Who Buys Promotional Items?

The promotional items and associated gift industry is a growth sector with sales soaring in to the billions. Have you ever wondered who buys all these promotional items? If you guessed that the top buyers are big spending blue chip businesses and organizations who want to advertise and market their product lines, you’d be wrong. An industry study identified the top twenty-five industries that purchases promotional items and gifts by the amount spent. The results below might well surprise you.

25. The petroleum industry, including gas stations, oil distributors and refineries

24. The travel industry, including airlines, bus, trains, cruise lines and travel agencies

23. Food processors and beverage bottlers

22. Retailers and shopping malls

21. Pharmaceutical and chemical companies

20. Utilities like gas, electric and telephone companies

19. Telecommunications companies like cell phone and internet providers

18. Computers and software manufacturers

17. Restaurants and bars

16. Wholesalers and distributors

15. Media, including the broadcast and print media

14. Hospitality industry, including hotels, motels, resorts and B&Bs

13. Entertainment and sporting events

12. The insurance industry – companies, agents and adjustors

11. Manufacturers not specified by industry

10. Professionals: doctors, dentists, accountants, solicitors, architects, etc

9. Automotive dealers, parts and supplies suppliers

8. Real estate agents, title companies, appraisers

7. Trade associations, civic organizations, professional associations

6. Government, including public offices, agencies and political candidates

5. Construction, including contractors and the building trade

4. Non-profit organizations

3. Healthcare organizations: hospitals, clinics and nursing homes

2. Financial institutions: banks, insuranceAnd the number one buyers of promotional items are:

1. Educational institutions, including schools, universities and one-off seminars

Interestingly, out of the top five consumers of promotional items and promotional products, four of them sell intangible products such as education, health care, financial services and ideas. What does this say about us as a nation? Maybe it suggests that the more intangible a product or gift item is, the more we feel the need for something physical to hold as a symbol of it… or the more we need to be enticed to invest in it.

When you’re considering promotional items for use with an advertising marketing campaign, you might take a look at the most effective advertising promotions mounted by the top five industries. The effective uses of promotional items include promoting brand visibility, creating awareness, marketing new products, increasing sales of old products, boosting sales from existing customers and targeting products to new potential buyers. It is essential that you match the promotional items you choose to your marketing goals, your strategies and the overall image of your business to achieve the optimium effect.

If you need help or advice, most companies that sell promotional items have experienced planners on staff to help you effectively choose the best promotional advertising products for your needs.

For more information on business promotional items and products check out some of the leading online suppliers where you can tap into their wealth of experience to ensure that your next marketing campaign is well targeted and sets off on the right footing.

Source by Tina Rinaudo


Spider Webs, Bow Ties, Scale-Free Networks, And The Deep Web

The World Wide Web conjures up images of a giant spider web where everything is connected to everything else in a random pattern and you can go from one edge of the web to another by just following the right links. Theoretically, that’s what makes the web different from of typical index system: You can follow hyperlinks from one page to another. In the “small world” theory of the web, every web page is thought to be separated from any other Web page by an average of about 19 clicks. In 1968, sociologist Stanley Milgram invented small-world theory for social networks by noting that every human was separated from any other human by only six degree of separation. On the Web, the small world theory was supported by early research on a small sampling of web sites. But research conducted jointly by scientists at IBM, Compaq, and Alta Vista found something entirely different. These scientists used a web crawler to identify 200 million Web pages and follow 1.5 billion links on these pages.

The researcher discovered that the web was not like a spider web at all, but rather like a bow tie. The bow-tie Web had a ” strong connected component” (SCC) composed of about 56 million Web pages. On the right side of the bow tie was a set of 44 million OUT pages that you could get from the center, but could not return to the center from. OUT pages tended to be corporate intranet and other web sites pages that are designed to trap you at the site when you land. On the left side of the bow tie was a set of 44 million IN pages from which you could get to the center, but that you could not travel to from the center. These were recently created pages that had not yet been linked to many centre pages. In addition, 43 million pages were classified as ” tendrils” pages that did not link to the center and could not be linked to from the center. However, the tendril pages were sometimes linked to IN and/or OUT pages. Occasionally, tendrils linked to one another without passing through the center (these are called “tubes”). Finally, there were 16 million pages totally disconnected from everything.

Further evidence for the non-random and structured nature of the Web is provided in research performed by Albert-Lazlo Barabasi at the University of Notre Dame. Barabasi’s Team found that far from being a random, exponentially exploding network of 50 billion Web pages, activity on the Web was actually highly concentrated in “very-connected super nodes” that provided the connectivity to less well-connected nodes. Barabasi dubbed this type of network a “scale-free” network and found parallels in the growth of cancers, diseases transmission, and computer viruses. As its turns out, scale-free networks are highly vulnerable to destruction: Destroy their super nodes and transmission of messages breaks down rapidly. On the upside, if you are a marketer trying to “spread the message” about your products, place your products on one of the super nodes and watch the news spread. Or build super nodes and attract a huge audience.

Thus the picture of the web that emerges from this research is quite different from earlier reports. The notion that most pairs of web pages are separated by a handful of links, almost always under 20, and that the number of connections would grow exponentially with the size of the web, is not supported. In fact, there is a 75% chance that there is no path from one randomly chosen page to another. With this knowledge, it now becomes clear why the most advanced web search engines only index a very small percentage of all web pages, and only about 2% of the overall population of internet hosts(about 400 million). Search engines cannot find most web sites because their pages are not well-connected or linked to the central core of the web. Another important finding is the identification of a “deep web” composed of over 900 billion web pages are not easily accessible to web crawlers that most search engine companies use. Instead, these pages are either proprietary (not available to crawlers and non-subscribers) like the pages of (the Wall Street Journal) or are not easily available from web pages. In the last few years newer search engines (such as the medical search engine Mammaheath) and older ones such as yahoo have been revised to search the deep web. Because e-commerce revenues in part depend on customers being able to find a web site using search engines, web site managers need to take steps to ensure their web pages are part of the connected central core, or “super nodes” of the web. One way to do this is to make sure the site has as many links as possible to and from other relevant sites, especially to other sites within the SCC.

Source by Jewel Ahsan


Is There an Alternative to Timeshare Ownership?

Timeshares are still very popular today, despite the soaring costs associated with owning one.With a typical timeshare, you will have to have to put money down up front, pay money for the timeshare itself, and then most likely pay either monthly or yearly maintenance fees. The average cost of a timeshare is around $15,000 plus the maintenance fees. Others are more high end at $60-80,000. Typically these timeshares don’t require maintenance fees for this price and are more flexible then the others. There is an alternative to timeshare ownership where you can actually travel to four and five star resorts that have timeshare properties without owning a timeshare or without ever having to pay maintenance fees. There’s companies that are offering timeshare alternatives through it’s online membership. You can join for three years for under $1500 and for a lifetime membership for just under $3,000.

You will be able to travel to 3, 4, and 5 star resorts for as little as $298 per week to the very most, $698 per week. You can also take cruises and get discount airfare. This type of timeshare alternative is wildly popular today and those who own timeshares can see the value immediately. Timeshares devalue so quickly and are worth about 10 cents on a dollar. You can find very expensive timeshares for sale for ridiculously low prices on the internet because people realize that once they buy them, they are stuck with the maintenance fees as long as they own them.

Those maintenance fees can go up after a major hurricane, or when the timeshare owners decide they just want to remodel, or for no particular reason at all. With the timeshare alternative, the Global Resorts membership club, you don’t have to worry about any additional costs. Don’t buy a timeshare as your first choice. Look into joining a membership club. You will save money.

Source by Margaret Dunn


3-Ball Pool – A Quick and Easy Billiard Game

Over the years, I have been introduced to many variations of billiard games. Some games may take some time to complete, while others are over relatively fast. The two most popular games, 8-ball and 9-ball, for example, will cost average players about 10-15 minutes of their time. Some games, such as rotation and cowboy pool, will take a bit longer. But what if you are pressed for time and want to get in a quick “bragging rights” billiard match with a friend? Or maybe you are alone and want to brush up on your shot setups and break speed, and you want something quick and easy.

One of my favorite, quicker billiard games involves a simple 3-ball triangle setup and one or more opponents. A single match with two players should not take any longer than five minutes. If no opponent is available, a quick game of solo 3-ball is a great drill for leaves and anticipating a few shots ahead.

The rules of the game are quite simple. Place three billiard balls in triangle formation on the head spot, and place your cue ball anywhere in the kitchen(behind the scratch line), as if you were breaking for a normal game of 8-ball or 9-ball. Each billiard shot, including the break, counts as one stroke. If a scratch occurs, it is counted as two extra strokes, plus the shot you just made, totaling three. Each player keeps shooting until all three balls have been pocketed. The player with the fewest strokes after each player sinks all three of their balls is the victor.

If you are looking for a billiard game that is simple to understand and not very time-consuming, then 3-ball billiards is the way to go. Make it more interesting by setting up tournaments or making small wagers with your friends. Or incorporate it into other pool games as short bonus rounds. Whatever your preference, once you start, you will be finding yourself playing 3-ball pool over and over again.

Source by Matt Warmann


Cost Vs Value When Booking a Vacation

When it comes to saving money on a trip – when is the value of using a travel agent worth paying a little more than the price you find online?

Unlike booking online, when you book with a travel agent, you are getting much more service than you will with an online agency. Our job doesn’t end when we deliver your tickets to you – it continues with our assistance while you are traveling and when you get home. How you may ask?

Here are a few examples of actual client travel problems that the value of using a travel agent outweighed booking by themselves.

We booked a family on a vacation package to Cabo. They had connecting flights and called us because their first flight leaving was delayed by several hours, causing them to miss their connecting flight.They called us from the airport because they were concerned that the company that their transfers were through would not be at the airport to pick them up. We contacted the supplier who changed the flight times and made sure the transfer company had the new information.

Clients from Georgia were supposed to fly Feb. 13, 2010 to San Juan for a cruise leaving at 10 PM on Feb. 14. At 8 AM on Feb. 13 they called us in a panic. It was snowing, their flights were canceled and the airline told the clients they would not be able to fly them out until Monday.

Thankfully they could drive to Florida and we found flights on another airline Feb. 14 that would get them to the cruise ship with plenty of time to spare. We canceled their San Juan hotel, found a hotel in Orlando for her that would allow them to park their car for free for the duration of the cruise and shuttle her back and forth to the airport. Our client said if she had booked this on her own, she would not have known what to do and would have been heartbroken at not being able to travel. Since she had also purchased travel insurance, we started a travel delay claim for her to be reimbursed for the difference in the flight prices, plus her expenses for gas, tolls and meals to get back and forth to the Orlando airport. The forms were waiting for her when she arrived back from her cruise.

A few years ago, we had clients who had booked a trip and canceled their trip a month before the date they were to leave for a reason that was not covered by travel insurance. The supplier was adamant that the cancellation was non-refundable. We interceded and were able to obtain a partial credit to book another trip within one year so the client did not lose all their money.

Today a client sent us a price quote for a vacation to Punta Cana asking if we could beat the price. She priced the vacation with connecting flights from Philadelphia and on her return, she chose a flight that left Punta Cana at 7 AM. We asked her if she realized that to make that return flight home she would have to be at the airport by 4:30 AM to ensure she would have enough time to get through Security. She had no idea she would have to be at the airport that early. Not only did we beat the price, we found her direct flights for less than she was quoted through the online agency and her return flight left at 1:05 PM.

What other value do we provide when you book with us that you won’t get from booking online? We send you destination information, advise you of the documentation you need to travel, give information on optional excursions, send you helpful hints and last minute reminders and we are available 24 hours if you have a problem while you are traveling as evidenced above. We follow up with you when you return and if there was a problem that needs to be addressed with a supplier, we will get involved to try and find a satisfactory resolution.

Is this kind of service worth paying a little extra for?

Source by Neil Maley


Why Bali Is a Must-Visit

There are many amazing and stunning tourist destinations. It becomes difficult to select one from a long list. You can scroll through the internet to find one. There are many travel websites which can help you in selecting a place. Bali is one of the favorite destinations for many tourists. Many people from across the world prefer to visit this part of the world. It is truly an amazing place with beautiful valleys, stunning beaches, luxurious hotels and mind-blowing scenic beauties. This Indonesian island is located near the Indian Ocean. Bali offers a number of attractive tourist spots.

After the bombing tragedies in the year 2002, Bali became more popular. This place has some historical significance. Now, it has become one of the popular visiting spots of the world. It is rich in natural treasure. Many people from across the planet get attracted to witness the beauty of this stunning Indonesian island. Bali Villa can be your perfect place to spend the winter vacation. So you can opt for Bali Villa rental now!

Finding an accommodation in this part of the world is easy. It offers several accommodation options for the travelers. There are many luxurious hotels. You can enjoy luxury and comfort here. But if you want to enjoy something special, selecting a Bali villa will be a great idea. Bali villas are well-decorated and designed very stylishly. They are equipped to serve the tourists with all kinds of amenities. You can enjoy leisure and comfort in these accommodations. From pampering spas, luxurious rooms, private swimming pools, private kitchen, stylish pubs to delicious cuisines, Bali villas offer all these.

There are many reasons which contribute to the popularity of Bali.

1. Bali is known for its pure culture. It is being strongly influenced by Hinduism. There are many Hindu temples in this part of the planet. Balinese engage in many types of ceremonies, including, ngaben, Nyepi, Kuninga, Galungan and many other ceremonies at Bali. The artists of Bali are really talented.

2. People of Bali are very friendly and good-hearted. They are known for welcoming the tourists warmly.

3. Bali is known for various types of art and architecture. Many world famous paintings and arts were created by the artists of Bali. If you are an art lover, you must visit the Antonio Blanco Museum. It is a worth visiting spot. You can get overwhelmed to see the amazing art crafts and paintings in this museum.

4. There are number of stunning and beautiful tourist spots in this Indonesian island. You will surely get intoxicated with the scenic beauty and charming weather of Bali. It is an ideal honeymoon destination. There are some world famous beaches. You can get overwhelmed to witness the stunning beauty of the Bali beaches. Nusa dua beach is one of the popular visiting spots. Many people from across the world get attracted to visit this beach. Legian and Kute beach are also quite popular.

5. There are other reasons which contribute to its popularity. You can feel safe in Bali. The security system in Bali is quite strong. It can be called a crime-less island.

Source by Nigel Fine


Grand Canyon Helicopters: Best Tours To Take From January to March (Winter)

Winter is a fantastic season at the Grand Canyon National Park. One of the great things about winter weather is that the air is crystal clear, which makes for great sightseeing, and the weather is nice and cool at around 40 degrees. These combine to create perfect conditions for a helicopter tour of the Canyon.

Tour Departures

There are two locations for taking a helicopter tour, and one of them is in Vegas, while the other is in Arizona. Helicopters that depart from Vegas fly to the West Rim and the choppers that depart from Tusayan fly to the South Rim of the Canyon. Just so you know, there are no flights between the two rims. So if you want to take a helicopter tour of the South Rim, but you’re staying in Vegas, then you need to take a plane to the South Rim where you can then begin your tour.

Another thing to know is that the temperatures are colder at the South Rim. That’s because the South Rim sits at an elevation of 6700 feet. The West Rim, on the other hand, has an elevation of only 4700 feet. At the South Rim, daytime temps from December to March hover around 40 to 50 degrees in the day and they drop to 18 to 25 at night. The West Rim has warmer daytime temperatures that reach into the 60s and 70s, but the nights are a little chilly with 40 degree temps.

It’s even possible you’ll see snow on your winter Canyon tour. The snow usually doesn’t last too long in the area, so it isn’t too common for tours to get grounded due to the weather. Snow events usually happen on the South Rim, it’s unusual for it to snow on the West Rim, but it does happen occasionally.

Refunds For Canceled Tours

If a bad storm does cause your helicopter tour to be canceled, your tour operator should refund all of your money. The only time you may run into trouble is if you book your tour through a tour consolidator that is in the business of buying and filling empty seats because they can remove the refund policy from the deal. For that reason, you want to buy your Canyon tour directly from a tour company and avoid middlemen like Expedia, Hotwire, and Priceline.

Also, consider what you will wear on your winter tour. Dressing in layers is the best way to go. Decide on your base layer. A t-shirt or a warm polyester shirt is a good choice. You probably have tops like that already and won’t need to buy anything new. Wear a sweater on top of your shirt and a warm jacket or parka on top of that. Also, be sure to wear sturdy shoes with wool socks, warm pants, gloves, and a scarf.

Dressing for the weather is more important than ever if you book a landing tour. The only place you can take a landing tour is from Vegas to the West Rim, since the helicopters at the South Rim can’t land at the Canyon. When you take a landing tour, you can add on tickets to the Skywalk, enjoy a Champagne picnic, or take a boat ride on the Colorado River. The landing tours fill up fast because they are very popular with Vegas travelers, so be sure to book your tour as early as you can.

Buy Tour Early

How far ahead of time do you have to book a Canyon helicopter tour? A week ahead of time is a good idea, or earlier if you can, because each helicopter only holds six people, and during the winter, some choppers are pulled from service. Also, remember to buy your tickets online directly from your tour operator’s website. When you pay for your tour online, you get to use the low Internet rate, and that will save you quite a bit of money over buying your tour from a phone representative or in person.

Source by Keith Kravitz


Small Talk: Starting a Conversation While Traveling

With a record number of travelers this holiday season, many people find themselves sitting next to others on airplanes, at airports and at other functions. They want to talk with them but struggle to know what to say.

Start by making a statement about something you have in common, such as the long wait or the great view outside. Then ask a question. For example, “That’s a beautiful sunset out there! Do you often fly at this time of day?” Follow it up with an open-ended question, such as “What’s your favorite time to fly?”

In an airport, you can comment on the lines or the new security procedures, both of which are likely to get a response form someone else. Start by saying, “This line seems to be (finally) moving! Have you been in any other lines this long elsewhere in the airport today?” Then follow it up with “What do you think is the best domestic airline to fly?”

Be sensitive to others who do not want to talk. Some people want to work or sleep, for example, or prefer not to talk to strangers. Others may not speak much English, have a hearing loss, or difficulty speaking clearly. But many do want to talk, and just aren’t sure how to start.

To end a conversation, give a reason why you need to stop. For example, “It’s been nice talking to you. I need to do some work now.” or “I hear my flight being called. Bye!”

Airport or airplane conversations can let you meet people you might otherwise never know. For safety reasons, be very cautious about giving out personal information. Most conversations, though, are casual and you are not likely to see the person again. But while you are together, make the most of it!

Source by Katie Schwartz


Jobs on the Road For the Vagabonds

In order to sustain and maintain traveling accessories and equipment, the vagabond with a small or even non existing bank account, may sometimes find themselves stopping over to earn payment for services. The form and amount of payment may depend on the specific job, but as long as the vagabond can attain enough resources to continue trekking, any job will do.

Because of their non materialistic and efficient lifestyle, most vagabonds won’t usually need to find a source of income. But in times of hardship and when resources get scarce (like worn out shoes), money can always be obtained to provide for whatever a traveler may need. More elaborate vagabonds usually have higher traveling cost to maintain and provide fuel for RVs, trailers, wagons, campers, towing vehicles, and other expenses attached to motorised traveling. The vagabonds with larger wagons, typically travel in groups, some having family members sharing one RV, or a caravan of many RVs of other nomads, gypsies, wanderers, drifters, and tramps.

Opportunities for the Vagabond Below is a list of various fields of work that a traveler can look for, all depending on how long the traveler is willing to stay in one area, there is always work to be found anywhere your wheels or feet take you.

Seasonal jobs sites: Jobs are available everywhere you go. Farms (crop pickers, equipment operators, animals to tend), Amusement Parks (maintenance, sales, promotions, services), Cruise Ships (cooking, hosting, housekeeping, travel guide), Outdoorsman Camp (fishing, hunting, guides), Training Centers (teaching, organising), Construction Sites (skilled trades, labour), Tradeshows (sales, promotions, bartering, great place to sale stuff), Tourist Sites, Campgrounds (office work, reservations, sales, grounds maintenance, handy-person, housekeeping, running social activities), Property Owners (house sitting, gardening, pet sitting, landscaping), Tax Centers (having ability to do tax returns. Get trained and go to work remotely or at a local tax form preparation office.)

Skill-Specific Work: A skilled worker is any worker who has some special skill, knowledge, or (usually acquired) ability in his work. A skilled worker may have attended a college, university or technical school. Or, a skilled worker may have learned his skills on the job.  Skilled Labour (equipment operator, carpenter, mason, electrician, plumber, painter, etc.), Consulting (providing specialist advice to other people who work in the same field) Teaching, Personal Care, Property Management

Wagon based work: It is just like a home based job, however with today’s communication technology, a vagabond can work out of his RV. Some mobile communications gadgets are required, for example mobile phone and fax machine, laptop, portable printer and scanner, etc… Publishing, Sales, Marketing

Vagabond Jobs


Recreational Activities Worker: Plan, organize, and direct activities in local playgrounds and recreation areas, parks, community centers, religious organizations, camp sites, theme parks, and tourist attractions. Performers, Event Planners, Sports Coordinators, Fishermen and Hunters, etc…


Caretaker: Property Care for financial compensation, and sometimes in exchange for rent-free living accommodations. Ranch Sitters, Bed & Breakfast and Inn Sitters, Property Managers, Estate Managers, Hosts, Mechanics, Electricians, Cooks, Landscapers, Farmers and Gardeners, House Sitters, etc…


Caregiver: Someone with health care skills, who is employed to care for another person or pets, can look for jobs like. Pet Walkers, Teachers, Pet Groomers, Caterers, House Cleaners, Nurses, Hair Stylist, etc…

Mystery Shopper: Mystery shopping or Mystery Consumer is a tool used by market research companies to measure quality of retail service or gather specific information about products and services. Mystery shoppers posing as normal customers perform specific tasks-such as purchasing a product, asking questions, registering complaints or behaving in a certain way – and then provide detailed reports or feedback about their experiences

Travel Guide/Agent: Provide travel related services for weary travelers such guides, tours, and travel arrangements. Travel agent, Host, Tour Guide, etc…

Publisher/Writer/Producer: Making information available for public view and getting paid for it can be a vagabond’s source of income. Using the internet to publish blogs, tips, articles, stories, even novels could be a rewarding way of getting money for the traveler, since there is no need to stop over.

Online Entrepreneur: Every day more and more entrepreneurs are building successful businesses using the internet. There is an abundance of opportunity online and depending on the venture; there is often less cost and risk involved when compared with traditional businesses.

Traditional Business: Small business can be operated out of an RV, such as selling a product or service in return for money or other means of compensation.

Paid Online Surveys: You can earn money just for sharing your opinion; it’s a fun and easy way to make some money help for some travel expenses. Sign up on the following websites to start some surveys that pay now. http://www.SurveySavvy.com

Source by Dan Sauve


Enjoy the Best Family Vacation in Lisbon

Finding a perfect destination for you can be a tricky thing, but when you are trusted with the decisions to make on the behalf of the whole family, then coming up with a perfect family getaway destination can much more difficult than usual. Apparently many cities and countries of the Europe are perfect to enjoy as a couple, solo traveler and friends group, but if you are voyaging with people from different age group, you must keep the factor of difference in opinion, taste, desires and activities in mind. There are plenty of family-friendly destinations in the Europe and if you are planning a vacation this year with kids and your family, then you should consider the option of Lisbon. The Portuguese capital that seems like an ocean of Gothic architecture, Lisbon doesn’t appear to be a place to entertain travelers from all age group at first place. However, if you insist on visiting the following destinations, your perception about Lisbon will definitely change:

1. Lisbon Zoo

At first, you might wonder that you haven’t traveled all the way to Portugal only to witness the city zoo and understand the Portuguese fauna, but once you plan to pay a visit here, you will understand the reason behind adding it into my list. Unlike many other zoos you may have come across, the fauna and marine life living here is simply spellbinding. A large area designed with latest technology and facilities that are suitable for kids, adults and even for the animals, Lisbon Zoo is a complete adventure experience. Pay a visit that will cost you around EUR 13 to 20 and give you the utter delight of having a spellbinding sight of dolphins, sea lions, rare species of reptiles, pot-bellied pigs and many endangered species making a sum of around 300 species in total and a total of over 2000 animals in their suitable conditions.

2. Lisbon Oceanarium

Enlisted in the finest aquariums in the entire European continent, Lisbon Oceanarium is one of the most enthralling place you can come across where visitors from all age groups get stunned by the outstanding variety of marine life that is displayed and divided into four different, giant and durable tanks. With the display ramp submerged to give visitors a perfect glance, you can surely walk through these tanks whilst admiring the picturesque scene of marine fauna enjoying in their natural habitat and swimming right next to a glass wall. With a cost of around EUR 12 to 17 per person (based on the age), you can have the most astonishing and enjoyable weekend time in Lisbon and give your kids not only some happening moments, but also some education about variety of species sharing the planet with us.

3. The Beaches

Admit it, who wouldn’t like beaches in your family and when you are in Portugal, the delight of sandy coasts get tenfold. Lisbon is the home to a wonderful and tranquilizing coastline that is ideal to have a laid-back getaway experience even when you have toddlers accompanying you on a trip to Portugal. Featuring sandy shores, rocks, mountains, resorts, adventure sports and much more, beaches of Lisbon are perfect for everyone and people often enjoy visiting to Estoril-Cascais Coastline, Serra de Sintra Coastline, Costa da Caprica Coastline, Serra da Arrabida Coastline and Carcavelos beach that are really charming and perfect to have an evening with family to admire the bewitching horizon and getting indulged into various sports and activities.

4. Ride of Tram Number 28

As a kid, everyone and probably including you might have wished to have a typical tram ride where you can watch all the buildings and traffic going by your sides slowly and giving a picturesque experience of moving forward inside a tin box that works on electricity. And when you are in Lisbon, you can actually make it happen and have a spellbinding ride for hours to experience screeching through the tapered streets of Lisbon. You can either go for a single ride ticket that costs around EUR 3 or can get a day pass which gives you an unlimited access to the trams of Lisbon for 24 hours and covers the expenses of the Elevador de Santa Justa Lift, trams, buses and even metro. Tag your kids along and enjoy the superlative beauty of Lisbon crossing you slowly and showcasing the ultimate delight of a visit to Portugal.

5. Parque das Nacoes

The Expo Park or commonly known as Parque das Nacoes is one of the most astonishing and kids-friendly places in the Portuguese capital, known for being the home to many activities and interactive things to indulge in. If you have been thinking too much of giving your kids some quality time and space to do what they feel like on the unknown lands of Portugal, this place is the finest place to bring your toddlers. With a nominal entry fee between EUR 4 to 7 per person (based on the age group), you can truly have a magnificent time admiring your kids trying some of the finest outdoor sports available in Portugal whilst getting to know many rare things about the culture and natural diversity of Lisbon.

Lisbon is a perfect mix of elegant lifestyle, incredible history, thriving culture and magnificent natural bliss and if you are on a voyage with your kids and family, you will surely find ample of things that are not only perfect to suit different age group, but will go flawlessly with your pocket as well. So, break the barrier of general perception and get going on a wonderful family vacation to the Portuguese capital whilst exploring an abundant variety of picturesque sites and adorable culture that have been magnetizing travelers for decades now.

Source by Rajni Devi


Central Florida the Vacation Capital of the World

The largest cities in Central Florida are Orlando, Kissimmee, Sanford and Daytona Beach. The most popular of these being the Orlando / Kissimmee area. Orlando is the most visited city in all of Florida. The main reason is because there is so much fun to have in this city that you can’t possibly do it all! Orlando is home to Walt Disney World including The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, MGM Studios, Typhoon Lagoon and River Country. You can also visit downtown Disney which has great shopping, animated dining and a great nightlife including Pleasure Island. Outside of the Disney gates you will also find International Drive and other great shopping locations. Filled with outlet and retail stores, hotels and dinner shows, you could have an entire vacation on this one street! You will not want to miss Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. The two amusement parks bring the magic of movies and special effects to life. Universal Studios is also home to Halloween Horror Nights which brings the magic of Halloween each fall season. If theme parks do not appeal to you, Downtown Orlando and Winter Park are excellent places to see great live entertainment, antique shopping, night life and clubs as well as upscale dining.

In just about an hours drive you can also visit one of Florida’s prize attractions: The Kennedy Space Center. View NASA space shuttles and enjoy activities and lessons on how space travel has evolved over the last few decades. Also located one hour north east of Orlando is Daytona Beach. This beach is popular during the summer months and has a great boardwalk area to stroll along and enjoy the ocean views. Daytona Beach also hosts bike week each year along. Residents and visitors descend on this area to drive their motorcycles here and gather to see antique road shows and just converse with fellow motorcycle enthusiasts. It is one of the busiest weeks of the year in Daytona Beach!

Central Florida is a popular place to visit and has continued to change over time of offer guests the best vacation destination possible. While many people do come here for play, millions also call it home. It is a large metropolitan area featuring a world class airport, financial districts, and

other businesses that directly affect the hospitality industry that thrives in this area. It takes a lot of great people to make each magical vacation happen here. So don’t overlook this city as an exceptional place to live either. You could live the magic year round!

Source by Robert Lipply


Aboriginal Astral Travel

Ancient Astral Wonder

Little do we know about the aborigines of Australia, even less we know about their ancient culture and their astral wondering.

Indeed: The Australian Aborigines practiced astral wondering thousands of years ago…

Who are the Australian Aborigines?

There are several theories about their origin and their landing on present Australia. Their origin is most probably from the Indian subcontinent and they migrated to Australia over 40.000 years ago. If by boat, it would be through Indonesia, if by land, it would be when Australia was still connected to land or over the ice tens of thousands of years ago.

Whichever way they arrived is not our topic in here. What we aim to draw your attention to in this article is the Dream Time as it is known by the aborigines, the culture which they learn through storytelling and things they have in common with other theological references and science, Such as the story of creation.

The Dreamtime refers to a time before time, an outside of time, in which the past, present and future coexist at the same time, sharing parallels with the story of Genesis and the time of creation. Only in dreamtime life follows a cycle in which there is no real beginning and no real end.

Dreamtime, also called The Dreaming, consists of four parts:

The beginning of all;

the life and power of the ancestors;

the way of life and death;

and power in life.

It is more powerful than time and space. The aborigines call Dreamtime the all-at-once time referring to the past, present, and future at the same time.

Aborigines believe that people have a part of them which is eternal. And it existed before ones birth and will exist after ones death. It exists in The Dreamtime.

Their notion of space and identity stresses on their concept of movement in relation to space and time. The Dreamtime stories contain, moral, spiritual, and psychic understanding, all kinds of practical information. They move through space, and we move through time.

Their Dreamtimes is a mystical spiritual experience, its myth contains fragmented memories of their early history. They also believe in oneness of person, body, spirit, ghost, shadow, name, spirit site and totem”. Their dreaming is not a historical event but rather a vertical string in which past and present meet at one point. They regard dreaming as a unity of reality and dream life. Example, If one wants to achieve something in reality one must first find it in dream life and bring it into reality. Their dreaming involves many activities including the action of spirits and their travel to sacred sites. They chose their medicine man based upon his history of successful trances and visions initiating new recruits with magic rituals involving spirit beings. Rituals involve fear, isolation and suggestion, while preparing for initiation by a two-month fast. He may be given “new insides”, and quartz crystals may enter his body to provide power. He is given magic (astral) rope enabling him to fly through the air (have an out-of-body experience or OBE). He acquires X-ray vision from what is called Maben stones.

Healing involves songs or spells, in the presence of quartz crystals, tektites (small rounded, dark brown to green glassy objects that are composed of silicate glass and are thought to have been formed by impact of a meteorite with the earth’s surface), shells or special stones. Techniques include sleight of hand, ventriloquism, massaging and sucking, and acute perception and hearing.

Medicine men supposedly had such powers at will; they were excellent magicians. With psychic abilities resulted from openness to experience, disregards to time factor, and the quiet and solitude of the bush, Sorcery, telepathy over huge distances, X-ray vision, sending the “dream familiar” out of the body (OBE), hypnotism, and fire-walking.

Aborigines tell about the beginning of creation, and their description of the event is very similar to what is mentioned in the Bible and the Quran even though they date thousands of years back and long before these religions, hinting to the oneness of the source and its origin.

Once again we notice a repetition of human interests ever since the dawn of humanity and ever since the first man walked on earth.

Past, present and the future are connected indeed.

Mythology, theology and science are bound to meet for they share common interests.

Source by Adam El Masri


After Dinner Speech – Best Top Tips From a Professional After Dinner Speaker

Don’t tell me! Someone mentioned they were looking for an after dinner speaker for an important event and you, in a moment of weakness or sheer madness, said you would do it. And now, as the evening rapidly approaches, you have swallowed a little of your precious pride and decided to seek help or search for some speech material you might us. Am I right?

Let me begin by saying this, if it is of any consolation, you are not the first and most certainly won’t be the last to put your mouth into gear before engaging your brain. Many years back, flattered by friends who said I was a natural comedian, I did exactly the same and what follows are some of my best top tips to make the coming event a little less daunting, and hopefully help you by describing some of the basic mistakes I made in those early days whilst dying as an inexperienced, after dinner speaker.

Many people, including some of my friends, believe comedians are born funny and then somehow become a natural, polished, humorous entertainer. Nothing is further from the truth. Some top, after dinner speakers develop their skill as children as a method of dealing with school bullies, and the everyday anguish growing-up causes so many of us in those terrible teenage times. For far too many, school is not the best days of your life as described by those for whom time has distorted the truth; but a living hell, made a little easier by learning to make others laugh as a means of defense.

Some of the best after dinner speakers on the professional circuit began studying the subject after realising how powerful a tool it is in entertaining and amusing a captive audience, in convivial company, after a meal. The fact that others were prepared to pay money to have someone make others laugh would, initially, have been a bonus, and later, with lots of experience and ‘gigs’ under their belt, an effect way to earn a living.

For those amongst you who are thinking about using after dinner speaking as a means of making a living, my advice is to carefully consider whether your dream could ever become a reality. Professional, after dinner speaking is one of the most difficult occupations in which to earn a decent living. There are lots of after dinner speakers out there offering their polished skill as a service, and relatively few speaker engagements available to ply their trade.

Most after dinner speakers are hired through an agent. The difficulty for those wanting to become an after dinner speaker is that agents are only interested in established, quality, popular speakers with a proven ability to give an after dinner speech.

Such after dinner speakers have so much experience; they no longer have ‘off days’. Their reputation for excellence is already in place, and this removes the element of chance that event organisers take when engaging a less experienced, amateur, after dinner speaker. What event organisers gain in cash saving is insignificant when compared to their potential loss of reputation with which they gamble when engaging cheap amateurs.

If you are considering giving after dinner speeches as a profession, please believe me when I say that being a successful, fulltime, professional after dinner speaker is seriously hard work and is a dream that is, for most, very difficult to achieve. In regard to quality of life, it will mean many late nights, often away from home and your loved ones. The occupation of after dinner speaker is not nearly as glamorous as some would imagine. It can be an extremely tiring and demanding occupation with variable rewards.

If, all that said, you are still interested in how to give an effective, entertaining after dinner speech, perhaps as a one-off or hobby, what follows are my best, top tips:

I begin by offering some reassurance – most audiences make allowances for a courageous amateur doing his or her best to entertain them. They often hold a ‘better them than me’ attitude.

A survey carried out in America showed that more people fear public speaking than death. Which, I guess means, that at a funeral, Americans would rather be the individual lying in the coffin than the poor soul providing the eulogy to the mourners!

Some, attempting to perform as an effective after dinner speaker, fail because they don’t work hard enough at being funny. Being funny is seriously hard work and not that funny.

After dinner speaking is no different to any other skilled profession.  The fortunate few funny folk having all the lucky breaks is nonsense. Luck plays little part in whether or not you are likely to succeed as an after dinner speaker.

It was Gary Player who said, “The more I practise the luckier I get”. This is as relevant to after dinner speaking as it is in golf. However the best, professional, after dinner speakers work on the principal that practise in itself is not sufficient, as many a frustrated, addicted golfer will also testify.

Preparation is an essential ingredient in successful, after dinner speaking. There is a saying – ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’. Learn about your audience before you start, and never forget that preparation, before presenting, is paramount.

At the research stage, you will need to know exactly who makes up the audience. For example, if you are told the diners will be made up from members of a particular profession, ask the organiser where the audience stand in that organisation. Are they managers or machine operators? Such information will help you fine tune your after dinner speech and make it totally relevant to the audience’s every day reality.

It is not sufficient to know that all of the audience have an interest in golf. You need to dig deeper. Are they all members of a particular club? Do they have a rival team whom you might poke fun at? Are there any ‘characters’ in the club who most members would recognise if an after dinner speaker were to describe and exaggerate their most noticeable characteristics?

This brings me to an important point in the art of successful after dinner speech giving.

Quality, after dinner speakers do not tell jokes. Quick-witted ‘one-liners’ are still in fashion on the after dinner speaker circuit, whereas jokes are not. The ‘these three golfers were approaching the 18th hole’ type stories will create a chorus of cringes, as many inexperienced after dinner speakers have found, unfortunately, too late to save their delicate feelings.

If an audience of diners have a strong interest in a particular subject the chances are they will have heard each and every joke you have placed in your repertoire a dozen times before. Hopeful you now better understand why I say being a successful after dinner speaker is such hard work. It is not a case of putting an act together and then repeating the speech night after night to different audiences.

For a professional after dinner speaker, what a particular audience of diners consider funny, fluctuates with the years, and is generally accepted as being a subjective and fashionable test. By better understanding who your audience are, as apposed to what they have in common, means you are much more likely to provide an entertaining after dinner speech that will be remembered with affection by the diners, and event organisers for years to come.

The fact that an audience of diners have a common interest in golf will, for a professional after dinner speaker, only act as a theme that weaves its way through their after dinner speech.

Basing your whole after dinner speech on golf jokes is preparing to fail. A quality after dinner speech is a subtle observation of the real life of the audience of diners, delivered humorously by the after dinner speaker.

Superior after dinner speech humour is so much subtler than simply reciting one joke after another. If you happen to be an after dinner speaker who tells joke after boring joke during your speeches, I make no apology if I have offended you by writing so. I never apologise. Sorry, that’s just the way I am.

And, if having read the last few sentences, you are still have a problem understanding what it is I am saying, it may be you are without all hope.

Quality after dinner speaking has much to do with a skilful observation of real life. The words used to describe a situation require vocal expression, comic timing, character exaggeration, and carefully placed pauses that are so full of meaning. Frank Carson’s catch phrase “It’s the way I tell ’em” is the essence of what makes good, after dinner speaking.

For the diners doing the laughing, and for that matter the after dinner speaker too, humour is an escape from their everyday reality. Top after dinner speakers befriend an audience and quickly build a rapport with the diners. As the average after dinner speech provided by a professional after dinner speaker lasts between 20 to 30 minutes, speed in building rapport is an essential requirement in successful after dinner speaking.

To help build rapport, an after dinner speaker will often playfully laugh at themselves. To do so, the after dinner speaker needs to become a philosophical spectator of his or her own life in relation to those they have around them. Effective after dinner speaking is about showing an understanding of what makes people tick and then making witty observations to entertain and amuse the diners.

When next listening to a proficient after dinner speaker notice that many of the topics included in the after dinner speech revolve around problems the after dinner speaker encounters in his or her day-to-day reality.

Top after dinner speakers know there is little difference in people. By making fun of their own problems the after dinner speaker develops an empathy with the diners mainly because the diners have very similar problems to that of the after dinner speaker.

The after dinner speaker is, by helping the diners to come to terms with their own problems, helping them through a difficult dilemma they would, under normal circumstances, prefer not to think about. Following a good meal, and with the well-known therapeutic effect of a moderate amount of alcohol, diners are primed and ready for the light-hearted entertainment a professional, after dinner speaker always provides.

Top after dinner speakers are constantly striving for perfection by reworking their best material. They may be at the top of their profession but they never stop asking the question “How can I make this after dinner story better?” Theirs is a quest for perfection that never comes. Most of the best after dinner speakers are their own worst critic. Depressingly so!

The best after dinner speakers are striving to be ever funnier. For them, providing the best ever after dinner speech, is a lifelong apprenticeship that few have the resolve to complete. If you are giving your first ever after dinner speech, rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse. If possible, try your material out with friends or relatives whom you trust will provide honest, constructive feedback. And if they say you need more jokes in your speech, don’t listen to them!

When an after dinner speaker is working on improving his or her after dinner speech material, they will often work on a simplistic definition of the psychology of humour. Mine is – the study of wit in relation to the workings of the human mind and prediction of people behaviour.

To make an after dinner speech humorous, the diners must first predict some outcome, and then be humoured with a punch line that nudges them off their expected route.

To do this, an after dinner speaker must be a great story teller and be aware that in telling the story the majority of diners listening to the talk will be travelling down a particular path, guided by the speaker, only to be nudged from the predicated …


50 Marketing and Sales Promotional Plans – Next Set of 15

Hi, we are back again with more promotional plans. Our ’50 Promotional Plans’ have been compiled to help retail businesses reach out to their target market more effectively. Since there are so many creative promotional models out already, retailers can use the best fit to get the maximum visibility, better cost-effectiveness, improve branding and achieve greater sales.

We had previously discussed promotional ideas such as Happy hours, Free trials, Customer care, Complimentary products, Group discounts, Cross promotion, Motivational offers, Fun offers, Group offers, Free service, Spares with product, Selling attractive packages, Freebies, Free shipping, Referral schemes and Block renewals. These promotional ideas were well received by our readers and now we are back again with the next 15 schemes for you.

1) Senior Citizen Discounts: Special discounts for senior citizens, a gradually increasing segment with specific needs, is a great idea. In fact, there is a site entirely dedicated to this segment – seniordiscounts.com. Through senior citizen specific schemes you can promote any product or service that senior citizens may need and build a whole new market segment. For example Super Religare Wellness had a scheme where it gave 10% off to all senior citizens. Even Ayurcare offered special discounts to senior citizens for its therapies and detoxification programs.

2) Discounts to Niche Customers: Select the target segment you wish to focus on – say, a particular membership card holder that suits your profile – and offer them a discount. For example, a top end restaurant providing discounts to Club Mahindra holders would bring exclusive focus to an attractive, new segment.

3) Tie-ups with Banks: A tie-up with banks to provide special discounts for customers who use their bank cards at your retail outlet provides access to many potential customers at negligible cost. Several banks are ready to do this.

4) Early bird customers: How about early bird schemes where customers get special discounts for buying early? Such schemes prod customers into buying early to avail the discount. From travels to wellness centres and even corporate training programs, early bird incentives are always a great way to promote your products and services. Wild Frontiers, an adventure travel site offered a 5% discount for early bird registrations while VITS Wellness Centre, Andheri offered a limited period special discount for early bird couples.

5) Reward the customer for his efforts: Reward your customer for the efforts they put in for their own good. ‘Fitness First’, a fitness centre, rewarded its customers for losing each kilogram, with a Rs. 500 discount for each kilogram lost.

6) Use short codes effectively: Let your customers participate in an on-the-spot contest, and in the process get their mobile numbers too. Give a freebie or a discount to whoever participates in the contest. Subway used this scheme by asking customers to enter a contest: Subway gets the customers contact details such as mobile number and email id while customer gets discounts or freebies.

7) Special Event promotion: A special event such as an anniversary, festival or a special day like Valentine’s Day is a great time to offer a promotion scheme. Give a special discount to anyone who registers or buys on occasions such as Children’s day, Mother’s day, Father’s day, Teacher’s day etc. For example Gold’s gym offered a special discount for couples who joined the gym on Valentine’s day and Big Cinema gave away free tickets for women patrons on Woman’s Day.

8) Price guarantee: When real estate prices are falling and people do not buy because of uncertainty, a promotional scheme that offers to pass on the price benefit in case of lower prices in the future, drives sales. A limited period offer for those who book during the period, protects those from future price fluctuations. Aparna Constructions in Hyderabad has offered such a promotional scheme in view of the uncertainty in the real estate market to assuage fears of the customers and provide them with a window of opportunity to invest.

9) Surprise gift: Offer a surprise gift along with a service. Getting something free in the most unexpected of times always remains etched as one of the most memorable experiences for customers. It does not matter whether it is a small gift or a big one, what matters is that you have made the customer feel like the lucky one. For example Jaipan sells a combo package of home appliances such as a vacuum cleaner, toaster, blender and roti maker and throws in a a surprise gift!

10) Social causes: If your service has a social element to it, offer a promotional pricing with it. For example, Times Matrimonials, offers a discount for those who wish to advertise in their matrimonial column without a dowry requirement (or without a caste and religion bar). Similarly they offer discounts for senior citizens and widow/widowers and differently abled customers.

11) Environmental cause: A environmental cause like energy efficiency could focus on a specific scheme targeted at its customers. For example the Bureau of Energy Efficiency in India had called for a specific segment, the BPOs, to provide a star rating for BPO buildings for energy efficiency. To promote the scheme, the Bureau has announced a waiver of a hefty registration fee of Rs. 1 lakh for the first 100 applicants!

12) Buy more, get more: Buy 1 item get 10% off, 2 items and get 20% off and 3 items and get 30% off. The more you buy, the greater the discount you get. ‘Allen Solly’ offered this deal in Chennai for its menswear and women’s wear sections. Similarly Bombay Dyeing did this for its bed sheets!

13) Old for New: This is an attractive scheme especially in times when consumers are buying more. Every thought of replacement comes with the problem of what to do with the old. Big bazaar has launched a scheme where the customer can take the old and exchange it for new stuff. It takes care of two problems for the customer – getting a new product and getting rid of the old.

14) Establish a strong relationship with your customer: To find out who is buying your products and to establish a relationship of trust with them is what all retailers wish to do. Ranbaxy offered an innovative promotion scheme of a scratch card + SMS for its medicines. When customers buy medicines, they are provided with a scratch card that has a unique code, which must be SMSed to Ranbaxy. When the customer purchases the same medicine three times and SMSes the unique code each time, he gets a PIN, which he can use to get the fourth medicine free. Ranbaxy also provides the option to the customer of receiving reminders on taking the medicine – a nice way of being in touch with the customer and reinforcing the thought that you care.

15) Attractive add-on charges: A nominal Re. 1 charge for a normal service such as making charges for jewellery attracts customers – even more than a free service campaign. Reliance jewellery recently offered a Re. 1 making charges scheme on jewellery bought at their stores.

50 Promotional Plans First 15

Source by Raghavendra Prasad


Introduction to Digital Cartography and Mapping Tools

Traditional maps display a geographical environment on a scale in statically, while digital cartography took the job forward by creating maps using computers that boasted of many additional interactive features such as rollover information box, zooming and clickable icons with hyperlinks.

Though the use of compass and other advanced magnetic storage devices allowed people to create more accurate maps, store and manipulate them digitally in the early days of map making, it was only in the 20th century that advanced electronic technology brought a revolution in digital cartography and computer mapping tools.

The ready availability of computer peripherals like monitors, printers, scanners, analytic stereo plotters, accessibility of computer programs for database management, correct image visualization and processing, as well as proper spatial analysis had made the entire process of map making much easier. Maps to address the needs of new industries were possible with such technology by placing spatially located variables on the existing maps to create newer ones with enhanced features and potentials.

With time, digital cartography has taken strides to become better, thereby offering modern businesses a lot of benefits as follows:

* Help visitors find your branch office locations: You can easily embed interactive online maps in your website that would help your customers to know about store locations all over the world, and help them reach any particular store with ease.

* Easy marketing in trade shows: If you are participating in a trade show, you can use digital cartography to help your potential clients locate your booth in the trade show or to guide them to the venue via an interactive street image.

* Using interactive image maps for offline use: You can easily make your offline multimedia presentations on the intranet or CDROM more engaging and interesting by using interactive image maps. Some map software even allow you to export interactive maps to JPG that you may use for your PowerPoint presentations.

* Make the maps more informative and interactive: With digital cartography at hand, you can add labels, logos and icons to specific points, show routes with curves or lines, and add text descriptions in tool tip or info boxes. All these elements make the maps more easy to follow and interactive in nature.

* Other user-friendly elements of digital cartography: Elements like map legends, map chart and zoom function in digital maps make them a preferred choice over traditional paper maps.

* Floor plans for real estate dealers: For those in the real estate business, interactive maps for floor plans of a building or mouse over boxes showing information related to homes for sale and their prices can serve a lot.

* Benefits for tourism industry: People looking to book their vacations often search for information like the best deals, the easiest route to reach a destination, any specials and discounts on offer, cheap air fares etc. Using digital cartography, you can show all these information via various interactive features, thereby making it easier for travelers to get the required data at a glance.

* Advantages for colleges and universities: Showing campus details and sharing information about various courses and their venues becomes easy with digital maps. That’s how educational institutions can benefit a lot from the use of digital cartography.

No wonder that digital maps serve as useful guides for conveying multi-faceted information through various interactive features, which in turn make them a preferred choice over their traditional counterparts.

Source by Ko Fai Godfrey Ko


Choose Between Independent, Hosted and Escorted Tours

You’re browsing online for your next tour and some of them look absolutely fantastic and so inexpensive! But wait, there are a couple words that I’m not sure of recently: hosted tours and independent tours. You know what they mean in general conversation, but what do they mean where travel is concerned?

Good question, with a simple answer, but knowing the difference will make a significant impact on your travel decision.

“Independent” means you are on your own. The travel company will book your hotels and, if you’re traveling to various cities, perhaps they’ll also book your train seat. When your plane lands you’ll make your way to the hotel and, if you want to see the sights, and well, that’s why you’re traveling, isn’t it? You will for the most part, have to make your own arrangements. You’ll get to each place by any method you choose…car, cab or bus. Carry a good guide book or perhaps hire a local at the sight.

Why book this type of package if you are on your own for the majority of the time? Well the tour companies have buying power, so you may save a little money by purchasing a hotel stay from them, but that’s not always the case. Check with your travel agent who will be happy to price it both ways for you to ensure you receive the best value.

“Hosted” involves a little more hand holding. You may be met at the airport and transported to your hotel, which is pre-booked for you as well, and you’ll have breakfast daily. Your “host” is a local tour professional (usually) who represents the tour company with whom you booked. This person is available to you at certain hours of each day, to advise you on sightseeing, restaurants and shopping in the area. They will also have available optional tours you can book through them and travel. You will have plenty of time to do your own thing, but have the security of being able to consult someone throughout your stay. If you are visiting multiple cities, then the transportation is also arranged for you in advance including train, bus or flights.

Escorted is the best choice if the language of the country you are visiting is very foreign (In most European countries you will find many locals who speak English fluently). Your guide will meet you, great you, introduce you to others in your group…because escorted tours are almost always of a group of 24 to 40 people. (The exception are luxury tours in which your group consists of only you and your travel companions with a private guide.) All of your hotels and transportation are included. The guide checks you into each hotel and hands you the keys. Your luggage is taken to each room and then picked up and placed back on the bus so that you can relax. The guide and driver will accompany you on all sightseeing tours, smooth your admission to museums and monuments, entertain you (hopefully) on the bus ride to the next town and, all in all, act as your “big brother” or “sister.” You will be well taken care of and probably get the most out of your journey. Knowledgeable guides make a career of sharing their inspiring insights, and are well versed in local customs and must see hidden treasured. Most travelers agree that the tour guide is the key to good vacation due to their wealth of information, warmth and efficiency.

In conclusion, “independent travel” is best suited for the very savvy traveler who knows what he wants to see and do, but is happy to have someone book his hotels and train seats. A “hosted” trip is good for those who are capable of budgeting their time, is up and out to see all there is to see, and has done their homework. The traveler may need or want some assistance in choosing from the many sights the city or a specific venue has to offer. “Escorted tours” are the most comprehensive way to visit another country. It doesn’t mean you’re lazy…just time-conscious and maybe not too well versed in the history and lore of your chosen destination. Better to have a professional show you all there is to see.

Tour operators offer a variety of travel options to meet each travelers needs. Whichever travel style you select, know what you’re buying in advance.

Source by S Lobo


LAX Airport – Some Fun and Fascinating Facts

The LAX airport, or the Los Angeles International Airport, was originally named Mines Field and was a general aviation base during World War II. LAX is located in none other that Los Angeles, California. It is ranked as the fifth busiest passenger airport in the entire world. It also is ranked sixth for the world in carrying cargo. Even if you never travel through LAX, (although chances are good that you will) you may find the following facts and information interesting and fun.

Fun And Interesting Facts About The LAX Airport:

1. There are more than 50 million people who travel into or out of LAX every year. But, not only people travel through. An additional 2 million tons of cargo passes through this airport every year as well.

2. The LAX airport employs over 59,000 people to get you and your luggage safely and comfortably to your destination.

3. A U-shaped road with two levels connects the 9 terminals at this airport.

4. The airport has four parallel runways and a 277 foot control tower. The original control tower was only 172 feet tall.

5. LAX has the only Coast Guard Air Station located right on the premises. They provide 24-hour service to the passengers and employees of the LAX airport.

6. One unusual feature is the Encounters restaurant, which is located in the Central Terminal and is 70 feet above the ground. It is a space-themed restaurant and has an observation deck that is located on the roof of the LAX airport.

7. Worried about parking? The airport has over 21,000 parking spaces at the terminal including long and short term parking and the outdoor economy lots.

8. Transportation to and from the LAX airport and its vicinity is simple with shuttle buses, taxis, rental cars, the airport and public buses and even light rail.

9. While many airports today are located on the outskirts of town LAX is located on 3,425 acres right in the heart of Los Angeles.

10. How many airports do you know that have their own song? LAX airport has a song that was written by Leann Scott and performed by David Frizzel in 1970 called LA International Airport. Then, in 1971 Susan Raye, a famous country singer redid the song and it shot to number 9 on the country charts and 54 on the pop chart. Just recently, in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the LAX airport, it was sung again by Susan Raye and then it was given new lyrics by Leann Scott and sung again by Shirley Myers.

11. The Los Angeles International Airport also supports the public arts programs of the community. Right at the entrance of the airport are 100 foot high pylons and 32 foot high letters that spell out LAX. This is the work of the artist Paul Tzanetopoulos. There is also a program at LAX airport which allows high school students from the area to display their works in the airport in a revolving display. The students not only gain some notoriety and recognition, but they also can get university credit for participating.

12. You can also find all of the typical airport services at LAX. You will find bookshops and restaurants, lost and found, shoe shine stations, baggage storage, banking machines, and first aid stations.

Your trip to (or through) Los Angeles International airport can be enjoyable and relaxing if you know what is available to you. The airport is working to become more easily accessible and passenger friendly. To get you in the mood for your trip, take a listen to the theme song. You can find it online.

Source by Margarette Tustle