Webster's dictionary defines vacation as "a period of time for pleasure, rest, or relaxation". Most vacationers, however, aren't aware of this definition, as they often return from their trip feeling less relaxed than when they left! Luckily, more and more people are discovering that Webster's definition of "vacation" is synonymous with timeshare ownership. Here's why: Timeshare owners enjoy the privacy of a home with the amenities of a world-class resort! Timeshare owners know that their timeshares provide better value than renting hotel rooms. Timeshare owners are less burdened than full-time vacation homeowners. According to the American Resort Development Association's (ARDA) recent study, most timeshare owners believe that their timeshares are better than hotels. In fact, when asked about their overall satisfaction with their timeshare property, 78% of the timeshare owners rated their property as "excellent". When timeshare owners were asked if they were getting good value for their money, 72% of the owners rated their properties as "excellent", compared to 58% of those who stayed in hotels. Mike Hussey, ARDA's Chief of Staff, confirms that this is due to new trends in vacation ownership over the past several years. "Timeshare owners are more satisfied with their overall vacation experience and feel that they get good value for their hard-earned money," says Mr. Hussey. In fact, the numbers back him up. In 1980, only about 155,000 households owned a timeshare at 500 resorts worldwide. Today, there are over 5,000 timeshare resorts with 4.5 million vacation owners worldwide. It seems as though more people ARE learning to "vacation"! Besides receiving better value, timeshare owners also appreciate the benefits that come with part-time vacation home ownership. On an average, vacation homes in the United States are used 17 nights per year! Unless the owner uses this property a lot, they are paying way too much for a vacation home that does not provide much utility. They're paying full time for a part time vacation. Year round vacation homeowners spend more for maintenance costs (even when they are not there), and spend more of their valuable "vacation" time on upkeep. Life's too short not to enjoy great vacations. You work too hard to deserve anything less! Your free time is your own. When you do discover the definition of vacation, we hope that you'll practice what you learn, and practice often as practice makes perfect.
One common fear for travelers on a luxury travel vacation is becoming ill while traveling. From a mild case to of the sniffles to a serious complication, there are some simple items that any experienced traveler should bring with them on every trip. Some items are common, but if you need them right away, it is best to have your own. Here are some great suggestions on things you need to have in your travel first aide kit.MedicationThe first thing all travelers should bring, especially those on a luxury world cruise, is your regular medication. Whether it is something as simple as nose spray to items such as insulin, if you use it daily at home, you should continue doing so on your travels. Be sure that they are clearly marked and keep them in the original prescription bottles. You will also want to bring anti-diarrhea medication, such as over the counter Loperamide Hydrochloride (i.e. Imodium). Be sure to carefully read and follow the directions before you take it and never use it if there is blood in the stool. You also will want to bring an anti inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen. This will also serve, in some cases, as a pain reliever, but you may want to bring asprin as well, as these two medications work differently. Those who are prone to allergies or colds should pack an over the counter decongestant such as Sudafed. Check out http://www.amtcruises.com for the latest luxury world cruise deals.Skin CareChanges in weather and altitude can really dry out your skin, so make sure to pack a hearty moisturizer to apply to both your face and your body. This is especially important if you are planning a luxury Alaskan cruise, as this state has weather notorious for chafing the skin, and is often exaggerated on a cruise ship. It is also important to pack plenty of sun block. Remember, it does not have to be sunny outside to be burned! You should also carry insect repellent, just in case. For help planning your "luxury Alaskan cruise" visit http://www.amtvacations.com/american-express-cruises-alaska.Personal HygieneOf course, you should bring the regular first aid kit items on luxury vacations. Band-aids, Neosporin, medical tape, tweezers, and clippers. Make sure these are not stored on your carry on, or they will be confiscated. Make sure to prepare any personal hygiene items as well. Antibacterial hand wash, mouth wash and aloe vera gel are all good ideas. Women should be sure to always carry items for their menstrual cycle, even if they are not expecting to begin their period. Changes in climate or altitude can bring on an early cycle. It is also important to bring any birth control items yourself, so you can be assured of the quality and the source. Learn more about American Express Vacations at http://www.amtvacations.com/reliable.htm.These are good starting points, but your luxury travel vacation first aid kit is up to you. You can add or subtract items that would best suite your individual needs and preferences. Of course, before taking any medication, check with your doctor. Read the directions on any creams or over-the-counter medications, and dont be afraid to call your doctor while on vacation if you have any questions.
My personalized tour of the Casino de Montreal was very interesting and taught me many different things that I had never known about casino operations. My learning experience was followed by an opportunity to sample the Casinos hospitality first hand. Alexandre took me up to the top floor of the Casino and handed me over to Benot, the restaurant manager at Nuances, the Casinos gourmet restaurant.I had a perfect table by the window with a beautiful view overlooking the St. Lawrence River and the downtown Montreal skyline. The sun was just starting to set and the entire scene was bathed in golden hues. Benot even took me out on to a terrace on the top level of the Casino that offered a completely unobstructed 180 degree view of downtown Montreal and the entire island. The vista was absolutely stunning. The Casino de Montreal is definitely one of the best places to view Montreals skyline.Nuances is a highly acclaimed fine dining restaurant that has been awarded the coveted CAA-AAA Five Diamond Rating. This 72-seat restaurant has a sophisticated atmosphere and a highly dedicated staff. Once I got comfortable, Grard, the waiter for my table, brought an amuse-bouche, a starter plate that featured frozen goat cheese on ice in a reduction of apple cider. The mixture of sweet and tart flavours definitely perked up my taste buds and got them ready for the culinary surprises yet to come.As an appetizer I enjoyed mixed a vegetable salad and mesclun lettuce with vegetable chips and a sherry vinaigrette. This entre was accompanied by three different types of bread with home-made butter, made from heavy cream. Grard explained that the breads were a French baguette, a hazelnut/ honey / raisin bread and a so-called Lodeve bread from the South of France.I also got a quick peak at Nuances' three different wine cellars: the wine cellar behind the bar features wines that are organized carefully by region and type of wine. One of the cellars holds extremely rare and expensive wines. I asked for Benots suggestion to select a main course as well as a wine to match. He recommended that I try the Chilean sea bass. The black rice accompanying the fish is also referred to as forbidden rice since only the Chinese emperor was allowed to consume it. Benot suggested a glass of German Gewrztraminer to go with this dish.Shortly after I received my meal and enjoyed the delicate taste of the sea bass, accompanied by mixed vegetables such as wild asparagus, bok choy and parsnips. The fish was drizzled in a yellow wine sauce, made with wine from Jura in the French Savoie region. Some drops of parsley oil rounded out the medley of complementary flavours.As I would have to rush off shortly to go to the fireworks which would start at the La Ronde amusement park, Benot ensured the speedy arrival of my dessert: a Muscat wine jello with strawberries combined with a vanilla and Szechuan pepper mousse on a chocolate base with a pistachio sauce, a delicate treat. We even had a chance to visit the kitchen to meet the chefs who had prepared my gourmet meal. As I got back to my table and got myself organized, Benot dropped by with a petit four, a little oven of baked goods that included miniature biscotti, fruit jelly, pistachio jelly and American chocolate. I just loved the creative French terms used, "amuse-bouche" and "petit four" are perfect descriptions for these culinary delights.This multi-course meal combined with the personalized and highly attentive service and the stunning views of Montreal made my evening at Nuances a very special experience and a definite highlight of my trip. When I had to leave Benot took me personally down to the main entrance of the Casino where he flagged down a taxi for me to ensure I would make it on time to the fireworks at La Ronde. The staff at the Casino de Montreal went out of their way to make this evening a memorable experience.My five-minute taxi ride took me back across the bridge to Ile Sainte-Hlne where my driver dropped me off in front of the main entrance at La Ronde. La Ronde is Montreal's amusement park and first opened in 1967 as part of Expo 67, a world fair that really put Montreal on the map. Today La Ronde is a member of the famous Six Flag family of amusement parks.My seat provided a perfect view of the soon-to-come spectacle and the huge crowd was filled with anticipation. What seemed like many thousands of people were located inside the La Ronde amusement park in different seating sections and many thousands more were planning to watch the fireworks from the Jacques Cartier Bridge.The fireworks today were part of a competition series called LInternational des Feux Loto-Qubec which features a schedule of 10 pyro-musical events between June 17 and July 29, 2006. Countries participating in this competition include Switzerland, Italy, Argentina, South Africa, Portugal, Canada, the United States, France and Australia with a special finale on July 29.Our presentation tonight was put on by the Cienfuegos Fireworks company from Argentina, which is a key player in the field of pyrotechnics due to its unique know-how. Tonights program was anchored around the personalities of Evita Peron and Che Guevara and enchanted with classic Argentian melodies and music from Central America. The stunning fireworks displays were choreographed in perfect harmony with the music and lit up the sky with stunning multi-coloured displays of light and sound.This fireworks presentation provided a dramatic artistic ending to three and a half wonderful days of Canada Day festivities in Montreal. As I sat in the subway on the way back from Jean Drapeau Park I realized that I would only have a few more hours in this beautiful city before my train was going to leave tomorrow just before noon. But I was determined to take advantage of every minute here to discover yet another facet of this fascinating city and sneak in one final walking tour of the city before my departure.
At age five, you woke to the anticipation and thrill of paper valentines and white doilies decorated with taped-on heart-shaped lollipops. At age fifteen, your heart raced passing a folded note to your high school crush. Now that youre an adult, Valentines day has taken on a whole new meaning.Alone or attached, coupled or parenting, Valentines Day is the ideal opportunity to spoil yourself and those you love. Chill the bubbly, stock-up on chocolate delicacies, stop by the local florist and plan one of the most spectacular Valentines ever.Heres a few tips for making 2007 the most memorable ever: Reserve a romantic Bed & Breakfast at a locale youve always longed to visit. Research your options to find the ideal inn exquisitely decorated, since youll want to spend most of your time indoors. Keep in mind, many popular suites book far in advance and require a minimum three-day stay. Book a three- to five-day ocean cruise to Alaska, Hawaii or the Caribbean. Day or night, the tranquil ocean waters and gentle waves have lulled the hearts of lovers for centuries. Plan a camping trip in the southwest and remember to schedule time for a warm, crackling bonfire under the stars, with blankets optional. Bringing the kids? Just pack the ingredients for warm smores. Book time at a spa for a day or weekend filled with luxury and indulgence. Todays spas offer the best in skin and body care plus health and wellness. Youll return to work and life vibrant, glowing and rejuvenated. Arrange for a romantic Valentine weekend at home. Secretly arrange childcare with friends or family members. Stock-up on candles, campaign and truffles. Then prepare a candle lit dinner for two, complete with a mouth-watering chocolate cake and a fresh flower arrangement. Then wake early to cook a hearty breakfast in bed. Miss time with your family? Take this opportunity to show everyone in your life how much you love them. Plan a family vacation to DisneyWorld, the Mall of America or a historical landmark the kids are learning about in school. Remember to bring pink and red cards and gifts for everyone. Solo? Dont mope. "Valentines Day" is a perfect chance to reconnect youre your friends. Visit your old college buddy on the east coast or plan a fun-filled girls night out.Valentines Day is a great day to treat and spoil yourself. Plan well in advance and make it a holiday youll talk about for years to come. To book travel, search vacation package deals or check arrival and departure availability, visit Vasrue.com Travel.
The perfect way to end the day spent rambling around the ruins of ancient monuments in North Cyprus is watching the sun set over Aphrodites Rock. That done; its time to get a taste of the pulsating night life in Cyprus. With more than 20 casinos nation wide, lively bars and vibrant all-night clubs, Cyprus offers a panoply of night life for nocturnal birds of all feathers.For those who believe in Cypriot luck, this mini-version of Las Vegas offers plenty of opportunities to win that ever-elusive jackpot. Celebrated international entertainers make regular appearances at the casinos, making the night even more memorable than ever. You could choose to gamble the night playing poker or spend your time at the blackjack and roulette tables.With some of the trendiest clubs and discos around, Avia Nappa, Limassol and Nicosia offer die-hard clubbers plenty of choices to party the night away. There are over 20 night clubs in Avia Nappa alone, many of which shut their doors only at 8 a.m. Some of the more celebrated clubs change their dcor every few years, giving their loyal patrons something new to look forward to. World-famous DJs playing music to suit every mood, state-of-the-art dance floors, high-tech sound systems and chrome bars make Avia Nappa the reigning nocturnal hot-spot in North Cyprus.There are numerous bars dotting the landscape of the island, each of which has its own distinct and different atmosphere. The sea-front promenade of Larnaca and the stunning harbor of Kyrenia are lined with several all-night bars offering different attractions. Choosing just one could prove to be difficult and you may just end up spending the night bar-hopping.For those who like to spend all day and all night at the beach, every citiy and town along the Cyprus coastline, from Protaras to Polis Chrysochous offer plenty of opportunities to spend the time from sunset to sunrise at beach bars, sipping interesting cocktails with exotic names.