Articles

Richard Earls has spent the last 28 years in the travel industry as an agency owner, a technologist, a publisher and a writer. The publishing credits to Richard’s resume are many, including Weissmann Travel Reports, STAR Service, Intelliguide, BTP24, Voyager Travel Guides and Travel Research Online. He is currently self-unemployed.

Why Travel Agents Are Back in Vogue

Here’s a fact seldom discussed when the topic of travel agents arises. When the airlines began cutting commissions to travel agents in the mid-90′s, the real problem wasn’t commissions. No, the airlines had another reason for wanting travel agents out of the picture. Travel agents told clients how to obtain the lowest fare. Call American Airlines directly and they don’t tell you Delta has a lower fare. But a travel agent would.

Know what? They …

Tanzania – The Camp Elephant

My teenage son and I arrived at the Tarangire Treetops Safari Camp in the late afternoon. A day of safari through the Tarangire National Park had put us face to face with lions, elephants, baboons and a number of gazellelike creatures of varying types. It had been a terrific first day of exploring Tanzania’s Northern Circuit, and we were eager to see firsthand the camp we had heard so much about. As the Range Rover …

Under the Sea – Planning a dive vacation

Scuba diving offers travelers seeking an active vacation the opportunity to view parts of our world seen by very few. Divers are part of an exclusive club, sharing experiences normally reserved for marine life. Like few other activities, diving provides an unparalleled reason to travel and one that will leave you searching for your next marine adventure. If the idea of sharing your holiday with angel fish, eels and sharks, watching turtles gliding along the …

Celtic Heritage and Genealogy

Tracing your cultural heritage and family genealogy is a fascinating undertaking. Family origins have an interest that goes beyond mere intellectual curiosity. We feel bound by our connections to the past, by an archetypal respect for all that has come before us. The mystery of your family’s origins is waiting to be uncovered, no matter what your race or country of origin. With a bit of planning and skillful research, it is possible to reveal …

Brazil on a Roll

Brazil is on a roll, and its star city of Rio de Janeiro is the hub of all the action.

Rio may be the world’s most misunderstood city. Ask someone who has never been and they basically know Carnaval, an iconic statue of Christ, bikinis bursting with attitude and that the town is ringed by favalas. But there is so much more to Rio and the world is about to discover the energy of a …

Aloha Families!

There may be no more diverse destination on the planet than Hawaii.  Not only is the terrain amazingly varied – deserts, beaches and lush rainforests, mountains and oceans, deep valleys and soaring volcanoes – but the climates there range from sub-arctic to tropical.  The available activities are almost without end. The culture is a mix of Polynesian, Asian, European and American.  But perhaps the most varied aspect of the Islands is the way that this tremendous …

Niche Cruising: Exploring the World from the Bow of a Ship

Is it really possible that less is more? If you are talking about small ship and niche cruising, the answer is a definitive “Yes!” Whether you want to cruise on a tall-masted ship, sail the Amazon, visit small, secluded islands or see Antarctica up close and personal, niche cruising offers a fantastic alternative to mega-liner cruise ships. Because most niche cruise lines are operated by smaller companies, their itineraries and even their existence is often …

Sunsets, Atlantis and Santorini

Everyone has a favorite spot for a sunset.  Few rival those to be seen on the Cycladic island of Santorini. The island’s rocky cliffs, dotted with its famous white and blue homes and buildings provides a vista for a setting sun like no other.  Rising out of the Aegean sea, Santorini is really a jewel among the many wonderful Greek islands. Set in its volcanic rim, surrounded by the bluest of water, the island and its …

Please Stay at Home

Excuse me.  Sir!  You there.  I have a request.  No, not you nice man.  You go on about your day and enjoy your vacation.

I’m speaking to the other gentleman, the one who is so incapable of controlling his impulses that he just chucked that small boy overboard.  Oh!  That was your son, and you were just playing?  I see.

Well, I’m also talking to that lady over there who thinks it’s funny to draw a picture …

Halloween Around the World

Jack-O-Lanterns, an American Classic

Americans mark autumn with two major holidays: Thanksgiving in late November, and Halloween on Oct. 31. The latter is a personal favorite: Ever since I watched It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! as a  child, Halloween has been one of my anchor points for the fall season. Halloween as we know it, with the trick-or-treating and funny costumes, is for all intents and purposes a strictly Western practice. Though it has in recent …

Hawaii on a Budget

Here’s a great secret – you don’t have to spend a fortune to spend time in Hawaii.  Don’t get me wrong – if you want to stay at first class properties, fly in the front of the plane and eat at some of the world’s finest restaurants, Hawaii will certainly afford you the opportunity.  However, it is also possible to visit Hawaii, see the sites, eat well and experience the Islands up close and personal …

Anguilla – Feeling is Believing

Who comes to love Anguilla? Much is made of the rich and famous who come to this island haven to hide in plain site, to mingle undisturbed. But for every celebrity there are the thousands of visitors every year who come for the warm hospitality of the people, the brilliance of the beaches and the quiet, idyllic return to a more elegant, simple yet rich existence.

Anguilla is the northernmost of the Leeward Islands. It …

Ireland’s Puck Fair- No Kidding, the Goat is King

For three days each year in August, more than 20,000 people converge on Killorglin in Kerry in Southwest Ireland for the coronation of a goat. But not just any goat. No sir. That is King Puck on the stage in the center of town overlooking the river Laune. It is best to be full of good spirit in the King’s presence, because everyone else is! A three-day event commences amidst traditional Irish music. Saturday is …

Antarctica – Voyage to the end of the world

“Out of whose womb came the ice? And the hoary frost of Heaven, who hath gathered it? The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.” – Job 38:29

It is a land with little soil, where 96% of its mass is covered in ice, with no indigenous people, no indigenous government. No economic activity exists, except for that in small isolated encampments of scientists and from the …