Germany Destination Tip – Explore Your German Heritage

It’s well-known that the United States has always been a “melting-pot” of cultures, but did you know that more immigrants to the United States have come from Germany than anywhere else? That’s right. More Americans-50 million in 2005-trace their ancestry to Germany than to any other country, including the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Though the history of German immigration to the United States reaches back to colonial times, by far the largest wave of immigrants arrived in the 19th century. Between 1848 and World War I, nearly 6 million Germans sailed to the United States. After crossing the Atlantic, many settled in the Midwest, in states such as Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Whatever their reasons for emigrating, Germans saw America as offering them the chance for a new life. And they took it.

Researching one’s family history has become increasingly popular among Germans and Americans alike. Many historical records kept by churches and government agencies have already been digitized and can be searched on the internet from your home computer. There are a number of websites that can guide you in this research, allowing you to contact other members and collaborate on family trees. Whether you’re an experienced genealogist, or just beginning to trace your German roots, we stand ready to assist you in contacting the relevant agencies and resources in Germany.

This is an example of what you can do while traveling in Germany. If you want learn more about the city you are from, we compiled comprehensive travel guides in collaboration with local residents that provides unique travel insider tips which you can use during you Germany vacation.

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Bolivia – Travel Destination Tips on Where to Go

When in Sucre cheesy as the ‘dino mobile’ looks a trip to the dinosaur footprints will exceed your expectations. The cost of a visit is cheap and the prints are extensive – it’s just such a shame & quite unbelievable that such a treasure is still part of a working quarry. The prints scale a sheer rock face which shakes with dynamite explosions from the base even as you watch – let’s hope that UNESCO win their battle and these footprints are preserved for future generations.

Do not miss the world wonder which is the salt flats of Uyuni. There are 2 choices of trip – either a 1 day trip out to the salt flats & back or a 3 day trip across the salt flats and on in to San Pedro De Atacama – Chile. If Chile is on your travel path then this is probably the best trip to take as you will see all the attractions of the salt flats along with the red & green lagoons & flamingos. The 1 day trip will however cover the salt flats element and from Uyuni you can get an overnight train down to the border with Argentina. These trains do not leave every day though so worth checking before you arrive to avoid a prolonged stay in Uyuni. Once in Uyuni every shop is a travel agent and trying to choose who to go with blows your mind – all offer pretty much the same thing the decider needs to be how good their English is and the state of their vehicles. All operators have books with reviews from previous travellers so have a read of these before you decide.

La Paz is the unofficial capital of Bolivia and the biggest city at high altitude in the world. It´s a fascinating city, full of markets .. including the notorious witches market where Bolivians buy llama foetuses which hang in the doorways of all the shops – they´re believed to bring good luck if placed in the foundations of a building. For all those that have read ´Marching powder´ – yes the prison is still there but unfortunately when we were there nosy backpackers were no longer permitted access (although in Bolivia money talks so if you’re feeling brave it could be worth a try!).

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Destination Tips If You Are Going to Formentera

Going to Formentera is easy. You will just need to take the ferry from Denia, Barcleona, Alicante, Palma or Barcelona. There are regular crossings during the high season (May to September), but outside on this season your options are a lot more limited and you will almost certainly need to enter the island at the port of La Savina on a boat that has come from Ibiza. The crossing to Formentera from Ibiza should only take 30 minutes, but the channel of Es Freus does have some strong currents which can slow you down on a choppy seas.

Once you arrive at the port of La Savina, you will step off the boat to face the Tourist Information Office. This is a great first stop to pick up leaflets and maps, and chat to the staff about the best things to do. A nice lady named Carmen is usually at the office and more than happy to give practical advice and insider tips. What you decide to do will very much depend on how long you are planning to stay on the island. If it is just a day trip then you should exit La Savina and head to Es Trucadors.

Es Trucadors is an amazing stretch of white sand beaches, coves, islets, turquoise waters, views out to Es Vedra and S’Espalmador, and rampant naturism. If you are offended by naked bodies soaking up rays of sunshine then this may not be the place for you after all. However, if that is not a problem then you can cycle there in twenty minutes from La Savina and enjoy the views. Of all kinds.

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Bali Destination Tips For Aussie Travellers

Bali Travel Tips

Seasons/When to go

Anytime is a great time to head to Bali. Dry season, which roughly runs from May to October is the most popular time to visit (with June/July sometimes totally overcrowded). Although during the wet season November to April still has some fantastic weather there is just more chance of rain. Having to sit back and wait for the rain to ease up is a good way to recover as it makes you stay in the one place long enough to soak up your surroundings that you may have strolled past quickly in a normal sunny day. The rainy season doesn’t really stop people enjoying their time in Bali, as any time here is a good time!

Getting cheap flights from Australia to Bali

There are quite a few airlines that can take you to from Oz to Bali. If you can try to avoid the peak times like the Australian school holidays (both secondary and university) and Christmas. June/July is the busiest period. Currently outside of these times you can get return flights into Bali from around $400 in tax, depending on your departure point. Very cheap!

Air Asia Asia’s budget airline. Extremely cheap, all you have to pay for is your food and drinks while onboard. There isn’t any in-flight entertainment although some of the flights can hire you a movie screen where you can watch TV shows and movies on demand.

Jetstar Another cheap option. Both airlines have great service, best to sign up to their websites email list and book when they send out their specials.

Strategic Air – A new full service airline from Perth to Bali, with rates similar to the no frills Jetstar and Air Asia

Check out sites like Jetabroad for cheap deals as well.

Don’t forget to check out qantas.com.au, garuda-indonesia.com, and singaporair.com even those these are known to be a bit more expensive than the no-frills airlines; they still have great specials that will bring them into line with the no-frills airline prices.

Costs

Bali is a very cheap destination, and with the Aussie dollar now buying almost double what it did last year a trip here is usually cheaper than staying within Australia. Depending on the type of traveler you are, you can opt for the 1 star hotels and guest houses to the 5 star and anything in between.

Food is extremely cheap as you can get your classic Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice) and Mee Goreng (fried Noodles) for 20,000 Rupiah a meal (approx AUD$2.20). This usually comes with a couple skewers of meat and a fried egg on top with the rice crackers on the side.

Bintang is the local beer and if you are a beer drinker, a delightful drop. A small Bintang will set you back 8,000 rupiah (Approx AUD$1) and a large Bintang 640ml’s 16,000 rupiah (Approx AUD$2.00). You can find Bintang anywhere from the local 7 eleven store to the markets (just ask the shop owner).

If shopping is your reason to go then Bali is the right choice! Anything from market shopping to retail outlets you will be able to find it here. In the retail outlets all prices are marked but head into the markets and its bargain time. Don’t forget to start off very cheap around 1/3 of the price they first gave you. Just remember that towards the end of the bargain you may only be arguing over a couple of dollars. Remember that bargaining is a custom, a way of laughing and interacting with the locals, it’s a way of life so don’t get mad or treat them like they are ripping you off just keep bargaining till you both agree on a fair price.

Domestic Airlines

If you want to travel around some of the surrounding islands to Bali quickly then flights is your option.

merpati.co.id

lionair.co.id

mandalaair.com

All these airlines are quite cheap; they can be booked online or through a travel agent while you are in Bali.

Getting from Denpassar airport to Kuta/Legian area

After collecting your bags and heading to the exit you will probably face the crowds of people holding signs and taxi drivers ready to pick you up. Just ignore these people and turn right to an isle of small shop windows.

Along this wall is a Taxi shop that sells one way fares for the taxis at 50,000 rupiah (about 6 Aussie dollars). This is the easiest way, as describing your hotel they will then organize a taxi to grab you and take you there. Don’t pay more than 50,000!

Accommodation options

You can get everything from backpacker accommodation to 5 star resorts.

Backpacker guest houses range from AUD$5 per night which normally also come with breakfast. Just make sure that you check out the room before checking in. You want to make sure that the standard is exactly what you’re after. Your $5 in backpacker accommodation will change depending on the area, the further away from the tourist trail the more you will get. In most backpacker accommodation in Bali you will get an en-suite, fan and double bed for your money.

If you’re on a budget but can afford to splurge a little then going with a 3 star is always a good option. There you will usually receive a pool, possibly a swim up bar, en-suite, double room, aircon, breakfast and usually a couple of other things thrown in.

Just remember with all the options, you are never in your hotel as there are so many activities to do during the day. It’s just a bed for the night; you just need to decide what level of luxury you want to sleep in.

Popular 1 star options are scattered around Poppies One and Two, two roads at the heart of Kuta (also the noisiest and most shambolic).

Popular and still cheap 3 Star options around Kuta are places like the Legian Jayakarta, and the infamous Bounty hotel.

Seminyak, up the beach from Kuta, is the more civilized alternative to Kuta/Legian. This area houses some spectacular 5 star hotels, as well as a few decent cheapies and some of the best restraunts on the island. This area is better for families if you feel the need to get away from the bogan/crowd factor in Kuta.

For a good website to look for rooms of all varieties check out asiarooms.com.

Getting around Bali

Taxis are around on every corner and will drive past you as you walk down the street asking if you need a taxi, so these are not hard to find. They are relatively cheap and if you catch the Blue Bird taxis they have a meter. Just make sure you tell them you want a meter before you hop into the taxi.

For the more adventures hiring a Motorcycle or Car is an option. Both are reasonably cheap and you have the freedom of driving wherever you want. The only downfall is the lack of road rules might be hard to navigate. A lot is done from the horn. Just remember its not rude to toot like it is regarded in Australia, it’s just signals to warn the other drivers.

1 toot – “hi I’m here”

2 toots – “move”

The other option is to hire a car with a driver. They are more than happy to drive you around and show you all the tourist destinations.

Beach Destinations

Kuta beach is the most popular and with all the action you can understand why everyone hangs around. You can hire a sun bed with a umbrella and relax while you watch all the action from the hawkers, masseuse to the tourists learning to surf.

If you want some quiet time with a more picturesque beach then heading over to Sanur or Nusa Dua is where you want to go. Only 30min drive from Kuta it’s a nice day trip to get out of the hustle and bustle of Kuta/Legian area.

Nyepi day

Nyepi day is Bali’s day of silence. This is Bali’s first day of the New Year celebrated in March; make sure to check out the coming dates as it changes each year.

The night before Nyepi day the Balinese celebrate by creating huge floats which they parade down the street. These floats seem to look like they are made out of papier-mâché but don’t be fooled into thinking they are like children’s art these have so much detail on them from the long eyelashes to the finger nails. Every inch of their creations have been thought about and well designed. These floats are Ogoh-ogoh which symbolizes the evil spirits which they have to get rid of out of their lives. These floats are tied onto bamboo which is then lifted by the dancers and they dance the floats around to the music. It’s quite incredible watching these huge creations dance around in fluid movements.

The next day is the day of silence, no one is to walk outside and this includes the tourist. Apparently as the story goes, the gods come down on the day of silence, look around Bali and then decide that Bali is inhabitable so they leave.

You cannot leave your hotel so make sure you have chosen one that has a restaurant inside and perhaps rent a DVD player and pick up some DVD’s to watch as if you try to leave the hotel staff will stop you as well as the police on the streets. Some of the hotels even go to lengths to put up black plastic to cover the entrances.

The Balinese love Nyepi day as it’s a day where they travel back home to spend it with their family, like how we spend Christmas.

Off the beaten path

Not really off the beaten trek, but Ubud is definitely worth a look. With awesome arts and crafts to monkey forest its worth the 1 hour drive to get there. You can stay up there with plenty of hotels offering cheap rooms. As you wonder around the town which is situated up in the mountains you will fall in love with the shopping, atmosphere and culture.

Balian is a village an hour or so north from Kuta.. A quiet alternative and more a village than the free for all of Kuta.

Also check out along the relatively new highway on the opposite side of the Island from Kuta. There’s some great surf spots and interesting villages to pass through.

Visas

Australians can get a 30 day visa on arrival which costs US$25 per person. It’s a bit of a myth that you need to have this $25.00 in USD: they will take Aussie dollars and you will get through just as quickly as if you had bothered to get the same in Us dollars before you arrive.

There are ATM’s at the airport which will give you decent rates (usually much better than changing money before you leave Australia).

If you liked this article check out my travel site Aussie Travel Advice. It’s a free and independent site with over 140 pages of travel advice and links, as well as our travel blog. It’s written by a former travel agent, doctor and journalist and contains the best travel tips for Australians going overseas.

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Romantic Getaway Destination Tips For Married Couples

There are married couples looking for destination tips for their travels. Reading tips from people who have actually gone to the places they have aptly described in their reviews can make their recommendations a lot easier to digest and believable. Married couples seem to be wiser than first time honeymooners and so are more inquisitive when it comes to spending their holidays or vacations so that they get the best deals for their budget.

But before anything else, why do married couples look for romantic destinations? Well, for the top of the list reason, most of these married couples would want to catch the spark again in their relationship. Some just want to enjoy each other’s company again after having kids and other big responsibilities. And even some just want to rediscover each other after being hit with the bus called reality. With all these underlying reasons for married couples, giving the best tips in destination is more like a manual to them. Maybe they have been busy too much to even know what are the most top most romantic getaway places to be.

For married couples, they would want some place with the three essential factors: food, relaxation, and generous accommodations. After being married for quite some time, they would want a destination that can make them feel excited and relaxed in each other’s company.

First choice would be the Antigua in the Caribbean. Relaxation to most couples would mean sunny beaches that spells laid back and relaxation to most. This is a small island with small but intimate hotels that offer spas and other body treatments that can loosen all those tensed muscles and free the thoughts of their visitors. The best part of it is that it is in the tropics and so you can expect sunny weather all year-round.

Second would be surprisingly near, the Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. If your spouse is into golf sports or deep-sea fishing for fun, then this is your first choice. There are also luxury hotels that can accommodate you in the best and most fashionable way in the area.

The City by the Bay or San Francisco city in California is considered to be the most accessible romantic city in all of the states. If both of you just cannot consider an exotic getaway and would prefer a very cosmopolitan destination, then this is the place to be. Also fits the bill for most couples who are tight on the budget. Checking into their five-star hotels or dining in their world-class cuisine restaurants can allow you to go back to your romantic days with your spouse.

Napa Valley in California is best suited for married couples who share the love for wine tours and tasting. This is also a chance to get to know other couples who happen to share the same hobby that you might have or for you to discover the world of wine together. The charming valley town can look like Italy and the warm people with the high-class hotels can keep you comfortable in your stay.

Married couple should learn to enjoy each other’s company to keep their romance alive. Learning new activities together or indulging in your favorite destinations can make your bond stronger. You will always appreciate being married to each other every after trip you make.

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Before You Worry About Destination Travel Tips

This year folks will be traveling less by car due to the outrageous cost of fuel and thus, they need to get everything in order before they go. If you are planning a road trip to your favorite destination, then you must realize that one wrong turn could easily cost you $20 to 40 in fuel before you figure out what happen. If you are planning on going to a resort or vacation rental, you will need to plan that in advance too, as to not have to drive all the way back into town for your supplies.

Still, before you even start considering all these destination tips or go online to seek out expert travel advice and tips, I’d like you to consider something that you have already been considering; ditching your SUV or Mini-van for an economy car. Now might be the time to buy a new car to take on your summer travels, because new cars do not break down as much and you will save a ton on your fuel costs. May, I be so bold as to recommend a very good book on this subject to you?

“Buying Your Next Car – an easy-to-use, step-by-step guide to save hundreds, even thousands of dollars” by J. Michael White. 1993.

Many times when people buy a car they forget the real costs, such as insurance, maintenance, fuel, parking, etc; the first part of this book helps the purchaser determine their budget and then determine their real needs. The next section talks about dealer tactics, knowing your strengths in negotiation and how to go about shopping as well as determining the seller’s cost, profit points and position.

What to look for when inspecting and test driving the car and how to negotiate the deal you want without giving up your needs. Also there is a section on all the paperwork and your rights as a car buyer and how taking delivery matters in the deal.

After you get a good deal on your new car, you can reward yourself with your summer vacation knowing that the money you save in fuel will make your new car purchase even sweater. Think it through, because vacations can be expensive and you need to play your trips prior to reaching your destination.

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