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Las Vegas, Nevada Emerald Coast, Florida Crystal Coast, North Carolina Azamara Club Cruises Sarasota, Florida Trips To Italy Game Rent A Car Healthy Travel Tips

Choose To Go Green When Traveling

pic(NAPSI)-Being located in the middle of a desert has made one corporation keenly aware of how important it is to conserve natural resources such as water and energy.

The steps this company has taken can serve as a guideline for environmentally conscious travelers. Here's how one company is working to make its hotels eco-friendly.

• Water-conservation efforts.

To save water, Las Vegas Sands Corp. has replaced natural grass areas with artificial turf, and remaining plants are watered using a subsurface drip system that avoids wasteful evaporation at The Venetian, The Palazzo and the Sands Expo.

In addition, the company created a central irrigation control system to monitor outdoor air temperature, relative humidity, wind, solar intensity, rainfall and soil moisture content, ensuring plant and tree health is maintained without excess irrigation.

Small changes can make a big difference. For example, in-room water fixtures that save 20 percent over the standard fixtures were installed in all guest rooms.

Altogether, the company has reduced consumption by about 100 million gallons of water annually without affecting the guest and employee experience.

The water saved every year in Las Vegas by this one company can supply the annual needs for more than 680 average American households.

• Conserving energy. To conserve energy, the company's hotels use energy-efficient lightbulbs, such as LEDs, whenever possible, and they work closely with a lighting manufacturer to create better lighting solutions.

In addition to lights, sensors are installed in Palazzo suites to adjust the temperature automatically according to guest occupancy.

The entire resort uses a sophisticated building automation system that monitors and optimizes heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting levels to maintain optimal indoor conditions, while using energy efficiently.

• Using alternative energy sources. Company hotels use solar thermal systems mounted on the roof. "Having the largest solar thermal system in the U.S. helped Las Vegas Sands achieve LEED certification for its Las Vegas property," according to Rick Fedrizzi, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council. "This makes it one of the most sustainable facilities in the hospitality industry." The system provides hot water for the pools, spa and a portion of the domestic hot water.

By conserving energy, the company saves about 73 million kWh annually--enough to power more than 6,500 average American households for a year.

Being responsible can pay off. The company has found that for every $1 invested into sustainability practices and programs, it has saved $4, proving that what is good for the environment is also good for business.

For more information, visit www.lasvegassands.com.

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The Coast Is Clear

pic(NAPSI)-Great news for anyone contemplating a beach vacation these days is that good clean fun is ready to be had along the 24 miles of sugar-white sands and emerald-green waters of Northwest Florida's Emerald Coast encompassing Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island.

Named the "No. 1 Beach Town in the South" for 14 consecutive years by the readers of Southern Living, Florida's Emerald Coast remains unpretentious and breathtakingly beautiful.

"The oil hasn't altered our beaches. We encourage everyone to come see for themselves that what we're best known for is still the best around," says Mark Bellinger, president and CEO of the Emerald Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau.

From building sand castles on the shore and watching dolphins at Florida's Gulfarium, to casting lines in the World's Luckiest Fishing Village and teeing off at more than 1,080 incredible holes of golf, there's plenty of fun to be found.

Other events include boat week, a poker party, free rock concerts on the beach and a seafood festival.

More Than Just A Day At The Beach

You can charter a boat for fishing or sightseeing, dine at elegant eateries or rackety-shack oyster bars and see where several movies and TV shows were filmed. You can also shop the high-end boutiques or bargain hunt at the designer outlet mall.

Stimulate your child's imagination at Emerald Coast Science Center with its interactive science displays ranging from a reflecting Castle of Mirrors to oversized bubble makers, a hair-raising Van de Graaff generator and an electrifying Illuma Storm. Then cool off at a big water park with a trio of mini golf courses or visit the creatures at an alligator attraction.

Affordable Accommodations

Along with a wide range of attractions and events, Florida's Emerald Coast offers year-round, affordable places to stay--in more than 14,000 Gulf-edged rooms--from beachfront hotels and bed-and-breakfasts, to multibedroom condominiums and vacation homes. There are also special accommodations available for weddings, business meetings and romantic getaways.

For more information on a vacation at this delightful destination, visit www.destin-fwb.com or contact the Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. at (800) 322-3319.

Miles of clean, white beaches and emerald-green water await vacationers year-round on Florida's northwest coast.

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A Swashbuckling Vacation Offers Varied Adventures

pic(NAPSI)-You don't have to be a pirate to steal away to one of the nation's most beautiful destinations, but knowing more about pirates could increase your appreciation of all this location has to offer.

North Carolina's Crystal Coast is known for its many charms, but lovers of pirate lore and fans of the soon-to-be-released "Pirates of the Caribbean 4" may be pleased to learn that in the 1700s it once played host to Blackbeard and his swashbuckling crew.

The family-friendly destination is also the final resting place for the Queen Anne's Revenge. From exploring Blackbeard's ship and visiting Blackbeard's Hammock House, to searching for hidden treasure at the haunted Fort Macon, bustling buccaneers can embark on a journey that retraces the famous pirate's nefarious ways.

Treasure abounds at the Beaufort Historic Site, North Carolina's third-oldest town and past stomping grounds of Blackbeard, with double-decker bus tours of the old jail, courthouse, apothecary and Old Burying Ground.

Horse lovers may appreciate a visit to Shackleford Banks. For more than 300 years, wild mustangs have roamed the unscathed shoreline after swimming ashore when a Spanish pirate ship exploring the New World met a tragic fate off North Carolina's shores. The wild horses have frolicked on the pristine deserted beaches and foraged for food with not a saddle or fence in sight.

Brave buckoes can board a kayak tour exploring the world of eco-diversity and thriving history of this pirate-drenched destination. They experience the area by drifting on a guided tour through waters previously navigated by infamous buccaneers.

Dangling like a delicate string of pearls off the coast of North Carolina, this favored Atlantic beach destination of generations represents one of the only remaining natural barrier island systems in the world.

Noted as the "Graveyard of the Atlantic," it is considered the No. 1 dive location in the U.S. With more than 2,000 shipwrecks lining the ocean floor, the coast provides underwater history and an abundance of marine life beauty in warm, clear Gulf Stream waters. Popular diving spots include a 300-year-old wreck and a German U-boat sunk by local forces in WW II.

The area also provides visitors a chance to dine on "fresh-from-the-docks" seafood caught the same day in clean coastal waters. For more information, visit www.crystalcoastnc.org.

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Cruising To Unique Destinations, Delivered Uniquely

pic(NAPSI)-Traveling to exotic destinations is not a new trend but, increasingly, cruise companies are finding ways to deliver them uniquely.

One new cruise line has slowed down the tempo so guests will not only enjoy their destinations, but have a more culturally immersive experience.

Azamara Club Cruises itineraries feature more late-night and overnight stays in port to allow guests to immerse themselves in the destination and its culture. Among the overnight destinations are Istanbul, Turkey; Sorrento, Italy; and three full days and two nights in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Bangkok, Thailand. Late-night stays in port include St. Tropez, Monaco and Mykonos. If you haven’t seen St. Tropez at night, for instance, you haven’t seen St. Tropez.

Azamara’s two boutique-hotel-style ships, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest, offer guests extraordinary service, fine cuisine and boutique wines, and vitality programs onboard as well as more inclusive amenities, such as included gratuities, complimentary house wines served at lunch and dinner, and bottled water, specialty coffees and soft drinks. For more information, call (877) 999-9553 or visit www.AzamaraClubCruises.com.

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Florida's Cultural Coast

pic(NAPSI)-Getting past the sun and surf, culture-savvy insiders know that Sarasota County is much more than its beaches, boating, golfing and dining.

Ranked as the No. 3 Best Art Town in John Villani's book "The 100 Best Art Towns in America," this mecca for the arts can boast its own globally acclaimed art museums, opera, ballet, symphony orchestras and theater.

It all started with John Ringling of Ringling Brothers fame. When he built a winter home in Sarasota County in the mid-1920s, he brought along his splendid art collection, which he acquired in his world travels when looking for new circus acts.

Ringling's emphasis on the arts is celebrated annually in October with the Festival sARTée as well as a five-day international festival. Partnered between The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota County and the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City, eleven stage productions will headline this year's Ringling International Arts Festival (October 13−17).

Sarasota County's modern thriving art scene also includes the Sarasota Opera, the Sarasota Orchestra, the Sarasota Ballet (the only professional company in Florida's Gulf) as well as the Asolo Repertory Theatre.

For more information, call (800) 522-9799 or visit www.sarasotafl.org/arts.

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High-Tech Travel Game Transforms Trips to Italy

pic(NAPSI)-Described as a cross between "The Amazing Race" and "The Da Vinci Code," a new interactive tour experience is transforming trips to Italy.

To play, all travelers need is a whaiwhai game tour book for one of five amazing cities--Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona or Mila-n-a cellphone with texting (SMS) feature, and a good city map. Armed with these, they receive clues and then send answers that take them across the city from location to location, unlocking its legends and secret history.

The stories behind each game are written so that instead of following the usual tourist paths, players make discoveries not possible from, say, a tour bus. Plus, travelers can tailor whaiwhai to their own speed, interrupting and resuming it at will. They can play by day or at night, and the game can last for up to three months from the moment of activation.

It's also possible to split into two or more teams to crack these creatively crafted codes: For whaiwhai Venice, The Ruyi Venice tells of an ancient magical scepter lost with the tomb of Marco Polo; The Ruyi Rome finds signs of the passage of the same scepter in the Eternal City. That's en"tour"tainment!

Italian Andrea Sertoli, president of Select Italy, says: "After only one morning of playing, you can learn a tremendous amount about these enchanting destinations--and with whaiwhai, you set your own schedule."

In the U.S., all five whaiwhai game tour books are on sale through Select Italy--a full-service company that for more than a decade has been considered the ultimate source for travel to Italy. For more information, call (800) 877-1755 or visit the website at www.selectitaly.com/whaiwhai.php.

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Rent A Car With Confidence

pic(NAPSI)-Approach the rental counter with confidence knowing whether you really need to get the supplemental insurance offered by the rental car company. Car insurance group Progressive offers these tips to help you make a smart decision.

• Before you leave on your trip, call your agent or insurance company. They’ll give you the details for your policy. Generally, if you have liability and physical damage coverages, there’s a good chance you don’t need to buy the supplemental coverage.

If you review your policy, you might see a

coverage called rental reimbursement listed. Keep in mind that this coverage doesn’t protect you in a rental car; rather, it pays for a rental in case your car needs to be repaired following a claim.

• Check with your credit card company. Some credit cards provide free coverage if you use their card to pay for the rental. This coverage applies in many but not all situations, so be sure to ask for an exact description of what’s covered.

• If you end up choosing to buy insurance from the rental car company, check to see what’s covered. If personal effects aren’t covered, they’ll likely be covered by your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance. You may also want to bring a copy of your insurance declarations page with you as a reference.

If you don’t need supplemental insurance, pass it up and put the money toward your trip.

For more information or to find a local agent near you, visit www.progressiveagent.com.

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Waves? Feel Better

pic(NAPSI)-Staying on the road to comfort the next time you travel may be simpler—and more natural—than you realize.

That’s because doctors are taking a new look at an old remedy to help travelers, mothers-to-be, cancer patients and others with digestive distress.

According to health care experts at the University of Maryland Medical Center, ginger can help prevent or treat nausea and vomiting.

Ginger has been used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years. Now its natural soothing properties are in a fast-acting, great-tasting chewing gum. While you should consult your doctor before trying it, it has none of the side effects associated with anti-nausea medication, such as drowsiness, disorientation and dry mouth, and it’s easy to take anywhere. Ginger Gum is available from Sea-Band in major drugstores such as CVS.

The FDA has also approved an acupressure wristband from the company for nausea relief. Clinically tested and reusable, the bands are designed to work immediately, at the onset of nausea, and, not being a drug, have no side effects, such as drowsiness. The knitted, elasticized wristbands apply pressure on the acupressure point of each wrist. They even come in kid-friendly colors and sizes as well as for adults.

Learn more at www.sea-band.com.

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AMERICA'S HEROES



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