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January 2011
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March 2011

7 Suggests for learning the local language - 501 Places

When travelling, we all know that any holiday is enhanced when you can speak the lingo. Not only does it enable us to earn respect of the people in the places we visit, bargain better prices but it helps make those very personal connections that make many of us want to travel in the first place.

Remember the time when you ordered your first meal, bought your first train ticket or understood your first joke in a foreign language? Simple things suddenly become an exciting challenge and an adventure. So why do we not bone up on some basic language skills before every trip?


Vacation inspiration sites can be hit or miss - USATODAY

It's been a seemingly endless winter and you've just shoveled out your plowed-in car for the second time today. You're so ready for a vacation escape.

An ever-increasing number of travel-inspiration websites, or those with inspirational features as a sidelight — including Goby, Tripbase, Wanderfly and Cheapflights — now offer vacation, activity and entertainment recommendations based on personal preferences.

Major online travel agencies such as Travelocity and Expedia also offer vacation searching by theme, but they try to get you to the booking quickly. In contrast, most travel-inspiration websites are for people who have no clue where to go and are just beginning their research.


Video: Overweight Passengers' Seat Space on Airlines - ABC News

"It's not my fault that someone else might be obese, so why should I have to give up any of my minimal seat space to an oversize seatmate?"

"Many travelers are overweight for medical or genetic reasons – why should they be penalized?"


Unfortunately, I see no win-win solution to this problem. Both sides of this dispute have validity, but no single approach can accommodate both views. And, as a consumer, you can't do much to avoid difficulty, one way or another.


Delta Ends SkyMiles Expiration

Delta Airline Logo 
, Feb. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines today announced it has eliminated the SkyMiles mileage expiration, creating a new industry-leading benefit for all members.  This program change is effective for all accounts as of Jan. 1, 2011, and makes Delta the only major U.S. carrier without mileage expiration.

Previously, miles expired 24 months after a member's last qualifying mileage activity, which required a member to earn or redeem miles within that period.

"Now that our massive frequent flyer program integration is complete, we are focused on smart ways to improve the SkyMiles program for all members," said Jeff Robertson, Delta's vice president – SkyMiles.  "We know how much customers value their miles, so eliminating mileage expiration is a major win for them.  This is yet another benefit that sets us apart from the pack, making Delta a clear leader in loyalty program benefits."

This change is the latest of several enhancements made to the SkyMiles program in the last year including the new Diamond Medallion tier with complimentary lounge access and Rollover Medallion Qualification Miles.  These features complement other recent changes such as the elimination of all award redemption fees and a free first checked bag on Delta flights for Gold, Platinum and Reserve Delta SkyMiles credit card holders from American Express.


Egypt landmarks mostly unharmed - Travel Weekly

Egypt pyramid 
As the world witnessed the passionate political demonstrations of recent weeks, frozen forever in televised images from Cairo’s Tahrir Square, it was often hard to keep it all in perspective: This historic fight for freedom amounted to little more than a blip in the more-than-5,000-year timeline of Egyptian civilization.

That perspective, however, was not lost on the Egyptian people, whose devotion to their heritage ensured that the antiquities marking one of the world’s oldest civilizations would remain intact long after the protests had faded from memory, guaranteeing both their heritage and the assets upon which Egypt has built its tourism industry.

There is no denying the negative impact the unrest has had on tourism to Egypt as travelers rushed to leave the country and tour operators all but shut down their Egypt operations for February and into March.

Yet there has been very little damage to the country’s antiquities, the historical and cultural treasures, the sites and artifacts that will help Egypt rebuild its tourism economy once the political crisis is resolved.