Is a timeshare a good investment?

More and more families who love to travel are finding timeshare’s as a viable investment option for their annual holiday vacation spending. Here are some reasons why:

Its acceptance worldwide lies largely in the people’s need for quality holiday vacation that allows them to explore different places around the world with loads of benefits. Generally, a timeshare accommodation is more than just a hotel room. It has enough space for a family and more friends with its homey and self-catering facilities like kitchen, living, dining rooms, laundry washers and even sauna, Jacuzzi, pool and kids facilities in other accommodations. Timeshare providers like Resorts Condominiums International, Interval International, Holiday Club, The Registry Collection and Preferred Residences, to name a few have thousands of destinations around the world for their clients to enjoy.

Added to that is the flexibility of when and where to use it. They have various types of ownership to choose from that would suit their lifestyle: fixed week, floating week or rotating/flex week ownership. If the owner is unable to use his timeshare for that year, he can rent it out or give it out as a gift to friends or donate to charity. And if he and his family get tired of going to the same holiday accommodation venues and want to try other new destinations, they can swap their timeshare with other affiliated vacation ownership resorts around the globe. They may also join in the timeshare networks in order to exchange their timeshare ownership with another timeshare owner directly or thru third party agents.

It also carries along with it a sense of ownership. Timesharing is vacation ownership or having a long-term vacation plan for yourself and your family. It allows a timeshare owner to have a part-ownership in a unit in a host of resorts, vacation rentals, holiday homes and hotels for at least a week every year. You own your annual vacation time in your purchased holiday accommodation or in your choice of new destination as part of timeshare exchange options.

Many satisfied families appreciate the value of being able to spend quality time with family and friends in luxurious destinations worldwide. One couple said that if it had not been for timeshare, they would just be staying in the usual budget hotels and not be able to see majestic destinations within and outside their country. Certainly, it will multiply your opportunity to enjoy and afford quality experience because of your exposure to various destinations.

It allows you to plan your vacation in the long-term. One satisfied owner said that with a timeshare, it forces him to make time for his family’s yearly luxury holiday vacation which helps keep the family together. It saves him also from current huge hotel rates as he is paying at today’s prices the cost of tomorrow’s vacation.

Also, instead of purchasing a vacation home, timeshare gives you the liberty to go to a different destination each year and saves you on a full mortgage, tax and maintenance cost as you are sharing the burden of maintenance cost with other owners. You only pay for a fraction of the cost of ownership proportionate to your use each year.

Timeshare is definitely a good alternative for keen travelers but must ensure that your payments are processed thru the help of reputable timeshare merchants that will allow your transactions to be facilitated whether in-person, over the internet or by phone.

Blair ThomasBlair Thomas is an electronic payment expert, who loves all things finance and planning.  He is also the co-founder of, the #1 timeshare merchant account provider in the country. If you would like to see what he’s up to, add him to your Google+ circle.

Top attractions of Rio de Janeiro

The sunny climate, welcoming atmosphere, and attractions of Brazil make it a popular tourist destination, with many people choosing Rio de Janeiro for a vacation in the country. This is the second biggest city in Brazil and one of the biggest in the world. This ensures that there are plenty of things to see and do while there, and the following Rio de Janeiro travel guide provides details of some of the city’s top attractions.

No trip to Rio would be complete without spending some time on the beach and there are two famous locations for this. Copacabana is a 4km long stretch of golden sand that offers the chance to people watch, sunbathe, or play some sport. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants along the boardwalk at which to have some refreshments and visitors can also take in historic Fort Copacabana, which stands at one end of the beach. The second location is Ipanema, with this beautiful arc of soft sand regularly featuring in lists of the world’s top beaches. It is one of Rio’s top attractions and the pristine sand and clear water make it a perfect place to enjoy a relaxing day by the sea.

Christ the Redeemer
This iconic statute stands on top of Corcovado Peak and is one of the most impressive sights in Rio. It was originally designed and built during the early 1920’s, so has now been watching over the city for almost a century. A view of the statue can be gained from many locations around Rio and those that want to get a closer look can choose to climb the hundreds of steps to get to it or take an elevator for an easier trip to the summit of the peak.

Maracana Stadium
Football is almost a religion in Brazil and the country’s population worship the players that turn out for the national team. They play many of their games at the Maracana, with this stadium being one of the most famous in the world. It has stood in place since the 1950s and once was capable of holding up to 200,000 vociferous football fans. While it has a smaller capacity these days, it is still the biggest stadium in South America and a historic location for any football fan to visit.

Sugarloaf Mountain
This is probably the most well-known of the peaks that tower over Rio and there are some great views of the surrounding city and coastal waters for anyone that makes the trip to the 1,300 feet high summit. This is made easy to do these days, with glass-walled cable cars carrying people up from a base station at Babilonia Hill. This is certainly worth doing to enjoy the ride and get some great photographs of Rio.

Many people choose carnival time to visit and it is one of the most exciting experiences that the city offers. The carnival has been part of Rio life for hundreds of years and has grown to become one of the biggest street festivals in the world. It usually takes place over a few days in February and March each year, with the floats, samba dancing, and exotic costumes definitely worth seeing. Up to two million revelers can take part each day to make it an experience to remember.

A trip to Rio offers plenty to make it a great choice for a holiday. This Rio de Janeiro travel guide highlights some of the top attractions although the size of the city means there is much more to see and do. To explore further you may want to get a Rio de Janeiro tour guide to help you make the most of your trip and take the stress out planning the trip yourself.

Australian expats living abroad

Living as an expat is a great way to travel as it affords you the chance to experience another culture while earning money. Plus you can also go on shorter side trips that you would not be able to take if you are living in Australia.

If you have travelled abroad you may have noticed that Aussies are everywhere, and this infographic from Travelex breaks downs just how far Aussies have wandered around the globe.

Australian expats living abroad

How to stay healthy on vacation

There is plenty of evidence that taking naps, enjoying nature walks and meditating have the capacity to increase productivity, deepen memories, sharpen attention and encourage personal creativity, according to an article in Scientific American in 2013. In light of this, taking a vacation must represent the ultimate opportunity for making the most of mental and physical downtime – for deep relaxation, enjoyment of new cultural experiences and the chance to recharge one’s batteries. Unless, of course, a health problem occurs, in which case stress can kick in, big time. Here are a few things to think about before setting off.

Before departing

Travelers should research local healthcare provision before going abroad and really think about what to pack when it comes to the first aid kit. A three-day course of probiotics before a trip is a good preparation to ward off tummy troubles as they keep the gastrointestinal tract in good shape. More than one in five people who travel by plane catch a cold within one week so it’s also a good idea to bolster the immune system by getting between seven and eight hours sleep at night for several nights before leaving.

While away

It may be very pleasant to lounge in a hammock for some of the time but it’s important to try to stay active so that excessive weight gain doesn’t become a problem. Just 30 minutes of activity will make all the difference and ensure calories are burned successfully. Sightseeing, hiking, cycling, and swimming are all great ways to exercise on vacation. The same goes for paying attention to diet as it’s great to eat well on vacation and this is possible without consuming high-calorie foods at every meal. Picking one meal a day as a treat, and focusing on lower-calorie foods such as fruits, lean meats, fish, and vegetables, is a good compromise.

Stomach upsets

Someone who is otherwise in general good health might nevertheless find they suffer from one or more of the common illnesses that afflict travelers; stomach upsets (gastrointestinal illnesses) can affect up to one in five vacationers in many parts of the world. There are some simple precautions to take – for example, washing hands thoroughly before eating and after using the toilet. Water is best consumed from sealed bottles, while hot drinks such as tea and coffee should present no problems. The same is true of processed drinks such as soda, beer and wine. Cooked vegetables are safer than salads and all fruit should be peeled. It’s best to avoid local dairy products, especially cheese and ice cream, both of which can cause diarrhea. People living locally can probably give useful advice on what’s safe to eat and it’s best to remember that shellfish and other fish, even if well cooked, may be hazardous.

Sun and sangria

If traveling to a hot country it is important to guard against sunburn as this can lead to skin cancer. Being out in the sun between about 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. is best avoided. Travelers should use a high factor sunscreen, cover up when necessary, and remember to wear a sunhat and shades. They should also beware of excessive alcohol consumption, especially if sunbathing is a significant part of the vacation plan. Alcohol and sunbathing are not a good combination as alcohol dehydrates the body; partying and excess alcohol intake should be matched with lots of (safe, bottled) water.

Insect bites

People who are not allergic will have an unpleasant but transient experience from a wasp sting whereas some mosquitoes carry malaria and can make travelers very ill indeed if they are bitten. This problem is most common in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Travelers to one of these destinations must purchase medication to combat malaria beforehand. It’s possible to take anti-malarial tablets before traveling and the potential side effects are negligible compared with the disease itself. Using a mosquito net around the bed at night, packing strong insect repellent, and keeping bare skin covered up from dusk until dawn are all important preventive measures.


It’s important to practice safe sex when abroad; bringing home souvenirs and great memories from a vacation is fine, whereas returning with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) is highly undesirable. Condoms should be included on the vacation packing list; these must be stored in a cool, dry place away from oil-based products, such as baby oil, suntan lotion and lipstick that can damage them. They should always be easily available when needed, especially if planning on going out.

First aid essentials

A durable plastic container is perfect for assembling a travel first aid kit – preferably the sort that is compartmentalized so that individual items can be located and retrieved quickly. The kit should include strip bandages, antiseptic ointment and wipes, gauze pads and medical adhesive tape – especially if a lot of outdoor activities are planned. Tweezers and scissors are useful for dealing with splinters and minor wounds, while painkillers will give comfort if needed. Tablets can help with water purification and hydrocortisone (anti-itch) cream will soothe irritated skin.

Additional personal items can be added depending on individual requirements. For instance, the risk of catching a stomach bug is increased in developing countries and anti-diarrhea medication and oral rehydration salts should be used to prevent dehydration and limit diarrhea. Travelers with a history of motion sickness might want to pack tablets to prevent this and including cold remedies is also a good idea.

One or two extra items may come in handy. For example, spare syringes may be useful, particularly if a hospital trip is necessary. This is because in many poorer countries the cleanliness of hospital syringes cannot be guaranteed. Butterfly closures are useful in the event of a deep cut – in this case a QuikClot sponge to stem blood flow will also prove useful. An antihistamine, to guard against allergic reactions, and sanitizing wipes for general use are also recommended. Finally, travelers using prescription medications should always take more than needed in case of delays.

With a little bit of forethought and some simple preparation, the vacation can be trouble-free and any health problems that are encountered can be dealt with promptly and effectively.

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are a collection of 19 islands that are situated almost six hundred miles from mainland South America. They are part of Ecuador, which is situated to the west of the Islands. The Galapagos Islands are particularly renowned for its rich variety of wildlife and plants, and the Islands have been a World Heritage Site since 1978. The area is also a whale sanctuary, marine reserve, and biosphere reserve. To make the whole Galapagos Islands experience a relaxing one it’s wise to cover every eventuality, and to ensure that you have taken out single trip insurance before you go on your trip. 

Galapagos National Park

Some 97% of the land area of the Galapagos have national park status, and the area was established as a national park in the late 1950s. Visitors are invited to take photos of the local flora and fauna, but are also expected to respect the environment. Some of the most iconic of the species found on the Galapagos Islands include giant tortoises and different types of iguana. Camping is allowed on the site, as long as you have acquired the necessary permit from the Galapagos National Park Director.

Tortuga Bay, Santa Cruz Island

South-west of Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz, Tortuga Bay offers visitors a free opportunity to observe some of the most celebrated wildlife on the Galapagos Islands. Though a fairly long walk to the beach, it’ll be worthwhile for anyone who wants to see the variety of wildlife that the Galapagos has to offer. There is an option to hire a kayak, too, to see turtles, sharks and rays in the water, while, on the beach, you can see marine iguanas, pelicans, flamingos, and red crabs. 

Charles Darwin Research Centre

British naturalist Charles Darwin discovered the Galapagos Islands in 1835. On Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Darwin’s significant impact in bringing the Galapagos Islands to the world’s attention is recognised by his name being given to this research centre. The tortoise breeding centre is probably the most notable aspect of the research centre, and there are a variety of tortoises to see here. Visitors can also walk among these endearing creatures and take photographs. Available at the Centre too is information on the Galapagos Islands environment generally. 

Isabela Island

Isabela Island is the largest of the Galapagos Islands and it has one of the most curious landscapes of any tropical island. Consisting of six volcanoes, the wildlife here is particularly stunning, and includes Darwin’s finches, cormorants, penguins, and marine iguanas. Isabela Island also boasts a tortoise breeding centre, a white beach and lagoons.

Tips on How to Travel Safely in Johannesburg

Johannesburg can be a pretty mean and dangerous city for travellers or visitors who have not had a few basic lessons in street-smart behaviour before visiting this giant African melting pot. Johannesburg is a very large city with two general business zones, a more affluent north and a more working class centre. The north is pretty chic with upmarket shops and fine restaurants exuding more of a European feel, while the centre is busy and bustling with street vendors exuding a distinctly Africa feel. Generally, it is safer in the north than in the city centre, and naturally safer during daylight hours than after dark. The Gumtree South Africa team presents us with some high-quality tips on how to stay safe during your adventure in ZA.

The most important safety tip might well be to first understand the city layout and know where you are, especially after dark. Like most big cities in the world, being lost in the wrong part of town in the dark is usually a recipe for some calamity or the other, though not always. Be sure to be in the northern suburbs after dark if you are unfamiliar with Johannesburg and visiting this great city for the first time, which means getting your downtown Johannesburg city acclimatisation done during the light of day. Of course, the theatre district of downtown Johannesburg, for example, is pretty safe at night, but then you need to know how to get there directly.

A second big safety tip when in any city with a reasonably bad reputation is to not stand out as a visitor – undecided, unfamiliar, vulnerable, naïve, or unguarded. Have a look at the dress sense and behaviour of the local inhabitants, and try to emulate this. Behave casually, and try to be anonymous in your dress and behaviour. Be a tourist but be cool about it. Have a camera, but carry it discreetly. Sit in a coffee bar, check your maps, and plan your walking route, then explore that area with confidence and try not to make too many obvious referrals to guidebooks and maps. These are probably two of your best guards against petty crime and theft in big, dangerous, and foreign cities, namely know where you are and then try not to stand out.

Other safety tips are mostly practical and relate to passports, money, and credit or bankcards. If you are in a decent hotel, then leave all your valuables, including passport and cards, in the safe. Out on the street, carry only your cash, and be clever about how you handle it in public. Keep the small notes on the outside and then just a few hundred bucks at a time in one pocket for small purchases, keeping the big loot in a secure pocket if you have plans to spend big. In other words, be discreet with your money in public, and don’t make it obvious that you are carrying large amounts with you.

Also, get local advice before you head off into the city – advice about where you are planning to go and what you are planning to do. Ask at the hotel, or at the backpackers, whether your day’s tour plans seem reasonable and what the risks might be. Don’t be shy.

Finally, be very careful about your transport plans at night, including how you plan to get back to your accommodation. Take only certified taxies, or only get a lift with somebody you are familiar with and then preferably be in a group. Of course, most importantly, stay in control and don’t get intoxicated. Afraid of traveling alone in South Africa? Find yourself a travel buddy to explore the area with.

How consumer money is used in aviation investment

Individual investors may ask: “What is portfolio management?” Essentially it’s a way for investors to spread their investments over a range of options, some of which may be considered to be risky and others to be relatively safe. Riskier investments offer better returns but, as with any risk, nothing is guaranteed.

Investing in the aviation industry as part of a portfolio can be a good way to maximize profits as part of a careful investment strategy.

Since the dawn of time humans have wanted to soar with the birds in the sky, and it was the advent of the first powered flight by the American Wright brother that made the dream a reality. Since then aviation has really taken off, generating a multi-billion dollar industry and technological innovations that have fed into a huge range of consumer products.

Early days

Before the advent of commercial passenger airlines, the industry developed quickly due to the usefulness of airplanes during the First World War in Europe. Massive advances were made, and though between the First and Second World Wars commercial aviation started to increase, it was the advent of jet engines, originally invented by Englishman Sir Frank Whittle, that allowed the development of mass transit airplanes that now span the globe.

Airline companies

Airlines, for the most part, started out as flag carriers for their countries, but the privatization of many of these coupled with the rise of new private organizations means that there is potential for investment for consumers as well as for the major investors such as financial institutions and pension funds.

Top operators include the American Delta Airlines, owned by a wide range of investors, United Airlines, also American and is a subsidiary of United Continental Holdings and wholly owned by it, and China Southern Airlines, owned by China Southern Airlines Limited.

National carriers include British Airways, owned by its shareholders as a public limited company, the German carrier Lufthansa, and Holland’s KLM.

Other major players include Emirates, based in Dubai and owned by the Dubai government and Air Canada, originally created by the government, it is now a private organization owned by shareholders.

A glamorous business

It’s easy to think that the world of air travel is full of glamour and excitement, and it certainly can be for regular travelers. Richard Branson has helped break the monopoly of the national carriers with his Virgin brand, expanding his investment portfolio to aviation having started off in humble beginnings with his Virgin music label in the early 1970s.

One of the difficulties for individuals interested in investing in the aviation business is that it is so huge, turning over many billions of dollars a year. It is geared to corporate investors, yet there are certainly opportunities for consumers to get involved in the action.

The first thing to do is to look at balance sheets. Who is making money? What are the growth prospects for a particular airline? What are the threats and risks to the bottom line? It’s essential to understand how these organizations are performing and to understand that just because they performed well one year doesn’t mean it will happen the next year.

Investment potential

Analysts consider that there will be significant profitability in the aviation industry in 2014. Much of this is down to the cost of jet fuel, which has been dropping, and is an airline’s single largest expense.

Looking at some figures from the first quarter of 2014, a slow time for business, the parent company of American Airlines posted a loss of $341 million compared to a loss in 2012 of $1.6 billion in the same quarter. Revenue, however, was up by one percent, hitting $6.1 billion. Seven of the nation’s biggest carriers, including American, Delta, Southwest and JetBlue have posted a profit for the quarter, excluding special costs.

Where does the money go?

It’s easy to think that the money paid to an airline is just for getting a traveler from A to B. It isn’t. That’s what the traveler wants and expects but there are costs an airline has to meet apart from employing pilots, cabin crews, paying for their airplanes and fuel and maintenance.

When setting their fares and considering profitability, airlines have to factor in other cost centers. These include insurances, landing fees, “free” food and drink for those who offer it, and taxes by government, not to mention baggage fees and the cost of security screening.

5 Things You Need Before an International Trip

Traveling internationally is hands-down one of  the most educational, exciting, and rewarding experiences you can have in your lifetime. For years, nomads and explorers have trekked over foreign continents and sailed across uncharted oceans to experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of foreign cultures.

Fortunately, successful modern travel is not reliant on trade winds and fruits to stave off scurvy. With these five must-have traveling essentials, today’s nomad is well-equipped to roam freely, and intelligently, through the vast lands of international exploration. Orange slices are purely optional.

A Reliable Guidebook

[Image via Flickr by The Wandering Angel.]

You wouldn’t go skydiving for the first time without a little advice, so why would you leap headfirst into a foreign country without any information? A reliable guidebook will always be your most trusted travel companion. Need to find the bus station in Prague? Guide book. Want to know the cheapest train route from Berlin to Milan? Guide book. Only have four dollars and need a hostel in Bangkok? You guessed it, guidebook.

Although there are hundreds of guide books for most countries, cities, and regions, it’s important to always have a trusted and frequently updated resource. Fodor’s Travel Guides and Lonely Planet Destination Books are some of the most trusted names in travel.  

International Credit Cards

When traveling internationally, your adventurous spirit and wanderlust can’t pay for food and shelter. Traveling does have its expenses, and many of these expenses are unforeseen and cannot be budgeted. Fortunately, international credit cards guarantee your travel is not cut short by empty pockets.  
If you use your day-to-day credit card for foreign expenses, you’ll most likely be hit with roughly a three percent international fee on every transaction. This adds up quickly. The best international credit cards waive these fees and offer various travel bonus rewards, such as perks for lodging and flights.

Cell Phone with International Plan 

Staying connected is essential while traveling. Whether you need to call home in case of an emergency or secure lodging for the night, a cell phone will make sure your trip is as smooth as possible. Remember, phone booths are a scarce commodity. Along with a reliable phone, it’s important to acquire an international plan for the trip’s duration. Through T-Mobile’s international plans, you’ll have unlimited data wherever you go. With T-Mobile’s international plans, you’ll find coverage in over 125 countries.  

Small Camera and Accessories

[Image via Flickr by Christian Haugen.]

Documenting your experiences will allow you to re-live your time as a world traveler for the rest of your life. When choosing a camera, it’s important to find one that is durable, compact, takes decent quality pictures, and holds a good charge. You don’t want blah pictures of an amazing trip.

You also don’t want a dead camera battery when the sun sets over the Great Wall of China. Along with your camera, it’s suggested to also carry extra batteries and extra memory cards. Physically, batteries need little space, and an extra memory card will provide ample room for, well, extra memories. 

Space-Saver Back Pack

[Image via Flickr by kokorowashinjin.]

It’s vital to pack lightly when traveling internationally, especially if you are backpacking. You think you need your complete works of Yeats when traveling over the Irish countryside, but a few spine-crushing miles into it, you realize you don’t. When choosing the right backpack, you also need the right size. Too small, and you won’t fit your essentials, but an oversized backpack is burdensome.

In addition, it’s important to find a backpack that is very efficient. Not only can you fit more stuff; compartments help you easily access your belongings. Lastly, water-resistant material is a must. You don’t want soggy clothes and wet electronics.

Traveling internationally is a rite of passage for any true adventurer. A passage defined by its promise of experience and the discovery of the unknown. By carrying the right travel essentials, you’ll be ready for whatever these new lands and experiences have to offer.

Planning the sports trip of a lifetime

Many of us would love to take off on an extended trip around the US, checking out all those places that we have heard about but never actually seen. Unfortunately, vague notions of spending a summer drifting across the states almost never actually come to fruition, often because we simply can’t decide what it is we want to do and see. What many of us need is some focus; in other words, before we decide on the where, we need to decide on the why.

Focus on sports
One idea is to focus the trip on following a favorite sport, or sports teams; travelling around the country to catch the best games in the most famous locations.

With many iconic stadiums and other venues spread across the United States, the opportunities for enjoying great sports at some fine locations are almost endless. Famous names such as Madison Square Garden in New York City, Wrigley Field in Chicago, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Fenway Park in Boston, and Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in LA are all out there waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. Those wishing to see where the history of American sports has been played out have a wide choice of teams and cities to choose from.

Some people stick with following just one team around the country, while others like to watch a variety of different teams – and sometimes different sports – to mix things up. In order to get the most out of a sports trip of a lifetime it is usually essential to be a super-fan, and open to pretty much anything when it comes to sports. Having a broad appreciation of different sports helps to ensure never missing out on a great game or sporting event.

Major League Baseball

Let’s first touch base with baseball, the “Great American Pastime.” While the West Coast has some fabulous baseball stadiums, for those who only have a week or two to devote to their sports trip of a lifetime, a road trip starting in the Midwest and heading east will bring the baseball fan to a number of great parks located within relatively easy reach of one another. Traveling between cities such as Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and New York is a great way of combining a sports vacation with exploration.

If you start out in the “Windy City,” catching a game at Chicago’s Wrigley Field is a must. Famous for Babe Ruth’s legendary ‘called shot,’ among other things, Wrigley Field is home to the Chicago Cubs. This quintessentially American ballpark was built in 1914, and sitting in the crowd here watching a game certainly feels like stepping back in time. For a more modern experience, make your way to Chicago’s South Side and take in a White Sox game at US Cellular Field, which opened in 1991.

Heading due east, the next stop on the road trip should be Cleveland, Ohio to watch the Cleveland Indians play at Progressive Field Park. Located near the center of the city, Progressive Field Park is referred to as “The Jake,” by the locals, and was ranked as the best Major League Ballpark in a 2008 poll.

Next up is Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies – the oldest name in American sports history. Dating back to 1883, the Phillies are the oldest franchise to have continued with one name in one city in all of professional American sports. With a new stadium built in 2009 and some of the best field-side snacks on the East Coast (make sure to try the hoagies, cheesesteaks, and soft pretzels). Philadelphia Phillies tickets are sure to admit one to a great time.

Heading north for a couple of hours will bring you to New York City and the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx to catch a Yankees game in this rebuilt beauty. Next, head across town to Flushing Meadows and catch a New York Mets game in the recently opened $900 million Citi Field. Heading a little further north will bring you to the oldest baseball park in the US, where you can to see the Boston Red Sox play at Fenway Park. With its unique atmosphere and passionate spectators, this grand old dame of baseball demands respect.

Other East Coast ballparks worthy of a visit include Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles, and Nationals Park in Washington DC, home of the Washington Nationals.

NFL Football

Some individuals get more of a kick out of NFL football, and the US has a wealth of excellent teams based in great stadiums in beautiful cities – so many that it is hard to know where to start. For those interested in sports history, Candlestick Park – home to the San Francisco 49ers – is definitely worth a visit; you will have to hurry, however, as the 49ers are scheduled to move to their new home at Levi’s Stadium in nearby Santa Clara, California soon.

While you are on the West Coast, stop by Century Link Field in Seattle, Washington, home to the current Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. If you are heading east, be sure to stop off at Soldier Field in Chicago, home to the Chicago Bears; Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, home to the Green Bay Packers; and Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, home to the New England Patriots .

NBA Basketball

For those who prefer hoops, any basketball-themed trip should start at Madison Square Garden, located in the heart of Manhattan, New York City. The noise of the crowd, the skill of the New York Knicks, and the amazing location in the heart of the Big Apple makes this an experience not to be missed. If you are closer to the middle of the country, check out the Chicago Bulls at the United Center, then catch a plane south to marvel at the skills of currently red hot San Antonio Spurs, or west to watch the Los Angeles Lakers compete in the iconic Staples Center.

How to travel

Sports is found everywhere in the USA; it is a part of the fabric of modern American culture, and so separating it from everyday life is virtually impossible. Making a journey of discovery and taking in different sports in cities far and wide is the dream of almost every fan, and a sports odyssey taken with family or friends is a great bonding opportunity.

In most cases, the mode of transport chosen will depend on the time and funds available. The centrally located travel hub of Chicago is a good place to start any sports-themed trip; starting off in Chicago offers travelers the choice of the Bulls, Bears, Cubs, or White Sox depending on the time of year. Renting a car will allow you to take a leisurely trip east towards Cleveland, Pittsburg, Washington, Philadelphia, New York City, and Boston – all of which are great sports towns. Flying west from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport – where LA, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, and Phoenix await – is also a convenient option.

Any sports trip taking in multiple games requires great planning and organization. Tickets for big games get snapped up quickly, so you should buy them well in advance to ensure you get the best seats. Often, the availability of tickets for events such as a World Series game or the Super Bowl dictates the route of the trip, offering solid destinations in an otherwise fluid itinerary. You will also want to book hotel accommodations early, as big games create a big demand for rooms.

When the plans are complete, the route is decided upon, and the tickets are bought, you can sit back and anticipate your sports trip of a lifetime – which is a big part of the fun.