Posts Tagged ‘Travel Tips’
London’s Westminster area is packed full of the capital’s most famous landmarks. You’ll find Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the River Thames in this area. There are also lots of other attractions for tourists in and around Westminster.
To start with you could visit the famous London Eye, which is located on the South bank of the Thames. The world’s largest observation wheel was completed in 2000 and is an impressive 135 meters in height. From the very top and on a clear day you can reportedly see views of up to 25 miles in any given direction. You’ll definitely be able to spot a few of London’s landmarks from here like Windsor Castle, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Palace of Westminster. The wheel has a total of 32 viewing capsules and these take up to 25 people each.
Another place worth a visit in the Westminster area is The London Aquarium. Here you will find 3000 different types of aquatic and marine life housed in huge tanks. The impressive stingrays and sharks amaze children and adults alike, and shark-feeding time is a popular daily event. The aquarium covers 3 floors and daily talks about the sea creatures are given during the day.
Originally part of St Thomas’ Hospital, the Florence Nightingale Museum is a treasure trove of unique artifacts relating to the famous Lady of the Lamp. Here you will find fascinating items such as Athena, her pet owl that was stuffed by a taxidermist after it died, the medical chest she took with her to Turkey and of course the famous Turkish Lantern she carried when doing her rounds during the Crimean War.
Westminster Abbey has been used for every coronation in England since 1066 so this historical landmark is well worth a visit. The building as it stands to day was started around 1245 and has a mix of architectural styles. The organ inside the abbey is stunning and was built in 1937 and the nave is the resting place of notables such as Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton. This is a working abbey and it is possible to attend services here or you can choose to look around outside of service times.
The Tate Britain Gallery is another tourist attraction you can visit in the Westminster area. This museum opened in 1987 and you will find British art by Turner, Blake, Hockney and Bacon to name just a few of the artists featured here. There is so much to discover and wonder at in this fascinating art gallery.
If you fancy a break from the hustle and bustle of London’s busy streets then St James Park is a good place for a bit of tranquility. The park has a café and a children’s play area, peaceful gardens and the lake is home to birds including pelicans, black swans and geese.
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Package holidays are a great way to see the world without having to worry about things like booking flights, creating an itinerary and booking hotel rooms. What makes package holidays so great is that everything is included in one price, and that price is usually extremely competitive due to the nature of the tourism industry.
In order to make sure that there are no nasty surprises or unexpected financial expenses, it is advisable to plan your holiday to the nth degree. Even with a package holiday, there are numerous important questions to ask the holiday operator so you know precisely what you are getting for your money.
The most important question you need to ask your holiday operator is exactly what is included in the price of the holiday. Although some prices for holidays may seem high, if the price includes all meals, inland travel costs, and accommodation, then that price is probably justified. Most package holidays also include flights and/or ferry or bus travel expenses too.
You also need to find out if there is a particular theme that the holiday is based on, for example an archaeology theme or wine-tasting, or possibly an orienteering expedition. You really do not want to be paying for something that you and your family do not enjoy doing. Make sure you know exactly where you will be going and what kind of activities you will be doing or expected to do while you are there.
What is the average age of the holiday participants? The last thing you want to be doing as a young couple, going on a well deserved holiday, is spending your time with a group of elderly tourists. Not to say that you will not have fun, but it is expected that they want to take their holiday at a different pace, spending more time viewing things and possibly more time traveling also.
Some holidays are designed around a set theme such as wine-tasting or fishing and with these specific themes you need to be certain of other factors. If you are expecting to be escorted in groups, how big are the groups? How knowledgeable or experienced are the guides? Exactly what accommodation will you be staying in during the course of the holiday? It is also sensible to ask whether there are any additional expenses that you will be required to pay for during the holiday.
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As summer is so close, it is expected that you are probably already thinking about where to go and what to do for your next holiday. Probably the most popular and fashionable continent to visit right now is Europe. Europe has some very special holiday destinations that are only just being discovered by tourists, along with some already popular countries that provide slightly predictable, but ultimately great, holiday experiences. With so many different places to visit, it can be confusing deciding on that perfect place to go on holiday.
This guide has been compiled to help you choose a cool holiday destination that is up and coming in the European tourism industry.
Spain is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. With its sandy beaches, amazing coastlines and warm climate, Spain is an ideal place to visit for that relaxing holiday experience. Most people visit Spain because of the weather and the beaches, though Spain’s cities also have some fantastic architecture; one place that almost does not need mentioning is the Gaudi designed Sagrada Familia, a Roman Catholic Church which is only about 50% complete after being in construction for over 125 years.
If it is beautiful scenery that you are looking for and you prefer the combination of mountainous regions with sparkling lakes, picturesque chalets and winding streams then Switzerland is the place for you. Switzerland is a large country in everything but actual land size and for that reason, has something to offer everyone. The modern cities of Zurich and Geneva provide world famous restaurants, hotels and shops that will appeal to everyone.
If romance, culture, historical architecture and great food are what you are looking for, Italy is your answer. Once known as the capital of the world, Italy’s capital city, Rome, is today a cosmopolitan city that offers a very wide diversity of experiences. The Coliseum must be on everyone’s list of destinations to visit before they die, and it does not disappoint. Finished in 80 AD, the Coliseum was able to seat 50,000 spectators but now after a number of earthquakes it is partially ruined, though still a fantastic spectacle.
Although the next place is a bit of a wild card, it really needs to be seen to be believed. Croatia is a country that has been rocked by a huge number of wars over the years and thus its cities all show signs of previous destruction, but contrary to that, the countryside looks more like an untouched paradise. One place of particular note it the Plitvice Lakes national park which contains a total of 16 lakes, well-known for their distinctive colors which seem to constantly change with the weather.
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For most holidaymakers; the most important factor to deliberate on when planning a prospective holiday is the accommodation. What needs to be considered is not only the price, but a large number of factors that will make your place of stay as suitable as possible for you and your family. When planning a holiday or short trip to or in the United Kingdom, your choice of accommodation will have a great bearing on whether you will end up remembering that holiday for good or bad reasons.
The one thing that the United Kingdom is famous for can also be the reason why you end up disliking your holiday. Great Britain is famed for its picturesque countryside, its vast, rolling hills and its massive country estates; but that can also mean that some places are quite remote, with small villages that are long distances from anything resembling an activity or amenity. This means that you need to either get your own transport or research local public transport links.
If you are traveling to the UK on holiday then it is expected that you will be dependant on your accommodation being in close proximity to amenities. For this reason it is sensible to research the locations you wish to travel to so that you make sure you are not based in the middle of nowhere, with no transport links.
Whilst the cost of the accommodation tends to go some way in dictating the potential quality of an establishment, it should by no means be the only factor in deciding where to stay. Other things that you need to bear in mind are the amenities that the hotel or B&B offers, the propinquity to local services, restaurants and other attractions, whether the hotel provides activities and can arrange transport or tours or other services and also whether any promotions or seasonal discounts can apply to your situation.
Once you have narrowed down your choices, you must then spend some time cross-referencing the costs and services relating to each establishment. You best resource now is the internet; a quick search will not only bring up detailed prices and services, but also reviews and feedback from previous customers.
As with many things, if you spend time to research your options then you will end up with a pleasing and satisfactory result. When choosing holiday accommodation this is especially important as the experiences from that holiday you will probably remember for many years to come.
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It is hard to find an area of the world more steeped in history and culture than Turkey. In the last 20 years or so, Turkey has experienced a boom in tourism, and for good reason. As one of the beds of civilization and most ancient sources of lore, people flock there to see for themselves the sights offered to so many others before. Here is a look at Turkey’s best cultural tourist attractions.
No trip to Turkey would be complete without stopping by the Haghia Sophia Church Museum. At first, it served only as a church. In fact, it was the biggest church worldwide when it was built in the 6th Century. In 1453, it took on the role of a mosque and assumed its identity as a museum in 1936. A building that has been through the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire as well as many other historic events has much to display to its visitors. Another establishment that has ties to the Ottoman Empire and religion is Blue Mosque, Sultan Ahmet Camii. Construction of the mosque was completed in 1616 and was recognized as the most prestigious Imperial Mosque in the Ottoman Empire. One of its most spectacular attributes is the possession of 260 windows that provide an unmatched lighted vista.
Turkey also has some interesting geography, exemplified by the Cappadocia region. Found in central Turkey, Cappadocia is a plateau brought about when the lava from two erupting volcanoes converged, cooled, and rose some 3270 feet into the sky. As wind and rain sculpted the structure, weird fissures and valleys formed, creating a landform unique to Turkey’s boundaries. The world renowned Aegean, Black, and Mediterranean Seas all border Turkey, making for some of the most exquisite beaches found on the face of the Earth. Butterfly Valley, Akkum, Alanya, and Olimpos Cove are just some of these spectacular seashores.
Ephesus is an unbelievably well preserved ancient city that dates back to the 12th Century BC. It was central to religion and trade in the region, and during the Roman period, more than 250,000 residents called it home. It is noteworthy that the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was found in Ephesus. Don’t forget to check out the Odeon and Celsus Library while there.
Turkey offers a great deal of cultural history as well as sightseeing opportunities. Its significance in world history cannot be overstated, as it was part of the cradle of civilization. Because of this, and its lovely beaches, museums, and mosques, tourism in Turkey continues to thrive.
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Have you already started formulating your summer holiday plans? Have you considered Europe? Specifically, the countries in Europe with marvelous beaches? A vacation to Europe offers rich culture and plenty of history, but it can also provide some great summertime fun at one of hundreds of beautiful beaches and seaside towns. Here we will outline some of these locales for you to help you make the best decision for your upcoming holiday.
If you’re thinking about traveling to Europe in search of some of the best beaches, one country that has to be seen is Spain. A trip to Spain not only offers rich culture and history, shopping and mouth-watering cuisine, but miles and miles of warm, beautiful beaches. All up and down the Mediterranean coastline you’ll find a number of all-inclusive beach resorts with plenty of water and land activities by day, and a non-stop nightlife featuring plenty of bars and nightclubs.
Portugal is another country that is well known for its beautiful beaches and its summer time activities for the whole family. Just a stone’s throw away from Spain, Portugal features beaches in places like Algarve which is perfect for enjoying a day at the beach with your family-and a nighttime full of promise and adventure. Azores is another popular beach locale, with nine different islands, all offering great beachfront activities and plenty of nightlife. For a great beach holiday, it’s hard to beat the country of Portugal.
As you make your way across Europe this summer, be sure to stop in for some beachfront fun in the countries of Cyprus and Greece. In Cyprus, specifically the town of Kyrenia, you’ll be treated to magnificent views as you sit on the beach enjoying your favorite summer cocktail, and in Greece you can make your way to one of hundreds of majestic beaches on the Mediterranean coast. Both Cyprus and Greece offer plenty to do by day and a non-stop nightlife, perfect for the single traveler.
The countries of Croatia and Turkey, although not immediately thought of for their beaches, do offer many coastline resorts and activities for the holiday traveler. October is a popular travel month for the country of Turkey, as the warm Mediterranean sun allows for long, lazy days spent on the beach and a rich nightlife loaded with lots of things to do. Before you finalize your summer travel plans, be sure to consider Turkey and Croatia as must-see locales.
The all inclusive holiday has never been more popular, with travelers from all age groups taking advantage of the ease of this way of having a holiday. However, this kind of holiday is not for everyone so it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of an all inclusive holiday before making a booking. It may seem like the easy option with all the hard work taken out for you but there are some important things you will want to consider before going ahead.
– All inclusive generally means that you will get your flight, any transfers, board and food included in one package – many packages also include your evening entertainment. If you do your homework you may also find a deal that includes activities and sports, which is good for those who like their holidays to be active. The one price for everything payment is popular at the moment because many people are watching their spending and need to stick to a budget. With an all inclusive there is less worry about extra financial cost later on.
– An all-inclusive holiday includes all food and drink at the hotel you book. This means that the stress of finding somewhere to eat each day is taken away from you – it’s all there. This can be particularly useful for families with young children.
– Holiday firms have been going bust in the present economic downturn but you will find that many all inclusive deals are ATOL protected. With this protection you are less likely to lose out financially if your travel company folds.
– In the past all inclusive holidays have received bad press for being boozy and rowdy but their image has been much improved in recent years. It is now possible to get an all inclusive to long haul destinations making them a much more affordable option for people who would like to travel to destinations that are further afield.
– In recent years the cost of living in many popular European tourist destinations has soared meaning that it has become more expensive simply to eat out and buy a few drinks when abroad. With an all-inclusive deal you won’t be affected by the higher cost for your food and drink in local bars and restaurants.
– The exact location of your hotel may not be near a town or city with an all inclusive deal so check carefully the surrounding area near to your hotel. If you don’t mind staying put all holiday and you feel that your holiday complex will offer you enough then this isn’t a problem. If you like to travel about during your holiday then do work out how the cost of taxis etc for transport will affect your budget.
– Make sure you check out exactly what you will be getting for your money when it comes to the food and drink included in your all inclusive. Some hotels offer a choice of restaurants but others only have one buffet style restaurant to eat at. Be prepared for the possibility that you may have a somewhat narrow choice. Try to find out if you will also have a choice of international beers and wines – your deal may only include locally produced drinks.
– The final thing to consider is whether you really are the type of person who will enjoy the all inclusive experience. For some people having all the hassle taken away is the perfect recipe for a relaxing holiday in the sun. For other people they will find the terms and conditions too restrictive. If you are the type of person who prefers to be more spontaneous on holiday then this kind of holiday may not be the one for you.
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If you are faced with renting a vehicle, it is likely that you will have many questions about the process. Most of those questions can be answered directly by a vehicle rental company, but remember that each company may have a different policy than the other. In general, the most commonly asked questions include those relating to one-way vehicle rentals, where someone rents a vehicle in one city, drives to another city and leaves it with a different branch office of that rental company. Also, methods of payment and insurance are two other popular questions.
A one-way rental is when someone rents a vehicle in one city and drives it to another city, leaving it with a different branch office of the rental car company. Although policies vary from one company to the next on this particular issue, most vehicle rental companies do not allow this to occur. In some cases, that type of service is available on a case-by-case basis. The best approach is to plan your trip well in advance and start to make inquiries very early on in the process. This will increase the chances of successfully finding an opportunity to arrange a one-way vehicle rental.
Another common question relates to vehicle insurance. The vehicle rental company will offer to sell you insurance, or you can waive that coverage. If you do this, they may require that you prove that you have insurance coverage elsewhere. Each company will have its own insurance rules and requirements for renters so it is important to check into the extra fees that may be required before you sign a rental contract. It is also important to find out ahead of time what the process is in the event of an accident.
Other questions relate to the method of payment allowed by the vehicle rental company. Most will accept any major credit or debit cards, and will often require that you provide a credit card number to the vehicle rental company to keep on file. In many cases, a deposit is charged to this card, and then returned to the renter at the end of the rental period. This deposit is generally a safeguard for the vehicle rental company against damage upon the vehicle’s return.
Policies regarding one-way travel, insurance, and payment methods will vary from one vehicle rental company to another, and may even vary from one agent to another within the same vehicle rental company. These differences in policies may have much to do with the laws for the state that the agency is in, but often times there are other reasons for a difference in policy. Be sure to get answers to all of your questions before entering a vehicle rental agreement.
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For warm weather, culture and a lively varied holiday, you can’t beat Spain. Popular for many years as a tourist destination, Spain sometimes gets bad press for its more over populated resorts, however there are lots of great resorts you can visit in Spain where you can have a lively fun holiday, whether you are traveling as a family, a couple or with friends.
Salou in the Costa Dorada is a great destination for families and is usually an inexpensive choice. There are two sandy beaches here and the crystal clear shallow waters are perfect for toddlers and younger children. Salou does get very busy in the summer so it’s not the place to choose if you prefer a quieter resort however the resort has a cosmopolitan feel with a good mix of tourists from all over Europe. Salou is particularly popular with French holidaymakers and makes a great choice for a reasonably priced family getaway.
Sitges is a bohemian resort that is popular with gay travelers – however the resort is also a friendly place for all kinds of traveler including families. There are sandy beaches and clear seas here combined with a bustling and vibrant nightlife plus a great range of bars and restaurants to choose from. Sitges is home to an annual horror film festival and also a carnival – the old town is home to the Cau Ferrat museum which houses amongst other works of art several el Greco’s and a Picasso. Popular with the young, the fashionable and the artsy – Sitges is a unique one-of-a-kind holiday destination.
For a quiet and traditional Spanish family getaway Tamariu on the Costa Brava is the perfect choice. This quiet resort has sandy beaches and shallow waters that are perfect for families with young children. This is not the resort for you if you prefer the louder, busier resorts but is a great choice for those who want to experience a traditional Spanish fishing village resort. During the summer months Tamariu does become busier and open air seafront Catalan dancing takes place on Saturday evenings throughout July and August.
Sanlúcar de Barrameda is a small city in the Cadiz province in Andalucía. It is a popular destination for tourists and is famous for its cuisine, particularly its seafood and sherry that is called manzanilla. This seaside town is also well known for its beach horse races that take place in the evenings throughout August. This resort manages to combine beach life with culture, an historic old town and lots of seafood restaurants where you can try out the catch of the day and soak up the ambience.
Marbella is often described as Spain’s St Tropez and certainly the rich and fashionable seem to flock here in their droves. Marbella’s newer area has everything you would expect from a destination such as this; high-class restaurants, five star hotels, shopping opportunities and a cool night scene where you can dance all night if that’s what you want. However the old town maintains that unique Spanish charm with an array of historic and traditional buildings, independent shops and bijou bistros. One’s thing for sure you won’t get bored here!
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The UK is a wonderful place for a trip away, whether for a flying visit or a longer stay. An increasingly popular accommodation choice is the self catering holiday cottage, and it’s not hard to see why. These cottages offer you loads of freedom. You can come and go as you please without worrying about hotel rules or restaurant timetables. No one will mind if you don’t want breakfast until 10am or if you show up to eat it in your pajamas!
You also can also get great deals on the price. Most hotels charge you per person, which might seem reasonable but it often adds up to a huge amount once all the costs are factored in. Self catering cottages price their rents based on everyone in your party, meaning there are no hidden extras. If you’re looking to keep the price down, you can always choose a smaller property for a budget break with the same freedom you’d have if you spent a fortune.
Whether you’re looking to stay in a busy market town or a quiet, sleepy hamlet, you are guaranteed to be able to find a lovely self catering cottage that’s right for you. The choice over location is one of the best benefits of going with this option. Staying in hotels often means you’re confined to typically touristy areas, whereas going with a cottage means you can stay somewhere off the beaten track, experiencing life as it really is in the UK while getting a great deal on the price.
Wherever you’re from, a break in a self catering cottage is like living in a home away from home. You’ll have all your necessities taken care of, from bed linen to bins, from sofas to kitchen gadgets. It means you get to control what you do and enjoy a cozy, comforting experience that can often be lost when staying in big, impersonal hotels. Having your own space means that cottage breaks are truly relaxing and you won’t have to worry about being on your best behavior all the time.
Linked to this is the fantastic privacy you get with having your own space. You don’t have to watch what you do or say, and there’s no need to worry about people checking up on your every move. You’ll have a contact in case you have an emergency, so you’ll always have peace of mind, but other than that, it’s up to you what you want to do with your time in your self catering cottage. It all adds up to a great, relaxing, hassle-free holiday experience that’s adaptable to every need.
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