Monday, July 30, 2012

Travelers Diarrhea

OK... We might as well talk about it and not mince words... diarrhea....

The trots, Delhi belly, Montezuma's revenge, tourista... call it what you will, if you travel, you may have to put up with this one day.

Country and city names aside, you can get diarrhea anywhere.  It may be the water... even if it isn't dirty or contaminated.  Water away from home contains different minerals and bacteria than your water at home... and it doesn't matter where home is or where you travel.  Americans traveling to Mexico may worry about Montezuma's revenge, but we've talked to Mexican tourists who got tourista in California!

There are countries where you shouldn't drink the water.  Hotels in those countries will usually provide complimentary bottled water in your room.  (Double check before you just assume this though.... both whether the water is safe and if the bottle is complimentary.)

If in doubt, go ahead and drink bottled water...

better to be safe than sick.  Beer, wine, bottled soft drinks, boiled coffee and tea are also safe to drink.  (But skip the ice cubes.)

You can get intestinal troubles from the food as well as the water.  It all depends on what your body can put up with.

To be really safe, the tried and true travelers' rule is to eat food only if it's peeled or boiled or well cooked.... a rule I'm afraid we break more often than we should.  We do eat at street stalls if they look clean... but you never know what microbes are lurking....

And we eat salads even on safari or in the jungle or traveling overland in India or Tibet.  Sometimes it's a matter of "what else can you do".  For all the fun experiences we have being this adventurous, we haven't had all that many bouts with "the revenge".

We had an old doctor tell us that one of the best ways to ease your digestive system into the local cuisine was to eat things that are acidy and yeasty.... he suggested beer and yogurt.  The yogurt abroad has enzymes that can help... and the beer?  I don't know how much it helps, but it's fun to try all the local beers, and it's always safe when the water isn't.

The causes of diarrhea are just as likely be the stress of travel, the fact that you're overtired and jet-lagged, and that your immune system is worn down, so it may not be the food or the water.

If you do get diarrhea, it will usually run its course in short order.  Eat bland foods, and take it easy for a day.  Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluids and avoid dehydration.  You can take anti-diarrheals to help slow those trots down and start you feeling better as long as you don't have a fever or blood in your stools.

Gross as it sounds, I had an attack when we were walking the Vietnamese city of Hoi An.  Our driver wasn't coming back for a couple of hours, so I told our guide every time I had to "make a dash".  She seemed to know people everywhere, and I was graciously allowed into the back room of businesses and several private homes to, ...ahem..., use the facilities.  I wasn't too happy at the time, but in retrospect, I had a tour like no other!  What a story, eh?

To re-emphasize... if the condition persists, if you're running a high fever, or if you have blood in your stools, you should see a doctor and get antibiotics.

Don't be worried about this.  Try to be smart about what you eat and drink.  Even then you may get "tripped up".  You'll soon be over it... and maybe you'll have stories to tell too.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Longstay Travel Insurance: Extend Your Travel Stay

Whenever we decide to travel abroad, we always get the think of taking travel insurance. If you are an occasional traveler you'll probably buy your insurance from the travel agent. But if you travel more than twice a year, it is much more cost effective to have one insurance lasting all year round, than buying one every time you travel. If you are travelling for a long time then its better to take longstay travel insurance.

Before buying any longstay travel insurance, it is better to go through the whole policy. Health concerns which are rather severe as well as problems brought about by alcohol and drug uses are oftentimes excluded from the full coverage a client is entitled to. War and terrorism clauses can be excluded in most policies to protect both the company and the traveler with the latter being influenced not to plan a trip to such hazardous nations. Travel insurance is an agreement or a contract which can offer a traveler with an adequate amount of assistance that can be beneficial when traveling so it would be smart to compare a list of policies beforehand.

There are different forms of insurance which is hard to classified but considering the durations, travel insurance is further divided in three types:

* Single trip,
* Multi-trip and
* Annual / Long stay

"Long stay" insurance is the most important and attractive part of the travel insurance because for the large number of travelers who planned their vacations for more numbers of days / many months. It not helps you only in travelling plans but also a safeguard for cancellation charges, luggage and personal belongings, financial investments, your health and well being and most important to give you sense of peace. Companies are offering much best coverage to the customers who are buying long stay like international travel insurance, top up insurance etc. The main benefit of this insurance is the customization of coverage. A customer of long stay travel insurance can optimize their coverage as per their need; he should take help with their insurance adviser. Go for most appropriate coverage often their charges may be more than the standard one. The customers must be clear about their need and the ignorance.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Travelling Meditation

Travelling on the Northern Line into the City is possibly one of the most stressful commutes one could have.  But, using meditation, I often made my journey so positive and joyful that I was sad to get off the train.  You can use many other meditations here, most of them, even a gong meditation if you have an iPod would be fine.  But there is a little extra "trick" to improving any meditation you undertake while travelling.  Some people say that you shouldn't meditate while driving, however a little gentle mental exercise can be very helpful if you are stuck in traffic or having trouble with another road user (although don't close your eyes!)


Breathe in gently through your nose and out through the mouth.


Focus on the people around you.  The tube or bus passengers or the other drivers.  Feel how you are all united in your shared objective, that you are all on the same journey, that you are all in this together.  Relax, knowing that despite the seeming competition, who gets off the train first, or who goes first at the lights, you are all travelling together, and a few minutes don't really matter in the big scheme of things.


Relax and let go, enjoying the calm and peace.


You can choose to feel the energy of the people on your journey, feel all of their hopes and fears.  Send them love, and breathe in their love and energy.


You can choose to look at the people around you, each one and repeat silently "I love you" to each one.


You can choose to relax and let them go first, smile as you say "After you", share your calmness and peace.  You could even choose to stand up and let someone else take your seat, enjoying the gift you are able to give.


If you feel that someone is pushing or trying to jump ahead of you, let them, maybe they do need to be somewhere faster.  If there is nowhere for you to go, turn and look them in the eye and just say calmly "Sorry, but we have to wait for the people in front to get off." with a smile.


Enjoy your journey, knowing that you are not racing against everyone else, but travelling together.


As you leave the train, or as others leave, silently send your fellow passengers love and wish them a great day.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What Cause Traveller?s Diarrhoea?

Just so you think your most-awaited, important-than-nothing-else travel abroad is perfect, you then experience along your vacation some sort of inconvenience—abdominal bloating and cramps, urgency to go to the toilet, frequent loose or unformed bowel movements (stools), nausea, vomiting, and mild fever—in an instant you became a victim of Traveller’s Diarrhoea. This condition or illness is regarded the most common nemesis of every backpackers from developed countries—a whopping 50% of traveller’s have their rips ruined—spending 2 to 3 weeks to developing parts of the globe.

Traveller’s Diarrhoea is generally acquired by consumption or ingestion of faecally contaminated food or water, or both. These food or drinks contaminated with microorganisms that spread to the body when ingested. These microorganisms that can cause diarrhoea or traveller’s diarrhoea range from bacteria, viruses, parasites and even some unidentified causes.

As for bacteria-causing diarrhoea (80-85% of cases), the Enterotoxigenic (ETEC) forming Escherichia coli (E. coli) is one of the most common reasons of this illness; studies shown that approximately 40-75% of all cases are blamed to this, and they can be found in undercooked beef and unpasteurized milk. Meanwhile, other bacterial causes of traveller’s diarrhoea are Campylobacter jejuni, found in raw meat and poultry, unclean water and unpasteurized milk; Salmonella species, bacteria found in raw meat and poultry and dairy products; Shigella species, bacteria spread through poor hygiene and found in undercooked or raw food.

While bacterial cause is the top reason of acquiring diarrhoea, or more particularly traveller’s diarrhoea, viral infection has been found the reason in every one in every three cases (or 10-15% of all cases), notably rotavirus and Norwalk, which are passed between humans due to poor hygiene. On the other hand, Giardia intestinalis, found in contaminated water and spread through poor hygiene; Cryptosporidium parvum and Cyclospora, both parasites found in contaminated food and water; and Entamoeba hystolytica, are the parasitic infections (2-10% of all cases) that cause traveller’s diarrhoea. Although TD can be caused by either bacteria, virus or parasites, there is 1/5 to ½ of all diarrhoea cases that is unknown and thought to be gastrointestinal response to basically unfamiliar microorganisms transmitted inside the individual’s system.

So once and for all, where can travelers possibly acquire these micro organisms responsible for diarrhoea? The answer is, those totally risky foods which include the following:
• Undercooked, raw or rare meats and seafood
• Raw and peeled fruits and vegetables (most especially if the travelers did not peel them personally)
• Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and lettuce (because of possible harmful pesticides and/ or fertilizers used on them)
• Unpasteurized milk and other dairy products
• Sauces and mayonnaise
• Foods bought from street vendors
• Food buffets
• Any hot food that has been left long enough at room temperature and has already cooled, and;
• Contaminated water and other drinks

In essence, traveller’s diarrhoea can be acquired in any country but the regarded high-risk areas for people from developed countries are the most places in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Central and Southern part of America, where 50% of attack rates have been reported.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Travel Photography

Everyone loves taking travel photos to document and remember their adventures, but travel photography means more than just holiday photos, especially for the professionals. Many professional photographers, no matter what their area of expertise, often find themselves trekking around the world to explore different peoples and cultures. Here are some of Australia and New Zealand’s top photographers whose jobs take them all over the world.

Urs Buhlman – Advertising

Urs specialises in photographing cars for some of the biggest automotive companies in the world. He started travelling around Australia in his early years before beginning his international work. “In 1988 I started shooting ad work, and have eventually specialised in automotive work which took me to many countries whilst assigned on international accounts,” he says.

Stephen Dupont – Reportage

Stephen’s passion to tell the stories of marginalised people in some of the most dangerous countries in the world, has seen him travel to countries like Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Israel and Japan, to name just a few.

He says a great tip for taking photos on the go is to not underestimate compact digital cameras as a fantastic lightweight cameras you can keep in your pocket at all times while on the go.

Yervant – Weddings

Wedding photographer Yervant loves his job – and we would too if we got to have this much fun every day!

“I have to admit I love my job!” he says. “Beautiful girls, happy days, all smiles and I can shoot to my heart's delight.”

Not to mention the opportunity to test out and experiment with the greatest EOS digital SLR cameras every day! He also says travel is a big part of his work, which is an enviable added bonus. “I am very fortunate to be able to see many parts of the world through my assignments and seminars.” You can visit his website to see what other fun he has on his photo shoots.

Chris McLennan – Travel

Chris, of course, gets to do a lot of travelling. “For the past 15 years I have been travelling the globe on numerous commissioned shoots, photographing some of the world’s most amazing people, places, wildlife and cultures in more than 30 different nations,” he says. See his internationally acclaimed work by visiting the Canon EOS Masters website.

Monday, July 23, 2012

TravelHost Magazine ? Travel publications for a well informed traveler

Since its inception in 1967 TravelHost Magazine has defied all odds to become one of the most sought after travel publications, and which many tourists use to plan their vacations. This magazine is distributed free-of-charge in hotel, lodge and resort rooms across all the states in the country, far away from its original home in Texas. This publication provides concise contents with regards to the activities and happenings to expect in the area being covered by each edition, and it is also an effective advertisement platform - an incentive that many hotels find very useful.

TravelHost Magazine is by and large the leading national in-room travel publication; since its inception it has gone on to serve close to 6000 hotels and approximately 1.2 million rooms worldwide.

The magazine features new vibrant cover designs for the year 2011 and the publications contain compelling advertisement messages from different hotels thus helping these establishments to increase their room reservation volumes and annual revenues.

This magazine has effectively served the hospitality and travel industry by providing travelers with a unique guide for navigating around different travel destinations and information about the many attractions they can expect to encounter. The traveler will therein find many special feature sections that will provide interesting visitor info in an easy-to-read and traveler-friendly format. Travelers can expect information on concierge services, media guides, features available the travel destination, places of worship and customized maps to help get around with relative ease.

TravelHost Magazine is loved for its great feature articles which provide in-depth insight alongside past and present accounts about the locales of a given travel destination. Tourists also find great travel suggestions and traveler-targeted information to help them make better traveling decisions about their future vacations. This magazine is of great help in terms of presenting tourists with a wide variety of traveling options. Studies have shown that many tourists avoid exploring new travel destinations because they do not have adequate info about them and as such they end up visiting the same destinations for all their future vacations to avoid putting themselves at risk. This magazine has been pivotal in rejuvenating many travelers’ adventurous spirit.

Ardent travelers have been making use of TravelHost Magazine to hunt down the best deals in the destinations they intend to visit. In this magazine they are certain to find lists of the top hotels accompanied with details of holidaying incentives including restaurants, shopping centers, fast food spots, drinking venues, beaches, fitness facilities, festivals and events, and so forth. This magazine is certainly an indispensable travel accompaniment that will ensure that every travel decision you make is an informed one. The magazine also features great travel photographs and which in every way illustrate what leisure travel is all about.

Many travel writers are always eager to share their encounters on TravelHost Magazine and this is a clear testament of the popularity of this publication. Nonetheless, this magazine demands nothing short of top quality articles for its readers. As such, major preference is given to top travel writers as they can ably provide in-depth vivid travel collections that can inspire travelers to more travel adventures.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Honeymoon Travel

All the details of the honeymoon require one's attention just as the wedding party does. Here are some tips to consider for a perfect honeymoon travel regardless of whether you travel by plane, boat, train or car.

Make reservations in advance and book tickets at hotels in case you make halts on the way to the destination. If you know how to make good planning you'll benefit from great rebates; airlines usually sell all classes of seats at the most convenient of prices, but as you get closer to the departure date, only the business class seats remain available.

Moreover, travel agencies have special packages for honeymooners, with various options included. Hence, when you approach an agency for offers and quotes make sure you specify that you are looking for a honeymoon travel solution. Some choose the all inclusive variant and leave it to the agency to deal with everything from then flight details to the lodging, but other couples prefer to get involved actively in the planning.

Smart packing is another honeymoon travel tip some people fail to follow particularly when going to areas with warmer climates.

This is not about taking sweaters and jackets when going to Hawaii, but rather about choosing to have some extra apparel items available for all sorts of occasions, as you may feel the need to wear something other than slippers and t-shirts. Make sure to include some extra bottles of water, a few snacks and all the essentials in the luggage too. By essentials I mean a list of emergency phone numbers, credit cards, cash and passports.

There are some very personal items that make honeymoon travel all the more rewarding . Thus, you can pack a CD with very meaningful love songs, eventually music from the wedding reception or some special rhythms to enjoy in a romantic setting. Then, keep in mind that hotels provide all sorts of services on request, therefore, if you want to pamper yourself, the honeymoon could be the right time to start.

Feel the authenticity of the place to really make the best of your honeymoon travel: try new drinks, food and music, local customs, communicate with the local inhabitants, see relevant local sites and points of attractions. Keep bad moods away even if trifles may threaten to ruin the atmosphere.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ahmedabad Travel

Ahmedabad popularly known as 'Manchester of India' is the capital of Gujarat state. This city is among the liveliest places in the state visited by scores of tourists from across the globe around the year. It was built by Sultan Ahmed Shah as his capital in 1411 AD. The attraction of this place revolves around its scenic beauty and Indo-Saracenic style of architecture.
Some of the popular Tourist Places in Ahmadabad are:

This temple is the blend of breathtaking grandeur, beauty, wisdom and bliss. It is the marvel of architecture located at Gandhi Nagar and visited millions of tourists throughout the year. The temple was built in 1992 and dedicated to the Lord Swaminarayan.

This grand edifice exquisitely carved out of pink sandstone. The leading attraction of this temple is 7 feet gold statue of Lord Swaminarayan enshrined in the main hall. While other three halls portray the rich Indian culture with light and sound shows, animated electronic models and multimedia shows.

Sabarmati Ashram
Also known as Gandhi ashram located on the bank of Sabarmati River. This ashram was amongst the first satyagraha ashrams set up by Gandhiji in 1915. Scores of tourists visit this ashram so they can get the glimpses of Gandhiji life and his freedom struggle against British Empire. It is the place from where Gandhiji started his historical Dandi March for freedom struggle of India.

ModheraSun Temple
It is one of the must-see attractions of Ahmedabad dedicated to the Sun God. This historic temple situated on the bank of Pushpavati River famous for its architectural beauty and delicate stone carvings. It was built in 1026 by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty. The design of this temple resembles Sun Temple at Konark in Orissa. Surya Kund, Sabha Mandap and Guda Mandap are some of the prominent structure of this temple. Modhera dance festival held in the third week of January every year is the foremost cultural event of this place.

Ahmedabad is the city which represents harmonious blend of an ancient heritage with a vibrant present. Some of the well

Thursday, July 19, 2012

India Travel Guide ( Traveling to India ? Travel Alert Issued )

For a person who adores traveling, discovering new places, India is like a haven for them. However, those who are not a frequent explorer would only leave their nest if the place is really special and mesmerizing. Well, in that case, India Travel is a very enthralling country with lots of incredible things to do.  India the beautiful place full of love, kindness, culture, tradition, pre-historic monuments, art and adventure is delighted to welcome its privileged guests.

Further, India is a place for tourist with Rocky Mountains, desolated deserts, ancient monuments and long length beaches. Every state, here has their own tradition and nearly every region has engraved their own traditional niche. From time immemorial, the country was ruled by many rulers and each state of India holds monuments of diverse era with uniformly variegated structure.

Most of the people love to travel to India to taste the Indian rich heritage and history.

If you are planning to visit India in the near future, here are a few amazing places which you can always opt for a little fun and adventure: Indian Beaches: Without a doubt, India is the first choice of tourists, when it comes to beaches. Indian beaches are popularly known for its exquisiteness and thrilling activities. These beaches are on its best on dawn and sunsets. Some of the leading options of beach travel in India are the stunning costs of Goa, where the sandy beaches of Anjuna, baga and Dona have something amazing for each and every tourist. After having a fun time in Goa beaches, it’s time to move a little towards southern India where Kerala beaches are waiting you. Alappuzha, Kovalam and Fort Kochi are the famous beaches of Kerala, which not only focus on the visitors but also provide amazing entertaining activities to them. 

Taj Mahal: The symbol of eternal love is one of the best monuments of the planet. Tourists from all over the world, visit Agra to capture the beauty of this striking white marble building. Built in the reminiscence of Mumtaz, Taj has bagged its name in the list of the Seven Wonders of the World. The place is a must-watch for everybody.

Pushkar fair: One of the most thrilling fair of India, Pushkar Fair gives way to amazing activities. In the month of November, Pushkar comes alive with its gleaming colors of joys and lively happenings. Millions of travelers visit India to become a part of this exciting fair. Besides, Pushkar fair, Rajasthan is also famous for its camel safaris and wildlife. Taking you across the sunny Thar Desert of Rajasthan, Camel safaris mostly held in Jaisalmer. So, if you want to experience the true color of India, mark you present in this marvelous festival. 

The Himalaya: if you are a true adventure lover, Himalaya is the perfect choice for you. This beautiful mountain range is popular for adventurous sports like trekking, skiing, mountaineering and many more.

Reading this article, might have made you fallen in love with India. If yes, then without wasting too much time, pack your bags and get ready to have an experience of your lifetime . 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Travel Agency


The British company Cox & Kings is sometimes said to be the oldest travel agency in the world, but this rests upon the services that the original bank, established in 1758, supplied to its wealthy clients. The modern travel agency first appeared in the second half of the 19th century. Thomas Cook, in addition to developing the package tour, established a chain of agencies in the last quarter of the 19th century, in association with the Midland Railway. They not only sold their own tours to the public, but in addition, represented other tour companies. Other British pioneer travel agencies were Dean and Dawson, the Polytechnic Touring Association and the Co-operative Wholesale Society. The oldest travel agency in North America is Brownell Travel; on July 4, 1887, Walter T. Brownell led ten travelers on a European tour, setting sail from New York on the SS Devonia.

Travel agencies became more commonplace with the development of commercial aviation, starting in the 1920s.

Originally, travel agencies largely catered to middle and upper class customers, but the post-war boom in mass-market package holidays resulted in travel agencies on the main streets of most British towns, catering to a working class clientle, looking for a convenient way to book overseas beach holidays.


As the name implies, a travel agency's main function is to act as an agent, that is to say, selling travel products and services on behalf of a supplier. Consequently, unlike other retail businesses, they do not keep a stock in hand. A package holiday or a ticket is not purchased from a supplier unless a customer requests that purchase. The holiday or ticket is supplied to them at a discount. The profit is therefore the difference between the advertised price which the customer pays and the discounted price at which it is supplied to the agent. This is known as the commission. A British travel agent would consider a 10-12% commission as a good arrangement. In Australia, all individuals or companies that sell tickets are required to be licensed as a travel agent.

In some countries, airlines have stopped giving commission to travel agencies. Therefore, travel agencies are now forced to charge a percentage premium or a standard flat fee, per sale. However, some companies still give them a set percentage for selling their product. Major tour companies can afford to do this, because if they were to sell a thousand trips at a cheaper rate, they still come out better than if they sell a hundred trips at a higher rate. This process benefits both parties.

Other commercial operations are undertaken, especially by the larger chains. These can include the sale of in-house insurance, travel guide books and timetables, car rentals, and the services of an on-site Bureau de change, dealing in the most popular holiday currencies.

The majority of travel agents have felt the need to protect themselves and their clients against the possibilities of commercial failure, either their own or a supplier's. They will advertise the fact that they are surety bonded, meaning in the case of a failure, the customers are guaranteed either an equivalent holiday to that which they have lost or if they prefer, a refund. Many British and American agencies and tour operators are bonded with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), for those who issue air tickets, Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (ATOL) for those who order tickets in, the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) or the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), for those who sell package holidays on behalf of a tour company.

A travel agent is supposed to offer impartial travel advice to the customer. However, this function almost disappeared with the mass-market package holiday and some agency chains seemed to develop a 'holiday supermarket' concept, in which customers choose their holiday from brochures on racks and then book it from a counter. Again, a variety of social and economic changes have now contrived to bring this aspect to the fore once more, particularly with the advent of multiple, no-frills, low-cost airlines.


Most travel agencies operate on a commission-basis, meaning that the compensation from the airlines, car rentals, cruise lines, hotels, railways, sightseeing tours and tour operators, etc., is expected in form of a commission from their bookings. Most often, the commission consists of a set percentage of the sale.

In the United States, most airlines pay no commission at all to travel agencies. In this case, an agency usually adds a service fee to the net price.

Types of agencies

There are three different types of agencies in the UK: Multiples, Miniples and Independent Agencies. The former comprises a number of national chains, often owned by international conglomerates, like Thomson Holidays, now a subsidiary of TUI AG, the German multinational. It is now quite common for the large mass-market tour companies to purchase a controlling interest in a chain of travel agencies, in order to control the distribution of their product. (This is an example of vertical integration.) The smaller chains are often based in particular regions or districts.

In the United States, there are four different types of agencies: Mega, Regional, Consortium and Independent Agencies. American Express and the American Automobile Association (AAA) are examples of mega travel agencies.

Independent Agencies usually cater to a special or niche market, such as the needs of residents in an upmarket commuter town or suburb or a particular group interested in a similar activity, such as sporting events, like football, golf or tennis.

There are two approaches of travel agencies. One is the traditional, multi-destination, out-bound travel agency, based in the originating location of the traveler and the other is the destination focused, in-bound travel agency, that is based in the destination and delivers an expertise on that location. At present, the former is usually a larger operator like Thomas Cook, while the latter is often a smaller, independent operator.


Airline consolidators and other types of travel consolidators and wholesalers are high volume sales companies that specialize in selling to niche markets. They may or may not offer various types of services, at a single point of access. These can be hotel reservations, flights or car-rentals, for example. Sometimes the services are combined into vacation packages, that include transfers to the location and lodging. These companies do not usually sell directly to the public, but act as wholesalers to retail travel agencies. Commonly, the sole purpose of consolidators is to sell to ethnic niches in the travel industry. Usually, no consolidator offers everything, they may only have contracted rates to specific destinations. Today, there are no domestic consolidators, with some exceptions for business class contracts.

Criticism and controversy


This section does not cite any references or sources.

Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2009)

Travel agencies have been accused of employing a number of restrictive practices, the chief of which is known as 'racking'. This is the practice of displaying only the brochures of those travel companies whose holidays they wish to sell, the ones that pay them the most commission. Of course, the average customer tends to think that these are the only holidays on offer and is unaware of the possible alternatives.

Conversely, by limiting the number of companies that a travel agency represents, this can bring a better and more profitable, working relationship between the agency and its suppliers. Travel agencies can then obtain special benefits for their customers, from a supplier, by concentrating their bookings with that supplier. Some examples of these special benefits would be room upgrades or the waiver of change and cancellation fees.

("Racking" is a British expression, not used in the United States.)

The Internet threat

This section may need to be updated. Please update this section to reflect recent events or newly available information, and remove this template when finished. Please see the talk page for more information. (March 2009)

With general public access to the Internet, many airlines and other travel companies began to sell directly to passengers. As a consequence, airlines no longer needed to pay the commissions to travel agents on each ticket sold. Since 1997, travel agencies have gradually been disintermediated, by the reduction in costs caused by removing layers from the package holiday distribution network. However, travel agents remain dominant in some areas such as cruise vacations where they represent 77% of bookings and 73% of packaged travel.

In response, travel agencies have developed an internet presence of their own by creating travel websites, with detailed information and online booking capabilities. Several major online travel agencies include: Expedia,, Travelocity, Orbitz, CheapTickets, Priceline, CheapOair and Travel agencies also use the services of the major computer reservations systems companies, also known as Global Distribution Systems (GDS), including: SABRE, Amadeus CRS, Galileo CRS and Worldspan, which is a subsidiary of Travelport, allowing them to book and sell airline tickets, hotels, car rentals and other travel related services. Some online travel websites allow visitors to compare hotel and flight rates with multiple companies for free. They often allow visitors to sort the travel packages by amenities, price, and proximity to a city or landmark.

Travel agents have applied dynamic packaging tools to provide fully bonded (full financial protection) travel at prices equal to or lower than a member of the public can book online. As such, the agencies' financial assets are protected in addition to professional travel agency advice.

All travel sites that sell hotels online work together with GDS, suppliers and hotels directly to search for room inventory. Once the travel site sells a hotel, the site will try to get a confirmation for this hotel. Once confirmed or not, the customer is contacted with the result. This means that booking a hotel on a travel website will not necessarily result in an instant answer. Only some hotels on a travel website can be confirmed instantly (which is normally marked as such on each site). As different travel websites work with different suppliers together, each site has different hotels that it can confirm instantly. Some examples of such online travel websites that sell hotel rooms are Expedia, Orbitz and WorldHotel-Link.

The comparison sites, such as, TripAdvisor and SideStep search the resellers site all at once to save time searching. None of these sites actually sell hotel rooms.

Often tour operators have hotel contracts, allotments and free sell agreements which allow for the immediate confirmation of hotel rooms for vacation bookings.

Mainline service providers are those that actually produce the direct service, like various hotels chains or airlines that have a website for online bookings. Portals will serve a consolidator of various airlines and hotels on the internet. They work on a commission from these hotels and airlines. Often, they provide cheaper rates than the mainline service providers as these sites get bulk deals from the service providers. A meta search engine on the other hand, simply culls data from the internet on real time rates for various search queries and diverts traffic to the mainline service providers for an online booking. These websites usually do not have their own booking engine.


With the many people switching to self-service internet websites, the number of available jobs as travel agents is decreasing. Most jobs that become available are from older travel agents retiring. Counteracting the decrease in jobs due to internet services is the increase in the number of people travelling. Since 1995, many travel agents have exited the industry, and relatively few young people have entered the field due to less competitive salaries. However, others have abandoned the 'brick and mortar' agency for a home-based business to reduce overheads and those who remain have managed to survive by promoting other travel products such as cruise lines and train excursions or by promoting their ability to aggressively research and assemble complex travel packages on a moment's notice, essentially acting as a very advanced concierge.


A small number of companies work with cargo airlines and cargo ships.

See also

Hospitality industry

International Association of Travel Agents Network

Receptive Services Association of America

Travel technology


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^ "Travel & Tourism". International Air Transport Association. 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009. 

^ "First Choice-TUI merger cleared". BBC News. 2007-06-04. 

^ Andal-Ancion, Angela; Cartwright, Phillip A.; Yip, George S. (June 2003). "The Digital Transformation of Traditional Businesses". Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan Management Review. pp. Vol. 44, No. 4, pp. 3441. 

^ Edmunds, Marian (2002-03-12). "A wake-up call for the industry". Financial Times. Retrieved 1 July 2009. 

^ "Media Kit". Travel Agent (magazine). Retrieved 2008-12-28. "based on PhoCus Wright Travel Agency Distribution Landscape Study" 

^ Rebecca Tobi (2002-10-28). "Wanted: young agents! Are young people shying away from careers in travel? Agents and travel school operators say yes. Look around your agencyee any young faces?". Travel Weekly Vol 61, no. 43. p. 148149. 


Bottomley Renshaw, Mike (1997). The Travel Agent (2nd ed.). Sunderland: Business Education Publishers Ltd. ISBN 1-901888-00-2. OCLC 228287734. 

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v d e

Commercial air travel


List of all airlines  List of passenger airlines  List of regional airlines  List of charter airlines

  List of "firms" with multiple IATA coded "certificated air carrier holdings"

Industry associations


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v d e



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and rankings

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Categories: Travel agencies | Airline ticketsHidden categories: Articles needing additional references from June 2007 | All articles needing additional references | Articles needing additional references from March 2009 | Wikipedia articles in need of updating

Monday, July 16, 2012

Travel Credit Cards Will Make Traveling Easier

Traveling constantly can become tedious and stressful so it's necessary to find ways in order to make the journey more convenient and perhaps even fun.  If you travel a lot for business or leisure, travel credit cards should be among the things you have in your wallet since they provide the convenience that jet setters need.

Why Travel Credit Cards?

For the most part, this type of card makes it easier to pay for things like hotel accommodations, room service, and many other travel essentials.  In addition, you can also take advantage of certain perks such as rebates or reward points which can be redeemed once you reach the required threshold.  Since it is not practical to carry a lot of cash when traveling, using cards is the most sensible practice.

Where to Find the Best Cards

Many credit card companies offer travel cards to their customers but since not all offers are worth taking, you should be very particular in choosing the best.  One of the things you should look for is the initial rate of interest imposed by the lender on the card you are about to sign up for.  Most offers start with 0% APR which means the card can be used for charges without the interest for about a year.  However, such rates almost never last a year so you have to be careful in using the card for purchases due to the risk of having to pay more than you can afford. 

Another thing that you should take note of is the rewards program offered along with the card.  Always keep in mind what you really need and whether or not the rewards offered would be beneficial to you now as well as in the future.  It is smart to go for cash rebates or air miles since they can save you a great deal of money down the road. 

Aside from the usual card offers you get in the mail, you might also want to check out online offers for travel credit cards.  There are a number of websites that offer great travel cards which not only provide convenience but significant savings as well, so it would be smart to take advantage of the opportunity to switch cards or replace very expensive ones.

International Cards

If you often travel to other countries, it would be best to choose a travel card that is accepted worldwide.  Some cards are not accepted in countries outside the one in which it was issued which would spell inconvenience for card users.

The good thing is that it is very easy to find out which cards are accepted all over the world.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Business Travel

The globalization of trade and the World Trade Organization taking a leading role is defining new rules and policies in international trade and commerce. As a result, global and local business travel and their frequency acquired greater importance and urgency than ever before. Business travel for individuals and corporate executives is essential to maintain and promote business. If you intend to travel on a business mission, you should plan the itinerary of your travel carefully. New air travel companies are surfacing to join the race to attract customers. There is a great competition to provide better traveling facilities at competitive rates. Air service companies are coming up with ingenious schemes to lure customers. These schemes usually take the form of special airfare packages for certain destinations within given spaces of time. Since business trips are usually short, you can make use of packages that include return fares, hotel stays, rental cars and cabs for local transport, and other services. You should be careful to check whether you are being overcharged for your stay in the hotels to outbalance the undercharge on air tickets. You should also make sure the tickets in the flight you intend to board are available. You need to contact your travel agent well in time to avoid any last-minute hassles in obtaining the ticket. Before leaving for your destination, you should make note of the distance of the venue of your visit from the airport and the means of transport. You may be allergic to certain types of weather, such as the humidity during monsoon in destination cities that are located on seashore, or the dry air of metropolises that may crack your skin. If you are traveling to colder regions, you need to carry woolens and other cold-weather gear. You may not know the local language of the country or state you are visiting. You need a translator to communicate with your counterpart. Not the least important part of your planning should be getting to know the geographical situation as well as the time zone of the destination city you are going to visit. All these aspects of your business travel need careful consideration and thorough planning. Business Class Travel provides detailed information on Business Travel, Business Class Travel, China Business Travel, Business Travel News and more. Business Class Travel is affiliated with Corporate Travel Agencies.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Africa Travel: Visual Feast for Every Traveler

Life should be full of delights so that it can stay worth-living. Needless to say that traveling is one such delight. It is job of some people to travel different places and some people do it for sheer joy. Whatever the purpose is, it is always refreshing to travel.

If you are fond of traveling to distant locations and exotic places, then visiting one place becomes essential. That place is Africa. Yes-this continent is full of surprises. Natural beauty, wildlife, ethnicity, night life, food, clothing, mountains, deserts, rivers, parks, historical sights-you name it and Africa offers that to you. That is why Africa travel is in vogue.

Every African country is visual feast, be it South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana or Namibia. African continent's wildlife safari parks and game reserves are world famous. In fact Africa travel is incomplete if you have not experienced the thrill of wildlife safari parks.

Wildlife Safari is a journey of exploration via the habitats and wildlife parks of Africa. It's a great learning experience about mammals and birds of Africa. This experience is the best way to see natural beauty of the African habitats and wildlife reserves.

Also, as far as choosing a particular African country is concerned then South Africa is all time favorite of travelers. It is truly a rainbow nation. You can plan to visit there through South Africa Travel Agent. This particular region is famous for wildlife options. Some of the major attractions of this place are Addo Elephant National Park, Cape Peninsula National Park, Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, Kruger National Park and Phinda Private Game Reserve.

Nevertheless, it doesn't mater you are visiting which African country, Africa travel is visual feast for every traveler. And for adventure tourists this continent is next to heaven. Be there to feel it.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Jaisalmer Travel

About Jaisalmer:
Jaisalmer, the gem city of Rajasthan state is also known as 'The Golden City', as it is located in the semi desert land of golden sand. The name of the city is after the name of the king ''Rao Jaisal Yadav'', who found the city. It is the largest district of Rajasthan and one of the largest district of India. The beautiful range of Aravali adds several moons to the beauty of this magnificent city. A number of historical monuments, forts and temples are scattered all around the city, but the Jaisalmer Fort shines like a diamond amongst them all. The colorful festivals of Jaisalmer are also famous all over India.

Attractions of Jaisalmer: Various artistic structures and monuments of Jaisalmer have conserved the rich hostorical values of then rich era, that makes it an important tourists destination.

Jaisalmer Fort: This massive structure of sandstone is just like the crown of the city, which was built by Rajput ruler - Jaisal.

In this huge fort approx one-fourth population of the city resides. It's magical sights mesmerize the visitors as it looks golden-yellow in sunshine and honey gold at the time of sunset.

Havelis: The fascinating havelis reveals the royalty and luxuriousness of the wealthy families of Jaisalmer. Patwon ki Haveli, Salman Singh ki Haveli, Nathmalji ki Haveli and Haveli Shreenath are some of the most famous havelis.

Jain Temple: The splendid Jain Temples make the city a holy land. There are total 7 temples, built inside the fort walls. Decorated with beautiful carvings the temples are the wonderful example of then prosperous architecture.

Libraries: Jaisalmer also has one of the oldest libraries of the country. These libraries contain the rarest of the manuscripts and artefacts, that belong to Jainism.

Museums: Desert Culture Center & Museum, Jaisalmer Folklore Museum and Government Museum are the famous museums in Jaisalmer.

Market: Just like it's culture the market of Jaisalmer is also full of colors, where you may purchase intricate textiles with amazing embroidery work, silver jewelery and several items, made of camel leather.

Camel Safari: Camel is one of the main modes of transport in Rajasthan and also called the ship of desert. Enjoy the fantastic camel trip during your Jaisalmer Tour.

Fairs:Jaisalmer is renowned for its colorful festivals, among them all Desert Festival is the main event. Desert Festival is deliberately dedicated to the performing arts of Rajasthan.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Budget Travel "?" Make Your Travel A Budget Travel

Ever since our childhood we have weird fantasies of travelling to almost all places in the world. And for some fortunate ones, they do travel the world. But for the rest who cannot travel the world, but can travel even half of it, this becomes as exciting as travelling the world. What constrains the others from travelling the globe is quite obvious - yeah you guessed it right, it is the money that makes all the difference in going for a vacation to a place or around the world.

But no worries, everybody has their own pocket and can spend as per their wallet strength. And to make your travel a budget travel, we have some suggestions for you. From the time you start planning your trip to booking your tickets and hotels, you can make great use of your profession. In case you area a journalist or in some kind of government job, you can hail loads of discounts. (No offences to any profession, but these discounts are in positive spirit). After all these two professions are the ones, which gets the maximum number of gifts and vouchers from all over. After all your position does matter.

In case you do not belong to this genre, no issues. You still have an alternative to hail the maximum of discounts. How? Simple! Just prevail the luxuries of your friends in these professions and enjoy your trip to the maximum and make it a perfect budget trip. And if you do not like taking favours, just do some of their work or take them out for dinner in return or do it when they have some work related to your profession. So you do not have that guilt that you had a blast on the head of your friend's contacts.

Also if you are not comfortable with the above ideas, you can do a little calculation on your own part. Starting from booking your tickets, you can plan your vacation two-three months in advance so that you get cheap tickets and also discounts on your bookings. On the other hand, you can start saving some amount in the name of vacation by cutting a little on your weekly parties and other miscellaneous expenses and unnecessary shopping. This would help you increase your 'budget' for your trip.

When you reach there, do not spend on things that you can get at a cheap rate in your hometown. If you are purchasing just for the sake that you have to take something back home as a token for your friends and family that you went for a vacation, do not make this mistake. First this would increase your luggage and spoil the fun and on the other hand will add to your cost unnecessarily. The best alternative for this, better purchase it from your home town and gift them (of course without telling them). Also, do not just over spend in the fun of enjoying to the fullest, for you have to come back and get back to normal living. And remember fun is not about how much you spend, but it is always counted as how much you actually enjoyed even from a small amount spent. After all it is the feelings that matter. Right?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ahmedabad Travel

Ahmedabad popularly known as ‘Manchester of India' is the capital of Gujarat state.  This city is among the liveliest places in the state visited by scores of tourists from across the globe around the year. It was built by Sultan Ahmed Shah as his capital in 1411 AD. The attraction of this place revolves around its scenic beauty and Indo-Saracenic style of architecture.

Some of the popular Tourist Places in Ahmedabad are:

Akshardham Temple

This temple is the blend of breathtaking grandeur, beauty, wisdom and bliss. It is the marvel of architecture located at Gandhi Nagar and visited millions of tourists throughout the year. The temple was built in 1992 and dedicated to the Lord Swaminarayan.

This grand edifice exquisitely carved out of pink sandstone.

The leading attraction of this temple is 7 feet gold statue of Lord Swaminarayan enshrined in the main hall. While other three halls portray the rich Indian culture with light and sound shows, animated electronic models and multimedia shows.

Sabarmati Ashram

Also known as Gandhi ashram located on the bank of Sabarmati River. This ashram was amongst the first satyagraha ashrams set up by Gandhiji in 1915. Scores of tourists visit this ashram so they can get the glimpses of Gandhiji life and his freedom struggle against British Empire. It is the place from where Gandhiji started his historical Dandi March for freedom struggle of India.

Modhera Sun Temple

It is one of the must-see attractions of Ahmedabad dedicated to the Sun God. This historic temple situated on the bank of Pushpavati River famous for its architectural beauty and delicate stone carvings.  It was built in 1026 by King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty. The design of this temple resembles Sun Temple at Konark in Orissa. Surya Kund, Sabha Mandap and Guda Mandap are some of the prominent structure of this temple. Modhera dance festival held in the third week of January every year is the foremost cultural event of this place.

Ahmedabad is the city which represents harmonious blend of an ancient heritage with a vibrant present. Some of the well-known attractions of this place are Teen Darwaja, Bhadra Fort, Jumma Masjid, Adalaj Vav and Sarkhej Roza.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Airline travel

Carry on Luggage - The Advantage of Lighter Weight:

Attention to detail while packing your carry on bag will allow you piece of mind during your airline adventures. Just knowing that your luggage will arrive at your final destination offers you a less stressful flight.

Flying for Less With Frequent Flier Miles:

If you have never heard of travel hacking before it may sound like some type of illegal method of accessing computer systems related to the travel industry. In reality it is simply short hand description for finding ways to travel with more flexibility or for less money. Since many of us dream of travel but feel like we just don't have the funds or the time to do it the prospect of increased flexibility and decreased cost is quite attractive.

Parking for Frequent Airport Visit:

Anyone who travels a great deal can tell you immediately that one of the most frustrating things about traveling by airplane is actually getting to and from the airport.

If you are a frequent flyer, chances are you are nodding your head right now. You know that frustration.

Tips For Enjoying Your Next Long Flight:

Many people look forward to sleeping throughout their entire flight. However, this may not be possible for everyone. By taking the items necessary for passing the time, dozing off is easier. Take along a pillow and always make sure you take a thick sweater in case the air conditioning is too cold for you. Resting on a plane is better when you are comfortable.

Just Say No! Expert Offers Alternatives to Airline Baggage Fees:

Just when you thought the flying experience couldn't get any worse, last month Spirit Airlines began charging passengers for any carryon bag placed in the overhead bin. While some may view this as a necessary step to keep airlines operating in the black, I think I stand for most when I classify this in one word.

Cut Costs When Flying:

Flying seems to be getting more and more expensive, and I'm not referring to the flight itself. Extra expenses in airport terminals add up quickly and, for frequent travelers, can mean big bucks. Here are some quick tips to cut back on your travel expenses next time you fly.

 Top Travel Tips by Frequent Flyers:

In the movie, "Up in the Air," George Clooney's character Ryan Bingham was the ultimate example of an efficient traveler. With flight delays, baggage fees and lost luggage becoming more common, what can traveling executives learn from Bingham and real-life frequent flyers? Here are five expert travel tips to help you fly more efficiently and reduce stress when on the road.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Idukki Travel

About Idukki:

Idukki is one of the major district of evergreen state of Kerala, most popularly known for its amazing mountainous hills, valleys and dense forests. The name Idukki is derived from a Malayalam word Idukku, which means ''narrow gorge''. It is the largest district of the state, covers a huge area of 5,105.22 sq km. Around 97 % area of the district is covered by the mountains and dense forests. It is located at the top of the Western Ghats. The district was formed on 26th January 1972, which comprises Devikulam, Udumbanachola and Peerumedu taluks of erstwhile Kottayam district, while Thodupuzga taluk of erstwhile Ernakulam district.

Highlights of Idukki:

Enriched with the emblem of nature Idukki has good number of attractions in its lap. Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is the major attraction of the region. Spread over a huge area of 70 sq km the sanctuary houses rich flora and fauna, where you may easily see the animals like elephant, sambar, bison and deer etc. Also many birds as jungle fowl, laughing thrush etc and several species of snakes are found here.

Another worthy visit attraction in Idukki is Idukki Dam, which is the largest arch dam of India. It is also Asia's first and the world's second arch dam, built across the mountain of Kuravan Kurathi. It was constructed in 1969 for Idukki Electric Power Project and now it provides power, almost to the half of the Kerala state. This wonderful hill station is also the hub of spice plantation and Coir industry. The view of natural streams and wooded valley is really breathtaking. From the hills of Idukki you may also enjoy the panoramic view of Munnar hill station.

Except enjoying the nature, if you are interested in some more adventures and sports, then Idukki enhance you with the best location for trekking.

Important Information:

Nearest Railway Station: Alwaye, Ernakulam, and Kottayam.
Nearest Port: Cochin Port and Nedumbassery Port.
Nearest Airport: The International Airport nearby the boundary of Idukki.
By Road: Cochin, Madura and Rameshwaram are connected to the district via NH-49. Also the six states highways pass through the district.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Intrepid Travellers

If you are an intrepid traveller then it will be the unreachable that draws you to new destinations and things to visit when you are travelling. Most people just plan their next holiday, but the diehard traveller will be looking to better their last trip and really make something remarkable.

Why not think about these?

Using all the pages in your passport: what a pride point to achieve! It might seem like a pain to a normal person to apply for new pages, but it's such a badge of honour to have all the stamps of the countries that you have visited on display.

Climbing to the highest point of the countries you have visited: its amazing to see a country from its highest peak, so why not get to the top and be in the rare few that have seen the terrain from that angle.

Seeing one hundred countries: if you want membership in the traveller's century club then collect passage into one hundred countries and be one of the elite few allowed to attend.

Acquiring rare passport stamps: there are some countries that are rare and unusual, and the acquisition of one if these stamps is like gold dust.

Take Lichtenstein for example. How many people do you know with that stamp?

Seeing the world in eighty days: might sound easy, but the real trick is to do it without using aeroplanes. You might have to board a boat, or get on a bus with the locals, but it means that you will get out there and live like the locals.

Visiting all seven of the continents: this would be much easier if Antarctica was easier to get to, but it means taking on Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Antarctica and Australasia in the quest to be well travelled.

Getting your kicks on route 66: renting a car and driving the iconic route 66 is a Mecca for travellers, so get it done and get one of the most amazing trips for travellers.

If you are looking to take a trip this summer then book Travel Insurance Direct

Monday, July 2, 2012

Rameshwaram Travel

Tamil Nadu has always been called as he land of temples and the place is having great diversity where people worship and respect all the religion. These temples in Tamil Nadu are all constructed in Dravidian style with the huge gateways and towering Vimanas.

The pilgrimage travel to Rameshwaram is counted under the most important junction that is laid on the Hindu religion since time immemorial. The great temple of Sri Ramanathaswamy is connected by the tradition of Kashi and is considered as incomplete without the pilgrimage to Rameshwaram.

Rameshwaram Travel Guide

The pilgrimage to Rameshwaram has long been in tradition in South India specially in Tamil Nadu and has been passed from generation to generation.

The sanctum of the temple is built by the king of Sri Lanka. The temple is gigantic in nature and is grown on the eastern shore of the island and is shaped like conch which Lord Vishnu bears in his hands.

The temple is 264 meters east to west and 200 meters north to south with three prakaras with two big gopuras and two unfinished ones which faces east and is few meters away from east from sea. It is having two lingas for worship. Rest there are number of shrines and twenty two 'tirthas' or scared bathing places.

Everything in or near to Rameshwaram is connected tradionally with the incidents of 'Ramayana'. The Kashi pilgrimage is not considered complete not only after the worship in Sri Ramanatha Temple after the bath in Dhanushkodi, a tip of island where the Bay of Bengal called the Mahodadhi in ancient times and it joins the Indian Ocean or Ratnakaram and its old name is 'Dhanushkodi' in Tamil which means 'end of the row'.