It won’t be long before we can travel closer to the stars, thanks to Sir Richard Branson and his Virgin Galactic spaceships. However, astral travel or astral projection is a different matter entirely. You don’t have to pony up the £100,000 or so astronomical price for a space flight with Virgin Galactic if you merely want to do a bit of astral travelling. Some people believe we are all capable of astral travel – leaving our bodies during sleep or meditation. Now there’s a great idea – sign me up! I’ve tried to do it but so far haven’t managed to wake up on a beach in Hawaii as was planned. Oh well. Wouldn’t it be nice if we never again had to deal with airport parking, lost luggage, or security chaos and hassle! No packing to worry about – you could leave your luggage (emotional or otherwise) at home. Just have a nice mug of cocoa, go to bed, and wake up in your dream destination! If you haven’t been able to master the art of astral travel, out of body experiences, lucid dreaming, or time travel – then virtual travel may be the next best thing. Just log onto your computer and, like Captain Kirk on the USS Enterprise, fill in your own captain’s log as you go. You can visit the exotic and interesting places you’ve always wanted to see – and for a fraction of the price. You could be at the Taj Mahal one minute and the Coliseum in Rome the next – and all without leaving your armchair and comfort of your own home. Ticketless travel is becoming the new way to do things, as computers take over from the old labour-intensive paper ticketing – but you’re still stuck with all the downsides of travel. With virtual travel, you don’t have to worry about minor annoyances like getting your seat assignment or boarding pass, getting stuck in the screaming-baby section, or queuing for the only toilet that isn’t bunged up. Scientists may one day succeed with the perfect recipe that will enable us to teletransport – scramble our bodies and reassemble them in another location – just like the crew of the Enterprise. It could be useful for many reasons – just think about the possibilities…! Harry Potter had an Invisibility Cloak, which would be great for those times when you commit a social faux pas and wish the earth would open and swallow you up – or maybe when the taxman or auditor comes a callin’. Scientists are working on invisibility cloak technology – which could come in handy for politicians who feel compelled to make public apologies for their indiscretions – or the annoying ones who constantly dodge the tricky questions. Some surgical patients have claimed to remember leaving their bodies whilst under anaesthesia during operations. Unfortunately, none of them have got any further than the ceiling or corner of the room – where they witness the gory goings-on involving their body. If only we could whistle for a celestial taxi from that corner in the ceiling and go off to an exotic beach. We could leave our swollen and bruised bodies to the painful recovery process in the care of professionals and return when all is well and functioning again. Sort of like taking the car in for a service and using a courtesy car to go off for lunch and a spot of shopping with a friend. Well, who knows what might be possible in the future. We didn’t know electricity existed before someone discovered it – and it had been there all the time! Not so long ago no one would have believed it possible for ordinary people (albeit those with plenty of cash) to climb aboard a rocket ship and blast themselves into zero gravity. Technology has raced ahead in the last few decades at breathtaking speed. Those lucky enough to be able to afford a trip with Virgin Galactic will have a taste of an ‘out of body experience’ of a kind – at least a few minutes of weightlessness – when they can forget that they are still trapped in their bodies. We have a virtual world readily available at our fingertips these days with computer technology. Just a few taps on the keyboard and we can travel with Google Earth or observe the heavens with Google Sky. We can be virtual tourists on a virtual earth, have a virtual relationship, or stay at home in a virtual garden with our virtual pet! Coming back to reality, if you have to make do with your annual earthly holiday in Spain and get there and back on the budget airlines then, hey, we shouldn’t take for granted how easy air travel has become. Until we learn how to master astral travel – or Dr. Who-style time travel becomes a reality – we are stuck with the reality and annoyances of modern-day air travel. Maybe in our future we will need travel insurance to cover time warps. In the meantime, if getting to our dream destinations means crowded airports, delays and long queues – at least we have travel insurance to cover most mortal mishaps!
As many of you may know by now, especially if you have upcoming plans to travel to one of our neighboring countries like Canada or Mexico, your travel plans just might be at risk. “The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act or 2004 requires the Department of Homeland Security and Department of State to develop and implement a plan to require all travelers, U.S. citizens and foreign nationals alike, to present a passport or other document, or a combination of documents, that denote identity and citizenship when entering the United States. Congress amended portions of the Act in 2006. The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is the Administration’s proposed plan to implement this mandate.” So what does this mean? Well, for starters, if you’re traveling to Mexico, Canada, Bermuda or the Caribbean, you are now required to obtain a passport for your travels outside the United States. You could, not to long ago, travel to Canada or Mexico as easily as traveling to visit your parents 5 states away. Not anymore. The Federal government’s goal to “strengthen border security and facilitate entry into the United States for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors” now requires all travelers to basically “check-in” by obtaining a passport for identification and proof of citizenship. This is an absolute necessity to secure our borders against un-authorized access with the foremost hopes of preventing terrorist acts by individuals abroad. Unfortunately, the policy and enforcement on border security will affect both incoming travelers and domestic travelers going abroad. As of January 2007, traveling to Mexico, Canada, Bermuda and the Caribbean is now considered “traveling abroad,” where once we could travel to the above countries with limited or no documentation needed at all. So how does this affect travel to Canada? Or Mexico? Or Bermuda? Or the Caribbean? Well the short answer for you is not much. But if you’re like me, and take family vacations annually to Mexico, it might cost a bit more this year. Take for example a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children under 16 years). The cost of our trip just exploded because by law, I am now required to obtain a passport for each individual crossing in and out of the United States. So, lets see, not only do I have to pay for the monetary cost associated with obtaining a passport, 4 passports in this example, but I now have to take the time out of my day to find out where I can pick up 4 passport applications; then fill them out, and then find a place that will take my passport photo to be attached with the passport application. I’m not done…I have to round up my entire family to go on this passport excursion. Do I pull my kids out of school for this? Do they miss band or sports practice after school? Do I waste an hour and fight traffic with my family just to find our passport applications and a place that will take our passport photo? Unfortunately, this scenario will look all too common in 2007 and beyond as the Federal government continues to increase security for our Country. My advice is to get your passport early and beat the rush. And if you’re lucky, find someone who will come out to your work place or home and furnish all your passport needs, from forms to photos like Mobile Passport Photos.
Holidays to Florida are a sure fire way to please everybody on the trip with a wide selection of beautiful beaches, world-class theme park attractions, and outdoor recreation destinations across the Sunshine State. Easy to book and priced just right, Florida all inclusive holidays cut the budget down to size with rock bottom industry travel rates.
One of the most visited states in the USA, Florida welcomes visitors twelve months a year with a warm and inviting climate, casual atmosphere, and eclectic dining options from simple take away fare to intimate candlelit dinners from award-winning chefs. Seize the moment any way you see fit with a wide range of lodging options geared to meet and exceed most budgets.
The all inclusive Florida holiday plan takes care of everything so you can leave your money in your wallet and get down to business with the suntan. Voted the favorite mode of international travel, the all inclusive plan covers the airfare, round trip airport transfers, your choice of three, four or five star accommodation, most meals at your hotel’s sumptuous buffet, and admission tickets to select attractions. With all the major travel expenses rolled together at one great rate, your Florida holidays may be closer than you think.
Florida resorts and private villa packages offer optional full or half-day excursions to Key West, deep sea fishing tours, private yacht rentals in Miami Beach, and safe and sane biking trails through the rugged tropical terrain. In addition, visitors to south Florida may wish to book a two to fourteen day cruise heading for the Bahamas, Jamaica, Aruba and more. Cuba holidays, however, are not available for departure from the USA. Florida cruise ports operate convenient daily departures from Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Tampa and may be easily reached from the inland city of Orlando.
Best value booking for all inclusive Florida holidays should be made early enough to take advantage of seasonal sales and deep discount deals. Early birds take first choice of sea view rooms at the beaches and the top Disney theme park hotels when you plan your work and work your plan. However, late travel deals abound year round for the travel bug that can leave on short notice. Florida knows how to treat its valued guests right with last chance bookings at best bargain deals.
Florida holidays are ideal for family travel, honeymoon packages and action packed sightseeing for the solo traveller. For quick warm weather breaks or comfortable long-term stays, Florida holidays have something for everyone at the budget crunching price you want to pay. No one can undercut the all inclusive holiday deal, making it the number one choice for fussy travelers on the go.
1.Four Seasons Resorts, Baltimore, Santa Barbara
It’s no wonder this legendary Santa Barbara spa is nearly as famous as some of its guests. Nestled among lush gardens beside the Pacific Ocean, this famous R&R retreat marries first-class body and skin treatments with exquisite design and stunning surroundings. The serene spa elevates personal indulgence to a fine art. An inspiring array of restorative and beauty treatments, based upon the bounty of the sea blended with botanicals from the gardens of Santa Barbara, promote the art of well-being.
2. Canyon Ranch Tucson
This spa doesn’t just pamper. It’s one of the only luxury destinations to provide a preventive and integrative wellness program. Guests here can avail the help of board-certified physicians, exercise physiologists, nutritionists, behavioral therapists, and mind-body experts.
The programs include
• Classic massages
• Asian therapies
• Advanced restorative touch therapies
• Yamuna treatments
• Ayurvedic body treatments
• Hydrating and soothing body scrubs and wraps
• Replenishing facials for healthy and beautiful skin
3. Cal A Vie, California
With 25 private cottages and 400 acres, Cal-A-Vie offers four staff members for each guest. This secluded spa is a famous for celebrity hideaway and boasts excellent hiking, cuisine, cooking classes, and a wellness program encompassing fitness, body treatments, and skincare. Need we mention the 18-hole golf course. Each of the treatments are highlighted by natural plant and sea extracts and aromatic, restorative oils. They will leave you feeling relaxed, content and deliciously pampered.
4.Sagestone,Redmountain Spa, Uttah
The red rock bluffs of Utah’s Snow Canyon State Park set the scene for this luxurious health and fitness outdoor adventure. Honors from Allure, Forbes, USA Today, and Condé Nast Traveler are among this destination’s many “top spa” nods. This spa’s soothing desert setting, Sagestone Spa & Salon sets out with one goal – to transport our guests to a place of deep relaxation, tranquility and renewal. You will never forget the rejuvenating experience offered by this spa.
5.Rancho La Puerta
Three thousand acres of gardens, meadows, and mountains join a beautiful climate in welcoming 125 guests a week. In addition to spa treatments, it offers fresh seafood from the nearby Pacific Ocean, as well as vegetarian and modified-vegetarian meals. Today’s guests enjoy the very best resort spa experience, shaped by expertise developed over 65 years.
This spa has accolades galore from all the top travel and spa publications. Miraval offers more than 100 treatments but also encourages personal growth with its Quantum Leap program, Zen boot camp, and specialized retreats dealing with aging, relationships, health, and more. You can explore the principles of healthy living. Or you can address a specific challenge with our Mindful Weight Management, Smoking Cessation or Healthy Sleep packages.
7.Lake Austin Spa Resort.
This spa has got the reputation of being named the #1 Destination Spa in North America by the readers of Conde Nast Travelermagazine. Only eight spas in the world can trump this Travel + Leisure readers’ pick. Rolling hills and Lake Austin cradle this intimate resort, which offers more than 100 spa treatments and award-winning cuisine.
Business travel to the US isn’t all about procuring your VISA (or ESTA–for people from visa waiver program countries, like Ireland).If you want a smooth trip you have to consider other little things that can happen on the way. Other things which, if ignored, can hamper your meeting up with your arrangements.The United States can be a frustrating place to travel. The earlier you realise that the better you will plan, and the easier your business trips will be.
One area of planning many business travellers neglect is their flight route. It’s possible that your business arrangements in the US require that you to move from one state to another, and it’s very likely you will be using domestic flights in the country to achieve your movements. The bad news is that flight delays in US airports are worsening. To help you with your planning in this crucial area here are five airports to watch out for, so that your flights don’t get delayed and thus ruin your business plans.
If you ever find yourself in Chicago, avoid Midway International airport. It is notorious as US’s slowest airport. It is said that one in every three planes that leave the airport experiences a delay.
However, if you can’t help it and feel you must travel via Midway, then aim for flights leaving around noon when the airport sees fewer delays.
Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area
Of the three airports serving the Baltimore-Washington Area in the US, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport commands the highest traffic. In fact, about 71% of flights leaving Baltimore between 8pm and 11pm experience one sort of delay or another.
The best time to depart from the airport without much delay is between 10am and noon.
North-eastern Denver, Colorado
Denver International airport, with its tent-like roofs, is another airport in the US known for leaving behind schedule. About 33% of flights from the airport leave later than planned from 2pm upwards. Hence, it might do you some good to avoid the airport entirely. Otherwise, travel around 9am and hope for the best.
If you can stay away from Chicago completely during your business travel, by all means do so. It seems the State has a flair for flight delays and would only mess up your calendar.
O’Hare International Airport, like her sister, Midway International, is racked with flight delays. Although more than 80% of morning flights depart from the airport without any hiccups, the reverse is almost the case from 10pm—far more than half of late night flights leave behind schedule.
Las Vegas, Nevada
McCarran International Airport, the main airport in the Las Vegas Valley, is another departure option that can work against you. So if you plan on taking a quick detour to Las Vegas on your business trip, think twice and remove casinos from your mind.
A little over a third of flights departing from this airport are delayed in the afternoon and evening. So if something happens and you find yourself in Las Vegas, you should save yourself some headaches and board a morning flight.
Planning flights can save you a lot of stress. Get to know which airports are the best to fly into and out of, and leave plenty of time in your schedule if you are using some of the worst airports for delays.
A vacation to the United States brings on a lot of excitement and joy. Where most travelers do not want to think about missed flights, lost baggage, sickness, injuries, or accidents during the course of the travel, it still is a necessity to have a backup to deal with the financial impact of such unforeseen events. Any medical or non-medical conveniences in a foreign land can easily drain you out of your savings. It is therefore prudent to stay protected with right Travel medical insurance.
If you don’t buy the right US Travel health insurance, you always have a chance to being adversely impacted by uncertainties involved in overseas travel. These unexpected circumstances can do more than ruining your trip. Travel medical insurance is now an essential requirement for every smart traveler. The top three reasons of buying a travel medical insurance are:
1. PEACE OF MIND: The choice of right travel medical insurance gives you a trouble free travel. Even if you face the need for quality health care in USA, you have the peace of mind that your policy will take care of everything.
2. OPTIMUM PROTECTION: Whether it is about the loss of baggage, loss of passport, emergency evacuation, hospitalization, terrorist incident, or delay in trip, with the right US travel health insurance; you have a facility that offers you optimum protection.
3. CONCERN OF LOSING THE FINANCES OVER A TRIP: Most travelers who plan on a trip to US are at risk of losing their financial investment in case anything unexpected happens. Seeking a US travel health insurance policy offers you freedom from such concerns. Your travel medical insurance is your true companion in your travel.
There are different types of travel medical insurance policies designed to meet the need of different travelers. You need to carefully make a choice that is just right for your travel plan. There are many websites that offer you destination based policies. You can refer to these websites to find out more information about the policies offered.
You can get free online quotes to pick the right policy. These quotes help you make the best choice from the several available options. You can pick a policy that offers you an affordable premium and optimum coverage. Refer to a reliable website for seeking quotes on travel medical insurance that offers quotes from top insurance companies and has licensed customer support staff.
Within 24 hours after graduating from college, Ken Lovering strapped
a pack to his back, pocketed his meager savings, and boarded a plane to
Europe. It was his first time stepping onto foreign soil, and certainly
not his last. Since then, he has visited most every European country,
many Caribbean islands, and plenty of Africa. Wherever he has traveled,
his native New England frugality has never been far behind.
why he started the “Travel on a Dime … Now” series: he wants everyone
to know how to travel frugally. “Lots of people see travel as a
privilege,” he says. “And it is – but it doesn’t have to come with a
high price tag. I am astounded by how many incredible deals there are
out there – and I’m glad to compile cost-saving strategies into my
simple-to-use resources.” He continues, “We can’t let the economy put
our travel on hold. Travel is a necessity – for everyone. It’s a key
element in keeping the people of the world connected.”
12 years, he put his travel passion to work as a Managing Marketing
Director for one of the leading value-based tour operators in the U.S.
– and helped to send well over a million Americans overseas during his
tenure there. A travel writer at heart, his work has appeared in the Boston Globe, the Boston Phoenix, and the Dallas Morning News; he authored a monthly column for Spokane’s Stonewall New Northwest.
His travel writing has won second prize in the annual contest sponsored
by the 2008 “Book Passage” Travel Writers & Photographers
Conference, and the 2009 Silver Prize in the annual Solas Awards
competition, sponsored by Travelers’ Tales publishers. He teaches
travel writing at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts.
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