Tag Archives: travel

Memorial Day Weekend

According to a survey conducted by AAA, almost all highways in the Los Angeles area will be jam-packed with vacationers this Memorial Day weekend. The survey showed that nearly 30.7 million Americans plan to drive to their destination this upcoming weekend. Compared to last year, the high ways will have 500,000 more travelers on the road. However, people will not be traveling far this year due to gas prices and budgets. Many people are rethinking their trips and looking towards finding a closer vacation spot that won’t exceed their budgets.

AAA President and CEO Robert Darbelnet commented, “Steadily increasing gas prices throughout the spring significantly squeezed many household budgets.”

The survey results showed that the average distance expected per traveler is around 642, which is 150 miles less compared to last year. While most surveyors stated that gas prices won’t change their destination, they will cut other costs to make up the difference.

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Merger Between United and American?

Since America Airlines filed for chapter 13 last year, many are unsure of what the airline plans to do to bounce back. There have been many discussions about merging with US Airways but sources state the merger has been ‘greatly exaggerated’.

A consultant of R.W. Mann & Co., Robert Mann, commented, “Independent of whether they merge or not, you’re going to see higher prices because the airlines have figured out that there’s no point in competing for unprofitable business but if a merger does occur, you’ll see an acceleration of that increase.”

American Airline’s parent company, AMR, posted a staggering $1.7 billion loss during the first quarter. CEO of US Airways, Doug Parker, stated that “the carrier had signed agreements with three unions representing nearly 55,000 American employees”. He reassured his employees by saying, “Today’s news does not mean we have agreed to merge with American Airlines.” Though a merger is still up in the air, many have started wondering what the outcome would be if US Airways and American actually decide to merge.

Mann commented, “Historically, mergers have been an opportunity for Southwest to enter markets and provide [pricing] discipline. But their costs aren’t that much lower than the network carriers anymore so it’s not as if they can suddenly find new pockets of revenue.”

A merger would also mean more labor unrest. Since the merger with America West Airlines seven years ago, US Airways is still trying to integrate the two work forces. Adding a third workforce to that equation might complicate the situation further. In addition by merging the two companies would be able to create a better network for their passengers.

Joe Brancatelli, the publisher of JoeSentme.com, commented, “No carrier that has gone into bankruptcy since 2000 has survived without a merger. United went into bankruptcy, came out and merged with Continental. US Airways went into bankruptcy twice and merged with America West. And Delta and Northwest both went into bankruptcy on the same day, came out and merged with each other.”

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Venezuela Travel Guide

Angel Falls

Venezuela remains off the beaten path for the American traveler. Its unusual choice as a tourist destination makes it very easy to find value here, as well as uncommon stories and discoveries sure to amaze your friends back home. Here are some of the ups and downs of traveling to this jewel of South America.

Many agents cut the large country into quadrants when discussing vacation options. Enjoy the vibrant urban center Caracás, the beaches of Isla Margarita, the Andigo Mountains in the west, or the tropical woods of Llanos.

If you choose the urban route, Caracás is known for its salsa clubs and world-class hotels and shopping. There are regional festivals to walk through, arts and crafts to buy, and an eclectic choice of restaurants to visit. Unfortunately, there is a substantially high crime rate here also. Take the local’s advice and avoid certain streets at night and wear jeans around the city instead of shorts to look more like a local would.

The beaches offer surf, fresh seafood, and miles of seclusion and relaxation. El Yague offers one of the best spots in the world for windsurfing, and the isolated beaches of Sucre are worth the effort to visit as you will find crystal-clear water and gold sands. Mochima National Park offers countless islands with protected bays that are perfect for dolphin, turtle and manta-ray snorkeling.

The countryside offers resorts in the middle of the forests, where you can eat fresh papaya off the trees and see monkeys and wild horses. There are also mountains to climb and huge waterfalls, such as Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfall.

Avoid the public hospitals and trade USD with locals as they offer a better exchange rate. Drink Polar beer, the world’s 17th largest distributor of cerbeza. Enjoy soccer matches and premium baseball games. And most of all, have fun while in Venezuela.

Traveling Asia on a Budget

Pha That Luang, Laos.


As Europe’s economy stabilizes, the euro’s value has increased against the dollar. With this in mind, many American tourists are looking at Asia as a viable place to get a great vacation on a budget. Here are some of the best places to get a big bang for your buck in Asia.

Philippines

Countless miles of coastline as well as upscale shopping and lodging at budget prices put the Philippines at the top of our list. Add in a people receptive to American travelers and you have a great but uncommon destination.

Malaysia

More expensive to visit than Thailand but cheaper than Singapore, Malaysia also offers miles of beaches and friendly people. The food is excellent, and English is
widely spoken.

Laos

Laos is a backpackers dream. The kip has very little value against the dollar, and the relaxed pace screams vacation. The temples, natural beauty and peaceful vibe are a tonic to Westerners.

Cambodia

Many Westerners don’t know what to think of Cambodia. A rampant underground sex trade keeps many people away, but there’s more to see here than that. Investors around the world are building hotels here, and it has more of a modern feel than most of southwest Asia.

Vietnam

Visit the place that most Americans find exotic and dangerous, and you’ll it much more inviting than history would suggest. The current exchange rate is 16,000 dong to one USD, which means the best lodging, food and shopping can all be had for incredibly low prices. Throw in museums, nightlife and a vibrant, youthful energy and you have perhaps the best mix of cheap prices and exciting attractions in all of Asia.