Enterprise Expands Into the Baltics

December 19, 2014 on 1:57 pm | In Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Road Trips | Comments Off



Estonia And Latvia and Lithuania, too.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car has taken on a new partner to expand its business to the Baltic Sea region by appointing Bioline as its franchise partner in the states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

It’s just another piece of Enterprise Holdings’ global strategy that it laid out 18 months ago to expand heavily globally, particularly across Europe, particularly with its Enterprise brand.

The company’s car hire network already extends across all parts of Western, Northern and Southern Europe with more than 1,000 branches. The appointment of Bioline to serve the Baltic states gives Enterprise an outlet – and a foot in the door – to three brand new, yet growing, economies. Following this agreement – the terms of which were not released — a phased roll-out will see the familiar Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand appear at Baltic locations, alongside an integration program designed to bring the businesses closer together both culturally and operationally.

Enterprise said Bioline is led by a management team with extensive experience in the Baltic car rental market. The company has branches at the major airports for Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius. Bioline plans to develop its network across the three countries.

All three countries are members of the European Union.

Vice-president of global franchising at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Peter Smith, said in a statement: “Customer service is Enterprise’s core business value. Throughout our expansion program, we’ve focused on partnering with the best company in each country, and with organizations that share our dedication to customer care.”  Read more travel news at www.TravelPulse.com


Free Car upgrades in selected destinations

December 18, 2014 on 2:12 pm | In Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech, Denmark, Europe, Greece, Malaysia, Norway, Road Trips, Turkey | Comments Off



Luggage ProsBulgaria Upgrades

Mini, 2-4 doors, manual without A/C to Mini, 4 doors, manual with A/C
Economy, 2 doors, manual without A/C to Economy, 4 doors, manual with A/C
Mini, 2-4 doors, automatic with A/C to Economy, special, automatic with A/C
Terms and conditions: Payment and pick up by 30th November 2014.
Car rental supplier: Enterprise

Economy, 2-4 doors, manual without A/C to Economy, 4 doors, manual with A/C
Terms and conditions: Payment and pick up by 30th November 2014.
Car rental supplier: Europcar

Croatia Upgrades

Free GPS on all cars except:
Mini, 4 doors, manual with A/C
Economy, 4 doors, manual, diesel
Economy, 4 doors, manual, A/C
Compact, 4 doors, manual, A/C
Terms and conditions: Payment by 1-8 November 2014 and pick up by 8th November 2014.
Car rental supplier: Avant

Free GPS on all cars except: Mini, Economy and Compact categories
Terms and conditions: Payment and pick up by 31st March 2015.

Car rental supplier: Fleet

Cyprus Upgrades

Economy, 2-4 doors, manual without A/C to Economy, 4 doors, manual with A/C
Compact, 2-4 doors, manual without A/C to Compact, 2-4 doors, manual with A/C
Terms and conditions: Payment and pick up by the 30th November 2014.
Car rental supplier: Sixt

Czech Republic Upgrades

Free GPS on all rentals at Karlovy Vary locations.
Terms and conditions: Payment and pick up by the 31st of December 2014. Minimum rental duration: 3 days.
Car rental supplier: Budget

Denmark Upgrades

Economy, 2-4 doors, manual, without A/C to Compact, 2-4 doors, manual, with A/C
Compact, 2-4 doors, manual, with A/C to Compact, 4 doors, manual, with A/C
Terms and conditions: Payment and pick up by the 14th of December 2014.
Car rental supplier: Europcar

Georgia Upgrades

Free GPS valid for 1-7 days only.
Terms and conditions: Payment between 20th October-20th December 2014 and pick up by 20th December 2014.
Car rental supplier Hertz

Greece Upgrades

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowMini, 2-4 doors, manual, without A/C to Mini, 4 doors, manual, with A/C
Economy, 2-4 doors, manual, without A/C to Economy, 4 doors, manual, with A/C
Terms and conditions: Payment and pick up between 30th November 2014.
Car rental supplier: Enterprise

Iceland Upgrades

Free GPS valid for all rentals.
Terms and conditions: Payment and pick up by 15th May 2015.
Car rental supplier Procar

Macedonia Upgrades

Mini, 4 doors, manual with A/C to Economy, special, manual with A/C
Economy, special, manual with A/C to Compact, 4 doors, manual with A/C
Terms and conditions: Payment by 31st October 2014 and pick up between 1st September and31st October 2014.
Car rental supplier: Europcar

Malaysia Upgrades

Free GPS.
Terms and conditions: Payment and pick up by the 15th of October 2014. Minimum rental duration: 3 days.
Car rental supplier: Europcar

Norway Upgrades

Mini, 2 doors, manual with A/C to Economy, 2 doors, manual with A/C

Terms and conditions: Payment and pick up by the 31st of December 2014.
Car rental supplier: Europcar

Mini, 2 doors, manual without A/C to Economy, 2 doors, manual without A/C
Terms and conditions: Payment and pick up by the 31st of December 2014.
Car rental supplier: Hertz

Turkey Upgrades

Free GPS valid for all rentals only at Izmir and Dalaman Airport.
Terms and conditions: Payment between 15th October 2014 – 10th March 2015 and pick up by10th March 2015.
Car rental supplier: Fox

United Kingdom Upgrades

Mini, 2 doors, automatic with A/C to Economy, 2-4 doors, automatic with A/C
Mini, 2 doors, manual without A/C to Economy, 2-4 doors, manual without A/C
Terms and conditions: Only available for car rentals in Jersey and Guernsey. Payment and pick up by the 31st of December 2014. Car rental supplier: Hertz

For more travel news visit www.travelpulse.com

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Motorcycling the Ho Chi Minh Trail

December 8, 2014 on 11:23 am | In Adventure Travel, Asia, Road Trips, Vietnam | Comments Off



Oakley - Free Shipping - Shop Online Whether you grew up between 1955-1975 or you’ve read history books about that period, you understand how catastrophic the Vietnam War was to all those involved.

Now you have a chance to step back in time and learn about the war from a different perspective. Le Van Cuong is a guide for Myths and Mountains and a Vietnamese man who took part in the war – he will lead you on a motorcycle ride along the famous Ho Chi Minh Trail in Vietnam, showing you places that have real meaning to him.

The Ho Chi Minh Trail is a network of roads built from Hanoi to Saigon to provide logistical support to the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army during the Vietnam War. The trail allows guests to spend part of their time on a new highway, part on dirt roads, part in towns and part in hill tribe villages. This journey vividly shows you the Vietnam of today as well as the Vietnam forever recorded in history.

A recent traveler had this to say about the trip, “I now have a perspective on Vietnamese history that is unique and rich with first hand details. All the extra things that Cuong did with us were all amazing – from doing charity work with the poorest of the Vietnamese minority classes to setting up an afternoon at a village of the Bana people with traditional clothing, music and dancing that we were able to participate in. As wonderful as all the things we were able to do off the motorcycles were, it was the riding that was the best part of the trip. It is such an engaging way to see a country because you are so focused on where you are physically. To be so aware of everything around you is just a fantastic way to travel.”

This 16-day journey starts at $6,695 per person (based on 4-6 people), departing on Jan. 26, 2015 and Mar. 1, 2015 with custom dates and prices available. To learn more about Vietnam: Motorcycling the Ho Chi Minh Trail, visit www.mythsandmountains.com


Experience South Africa With A Personal Driver-Guide

December 1, 2014 on 10:54 am | In Adventure Travel, Africa, Road Trips, South Africa | Comments Off



He’s met Nelson Mandela, been the driver for the famous Springbok team, South Africa’s national rugby squad, and is now part of the Real Africa family, available to book as a private driver/guide – a fabulous option for those not wishing to self-drive on a holiday to South Africa and an absolute must for anyone into their rugby!

Real Africa, award-winning UK based tailor-made safari specialist pride themselves on the level of personal service they offer their clients and in their ability to reveal Africa in depth. Many clients choose to self-drive in South Africa giving them maximum flexibility, with the network of roads well maintained and easy to navigate. However some clients prefer to have a driver-guide. Abe Abrahams, something of a local personality around the Cape, has an expert knowledge of the region, and a fantastic reputation and can now be booked as a personal driver/guide. He can accompany clients for a day around Cape Town’s environs, or a week or more as required.

Abe worked for a company called Springbok Atlas Charter, a coach company, who subsequently won the tender to be the transport company for the Springbok team in the nineties. Abe became the team’s elected personal driver in 2003 under the leadership of Rudolph Straeuli. Due to Abe’s bubbly personality he struck a good relationship with all within the team and served as their driver for many years having a close bond with coach Jake White who took over in 2004. He is well-known by the current team and still referred to as Oom Abe, or Uncle Abe, a sign of respect. He can often be seen at the rugby ground rubbing noses with the boys.

In 2007, John Smit, who was the Springbok’s captain going into the 2007 Rugby World Cup, asked Abe to accompany the team to France for the World Cup, something Abe remembers with great fondness and described in a news report at the time as, “an incredible reward for driving the team.”

Abe then had the honour of meeting the late great Nelson Mandela, also in 2007, when the World Cup was presented to him.

Real Africa clients report that Abe is a fabulous asset, often in awe as they chat about rugby, the country, its culture and about Abe’s travels and experiences. To find out more or for a personalised itinerary, please contact Real Africa on 01603 283 517.


Hertz and Mantra Group Form Partnership

November 23, 2014 on 4:39 pm | In Australia, Beachbooker, New South Wales, Northern, Queensland, Road Trips, South Australia, Sydney, Tasmania, Victoria, Western | Comments Off



Hertz, the world’s leading general use car rental brand, has teamed with leading Australian accommodation provider, Mantra Group, in a three-year partnership to service guests staying at Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree hotels and resorts across Australia and New Zealand.

“Our partnership with Mantra Group was a natural affiliation as they are the largest Australian-based accommodation operator and we are a global leader in car rental,” said Chris Rusden, Vice President, Hertz Australia and New Zealand.

“Mantra Group has properties located in all major capital cities and key holiday destinations across Australia and New Zealand, so this partnership allows Hertz to service both leisure and business travellers with a vehicle to suit the needs of their trip.”

As part of the partnership, both business and leisure guests of Mantra Group will be able to take advantage of discounts in car rental when they book their vehicle via the Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree websites or at individual property locations. Dedicated links on each of the three brand websites will facilitate seamless vehicle hire booking, ensuring the “Best Rate of the Day” is applied.

“With our growing network of hotels across Australia and New Zealand, it was important that we work with an established company like Hertz which could implement the benefits we wanted to provide to our customers in an easy and seamless way. Our guests will certainly benefit from this added service to further enhance their booking experience with Mantra Group,” said Mantra Group Director of Operations, Mark Hodge.

The Hertz fleet in Australia and New Zealand includes a range of economy, intermediate and full-size cars. The Australian fleet includes the Prestige, Fun, Adrenaline and Outback. The Prestige Collection is also avaliable in New Zealand, as well as a wide selection of 4WDs and minivans.

Picture caption: Mantra Group Procurement Officer Michael Freeman with Hertz Area Sales Manager QLD/NSW/ACT Belinda Smart at Mantra Legends Hotel on the Gold Coast.

About Hertz Australia (www.hertz.com.au)
Hertz is the largest worldwide airport general use car rental brand, operating from approximately 10,090 corporate and licence locations in approximately 145 countries. In Australia, Hertz has approximately 220 locations including all major airports, cities and a large number of regional towns. The fleet includes a range of well-maintained vehicles encompassing economy, intermediate and full-size cars as well as the Prestige, Fun, Adrenaline, Outback and Green Collections. In addition, minivans, 4WDs, trucks, mining and commercial vehicles are available to hire. As a global leader in its field, Hertz offers a range of innovative products and services including Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, the specially designed NeverLost® satellite navigation system in a range of languages, Mobile Wi-Fi and Premium Roadside Assistance.

About Mantra Group
Mantra Group is a leading manager and marketer of hotels and resorts in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia and operates three well-known and trusted brands – Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree. With 114 properties and over 11,400 rooms under management, Mantra Group is the second largest accommodation operator in Australia. The Group is positioned to offer both leisure and business style accommodation ranging from full service city hotels and self-contained apartments to luxury resorts and retreats: www.mantragroup.com.au ; www.peppers.com .au; www.mantra.com.au ; www.breakfree.com.au

Book Your Beach Resort at a Discount

Motorcycle tour – South Africa March 2015‏

November 18, 2014 on 10:02 am | In Adventure Travel, Africa, Road Trips, South Africa | Comments Off




CMS-Japanese Motorcycle Supply Parts
The South African Saunter
Kicking off the 2015 touring season in the Southern Hemisphere

In 1985 Beach’s pioneered the South African Safari, running two fantastic tours between Cape Town and Johannesburg.

We have – very much – wanted to get back to South Africa, but conversations with a variety of South African tour operators lead us to people with whom we had little interest in working or riding with.

That changed this summer when I met a German fellow in Munich. Oscar had just completed a three month course to become a certified South African tour guide. Yes, it is necessary to be accredited to operate a tour business in South Africa!

Oscar and I have had extensive discussions, and found great similarities in our respective concepts of how a tour should run.

Those of you who have been with us know that freedom to do as you please tops the list. Oscar believes in this same freedom. And so, we are once again on our way south.

In March, 2015 Beach’s Motorcycle Adventures is conducting the first South African Saunter – a brilliant ride along South Africa’s Garden Route. If you are ready to try something exotic, this is it! Get away from the uncertain March weather and take off on a great ride through stunning countryside.

Details are online at: http://bmca.com/south-african-saunter-2015.html



SCHUSS DOWN THE SLOPES ON THE I LOVE NEW YORK SKI BUS

November 12, 2014 on 5:18 pm | In East Coast, New York City, Road Trips, Skiing Snowboarding | Comments Off



Backcountry.com Winter ClearanceNew Ski Bus Program Kicks Off December 13 with Transportation from Manhattan
and Long Island with Lift Tickets, Lessons and an I LOVE NEW YORK Gift

ALBANY, NY  – Visiting New York’s ski resorts will be easier and more accessible this year, thanks to the I LOVE NEW YORK Bus, a new, year-round tourism program initiated by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo this past October. Winter departures offering ski-for-the-day and ski-and-stay packages from New York City and Long Island to ski areas across the state will be kicking off on Saturday, December 13. The trips, which run from December through March, will be priced starting from $89 and up. Packages include transportation and lift tickets with options for rentals and lessons; trip components also can be booked a la carte. In addition, the multi-day trips may include area tours and experiences in the region they visit.

I LOVE NEW YORK Bus trips will be available to many of New York’s most popular ski mountains in the Catskills, Adirondacks and Finger Lakes. Initially, the Bus will serve Hunter, Windham, Belleayre, Plattekill, Catamount, West, Whiteface, Gore and Greek Peak Mountains, with additional mountains and trips to be added based on demand. The first ski trip departures will begin on Saturday, December 13 to Windham Mountain and on Sunday, December 14 to Hunter Mountain which are ready to book now at iloveny.com/bus. The full winter schedule and booking details will be posted on December 1. Riders during the inaugural bus trips will also receive I LOVE NEW YORK earbands and more.

Free Shipping Over $50* at Altrec.com!The I LOVE NEW YORK Bus trips will be escorted by a host/attendant who will offer refreshments and snacks, reading material and tend to travelers needs. Reservations can be made HERE.

The I LOVE NEW YORK Bus grew out of feedback received during the Governor’s second Tourism Summit to increase transportation access to tourism opportunities in New York State, and connects riders to some of the state’s most popular getaway experiences, from skiing to wine, beer and cider trails and seasonal festivals. The program is curated by Hampton Jitney, a Southampton-based company known for its on-time service and modern, comfortable wide-body coaches, complete with Wi-Fi, electrical outlets, lavatory, individual reading lights and adjustable seats.

The pick-up and drop-off location for the I LOVE NEW YORK Bus is at the corner of 44th Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan near Grand Central Station with two locations in Long Island. The departure and return times will vary by itinerary. Walk on ticket sales are available if space permits, but advanced reservations are highly recommended. Among the exciting multi-day ski packages being offered this winter is a ski trip to the Adirondacks that includes skiing at Gore and West Mountains, the popular Lake George Winter Carnival and a visit to a local Adirondack brewery tastings and a meal.

100% Guarantee“Many people are not aware that New York State has more ski slopes than any other state in the nation and the greatest vertical drop east of the Rocky Mountains,” said Gavin Landry executive director, Empire State Development Corporation, Tourism Department. “The I LOVE NEW YORK Bus is an easy way for New Yorkers and visitors to hit the slopes, especially for those who don’t have cars, and what could be better after an adrenaline-filled day on the slopes then enjoying a little après ski and hopping on a luxurious jitney to chat with friends, check your email or simply sit back and relax.”

“Our ski areas are thrilled because the program makes our ski areas more accessible to tourists in Manhattan as well as all the residents of New York City and Long Island,” said Scott Brandi, president of the Ski Areas of New York (SANY). “We have a thrilling diversity of terrains including cruisers, steeps and glades and our ski cater to an amazing range of skiers from beginners to Olympic-class skiers. The I LOVE NEW YORK Bus ski program is helping make everyone more aware of the wonderful ski opportunities that New York State has to offer.”

“Hampton Jitney is excited to be offering both one-day and multi-day getaway ski trips as part of the I Love NEW YORK Bus Tours Program,” said Geoffrey Lynch, president of Hampton Jitney Inc. “We are looking forward to working with New York’s ski resorts to create transportation and ski packages from Metro New York that showcase the fantastic skiing we have in our state.”

For more details and reservations for I LOVE NEW YORK Bus ski trips, visit www.iloveny.com/bus/ . Snow reports and other information on New York ski areas can be found at www.iskiny.com.

 The Ultimate Online Ski Shop With 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed! Skis.com | Shop Now >About New York State

New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York’s attractions span from landmarks such as Niagara Falls to the wine trails of Hudson Valley and treasures like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Whether it’s wide-ranging outdoor activities for the whole family like snowmobiling, skiing and snowboarding, hiking, culinary wonders and farm-to-table fresh foods, or the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies, New York State offers diverse activities for all travelers. For more information, visit http://www.iloveny.com

Follow the I LOVE NY social media channels for news on tourism in New York State. From NYC to Niagara Falls and all points in between, there’s so much to love to LOVE in NY! Check out I LOVE NEW YORK on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for great ideas for your next getaway. Post your visit to #ISpyNY.

Follow I LOVE NEW YORK on social media:
Facebook: Facebook.com/ILOVENY
Twitter: @I_LOVE_NY
Instagram: ILOVENY
YouTube: YouTube.com/OfficialILoveNY
Pinterest: Pinterest.com/ILOVENY
Flickr: Flickr.com/OfficialILoveNY

About Ski Areas of New York

Ski Areas of New York, Inc. (SANY) is a trade organization that serves its members by acting as a facilitator, negotiator, educator, marketer, business analyst, legal advisor, information collector and distributor. By operating as a support organization for the industry, SANY’s products and programs help to foster new and continued business for members. SANY continually stays abreast of the latest technology and opportunities in the industry and aspires to grow the sport for generations to come. www.iskiny.com is the go-to site for happenings in the New York Ski Industry.

Oakley - Free Shipping - Shop OnlineDaily conditions reports are listed by resort, a weekly video is posted by Skiing Weatherman Herb Stevens, updated press releases are posted from member resorts, and information on skiing and snowboarding programs and promotions including 44 Free, Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, Ski and Stay, lift ticket sales and 10-10-10 can all be found on the website. Additionally, there is an interactive map that provides all the vital stats for our member resorts. www.iskiny.com is the source for everything skiing in New York.

About Hampton Jitney

Hampton Jitney is a pioneer in the transportation field. In 1974, Hampton Jitney started with one van and a commitment to providing the finest personalized transportation service between Eastern Long Island and metropolitan New York. Building on that simple premise, Hampton Jitney now operates a fleet of luxury motor coaches and limousines. Hundreds of thousands of people now travel each year in style and comfort, safely and on time via Hampton Jitney. Hampton Jitney operates 365 days a year between Eastern Long Island and Metro New York, including the airports. In addition, Hampton Jitney limousines, charters and tour coaches operate regularly throughout the northeastern U.S. and Canada. More information is available at www.hamptonjitney.com.

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Auto Europe Releases Its Top Christmas Market Recommendations

November 11, 2014 on 10:27 am | In London, Road Trips, Scotland, Shopping, United Kingdom, Wales | Comments Off



Argos Travel Insurance 100x50Auto Europe, a leader in European car rental services for over 60 years, would like to recommend the top Christmas Markets in Europe and offer holiday savings on travel to these events.

The United Kingdom is renown for their markets with Manchester attracting shoppers from all over the world. The markets run from Nov. 14 through Dec. 21, 2014 and are located throughout the city with an array of over 300 stalls. Choices include gifts, crafts, jewelry, clothing, food and drink plus entertainment daily throughout the celebrations.

Belgium is holding their annual Brussels Winter Wonders Nov. 28, 2014 through Jan. 4, 2015 and features a vast number of stalls in a true holiday atmosphere. Additional attractions include an ice rink for skating, fairground attractions and multiple light shows. The unique event boasts a perfect blend of tradition and modernity.

Copenhagen’s most famous celebration of the season of Jul (Yuletide) and is featured in the Tivoli Gardens with four miles of lights arranged by Tiffany’s head designer. This Danish tradition begins on Nov. 15, 2014 and runs through Jan. 4, 2015 and some of the features include over 50 market stalls selling gifts, daily showings of The Nutcracker Ballet and fireworks.

One of the oldest markets in Austria is Salzburg’s Christkindlemarkt dating back to the 15th century. Featuring over 85 stalls in downtown Salzburg offering pewter crafts, slippers, loden coats plus a multitude of holiday snacks such as gingerbread, roasted chestnuts and mulled wines. In addition, the 17th century old palace Schloss Hellbrunn, features 24 windows and is decorated perfectly as an Advent calendar. This market runs from Nov. 20 through Dec. 26, 2014.

The Lille Christmas Market in France opens Nov. 19 through Dec. 30, 2014. This month long celebration is extremely popular and in addition to stalls selling arts, crafts and local cuisine, there are many events for children.

The Christmas Market in Bremen is considered one of the most attractive in Germany. Featuring over 170 decorated stalls for browsing for gifts, the historical setting creates a festive Christmas atmosphere. Don’t miss the Schlachte Magic, each day featuring a live Advent calendar event on the river Weser’s promenade.

The Italians celebrate the Mercatino di Natale. Trentino-Alto Adige region in the city of Trento, holds their celebrations from Nov. 22, 2014 through Jan. 6, 2015. This is one of the best markets in Italy and includes more than 60 traditional stalls with crafts, foods and decorations.

Basel, considered to be the largest and most popular Christmas market in Switzerland, celebrates from Nov. 27 through Dec. 23, 2014. The fairy-tale atmosphere markets specialize in Christmas shops such as the Johann Wanner Christmas House and also features numerous concerts and guided Christmas tours.

This year, Dublin is holding it’s first traditional Christmas market in Ireland. There will be more than 60 stalls featuring a unique selection of Irish made handcrafts, seasonal food and drinks and entertainment from local choirs and carolers. “Dublin at Christmas” will run from November 13 through December 23, 2014.

Don’t miss Holland’s Magical Maastricht Christmas market running Nov. 29 through Dec. 20, 2014. The festivities are located all over the city, with a huge ice skating rink, a carousal and market stalls featured in Vrijthof square. In addition to shopping stalls, the Magical Culture Festival also provides festival entertainment in the theaters, cultural institutes as well as in the streets.

Auto Europe offers tremendous savings on car rental, airfare and hotel services for you to enjoy these events. Don’t forget to request snow tires or chains on your car rental if you expect to explore the regions outside the markets.

Read more travel news at www.travelpulse.com


Overlanding’s Most Popular Gap Year Routes. New Trends, New Trips

November 9, 2014 on 10:32 am | In Adventure Travel, Africa, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Road Trips, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia, Zanzibar, Zimbabwe | Comments Off



It’s official: ‘Snap Gaps’ have overtaken the traditional, longer, transcontinental break of between 6 – 9 months with gap year travellers.

During Dragoman’s 33 years in operation, the overland specialist has taken hundreds of travellers on gap year adventures, offering over 300 trips between 2 weeks and 9 months in length to 55 countries worldwide.

However, whilst the numbers of young people aged between 18 -21 has actually increased by 40% over the past decade, 17% year on year, the trips they have booked for the past three years are now more condensed, abbreviated versions of the epic , months long adventures that used to typify a ‘Gap Year’.

“Financial strain and anecdotal evidence suggests that extended trips are out of the budgetary reach of most young people, particularly after the sharp rise in University fees. Young people still want to boost their CV with long-haul travel experiences, but are limiting the time they do it in,” says Charlie Hopkinson, Managing Director.

The destinations that gap year travellers are choosing have also changed. Ten years ago, Africa dominated the Gap Year travel market. Now, South America is by far the most popular destination, with almost 2/3rds of young Dragoman travellers booking it as their primary travel choice, followed by South East Asia. Africa, although still on the Gap Map, seems to have fallen out of favour in comparison.

Overlanding is still a rite of passage experience for the gap year traveller, though; it’s budget-friendly, organised nature giving confidence and ‘more bang for your buck’ for first time travellers and parents alike.

“Travelling overland negates the need for costly internal flights, whilst organised trips, which come with a group of ready-made, like minded travel companions, save time and hassle on accommodation as well as transport,” says Charlie Hopkinson, Dragoman Managing Director.

Charlie also cites Dragoman’s product knowledge, experience and staff training (Dragoman’s staff are the most intensively trained in the overland travel market) , as reasons for overlanding’s enduring popularity amongst gappers.

Overlanding also provides a ‘launching pad’ to independent travel.

“Gap year students, often first time travellers, prefer to cut their teeth and gain confidence by participating in an organised trip before travelling independently,” he says.

Here’s Dragoman’s most popular Gap Year routes for 2014 / 2015

South America

THE most popular destination for gap year travellers, with nearly 2/3rds of young people taking their first trip away here. The World Cup has only increased the popularity of South America, whilst a strong pound make it more affordable than it’s been for years. It’s size and sheer diversity are sure fire gap – year winners.

Snap Gap: Lima and La Paz, 22 days taking in all Peru’s must-do’s, Colca Canyon, Nazca Lines, Ballesteros Islands and Machu Picchu plus traversing the Altiplano, the highest plateau outside of Tibet, to Bolivia’s Lake Titicaca. Earlier this year, Dragoman launched a new route to Machu Picchu, visiting the local Anchascocha community. Now, 70% of Gap Year travellers choose this Inca Trek rather than the traditional, overcrowded one. Price from £909 per person plus kitty of US$1,140 / £698. Total land price: £1,607.

Old School Gap: Cartagena to Ushuaia 101 days, traversing South America’s popular western flank from top to bottom, Colombia to the Tierra del Fuego and the ‘ends of the Earth’. Price from £3,429 per person plus kitty of US$3,480 / £2,132. Total land price from £5,561.

South East Asia

Last year, Thailand was the most popular Gap Year destination according to ABTA. This year, it’s Burma extensions (Burma with surrounding countries Laos, Cambodia and Thailand) with Dragoman experiencing a 170 % increase in young travellers going there. “Burma has been our biggest selling South East Asian destination for the past two years, but if you’re going to travel that far, travelling to the emerging destinations of Laos and Cambodia area no-brainer. Thailand, though, has such a well developed tourist infrastructure that many people feel they can do it alone,” says Charlie.

Snap Gap: Kunming to Yangon, 22 days travelling through south west China and Burma. Sample South East Asia as it was 20 years ago! Trek through tribal villages in Burma’s Shan state, explore Pagan, Inle Lake, Mandalay and Yangon. Price from £1,629 per person plus kitty of US$600 / £368. Total price £1,997.

Old School Gap: Bangkok to Bangkok (via Burma), 53 day circular route around South East Asia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, China, Burma. Price from £2,988 per person plus kitty of US$1,220 / £749. Total price £3,737.

India and Nepal

An enduring Gap Year favourite, young people have been travelling through India, one dubbed the ‘hippy trail’, for decades. It’s diverse, it’s intense and, because of the comparatively low cost of living there, offers gap year travellers’ real value for money. Neighbouring Nepal, though, is just as budget-friendly, easier to travel in and closing the gap (no pun intended) on sub-continental gap year travel.

Snap Gap: Kathmandu and Delhi 14 days travelling from Nepal and northern India. It may be short, but it’s a fabulous way to compare and contrast laid back Nepal with full-on Northern India. Watch the sun rise at Varanasi, go in search of tigers at Bandhavgarh, see the Taj Mahal. Price from £567 per person plus kitty of US$450 / £276. Total land price from £843.

Old School Gap: Dragoman are the only large commercial overland operator to offer a trip which circuits the whole of the sub-continent, 82 days between Kathmandu and Kathmandu from £2695 per person, kitty from US$2210 (£1,365). Total land price from £4,430.

Africa

Although Africa is a perennial favourite with gappers, travelling solo can be daunting, especially if its your first time there. These two trips encompass the best of the best, safari adventure with beach adventure and down time, too. Nights spent around the campfire in some of Africa’s National Parks are often the highlight of the trip.

Snap Gap: Nairobi to Dar Es Salaam, 14 days taking in the Maasai Mara and 3 day jeep safari, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, explore local village of Mto wa Mbu, end the trip with 5 days on the beach, first on the white beaches south of Dar and then on the spice island of Zanzibar. Price from £600 per person plus kitty of US$1,270 / £780. Total land price from £1,380.

Old School Gap: Nairobi to Cape Town 51 days encompassing safari and the Big 5 in the Masai Mara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, beaches and down time in the Spice island of Zanzibar, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Vic Falls, Botswana and the Okavango Delta and Makgadkgadi Salt pans, Namibia and Etosha National Park, Swakopmund and the Namib Desert with the world’s highest sand dune, Cape Town. Price from £2,034 plus kitty of US$2,880 / £1,767. Total land price from £3,801.

The longest trips in the world

The option for gap year students with time on their hands – and a big budget. For extended, trans-continental trips, Dragoman is the only overland operator to offer trips that cover the entire Silk Route, some 7,000 kilometres between Istanbul to Beijing or vice versa (96 days from £4,940 per person, kitty of US$3280 / £2038). Or, at just short of 10,000 miles, possibly the longest trip available on the travel market, Anchorage to Ushuaia or vice versa (207 days from £8,118 per person, kitty from US$6,200 / £3,852).

For bookings, Dragoman can be contacted on 01728 861133 or by visiting the website at www.dragoman.com


Hertz and Mantra Group Form Partnership

November 9, 2014 on 10:30 am | In Australia, New South Wales, Northern, Queensland, Road Trips, South Australia, Sydney, Tasmania, Victoria, Western | Comments Off



Hertz, the world’s leading general use car rental brand, has teamed with leading Australian accommodation provider, Mantra Group, in a three-year partnership to service guests staying at Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree hotels and resorts across Australia and New Zealand.

“Our partnership with Mantra Group was a natural affiliation as they are the largest Australian-based accommodation operator and we are a global leader in car rental,” said Chris Rusden, Vice President, Hertz Australia and New Zealand.

“Mantra Group has properties located in all major capital cities and key holiday destinations across Australia and New Zealand, so this partnership allows Hertz to service both leisure and business travellers with a vehicle to suit the needs of their trip.”

As part of the partnership, both business and leisure guests of Mantra Group will be able to take advantage of discounts in car rental when they book their vehicle via the Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree websites or at individual property locations. Dedicated links on each of the three brand websites will facilitate seamless vehicle hire booking, ensuring the “Best Rate of the Day” is applied.

“With our growing network of hotels across Australia and New Zealand, it was important that we work with an established company like Hertz which could implement the benefits we wanted to provide to our customers in an easy and seamless way. Our guests will certainly benefit from this added service to further enhance their booking experience with Mantra Group,” said Mantra Group Director of Operations, Mark Hodge.

The Hertz fleet in Australia and New Zealand includes a range of economy, intermediate and full-size cars. The Australian fleet includes the Prestige, Fun, Adrenaline and Outback. The Prestige Collection is also avaliable in New Zealand, as well as a wide selection of 4WDs and minivans.

Picture caption: Mantra Group Procurement Officer Michael Freeman with Hertz Area Sales Manager QLD/NSW/ACT Belinda Smart at Mantra Legends Hotel on the Gold Coast.

About Hertz Australia (www.hertz.com.au)
Hertz is the largest worldwide airport general use car rental brand, operating from approximately 10,090 corporate and licence locations in approximately 145 countries. In Australia, Hertz has approximately 220 locations including all major airports, cities and a large number of regional towns. The fleet includes a range of well-maintained vehicles encompassing economy, intermediate and full-size cars as well as the Prestige, Fun, Adrenaline, Outback and Green Collections. In addition, minivans, 4WDs, trucks, mining and commercial vehicles are available to hire. As a global leader in its field, Hertz offers a range of innovative products and services including Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, the specially designed NeverLost® satellite navigation system in a range of languages, Mobile Wi-Fi and Premium Roadside Assistance.

About Mantra Group
Mantra Group is a leading manager and marketer of hotels and resorts in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia and operates three well-known and trusted brands – Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree. With 114 properties and over 11,400 rooms under management, Mantra Group is the second largest accommodation operator in Australia. The Group is positioned to offer both leisure and business style accommodation ranging from full service city hotels and self-contained apartments to luxury resorts and retreats: www.mantragroup.com.au; www.peppers.com.au; www.mantra.com.au; www.breakfree.com.au


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