Cologne Germany — 18 Insider Tips — Part 1 of 2

Would you like to know what the real interesting sights in Cologne Germany are? In this two-part article, I am going to let you know about 18 of my good ones.If you would like to know something about Cologne Germany and its history, visit the Cologne link at the end of this article for information about that. In this two-part article I’ll give you 18 insider tips of Cologne – short and sweet – so that you can print them out and easily scour the sights and restaurants.First, once you arrive in the city, go to the tourist office. It’s located at Cologne Cathedral in a street called “Unter Fettenhennen” (under fat hen ;-).Now, shall we get started? Great!Sightseeing and Culture1. The city hall (Hansasaal) was built in 1330. Its Renaissance arcade (16th century) and tower (15th century) had been added later. The building complex suffered extensive damage during World War 2 and underwent reconstruction until 1972. It’s located at Alter Markt.2. The City Gates are awesome. Three of the total of twelve city gates from the mediaeval city fortifications (1180 – 1220) have been preserved and are still used today for various purposes. Just look for the Severinstor, the Eigelsteintor and the Hahnentor. The smaller Ulrepforte and restored sections of the city walls are to be found along the Sachsenring circular boulevard. Also, all of them have a U-Bahn stop.3. The 4711 House, the new Gothic head office of the famous “Eau de Cologne” manufacturer with a carillon that chimes every hour, is located opposite the opera in Glockengasse. The number “4711” refers to house-numbering system adopted by the French occupying power in 1795. For greater clarity, all private houses were numbered sequentially from 1 – 7 404.4. The Cologne gardens (Flora/Zoo) were landscaped in 1863 according to designs by Peter Josef Lenné and Joseph Maria Olbrich. It further contains an botanical garden, which was added in 1914. The site was destroyed during World War 2. Once it was completely restored, it now has a stock of plants including approx. 12 000 species. Cologne Zoo is located directly adjacent to the gardens.5. Cologne cathedral with its two spires 157 m. in height, has been the city’s most famous landmark for centuries and the most well-known architectural monument in Germany. It took 632 years (!) until construction of the largest German cathedral was completed. Visit http://www.smart-travel-germany.com/cologne-cathedral.html for further information and some images of Cologne Cathedral.6. Cologne Germany is a city of churches. As in no other German city, twelve large Roman collegiate and monastery and convent churches are located in the confined area within the boundaries of the mediaeval city wall, churches which rank among the most important in Western Europe.7. Shopping Passages — Cologne has some; I am just going to tell about two of them. The Neumarkt Passage, located at Neumarkt, and the Olivandenhof, located right between Neumarkt and Breite Strasse. In this glitter world, you are going to find stores with clothes, foods, non-food, many taverns and pubs, etc. Just a good time to take a loooong rest… ;-)By the way, right at Neumarkt starts Germany’s most visited shopping mile — the Schildergasse. Hourly 17,760 people come in flocks through this “street.”8. Okay, this now is outside Cologne, but definitely worth a day trip. The amusement park located near Cologne is called Phantasialand. It offers a wide selection of attractions, ranging from the old Berlin steam roundabout, including a wild-water course and extending to the Space-Center, which draw several million visitors every year to the southern gates of Cologne. Children in particular love the fantastic world with its many adventures. Phantasialand is open daily between April 1st and October 31st.Now, visit http://www.smart-travel-germany.com/cologne.html for further information, and for some pictures of Cologne Germany.Fine, that was the first part. We passed some quite interesting sights today. In the next part we will cover 10 TOP bars and restaurants. Look forward to it!Best regards,Marcus Hochstadt© Copyright http://www.smart-travel-germany.com All Rights Reserved


Cologne Germany — 18 Insider Tips — Part 2 of 2

Cologne Germany has a lot to offer, and in this second part I give you the remaining 10 insider tips you surely already were looking for…Old town of Cologne Germany is the starting point for most people. It is world-wide well-known from lots of postcards. Old houses, countless churches, Cologne Cathedral, taverns, restaurants, pubs, cramped alleys, Rhine river…The city offers an unparalleled selection of more than 3,000 bars, restaurants and breweries, the highest number per capita than anywhere else in Germany.Anyway, shall we get started? Great!TOP 10 Bars and Restaurants9. The proven best restaurant in Cologne Germany is the Boersen-Restaurant (Stock-Market Restaurant), located in a street called Unter Sachsenhausen No. 10-26. It consists of the Restaurant Maitre, the Boersen-Stube, Boersen-Schaenke, and several meeting rooms. Yummy!10. Three Frenchmen created this terrific restaurant called “Le Moissonnier,” located in Krefelder Str. 25. Once you enter this “tavern,” you’ll feel the spirit the three chiefs spray throughout the rooms.11. When Bruno Spatola, Chief of the restaurant “Da Bruno,” opened his restaurant in the mid-90’s, he didn’t think it would become that great success. Even a South-German newspaper is considering Da Bruno as “The Best Italian of Germany.” You find this exquisite gourmet temple in Suerther Hauptstrasse 157 in the district Suerth.12. Cologne’s smallest restaurant “Capricorn [i] Aries Restaurant” is located in the heart of the southern part of the city (Altenburgerstrasse 34). It was built in a monument-protected house in modern-elegant ambience. Rewarded with a Michelin star, Klaus Jaquemod cooks fine French cuisine. The area is being held completely in white, contains four tables for maximally 16 guests, and, at late hour, it uses a special light system to change itself into different colors. Awesome.13. The “Vintage” is a restaurant, in which you can enjoy more than 600 (!) high-quality wines at reasonable prices in a pleasant atmosphere with good cuisine for large and small hunger. You can buy the wines of your favours. The kitchen has been awarded several times as one of the TOP ones in Cologne Germany and Germany wide. You find it in downtown, Pfeilstrasse 31.14. Excelsior Hotel Ernst, located right nearby Cologne Cathedral in Trankgasse 1, is a 5-Star Hotel. It contains the Hanse Stube, which is famous for its innovative French cuisine and culinary finesse. In the taku, Japanese cuisine in the tradition of Asian culinary art and hospitality is going to be served. Further the Piano Bar, in which you can easily relax and forget about the daily routine.15. Not to injustice, the “Bizim” is considered as “The Noble Turk” of Cologne Germany. Faraway of Doener and Lamacun (usual meals at Turkish snack bars), their menu proves how variously the Turkish cuisine can be. Hint: a punctual table reservation is absolutely necessary! The Bizim is located in Weidengasse 47, and considered as an insider tip.16. The “Gaffel Haus,” located at Alter Markt 20, is considered as a place at which the culture of hospitality is maintained. In the last 600 years, Cologne became the scene for liberty and democracy; and the Gaffel House shows some historical facts as it was the tradition house for Cologne’s Gaffel.17. Whether you would like to dance, watch other people, or relax in a beer garden with up to 1,200 people (!), the “Herbrand’s” is definitely a place where you can forget the everyday life. Located in district Ehrenfeld, Herbrandstrasse 21, you will like the architectural building and surrounding.18. Stroll through the traditional Muehlengasse in old town of Cologne Germany, and take a rest in “Peters Brauhaus” (Peter’s Brewing House). Fine brewing atmosphere mixed with traditional Cologne cuisine let you easily relax after heavy sightseeing.Now, visit http://www.smart-travel-germany.com/cologne.html for further information, and for some pictures of Cologne Germany.So, whatever you are going to do in Cologne Germany, enjoy it! 🙂 This city is definitely worth staying longer than one day. I myself lived 17 years of my life in this carnivalistic stronghold.Best regards,Marcus Hochstadt© Copyright http://www.smart-travel-germany.com/ All Rights Reserved


Studying the International Travel Insurance Scene

Student international travel insurance is affordable. In fact, it’s almost always the most affordable of any international travel insurance. In many cases, students aren’t the only one who qualify, either. Some student international travel insurance carriers offer the student coverage and rates not only to full time and part time college students but also to their dependents and other family members, as well as visiting faculty and other scholars. The age limit on this student coverage is typically 49 years of age.These low-cost student international travel insurance carriers sometimes provide one hundred percent of the cost of covered events such as illness, injury, evacuation and repatriation. Many student international travel insurance carriers offer choices of coverage, so that you can pick and choose the coverage limits you wish and can afford.One carrier, for example, provides three plans, all of which can be quoted and purchased online. The minimum level, the least costly student international travel insurance policy, provides a $100,000 ceiling for medical coverage, but only $50,000 for a single incident. The deductible for each incident is $150. Were you, your loved one, or anyone’s remains require repatriation, the payment with this student international travel insurance would be up to $25,000. Emergency evacuation coverage at this level is $50,000. $10,000 is the ceiling for AD&D (accidental death and dismemberment.) Depending on your age premium for this coverage can be as low as $59.The best coverage, with a price tag of $69, increases your ceilings on many of the coverage events. With this top-notch student international travel insurance you would realize a lifetime ceiling of $250,000, and each event, whether illness or injury, would have its own ceiling of $150,000. Your deductible is lowered to $90 per event, although the limits for repatriation ($50,000), emergency evacuation ($50,000) and accidental death and dismemberment coverage ($10,000) remain the same no matter which student international travel insurance level of coverage you choose.When you purchase your student international travel insurance online you’ll be required to supply your destination, travel dates or length of stay, your age and the age of anyone in your travel group and whether you are a student. As a student you’ll need to supply your college name and location as well as your program of study.


Oldsters Overseas – What Seniors Pay for Travel Insurance

While travel medical insurance for senior citizens generally carries a higher premium and a lower maximum level of coverage it is still widely available. In fact, some carriers offer travel medical insurance for senior citizens no matter what their age. One carrier we found offered travel medical insurance for senior citizens over 80 years old, with no maximum age. The maximum coverage for those older than 79, however, is a low $10,000.Another was a little more generous with its ceiling for elders through 79 years, although premiums for this travel medical insurance for senior citizens was still costlier than those for younger travelers. With this insurer a couple between the ages of 65 and 69 can still purchase up to $1 million of emergency medical coverage with their travel insurance, and as low as a $250 deductible. For this senior citizen couple travel insurance coverage for this single trip would cost $438. At age 70 the maximum drops way down to $50,000 and each policy must be purchased separately. The per-person cost for the same trip is now $219 each for only $50,000 of travel medical insurance for these senior citizens.Now, let’s assume these folks are 80 years old. What a costly difference in this travel medical insurance for these senior citizens! Now the most coverage this couple could purchase is $10,000 each, at a whopping $518 each for the same $250 deductible. The deductible can be increased to $2500, which lowers the premium to $350.70.The best course of action for senior citizens who contemplate overseas travel and are considering travel medical insurance is to first peruse their current medical coverage. Seldom do these plans cover overseas travel but do check your policy and call your insurer if you are unsure. While your Medicare coverage will not help you outside of the United States, your Medicare supplement coverage might – or at least for some situations.If you’re wanting to save on your travel insurance premium the two best things you can do for yourself are to first book your trip with a travel agent you trust, and then choose an airline, cruise or other vacation vendor that is well known and not in financial distress.


Evolution of the Travel Agent

Years ago, when you wanted to go on vacation, there was only one option. You had to hoof it down to your local travel agency and browse through some travel brochures. Then, when you made your selection, you’d sit across the desk from your travel agent (in a very uncomfortable chair) while they entered all the information on their green monochrome computer screen. Travel agents were the keepers of all travel information. Their life was the stuff of dreams. We imagined they had been everywhere and knew everything about world travel. They were the rock stars of the retail world.Then, a few things happened. First, the airlines decided they didn’t need travel agents anymore and they pulled the plug on agent commissions. This didn’t work out so well for the airlines as evidenced by the number of them who went under in the aftermath. Many agencies refused to sell airline tickets without receiving a commission. Why should they work for free? So, things began to change from what had once been a very structured agency model governed by the ARC (Airlines Reporting Commission) into an industry that was evolving into something new.Then, the second thing happened. The advent of the internet connection changed the face of travel forever. Information is readily available 24 hours a day about any aspect of travel you can imagine – from luxury yacht trips in the South Pacific to staying at a youth hostel in Europe. Whatever your budget or interest, the internet can open up a whole new world of options available to you for travel.However, with the plethora of information now available to consumers, is there still a need for the travel agent? Can’t consumers just figure this all out on their own now? I suppose they could try. But, why would they want to? Travel agents offer the benefit of their expertise in dealing day in and day out with travel suppliers. They still hold the “secret knowledge” of the travel business, just in a different way now. Plus, the services of a travel agent are usually free to consumers, as agents are paid commissions by suppliers.In all honesty, consumers need travel agents now more than ever before. In the past, there was so little information available to consumers that they were at the mercy of the travel agent to get any of it. Now, there is so much information available to consumers, they’re often left floundering in the sea of travel offers. Travel agents are skilled at cutting through the hype and emotion-driven marketing of suppliers. They have learned how to match travelers with vacations they will treasure.In the wake of the home-based business revolution, many travel agents have moved their businesses to their homes. This is a good thing for consumers in that it allows for much more personalized service. Agents usually have extended hours when they’re home-based, making it more convenient to get in touch with them. And often, agents will come right to your home equipped with their laptop and brochures.The smart travel agents have embraced technology and are using it to provide better service to their clients. Most travel suppliers are riding the technology wave too and are providing wonderful online resources available only to travel agents. The information age has educated not only the consumer, but has given travel agents powerful tools to provide superior customized service to their clients. With this type of customization, you can receive targeted travel promotions only for the destinations you’re interested in. This service alone can help cut down on information overload. You only receive information that’s of interest to you.Another benefit of using an agent is that you have an advocate once you’re on your vacation. If anything goes wrong or things aren’t as they were promised, your agent will be your advocate to the travel supplier to try to get things corrected and made right. Just give your agent a call and let them try to sort the problem out. Don’t spend valuable vacation time in frustration. Suppliers know that if they don’t treat their clients right, agent won’t promote their products. Suppliers work hard to maintain a good rapport with the travel agent community. Word travels fast about suppliers who won’t take care of problems. However, if you don’t have an agent, you won’t have the benefit of any extra leverage your agent could provide in correcting a problem.So, go ahead and spend some time on the internet gathering information for your next vacation. Peruse the vastness of cyberspace hunting for that perfect vacation. However, when it comes time to book your reservation, give your travel agent a call. They’ll be able to determine if what you’ve selected will meet your expectations. If they think it won’t, they’ll recommend something else you might like better. And most likely … they’ll be right and you’ll end up having a fantastic vacation!


Explore the Adventurous Side of You

Adventure. Do you actually remember the word? When was the last time you went out for some real adventures? Well, you might be having some wrong perceptions about ‘adventure’, considering your everyday life in this concrete jungle as one big adventure (in a way, you may call it an adventure). Well if that is the case, you need to think twice over it.Let’s get back to the adventures that we define here and see the difference from the real adventures – that requires high adrenaline.Climbing staircase (that too, once in a while, when your elevator is not working) doesn’t count as an adventure. Your computer mouse doesn’t come under wildlife. Standing under the shower is not same as standing under the waterfall. Wondering in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city is miles of freshness away from getting lost in the thick lush green jungle.MountaineeringWhich floor do you live in? Well, you might enjoy the height that you live in but never ever compare that with the heavenly mountains – standing tall and proud. So just pump up your adrenaline, head for a real adventure, feel the nature, defy the law of gravity.When you are heading for a mountaineering trip, follow the instructions of the guide properly to avoid any mishap. Wear comfortable and convenient clothes – for e.g. Cargo pants, multi-pocketed jackets, good hiking shoes. Carry all the basic accessories but make sure it’s not overweighed. But before starting off, get medically examined. Also ensure that at least one or two members of the team have experience of high altitude climbing.Rock ClimbingIt’s always fun to try something new in life. And what can be more exciting than climbing the steep rocky mountain. It might look quite scary, but then what is life without some challenges? Of course, you’ve seen Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible with all those actions. Well he had a mission. And here, your mission is to feel the thrill.For such adventure, it’s definitely not a cakewalk. First you need to sign up for basics with an experienced instructor. Climbing is an inherently dangerous activity that can result in serious injury, so proper training and equipment before attempting this activity is seriously recommended.Jungle SafariNo matter how colourful or fast your life gets in the city, you surely need to escape from it at least once in a year. It’s time to feel the nature. It’s time you realise that it’s not just humans that the world belongs to. Indeed, there’s nothing like exploring… making your vision broader.However, few things are needed to know before taking the wild side. Learn about the place – the culture, the habitat, various types of species found and their behaviour. Make sure you are under an experienced guide. Never take chances with wildlife, even the cutest looking species might turn out to be dangerous.RaftingHigh speed, high energy, high life… just what rafting is all about. Racing with the current. Waters splashing all over you. Not a single word but the sound of water hitting the rocks. Isn’t it amazing when your mind is free for once and you feel nothing but yourself, accompanied by the force of nature. But before you head for this mind-boggling activity, enrol with an experienced group that organises rafting. Make sure that you don’t have any physical ailment. Don’t take chances if don’t know how to swim. And most importantly, the high-powered spirit is all it takes.For more information and details about adventure travel accommodation directory please visit



Stop the Car! I Need to go to the Bathroom! Or Water When Traveling

When traveling, most people are inclined to cut back on their water consumption. After all, they’re a little embarrassed at having to stop every hour or so (on a car trip) to use the bathroom. Or if they’re on a plane, they hate having to climb over everyone else to get to the toilets.Well, I hope you can get over your embarrassment. Because water is the best thing to solve a number of travel related problems.Here’s some logistics. In the first place, I recommend that everyone carry a water bottle with them. Our family does, and not only is it healthier, it stops the endless pleading for soft drinks that children are sometimes inclined to do. Drinking water also cuts back on your false hunger pangs, and prevents you from eating as much.And while you may have to stop more frequently to use the bathroom, that’s actually better for you. Most people are more alert and better drivers when they stop every hour or so, and walk around, even if it’s only for a minute or so. When you’re hopping to the bathroom, take some deep breaths, and you’ll not only feel better, you’ll be a better, safer driver.If you’re on an airplane, water is even more important. In the first place, there have been several cases of travelers dying from an embolus (a blood clot in the vein) on airplanes. Water helps this out in two ways. In the first place, the extra fluid keeps the blood circulating. In the second, the extra water forces you to get up and move around (by going to the bathroom) and this helps to prevent a blood clot from forming.As more and more people are traveling, airlines are having to cram more and more people into planes. This means that you will have very little space. It’s simply not a good idea to remain in a cramped space for hours on end without walking around — even if the movie’s a good one! You might want to get a seat on the aisle, so you can get up and down without disturbing anyone. Even better is a seat on the bulkhead, which is the first row of seats in the cabin. You’ll have more room there. (Even better is flying in first class! But since I’m guessing that most people are not able to afford that luxury, maybe water can make up for it a little bit!)The interior of an airplane is also dry. The air is about as humid as that of a desert, which is not very humid. Your mouth and throat are likely to become dry, even with liberal intakes of water. You should probably avoid most of the alcohol that’s offered to you, because alcohol will serve to dry your body out even more. Just get on good terms with the flight attendants, accept a big glass of water whenever they offer you something to drink, and enjoy your trip.


An Ontario Vacation

The uniqueness of Canada’s provinces makes each one worth visiting. Whether you like to ski or swim, fish or golf, visit national monuments or museums, Canada has it all in one beautiful, thirteen-province country.One of the most popular travel destinations in Canada is Ontario, a metropolitan centre of industry and culture. With a population of more than 12 million, Ontario is home to about one in three Canadians, eighty per cent of which live in urban centres, largely in cities on the shores of the Great Lakes.What is Ontario weather like?

Ontario weather varies greatly. In the summer, temperatures can soar above 30°C (86°F), while in the winter temperatures vary greatly depending on what part of the province you are in. For example, in the south of Ontario like in Toronto, temperatures often go down to -12°C (10°F) in the winter months (December, January, February) whereas the winters are colder still in a northern city like Timmins, Ontario. All areas of Ontario receive snow in winter yet have warm comfortable summers.What can we do in Ontario?

Every year, Ontario tourism revolves around three major places, Toronto, Ottawa, and Niagara Falls.Toronto is the largest city in Canada and the fourth largest in North America. Some of the key attractions of the city are the CN Tower, the Harbour Front, the Skydome, the Hockey Hall of Fame, and the Toronto Zoo.Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, offers a variety of fun activities and museums to fill your day. The Ontario tourist cannot leave Ottawa without visiting Parliament Hill, the Rideau Canal, and the National Gallery.Known as the honeymoon capital, Niagara Falls is one of Ontario’s main tourist attractions. Twelve million tourists flock here every year to witness the wonder of the three major falls–American Falls (1060 feet wide, 176 feet high), Bridal Veil Falls (1060 feet wide, 176 feet high), and Canadian Horseshoe Falls (2600 feet wide, 160 feet high). Niagara Falls is open and active 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.Other places of interest for tourists in Ontario are St. Lawrence Market, Ontario Science Centre, Paramount Canada’s Wonderland, the Toronto Islands, and the Stratford Festival.Can we go fishing in Ontario?

Of course! Ontario has the largest fresh water lakes in the world and a huge diversity of fish, making it the best place in the country for a fishing trip. However, make sure to familiarize yourself with all the regulations regarding Ontario fishing before planning your trip. Contact the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources for full licensing details.Are there any Ontario resorts?

Ontario resorts are in abundance. Many are beautiful waterfront properties nestled in forests, providing the perfect setting for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a fishing trip.


Must Read Tips For Shopping & Booking Your Travels Online

Booking & shopping online has proven to revolutionize the travel industry. There are many pros to utilizing online booking sites to plan your trip. Bottom line is, it saves you time and money, both important factors when planning your trip.Before you go booking your trip online, read our tips on doing so to ensure you find the best deals and are protected in the process…1. Shop around:This has been our motto from the start. We are finding that prices change all the time, so it is important to look around for the best travel deal.Besides searching our site, we have provided our favorite sites (with reviews) for finding the best deals.Don’t get paralysis on analysis though. We recommend you pick a price (be reasonable though) and search until you find it- once you find it- take it!!2. The more flexible you are the better:Hey, I know when you travel with kids or a group of people, being flexible isn’t an option.If you can be flexible, it will help, that’s all. Things like flying on certain days (like Saturday or mid-week), or specific times (10pm-6am for example) could be a benefit.3. Join Frequent Flyer Programs:This is a travel tip. You don’t have to fly every other month to benefit from these programs. If you use credit cards, you might as well get something back.Heck, we pay them enough in charges that you deserve something in return. Just pick your favorite airline(s) and sign up for an airline mile card!4. Read:Sign up for e-zines.You can set up a free email account if you don’t want these piling up in your in-box. Many of them have an opt-out section that allows you to quit receiving emails once you are done.They usually provide up-to-date alerts on what deals are out there. Also, you might want to look into a few information products about traveling on a budget or getting great deals!!There are experts out there who have been there and done that and know how to take advantage of great opportunities.5. Know all the terms and conditions:This is a very important cheap deal travel reminder.

For example, you will want to know if your quotes are locked in immediately or how long you have til you must decide, what their refund policy is, cancellation policy, if their site is safe when you enter your information (if you see a golden key or padlock at the bottom in the toolbar, then you will be fine), changes you might need to make, and so forth. You don’t want to get trapped into something that you can’t get out of.6. Get Coupons:Getting your hands on coupons can save you tons of money off various travel necessities. You can find valuable money savers with coupon books.

Other cheap deal travel tips to consider…7. Check a few sites & once you find your price, go bid at an auction site like Priceline, at a lower price.8. Book all in one. Sometimes if you book your airfare, car, & hotel or a combo of the three, you can get a better cheap deal. Don’t be afraid to ask!!9. For flights, you can also do things like get bumped/stay over, fly out of another airport in your region (consider gas & driving and if that’s worth it), & consider 1-2 or more connections (no-stop flights can be expensive).Bonus tips when shopping online in general…


How to Spend Less and Have a Great Time in Dubai

So you want to go to Dubai but have heard how expensive it can be for both vacationers and business travelers alike? If that’s what you’ve heard, then whoever told you hasn’t experienced Dubai. Here are some money saving tips that can cut your Dubai budget in half.Shopping in Dubai If shopping is your pleasure, then Dubai is your dreams come true. Not only do you have some of the biggest malls in the world with all the major brands, but Dubai, being originally a trading hub between the east and west offers you one of the most fascinating shopping experiences on the globe. From traditional souks (where you can find jewelry and cloth, among many others things), to the Indian markets in Deira, finding everything from spices to electronics. Ask around in the back-alley stores and you can even find that satellite decoder that opens all the paid channels. Don’t forget to haggle, they never turn away a customer, and you’ll know when you’ve hit the lowest price.Communication Avoid high phone charges in the hotel room and get a pre-paid calling card which you can use from any phone booth and private lines to call international. If you are expecting to stay for a while, get a pre-paid GSM card (WASEL) for Dhs.165 ($45). Limit your outgoing calls and get free incoming calls for a year (more info [http://www.etisalat.com/cgi-bin/view_article.cgi?ArticleID=48&CategoryID=5]). TheWASEL GSM line must be purchased from an Etisalat office (don’t forget to bring a passport copy), but pre-paid cards can be purchased from any convenient store, gas stations or tobacco store.Food For cheap eats, it’s hard to beat the Indian restaurants serving the city’s largest working population. Try the buttered chicken with buttered ‘nan’ bread, and you’ll have cravings for it for years to come. For a $3 meal, expect to eat with your hands, but you can always politely ask for a fork or spoon. The

occasional foreigner is expected and well-cared for.If you’re on a tight budget, only eat at hotels when they have meal deals, otherwise, you’ll be paying too much. Find Open Buffet specials starting at $10 per person, some Friday Brunch offers include use of the swimming pool for the day. You can find excellent Meal Deals here [http://www.timeoutdubai.com/specialoffers/list_promotion.php].Drink It might come as a surprise to you, but Dubai is a Party Town. With all the long hours at work, many people like to go out and chill during the week. For the budget traveler, look for Ladies Nights and Happy Hours happening in Dubai. Guaranteed you’ll find one for every night of the week. Check out Time Out Dubai [http://www.timeoutdubai.com/events/index.php?d=30] or Dubai Look [http://www.dubailook.com/regularnights.html] before going out. If you don’t have access to the internet, you can buy the “Time Out Dubai” Magazine from any store which includes the full listings for the month.Sun and Sand Want to spend a day by the pool at one of the exclusive hotels in Jumeirah, but not pay the high prices of the rooms? Almost all the hotels sell vouchers for a day’s access to the hotel’s beaches, pools, health club and spa. Sleep in a cheap hotel, spend the day in pure luxury… no one will know. Prices start at $10 and can go up to $60 depending on the hotel.There are many public beaches, but for only Dhs. 5 ($1.40) you can spend the day at Jumeirah Beach Park on the beach road in Jumeirah. Not only do you have access to the beach with life guards, but you also have gardens, play areas for children, showers and barbecue areas. Note that Saturdays are for women

and children only. (Call 04-3492555 for more information)TransportationWant to save on transportation? Dubai cabs can be costly for tourists. So, until the Dubai metro gets up and running by year 2009 for the first line and 2015 for the second line, try the buses. Waiting for the bus can take a while, especially since they are hardly on schedule. In the summer months, the heat

can become unbearable during the wait and most bus stops don’t have a covered waiting area. But taking the bus can turn out to be quite an experience, don’t be afraid and make sure you budget the time for the trip as it can take 3 times the amount to get there over taking a taxi.Renting a car? Don’t use the international rental companies. Local companies, especially ones in Sharjah give you rates much less than the big brand names. They will provide drop off and pick up in Sharjah and Dubai. But if you do have problems with renting a car from a no-name car rental, then Budget Car Rental

is the best choice for Dubai. Book early from an online booking service to guarantee the best prices and availability. And the best part of renting a car in Dubai? Gas is Cheap!EntertainmentDubai Shopping Festival (mid January to mid February) and Dubai Summer Surprises (end of June to beginning of September) hosts free entertainment all month long. Hundreds of shows and events all crammed into one month. You and your kids, if they are tagging along, will not get bored. Fireworks, raffle, street markets, clowns, monster trucks, are just some of the highlights. Go here for more information.Horse Racing at Nad Al Sheba is held from 28th of October until the 26th of March. Each Race Night stages 6 or 7 individual races, the first starting at 7pm (or 9pm during the Holy Month of Ramadan). Public access to the races is free. Don’t forget the world’s richest horse race, the Dubai World Cup held in March. (www.dubaiworldcup.com). Unless you want to sit in the VIP section, entrance to the public enclosures is also free for this spectacular event.