Friday, July 18, 2008

Budget Travel - Try Thailand Trains For Cheap Asia Travel

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

I love Thailand trains and they give you a retro experience and they are more interactive than a plane as you can walk around do things like take a shower or go to the restaurant car. I know of only one plane where it is possible to take a shower and that is going to cost you a few bucks for the privilege on the Airbus A380 in first class.

You can take trains to the north almost to Myanmar or you can go into Malaysia if you are heading south, or you can get off and head to the holiday resorts near Phuket or the Gulf of Thailand beach resorts on the Thai Gulf coast.

When buying your tickets you want to have a bottom bunk and you want a car that is further back in the train, the further the better as you will be listing to the horn all night if you are at the front of the train. If you can afford first class and there are two of traveling then it is worth paying a little extra as you sleep better knowing that the door is locked and you trust everyone in the compartment. In 2nd class I always sleep with half an eye open even though I have never has a problem.

I figured out with sleeping on a boat that it is more comfortable sleeping in the direction of travel beam to stern as opposed to across the travel direction. It works out the same on a train as the Rocking side to side is reduced when you are sleeping with the direction of the train. There is more force stopping and starting then side to side so the first class is not better in that regard as far as sleeping is concerned. If there is a lot of rocking you are tense all night trying to keep your balance.

Things to bring to help stretch the budget with would your own coffee or tea which ever that you prefer. I buy Nescafe in the single serve packets, they last for ever and they take no space and it could not be easier to prepare. They are also a great deal at a touch over 3 baht a cup that works out to $0.20.

As they have hot water available on most trains in Asia I also purchase a cup of soup, I always get that in a plastic rather than a paper container so I can reuse it for the couple of packages of ramen noodles that I buy as well. It is 14 baht for the cup of soup and 6 baht for the ramen about $0.20.

I always make a point of stopping for some munchies before I get to the train station to save money there as well. I am partial to orange slices maybe for you it is gummy bears. You will want something to snack on the long ride. They normally have a food steward that comes around as soon as you leave Bangkok offering a set dinner and breakfast, 150 for the dinner, and 90 for the breakfast. I always try to take a pass on that although asking others they find it to be a nice meal. I do however go to the dinning car and grab a plate of whatever and feed my computer electricity. The dinning car is usually very entertaining at night as the locals all sit around and drink cheap beer and cheaper whiskey which they will ask you to join in as well which I am sure will result in a few laughs on your way on the train in Thailand.
Fred's new project where he reviews cheap hotels , budget guesthouses, discount accommodations and cheap international flights, but is really an excuse to go scuba diving on vacation more, Fred is in Phnom Penh Cambodia planning his next adventure travel tour. Keep up to date with Fred and to view some great pictures go to Cheap Charlies Hotels & Asia Cheapest Flights

Fred Tittle has lived and worked in holiday vacation resorts his entire life, from Lake Geneva's Playboy Club, as a rock jock for KSPN FM in Aspen Colorado, he became a PADI Pro Scuba Diver in Hawaii, diving on Maui, Kauai, Kona on the big island, and Waikiki on Oahu. He founded Eco Adventures South East Asia in Sihanoukville Cambodia. he still teaches SSI and PADI scuba diving courses and runs liveaboards in the gulf of Thailand and Asia adventure tours,

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Police Reunion Tour

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

The Police are back!

Few bands have produced as many great songs as the Police. Their seamless merging of punk rock, reggae, and new wave, made them one of the 80s biggest and best bands; hits like "So Lonely," "Every Breath You Take" and "Roxanne" are now classics. And after two decades apart, Sting, Andy and Stewart are back together and will be touring in 2007. Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime reunion!

Check out The Police Tickets
for a list of dates and concert locations. You don't want to miss this reunion tour of one of the best bands of all time.

And remember, when you buy through StubHub, you can buy tickets to sold out concerts and events, while everyone else is out of luck.


COPYRIGHT (C)2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.
budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Dirt Cheap, seven day Barbados Vacation

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel


Start packing your bags now, folks! If you want an outrageously affordable, seven day luxury vacation package to the Barbados, the time to act is now.

Check out Caribbean Hot Deals for seven wonderful nights in Barbados, starting at $359 per person at

But hurry! The sale ends July 31, 2007.


COPYRIGHT (C)2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.
budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Golf Vacations: More Golfing Than You Can Handle

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

For the golfers among us, there is nothing better than spending an entire week on the links. So what better way to spend your vacation that to book a Golf Vacation package?

Check out the hundreds of golf vacations you can enjoy, and order as many free brochures on the various packages, at Golf Resorts and Golf Vacations - Order FREE Travel Brochure!.

These golf resorts are all over the world and come in just every price range. The free brochures will provide you with all the information you need.

COPYRIGHT (C)2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.


budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

Save on Travel Commissions

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

One of the biggest complaints people have about booking their travel plans, is the high cost of travel agents' commissions, and even so-called "discount" travel web sites. By the time you book your airfare, hotel accommodations, rental car and various entertainment costs, your expenses can be jacked up by 50% or more.

But I was just looking at Directions Travel, which offers an annual flat-rate membership of $39.99 for all your travel bookings.

For most travelers, this should represent a substantial savings for even one family vacation a year. It's a great deal for anyone who is looking for a great deal on their next trip.

Check it out at Directions Travel.

COPYRIGHT (C)2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.
budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

Friday, July 06, 2007

Video of Mondovi, Italy

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

I found a wonderful "Video Postcard" of Mondovi, Italy that captures the simple, elegant beauty of this wonderful Italian town. If you are considering a trip to Italy, this is a glimpse of what you can expect in the country's unpretentious little villiages.

The video clip is on at this link.

COPYRIGHT (C)2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.
budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

Over 30,000 Trails and Topo Maps - FREE

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

Have you been bitten by the hiking, climbing, backpacking or mountain biking bug yet? Then you've probably already learned about the need for good topo maps and trail guides.

The quality of these maps and guides can mean the difference between a fantastic trail experience and disaster. Not only could your vacation depend on this equipment, your life could as well.

If you are planning such an excursion, you should check out and consider signing up for their 14 Day Free Trial. They have the most complete collection of trail maps and descriptions on the internet. Each trail comes with a detailed route description, driving directions, guidebook-quality trail maps, photos, and trail ratings and reviews from their members.

If you sign up for the Free Trial Membership, you can also find comprehensive information about National Parks, popular outdoor adventure travel activities, as well as packaged outdoor tours and tour companies for sports like kayaking, mountain climbing, scenic drives, cross country skiing, snowshoeing trails, and much more.

COPYRIGHT (C)2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.
budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

Best of Barbados

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel


If you are looking for a VERY inexpensive vacation to Barbados, look no further. Imagine a relaxing week on a glorious white sand beach, watching the crystal blue waves of the Caribbean was ashore, while you "work" on your perfect tan.

Check out all nineteen BEST OF BARBADOS, 7 day, all-inclusive packages to beautiful resorts,that start at $359 per person. These are definitely not the type of travel packages that come around very often, so don't waste a minutes' time.

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

COPYRIGHT (C)2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Win 3 Million Reward Points or Miles Sweepstakes

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

What are you waiting for? If you haven't enrolled in Marriott's Dream Destinations Sweepstakes, do so now.

Until September 30, 2007, you can enroll to win either 3 million Marriott Reward Points or 3 million airline frequent flyer miles. The contest is open to U.S. residents 18 years old or over. Just go to Special offers @ Marriott
and then click to link to "Enter Our Dream Destination Sweepstakes."

You can't win if you don't enter!

COPYRIGHT (C)2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.
budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

Get Hot Tickets To Concerts, Sports and Great Shows When You Travel

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

One of the most popular things travelers can do on a vacation is go to see shows, concerts, sporting events and premier events while you are in a new city. Go to New York and see a Broadway Play, go to Las Vegas and people want to see a spectacular show or concert. And of course for the sports fan, there are always big games that only happen once in a lifetime.

But how do you get these hard-to-get tickets? The number one site is StubHub offers every type of ticket to every kind of event imaginable, even tickets that are already sold out!

So make your next trip even more memorable, check out See Sold-Out Shows! Tickets Available on

COPYRIGHT (C)2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.
budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

Friday, June 29, 2007

Take the "Da Vinci Code" Vacation

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

Are you one of those (us) who likes to combine your vacation with exploring history and culture? The "Da Vinci Code" Vacation is only one of dozens of exciting tour packages that will slake your thirst for seeing history come alive.

You will tour Paris, London and Rosslyn, the three cities featured in Dan Brown's book, The Da Vinci Code, along with daily breakfasts, private guides through museums, fascinating discussions of books and theology, along with several gourmet dinners.

You can order a free brochure on this and dozens of other historical and cultural travel package that promises, "This is a travel adventure like no other, full of suspense, art history, spirituality, mathematical puzzles and the glories of three elegant and exciting European cities."

This is only one of many wonderful historical and cultural vacation packages you can read about that all offer free brochures for your enjoyment and travel plans. Check these out and you will want to pack your bags today.

COPYRIGHT (C)2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.
budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Super Bargain on Caribbean and Mexico Vacations

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

Guerrilla Traveler is all about finding you the best travel deals to the most exciting vacations destinations around the world. Here's proof: I have just found a great set of all-inclusive Caribbean and Mexico travel bargains starting at $564.

When these packages say "all-inclusive" they really mean "ALL."

They include your round-trip airfare, luxurious hotel accommodations, meals and non-alcoholic beverages, entertainment, gratuities and taxes, and airport transfers.

The destinations include: St. Thomas, Jamaica, Puerto Vallarta, Aruba, Cozumel and more.

Check it out at "All-Inclusive Vacation Packages"

COPYRIGHT (C)2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.
budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hurry! $50 Off Hotel Stay Ends June 30

Want to save $50 off the price of your next hotel stay? Travelocity's Put the Vacation Back Into Summer: $50 off hotels anywhere!! sale ends June 30, 2007. You must book your stay by that date but your stay can be anytime.

Here are the rules: You must book your stay with a MasterCard and your stay must be for three nights or longer. There are over 1000 eligible destinations world wide.

Don't miss this offer! Just go to and sign up before June 30. And as always with Travelocity, if you book your airfare and hotel together, you can save even more.

Stay In A Castle Hotel

When I was a boy, I loved to read stories about knights and castles and medieval history. I read and re-read Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Black Arrow," Mark Twain's "Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" and Howard Pyle's stories about Robin Hood.

If you share my love for castles and the middle ages, I have a whole realm of exciting vacation ideas for you. Check out Castle Hotels and Castle Tours - Order FREE Travel Brochure!" and learn about the dozens of castle-hotels that you can stay in when you vacation in Europe. These living museums will make you feel like you have stepped back in time, but still offer all the modern amenities and comforts for an unforgettable vacation.

Even if you simply like to collect pictures of these beautiful old castles, these free brochures will be a feast to your eyes and imagination.

Enjoy Mountain and Rock Climbing Vacations

Few adventure vacations can match mountain and rock climbing, both as a way to get that adrenaline fix you've been craving, and for simply viewing the beauties of nature from the top of the world.

If this is the kind of adventure travel you are into, there are dozens of breathtaking free brochures you can order at Climbing and Mountaineering Vacation Packages - Order FREE Travel Brochure!". You can find out about mountain and rock climbing vacations eighteen of the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and of course, Asia. You can climb the Himalayans and have memories to last a lifetime.

Check this site out and order as many free climbing brochures as you like.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Get 25 Great Travel Deals Every Week

Want to keep up on the very best new travel deals each week? Sherman's Travel offers a great way for you to find out about the kinds of fantastic deals that will have you bragging to your friends about (warning: if they already hate you for some reason, finding out that you just went on a cruise for half of the usual price might tip them over the edge).

All you have to do is subscribe to their free weekly newsletter at This Week's Top 25 Travel Deals!">, and you will get one email per week on the most ridiculous travel bargains out there.

Great Savings On European Travel

If you are traveling to several destinations within Europe, you MUST get a rail pass. Traveling by rail is the easiest, safest and most comfortable way to travel around the Continent.

And now you can save up to 50% off the price of a rail pass through "Rail Europe". Just click this link and find every affordable plan to suit your needs.

Have a great time.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Budget Adventure Travel Tips: Travel Europe With Low Airfares

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

Europe has always been a desirable vacation destination. No matter what your interests are, Europe has something to offer. If museums are your thing, France leads that pack, although the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain is a must-see for art aficionados. Italy offers the culinary delights of Tuscany and the unparalleled atmosphere of the Grand Canal in Venice. Switzerland, Italy, and France provide winter sports enthusiasts with the best in Alpine skiing. To travel Europe is to travel in time, from ancient Roman ruins to the hottest nightclubs in Paris.

For many people, to travel Africa means exploring the great savannahs. Going on safari is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, filled with unimaginable beauty and the opportunity to see exotic animals in their natural habitats. Similarly, Westerners can travel Asia to immerse themselves in cultures vastly different from their own. The contrasts that Asian destinations provide - from the bustling metropolis that is Hong Kong and the high-tech Tokyo to the rural areas of Thailand and Vietnam - challenge and delight the senses.

Even as recently as twenty years ago, if you wished to travel Europe, travel Asia, or travel Africa, it would have been a pipe dream or one that required you to spend a lifetime's worth of savings. Today's global economy, however, translates into multi-city cheap tickets that can turn virtually anyone into a continent-hopping frequent flyer.

The Internet, of course, is the key to booking cheap tickets. Although individual airlines sometimes offer specials in international travel, third party companies are often the place to turn for cheap tickets. Their proprietary search technology allows them to link to dozens and dozens of airlines, and scour airfares at the lowest possible cost.

Once you've made the decision to undertake the adventure of a multi-city trip and travel Europe, travel Asia, or travel Africa, it's time to book your airfare. The best approach to securing cheap tickets is flexibility. The more flexibility you have in your travel dates and in your destinations, the more likely you are to find the cheap tickets you desire.

With enough flexibility, you can even take a trip around the world for the cost of a single round trip airfare with a traditional carrier. Why not start at a major airline hub close to home, and see where your adventure takes you? Instead of having your heart set on flying from New York City to Paris, why not go from New York to Zurich, and then book a short flight on a smaller airline from Zurich to Paris? Small airlines often offer cheap tickets without a penalty for a one-way ticket.

If you want to see the world, you should make sure to pack a sense of adventure. That, combined with excellent Internet sleuthing skills, can make your travel dreams a reality.

Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies on the web. Visit this Travel Website and Majon's Travel directory.
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Friday, April 07, 2006

US Airways’ “Evil” Contract for Carriage

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

I don’t have permission to reprint a very important article that just appeared on Travel Plan Idea Blog at, so I am attaching a link to it instead.

An airline’s contract for carriage is basically its contract with its flying customers. You may never see it, you may not know how to find it, but by buy a ticket you have agreed to its terms.

US Airways has recently updated its contract of carriage to allow it to get away with some pretty despicable practices in the name of “customer service.”

Stay informed and be warned. Read this article before you buy another ticket on US Airways:

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation, discount adventure travel

How To Get Airlines to Treat You Like a VIP

budget adventure travel, discount adventure travel, family adventure vacation

In recent weeks I have read at least three articles about how poorly the flying public perceives the customer service provided by the airline industry. As a frequent traveler myself, I know how frustrating (and that is an extremely mild word to use here) it is when you are stuck in an airport because a pilot has not arrived on time, or a flight was overbooked or for any other reason.

But before I go any further, I should first put things in perspective. Since September 11, the airline industry has been on the ropes, financially. In the U.S. four of the five major carriers have filed bankruptcy, and not one of them has shown a profit for a single fiscal year. The industry has also reduced its workforce by 200,000 fewer people.

So, as this industry’s customers, we cannot realistically expect to receive the same level of service as we received before 9-11.

But, and this is a very important “but,” there is still no excuse for rude or indifferent behavior. On this level I am happy to report that of the two airlines I have personal experience with, American Airlines and British Airlines, their employees seem to be trying harder to be courteous, helpful and empowered to go the extra mile.

Of course this all boils down to my own personal perception, but I have generally heard more positive feedback from other travelers on these airlines.

Given all the financial problems facing this industry, how can one still get VIP treatment from airlines? Before I answer that question, I first want to say that what I am about to write in this article is not to offer pity for the airline industry or to excuse unexcusable behavior on the part of indifferent employees, but it is to offer advice in the context of the reality of the industry’s financial woes.

Let’s think about the old expression, “the customer is always right.” Clearly this is not always the case. Customers often expect and demand much more than they are entitled to. In the real world, no business can really act as if the customer is always right when customers want something for nothing. Can a restaurant give free meals? Can a store give away free merchandise? Of course not, and neither can an airline give free airfare.

But airlines are in the unique position to know which customers to give VIP treatment to: their frequent travelers. If you are a member of an airline’s loyalty program AND you truly are a frequent flyer AND if you usually travel on first or business class tickets, your VIP status with that airline will swiftly rise.

Airlines can track the profitability of each and every one of their loyalty program members. Now, what if a customer shows up and asks for special treatment, or expects something extra from the airline? If that person is not a loyalty program member, or is a member but hasn’t flown with that airline in over a year, or if that person only flies on deep discount tickets bought through an online consolidator web site, he probably will not get an extra level of VIP treatment. (He should, however, be treated with courtesy, respect and receive the proper value for his travel dollar, but he probably won’t get the VIP treatment).

Now suppose a different customer comes up to the ticket counter and travels every month or so on tickets in the mid price range. That person should expect to receive the extra request if the request is reasonable.

What is the lesson to all this? Simple: the airline industry will not be financially able to offer a lot of extra perks to all its customers for a long time to come. But you can upgrade your status with any airline by making it your sole carrier whenever possible. There are many people who are members of five or six loyalty programs and spread their travel among those airlines, usually based on the ticket price available at the time they travel. But if those same people were to concentrate on one airline, they would probably find themselves receiving VIP treatment more often.

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

budget adventure travel, discount adventure travel, family adventure vacation

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Traveling In Massachusetts

Budget Adventure Travel, Bargain Adventure Travel, Family Adventure Vacation

When visiting Boston, it’s fun to see the colleges in Massachusetts. The state of Massachusetts is an excellent state, offering you plenty to do and plenty to see in your spare time. Home to the well known and well respected Harvard University, Massachusetts proves that it’s no stranger to a great education. Whether you live in the state or you’re just looking for a great education, this is one state that you shouldn’t overlook.

Among the many traditional colleges in Massachusetts, you have Becker College, Assumption College, Bay Path College, Hampshire College, and of course Harvard University. These colleges offer two and four year degree programs, giving you everything from your associates to your bachelor’s degree. You can study many different fields here as well, including law and engineering. There are a lot of other career fields as well, everything you could possibly want to learn.

The colleges in Massachusetts also include technical, career, and even vocational colleges. These colleges offer degree and certificate programs that directly relate to specific careers, such as art, business, computers, and even massage therapy. With most of these colleges, you can complete your training in less than 2 years. Some examples of these schools include Gibbs College, Career Education Institute, and the Boston College Center. Boston is the highlight of Massachusetts, offering you the most colleges and curriculum to choose from.

Even though Boston has the most colleges in Massachusetts, Cambridge is home to Harvard University. Whether you live in Massachusetts or not you can still travel here to receive a great education. Harvard University is the biggest attraction for students to the area, as it offers you only the best. The school has the highest tuition rates around, yet it has the biggest reputation. Even though many call it the best of all colleges in Massachusetts, the other colleges are just as well. There’s several to choose from, including everything from public to private colleges. When the time comes to go to college, remember that Massachusetts has everything you need – including the infamous Harvard University.

Any or all of this article on Boston and Massachusetts may be used if you have the url Thanks from Boston Taxi.
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Budget Adventure Travel, Bargain Adventure Travel, Family Adventure Vacation

Europe Vacation - A Trip For Everyone

Budget Adventure Travel, Bargain Adventure Travel, Family Adventure Vacation

Geographically, Europe can certainly seem a long way from home, particularly if you live in the Oceanic region as I do. Americans have a somewhat better opportunity to visit Europe than we do because of the relative proximity of continental Europe, but, we hear the expression "the world is getting smaller" and it is certainly true as far as more varied opportunities with air travel become available.

The days have long gone where you had to depend upon one airline to take you from one place to another. Global partnerships seem to have alleviated all those problems and with the press of a computer key, into the fascinating world of the internet, we are able to book the dream trip without having to move away from the hot coffee our travel agents provide while compiling our best and most convenient itinerary.

I suppose it is true to say that being originally from the United Kingdom, Europe vacations perhaps do not hold the mystery for me that they do for some of my neighbors and friends. As far as I was concerned then, a Europe vacation entailed a fortnight in Spain, Italy, France, Portugal etc, etc.

This does not alter the fact though that a fortnight in the sun was still a very attractive proposition after a year of saving and the length and inclement weather of the English winter. It was indeed something to look forward to.

My outlook has changed somewhat I must admit. My last trip to Europe entailed a stop off in Germany, with a wonderful five day trip through Bavaria and back to Northern Germany and Frankfurt for a Saturday morning flight to England. This was followed by a couple of weeks touring round the "Old Country" catching up with relatives and spending a week in Ireland, the birthplace of my mother.

Other people would have much more exotic designs on European vacations. Rome and Paris I guess would have to be two of the most popular destinations on the European mainland. Not surprisingly, since both these beautiful cities have so much to offer. It may be said that you could spend two weeks in either of them and not see everything in the tourist brochures.

My next European vacation is taking the form of 26 capitals in the same amount of days. Hectic it may sound, but if there's one thing to be said of a European bus tour, it's that your only requirements are to be able to get a good night's sleep, be not too deaf to listen to the tour guide's information and make sure you make the most of the wonderful scenery that Europe has to offer - oh, and have a good pair of walking shoes!

The magic of a European vacation will never wane, no matter where you live now. But attraction to it, if the truth be known, is not just linked to Europe. We all know that many places in the world have equal beauty - if only we could see them all!

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Europe Vacation
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Budget Adventure Travel, Bargain Adventure Travel, Family Adventure Vacation

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Weekly Travel Deals Newsletter

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

One of the best ways to find great adventure travel deals is to have the deals come to you. I personally subscribe to several email alerts that keep me on top of the latest bargains out there.

By far the best of these alerts is the weekly email newsletter I receive from Shermans Travel called, Shermans Top 25. They do a lot of the work for me by screening some of the best airfare, hotel, cruise and travel package bargains every week.

It is free to subscribe, and I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in saving money on travel. Just click This Week's Top 25 Travel Deals!.

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

Friday, March 31, 2006

Adventure Travel Job Opportunities

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

Are you a confirmed adventure travel addict who finds that making a living seems to get in the way of your travel plans?

Well, I have good news for you. Adventure Travel Discount has a list of places you can earn a living as a whitewater tour guide (also known as a “river rat.”), kayaker, scuba instructor, and even working as a children’s tour guide.

Check out his site at for a listing of these fun adventure travel employment opportunities.

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

Hot Off The Web: Great Adventure Travel Deals (Maybe Even Steals)

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

I just got an email alert from American Airline’s AA Vacations that has some really great deals. So I thought I’d pass them along to you. (Please note, I do not receive any compensation for recommending these vacation packages.)

Right now, AA Vacations is offering 11,000 bonus AAdvantage miles if you stay at selected hotels if you book your vacation package between March 15 and April 15, 2006. You must travel between April 17 and June 15 or between September 1 and October 31, 2006. See there site at: for details.

Here are some of the deals they are promoting now that qualify for these 11,000 bonus miles

  • Hawaii – 6 days and 5 nights starting at $700 per person at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort.
  • Mexico -- 4 days/ 3 nights at selected Barcelo Resorts, starting at $360 per person.
  • Ireland -- 4 days/ 3 nights at selected inns and hotels starting at $220.

If you are an American Airlines AAdvantage member and would like to receive these email updates about the specials they offer from time to time, log onto their website at, submit your email address and opt in to their "NetSaver" alerts.

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Get Wet: Take An Adventure Vacation to Niagara Falls

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

This was one occasion that I was a reluctant traveler. I had seen this place in movies, History Channel specials and pictures in books, so I assumed there was nothing more for me to see.

But the rest of my family wanted to go, so I drove them all to western New York State to see Niagara Falls. I was certain I would be bored into a comatose stupor within thirty minutes…after all, it was just water running over a cliff.

As we got within a few miles of the falls, I began to hear a low sound that at first crept up on me like the white noise of a machine you aren’t aware is on until it suddenly shuts off. But as we got closer, I became more aware of the sound.

It was a deep roar that was set at a constant bass note and I finally realized what I was hearing. It was the same sound that caused Jesuit missionary, Louis Hennepin heard in 1678, to investigate its source and become the first westerner to see the Niagara Falls.

This sound was what made me begin to grasp the enormity of the falls and started me thinking this just might be a little more than some water running over a cliff.

When we finally got to the railings at the edge of the falls, I was completely hypnotized, and I remained hypnotized for hours. At one moment my eyes would gaze at the entire vast panorama of falling water from the American side to the Canadian side, about a mile across. Then my eyes would just focus on the edge itself as 42 million gallons of water passed over every minute. Then they would gaze down at the swirling cloud of mist that rose up from the base. And then I would look up river at the rushing water moving inexorably toward the crest.

But it was the edge that held my gaze the most. I kept thinking, every single drop of water in the four western Great Lakes will eventually pass over this crest, flowing into the eastern Lake Ontario.

On the American side, the town of Niagara, New York is a seedy little burg that reminded me of an old carnival, long past its prime. Its heyday was in the 1950s when Niagara Falls was the number one honeymoon location for every couple in western world.

On the Canadian side, however, everything is clean, modern and reminded me of a park land. The Canadians are friendly, and offer a much better experience in every way. They host a thriving nightlife, restaurants, upscale hotels and the Casino Niagara.

If you don’t mind getting wet, you can take a ride on the famous Maid of the Mist, a very sturdy boat that holds 600 passengers and will take you into the mist below the falls. And let me point out, those plastic raincoats they hand out are essential.

Another way to see the falls is from behind. Take the Journey Behind the Falls tour down a 150 elevator into a series of man-made tunnels that allow you a view of the falls passing over your head.

As we drove back home that evening, every other family member fell asleep and I was left alone with my thoughts. Calling Niagara Falls just a water fall is like calling the Grand Canyon a hole in the ground or the Rocky Mountains just some hills.

If you ever find yourself within two or three hundred miles of Niagara, you owe it to yourself to make a daytrip to see these magnificent falls. It’s spell is nothing short of hypnotic and you will come home having just as much difficulty trying to capture the experience in words as I am having here. But it will still be worth the drive.

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Pan for Gold on Your Next Family Adventure Vacation

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

In the movies, the old Gold Rush prospector was a colorful character, who lived alone out in the hills (with maybe a single mule for company) in his Quixote-like search for riches. Unfortunately, he usually got shot just as soon as he finally struck gold.

History has always fascinated me and the sagas of the various gold rushes that spurred Westward expansion in the United States is more than mere footnotes in the history books. California and Alaska both became magnets for settlers as a result of the discovery of gold.

But if you think the days of prospectors are long gone, you are in for a surprise. Even today, you and your family can experience the thrills and excitement of finding gold in the very places where claim jumpers, back shooters, Indians and assorted villains made life tough for the old prospector (and his mule).

In North America, you can pan for gold in California, Alaska, the Yukon Territory and even Vermont, and relive the actual experiences of the old prospectors (minus, I hope, the claim jumpers, back shooters and Indians).

First, let’s talk about how to pan for gold. Below is a set of instructions I found on .

How To Pan For Gold:

1. Find a pan - anything with sloping sides will work, or see a list of gold pan dealers below.

2. Choose a likely location - see tips and links below for ideas.

3. Fill your pan with sand and/or gravel.

4. Dip your pan into the creek, or pour water into the pan.

5. Shake the pan in a sideways, back-and-forth manner. The gold will now start to settle to the bottom of the pan.

6. After a couple of minutes of shaking, pick out the bigger rocks that are getting separated (make sure than you don't throw away any nuggets!)

7. Tilt your pan away from you a bit and start letting gravel fall out. Remember, the gold is rapidly settling to the bottom of the pan now.

8. Add water as necessary to keep a good "soupy" gravel mixture - it helps the gold settle.

9. Keep tilting the pan more and more, and letting the gravel on top fall over the side. The bottom of the pan should always be lower than the lip of the pan, though, or the gold will fall out.

10. As you get to the last bit of sand in your pan, adding a circular motion to your shaking will make the gold separation more obvious - not more effective, but more fun to watch.

11. The last bit of sand takes care, and is the slowest part - as long as you don't tip your pan too far, though, the gold will stay in the pan. The traditional declaration of success is "Bonanza!"

12. Get a small glass container.

13. Put your gold into the container - it will stick to your finger in the pan, then wash it off into the container.

14. Display the container on your mantel to impress the neighbors!
15. Repeat as needed.


1. Don't use a teflon-coated pan - the gravel will wreck it, and you will lose a lot of your gold.

2. You can try panning anywhere. The best places are along creeks, particularly behind boulders where eddies form.

3. Although "black sand" (magnetite) is difficult to separate from the gold, it's a great indication that you're in the right spot.
Courtesy of:

There are several places listed on the web that offer wilderness tours involving panning for gold. All of them (that I found) will teach you how to pan and will let you keep the gold you find. The general impression I gathered was that finding gold is a sure thing, albeit in small quantities.

Here are places you can find information and locations to get started in your new life as a prospector (and you don’t even need a mule):

  • Pan for gold in the Klondike with Eureka Gold Panning Adventures near Dawson City, Yukon. , offers an adventure vacation in the old Yukon gold rush country. They promise that most people find gold in their first one or two pans, and you can keep all the gold you pan.

  • Nevada County, CA also offers a number of excursions involving panning for gold. Visit for information.

  • Gold Miners Headquarters is sort of a directory of gold prospecting information. Check this site out at

  • Another site where you can find gold panning vacation listings is,

  • I also found site,, by a couple who spent a weekend in Vermont panning with a group. Did you know that before the California Gold Rush, Vermont was considered the place for prospectors to search for gold? I didn’t either, but apparently they all left when the bigger, richer gold fields of California were discovered, leaving a substantial amount of gold left in the Vermont ground.

Well all these sources should be enough to get you started and plan a really fun vacation for you and your family.

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

The Secret to Getting Great Last Minute Budget Adventure Travel Deals

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

Have you heard the one about how you can get great deals on airfare, hotel rooms or cruise vacations at the last minute?

Well not so fast.

It is true that many last minute travel bargains can be found on the web, but it is not as easy as waiting until the day before an important trip to try to make your reservations.

First the bad news: if you want to travel on or around an exact date, trying to book your travel a week or two before that date will almost certainly result in exorbitant fares rather than reduced costs. If you have a specific time you need to travel, due to a vacation, holiday, family gathering or a special event; you are far better off booking months in advance.

The key to getting great last-minute deals is flexibility. Flexibility in when you can travel and how long you can stay.

Let me give you an example. My parents are retired and, because my mother is disabled, they prefer to take their vacations on cruises.

Last year, they got an email alert from a cruise agency, announcing a seven day cruise of the Hawaiian Islands for about 20% of its usual rate. But – and if you call this a catch, here it is – they got the email on Saturday and the cruise was scheduled to depart on Tuesday.

Fortunately, they were flexible with their schedule and were able to be on that ship when it set sail four days later.

There are several points to be made about last minute travel deals from my parents’ story:

  1. First, cruiselines, airlines and hotels offer last minute deals when it is in their interests to do so. The cruiseline knew it had a number of empty cabins scheduled for the cruise that was about to depart. At this point in time, any cabin sold, no matter what the price, was additional revenue they were not going to have otherwise.

    The same thing applies for hotels or airlines. An empty hotel room is a complete loss, and so is an empty airplane seat. So rather than accept a total loss, these companies will often offer travel values well below the going rate, just to bring in additional money.

    But can you imagine what would have happened if my parents had called up the cruiseline asking for a reservation for that very same cruise just days before its scheduled departure date? Do you want to be they would not have received the same 20% price?

    I think not. In all likelihood they would have paid morethan the normal rate just for booking so close to departure.

  2. The second point is that my parents had subscribed to travel alerts from the cruise agency. This way, the cruise agency, rather than my parents, initiated the contact.

There are several third party sites on the web where you can opt in to such last minute email alerts. Here are a few:

After you have checked out these third party sites, you should also check out the websites belonging to specific airlines. Many times the best travel deals are not communicated to the third party sites above, but can only be found from the airline itself. Here are a few examples:

Once you log onto any of these sites, look for the place to subscribe to email alerts of bargain fares. Sure your email inbox will receive a lot of messages you have no interest in, but occasionally you will get the exceptional bargain rate on a last minute vacation you will remember for the rest of your life.

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Make Money From Your Adventure Travel (Part One)

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What if you could not only cut the cost of your next adventure vacation, but turn a profit from your travel as well? Even better, what if you could turn your adventure travel into a high-income business?

If this sounds too good to be true, let me just say that many people do this every day. Yes it takes work, and planning and persistence (the very things required to succeed in any endeavor in life) and don’t expect to get rich. But you can expect to become a high earner and get paid to travel the world – not a bad way to live if you ask me.

There are many ways to make money when you travel, but for now I am going to focus on the big three: 1) Travel photography, 2) Travel writing, and 3) Importing items abroad to be sold on online auction sites.

In this first article, I am going to concentrate on travel photography.

Digital cameras have revolutionized the world of photography and have opened the doors of profit to average people.

  1. With digital cameras, you do not have the expense of film to buy. Aside from the obvious benefit of lowering your costs to enter this field, no films also means you can practice your skills over and over again. Take a look at the photos shot by teenagers on their camera phones that they post on their blogs. You will see some very advanced skill levels on these blogs. In years past, these skills would have taken years to acquire, but with digital cameras the learning curve is much steeper.

  2. Another advance in digital photography is the fact that they can now be displayed, sold and transmitted online. An amateur can set up a small website to display his or her photographs and be in business over night.

But what kinds of photos are most saleable to the adventure traveler? Here is a brief list of ideas I came up with, but you should not limit yourself to my ideas. Study magazines like National Geographic or other travel publications and look at what subject they buy and publish.

What to photograph when you travel abroad, in order to sell your pictures later:

  • Children. Take lots of pictures of local children. Show their activities, play and what they have to deal with in their lives. If you are taking pictures in an impoverished third world country it may be OK do take photos of sad, starving children for a news organization, but don’t expect to sell many of these pictures.

    Instead, try to find, smiling, and happy children. If you can capture these children at play or engaging in activities unique to their local customs, all the better. Happy children sell photographs.
  • Beaches. I am assuming of course that many of your buyers may be in the travel industry, so you can well understand how saleable beach photographs are.
  • Scenic wonders. The more natural beauty you can shoot the better. If you can take a picture of the wondrous, multi-colored sunset, or the sharp spires of rock formations just off the coast, you will have some very profitable photographs.
  • Dangerous local activities. For the same reason we rubberneck at a traffic accident I the opposite lane, people are fascinated by pictures of someone kissing a cobra, wrestling a crocodile, running through streets full of angry bulls or balancing on a tightrope. If you see such dangerous activities, take a picture.
  • Local customs and local costumes. Readers of travel magazines are interested in what makes the people in other lands different from our own neighborhoods.
  • Historic places. Photographs of the peaceful fields where the battle of Waterloo was fought, the ruin of an old medieval castle, or even the grave of Jim Morrison all hold fascination from a historical perspective.
  • Tourist activities. Just the opposite of local customs, these activities are meant to entice tourists to come to enjoy sports like parasailing, or shooting through jungle trees on a zip line. If someone might be influenced by your picture to make travel plans to this place, you should be able to sell the picture to some publisher.
  • Nightlife. Tourists don’t want to go to bed at eight when they are on vacation. Take pictures of the places they can go to and things they can do when they visit this destination.
  • Places to shop. Another category of pictures that can entice visitors. After all, everyone wants to bring home a souvenir when they travel. Let your photograph show them where.
  • Unusual signs. These are more common than you think, especially when someone with limited English is trying to communicate to travelers. Signs also give local flavor and add humor.
  • Local foods. Can you take pictures of some of the exotic foods that are prepared in this destination? If your photograph looks scrumptious, it is saleable.
  • Animals. Nothing sets the scene of a local place better than indigenous animals. If you can capture the animal’s beauty, your photo will be valuable.

In part two we will discuss how to make travel writing a profitable business you’re your next adventure vacation. And in part three, we will discuss importing products from overseas to be sold online through auction sites like eBay.

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

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Friday, March 24, 2006

Fairy Tale Adventure Travel to Neuschwanstein Castle

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No visit to the Bavarian region of Germany is complete without spending time at the famous Neuschwanstein castle, which is said to be the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella’s Castle.

Sitting high above the Alpsee Lake, surrounded by the towering Alps, the Neuschwanstein castle looks like a vision out of a fairy tale. It is said to be the most photographed building in the world and is characterized by its rising spires and towers and sits atop the Pöllat River gorge.

Construction began in 1869, under the orders of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, it was never fully completed by the time of his death in 1886.

For a castle, it was equipped with some very surprisingly “modern” conveniences. Each floor has running water courtesy of a mountain spring that is 200 meters higher than the castle. Additionally the castle has flushing toilets, which were extremely modern for the time.

Ludwig was a patron of the German composer, Richard Wagner, and many of the rooms are decorated with depictions of the Germanic legends he immortalized in his operas. Particularly, the Singers Hall, which occupies the entire fourth floor of the castle, is dedicated to the life of Parsifal, hero of one of Wagner’s most famous opera.

The castle rises some 300 feet above the village of Fussen, which is itself the highest town in Bavaria. To get to the castle, one must take a narrow switchback road up to the castle gate. Some 1.3 million people make this trip each year, making the Neuschwanstein castle the most popular tourist destination in Germany.

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

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Make Finding A Great Restaurant Part of Your Vacation Adventure

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Part of the adventure of travel is finding new and memorable restaurants at your destination.

One of my favorite travel adventures was eating at Asti’s in New York City’s Greenwich Village the first time I went to New York (many, many years ago). I was thoroughly impressed by the opera-singing waiters, the delicious Italian food and the wall of photos and autographs of famous people who have eaten at Asti’s (it was said to have been President Franklin Roosevelt’s favorite restaurant).

Whether it is a sidewalk café in Paris, quaint little pub in a small English village or family-owned place in Little Italy; finding a great place to eat and observe the local scene may be the part of your vacation you treasure the most long after you return.

But how do you find such unique places when you travel? Clearly it helps to have a friend who lives there or a knowledgeable concierge at your hotel, but what is the adventure in that kind of travel? The true adventure is in finding the great places yourself.

Fortunately the web is full of sites to help you find your way to gastronomical delights in a strange city.

For example, check out the Zagat Survey on When Tim and Nina Zagat started their survey, they didn’t take the ordinary path of using professional critics. Instead they enlisted ordinary restaurant patrons to provide their own opinions and ratings. is a very versatile site. You can search for a restaurant by city, neighborhood, cuisine, what age group it appeals to, etc. Another interesting feature on is its, “show me more like this” button. One click on this and you will find similar restaurants in other cities and countries.

Another way to find restaurants is by searching the various online city guides. For example, AOL offers, which includes a professional review followed by comments by ordinary patrons.

One of the most ingenious ways to find a good restaurant is offered by Michael Shapiro in his excellent book, Internet Travel Planner. Shapiro suggests using online forums to post a question about dining ideas in, say, Phoenix, Arizona. Based on his experience, you should very shortly receive many informed suggestions about restaurants in Phoenix in response. He mentions as one group to log onto, but you can also find other groups by searching

And while I am making a well-deserved plug for Michael Shapiro’s book, I should also mention another creative idea he suggests.

Once he has found a promising restaurant, he searches for reviews on a search engine. For example, he wanted more information on the Thirsty Bear in San Francisco, so he searched under “thirsty bear san Francisco” and found many online reviews.

Well that's it. You are now fully qualified to eat in a strange city. So go forth and make travel an adventure.

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

New Hampshire: A Quirky Little State With A Lot To Offer

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I have been wanting to post some articles about New Hampshire for a while. Fortunately, Aldene Fredenburg has written these two excellent articles geared for thekind of readers who visit Guerrilla Traveler.

It was about ten years ago, while driving through the State of New Hampshire with a collegue, that I first got the notion of quitting law practice and becoming a travel writer.

The experience completely moved me as I gawked at the natural beauties of this breathtaking little state.

Unfortunately, while the effects of that roadtrip still linger on within me, I have not had the opportunity to go back since then. But hopefully Aldene's two articles will take us all back to New Hampshire.

Charles Brown--The Guerrilla Traveler

No one from outside the state knows quite what to make of New Hampshire; tucked up in the northeast region of the country between the more famously bucolic states of Vermont and Maine, it doesn’t really have an easily defined identity.

The state shows up once every four years on the national radar screen because of its first-in-the-nation presidential primary, though the Iowa caucuses have managed to steal a little of the Yankee state’s thunder in that regard. Everybody outside the state thought us native-born New Hampshirites were nuts when the Old Man in the Mountains, that wonderfully distinctive Great Stone Face in Franconia Notch, succumbed to centuries of erosion and the cold, and we mourned his passing as if he were a beloved family member – which he was, a sort of spiritual guardian watching over us protectively, now gone forever.

We show up on the news once in a while when some crackpot goes on a crime spree and then heads for Canada, generally right up the middle of the state on I93, and ends up getting caught somewhere around Colebrook. Other than those odd happenings, the state doesn’t really figure largely in the national consciousness.

Too bad. The little state has a lot to offer. An odd mixture of industrial and rural landscape, the mostly landlocked state boasts a ten-mile stretch of coastline featuring the carnival atmosphere, in the summer anyway, of Hampton Beach, and other more quiet beaches like Rye. Further inland, Manchester features a mixture of old brick factory buildings and more modern architecture, with spectacular mall shopping opportunities as well as more cultural offerings ranging from galleries to nightclubs and including the Verizon Wireless Arena, site of sports competition and other events, including bands on tour nationally. The city also boasts its own international airport, a sensible alternative to congested Logan in Boston. Nearby Nashua, the birthplace of the PC (personal computer), has Massachusetts-style residential and commercial sprawl, also with lots of places to shop, and an ever-growing housing market.

To the west, the Monadnock Region operates at a slower pace than the industrial center, but has its own thriving tourist trade, with plenty of bed-and-breakfasts, lakes for swimming and boating, covered bridges, and cultural events, from summer theatre to concerts on town commons. This area of New Hampshire has traditionally been a favorite for people with the means to “summer” in the region – the “summer people”, the vernacular calls them, or more recently, “flatlanders”.

Heading north, the traveler heads through Concord, the state capital, and within an hour comes to the Lakes region, with the largest lake, Winnepesaukee, a magnet for tourists. It and the surrounding smaller lakes, formed eons ago by glacial activity, offer a lively summer culture, with boating, fishing, swimming, and plenty of summer events. Further north still are the astonishing White Mountains, tall, jagged mountains reminiscent of the European Alps which stretch almost across the entire middle of the state from west to east. Popular in summer, they’re packed in the winter with skiers looking for challenging ski conditions. Some areas, like Waterville Valley, host ski events with Olympic caliber competitors; every so often, the state manages to produce an Olympic champion. From the mountains, past the presidential range and north of the town of Berlin, the land flattens out on its way to the Canadian border and Montreal.

And, of course, there’s Loudon, north of Concord, with its yearly motorcycle race, the oldest in the U.S.; for five days seemingly every highway and back road in the state teems with lines of motorheads, some on rice burners or Beamers, but mostly on Harleys, heading for the rally and then back home again, transforming the entire state into two kinds of people: the guys and gals on motorcycles and the rest of us who watch them ride by. The race takes place at what is now New Hampshire International Speedway, which in recent years has offered official NASCAR races throughout the racing season – a big story in itself.

Something for everyone, indeed. Maybe the reason New Hampshire doesn’t have a clear identity in the national psyche is that we have a lot of individual identities, distinct regions with their own flavor and a lively mix of people who manage to express their interests in an amazing variety of ways – all of which makes for an interesting visit to this little state.

Aldene Fredenburg is a freelance writer living in southwestern New Hampshire and frequently contributes to Tips and Topics. She has published numerous articles in local and regional publications on a wide range of topics, including business, education, the arts, and local events. Her feature articles include an interview with independent documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and a feature on prisoners at the New Hampshire State Prison in Concord. She may be reached at
Article Source:

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This New Hampshire Resort is Geared Toward Family Vacations

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

By Guest Author:Aldene Fredenburg

Taking kids on vacation can be a challenge. The trip to and from your destination can be a trial in itself, and once you get to where you’re going, how are you going to keep your kids occupied at the motel?

Indian Head Resort in Lincoln, New Hampshire, goes way beyond pool access. They’ve got an entire program designed for kids, with special programmed activities and kids’ shows; in addition, kids can enjoy using the facilities with their parents which include heated pools indoors and out, a game room, seasonal nature trails, and time on the tennis courts.

The resort also has a private lake where skating, fishing, and paddleboating are available to entertain participants.

Want to explore the area with your kids? Santa’s Village, Six Gun City (a park with a western theme), Clark’s Trading Post, and Whale’s Tale Waterpark are just a few attractions within an easy drive of Indian Head Resort. In the winter, the entire family can take part in all sorts of sports and other activities, including alpine and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and snowmobiling.

In the summer, horseback riding and mountain bike trails are popular attraction at nearby Cannon and Loon mountains.

Menus Designed for Kids
Kids can be picky eaters, and can be very insistent on having access to their own favorite foods. Aware of the importance kids put on food, the resort has developed a special kids’ menu, with child-sized portions and standard kids’ fare like cheeseburgers, hot dogs, pizza, and, of course, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. (The resort does manage to slip in some salads and other veggies!) That way the grown-ups can enjoy selections from their own, more sophisticated menu, while the kids can chow down on their own more simple fare.

The resort also offers a simplified breakfast menu for kids.

In Business Since 1917
Indian Head Resort began operation as a campground back in 1917; over a period of time the owners added some cottages, and then expanded to where now they offer a hundred spacious rooms (some with whirlpool baths), TV with HBO access, saunas, an exercise room, and spectacular views from every window. Located in the White Mountains, one of the most dramatically beautiful regions of New Hampshire, it can provide a relaxing retreat or a base camp for active exploration of the surrounding area. The Kids Deal program is seasonal, running from late June through August each year, and offers special family rates.

Aldene Fredenburg is a freelance writer living in southwestern New Hampshire. She has written numerous articles for local and regional newspapers and for a number of Internet websites, including Tips and Topics. She expresses her opinions periodically on her blog, She may be reached at
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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Musical Heritage of Tennessee

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The State of Tennessee boasts two very distinct styles of musical heritages. The Blues were born in Memphis and Nashville is the epicenter of Country Music.

The Blues burst forth from Memphis when many black Blues musicians (and a few white ones) came from all over the Mississippi River region and brought their songs, styles and spirit of improvisation to the West Tennessee town.

Reflecting the times in the 1950s, the Memphis music scene can be best summed in the words legendary (and notorious) producer, Sam Phillips was said to have spoken. “If I could find a white man who could sing like a black man, I would make a billion dollars.” Eventually, he would find two, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis.

As was often the case back then, many of the great black songwriters were paid paltry amounts to sell away all their rights to some legendary songs. But surprisingly one studio stood out for its very forward thinking. The Stax Studio was ahead of its time in that its list of artists were integrated, along with its management staff.

Possibly as a result, Stax turned out some very well-known recordings. For example, Otis Redding recorded Sittin on the Dock of the Bay at the Stax. Likewise Isaac Hayes recorded his Theme from Shaft, the Staples Singers recorded Respect Yourself and Sam and Dave recorded Soul Man.

Today Memphis still resonates with a unique style of music that is one half of Tennessee’s remarkable musical heritage. Visitors will find a wide selection of Blues clubs to indulge in, as well as festivals, such as the Beale Street Music Festival each year in May (for artists and dates, check out the Official Memphis Annual Events Listing) or you can enjoy a mini-blues festival with a spectacular view of Mississippi River at the WEFL Blues on the Bluff in July.

Also be sure to check out all the events going taking place on Beale Street at World Famous Beale Street, Home of the Blues.

A MERE 210 MILES TO THE EAST along Interstate 40, Nashville represents a different musical world. Nashville is a place where the old style Country, with its steel guitars and twangy vocals, and the newer, hipper and edgier Country of today thrive in an uneasy form of coexistence.

Long called “Folk” music, it was Nashville that pulled in the songs from the mountains and countrysides and broadcast them to the world. Eventually this Nashville sound would be become big business and it would come to be called, “Country.”

During World War II, the Grand Old Opry began broadcasting from the Ryman Auditorium, a former tabernacle built in 1881. Remodeled and refurbished many times over the years, the Ryman is still one of the major musical venues in the South, despite the Opry’s move to its own facilities in 1974.

Another great place to hear the newest artists and the newest songs is the famous, Bluebird Café where very new (and very good) unknown singers and songwriters perform before diners enjoying excellent food You never know at the Bluebird, if you are listening to next year's newest superstar. Check out the Bluebird Café at

No matter your taste in music, you will find excellent performances in Nashville or Memphis.

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Great Adventure Travel Ideas, Deals and Tips on the Web

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I keep running across great adventure travel ideas on the web, so I thought I’d pass them along to you as sort of a roundup of the best of the web:

  • Top Ten Travel Myths. Mark Kahler over at exposes some really common myths a lot of travelers have. In this great article he gives you the real scoop about things like: when you should or should not use frequent flyer miles for vacation travel, whether being the low price bidder on an online reservation site will result in being treated like a second-class guest at a hotel and whether “duty free” merchandise are really bargains.
  • Summer Camp For Kids and Adults. While I was at, I also found this article by Carla Land about some great summer camps for kids AND adults in North America. These camps offer everything from wilderness survival schools to mountaineering, kayaking, rock climbing, rafting, marine science and conservation.
  • Do you have a taste for a “spooky” adventure vacation? Then check out another post by Carla Land about several tours of some very haunted houses and other haunted tours. After all, what could add more “adventure” to your adventure travel than a few ghosts? Check out Haunted Historical Spots.
  • Safety is always an issue when you travel, especially if you are traveling solo. Be sure to check out this really important article by Cassandra Ingraham on on How To Be Safe While Traveling Single.

COPYRIGHT ©2006, Charles Brown. All Rights Reserved.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Travel to Toronto for a Real Adventure: the Lord of the Rings Play

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You’ve seen the movies, now go to Toronto, Ontario to see the play.

I am, of course, talking about the upcoming production at Toronto’s Prince of Wales Theatre production of the Lord of the Rings. If you are wondering how the giant fantasy epic that author J.R.R. Tolkein filled 1000 pages and Peter Jackson filled three long movies, can possibly be presented on stage, you are not alone.

Reviewers, while acknowledging that the stage brings with it some inherent limitations when attempting to perform such a huge tale, have compared it to some of Shakespeare’s great battle productions, with action simultaneously occurring from one end of the giant stage to another.

In fact, director and adapter, Matthew Warchus agrees with the Shakespeare analogy. He likens the production to “a Shakespearean play and a Cirque de Soleil show sort of woven together,”

Then there is the problem of what to call such a vast production like this. Producer, Kevin Wallace is adamant that The Lord of the Rings is not a musical. “It is a hybrid production, because this is not any of those things singularly—it is all of those things.”

The Lord of the Rings already holds the distinction of being the most expensive theater production ever, running up a cost of more than $24 million. It makes full use of the Prince of Wales Theatre’s revolving stage, has a cast of 55, an orchestra of 18 and 17 elevators. NPR News reported that, “tree roots from the proscenium arch envelop the auditorium, actors fly and appear on stilts 10 feet high. There’s even a massive spider puppet.

Initially the producers wanted to open in London, but couldn’t find a large enough theater, but the Prince of Wales Theatre in Toronto was ideal. Lord of the Rings is scheduled to cross over the Atlantic in the Fall to open in London, and will not appear on Broadway for years.

COPYRIGHT© 2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

5 Great Resources For Traveling With Kids

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Travel with the family is always an "adventure" for parents, but can you inject a little fun and adventure for the kids too? Especially when they are cooped up on long car or airplane trips? It just so happens the answer is yes, as these great online resources point out. Check them out to add sanity and fun to your next family adventure vacation.

  1. The first great site is at, which gives advice like items the smart parent should stock for a roadtrip with kids. It also suggests involving the kids in saving items along the way for a scrapbook they can assemble later. You can visit this site at:

  2. Sally at has been through it all, and has some great ideas to share with other traveling parents. Her mantra is new toys and books. She says that newness counts for a lot and she always packs a bag of small new toys so she can pull them out whenever the long car or airplane ride seems to be getting to the kids. Read Sally’s top ten list of advice for traveling with children at: Top Ten List

  3. Then there is This gal is really organized! She has included over 101 ideas for fun things for kids to do in the car. At her site you will find printable car games and activities as well as a plethora (I just love using the word, “plethora”) of ideas organized by age group.

  4. At, the advice is generally related to air travel with kids. One thing I learned here that I hadn’t ever considered before was the benefits of having layovers or flying into small regional airports when traveling with kids. The layovers, she says, give kids a chance to get the “wigglies” out, while the smaller airports have smaller crowds and friendlier employees. Check out this site at:

  5. Finally, I was surprised at how good a resource Southwest Airlines has on their website. The section called “Taking The Kids” is full of informative articles on things like traveling as a single parent, getting a sitter away from home, making a museum excursion fun and even tips for grandparents flying alone with the kids. Surprisingly, these articles are not all about air travel but also include some good advice for when you travel by car. See
    Taking The Kids

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

Adventure Travel in West Virginia's New River Gorge

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

You are hanging onto a sheer rock face, hundreds of feet above the ground. You grope for your next handhold or foothold as you slowly make your way to the top. Suddenly, a little voice speaks to you: “are you absolutely out of that little bitty thing you call a mind?”

The answer of course is yes in a way. You have bitten by the adventure travel bug and there is no cure. All you can hope to do is keep feeding the bug until you are too old and gray (hey wait a minute, I am getting old and gray myself) to keep it up.

But at least you will have plenty of stories to tell your kids – unless you let go of this rock face.

I am thinking these thoughts because I just read an article called Adrenaline Nation in the April 2006 Outside magazine about the little town of Fayettville, West Virginia. It seems to me that this little town has more opportunities for adventure vacations than any other area of the U.S. (I welcome any disagreement to this point as your feedback will probably give me other places to check out).

For example:

  • Whitewater. There are several Class III and IV rapids open all Spring and Summer in the area. And in September and October, the Summerville Dam opens to create Class V+ rapids for those of you with stomachs of steel.

  • You can also take Kayaking classes offered by North American River Runners on the New River. Beginners can learn on tamer sections of the river, while advanced kayakers canget wet (really wet) in currents and the Class III rapids. Check out their website at if you dare.

  • Mountain Biking for those of you who prefer to stay dry (but don’t mind getting muddy, cut and scraped) The Fayettville Trail stretches 2.8 miles from town, while another trail called the Cunard-Kaymoor Trail is 7 miles and takes you around the Summerville Lake.

  • Rockclimbing. For the seriously brain damaged among you, the locals call it simply, “the Discombobulated.” I can’t help but think that is what happens to you if you fall off this 511 foot sheer sandstone wall that rises above the New River Gorge. I hear the view is awesome if you ever make it to the top. You can check it out at

  • But when the day is done, you will want to eat. Outside magazine recommends Smokey’s On the Gorge, a place known for its gormet buffet with wild boar ribs and a spectacular view of the New River Gorge.

If I still haven’t convinced you to steer clear of Fayettville, you might want to check out these other websites. Perhaps sanity will prevail:

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

Friday, March 17, 2006

Avoid These 9 Costly Mistakes With Your Frequent Flyer Program

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

All travel is an adventure, but one of the best ways to stay within your budget is to make the most of your frequent flyer program. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make with airline affinity programs, and how you can avoid them:

  1. Don’t spread your miles among a lot of different airline programs. As a general rule, they do not allow you to transfer miles from one competitor to another, and you will never (OK, it will take a looooooong time) build up a lot of miles or status unless you concentrate on one airline.

  2. Know when your miles expire. If you aren’t sure if your program ha a mileage expiration policy, trust me on this: ALL FREQUENT FLYER MILES CAN EXPIRE. Most programs will keep you and your miles on their books for 3 years without activity, but some have even tougher rules. See my recent article on How To Keep Your Frequent Flyer Miles From Expiring. The link for this article is

  3. Get and use an affinity credit card linked to your mileage program. Earn miles when you buy groceries, gasoline, dinner out, medicines, school tuition, etc. Whatever you spend money on in the course of your non-travel life can earn you miles.

  4. Don’t neglect other non-flight mileage earning opportunities. For example, American Airlines allows you to earn miles by shopping online at places like Home Depot, Target Stores, Circuit City, and even Starbucks. They also have a Dining Program that allows you to earn miles for eating out at participating restaurants.

  5. ”Double dip” by using your affinity credit card when taking advantage of any of the non-flight opportunities above. Not only will your credit card pay you miles, so will the other partner.

  6. Keep yourself informed about special bonus offers. Airlines will occasionally offer extra miles if you travel to certain destinations or take certain routes during special promotion periods. Generally you have to register for these bonus offers before you buy your ticket, so don’t hit your delete button too quickly when you receive email from your airline.

  7. Which leads me to the next mistake to avoid. Don’t “opt out” from special email offers too quickly. There is often gold in them emails (or even traditional mail) in the form of the aforementioned special bonus offers, but also in the form of reduced mileage awards. ( Let me clarify: the special bonus offers give you ways to earn extra miles, but reduced mileage awards gives you reduced priced airfare when you pay for your flight with miles instead of money). But you must opt in to receive these email alerts because airlines don’t want to be accused of spam.

  8. Know how many miles it takes to fly to certain destinations. The airline’s website will most likely have a chart or other explanation for you to refer to. Also find out how many miles it takes to upgrade to first or business class.

  9. Find out about the elite status levels your airline offers. You should also find out what the benefits and qualification requirements are for each level. For example, if it is December 26 and you only need a few hundred miles by the end of the year to move up an elite level, you might want to consider taking a really cheap flight to get you over that last hump. It may just be worth it to you for the entire next year to enjoy that higher status.

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

Hot Air Ballooning - An Adventure Vacation For Every Budget

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

I have recently been bitten by the hot air ballooning bug. I can’t think of a more exciting form of adventure travel than to either fly in a balloon or go to one of the many races and festivals held all over the world.

Below I have listed three different ballooning events for every adventure travel budget.

  • The annual Kentucky Derby Festival in Louisville, Kentucky is made up of over 70 events in the two weeks leading up to the famous horserace. One of these exciting events a piece of adventure travel you will never forget called, the Great Hot Air Balloon Race.

    The competition format is a “hare and hounds” style, which consists of the event’s sponsor taking off first in the “Hare Balloon,” which in fact is shaped like a giant pink rabbit.

    The winds determine the direction of the race as the other balloons take off in pursuit of the hare. The Hare balloon flies on until it finds an open field to land. The passengers then get out and place a large fabric target in the field.

    The chase balloons then try to throw a small bag of Kentucky Bluegrass seed as close to the target’s “X” without landing. The pilot of the most accurate toss can collect a prize of $3000.

    The Great Hot Air Balloon Race has become so popular that Louisville has become home to many hot air balloonists, as reflected by the fact that now one can frequently see hot air balloons in the Kentucky sky at all times of the year.

    The night before the race is the U.S. Bank Derby Festival glow, which draws crowds as large as the race itself. While remaining on the ground, the balloons inflate in their launch positions.

    Against the night sky, these hundreds of balloons light up and glow, displaying an assortment of colors as diverse as summer fireworks.

  • The Winter Alpine Balloon Festival: Imagine the balloon you are in rises steadily into the cold January air, surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Swiss Alps. As you drift over the resort town of Chateau d’ Pex, you and more than 80 other balloons and their passengers are treated to the awesome splendor of the valley below. This is surely the adventure vacation you have always dreamed of.

    The Festival is hosted by Buddy Bombard and is one of the few such balloon festivals you can enjoy from the air. Not only can you be one of the passengers as your balloon gently drifts over the silent scenery below, you are also served an in-flight luncheon, which Bombards describes as “casual, but lavish, served with the finest French wine.”

    You can find out more by visiting Bombard’s website at

  • No article on balloon festivals would be complete without mention of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta held each October. For 9 days, the New Mexico sky is filled with a collage of colors and balloons of every shape and size.

    The Fiesta has been called “the most photographed event in the world,” and for good reason. The photos shot here appear on magazine covers the world over for months to come.

    The Fiesta begins at 7am, when all 750 or so balloons lift off gently into the sky. And who knows, perhaps you to can be on board one of these majestically quite airships. The price to hop a ride during the Fiesta is $225. For more information, check out

Links to Ballooning events all over the world:

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

Thursday, March 16, 2006

9 Ways To Cut Your Travel Costs - Without Cutting Your Fun

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

Here is a list of random ideas and tips I have gathered over the years on how to save money when you travel:

  1. When possible, travel during off peak seasons. Across the board, you will find airfares and hotel rates are lowere at some times of the year and higher at others. The catch is that off-peak seasons vary from destination to destination, but generally they follow common sense. For example, Europe and North America's off-peak seasons are most often during their winter months. But watch out for special events that can throw a wrench into that rule of thumb.
  2. Travel midweek. Again, you will get better hotel and airfare rates midweek than you will during the weekends.
  3. Never place a phone call from your hotel room. Do not break this rule or the spendthrift fairy will come and slap you. As true as this rule is in the U.S., it is even more so when traveling out of the country.
  4. Know the exchange rates wherever you travel out of your own country. Ignorance on this subject can make you a target for rip off artists or you may wind up overtipping. Yes, you might unkowingly make some hard working waitress' day, but the spendthrift fairy has plenty of slaps left over for you too.
  5. If you want to eat at the better restaurants when you travel, eat there for lunch rather than dinner. You can enjoy the same food and same ambience for less.
  6. Rediscover the simple picnic. You can eat your meal as you enjoy scenic parks or even from a bench in the city. Not only will you save money, you will experience more of the "feel" of the place you are visiting.
  7. Take advantage of free or reduced-priced attractions. Research your destination before you leave home to find the bargains. Also, any hotel concierge with his or her salt will have lots of good advice for you.
  8. Public transportation passes. Almost every city and country offers one-week or one-month passes for public transportation. If your travels take you to Europe, a Eurail Pass can enable you to travel all over Europe for one flat rate. Check out their link at Rail Europe.
  9. Walk. Subject to your fitness level and the distances involved, you may have more fun and save money in the process by taking a walking tour around the city you are visiting.

COPYRIGHT (C) 2006, Charles Brown. All Rights Reserved.

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Adventure Travel Without Nausea

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation

If you look like your passport photo, you’re too ill to travel.
Will Kommen

I’ve had diarrhea in forty nations.
Eugene Robert Black

I’m following up on an earlier article I wrote on how to stay healthy when you travel. It is all well and good to talk about adventure travel on a budget, but no one wants the “adventure” part of adventure travel to be losing your last meal far from home.

As an added resource, I have found several sites with helpful tips on how to stay healthy when you travel.

  • has a list of vaccines you might get before you travel, precautions against food that could make you sick and what to put in a first aid kit.
  • has a number of tips for business travelers, including how to keep up with your exercise schedule while on the road, how to deal with jet lag, and the importance of getting up to stretch your legs while on a long flight.
  • There is a good article for cruise travelers on how to avoid getting sick when you go ashore in . The article, Stay healthy ashore: a little common sense helps insure a happy cruise offers some very good advice on how to keep your long-dreamed-of cruise vacation a happy and healthy experience.
  • has a whole section of great articles on this subject on Gorp Health Stay Healthy When You Travel. Since Gorp is particularly focused on outdoor adventure travel and tours, their site emphasizes staying healthy outdoors. Among the topics they cover are, avoiding acute mountain sickness, avoiding poison ivy and other pesky plants, preventing heat exhaustion and how to protect yourself from tick-borne diseases.

I certainly hope these references will go a long way toward keeping you safe and healthy when you travel. By all means, make sure your “adventure” travel is the right kind of adventure and stay healthy.

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown. All rights reserved.

budget adventure travel, family adventure vacation