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A Spectacular Family Trip To Sydney

Sydney is one of the most fascinating travel destinations in the world, always full of surprises for the traveler. If you wish to select a family-friendly tourist destination, Sydney is an amazing choice. You’ll come across plenty of kids friendly attractions in the city and plenty of fun-filled experiences. If it’s your first trip to the city, here is a complete guide to enjoy some attractions and experiences with your kids.

1. The Australian Museum and National Maritime Museum

Let’s face the reality first; many adults despise visiting a museum. For this reason, most of their kids also do not fancy the thought of going to a museum. In Australia, you would find things to be entirely different. You wouldn’t have to suffer from the very obvious boredom in Sydney when you take a trip to the finest museums of the country.

The Australian Museum is the first one built in the country. Ever since its construction, it has particularly catered to the needs of little ones. There are plenty of hands on experiences and interactive activities that presents all the knowledge in a fun manner.

Even if your child holds no interest in the marine, a trip to the National Maritime Museum is just enough to drive their interest. There is plenty to learn and experience when they witness amazing masterpieces such as a submarine, gigantic ships and other amazing exhibits.

2. Sydney Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens are a treat to the eyes and the stunning display of flowers and vegetation is surely impressive. It’s absolutely a must visit for the adults, but these Royal Gardens are also well catered to the needs of the children. The wildlife of the park is one of a kind and delightful to explore. The sound of birdsongs all year round is truly a treat to the ears, no matter when you visit. The garden has a wide range of bird species. The Cockatoos and Rosellas truly win the show!

3. An Adventurous Trip to Yarramundi

The tree adventure in Yarramundi is nothing short of amazing and a must to experience. Trees are always great to look at, but you can do way more when you travel to Yarramundi at the famous Grose River Park. If you have kids who get easily bored, it is a perfect choice for you to keep them entertained and thrilled. Children that are four and above can enjoy the tree top adventure, and the course is catered to their age. It’s an exciting day out while they climb, leap and even fly!

4. Taronga Zoo

Australia is famous for its wildlife, and one of the best places to experience this is at the Taronga Zoo. Not only does it have one of the largest collections of wildlife, but also amazing views of the Harbour. There are a number of guided tours that you can avail to explore it in the best manner.

Travel Deeper: How to Walk the Back Streets and Connect With the Locals

Walking the back streets can seem a little daunting. I know, I do it all the time. You find yourself in places that are a little uncomfortable, out of your comfort zone. In fact, it is a culture shock.

Usually, when people travel they go to tourist spots and focus on carefully pre-planned stuff to do. For example, on the main island of Bocas Del Toro, you walk down the strip, go to a nice restaurant, and buy a ticket to a boat tour that will take you to a nice beach. Thats fine, and you should do it because it is part of the experience.

But to get a little deeper into the culture, all you have to do is walk a few streets back into the neighborhood and you will see a different world. Yes, it is dirty, yes, it may not smell very good. But if you stop looking at the poor conditions and look at the people, your perspective will start to change.

You will see grandmothers sitting on porches watching the world go by. And if you smile and wave, they will wave back in a friendly way. You will see kids making games out empty plastic bottles and fishing line. Stop and watch for a minute. try to figure out the rules of the game and how to win. It puts you in a completely different frame of mind. All of a sudden you really “see” them. they notice you and all you have to do is smile. No need to even speak the language. People may look nervous about your presence at first, after all, you are in their “territory” But a smile seems to override any negative feelings. Soon you will find yourself forgetting about your own fears and getting out of your own head for a minute to actually connect with happy kids playing in the street. And that is when you realize, poverty is not what you think it is.

People are relaxed. They are living full lives. They have a lot of family and friends around. They take time to pat each other on the back and chat for a while. They don’t rush. They are not in a hurry.

It’s very refreshing.

Along the back streets you will see the places the locals shop. The grocery stores are small and dingy looking and they don’t have the selection of the ones on the main drag. But they do have the simple necessities for living and they are MUCH cheaper than the ones the tourists see. Stop and buy a bottle of water or candy bar. It gives you a moment to connect with the seller. They may look at you funny when you first walk in because you look different. But, again, just smile. If you know a few Spanish words, use them, even if you think you sound foolish (which you probably do) They are happy you are trying to communicate and it will immediately open doors for a better connection.

Take a look around the store while you are in there. take note of what is on the shelves. That gives you clues about what people live on in that area. Chances are you will find big bags of rice and lots of cans of tuna and sardines. You will find canned powdered milk and rotten looking bananas (that are actually perfectly ripe and very sweet) You will also find cleaning supplies, lots of bleach. In spite of the dirty living conditions, every kids goes to school in sparkling clean school uniforms.

You will also find candles with pictures of saints on them and incense marked with things like “prosperity, wealth and success”. This shows you the people are into alters in their homes. They take their mix of Catholicism and old religion very seriously. See how much you are learning?

Leave the grocery store and head further down the street and you will see barber shops for the men and beauty salons (very small and dingy) for the women. Stop for a minute to see whats going on inside and you will find guys having fancy designs shaved into their very short hair and women getting their nails painted in every color and design you can imagine. Again, these people are not as poor as you think they are. Personal grooming is extremely important to them. As you leave the shop, look in the street and see how people ar dressed. You will find fancy handbags and nice sneakers, high heels and jewelry. This is all part of learning to connect. In order to understand a people, you need to slow down and pay attention to the details.

Keep walking and you are bound to find some place to eat. Most likely it will be extremely small, like 2 tables and 8 chairs. It will probably be dark inside (that keeps it cool) and any menu will either be written on the wall somewhere or inside you server’s head.

If you are brave enough, stop and have something to eat. This is one of the BEST ways to experience another culture. My secret to not getting sick is to stop places that seem busy. No one wants to get sick and the locals know the best places to eat.

If you have no idea what to order and are very adventurous, just ask the server to bring you whatever they think is best. You may find yourself with a bowl of soup sitting before you that has bones of some unknown animal in it and huge chunks of root vegetable. Don’t worry, most of the food is either beef or chicken. It may look funny, but it is bound to taste good.

Walking the back streets may take a little bit of courage and I would not suggest it at night or in big cities. But small towns are full of people just like you and me. And in all honesty, you will never really see the people if you don’t go to where they live. All you will see is people trying to make a buck in a tourist town and that is not a very fair sampling of who really lives there.

The Zen of Travel

A few years ago I was in Las Vegas on my way home from teaching a seminar. When I got to the airport, I found out that my flight had been delayed which caused a bunch of us to miss our connecting flights. Ah well! I tend to be calm about these sorts of things because there really is no use getting mad about it. In fact, I was cracking jokes to the woman in back of me to lighten the mood a bit.

The gentleman in front of me, however, was different. He was so mad that I could almost see steam coming out of his ears. He was yelling and screaming at this poor young girl behind the counter. It wasn’t her fault that our flight was delayed, but he didn’t seem to care about that. He spent about 10 minutes banging the counter with his hand and yelling at her in loud tones, and then stormed off. As I watched him go, I wondered why on earth would you yell at the person who has the power to get you home?

Since I was next in line, I walked up to her counter and immediately noticed that she was doing everything in her power to stop herself from crying in front of me. She was so distraught that her hands were shaking! My heart melted. So I put my bags down and looked her right in the eyes. I then told her to take as much time as she needed to get herself together because I was sure her supervisor wasn’t going to let her go on a break. I then started to gently talk to her while she wiped her eyes and took a few deep breaths.

We chatted about the man and his situation for a few minutes until she had calmed down. I got her to laugh about it and she was able to move forward. She then put me on a flight and I headed towards my gate. As I walked towards security, I looked down at the ticket and was stunned when I saw that she had given me a seat in first class! Plus there was a certificate that bought me dinner in the airport.

As I’ve said many times… what you put out in this world, you’ll get back. Treat people like you yourself would like to be treated. That’s the true key to it all.

Safety Tips for Girls Traveling Alone

Choose accommodation wisely.

Check all the hotel options, location, services they provide and type of rooms. Try to avoid hostels.

Protect your money and documents.

As your packing and luggage, you need to travel light and avoid carrying many handbags and stuff with you. A good tip is to get a money belt, you can find it easily, it is cheap and you can use it under your clothes.

Visit public and safe places.

Avoid walking alone especially at night and in dark places. Try to visit popular places and if you need something or get some information avoid asking a stranger, you better go to a coffee shop, restaurant or store and ask an employee. You can also have with you a pepper spray.

Avoid Taxi Cabs.

Taxis are not always the best option, you don’t know if they’re completely safe or which route they can take. You don’t need to be looking for a taxi standing alone at street, there are some private transportation agencies like Uber or any airport shuttle that will provide you the whole information of your ride like the type of car, driver’s name, routes, and timing information. You can also ask for a woman driver if you want to!

Bring some medication or your personal “first aid kit”.

You know your body and which medications you need at specific situations. Consider that it might be difficult to find some medications in other countries, cities or places so, you better bring them with you (medications for headache, stomachache, pain, antibacterial gel, contraceptives, etc.).

Be careful of what you eat and drink.

Don’t eat or drink too much, know your limits. You can use websites like trip advisor and search for the most recommended places. Try to avoid eating at street and if you want to have fun and take a couple drinks do it with moderation. If you meet people at restaurants and bars don’t let them know you’re traveling alone and don’t give them specific information. You never know people’s intentions and who you’re talking to.

Learn the basics of the local language.

If you’re traveling to another country with another language you should learn all the words and meanings you could need (like restrooms, banks, hotel, restaurants, food, hospitals, transportation services, etc.) or you can also bring a dictionary with you. This way people will understand you easily.

4 Important Tips to Follow While Buying New Luggage

As the season of travel is coming back again during the summer, it is again that time where you decide to buy new luggage. This is itself a big investment because buying good quality luggage is no easy task. There are many cost concerns and quality concerns that are raised very easily while buying luggage. We have got a few tips for you that can be of great use in the long run. These tips must be followed without fail in order to ensure top quality luggage.

1. Always consider your needs

There are many issues that might come up in the future that will make you travel. Thus it is important to take your travelling needs into consideration. The luggage you purchase must obviously depend on the type of travel you do. For example, there are people who travel for business and then there are people who travel for leisure.

2. Know your weight and size restrictions

These days all the airlines have restrictions when it comes to the weight of your luggage. In order to avoid any kind of additional charges it is important for you to take this factor of weight into consideration. Thus if you are trying to save money take this tip into consideration. It will do you a whole lot of good.

3. Test the luggage in the store before buying

You need to do a thorough test of your luggage before you actually purchase it. This will not only help you to get a feel of the luggage but it will also enable you to gain a trust of quality as far as your luggage is concerned. Thus always practice this tip in order to purchase a good quality luggage at a reasonable price.

4. Read online reviews of luggage

It is obviously extremely important to go through the reviews of a particular brand or product. It is simple common sense. This practice will enable you to gain some important information as far as your luggage is concerned. There are reviews of every product listed on almost every online retailer’s list and it is up to you whether you want to make good use of this or not. Thus this means that you must always do your research online in order to get a good hold as far as the quality and cost of your luggage is concerned. It is one of the important things to remember.

Five Reasons Why You Should Work For the Travel and Tourism Industry

The travel and tourism industry is a massive global industry that caters for the needs of those who have to travel away from home in terms of providing facilities and services like hotel accommodation, air and road transport. Close to a billion people are involved in international travel in this industry which generates billions of dollars every year. Sometimes making a decision on which industry to work for can be quite hard given the many options available today across the globe. Below are five reasons why you should consider working in the travel and tourism industry.

1. There are lots of work opportunities. The travel and tourism industry has a lot of opportunities employment for those seeking employment. You can work in the aviation sector, road, rail and water transport, accommodation providers like hotels and lodges, leisure and business travel agents and tour guides. It is now also possible to work from home thanks to technology which is convenient for some people like mums who have a child or children and do not want to be far away from home.

2. The perks are good. The travel industry provides rewards that not many other industries do. For example those working in the airline industry can get free tickets for themselves and immediate family members to fly to any destination that the airline they work for flies to. Those who work as travel agents can get reduced travel fares and even pay reduced accommodation rates. Then there are the familiarization trips that those who work in the industry have the opportunity to take. Just think of an all expenses paid trip to places like the Seychelles, France, the Kenyan coast of Mombasa to name just a few.

3. It is a growing industry. In spite of the recent downturn because of the threat of terrorism and the world recession, travel industry players are optimistic about its growth. In good times and bad times people always get the urge to move. And with more and more places becoming accessible because of air travel and with both air travel and hotel rates coming down in order to accommodate peoples pocket there is reason to believe that the travel industry will continue to grow and more markets will be reached which is good news for service providers. Furthermore technology like the internet has made it possible to access markets anywhere in the world, at any time of the day.

4. It is never boring. Working in the industry almost means that you will meet new people from time to time. This is especially true for those who work as frontline staff in travel agencies, airline offices or hotels. Those who work in the airline industry as flight attendants have the opportunity to travel to different parts of the world, visit different towns and cities and see and experience different cultures. That can never be a boring job.

5. You do not need years of studying to work in the industry. You may love a certain profession but because of the years of studying involved in learning it you may be discouraged from joining it. Not so with the travel and tourism industry. Three to six months may be enough depending on what qualification you are studying for to get you started working for this exciting industry. Some people because of their love for the work and experience gained in certain areas of the industry have even started working and studied for the paper qualifications later.

The Benefits of Becoming a Travel Agent

There are many different benefits of being a Travel Agent. First off being a Travel Agent means that you are now in the industry, which means you automatically qualify to receive travel and vacation benefits. There is a great way you can get these benefits and much more that I will be discussing below without having to get a license or qualifications or anything of such. But the question is, how can you benefit from being a travel agent. And yes you do need a license to be a Certified Travel Agent, but I’m going to honestly show you a way where you can become a travel agent without having a license and still receive all the benefits I’m going to share with you.

Lets talk about the benefits of being a travel agent.

cruise lines offer travel industry rates for bona fide travel agents. The rates can vary from $35.00 – $50.00 per person per day. The travel professional is allowed to bring one companion at the same rate.

Hotels and car rental firms offer discounts to travel industry personnel. The discounts can vary from 10% up to 50% off normal rates. These discounts are subject to availability and offered at the discretion of the supplier.

Many escorted tour companies will offer substantial discounts on their tours. These discounts will also vary but are typically 10% – 50% off the retail price.

One of the most appealing benefits to travel agents is the opportunities to go on a FAM Trip! FAM is short for familiarization. Special trips are organized specifically with the travel professional in mind.

They are offered by tour companies, hotels, convention and visitor bureaus, airlines and cruise lines. The purpose of these trips are to familiarize the agent with the products as being a benefit for being in the industry. The great thing about these FAM trips or sometimes called member trips is that they are so easy to use. Once you become a agent you are able to take one of these FAM trips immediately. These trips are extremely discounted, and can save you up to 1,500 per vacation, which is well worth it. Here are some examples of some of the member trips that you can take advantage of.

1.) 4Day Jamaica Vacation for only $234.00
2.) 4Day Cozumel, Mexico only $181.00
3.) 4Day Cancun Mexico Vacation only $230.00
4.) 6 Day Caribbean Cruise for only $285.00
5.) Myrtle Beach golf vacation for 3 nights for only $359.00
6.) Disney World 3 Day/ 4 Nights Only $335.00- oh the kids will love this one…
And there are dozens of others that you can take advantage of as well. These are not single trips these are family vacations.

Other benefits include commissions from booked travel from 70% to 90%, and enhanced commissions, educational programs and events, Corporate and leisure hotel programs, travel insurance vendors, blocked cruise space & exclusive vendor deals, professional familiarization (FAM) rates on luxury cruises, resorts and tours. Travel agent discount on hotels and rental cars, show and theme park discounts and free admission to popular attractions, Take advantage of huge tax breaks available for home-based businesses. You also can do all of this from home because you get your very own customized website ready to go set up just like expedia, orbitz or any other major travel website where your friends and family can book and you can receive your commissions. And you can set your own hours.

Traveling is Fun

People all over the world love to travel. People travel for various purposes like business, leisure, education or recreational purposes. Traveling has become a part of people’s life and there is no life without traveling. Going to work everyday is also traveling. Traveling helps us to learn a lot. When we travel to other countries, we are able to learn about the culture, language and people of that country.

Many people, we find travel for work related purposes. Some people travel to other countries to seek work and there are lots of businessmen who are globally connected, traveling to various countries in the world to attend meetings, to expand their business, to build relations etc. This helps them to make more money.

A large percent of people travel for leisure. Everybody longs to relax. Nobody can work like a robot. To get away from the stress and tension of their work, they usually take a few days off to visit tourist places with their families to see places and enjoy a fantastic vacation. There are people who travel within their country, and there are people traveling to other countries depending on their budget.

Lots of students nowadays travel for education purposes, mainly for higher studies or for educational tours.

The World Tourism Industry is flourishing with tremendous growth and this industry is making changes every year to meet the demands of the increasing tourist. Tourism brings in a lot of money and increases employment opportunities in the country the tourism ministry in every country seeks ways to develop and promote tourism in their respective countries. The most visited country in the world today, happens to be France and Paris is the world’s most visited tourist destination. Switzerland also is a great tourist attraction because of it’s ski-resorts.

The Internet plays a very important role today in giving information of the various tourists attractions of the world, with the hotel and sightseeing facilities. With just a click of the mouse, you can book rooms suitable to your budget, in any part of the world.

Whether you are traveling for business or for pleasure, it is most important that you stay safe and enjoy your trip. First of all, you have to plan your trip well in advance. Once you have chosen your destination, plan your itinerary first. Book your flights and hotel reservation much in advance, especially during the seasonal period, to avoid disappointments. If you are choosing low budget hotels, make sure that you make proper research, because you might end up without the facilities mentioned on their websites. It is always best to book hotels with Internet facilities, because you can use Skype to keep in touch with your near and dear. This will help you to save a lot on your long distance telephone bills.The most important thing that you need during your travel is currency. You can use your ATM cards and credit cards. Travelers Checks can also be useful while traveling. The best advise for traveling is always travel light. Also be very careful about what you eat. Unhealthy eating can cause stomach problems and might end you up in the hospital, which can lead to an unexpected expense.

Where You Should Travel and the Five Things to Bring With You

One of the most common questions I hear when talking with people who are looking to travel is “where should I go?”. The answer I give them is a very simple one and that is “anywhere!”. What I’ve found to be consistently true with nearly everyone I’ve known that has traveled is that they’ve loved every place they’ve gone. Now, that’s not to say that some didn’t have a few rough experiences, but the consensus is that you’re traveling to see different parts of the world, every country has it’s positive aspects just like every country has some negative aspects. The first thing I would do is throw away every preconceived notion you have in your head about different countries. Now, that’s not to say go to places that are potentially dangerous, that’s common sense. But to really find out where you truly want to go I would look at why you’re interested in traveling. Are you looking to go to site see? Are you looking for a more natural travel experience I.e hiking, mountain climbing, etc.? Or are you looking for a nice relaxing vacation with beaches and palm trees? To be honest you could really be looking for all of those things! A great place to start is with convenience, do you know people who live abroad? That’s what propelled me to travel to Europe and gave me the extra push to really travel. Next, are you interested in any specific cultures? I recommend for your first time traveling, go see something that has caught your eye over the years! It’s a great way to ease yourself into the cultural differences the United States has with nearly every other country. Overall though, I truly believe that you can’t go wrong wherever you go, the world is a beautiful place. While traveling there are certain things you should never be caught without, here are my five most important items…

1. Passport.

This first one is very important. No matter where you go, to get there you are going to need your passport. It is necessary that you have this with you nearly at all times. While there are certain countries that are considered safe and friendly, it is always a good idea to have your passport with you in case of emergencies.

2. Money.

Wherever you are traveling to, make sure that you have your money exchanged into the currency that country uses. Don’t be that tourist that is trying to get locals to accept the U.S. dollar bill, nobody likes that guy. It is also important due to emergencies. There have been many instances in which my credit/debit card has not worked when I have been abroad and I needed the item right then and there. Always have cash (in the correct currency) on hand while traveling.

3. Dictionary.

Now I know this one seems a bit odd, but you would be surprised at how handy a dictionary really could be. Just by getting one word out correctly most people will be able to figure out what you are asking for or what you are trying to tell them. If you’re not fortunate enough to have a guide with you who speaks the natural language, a pocket dictionary could really go a long way.

4. Water.

This is another one that sounds odd but is a must while you are walking the streets of a foreign city. You have to remember that these cities are much different than american cities. When you go up to a restaurant and ask for a glass of water they will in fact charge you or even refuse. It’s a safe bet, especially when it’s hot, to carry a bottle of water for yourself. You’ll thank me later.

5. A Smile!

Cheesy, I know, but it really is so true! Be a happy tourist, be happy that you’re exploring new places. Even if it’s not what you expected, enjoy just being there. I see so many people that are miserable while they’re on vacation because it’s too hot or they didn’t get to do what they wanted to do. My advice, go with the flow and keep on smiling.