Top 6 Party Travel Destinations

I’ve been working in the travel industry for the past 6 years and have been traveling/partying pretty much all of my life. You can pretty much call me an expert on the subject. I have been all over the world and consider the following destinations/parties the wildest and best I have been a part of. 1). Carnival in Salvador, Bahia Brazil 2.) Summer in Ibiza 3.) New Years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 4.) Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain 5.) National Beauty Pageant Week in Cartagena, Colombia 6.) Summer in Mykonos, Greece

1. Carnival in Salvador, Bahia Brazil
Brazilians consider Salvador, Bahia as the best and most fun Carnival in the country. The Guinness Book of World Records considers Carnival in Salvador as the biggest street party in the world. Millions of people hit the streets and it’s literally 5 days of chaotic fun. I’ve been traveling to Carnival in Salvador for the past 6 years. It’s definitely the craziest party I have been to. Just imagine millions of people on the streets just going crazy with some of the hottest bands from Brazil playing in the background. It’s also singles paradise as one of the main themes during Salvador is “Solteiro em Salvador” meaning everyone is single in Salvador. If you are looking to experience Brazil Carnival look into Carnival in Salvador, Bahia especially if you are looking for a Wild and Crazy time.

2. Summer in Ibiza, Spain
Ibiza is the party capital of the world! It’s the perfect combination of great weather, beautiful people, incredible beaches, and the hippest, most sophisticated nightlife in the world. If you love electronic/house music, it is definitely the can’t miss destination of the summer as the best DJ’s in the world make Ibiza their home from the End of May until the End of September – any other time most of the clubs in Ibiza are closed (Pacha is the only club open all year). I’ve been going to Ibiza for the past 4 years and you definitely have to go VIP and hit Pacha, Amnesia, Privilege & Space. Drinks are extremely expensive (about 10 – 20 euros per drink), but if you get VIP and do bottle service, you will have your own table and spend just about as much. Depending on the party, bottle service can be as low as 150 euros per person to 300. Clubs get extremely packed during the summer and at some parties you can barely move around. If you are traveling there, you might as well spend a little more and enjoy it, rather than feel like a sardine. I personally enjoy traveling to Ibiza in July (All major DJs are there and it’s not as hectic as August) or September (Closing parties are incredible). August is the busiest time of the year and I try to avoid it as the hotels raise prices and the clubs are overly packed.

3. New Years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
New Years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is one of the most amazing cities in the world and one of my favorite travel destinations. Its annual New Year’s Eve extravaganza puts all new year’s celebrations to shame. Millions pack the city for an all-night festival of music, food, and fun, punctuated by spectacular fireworks. From mind-blowing scenery and incredible beaches to wild nightlife and beautiful people, Rio de Janeiro will make your New Years an unforgettable experience. The main attraction in Rio de Janeiro for New Years is watching the fireworks on Copacabana Beach. The fireworks are amazing, but I’ve actually had a better time going to the exclusive parties all over the city. The beach can get a little sketchy and it is fun don’t get me wrong, but the best thing about Rio de Janeiro are the people (The Cariocas) and being at an exclusive party is the way to go because you don’t have to worry about anything. All you have to worry about is having a great time and ringing in the new year. I definitely recommend making your travel plans early as the hotels and flights sell out by mid November.

4. Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain aka San Fermin Festival
The Running of the Bulls is held every year between July 6th and 17th. It is one of the world’s craziest and wildest festivals where people run through the streets of the medieval city with actual live wild bulls! Every year over one million party-goers flock to Pamplona and party day and night drinking Sangria, eating delicious tapas and for the brave ones – run for their lives in front of angry bulls! The running of the bulls is an adrenaline rush, but it literally only lasts about 5 – 10 minutes and is at 8am every morning. What a lot of people do and what I recommend doing when running with the bulls is to party during the day, get some rest at night and then wake up early to run with the bulls. After you have run with the bulls, you can focus on partying. The pubs and streets are literally filled with people day and night.

5. National Beauty Pageant Week in Cartagena, Colombia
Cartagena is the home of Colombia’s National Beauty Pageant, one of the country’s hottest events of the year. The most beautiful women from all over the country compete to be crowned Miss Colombia. The event is usually held the 2nd week in November. That week is absolutely nuts as the city erupts in Exclusive Parties, Parades, Beach Events, and the Best Nightlife in the country. My favorite event during this week is called “The Desfile de Balleneras”. It takes place in the Bay of Cartagena as marines escort the Beauty Contestants in small boats throughout the bay. The only way to check out this parade is on boat. 100s of boats line up to check out the parade, but it’s more about the party than the beauty contestants. People blast their music, have water balloon fights, move from boat to boat and party like it’s 1999.

6. Mykonos, Greece in the Summer
Mykonos is Greece’s party island during the summer. If you want to party for 24 hours straight, you can do it in Mykonos – hit the beach parties during the day, head to Mykonos Town to watch the sunset, have dinner and party at night and if you want to keep on partying there are several options for after hour spots that open at 3:00AM and go through the morning/afternoon hours. As far as Mykonos partiers – celebrities, politicians, beautiful people and ordinary mortals all flock here to see and be seen at the glitzy “anything goes” clubs for which the island is world famous for. During the summer all the clubs/bars will be packed. Peak season to go to Mykonos is end of June through mid September.

All of the destinations/parties above are a One in A Lifetime Experience. If you want to have an incredible time, I recommend pre-booking everything in advance as these events sell out quickly. I also recommend going through an expert travel company for these events like Tours Gone Wild. They do trips like this year after year and have the connections to make sure you have a great time. All you literally have to do is call them, book your trip, show up and have a good time.

A New Era Of Space Travel Is On The Horizon

Data from public opinion polls indicate that nearly fifty million people would like to visit space. In fact as many as two million people each year would take the journey beyond the outer limits of Earth’s gravity. The public’s fascination with space travel means the potential development of a space travel tourism industry with revenues that could amount to $10 billion or more every year.

Therefore, it really is not hard to understand the interest in commercial space travel by private business. In fact, more than six companies are working to making commercial space travel a reality. However, the company that is closest to becoming the industry pioneer is Virgin Galactic. The company is a well funded joint venture of Richard Branson, Burt Rutan, and Paul Allen.

Eager future space travelers should consider that the development of Virgin Galactic’s Space Ship Two is nearly completed and could be performing test flights by the end of the year into space. The spacecrafts successful predecessor, Spaceship One, last reached space on October 4, 2004, winning the $10m Ansari X Prize. The larger and more powerful, Space Ship Two, is being built to accommodate two pilots and six passengers. Indeed, there will be enough room on board to experience the freedom of movement in the zero gravity of space. Initially, Virgin Galactic has ordered five spaceships to begin the business of commercial space travel and tourism.

The Spaceships will launch from the Virgin Galactic’s spaceport which is currently under construction in the state of New Mexico. The spaceport will be the first commercial space launch and control facility in the United States. The $200m spaceport project is designed to cover 27 square miles. It will feature a mission control station, runways, and the Virgin Galactic headquarters. Much of the facility will be built underground.

Customers that want to experience commercial space travel have been lining up for tickets. 75 people have already paid the entire $200,000 fee. William Shatner, Sigourney Weaver, and Paris Hilton are reported to be among the early space tourists while hundreds of others have put down more than thirty million dollars in deposits to reserve their seat for a flight on Virgin’s Spaceships. However, the initial experience of commercial space flight will be brief and it will not exactly represent a bargain ride. Passengers will spend just under 10 minutes in space at an altitude of only 65 miles, high enough to experience free fall and to see the curvature of the earth.

Of course, the creation of the new space travel tourism industry comes with government regulations. Already the United States Federal Aviation Administration has published its guidelines for commercial space travel, one hundred and twenty three pages of regulations that require disclosure and passenger training. Requirements include a disclosure on the number of trips the spacecraft has made into orbit and a history of its problems as well as a notice that the spacecraft has not been government certified. Also required is pre flight training for passengers in order to be properly prepared to handle emergencies such as a fire or loss of cabin pressure. Passengers will also be subject to the no-fly list currently operating in the US which is designed to stop terrorists boarding regular passenger flights.

It is expected that once people experience future commercial space travel, that they will want to make space their ultimate vacation destination. Therefore, the next innovative commercial space business venture may be the orbiting space hotel. Robert Bigelow, who made his fortune with hotel chain Budget Suites Of America, is already working on a prototype orbiting hotel. Bigelow has invested $75 million into the project, with a estimate of $425 million more a necessary commitment for the future.

His orbiting hotel venture is being developed under the corporate name of Bigelow Aerospace. The firm has successfully completed the first phase of the project by launching a small pod that inflates aloft called Genesis I. It is the first in a series of launches scheduled every six months for the next two and a half years. Genesis I has marked the beginning of what could be the first privately funded space station. The project is a prototype for cheap, livable, interconnecting rooms for commercial use in space similar in design to the International Space Station. In fact, Genesis I was an early concept for the ISS that was researched through funding by NASA. Robert Bigelow has since purchased the rights to the patent of the technology for his Genesis prototype.

Spaceports, flights to space, and orbiting hotels in space, indicate that a new era of commercial space travel and tourism is on the horizon. It will surely represent another small step for the creativity of man and a potentially giant leap to profitable opportunity for business and commercial enterprise of every kind.

RV’s – The Best Kept Travel Secret in America

What would you say if I told you I knew the best kept secret for traveling in America? A safe, cost effective, hassle-free way to see more of this beautiful country we live in. A way to travel at your own pace, on your own schedule, while building lasting memories with your family and friends. It sound too good to be true doesn’t it? Wait, it gets even better. What if I told you it’s not by plane, train, bus or your family automobile? Are you curious? Would you like to be let in on the secret that over 7 million households in America already discovered? If so, let me introduce you to the wonderful world of Recreation Vehicles (RVs) and camping.

I’m not talking about roughing it in the backwoods with tents and sleeping bags, not that there’s anything wrong with camping like that. What I’m talking about is your home away from home. An RV is your living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom on wheels. Not to mention air conditioning, satellite TV, and being able to take a hot shower. An RV offers you the freedom to roam Americas back roads and the flexibility to go whenever and wherever you want. Imagine this, you wake up one weekend on a beautiful crisp fall morning and just outside your front door is a 20-acre lake full of hungry rainbow trout. How about a two-week summer vacation 50 yards away from the tranquil sound of waves breaking on the beach, or just a Saturday afternoon tailgate party at your favorite college football game. Your RV is a private guesthouse for relatives when they come to visit and a weekend getaway to your favorite campground.

It’s a 30-day cross-country history lesson. It’s whatever you want it to be and best of all it’s fun and it’s safe. Perhaps this slogan used in a Go RVing advertisement sums it up the best. Waiting for the fish to bite you wonder how smart your daughter has gotten and how much your son is starting to look like you and you wonder why you never noticed until now. But you might as well head back to camp; the fish seem to be as relaxed as you are. Rediscover your family while you discover America. Wherever you go you’re always at home. Go RVing was formed in 1994 by representatives of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and leading state RV and campground associations. Go RVing works to distribute information about the benefits of RV travel and ensure the quality of RV products and services. You can call 1-888-Go-RVing or visit the Go RVing website at http://www.gorving.com to get a free CD-ROM or video that will introduce you to the world of RV travel and camping.

Traveling in the United States and life in general changed dramatically after the cowardly terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. A nation of people who always felt safe and secure against any type of outside threat, and a nation of travelers who never gave a second thought to their mode of transportation are now weary about what to expect next. RV travel, already at an all time high, is more appealing since the tragic events of 9/11. Recognized travel authority and former President of RVIA, Mr. David J. Humphreys had this to say, “Families want to escape to America’s outdoors in these uncertain times, spend quality time together, and avoid hassles associated with flying-all long-term trends likely to sustain continued RV market growth.”

U.S. ownership of RVs has reached record levels, reveals a 2005 University of Michigan study commissioned by Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). Nearly one in 12 U.S. vehicle-owning households now owns an RV. That’s nearly 8 million households-a 15 percent increase during 2001-2005 and a 58 percent gain during 1980-2005. The study also stated demographic trends favor substantial RV market growth. As baby boomers enter their prime RV buying years over the next decade, the number of RV-owning households is projected to rise to nearly 8 million in 2010, a gain of 15 percent, outpacing overall U.S. household growth of 10 percent. Other contributing factors to RV market growth are low interest rates, long term financing and the lure of the great outdoors. RVs can be financed for periods of 10, 15 and in some cases even 20 years, resulting in low monthly payments and tax deductible interest. RV vacations are more affordable than travel by personal car, commercial airline or cruise ship, according to vacation cost-comparison studies by PKF Consulting. Even factoring in RV ownership costs, and considering resulting tax benefits, a family of four can spend up to 70 percent less when traveling by RV.

What exactly is an RV? RVIA describes an RV as a vehicle that combines transportation and temporary living quarters for travel, recreation and camping. RVs come in many different types, sizes and price ranges. Some are very basic starting around $ 4,500 providing sleeping arrangements and cooking facilities. On the other end of the spectrum there are $1,000,000 plus luxury land yachts on wheels.

RVs are categorized as either motorized or towable. Motorized RVs are built on a vehicle chassis and powered by either a gasoline or diesel engine. There are three classifications for motorized RVs, type A, B, and C. Type A motor homes are the largest of the three ranging from 25 to 45 feet. They are the ones you see that look similar to a bus, and depending on the price they can be equipped with features like washers and dryers, multiple slide out rooms, satellite dishes, home entertainment systems and much more. Type B motor homes are the smallest of the three ranging from 16 to 20 feet. They are conversion vans that have been modified and equipped with all of the comforts and amenities found in other RVs in a compact size. Type C motor homes also referred to as mini-motor homes are built on a cutaway van chassis and range in size from 20 to 31 feet.

Towable RVs are towed behind a vehicle then disconnected and set up when you arrive at your destination. This allows you the benefit of using the tow vehicle to make a trip to the store, or go sight seeing while you are camping. Towable RVs include folding camping trailers, truck campers, travel trailers and 5th wheel travel trailers. Folding camping trailers, often referred to as pop-ups, are the least expensive RV and the lightest in weight. Some pop-ups offer the basic essentials while others come equipped with features like a water heater, bathroom, furnace and refrigerator. When set up they can range in size from 15 to 24 feet. Truck campers are campers loaded onto the bed of a pickup truck. This makes for a very versatile RV that can access back roads and remote areas other RVs can’t get to. Travel Trailers are a popular choice among RVers because of the wide array of floor plans available. Whether it’s for two people or eight you can find a model that will suit your needs. They range in size from 15 to 35 feet and offer all the comforts of home. Fifth wheel travel trailers are the ones you see that extend over the bed of the pickup or custom tow vehicle. Because of their bi-level design 5th wheels offer the most living space of any towable RV and are often times the choice for full-timing RVers. They range in size from 21 to 40 feet.

Traveling by RV makes even more sense when you take into account there are over 16,000 campgrounds, both public and private, for RVers to use in the United States. We also have 367 national parks that offer over 400 campgrounds with 29,000 campsites and our 156 national forests offer more than 4,000 campgrounds. While you visit these campgrounds across the U.S. you don’t need to be concerned about staying in touch with your family and business contacts. On a Travel Channel Program titled “Secrets of RVs” hosts and publishers of former RV Companion magazine, Mike and Beverly Wieber, discussed the latest technology for RVs involving in motion satellite systems and high speed Internet access. With this technology you can access online maps, travel information, and weather reports. More and more campgrounds are offering telephone connections as part of their full hook-up and the latest trend is to provide RVers with wireless high speed Internet access at the campground.

If you’re concerned about purchasing an RV only to find out the RV lifestyle is not meant for you try renting one before you buy. There are over 400 national rental chain outlets and RV dealerships that rent all types of RVs. Another way to learn more about RVs is to attend a local RV retail show or visit an RV dealer near you. For more information about rentals, RV shows, and RVs in general visit http://www.RVIA.org. To locate an RV dealer check your yellow pages or visit http://www.rvda.org. So what are you waiting for? Come join the other 30 million RV enthusiasts in America and remember wherever you go you’re always at home.
Happy Camping,
Mark

Copyright 2006 by Mark J. Polk owner of RV Education 101