Archive for June, 2009

Yosemite National Park: A True Encounter with Nature

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Michael1Located in east central California, Yosemite National Park is a place that will remain in your memory for a lifetime. And there is a good reason for that. Its majestic views along with its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams and most of all its internationally recognized Giant Sequoia groves, make this biologically diverse park a favorite among tourists worldwide.  The park, which was designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, is visited each year by an average of 3.5 million vacationers. Although the park covers an area of about 1,189 square miles most visitors spend their time in the seven miles that comprise the Yosemite Valley.

When visiting this majestic park, expect to find all kinds of outdoor entertainment possibilities. Hiking is one of the most popular activities in the park and there are over 800 miles of trails available to hikers ranging from easy strolls to multiple day backpack trips for the more advanced. I personally recommend experiencing other portions of the park besides Yosemite Valley. If you plan an overnight backpack trip keep in mind that you need a wilderness permit and approved bear resistant food storage. You can find free information is available from the Park Service in Yosemite with details on all the requirements, trail maps and much more.

Rock climbing and biking are other popular pastimes in the park. If you decide to try biking, you will find bicycle rentals in Yosemite Valley from spring to fall and over 12 miles of paved bike paths. You can also ride on regularMichael2 roads, however off-trail riding and mountain biking are not permitted. If you are visiting with kids keep in mind that helmets are required by law for children under 18 years of age. If you prefer rock climbing you will not be disappointed. The park played an important role in the development of rock climbing as a sport and one of its campgrounds is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Lessons are also available if you wish to take them.

If you visit during the winter months —mid-December through early April—you will probably find several roads closed due to the heavy snow. The Yosemite Valley however, is open year-round and you will be able to enjoy downhill skiing at the Badger Pass Ski Area, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. As with hiking, if you are planning a backcountry overnight ski trip, make sure to have a wilderness permit, as it is required.

As far as accommodations you will not have a problem finding a suitable option for you and your family or friends in Yosemite. You will not have a hard time finding everything from beautiful Yosemite vacation homes, cozy Yosemite bed and breakfasts and Yosemite cabins with great views that will ensure a comfortable and memorable vacation!

The Most Common Traveling Scams

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

3When traveling to a foreign country and specially one with a foreign language, travelers are exposed to all kinds of possible scams. Being aware of them and staying alert is the best way to avoid getting ripped off. Scams are usually classified in into three different categories: overcharging, deceiving and simply outright theft.  Whenever possible, do your homework and research your future destination. Try to know in advance how much things like a taxi ride cost, and which things may be subject to scam. Nowadays it is very easy to get this information as there are numerous travel blogs and online communities that can help you with this task.
If you are not able to get this information, then common sense is a good option. Inform your travel companion of your itinerary, try to avoid answering simple questions to strangers and don’t carry big amounts of cash and valuable things with you. Remember you are not required to be polite, instead be a little suspicious of extremely helpful people; it might save you from being robbed.

Too Friendly to Be True?

Friendly locals are one of the most common scam strategies. Based on the idea that you will rely on the scammer’s “local knowledge,” these people will give you advice that is actually deceptive. An example of this scam strategy can be those people that offer to get you a good deal but “under the table” on something that you were not really asking for a discount. Instead of giving you a good deal they sell you a fake item. Usually most of them simply get you to pay more on the item of what you should really pay, so if people are being too helpful, it might just be too friendly to be true.

Too Much for a Good

This scam strategy is very similar to the previous one. With this strategy scammers base on the tourist’s ignorance of local prices and get you to pay over the market rate for goods. A good example for this scam is taxi rides. In many countries taxi rides can be “negotiated” between the taxi driver and the passenger. Just because you look foreign or because they hear you speak another language, taxi drivers may try to overcharge a ride just to see if you pay whatever they say. This is one of those situations in which being well informed about local prices becomes very handy.4

Too Pretty to Be True?

In this scam, scammers trap you in a bad situation and force you to pay money to get out of it. Nightlife tours offered by attractive women are an example of such situation. Good looking and well dressed girls approach gentlemen with the excuse of having some drinks. Those who accept may end up at a deserted joint with a bill that runs into thousands and with  no way out other than paying the bill. So, if you want to go for some drinks with a pretty girl beware, because she might just be too pretty to be true!

Rentalo and Travel Guard Team Up to Offer Travel Insurance Packages

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

If traveling has always been a stressful situation for you; it is about time to stop stressing! Thinking in our valued travelers we have decided to partner with Travel Guard, one of the nation’s leading providers of travel insurance and assistance to offer our visitors two specially designed insurance plans that will help mitigate travel concerns of booking any vacation travel; the Vacation Rental Protection Plan and the Accidental Rental Damage Insurance.

The idea of these plans is to cover all kinds of unexpected events that cause problems for vacationers that use Rentalo.com. Such things like emergency medical expenses, medical evacuation, lost or delayed baggage, travel cancellations or delays caused by unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather (including hurricanes) and high security deposit fees should no longer be a concern.

The Vacation Rental Protection Plan protects all pre-paid and non-refundable travel expenses (airfare, lodging — even if not booked via Rentalo–, cruise, car rental, tours, etc) in case your travel plans don’t go as expected. You must pay for this plan at least 24 hours prior to trip departure. Visit http://rentalo.com/docs/insurance.html to learn more about this Travel Insurance Plan.

The Accidental Rental Damage Insurance Plan has been especially designed to allow property owners and/or managers to make this coverage available to travelers in lieu of requiring a security deposit. Costs vary from $45USD to $69USD which can be significantly lower than many security deposits required by owners. For more information about this Travel Insurance Plan visit: http://rentalo.com/docs/insurance.html.

Arthur Frommer Promotes Rentalo and Wor’s Summer Giveaway

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Arthur Frommer, the famous travel writer and publisher, founder of the Frommer’s series of travel guides has promoted Rentalo.com and Wor’s Summer vacation rental contest in his blog and Travel Show. Readers of the Arthur Frommer Online Community can see information about the giveaway in Frommer’s blog.

The contest, which has already awarded two lucky WOR listeners with a one-week stay in a beautiful vacation home in The Hamptons and Cape Cod, will end this coming Thursday June 11th with the last giveaway of a five bedroom Martha’s Vineyard ocean view home in the John Gambling Show. The winner will enjoy the vacation rental during the week of August 30th through September 6th.

Those who still want to participate in the drawing can do so by completing the form at: http://www.wor710.com/pages/4397472.php. There is little time to do so, so hurry up!

Air France Missing Plane

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

On behalf of the Rentalo team we would like to express our empathy, condolences and support to the families of the victims involved in this tragic accident.

Surely this is a sad moment for the entire travel industry.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Rentalo Team