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June 2010

June 30, 2010

The World Cup Ripple Effect—Who Are the Real Winners?



By Guest Blogger
06/30/2010

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South_africa_Fans(Steve Evans) There's no doubt that hosting one of the world's most prestigious sporting events will bring myriad benefits to South Africa, not only by bringing in revenue from tourism, but also by giving this vibrant country a chance to pull away from its dark past and usher in a new era with the new decade.

But what of the other African countries? How likely is it that, having touched down in South Africa, a foreign football fan will uncover a subconscious wanderlust and wish to explore the continent further?

Nigel Vere Nicoll, head of the Africa Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA), has his doubts, stating that he does not believe the ripple effect will be "as big as one hopes."

"There's an initiative in Zambia, Zimbabwe, but I'm not sure that it's actually going to work... We're not actually even sure of the profile of the people attending (the World Cup) and whether they have the extra finance to go on safari or wherever."

Continue reading "The World Cup Ripple Effect—Who Are the Real Winners?" »


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Related Topics: 2010 World Cup

June 29, 2010

Inside World Festivals: Galway Oyster Fest



By WorldNomads
06/29/2010

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Galway City, Ireland_Galway_Oyster_Festival_Cook-off(Galway_International_Oyster_Festival)
(Galway International Oyster Festival)

Each year at the end of September thousands of tourists and local food enthusiasts gather to take part in the Galway Oyster Festival, one of the most celebrated festivals worldwide, in Galway City, Ireland. Guests compete for the record of who can open 30 of the slippery mollusks the fastest, with the current record from 1977 standing at one minute, 31 seconds. This year the festival will be held September 23-26, check the festival's site for more details.

The History
Back in 1954, Brian Collins, manager of the Great Southern Hotel, hosted the very first gathering of its kind with a modest guest list of just 34 people. It’s held in September as a way to kick off the first month of oyster season, during which the local shelled delicacies are harvested from the waters of Clarenbridge and Brandon Bay after being left to grow plump and juicy for three years.

Continue reading "Inside World Festivals: Galway Oyster Fest" »


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Related Topics: Holidays, Events, & Festivals

June 28, 2010

Au Pair Adventures: Living Cheap, Hostel Common Rooms



By Guest Blogger
06/28/2010

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No_Vacancy_Sign(VisionsofAmerica,Joe Sohm,PhotoDisc,Getty)
(Visions of America/Joe Sohm/Photodisc/Getty)

I walked into Itaca Hostel at 11:30 p.m. tired, bruised, and rain-soaked. I had spent the past two hours trying to find the hotel, at which I had no reservations, while trying to avoid being robbed in an area of Barcelona known for pickpockets.

No, my flight wasn’t delayed, pushing me into night-time check-in. I’m just one of those youthfully ignorant people who did no research before showing up in Barcelona, so I had no idea that the airport is a trek from the heart of the city. I made up for the hours I should’ve spent in research doing “field detail” on the subway. Que bueno.

“I’m sorry but we have no beds available.”

Ah, the words no one at that point wants to hear.

Continue reading "Au Pair Adventures: Living Cheap, Hostel Common Rooms" »


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Related Topics: Dispatches from the Road

June 25, 2010

World Cup: Adventures in South African Transportation



By Evelyn Spence
06/25/2010

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Johannesburg - Walter Knirr - SATourism-01302581
Johannesburg (Walter Knirr/South Africa Tourism)

I've seen a lot over the course of the 4,000 kilometers I've driven in South Africa—of late, it has included white rhinos in iMfolozi National Park, lilac-breasted rollers at Mkuze, and a prescribed-burn sunset on the climb to Didima Camp—but it wasn't until last night that I learned of what a transportation epic can be ("epic," or, in other words, "cluster," or, as my new German best friends put it, "the real Africa").

The mission: Get from the French doors and hidden gardens of the Bit O' Bush guest house in Kempton Park, a quiet suburb of Joburg near the OR Tambo International Airport, to Soccer City, the 90,000-capacity stadium in the township of Soweto, 40 kilometers away on the other side of Jozi's sprawl. The proprietor, Annette, suggested we all take the Gautrain, a brand-new, speedy, seven-billion-rand showpiece, to Sandton, then a public bus to the Westgate hub, then a Fifa World Cup bus to nirvana (in other words, Ghana v. Germany). It took two and a half hours to get to the enormous cooking pot of an arena, and along the way we met football-obsessed Argentinians and mother-hen Austrians concerned for our safety (or, in other words, "stupidity").

Continue reading "World Cup: Adventures in South African Transportation" »


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Related Topics: 2010 World Cup

June 24, 2010

Summer Giveaway: Chaco Tan Photo Contest



By Lacy Morris
06/24/2010

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Chaco_tan_big1
Win a free river-rafting trip and a new pair of kicks just by showing off your summer gams and tans on those adventurous feet of yours. Running now through August, the Chaco Tan Photo Contest is collecting photos from loyal Chaco customers who wear their sandals in "exotic places and out-of-the-way spaces." The person whose photo receives the most "Likes" by 5 PM EST on July 2nd will receive a prize, and the photo will become a finalist in the river-rafting trip grand prize contest. Chacos are built rugged and have the heart of a true adventurer, so be creative with your photos—the more exotic locale the better. Click here for the full details and contest rules.


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Related Topics: Free Stuff · From Around the Web

Top 10 Profiles for Family Travelers to Follow on Twitter


Family-travel-twitter

Spending even the tiniest amount of time on social-networking site Twitter.com can feel like drinking from a firehose, with 140-character "tweets"—most of them inane; a handful prescient, depending on whom you follow—flooding your computer screen or smart-phone display like a swarm of chirping gnats. Enough to make any harried parent, already juggling too many demands on his or her time, to run for the hills like a technophobic Luddite, right?

As someone who indulges in this kind of microblogging for work (and some personal edification), Twitter does hold one distinct advantage for family-travel planners seeking relevant travel advice: that is, a vast and amorphous network of chatty and charismatic individuals, groups, even brands who are out there to make your search for that perfect family vacation even easier. The challenge? With whom do you connect, and how do you make it worth your time? I can't claim the below list is exhaustive or even definitive, but it's my curated slice of the Twitter zeitgeist when it comes to people—"tweeps," if you must use the jargon—to follow for the best family-travel intel. Once you've found the right mix of folks to follow, more will crop up on your radar. Follow the influencers, check out who they're following, follow their lists, and build out your own network of networks. Take part, too, so you can build up virtual relationships with the people from whom you seek advice. Honestly, it's not for everyone, but there is some fun to be had as you become your own gatekeeper over that ever-spewing firehose of virtual chatter.

Top 10 Family-Travel Resources on Twitter:

@ciaobambino
This is the handle for CiaoBambino.com, a site packed with smart, insightful family-travel guides to destinations, attractions, and lodging around the world. (Nancy Solomon, one of CiaoBambino's writers, is also a frequent Twitter-er, worth a follow, too, via @nancysolomon.)

@deliciousbaby
As the mother of three kids under the age of five, I don't know where Debbie Dubrow, aka @deliciousbaby, gets the energy to network, travel, and dispense information with quite the frequency that she does. A well-connected voice in that sisterhood of mommy (and daddy) bloggers, @deliciousbaby tweets not only from the heart but from the perspective of someone who cares deeply about the planet on which we live (and the people who inhabit its far-flung corners).

Continue reading "Top 10 Profiles for Family Travelers to Follow on Twitter" »


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Related Topics: Family Vacation · Travel Tips · Travel Websites

June 23, 2010

Summer Flings: Away's Top Ten Dude Ranches



By awayblog
06/23/2010

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Mcginnis-dude-ranch_Libby,Montana(Mcginnia Meadows Cattle and Guest Ranch)
McGinnis Dude Ranch, Libby, Montana (McGinnis Meadows Cattle and Guest Ranch)

Location, location, location. It's hard to experience the real western heritage of a dude ranch vacation without actually traveling to terrain that exhibits "Real West" attributes. High mountain meadows and lakes with rippling creeks; Rocky Mountain vistas, sweeping plains; dusty desert trails; cactus, pines, aspens, and fir trees; wildlife and rangelife. A true West environment is all part of the rustic recipe of a complete dude ranch vacation. Here we highlight some of the best ranches west of the Mississippi that offer an all-inclusive week vacation. All feature horseback riding as the main entrée, but there's a lot more on the menu to entertain your palate.

Continue reading "Summer Flings: Away's Top Ten Dude Ranches" »


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Related Topics: Top 10 Lists

June 22, 2010

Get Outdoors for Less With Maine Huts & Trails


Fagstaff-lake-maine
Family canoeing adventure on Flagstaff Lake, Maine (Maine Huts & Trails)

Now's a great time to be outdoors in western Maine's Carrabassett Valley, with forested trails, freshwater lakes, and mountain vistas beckoning adventurous families. And while the Carrabassett area is well stocked with your standard range of family-friendly amenities and lodging, the best deal beckons for those willing to put in a few extra paces to access an excellent network of rustic huts operated by Maine Huts & Trails (MHT). Located in the quiet backwoods a few miles north of four-season Sugarloaf resort, MHT is currently offering a "Kids Stay Free" deal for stays through the end of its fall season in early November if you book by August 6 (children ages 3-12 are normally $35-$50 per night for weekend stays during the summer/fall season). What do you get? Well, quite apart from an unmatched wilderness experience on waterways like Flagstaff Lake and at natural stunners like Poplar Stream Falls, you get to bed down with the fam in rustic comfort at any one of MHT's three backcountry huts. Enjoy hearty breakfasts and dinners, plus bagged lunches (extra fee) for your day on the water or the trails. In fact, you might love it here so much that you'll be back in winter when the valley and the huts morph into a snow-clad mecca for cross-country skiing enthusiasts. Weekend rates for adults are $75-$93 for non-members, $65-$80 for MHT members.


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Related Topics: Family Vacation · Outdoor Adventures · Travel Deals

June 21, 2010

Inside World Festivals: Duanwu Festival



By WorldNomads
06/21/2010

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Dragon_Boat_Festival(Imagemore Co, Ltd and Getty)
(Imagemore Co. LTD/Getty)

China's Dragon Boat Festival, with its colorful and creative boats crafted to resemble mythical dragons, is one of the world's most incredible and memorable events. Held every June, spectators from all over the world gather alongside the rivers to marvel at the artistic creations and cheer the contestants on as they row frantically toward the finish line.

History
Dating back to 287 BC, the event itself has tragic roots. It commemorates the suicide of poet-statesman Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in the river out of political protest. Filled with despair, the local people attempted to keep the fish and evil spirits away from Qu by beating drums and splashing their oars in the waters of the river. The tradition lives on with local boaters decorating their crafts like dragons, from snout to tail, with brilliant colorful scales, splashing the water madly with their paddles and beating drums just as their ancestors did centuries ago.

Continue reading "Inside World Festivals: Duanwu Festival " »


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Related Topics: Holidays, Events, & Festivals

June 18, 2010

Guide to Delaware State Parks



By Guest Blogger
06/18/2010

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Hoopes_resevoir(Delaware Economic Development Office)
Edgar M. Hoopes Reservoir, Delaware (Delaware Economic Development Office)

The only camping my family ever tried when I was growing up was an unsuccessful attempt to erect a pup tent on the grounds of a Holiday Inn. In fact, until I was 25 years old, I thought a tent stake was a piece of meat—like a flank steak or skirt steak! Fortunately, it didn't take long to develop a love for camping and a sincere appreciation for the extraordinary campgrounds in Delaware's state parks.

Great family camping is available at five Delaware state parks—Lums Pond, Killens Pond, Trap Pond, Cape Henlopen, and Delaware Seashore. In state park lingo, "family camping" means there is a specific family camping area designed for recreational vehicles (RVs) and tents. But it doesn't necessarily indicate which, if any, of the three major amenities are available at each site—water, electric, and sewer. For that information you will need to check out the website of each individual park or request a brochure from the Division of Parks and Recreation.

Continue reading "Guide to Delaware State Parks" »


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Related Topics: Family Vacation · Outdoor Adventures · US Travel
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