Cheap Holidays to New York City are Not a Fairy Tale

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Cheap Holidays to New York City are Not a Fairy Tale

Happy endings do sometimes happen, especially when attempting to find cheap holiday deals to New York. Cheap holidays are becoming increasingly rare for those who lack the time to spend searching for the lowest rate on any given date. Others learn the real secret to cheap holiday travel – finding a great source for those bargains. The same can be said of traveling to New York. You will need to save all the money you can manage on transport and lodging though in order to have plenty left over for the best pastime New York City has to offer: shopping.

Shopping in New York City any time of the year is a magical experience. Christmas shopping in New York City though transcends magic and is something mere words are hard pressed to describe. There is a type of manic energy about the city at Christmastime and all the stores seek to outdo the others in displays and sales. There is no better time to enjoy shopping in New York than the holidays. That is, unless you’ve won the lottery the day before.

Family holidays to New York are better served by including a few other activities in the mix. Some families have difficulty dragging all members from one set of shops to the next. If you must do something other than enjoy commercial bliss while enjoying holidays to New York there are a few great choices to consider.

Statue of Liberty -This gift the United States is a symbol of hope to Americans and worth visiting no matter where your journey began. As symbols go, this is one that is extremely memorable to native New Yorkers, American travelers, and international travelers alike. The ferry ride to Staten Island is free and and quite enjoyable in its own right. If you have the chance, this is a golden opportunity that should be missed when on holiday to New York. No matter how many great buys you can find at Macy’s.

Broadway -While the London Stage is amazing, there is something about Broadway that makes it well worth a visit. No matter what time of year you travel to New York there is sure to be something playing on Broadway that will strike your fancy. You may even find a few familiar plays or musicals being played on this stage with a different cast and, on rare occasions, the same cast you know and love.

More to Love – There simply isn’t enough time to go through the litany of incredible museums, galories, and libraries that are all part of New York and how incredible they are to visit while enjoying your holiday to New York. However, if you are wondering where to go in New York and your budget is limited begin with the free museums and work your way up to the paid museums until you’ve found that there is still so much to see but now time to return to life on the other side of your cheap holiday deals to New York.

Bangkok Sightseeing Vacation – Frugal Tips

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Bangkok Sightseeing Vacation – Frugal Tips

Have you been planning a Bangkok sightseeing vacation but always holds it back because of budget constraints? Don’t worry because there are many ways to enjoy Bangkok even with limited vacation funds.

Bangkok is really one of the best places to visit if you want quality but inexpensive vacation. It has numerous tourist attractions that are usually accessible by public transportation. So before you cave in to the luring sales pitch of the tour guides that charge hefty fees, it is worth to read the following frugal tips for your future Bangkok sightseeing vacation plan.

Use the Map. You can ask a free copy of Bangkok map at the hotel concierge. If you cannot find any, though rarely, you can always refer to the maps located in the public transportation stations of the metro train or express boats.

Also, majority of the tourist attractions have tourist information booth nearby that you can approach.

Research Earlier. Guided tours are always expensive because you pay for their service and knowledge. Tour guides will provide you with the history, its significance and other related information of the sights you wish to go.

But why spend a dime for information that is widely available with no cost at all. Before you pack your things, do some little homework. Research and read about those famous tourist attractions that you plan to visit. This will save you a substantial amount of money while you will enjoy the thrill of exploring unguided Bangkok sightseeing tours.

Take Express Boat. This is the great way to get around in Bangkok because it is cheap and fast, away from the congested roads. Express boat is also known as the public boat. With regular trips and several routes, you can visit major tourist attractions using express boat.

Here are few local tourist attractions that you can reach through Express boat.

• Emerald Buddha & Grand Palace
• The Golden Buddha
• The Reclining Buddha
• The National Museum of Royal Barges
• Wat Arun

Tour guides will approach you in every sightseeing site. Don’t succumb to their overcharged fees as most of the local attractions are just walking distance from the pier (where the express (public) boats dock).

For instance, Wat Arun is located just across the pier Tha Tien where you get off for the Reclining Buddha. There is available ferry that will take you for five minutes or less to the Wat Arun from the Tha Tien pier for only 3 bhat per way.

Bangkok Mass Transit System. It is also known as BTS Sky train, a quick and convenient way to reach shopping malls and other tourists destinations. Aside that it gives you a top view of the city, BTS Sky train is also clean. It will cost you between 30-40 baht per trip per way.
Here are few places you can go using the BTS Sky train.

• Siam Square (Bangkok’s shopping heartland)
• Victory Monument
• MBK Shopping Mall
• Chatuchak or Weekend Market

Pack Extra Traveling Bags. Bangkok is always associated with shopping because there are so many things to buy at reasonable prices from clothes, shoes, silk, tailor-made suits, jewelries to souvenir items. You will definitely end up with an extra travelling bag on your return.

To pack all these new shopping goodies, you will need an additional suitcase on your return but why you have to buy an extra suitcase when you can pack some old folding traveling bags you keep in your closet back home.

Now that you know few Bangkok sightseeing vacation frugal tips, it’s about time to let go your travel qualms and enjoy the thrill of exploring frugally the various local attractions in Bangkok.

Why Do you Pay Commissions When you Do your Own Travel Bookings

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Why Do you Pay Commissions When you Do your Own Travel Bookings?

When you buy a travel package, tour or service your price may include a number of levels of commission added to the original pure cost of the product direct from the supplier.

To give an example of such:

Let’s take a tour operated in Australia at a cost direct from the operator of say $1,000:

1. This tour may be listed with an Inbound Tour Operator.

2. The ITO buys for $1,000, marks up 10%, sells to Wholesaler- tour price now $1,100.

3. The Wholesaler buys for $1,100, marks up !0%, sells to Retailer- tour price now $1,210.

4. The Retailer buys for $1210, marks up 10%, sells to Traveller- tour price now $1,331.

(prices change if percentages are higher, or less if the ITO is not in this equation)

(without the ITO, retail price would be $1,210 at 10% or $1322 at 15%).

The commission element, without the ITO at 10% mark-up is $210 per tour per person (21%).

The commission element, without the ITO at 15% mark-up is $322 per tour per person (32%).

So the Traveller pays variable levels of middleman commissions.. When you have 2 or 3 or a family of travellers, this is a considerable amount of cash and if you have a tour costing in excess of $1,000, just do the math.

Similarly, brochure prices have commissions built in to them for the retailers of 10 – 25%.

If a consumer goes to an Outlet Store they expect outlet prices, if they go directly to the Manufacturer they expect ‘go-direct’ prices, so why not handle travel arrangements in a similar way?

Because, it is only fair that each level of the product sales cycle earns revenue for the business involved and these businesses are necessary and needed to ensure that products are marketed, promoted, brochured and sold to consumers around the world who may not be comfortable with handling their own bookings and need the assistance of an expert professional travel consultant.. However, with the growth of the internet and the ability to now find the source of travel products, travellers who handle their own arrangements should get a fairer deal on the pricing as a middleman is not needed in the purchasing process.

It does not make sense for most travel operators to show different prices on their websites, Retail, Wholesale or Internet Direct etc as this could undermine their supply chain by deterring the efficient middlemen from representing their products, so we have to find a way for all of the

‘do-it-yourself’ bookers to get a fairer price.

There is a way. A new service has been introduced that enables travel operators to encourage and reward travellers who are comfortable with direct bookings and for them to get a fair price break for the commission no longer required to be paid out. The new service, operated by, offers TopTravelVouchers for sale that have values equivalent to, or more than the commission elements on the operator’s travel products. These may be purchased by travellers at very deep discounts to their redemption values, getting closer to the direct cost price of the travel product for the consumer… think outlet pricing or go-direct deals.

The Travel Operator still incurs the commission cost by issuing a toptravelvoucher but the beneficiary of the price break is the traveller, not the middleman. By encouraging and rewarding travellers, the operators should get more traffic to their websites.

TopTravelSites can be compared to a retail travel company but it does not sell travel. It only introduces travellers to operators involved with the program and invites them to go directly to the travel websites of its clients. If travellers want to do business directly with the travel providers on the site they can get a price break by purchasing toptravelvouchers online at prices of $30, $50 or $100usd (or equivalent foreign currency). The vouchers have a 100% money-back guarantee and if, after the travel has been completed, the traveller is unhappy with the product, the cost of the voucher is reimbursed and redress is sought from the operator.

Hundreds of vouchers are currently available and new vouchers are being added each month but when you see a voucher valued at 1,500 euros for sale for $100usd it may not be long before you will see thousands of choices. Many other vouchers are available and can be purchased by single travellers, groups or families, leading to very healthy savings for all ‘do-it-yourself’ bookers.

Many travel operators will continue to sell through a supply chain but there are thousands of travel businesses around the world that want to improve their representation and for their services to be seen by a wider audience of travellers. Most travel operators would always be willing to pay a commission on sales and so this site might offer great appeal to them. It will surely attract travellers booking their own arrangements and being rewarded by rebated commission and as long as the site operator keeps to low overheads (no bricks and mortar stores or expensive brochures) it will also appeal to many more travellers and travel providers. .

You can visit the site at where you can also link to some last minute deals, a travel ezine and some destination specific sites for the South Pacific..

Phuket – Visiting Thailand – Phuket – Vat Refund for Tourists Traveling to the Land of Smile

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Phuket – Visiting Thailand – Phuket – Vat Refund for Tourists Traveling to the Land of Smile

VAT refund for tourists

All Non-Thai nationals who travel to Thailand and departy from an international airport are able to submit a VAT refund application. Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hat –Yai, Phuket and U-Tapao are all participating international airports.

After filling out the short application, witch can be found at the airport, your purchased goods must be presented to the airport’s Custom officers for inspection. Original tax invoice (receipts) must also be presented at this time. VAT refunds process is to be done before flight check-in.

While in Phuket you have probably seen stores displaying a ‘’ VAT REFUND FOR TOURISTS’’ sign.

There are thousands of shops and businesses throughout Thailand where you can receive VAT refund for your purchases. Phuket alone has over 136 stores. An extensive list of these shops can be viewed at the Revenue Department of Thailand website.   

On the purchasing day, present your passport and ask the sales assistant at the store to complete the VAT refund Application for tourists form (P.P10) and attached the original tax invoices to the form. Each application form (P.P10) must show a value goods of 2,000 bath or more. Purchased goods must be taken out of Thailand within 60 days from the date of purchase to be eligible for a VAT refund.

There is a small fee of about 100 Bath applied to refund requests. Airline crew members departing Thailand on duty or those who carry a diplomatic passport and reside in Thailand are not entitled to VAT refund.

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French online travel market remains stable

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French online travel market remains stable

France Online Travel Report 2010
 In 2009, the percentage of online bookings for both business and leisure travel increased slightly to 33% relative to the total travel market. In addition, French based internet travel sites generated 25% of all online revenue. These numbers are expected to increase further in 2011.
 Expansions spur increasing competition. ( )
 In the fourth quarter of 2009 Opodo, with 1.6 million unique visitors, replaced Expedia in the Top 5 ranking of online travel agencies. Competition is also increasing because many traditional travel agencies continue to expand their online services. As evinced by “France Online Travel Report 2010″, the preferred strategy of most companies is external growth. French online travel provider Go Voyages, which expects to considerably increase its revenue for 2009/10 by approx. 30%, does not exclude the option of company takeovers., the French internet portal dedicated to travel, seeks to expand as well through acquisitions.
 Key Findings
 - Online leisure and unmanaged business bookings in France are projected to remain flat while the overall travel market contracts by -9%.
 - In 2009, the online travel market represented 20-25% of total online sales in France.
 - “Flight Tickets” were the travel category most purchased online in 2009, followed by “Hotel or Club”.
 - In the fourth quarter of 2009, Expedia was replaced by Opodo within the Top 5 ranking, reaching 1.6 million unique visitors.
 - Easyvoyage plans to reach revenues of EUR 21 million in 2010, up from EUR 17 million in 2009.
 To know more and to buy a copy of your report feel free to visit :   
 Related Reports
 Online Travel Industry India
 Report on Online Leisure Travel Services World Market Segmentation by City
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Hiking Backpack Types

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Hiking Backpack Types

There are many types of hiking backpacks that are available for sale, but how do you really know which one is right for you. There are all sorts of them because there are many different ways you can actually use them, that is the reason why you will find so many kinds of backpacks. So the question is what kind do you actually get and what should you look for in it?

To start you off, lets see what kind of backpack you will need. First I will highly recommend to right away look at waterproof hiking backpacks because those are always needed, you don’t want to take chances with water. Then figure out how much you want to spend on it and what you will be using it for. Is it going to be short camping trips, short hiking trips, or long? This is really important because it will be the deciding factor that plays when you are deciding the type of hiking backpack you want to get.

So let’s see what else there is, next you want actually check if the backpack is of high quality and will fit perfectly on your body. The first place to check is what supports the upper half of the backpack, which is the shoulder straps, see if there is a lot of cushion here and it fits good on you. Next you want to check the waist line, the front and the back. The back is also supposed to have a lot of cushion to absorb the weight and for it to allow you to be comfortable. The front is supposed to usually have a waist belt to balance out the weight.

Just the back in general is important and should be very comfortable. There are many different sizes that can fit on your body and you should check that out as well, whether you are a short person or a tall person, women or man, there is the right type of backpack for you.