New Paris Travel Guide

ShareFunTrips.com is announcing a new Interactive Travel Guide of Paris that lets members share their experiences with others.

The new Paris Travel Guide has stories and travel tips on; Arc de Triomphe, Pompidou Center, Champs ElysEes, Disneyland Paris, La Ville LemuiEre, Maison de Victor Hugo, Montmartre, Notre Dame, SacrE Coeur, Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, The Seine River and Versailles.

Members of ShareFunTrips.com travel website can access the Paris Travel Guide for free and share their favorite sights, restaurants, stories, photos and videos from their travel to Paris or market their business in Paris to our customers.

"We wanted to release our new Paris Travel Guide on www.ShareFunTrips.com just in time for the summer so all of our customers can share their fun summer vacations and family trips this year." says Mike Penrod co-founder of ShareFunTrips.com

About Share Fun Trips.com

Sharefuntrips.com was founded in 2009 by Mike Penrod and his wife Jeniya Penrod as a free service for people around the world that share their interest in traveling the world and sharing their experiences. For more information please visit www.ShareFunTrips.com

Where Do You Want to Travel?

Where do you want to go?
Thailand, Laos or Buffalo?
I want to see the other side,
Of this earth where I abide.

I want to see the ,
I want to see Bali in fall.
I want to see Australia’s shores,
I want to travel more and more.

I want to visit Singapore,
And while I’m there, I’ll travel more.
On to Macao I think I’ll go,
Then further on to Tokoyo.

I’ll visit India and Nepal,
And see the Himalayans tall.
I’ll trek up mountain trails to see,
A yeti looking out at me.

I want to visit Pakistan,
I want to travel while I can.
I want to see the Seychelles isles,
And bask in sunshine for a while.

I’d love to visit South Africa,
And see the lions and a cheetah.
I want to see the crocodiles,
And hippos as they swim a while.

I want to photograph the sun,
Going down while having fun.
I’d like to pack my bag and head,
Everywhere except my bed.

 

Easy Ways to Save for International Travel

If you ever thought that traveling to international destinations was beyond your reach, here is a low budget way to make it possible.

My cousin lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand, and he often invited my husband and me to visit. I thought how wonderful an opportunity it would be to travel somewhere exotic and see him at the same time, but I didn't know how I could pull it off.

I discovered that the key to making that dream a reality, was planning ahead and doing a little research.

Buy airline tickets early.

We saved money by researching ticket prices and purchasing several months in advance. We also planned to travel during the off season when fares were lower. Early purchase also allowed us the time to pay off the credit card we used to buy our tickets with.

Put aside the money in a travel fund.

Since we also didn't want to spend money we didn't have, we set up a travel fund. We religiously set aside a certain amount of money from each paycheck to use for food, transportation and incidentals.

Stay with family or friends.

Instead of staying in a hotel, we stayed with my cousin and saved a considerable amount on lodging and food. We bought some basic groceries for breakfast and sampled local foods from street vendors. On occasion we would treat ourselves with more local cuisine at inexpensive restaurants.

Use public transportation.

Bangkok has various modes of easy to use public transportation. We used mostly the sky train and the occasional hired taxi for longer distance travel.

Check out the local flea markets.

We stayed away from the malls and found some really great deals at the flea markets of unique, local inexpensive items, like clothing, jewelry, wood carvings and paintings.

During our two weeks in Bangkok, we experienced the culture from the perspective of a local. They usually know where the best foods, shopping deals and points of interests are.

I still keep in contact with my international friends and relatives and since I am now in the habit of saving, I maintain that travel fund.

By planning ahead and seeking ways to cut costs at our destination, I found that traveling to an international destination is very possible.

The highlight of my trip…. petting the tigers at the Tiger Temple.

Avoid Summer Traveling Tragedies by Always Carrying Cash

During the summer, we decided to take a trip into the Upper Peninsula of our state. While on our way back home we decided to stop for something to eat. As we handed our debit card to the cashier, we prepared to get our receipt and be on our way back home. Little did we know that the bank had made a mistake and closed our account and reported the cards stolen. Luckily, since we both had our cards and licenses on us, they knew that it was nothing that we had done and in fact it was more of a bank problem.

Earlier that day my husband had drawn some cash out of the account, so we were able to pay for our meal and head back across the bridge. If he had not prepared for the event and had cash on him, we would have been stuck with nothing to eat and no way to pay the toll to get across the bridge. In the end, I learned a valuable lesson. Don't ever assume you don't need to have cash on you because you never know when you might need it.

Time Traveling with Jake Gyllenhall and 'Source Code'

In "Source Code" a solider (Jake Gyllenhall) is sent back in time to prevent a train bombing and capture the man who set the bomb. For Gyllenhall fans, the film may feel like a step back into time and familiar territory for the film star.

Two of Gyllenhall's other movies, "Donnie Darko" and "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" are vastly different in plot and style, but all of the movies can be broken down into a simple time travel story. This trend of films has proven successful for Gyllenhall, showing that the actor's journey through the space-time continuum should continue.

"Donnie Darko"

In Richard Kelly's debut 2001 film, Gyllenhall plays the title character of this mind-bender. One of his earliest roles, Gyllenhall shines as the sometimes creepy, always interesting Donnie Darko. In the film, Darko's life begins a weird journey as a plane engine crashes into his home, he is guided by a man in a bunny suit, and time travel expert Stephen Hawking is mentioned.

The time travel in "Donnie Darko" is pivotal to the plot and events that occur throughout the film. Fans of the film have analyzed the story, gone deeper into the plot, and it became so popular that a "Director's Cut" was released with more explanation and time travel elements.

"Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time"

Nine years after Gyllenhall left the bunny costume behind, he got himself a British accent, grew some muscles and entered the video game adaptation film "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time." In the film Gyllenhall plays the lead character Dastan, a Prince who acquires a dagger that can reverse time.

The big budget film showcases a complicated time travel. Dastan retains his memories as he moves back in time and has to save the world from a giant sand hourglass that could destroy everyone.

The small instances of time travel are similar to the short bursts found in "Source Code." On the surface the films are vastly different, but if you modernize "Prince of Persia" and replace the dagger with a watch, there would be a lot of similarities.

You would need a time machine to see if Gyllenhall travels back in time in future films, but for now his collection of films provide action adventure and a solid mix of science fiction elements.

Seattle: A Traveler's Guide to the Emerald City

Situated in the great State of Washington, Seattle is a romantic destination for travelers from all over the world. Offering a varied extreme in climates and unlimited outdoor activities, Seattle, Washington, is a destination in which many vacationers turn during summer months to escape the summer heat.

Lying within 120 miles of the Canadian border, Seattle offers vacationers a unique travel destination with cultural mixture of American, Canadian and even French. With over three million people living in the Seattle area, the downtown population is full of hustle and bustle with a whopping half of a million people residing in the Seattle city limits alone. Known for the extreme rainy conditions, Seattle's dryest climate falls from June through August with temperatures, in the summer, rarely exceeding 75 degrees. In the winter, the city of Seattle rarely experiences snow and temperatures rarely dip below 32 degrees. With water abound, Seattle is the city of bridges providing optimal siteseeing opportunites across many lakes and waterways.

In terms of outdoor adventure vacation, Seattle, Washington, is known for a catering environment of bikers and walkers. Considered one of the fittest cities in the world, Seattle offers several cycling opportunities around the Puget South Region. Cycling trails are virtually unlimited and offer a variety of terrains for beginning cyclers to professional cyclers. For walkers, the Seattle, Washington, terrain offers a variety of opportunities from flatland walking to a diverse and scenic hiking extreme. Additionally, Seattle is known for the most populated area of live music bands and clubs, per capita, offering, yet another, opportunity for night life vacation entertainment and exercise.

In addition to biking, walking, dancing and hiking, vacationers to Seattle, Washington, are encouraged to experience and enjoy a nice, relaxing vacation along the Alki Beach. Known as the city's longest white sands beach, Alki Beach reaches over two miles with areas to relax along the shores, trails for rollerblading and courts for volleyball. Seattle, Washington, offers a romantic getaway for a couple on a honeymoom or anniversary celebration.

Whatever the intent of the family vacation, or even in a romantic getaway, consider visiting Seattle, Washington, for an outdoor experience never seen before. As a vacation of outdoor activities, family and couple vacations to Seattle, Washington, cater to nature and fitness enthusiasts of all walks of life.

Amtrak Railroad Travel

Although it is classified as an independent company, Amtrak is the monopoly railroad service in the United States that is essentially controlled, managed, and financed by the government. Amtrak has been an eternal money pit, now gobbling about one and a half billion dollars of the federal treasury every year.

Amtrak officials insist that the popular northeast corridor service between Washington DC and Boston is profitable. The Acela train is the fastest in the nation, running only on the northeast corridor at about 85 miles per hour, much slower than trains in Europe and Asia.

Over several decades, the bleeding of red ink by Amtrak has invited frequent calls for reform by Republicans. Lately there has been talk of opening the northeast corridor to competition against the Amtrak monopoly. As usual the White House and the senate are voicing their opposition to the idea of competition, in spite of mounting economic woes. One interested party is Sir Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group who already operates railroad service in the United Kingdom.

Amtrak claims that failure to achieve profitability comes from the essential transcontinental services that Amtrak must provide, which have never made money. Cross-country service traverse many thinly-populated parts of the country, which produce few riders.

If the United States wants to maintain a railroad passenger service that covers the entire country, it may be stuck with forever having to subsidize the maintenance of railroad stations along these long routes that provide little or no revenue. However, what is not known is the exact breakdown of Amtrak labor, equipment, and maintenance costs. Even if the long routes remain unprofitable, they could be made less so.

Are Amtrak employees paid more than comparable labor in the private sector? Could Amtrak accomplish the same amount of work with less employees? A one percent pay cut for all Amtrak workers would be bearable to all of them, yet save a lot of money. Could the amount of Amtrak stations be reduced, or their operating hours reduced? Perhaps initiating service to neglected communities could bring more revenue. There are a lot of possibilities to explore, if only the government would allow it.

Climbing Mt. Kenya via the Naro Moru Route: The Fastest and Most Popular Route up Mount Kenya

It’s reputedly the easiest, and certainly the fastest, way up Mt. Kenya. The Naro Moru Route is also the most popular. But take the words “easy” and “fast” with a grain of salt: at 16,000 feet, give or take, nothing comes without a good deal of effort. Africa’s second highest mountain has plenty of challenges.

The Naro Moru River Lodge

The starting point for most treks up the western side of Mt. Kenya is the , a resort that offers a wide range of accommodations, everything from bunkhouses for backpackers on a budget to nicely appointed cottages, as well as a swimming pool, tennis courts, a sauna, and two restaurants. The lodge is located on 20 acres at 7,100 feet, just 10 miles south of the equator.

The lodge also has an extensive operation for equipping and guiding climbs. Guides and porters can be booked and gear rental is available, making this the most practical option for people who want to trek, but didn’t cart a full complement of backpacking gear to East Africa. It’s also a good choice for trekkers who would like to hire guides to assist on an attempt to summit the technically demanding peaks of Batian and Nelion (Mt. Kenya’s true summits, which require technical rock climbing skills; Point Lenana, 700 feet lower, is the more common goal for trekkers.) .

Desctiption of the Naro Moru Route on Mt. Kenya

The Naro Morru route is the quickest route up the mountain. Most hikers start by booking a ride up the 13-mile dirt road to the western park entrance, then hiking another 5 miles to the meteorological station (although some four-wheel-drive vehicles will go up this far). Typically, hikers camp at the so-called Met Station (9,840 feet), then hike the next day to MacKinder’s Camp (13,645 feet). This section of the hike features the unforgettable so-called “vertical bog” which can be compared to hiking cross-country up a steep ski slope covered with a combination of humpy tussock grasses and mud.

From MacKinder’s it’s typical to take an “alpine start” (about 2 a.m.) so as to be at the summit by sunrise. The trek to Austria Hut – every step of it uphill – takes between 4 and 5 hours; from Austria Hut, it’s another half-hour to the summit via a 700-foot rock-scramble.

 

Note: Because it is possible to gain elevation so quickly on this route, altitude sickness is a very real possibility. Hikers should be aware of the symptoms of mountain sickness, and be prepared to stop and take an extra day to acclimate before proceeding.

The return to the Met Station can take one or two days. Warning: Doing it one day is utterly exhausting, and by the time a tired hiker arrives there, the “vertical bog” can seem endless.

Whatever the itinerary and schedule of a Mt. Kenya trek, the Naro Moru River Lodge at the bottom offers welcome respite and rest from the rigors of Africa’s second highest mountain.

Traveling Gluten Free

Gluten free traveling is going to be one of the most challenging things that someone with gluten intolerance and food allergies can do. Between flights, road trips and hotels, what's a gluten free person to do besides say "no thank you" at every turn? As a fellow gluten free person, I do a lot of reading on the subject, and found an interesting article in the July 2019 issue of Delight magazine, written by Audrey Scagnelli.

Gluten Free in Hotels

Eating gluten free in hotels with a microwave and a small fridge is always an option, provided the hotel you're staying in has those accommodations. In this way you can include food options of your own that are microwave friendly and keep them in the refrigerator.

There are those hotels that have kitchenette units. If this is an option where you're staying, it would be worth the cost increase to book that unit. You'll have lots of immediate gluten free meal choices available to you just steps away, and the ability to prepare and cook food if need be.

Gluten Free Restaurants

Make use of the internet when you're traveling to unchartered territory that you're not familiar with. You may find that you have problems finding restaurants that are gluten free. In that case try searching out a local celiac support group where you're going to be for some suggestions. You can often times find email addresses that can lead you to some helpful contacts who can offer good insight into the local gluten free favorites among some of their members.

To make your restaurant experience a positive one, be sure to bring some gluten free restaurant cards for notification to the chef regarding what you are able to eat and what's tabu.

Air Travel

It's possible to request gluten free meals when you'll be flying. There are several airlines that include names like, American, Delta, United and British Airways, that provide specially prepared gluten free meals labeled GFML, ( gluten free meal). For this service they will need a 24-96 hour notice ahead of time.

Be sure not to eat anything that isn't clearly labeled, and in the event that there has been some mistake, make sure you've brought some dried fruit, nuts, energy bars or other pieces of fruit if you are suddenly in need of quick food options.

Avoid Surprises when Traveling Abroad for the First Time

Speaking French

Nothing brings a history alive more than actually seeing and experiencing the locations studied in school, and the entire family will benefit from foreign travel if they take the time to thoroughly plan the trip. In addition to the obvious, details that may be overlooked are important to truly experience the culture of other lands. First and foremost, the family should learn about the culture of the country. For example, when traveling to Paris, the family that really wishes to fraternize with Parisians will take the time to learn key phrases. The French are very proud of their heritage and look on most Americans as being too arrogant to learn their language. Learning how to greet shop keepers and restaurant owners in French and demonstrating a true desire to use French will endear your family to them, and they will be thrilled when your children also demonstrate an effort to do the same. Americans who return from Paris stating they had been treated rudely no doubt made no effort to speak French. The French do not expect perfection but just appreciate the effort.

Appropriate clothing

Parisian women do not wear shorts or jeans in the city, and although the "liberated" women of the States may take issue with this point, it is a much more comfortable feeling to walk about in appropriate dress. French men also do not wear shorts on the streets of Paris, although southern France is much more lax in the summer. Casual slacks and shirts for men and summer dresses for women will be comfortable while allowing you to fit in.

Money

Prior to leaving, it is imperative that you change your money into Euros. There are banks in most areas that will do this in advance, and you will not only get a better rate of exchange, but you will not be stranded with no money should your plane be delayed for some reason, and you find most places that accept Visas are closed.

Safety

Families should register with the state department at : https://travelregistration.state.gov/ prior to departure in the event of any type of emergency and give itineraries to family members with phone numbers. In addition, call your insurance carrier for the overseas number in case of illness or accident since this number may not be available overseas. General knowledge of local laws is another necessity and can be discovered at http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1765.html