Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama is one of the best recognized cities in the southeast and consistently named as one of the best places to live and work. This city is regularly named as a premier location for both business and quality of life by many publications. Huntsville is a beautiful place, popular with tourists in the months of May to October.

The high-tech city of Huntsville that sprawls at the foot of a mountain in North Alabama makes anybody feel equally at home. Huntsville’s tourist attractions reflect the heritage of this city, the strife of the American Civil War, and the deeds of America’s rocket scientists. Huntsville’s population reflects international cultures. Of the 180,000 city residents, more than 10 percent are natives of other countries. Many languages and their dialects are spoken here.

Huntsville serves as home to the first U.S. plant built by Korea’s largest company. Several Japanese-owned companies operate their manufacturing plants in the city. Lots of foreign national flags decorate the roof of the building of an international computer manufacturing firm that is headquartered in Huntsville. Huntsville’s attractions offer a wealth of activities for the native as well as the international visitors. Sample astronaut training sessions at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and the hands-on showcase of space technology are the state’s largest tourist attractions.

A variety of city museums and an exceptional symphony orchestra offer rich cultural opportunities involving the arts. The legendary Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, which encompasses 21 courses in eight cities in Alabama, begins in Huntsville. Alabama ranks fifth in the nation for public golf courses and it maintains a very good record in organizing tournaments.

Huntsville is home to several Fortune 500 companies and also offers a broad base of manufacturing, retail and service industries. Their quality of life is second to none with a variety of educational, recreational, and cultural opportunities. The city successfully combines the rich heritage of southern hospitality with innovative high-tech ventures and cultural diversity.

Avoiding a Roofing Contractor Or Roofing Company Ripoff

HOW TO AVOID A ROOFING CONTRACTOR SCAM

The easiest way to avoid a roofing contractor scam is to do your research first. Many roofing contractors will swoop in from out of town, purchase a local phone number, and then leave when the work is gone and once they have your money. Make sure the roofing contractor you are considering has been around awhile – the longer the better! Also – make sure your roofing contractors have a solid reputation for integrity and reliability.

Find out if your roofing contractor is a good choice by checking with the local Better Business Bureau, and see if they are a member. This will give you a good idea of how long they have been around, and will indicate whether or not they are just here for now and will be gone when there is a problem. Also, you can call your local county and city and run a check for their license as you want to make sure you are working with a licensed roofer contractor.

HOW TO DETECT A RIP-OFF ROOFING COMPANY

If a roofing company is ready to roof tomorrow, there is a good chance they are ripping you off. Ask them where they are getting their roofing supplies and call the supplier and find out how long they have been ordering from them (The longer, the better). If they are new roofing company and have no history in your area, be wary as they could be trying to capitalize on the business to make a quick buck. This means less quality roofing work for more money in most cases. Again, doing your research will help avoid a rip-off when considering roofing company’s.

WHAT TO ASK ROOFING COMPANIES BEFORE HIRING THEM

Below is a list of questions to ask roofing companies before you make a choice on who to hire:

– May I have a list of references from some of your past roofing jobs?
– How long have you been in the roofing companies business?
– How many leaks have you had reported this year from roofs you installed?
– Do you have any complaints filed with the BBB (this you can verify yourself as well)?
– How long is your roofing companies warranty and what does it cover?
– What is your time frame?(you want them on and off your roof in a week’s time or less)

In regards to clean up: Is it your responsibility, or theirs? Do they run a magnet to pick up loose nails? Do they clean up scrap shingles or metal roofing?

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN ROOFING CONTRACTORS

So far we have covered what you don’t want in roofing contractors, but what DO you want? First and foremost, you want a legitimate roofing company. Make sure you consider which roofing contractors will be there down the road if something were to go wrong. A solid, local roofing contractor with roots in your local area is typically better than a nationwide roofing company because they are more likely to take a personal stake in the work they do. If you follow all the suggestions listed in this roofing report, you should have a very easy time finding roofing contractors who are respectable, responsible and has a good local reputation.

Secondly, make sure you trust the roofing contractors you are working with. Don’t let a pushy salesman convince you to go with him, just because he talks a good game. Ask him how long he has been with his roofers. Check out his answers and do the research on his company. Make sure you feel good about the roofing contractors you hire!

WHAT TO AVOID WHEN PICKING A ROOFING COMPANY

– Avoid any un-licensed/un-insured/un-bonded roofing company
– Avoid roofing companies who have too many complaints with the BBB
– Avoid any roofing company that cannot or will not provide you with references
– Avoid roofing companies with pushy sales people
– Avoid any roofing company that can’t get the job done in under a week from start to finish
– Avoid roofing company’s who don’t do their own clean up
– Avoid roofing companies you don’t trust or that you don’t have a good feeling about

6 Warning Signs Your Roof Needs Repair Or Replacement That You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Have you taken a good look at your roof lately? I mean really taken a good up close look. Would you know how to tell when it is time have a roofing professional take a look at your roof? Or have you been purposely ignoring the obvious warning signs that you may need to have your roof examined simply because you fear the thought of what it will cost to repair or replace your roof, if indeed a problem is found? Which ever the case, you’re not alone. In fact you are like so many other home owners who just don’t have the time or money or patience for another home repair project, another expense, basically another headache to have to budget for. You may have been saving for a family trip, a new car, or even renovating one of the rooms in your home and think that you just can’t afford right now. So you ignore the signs and you put it off in favor of the new car, the family trip, or the master bathroom renovation. But unfortunately roof repair is not something you want to put on the back burner, as it can end up costing you substantially more money down the road, if it’s not already costing you more money now!

So you may be asking yourself “how do I know if I indeed need to have my roof repaired or replaced, or if I just need to have it cleaned?” Well you could always call a roofing contractor and request an inspection. Most roofing contractors offer free inspections and can even assist you with getting your homeowner’s insurance to cover most if not all of the cost if it is a result of some kind of hail or storm damage. If you are still not convinced you should call a roofing specialist here are nine warning signs that will let you know that you surely need to have your roof repaired or even replaced. Most of these signs can be seen from the ground and by looking in your attic if accessible. If you choose to get on the roof itself and inspect please use caution as the granules of the roofing shingles could be loose and cause you to slip and possibly fall. So BE CAREFUL!

1. Dark stained or dirty-looking areas on your roof. One of the most likely causes of any dark or stained looking areas on your roof is a result fungi or algae growth which in turn causes the roof to appear abnormally black or dirty in certain areas. This problem often occurs in warm, humid climates such as the southeastern part of the country. This can be a problem for your roof as the algae or mold starts eat away at the shingle base causing them to loosen and decay. If you spot any dark areas on your roof and are apprehensive of climbing on your roof to get a better look then contact a trusted roofing contractor to inspect your roof and determine if the stains are indeed algae growth and to what extent. It is better to address potential mold growth before it spreads to other parts of the roof making this headache and the potential hit to your wallet even worse than you thought it may be.

2. Shingle and sheathing deterioration. Deterioration of the shingles, or even worse the sheathing of a roof, can be caused by a number of factors; one of which is mentioned previously. Mold and algae can eat away at the organic base of shingles causing them to decay. If this problem goes on undetected and reaches the sheathing panels then it may be too late as the sheathing is the connection between the shingles and the rafters of the roof. If this connection is weak then it makes your roof even more vulnerable to loss during potentially high winds during storms can eventually compromise the integrity of your roof. If your roof appears to be sagging in areas it could be a sign of a much larger problem called roof rot which could lead to the possible collapse of your roof. By having a roofing professional inspect your roof you could be avoiding additional repair costs to not only your roof but to the interior of your home.

3. Missing, buckled, cracked or curled shingles. All of these signs are usually indications that they may be near the end of their useful life. Due in part to time and prolonged exposure to the different elements mother nature may throw at them, the shingles on your unfortunately will not last forever. In fact the useful life of your typical asphalt/fiberglass shingle is 20-25 years depending on where you live in the country and the quality of the shingle manufacturer among other factors. Over time the granules that add color to and protect the shingle material from UV rays begins to fall off exposing the material to the elements. Over time this exposure causes the shingles to crack or curl upwards at the edges. Sometimes this cracking can eventually lead to shingles breaking into pieces and flying off the roof or buckling during storms with really high winds.

4. Blistering and/or peeling of outside paint. This is one of the easiest warning signs to spot. But all too often this sign goes on ignored or attributed to something other than what is most likely causing the problem. This blistering or peeling of outside paint is usually the result of excessive moisture or high humidity due to poor ventilation especially in the attic. Inadequate ventilation results in hot air being trapped and built up in the attic. This excess heat can not only cook or in essence bake the roofing shingles but it also cause bubbling, blistering and peeling of the exterior paint around the gables and eaves and even the siding. Having properly working attic fans as well as bathroom exhausts are vital to avoiding this issue in your home and as it pertains to your roof.

5. Water marks on the ceilings and/or interior mildew growth. Not all of the signs of the need for possible roof repair or replacement can be seen from outside your home. Some signs are closer than you may realize until it is nearly too late. Yes we’re talking about roof leaks. Leaks are usually difficult to detect until it is nearly too late, and just as hard to pinpoint their origin. Roofing leaks may be a result of insufficient underlayment or deteriorating flashing which can repaired inexpensively. On the other hand they may possibly be the result of a much larger and widespread problem that could end up costing you your next vacation or year end bonus if you don’t watch out! Unfortunately the origin of a leak is usually hard to detect as the water may run down the rafters or a chimney, or even into the drywall of your ceiling where it can collect and build up. This build up and trapping of water and moisture can lead to not only mold problems but also eventual cracks and leaks in your ceiling as the water deteriorates the sheet rock. Now you have an even bigger problem. If you start to see signs of water marks on the ceiling you should immediately call a roofing professional to inspect the problem before gets any worse. Having regular home inspections once a year is a smart way avoid undetected repair issues with your roof and the rest of your home. Its always better to address any repair issues before they are compounded by the passing of time.

6. Excessive energy costs.. More and more homes today are being designed and built with energy efficiency in mind. From the building materials contractors use down to the appliances we choose for our homes, the green initiative is catching on with homeowners and builders alike. For those who live in homes older homes there are an abundance of light repair projects that can turn that older drafty home into a more modern model of efficiency. One important area of the house to look to for at first is your roof as it can provide you with good indicator if you are experiencing an increase in the cost heat and cool your home. If not properly ventilated warm air can build up in your attic causing your utility bills to rise excessively in the hot summer months when you are trying to keep the house cool, as well as in the winter when you and your family are trying to stay warm. A properly installed roof provides for ample ventilation and not having proper ventilation can lead to not only excessive energy costs but also premature roof failure. Often times what might be considered a small repair job can extend the life of your roof. Having a roofing specialist inspect the ventilation in your attic and roof can end up saving you lots of money down the road.

So now that you know these important warning signs to spot you can avoid the pain and hassle of dealing with a potentially much larger and costly project than you may have the stomach for. You don’t have to sacrifice that down payment on a new car or that family vacation you were planning to take, but only if you act now before it is too late. Remember, most roofing contractors offer a free inspection so it costs you nothing to at least have your roof looked at for potential problems that can usually be repaired for less than you may think. Just make sure you do your homework and get quotes from several different candidates as well as references. Also check to make sure any potential candidate is properly licensed and bonded, and that they offer a warranty or guarantee. By being proactive and finding the right contractor for the job you can avoid bigger problems down the road.

5 Ways to Travel Solo Without Going It Alone

Solo travel has become a hot topic. Unlike “single(s)” travel, it is a broader group. It can include those who are single, married or have a partner/significant other. It may be a business person looking to add a leisure weekend or extension to a trip for work. Two stumbling blocks to solo travel can be: I. whether it is lonely to vacation as a “party of one” and ii.whether eating alone, especially dinner, is really uncomfortable.

Now having visited 68 countries and all 50 states, I have found 5 good ways to go alone without feeling you are “going it alone”.

1. River Cruise and Small Ship Cruises

I highly recommend river cruises and small ships. They are especially a good fit for a first time solo traveler. However, they are also great for well-traveled solos in two cases. That is where destinations like Cambodian boat villages are not otherwise easy to reach. Secondly, they work well in places where security is an issue.

Here are the key advantages of such river and small ships for solo travelers, they:

  • Give you time alone but a group for tours and meals
  • Can be competitively priced when compared to a piecemeal approach
  • Make unpacking a one-time chore
  • Work well with land packages
  • Often have discounted package pricing including flights

2. Select your own lodging, and take day trips.

Here are the key advantages of this independent approach:

  • Affords you the opportunity to select your own interests and travel style.
  • Provides more opportunity to interact with local residents.
  • Gives you a “day-off” when you need it.
  • Works with a range of budgets.

3. Combine both of the above approaches.

I really favor this approach when I travel. On solo travel for 17 days at New Year’s, I toured Southeast Asia. I started with a private taxi tour in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I then joined a top Mekong River Cruise on to Vietnam. On the last leg, I had five days in a 5-star hotel in Bangkok. In my last stop, I tried all 3 ways of sightseeing: 1. A large bus tour 2. A private guide and 3. Self-directed subway tour.

This blended approach puts you in the driver’s seat and:

  • Will let you set your own course while being free to pick and choose
  • Gives you a part-time group of travel mates but also time alone
  • Makes it possible to follow a budget (or splurges) tailored to what works for you

4. Sign up ahead for a class abroad.

This has become very popular now for cooking classes in France and Italy. However, for decades, language classes abroad have lured students for short-term or full summer programs. Add to that options for photography classes, skiing and scuba diving.

Here are the key benefits to this approach:

  • Provides you with a ready-made group
  • Gives you a local contact to hear what not to miss off the tourist path
  • Make it possible to connect with classmates for meals or sightseeing
  • Results in providing local contacts in an emergency

5. Join a volunteer group or exchange program.

I have done this twice. My first trip out of the US was at 18 joining 5 other girls on a summer YMCA project in Trinidad and Tobago. It was the best way to learn about day-to-day life in another country and participate in community activities.

The benefits were endless. They included:

  • Meeting local residents outside of the typical tourist path
  • Seeing distant and often more unusual destinations
  • Providing volunteer efforts to communities than may have experienced natural disasters or other hardships.

If you are new to solo travel, take a look at each of these options. You will be surprised how fast solo travel gives you the chance to make new life-long friends from around the world so that you feel you are solo to more.

What Every Traveler Should Know About Making Hotel Reservations

There was a time when making hotel reservations was as simple as picking up the telephone & booking a room for a specific period of time. Depending on how your travels worked out, you would sometimes have the misfortune of having to book the same day & were hoping for the best, but all in all, booking a hotel room was not a big deal.

Boy, things have certainly changed! When the occasional hotel room “Booker” decides it’s time to make a reservation, the nervous perspiration starts. Palms get clammy, internal temperature starts to rise, and voices start cracking. The issue at hand is that we’re constantly bombarded by commercials on our airwaves telling us that we can find better deals by using technology. Online booking, booking apps, and email & text message alerts for price drops are now the way to book a hotel room not necessarily the right way but the smart way. Of course, no one wants to seem foolish, right?

To begin, let’s keep it simple. First of all, you always want to be sure you have the dates correct for your prospective reservation at the correct hotel. In other words, have the basic information spelled out correctly before you even start. It seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised how often people will try booking a hotel room with faulty information.

You also want to be sure to try & book early. Even though this may not always be possible, it does help get things off your mind faster than waiting until the last-minute before booking. You also avoid issues of not having a room to reserve because of something on the calendar that is bringing people into town. An example would be trying to book a hotel near the beach during Spring Break season.

It pays to think about how you book so that you can avoid having to contend with overbooking, time crunches, and heavy travel windows. For example, if you are traveling on the weekend, try to book a room at a hotel that tends to have a leaning toward business bookings. In the same vein, if you’re traveling during the week, like to stay in a hotel that has more of a ‘resort’ feel to it. This way, you’re always trying to travel opposite of the general travel traffic.

Finally, here is some input regarding the online & discount booking apps & websites – it can go either way. You can actually save some serious money booking online in some way, but you may open yourself to being booked at a mystery hotel whose identity isn’t known until after the reservation is made. In some cases, you also have to act quickly to take advantage of hotel reservation deals in order to get the pricing, which you may not be in a position to do right away. It’s also important to know about being “walked” by a hotel. Getting “walked” means that if a hotel can’t fill your reservation, it will pay for a night elsewhere. Hotels overbook assuming that there will be “no shows”. Depending on how & when you book, your indirect/third-party booking leaves you as a low priority, and if you’re unlucky enough to have booked at a hotel where everyone showed up, you will be “walked”.

Surprisingly enough, booking hotel reservations directly with a hotel over the phone or through their own website is the best way to book in many cases & provides the most perks. Whether through loyalty programs, flexibility in price negotiation, or being a frequent guest, connecting the old-fashioned way seems to be the best bet for handling your travel lodging.

Effective Ways to Save Money on Hotel Booking

In today’s era when everything has become globally expanded and worldwide organizations are running an extra mile to serve communities across the earth, traveling have become more important than ever. Hence, people have started to consider voyaging as a daily part of life to either solve the business purposes or to have a break from all the stress. In both cases, finding an accommodation that can suit your requirements, budget and timing has become a major crisis and you all must be wondering on how to save those extra bucks on accommodation while traveling to an unknown place. To answer that question, this article has come up with the most amazing ideas after consulting the expert travelers and researching through the market to give you a final conclusion of effective ways to save money while booking a hotel. So, check out the list below and make your escapes much more affordable and enjoyable at the same time:

1. Timing is the Key

No matter what you do, the perfect timing covers the half way towards your success and when you are planning a vacation, it is really important as you might get caught-up in either hefty demand or a time when everything is closed. It is always important to keep on looking for the deals months before to ensure you get the perfect prices as per your season or take the chance for making a last minute search to get the cancelled rooms at an affordable price. Also, by perfect timing, we mean to plan your vacation in the season that is neither on the peak, nor on the off when we speak of tourism and ensure you get it all with perfect weather conditions, less demand and more fun.

2. Comparing for Best Deals

Most of the people these days go for the giant agencies or the trusted agents to get their bookings done and mostly end-up paying more for putting their trust in wrong hands. It is often advised by the expert travelers to always compare the prices between travel agencies and hotel groups to find the best quote and get the bookings done after finding what is best suitable for your trip. There are an abundant number of reputed as well as start-up travel agencies that allow you to book your hotel accommodation on seasonal sale, special discount and other offers exclusively available in the market to outshine others and give you a dream getaway you always wanted.

3. Looking for Less Prominent Locations

Hotel accommodations located near the prominent sites and attractions are costlier than the hotels and resorts located in other parts of the city. Whereas the prominent locality may give you the edge of exploring the attractions with a few blocks of walking, the hotels located farther are willing to offer you more at lower prices to get your attention as well as to give you the finest quality of stays. Hotels near the biggest landmarks and prime localities are often found packed throughout the seasons and require advance booking procedure which also pays a big contribution in higher prices. If you book your hotel room in places that are a little away from these major sites and are located at less prominent places, you will surely find some quality accommodation at lower plans.

4. Use of Memberships

While paying or at the time of booking, we often forget to take other sources into account which can be more beneficial for us and often miss the opportunity to save a little extra while booking a hotel stay. These days, when organization is racing to get your attention and business from you, they also give you some privilege of getting cash-backs, discounts and other perks and leverages while using their special and exclusive membership options. Many banks and card companies these days give some special offers while collaborating with the travel agencies and give some cash-back as well as discounts on transaction of a certain minimum amount. Usage of these offers can also give you some extra benefits to ensure some more savings on the hotel booking.

5. Find what you Actually Require

In the hunger of finding the best accommodation option, we often lean towards finding hotel deals that provide it all and often pay more for services and amenities that we don’t really required. Before making your hotel booking with B&B, All Inclusive and half-board options, always sort your requirements and think accordingly whether you will be needing those services or not. It is quite obvious that the more services you add on your hotel room, the more you are going to pay. Hence, always book for the things you require and try to avoid those services that you might use and can get them if required as an add-on.

Whenever you plan a holiday for yourself or with friends, you can come up with many more options such as finding hostels, couch surfing (not for every destination), finding a person you know and more, yet these concepts are not worthy when you are either on an executive trip or on a holiday with your family or loved ones. So, if you have been thinking for going on your next vacation and taking a step back on your decision after watching hefty hotel prices, then all you need now is to effectively go through these points and consider them all before making your hotel booking to save a good fortune. However, if you have been thinking to save a little extra, you can always search for some seasonal offers on flights as well.

What Facilities and Services to Look for When Booking a Hotel

When it comes to booking a hotel room whether for one night or a few nights, you may want to ensure that they have certain facilities and services that will make your stay more comfortable and enjoyable. Not all hotels offer the same facilities and services and they don’t always offer the same level of service, so you will want to take a close look to ensure that you are going to get what you expect to make your stay enjoyable and memorable.

One of the many things that some people want to find when staying at a hotel is an on-site wellness centre. Somewhere where they can be pampered, a place where they can enjoy a host of quality treatments by top therapists to make their stay that bit more special. Whether it’s a soothing facial or a relaxing massage, having a wellness centre on-site can provide guests with a chance to indulge and relax, to feel rejuvenated after their stay.

Another thing that many people look for when booking a hotel for a night or two is a gym. While on vacation or traveling for business, many people still enjoy their daily workout and having access to a gym where you can get your half and hour or hour of exercise may be important to you. Look at the hotel and the services they provide, identify if they can provide you with either an on-site gym or free access to a nearby gym, so that you can enjoy the benefits the gym provides while away from home.

Next ensure that they have an on-site restaurant. While being away from home is a time to try new places, sometimes having a meal in the restaurant at the hotel is more convenient, especially after a long day of meetings or sightseeing. If you are meeting friends, see if they have a lounge bar as well, somewhere where you can have breakfast, lunch and an evening meal, maybe with some well-deserved after dinner cocktails as an added benefit.

Does the hotel provide you with free Wi-Fi access during your stay. Most hotels these days will give you access to the internet. This just enables you to complete any work you need to do or to stay in contact with family and friends, updating your Facebook page so friends can see where you are and what you are up to. Having internet at your fingertips ensures that you have a technological time and that you enjoy the modern conveniences that you have at home.

Make sure the hotel you choose offers a concierge service. A concierge service can be a great benefit when away from home. This service is run by an experienced team with extensive area knowledge. They can assist you with just about anything from arranging a car hire to finding a good local restaurant to theater bookings and tour bookings. They can make recommendations on what to see and do during your stay to ensure you get the most of your experience.

The final things to look for, especially when traveling on business is whether they offer any function facilities and if so, what do they provide. If you are in town on business and you intend having a number of meetings, then you may want to take a closer look at the meeting room facilities in the hotel. Can they accommodate you to hold meetings at the hotel, maybe along with breakfast or tea and coffee, so that you can have your meetings with ease and without interruption.

Top Reasons Why You Should Travel To Iceland With Kids

In the world of travel destinations, Iceland occupies a unique position. It has a landscape like no other with a delightful mix of active volcanoes, erupting geysers, hot geothermal springs, some wonderful beaches and also caves.

It is also the land of fairies, dwarfs and elves. Iceland fires up the imagination and makes it the perfect place for a vacation with kids in summer.

Why Iceland and Kids? The answers are not hard to find.

• When one plans to visit with kids it is best to join one of the family tours in Iceland where the tour operator offers a private 4×4 vehicle with large wheels and spacious interiors. One can undertake the golden circle trip in comfort and if the kids feel like falling asleep, there is ample space.

• However, it is the attractions of Iceland that will keep kids wide awake. One such is the presence of geysers across the country. The Strokkur geyser erupts with clockwork regularity and for kids, this is a novel sight. It is safe to get close to the geyser and kids love it.

• Watching a geyser is one thing but luxuriating in the warm waters of geothermal springs is another. The Blue Lagoon near Reykjavik is like a hot tub bath and kids will love cavorting in the waters, exploring the waterfalls and caves.

• Talking of caves and grottoes, Iceland has them in plenty and one will come across such ice caves and lava tubes while on the Golden Circle tour. Exploring caves and grottoes is perfect for kids who always have fantastic imaginations.

• Then, for a bit of fun, kids can go snowmobiling on the Langjokull glacier. The Gullfoss Falls present another experience and kids simply love to be under and behind a waterfall and romp about as they are exposed to water sprays.

• Iceland can be a voyage of discovery. It is the land of volcanic rocks, ice caves and the place where two continents meet under the sea. Along with fun kids learn geography in a hands-on way.

• Kids are safe. You can sit back and have a drink and your kids may wonder about but there is no need to worry. Crime is low and people around are always helpful and watchful over kids. Even restaurants go out of their way to have “kid-friendly” menus.

• Invariably the talk will get around to fairies, dwarfs and elves. People here believe in them and some might even tell your kids interesting tales about local elves or dwarfs. For kids,this is an added element of mystery and excitement. Who knows? They may come across one.

• Then there is the grand spectacle in the sky: the Northern Lights. Plan the trip outside Reykjavik or farther North just right with the help of local tour operator and one can get to view this stupendous sight. It will certainly result in dropped jaws and eyes popping. One may find it difficult to tear the kid away from the spot.

• Kids and food go together. There is the standard fare by way of burgers and sandwiches but there is also a chance to sample Iceland’s unique cuisines, some of them simply lip-smacking enough for kids to want to gorge on them.

The days are long in summer and it may be difficult to get the kid to go to sleep. Iceland is a lure hard to resist and just right for a family vacation with kids.

Traveling Is A Way Of Attaining Peace FOR The Soul

Travelling is a thrilling experience for a lot of people. It gives them the adrenaline rush they are looking for and makes them exhilarated about all that is related to travelling. The travelling lust is quite hard to resist and there are people who cross all limits of fulfilling all the wishes and desires that they hold for travelling in their hearts.

It can turn out to be an amazing experience only if one plans it perfectly and takes care of all the little to do things that should be taken care of while travelling. It is a joyous ride and it can turn out to be really amazing.

Let us have a look at some of the tips you need to know for travelling:

• MAKE A PROPER LIST

Always have a list of everything that you would be needing and pack accordingly. A list will help you remember everything that needs to be packed and you will not forget anything in the last moment. So keep everything in your mind so that everything is kept in your mind and you know exactly what all you will need while you are on the road.

• LEARN THE COMMON TONGUE OF THE PLACE

This always helps no matter where you are travelling to. If you know few of the common phrases of that place in their mother tongue it always makes it much easier to travel and makes it much more convenient as well. Therefore try to take out some time and learn just few of the common phrases that people mostly use their so the conversing gets easier.

• DON’T FORGET THE EXTRA CAMERA BATTERY

Camera is one of the most important things to carry when you are travelling. You would obviously want to take a lot of snaps of every place you visit and capture all your memories in those photographs, therefore do not forget to carry that extra camera battery just in case of an emergency. You never know when your camera might run out of its battery due to constant usage; therefore it is always safe to carry an extra pack.

• KEEP YOUR ROOM NUMBER AND HOTEL ADDRESS NEAR TO YOU

This is just in case you have to refer to it suddenly or you get stranded and you need to ask for directions. Keep these two pieces of information handy so that you can use it whenever necessary. It is for your own good and safety, therefore just be alert while you are travelling and keep the important tips on mind. This is absolutely necessary to make your trip a successful one.

Solo Travel – 10 Ways to Save on Single Supplements

In your school days, you may have found, as I did, that economics really is the “dismal science”. However, I did learn one key fact. Supply and demand drive prices. For solo travel, the surcharge or “single supplement” does vary partly in keeping with this tried and true rule. The good news? If you prowl through the Internet, you can find ways to save on solo travel when demand is down. The bad news? Reduced or no single supplement offerings are limited in number and go fast.

Here are 10 ways to save.

1. Don’t ask for one room. Ask for a “room for one’. In Europe, lodging is often sold with solo pricing. Be sure to see if it is a solo price for a standard room or a small single room. Look at the size offered for single occupants. Then consider the amount of time you will spend in your room. I often take 10-12 hour day trips abroad with almost no time spent in my hotel room except to catch some sleep before heading out again.

2. Get there first. Book even one year ahead since few slots are reduced for solos. This is really important if you go in-season. Holiday resorts and hot spots in summer may have return visitors book the next year when they check out.

3. Head to the airport when everyone else is heading home. Off-season travel is the best way to get immediate 50% off reductions. In the south of France, rates go down as fast as Sept 9. Ski resorts, like the fabled Sun Valley Lodge, have specials just before Christmas. In winter and spring, European discounts can be half-price as well.

4. Get excited about rainy weather or extreme heat and cold. You will have to think how far you want to take this. I had a thrilling short term work trip one Jan. in Siberia. I also went on tour in India during the monsoons. In some cases, the negative pronouncements may not impact your trip. A good example? The risk of hurricanes each fall is less likely to touch the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao) making for better pricing. In Africa, for example, safari rates are lower during the rainy or “green” season if you can get away, and don’t mind the possibility of short, heavy rains.

5. Look for new travel providers. Hotels that are just opening or reopening after renovations have specials to gain or regain market share. The Hotel Castille in Paris, for example, had short-term deep discounts when it reopened just steps from fashionable boutiques. Thereafter, the rates increased in keeping with other high-end small hotels

6. Be a contrarian. Don’t pay a premium for what’s currently trending. Prowl the Internet for undervalued regions. If it is all the rage, prices will soar. In the 1980’s, I somehow found a Montenegro resort right off the Albanian border. Since then, Sveti Stefan, where I stayed, has been updated as reflected in its 5 star pricing. The moral of the story is get there before the crowds discover a destination.

7. If you can’t pronounce it or spell it, you’ll love the prices! Substitute the road less traveled. If you have a dream to see the Parthenon you must go to Greece. (That is unless you live in North America and would like to see a perfect replica in Nashville, Tenn.!) Regional air carriers are a good way to find out great largely undiscovered places at low prices. One example: I dreamed of Tahiti in my early post-graduate days. When rates were high there, Air New Zealand suggested alternatives: Rarotonga and Aitutaki. I took them up on it and had the trip of a life time dining out on the stories for years.

8. Scour the Internet for national and regional programs offered by tourist boards. Check ahead as they may only be available abroad. One of the best deals I found in the 1990’s was with then “Lan Chile”. From the US, I purchased three stand-by tickets for a total of $200 to go anywhere in the country. At that price, I made my way to Antarctica Chile, at the end of the world!

9. Use flexible dates to grab week-day deals. Hotels and airline rates often go up and down together. Why is that? That takes us back to supply and demand. When planes and hotels have low load factors, prices are softer.

10. Share to save. Look for tours that have no single supplements by agreeing to share. The benefit to this approach? It is a way to save if your travel dates are not flexible, and no to low single supplement deals are not available.

In any case, before you give up on fitting solo travel into your budget, look at these options.