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Literary Tour of London – An Experience to Remember

Literary Tour of London – An Experience to Remember

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always dreamed of visiting the city of London. In books, magazines and television shows, they portrayed this city as a bustling hive of activity with a wide array of characters to make you laugh and ponder. I longed to be part of this hive and make friends with all the characters I encountered along the way.

At Christmas time, I could often be found in the kitchen begging my mother to take me this great city for Christmas day. At the time, she used the excuse of ‘we have no money to spend on trips like that’ and with this reply, I would skulk off to my bedroom and resume my daydream of the Queen’s guards and red double decker buses.

The moment I completed my schooling and was free of my parents clutches, I purchased a return train ticket to London and packed my bags, ready for the great adventure that lay ahead.

I took one of those famous black cabs to the center of London. This in inself was most exciting to me. My taxi driver handed me a leaflet of all the tours available around London. The wide range of tours available caused me to be faced with a difficult decision. What should I do?

Finally, after much debate, I decided to enroll on a literary tour of London. As a child, I was inspired by the works of Dickens, Keats and of course, Shakesphere. This tour was an experience that I could not refuse.

The tour began at 2.30 pm and a small group of us were greeted by an elderly gentleman. He guided us along the streets of London, away from the traditional route. I could almost feel the souls of the writers that had written their famed stories along these tracks.

My heart thumped against my chest as we were guided into the only surviving part of Marshalsea Prison where Charles Dickens father was held. We were also shown Little Dorrit Court which was named after little Amy Dorrit who was born in Marshalsea Prison in the early 19th century.

To my surprise, we also visited St. Pauls Cathedral and the Globe Theater which was a stunning replica of Shakesphere’s Bard Theater.

Without doubt, the hours I spent on this tour, were the greatest two hours of my life. I couldn’t believe that I was finally living my dream and on a tour that allowed me to experience London’s greatest literary geniuses.…

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Lowest Airfare

The 50 Finest Travel Websites

I do plenty of travel which prompts plenty of travel research. Let’s highlight a number of features of the sites before moving into the nitty-gritty of travel details. Travelocity presents some nice options for travelers, including a $50 credit and refund of the difference if you’ll find a cheaper value on a flight, rental automobile or cruise within 24 hours of booking.\n\nYou can even view many alternative motels at your destination and think about pictures and evaluations by previous friends. If you’re not traveling in the course of the busiest instances you possibly can normally get a fantastic last-minute deal for the reason that airlines and motels are attempting to fill those empty seats and resort rooms.\n\nNational Geographic is likely one of the finest adventure travel sites. The websites of each company has a listing of its adventure trips, with its itineraries, prices and pictures to provide you a ‘feel’ of the adventure. If you’re not yet in the travel business but wish to get a taster, you can even purchase a turnkey travel affiliate website.\n\nThat means, these sites do not just provide access to the finances airlines, but additionally to the most effective and inexpensive motels in numerous international locations. 1. These flight booking websites know of the most effective finances airlines there are.\n\nThis data helps the visitors in making the proper alternative of motels that supply all the luxuries and amenities throughout the bundle deal. These sites are often updated to supply accurate data to all purchasers. If the traveler is confused or just isn’t in a position to make a decision, he can flick thru sites that supply rates as well as the images, areas and services.…

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Surrogacy Tourism: Laws Vary From Country to Country

Surrogacy Tourism: Laws Vary From Country to Country

After sightseeing and medical tourism, the latest reason for people to travel to foreign countries is surrogacy. In recent years surrogacy has become a fascinating option in the world of fertility treatment, making it possible for infertile women to legally pursue their dreams of building families through a surrogate mother.

Surrogacy could be of great help where the woman is not able to produce a child, either due to the infertility or is missing part of her uterus. In this arrangement, the egg from the woman and the sperm from her male partner are taken and fertilized externally. The laboratory-created embryos are transferred to another woman’s (the surrogate) womb.

In some cases, a donor egg or sperm may be used in conjunction with the commissioning father’s sperm or mother’s egg in order to form an embryo.

Surrogacy: The Phenomenon

The surrogacy tourism is skyrocketing rapidly around the world, thanks to the dramatic increase in the number of childless and infertile people who are now increasingly opting for surrogacy. Many of these infertile patients have started seeking inexpensive surrogacy arrangement in low and middle-income countries.

Hospitals and fertility clinics in countries like India, Mexico and Thailand specialize in fertility treatments, such as IVF, IUI, ICSI and artificial insemination.

Also, there is an abundance of surrogacy clinics and LGBT friendly facilities in these countries that offer surrogacy services to straight and same sex couples. India, specifically, has become the land of opportunity for childless couples and singles who wish to experience the joys of parenthood, thanks to the surprisingly cheaper cost of surrogacy, fewer legal hassles, easy availability of surrogates and hassle-free procedure in this newly industrialized Asian country.

By some estimates, over 2 million babies are born via surrogate mothers around the world. In the United States, an estimated 1,400 babies are arriving via surrogacy every year, and it has been reported that between 1977 and 1992 approximately 5,000 surrogate births took place in the country. In 2010, surrogate mothers in India gave birth to an estimated 1500 babies for domestic and foreign people.

Apart from the cost and ease of procedure, another factor that gave a significant boost to surrogacy tourism is the surrogacy legislation. As the laws are so complex and restrictive in many European and Western countries, a number of hopeful parents are turning to other countries where surrogates are permitted to receive money in exchange for their services.

Laws in Different CountriesAround the world, each country has individual laws and regulations regarding surrogacy and its commercialization.

Several countries including Egypt, France, Germany, the Netherlands and some states of the United States have criminalized paid surrogacy, mainly due to the concerns that women may be coerced, or even forced, to become surrogates.

In the United States, laws for surrogacy differ greatly from state to state. The US states including California, Illinois, Arkansas, and Maryland, facilitate surrogacy and surrogacy contracts. The states that have restricted the practice of paid surrogacy include New York, Michigan, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Washington.

In France, Italy and Iceland both kinds of surrogacy, commercial or altruistic, is a criminal offense.

In Hungary, it is an offence to make or receive payment for surrogacy and advertising or arranging a surrogate mother for money is a criminal offence.

Across Australia the laws vary by states, with some having no legislation governing surrogacy at all. In Queensland, surrogacy is illegal, while in Tasmania paid surrogacy is an offence, and in South Australia and Victoria commercial surrogacy is illegal.

In New Zealand, surrogate mothers are not allowed to accept payment, but surrogacy without any payment is lawful.

In Hong Kong, paying a surrogate is an offense under the Human Reproductive Technology Ordinance 2000.

In the United Kingdom, commercial surrogacy is unlawful, strictly prohibited by the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985.…

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General Article

Reporting Live From Suzhou

Reporting Live From Suzhou

For hiking, you go to the Great Wall. For adventure, you travel the Silk Road. For cuisine, you eat in Guangdong. For culture, gardens and canals, you go travel to Suzhou.

Now I am not talking your typical back yard type garden, your local neighbourhood garden or even your home city’s best showcase garden. I’m talking about classic gardens hundreds of years old that have been the inspiring China’s greatest poets and scholars for centuries. I’m talking about the classic gardens of Suzhou.

I have to be honest with you. I’m not the garden type and would rather take a trip to the dentist than pull weeds and plant flowers. Suzhou’s gardens though were amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting them and exploring Suzhou.

Clueless Foreigners and Suzhou Taxis

The first step was to get to Suzhou which was easy. A three hour train ride from Hangzhou to Suzhou that arrived in Suzhou at around 9pm. With hostel directions carefully memorized, I charged ahead of the crowd, disdained the taxi rank and headed for the street to catch a taxi. Everyone knows that you waste time queuing at taxi ranks. Well apparently not in Suzhou.

20 minutes and a lot of walking later I finally managed to flag down a taxi. The driver told me the hostel was less than a 10 minute walk and gave me instructions to get there by foot. The luck of fools and an honest taxi driver.

New Friends & the Garden of Cultivation

While checking in at the hostel I met Xiao Qie from Liaoning Province who worked at the hostel. We had a chat about Suzhou’s gardens and he invited me to visit Tiger Hill (Suzhou’s top travel spot) the next morning with him and two of friends from Hebei Province. Cool. Great to meet people have some company.

The next morning Xiao Qie heard that Tiger Hill was closed for renovations so we visited the Garden of Cultivation, one of Suzhou’s less famous gardens.

Despite its lack of fame, the Garden of Cultivation was charming, attractive and very cheap at 10rmb.

After leaving the garden we had 3.5rmb noodles for lunch and wandered through the back streets of Suzhou’s old inner city.

Lingering Garden

That afternoon I said goodbye to Xiao Qie and his friends and visited Lingering Garden and it was amazing. The pond, grounds, trees, plants, rock formations, buildings, performances…… It was all truly awesome. The high light was a performer playing a zither (love that instrument) in a secluded area of the garden with no other tourist around.

Lion Grove Garden

The plan for the next day was sort out bus/train tickets, visit Lion Grove Garden and take the evening bus to Zhouzhuang, China’s most popular water town and right next to Suzhou. Zhouzhuang is very crowded during the day so the best way to see it is it arrive at night, sleep over and see it early in the morning.

Lion Grove Garden is not in the same league as Lingering Garden but still very enjoyable to visit and the rock grottoes/mazes are fascinating.

Clueless Foreigners and Bus Stations

My bus to Zhouzhuang was the last one for the night so I made sure I left Lion Grove Garden with heaps of time to walk to the bus station. I’m a travel pro so I knew exactly what I was doing. Along the way I asked a lady on the street to confirm the direction of the bus station. She pointed in the right direction BUT said it would take 30 minutes to walk there. 30 minutes??? Time to panic. I only 30 minutes at that stage to catch the last bus. All hostels are booked out on a Friday night and if I missed that bus, I’d end up sleeping on a park bench.

Could not see any taxis or bus stops so I started running. Back pack and camera bag bouncing wildly, I pounded the pavements madly racing towards the station. With sweat poring and gasping for breath, I arrived at the bus station with 10 minutes to spare. Slowing down to a more dignified walk and feeling very proud of my self, I casually sauntered up to the ticket counter with ticket in hand.

The ticket inspector inspected the ticket and politely told me I was at the wrong bus station. WRONG BUS STATION???? Nooooo!!!!!! My heart sank. I must have looked pretty pathetic because the inspector immediately asked if I would like to change my ticket for a bus leaving that bus station for Zhouzhuang in 15 minutes. YES YES YES, please change the ticket. So if you catch a bus from Suzhou to Zhouzhuang, don’t rely on a fool’s luck, go to the right bus station.

Welcome to Zhouzhuang, …

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Cheap Airfare

How To Build A Travel Website With Free Website Building Tools

Adventure travel sites are the websites which are supposed to present helpful planning ideas and illustrate actual experiences concerning completely different adventure destinations on the planet. A number of the finest travel websites on which you would compile data that can assist you plan and guide your vacation are Expedia, Orbitz, Hotwire, and TripAdvisor. These sites are head and shoulders above the remainder if you end up attempting to plan that excellent dream vacation and get the most effective prices.\n\nThis is likely one of the most profitable and in style ways you may get started earning money online. Turnkey travel websites make setting yourself up online fast and simple for the reason that website has already been created in your use. Some turnkey website providers also prepare the client on tips on how to promote the website to attract visitors.\n\nThus, purchasers need not to rummage the vast Internet to search out the most effective deals. 2. As aforementioned, these websites usually are not limited to air tickets alone. To cater the growing demand of the purchasers for a one-stop shop, most sites have included a listing of both economical and splendid motels in the country where one is certain to go.\n\nThe data concerning the motels, flights and other reservations is on the market with a little analysis online. The websites also enable the purchasers to make queries regarding the bundle deals. Redeeming air miles (also referred to as frequent flier miles) for a free ticket brought satisfaction for the traveler and ensured brand loyalty for the airlines.…

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Vacation Packages

Ideas For Finding Most interesting Online Travel Sites

Finding low-cost airfares is simple to do when you observe some fundamental pointers and use the most effective travel sites. You may also find low airfares, free travel guides, worldwide holiday┬árental listings, in style forums with advice about just about every destination, and more. You possibly can easily evaluate these high sites by selecting when and where you wish to go and coming into that data into any of these web site’s search packing containers for immediate results.\n\nWhen you’re on the lookout for a novel experience on your vacation, you have to find other people who get pleasure from the same destinations. Have a look at personal websites and see what folks suggest. In my experience, a number of the finest travel websites are blogs.\n\nUnfortunately, once the discount travel websites have your money there may be very little I can do to resolve any issues that arise. As a travel agent, when I am involved in the planning of my purchasers vacations, I can provide many helpful extras and companies which might be unavailable to you when booking by way of a discount internet travel website.\n\nTravel sites rely heavily on photos and written descriptions by fellow travelers. It is a good time to drag out your travel pictures and prepare them for the net. If you’re making ready a travel web site on a place you haven’t visited yourself, you possibly can at all times find travel related pictures and articles you need to use on sites corresponding to EzineArticles and Flickr.\n\nYou can even find interviews from travel consultants and video reveals about food trips. You would possibly find something here that may allow you to on your next vacation or inspire you on planning for a new trip. – This website helps you intend in your trip to considered one of more than 90 destinations.\n\nIn addition, map sites like provide driving instructions and data on motels, sights, and dining along the way in which and likewise at your ultimate destination. Yet it presents a number of the sightseeing benefits of traveling by automobile, but with an added pace factor.…

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How to Choose a Student Travel Company

How to Choose a Student Travel Company

Presently, high school and middle school teachers are constantly being solicited by student travel companies wanting to take their student group on a tour either within the United States or abroad. In each school system, there are many groups who like to travel including band, chorus, orchestra, dance, science, history, class trips and more. The rush of excitement one faces when planning a tour, though, can overshadow the more important question of “Which student travel company is reliable and safe to partner with?” In determining which company to choose, one should ask the following questions before making an informed decision:

Is the tour company a member of any association or organization that advocates excellence in student travel?

The student tour operator must be a member of an organization/association that is committed to integrity, honesty, value and service. Associations like the Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA), the American Bus Association (ABA), the National Tour Association (NTA) and Music Educators National Conference (MENC) are just a few associations that meet these requirements.

What kind of Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating does the company have?

This is where you can do your homework. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see what kind of overall score the company has. Also, check all reviews and complaints. If there are a lot of complaints or negative reviews, one should probably steer clear of the company in question. On the flip side, if a company has an A+ rating with positive reviews, then this company might warrant a phone call. Moreover, you can check the search engines for reviews and/or complaints as well.

Is the student travel company a full-service company and do they customize trips?

There are many student tour operators who only sell “canned” trips. Steer clear of this type of operator! They want you to travel using their itinerary, in which they receive hefty incentives from their suppliers for booking a large amount of groups. Unfortunately, most of these companies do not pass these savings and incentives on to you. I suggest choosing a travel company that customizes your trip, your way. Choose a company that provides many options and will meet your curriculum and budgetary needs. Also, make sure the company will plan everything from A to Z providing you with a worry-free trip. This will give you peace-of-mind.

Does the company book reputable vendors?

Choose a company that books only late model motor coaches, books interior corridor hotels, provides security in the hotel, separates male and females on different hotel floors, arranges group dining in reputable restaurants, gives you the option of travel insurance and more. Choose a company that is honest, provides safe and reliable tours and offers specific guidelines on the itinerary, covering all aspects of the trip.

Does the company provide its own tour guide to accompany the group?

The tour guide should accompany the group from the beginning of the trip to the end to oversee all of the arrangements including transportation, accommodations, meals, acquiring attraction tickets and more. A qualified tour guide will help in making one’s trip run smoothly.

Does the tour guide know the destination?

For the protection of you and your group, you should choose a company that employs trained guides with certification from schools such as the International Tour Management Institute, a prestigious school specifically accredited for training tour guides. These trained guides not only will know your destination, but are knowledgeable, experienced, friendly and efficient as well.

Overall, do your homework. Ask questions, read brochures, check out websites, call the competing student tour operator companies and find out what to expect from each. By asking the above-mentioned questions, one should be able to narrow down the choices to a few student travel companies. Ask for bids and choose a company that will best suit your travel needs, curriculum requirements and budget. Always make sure you select a safe and reliable company that will customize your trip, your way and provide you with excellent service.…