Category Archives: Travel

Frugal Travel Tips For Washington DC

48You can not say you’ve seen the U.S. without seeing Washington D.C. Although hotels are costly and parking a challenge, the nation’s capital is full of free attractions and things to do.

The White House And The Pentagon

Entrance to President’s Park is free and gives the frugal traveler great views of the White House. The visitors center has some very nice permanent exhibits. Tours of the White House can be arranged for groups of 10 or more. However applications have to be received at least six months in advance.

Tours are also available of the Pentagon. These also have to be arranged well ahead of time.

Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument

The National Mall And Memorial Parks contain some of the U.S.’s most important monuments. These include The Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and the Washington Monument within walking distances of each other. The Mall itself is a great place to picnic and people watch. Entrance is free

Smithsonian Castle

When I think of the Smithsonian, I think of the Smithsonian Castle, the first building. Entrance as with all of the 17 Smithsonian buildings and the National Zoo is free. There are also free tours available. The building itself is beautiful. The exhibits? It’s the Smithsonian.

National Museum of Natural History

Another Smithsonian Museum, the National Museum Of Natural History is a favorite with kids. They have tarantula feedings, dinosaurs, and preserved animals. As with all the Smithsonian Museums, the National Museum Of Natural History is free.

National Museum Of American History

Another free Smithsonian Museum, the National Museum Of American History showcases American culture and history. From Dorothy’s ruby red slippers to full sized locomotives, think of an American icon and you can likely find it in this museum.

Washington D.C. is full of free tourist attractions with American politics, history, and culture as the focus. The Smithsonian Museums alone, a great rainy day alternative, can take weeks to explore. The city is a must see for both American visitors and residents.

Attractions and Destinations for Travelers

46It is said that the written history of South Africa begins with the arrival of the Portuguese. Because of the early immigration from Europe, South Africa has experienced a different history and there is no one culture existing in the country. In other words, it has ethnic diversity. South Africa is located at the southernmost region of Africa and owns a long coastline. Great natural wealth and breathtaking landscapes, kinds of activities and various opportunities call people all around the world for a different experience.

All over the South Africa, there are travel attractions and destinations for travelers to visit. Pretoria is the capital city of the country which is also an important industrial center. The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa is the national zoo of South Africa situated in the city of Pretoria. Among other major travel cities, there are Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein.

Cape Town’s beaches are very popular. Cape Town’s Table Mountain is among the best places to see in South Africa. It provides breathtaking views over the city and its beaches. Forests, lakes, lagoons, waterways and rivers of Garden Route is like a natural theme park and an uniquely scenic place. The Cape Winelands with cheese and wine tasting tours will make the trips more delicious. In this place, some of the best wines in the world are produced.

Johannesburg is known to be the most popular city in South Africa. The city is a transit point for connecting flights. Historical and art museums of the city attract visitors. Durban is a major holiday resort which also has a number of attractions and reserves to visit such as Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve, Burman Bush Nature Reserve. Its seaside attracts people who can also enjoy kinds of sport facilities. Port Elizabeth known for its sunshine, sandy beaches, and thriving nightlife is also visited for its parks and reserves around.Sowete owns a number of historical sights.

Sun City as one of the South African Travel Attractions offers its guests entertainment, relaxation. multitude of attractions and activities. At Sun City, visitors enjoy a day trip at the Pilanesberg National Park. Here balloon safaris are traditional. Moreover, one can experience elephant back riding and quad biking.

South Africa’s most popular nature reserve is the Kruger National Park. Due to its numerous habitats and diversity of animal species, the park is an enormous wildlife reserve. It is regarded as one of Africa’s top three safari destinations. It offers African travelers a taste of safari experience. It is also South Africa’s best bird-watching location. Here you have the chance to meet the Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo)

Hermanus is famous for its being the world’s top land-based whale watching destination. It hosts a very popular Whale Festival. The Drakensberg (Dragon Mountains) is a perfect place for nature photography.

There are numerous natural and game reserves, national parks, historical places, charming landscapes in South Africa. And such a variety results in many opportunities to get involved in. Moreover, luxurious hotels make one’s holiday as comfortable as possible.

In other words, South Africa offers excellent safaris, beautiful beaches, vibrant cities, different cultures, and for sure world class wines.

There are much more sites that haven’t been mentioned above and to be visited in South Africa. It is better to have enough time and planning your trip but do not forget that the length of your trip will never seem long enough while experiencing South Africa! You can start discovering South Africa in travelovideo.

Before Going to Australia You Must Read An Australia Travel Guide

46Australia is a unique country with a mixture of diversity in culture, population, climate, geography and history. It is based on multicultural and multiracial concept which is showed in country’s lifestyle, food and culture. The population of this city is lively, stimulated, innovative and outbound looking. In context to land area, it is the sixth largest nation but relatively its population is small. Australia travel guide makes you aware about all the attractions and facts of Australia which you should visit and know in your trip. This place is perfect and the best option of vacation for all whether you are with your friends, family members or spouse.

Australia is full of beautiful attractions that drive you crazy about eagerly coming to Australia in your next trip. Travel guide offers you facts and brief details about this city for your trip. It includes beautiful mountains, reefs, flora and fauna, artistic architectures, calm and cool beaches and an extremely wonderful atmosphere. Sydney, the Great Barrier Reef, the Gold Coast of Queensland and many more places are beautiful and wonderful attractions of Australia which you should visit in your trip.

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is a wonderful natural beauty and world’s largest coral reef. It contains a teeming of marine life and you can see large variety of colorful fishes and other organisms of the underwater life. You can enjoy this beauty place by going under water for one week or more and for this purpose, many companies can do arrangements for you.

Sydney has large varieties of activities and things to do and enjoy. It includes wild life, art galleries, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbor Bridge, Chinatown and many parks like Taronga Park Zoo, Sydney aquarium, Chinese Garden and many museums like Australian museum, Powerhouse Museum, Garrison Historical and Military Museum and many more. These beauties and activities are must see in your tour and these make your trip better.

Apart from these activities, Australia has beautiful and exotic beaches, nightlife and large shopping places for the tourists The Byron Bay, Manly Beach, Coogee Beach and many more are the prime wonderful beaches of Australia. The casinos, bars and clubs are opened for the whole night for you all too just enjoy with wines, dance and music making your trip wonderful.

Hope reading this Australia Travel guide you got to know about Australia and so you should plan up your next visit to Australia of course.

Student Group Travel To New Orleans

45Jambalaya, Cajun hospitality and great music! This is what will greet every student group upon arrival in New Orleans or N’awlins (as the locals lovingly refer to their city). Being ranked #1 in ten categories in Travel & Leisure Magazine’s 2009 “America’s Favorite Cities” survey, the people of New Orleans really mean what they say…”Les Bon Temps Rouler!” (Let the Good Times Roll!). Perfectly melding French, African, Spanish, and American cultures, the result is a fun city brimming with educational museums, exciting attractions, Cajun/Creole food, incredible music, unique historical sites and, of course, Mardi Gras.

Food

The food, no matter where you go within the city, will certainly stir your taste buds. From scrumptious shrimp and oyster Po-Boy sandwiches, Jambalaya and Crab Chowder, to melt-in-your-mouth Cajun pulled pork, Muffuletta sandwiches, and seafood Gumbo, the Cajun/Creole flavors will surely please your palate. Make sure you don’t forget dessert either! The delectable flavors of New Orleans desserts will meet and exceed your sugar cravings. Try a local favorite, Mississippi Mud Pie, a gooey chocolate filling on top of a crumbly chocolate crust served with vanilla ice cream; or try what New Orleans is famous for, Bananas Foster, created at Brennan’s Restaurant. Bread Pudding is another favorite and comes in many different flavors including white chocolate, dark chocolate, banana rum sauce and more.

Favorite restaurants include Café du Monde, a New Orleans signature French café. Make sure to stop by the original location at 800 Decatur Street and watch as fresh beignets and French doughnuts are made. The only thing better than watching them being made though is eating them! Another restaurant, touted as the “Total Cajun Experience” is Michaul’s Cajun Restaurant, featuring mouthwatering Cajun/Creole food and live Cajun music performed nightly. For a more formal setting, your group will enjoy Copeland’s of New Orleans, where one will experience southern cuisine with an eclectic Cajun flair. In addition, student group favorites include Bubba Gump Shrimp, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, Hard Rock Café, the Steamboat Natchez Dinner Cruise and the Creole Queen Dinner Jazz Cruise.

Attractions/Museums

The French Quarter’s most notable streets, Bourbon and Royal, offer student groups a unique architectural view of 18th century New Orleans. Extending 13 blocks from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue, Bourbon Street is mainly known for its party atmosphere and site of the Mardi Gras Parade. With many unique shops, restaurants and clubs, Bourbon Street is a “can’t miss” part of your tour. On Royal Street, iron-laced balconies and outdoor patios adorn the street giving student groups a sense of 18th century architectural design, where more shops and restaurants are located.

One of New Orleans’ most famous landmarks in the French Quarter isJackson Square. Called “Place d’ Armes” until the early 19th century, it was renamed for the Battle of New Orleans hero Andrew Jackson. Jackson Square is surrounded by historic buildings like the St. Louis Cathedral, many Louisiana State Museums and the Upper Pontalba Apartments, the oldest apartment buildings in the country. Your student group can have their picture taken in front of the bronze statue of Andrew Jackson and his horse. Or, to get a great picture of the entire square, take your group to Washington Artillery Park, which overlooks the entire square.

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis King of France (the St. Louis Cathedral) is the oldest t Catholic cathedral in continual use in the country. The original structure, built in the early 18th century, was unfortunately destroyed in a fire in 1788. Rebuilt in 1794 and again in the 19th century, the church is now one of the most popular landmarks in New Orleans. Your student group can attend a Mass, explore the church or enjoy free classical concerts that occur frequently in the cathedral.

A visit to New Orleans would not be complete without a visit to Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World, where your group can peek behind the curtain and see Mardi Gras in the making. From concept to completion, the artists of Mardi Gras create and build the parade floats for the annual Mardi Gras celebration in both New Orleans and Universal Studios Florida®. This is truly a world of wonder, creativity and pageantry.

New Orleans offers over 40 museums including historical, art, Mardi Gras, family/children’s, nature and religious museums. Some of the more popular museums include:

Old U.S. Mint Museum – Built in 1835, the Old U.S. Mint is the only building in America to have served both as a United States and a Confederate Mint. President Andrew Jackson advocated the Mint’s establishment in order to help finance development of the nation’s western frontier.

Louisiana’s Civil War Museum – Louisiana’s Civil War Museum is one of the largest repositories of Confederacy-related artifacts and memorabilia in the United States, in addition to being the oldest continuously operating museum in Louisiana.

The National World War II Museum – This museum is a must-see for history lovers and patriots. Designated by the U.S. Congress as the country’s official World War II Museum, powerful images and extraordinary artifacts bring to life the American Spirit of courage, teamwork and sacrifice of the young men and women who won the war and changed the world.

New Orleans Museum of Art – The neo-classical, Beaux Arts-style New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) houses a $200 million collection spanning 4,000 years of art history in 46 galleries.

Ogden Museum of Southern Art – This museum is home to the most comprehensive collection of southern art in the world. Showcasing art encompassing 15 southern states and the District of Columbia, the museum celebrates the art, history and culture of the American south. Named an affiliate of The Smithsonian Institution in 2001, it was the first museum in Louisiana to receive this prestigious designation.

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas – Located next to the Mississippi River, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas houses 15,000 sea life creatures, representing nearly 600 species.

Audubon Insectarium – If it walks, crawls or flies, your group will have a good chance to see it on display at the Audubon Insectarium.

Audubon Zoo – The Audubon Zoo is a living outdoor/indoor museum filled with some of the rarest and most beautiful creatures of nature. The Audubon Zoo has 58 acres of animals in their natural habitats. The Zoo consistently ranks among the country’s best.

Known as a popular destination for ghost hunters, New Orleans is also famous for its ghost tours, where many above-ground tombs abound. Due to the area’s high water table, settlers were unable to bury their loved-one’s caskets, so most of the tombs in the city are located above ground. There are many ghost tours you and your student group can tour. Explore one of the 40 cemeteries including the St. Louis Cemetery. Many famous New Orleanians reside in the St. Louis Cemetery including sugar-industry pioneer Etienne Bore, Homer Plessy (of Civil Rights case Plessy v. Ferguson) and Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau. A ghost tour of St. Louis Cemetery will provide your group with a hauntingly good time.

Of special note, a Cajun Pride Swamp Boat Tour is always a highlight for student groups. Experiencing the famous Manchac swamp is a highlight of student group itineraries. The tour takes your group back to the early days of Louisiana swamp and bayou explorations. Your group will see swamp creatures like alligators, snakes, many types of birds as well as the Cajun town of Frenier. This unique journey is one that your student group will always remember.

Music

New Orleans is known by many as the birthplace of Jazz and is an ideal destination to enrich your student performance groups’ appreciation for jazz as well as many other types of music. It seems that when you walk through the streets of New Orleans, you constantly hear music. There are many musicians who perform throughout the French Quarter as well as other areas including parks, etc. For example, New Orleans Jazz Historical Park gives groups a chance to learn about the rich music history of New Orleans jazz. There are many free concerts and music workshops offered throughout the year, of which your performance ensembles can be a part of.

The Jazz and Heritage Foundation and French Quarter Festivals, Inc. host many free concerts and festivals throughout the year including Satchmo SummerFest, which celebrates the life of New Orleans-born trumpeter Louis Armstrong, the Crescent City Blues & BBQ Fest, the Congo Square Rhythms Festival, the French Quarter Festival and the Treme Creole Gumbo Festival, among many others.

From April through June, Lafayette Square hosts free concerts from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Many bands perform many different types of music during the 12-week festival period.

If you are a middle school or high school band, orchestra or choir, performance opportunities are numerous throughout New Orleans. Performance sites include Jackson Square, Riverwalk Marketplace, the Creole Queen Dinner Jazz Cruise, the Steamboat Natchez as well as many local cathedrals. Workshops can also be pre-arranged at Loyola University for band, choral and orchestra ensembles.

On a More Serious Note…

Understanding what New Orleans has been through from the tragic events of Hurricane Katrina can be an important part of your student group travel tour. A visit to the 8th or 9th ward will reveal the ongoing rebuilding efforts and will give your students a chance to volunteer, thus embracing the theme of service. There are many opportunities for student groups to assist in these efforts including volunteering at Second Harvest Food Bank, helping to rebuild schools or paint homes, plus more.

Overall, New Orleans is a fun city with an energy that continually buzzes. New Orleans should be at the top of the list when educators are selecting destinations for their student group trip. With the many exciting attractions, historical museums, delectable food, incredible music opportunities, and rebirth projects, New Orleans will entertain your student group like no other city. The magic in New Orleans runs deep. When you leave, the fun and excitement goes with you.

Steve is the Marketing directory for Kaleidoscope Adventures. Being in the tourism industry for 21 years, group travel is a passion of mine. My background is as an Independent Contractor in Tourism Sales and Marketing in Orlando, Florida. My goal is to greatly increase revenues within the companies I work with via sales and marketing efforts.

Travel Into the Forest of Chiang Mai

44You could go on vacation and look at exotic animals, like elephants, from behind a great zoo divide, while snapping a picture or two – or you could travel to a destination that lets you ride the elephants, bathe them in a river, and become familiar with their great natures. If you are the type of person who wants to live during your vacation, Thailand’s Chiang Mai is a must. Over five million visitors flock to northern Thailand’s largest and most active city each year, and while they come for a wide variety of reasons, one common thread binds them. They want to have an experience that takes them far from their everyday lives.

Located on the banks of the Ping River and nestled into the highest mountains in Thailand, Chiang Mai is a thriving hub. The city has conscientiously cultivated an atmosphere of creativity, arts, sophistication, and excitement. From “elephant camps” where volunteers help owners care for these incredible beasts to festivals and museums, there is no shortage of unique offerings for visitors.

One festival, above all, characterizes the diverse and culturally-rich identity of Chiang Mai. Loi Kratong is celebrated in 12th month of the traditional Thai lunar calendar, which is usually in November, and during a full moon. Kratong, or floating banana leaf containers, are decorated with flowers and candles and released into the waterways of the city; Khom fai, or sky lanterns made of paper, are launched into the air. It is a sight that will take your breath away.

Chiang Mai is a city that is proud of its heritage and is active in celebrating it. Visitors can take part in wonderful festivals, like the Chiang Mai Flower Festival or Tam Boon Khan Dok, in which offerings are made to Buddhist and Lanna-era icons. Visiting this beautiful Thai city during these times allows you to sample daily life at its best with lively music, dancing, and, of course, delicious Thai food.

Anytime is a great time to visit Thailand; visitors from cooler climes, though, will find the months of November to February to be cooler and more manageable. If you like balmy weather (and who doesn’t when you can lounge on a Thai beach?), try the hot season of March to May. June through October is the rainy season, but even then, you will find short bursts of rain followed by brilliant sunshine.

Instead of planning by season, try planning your vacation so you can attend one of Chiang Mai’s beautiful festivals. Whatever you do, you will find your Thai journey to be fulfilling and memorable.