My First Trip To Las Vegas, Nevada

I remember my first trip to Las Vegas like it was yesterday. In 1998, my parents won a trip for two to Las Vegas, but with some negotiating, they were able to have me tag along. I was only thirteen years old, but I was ready for the Neon City.

We stayed at what was then known as the Flamingo Hilton and it was wonderful. The room was nice, the dining options were great, the shows were terrific and the pool area was like heaven. I vividly remember sitting on the edge of the bed watching the movie, “Fools Rush In” and listening to the song, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis. To this day, whenever I listen to that song on my iPod, I am transported back to that bed in Vegas. I remember eating breakfast at the buffet and loving it. That was my first experience with a Vegas buffet. Today, I still eat at Vegas buffets and love them! My parents tried to get tickets to see the show, Splash, but it was sold out. Instead, we went on a timeshare tour and scored free tickets to a show called Forever Plaid. It was in an intimate theater and we had great seats. The show is no longer around, but my memories are. The pool area is as spectacular today as it was in 1998. I recently visited the pool area to see the flamingos, as I did thirteen years ago. The gardens are as lush as ever and the flamingos march around in their pink beauty.

The Bellagio was scheduled to open the week after our trip, so we did not have the chance to see the interior, but we did see the famous Bellagio fountains. The three of us were in awe and still when I see the fountains today, I am awestruck.

I remember my first visit to the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. Caesars Palace was fabulous then and they have done a wonderful job keeping it fabulous. The Forum Shops look the same today as they did in 1998. I loved shopping then and I love shopping now.

Our family trip to Las Vegas left an impression on all of us. My parents spoke of it for years. I still feel emotional when I walk by the Flamingo. Even though I have not stayed there since then, it will always have a special place in my heart.

10 Innovative Online Travel Websites

Traditional online travel planning and flight-booking sites like Expedia or Orbitz are still strong although their traffic is slowly lowering in relative terms compared to web based applications with a touch of Web 2.0. User generated content, social networking features, blogs, use of Google maps, collaborative planning, tagging, RSS feeds and similar innovations changed the way we travel. So what are the best travel web sites ?

WAYN (Where Are You Now?) is a social networking web site with 4 million members where you can log your trips, see who’s where or make new friends. Users are able to create a profile and upload photos, search for others and link them to their profiles as friends. Since this service is designed for travelers, members are able to search for contacts based on a particular location. Using a world map, it enables a user to visually locate where his/her contacts are situated around the world.

Wikipedia buzz has influenced also travel industry. Wikitravel is a project to create a free, complete, up-to-date, and reliable world-wide travel guide. It uses wiki model to create the guide and is built collaborative by travelers from around the world. Articles cover any level of geographic specificity, from continents to districts of a city, and wikitravel has become useful resource for travelers. Similar service is World66, which is an open content travel guide, where people from all over the planet can write about the places they love, the hotels they stayed in, or the restaurants in which they have eaten. Every part of the travel guide can be edited directly, and you can change the info you find, do a write up, add a complete city or just a bar or a restaurant. Service also generates a map of the world showing which countries you’ve traveled to in your life.

If you are looking for innovative travel search engine, you should check Kayak. It is a travel search engine and is considered as a meta-search engine which searches hundreds of other websites in real time for the best travel deals available. Kayak lets you look at a full range of airlines, hotels and car rental agencies quickly and efficiently based on the criteria you select. Kayak does not sell tickets or book hotels but is looking for best rates and provides you with links to travel agents where you can book a flight or an accommodation.

One of my favorite start ups is farecaster, which is the first airfare prediction website. They help online travel shoppers save money by answering the question; should you buy now or wait? In beta version, they offer airfare predictions from over 55 U.S. departure cities to top domestic destinations. They use data-mining algorithms to search for patterns, in the accumulated airfare data, which are associated with significant price changes. These patterns are represented and stored in models, and the models are then rigorously trained. Once created and trained, they use these models to predict the future. Then, current airfares can be scored by the model to answer the question, “is the price going up or down in the future?”

I also like next service although it probably won’t be widely accepted, but I can see that this can be very useful. Website enables a traveler to stick digital pins on a world map. Friends and family can then follow the progress. They do this by accepting a simple SMS from a traveler containing the nearest town to you and this is then plotted on a Google map. We all have mobile phones when we are traveling and rarely we sure don’t have 24/7 Internet connection.

There are many other niche services like Travel Buddy which is a social networking and travel community website offering an interactive system for sharing photos, blogs, groups, and ability to automatically generate personal travel maps based on user blogging activity. Collaborative travel planning services like Triporama provide a web service designed to make travel planning easier. Similar service to triporama is TripHub, which makes it easy to create a central “hub” for all trip information and discussions, you can invite people to join your trip and track who is coming, research and discuss travel plans and activities, collaborate on decisions and keep people informed and create a shared schedule of events. Relatively popular website is also 43 places where you can share stories about places in your city, and around the world. Website is using tagging and nearly 60.000 places are featured.

Services I mentioned can be useful additions to traditional services when we plan a trip. TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet with search engines mentioned in the beginning of this article are still the best travel related resources, but you can really expand your experience by using some websites with web 2.0 related features. Specially when you plan a trip. You can also ignore everything and go on a pure adrenaline I don’t know what will happen or where I will end up trip which can be entertaining sometimes but this is not the best approach for every life period.

Tips For Guest Bloggers: What You Should Do When You Guest Post

Asking a blogger to be a guest blogger in his site is not exactly an easy task. You have to do your research, consider lots of things and persuade him to saying yes to your guest post. Of course, being persuasive is not the only skill that you must have in order to make him say yes. In order to do that, you must show him that you are worth the slot too. How is this done, you may ask?

Well, take a look at the guest blogging tips that we have in store for you. With these tips, no blogger will surely say no to your guest post offer.

Guest Blogging Tips

When Thinking of a Topic:

Tip: The first thing you need to do is to take a long look at the blog that you want to guest post in. In order to know what the blog is talking about, read the “About” section thoroughly. This will give you the idea about what subject matters the blog is tackling (travel tips, travel ideas, etc.). After that, you should also read some of the blog posts. By doing so, you are assured that you will not pitch any topic that is similar to the blog’s previous posts. This will be a big no-no. After doing the proper research, think of what topic is good to pitch, depending on the reader’s comments and previous blog posts.

When Communicating With The Blogger:

Tip #1: Always be courteous and go direct to the point. To tell you the truth, compliments will get you nowhere. When you butter up the blogger, he can sense what you are doing and chances are, you will not be able to get the spot. Always remember that bloggers are way too busy to entertain all your chats and comments. That is why you should not beat around the bush. When you do an email pitch, tell him what you can offer to the blogger and to his readers in detail. Also, do not try to add more things to your credentials, the blogger will know if you do so.

Tip #2: Include all your credentials. It is always best to let the blogger know about your credential. Through this, you can establish the reasons why you are the best person to do the job.

Tip #3: Let the blogger know about your blog stats. There is no reason for you to hide your blog stats, most especially if they are good. Through this, the blogger will get to know how authoritative you are in your niche. Show them your page view stats, search engine rankings as well as your monthly unique visitor.

Tip #4: Include links to a sample of your work and your blog. How can a blogger decide if he will take your offer if you will now show him any samples of your writing? This is why you should provide links to your blogs and other online writing projects when you pitch your topic.

These are just some tips that you should take note of when doing your pitches.