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Archive for June, 2013

The New Trends for American Travelers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Did you and your family take a vacation last year?  77 percent travelers are for leusuresWhere did you go and what did you do?  Look at the trends of American travelers to see where you fall in.  Looking at data gathered over the past few years – we have created a picture of trends Americans have formed.

For people that traveled in the summer, the average trip will cost about $1,200.  With summer being the most popular season to go on vacation – that’s a lot of money!  Second place for most popular is the fall season.

That average trip cost will go up considerably if you are traveling to one of the top 5 costliest cities to vacation in – which includes New York City and Boston.  The type of activities we participate in for fitness sake includes walking, swimming, hiking, cardio machines, and biking.

See what other trends we have in common or not by checking out the infographic!

New top trends for american travelers

Infographic provided by Travel Advantage Network which aims to deliver extraordinary vacation experiences.

Top 10 Thrill-Seeking Adventures In Australia

Heart-pumping, heavy breathing and sweating profusely. If this sounds like your idea of fun, then there’s a good chance that you’re a thrill-seeking adrenaline junky. Skydivers jumped off the planePerhaps this isn’t normally your thing, but you’re looking to crawl out of your comfort zone to experience something crazy and daring. Whichever boat you are in, Australia is the place to sail to. This country offers every hair-raising sport and activity that you can imagine. Take a look at this extreme list of thrill-seeking activities that Australia offers.

Make a Splash

Take a deep breath and plunge to the depths of the magical underwater world.

1. Scuba diving

This water activity is sure to make your eyes widen. With colourful fish, vibrant coral, and a multitude of amazing wildlife just beneath your flippers, scuba diving in Australia is a must do. Whether you’re a novice or a pro-diver, Australia has a diving site for you. At Cod Hole dive site, you can see large rockcod, moray eels, giant clams, and even whitetip reef sharks.

Located in an area where the tropics and sub-tropics meet due to a crossing of five oceans currents is Lord Howe. Due to this crossroads of currents, there are over 500 species of fish and 100 species of coral to gaze upon including kingfish, dolphins, wahoo, and even Ballina angelfish which are rare at these depths.

Scuba Diving in Australia

2. Cave diving

Let’s take diving to a whole new level. Cave diving offers a completely different perspective on diving and opens a new world to those who love diving. Nullarbor Plain was named one of the top ten diving spots in the world. These crystal clear waters under a network of limestone and rock make for a thrilling and unique diving experience. Running underneath Mount Gambier, is Engelbrecht Cave. This challenging maze of rock is another fascinating diving spot for anyone willing and wanting to experience the terrain in these underwater caves.

3. Swimming with sharks

Need I say more? One of the ultimate daring underwater activities is swimming with sharks. Yes, you can see them while scuba diving, but chances are you won’t want to get to too close. If you are wanting an up close and personal meeting with the sharp-toothed predators, just hop into a diving cage, plunge into the water and get ready to be jostled around a bit. Sharks can be found in many areas of Australia, however Port Lincoln is a popular spot to meet these ferocious creatures.

Fly High

Head for the hills or the tallest building, and get ready to fly high in Australia.

4. BASE Jumping

This extreme sport may or may not be for you. It’s said to be one of the most dangerous sports in the world. Should you brush fear off your shoulders as if it’s a fly, then BASE jumping could be for you! The best place to BASE jump in Australia is in Queensland. It’s important that you contact the appropriate authorities to ensure your jump is sanctioned.

5. Skydiving

Why would anyone ever jump out of a perfectly working airplane? Well, you wouldn’t unless you were a daredevil wanting to experience a thrilling plummet through the sky. The Gold Coast of Australia is the most popular spot and possibly the most beautiful as well to take your dip into midair. If you like the sound of air whizzing past your ears and muffling the sounds of your screams, it sounds like skydiving is your kind of sport.

Skydiving in Australia

6. Bungee Jumping

Perhaps a good place to start before you move on to skydiving, is bungee jumping. Ride over to Cairns for an epic jump. You get to choose from 16 different adrenaline inducing jumps. As you sit on top of the 160ft tower, take a look at the Great Barrier Reef and the beautiful beaches one last time before you have to get back to Earth with the rest of us.

7. Paragliding

Have you always wanted to know what it would feel like to be a bird? Of course you have, everyone has. Paragliding is the closest way to get this experience. Queensland prides a stunning stage of coastal vistas for you to enjoy with a birds-eye view, and feeling for that matter. Fly over Australia and see whats it’s like to soar as high as the birds.

8. Abseiling

The Blue Mountains are an absolutely perfect setting for your abseiling adventures. Large canyons, impressive waterfalls, and of course huge sandstone cliffs make up these beautiful mountains. An exhilarating and unforgettable experience is sure to be had while you lower yourself down these expansive rocks and enjoy the natural beauty all around you.

9. Zip lining

Anyone can trek through the mountains and walk through the jungle, but this is not for the average folk. You are someone who wants to race through at extraordinary speeds and fly over treetops right? Zip lining is sure to be your thing then. The Otway rainforest in Victoria is an excellent place to glide over the jungles.

10. Theme Parks

If you’re a thrill-seeker, but perhaps don’t want something that’s too extreme or daring then Australia has something that’s just right for you. Their theme parks offer hair-raising rides that will make you throw your arms up and scream at the top of your lungs! The Gold Coast has a high concentration of roller coasters, spinning rides, water slides, and more action-packed activities and rides for you to enjoy.

Australia is a country full of excitement and natural beauty and has something for everyone to enjoy. When I say everyone, I really do mean everyone. Yes, even you my bold and fearless friend. You will have daring sports available at your finger-tips that will entertain you until you are begging for sleep. I bet you can’t wait to try any of the gripping, riveting, and electrifyingly-exciting activities and sports that Australia offers! What’s first on your list? Whether it’s a leisure trip or corportate travel, Contact JC Travel Professionals today to book your trip to Australia!

Featured images:

James Chatman writes for JC Travel Professionals, a travel agency offering corporate travel management and leisure travel services.

Top 10 French Green Ski Resorts [INFOGRAPHIC]

Eco friendly way of livingPlanning a ski vacation in the middle of the summer doesn’t sound very intuitive. It pays off though to stay one step ahead of the crowd and look for available accommodation options without a last-minute rush.

How about going “green” for your next ski trip by choosing one of the most eco-friendly ski resorts in France?

French skiing is world-renowned. The premier ski resorts cater for all levels of skiing and snowboarding from breathtaking black runs or off piste for advanced skiers and boarders, to resorts where the whole family can enjoy the slopes at a more relaxed pace.

We are all becoming more aware of the impact we have on the environment and ski resorts are now implementing measures to help reduce their carbon footprint. However, some resorts are more aware than others.

Let’s look at the top 10 French Ski Resorts for “Green Skiing”

Top 10 french green skiing resorts infographic

The Infographic above is showing the top 10 Eco ski resorts that are situated in and around Europe. All the Information is neatly contained in 10 cable cars each one has a bespoke graphic and description showing the most popular activity the resort is known/specialises in for example Meribel is great for partying as has amazing bars and great nightlife making it not as child friendly as say Les Gets which caters for familys and is better if you want a more relaxing break, along with that each cable car has a ‘green rating’ in a percent neatly wrapped up with a graphic surrounding it. The Infographic goes up from 1 (the most un eco) cable car to the 10th (which is the most eco 100%) – The last graphic showing that it is the most eco friendly resort in Europe by a large green crown. Which has been realised by recycling, traffic reduction and green building policy to name just a few projects that has helped the resort become green king!

Travel Tips For The First Time Traveler

In the past we spoke about different types of tourists. Giraffe looks inside the planeTo understand better your travel habits you should take a trip at least once. Let’s say you are ready for your first big overseas adventure! Or are you? Making that first big trip is a huge step into a whole world of possibilities. The world is your oyster! Let’s make sure that oyster doesn’t rot before you open it with these travel trips that will help you avoid at least some of the potential disasters that can come with travel to far away lands.

1) Make Copies of All Your Paperwork

Make two copies of your state issued photo id, passport, flight tickets, hotel reservations, car rental reservation and any other trip related documentation. One copy you should keep in the hotel room, off your person, as soon as you get there. The other copy you should give to friends and family, just in case you lose the copies and any of the said items.

In addition to your passport, make sure that if whatever country you will visit or transit requires you to have a visa, said visa is affixed securely to your passport. And although most airlines will not allow you to board their flight to another country without the required visa, you do not want your adventure to end at the airline’s check-in counter at your departing city.

Now that you’ve taken this precaution, you will probably never need the copies. It is just good in case reservations get mixed up, luggage gets lost or you lose your visual identification in a strange place.

2) Make Sure Your Entry Requirements are Valid

Many foreign countries insist that your passport is valid for a minimum number of months after your scheduled departure date from their shores. Make sure  your passport has the required validity for the country you will be visiting.

Many countries including most African destinations require you to be immunized against certain diseases and will deny you entry unless you show proof of the required inoculations. Make  sure you  are not only  immunized against the listed diseases, but that you carry the documented proof of immunization or  you  may  be denied entry, face  prolonged hassles on arrival or face the possibility of   contracting the diseases  from which  you should  have  been immunized.

3) Pack What You Need

The only thing you should pack extra of is underwear, Aspirin and Imodium. The best rule to go by when packing is if “you think you need it” or “you probably won’t need it”, don’t take it! It is important to take what you need though, so make sure to triple-check you have all the absolute essentials. There is nothing worse than arriving at your destinations only to realize you left contact lens solution, prescription medication or all your socks at home.

If you check-luggage it is important to remember luggage does occasionally get lost. Do put in your checked-luggage anything you would regret loosing, such as all your favorite clothes, your irreplaceable heirlooms or those over-priced Louis Vuitton heels. If you have any valuables you want to take with you, consider wearing them or carrying them in your carry-on.

4)  Avoid Convenience Food

One unexpectedly high cost of vacation is the cost of food. Most of us aren’t used to eating out every meal, so the cost adds up very quickly. To help keep this cost down avoid getting food that is over-priced and poor quality just because it is convenient to your location.

This means not eating at the airport where prices are ridiculous, so make sure to eat a large meal before your flight. Consider taking small, dry snacks with you that won’t break any TSA rules. The only thing you will probably need to buy at the airport is water. You get extremely thirsty on flights from changing altitudes, so make sure to stay plenty hydrated.

It also means not eating at chain restaurants, hotel restaurants or anything that is easy access. Hotel and/or resort food is always over-priced and almost always not that tasty. Opting for easy food makes for one less experience you get to have on your vacation. If you are especially frugal, you may want to consider exploring the local grocery stores for snacks to keep in your hotel room. Depending on the kitchen utilities these can be elaborate or simple meals.

5)  Taking Care of Your Money and Your Valuables While at Your destination

Elaborate on taking care of your valuables while at your destination including the use g safes in your hotel, use of credit cards, debit card, cash, and traveler’s checks. Do not be an obvious tourist in certain destinations by the way you dress with the camera hanging around your neck.

6) Get Your Bearings

You can expect to, maybe even plan to, get lost while traveling. Trying to avoid this by learning the area a little bit can save you hours of unwanted wondering. Plus, looking like a lost tourist can get the attention of people looking to take advantage, so make sure to always attempt to look like you know where you are going.  Explore the area on foot, via Google maps or by taking a tour. Most destinations have tons of local tours that can help you explore a certain niche of the area like drinks, sites or food.

Holly Williford is an avid traveler from the Washington D.C. suburbs. She recently just added a notch on her traveling belt by taking an exciting and wonderful Ghana tour.

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