Hotels In France Encouraging You To Pay What You Want

If you could stay at a three to four star hotel in France and choose how much you pay for it depending on how much you felt the hotel deserved, would you do it? Of course you would! Luckily for you, from July 21 until August 10, 2014 you have the chance to partake in this unusual promotion.

Aldric Duval came up with this idea to promote his hotel, Tour d’Auvergne. The typical rate to stay at his hotel is usually around $200 per night. Duval thought this would be a good promotion because it would attract customers, but it would also give the hotel feedback on how well they are doing to keep their clients happy (as long as guests pay fairly). Guests would be asked to pay what they want based on their impressions of the hotel, room, and service.

Fortunately for travellers, this promotion has caught the attention from other hotels in France. Right now, four other hotels have decided to offer this special deal: Plaza Opera Hotel, Villa Opera Lamartine, Villa Boheme, and the French Grand Hotel. These hotels are all in Paris, but are located in a variety of different neighborhoods. There will also be more hotels who will be offering similar deals like this in the winter.

Each hotel will has only set aside two or three rooms for this pay-what-you-want rate, but they are all offering it until August 10, 2014. If you are intrigued and want to reserve a room, you must book through the website: http://www.payezcequevousvoulez.net

An opportunity like this does not come along often, so I suggest that you try to book a room if you will be in France. If you do get a room with this deal, keep in mind that if you do pay fairly and this promotion is a success, more hotels might be encouraged to do this.

Posted in comfi, France, Global, Hotel, Travel, Trips | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Useful Travel Gadgets

Travelling is all about seeing new places and having enjoyable experiences, but there is no doubt about it: you will have a better trip if you pack well and are prepared for whatever new experiences you may encounter. Technology has become so advanced that it would be a waste not to use it to our advantage, which is why I would like to bring five different products to your attention:

Mophie Space Pack- This is the worlds first battery case with built in storage for the iPhone 5/5s. This handy case doubles the battery life of your phone and doubles the data storage of up to 64GB of additional storage. There is also an app that you can use with the Space Pack that lets you manage and organize what is in the pack’s storage and even share files. While using this app, you can store, organize, or transport any type of file directly from your computer.

SteriPEN Ultra- In under one minute this device eliminates over 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa that cause water-borne illness. The SteriPEN Ultra is simple to use, you just press a button, submerge the UV lamp in water and wait for the lamp to go off; when it’s done a smile flashes at you from the screen and then it is safe to drink the water. The battery life will last sterilizing up to 50 liters of water and you can recharge it using a computer, outlet, or portable solar panel. The UV lamp will last up to 8,000 one liter treatments. This device works so well it received the Water Quality Association‚Äôs Gold Seal, certifying its effectiveness.

Compact Cube Universal Travel Adaptor- This small cube has a blade adaptor that allows you to adapt the plug blades of any device to that of the local power wall socket. The face of the adaptor has two and three bladed power plugs from the US, UK, EU, Australia, and China. The other end has four sets of plug blades that correspond to the same plug design. This cube is rated for 8 amps and can handle 830 watts of power (at 110VAC) or 1750 watts (at 230 VAC). This is compact and eliminates the need to buy a bunch of different adaptors.

Innergie PocketCell Duo- This compact gadget lets you charge 2 devices at once without an electrical outlet. There are duo USB power ports that allow you to charge tablets, smart phones, mp3 players, portable game consoles, GPS, and more. Another important aspect about this device is that you will not have to worry about unstable voltage when you are charging because the smart charge feature detects the type of device the PotcketCell is connected to and delivers the correct amount of power.

Trackdot Luggage- This is a very handy gadget if you are using an air plane while travelling. You just need to pack this little device into your suitcase and it will constantly monitor the cellular network to determine its location. If you are stopping in multiple cities and catching connecting flights, there is an app that you can use that can track where your luggage is. Depending on what you pick, you will receive either a text message or e-mail confirming that your luggage has arrived with you.

These gadgets are all so small that you will not feel a difference when lugging around your luggage, but they are so convenient that they will make a huge difference during your daily travels.

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5 Money Saving Tips For Your Next Cruise

Cruises can be one of the best valued vacations for you if you plan ahead and use certain strategies to avoid unnecessary costs. From booking your cruise, up until the time you arrive on your ship, you can take steps to make your vacation cheaper than expected while having just as much fun.

1. This is an obvious one, but shop around online to compare prices. Make sure you do your research and read the fine print. With things like cruise lines websites, social media websites, and special deal websites, there will be many options to choose from and one of them is bound to fit your budget.

2. Book your cruise during “wave season” (January through March). These three months often have the most cruise sales because the cruise lines are looking to plan ahead and book up their ships for the year. This is the time of year when the cruise lines are competing with each other to appeal more to customers.

3. Explore ports on your own. Shore excursions can be very pricey depending on what they have planned. Save money by doing some research and exploring the port on your own. Not only will you spend less money, but you will also have more time to do more things because you won’t be part of a big group.

4. Unplug and disconnect from the internet while you’re away. It’s nice to get away from the demands of always being connected to the world. Also, internet access and Wi-Fi are often charged at extremely high rates while on board. You should look into this information so you know if and what you will be charged. If the rate is high and you are someone who needs the internet, I suggest you wait until you are on your shore excursion before going online.

5. If you are looking for more than a one time trip, I suggest you stick with the same cruise line. Cruise lines reward their customers who continue to use their services. When you book more trips with the same company, you will definitely be made aware of more discounts and promotions that other first-time customers will not see. These rewards could effect your upfront rate, but they could also be perks such as special dinners and other upgrades.

If you take these tips into consideration while booking and while on your trip, then you will be able to keep to a strict budget while having a fun trip at sea.

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6 Thrilling Zip Lines Around the World

Zip lines have been around for a long time: often used in the rain forest and the outback for useful day-to-day purposes. Recently, staring in the 1990’s, zip line tours have become widely popular as an adventure activity. Because zip lining can be done by a wide range of ages and it offers the excitement that thrill seekers want, while still being entirely safe, it is an adventure I highly suggest you partake in. I have compiled a list of six of the most highly acknowledged zip line tours around the world that would add a day of fun to any trip you might be taking.

Mega Zips at Mega Cavern- Located in Louisville, Kentucky, this is the first fully underground zip line tour in the world. Built in a former limestone pit mine, dug in the 1930s, that stretches for 100 acres, it has ceilings over 90 ft tall in some areas. This tour has 6 zips, including a racing zip and usually takes around 2 hours to complete.

Miss Sky Canopy Tour- In Nosara, Costa Rica, is one of the longest canopy tours in the whole world. This zip tour is 7 miles long and includes 21 zips. During this tour, you go through mountain ridges and valleys, over rivers, waterfalls and the Pacific Ocean. This tour has ends with having you sail directly into a disco-bar on the top floor of a five story building.

Mokai Gravity Canyon’s Flying Fox- Located in Taihape, New Zealand, this zip line turns riders over onto their stomachs so that they fly parallel to the ground, much in the same fashion as how it would be if you were actually flying. The flying fox is 3,600 ft long and reaches speeds up to 100 mph. This zip goes through Rangitikei Canyon, 600 ft above the riverbed and also goes under a bridge. This zip also lets you take in the scenery by rolling back and forth a few times until you stop in the middle.

Costa Rica Sky Trek- Situated in Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano Park, this zip tour is for thrill seekers, not just because of the adrenaline rush of zip lining, but also because it has riders fly past an active volcano. There are nearly 2 miles of cables and 10 zips included in this tour. Riders take an open air gondola from the ground up to the heights of the take off point. The zips include going through the jungle, over lakes, and (as mentioned before) past Arenal volcano, which is very much still active.

Flight of the Gibbon- Located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, this is the first zip tour in Southeast Asia. This tour is a half mile long and has 33 different platform stations. This tour focuses on showcasing the beauty of the rain forest. Ten percent of the Flight of the Gibbons profits go to protecting the endangered gibbon and the rain forest where it is located.

Zip 200- In Sun City, South Africa has riders hang two by two in “superman style” with a fin between their legs for extra speed. This zip is over 6,500 ft long and has speeds going up to 100 mph. Riders get a view of the beautiful grasslands nearly 1000 ft below. People 12 years of age and older are allowed to ride this zip tour.

This is just a tiny list compared to the actual amount of zip lining tours available all over the world. If you have ever gone before or have wanted to go, I highly recommend it. Zip lining is definitely an adventure and will also let you enjoy the beauty of the nature around you.

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7 Travel Apps to Make Your Life Easier

Whether you are going on a vacation with your family or are travelling on business, I have compiled seven apps you can download to your smart phone for free that will make your trip easier for you.

Google Translate directly translates speech and handwriting for over 80 languages. You will not longer have to worry about asking for directions or getting help if you are staying in a country that uses another language. You van view dictionary results for words and phrases and you can also see and hear the phrases translated in the desired language. This app is compatible with the Android, Iphone, Ipod, and Ipad.

Kayak Flights, Hotels & Cars lets you search for, compare, and book: flights, hotels, and car rentals. This app links to TripAdvisor to screen and provide info about hotels using real travellers ratings and reviews. You can also manage your itinerary and track your flights. This app is compatible with the Android, Iphone, and Windows phone.

XE Currency free edition offers live currency rates and saves the most current updated rates so you can view them even without internet access. This app lets you calculate prices with a currency converter and also lets you create and track comparison charts. The live proprietary rates refresh every minute so you can plan your expenses accurately. This app is compatible with the Android, Iphone, Ipad, Blackberry, and Windows8.

Worldmate acts as a travel assistant in the fact that it helps organize your flights, hotels, transportation, and meetings. This app shows you maps and directions to the items on your itinerary, as well as searches flight schedules for over 800 airlines, has a currency converter, and gives a complete five day global weather forecast. This app is compatible with the Android, Iphone, Ipad, Ipod touch, and Windows phone.

Ivox is a calling app that lets you save up to 98% on international phone calls, automatically recognizes your international contacts, and has the option to use wifi or local calling to make your phone calls. This app also gives you an automatic $1 that you can use to call internationally when you download it. Along with cheap international rates, there is also a free call option that allows people who have the app to call each other for free. This app is compatible with the Android, Iphone, IPad, and Ipod touch.

Concur makes it so businesses can track business travel and manage expenses anytime from anywhere. This app lets you import data from credit cards, photograph receipts, keep track of receipts, itemize hotel charges, and submit or approve expense reports. Along with keeping expense records in order, it lets you manage and track business travel (e.g. book airfare and hotels, manage itineraries, and check flight status). This app is compatible with the Android, Iphone, Ipad, Ipod touch, Blackberry and Windows phone.

Airports, by TravelNerd is a flight tracker that tells you your flight status and any delays or cancellations. This does more than track flights, it even gives you directions to popular destinations for over 20 of the most frequented airports, lets you know about wifi availability within the airports, and users of this app can take advantage of the taxi sharing option, to cut down on spending, or use the click- to- call transportation option. This app is compatible with the Iphone, Ipod and Ipad.

Will the help of these apps, you should be sure to have an enjoyable and efficient trip.

Posted in Business, Free Apps, Smartphones, Tips, Travel | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Staying Safe at the World Cup

This year, the World Cup is expected to bring over 600,000 international travelers to the host country of Brazil (and that is not even including the amount of Brazil natives who will be attending the games) from June 12th until July 13th 2014. If you are travelling to Brazil for the games, it will be an incredibly fun time, but remember to take the proper precautions to stay safe. The more safe and prepared you are, the less you will have to worry about and the more you will be able to enjoy the games.

First, you should make copies of your passport and important information so you can leave one set in a safe place, such as your hotel, and you can keep a copy of your documents on you. When you make copies, you will always have your information on you in case you do run into any trouble.

Next, make sure to pack any medicine in your carry on bag, and not in your checked suitcase. This way, not matter what, you know you will not be separated from it. Also, you should bring a first aid kit for your trip, so you will not worry about having to find a drug store if you do become ill.

Take the time to familiarize yourself with the public transportation systems ahead of time. The traffic in Brazil is hectic and can be confusing, so the best option for you while your visiting is to take public transportation. You should research the cities you will be staying in and make sure you know the rates and locations of the transportation you will be using.

With the huge amount of people visiting Brazil, there is bound to be some instances of pick-pocketing and some thievery within the cities, so try not to let yourself become a victim. To keep a low profile, do not wear expensive jewelry or anything that means a lot to you. Also, do not carry a large amount of money on you if you do not have to. Some ATMs (such as the ones at airports) are more likely to be tampered with, so you should be wary of which ATMs you do use. If you do need to use an ATM, it would be smarter to use ones at your hotel or at an international bank.

Lastly, expect the best, but make sure you’ve planned for the worst. Write down any important emergency numbers, such as: the police, the ambulance, any friends or family (from home as well as any hotel phone numbers of people you know who are also visiting). If you do run into an emergency situation, you won’t have to waste time tracking down this information.

Keep these tips in mind when you are travelling to remain safe, and remember to have fun and cheer loud for your team!

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Things To Do Before Travelling Internationally

In order to have a successful, stress free trip when you travel internationally, you must plan ahead. If you are like me, or most people I know, it is easy to procrastinate and push things back to the last minute. Unfortunately, if you want to save yourself from being overwhelmed with panic the days leading up to your trip, there are a few things you must do in the weeks leading up to your departure. As long as you acknowledge what you have to get done before your trip and accomplish them one day at a time, it will not seem so stressful.
First, make sure you (and anyone else who is travelling with you) have up to date passports. On average, it takes about three weeks (sometimes more) to renew a passport, so it is important to get this out of the way as soon as possible if you do need to send in for a new one. You should also scan your passport and send it to your e-mail or somewhere that will be easy for you to access in case someone happens to your passport while you are overseas.
Next, make sure you know if the country you will be travelling to requires you to have a visa. Not all countries do, but it is important to find out ahead of time. http://www.projectvisa.com is a website that tells which countries require visas and how long the visas last as well as embassy information.
It is important to keep your bank up to date on your travel information, so it is a good idea to tell them in advance what country/countries you will be going to and for how long. If you do not notify your bank of your travels, your bank might block your account if you try using your account overseas. Banks usually block accounts if they think someone else is using your money in another country as fraud, so it will save you time and hassle if you keep them in the loop.
Another good idea is to write down a list of important phone numbers, such as: the embassy, the local hospital, the police, your family back home, your bank from your country, etc. Along with these numbers, it’s important to make sure you know you will have a phone that you can rely on. You need to decide if you are going to purchase a phone in a new country, of if you will bring your own cell phone (and if so, speak to your provider about roaming fees). You should also make sure to have purchased your calling card in advance so that you will be able to call internationally at a reasonable price and not have to worry about finding a card once you are already in a foreign country.
Lastly, I would recommend researching to see if the country you are going to requires that you get specific vaccinations or not. One website that tells which countries do require vaccinations and which vaccinations they require is http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list. Not all countries require this health measure, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.

I hope these tips help to make your international travels an enjoyable, stress free journey!

Posted in Calling Cards, Tips, Travel | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment