Archive for ◊ July, 2014 ◊

30 Jul 2014 More Europeans Tourists Head for the United States

The decrease in the value of the dollar was welcome news to international skiers earlier this year.

United States ski resorts reported seeing more international visitors than previous recent years. They credit this primarily to the lower exchange rate of the dollar vs. other currencies. People like getting the most bang for their buck, no matter what buck their currency represents.

During the recently passed ski season, guests booked extended stays months in advance. Resorts reported that skiers who would generally stay two to four days have extended their visits to seven to 10 days due to getting better prices for their currency.

International guests also shopped and spent more money at local stores and restaurants and on rental equipment.

Some resorts reported that the number of Canadian skiers was up by 20 percent. Stowe and Smuggler’s Notch reported stronger bookings from Europe during the Easter holiday break. Eastern United States ski resorts had a very good 2007-2008 ski season due to an early Easter holiday, steady winter storms and a weak dollar.

Now that skiing has come to an end for this season, holiday goers will be looking for great summertime destinations. The dollar is still lower in value than it has been in years, making the United States a more viable tourist destination. Many hotels are already booked for prime summer travel months. Theme park operators are looking forward to the potential influx of tourists due to current exchange rates.

Many favourite ski resort destinations also double as favourite summertime destinations. Most resorts offer great summer activities as well as ski packages.

North American ski resorts offer summertime camping, fishing, hiking and other outdoor activities.

Children’s camps are one of the more popular summertime activities at resorts. Several favourites offer summertime concerts and other special events. Some special events include mountain biking and the occasional poker run.

Prime holiday destinations, such as the Balearic and Canary Islands could potentially see a decrease in holiday traffic this year. The typical holiday on the island of your choice will be more expensive due to current exchange rates.

Some of the more popular summertime destinations in the United States are Florida, Colorado, California, Washington D.C. and New York.

One of Florida’s main family attractions is Disney World. Disney World is one of the most visited family holiday destinations in the world. Other Florida destinations include Daytona Beach, Miami, Busch Gardens and Kissimmee.

Colorado, Washington D.C. and New York offer great historic and educational holiday opportunities for families looking for more than roller coasters and swimming pools.

Current monetary exchange rates as of April 2008 allow the purchase of a $75 theme park ticket for 47 euros or just under 38 sterling.

The current decreased value of the dollar allows great potential for more international visitors to enjoy an American vacation during 2008.

Cheaper airfares from many destinations in Europe will help offset the current exchange rate for Europeans who enjoy the occasional weekend trip to the Balearic Islands.

When preparing and planning your summer vacation, look for the lowest fees for exchanging currency. Banks often charge fewer fees than exchange bureaus and other companies. Using a credit card or debit card can also help offset the fees usually involved with currency exchange.

30 Jul 2014 Airport Car Service New York – Airport Car Service In New York

When you arrive at any airport in New York simply make a call or visit the websites of car rentals and reserve a car from airport car service in NYC especially on busy days and get picked and dropped immediately after you arrive without any more wait. During the holidays and special events it maybe tougher then you think getting a car to your destination.

Car service Conveniences

It’s not just that you will have a car waiting for you at airport car service in New York, you will also feel much comfortable after a long flight instead of arriving and then taking taxis or other transportation alternatives. Secondly there will be no issue of luggage handling. If you have luggage and you are alone, you will have to spend extra time and money getting someone to help you with them anyways.

Considerations

“Always think ahead!” -that is what my mother used to always say. She was always thinking. Before booking a car at airport car service in NYC you should remember a few things. First call in advance to make sure your car will be available. Some car services would require a pre-booking otherwise if you reach and want a car right away they may not be able to provide you transport.

Car Service Issues

There are some issues that must be known to the traveler.

1. In an appropriate car reservation you will need to know if your current insurance is applicable or they will charge additional per day. Some states require insurance.

2. If the rental car is returned late you might have to pay extra fees. Usually if you are late by a few hours you will be charged on per hour bases, however, if you are late by quiet a few they may charge you with a full day fair.

3. Some rental service allows you to purchase your own gas. The ones who provide a full tank at the start will want the car returned with its tank filled to the brink otherwise they charge you fees.

4. Sometimes if you were in a hurry and drop the car at some other outlet of the airport car service in New York you may be charged with extra fees.

5. It’s quite clear that when you take a car from airport car service in NYC you will have to return it pretty much in the same condition.

6. Before you get into your booked car have a look around so that at the time of returning some previous dent or scratch is charged in your bill.

Saving Money

If you already have insurance try a company that lets you use it. Many people end up paying a lot because they don’t know this fact. Call your insurance company and ask them how much coverage they give and in which states. If you are coming from abroad then your insurance company may give you international insurance which is valid in New York as well. Sometimes the credit cards you own have points especially to cover the car rentals. You should also be looking for that cost cutting tip.

Making a wise selection of airport car service NYC will keeping your costs within your budget. Take a look at a couple of helpful places on the internet to help you locate the best options out there.

30 Jul 2014 Best guided tours of New York City

To see old New York the way Ellis Islanders saw it, I recommend a visit to the Tenement Museum off Mott Street, between Little Italy and Chinatown, by the old Five Points neighborhood. Its a guided tour that whisks you away for a little over an hour into a world that is gone but not forgotten. Granted it is a guided tour of one building, but it is a journey into what makes New York forever new.

The building in question was built in the mid eighteen hundreds. It is a three story, walk-up tenement crowded with tiny apartments. The original wallpaper is in the dimly lit stairwell. It is a gloomy place where the other half lived. Each floor is furnished with the belongings of a different era’s inhabitants. The rooms crammed with brickabrack and heirlooms look as if the tenants just walked out to their jobs in the Garment District or to purchase some onions from a pushcart vendor on the street. The rooms are full of traces of hardscrabble lives trying to get by in an alien city that offers hard-to-come-by promises.

The guides are full of stories gleaned from extensive research and the stories come alive in the setting. You learn what it was like when the neighborhood wasn’t chi-chi or a tourist destination. You intrude on a private past and come out wiser and grateful afterward. New York remains an immigrant city and this glimpse into its hallowed tenement past sheds light on what happens today in the outer boroughs. We do what we need to get by. We live where we can and we make the best of our surroundings. Where there is life, there is hope and children remember their childhoods fondly. Adversity is a state of mind and there is no shame in being poor or struggling to get ahead.

The Tenement Museum is gritty the way people’s lives are gritty. There but for the grace of the angels go we. Because of those who came before us and worked hard, New York is a great city and America is a great country. The story of New York is the story of America. The story of the people who took ship from faraway lands to take a chance on the Lower East Side in one of the most cramped and congested neighborhoods in the world, is why our country is great.

The gift shop is small and no one is getting rich running tours at the Tenement Museum. They are providing a valuable service. This is not a tourist attraction. It is a learning experience and no one who exits the tenement comes out unmoved. This is not gaudy, flashy, out to make a quick buck or out to paint a fantasy. When you visit the Tenement Museum you get real New York, the New York of yore, the New York where real dreams come true. You get a slice of the city past, present and future in ways you won’t get by riding a tour bus or sampling tapas at restaurants that pay for the pleasure of being included as a stop on your stroll. Buildings and neighborhoods in Manhattan, or anywhere, will take on new meaning after you are guided through the Tenement Museum.

29 Jul 2014 New York Apartment Remodeling: Time for a Cool and Comfy Change

Living right in the city of New York and being surrounded by the 24/7 hustle and bustle of the people and thriving businesses can make a long day longer. At the end of your working hours, you then go back to your big city apartment and be greeted by the unwelcoming sight of all the everyday clutter, wear and tear, and even house areas that screams repair. And you wonder, What would it take to have an inviting place to come home to? The answer is simple. It is time for a cool and comfy change through New York apartment remodeling.

A common challenge that you would have to take on when considering to remodel a New York apartment is space. Though in general apartments can vary largely in terms of square foot area, average living units in big cities commonly have limited areas. But you need not fret as there are home improvement techniques you could use to be able to make efficient use of every inch of the apartment.

What you want to achieve with your New York apartment remodeling project is to make living more comfortable with a new welcoming and airier feel with every room. You would also see to it that everything would look beautiful but without sacrificing functionality. And the solution to all of these is a good focus on storage and furnishing space. To start with, take a thorough look at every corner of your rooms for items and spaces that are seldom used and I am sure your list could get lengthy. Take a box and pack these items to be kept, or you could also opt to sell them. If you go with the box option, keep it in one of the unused spaces like under the bed. You can also replace the bulkier furniture pieces with space-saving but fashionable ones according to your taste

Additional shelves and creatively located cabinetry are also great solutions in organizing your things. When shopping, you are sure to find a wide selection of cabinets and shelves with dimensions that are enough to fit into any corner of any room. You can opt for space-saving designs such as free-standing, corner shelf units or wall mounted. Just make sure that you would also consider a color and texture to match the rest of the décors. But if your idea of New York apartment remodeling is having functional features conveniently installed into the structure of your home, then you ought to find a qualified contractor to work with you.

After maximizing home organization and getting rid of the clutter, integrate elements that create an illusion of more space into your New York apartment remodeling project. Lighting and interior painting can also do wonders in opening up space. The choice of fixtures and color is important as well as the creative implementation of each. To maximize lighting, avoid leaving out areas and create shadows and make use of reflective surfaces and mirrors. With interior painting, texture and application technique should be considered. There are countless ways in which you can inject your style into your New York apartment remodeling project and make your living area more welcoming and comfortable. All it takes is a good dose of creativity.

29 Jul 2014 Limousine Rentals New York

New York is a vibrant metropolis beyond compare, home to over 8.5 million people of different ethnicity and nationality. It is also a city of choices, from cars to homes, jobs to restaurants, and entertainment to luxury. In short, for the people residing in New York, it is just about choosing the way they wish to live in this great city.

The present article talks about limousine rentals in New York City, the car that is not just a mode of transport but also a fashion statement, symbol of pride and luxury, and above all, a moving castle on the road. Buying a limo can be a tad costly and may not sound a sensible investment for most of the ordinary people unless you are super rich and have lots of cash to blow. But, for special occasions, you can get one for rent, for few hours, at affordable rates from various limousine car rentals agencies. That way, even for the average person on the streets, riding in a limo can be an affordable/practical choice.

As you might have deduced already, a limousine is not a car for daily use. It is for special occasions. Businesses sometimes use it as a traveling office for guests as they come to the physical office location from the airport. Otherwise its uses are mostly confined to special occasions such as marriage, bachelor, corporate or birthday parties. For weddings, custom made limos are usually hired by the bride’s and groom’s families to transport their relatives and friends to the location in luxury and splendor. For the guests, traveling in the vehicle that is replete with a lounge bar, entertainment facilities, dance floor, and every conceivable luxury a car could accommodate would be a nice feeling altogether. After all, that is what guests in general expect from their hosts on a special day.

For bachelor and corporate parties as well, the basic purpose of hiring a limo is the same. It carries the luxury and party element right through out the journey, and prepares the guests to elate themselves to the party mood before they reach the party destination.

Usually, the limos are chauffer driven because, given the length of the car, it takes some amount of training and expertise to maneuver it through the traffic seamlessly. Also, experienced hands on the wheel will ensure that no guests are late for the special occasion owing to traffic snarls or bottlenecks. In a city like New York, one needs more than driving skills on the road to reach destination on time. A latest GPS navigation system installed in the limousines usually helps the chauffer to take the right route always.

There are various limousine rental agencies functioning in and around New York City limits offering custom made limos to customers depending on the occasion for which they may be hiring one. You can contact such limo rental agencies for renting custom limos to weddings, bachelor and wedding parties, city promos, and airport pickups. And for the customers it is just about choosing a car, depending on its capacity and luxury quotient as well as the rates, which he/she prefers.

28 Jul 2014 Moving To The Big Apple: Hire The Right New York Mover

Moving can be a daunting task amid an otherwise exciting time. Whether moving across the country or down the street, moving requires organization, time, and a lot of work. While hiring a New York mover can make the actual move easier, here are a few more tips to make moving day as fun and easy as possible

* Have everything packed before friends or the moving truck show up. This makes the day stay smooth, and allows packing to not descend into throwing everything in sight into boxes, which travel unlabelled to the new home, where no one can remember what was in it.

* Have all boxes labeled with what room they go in.

* Have a suitcase packed with essentials for the next day, so that unpacking can be left to the next day. Things to include might be: clothing, an alarm clock, toiletries, and any paperwork regarding the move, a new job, or your new home.

* When loading the truck, place heavy and large items on the bottom, and smaller items on top. Be sure the driver knows the correct address of the new place.

* Don’t forget to eat! Order takeout for all the helpers, so that friends don’t have to leave early because they are starving.

A New York mover can make the day much smoother, both because a one truck load is much easier to pack and unpack than having to make multiple trips, and because drivers are experienced with moves and with loading and unloading. For a move across state lines, if you are leaving the state, a New York mover is practically essential in order to get all household items to the new house or apartment in one trip. (Especially for those who don’t own a vehicle).

Selecting the correct moving company can be a difficult task. One thing to avoid is hiring any company whose only form of advertising is flyers stapled to telephone posts. What you do not need is a moving company that consists entirely of two guys and a battered truck, for they are not likely to have the proper expertise or insurance to protect your belongings. Also, if a moving company does not have the proper worker’s insurance, you can be liable for any injury that their movers receive while in your house.

All Around Moving Services is a professional New York Mover that has the capability to meet all of your moving needs. We can move you within the state or arrange for your move to another state or country. If you value your belongings, and if any are large or delicate, say antiques or pianos, then you need a quality moving company. All Around Moving is licensed and bonded by the Department of Transportation. All of our employees are experienced and committed to caring for your stuff as if it was their own.

27 Jul 2014 Best hot dog stands in New York City

New York owes a hot dog cart full of gratitude to Jimmy Durante and Eddie Cantor. Why? Because in 1916 these two celebrities encouraged young Nathan Handwerker to open a hot dog stand on Coney Island.

He listened to them and started selling his hot dogs for a nickel each to the thousands of the well heeled but hungry New Yorkers visiting this vacation mecca every day.

Nathan’s is still only a wee walk from the ocean. The hot dogs now cost a whole pile of nickels but the sensation of eating a Nathan’s hot dog on Coney Island is well worth the price. Nathan’s is about more than hot dogs. It’s about history an aspect that has a direct bearing on how the hot dog tastes…to me anyway.

When you take that first mouthful, I strongly suggest you close your eyes and open your ears. If you listen very closely you can still hear the soft rustle of heavy skirts, the thumping of thousands of little feet on the boardwalk and the far off sound of a brass band playing.

If you listen very intently you can also hear the crack of bat meeting ball as Babe Ruth, the Yankee’s Sultan of Swat, puts another one out of the reach of frustrated outfielders…all while New Yorkers chowed down on hot dogs.

New York and hot dogs.

For taste…sheer New York Taste…I have to suggest “A Hot Dog from the Vendor Cart Guys.” Head to Central Park and look for the Vendor Cart Guys. You will find their silver carts at every entrance to Central Park.

Order a hot dog with everything and watch them slather the sesame seed bun with mustard, onions, relish, ketchup and peppers. Take your treasure into the park and find a bench or a patch of grass in the sunlight. Or try Strawberry Fields, the tiled John Lennon monument…or settle in by the Alice in Wonderland statue…or join a massive lineup of people hoping to get free Shakespeare in the Park tickets.

A hot dog will never EVER taste as good as it does in Central Park.

Or Coney Island.

A hot dog is a hot dog. But eating hot dogs from of either of these New York institutions is a vital part of the Big Apple experience.

Badda boom…badda bing!

27 Jul 2014 Budget Travel And Vacation In Europe

Many budget travelers assume that a multi-city European vacation is beyond their means, but that is often not the case. The large number of budget airlines that have sprung up in Europe in recent years have dropped the average cost of airfare between many major European cities.

In some cases, the cost of coach airfare between major European hubs like London and Amsterdam is lower than a comparable first or even second class train ticket.

And of course flying between cities is far less time consuming than taking the train or driving yourself, and that means more time to explore the places you’ve always wanted to see, as well as more money to spend once you get there.

The key to getting the best airfares, both from the United States to destinations in Europe, and between European destinations, is to shop around and compare carefully.

Most major American air carriers have partnerships with one or more European airlines, and therefore it is often possible to shop airfares between European cities from the web sites of these airlines.

In addition, the major European only airlines all have their own web sites, and most provide for online booking and confirmation as well. This makes it easy to line up all your airfare before you leave the United States.

This is an important consideration, since it is often more difficult, and more expensive, to book airline tickets or train tickets after you have arrived in Europe.

The choice of European cities you plan to visit can also have a major impact on airfare between destinations. Many of the low cost European air carriers are based in London, so it is often considerably less costly to fly from London than to fly from many other major European cities.

Therefore, many budget travelers choose to make London their primary destination, and to take two and three day trips from there to the places they have always wanted to see.

While it is possible to get great deals from other European gateways, it is often more difficult than flying to and from London.

Just as American airlines have their own major gateways, such as New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta, so too do budget European airlines.

Planning your visit around these hub cites is often the best way to get the lowest possible airfares between European cities.

Flying within Europe is surprisingly affordable for way for many budget travelers to get around.

Many first time travelers to Europe, and some seasoned travelers as well, are shocked to find just how affordable it is to fly around Europe.

27 Jul 2014 Arab B2b Takes New Direction in North America

The New York Times conducted an interview with Ms. Janine Jaouni, Director of Business Solutions, an entrepreneurial e-commerce figure in the Middle East; the interview was part of a research and collaborative efforts by Microsoft, Google and eBay to explore markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for introduction of new product lines and services. According to Ms. Jaouni, the e-commerce environment in the Middle East and North Africa faces several obstacles which deprived consumers in the region from commodities which [surprisingly] they can afford.

“The major issue is lack of a free market economy, companies are encouraged to export, yet customs and red-tape are a trade mark of most Arab economies, perhaps with the exception of the Emirates.” Ms. Jaouni continues: “the population of MENA stands at approximately a quarter-billion people, yet the economic boundaries have defeated the purpose when it comes to creating economies of scale.”

Microsoft, Google and eBay realize that MENA is an untapped consumer environment, yet the challenge remains on how to make such fragmented demands make economic sense, after all, the American business model is based on centralized operations of scale, particularly when it comes to the services sector, the challenge is the many borders, each with its own set and often contradictory rules of doing business.

Ms. Jaouni points out that her company Business Solutions has identified three challenges. The first challenge is lack of infrastructure for transportation and speedy delivery and reliable mail services; the second is lack of credit (less than 2% of the population of MENA has credit cards, 5% of those in her estimates have PayPal accounts), and the third is lack of trust – this is due to the fact that prosecuting someone in a different country is very difficult, particularly for consumer size transactions. Ms. Jaouni discounts the challenge of the centralized business model; “the web and e-commerce in particular lend themselves to a decentralized model,” she adds.

Then, how do you do e-business in the Middle East and North Africa, isn’t that what you do?, we asked.

Many young Arab entrepreneurs have realized that they can setup simple e-commerce (business-to-customer, B2C) sites catering to European and American customers. The nature of the products ranges from souvenirs to specialty or traditional items. These businesses, while profitable, require extensive marketing and dedication, something which is not easy to do for a part-time entrepreneur. Ms. Jaouni states: “Our approach and company philosophy is different; we help these and others setup a network of Business-to-Business (B2B), and from there B2C, thus creating a web of tiered network referred to as B2B2C.”

Business Solutions realized the potential of B2B marketing and produced its first EXPO package in 2003. This B2B package is designed for export oriented markets and includes categorized listings of businesses, each business with online catalogs, inquiry baskets, PDF brochures and utilities to export spreadsheets for large scale marketing campaigns. EXPO is most suitable for markets with specialized product sectors, like in Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Morocco. The platform has significantly contributed to exports of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, marble and stone, leather products, textiles and furniture.

Based on the success of EXPO, the company launched the Arab Travel Network (ATN) in 2005. ATN is a site totally administered by travel agents, tour operators and companies which provide related travel and tourism services. For businesses, it functions as a B2B platform creating a travel and tourism marketplace in an area long ignored by Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz. Tour operators are now capable of organizing tours and selling packages to travel agents world-wide. Travel agents in turn offer travel packages to customers, also online, a very successful B2B2C model. The major tourism sectors benefited by this package are in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan. Ms. Jaouni states that Business Solutions has also experimented with hotel reservations and other services related to Hajj and Omra in Saudi Arabia, and is currently looking for local partnership and representation. The Emirates market also has great potential, but requires a unique model which Business Solutions is looking into.

The latest release by Business Solutions is ArabCityUSA.com which is a super-portal targeting the Arab Community in North America. The planned release of ArabCityUSA.com was postponed by six months in order to re-design the site to make full use of the latest AJAX technology. This technology enables vendors and users alike to get results effectively without having to “mine” for information. The site is focused on travel services with airfares and packed offers, and online airfare quotes system to many airports in Arab countries and world-wide destinations. The portal has a comprehensive list of restaurants offering Middle Eastern and traditional Arabic (particularly Lebanese and Moroccan) cuisine, where each restaurant self publishes specialties and menus which appear in a compiled easy to browse pages. The site also offers a comprehensive business directory with categorized listings and online catalogs for products and services. In addition to AJAX, the site utilizes US zip codes to calculate distance to such businesses and sorts results by distance. The site has a social platform which offers a meeting place similar to MySpace.com; among the innovative features is Skype.com online status for members and statistics about who is online using IP-to-Country detection technology. Ms. Jaouni adds that the target Arab communities in the US are primarily in Paterson and Jersey City in New Jersey, New York City, Boston, Baltimore, Washington DC, Houston, Dearborn, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco. All services offered through ArabCityUSA.com are free, except for the advertisements, preferred and featured listings.

The future of e-business in the MENA region remains promising, evident by the high number of internet users. “Somehow we need to turn browsing time into a shopping experience”, Ms. Jaouni comments, “I see people taking shopping trips to London, Paris and New York; we need to make the same products available here for the middle-class, it is all products they can afford.”

26 Jul 2014 Attractions of New York City, NY

Battery Park, New York City

Battery Park has become more or less a landmark for tourists every since 9/11. Located at the bottom of Manhattan, just below the financial district is skirts the site of the form World Trade Center and lends a decent yet distant view of the Statue of Liberty. It draws thousands of visitors each year.

History buffs enjoy facts and Battery Park has historical facts abounding. For instance, at the time of the War of 1812, a fort was built in Battery Park between 1808 and 1811. The fort was named Castle Clinton in 1817 after DeWitt Clinton, Mayor of NYC at the time. After the war, and in the many years following the area served as an entertainment center, an opera house and an immigration landing depot. IT was even the NYC Aquarium until it closed in 1941.

Places To Stay and Dine

Because there is a lot to do and see in and around Battery Park staying close by is not a bad idea. The Marriott on 85 West Street across from Battery Park off the Westside Highway is an ideal spot. Located in the financial district of New York City, this Marriott makes for an ideal getaway and has easy access to the World Trade Center site, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, South Street Seaport, Battery Park and SOHO, NYC. All 497 richly appointed rooms are comfortable and offer luxurious accommodations. On the Marriott campus, guests will find the famous Roy’s New York restaurant, a Starbucks and the contemporary 85 West Cocktail Bar.

The Ritz Carlton is in Battery Park and is a luxury 5 star that caters to business and leisure travelers. It caters to the hip crowd but also accommodates young families with babysitting services. The hotel is close to some fabulous restaurants including Nobu, Peter Luger and Pearl Oyster Bar. The Flagship Embassy Suites of New York City’s Financial District offer full-service, upscale accommodations within walking distance to Battery Park and Wall Street. Each suite is beautifully decorated with a private bedroom and spacious living room, two televisions, a stocked mini-bar, microwave oven, coffee maker, two telephones with data ports, high speed Internet access and a well lit work table.

Moran’s is a friendly, sociable tavern that has a history that goes back to 1857. The specialty is American Continental cuisine that is outstandingly delicious with prim aged beef, and fresh New England style lobster. It’s across the Westside Highway leaving Battery Park on Washington Street, open Monday through Saturday