Friday, November 03, 2006

See the World through New Eyes with an Inspirational, Education Trip Organized by Ubiquity International. TRAVEL SNOB TRAVEL BLOG







Visit Europe, Berlin, Prague, Vienna or Bratislava. Explore the Paris Gastronomique tour with Chef Tyler Stone. Join cultural specialist Thomas Talboy, Ph.D. Classics and founder of Ubiquity International, in Northern Greece, Eastern Europe, Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre and Milan. "Italy, Spain, France and Greece are solid standards in our program," explains Talboy about Ubiquity's 2007 tour slate which offer tour participants a unique way to experience different languages, art, history and culture of the world through international travel. "At Ubiquity International, we see to it that travelers fully indulge the local flavor of a given destination from the ground-up, not only from a bird's eye view. Travel involving language, art, history and culture is our passion and we look forward to each new opportunity to share this excitement with others. Our 2007 line-up takes the traveler to exciting new reaches of European discovery. If you have ever wanted to visit Prague or Bratislava but were unsure, now is the time to go. Experience it with us. We have the same standard of excellence in all of our tours."

The 2007 program starts with a tour Talboy has wanted to lead for some time: London, Bristol and the South of England. "There is so much rich history is that small swath, but it is often overlooked," saysDavid Fitzpatrick, Ubiquity International's Ireland Cultural Specialist. "If you want to discover such a diverse location, a tour with Ubiquity International is the way to do it."

2007 tour opportunities from Ubiquity:

  • 6-14 March 2007: Rome and the South of Italy with Cultural Specialist Thomas Talboy, Ph.D. (chaperoned student travel group)
  • 18-28 April 2007: Paris Gastronomique! with Chef Tyler Stone
  • 7-19 May 2007: Northern Greece with Cultural Specialist Thomas Talboy, Ph.D.
  • 9-20 June 2007: Madrid, Barcelona and Paris with Cultural Specialist Alexa Flores-Hull, MA (chaperoned student travel group)
  • 6-21 July 2007: Greece, Turkey and the Aegean Cruise with Cultural Specialist Thomas Talboy, Ph.D.
  • 24 July -6 August 2007: Berlin, Prague, Vienna and Bratislava with Cultural Specialist Thomas Talboy, Ph.D.
  • 4-18 September 2007: Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre and Milan with Cultural Specialist Thomas Talboy, Ph.D.
For more info, visit www.ubiquityinternational.com.

- The Travel Snob

Thursday, November 02, 2006

From Dracula to the Black Sea to Hiking, Winetasting & Culture Galore. Why Not Put Romania on the Itinerary? TRAVEL SNOB TRAVEL BLOG


Home of Bran Castle in Transylvania, where the Dracula legend was created thanks to a 15th century Wallachian prince - Vlad Tepes (pronounced TZEP-pish) aka Vlad the Impaler, because of his enthusiasm for impaling his enemies on stakes - as well as beautiful forests, lakes, and historic destinations, Romania is an authentic slice of old Europe. Now that it's being allowed into the EU in January of 2007, it's a great time to go & ski, check out the sites, take a wine tour, or even hit the Black Sea for some R&R.

What to see & do in Romania:

  • Bucharest The country's capital has variously been referred to as Little Paris or "the Paris of the East" because of its pre-communist era beauty: wide tree lined boulevards, magnificent architectural buildings, and a reputation for the highlife. Make sure to visit the Parliament Palace and the Village Museum, which can be included in a full day city tour. For extra travel points, take an excursion to Snagov Lake, the tomb of Dracula, and Mogosoaia Castle.
  • Transylvania Home to some of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe, as well as the legend of Dracula. Worthy of a visit are Sighisoara, Brasov and Sibiu, feted along with Luxemburg as the 2007 "European Capital of Culture." Peles Palace, Corvinesti Castle, Fagaras Fortress, and Bran (Dracula) are all stunning & picturesque, as are the fortified Saxon Churches, such as Biertan.
  • The Maramures Region Located in the North of Romania, it boasts a unique lifestyle that has remained unchanged for years. Scattered through out the mountains are exquisite wooden churches, houses and sculptures in village museums - many of which have been entered into the UNESCO world heritage listings. The wooden churches of Maramures are exceptional, and the ancient village of Sapanta features the Merry Cemetery, where each grave is decorated with an illustrated stone cross and poem which depicts the person's life with humor.
  • Southern Bucovina Continuing North are the famed painted monastaries, where frescoes painted on the buildings' exteriors depict various different biblical stories.
  • The Biosphere Reservation of the Danube Delta In the Delta, the main means of travel is by boa, via the many criss-crossing channels. Over 300 species of birds reside here, along with 45 freshwater fish species, and more than 1,200 species of trees and plants and various mammals. Start your visit in Tulcea, a convenient gateway to the other villages and surrounding areas.
  • Black Sea Coast Romania's Black Sea coast stretches over 200 Km, featuring resorts galore - most notably Mamaia, Eforie, Neptun, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn & Mangalia - golden sandy beaches, water sports, and even the Murfatlar Winery.
  • Other fun activities: Skiing in the Transylvanian Alps, hiking the Carpathians, biking, and horse-back riding through the Calimani Mountains of Bucovina.
To customize a package, visit GoRomaniaTours.com

- The Travel Snob

(photo: abgrup.as.ro)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Erin Go Brach for $609 per person! Visit the Emerald Isle for a Week with a Special Ireland Package from Virgin Vacations. TRAVEL SNOB TRAVEL BLOG


Green pastures, deep mystical lakes, wild rolling hills, the Blarney stone, ancient monuments and castles, the infamous pubs, vast stretches of countryside, bustling cities - not to mention extraordinarily friendly natives...an Ireland vacation is nothing short of fabulous.

And with Virgin Vacations's new super-affordable new package deals, you won't have to. Starting at just $609 per person, their basic fly & drive package includes round trip airfare to Dublin, and seven day Hertz car rental and features the flexibility of unlimited mileage. In the mood for something a touch more regal? The Dublin & Irish Castle vacation package starts at $1,099 includes round-trip airfar, 3 nights in Dublin, 3 nights in a castle, daily continental breakfast, and a 3-Day Hertz car rental.

Grab your passport & fly over to Virgin-Vacations.com.

- The Travel Snob

(photos: iExplore.com)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Travel the World - or Send Gifts Like You Do - with the Click of a Mouse at UK2You.com. TRAVEL SNOB TRAVEL & SHOPPING BLOG


What do you give someone who has everything? Perhaps something meaningful to someone who has nothing. Through the UK2YOU British Expat Shopping Directory, you can buy a goat or even a herd of goats to really make a difference to someone's holiday season this year - or even an entire village.

Created by a partner of a British Foreign Office employee, the site also features UK-centric gifts, clothes, ethical, eco friendly and fair trade products, kids, gadgets, travel, and food - all of which ship worldwide - as well as the weekly Diary of a Trailing Spouse, the blog penned by the creator of UK2YOU which covers everything from "Getting the best out of eBay" to "Men and Gadgets".

Check it out at UK2You.com.

- The Travel Snob

Celebrate Winter Magic in the Great Smoky Mountains in a Charming, Rustic Cabin in Gatlinburg Tennessee. TRAVEL SNOB TRAVEL BLOG


From November through February, more than three million lights, illuminated chandeliers and animated displays light up the mountain resort town of Gatlinburg, Tennesse as part of the Winterfest Celebration Festival. Following the kick-off Chili Cook-Off on Wednesday, November 8, the months that follow will feature live musical entertainment from the like of 60s soul group The Marvellettes and soulful blues band Beat Daddys, a Veteran's Day Celebration tribute, a display of ornately decorated Christmas trees, a free (!) performance of the Nutcracker, shopping at an arts & crafts show, a colorful Christmas parade, and New Year's Eve pyrotechnics.

What's doing in Gatlinburg for the Winterfest Celebration Festival:

  • Nov. 8: 4-8 pm Kick-Off & Chili Cook-Off
  • Nov. 11: Veteran's Day Celebration with a fly-by, patriotic choral and orchestral tributes, and appearance by an American Bald Eagle from the American Eagle Foundation.
  • Nov. 21-26: Browse for unique gifts crafted by members of Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community at the annual Arts & Crafts Community Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Show.
  • Nov. 24, 25: Gatlinburg's Festival of Trees at the Gatlinburg Convention Center featuring dozens of ornately decorated Christmas trees. Live entertainment daily. At 7 pm, the Smoky Mountain Dance Theater Company will perform the Nutcracker "Sweet" at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
  • Nov.27-Dec.3: Christmas Arts & Crafts Community Arts & Crafts Show.
  • Dec. 1: Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade in Downtown Gatlinburg at 7:30 p.m. with more than 100 parade entries, marching bands, baton twirlers, millions of lights and giant helium balloons with special guests Santa Claus and his elves.
  • Dec. 2: Christmas on Ice - local skaters display their talents on ice.
  • Dec. 31: New Year's Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show, from 11 p.m.- 12:30 a.m.. An estimated crowd of 40,000 gather for a street party including free party favors, hats, tiaras, a fireworks show and live entertainment.

For more info on visiting Gatlinburg & staying in a cabin, visit AuntieBelhams.com.

- The Travel Snob

(photo: Gatlinburg-Tennessee-Information.com)

Pamper & Protect Skin to Arrive Looking as Fab as Your Destination. TRAVEL SNOB BEAUTY & TRAVEL BLOG


The bane of travel is the havoc it wreaks on skin. In addition to the change of environment, there is desert-like low humidity, inadequate rest, and dehydration. "Air travelers are exposed to changes in the environment starting right when you board the plane," explains Denise Spanek, a licensed skincare expert. The Journal of Environmental Health Research confirms that the "typical relative humidity in aircraft cabins for flights over an hour is below 10% for most of the journey, dropping to less than 5% on longer flights. Wrinkles, lines, dark circles and flakiness are all effects of in flight travel." Small wonder fashionistas and celebs hide under oversized glasses upon touching down.

The new airline regulations limit much of what people are now allowed to bring on board in the way of lotions & potions. However Spanek's new Air Repair Kit contains six fab skincare products for the globetrotting beauty to tuck in her carry-on. "Many people felt panicked when told they were not able to bring their creams and lotions aboard airplanes when airport security carry-on restrictions went into effect. It's most essential to treat your skin before entering an airplane and again after flying. The quality of the global products in this kit will help provide long-lasting moisturizing of the skin and protection during and after the flight."

Each Air Repair Kit contains a 30-day supply of:


  • Desquacreme A creamy, foaming facial cleanser by Sothys from Paris that deep cleans but is mild enough for all skin types.
  • One each of the Karin Herzog Oxygen Face Cream & Essential Mask from Switzerland to restore elasticity back into the skin after exposure to an oxygen-depleting environment such as flying.
  • Air Repair Skin Vitality Mineral Mist (Spanek's own brand) which is an effective botanical re-hydrator, used as a toner or sprayed directly on the skin to relieve excessive dryness.
  • Air Repair Rescue Balm A uniquely formulated salve that helps prevent trans-epidermal water loss which is a primary cause of dry skin when traveling.
  • Terme Cream from Italy A long-lasting hand and nail cream that moisturizes and protects without being greasy.
  • A handy, comprehensive instruction card on how to use each product depending on your travel needs - with everything tucked into an ultra practical, deluxe toiletry bag with plenty of room for other travel items.

The Air Repair Kit is available at VisageStudio.com.

- The Travel Snob

Monday, October 30, 2006

Tag Along on the Journey of a Lifetime through Africa & Asia with Meg Noble Peterson & her Intimate Journey to Exotic Locales. TRAVEL SNOB TRAVEL BLOG

With a 60th birthday looming, along with the demise of her 33 year marriage, Meg Noble Peterson decided it was high time to see the world. Armed with only a backpack, open ticket, empty journals, and a camera, Peterson headed for Africa & Asia for eight months of deadline-free wandering across Africa & Asia.

Chronicling her experiences in Madam, Have You Ever Really Been Happy?, Peterson covered four continents and 12 countries from the crowded streets of Cairo, to contentious apartheid South Africa, to India's Taj Mahal, to the peaks of the Himalaya. "In 1987, after a divorce, a career, and raising five kids, I decided to escape everyday life and travel around the world," she explains. Traveling on a shoestring and making plans as she goes along, Peterson ventures well off the beaten path. She rides on dilapidated buses through Egypt and Zimbabwe and squeezes into hot, crowded trains in India. In Kenya, she encounters roadblocks and Masai warriors, and in Nepal she finds romance with an Austrian scientist. Abandoned at 14,000 ft. by their drunken guide, the two climb to Everest Base Camp through the snow and ice, and are almost buried by an avalanche before they reach Kala Pattar at 18,500 ft.

"My memoir illustrates that it's never too late to strike out for places exotic and unknown," notes Peterson, now 78. "I didn't let the fact that I was a woman approaching sixty deter me from traveling. I had some of the most exhilarating and thrilling experiences of my life."

For more on her recent travels, visit MegNoblePeterson.com. The book is available at Amazon.com.

- The Travel Snob