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Mainline Steam Train Excursions


Relive the golden age of steam!

Here's how to enjoy a mainline steam train day tour next time you're in Britain. 

Discounted Airport Parking


If you're not careful, it is possible to spend more on airport parking than on your airfare!

Here's a convenient new service that helps you make the best choice of parking lot, and offers you great discounted rates for your airport parking.

NOTE :  Links to the tours below are largely obsolete now, but might be of interest to show some of our previous tours and give you ideas for your own touring.

Our new master listing of current tours is on this page.
Scotland's Islands and Highlands Tour


A tour arranged and lead by David Rowell, the Travel Insider, in June 2011.

You'll visit eight different islands in the Inner and Outer Hebrides on this lovely tour of largely undiscovered and definitely unspoiled Scotland.

Tour Diary from 2010 Scotland's Islands & Highlands Tour


A fascinating and detailed chronicling of our 2010 Scotland's Islands & Highlands Tour, by one of the tour members.

European River Cruising


Very different to a coach tour, and very different to a regular large ship ocean cruise; click here to read about European river cruising.

We view river cruising as one of the very best ways to sightsee through Europe.  It is good value and the ultimate in comfortable convenient ways to travel and sightsee.

Rhine River Christmas Markets Cruise 2010


A variation on our perennially popular Danube Christmas Markets cruise, this year we're traveling along the wonderful Rhine River from Basel to Amsterdam, with great optional extensions before and after the cruise too.

Europe's Heartland Cruise June/July 2009


A lovely cruise from Trier to Nuremberg, along the beautiful Mosel and Rhine rivers, at a wonderful time of year.  Optional precruise time in Paris and postcruise tour on to Prague.

Danube Christmas Markets River Cruise 2009


One of David's favorite experiences, we're again offering a Christmas Markets River Cruise in 2009, this time from Munich or Nuremberg to Budapest and optionally on to Prague.

You'll stop at major cities and small towns, and enjoy a wide range of touring and attractions, including a special side trip to Salzburg, all from the comfort of your luxury floating hotel/cruise ship.

Danube Christmas Markets Photo Journal


A four part photo journal that captures in pictures the sights and experiences featured in a Danube Christmas Markets cruise.

South of France Rhone River Cruise, May 2008


A one week lovely cruise through the beautiful south of France, escorted by David.

Options to Barcelona or the French Riviera to start, and to Paris after the cruise, too.

Grand China Tour and Cruise, June 2008


A comprehensive fourteen day tour around China, including a six day cruise along the Yangtze River.

Take the optional two night extension to Guilin for the ultimate Chinese experience.

Holland and Germany Cruise, March 2008


Here's a very special deal!

No single supplement, and discounted rates if traveling with a friend, on this lovely one week cruise from Amsterdam to Trier (and optionally on to Paris).

New Year's in Vienna Danube Cruise 2007/8


Wow - here's a very special way to celebrate the end of 2007 and the start of 2008.

Join us on our New Year's in Vienna Danube River Cruise, and celebrate the changing of the year in special style.  Special extra discounts for groups, starting with as few as 3 people for extra group discount.

Russian River Cruise 2007


This was a great success in 2006, and with some tweaks to the itinerary and inclusions, 2007 promises to be even better still.

Our cruise starts in Moscow, then travels through the canals, rivers and lakes connecting Moscow to St Petersburg, with stops in fascinating towns around the historic  'Golden Ring' and further afield.

As a Travel Insider exclusive treat, you then have the option at the end of the cruise to return back to Moscow via overnight sleeper train.

Black Sea Discovery River Cruise 2007


New for 2007 is our Black Sea Discovery Cruise.  This takes you through six less common countries of Eastern Europe, starting from Budapest in Hungary and ending in Istanbul in Turkey.

Along the way you'll see places that few other westerners have visited, in countries such as Serbia, Croatia, and Bulgaria.  This promises to be a fascinating cruise for both the experienced world traveler as well as people venturing internationally for the first time.

New Zealand Grand Spectacular Tour


A tour arranged and lead by David Rowell, the Travel Insider, in October and November of 2008.

You'll visit a glorious combination of NZ's best known tourist attractions and some of its less well known secrets, too.

Scotland's Castles and Mysteries Tour


A tour arranged and lead by David Rowell, the Travel Insider, in May 2005.

Enjoy a tour (the 2004 tour was highly reviewed in USA Today) of the Scottish Highlands all the way up to John O'Groats and back.

Planning a Trip to New Zealand


New Zealand is easier to get to, and easier to enjoy, than most people expect.

Use the information in this series of 16 articles to help you plan your own travels to my beautiful home country.

Planning a Trip to Australia


New competition on the air route to Australia has lowered the cost of traveling there, making it easier to get to this wonderful part of the world.

This new series helps you plan a trip 'downunder' the best way possible..

All About Leavenworth, WA


A charming Bavarian style alpine village, set in the mountains some two miles east of Seattle.  Lovely to visit all year round.

Read more in our three part article.

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, WA


An idyllic resort nestled in Washington State's Olympic National Park, and a lovely drive to get there and back.

All About Atlantic City, NJ


Often thought of as nothing more than an inferior version of Las Vegas, there's a surprising diversity and richness to this city, offering considerably more than 'just' gambling.

Visit our four part series for more information.

All About Harrison Hot Springs, BC, Canada


A little known gem of a small town in a lovely region, only 90 minutes from Vancouver and three hours from Seattle.  Lots to see and do, or just relax, get away from it all, and do nothing.

Read more in our four part series.

All About Victoria, BC, Canada


This lovely city, nestled on the sides of a beautiful harbor, is an ideal place for a relaxing vacation visit.

Read more in our three part article.

All About Bigfoot in the Pacific Northwest


A four part series that discusses the nature of the Bigfoot stories, and then helps you go on your own Bigfoot searching, either using our suggested itinerary or creating your own. 

An Introduction to the Caribbean


Over 35 miniature countries make up the diversity that is the Caribbean.  With so many to choose from, there's bound to be one (or more) that suit you perfectly. 

An Introduction to Egypt


Land of the Pharoahs and home to the mighty pyramids, Egypt is a fascinating collection of ancient marvels and mysteries as well as modern beach resorts. 

How Much to Spend on a Vacation


Here's a comprehensive five part series to help you best understand how to budget and plan a vacation for the best value and the best and most memorable experience. 

How to Survive a Plane Crash


The information in this four part series might save your life.  On the other hand, air travel is extremely safe, so hopefully you'll never need to put what you read here into practice.  But better safe than sorry, so do go read this invaluable and detailed article series. 

Essential Travel Tips


Wherever you're traveling, however you're getting there, and whatever you're doing upon arrival, the information in this series will help make your travels simpler and better. 

Travel Related Scams


People seem particularly vulnerable to scams related to travel - both before they leave home and when they're on tour.  Read the cautionary information in this multi-page article series and hopefully being forewarned will make you forearmed. 

Canadian GST Refunds for Travelers


The mysteries of how best to get a refund on Canada's 7% GST is explained to you.

In particular, note that Canada uniquely allows this rebate on hotel accommodation, making it valuable to almost all visitors.

Cruising the English Canals


Few people know how easy and how idyllic it is to quietly cruise around Britain's 200+ year old historic canal network.

This article tells you all you need to know.

Moscow - The Smile on the Face of the Tiger


Good hotels for about $100/night, car (BMW) and driver hire for $5/hr, and Big Macs for $1.25. Moscow is truly affordable, and full of interest and opportunity for both tourists and business travelers.

I report on a recent stay in Moscow.

How to Learn to Read and Speak Russian


If you are planning a trip to Russia, you should probably learn at least some very basic 'survival Russian' phrases and be able to sound out words written in their cyrillic alphabet.

This article helps you.

Salisbury, Wiltshire - England's Overlooked Gem


Salisbury town is full of lovely historic shops and buildings.  There's a beautiful cathedral, and plenty of other interesting architecture.  It is easy to get there from London and there are lots of things to see if touring around the Salisbury area, too.

In this multi part series, find out why we rate it as the number four tourist destination in Britain.

A Travel Guide to Cornwall, England


The remotest and least English of England's counties/regions, Cornwall has a fascinating history and feel all of its own.

This four part series tells you where to go, where to stay, and what to see and do in this overlooked but wonderful part of England.

Dining in Seattle


Seattle is known by some as the home of grunge, and by others as the home of Bill Gates and Microsoft. But ask about Seattle's dining opportunities, and most people will give you a blank stare, and mutter something about Seattle also being the home of Starbucks.

In this article I suggest eight excellent and distinctive dining experiences in the beautiful city that has been my home for the last 18 years.

Day Tours from London by Train


A great way to see more of England without leaving your London hotel each night is to take day tours by train.

Fast, regular and comfortable trains quickly take you to many interesting towns and cities around England.

How to Drive around Britain by Rental Car


A comprehensive article series that tells you what you need to know in order to become a competent, confident and legal driver when touring around Britain.

How to Travel around Britain by Train


Britain is small and well served by high speed comfortable trains.  Most places are no more than four hours by London, and it is generally quicker, easier, and more convenient to travel by train than by plane.

This article series tells you all you need to know about train travel in Britain.

All About Britrail Passes


A two part series that tells you all about Britrail passes - how to choose the best passes, what discounts you may qualify for, whether you need to reserve seats, and so on.  

All About London's Five Airports


Did you know there are five different airports in and around London?  This multi-part series tells you all you need to know to be able to understand and choose the best airport to fly in/out of.  

Great British Heritage Pass for Discount Sightseeing


The Great British Heritage Pass gives you free admission to 580 different places and things throughout Britain.

Most visitors to Britain will find they quickly recoup the modest upfront cost of the Pass and end up saving substantially as they use the pass.

London Pass Discount Sightseeing


Here's a great way to cut down on the cost of sightseeing around London.  The London Pass gives free admission to 55 of London's best attractions, and has discounts and other perks at a further 42 attractions.

Available in 1,2,3 and 6 day lengths, there's a London Pass to suit most visitors to London.

London Underground Fare Guide


The London Underground is an enormously convenient way to travel around London, but it can also quickly become enormously expensive.

This guide looks at 12 different types of fares and tells you how to get the most travel for the least cost.

Travel Insurance - Yes or No?


Some people swear by travel insurance. Others swear about it! But there are many different types of travel insurance, some better than others.

We review the different types of travel insurance policies, and the different types of protection they may offer you. After reading this two part article you'll be better informed and can choose exactly the type of insurance that will best protect you on your travels, and at the lowest cost.

Carry On Luggage Reviews


A major series of articles discussing what to look for when choosing your next wheeled carry on bag plus specific reviews of over $2000 worth of carry on bags and reader comments.

Essential reading before you next buy a piece of luggage.

Cara Goldsbury's articles on Walt Disney World


Celebrated author of the definitive book on visiting Disney World, Cara Goldsbury has kindly provided us with seven pages containing the essential wisdom and advice from her excellent book (reviewed here).

If you're thinking of visiting the Orlando region and Walt Disney World, then this information is essential.

Seasickness Causes and Cures


Seasickness can ruin an otherwise much anticipated cruise.  Other forms of motion sickness, in planes, cars, and buses, can make other travel also a misery.

Here's what you need to do to prevent and cure motion sickness of all kinds.

Jet Lag Causes and Cures


Jet lag is very real and can have a major (negative) impact on your business judgment and vacation enjoyment, as well as making the 'back home blues' even worse upon your return.

Find out how to plan for and minimize jet lag on your long distance travels in this two part series.

A Ski Vacation in Zermatt


One of the most beautiful locations in all of Switzerland, right next to the Matterhorn, and with lots of skiing and other activities, Zermatt is a wonderful place to visit any time of year.

Here's what you need to know to plan a vacation in Zermatt.

Leukerbad Spa and Mountain Resort


Guest writer Bob Bestor describes his experiences visiting Leukerbad and having a spa treatment, and suggests where you should stay and what you should do if you choose to go too.

When is the Best Time to Travel?


A simple change in travel dates of only a day or two can save you hundreds of dollars. And a change of a week or two can mean you avoid a crush of other tourists.

Here are sixteen tips on how to choose the best time to travel on vacation.

Going it Alone


Almost one in three adult Americans is single, one in four of us has taken a vacation alone during the last three years, and, on average, the typical American will spend more of their life between 15-85 single than with a partner. But few of us enjoy traveling alone, or welcome the dreaded 'single supplement' that is often imposed in such cases.

The good news is that specialty travel companies are springing up to provide interesting, affordable, and sometimes even romantic solutions for single travelers.

SearchAlert TSA Approved Suitcase Lock


A combination lock the TSA has now approved for locking suitcases.

They can use a master key to open it themselves.  But if they do this, an indicator changes color from green to red, so you know they've opened your bag.

Inexpensive, and useful.  Recommended.

Airline Checked Luggage Policy Guidelines


Some airlines give you more than twice as much free luggage allowance as others. Some airlines refuse to carry over-sized luggage, but others will accept pieces twice the size.

With increasingly enforced luggage policies, if you're going to be traveling with large, heavy, or many suitcases, this information can help you choose the best airline and anticipate airport problems.

Airline Carry-on Luggage Policy Guidelines


Be careful - some suitcases sold as 'carry-on' suitcases are actually illegally sized, and others have wrong measurements so while seeming to fit within airline size restrictions, could also be rejected.

This information tells you what each airline will and won't accept.

Traveling with Firearms and Ammunition


This explains the TSA and various airline requirements to enable you to travel with guns or ammo in your checked bags.

It is really quite easy if you are in compliance with the various different requirements.  This article tells you how to do it.

No Luggage Worries When Traveling


For many of us, the most inconvenient part of traveling is managing our baggage, especially with new airline security rules and crackdowns on luggage allowances.

Here are details of a wonderful service that makes your traveling carefree - and luggage free, too.

Beware of Checked Baggage X-ray Machines


The new X-ray machines that inspect checked luggage can destroy most normal film.  And that's not all, the new experimental anti-anthrax Post Office irradiation won't just zap your film, but may also kill computer chips and even regular CDs and DVDs.

Plus, the nation's air safety is held hostage in a crude and crass bit of politicking.

Banned Carry-On Items


The latest (Nov 02) list of what you can and can't take onboard a plane.

Online Hotel Booking Services


After spending 2.5 hours to book two hotels last night, I realized that online hotel booking services are still in their infancy.

Worse than a slow inconvenient interface is the potential danger of booking the wrong hotel. If you're doing your own online hotel bookings, be sure to refer to the checklist included in this article.

Driving on the Other Side


Keep right! This instinct is drilled into us from when we first start to drive a car, and must be temporarily unlearned if driving in a country that drives on the other side of the road.

But safely driving on the other side of the road involves a lot more than just keeping left instead of right.

Airplane Types


A handy reference to answer your questions like how many engines, what type of seating configuration, what sort of size, how old, etc, different planes are.

Weather Issues in the Nevada Desert


If you're planning a visit to the Nevada desert and in particular to the Front Sight Institute, this article tells you what sort of weather to expect and prepare for.

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