Travel and Leisure Archives

Improve Your Travel Photographs in 60 Seconds

No matter what part of the globe you’re from, you’re probably going to be taking a vacation soon. Can you remember how happy you were with how your last vacation pictures turned out?

The irony is that it usually takes just as much time to shoot outstanding vacation pictures that it does mediocre ones.

So, what’s the secret to capturing better vacation shots?

It’s pretty simple, really. Here’s how to take phenomenal vacation photographs in ten easy steps: Take a few seconds before immediately snapping off 5 pictures and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Am I about to be attacked by a wild animal? (It may not be photo-related, but if the camera is also eaten, then…)
  2. Could this photograph improve if a circular polarizing filter was used?
  3. Do I have the right image in my viewfinder? Think of the view as though you were about to crop the final image. Is there way too much extraneous material in the image (or far too little)? Having up to 20% more in an un-cropped photograph is a good idea, but much more than that could begin to degrade the resolution after the photograph is cropped.
  4. Is there a better angle?
  5. Would this picture be much more spectacular if taken at another time of day or night (assuming of course, that you could return then)?
  6. If I re-position myself, could I include something in the foreground (or background) that would improve the photo?
  7. Would the photograph be more effective if taken using a portrait (vertical) perspective rather than a typical landscape (horizontal) perspective?
  8. Do I want to be in this photo? If so, use a tripod or ask a stranger to take the shot.
  9. Would the picture be better if I had people (or no people) in the shot?
  10. Are all my settings correct (at a minimum, consider: ISO, metering mode, fill flash, and white balance).

Realize that you probably don’t go on that many vacations per year. Therefore, doesn’t it make a lot more sense to take a few extra seconds before taking your pictures and be very satisfied of your vacation pictures? Otherwise, the same old mediocre alternatives are still available.

See our colorful, eye-catching Travel Prints & Posters Gallery.

Cheap Travel International Flights And You

Finding cheap travel international flights is more of an art than a skill. Before the Internet became so prominent, the situation was both better and worse.

On the one hand, there seemed to be less competition for providing cheap international flights. It required several calls to different airlines to research the best deal, so few people bothered to really ensure that they were getting a good price – a fact which kept prices higher.

On the other hand, if you were persistent you could almost always get the best deal. It could take you an hour or two, but by that time you would have an excellent idea of what airline offered the best rates on the dates you were thinking of traveling.

Nowadays, there are cheap airline deals all over the place. Almost every day, there are dozens of offers for cheap travel international tickets to thousands of different destinations. Paradoxically, this can make it harder to find the best deal than before. There are many websites where you can look for cheap tickets, and each one is set up in a different way.

Some people have a favorite. My mom, for example, almost always starts with Kayak.com. I know other people who are big fans of Travelocity, Cheaptickets.com, or some other airline travel bargain website altogether.

Still, in reality no one site has the best deals all the time. With cheap travel international, as with any other attempt to find the best price on the Internet, the more work you do the better off you’ll be.

When I start off looking for cheap travel international, I usually go to kayak.com first. The advantage of that web page is that it runs searches of other travel engines. As a meta-search tool, it is more likely than most to provide the cheapest international tickets.

Nevertheless, it is not always right. Sometimes, it misses a deal. Other times, there is a special rate only available on an airline’s own website. It varies from time to time, and sometimes things end up being disappointing.

There have been times, for example, when I have bought a cheap airline ticket only to see one much cheaper crop up the next day. In these circumstances, it is important to keep your mind on the positive. Just remember that you are getting a great deal, and missing out on an even better one will not depress you as much.

Cheap travel international is like anything else – no matter how good a deal you get, chances are that there is an even better deal somewhere.

More articles about Lifestyle Travel

Don’t forget to browse through our enticing and colorful Travel Prints & Posters Gallery.

Laax in Switzerland

Laax in Switzerland stands over 30 000 feet high, with skiing and snowboarding facilities that suit everyone’s needs from beginners to world champions. Laax has hosted all the big events in snowboarding and skiing, welcoming thousands of tourists from around the globe each week.

Laax was one of the first major skiing locations to get on the map. When in the 70s skiing holidays started to rise in popularity for Western travelers, Laax was right there, waiting to ride the wave. Millions of visitors later, Laax is renowned for its 3rd slalom, known only as Death Mountain by some. With glaring views down the steep, tangling mountain-side it is no wonder Death Mountain scares even the most resilient of skier.

Laax in Switzerland
With excellent facilities for everyone, Laax recently hosted the snowboarding world open, in which over 10,000 people took part from 60 countries around the world. An interesting element of this was that over 100 entries came from south Asia and Africa showing the rise of the sport, and the exposure of the location on a global scale.

Laax was voted number one skiing location around the world by Ski Press Magazine that also notes Laax as having the third best snowboarding facilities and, as being the best newcomer to freestyle snowboarding.

The popularity of Laax has also lead to continued investment from the company operating the slope, building an amazing ski lift that can handle weights of over 80 tonnes as it climbs 30 000 feet up the mountain face. The ski lift’s unique attribute is its balancing technology that allows the ski lift to carry massive amounts of weight disproportionately whilst keeping a balanced angle and speed.

Skii Vacation
The popularity of Laax is not just shared by avid skiers and snowboarders. Top music names and DJs also come to Laax to experience the amazing events first hand. With the rise of snowboarding many of these musicians feel they can appeal to a certain audience out on the slopes, especially under the cover of darkness, with only flood lights keeping the mountains alive. The DJs provide entertainment as the crowd snowboard and ski into the morning sunlight. The views and the experience are utterly amazing, and are a sure way to ensure top class entertainment for the young travelers who visit Laax.

Travel Resources
However it is not only the night-time DJ sets and fireworks that sparkle for the young skiers; there are also plenty of locations tailored to their needs off the slopes as well. With local pubs, clubs and even swimming pools the young ones are sure to enjoy themselves off the snowy mountains of Laax.

Despite being an amazing location for younger skiers the location also appeals to those who have never been skiing before. They have multi-lingual training facilities and indoor centres where they train first-time skiers up before taking them to the slopes. They also have amazing training facilities for advanced skiers, facilities that would undoubtedly be used by the worlds top skiers and snowboarders at the world events that are held at the slope almost every year.

Don’t forget to browse through our enticing and colorful Switzerland Prints & Posters Gallery.

Finding Reasonable Flights To Australia

Cheap Flights to Australia

A friend of mine just returned from a three-week vacation to Sydney, Cairns, and the Australian Outback. I’ve spent the last few days looking at photos and listening to him rave about all the amazing adventures he had on his trip. Of course, I’m totally jealous now, as that’s the exact itinerary I’ve been dreaming about for years. The only thing that has prevented me from making the journey Down Under is a lack of funds, but I’m due a bonus at work within the next month, so I think I’ll finally have enough money to go.

I’m so excited about the prospect that I’m already checking into flights to Australia to see what how much I’ll need to spend. I know that airfare has been on the rise pretty much across the board recently, so I have to admit that I was worried about having to pay an arm and a leg just to get to over to Sydney. Fortunately, while flights to Australia are indeed more expensive than other top vacation spots, the prices aren’t nearly as bad as I feared they would be.

The main reason for this is the fact that there are so many discount travel websites on the Internet these days. Most of them offer good deals on flights to Australia, so I’m 100 percent sure that I’ll be able to find something in my budget. It helps that my travel dates are completely flexible, as that obviously gives me the opportunity to go during off-peak times when fares are at their lowest.

Anyway, I decided to use a site that quickly compares rates on all flights to Australia offered by every airline that flies out of my nearest airport. It was very easy to get these instant rate quotes. All I had to do was type in the dates that I wanted to travel on, the number of people in my party, and a few other details, such as whether or not I minded layovers. Once I entered this information, I then received a list of cheap flights to Australia that met my criteria.

I haven’t actually booked my flight to Australia yet because I think fares might dip a bit lower in a few months as winter arrives in the southern hemisphere. In the meantime, I’ll just keep monitoring prices every couple days or so. Then, as soon as I see a reasonably cheap flight to Australia that I can afford, I’ll snap it up and make the rest of my travel arrangements immediately after.

I can’t even begin to tell you how great it feels to know I’ll be going on my dream vacation soon!

More articles about Australia Travel

Don’t forget to browse through our enticing and colorful Australia Prints & Posters Gallery.

All-Inclusive Caribbean Vacation

All Inclusive Caribbean Vacation

If you want the best all-inclusive travel Caribbean resort, then you ought to look for more than just a room with sun, sea, and sand. Hey, it’s not called all-inclusive for nothing you know.

You want your all inclusive travel Caribbean resort to have, if not everything, then at least, something really close. A buzz on the beach by day, a dining room open to the night air, water sports and other activities to go crazy on, a lounge deck within earshot of the waves for a relaxing afternoon, and a comfortable to retreat to – all that is available if you choose your all-inclusive travel Caribbean resort well.

More and more people are pampering themselves at all-inclusive travel Caribbean resorts where everything they could ever want is right at their disposal. What’s more, lots of these all-inclusive – about 79% – of them are beach front properties or sitting near lakes and other bodies of water where the views are spectacular.

Below are our top choices when it comes to all-inclusive travel Caribbean resorts:

Breezes Bahamas

Located on the eastern end of Cable Beach, Breezes Bahamas is the epitome of warm breezes wafting across an azure sea. This all-inclusive travel Caribbean resort was previously the venerable old Ambassador Beach Hotel. In 1995, the world-famous Super Clubs took over management and the resort underwent major renovations.

Breezes all-inclusive travel Caribbean resort is truly all-inclusive. At Breezes, almost everything you could ever want is included. Room accommodations, all meals, all snacks, unlimited wine or beer with lunch and dinner, as well as alcoholic drinks, mixed with premium brand liquors at each of the four bars, the list just goes on and on.

Club Med Turkoise

An island all-inclusive travel Caribbean resort, Club Med Turkoise is located directly on the white sand beach of a desert island called Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos, Caribbean. Unlike what you may expect of a tropical island, Turks and Caicos do draw the card with its breathtaking beauty and the astounding view of the beach and sea surrounding it.

With miles of white sand and translucent turquoise water, Club Med Turkoise all-inclusive travel Caribbean is the ideal for sports lovers and scuba divers. There are a total of 298 rooms, all beautifully appointed with comfortable accommodations, 3 meals a day, including unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, most sports, and nightly entertainment.

Le Sport

“Give us your body for a week and we’ll give you back your mind.” That’s the line Le Sport at St. Lucia uses on their clients. And indeed, this all-inclusive travel Caribbean resort does just that. With its quirky outlook on how an all-inclusive travel Caribbean resort should be, Le Sport has been helping the weary business traveler relax, suing a combination of holiday treats and intense pleasure of personalized rejuvenation.

Convinced to go? Read the vacation packing checklist tips before you go there.

Don’t forget to browse through our enticing and colorful Caribbean Prints & Posters Gallery.

Following The Air Travel Rules

Are you preparing to fly this year? Whether you are scheduling a business trip or a family vacation, there is a good chance that you will want to pack and take a number of your belongings with you. Are you planning on bringing any items with you that are banned? If so, you may want to rethink your decision. As a traveler, you need to understand the importance of following air travel rules, including banned items.

Following the Air Travel Rules
Before you can understand the importance of following air travel rules, you need to famialrize yourself with them. You can easily do this by contacting the airline or airport you plan on using. In addition to contacting them directly, you should also be able to find helpful information, including common air travel rules, on their online websites. These online websites, along with other valuable information on air travel, can be found by performing a standard internet search.

In your search you will not only be able to obtain a list of all of the banned items, but you also will learn specific information on those bans and exceptions to them. For instance, all liquids are currently banned from being stored in your carryon luggage, but small amounts of baby formula, eye care drops, and prescribed medications are allowed. In addition to information on items that are prohibited aboard an airplane or only allowed in certain plane areas, you can also learn more about the airport security screening process. This may include documents that you need to have handy, as well as the security checkpoints that you will have to go through.

Once you have taken the time to familiarize yourself with many of the air travel rules, including those that were recently implemented, you should be able to have a pleasant experience at the airport, as well as aboard your airplane. However, knowing the new rules of air travel simply isnt enough; you also need to follow them. In fact, if you dont follow them you may be in for the shock or surprise of your life.

Travel
When it comes to not following air travel rules or cooperating with airport security, you will find that there are a number of different consequences. Perhaps, the most common consequence is that you will miss your flight. If you are tied up with airport security, they are not required to hold your flight just for you; therefore you may be required to book a reservation on another flight. In addition to missing your flight, there is a chance that you could be detained by airport security or local authorities.

If you hanker for the good old days of air travel before all the rules and regulations were put in place, you may want to have a look at our delightful selection of Vintage Air Travel Posters.

Cheaper Corporate Travel – Get There For Less

I fly a lot and am considered a heavyweight among people who claim to know corporate travel. I have flown so much that I have known the birthdays of pilots on some regular flights.

One time when I was taking a couple of months off and trying to stay home more I actually received calls from the airlines asking where I was and if everything was alright. That is too much. That is too much because of the wear and tear it places on your body and family life but also because of the dent it places in your wallet. I have found a way to fix all of that, at least the expense part anyway.

I received a cold call from a funny salesperson asking if he could have the honor of booking my next set of travel arrangements for me. During a quick phone call he asked me where I typically went, how frequently I left home, where I liked to sit on airplanes, which airlines I preferred, how much I was typically spending per flight to different locations, what hotel accommodations I liked to have I stayed in needed to have for me to be happy, what size and type of rental cars I preferred, all about my frequent traveler programs and away he went. I tucked it in the back of my mind and forgot about it.

Within a few days I had a need to book a trip. I sent a quick communication outlining the details about the trip and gave him a few hours to go to work. In the meantime I also went to work to check out what I would be able to book on my own.

After spending about 45 minutes of my time I had a held itinerary for a flight, rental car and hotel room. The reservations were made all with my regular frequent flier and member numbers and all discounts were applied. The total trip was going to cost $1,620.00 over 3 days for air fare, rental car and a hotel stay.

I received an e-mail from the corporate travel agents a couple of hours later telling me that I could save $200 off of my flight if I would be willing to make one-stop (I wasn’t), $30 a day off my rental car if I would use a different company (I would gladly for a $90 savings) and that a nice upgrade over my original lodging plans would cost me $69 per night and not $199 per night (a savings of $130 per night and $420 for the trip). I fell in love with this guy who had called me out of the blue a week ago. He had saved me and my company exactly $510. At that point I loved corporate discount travel.

Our department participates in a margin sharing plan that rewards our team of sales people for the margin that we bring in. Travel has been a sore spot for the corporation and the department as the expenses have gone up for travel and we have struggled with ways to cut back. We sell a product that is almost impossible to sell over the phone, typically requiring a couple of multiple day visits on-site to get a new project started. My next call was to our corporate team to let them know about how we can all save money on our corporate travel. Many thanks to the man who made the cold call.

Don’t forget to browse through our enticing and colorful Travel Prints & Posters Gallery.

Shortcut to Exciting Vacations in Travel Malaysia

Travel Malaysia Tips

If you’re thinking of a business trip or personal holiday, you should travel to Malaysia. Why Malaysia? What does Malaysia have that other countries do not? I am a Malaysian and I can give you genuine reasons why Malaysia should be your destination of choice for business or pleasure.

Firstly, the cost of living is low but the standard of living is high. Malaysia has all the modern facilities and infrastructure that you find in New York, London or Paris but at only a small fraction of its costs. In fact Malaysia has more kilometers of highway than the whole circumference of the earth! Not to mention exciting tourist destinations such as the Petronas Twin Towers, Petroscience Center, Suria KLCC, Midvalley Mega Mall, Starhill Gallery, the National Museum, the Lake Gardens, Palace of the Golden Horses etc.

Secondly, the country enjoys peace and stability socially, economically and politically. Since its independence in 1957, Malaysia has experienced rapid growth. Its economy has evolved from a primary industries-based economy into a robust and competitive diverse economy that sees Malaysia as one of the world’s top producers of microchips, automobiles, electronic equipment, food-based products and natural resources. In fact, Malaysians treat their country’s visitors very well. This is why tourism plays such a big part in Malaysia’s economy. This means that you can enjoy your stay in Malaysia with complete peace of mind and be pampered by the genuine warmth and hospitality that is uniquely Malaysia.

Thirdly, the country is free from all natural disasters. No other country in South-East Asia has such stable climate and ecological conditions except Singapore (which used to be part of Malaysia). In Malaysia there are no earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, cyclones etc. So when you are in Malaysia, you will enjoy its warm and sunny weather with a constant day-time temperature of about 30 degrees Celcius and night-time temperature of about 27 degrees. Even during monsoon season (late November through to December), its rainy weather is mild because the country is shielded from the full effects of the South West monsoon by the island of Sumatra (part of Indonesia) on its West.

Fourthly, the country is a blend of East and West. You will find all the Western modern amenities ranging from large shopping malls to state-of-the-art business facilities and plush hotels. At the same time, you will also discover the Eastern culture and lifestyles of family businesses, small shops, simple wooden houses in small villages where respect for the elderly, discipline for the children and a sense of personal modesty is practiced.

Fifthly, the people of Malaysia live in peace and harmony. They are a true model of inter-racial, inter-religious and inter-cultural unity. In fact, Malaysia is known as the Rainbow nation of Asia for precisely this reason. In Malaysia, you will witness the lifestyles of the various races that live there such as the Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans, Dusuns, Muruts, Dayaks, Bajaus and about 35 other indigenous ethnic groups. You will be awe-struck as you watch colourful cultural dances, mesmerizing displays of fashion, art and craft and be spell-bound by the fascinating array of local cuisine. As mentioned above, Malaysians are naturally hospitable people.

As a Malaysian, I warmly introduce you and welcome you to my country, Malaysia. When you come to Malaysia, you will have a most memorable stay whether for your business or holiday.

Preparing for a travel? Read this packing checklist for vacation.

Don’t forget to browse through our enticing and colorful Malaysia Prints & Posters Gallery.

Geilo In Norway

Geilo in Norway stands 800 metres high, and has one of the highest ski lifts in the world, stretching 3,887 feet. Geilo is positioned three and a half hours from the capital city, whilst having good road and rail links to the village. Set amidst amazing scenery just off the banks of Fjord, Geilo is at the heart of Norways Winter Wonderland. Maintaining its reputation as an excellent family resort, Geilo has seen visitors from Europe and beyond since early 1900s. Geilo remains unspoilt, with true Norwegian character firmly intact.

Geilo in Norway
With more than just skiing facilities Geilo is home to the 4 star Highland Hotel, as well as numerous lodging houses, and the famous Holms Ski Bar. Although primarily a ski resort Geilo also offers sleigh rides, wildlife adventure tours, ski orienteering, tobogganing, snow shoe walking, dog-sledging, kite-skiing, night-skiing, snowboarding, freestyle snowboarding and much more.

Norway Vacation
Geilos reputation as one the worlds top skiing resorts lies mainly in its ability to cater for family vacations. With over 10,000 families visiting the slopes each year, Geilo also offers excellent tuition in packages it refers to as the Family Starter Pack. This involves tuition for your entire family for the equivalent of $200 a day. This means, that not only can your whole family learn together, but is also means that families with no skiing experience, can go along and after the first day, they will be able to ski on their own.

Geilo has also increased its reputation amongst Snowboarders in recent years beating off Lillehammer, Voss and Hemsedal in its bid to host the Norwegian Snowboarding Championship. With four sides of mountain each dedicated to snowboarding and skiing, Geilo is now able to call itself Norways first skiing location to offer 5 runs dedicated to snowboarding. With 110 runs in total, Geilo has 14% expert allowing experienced skiers to enjoy themselves on the slopes, whilst maintaining the rest of its facilities for intermediates and beginners that account for a larger number of their yearly visitors.

Travel Resources
Geilo also offers exceptional value for money with weekly family packages starting from $1000 including accommodation, bed and breakfast. The element that stands out the most about Geilo is the way it caters for families, with crches, family diners, and especially their Christmas bonanza which includes Santa visiting the slopes with his reindeer on Christmas day, and the time leading up to christmas. Geilo never fails to be fully booked for Christmas, with so many families choosing to bring their children along to experience Christmas within this winter wonderland.

Don’t forget to browse through our enticing and colorful NorwayPrints & Posters Gallery.

The Roads Less Traveled In Seattle

If you are in the process of making plans to visit Seattle, Washington, I’m sure you’ve checked out all kinds of information about what there is to do and see in the area. There are many things that make all of the must do lists because they offer appeal to the greater population rather than things that would appeal to specific segments of population.

I consider myself young, hip, and fun loving. While there are many things on the mass lists that I find appealing, I really like going off the beaten path just a little bit and finding things to do and places to see that aren’t going to be overcrowded, overpopulated, and simply overdone. I like to find something that not every other tourist in the city is going to be standing in line in front of me to do. Here are a few of the nifty tours and other things I have found to do in Seattle.

The Roads Less Traveled in Seattle
The first one on my list is the Private Eye on Seattle Murder and Mystery Tour. There are three tours offered, the Queen Anne Murder and Mystery Tour, the Capital Hill Tour (which each cost $25 per person and lasts about two and a half hours), and Haunted Happenings, which is also known as the Seattle Ghost Tour (this tour lasts about 3 hours and is also $25 per person). These are great for any fan of true crime or simply dusty old detective novels. They are not however, tours I would recommend for the squeamish or faint of heart. I recommend any one of these tours or all of them if possible. They are a great way to spend your time while in Seattle.

After a trip with Private Eye on Seattle, you simply must check out the Seattle Museum of the Mysteries, which is a museum dedicated to the study of paranormal sciences. This is the only museum of its kind in Washington State. If you have any interest in Big Foot, UFOs, crop circles, ghosts, or just enjoy legends, lore, and tall tales, then this museum should be right up your alley. Even if these things aren’t vitally important in your day-to-day existence, it is still really interesting to see the artifacts that have been collected and to hear the stories that are being told.

Coming back to the world of the living, one of my favorite places in Seattle is a little bit crowded with tourists; however, it is well worth dealing with a few more people if you ask me. That place would be Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. I’m not sure if my fascination with this place stems from my love of science fiction movies and literature or simply from the contribution that science fiction has made on society in the last few decades. Perhaps it is a slight combination of the two. Or maybe it is just the coolness factor alone. For whatever reason, this museum is a favorite of mine and I hope that you will feel the same way about it after you visit.

Travel in Seattle
If you are visiting the Science Fiction Museum, you might seriously consider purchasing a combination ticket for the Experience Music Project. Separately the project is a tad expensive but when you purchase a combo ticket for both you save enough money to take the sting out of the visit. If you are a music lover, particularly rock and roll, then this experience is one well worth having. The price is somewhat prohibitive if you are visiting on a budget but if you plan carefully you can manage savings in other areas that will make up for the cost.

There are so many fascinating things to do, see, and experience in Seattle and the surrounding areas. I hope that I have introduced you to a few things that are a little off the beaten path and yet offer something of interest to you at the same time. The most important thing to remember when visiting Seattle, Washington is that vacations are fun and that is what you should have-lots of fun.

Don’t forget to browse through our enticing and colorful Washington Prints & Posters Gallery and our Seattle Prints & Posters Gallery.

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