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How to Travel by Train to Florida

Beautiful beaches are one reason why people go to Florida by train.
Florida is known for its sandy white beaches, multiple theme parks and historic sites. A popular spring break destination, and place to get away from the cold weather in the north, people chose to visit Florida for a wide variety of reasons. While many people may fly or drive to Florida, for some people these are not viable options. The train can get you to Florida faster than a car would with the convenience of the plane.


  1. Decide which city in Florida to visit. In 2010, Amtrak has 20 locations in Florida, not counting bus stops. Amtrak has stops in all of the continental 48 states for your convenience, although you may need some form of transportation to get to the station.
  2. Purchase your ticket. You may purchase the tickets online at Amtrak’s website or by calling 800-872-7245. Ticket prices will vary, depending on your travel dates, the distance from your location to Florida and any current Amtrak specials that might be running. Depending on the distance you are traveling, sleeper cars may be available. Also, different types of tickets are available for different prices, which include dining and better seating.
  3. Prepare your bags. As of 2010, Amtrak allows passengers to bring two carry-on bags and three checked bags. Each bag may not weigh more than 50 lbs. Dangerous objects like firearms, incendiaries, axes, toxic chemicals and clubs are not allowed on trains. Animals, with the exception of service animals, are also prohibited from the trains. Food and beverages are allowed.
  4. Get on the train. Your train ticket will list your local train station along with the date and time of your train. You will need to check in prior to the train leaving. If you are checking in any bags, you will need to be there at least 30 minutes early. When you order your ticket, you have the option of having it mailed to you via US mail or picking it up at the station either by a Quik-Trak kiosk or from a staff member located at your station.
  5. Dining is available on most trains. Certain tickets include the price of a meal. If yours does not, you may also purchase a meal using a credit card.

The Best Disney Vacation Packages

Disney vacations are family-friendly.

Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida have been vacation destinations for families for many years because Disney characters come to life and engage children in activities and encourage happiness and fun. Disney resorts are very large and navigating the parks can be a challenge without careful advance planning. There are several Disney vacation packages and planning tools available to assist parents in creating the most reasonable vacation possible based on their budget and time of travel.
Disney vacation packages create an all-inclusive travel itinerary complete with accommodations, activities and attractions and even meals so families can focus on enjoying themselves.

Disneyland Vacation Package

  • Disneyland’s “Resort Hotel” vacation package includes accommodations at one of the three Disneyland hotels: Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, the Disneyland Hotel or Disney’s Grand California Adventure Hotel and Spa. The package comes with many amenities including access to on-site fitness centers and recreational facilities and access to the theme parks through an exclusive entrance. The Resort Hotel vacation package also includes a souvenir “Park-hopper” ticket which provides access into both Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure park in the same day. Guests also receive admission into selected attractions at the park as well as preferred seating at select shows at the California Adventure park.

Magic Your Way Platinum Package

  • Walt Disney World’s “Magic Your Way Platinum Package” provides carefree vacation planning and a very comprehensive list of amenities for families traveling to Disney World in Orlando. With this package, guests have the option of selecting accommodations at the Disney Deluxe or Disney Deluxe Villas Resort for anywhere from one to 10 nights. Guests receive pre-arrival itinerary planning which assists with dinner reservations, golf tee times, show tickets and theme park tours to get you acquainted with the park prior to your arrival. Each day, guests can choose which of the four Disney World theme parks they would like to visit. Visitors have the option of visiting a different park every day. Other amenities included in this package include fireworks viewing, Walt Disney World Marina discounts, miniature golf and more. There is also a dining package included which provides three meals and two snacks per day.

Getaway Today Disney Package

  • Get Away Today Disney Packages offers guests flexibility in accommodations as well as the number of nights they wish to visit Disney. Hotel locations vary depending on the guest’s budget and where they would like to stay within the proximity of the Disneyland Parks in Anaheim. Vacation package includes accommodations at the hotel of the guest’s choice as well as admission to Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure Park with the park-hopper bonus ticket.

    Other specialty items included in the package are collectible pins with each adult ticket, a Disney sling backpack for each child under 9, and printable discount coupons for use in and around Southern California. Travelers also have the option to add tickets for additional attractions, dining, transportation, tours and merchandise at the time they book their package.

Why Are Marines Sometimes Called Leathernecks?

U.S. Marines go by several nicknames, including jarheads, devil dogs and gyrenes, according to author Marion F. Sturkey, a former Marine helicopter pilot. Each nickname carries with it an element of Marine Corps history, but none reach back further into the Corps’ past than “Leathernecks.”


  • The Continental Marine Corps was commissioned on November 10, 1775, by the Continental Congress.


  • In 1798, Marines were issued a collar of stiff black leather annually as part of their uniform. Measuring approximately 3.5 inches high and fastened at the back of the neck by metal clasps, the collars forced a haughty military bearing.


  • According to the Marine Corps Association, “Legend and lore have it that the term “leatherneck” was derived from leather neckbands worn in the late 1700s to protect Marines from the slash of the cutlass.”

Time Frame

  • The leather collar was dropped from the uniform by 1900.


  • The historic uniform is commemorated in the high collar of the U.S. Marine Corps dress uniform and the sobriquet “Leathernecks.”

Economic Benefits of Adventure Tourism

Adventure tourism has many benefits to the economies in which the businesses are located. Adventure travel companies provide significant opportunities for people all over the world, often in places where economic development is stunted because of lack of investment, education and access.

Ease of Development

  • The adventure tourism industry benefits from low capital start-up costs for entrepreneurs, enabling the development of new markets in virtually any economic area. These new developments often create opportunity for foreign and local investments.

Job Creation

  • Adventure tourism and new companies that support it bring development projects and new jobs, increasing the financial gains for local people in that location.

Environmental Awareness

  • Adventure travel fuels environmental awareness. Adventure tourism companies lead initiatives that raise awareness of activities and practices that have a low environmental impact.

Better Land Management

  • Adventure tourism gives communities a financial reason to take a second look at land usage.

Increased Education and Health Benefits

  • In addition to increased employment, local people benefit from the educational and health benefits that a sustainable economy brings. According to the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s 2008 Development Index Report, “The prospect of employment and participation in a growing economy encourages interest in education.”

Giving Back to Communities

  • Murray Bartholomew, membership administrator of the Adventure Travel Trade Association, stated in a news release that adventure travel companies “demonstrate ongoing cultural, social and economic commitment” by establishing foundations that allow the tourism company and its customers to give back to the supporting communities.

How to Plan a Vacation on a Budget

A family vacation can be expensive these days. Gas prices are high. Air travel is not cheap. So how do you vacation on a budget? Just follow these travel planning tricks and you’ll be able to go on more trips that cost less money than what you’re paying now.


  1. Vacation on a budget right in your home town. Unplug and turn off your phones. Visit museums and parks. Bring your own food and have a picnic. Go to a movie, or have a BBQ and invite the neighbors.
  2. Save your money and take a road trip. Be aware that food and lodging costs often can be expensive. So if you’re stressed before a vacation, you may become even more stressed after the vacation because of the big debt you’ve incurred. Only spend money you have and can afford to live without.
  3. Check the popular travel web sites on the Internet for specials on hotel rates, and for package deals involving lodging, airfare and/or car rentals.
  4. Call the hotel you want to stay at directly and see if you can get an even better deal for your vacation on a budget.
  5. Join airline frequent flyer programs to begin building up points redeemable at a later date for free airline tickets.
  6. Book with a travel agency to save time and often money. (See Tips below for more on this.)
  7. Secure lower rates by scheduling airline flights on Tuesday, Wednesdays or Thursdays; and/or late at night or early in the morning. Fly off-season; your destination will be quieter and more relaxing without the crowds.
  8. Search for books and other travel tips on the Internet where you will find eBooks, publishers on budget travel, and websites that bid and barter with major airlines for canceled seats at a discount for you. (See Resources below.)

 All-Inclusive California Disneyland Vacations

All-Inclusive California Disneyland Vacations

Maybe it is time to capture a little fairy dust at Walt Disney’s original Disneyland Park and its newest addition, Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, California. The Disneyland website provides a unique cafeteria-style menu selection for booking an all-inclusive vacation package. You may want to consider all available options for your escape to the Magic Kingdom.


  • The Disneyland online booking website offers two attractive all-inclusive vacation packages, the moderately priced Good Neighbor Hotel Package and the Resort Hotel Vacation Package.


  • An all-inclusive California Disney vacation includes your choice of moderate to resort-type hotels, a selection of “park hopper” tickets, breakfast with Disney characters, dining in Disneyland, shuttle services, souvenirs and special performances. A “park hopper” ticket provides entrance to both Disney theme parks for the length of your stay or preferences. You choose the package and added amenities to fit your budget and interests.

Good Neighbor Hotels

  • Good Neighbor Hotels are located close to Disneyland and, although moderately priced, offer an array of amenities. The Anaheim Fairfield Inn by Marriott, Anaheim Camelot Inn & Suites and Best Western Pavilion are examples of the types of accommodations offered. Some hotels offer free breakfast microwaves, refrigerators, suites and shuttle services. All Good Neighbor Hotels offer swimming pools, Wi-Fi, cable TV and other amenities. Special discounts may apply at the time of booking that include third night free or percentage discounts

Resort Hotels

  • Disney resort hotels are the original Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. Each of the resorts offers the maximum in comfort and amenities near the heart of the theme parks. The Grand Californian has a Disney vintage motif. The Paradise Pier offers a Disney seaside theme with a water slide. The original Disneyland Hotel offers the world-renowned monorail ride to the entrance of Disneyland.

Alternative Booking

  • Popular online booking sites such as Orbitz, Expedia, Priceline and others offer all -inclusive California Disneyland vacation packages. Vacation packages include flight, hotel, Disneyland “park hopper” tickets, Disney character meals, rental cars, shuttle service and complimentary breakfast. You choose the travel itinerary, hotel, “park hopper” ticket and other personal choices and the website genie does the rest. All you need to do is input your credit card information and a confirmed itinerary is available for your records.

Airline and Special Hotel Packages

  • United Airlines and American Airlines offer package hotel and flight packages including the option to add “park hopper” tickets for both Disneyland’s theme parks. The Portofino Inn & Suites, across the street from Disneyland, offers a special all-inclusive Disneyland vacation. The Portofino offers kids suites, deluxe rooms with Disneyland theme park admissions in affordable two-day, three-day and four-day package deals.

How to Plan a Disney Vacation for a Large Family

             Disney theme parks are a vacation children dream of and parents want to give. There are many locations to choose from and you can personalize the trip to suit your needs and your budget. Disney package deals can be found and for less than you might think. Here are some tips on how to plan a Disney vacation for a large family, so you can enjoy as much of Disney as possible without sending you to the poor house. Disney is a wonderful place to take your family on vacation. Plan ahead and search around for the best deals.


  1. Ask yourself if you want a relaxing getaway or do you want the excitement and thrills. It is quite possible you may want some of both.
  2. Decide who and how many are going with you. If you and your significant other are going, your itinerary will be vastly different from that of parents with a preschooler.
  3. Decide if you will use a travel agent or booking service. Many travel agents are able to secure lower airfares, hotel rates and attraction tickets at a reduced price from what the general public might play. You certainly can book all the arrangements yourself, but you may be missing out on some great packages or vacation deals.
  4. Plan your traveling arrangements. A large family will be costly, if you decide to fly. Of course, the rise in gas prices can be hard on a large family as well. Decide which means of travel is best suited for your family.
  5. Be aware that if you book a flight over 21 days in advance, you will get a substantially lower rate than if you book the week before you leave. To save some extra cash, try to find a flight that leaves on Tuesday or Wednesday. These are often the cheaper days to fly. If your children are older, you might also consider a red eye flight. Many times these flights can save you another 30 percent off a regular daytime airline ticket.
  6. Try to find a hotel located on a Disney property. There are some very substantial benefits to staying there. You will be provided transportation. The park has transportation to and from the hotels. Disney also has the Magic Express, which will take your bags from the airport to your room. It might, however, take up to four hours for you to receive them. A great bonus to a Disney property is how you can have your souvenirs delivered to your hotel room. This is a great way to keep from carrying toys and such from your children all over the park.
  7. Consider purchasing the Park Hopper Pass. You can enter all the parks, and some of the water ones, too. You can go from park to park at your leisure. If you buy the complete Disney pass, you will find your park passes, room keys, and credit card can be in one Disney card. It is a great way to keep from losing something.
  8. Check out additional special offers. Disney has many special offers. Extra Magic Hours allow a Disney hotel guest to enter the park after it is closed. This is great fun because you may not experience any lines for the rides. Dining plans are also available and usually will pay for themselves after the first meal.

How to Use U.S. Electronics in Japan With Plug Converters

Use your electronics in Japan with few adaptations. Japan uses a similar voltage to that used in the United States. We use 110 – 120 volts, while Japan uses 100. Most of our electronics work in that range without any noticeable change in efficiency or operation. Our power plugs are similar too. We both use plugs with two straight prongs; however, Japan’s outlets will not accept polarized plugs. Each prong on a Japanese plug is the same size — they do not feature one wider polarized prong. You will need a converter to use such plugs in Japan.

When you travel, plug adaptors make your electronics usable with local power outlets.

U.S. Polarized Power Plug

  1. If you plan to use a polarized plug, you will need a universal travel power plug adapter. Purchase an adapter that will accept both polarized and grounded plugs. Universal plugs are also known as all-in-one adapters because they have a selection of plug converter options in one small plastic, lightweight device. These can be found for less than $5 each online.
  2. Before departing on your trip, examine the plug converter to learn how it functions. Insert your polarized plug in the receiving side and extend the double straight prongs on the other side to practice operating the device.
  3. Upon arrival in Japan, plug your adapter into the wall, then plug your electronic power cord into the converter.

U.S. Grounded Power Plug

  1. Japan has no grounded power plug receptacles. If you plan to travel with electronics that require a three-prong grounded outlet, you must acquire a universal travel power plug converter. Purchase one that accepts both grounded and polarized plugs.
  2. Practice inserting the grounded plug into the converter before leaving the U.S. Also practice pulling out the two prongs you will use in Japan. It saves time and frustration to examine new equipment before your trip, so you know how to operate it upon your arrival at your destination.
  3. When you check in to your accommodations in Japan, plug the universal converter into the wall before attaching your electronic device.

How to Get the Cheapest Myrtle Beach Vacation Packages

Myrtle Beach vacation packages are a great way to save money and still enjoy a wonderful vacation on the beach. The most important thing that people need to realize is that not every vacation package is the same. Some Myrtle Beach vacation packages may look like a great deal but when compared to others it can be double the amount of money.

Myrtle Beach Vacation Packages


  1. Check out websites that offer discounted Myrtle Beach vacation packages such as and If you find a package that looks enticing, copy the information into a word processing document or print out the information. This may take some time but it is worth if you want to save money. Be sure that you save the website address where the package can be found in the beginning of the document.
  2. Start a file on your computer and Label it “Myrtle Beach Vacation Packages.” This file will contain all the different vacation packages that you find and save into documents. If you would rather print all the information out then you can simply use a paper folder and store all the information in the pockets. Some people find it is easier to compare vacation packages when they are printed out rather than simply on the computer.
  3. Look for Myrtle Beach vacation packages in the off season when prices on hotels get lower. The off season for Myrtle Beach ranges from the fall to the beginning of spring. You may also find that you can find cheaper rates in later spring, after spring break but before school has let out for the summer. Although the weather may be a bit colder you will find that rates are much cheaper and the beach is less crowded. This may not appeal to everyone, but it is a great way to save money.
  4. Consult a travel agent or discount travel agency like AAA to see if they have any cheap Myrtle Beach vacation packages. Sometime you may find that these places offer certain specials to certain areas that are cheaper than the vacation packages that you find online. Always ask about any fees or service charges that you may incur if you book with them.
  5. Be flexible in where you want to stay in Myrtle Beach. If you want to stay right on the beach you will most likely have to pay more for a hotel than if you stay somewhere that is not right on the beach or is on a quieter strip in the area. You can save hundreds of dollars on your vacation package by simply choosing a hotel or condo that is ½ mile from the beach rather than on the beach.
  6. Compare all your Myrtle Beach vacation packages that you have collected. Once you have done your research and decided on when and where you will stay, take all your information that you collected in your Myrtle Beach folder and compare the packages. Toss any of the options that don’t fit your criteria and then look at the price, what is included, and any special bonuses that you get in the package. Pick the Myrtle Beach vacation that is the cheapest and best deal for you.

How to Become a Travel Critic

Wandering the world, laptop in hand, might be the vision of an aspiring travel critic, but the reality is a bit different. Your primary job is writing about the places you’ve seen in fresh, interesting ways that make people want to take the same trip. You become a travel writer by first becoming a writer.


Get Ready

  • Although creative talent is necessary for any writer, a good education is the first step. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that a bachelor’s degree is usually required for a writer, especially one who wants a full-time job. Degrees in English, communications or journalism are typically preferred by employers. If you already know your target is travel writing, choose travel-related topics for course assignments whenever possible. Consider taking foreign language classes as electives to improve your ability to communicate in other countries.

Get Set

  • Writing experience will help you sharpen your skills and make you more attractive to an employer. Work for your high school yearbook or college newspaper while you complete your education. Explore part-time jobs or freelance opportunities with magazines and non-profit organizations, and in advertising or publishing companies. Some magazines offer summer internship, so look for travel magazines if possible. Many aspiring writers create personal blogs, both as a creative outlet and to practice their skills. Talk to your local Chamber of Commerce or visitor’s bureau about writing local flyers, newsletters and brochures for travelers to your area.

Get Technical

  • In today’s electronic world, a thorough knowledge of computers and excellent computer publishing skills are mandatory for a writer. Online publications might use text plus graphics, audio, video, animation and still pictures, all of which you might use in your work as a travel writer. Take additional courses to help increase your knowledge base and skills. Focus on topics that will help you prepare material directly for the Internet, such as graphic design, page layout and multimedia software. You might also be off the beaten track as a travel writer, so learn how to troubleshoot basic computer problems so you can still file stories even if you can’t find a computer technician in your area.

And Go

  • Many travel publications accept articles from freelance writers. Check their websites for submission guidelines, and if necessary, offer to write some articles for free to get your work known. Once you’ve built a reputation, you can propose articles to editors who know your work. Networking helps in establishing yourself, so join travel writers’ organizations or establish relationships with travel agencies or other organizations such as public relations firms involved in travel and tourism. Don’t expect overnight success, as it takes a long time to establish yourself as a travel writer and positions are limited.

How to Make a Travel Brochure for a School Project

A homemade brochure can be an excellent showcase for students who want to exercise their artistic, writing and research skills. It is also a relatively easy project that can be made using materials found in most homes, or via almost any kind of graphic design software.

Step 1: Layout

The standard format for a brochure uses a letter sheet (standard printing size) folded twice, so it is divided into three equal parts. When folded this way it is the perfect size for fitting into a business envelope. A letter size sheet is 8.5 by 11 inches, so you can mark the folds at the 3.7 inch and 7.3 inch measurements along the long side of the paper. Once it is folded you can see that there are six panels for you to fill, three on the front and three on the back of the sheet. Use a pencil to mark your template so you know where each panel is when the sheet is unfolded. For example, you can write “front cover” on the front panel, “inside left,” “inside center” and so forth.

Step 2: Research

The purpose of a brochure is to sell something or to inform, whether that is an idea, a product or a destination. For a travel brochure you will want to research the destination carefully and thoroughly. Investigate the major attractions and think about why someone might want to visit there. You will also want to find beautiful and relevant pictures to fill your panels. Look in travel magazines for inspiration and for pictures to cut out and use. If you find some ideal pictures in a book, you can photocopy or trace them for use in your brochure.

Step 3: Writing

Your language should be simple yet persuasive. If you are completing an assignment, make sure you include all the information required. Then you can plan out what else you need.

  • Your cover panel should have a simple
    title in large writing. You might also want to add a catchphrase.
  • The panel that folds inside the brochure should have your “big picture” information, outlining the basics of the destination and why someone
    should go there.
  • The three inside panels can either be used as a
    single big panel or divided up with separate information. For example, if you are presenting trip packages, this is where you will outline
    each option.
  • The back of the brochure (the
    center back panel) can be used for more detailed information, such as directions, prices or regulations. This is also a great place for statistics, such as how many people visit each year, average temperatures, peak travel times, etc.

Step 4: Pictures

Your pictures should be bold and crisp, without too much detail. They need to be easy to understand on a small, crowded surface as well as interesting and clear at a glance. Choose pictures that are relevant to whatever you are promoting in the brochure. You can cut pictures from old newspapers and magazines, photocopy them from books or print them from the Internet. Tracing or freehand drawing can also be very effective, particularly if you have odd spaces to fill in your brochure.


  • Try to pick photos that will not clash with each other. They also need to be relatively different. Don’t just use six pictures of the beach. Add pictures with people enjoying different activities.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

It can be tempting to let the pictures overwhelm the text, but you need both to find balance for a good brochure. It is best to keep the text in small chunks, with dark lettering on a bright background. You might want to write out your text roughly and cut it out in small boxes so you can determine the right positioning on your brochure.

  • Use your template to shift around your
    pictures and the blocks of text until you are happy with the
  • Mark the positions of all your images and text blocks on the template.
  • Use a fresh
    sheet of paper to make the final brochure. If you must mark it, use your pencil very lightly and erase the marks afterward.
  • Carefully paste your
    pictures in place and use a black ink pen to write the text.


  • If you are worried about your handwriting, you can write your text on a separate sheet and then cut and paste it into place. Another option is to type your words on a computer and print them as a block of text. Use the margin settings on your word processing software to manage the width of your text blocks.

Step 6: Computer-Designed Brochure

If you are using a computer, it can still be very helpful to have a physical template in front of you. This makes it easier to visualize how the final brochure will look and where everything should fit. You can make a brochure in any graphics design program and most word processing programs, including Microsoft Word.

  • When starting a new file, choose an A4 or letter size template and set it to landscape.
  • You will probably have to make two files, one for the front of
    your sheet and one for the back.
  • You can either print them
    double-sided on a single sheet or put the sheet through twice to be
    printed on both sides.


  • If you don’t have a color printer, you can design your brochure on your computer with the text in place and leave spaces for the pictures. After you print, you can cut relevant pictures from magazines and paste them into place.

How to Work As a Holiday Representative

Being a holiday representative is one of the most popular jobs in the tourism industry. The reason why is fairly obvious; you get to travel all around the world, often in luxurious surroundings. However, there are negatives to the job. There isn’t time for any personal leisure since the job involves helping vacationing people and being on call to do things for them up to 12 hours, six days a week. It can be taxing and pays equivalent to minimum wage. But to enjoy the positives, you’ll need some preparation before being hired.

Being a holiday representative doesn't mean having fun on a warm beach.

Preparing to be a Holiday Rep

  1. Seek out college courses in event planning or perhaps travel studies. These courses are usually available in community colleges and can be done in one or two semesters. You don’t need a college degree to be a holiday representative.
  2. Develop strong customer service skills by working elsewhere in that environment first for at least a year. A holiday rep needs to possess a strong sense of dealing with and catering to people. This includes dealing with people who may not always be courteous. It also means dealing with emergencies and other misfortunes that happen to people who travel.
  3. Look for a job as a holiday representative through tourism and resort companies. Know that getting a job in the field is extremely challenging due to demand outweighing availability.
  4. Choose a resort company you’re interested in and email them for an application. They’ll send you one in the mail within weeks or they may have one on line to print and mail. Prove your strong customer service skills in both a cover letter and in the application itself. Many people fail to get a holiday rep career job because they don’t sell their customer service skills in writing.
  5. Prepare to travel overseas for an interview with the company since many of them are located in popular tourist destinations. Be aware, though, that when you work for a resort company, they’ll frequently move you from location to location. You’ll be living in these places for long periods of time away from your family, often for two back-to-back seasons.

Proof of Skills in Interview

  1. Ask in your interview what your holiday representative job will entail. You’ll find out that you may have to greet guests at the airport to start. This might also result in handling problems like lost luggage and passports, tourist illnesses or even tragic circumstances, such as dealing with a rare tourist death.
  2. Prove your selling skills since you may be asked to sell resort excursions or other tour packages while working as a holiday rep.
  3. Do your homework about the tourist location you’ll be working in overseas. Research all the fun events going on in the immediate area of where you’re working so you can answer any excursion questions from the vacationers you’re catering to.
  4. Demonstrate in your interview that you’re also an excellent tour guide who can take people on excursions and make it entertaining. Show that you’re also a well-organized person who can handle holiday rep tasks such as organizing entertainment or keeping track of records and accounts.

Travel Trailer Propane Tips

Propane is a generally a non-toxic, non-poisonous gas commonly used in travel trailers to provide fuel for cooking stoves and heaters. However, using propane in bottles or tanks is not without its risks. Therefore, all due safety measures should be taken whenever propane gas is being used in a mobile home.

There are some essential safety tips when using propane in a travel trailer.

Leaks and Ventilation

  • Always store the tank in a properly ventilated area. Do not use tanks or stove connections unless they fit tightly and securely. Do not sleep with your head near or over the propane tank valves. Do not use grills or camp stoves fueled by propane indoors; always ensure proper ventilation. The smell of rotten eggs or rotten onions in the air warns of a propane leak. If a leak is suspected, call 911 and ask for the Fire Department. Evacuate the trailer. Do not attempt to search for the leak yourself, and do not turn on the lights or use an open flame in the vicinity. Know the propane tank exhaust point in your travel trailer and clear it of any leaves, branches or other combustible items. If there is a leak, do not touch the stove igniter.

Proper Care and Use of Tanks

  • Tanks should remain upright at all times and not be permitted to roll or get damaged. They should be stowed securely if the travel trailer is moved. All manufacturer’s instructions for camp stoves and any other appliances which might use propane for fuel should be followed carefully. Propane tanks should never be punctured. The valves should never be tampered with, nor connected to a hose not suitable in size. No open flame should be allowed near the tank or valve. Know where the shut off value is at all times in the event of an emergency. Do not try to reconfigure or repair the connections from the tank to the appliance.

Fire and Burn Safety

  • Keep children and pets away from any appliances being run with propane. Keep all flammable or combustible materials well away from any open flames. No flammable materials should be near any exhaust vent for the appliance.

Tank Set Up at a New Site

  • Check that there is no damage to the tank, nor any leaks, before connecting the travel trailer cables to the electricity supply, and before starting to use the propane tank.

How to Learn the Alphabet in Sign Language

Knowing how to fingerspell the alphabet in sign language provides the signer with a basic ability to communicate in sign language. It is useful for naming proper nouns or spelling certain short words. According to, “fingerspelling can also be used to spell words for signs that the signer does not know the sign for, or to clarify a sign that is not known by the person reading the signer. Fingerspelling signs are often also incorporated into other signs” (Reference 1). Learning the the ASL alphabet takes practice, but with a few exercises and a moderate amount of time, it is a very reachable goal. This article will focus on directions for learning the American Sign Language alphabet, or ASL.


  1. Place your hand in the proper position. Your hand will be at about chin level, but should not cover your mouth. When you form signs, make sure the signs face away from you, but not directly toward the person you are talking to. According to, “In general the palm of your hand faces 10 o’clock on the horizontal plane. Trying to force your palm to directly face the person you are signing to is uncomfortable for your wrist. But, you also don’t want to be ‘spelling to yourself’ either” (Reference 2).
  2. Learn a few letters at a time. Beginning with A, form the first few letters of the alphabet, and repeat these letters until you are comfortable. Then, add more letters. Continue this practice until you have memorized the hand formations for all 26 letters.
  3. Fingerspell simple words. Form each letter in a deliberate, clear manner. Practice in a mirror to allow yourself to see your communication skills.
  4. Practice with a partner. Have your partner fingerspell a word that you can practice reading. Then, fingerspell your own word and have your partner read. Continue to take turns until you are comfortable reading and spelling at a moderate pace.

How Much Money Should You Bring to Japan?

Don’t Depend on Credit Cards

  • “Japan is mainly a cash society,” notes the website of the British government’s Foreign Office, warning travelers that credit and debit cards issued outside of Japan aren’t widely accepted. Both the U.S. and British governments advise travelers to check in advance to see if their credit and debit cards will be accepted in Japan, and to ensure they have alternative sources of money.

Daily Expenses Vary Greatly

  • According to the travel guide “Lonely Planet: Japan,” travelers should expect to pay around 8,000 yen per person to stay in a business-class hotel and 2,500 yen for a mid-range meal. However, the guide notes that Japan’s reputation as an expensive country can be deceiving, pointing out that a fixed-price lunch or dinner meal can cost between 700 to 900 yen. The website Japan-Guide advises budgeting between 6,000 to 12,000 yen per day for “medium budget” travel.

Bottom Line

  • While the specific amount of money travelers will need varies greatly, the ability to access it is more important. Ensure before leaving that you will have access to sufficient cash reserves to cover your expenses, whatever they may be