The Best Texas Vacations Include These Five Things

Texas vacations are the stuff of legend, at least if you ask a resident of the great Lone Star State. After all, Texas, though thoroughly metropolitan in many areas & very much an international destination, still has wildly diverse landscapes, climates, elevations, and all of the things that lay claim to the notion of the ‘Wild West’ characteristics that evoke tall tales.

In other words, Texas has a lot to offer, but with so much to offer, there comes a need to really define what a vacation in Texas is all about. What are the absolutely “musts” that are a part of the quintessential Texas getaway?

In the same way that a buffet doesn’t count unless you go through the line three times, here are at least five things that any Texas vacation must have to be legit:

1. Driving – If there’s one thing that Texas is known for it’s that you can drive for hours in just about any direction and still be within its borders. The highways & byways of this great state are, in many respects, the definition of what a road-trip is all about. No matter if it’s I-35, I-10, I-45, I-30, or Hwy 6, if you’re heading out on vacation, you need to drive just to for the experience.

2. Road-side Gourmet Food – As you hit the road & partake of water & sodas, you’re going to need to take a pit-stop. While most people might find this a necessary evil and want to move on ASAP, you might want to take a minute to see what kind of eats are available. Whether it’s tacos or barbecue, you’re sure to find something amazing.

3. Small-Town Good Eats – On the subject of food and small towns, any Texas vacation wouldn’t be complete without discussing the almost “mythically-good” you got out of that one town with the great grub on Main Street, Texas somewhere. A perfect example would be the BBQ in Brenham, TX and throughout Washington County, Texas. It may be small-town ‘cue, but it’s world-class.

4. Fun in the Sun – No Texas vacation would be complete without hanging out by the pool, or even better, by the lake. Though there are some pretty popular places around the state, these can get very crowded. Try the more relaxed avenues of the Blue Bell Aquatic Center & Lake Somerville State Park and Trailway.

5. A Sense of Adventure – OK, this may seem a little hokey, but when it comes right down to it, taking a vacation in Texas is all about getting the most out of what the state has to offer. Sure, there’s a push by many cities to become couture & fashionable, but you can find that anywhere. You need to hit the road and explore what the state has out away from the ‘big city’. Be willing to try new things, and don’t be afraid of tangent trips as they may form some lasting memories for you and your family.

Planning An Awesome Adventure Travel Trip On A Budget

Is 2007 the year that you will break out from that tired vacation spot and embrace an adventure? While adventure travel is an extremely fast growth category within the travel industry and bargains might appear to be scarce, there are good and relatively inexpensive ways to take an adventure vacation providing you are prepared to do much of the planning and research yourself. The key to affordable adventure travel is to find providers in the adventure locale and negotiate your package yourself.

Apart from saving a bundle, booking adventure travel directly is a great deal of fun, you will run across some of the most interesting people on the globe and you will get to experience and see a lot of local culture and hidden you probably will not find on the run of the mill travel sites. Much of a good adventure can be planned out by one or two of the party who have the resources and time to spend on investigating the adventure first hand. You may want to think of assembling the adventure in steps or stages and this might be done in a matter of months or spread over two or more visits to the region you are contemplating over a year or two. U.S. currency goes a long way in many of the more undeveloped locations in Africa and Asia and working with local tour guides is a way to stretch your adventure travel dollars.

Looking for reputable tour operators will depend on the type of adventure you are looking for. If you’re planning extreme skiing for instance you need to find the well known skiers in the locale you have picked. If they are ski experts who don’t have tour operator knowledge you may need to get from them the most you can as to type of terrain, accessibility, lodgings, and outfitters who are in the area and then go to those looking for reliable tour guides. In some cases there are individuals who offer both expertise in the adventure mode and also offer tour guiding and tour packages as part of their livelihood.

Don’t neglect doing some on the ground research about the local tour operators. Make sure you’re not asking the best bud or brother-in-law when you ask questions.

Check the guidebooks. When you use one of the better ones, you normally will find some evaluations of the tour operator offerings in the vicinity.

Talk to staff and guests at hotels, hostels and the local B & B’s. They all will have a good deal of data on the tour people and rely on them for their livelihood. Make sure you cross reference such evaluations as the proprietors may be financially linked. There are also Internet message boards that concentrate on travel matters that can be helpful. Don’t be afraid to join in the discussions on forums to find out first hand what to expect. Who knows you may be able to link with other adventure travel aficionados and form a bond for more sharing as your adventure travel experience grows.

When you get the opportunity to talk with potential trip leaders, be sure to get in to all the salient details about the terrain , equipment needed, accommodations and the numbers the tour will be limited to. This stage is crucial to the success of your adventure. Once begun it’s too late to start a negotiation about any aspect of the trip. One last thing, remember to ask in advance the anticipated rewards for the best guides. Follow the suggested guidelines for tipping and maintain a good relationship with the experts to whom you will entrust your safety and enjoyment.

10 Tips For European Travel Planning

1. Keep your money safe – Certain parts of Europe are known for their thieves and pick-pockets that target tourists. Consider bringing along a money belt which you can fasten beneath your clothing to keep your money safe. You should also budget accordingly so you never carry more cash than you need in a single day.

2. Create an itinerary – Leave it with friends and family members back home. It should list your flight information, the address and phone numbers of the hotels or hostels you’ll be staying at, and your travel plans once you’re in Europe.

3. Compile contact information – This includes all important phone numbers such as your credit card companies and where you’ll be staying throughout the trip. In the event you needed to report a lost credit card or call your hotel in advance, you have the information you need.

4. Plan how you will travel within Europe – If you’ll be traveling between various European countries, you may find flying point-to-point saves you time and money. If you’ll be traveling within a specific country or region, traveling by train may be more practical.

5. Know common words and phrases of the language – Knowing a few simple words such as “train” and “bathroom” may be all you need to get around. Also, in many places if you simply say “English” you can find natives who speak English.

6. Make and confirm all your lodging reservations – When making reservations, make sure you include all key information in your reservation requests including the type of room you want, how many nights you’ll be staying, and any special requests you may have. A few days before your scheduled departure, call ahead to confirm your reservations.

7. Know the weather – What’s the seasonal climate like where you will be traveling? Make sure you pack accordingly and consider packing in layers so you can easily dress according to the weather once you’re there.

8. Know the U.S. Embassies – If your passport is lost or stolen, you’ll need to get a new one through the U.S. Embassy so make sure you know where it is located in each country you will be visiting.

9.Do your homework – If you don’t have much time and you’re not sure which cities and sites you should visit, read up on your destination online. Reviews written by other travelers can be a valuable source for your European travel planning.

10. Create a route and time-line – Determine a logical geographical order of the places you will visit and when to ensure you make the most of your time in Europe.