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What to Look For in a Discount Travel Site

There are a lot of discount travel sites online these days, and it's hard to figure out which ones are good and which ones aren't going to give you what you need to not only make a good choice, but to make sure you're protected later on. Here are 5 things to look for when deciding on a site.

1. You want to be able to book at least hotel, airline, and rental car at one site. If you can't get at least all 3 of these at once, don't even bother using the site. Even if you don't need one of these, you know that if all 3 are offered you have a great opportunity at getting a great discount if you did.

2. Are you getting any kind of deal to begin with? The best way to make sure is to pull up the site for either a hotel or airline, see what their rate is for at least a 3 day stay, and compare it to the discount you should be getting on a discount site. If you're not really getting a discount, then don't bother with the site. Hopefully, you're getting a discount of at least 20%, and if that's the case, then you're on your way.

3. A discount travel site should make sure everything you do is easy to understand. If you have to spend 10 minutes reading through something because it's confusing, move to another site.

4. Any good discount site has vacation packages that will offer you even greater savings than usual travel packages will. You shouldn't have to search too hard to find them, as they should be displayed somewhere very prominently.

5. They should have an easy way to contact them directly, either by email, phone, or online chat service. If you have to search all over the place for contact information, stay away because that means you'll have problems reaching them if something bad happens as well.

If you're careful, you will have a positive experience in booking your trip through a discount travel site, which means you'll also have a good time while on your vacation.

Durban - Africa Holidays - South Africa Travel - Tips & Guide

Tourism Guide Durban - South Africa unforgettable trip - Durban - Africa Holidays - Travel Advice

Durban is the third most populous city in South Africa after Johannesburg and Cape Town. Located in the KwaZulu-Natal region, is one of the most important tourist centres in the area, where the main spoken language is Zulu mother, followed by English. Beaches, parks, cultural and night life make a magical city of Durban.

It’s beautiful beaches and the proximity of interesting natural parks make Durban an African paradise. In addition, it hosted one of the biggest sporting events of 2010: the World Cup.

What to see and do in Durban? - Durban is a beautiful city with much to offer tourists. Worth it, know its beautiful beaches, culture, natural parks, the beautiful Cathedral and the Juma Masjid Mosque, the oldest in the southern hemisphere.

The city beaches are a paradise for surfers: spacious, with big waves and a sea of Absolute transparency. There are also quieter beaches where you can spend a good family day out, sunbathing and riding on a boat tour to watch sea turtles and dolphins playing in the sea.

Adventure and nature in Durban - The city offers many options for nature lovers, who want to see elephants, giraffes and other African animals can take a safari in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park, the oldest nature reserve in Africa.

Closer still, about 40 minutes from Durban, is Tale Private Game Reserve (game reserve), a place to go during the day and have time enough to sleep in the city. All reservations offer accommodation from camping and hostels to 5 star hotels.

Marine life can be seen in the huge aquarium Ushaka Marine, decorated with sunken ships, where you can also enjoy a host of water games that will delight young and old. The adventure lovers can do rafting,
climbing and mountain biking in The Dakensberg, a mountain range of 200 km. extension.

The 2010 World Cup in Durban - Like the other sites, Durban made a huge financial outlay on infrastructure, public transport and safety. Among its investments, he found the construction of a sports stadium, Kings Park, which houses the modern and brand new Moses Mabhida stadium.

Approximately 70,000 spectators enjoyed there every one of the five first round matches (Germany, Australia, Spain and Switzerland, the Netherlands and Japan, Nigeria and South Korea and Portugal and Brazil), a second round (the Netherlands and Slovakia) and one of the semi-finals (Germany and Spain).

Its design was inspired by the South African flag and includes an arc across the stage above the ceiling. One of the curiosities of the construction is just that arc not acting as an icon only decorative but also observation deck (106 m above the field) to which can be accessed by a funicular. From there you can observe the most beautiful views of the city and the stadium itself.

Durban is a lovely city, but with cosmopolitan heart of Africa. Ideal for a holiday.

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How to Travel Cheap - 3 Secrets Many of the Online Discount Travel Sites Hope You Don't Find Out!

If you are planning a family vacation or any travel plans at all, you should know that there are things the discount travel sites are not going to tell you and they hope you don't find out! But worry not, here they are spelled out for you in black and white:

1. You may not know that the published rate you view on the travel website may not be the lowest possible rate available. The reason for this is the big online travel agencies as well as the offline agencies receive their volume in bulk, and they don't announce or publish the private fare prices or those for consolidators. Why should they? They would lose money if they posted below-the-market airfares and deals. To discover these under-market prices and fab lower-price deals on airfares and travel, you will need to consult an experienced and knowledgeable travel pro, but just know that these fares are absolutely out there for you.

2. All costs are not normally shown in the search results when you are doing a search on one of the online discount travel sites. The price that comes up may be leaving out quite a lot actually such as surcharges for certain seats, checked baggage costs, and other surcharges added on by the airline. As a results of these shenanigans, that "lowest and best price" you are viewing at the site may in reality be a lot higher.

3. Once you have purchased your travel tickets from one of the budget travel websites online, you are pretty much on your own to deal with any problems. The websites may make it sound like they will be around to help, and they might very well be, but often you will have trouble finding a phone number to connect with a live person. So if you have any last-minute problems this could prove to make things difficult for you. If indeed you are able to find a phone number and talk to someone, you may often find they speak English as a second or third language. This again will make resolving your issues difficult.

Keep these thoughts in mind when searching online for your best travel deals. Those deals are out there waiting for you to find, but do your due diligence and know what you are dealing with before you hit "send" and purchase those great vacation tickets.

South Africa Travel Guide - South Africa Tourism Tips

South Africa Travel Guide - South Africa Tourism Tips - Travel Advice

Directions - There are international airports in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, with regular flights from around the world. South African Airways (SAA) is the state airline. In Cape Town a regular bus service every half hour connect the airport and the city centre (about 20 miles). Taxis are available and are represented major car companies.

Health - Visitors to the Kruger National Park should take malaria tablets before arriving, during and after your stay. It is not advisable to swim in rivers and lakes in eastern and northern regions of the country, which may be present bilharzia parasite.

Accommodation - Accommodations range from luxury hotels of excellent quality, even the bed & breakfast (bed and breakfast establishments). A guide is highly recommended that all data for each hotel, bed & breakfast, private reserves in South Africa: The Savour Accommodation

Image Source -

Food - Biltong (dried meat tasty): the best is made with beef and kudu, springbok, warthog, ostrich or cow. Bobotie: lamb seasoned with turmeric and other oriental spices.

Braai (barbecued meat), prepared at the braai (grill) is more a lifestyle than a culinary experience. The boerewors, chops, steaks or sosalties be grilled, eaten with salad and washed down with beer and wine. Plus: Karoo lamb and sheep, koeksisters, oysters on the half shell, potjiekos, sosaties, among others.

Currency - Rand.

Language - There are 11 official languages. Everyone speaks English.

Transportation - Public transport is erratic and uncertain. If you need, use it during the day, but take taxis after dark. Metered taxis are abundant but are more expensive, but driving is safer and service more reliable. They cannot be stopped in the street, you must call by phone.

Some cities like Cape Town and Durban are tuk-tuks or rikkis, small open cars, which will pick you up or you will, on request, at your door.

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Victoria Inner Harbour Floating Boat Show

Here are two good reasons for you to take in this year's boat show. You can still make it today until 5 pm and all day tomorrow from 10 am until 5 pm. Pick up a boat for 2.5 million or perhaps something less luxurious, your choice! Or just float through the choices with dreams of sugar plums dancing through your head. Enjoy the photos, but check it out for real, it is a lot better. There are lots of great exhibits demonstrating the latest and greatest in boating. For more pictures, please visit or
Facebook Page for 42 more good reasons to attend the show.

The Best Night-Life Places To Visit Tips - Travel Advice

The World's Best Night-Life Places To Visit Tips - Travel Advice

When we travel we have different aspirations, that is, we may want different types of travel. They are designed to meet travel requirements, those who want to enjoy the food of the destinations are those who like luxury tourism, those seeking the best Eco-tourism and the list could go on and on. But there is a trip type that likes many people, mostly young and the trips to "partying" or Night-life

If you're visiting a place where you can find an exciting nightlife probably want to keep reading

Cabo San Lucas in Mexico - A city in which between tequila shots, the sun, beaches, hotels and holiday spirit arises spontaneously.

Moscow, Russia - In recent times has become a mecca of hedonism, ideal for lovers of Vodka (obviously). Police checks are strict but once spent all night no doubt that Moscow is worthwhile.

New York, USA - No wonder they say the "city that never sleeps" with the chance to enjoy 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year ... Fun in the Big Apple is assured.

Dublin, Ireland - The capital of Ireland (Dublin) is the "party capital" here. The Irish really know how to drink, the long nights and fun certainly will not go missing.

Miami, Florida - Among the celebrities, fashion and the whole city glam parties say "present". The nights are filled with events and private parties. What we are experiencing a night, no repeats to the next. You have to be vigilant in finding the correct party, and if you find ... the fun will be waiting.

London, United Kingdom - When London kings sleep becomes an ideal place to get to know and enjoy. It is the place for those who love to spend a "good time"

The fun begins at night in London - On a night out in London can be the beginning of new friendships and an album of memories for a lifetime. In London, every night is a great night.

I know the usual places to visit in London are from the majestic Buckingham Palace to an endless list of stores, but a friendly warning. Do not spend all your energies in the day, when night in London is where things get interesting! From the moment you leave English classes of the schools of Kaplan International Colleges in London until you lay your head on the pillow, there are many hours to enjoy and make them unforgettable.

If your first stop is related to food in the UK there are a variety of restaurants, especially in London. Whether you're looking for comfort food or gourmet food, London is the perfect place, moreover, the famous Fish and Chip (fish and chips).

Now what next? Why not go to see Shakespeare's Globe, where you can enjoy a play outdoors or a musical in West End. If you’re musical preferences are related to the pop or rock, or enclosure famous "Millennium Dome" opens the door to a series of concerts and events for all tastes. But if you're a movie lover, you will have the opportunity to see your favorite stars walking the red carpet at the premiere of the film in England, while museums and galleries offer a cultural adventure.

The liveliest part of the London nightlife ... its bars, pubs and nightclubs. Want to go to one of Britain's most famous clubs? Visit Fabric. Are you in the vein of laughing? Visit the comedy club. Need more options? A traditional English pub, a stylish cocktail lounge, a karaoke bar, disco coaster, the only club in Spain with swimming ... the list does not stop! Go ahead and join this lively night-life.

When you sign up for an English school in London, not only learn English but will be ready for a thrilling experience that will live 24 hours a day.

Amsterdam, the Netherlands - Behind the beautiful architecture of Amsterdam is a city full of fun. Anywhere at any time the party you can find.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - This one can say that is a city that breathes sensuality. Full of passion and party spirit of the holiday season in Rio not end when the carnival.

Ibiza, Spain- For those who love electronic music and love to go clubbing interspersed with beautiful beaches.

Las Vegas, Nevada- No doubt that is the number one. On this city and its nightlife is not much to add.

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A Quick Look At Discount Travel Sites

When you are looking for the best discount travel sites, it will be important that you take some time to research the provider and make sure that they are reputable and have a reputation for providing excellent service to their customers. There are many sites that offer discount travel, however, finding the site that provides you with quality travel and accommodations will make your holiday travel both cost effective and worry-free.

The site that you select will often have discounts and travel packages that include your travel to a destination, accommodations and excursions once you have arrived at the destinations. The accommodations that a quality site will offer will provide you with all of the amenities that are available to travellers who do not receive a discount on travel.

When you are traveling by plane for several hours, you may want to get some rest before starting your vacation. This is especially true when on a flight to a foreign country.

Staying at Auckland Airport Hotels before you begin your adventure inland will allow you the time to recuperate from your flight and enjoy the hospitality and luxury of a hotel that will take only a few minutes to reach once you disembark from your flight. The Skycity Hotels Auckland makes available through discount sites, gives you the ability to begin your travels fresh and ready to experience the beauty and adventure that this country is famous for.

You will be able to enjoy a wonderful meal at the hotel restaurant and get a good night's sleep before you move on to the next step of your holiday fun.

Visiting discount travel sites to book your holiday will save you time and money when you are traveling on a budget or want to have more money to spend while you are on holiday. By booking early, you will be able to select the travel packages that will meet all of your needs and requirements.

Malbec World Day at the Victoria Union Club an Industry Tasting

One Day, One Celebration and one Global Superstar...a day to celebrate Argentine wines and the Malbec grape that produces some of the finest wines in the world.  The stately Union Club is a fitting place to hold such an event.  A great venue, with great staff, table of excellent tapas, and some amazing wines.  If you missed it, that is unfortunate. For more photos please go to the VGSN Facebook page. 

Quadra Village Day Saturday May 12

    • Saturday, May 12, 2012- 9:30am

  • Kings Road between Quadra and Dowler, Victoria BC

  • JOIN US SATURDAY, MAY 12, 9:30am - 1:00pm

    Drop by Kings Road between Quadra and Dowler, and enjoy fun, free, all-ages activities.

Victoria Guest Services Network Tourism Showcase


Don't miss this great event.  The Victoria Guest Services Network also uses this event as a Camosun College bursary fund raiser for the tourism industry. Come out and show your support.

Is Your Family on a Vacation Travel Budget? Bargain Travel Sites Make Cheap Travel a Reality

Did you know there are options for cheap travel beyond the usual low-budget motels and fast food? You can save a bundle on your family vacation and stick to your budget by using the online discount bargain travel sites. Whether you have a sudden desire to visit Disney World in Florida or the casinos in Las Vegas, it's no problem with all of the bargain travel sites that have cropped up these days.

Before I discovered these online travel agents and figured out how to save money on travel, I was almost ready to just have a "staycation" instead and not travel anywhere at all. What with the high price of gas and airlines nickel and diming you to death charging for checked baggage and meals, it almost seems like more effort than it is worth sometimes, doesn't it?

Anyway, there are many online travel agencies to choose from where you will find cheap travel deals. Just to name a few there are Hotwire, Kayak, Cheaptickets, Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia, Priceline, Travelzoo, Cheapflights, Cheapoair, and Farecast. This is not even taking into consideration several sites that offer deals on last-minute travel.

My two favorite are Hotwire and Kayak, I have found the cheapest travel bargains at these two sites. It can take you a while to go through all the sites checking for the best deals, but that is what I advise you to do. If you really want to save money it's worth it! Be sure to check for round trip prices and also one-way prices at each of the sites. Write them all down and then go with the cheapest.

Most sites also offer package deals where you can get the flight and hotel and even the rental car if you choose. I have gotten a lot of great deals through Travelocity in the past, but Hotwire is sometimes cheaper these days. It's still worth checking all of them though, as they all offer discount prices which vary according to the time of the year/week/day.

Australia - Holidays - Places In Australia To Visit

What to see in Australia - Australia Holidays - Places In Australia To Visit - Amazing Views in Australia

Consider experience Australia in a few days is impossible. Due to the remoteness of the country you need to have long travel plan to cover most of the places in Australia. To consider a trip to Australia, you should have a minimum of 15 days. Furthermore, the size of the country one of the largest in the world involves several miles to travel to see everything.

Most recommended and most visited places in Australia are -

The Sydney Opera House - one of the main attractions of this city. Besides offering a good music program, is a building-icon and everyone can go to restaurants and bars or cross it daily through their circuits. Sydney the Bay Bridge is celebrating its first 80 years

Melbourne - famous for its cosmopolitan nightlife and for its restaurants

Great Barrier Reef - more than 2,000 km of coral reef off the coast of Queensland, considered one of the major wonders of the world. Can be explored with goggles and flippers, or sailing, scenic flight in a glass bottom boat or staying in one of its many islands surrounded by coral

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park - a place of pilgrimage in the desert. Hundreds of miles to be traveled to get there. In addition the park has many other points of interest include the incredible Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), and stunning sunsets.

Mona- a unique museum located in an incredible place by the river, which can be reached by ferry from the port of Horbart. The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) of the Estate Morella is an innovative world-class institution. One of the most extraordinary artistic experiences of the country

Daintree Rainforest - an ancient forest included within the World Heritage List and full of fan palms, ferns, mangroves, birds, insects and frogs. You can explore on guided walks during the day, night tours for wildlife viewing, hiking in the mountains, interpretive walks by platforms, walks through the treetops, trails without a guide, Jeep tours, horseback riding.

Great Ocean Road - The Twelve Apostles are rock formations that emerge from the rushing waters of the sea and is one of the most famous sights of Victoria. Along a winding road that crosses beaches, jungles and villages. Later, the Ocean Road leads to the sea jewel of Port Fairy and Cape Bridgewater isolated. Also walk able from the Great Ocean Trail Apollo Bay to the Apostles.

Byron Bay - A small, cozy seaside resort, dynamic, relaxed alternative. It may sound very touristy but is a perfect place for his long, quiet stretches of beach and beautiful center underdeveloped. There are surf, alternative lifestyles, organic and new age, and all very close to Sydney.

Lifeguard competitions in Gold Coast surfers - They are tanned and muscular gods of the sea and icons Australian beach culture. In Gold Coast, surfers faced each other in competitions that are stressful events season where they swim, run and make trainers racing. An extraordinary sporting event

Whitsunday Islands - Can be enjoyed in many ways: browsing the turquoise waters of the Coral Sea, relax poolside at a luxury resort, feel like a castaway on a secluded beach, or visit its waters aboard a sail boat.

Food and wine for "gourmet" - In Australia you can find delicacies to suit all budgets, wines and cheeses in Tasmania, coffee in Melbourne, Sydney oysters and shellfish, red claw in South Australia, crayfish in Western Australia or the food of the Aborigines in the Territory North.

Canberra - known for its museums - Essential to the National Gallery of Australia, with its magnificent collection of Australian art, Asian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Wilsons Promontory -This national park offers some of the best opportunities to practice sendermismo Australian coast and camping. Hikers must walk the Great Prom Walk, three days, one night will stay in the keeper's house.

Cradle Mountain - Crescent-shaped ridge is a steep rock sculpted by ice and wind after millennia of erosion. It is the most recognizable and spectacular peak of Tasmania. To top it takes a whole day but offers incredible panoramic alpine heart of Tasmania.

Perth and Fremantle - Perth may be isolated, but is not a cultural wasteland. Sophisticated restaurants serve modern Australia a new selection of elegant cocktail is emerging in the most remote alleys. Downstream, the lively port of Fremantle offers a pub on every corner that is not occupied by a hostel and caddied and colonial buildings.

Broome and the Kimberley region - a city which is a dynamic mix of modern bars, beaches, nature, locals and travelers of all types. Area is land of camels, baobabs and cave paintings.

Southwest coast of Western Australia - from winery to winery country roads shaded by eucalyptus trees. You can also explore caves and historic towns. Surfers flock to enjoy the famous waves around Margaret River and many visitors come to see humpback whales.

Final of the Australian Football League - Celebrated Sabdo Melbourne last September. It's a perfect day to enjoy the Australian environment in a good pub and celebrate with the fans of this sport.

Aboriginal Art in Western Australia - In this area of 59,000 Aborigines live country of different ethnic groups and with different idiom's. In upstate, the Kimberley region offers the art of the Wandjina, Gwion Gwion's (Bradshaw) and contemporary Aboriginal art.

Darwin and Kakadu National Park - Destroyed by bombing during the Second World War and by Cyclone Tracy, Darwin as reinvention knows. This remote town has emerged from the tropical humidity to become a multicultural city and hedonistic. It is the starting point for knowing the Kakadu National Park. Aboriginal rock art bao sheer cliffs and idyllic ponds fed by huge waterfalls.

Wine regions of South Australia - Adelaide is intoxicated by the success of its three world-famous wine regions: the Barossa Valley, north, south McLaren Vale area, and the Clare Valley Riesling and their famous bike rides.

Fraser Island - an ecological jewel in which dingoes roam and lush rainforest grows on sand. A primitive utopian island with abundant wildlife, including dingoes purest race across the country.

Observation of wildlife - There is much to discover in Australia: south of the east coast will see penguins and sea lions north extraordinary cassowaries and crocodiles that seem dinosaurs. And across the country, lots of animals that cannot be found in any other part of the world: koalas, kangaroos, wombats and platypus. There are whales on the coast, sea turtles and of course, with its omnipresent kookaburras singing.

Tanami Road and Canning Stock Route - Right in the outback, a perfect road to travel in motor home or family car. The sky is blue, redder dust and salt lakes whiter than anywhere else on the planet.

Birdsville horse racing - What began in 1882 as a race horse breeders has become a huge event with over six thousand spectators who flock to this tiny town to enjoy four days of dusty race and large amounts of alcohol. Held in early September.

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Why Travel Sites Are Being Forced to Create Loyal Customer Programs

The best thing to happen since airfare travel sites went online, is the comparison shopping sites which are doing an excellent job of creating a uniform airfare stock market. No longer is it normal for a site to increase the price for a popular flight, without risking the loss of hundreds of sales, because of airfare comparison shopping.

The comparison shopping for airfare prices puts everybody's prices right out there for everyone to see. And in most cases the name of the airline is associated with the price. So more than ever, creating a loyal group of clients is becoming more important to travel sites.

Travelers are receiving everything from loyalty points to discounts and rebates for remaining loyal to a particular online travel company. This procedure has worked very well for the cruise line industry which showers loyal customers with unbelievable discounts on select cruises.

For example, Princess Cruise Lines, provides membership to a "Captain's Circle" club, where you have to a sailed a certain number of times with the cruise company in order to qualify. Members receive perks such as a quarterly magazine, with special pricing to special check-in privileges when boarding ship.

Usually when we cruise, we depart from San Francisco. The line to board ship extends out pass the terminal onto the sidewalk and this is when you arrive early. Becoming a member of the elite group and getting to pass up everyone in the line and go straight to the front of the line, is a benefit which was too good for me to pass up. It took me several years, but we finally reached the number of cruises which allow us to pass up everyone in the line. I can't explain what a great benefit it is to walk pass everyone, a thousand plus people, all standing in a very long line, watching and wondering, "Where are they going?"

It's the little things which, makes a customer loyal, and the travel sites have been forced into playing the loyalty game. In the pass, pretty much all they had to do was publish the web site and wait, while travelers flocked to the site and booked their travel.

Yes, online comparison shopping, for airfares, has made travel sites re-think how they are going to approach the Internet client. Free enterprise is great. Now if we can just get a couple of these large airfare comparison sites to offer affiliate programs! Oh well, I guess we can't have everything.

Find Your Travel Destination on Travel Sites

This is an exciting period for people to travel an as there are now very few inaccessible places on this planet. Fortunately, there isn't a corner of the earth that doesn't have a travel site dedicated to it so it is easy obtaining information on the internet. It is now true that increasing numbers of people carry out all their travel arrangements using internet web sites. The main problem is the convenience of it all and the huge savings that can be found using the internet.

I know it is the norm now but I am not comfortable planning my once a year vacation like this. However, I am still of the old school and prefer to sit down with a cup of coffee and plan my vacation with a professional, face to face. A travel agent will also fully expect changes to be made during the booking process and can be more flexible in their approach including when there are problems. Travel sites on the other hand tend to just be computerized and it is rare that you actually get to speak to a person and then if you do get to speak to a real person, you have no clue where they are.

They may say something just to appease you and it will not hold true in the end. There are too many factors that can go wrong and that's why I love having a travel agent because although I may spend a bit more than if purchasing from a website, the peace of mind is priceless. I have a good friend who would never use a travel agent as she books all her last minute vacations using travel sites because she can save a packet of money. She is good at this and saves hundreds of dollars of the proper price and has always had a good vacation.

I wish I could do this but my work just wouldn't allow me to suddenly take time of as they normally need a couple of months notice. Using a travel site does have other advantages as well because while you can save money on the vacation itself, there are also savings to be made on additional excursions and trips as well if pre-booked. Knowing a little about what you want and information about the location you want to travel too can be useful so I still research as much of this as I can online before I pay my travel agent a visit. It may not be fair on my travel agent but at least I know if something goes wrong, I will have someone to complain to on my return.


Area artists welcome the public into their homes and studios.Members will showcase a variety of work including original paintings and prints,stone and wood sculpture, fibre art and pottery.

Maps available at local Recreation Centers, businesses, or by clicking on this link. or you can call 250-658-4523 for more information.
This is a great show.  The picture above is by Sandy Terry, one of the fine artists you can visit on this tour.
Check this out.....

Travel Sites Boost Bookings With Multi-Currency Display

The fierce competition amongst travel web sites is forcing this rapidly growing online market to find new ways to gain a competitive edge.

The newest tactic adopted by travel sites to boost their online booking conversion rates is multi-currency displays.

Multi currency display systems allow travel sites to show all of their travel package prices in the web site visitor's currency.

This allows visitors to instantly see product prices in a way that is meaningful to them - in their currency language. It's instantaneous, easy to use and meets visitors' needs at the exact time they need it.

Travel sites around the world from South America to Australia and everywhere in between are experiencing increased conversion rates for online bookings as a result of adopting these multi-currency display systems.

The need for these systems has been driven by the increasing demands and expectations of net-savvy travelers.

The needs of travelers are perhaps more demanding than for any other online industry.

Travelers are often experienced net-users and critically time poor. Couple that with the countless number of travelers who use travel sites whilst in transit and you can add travel weary and perhaps 'a little less tolerant than usual' to this demographic's description.

These travelers' characteristics make it even more crucial to convey meaningful pricing information quickly and efficiently.

Travelers today want information that is personalised to them and they want it fast.

That is where the previous attempts at displaying prices have been proven to fail.

Travel sites quickly learned that displaying prices solely in US dollars or only in the business' local currency simply wasn't enough.

Everyday more and more travel sites are discovering that the pop-up currency converters of the 90s are also failing as the net-savvy online travelers market is no longer satisfied with that outdated attempt.

Did you know that pop-up converters require visitors to perform 5 to 6 steps every time they want to know the price of just one travel package?

5 or 6 steps sounds like a lot doesn't it? But here it is: Using pop-ups first requires the pop-up link to be located on the site, then clicked on. Then a 3rd party web site opens up (Oh yeh, with third party advertising on it!). Then the visitor needs to select their base currency; select their local currency; type in the amount and then finally click convert.

Sounds cumbersome doesn't it?

You may think it's a bit overstated to say that the pop-up converter causes lost sales.

Though consider it this way.

How many prices do you think a hungry, weary, jet lagged traveler is going to convert before getting frustrated?

In today's world, forcing travelers through a 5 to 6 click process to convert just one price will not only frustrate them but ultimately cause lost sales.

How much of their time do you think they will waste calculating prices on a web site before thinking. "forget it, it's all too hard, I'll go to that next travel site that's listed in Google instead"

Oops, there goes another lost booking, all because of the pop-up!

When travelers don't find the information they need quickly, in the way they want to see it; these time poor and travel weary warriors will simply pop-out to the next competitor's site that does meet their needs by speaking in the customer's currency language.

In one of the most competitive online markets with such extremely low profit margins, imagine what a difference those extra bookings would make to a travel sites bottom line!

Armed with this powerful insight all travel sites should be looking for a better, more efficient way to show multiple currencies on their site. A way that is completely seamless and gives visitors the exact information that they need when they need it.

Taking just minutes to install with only one line of code needed, travel sites around the world are gaining a competitive edge to win more online bookings by adopting multi-currency display systems.

Dagwoods Cafe on Goldstream Avenue in Langford

On our way home today we went passed Dad's Soup and Sangy's in Colwood.  It was closed, so we drove down Goldstream towards home when I remembered a new restaurant had recently opened.  So Linda and I stopped by Dagwood's Cafe.  We were glad we did.  The family staff who were running and working the restaurant were real friendly.  Our sandwiches were very tasty and more than ample.  We could have easily shared one and been satisfied with that amount.  Linda had the Tuscan Veggie with Roasted Red Pepper, Aioli, olives, tomato, red onions and zucchini.  Ron had the Chipotle Chicken with bacon, lettuce, tomato, smoked cheddar, and Chipotle Aioli.  Both were simply delicious using tasty Ciabatta bread.  This great little cafe has ample inside seating and a good sized sunny patio for those nice days.  Expect good friendly service and reasonable prices.  It is only three blocks from where we live, so we can easily walk there.  Glad to have Dagwood's in the neighbourhood.  We think Dagwood's is better than our former stand-by Dad's.

For more pictures of Dagwood's Cafe please go to our Facebook Page.

Relish that Thought

We recentlly visited Relish on Pandora.  Food was good, atmosphere was OK, you get to order at the counter from a wall menu, the dacor is simple, service was adequate.  It is worth a visit.  See our Facebook page for more photos.

Beach Destinations - For Honeymoons - Travel Advice

Best Beach Destinations For Honeymoons - Travel Advice

1. Fiji Islands, Oceania - With a pleasant tropical climate all year round, these islands offer various activities such as diving and snorkelling. It has excellent tourist facilities, coral sand and turquoise shades thousand waters, ideal for sharing images with a partner. You cannot miss Sigatoka and Nausori Highlands.

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2. Indonesia, Asia - This conglomerate of ethnicities, and religious voices culinary secrets, you can make your honeymoon unforgettable. Be swept away by the islands of Indonesia, its emeralds floating and beautiful landscapes of Borneo, Java, Sumatra and Bali. Certainly, sandalwood and spices breezes, as well as the lifestyle of Bali Hai, beaches, mountains and volcanoes, will feel that they are dreaming.

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3. Dubrovnik, Croatia - This small, charming and affordable destination city is a little explored by tourists, but is able to captivate any newly-wed couple. And this Adriatic port is a small strip of coast islands which form the so-called Republic of Ragusa. Enjoy its unique infrastructure, its exquisite blend of culinary traditions and beautiful beaches that are far from plagued by people, like other places.

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4 San Jose, Costa Rica - Costa Rica is the jewel of Central America. Although reputed to be an oasis of peace between turbulent neighbours, offers much more than a situation of stability. The natural attractions of San Jose, wildlife and reputation have earned by carrying out a smart conservation, attract tourists from around the world and will keep you coming back each year to celebrate your wedding anniversary.

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5. Hong Kong, China - It is one of the most beautiful and most luxurious in the world. Rolls Royce has more cars than any other city in Germany alone are more Mercedes Benz. The view from the bay leaves ecstatic all visitors, so enjoys this landscape for your honeymoon is ideal. The majestic harbour, the stunning architecture and hills in the background, form a unique landscape.

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6. French Polynesia, Pacific Ocean - This archipelago combines the charm of French culture with hundreds of islands, beaches, turquoise waters, palm trees and hotels over the water bungalows, which are the dream of every couple on their honeymoon. Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea are the most visited islands.

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7. Miami, United States - If you want a non-stop honeymoon, Miami is the place for you and your partner. The beaches are first class and when the sun sets, the fun does not stop, so if you have a beginning of married life dramatically, pick this destination to enjoy both sunny holiday and the night-life.


8. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic - It is one of the favourite destinations for honeymooners, because it has a variety of activities. It may take a very quiet day sunbathing and a refreshing drink, or entertainment in the hotel's tennis courts, water sports and entertainment on the beach. Do not forget to visit Hato Mayor and Seibo, or go to Los Altos de Chavon, Bayahibe, La Romana or Saona Island visit.

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9. Lake Tahoe, USA - Lake Tahoe is perfect for honeymooners who want to experience great weather and tons of action, not to mention the fact that is close to other popular destinations like Las Vegas, so you can visit different places without having to spend more.

10. Jamaica - This English Caribbean island has become a real opportunity to enjoy beach, sun, fun and a wonderful honeymoon. It is also an adventure tour their beautiful and thick vegetation, either on foot, riding or to step back in time, in canoes, bamboo along one of the more than 120 rivers that exist on the island .
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Rock Cod Cafe in Beautiful Cowichan Bay

Just south of Duncan take the turnoff to Cowichan Bay, our final stop before returning home. Cowichan Bay has lots of summer vacation homes, a few bed and breakfasts and lots of places to eat. Do you get the impression that we like to eat? There is a maritime museum here and you can rent kayaks to take out on the bay. The Pirate Store is worth a visit and a great stop to entertain Madison. So much to see, touch and play with. The real reason we go to Cow Bay is the Rock Cod Café. We have been going for years, introducing friends and relatives to the joys of yet more halibut. When Ron's sister visits from Alberta, her ritual is fish and chips at the Rock Cod Café followed by a lemon ice cream cone from the Udder Guys Old Fashion Ice Cream Parlor just up the street. She's like clockwork.

The Rock Cod Café makes superb fish and chips. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this is one of Ron’s favourite meals. The fish always has a light crispy batter. The portions are always generous and the chips are great. We like ours double fried to heavenly crispiness. The halibut is fresh, white and flakey. Ron actually ordered a half RC salad and chips and surprised himself by loving the salad with fresh lettuce with lots of crunchy good things. Linda ordered the Fish Tacos (below left) and thought they were the best she'd ever had. Ron tried them and had to agree. Almost good enough to convert Ron, almost! The Rock Cod Cafe serves their tacos on hard-shelled tortillas with battered halibut and savoury cold slaw topped with mango habanero salsa, served with a side of Cajun potato thins and chipotle mayo. Divine. Madison contented herself with a vanilla milkshake, being still full from a snack earlier. We are very bad grandparents, but hey, it was a holiday!

The Rock Cod Café is always busy. Christine, our waitress was so friendly and helpful. We were seated next to the windows overlooking the docks in the sunshine. What a gorgeous setting. For dessert, we chose a deep caramel pecan flan with three spoons. It is hard to eat any dessert after a Rock Cod Meal, but we made it through sharing. We have probably been back to the Rock Cod Cafe more than any other restaurant on Vancouver Island. What a great way to end a busy get-away. In Madison's words, "This trip was the most awesome (Ron likes this word too) experience. I have the most awesome Grandma and Grandpa!" For more pictures go to our Facebook page.

The Pacific Northwest Raptor Centre near Duncan BC

The Pacific Northwest Raptors Centre located at 1877 Herd Road, in the beautiful Cowichan Valley just north of Duncan. PNWR is dedicated to the conservation of birds of prey, and through education, strives to raise awareness for birds of prey and wildlife, protect their habitats and inspire awe in visitors.

When we pulled into the parking lot, two horses were standing at the fence, looking lovingly at the grass just beyond their reach. Madison was gone like a shot, being a lover of all four legged creatures. The horses enjoyed her handfuls of grass and became fast friends when she shared her own snack of apples from the cooler. While we were waiting for our hawk walk, we enjoyed talking to Sarah, one of the staff enjoying the sunshine with an injured male Harris Hawk on her gloved arm. The hawk had been shot in the wing and was there for rehabilitation. Sarah had lots of interesting things to tell us about hawks and we got a great chance to get up close and personal with him. Ready for an even closer encounter, the hawk walk with Robyn, we each wore a protective leather glove. When Robyn placed a piece of fresh meat on the glove, the hawk flew down for its treat, landing on the glove. When we were ready, we raised our arm in the air and the hawk flew off into the trees. Knowing where the next treat was coming from, the hawk watched carefully and reacted instantly. It was hard not to flinch but we all found that a wild bird landing on our arm was incredibly exciting. Madison had this to say, "It was so awesome! I got to hold a hawk! There is nowhere else where I can see birds so close. The hawk flew right to me from so far away. I loved Robyn and her name. She is perfect for that job!" Add a few more exclamations marks to get a sense of how excited Madison was.

Captive birds bred on site like eagles, hawks, owls, falcons, and vultures are allowed to fly free every day. They return to the Raptor Centre as it is their home, and these flights make for thrilling, exciting and entertaining flying demonstrations. As Robyn our host told the audience, “if you were getting free room and board, free medical care (this is Canada after all) and lots of love and attention, would you want to leave?” During the flying show, the birds perform within inches of the audience. They seem to love brushing the viewer’s hair with their wings as they fly over the audience. The flight show that day featured a mature bald eagle, an owl, a hawk and a falcon. The eagle was majestic and to our surprise weighed only 7.5 pounds. Their feathers make them appear much larger. Females are usually 30% heavier than the males. Linda and Madison thought that was justice. Owls have very sensitive hearing and can hear the heart beat of a mouse from a kilometer away. They can hear voles rustling underneath snow. Did you know they turn their heads to see because their eyes don't move in their sockets? The hawk was funny to watch running along the ground after its prey. When Robyn let the falcon loose, every bird in the neighbourhood started up a cacophony of distress calls. The falcon flew amazingly fast and high. Being one of the smaller birds of prey, falcons knock their prey out of the air by hitting them at high speed and killing them. Robyn does a great job narrating the show. Lots of information and lots of humour make it a great show for all ages. The centre is just 5 minutes off the Trans Canada Highway. We have been several times and keep going back just for the entertainment value.

For more photos, go to our Facebook Page.

The Chemainus Theatre in Chemainus BC on Vancouver Island

Another experience that we had in the Cowichan Valley was being “All Shook Up” at the Chemainus Theatre. A 40 minute drive from Lake Cowichan took us to Chemainus and we introduced Madison to the Chemainus Murals. Days later, Madison told her mom "I'm an artist, so I appreciate beautiful artwork". There are more and more murals every year, so we never tire of seeing them. Prior to 1981 Chemainus was a single resource mill town. When a recession hit British Columbia the mill was in trouble and Chemainus was in danger of becoming a ghost town. With a community initiative grant from the BC Government, a forward-thinking mayor presented the Mural concept to the community. Chemainus quickly became world-famous as an example of how even a small town can create a dramatic change for survival.

After admiring the many murals, we walked to the Chemainus Theatre for “All Shook Up” and a delicious buffet dinner in the Playbill Dining Room. The food was efficiently displayed in a two-sided buffet, so the line moved smoothly. A pianist played beautifully throughout our meal. Our server Kym was very friendly and attentive. Ron could barely set his water glass down before it was refilled. There were an impressive number of choices between salads, vegetables, and meat including chicken, pork, beef and ham. To our delight the dessert table was almost as long as the food buffet! After dinner, Linda and Madison admired the well stocked Gift Shop while Ron relaxed on a comfy couch. For more pictures of our Chemainus Theatre visit, go to our Facebook Page.

Everything about the Chemainus Theatre is first class. There is lots of nearby parking and the interior is finely decorated. They have even contributed a number of murals on the street side of the theatre. The theatre seats are comfortable, the staff is friendly and helpful, and there are no bad seats. There is a drinks bar in the main lobby for those who arrive early. Beverages can be ordered ahead of time for quick service during intermission.

"All Shook Up" turned out to be a rock and roll musical comedy. It follows a small-town girl's dream of hitting the open road. Everything gets turned upside down when a guitar-playing "roustabout" rambles into town, introducing her to romance, rebellion and rock 'n roll. Early in the show it seems easy to predict the ending, but guess again. What unfolds is not clear until the end of the show. The score is filled with familiar Elvis tunes, the characters each look and fit their part, and all do a great job of an excellent show for young and old alike. Madison got so stoked that she and a newly met friend danced across the front of the stage imitating the routine during intermission. "This is the best show I have ever seen in a theater and I loved all the singing. It was funny too. I even made a friend from Nanaimo and we danced all night" enthused Madison. The show ended April 7th so you'll miss this one but we have never heard a bad review about Chemainus Theatre. Take in one of their upcoming shows or buy season's tickets. You could be surprised by the quality of entertainment found in a small town just an hour's drive north of Victoria.

For more pictures go to our Facebook Page.

Kidd's Bed and Breakfast Lake Cowichan

We travelled to Cowichan Lake to stay at Kidd’s Bed and Breakfast, 518 Point Ideal Drive, for a two night visit. The B&B is only steps from the lake with mountain and water views. Beth and David Kidd are very congenial hosts who instantly "adopted" our granddaughter. When Madison called for her Grandma, two voices responded!

Beth and David helped us with our bags to their Ghana Room. The name comes from the display of art from Ghana and nearby African countries, collected during the Kidd's tenure in Ghana. The spacious room features a queen bed, twin bed, and single hide-a-bed, TV/DVD, small fridge, coffee maker, kettle and table and chairs. The bathroom has a large, double headed walk-in shower and Linda was very impressed that the control was easily accessible at the dry end of the shower, rather than under the shower head. She hates getting doused with cold water! The room is semi-circular in shape, with large windows and a view of the lake and mountains. This room easily accommodated the three of us and well all slept well on the comfortable beds.

In the morning David and Beth served up a delicious breakfast of upside-down apple pancake, sausages and bacon, and fruit salad. Linda broke her one-cup rule with their fine coffee made from fresh ground beans. Madison was thrilled to help Beth in the kitchen. Beth “is the best" in Madison's book.

Somehow hungry for lunch after our gargantuan breakfast, we hosted Beth and David at J&V Burgers and Pizza, renown for the best burgers in the Cowichan Valley. The burgers lived up to their reputation, with fresh ingredients and patties made on-site. Even Linda, not a burger fan, liked her Mushroom and Swiss burger. Madison gobbled up "the best hotdog she has ever eaten". J&V Burgers is located at 152 South Shore Road in Lake Cowichan. There is an outdoor patio for warmer days and a stack of board games to keep diners entertained. After lunch David and Beth gave us a community tour to visit some of the local sights we had not yet seen. The Education Centre can host up to 100 for conferences and workshops, including accommodation and meals. The Lakeview Campground and Beach on the edge of town looks like a great place to camp during the warmer months. There are campsites within meters of the lake and a sandy beach on the shore. We also made stops at the new Arena and Curling Rink, and the Forestry Centre where you can walk a short distance to some very large trees. Lake Cowichan is also a gateway to the Carmanah/Walbran Valleys, Nitinat Lake and Port Renfrew. The old logging road has been upgraded and paved, making the trip to Port Renfrew an easy one.
Returning to Kidds, David took Madison for a walk to the floating dock, and Madison was impressed by all the things David shared about the flora and fauna, including a lesson on the anatomy of minnows. This little outing combined with being allowed to help in the kitchen prompted "They are the nicest people who ever had a bed and breakfast"! For more photos of Kidd’s see our Facebook page.

Dino's Grill Duncan BC - Home of Great Food

In Duncan we decided to try Dino's Grill (get the pun?), a new restaurant to us. Dino's has only been around for a year but that's been long enough to garner a good reputation on the Internet. Dino's Grill is located at 231 Government Street in Duncan. Ron and Madison both wanted ribs and decided to share a special of the night, the "Bigger Pigger Platter" with two slabs of baby back ribs and two slabs of side ribs, a helping of pulled pork, Caesar salad, baked beans and cold slaw. Oink, oink! The ribs were perfectly cooked in the on-site Texas Cookhouse and the unanimous vote was delicious. The Caesar salad was fresh, the cold slaw naturally sweet, not bitter and the baked beans were incredible. Linda does not like baked beans at the best of times and she loved these ones. Madison said the same thing, and she really doesn't like beans. Ron finds it hard to get good cold slaw in restaurants but Dino's was delicious. The portions are so big, Ron and Madison who love meat couldn't finish the meal. Linda really enjoyed the crispy chicken coconut curry, another special of the night. We topped off with a yummy piece of Mississippi Mud Pie (like we needed it)! Madison loved the Lemon Crumble Pie. Tracey our server looked after us well and was happy to chat. Tracey loves her job at Dino's because everyone loves the food.

Dino’s Grill is a full service licensed restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. “Local Food-International Flavour” is the motto of the restaurant, using local products cooked in the freshest way possible. Dino specializes in Mediterranean dishes and classic West Coast flavours with an in-house Texas Smoker for ribs, chicken & brisket. Dino is a Red Seal Chef with 20 years of cooking and managerial experience. He understands the ingredients to make customers happy. And happy we were. Dino’s has a relaxed atmosphere and very reasonable prices. We have already recommended it to friends and hope you give it a try. We tried a similar, popular restaurant in Victoria and Dino’s food is at least four times as good (Ron's rating).

For more pictures of Dino's Grill and the great food there, visit our Facebook Page.

Just Jakes Restaurant Duncan BC

Hungry after all that touring, we went to Just Jakes Restaurant at 45 Craig Street for lunch.  Just Jakes is a locally owned and operated business that strives to offer fresh hand-crafted brews, local house-made food and top-notch customer service.  The good news is that striving works.  The beer is finely craft brewed, the food delicious, and Danica our server was super friendly and helpful, providing excellent service.  Top grades go to this restaurant.  Ron enjoyed some very tender calamari and a well dressed Caesar salad.  Linda loved her Jambalaya Pizza (above) with fire roasted tomato sauce, shrimp, chorizo sausage, ham, banana peppers, red onions, sweet peppers and mozzarella cheese.  Miss "I love meat" Madison wolfed down an entree sized portion of Panko Breaded Chicken Tenders cut from real chicken breasts.  No processed "chicken" here!  To top off the meal we ordered Sex in a Pan and three spoons.  This dessert is evil but oh so good.  We made fast work of it despite being already full.  Being nine years old, Madison was grossed out by the name (eew! she cried) but enjoyed her share just the same.  The only downside was having to answer a lot of questions about sex at the lunch table.  Just Jakes is the only restaurant in Duncan that we have been to on multiple occasions and we plan to go again in the future.  It is hard to beat amazing food, reasonable prices and super staff.  Desserts are made in the in-house bakery and beer is brewed right next door.  Treat yourself the next time you're in Duncan.  Enjoy more pictures on our Facebook Page.

The Quw'utsun' Cultural and Conference Centre in Duncan BC

Recently we made a stop at the Quw'utsun' Cultural and Conference Centre in Duncan, built on six acres of beautifully landscaped grounds along the banks of the Cowichan River, a designated BC Heritage River, just off the Trans Canada Highway.  At the entry to the Centre, we met John our well-informed guide and joined a group of about 100 (!) visiting Japanese students for a tour.  John started with the Totem Tour, sharing the stories and traditions of the Cowichan people for hundreds of years past.  Each Totem had a unique and interesting story.  Madison particularly liked the Marriage Totem and the little artist in her appreciated the talent involved in carving them.  Following the totem tour, we watched a half-hour movie depicting the history of the Cowichan First Nation.  Then we enjoyed a display of traditional dance by local students.   The tour expands in the summer and includes more on-site displays and an authentic salmon BBQ.  Ever hungry and hoping for food, Madison was disappointed that the salmon BBQ is only held in the summer.  The Centre also showcases First Nations contemporary food in the restaurant and a West Coast themed gift gallery featuring local artists.  This is a well designed centre giving a close up view on native culture on Vancouver Island.  Thanks to John for such an interesting and educational experience that even kept Madison interested and attentive.  Go to our Facebook page to see more photos of this super attraction and our Blog Video of their Dancers.

How Can Save Money When Travelling On Vacation? Travel Advice

How Can Save Money When Travelling On Vacation? Travel Advice

Buy tickets in time, build loyalty campaigns, and in some cases, rent an apartment instead of a hotel room will help lower costs.

The holidays not only involve a few days when we leave our daily routine and take a break from studies or work, also mean an extra expense to our monthly budget. How can we not spend so much on our trip?

The first is to plan everything in advance so you can buy your tickets in advance. This way you'll find air tickets much cheaper. Not the same purchase tickets three months before doing so with just two weeks to begin your journey. Also, be aware and take advantage of promotions that airlines usually released.

Before the trip comes to deciding where to go...

Take it your accounts and see if you should rent an apartment instead of a hotel room. Oddly enough, it is sometimes cheaper to opt for this alternative. It depends, of course, the number of people traveling with you or go to spend many nights in one place.

Remember also take advantage of loyalty campaigns. If you book your accommodations on sites such as and, to cite two examples, you can score points then you will use in other reserves and even earn free nights if you rented a number of quarters in the year. Moreover, even tedious, always tries to fill the cards or loyalty program documents, and with that you have the opportunity to access more benefits.

According to the article, it is important to note that the most popular destinations for tourists are also more expensive. This is the case, for example, London, New York or Paris. If you want to travel anyway but do not spend much money, you could go to cities that are not as popular but just want to know. This will give you the chance to find cheaper rates at hotels, restaurants and tours.

On your destination, you have to see what are the essential spending or find how to replace some of them. For example, if you want to call your family, your children or your partner, instead of using a phone can use the Skype, which is free.

Finally, the note suggests hiring local travel agencies, be always aware of the coupons and share expenses with other travelers you come across along the way.

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