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Tips for choosing the right hotel for your travels

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Looking for the right hotel for your needs while on vacation can be a daunting experience, particularly because of the endless array of options out there. Vacations are supposed to be your time away for relaxation, which can be incredibly hard to do if you cannot find accommodation that is suited to your preferences or budget. Selecting the right hotel for you can be a trying task with the numerous promotions and deals available. The process of selection is made more overwhelming by the tantalizing photos and seductive promotional copy, which can make it very hard to make the right decision. So how can you tell if the hotel that you pick will live up to its hype? Read on for the best tips on choosing the right hotel for your travels:

Figure out what matters to you

If you do not know what matters to you when looking for a hotel, then it will be impossible to pick the right accommodation for you. Before starting the search, it is important to ask yourself about the types of accommodations that matter to you, as well as your budget restrictions.  Does the location of your hotel beat the price? Do you want a hotel with a pool or kid’s activities?

Once you have made up your mind about what you want, you can then proceed to make targeted searches based on your preferences.

Pick a hotel based on your itinerary

It is always advisable to pick your hotel based on your itinerary or depending on the activities that you might want to try during your stay. As such, you may want to pick a hotel that is situated in the heart of the city or one on the outskirts of town if most of your activities of choice are localized there. When on vacation, you definitely do not want to waste time driving back and forth between one activity and the next.  If you have a clear understanding of exactly what you want to do, you should make sure that your hotel fits your general plans.

Set a budget

Nearly all booking engines out there allow you to sort the hotel search results based on price. Although the price is an important factor when picking your hotel, you should also pay attention to your overall travel expenses, activities and food before you finally make that booking. This is because top of the line luxury hotels tend to be situated in high-end areas, which can be very expensive. So even if you can afford to stay at a luxury hotel of your choosing, the prices of the activities and the meals around your hotel may be too much to handle. In such a scenario, you may run out of funds even before you start to fully enjoy yourself.

Know which amenities matter to you

Amenities can make or break your hotel stay. When looking for a hotel of your choice, always ensure that the hotel has the basic amenities to allow you to enjoy your stay. They should include air conditioning, free breakfast, parking, and Wi-Fi. As always, before you make any bookings you should confirm the cost of these amenities.

The worst thing that you can do is arrive at a hotel expecting free Wi-Fi only to find out that it is not.  Check out the reviews closely to find out this information. Focus on reviews that were published within the last year to get a true picture of what you might be paying for; a lot can happen in a few months or years so positive reviews from months ago may not necessarily coincide with the state of the hotel now.  Alternatively, you can make an inquiry by contacting the hotel directly to confirm anything if you are still concerned.

Are there any missing points you’d want to highlight ? How do you choose your hotels for holiday ?

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Four African Destinations To Watch In 2019.

Africa is ideally positioned to answer the need for adventure and authenticity, according to industry players. The following destinations are likely to be hot in the year to come, according to travel experts in Africa.

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There is no question that international tourism is on the rise – we see it at Bergdorf Goodman; we see it in Miami-Karen Katz

As Karen Katz, an American Author and Publisher has opined, international tourism is on the rise, we see it everywhere, Europe,Americas, Asia and Africa to mention just a few, but predicting tourism trends is hard.

Warren Green from Warren Green & Associates says: “Predicting trends is a little like predicting the weather these days.”

Although its difficult to pinpoint actual trends ,Warren Green shares a few ideas for the year 2019.

He predicts we will be seeing growth in the adventure sector typified by youthful travelers seeking off-the-beaten-path experiences that offer physical engagement. Successful destinations in 2019 will speak to this market.

Africa is ideally positioned to answer the need for adventure and authenticity, according to industry players.

Rumit Mehta, founder of Immersion Journeys, a Safari Pros member, said this can be seen in forward bookings. “Guests are booking not only deep into 2019 already but seriously considering 2020 and are willing to put down deposits. So, the trend is a continued demand to visit Africa,” he said.

The following destinations are likely to be hot in the year to come, according to travel experts in Africa.  

1. Rwanda – Sean Kritzinger, co-owner and executive chairman at Giltedge Africa, said that Ellen DeGeneres’ recent visit to Rwanda has put the East African country in the spotlight for gorilla trekking.

Henk Graaff, managing director SW Africa, agreed, pointing out that one of the greatest advantages of opting for Rwanda for gorilla-trekking expeditions is that the condition of the roads is very good, the travel distances are small and the infrastructure is great.

However, gorillas aren’t the only drawing card for Rwanda. The country continues to attract high-end travelers and is in a position to finally offer diverse experiences beyond the gorillas, such as Nyungwe and Akagera national parks, said Mehta.

Rwanda has indeed set the stage for an ecotourism revolution, according to Craig Glatthaar, Wilderness Safaris business manager. He said that with amazing cultural experiences and incredible biodiversity, Rwanda is well positioned to tell the story of its incredible history and its evolution into one of Africa’s most progressive countries.

“The country has embarked on an epic ecotourism drive and is building sustainable ecotourism models to counter their dependency on agricultural revenue. This is an exciting time to visit a country in a state of rebirth that understands the benefit of ecotourism, and how tourism economies can truly benefit its wildlife and people,” said Glatthaar.

New and exciting developments for 2019 in Rwanda include the opening of Wilderness Safaris’ new Magashi tented camp, which is set to open in Akagera this year.

Kigali Genocide Memorial,Rwanda .(Photo credit-Exposure)

2. Ghana- There has been an increase in tourism to Ghana (West Africa).

“It’s a stable country where English is spoken and new hotels are opening,” Ruhmit Mehta (Founder of Immersion Journey) pointed out.

The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) recently announced that key tourist sites in the country will receive a face-lift in 2019. This comes as tourism has been recognized as the country’s fourth-largest foreign exchange earner with the support of tourist sites such as Kakum National Park and the Cape Coast and Elmina castles.

Cape Coast Castle.

Another plus: Airlift to Ghana is expected to improve in 2019. South Africa Airways (SAA) recently announced it will increase its frequency of nonstop flights between Washington Dulles and Accra’s Kotoka Airport to five days weekly starting April 2.

According to Todd Neuman, SAA’s regional general manager for North America, the service between Washington and Accra has been a resounding success from its inception in 2015.

This also marks the Year of Return for Ghana, which is expected to draw a number of tourists from the U.S.

Owner and Travel Consultant at Oheneba Events & Travel, Akua Washington said Ghana’s Tourism Authority is heavily marketing the Year of Return.

She said: “This is meant to commemorate 400 years since the first ship carrying enslaved Africans reached the Americas. There are many festivities planned.”

According to Washington, while much of the rest of West Africa is not yet established as tried-and-true tourist destinations, Ghana is leading the way.

She said: “The infrastructure is sound, the exchange rates for the dollar and euro are strong, and the people are extremely hospitable.”

Washington added that the Ghana Tourism Authority is focused on providing tour operators and suppliers with the training necessary to ensure every traveler has a welcoming and unforgettable experience. She said: “Guides and operators go through a rigorous vetting and training process to be licensed to operate in the country.”

3. Namibia — Elizabeth Gordon, CEO and co-founder of Extraordinary Journeys, said she has seen a huge interest in Namibia. “The destination is so remote yet offers a wide variety of excursions for any type of traveler,” Gordon said. “It’s so incredibly different from other parts of Africa travelers typically go to and offers great diversity in landscape from the desert, coast and canyons.”

Kritzinger has also seen Namibia grow in popularity with some new innovative lodges that have recently been launched.

Andbeyond sossusvlei desert lodge closed in January this year for a complete refurbishment and will reopen in October with a modern look, including glass walls to maximize the dramatic desert views. Current accommodations will be expanded along with the addition of a two-bedroom private villa, perfect for visiting families. New experiences planned for the lodge include e-bike excursions to the mountains, gravel planes and sand dunes that surround the property.

andbeyond sossusvlei desert lodge-Namibia

The Shipwreck Lodge on the Skeleton Coast also opened last year. This uniquely designed luxury lodge has 10 shipwreck-style cabins, cast adrift on the sand dunes of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast.

Shipwreck Lodge-Namibia

Namibia, with its unique landscapes and ancient cultures, will especially appeal to the return visitor to Africa, according to Jim Holden, Holden Safaris.

4. South Africa – Tourism officials said South Africa will become even more popular than it already is in 2019, as it is an affordable country and offers many more tourist attractions than the customary safari.

Holden said South African Tourism will continue to steer visitors away from the traditional destinations — Cape Town, Kruger Park safaris — to other parts of the country, such as Kwa Zulu Natal and the Garden Route, where prices are more competitive.

Sherwin Banda, president of African Travel Inc., agreed, saying South Africa will continue to be popular because it offers great value and offers many diverse experiences, from wildlife and culture to sightseeing and cuisine.

Kruger Park Lodge. SA

Also in South Africa, new developments and lodges are in the works. Joss Kent, CEO of andBeyond, said he expects the eastern sector of the Sabi Sand to attract a lot of attention in 2019.

So if you are a traveler, you might want to consider these four beautiful destinations in Africa.

Source: Travelweekly.com

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China Orders Airlines To Ground All Boeing 737 Max 8 Aircraft

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Responding to the second crash of a Boeing 737 Max 8 soon after takeoff in less than five months, China ordered its airlines on Monday morning to ground all 96 of the aircraft that they operate.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China noted in its announcement of the grounding that both the Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday and a Lion Air crash in Indonesia in late October had involved very recently delivered Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft that crashed soon after takeoff.


The Chinese aviation regulator said in its announcement that it had notified Chinese air carriers at 9 a.m. that they had nine hours to take the planes out of service. But the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, a government agency that oversees the Chinese government’s large stakes in airlines and many other industries, announced on Weibo, a social media site, just an hour later that all of the carriers’ 96 Boeing 737 Max 8s had already been grounded, although the posting was later deleted.
Flight tracking websites showed that Chinese airlines were substituting Boeing 737-800s on Monday morning on routes where they had previously operated a Boeing 737 Max 8.


China’s main airlines are among the biggest users so far of the new Boeing jets, having taken delivery of most of the planes they have ordered so far. By contrast, many other carriers, often in slower-growing markets than China’s, have taken delivery of only a small fraction of their orders for the Boeing 737 Max 8.
Separately, Boeing said it was postponing the external debut of its 777X plane, which had been planned for Wednesday. The company took the action in a statement in which it said it was “deeply saddened” by the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident.
On a commercial level, China’s aviation sector could actually benefit from the tragedies in Indonesia and Ethiopia. A government-owned company in Shanghai has begun doing flight tests of a Chinese-made alternative to the Boeing 737, called the Comac C919. The C919 is the cornerstone of China’s effort to build a commercial aviation competitor to Boeing and Airbus.
The C919 has already attracted hundreds of orders from air carriers in China’s state-controlled airline industry, and it is scheduled to deliver the plane starting in 2021. But China has struggled to find overseas buyers beyond securing a handful of orders from tiny airlines in impoverished countries that are heavily dependent on Chinese aid.


The C919 still faces big hurdles before it could prove to be a viable competitor. Airlines worry that it won’t be as fuel efficient as rival planes from Boeing and Airbus. Fuel is one of the main costs in operating a passenger airline, and even more important for international cargo airlines like FedEx, which have evinced little immediate interest in buying the C919. Big buyers would likely wait to see how the planes perform in China before making a commitment.
Another issue lies in how open about safety issues China will be. The country’s safety regulator and the manufacturer, the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, have worked closely with foreign experts so far on safety.
An embarrassing crash could test how willing the company and regulators in Beijing would be to share information. When a high-speed train crashed in southeastern China in July, 2011, the authorities quickly bulldozed the wreckage into pits and covered it over before investigators could even start trying to figure out what went wrong.


The Chinese government also issued an order to domestic media not to cover the crash and not to do investigations into what went wrong.
Airlines might switch instead to the better-known Airbus alternative, the A320neo.

 

Source: The New York Times

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Revealed: The Best U.S States To Live For Your Well-Being

Your general well-being is primarily responsible for your wellness all round. You should take care of your body, workout routinely, associate yourself with positive people and appreciate simple things done unto you every day. Doing all these, along with being in a healthy relationship significantly makes you confident and courageous even when faced with insurmountable challenges.

But all these aren’t just enough if you are to indeed lead a satisfying life. You might be doing everything that bolsters your well-being; staying happy and connected, reaching out and having time for fun, just like you would love to be happy and healthy throughout. But as it turns out, there is something that might be hampering you from being well all round.

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Your general well-being is primarily responsible for your wellness all round. You should take care of your body, workout routinely, associate yourself with positive people and appreciate simple things done unto you every day. Doing all these, along with being in a healthy relationship significantly makes you confident and courageous even when faced with insurmountable challenges.

But all these aren’t just enough if you are to indeed lead a satisfying life. You might be doing everything that bolsters your well-being; staying happy and connected, reaching out and having time for fun, just like you would love to be happy and healthy throughout. But as it turns out, there is something that might be hampering you from being well all round.

Here are the best states in the US to reside for your well being

Before we take a look at the healthiest and happiest states in the US, it’s important to acknowledge the importance of the annual survey. Well, the results exhibit the various states’ inhabitant social, economic and health outlook, where people should live in and perhaps where to avoid. The statistics are rated on a scale of 0 to 100 with 0 being a state where it ranks low regarding well-being.

In 2016, Gallup did a well-being study across the US, of course, hoping to reveal states whose residents ranked high in well-being. They focused on five major elements that explain a person who does well concerning their well-being.

Essentially, the elements were:

  • Sense of Purpose
  • Social – a place where love and relationships can thrive.
  • Financial and Economic Security
  • Amount of pride in the Community
  • Physical look or the terrain that favor wellness

Well-being Survey: Healthiest, Happiest States

  1. Hawaii

People living in the little tropical islands of Hawaii are the happiest and the reason a no-brainer. From the scenic mountains to the warm, welcoming beaches, Hawaii indeed has every reason to be the most welcoming state. And, for the record, it is the record 5th time Hawaii is coming first since 2008!

hawaiian-hula-dancers-377653_1920.jpg

  1. Alaska

The far-off state of Alaska is not the best of places if you are used to living in the large cities. However, many love Alaska and thus vouch for it as among the states to live in because it is great concerning residents’ financial well-being.

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  1. Montana

Regarding community well-being, Montana ranks top, and that’s the main reason this state is third best state for your overall well-being.

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  1. Colorado

If you have been to Colorado, then you’ll know for sure why it is another ideal state to live in if you value your well-being.

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  1. Wyoming

With the latest well-being index score of 63.5, Wyoming is without a doubt, another state worth living. In this state, locals exhibit a high sense of purpose and community.

wyoming-1676467_1920.jpg

 

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