Bus travel takes a different role in the car-driven culture of the United States than it does in most countries. Because the area of the US is so vast, flying is often the most attractive transportation option for traveling between cities and can be priced quite competitively when factoring in time and convenience. For shorter distances driving is usually the first choice for US domestic travelers. However, for routes that are under five or six hours, the bus is almost always the most economical and often the most convenient form of travel. Furthermore, as Amtrak (the national rail service) continues to see cuts in government funding, bus service is often the only ground transportation option for many destinations. Visitors who are planning to stick to major cities will most likely find having a car to be inconvenient, expensive, and unnecessary. Therefore, taking the bus between destinations is a great option.Many Americans view traveling by bus with some trepidation, and, whether deserved or not, bus service in the US often has the reputation of being rather basic. In truth, the level of service varies greatly among bus carriers. Some carriers, like LuxBus in California or Transfloridian in Florida, offer deluxe buses and feature services that are rarely even found on airlines today, such as on-board entertainment and complimentary food and beverage service. Still, standard bus service is generally more on the budget level and offers few amenities. Food options are more likely to be a ten minute stop at a roadside fast food restaurant than on-board meal service.The bus industry in the United States is dominated by Greyhound, which is the only remaining nationwide bus carrier. Several other companies such as Trailways and Coach USA are made up of independently owned bus companies that share marketing functions and branding. In addition there are several strong regional players in the bus industry. While these companies compete with Greyhound, they often end up sharing service on routes that do not have enough traffic to sustain two carriers. This is similar to code sharing in the airline industry. The most recent development in the U.S. bus industry has been the Chinatown bus phenomenon. Several years ago a few enterprising business people in New Yorks Chinatown started running buses from Chinatown in NY to Chinatown in Boston, charging less than half of what traditional bus companies did and a fraction of what it cost to take the train or fly. They targeted Asian immigrants who wanted to shop or visit relatives and needed inexpensive and convenient transportation. Although the buses were modern and comfortable, the service was bare bonesno advertising, customer service, or bus stations. Customers simply went to the bus stop, waited for the bus, and paid the driver upon boarding. For those willing to do without frills, these companies offered virtually the same service as Greyhound at a substantially lower price. Before long, word spread about the service and all kinds of travelers started using these bus lines. They became especially popular with students, budget travelers, and people for whom the service was simply more convenient. Soon more bus companies duplicated this model and started offering service in other markets. Now you can find this type of bus service in Philadelphia, Virginia, Washington DC, Los Angeles and San Francisco. At this point the term Chinatown bus is used more loosely to describe this sort of low-cost/low-frills service. Many, if not most, of the companys do not have Chinatown as there main location and may not cater to the immigrant population at all. When these companies first started operating, concerns were raised about safety standards. There is still controversy within the industry about whether these low-cost bus companies are complying with the same regulations as the traditional companies. Nonetheless, all bus companies operating in the U.S. must undergo the same inspection standards and must comply with the same rules. Finding information about scheduled bus service is not always easy for visitors to the US. Historically bus companies have sold tickets at on-site ticket booths. Many now sell through their own websites as well. Whereas for plane travel there are many online booking sites that allow travelers to compare different carriers, it is more difficult to find route information for bus service. GotoBus.com is a centralized booking site focused on bus travel. It offers search capability similar to Expedia or Travelocity and sells tickets for many different bus and tour companies. Overall, the bus is a great option for visitors to the US who are looking for transportation between major US cities. For most cities, a car is not necessary and will be inconvenient and expensive. In metropolitan areas there are more choices for bus service today than at any time in the recent past. Particularly for shorter distances, it is the best way to go for the budget minded traveler.
This can be compounded if you are in a foreign country and the language barrier becomes insurmountable. Airline offices may not be located in the city you are spending your holiday in, funds may not be readily available to re-purchase a ticket, and time may be of the essence.Many passengers believe that air tickets can be replaced as easily as travelers checks just because the reservation is in the computer, but that is not the case. Your ticket number may be shown on your credit card receipt or travel agency itinerary. If it is not, jot down the number on a sheet of paper and carry it separately from your ticket. Bring it with you on your trip. If the ticket does go astray, the airline can process your refund application more quickly, and perhaps issue an on-the-spot replacement ticket, if you can give them this number. You should report a lost ticket immediately to the airline that is shown as the issuing carrier at the top of the ticket. You may be required to repurchase a ticket in order to continue your trip. If you no longer meet all of the restrictions on your discount fare (e.g., seven-day advance purchase) the new ticket may cost more than the old one did. In that event, however, it is generally the higher fare that is eventually refunded, as long as you don't change any of the cities, flights or dates on your trip. Once the airline establishes that you actually bought the ticket, they will begin processing your "refund application" . There is often a waiting period of two to six months. If anyone uses or cashes in your ticket while the refund is pending, the airline may refuse to give you your money back. Finally, there is a handling charge that the airline may deduct from the refund. All in all, getting a refund or replacement for a "lost ticket" is a lot of trouble, and there's no guarantee you'll receive either one.Ensure that you make a copy of your ticket (the back page), and store it in a safe place. At your hotel, keep your ticket in the in-room safe or at the safe behind the check-in counter. Never carry your ticket around with you while you are out sightseeing, shopping or dining. Prevention is the key to a hassle free vacation. So, the best advice is-don't lose the ticket in the first place.
Unaccompanied baggage is anything you do not bring back with you. These may be items that were with you when you left the United States or items that you acquired (received by any means) while outside the United States. In general, unaccompanied baggage falls into three categories: U.S. mail, express shipments, and freight.U.S. Mail ShipmentsShipping through the U.S. mail, including parcel post, is a cost-efficient way to send items to the United States. The Postal Service sends all foreign mail shipments to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for examination. CBP officers then return packages that do not require duty to the Postal Service, which sends them to a local post office for delivery. The local "post office" delivers them without charging any additional postage, handling costs, or other fees.Packages that contain fruits, vegetables, meat or other items of agricultural interest are inspected to ensure that items meet the requirements of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine. The CBP agriculture specialist encloses a Mail Interception Notice, PPQ Form 287, to document any agriculture items that are removed from the package. The package is returned to the U.S. Postal Service for delivery. If the package does require payment of duty, CBP attaches a form called a mail entry, CBP Form3419, which indicates how much duty is owed and charges a $5 processing fee as well. When the post office delivers the package, it will also charge a small handling fee.Commercial goodsgoods intended for resalemay have special entry requirements. Such goods may require a formal entry in order to be admitted into the United States. Formal entries are more complicated and require more paperwork than informal entries. Generally, informal entries are personal packages or commercial items worth less than $2,000. CBP employees may not prepare formal entries for you; only you or a licensed customs broker may prepare one.If you believe you have been charged an incorrect amount of duty on a package mailed from abroad, you may file a protest with CBP. You can do this in one of two ways. You can accept the package, pay the duty, and write a letter explaining why you think the amount was incorrect. You should include with your letter the yellow copy of the mail entry (CBP Form3419). Send the letter and the form to the CBP office that issued the mail entry, located on the lower left-hand corner of the form.The other way to protest duty is to refuse delivery of the package. Then within five days, send your protest letter to the post office where the package is being held. The post office will forward your letter to CBP and will hold your package until the protest is resolved.Express ShipmentsPackages may be sent to the United States by private-sector courier or delivery service from anywhere in the world. The express company usually takes care of clearing your merchandise through customs and charges a fee for its service. Some travelers have found this fee to be higher than they expected.Freight ShipmentsCargo, whether duty is owed on it or not, must clear customs at the first port of arrival in the United States. If you choose, you may have your freight sent, while it is still in CBP custody, to another port for clearance. This is called forwarding freight in bond. You, or someone you appoint to act for you, are responsible for arranging to clear your merchandise through CBP or for having it forwarded to another port.Frequently, a freight forwarder in a foreign country will take care of these arrangements, including hiring a customs broker in the United States to clear the merchandise through CBP. Whenever a third party handles the clearing and forwarding of your merchandise, that party charges a fee for its services. This fee is not a CBP charge.There are several ways a traveler can find a broker: * Phone book - in the Yellow Pages under "Customs Brokers" * Internet - search for "Customs Brokers" * CBP Website - click the "ports" button, click the state of interest and click on a city within the state. Under each city is a listing of brokers. Click "view list" for a listing of brokers in that area.The phone book listings as well as the Internet listings are limited to brokers that submit the information. It is not all-inclusive.The listing of brokers on the CBP Website is updated on a regular basis. Listed brokers have a current permit in that port. This list is the only broker information provided by CBP.When a foreign seller entrusts a shipment to a broker or agent in the United States, that seller usually pays only enough freight to have the shipment delivered to the first port of arrival in the United States. This means that you, the buyer, will have to pay additional inland transportation, or freight forwarding charges, plus broker fees, insurance, and possibly other charges.If it is not possible for you to secure release of your goods yourself, another person may act on your behalf to clear them through CBP. You may do this as long as your merchandise consists of a single, noncommercial shipment (not intended for resale) that does not require a formal entryin other words, if the merchandise is worth less than $2,000 and you must give the person a letter that authorizes that person to act as your unpaid agent.Once you have done this, that person may fill out the CBP declaration and complete the entry process for you. Your letter authorizing the person to act in your behalf should be addressed to the Officer in Charge of CBP at the port of entry, and the person should bring the letter with them when they go to clear your package.CBP will not notify you when your shipment arrives, as this is the responsibility of your carrier. If your goods are not cleared within 15 days of arrival you could incur expensive storage fees.
Entertainment Coupon Book 2006 is a book with discount coupons that makes your life easier while you go for shopping, travel at different places, or go out for dining. You may think when we can buy any thing on the spot why to go for these discount coupons? Discount coupons bring you lot of savings on all your purchases and entertainment too while you go to hotels, movies, casinos etc. Usually Entertainment discount coupon book is the easiest way to have these coupons but you can also purchase them through advertisement or borrow or even print them by downloading from the internet. You can also organize these coupons with the help of a coupon organizer where you can sort them as per genre or expiry date. Once you have the coupon you have to just present it before the concerned business and you could avail 15% to 20% discount margin. But you should check the availability of the coupons for the products you want to buy later. Usually you can sit while you are free or watching movies and organize these coupons as per your needs and you dont need to waste extra time when you buy these discount coupons. Even if it happen that some coupons are expired you should keep it with them so that later if there is any sale or product clearance you can use them off. There is an Entertainment book fundraiser that helps charitable organizations or other institutions to raise money for a noble cause from the fundraisers. Most of the coupons in the discount book are advertised after reviewing and recommendations from charitable organizations. Visit our website entertainment-coupon-book-2006.info
If you want to meet new people, find a mate, increase your awareness, experience personal growth, lower your blood pressure or just relax. TRAVEL!You can try an all-inclusive resort that will give you the safety of communal living, yet flexible enough to provide you with a detail experience of your chosen destination. You can increase your experience encounters by signing up for tours offered by your resort. These mega resorts offer tours for shopping, sightseeing, night life, educational and adventure.If you would rather travel to 2, 3 or more cities then a cruise may be your best choice. There are single cruises that are high end, (meaning they won't make you feel like you are on the prowl)!Safety is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly. Listed below are 15 tips to increase your safety factor:1. When you check into your hotel, give your Bellman a $5.00 to $10.00 tip. Tell him your name and ask him a question about your stay at the resort, Keep this conversation, brief and professional2. Use the Hotel safe for money, your travel documents and jewelry. If you use your room safe, be sure you know how to operate the safe properly.3. Always try to originate your cab ride from your hotel. When away from your hotel try to avoid asking strangers for directions. If you get lost or need help, go to the nearest Hotel (the larger the better) and ask for help at the Front desk!4. Select your 'return trip cab' with caution and always be aware of your surroundings5. Invest in a body purse or use a money belt.6. Do not flash cash, foreign or domestic. If you are not sure of the money exchange, it is OK to leave a little extra money on the table.7. When meeting people during your travel, do not give out your hotel room number. Meet people in the lobby or have the Hotel operator connect them to your room.8. If you decide to go out with a suitor that you meet while traveling, have him/her pick you up at your Hotel. Find your Bellman, and casually mention that you are going out with one of the locals and ask a question about where to go? (The Hotel does not want anything to happen to you, because then who would pay the bill?)9. ALWAYS remember to BE SAFE in personal or sexual encounters. Don't get caught up in the moment! At least not in a foreign country.11. Remember, if you are an American, you could be a target! OR, they may want to marry you so they can move to the US. (Note: In Egypt men are legally allowed to have three wives)12. Wait until the last day before your departure before giving out your home address or telephone number. (You would not want this information forwarded to a professional thief while you are away on vacation)13. Try not to break anyone's heart.14. If you get into trouble, contact the nearest US Embassy.15. Leave a detailed itinerary with a friend or relative at home. Check in with this family member or friend often during your vacation