The Role of Technology in Creating Cutting-Edge Hearing Accessible Hotel Rooms

August 18, 2023

As the hospitality industry grows increasingly competitive, technology is playing a greater role in creating cutting-edge hotel rooms that are...

Six Ways to Experience Reykjavik Like a Local

The capital of Iceland, Reykjavik is home to two-thirds of the country’s population (about 200,000 people). Most visitors spend at least a night or two here before or after they explore the rest of the country and if you’re only spending a few days in Iceland, it’s easy to base yourself out of Reykjavik and still see quite a bit in the surrounding area. If you’re headed to Iceland, here are a few tips for having a more local experience.

Swimming is big in Iceland. Icelanders are required by law to learn how to swim, and every small town in Iceland has a community swimming pool, which is a place to relax and socialize. In Reykjavik, there are several pools to choose from, and no, the Blue Lagoon is not one of them. Though the Blue Lagoon is a very unique and worthwhile experience, you’ll find mostly tourists there. If you want to swim with the locals, head to the local pool instead. Hot spring pools in Iceland are open all year round, (some are outdoors, some are indoors) and are kept between 84 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit so you will stay warm even in the winter. Services at each differ; some have waterslides and hydo-massage services, while others are more basic.

Open from early morning until late evening, the pools generally charge just a dollar or two for admission, with rental of bathing suit and towel available for an extra fee. Some tourists get nervous about the fact that swimming in a public pool in Iceland requires showering naked in front of strangers beforehand. But really it’s nothing to worry about. There’s no novelty in locker-room nudity for Icelanders, so rest assured they aren’t trying to check you out. Just wash up quickly and soon you’ll be relaxing like a local.

It’s said that Icelanders drink so much in the winter to make the cold, dark days pass faster, and that they drink so much in the summer to celebrate the sunny, warm days. Either way, they like to drink, despite the high cost of alcohol in the country (tip: stock up at the airport duty free upon arrival). In Reykjavik, don’t miss your chance to join in the weekend runtur, or pub crawl. Start your night with dinner and a few drinks (preferably at your hostel to save a bit of money) and then around midnight join the crowds of people packing the streets. The party goes until 4am or later at the city’s many lounges, music clubs, and cafes that turn into bars at night. Many places don’t charge a cover so this can be an inexpensive way to experience the nightlife of Reykjavik…so long as you don’t buy too many beers, which can cost $7 or more in a bar.

Icelanders love their hot dogs, which seems like an odd choice in a country where fish is abundant and lamb roam the countryside. But the Icelandic hot dogs are better than their fast food counterparts in the US. Made of lamb and topped with mustard, ketchup, fried onion, raw onion and remolaði, a mayonnaise-based sauce with sweet relish, they are unlike any other hot dogs in the world. And, they’re cheap, at just over $2 each. In a country where everything is expensive, it’s a welcome change to find something so tasty and affordable. At Bæjarins beztu pylsur the 60-year old stand that once served Bill Clinton and Metallica (on separate occasions of course!), there’s a short line nearly all day, every day. But for a true Reykjavik experience, come after a night at the bars, around 3am, to feast with your fellow partiers.

Chance are that if you’ve come to Iceland as a tourists, you’re going to partake in some of the country’s amazing outdoor activities like hiking, cave-exploring, and horseback riding. And to do those activities, you’re going to wear some travel performance gear, like a fleece vest or waterproof windbreaker with insulated pants and hiking boots. But when it comes to what to wear in Reykjavik after those activities are done, you’ll need to make some changes to avoid looking like a clueless tourist. Outdoor gear is fine for casual restaurants and wandering around town, but you’ll need to sartorially step it up come nightfall. At Reykjavik’s best restaurants and any nightclubs, opt for nicer, trendier duds. Reykjavik residents have a great sense of style, so if you want to blend in with the locals, you’ll need the same.

If there’s one food that you’ll see in every convenience store and grocery store in Iceland, it’s skyr. High in protein and low in fat and sugar, skyr is a very healthy yogurt-like product that comes in plain, vanilla, and fruit flavors. Skyr is great for breakfast or for a quick and easy lunch or snack on the go. It’s delicious topped with fruit and is used in many desserts at Icelandic restaurants and you’ll even see it used in some sauces and dips. So if you want to snack like a local, pick up a few containers of skyr.

Live music is a huge part of the Icelandic nightlife scene, so don’t miss a chance to go see a band while you are in Reykjavik. And don’t expect it to be all Bjork and Sigur Ros either. Music in Iceland is very diverse, and includes pop, punk, folk, rock, blues, and more. On weekends, you’ll have your pick of several shows, but it’s easy to find live music any day of the week with a little research. Check out the Reykjavik Grapevine for the most comprehensive event listings. If you plan your trip in October, you can attend Iceland Airwaves, a four-day long music festival that is considered one of the best in the world.


How To Join The Mediterranean Diet And A Wine Tour Of Italy – Italy Hotels & Travel Guide

The Sicily island is the biggest island in the Mediterranean sea, it’s at the south of Italy and the north of Africa. Food and wine are among Sicily’s main attractions. Here you can find a mix of different cultures (Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans). These ancient dominations let us their rests in the culinary traditions. Climatic conditions, sun every day and the Volcanic land, facilitate the food’s favour and produce unique of a kind Mediterranean products.

What to get in this Wine tour…

  • Unique landscapes and views
  • Living history around you
  • Wine tasting and cooking courses
  •  All the benefits of the Mediterranean diet

One of the most important aspect of Mediterranean diet is the quality of the ingredients used. The result is that ingredients are fresh, often produced in land, tasty and fragrant.

Here the most known Mediterranean foods and wines you’ll taste during your Sicilian journey…

Seafood. It is well known for its particular heart benefits with the presence of “Omega 3”. Serve grilled swordfish, cuttlefish or sardines, it’s the best you can do for your heart health. A plus factor is that most of the recipes are prepared with pasta, so low carb added.

Chicken, Veal, Lamb are popular meat dishes usually served with marsala wine.

There are more than 150.000 hectares of land cultivates to wineyards. The best productions are on the slopes of the Etna mountain. There are a lot of studies that explain the benefits of Sicilian Red wine consumption. These studies confirm that people who drink red wines (Nero D’Avola and Torrepalino) has a lower cardiovascular risk, because the blood glucose, total cholesterol and triglycerides are significantly decreased after the consumption.

Here the tour explained…

With this tour you’ll have the opportunity to join the best oriental attraction of Sicily. You’ll visit the Etna volcano, Taormina, the city of Catania in the Ionic coast and the Aeolian islands. You’ll discover the little medieval villages on the slopes of the Etna, the fishermen’s life, the roman rests of Catania and Taormina and the free nature of the 7 little island on the thyrrenian sea. All combined with the tasting of great Mediterranean diet products.

How to improve your experience…

  •  If you try to taste Sicilian sweets (Cannoli, almond, marzipan), you’ll note that the taste is a little different from the ones you’ve had outside Italy. That’s because the ricotta cheese is made with sheep’s milk.
  •  The best wines to choose with meats and deserts are Marsala, Moscato, Passito di Pantelleria and Malvasia delle Lipari. For meats and fish plates, the Zibibbo wine is perfect.
  • The wines have a maximum cost of about $20 a bottle. Very cheap respect those from Tuscany or Piedmont that cost $40 or much, much more.
  • Drink wine with food (Especially with olive oil or bread)
  • If you read the label “Denomination of origin” (DOC) on the bottles, It is a meaningless designation related to quality of wine to certify the origin.

The 5 Healthiest Places to Eat in San Deigo

Many times the reason why people start to gain weight or become unhealthy is because they often eat out for lunch or dinner. It is okay to eat out every now and then, but when you do so several times a week, the pounds really start to add on. If this is something you really enjoy doing, then eating at healthier places will be beneficial to your overall health and weight. Here are 5 of the healthiest places to eat in San Diego, some of which may have food entrees with probiotics.

This is a small restaurant located in Old Town where you can enjoy the wonderful taste of Latin American food while keeping your heart healthy. All menu food items are home-made from fresh vegetables and produce and all sauces are freshly made each day. Zero hormones are added to chicken dishes. All deserts are also home-made and low in calories.

This restaurant, located in Point Loma, is known for its simple healthy soup, salads, and grilled entrees. Their salad choices are creative, tasty, low in calories, and include ingredients that are good for your health. Some of their salads include:

Smaller portion salads are also available that are made from ingredients right off the farm. They also bake their own deserts from fresh market fruits and tasty ingredients. There is a new special every day.

If you are a seafood lover and are looking for an incredibly healthy place to eat, then this is the place to go. This restaurant, located in Gaslamp, receives their seafood from the freshest locations all over the world. All seafood is flown in daily, so it is guaranteed to be fresh and delicious. Some of their seafood dinner classics include:

The Oceanaire Seafood Room also has various soups and salads, steak dishes, and lobster and crab entrees.

Lean and Green is located in La Jolla and is best known for its delicious organic dishes. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner using all naturally grown food ingredients that are not only healthy, but really tasty.

Every order is customized just the way you like it. First, you pick whether you want a salad or a wrap. Then, you pick either which wrap base you’d like or which green vegetables you want in your salad. Lastly, you choose your ingredients. There are symbols located next to each ingredient telling you whether it is organic, vegan, or gluten-free. Some organic ingredients include:

This restaurant is located in Clairemont and Hilcrest and is one of the best healthy Indian restaurants in San Diego. You have your choice of vegetarian dishes, chef specials, Indian breads, soups, salads, Tandoori, Curries, and many other healthy options. Some specific entrees you can choose from are:

These are just a few of this restaurant’s tasty dishes. They also have three different Indian bread choices, three chef specials, and several different sides to choose from. Reservations can be made right on their website at

Thank Goodness For Baby Boomers Cruise Ship Builders Packaged Travel Creators

And, when it comes to Baby Boomers, forget all of that do-it-yourself nonsense. Do-it-yourselfers went out with the poodle skirt and penny loafers over a quarter century ago. Todays and tomorrows generation of affluent Baby Boomers wants to be pampered. They are seeking leisure travel experiences that are customized, easy, exotic and exclusive, and which provide value and choice and that are seamless.

Moreover, they sure dont want to be considered or called seniors. Theyre looking for pleasure and for luxury and for personalized services, and theyre turned on by activities which are healthy and which are fun, as well as upscale and very special. They feel theyre entitled to it all.

In brief, Baby Boomers were born and raised, grew up and developed their business careers and lifestyle yearnings, during the affluent post-World War II boom economic era. As a result, theyve grown accustomed to being spoiled and catered to and doing whatever they like whenever they want to do it. They dont want to be told what to do or how to do it. They want others to do it for them. And, when it comes to leisure travel, they want competent travel agents to put it all together for them.

Because of their market size and potential, and their increasing dominance of the leisure travel scene, a whole new generation of cruise ships has been and is being built to their specifications. And, they like cruise ships with verandas, that are casual, on which the food is healthy, and in a variety of dining modes.

Also, they are looking for packaged travel vacations that are unregimented and which offer a broad range of experiences in a spectrum that includes adventure, ecology and the environment, as well as culture and value.

In brief, Baby Boomers, in large numbers, admit to wanting to be spoiled. And, that is precisely what the cruise lines and the packaged travel operators, as well as the hotel and resort developers, have been creating for them travel experiences that suit their lifestyle wishes and demands. Youd better believe that travel agents are an integral part of that formula.

Perhaps the only segment of the leisure travel experience which hasnt changed to accommodate the needs and desires of todays and tomorrows mighty army of Baby Boomers has been the airline industry. With the exception of First and Business Class trans-con, trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific travel, designed primarily for business travelers, air travel (with some significant exceptions) is strictly a matter of necessity getting from Point A to Point B, usually with a hub in between.

Most travel by air is none of the things that Baby Boomers are searching for in their quest for pleasurable leisure travel experiences. It is neither fun nor customized nor relaxed, nor is it easy nor personalized nor enjoyable. As a matter of fact, recent airline commission cutting moves have made it more difficult for Baby Boomers to book than ever before. This is because the airline industry has been attempting to direct them away from travel agents and turn them into a crowd of do-it-yourself direct bookers.

Sorry, airlines even though most Baby Boomers have computers and like to play on the Internet, they also want someone else to do the work for them. They want and need travel agents to make their air bookings for them. And, I am 100% convinced that the vast majority of this huge new group of leisure travelers will be willing to pay a travel agent a service fee to do the work for them.

What the travel agent industry should be pointing out to the traveling public, through its trade associations, is that every time the airlines reduce travel agency commissions and drive additional travel agencies out of business, they are, in effect, making it more difficult, as well as more costly, for leisure travelers to travel by air.

Thankfully, though, for the industrys surviving 25,000-plus travel agencies, there are extraordinary opportunities for them to expand their businesses, and to profit, far into the fast-approaching new millennium.

The vast host of new and expanded packaged travel opportunities, including the armada of new cruise ships coming on line, as well as other new forms of packaged travel, have the potential for turning on Baby Boomers like theyve never been turned on before. And, since there are so many new cruise berths and packaged travel opportunities, both the cruise lines and the tour operators need travel agents more than ever.

The cruise industry alone will grow its berths by some 45% during just the next five years. Carnivals new non-smoking cruise ship, the Paradise, which my wife, Lenore, and I and several thousand travel agents and related travel sellers were aboard last weekend, typifies everything that is new and exciting and which is awaiting tomorrows leisure travelers. Its 2,040 lower berths, representing 100,000 additional cruise passengers a year, are just the tip of the 58,000 plus new cruise berths scheduled to come on line between today and Spring 2002.

During just the past two weeks, I have met personally with the heads of the industrys six largest cruise lines and discussed the issue of air commission cuts and caps and their impact on travel agents. These meetings have convinced me that the cruise industry needs, wants and will do everything within reason to help maintain todays travel agency sales distribution system, a sales force capable of continuing to sell 95% plus of its berths far into the foreseeable future.

Even Renaissance Cruises, which spit in the eye of the travel agent industry a few brief months ago when it felt it no longer needed agent support, now finds that it cant go it alone and is asking for travel agent business. I know what Id give them if I were a travel agent, but Lenore edited out that portion of this sentence.

Discussions with leaders of both the National Tour Association and of the U.S. Tour Operators Association have convinced me that they, too, need a big, healthy and prosperous travel agent industry every bit as much as the Cruise Lines do.

There is just no doubt about it. The sellers of leisure travel products and services are just as anxious to preserve and to grow the travel agency industry as are travel agents themselves. And, without wanting to sound like a hopeless optimist, I have every reason to believe that some day even the airline industry will realize that it, too, needs a widespread network of travel agencies to sustain its future growth and profitability.

Thanks to the Baby Boomers, the Cruise Lines and the Packaged Travel Operators, I feel confident that the travel agent industry will share bountiful Thanksgiving Holidays far into the next century.

The 5 Best Beaches in California

It is almost unthinkable to take a trip to California without going to one of their fabulous beaches. The Golden State is known for having some of the best beaches in the US, and Californians are so proud of their beaches that if you don’t visit one, Arnold Schwarzenegger will hunt you down and physically drag you kicking and screaming into the surf. If you wish to avoid that fate, below are the top 5 best beaches in California (or Cal-ee-for-nee-yuh as the Governator would say):

Santa Monica Beach is considered a source of pride for the state of California. It is meticulously maintained by the city of Santa Monica. Every day the sand is thoroughly raked and cleaned to ensure pristine conditions for beach goers. They even clean the beach on weekends and holidays. Yes, even on flag day. While lifeguards are only present on the beach during the day, the lifeguard headquarters is open 24-hours a day to provide Pamela Anderson style slow motion life saving assistance any time it is needed. Some of the activities that take place at the Santa Monica Beach all year long are fishing, swimming, volleyball, surfing, and biking.

Coronado Central Beach is 1.5 miles long and is tucked neatly behind a street of idyllic beach houses. This beach is well known to be a great place for swimming, boogie boarding and making sand sculptures. Every year from December through February, whale watching also takes place on Coronado Central Beach. On the north end of the beach, the waves break just right for surfers just about every morning while locals walk their dogs before the sand gets too hot. Usually the dogs do not surf, but you can’t rule anything out on Coronado Central Beach.

Laguna Beach is a hefty seven miles long and is a premier beach destination for residents of Los Angeles as well as tourists from all over the world. A beach this large and in charge would be expected to offer a plethora of activities and attractions, and Laguna Beach does just that. Nature lovers and art enthusiasts frequent this famous beach to be inspired. Tourists can check out any of the spectacular restaurants, spas, shops and galleries or even check out The Pacific Marine Mammal Center and learn a few interesting factoids. Many people love to see a show at The Laguna Playhouse which is right on the beach, and the oldest theater on the West Coast. The Laguna Art Museum rounds out the cornucopia of sights and activities on this tasty Beach.

Hermosa Beach packs a ton of fun and beauty into its 1.5 miles of sandy shoreline. Activites such as sunbathing, paddleball, surfing, volleyball, and swimming are happening non-stop on the sand, but much of the action is really going down on “the strand.” The strand is a popular boardwalk that runs along the beach where throngs of local bikers, strollers, joggers and rollerbladers gallivant during the day. At night the boardwalk comes alive as people enjoy themselves at the bars and restaurants that serve great food, strong drinks, and breathtaking ocean views.

Pictured in featured image in the sidebar – Venice Beach is like no other beach in this world. It is also like no other beach on any other world. In addition to the activities you can find on any beach, Venice Beach is basically a three-ring urban street circus. This circus takes place on the Ocean Front Walk, the boardwalk that lines Venice Beach. The boardwalk features stores, flea markets, restaurants and a bevvy of other weird, confusing, and interesting stuff. This is the home of Muscle Beach, world class street basketball, and countless celebrities. This is more than a beach, this is a crazy experiment in human culture that happens to be near the ocean.