Customized Services is What makes a Vacation Rental the Best

The home away from home but a little bit more better is what the vacation rentals should be. They should be a lot functional and provide you with a lot of facilities and amenities that you would find in your home and a little bit more. This article looks at what makes these chalets or condos the luxurious properties which the clients crave to rent each time. Luxury could mean very different based on the locality the property is in. If you are in a Ski resort you would want the hot tubs and the cozy fireplaces to make the stay a wonderful experience. If you are in one of the exotic places deep in the jungle where Mosquitoes and insects have the best of the place; then luxury means a simple Mosquito net and a small spray to get these pesky creatures out. In this article let’s see what it means to spend time in luxury in the beautiful ski resort area of Whistler.

Whistler is a famous ski destination with thousands flocking to meet the snow each season. The acres and acres of mountain terrain and the pristine lakes added with the availability of good rental properties make this a perfect vacation spot. The core of this article is what makes a few properties like the one listed in stand out. The custom services make a huge difference and the luxury you are offered is directly proportional to the care and services offered in these properties. Luxury comes in many forms and sizes. For folks with kids the luxury in this resort is having nannies from reputed folks when they go out and get the real vacation. Parents need their personal time without worrying about the kids this is one of the major hits offered by these luxurious properties. Don’t mistake me, the regular stuff like the cozy bed, and the fire place and hot tubs come first, but the custom services make this the real trip to remember. The other attraction is the service offered by these folks to deliver the best food right at the home. This gives you that little extra bit of time with family in the vacation home. The next that is useful for many folks is restaurant bookings. This is one hot commodity in the crowded ski areas. Unless you get the insider help in these bookings you will end up in one of those dingy unwelcoming tables or corner shops.

The availability of Maid Services in your vacation rental is one more service that upgrades your stay to the luxurious side. These are offered in the big hotels but finding a reliable and cost efficient maid service for your vacation home is one of the things that only the deluxe properties offer. For the folks with a family, the day care and sometimes baby sitting offers is what makes the trip a real vacation. Ah how good a feeling and what a break it will be to be with your whole family on a vacation. And now and then when you need that little bit of private intimate moments you could always sneak out. Sneak out giving your babies or children to reliable folks and enjoy the ski, or enjoy a good meal in the restaurant. That is what I call Luxury, look for these or demand these from your vacation rental folks.

The Frugal Shopper’s Guide to Luxury Living Onboard a Residential Cruise Ship

You have worked your entire life toward one goal, your retirement! Visions of traveling the world, seeing the places you have always dreamed of, and taking part in many exciting adventures fill your daydreams. However, many retirees find they are unable to afford active retirement living. The cost of airfare, hotels, meals, and other travel expenses, in addition to their usual cost of living, is simply out of reach. Luxury living aboard your own cruise ship can be affordable.

Can you afford to live full-time on a cruise ship? Probably not if you want to live on a conventional cruise ship, but probably so if you buy and own a cruise ship, along with other like minded individuals. The cost of living aboard a cruise ship is not much higher than the cost of living in a conventional home. Some things are more economical on a cruise ship, especially domestic help. Cruise ship crews are paid internationally competitive rates which are almost always lower than the minimum wages paid in the U.S.A. There is also economy in numbers.

A better question would be can you afford to NOT live full-time on a cruise ship? If you are currently a home owner, the odds are that your home will depreciate substantially during the second and third decades of this century. There is no doubt that the retiring baby-boomers will dramatically alter the economy. As they retire in greater numbers they will start drawing down their savings. I am not going to made predictions about the economy. There are plenty of others who can do a better job at that. It is sufficient to say that the housing price run-ups of the past thirty years or so are likely to be inverted for the next thirty years or so. If you have equity that you can cash-out now, you should take the money and run.

You can join with others who have similar concerns and interests and buy your own giant mega-yacht, such as a retired cruise ship or even a brand new cruise ship if you are not pinching pennies. I currently maintain a list of people who are interested in becoming part-owners of a cruise ship. For more specific information on how you can do this, please read my article titled: “You Can Be a Cruise Ship Owner Even If You Are Not Rich”

Advantages to living on your own cruise ship.

o No utility bills (except telephone)

o No property taxes

o All meals are included

o All cruises are included

o Large variety of spa treatments available

o Housekeeping is included

o Nightly entertainment included

o Onboard activities included

o Internet access is available onboard

o Internet access can be provided in your cabin at an additional fee

o Full-time medical doctor onboard

o Fully equipped medical clinic (including defibrillator and other emergency equipment)

o Assistance with keeping your prescriptions current

o Follow-up medical attention to your shore-side treatments

o Rent, loan, exchange or sell unused cruise time to make additional income

o Purchase live aboard accommodations with friends or family and share the cruise time

o Exchange your cruise time for shore side vacations

o Satellite television available in your cabin

Keep in mind there is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything costs, but many of the services on a cruise ship are more economical if they are shared. For example, you share common areas of the ship thus eliminating the need to maintain your own individual kitchen facilities. No fuss, no muss. You can also share the domestic help and spa staff.

Key Advantages to Buying Your Own Cruise Ship

o Low Purchase Price. Direct-sales means substantial savings to you. You would buy directly from the current ship owner. 1% ownership of a ten million dollar cruise ship would be $100,000. You would be the co-owner, not just a ‘renter.’

o Low Maintenance Fees. Maintenance fees encompass fuel, utilities (water & electricity), insurance, taxes, and routine maintenance, etc. There is no markup or profit involved in your maintenance fees. You simply pay your share of the actual operating costs.

o Economy. The key to the economy of operation is the global marketplace. Simply stated, if you own your own cruise ship you can buy goods, services, and labor from the best sources worldwide. There is economy in numbers. You may have heard the old adage that it is cheaper to feed two people than one person. The global marketplace and the advantage of volume buying power make this old adage even more true in this case. The global labor market is highly advantageous to you. The low cost of labor translates to five star service for you at one star prices. Again, there is no markup or profit involved so you receive the full benefits of these savings.

o Luxurious spa treatment. Spas are generally quite expensive. But if you own the spa, you determine what you will pay at your own spa for services. This would be a tremendous value to cabin owners. A spa can offer therapies for mental and physical relaxation. Such treatments include massage, facials, reflexology, beauty treatments, manicures, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, Botox injections, etc. The international labor rates make these services a real bargain. The ship provides the facility, the costs for a spa would be only labor and supplies.

o Stay Fit. Most cruise ships already have a gym, sauna, steam room, hot tub, and pool. If the ship you choose is lacking in this department, it can be refurbished by either improving and expanding these facilities or adding such facilities if none exist currently.

o Special owners’ treatment. You’ll never get service on land like the service you experience on a cruise ship.

o Various locations. You will not become bored with the same vacation location every year. There is lots and lots to do, or nothing at all if you choose. You simply cannot get bored on a cruise ship. You can even trade your cabin time for various vacation timeshare resorts if you choose.

o Convenience. Everything’s right there. No looking for entertainment, hunting fun, seeking a decent restaurant. It’s all right there on your floating resort. You get to experience lots of places but you don’t have to pack because you are already home, in your floating condominium!

o Safety & Security. There is safety in numbers. This cruise ship is safer than a smaller private yacht because of the fact that there is safety in numbers. Also, there are far fewer incidents on a ship than on land. Where can a bad guy go? There is a doctor, nurse, and pharmacy onboard to look after you. Another safety factor is the mobility of a cruise ship. In the event of a trouble spot, we simply avoid that area. You would have a safety margin via mobility even in the worst case scenario, such as an all out nuclear world war. The trick is to be wherever the problems are not at. This is easier on a cruise ship than with any other possible residential options.

Earn Money. You can also carry on your business while on the ship via the Internet. Also, as an co-owner, you may also be able to convince the other owners that you are the best candidate for a particular shipboard position that interests you. However, the wages paid for these positions are not on the same scale as Western wages. For example, the ship’s medical doctor earns far less than a 16 year old kid working at McDonalds would earn in America. The shipboard wages are meager, but this option can help you pay your maintenance fees if you are on a tight budget.

Amenities & Activities

You’ll enjoy life’s finer pleasures. Lavish buffet meals, romantic and exciting ports of call, Las Vegas style entertainment and innumerable onboard activities complement every cruise. Step aboard and you’ll discover a cruise ship that seems to have come from another age. A more gracious time, when travelers sought the special beauty and tranquility that only a classic cruise vessel could provide. You’ll find services and amenities that seem somehow to be more accommodating and more personal. You’ll find a ship where everybody knows your name. And of course, you’ll find all the sensory pleasures you expect.

The wonderful thing about a cruise is the lack of effort required. You may want to read up on the ports of call you will be visiting. But as soon as you step on board the ship, your work is done. Your luggage will be brought to your cabin by a smiling steward. Your meals will be served in a sumptuous dining room. Your cabin will be kept spotless by a steward who never disturbs you but is always there when needed. Your time will be your own to do as you please, yet the days will fly by. No wonder some people don’t want to disembark at the end of their cruise. It is always a bit of a shock to step back into the real world, where you no longer enjoy the special status that comes with being a cruise passenger. But wait, it does not have to end!


Your dream vacation can be turned into a dream lifestyle. You can relax in the casual setting of the large saloon. Or you can pursue a more active vacation including fitness and special made to order health food. Here you’ll find a vast array of tempting favorites including everything from made-to- order omelets to our fabulous buffet! Imagine being pampered from sunup to sundown. Having every need and whim met, being treated as if you alone were the center of the universe. A cruise ship is a floating resort, and visiting fabulous destinations in themselves, offering everything you would expect in a great resort on land. But why rent when you can own? Yes you CAN own your own cruise ship! If you are willing to share the purchase price and ownership with other likeminded people you can be a co-owner for about the cost as a conventional home.

Family Camping at Yogi Bear Jellystone Park Campground

I may be the last camper on the face of the earth with children to have discovered the joys of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park campgrounds. But to cut myself some slack, I will also note that camping is a relatively new activity for our family.

Because we got our new trailer late in the season, we only got to go on three camping trips in before winter set in, but the last one sure whet our appetites for this spring when we can start planning more family camping trips anew.

We went to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Campground for their end of season, Halloween celebration and it was such a fantastic experience – despite the onset of some frigid temperatures and rain.

If you’ve never been to one of these places, it is like a trip right into cartoon land. There are carousel rides, train rides, movies, crafts and even a real fire engine ride for the kids. Of course, each location has many different offerings too that are designed to entice campers to try their slant on the old favorites – Yogi, Boo Boo, and Cindy Bear.

When we visited, Yogi was in hibernation for the winter, but during the summer Yogi wakes up little campers, has breakfast with them and generally makes their camping trip one for the memory books.

There are activities planned for all ages at just about every hour on the hour 7 days a week during summer months. Even during our fall visit, the activities pretty much ran non-stop. In addition to ceramic painting, pumpkin painting and gem mining, there was a haunted hayride, haunted walk – that rivaled most commercial offerings – and of course trick or treating and other Halloween themed events. They also sponsored a campsite Halloween decorating contest in four different categories and some of these campers go all out! It was so festive to see all the decorations and see so many people enjoying their camping experience.

Needless to say, we are watching the calendar for the first signs of spring so we can plan our next camping adventure with Yogi. Hope to see you there!

Concorde Crash Conspiracy – It Could Have Been Prevented

In studying the Concorde crash the investigators determined it was caused by debris on the runway, which had fallen off a Continental Airlines Aircraft, which went down the same runway prior to the Concorde. Some thought the crash was an International Terrorist Attack. Had the debris, which had fallen off been known it could have been picked up prior to the Concorde’s take off roll.

In fact debris on run ways is common, I have seen stuff on runways myself during takeoff rolls, usually it is something minor and in a light aircraft you are not going very fast so a slight bit of steering for someone on the ball and the problem is solved. The Concorde however takes off at 180 knots or at least that day it tried. It hit the debris and it popped a tire and that tire shredded and sent pieces into the bottom of the wing and fuel tank along with a little of the debris. The aircraft on fire took off and then immediately crashed.

A young man, only twelve years old has come up with a little gadget, which will prevent this from ever happening again. It is a small real-time video camera, which runs along the runway on a track and videos the aircraft as it lands or takes off. It can also be sent solo to inspect the runway from afar, such as a room in the control tower or ground control workstation. The British Airport Authority (BAA) is interested in possibly developing this concept. Interesting as a 12-year old came up with it. Incidentally today NASA announced a spherical device to fly around the ISS-International Space Station to check for damage from space debris. Had this been available it could have inspected the Space Shuttle prior to its return and prevented the accident by way of video preflight.

The young man’s device is said to be able to spot even a single nut on the runway, which could be picked up by a tire or sucked into a jet engine. This is an awesome idea and I would hope the US Military would put them on the catapults so when it returns it video tapes the deck. The young man developed the concept in the “Young Engineers for Britain” contest. This shows why it is important to get ideas from everywhere and how contests spur on innovation. In the United States we have constant robotic contests and we all know about Robot Wars. The young man wants is counting on becoming a mechanical engineer if he ever grows up and I think he will make a damn good one.

4 Best Vacation Cities Along the Gulf of Mexico Close

When Americans think of beaches, they tend to think of southern California, Florida, Hawaii, or even the Caribbean islands before they think of the Gulf Coast. Yet some of the best beaches in North America are along this stretch of shoreline. Soft white sand, emerald green waters, unobstructed views, and all the leisure and recreation a vacationer needs are stretched out on this curve around the Gulf of Mexico. If you’re looking for a restorative beach vacation, take a look at these four Gulf Coast beaches.

Galveston, Texas

Image via Flickr by enchiladaplate

This island off the coast of Texas features miles and miles of sandy beach, warm weather, and recreation. The  beaches are expansive and beautifully developed. The town offers restaurants, museums, historic sites, galleries, nightlife, and boutiques. Moody Gardens is a great spot for soaking up beautiful views, and the Schlitterbahn water park offers excitement. Galveston Island State Park is a great place to hike and explore when you want to be alone with nature. Visit the Seawall Urban Park for roller blading, jogging, or long walks.

Destin, Florida

Destin is a quiet beach town with white sand beaches and gleaming green water. The coastline around Destin offers a variety of water parks, amusement parks, dolphin cruises, fishing, and other recreation for families. The town has plenty of shopping and dining options, but it’s Henderson Beach State Park that is the biggest draw here. The park offers beautiful dunes and a relaxing beach for swimming and sunning. Henderson Beach also has picnic areas and campsites, but once you check out the assortment of great hotels in Destin, you’ll probably opt to sleep indoors.

Marco Island, Florida

One of Florida’s top beach destinations for luxury travelers, Marco Island offers pristine white sand beaches with warm water throughout the year. This upscale island attracts older travelers and families who are looking for comfort amid stunning views and scenery.

The Tigertail Beach side of the island is the most popular. It’s a fully-equipped beach complete with lifeguards, concessions, restrooms, and equipment rentals. South Marco Beach at the opposite end of the island is smaller, but it’s becoming quite popular. There are also lots of private beaches around the coastline of the island that are attached to vacation rentals.

Orange Beach, Alabama

One of the best Gulf Coast beaches lies just across the border for Florida’s Emerald Coast, on the Alabama side. Orange Beach offers a balance between beautiful beaches and outdoor activities. The Orange Beach Waterfront Park is a popular family spot with public beach access, picnic areas, a playground, and a fishing pier. The park’s Back Country Trail is a good place to hike or run. Orange Beach offers access to both the Gulf and the inland bays and bayous to the north, where locals and vacationers like to kayak, sail, and fish.

The Gulf Coast offers something for everyone, from party beaches to upscale getaways and family adventures. Choose the destination that’s right for you, and start daydreaming about your Gulf Coast vacation.