Escorted vs Self guided tours

Thinking about a trip to Europe, Australia or New Zealand?  These are prime destinations to take advantage of a prearranged tour package.  Most of us think of tour packages and we think of bus trips with a group of other travelers.  But most tour companies also offer prearranged self guided tours.  No buses, no groups, and you get to travel at your pace.  You take advantage of the tour company's contacts and buying power while still being able to travel independently.


Passport Fees Increasing July 13

If you are thinking of getting a passport or need a current passport renewed now is the time to do it before increased fees kick in on the 13th.
The new passport prices take effect next week, on July 13. So you’ll save money by applying or renewing this week. How much? Here are some comparisons:
  • Adult passport: New fee: $135. Old fee: $100
  • Adult passport renewal: New fee: $110.  Old fee: $75
  • Minor passport (under age 16): New fee: $105. Old fee; $85
  • Adult passport card (allows border crossings by land): New fee: $55. Old fee: $45
  • Minor passport card: New fee: $40. Old fee: $35
  • Extra visa pages: New fee: $82. Old fee: It was free of charge
To learn how to apply for a passport or renew one, go to the State Department’s website for travelers.


Free Travel Guides

I happened across the Spanair website today and noticed they have a great selection of free travel guides for over 300 destinations.  Most of them are in Europe, but there is a good selection from around the globe.

Spanair website for travel guides link

Page one example for Rome (there are 15 pages in the guide):

I hope you enjoy this resource.


Travel Tip

Now is a great time to visit Vancouver BC and South Africa.  Why you might ask?  Both destinations were the site of a major event, the Winter Olympics for Vancouver BC and the World Cup in South Africa.  100's of millions of dollars were spent on improving infrastructure and building new tourist facilities.  So now is a great time to take advantage of the improvements made for the big events before they begin to show their age.