How to Find Budget and Five Star Hotels

The hotels can be broadly categorized in three basic categories one is cheap hotels category which include One and Two Star hotels, second is budget hotels features Three and Four Star hotels and last one is luxury hotels these category houses Five Star and above hotels.

In hotel categorization, the cheap hotels are mostly considered as least rated hotels. These one or two star hotels provide simple facilities and clean furnishing. These hotels don’t have a dining facility in their premises and room services are generally not a part of their services.

The budget hotels category mainly includes three or Four Star hotels. These hotels consider as first class hotels due to their services and accommodation. These budget hotels provide best expected facilities in very nominal charges. Most of such hotels are situated near the main attractions of the city and mainly run by the large chain of hotel group.

The budget hotels provide facilities like well appointed hotel rooms with all facilities (television, coffee makers etc), Bell hop, room services and parking space. The other major features of budget hotels are swimming pool, dining place and fitness center and many more.

The five star hotels are luxurious accommodations with deluxe services. These Five Star hotels provide all expected luxury facilities with great services. The hotels mainly offer large and spacious hotel rooms with amenities like cable television, mini-bar, microwave, refrigerator and clean toiletries. The Five Star hotel also provide swimming pool, Spa services, Parking, ATMBanking, business centers meeting or conference rooms and many other quality services.

Most of the Five Star hotels are run by the large chain group of hotels, but some independence hotels also get the merit of Five Star rating and provide luxury services to their guests. Once you will have a basic understanding about the grading of the hotels, you can plan your stay more comfortably and conveniently.

6 Great Tips to Protect Your Travel Health

travel packing tips
Want a vacation from travel-related health troubles?Try these tips:

Travel Health Tip #1:

Take regular breaks Stroll the airplane aisle or highway rest stop periodically to prevent the blood in your legs from pooling. Another good reason to get moving: Sitting in a car or plane all day can make you constipated, says Rick Kellerman, M.D., president of the American Academy of Family Physicians and chairman of family medicine at the University of Kansas at Wichita, but you can prevent that with exercise. Even moving around for just a few minutes helps.

Travel Health Tip #2:

Pack produce… and other high-fiber foods, says Dr. Kellerman. You are more likely to prevent stomachaches and other gastrointestinal problems by having family members eat the way they do at home. When you get hungry and pull off the road, head to the local grocery instead of a fast food joint.

Travel Health Tip #3:

Get your ZZZs. To head off jet lag, schedule your flight as follows: When heading east, fly early; when heading west, fly late. This long-practiced flying strategy ensures the least disruption to the bodys normal sleep-wake cycle, preserving your travel health.

Travel Health Tip #4:

Wet your whistle. On a flight, you family is in a very arid environment that dehydrates the body and dries out the tender skin and mucous membranes in the nose and throat. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least 16 ounces of water before leaving and 8 ounces of water every hour while flying, suggests G. Richard Olds, M.D., a travel disease specialist and chairman of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Fruit juice is also a good choice; cola, tea and coffee are not (the caffeine they contain may have a diuretic effect). Are you visiting a hot climate? A sports beverage can replenish sodium and potassium that are lost in sweat.

Travel Health Tip #5:

Go the distance with germ warfare. You do not need to vacation in Mexico to experience Montezumas revenge. The farther you travel from home, even within the U.S., the more likely you are to be introduced to unfamiliar germs, says Dr. Olds, that will increasesyour chances of respiratory illness, loose stools and other germ-caused infections. So take precautions: If you are traveling across several states, pack some over-the-counter cough syrup, sore throat lozenges and an antidiarrhea medication, Dr. Olds says.

Travel Health Tip #6:

Shun the Sun Spending time outdoors at the beach, mountains or woods? Protect your families skin with a sunscreen that has a high SPF (30 and up). Apply it to exposed skin areas about half an hour before heading outside to allow the sunscreen to swing into action. And use at least two tablespoons per application. Reapply sunscreen every two hours throughout the day and immediately after you have gotten wet or have been sweating.

Follow all these tips and you will go a long way in assuring your and your families travel health, and guess what? your vacation will be made in the shade.

Where to Take Your Rental Car in Australia

by Amy Nutt

Australia is such a unique and fascinating country that it`s really a good idea to get out of the city and take your car hire Sydney vehicle for a little road trip. Even if you are only in the country for a few days, you can see something. There are plenty of attractions and natural vistas to be enjoyed within a short distance from any major city and if you`re hankering for a longer road trip, then there are plenty of scenic driving tours that beckon the traveler.

Short Trips If you aren`t interested in driving more than half a day or so, these attractions will let you see more of Australia without getting too far from home, or hotel, as the case may be.

Hunter Valley Wineries: Just a couple hours outside of Sydney, this is the perfect spot to enjoy nature and take a wine tasting tour. The views here are astounding.

Gipsland: A well-known skiing destination, Gipsland is nice and close to Melbourne and during the warmer months, you can picnic here or take hikes. When snow covered, these hills are perfect for trying out your snowboarding skills.

The Royal Botanical Gardens: This is found in Melbourne and is the epitome of botanical gardens. Here you`ll find more than 12,000 different types of plants, many of which are native to Australia.

Creswick Regional Park: Check out some real live koala bears and take a hike through the eucalyptus trees, or have a picnic by the lake here. It`s also a good place to try your hand at gold panning and fossicking, if you have a permit.

Buchanan Caves: Enjoy a tour through amazing limestone formations deep inside this cave system. It`s a bit of a drive, 360 km outside of Melbourne, but well worth the trip. Plan for a picnic outside the caves once you finish your tour.

Swan Hill: Just under 4 hours from Melbourne, this trip is a bit of a long one. You`ll be traveling alongside the Murray River and will have the opportunity to take a houseboat out on the river or check out the homesteads along the way.

Longer Trips For those who are looking for something a bit more exciting, there are several long drives available that allow you to get a good look at more of the Australian scenery.

The Great Southern Touring Route: This is a fairly small tour of 807 km that starts and ends in Melbourne. Your car rental Melbourne allows you to travel along the coast, through historical towns and to catch a glimpse of what rural Australia looks like.

The Matilda Highway: A real road trip at 2,725 km, this is a route that will take you through some pretty desolate areas. It`s a great way to see the real Australia and your best chance of meeting some true characters. You begin in Sydney, ending up in Karumba to the north.

Great Ocean Road: The perfect tour for anyone interested in sticking close to the ocean. The road winds along the coast, allowing for little stops in quaint towns and seaside villages. On your way, take a look at Port Fairy and Apollo Bay and don`t forget to sample the local seafood.

One of the main advantages of renting a vehicle in Australia is getting around to these different areas. If you are stuck using public transport, chances are you`ll never get out of the city and will miss some of the amazing scenery that Victoria has to offer. There are simply too many sights to see and you`ll miss the best ones without a car.

Hiking the Trails of Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe camping offers some of the most memorable trails and camp spots in the whole world. The fabulous and powerful mountains of the High Sierras surround one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, drawing campers, hikers and bikers from all over the globe to experience this jewel of a vacation spot. Let’s take a brief look at the hiking and camping in the region:

The Lake Tahoe Rim Trails, north and south, both allow views of Lake Tahoe and Carson Valley. These hikes are both moderate in difficulty, at an elevation of about 8,500 feet.

Marlette Lake is a fish hatchery at an elevation of about 8,000 feet. Hiking up the Spooner Lake Trailhead in the Nevada State Park will take you through lovely, aspen-filled North Canyon to Marlette Lake Dam. This hike is also of moderate difficulty.

The State Lookout hike is an easy one, at an elevation of about 7,000 feet and only a mile roundtrip. The Lookout affords superior lake views through free telescopes and you can take the nature trail which details the history of Lake Tahoe’s famous North Shore. Turn north on Reservoir Drive off off Highway 28.

Another short and easy hike, on Lake Tahoe’s south shore, is the Moraine Trail. Its elevation is about 6,000 feet and the hike is 2 miles roundtrip and fairly flat. It winds through the forest and along the Fallen Leaf Lakeshore and then on into Fallen Leaf Campground. Find it about three miles north of Highway 89 from South Lake Tahoe to Fallen Leaf Road.

This is just a smattering of trail descriptions for you to see some of Lake Tahoe’s wonderful trails. Don’t forget to research the weather and your permits… and that campfires are not allowed.

Happy hiking!

Airline Food Gets Worse While Ticket Prices Soar


As airlines continue to cut costs, they also continue to raise ticket prices and add fees and surcharges in an attempt to offset the rising fuel costs.  Average tickets prices are up 16 percent from last year.  Many consumers feel that the cost cuts are unfair, and have decided not to travel this year.  The recent trend of increasing fuel cost has resulted in a stricter approach to the airline companies cost control management.  Some cost cutting policies have proven effective while maintaining quality customer service ratings.  Other policies have fell short in service ratings, and some have led to the questioning of safety practices.

In the early ninety’s, airlines adopted the philosophy of “more is better”.  Increased flights coupled with more destinations, was management’s approach to increasing the consumers desire to fly.  However, this was a time when an airline could effectively advertise their services as being “less expensive than driving a vehicle”.  Airline managements’ failure to prepare for the future has introduced a new airline philosophy, “less is more”.

Nearly every major airline company in the world has been forced to cut costs over the last couple of years.  Some companies have showed excellent intuitiveness in their approach to cutting costs.  Creative ideas have led to cost savings while not compromising the quality of flight service.  Other companies have taken a more direct approach to cutting costs, eliminating freebies and lowering the quality of “on flight” meals and services.  A decrease in service quality and the luxuries that we have become accustomed to us, has resulted to fewer sales and diminishing consumer loyalty.

Air Canada has led the way in creatively cutting costs in order to make their rates affordable for consumers.  In the beginning of the year, they decided that they stripped the paint and primer off of their 767 jets in an attempt to reduce weight.  Understandably this may seem like an extreme attempt to save a couple of extra pounds.  However, Canada Air released a statement that this plan will reduce the plane’s individual weight by as much as 360 pounds, resulting in easier takeoffs and annual savings of nearly $25,000 per plane.

American carriers like Delta, Northwest, American, and Continental spent significantly less money on food than they have in previous years.  Amazingly, the quality of airline food is getting worse.  In the ninety’s, the average cost to provide a passenger with a meal was $6.00.  Now, airlines have cut cost to about $3.50 per meal.  American carriers have eliminated all free snacks including peanuts, pretzels, and soda.  With an average of 60 million domestic flights per month, airlines are saving more than just peanuts.  Hopefully these savings will result in lower fares and not just higher airline revenue.  American Airlines has stated that it would save $30 million annually by eliminating free snacks on flights.   US airways claims that they will save $1 million annually just by eliminating the free pretzel packets.

Many rumors have surfaced that airline companies have been cutting costs in divisions that may compromise the passenger’s safety.  American Airlines has been scrutinized for ineffectively providing proper inspections on their aircraft. In recent weeks, pilots have begun complaining about unsafe fueling practices.  They have stated that major carriers have become so desperate to cut costs that they are forcing them to fly with an uncomfortably low level of fuel.

Most of America’s largest airline carriers have released information showing significant losses in their most recent quarterly statements.  United Airways has declared a net loss of $2.7 billion dollars.  They have decided to decrease their flight schedule by nearly 17 percent in the fourth quarter.  United is planning on eliminating it’s entire fleet of 737’s.  This will result in a loss of nearly 7,00 jobs.