Archive for the ‘Olympics travel’ Category

Home Exchange Can Make Cost of Attending London Olympics Affordable

March 27, 2012

The countdown is on to the start of the 2012 Olympic Games and, with visitors to London facing expensive travel costs, this is the perfect time to arrange a home swap and cut out accommodation costs completely.

With thousands of Home Base Holidays members living near Olympic venues in and around London and many offering their homes for exchange during the Olympics and Paralympics, there are so many attractive home swap offers to choose from.

Home Base Holidays members, Canadians Gloria and Joe, with tickets for four events, have already arranged an exchange to attend the Olympics:

“We always knew we wanted to do a home swap having considered it for many years. The thought of all the money we’ve ‘wasted’ on hotels!”

The home and location:

“Our London home exchange looks like a nice house with parking, a wee garden and owned by a family of three just like us. If it is lacking in extraordinary views or fascinating historical associations, it will make up for in comfort and predictability, a premium commodity indeed when travelling. In short, it may not be haunted by the ghost of Virginia Woolf, but at least it’s not haunted! Moreover, its location makes it ideal to get to the Olympic park – this really being a major bonus.”

Gloria, Joe and daughter, Harper are exchanging their large 1894 Victoria home complete with turret in Woodstock, Ontario, for the Salter family’s modern home in South Woodford, East London.

Home Base Holidays spokesperson, Lois Sealey, says: “Arranging a home exchange is a great money saver especially during a busy period like the Olympics when hotel room rates are soaring. Swapping homes enables visitors to experience the ‘real’ city like Londoners while enjoying the space and convenience of a comfortable home.” See Olympics home exchange information and sample offers.

Founded in 1985, Home Base Holidays is a long established home exchange service with offices in London and Asia, providing free information in monthly newsletters and blog, Travel the Home Exchange Way. Join Home Base Holidays for only £29 for a full year’s membership. Arrange as many swaps as you like from the thousands of up-to-date home swap offers available in 70+ countries.

For more travel features, visit:

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

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US Tour Operator Association Members ‘Go for the Gold’ with Packages for Olympic Game Enthusiasts

March 16, 2012

Greece (Photo by Sven Olof-Lindblad/Lindblad Expeditions)

As the 2012 Olympic clock counts down in the heart of Trafalgar Square in London, anticipation for this year’s games continues to build, inspiring travelers to join the celebration. In addition to tours to London and Great Britain this summer, US Tour Operators Association (USTOA) members capture the spirit of traveling to an Olympic destination with an exciting array of tour programs that include sites from past Olympic Games held around the world.

“It’s a big year for tourism in London and throughout Great Britain and there are still plenty of opportunities for travelers to visit in 2012,” said Terry Dale, president of USTOA. “Past Olympic sites serve as fascinating destinations as well, especially in an Olympic year, and USTOA members offer sports fans and travelers in general the opportunity to experience the legacy of these historic games all over the globe.”

From Beijing and Whistler to Olympia in Greece, cradle of the Olympic Games beginning in 776 BC, below is a sampling of USTOA member offerings:

Olympic Destination Highlights:

  • “Greek Odyssey,” a nine-day family program from Adventures by Disney, begins with private guided tours to some of the greatest archaeological sites in history: Athens, the sacred Acropolis and Olympic Stadium, Panathinaiko, where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896. Reconstructed from the remains of an ancient Greek stadium that dates to 566 BC, Panathinaiko is the only Olympic Stadium made from white marble. The program continues through Santorini to Spinalonga and Karouzanous before departing from Crete. www.adventuresbydisney.com Insight Vacations’ “Glories of Greece” eight-day tour, available April through October, also highlights a visit to Olympia featuring a special tour of the original Olympic Games site including the Gymnasium and Olympic Stadium. www.insightvacations.com
  • “Norway’s Fjords & Arctic Svalbard,” from Lindblad Expeditions, is a 16-day expedition aboard the National Geographic Explorer, with departures on May 27 and August 13. The exploration of the Norwegian coastline includes a stay in Oslo, site of the Olympic Games in 1952, noteworthy for a number of “firsts” including the return of Japan and Germany to the Games following the aftermath of World War II, and the first triple jump in an international skating competition performed by Dick Button of the US. Also of note: the May 27 departure features guest lecturer Keith Bellows, editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler, author of the 1998 Winter Olympics ACCESS Guide for ABC-TV and founder of the Media Development group who launched the “1996 Guide to the Atlanta Olympics.” www.expeditions.com
  • Tauck’s “Grand Autumn New England” available September and October, includes a visit to Lake Placid, New York, home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games and the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex where guests will learn about the athletes who medaled there and enjoy a ski jumping demonstration. This 11-day itinerary begins in Boston and travels to Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and upstate New York, additional highlights include private Tauck schooner cruise on Boothbay Harbor in Maine and a behind the scenes tour of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory. www.tauck.com
  •  “National Parks of America,” a 12-day program from Collette Vacations offer travelers a two-night stay in Salt Lake City, Utah, host of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Various departures from May to October showcase Yellowstone Park, the Grand Canyon, and the great Sioux Nations Territory before seeing Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Monument. www.collettevacations.com.
  • SITA World Tours offers a number tour vacations to China that include the home of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. SITA’s “Essence of China with Yangtze River Cruise” is a 12-day tour from Beijing to Shanghai, with a four-day cruise on the famed Yangtze River. Among the ancient attractions included in Beijing are visits to Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City – the 250-acre Palace with 9000 rooms which opened to the public in 1949 – and the Summer Palace. Not so ancient sites include the Bird’s Nest, the Beijing National Stadium built for the Olympics and recognized world-wide for its unusual nest-like design. www.sitatours.com
  • The majestic Blackcomb Mountain in the mountain resort of Whistler, British Columbia, was the venue for the bobsled, luge and skeleton competitions during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. With multiple departure dates through September, Globus’ “Spirit of the Rockies” 12-day package through the Canadian Rockies begins in Vancouver and includes the Rocky Mountaineer train over the Continental Divide to breathtaking Banff National Park. From Lake Louise, it’s on to spectacular towering peaks and hanging glaciers of Jasper Park Lodge and then Whistler before returning to Vancouver. www.globusjourneys.com.
  • Travelers can experience “Barcelona at Its Best” with go-today’s six-night vacation package to the home of the 1992 Summer Olympic Games, noteworthy for being the last Summer Games to be staged within the same year as the Winter Games. Available March through October, optional sightseeing tours include Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium and Ring. www.go-today.com
  • Goway Travel’s “Sydney Plus” is a five-day program available April 1 – March 31 with two nights in Sydney, home of the 2000 Olympic Games, before traversing the Blue Mountain Range to the Hunter Valley, home of Australia’s major wine producing areas. The visit to Sydney offers an in-depth and active couple of days, including guided walking tours, Sydney Harbour cruise and visits to the Opera House, Watson’s Bay and Taronga Zoo. www.goway.com

The member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow travelers unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe. Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business.

For more information on USTOA, visit www.ustoa.com, call 212-599-6599, or email information@ustoa.com.

For more travel features, visit:

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin