Prepare For Overseas Travel With Quality Travel Guides

The lure of different cultures and climates stimulates many millions of people to travel outside their own country each year in search of fun, frolicking and adventure. Overseas travel is exciting for most people and knowing how to make the best of your destination is critical for full holiday enjoyment, or even the efficient execution of a business trip.

Indeed, knowing which accommodation to book and which to avoid at all costs, where to savour the best meals and drinks, or even solid tips on the best time to visit popular sights is made easier by a proliferation of travel guides. For example, business travellers, unless they are extremely lucky, seldom have time for sight-seeing or finding their own way around a city or destination meaning that they especially need to be fully clued up before they arrive. Travel guides can help make getting from A to B so much easier, as well as highlighting great places to stay and where to eat and drink; so taking much of the guess work out of avoiding poor choices, for leisure travellers too!

Although traditionally printed in book form, many travel guides are now available on the internet and alternatives are also available in other formats such as i-pod downloads. It is important to understand that unless hosted by a trusted publication then beware of such internet guides. Many rogue sites are set up merely to attract customers to particular establishments and attractions or even just to generate links to and from other sites, which therefore may not be totally unbiased or even written by independent travellers. Other websites may purport to give genuine travellers' reviews, but again may not be wholly independent as individuals from commercial organisations can also pretend to be unbiased reviewers.

For the best travel guides many travellers choose to stick with printed material. Books are easily portable and can be read anywhere, especially on the plane, boat or train on the way to your destination. They tend to have been thoroughly researched, well written and independent of commercial influences. Because they are published by mainstream publishers they can also be trusted and there is recourse for the buyer if the guide is woefully inaccurate. Of course, given the lead times to get things in print and depending how long after it went to print, that when it is purchased things may be out of date; but this a lag time that is likely to occur with any medium.

But, here's a thought. If printed travel guides didn't do the job, would so many be on sale at so many newsagents in most of the world's airport departure lounges?

Online Travel Guides Having a Heyday

As Online Travel has caught the fancy of the internet savvy travelers the online travel market is booming. No wonder that the online Travel is one of the fastest growing markets worldwide. India is also not left behind in this race as according to industry Pundits, Online Travel Market in India would be worth around US $ 6 Billion.

As a logical extension to such buoyancy, Travel Guides have shown a steady rising to move online and in the process fulfilling the needs of the niche readers. Both traditional print brands as well as purely cyber entities are slogging it out to grab the attention of this niche segment. The publishers of print brands after their initial reluctance have also started embracing the web and publish all their content online.
Travel Guides

Let's take a look at what the Travel Guides offer. Travel guides have become a necessary tool for anyone who is thinking of vacation. A Travel Guide is full of helpful advice, precise information, good ideas etc besides being well-written, well laid out as well as well indexed.

These City centric guides provide information on all aspects of travel. You can get good information on How to Reach, Attractions, Excursions, festivals, History along with the various kinds of accommodations available like lodges, hotels, resorts and the bed-and-breakfasts. Convenient maps make it easy for the newcomers to exactly pinpoint any destination.

An ideal Travel guide should also briefly outline the recreational activities coupled with more mundane activities of life that can be done in a particular city. Another important aspect that is generally missed out is the public transport of the cities where a traveler lands up. A genuine Travel Guide is also supposed to give precise information of the state of public transport highlighting bus routes, Cabs and Auto fares.

Another important aspect of a City Guide is to have a semblance of balanced information. This is important because travel can be both for as well as business.

Pros and cons of Online Travel Guides

More and more people are into researching the internet as a result the Online Travel Guides have become quite popular as compared to their print counterparts. However both the two brands have their own set of advantages and limitations.

Online Destination Guides are successful in tapping user-generated reviews and provide the added advantage of E- Commerce options. So surf the web pages of the guide and book flights, hotels and other arrangements at one go directly through the site. Another great feature of the Online Guides is that there is ample scope for value addition. For example Indian railway has planned a new train to connect Amritsar to Kasargod. This information can be easily updated in the Guide for the travelers to see.

As Hotels and rental agencies change their rates according to season and local competition, online travel guides also offer a dynamic lot of packages based on such variances. However coming to the flip side of it is very difficult to find Online Travel guides bereft of commercial influences. It is not uncommon to see many sites that are setup to merely attract the potential customers to a particular establishment, or sites giving reviews by travelers may not be wholly independent.

To conclude Online Travel Guides have become a very good way to gather information about smaller cities of India that has an immense tourism potential but often neglected. For example the whole of North east, Northern Kerala neglected as a tourist spot over the years have seen good tourist influx thanks to the ubiquitous travel guides.

A Travel Guide Website May Show You Some Attractions

There are numerous no cost Vacation Website Travel Guides available. These can give you a lot of useful information whether you want to travel to South America, Australia, Japan, or a little known holiday location on a beautiful shoreline.

All commercial Internet Vacation Travel Guides characteristically offer all of this and more. When you're planning a holiday in the United States, you ought to be aware that most states and many municipalities operate free Internet websites, which will provide you with ample facts about the exciting areas to visit in their state. These web sites will tell you the best time to visit, and the opportunities for a good time as well as news about the better hotels, and the better restaurants that are there for your pleasure.

A quality travel guide will include the better hotels in your chosen holiday location, along with a short review of the hotels with their ratings. These rating are usually provided by a reliable hotel rating service. The better reviews consist of information about prices, availability and any amenities provided in the room. You might occasionally come across a review posted by a recent guest. Be aware that a negative review could happen due to a minor disagreement. Some Internet Website guides allow you to reserve a room through their Internet website or provide a link to a webpage, which allows you to make a reservation.

Website Suggestion
If you're unsure where to holiday, turning the pages in a travel guide website may show you some attractions. An Internet vacation guide like Frommers Internet guide website for example, offers holiday recommendations such as a cruise, seaside activities, and wet sports, out-of-doors and adventure, as well as theme parks, winter activities and road trips. Your job in this Internet venture is just to find a tantalizing idea while reading one of these categories.

Some Internet website guides may offer videos consisting of the travel locations that the potential traveler has queried. Frommer's website, together with other Internet travel guide websites, affords the visitor 'lifestyle advice' for their holiday. This can include advice for families, honeymooners, seniors, gay and lesbian, people with a disability, singles, students, and females.

When choosing an Internet guide, check to see if it offers recent and in depth articles about the world destinations that you're interested in seeing. Investigate to see if the web site accepts articles by sponsors who pay a fee for placing the article. A good website will give you 'customs facts' that you may require for an array of nations. They will provide facts about some of the areas in the world to avoid for personal safety reasons. If you're considering taking a holiday, you may want to go to a few of the various vacation travel Internet websites available.

I Am Tired of Being Misled While Traveling - I Need Only the Best Travel Guides!

This is why airports always seem to have the highest concentration of annoyed people. Travel agents, tourist maps and offers, hotel mix ups, delayed flights and cancellations, all of these things happen on a regular basis and seem to automatically toss an unwelcomed wrench into the vacation plans of those that have come to need their private get-a-way. Finding the best travel guides has become quite the strenuous chore recently, but with a little help from me, you will be well on your way to Cancun without all of the expected travel mishaps that are caused by some travel agents' not doing their jobs.

I would say that the best course of action would be to log onto the internet and compare all of the deals that a quick search on Google would bring up, but this might be where all of your troubles begin. Finding the best travel guides online has become an incredibly tricky endeavor lately with all of the scam artists that seem to have taken refuge there lately. However, I am not going to say that logging onto the internet in search for the best travel guides is a bad idea, it is just a matter of what to look for. There is a trust that any travel places in their travel guides simply cannot be violated, a sacred trust that must be maintained, lest their reputations will begin to precede them in ways that is, well, less than reputable.

This they know, the scam artists, I mean, and that is why they never use the same website twice. Switching their hosting servers, their URLs, even their business names in order to fool their potential customers has become rather common place for these crooks, making them extremely hard to point out. That is why the only businesses that you can really trust are those that already have a standing reputation for good service, and this requires years of public use and exposure in order to accumulate.

Finding the best travel guides on the internet can be difficult, but when it comes right down to it, it is a matter of researching these companies before using their services that eliminates the real traveling threat. In short, the real threat to your vacations sanity lies within your ability to spend the time needed to find whether or not your chosen company is really who they say they are.

Starting A Travel Deals And Reviews Website

There are many ways to make a healthy living online, if you know which fields are the most lucrative. Since the dawn of the Internet, most people have been turning to the concept of a travel deals and reviews site, because of how complicated and confusing the traveling process can be for the inexperienced traveler. Also, these places can act as a guide for where to stay - and where not to stay - when one gets ready for a visit. With all the many sites out there similar to this, however, how can one stand out from the rest of the pack? Actually, it's quite simple.

Start by visiting all of your competition. What do they offer that are good ideas? What could they be improving upon? Learning from the competition gives you a nice starting point, but it isn't something you should be getting too wrapped up in. The next step would be to actually brainstorm for ideas. What can you offer to boost traffic? Travel tips and reviews are always popular when building a list of users. It helps you establish loyalty, and it also helps to ingratiate your site to hotels, tourist spots, airports and rental car agencies. As you build closer relationships with all of these outlets, it becomes possible to offer really great deals that are profitable for everyone involved.

Most travelers today swear by the package deal. For one price, they want to get their airline tickets round trip, a rental car secured, and a place to stay. Getting all these vendors to agree to a package deal often makes money for the vendors and saves money for the consumer. Being able to facilitate that will be another large boost to your traffic and will enable you to get some real advertising dollars that will help to turn the site profitable. But even more important than driving lots of people to your site is what you do with them once they are there.

Travel expenses are not one time affairs. People are always going on vacations or weekend getaways. Your site needs repeat business to be successful, and one of the surest ways of doing this is to specialize in customer service. Follow up with customers after their travels. Give them a mouthpiece to voice their approval or their complaints. Show that you care about their satisfaction by offering great follow up deals, and loyalty will grow. Once the loyalty is there, it will transfer to other people that the user knows who travel often. Good word of mouth will continue to grow the business in a never ending cycle of customer satisfaction and response. With all these things in place, the sky is the limit for your site.

Praia Da Rocha Travel Info and Review

Praia Da Rocha started out in the 1930's as a quiet and stylish resort. Being part of the city of Portimao, it is one of the most gorgeous parts of the Algarve. Praia Da Rocha is filled with golden yellow wonderful beaches and craggy cliffs; it makes it the perfect get away destination for over a million holidaymakers each year.

Praia Da Rocha's nearest airport is Faro Global Airport, which happens to be one of the most hectic airports in Portugal. It's worked out that Faro Global Airport servers just about five and a half million passengers each year!

If you're organizing your own transportation from the airfield, you may have a bunch of taxi's to choose from. They are readily available and well priced. Or you can rent a auto. The roads used to be very bad here, but now they've been improved so renting a car is far easier than what it was once. It's now our recommended type of transport in Praia Da Rocha.

Hiring an auto definitely allows more freedom to drive around this pretty resort, but if cost is a factor, fear not, because the resort runs a brilliant tiny tourist train which is actually handy and terribly cheap. There are buses everywhere you can cheaply hop off and on of.

If you are big on views and sights, definitely take the car. If you're over here for a calming break just lounging around by the pool or local beach ( as the majority of you will be ), then it probably isn't worth hiring a vehicle out. The corporations could have wonderful deals on though so you could always check them out!

There are plenty of hotel decisions in Praia Da Rocha that you can select from. There are ones that will fit anyone's budget; from cheap low end hotels to fancy five star hotels you will find the perfect one for your vacation in Praia Da Rocha.

There are a number of cost-effective boat tours that will take you out to see the gorgeous dolphins. After your trip out to see to see the dolphins, why don't you enjoy a nice meal or a lager at one of the many excellent harbour front cafes.

Another great move to make whilst on vacation here is to hire a ship and go out and experience the beautiful waves, or you might just lie on the beach and hear those waves all day long, perhaps with a cocktail in your hand. There are countless beaches that will cater for that need.

If shopping is what you are searching for then taking a visit to Algarve Shopping center will fill your day with fun and excitement. With an array of great shops and great restaurants you will not become bored spending your day at the mall.

Bali Travel Guide and Review - Part 1

Bali Introduction: The Geography

Bali is a small volcanic island covering around 5000 square kilometers, just south of the equator. Central Bali is dominated by the island's major volcanic peaks, from which the land steadily descends all the way down to sea level on the northern and eastern coasts; the southern Bali peninsula is largely flat. There are four major volcanoes in Bali, the highest being Mt Agung at 3124m. Agung erupted violently in 1963 and although many people died in the eruption it has since been a blessing to the Balinese in providing some of the richest soil in Indonesia. The next four highest mountains are no longer alive but the smaller Mt Batur (1717m) is one of the most active volcanoes in the region, puffing regular clouds of ash into the air. Bali, being such a small island, has little space to create rivers of any notable size. Rather it is riddled with small creeks that are channeled into the intricate irrigation system that feeds Balinese rice paddies. Nevertheless, some major rivers do flow, namely the Sungai Pakrisan ("Kris River"), the Sungai Petanu ("Cursed River") and the Ayung, Bali's longest river.

Bali Introduction : The History

Many years ago Bali was divided into eight Hindu kingdoms. These small kingdoms were powerful but prone to fighting each other, which weakened their resistance to foreign invasion. As early as the sixth century, Javanese kings conquered parts of Bali although Balinese princes often continued to rule as puppets with Javanese sovereignty pulling their strings. Nevertheless power continued to bounce between various kingdoms of Bali and Java. As links with Java strengthened, Javanese script, sculpture and temples began to appear on the island. Late in the tenth century, ties between the islands were solidified with the marital union of a Balinese Prince and a Javanese Princess. The Javanese Majapahit kingdom conquered Bali in the thirteenth century by vanquishing the semi-demonic king of Bali at the time, 'Dalem Bedulu', and attempting to eradicate the 'vile' Balinese princes and their 'barbaric' customs. Ironically, the supreme Majapahit ruler gave a Balinese the position of 'King of Bali', a position that gained little respect from the majority of Balinese who continued to refuse to recognize Javanese sovereignty. The Majapahit presence in Bali turned out to be short and turbulent and during the ensuing centuries, much of the unique Balinese Hindu culture and traditions that we see in Bali today were created. This was possibly a result of a community determined to protect their individuality and not be overcome by imported Javanese culture.

Contact with the west began when a Dutch fleet stumbled across Bali in 1597 and felt they had found 'paradise'. Many of the crew refused to return home but stories of a magical place leaked back to their homeland. With Dutch royalty eager to establish relations, Dutch ships bearing gifts for the Balinese kings were dispatched. However, from a trading perspective, Bali had little to offer so the opportunity to develop international relations was restricted at first. Originally, its primary export was slaves but as the world slave trade was curtailed, the Balinese Kings turned to other commodities such as coconut oil, thereby putting Bali in a position to enter the world trading market.

Dutch interest in the Indonesian islands changed into the seventeenth century and the merchant ships gave way to war ships. The Dutch had overcome many Javanese kingdoms through ancient principles of divide and conquer and the same approach was taken in Bali. As the Balinese continued to resist, the Dutch became more and more aggressive. Stories of their barbaric tactics were not received well in their homeland and protests led them to complete their invasion more tactfully. Surprisingly, once the Dutch secured control, they protected the island from outside influences and encouraged them to maintain much of their culture and traditions. Grateful of this as we are today, their reasons were not purely benevolent: they considered the Balinese controllable with their peaceful religion but were wary should that religion change to a more fundamental variety.

World War 2 brought a new era as Japanese armies took over from the Dutch. The Japanese presence in Bali was short lived and they left without a trace as they lost the war. The Dutch tried to return to the Indonesian islands, but their desperate attempts to regain power in the colony were condemned all over the world. Together with the rest of the Dutch East Indies archipelago, Bali was handed over to a new independent Indonesian government that emerged in 1949. Bali had finally lost its liberty and fell to its destiny of economic and political dependence on neighboring Java.

Bali Introduction : The Population

Bali is bursting, with an estimated population of over three million people. Through the controversial transmigration program, Balinese communities have developed in the outer regions of Indonesia such as Sumatra and Sulawesi, in order to relieve the islands' already stretched natural resources.

to be continued...

Bali Travel Guide And Review - Part 2

Balinese Castes

The Balinese Hindu religion necessitates a traditional caste system though it has never been as dissentious as its Indian ancestor. This is mostly due to the fact that over 90% of Balinese belong to the lowest 'Sudra' caste, and in India would have been seen as 'untouchable'. Given their dominance such attitudes in Bali would not be realistic. However, inter-marriage stays rare and discouraged.

The three upper castes are collectively known as the 'Triwangsa' ('three peoples') comprising Brahmana, Kesayatria and Wesia. Caste is determined by birth but is rarely reflected in a person's occupation, although only a Brahmana can become a Pedanda high priest, and only Brahmana may take the task of repairing masks from the 'Barong' dance as they harbour the force to protect themselves from the evil spirits.

Balinese Names

Upon hearing a Balinese friends name, you can recognize some elements of his or her background. First, the name will often point to the cast to which they originate from. For example, if you meet someone named Ida Bagus, you recognize they belong to the highest Brahmana caste or, if they are called Gusti, they will almost certainly belong to the Wesia caste. The Balinese also distinguish their children in order of birth. Together with a personal name, unique in the family, a Balinese child will be awarded a more common name. The firstborn is often Wayan or Putu while the second born generally carries the name of Made or Kadek. The third child may be Nyoman or Komang and the fourth is always Ketut; with the birth of a fifth child, the naming cycle begins again.


The Balinese dote on their children, a devotion that no doubt contributes to the calm and relaxed demeanour of the island's population. At birth the baby's umbilical cord is buried with offerings to protect them throughout their lives. Until the child reaches three months of age, they are permanently carried as it is regarded as unclean and disrespectful if they should touch the ground before that age. Balinese children are discouraged from crawling, believed to be only the actions of an animal, and learn to walk at a very young age. Upon reaching 105 days, the baby will be ornamented with bracelets and anklets. A further 105 days later, a ceremony is held to signify their entry into adulthood. The passage through puberty is celebrated with a tooth filing ceremony, aimed to flatten any pointed teeth that may represent evil and designed to curb sinful emotions and actions such as greed, anger, jealousy, stupidity, and adultery.

Everyday, there are many temple ceremonies all over Bali. Some are held at a single village temple while others are island-wide. One common ceremony is the 'odelan', held every 210 days to celebrate a temple's anniversary. Another is held every time there is a full moon. The day of Saraswati heralds a ceremony celebrating knowledge, learning and the arts. Ceremonies on this day are held in relation to schools and primarily involve students. Some important days occur very rarely such as the 'Eka Dasa Rudra', held only once every 100 years at Besakih Temple. .


Bali is a predominantly Hindu Island, living on in an Islamic nation. Minority populations of Muslims, Christians and Buddhists are also found on the island.

Little is known of the introduction of Hinduism in Bali though it doubtlessly involved the Indian traders who came to these parts for the spice trade over two thousand years ago. Given its physical isolation from the ancestral religion, Balinese Hinduism has since evolved into a unique version of the ancient faith. Although the basics remain the same, many of the gods revered on Bali are unknown in India and vice versa. Vast Hindu kingdoms were also found in neighbouring islands but they disappeared soon after the Arabs became interested in the archipelago, bringing with them Islam to Indonesia's shores. Bali maintained little interest for the Arab traders so it was for the most part left alone. Throughout Indonesia, traditional beliefs in mysticism and the spiritual world remain strong, despite the common practice of imported faiths that forbid such strong beliefs.

While the impact this has had on the Islamic faith is often controversial, for the Balinese, the two have merely blend to create the distinctive religion they follow today.

Life in Bali orbits around the temple. There are literally thousands of temples throughout the island, ranging from small backyard shrines, to large public temple complexes. These temples play host to hundreds of ceremonies each year; colourful public displays of Balinese devotion to their gods. Each temple is consecrated to a specific god or goddess. For example, every village has a "Pura Dalem", a temple devoted to the god Shiva, the 'destroyer'. It is at the Pura Dalem, that ceremonies for the dead are held, most commonly cremations.

to be continued.....