The biggest trend among credit card companies today is in the realm of travel related rewards. People want to travel more and more and they are looking to credit cards to assist them with their frequent flier miles and the travel rewards that come with them. The Qantas American Express Premium credit card is one of the most highly sought after travel credit cards and it is making such a big impact not just because of its travel rewards. The Qantas Premium card gives full benefits and bonuses that enhance its appeal. Whether you want the Qantas card for travel purposes only or for its low interest rates or the convenience of online banking you can benefit highly from having it in your wallet. Let’s take a closer look into the card’s popular bonus features: One aspect of the Premium card that many people like is the Qantas Club invitations that are available each year when you first spend with your card on select Qantas services. These two tickets you get are your invitation to using the travel rewards that the card offers and they are available each year. Insurance is another great bonus feature that the Qantas Premium card comes with that many other credit cards leave out. As a traveling credit card holder you can have a greater piece of mind knowing that you will always be protected. Insurance is available domestically (health and auto) as well as overseas. Check with customer service with your individual case to see what plans are available. The Qantas Premium American Express credit card comes equipped with great features such as 55 days of interest free purchasing, low balance transfer rates and the ability to do your banking online. Because you have 55 days to spend without paying a dime of interest the Premium card is the perfect fit for someone wanting to try it out risk- free. The low balance transfer rates allow you to transfer money that is tied up in higher interest cards, which is sure to save you a good amount of money. And since you can do your banking online you can pay your bills from your computer. It doesn’t matter if you are in Australia or not because banking can be convenient and easy. The Premium credit card by Qantas and American Express is the perfect companion for traveler’s and non-traveler’s who are just looking for a quality credit card to accompany them.
Dreaming of taking a Big Trip in 2007? Finances a bit tight? Well, take a look at the following destinations. Magic, thrills and adventure, yes. But for the budget-conscious globe-trotter, what’s equally important is that these are places where your dollars will stretch a long, long way. As a travel writer, I’m lucky enough to have experienced all 10--but I’d love to revisit every single one as a vacationer. Vietnam Vietnam packs a lot into its borders. Highlights include misty Halong Bay with its fairytale seascapes of limestone outcrops and islands; the Mekong delta with its floating markets; the old Vietcong tunnels at Cu-Chi near Saigon--now officially known as Ho Chi Minh City. (Don’t worry about getting stuck: one tunnel has been specially widened for westerners.) Backpacker beds are exceptionally cheap, but decent hotels often cost less than $40. A filling bowl of pho bo beef noodle soup or six seafood spring rolls is less than a dollar. In local hangouts, Saigon Export beer costs 40 cents a bottle. For the ultimate traffic tale to tell the folks back home, head for Hanoi’s old quarter. Any attempt to cross the road turns into a heart-racing adventure. Not only are you contending with psycho-cyclos (rickshaw bicycles), there are thousands of motorbikes and scooters whose riders regard a red traffic signal as a suggestion rather than an instruction. Best place to experience the utter chaos is from within a cyclo rickshaw. Lithuania, Eastern Europe The southernmost of the Baltic States, visitors usually couple Lithuania together with Latvia and Estonia. However, you can easily spend a week in Lithuania alone. Quirky cities like Vilnius and Kaunas are steeped in art, music and historical curiosities...mushroom-scented woods and farmers riding on haycarts...mysterious sites steeped in pagan traditions…the windswept sands of the Curonian Spit where you can beach-comb for amber. Mid-June would be a great time to go. A national holiday in Lithuania, the old pagan festival of Rasos marks the summer solstice. It’s an all-night affair with singing, dancing, bonfire-leaping, hunting for "magic" ferns, and floating garlands down rivers. Despite some serious alcoholic partying, most people manage to stay awake to greet the sunrise. As for prices, how about $2.54 for three potato pancakes with smoked salmon and sour cream and $1 for a glass of Svyturnys beer? Granada, Nicaragua From the laid-back colonial city of Granada, you can do a lot in a week in Nicaragua: tackle volcanoes...take Spanish lessons...visit Masaya craft market and also the villages where rocking chairs, hammocks, and pottery are made...explore the Selva Negra’s cloud forests and coffee plantations...chat with expats in the beach surfing town of San Juan del Sur...go to colonial Leon, where you might get to meet indigenous Indians. Settling into a rocking chair with a cold Victoria beer is a pleasure that generally costs under $1 and spending more than $7 on a meal is difficult. The Alhambra Hotel on Granada’s main square costs a mere $30 a night. Goa, Southern India India is beyond fascinating, beyond anything you’ll ever experience elsewhere. The easiest introduction to this teeming country is the seaside state of Goa. Baking below a tropical canopy of banana, coconut and mango trees, this drowsy world of Arabian Sea beaches, backwaters, and spice-laden breezes is stamped with more than a few reminders of Old Portugal. You’ll find sunrise yoga on the beach, full massages for $8, dolphin trips for about $6, and colorful hippie markets. Including four beers, two people can eat in a beach shack for under $10. And if you want to cut your expenses to the bone, there’s accommodation in simple beach chalets for as little as $8 a night. Porto and Northern Portugal Famed for its port wine lodges (yes, they do offer free samples), Porto is Portugal’s second city. An historic Atlantic trading port, its warren of laundry-hung alleys plunges down to a waterfront of boats, nets and fish restaurants. Sheets of cod (bacalhau) hang outside grocery stores with original art nouveau tiled facades; the church of Sao Francisco has a gold leaf interior that would make King Midas salivate. Don’t miss the Bolhau food market or the Torre dos Clerigos, Portugal’s highest belfry tower. From the top, you’ll get great views over the jumbled cityscape of churches, bridges and red-roofed houses. By EU standards, the price of dining, accommodation, and public transport throughout the region is astounding. Trains and buses are an affordable way to make exploratory day-trips along the coast and into the interior of terraced vineyards and green river valleys. Don’t miss Braga and the thousand-stepped stairway of Bom Jesus church. On holy days, some pilgrims tackle these steps on their knees. Montenegro After its split from Serbia, Montenegro is Europe’s latest holiday hot spot--and also the world’s newest independent nation. Along with three-course meals for $7 and rooms in private houses for $10, you’ll find a land of craggy mountains with a switch-backed Adriatic coastline of bays, beaches and villages of pale gray stone. The sea sparkles like blue topaz and medieval walled towns with crumbling fortresses and palaces are often emblazoned with the winged lion emblem of the Venetian Republic. Now paint in monasteries slotted into mountain crevices and fishing villages of red-tiled roofs and deep-green shutters. Roman mosaics...olive groves...water-lilied lakes...deep canyons and the mighty Boka Kotorska, Europe’s southernmost fjord...the border town of Ulcinj with its minarets and tales of pirate slave-trading. Austria The Alps? There’s no denying that Switzerland is one of the most scenically gorgeous countries on earth. But unless you’re armed with an expense account, I can promise you that exploring its mountains, lakes and medieval towns will wreak havoc on your finances. Winter or summer, neighboring Austria has just as much of the alpine wow factor...plus the city splendors of Vienna and Salzburg. And it’s a lot less expensive than you may think. For example, in the Tyrolean village of Fendels, you could rent a furnished apartment for two in a chalet next spring for as little as 175 euro ($230) per week. Surrounded by hiking trails, Fendels village makes an excellent base--the Tyrolean Oberland is close to the borders of Switzerland and Italy. (Go to the Austrian Tourist Board’s web site at http://www.tiscover.at and you’ll find plenty more self-catering accommodation at similar prices.) Penang, Malaysia A melting-pot of Malay, Chinese and Indian culture, Malaysia offers up powder white beaches and virgin rainforest teeming with wildlife; the bustling capital of Kuala Lumpur and the historic port city of Malacca; inexpensive seafood and inexpensive spa pampering; sailing, snorkeling, diving, fishing, golf and island-hopping. With a distinct Chinese flavor, one of Malaysia’s star turns is Georgetown, capital of Penang island. You come across snake temples, arcaded shophouses and tiny workshops specializing in mahjong tiles and dice; kong-teik craftsmen who make funerary paper artifacts; fish getting dried like laundry in the open air. On the Weld Quay waterfront, around 2,000 fishing families live in rickety wooden dwellings on the Clan Quay jetties. Chania, Crete On the Greek island of Crete, Chania is one town that it would be criminal to miss. Crete’s former capital, its history goes back 5,000 years. In the Old Town’s skinny alleyways you’ll find icon workshops...lyres hanging in dusty musical instrument repair-shops...bursts of white jasmine cascading from archways...cats snoozing on balconies...the unlikely sights of a pencil-thin minaret above church towers and a mosque squatting on the waterfront. Strung with garlands of colored light-bulbs, Chania’s old Venetian harbor at dusk truly is the stuff of romance. The water shimmers in waves of crimson, sapphire and emerald, the Venetian lighthouse sends out its beady wink, and stalls do a steady trade in pistachio nuts. Alleys that were afternoon-silent become thronged with locals taking the volta--the evening stroll. Even in July and August, you’ll find studio apartments here for under $40 a night...plus you can eat well for $10. Bohemia, the Czech Republic Prague teems with tourists but few people realize what the rest of the Czech Republic offers. One of its regions is Bohemia, blessed with a spellbinding mosaic of castles, frescoed houses and Rapunzel-style turrets straight from a sword-and-sorcery tale. At Cesky Krumlov you can peer into a medieval bear pit complete with bears. Sedlec, a suburb of Kutna Hora has a chapel entirely decorated with human bones, right down to its chandelier. Many towns have stoupas...lofty "plague pillars" adorned with chained devils. They commemorate deliverance from the plagues, which swept Europe during the Middle Ages. Then there’s Karlovy Vary, the oldest of Bohemia’s grand spa towns. With spa water bubbling up all over town which visitors can collect for free, it’s a gorgeous place of baroque buildings in sugar-plum colors, flowery parks, and shops glittering with Bohemian crystal.
Cape Town is a beautiful city with rich cultural events and the top 5 attractions in all of South Africa. When you visit Cape Town, South Africa, you will need to make sure you are prepared, so your trip will be more enjoyable. The more preparation you do before you leave, the less you have to worry about once you get there. Then you will be free to relax and enjoy your visit. 1. Sun Protection The sun in South Africa can be harsh, so you’ll need to wear sun protective lotion, as well as protective clothing like hats or visors to keep the sun out of your eyes and face. 2. Copies of Passport and Travel Documents You always want to make sure you have more than one copy of your passport and travel documents in case you are to lose them or have them stolen. These are the only means by which you can return to your country, so protect them well. 3. Proper Clothing Light cotton clothing is advised in the summer. The evenings get cooler so pack warmer clothing as well. Dress is typically casual in Cape Town even for evenings at the theater or restaurants. 4. Good Accommodations My favorite place to stay in Cape Town South Africa is the Commodore Hotel. This is a 5-star hotel on the waterfront near the center of Cape Town. While, the room rate is a bit pricey, a hot breakfast buffet and world class service certainly makes up for it. 5. Money for Tipping South African currency is called the Rand (R). The Rand is split into 100 cents, similar to the US Dollar and cents. You will need to carry money with you to tip people for service such as wait staff, taxi drivers, hotel staff, etc. 10% is a fair tip in Cape Town. 6. Safety Precautions Never walk unpopulated streets of South Africa alone. Do not wear excessive jewelry or watches and keep the amount of cash you carry to a minimum. The Police emergency number is 10111. 7. Immunizations While there are no international immunizations needed to enter South Africa, you should be aware that Malaria is a risk throughout the year. So protect yourself from diseases as you feel necessary. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 8. Local Driving Rules In Cape Town everyone drives on the left side of the road. Many of the National roadways have tolls so always bring money with you if you are planning on traveling by car. Seat belts are required and if you have a young child with you, you should reserve a car set in advance. 9. Local Prices You should have some understanding of the local prices, so you don’t get surprised or taken advantage of while on holiday in Cape Town. The average McDonalds meal is R23.00, bottled water is R5.00, a ticket to the movies is R30.00 and dinner out is about R100.00 each person. 10. Travel Insurance Medical services are available at private hospitals and doctors in private practice. You should have some form of travel insurance that covers medical expenses. Again, it’s better to be safe than sorry in case something does happen during the trip away.
In this day & age of travelling cephalalgia, there's a few packing tactics to employ. To cut out an extra thirty to forty minutes at the arriving airport, start with packing small luggage. Since carry-ons can not exceed a linear dimension of 45 inches, you can escape the fiasco of the baggage terminal by basically packing & travelling light. To learn how to pack all your needs into two suitcase, read more. How-to Pack & Travel Lite Make a list. Compose a pack list. Be sure to coordinate shirts & blouses with bottoms. To maximize your travelling wardrobe fashion savoir faire, stick with solids & versatile basics. Rule-out any clothes that do not match other items. Use the following pithy packing tips to make your travel light: Gear up. How to make an awe-inspiring impression out of a basic or mundane outfit? For the most glam appeal, accessorize with a vibrant tie (for him) or a florid scarf (for her). Multihued accessories can liven up just about any attire. Roll 'em up please. The best way to fit all your clothes is by rolling pants & shirts. First fold each item in half. Then basically roll. To try to maintain any creases, start on the bulkiest end of the news story of clothing. Employ shoe smarts. For men, any leather rubber-soled shoes can make the day & night transition, easy. For woman, a pair of flip-flops, strappy sandals & comfy wedges can serve all casual - chic dressing needs. Minimize bulk. After you check for space, edit outfits - ruthlessly. Try to pack microfibers with wrinkle & stain free comfort. With most of your attire, stay in the same color scheme - in case you have to layer up for warmth. Put under garments on the top. To reduce the embarrassment of under garments becoming the side show attraction of the open luggage scan, place all panties in a plastic bag free of any clippers, lighters or other questionable paraphernalia. For expedient security review, place the transparent bag on top of your other items so security can access the bag without ruining your efficient packing method. Lose Extra Baggage. Leave the heavy travel guide at home. Duplicate important resources to keep your luggage free of extra pounds. Since most hotels & resorts provide irons & blow-dryers --leave yours at home for light travel. Leave restricted items at home. If you want to make it through security extra speedy, avoid any firearms, weapons, box-cutters, scissors, razors, lighters & any other item that may be used in a terrorist situation.
Just because you have a dog doesn’t mean you have to stay home all the time. If you plan ahead and take a little care, it is easy and fun to travel with your dog. Here are some tips to make the trip easier on both you and your pet: 1. Get your dog used to riding in the car by taking him on short trips. Go to fun places like the dog park, the fast food drive through (where you can feed him bits of meat from your burger), or to visit friends. You want him to think that trips in the car are fun. You don’t want your dog to think that all car trips end up at the vet’s office. 2. If your dog tends to get carsick, don’t feed him the morning of the trip. Having your dog travel with an empty stomach will help to prevent any car sickness. 3. Bring plenty of water and a water dish along. You will need to give your dog periodic drinks of water when you stop for a rest. It will be easier to get your dog to drink if it is familiar water from home. Water in different places often smells or tastes differently, and your dog may not want to drink it. 4. Be sure to pack your dog’s food, treats, favorite bed, toys, and leash. 5. If your dog uses a crate, bring that along too. If you don’t have a large vehicle, you can buy crates that fold up. When you get to your destination, you can put your dog in his crate while you go somewhere that you can’t bring him along. 6. How should your dog travel in the car? Some dogs like to sit or lay on the seat, so bring a blanket to protect the upholstery. Other dogs may need to be kept in a crate in the car. Be sure the crate can’t slide around and scare the dog while you’re driving. You can also purchase dog seat belts to keep your dog safe while sitting in the car. 7. Make a stop every few hours to walk your dog and give him some water. Some dogs are frightened by the noisy trucks driving by, so try to walk in a quiet area. Be a good citizen and bring plastic bags along to pick up the mess. 8. If your dog is anxious about staying in a hotel or strange house at your destination, he might not eat or drink. You don’t want him to get dehydrated, so be sure to get him to drink, at least. You can mix chicken broth or gravy into the dog’s water. That will usually get him to lap it right up. You can mix chicken broth or gravy into the food too. The first trip will be the hardest, because your dog will not realize that you are coming back. With the first trip behind you, if you have taken the time to make sure it is pleasant for your dog, future traveling with your dog should be a breeze.