Posted by: condominiumtravelclub | May 4, 2012

An Important Message from the President of Condo Travel Club

Condominium Travel Club strongly supports the Travel Industry.  Period.

To this end, we have a ‘No Pilfer Policy’ with regard to other agency’s commissions.

Since our founding in 1988, it has always been our mission is to find our members the best prices possible for travel, but we will not steal commissions from other travel agencies to do so.

Travel agencies and the many agents who work in this industry are a vital part of our economy.  They spend time, monetary resources, and much effort to book travel and provide their clients with great service.  We respect that effort and want our fellow agencies to be rewarded for their hard work.

If you become a member of Condo Travel Club, and you already have a vacation booked through a competing agency, you will have to wait until your next trip to use our services.

I’m sure you will agree: it is more than OK to make money in America, especially when you have earned it.

We thank all of our members for their continued support and understanding.

Sincerely,

Patrick Hartough, President
Condominium Travel Club

Posted by: condominiumtravelclub | August 2, 2011

9 Unique Hotel Spa Treatments

Looking for that unique spa experience for your next vacation? Ever wonder what it would be like to experience a spa treatment with gold, chocolate, wine or even jojoba beans? Well this list will give you some great hotel spa treatments for your next vacation.

Charleston Place – Charleston, South Carolina

Treatment: Luxe 24 Karat Gold Facial & Diamond Radiance Facial

Charleston Place offers two of the most luxurious spa treatments a hotel can offer with its Luxe 24 Karat Gold Facial and the Diamond Radiance Facial. The Luxe 24 Karat Gold Facial combines 24 Karat Gold with innovative Japanese technology to give your skin a glowing, radiant look. While the Diamond Radiance Facial helps bring yourself back to a younger and more youthful appearance.

Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort Las Cabos – Los Cabos, Mexico

Treatment: Caviar Facial

The Cactus Spa at Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort Las Cabos offers an 80 minute age-defying Caviar Facial that will repair, regenerate and promote cell turnover — and has the added benefits of botox in a topical form. Who says Caviar is just for eating?

The Westin Resort & Casino, Aruba – Aruba

Treatment: Chocolate Wrap

The Chocolate Wrap from the Westin Resort & Casino, Aruba utilizes exfoliation and hydration crème. The lactic acid in milk is used to bring out the toxins to the surface of the skin so that it can easily be washed away. Besides, doesn’t it just sound appealing to be wrapped in chocolate?

Outrigger Reef Fiji – Sigatoka, Fiji Islands

Treatment: Warm Seashell Massage

The Warm Seashell Massage will help your sore muscles relax, and increases circulation. After your body is lavished with warm scented oils, the palm size shells are combined with a traditional massage for an exceptional massage. This luxurious massage experience comes complete with a traditional hand massage to melt away stress. Honestly, what’s better than seashells while you are relaxing in a beautiful island paradise?

Keswick Hall – Keswick, Virginia

Treatment: The Keswick Reserve

Keswick Hall offers its unique 3-hour spa treatment, The Keswick Reserve, for all of the wine lovers out there. The treatment uses anti-oxidants as an anti-aging method and it begins with a Red Wine greeting. All of the treatments involve different types of wine and combine them into a unique spa experience. The treatments range from a 60 minute grape seed oil massage to a Shiraz body scrub and even to a Red Wine body mask.

Westin Resort & Spa Los Cabos – Los Cabos, Mexico

Treatment: Jojoba Beans Exfoliation

If you are looking for a change from the common spa practices then try the Jojoba Beans Exfoliation treatment at the Westin Resort & Spa Los Cabos. This invigorating spa treatment eliminates dead and dry skin to give that smooth, soft feeling back. This is the ideal treatment for sensitive skin prior to any body treatment.

Le Méridien Cancun Resort & Spa – Cancun, Mexico

Treatment: Mayan Treat

The Mayan Treat is a chocolate and coffee based treatment offered by Le Méridien Cancun Resort & Spa. Enjoy coffee and chocolate with all the amenities of a traditional massage, body wrap, and exfoliation. This is an absolutely delicious experience which can be experienced in either 50 or 80 minutes and is a must for all coffee and chocolate lovers.

The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Treatment: Seaweed Wrap with Guarana

The Westin Resort & Spa, Puerto Vallarta offers guests a natural seaweed wrap to help them unwind. The seaweed wrap, rich in minerals, helps detoxify the system and provides a firm up of the skin. The wrap hydrates the dry skin and relieves stress as your body releases its toxins and provides a relaxing and soothing experience.

Maroma Hotel – Riviera Maya, Mexico

Treatment: Aphrodisiac’s Chocolate Invigoration

Looking for something to do as a couple on vacation? Look no further than Maroma Hotel, Riviera Maya. This hotel offers its Aphrodisiac’s Chocolate Invigoration for a wonderful experience for couples. Both of your bodies will feel the internal heat and the chocolaty aromas. Your entire bodies will be exfoliated with natural cocoa. 100% pure chocolate and coconut crème is used and your body feels the heat as you are massaged by this warm, pure chocolate.

Posted by: condominiumtravelclub | June 21, 2011

Falling in Love with Waterfalls

MSNBC named the “10 Most Beautiful Waterfalls,” and what a pleasant surprise to find that you can see six of them on select Collette Vacations’ tours!

  1. Marvell at the Plitvice Lakes, where 16 lakes are connected by cascades and waterfalls on the Discover Croatia tour.
  2. Explore the massive Iguazu Falls in the heart of the rainforest during the Discover South America tour.
  3. While on the California Coast, see the sights, landmarks, and waterfalls that make California so unforgettable at Yosemite National Park.
  4. Take a walking tour of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the World during Exploration’s Namibia and Botswanasmall group tour.
  5. Discover one of Iceland’s greatest natural wonders, the two-tiered Gullfoss Waterfall on the Wonders of Iceland tour.
  6. Experience the thundering and awe-inspiring Niagara Falls aboard the Maid of the Mist on Collette’s Best of Eastern Canada tour.

The other waterfalls named were: Hanakapi’ai Falls in Hawaii; Sutherland Falls in New Zealand; Angel Falls in Venezuela; and Langfoss Waterfall in Norway – of which Collette travels to all of these destinations except Venezuela. Do you think MSNBC’s list could be added to? Where are your favorite waterfalls located?

Posted by: condominiumtravelclub | May 31, 2011

A Taste of the West Coast: Palm Springs California

The main drag through Palm Springs is North Palm Canyon Drive. Shopping the antique and specialty shops along this route is a popular pastime. Every Thursday the road is closed to vehicles, and local merchants fill the streets with goods and fresh produce, such as the plump dates that grow especially well in the valley. Sunbathing on one of the 355 days of annual sunshine is another popular pastime, and at night, the streets come to life with dance clubs, stage shows, and concerts. Palm Springs is located in south central California along I-10, about two hours from Los Angeles or San Diego.

Six must-do tasks for any visitor to Palm Springs.

Take the Tram. A “must see” while visiting Palm Springs, you’ll be taken on a genuine Swiss tram car to the top of Mount San Jacinto – 8,516 feet above the valley. There you are transported to the threshold of the 13,000 acre Mt. San Jacinto Wilderness State Park, with 54 miles of biking trails, cross country skiing, and magnificent views of Coachella Valley below. Read More…

Posted by: condominiumtravelclub | May 24, 2011

The goal of travel is to return transformed..

“It may sound naive, but when you enter a cross-cultural situation, you are by definition an ambassador for your culture. Decency and pride dictate that we present ourselves well, with respect and integrity. Think of every such cultural encounter as a reciprocal obligation. If you make a promise to return to a village, to send a photograph, keep it. Always leave behind more than you bring away, give more than you take. Whether we travel as tourists, journalists, or academic anthropologists, it is our comparative wealth that allows us to be in these places, to have these life-affirming interactions. This is always a privilege but never a right. The goal of travel is to return transformed. And that’s the gift of engagement with another cultural reality.”
–Wade Davis, “On Native Ground,” Condé Nast Traveler, December 2008

Posted by: condominiumtravelclub | May 16, 2011

Wine Tours

Say Cheers to the Perfect Getaway

A tour of any of the great wine country regions of the world is an opportunity to explore culture, history, cuisine and wine in a single trip. Without exception, the scenery is beautiful, the people passionate, and the wine — nothing short of phenomenal.

What is a wine tour? It’s a tour through a region that has developed a substantial vineyard and winery presence. Usually, a wine tour consists of visiting the wineries and tasting rooms to sample their current wines, often paired with food. Sometimes, a tour of the winery itself is included, and visitors can see where the wine is grown, processed, barreled, aged and eventually bottled.

Most people would first think of areas like the Napa Valley region of California or the Burgundy region of France as ideal locations for wine tours, and that’s with good reason, as those are outstanding locations. However, there are vineyards the world-over. For the majority of United States travelers, wine regions are within a few hours driving distance of their homes or an easy weekend fly-drive retreat, provding plenty of options. And if you are looking for a truly great epicurean vacation, you’ll pleasantly discover that the experience ends up being about much more than the wine.

A number of tour operators specialize in regional wine country tours. Chances are, your travel consultant has access to excellently priced tours of wine regions throughout the world, offering a variety of accommodations from luxurious villas to budget hotels. In many wine regions, wineries have formed “wine trails” to make it easy for visitors to find the participating wineries and to sample the wines. Often, tour operators can provide discounted passes to each of the tasting rooms at the different wineries. Along with a good travel consultant, you are sure to create experiences that would be hard to find on your own. On the best tours, you’ll discover small, unknown producers, meet top winemakers and in some cases, even receive an invitation into a home of a vigneron. Top tour operators can give you the opportunity to enjoy meals and tastings as guests of the estates – just one example of the kind of event often not available if you travel on your own, even if you visit the same cellars. However, many tour operators can even arrange independent, self-drive opportunities with the same privileges as their group tours.

Top Regions to Tour

If you want to tour some of the finest wineries and taste some of the world’s finest wines, certain regions are considered the regions to tour. They consistently produce excellent wines year after year, and some have been doing so for literally thousands of years.

Tuscan, Italy – Italy’s most famous wine region has over 157,000 acres of vineyards throughout its picturesque countryside. The Italians have been making wine for thousands of years, and Italy boasts the largest output of wine in the world. Its climate and soil are ideal for growing grapes, and nowhere is the setting more ideal than Tuscany. The region is most famous for producing Chianti, a wine that pairs naturally with most Italian foods.

Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhone, France – France has many wine growing regions, and each is worth a visit. The Burgundy region is especially popular because it is legendary for producing both excellent red and white wines. The rich history of wine making dates back to when the Romans first invaded the area. Visitors can tour old and new wineries that produce several well-known wines like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Beaujolais.

Australia – In the past few decades, Australia has emerged as one of the fastest growing wine regions in the world. Although many wineries have been around for over a hundred years, the public has only recently taken a serious interest in this region. More than 70 wineries in the New South Wales region are located just a few hours drive from Sydney. Wineries here are best known for producing excellent Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc.

USA – In the United States, the most popular region is certainly California’s Napa Valley, which is also one of the world’s newer wine regions. Its wine making history dates back less than 200 years, but those years have seen the birth of more than 260 wineries famous for producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc. Not to be outdone, however, Oregon, Washington State and New York all boast thriving wine industries and vineyards. Smaller regions include the Texas Hill Country, as well as areas in Connecticut, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Germany – German wines have historically been mostly white, made from Riesling grapes more suited to the northern climate. German wines are produced around the Rhine and its tributaries, and the vineyards are sheltered by mountains so steep that while they catch the most sunlight, they are difficult to harvest mechanically. Germany’s 13 regions include Ahr, Baden, Franken, Hessische Bergstrasse, Mittelrhein, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Nahe, Pfalz, Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Saale-Unstrut, Sächsische Weinstrasse and Württemberg.

South Africa – Cape Town is the trailhead of the South African vineyards. The local wine industry has become a global force, producing approximately 3% of the world’s wine production, ranking as 9th largest producer in the world. New wineries are opening at a fast clip. Pinot Noir and Reisling varietals are predominant.

But this list is far from comprehensive. Chile, Spain, Portugal and dozens of other countries have robust wine economies where local vineyards have adapted varietals to changing climates and soil conditions.

Considerations

Tell your travel consultant if you would prefer to travel independently or with a fully-guided tour group. In an independent setting, your agent will create an itinerary of wineries to tour, as well as any special events to attend, transportation, and lodging. You will then be on your own to follow the itinerary, which offers a great deal of flexibility.

A fully-guided tour provides you and other travelers with a knowledge-packed tour of the wine region. You will not have to worry about transportation, and the itinerary will include fixed times to visit wineries and other attractions as well as some free time to enjoy the wineries on your own. A fully-guided tour is an excellent choice for those who are going to regions so large that the options can be overwhelming, or for those who would rather leave transportation and other logistics to someone else. In addition, most tour companies provide a multilingual tour guide able to speak both English and the language of the region.

Remember, too, that you can travel a little more creatively. Hike or bike your way through wine country, and have an experience you could never get from a car or bus!

Prepare for your journey by reading about the region and its wines. Your travel consultant will obtain any materials from your tour operator to assist your studies, including maps, itineraries or brochures. If you’re going to a region where you don’t speak the language, learn a few choice phrases in the language before you go as a courtesy to your hosts.

If you are planning to purchase a lot of wine while you are on your trip and want to ship it back home, research your home’s laws concerning importing alcohol from outside the country. Your wine could sit in customs for days or weeks before delivery, and in the heat of summer, wines could go bad while they are waiting to be delivered.

Many of the great wine regions offer seasonal festivals when it is time to bring out the new wines. Bigger wineries will hold their own festivals, while smaller wineries will often team with others in the region and have a festival where guests can taste the new offerings from all of the wineries in the same location. Travelers who time their wine tours right have a chance to experience a true cultural celebration. Many wine regions also offer activities such as spas, cooking classes, museums, arts and crafts festivals, music festivals and other events – just ask your agent what’s available.

Most wine regions also offer restaurants that showcase both local cuisine and wineries. Also note the growing trend for restaurants that allow you to bring a bottle of your own – visit wineries during the day and choose a favorite bottle or two to enjoy with your meal in the evening.

It’s impossible to come away from a wine tour without also getting a lesson in local culture. Most winery owners are not only passionate about their wine; they are also passionate about the land and region that supports their lifestyle. It is not unusual to hear about an immigrant family that bought a piece of property years ago and was told by their neighbors that they could never operate a successful winery on the land – and who eventually proved them wrong.

Those who choose a wine tour come away with much more than just a few new bottles of wine. They leave having experienced a deeper cultural appreciation of wine and those who make it.

What are you waiting for? Contact Condominium Travel Club and get started.  We’ll help you find the perfect condo or resort in one of the many wine regions.

Posted by: condominiumtravelclub | May 10, 2011

The Most Photographed Places on Earth

By: Gap Adventures

What is the most photographed place on earth? The question is of course impossible to answer and one can only muster a guess. Countless places lay claim to being the most photographed place in the world, including ParisThe Taj Mahal, Walt Disney World, Niagara Falls, Angkor Wat, the Acropolis to name just a small handful.

The only thing that is widely accepted, is that the Sun is the most photographed object (sunsets and sunrises seem to be universally irresistible). But sticking to “planet earth”, let’s take a look at some of the most photographed subjects around the world. Judge for yourself if you consider them “photogenic”.

Here is a checklist of sorts, for people, places and things to photograph on your travels. Some of them are famous, while others may seem a little odd. Either way, whether it’s a bridge or a toilet, some places get all the photographic glory! (Please keep in mind there is no way to verify the following claims.)

  • The Africa “Big Five” (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo) are considered the most photographed animals in the world.
  • La Digue island in the Seychelles claims to be the most photographed island in the world.
  • Santorini is the most photographed island in Greece often considered the most photographed island in Europe.
  • The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is considered to be the most photographed event in the world.
  • Table Mountain is the most photographed landmark in South Africa.
  • Den Lille Havfrue (the little mermaid) from Copenhagen is the most photographed statue in the world.
  • The Golden Gate Bridge is the most photographed US landmark, and most photographed bridge in the world.
  • Designed by Frederick Hundertwasser, the Kawakawa public toilets in New Zealand are the most photographed toilets in the world!
  • Neuschwanstein castle in Germany claims to be the most photographed castle in the world.
  • The Eiffel Tower Paris is considered the most photographed structure in Europe.
  • The Evangeline Oak in Louisiana and the Lone Cyprus tree in California are each touted as the most photographed tree in the world.
  • Ayers Rock is the most photographed sunset in Australia.
  • Abbey Road is often considered the most photographed street in the world.
  • Niagara Falls may be the most photographed waterfall in the world.

If you’re ready to take your own photos, contact Pulaski Tickets Tours Inc to book your next vacation to these pictureque destinations.

Posted by: condominiumtravelclub | April 29, 2011

West Coast of Ireland

 

Travelers to West Ireland find it an easy area to drive and cover, with so much of its beauty and attractiveness right outside the windshield in the countryside. From the rugged western coastline to green stone-walled pastures the vistas are certainly a big part of the journey. But you can also sleep in ancient castles or spend the night in luxury modern spa hotels. You can visit ancient ruins and stone cairns of unknown origin. Whatever your mode of travel, West Ireland will put some magic into your visit to the Emerald Isle.The West Coast region includes some part of the following counties: Sligo, Leitrim, Galway, Mayo, Donegal, Southwest Offaly, Tipperary North, West Cork, Cork City, Kerry, Clare and Limerick.

  • The West Coast of Ireland is the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) region. In some areas all street signs are in “the Irish”. The Gaeltact is spoken over a wide area of West Ireland, especially Kerry, Cork, Mayo, Galway and Donegal and much of the local music, both traditional and modern, is in the native Irish.
  • Visit on the cheap – competitive airfares, bed and breakfasts, trains, ferries and self drives!
  • From North America, fly into either Dublin or Shannon for West Ireland. It’s easy to get around the country!
  • St. Patrick’s “Day” lasts a week in Ireland and their’s no shortage of festivals at other times like the Puck Festival or the Rose of Tralee Festival!
  • Fishing in western Ireland is hard to beat and a favorite outdoor sport of many travelers.
  • Self-drive vacations are easy…but remember to drive on the left and watchout for round-abouts and, in the rural areas, sheep!
  • If either hiking or biking is a favorite pastime, west Ireland boasts hundreds of miles of great countryside and spectacular coastline, including the Cliffs of Moher, just south of the Village of Doolin in County Clare, one of the most photographed locations on the planet.
  • The megaliths of Carrowmore, about 3 miles south-west of Sligo town, are located in the center of the Cúil Irra peninsula and are one of the oldest and largest collections of stone age monuments in Western Europe.
  • Churches and ancient castles dot the landscape like a great outdoor museum. Our favorites? Roscrea Castle, as well as the ruined “Abbey” of Roscommon. Be sure to see Ballyhannan Castle overlooking the River Shannon as well and the chance to spend the night at Dromoland Castle. Of course, you can’t leave out the Blarney Castle.

Are you ready to plan your West Coast of Ireland Getaway? Contact Pulaski Tickets Tours Inc to get started.

Posted by: condominiumtravelclub | April 18, 2011

Have you discovered Australia?

australia1.jpg

Australia boasts many cities rich with culture. Melbourne, the second most populated city on the continent, was named one of the most livable cities in the world; it is home to various festivals like the Melbourne International Arts, Film, and Comedy Festivals, and even the Melbourne Fringe Festival – an independent arts festival hosted yearly.

On the east coast, Sydney awes visitors with its beautiful Sydney Harbour and famous, shell-style Sydney Opera House, both of which have been featured in various movies and children’s flicks – like the 2003 Disney-Pixar animated movie, Finding Nemo.

  • The Great Barrier Reef, a must-see on any visit to Australia, is one of the most mind blowing reefs in the world, spanning over 1,600 miles – a diver’s paradise.
  • For those who prefer land-based excursions, the notorious Australian Outback is a great alternative to water activities. Red hills dot the horizon as far as the eyes can see, inviting visitors to explore the burning sunsets and lush waterholes that spot the landscape.
  • Australia is a very affordable destination with activities for every age range.
  • Given the diverse climate, Australia is a perfect vacation country year-round. In the wintertime, you can snowboard or go whale watching; in the spring and summer, you can carve up some waves with the locals – one of the national past-times.
  • Combining the best of both worlds, a visit to Cape Tribulation shows visitors a one-of-a-kind site – the location of the world’s oldest rainforest, the Daintree, and the oldest reef in the world, the Great Barrier Reef.
  • The eastern coast city of Perth is another unique destination as it contains the world’s largest inner city park. Sprawling over 1.57 square miles, the dense region provides remarkable views of the Swan and Canning Rivers.
  • Interested in golfing? Australia plays host to the world’s largest golf course – it takes four days to complete! Nestled on the southern coast of the continent, the course stretches over 800 miles from Ceduna to Kalgoorlie in the west and provides plenty of places to rest in between holes.

What are you waiting for? Contact Pulaski Tickets Tours Inc and plan the Austrlia experience of a lifetime.

Posted by: condominiumtravelclub | April 7, 2011

“Passport Day”

If you’re traveling internationally and need a new or updated passport, get your documents ready.

Read More…

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