Category Archives: Travel

Planning The Perfect Travel Holiday

The first thing you must do before deciding on a location to go to on your holiday is the amount of money that you are willing to spend. It’s not just the travel expenses that have to be accounted for but also the food, accommodation, sightseeing, recreation and miscellaneous expenses have to be accounted for as well. The more money that you are willing to spend, the better your holiday will be. You must set yourself a budget otherwise you may end up having financial problems which will cause your travel holiday to become not as enjoyable as you hoped for. Always keep a little bit over your budget (around $100 to $200), just in case you need it.

Once you have set yourself a budget, the next thing you should do is decide on the type of activities that you are looking forward to doing. You may want to go cave exploring or you may want to go bungee jumping for example. This foundation decision will affect where you end up going for your travel holiday. If you are not going alone on a travel holiday, it is always a good idea to take the opinion of the people that are going with you so that they do not feel left out and end up not enjoying themselves. This way, you get more ideas on the activities that you may want to do.

Once you have decided on the first to decisions, it is time to actually decide where you want to go. When going for a holiday, always remember to go somewhere exotic so that you can get a taste of different cultures. Always keep in mind that your decision as to where to go for your holiday must depend on the budget that you have along with the type of activities that you wish to do.

By following this simple and straight-forward guide, you will be able to plan the perfect travel holiday in no time and with minimal expenses and waste of time.

Adventure Travel Holiday Ideas

Not all of us get the chance to have a real adventure, however these adventure travel holiday ideas can help you get closer to adventure.  And these aren’t just for the young, as baby boomers mature and find they’re still fit and have spare funds there are more such ideas tailored towards them as well.

An African Safari is a good start for adventure travel holiday ideas, especially one that starts in the South Luangwa National Park or the Kruger National Park and ends up with some time on a beach in Mauritius.  Flying over rugged and raw Damaraland, home to spectacular scenery, desert elephant and black rhinos is a kind of safari that deserves a mention in any list of vacation ideas. Combine this with a flying trip up the Skeleton Coast as far as Serra Cafeema and you will reach areas of utter Wilderness; areas that seem barren, yet captivate adventurous spirits.

For adventure travel holiday ideas with even more action try paddling the Zambezi: the Everest of rivers – but an Everest even first time paddlers can have a bash at (under good supervision.). It’s a big volume, big white water river trip with waves up to 24ft (which you’re tackling in a 16ft raft.) and the added bonus being surrounded by astounding African scenery, meeting some of the more exotic locals and the comfort of sunshine and warm water (around 24 degrees.).   Paddling Uganda’s White Nile, Nepal’s Sun Kosi or Chile’s Futaleufu River are similar, just with different, but equally adventurous backdrops.

Why opt for the Everest of rivers if there are also adventure travel holiday ideas that allow you to tackle the Everest that is Everest?  Trekking to Everest Base Camp is manageable for most people, after the correct training and preparation. Kilimanjaro is another good challenge for adventurous people, as is the Paine Circuit, The Great Walk of Africa or even the Mont Blanc Circuit – for starters.

For more exotic adventure travel holiday ideas – the kinds of things your friends may never even heard of, let alone attempted, consider Paragliding around Oludeniz, Bungee jumping off Verzasca Dam ah la James Bond, camping with Saharan Nomads, swimming with Bull Sharks at Protea Banks or Cave Diving under the Nullarbor Plain.

Budget Travel Holidays

We all want fabulous budget travel holidays without breaking the bank. Here are three tips that will help you plan your next great holiday while staying on a budget. We’ll go over the months you should target to travel that will give you the greatest travel savings, which type of airports to fly out of, and more general tips to give you the greatest bang for you buck. Let’s get started:

1. Try to travel during “Shoulder Season”, a term coined by the travel industry. This is a great time to travel because it’s not High Season, which is when it’s most expensive to travel and most crowded, and it’s not Low Season, when the crowds are not there but the weather is the worst. You can generally save hundreds of dollars, if not thousands, on your vacation just by targeting Shoulder Season because airfare and hotels are cheaper. For example, go to Hawaii in March or September, Tahiti in November, Costa Rica in December, or Baja California in June.

2. Use the internet to your advantage. Many airlines, resorts, cruise companies, and hotel websites offer rewards to people who subscribe to their e-mails lists. Usually all it takes is for you to visit their website and find the place where you can enter your e-mail in exchange for discounts, rewards, etc. These e-mail lists are often one of the first or only places to get major, unadvertised discounts. Social marketing is on the upswing and you can follow the airlines, etc. on Twitter to get similar savings also.

3. Be flexible with your travel planning. By being open to flying out of a less commercial airport, or staying in a neighboring city that borders the touristy city, you will save money. Many people want to go to San Francisco but cannot afford the pricey hotel rooms in the city. Consider staying in neighboring Berkely and taking public transportation into San Francisco. Neighboring cities often have the same “feel” as the touristy cities, yet the local businesses are more accommodating and even grateful for your business. You are more apt to be treated like royalty because the locals like you being there, rather than being an annoyance, aka “just another tourist”. Minor travel adjustments such as this can save you hundreds on your trip, while still being able to vacation in the city of your choice.

I hope this helps you see that the possibility of budget travel holidays can be a reality with a little planning and ingenuity. Flexibility in travel planning goes a long way to huge savings. Be a smart shopper and use the internet. It’s a great resource for budget travel. By following these simple tips, you will be able to have your budget travel holiday.

Where Can You Find the Best Travel Holiday

Booking your holiday is one of the biggest decisions you will make all year, so you should consider carefully where the best place is to book travel holiday deals, as this can save you a lot of money!

Most people are now booking their package holidays online, as the bigger tour operators such as Thomas Cook, Direct Holidays, and Virgin holidays all offer exclusive, extra discounts when you book online. This makes commercial sense for tour operators as they cut out the staff costs as their websites can offer prices and availability as well as reviews and even videos of selected hotels.

However, there are still some advantages if you are booking with your local travel agent. Firstly, you have that personal touch that websites can’t offer and your travel agent may also be an expert as they have visited many destinations and can offer advice based on your needs.

Travel agents are often sent on educational visits so they can get a feel for holiday resorts and hotels and can pass on their feedback to customers to help inform them before booking their holiday.

Another advantage when booking with your travel agent locally is that you can pop in and make regular payments to your holiday. Many older people still don’t use their credit cards online so they prefer this option.

However, despite these plus points there is one big factor when you are deciding on the best holiday deal and that’s the price! Booking your package holiday online can save you up to 10% and if we assume the average holiday spend is about £2000 then you are saving £200!

Planning Your Ski Travel Holidays

Planning your ski travel holidays may at first seem to be relatively straight forward, however when considering the vast amount of and diverse choices one has in terms of the various ski travel holidays options, you will quickly come to realize that there is no shortage of options available. Making the right choices in terms of destinations will also impact upon whether or not you will be able to fully appreciate the venue and amenities when you take your level of skill and capabilities into account.

The successful planning and booking of any ski travel holidays requires specific destination knowledge and experience, often times something which only a seasoned traveler will be able to provide. One also has the option of doing some research via travel magazines, travel agents and even online when looking to plan this type of vacation.

There are a number of destinations that are available when it comes to catering to all types or levels of skill on the slopes, and across the world too. North America, within the United States and Canada offer some spectacular options when considering ski travel holidays. Some of the top rated areas that are accessible to the various level of skill include Aspen, Breckenridge and Crested Butte in Colorado with the state of Utah also providing a number of great options for ski travel holidays too. The Canadian offerings of Blackcombe and Whistler are exceptional and one would have come to appreciate these destinations within the recent Winter Olympics coverage of these regions. Naturally there are many options within the North American travel destinations that can be considered beyond the ones herein mentioned.

Europe has a wide variety and diversity of destinations when it comes to options available for planning any ski travel holidays, moreover there is a destination for virtually any type of budget too. Bulgaria, Poland, Russia, Slovakia and some of the other Eastern European countries offer great value, in terms of a more limited budget, and although some might say that the amenities are not as good as those of the more established French and Austrian options, they certainly are sufficient enough to allow for a great skiing or snowboarding holiday option.

Besides the mentioned and albeit traditional options of the European or North American ski travel holidays and destinations available some of the lesser known options include the likes of Indian, Australia and various regions within South America. All of these areas are slowly building up a reputation of quality and commitment to providing a great experience and option when it comes to planning vacations of this nature.

Holiday Gone Bad

There are a lot of reported cases of tempting holidays gone really, really bad. People, who got to the destination and found out that the hotels were miserable or that there simply were no hotels where they should have been, people who had to pay a lot of extra money for things they already paid for and so on.

So in order to prevent these unfortunate happenings you’d better start looking for a travel agent who will help you to make the best decision that meets your desires when it comes to traveling somewhere. Find an agent who has a lot of experience and can determine scams in time. He should be a person you fully trust as in his hands lies your long wanted holiday.

Before deciding for one, ask about his reputation. If possible, contact some of his former clients and check if they had things going for them as they wanted or who knows, even better. Choose and agent who can meet all your conditions, involving destination, hotel, family accommodation, prices for your budget and any special needs. Think outside the box: bigger aren’t necessarily better. You can get really good service from smaller agencies as well.

Check if the agent is available anytime in case of an emergency. You have to rely on him that he will solve any issues that might occur. Look for someone with whom you’ll be able to establish a long time relationship, someone nice who isn’t interested just to take your money but who is committed to his job and tries as hard as he can to make you happy. He has to be up to date with the best offers and prices.

Travel Holidays to Exotic Tropical Islands

Anyone who claims to be a beach lover should get hold of a catalog that lists all the beautiful beaches, where one head to, for a glorious vacation. Given below is a list of some of the major tropical beaches that tourists visit, when they wish to get away from it all and relax on the golden sands.

The Caribbean Beaches have been touted as the best in the world. It is renowned for its temperature as well as the beautiful sparkling crystal waters that make up the oceans. Here you can see plenty of marine life and enjoy a wonderful vacation on these spectacular beaches, where many movies have been shot, because of the excellent location.

If you are romantically involved, there is no better way that to set off to the beach destination that you normally see in movies, where you can spend some quality time, with your loved one. Make this tropical beach your next holiday destination and enjoy the moderate climate, clear blue waters and the various species of marine life that abound there.

You can head to the tropical beaches of Cuba, Bahamas and Gaudeloupe to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily city life. You will enjoy the serenity of the environment and look forward to spending precious moments with your family, which is quite impossible when you are caught up with the daily activities at home. There is no better way to spend quality time with the members of your family or a few close friends.

For those who are not interested in travelling long hours, you can visit Hawaii and have the time of your life on the beaches. The sparkling white sands and the blue clear waters will revitalize your being as you take in the pristine beauty all around you. Enjoy days of water surfing and laze around on the beaches soaking up the wonderful sun. It is not difficult to reach this travel destination as many airlines land at Hawaii which is considered to be one of the most popular travel destinations.

Travel to Asia if you are looking for exotic adventure on your vacation. There are many places that you can visit and several beaches to relax on when you are in Asia. Try heading to a new place instead of visiting the same beaches over and over again. Perhaps you need to experience new sights to be rejuvenated and enjoy a memorable vacation.

One of the famous beaches that you can head to is Ko Phi Phi in Thailand. You can combine adventure and fun with relaxation on the beaches in this part of Asia. Enjoy the sandy beaches and tropical islands, in and around Thailand, where you can enjoy some spectacular natural scenic views and eat the delicacies that are special to Thailand.

If you wish to visit Philippines, you can enjoy a wonderful holiday at Boracay, which is renowned for its fantastic beaches. You can relax on the sands as they do not heat up even at noontime. The other activities that you can indulge in here are kite boarding and windsurfing. You can enjoy the colorful nightlife that is special to this place and take your entire family along for the vacation.

Ideas For Your China Travel Holidays

China is one of the oldest countries which date back to ancient civilization. Because of this, it has retained a lot of its historical background and culture, many of which are still practiced today. To many people, China may still be regarded as a place that is located on the dark side of the moon, but it is not until you visit this unique and beautiful country, you can truly satisfy your curiosity about China.

Adventure travelers and globe trotters around the world have started discovering the natural hills and scenic spots in China, many of who return with interesting stories and beautiful pictures. If you have always wanted to visit this side of the world, then its time to pack up your bags and bask in the sun this summer as you discover many of China’s hidden beauties.

Let me start with beaches; not many are aware that China has a tropical side to it except the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong which proudly boasts of the famous Repulse Bay. Located in the Southern province of China, Hainan is a beautiful exotic island with a rich culture for beach lovers to enjoy. It is the largest ocean province and smallest land province in China. Sanya, the most popular destination on Hainan province is known for the beautiful Yalong bay and Dadonghai’s white sand beaches. If you want to partake in this tropical Chinese beach tour, you can consult the services of a Chinese travel & tour operator in China to assist you with your vacation plans.

Golfing is another travel and leisure sport which is becoming very popular in China. Even with its old uncivilized environment, China still boasts of high class luxurious green paradise for you to enjoy your holidays golfing in the orient. Whenever, you speak about golfing, the first thing that comes to your mind is the lush green golf courses and perfect weather to enjoy this sport. There are four beautiful golf courses in China which are all located in different provinces with the perfect weather to enjoy the sport. Engaging in a golf travel tour particularly one in China can be the greatest adventure travel of your lifetime. Apart from golfing on China’s wonderful golf courses, you are afforded the opportunity to visit some of China’s main tourist attractions in Beijing, Kunming, Hangzhou and Shanghai. These cities highlight some of the must sees in China which you must not miss during your holidays. Once again, the tour operators can assist you to design your tour itinerary with affordable lodging and transportation.

Gastronomy Tours are specially designed for the cultural lover in you. If you delight in enjoying special Chinese delicacies, then, this is the right tour package for you. Discover more about Chinese culture and traditional cooking methods as you savor the exotic wonders of China.

Travel Agencies and tour operators have specially arranged tour packages for gastronomy tours which allow you to cruise and enjoy fine dining in exotic oriental restaurants as you are guided through many provinces and their long historical culture.

Shopping is a time consuming activity which must not be missed in China. Almost every province has a small market where you can get different varieties of shoes, bags, clothes at very reasonable prices. To be able to enjoy shopping in Shanghai, you should be an expert in price negotiation as this could pose to be a fun activity for a whole day. Many tour operators allow personal and free time during a tour, so you have the choice to visit any markets around.

Family Adventure Travel Holidays

If you can find a place prettier than the Nakasendo Highway to see Japan, I’ll eat my hat. For those of you who think that’s an easy bet, you’ve never seen the Nakasendo Highway-which isn’t full of Toyotas (or any other Japanese-branded car) on some fast-lane speeding asphalt. Oh no, the Nakasendo Highway isn’t really even paved for some of its 534 kilometers.

Oh, this scenic route isn’t for the faint of heart-a walking route this long couldn’t be. But, think about it for a minute; thousands of people have come this way for hundreds of years. That’s a lot of history under your feet, wouldn’t you say?

The bigger question would be, where were they going-or where were they coming from? It depends on which way you’re traveling-the route could start or end in Kyoto, making the start or end destination a place called Edo. Perhaps you’ve heard of it by its more modern name, Tokyo.

Surely you know Tokyo wasn’t always a mega-city full of cars and people and skyscrapers. And once you’ve gotten outside the city you’ll see the Japan of yesteryear. So, to quote the still popular philosopher, Confucius-a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step (or, something to that fact).

Whew, good thing you aren’t going that far. But there are some 67 towns and 69 rest stations that you’ll hit along the way, so if you do get tired there are plenty of places to stay. Don’t worry about getting lost; there are both modern and historic mile markers throughout the entire route.

Throughout the centuries, the Nakasendo Highway has been very popular with the ladies. One of the reasons is that it doesn’t really cross any water. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t find any babbling brooks and postcard perfect waterfalls (like the one found just to the west of Tsumago-juku) along the way.

Ladies, don’t you just love that kind of stuff?

Japan’s Nakasendo Highway is great to do as a family, if only for the fact that you can really get to enjoy each other as you amble along little country lanes. No television, no Nintendo games, no iPods, or other electronics that could distract you from the southern Japanese Alps off in the distance.

Don’t panic, you’re only in the shadows of the mountains-even if its name Nakasendo means “central mountain route”. At most it should only take but a few hours to walk between towns and rest areas, and that’s including time to gasp at the natural scenery.

Some might say the best part of the Nakasendo is along the Kiso Road, a region that’s believed to be the best preserved of this thousand year old route. You can debate that all you like, but the entire thing is one big history and culture lesson. I mean, this road was once heavily traveled by the Shogun-a fun fact that the boys in your family might find interesting.

Family Adventure Travel Holidays

How does exploring a land of hilltop villages, seaside resorts, great adventure and active family vacationing sound? It’s all very doable on the Istrian Peninsula, formerly a part of Italy and today the gem of Croatia’s northern coast. Indeed, the juxtaposition of Italian-influenced coastal resorts and inland Croatian villages is possibly Istria’s most compelling feature. Both groups were preceded by Illyrian tribes and ruled throughout by Romans, Byzantium, Venetians and Austrians. However, Italian influence prevails throughout the region.

Every day is a new adventure outdoors on the Istrian peninsula. Be it active exploration of hilltop villages, water adventures of every kind on the coast, agrotourism on its olive oil farms, wine road and truffle forests, you move at your own relaxed pace here, absorbing the area’s Mediterranean Tuscan-like charm.

Opatija

Elegant Opatija lies at the center of the Istrian Riviera, its lush green scenery, warm waters and mild climate provide a relaxing setting in harmony with nature., while its stream of foreign visitors provide the excitement. The Benedictine Abbey established here in 1420, around which the town settled, lends its name to Opatija, meaning abbey. The backdrop of the city, Mt. Ucka provides some great hiking trails, and a view from the mountain top is superb. Exploring the small fishing villages in the area also make for great adventure.

The contrast of lush gardens and an azure sea, lively entertainment venues and quiet natural settings for excursions, water sports and land activities galore all combine to make Opatija a very attractive Croatian destination.

Agrotourism

The 14thcentury fortified town of Motovun, built by the Venetians, as was much of Istria, sits atop a hill overlooking vineyards and olive oil farms. This is an area to experience agrotourism at its best. Quaint doesn’t even begin to describe the mountains and hilltop villages, to the setting of purple-mauve skies, which provide an unforgettable scene of the sinking sun. Accommodations in traditional stone buildings, food grown where you’re staying, local olive oil and wine, and the pleasure of relaxed conversation with locals and guests around a stone fireplace after dinners works its magic, creating a sense of deep inner peace. Hiking and biking trails abound here and the drive to the nearby sea is short.

Seaside Towns

In Istria, the allure of the sea is ever-present. Porec, with its Italian influence has some amazing historical sites. The Basilica of Euphrasius, A UNESCO World Heritage Site, is prominent. This 16thcentury most beautifully decorated complex, with its superb apse mosaics represents an impressive synthesis of classical architecture of the times with the more ornate elements that had begun to develop in the East. The gilt-tiled mosaics literally illuminate the apse and are reason enough to travel to Porec.

Surrounded by hills covered with pines, Rovinj is the best loved towns of the Istrian Peninsula. This beautiful old town sits on a hill where you can easily lose your way among the winding, narrow cobbled streets. The church of St. Euphemia, built in 1736, is perched atop the hill, its tower modeled after St. Mark’s in Venice. From here, the view of lively seaside cafes and fishing boats bobbing in the harbor, to the backdrop of 13 small islands in the distance is astounding. This is the place for a boating adventure to Crevn, Otok or Katarina, some of these lovely offshore islands, or for scuba diving t o the Baron Gautsch wreck.