Expertise, the Key to Successful School Sports Tours

The prospect of taking a group of young people away on school sports tours, academic tours or just plain sightseeing may fill you with more than a little apprehension. However, as long as a few ground rules are followed and your organisational skills are top notch, they can be a wonderful and educational experience for all involved.

The responsibility

Understandably, your top priority will be the safety and security of the youngsters but that will be quickly followed by the pressing need to ensure that they are fully occupied and obtaining value out of the journey. Little may be more of a recipe for difficulties than a group of children or teenagers that are challenged in terms of having something to do that interests them.

Part of helping to make that happen, involves having a clearly defined target for the trip and a very precise plan of action. One of the biggest risks to the success of any such trip is when you are reduced to needing to “wing it” once there in terms of what happens.

Time and expertise

Organising school sports tours is potentially extremely time consuming and it is far from easy. Take, for example, the hypothetical case of a trip to do some canoeing and sightseeing in France. Not only is it necessary to make all the travel arrangements, book accommodation and arrange for inter-site transport once you’re there, but you’ll also have to understand what local permits may be required, what insurance may be required by French law, where to book the appropriate equipment and to arrange for local instructors.

Then, if you’d also like to see some of the local history, you will need to find out where the major sights are, when they’re open, when the local public holidays are (in which case some local attractions may be closed) and so on. It’s quite a task, particularly if you have not previously been responsible for organising study or school sports tours.

Leaving it the experts

Of course, it is perfectly possible to make all the arrangements yourself if you have the time and are prepared to accept the responsibility that comes with a ‘DIY’ approach. However, an alternative may be to leave it to somebody else.

There are companies that specialise in travel and activity arrangements for schools, colleges and youth associations/clubs etc. They will be able to take the weight off of your shoulders and allow you to get on with your normal daily professional routine. In fact, if you consult with them in advance, they may actually be able to suggest a range of alternatives for your school sports tours relating to the activity or interests you and your group have.

Travel With Style

Your heading out for that vacation you’ve been waiting sooo long for. You’ve got your tickets, passports current. Don’t sacrifice comfort for fashion as you jet off to paradise – you can truly have both!

What to take? It’s really quite easy. Don’t just squeeze whatever you can into that suitcase, then hope you’ve got everything to travel in style. We’re going to help you pack the perfect “fashion statement” suitcase for your trip to paradise!

Trip to the Airport

For your trip to the airport dress comfortably but don’t overdo it. Don’t be a “show off” at the airport, you’ll draw as much negative attention as the “scruffy person”.

Remember you’ve got security to clear so keep the jewelry simple to avoid setting off alarms and creating long lineups of backlog as they take you apart one piece at a time.

Carry a travel wallet with slots for your id, passport and boarding pass – it will keep things moving smoothly. Have a pocket in your carry on where you can place your jewelry and coins in prior to clearing security.

Remember your jacket, poncho, or overgarmet may be removed so make sure what your wearing underneath is appropriate for others to view.

Basics to Pack
Pack a lightweight coat, white or light colored shirt that goes with many of your other wardrobe pieces, neutral pants, and a tote bag.

Be sure to include a cardigan for the cooler evenings. Pack a versatile dress than you can dress up or down depending on what your plans are. Pack both flat sandles and sandles with a slight heel – wedges are perfect.

Wardrobe For Sightseeing

As glamourous as you may want to look while out exploring the sites and shopping at your destination, stilettos are out of the question! Comfortable shoes are a must for the mileage your going to put on your feet.

As well you must bring jeans or similar type casual pant, day or night jacket, a versatile skirt and a dress is great.

Your Trip To The Beach

Don’t overpack for a week in the

tropics. Just bring the minimum, you’ll not be wearing much more than that in your “hot” tropical location.

Make certain you have a pair of strappy flat or near flat sandles that you find comfortable for walking in and don’t mind if they get covered in sand or water. Don’t forget your bathing suit or bikini – most important.

Sunglasses and a tote are also needed. Add a light sundress, cotton blend shirt, hat, denim or similar type causal short skirt, shorts, and a light sweater.

Make yourself a checklist. Remember – pack for your destination, pack simple but pack fashionable. Add accessories and jewelry and you’ll have fashionable fun in paradise!

Last Minute Travel Packages

At certain times of the year the prices of airline tickets, cruises, hotel rooms and even rental cars shoot up tremendously. This inconveniences many a last minute traveler. Since transport and accommodation are the basic requirements of any traveler, the price hike often creates a big hazard and brings quite a few holiday plans to a standstill. At such times, the most practical option available is to indulge in the last minute travel packages available. Travelers who do not have a fixed destination generally prefer these special packages. Last minute travel packages normally include a variety of destination choices at affordable rates.

These last minute special travel packages offer convenient seven nights of stay and include the airfare, hotel accommodation, hotel taxes and transfer between the hotel and the airport. Some packages also offer three to four nights of stay. Since these packages are inclusive of applicable taxes. This makes them all the more affordable and luring to the traveler. These last minute travel packages have enabled a number of travelers to visit some of the most amazing and exotic locales around the world. They probably would have never thought about these destinations otherwise. These packages are normally available from 14 days to 3 hours prior to departure. They are extremely flexible and economical. They help the traveler to choose the hotel, flight and car according to his budget and personal taste.

There are a number of special last minute travel packages offered by various online websites and travel agencies. These packages also offer a number of destinations for weekend getaways. Weekend getaway packages are generally available up to 17 days prior to departure. Last minute travel packages offer some of the best transport and accommodation rates along with a variety of exciting destinations for the traveler to choose from.

The 5 Main Reasons for Choosing a Travel Agent

It is now possible to almost arrange any travel itineraries independently online. There are pros and cons to all things. Here we look at 5 reasons to consult with a travel consultant for your plans.

1. The Complete Picture

Prudent travellers understand that it is not simply the original tour price that determines the total price of any package. The selection of dates, locations, airlines, quality of accommodation, booking policies, available amenities and other things make up the complete package. Not all the items are fully included in all packages. Every person or group has unique needs and the good consultants listen to the individual needs and tailor a package accordingly.

2. Best Price

Best prices means saving money, but it is more about value. The right flights, times, accommodation, cruised etc. are important to travellers. Good travel consultants create a package based on individual needs rather than what might be advertised as “the best price”. Sometimes “best price” and individual travel needs meet creating the best value travel option.

3. Save Time and Energy

Time is a valuable resource for all of us. Most people will say that there is not enough time for travelling. Good travel consultants aim to provide the right travel experience at the expected quality at the best price, saving time and energy for the traveller. It may be possible to save time by booking directly online, but the travel agent will find the right travel arrangements often at a better price.

4. Understand the Risks

We all have a good idea about the risks in our home country. However, every country has its own risks. Travel consultants know or have access to information that will increase the chance of safe and secure travel in countries that they work with. Understand how to choose food, how to travel safely, what the weather is like and how to enjoy the sights and your travel will be much more enjoyable.

5, Product Knowledge

Many travellers want to discover new things. Travel consultants have at their disposal thousands of proven travel options. Their knowledge may very well help you find a better travel experience than what is available online. (Please note: not all travel options are available online)

Travel can be a risky business, getting the right package, getting there, touring in a strange land, meeting different people and trying new foods. Your travel agent is there to help you enjoy the best of what there is to offer and help to keep you safe.

Last Minute Holidays Are Always Fun

Last minute holidays are always the most successful and energizing ones. We live in a world where planning is critical due to our hectic schedules and lives, but once or twice a year we get to go on direct holidays where relaxation, fun, recharging our batteries is what we do all the time. Whenever we plan our holidays, usually something will come up, like a last minute project, or a last minute business trip, or some kind of a family event, problems with the kids or the wife, stuff like that can totally ruin the will to go on vacation.

As last minute holidays are always unplanned we do not have time to worry about details, details can be really bugging and can take up a lot of our time, so we will feel the need to allocate time to plan details as well. Some people over do it. So it is not advisable to pay attention to details. Just let loose for once. After all, that is all what last minute holidays are all about.

That is all, vacations in general, are all about. No worries, no cell phones, no responsibilities, no one to bother us, just relaxing in the hot summer sun, or the fresh mountain air, climbing hills, discovering territories, visiting history sites, visiting other countries, capitals, remote places or villages , experiencing other cultures.

These are the stuff we do on last minute holidays which will recharge out batteries for sure, and we will be able to continue our hectic daily lives back at home when our vacation is done. When it comes to the vacations season, and most of the time of the rest of the year, many travel companies have special offers for so called direct holidays.

If you are thinking about where to go on your vacation you should really check out one of these offers that come in special packages with special prices for airline tickets, special prices at the hotel in the place you choose to stay in and so on. When you ask for help at such a travel agency, you should leave some notes about what places you want to visit and for how long you want to stay in one place, so they can get in touch with the local hotels and airline companies, and depending on how earlier you plan your trip you will be able to get discounts and special offers.

So that is the opposite of the last minute holidays, when you carefully plan it and save some money. However, planning is boring and monotony is killing the life out of people, so last minute holidays will always be pleasant. It all depends on what kind of a person you are, but even if you are very taken take a chance and let yourself lose on last minute holidays for once.

What People Can Look for in Fitness Resorts

One of the fulfilling ways to enjoy a fitness vacation is to choose a well-located, comfortable fitness resort where you and your family members can command all the conveniences and have a pleasant stay. Unlike other vacation holidays, fitness vacation is something different and special as the prime purpose is for you to acquire fitness and good health while having fun-filled holidays.

Fitness resorts believe health is wealth and they provide holistic wellness programs to enable their participants to gain sound health and also train them to adopt new lifestyles so that they remain healthy for ever. In many fitness resorts, you learn some unique and innovative exercise programs from qualified trainers the like of which you may not come across in gyms or boot camps.

The exercises will help improve your muscle strength, enhance your physical endurance levels and improve your cardiovascular functioning. The physical workouts in fitness resorts may not be as aggressive and demanding as in some military style boot camps but they will be effective nonetheless. In many fitness resorts the workouts will also include variety of water sports, outdoor games, aerobics, cycling, running and many other team sports.

Abdominal area is the part in which most of your fat gets stored up and in the fitness classes, you will be initiated into exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups stomach crunched and squats so that your abdominal tissues get strengthened and your excess fat gets reduced. Depending on the location you may also be asked to partake in adventure related activities like windsurfing, rock climbing and Para-sailing.

Fitness resorts will create for you the right type of ambiance that you may never feel the strain of the physical exercises. The best part of it is their location as most of these resorts are situated amidst picturesque surroundings and natural sceneries where you will have access to clean water and fresh cool air.

In most resorts, you can expect a variety of services and the most attractive among them can be fitness spa. It is a water treatment exercise that calms your mind and soothes your nerves and makes your skin to glow. You will also be taught yoga and meditation to inculcate mental alertness and emotional poise. Some fitness resorts also specialize in offering remedial programs for persons with chronic ailments like diabetes, arthritis, blood pressure, hypertension etc.

In these resorts, you are taught the value of nutrition and offered a balanced and carefully crafted low calorie diet that includes vegetables, fruits and grains so that the type of food prevents health disorders, arrests accumulation of unwanted fat and boosts your overall energy levels.

In these resorts, your diet will be monitored and your food intake will be personally supervised by qualified nutritionists. Some of the fitness resorts also conduct cooking classes so that you can learn how to make your own balanced food that will be helpful after you leave the fitness resort.

Health is of paramount importance in one’s life and maintaining sound health free from all ailments can increase your longevity. Fitness resorts are there to help you achieve this.

The secret to a healthy and fit body also includes involving ourselves in fitness resorts or boot camp vacations that helps in keeping us in good shape. The boot camp fitness program varies from individual to individual and helps in attaining the target.

Planning a Hollywood Vacation? Visit Grauman's Chinese Theater

No Hollywood vacation tour is complete without visiting the Grauman's Chinese Theater. It is located at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. This movie theater was commissioned in the year 1927 by a partnership headed by Sid Grauman. The theater looks like a giant Chinese pagoda, a huge dragon in the front and two stone lion-dogs guarding the entrance. Over two million visitors visit the Grauman's Chinese Theater every year.

The most attraction here is the Grauman's Forecourt where Hollywood stars have been immortalizing themselves by implanting their hands and feet in cement. Every major Hollywood star has had their hands & footprints embedded in the Grauman's Forecourt. It is open free to all visitors and can be visited at any time but the facade is pretty at night. At present the forecourt adds prints only once or twice a year due limited space.

Grauman's Chinese Theater was opened on May 18th 1927 with the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille's The King of Kings. The theater is a popular spot for movie premieres and therefore every visitor can see the forecourt filled with cameramen, technicians, lights and carpets. It is therefore better to arrive there at early morning to avoid disruption by the movie peoples.

The theater has hosted the annual Academy Award ceremonies also. It has appeared in some movies like "Singing in the Rain," and "Speed." In A recent film, the "Mighty Joe Young," a giant gorilla climbs up the side of the theater and perches atop its roof. In another TV show, "I Love Lucy," there is a scene when Lucy stealing the cement block of John Wayne's footprints at the forecourt. Long back the theater was renamed "Mann's Chinese Theater" after it was purchased by Ted Mann but later it regained its original name.

Even after seven decades the interior of the theater is in still in good condition. The theater's interior is a dazzling blur of exotic Asian motifs. The lobby has elaborated wall murals and a colossal Chinese chandelier. The vast auditorium has 2,200 red seats with red carpeting kept in a good condition. The balcony has been divided into four private opera boxes for visiting celebrities. Anybody can see the interior of the theater and watch the well maintained furniture and costumes for the price of a movie ticket.

The theater offers 70mm projection and THX sound system. The Grauman's Chinese Theater is located at the northeast corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Orange Drive. Guided walking tour is available at the theater for a small charge. The tour takes guests inside the theater and the guide tells about the history of the theater, about the footprints and handprints in the forecourt and about the world premieres that have been held there. The Grauman's Chinese Theater is a must see in any Hollywood vacation package.

Taking A Vacation In Your Office

The workplace can be very boring especially if you are doing the same thing everyday – sitting on your desk and staring at the monitor of your computer. This is especially true to men who are actually designed to be free as a bird and not spend the rest of his lifetime being in the prison called "office". Here are some tips you can use to escape your office and take a vacation without leaving your work behind.

During lunch break, do not just sit there and eat your lunch in your cubicle. Instead, leave the building promises and eat somewhere else. The human body is designed to handle only an amount of stress at a given time, and to free yourself from whatever causes stress (in your case, the office) even just for a short period of time can help your body relax and recover.

When working with your computer, relive your past vacation experiences by uploading vacation photos and making them your computer's screensaver. Studies show that viewing pictures of restful and quiet sceneries help reduce your stress by allowing you to feel the exact relaxing feeling you feel when having a vacation.

What's more, when you breathe deeply like you do on vacation, you also free your mind from the worries and stress of work. Do this by closing your eyes for at least 7 minutes and breathe deeply through your nostrils. Deep breathing is a form of exercises that helps stretch out your chest muscles and gives your mind the signal that your body is ready to relax.

Another way to perfectly revive your senses is to listen to music and sounds that you usually listened to when on a vacation. The sounds of waves for example reminds you of times when you are relaxing on a beautiful beach. Pick out an instrumental CD that plays any sound related to nature and vacation and listen to it while working or during breaks.

You do not have to suffer from the stresses brought to your office work every single day of your life. You are too special to get stressed so find ways to enjoy and relax while working at the same time. Your boss will even thank you for it since a stress-free worker produces more excellent results.

5 Ideas for Active Winter Vacation Adventures

During the winter, many people tend to get less active, usually due to the weather. Maybe it's cold and snowy where you live, or sometimes it's always rainy and cloudy. If you live in a northern climate where sports and recreational activities are not as easy to do, then you need to consider going on a winter vacation. Not only can you get out and get much needed exercise, but you can also have fun. Here are a few ideas for winter vacation adventures.

Skiing and Snowboarding

A ski or snowboarding vacation is ideal during the winter. Chances are, no matter where you live, that there is a mountain or ski resort either with short drive or a short plane trip from you. You can save money by choosing a convenient ski package which includes air travel, rental car, hotel stay and even lift passes. Talk to your travel agent about ski packages that include ski lessons if you are a beginner. Or maybe you want to learn how to snowboard? Book your adventure at a resort that specializes in snowboarding.


With skiing and snowboarding, you are wooshing down a hill, and it does qualify as a strenuous activity. However, if you really want to get active, try snowshoeing. It's an underrated activity which is easy to pick up and can be a great way to exercise. Bring along your camera to snap great photos of wildlife and gorgeous scenery. Indeed, there's nothing quite like snowshoeing through the snowy wilderness. Make sure to bring along a guide though, as you do not want to get lost!

Scuba Diving

Can scuba diving serve as a winter activity? Certainly it can! Just book your vacation to a tropical climate instead. Try the Caribbean, Hawaii, Australia or Thailand for great scuba diving destinations. You can even find travel packages which include scuba adventures and guides. Scuba diving is fun but also a very active exercise. It's so peaceful under the water that you forget you are engaging in a healthy activity!


Winter is a great time to book a few days or a week at a retreat. Retreats are available in all types of genres. You can choose a yoga retreat in Hawaii, or a kickboxing retreat in Thailand. How about a karate retreat in Okinawa? Maybe you want to concentrate on weight loss instead? There's a myriad of options available for that, including weight loss retreats which feature chefs cooking you healthy food. You can also concentrate on wellness activities like meditation, massage and spa treatments. There are even retreats specifically designed for people who are going through a difficult emotional time, like grief, loss and depression. If you're feeling like you want to be pampered though, there are options for that, like luxury retreats. At luxury retreats, you get 5 star accommodations and all the extras that go along with it, like a personal butler, personal chef, private pool and private lessons or coaching for a variety of activities.

Home Plans – Building a Perfect Vacation Home

The vacation home is not the out of reach luxury item reserved for the super rich it once was. With proper planning and budgeting your family can have a second home in your favorite vacation destination to enjoy for generations to come. You can make your home comfortable and stylish on a budget with these simple steps.

Step one is to decide on a location. Take into consideration your family’s lifestyle when selecting a location. It should be a place that you have visited in the past and have enjoyed returning to time and time again. Unlike staying in hotels, it is harder to change your mind after your new vacation home is built. Make sure activities that the whole family enjoys are nearby. And try keeping your home a short driving distance from your primary residence to keep down on travel time and expense.

Step two is to decide on a home style. The location you picked in step one above will play a significant role in determining the style of the house plan you choose. You probably don’t want to go with log cabin home plans if the site you select is on the beach. Blending in with the surrounding environment and neighboring homes can be both a budget saver and keep you in good standing with the community.

Step three is to research stock and semi-custom home plans that you can take right to a builder to slightly modify or start building from. There may even be free loghome plans or significantly low cost plans for a multitude of home styles available that your builder can customize for a nominal fee. These are great budget savers.

Step four is to budget. You can never run the numbers too many times. And when they do not add up there is nothing wrong with saving up for another year before starting your home or reconfiguring the budget to make it work. You don’t want to decide on that perfect cabin cottage home plan vacation house only to never be able to complete it or not have the funds to maintain and enjoy it for many years.

Step five is to build and enjoy it. Be involved as much as possible in the building process to be sure you are getting just what you want. Ask questions whenever you do not understand something. Visit the site as often as you can to make sure everything is going as planned. This is your investment and your family’s future retreat; make sure it is what you want.