Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Off the Beaten Track in Germany: Cologne

While the cities of Florence and Venice fight the locks of Love, Cologne celebrates this
'tradition' and adds the bridge tour to your list of must see's in Cologne

How many locks are there?

If you don't have a lock, you can leave a message

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Off the Beaten Path in Germany

Going outside your comfort zone is difficult
 for many of us.

As a solo traveler I have challenges every day I am on the road exploring and experiencing new places.

My Italian blog, Home to Italy rewards me with several months each year in a country that has many secrets to share with this Italian American.  

In April I will return to Germany for the first time in  years.  My short previous visit was part of the college '21 days' to see all of Europe trip.  One quick stop and a great train ride south to Switzerland.

This adventure covers 8 cities considered off the beaten track:
Munster, Koblenz, Wiesbaden, Wurzburg, Regensburg, Augsburg, Heidelberg and Trier.     

If you know Germany and can suggest the oldest cake store in town, what hand made product the town is known for or even a tradition/festival I can experience, please share.

Watch for posts from Germany in April!   A new country, a new experience, a big step outside the comfort zone.  I do not speak German!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

No Solo Supplements: Lion World Travel

A Press Release I received from Google sharde GREAT NEWS
for Solo Travelers

Lion World Travel Caters to Passengers Looking for Single Rooms

  1   0   0   93 Print
| Source: Lion World Travel
DELRAY BEACH, FL, April 7, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lion World Travel is now offering special deals on several itineraries where there is either no single supplement (or in some cases extremely low supplement) for single travelers.

"The single traveler demographic is increasing and now forms a significant portion of the leisure travel market," said Lucille Sive, President of Lion World Travel. "Too often, single travelers must contend with an added expense just for traveling solo. Lion World Travel wants to better serve those clients by waiving the single supplements on some of our most spectacular, well-known deals."

Single travelers may prefer to travel alone, or have little choice but to do so. Many holiday makers enjoy traveling solo as they find this is the best way to tailor their own experiences. Some tourists enjoy traveling with a friend but prefer the privacy of their own room. As part of a family or group, a person may be the third or fifth traveler requiring a single room.

Most of the tourism industry has not catered to the needs of single travelers. Although single supplements appear unfair, travel providers calculate costs of lodging and transportation based on two travelers as this is the most common way to travel. Hotels reason that the operating costs of running a room are the same regardless of how many people occupy the room, so the room price will remain the same or similar, no matter if there are one or two people in the room. Therefore, the per-person rate is based on half of the room rate (which would typically be the additional charge for single travelers).

Lion World Travel is pleased to offer a selection of special deals where single supplements are waived, resulting in a truly affordable vacation.

These specials feature wonderful itineraries to some of the most popular destinations in Africa. Solo travelers should take advantage of these opportunities and travel at the same individual price as the couple in the room next door!

Lion World Travel is always adding new itineraries and travel dates, so please check the single room specials section on the website to view the applicable itineraries. Also be sure to check out Sive's blog where she addresses women traveling solo to Africa.
For details and reservations, please contact Lion World Travel at 1-800-387-2706 to speak to one of their Africa specialists, or visit www.lionworldtravel.com.

About Lion World Travel
Lion World Travel is the leading tour operator from North America specializing in group and individual tours to Southern and East Africa, and is a member of the renowned Travel Corporation, which also includes: Trafalgar Tours, Contiki, Brendan Vacations, Insight Vacations, The Red Carnation Hotel Collection and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection. In its 50th year, clients continue to benefit from Lion World Travels' destination knowledge, expertise, and emphasis on customer service. With their safari specialists all having first-hand knowledge of Africa, Lion World Travel can confidently assist clients in creating an African adventure that fits their specific interests as well as their budget. Extraordinary service, affordable luxury and value for money are what keep clients coming back to Lion World Travel.
Winner of the South African Tourism Ubuntu Awards "Top Producing Tour Operator for North America" for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014

Winner of "Certificate of Excellence for TripAdvisor" for 2014

Winner of the South African Airways "Award of Excellence in Travel and Tourism for North America" for 2012
About The TreadRight Foundation
Created as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation's family of brands, The TreadRight Foundation is a not-for-profit working to ensure the environment and communities we visit remain vibrant for generations to come. To date, TreadRight has helped support more than 35 sustainable tourism projects worldwide. The foundation's guiding principle is to encourage sustainable tourism development through conservation, leadership and support for communities.

TreadRight's past project partners include WWF, Conservation International and The National Trust in the UK. Current initiatives include sponsoring the National Geographic Society's inaugural "World Legacy Awards," helping to combat wildlife crime with WildAid, and empowering individuals with the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise.

To learn more about our past and current work at TreadRight, please visit us at TreadRight.org.
Susan Chou
Public Relations Coordinator
Twitter: @Susan_TravCorp
E-mail: Susan.Chou(at)TravCorpUSA.com

Arnelle Kendall
Vice President of Public Relations
Twitter: @ArnelleKendall
E-mail: Arnelle.Kendall(at)TravCorpUSA.com

The Travel Corporation 
Public Relations Office
636 East Atlantic Avenue Suite 203
Delray Beach, FL 33483
Telephone: 561.330.0850

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

German Trains: So many rules!

The German Train System:   will I need a PHD to understand all this?

After I received the following instructions on HOW to use the train in German, I thought this may help other solo travelers.

Is this your first time on German trains? If yes, here are some useful instructions:
Duesseldorf train station is as busy as an airport terminal

1. The track, from which the train leaves is already known. Other than in the States, where you sometimes don't know, from which track the train will leave. If there are track changes (happening very few times), just watch the crowds. If they are moving all of a sudden after someone announced something, just ask someone why!

2. I will also include an intermediate stop list, which you will receive in Muenster. This is important, so you know, when to get up and get ready to disembark the train. Trains in Germany usually don't stop for more than 2-3 minutes at the train station.

3. If you really get lost and there is nobody who is able to help you, either walk to the German Rail Service Center, which is located in every train station, or call me.

4. You will travel 1st class. This is really convenient in German trains. Always watch for a yellow line above the windows. That indicates: Here is first class. 

5. You should always be at least 10 minutes earlier on the platform. As I said, the train won't wait for more than 2-3 minutes. There are two ways, how to know, where the first class coaches will be: 1. There are digital information signs that give you information about the train. Sometimes they show you, where first and second class is. To understand it, you need to know, that platform in Germany are devided into sections: normally A to F.
2. There is also sign somewhere on the platform called "Wagenstandanzeiger" meaning "in which section stops my coach"

Then you also have to watch for the right coach. They have numbers. This is important for your reservation.

Thanks to
Historic Highlights of Germany  for this great information

Wait to see if I have 7 exciting train trip next week!

Diagram of cars for arriving trains: find your car and get on in minutes