August 30, 2011 at 2:51 pm Leave a comment

Win a Trip

There are Travel contests all over the internet from one day trips to week long excursions. Ever wanted a weekend in Las Vegas or a trip to Disneyland? How about a beachfront paradise for two? Well do a little searching and you can find plenty of contests and sweepstakes to enter. Don’t pay for the privilege and there is really no use in paying a contest site for the information. It’s out there for free. Here are a few you might be interested in.

Win a trip to Amsterdam courtesy of Amstel Light. The grand prize winner will receive round-trip airfare for two to Amsterdam. The winner and one guest will receive a five-night stay at a four-star hotel, $500 in spending money and ground transportation from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to the hotel and back.enter here 

Glamour Magazine is offering a five night trip for two to Thatch Caye Resort, Belize. The trip includes 3 meals per day, Ocean view room with a roof deck and loads of freebie gifts. enter here

Wyndham Vacations is offering a family reunion vacation. The Grand Prize contest winner will get to pick their vacation destination from select Wyndham Vacation RentalsSM properties. Then they’re off to embark on the Ultimate Family Reunion vacation with up to 10 of their favorite friends and family members! The trip includes accommodations and flights for up to 10 people, your choice of one free family activity at your selected property, plus one $2,500 USD cash card—for a total value of $28,000 USD  enter here

Caribbean Travel + Life is giving away a five night luxury stay for two in St Lucia. enter here

For a really grand getaway try your luck with the Discovery Channel. They have teamed up with Michelob to offer an truly ultimate travel experience.
One prize will be awarded consisting of a Discovery Adventure Trip of the winner’s choice for two people from among the following destinations; China, India, Galapagos Islands Cruise, Serengeti Wildlife Safari, Argentina and Brazil or Ancient Inca ruins of Peru.

The prize consists of round trip coach air travel for two people from the major commercial airport closest to winner’s residence to chosen destination; standard double-occupancy accommodations for duration of trip; daily excursions and guided tours; and some meals. The prize will range in value from $5,198 to $9,598 depending on the trip chosen. Enter here

Go ahead and try your luck. What do you have to lose? But if you win send me a postcard.

August 25, 2011 at 3:47 am Leave a comment

I am Back

Well I am done traveling for awhile. I spent almost two months in Thailand. I was working on a business proposal that may or may not pan out one day. Thailand was great, I spent time in Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya. Saw a lot of sites when I wasn’t working on the other project and had a great time. The people were great and I look forward to returning. I will be in the process of migrating this to a wordpress format and moving it to a dedicated host over the next few weeks which will allow me a little more freedom to expand the blog and offer more to you the readers.  So thanks for hanging in there with me and stay tuned for more updates.

August 24, 2011 at 6:34 pm Leave a comment

One more Day

d airport securityImage by dmixo6 via Flickr

Well I leave in 24 hours so I won’t be posting for a couple of days. Taking this last day to finalize everything, packing, getting copies of reservations and passport printed, and a few other final touches. Then I will off on what is assured to be a cramped, overcrowded flight. Two stops which isn’t too bad, gives me chance to stretch my legs. That’s the only part of traveling I don’t like, dealing with long lines at the airport and cramped planes.
 Air travel has evolved from anticipated pleasant experience to more of a journey in a cattle car, unless you get Business or First class. Oh well what are you going to do? Unless you splurge for upgrades it is what it is. At least when I get there I can relax and enjoy what I like doing best which is experiencing different cultures, foods and sights. And on the bright side I get a little action at the TSA patdown area.

April 25, 2011 at 11:46 am 1 comment

The Final Countdown

10 tips for the perfectly packed suitcase -Tim...Image by John Barnabas Leith via Flickr

Crunch time, 48 hours until I leave for my first trip to Thailand. I will be gone almost a month and although I don’t really follow an itinerary I usually have the first part of the trip planned, so let me go through my checklist.

Plane tickets, check just need to print out the e-ticket and I have it saved on the desktop of my netbook which I will be taking. A lot of people leave computers behind but I like the option of staying connected when I need to so I have a Toshiba netbook. Weighing in at under 3lbs and a battery life of 7-8 hours it is great for web surfing and checking email and fits easily in a backpack.Plus I can keep copies of my passport, tickets and reservations handy. Of course the other option would be to put that data on a flash drive and tuck it into a side pocket.

OK gotta get back on track, Hotel reservation check. I will be arriving around midnight and since I don’t want to be stuck somewhere I made a reservation for 2 nights at a hotel. That gives me time to decide  what I am going to do and where I am going to go.

Passport, check, along with 3-4 color copies I can carry and tuck away in bags. Makes it easy if a bag gets misplaced or if you loose your passport it helps in getting a new one.

Medicine, check, not only any medication needed for the trip but also things like a small bottle of aspirin and a few Imodium tablets and anything else you might need on short notice.

Dog food, check. I know, I know it’s not for me. Well there was this one time when I had way too much to drink that I … never mind. I have a couple of dogs so I made arrangements for them to be taken care of and fed while I am gone. Gotta remember those dogs, cats, birds, snakes, whatever. Make sure you leave them adequate care while your off trippin the globe.

Ok that’s good for now, 48 hours, I have time to finish up the rest and not be rushed. What the hell am I forgetting?

April 24, 2011 at 1:03 pm Leave a comment

New Airfare Rules

On the TarmacImage by sparktography via Flickr

 How often have you seen a ridiculously low airfare published only to find out that when you try to purchase a ticket that a tax larger than the airfare is added on? Well it happened to me today when I spent time purchasing a ticket for my trip to Thailand next week. I have been aggravated for awhile to see these fares and then waste time going through the motions only to find out the true airfare. Several airlines do it and some big air ticketing websites on the internet do it. Well not much longer. This practice was addressed in a Final Rule issued by the Department of Transportation along with several other issues.

Docket No. DOT-OST-2010-0140 issued by the Department and which can be seen HERE issues rulings on the following:
(1) contingency plans for lengthy tarmac delays; (2) reporting of tarmac delay data; (3) customer service plans; (4) contracts of carriage; (5) responding to consumer problems/complaints (6) oversales; (7) full fare advertising; (8) baggage and other ancillary fees; (9) post-purchase price increases; (10) notification to passengers of flight status changes; (11) choice-of-forum provisions; and (12) peanut allergies.

The Full Fare advertising ruling not only affects the airlines but anyone selling a ticket to include agencies and online ticket sellers. Unfortunately this seems to have been brought on by the airlines and ticket agents not being willing to operate in a fully transparent manner. But at least next time I go shopping for a ticket I won’t have to navigate multiple web pages to find out what I am being charged. 

April 22, 2011 at 2:51 am Leave a comment

And You Thought You Had Jet Lag

Travelers sleeping in the Zagreb train stationImage by Kate B Dixon via Flickr

I had to renew my Passport recently and I started thinking about all the countries I have visited over the years. I realized I had been to quite a lot of places and started feeling very worldly, a seasoned traveler, yes a man of the world. But then I did a little checking and found out I am but a mere speck on the backside of some of the most traveled people in the world.

There are several travel clubs that track peoples globetrotting but the most revered, yes I am bowing down as I write this, is the Most Traveled Peoples Club . According to their website they have 10,511 active members, of which 248 are under the age of 20 and 65 are over the age of 79. The club was started in 2005 as a community for extreme travelers and the club has since voted on and designated 872 countries, territories, autonomous regions, enclaves, geographically separated island groups and major states and provinces. They even have a theme song which is fittingly “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash.

The Founder of this club is rightfully so, the most traveled member of the group. Charles Veley, an American, is a recruiter for a software company. He has visited 822 of the recognized destinations and is one of only 90 members to have visited over 400 countries putting him in the clubs Hall of Fame. I felt better when I saw that 1285 of the members were in the Couch Potato classification meaning they have traveled to anywhere from 1 to 24 countries. I have that beat so in the words of Carl Spackler, Bill Murray’s character in the movie Caddy Shack, “I’ve got that going for me”.

So if you have the travel bug in you then get after it and get your name in the Hall of Fame and maybe be the “Most Traveled Person in the World.

April 17, 2011 at 5:02 am 1 comment

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