StrongEcho

The world’s largest fall, Niagara, is located in the border of Ontario, Canada, and New York State. Its height is 167 ft. Due to its geographic positioning and Goat Island located in the middle of Falls, Niagara Fall is separated into two sections: Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side, and American Falls, on the American side.

For most of us it seems like that there should be nothing else do except for enjoying the view of Niagara Falls. But we are wrong. Niagara has attractions, museums, wine trail, Eire Canal, parks and golf parks.

 

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As I have addressed in my previous blog post (Is Traveling Hurt by the Current Economy?), traveling has become a luxury activity which is very expensive. But there are people from all over the world who will not give up their favorite hobby for any reason. I’ve also mentioned that there are a number of ways to reduce the cost of traveling to the minimum. One of the ways was to shop around and look for cheaper prices.

A decade ago, if you wanted to travel you would visit travel agencies who could provide you with various choices of airline tickets and hotel rooms’ prices from different suppliers. I am not making a mistake by talking in past tense about those travel agencies. Even though they still exist, rarely anybody uses their services. Today everything is done online: the same travel agency but without physical location. This “revolution” has changed the whole traveling industry. But is this good or bad for a regular traveler?

It seems like that online websites are making our jobs easier and less time consuming to buy an airline ticket and reserve a hotel. Have you ever tried to Google words like “Cheap traveling,” “Cheap hotels” or “Cheap flights”? Instantly you will get more than 9 million hits. Due to recent economic reasons which made cheaper traveling searches a profitable industry, a lot of new companies were created this past three to four years, trying to accommodate travelers with affordable hotels, airline tickets, and even car rentals. Most probably, you have seen commercials or at least heard of websites like Kayak, Expedia, Hotwire, and Orbitz. These companies’ competitive advantage over travel agencies is that their system is designed to track the price changes and availabilities of every flight offered by all major airline companies in the specific geographic location. And, since airline ticket prices are determined according to Yield Management process in order to maximize the profit, they change every second.

Nevertheless, have you ever experienced difficulty in making a decision about which website is the cheapest? Well, it can be an exhausting experience since every time your search gives you new price options. But there are companies who’ve made the next step and have consolidated all the possible cheap choices for the particular search parameters. Examples are smartertravel.com, priceline.com, cheaptickets.com, etc. This makes your job easier and more convenient since you can compare all your choices side by side. Moreover, Google has gone ever further by introducing new search engine for travelers: “Today, almost half of all airline tickets are sold online. But for many people, finding the right flight at the best price is a frustrating experience; pricing and availability change constantly, and even a simple two city itinerary involves literally thousands of different options. We’d like to make that search much easier…”

But is it really cheaper to book a flight online? Just recently I was planning on visiting my relatives in Europe. And I thought this is a great opportunity to check the validity of my hypothesis – cheap-flight search websites offer precisely the same or greater prices as the individual airline homepages. So not only I went to the nearest travel agency, and checked airline homepages, but also tried to find as many cheap-flight search engines as possible. I picked couple of flight routes from various airlines and different days. Then I matched and compared the prices from the travel agency, airline homepages, and cheap-flight search websites. The result was shocking. Not only the cheap-flight search websites didn’t provide cheaper alternative for my choices but, on the contrary, they were higher from the travel agency and airline homepages. The best scenario was that cheap-flight search websites matched the price exactly with those of other sources.  I have proved my hypothesis to be true in most cases.

It is a misunderstanding to think that if somebody advertises cheaper options, they are in fact cheaper. We simply need to remember that cheaper prices offering websites’ suppliers are the same airline companies which we are trying to avoid in order not to overpay for airfares.

It is worth taking time and shopping around, especially, if you are a price-sensitive customer. The good news is that cheaper-flight search websites are not the only way to cut you a good deal for traveling. Several bloggers offer different techniques:

“Travelers aboard the intimate Yachts of Seabourn sail in just 104 or 225 ocean-view suites, to must-see cities and hidden gems where larger ships cannot go.”

Fine dining experience provided by famous chefs is also included in the package. The interesting fact is that tipping is not required and not expected. The cruise has multiple destinations including Caribbean and Bermuda, North America, Central and South America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and Middle East, and Transatlantic. Average cruise fare is about $3000 per person.

The main goal of the cruise personnel is to provide the travelers with the sense of private yacht with luxurious experience of elegance and grace. The Yachts of Seabourn beckon you to travel beyond the bounds of the imagination. Aboard Seabourn, every desire is met promptly and with a welcoming smile. Whether it’­s a warm blanket and a cup of gourmet hot chocolate as you drift along the Norwegian Fjords or a relaxing neck massage poolside, you’ll feel that you’re a member of a very exclusive club.”

The most famous spa in the world is Karlovy Vary located in the heart of Czech Republic surrounded by giant mountains. The city was built in 14th century when the Emperor Charles IV discovered the thermal springs. Karlovy Vary has overcome many earthquakes and other natural disasters for many years. This is the reason that all the architectonic monuments present in the city do not represent ancient artifacts. They were mostly built during 18th and 19th centuries.

Balneological Karlovy Vary offers various treatments for patients who have digestive tract disorders, metabolic disorders, diabetes, neurological diseases, and even obesity. “The balneotherapy provided in Karlovy Vary comprises a number of curative procedures. Treatment exploits centuries-proven thermal baths and drinking cure as well as modern methods cryotherapy, floating, laser therapy, etc.” Except for curative procedures, Karlovy Vary  has number of sport facilities, such as horse race track,  tennis complex  and golf course built at the beginning of  the 20th century .

“The Albula and Bernina lines of the Rhaetian Railway offer one of the most spectacular ways to cross the Alps. A particular high-point of the ride is the panoramic view from the Bernina Express, as it passes mighty glaciers on its descent from Chur to the swaying palms of Tirano. The train makes short work of the 55 Tunnels, 196 bridges and slopes of up to 70 millimetres per metre of incline that are found along its route.”

Your journey starts from Milan, Italy to Chur, Switzerland – 220 kilometers. Chur is not the end of the Bernina Express’s ride. It continues along the Albula route to Engadine, passes Bernina Pass to Valposchiavo, to Brusio and Tirano. The whole journey lasts 12 hours. The cost is $160 per person.

Have you seen the movie called “Couples Retreat”? If yes, do you remember the place where all couples went for having fun? Yes, it is Bora Bora – the most beautiful lagoon in the world. It is located right in the middle of Pacific Ocean. Bora Bora consists of the number of French Polynesian islands. “Two towering peaks of sheer black rock [two ancient volcanoes] dominate the center of the island and make an impressive backdrop to an assortment of blue waters that will dazzle the eyes.” Except from being in a fully relax mode and being isolated from everyday trivial life and its problems, you can also surfing, jet skiing, windsurfing, kite surfing, snorkeling, diving and many other water sports. You can enjoy private lagoon tours, sunset cruises,  glass bottom boats sailings, parasailing, horseback riding, etc.

After watching “Couples Retreat” I can’t forget that scene of paradise, and Bora Bora is on the top of my traveling list.

Many people consider Christmas the best time to purchase a new car. But what can be better than just shopping at a car dealer? Travel directly to manufactory and buy the brand new Mercedes Benz right from the assembly line and visit famous Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. Museum building has futuristic shape with 16,500 square meters double-helix interior, which makes it one of the most unique museum-design layouts in the world.

 


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