Thursday, May 26, 2011

Legendary River Cruises & Inspired Design by Avalon Waterways

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Avalon Waterways for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.



I have taken several river cruises and have thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. But one company I have not sailed with yet is Avalon Waterways. With the new ships and new itineraries they are offering for 2012, I think I need to take a harder look at what they have to offer.

I visited their website to view the new ships that will be sailing in 2012. They will be offering three suite ships and each ship will have two full decks of Panorama suites that, compared to the average cabin currently doing European river cruises, will be 30 percent larger and have a 30 percent larger window viewing area. It is really neat to be able to see these new ships with the 3-D and virtual ship’s tours available on the website.

In preparation for the 2012 sailing season, Avalon Waterways has special offers and new discounts on sailings in Europe, Asia, Egypt and the Galapagos. And included with an Avalon Waterways river cruise are all food and drinks and shore excursions using local guides.

Having sailed several river cruises and, while I can tell you the destinations are important, I need to go back and emphasize the floor-to-ceiling windows offered in their Panorama suites. With river cruising, unlike ocean cruising, watching the scenery go by as you sail the river is a major part of the experience.

While there is a tremendous amount of information on their website, it is also possible to request a brochure ( Request a brochure ). And that is great for someone like me. While I can usually get the information I need off of a website, when it comes to travel, I like to slowly peruse a beautiful brochure.




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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ideas For Hanging Wet Clothes When Traveling

My own personal idea, that I have been using for years, is a stretchable travel clothesline. It has hooks on each end so the line can go around a bar, or other suitable item, and then hook back onto itself. Because it is elastic, it can be stretched tight so when clothes are placed on it, it doesn't sag.

But sometimes it is impossible to find two hooks or bars solidly into a hotel wall, and close enough together, to use this clothesline. So in recent years I tied an old shoelace to one end of the line. That way I can tie the shoelace side first, then stretch the clothesline tight to attach to that hook or bar that was previously just out of reach.

Of course there is always the hotel room that has absolutely nothing that can be used. So I thought it was worth writing about an idea I recently read about...a tension curtain rod.

A tension curtain rod that can be opened to various lengths can be temporarily installed in the bathroom doorway or in the short hallway many rooms have as one enters the room. They are easy to pack, taking up very little room in a suitcase. And voila! Another place to hang clothes to dry.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Changing Levels as a Hilton Honors Member

Hilton Honors offers four levels of membership: blue, silver, gold and diamond. A member can have blue membership forever. Higher levels of membership are earned based upon night stays and/or number of points earned.

What is nice about the Hilton program is that as soon as you have enough stays or points you automatically are upgraded to the next level for the remainder of the calendar year. Plus, you maintain that status for the following calendar year.

I find the Hilton Honors membership a great program, allowing me to earn both Hilton points AND airline points with their Double Dipping program. And the bonus amenities as you rise above blue are nice to have.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

More 'Little Ways' Tips

Thought it was about time I got back to posting more tips on little ways to make travel simpler, easier or cheaper:

Created folders, both on your computer and in a drawer, for all that great information you find on a location. Doesn't matter if you are not heading there immediately. But you'll have the links and articles handy when you do start planning a trip to that destination.

Check out the itineraries of major tour operators. They often list hotels and restaurants in addition to the location's sightseeing highlights. Use that information as a basis for planning your own do-it-yourself trip and save money.

On the other hand, use the tour information you gather to create your own personal must-see list and work with a travel agent for your own special itinerary.

Flying to a new destination? Ask your flight attendant if they have laid over in that city and, if yes, ask for advice regarding sightseeing, shopping and restaurants.

Add World Climate to your Bookmarks or Favorites so you can check out the weather and rainfall in cities worldwide. It can help you avoid the rainy season and with knowing what to pack when you are ready to visit.