How to Write Great Travel Blog Titles

This post shows you how to write great post titles. Are you looking for more visitors to your travel blog? One key is writing post titles that contain keywords and that at the same time are attention grabbing. Here is how:

1)Sensationalise!

These days it is easy to go unnoticed. I worked hard on a blog post about Cordoba province in Argentina. Alas, this post, that I worked so hard on, never got more than a few views over several months. So, I decided it was time to do something.

EXAMPLE 1 – Original Title.

Of brunettes, fernet con coca and UFOs…

I thought it was clever, it sounded quite poetic and literary.

Improved title:

How to see a UFO in Cordoba, Argentina.

That gets your attention! It´s a cheeky post title, because I don´t tell you really how to see UFOs but where to see them (if you believe in them of course!). A post title that begins, ´How to…´ is a proven marketing technique that WORKS! Suddenly this post became one of my most searched for posts, quadrupling the number of views in only a week.

EXAMPLE 2.

ITBC youth rally, 2008, Holland.

The ‘ITCB’ for example is an organisation that only people who collect travel memorobilia are likely to know about. So wanting to sensationalise the post title as much as possible it became this:

Bizarre travel collections: Shrunken heads from Peru.

And again it became one of my most popular posts. The second post title tells you a lot more about the content and it really piques a persons curiousity.

2)Keywords!

EXAMPLE 1.

The original titles contains no keywords (words that people are going to use in a search engine to find your post), so not many people are going to see the post. However, How to see a UFO in Cordoba, Argentina has the keywords HOW TO, SEE, UFO and ARGENTINA, words that people are very likely to search for in Google, if for example they want to find out info on where and how to see UFOs in Argentina.

EXAMPLE 2.

ITBC youth rally, 2008, Holland is a very technical title that is going to confuse and put many people off having a look at the post. Bizarre travel collections: Shrunken heads from Peru contains the keywords SHRUNKEN, HEAD, PERU and COLLECTION, all things that people are likely to look for in Google.

Uttaranchal-II – A Road Less Travelled

A hot cup of tea, misty morning and the picturesque Himalayas in front, mornings could never be better than this. A good night sleep did cast its magic on us. It is lovely to see morning hours with a different view.

“Blessed are those who are close to nature” The serene and unpolluted environment fills the people of mountain with exuberance and a life time gift of sparkle & innocence on their faces.Their expectations and needs are very limited which in turn makes them content & cheerful.

Living on the edges: Most of the houses are constructed by cutting the mountains. When my friend told to us that their backyard opens in the mountain, my son couldn’t believe till he saw the rocks and muddy piles by himself.

It is amazing to see people climbing up and down the mountain several times in a day, as if they are climbing stairs in an apartment. Children walking up the hill with the school bags, cow boys taking their cattle for grazing and pahari women climbing with huge baskets on their back for collecting fodder.

Didihat: Situated at 1.725 mt. above sea levels in Pithoragargh district of Uttaranchal is a small village hardly seen on the map of India. It is situated on the pilgrimage route to Kailash Mansarovar, and is very close to Nepal border. The culture and language of the people here resembles to people of Nepal.

It is best advised to explore this pristine beauty on your own, a cab or a personal vehicle is helpful. My friend made the plan for our trip of 3 days in the place, and her husband sportingly accepted to take us in his car to all these places.

First day of our trip was planned for Munshiyari, a place famous for trekking and as a starting point to the Kailash Mansarovar. We avoided trekking to the glaciers with small kids and opted to see the natural beauties on the land instead.

Munshiyari: It is a hub of activity for people opting for trekking and exploring glaciers such as Pindari glaciers. From Munshiyari the mountain ranges of Himalayas are much clearly visible, especially Panchachuli the five famous mountain rangers of Himalayas. The place has abundance of natural beauties to enjoy.

A friend indeed: As per plan we slept early, as we decided to start our trip to nearby places at around 6 am. To our surprise a big travel bag with home cooked lunch and other eatable was ready. Which my friend and her husband prepared in the wee hours of morning! They did not want us to eat outside when traveling with kids.

This heart felt welcome extended to us was indeed moment to be cherished for life.

Time for a break: We found a good place to sit and enjoy our home cooked food with nature. The place was an under construction botanical garden and gave an ample opportunity for the kids to explore nature, looking out for butterflies and wild flowers. The food was excellent with a pahari touch to it and the hot cup of coffee refreshed all of us.

Betuli Dhar: All ready and set to go, we started our trip at 6 am in the morning. A panoramic view of sun captured our eyes, as the sky was sprinkled with orange, yellow and red hues. Sunrise is difficult to see on mountain due to misty mornings and jungle fire. Birds flying away in search of food, farmers getting ready for a hard days work and the gentle and cold breeze. Life is bliss!

Betuli dhar is a waterfall and is one of the major attractions in Uttaranchal. To reach the waterfall there are 200-300 steps to climb and a rough terrain to cross. We climbed the steps but could not get the courage to cross the rocky terrain with the kids. It was a beautiful experience, similar to trekking at a small level.

A quick trip to another Country: Kali river was accompanying us throughout our trip; it becomes more vibrant as we reach near the Jhulaghat, the bridge that connects Uttaranchal to Nepal.

The bridge is a marvelous architect structure. It was a bit scary to walk on the bridge, which has no support in the middle and shakes vigorously when one walks on it.

My son wanted to cross the bridge and touch Nepal. With the permission of the Indian security guards we crossed the bridge and stepped into Nepal a foreign terrain without any penny spent. Had a talk with Nepalese people and took a few snaps.

The trip took the whole day and we were exhausted. Reached home and had a typical pahari meal of rice, rajma and a salad of Timur seeds powder.

Shirakote Temple: The next day was reserved for visiting this exquisite temple, which is built on mountain. It is dedicated to lord Shiva. Many community festivals are held here at regular intervals. Visiting the temple is a great experience in itself. Though the way to temple is quite steep and rough with over 500 steps to climb, a walk along the nature never let us feel the tiredness.

After reaching the temple and the summit of the mountain, we were transformed altogether to a different world. Gusty cold winds and the leaves dancing making a beautiful music. It was as if the world has stopped for those moments, with no noise pollution and strains of the city life.

The temple has an array of huge bells in copper, which when hit with force, makes a loud sound audible even on the plains in the city. From the temple one can see a panoramic view of whole Didihat. We did prayers and stayed there for a while.

Exploring the local areas: The last day was reserved for visiting Didihat. The markets in Didihat are bustling with activities and goods that have made their way from Nepal. Purchased a few nick knacks from the local market.

My friend gifted me a natural flower drink, which I found out has anti oxidant properties and is very beneficial for overall health.

It is made with a flower similar to Hibiscus and is called Barose flower in local language.Since the natural drink is not patented by any company, we had to make do with the empty wine bottles, which were used to fill the concentrate.

Evening was spent in a walk down the valley to my friend’s farmhouse. Exploring the wild fruits and flowers on the way was quite an experience for my kids, who were amazed and confused as to how anyone could stay without television and computers!

With a heavy heart we bid good-bye to my friend and left the place with the warm generosity extended to us etched in our memories forever. The trip made us realize that traveling is more than just seeing a few places and visiting monuments. It is all about exploring nature and being one with it.

Lite recipes for right health. Quick-to-cook, easy and healthy recipes for busy couples, bachelors and all those for whom time is precious. Articles on health and eating right will help you combine nutritional benefits of various food in your cooking.

Adventure Travel – North Dakota

Adventures in North Dakota

Travel along Sheyenne River Valley Scenic Byway your reward will be sixty three miles of a snaking river, wild life, stands of trees, orchids and farms of the beaten path. The Sheyenne River is noted for traveling by canoe travel in a canoe into the river and enjoy the beautiful views. Camping along the river you will find camp grounds that can only be reached by foot or canoe. It is rumored that vikings actually visited this area. You will find it peaceful and restore your sense of well being with a day spent here.

Adventure to the Elk Horn Ranch owned by Theodore Roosevelt now a national park along the Little Missouri River. There is a two hundred and thirty eight acre reserve and travel back to a simpler time. Hiking along the river you will hear and see many birds and enjoy the solitude of the area.

Travel through North Dakota along the Missouri River the further west you travel you will find the most interesting places along the water. The Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled through this area in search of the Pacific Ocean. The Lewis and Clark State Park is situated along Lake Sakakawea offering views of sandstone bluffs, fishing for rare fish species, camping with some cabins available. The diverse plant life in the area will have you viewing rare birds, wild life and give you a sense that all is right with the world.

Adventure into North Dakota would not be complete without a visit to the badlands. Visiting the Little Missouri State Park will give you limited access to the area by car. There are two camping sites in the park and many scenic hiking trails within its boundaries.

You can really only see the beautiful vistas and the wild life and true sense of this place by hiking or horseback riding into the park. Here is where you can see what the Native Americans fought so hard for, find that special spot that makes you wonder if anyone has seen this before. If you are looking for a special place to spend some time in North Dakota you have found what Theodore Roosevelt was so moved by he started his campaign to preserve some of the nation always.

Traveling through North Dakota adventure will find you along the rivers, the scenic grasslands and beautiful vistas.

Traveling to Europe with Your Digital Camera?

The Vacation Season is fast approaching and naturally you will be taking your digital camera along for the journey. After all your vacations are far and few between and it is nice to look back on those memories as you slave away at your job. However, when you travel with a digital camera, it is a completely different experience from that of traveling with a film camera. This is a lesson that far too many travelers seem to be learning the hard way, especially if you’re traveling to Europe. After a couples years of relying solely on digital camera for taking photos when I travel, there are things you should consider before you head off on your next trip.

Charging Batteries is one of the biggest stumbling blocks you’ll face when you travel. Outlets can be scarce in hotels. On a recent trip to Europe, only one of the five modern hotels I stayed in had more than one outlet available for use when charging up electronics. Charging your battery can be more of a hassle if you’re traveling by train: If you take an overnight train in Europe, they don’t have power adapters at the seats (certain trains do, but it’s not something you can count on). I suggest bringing at least two rechargeable batteries, three if you plan to travel with overnight trains, or don’t think you’ll be able to charge every night. If your camera uses regular AA batteries, consider yourself lucky-you’ll find those everywhere. Scope out the situation in your room when you check in: You should get at least one usable outlet, but don’t count on more than that.

Bring your plugs. Some digital cameras typically come with a power brick that can handle international voltages, so you won’t need a voltage adapter. However, you will need a power plug adapter to convert a US outlet plug to the local plug. Most of Europe is on the same outlet now-but not all countries accept the general “Europe” plug. Be sure to research what you’ll need to jack in, and try to buy it before you leave (try CompUSA, Radio Shack, Rand McNally, or your local luggage store). If you don’t have a chance to get what you need Stateside, don’t fret: You should have no trouble finding an outlet converter overseas.

How do I offload my images? For fellow travelers using digicams, this was the number one problem I have heard repeatedly. Many comments from folks traveling for a week or more are: “I’m taking more pictures than I expected to.” “I’m not shooting at the best resolution, because I need the room on my memory card.” “I’m only halfway through my trip, and I have only 50 shots left.” When you travel, odds are you’ll take more pictures than you expect to also. A 1 GB card is very useful, and should suffice for low-usage shooters. But for those of us, who can go through a gigabyte or more in a day, not a week? Whether it’s because your a high-volume shooter, shooting in RAW format, or a combination of the two. What I discovered is many who had digital SLRs, that had 5 megapixel or more reported they were traveling with a laptop to off load their images. None of these folks were traveling on business, so they didn’t need to bring a laptop along. The sad fact is, for now, a laptop remains the most efficient and usable means of off loading images. Epson and Nikon have dedicated handheld units with a hard drive, card reader, and LCD display for copying over and viewing your images. But neither has a full-blown keyboard.

If you’re first buying a laptop, and intend to travel with it, I suggest going for the smallest one you can. Fujitsu, Panasonic, Sharp, and Sony all have models under four pounds. A laptop provides several additional advantages. For one thing, you can see your pictures on a big screen-to view how you’re doing, and if you see any problems you want to correct with your exposure, for example, or if your pictures are being affected by dirt. For another thing, you can properly label your folders, so you know which pictures were taken where.

Most newer laptops have integrated memory card readers, but otherwise, you can buy a small external card reader. For the wire-free approach, use a PC Card slot adapter for your memory card; and invest in a 32-bit Cardbus adapter (Delkin and Lexar Media offer these), for speedier transfers. Nothing’s worse than coming back to the hotel after a long day of sightseeing, and needing to stay awake another 40 minutes just to off -load two 1 GB cards, at about 20 minutes a pop. If you bring a laptop, I also suggest investing in a portable hard drive.

A portable hard drive can serve multiple purposes: It can be a means of backing up your photos on the go; a means of giving you a way to take your photos with you if you have to leave your laptop unattended; and a means of expansion, if you somehow manage to fill up your laptop’s built-in hard disk. If you don’t want to bring a laptop, and already have an Apple iPod, Belkin sells an attachment for using your iPod with memory cards; or, consider the pricey units from Nikon and Epson. And if you’re in a bind, remember you can always buy memory overseas.

I was surprised that when I went to Europe, the prices were high, but not so outrageously so that I wouldn’t buy another card if I were in a bind. Cards were more readily available, too, than they were when I last traveled through Europe three years ago. Look at it this way: Even if you overpay on the card, you can still reuse it-which beats overpaying for a single use 35mm film cartridge when you were in a bind in years’ past.

Be prepared for problems. Things happen when you travel and I’ve had more things go awry carrying my digital SLR than I have had with my 35mm over the years. Lens paper is always useful to have on hand, but if you have a digital SLR, another supply is absolutely critical: An air blower bulb, to blast out the dust and dirt that will inevitably get trapped inside your camera. I never had problems with my 35mm SLR, but with my digital SLR, I constantly find dirt gets trapped inside, when I change lenses. And there’s nothing worse than having a splotch marring your otherwise awesome shots. Finally, remember the philosophy of redundancy.

Whether your battery dies and you have no way to charge it, or you run out of space on your memory card(s), and don’t want to buy another at a higher-than-usual price, I suggest packing a second camera if you can. A digital point and shoot is a good option but I usually carry a point and shoot 35mm to use if I run into any problems just so I won’t lose any precious pictures.

A Prolific South Carolina Travel Author and Writer

Today, Norm Goldman, Editor of Bookpleasures.com and Sketchandtravel.com is excited to have as our guest, Barbie Perkins-Cooper.

Barbie is a playwright, travel writer, author and an award winning screenwriter. Barbie lives in Charleston, South Carolina and is an expert on SC as well as North Carolina and other geographical areas. Barbie is also the author of a soon to be published Insides’ Guide to Asheville, NC

Good day Barbie and thank you for agreeing to participate in our interview.

Norm:

Please tell our readers a little bit about your personal and professional background. When did your passion for travel writing begin and when did you start traveling? What keeps you going? How do you come up with ideas for what you write? What methods do you use to flesh out your idea to determine if it’s salable?

Barbie:

Thank you Norm. It is a pleasure to be here and to discuss travel writing. I have been a writer since the third grade of elementary school. My first science fiction story was published many, many years ago, all to the credit of my third grade teacher and father. Of course, like most kids, I failed to see the thrill and passion of writing until later in life. In the 1980’s I suffered from depression and started writing again. Looking back, I discovered I did have a flair for words, so I joined a writers group giving myself ten years to achieve something, or I’d only write for fun and family letters.

In 1994, after writing my first screenplay, I entered a few screenplay competitions, after suggestions from my agent, and I was selected as a finalist. My passion for travel writing started in 2003 after attending a travel writing workshop hosted by Sharon Spence Lieb. She inspired me so much that I had to put my credentials to the test. Within 24 hours, I had my first FAM trip. I have been working as a travel writer since October 2003. At first, it was a struggle, but with each decline, I persevered, determined to achieve my goals.

Since I write (and revise) my goals every January, my goal for 2005 was to target guidebook publishers. I developed a proposal, based on the Charleston, SC community. Because I was still working full-time at a college, like most writers, my desk was stacking high with e-mails and snail mail to read. I targeted the higher paying markets, at first.

In December 2004, I submitted a query to a travel guide site, pitching an idea about Charleston. The editor responded stating she had just finalized the Charleston guidebook but she liked my style and wanted me to keep in touch. Flash forward to May of 2005. The clock was ticking as my job was downsized and I had no clue what I would do after June 2 when my career in the Corporate World ended. I knew I wanted to write, so I reread my dusty goals, and those cluttered e-mails, finding the correspondence with the editor. Quickly, I sent her another e-mail, and within minutes (or so it seemed) she responded, wanting a proposal from me within three days. I wrote the shortest proposal in history and sent it to her.

After a few weeks of negotiations, we agreed on the contract and now I am working on my first guidebook, Insiders’ Guide to Asheville, NC, scheduled for publication in the spring of 2007. My father lived in Asheville for many years, and I have several friends there, so I felt comfortable writing about the city. After that doorway opened, a few magazines I had targeted previously responded to my queries and now, I am publishing travel stories on a regular basis.

The things that keep me going are the people, places, and things I discover while traveling. I love meeting the people and discovering the flavor of the area.

On a recent trip to one of the devastated areas from Hurricane Katrina, I met a displaced man from New Orleans. Although he had relocated, he still had a passion for life. He will be a character I use in a story. The stories I discover at each location inspire me to look deep within to discover the actions and characters revealed. Not only is there a character, there is adventure.

While traveling, you get to try new adventures you never anticipated before. On a trip to Alabama, we visited the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. My goal and dream as a teenager was to become a famous singer. Unfortunately, I never pursued that dream until I stepped into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, and there, I was able to record a song while the group cheered me on. My dream was now reality!

On a trip to Kentucky, I interviewed blue grass musicians, coal miners, male quilt makers, and singers. During each interview, I discovered that regardless who they were, despite all of the adversities in life, these people held a passion for life in their hearts, and a love for their town and artistry. Each time I meet and interview someone, I am inspired with new stories to tell. On another trip, I met a mother who was desperate to save her daughter’s school in Kentucky. The more we talked, the more I realized this was a story I needed to tell others, and I am still sending queries pertaining to her story and the educational plans of Kentucky.

The methods I use to determine if a story is marketable are to determine the angle I will use and I research the markets, answering the questions:

Who is the story targeting to and what angle?

What markets may I approach?

Who cares about this story?

Resources I use weekly are:

Writersmarket.com

Writer’s Guidelines, 4th Edition by Brigitte M. Phillips, Susan D. Klassen, and Doris Hall

The Internet

Fortunately, after many hurdles, I now have editors approaching me about story ideas. It’s taken me years to accomplish this, but it is exciting to finally have regular assignments. Nevertheless, I still have a goal of sending five query letters out weekly, and I have an idea spreadsheet that I update with new story ideas, almost on a weekly basis. I encourage all writers to write goals down. Build an ideas file, update on a regular basis, and never give up. Always remember, one editor’s rejection will be another editor’s acceptance. It has certainly happened to me, and each time, I’ve submitted that same query, or an updated version, to another market.

Norm:

As you are very familiar with South Carolina, if you had to choose eight of the most romantic venues for a wedding celebration, honeymoon, or romantic getaway, which ones would you choose and why?

Barbie:

Eight romantic venues in the South Carolina area for weddings would be:

Any of the beautiful churches in the downtown area of Charleston are romantic and stunning for weddings. There are so many that it would be really hard to choose which one, although St. Michael’s Episcopal Church is the one that really stands out in my mind.

Grace Episcopal Church is another breathtaking beauty for a wedding. The architecture, statues, and ceilings are stunning.

Sullivan’s Island Beach I’ve seen several beach weddings along the shores of Sullivan’s Island. With the backdrop of the ocean, and the sand dunes along the shore, the view makes for a beautiful setting.

Alhambra Hall a garden wedding on the lawn, overlooking the harbor of Charleston and our new signature bridge the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge. Many of the weddings are held on the lawn, decorated with all white chairs draped in white bows, ribbons, and flowers, lining the walkway for the bride. One particular wedding had a red and white theme, a red carpet, white chairs and the bridal attendants dressed in red. This was an afternoon wedding and was gorgeous. At Alhambra Hall, the reception may be held either outside or in the fellowship hall area. This building was remodeled after Hurricane Hugo and it is a beautiful, romantic setting for receptions, weddings, and family reunions. Book it early it usually has a long waiting list!

Magnolia Gardens Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is another dramatic place to hold a wedding, especially during the spring time when the gardens are in full bloom. There is a beautiful white bridge serving as a backdrop that makes a gorgeous site, also, a gazebo. Since the trend in Charleston is to host a wedding outside near the gardens, Magnolia Plantation is definitely a romantic place to make the special, romantic times of a wedding spectacular.

Park locations including the Waterfront Park, located in downtown Charleston, White Point Gardens, Hampton Park, and Washington Park. Waterfront Park provides the scenery of the harbor, and deep in the horizon a view of the new bridge previously mentioned. The other parks have breathtaking views serving as a mesmerizing backdrop, so any of the parks in Charleston, especially during the spring time, can make a beautiful wedding. For additional information about park weddings visit HERE

The Citadel If you’ve never visited Charleston and driven by the Citadel, you are missing a great picturesque view. Summerall Chapel hosts a variety of weddings. The campus, complete with landscapes, interesting architecture and military history is beautiful. CLICK HERE

Boone Hall Plantation with the sweeping landscapes, plantation home, and the history attached to Boone Hall Plantation, this is the perfect location to have a traditional Southern wedding, full of charm, heritage, and romance that would make Scarlett and Rhett envious.

In the Charleston community, there are so many romantic and beautiful sites it is truly difficult to narrow the locations down to only eight. Since I love the ocean, I enjoy the beauty of the city at the Battery, and while walking along the beach. For additional sites to consider, CLICK HERE

Norm:

What does travel mean to you? As a traveler and fact/story-gatherer, what is your biggest challenge on the road and how do you overcome these challenges.

Barbie:

If I had to define travel, I would define it as a thrilling adventure and exploration about life and people. I find people fascinating. I enjoy watching them, their body language, and their zest for life. Almost everyone has a story to tell and to share.

The biggest challenge I have while traveling is sometimes I am so rushed I don’t have enough time to get all the ideas completed. These ideas dance inside my head until I can get them down on paper. That is why I always ask for contact information because I know I’ll have additional questions when I transcribe the notes.

I practice the idea of following up by sending thank you letters within two weeks of my trips, and I try to point out something significant that happened during my trip. Another practice I strive for is to take photographs plenty of digital photographs! If I have an image as reference, my brain will usually retrieve the information.

Norm:

Besides writing travel articles, what other writing gigs have you found profitable or rewarding? As a follow up, you have written in various genre, which ones do you prefer, i.e. travel writing, screen writing, etc

Barbie:

You’ll laugh when I share this information! Although I am a travel writer, many of my credentials are in construction. Since my husband was in construction for many years, I broke into the construction industry, writing stories about highway roadbeds, tilt wall construction, bridge construction, shopping center renovations, John Deere and Komatsu equipment, and a few stories about the construction workers.

Although the pay wasn’t well, it was a stepping stone for me to break into magazine and newspaper writing, and the stories were regular, dependable assignments. Other genres I’ve written for include health and beauty, elder care, business journals, hospitality, food, bedding (a recent story about the new Revive Marriott bed) military venues, and of course, travel.

In 2001, I published a non-fiction memoir titled A Condition of Limbo. I’ve also written seven screenplays, four plays, and I am presently writing a memoir titled, Chattahoochee Child. In October 2005, that story won second place at the South Carolina Writers Workshop writer’s conference held in Myrtle Beach, SC. Lately, most of my time is spent on my guidebook. The deadline for the final project is scheduled for June 2006, with the spring 2007 as the publication date. I am excited about this project and continue to schedule time to write travel stories.

Norm:

What advice would you give to someone who is considering going into travel writing in order to achieve success?

Barbie:

My friends tease me constantly about writing so much, but as we know, life is a challenge. Life is much too short to look back with regret, so every day, I strive to make the most of that day. Writing is something I attempt to schedule on a daily basis, although as writers know, life does have a way of breaking into the demands of our busy lives. Writers must continue to work towards their goals and dreams and never give up. We must persevere with belief and pride for what we do.

The best advice I would give to a writer considering travel writing is to learn all that you can learn and to establish your goals every January. I am constantly adjusting my goals, but for 2005, my goal was to land a book contract. Following the guidelines I wrote, I achieved that goal this year by following up with editors. I have a notebook on my desk titled Follow up. I file all comments from editors, contacts, etc. in that booklet and refer to it at least once a month.

Networking is crucial. Last week while on a press trip I met an editor and now I have an assignment with her. Networking is the key.

If truly interested in travel writing, contact the Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVB’s) introduce yourself along with your credentials and request consideration to be added to their press list. I have made many contacts by doing this. Most of them are most receptive to assisting with story ideas and they will make suggestions.

Another suggestion is to start out slow. I made the attempt to break into the bigger markets, only to discover the majority of them have staff writers they use. I write for trade and regional magazines, and now I’m writing a guidebook. The most important suggestion I would tell anyone wanting to break into travel writing is to never give up. A writer must keep marketing. Build a web site (or hire someone else to do this for you). I am not a web master, so I use resources that will assist me. Carry business cards everywhere, and introduce yourself as a writer. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, how can others believe in you?

Norm:

Is there anything else you wish to share with us that we have not covered?

Barbie:

Yes, I would like to end this interview by saying you must move forward and believe in yourself. Whenever a writer receives a rejection, move on to the next submission. Once, for a construction magazine, I sent a spec assignment, only to discover the editor did not like it. He phoned me stating that he was returning it because it did not meet his needs. I thanked him and moved on, looking for another market. Exactly 24 hours later, I received a phone call from the same publication, but a different editor. He stated he needed an invoice to pay me for the story. I was shocked, stating that only yesterday I was told it was being returned. He replied that he was the new editor and was publishing the story verbatim and he needed an invoice.

This is only one example of how we must persevere. What is one editor’s rejection could be another editor’s acceptance. Never give up! Find your stories while looking for the unique characters. Develop your voice and style. Listen to what your editors say, but believe in your talent, passion, and ability to communicate. Practice your goals, readjust when necessary, and make certain you follow up and practice what you preach to others.

Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors.

Strategy 2 for Extraordinary Travel: Have a Well-Designed Plan, Adapted To Your Liking

When you travel in the great trip style, your trip will be independent but well planned. You will be traveling to places that are so remarkable, and seeing things that are so interesting, you will immediately begin to reap the benefits of traveling independently. Before you leave on your trip, you will adapt your trip to your own preferences, interests, style and pace. And you will have the flexibility of altering your timing according to your interests… to pause and fully experience what strikes you.

Traveling anywhere you please using the great trip travel style, either by using a pre-planned trip book of your choice, or by carrying out your own investigation and planning, you will have a complete trip blueprint, based on in-depth research. You will have a good idea of what your options are before you arrive. So you will be able to avoid the frustration of missing out on rich opportunities you really would have liked to experience “if only you had known in time.”

Lack of preparation can add to stress levels on any trip, especially a trip to a foreign country like France or Italy, where people speak a different language, and you may have limited access to the internet while you are traveling. Doing some preliminary groundwork before you leave home will make a tremendous difference in how smoothly your trip goes, and how much fun you have along the way.

With a little pre-planning, and by observing a few simple keys to being a more balanced traveler, you will have better experiences and more fun, and be assured of a great trip every time you travel. These keys include:

1. Balance your trip with a range of activities.

2. Maintain a comfortable pace.

3. Avoid traveling with the crowds.

4. Keep your trip relaxed and fun.

5. Adapt your trip to your liking.

Balance Your Trip with a Range of Activities

You will have the best experience if you maintain variety in what you do. Too much of anything can get tiring. More does not necessarily mean “better,” even for activities that are immensely interesting to you.

As an example, two castles a day, for three days in a row, is definitely out of balance. If you attempt this pace, the charm and the magic, the history and the amazement, will be lost. Stop at four per trip! By the time you reach your fifth castle, you will be on “château overload,” dragging yourself through the motions, and thus “wasting” a castle. It will be much better to save some castles for another year, and intersperse other types of activities into your castle days to break things up a bit.

Maintain a Comfortable Pace

Often travelers try to pack in as much as they possibly can, thinking that by doing so they will get more value for their money and have a more enriching experience. While this may seem to make sense intellectually, it can be a recipe for disaster. It’s easy to get so caught up in the excitement of trying to do everything that you end up feeling rushed and exhausted by the overly-aggressive pace you have imposed on yourself. Ultimately, such errors in pacing can make the enjoyment go out of the trip, or even cause you to get sick. And this you do not want, for numerous and obvious reasons.

While you are on your great trip, traveling independently with your trip-in-a-book guide or your own detailed plan, you will be in control of the pace of your trip. When you need more time, take it. When you spot something marvelous, stop and enjoy it. Lounge on the steps outside d’Orsay, listening to the marvelous pianist playing his full-sized piano on the sidewalk. Hang out watching the sidewalk artist beside the Pompidou Center as he completes his chalk drawing masterpiece. If you discover an organ concert in progress in Notre Dame, take the time to listen to it for as long as you like.

When you are out and about, there’s no need to push yourself too hard. Give yourself permission to slow down, to take “power pauses” to recharge your batteries, and to experience things that pop up along the way. Sometimes “less is more.”

Often you will be walking… at your own pace, pausing where you wish. On your strolls through the elegant Tuileries Gardens, with its vibrant colors and striking sculptures, you will reach a large pond surrounded by inviting chairs, where Parisians gather to sit and bask in the sun. And you will have the freedom to find yourself a chair and join them before you climb the hill to stand in awe surrounded by the misty loveliness of Monet’s waterlily murals in l’Orangerie.

If you have a yen to linger over a coffee, or a glass of wine in a café… If you feel that you’re at the end of your rope and need to sit awhile on a park bench to regain your energies, while watching the parade of people passing by… Even if you’ve just had enough for the day… Set your own pace. When it suits you, especially on the day after a strenuous travel day, allow yourself the luxury of a slow morning, with a relaxing breakfast. Ease into your day as you would on a Saturday at home, after a hard week at work.

Remember, this is your vacation, to be spent as you like. There is no need to set new records of how many museums and attractions you can see in one day. Traveling is not about doing everything you possibly can. It’s about relaxing, unwinding and having great experiences.

Avoid Traveling with the Crowds

When you travel with a group, every place you go will be crowded because you are a crowd. By definition, traveling in the company of 30 others produces a constant reality of “hurry up and wait.” You will suffer through long lines for hotel check-in, to purchase tickets, and to use the restroom. At restaurants, you will be one of 30 people placing your dinner orders at the same time, then awaiting the arrival of your drinks and food, and later your check.

On your great trip travelling independently, you will be in crowd-avoidance mode, moving against the crowds, not with them. Wherever you encounter swarms of people, and see that the lines are building up, you will have the flexibility to go somewhere else instead, then come back later when the crowds disband. So you will be able to admire Monet’s pond lilies, or Van Gogh’s self-portrait, or the model of da Vinci’s rotating bridge, without throngs of people blocking your view. And you will be first in line for ice cream in da Vinci’s park. In Paris you will have in your pocket the “magic” Museum Pass that will allow you to skip the lines at museums. And you will have advance tickets to avoid the lines at the Eiffel Tower.

While you visit the châteaux of the Loire Valley, you will have the time freedom to fully explore these phenomenal and historical palaces, inside and out. If there are crowds blocking the door to Chenonceau, you will be able to shift the order of your visit to take in the gardens first and delay your entry to the palace itself until after the masses have dispersed. You will have time to wander the gardens, as well as to visit the ballroom and royal chambers. And, if you so choose, you will be free to pause for lunch right there, sitting at an outdoor table, with a view of the castle.

When you visit Mont Saint-Michel, again you will enjoy the considerable benefits of traveling against the crowd, moving about in a pattern that separates you from the throngs. Since you will be staying overnight on the Mont, by the time the masses arrive and flow like a torrent through the gates, you already will have climbed up to the Abbey at the top. When the hordes complete their climb to reach the entrance to the Abbey, you will be making your way back down by way of the ramparts.

As the throngs flood the restaurants on the Mont for lunch at noon, racing to bolt down a meal in time to get back to their buses, you will be at liberty to snack on the cheese and crackers you gathered earlier, and wait to dine later, after the streets have emptied and you have the Mont more to yourself. So you will dine at a window table as you watch the spectacle of the tides advancing across the sands at the speed of galloping horses, until the sea surrounds the Mont and renders it an island again.

Keep Your Trip Relaxed and Fun

Have you ever been on a vacation that turned out to be more stressful than your normal work and life at home? Let’s face it, traveling anywhere can be remarkably challenging, whether it be visiting relatives nearby, making your way to a national park you’ve always wanted to see, or embarking on a grand adventure overseas. You find yourself plucked out of your comfort zone and in unfamiliar territory. But travel doesn’t need to add to your stress level, raise your blood pressure, or make you run for antacid tablets.

Go easy on yourself. Anytime you travel and step out of your comfort zone, the number of things that can “challenge” you dramatically increases. Cut yourself some slack when traveling. There’s no reason to get upset when things that are normally simple, and a matter of routine, trip you up and get in your way.

For example, when traveling in a foreign country like France where you don’t speak the language, even finding a restroom can be a challenge. The food is not what you’re used to, and asking simple questions with unfamiliar phrases from a book can feel daunting and embarrassing. Even going to the pharmacy to buy basic essentials can be an ordeal, with unfamiliar brands, not to mention that everything is in French.

Allow yourself some extra time to “flounder” a bit. Quickly get over any initial shyness you have about asking for help whenever you need it. These “permissions” can make a huge difference in how smoothly your travel days will go. And you will be surprised at how quickly the French people will make every effort to assist you once you overcome your hesitations about asking for help.

If you let the intriguing uniqueness of the French culture and lifestyle be part of the adventure of your trip, you’ll find yourself eliminating stressors, having a lot more fun, and making friends along the way.

Adapt Your Trip to Your Liking

Make adaptations to your trip based on your own particular interests, adding more of the types of activities that you will particularly enjoy. And don’t forget to keep your travel partner’s interests in mind when you do. One way to ensure that neither of you tires of a single type of activity, is to take turns deciding what comes next for the day.

The Day Pages in each pre-planned trip book, or that you will set up for yourself, will provide you with a full schedule, and lots of specifics. But what if you discover that tomorrow is Market Day? Or you hear enchanting pan flute music drifting down the shopping street and emerge onto the square to find live performers playing in the sun beside a café that faces a lovely old church?

What if you spot a shop that sells Santons-those remarkably detailed artisan-created figurines, popular for collecting, that portray all the chief characters in the village including the baker, the “goose girl,” the old couple, the crazy man, and the ladies of Provence, as well as Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the shepherds and the Wise men? Or when you encounter a wine-tasting tour in the candle-lit catacombs of a former abbey?

When these and other golden opportunities present themselves, you are free, even encouraged, to deviate from the plan, alter your path, and otherwise seize the moment, then rearrange as needed. Take advantage of happy coincidences that occur. Experience Market Day. Listen while the pan flute music soothes your soul. Pause in the Santon shop to pick out a few figures that strike your fancy-maybe the woman carrying a basket of lavender or the little drummer boy.

When you happen upon the old abbey that offers wine tasting in its crypt, pay the few Euros for your tasting cup, and pick up a form to record your descriptions and scores of the wines you taste, placing asterisks beside your favorites. Then walk through the catacombs, pausing in front of the wine barrels to pour yourself samples by the light of the candle.

As you shift your plans for the day to get the most from unforeseen opportunities, you may need to do some rearranging of what you had planned, according to what is most important to you. But you will always have your original Day Pages as a guide to help you avoid missing out on any of the “must see” items at the top of your list.

As you make choices, and reprioritize how you spend your time on this trip, remember that you likely will return here again in years to come. So you will have other chances to do what you miss doing this time.

How Do You Stay Fit While Traveling-Even On A Romantic Getaway?

Today Sketchandtravel.com and Bookpleasures.com are pleased to have as our guest, Jim Kaese, an elite amateur triathlete, entrepreneurial businessman, and endurance sport coach.
Author of The Athletic-Minded Traveler: Where to Work Out and Stay When Fitness Is a Priority,
Jim visited America’s top 78 travel destinations to find the very best hotel/fitness-venue combinations.

Welcome Jim to Sketchandtravel.com and Bookpleasures.com.

Norm:

Could you tell us something about yourself Jim and what provoked you into writing about the very best hotel and fitness venue combinations?

Jim:

Through the years, I traveled quite a bit for work and pleasure. In addition to finding places to stay that matched my budget and amenity preferences, I always tried to identify hotels that offered good fitness options. However, time and time again, I would show up at the hotel and discover that the state of the art fitness center was a closet-sized room with old or broken equipment. Or, the lap pool was a short oval without lane lines. Or, the running routes consisted of a map provided by the concierge that directed guests to jog around the streets of the hotel 10 times. It boggled my mind how these hotels could make such blatant misrepresentations. So, I decided to write the first cross-country guide that objectively recommends the BEST places to stay for those who enjoy healthy living and staying fit.

Norm:

Do you believe that if couples are looking for an ideal romantic getaway they should also take into account the fitness facilities, and if so, why?

Jim:

I believe everyone should take into consideration the quality of the fitness facilities including couples on a romantic getaway. Exercise not only helps boost your immunity system, lower stress, and improve your sleeping habits; it also helps your sex life. Studies have shown that healthy people have better sex and tend to be happier. And, I believe it is important to emphasize that when I say exercise,I am not talking about an hour of hard-core running or lifting weights at the gym- 20 minutes of brisk walking can do the trick.

Norm:

If you had to name 5 ideal romantic getaway hospitality properties that combine a unique romantic ambience with great fitness facilities, which ones would you choose and why?

Jim:

· San Francisco is one of my favorite romantic cities—the bridge, the fog, the rain, the restaurants, and the cultural offerings create a perfect stage for a wonderfully romantic trip. Any of the SFO hotels in my book would be great fitness/romance combinations, but the Hotel Rex is the best deal for the money. A small, intimate hotel property just steps from Union Square and China Town, Rex also provides guests with a discounted pass to a fantastic (but small) health club down the street, Club One.

· If money is no object, The Miraval Spa and Resort in Tucson is a marvelous getaway for couples looking to stay fit and be pampered. All meals are included as well as any type of exercise option you can imagine—horseback riding, lap swimming, rock climbing, etc.

· For those looking to add a little more party to their trip, Miami’s South Beach hotels are filled with romance. The Shore Club, Delano, Ritz and National are all in the book, bestowing lots of love and liveliness to their guests.

· Colorado Springs’ Broadmoor Hotel is a breathtaking resort beset by serene lakes and mountain landscape. Broadmoor’s Fitness Center and Spa is well-equipped with modern machines and a regulation lap pool. And, the nearby trails create fantastic jogging and mountain biking opportunities.

· New York City can never be left off the romance list. Several properties make exceptional romantic destinations, but Le Parker Meridien, across the street from Central Park, tops my list. It’s NYC, so expect small yet cozy hotel rooms. The Scandinavian flavor, tremendous views, and extensive on-site health club make it one of the best.

Norm:

Why should couples be concerned about fitness activities when they are away on a romantic getaway or on their honeymoon?

Jim:

Exercising for only 20-30 minutes each day will allow you to start the day healthy and help you make better choices throughout the rest of the day. Then, enjoying small indulgences like your favorite piece of pie or a few cocktails or sitting around by the pool for six hours will not seem like a big deal. Don’t forget about that improved sex too!

Norm:

How can we determine the quantity, quality, and brand of exercise equipment at recommended hotels if we never have been there?

Jim:

Buy The Athletic-Minded Traveler (laughs). In addition to providing a comprehensive written review covering everything you want to know (room appearance, room service, free breakfast buffets, sheet thread-count, etc.) about each property, we also specifically detail in chart form the quantity of exercise machines, their condition, the brands, weight/strength options, pool dimensions, running routes, etc. But, if you’re going to a city that’s not covered in the book, the best you can do is call up the concierge and ask him/her your specific questions. Sometimes it even helps to confirm with the maintenance workers.

Norm:

Very often when we vacation we seem to return home fully relaxed, however very much out of shape. How do we avoid this?

Jim:

Make exercise part of your daily routine, just like showering or brushing your teeth. When you think about it, 20 minutes is not that much time at all. Especially while on a vacation, when you don’t have to worry about going to work and all of the other hassles at home.

Norm:

There is always a temptation to overeat when we are on vacation. How can we fight off this temptation while at the same time still enjoy ourselves?

Jim:

Like I was saying before, exercise will allow you to not fret so much over what you’re eating and drinking. You may end up taking in more calories, but being active and exercising should help to burn those off fairly easily.

Norm:

Are there any food we should avoid when we are on vacation and if so, why?

Jim:

Vacation is supposed to be a break from all that troubles and worries you, right? When I go away, I like to eat the local food and experience the local customs without concerns about how many calories are in my dinner, etc. Knowing that I performed my daily workout reassures me that anything I take in will be worked off either that same day or the next. So, no, don’t worry about avoiding certain foods—just make sure to get in a daily sweat.

Norm:

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Jim:

Only that I’ve been really touched by the large number of people who have written us saying that they are so happy we wrote this book because they too were constantly frustrated by the travel industry’s ignorance about fitness preferences. Letters and emails have come from hard-core athletes as well as recreational exercisers who just like to put in 20 minutes on a good elliptical machine or bike. Our goal all along was simply to provide a reliable resource that would help people enjoy a healthy lifestyle while on the road. So far, it seems that we’ve succeeded.

Visit SOCAL PRESS.COM to view a sample chapter and find more information about The Athletic-Minded” Traveler, a first-of-its-kind travel resource for those who enjoy a healthy lifestyle and working out while on the road.

For over thirty- five years, Norm practiced as a Title Attorney and Civil Law Notary in Montreal, Canada. After his retirement from the legal profession, Norm pursued two of his passions – book reviewing and travel writing, implementing many of his research skills he had been practicing for 35 years.

Norm and his wife Lily are a unique husband and wife team, writer and water colorist, who write and paint about romantic destinations and wedding destinations.

Basically, they meld art and words in order to create an unusual travel story, which generates interest, particularly because of the fact that each painting appears to have been ‘custom-made’ for the story-original story and original art. Combining the watercolors with travel writing provides a softer, more romantic look at the places they visit.

San Diego Travel Guide

San Diego.
San Diego every traveler’s fantasy! San Diego will fill you with endless adventure; it is splendid vicinity to visit through out the year having just the perfect weather. This place is bestowed with divine breathtaking beauty to allure you. Hmmm! What bliss? Who would like to leave this piece of paradise and go back home? You can feast your eyes on nature while sitting on sandy beaches and spectacular long coastline, here you can brush off your everyday worries and let yourself loose in the nature. San Diego is a complete holiday package for family as well as couple or a loner. The events and world-class places in San Diego will keep you busy for quite a few days. You’ll long cherish your this trip to San Diego and the reveries will keep you afresh long after your visit.

San Diego mainly is famed for its great weather and captivating beaches but besides the perfect weather the events and places of San Diego is also peerless. These activities attract 30 million tourists every year with its unique amusements. The invitation of multiple breath-stopping events is open to people belonging to all varied fields of life and having different tastes. A variety of diverse entertainment and events awaits you in San Diego.

1. Events.

A whirlpool of events will surround you and leave you gasping with all the excitement. Remember you should have handsome amount of holidays in hand for your trip to San Diego, there are a lot of venues and events worth catching up with and of course you don’t want to miss any. Lovely climate of this eye-catching piece of earth allows having activities round the year. A novel specialty of San Diego is kite decorating and flying competition held in March on Ocean beach supported by the perfect wind kite-flying needs. Balboa Park offers Native American dancing, music and art exhibition in American Indian Cultural Days in May whereas things get in full swing with Block party at Pacific Beach held on Garnet Ave the same month.

Famous two days Ocean beach fair and Chili Cook-off Street bash in June is another candy for the visitors, it is coupled with three-week Del Mar Fair, a mega county fair held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, with banner musical acts and hundreds of carnival rides. Moreover US Open Sandcastle Competition is held in Imperial Beach, south of Coronado in the mid-July. Hottest month of the year August is loaded with fun and fiesta, Hillcrest city Fest Street fair is held in one of San Diego’s chirpiest inner-city areas in August. The Gaslamp Quarter party scene follows in September during the San Diego Street Scene festival. Bright, colorful, decked boats floating in San Diego’s harbor will crackle firework in your soul with its fascinating vista. This Harbor parade of decorated, dazzling lit boats in December is the next big event else than Christmas with dozens of sparkling boats floating gracefully in San Diego’s harbor.

2. San Diego Attractions.

In addition to these stimulating occasions there are other awe-inspiring must see venues that’ll fill the thirst of your nature-loving eye and give solace to your soul with its miscellany. Room on the sun kissed beaches while leaving behind your footprints on the sandy banks of San Diego let the costal breeze brush through your hair though the mild dry desert air whisper lovely unwritten melodies to you. Feel one with water; let the blue green pure water wash your lethargy away.

Sea world.

Yap! It’s time to get wet. Get drenched in water with the “soak zone” at the stunning show at sea world. Sea world alone is enough exciting attractions for the San Diego visit. It’s worth coming to this place to be transfixed by these magnificent sea-animals entertainment. You got to come early not to miss anything, as there are long lines at this place. Plus there is show timing that of course you would hate to miss and it is only repeated twice daily. Shamu the sensational gray killer whale displays the masterpiece. The tricks played by Shamu are so graceful and absorbing that by the end of the show you’ll for sure fell in love with this magnificent creature of sea. Shamu-son of sea loves to splash water on audience as a souvenir to them from him on their visit to sea world. Seeing the popularity of Shamu, Shamu the killer whale has become an unofficial symbol of the city.

You can fulfill your dream of touching a dolphin. Who can resist loving such an adorable creature? Speculate a high-energy dolphin show with state of the art special effects. You can feed them or see others feeding them. Its main lead character the star dolly decorates the dolphin show. She stands like queen amongst other fellow dolphins. Furthermore penguins, the sea otters and seals also exhibit beguiling shows. You can have your marine life choreographed with all these special animals. A unique show of land’s pets going to water and showing tricks for water is also very thrilling. If you want to have tiny winy break from seeing shows the haunted house can give you a pause tied with thrill. Furthermore you can also watch penguins, seals, dolphins, sea otters and ferocious sharks swimming through the clear blue water. Food at Sea world works like a catalyst for your tour, any meal you get is superb in its quality.

Wild Arctic though a newer attraction at Sea World but equals in amusing visitors reviving the tradition of Sea world, it provides you a glance into life under the northern seas and ice flows. The main feature of this part is that it portrays the glacier image in full spirit; you can actually smell of ice and snow and icicle drip under the canopies, which is not less than a blessing in the scorching heat of summer. Another secret to Wild Arctic’s admiration is white beluga whale in the tank at underwater viewing area. Anyways I can safely says including all the wonders San Diego’s Sea world remains the kingdom of Shamu, this is a must visit place at least once in life. There are also “Cinderella carriages” available that’ll take you to a fairyland and seal your vision with charming sea view tour along the harbor. A water ski display will add in the variety of entertainment Sea world offers. The last but of course not the least the night firework show will leave breathless with its stupendous glory.

Contemporary art museum.

San Diego beaches are only about beautiful sunshine and surfing, definitely it has much more to offer. If you are not all time party-animal and would like to be mesmerized by the nature then array of these spectacular places will entangle your attention; with your visit to every new place your enthusiasm to see the next place will be enthralled. If you are interested in history or in a more intellectual contentment, the museum of Contemporary art is just the place for you. Surrounded by glamorous and picturesque suburb of La Jolla, Museum of contemporary art beholds brilliant collections of 1960s and 70s pop art and minimalist, plus you can also scrutinize the conceptual works and cross-border art from San Diego and Tijuana. Besides this conventional type of museum you can see a more untraditional San Diego’s Maritime museum consisting of three ships. This museum contains educational tools for both adults as well as kids. These glorious vessels present an elevating vision to its audience.

San Diego Zoo.

San Diego Zoo’s world famous popularity is enough for its introduction. San Diego Zoo is standing proudly in the famous Balboa Park and is popular for a bouquet of activities. One of the main attractions of San Diego zoo is its collection of exotic animals fill you with pleasure. One day is not enough for Zoo; try to divide your tour to Zoo on two days to enjoy and see it fully. This zoo serves as real treat for kids. 10 bio-climatic zones from arctic tundra to rainforest make this Zoo more intriguing. San Diego Zoo is habitat of over 3000 animals ranging from small to endangered species of different animals. The zoo starts with plants and leads to different zones of zoo including the best part consisting on Pandas exhibition and then the huge diversity of exotic rare birds that are hard to find easily. It’s really great fun to see hippos swimming underwater through the glass-paned viewing area. You can also feed and touch plus enjoy watching the grandeur of jungle-tigers, gorillas and many more rare endangered species.

With Wild Park take a journey in to virtual world due to its geographical environment that is replicated in flora and fauna. Experience the cool sky train safari, which will provide you an overall fascinating view of Balboa Park. Gondola cars are worth taking once to feel the comfort of viewing the whole area while you mutely float along.
Mission Bay Park.

This park has San Diego’s biggest play ground. 27 miles of shoreline, 19 miles of sandy beaches, free parking, great playgrounds, picnic sites, barbecues, and basketball and volleyball courts what else you need? This place is a homeland of multiple activities like swimming, skating, bicycling, kayaking, jet skiing and waterskiing that gives fun to kids and adults. You can also take some sailing lessons, rent a boat, or play golf or tennis.

Or you can simply bask in the sun lying on the beach seeing the kids giggling on the sandy beach. Mission bay park up-to date you with helpful maps, it also have gift-shops where you can buy souvenir for your friends on your way back home.

Other places.

Besides these important places mentioned above there are still other awe-inspiring places to see. Fascinating scenic beauty will transport you in to a utopia. You should visit old Down Town San Diego to have peek in rich cultural background of this of the finest city of America. And also don’t miss these hit list places La Jolla, Cabrillo National Monument, Gaslamp Quarter, Hotel Del Coronado and Mission San Diego de Alcalá.

3. Kids event venues.

Whenever you plan vacations, the first thing that comes to your mind is what is there to interest kids where you are heading? Even most of the times we go on a holiday just for the kids so that they can enjoy, yes San Diego have a lot of potential to entertain kids of all ages along with adults at the same time.

Travel Photography – Traveling With Gear

There is a mind numbing amount of considerations when packing for your photography trip. Such as which lenses you will need, how you are going to store your photos and how you are going to carry it all around. Then there’s the pleasure of getting it all past the ever tightening luggage restrictions of airlines. A little forethought and planning can help make sure you don’t get stuck without essential equipment and aren’t burdened by what you don’t need.

The gear

Perhaps the most obvious consideration is the camera and lenses. If you have planned your itinerary already you will have an idea of the types of shots you want to take. If you haven’t, stop what you’re doing right now and do this first. Once you know what photos you want to take, you can decide on the lenses that will best help you take them. Thinking landscapes? Then don’t be without your wide angle lens. Intimate portraits? Maybe a mid range zoom would be useful.

If you are debating taking a spare camera body then don’t. Debate that is. Pack it. The last thing you need is for your camera to be stolen or break while on the road. You might not be able to find a repairer, and if you do they might not be able to fix it on the spot. That would be the end of your photo taking adventure right there. Don’t learn the hard way for the sake of a little extra weight.

Then there are all the accessories that may or may not come in handy. Should you pack that set of neutral density filters? Again, think of the types of photos you will be taking. If its landscapes, then yes, by all means put them in. If its portraits they are probably just going to take up space. This goes for the tripod as well. Usually, travel portraits are taken hand held, usually with abundant light. Landscapes however tend to be early morning or late afternoon.

Storage

Once you’ve figured out what your going to need to take your pictures, you need to put some thought into how to store them. Should you take your laptop, a portable hard drive or two, a bag full of memory cards or all of the above? How much storage you will need depends on how long your stay is and how much shooting you’ll be doing. A laptop is useful if you need to view images as you go, or want to do some editing back at the hotel room. But if not, its just one more expensive piece of equipment you need to worry about. Leave it at home. Some portable hard drives have a viewing screen so you can review your photos as you upload them, which can be handy to see if you have the shot you want and gives you the chance to go back and try again if you missed it.

As a rule, it is a good idea to have two copies of your images as hard drives are notorious for failing at inopportune times. If you have a good supply of memory cards, backup to a portable drive and store the used cards is a separate place.

Getting it around

There are a few different options for carrying your gear around with you at a location. Shoulder bags tend to be able to hold a large amount of gear, but have the disadvantage of all the weight hanging off one shoulder. These bags are a good choice if you don’t have to do too much walking, but carrying gear around like this for days can do serious damage to your back.

Backpacks have the advantage of distributing the weight evenly, making them ideal for locations where you will be doing a lot of walking. Many of them also have the extra benefit of not looking like camera bags and so tend not to draw as much attention.

Many considerations go into packing for a photography trip. But think it through and take the gear that suits the style of photography you want to do and the place you are going and it will allow you to focus more on what is around you when you get there, rather than trying to decide which lens to use and missing the shot altogether.

When Travelers Demand More Than Just a Nice Place Stay

Looking for somewhere extra special to stay? A place that really stands out, a place you dream of living or owning and somewhere that offers a level of comfort you cannot imagine experiencing in your everyday life.

Think high quality interior design, thoughtful attention to detail, state of the art kitchen, infinity pools or a jacuzzi with a view over the ocean! For most when they think of these images and words the word luxury comes to mind. For others these are words they look for when booking their next vacation, this is their criteria for enjoyment and relaxation.

When it comes to luxury rental homes the list is even more extensive. Immaculately groomed gardens, wrap around terraces; perfect for lazy afternoons spent sipping a G&T. The finest cotton sheets, the fluffiest towels and added extras such as beautiful bottles of shampoo and shower gels.

You have just booked your vacation and now expect the best. You want a higher level of comfort with luxurious touches and you want to feel exclusive and more importantly treated. We are now more than ever spending the extra dollar to experience all of these wonderful and extravagant touches.

The market has seen incredible growth over the last five years, with most new rental stock being accountable to the luxury home sector. It’s a trend that does not seem to be slowing down. 22% of leisure travelers have stayed in a luxury vacation rental as an alternative to a hotel with celebrations or family reunions high on the list of reasons for the increase.

Who are choosing to spend the extra dollars on these properties? Millennial and retirees seem to be leading the way, it’s harder than ever to purchase a new home so millennial are choosing to treat themselves and spend their hard earned cash on their yearly getaway. Most choosing luxury knowing they will never be able to afford to live or buy the equivalent property in their area. They are known in the industry as affluent leisure travelers.

The millennials are closely followed by the cash rich retirees. After years of the daily 9am – 5pm grind retirees are choosing now more than ever to live for the now. Often making the decision to spend their children’s inheritance money to treat themselves. With cash to spend and time to fill, the new generation of retirees with a zest for luxury are demanding far more than the norm.

Why do we spend money on Luxury? Believe it or not other than having spare hard earned dollars to spend, self-esteem is a huge factor in whether someone will decide to spend money on the nicer things. It gives a sense of increasing self esteem and provides a sense of belonging.

Even if you cannot afford that high end rental home, the sense of accomplishment is a driver for many consumers whether they can afford it or not. Long gone are the days when you had to save for that treat item, as credit is as readily available as ever we can spend money at any time of the day and year.

Many will choose luxury to show their wealth or gain acceptance and others will simply want to treat themselves as a one off or live a life they would never otherwise be able to afford or be part of.

The affluent rental home market is set on its path of growth as more and more; with advertisements luring us into spending and the element of our work hard and play hard society inevitably leads many people to feel like they need ‘that hard earned vacation’ and why not spend it in surroundings you would never otherwise get too.