Planning a Family Vacation

Grand Canyon with its beautiful rock formations and the deep blue Colorado river is considered to be a natural wonder. With extensive opportunities to explore the Canyon all round the year, it is nature lover’s paradise. However, there are certain suggestions that need to be considered before you embark on your journey. This Buzzle article will help you plan a hindrance-free Grand Canyon family vacation.

Planning the Vacation

Planning the Route
Grand Canyon can be ascended from three sides, viz. the southern rim, the northern rim and the western side. The northern rim is a lot steeper and popular with explorers, hikers, young couples and all those who value tranquility. While the southern rim is popular for family vacations. You might want to view the Canyons from the southern rim if you are not a very good hiker or have young children with you.

Hotel Bookings
Grand Canyon is full of activity all round the year. Summers happen to be the peak visiting time while winters might be slack and a bit more peaceful. However, if you want to spend at least a couple of days in the Grand Canyon area, then you might have to get a confirmed hotel reservation at least 6 months prior to your actual visit. The Grand Canyons have approximately 6 hotels at their southern rim and just 1 hotel at the northern rim. If these are booked, then you may have to choose options like tents or book a hotel room at places near Grand Canyons. Before you are set to leave on the trip, care to confirm the bookings once again. If you happen to plan the vacation in winter, then you can expect some discounts from hotel owners.

Traveling to Grand Canyon
The two nearest city airports to Grand Canyon are the ones located at Las Vegas and Phoenix. From there, you might opt to rent a car and drive to the destination or opt for commuter flights up to Flagstaff or Page in Arizona State. When traveling by air, book your tickets well in advance to avoid any last-minute disappointments. Also, get a second confirmation of your tickets a week prior to your visit. Alternately, you might opt for driving down all the way up to Grand Canyon in your own car.

Places to Visit in Grand Canyon
While traveling to the Grand Canyon national park, there are some amazing sites that you just can’t afford to miss. Here is a list of places to visit and things to do in Grand Canyon:

The Grand Canyon sky walk
Lake Powell
Sedona
Hoover dam
Paria Canyon
Bryce Canyon
Desert view watch tower
Monument Valley
Zion

Other fun activities include white water rafting, hiking, grand canyon mule rides, train tours, ranger guided activities, jeep safaris and grand canyon helicopter rides. There are a number of private helicopter services that offer family rides on their choppers. You may expect some spectacular views of the grand canyon at a price of approximately $200 to $500 per passenger. The duration of the ride can be anything between 2 to 5 hours depending upon the number of stopovers included in the schedule.

Some Traveling Hints

Dress as casually as possible. Use some light shaded cotton clothing as they are really comfortable.
Opt for some smart and sturdy footwear that will give a good grip while hiking in the rocky terrain.
Make sure to carry along a broad rimmed hat and a good pair of sunglasses. For those who wear contact lenses while at home or at work, it is suggested that they use their spectacles instead. If possible, get your optician to spray a layer of UV resistant solution on the glass surface.
Carry plenty of drinking water as the excursion can be really stressful and dehydrating.
Carry plenty of fragrant wet wipes to cool yourself throughout the journey.
There are no artificial lighting along the excursion paths of Grand Canyon. If you happen to start your descent when it starts getting dark, it is always better to carry minimum two portable torches or a headlamp with you that will make your descent easy.
Carry a first aid box as a safety precaution to treat some unforeseen injuries.
Do not forget to carry your favorite sunscreen lotion, moisturizer, lip gel and hair conditioner along with you.
Care to carry a good map and a satellite phone when traveling.
Carry a complete set of your vacation dossier with you throughout the journey. It should ideally include all your plane tickets, printouts of your booking confirmations, hotel addresses and contact numbers, travel insurance documents and your itinerary.
Carry a good digital camera to click or videotape some memorable and breathtaking shots.

Travel Agent Salary

It is said that you can learn more by traveling a mile than reading 100 pages of a book. Today, we have many travel agents who assist in planning our trips for just a small commission. How much do they get? Is it a lucrative career option? Read through this article to know more about this career.
There are a variety of travel agents who offer specialized services in air, sea, and rail travel. Their salary depends on a lot of variables, like their area of expertise, services that they offer, the employer, and work location.

Pay Range

Travel agents are employed by travel agencies, airlines, tour operators, cruise lines, and more. A recent survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that their average salary ranges from USD 29,000 to USD 45,000. The table presented here provides statistics based on the years of experience and the expected salary range.

Experience Pay Range
Less than 1 year USD 20,000 to 38,000
1 to 4 years USD 24,000 to 38,000
5 to 9 years USD 29,000 to 42,000
10 to 19 years USD 30,000 to 42,000
20 or more years USD 31,000 to 46,000

Some of the top paying states:
Washington, Virginia, Tennessee, New Hampshire – USD 36,000 to USD 39,000.

Some of the top paying metropolitan areas:
Durham (NC), Birmingham-Hoover (AL), Bremerton-Silverdale (WA), Memphis (TN) – USD 43,000 to USD 53,000.

Since there are a variety of services offered by travel agencies, an agent has to perform a multitude of tasks, and this ability to multitask plays an important role in deciding the salary. There are many variable components such as the size of the organization, services offered, clients catered to, and the location of the business.

Job Description

A travel agent acts like an auxiliary for people who wish to travel, either for business or pleasure. Nowadays, there are many service providers available at the traveler’s disposal, and it becomes very confusing for them to make the right choice. These professionals will help you make the right choice by booking tickets and arranging accommodation which are best suited to your requirement and budget. There are those who offer specialized services to business travelers, and special packages to people traveling for pleasure. Some even specialize in package tours to certain destinations. They have to handle a large volume of clients during holiday seasons like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the spring break. Due to the nature of their work, they have to deal with a variety of people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds, as well as people with different nationalities and preferences. They need to plan a client’s itinerary, in addition to arranging facilities like accommodation and car rentals.

Requirements

An aspirant needs to have at least a high school diploma. However, most employers prefer candidates with some formal training or certification in the travel domain. A bachelor’s or master’s degree in travel and tourism can drastically improve your job prospects. Some of the colleges that offer online bachelor’s degrees are Kaplan University, Phoenix University, Ashworth College, etc. Students who have completed their undergraduate programs can opt for a master’s degree from colleges like Walden University, Grand Canyon University, etc. There are also many vocational courses offered by schools and community colleges, which impart knowledge about geography, marketing, ticketing forms and procedures, and other related aspects. Also, most employers provide on-the-job training on computer systems used in the airline industry.

A job as a travel agent can be a very promising career option. Besides the remuneration, they also gain a lot of knowledge about different parts of the world. Traveling has not only become faster, but more affordable as well, encouraging more and more people to travel. This will lead to more job opportunities for such professionals in the future.

Airline Ticket Brokers

Airline ticket brokers can be a one-stop source for booking international and domestic flights. Read the following article to find some useful information regarding the same.
Thanks to the extensive and infinite universe of the World Wide Web that has changed our life, no longer are consumers required to stand in a long line or make long calls for booking sports passes, movie tickets, or most importantly, flight tickets. Introduction of online selling of tickets has made life easier for the common man. While airline firms have websites dedicated to such online bookings, in some situations even airline ticket brokers can come to our rescue. These individuals (for instance, travel agents) often provide cheap deals to consumers.

They can help you with your numerous travel plans and provide you detailed information about flight timings, stopovers, and help you plan vacations way ahead of the actual day on which you are traveling. So, in case you want effective planning for traveling in high-demand seasons or while traveling by low-cost airlines, you can take the help of one.

Overview

Some of the most popular airline ticket booking sites such as Priceline, Travelocity, and Expedia provide great facilities to consumers, in order to make it possible for them to purchase tickets online. In fact, besides them, several brokers are also popular as airline consolidators; these are generally companies (or individuals) that buy international tickets directly from the airlines after negotiating on the price, and then they sell them to travelers at cheap prices. Sometimes, these prices can be as low as 70% of their original costs.

These cheap airfare brokers can be groups of individuals or companies. The airline companies provide contracts and ‘selling tickets rights’ to those who have displayed a phenomenal performance in selling them in bulk. Why do these companies sell tickets to them? Well, when such a company is not performing well and is unable to sell them on their airlines, they use the strategy of selling the remaining ones to them at generously discounted costs.

Airlines may sell the tickets in bulk, or they may offer discounted prices to the concerned broker agency. These brokers or travel agents sell them to the general public by adopting marketing strategies. Many of them have dedicated websites for reselling tickets on cheap prices. Most consolidator air tickets are for international flights, but you may also find the ones for domestic flights. While airline consolidators may have more restrictions, where their ticket-selling procedures are concerned, purchasing one from them is as safe as buying them from other travel websites.

Reviews

There are various corporations in the US that specialize in airline ticket brokerage. An overview of these is provided below:

Air Brokers International, Inc.
Founded in 1987, in California USA, it provides consolidator airfares for world travel and also sells discounted tickets for business as well as economy class fares.

Travel HUB
Check out the official website of this firm, which helps you in getting dirt-cheap flights. TravelHUB offers cheap international and domestic flights. It can help in your attempts at a cheaper rate.

BizTravel Brokers
With personalized account management and premium global customer services, Biztravel provides cheap airfare deals for flights to almost all major countries.

In the recent years, almost all brokers who exist online provide numerous options for payments. Moreover, once you have booked the tickets, you can easily get the itinerary either on email or regular mail as per your preference. You are allowed to pay using the following methods:

Credit Cards of all types
Cashier’s Checks
Money Orders
Wire Transfer Facilities
Cash

An individual trying to book cheap airline tickets must ensure that he or she provides correct contact information like email ID, address, and contact details, so that these can be mailed or delivered in time without any mismanagement.

How Does Sound Travel

When sound waves travel through a medium, the particles of the medium vibrate. Vibrations reach the ear and then the brain which senses them and we recognize sound. Read on for an explanation of how sound travels.
Sound is a series of compression and rarefraction waves that can travel long distances. It is produced by the vibration of the particles present in its medium; a medium is the material through which sound can travel. Presence of a medium is a must for the movement of sound waves. There are various types of medium through which sound waves can move like solids, liquids, gases, plasma, etc. Sound cannot travel through vacuum.

Characteristics of Sound Waves

The speed and the physical characteristics of sound largely varies with the change in its ambient conditions. The speed of sound depends on the density of the medium though which it is traveling. If its density is quite high, then sound would travel at a faster pace. When sound travels through gaseous medium, its speed varies with respect to changes in temperature.

The frequency of sound waves is nothing but the total number of vibrations that have been produced. The length of sound waves vary according to its frequency. Sound waves with long wavelengths have low frequency or low pitch; and those with short wavelengths have high frequency or high pitch. Our ears are capable of hearing only those sound waves which lie in the range between 20 and 20,000 vibrations per second.

How do Sound Waves Travel?

Basically, there are three things that are required for the transmission of sound. They are: a source that can transmit the sound, a medium through which sound can pass (like, water, air, etc.), and the receiver or the detector which receives the sound. The traveling process of sound has been explained below.

Creation of Sound
When a physical object moves in air, it causes vibrations which leads to formation of a series of compression waves in the air. These waves travel in the form of sound. For instance, when we strum the strings of a guitar or hit the head of a drum, the to-and-fro motion of the strings or the drum head creates compression waves of sound in the surrounding air. Similarly, when we speak, our vocal cords vibrate and the sound is created. This type of vibration occurs not just in atmospheric air but in other mediums like, solids and liquids as well. For instance, when a train is moving on a railroad made up of steel, the sound waves thus produced travel via these tracks.

At room temperature, sound travels through air with a speed of 343 m/s, through water at 1,482 m/s, and through steel at 5,960 m/s. As you can see, sound waves travel in a gaseous medium at a slow pace because its molecules are loosely bound and have to cover a long distance to collide with another molecule. In solid medium, the atoms are so closely packed that the vibration is readily transmitted to the neighboring atoms, and sound travels quite fast. In liquid medium, the bonding between the component particles are not as strong as in solids. Therefore, the sound waves move through it at a less speed as compared to solid.

Detection of Sound
When the sound waves hit the receiver, it causes some vibration in that object. The detector captures just a part of the energy from the moving sound wave. This energy of vibration is then converted to electrical signals. Thus, when the sound waves reach our ears, the eardrum present inside it vibrates. This vibration reaches our inner ear and is converted into nerve signals. As a result, we can hear the sound. Devices like microphone can detect sound. The sound waves create vibrations in its membrane which forms electrical signals that gets amplified and recorded.

So, how does sound travel? Vibration of an object causes vibrations of the same frequency in the surrounding medium. The vibrations are sent to the inner ear. After the auditory nerve picks up these vibrations, electrical signals are sent to the brain where the vibrations are recognized as sound.