Sep 12, 2010

Five Fun Places To Drive To From Portland, Oregon

Portland is the largest city in the state of Oregon and one of the main major cities of the Pacific Northwest. It is located on the southern shore of the Columbia River, just across the river from Vancouver, Washington. It is accessible by plane, car, and boat as ships can reach it by going up the mouth of the Columbia from the Pacific Ocean.

Portland is a fun city that offers great accommodations, wonderful restaurants, tons of entertainment, and much more. Another great part about Portland is that it is also located somewhat conveniently near a number of other worthwhile places to go. Here is a look at five fun places to drive to from Portland, Oregon.

Long Beach, Washington
Long Beach is an enormous peninsula in southwestern Washington that juts straight north and forms the barrier that separates Willapa Bay from the Pacific Ocean. This area is known for fishing, kite flying, and miles and miles of sand, some of which can be driven on by visitors in their own automobiles.

Multnomah Falls And The Columbia River Gorge
The Columbia River Gorge is directly east of Portland and is a beautiful area to drive through. Multnomah Falls is located on the western end of the gorge and features a towering waterfall with a number of places to view it from. There is even a gift shop and restaurant there too. The rest of the gorge features other great sights like high viewpoints, hydroelectric dams, hiking trails, windsurfing opportunities, preserved sections of original highway and tunnels, and even more waterfalls.

The Oregon Coast
Though not as famous as other stretches of coastline, the Oregon Coast is a fun place to travel to that offers many things to do. The beaches are long and sandy there and have a lot of character thanks to the occasional high cliff and the multitude of rock formations. Some of the popular destinations include Newport, Cannon Beach, Lincoln City, Seaside, and Rockaway.

Mount Rainier National Park
Located north from Portland is one of the most beautiful areas in the entire United States, Mount Rainier National Park. Visitors can enjoy the mountain and the surrounding park land in a number of ways, including going on hikes or scenic drives. There is even a very nice visitors center accessible from the south called Paradise, a very fitting name. On the way to and from Mount Rainier, travelers will be driving through one of the thickest forests in the region as well as through a number of interesting small towns that can also be fun to explore.

The Capital of Oregon
The city of Salem is located south from Portland on Interstate 5 and is the capital city of the state of Oregon. Salem is a fun city that most of the locals describe as just a really large town. One of the must see sights there is the Capitol Building where tours are available and a number of historic items pertaining to Oregon and the early days of the Pacific Northwest can be seen.

Scenes from Oregon Traffic Cams can be found at DOTwebcams. They are not only great to access for roadway information, but for other travel purposes too. Oregon webcams cover everything from scenic locations to traffic cameras and so much more.

The Great Land of Alaska

Situated on the Arctic Circle and separated from the other American states, Alaska is a land of stunning natural beauty-its landscapes and wildlife are a must-see for any traveler. Sailing on a cruise ship is one of the best ways to explore Alaska. Some of the best Alaskan cruises will bring you exhilaratingly close to its glaciers and rocky frozen coasts.

The larger ships provide more amenities while smaller boats and yachts are able to traverse areas the large ships cannot go- bringing a traveler up close and personal with Alaskan wildlife and nature. The most popular routes are the Inside Passage Route, which goes round trip from either Seattle, Washington or Vancouver, and the Gulf Route, which runs Northbound, and Southbound cruises between Seattle/Vancouver and Seward/Whittier.

Many things make the best Alaskan cruises a truly unforgettable experience. For one, you have the chance to see majestic, melting glaciers floating in the unsullied bays of the Inside Passage. You will sail past mysterious and misty fjords-these narrow inlets formed by glacial activity are wonders to behold; some with densely packed vegetation, and other with waterfalls churning down their steep sides.

You will also see whales swimming in the icy cold waters and salmon hurtling across pristine streams. The sight of bears, bald eagles, seals and other magnificent wildlife will greet you on your travels. You can even hike through ancient rain forests and sea-kayak among icebergs directly from your ship. Of course, you can simply lay back, relax, and soak up all this stunning scenery from the vantage point of your deck.

These are just some of the reasons Alaskan cruises so often surpass the expectations of travelers. The untamed wilds and abundant creatures are only half of the Alaskan experience though. Travelers will also be able to sample some of the local flavor and native culture of Alaska at various stops along the cruise.

The port cities of Juneau and Sitka offer plenty of things to do. Juneau is one of the most visually appealing cities with mountains as a backdrop and wilderness on all sides. Sitka still retains traces of its Russian past in its architecture. Its Totem Pole Park and Raptor Rehab Center are also worth a visit.

As so much of Alaska's coastal areas are inaccessible by traditional modes of transport, cruises are the ideal way to experience this place. More often than not, it is the only way. There is no doubt that the best Alaskan cruises will be a memorable experience that makes for lifelong memories.

Make Your Holidays Memorable With Holiday Rentals in Cannes

If you are wishing to spend out your holiday in the excellent vicinity of South of France and in need of a villa in Provence to get rental, Home Sod recommend you to hire one of the traditional homes of Mediterranean region and fantastic holiday villas in Provence. We are promising to give you necessary directions for attaining best holiday rentals in South France. We really possess the skill and fame to manage economical holiday rentals in Cannes the Mediterranean regions which comprises of villa rental of Cannes, villas of Nice, villas of St Paul and quality villas in St Tropez.

Cannes receives a large number of tourist people, celebrities and youngsters in its ground every year for celebrating International Film Festival and the authority can hardly manage to locate the amounts of tourists. The festival is held around the month of May and takes a tremendously gorgeous look attracting enough to invite all classes of people of the universe. Today is the age of science and you need not to worry about apartment booking. Go to internet, you will be introduced to the services of advance apartment bookings.

However your requirement is, that does not matter at all, we will be glad to provide your demanded necessities. Our apartments are enriched with almost all kinds of fully functional materials to suit your demands. You can have high bandwidth internet connection, elements and stoves for preparing coffee, well furnished kitchen with modern utensils and so on. The room walls are wide enough, doors never have any fault with locks and there is no want of electric power points, enough in number. Staff is helpful and friendly to discuss any problems with you and they are always ready to try their best to make sure you like the facilities.

Holiday Cannes rentals is unforgettable location and the rentals are situated right in the middle of Cannes. For holidays Cannes Rentals are excellent for its suitable position and there are arranged entertaining dance shows, you may like the bars here to ensure your full contentment and perfect satisfaction forgetting your pains and regrets in the happy atmosphere you had hardly seen ever before. Go out to the Cannes streets and the environment is wholesome and hygienic there.

Good neighborhood ambience is also maintained by the negotiators because they believe you should be happy and satisfied with a friendly atmosphere the number of days you stay under their authority, responsibility and services. Inhabitants in apartments are treated with wines and bears in the nearby restaurants. Some restaurants give you the opportunity to enjoy Mediterranean scenes. Tourists are very much interested in capturing images of sailboats that ply on Mediterranean water. One of the most spectacular buildings is Biggs Museum which stands near Dover's historic district.

Don't worry at all if you are planning to travel to Cannes for holiday rental, you are certainly going to spend your money in a good field.

You can get the information about Cannes rental by visiting various websites on internet.

Vacation Rental Owners - Optimize Your Rental

The entire point of owning a vacation home that is for rental income only is to make sure that it is booked year round. If you aren't booking your vacation home out, then you aren't making any money off of it, and then your investment is not turning out like you had hoped. By making sure your rental property is listed everywhere n the internet, and listed on the best informative websites available, you will optimize your chance of renting out your vacation home year round.

Many people when they go to look for something to rent for a vacation will go online first to see what is available out there, and to compare prices of different options they have to choose from. When potential renters go online to look for what they are going to rent for their vacation, they use certain websites that have all of the listings available to see and all the prices listed. You can use this to your advantage as a rental owner, and make sure your property is being shown on these websites in a positive light.

You can buy different advertising packages and you can simply have your ad shown everywhere. If people do not know about the home that you wish to rent out, how on earth can you rent it out to people? Advertising is everything when it comes to gaining customers, or in this case, renting out your property to a customer. You would have to be crazy to not want to optimize your chances at renting out your property as much as possible.

Benefits of Finding Vacation Rentals Online

There are many different ways to look for a vacation rental or piece of property you wish to stay at during a vacation or business trip, or for whatever reason you need to rent something. People can either look at ads in the paper, or call travel agencies. The only other option for consumers, especially non-local consumers, is for them to go online to find their dream rental property to rent. The benefits of having the internet and informative websites at hand are endless.

The biggest benefit of all though with finding vacation rentals online is that this is the best way to save money on your rental. You will have the ability to look at every available option in the area you wish to go, and also get to see what costs what. Having all these different properties to choose from at given price ranges makes finding a rental very easy, and efficient. You want to make sure you are getting the best deal available period, so this is a huge plus for consumers to have the ability to literally weed through all the rentals.

Another large benefit is you get to see your options to what and where you can stay. Websites will show what is available for rent, and what is not available. This will save you a lot of time from calling up property owners and asking them if and when their unit is available, or calling a complex and inquiring about something they own. Finding vacation rentals online is easy, cost effective, and gives you the best chance of finding something, period.

Find Vacation Rentals From Home

Being at the comfort of your home while doing anything makes it that much better. People don't like to go places anymore for things they can simply find out on the computer. How awesome is it that you can have any vacation rental in the world at your fingertips all day long, and at any time. You also get the most information by using one of these rental-listing companies. All this information is also all at one location, making convenience the common denominator here.

People like options. Especially when it comes to things like rental properties for a vacation or business trip. As a consumer, they want to see many different properties at many different prices so they can pick and choose the best places to stay at, at the best price. Having all of these options inside their home, on their computer is something people did not have 30 years ago. This makes shopping around for properties so easy, that anyone can do it.

Another benefit of this is that you will be able to find out which properties are available at what given dates. No one wants to make a billion calls to different rental property owners or companies; just to find out the place is booked up. This is silly, and people simply don't have time for it anymore, so having complete listings with updated information like when exactly a unit is available makes for a very happy consumer sitting in their home surfing the internet for every option they could possibly need.

Aug 21, 2010

Are You A Travel Worrier

Travellers tend to sit at home before their trip... all alone... just thinking of reasons to be stressed. You did your research about the safety of the country you're going to visit, you got all of your vaccinations, but still your "friends" have told you that it's not safe, you're nuts to go there, or you are sure to come down with some exotic fever.

Our advice is not to listen to them. They probably just wish they could be there with you! You've DONE your research. Don't let those nay-sayers stress you out.

Travel problems are always there. You... and your friends... will just start to notice them more when you are planning a trip.

Every year there are demonstrations on the streets of Paris. There are air-traffic controller strikes in Italy and transportation strikes somewhere else. There are train wrecks and bus accidents and terrorists attacks and disease outbreaks. There will be earthquakes and fierce storms.... I could go on and on, but then we'd all soon become travel worriers.

Most of the time these disruptive problems show up way back in the newspaper... on page 17 or something, and you'll never notice them. But it you're planning a trip to India... your friends will notice them. And if problems make the headline news, everyone will think you should just stay home.

You may begin to think that yourself, but even if something unexpected happens, in most cases, you should just take things in stride and go on your trip anyway.

We went to central India to see tigers a few years ago. There was unrest half a continent away. All of our friends said it was too risky, they might go to war. We read travel advisories from several different governments and decided to go anyway. We had no problems. We went to three national parks and saw tigers everyday..... I'm so glad we didn't become travel worriers on that trip!

Sometimes things will happen and you could never have predicted them. We had a friend that went on a cruise as her first trip to Europe. Know what happened? Her ship sank!!!! Want to know what her next trip was? ....A CRUISE!!!

It IS a good idea to expect that there might be problems. If something comes up, tackle them creatively. We got stuck for four days in Queenstown, New Zealand due to weather. If something like that happens to you, do what we did... make friends! You'll probably find that you'll make lots of local new friends because people will try to help you.

The key to enjoying your travel is to take little unexpected glitches in stride. If something comes up before your trip, evaluate it. If it is really a dangerous situation, by all means, cancel your trip... but don't be a travel worrier and ruin a good holiday because your friends said so.

Enhanced Hotel Security

Some of these things you may notice right off, other measures that they're taking aren't so obvious. And the hotels may or may not let you know what they're doing. They may not want the "bad guys" to know what they're doing, and they have to consider how you might react.

They also walk a fine line with this enhanced hotel security. They don't want to scare you away if you think there is the possibility of unrest.... On the other hand, they might want you to feel reassured that they are taking measures to protect you.

The problem is, of course, that some of these things might seem like a hassle if you encounter them... Just remember that the hotels are doing them to protect you, not to annoy you.

Some of the security measures you may find...

You may discover that there is no longer underground parking or parking right next to the hotel.

They may not let taxis drive up to the hotel entrance. We've stayed in hotels where taxis must park in front, and hotel staff will bring you and your luggage to the entrance in golf carts.

You may find metal detectors at all entrances. We've encountered scanning of luggage on arrival.

At check-in, receptionists (especially in big hotels) will probably tell you your room number quietly. You don't want it announced to everyone. The room number should not be written on the outside of a folder for all to see. Your card key may be a different number than your room number, so if you lose it, no one will know which room is yours.

We've also found that sometimes there are bag searches and scans when you return to the hotel from shopping or sightseeing.

In areas of high threat, you may find an end to luggage storage. Hotels in those areas may also refuse to let you send luggage or packages in advance of your arrival at the hotel. Yep, you might just have to go ahead and pay for those checked bags on your airline flight.

Especially in high profile hotels, you may start seeing uniformed security guards in lobbies, restaurants, and beach or pool areas. You might even encounter random photo ID checks.

You'll also start seeing card keys required to access room floors from the elevator. Those side doors to the pool or beach that used to be open, will start requiring card keys too. In extreme cases, hotels might even limit lobby access to registered guests only.

Just be patient if you encounter this enhanced hotel security. Be thankful that they care enough to make things safer to keep on traveling.

Washington District of Columbia USA

The District of Columbia isn't in any of the states... it was carved out as a federal capital district so it could serve all of the states.

It's a popular vacation destination for American families. What better place to teach your kids a little about history and government while having fun? It's also popular with visitors from abroad because of the museums and monuments.

There is just so much to see.... the White House, the Capitol Building, the Smithsonian Museums, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Monument, the Mall itself.

The National Mall lies at the center of it all. It is a long strip of expansive (mostly) green lawns in the center of the buildings and monuments. It is sometimes called America's front yard. This tree lined area stretches two and a half miles (4 km) from the Potomac River to the U.S. Capitol Building on Capitol Hill with the White House adjoining it off to one side.

The Mall is the central piece of most sightseeing visits to Washington DC. You can walk to the museums and monuments that surround the mall, but seeing it all is more than a leisurely stroll.... it can be quite a hike!

Consider buying a ticket for the hop-on-hop-off buses that serve the area. The Tourmobile circles the Mall with stops at all of the monuments, the White House and Arlington National Cemetery. There are two other options... the Open Top Sightseeing bus and the Old Town Trolley which also have stops on the Mall and serve other areas of Washington DC as well.

White House tours are available again on a limited basis. All tours must be scheduled in advance. If you are an American and want to tour the White House, contact your Member of Congress well in advance of your trip. Tour tickets are free, but they are distributed on a first come first served basis.

Foreign visitors may contact their respective embassies in Washington DC or the US Embassy in their country to inquire about White House tour opportunities.

Guided tours of the U.S. Capitol are available Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 4:30 p.m. Free tickets are available on a first-come-first served basis at the Capitol Guide Service Kiosk. They must be used at the time of pick-up. If you want a gallery pass, contact your member of Congress or Ambassador as for the White House.

Keep in mind that there will be security screenings for tours of any of the major government buildings. Don't miss all the monuments scattered around the Mall and all of the Smithsonian Museums, but if you tire of the city, you can always head out to the environs of Washington DC to see things like Mount Vernon, bike along the C&O Canal, or explore the old town sections of Georgetown and Alexandria.

If you have tons of money, you can stay at one of the hotels right in the District. A more inexpensive option is to stay outside the city where you'll have a bigger choice of reasonably priced hotels. Try to find a hotel within walking distance (or a hotel shuttle ride) to a Metro station.

All of the major tourists attractions are within a reasonable walk from a Metro station. There are plenty of things to see in the District to keep you going for days.

Hotel Security Tips

With today's global economic problems, riots are occurring in places where we haven't seen them before. There is the threat of terrorism that can't be denied.

You should think about your safety when you're traveling, but don't avoid your trip because you think something might happen. If you really are worried about unrest in the area you're visiting, there are some things you can think about to make your stay safer.

Stay in small, local type hotels rather than big famous landmark hotels. Terrorists want to make headlines, and big international hotels where there may be famous guests are more tempting. That small hotel is less apt to be a terrorist target.

No matter what size hotel you choose, if your destination has had recent unrest or if it is the subject of a U.S. State Department travel warning or travel alert, our next hotel security tip would be don't stay next to government offices or embassies. Also avoid hotels near famous sights or religious centers.

For big hotels, you can check to see if the hotel staff has security and emergency training. See if they have an evacuation plan. Do they do background checks on all members of the staff? Do they have security on duty all day everyday? Do they have sprinklers in every room?

Small hotels should at least have some sort of emergency plan and basic safety features.

For maximum safety it's best to avoid rooms facing busy streets or rooms with ground level windows. This includes sliding doors that front pools or the beach.... anywhere someone could gain easy access.

If your room overlooks the lobby, stay on the fourth floor or higher. Rooms between the third and seventh floors are more secure from prowlers who can gain access from the street, but they are still within reach of most fire department ladders.

Think about safety and escape routes. Look at those diagrams about where the stairs and exits are.

Women traveling alone should avoid staying in rooms by stairwells and elevators. Late at night, don't hesitate to ask that a hotel employee escort you to your room.

Don't indicate that you're traveling alone. A room service order for one breakfast could tip someone off. Also don't put up those little "make up the room" signs that might let someone know that you're not in your room

Only stay at hotels with electronic key-cars access. Do your research... if you'll be staying in a city with a high crime rate, make sure you hotel's elevators also require card keys. Small hotels won't usually have this, but it's a little harder for someone who just doesn't belong to wander in unobserved.

Ask the concierge or receptionist about safety in any areas you're planning to see. Neighborhoods can change and new threats can emerge since the last time you visited or since the guidebook you're using was printed.

We believe that one thing you can do to counteract terrorists is to keep on traveling... don't let them stop you. Keeping a few hotel security tips in mind is smart travel anytime.