My Favorite Top 5 Travel Destinations

Planning any travel should be a fun and exciting experience. I sometimes enjoy reading about travel  destinations  so I can dream then plan. If you are not sure where to go for your next holiday, then check out a sample of some popular vacation  destinations  that have withstood the test of time.

New York City is a long time favorite because there is something for everyone. No matter if you travel for cuisine, city life, arts, culture or even nature you are sure to find something to make your vacation enjoyable.

The most famous places to visit are the landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. Also check out the Rockefeller Center where you can tour the “city within a city.” Other fun things include Broadway show, Carnegie Hall, Harlem Spiritual’s Gospel & Jazz Tours, and Radio City Music Hall.

Looking for an exotic beach vacation? Then check out Cancun, Mexico where you can find family fun in an all-inclusive vacation package. Visit the capital of the Mayan empire, enjoy a day playing at the beach or go to an eco-archaeological park, where you can spend a day in paradise while enjoying nature.

Why all-inclusive? These vacation packages can save you time and money. Airfare, hotel, rental cars are offered in many packages. Others even include meals, entertainment and activities so you can plan your budget and stay within it. All this means more fun and less stress on your beach vacation  destination .

Orlando, Florida is a great  destination  for families. Here you will find fun in the sun along with popular theme parks like Walt Disney World Resort. There is also Sea World, Universal and Legoland. Families can stay at famous Disney hotels that include exciting swimming parks, an animal park right outside of your hotel window or even a tropical Polynesian atmosphere complete with even luau. You can even camp here at the Disney World campground and enjoy a marshmallow roast and sing along. This is truly a one-stop fun vacation  destination  for the whole family.

San Francisco, California offers an entirely different vacation experience. This city offers theater, music, beach culture and an interesting city experience. Take a guided bike tour of the city for breathtaking views and unique architecture. Enjoy seafood at the fisherman’s wharf or take an historic tour of Alcatraz. You can also relive the hippy days of Haight-Ashbury, visit the iconic Golden Gate bridge or enjoy a trolly ride through the city.

Toronto, Canada makes our last stop. I wanted to include a place that not many people think of as a vacation  destination . But Toronto is a beautiful and lively city with wineries, breweries, museums, gardens and festivals. Take the kids to the Science Centre or the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory. And see the exciting Canada’s Wonderland Amusement and Water Park. Here you will find 16 thrilling roller coasters, a 20 acre water park and even an interactive dinosaur park featuring 40 animatronic dinosaurs.

I  hope  these vacation  destination  ideas inspired you and maybe even helps you choose your next family getaway. Keep in mind that vacations are a great way for families to enjoy their time together and offer memories that last a life time.



Source by Cindy Papp

Top 5 Travel Destinations in Sudan

I was lucky enough to visit Sudan 7 years ago and design one of the first adventure holidays to this dramatic Saharan country. In the 10 days that I spent traveling in Sudan I was blown away by the friendliness of the local people, the scenic beauty and lack of other travelers. Few travelers venture here but those that do will find a land stuffed with ancient sites, steeped in history and blessed with the River Nile.

Here are my recommendations of top 5 destinations not to be missed:

1. The pyramids of Meroe – north of Khartoum this is Sudan’s must-see destination. Try and camp close to the site.

2. Jebel Barkal – this sandstone monolith can be seen jutting above the town of Karima and a walk to its summit provides stunning views of the Nile Valley.

3. River Nile – imagine Egypt 50 years ago with no tourists – heaven.

4. The Red Sea – unrivalled diving in virgin waters.

5. Khartoum – a mesmerizing city where the white and blue Niles meet. Visit the archaeological museum.

I travelled on an 11-day tour of northern Sudan – a camping-based trip and travelled in fully equipped 4WD landcruisers or similar. Taking in the little-visited northern Sudanese region of Nubia, this trip provided a true wilderness and cultural adventure. The archaeological treasures, beautiful landscapes and friendly Nubian people more than made up for any lack in infrastructure.

Sudan is a land of culture, beauty, history and hospitable people. Also known as the ‘other Egypt’, throughout history it has been a transit area between the Mediterranean and Egypt and a mysterious black continent to the south. This is a destination for the intrepid and imaginative traveler – I hope the destinations above will enrich your visit.



Source by Nick W Anstead

Hook Up A Receiver For Your Home Theater

What is a Receiver?

A receiver is that big, heavy thing that you plug your speakers and other components into (like a DVD player, TV, CD player, Xbox, PlayStation, iPod, and etc.). Its the “brain” of the show, really. The idea of connecting all your components to a receiver is the concept of audio/video switching, allowing you to switch to different video sources (like TV, DVD, camcorder) on your TV

and thus changing the audio source accordingly – all without touching anything but the receiver.

Of course, the main purpose behind audio/video switching with a receiver is to drive audio to external speakers, like surround sound or stereo speakers.

Most receivers have a plethora of inputs; up to 8 speakers and a subwoofer (more commonly, 5.1, or five speakers and a subwoofer), several video inputs, and even HDMI inputs. You could plug your Xbox, Plasma, and DVD player into the receiver and use one remote to switch between all the different video sources (games, TV, DVD video) and have your speakers pump out surround-sound. Let’s start with inputs and outputs. If you don’t understand something, read through the entire How-To as most of it will be explained in detail.

Keep in mind that a receiver is the hub of your entire home theatre, so this How-To will actually guide you through the basics of connecting your complete home theater.

So what the heck is all this ‘stuff’ on the back of your receiver?

I’m going to go over just about anything that you would find on the back of your receiver. The one I’m basing this guide off of is a Harman Kardon AVR-247 I’m going to start from the top left of the unit and work my way to the right, then I’ll start at the left of the next row and so on.

The first three inputs are for antennas. An FM antenna cable would slide on to the first jack while two speaker wires would plug into the remaining slots for AM. Of course, you don’t have to plug your antennas in, but if you’d like AM/FM reception through your speakers, you’ll want to go ahead and do that. These are standard connections, so if you lose one of your antennas, just go buy another for a few bucks.

You’ve probably heard of composite video. Its a very basic video connection used by most any component (TV, DVD, VCR especially). Its common and its cheap. As such, its very low quality.

Composite uses an RCA cable for video (yellow) and two more RCA cables for audio (red and white, stereo). The problem is that a composite video cable combines luminance and chrominance in the same cable, reducing the quality of the picture. You lose a lot of sharpness, and the color begins to degrade from the original source. Its useful when you need the extra input or the device you’re connecting only has composite video. Otherwise, use something else, like component video. Sounds similar; very different.

S-Video is next in line after composite. It uses a different type of connector (five pins in a circle) and gives you marginally better video quality. It is also a video-only cable, so you’ll need to plug in audio separately. In this case, you’ll probably use a pair of red and white RCA cables for your audio inputs.

Next up: a ton of composite audio inputs. These inputs use left channel and right channel RCA cables, typically red and white. They look just like the yellow composite video cable, and you could even use them for video and the yellow for audio, but let’s keep the color scheme how it is 😉 Composite audio is the bottom-of-the-barrel in audio. Its perfectly fine for most use, but if you’re looking for high quality surround sound, you don’t want composite. Game systems, like the Wii or Xbox, and very basic DVD players are a perfect match for composite audio.

The same goes to VCRs, CD players, and anything that only has a composite audio output. Plus, if you don’t have surround sound, or your receiver is only two channels (2.1, stereo sound), you won’t be able to use anything but composite audio. Note that there is a composite audio input under each composite video input so that it is easy to match them up. Plug them in the wrong inputs and you won’t get sound when you’re on that particular video input.

Here we have one of the least-used features of a modern receiver: 6 (or 8) channel direct input. This is only used for two purposes: SACD or DVD Audio. SACD is an acronym for Super Audio CD. It is a proprietary audio format developed by Sony for special CDs that are recorded in 5.1 surround sound. That means you need a CD or DVD/CD player that supports SACDs, a receiver with SACD support (as in the picture), and of course Super Audio CD’s. DVD Audio is the same idea, different brand, different media (its a DVD, not a CD!).

DVD Audio discs are special DVDs that are recorded in 5.1 surround sound and can only be played by devices with support for them. These CDs go all the way up to 7.1 surround sound, meaning you would need to have two front, two rear, two side speakers and a subwoofer to enjoy full 7.1 surround sound. Most receivers support up to 7.1 now but you won’t find DVDs with that kind of capability for movies. 5.1 surround is still the defacto standard, so don’t run out and buy more speakers any time soon.

You could skip this next little item because it is unique to this brand of receiver (Harman Kardon). The Bridge” is a proprietary connection they developed for you to connect

an iPod. You need to buy a separate component that includes a docking station and special cables to connect the iPod. It fully integrates with the receiver, displaying

menus and songs on the front LCD screen of the receiver. This allows you to easily pump your tunes through your speakers, whether it be stereo sound or full surround sound.

Of course, the music on your iPod is stereo sound, so the best you can get is simulated surround sound or stereo surround; the same music playing in the front two channels

is put through the rear and center channels. Some receivers do this more intelligently than others, but more on that later.

Here we have our high-end sound inputs/outputs. Basically the same performance wise, you have fiber optic connections (with the square shape) and digital coaxial (just like an RCA cable).

Both of these are 100% digital, whereas composite is analog. The only way you can get true surround sound from any source is by using one of these connections (or the SACD/DVD Audio option)

Almost all DVD players these days have either optical or digital coaxial outputs (sometimes, both). Many high definition cable and satellite boxes also come with these

connections so you can enjoy 5.1 surround sound on high definition channels. Choosing between the two, there’s really no different in audio quality, so feel free to use

what you’d like (or what you’re forced to).

I don’t think I need an image for the next plug. Its a pair of power inputs. One is for powering the receiver, the other for whatever you’d like. This way, when you turn

on the receiver, you give power to the other device (be it a DVD player, CD player, cable box, whatever). I don’t necessarily recommend this unless it specifically suits

your needs. It is useful if you’re running low on outlets, of course.

Something else you’ll never use: D-bus RC-5 input/output. This is used for infrared remote controls to take over your home theater system. Honestly, its not something any of us will ever use. Some of the real high-end junkies might be using something for it, but I’ve never even come across a device that uses this technology. Stick to the remote that came with your unit, or buy a quality universal remote control. There’s no need for this option. An alternate use for this may be a bit more common: if your receiver’s front panel is blocked (like inside a cabinet), you could get an infrared transmitter to latch on to the front of it. This transmitter would hook up to another device somewhere in your room that will accept signals from your remote control. The receiving device then transmits the remote’s commands to your receiver (via the transmitter you’ve attached to the front over the regular infrared transmitter).

Pre-outs , located right under the Remote in/out. Pre-outs are used when you’d like to add an amplifier to your system to boost the power (and hence volume/audio quality). Average

users will not use this for anything but the subwoofer preout. You’ll want to run a subwoofer cable from your subwoofer to the subwoofer pre-out to provide it with

the right frequencies. This is the proper way to connect your subwoofer to your surround sound system. The other inputs won’t be used unless you plan on adding

an amplifier. This is highly unnecessary for home use. You might add an amp if you’re trying to fill a room the size of a small house with enough sound, but you’re not, right?

Here we finally get to the meat of the system: the speaker inputs! Harman Kardon receivers use bind posts for connecting speakers, as seen in the picture. They

work by being loosened up as your turn them counter-clockwise, then you sneak the speaker wire in underneath the caps and tighten them back up by turning clockwise. This’ll

give your speaker wire a nice tug fit that probably won’t loosen up on itself over time. Other brands may use other types of connectors, but bind posts are very common.

You might have been able to tell this is a 7.1 channel receiver because of the speaker inputs.

You’ve got room for 2 front left and right speakers, 2 rear left and right speakers,

a center channel, and two left and right “surround” channels which are placed somewhere in between your front and rear speakers (“side surround”, or 7.1). If you have enough

speakers, you can go ahead and plug in those extra 2 side ones, but they won’t play any sound at all on a 5.1 DVD. You would need a DVD that supports 7.1

surround sound, and at this time, there just isn’t a market for it. CDs will gladly blast stereo surround through all 7 speakers, though, so for some larger rooms, that’s an

advantage.

Our final set of connectors for this receiver: component video . The best video you can get next to composite or s-video. You’ll notice its a set of three cables (all for video),

usually Red, Green and Blue. Don’t think that’s what the cable does, though – it separates the video signal by luminance and two separate color channels. In the past, component

did it in fact represent R, G, B (splitting the primary colors in transmit and recombining them at the destination device), but that is not used in current component video

connections. Component video can carry high definition signals, all the way up to 1080p, so it is the most cost effective and readily available high definition input.

Not seen on this receiver are DVI and HDMI, the two all-digital video connections.

HDMI is the newest, fastest, sharpest video and audio connection available today. Its the only cable that can carry audio and video in one – not to mention, in high definition.

HDMI must be supported by the source and the display you’re connecting it to to use all of its features. Not all DVD players, cable boxes, or receivers support both

audio and video in HDMI. Its becoming more and more of a standard now to support both. The advantage is clear: less cable clutter, higher quality audio and video. You can get up

to 1080p high definition video and 7.1 surround sound through an HDMI cable. Newer cable and satellite boxes, DVD players, high definition DVD players, and more expensive receivers

support the full capability of HDMI. Its the best you can get as all-digital goes.

The last connection for this article is DVI. DVI is also all digital like HDMI, but it cannot process audio signals. HDMI may provide a technically superior image,

but I don’t think anyone could tell the difference. DVI supports high definition video all the way up to 1080p, just like HDMI. Its being used less frequently now,

but if you’ve bought a new computer or video card for your PC recently, it probably has a DVI (or two) port on it. Most computer monitors use DVI now and video cards

have followed suit. HDMI is edging its way into the PC market, but its dominance is seen in the home theater arena.

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with common connections, let’s plug it all together.

This part of the receiver How-To is going to guide you through hooking a 5.1 surround sound system(5 speakers and a subwoofer) with a high-definition TV, a high-definition cable or satellite box, a DVD player, and a 5.1 receiver.

Your TV & Components

Where you put your TV is dependent on how large it is, how large your room is, and where you will be sitting. If its 50 inches, don’t sit more than 10-15 feet away; but no less, either.

A 60″ set is perfect for 12-20 feet. If you have a 32 inch set, try to sit no farther than 8-12 feet away. Your receiver, DVD player, cable box, and other components should obviously be close together, but don’t place them physically on top of each other. They all get hot, especially your receiver. If you have no other choice, slide a thin piece of plywood between the components to help dispense the heat.

Lay Out of Speakers

The first step is to lay out your setup. Different rooms call for different locations for your speakers and subwoofer. If your room is a typical rectangle, go ahead and place your two front left and right speakers somewhere flush with the television on that side of the room. Your left speaker goes toward the left corner, right speaker toward the right corner. Don’t bother with speaker wire yet (unless your speakers come with speaker wire attached already; in that case, just let them dangle for now). Note that which speaker is left or right is solely dependent on how you connect them to your receiver. Your speakers aren’t actually designated “left” or “right”.

Depending on how you acquired your speakers, your front speakers could be larger than your rear speakers. That’s how you know they’re for the front. Otherwise, all your speakers are the same shape and size, and you can use each for any purpose.

One exception: the center channel. Usually, a center channel is much shorter and wider than your other speakers. It should only be used for the center channel. Sometimes, all 5 of your speakers could be the same, usually on a very inexpensive setup. You can use any of these speakers for any purpose.

Your center channel should always go either directly on top or under your television set. However you have to do this, get it done! It’s not called the center channel for nothing, you know. Any movie will pump out almost 90% of the voices you hear and a majority of the rest of the sounds through the center channel. It is a vitally important component to your surround sound setup.

Your subwoofer should always be on the floor. If it is impossible to place it on the floor, get it as close to the floor as possible. Placing it behind objections or in closets will diminish its effects. In a perfect setup, the subwoofer would be on the floor close to the TV (perhaps off to the left or right) in your line of sight. Nothing should block the side of the subwoofer that air will come out of (usually covered by a grill protecting the subwoofer speaker itself).

When it comes to finding a good spot for your speakers, you might want to mount them. You can usually buy compatible speaker mounts online or in stores. You can also

use existing shelving, buy some shelving, or place them on tables or other objects. No matter how you do it, try to keep the speakers as close to ear level as possible. A speaker mounted at the ceiling of your room isn’t going to give you the optimal aural experience.

The last thing to keep in mind about layout is speaker wire. You’ll probably need at least 100ft of speaker wire, but you’ll often find yourself using much more if you

try running wire through your ceiling, under carpeting, up through the basement, or around objects to conceal it. Take measurements and buy at least 10% more wire than

you think you need. You’ll probably use it!

Cabling

You need to know the different kind of speaker wire available to you before setting up your home theatre. If you bought an HTIB (home theater in a box), it probably came with 100ft of horribly cheap speaker wire. You don’t want that! Do yourself a favor: buy some high-quality, 14-gauge speaker wire. Anything higher than 14-gauge is just to thin and will be susceptible to interence, quality loss, and poor quality over longer distances. Fourteen gauge is a good thickness and suitable for most home theatres. Make sure its also not too thick – some speaker wire simply will not fit in to the speaker wire jacks on some receivers.

Some receivers use proprietary speaker inputs. Sony is one example. Many Sony receivers have special connectors for speaker wire and will not accept a standard speaker wire. You’ll need to use either the Sony-provided speaker wire, take the ends off of Sony speaker wire and put it on your own, or buy some of these special connectors from Sony directly to place on your speaker wire. My recommendation? Avoid any receivers with non-standard speaker wire posts/jacks/connectors. Look for bind posts or other jacks that allow you to slide in and clamp down on a typical speaker wire.

Once you’ve got your speaker wire sorted out, you’ll have to do some cutting and stripping if you opted to purchase your own. This is way easier than it sounds, so don’t worry!

Measure out each length one at a time, cutting the speaker wire with either really great scissors or a sharp blade. Now you need to strip the ends of the wire. Use either a stripping tool or plain old scissors. You can place the scissors on the cable and gently apply some pressure as you twist the scissors around the cable, carefully slicing into the plastic coating. Eventually, it’ll get weak enough that you can just slide it off by tugging on it with your fingers. You need at least 1/4″ of exposed wire.

Now you can connect your speakers. Note on your speaker wire the difference between the two ends. You’ll need to use one as your positive and one as your negative. Sometimes the coating is a different color between the two or there is text on one and not on the other. Keep track of this – whichever side you use for positive on your speaker, use it for positive on your receiver. Crossing the two can cause damage, either immediately or sometime in the future. It might work this way but you don’t want it to!

Connecting the speakers is easy enough. Front left to front left on your receiver, center speaker to center on your receiver, etc… Your rear speakers may be referred to as “Surround” or “Rear Surround” instead of just “Rear”, but keep in mind, if you have a 7.1 or 8.1 channel receiver, “Surround” may indicate side surround speakers, not rear speakers.

Subwoofers

Your subwoofer is going to be a little more complicated. There are a few different ways to do it and many variations of inputs/ouputs on the back side of subwoofers. I’m going to go with the most standard and efficient method first.

You will need a subwoofer cable for connecting your sub. If you don’t have one or don’t want to buy one, you can substitute it for a standard red or white RCA cable (or a pair, since they are usually connected; just let the other cable dangle). It will work, but its really not the best way to do it. You’ll also need whats called a Y adapter. On the back of your sub, there should be a left/right input (red and white). You plug the Y adapter in to these connections and then your subwoofer cable (or RCA cable) in the other end of the Y (note: if you don’t have a Y adapter, just choose the left or right input to plug into).

Now, take the other end of your cable and plug it into your receiver’s

subwoofer preout. Hopefully you have a powered sub, meaning it gets plugged into an AC power outlet. All you need to do now is plug that in and your subwoofer is good to.

If you don’t have RCA jacks on your subwoofer, or it only has speaker wire jacks (and its most likely not powered), you’ll need to connect it the old fashioned way. Your front left and right speakers will plug into your subwoofer’s ouput jacks instead of your receiver. You’ll then run speaker wire from the left and right inputs on the subwoofer to your left and right speaker outputs on your receiver. This way, the subwoofer is powered by the receiver and will not work as well as a powered sub. You also take some power away from your front speakers with this method. A good idea is to buy a new, powered subwoofer with line in RCA jacks.

Connecting the Dots

You’ve got the hard stuff out of the way. Now finish it up by connecting your TV, DVD, and cable/satellite box. Always try using the best options first. If your DVD

has HDMI and so does your receiver, use it. If your DVD only has composite, s-video, and component, use component video cable. When it comes to audio, you absolutely need

to use digital coaxial (jacks are usually orange) or fiber optic (usually the jack is recessed into the unit and has a door on it; when the door is open, a red light is visible). If you do not use either of these two, you won’t get true surround sound! When all else fails, resort to composite (red and white) audio connectors.

Note: Look closely at the connections on your receiver. Everything is labeled, like the first set of red, green, and blue component video inputs might be labeled “Comp 1”. If you’re using composite audio cablesfor your sound, you’ll need to plug them into the jacks that coordinate with “Comp 1”. This might not be clear by looking at the receiver, so refer to your receiver’s manual to figure out which video inputs use which audio inputs. Most often, you’ll be able to configure them from the receiver’s internal menu using the remote control.

On some receivers, all the component video inputs, for example, are linked to a single composite audio input (usually “DVD”), so if you connect more than one of the component inputs, you will be competing for sound when more than one device is active. This is why you’d want to configure the component inputs to use different audio inputs.

Your manual is the only way to figure out how to go about it. Composite video will usually match up to composite audio inputs with naming conventions like Video 1 -> Video 1, Video 2 -> Video 2, etc., but cables like component and DVI may not. You should also configure digital audio inputs to match up with the video inputs you’re planning on using. For example, if you’re using a digital coaxial input (possibly “Digital 1”), and you use component video, you’ll want to match “Digital 1” with “Comp 1”. Again, refer to your users manual for how to do this.



Picking a Destination Wedding Photographer

Going with a Local Wedding Photographer

Destination wedding brides have a few options when selecting a photographer. One option is to select a photographer already in the area. Which may work well if you are traveling to an area where a guide/interpreter/photographer is necessary. A local photographer should know the area, what areas to avoid and when, and what the cool little spots are for getting the best pictures. They also may have photographed at your venue before, and built up a good rapport with the staff and the managers. This will work in your favor if something out of the ordinary is necessary. It should also help keep you and the photographer avoid getting in trouble for breaking the venues rules unknowingly. Another benefit of using a local photography company is there will be minimal or no travel expenses added to the photography package. Sometimes minor travel expenses are unavoidable, such as when a ferry ride is required to get to the wedding location. A photographer who travels to your wedding location with you will require things like lodging, airfare possibly, and possibly a rental vehicle. Local wedding vendors work together often, and are a good source of referrals. So ask the photographer who they would recommend for things like a wedding coordinator, a DJ, or the cake. Chances are they have a list of people or companies they recommend. And a final reason you may want to consider using a local photographer is they should have resources where they can find a replacement person or gear if there is an emergency and the need arises.

Bringing a Wedding Photographer with You

Recently I had the opportunity to photograph what was for me, a destination wedding. When I got there I saw so many different opportunities for great photos with the couple. It was like I could not put the camera down, or I might miss something. It wasn’t that the area was so special, it was that it was new to me and full of possibilities. That excitement is one of the benefits of bringing a photographer with you, you are putting him or her in a new environment and saying “go have fun and make some beautiful pictures of me.” For me, I had a blast, took a lot of great pictures, and the bride was ecstatic about the results. Your wedding day is already a stressful event for most brides, especially so for destination brides. Having that friendly face of the photographer that you know from back home and has already done your engagement session may help relieve some of the stress. Unfortunately, some brides do not have a chance to meet their photographer in person when they are having a destination wedding. This can create some uneasiness for the bride, especially if they don’t care for who they booked, even though they sounded great over the phone. A language barrier is also a possibility, depending on the destination. Often if you are at a resort this will not be an issue, however this is not always the case. Having the same person photograph your engagement photos, destination wedding pictures, and reception/party back home can make it much simpler for the bride. You only need to book one photographer, instead of multiple photographers. Also the pictures will have the same look to the way they are finished. This way all the photos should seem to flow, with only the location changing. No matter which option you choose, we hope you choose a great destination wedding photographer.



Source by Chris W Niemann

Destination Wedding – Why Not?

Are you considering a  destination  wedding? Are you planning to ask friends and family to attend or participate in your  destination  wedding? Are you wondering whether it’s selfish to plan a  destination  wedding? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” read on!

If you are like most couples, your wedding is the ultimate celebration and start to your future life together. You expect it to be a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experience. For this reason, I hope you won’t settle for anything less than your ideal – including your ideal location.

Apart from the obvious lure of gorgeous  destinations  and the chance to travel to a locale where neither of you has been, you may have practical reasons for planning a  destination  wedding. First of all, it’s a Darwinian approach to paring the guest list! It may eliminate countless headaches concerning who to invite and who not to invite. Usually, only those who are especially close to a couple will travel a long distance for their wedding. But this is true even for those couples who marry in the country where the majority of their guests reside.

Guests who can’t afford the expense of traveling to a  destination  wedding often find other ways to participate in the big occasion. Some throw wedding showers and many attend pre and post wedding festivities. You can take special care to make sure those who can’t attend the wedding are involved in other ways. You can also throw an ‘after wedding’ party to celebrate with those who can’t make it to the wedding.

Brides and grooms some times pay for the travel and lodging expenses of those people they especially want in attendance. This might include members of your wedding party, parents, siblings and grandparents. If your wedding is small, and  destination  weddings often are – these travel and lodging expenses may not be much greater than the costs you would incur by having a large wedding in your hometown.

Some couples elope. In this case, a  destination  wedding makes complete sense. Eloping omits lengthy, expensive and often contentious wedding planning. It insures privacy and secrecy – if that’s what you want. Under these circumstances, a  destination  wedding is more likely to be a  destination  ceremony. Maybe the secrecy of elopement and the  destination  itself will provide you with the feeling of private celebration you desire. In this case guests aren’t wanted! You can have an ‘after party’ later – when you’re ready to announce your marriage.

There are few occasions in life as momentous as getting married, and there are few celebrations that hold as much meaning as weddings. No couple wants to look back on their wedding day with regret. If you are like most couples, your wedding is an event that you’ve anticipated for a long time. It is an occasion invested with all your hopes and dreams for the future.

Those who care about you will hopefully put their own needs and wishes on the back burner. True friends are those who support you even when it means they have to sacrifice something to make you happy. I choose to believe that those people who show up for  destination  weddings are true believers. They believe in romance, in marriage and in the union of the two people whose marriage they come to celebrate.

Copyright Johanna Nauraine, 2010

REPRINT RIGHTS Statement: This article is free for republishing by visitors provided the Author Bio and Copyright is retained and the author’s website link remains active.



Source by Johanna Nauraine

Holiday Destinations in Asia

Every year, the Asian continent attracts a huge number of visitors from different parts of the world. The continent boasts of housing a large number of top holiday destinations. The unmatched hospitality offered by the Asians, draw many visitors here. Here we will briefly discuss about some top notch destinations, located in the Asian countries of China, Singapore and Malaysia.

China

Presence of many exciting destinations in China, such as the Great Wall of China and the Giant Panda, draws an enormous number of visitors every year to this country. With a bouquet of wonderful accommodations, towering skylines and exquisite cuisines, the country offers a lot to the visitors. The cities that are worth visiting are Beijing, Macau and Shanghai. The major attractions of Beijing are the royal gardens, beautiful palaces & temples, modern architecture and the towering skylines. Shanghai, situated in the mouth of Yangtze River, is the largest metropolis in the mainland. It has developed itself in to a modern hub of commerce, history and finance. It is also a great place for shopping. The Historic Center of Macau, a World Heritage Site, draws many tourists to the city of Macau.

Singapore

Singapore is the smallest country in the South East Asia. But, despite its tiny size, there are many top class places to visit in Singapore, which attract a lot of visitors every year in the city state. Shangri La is perhaps the most popular holiday location in the country and is famous for its splendid surroundings and is often referred to as an “earthly paradise”. Apart from this, the country has something to offer to all to suit their diverse requirements.

Malaysia

This wonderful South Easian country, blessed with numerous natural attractions, entice a large number of tourists every year. The beautiful mountains, famous national parks and stunning sandy beaches are huge tourist draws. The major places to visit in Malaysia are listed below.

1 Borneo

2 East Coast

3 Kuala Lumpur

4 Langkawi

5 Malacca

6 Pangkor

7 Penang

8 Perhentian Islands

9 Redang Island

10 Sabah Borneo

11 Tioman Island



Source by Ameria Hat

Best Holiday Destinations

There are a large number of top holiday  destinations  spreading across the whole world. The number is virtually so large that it is indeed a tough task to make a list of them. Whatsoever, i am keeping a small list of best holiday  destinations  in the world.

Colombia

The sun-soaked beaches, lush green mountains and the lively culture make Columbia one of the top holiday  destinations  in the world. Once crippled by violence and avoided by many, this South American country has transformed in to a beautiful holiday vacation spot in the world. Presence of a large number of museums, shopping centers and thriving night life in the capital city of Bogota, have added to the attraction of this country.

South Africa

This incredible country is home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world. The wonderful vast stretch of savannas, roaring wildlife and the picture-perfect tropical pockets have turned the country as one of the top attractions of the world. The bustling cities of Johannesburg, Durban and Bloemfontein offer a lot to the visitors.

New Zealand

The emerald mountains and the crashing waves of the country have made it one of the best holiday  destinations  in the world. Among the adventurous and active travelers, New Zealand has always been a great place. The country offers a bouquet of opportunities such as winter sports, trekking, bungee jumping, glacier hiking, caving, and many watersports to the sports lovers around the world.

Abu Dhabi

This is the richest city in the United Arab Emirates, which offers wonderful opportunities to the tourists across the globe. The city has grown as the cultural, financial and political hub of the country. The high-end cultural district on Saadiyat Island is a major tourist attraction.

Croatia

In recent years, this Balkan country has truly established as one of the best holiday  destinations  in the world. A tour to this country in the backdrop of crystal waters and remote beaches can indeed be a lifetime experience to all.



Source by Ameria Hat

Smart Tips For Home Surveillance

You can’t always prevent a crime, but you can be prepared for the worst case scenario. Having some  home   surveillance  and safety updates to your house can help you deter perpetrators and gives you a better chance at finding them if they do make a break in. Here are some tips to ensure you and your family’s safety, regardless of budget.

1.  Home   Surveillance   Cameras 

Although it may seem expensive or too high-tech, many of these can be surprisingly affordable and simple to operate. There are many different types that range from simple  camera  and VCR combos (effective but can be time consuming) to more advanced  cameras  that can work with computers.

What They Do

The  surveillance   cameras  can provide some of the strongest evidence possible if your house is broken into. They can’t always guarantee to deter burglars, but they definitely will make potential thieves think twice. You’ll also have a much better chance of catching the perpetrators and winning your case if they are ever found.

These  cameras  can also help you keep an eye on babysitters, nurses, and other visitors that you can’t always keep an eye on. If you have children, they are especially helpful in ensuring their safety and well-being.

2.  Home  Security System

These are generally on the higher end of most budgets and often include house  surveillance  equipment as well as a device that alerts the police in case of a break-in. These are extremely effective at deterring criminals and if there still is an attempted robbery, often the police are there before they are able to escape.

3. Neighborhood Watch

One of the most cost effective methods of  surveillance  is asking your friends for a hand. Forming a neighborhood watch will help keep your  home  as well as your street safe from theft and violent crimes. If you’ll be leaving for a vacation, inform your neighbors and ask them to report any suspicious activity to police.

And, of course, be willing to return the favor. If there is unusual activity happening at a nearby home, don’t be afraid to simply walk over or give a friendly ring to check up on them. There is strength in numbers and a vigilant community.

4. Don’t Make Your Residence a Target

Are your door locks and windows secure? You should check to ensure your house has strong doors and locks. Many are flimsy and can easily be broken. For example, a door with a window and a deadbolt is no match for most criminals. The glass can easily be shattered, allowing the burglar to reach inside and undo all the locks. This can take a matter of seconds. It’s also important to ensure your house is clear of potential hiding places.

Overgrown trees and shrubs make it easier for burglars to get in and out of your house. A house with an unkempt back or front yard is a better target than one that is clean and neat.



Best Bet Honeymoon Destinations

So you have said your “I do’s”, suffered through the interminable reception, and finally ushered your guests out the door. Now it’s time for the fun part…the honeymoon. The question of course is, where will you go to spend those first few days of married bliss?

Of course, I’m hoping you made that decision and those arrangements months earlier….and truth be told, there is no right or wrong way to do a honeymoon. You basically go where you want and spend time there. My own suggestion was to simply strike out on a road trip with no preplanned route or  destination , but the wife didn’t go for it and we ended up spending a wonderful week at Kiawah Island SC (which wasn’t bad at all).

So where will you go? Some of the more popular choices for honeymoon getaways are:

New York City. The city that never sleeps. The Big Apple. You could spend months there and still never take in all that it has to offer. From a stroll in Central Park, to a Broadway show, some of the finest restaurants and hotels in the world, as well as historical and scenic attractions such as the Empire State Building and Statue Of Liberty. Be forewarned, however, if you are looking for a nice, quiet getaway, NYC may not be the best choice.

It’s Better In The Bahamas. No argument. With quiet beaches surrounded by crystal clear water in an island setting sounds appealing, the Bahamas are the perfect spot. You have 29 islands to choose from, with cave expeditions, wildlife, windsurfing, swimming, or just a relaxed moment in your hotel or bungalow.

The one drawback is that not all the islands are created equal, and some may provide a more peaceful, enjoyable experience than others. It is also advised to skip the Bahamas during hurricane season, June through November.

Le France, Mon Cheri. If you have the budget, a trip to France may be one of the most romantic and exciting getaways you can hope for. With historic inns and landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, France is one of the perfect romantic  destinations . Unfortunately, the trip can get pricey fairly quickly, so make sure you have adequately budgeted for the excursion.

Florida. Stay in the good old USA with a trip to Florida; the Sunshine State is replete with tourist attractions coast to coast, from the night life of Miami, to the theme parks in Orlando, to the white sand beaches of Pensacola. It will be very easy to pack a week or twelve’s worth of activities without ever doing the same thing twice. Be advised, however, that spring brings hundreds of thousands of spring break partiers to Florida, and the summer months there can be extremely humid.

Las Vegas. Often partnered with wedding ceremonies, Las Vegas is an ideal  destination  for no other reason than, well, it’s Vegas. From the casinos, to the shows, to the food, to the hotels, nothing in Las Vegas is ever done halfway. If you are planning to elope, most hotels have their own wedding chapels. One word of warning, gambling can get very addictive very quickly. You are strongly advised to set a budget for game playing, how much you are willing to spend and how much you are willing to lose, and stick to it. Don’t let financial irresponsibility turn you into a permanent resident!

Bermuda. A collection of 150 islands that are perfect for your honeymoon getaway, Bermuda offers isolated cottages on long stretches of white sand beaches, and located only about 2 hours by plane from the US East Coast. There isn’t much in the way of activities or nightlife, but if you are looking for a nice peaceful, largely non-commercial  destination , Bermuda may be the perfect choice.

Hawaii. Does this even need a reason? Hawaii is probably the number one honeymoon spot, due no doubt to spectacular landscapes, thriving nightlife, and other tourist attraction such as Pearl Harbor or volcanoes such as Kilauea in the Volcanoes National Park. The major drawback is the number of people who will have the same idea as you…tourists outnumber Hawaiians by 6 to 1, and Hawaiian natives by 30 to 1.

Of course your idea of the perfect honeymoon may include the Motel 6 down the street and all your meals at Dennys. Whatever  destination  you agree on, congratulations and may you enjoy many years together.



Source by Billy D Ritchie

Hope Island Accommodation

If your plans include a vacation along the Gold Coast Region of Australia, you will be in for a pleasant surprise. Hope Island offers a great place for devoted surfers to enjoy the pristine beaches and clear waters. A Hope Island accommodation is central to a successful vacation scheme that calls for a spot a bit of the ‘out-of-the-way’ yet close to an abundance of diverse activities. No matter where you begin your trip, getting to your destination will be quite easy.

When driving in from the north or the south, the Motorways are available for a smooth and relatively quick trip. Visitors can land at the Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta. It is located to the south of your Hope Island accommodation and is a mere 30 minute drive from the airport. Landing at Brisbane, you will be 45 minutes to the north of the Island. Rental cars are available at both airport locations.

Hotel rates range from budget to luxurious accommodations, depending upon room size and amenities. Last minute booking rates are available in most hotels. Prices range from 120AUD to 250 per night. Many hotels have onsite restaurants and in some instances a bar is available for your convenience. If you stay at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Sanctuary Cove, you will be staying in a royal Queensland mansion and will be close to the many theme park and golf course activities. The famous Pines Golf Club is adjacent to the Hotel.

There are a variety of quality restaurants on Hope Island, offering local and exotic menus. The Wildfish Waterfront Bar and Bistro offers reasonably priced delicious meals along with extraordinarily beautiful scenic views. The House of Siam, Harleys on the Harbor and Randhawa’s Indian Cuisine are several highly rated restaurants from which you can choose.

There are no shortages of beaches for sunbathing or to go out on the water and ride the waves or just swim in the surf. Shopping malls, museums, theme parks, golf courses and wildlife sanctuaries are all located along the Gold Coast. There are theatres available for your entertainment and pubs and clubs of various sorts. There are parks and landmarks, as well as heritage buildings lining the Gold Coast and if you choose, guided tours are also available.

For those of you who are a bit more adventurous, you may want to book a one-day tour into the Hinterland or north to Brisbane and North Stradbroke Island where you can see the dolphins and humpback whales. You may wish to wander off the beaten path through the thick of it all and visit the koalas and the kangaroos.

A vacation on Hope Island is certain to be a memorable experience.



Source by Jake Klein