Honduras travel guide

Supporting Honduras at the 2010 World Cup

honduras-home1The world’s biggest sporting event, the 2010 World Cup, is coming very soon, and it’s time to throw your support behind the Honduras national team as they enter their first World Cup since 1982. Los Catrachos will have a tough road to qualify for the later rounds, but they bring one of their strongest squads ever to this tournament, so they might just be a dark horse contender.

Get to know the team:
Honduras doesn’t have as many players from the big European leagues as some other countries do, but there are a few excellent players on the squad who could make a real impact in the World Cup. Carlo Costly has only been playing with the national team for 3 years but is already 8th on the all-time Honduras scoring list with 14 goals for his country. Amado Guevara has spent much of his career in the United States, but has returned to Honduras to play his club football now, and is captain of the team. Other stars include Maynor Figueroa and a potent strike partnership of Carlos Pavon and David Suazo.
>> Check out the entire Honduras World Cup squad.

Wear the gear:
Honduras has new home and away kits for this World Cup, and there’s no better way to show your support for the team than to get your jersey and wear it on match days. The Honduras home jersey is white with a blue pattern across the chest, and the Honduras away shirt has white and blue vertical stripes, with a large blue “H”. Get your kit and be ready to kiss that crest when the first “golazo” goes in.

Know the enemy:
That “H” on the away jersey will be doubly significant, since Honduras has been drawn into World Cup Group H. They will fancy their chances to take points away from Switzerland, but will face two serious challenges in the other group matches, against a very strong Chile team that beat Argentina in qualifying, and against the mighty Spain, already champions of Europe and looking to add their first World Cup trophy to that achievement.

Follow along online:
Here are some links to help you stay up to date with the Honduras World Cup campaign:
Honduras World Cup Blog
Honduras World Cup on Twitter
Honduras for the World Cup on Facebook

Portugal travel guide

Support Portugal at the World Cup

portugal-1011-home-soccer-jerseyIt’s almost time. The world’s biggest sporting event, the 2010 World Cup, is almost upon us, and it’s time to throw your support behind the boys in red and green, the Portugal national team. Here’s a simple guide to following and supporting the team during June (and hopefully July).

Know the Players:
Portugal has a strong team all around, but by far the biggest star on the side is Cristiano Ronaldo. When Ronaldo plays well, and scores goals, Portugal does well. When he is out of form or injured, as he was during World Cup qualification, things tend to get a lot harder for the team. With defenders like Pepe, Ferreira, Carvalho and Bruno Alves, they shouldn’t allow in too many chances, but Portugal lacks a world-class goalkeeper, and that could be a major problem.
>> Check out the entire Portugal World Cup roster.

Get the gear:
Portugal has brand new home and away jerseys for this World Cup, and there’s no better way to show your support for the team than to get your kit and wear it on match days. The Portugal home kit is red with a green stripe across the chest, and the Portugal away shirt is white with both green and red stripes down the middle. Whether you’re at the match, at the pub, or at home, true supporters will be wearing the kit when the team takes the pitch.

Know your enemies:
Portugal is drawn into World Cup Group G, probably the most difficult of the eight groups. North Korea shouldn’t be a major threat, but 5-time World Cup champions Brazil are ready to make another long run in the tournament, and Ivory Coast are looking to grab the glory on African soil, powered by the Premier League scoring champion, Didier Drogba.

Follow along online:
Here are some links to help you stay up to date with Portugal’s World Cup campaign:
Portugal World Cup Blog
Portugal World Cup on Twitter
Portugal for the World Cup on Facebook

Things to Do

“Glamping” in Colorado

glampingLet’s face it – the words “Los Angeles” and “camping” aren’t often seen together in the same sentence. Sure, there are plenty of Angelinos who probably like the great outdoors quite a bit, but that’s just not the reputation of most of the people who call L.A. home. Which is why so many L.A. folks probably will love the idea of glamping.

Glamping isn’t exactly glamorous camping, although that’s arguably where the made-up name comes from – it still involves sleeping outdoors, usually in a tent, and cooking your food over a campfire or a portable camp stove. Makeup should still not be toted into the wilderness, and you should probably also leave your fancy car at home, too. Glamping is still more about the “camping” than the “glamor.”

But there are some pieces of travel gear that will make camping – sorry, glamping – more palatable to people who might not be as comfortable sleeping in something other than a hotel room. And if bringing something like a self-inflatable air mattress, a camping-friendly wine carafe, a portable collection of kitchen utensils, a mini espresso maker, or even an inflatable nightstand with a checkers board on top makes someone more interested in camping, then we figure that’s fine.

Now, if you’re all set with your “glamping” gear and you’re looking for the perfect place to try them out, may we suggest nearby Colorado? You can find cheap flights to Denver from L.A., and within a short drive you’re surrounded by beautiful mountains (not to mention lots of people who know what they’re doing when it comes to camping). A trip combining Denver with camping in the nearby wilderness is actually a great way to introduce someone who’s less keen on being outdoors to camping in general. Because not only are you showing them how beautiful the scenery can be when you zip open a tent in a quiet campground away from civilization, you can also bookend the trip with a night or two at any one of the Denver hotels to make sure they don’t hate you afterward.

photo by Zaskoda

Edinburgh Places to Go Planning a Trip Things to Do

Plan Your Vacation During The Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Fringe 2007Each year Edinburgh is home to the biggest arts festival anywhere – also known as The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (or simply The Fringe). Each August the streets of Edinburgh overflow with artists, tourists and locals alike. This year the festival takes place between 6 and 30 August.

Because the festival is so popular, planning a vacation for this occasion is complicated – or shall I say quite a nightmare? Edinburgh accommodation books up really fast (starting with the cheapest places first, of course!) and the cheap flights to Edinburgh are sold as soon as they come on sale.

You might want to play it “dangerously” and wait until the last minute to book the flight. Airlines such as Ryanair, BMI and easyJet do offer quite a lot of flights to Edinburgh for low rates but you have to book them within a very short time frame (2-3 days) and at most one month before departure.

In short, if you want to be there, you need to plan in advance. Way in advance! Edinburgh festival travel deals come in handy if you don’t like to plan everything on your own.

If you travel with friends, booking a dorm for the entire gang is an excellent idea. You already know each others’ nocturnal habits and there won’t be too many frustrations along the way. Plus you can pitch in for an excellent meal cooked in the hostel’s kitchen. Bed rates start at £17 per night (in dorms). On the other hand, if you travel with your significant other and prefer the private rooms, you can find them in hostels at rates starting at £23 per night.

If you are a student make sure to carry your documents with you because you’ll be able to get some discounts (at shows, transportation, landmarks). This surely comes in handy when your budget is not exactly high. An easy way to save money is by shopping at the farmer’s market and cooking in the hostel or planning picnics. It’s romantic, it’s cheap and fun.

Portugal travel guide

Early Summer Getaway in Europe

lisbon-sept-28In Europe, the nice weather has already settled in most cities…actually, it almost feels like summer, minus the crowds of tourists. Now it’s the perfect time to plan that Europe getaway: the prices aren’t too high, the crowds of tourists haven’t started to take over the cities and the weather is just perfect for sightseeing… and with a bit of luck you can also catch a lovely tan.

You can Fly cheaply in Europe especially if you know a thing or two about the low-cost carriers on the continent.

Choosing a city to start your European tour is quite hard, especially if you are not sure which part of Europe to start with. If you want to explore Western Europe, you can start in London and then fly south. Flights to Lisbon are easy to find and then you can spend couple of days in Portugal’s capital. Cheap Lisbon hotels are not that hard to find especially during the shoulder season. Then you can take a train to Madrid and then fly to Paris. Spend several days here before deciding whether you want to explore more cities or fly back home.

Price tag? The flight from London to Lisbon on easyJet starts at $90 per person and the flight from Madrid to Paris starts at $26 per person on Ryanair.

Of course this is just an idea for an itinerary. You can also plan to visit Southern Europe and from Madrid hop on a flight to Rome and visit several Italian cities before heading to Athens. Explore the Greek island on ferries (cheap and romantic) before heading back home.

In order to save money check the airlines’ special deals. Ryanair and easyJet are known for their many sales available and booking flights for £6 one way is just a matter of reading the offer at the appropriate time.

Alaska travel guide

How long are the days in Alaska?

2645590772_f85954c364This post is part of our ongoing Alaska FAQ series, answering commonly asked questions about the state.

Among the many nicknames for Alaska, the best-known is probably “Land of the Midnight Sun”. This refers to the fact that, in summer, there is sunlight well into the night-time hours. This is true of all high-latitude regions, but Alaska is one of the most famous places to experience the longest summer days.

But how long are the days really? Because of the huge range of latitudes that Alaska covers, from about 56 degrees North in Wrangell (Southeast Alaska) and 71 degrees North in Barrow, the daylight hours also vary across the state. In Barrow, there is no real darkness for three months, while in Anchorage there are about 19 hours in the longest day of the year.

Obviously, the actual amount of sunlight varies a bit day to day, and can also be affected by the weather. It will be lighter for more hours on a clear day than through heavy clouds.

Below is a table of the daylight hours for a few cities and towns in Alaska, in order from South to North. Note that in April and September, there is virtually the same amount of daylight throughout the state, and how the differences increase as you get closer to the Summer and Winter solstices.

City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Juneau 6:30 8:15 10:35 13:15 15:45 17:50 18:10 16:30 14:00 11:30 8:55 6:55
  Anchorage     5:40     7:45     10:25     13:20     16:50     18:45     19:10     17:05     14:15     11:25     8:30     6:10  
Fairbanks 4:00 6:55 10:05 13:35 17:00 20:35 21:25 18:10 14:40 11:20 7:50 4:45
Barrow 0:00 4:05 9:20 14:15 19:45 24:00 24:00 24:00 14:45 11:05 5:50 0:00
Alaska travel guide

Best Business Hotels in Anchorage

Many travelers come to Anchorage to experience the wilderness, fishing, culture and other activities that have made Alaska so famous. But, as the largest city in Alaska and being located relatively close to Asia, Anchorage is also an important city for international business. Many major conventions and trade shows come to the Dena’aina Civic and Convention Center every year. When you find yourself in Anchorage on business, these are some of your best options for where to stay.

These are definitely not the cheapest hotels in Anchorage – that’s a different article. But when you are in the city to close a deal, or meet with a client, and convenience, reliability and class matters more than getting the absolute lowest price, these are great choices.

All of these hotels have free wifi internet, a must for today’s business traveler.


Homewood Suites by Hilton Anchorage

Starting around $280
Located conveniently close to both the airport and city center, Homewood was ranked #1 for business travel by TripAdvisor, and is one of the best-known hotels for business travel in the city. Always a good choice.


Embassy Suites Anchorage

Starting around $295
The Embassy Suites is a favorite of visiting oil company employees, a huge part of the Anchorage business travel sector. Most of the major oil company offices are located near the hotel, and the Anchorage Golf Course is also close by, for entertaining clients and guests.


Hilton Garden Inn Anchorage

Starting around $223
Hilton hotels are reliably similar no matter where you travel, and the Garden Inn is no different. The hotel includes a full business center.


Sheraton Anchorage Hotel

Starting around $250
One of the more interesting of the business hotels, the Sheraton is decorated with native Alaskan art and strives to combine the reliability of a chain hotel with some unique Alaskan flavor.

For more options, enter your dates into the form below and we will do the searching for you, finding you the best prices for hotels in Anchorage.

Edinburgh Places to Go Planning a Trip Things to Do Travel Tips

When You Get Stuck and Cannot Write … Travel

writerAs a writer myself I know how annoying it can be to get stuck and not be able to write a single world. Each of us knows that such issues require creative solutions. The “rule” is to find an inspirational location so that you can restart your creative process. And I bet you know at least one place in your city where you can go, relax and start writing again.

But what about taking a big leap and choose one of the inspirational travel locations to cure the writer’s block? I’ve definitely done it and let me tell you there’s nothing like writing in the train or at a café in the middle of an old town.

Europe is filled with beautiful cities which can inspire you even when you think nothing else could. So, the first step is to look for cheap tickets to Europe. Paris, Moscow, Ljubljana and Edinburgh are excellent choices to get you started. And if you have enough time on your hands, you can plan to visit them all. After all, low-cost carriers and trains are the writers’ best friends. And by the way: in some trains there are electrical outlets so you can work while you enjoy the scenery.

You can fly into Paris, spend several days there to soak up the atmosphere and then catch a flight to Edinburgh. Look for Edinburgh hotels before you leave because they tend to get expensive and crowded during the summer. And if you think the city is a bit too exciting for you, you can always plan a trip to the Scottish Highlands.

Then you can make the transition to Eastern Europe, stopping in Vienna for a weekend getaway. You’ll fall in love with the city and you’ll surely unleash your imagination. Then take a train to Ljubljana and explore the old city and the surrounding landscape. Last, but not least, go to Moscow (tip: choose summer if you hate cold as much as I do). There’s something intriguing about this city and you’ll surely get some interesting ideas.

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