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USELFUL LINKS:
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Important news before you travel:

If you are in the United States you should be aware of certain Travel Advisories which are given to citizens who choose to travel abroad. These advisories can affect you and may even change your travel plans. So before you go to the airport you should always check to see if your destination country is on the List of the United States Government Travel Advisories.

For more information: Check out the link below which will send you to the US Governments official website.


https://travel.state.gov
TIPS ON MAKING HOTEL RESERVATIONS:


When traveling for business or fun, there’s nothing worse than thinking you have a reservation and learning your hotel reservations been lost, your room has one bed and not two bedrooms, or you thought your check-in time was noon, only to find out it is really 3:00pm. To help avoid these things from happening, there are a few helpful hotel reservation tips seasoned travelers recommend:

Always use a credit card when making a hotel reservation. A credit cards offers the guest some level of protection should the hotel stay go awry. Any disputes a guest may have with the hotel, or with the billing can more easily be rectified through the credit card company. The card company will act as a mediator once their client can show effort to resolve the dispute. Additionally, if a dispute cannot be resolved, the credit card company has the authority to remove the charge from a client’s bill. If cash were paid, a hotel guest would have no recourse. Note: If you don’t use your own credit card to secure a reservation, be aware that the person whose name is on the card will be responsible for showing the card and signing at check in. If the card does not belong to the person staying at the hotel, notify the desk before leaving home (prior to arrival) and ask what their identification procedure is. They may accept a letter from the credit card holder authorizing use, and a copy of both the front and back of the card.

Ask for deals/discounts at each hotel. Many hotels offer corporate, AAA, senior, or even mid-week/off-season discounts. If one is not offered - ask about them. Many hotels now offer ‘rewards’ programs and some hotels reduce rates by $50 or more, for simply signing up for their program. If making reservations online, look for internet-only rates and shop various websites to find the best deals. Travel agents can often secure unadvertised specials or late check-in opportunities which can translate into huge savings.

When making reservations speak clearly and repeat spelling of all names. There have been many reservations lost because of inaccurate spelling and guests have been told they did not have rooms when a hotel or an entire city was booked to capacity. If any special requests are made, verify them and if possible get them in writing. Also make sure to get the name of the employee. Verify everything spell names and verify information/requests etc. Double check reservations prior to leaving for hotel and make sure names of all hotel employees you’ve spoken to are taken.

When reservations are made, changed and cancelled-confirmation numbers are given. Make sure all numbers are kept in a safe place until credit cards are billed and all charges are verified. Cancellation and confirmation numbers are often the difference between being charged for a hotel reservation that was cancelled, the possibility of a free upgrade when the hotel overbooks and you can prove when your reservation was made, and being stranded away from home without a room for the night.
Discuss hotel policies prior to making reservations, and verify them at check-in. Some hotels require credit cards at check in for any hotel charges, such as telephone usage, room service, meals in the hotel, or even take -out arranged through the hotel with area restaurants, etc. If a credit card is not available, a cash/check deposit maybe required for any services/fees that may accrue during the hotel stay. Determine when check-in/check-out times are, when cancellation policies go into affect and verify occupancy limits if staying in a room with multiple occupants.

Remember these hotel reservation tips when scheduling your travel plans. Whether by internet, through a travel agent, or by telephone, it pays to research the hotel and be meticulous when making arrangements. A little pre-planning when making reservations can save major headaches when traveling away from home.
WHY A TIMESHARE PROPERTY MAY BE YOUR PERFECT VACATION ANSWER:

You may not know it but many people throughout the world have Timeshare properties which they use for vacations.

A timeshare is a property with a particular form of ownership or use rights. These properties are typically resort condominium units, in which multiple parties hold rights to use the property, and each sharer is allotted a period of time (typically one week, and almost always the same time every year) in which they may use the property.

Units may be on a partial ownership, lease, or "right to use" basis, in which the sharer holds no claim to ownership of the property.

Two basic vacation ownership options are available: timeshares and vacation interval plans. The value of these options is in their use as vacation destinations, not as investments. Because so many timeshares and vacation interval plans are available, the resale value of yours is likely to be a good deal lower than what you paid.

Both a timeshare and a vacation interval plan require you to pay an initial purchase price and periodic maintenance fees. The initial purchase price may be paid all at once or over time; periodic maintenance fees are likely to increase every year.

Deeded Timeshare Ownership. In a timeshare, you either own your vacation unit for the rest of your life, for the number of years spelled out in your purchase contract, or until you sell it. Your interest is legally considered real property.

You buy the right to use a specific unit at a specific time every year, and you may rent, sell, exchange, or bequeath your specific timeshare unit. You and the other timeshare owners collectively own the resort property.

Unlike a vacation home which may be vacant part of the year, you only pay for what you use. Thus, the use of a very expensive property could be more affordable; for one thing you don’t need to worry about year-round maintenance.

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INSIDE THE MONTREAL MUSEUM
OF FINE ARTS


The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts was founded in 1860 by Bishop Fulford, the Art Association of Montreal was created to encourage the appreciation of fine arts among the people of the city and today has one of the highest attendance rates among Canadian museums. Every year, over 1 million people visit its unique encyclopedic and its original temporary exhibitions, which combine artistic disciplines (fine arts, music, film, fashion, design) and feature innovative exhibition designs. It conceives, produces and circulates many of its exhibitions across Europe and North America.

Over 200,000 families and schoolchildren take part in its educational, cultural and community-oriented programmes each year. The fall of 2011 saw the opening of a fourth pavilion at the Museum - the Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion of Quebec and Canadian Art - and a 444-seat concert venue - Bourgie Hall - housing an outstanding collection of Tiffany stained glass windows. This expansion also brought about the reinstallation of the Museum’s rich holdings in its other three pavilions, which house the world cultures, international art, Medieval to contemporary European art, and decorative art and design collections. Music is now an integral part of the Museum, providing another perspective on the visual arts, through musical audioguides and other innovative activities.

The Studios Art & Education Michel de la Chenelière, which were inaugurated in 2012, have almost doubled the Museum’s facilities for schools, families and community groups. A fifth pavilion devoted to international art and education will open its doors in 2017 for Montreal’s 375th anniversary.


















The MMFA is spread across four pavilions, and occupies a total surface area of 45,067 square metres (485,100 sq ft), including 13,000 square metres (140,000 sq ft) of exhibition space. A fifth pavilion is currently under construction, which will have a surface area of 3,460 square metres (37,200 sq ft). This expansion will make it the eighteenth largest art museum in North America. The permanent collection includes approximately 40,000 works. The original 'reading room' of the Art Association of Montreal was the precursor of the current library of the museum. It is the oldest library in Canada dedicated to art.

In October 2004, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts launched Sharing the Museum, a collaborative educational programme for non-profit community organizations. Any community organization that works with cultural communities, senior citizens, youth at risk, people from poorer neighbourhoods, disadvantaged families or those with physical and intellectual disabilities is invited to participate in the programme.

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