Where to stay during the summer bridge festival in budapest. 

In 1999 the festival was a way of celebrating the Bridge's 150th birthday and than it has become an annual festival. The old bridge, connecting Buda to Pest, is the symbol of Hungarian Capital.

In summer it is closed to the traffic and transformed into a huge stage. It hosts a series of free events and musical and theatrical performances. The visitors enjoy the pleasant views of the Danube while watching performances from jazz to classical music. There are also a number of stalls and cultural displays.

The good news? All performances are free!

The Festival takes place on every summer weekend from June to August! Enjoy it!

If you are looking for a budget accommodation Budapest, remember that the city can be overbooked quite soon. Tip: better book in advance to get the best prices and offers! However, Budapest offers plenty of accommodation options to any kind of pocket either for independent travellers, like backpackers or families. Private apartments are usually a very good choice, as youth hostels.

In terms of apartments, the city of Budapest is lately offering upper standards of comforts, with well refurbished and tastefully decorated flats or apartments. Expect to pay something like 10-30 euros per person. Some good apartments located downtown Budapest are the Anna Center apartment, Akademia Apartments, Apartment St, Michael, Gabriella and Elizabeth Apartments, Navigare Apartments, Budapestin flat, Arcadia Apartments, Aida Apartment. Youth hostels have cheaper rates per person. Some of the best located youth hostels and top rated by customers in Budapest are Mellow Mood Central Hostel, Moha Hostel, Goat Hostel, Domino Hostel, Marco Polo Hostel, Karat Hostel and guest house, Grand Hostel of Budapest, Riverside Youth hostel. 1st ( first) hostel with prices ranging from 12 euros per person per night in a shared dorm room.

comments 0 # 10/04/09, 18:33

Where to stay in Pattaya? 

First thing you want to do is check your budget. Hotels, resorts and guest houses are available in every price range – but you need to know how much you want to spend for your accommodations. Depending on the time of year, you can find a room in prices ranging from USD $10 up to a couple hundred dollars per day.

Next, figure out where in Pattaya or Jomtien you want to stay. There are three basic areas in Pattaya to consider – north, south and central. The northern end of Pattaya is a little less crowded but further away from the nightlife. Central is in the middle of all the beer bar action. And, south is closest to the infamous Walking Street. Rooms in all price ranges are available in all areas. And transportation is not a problem anywhere in Pattaya.

If you want to spend time at the beach, none of the above areas are recommended. Jomtien is a bit better or go to an outer island, like Koh Larn, to get your toes wet. I would not go in the water at Pattaya Beach. Jomtien may also be a better place to stay if you are bringing over the family. It is close enough to Pattaya, but far enough away from the naughty nightlife.

Once you have decided on which area to stay, you need to figure out which hotel to make your reservations at. There are numerous online reservation web sites that provide a lot of information, prices, and reviews. You can also visit any of a number of online Pattaya forums for up-to-date info.

Consideration should be given to what is available at the hotel. Does it have a swimming pool? Do they charge for bringing in a guest? Are prices higher during peak season? Is breakfast included? Are there any promotions? Any mandatory holiday dinners I have to pay for (even if I don’t attend)?

Most of the hotels offer the basics – bed, air conditioning, refrigerator, western bathroom/shower, and cable/satellite TV. Some of the more expensive resorts will offer room service and have one or more restaurants on the property. If there is no restaurant in the hotel – don’t worry. There are plenty of small restaurants and street vendors all over the city.

I would then do a search and see if the hotel or resort has their own web site and see what the listed prices are. Then, I would check with one of the in-country booking sites and see if they have better deals (usually they do). Don’t worry – it is safe and secure and the service is faster and better than dealing direct with the hotel.

Finally, make sure you book your hotel or resort before you go. You don’t want to arrive and have nowhere to stay. And, book early if you are planning to visit Thailand during “high” season – generally November to March. Pattaya resorts and hotels may also have higher prices during Christmas/New Years and during Songkran (Thai New Year – mid April).

comments 0 # 10/04/09, 18:29

Where To Stay When Visiting Bangkok. 

It is the same as buying real estate. The three most important things to remember are location, location and location.

If you will only be over-nighting in Bangkok, you may just want to stay at a hotel near the airport. Traffic can be horrendous in Bangkok, and you don’t want to risk missing your flight.

If you are like me and want to get out during your stay in Bangkok, staying in the Sukhumvit Road area is the place to be.

I only stay in Bangkok when I absolutely have to but when I do I look for hotels in the Sukhumvit and Soi 4 area. There are a few reasons for doing this:

- It is right in the heart of the action. Bars are within walking distance and prices for the hotel are reasonable.

- There are numerous restaurants within a five minute walk. I can get Thai, American, Italian, and many more European and Asian dishes easily.

- If I do need to get a taxi, I can open the front door of the hotel and take about 3 steps and get a cab.

- When it is time for me to depart and head for the airport, I get a taxi and a short jaunt across Sukhumvit and we are on the tollway. You don’t want to get stuck in Bangkok traffic when you need to catch a flight.

- Even though I speak reasonable Thai, it is nice that most of the stores and shops in the area speak a little bit of English. It saves time and makes the shopping easier.

- Speaking of shopping, Sukhumvit is a mecca of street vendors. Sharpen your negotiating skills and get all of your souvenirs at dirt cheap prices.

- Free breakfast. I usually stay at the Majestic Suites Hotel on Sukhumvit between Soi 4 and Soi 6 (closer to Soi 4) and they have a basic free breakfast.

- I can book online. There are many places to book hotels in this area using online booking which saves me time and money.

- Relatively safe. There is a police box right on the corner of Sukhumvit and Soi 4 if you need help from the boys in brown.

- Quiet. Even though it is on a main road, and overlooks a bar complex, the hotels in the area are quiet

So you can see that for about $40 USD per night, you can get excellent value for your money. You can go upscale a couple of blocks away and stay at the JW Marriott but I prefer value for my Baht.

comments 0 # 10/04/09, 18:29

Who Needs a Passport? 

A U.S. citizen needs a passport to depart or enter the United States and to enter and depart most foreign countries. Exceptions include short-term travel between the United States and Mexico, Canada, and some countries in the Caribbean, where a U.S. birth certificate or other proof of U.S. citizenship may be accepted.

Your travel agent or airline can tell you if you need a passport for the country that you plan to visit. The embassy or consulate of the country where you plan to travel can also advise you about its entry requirements.

Please Remember!

Even if you are not required to have a passport to visit a foreign country, U.S. Immigration requires you to prove your U.S. citizenship and identity to reenter the United States. Make certain that you take with you adequate documentation to pass through U.S. Immigration upon your return. A U.S. passport is the best proof of U.S. citizenship.

Other documents to prove U.S. citizenship include an expired U.S. passport, a certified copy of your U.S. birth certificate, a Certificate of Naturalization, a Certificate of Citizenship, or a Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States. To prove your identity, either a valid driver's license or a government identification card that includes a photo or a physical description is adequate. Check for the latest requirements.

With the number of international child custody cases on the rise, several countries have instituted passport requirements to help prevent child abductions. For example, Mexico has a law that requires a child traveling alone, or with only one parent, or in someone else's custody, to carry written, notarized consent from the absent parent or parents. No authorization is needed, if the child travels alone and is in possession of a U.S. passport.

A child traveling alone with a birth certificate requires written, notarized authorization from both parents.

Beware of a Passport That Is About to Expire!

Certain countries will not permit you to enter and will not place a visa in your passport, if the remaining validity is less than 6 months.

All U.S. Citizens Must Have Their Own Passport.

Since January 1981, family members are not permitted to be included in each other's passports. Even newborn babies need their own passports to travel.

When to Apply

Every year, demand for passports becomes heavy in January and declines in August. You can help reduce U.S. Government expense and avoid delays by applying between September and December. However, even during those months, periods of high demand for passports can occur. Apply several months in advance of your planned departure, whenever possible. If you need visas, allow additional time - approximately two weeks per visa.

comments 0 # 10/04/09, 18:28

Why Choose First Class Travel? 

Today, when airlines offer more economy seating and more cut-rate fares, some customers and industry watchers predict the end of first class travel.
After all, many of the most luxurious methods of travel in the past - including the once-famous MGM jet and the Concorde - are no longer offering service. It's too early to mourn the end of first class travel, though. At a time when it seems that low-cost air travel and trips are de rigeur, some companies are working harder than ever to provide high-quality first class travel experiences. Many more business, executive, and even pleasure-seeking travelers are choosing to travel first class.

There are many reasons why customers choose first class travel arrangements. Many note that the exceptional service and small extras - such as blankets and better food - ensure a pleasant trip experience. On a longer trip, these small extras allow passengers to arrive in good spirits and in a relaxed mood, ready to begin their day's business or their vacation without undue hassle or fatigue.

Many business passengers find that first class travel arrangements help them make the most of their trips and help to project a professional image. For many passengers traveling for pleasure, first class travel is a pleasant luxury that adds to the quality of a trip.

If you have always avoided first class travel because of the cost, it is time to look at your high-end travel options again. Airlines, boats, and trains are all offering better-class travel experiences at almost all price levels. There are upgraded travel packages that offer some of the perks of first class travel at a fraction of the price, for example. Look around and talk to your travel agent - you might be surprised at how much sense first class travel arrangements make.

comments 0 # 10/04/09, 18:27

Why Rent a Room When You Can Rent a House? 

When people think of vacations, they often think of wide, sandy beaches, pristine snowy slopes, or quiet lakefront living, but they inevitably end up in the same place: a cramped, generic hotel room. Why settle during your vacation? If you’re traveling with a family or group, or if you’re staying longer than three days, consider renting a vacation home. These houses and condominiums can have breathtaking views, prime location, and fabulous amenities. Best of all, they’re often less expensive than hotels.

The largest benefit to renting a home is space. Instead of sharing both a bedroom and bathroom with your kids, you can stay in a two-bedroom, two-bath home with doors for privacy and closet space for convenience. You’ll never get a living room, dining room, and kitchen in your hotel. Renting a vacation home gives you space to unwind, space to play games, and space to have dinner, all without breaking your holiday budget.

The amenities in a private home are far greater than in a hotel. Vacation rentals are fully equipped homes, and you’ll have everything at your fingertips, from televisions to teapots. If you decide to have a dinner party, you’ll be able to use the pots and pans, and also the dining room table, the place mats, and the wine opener. And that full-sized refrigerator can save you tons of money—a bacon-and-egg breakfast is a lot cheaper from the grocery store than from the nearby restaurant. Private homes and condos can also include the use of tennis courts, swimming pools, golf courses, boat launches, and private beach access—added bonuses you don’t always get with hotels.

Privacy is another great benefit. Homes and condos with private entries mean your vacation will be about you, not the couple in the next room. No one will be knocking on your door at five in the evening to see if you need your bed turned down. The ability to come and go as you please ensures your vacation will be just as you planned it.

Like all real estate, finding a vacation home comes down to location, location, location. With vacation homes, you can have the privacy of a mountain cabin, the view of an oceanfront home, or the vitality of a downtown condo. City ordinances often don’t allow multi-story buildings in a certain area (right on the ocean, for example), and so the only way to experience the best locations is to rent a private home. The location of your home also ensures you won’t have that generic hotel feel; remember, these homes are owned by other families, each decorated to be both inviting and reflective of the area.

Of course, for many travelers, the biggest reason to rent a vacation home is price. Not only do vacation homes save you money by offering a full kitchen, the prices of the homes themselves are often cheaper than a hotel for a week. Here’s an example: A family of four wants to spend a week in San Diego at the end of July. Getting two rooms in a chain hotel for seven days each, their total is around $2500. Renting a two-bedroom home for the same week is $1800. You actually save money and get more space! Month-long trips save even more money, a note worth remembering for travelers escaping winter weather.

For the less budget-conscious traveler, vacation homes are the best way to experience the luxury of a town. Plasma TVs, granite countertops, and private Jacuzzis can be found in any city—but not in a hotel. With vacation homes, you can get any amenities you want, in any part of the country.
While the jump from hotels to vacation homes may be a little intimidating if you’ve never tried it before, once you’ve experienced all a vacation home has to offer, you’ll find it’s much harder to jump back.
comments 0 # 10/04/09, 18:27

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