In addition to the rewards miles that you will earn on your American Express AIR MILES credit card, you are also entitled to the extensive travel benefits normally associated with other American Express cards. The travel benefits incorporated in your American Express AIR MILES credit card include, amongst others, guaranteed or assured reservations and travel accident insurance. Guaranteed Reservations When you use your American Express AIR MILES credit card to make hotel room reservations, you get an assurance that you will still have your room, regardless of how late you may arrive. This American Express Assured Reservation benefit is very helpful – especially if you encounter frustrating and unexpected travel delays. To take advantage of this American Express AIR MILES credit card feature, you must make your reservations with American Express’ partner hotels or motels. You should also specify your intention to use the American Express Assured Reservation option and get a confirmation number. The hotel or motel will hold your reserved room until the regular check-out time of the day after your planned arrival. In case your reserved room has been given to another guest, or is no longer available by the time you arrive at the hotel, the latter has the duty to provide you a room of equal or better amenities at another hotel without charge on the first night. Transportation from the hotel to the other hotel will also be provided free of charge. If for any reason you need to cancel the Assured Reservation you have arranged, check the specified cut-off time for canceling reservations and ring up the hotel or motel before that time. If you fail to cancel in time, you will have to pay the bill for a one-night stay. If you call in time, be sure to get the cancellation number so that you have the necessary proof of cancellation. This is handy if for some reason you still get billed on your American Express AIR MILES credit card for a canceled hotel accommodation. Travel Accident Insurance Your American Express AIR MILES credit card comes with a maximum travel accident cover of a hundred thousand dollars. This travel accident insurance is applicable only to accidental death and dismemberment while on the trip. To avail yourself of this automatic travel accident insurance, you must use your American Express AIR MILES credit card to purchase tickets from a common carrier. If you want your spouse, children who have not attained the age of twenty-three, and a supplementary American Express AIR MILES credit card holder to be covered by the travel accident insurance, then you must also purchase their tickets with your American Express AIR MILES credit card. The coverage is not only limited to the above-mentioned persons; It can be extended to cover the spouse and children of minor age of your supplementary cardholder, provided that their tickets too were charged to your American Express AIR MILES credit card age. With an American Express AIR MILES credit card, you get those travel benefits that eliminates those kinds of worries from any trip.
Americans are known for seeking the roads less traveled and, in many cases, continuing to journey even after the road ends. More than 50 million Americans went off-roading in 2005, a 42 percent increase since 2000. For fans of off-roading, there are two considerations when taking to the dirt and rocks of off-road driving: safety and ecology. Safety starts with having the right equipment-a vehicle that's designed for uneven, unpredictable terrain and tough, dependable tires that can take the punishment of dirt, rocks, ravines and more. And by following ecological guidelines, you can help ensure that trails will be enjoyable for other adventurers. Safety Tips 1. Inform someone of where you are going and when you expect to return. 2. Make sure your vehicle has plenty of fuel. 3. Ride at safe speeds for existing conditions. 4. Travel straight up and down hills-never traverse the face of a hill; it may cause your vehicle to slip sideways or roll over. 5. Cross large rocks or other obstacles slowly, at an angle, one wheel at a time. 6. Cross ravines at a 45-degree angle. 7. Only cross streams at a designated fording point. 8. Never turn around on narrow roads, steep terrain or unstable ground. 9. Avoid stopping in tall grass or brush, which can be ignited by engine heat. 10. Reduce tire pressure to improve traction in tough off-road conditions. It's the Ecology 1. Drive only where permitted. 2. Keep a trash bag in your vehicle and collect litter left by others. 3. Ride in the middle to minimize the widening of the trail. 4. Avoid slide slipping and wheel spin to prevent erosion. 5. Keep away from wildlife. 6. Steer clear of sensitive habitats: wetlands, meadows, tundra, etc. 7. Clean your vehicle after the ride to reduce the spread of noxious weeds. 8. Observe proper sanitary waste disposal. Top Trails To highlight some of the best off-road trails in the country, BFGoodrich Tires, in conjunction with Tread Lightly and United Four Wheel Drive Associations, has launched its Outstanding Trails program. The program is dedicated to the responsible use and preservation of these off-road trails and will aid in the effort to keep these trails sustainable. "Last year, more than 50 million people sought adventure through recreational off-road driving; the sport is exploding in popularity," said Kaz Holley, brand director for BFGoodrich Tires. "Each one of the trails highlighted in this program is amazing, and embodies the very best in off-roading. BFGoodrich tires and these Outstanding Trails are very similar in nature-both are tough and both are fun to drive on." The program identifies five of North America's best trails. From desolate desert stretches to towering peaks and rolling hillsides, these trails are unique in toughness and beauty. After a careful selection process, five of North America's "outstanding" off-road trails were nominated for uniqueness, terrain type and enthusiast following: • Black Bear Pass, near Ouray, Colo., is a picturesque trail nestled in the San Juan Mountains. • Pyeatt Draw, a scenic and exciting trail situated in Payson, Ariz. • Hell's Revenge, with its slick sandstone slopes, brings adventure to thrill seekers in Moab, Utah. • Historic Naches Pass, also known as the Longmire Wagon Train, takes off-road drivers over the Cascade Mountains in Naches, Wash. • Upper Tellico Trail, Trail #4, located in the Nantahala National Forest, is located in an area where Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia meet. As a part of the program, BFGoodrich Tires will host several events at designated trails to highlight the uniqueness of each location as well as to educate off-roaders on the responsible use of each trail. The company will also give a grant to a selected off-road club to help with the costs associated with the trails' conservation.
The Midwestern state of Ohio is nothing short of the all-American experience for travel, business or pleasure. Ohio is the center of milestones in United States history, from space flight and presidents to rock and roll and football. Finding your ideal airfare to Ohio from anywhere in the world is always convenient by choosing among Ohio’s six international airports: Cincinnati, Dayton, Port Columbus, Akron-Fulton, Cleveland-Hopkins and Rickenbacker. Outdoors in Ohio With its varying borders and waterways, Ohio is both easily accessible and fantastically diverse. Ohio is bordered by Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, and Ontario, Canada across Lake Erie. Ohio also enjoys the natural borders of Lake Erie to the north and the Ohio River to the south, providing for a bustling and lucrative trade industry. In the north, Ohio is particularly flat due to glacial activity in the past. The Glaciated Allegheny Plateaus in the northeast, famous for their coal mining legacy, give way to busy waters of the Erie. Moving further south, Ohio is graced with rolling hills and the foothills of the Appalachians, home to many local wineries and booming agribusiness. The Lake Erie Islands belong to Ohio and are a wonderfully festive and picturesque escape from the seaside hustle and bustle of Cleveland. Private vacation homes, public beaches, amusement parks, and even wineries grace the many different islands. Back on the mainland, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a splendid destination for adventurers and nature lovers. The park is conveniently close to urban centers, but its cascading waterfalls, winding rivers and abundant flora and fauna make this 5th most visited U.S. National Park worlds away. Another popular escape is Wayne National Forest in the southeast. Ohio’s Opulent Legacies With major urban centers like Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Akron, Ohio has blessed the rest of the United States with constant innovation and culture. Just outside of Akron in Canton is the birthplace of professional American football, as well as the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On the banks of Lake Erie, the world-class metropolis of Cleveland is known as the Rock and Roll capital of the world and home to one of the best collections of art and culture in the United States. Ohio is also famous as the birthplace of eight U.S. Presidents, Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, and the fathers of aviation, the Wright Brothers. Ohio also pioneers the space science and flight industry with the NASA Research Center and the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Travel to Ohio for a diverse jaunt through modern American culture, Native American History and the condemnation of slavery where the Underground Railroad terminated.
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Located throughout the Caribbean, all-inclusive resorts lure visitors with affordable vacation packages. Encompassing airfare, lodging and onsite activities, these Caribbean beach resorts are enjoyed by families and couples hoping to relax in the sunshine. Yet, many visitors have left such all-inclusive resorts with a bitter taste in their mouths. If you – like many of the travelers disappointed by the inflexibility of all-inclusive resorts – want to establish your own itinerary, sample traditional Caribbean dining options and explore many different activities, these Caribbean beach resorts are simply not for you. Here’s why. First, plenty of travelers have realized that many all-inclusive vacations come with certain strings attached. When examining all-inclusive packages on the internet, the fine print may reveal a startling number of contracts and other binding difficulties. Some all-inclusive resorts entice travelers with low-priced vacation packages, only to bombard their customers with sales pitches for timeshares. It is often difficult to determine where an all-inclusive resort is located if you are unfamiliar with the area. While it may suit your fancy to spend your vacation outside of the Caribbean hotel zones, many travelers have been disappointed by the lack of activities available at many all-inclusive resorts. If you choose to leave your all-inclusive resort, you will have to pay for additional activities. When staying at smaller all-inclusive resorts with limited access to other tourist opportunities, your additional costs could very quickly surpass the money you saved upfront. Many travelers have also complained about the lack of payment flexibility that comes with a stay at an all-inclusive resort. In addition to requiring large upfront payments, many all-inclusive resorts have tricky refund policies, making it difficult to change plans when necessary. This difficulty also applies to the charter flights that often accompany all-inclusive packages. For many, these troubles are compounded by the fact that travel days may be limited, forcing you to alter your desired timeframe for your Caribbean vacation. Once you arrive at your Caribbean location, you might also be responsible for your own luggage and transportation to the resort. For the resorts that do offer shuttle service, the included transportation will most likely be limited to airport pickup and drop-off. For instance, if the resort is located in a secluded area, transportation to other locations will not be included in your package. Furthermore, consider the fact that many all-inclusive resorts are located much farther away from popular sites than average hotels and resorts. So, unless you care to spend your entire Caribbean vacation basking beside the same swimming pool, a nightly rental resort will put you much closer to the action. While many criticize all-inclusive resorts for not contributing to local Caribbean economies – due in part to their distance from major cities and tourist areas – it can also be said that such packages prevent you from experiencing the unique culture of your destination. Since you decided to take a Caribbean vacation, you probably want to get out of the hotel and see what the Caribbean has to offer. Yet, all-inclusive resorts anticipate their guests spending most of their time at the resorts, locations that are often devoid of any local cuisine or custom. Another important thing to consider regarding all-inclusive resorts is that tipping is usually expected, even at some resorts that advertise tipping as unnecessary. Many travelers have found themselves in uncomfortable positions, receiving sub-par service at all-inclusive resorts as a result of such misunderstandings. When planning your Caribbean vacation, think about what kind of traveler you are and what you want to accomplish. Do you want to set your own agenda, enjoy diverse Caribbean dining options and engage in truly unique activities? Or would you rather relax at a resort, forget your troubles and soak up the sun? While families and couples on strict budgets might enjoy all-inclusive resorts, any adventurous traveler will relish the freedom of planning their own Caribbean vacation.