Gift Card rush Will Boost Holiday Sales Figures


While online and retail holiday shopping sales have met or exceeded expectations for most retailers in 2005, there is another “rush” for all retailers to prepare for: gift card redemption.

According to Hitwise, an online intelligence service, the market share of U.S. Internet searches containing the words “gift card” was up 32% for the week ending December 10, 2005 as compared to the previous week. In fact, the National Retail Federation expects gift card sales to increase 6.6% this holiday season to 18.48 billion dollars, with consumers spending an average of $88 dollars on gift cards or 15.6% of their holiday shopping budget.

Gift certificates have always been a popular gift choice for the hard to please recipient or even for the lazy shopper. For the gift giver, it allows a quick purchase at whatever store or online merchant they select, with a dollar amount that fits their budget. For the recipient, they can select what they want from a particular merchant and for the most part use the card at their convenience.

But for some, giving a gift card is a cop-out, reasoning it is too impersonal and opting to hand pick a gift and selecting something special and unique for a loved one or friend. However, for some, the gift card is the ideal gift choice, with family or friends even suggesting the store or online merchant they prefer.

For the merchants, it has extended the holiday shopping season because they cannot record the sale until the recipient uses the gift card to make a purchase. This holds down sales figures in November and December, but provides a boost in January when most cards are redeemed. An additional boost is provided by the fact that most of the shoppers who redeem their gift cards typically spend 15% to 50% more than the face value of the card when they select their holiday gift.

There are some downsides to gift cards. Some retailers clear unused gift cards off the books by subtracting off of the face value of the card, an inactivity fee (usually $2.50 per month) after a certain amount of time. Some gift cards have an expiration date and others come with special conditions or restrictions. However, consumer outrage has prompted many states across the country to introduce legislation limiting or banning the fees. Additionally, there is no federal law on gift cards but, two Republican congressmen, Joe Barton of Texas and Charlie Bass of New Hampshire, have requested that the Federal Trade Commission investigate the way retailers conduct their gift card programs.

Is giving a gift card too impersonal? Is it the best gift choice? That question is up for debate and is a personal preference. But with annual gift card sales projected to reach 90 billion dollars by 2007 (Ernst & Young 2005), the gift card is here to stay.

The Benefits Of Opting For Vacation Rentals By Owner


Let us learn some advantages of staying in vacation rentals by owner. Vacations rentals by owners are usually private homes owned by their family and are rented temporarily. Vacation rentals by owner are a lot cheaper than the commercial hotels if you just want to rent out a place for week to three months. In a vacation rental by owner what you have is the amenities of a home. There is more privacy experienced in a vacation rental by owner because you are like living in your own home.

Family Atmosphere is present in vacation rentals privately owned. Most vacation rentals owned by owners have a family atmosphere, meaning the traditional old fashioned family ambience is present. Most vacation rentals privately owned are attached to main houses. There are common in Europe, and is becoming common in Asia. You can get invited to family dinners, and sometimes family gigs, if you allow them. This will depend on you.

Vacation rentals by owner are generally safer to stay than most commercial places, especially when you are staying in places like Asia in the rural areas. Scenic spots are fantastic, and yet you are not sure of the environment. Families tend to protect their guests. You have to check the environment by asking and reading on reports.

Nevertheless, vacation rentals by owner have a lot to offer you. In a hotel you can get a room that would cost you a different amount per each person staying in said room and be really crowded and just have a rather cramped, annoying vacation as opposed as to what you were planning on having in the first place. However, if you choose to rent a vacation home, you have a nicer, less crowded place to stay in. You don’t have to worry about who kicked you in your sleep or how you ended up on the floor with no covers like when you stay at a hotel. Nor do you have to fuss at the kids to stop hopping on the bed because they’re so anxious to move around from being stuck in one place for the last few hours.

You see, when you get vacation rentals by owner, you don’t have to worry about the kids and yourself being cooped up for hours on end in the same room-you have room to breath. Though most vacation rentals owned by owners are paid in deposit with one two months deposit, common globally, you can still get your deposited amount less other auxiliary expenses like laundry, housekeeping, food and parking fees. In some privately owned vacation rentals, the deposit is consumable; not refundable in cash. Likewise, if you need car rentals, do not hesitate to ask as most vacation rentals by owner have garage where you can park your car with a minimal fee.

Five Islands Of Lake Garda


Lake Garda Italy is located in Northern part of Italy and is the largest lake in Italy. It is made of ice mass during the completion of final ice age in the mountainous area. It is simply remarkable from each direction the lake is enclosed by urban areas that makes the area attractive. Isola del Garda, Isola San Biagio, Isola dellOlivo, Isola di Sogno and Isola di Trimelone are the five islands located in Garda Lake.

Isola del Garda occupies largest space among the five. It is amazing to watch. The island re-opens every year during the months between May and September for the visitors. It will take about 2 hours along side with the guide and after reaching the island there is a garden of Western and Italian Style. There are some rooms of the period of 20th Century representing the culture of ancient Italians. After that we can have some wine, olive oil and snacks of which are made on Italian Style. It gives pleasure not only to a single person but to the complete unit after touring the island.

If you are preparing for a journey with kids or with a gang you can consult to the lady who arrange for trips through their web portals. After that make them a guide for the trip. It will you get some concession and they will explain in brief about the place.

Isola San Biagio is the second biggest of the five islands of Lake Garda. This too looks wonderful, that cannot expressed in words. It can be admired only visiting the location once. San Biagio is the wonderful place to stay and from there you can see the beauty of Lake Garda Italy and places surrounding it. It is the mixture of natural and artificial methodology that makes the lake more attractive. The time that you spend there will reactivate the body and mind for getting into the busy and hurrying way of work.

Comparing Isola del Garda and San Biagio, Isola dellOlive, Isola di Sogno and Isola di Trimolone are smaller in size. They too look more pleasant. Those who admire nature can be more comfortable of visiting here to spend their off day. It will give them extreme satisfaction of you being visited to the heaven.

Travelling to the City of Glory, Kolkata


Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, is perhaps one of those cities that has advanced with time but still retains an old-world charm. The extraordinary architecture of the majestic monuments which are acknowledged in the history books are still worth appreciating as there hasn’t been much damage to the beautiful looking buildings. The active tramways, the road-side passionate chefs selling Bengali street-snacks and an overall humid area that feels like a hot sauna and steam room, Kolkata is a place that despite all its shortcomings knows how to make travelers feel comfortable.

Despite being enwrapped in the traditional and colonial charm, Kolkata doesn’t fail to represent its modernistic side. The city has been one of the most attractive tourist destinations in India and has invited many international expats to discover the exotic natural life and historical beauty of the state. Being a gateway to so many tourists throughout the year, the -City of Joy- has successfully managed to create a luxurious shelter for one and all. Bearing in mind that Kolkata invites a mixed type of travelers, there are many decent as well as luxurious 5 and 4 star hotels in Kolkata that make the stay of guests pleasurable.

There are few 4 star hotels near Kolkata Airport that amaze guests with their world-class facilities and discreet services, all at affordable prices. Such hotels usually provide a range of accommodation options considering the needs of business as well as leisure travelers. Starting from an executive room to a lavish suite, the rooms offer complimentary Wi-Fi and amenities like desk with work station, mini-bar and in-room digital safe. For people who have come for leisure break can even take advantage of recreational facilities like spa and gymnasium.

People travelling to Kolkata for business reasons prefer staying at hotels near Kolkata airport. While tourists can easily find hotels and guestrooms near the airport, business travelers have to search for a hotel that would provide them facilities to host corporate conferences with top-notch audio and visual facilities. One can also find 3 and 4 star hotels near Kolkata Airport that provide with the opportunity to host a wedding in banquet halls. This perhaps enables people to invite their guests from different parts of the world to stay at a comfortable abode and yet at the same time enjoy celebrations.

Visiting Kolkata is like traveling to a journey of generosity where one can feel the warmth and kindness that is spread throughout the atmosphere. The Victorian-era buildings might make one’s mind traverse to the glorious olden times, the modern entertainment areas surely bring one back to the present time. One must travel to Kolkata to experience a unique combination of the old and the new, and to be a part of the effervescent culture that adds a spark of happiness in the lives of many.

Excitement Of Adventure Tour In India


India is home to a number of outstanding destinations where tourists can enjoy in a variety of interesting places and also can enjoy water sports. For all adventure sport lovers there are wildlife environs and the camping locales India are wonderful. India creates the excitement in the hearts of all adventure lovers and guests in the country. India has many things to explore and some of them are much striking. It depends on tourists what all places they want to visit with India tour. Those who want to go on adventure tour can enjoy their in India as India has many exciting places for adventure tour.

There are number of adventure tours that tourists can avail on their adventure tour to India to make their tour memorable and remarkable trip. For getting the more information or for its booking one can visit the online sites and choose the attractions of his interest. Tourists coming to India often want to explore the beauty of north India where they can explore the major destinations of India that are Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. These cities are some of the most sought after cities of India because of having world popular sites like Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Sikandra, city palace, Hawa Mahal and some others. These famous cities can be visited with golden triangle tour which is one of the most famous tour options of India.

On their adventure tour, tourists can experience the exciting activity of mountain climbing on Himalayan peak or rafting down snow-fed river. Adventure tours in India presents the tours to adventure related places of the country. Visitors can enjoy trekking in garhwal, trekking in kumaon garhwal, rafting in ganges, white river rafting, water sports, trekking tours, Wild life tours, Jeep safaris, Camel safaris, adventure travels, Mountain biking in India, snow Camping, bhaba valley trek, sundardhunga trek, panwali bugyal trek,pabbar valley trek, Kinnaur valley and many more. Besides these, visitors can enjoy the glory of many others worth visiting destinations of India with India travel tours to make their worthy and full of excitements and joy.

Cholamandalam Travel Insurance Plans


Indians are travelling like never before. Be it for leisure, business, further education or more, there is an estimated increase of 20% traffic travelling overseas every year. And a study shows that 80% of the travelers like to buy travel insurance policies online to ensure they are leaving their baggage of worries at home while they travel overseas.

There are many insurance companies offering travel insurance plans. Cholamandalam is one of the reliable travel insurance among these. Although most of the benefits arising out of Chola Travel Insurance are the same as others viz Medical Treatment, Repatriation of Remains, Dental Treatment, Checked Baggage Loss, Checked Baggage Delay, Passport Loss, Personal Liability, Hijack Relief Benefit, Hospital Daily Cash, Financial Emergency, Trip Cancellation, Trip Curtailment, Trip Delay, International Driving License Loss, Home Burglary, etc. However what sets Chola apart from others is:
Door-to-door Cover which means that your travel insurance starts the moment you leave your home for airport and ends when you return home from airport. Also it covers Personal Accident both overseas and domestic during your travel insurance validity.
Extensive network of hospitals and service providers all over the world.
Age Limit of family members starts from 3 months upto 80 years. No medical checkups are required for family members upto 65 years of age.
Pre-existing conditions are covered under life-saving unforeseen emergencies. Cholamandalam provides cover for any eventuality arising from a pre-existing condition.
Tie-up with I-SOS (the world-renowned International SOS) for Claims Processing and Assistance Services.

Besides the above listed benefits you get Toll-free phone numbers to contact the service provider from most frequently visited countries. The claims are settled fairly in a quick fashion. You just need to keep a copy of all the bills so that you can substantiate your claims and get timely reimbursement.

Cholamandalam insurance can be bought online at EIndiaInsurance. You can compare the insurance plan with other brands and can get a quote immediately. You can also speak to insurance agents on the phone to get complete information on the plan that you are interested in. Whenever buying an overseas travel insurance always remember to see what all is excluded and get complete clarity so that you know what you are paying for, what all it covers, what are its benefits and be sure if its worth your hard earned money or not. Last but not the least, do not just buy any travel insurance which is cheap coz you might have to shell money out of your pocket in the event of any unforeseen emergency which might not be covered under the cheap travel insurance plan. A few rupees more might just give you a complete peace of mind while you explore the other world. So travel, but with a good travel insurance plan in your backpack!

Jim Corbett National Park Tour With Nainital Travel Guide


Today, Life is very busy, and it is very difficult to take out some time for the family. But to have fun is also very important for life; therefore going for tour is the best option where you can have some extra time with the family or friends. Plan such types of tour which is less time taking. Corbett Nainital Tour is the 5 days tour. This tour is the best way to enjoy some time with the family from your busy schedule.

This tour will start from Jim Corbett National Park to Nainital. In this tour Ranikhet will also be covered as it is near to Nainital. You can have a choice by which mode you will prefer for touring. Whether you can travel with your own vehicle or hire jeep safari with your family from national park to Nainital.

This tour will include 4 nights and 5 days and it will include

Corbett national park to Nainital.

From Nainital to Ranikhet.

From Ranikhet to again Nainital.

From Nainital to Delhi.

Before going for Nainital from Corbett national park, it will take at least 2 days in park which also includes many tours like.

Corbett Tiger Tour- Corbett National Park is famous for wild life sanctuary, so it offers us to take the advantage of tour which is available to them. Corbett Tiger Tour is a small tour which covers 3 nights and 4 days where you can have a chance to enjoy for jeep safari along with elephant safari in corbett. This will include 3 jeep safari and 1 elephant safari in cobrbett. You can also enjoy forest lodges along with the wildlife.

This tour will include travelling

From Delhi “”Dhikala “”in which you can enjoy wild life along with the elephant rides and Forest lodges for overnight stay.

From Dhikala to Corbett National park- Where you can enjoy jeep safari and also visit Dhangari museum.

From Corbett national parks to airport or bus stand for departure.

You can also plan to visit agar as Corbett national park has a tour available with them which is known as Corbett Agra Tour.

Corbett Agra Tour- This tour will start from Delhi to Agra and from Agra to Corbett national park. This tour is also a small tour which includes 3 nights and 4 days. This tour takes you to the historical land of Agra and thrilling land of Corbett.

Kaziranga National Park Tour


Kaziranga National Park is a great wildlife destination which is famous across the globe. Its main highlights are one-horned rhino (endangered), tiger and elephant. Recognized as a World Heritage Site, the Park is located in Assam. Apart from a variety of wildlife this Park houses amazing resident and migratory birds. A wildlife tour in North East India is incomplete without a visit to Kaziranga National Park.


Renowned the world over for its endangered one-horned Rhino and a variety of other wildlife, Kaziranga National Park is an important wildlife destination of India. Set ideally on the banks of River Brahmaputra, it is a World Heritage Site located in the enchanting state of Assam. It has the highest density of tigers among protected ares in the world. It was recognized as a Tiger Reserve in 2006. It is also declared an important Bird Area by Birdlife International for conservation of bird species. This Park has played a significant role in wildlife conservation. It was recognized as a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1940.

Covering an area of 430 sq km, this Park is a home to mesmerizing wildlife such as Indian Elephants, Hog Deer, Indian Bison, Capped Langurs, Swamp Deer, Tigers, Leopard Cats, Sloth Bears, Jungle Cats, Jackal, Otters, Hog Badgers, Wild Boar, Pythons, Wild Buffalo and Monitor Lizards.

Its landscape encompasses tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests. There are several water bodies in the Park, which serve as promising sites for wildlife sighting.

The Park is also a bird’s paradise where you can sight a variety of colorful birds such as Oriental Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Himalayan Griffon, Pallas’s Fishing Eagle, White Tailed Eagle, Black-Shouldered Kite and Grey-Headed Fishing Eagle. If you visit the Park during the winters you might see beautiful migratory birds such as Greylag Geese, Gadwall, Ruddy Shelduck, Bar-Headed Geese, Red-Crested Pochard, Falcated Duck and Northern Shoveller.

A visit to Kaziranga National Park will surely crown your holidays with wonderful memories which you can cherish for long.

All India Travel Tours offer great wildlife tours to India. Travel to North East and visit its most famous wildlife destination, Kaziranga National Park. The Park is a World Heritage Site where wildlife lovers come from far and wide. The endangered one-horned rhino is the major draw of the Park.

Ionian Islands in Greece – Great For a Sailing Charter


Sailing in Greece is perfect when you are in the Ionian Islands. Ionian Islands is a group of islands located in the western portion of Greece. It is perfectly situated along the Ionian Sea on the coasts of Peloponnesus and Epirus. Its major islands are Paxos, Cythera, Ithaca, Lefkas, Zacynthus, Cephalonia, and Corfu. The islands first inhabitants were the Old Greeks. They first occupied the islands probably near the beginning of the 9th or 10th century BC. Yet, it was later ruled by other western civilizations. Among them are the Roman (146 BC), Byzantium (300 AD), and the Venetian Empires (1204 AD). Subsequently, before it was acquired by Greece in 1864 and claimed the island as part of the country’s official territory, the island was earlier yielded to other countries. These include France (1807), Russia (1799), Turkey (1799), and the United Kingdom (1815).

Ionian Islands is also recognized as Eptanisa or the Seven Islands because of its 7 major islands. Because of its mild climate and nice ports, it became one of Greece’s most visited yacht charter areas along the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

When you are cruising in Greece, it is very common to see gulet motorsailers, yachts, flotillas, and bareboats. If you are taking your holiday with your kids or the whole family, sailing in Ionian Islands is ideal for you. This is because the islands has calm seas and gentle winds. Travelers who are not excperienced in sailing can also enjoy the islands perfect climate.

Sailing in Greece through the Ionian Islands is an ideal holiday vacation. The islands has several harbors and docks that can be used as a charter base. Preveza, Corfu, and Lefkas are Ionian Islands 3 yacht charter bases. From these 3 ports, the most visited and admired is the Lefkas harbor. Lefkas is characterized by its apt Mediterranean climate and interesting trekked mountains. Furthermore, its beaches have golden sand and full-size waves. Lefkas’ most beautiful beaches include Perigiali, Nikiana, and Nidri.

On the other hand, some sailing tourists favor the Preveza port. It is located along the Amvrakia Gulf. The port is distinguished by its sturdy crosscurrent.

So the next time you are sailing in Greece, do not forget to spend your holiday vacation in Ionian Islands. It has all you wanted – a great retreat that is ideal for you and your whole family.