Are Premium Economy Seats worth the Cost?

Friday, 28 June 2013 0 comments
Most travelers highly value cheap airplane tickets and cheap vacation packages. However, many of those same travelers are open to paying a little more in order to be given seats with additional legroom and other perks.

Several U.S. airlines have introduced a premium economy section, typically in the front of coach where, for a fee, fliers are able to enjoy additional legroom and are usually given early boarding privileges. Unfortunately premium economy seats mean very different things to different airlines at very different prices.

Delta recently added Economy Comfort seats with 36 inches of leg room (vs. the standard 32 inches) on most off its international flights and plans to bring the same class of seating to domestic flights shortly. Additional perks of Delta’s premium coach seats are free alcoholic drinks and access to AC power ports.

Such seats are not nearly as comfortable as those provided in Business Class and do not come with Business Class food or service.
Currently Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Spirit, United and Virgin America offer premium economy seats. Prices vary, but are often reasonable for those passengers needing a couple of extra inches of room and desirous of sleeping while flying.

Today Delta offers the cheapest upcharge for enhanced economy seats on international flights. United’s premium economy seats are more expensive, but not dramatically so. However, on some United planes you get only 35 inches vs. Delta’s 36”.

Depending on the airline, the flight, and the additional cost, the premium seat option should be considered.

Experienced Frequent Fliers Tips

While just about everyone knows the importance of purchasing cheap airplane tickets and discount hotel rooms or cheap vacation packages, there are additional steps that can be taken to ensure a successful trip.

Independent Traveler spoke to several veteran travelers requesting their travel advice and came up with the following suggestions:

• Back up important travel documents, such as passports, travel insurance policy, itinerary confirmations, and scans of your credit cards, in electronic form. Some experts recommend holding such documents on a flash drive that is always carried by the traveler. Alternatively you could store such documents remotely using a service like Dropbox that can be accessed from any Internet connected computer.

• Prior to departure send yourself a single email that lists all the destination addresses you will be visiting, including hotels, offices, attractions, and museums. Then save this email on your smartphone.

• Record your parking spot electronically. By taking a picture of your parking spot section sign with your smartphone you will not be plagued by a poor memory upon trying to return to your car.

• To save time in finding and taking your airline seat, remember higher numbers are in back and letters run from right to left as you face the back of the plane.

• Purchase water once you pass through airport security. This is important since air travel dehydrates passengers significantly and you can never tell how much water will be provided during your flight.

• Buy your own food prior to boarding or order a special meal prior to departing for the airport. Special ordered airplane meals tend to be the first served, prior to when the full cabin service starts, and also are often fresher.

• Don’t choose a security line based on its length. Instead look to see how fast the security agents in different lines are working.


Get Some Ideas For Washington DC Through Senior Class Trip

Friday, 21 June 2013 0 comments
Picking the right school trip

When considering senior class trips as an educator, look at whether there's scope to engage the learners themselves in a decision about where they go.

Visiting Washington DC or another big city?

Whether an American school looking to go to Washington DC and learn about big politics and governance, or a British school visiting the Houses of Parliament in London, then it's great to get ideas about what the objectives of the trip are. For example, school tours to Washington DC can become unfocused and unstructured unless there is a clear agenda and outcome. Identify landmarks and attractions that link in with the class's learning and which will bring history, geography, politics or social sciences to life.

Get a clear agenda in place to make the most of the day. Maybe the history group want to visit the memorial to Lincoln or the Vietnam Veterans. Perhaps the culture enthusiasts want to see the Smithsonian Museums and those intrigued by politics, Capitol Hill and the White House. The city offers a rich array of landmarks and visitor attractions and if it's possible to split groups according to interests, then why not do so and set each team a challenge. They could be tasked with finding a certain set of facts or preparing a presentation to bring back to the wider class for example. Grouping small teams by enthusiasm area means that you'll get much more from each presentation and really excite the learners. Smaller groups also mean greater interaction with each other and the teachers and the fresh environment allows new and more adult roles to be tested and tried on for size.

Often school tours become tired and regular, so why not allow them to participate in the planning stage? A good way to do this is to pre-agree a series of options for an educational trip with the decision-makers and then present the agreed options to the learners for them to review and pick from. This encourages real engagement and ownership with the trip and the learning objectives behind it, encouraging the learners to take responsibility and get involved in the trip, rather than engaging with it as a passive activity.

In conclusion, well organised class trips will provide memories, impact and learning outcomes alike - so don't be afraid to get your learners out of the classroom and into the big wide world.

by Samantha McDonagh

What to Do in Columbus, Ohio

Friday, 14 June 2013 0 comments
It seems as if there is always something going on in the city of Columbus. If you live around the Columbus area or if you are planning in soon visiting this city, you will want to take in the special events that are taking place throughout the city at various times of the year. Columbus has a four season climate and features both indoor and outdoor events.

The Columbus Symphony Orchestra Cirque de la Symphonie

The circus comes to the Ohio theater once a year and performances feature everything from aerialists to magicians, all to the tune of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. The circus takes place during the first Saturday of May of every year and is an annual event that is delightful for anyone who is young or young at heart.

Columbus Salsa Festival

If you enjoy Salsa music, you will enjoy the Columbus Salsa Festival. This takes place at the Bar of Modern Art and occurs during the last weekend of May of every year. Whether you are new to Salsa or if you already know this type of dance, you will enjoy an evening of Salsa dancing and entertainment like you have never had before. Other Salsa events take place at the Bar of Modern Art each year as well that you can enjoy.

Revolutionary War and Civil War Reenactment

During the second weekend of July, you can experience Revolutionary and Civil War reenactments at Century Village. Groups portraying soldiers from the 1770s to the Civil War present camps, talk about life in these wars as well as reenact famous battles of both the Revolutionary and Civil war during this annual even that takes place at Century Park. There is also a carnival as well as food and craft vendors. This annual event mixes history with fun and is ideal for the entire family.

Kids Art Revue

Children from all over the United States come together to dance and sing for competition at this annual revue that takes place every year during the first weekend of August at the Veterans Memorial. Children compete for cash and scholarship prizes for both singing and dancing at this annual event that is perfect for the entire family.

Columbus Book Fair

During the last weekend in August, you can visit Century Village for the annual book fair. This is a fair that features vendors selling old books, rare books and antique books from all over Ohio and even other parts of the country. The fair is a two day long event that is ideal for those who enjoy looking for books. Self publishers also set up booths at this fair and people can get copies of out of print and rare books when attending the Columbus Book Fair.

Columbus Festival Of Lights Parade

During the first Sunday in December, the Festival of Lights parade celebrates holiday traditions with a parade right through the heart of downtown Columbus. In addition, the lighting of the city Christmas tree is performed by the mayor every year on the Friday prior to the parade to kick off the holiday season.

by Joe Deacon

Hello world!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013 1 comments
Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

Top 25 Most Visited Tourist Destinations in America

Friday, 7 June 2013 0 comments
Here is the list of top 25 most visited tourist destinations in America according to Forbes.

The list includes the thundering falls of Niagara, it also features the harrowing water-chutes of Disneyland's and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Seven of the 25 attractions are amusement parks; Disney World's Magic Kingdom, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, remains on top in the theme-park world. Tourists appreciate renowned art collections and sunny beaches in equal measure.

Many foreign visitors are interested in seeing the natural scenic attractions like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks.

1. Times Square, New York City, N.Y

Times Square, the most bustling square of New York, is known for its many Broadway theatres, cinemas and super signs.

Times Square has all sorts of fun, exciting and informative tours to explore other parts of the city. You can Choose from walking, bike, bus, food, limo, TV, landmark, ethnic or water tours.

Times Square Alliance estimates an average of more than 2,000 pedestrians traversing a block of 7th Avenue during a 15-minute weekday period.

2. The Las Vegas Strip, Nevada

Las Vegas is the most populous city in the state of Nevada, the seat of Clark County, and an internationally renowned major resort city for gambling, shopping, and entertainment.

Enticing over 31 million visitors, about 80 percent of the city's total (39.2 million) visitors, a year with its million-gigawatt smile and globetrotting attractions, Las Vegas Strip is more than glitz and gambling. - [Source: National Scenic Byways Program]

3. National Mall and Memorial Parks, Washington, D.C.

National Mall & Memorial Parks contains some of the oldest protected park lands in the National Park Service.

Many of the nation's iconic public landmarks are found in the 1,000-plus acres of the National Mall and Memorial Parks, including the Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson Memorials, and the Korean and Vietnam War Veterans Memorials.

4. Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston, MA

Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which gets 20 million visitors, encompasses four historic places in one location - Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North Market and South Market, all set around a quaint cobblestone promenade where jugglers, magicians and musicians entertain the visitors.

There are more than 100 places to eat, shop and drink at this historic site.

5. Disney World's Magic Kingdom, Lake Buena Vista, FL

The most popular of Disney's Florida attractions saw a 2.5 percent increase [17.1 million] in visitation compared with 2006, according to the TEA/ERA Theme Park Attendance Report.

How the Magic Kingdom has managed to maintain its charm and appeal over the years is a lesson in simplicity. It has stayed true to its original vision, a place where families could gather in a clean and safe environment to enjoy the time they spend together.

6. Disneyland Park, Anaheim, CA

Walt Disney's original theme park features eight themed lands with classic Disney characters, favorite attractions, live entertainment, and parades.

With nearly 15 million visitors last year, the original Disney park, had a record season according to the TEA/ERA.

Currently the park has been visited by more than 515 million guests since it opened, including presidents, royalty and other heads of state.

7. Fisherman's Wharf/Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, CA

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is a U.S. National Recreation Area administered by the National Park Service that surrounds the San Francisco Bay area.

The Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which includes the famous orange bridge along with numerous other spaces throughout the Bay Area, draws 14.3 million visitors annually.

8. Niagara Falls, N.Y.

The Falls, which straddle the U.S.-Canadian border, have been a tourist mecca since the mid-19th century. With statistics from the Niagara Falls Tourism Bureau and Niagara Falls Brige Commission, visitors are approximated at 12 million a year.

9. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tenn./N.C.

America's most visited national park is neither the Grand Canyon nor Yosemite. The natural beauty and the four distinct seasons enjoyed in the GSMNP is unmatched!

With more than 800 miles of protected trails, this natural wonder hosted nearly 10 million hikers, birders and drivers last year.

10. Navy Pier, Chicago, IL

Opened in 1916, this Chicago landmark on the shore of Lake Michigan has served as a campus and military training facility.

With 8.6 million visitors, From rides to restaurants, exhibitions to entertainment, shopping to dining cruises and tour boats Navy Pier has it all - in a location unlike any other!

11. Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Ariz./Nev.

Thirty miles southeast of Las Vegas lies the U.S.'s largest man-made lake and reservoir, a recreational mecca for boaters, swimmers, fishermen and naturalists attracts 7.6 million.

Lake Mead flooded a large area of desert, covering many canyons, several small villages and relics of ancient settlements.

Some more views of Lake Mead.

12. Universal Studios Orlando/Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando, FL

Like its rival Disney, Universal houses what ERA's Christian Aaen calls a "destination complex" in Orlando, where two theme parks, Universal Studios Orlando and Universal's Islands of Adventure, vie for 6.2 million thrill-seeking tourists.

13. SeaWorld Florida, Orlando, FL

Attendance was up one percent from the previous year for this watery theme park-one of several Orlando sites on our list. The TEA/ERA puts SeaWorld's 2007 attendance at 5.8 million.

14. San Antonio River Walk, Texas

The Riverwalk is one of the most visited places in all of Texas and the greater San Antonio area has a world of fun and exciting things to do and see.

The San Antonio River Walk (also known as Paseo del Río) is a network of walkways around the San Antonio River, linking several major attractions one story beneath downtown San Antonio, Texas. Lined by bars, shops and restaurants.

The River Walk proclaims itself the "Number One entertainment destination in Texas," with 5.1 million visitors a year.

15. Temple Square, Salt Lake City, UT

Temple Square is the most popular attraction in the state with five million annual visitors. This ten-acre block located in the middle of downtown Salt Lake City is Utah's number one tourist attraction.

The Mormon church's headquarters are here, but Temple Square is more than just a destination for Latter Day Saints.

16. Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Penn./N.J.

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is a beautiful part of the Appalachian Mountains with all kinds of outdoors recreation available.

This park preserves 40 miles of the middle Delaware River and almost 70,000 acres of land along the river's New Jersey and Pennsylvania shores.

River-focused recreation is what draws nearly five million tourists to this Appalachian-ridge park on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

17. Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA

Its official marketing headline is "The Entertainment Capital of LA," though during the summer it is often advertised as "The Coolest Place in LA."

Nearly five million star gazers and thrill seekers came last year to tour the sets of "Desperate Housewives," "King Kong" and other Universal productions.

18. Metropolitan Museum, New York, N.Y.

Founded in 1870 (and moved to its current home in Central Park in 1880), the Met's vast stores of art include more than two million works in its two-million-square-foot building.

It has a permanent collection containing more than two million works of art, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The museum is also home to encyclopedic collections of musical instruments, costumes and accessories, and antique weapons and armor from around the world.

Four and a half million visitors came to peruse some of the world's greatest art collections, from American and European to Egyptian and the newly refurbished Greek and Roman Galleries.

19. Waikiki Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

Waikiki Beach is a legendary tourist zone on the south shore of Oahu in Hawaii. This iconic Hawaiian tourist destination, on the edge of the Honolulu neighborhood that shares is name, offers splendid views of the volcanic cone, Diamond Head.

With its droves of tourists, it also made Forbes Traveler's list of over-hyped beaches. Upwards of 4.5 million sunbathers try to relax on its sands each year.

20. Grand Canyon, AZ

The canyon is the most famous natural attraction in the USA and possibly in the world. The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided gorge carved by the Colorado River in the U.S. state of Arizona.

It is largely contained within the Grand Canyon National Park one of the first national parks in the United States. Tourists have arrived at a much quicker rate since the canyon achieved National Park status in 1919.

A horseshoe-shaped glass Skywalk, opened in 2007, allows the nearly 4.5 million visitors a chance to experience vertigo.

21. Busch Gardens Africa, Tampa Bay, FL

Busch Gardens is the ultimate family adventure park offering an array of fascinating attractions based on exotic encounters with the African continent.

This Africa-themed park, which houses over 2,700 animals alongside the usual array of rides, restaurants and shows, attracts 4.4 million every year.

22. Cape Cod National Seashore, MA

Cape Cod National Seashore is made up of a number of beautiful beaches. It is a land of parabolic sand dunes, 19th-century lighthouses, shipwrecks, pilgrims, and piping plovers.

Sightseeing, trail and beach walking, swimming, historic building tours, fishing, and bicycling are all key activities that can be enjoyed here. The bicycle and hiking trails and sandy beaches enticed more than 4 million visitors last year.

23. SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego, CA

SeaWorld San Diego is one of the world's premier marine adventure parks with 200 acres of world-class shows, thrilling rides and unforgettable animal encounters.

More than 4 million visitors explore the mysteries of the sea every year, with up-close animal interactions and exhilarating thrills.

24. American Museum of Natural History, NY

American Museum of Natural History, which attract 4 million visitors, has been one of the world's preeminent science and research institutions, renowned for its collections and exhibitions that illuminate millions of years of the earth's evolution, from the birth of the planet through the present day.

The AMNH's 45 permanent exhibit halls contain a vast record of world history, from dinosaur fossils to the human genome.

The 18-acre campus is located in Theodore Roosevelt Park on Manhattan's Upper West Side, and its popular overnight program gives eight-to-12-year-olds the thrill of "falling asleep in the darkened halls of one of the world's most famous museums."

25. Atlantic City Boardwalk, New Jersey

The Boardwalk (immortalized in the Monopoly board game) runs along the beach for four miles, skirting past casinos, hotels and shops, and connects with the Garden Pier, home to the Atlantic City Historical Museum and the Atlantic City Art Center.

Although boardwalks can be found around the world, they are especially common along the East Coast of the United States in North America, where they have many of the functions of a city street and are often tourist attractions themselves. It get 4 million visitors every year.

by Neelima Reddy

How to enjoy a 5 day break in USA

Saturday, 1 June 2013 0 comments
If you are visiting the United States of America for a short holiday, and want to see the country's best sights, you should be prepared to do a lot of travelling between cities. Listed below are some of the ways to enjoy a 5 day break in USA.

Day 1 - Start your holiday with a trip to New York or "The Big Apple" as it is fondly known among the locals. Begin your day with a trip to Ellis Island to see the Statue of Liberty, the famous French gift to this city, which is a US historical monument. It also provides a great view of the city. You can spend the rest of your day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art and take a break for lunch at one of the many restaurants in the area. Times Square, one of New York's biggest attractions by far, is best seen at night and promises that if you stand there long enough, the whole world is guaranteed to pass you by.

Day 2 - Go to Chicago for your second day. A city bustling with activity, Chicago has a lot to offer tourists who make the trip. Pay a visit to Millennium Park with its stunning architecture, Michigan Avenue and the Museum Campus which are some of the more popular tourist attractions in the city. After lunch at one of Chicago's interesting restaurants, tourists can make their way to the National Vietnam War Veterans Art Museum and the delightful Judy Istock Butterfly Haven.

Day 3 - Washington D.C should be next on the list of your travel itinerary. Begin your day with a visit to the nation's political centre and see the White House and the Washington Monument. After lunch, visitors will also enjoy a trip to the Smithsonian Museum, Embassy Row, National Museum of the American Indian and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Day 4 - Make trip to Los Angeles, the city that is famous for all the celebrities that stay in its vicinities. Spend a day in Los Angeles by making a trip to Universal Studios and Disneyland. You can also visit Grauman's Chinese Theatre and then drive out to see the imposing Hollywood sign lit up at night.

Day 5 - End your holiday with a trip to Las Vegas that boasts fabulous casinos, concerts, special events and entertainment shows. You can begin your day with a trip to the Shark Reef aquarium, the MGM Grand Hotel, the New York-New York rollercoaster. You can also enjoy the Fremont Street Experience in the early evening, which is a fabulous audio-visual display that is definitely worth a visit. Make an evening trip to the Cirque de Soleil, which is a show that is not to be missed while in Vegas. Pay a visit to the Bellagio Fountains at the close of your day. These fountains are a must see in Las Vegas, and the hotel puts on a show every half hour from 3 pm to 8 pm and every fifteen minutes after that until midnight.

by Paul Symonds