Top Ten Tips For the Best Road Trip Ever

There is nothing more fun than an old-fashioned road trip. I love taking to the open road and exploring our country. Now, I've been a "road tripper" for some time and because I love air travel, I love the road trip because that's how you can really experience the country. So it's time to get your favorite tunes and munchies ready and plan your open road trip adventure with these ten easy road trip travel tips.

1. Plan your trip. First, you need to determine where you're going to go and then plan your trip. Planning does not have to take a long time, but you do need to know the route you're going to drive and points of interest along the way that you're going to want to stop and explore. Half the fun of a road trip is seeing the sites along the way. I like to MapQuest my trip and have that as my main plan of attack for my road trip. GPS is very popular these days and I recommend them, but you can not always rely on them when you hit construction zones or accidents on your journey. That's why it's essential that you have a real map with you for the areas you'll be traveling to and plan alternate routes if necessary.

2. Make your hotel reservations BEFORE you go. Part of the fun when traveling on the road is stopping where your heart desires, but there's nothing worse than a "no room at the inn" experience on a road trip. You may not realize that there is a "Comic Book Trade Show," "Strawberry Festival" or convention in town while you're visiting and there are no rooms to be had. If you do not book your reservations in advance, not only are you running the risk of having to sleep in your car but also you can not manage your road trip budget effectively. If you're traveling with your family or a group of friends, considering staying at an all-suite hotel or even renting a time share, a great option for families taking a road trip. Did you know that 90 percent of people who own a timeshare do not use it on a regular basis? Many great offers can be found at some of the larger hotel chains that offer timeshares and many of them even have a washer and dryer. For my trip to Scottsdale, I booked a fantastic one-bedroom suite with a kitchenette at a time share property directly through the hotel for just $ 100 / night including tax at the Sheraton Desert Oasis Villas.

3. Give your car a full tune up before you go or consider renting a car. One week before you go on your road trip, take your car in for a tune up and ask your mechanic to ensure the car fluids are topped, air pressure in your tires is at its best for highway driving, and any other necessary concerns regarding your vehicle are addressed. Should you need to get something fixed, it is best to do it at a place you can trust before your road trip. Plus, it can be more expensive when it is a have-to situation. Also, make sure you pack a roadside safety kit just in case of an emergency. For me that kit includes my American Automobile Association membership card (Premier Membership). If you have a car that is no longer under warranty or has automatic roadside assistance, then a American Automobile Association membership is a necessity as it will save you a fortune in the unfortunate event you have a break down and have to have your car towed. If you're at all worried that your current vehicle is not "road trip worthy," then you may want to consider renting a vehicle for your road trip. I did this for my trip to Arizona as I found a great deal on a rental car and had the peace of mind for my road trip.

4. Pack your own food and plan a picnic. I used to be addicted to stopping at fast food joints on a road trip. There was something that felt fun about that on a trip but I've since learned that I prefer to pack my own food for my journey. It does not just keep me eating healthy, but it also saves money, too, especially if you're traveling with your family. Also, if you plan ahead, you may find that there is a great stop for a scenic picnic in your travels and packing a picnic is so much better than flying through the drive-through. If you do make a stop, either for a picnic or to explore a cool sight along the way.

5. Bring great music or audible books with you! Music is truly the soundtrack of our lives and every road trip needs a soundtrack. I think of my trip to Seattle every time I hear a Phil Collins song from "No Jacket Required" because that was the primary music I was listening to on that trip. I think of the Bahamas Harbor Island and the amazing walks on the Pink Sands Beach every time I hear Wilson Phillips music. It's sort of like having a theme song for every vacation but hearing the music even today will evoke fun memories of wonderful trips. I also love catching up on books I'd like to read but somehow find it easier to listen to. That's where audio books come in and you can download them to your mp3 player, iPhone, or other PDA device. !

6. Do not forget to pack a boredom buster bag for the kids. One thing I've learned from producing for TV's "The Travel Mom" ​​Emily Kaufman, is that if you're traveling with kids, you need to make sure you have plenty to entertain them during your road trip. She calls this the boredom buster bag. Do not forget to pack some kid music your children like along with fun travel games that include magnetic board games. DVD players are an option for really long trips and as long as your child is not prone to car sickness. Of course, electronic games will keep your kids occupied but I would encourage you to limit the time on these toys especially if you're traveling through some great scenic areas. It's an excellent chance to bond as a family and your child's memory of the trip will be lost if they're lost in a Game Boy.

7. Remember, a road trip is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. One of my all time favorite road trips was the day my niece, Jessica, and I drove 52 enchanting miles on the "Road to Hana" on the island of Maui in Hawaii. I'll never forget that the guide book said, "Remember, Hana is not a destination, it's a journey." Hana is located about 52 miles from Kahului, however a typical trip to Hana takes at least three hours, as the road is very winding with approximately 620 curves over 59 bridges, 46 of which have only one-lane. This delightful road trip is a memorable journey that winds through a lush, tropical rain forest that is laced with tumbling waterfalls, black sand beaches, scenic lava cliffs, fresh fruit stands, and tropical hillsides. Jessica and I stopped at least ten times including one stop to picnic on that black sand beach. We took photos by waterfalls, delicious fruit stands and beautiful tropical flower gardens. You should treat your road trip vacation the same way we did our road to Hana: Enjoy your road trip as a journey, not a destination.

8. Make good use of every stop. I like to plan my stops for fuel, food, and restrooms so that I utilize my time efficiently and do not waste time making three stops instead of one. Probably the most important thing is that every time you do stop, make sure everyone in the car uses the restroom (even if they think they do not have to right then). This will cut down on the stops you'll make only for that purpose. Also, if you're traveling with kids, and you just need to stop for the restroom, I recommend stopping at a Starbucks. Parents can get a coffee or an ice tea, the restrooms are clean, and there are not a lot of distractions for kids (like toys to buy) that a truck stop or gas station may have. Use the Starbucks store locator at their website to help you plan your stops before you go. Do be a "good egg" and make a purchase at Starbucks while you're there.

9. Avoid Trouble. When you're on a road trip, you need to be street wise. Do not be a target for crime by leaving your valuables on the seat in your car (DVD players, Game Boys, etc.) and do not advertise you're on a road trip with pillows and blankets every where. When you park your car, hide your valuables and road trip creature comforts. If you are proactive at keeping your "I'm on a road trip clues" clearly hidden, any thief or troublemaker should just walk right by your car. Other street wise considerations is to always park where there is good light and foot traffic and make sure your windows are rolled up and the doors are locked whenever you leave your car. You may also want to purchase items like "the Club" if you like that extra insurance for safety. Finally, when you're driving, watch your speed. Speeding gives you the chance to get a ticket and more importantly, it decrees your time to react if the need should arise. If you are the driver, you are responsible for your passengers. When you see signs that say, "Speed ​​limits are photo enforced," believe them. Other good driving tips include avoiding rush hour, especially in larger cities, and whenever possible take turns driving with other people in the car. You'll also want to avoid driving at night if you are not familiar with your surroundings.

10. Get a Go City Card and save up to 55% on attractions and theme parks at your vacation destination. Last year, I flew my 8-year-old niece, Alexis, and 10-year-old nephew, Tyler, out to Los Angeles for their spring break (using Southwest Airlines Reward Miles, of course) and we took a road trip down to San Diego. That's when I discovered the money saving Go City Card for San Diego. With this card, I saved hundreds of dollars in submissions to Legoland, the Wild Animal Park, the San Diego Zoo and other attractions including a Whale Watch on the Pacific Ocean just by purchasing a Go San Diego Card.

Instead of paying individually for each local attraction, you pay one price for up to 40 attractions (depending on the city your visiting) and you get to create your own experience, tailoring your activities based on what you like to do, while also enjoying tremendous savings. For example, with the Go Los Angeles Card , you can choose one, two, three, five, or seven day cards at a low, pre-paid price to gain access to 40 included attractions. This saves up to 55% compared to buying tickets directly at Universal Studios Hollywood, LEGOLAND California, Knott's Berry Farm, Paramount Studios, the Queen Mary, and many more attractions. Go City Cards are available in many cities and vacation destinations in the US including Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Las Vegas, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, Honolulu, Orlando, Miami, Seattle, Blue Ridge and even Toronto.

Final Tips: Do not forget your cell phone and make sure you're "hands free" when you do use it while driving. In many states, it's the law, but it's also down right dangerous. Always use your cell phone "hands free" when you drive. Do not forget to update your software on your mobile before you leave because you do not want to be charged higher rates for roaming charges. Finally, it's a real good idea to email a copy of your itinerary to other family members or friends in case of an emergency – this is especially a good idea for women traveling together. Now, drive safe and have fun!

You can get more details at my website at Best-Travel-Deals-Tips.com .

School Bus VS Tour Bus: What Is Right for Your Group?

If you could take the time to sit at a busy intersection in your town or the off-ramp from a highway, you would see a lot of different buses making the rounds. There will be some slick, stylish tour buses gliding effortlessly down the highway and you will wonder what it’s like to glide along inside one.

You will also see dirty yellow school buses bouncing down the highway or through the intersection. You may see hands waving inside the windows and it could take you back to when you were a child sitting in one of those seats.

Then you may see something that ties features of the school bus with features of the tour bus: school buses designed for commercial purposes and adult riders. These buses are a bit like tour buses since they are rented out by groups of every variety for group travel. Yet, they are not nearly as luxurious as most tour buses because they are modelled after the modest school bus.

Most will not be bright yellow. These buses may have the basic shape and design of a school bus, but they are typically painted white or another simple color to set them apart from the yellow buses dropping kids off at their homes in the afternoon.

Differences to Consider

The biggest difference that may be noticed between a school bus rental and a tour bus rental is price. Tour buses can be quite fancy and have more decorative designs. They may have features that you won’t get with a school bus, such as bathrooms and small kitchen areas built right into the bus.

These more elaborate tour buses are typically rented for longer trips. School buses are typically rented out for shorter trips.

School buses may also have more size options than tour bus rentals. You can get short buses designed to carry less than 15 people or larger buses that can carry 30 people. Tour buses tend to be larger so you won’t have the opportunity to adjust expenses by picking smaller buses.

That is a huge perk that comes with a school bus rental. You can get the size you need at a good price rather than renting a larger bus that will be half empty if traveling with a smaller group.

The style of seating may also be different, but don’t assume that a school bus will have uncomfortable seats. Many school bus style rentals are not designed for children, so they do have comfortable seats for people of all ages. They just may not have as much cushioning as you could get with a fancier tour bus.

Making Your Decision

Consider all of the following when determining whether a tour bus or school bus would best fit your travel needs:

• How many people are travelling with you?
• How much can you afford to invest in transportation for this trip?
• What is the total distance being travelled?

The number of people travelling with you is always the first concern, but price comes in right after it. You need enough room to accommodate everyone going on the trip, but you don’t want to pay for more seating than you will actually use.

In general, school buses are rented out for shorter or local trips while tour buses are more comfortable for long distance trips.

Top Places to Visit in Barcelona

When you think of Barcelona you think of bull fights, flamingo dancing, paella and Spanish Wine. Barcelona is all that and much more. Here are just a few of the exciting things to do in this marvelous city.

· Sagrada Familia Church

· Casa Batllo

· Palau Güell

· Casa Calvet

· Gaudi House Museum

· Jardí Botànic de Barcelona

· Casa Vicens

Columbus Monument

· Park Guell

1. There is probably no more magnificent church in the world than the Sagrada Familia Church . Its magnificent spires are seen for miles. When you enter into the edifice, you are in awe at breathtaking architecture. Work began in 1882 and in 1883, Gaudi was called in to complete the work. It is typical of Gaudi's unique design. Everywhere you see the symbols of Christianity spelled out in the carvings and sculptures. If you can see it on a sunny day, it is better for the magnificent stained glass windows.

2. Antoni Gaudi was one of the most striking architects of the 20th century. The Casa Batllo is typical of his remarkable design. When walking or driving down the streets of Barcelona, ​​you come face to face with this magnificent building. Designed in 1904 for the Batllo family, it stands today as a monument to this great architect.

3. Gaudi does it again in this fantastic mansion of Palau Guell . Designed for this Catalan industrial magnet, the building is typical of Gaudi's creations.

4. Casa Calvet is another of Gaudi's magnificent creations. Designed as a residence, later used as a commercial property and today an elegant restaurant in downtown Barcelona.

5. The Gaudi House Museum was the home of this great architect from 1906 to 1925. It gives you the opportunity to look into the life of this great man as you look at some of his memorabilia and things. It is located in the Park Guell.

6. The beautiful Botanical Gardens of Barcelona is located near the site of the 1992 Olympics. It is a beautiful arrangement of flowers, trees and shrubs, with leisurely walking paths. You will need to stop and rest for a few moments enjoying the beauty and fragrance of the lovely flowers.

7. Casa Vicens was the first of Gaudi's notable projects. Designed for industrialist Manuel Vicens has served as a private residence ever since. While not open to the public, it is worth a visit to take pictures.

8. The Columbus Monument is a 180 'high statue of the great explorer to commemorate his discovery voyage of America.

9. The beautiful Park Guell is one of the most striking works of Gaudi. The beautiful hypostyle hall contains 84 inflated columns and the ceiling are stunning. The Dragon Steps leading down from the hall are excellent. The Greek Theater was designed for large outdoor events and is remarkable.

A visit to Barcelona is a never to be forgotten experience.

The Top 3 Activities Not to Miss in Fiji

Snorkelling and Diving

Clear waters along the coasts offer many opportunities for snorkelling with excellent visibility of colorful fish. Divers come from all over the world to experience the barrier reefs and walls of coral here.

The Great Sea Reef extends out in a curve between the two largest islands, Viti Levu (Big Fiji) and Vanua Levu. This reef embraces an intense lagoon. Along with Rainbow Reef between Taveuni and Vanua Levu, and Astrolabe Reef to the south of Viti Levu, this is one of the most prized diving areas in the world.

Fiji has many hotel options convenient to these top diving locations. Choose a travel package that includes accommodations and flight for the savings and convenience of having experts take care of the bookings. Fiji hotels fit all budgets from economy to luxury. Most hotels have arrangements for full diving equipment rental.

Day Cruise

Take a cruise of the archipelago for an intimate exploration of the islands. Many trips give travelers the chance to visit unpopulated islands and traditional Fijian villages. Enjoy the flash of bright feathers and bird calls in unspoiled rainforests. Cruises generally offer opportunities for diving or hiking.

A cruise to the Mamanuca Islands is a highlight of a trip to Fiji. The beaches and lagoons invite exploration and relaxation. Viewing the islands from a ship gives a sense of how these gems of the Pacific have looked to travelers from the time the first people arrived here.

The unspoiled coastlines, volcanic formations, verdant rainforests and pure aquamarine waters offer tranquility. A cruise gives travelers a larger vision of these islands. It's a sense of time travel, to boat, trek and dive, experiencing the ancient roots of the way of life that reigns here.

Sightseeing in Suva

Fiji's capital, located on Viti Levu, impresses visitors with its vitality and history. The Suva Municipal Marketplace offers an abundance of delights. Browse open-air stalls of vegetables, delicious tropical fruits, fish and local trips for a picnic or self-catering feast. Find souvenirs, handcrafts and playful photo opportunities amid localities and tourists mingling in one of the Fiji's largest markets.

The Botanical Gardens in Suva features the lush tropical plants and flowers that flourish in the islands. The Fiji Museum, located here, is a must-see for its extensive collection of archaeological artefacts and exhibits on the history and culture of this diverse land.

Fly to Fiji

Fiji flights land at Nadi International Airport on Viti Levu. Book a package tour and travel with confidence, knowing that the Fiji accommodation and travel arrangements will be completed with expertise and care. Packages offer the best rates for Fiji accommodation and travel. Close encounters with hypnotic manta rays and schools of brilliant fish weaving through fans of coral wait.

A Vacation Trip To Historical Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor, a historical place at Oahu Island, offers a never forgettable experience to the visitors. Scroll down the page and know more about this place that turned the country’s course in the second world war and some more attractions around it.

Welcome to Pear Harbor, the most visited tourist destination of Oahu Island. Being acquainted to the rich American history, you will surely remember the experience for a long span of time. We are presenting some of the interesting facts about this place and the reasons why one should visit this small piece of historical Hawaii Island.

Pearl Harbor, also called ‘Pu’uloa’, is located on the Oahu Island, to the west of Honolulu, the capital city of Hawaii state. This place is well known for the Japanese attack in 1941 when 1,177 sailors drowned in the water. The reason took birth in 1931 when Japanese started their operation to create an empire in the whole Asia. After attacking on China in 1937, they moved to Thailand and Philippines to meet their target. Britain (the United Kingdom) was against this action and started to cut off the help and freeze the Japanese assets in each respective country. Following the UK, America was also pushing the Japan to stop their move. To answer the USA, Japanese started to attack through the aircraft and midgets submarines. Although the Americans had deciphered the attack code, they could not discover the exact location before the attack occurred. Japanese attacked and turned the day into a black day for American damaging the fleet and hunting 2,350 lives, 1,177 were from the Arizona.

At Pearl Harbor, you could closely explore the history through visiting the Arizona Memorial Visitors Center. You would get the opportunity to board the Navy launch ship to go to the Arizona memorial where the names of all 1,177 sailors and marines are written on a wall of marble. During your tour to Pearl Harbor, you could enjoy some fine attractions of Oahu Island including Polynesian Cultural Center, North Shore and some world famous museums like USS Bowfin Submarine, USS Missouri Battleship and Pacific Aviation Museum. Charming city Honolulu is also in proximity to this place where fun and enjoyment is certain for every visitor.

For accommodation, you need not to worry as numerous hotels, rentals and condos are providing quality lodging facilities with all modern amenities and fun-filled activities depending upon your budget. There is a plethora of dining venues offering fresh sea food as well as the traditional Hawaiian dishes. To cater to your shopping needs, you could move to Honolulu city where a number of world-class shopping destinations are waiting for you.

No doubt, a tour to Pearl Harbor would be the unique experience in your life, unforgettable for a long period of time. To book your trip in advance you can surf the Internet where some reliable websites provide a variety of tour packages depending upon your budget. Along with traveling facilities, they arrange for the accommodation and tourist guides to show you all the sights. You need to search well comparing the prices and facilities offered by the websites. This would help you to get the suitable package for Pearl Harbor tour from a reputable tour company.

Take a Student Tour Band Trip to New York City

New York City is a desirable student travel destination with many educational and recreational opportunities to offer. It is also a great city for student groups who would like to perform in highly visible venues. While planning band trips to New York City, keep in mind there are some excellent choices for students performance groups. The itineraries I offer student groups who want to travel to New York City and perform there include a performance date as well as visits to the same highlights and attractions in the city any student group would find of interest.

I am the owner of an educational travel company that specializes in performance trips to New York City, Washington D.C., Orlando, and other U.S. destinations. I have spent over 25 years creating exciting visits to these destinations crafted specifically for performance groups. My company specializes in high school band trips, orchestra trips, choir performances, ensembles and more.

In this article I will outline a sample itinerary for a band trip to New York City. This sample itinerary will give trip planners, students, teachers, and parents a clear picture of the type of performance trip a group may take to the Big Apple.

High School Band Trip Itinerary

Day 1

A high school band trip to New York City begins with a guided tour of the city with a professional and certified tour escort. The sites visited include Trinity Church, South Street Seaport, Madison Square Garden, Rockefeller Center, Broadway, Chinatown, Central Park and other points of interest. After this tour of NYC is complete the group will visit the American Museum of Natural History, have dinner at a restaurant, and journey up to the observation deck of the Empire State Building. Educational travel groups may elect to take in a Yankees or Mets Baseball game as well.

Day 2

The highlight of day two is the performance by the high school band (or other type of performance group) at the United Nations or Lincoln Center. Student performance groups may also select the Statue of Liberty (Liberty Island) as a venue. Choirs may perform at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. These well-known venues are a great chance for the high school band to reach out to a new and different type of audience than the one available to them in their own hometown. Scheduling this type of performance takes six months to one year advanced planning, so educators planning a trip like this need to keep this in mind. After the high school band performs, the group is taken shopping along 5th Avenue, on an NBC Studios Tour, and visits the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The student travel group then eats dinner at a restaurant, and takes in a Broadway Musical that evening.

Day 3

After breakfast the high school band or performance group checks out of the hotel, and takes a Boat Tour of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. When this is complete the group explores the South Street Seaport and Greenwich Village. Afterward, they travel to Ground Zero and Chinatown. The last stop on the student tour is a shopping trip to Macy’s Department Store. After the shopping spree, the student group departs for home.

The sample itinerary outlined in this article does not represent the only performance trip available to New York City. I have worked carefully to put together an effective student performance trip to New York City that covers a three-day period. If additional destinations are requested within the New York City area, the student group may decide to travel for four days, instead of three. Whatever the requirements for the high school band or performance group, my professional staff remains adaptable to the specific needs of the group in the planning phases.

Top Sports Activities in Vale Do Lobo

With fantastic, unique towns, beautiful sandy beaches and warm waters, It comes as no surprise that more and more people are choosing to holiday in the Algarve. Part of the temptation for British people is that they can get a relatively cheap package holiday to the destination. There is plenty to do there by way of sports and activities that is if you can prize yourself away from the beach.

In order for you to fully appreciate the plethora of sports and activities that the Algarve has to offer, they have been conveniently listed below.

Paragliding

The Algarve is absolutely ideal if you want to go paragliding, with its fantastic, clear skies you can soar to your hearts content. There are plenty of places from whish you can hire equipment and get lessons. It is certainly something that can make beginners nervous, but once you are airborne and taking in the scenery it is amazing.

Surfing

The Algarve is proud to have developed into one of Europe’s favoured surfing venues. Novices and experts both enjoy the surf that the Algarve has to offer. There is a constant offer of clear water and there are selections of hot spots that enjoy really big waves. Again it is an activity that offers lessons, and it’s something that can be done all year round in the region, as the weather is so good in the winter. It’s also extremely convenient as it is only a couple of hours by plane, from Britain. So whether you have just started, or are an old pro, get out there!

Skydiving

Again, an activity that will really test your nerves. But also something that is punctuated by the Algarve’s amazing scenery and clear skies. You will be descending at terminal velocity with some seriously nice stuff to look at. Your memory will certainly have something fond, etched into it. You will probably be disappointed to reach terra firma.

Kayaking

If you are the type of person that likes to explore the coast line, and more specifically the cliffs with all the various alcoves and caves, then you will absolutely love indulging in a little bit of sea kayaking. You will be amused for hours as you see unique sights in the cliffs, which can only really be viewed by investing in a kayaking session. You can also get a guide to take you out and show you around.

Vacation and Travel Planned in Casual Luxury

Not all of us can afford to book an airplane ticket and reserve a deluxe accommodation to places we only imagine. Aside from that we also need some funds to spend when we arrive to our chosen destinations. Travel and shopping always come together. We cannot close our eyes when we see the products they offer in our chosen location. To make our trip enjoyable and affordable we must have a plan.

Access to the internet will be the best tool to guide us anywhere in the world. There are sites where we can compare the prices of airline tickets. If you book flights through an online travel agent today, you can pay nearly $50 per transaction in additional booking fees. Now, some travel agent says ‘no’ to booking fees. By booking online, the booking fees will be removed and you can use that money to shop in your destination and enjoy the holiday you deserve. Ask for coupons and promos. Airlines offer discount travels depending on the time of the year like the low season. Travelling with group like tour group or travel club will also give you a lot of savings. Take advantage of glorious all inclusive packages.

After booking your tickets, you must look for the accommodation. You can search the site again. If you want surfing, search for a hotel near the surfing area. If you desire for a night life, book near the city. You only need a place to stay during the night or to take nap. So, you don’t need an expensive place. You will be out and exploring the area all day. Don’t reserve for long days. One day is enough, You can always extend your stay if needed. You will be going to places and you can stay in that particular place if needed so that you will not be going back and forth. Time is gold when travelling. You have to make you use of it every minute. My point here is not to spend too much in your travel time. Keep going, don’t go back. See all the interesting places in that area. If you’re in the northern area, explore the place. Spend your night with the locals and tomorrow will be another day. That way, you will be saving a lot from hotel accommodations. The people in every country will be more than willing to extend their hospitality thereby gaining more friends.

There are so many ways where you can make your journey less expensive. And for a piece of advice don’t bring too much clothes. Bring only the daily necessities. Anyway, you can always do travel and shopping together.

Europe Vacation – A Trip For Everyone

Geographically, Europe can certainly seem a long way from home, particularly if you live in the Oceanic region as I do. Americans have a somewhat better opportunity to visit Europe than we do because of the relative proximity of continental Europe, but, we hear the expression “the world is getting smaller” and it is certainly true as far as more varied opportunities with air travel become available.

The days have long gone where you had to depend upon one airline to take you from one place to another. Global partnerships seem to have alleviated all those problems and with the press of a computer key, into the fascinating world of the internet, we are able to book the dream trip without having to move away from the hot coffee our travel agents provide while compiling our best and most convenient itinerary.

I suppose it is true to say that being originally from the United Kingdom, Europe vacations perhaps do not hold the mystery for me that they do for some of my neighbours and friends. As far as I was concerned then, a Europe vacation entailed a fortnight in Spain, Italy, France, Portugal etc, etc.

This does not alter the fact though that a fortnight in the sun was still a very attractive proposition after a year of saving and the length and inclement weather of the English winter. It was indeed something to look forward to.

My outlook has changed somewhat I must admit. My last trip to Europe entailed a stop off in Germany, with a wonderful five day trip through Bavaria and back to Northern Germany and Frankfurt for a Saturday morning flight to England. This was followed by a couple of weeks touring round the “Old Country” catching up with relatives and spending a week in Ireland, the birthplace of my mother.

Other people would have much more exotic designs on European vacations. Rome and Paris I guess would have to be two of the most popular destinations on the European mainland. Not surprisingly, since both these beautiful cities have so much to offer. It may be said that you could spend two weeks in either of them and not see everything in the tourist brochures.

My next European vacation is taking the form of 26 capitals in the same amount of days. Hectic it may sound, but if there’s one thing to be said of a European bus tour, it’s that your only requirements are to be able to get a good night’s sleep, be not too deaf to listen to the tour guide’s information and make sure you make the most of the wonderful scenery that Europe has to offer – oh, and have a good pair of walking shoes!

The magic of a European vacation will never wane, no matter where you live now. But attraction to it, if the truth be known, is not just linked to Europe. We all know that many places in the world have equal beauty – if only we could see them all!

Landmark Sites to Visit on London Tours

The historical and global city of London is among the top tourist destinations in Europe due to its galore of attractions that have charmed visitors since centuries. If you are planning London tours, then you should not miss visiting the following places of interest.

Palace of Westminster

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Palace of Westminster lies on the bank of the Thames River. The original building was constructed in the Middle Ages; however, in 1834, a major part of it was destroyed by a huge fire. Later, between 1840 and 1870, the structure was rebuilt in Gothic Revival style by an architect named Charles Barry. The ground floor of the palace features dining rooms, offices and bars while the first floor has libraries, lobbies and debating chambers. The remaining two floors feature offices and committee rooms.

St Paul's Cathedral

One of the most important landmarks of the city, St Paul's Cathedral was originally founded in AD 604. However, the present edifice was built in the 17th century by Sir Christopher Wren in English Baroque style. This building has a height of 111 m and length of 158 m, with its two towers having a height of 67 m. Many important events have been held at this church, including funeral ceremony of Sir Winston Churchill; wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana; and Jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria.

Tower Bridge

This combined suspension and bascule bridge was constructed between 1886 and 1894. Located close to the Tower of London, this bridge crosses the Thames River. It combines two towers that are linked together by two horizontal walkways, which are at the upper level. The total length of this famous bridge is 244 m while its height is 65 m. Pedestrians and vehicles can freely use the deck of the bridge; however, the twin towers, Victorian engine rooms and high-level walkways can only be seen with a Tower Bridge Exhibition.

Buckingham Palace

Home and office to the monarch of the United Kingdom, Buckingham Palace was originally built in 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham as a townhouse. In 1703, King George III acquired this building as a personal residence for Queen Charlotte. A number of additions were made to the original structure in the 19th and 20th centuries. The palace has in total 775 rooms, along with a spectacular garden. As part of the summer opening of the palace, all staterooms are opened for public viewing in the months of August and September.

Westminster Abbey

Established in the 10th century, this Gothic church lies toward the west of the Palace of Westminster. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is among the most important religious structures in the United Kingdom. It has served a burial site and place of coronation for British monarchs.