The Carolina Queens | The World is too Big to Leave Unexplored.
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2018 US TOP DESTINATIONS NOW ON SALE

New York City

Discover the city that never sleeps with our affordable packages. From huge skyscrapers to the sprawling central park you have plenty of things to do in New York City.

Yellow Stone National Park

Get yourself immersed in some adventure and nature as you explore the wilderness of the Yellow Stone National Park.

San Francisco

Visit the hilly city with your friends and family for an adventures trip.

Top sights in USA

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Kennady Space Center

Visit the space centre that has been the primary launch centre of NASA’s human spaceflight.

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Ellis Island

Explore Ellis Island which was the gate way for millions of immigrants to the USA.

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Statue of Liberty

The iconic Statue of Liberty is something you should never miss on your trip.

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Disneyland

Have fun with your family and friends at Disneyland.

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill

2018 TOP SUMMER DESTINATIONS NOW ON SALE

Exciting Group Tour Packages to South Carolina

Discover the best towns in South Carolina to have some of the best time of your life. From the watermelon festival to the calming beaches, there are plenty of things for you to do.

Tips and Tours 2018

Connect with our travel experts, and we will customise some of the best trips for you.

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Ship Luggage or Check Bag?

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If you thought you were mad when the airlines lost your luggage before – try paying $25 for the “privilege” now! Is your wife or girlfriend travelling with you? Make that closer to $50 for the overweight bag you just got a hernia lugging out of the trunk.

Now that the airlines charge for the first bag you check in, So is there a better way? Maybe. Have you considered shipping your luggage ahead of time to your final destination? While I can’t help you get your wife/girl to pack lighter, here are some things to consider making a final decision to check bags or ship luggage.

One important note: Shipping luggage is generally not an economical option if you’re flying overseas. Most airlines still allow travelers to check two bags for free on international flights, and shipping a bag outside the United States can easily cost as much as your airfare. The information below is geared toward domestic travelers.

Who: All major airlines

Price: This varies from airline to airline. Some airlines still allow passengers to check a single bag for free. Exceptions to this rule include American, United, US Airways and Spirit, all of whom charge $15 for the first bag you wish to check. After that first bag, you’ll have to pay on almost every airline. On AirTran, it’s $10 for a second bag; on JetBlue, it’s $20; and on American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, Spirit, United and US Airways, it’s $25.

In most cases these fees do not apply to elite fliers, passengers who have paid full fare on a particular route, and travelers flying internationally beyond the U.S., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada. In other words, people shelling out a ton of money to begin with to fly… Always check your airline’s Web site for exact terms and conditions.

Pros: Despite the new fees, checking your bags is usually still the cheapest option for travelers bringing only one or two pieces of luggage.

Checking bags is convenient if you are a last-minute packer, since you don’t need to make advance arrangements for dropping off your bag or having it picked up.

When the system works properly, your luggage departs and arrives at the same time you do.

Cons: Even if you pay a fee to check a bag, there’s no guarantee that the airline won’t lose or trash your luggage.

You’ll have to wait in line to check your bags before your flight, and then wait again at the baggage carousel after you arrive. If you have a stopover, you might get to repeat this fun more than once!

Hauling your own bags to and from the airport can wear you out, and it’s less convenient than having a shipping service do all the work for you.

If your bags are overweight or you’re checking more than two items, you could pay dearly in airline penalties — making shipping a more economical option.

So that’s the skinny on checking your bags. Tune in tomorrow for thoughts on shipping your luggage so you can compare and see what’s best for you!

10 Of The Biggest Parties Around The World

Matt Kepnes wrote a cool article listing some of the biggest parties around the world. While my party til I puke days are a bit behind me, I found some of these to be pretty interesting. I actually had only heard of 2 of the parties, which surprised me. I thought I knew most of the BIG ones out there.

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These are listed in no particular order:

La Tomatina

Going strong since 1945, this food fight to end all food fights is in the tiny town of Buñol in the Valencia region of Spain. Want to go get hammered with tomatoes? Then head over the last Wednesday in August and make sure to take some goggles and some throw away clothes. There’s not enough triple action Shout in the world to get all those stains out!

Full Moon Party

What started out as a hippy party in the 80’s is now a 20,000 strong party every full moon. This all day and all night event is located in Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand. Make sure to take your throw away clothes, including shoes – God knows what’s going to end up on them!

Burning Man

I have to admit, this party looks more like a scene out of Mad Max than an all out party, but hey, it draws 47,000 people so it qualifies as BIG. This is an 8 day festival that culminates in the burning of a 72ft wooden man. Each year has a theme (this year, it’s “American Dream”) The cool thing about this party is you don’t bring money. Everything is bartered. You only buy water and ice. Bring your essential camping gear and lots of sunblock – and of course some goods to barter with!

Songkran

According to Matt, “Songkran is the Thai New Year. It’s a spiritual festival designed to cool you down and wash away the sins of the previous year. What better way of doing that than by committing a few new ones, right away? Songkran takes place all over the country with everyone embarking on possibly the world’s largest water fight.” – So bring your water gun, something you don’t mind getting soaked and a good attitude. This may not be the place to go if you get grumpy once you start drinking! 😉

Glastonbury Music Festival

Last year’s event had over 177,000 people and 700 musical acts. Now THAT’S a party! This festival spans 3 days, so bring your tent and whatever you need to survive that many people and that much fun!

Holi

This is India’s version of Songkran. Instead of getting soaked with water, you get colored flour dumped on you AND soaked with water. Best make sure you have some throwaway clothes, (these parties all seem to have a recurring theme of “throwaway clothes…)

Bay to Breakers

The third Sunday in May, you can head to San Francisco for the Bay To Breakers. This was originally a 7 mile foot race, but now it’s 7 miles of costumes and kegs. What more could you want?

Australia Day

Apparantly, Australians love two things: beer and bbqs. No day brings out the best in these two than Australia Day, when Aussies celebrate the first European settlement on the continent of Australia. Celebrated January 26th, just show up with some Australian beer and something to throw on the barbie anywhere in Australia and you’re ready to party!

Queen’s Day

Throw on something orange and celebrate the birth of Queen Beatrix. This party held April 30th, (it’s too cold to celebrate her actual birthday in January), features the ever important beer and music. The canals are filled with Dutch as the celebrate and let loose!

Calgary Stampede

Here’s a 10 day rodeo that attracts millions of visitors during it’s course. You need a healthy respect for country music, but in return you’ll have plenty of girl (or boy) watching and of course, lots of drinking and parties. Oh yeah, there’s a huge rodeo, too!

Of course, there are many other parties out there where you can get your groove on, paint yourself any color you like and wake up in the bushes of the wrong hotel – but check these out.

So what are my travel tips for these parties? Mainly, make sure you wake up in the bushes of your own hotel. Be security conscious when it comes to your wallet and passport. I’ll be publishing some safety tips soon to help you out. Aside from that, take plenty of throw away clothes. This is a great time to empty out your closet of stuff you’ve been meaning to trash and never got around to.

Do you know some big parties that didn’t make the list (I can think of a few…) – let me know in the comments!

WHAT TO DO AT HOSPITALIZATION DURING VACATION

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This picture looks lovely, doesn’t it? The sun is shining at the tourists on their way to the Alpine tour downhills at skis. But the experienced skier knows that there lies danger in the snow. So if the skis son’t do what you expect them to and you end up at the nearby hospital instead at the lift, what do you do?

EU CITIZENS GET HOSPITALIZATION FOR FREE

If your are a EU citizen and get injured within the EU, you can get your expenses through your social security. That is how the law works within the EU jurisdiction. All expenses are to be paid by your own home country. And you as a patient are free to choose a hospital that can provide the best treatment as possible. And, let’s say you need care for a longer period, not only because you hurt a minor limps or so, but need a surgery or so, then you have to choose a caregiver that fulfills your needs.

 

CHOOSE A HOSPITAL THAT EMPHASIZE ERAS

If we assume that you need a longer stay at a hospital, and you have to choose a caregiver for a surgery and aftercare, then you should choose a ceregiver that are specialised in ERAS, that is Enhanced Recovery After Surgery and something for you to prioritize. You will get home sooner and feel better with a caregiver that are taking ERAS in their aftercare.

SHORT TERM PARIS APARTMENT – RENTALS

Paris is one of the most popular cities to visit from around the world, so you can probably imagine how many hotels there are nearby all the attractions.

But with all the hustle and bustle and excitement of sightseeing its sometimes nice to go back to some home comforts instead of a clinical looking hotel room.

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If you know you’re going to be out there for a while it might be worth looking into apartment rentals in Paris France. As apposed to your standard rented properties you can rent these for just weeks or months at a time rather than a fixed long term.

Sometimes there is even the opportunity to exchange with Parisians too where you can swap homes. You stay in theirs and they stay in yours.

The great thing about renting an apartment is you get a whole living space instead of just a room. There is no getting up a certain time to catch breakfast or making sure you are back in time if there are no option of late keys. You can just come and go whenever you like just like you would if you were residing at your home residence.

But as wonderful as this all sounds you need to remember that you would be agreeing to a term. Its not like a hotel where you can check in and out whenever you like. So if you do consider this option to make sure you are in the area you need to be in for recreational or working purposes.

THE HOTTEST PLACE ON EARTH: DALLOL, ETHIOPIA

If you thought it was hot when you go on holiday imagine being in a place where the top temperature soars at 94° F/34°C.

Dallol in Ethiopia is the hottest place in the world with a consistent temperature all year round.

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It’s so hot there that no humans are not able to live there and the spring waters and acid ponds bubble with the heat.
There aren’t even any roads and the railways that were present were destroyed in the second World War. The only way to access the site is by camel caravans who go there to collect the salt.

Parts of some unfinished buildings from the 1960’s still remain from the main road part and over time salt canyons have developed from erosion of the uplifted areas.

Salt Canyons

Such an attraction does tend to be popular with curious tourists who love to explore the land, and there have been concerns that damage has been caused to the structures and the geothermal area. Because of this security on the area might have to become tighter.

Building Remains

There is also a volcano Crater that last erupted in 1926. The use of the place is mainly for salt and has been so since 1951.

This is probably one of the most beautiful ghost towns I have seen. I wonder if anyone had actually managed to live there at some point, or if it just got to the building stage?

Are your cruise ship travels killing the oceans?

You might not be aware that billions of gallons of cruise ship waste adversely affect coastal waters. To prevent the same, the Alaskan state program plans to put in place inspection rangers on cruise vessels to check the ships’ waste disposal methods and prevent pollution.

The number of travelers on board cruise ships has increased and so have the number of ships. In Alaska the number of passengers has grown to more than 12 million in 2006 from about 500,000 in 1970, according to the cruise lines group. The vessels have grown larger as well.

How do cruise ships affect the oceans?

• Sewage carries germs that can contaminate shellfish beds and harm other life, while phosphates, nitrates and other wastewater compounds can trigger huge growths of algae that cloud the water, reduce oxygen, smother corals and kill fish.

• Cruise ships’ fuel often contains sulfur dioxide, and ships sometimes incinerate garbage, releasing dioxins and fine particles that can trigger respiratory ailments.

The Alaskan ocean ranger program, applies to ships with more than 250 passengers. The initiative requires that the rangers be marine engineers licensed by the Coast Guard who are also trained in wastewater treatment systems and environmental and public health rules.
The program will cost each passenger $4, funds that will also pay satellite transponders to track the ships’ movements in and out of state waters.

Cruise lines are also experimenting with technology to reduce the amount of noxious chemicals and ash that smokestacks release. The point is that more awareness and newer technology needs to be put into place to protect the oceans, already effected by global warming.

Best places to visit in North Carolina

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  1. Blue Ridge Parkway- Designed by Stanley Abbott, Blue Ridge Parkway is nicknamed as “America’s favorite Drive”. The drive has incredible views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the landscape around the mountains. This endless scenery is popular among motorcyclists and bicyclists.
  2. The Biltmore Estate- This is a 8000 acre compound with the largest private home in the US in the center- The Vanderbilt Mansion. The mansion has 250 rooms and has an impressive collections of artworks, antiques, vintage clothing and accessories and architecture. The gardens in the state are huge and of different variations such as the Italian garden and the Rose Garden. The estate also includes the first managed forest in the country, a deer park and walking trails throughout the forest.
  3. Morehead Planetarium and Science center- Located in the University of North Carolina, opened in 1949 and more than seven million people visited the center, The center airs more than 15 planetarium shows on a repetitive schedule and the permanent exhibits explore a wide variety of topics. It is said that more than 60 astronauts learned about celestial navigation in this center and these include a large group of astronauts who walked the moon.charlotte-sky-line
  4. Linville Gorge and Falls- This is one of the deepest and most scenic gorges in Eastern US. The gorge is located in the Pisgah National Forest and the Falls is where the Linville River enters to drop 90 feet and 12 miles within the steep rock walls. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers 4 overlooks to these falls, after a 1.6 mile hike.
  5. Battleship North Carolina-The USS North Carolina was one of the first 10 battleships to join the American fleet during World War 2. The vessel has nine 16-inch, 45 caliber guns in three turrets, and twenty 5-inch 38-caliber guns in ten twin mounts. The ship was called the greatest sea weapon in the world.
  6. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences- This is a museum which is dedicated to the Natural history of North Carolina. The museum has two buildings- Nature Research Center and the Nature Exploration Center. Both these buildings are filled with exhibits, information and interactive learning opportunities and presentations. This is also home to the skeleton of Acrocanthosaurus, which is the only genuine skeleton of the species in the world.
  7. North Carolina Aquarium- This aquarium includes four coastal locations- Roanoke Island, Pine Knoll Shores, Fort Fisher and Jennette’s Pier. The Roanoke island features the largest collection of sharks in the state of North Carolina. However, Jennette’s Pier is not an actual aquarium, but offers views of marine animals like humpback whales. Fort Fisher shows us freshwater streams and swamps. A similar aquarium complex is located in Brisbane Australia called Underwater world on the Sunshine Coast. A few years ago we got a limo hire in Brisbane to travel to the Gold  Coast to see the sights. it was a very enjoyable time and I recommend it to anyone visiting Australia.
  8. North Carolina has a rich history of both modern and old architecture. Visitors to this beautiful city will be impressed by it magnificent buildings and parks. Real estaste agents are always happy to show international visitors a wide variety of homes and units for sale. The local community are very welcoming to new residents from overseas and you can be sure to settle into a new life if relocating.

Things everyone should know before visiting the US

    1. USA is one of the largest countries in the world. Precisely, it is the third largest, after Russia and Canada and is about 3.8 million square miles in size. The country’s population is diverse, as it has immigrants from all around the world, some as refugees, some looking for work and some as people whose ancestors have settled in the country. The climate in the country is diverse too. It might be really hot in one state and snowing in a different state.
    2. The Americans measure things on a different scale. They use Fahrenheit to measure the temperature, weigh things in pounds, measure distance in miles, measure liquid in pints and gallons.
    3. Politics is a sensitive topic among the citizens of America, especially since the Civil War. The country has a range of people who are leftist, centrist and rightist. Talking about politics these days has become very fragile and any discussion usually ends up in yelling, cursing and buzz phrases.
    4. Each state has he liberty to make its own laws. Hence, laws are different around America. Basic things like speed limits, legal drinking age, street signs differ from one state to another. When visit, look up the state laws or ask a local about the area.chicago-skyline
    5. Be fluent in English- One finds it very hardly to survive in America if he/she does not know how to speak English. You need English to make things happen or get something in this country as there are very few Americans who are bilingual or speak another language. Basic things like hailing a cab, ordering in a restaurant or asking for directions should be learned at the least for a peaceful stay.
    6. Tip always. When you go out in a limo hire, or go for a meal, do not forget to tip the chauffeur service or the waiter. Tips are not included in the bill and hence the people who are at service to you expect you to leave them a little tip. It is considered highly rude by the employees if the customer does not leave a tip behind.
    7. Explore nature- America is more than the high-rise buildings and the concrete jungles. It is a country filled with beautiful scenic nature views, forests, water falls, gorge, beaches, and another ton of natural beauty. Explore the National Parks in the country and do not forget to pay a visit to the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone for the best marvels of nature.

8.Security at the airport is a big deal as there is a major concern about terrorism in the country. The airport security conduct a thorough screening upon the arrival of foreigners and some are even taken for a second  round of screening. Do not panic in situations like these.

9. Make sure you have travel insurance and you visit your local doctor to get any vaccination you may need before travelling.