July 9, 2009

How to Get a US Passport in One Day

Although some of us consider ourselves to be the most organized, as compared to most people, sometimes, we may discover, at the last minute, that we require a newly issued or renewed US passport - in a very short period of time. There are many things which could affect us that require such. Some of these may be:

* Quick Decision, Last Minute Business Trips
* Family, friend, or Health Emergencies
* Spontaneous Desire of a Get Away
* Eloping
* Sheer Forgetfulness

It is a good thing that in such situations, procedures and services are easily in place for you to get a US passport fast, and you can receive it in as little as 24 hours.

While some may know that these services exist, many do not realize that the whole process can be taken care of online - whether you need it fast or not - without leaving the comfort of your own home, and without all of the run-arounds and hassles that are sometimes encountered with the United States Post Office and the United States Passport Office.

The usual fee for getting a new or renewed United States passport for adults - 16 and older - is $75.00. Passports for children under 16 years of age are $60.00. These fees are always constant, no matter how quickly it is that you need a passport issued to you. There is also an additional $25 application and processing fee.

The general waiting period for getting a US passport, whether it is a new issue or a renewal is 4-6 weeks. Depending on the workload, it is possible that you can receive it faster, but it is unsafe to take your chances in this regard. Instead, plan on it taking the full 6 weeks for delivery, as most people report the average wait time to be between 5 1/2 to 6 weeks.

If you are in need getting your US passport issued faster, there is an extra expediting fee that you can pay to get the process done faster within your required time frame.

If you need to get your passport within a 24 hour time frame, there are two additional fees which need to paid in order for it to be processed in that period of time.

The expediting fee is an additional $60.00, which bumps your US passport order up to the front of the line. Also the expediting fee, you must pay an additional fee to whatever channel is doing the actual processing of the order(i.e. post office). This additional fee depends on how fast you need it, and which third party processor you go with.

You can receive a passport in a relatively short period of time, and depending on the processor and how pressed you are for time, it can cost you up to $300, if you need it within a matter of hours. If you need it within 24 hours, it can cost up to $250 - again, depending on where you go to get this done. Once payment of these additional fees are processed, then an applicant is 100% guaranteed - certified by the US government - delivery within the time frame requested.

Whether you need a passport quick or not, it is generally a good idea to get a passport now, rather than later, if you do not have one; or, get yours renewed if it has expired. It is also becoming a popular idea, as well as currently being proposed, that the US passport will replace the standard drivers license as a primary form of official citizen identification.

This has already taken place in many countries in Europe, as they require a passport for even domestic flights and hotels - tourist or not. Because of this, more than likely, many others will follow suit, including the US in the near future.

If you do not have a trip planned at this time, acquiring a passport right now will save you a bunch of money, just in case an emergency happens, or something else unplanned occurs. A US passport is valid for 10 years for ages of 16 and up - only five years for those under 16.

Just remember, you need the following in order to get any US Passport in any given time frame:

* US citizenship Documentation. Birth certificate if it is a new issue, or your old passport if it is a renewal. It may be wise to bring along your birth certificate anyway for renewals, as some areas are requiring it even for renewals.

* Some Sort Of ID Card. That is, a driver's license, state issued ID, a naturalization certificate, or government or military ID

* You will need also two passport photos of yourself, which match the required dimensions. They can be easily purchased at local drug stores for no more than $5.00 Home-produced photos are generally not accepted unless you have proper equipment and a backdrop, and can produce the professional quality required.

There are now websites which can take care of the whole process online, most of the time cheaper than other third-party processors, if you were to do it physically. It does not matter whether you need your passport right away, or need it in a few hours, they can take care of the whole process even quicker, saving you money in the process. This can aid you in many ways, including:

* Saving You Time in Traffic.

* Keeping You From Being Sent Home For Not Having Everything You Need.

* No Need To Take Off Work or Juggle Family Time.

* No More Missed, Late, Or Canceled Appointments.

Going the online route is definitely the wisest option, as it is a bit cheaper, and a whole lot quicker to do everything from your home.

If you are in need of a passport, whether it be soon, very fast, or in the future, check the online resources today, and save time and money in the process - and get your passport within 24 Hours if need be.

Need to know more about getting your passport online, or need to take care of it right now? The best time is now rather than later! Get your copy of our 7 page guide, "The US Passport Blueprint," absolutely free and check out this site today to save yourself money and time, and get your passport today.

Do not delay the processing of your passport! The longer you delay, the more expensive it gets -- the best thing for you to do is to get started on it now so you can save some $$$.

Tom Netau is the operator of the website, Get US Passport Fast, which processes expedited US passports and standard issue US passports -- both new issues and renewals. The URL for Get US Passports Fast is http://www.GetUSPassportFast.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tom_Netau

Spanish Music on a Luxury Holiday

Spanish music is known for its vibrancy and passion; from Flamenco dancing to Spanish guitar, its music is famous. With so many luxury hotels in Spain to choose from, you could combine a holiday of pampering and luxury, with traditional Spanish music and dance your nights away.


Why not centre a tailor made holiday in Spain around flamenco dancing? You could bring out your inner passion as your swing your hips in a local night club, returning to your luxury Spain hotel exhausted but invigorated. It would certainly be a different experience.

Flamenco music dates back to late 18th century. It is thought to have originated in Cadiz, Jerez de la Frontera and Triana. It is made up of three essential elements: the dance (baile), the guitar (guitarra) and the song (cante). Flamenco needs to be appreciated from all three angles, and a tailor made holiday in Spain will allow you to do just that.

Folk Music Across Spain

Depending on which region you choose for your luxury Spain holiday, a range of folk music traditions can be heard. Traditional folk music is still alive in Spain today, and you could well experience its rich history and rhythmic sounds while on a tailor made Spain holiday.

In western Andalusia gaita rociera (a kind of 3-hole pipe) is a commonly used instrument in the traditional folk music of the region. And if your tailor made Spain holiday takes you to Malaga, violin and plucked-strings will more likely be the instruments you'll hear when listening to traditional bands.

While popular across Spain, Jota is a musical form which could have originated in the Southern part of Aragon. If your tailor made Spain holiday should take you to this region, you will likely hear music performed on castanet, guitar, tambourines, bandurria and flute. Jota is a rich musical form, and is inspirational to listen to. With strong percussive sounds, the music has a distinctly North African feel. Coupled with a stay in a luxury Spain hotel, you could have an excellent holiday in this destination.

Spanish Popular Music

One of the primary historical landmarks for Spanish pop music was the Benidorm International Song Festival, founded in 1959 in Benidorm. This was a platform for international performers to play to a Spanish audience, and the festival's success led to the creation of similar festivals across Spain. It would be a great musical addition to a tailor made Spain holiday if you timed your trip with one of the festivals. These festivals were the breeding ground for many up-and-coming Spanish musicians, allowing them to find their performing feet on home ground. One such iconic Spanish singer who has gained international acclaim is Julio Iglesias.

It was in the 1980s that the Spanish music industry really took off on the international market. This decade saw the cultural reawakening of La Movida Madrilena, which is still evident in Spanish music today. Contemporary Spanish popular music spans across international genres such as rock, ska, reggae blues and hip-hop, and a tailor made Spain holiday could well include enjoying the country's musical entertainment.

Jackie Fillis is a Mediterranean holiday expert for Harlequin Holidays, a specialist operator providing quality accommodation for a luxury holiday, Spain. Harlequin Holidays has a dedicated team of experienced travel consultants ready to share their knowledge of the Mediterranean and Caribbean, and help you to plan and book your ideal holiday.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jackie_Fillis

Advantages of Using the Train Over a Plane

The internet makes buying train tickets so much easier nowadays. We have the flexibility to book train tickets whenever suits us, day or night. This means we no longer have to make a trip down to the train station during lunch break or wait on hold for the next operator. This benefits both customers and the operators since the costs are lower for booking therefore prices can be lower for customers. The internet also means you can get quotes for different trains and different modes of transport to compare as well as take advantage of the best value deals.

Trains themselves have certainly improved over the years in the service that they can offer both business customers and individuals. Of course different operator's trains are equipped with different features; national operators will be able to offer more additional services than trains running on local or quieter lines.

Trains have really come along compared to ten years ago. Technology advances are everywhere for example most trains will offer power points that can be used for mobile phones, laptops and gaming systems and included in the price of the train ticket. Electronic displays so you can easily see seats that are reserved or for you to find your own seat.

Trains must also cater for disabled passengers so there are now more services available to make it easy as possible for disabled passengers to navigate trains. There are many innovative trains that offer free Wi-fi fantastic for keeping in touch with friends, browsing the internet and for business users it offers them a viable alternative to airline travel, they can continue to work while travelling, keep in touch with the office and phone clients which obviously aren't possible on an airplane.

The train can be better for many, once you are on the train you can sit and relax or get on with your work, no travelling to airports, no checking in, no waiting in lounges and no waiting for your luggage to be returned, overall many will find trains offer a better service meeting their needs and provide a less stressful journey. Use the internet now to book train tickets.

Kim has 5 years experience in the travel industry. She enjoys writing articles on different holiday locations and travel tips.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kim_Chambers

Tasting Italy's Favorite Foods

Even if you consider Italian food to be your fave at home, it is a totally different experience when you step foot within the country. The food in the country is as brilliant as all the places to see in Italy. The flavours are richer, the herbs more strong, and the ingredients are the best in the globe. You will be glad to have made time to devour them.

Our pizzas are covered with it, and this cheese has made its mark around the globe. However, likelihood is that you haven't tasted real mozzarella cheese. Water buffalo are the best producers of this cheese, not cows who have a tendency to produce a drier and blander mozzarella. Only in Italy can you bite into a really wet mozzarella. Pizza gets better tasting, soup gets richer, and the flavour of bruschetta is out of this world when crowned with Italy's best mozzarella.

To accompany this heavenly cheese, hunt down some authentic Italian bread. There are too many places to see in Italy that carry great bread to say. It is asserted that the average Italian consumes over 1 lb. Of bread on any given day. Generation upon generation, have passed down tried and true bread recipes that may make any mouth slobber. Bread is a consistent companion to many different genres of food across the country. Wine, fruit, cheese, figs, sugar, vegetables, soup, the Italians regard it a staple at each meal. Try a different kind from every one of the places to see in Italy you chance to have on your itinerary.

Italian sorbet is the proper term to refer to when talking about southern gelato from Italy. The ingredients were rather more complex, but paid off with the first bite. Gelato originally came in all different kinds of flavours made right from the produce of the land. Maybe , that is why Italian Gelato tastes better than gelato made any place else in the globe. Cuisine today would not be the same without risotto. It is taught in each culinary school and served in restaurants all over the world. Serving it right after cooking boosts the feel and taste massively. Risotto is as diversified as gelato. The flavors are endless and frequently you'll find different Risotto flavors offered each night by the same cafe. If you really want to get aspiring, try having an Italian show you ways to make this classic dish.

The Fun vacations in italy are limitless, and the food options are as glorious as the scenery. Try eating at the little Italian bake shops where the food is authentic and the folk friendly and warm.

Why do I love travel? I can't help it but the feeling that you are in a different place is just great! Everyone should travel.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Paul_K_Traveler

Top Five Eco-Friendly Summer Events

So you've decided to live a more eco-friendly life...now what? The best thing to do after becoming hip on eco-friendly living, especially during the summer, is to attend eco-friendly events. These events can range from music festivals, to forums that discuss sustainability to simply a gathering of people that understand the necessity of eco-friendly living. Here are the top 5 eco-friendly summer events.

1) Green Festivals: Greenfestival is a joint project of Global Exchange and Green America that organizes events that bring together individuals to discuss ways to make our lives socially, economically and environmentally healthier. The next Green Festivals take place in Washington DC, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver and Chicago. At this event authors, educators, and other earth friendly individuals have the opportunity to shop, taste organic beer and wine, and discuss renewable energy and green technology. Green Festivals are a great way to show your interest in sustainability and meet some very interesting people that are making headway in environmental issues. Check out greenfestivals.org/ to learn more about these awesome events.

2) Rothbury: Rothbury is a 4-day music festival that takes place in Rothbury, Michigan. Rothbury is not only a music festival but also an event committed to sustainability. Rothbury aims to have very little impact on the environment while entertaining the tens of thousands that come out to enjoy the music of major headliners and local artist. At their inaugural festival in 2008, Rothbury stayed true to their commitment to having an eco-friendly festival by providing plates made of sugarcane and cups made of corn. There is also an area where people can gather around and talk about important topics such as green jobs and its importance in today's society. If you're a music and eco-friendly junkie check out their site for more information.

3) 10,000 Lakes Festival: This festival is also a 4-day music festival and takes place in Detroit Lakes, MN. 10,000 Lakes Festival makes it easy for concertgoers to recycle by providing them with two plastic bags, one for garbage and one for recyclable materials. They have what they call 24-hour Greening Stations which are stations set up throughout the venue to assist attendees to recycle their materials. During their 2008 festival they were able to collect over 50 tons of recycling resulting in a very earth friendly event. Check out their website for more information.

4) Think Green World Music Festival: Located in Napa Valley this event is about bringing together those that care about the environment and the kind of planet we will be leaving for future generations. During this festival attendees can enjoy green businesses, workshops on sustainable living and interactive activities for kids. Although this festival has been postponed for 2009, it will be up and running in 2010. Be sure to check it out next year's event and all they have to offer.

5) Coachella: Coachella is another music festival that is about the music and about the earth. Coachella music festival, which is located in Indio, CA, combines music and recycling to make a very exciting eco-friendly event. Their biggest goal is to get people to recycle their used plastic water bottles. In order to achieve this goal they teamed up with Global Inheritance and created a program called Ten for One. Here concertgoers are able to return ten empty water bottles for one free bottle of water. Stay hydrated and stay eco-friendly! Coachella music festival has already taken place for 2009 but 2010 will be just as successful. Check out their site to get more information on this eco-friendly music festival.

Guffly is a one product per day online store and community with a focus on eco friendly products and fair trade lifestyle goods like home, pet, clothing, office and personal accessories. We know that people aren't interested in ugly stuff, so you can bet Guffly's green products are stylish, fun and attractive - eco stylish if you will. Learn more at http://blog.guffly.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Janay_Scott

Green Travel - Choosing Your Eco-Friendly Holiday Destination

Want to go green when you travel but not sure how to? Doing your bit for the environment is fine when you're at home: recycling, using energy efficient light bulbs, washing your clothes at low temperatures, and walking/cycling to work are all relatively easily-executed examples of eco-friendly living. However what do you do when you travel? An eco-friendly holiday doesn't just start when you reach your destination. It begins a lot earlier. If you're travelling green - or thinking about travelling green -consider the following before you do.

Where are you going? If you are thinking of going abroad, why? Consider visiting places of interest closer to home, which can be reached by train, or bike, instead of by aeroplane, car, or boat. Many worldly people have never seen the beauty of their own country, opting instead for holidays in other parts of the world. This is not just a pity in terms of what they are missing out on, but on how much harsher on the environment, air travel is.

How are you getting there? If travelling by car, can you carpool? Otherwise known as car-sharing, lift-sharing, or ridesharing, ads for drivers and passengers can be found in local papers and online fairly easily. You could even team up with family, friends or neighbours and make a party of it. Alternatively, can you rent (or even borrow!) an electric, electric-hybrid, or biodiesel car, which will reduce your fuel cost substantially in addition to your CO2 emissions. Word of warning: do make a reservation! There is currently a variety of hybrid cars in circulation, however as the Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, and Nissan Altima are the lowest in the price bracket, they tend to be the most popular, so sell out the fastest. If air travel is your only practical means of getting to your destination, then give a thought to airlines who have adopted eco-friendly policies, anything from waste disposal and carbon offset schemes (British Airways), to purchasing more environmentally-friendly aircraft (Air One), to conserving fuel and tailoring routings to be greener (American Airlines). Airlines, being the worst culprits, have a lot more to account for, due to the emission of additional chemicals into the air along with CO2. In addition, the extent of the damage done by this cocktail of chemicals is increased because of the altitude at which they are dispelled from the aircraft. To see what is being done within the aviation industry to combat this, take a look at www.enviro.aero

Going green for cruise companies is less a priority - at least for the moment - and only a few such as Royal Caribbean International and Princess Cruises have adopted any policies that detract from the amount of waste dumped into the sea, and CO2 emission discharged into the atmosphere each sailing. However, small sailing vessels, such as hybrid catamarans and yachts - some even manufactured from recycled materials - are a greener alternative, though tend to be on the pricier end to rent.

Where will you stay? Nowadays it's hard to find a hotel or even a chain of hotels that won't have at least a small eco-friendly policy in place whether it's offering you the option of having your towels changed less frequently or putting a newspaper in a common room, however some places just try harder than others. Examples of places that tick all the boxes are Rainbow Retreat in Tasmania, Australia, the Royal Cliff Beach Resort, in Pattaya, Thailand, the Gaia Napa Valley, California, U.S., and the Cote How Organic Guest House in Cumbria, U.K. For a comprehensive listing of hotels and to what extent they are "green" in virtually any country, visit www.environmentallyfriendlyhotels.com

Offset Your Carbon Emissions Sometimes it's just not possible or feasible to do things exactly the way you'd like, in which case, why not simply offset your carbon? Paying to fund a programme that helps the environment is an easy way to neutralise your carbon emissions and you can find a multitude of options available online to help you do so. In many cases, it's a small sum to pay to take the greatest load off your mind.

The Great Ocean Road is a haven for eco-friendly holidays. Camping in The Otways, cycling holidays, restaurants that serve organic vegetables picked as you order, and luxury sustainable villas are just a sample of what this spectacular scenic route can offer the green traveller. Why not visit the new official website for the Geelong Otway Tourism Region of the Great Ocean Road at visitgreatoceanroad.org.au to find out more about what you can see and do whilst you're there!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tracy_Roth-Rotsas

Travel Health - Traveler's Diarrhea

Montezuma's revenge - Aztec Two Step - whatever nicknames it may be called, if you've experienced it, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Traveler's diarrhea (TD) is the most common medical issue that people complain of while traveling in less developed countries.

High-risk destinations (attack rates of up to 60% during the first 2 weeks) include Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and the developing countries of Africa, South and Central America, the Middle East, and Asia. Lesser risks countries include Australia, countries in Europe, Japan, South Africa and countries in North America.

Traveler's diarrhea is not a specific disease, but describes the symptoms caused by certain microorganisms that are transmitted via contaminated food and water. Bacteria are by far the most common cause of TD with about 85% of cases being bacterial. Parasites and viruses are causes of TD 10% and 5 % respectively.

Bacterial causes of TD include; Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, various stains of E. coli and Vibrio (the cause of cholera).

Parasitic causes include Giardia and Entamoeba histolytica (amoebiasis). Viruses like rotavirus and norovirus have been implicated.

TD is commonly seen with the following symptoms; an abrupt onset of loose, watery or semi-formed stools associated with abdominal cramps and rectal urgency. Other symptoms like nausea, bloating, and fever, may also be present. Vomiting may occur in up to 15% of those affected. Travelers' diarrhea is generally self-limited and lasts 3-4 days even without treatment.

How can you prevent TD on your next trip overseas? Here are some common sense tips:

• Don't buy food from street vendors.
• Avoid raw foods. In particular, salads, uncooked vegetables, and unpasteurized milk and milk products such as cheese, and to eat only food that has been cooked and is still hot or fruit that can be peeled by the traveler personally (bananas and oranges).
• Also avoid undercooked or raw meats, fish or shellfish.
• Do not use tap water to wash fruits and vegetables or to make ice cubes. Avoid fruit juices made reconstituted with tap water.
• When in areas where water is not chlorinated; bottled water is a safe alternative as long as the bottle is unopened and sealed.
• Use bottled water to brush your teeth.
• Keep your mouth closed while showering.
• Make sure eating utensils and dishes are clean and dry before you use them.
• Boiling water is the best way to make water safe to drink. High boil for at least one minute.
• The use of iodine or chlorine tablets is effective against most pathogens. They however are ineffective against some parasites like Cryptosporidium.
• The use of water filters is effective against most pathogens.
• The use of prophylactic antibiotics may be useful particularly short term travelers. Quinolones and Rifaximin are commonly prescribed antibiotics for this reason.
• Pepto-Bismol may reduce your chances of getting TD.
• In Europe and Canada there is an approved vaccine for cholera that can be administered prior to travel.
• Hand washing and hand sanitizer gels reduce the incidence of diarrhea (as well as respiratory illness).

Most cases of TD do not require treatment and will resolve spontaneously. However in cases where there is bloody diarrhea and or high fever, antibiotic treatment should be given. If you do get TD, drink plenty of fluids. Certain infections like cholera can be life-threatening due to fluid loss. IV fluid replacement may be required in some cases.

I have over 20 years experience in clinical and public health microbiology and infectious diseases. I want to enlighten and inform about infectious diseases that could affect you, rare and common, and what you can do to protect you and your family from these dreaded afflictions. See more of my work at http://www.examiner.com/x-7707-Tampa-Disease-Prevention-Examiner

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Robert_Herriman

Travel Wallets and 4 Other Often Overlooked Travel Items

If you are like me, planning for your holiday can often be as exciting and rewarding as the trip itself. The sense of anticipation and the unknown can be exhilarating as you plan your getaway. In order to make sure your travels go smoothly, it is very important to ensure that you pack the necessary gear. We all know about the basic essentials; clothing, money, passport, maps, travel guides, camera, cell phone, watch, and toiletries. However, when making your checklist you may also wish to bring along these often overlooked travel items.

1. Travel wallet - Travel wallets come in a number of shapes and sizes. The advantage a good travel wallet has over a regular wallet is that it comes with additional slots and space to carry important travel items such as credit cards, passport, airline tickets and other important travel items. Carrying a travel wallet is a great way to keep your personals organized and safe.

2. Money Belt - Money belts can be key to your piece of mind, especially if you are traveling in a country where pickpockets are a problem. A money belt is a small zippered pouch fastened around your waist and worn under your clothes hidden from public view. You can be comforted by the fact that your valuables are out of sight of potential thieves and securely fastened to your body..

3. Earplugs - These are cheap and great for light sleepers like myself. Earplugs are handy when sharing a room with a snorer or sleeping in a bed beside a busy roadway. Don't discount the importance of getting good sleep. Nothing is worse than not being able to get rest when you have a busy day of fun and exploration in the morning.

4. Postcards from home and photos of your family - Interacting with locals and fellow travelers is one of the joys of travel. Bringing along a collection of postcards from your beautiful homeland and photos of your loved ones makes for a great conversation piece. Sharing your photos and experiences can be fun and you'll be sure to make some new friends!

5. Wet wipes - These are small moistened pieces of paper or cloth that often come folded and individually wrapped for convenience. They are great for traveling because they can be used to clean and disinfect surfaces quickly and with minimal fuss. They can also be used as napkins when there is nothing else to clean your hands with.

In closing, always remember to pack light and respect the customs of the country you are visiting. I wish you many safe and happy travels!

Jimmy Li is a travel enthusiast and has traveled to Europe, Asia and North America. For your travel gear needs please visit http://www.travel-wallets.net

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jimmy_Li

Family Summer Vacation Ideas

There is nothing more rewarding than spending a great summer vacation with your family. In fact, the increasing number of travelling families annually has paved the way to the emergence of numerous family summer vacations worldwide. However, it is not always imperative to experience a great summer escapade overseas. In fact, your family can still enjoy a great summer adventure without having the need to travel abroad.

If you are living in the city, check out local parks, museums and zoos. Spending summer in the city is not as bad as you might think. Actually, most cities offer lots of great family-friendly sites and entertainment venues. Bring your children in one of the city parks where you can enjoy various recreational activities. You can have a picnic, rent a boat, bike along with your kids or run around the park.

A visit to a local zoo will definitely delight your kids. Let them participate in animal feedings and explore the area. Most zoos also feature animal shows and other special events so you really have something to look forward to.

You can also spend your summer by going to public museums. Bringing your kids in this kind of location will help them to be inclined with their artistic side. Thematic museums usually exhibit art collections depicting history, science and arts. Other museums also offer tons of programs and interactive quizzes where your kids can participate.

Remember that family summer vacations do not always need to be located near the beach. There are actually lots of activities to do even if you are in the city. Be sure to do a little research first so you would know what places are worth checking out.


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