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Buying souvenirs on your overseas vacation can be a snap if you make some plans first.

Financial and Shopping Tips When Traveling Overseas

Financial and Shopping Tips When Traveling OverseasCurrencyLocal banks usually offer better rates of exchange than hotels, restaurants, or stores. Rates are often posted in windows. Above all, avoid private currency transactions. In some countries, you risk more than being swindled or stuck with counterfeit currency _ you risk arrest. Avoid the black market --- learn and obey the local currency laws, wherever you go.ShoppingMail Small ItemsWhen you purchase small items, it is a good idea to mail them personally to your home or to carry them in your luggage. This will help prevent misdirected packages, no receipt of merchandise, or receipt of wrong merchandise. When you mail purchases, be sure to ask about insurance.American embassies and consulates abroad cannot serve as post offices. They cannot accept, hold, or forward mail for U.S. citizens abroad.Items mailed home are not eligible for your $400 personal exemption. If the item that you are mailing home is less than $200, duty will be waived. Be sure to write on the outside of the package that it contains goods for personal use.Value Added Tax (VAT)Some European and Asian countries levy a value added tax (VAT) on the items that you buy. In some places, if you ship your purchases home, the VAT can be waived. Other places may require you to pay the VAT, but have a system to refund all of it or part of it to you by mail. You can ask the store clerk for an application to apply for the refund. The VAT refund is only for items that you can ship or carry with you. It does not apply to food, hotel bills, or other services. Because the rules for VAT refunds vary from country to country, you should check with the country's tourist office to learn the local requirements.Beware When Making the Following Purchases:Wildlife SouvenirsBe careful when you buy articles made from animals and plants or when you purchase live, wild animals to bring back as pets. Some items, such as those made from elephant ivory, sea turtles, crocodile leather, or fur from endangered cats, and many species of live animals cannot be brought legally into the United States. Your wildlife souvenirs could be confiscated by government inspectors, and you could face other penalties for attempting to bring them into the United States. Do not buy wildlife or wildlife products unless you are certain that they are legal for import into the United States.Glazed CeramicsBeware of purchasing glazed ceramic ware abroad. It is possible to suffer lead poisoning, if you consume food or beverages that are stored or served in improperly glazed ceramics. Unless the ceramics are made by a firm with an international reputation, there is no immediate way to be certain that a particular item is safe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that ceramic tableware purchased abroad be tested for lead release by a commercial laboratory on your return or be used for decorative purposes only.AntiquesCertain countries consider antiques to be national treasures and the "inalienable property of the nation." In some countries, customs authorities seize illegally purchased antiques without compensation, and they may also levy fines on the purchaser. Americans have been arrested and prosecuted for purchasing antiques without a permit. Americans have even been arrested for purchasing reproductions of antiques from street vendors because a local authority believed the purchase was a national treasure.Protect yourself. In countries where antiques are important, document your purchases as reproductions, if that is the case, or, if they are authentic, secure the necessary export permit. The documentation or "export permit" may be available through the country's national museum. A reputable dealer may provide the export permit or information on how to secure one. If you have questions about "purchasing antiques" , the country's tourist office can guide you. If you still have doubts, consult the Consular Section of the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. In places where Americans have had problems because of purchasing antiques, the Consular Section is usually well aware of such situations. Consular officers can inform you about the local laws and the correct procedures to follow.CustomsIt is important that you keep all receipts for items you buy overseas. They will be helpful in making your U.S. Customs declaration when you return.

Crime In Torrevieja

Crime In Torrevieja

Buying a house and living in Spain has been seen as “living the dream” for many years now. Torrevieja situated on the south of Spain just south of Alicante, is one of the more popular places to buy property as a holiday home, or to move out and live there. But for while now Torrevieja has been seen as a crime black spot, with many instances reported every day. One of the challenges the Spanish police had, was their policing budget as it is based on how many residents live in their area. As many people holidaying in the area do not register as a resident, they ended up with not enough police to cover the influx of regular holiday homeowners. Add to this there is the language problem, as many think that even the police should be proficient in English.A lot of crime occurred from illegal immigrants from North Africa, where the crime was committed in some cases just to say alive, not necessary the Spanish, with addresses and police records. It is not hard to see that the local police had a challenge on their hands. But things now have moved on. In 2004 it was reported that crime had been reduced by an amazing 40%, this has been achieved by introducing local “neighbourhood watch” schemes like they have in the UK. Stickers were produced and put on everyone’s windows and when anyone saw anything suspicious, it was then communicated to the local police. The police would also issue details say on stolen cars and find that residents were finding the cars on their behalf, reducing their workload. If you are buying a new house or live next to new houses, many say that crime drops when the builders go away. That doesn’t mean that the builders are stealing but only that building sites in themselves attract thieves.Basic security measures should be done whilst living in Spain, protect your passports, credit cards and driving license. Invest in a wall safe and have this hidden. Most thieves are opportunists or look for the weakest target. Have dead lock doors and then use the dead lock, some dont turn the key the second time. Leave a key with a trusted neighbour, as locksmith call outs can be expensive; to foreigners anyway. If this is your holiday home then do not personalise it, make sure everything is replaceable. Leave things around the house or property that makes it look like someone is at home or is about to be. Finally, even with all this bad news, thousands live in Torrevieja and would not live anywhere else, and by taking some simple precautions you maybe can “live your dream”.

Trip to Egypt

Trip to Egypt

Egypt Tour Monthly & weekly: Egypt tour not just a vacation, its The Trip of a Lifetime. We are your most knowledgeable tour guide to the deep mysteries of Egypt, featuring our transformative religious travel packages with the most interesting and inspiring tour leaders and teachers you'll find anywhere!Most of these tourist areas will be visited during your Egypt trip. Egypt tour does not depend on ancient monuments to sustain them. In fact, only Luxor is completely dependent on this trade. Egypt is one of the most exciting places, mainly because of its Pyramids. Egypt is also one of the vacationing spots for the people living in the west and also people living in other parts of the world. Egypt trip is the perfect trip for a family who wants to spend vacation in Egypt. Unlike most vacation spots, parents drop their children of at an amusement park for hours at a time. A trip to Egypt is a trip that the entire family can enjoy.A luxurious tour for Egypt starts from Ancient Egypt, which includes religious and Islamic sight seeing. Ancient Egypt is also one of the major attraction in Egypt. Normal Egypt tour will start from Giza pyramids, Step pyramid and even the Egyptian Antiquities museum. This is like a first day great Egypt tour.In your Egypt trip unlimited Shopping being a historical and a religious place, one can find many excite and creative things to buy. Food is delicious in your Egypt trip, some of the famous delicacies of Egypt are, Egyptian bean salad, Egyptian stuffed egg plant with rice, meat and okra stew, Egyptian stuffed pigeon, Egyptian green soup, Egyptian salty rice, stuffed grape leaves, fig cakes, um ali, Egyptian spiced drink etc. All the dishes of Egypt are made in a unique way; there are recipe books available for people who become lover of the food in Egypt.There are a variety of transports that are available in Egypt tour, getting to places isnt difficult because of the arrangement of buses, trains, water transport and flights. It is quiet reasonable to travel in Egypt. Our reputable private Egypt tours, escorted by a tour leader, are ideal for an enjoyable yet cultural holiday in Egypt.Guide to Egypt Travel, Tours, Egypt travel information and tour information, Egypt tours & travel, Egypt holiday, Egypt vacation, Guided and custom trips to Egypt include Nile Cruises, Cairo, Aswan, Luxor. Private tours for budget and luxury travelers by private car & guide. Guide to Egypt Travel, Tours, Vacations, Ancient Egypt, Culture, History and Egypt shopping. Right-travel gives you the option to see and do what you want.To start planning your holidays, select one of our exciting Egypt tour offer journey and we would be happy to arrange it as a private tour. We use some of the most sophisticated and luxurious cruise for Egypt Tour. Our standard tours are aimed at those wishing to visit Egypt on a budget, however luxury and high end tours are also available upon request. Tour Egypt Travel, Tours, Vacations, Ancient Egypt, Egypt Travel Information.Egypt also features tours to Luxor the biggest open museum in the world Between Luxor and Aswan the capital of the south you can cruise the Nile in breath taken views of the country side. An Egypt tour also has a great deal of shopping opportunities from hand crafted carpets to hand made papyrus. Experience Egypt's out of this world places of interest and rich culture with like-minded travelers. Our reputable group tours, escorted by a tour leader, are ideal for an enjoyable yet cultural holiday in Egypt.Guide to Egypt Travel, Tours, Vacations, Ancient Egypt, Culture, History and Egypt shopping. Right-travel give you the option to see and do what you want.So ask us! We want your trip to Egypt to be the travel memory of a lifetime. Office Hours: Monday - Friday 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM and Saturday - Sunday 10:00 AM - 03:00 PM; T: (973) 636-6660; F: (973) 636-6668For More Information: http://www.right-travel.com

San Diego Beach Hikes - Cardiff to Carlsbad

San Diego Beach Hikes - Cardiff to Carlsbad

San Diego offers a bevy of interesting hikes. With the average home price being around $500,000, they better be interesting!To unwind, I typically stop on my way home from work to hike from Cardiff to Carlsbad on the beach. For picturesque sunsets and tasty waves, the beach between Cardiff to Carlsbad cant be beat.Cardiff - StartingI typically start this hike by parking just south of restaurant row in Cardiff. Restaurant row is located to the north of the lagoon between Cardiff and Solana Beach on Highway 101. Parking is located on the side of the road, which is right up against the beach. Give me convenience or give me death!As you head north, you first pass Charlies and other restaurants. Past the restaurants, you will come to the beginning of the bluffs that will line the beach to the end of the hike. San Elijo campground is on top of the initial bluffs and extends for roughly a mile north. The campground is very popular and the temporary home of locals and tourist. You can tell the difference by contrasting tans with sunburns.Following San Elijo, you will walk through Sea Cliff County Park with bluffs over 100 feet high. An area known affectionately as Swamis quickly follows this park. The name derives from the fact the area above the bluff is the home to the Self Realization Fellowship Center. This area is know as hot surf spot, but is very crowded. If you are a bit winded, you can stop and watch 50 or so surfers maneuver for waves. Yes, traffic jams arent exclusively restricted to California freeways.North of Swamis, you will cruise along a long strip of sand hemmed in by 50 to 60 foot bluffs in the town of Encinitas. For those with a wicked sense of humor, there is a relatively popular game called, Watch the house fall. Yes, the bluffs are giving away slowly. As they erode, the homes first lose plants, then patios and so on. They say real estate is all about location, location, location, but sometimes a beach front home isnt all that great.The Encinitas section of the hike is fairly long. With the high bluffs, you will find sections of the beach that are deserted. Yes, even during summer. The only thing breaking up the solitude is Moonlight Beach, a fairly popular beach with locals. Otherwise, its just you, shells and joggers until you arrive at the end of the bluffs and South Carlsbad. Time to turn around and find the car.The Cardiff to South Carlsbad hike is about 5 miles in each direction. The walk is flat and quick. By the end, you will be relaxed and forget that Bert in accounting is a jerk. Enjoy.

Lower Your Travel Costs

Many of us choose to travel on a regular basis, and whether we are going away on a business trip or a family vacation, the costs can soon add up. In an ideal world, we wouldn't need to watch the finances when we are going on the annual vacation but we do usually have to stick to a budget somewhere in proceedings. By saving money on the travel and the accommodation without compromising comfort and quality, though, it is possible to ensure you have more money for the vacation itself.Booking time is a difficult factor to judge. If you're planning a family vacation for you, your partner and three kids then it is unlikely you will want to risk a last minute deal. There is no guarantee you can find the vacation you want and readying so many people in such a short space of time would prove difficult even for the army. Booking well in advance can save you a good amount of money. When you return from one holiday, start thinking about your next. Even if the accommodation is no cheaper, booking flights and other travel expenses will invariably cost you less.Only book what you need. If you intend to be sight seeing and traveling surrounding areas a lot then you don't necessarily need a five star hotel will all your meals included. Self-catering apartments can be much more affordable than luxurious hotels and allow you the level of freedom you require from your vacation.Remember that a vacation is still a vacation even without luxury. Camping trips can be true family adventure and if you're really short of vacation budget then they are the best option. Caravans offer slightly more in the way of luxury and usually cost slightly less in the way of cash. Camping parks also tend to have entertainment, pools and parks for you and your kids to enjoy for free or very little money.

Do You Know How To Complain About Your Flight?

When passengers comment on airline service, most airlines do listen. They analyze and keep track of the complaints and compliments they receive and use the information to determine what the public wants and to identify problem areas that need special attention. They also try to resolve individual complaints. Like other businesses, airlines have a lot of discretion in how they respond to problems. While you do have some rights as a passenger, your demands for compensation will probably be subject to negotiation and the kind of action you get depends in large part on the way you go about complaining. Start with the airline. Before you call or write to DOT or some other agency for help with an air travel problem, you should give the airline a chance to resolve it.As a rule, airlines have trouble-shooters at the airports (they're usually called Customer Service Representatives) who can take care of many problems on the spot. They can arrange meals and hotel rooms for stranded passengers, write checks for denied boarding compensation, arrange luggage repairs and settle other routine claims or complaints If you can't resolve the problem at the airport and want to file a complaint, it's best to call or write the airline's consumer office at its corporate headquarters. Take notes at the time the incident occurs and jot down the names of the carrier employees with whom you dealt. Keep all of your travel documents (ticket receipts, baggage check stubs, boarding passes, etc.) as well as receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses that were incurred as a result of the mishandling.Here are some helpful tips should you choose to write a letter.* Type the letter and, if at all possible, limit it to one page in length. * Include your daytime telephone number (with area code). * No matter how angry you might be, keep your letter businesslike in tone and don't exaggerate what happened. If the complaint sounds very vehement or sarcastic, you might wait a day and then consider rewriting it. * Describe what happened, and give dates, cities, and flight numbers or flight times. * Send copies, never the originals, of tickets and receipts or other documents that can back up your claim. * Include the names of any employees who were rude or made things worse, as well as anyone who might have been especially helpful. * Don't clutter up your complaint with petty gripes that can obscure what you're really angry about. * Let the airline know if you've suffered any special inconvenience or monetary losses. * Say just what you expect the carrier to do to make amends. An airline may offer to settle your claim with a check or some other kind of compensation, possibly free transportation. You might want a written apology from a rude employee or reimbursement for some loss you incurred-but the airline needs to know what you want before it can decide what action to take. * Be reasonable. If your demands are way out of line, your letter might earn you a polite apology and a place in the airline's crank files. If you follow these guidelines, the airlines will probably treat your complaint seriously. Your letter will help them to determine what caused your problem, as well as to suggest actions the company can take to keep the same thing from happening to other people.

Summary

Buying souvenirs on your overseas vacation can be a snap if you make some plans first.