What if there was a way to donate money to causes you believe in by sleeping? What if a portion of your expensive hotel bills could be donated to charities like UNICEF, World Wildlife Foundation, or the Red Cross?What if you could stay in your favourite hotel and be pampered and at the same time do something good for other people?With Charity Hotels, all this is possible. Hotels and motels build a surprisingly large cushion into the price of their rooms, allowing them to cut prices for sales without really cutting out profits. That's why Priceline bids can get rooms so cheaply, and why websites like Expedia can offer such great rates on hotel rooms at upscale hotels in great locations.A group of internationally recognized charities operating out of the Netherlands recognized this in 2004. They include:The Dutch Red CrossThe Dutch Aids Fund Stop Aids NowThe Dutch Hart FoundationThe Dutch Cancer FoundationThe Dutch World Wildlife FundDutch Amnesty InternationalThe Dutch Memisa CordaidDutch UnicefNovib in the Netherlands (known more widely as Oxfam)These ten charities approached hotels about creating a website where vacationers could register for accommodations anywhere in the world. The website would offer accommodations at reduced prices, and also offer a 5% or better donation to a charity of the registrant's choice. The market in online reservations is crowded right now, with many different companies offering basically the same deal. With Charity Hotels, you can take advantage of specially priced bargains comparable to those at Expedia or Travelocity, and know that not only are you getting a great price, you're also helping charities help others.What Do I Do?Suppose you're going on holiday to the South of France. Nice vacation, relaxing for you and the family. You want to get the best prices possible, of course, but like many people, you feel a little guilty about spending that kind of money when others in the world need it so badly.Instead of feeling guilty, go to the Charity Hotels website. Look at the list of hotels in dozens of locations, including Orlando, New York, and Paris. Once you've determined Charity Hotels has a hotel sponsoring them in the city you want to visit, fill in the simple form provided with your desired dates of stay, city and hotel you want to stay at, and number of rooms and people per room. On the next page, select from a list of hotels, including the one you chose, and book your reservation.Now every time you lay down in your comfortable bed at the end of a long day, you can not only replay all the fun you had during the day, but also think about how your donation through the Charity Hotels website is helping a child somewhere in the world get food, clean water, and a safe and comfortable place of his or her own to sleep. Or that your donation is going toward helping researchers solve the AIDS problem in Africa. Or that you have spent enough on the hotel room to put a roof on a house somewhere in tsunami-stricken Southeast Asia.How Can This Work?The concept is really simple. Just like with Expedia and other online booking systems, the hotels listed by Charity Hotels pay a commission for each booking to Charity Hotels. The difference is that instead of your money going to a corporation, it goes to a charity you believe in, helping people worldwide you don't know but still care about.Just like with other online agents, you are using a reliable, secure, and simple method to get your hotel registration. And just like all the others, you're guaranteed the best possible internet rates. You should never pay more than you would pay on the other sites, and you won't have a surcharge added to your bill.Charity Hotels has a database covering more than 25,000 hotels throughout the world. You get regular and last minute booking for hotel rooms, and you'll always get the best price.With the hundreds of hotel reservation sites online today, it's hard to tell which is the best. They all claim to be, of course. And they're all better than the others at one or another specialized thing they offer more European hotels, or they offer hostel bookings as well as hotel booking, or they give you more pictures of the hotels you're considering, or you get a slightly cheaper rate, or you have user-created hotel reviews. With Charity Hotels, you don't get the frills and extras that your commissions pay for on the other sites. Instead, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you have done something positive for the world when you book your reservation.If you're happy with your Charity Hotels reservation, you should tell your friends and family. Charity Hotels gets a better price for hotel rooms for selling more rooms. Better yet, since they are a charitable organisation, they have an easier time negotiating prices than a corporate organisation would have. You can always expect a great price with Charity Hotels, and it will only get better.What Else Should I Know?Because the rates offered through Charity Hotels are so cheap, you will need to secure your reservation with up-front credit card payment. If you find a lower rate for the same dates at the same hotel, you should call Charity Hotels within 24 hours of booking your reservation, and Charity Hotels will adjust the rate with the hotel and donate the difference to charity. (note: this only applies to rates marked Special Negotiated Internet Rates.) You may find some of the hotels on Charity Hotels marked "Preferred Hotel." This could mean one of several things: it may offer better than average value to the customer, the hotel may have offered to donate a larger percentage than usual of the reservations booked through Charity Hotels, or the hotel has another special quality that makes it more attractive than the other hotels listed.Your credit card information is accepted over a secure server. All major credit cards are accepted through Charity Hotels, but because the booking and credit charge actually goes through the hotel you're going to stay at, there may be some differences in what credit cards are actually accepted. For the same reason, cancellation policies will also vary from hotel to hotel.
If you really enjoy spending your vacation 'on water' or would like to try something new and exciting for the first time, then you can consider a houseboat vacation. There are so many fun things to do and so many great landscapes to see on a "houseboat vacation" ! But before making further plans, let's take a look at the options that you have for a low-cost vacation on water: you could rent a houseboat this year and try out an altogether exotic kind of vacation this year, or you could indulge in a houseboat timeshare. What is a houseboat timeshare? Most people who have used a houseboat timeshare say that it is a great way to spend your vacation at a very high-quality resort, in a place where you couldn't get reservations so easily that too at a very low price! Doesnt that sound great? But let's see how and why houseboat timeshares can offer you with such fabulous opportunities of low-cost vacationing on water. Initially the concept of timeshare appeared somewhere in the 1960's in France. The principle of a timeshare actually marketed the concept of 'buying the hotel' for vacationing. Indeed, timeshare is a form of real estate ownership, more precisely vacation property ownership. The owners divide the costs of running the resort and also the use of the place between themselves. This timeshare concept was first applied to land-resorts, but nowadays, we have all kinds of vacation properties, including houseboats. Houseboat timeshare works on a very simple principle. All 52 weeks of the year are divided between the owners (usually there are 51, considering that one week should remain for maintenance)! So they can own the resort on a 1/51 basis and can use the resort one week per year. Of course, one can buy as many houseboat timeshares as he/she wants to. But maybe you neither have the budget to do that nor the time. And spending your vacation in the same spot every year doesn't seem to be such an exciting idea too! Therefore, several companies have been founded who promote the idea of exchanging timeshares. Thus being a timeshare owner helps you avail the opportunity to exchange the existing timeshare with someone else to a more pleasant vacation on a different spot for a very small fee. And so, with the houseboat timeshare you could spend less for a vacation that in other conditions would end up costing you quite a fortune.There are many companies out there that deal in timeshare and exchanging. Several of them deal with all types of "vacation property ownership" , like land resorts, houseboat timesharing or even motor homes, yachts and campgrounds.If you want to consider houseboat timeshares for a low-cost vacation on water but don't know if you will really like the concept, then I would recommend that you go to one of the exchange companies and try to get a vacation timeshare for a week. These companies have special offers for non-timeshare-owners. In this way, you can check out what you'll be 'owning' and see if it suits you or not. And of course, you can make a comparison between renting and houseboat timeshare when it comes to the question of your budget. In this way you'll be able to assess if it is more convenient for you to rent or to pay the company's fee and the maintenance fee for a houseboat timeshare. Whatever be your choice, dont forget to enjoy your low-cost vacation on water to the fullest!
The practice of cigar smoking has been on the rise in the U.S. since the early 90s. In part due to a reputation as a glamorous alternative to cigarette smoking, the increase can also be tied to its popularity among celebrities, as well as to the social nature of its practice. But whatever the reason, it is clear that cigars are big business in the U.S. with higher sales of premium brands each and every year.Magazines like Cigar Aficionado portray cigar smoking as alluring, and perhaps slightly risqu (particularly for women), and so the hobby strikes a cord with young Americans. Celebrities are often photographed at parties or social gatherings with a cigar in hand, and cigar lounges find regular folks trying to emulate these stars. Clubs and societies, particularly those dominated by men, often design their regular activities around the ritual of cigar smoking. In general, cigar smoking is viewed as the civilized alternative to cigarette smoking. Unlike cigarettes, cigars have a distinct, elegant stigma attached to them that often appeals to young people, particularly those with a higher than average income. They are most often associated with an elevated status in society, and the many of the available cigar accessories reflect that fact.One of the most prominent cigar accessories, the humidor, reflects the overall style and refined nature of cigar smoking among young Americans. More expensive humidors are hand crafted out of wood. They serve not only to protect and preserve the product within but also to display them in a tasteful and fashionable manner. Large humidors may cost many hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and are often fixtures in the homes of the wealthy.But despite their prominence among the upper class, the increased affordability and availability of quality cigars has also contributed to an overall increase in cigar smoking over recent years. Today discount cigars are readily available for purchase, often from easy-to-find online merchants, at prices well below normal. Cigar stores have increasingly moved to the Web in order to offer a wider variety of brands to any location at a fraction of the usual cost. In part because of its current glamour and in part because of its practical affordability, cigar smoking has never been hotter, trendier or more profitable in the U.S.
If you are interested in visiting an amazing village in the south then you must check out Old Alabama Town in Alabama. This village is made up of quite a few 19th and 20th century buildings that are authentic and have been restored to their original beauty. Located in Montgomery, Alabama, the town stretches over six blocks in the historic downtown area of this city. That's a pretty big area and it can take up to half a day to wander around and see the architecture and all the buildings.When you visit Old Alabama Town it is like you are walking into the late 1800s and by entering this realm you can "meet" the people who had such a huge impact on developing this part of Alabama simply by reading about their lives and seeing where they lived and worked. Seeing how the different buildings were in their original form helps visitors see the distinct difference in lifestyle from city dwellers and those who lived in more rural areas.More than 40 different buildings have been restored in this tiny little village and by doing so the non profit corporation in charge of it all is helping people remember the past and learn from it for future benefits. You truly will be amazed when you visit Old Alabama Town and kids will be especially filled with wonder. That's because they can see how buildings were constructed so many years ago and give them a new appreciation for the world today.Everyone who visits Old Alabama Town leaves with a renewed appreciation for all the hard work of our ancestors to make a better world not to mention a newfound appreciation for today's conveniences. This is a fabulous day trip for singles, families, and pretty much any tourist who would enjoy a good time learning about the past.There is a website that has great information on USA Vacations and Unique Travel Spots Listed State By State and Season, the website is called: Seasonal Vacation Spots, and can be found at this url:http://www.seasonalvacationspots.comBy Robert W. BenjaminCopyright 2007 You may publish this article in your ezine, newsletter, or on your web site as long as it is reprinted in its entirety and without modification except for formatting needs or grammar corrections.
If its just for school, for your kids or for the neighborhood kids, its nice to have a purposeful educational trip that will surely be enjoyed by the children as well as teach them. Of course there is the usual trip to the museum or the so-so factory, but educational travel doesnt necessarily end with the destination, one should also consider the preparations as well as the child before you uproot them from their playgrounds.Who should plan the Trip?If the trip is an out of school activity, whether organized by you or the neighborhood parents, there should always be somebody or a group of people willing to dedicate a snippet of their time to organizing, everything, destination, transportation, food, lodgings (if any) as well as the children involved.What to BringA pack list is also essential before a trip. Here are a few things that should be in your or your childs bag when you go on an educational trip.- Snacks there should be lots of drinks and walk foods that you can eat even while walking.- First aid kit an accident can easily happen, a small trip or a scratch should be mended easily. A medicine pack can also be handy for parents who develop headaches, or for children with stomach upset.- Extra clothes children are very active, and sometimes even parents can be over-active, so it is necessary that both bring a set of clothes for those unexpected spills.- Walkie talkie If your child can handle it, a walkie-talkie or a cellular phone can be very useful if he gets lost.- Name tag Attach a name tag to his shirt or to his bag containing your contact number (without a name) so that whoever finds him can contact you.- One of his favorite toys A good thing to distract a child when he gets uneasy during travel would be one of his favorite toys.- Wipes and tissue- For that easy cleanup whenever you need it.When you get thereFall in line, and make travel buddys of two or three; the one buddy should be responsible for the other so as to prevent anyone getting left behind. This is best done with kids who dont normally play together so they can bond and get to know each other more.On the trip homeEncourage sleeping; children after a long walk can get cranky when tired, so bring some milk with you so they can sleep through the trip home.