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Its been hard to avoid all the changes, confusion, and drama that has surrounded passports needed for travelers who have booked international luxury vacations. With the continuing changing standards and rules, it is important to check and double check before you finalize any plans. With that in mind, here are a few helpful passport hints to making your international travel painless.Important to Gather the Necessary Items for Your Luxury Travel VacationBefore you show...

Passport Advice For International Luxury Vacations

Passport Advice For International Luxury VacationsIts been hard to avoid all the changes, confusion, and drama that has surrounded passports needed for travelers who have booked international luxury vacations. With the continuing changing standards and rules, it is important to check and double check before you finalize any plans. With that in mind, here are a few helpful passport hints to making your international travel painless.Important to Gather the Necessary Items for Your Luxury Travel VacationBefore you show up at a government agency to begin your passport process, be sure you have all the necessary items. The first thing you should do is go to the passport website at http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html. There you can fill out the basic application form and print it out. If you are unable to do this, go to your local travel agent who specializes in luxury vacations. They might have one. If not, try your local post office, library or passport office. If you go in with this paper work filled out, you save yourself and the passport clerks lots of time. In addition, you will need to provide your own passport photos. These cannot be just any photos. There are very specific parameters, and must be taken by licensed passport photo operators. To find the one nearest to you look in your phone book under passport photos, or ask your local post office passport center. You will also need proof of citizenship. This is either a birth certificate, a naturalization paperwork or a previous passport, all of which MUST be official copies. You must also have a state issued photo ID. If you do not have some or any of these items, refer to the website for specific circumstances.Apply in a Timely MannerYou have probably heard that passports are recently hard to come by. It is true that the average time was once six weeks for regular service and one or two weeks for expatiated. These time estimates have now doubled to 12 weeks for regular and 3 to 4 for expedited. This is disturbing to some, but not if you submit your application early. If you currently do not have a passport, and somewhere in the back of your mind you are thinking about traveling to a foreign country on a luxury travel vacation, then just bite the bullet and get one! The earlier you put in for one the better. You wont have to pay for expiated services if you put in now. And passports are good for ten years, so even if you end up not using it immediately, you might in the next ten years. For more help on planning your "luxury travel vacation" visit http://www.amtvacations.com/american-express-vacations.html.Follow UpEveryone has probably heard one of the lost application stories. Agencies claim to never have received it, the application being lost in the mail, or bring denied a week before they leave. Again, applying early will solve a lot of these problems, but if that is not an option to you, then follow up. If you apply in person, keep your receipt and your paper work that says you have applied. You can also check to see if your passport is being processed on the website. To do so, you must have the application number that can be found on your paperwork. If you mail your application, send it with signature required, and ask for received documentation. If you are having problems, call the agency immediately to follow up.From luxury world cruises to a weekend in Mexico, passports are now required for any Americans traveling outside of the United States. It can be a hassle, but if you do your part, it can also be painless. Make sure you gather all your paperwork and documentation. Apply as soon as possible. If you travel often, you should have a passport anyways. And make sure you follow up on your application. Now that you are armed with information, go forth and get your passport!

Everything You Need To Know About Buying The Perfect Backpacking Tent.

Everything You Need To Know About Buying The Perfect Backpacking Tent.

Whether alone or with friends, backpacking can be a fun and adventurous way to spend a weekend. It gives you a chance to escape the madness of the city, explore a natural surrounding and get some great exercise to boot.One should never go unprepared, however. Take it from me, not having the right gear or equipment can make a backpacking trip go from an exciting weekend to a frightening two day disaster with no end in sight. There's nothing worse than being stuck on a mountain in a sudden and unexpected rainstorm, without the right water resistant protection. One of the most very important items a backpacker should bring to avoid such a watery suffering is a good backpacking tent.Though important, "backpacking tent" s are a tricky commodity it can be difficult to pin down exactly the kind you should get. If you are planning on going backing soon and are in the market for a tent, here are some simple tips that may give you a place to start.First of all, the kind of environment you plan to be mountain climbing through is important to keep in mind as you choose your tent. Even if it is suspect to rain, it is a good idea to purchase a tent that is completely water resistant and closed on all sides.Even though a 'lean to' or cover like tent with open sides is an well organized and simple form of shelter, these kinds of tents can only protect from the mildest of weather conditions. Additionally, most wilderness areas popular for backpackings are safe places for insects, such as mosquitoes, and an open tent will offer no protection against these pests.Secondly, you should consider the length of your trip when looking for a backpacking tent. Also, what kind of land are you going to pass through? Are you going for a rough and nearly vertical thirty mile plus climb, or a pleasant and easy five mile trip through the woods? If the latter is the case, weight is not an issue and you can purchase as large a tent as you please. The larger the better; you can house all your equipment inside to avoid damage from morning dew or from night animals with a sufficiently large tent. If you are taking a more arduous journey, you'll want the lightest possible tent you can get that offers adequate protection.Lastly, choose a good brand name. Ask for advice at the store you visit, or if you are ordering one online, choose a name that you are familiar with. Backpacking tents are important, and not an area to hold back on on financially speaking. If you are pressed for cash, bring cheaper food items. I'd rather eat freeze dried sauce while warm and dry in a nice, functional tent, than eat bone mignon while soaking wet in a heap of junk that fell apart as soon as it started really pouring.Personally I prefer to sleep under the stars while backpacking, if the weather permits. A good insect disgusting can reduce the mosquito problem and there is something refreshing about waking up covered in dew. However, it only took one bad and very wet experience for me to learn that you should always bring a tent on a backpacking trip, whether or not you plan to use it.

Places To Stay On Your Mexico Vacation

Places To Stay On Your Mexico Vacation

With some of the top ranked beaches in the world, Mexico is a top vacation spot. Mexico offers authentic and luxury vacation lodgings to make your visit the best it can be. Places To Stay On Your Mexico VacationThere are many different vacation areas in Mexico. From the beaches of Cancun, located on the Gulf of Mexico, to the sandy peninsula of Baja California, there are lodgings to suit every budget and traveler's taste. However, there is one way to stay in Mexico that is sure to please even the pickiest and most demanding vacationer; staying at one of the all-inclusive vacation meccas. Mexico all-inclusive lodgings include the famous Club Med. Now a chain, there are many different Club Med lodgings in Mexico, and all of them show their guests a great time. The Club Med village in Ixtapa, Mexico, offers not only a great destination for adults, but even for whole families. They offer Baby Club Med and Petit Club Med, special groups that have activities for young children, for an additional fee. Included in your all-inclusive price at Club Med are many amenities; such as lodging, meals, all sorts of beverages, activities led by staff, and even tips. At night, live music and dancing make a great end to your day. There is also a Club Med village in Cancun, Mexico. If you are looking to stay at Mexico all-inclusive lodgings other than a Club Med resort, there are many to choose from. One such resort is El Cozumeleno, located on the island of Cozumel just off the shore of Cancun. This resort, located on a beautiful white sandy beach, offers deluxe accommodations as well as many different water sports, all included in your stay. Also bundled in with your all-inclusive price is dining at one of several restaurants and snack bars, and some all-inclusive packages even include a wedding! Kids stay free under the age of 12 (ratio of two kids to two adults). A third of the Mexico all-inclusive lodgings worth looking at are the Melia Puerto Vallarta. Located in Puerto Vallarta (Jalisco), it is part of the Sol Melia chain. The hotel prides itself on being family-friendly with clubs for youngsters based on a Flintstones theme. This resort provides many different options for dining and refreshment in its different restaurants and bars, and there are also attractions such as a huge outdoor pool, Jacuzzis, water sports, workshops and other fitness activities. As the resort is all-inclusive, you needn't worry about paying for any of the included amenities and other items. Staying at one of the Mexico all-inclusive lodgings can be a great choice for your Mexican vacation, especially if you are traveling with a family. Many of the lodgings allow children under a certain age to stay with you for free in your room, so you can take advantage of the all-inclusive rate for the whole family!

Rental Booking Tips For Vacationers

Rental Booking Tips For Vacationers

Youve found the perfect vacation rental and now youre ready to book it. Overall, the process should be easy. Hopefully, the owner has attached a calendar showing the propertys availability. Most will do this as it makes no sense to pursue a "vacation rental" property if its not available at the time you want to travel.If youve never physically seen the property, you might be nervous about booking it. Whether its several hundred dollars a week or several thousand, you want proof that youre getting your moneys worth. Unfortunately, you wont get your proof until you actually put the key in the door and open it. But before you change your mind and book a room at a major hotel chain, just slow down and do your research. When reserving a vacation rental, you should go through the same steps as you would before making any type of major purchase. And the beauty of the Internet is that you have all the information you need, right at your fingertips.Begin by analyzing the information that the owner has put together. Youll be able to tell just from reading the description whether the vacation rental property is one youd consider. Oftentimes vacation rental owners include pictures of various parts of the property to give you a better idea of what you can expect so look closely. Also gather information about the propertys location then use the Internet to research the location itself. Once youre satisfied with your selection, contact the property owner using the information provided. Be sure you discuss beforehand ALL costs, including the down payment, security deposit, and cleaning fee. Inquire about the cancellation policy too, just in case. If youre not satisfied after this discussion, repeat the above steps to search for another vacation rental. When youre ready to strike a deal, the vacation rental property owner will provide you with payment instructions. Get everything in writing and follow the instructions youre given precisely. That way, youll avoid unpleasant surprises upon your arrival.

Cheap Holidays To The Monte Carlo

Are you planning your cheap holidays to Monte Carlo for a special vacation? You are going to be surprised at the fun and excitement that the city has to offer. Not only are there casinos, there are attractions, restaurants, beautiful hotels and resorts as well as fun and sophisticated nightclubs. One goes to Monte Carlo to enjoy the weather and try a game of blackjack or poker. You can play some slots or even walk around and watch what others are doing. You will have other things to do outside the casinos as well. Everyone has fun on his or her "cheap holidays" to Monte Carlo.The Monte Carlo National Museum and Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium are two great places to visit. The National Museum offers some great exhibits as well as some history about the culture and the area. The Aquarium is a specially aquarium with exotic life forms from the world underneath the water. You can see the piranhas that are considered deadly to anything or anyone that enters the water. There are some very strange things to see and glaze at in this museum. You will have a better understanding of the waters after a visit to the aquarium.The neighborhood of Palais du Prince will give you a better view of Monte Carlo. The neighborhood has a palace, cannons and the fortress. This area is special for visitors and you will find some nice hotels or apartments in the area. Your cheap holidays to Monte Carlo are going to explode with excitement when you visit this neighborhood. It is a beautiful vision that needs to be seen by all. If you happen to visit during the summer, you will hear concerts being performed in the courtyard of the palace.The Exotic Gardens of Le Jardin Exotique de Monaco are breathtaking to see. Exotic plants, flowers and cactus plants are everywhere. While you are visiting the gardens, you will see some fantastic views of the French Riviera and Monaco. You will also find a museum onsite that houses archaeological findings from the nearby regions and the Principality. You cheap holidays to Monte Carlo only get better when you visit the famous casinos.Casino Of Monte Carlo is the biggest casino to spend days in and still never see every game. You will enjoy the casinos, restaurants, hotels and the beach. Larvotto Beach is a small resort community for everyone to enjoy a relaxing day on the beach. You are going to find that there are many things to do in Monte Carlo other than just gambling. You can take a walk around the area and see the different types of architecture they have as well as how old some of the buildings are around the museums and casinos.You will never be alone in Monte Carlo and you will enjoy your cheap holidays to Monte Carlo without worrying about tomorrow. The place is a holiday delight and amazing to visit. It might even be better than Las Vegas.

timeshare information

For many years now timeshares have been a booming industry in the travel and vacation market. The idea behind them is that you can buy 1 to 4 weeks per year of a timeshare. You become an owner with a title that is transferable to your heirs. It can be sold or held indefinitely. Most time shares come with an option to buy into a travel club that lets you trade your weeks where you purchased for weeks at comparable destinations elsewhere in the United States or world. This option normally requires the payment of an annual fee to stay with the travel club.If you believe that you will prefer vacations in a timeshare over motel or hotel rooms, then this may be a good option for you. Once you pay for the timeshare, you can stay during your weeks for free each year. An annual maintenance fee is charged to pay for upkeep of the property. If you stay in upscale accommodations, the fee will be considerably less than hotel costs. If you stay in low end establishments, then the fee will be more than your vacations would cost without the timeshare.You really need to buy the travel club option to get maximum use from your timeshare unless you plan on only vacationing at the same place for the next 20 or so years. Don't buy a timeshare if you haven't purchased a house or property to build on at retirement. You need to take care of permanent living quarters before committing to tens of thousands of dollars for a good timeshare.Buy a timeshare when you are sure that the annual fees along with the payments are not going to sink your financial ship. The argument here is that even if these costs are only equal to your vacation costs, you have to pay them, but you don't have to take a big vacation is money is tight. In fact, if you can't pay cash or pay off the property within a couple of years, don't buy it. The risk for buying an optional purchase is too great.Before you buy into a timeshare, explore the option of buying one directly from a current owner. If they have owned it for a few years, you may be able to buy it for a significant discount and still give them what they paid for it or maybe a little more. Everyone will be happy. Also, check to see how many owners are trying to sell. If too many are trying to unload the timeshare you're looking into, it's not a good sign of good value.Don't buy a timeshare when you are being pressured. They may tell you today or not at all for a certain priced offering. This is rarely true. If they can offer it today, they can offer it tomorrow or a week from now. If they can't, you probably don't want to do business there anyway.

Summary

Its been hard to avoid all the changes, confusion, and drama that has surrounded passports needed for travelers who have booked international luxury vacations. With the continuing changing standards and rules, it is important to check and double check before you finalize any plans. With that in mind, here are a few helpful passport hints to making your international travel painless.Important to Gather the Necessary Items for Your Luxury Travel VacationBefore you show...