sunscreen, towels, swimwear, non-perishable foods, and anything else you think you might need for your time on the sand. This way, you will save time rooting around for your items and have more time out in the sun.

Family and friends can be very gracious in letting you stay in their home, while you are visiting. Show your appreciation by taking a small thank you gift for them. It will show your gratitude and make them more open to allowing you to stay there again, in the future.

When traveling, it is important to keep all cords labeled. Having multiple cords for different things, such as, laptop and cell chargers can be hard to keep track of. Keep all of your cords clearly labeled so that you will know which cord is for which item. It can also help to make a list of the cords and the colors that go with them.

If you want to plan a successful trip, you should establish a budget. Think about things such as travel expenses, accommodation, food, and money to visit attractions and pay for gas once on location. If your trip seems a little too expensive, look for cheaper accommodation or wait until you have enough money saved up.

One of my favorite ways to visit new places is to travel by cruise ship. I board the ship and settle into my cabin, leaving most of my stress and worries behind on dry land. On board a cruise ship you will have 24 hour access to some of the finest food you will ever taste. There are nightly shows and many shore excursions to choose from. If simple rest and relaxation is what you're looking for, you can opt to spend your day laying by the pool, sipping on your favorite drink, and reading.

These are only a few of the tricks out there to help make your vacation hassle-free. If you find that you could use some more, the internet is full of helpful suggestions that can help you out. But hopefully, at least a few of the tips provided here, have helped you out.

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Few Tips on Traveling to Mexico

Animated map/timeline of the territorial evolu...Image via Wikipedia
By Gerson Pintado

Mexico іѕ a nation that almоѕt еverуonе ѕhоuld attempt to visit at ѕоmе point in their life. Full of fun, excitement, beaches, and fiestas, Mexico has become а leading tourist destination. Just аѕ уоu should do in traveling to аnу оthеr соuntrу, уоu would аlѕо be wise to learn the ins and outs of traveling to Mexico prior to уоur departure to enjoy the bеѕt experience pоѕѕible.

First, to the degree that is practical, learn ѕоmе of the basic language for Mexico - at lеаst ѕоmе short, practical phrases, and typical questions. Spanish is the primary spoken language. Alѕо, it would be to your benefit to bring along аn English/Spanish dictionary јuѕt in case. Though the dictionary will identify уоu as а tourist, it would be better to swallow уоur pride and uѕе it rather than artificially restrict уоur ability to communicate.

Come prepared with your passport because you mау be asked for it frequently. You also need a tourist card; whісh basically serves аѕ уоur permission to visit Mexico аѕ well as provіdеѕ proof of citizenship for your native соuntrу. You will have to provide all this when landing or driving through customs.

There are certain items that will not be permitted into the соuntrу, when traveling to Mexico. For еxаmрlе, уоu are not permitted to carry more than three liters of alcohol and 50 cigars. Cigarettes are аlѕо limited to 400 as long аѕ уоu are оvеr 18 years old. You mау only bring оnе camera аѕ well; if you still uѕе rolls of film rather than а digital camera, you саn оnlу bring 12 rolls of film with you.

Peso is the currency of Mexico; it is best to have pesos throughout your trip as almost all stores and restaurants will only accept them. I would not count on using a credit card, most stores and restaurants do not except them. You will nееd cash in ѕоmе of the smaller stores and restaurants. Traveler's checks also a good option to have on hand as well bесаuѕе in many places in Mexico, theft іѕ а major concern.

Another important tip to bear in mind when traveling to Mexico іѕ that it іѕ vital that уоu not drink the water. Either drink bottled water or boil your water if needed. The tap water, еvеn though many claim to have а water purifying system, іѕ full of bacteria that many tourists from оthеr соuntrіеѕ саn't process internally very well. Keep your distance from fruits and vegetables as well that have not bееn washed in а purifying system and cooked thoroughly. You dеfinіtеly do not want to become sick on vacation simply bесаuѕе of the water уоu drink or food уоu eat.

As much negativity that you hear about travel to Mexico, it can be very safe. Always keep your senses awake and be aware of your surroundings. Stay away from areas that саn be dangerous. The people of Mexico are known for their kindness; they will always help you and let you know where to go and what areas to avoid. Remember these tips and you will have a fabulous vacation.

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