Top 5 Easter Hot Spots

25 11 2010

Closer to home…

1 – Easter Corrie, Scotland

Traveller’s cheques and currency convertors are not needed in this little Scottish gem, situated near the Cairngorms National Park in the county of Glenlivet. Bird watching and hill walking will ensure that your holiday money goes that much further in this little hamlet dating back to the early 18th century.

2 – Whitstable, Kent

Tired of travelling? Not a problem when your destination is less than a 2 hour drive from London. This little seaside village has a lot to offer, from fresh oysters to seashore antique shops, knowing what the best exchange rates are will be the furthest thought from your mind as you take in the seaside air and charm.

3 – Bockhampton, Dorset

A time old Easter tradition was to roll colourful hard boiled eggs down a hill, apply the modern twist and you get a trend fast sweeping the UK, Zorbing! Experience the thrill of tumbling down a 200m hill while you splash around in an orb, which is generally made of transparent plastic so nothing on your trip down will be missed.

If you are ready to brave the currency exchange rates, there are other options further afield…

4 – Rome, Italy

If you are planning to buy Euros’ then consider Rome. Easter is a big event in Italy, so a trip to Vatican City could either be a great chance to experience the Easter Vigil and Easter Holy Mass, or a good reason to avoid it and experience the city’s bars, parks, museums and more with most visitors heading to St Peter’s Basilica.

5 – Lucerne, Switzerland

If you have some travel money and would prefer a vacation rather than a staycation, then just an hour’s drive from Zurich, Lucerne in central Switzerland is a cultural hotspot set among the natural beauty of the Swiss mountains and Lake Lucerne. An annual three-day festival takes place during the Easter weekend but if you miss it there will also be many other concerts taking place in April, from brass bands to international jazz groups. In contrast to the modern culture centre, holidaymakers can see Lucerne’s historical side in the old town, with the rebuilt Kapellbrucke bridge, another top attraction.

Consider your Easter holiday options and the foreign exchange rate before you decide to stay close to home or bunny hop to the continent. If you do decide to venture overseas, don’t rush to convert currency before you have compared providers to find the best exchange rates available.

With the pound not stretching as far as it used to, plastic savvy consumers are switching to prepaid currency cards to help make their travel money go further. Offered by foreign exchange providers including ICE plc and MyTravelCash, these cards often offer the best exchange rates, even compared to cash, keep your money safe and are more cost effective than your UK plastic. As the exchange rate is fixed on loading, and free transactions and free or low cost ATM withdrawals are offered, you know exactly how much you are spending throughout your trip unlike with your credit or debit card. Also, if your balance runs low most providers let you top-up on-line or via text allowing you to exchange Euros or dollars anywhere in the world. Best of all, they are powered by Visa or MasterCard so you can use them wherever you are in the world!

Wherever you go, Happy Easter!

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A Passport ID Card Can Make Border Crossing a Simple Process

25 11 2010

A passport ID can be used to replace worn passport books, which makes for frequent border crossing easy and convenient. The wallet-sized passport card is for easy wallet-sized transport and can be used by people crossing borders to Mexico, the Caribbean, Bermuda or Canada. The only drawback, however, is that the card is invalid for people who travel internationally using air travel.

This slim line passport device is a great alternative to standard passports for people who live on or near the Mexican or Canadian border and travel back and forth to the United States. The cards have a radio frequency ID chip, otherwise known as an RFID, installed in the card. Border patrol agents are specially trained to read information on the chip that is connected to a database that contains the cardholder’s passport information.

The RFID chip does no have any of the cardholder’s personal data on it, just information that pertains to the person’s passport.. Only authorized personnel can access the information and properly read the card using the database. The card comes with a protective blocking sleeve that protects the information from unnecessary and unwanted scanning.

These passport cards are made available to any citizen of the United States, even if they never had a passport before. Applicants must complete the necessary passport application, a DS-11 and send it in with accompanying identification and pictures. Someone who already has a passport can apply for an upgraded card and receive a discount on the price of the passport card.

Fees for passport cards are very economical compared with the cost of a regular passport. A standard card for a first-time adult purchase is $45.00 and children under 16 pay only $35.00. The passport book is more than twice the price at $100.00 for adults buying a passport for the first time. Individuals who want to switch from a paper book to a passport card only have to pay a modest fee of $20.00.

Passport ID cards last the same amount of time as a standard passport book. The adult card is valid for 10 years from the date of purchase and a child’s card can be used for five years using the same criteria. The cards don’t need to be renewed before the time period is up, so makes them very convenient to use.

While the cards can be purchased by mail, an overnight method won’t be of value due to the limited delivery options. The passport card is only returned to the applicant using the traditional first class mail delivery method. If an individual needs to get the card as soon as possible, they should look into another way of getting the card.





Teachers and Tour Escorts – A Working Relationship Can Produce Fun and Educational Student Trips

24 11 2010

When planning and executing student trips to Washington D.C., New York City, Orlando, FL or other U.S. destinations one of the primary components for a smooth and fun trip is good communication between a tour escort (also known as a tour director) and the teacher who is sponsoring the class trip.

Some student trips can be quite large, with groups ranging from 100 to 150 students, while other class trips may number between 40-60 students. No matter how large or small the group and how many busses are needed, a trained tour director is a necessary part of the journey and can make the difference in whether the student trip is well managed or not.

An educational tour company with experience in taking school groups on tour will always provide a tour escort as part of the overall cost of the trip. The tour escort is the representative from the educational travel company whose main task is to keep an open dialogue with the teacher when schedule changes or deviations in the itinerary are suggested or needed, among other things.

A tour director is not in charge of the trip. The teacher is the person who fulfills this role and takes ultimate responsibility for making decisions on behalf of the student group. The tour escort’s role is to assist the teacher when a decision needs to be made, and to inform him or her about any potential charges which may be incurred for making decisions that do not coincide with the planned itinerary.

Here is a breakdown of the role a tour director will play on a class trip and the responsibilities of the teacher or school group leader:

Tour Escort

• Introduces him or her self to the teacher before the trip via a personal telephone call.

• Uses the itinerary as a guide for the entire class trip.

• Keeps the group on schedule and manages any issues that may arise that will affect timeliness in attending scheduled events, destinations, eateries, etc.

• Acts as a liaison between the attractions, hotels, restaurants, bus driver, and other stops on tour.

• When requested by the teacher or group leader the tour director may assume more control of the group. For example, a teacher may be away on a personal phone call, trip to the restroom, or overseeing a problem with a student or group of students. The tour director will act as a temporary group leader when the teacher’s attention is elsewhere.

Teacher

• He or she is the group leader of the class trip and maintains control of the students.

• The educator dialogues with the tour escort and makes final decisions on adjustments to the itinerary or schedule.

• A teacher will consult with the tour escort on any potential or actual financial changes that may occur due to modifications of the itinerary.

• When disciplinary problems arise with a student or group of students, the teacher takes the lead role in intervening and correcting the problem.

• If there is a problem with the venue or schedule, the teacher is informed by the tour escort how the issue will be resolved and makes final decisions on the outcome of the situation.

The teacher and tour escort relationship is always more effective when both individuals keep the lines of communication open. An adept tour escort is a proficient communicator. An educator has to have excellent speaking skills to manage a classroom on a regular basis. When both of these key roles are working in unison, a student trip to any destination is a quality educational experience remembered fondly by all.





Business Traveling

24 11 2010

Being called away on business can be very stressful especially when you have to make your own travel plans. The last thing you need when business traveling is to find out that your luggage has been lost. If you are only going away for a few days, with careful planning you can avoid this from happening by packing everything you need into your carry on bag.

The first thing you will need to do is check the weather forecast for the area you will be visiting. If you know it will be cold then you should plan to wear the same jacket on your flight that you will need when you get to your destination. Pack thin clothes that can be layered rather than bulky clothes. Bring clothes with you that are the least amount of care and made from wrinkle free materials. By rolling your undergarments, ties and socks you will make more room for other articles. Also try to pick outfits that will require you to only have to bring one pair of shoes. Business men who wear suits could use the same jacket then they would only have to bring a couple pairs of slacks and a few shirts along with underwear and socks.

You should do some research before you make your reservations to find out what is in the area of where you are visiting and where you want to be located. If you will not have a vehicle to drive when you get there you will want to find a place close to where you will be working. Or you might have some free time and would like to be in an area where you could see the sights. You might also want to be near restaurants. Most hotels offer room service which is nice when you are too tired from a long day of working to get out, but this can be very expensive.

When booking your hotel find out if there is high-speed Internet in your room if it’s a requirement for you. You should also ask if there is shuttle service or if you will be required to hire a taxi or rent a car when traveling to and from the airport and hotel. Take the time to find out all the necessary information before leaving and you will have a stress free business trip.





Renew Passports Through the Mail – A How-To Guide

24 11 2010

It can be quite annoying for the individual who is going to travel abroad to have to find that his or her passport expired. Though it is a process that was not expected, the process to renew passports is not that strenuous of a process. In fact, if the individual even uses an independent expediting service, the process can be complete in as little as 24 hours.

Renewing a passport through the mail is probably the most desired method of renewing. This is just because of the hassle involved in locating a governmental facility and then going to the facility to stand in line. While this is not really that awful, it would be much easier for an individual to use the mail system to renew his or her passport. Unfortunately, only certain individuals will meet the requirements.

By going online, an individual can better understand what criteria he or she has to meet in order to renew a passport through the mail system. In addition, the form for renewing a passport through the mail will be different from the form for renewing a passport in-person. Either way, though, a fee will need to be paid and an individual will need to have a photograph taken within the last six months.

This is not the only requirements of the passport photograph. It must also be in color and reflect a current appearance. Though it is expected that an individual may change his or her appearance after the passport has been issued, at the time of acquiring the passport, an individual should make sure that the picture represents his or her current appearance. The photograph must also be a certain size and have the head contained within the photograph in a certain matter. For all the stipulations regarding the photograph, check online.

When the individual has completed all of the necessary paperwork and compiled all the proper documents, he or she will need to choose an envelope in which to mail it all. It would be wise to use an envelope that is part of a tracking service, as this will ease any worries while the important personal information is traveling through the mail system. It is only minor fee for a lot of extra security.

The individual who wants the expedited government service will need to label his or her envelope as such. In regards to time, the expedited service will cut the time it takes for the new passport to be issued in half. While this is pretty fast, an independent expediting service can return the passport renewed in 24-48 hours.

Individuals who were minors when they first acquired their passport will, unfortunately, not be able to renew their passport through the mail. Though the mail process is an easier process, going to a facility will not be difficult either. These individuals can also use an expediting service to make everything go quickly.





Moving Lots of Luggage Fast

22 11 2010

In most jobs there are many people who are there to take care of heavy lifting, relocating objects, or even small tasks that need to be done. But what happens when you are your business and many of those tasks are up to you? In many cases this can become extremely difficult, but it definitely does not have to be. With specially formatted telescoping hand carts you can specifically carry much more than what you could ever do without one. Telescoping handles make everything so much easier that you will decrease time spent on transporting items and spend a lot more time actually doing your job.

Many people have tried carrying boxes or small rolling bags or even simply stuffing a small vehicle or trunk with all of the items that they need. How much easier would it be if you had one moderately large container to use to store everything that you need? Plus, the large container rolls which makes your physical strain so much easier to handle because it won’t even be there. These containers will hold anything from stuffed animals to building tools and supplies because they are built strong enough to withstand just about any kind of supplies you might use.

On top of all of the storage capacity, these seemingly large containers are ridiculously light and they simply tilt and roll on their wheels to do all of the work for you. Basically, a small one hundred pound woman could lift and roll these containers with the slightest amount of work applied to the container itself. The best part is that you can just simply pick it up and start walking and it will roll right behind you. Now, you do not have to worry about storing things in piles in your vehicle. You can just simply store it all neatly in your maneuverable container and put that in your vehicle and you are set to go.

This is literally the perfect gift or business supplement for any sort of salesman. These containers can organize everything that one would need to efficiently sell any kind of product. These carts will not only store everything that you need but they will also save you lots of time and stress. By having everything you need already prepared and ready to show off for a sale, the job will be much easier to do and you will, in turn, be less stressed out.

Becoming more efficient in any job can be difficult but now efficiency can reach a new level within any business with new organizational tactics that will ultimately help you succeed. The best part is to know that this new product can and will help you do so much more with your business as far as transportation and organization. Businesses that do not have the luxury of people who have been hired for that specific job will prosper from this exciting new improvement and will have plenty of new customers with almost no time spent at all.





3 Things to Consider While Traveling For Photography

19 11 2010

Traveling is pleasure for me. I take it as an opportunity to learn and observe, specially the nature. I always consider these 3 things during my Travels.

1. Respect the Culture you are traveling in.

Once you get to know the culture of the place you are traveling in, be it the Shrine of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai in Sindh or the Valley of Kalash in Northern Areas of Pakistan, you will be more comfortable with the sorroundings. You should learn about their culture. Learn few phrases of their language. Know about their dress and try not to wear the cloths which might happen to be offensive for them.

When it comes to culture, it means their values and traditions. Ask for the permission before taking photograph of people, especially the women and the senior citizens. If they do not allow, DO NOT take the picture. It’s easy to take the picture and run away but that will then be unprofessional and you will not be able to make a long term relationship. I usually dress up in Shalwar Kameez during my travels to the interior sides of Pakistan especially in North West Frontier Province. It feels good and comfortable.

2. Communication is the key.

Since you have learnt few phrases from the language, it shows that you are actually a part of their family. Talk to them. Do not take picture at once. Hang around. Visit Bazaars. Visit the market, have few conversations with the locals. Introduce yourself. And Shoot next day. They will now know who actually is wandering around. I stayed in Kalash Valley in May 2009, and learnt phrases from the Kalasha Language. I used to greet them every day with “Ishpata” which is a greeting in their language. They loved me taking photographs. I didn’t shoot at the very first day. I talked to them and visited their houses. And then shot whole next 2 days. It’s all about taking your subjects as a Family.

3. Be rough:

When it comes to traveling, forget all your luxuries. Pack up with your equipments, water bottle, clothing, pair of shoes and a nice book to read because that’s what I do during my travels. Remember, traveling is when you buy a one way ticket to a place you have never been to, rest is all unplanned. Go on, take the initiative. Take you camera out and shoot the people, the environment and everything.

So Taking photos while traveling is easy if you understand the culture, communicate with the people and motivate yourself in rough travels.