10 Best Places to Visit in Canada

Awe-inspiring scenery, vibrant cities and a welcoming atmosphere all make Canada a popular tourist destination.

As the largest country in North America Canada is a vast land encompassing majestic mountains, spectacular coastlines, virgin forests, spacious prairies and Arctic tundra.

While much of the nation is of British and French descent, Canada is home to a mosaic of multicultural communities.

Calgary
The largest city in Alberta, Calgary is situated between the Canadian Prairies and the foothills of the Canadian Rockies.

After oil was discovered nearby in the early 1900s, Calgary boomed into what is now one of Canada’s largest metropolitan areas, attracting thousands every year to its world-famous rodeo event, the Calgary Stampede.

This Old West celebration is held over ten days in July with rodeos, chuckwagon races, parades, competitions, crafts and food.

Ottawa
Located at the confluence of the Ottawa, Gatineau and Rideau rivers in southeastern Ontario, Ottawa is the capital of Canada.

As the nation’s capital, Ottawa is home to many financial, commercial and federal establishments including Parliament Hill, the government seat where the ceremonial Changing of the Guard takes place daily during the summer.

Running right through the heart of the city, the Rideau Canal is Ottawa’s star attraction. In winter the canal becomes the world’s largest ice skating ring.

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Whistler
Thanks to a couple of spectacular mountains called Whistler and Blackcomb, the Whistler resort is the largest and most famous alpine ski destination in North America.

Located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Whistler is a two-hour trip from Vancouver along Canada’s most scenic drive, the Sea-to-Sky Highway.

At the base of the two mountains are three quaint villages, Whistler Village, Creekside and Upper Village. The Peak 2 Peak gondola transports visitors from the villages to the mountains.

Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island, named after the British explorer George Vancouver, is the largest island off the West Coast of the North American continent.

Located across from Washington State, it is accessible by ferry through the San Juan Islands from Anacortes, from Port Angeles on the state’s Olympic Peninsula, or from Vancouver on mainland British Columbia.

It’s famous for the quaint city of Victoria, the gorgeous Butchart Gardens, the surf town of Tofino and the wilderness in the north, where one can catch a ferry to Prince Rupert, and another to Alaska from there.

Quebec City
Vancouver Island, named after the British explorer George Vancouver, is the largest island off the West Coast of the North American continent.

Located across from Washington State, it is accessible by ferry through the San Juan Islands from Anacortes, from Port Angeles on the state’s Olympic Peninsula, or from Vancouver on mainland British Columbia.

It’s famous for the quaint city of Victoria, the gorgeous Butchart Gardens, the surf town of Tofino and the wilderness in the north, where one can catch a ferry to Prince Rupert, and another to Alaska from there.

Toronto
The capital of Ontario, Toronto is the most populated city in Canada as well as one of the largest cities in North America.

With a large number of ethnic districts like Chinatown, Little India and Little Italy, Toronto is also one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities.

The city’s main tourist draws range from impressive landmarks such as the iconic CN Tower and the fairy tale castle of Casa Loma. Additionally, the Toronto Islands are a popular destination with beaches and outdoor activities.

Montreal
The second largest city in Canada after Toronto, Montreal is the cultural and financial capital of the Quebec province.

the largest French-speaking community outside of Paris, France, Montreal is a bustling metropolis comprised of a downtown district, a historic quarter, entertainment district and several distinctive neighborhoods.

Montreal’s main sights include downtown skyscrapers like the Olympic Tower, the historic buildings of Old Montreal and several family attractions like theme and water parks.

Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is a series of three awe-inspiring waterfalls situated on the border of Canada’s Ontario and the United States’ New York.

The Ontario side of the Falls is called Horseshoe Falls and offers the best views and most attractions.

The immediate area surrounding the Falls is a premier tourist spot teeming in observation towers, restaurants, souvenir shops, casinos and high-rise hotels.

One of the best places to view the Niagara Falls on the Ontario side is from Queen Victoria Park where the Falls are illuminated and fireworks are displayed nightly during the summer.

Banff National Park
Located in the province of Alberta, the Banff National Park is not only Canada’s first national park, but also one of the nation’s largest and most visited national parks.

The park’s breathtaking scenery and wildlife draw many tourists every year along the Trans-Canada Highway, which passes through the park.

Banff National Parks large concentration of wildlife includes mammals like black bears, grizzly bears, bison, moose, bighorn sheep, wolves and bald eagles.

Vancouver
Situated between the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean in British Columbia, Vancouver is favored for its majestic landscapes that present a natural playground where tourists can swim in the ocean, rollerblade through scenic parks and snow ski in the mountains all in one day.

The third largest metropolitan area in the country, Vancouver is one of the most poplar places to visit in Canada. Vancouver’s star attraction is Stanley Park which covers a huge area of woodlands, gardens and green spaces.

Some of the city’s other top sites include Granville Island’s remarkable food market and Chinatown’s vibrant array of shops.

Getting There:

Canada has many excellent airports the major hubs are Toronto Pearson International airport, Toronto City airport, Montreal-Trudeau International airport, Vancouver International airport and Calgary International airport.

Air Canada’s hub is located at Toronto Pearson International.

10 Best 5 Star Hotels Paris

The best luxury hotels in Paris, chosen by the daily telegraph.

Four Seasons Hotel George V
Palatial comfort, space, gastronomy and the most remarkable flower displays in town sum up the sumptuous George V, crowning it over Avenue George V in the Champs-Elysées golden triangle, with countless discreet staff lurking behind the scenes to lay on every need.

The Peninsula
A Hong Kong vision of Parisian luxury, lavishly redone with vast corridors, a reception dripping with glass leaves, panelled bar and meticulously restored rococo salon.

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View from the Peninsula Paris

A Chinese restaurant contrasts with a rooftop French restaurant and terrace.
The 200 rooms, combining comfort and technology, are very spacious.

Mandarin Oriental
Flanked by designer boutiques on rue Saint-Honoré is Paris’ Mandarin Oriental, a bastion of elegance.

Plush rooms are designed for lingering; the white-wash restaurant, Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx, designed for special occasions. It holds three Michelin stars.

Park Hyatt Paris
A hit with A-list celebrities, Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme is famed for its flamboyant Asian-inspired interiors and Michelin-starred restaurant Pur. Don’t miss the small but excellent spa.

La Réserve Paris Hotel
Expect guests that don’t blanch at suites that cost four figures a night at La Reserve: Parisians from the surrounding eighth arrondissement; politicians from the neighbouring Elysée Palace; fans of other properties belonging to the multi-millionaire owner Michel Reybier, and of the anti-aging Nescens spa treatments.

Shangri-La Hotel
Originally the private mansion of Roland Bonaparte, eccentric botanist and great-nephew of Napoleon, the 101 suites and bedrooms evoke a grand classical lifestyle, some with balconies from which you can almost touch the Eiffel Tower across the river.

Le Meurice
Stands out among the Paris palaces with its prime position on arcaded rue de Rivoli, just minutes from the Louvre.

Past guests, who included Salvador Dali, and superb staff get the right balance between obsequious and witty. Rooms are awash with pastel-toned satin and Louis XVI chairs.

Hotel Plaza Athenee
This ‘Palace’ hotel (a notch up from five-star) drips with luxury on one of Paris’ most fashionable streets, close to the Champs Elysees. Expect opulent interiors, a Dior spa and an Alain Ducasse Michelin-starred restaurant.

Le Royal Monceau Raffles
On the avenue between the Arc de Triomphe and Parc Monceau, grand Royal Monceau was reborn after a Philippe Starck makeover as a self-proclaimed luxury art hotel, complete with gallery, art concierge, concept store and cinema.

Downstairs works particularly well, with an illuminated cocktail bar and courtyard garden.

Prince de Galles
A smart, compact, and extremely stylish 1920s hotel on Avenue George V, in the heart of the 8e designer district.

The spirit of its original Art Deco design has been captured throughout, from the mosaic floor of Les Heures bar to the rooms which feature macassar veneer furniture and two-tone patterned carpets.

Getting There:

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Aéroport de Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle, also known as Roissy Airport (or just Roissy in French), is one of the world’s principal aviation centres, as well as France’s largest International airport.

The airport is located within portions of several communes, 25 km (16 mi) to the northeast of Paris.
The airport serves as the principal hub for Air France as well as a European hub for Delta Air Lines.

Best Miami Attractions Top 10

Miami lies on the southeast side of the Florida Peninsula, separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the Biscayne Bay lagoon and Miami Beach.

The city’s pleasant winter climate makes it a very popular holiday destination, particularly for those in the northern regions of the country.

The beaches of Greater Miami are a major highlight, as is the Art Deco architecture of Miami Beach.
Outside the city but nearby is Everglades National Park, known for its unique ecosystem and wildlife.

Miami Beach
Is actually a separate municipality from Miami.

It is located on an island, connected to the mainland by a series of bridges. The area is known for its popular beaches and the Art Deco District, with pastel buildings from the 1930s sporting classic neon signs.

An expensive tourist district, this area features numerous beachfront restaurants, shops, hotels, and plenty of sunbathing opportunities.

The most popular street in the area is Ocean Drive, a section of road located along the oceanfront and home to some beautiful Art Deco buildings. One block inland and paralleling Ocean Drive is Collins Avenue.

Collins Avenue is actually State Road A1A, and is the main oceanfront street in Miami Beach, joining numerous neighborhoods. Here visitors will find trendy and upper end restaurants, shopping, and hotels.

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The Art Deco District
In Miami Beach brings back memories of an earlier time in Florida with its wonderfully restored 1930s Art Deco buildings.

These pastel colored historic structures display neon signs and awnings that cover outdoor dining areas. Many of them front Ocean Drive, overlooking the beach and ocean.

South Beach
Located at the southern end of Miami Beach where the Art Deco buildings line the waterfront road, this is the most famous and popular section of Miami Beach.

In summer the beach is a popular draw for locals and tourists and in winter the area is simply a popular place to stroll around.

Ocean Drive
Runs along the oceanfront in Miami Beach, passing the historic Art Deco buildings and the famous strip of sand known as South Beach. It is a popular place both day and night for a slow cruise and some drive by sightseeing.

For those with a special interest in these lovely pastel colored, 1920s and 1930s Art Deco buildings, some of the most notable structures are the Beacon (732 Ocean Drive; by Henry O. Nelson, 1926), the Colony Hotel (736 Ocean Drive; by Henry Hohauser, 1936), Waldorf Towers (860 Ocean Drive; by Albert Anis, 1937), the Breakwater (940 Ocean Drive; by Anton Skislewicz, 1939), the Cardozo (1300 Ocean Drive; by Henry Hohauser, 1939), which is busy night and day, and the Cavalier (1320 Ocean Drive; by Roy F. France, 1936).

Bayside Marketplace
is a large outdoor style mall with more than 150 specialty and tourist shops, numerous cafes and restaurants, and daily live entertainment.

Visitors will find some well known chain stores as well as many unique, one of a kind places. The marketplace draws locals as well as tourists.

As may be evident in the name, the mall is located along Miami’s waterfront, looking out over docks and boats.

Many people come here simply to soak up the atmosphere. Tour boats leave from here, visiting locations around Biscayne Bay. As well, there is a water taxi service to Miami Beach and downtown hotels located in the area.

Bayfront Park

On the east side of Biscayne Boulevard, was redesigned in the 1980s. An attractive feature is the electronically controlled Pepper Fountain.

Other highlights include an amphitheatre used for musical performances of all kinds, a tower for laser illuminations, and three important monuments: the Torch of Friendship, symbolising Miami’s relationships with the countries of Central and South America; the World War II Memorial; and the Challenger Memorial, commemorating the crew of the Challenger spacecraft which exploded in 1986.

The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Is one of Miami’s greatest treasures. The architecture, the grounds, and the artwork it contains are all worth the trip to visit this beautiful place.

This estate was the former winter home of early 20th century industrialist, James Deering. Built in 1916, the mansion features 34 rooms arranged around a central courtyard. This 28-acre estate and Italian Renaissance-style villa is filled with European furniture and decorative arts from the 15th to 19th century.

It took more than 1,100 workers and craftsmen to complete the Vizcaya project, many of whom were brought over from Europe to ensure authenticity in design.

The gardens contain a number of Italian and French fountains, pools and sculptures. A breakwater at the base of the steps leading into Biscayne Bay is carved into the form of female figures. The name “Vizcaya” is a Basque word meaning “an elevated place.”

The estate has hosted a number of world leaders and important historical events including the meeting between Pope John Paul II and the former president Reagan in 1987 as well as Queen Elizabeth II during her 1991 tour of America.

Little Havana
The Cuban district of Miami, isn’t known for its wealth of tourist attractions but more for its distinctive cultural flavor.

There are restaurants, specialty food shops, and Latin music drifting through the air. Calle Ocho is the main thoroughfare running through the district and home to much of the activity, but the district spreads well beyond into the surrounding streets and avenues

For people watching, the area offers a great deal of entertainment. There are many open air areas where people gather to socialize.

Murals on the sides of walls show important Cuban figures and scenes of daily life. And of course, this is the place in Miami to come for Cuban cuisine.

The American Airlines Arena
Is the home of the NBA’s Miami Heat. It is also the main venue for large concerts and other special events, including top name singers and performers.

It can hold more than 19,000 people. The structure itself, opened in 1999 has been awarded the Leed Green Building Certification for being an energy efficient building.

It stands out prominently on the waterfront in a modern and developing area of downtown.

Zoo Miami
Houses more than 2,000 wild animals in a cageless environment that gives the animals’ similar settings to their natural habitats, and visitors get the feeling of embarking on an safari. Large, open-air exhibits allow visitors to enjoy endangered wildlife at a safe yet close range.

This is the only zoo in the continental United States located in a subtropical climate. Although this is not a huge zoo, it often appeals to families, with lots of interaction available with the animals.

There is a children’s zoo with all kinds of attractions, including camel rides.

In addition to the animals the zoo also contains many tropical plants and trees, and a large collection of orchids.

Getting There:

Miami International Airport, also known as MIA and historically Wilcox Field, is the primary airport serving the Miami area, United States.

The airport is in an unincorporated area in Miami-Dade County, Florida, eight miles (13 km) northwest of Downtown Miami, in metropolitan Miami, between the cities of Miami, Hialeah, Doral, Miami Springs, the village of Virginia Gardens, and the unincorporated Fontainebleau neighborhood.

It is South Florida’s main airport for long-haul international flights. Miami International is also one of only eight U.S. airports to accommodate the Airbus A380 jumbo jet.

The airport is American Airlines’ primary Latin American gateway, along with a domestic hub for its regional affiliate American Eagle, and Eastern Air Lines; cargo carriers UPS Airlines and FedEx Express; and charter airline Miami Air. It is a focus airport for Avianca, Frontier Airlines, LAN Airlines and its subsidiaries and TAM Brazilian Airlines, both for passengers and cargo operations.

Miami International Airport has passenger and cargo flights to cities throughout the Americas, Europe and Western Asia, as well as cargo flights to East Asia.

Miami International Airport is the largest gateway between the United States and Latin America, and is one of the largest airline hubs in the United States, owing to its proximity to tourist attractions, local economic growth, large local Latin American and European populations, and strategic location to handle connecting traffic between North America, Latin America, and Europe.

In the past, it has been a hub for Braniff International Airways, Eastern Air Lines, Air Florida, the original National Airlines, the original Pan Am, United Airli

How To Avoid Air Sickness

Motion sickness is caused by the conflicting signals your brain receives when you are traveling in any type of vehicle.

Your inner ear senses movement, but your eyes tell your body that you’re sitting still.

This feeling is often experienced during air travel and can be very disturbing when you don’t have the option to pull over and stretch out, as you might do on the road. Symptoms of motion sickness include nausea, dizziness, headaches and cold sweats.

If you know that you are prone to motion sickness or are concerned about getting sick during your flight, you can take precautions to avoid it, as well as follow simple steps to help lessen this problem if it does occur.

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ITEMS YOU WILL NEED

Step 1
Choose a seat near the front of the aircraft, or beside a wing.

You should experience less motion in these areas. A window seat can help as well, where you will be able to see the horizon. Focusing on the horizon when you begin feeling ill can help to calm your motion sickness.

When you book your flight or pick up your ticket, you usually get a choice of available seats.

If you are unable to choose your seat prior to boarding the plane, speak with a flight attendant about moving to an open seat that meets these criteria, if it can be arranged.

Step 2
Pay attention to what you eat and drink in the 24 hours leading up to your flight. Avoid meals that are fatty, greasy, salty or spicy, and don’t drink any alcohol.

Eat small, frequent meals or snacks, and drink plenty of water. Now is not the time to try new or exotic foods, and you should avoid consuming a large meal right before you get on the plane.

Step 3
Focus the small fan above your seat so it blows directly onto your face. This will increase the air flow around you, and help keep you cool in the often stuffy interior of the plane.

Step 4
Do not read during the flight. While you may expect this activity to take your mind off the motion sickness, it can actually make you feel worse by increasing the dissonance felt from looking at a stationary page while in reality, your body is in motion.

Step 5
Apply pressure to the inside of your wrist, about two fingertip widths above the bottom of your hand. You can also purchase motion sickness bands to wear during the flight that have a small knob on the inside of the band.
The knob will apply constant pressure to this point. Many people claim that this type of acupressure greatly reduces their nausea.

Step 6
Take a ginger tablet. According to Dr. Steven D. Ehrlich, ginger may help some individuals with motion sickness, though this remedy doesn’t work everyone.

A 250 mg capsule as many as three times a day can be taken before and during your flight to reduce motion sickness. Ginger-flavored candies, and drinks such as ginger ale, often have a similar effect.

San Francisco Top 20 Attractions

It may measure less than 50 square miles/130 square Kilometers, but San Francisco justly ranks as one of the greatest cities in the world.

Famous for grand-dame Victorians, classic cable cars, dynamic diversity, a beautiful waterfront, and a soaring crimson bridge, the “City by the Bay” truly has it all.

Trend-defining cuisine ranging from Michelin-starred dining to outrageous food trucks; world-renowned symphony, ballet, theater, and opera; plus almost boundless outdoor adventures, San Francisco justifiably stands out as one of the ultimate must-sees on any traveler’s wish list.

San Francisco, is a city on the tip of a peninsula surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. It’s known for its hilly landscape, year-round fog, iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and colourful Victorian houses.

The Financial District’s Transamerica Pyramid is its most distinctive skyscraper. In the bay sits Alcatraz Island, site of the notorious former prison.

1.PIER 39:
From amazing views and a sea of sea lions to chowder bread bowls and California wines, your visit to San Francisco starts at PIER 39. PIER 39—the most visited destination in San Francisco—offers two levels of dining, entertainment, shopping and attractions, all surrounded by unbeatable views of the city and the bay.

Located along the historic San Francisco Waterfront, PIER 39’s location provides the picture perfect backdrop for postcard views of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, Alcatraz, Angel Island and the famous City skyline. Be treated to an unforgettable San Francisco experience and discover why a visit to San Francisco starts at The PIER.

PIER 39 is located in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, at Beach Street and The Embarcadero. Parking is conveniently available in the PIER 39 Garage located directly across from the Entrance Plaza.

2. The Golden Gate Bridge:
Once called “the bridge that couldn’t be built,” today it is one the seven wonders of the modern world. This magnificent bridge, perhaps San Francisco’s most famous landmark, opened in 1937 after a four-year struggle against relentless winds, fog, rocks and treacherous tides. Spanning 1.7 miles from San Francisco to the Marin headlands, the bridge’s sidewalks are open during the day to pedestrians including wheelchair users and bicyclists.

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3. Golden Gate Park:
One of the largest urban parks in the world, Golden Gate Park stretches for three miles on the western edge of San Francisco. There’s not a single “Keep Off the Grass” sign and its 1,017 acres are a tonic for mind and body.

Two major museums, splendid gardens and facilities for more than 20 sports confirm that this is a playground in every sense of the word. Among the ever-evolving attractions located in the park are the California Academy of Sciences, the de Young Museum, the San Francisco Botanical Gardens, the Conservatory of Flowers and the Koret Children’s Quarter.

4. Lombard Street:
Often called the “crookedest” street in the world, this scenic road on Russian Hill features tight turns, fragrant gardens and beautiful views of the bay, Alcatraz, and Coit Tower.

5. Alcatraz Island:
Alcatraz was the site of the first lighthouse in the Western United States but became a federal penitentiary from 1934-1963, housing famous convicts such as Al Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly.

Now, this once infamous prison island is part of the Bay Area’s 80,000-acre Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Located one-and-a-half miles from Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz is one of the city’s most popular attractions. A visit to the island includes a tour of the cell house where visitors can see where the prisoners lived.

6. California Academy of Sciences:
Home to an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, and world-class research and education programs, the California Academy of Sciences is one of San Francisco’s must-see destinations. From the splashing penguins in African Hall to the wildflowers on the roof, the building is bursting with life.

A four-story living rainforest and awe-inspiring coral reef ecosystem will delight visitors of all ages, while immersive planetarium shows will transport audiences through space and time for a new perspective on our planet.

7. The de Young Museum:
Located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the de Young showcases American art from the 17th through 21st centuries, modern and contemporary art, photography, international textiles and costumes, and art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.

The ninth-floor Observation Level of the de Young’s Hamon Tower offers breathtaking 360-degree views of San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean.

8. SFMOMA:
SFMOMA is currently on the go, presenting dynamic new exhibitions and events around the Bay Area while its building is closed for expansion through early 2016.

The SFMOMA MuseumStore is now open in a temporary location at 51 Yerba Buena Lane, offering the West Coast’s finest selection of modern and contemporary art books, innovative design objects and furnishings, contemporary jewelry and accessories, children’s books and toys, posters and stationery, and an exclusive line of SFMOMA signature products.

9. The Presidio:
Formerly a military post, the Presidio is now a national park site and recreational paradise featuring spectacular vistas, beautiful trails, and historic and architectural treasures. Come for a hike, a walking tour, a picnic, to view an exhibit at the Walt Disney Family Museum, or take a stroll back in time.

10. Yerba Buena Gardens:
An award-winning public facility at the heart of San Francisco’s downtown cultural district, Yerba Buena Gardens features a children’s garden, public art, museums, a historic carousel, ice-skating and bowling centers.

11. The Cable Car Museum:
Located in the Washington-Mason powerhouse and carbarn on Nob Hill, the Cable Car Museum overlooks the huge engines and winding wheels that pull the cables for San Francisco’s famous trams. It also features three antique cable cars from the 1870s, photographs, mechanical displays and a fun gift shop.

12. Crissy Field:
This northern waterfront park in the Presidio offers spectacular views of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as unparalleled recreational opportunities including BBQs, picnics, and beach sports.
Enjoy long walks along its scenic marshes and catch glimpses of rare birds and native plants. Once housing the first air coast defense station on the west coast, Crissy Field is also home to numerous historical buildings.

13. Asian Art Museum:
This museum is home to one of the most complete collections of Asian art in the world, with a collection spanning cultures from Turkey to India and China to the Philippines through 6,000 years. Through providing rich art experiences, the museum strives to spark connections across cultures and through time, while igniting curiosity, conversation, and creativity.

14. The Exploratorium:
Newly renovated and now open on Pier 15 on the Embarcadero at the heart of the waterfront, the Exploratorium is a home-grown, hands-on museum igniting curiosity and inspiring creativity in people of all ages.

15. San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park:
AT&T Park is the home of the 2010, 2012 and 2014 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants. Located on the city’s scenic waterfront, this classic urban ballpark is a short walk from downtown San Francisco and Moscone Center and is accessible by every means of public transit.

16. Legion of Honour:
Built to commemorate Californian soldiers who died in World War I, the Legion of Honour displays a collection of more than 4,000 years of ancient and European art and houses the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts in a neoclassic building overlooking Lincoln Park and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Multilingual tours available. Available with San Francisco CityPASS.

17. Angel Island State Park:
Often referred to as the “Ellis Island of the West, the Immigration Station originally opened in 1910 and closed in 1940 as the result of a fire. During that time more than one million individuals were processed through the center. Ferry service to the island, the largest in San Francisco Bay, is available from Fisherman’s Wharf.

18. Contemporary Jewish Museum:
Located in downtown San Francisco, the Contemporary Jewish Museum presents dynamic exhibitions and educational programs, exploring contemporary perspectives on Jewish culture, history and ideas.

19. San Francisco Symphony at Davies Symphony Hall:
Founded as an orchestra for the people just five years after the 1906 earthquake, the San Francisco Symphony has offered innovative programs that provide a mix of classical and new music for more than 100 years. With performances over 200 days per year, from Mahler to pops, it’s easy to find a concert you’ll love that fits into your trip.

20. San Francisco Zoo and Gardens:
The San Francisco Zoo and Gardens is an historic treasure with 1,000 endangered and rescued animals representing 250 species on view in 100 acres of lovely, peaceful gardens nestled against the Pacific Ocean.

Their mission is to connect visitors with wildlife, inspire caring for nature and advance conservation action. The Zoo offers a rich history for its guests, including educational programs, keeper talks, fun rides and exciting events for children of all ages

Getting There:

San Francisco International Airport is an International airport 13 miles (21 km) south of downtown San Francisco, California.

It has flights to points throughout North America and is a major gateway to Europe and Asia.

SFO is the largest airport in the San Francisco Bay Area including all of Northern California and the second busiest in California, after Los Angeles International airport. In 2014, it was the seventh busiest in the U.S.

It is the fifth largest hub for United Airlines and functions as United Airline’s primary transpacific gateway.
It also serves as Virgin America’s principal base of operations.

It is the sole maintenance hub of United Airlines, and houses the Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum and Library.

Denver Colorado Visitor Information

Denver is the capital of Colorado and the largest city in the Rocky Mountains region of the United States.

Known as “The Mile-High City”, Denver sits at an altitude of 5,280 feet (1,600 m) above sea level and lies where the Great Plains give way to the Rocky Mountains.

Denver is a large city and one of the fastest growing in the U.S.

The Denver skyline
Denver is a bustling city of more than 600,000 people supporting a fast-growing metropolitan area of nearly 3 million people.

The city embraces its cowboy and mining past but also looks toward the future with a vibrant arts and performing arts scene, dozens of great outdoor festivals, and distinct neighborhoods each offering a unique experience.

You’ll find everything a cosmopolitan city has to offer including a spectacular view of and easy access to the beautiful Rocky Mountains, which are only 12 miles (19 km) west of town.

Denver does have its growing pains. Urban sprawl is becoming a problem, with the metropolitan area sometimes growing faster than the infrastructure can really handle, especially with public transportation.

Denver is generally a driving city, and some problems with pollution and traffic are a part of everyday life. Large mass transportation and freeway expansion projects have recently been completed, including the popular light rail system.

denver-co-cityscape

Denver residents enjoy a temperate climate and about 300 days of sunshine per year, with four pronounced seasons.

Although known for its heavy snowfalls, which can occur between October and April, Denver experiences average winter temperatures warmer than those of cities along Mid-Atlantic and New England.

The city typically receives about 60 inches (153 cm) of snow per year, averaging about one storm per season totaling 12 inches (30 cm) or more.

While daytime temperature typically rise to the 40s (4-9 °C), evenings cool considerably, often dropping into the teens. “Chinook” winds, which warm as they descend from the mountains can occasionally bring unseasonably warm temperatures for days at a time.

If you’re planning to visit Denver during the winter, be prepared with full winter gear just in case, but also pack a light sweater and t-shirt.

Evening thunderstorms are common in late spring and fall.
Spring in Denver is pleasant, though generally rather brief.

Trees begin budding by late March and are in full leaf by mid April to mid May. March, on average, is Denver’s snowiest month.

By June, Denver enters its summer season. Temperatures typically rise in earnest at this time, with most heat waves beginning in mid-June and continuing through July, usually Denver’s hottest month with temperatures in the high 80’s to mid-90’s (31-35 °C). By late July, the southwest monsoon kicks in.

In August, short spells of thunderstorms occur about three to four days per week. By late August, temperatures begin to drop with a noticeable difference between day time and night time temperatures.

As the days get shorter through September and October, daytime temperatures drop to the high 50’s to mid-60’s (14-18 °C). Slather on that sunscreen all summer long; the rays are strong and the air is dry, with temperatures often reaching the upper 90s (~35 °C)in July and August.

Autumn is a peaceful time to visit, with mild temperatures, little severe weather and lots of that famous clear blue sky.

You’ll get to see the trees display their fall colours, which usually peak around mid-September in the mountains and October in the city itself.

October usually brings the first snowfall of the season to Denver, although it’s very light. By November, it’s clear that winter is on its way, with plenty of clouds, some snow and much cooler temperatures.

Amusement Parks

Butterfly Pavilion
Learn about invertebrates, science and conservation through fun, interactive exhibits ideal for families with kids.

All ages enjoy visiting their tropical conservatory, which is filled with 1,200 free-flying butterflies.

Elitch Gardens
A huge amusement park with rides and family entertainment.

Waterworld
Open last weekend in May-first M of Sep (Labor Day).

Lakeside
A throwback from Denver’s past, Lakeside is an amusement park like they used to make; without all the corporate branding and commercialism.

While it may have a somewhat seedy exterior, Lakeside is still a staple of local kids’ upbringings, and remains a fixture of Denver culture as well as a much cheaper alternative to Elitch Gardens.

Coaster buffs will squeal with glee over the Cyclone, the park’s original 1940 Edward Vettel-designed wood coaster.

Festivals

January
National Western Stock Show & Rodeo, Martin Luther King Parade, Indian Market, Mile High Snowfest.

February
Colorado Garden and Home Show, Denver Restaurant Week, Buffalo Bill’s Birthday Party.

March
St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Denver March Powwow, Starz Global Lens Film Festival.

April
Doors Open Denver, Colorado Rockies Home Opener, KBCO Kinetics.

May
Cinco de Mayo, Tesoro Indian Market and Powwow, Downtown Denver Festival of the Arts, Denver Day of Rock, Colorado Colfax Marathon also includes Denver’s Navy Week.

June
Colorado Renaissance Festival, Cherry Blossom Festival, Comcast La Piazza dell’Arte, Do At The Zoo, PrideFest, The People’s Fair, Highland Street Fair.

July
Cherry Creek Arts Festival, The INTERNATIONAL at Castle Pines, Colorado Irish Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Evergreen Jazz Festival.

September
A Taste of Colorado, Brew At The Zoo, Annual Oktoberfest, Festival Italiano, Denver Beer Fest.

October
Fright Fest, Great American Beer Festival, Denver Mariachi Festival, Denver Marathon.

November
Denver Arts Week, Starz International Film Festival, Denver International Wine Festival, Downtown Denver, Grand Illumination.

December
Mile High Holidays, Blossoms of Light, Zoo Lights, 9News Parade of Lights, New Year’s Eve Downtown Fireworks.

The Denver International Airport main terminal
Denver International Airport commonly referred to as DIA, it’s about 18 miles (29 km) northeast of downtown.

Frontier Airlines, United Airlines, and Southwest Airlines all maintain hubs in Concourses A, B, and C respectively. Most other major domestic carriers also have service here.

In addition, Aeroméxico, Air Canada, British Airways, Icelandair, Lufthansa, and Volaris offer service to international destinations.

Frontier Airlines discount carrier with its hub at DIA’s Concourse A and service to and from over 60 cities in the United States, Mexico, and Central America.

United Airlines the largest carrier at the airport, with service across the nation and the world from Concourse B.
Southwest Airlines the quintessential discount airline maintains its fastest-growing hub in Concourse C.

The airport is set amidst rolling plains with the towering Rocky Mountains and Denver to the west. DIA is somewhat far from any conceivable local destination.

The public transportation service SkyRide offers five bus routes from the airport with several stops each, delivering you to many “Park and Ride” locations in the metro area for $9-$12 one way. Purchase tickets at the RTD desk in the main terminal.

The airport can be crowded due to a post-9/11 security redesign that created a single central screening station, followed by a train that passengers must take to Concourses B and C.

It can take up to an hour to get from the ticket line to the gate, so travelers should get to the airport at least 1.5 hours before their scheduled departure time.

There are a number of airport shuttles you can take from DIA to the city and destinations in the mountains.

General Carry-On Allowance

If you are overseas, the last thing you want to have to worry about is checking your carry-on bag at the last minute because it exceeds the size or weight restrictions of your airline.

Every airline will have different allowances and they can often change without notice.

Three of the major international airlines American Airlines, Delta, and United all impose similar size restrictions for carry-on bags, with American Airlines being the most generous with a total bag size of 115cm (56cm long x 36cm wide x 23cm tall)

Delta allows bags up to a total size of 114cmvii and United allows bags up to 113cm.

These variations may seem small, but they could mean the difference between boarding without any hiccups and having to deal with the frustration of checking your carry-on.

Low cost US-based airlines, Frontier and Spirit, have started charging passengers for bringing their carry-on bags in the cabin.

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Frontier charge an additional $25 per carry-on when you initially purchase your ticket and $30 if you wait to pay for your bag at the time of check-in.

Spirit charges between $26 and $35 at the time of ticket purchase and between $36 and $45 during check-in .

While none of the Australian-based airlines have followed in the footsteps of their American counterparts, this highlights the need to thoroughly understand the luggage rules wherever you happen to be flying.

Hand luggage or cabin baggage (also commonly referred to as carry-on in North America) is the type of luggage that passengers are allowed to carry along in the passenger compartment of a vehicle instead of moving to the cargo compartment.

Passengers are allowed to carry a limited number of smaller bags with them in the vehicle and contain valuables and items needed during the journey.

There is normally storage space provided for hand luggage, either under seating, or in overhead lockers.

Hand baggage allowance is a topic frequently discussed in context of commercial air travel.

On one hand, passengers may want to have more of their possessions at hand during flight, skip often time-consuming baggage claim process, and avoid the risk of having their checked baggage lost or damaged.

On the other hand, safety concerns, takeoff weight limitations and financial incentives cause airlines to impose limits on how much and what can a passenger take into the cabin of aircraft.

Luggage Gauge
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) sets guidelines for cabin baggage/hand luggage/carry-on luggage size.

They are not mandatory, however, and individual airlines can and do vary their requirements.
The IATA guideline at one time stated:

Cabin baggage should have a maximum length of 56 cm (22 inches), width of 45 cm (18 inches) and depth of 25 cm (10 inches) including all handles, side pockets, wheels etc.

Carry-on weight for bags may vary between classes and airlines.

As a general guide, Economy Class passengers are allowed to carry one bag at 5kg to 7kg per person while Business and First Class passengers are often privy to a more generous baggage allowance or extra pieces.

And before you go be sure to get yourself a Smart Luggage Tag!

Do You Need Travel Insurance?

Every time you buy a plane ticket, the airline or travel agency asks if you want to add on travel insurance. Is this really worth it? What are you actually buying?

Travel insurance sounds like one of those types of insurance you don’t need, just like extended warranties are generally not worth it.

In actuality, though, in some cases, shelling out for travel insurance is a smart move.
Let’s take a look at your options and when travel insurance makes sense or doesn’t.

Do I Really Need to Buy Travel Insurance?
You can get travel insurance from a number of sources: The airline or cruise carrier directly, an independent travel insurance agency, and, sometimes, your credit card.

In general, travel insurance costs around 5 percent of your total trip.
For a $4,300 trip, for example, you will pay $158 for standard travel insurance with Allianz.

The insurance coverage varies by who you get it from as well as the individual policy you purchase.

Overall, though, travel insurance is meant to protect you against unforeseen travel misfortunes, like your flight getting cancelled due to severe weather or your baggage getting lost or stolen.

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Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance:
This reimburses you non-refundable travel costs if your trip is cancelled or seriously delayed due to a natural disaster, illness, or the carrier goes out of business.

The independent and carrier-provided insurance policies offer protection up to the amount you purchased, since this is the main reason people buy travel insurance in the first place.

Coverage is usually around $1,500 per person for cancellation and $300-500 a day for trip interruption.

Only 15 percent of credit cards offer trip cancellation coverage, according to Creditcards.com, but if you own one of these cards, you might be able to skip buying travel insurance altogether, and the annual fee charged on these types of cards may be well worth it for frequent travelers.

Chase Sapphire, for example, reimburses up to $5,000 $10,000 for trip cancellation, as long as the reason you or the carrier cancel the trip is one of the covered causes (e.g., severe weather, military orders, the carrier goes out of business, or you get too sick to fly—make sure you get a doctor’s note to support your claim).

It is also one of the few cards to reimburse you (up to $500) for reasonable expenses if your trip is delayed due to things like plane failure, labor strikes, or bad weather.

Check out this short list of credit cards with travel insurance benefits or read the fine print of your card’s policy to see if you’re covered.

Baggage and personal items coverage:
If someone steals something from your bag or your luggage is lost or delayed, travel insurance will pay you for your trouble, usually up to about $500 per lost baggage and $100-$300 per baggage delay. Missing and damaged bags happen a lot more often than you might think!

So Is It Worth It?
As with other insurance policies, buying travel insurance (or not buying it) is a gamble.

You don’t want to ever regret not buying the insurance, but you also don’t want to pay for something you don’t need and, looking at the list above, you might already be covered for some of these items elsewhere (e.g., you already have life insurance that covers death or dismemberment or health insurance that covers emergencies abroad).

Two rules of thumb:
Travel insurance is worth it when you’re traveling abroad and your health insurance doesn’t cover emergencies outside of your country or when a large portion of your trip is non-refundable (e.g., you’re buying a pricey vacation package and losing out on the cost of your trip would seriously set you back).

For everything else in between, consider how much a financial disaster it would be if something bad happened on your trip or you had to miss it.

Here’s a three-step process to decide, in case you’re still not sure:

Step One:
Decide how much is at stake if something goes amiss on your trip. You probably don’t need travel insurance if you got one of those cheap $99 last-minute flights.

Travel insurance would cover lost bags and delays, but the price wouldn’t be worth it to most people.

If you’re on an expensive trip, though, or there are more chances something bad will happen (you’re traveling during cold season, for example, or to the Caribbean during hurricane season), you’ll probably want to insure it.

Step Two:
Figure out if your credit card offers travel insurance.

If it does, read the fine print to see if it would cover your insurance needs. Most cards only offer assistance if you’re in an emergency while traveling or other protections that are pretty useless, while you might want reimbursement in case you need to cancel your $2,500 plane tickets before your flight.

Step Three:
Find out how much travel insurance costs for your trip. Use comparison site InsureMyTrip to compare independent agency policies available to you.

While the insurance offered by airlines and cruise lines are often comparable (and often provided by the same third-party insurers), it’s hard to read the fine print of what your coverage will be when you’ve got tickets in your checkout cart.

Usually the independent insurers are cheaper, too (although not always, as this comparison on The Points Guy reveals).

Finally, remember that you have to get insurance before your trip starts; it won’t protect you if you get the insurance after an accident happens or your trip is cancelled (that’s like trying to get home insurance after your house has already burned down).

World’s 10 Best Airports

The world’s Top 10 Airports of 2015, which were nominated by airline customers from across the world during the 9-month survey period.

The World Airport Awards are the most prestigious accolades for the airport industry, and a global benchmark of airport excellence widely known as the Passengers Choice Awards.

1. SINGAPORE CHANGI AIRPORT
Singapore Changi Airport connects customers to over 200 destinations worldwide, with 5000 arrivals and departures a week by 80 international airlines.

Mr Lee Seow Hiang, CEO of Changi Airport Group
“It is a great honour to be named World’s Best Airport by Skytrax for the third year running. This recognition is particularly pleasing for us as it comes at a time of transformation at Changi Airport.

2. INCHEON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Incheon International Airport is the largest airport in South Korea and one of the busiest airports in the world. It is a former winner of the Airport of the Year title at the World Airport Awards.

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Pictured Incheon International Airport

3. MUNICH AIRPORT
Munich Airport is the second busiest airport in Germany and the secondary hub for Lufthansa German Airlines. Munich Airport has connections to destinations all over the world, but much more besides. With over 150 retail stores and some 50 places where you can eat and drink, it’s like a city center, offering travelers and visitors plenty to see and do.

4. HONG KONG INT’L AIRPORT
Hong Kong International Airport serves over 100 airlines operating flights to about 180 locations worldwide, including 44 destinations on the Chinese Mainland. It is a former, multiple winner of the Airport of the Year title at the World Airport Awards.

5. TOKYO INT’L AIRPORT HANEDA
Boasting both domestic and international terminals, Tokyo International Airport Haneda plays a very important role in furthering Japan’s development as a tourism-oriented nation ANA

6. ZURICH AIRPORT
Zürich Airport is the largest international airport of Switzerland and is the principal hub for Swiss International Air Lines.

7. CENTRAL JAPAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
In 2014, 9.8 million passengers travelled through Central Japan International Airport in Nagoya, better known as Centrair.
The airport has a large domestic traffic percentage, with a number of regional routes operated to Asiana cities such as Bangkok and Singapore.

Longer haul routes include Helsinki, Frankfurt, Honolulu and Detroit.

8. LONDON HEATHROW AIRPORT
London Heathrow Airport is the busiest airport in the UK and busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic, and having been world’s busiest airport for international passengers, it has recently lost this title to Dubai Airport.

9. AMSTERDAM SCHIPHOL AIRPORT
In 2014, 55 million passengers travelled via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, which describes itself as an AirportCity, much more than just a place where you wait until your flight takes off. Turkish Airlines

10. BEIJING CAPITAL INT’L AIRPORT
Beijing Capital International Airport is the main international airport serving Beijing and from 2014, the second-busiest airport in the world.

How To Beat Turbulance Fear

Air travel is the second-safest mode of mass transportation in the world.

This is second only to the escalator and elevator. Y

our chances of being involved in an aircraft accident are approximately 1 in 11 million.

Your chances of being killed in an automobile accident are 1 in 5000. The most dangerous part of your flight is the drive to the airport.

All airplanes are designed and built to withstand far more stress than occurs in normal flight, including ordinary and extraordinary turbulence. While it is true that a severe storm could damage an aircraft, this is why flights will divert around or cancel due to
thunderstorms.

Ninety-nine percent of turbulence injuries are from unfastened seatbelts, or falling luggage.

You have more of a chance of dying from the food onboard than being involved in an accident.

Here are my top ten tips for the fearful flier.

1. Don’t conceal it
Tell the gate agent when you check in, the flight attendant when you board, and the passengers around you when you sit down.

It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, and what you need is support, not added frustrations by suffering in silence. I know I make a special effort to check in on my fearful fliers several times during a flight.

2. Treat the turbulence like bumps in the road
Don’t tense up or fight it, but instead, let your body sway with the aircraft movements.

3. At check-in, ask for a seat at the very front of the cabin as possible
Turbulence is usually much greater in the back of the aircraft.

If you have an extreme dread of flying, don’t try to overcome your fears on a long flight. Take the shortest flight you can and preferably in the biggest plane possible.

4. Keep distracted
Watch the movie even if it’s bad or you have seen it already.

Read a book or do a crossword puzzle. Do anything that keeps your mind occupied and not dwelling on morbid possibilities.

Fear-of-Flying

5. There are various classes for those who are afraid to fly
In some cases the final test is an actual airplane flight.
The courses used to be quite expensive, but now with fares being at an all-time low, I am sure the classes are less expensive as well.
Advertise

6. Avoid coffee or other caffeine products
But drink other liquids, as dehydration only contributes to the fear process. Some people recommend a glass of wine to calm the nerves, but don’t overdo it.

7. Listen to peaceful and calming music
Your mind tends to wander and hear sounds that either don’t exist or are perfectly normal flight noises.

8. The rubber band technique
Wear a rubber band around your wrist and if you feel yourself becoming agitated, snap the rubber band against your skin.

Apparently, the pain is a reality bite, and takes the mind off the turbulence.

9. Avoid gory details
When an air disaster does occur, avoid the graphic details and overplay in the news media. It is important to be informed, but too much is too much.

10. Breathe deeply as often as you can
Remember that the sick bag in front of you can be used as an anti-hyperventilating device as well.

5 Luxury Hotels Dubai

DUBAI KNOWN FOR LUXURY!

When only the best will do. We have selected 5 Outstanding luxury hotels in Dubai you really want to stay in.

Al Qasr
The Palace of Dubai. Literally.
Compared with the city’s glitzy and unashamedly gaudy Burj Al Arab and Atlantis The Palm Hotel, Al Qasr, which translates as “The Palace,” offers a distinctive Arabic flavor (Persian rugs and ornate oil lamps) without resembling Ali Baba’s grotto.

Step inside the lobby and the scent of freshly cut rose petals — which are scattered into a center pool — hits you square on, while rooms look out onto Arabesque waterways and the Persian Gulf. +971 4 366 8888

One & Only Royal Mirage
Despite the name, there are in fact two One & Only resorts in Dubai, both within a couple of miles of each other.

Celebrity favorite Royal Mirage is the more worthwhile of the two.

Guests have included Michael Jackson and David Beckham, who’ve slept within the Arabian architecture, immaculately cultivated palm tree gardens and probably lounged on the crisp white beachside cabanas.

It’s also a great place for water sports expert South African instructors offer wakeboarding and wakesurfing lessons in the calm waters right off the beach.

Kempinski
One of your few chances in the Middle East to wake up with a penguin.

Not only is this five-star hotel a shopper’s dream (it’s attached to Mall of the Emirates), it looks out onto the most bizarre scene in the desert — Ski Dubai, one of the largest manmade ski slopes on the planet.

The hotel has crafted its suites accordingly, with chalet-style decor, Molton Brown hues and fake fireplaces.

From the bedrooms and dining room, visitors can see the piste, tobogganing track, chair lifts and even a gaggle of penguins flown in to live in the 22,500-square-meter fridge.

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Burj Al Arab
The Jumeirah Burj Al Arab is a knockout from first glance with an unusual design that is built to look like a giant billowing sail reaching over 1,000 feet into the air.

Come sundown, the hotel’s exterior is aglow with a light show that moves across the sail-shaped structures.

The hotel’s interior is equally impressive with luxurious 2-floor suites. The Royal Suite is the most opulent and features a towering 4-poster canopy bed on a rotating pedestal and a staircase built from marble and gold.

Each floor of the hotel has its own reception desk and team of butlers ready to assist you with requests, whether that’s a chauffeured Rolls Royce to tour the town or reservations for a seafood feast of Caspian caviar, Tasmanian salmon with foie gras and grilled Atlantic lobster at the on-site restaurant Mahara.

Shangri-La Hotel

In a city that strives to be over-the-top, the Shangri-La offers first-class luxury in a more restrained and very refined setting.

There are 302 guest rooms with deep soaking tubs, rain showers and warm décor with sleek lines and local artwork. The signature restaurant, Shang Palace, serves high-end Cantonese specialties while Marrakech serves contemporary Moroccan cuisine in a bright and airy courtyard.

Loungers circle the curved swimming pool where guests can relax after a game of squash or a workout in the fully equipped fitness center. And the hotel’s location on the storied Sheikh Zayed Road puts it right in the center of Dubai’s action with shopping, entertainment and wild skyscrapers just a few blocks away.

 

 

Arizona – Top 5 Attractions

Travellers from around the world come to see the Grand Canyon, but Arizona has so much more to offer visitors. Scott Craven of The Arizona Republic shares inside tips on five must-see places in the state.

Grand Canyon National Park
When it came to creating the perfect license-plate slogan, Arizona officials likely needed all of 20 seconds to agree on “Grand Canyon State” (and making a mockery of Idaho’s slogan, “Famous Potatoes”).

Why: Hmm, let’s see. Maybe because it’s one of the scenic wonders of the world? Or because some people spend thousands of dollars to get there, while you live a tank of gas away?

Money best spent: Head to the El Tovar Lounge. Order drinks and appetizers, and enjoy an amazing sunset while chuckling at the sunburned, sweat-stained visitors returning to the rim after seriously overestimating their physical abilities.

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Tombstone
Imagine the 1880s frozen in time, where tough-looking men wearing dusters fit right in.

The frontier facades are largely original, the souvenir T-shirts, mugs and refrigerator magnets are not. Still, there is an Old West charm found nowhere else.

Why: It is the perfect blend of historical and tacky. Visit the OK Corral and Historama to hear Vincent Price’s dramatic retelling of the shootout, then have a beer (or root beer) at a frontier bar.

Money best spent: $10 to see the Bird Cage Theater Museum, a former brothel that has been preserved, not restored (as guides remind visitors). The tattered nature of the museum is as endearing as it is honest. It’s OK when something shows its age.

Details: tombstoneweb.com.

Prescott
If the United States held an America’s Best Hometown contest, Arizona’s entry would likely be Prescott.

It has all the requisites: quaint downtown (Courthouse Square), area committed to adult beverages (Whiskey Row) and exuberant small-town celebrations (Christmas and Fourth of July are particularly popular).

Why: The town has charm as well as a more amenable summer climate, when temperatures can be 15-20 degrees cooler than the Valley’s.

Money best spent: For $5, you can own a Bill’s Grill T-shirt featuring an asymmetrical being of indeterminate gender wearing a hat and carrying a burger. The food is pretty darn good, too.

Details: visit-prescott.com.

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
You’ve seen it on TV and in theaters. You can’t look at the towering rock formations without thinking of John Wayne, cattle drives or insensitive portrayals of Native Americans.

But you know what’s even better than seeing Monument Valley on the big screen? No, not IMAX.

Why: Two words: endless vista. The minute you see the Mitten formations, you understand why everything from Westerns to Roadrunner cartoons were shot (or drawn from) here.

Money best spent: The $159 (or more) for a room at the View, one of the most aptly named hotels ever (and the only hotel inside the park). Steep for such a remote location? You’ll understand when you watch sunset, get a restful sleep and be up in plenty of time to watch the sunrise.

Details: navajonationparks.org/htm/monumentvalley.htm.

Walpi Village
The ancient village on the Hopi Reservation first appears as if a natural part of the stony ridge 300 feet above the valley floor.

Walpi is one of North America’s oldest continuously inhabited villages. Or so many people believe. More on that later.

Why: Walpi offers a rare insight into Hopi life as well as unmatched vistas. It is an authentic, only-in-Arizona experience, rich in culture and history.

Money best spent: Hopi artists are happy to engage visitors, displaying pots, jewelry and more on small tables.

The handcrafted items are by no means cheap, given the talent and time needed to create them. But you will save money by dealing directly with the artists, rather than buying in stores or galleries elsewhere. About 20 years ago I passed up the opportunity to purchase a kachina carving for $75 and regret it to this day.

Getting there:

Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport formerly Williams Gateway Airport is in the southeastern area of Mesa Arizona, and 20 miles (32 km) southeast of Phoenix, in Maricopa County, Arizona.

The airport is owned and operated by the Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport Authority, and is a reliever airport for Phoenix Sky Harbour International airport. It is a focus city for Allgiant Air.

Dallas – Best Holiday Attractions

Planning a trip to Dallas in the late fall or early winter?

You’re in luck!

We’ve put together the best of the best things to do that are sure to make you feel that the holidays are indeed the best time of year!

Kick off the holiday season with a trip to one of many Dallas attractions that highlight the lovely late autumn and Christmas seasons in Texas.

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden features a gigantic pumpkin patch with life-sized fairytale pumpkin houses that make the perfect background for family photos in November and then the beautiful 12 Days of Christmas exhibit in December.

Or escape the hustle and bustle of the city and head east to the little town of Canton and its annual YesterLand Farm attraction.

Six Flags Over Texas
More than 50 rides, including thrill rides (roller coasters), kids’ rides and family rides.

This amusement parks covers 212 acres, and is sure to please kids of all ages (including grown-up kids at heart).

It features several theme areas, onsite restaurants, live shows and more. The park is open every day during the summer season and on weekends during the spring and autumn, and select weekends during the winter.

There are a ton of seasonal events there, such as a park-wide haunted house during Halloween and and a winter wonderland during the Christmas season, complete with sledding and ice! ((817) 640-8900)

NorthPark Center
In addition to top-notch stores and delectable eateries, NorthPark also boasts an incredible collection of world-class art, with past exhibit pieces by Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and Roy Lichtenstein.

The art collection includes a wide variety of huge sculptures, as well. NorthPark also features CenterPark, a 1.4-acre indoor park right in the middle of the mall. The park has one of the most popular sculptures, “Ad Astra,” a 12-ton orange piece.

A duck pond and biannual fashion shows also add to the charmingly fun atmosphere as shoppers browse retail favorites like Kate Spade, Burberry, H&M, Lacoste and Neiman Marcus.

During the holiday season, don’t miss the Trains at NorthPark exhibit which features 1,600 feet of track with a ton of miniature Dallas sights. (214-361-6345)

YesterLand Farm
If you want to get out of the city and experience the country life for the holidays, there’s no better place to take the kids than YesterLand Farm.

Just go East on I-20 for about an hour to reach it. This popular spot features a ton of amusement park rides designed for the little ones, pony rides, a corn maze, pumpkin patch, train rides and petting zoo.

Launch pumpkins with a giant sling shot or simply sit back and relax with a freshly-made lemonade and roasted corn on the cob. City slickers from Dallas have been visiting this park for years, and it turns into a Christmas tree farm in December. ((903) 567-2255)

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Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Located on the eastern shores of White Rock Lake, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden features 66 acres of blooming flower beds, manicured lawns and lush trees.

The gardens house over 2400 types of azaleas, including the only publicly accessible Huang Collection specimens found outside China.

The property also showcases beautiful statuary and the DeGolyer Mansion, an exquisite Spanish-style hacienda commissioned in 1940 by Texas oil baron Everett DeGolyer.

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden hosts a number of special events and festivals and makes a great stop for a scenic picnic. (214-515-6500)

Myerson Symphony Center
Located in the heart of the Arts District in Downtown Dallas, the Myerson Symphony Center is one of the best spots in town to celebrate the holidays.

With numerous concerts and events highlighting the best of the best when it comes to Christmas music, visitors can choose from a wide variety of events perfect for a night out on the town.

Kick off the first weekend of December with the DSO Pops show, featuring beloved traditions returns with an all-new concert featuring holiday favorites, Christmas classics, majestic choir music and a sing-along to familiar carols.

If jazz is more your thing, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis will take place in mid-December. There is also a Santa event and and New Year’s Eve concert. ((214) 670-3600)

Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center
From the moment you arrive at the grand front entrance at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Conference Center, you’ll be taken to a winter wonderland that features a gigantic Christmas tree and millions of lights throughout the Texas-themed atrium area.

One of the most prominent offerings of the Gaylord Hotel is its ICE! featuring DreamWorks’ Merry Madagascar exhibit. Every year, this indoor wonderland features different holiday scenes created from more than 2 million pounds of ice by more than 40 international artisans.

Visitors can explore this amazing scene and even have fun on 20-foot tall ice slides. Make plans to stay and have lunch or dinner at one of the wonderful onsite restaurants. ((817) 778-1000)

Neiman Marcus Adolphus Children’s Christmas Parade
Traditionally held the first Saturday in December, this annual Dallas Christmas extravaganza features holiday floats, antique cars, marching bands from local schools, large inflatable balloons and an appearance by Santa Claus.

The parade is a major fundraiser for the Dallas Children’s Medical Center, so it’s both fun and charitable. A children’s activity area and vendor booths is usually set up in City Hall Plaza.

The weather usually is mild but chilly, and though crowds are large, finding a good spot along the parade route is fairly easy. For the best view possible, call ahead to reserve bleacher seats in the grandstand near the Adolphus Hotel. (214-456-8383, 214-456-5310)

Big D NYE
Located right in the middle of the always-happening Victory Plaza near the American Airlines Center, Big D NYE is the New Year’s party of the year in Dallas.

It features free admission, and annual party goers enjoy live music played on multiple stages, as well as the Stream Energy Fireworks Spectacular show at midnight. This event is located near the WFAA-TV Channel 8 Studio in Victory Park and the party is broadcasted live every year.

There are always multiple entertainers and special guests at this popular event, and there are also plenty of restaurants within walking distance of the American Airlines Center, along with food and beverage tents situated around the plaza.

This event has a large police presence and is a fun annual event for visitors of all ages. (214.397.4111)

Galleria Ice Skating Center
Ice-skating is always a magical experience, especially for kids, so make sure to schedule a family trip to the Galleria Ice Skating Center.

Located in the famous Galleria Dallas shopping center, this lovely rink offers year-round public skating sessions, enabling visitors to glide (or stumble) along the same ice where incredible Olympians have performed.

The rink is particularly delightful in December, when the nation’s largest indoor Christmas tree rises 95 feet from the ice. While you’re at the mall, check out the indoor play center under the atrium. Your kids will be so worn out after a day at the Galleria, that they’re sure to sleep well that night! (972-392-3361)

North Pole Express
Take the whole family to the North Pole via the Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s North Pole Express, one of the most popular holiday attractions in Dallas.

The holiday train experience starts at the Historic Cotton Belt Depot platform where riders are greeted by elves and carolers. During the train ride, visitors get to enjoy live entertainment and every child receives a silver Santa bell.

The train takes riders to a new platform that leads to the North Pole, where everyone enters a winter wonderland filled with Christmas trees, classic Christmas movies, lights and songs. Santa makes an appearance and shares hot chocolate with everyone. Tickets for the North Pole Express are $25 per person. (817-410-3185)

Dallas Transportation
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the primary international airport serving the Dallas Fort Worth area in the U.S. state of Texas.

It is the largest hub for American Airlines which is headquartered near the airport. American’s hub at DFW makes it the second-largest airline hub in the world, after Deltas hub in Atlanta.
It is the tenth busiest international gateway in the United States and second busiest in Texas (behind George Bush Intercontinental airport).

Paris With Kids – Best Family Hotels

Tips and Recommendations

The best neighbourhoods for families are Saint Germain (central, loads of shops and restaurants), Rue Cler in the 7th Arrondissement (quieter, slower paced, village-like feel, but still close to many attractions and the Eiffel Tower), and the Marais (less touristy, hip and trendy but still family-friendly).

Le Bristol – luxury
Le Bristol with Kids in Paris
Beautiful spacious rooms. Great indoor swimming pool. Children and families are not an afterthought here and are truly welcomed and pampered. There’s a good kids menu, a garden treasure hunt, and a supervised kids club and playroom. Hotel phone: +33 (1) 5343 4300

The Westin Paris Vendome – luxury
Paris Westin Vendome with Kids
Very close to the Renaissance (also kid-friendly) but here you exchange the swimming pool for a larger room and suites are larger still. The Westin has kid-friendly service and great restaurants both in the hotel and just out the door. Tuileries metro station is very close. Hotel phone: 33 (1) 4477 1111

paris-westin-vendome-with-kids
Pictured the Vendome Paris

Gardette Park Hotel – moderate
Good hotel for families in Marais
This is a great mid-range hotel and one of my favorites in Paris for families on a budget. The family suites have 2 single beds and a queen and are a good size for Paris. Across the street is a park with a playground and there are several good restaurants within a 3 minute walk. A great neighborhood but with few tourists so you feel like you’re really seeing Paris. Hotel phone: +33 (1) 4700 5793

Best Western Paris Louvre Opera – moderate
Best Western Paris Louvre with Kids
Family suites are 2 interconnected rooms each with twin beds. Fantastic location. Many restaurants nearby. Steps from the Pyramides metro station. Hotel phone: +33 (1) 4020 0110

Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel – moderate
Paris Novotel Eiffel Tower with Kids
Chain hotel that has clean simple rooms with friendly service. Nice swimming pool. Short walk to the Eiffel Tower. Close to Bir-Hakeim metro station. Hotel phone: +33 (1) 4058 2000

Best Western Premier Left Bank – St Germain – moderate
Left Bank Hotel with Kids
Great location in the center of St Germain. Triple rooms (2 twin and 1 sofa bed) and quadruple rooms (2 twin and 2 sofa beds). Steps from St Germain des Pres metro station. Hotel phone: +33 (1) 4354 0170

Holiday Inn Paris Bastille – moderate
Paris Holiday Inn for Kids
King Suites with sofa bed are good for families. Near Gare de Lyon and many cafes and restaurants. The Holiday Inn has larger rooms than most mid-range Paris hotels. Close to 2 different metro lines makes getting anywhere in Paris quick and easy. The entire hotel is non-smoking. Hotel phone: +33 (1) 5302 2000

Staycity Serviced Apartments – budget
Family Apartment in Paris
Large suites with kitchens and cookware close to Gare de l’Est and Gare du Nord (for Eurostar train to London). Friendly staff. Surrounding streets are not the most beautiful in Paris but there are plenty of places to eat, a food market, and good metro connections with the rest of the city. Hotel phone: +33 (1) 4489 6670

Timhotel Palais Royal Louvre – budget
Paris TimHotel with Kids
Best budget hotel near the Louvre. Triple rooms with 3 twin beds are simple but good. Bourse metro stop is very close. Hotel phone: +33 (1) 4261 5390

Getting to Paris:

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (French: Aéroport de Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle, also known as Roissy Airport (or just Roissy in French), is one of the world’s principal aviation centres, as well as France’s largest International airport. It is named after Charles De Gaulle.

The airport is located within portions of several communes, 25 km (16 mi) to the northeast of Paris.

The airport serves as the principal hub for Air France as well as a European hub for Delta Airlines.

 

10 Great Budget Hotels in London

Here is a great selection of budget hotels for your stay in London

Church Street Hotel

This a fun, exuberant hotel, an unashamedly kitsch yet lovable establishment that will have you grasping for Spanish words of exclamation you never thought you knew. The bedrooms  each one decorated differently  are full of warm Latin colours and throws; the bathrooms are fantasies made of tiles. There’s a lounge bar and a restaurant-cum-tapas bar, too, so who cares that Camberwell is still so far from the tube?

+44 (0) 20-7703 5984, churchstreethotel.com, doubles (shared bathroom) £90

Stylotel
Taking their lead (perhaps a tad pretentiously) from Le Corbusier’s maxim that “the house is a machine for living in”, the owners of Stylotel have attempted to break away from the fusty old conventions surrounding the feel and look of a hotel.

The two 19th-century townhouses inside which it resides are the only things not ultra-modern about the place. Aluminium wall coverings, floor to ceiling mirrors and illuminated glass furniture are in.

As is a lounge (sorry, stylolounge) designed for “well being”, and bedrooms sleeping one, two, three or four (a “quatro styloroom” of course), which does seem eminently sensible. Oh, and it’s very useful for Paddington station.

+44 (0)20-7723 1016, stylotel.com, doubles £85, quatro £120

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Pictured the Stylotel, London

Arosfa Hotel
Say what you will about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, they had darned good taste when it came to choosing a residence. Sir John Everett Millais he of Ophelia drowning decorously in a river fame lived in this dark-brick Georgian townhouse before it became a hotel.

Ironically, it’s become an ideal spot for lovers of words rather than images, with Europe’s largest academic bookstore right opposite, a clutch of new and second hand bookshops nearby, and the British Library not too far up the road.

The bedrooms have been recently redecorated (check out those Audrey Hepburn cushions) and there’s a garden in which you can read whatever amazing finds you make during the day.

+44 (0)20-7636 2115, arosfalondon.com, doubles from £97

Twenty Nevern Square
Cocking a snook at all those other hotels whose bedrooms are carbon copies of one another, Twenty Nevern Square features no fewer than 20 individually designed rooms.

The source of influences inside the Victorian townhouse range from Europe to the Orient (the Far East, rather than Leyton) and each bedroom sports hand-carved furniture. The bathrooms are awash with marble and the whole effect is one of boutique luxury.

The hotel is situated in a quiet garden square handily placed for both Earls Court Exhibition Centre and the tube station. If you nab one of the smaller rooms, there aren’t many four-star hotels in London at which you’ll pay less.

+44 (0)20-7565 9555, 20nevernsquare.com, small doubles from £79

Avo Hotel
The word “avo” is apparently not just a lazy shortening of avocado but means “welcome” in a number of languages.

Chic is the other byword here – expect modern design, subtle lighting, black tiles, chrome fittings and an altogether sexy feel to your living quarters, with most of the rooms fitted out with king-size beds (and Egyptian cotton sheets, of course).

Dalston, which has firmly established itself as the trendy bit of Hackney, now also comes with its own shiny new tube station. But the Avo is also handy for trips to the Hackney Empire, and for getting down with the hepcats and hipsters at the London Fields lido.

+44 (0)20-3490 5061, avohotel.com, doubles from £79

55
Modern and swish – that’s what you get at Hangar Lane’s 55. Its 26 bedrooms (all doubles, for some reason), done out in muted colours with all mod cons, make for excellent crash pads (particularly since their king-size beds all have orthopaedic mattresses).

The minimalist illuminated garden provides a chilled setting for a quiet drink in the evening. There’s also a Momo Japanese restaurant downstairs and a 24-hour lounge bar featuring work by Sudhir Deshpande (India’s Jackson Pollock, apparently, so a must for all drip-art fans).

The booking system is based on supply and demand, so catch a quiet day or book well in advance and you’ll nab a bargain.

+44 (0)20-8991 4450, hotel55-london.com, doubles from £65

Arran House Hotel
A veritable Mecca for social history buffs. The family that owns the Arran House has dug into the history of both the Georgian residences that now make up the hotel.

So, while you’re relaxing on your comfy bed or slumped in the depths of one of the lounge’s sofas you can mug up on those who called this place home, including a doomed musician, a distinguished sculptor and a would-be media baron (anyone read a copy of the Illustrated Police News lately?).

Should you tire of history, there’s a private rose garden, a DVD library, and swathes of 21st century London on your doorstep.

+44 (0)20-7636 2186, arranhotel-london.com, doubles from £97 (rooms sleeping five from £130)

The Hoxton
Famous for its periodic £1 room sales (the 500 up for grabs went in 10 minutes last time out), the Hoxton burst on to the scene a few short years ago and has scooped a hatful of awards already. Though its designer chic stylings can still be pretty pricey during the week, on Sundays the rates go into free fall if you book up early, making it a glam base for forays into Spitalfields Market, Old Street or Brick Lane.

A mini-breakfast is delivered to your room, though if the yoghurt, orange juice and banana leaves a hole, you can supplement it reasonably cheaply at the Hoxton Grill restaurant next door.

+44 (0)20-7550 1000, hoxtonhotels.com, doubles from £69

The Pavilion
Usually it’s wise to steer a wide berth around any hotel described by its owners as “groovy”.

In the case of The Pavilion, however, you may make an exception. With each of its 30 rooms given a singular style, from Honky Tonk Afro (a 1970s tribute) to Casablanca Nights (somewhere between art deco and the dream a Moor had one night after eating one too many tagines), it’s no wonder the hotel has attracted the custom of so many luvvy/modelly/muso types from Helena Bonham Carter and Naomi Campbell to Jarvis Cocker and, er, Duran Duran.

What is extraordinary is the lack of a rock star bill as you celeb-spot over your continental breakfast.

+44 (0)20-7262 0905, pavilionhoteluk.com, doubles from £100

Jesmond Hotel
Another example of a cracking good value Bloomsbury hotel. (Why do so many good ones congregate in the area?) Run by the Beynon family since 1979, the hotel was built as a private residence in 1786 at the behest of one Gertrude Duchess of Bedford, no less, and is typical of the graceful Georgian style.

The place is elegantly furnished throughout, with many of the bedrooms retaining their original fireplaces complete with marble surrounds. The jewel in the Jesmond crown, however, is its traditional English garden, designed and created by a member of the family, which provides a peaceful haven for when the British Museum gets too much.

+44 (0)20-7636 3199, jesmondhotel.org.uk

London has five major airports: London Heathrow, London Stansted, London Gatwick, London Luton and London City.

How To Book Cheap Flights

As with any purchase, you need to shop around to get the best deal by trying different booking sites, altering your dates and waiting until just the right time to purchase.

But if you’re willing to put in a little time and effort, you could save big on your next flight.

1. Buy Early
Especially during peak travel periods, making reservations late in the game can cost you a lot of money. Airline ticket prices typically go up in the last two weeks before flying, so if you’re planning ahead, try to make the call before this deadline.

And if you’re traveling internationally, you’ll want to book even earlier from three to six months in advance for the best deals.

That said, occasionally you can get lucky if you wait, which brings us to:

2. Buy Late
Sometimes you can buy tickets at the very last minute for a great price if the airlines have failed to fill their planes.

You can find such fares at specialized sites like LastMinuteTravel.com, or sometimes on airline websites and online booking sites such as Expedia.

If you can stand the suspense, and if you are flexible with your itinerary and dates, you can find fantastic money-savers to very attractive travel destinations.

3. Shop Around
No matter how good it sounds, you should never book the first fare you see.

Start your search by checking a few of the major online travel providers such as Travelocity, TripAdvisor Flights or Kayak. Airfarewatchdog is another good source of low fares.

Checking these sites will give you a preliminary idea of which airlines fly your particular itinerary, what the going rate is and which restrictions might apply.

Armed with this information, you can head directly to the airline website to see if the same flights are any cheaper (some airlines guarantee to offer the lowest possible fares on their own websites). While you’re there, check to see if the airline is running any sales or promotions to your destination.

If you don’t see anything in your preferred price range, don’t be afraid to bide your time and watch the fares for a bit. Most major booking sites have alert features that will email you when your fare drops to a price you’re willing to pay.

4. Know When to Buy
The hardest part of booking a flight is knowing when to stop tracking fares and make that final purchase. Kayak.com can help you reach that decision, offering fare predictions for most major cities.

Just plug in your itinerary and the site will advise you either to book now or to wait, depending on whether the fare is expected to rise or drop. It also shows a fare history graph, allowing you to see whether your fare is headed in an upward or downward direction.

Keep in mind that many airlines launch fare sales on Tuesdays — so if you decide to buy on a Monday, you may be gnashing your teeth when your destination goes on sale the next day.

cheap-flights

5. Be Flexible
If you live close to more than one airport, check out the fares from all of the airports near you. Many online fare searching engines will ask you if you are willing to depart from or arrive in more than one city.

Yes! Also, experiment with different travel dates; shifting your itinerary by a month, a week or even a few days can make a significant difference in fares. You’ll usually find the lowest fares for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Just about every destination has a peak season — and if you can fly any other time of year, you’ll often pay significantly less.

6. Don’t Forget the Discounters
As their nickname suggests, discount airlines can save you a bundle, but they’re not always easy to find. Luckily for consumers, discounters are cropping up more frequently on aggregators and booking sites (Kayak now offers fares for JetBlue and Spirit, for example) but there are still a few holdouts, such as Southwest and Allegiant Air, whose fares can’t be found anywhere but their own websites.

7. Use Your Frequent Flier Miles
Use Your Frequent Flier MilesWhy pay a fare at all when you can use your frequent flier miles?

Although redeeming miles has gotten more difficult in recent years, it’s still a good option to consider, particularly if you’re booking early; airlines designate a limited number of seats on each flight as eligible for award travel, and these seats go quickly.

8. Get a Refund When Fares Go Down
If fares go down after you’ve purchased your ticket, ask for a refund! You may not always get one, but policies vary by airline and many do not publicize the fact that they will refund you the difference if prices go down. It can’t hurt to ask.

Yapta.com will track flights for you after you purchase and notify you if the fares go down. Orbitz.com has a Best Price Guarantee, which entitles you to money back if you find your itinerary for less on another website.

9. Consider an Air Pass
In order to promote tourism in their countries, many national airlines offer air passes at reduced rates for tourists. If you’re planning to do extensive travel in one country or region, an air pass might be your most cost-effective option.

10. Check for Deals and Discounts
Don’t forget to check our comprehensive Travel Deals for the latest fare sales — we post new ones throughout the week.

Courtesy of Independent Traveler

Top 10 Theme Parks in Orlando

Orlando, the “Theme Park Capital of the World,” has enough to keep your family entertained for weeks if not months on end.

This 10 Best gives you the rundown on what each of these fantastic parks has to offer.

Aquatica Orlando
Aquatica Orlando brings the best of an aquarium, zoo, water park and amusement park together into one experience.

With 38 slides, 84,000 acres of white sand beach and private cabanas for rent, you can easily spend the entire day enjoying the Florida sun with your family.

Don’t miss the Dolphin Plunge, a clear tube water slide that takes you through the Commerson’s dolphin habitat.

Epcot
What started as a showcase for the latest in innovation has transformed into one of Orlando’s largest theme parks, Epcot.

It’s hard to believe how much Disney managed to pack into these 305 acres; you’ll find an aquarium, 1.3-mile promenade around the World Showcase Lagoon, 11 pavilions celebrating nations of the world and numerous attractions, like the iconic Spaceship Earth.

Islands of Adventure
Universal Studios Islands of Adventure bring some of your favorite movie experiences to life.

Wander through the world of Hogwarts at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, take a thrilling raft ride past dinosaurs on the Jurassic Park River Adventure, meet your favorite children’s book characters at Seuss Landing, get wet in Toon Lagoon or fly through the air on the Marvel Super Hero Island attractions.

LEGOLAND Florida
LEGOLAND Florida, the largest LEGOLAND park in the world, features 50 rides, shows and attractions spread out over the LEGO-strewn 150-acres.

If you’re traveling with younger kids, LEGOLAND makes a great choice since its designed for kids between the ages of 2 and 12. Be sure to stop by the Big Shop to bring some of the LEGO action home.

Disney’s Magic Kingdom
Disney’s Magic Kingdom, the sister of Disneyland in California, opened in 1971 with the 189-foot Cinderella’s Castle jutting up from the center.

The park’s six themed areas — Main Street USA, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Tomorrowland and Fantasyland — are home to classic Disney favorites, like It’s A Small World and the Jungle Cruise, as well as some new offerings.

Discovery Cove
With guest access restricted to 1,300 per day, Discovery Cove feels more like an exclusive resort than a theme park.

Without crowds to worry about, you’ll get to enjoy up-close animal encounters with dolphins, sting rays, tropical fish, sea otters and exotic birds.

It’s all-inclusive too, so you won’t have to worry about food, towels or snorkeling equipment.

Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Florida, the original park of Universal Studios Resort, brings pop culture to life on its 107 acres of Orlando real estate.

Relive classics like E.T. and The Terminator or catch up with the characters of newer releases, like Despicable Me and Shrek.

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At the Animal Kingdom, Disney elevates the concept of a zoological park to something completely new.

Here you can take a safari ride through the wilds of Africa — complete with real animals, raft down the Amazon or ride a runaway train through Mount Everest. The park is home to about 1,500 animals representing 250 species.

SeaWorld Orlando
At SeaWorld Orlando, you and your family can meet Shamu, the world’s most famous killer whale.

After you’ve observed all the underwater critters living at the park, get your heart racing on SeaWorld’s rides and roller coasters, catch a comedy show featuring sea lions and otters or grab a bite at Sharks Underwater Grill.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Go to the movies with Disney at Hollywood Studios, a theme park that takes you inside the world of show business with live stunt shows, animation galleries, a backlot tour and plenty of live shows, rides and attractions.

Thrill seekers should be sure to take the plunge down the Twilight Zone.

Getting There:

Orlando International Airport is an International airport six miles southeast of Orlando, Florida.
It is the second-busiest airport in the state of Florida and the 13th-busiest airport in the U.S. and the 29th-busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic.

The airport serves as a hub for Silver Airways, as well as a focus city for Frontier Airlines, Jetblue Airways, and Southwest Airlines.

The airport also is a major international gateway for the mid Florida region, with flights by foreign air carriers.

Berlin Top 10 Attractions

BERLIN MUST SEE GUIDE

Are you on a whistle-stop tour of the capital or just looking for the Berlin Top 10?

Well look no further, because we’ve picked the top ten things to see and do in Berlin so you don’t have to. The choice was by no means easy – this city has so much to offer!

Top pick 1: Reichstag
When the decision was made to move the Federal Government to Berlin, it was time to reawaken the Reichstag building from its long years of slumber on the Mauerstreifen, the military zone between the two sides of the Wall.

The building has since been completely modernised, and today’s visitors to the Reichstag can look out from the building’s glass dome to get a bird’s eye view of the hustle and bustle in the city. There are also a number of government buildings in the vicinity of the Reichstag, for example the Bundeskanzleramt (Federal Chancellery) and the Brandenburg Gate.

Top pick 2: Brandenburg Gate
Without a doubt, the Brandenburg Gate is Berlin’s signature attraction.

Built in 1791, it was just one of many old city gates around the city of Berlin which, at that time, was still a manageable size.

The decorative Pariser Platz was laid at the foot of the gate and is now home to many of the city’s important buildings, for example, the Hotel Adlon with its wealth of history and the Akademie der Künste (Academy of the Arts).

Brandenburger Tor
Brandenburger Tor

Top pick 3: Berlin Television Tower (Fernsehturm)
The Berlin Television Tower, which is known to locals as the Fernsehturm, and is instantly recognisable from the distance, stand outs of the skyline at 368m, making it the tallest building in Berlin.

Built in the 1960s, visitors to the tower can enjoy a unique 360° panorama of the city.

Top pick 4: Gendarmenmarkt
The Gendarmenmarkt is one of the most stunning squares in the city, located close to Friedrichstraße, Berlin’s exclusive shopping street in the central Mitte district.

Three of the most impressive examples of architecture in the capital city are to be found here: the Concert House designed by Schinkel and the German and French Cathedrals (the Deutscher Dom and the Französischer Dom).

Top pick 5: Berlin Cathedral
The German Cathedral (Berliner Dom) with its magnificent dome is a remarkable example the of late 19th century architecture.

Near the Cathedral are also the German Historical Museum and the Museum’s Island. On the side of Berlin’s boulevard “Unter den Linden” stands the Catholic St.Hedwigs-Cathedral.

Top pick 6: Kurfürstendamm
Extending all the way from the ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on Breitscheidplatz to Berlin’s elegant Halensee neighbourhood, the affectionately termed Ku’damm is the most expensive address in the capital city and home to the most exclusive brands.

Europe’s biggest department store KaDeWe is also situated on the extension of the Ku’damm, on the street known to locals as the Tauentzien (short for Tauentzienstrasse). The little ones will just love the Zoological Garden, Germany’s oldest zoo.

Top pick 7: Charlottenburg Palace
The magnificent Charlottenburg Palace is located just out of the centre of the city.

The beautiful palace hosts fine collections of china and paintings and is situated in the middle of a picturesque palace garden right next to the river Spree.

If you don’t fancy a walk in the park, you can feed your mind instead in the Charlottenburg museums located directly opposite.

Top pick 8: Museum Island
Berlin’s Museum Island is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites and home to the city’s most important exhibition centres: the Altes Museum (Old Museum), the Neues Museum (New Museum) the Bode Museum, the Pergamon Museum and the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery).

The collections in these buildings encompass over 6,000 years of art and cultural history.

Top pick 9: The Berlin Wall Memorial and Documentation Centre
The Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Memorial) is located between the districts of Wedding and Mitte on Bernauer Straße, consisting of the Memorial to the Victims of the Wall, a Documentation Centre and the Chapel of Reconciliation.

The surviving section of the wall and watchtower enable visitors to get a real feel for the reality of the border facilities. The Memorial has been undergoing extension work in recent years, the full completion of which is intended for 2014.

Top pick 10: Potsdamer Platz
Once the bustling heart of the city before the Second World War, then a no man’s land from 1945 until the fall of the wall, the history of Potsdamer Platz has been eventful to say the least.

It changed completely after the fall of the wall in 1989 and is now dominated by the presence of the Sony Center, skyscrapers and endless shops. What’s more, Potsdamer Platz is the main place to be for stars and celebrities.

Getting To Berlin:

Berlin Tegel Airport (German: Flughafen Tegel “Otto Lilienthal”) is the main International airport of Berlin, the federal capital of Germany, ahead of the smaller Berlin Schoenfeld Airport.

The airport is a hub for Air Berlin and serves as a base for German wings. It features flights to several European metropolitan and leisure destinations as well as some intercontinental routes.

10 Must See Places in Croatia

Located in the Balkans, Croatia has become one of Europa’s top tourist destination again since its War of Independence in the late 1990s.

Like much of Europe, Croatia boasts its share of medieval cities and historic ruins, but what makes this country exceptional is its wealth of stunning natural attractions such as the Plitvice Lakes, the spectacular Adriatic coastlines and gorgeous islands.

An overview of the best places to visit in Croatia.

Dubrovnik
Nicknamed the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” the old city of Dubrovnik is one of the prominent places to visit in the Mediterranean.

Located at the southern tip of Croatia off the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik was established in the 7th century on maritime trade. With orange rooftop houses sitting in contrast to the blue sky, Dubrovnik presents many sightseeing treasures.

The historic district, the Old Town, is stuffed with many historic features such as the old, defensive walls, cobblestone streets, magnificent palaces and stunning churches.

Just outside the Old Town are popular beaches like Banje and Lapad, while the nearby island of Lokrum offers even more beaches.

Hvar
One of the most popular places to visit in Croatia and in the Adriatic Sea, Hvar is a beautiful Croatian island off the Dalmatian Coast, favored for its landscapes of spectacular beaches, lavender fields and lush vineyards.

Hvar’s main city, Hvar Town, is an attractive city, featuring 13th century walls, marble stone streets, Gothic palaces, stunning churches and an imposing old fortress.

The town square is one of Croatia’s largest and most beautiful, surrounded by many historic building like the 17th century Arsenal and the Cathedral of St. Stephen.

The natural beauty of Hvar offers plenty of outdoor recreation, from hiking in the cliffs to swimming in the secluded coves and beaches.

Plitvice National Park
One of the most beautiful natural wonders in Croatia and all of Europe, the Plitvice National Park consists of several breathtaking lakes, waterfalls and lush forest.

The park’s most notable features are the 16 interconnecting lakes that are divided into upper and lower clusters. Formed by natural travertine dams, the lakes range in distinct colors from turquoise to blue, green and gray. Visitors can explore the lakes and surrounding area by walking along the assortment of wooden walkways as well as by boat.

Krka National Park
Located in Central Dalmatia of Croatia, the Krka National Park is a protected area of spectacular natural scenery, wildlife and historic sites.

Situated along the Krka River within Sibinik-Knin County, the national park is best known for its numerous gushing waterfalls and natural pools of clear, blue-green waters.

Zagreb
The capital and largest city of Croatia, Zagreb is a vibrant metropolis packed with both
historic and modern attractions.

Located in northwestern Croatia, the city dates back to the 2nd century AD when a diocese was first established by Hungarian King Ladislaus. Today, Zargreb is a sprawling cosmopolitan city and the heart of Croatian culture, academics and government.

The city is divided into an Upper and Lower Town, with Upper Town being the historic core where tourists can walk down cobblestone streets and visit old, medieval churches and towers.

Korcula
Best known as the alleged birthplace of the famous merchant traveler, Marco Polo, Korcula is a 30-mile (50 km) island located off Croatia’s Adriatic Coast.

Comprised of lush green forests, vineyards, olive groves, sandy beaches and charming villages.

The island’s main town, Korucla Town, is a historic, walled town with Venetian Renaissance architecture, colorful markets and plenty of tourist facilities.

Pula
Located at the southern tip of the Istria peninsula in the Adriatic Sea, Pula is a popular destination that has been attracting tourists as far back as ancient Roman times when fans flocked the city’s amphitheater to watch gladiator fights.

Having been ruled by various government powers over the centuries, Pula today belongs to Croatia, and is best known for its wealth of Roman ruins and mix of cultures.

Zadar_001
Pictured Zadar, Croatia

Zadar
A three thousand-year old city situated on a beautiful coastline rich in history is sure to draw tourists. Such a city isZadar, located on Croatia’s northern Dalmatian Coast.

Zadar could be called the ideal tourist getaway because it offers plenty to see and do without all the crowds of other popular destinations in Croatia.

At the heart of the city is its Old Town which offers fantastic sightseeing attractions including Roman ruins, medieval architecture and numerous old churches.

Besides the Old Town, tourists will find a string of beautiful beaches all along Zadar’s coastline where they can sunbathe, swim and relax.

Rovinj
Located on Croatia’s Istrian peninsula in the Adriatic Sea, Rovinj is an archipelago of 20 islands with its Old Town set on a small peninsula. Narrow streets of cobblestone, stairways, arches and other interesting architecture make the Old Town a sightseeing adventure.

Some of the Old Town’s historic gems include seven medieval city gates, the 12th century town clock and St. Euphemia’s Basilica, an imposing baroque church packed with many stunning art works.

Also worth seeing are the scenic harbor, Carrera Street with its many shops and art galleries, and Grisia Street, which is lined with artists and souvenir vendors.

Split
Nicknamed the “Mediterranean Flower,” Croatia’s second-largest city, Split, is located on a peninsula off the Dalmatian Coast.

The city’s main attraction is its historic core of beautiful Gothic and Renaissance architecture of which the Diocletian’s Palace is the crown jewel.

Built between 298 and 305 AD, this Roman Emperor palace complex is more like a small city itself with a maze of marble walkways and buildings containing shops, cafes and bars.

Outside the historic center, tourists will find plenty to see and do including strolling along the seaside promenade, shopping at the lively Green Market and swimming at Bacvice beach.

Rio De Janeiro Visitor Information

This You Need to Know Before Travelling to Rio De Janeiro

Entry Requirements: U.S. citizens need a valid passport and visa to enter Brazil.
The standard visa allows visitors to stay 90 days, extendable for another 90 within the country.

Security
Street crime is a persistent problem in tourist areas, especially after dark.
Leave your valuables in the hotel safe. All you need for the beach is a towel and some change for a cold drink.

Don’t be paranoid, but as a tourist you’re conspicuous enough. Stay alert. Avoid city buses, outdoor ATMs, and venturing alone into favelas (shanty towns).

Immunisations
Standard immunisations for Brazil are yellow fever (required for entry) and tetanus/diphtheria, typhoid, and hepatitis.

If traveling to more rural areas of Brazil like Amazonas, Pantanal, and parts of Minas Gerais, visitors should also get polio, MMR, hepatitis B, and rabies immunisations, and take anti-malaria drugs.

Time
Rio de Janeiro is three hours ahead of U.S. eastern standard time from November to mid-February, two hours ahead from mid-February until the start of U.S. daylight saving time, and one hour ahead during U.S. daylight saving time.

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Money
The currency of Brazil is the real. For current conversion rates, go to a Currency Converter.

Phone Calls
For international calls from Brazil, dial 00 country code area code number.

For long distance calls within Brazil, dial 021 two-digit area code number. For operator-assisted calls in English to anywhere in the world, dial toll-free 0800 703 2111.

When to Go
Rio has a tropical climate: hot 77-95°F (25–35°C) and humid summers, cooler 59-77°F (15–25°C ) and drier winters. Crowded during the Brazilian summer (December to March), especially at New Year and Carnival.

Getting There
Galeão-Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport is nine miles (20 kilometers) north of downtown. The Santos-Dumont domestic airport is downtown.

Getting Around
When taking a cab, don’t negotiate. The meter should read “1” from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday. When the meter reads “2,” rates are 20 percent higher. The subway is modern and safe; navigating buses takes savvy.

Checklist
Credit Cards and Cash: “Forget traveler’s checks. Nobody likes them here and your U.S. ATM cards are good at ATM machines at most major banks.

Bring $100 in cash for emergencies.”—Michael Royster, 2007 president of the American Society of Rio

Language
If possible, study Portuguese before you travel. While many people in Rio speak some English, most cabbies and waiters don’t.

Spanish will help you understand signs but not necessarily the people. Buy a pocket-sized Brazilian Portuguese/English phrasebook for your trip.

Clothing and Accessories
Leave expensive jewelry at home and limit flashy attire to a social outfit or two for dining and special occasions.

“Women shouldn’t bring narrow heels; the cobblestone sidewalks are a shoemaker’s and orthopedist’s delight.

In Rio, havaianas flip-flops are a fraction of the cost in the U.S. Don’t wear a watch; the sidewalks are full of clocks, and besides, you’re on vacation.”—Michael Royster

Sunscreen
Your favorite brand of sunscreen may be hard to find in Rio. “Bring [SPF] 50-level protection.
The sun is very hot.

Best Airlines In The World 2015

AirlineRatings ‘Airline of the year’ awards, acknowledge the best of the best in the airline industry in turn helping you the passenger choose who to fly with.

These airlines are those our experienced editors feel offer the best in comfort, innovation, value and safety across Economy, Business and First Class.
All awards are judged against a strict assessment criteria put together by our editors who combined have over 150 years of experience.


1. Qatar Airlines

Qatar Airways wasn’t always a recognised name in the airline industry but the company has swiftly made a rise to the top by offering excellence at every level.

2. Singapore Airlines
The flagship carrier of Singapore, this is one of the most well-respected travel brands in the world.

3. Cathay Pacific Airlines
The competition is fierce in the industry and as this list proves, many airlines are striving to be the best in class by offering exceptional customer service and product offerings. In 2014 the best in class is Cathay Pacific as they were awarded the Best Airline in the World by the Skytrax World Airline Awards.

4. Turkish Airlines
One of the older airlines on this list, Turkish Airlines was established in 1933 and at the time flew to more countries than any other carrier in the world.

5. Emirates Airlines
The second of the flagship carriers for the United Arab Emirates, Emirates is a Dubai based airline known for their unique brand of luxury in the skies.

6. Etihad Airlines
The United Arab Emirates is well known for luxury airlines and as the region’s flagship carrier, Etihad exceeds expectations with excellent customer service and luxury products.

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And the winner is…… Qatar Airways in 2015.

7. ANA All Nipon Airlines
Japanese carrier ANA All Nippon Airways is the 13th largest airline in the world by revenue. They currently fly over 187 domestic and international routes with a fleet of over 240 aircraft.

8. Garuda Indonesia Airlines
is the national airline of Indonesia, operating one of the youngest average age of aircraft fleet in Asia, with an average aircraft age at December 2014 of 4.02 years.

9. Eva Airlines
is the second largest Taiwanese airline, flying to over 40 international destinations in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. In June 2013, EVA became a Star Alliance member.

10. Qantas Airlines
Aside from being named the Safest Airline in the World, Australia’s flagship air carrier has been receiving praise for its commitment to quality and customer service for decades.

11. Lufthansa Airlines
Lufthansa is the largest airline in Europe and the German flagship carrier is also one of the founding members of the Star Alliance Network.

12. Air New Zealand
If you’ve ever flewn Air New Zealand you’ll probably agree it deserves to be in just about any list of exceptional airlines.

13. Delta Airlines
Delta Air Lines is the preferred choice of many Americans who appreciate the company’s commitment to quality and customer service.

14. Air Canada
Canada’s largest and flagship airline has been a favorite of Canadians and North Americans for decades. The airline offers customers spectacular accessibility with more than 180 destinations on five continents.

15. Jetblue Airlines
American Low-cost carrier jetBlue has been making a name for themselves through excellent customer service and enhanced economy services.

Frankfurt Germany Visitor Information

Frankfurt is the fifth largest city in Germany, which a member of the European Union.

Located on the Main River, it is also the largest financial centre in the continent since it is home to different commercial banks such as European Central Bank and Deutsche Bundesbank.

The Frankfurt Stock Exchange is also located in this city, which is one of the world’s largest stock exchanges by market capitalisation. Frankfurt has temperate-oceanic climate, which means that it has warm summers and moderately cold winters.

The average temperature of the city per year is 10.6 degrees Celsius. The city is sometimes referred to as “Mainhattan”, a combination of the United States’ Manhattan and Main River because of its high-rise buildings and scenic skyline.

What To See & Do
In Germany, Frankfurt is one of the most famous tourist destinations.

It is home to different galleries, theatres, opera houses, and clubs. Famous galleries in this city include the Municipal Gallery of the Stadel Institute of Art, Museum of Applied Art, and the Schirn Kunsthalle Gallery.

They city also houses a town hall called Romerberg, which offers tourists a good view of old buildings dating from 14th and 15th centuries. One of these buildings includes the Archaologische Garten, where people can see the Roman settlements during the old times. There is also a bridge near the Main River, known as the Eiserne Steg.

This 19th century bridge leads visitors to Sachsenhausen and the Rententurm or the Wharfinger’s Tower.

For opera lovers, Oper Frankfurt offers high quality productions at an affordable price. Another is the English theatre, which is the largest English-language theatre in Europe.

Unlike the other buildings in the city that were destroyed during the World War II, Sachsenhausen’s old town is preserved.

Visitors should not miss Saint Bartholomeus’ Cathedral, which is located next to the Romerplatz.
Built in Gothic style during the 14th century, the main cathedral has spiral stairs leading to the 95-metre church tower.

Frankfurt also contains modern high-rise buildings, which are good for pictures.

The best view of Frankfurt’s skyline is located on the eastern part of Main River Bridge.

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People can also go to Sachsenhausen for the Henninger Turm, which is one of the highest silo towers in the world at 330 feet.

The city is also a great place for shopaholics since most shops are open until 8:00PM.
The main shopping street in Frankfurt is the Zeil. It features department stores and malls like Karstadt, Galeria Kaufhot, Zeilgaleria, and MyZeil.

How To Get Around Within Frankfurt
The best way to explore Frankfurt is by tram and bus. Aside from single tickets, tourists can also get all-day and weekly tickets.

For those who would like to visit museums and different tourist destinations, they should consider buying a Frankfurt Card since it allows unlimited travel in the city and offers discounts in some museums.

These tickets can be purchased at the airport and not at the vending machines. Frankfurt Card is relatively cheaper compared to single tickets combined. There are also many taxis in the city but the fares are quite expensive.

There also rental-bike companies in Frankfurt like the Deutsche Bahn, which can be found in many street corners and major pick-up points in the city. These bikes are available from April to December and rented using credit cards.

How To Get There
To explore the old and modern buildings in Frankfurt, tourist can take any airport transport providers that can fly them to the Frankfurt Airport. It is the third busiest airport after the London Heathrow Airport and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. A total of 107 airlines fly to and from 275 destinations served by this airport. It is a major hub for AeroLogic, Condor, and Lufthansa.

Frankfurt International Airport
Flughafen Frankfurt am Main, also known as Rhein-Main-Flughafen) is a major international airport located in Frankfurt, the fifth-largest city of Germany and one of the world’s leading financial centres.

It serves as the main hub for Lufthansa including as well as Condor and AeroLogic.

The airport covers an area of 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres) of land and features two passenger terminals with a capacity of approximately 65 million passengers per year, four runways and extensive logistics and maintenance facilities.

Frankfurt Airport is by far the busiest airport by passenger traffic in Germany, the third busiest in Europe after London Heathrow and Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport and the 17th busiest Worldwide in 2015, posting record passenger traffic with 59.6 million passengers using the airport in 2014, an increase of +2.6% from 2013. As of winter 2012/2013, Frankfurt Airport served 264 destinations in 113 countries, making it the airport with the most international destinations in the world.

Frequent Flyer Programs

If you travel by plane at all, you’ve probably thought about getting a frequent flyer card so you can earn miles for free travel.
Or, you may already have an assortment of frequent flyer cards riding around in your wallet.

Today’s frequent flyer (FF) programs offer benefits above and beyond free air travel and, you can earn miles without even traveling anywhere.

The frequent flyer program is an incentive program operated by an airline to reward customers for their continued loyalty.

As a traveler, you earn free miles for the miles that you fly on a particular airline.

The concept behind frequent flyer programs is that the airlines want their passengers to become lifetime customers.

It is much more costly for the airlines to get new customers than it is to retain the ones they already have. So how do they reward you? The more frequently you fly with them, the greater your awards.

It all started in 1981, when American Airlines introduced a program called AAdvantage.

Their purpose was simple: to reward customers for using the airline and promote future customer loyalty.

American started the program by using their customer database.

They tracked the members’ number of flown miles and put together a reward system of “a mile earned for a mile traveled.” To round out the array of services for the travel customer, American also included Hertz rental cars and Hyatt hotel stays in the program. It was an instant success.

United Airlines almost immediately debuted their Mileage Plus program and upped the ante by offering an “enrollment bonus” of 5,000 miles! As expected, the other major domestic airlines soon followed suit.

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Australian Frequent Flyer Corporate Branded SuperSmartTag

Next, the hotel industry entered the game.
Initially, they merely participated as “partners” in the airline programs.

However, considering their costs as an airline partner, most hotel chains initiated their own frequent-stay programs. Today, although most hotels do have their own frequent-stay programs, they remain partners with all the major airlines because it leads to increased sales.

The rental car industry initially participated by becoming a partner with the airlines. As the costs of the relationships with the airlines rose, Hertz, the early leader, withdrew from the FF relationship. However, when their market share dropped drastically, they rejoined.
Hertz now collaborates in more than 60 FF programs (domestic and international partners combined).

In today’s market in addition to the many airline partner programs, there are several airline alliances (more about these alliances a little later).

Another perk in today’s frequent flyer market is that you can also earn “miles” or “points” (points can be redeemed later as miles) for other travel and non-travel transactions.

Travel transactions can include hotel stays, rental cars, and more. Non-travel-related awards include credit card purchases (you earn at least one mile, if not more for every dollar charged), long-distance telephone services, even mortgages and stock trades!

Finally, shopping at certain stores, both brick-and-mortar and online, also provides an opportunity to “rack up” those miles.

Your frequent flyer miles reside in your account — much like your dollars in the bank. They accumulate as you travel, although unfortunately they don’t earn interest.

At this time, most of the larger domestic airlines use a fairly uniform policy: mileage does not expire, but there must be some activity in your account once every three years.

The airlines may change their mileage expiration policies, so you should read their most current guidelines. When the mileage total reaches a certain amount, you can “redeem” them for an award, usually air travel.

Chicago Visitor Information

Great food. The world’s best museums, architecture that awes and enough shopping for days. Find it all in Chicago!

With events every weekend, live music and theatre every night, and beautiful parks and ice rinks beckoning every day winter in Chicago buzzes with energy and excitement all season.

This is a city built on the shores of greatness.

At attractions around every corner, from high-flying observatories to Millennium Park where art and music mix with lots of room to play, you’ll find fun every day of the year.

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And special events mean there’s always something new to see. Grab your family and go!

Explore amazing Navy Pier, and discover the thrilling rides, activities, dining, shopping, museums, and cityscape views that make it the top destination in the Midwest.

Don’t miss special events like Winter WonderFest and other festivals, huge expositions showcasing flowers, sailboats, art, and toys – to name just a few, and dazzling summertime and holiday fireworks.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport
In 2014, O’Hare was the busiest airport in the world in terms of number of annual aircraft operations.

More at Choose Chicago

http://www.choosechicago.com

Las Vegas Visitor Information

VIVA LAS VEGAS

Las Vegas is the fastest growing city in the United States.

The gambling Mecca, Las Vegas has also become home for many prominent Conventions/Events and simultaneously became a prominent family vacation destination.

Las Vegas has something to please everyone and it is usually available 24 hours a day.

There is a saying in Las Vegas:
If you do not find what you are looking for, please wait one moment, it is probably already under construction.

Casinos/Hotels in Las Vegas seem to know no boundaries in their creativeness and grandiose projects.

The Casinos/Hotels owners’ imaginations appear limitless.

Almost annually, a new world largest Casino appears on the Las Vegas horizon.

Seventeen out of the top twenty worlds largest hotels reside within a five-mile radius of each other in Las Vegas.

Including several casinos under construction, Las Vegas is fast becoming the Convention and Resort headquarters for the world.

There are over 100,000 hotel and motel rooms available in the Las Vegas area.

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Hotels
In Las Vegas, the hotels are the attractions!

Each with their own selection of gastronomic restaurants, extravagant theatres, mile long casino floors, mind blowing nightclubs, luxurious spas, indulgent shopping malls and gob-smacking attractions.

With many hotels boasting international themes, a stroll along The Strip will take you around the world!

Check out exploding volcanoes, Venetian canals and world-class art galleries all on one street.

Visit one of the world’s biggest hotels- the MGM Grand!

And take a camera, because no one at home will believe what you’ve seen.

Downtown
A well-priced alternative to The Strip, the smaller-sized hotels of Downtown Las Vegas are packed with excellent value and entertainment.

Downtown is home to “The Fremont Street Experience” – a free evening show (on the hour) featuring an overhead light canopy stretching the length of five football fields.

The world’s biggest LCD screen comes to life with spectacular animations set to concert quality sound. Ten hotel casinos are located under the canopy itself.

Shopping
Los Vegas is a world-class premium shopping destination.

McCarran International Airport – Flight times
Atlanta 4 hours
Chicago 3.5 hours
Dallas 2.5 hours
Denver 1.5 hours
Honolulu 6 hours
Houston 3 hours
Los Angelas 45 minutes
Minneapolis 3 hours
New Orleans 3 hours 45 minutes
New York City 5 hours
Phoenix 1 hour
San Diago 55 minutes
San Francisco 2 hours 15 minutes
Seattle 2 hours 25 minutes

Sam Boyd Stadium
Annual events and building tenants are the key to our success as a public assembly facility. They include UNLV Intercollegiate Athletic events for both men and women, Professional Bull Riders, National Finals Rodeo, Vegoose Music Festival, The Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl, family shows, Supercross, Monster Trucks, special event concerts, festivals as well as conventions and private parties.

The 20 Busiest Airports In The World

The world’s busiest airports by passenger traffic are measured by total passengers (data from Airports Council International (ACI)), defined as passengers enplaned plus passengers deplaned plus direct-transit passengers.

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been the world’s busiest airport every year since 2000, with all airports combined London has the world’s busiest city airport system by passenger count.

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Pictured Dubai International Airport ranked 3rd in the World

1. United States Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport 22,746,009

2. China Beijing Capital International Airport 21,663,240

3. United Arab Emirates Dubai International Airport 19,606,327

4. Japan Tokyo Haneda Airport 18,053,930

5. United States Los Angeles International Airport 16,416,281

6. United Kingdom London Heathrow Airport 16,364,246

7. Hong Kong Hong Kong International Airport 16,328,000

8. United States O’Hare Chicago International Airport 16,258,025

9. United States Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport 14,487,751

10. Thailand Suvarnabhumi Airport 14,139,31

11. China Shanghai Pudong International Airport 14,136,814

12. France Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport 14,113,587

13. China Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport 14,094,902

14. Singapore Singapore Changi Airport 13,076,000

15. Turkey Istanbul Atatürk Airport 12,944,832

16. South Korea Seoul Incheon International Airport 12,539,595

17. Germany Frankfurt Airport 12,508,282

18. Indonesia Soekarno-Hatta International Airport 12,314,667

19. United States Denver International Airport 2,213,404

20. Malaysia Kuala Lumpur International Airport 11,972,635

Etihad To Fly 787 Without First Class

Etihad will begin flying two-class Boeing 787s from mid-2016, with the pared-back Dreamliners swapping their private first class suites (below) for substantially more economy seats.

Read: Etihad’s Boeing 787 first class suite
The two-class configuration will retain the same number of 28 Business Studio business class nooks (below) but raise the economy count from 195 to 271 seats.

A spokesperson for Etihad Airways confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that the first of the ‘first-free’ Boeing 787-9s will be seen on the airline’s Abu Dhabi-Dusseldorf route from May 1st 2016, to be followed by Perth from June 1st, Shanghai and Istanbul from August 1st, and Johannesburg from November 1st.

The Gulf carrier is one of Boeing’s largest airline customer for the Dreamliner with 71 of the next-gen jets on order, broken down into 41 of the Boeing 787-9 and 30 of the longer 787-10.

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Speaking to Australian Business Traveller at the 2014 launch of the airline’s Boeing 787 and Airbus A380 fleet, Etihad President and CEO James Hogan said the 787-9 fleet would be divided into 20 three-class configurations and 21 with a two-class layout.

Hogan added the arrangement would be similar to Etihad’s current split of three-class and two-class Boeing 777s.

“The three-class Boeing 787s will be primarily placed into capital cities where we believe there is a strong demand for premium travel” Hogan told Australian Business Traveller.

“On secondary cities and gateways where we don’t see the demand we will operate two-class.”

Several airlines are drawing down their first class cabins on future jets in favour of the latest generation of business class, including United’s new Boeing 777-300ERs, Cathay Pacific’s Airbus A350-1000 and Qatar’s promised ‘business class bedroom’ for its Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 fleet.

At the same time, Etihad’s superlative Airbus A380 first class apartments are driving Emirates and Singapore Airlines to upgrade their own superjumbo suites.

Prevent Back And Neck Pain During Flights

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Frequent business trips and long haul travel can have a detrimental effect to lower back and neck health.

Sitting for long periods in a cramped chair and a stuffy environment can create and exacerbate musculoskeletal complaints.

It’s the last thing you need if you are in and out on a quick business trip where efficiency is the key and the worst thing to happen when you arrive at your long awaited tropical destination.

Luckily enough there are some very simple things that are easy to do that can reduce the chance of aggravating your lower back and neck.

Keep Up The Fluids
Drink lots of water before and during your flight.
This works on many different levels.

Drinking lots of water will leave you feeling less jet lagged and less dehydrated post flight.

Water keeps your joints and discs hydrated which in turn reduces stiffness and decompression of your spine.

It makes you need to go to the toilet.
This means you have to be mobile throughout the flight.

Every hour, get up and walk for five minutes around the cabin.

Not only does it increase circulation and help prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis, but it reduces stiffness in the joints and tightness in your muscles.

Complete some easy stretches for your lower back every hour. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 1 to 3 times each.

Carry a good travel pillow, preferably not a blow up one, so your neck is as supported as possible.

Also carry socks so that you don’t get cold feet and tense up.

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An additional pillow to place under your feet or at the small of your back is also very useful.

If you have a history of lower back pain, before your flight it is possible to purchase convenient blow up lumbar supports to fit into the small of your back while you are sitting. This helps to maintain the normal curve in your lower back, promoting excellent alignment and helps you to maintain good posture.

Complete some easy stretches for your neck every other hour.
Hold the stretches for 30 seconds and repeat 1 to 3 times.

Trap stretch, Pec stretch, Rotator cuff stretches, Shoulder shrugs and circles.

Research prior to your flight where the best seats are on the plane.

The websites seatexpert.com and seatguru.com have done all the research for you.

Type in the plane model that you are flying, it will outline the pros and cons of all the seats. You can then try to request one that will best suit your needs for the flight. Optimally, seats that recline fully or the pods in first class and business class are the best for your back.

As a general rule, requesting an aisle seat or exit row means more leg room and avoiding seats near the toilets where people queue will prevent being bumped into. The last row of chairs in an aircraft generally don’t recline.

Heat and Ice Packs.
It is possible to purchase heat and ice packs that can be activated without the use of a microwave.

Consider purchasing a small quantity of these to provide symptomatic relief of any back or neck pain. Be sure not to burn yourself. It is recommended to place a piece of cloth or clothing between you and the heat/ice pack. Also take note of the liquid content in the heat or ice pack. Make sure the volume does not exceed that of airline allowances.

Medication
Speak to your pharmacist or GP regarding appropriate medication that might assist you if your back becomes irritated during the flight.

In the event that you do aggravate your back and neck during the flight, it is useful to have pre researched an appropriate health care practitioner that you could visit conveniently.

This not only cuts out a lot of hassle that wastes time in your trip but also gives you some piece of mind.

If you are super organised, requesting a letter from your current health care practitioner describing your back pain complaint and current management will help the new practitioner to get a handle more quickly on your presenting complaint.

Dr. Rebecca Brugman (Osteopath)

Travel Tips Hawaii

Getting to Hawaii
Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on Oahu is Hawaii’s major airport, serving as the entry point for most of Hawaii’s visitors. All major domestic carriers and many international carriers serve Oahu, so you can get here from just about anywhere.

There are also direct flights from the US mainland to Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii’s Big Island, but for the most part, you may need to connect through Oahu to get to the neighbouring islands including Lanai and Molokai.There are daily ferry services from Lahaina Harbor in Maui to both Manele Bay in Lanai and Kaunakakai Harbor in Molokai.

Flight times from Honolulu International Airport (HNL), Oahu to:
Lihue Airport (LIH), Kauai: 30 minutes
Kahului Airport (OGG), Maui: 30 minutes
Kapalua-West Maui Airport (JHM), Maui: 30 minutes
Molokai Airport (MKK), Molokai: 20 minutes
Lanai Airport (LNY), Lanai: 25 minutes
Hilo International Airport (ITO), Hawaii’s Big Island: 50 minutes
Kona International Airport (KOA), Hawaii’s Big Island: 45 minutes

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Staying in Hawaii
Finding accommodation is easy in Hawaii. Choose from historic hotels, luxury resorts, charming holiday rentals, bed and breakfasts, hostels and rental condos (apartments).

Any time of the year is a good time to visit Hawaii. Summer, between April and November, is warmer and drier (average temperature is 24˚-31˚ C) while winter, between December and March, is a bit cooler (20˚-27˚ C). Trade winds keep things comfortable year-round.

Travelling in Hawaii
To really experience all that Hawaii offers, you should consider renting a car. Reserve your rental vehicles in advance because quantities can be limited on some islands. Many visitors also enjoy taking bus tours to conveniently explore the Islands. Shuttles, taxis and public transport are available on most islands.

Hawaii’s Environment
The natural beauty of Hawaii’s fragile environment comes from its geographical isolation from other ecosystems. Bringing plants, produce or animals can introduce pests and non-endemic species that could be destructive to Hawaii’s environment.

The Department of Agriculture enforces strict rules regarding the exportation of uninspected plants and animals and requires a declaration form for each person arriving in Hawaii. When departing, your luggage must pass a pre-flight screening for uninspected fruits and plants. You are welcome to take inspected fresh flowers and fruits home. Items purchased at the airport or mailed home from local vendors are inspected for you.

Useful Phone Numbers and Links
The area code for the state of Hawaii is (808)
Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau: (808) 923-1811
Marriage License and Civil Unions: (808) 586-4545
Honolulu International Airport Visitor Information: (808) 836-6413
Agriculture Inspection: (808) 832-0566
Camping Permits (State Parks): (808) 587-0300

Which New York Airport is Best?

There are many convenient New York City Airports for travellers to choose from, making it easier for you to reach your intended destination.

The NYC airport system is the busiest in the United States and second busiest in the world.

The John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is the largest and busiest airport in all of NY with eight different terminals and over 150 gates.

Located in Southern Queens on Long Island, the JFK Airport is 12 miles away from Lower Manhattan.

Placed in the Northern part of Queens on Long Island, is the LaGuardia Airport (LGA) that rests on the waterfront of Flushing Bay and Bowery Bay.

The LaGuardia Airport has increasingly gained popularity due to its close proximity of just eight miles away from Manhattan.

The Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) is located in both city limits of Elizabeth, NJ and Newark, NJ and is just 15 miles from Midtown Manhattan.

The Newark Airport was the first major airport built in the NY area opening in 1928, and is currently the tenth busiest airport in the United States.

The MacArthur Airport (ISLIP) is the smallest airport of the four and is located on Long Island in Ronkonkoma.

A far 60 mile trip to Manhattan, two million passengers a year use this airport to escape the congested airports such as JFK, Newark Liberty, and LaGuardia.

There are a number of different ways to reach your destination once you have safely landed in a NY airport.

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LaGuardia
Airport in Queens NYC is the smallest of the three major NY airports, though it still services more than 20 million NYC commuters each year.

New York LaGuardia Airport handles mostly domestic flights, and is a major HUB for Delta Airlines and US Airways.

LaGuardia New York Airport features many helpful services for New York City travelers, and is the closest New York airport to Manhattan.

Along with JFK Airport and Newark Liberty Airport,LaGuardia is one of the major NY airports to service the New York Metropolitan area. LaGuardia Airport delays are infrequent, but subject to weather conditions. Scroll below to view our LaGuardia Airport map!

JFK International Airport
Is the busiest airport in New York City, servicing close to 60 million domestic and international travelers each year.

The JFK Airport NYC offers a number of convenient services, including luggage carts, ample NY food service, cheap transportation in NYC, and much more.

Along with LaGuardia Airport and Newark International Airport, John F. Kennedy Airport serves the New York Metropolitan area. JFK Airport delays are not frequent, but influenced by weather conditions.

Newark Liberty International
One of the busiest International airports in the United States, the Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) is a leader in both International and Domestic travel.

The Newark Airport services more than 35 million passengers per year, and is the International HUB for Continental Airlines.

There are a number of convenient services available at the Newark International Airport, including baggage storage, luggage carts, food courts and more. Along with JFK Airport andLaGuardia, the Newark International Airport services travelers in the NYC area.
Newark Airport delays are infrequent but subject to weather conditions.

Macarthur
The Long Island Islip MacArthur Airport is close to the center of Long Island, and sits just 1.5 miles from the Long Island Rail Road’s Ronkonkoma Station.

Servicing more than 2 million passengers every year, the Long Island MacArthur Airport is one of the best kept secrets in NYC, offering great rates on Southwest Airlines flights.

Avoid the crowds and the chaos of other NYC airports when you book a flight at the small Long Island Airport just outside of Islip, NY.

Delta And KLM Announce Codeshare Partnership

Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Amsterdam) will launch a codeshare agreement with India’s Jet Airways (Mumbai) that brings convenient new travel options for customers flying from Europe and the United States via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to India and beyond.

Delta and KLM announce codeshare partnership with Jet Airways via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Delta and KLM announce codeshare partnership with Jet Airways via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Effective March 27, 2016 and subject to government approvals, Delta and KLM customers flying from Europe and the United States to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport will be able to connect onto Jet Airways’ new daily flights to Delhi and Mumbai, with onward destinations that include Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Goa, Kolkata and Amritsar in India; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Kathmandu, Nepal; and Colombo, Sri Lanka.

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Delta and KLM codeshare on these Jet Airways routes will provide customers with co-ordinated customer service, a single ticket and through-check in of bags to their final destinations. Delta SkyMiles and KLM Flying Blue members will be eligible to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles on codeshare routes operated by Jet.

In addition, Jet Airways will place its code on flights between Amsterdam and 11 destinations in the United States and Canada operated by Delta and KLM.

These include: New York-JFK, Newark, Chicago, Washington D.C., Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Edmonton.

Jet Airways will also codeshare on KLM-operated flights to 30 European destinations beyond Amsterdam including Madrid, Zurich and Milan.

KLM’s service between Amsterdam and New Delhi also forms part of this agreement.

Delta and KLM offer up to 19 peak-day services to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport from 21 destinations in the United States and Canada.

LAX Los Angeles International Airport

Los Angeles International Airport (airport code LAX) is the world’s busiest origin and destination airport.

Origin and destination passengers are those who begin or end their trips at LAX rather than connecting.

LAX is the 5th busiest airport in the world and has nine passenger terminals including the newly renovated Tom Bradley International Terminal.

It is the only airport to have a US Coast Guard Air Station on-site.

Gateway to Southern California, passengers can find all kinds of airport information from various sources such as listening to LAX Air Radio 530, picking up a copy of LAX Magazine, or watching videos on You Tube.

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A multi-billion dollar capital improvement program is underway at LAX, generating nearly 40,000 local jobs.

The program’s centerpiece is the New Tom Bradley International Terminal Project with new gates for latest-generation aircraft; new concourses and seating areas; new retail and food-and-beverage offerings reflecting Los Angeles’ cuisine and culture; and expanded areas for more efficient passenger and checked-luggage security screening, and immigration and customs processing.

There also are several major airfield and facility projects, including a replacement Central Utility Plant, new taxiways and taxi lanes, and multi-million-dollar renovations to other terminals undertaken by both LAWA and the airlines.

In 2010 the Observation Deck at the LAX Theme Building (designed by Disney) reopened after being closed since 9/11. Fully renovated, the deck is open Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free to the public including free telescopes (parking fees apply).

Air Traffic Control
The 277-foot-tall air traffic control tower is uniquely designed to service LAX’s four parallel runways.

Federal Aviation Administration employees control the air space above LAX and ground controllers handle their duties for each of the four runways.

Flight data and gate-hold positions are operated from the central position of the tower cab.

Before You Travel To Europe

If you or a friend are planning to travel to Europe this summer, I’m pretty sure you’ll appreciate any advice to help make your travels go smoother and safer.

Europe is one of the busiest places for tourists over the summer months, so hopefully you’ll find these tips helpful.

Here are some things to know before you travel to Europe:

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Make Sure You Have A Valid Passport
If you’re planning to travel out of the country this summer, now is the time to find your passport and make sure it’s valid. Remember that many countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months (some just three months) after your arrival date before they’ll grant entry to their country. It doesn’t matter if you’re only going for a day; if you don’t have at least six month’s validity, you could, and probably will, be denied entry.

Call Your Credit Card Company
Tell your bank and credit card company before you leave on your trip that you are going out of the country.

Let them know the places you are going and the dates you’ll be away because after all of the credit card hacking, they will put a block on your card(s) immediately and this can put a real damper on your trip. So make a quick call in advance to avoid this hassle..

Always Pay in Local Currency
One of the biggest scams I find major stores committing overseas is after they swipe my credit card and it registers as U.S., they try and make it sound like they are helping me save money when they say, “Oh, would you like to pay in U.S. dollars or euros/pounds (or whatever their local currency is).

Paying in U.S. dollars would seem to be the more convenient option, but in reality, it’s not. In fact, it’s a total rip-off, since the stores that do this charge a higher exchange fee than your bank back home does. So, remember to always pay in the local currency of the country you’re in!

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Avoid ATM Fees
Before leaving the country, it’s always smart to check with your bank to see what ATM fees to expect. “When you use a foreign ATM, you could be charged a variety of fees, including non-bank ATM usage fees, ATM operator access fees, and international transaction fees for conversion to U.S. dollars.”

That quote is directly from Bank of America, which goes on to tell its customers, “one way to limit such fees is to use your Bank of America ATM or debit card at one of our international partner ATMs.

This enables you to avoid the Non-Bank of America ATM $5 usage fee for each withdrawal, transfer or balance, as well as the ATM operator access fee.” Here’s a list of Bank of America’s partners. To find your bank, just search their name and international ATM partners.

Download Apps like Google Maps & Google Translate
These days, you rarely have to worry about not being able to communicate overseas.

People always think I speak multiple languages because I travel so often and don’t have a difficult time doing it. Sadly, I only speak English and I’m not even very good at that.

However, I’ve noticed that more and more people are speaking English in the past 10 years (especially the younger generation).

During all my travels, I only once ran into a problem not speaking the local language and that was in China. But since then, there’s been a whole slew of technological innovation, including the Google Translate app. It’s free to download and can translate over 90 languages, from Afrikaans to Zulu.

Check Your Phone Plan
Before you start using all of your apps, make sure your cell provider won’t bankrupt you. Before leaving on your trip, call your provider and ask them if you are covered for the countries you are traveling to.

If not, either turn your phone off or put it in airplane mode and just use WiFi. If you have T-Mobile, chances are you will be able to get free data and inexpensive phone calls ($0.20 a minute). If you are cruising, follow this advice.

Get an Adaptor + Power Strip
Instead of buying multiple individual plug adaptors, with a power strip, you can just buy one (or if you travel a lot, then buy one multi-country adaptor like this one).

That way, you can plug multiple cords in and just use one outlet. And that’s key, since a lot of hotel rooms and cabins on cruises only have one or two outlets. Train Validate Ticket11. Validate Your Bus and Train Tickets in Europe.

Attach A SmartTag!
Be sure to attach one of our Tags to your luggage this could save you from a very disappointing experience.

Atlanta Airport Welcome 100 million Passengers

Artsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has become the first in the world to receive 100 million passengers in a single year.

The airport said it passed that threshold on Sunday with the arrival of Delta Air Lines Flight #1256 from Gulfport, Miss. Officials calculated the milestone using an algorithm that factored in the actual passenger count for January through November as well as projected passenger numbers this month.

The flight was greeted in Atlanta by a water cannon salute provided by Atlanta Fire and Rescue, as well as by guests and dignitaries, including Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

“Today we are making aviation history,” he told the crowd, according to a press release issued by the airport.
Also as part of the festivities, the airport designated Delta 1256 passenger Larry Kendrick as the 100 millionth passenger.

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The industrial construction worker, who was laying over in Atlanta en route to a job in Iowa, was given a 2015 Nissan Altima and two roundtrip Delta One first-class tickets to anywhere in the world.

Hartsfield-Jackson has seen a 5% increase in passengers this year, higher than the 2% jump that was forecasted when the year began.

Delta, which is based in Atlanta and is by far that airport’s biggest tenant, also put out a triumphant statement upon the occasion.

“As Delta has grown into a global player, so has Hartsfield-Jackson. It’s the world’s busiest airport by passenger volume,” the airline said.

Beijing Capital International Airport was the world’s second-busiest airport in 2014, receiving 86 million passengers, according to Airports Council International.

Did you know:
It was here at Atlanta Airport that SuperSmartTag was born!
SuperSmartTag founder Gordon Francis Jovic while waiting 3 hours for a connection flight to Miami observed all the carry-on luggage and realised most travellers don’t actually have any form of protection against loss.

Having lost luggage himself on several occasions he started to think and then came up with the idea.

All the rest is history.

Experienced travellers forget things too

Preparing for an international trip?

Are you still making lists of what not to forget?
To make your next trip, easier, here is a last minute list.

1. Call your credit card company to add a “Travel Alert” to your account. So when the bank sees ATM debits and credit card charges from overseas they’ll accept them. Ask what your daily limit is for ATM withdrawals.

2. Call your cell phone carrier and add the International Plan. The charge can be pro-rated, so make a note to call and cancel it as soon as you get home. Most importantly, ask how much each minute will cost if you call from your destination to the USA.

How much will text messages cost? If you plan to use SKYPE then turn off the phone (use Airplane Mode), or you’ll be charged minutes for every phone message and text sent to you.

Note: Travel to Canada is like traveling overseas: it is long distance to call from Canada to the USA and beware you may find surcharges on your credit card for “foreign currency exchanges.”

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Money

3. Go to the bank and get lots of crisp, clean $1 bills to use for tips and shopping (when the vendor doesn’t have change). Take a couple hundred dollars in US currency, keep in your money belt or lock in your suitcase.

Documents

4. Make copies of your passport and hide it in your luggage and leave copies of your credit cards with someone at home in case they are lost or stolen.

5. Make a list of medications that you currently take. Write both the product name and the pharmaceutical name of the drug – in some countries your medicine may have a different name.

Print out this document to stash in your luggage and also send a copy to your smartphone.

If you have a medical emergency, doctors will need to know exactly what medication you are taking.

Check this handy list of last minute items we so often forget:

cell phone, camera, laptop charger cords, night gown, toothpaste, washcloth (many hotels overseas do not provide them), large safety pin or clothespin to fully close hotel curtains, that, annoyingly, do not quite close in the middle.

A rubber door stopper for added security in hotel rooms, duct tape for all sorts of repairs to broken or torn backpacks, purses, sandals, sunglasses or luggage, empty sandwich bags, a power strip to plug in several electronic devices when there aren’t enough, conveniently located, electrical outlets in a room.

Travel Tips For International Flights

International flights are often long affairs and generally involve one or two layovers. During these long flights, which can reach over 16 hours when traveling from North America to China or Australia, it is important to take care of your health and safety. With preparation, you can arrive at your international destination healthy, well-rested and ready to take on a new country.

Protect Your Health
In the days before an international trip, it can be tempting to stay up late taking care of last-minute packing and other travel details. Losing sleep can weaken your immune system, which means that you will be more susceptible to the germs of other passengers on your flight. If possible, stick to your normal sleep schedule to stay healthy. To protect your immune system further, Reader’s Digest recommends, that you use doses of echinacea or vitamin C.

Prepare for Jet Lag on Night Flights
Many international flights involve flying overnight and changing one or more time zones, which can confuse your body and cause trouble with sleep schedules. To prepare your body for a change in time, arrive to your international flight ready to sleep. Bring a sleeping mask, socks and earplugs. Consider taking a mild sedative or an over-the-counter sleep aid, which will help you get to sleep in an unfamiliar environment. Even a few hours of sleep will help you stay awake upon reaching your destination and will enable you to adjust your schedule to the new time zone.

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While dressing up might win you better treatment and upgrades in airports, formal clothing is not often conducive to a comfortable flight. For long international trips, consider packing a set of comfortable sweats to wear during the flight; change back into your original clothing before landing.

Stay Hydrated
One of the most common problems on long-haul international flights is dehydration, which can lead to a dry throat and exhaustion. Don’t count on the small cups of water handed out by flight attendants to keep you hydrated — instead, buy one or two large bottles of water after you go through the security checkpoint and sip throughout the flight. According to the Family Doctor website, you should stay away from caffeine and alcohol, which can lead to dehydration.

Pack Light
On an international flight, you will likely have at least one checked bag. To ease your time in the airport and on the plane, bring only one small carry-on that will fit beneath the seat in front of you. That way, you will be able to easily access items during the flight and will not have to deal with the overhead bins before takeoff and after landing.

Exercise
On flights lasting more than six hours, your legs can start to cramp and your body reacts poorly to sitting in the same position. Reader’s Digest advises that you take every convenient opportunity to get up, walk the aisles, and stretch your muscles. Do simple stretches of your calves and torso; you can also stretch your arms and twist your body while sitting. To prevent stiffness, perform calf raises, foot circles, neck rolls and heel raises occasionally during the flight.

Keep Documents Handy
Keep your passport and a pen in the bag you put beneath the seat in front of you so that when the flight attendant hands out the immigration and customs form for your destination country, you will not need to get up to dig through the overhead bins.

Courtesy of USA Today

Fiji Airways expands to San Francisco

Fiji Airways will add seasonal nonstop service between San Francisco and Fiji, the carrier announced Tuesday.

San Francisco will become the airline’s third U.S. destination, joining Los Angeles and Honolulu.

The San Francisco service will launch June 16, with Fiji Airways operating two flights a week through Aug. 14. The service will resume again Dec. 15 and continue through Jan. 15, 2017.

Fiji Airways will fly one round-trip flight each Thursday and Sunday during its seasonal schedules.

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The airline will use Airbus A330-200 aircraft for the route.

“This new service is in line with our network expansion targets and gives us further reach into North America,” Fiji Airways CEO Andre Viljoen says in a statement.

“The seasonal flying takes into account common vacation trends out of the United States,” Viljoen adds. “Along with the Fijian community, the Samoan and Tongan communities living in San Francisco are also big winners with this direct service.

It will offer them a convenient one-stop flight back to their homeland to see family and friends.”

Fiji Airways’ San Francisco-Fiji flights are timed “to provide easy connectivity within Fiji, to Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific Island nations.”

Preparing For Your Flight – Handy Tips

1. Identify all of the liquids, aerosols and gels you plan on taking on your travels.

Look carefully through your luggage and identify items you think could be a liquid, aerosol or gel. Pay particular attention to toiletries and cosmetics.

2. Identify all of the liquids, aerosols and gels that you NEED for your flight.

Separate any items that you believe you NEED to carry with you on the flight. The most common items people wish to carry are deodorant, moisturiser and lip balm.

3. 100ml or less? You can carry it on board.

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Review the items you plan on carrying with you on the flight.
Are they 100ml or less? If so, then you can pack them into one transparent, re-sealable plastic bag of no more than 20cm x 20cm.

Your plastic bag will need to seal easily.

Generally, you should be able to fit a maximum of five 100ml items into a 20cm x 20cm bag before it becomes difficult to seal.

4. Packing your bags.

Items not essential for your flight, and any items more than 100ml, will need to be packed into your check-in luggage.

Even if you believe an item is very important, it should still be packed into your check-in luggage if it is over 100ml.

Any items greater than 100ml, (even if partially filled) that are not checked-in will have to be surrendered at the security screening point and will be destroyed.

If you wish to take a personal water bottle or canister with you during your flight, arrive at the airport with it empty – filling it with water AFTER security screening.

Airlines Efforts to Help Avoid Lost Luggage

No matter how prepared you are, your bags may still end up in the land of lost luggage.

The airlines do have your back (in this situation), as they should if you are paying a fee for the privilege of checking a bag.

Alaska Airlines introduced a program that offers passengers a $20 discount on future flights or 2,000 frequent flyer miles if your bag does not arrive at the carousel within 20 minutes of the plane being parked at the gate.

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This program is great as it shows the airline taking accountability for the service they provide. Nothing says you are sorry like some free miles or a $20 discount toward future flights.

In a world with almost infinite ancillary fees, it would be nice to see more consumer-friendly services like this. Nobody likes being required to pay $20 (or more) to check luggage, but if airlines are held responsible for providing said service then it seems fair for them to offer travellers the same compensation in return if a problem arises.

Ultimately, if you do have a SuperSmartTag attached to your bag your chances of getting it back quickly is much higher!

KLM Employs Sherlock The Dog

KLM employs Sherlock the dog detective to find owners of forgotten items left on planes… by tracking their scent!

KLM Lost and Found at Amsterdam airport just got a whole lot cuter, with the introduction of an investigative beagle.

Airline KLM has employed a cute, uniform-wearing dog to help reunite passengers with lost items that they leave behind on planes.

The pooch – appropriately named Sherlock – uses its tracking skills to smell the lost item then dash through Amsterdam Schipol Airport to find the appropriate owner.

The energetic beagle can be seen bounding through the airport with mobiles and headphones tucked in his pouch and even carrying stuffed toys back to their rightful owners.

A video released by the airline shows how Sherlock is doted on by staff.

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Sandra List, a member of KLM’s Team Lost & Found said: ‘I think he is a real asset to the company

‘Our main goal is to return lost items to owners as fast as possible. I really love that we’re getting some help with that.’

But rescuing abandoned items from planes is a tough job and Sherlock certainly needed some training.

His handler Dirk van Driel, explained: ‘We train for muscle strength endurance and of course socialisation.

‘When you see the reactions of the passengers that really is amazing.’

Sherlock has become something of a star at the airport, with grateful customers posing for selfies with him and staff showing him with attention.

One woman who works on KLM’s check-in desk said: ‘He drops by regularly but I have to admit I do spoil him a bit.’

Alaska Airlines Loses it’s CEO’s Luggage

Not even airline executives are safe from losing their baggage.

Last week, Alaska Airlines president and CEO, Brad Tilden, got on stage at an airline gathering in Washington, D.C. and according to a report in the LA Times, told the audience that his checked bag had been misplaced during the flight and was delivered to him a day late.

It’s happened before, too. The airline exec said the last time his airline misplaced his bag was 25 years ago.

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Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden

Reached for comment, Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said, “Brad often will often check his carry-on bag on busy flights to make room for customers to stow their bags in the overhead bins.

While very rare since we implemented our baggage service guarantee, there are times when we misplace a bag and this was one of those times.”

FREE Worldwide Shipping!

Due to the rapid increased number of online sales through 2015 SuperSmartTag is pleased to introduce free Worldwide shipping across the entire SuperSmartTag product range.

Customers are guaranteed to receive their orders within 3-21 days depending on their geographic location from the day of placing their order at no extra charge.

SuperSmartTag CEO Mr. Jovic said with the high volume of global sales, we are now in a position, to offer our customers an even more attractive buying experience by providing free shipping.

Customers across Australia can of course additionally pay for next day delivery while International customers can optionally choose delivery via an International courier including tracking at a higher rate.

Courier delivery guarantee delivery anywhere in the World within 2-4 days.

Mr. Jovic said that in the near future the company plans on shipping products from sub-depots in the United States and Europe which will of course tremendously speed up delivery times for our U.S and European customers.

STANDARD DELIVERY TIMES ON AVERAGE TODAY:

Australia 2-3 days.
United States West Coast 5-7 days
United States East Coast 7-14 days
Asia Pacific 5-10 days
Europe 5-14 days
Africa 7-14 days
South America 7-14 days

 

Qantas CEO Registers SuperSmartTag

There are already a number of celebrities from actors to sports stars using SuperSmartTag.

We were pleasantly surprised when Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas Airlines recently registered one of our SuperSmart luggage tags.

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Alan Joyce QANTAS CEO Registers a SuperSmartTag

SuperSmartTag continues to attract some VIP travellers around the World.

If you are part of a large organisation and would like to consider using our corporate luggage tags for your company please visit our Corporate Branding page for more information.

 

Air New Zealand Band a World’s First

Air New Zealand has introduced a world first for children flying unaccompanied, giving parents and guardians the opportunity to follow the steps in their journey.
Children travelling alone on Air New Zealand services will now receive an Airband at check-in as part of the service.

The wristband is embedded with a chip which is scanned at key stages of the journey to trigger text notifications to up to five nominated contacts.

Air New Zealand General Manager Customer Experience Carrie Hurihanganui says Airband is a great example of the airline investing in technology to enhance the customer experience.

“We know that having your child travel on their own can be a nervous time for both children and their guardians.

“While our staff have always taken great care of children travelling solo, we identified that there was an opportunity to enhance the experience for kids while at the same time giving caregivers further peace of mind and visibility of their journey.

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“We believe this is the first time this type of technology has been used by an airline anywhere in the world for the purpose of providing caregivers greater peace of mind when their child is travelling alone.

“We have been trialling it across our network over recent months and the feedback from parents and guardians has been very positive with many welcoming the additional reassurance of knowing where in the journey their child is.”

Air New Zealand is the only carrier in New Zealand offering a service for children travelling alone.

The airline’s new service applies to all children aged between five and 11 who’re travelling alone – but those aged up to 16 years can choose to opt in.

The new service is being offered on a complimentary basis through until 3 February 2016.

Bookings made from this date will incur a fee of $15 per child for each one way domestic journey, or $40 per child for each one-way international journey applies.

Expansion Plans Gatwick

The busiest six months in Gatwick’s history has prompted the airport to call for renewed consideration of its thwarted expansion plans.

Its chief executive, Stewart Wingate, said Britain’s second largest airport had passed the 40 million passengers mark – on a rolling annual basis – almost a decade earlier than forecasts by the Airports Commission, which has chosen Heathrow as the recommended site for a new runway. Wingate said the verdict was a “significant error” and represented “shoddy work” by the commission.

The government is expected to announce in December whether it will endorse expanding Heathrow. But Gatwick has been meeting the Department for Transport to press its argument that the report is flawed, taking issue with its assessment of economic benefits and pollution risks. Wingate said the airport had not ruled out a legal challenge should the government back Heathrow.

The Gatwick boss said: “The more we pore over the … recommendation and the evidence, the more we think it should be in favour of Gatwick. Even our sternest critics recognise that the environmental impact associated with a second runway at Gatwick are of a different order of magnitude than a third runway at Heathrow.”

Wingate warned: “Any decision in favour of Heathrow is a decision for further delay. They’ve had government backing three times and they’ve failed. We’ve seen this movie too many times. The country now has a different alternative.”

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He said that for David Cameron to back a third runway would be “worse than a U-turn”, adding: “Clearly he said ‘no ifs no buts, no third runway’. But this would be even worse than what he rejected in 2009, given the work on the M25, the number of flights over London and the environmental impact.”

Gatwick’s chief financial officer, Nick Dunn, said the commission had not properly assessed the economic benefits. “The government has got a well-established methodology and that would show expanding Gatwick has a bigger net present value than expanding Heathrow,” he said.

Wingate said the airport had told the commission it was “systematically underestimating the growth in traffic that was actually occurring, not even a forecast. That’s shoddy work.”

The airport announced a half-yearly profit before tax of £135.2m, with revenues up 5.2% to £411.8m. In the last six months, 23.5 million passengers flew via Gatwick, over one million more than the same period in 2014. Bigger and fuller planes contributed to the growth, but the airport also saw a growth in daily flights, with up to 935 takeoffs and landings on the busiest days.

Singapore Air Show Returns in 2016

Singapore Air Show is Asia’s largest and one of the most important aerospace and defence exhibitions in the world.

A truly global exhibition where the latest state-of-the-art systems and equipment, together with their related technologies and developments, are displayed by top aerospace companies around the world.

The event the Singapore Airshow Aviation Leadership Summit, which attracts an unprecedented network of international senior commercial & government delegations. The other two strategic conferences that will be held during the week of the show are the A*STAR Aerospace Technology Leadership Forum and the Singapore Aerospace Technology and Engineering Conference.

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In 2016, the event will also be featuring three special zones within the exhibition site namely the Aerospace Emerging Technologies Zone, the Business Aviation Zone and the Training & Simulation Zon.

This event is supported under International Marketing Activities Programme (iMAP). For more details of the event, please contact the organiser.

10 Things Not to Do at Airport Security Lost Baggage

If the airline loses your bags, make sure you get a written claim for damages.

This may require a different form than the original “missing luggage” form.

This can be done at the airport or by mail. The maximum an airline pays on lost bags and their contents is currently limited to $3,400 per passenger on domestic U.S. flights, and a varying rate per passenger for checked baggage on international flights based on the Warsaw Convention or the Montreal Convention.

In the United States, if you paid a checked baggage fee for your lost bag, the airline must refund your fee.

Check your carrier’s website for specifics. You may need to produce receipts to prove the value of items you had in your suitcase.

If you have them, include copies in any documentation you send to the airline. (Keep in mind that you will be reimbursed for the depreciated value of your items — so the airline won’t give you the full $1,000 you paid for that suit you purchased two years ago.)

You can purchase “excess valuation” protection if your checked baggage is worth more than these limits (but before doing so, make sure the items aren’t already covered by your homeowner’s or travel insurance policy).

Some credit card companies and travel agencies also offer optional or automatic supplemental baggage coverage.

The airlines typically have a long list of items for which they will not be held responsible; these include jewelry, money, heirlooms and other valuables.

These sorts of items should always be left at home or packed in your carry-on bag.

 

Common Travel Disasters and How to Prevent Them

STOLEN BAGS

Head directly to the baggage carousel when you get off your flight to minimize the potential time for your bag to be stolen.

Many airlines scan bags when they’re loaded into the baggage claim area and keep records, especially at larger airports.

If your bag goes missing after you’ve left the baggage claim area, your claim is no longer with the airline, but with the police.

Your homeowner’s insurance may cover a stolen suitcase; if it doesn’t, consider purchasing travel insurance.

DAMAGED BAGGAGE

Once you’ve gotten your bags off the carousel, immediately check them for damage or other signs of tampering or mishandling.

Report any damage before leaving the airport; airline customer service will often want to inspect the bag. Keep in mind that most airlines won’t cover minor wear and tear.

You will most likely need to produce a receipt for any repairs, or be required to use airline-sanctioned luggage repair vendors. Ask the baggage claim attendant for specific information.

You don’t want to find out that you have paid for a repair that isn’t covered.

COMMON CAUSE FOR LOST LUGGAGE

The most common causes of lost and delayed bags are late check-ins and tight connections.

Avoid both when you can. Pack all valuables in your carry-on bags. Cameras, computers, medication, wallets, heirlooms, jewelry, passports, as well as confirmation numbers, itineraries, contact information and other documents necessary to your travel should never be in your checked baggage.

ITEMIZE

It sounds tedious, but when an airline asks what was in your bag, you don’t want to forget anything of value.

If you make a packing list before you travel, hang on to it — this is an easy way to remember everything you put into your bags.

Make sure the person who checks your baggage attaches the correct destination ticket to every bag, and get a claim ticket for each.

Pack a change of clothes in your carry-on bag so that you’ll have something to wear if your checked bag is delayed.

If you’re traveling with a partner, consider spreading each person’s clothes between your checked bags; this way if one of the bags is lost, you’ll each still have some of your belongings.

Travel insurance is the best guarantee that you’ll recoup any losses.

Consider using a baggage tagging service such as SuperSmartTag our tags offer a unique serial number that can be linked to the suitcase owner via an online database.

Lost and Found will contact you as soon as your lost item is found.

VIRGIN ATLANTIC LAUNCHES ORLANDO-BELFAST SERVICE

Delta’s joint venture partner Virgin Atlantic Airways is expanded outside its London hub today with the launch of a new summer service between Orlando and Belfast, Ireland.

The weekly flight between the Sunshine State and Northern Ireland will run for four weeks this summer and resume June 2016.

Orlando is a key leisure destination for U.K. travellers during the holidays, and this flight complements Virgin Atlantic’s year-round services to London-Gatwick and Manchester.

Virgin Atlantic also operates a seasonal nonstop flight to Glasgow, Scotland, improving regional connectivity within the U.K.

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“We’re extremely excited to be operating our first flights from Belfast and we’ve received a warm welcome from the people of Northern Ireland,” said Joe Thompson, Senior Vice President of Network and Alliances at Virgin Atlantic.

“We want to offer customers from all over the UK access to our popular leisure destinations during peak travel periods.”

To mark the launch of the inaugural flight today, customers will be treated to a special home-from-home service with an all-Northern Irish crew looking after them onboard.

“Adding a third regional departure point and a fourth route to Orlando strengthens our joint venture network outside London and also improves the convenience of travelling across the trans-Atlantic,” said Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s Senior Vice President – Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Virgin Atlantic also launched nonstop services between Detroit and London-Heathrow this month, supplementing Delta’s daily operation.

The Delta-Virgin Atlantic partnership will offer up to 39 daily flights between the U.S. and U.K. this summer.

AMERICAN AND QANTAS ADD NEW FLIGHTS BETWEEN THE U.S. AND AUSTRALIA 

FORT WORTH, Texas – American Airlines and Qantas Airways plan to significantly expand their joint business by adding new service between the U.S. and Australia.

New routes between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Sydney Airport (SYD), operated by American Airlines, and between San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and SYD, operated by Qantas, will provide customers with expanded options when traveling between the two regions.

Through this enhanced alliance, American will begin operating a daily, nonstop flight between LAX and SYD on Dec. 17, 2015, further strengthening its global network and its world-class LAX hub.

Beginning Dec. 20, 2015 Qantas will begin operating service between SYD and SFO, expanding the airlines’ joint network to another key market for business and leisure customers. Services will initially operate on peak days and ramp up to six times per week in January 2016.

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Pending regulatory approvals, this expansion represents the natural evolution of the collaboration between American and Qantas, with revenue-sharing and other agreements that provide the airlines with a platform for closer commercial ties and an even more seamless customer experience on routes between North America and Australia/New Zealand.

The closer and more integrated relationship also provides opportunities for future growth into trans-Pacific markets not currently served by either airline, such as New Zealand.

“Qantas has been a fantastic partner through oneworld and our joint business relationship, and strengthening those ties has provided us with a solid foundation to introduce American-operated flights into the Australian region,” said Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of American Airlines.

“Our customers have asked us to expand to important business destinations across the Pacific, and flying our flagship aircraft, the Boeing 777-300ER, to Sydney will provide another world-class travel experience from our key gateway at LAX.”