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Discovering the Delights of Andermatt in the Swiss Alps

The Swiss Alps provide a breath of fresh air for anyone who is looking for an alpine adventure in truly beautiful surroundings. The landscape, culture and amenities all come together in the resort of Andermatt which can only be described as a snow sports paradise. The off-piste skiing and snowboarding is the obvious draw of the region, but there are other delights waiting to be discovered too. So if you are due to visit Andermatt and the Swiss Alps in the near future, you’ll want to read on to find out what you can expect…

Winter wonderland weather


There are some ski resorts in Europe that can be a bit disappointing when it comes to the snow forecast, but that cannot be said about Andermatt. During the winter you can expect a daily temperature of around -5ºC and -10ºC which is pretty perfect for perfecting your slalom and slicing. After all, you don’t want to be travelling to a destination that isn’t going to deliver exactly the winter wonderland you see in your mind’s eye! It’s also worth noting that the spring, summer and autumn are also excellent seasons to visit as the scenery is so stunning.

Super skiing and snowboarding


Andermatt and the surrounding area has traditionally been recognised for its off-piste challenges, but plans are underfoot to cater for many more families in the future. At the moment it is a haven for intermediates and advanced skiers and snowboarders. Those with a fair amount of practice under their belts will enjoy gentle Nätschen which has plenty of runs to get the adrenaline flowing. The same applies to Gemsstock, which at 2,963m is a mountain to test the experienced thrillseekers. In winter 2014, visitors to Andermatt will also be able to take advantage of a high-speed chairlift between the resort and neighbouring Sedrun, which will form the largest ski area in central Switzerland.

Lovely local cuisine


You will find the traditional cuisine of Switzerland when you are in Andermatt. You can try something new each night whether you visit a cafe, guest house or restaurant. Local dishes to try include a filling fondue or a calorific rosti topped with cheese – perfect when you’ve expended your energies on the slopes and need something hearty to eat. Of course you will still be able to find more international choices too such as steak or pizza. Once you have eaten your meal, you can step inside one of the warm apres ski bars to finish off the day with a nightcap before you retire to bed.

Sumptuous spa relaxation


If you are heading to the area after December 2013, you’ll be able to make the most of the highly anticipated Chedi – the cream of the crop when it comes to Andermatt hotels. It has a spa that looks out onto the snowy peaks, which should make it all the more rewarding when you are sitting in a bubbling jacuzzi. You muscles would agree that it can be a nice way to round off a trip when you’ve been an active part of the landscape on the many ski runs!

Milano: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the world’s oldest shopping mall. Housed within a four-storey double arcade in central Milano, Italy, the Galleria is named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. It was designed in 1861 and built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877.

State Farm Begins “Celebrate My Drive” For New Teen Drivers

Earning a driver’s license is a memorable moment for many new drivers. They can drive where they want, by themselves, with a card proving they can do so. Our teen drivers fulfilling this milestone can also be daunting to their parents. For over 30 years, car accidents have been the number 1 killer of teenagers. The most dangerous year is the driver’s first year legally behind the wheel. It is why State Farm supports the “Celebrate My Drive” program.

Celebrate My Drive is asking all drivers, no matter their age, to think with two hands on the steering wheel and two eyes on the road. State Farm calls this 2n2. State Farm believes if we all work together, we can decrease the number of car crashes and reduce the deaths of teenage drivers. It is crucial that lessons are taught and beginners are well-educated on the facts of driving risks and how to decrease the chances of accidents.

Make the right choice in teaching your future drivers the impact driving will have on them and the even bigger impact when a life is lost. Learn more about the Celebrate My Drive program and State Farm, the largest car insurance provider in the U.S., at www.statefarm.com.

This post was sponsored, but opinions are my own

Enter the Rock Your Vacation Instagram Contest for a Florida Getaway

Instagram is hosting a contest for the chance to win a Florida vacation. Enter the Experience Kissimmee’s “Rock Your Vacation” video contest with an original 15-second video telling judges how the entrant and their group of five friends would Rock Your Kissimmee, Florida Vacation Like a VIP  if chosen. The entrant must have an active and public Instagram account and follow “@ExperienceKissimmee” and use the hashtag “#RockYourVacation”. Once posted, the submission will receive an approval and Experience Kissimmee will post a comment on the Instagram video with a link. The user will click on the given link and verify their entry and the video will show up in a video gallery on www.RockYourVacation.com. The submissions will be judged on its uniqueness, creativity, and detailed knowledge of the city.

The first place winner and his or her five friends will win a six day, five night VIP trip and will get to experience the beautiful Osceola County city in an unexpected way. Their vacation stay will be provided by All-Star Vacation Homes, an SUV automobile rental for a week, and several other prizes. The contest ends on March 16, 2014. For more information on the contest in general, visit www.experiencekissimmee.com.

This post was sponsored, but opinions are my own

Check out New Sites with Travelocity and Courtney Scott!

Travelocity takes travelers and YouTube viewers on a journey online across oceans with Travelocity YouTube Web Series, “Let’s Roam with Courtney Scott”. During the time at each location, Courtney Scott will be visiting and volunteering for an organization to give back to the welcoming communities. First stop is New York City, Scott lends a helping hand to the Bideawee pet welfare organization and afterwards, Habitat for Humanity at Dallas, Texas. “The magic of travel isn’t just getting from point A to point B, it’s all of the uncharted moments that happen in between,” Scott said. “I’m a roamer by nature, and when I travel, I’m searching for the stories that bring to life the heart, soul and local flavor of a place beyond the tourist spots.”

Travelocity supporters can subscribe to the weekly HD webisodes at www.travelocity.com/LetsRoamTV or view on Travelocity’s YouTube channel.Consumers can also follow along on Twitter.com with @Travelocity and @CourtScott using hashtags #letsroam and #gosmelltheroses. Go and smell the roses with Travelocity!Follow along with the beautiful Courtney Scott, additionally known as “Roaming Gnome” every Wednesday at 11:00 AM ET on Travelocity’s YouTube channel as well as the main website, www.Travelocity.com/LetsRoamTV.

This post was sponsored, but opinions are my own

How to Cut the Cost of Holidays

If you’re hoping to find a cheap holiday this year, there are a number of ways you can get away and enjoy a great value break without compromising on quality.


If you’re planning a package break, last-minute departures are still a popular and cost-effective way to get away. Start searching for holidays departing within the next six weeks and you’ll probably notice that many have been reduced in price to try and tempt in those last few bookings. Flexibility is key, so try to vary your search criteria in order to get the best deal. For instance, you could adjust your departure dates and opt for a mid-week departure as this is often cheaper than a weekend flight.

Also, consider neighbouring resorts and vary your choice of accommodation too. Why not try a self-catering apartment over a hotel, or consider a slightly out-of-town location?

Another great way to find a cheap holiday is to book well in advance. The prices might not be as low as a late deal, but it means you’ve got much longer to save some spending money plus you’ll normally have the chance to pay off your holiday in instalments. Many tour operators offer early bird deals on advance bookings too, so you can often snap up a tempting deal simply by planning ahead.

Where possible, book outside of school holidays and consider travelling at either side of peak season. The months of April, May, September and October are often a little cheaper than the peak times of July and August, and the temperatures are usually more bearable too. Bear in mind that some attractions may be closed outside of peak season so the area will generally be a touch quieter. Depending on how you look at it, this could be music to some holidaymakers’ ears – even better considering it usually makes for a cheaper escape too!

If you’re looking for a cheap holiday, take a look at Thomas Cook Holidays and search online to find some of the best deals and package holiday discounts on the market.

Economic development in India

India, located in South Asia, is the second-most populous country in the world, with a population of 1.2 billion. The economy of India is in the top ten in the globe by nominal GDP and the top three for purchasing power parity (PPP).

Since it gained its independence in the 1947, India’s the economic development has followed policies similar to those of a socialist state; most of its contemporary history, which has been characterized by many sectors dominated by the state, extensive regulation and bureaucracy, and a general isolation from the global economy. India’s per capita income increased at an annualized rate of around one percent in the three decades following its independence. Beginning in the mid-1980s, India has been progressively opening its markets via the liberalization of its economy. In 1991 there were more substantial reforms, which have since been renewed. As a result, India has moved toward a more free market “style” of economy during the last decade.

More recently, in the latter part of the 2000s, India’s growth rate hit 7.5%, which in turn has the potential to double average income in the next ten years. Currently the states of India have sizable responsibilities over their economies.

The economic expansion has been fuelled by the increase in services, which have been outpacing other sectors. Some argue India’s development pattern has been fairly unique and that it may be able to proceed in a salutatory manner, i.e. skip the intermediate industrialization phase in process of transforming its economic structure. Despite these promising outlooks, some concerns have been raised about whether this economic growth will be paired with the necessary amount of job creation.

Positive macroeconomic activity has been met what is necessary, but not enough for the significant decrease in poverty among the Indian population. The rate of poverty reduction has not improved in the post-reform period (since 1991). Non-economic measures of development, such as social development, have been less favourable. For instance, child malnutrition has remained persistently high at 46% for 2005-2006.

India’s economic progress and reforms have been followed closely by relevant world entities. The World Bank has opined that the key factors in India’s development will be in rural and agricultural expansion and development, public sector reforms, strengthening of infrastructure, reduction of labour regulations, reformation of weak states, and public health improvements. In March 2011, American Express purchased Loyalty Partner in India for $685M. Credit cards are predicted to drive growth in India where the consumerism of cars, television etc are on a rise, reaching record sales levels. The presence of credit card companies like American Express and their contribution to the economic growth is an interesting aspect to follow up on.

Travel Insurance: What’s the Score?

Whether you’re hoping to bag a last minute sojourn this Easter or you’re looking ahead towards the annual summer holiday, you need to ensure you don’t forget a few simple things during the run up to your departure date. It’s easy to head out on a shopping spree for all those holiday essentials like a new capsule wardrobe and a couple of pairs of espadrilles, but you shouldn’t stop there. The importance of travel insurance is never too apparent than when you actually need it – don’t get yourself into that situation. Take a look at the array of great holiday insurance deals available to suit your personal circumstances, so that if the worst happens, you have the cover you need.

While many travellers think that, as far as break in Europe is concerned, the EHIC should do the trick, in reality, this isn’t the case. To give all-round peace of mind, you need to take a look at travel insurance too, available from reputable providers such as Thomas Cook.

This invaluable insurance policy offers cover of medical expenses should you need care while abroad, as well as covering other losses that may be incurred during your time away, such as trip cancellation, lost baggage and flight delays.

The issue with many is the sheer volume of policy options available. To make it a little easier, refer to the following list so that you know what policies to compare.

  • Single trip insurance protects your belongings, health and travel arrangements for the duration of a single trip within a certain timeframe (usually a year)
  • Annual insurance covers any number of holidays during one year
  • Cruise insurance adds extra pointers, such as missed shore trips and extended baggage cover.
  • Business travel insurance protects your work-based issues, such as your laptop and digital media equipment, rather than unnecessary leisure activities.
  • Family holiday insurance safeguards against health, travel and belongings issues for not just you but the rest of the family that are travelling with you.

With additional extras available, such as winter and extreme sports, you can choose the perfect travel insurance policy that can be tailor-made to suit your requirements. Compare the various holiday insurance deals online, today.

Amazing Contrast

Nature can be beautiful, but photographs can be even more beautiful. In the technology era there are numerous ways to manipulate with beautiful nature pictures and to mane them even more appear to human eye. The reflective photography from today’s post is great example how little graphic contrast editing can make nature beautiful and unreal….

Group Accommodation Whatever the Budget

With Christmas and New Year having been and gone, people will be a little more careful with their money for the next few months, but that doesn’t mean you can’t organise a winter holiday to enjoy in the meantime. If you’re careful and you know where to look, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a fabulous group holiday to the mountains with your friends or loved ones. With an abundance of ski chalets and great value accommodation available, whether you’re looking for family ski packages or group adventures, you will be sure to find it, whatever your budget.

Many resorts and operators are making very favourable deals this winter season, to try and encourage individual travellers and group adventurers to part with their hard-earned cash this close to Christmas. Recently, the number of British skiers has reportedly fallen, but who knows what the 2013 season will bring.

Try La Plagne in France for affordable accommodation, an excellent snow record and a huge 425km of piste and slopes. No matter what the age groups in your party, you can be sure that you will feel welcome here. With facilities to suit children and adults alike, La Plagne is ideal if you want a reasonable priced vacation in the world famous Paradiski area.

Head over to Austria if you have a little more to spend on your winter sojourn. Solden is a resort that is trendy and hip, with a fantastic snowsure record that is pretty much untainted. With state of the art lifts and glacial skiing opportunities, Solden is all about the fantastic skiing and boarding experience and perfect for group adventures.

If you are willing to part with more cash, the luxury chalets and top quality hotels are in abundance, all over Europe. From Courchevel to Val d’Isere, there are a huge number of opportunities that would be ideal for groups of all sizes.

Start planning your group vacation today and check out the various accommodation options to suit all budgets.