Travel Destination Search http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com Travel directory, guides Fri, 27 Oct 2017 17:49:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Why Goa should be your next Indian Adventure http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/why-goa-should-be-your-next-indian-adventure Fri, 27 Oct 2017 17:49:11 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=7113 Continue Reading → ]]> Whether you’re a sucker for a sandy beach, an international food lover or just a hippy at heart, Goa is just one of those places that ticks boxes with almost every traveller. For the location independent digital nomad its also a cheap place to call home for a while and immerse yourself in both Indian culture and that nomadic lifestyle you share with many other travellers. Beyond this there’s a few key reasons why we keep Goa high on our list of location independent destinations. Here’s just a few to wet your appetite.

The beaches

The obvious place to start when exploring a coastal region of India! But boy what beaches to explore! Mandrem beach is perfect for sunsets and is arguably one of Goa’s best kept secrets. No major parties here, just gorgeous sunsets and perfect for strolls along the beach to clear your mind. Contrast this with Agonda beach, one of the most popular with tourists. A great place to sunbath, try some water-sports, drink and enjoy your time in the sunshine. Baga beach ramps up the nightlife and is the place to get some of the best seafood in Goa too. You can also take a dolphin spotting cruise from here in the daytime and party until the small hours at night. Cavelossim Beach is another favourite of ours, a little more serene and peaceful.

The people

The local people of Goa are what really makes this area worth extending your stay. Friendly, helpful and accepting of tourists, which is lucky because they welcome some 50 million tourists a year! There’s plenty of opportunities to get to know locals a little better, explore their culture and traditions, their modest homes and beautiful monuments and temples. If you’re staying for a few months I highly recommend making local friends who will help you explore further, eat better and even avoid the tourist traps. The people are also what will make you want to return time and again.

The accommodation options

Being popular with backpackers and luxury travellers alike, there’s a fast array of accommodation options here. If you’re looking to stay for an extended period I recommend working with locals to rent a place at a negotiated rate. If you’re looking for a little luxury then check out the Alila Diwa, Goa hotel which boasts 153 rooms of luxury and some award winning cuisine too. You’ll find it in South Goa right on Gonsua Beach in Majorda and near to beautiful paddy plantations.

The food

There’s endless street food options and beach shacks serving all sorts of Goan dishes but for something a little more luxurious head to Pousada in Calangute. Boasting some amazing spicy seafood dishes accompanied by a beautiful sunset over the sea while you dine. Bliss. I’d also recommend trying Fish Thali whenever you get the chance. The ultimate spicy fish curry or you can have it with prawns too. great for lunch and usually only costs around £2, you’d be mad not to try it!
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Don’t Get Caught Out: Enhanced Airport Security Is With Us http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/dont-get-caught-out-enhanced-airport-security-is-with-us Fri, 27 Oct 2017 11:59:16 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=7108 Continue Reading → ]]> We’re in the age of technology. Many have some sort of electronic device whether it’s a smartphone, laptop, iPad, etc. The proliferation of handheld electronics has caused airports to strengthen its security measures. Here’s a glimpse at what’s been happening of late regarding Homeland Security and new measures for international flights coming into the United States.

What It Was Like

The Department of Homeland Security initially banned large electronic devices. These were for out of the country flights bound for the United States. But the ban seemed very restrictive and an impediment for the majority of those who pose no threat to the US. Recently, the ban has been lifted except for two airports in Saudi Arabia.

What’s It Like Now

While the ban has been lifted, those coming through security with electronic devices face much scrutiny. For example, electronics must be able to be dislodged from their carrying cases. Also, they must have enough power as to get turned on. This is to ensure the device is an actual computer, iPad, etc and not a disguised security threat.

What to Do

Canadian airports suggest that you keep your electronics loose to make it easy for safety officials to get to. Plus, as mentioned, any device that cannot be immediately turned on will face added scrutiny and may not make it on the plane. Get to the airport extra early if you have an electronic device and make it especially easy for the guards to get to your electronics.

Longer Wait Times

Officials urge that the added safety protocols will not influence wait times yet it’s best to get to the airport early. As the ban is lifted, the Department of Homeland Security expects each foreign destination to properly implement suggested protocols. That leaves a gray area regarding how well each destination will seamlessly implement the new rules and regulations.

It’s Up to the Airport

Unfortunate for some travelers, the DHS could punish some airports that don’t properly instate suggested safety precautions. Such failure to comply will result in a re-ban of handheld and larger electronic devices. This goes for airports outside of the United States, for all of those within the country have properly followed orders. For example, a person taking a flight from NYC to Arizona to stay at the Scottsdale Marriott will have no issues.

Practical Implications

It’s estimated that nearly 300 airports in over 100 countries are influenced by the regulations. This means potentially $1.1 billion will be lost in productivity due to lost time and increased scrutiny. 325,000 passengers on 2,100 flights per day would be inconvenienced. Some argue that terrorists and other threats to security will find other ways to get bombs and explosives on a plane, so punishing the majority isn’t a grand solution.

What’s Next

Only time will tell if the new implementations will cause a nuisance versus making people feel safer. It seems as if the foreign airports readily accept the new guidelines but are speculative about how it will influence the flow of travel.

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Most Popular African Safari Tour http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/most-popular-african-safari-tour Tue, 24 Oct 2017 15:21:06 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=7101 Continue Reading → ]]> Africa is an exotic destination and the one of the most sought after for adventure travelers, especially due to the vast variety of wildlife experiences available on the content.

We recently asked AfricanSafariHome.com what the most popular tour is for first time visitors and this is what they had to say.

First time travelers to looking for an adventure safari more often than not opt for the Cape Town, Kruger Park and Victoria Falls combination package. This gives the traveler an excellent overall feel for the incredible destinations and wildlife on offer.

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is located on the southern most tip of the African continent in South Africa. This city frequently ranks in the Top 10 most beautiful in the world and offers a large variety of attractions.

Cape Town is perhaps most notorious for the breathtaking Table Mountain that towers over the surrounds. Cape Town boasts several of the world’s most breathtaking beaches, including the popular Boulders Beach, where you can swim with the local Penguin population.

In addition Cape Town offers world-class wine estates, excellent cuisine, a great mix of culture and magnificent coastlines, great for whale watching and shark cage diving for the more adventurous.

The recommended average stay in Cape Town is 4-5 days and a wide range of accommodation is available, from backpackers to ultra-exclusive.

Kruger Park, South Africa

The Kruger Park in South Africa is home to more large mammal species than any other reserve in Africa, with more than 140. In addition to this it has more than 500 bird species, with over 240 resident species. On top of this abundance of wildlife, there is also a wide range of accommodation available, making it the best value for money wildlife safari destination in Africa.

Most first time safari goers want to see the notorious Big 5 animals, and all can be seen here. If you are unfamiliar with the Big 5, they are the elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard and of course the African lion.

The leopard in particular is difficult to spot on safari as they are notoriously shy, but the hilltops of the surrounding private game reserves in the Kruger boast excellent numbers of this incredible cat.

The recommended stay in the Kruger is 4-6 nights.

Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe

The Victoria Falls is the world’s biggest waterfall and a must-see attraction on your safari. Not only are the Falls themselves a spectacle to behold, the area has a wide range of activities for adventure seekers including bungee jumping, white water rafting, tiger fishing, sunset cruises and helicopter tours of the Falls and surrounding areas.

The recommended stay in Victoria Falls is 2-3 nights and there is a good selection of accommodation available, but 4-5 stars is recommended.

For more information on Africa and a selection of luxury safaris, visit African Safari Home and an expert travel consultant will assist you every step of the way.

A luxury safari for 7-10 nights will cost you between $5,000 – $10,000 per person sharing, depending on the time of the year you wish to travel and the level of accommodation required.

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Australia’s Most Scenic Drives http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/australias-most-scenic-drives Tue, 10 Oct 2017 08:36:41 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=7091 Continue Reading → ]]> Australia may be a small continent, but in the context of being a country, it is quite massive! There are so many different types of terrain along the countryside, like grassy fields, beaches, rainforests, snowy mountains, farmlands, and of course, the famous outback deserts. If you want to visit Australia, make sure to spend your time in more than just the big cities, or you’ll be missing out on an authentic and breathtaking Australian experience. That’s why a road trip is one of the most famous ways to travel around this grand and majestic country. Renting a car and cruising through the countryside gives tourists and locals alike the chance to see all the wondrous natural beauty that they won’t be able to see on any other continent.

Ready for the trip of a lifetime? Here’s our list of Australia’s most scenic drives.

Melbourne to Sydney

A road trip from Melbourne to Sydney should be your first goal. You have two major roadway options: you can either drive on Highway M31 through the inland or you can take the longer route by going on Road A440 along the southern coast until you must go north. The coastal route is the most popular though because you get to see the ocean, cliffs, and beaches for half the trip. There are so many beautiful coastal towns and national parks along the way that you’ll never get bored. You’ll see the Blue Mountains National Park and Wilsons Promontory National Park, which are both great family destinations, with tons of walking trails, campgrounds, and plenty of natural sights. You can also see the Australian Alps or visit Philip Island if you’re driving along the coast. And remember that if you need a little extra room, check out a van hire in Melbourne to take you and your family all the way along that route in comfort.

Australia holidays 2016

The Great Ocean Road

Probably the most well-known and beautiful routes in Australia is called the Great Ocean Road. People actually call it the most scenic in the entire world, so if you take it you know you’re in for a treat. The road is 150 miles long and begins at a seaside town near Melbourne called Torquay. From there, it goes all the way to the coastal city of Warrnambool. Along the way you will see Port Campbell National Park’s coastal cliffs, stacks of limestone offshore nicknamed “The Twelve Apostles,” Bells Beach, and Cape Otway National Park. Although you could make this entire drive in one day, you should take your time and enjoy these many once-in-a-lifetime sights.

Nullarbor Plain

If you’re in the southeastern area of Western Australia and want a relaxing road trip with a little bit of remoteness, them Nullarbor Plain is worth the trip. This large stretch of land is hundreds of miles long and is covered with limestone. There are no trees, buildings, mountains, or anything else in sight other than limestone and the open road. It’s quiet, a little bit eerie, but nothing short of spectacular. Be sure to stock up on food, water, and gas while you’re out there.

Passing over the Bass Strait to Tasmania

Most people forget about the Australian state Tasmania because it’s an isolated island 150 miles south of Melbourne. You’ll have to pass over the Bass Strait to get there but once you do, you’ll have so many beautiful sights to see on the island. There are many fast-moving rivers, rocky mountain ranges, glacial lakes, beautiful beaches, historic sites, and national parks. And if you’re lucky, you may get to spot the famous Tasmanian devil that is native only to Tasmania. You may also be able to catch the Aurora Australis, which are the Southern Lights. Best months to see it are in winter, between March and September.

With so many places to visit in Australia, you’ll never get bored trying to find a new road trip to take!

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What you should pack when moving abroad http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/what-you-should-pack-when-moving-abroad Wed, 27 Sep 2017 14:01:44 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=7086 Continue Reading → ]]> Moving abroad with your family can be a stressful, but exciting time. Whether you’re moving for a short time or for the foreseeable future, having a plan is essential. However, the biggest question is, what do you take with you? Cutting down your belongings to as little as possible is vital, especially when you’re travelling as a family. The less you must think about, the better.

Do Your Research

You’ll have already had a look around the place where you’re going to be living, but this will have a bigger impact on what you should take with you than you might first think.

The Climate

The weather and the climate will affect which clothes you and your family should take. For instance, if you’re moving to a country where the climate is generally warmer than the one you’re currently in, you won’t need to take all your big thick jumpers.

Don’t buy the clothes you need for your new climate before you go either, filling up your suitcase with clothes that you can buy there is a waste of time.

Take this as an opportunity to purge your wardrobe, as well as your family’s. You don’t really need to keep unused baby clothes even if you have plans for more children. Sell them, or give them to charity.

Think about your shoes too – get it down to two pairs each. Again, you can always buy more when you’re out there.

Conclusion: Take as little clothes as you can.

Your New Home

Even if you have floor plans, measurements and photographs, it’s going to be hard to re-imagine your old furniture in your new place. You might have sentimental items that you can’t bear to be rid of, or things that are investment pieces that would be a waste not to use, but if you ship them all the way to your new home and then they don’t fit the space, or clash with the aesthetic, you’re going to be very disappointed.

The key with your furniture is to sell or donate as much of it as you can, and the pieces you want to keep, put into storage. There they can stay until you’ve lived in your home for a while, and you can envision those pieces in your new home.

You should avoid taking any bedding, pillows or unnecessarily bulky items like this. It takes up valuable space, and it’s likely that the beds in your new country will be of different specifications to your current one.

Conclusion: Move with only basic furniture if you must. Look at Safestore pages on storage when moving home.

Electronics

Your electronics are important to you, we know. But most won’t work without adapters, so you have two choices. Either you take all your electronics with you, or you sell them and buy new ones abroad. The easiest option is to simply buy new ones abroad, then you won’t have to worry about items getting damaged in transit and fiddling about with adapter plugs.

Conclusion: Take only your laptop, everything else is too much hassle.

Toiletries

Your favourite toiletries may not be easy to find abroad. So think about what you can sacrifice when it comes to shampoo or skincare. For example, you may want to bring your sensitive skin body wash for your kids because they’ll suffer without it, or your luxury cleanser that you simply can’t live without. But if your hair looks the same whatever you use on it, then bringing shampoo might not be such an issue.

Conclusion: Only take the necessary essentials.

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5 African Travel Hacks when visiting Botswana http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/5-african-travel-hacks-when-visiting-botswana Mon, 18 Sep 2017 14:24:02 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=7080 Continue Reading → ]]> Deciding the best time to go

Botswana offers amazing wildlife experiences all year round, but when you decide to go will influence the kind of experience you have. While summer (December to March) is the rainy season, this is actually the dry period for the famous Okavango Delta, as the floodwaters can take as long as six months to reach it from the north. Not to say that this isn’t a good time to visit the Delta, as the lower water levels make some of the more elusive plains and islands easier to reach by foot or vehicle.

At the same time, the summer rains are performing a miracle transformation in the Kalahari desert – transforming desert into vast plains of lush green that attract scores of grazers, and of course the predators who follow them! This is a good opportunity to spot them with their cubs.

In the dry season, from June to October, wildlife flocks to the now inundated Okavango and is a spectacular opportunity for bird watchers, as the annual ‘catfish run’ takes place from August to November. In the Linyati region, this period offers the opportunity to see the rare roan and sable antelope, and even denning wild dog!

In fact, rather than deciding when to go, your best option is picking the time that suits you the most, and letting Botswana decide where you go.

Traveling with kids? Skip the Rover for the River

Game drives are an integral part of any African safari, and while adults love the unique experience that each drive has to offer, they can become a bit tedious for the little ones stuck in a hot, cramped space for several hours. Younger, fidgety kids may far prefer the completely new experience of experiencing Africa by boat – and Botswana’s Okavango and Chobe Rivers are probably the best place on Earth to do so! Chobe offers a range of different options, from larger charters seating up to 40 people (often complete with a bar!) to small private boats for hire which make for a great romantic trip for mom and dad.

Experience elephants, antelope, hippos and basking crocodiles to name but a few, in a completely new way! These trips are also excellent opportunities for bird watchers and aspiring photographers, or just taking in the magnificent sunset. Trips generally take place in the mornings and afternoon, and definitely deserve a spot on your Botswana travel itinerary!

Another great opportunity for kids are the ‘bush school’ experiences where little ones and their parents can be tutored in the ancient survival knowledge of the Kalahari San – like recognising animals by their tracks, learning how to find water in the desert and make a fire.

Pack like a pro

This is Africa, so your sun protection basics are essential. Take breathable long-sleeved shirts that will protect from the sun during the day and the mosquitoes in the evening! Depending on which season you travel, you might experience some evening rain – so take a light rain jacket or anorak. Closed shoes are a must have for bush walks. A good hat and sunglasses are also a great idea.

As with all vacations, it’s sensible to have a first aid kit, and because Botswana is a malaria zone, you need to make sure you get your malaria medications before you depart.  If you’re travelling anywhere by car, make sure that you pack plenty of water.

Getting about

Any night time driving out of major towns is a big no-no – the roads are unlit, and large antelope and various creatures of all sizes, wild and domestic, stray onto the roads all the time.  Investing in a good set of paper maps is essential if you are renting a vehicle or taking your own, as online options can be wildly inaccurate! Buses provide the best option for public transport, and taxis can be chartered out for the day relatively affordably.

Respect the residents:

You will delight the locals if you greet them in their native tongue of Tswana. Make sure to use a cheerful ‘dumela’ for hello, and ‘ke a leboga’ for thank you. If you’re wearing sunglasses, remove them when talking to people as a sign of respect.

Support the local economy around lodges by ordering some of the local food and have your washing done by the local ladies – in many cases this can be their only income, so don’t feel shy!

With almost a fifth of Botswana dedicated to wildlife reserves, Botswana is a precious place, and one of the largest remaining areas of true African wilderness. Treat the land and the people with respect and help conserve this remarkable place for future generations, and you’re sure to receive memories that last a lifetime in return!

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Winter Safari Activities Are Epic Here’s Why http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/winter-safari-activities-are-epic-heres-why Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:55:54 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=7074 Continue Reading → ]]> Although one may think the Winter season is the worst possible time to be out and about, exploring the bush in open air vehicles, we have some good news for you! Africa’s climate is a little different to your typical destination. If you were travelling to Europe, we would tell you to reconsider and change your winter vacation, to a summer one, right away -just to save you from turning into an ice block. But, surprisingly enough, most of Africa experiences warm weather all year round. So much so, you may not even realise that it’s in fact, Winter! This doesn’t mean scorching temperatures throughout the day-it sure does get chilly in the evenings, but we can guarantee your winter safari adventure is just as awesome as visiting in the summer- and perhaps even better!

Better for so many reasons, and it mainly has to do with the extra activities that one can do as well as the fact that there are fewer people and more wildlife! I think we can all agree that spotting the animals in action and experiencing the bush in more ways than one, is the aim of the game! So, while you can experience the bush from a safari van, there are indeed many other ways of experiencing it – which mostly depends on the weather and the water levels at the time. For instance, water safari’s at certain times of the year, are almost impossible-and believe me, you don’t want to miss it!

You see, Summer is, in fact, the rainy season in most parts of Africa. For Botswana and Kenya, for example; rains begin to fall from November to March. Winter, is the dry season and typically lasts from April to October. You may also want to note that Winter is the favoured time to see the great mammal migration in the Masai Mara, as they stream through, around July.

Depending on where you are, water based activities are never guaranteed during Summer even though this is the ‘rainy’, wet season, and we’ll tell you why. Rain water from the summer months only reach some parts of Africa much later on- when it’s Winter. So for example, the channels of the Okavango delta only fill up during April to October. While there is more water during the winter, it’s not falling-thank goodness!

Now, I bet you’re wondering what water-based activities I’m talking about. Don’t worry; it doesn’t involve swimming with deadly crocs and territorial hippos! It’s a lot safer and more exciting than that!

Boating Safaris

Not much compares to the thrill of a boating safari. The wildlife flocks in their numbers, to wherever there is water, making these safari’s extraordinary. You’ll most likely see animals coming to bathe, drink or just have an afternoon swim-it’s a sight you shouldn’t miss for the world- and let’s not get started on the spectacular photo’s you’ll get out of it!

2. Canoeing

There are a few places in Africa, such as Botswana, where visitors can canoe on their own steam, along certain strips of the Okavango Delta. While this sort of activity is not for the faint hearted, as there is no guide in the canoe with you, it’s an experience that allows you to get extra up-close and personal with the game that calls it home. This means coming into close contact with the likes of crocs, hippos, elephants and more!

Source: Wildland Safaris

3. Mokoro Adventures

If you’re wondering what on earth a Mokoro is, it’s a canoe, powered by a guide standing at the back, doing all the paddling for you. Much less strenuous and possibly a little safer than taking it into your own hands, because, well they’ll actually avoid the hippos and not steer directly towards them!

Source: Safari.com

Now, while those are the added extra’s when visiting Africa during the winter, there are a few additional secrets that we feel we should share with you- just to add the cherry on top!

During the dry season, the water is designated to certain areas, making it easier to follow and track the wildlife, as they tend to group in these designated, water-filled spots. Unlike the Summer season when water is in abundance, the animals tend to spread, making it a little more difficult to find them. Also, the grasslands and vegetation thin out dramatically, making it all the easier to spot the game!

You can thank us later, for all the insider tips we have shared with you, but for now, consider that winter Safari- you’ll be delighted that you did!

 

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London Off the Beaten Path http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/london-off-the-beaten-path Mon, 11 Sep 2017 11:47:02 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=7066 Continue Reading → ]]> Either you’ve seen all the traditional landmarks in London or you’re simply the type of person who is more interested in seeking out the unfamiliar, unusual, maybe a bit of the bizarre. For you, we have some spots in London that are fabulous but too often fly under the radar.

The Old Bank of England

Contrary to what you may think based on the name, this is actually one of the grandest pubs in London, a reincarnation of 17th and 18th century pubs, The Cock and The Haunch of Venison, that were razed in 1888. Masterful paintings decorate the walls ‘neath the most magnificent ceiling with sparkling, smashing chandeliers. See if you can score a table on the Mezzanine, so you can have a bird’s eye view of the happenings below.

If your interests run to the more macabre, there is a legend that the bank lies between Sweeney Todd’s barber shop and Mrs. Lovett’s pie shop. Believe it or not, as you choose, but try not to think about that as you enjoy your pie and mash—the dish you absolutely must experience.

Pie and Mash

Londoners have been enjoying pie and mash since at least the 18th century. Originally, the pies were made with stewed eels. Fortunately (or not, depending on your tastes), eels became too expensive many years ago, and you can rest assured that the pies are filled with minced beef.

Wilton’s Music Hall

Stop by for a performance. Plays, opera, puppets, classical music, concert and magic shows are among the offerings. It’s also worth visiting for a drink at the sumptuous Mahogany Bar or for a tour of the fascinating building that originated as an alehouse then went through its lives as a Victorian Music Hall, Methodist Mission, deserted warehouse and its return as a thriving arts venue on London’s East End.

Camden Market

The Market began in the 1970s with a small group of craft stalls. Today there are more than a thousand shops with fine handmade clothes and jewelry, handcrafted artifacts, unique gifts, and authentic cuisine from faaway places.

Chin Chin Labs 

Now why would we recommend you stop by a laboratory? Because it’s actually an ice cream parlour! Nitrogen ice cream to be exact, and like none you’ve ever had before. Your soft scoop is frozen with nitrogen right before your eyes. Ordinary flavors, such as vanilla and chocolate, are heavenly, but, really, go for the weird: Tiramisu Sundae, Wild Blueberry and Gin, or Sweet Cherry Pie Sun.

Chelsea Physic Garden

The garden was established in 1673 for training apothecary apprentices in medicinal plants. It is now a unique collection of more than 5,000 plants that are edible, medicinal or historic. It is also a serene environment for a leisurely stroll with perhaps a stop for afternoon tea at the Tangerine Dream Café.

Chelsea is a wonderful section of London to stay. It’s only 5 to 15 minutes away from any of the above (and even the more traditional) attractions, with easy access to the tube, buses and taxis.

Whether you’ll be staying for a while or taking a brief holiday, Home From Home can provide you with an amazing choice of accommodations. Their portfolio of more than 250 apartments and properties include the practical to the luxurious—something for every budget. The privately owned homes in some of the best neighborhoods allow you to live like a Londoner!

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Being a Royal Holiday Vacations Club Member: The Major Perks http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/being-a-royal-holiday-vacations-club-member-the-major-perks Tue, 29 Aug 2017 09:36:52 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=7061 Continue Reading → ]]> Sometimes the effort people put into planning a great vacation can become a major source of stress. Choosing where to go, where to stay, and how to make the most of a trip can take weeks or even months of planning. By the time you actually get to experience your vacation, you’re already wiped out by all the decisions you’ve had to make and cross-checking you’ve had to do along the way. However, it doesn’t have to be that when. When you trust Royal Holiday Vacations Club with your vacation time, you’re guaranteed a stress-free stay at any of Royal Holiday’s luxe locations worldwide. Here are just a few of the major perks of being a Royal Holiday Club Member.

Convenience

Planning a vacation for a single person, a couple, or a family can involve a lot of hard work. There are fluctuating airline and hotel rates to think about, car rental companies to research, and a lot of time spent trying to figure out the best deal for your money. As a Royal Holiday Club member, travel is simply. You’ll get to reserve a trip at locked-in, special rates for a period of up to 30 years, assuring you a quality getaway whenever and wherever you choose to go. As a worldwide service, Royal Holiday always offers customers a huge variety of wonderful vacation options, without the added hassle of having to calculate savings and overpay for hotels each trip.

Savings

When you invest in a Royal Holiday vacations has some of the best resorts in Mexico to visit, you’re giving yourself a chance to get in on new experiences each and every year for as long as your membership lasts. Not only that but with Royal Holiday, you’ll be able to choose your experience each year from over a hundred wonderful options worldwide. If you’re not sure where you want to go one year, you can always get recommendations from Royal Holiday’s staff. If you choose not to take a vacation one year, it’s no problem: Your credits will transfer over, and you’ll be able to save even more on next year’s trip. The Royal Holiday experience allows members to receive a number of flexible, transferable credits each year to be used at any affiliation location around the world. You can use your credits toward last-minute stays or family trips, and you can always give your credits to a family member as a gift.

Luxury Options

With over 180 destinations in 52 countries including Mexico, Canada, Africa, Dominican Republic, and Brazil, Royal Holiday offers a bounty of luxurious options for it’s over 110,000 members to choose from. Whether you’re interested in staying in a five-star hotel, setting out on a cruise, or spending time in a deluxe condo overlooking the beach, it won’t be too hard to find something to get excited about. Royal Holiday knows that vacations are an important part of your year and an important part of life. A vacation should be a time for joy, celebration, and leisure. Because of this, it’s important to Royal Holiday to offer their members a wealth of hospitality options all across the globe.

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4 reasons to visit the Isle of Wight http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/4-reasons-to-visit-the-isle-of-wight Mon, 14 Aug 2017 08:20:20 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=7055 Continue Reading → ]]> The Isle of Wight has been a popular British seaside holiday destination since Victorian times due to its stunning scenery and proximity to London. Being approximately 2 hours away from London means that city dwellers have quick access to some of the best coastlines in the UK and with an array of sights and sounds to experience there is bound to be something for everyone.

Here holiday cottage experts Blue Chip Holidays give us their favourite things to explore on this wonderful island.

Shanklin seafront

Shanklin, situated on the east coast of the island is one of the more traditional seaside resorts with sandy beaches and spectacular views.

Shanklin’s beach is perfect for a relaxing stroll or unwinding on a deckchair with a good book. Alternatively if you are a bit more adventurous why not try a spot of surfing or kayaking and when you’re all worn out why not try some great food and drink in one of the several cafés and kiosks, serving everything from traditional fish and chips to ice cream.

Shanklin’s promenade is filled with lively amusements bringing an array of traditional amusement games that the whole family will enjoy. Talking about family fun, the brand new attraction to Shanklin is Pirates Cove, a miniture theme park featuring an 18-hole crazy golf course, ko-karts, bumper boats and rollercoasters with beautiful sea views.

For more information about Shanklin click here.

Adventure Activities

With sites and activities across the island, Adventure Activities offers something for everybody, whatever your skill. Whether you want to get out on the open sea with a spot of paddle boarding or want to explore the island more with some bush craft then Adventure Activities can help.

The Adventure Activities Booking Centre and Activity base is situated in Afton Park in Freshwater and is open 7 days a week. This is where you can choose from nearly 30 land and water based activities across the whole island, so which one will you do?

The company can handle any size of group from smaller family groups to bigger groups including stag and hen parties.

For more information and to see the full range of activities on offer click here.

V-Dub Island

A must for all Volkswagen lovers, V-Dub Island is a festival that the whole family can appreciate. Running over a long weekend every August and in its seventh year, V-Dub Island features VW’s from all over the UK and Europe and music from over 80 bands, as well as an array of other activities to take part in.

One of the big events during V-Dub Island is The VW big drive; this organised event takes festival goers on a drive along some of the best roads on the island, ending at Compton Bay where the Run to the Surf event is held.

Other family favourite events taking place during this exciting weekend include the Show and Shine, where only the best VW’s will win and the cooking in a camper competition, perfect for all those budding cooks out there. Camping is available for those who are adventurous enough or you can stay in the bustling town of Cowes just 17 minutes’ drive away.

For more information about the festival click here.

Blackgang Chine

First opened way back in 1843 as a visitor attraction after a large wale skeleton washed up on shore, Blackgang Chine is reported to be the UK’s oldest amusement park. With lots of family activities to explore including life-sized replicas of Pirate Ships, Cowboy towns and Fairy Villages, Blackgang Chine is one of the premier attractions on the island.

When the fun gets too much and you need a well-earned rest you can choose from an array restaurants and cafes situated in the grounds and offering a variety of snacks from fish and chips to doughnuts and sweets.

For more information and to buy tickets for Blackgang Chine click here.

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Travel Advice for Machu Picchu, Peru http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/travel-advice-for-machu-picchu-peru Wed, 12 Jul 2017 10:12:01 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=7044 Continue Reading → ]]> It’s as much the mystery as the marvels of engineering and architecture that puts Machu Picchu on travel wish lists. For more than 100 years, scholars have wondered: Why did the Incans build this complex of buildings? Why did they abandon it after using it only about 100 years. Where did they go? And why was there no evidence of its existence?

In the summer of 1911, a child from a nearby village led American archaeologist Hiram Bingham (the real Indiana Jones) to a place where the walls, terraces, stairways and ramps were built into an ancient landscape. More than 150 buildings are arranged by function: city, farms, residences, royal housing and sacred.

The experts at South America Odyssey can answer all your questions and assuage any concerns. We’re just going to point out a few aspects of the trip based on our experience.

How to get there

The most popular way of getting to Machu Picchu is the bus from Aguas Calientes at its base, drivers deftly navigating the hairpin turns of the switchback road that zigzags up the mountain.

If you want about an hour’s hike, there’s a path up the side of the switchback road. Follow the shuttle bus and you’ll see the start of the path.

You can hike the Inca Trail that runs along sections of the roads built by the Incans. There are trails with various levels of difficulty. All require camping along the way. The 4-day/3-night Inca Trail hike is the most memorable and is also the most difficult.

When to go

The best time of day to begin your exploration of Machu Picchu is when it opens at 0600 and is less crowded than any other time of day (though still crowded enough—no way to escape that). The first bus leaves Aguas Calientes at 0530. The second best time is mid-afternoon when the other tourists are making their way back down the mountain.

The best of time year to go is April/May and September/October. October through April is the rainy season (although you can expect showers any day any month), and it’s most crowded in June, July and August.

While you’re there

 

Huayna Picchu looms behind the site of Machu Picchu. It’s a strenuous climb, but possible for anyone with an average degree of fitness. For many, it is the highlight of the trip for the breathtaking and all-encompassing view of Machu Picchu. A separate ticket is needed to climb and must be booked in advance.

The Sun Gate hike is an hour and a half, moderately difficult hike each way with stunning views of the site.

 

The Temple of the Moon, not yet fully excavated, is a 90-minute hike in the shade.

Intimachay is a hidden cave that you will pass on the way back from the Temple of the Moon. The Incans built a “magic window,” that lets light in only when the summer solstice and winter solstice occur (around June 21 and December 22, respectively.)

Assorted tips

Altitude sickness is a real possibility. It’s best not to drink alcohol nor exert yourself until your body has acclimated. Also, consume lots of water and tea. If you have medication for altitude sickness, silently thank your doctor and take it. You may be advised that chewing on coca leaves or drinking coca tea will prevent altitude sickness. Could be. I repeat, take the medication.

Layering your clothing works best. It’s cool in the morning and hot in the afternoon. No matter how the weather looks or what the forecast is, have a rain poncho with you.

The compromised ozone layer over Peru plus the altitude equals an extremely strong sun. Wear a hat and keep replenishing your sun block.

The best tip I can give you is to go. The huge numbers of visitors are deteriorating the site that has withstood nature’s onslaughts for more than 500 years. The day will come when not all of the site is accessible and/or restrictions will be prohibitive.

This post is sponsored by South America Odyssey

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Best Summertime Activities in Lake Tahoe http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/best-summertime-activities-in-lake-tahoe Tue, 02 May 2017 12:05:04 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=7024 Continue Reading → ]]> Lake Tahoe is nationally and internationally renowned and visited for many reasons. For one, the skiing and snowboarding is world-class, with several different resorts to show off your tricks in a half-pipe, or explore off-piste trails without limitations. For another, the diversity in activities is staggering in seasons without snow. Most of these have to do with the clear blue water and the vast, outdoor wilderness to explore. All of these factors explain why vacation rentals in Lake Tahoe are so popular: people don’t just come from in-state or in-country, but indeed from all around the world to enjoy the natural beauty on display in the Tahoe region.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the more popular summertime attractions without further ado!

Horse riding/camping

California is home to some of the best infrastructure for horse lovers. With miles upon miles of trails cultivated and maintained for hikers and horse riders alike, there are few places as friendly as the Golden State and its many parks for equestrians and their animals. Along many trails, you will find watering holes, areas designed to attach your horses’ leads to, and perhaps even a bit of food awaiting your horse companion, likely to be tired from carrying you up a mountain for miles at a time.

For those of you that love longer trips, the Tahoe region is home to organized horse camping groups. It works through an organized effort: folks will go ahead of the group with gear and food in tow while the majority of the group will ride to catch up with them. This caravan advances for several days or weeks over long distances, but the Tahoe area draws many of these campers just for its incredible surroundings.

Helicopter tour

For tourists who appreciate an aerial view of the lake, helicopter tours are offered. This showcases the vastness of the Lake – it encompasses over dozen small towns and points of interest along the perimeter – as well as the diverse topography surrounding the lake. The surrounding mountains are what makes for such good skiing in the wintertime, of course, and make for incredible eye candy from the sky. While it might lack in being up close in personal, it more than makes up for that in its sweeping overview of the region.

Water sports

As the old saying goes, “where there is water, there will be sports.” Whether or not that is actually a saying, it applies to this particular lake, where people come to jetski, waterski, sail, kayak, paddleboard, canoe, tube, and swim. There is even paragliding, an alternative way to get a bird’s eye view without having to rent out an expensive helicopter. You name it, that water sport is available for you to enjoy. The only exceptions might be those hovering water jets – although you could probably manage if you bring your own set of jets – and water polo, for which you would need to bring a whole team or two.

Mountain biking

The mountains are just used for winter sports. You better believe that there is a host of mountain biking enthusiasts who love climbing a mountain with their bikes and rush downhill as fast is possible, soaking up the adrenaline. The speed, the danger, vistas all combine for a heart-pumping experience not quite like anything else. The paved terrain that normally functions as a ski slope makes for a fairly clear, flat path, but for a real challenge do this in the uncleared territory for the mountain-biking equivalent of off-piste trails.

Hiking 

In sharp contrast to mountain biking, this most basic of sports can be some of the most refreshing and gratifying forms of interaction with nature. Few things are as satisfying as reaching the end of a challenging hike and seeing just how far you have come from the bottom, seeing all that progress you’ve made. Perfect to do in groups, with a partner, or even alone, Tahoe offers a practically limitless number of trails and areas to explore and climb on foot. There is wildlife such as bears to be aware of, but the relatively mild summers makes for a perfect climate for summer hikes of varying lengths: a day trip or several night-long trips make for memorable hikes.

Hot tubbing

As mountainous areas are wont to do, it can get a bit chilly at night, even in the summertime when it gets hot with the sun out. As one might imagine, this makes for absolutely ideal hot tube weather. It’s possible to enjoy the night sky, away from the light pollution of the cities, alone in an outdoor hot tub with a cold one in hand. Still, there is nothing better than doing this with a group of friends or with your family, admiring how the outdoor beauty can be seen in a whole new light at night.

The options for activities in the majesty of Lake Tahoe are only limited by your imagination, yet these tried and true suggestions are sure to be fun!

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Strasbourg http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/strasbourg Tue, 25 Apr 2017 08:50:46 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=7016 Continue Reading → ]]> The French-German connection is evident right from the start: Strasbourg = German strasse for street plus French bourg for village. We’re in northeastern France very close to the German border, touring the Grand Ile (Grand Island) section of Strasbourg. Unlike what we usually think of as an island, Grand Ile is the center of the city, which happens to be surrounded by the River Ile and the Canal du Faux Rempart.

From nearly every vantage point, we see the 40-story-high spire of the Cathedral Notre-Dame. We follow it as though it’s the north star and soon we are overwhelmed by the delicate yet imposing cathredral, a red-sandstone monument to Gothic architecture completed in 1439.

The exterior with the dramatic flying buttresses and grotesque gargoyles looking as fearsome as ever. The interior a kaleidoscope of color radiating from the stain-glass windows; the superb artistry of carved wood, such as the ornate pulpit; and the organ suspended in a “swallow’s nest.”

Maison Kammerzell

Across from the cathedral is the Maison Kammerzell, built in 1427 and justifiably considered the most beautiful home in Strasbourg. Its distinctive roof lines and old glass windows are impressive, but look closely at the intricate carvings of minuscule musicians with their viols and timbrels; kings, including King Arthur; and the signs of the zodiac.

At the western end of Grande Ile, we cross over the Pont Saint-Martin to Petite France—the “other side of the tracks” in the Middle Ages, with its odoriferous mills and tanneries, where tradesmen and fishermen lived. The half-timber, Easter egg-coloured houses remain along the canals and the cobblestone streets. Cascades of red geraniums spill from their facades. It feels like we are walking through the illustrations in story books. Along the canals are quaint shops with darling bric-a-brac and friendly winstubs (think old-fashioned English pub).

Alsace Wine Route

Can we be this close to wine country and not succumb? Of course not. Drive south from Strasbourg along the Alsace Wine Route past the forested Vosges Mountains to the picturesque villages and, literally, hundreds of vineyards. Sample the range of wines from the fruity to the spicy flavours, especially the world-famous Riesling and Gewürztraminer.

Something for the wine connoisseur, something for the chocolate connoisseur. Strasbourg is a primary point on the “Chocolate Way” that runs through Europe. The city’s upscale chocolate shops display chocolate as another shop might display jewellery. The Chocolate Museum tells the “secrets” of chocolate making in separate presentations for children and adults. Throughout the town, there are patisseries in which you can watch the chocolatier creating the latest confections.

While touring patisseries, sample the traditional Kougelhopf, a fluted brioche-type cake with dried fruits and nuts. Don’t scoff—this is not your great-aunt’s fruit cake.

For dinner or lunch, have another Strasbourg specialty, Choucroute Garnie, sauerkraut cooked with a glass of Riesling wine garnished with different kinds of sausages and other cuts of pork and served with potatoes. You can also get it with fish instead of meat. If you see “Choucroute Royale” on a menu, it is cooked with champagne. What a great way to top off your experience of Strasbourg!

We will spend the rest of our holiday at our “home base,”  Le Domaine des Bains by Yelloh Village, 40 miles from Strasbourg in the Vosges Mountains. We may want to rest for a while, take advantage of the pool and whirlpool bath, but we don’t want to miss out on the horseback riding and fishing. The village has been a fantastically economical way to work on our “bucket list” of French cities to visit.

Our guest Post on Yelloh Village

Check out our latest guest post on the Yelloh Village magazine blog.

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Reasons to Visit Nepal http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/reasons-to-visit-nepal Mon, 10 Apr 2017 03:37:02 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=7002 Continue Reading → ]]> There are the mountains that have challenged the best mountaineers and have often won. There are the trails, for both the experienced trekker and the day stroller, through a land of extraordinary beauty. There is the draw of the place where the Buddha was born and the essence of Buddhism permeates the culture. There is the wealth of fauna and flora. Discover your own reasons by experiencing Nepal with Asia Odyssey.

Annapurna Circuit

A trek through the Annapurna Mountain Range varies from 160 to 230 km and from 8 to 25 days. It’s up to how much time you have, your budget and your level of physical fitness. The trek is worth everything that you can give it, as you encounter stunning landscapes, subtropical and rhododendron forests, waterfalls, paddy fields, isolated hamlets and temples and monasteries. The Annapurna Circuit usually makes the “best trek” lists, often at the top.

The Kathmandu Valley

Not up for the Annapurna Circuit? Explore the Kathmandu Valley for a day or a few days. Travel at a slower pace along trails that provide panoramic views of mountains that stretch from the far west of the Annapurna range to Mount Everest in the east. Visit traditional rural communities to learn about the lives, history and culture of the people. There are many hikes available. A particularly easy and picturesque one is from Sundarijal to Chisapani, five hours of rock formations sculpted by nature, cataracts, waterfalls, exotic plants and villages typical of the Nepalese countryside.

Kathamandu

The capital of Nepal is a symphony of colors and sounds and scents. The market places are bustling with activity. The streets are jammed with rickshaw traffic. However, it is a joyous scene rather than the pushy, hectic one in other large cities. Veer off the main streets to see the artistry in temples filled with marigolds, courtyards with drying rice and the small workshops where artisans and tradespeople invite you to watch them create their wares.

In Kathmandu, the Swayambhunath Stupa (“Monkey Temple”) is a glorious monument to the Buddha with its brilliant whitewashed dome and gilded spire. Every piece of it is symbolic, from the prayer wheels embossed with a sacred mantra on the base to the 13-tiered “beehive” at the top. Four faces of the Buddha watch, north, south, east and west, a third eye on the foreheads symbolizing the Buddha’s omniscience.

Pashupatinath is a sacred temple of Hinduism, and as such, hundreds of religious rituals are carried out each day. But it is also treasured for its art (including statues made of stone, metal, marble and wood) and architecture (including examples of Dome, Pagoda and Shikhara traditions).

Chitwan National Park

In Chitwan’s (“Heart of the Jungle”) 932 sq. km of forests and marshland, you may see one-horned rhinos, deer, monkeys, crocodiles and more birds than you’ve ever seen in one place. If you’re very lucky, you’ll see leopards, wild elephants and sloth bears. If you hit the wildlife lottery, you’ll spot a Bengal tiger. Perhaps best of all, you can travel by foot or by Jeep or elephant.

Contact Asia Odyssey for information on all of the wonders of Nepal. 

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5 Things for Families to Do on the Great Barrier Reef http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/5-things-for-families-to-do-on-the-great-barrier-reef Thu, 15 Sep 2016 20:49:04 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6963 Continue Reading → ]]> You may think that the Great Barrier Reef isn’t some place you can travel to with small children, but there are plenty of family friendly options available. The whole family can have fun and explore one of the most exciting places in Australia and one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Since the Great Barrier Reef is so large, it covers so much ground and that leaves options for families wanting to see the marine wonders it holds. You can hire a Budget Rent a  Car  so that you can get to the different port cities along the reef in Queensland. Here are 5 family friendly options when visiting the Great Barrier Reef.

Daydream Island

Daydream Island is located in the Whitsunday Islands, an archipelago on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. There is so much on Daydream Island geared for kids and families like the white sand beaches and kid-friendly resort with plenty of activities that the whole family can enjoy. However, the big draw here has to be the Living Reef.

Great barrie reef activities

This is an outdoor man-made aquarium that allows guests of all ages the chance to experience the marine life of the Great Barrier Reef without venturing out into the deep. Instead, the aquarium features a shallow wading pool with over 60 species of coral and more than 100 types of marine life like sea turtles, stingrays, baby sharks, clown fish, barramundi, and more.

Glass Bottom Boat Ride

Great Barrier glass bottom boat rides

 

Each of the port cities along the Great Barrier Reef offers various different boating excursions out onto the reef. Most of those port cities have an option for a glass bottom boat ride where you can see everything under the water without having to swim in it. One thing that can be even better and more educational about a glass bottom boat ride is that the guide can tell you all about the beautiful marine life you are seeing and even point out some things you might have missed.

 

Island Excursions

Great barrier reef island excursions

Rather than taking a boat charter out to parts of the reef, many families enjoy using one of the many Great Barrier Reef islands as a base for enjoying the waters of the reef. Some islands, like Low Isles near Port Douglas are great for spending a day on the beach and the shallow waters surrounding the island. Other islands like Hamilton Island, Heron Island, and many of the islands in the Whitsundays have resorts on the island where you can stay overnight and spend even more time with the nature of the reef.

Townsville

 

Townsville

There are things to do in each of the major port cities on the Great Barrier Reef, but Townsville really has a great variety of fun things for the whole family to do. Here is a list of family friendly places to visit in Townsville:

  • The Strand, which has the Rockpool and a water park. The Rockpool is a saltwater lagoon where kids can play in the Coral Sea without having to worry about deep water, waves, or riptides. The Strand also features pools, cafes, restaurants, a recreational park, and a jetty.
  • The Tropical Museum of Queensland: filled with exhibits all about Queensland with a special focus on the wildlife.
  • The Billabong Sanctuary: A wildlife refuge 17 km south of Townsville that focuses on an interactive experience with the wildlife on hand including kangaroos and koalas.
  • The Reef HQ Aquarium is the largest living coral reef aquarium. There are different exhibits showcasing the Great Barrier Reef. It is one of the best ways to see and learn about the reef without getting wet.

Rainforests of Northern Queensland

Australia train journeys

When you visit the tropical north of Queensland, there are two amazing rainforests that you shouldn’t miss. The Kuranda Rainforest is near the port city of Cairns and the Daintree Rainforest is near the port city of Port Douglas. Both of these special places are a great way to show your children the importance of nature. The Daintree Rainforest is the largest and oldest continuous rainforest left on the planet. Things to do in Cairns include walking trails, boating, fishing, hiking, bird watching, and eco-tours. The Kuranda Rainforest has several attractions including the Kuranda Scenic Skyrail and the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway where you can see the rainforest from above the canopy. Then there is the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Birdworld Kuranda, the Kuranda Koala Gardens, Kuranda Riverboat Tours, and more. There is plenty to see and do in the rainforests that make a perfect addition to a Great Barrier Reef holiday.

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Travel-ready dresses that don’t compromise style http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/travel-ready-dresses-dont-compromise-style Thu, 18 Aug 2016 08:44:40 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6944 Continue Reading → ]]> Packing for an upcoming trip can be either the bane of your existence, or the pinnacle of your pre-vacation plans. If you belong to the mortified group of the former, you might want to listen closely. Packing for both short and longer trips can be a pain, and there are endless articles that provide helpful tips on how to reduce space, pack light, and travel smart. But what about your actual wardrobe? You may have already considered climate changes, durable fabrics, etc, etc, but what about pieces that are both stylish and travel resilient? Readying clothes for a long trip doesn’t mean you have to compromise your style. Whenever you shop always look out for online discount deals first as you might be able to save a few pennies! Check out a few of our favorite travel essentials below and let us know your tried & true tips for vacation packing!

Shirt Dresses

Ah, the ever-so-chic shirt dress. Parisienne women have mastered the art of the shirt dress by undoing it’s natural boxiness: leave a button or two undone, choose flowy silhouettes with relaxed fit all the way through. This is a staple in every international girl’s wardrobe for very good reason: it’s airy to wear, lightweight & compact to pack, washes & dries easily, and is layerable in a pinch. For long sleeve options, try a non-button down style to keep it from looking too stiff. A softer fabric with an effortless, asymmetrical hem keeps this look both summery and appropriate in colder temperatures. For short sleeve styles, a through & through button down option plays up the innocence of this look, mixing casual silhouettes with surprising, but understated, details.

What to wear on Holiday
Short dresses

 

Swing Dresses

Movement and comfort is non-negotiable when it comes to your travel wardrobe. Dresses that inhibit your ability to sit cross legged or scale a long flight of stairs should be left at home. For a dress that moves with you during the day and lets you play at night, opt for a swing dress with some of our favorite trends of the year. A now-classic lace-up is feminine, subtle, and never overdone, whereas an off-the-shoulder style adds a little bit of edge to an otherwise flirty silhouette. Try a simple tank option or a long sleeve with billowed bell sleeves for a hint of drama. Opt for light, peachy color palettes to keep this look fun and feminine. Whether you’re just taking in the sights, going on a cruise, or taking dancing lessons from the locals, a swing dress will withstand your full schedule for as long as you can.

Swing dresses
Vacation fashion trends 2016

Simple Bodycon Dresses

Simplicity is every travelling woman’s saving grace. No matter where you’re headed, make sure to pack along a simple bodycon dress in a forgiving, elastic fabric for breathability and ease. Neutrals are definite go-to’s as far as this form fitting basic goes, but stripes and palettes of grey make a great alternative to blacks and whites. A subtle deep cut with a low back or a trendy mock neck in a flexible ribbed fabric make this silhouette interesting and modern. Make sure to choose a dress that has a lot of give (and when I say a lot, I mean a lot) so that you’re not restricted or burning up from heat. Perfect for layering up or down for any season, any time of day, and any time zone.

Holiday wear 2016
Bodycon dresses for holidays

Mediterranean-inspired Print Dresses

No matter the destination, Mediterranean-inspired prints are making a huge comeback with its modern ditzy prints and mosaic patterns. Clean, yet intriguing, and ultra-feminine, this print catches the eye without blinding the viewer. Both short hemlines and floor-sweeping maxis look great in this print, and offer a diverse range of varieties! No two prints look alike, so go crazy with it! For starters, we recommend a classic oceanic blue paired with crisp whites, warm ivories, or subtle nudes. Try a simple two piece dress set in an elastic fabric that gives you some breathing room, or a breezy skater dress with intriguing cut outs and halter style necklines.

Female fashion trends 2016
Print dresses for 2016

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Golden circle tours of Iceland http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/golden-circle-tours-iceland Mon, 15 Aug 2016 06:43:48 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6637 Continue Reading → ]]> Iceland has always been high on our bucket list and it should definitely be on yours too! A destination with some amazing landscapes to check out, epic waterfalls, glaciers, continental plates and the occasionally quirky superstition too! One of the best routes to take which encompasses some of the best of Iceland is the “Golden Circle”, a 300km loop from Reykjavik.

Reykjavik

You’ll start in Reykjavik is this where the international airport is. We definitely recommend visiting numerous sites in the city like the old harbour in Hafnarfjordur town and Bessastadir, the presidents house. For great views of the city we recommend dining at Perlan. From here you can see Hallgrimskirkja church on Skolavorduhaed which stands proud over the city.

reykjavik

Thingvellir National Park

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Thingvellir is situated on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and definitely a must along the Golden Circle. Its also a centre of historical and cultural importance to Iceland and as been a popular tourist hotspot for many years. Situated right on the Mid Atlantic Ridge you’ll find Iceland’s largest natural lake here and plenty of fantastic things to do. Scuba diving is the latest craze here and at Silfra Lake you can dive between the tectonic plates of the Americas and Europe with amazing clear waters offering great visibility.

Thingvellir national park

Gullfoss waterfall

Iceland has many beautiful waterfalls but the 32 metre high Gullfoss waterfall is Iceland’s most famous by far. The Golden Waterfall offers spectacularly dramatic views all around as the water from the Hvítá (White) river cascades over rocks and down within the canyon that reaches 70m in height. You’re almost always guaranteed to see rainbows here and this iconic location is definitely one to tick on off your list. We’re actually luck the falls still exist as in the early 20th century English investors planned to damn the falls and build a hydro-electric power station. Its thanks to Sigriður Tómasdóttir and her fight with the courts to overturn a lease on the land that eventually the power station was never built.

Gullfoss waterfalls

Langjökull Glacier Ice Cave

Viewing glaciers from the outside is one thing but to get a whole new perspective there’s nothing quite like going inside! The Langjökull Glacier Ice Cave experience. Experience the deep blue ice for yourself through tunnels and caves within the glacier. The entire indoor complex is lit with a state of the art LED system from OSRAM too so the ice doesn’t melt from the lighting. Its an incredible experience and tours also include travelling over the glacier on specially modified snow trucks. This experience should be high on your checklist!

Langjökull Glacier Ice Cave

Geysir hot springs

For me one of the best stops along the Golden Circle is the Geyser Hot Springs where you’ll find the earth’s heat breaking free from the depths and bubbling up to the surface in boiling mud pits and amazingly dramatic geysers. The most famous of which is Strokkur which shoots water some 30 metres up in the air every 5 – 10 minutes. Its a fantastic site and no trip to Iceland is complete without at least one photo of this blasting column of water. There’s also a new visitors centre and exhibitions too which is worth visiting. There’s actually more than a dozen blow holes here but only Strokkur is currently fully active. The Geysers here have been shooting water in to the sky for over a thousand years. This is the place that did, after all, give its name to the famous natural phenomenon!

Geyser hot springs

The best way to visit this area is by renting a car at the airport and taking your time at each of the Golden Circle’s best locations. Travelling at your own paces gives you the opportunity to see the best of Iceland.

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Family Holidays in France – 5 Perfect Places http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/family-holidays-in-france-5-perfect-places Thu, 04 Aug 2016 09:21:41 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6931 Continue Reading → ]]> Thinking of a place that can be explored with the whole family? The options will be endless, but one of the best would definitely be France. From its vineyards to its museums, there are plenty of attractions that can be enjoyed by both kids and adults. Clueless about where specifically should you be heading? Keep on reading and we’ll recommend some of the best places.

Nice

The blue sea will serve as your dramatic backdrop when vacationing in Nice, a destination that will provide you with the best way to enjoy the French Riviera. One of the places that should be visited by the whole family is Place Rossetti, which is known for being exclusive to pedestrians. Kids will surely have fun experiencing a car-free city. The beach is also not to be missed, offering plenty of activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family. There are also many family-friendly festivals and events in Nice that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Nice

Paris 

Mention France, and for sure, most people would instantly think of Paris. This practically explains why the latter is the most popular city in the country, making it an excellent destination for families. The iconic Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame and Louvre Museum are just some of the attractions that should not be missed off your itinerary. Of course Disneyland Paris would also make an excellent choice for a place to visit. Chocolate tasting and bakery tours can also be considered.

Paris

Dordogne 

Adventure parks, caves, and castles are just some of the main attractions that you can see in Dordogne, making it an ideal choice for a French holiday if you are vacationing with kids. Around the Dordogne River, you can see medieval castles, which kids will surely find enchanting, comparable to what they can see in fairy tale books. There are also cave paintings, which are some of the oldest in the world. Looking for the perfect accommodation? Book a self-catering cottage in a charming village.

Dordogne

Les Arcs

When in France and if you want to see snow, Les Arcs is the best destination. This will surely be enjoyed by the whole family, especially kids. It is known for skiing, and hence, you can expect a wide selection of family-friendly resorts and ski packages. Even for beginners, there are many lessons that are available. There are also many mountainside restaurants providing vacationers with an endless selection of places to get a filling treat.

Les Arcs

Bordeaux

Many people would instantly think of wine when you mention Bordeaux. This is because the place is popular for its charming vineyards. Nonetheless, it can also be perfect for kids. Many of the vineyards have tours and packages that are inclusive of activities that are sure to give kids a good time during their holiday. There are also outdoor activities that can be enjoyed, such as a visit to a skate park or the many green spaces. It is also known as the 4th most bicycle-friendly city in the world, making it an excellent place to go cycling with the family. For villas in Bordeaux visit Olivers Travels.

bordeaux france

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5 Breathtaking Natural Attractions to See in your Lifetime  http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/5-breathtaking-natural-attractions-to-see-in-your-lifetime Tue, 26 Jul 2016 10:20:14 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6916 Continue Reading → ]]> Nature has its own way of leaving us in awe. All over the world, there are many natural wonders that will surely captivate your attention, including those that will be mentioned below. For sure, these attractions alone are worth going to the country where they are located.

Gorilla trek – Uganda

One of the most memorable experiences of your lifetime will definitely be meeting Gorillas in the wild while on a tour in Uganda. Its an unforgettable tour taking you in to the heart of the wilderness to see this amazing creatures in their natural environment. Gorilla tours are either 2 or 3 days and involve trekking and camping in the stunning National parks where you’ll meet local villagers and see plenty of other wildlife along the way.

Gorilla safaris

Cappadocia – Turkey

Picturesque – this is perhaps one of the best ways to describe Cappadocia. It is especially popular for its hot air balloons, which is the perfect way to enjoy its spectacular beauty. Many who have seen it have asserted that it is almost like another planet. The towering boulders and hills will definitely captivate your attention. When you see Cappadocia, it is like you are in a psychedelic dream, from which you never want to wake up.

The Blue Grotto Sea Cave – Italy

Locally known as Grotto Azurra, this sea cave is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Capri, Italy. Your experience will start as soon as you ride a wooden rowboat. Entering the mouth of the cave will surely be exhilarating. Inside, you will be able to see distinctively blue water with a silver reflection. If you see the pictures, it might seem like it is edited, when in fact, it is genuine. The colour of the cave is primarily because of the sources of light, which comes from two holes in the cave. If you are thinking of visiting Italy, why not stay in a villa? Visit www.bridgewatertravel.co.uk for more information.

Blue Grotto Capri Italy

Victoria Falls – Africa

Known as the largest waterfall in the world, and also one of the most beautiful, Victoria Falls is at the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia. Its length is more than a kilometre and the height is more than one hundred metres, giving you an idea of how expansive it is. The noise made by the waterfalls can be heard even if you are 40 kilometres away. There is also one part of it known as the Devil’s Pool, which is open only during the dry season. It will allow you to swim on the edge, giving you a different kind of thrill.

Victoria Falls

Ayers Rock – Australia 

Also known as Uluru, this is one of the most popular natural landmarks in Australia. More than just being a beautiful site, it also holds religious significance. It is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is another reason why it is popular. Based on recent data, there are at least 46 native animals that can be found along the area. It is part of the expansive Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park. To see everything Australia has to offer, it is a good idea to rent a campervan, check out Spaceships Rentals for more information.

uluru

Grand Canyon – USA

This US national park will surely leave you in awe. For those who are visiting, it is important to know that the busiest times would be from the last week of May through the beginning of September. If you are planning to visit, you have to choose the specific area that you would like to see – South Rim, North Rim, or Grand Canyon Skywalk. There are also several options for lodging and eating. More than just hiking, there are other activities that you can enjoy, including ranger training and cycling. If you want something that is more thrilling, explore the Grand Canyon while riding a helicopter or hot air balloon. Las Vegas is a five-hour drive away from the Grand Canyon, and is definitely worth a visit.

Grand Canyon

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Croatia: 7 Things Not To Miss http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/croatia-7-things-not-to-miss Tue, 26 Jul 2016 10:17:29 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6912 Continue Reading → ]]> For most people, Croatia is one country that is not on the top of their minds when thinking about new travel destinations to try. However, if you are looking for a unique country that is gifted with stunning beauty, this should definitely be next on your travel list. Keep on reading and we’ll tell you more about some of its best attractions.

Amazing Festivals

Croatia is known as an excellent destination for people who love to party and meet other travellers. Annually, it hosts large festivals that bring together people from all over the globe. Some of the most popular include Fresh Island Festival, Ultra Europe, and Hideout Festival. Most of its festivals are held in the summer on some of its most beautiful beaches.

Croatia festivals

Ancient Ruins

This country is steep in terms of history, and this is obvious with its vast collection of ancient ruins. Regardless of where you are in Croatia, chances are, you will be able to see ancient ruins. Some of them can be small churches and others are grand palaces. Make sure to have your picture taken with these ruins to have memories you will forever treasure.

Croatia ancient ruins

Delicious Coffee

If there is one thing that Croatians love, it would be their coffee. In fact, it is believed that an average person drinks about 5 kilograms of coffee annually. You can find a lot of quaint coffee shops, providing you with the perfect opportunity to have a taste of their popular coffee.

Croatian coffee

Whimsical Hvar

One of the best places that you should see in Croatia is Hvar, which attracts many tourists. This harbour city is home to a wide selection of waterfront restaurants. It is also famed for its vibrant nightlife, making it perfect for young travellers, or those who are young at heart. For more information on planning your trip to Croatia, visit Cyplon.

Hvar island Croatia

Charming Dubrovnik

This is another part of Croatia that is definitely going to be worth seeing. It is often touted as one of the most beautiful cities not only in the country, but in the whole world as well. It has a stunning architecture, wonderful beaches, and a rich history, offering tourists with an immersive holiday experience.

Dubrovnik

Secret Caves

Itching to see something new? Head over to the secret caves that you can see in Croatia. If you are in Hvar, rent out a private boat and it will take to to caves that are not yet as touristy as other destinations in the country. There is a green and blue cave, both of which will leave you in awe. For those who would like to test their adventurous spirit, cliff diving is one activity that can be enjoyed.

Secret Caves in Croatia

Hidden Beaches

Croatia has a lot of secrets waiting to be uncovered, and some of them are its best beaches. These are the perfect places for people who are looking for somewhere they can enjoy without the need to blend with the crowd. In the town of Cres, for instance, some of the best beaches that you can check out include Gavza, Beli, and Orlec, among others. Visit Exeter International for a list of even more things to do in Croatia.

Hidden Beaches Croatia

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5 Luxury Holidays to Try when Money is No Object  http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/5-luxury-holidays-to-try-when-money-is-no-object Tue, 26 Jul 2016 10:09:52 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6906 Continue Reading → ]]> To have a luxury holiday – this is what we all want to do at one point. Yes, it is going to be expensive, but at the end of the day, it will all be worth it. It will offer an experience like no other. If you are thinking of where to head for a lavish escape, keep on reading and we will provide you with some useful insights.

Stay in a Castle in Ireland

Ireland is one of the most scenic destinations. When you travel here, make sure to live the life fit for a royalty and do not just stay anywhere. Rather, stay in a castle. You will have a lot of choices when it comes to five-star castle stays in the country. From the interior to the exterior, these castles will give reality to your fairy tale dreams.

Luxury Tour of China

China is a huge country. Planning your tour can be challenging, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. Book a luxury tour that will make the preparations as hassle-free as possible. From chartered transportation to the service of an experienced guide, a luxury tour of China is something that should be on your bucket list; visit ampersandtravel.com for more information. To complete it all, you will have the chance to stay in a five-star resort where service is beyond what you can expect.

Luxury tours of China

Overwater Bungalow in the Maldives

When you talk about the most romantic destinations in the world, the Maldives is surely one that will be frequently mentioned. Other than its clear water, it is known for its lavish resorts. Here, one island is occupied by one resort. They have luxurious overwater bungalows; many of which are fitted with their own pool. From your room, you can jump straight into the clear water of the sea. To make it even more luxurious, you can enjoy butler service. This also offers the best in privacy as the bungalows are apart from each other. This will make the perfect choice for a honeymoon.

Maldives luxury holidays

7-Star Hotel in Dubai

Dubai is known for luxury travel, especially as it has one of the grandest hotels in the world – Burj Al Arab. This seven-star hotel stands tall over Jumeirah Beach and is shaped like the sail of a ship. Once you step inside, you will experience luxury in more ways than one. From the ceiling to the floor, you can see a lot of decorative pieces that are made from gold. They also have high-end facilities, such as a bar offering a commanding view of the surroundings. If you are considering visiting Dubai, check out dubaiholidays.co.uk.

7 star hotel in Dubai

Luxury Safari in Tanzania

Going on a safari holiday is common on the bucket lists of many people. For some, however, not just any safari trip would suffice. For those who do not mind splurging, Sasakwa Hill is one of the best destinations. It consists of four suites and can sleep eight people. It can be rented only in an exclusive basis, which means that all of the suites must be paid by the same group. It has an area of 350,000 acres. The best thing is that you can see elephants roaming and bathing just outside of the bedroom window.

Luxury safaris in Tanzania

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Best ways to get around London http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/best-ways-to-get-around-london Thu, 23 Jun 2016 11:24:52 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6892 Continue Reading → ]]> We love London, its a fantastic city with so much to offer, but it can be quite a daunting place to get around. Even as a local its taken me years to finally master “The Tube” and even longer to get my head around the bus system. So with this in mind I thought I’d put together a guide to help you make the most of your trip to London and the best ways to get around. Your time is valuable so here’s some useful tips for you.

Pre-book your airport transfer

Hotel or apartment all booked? Flights booked? great! What about your airport transfer? No? Well you could leave it until you get to the airport but you’ll be jetl-agged, probably a bit disorientated and really not in the mood to be fighting with queues and train stations either. First impressions of any destination are vitally important so I high recommend you book your airport transfer from a service like this one. You can do it all online and pay beforehand too, this means no worries when you arrive, your luxury driver will be waiting for you and take you directly to your accommodation. There is no better (or easier) way to start your trip and it can make all the difference.

Pre book airport transfer

Get an Oyster Card

The subway system in London is extensive and a great way to get around to all the major landmarks worth seeing, it is also quite expensive too partly because its so old and needs a lot of maintenance. There is one simple way to making zipping around London a little cheaper an a little easier. On your first trip be sure to pick up an Oyster Card at the station and top it up with at least £20 of  credit. You’ll need a card each but this will allow you to tap in and tap out at any stations, paying instantly without the need to worry about buying tickets. If you have a new iPhone you can also use Apple Pay to instantly pay for your ride too.

How to get around London

Don’t be afraid to walk

Its amazing how many tourists look at the underground map and think that the landmarks they want to visit are far enough away to warrant a train ride. Even I thought this in the past until I started walking central London. Everything from Piccadilly Circus to Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace and Covent Garden, not to mention walking along the Thames and visiting St Pauls are all very walkable. The land is flat and easy to walk if you have the right shoes on. Its only 5 to 10 minutes walk between plenty of major landmarks, about the time it would take you to go down in to the underground, wait for a train, complete your journey and venture back up to ground level! So save yourself the price of a train ticket and get some exercise!

Walking around London

Taxis can save you time

While they are the most expensive mode of transport in the city centre, they are also a good way of zipping to destinations that don’t have tube stations or are within walkable distance. They’re also a good way to meet local cabbies who have plenty of tips for tourists. I’d use the taxis in London sparingly as costs can soon ramp up but they are an iconic part of the city’s tourism so well worth at least one journey in the most British of vehicles.

London black cab taxi

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Maldives for the perfect Honeymoon destination http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/maldives-perfect-honeymoon-destination Tue, 14 Jun 2016 13:26:18 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6880 Continue Reading → ]]> Are you a newlywed couple that’s looking for an exotic destination to unwind and enjoy your honeymoon? If you’re looking for the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Maldives is the place for you.

From the brilliant and untouched white sandy beaches to the sparkling aquamarine lagoons, Maldives provides a perfectly romantic setting for spending your long awaited honeymoon. The calm serenity of the islands is the perfect place to celebrate your marriage and begin your life together, read on as we explore why the Maldives should be at the top of everyone’s honeymoon list.

Distraction Free

With an archipelago of islands covering the entire landscape, Maldives is a tropical heaven that is beautifully endowed with dense rainforests, breath taking coral reefs and deep caves that can make for a perfect escape from the noise of the city. You can enjoy the spectacular views of the islands’ surrounding lagoons and even take a walk through the dense yet peaceful forests. Other activities for you to indulge in include beach picnics, scuba diving, hiking, horseback riding, deep sea fishing, and sailing to name just a few. Its also the place to see the beautiful Blue Tang fish from the movie Finding Dory. Maldives really does tick all the boxes when it comes to privacy, relaxation and the luxurious comfort you’ve been dreaming of.

History and Unique Culture

Maldives is a premier honeymoon destination not only because of its natural beauty, but also because of its major historic landmarks. Pre-historic Buddhist temples and amazing archaeological landmarks that date back centuries will take you back in time to reflect on the rich history of the islands. Maldives’ culture is also distinct and you can experience that when you visit the Old Friday Mosque in Male. Built in 1658, this Mosque has been in continuous use since it was built and has a reported capacity of 10,700 people.

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Luxury Resorts and Hotels

Another amazing thing about travelling to Maldives for honeymoon is that you have the opportunity is spending your holiday in resorts and spas of the highest quality. Many resorts have their own private section of beach, private gardens, Jacuzzis and sunset pool villas, all of which add to the relaxation and enjoyment of your overall experience. The hotels also offer amazing food choices, including buffets and traditional island barbecues.

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Important Things to Consider When Going on a Honeymoon in Maldives

When planning for a couple’s honeymoon to Maldives, there are a number of things that you need to consider to ensure it’s a once in a lifetime experience. That means you need to know the most convenient resort to stay in and how to get around. While in Maldives always remember to:

  • Use the ferry system to get around different Maldives islands
  • Confirm everything regarding the inclusions and exclusions of the resort you are staying
  • Monitor your bill during your stay to avoid surprises when checking out
  • Choose a resort that is found in a hidden or protected location if privacy is among your top priorities
  • Eating at the local restaurants can help you save lots on money while on your honeymoon

After tying the note and making promises that bind you together, you need to take time away from home to be with each other and celebrate your marriage. A honeymoon is a special time where you can bond more with your loved one, so it’s important that you have an unforgettable experience. The place you spend your time will have a key role in determining your enjoyment, so choose wisely!

The Maldives are one of the exclusive honeymoon destinations that you should definitely consider. From the amazing islands with beautiful lagoons, to major pre-historic sites and luxury resorts, the experiences you’ll have in Maldives are incomparable. No honeymoon package is cheap, and with the Maldives it’s likely that you’ll spend slightly more. However, the quality of accommodation mixed with unrivalled privacy and weather makes it all worth the money.

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Visiting Malang in Indonesia. What to see and do http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/visiting-malang-in-indonesia-what-to-see-and-do Wed, 11 May 2016 14:26:51 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6868 Continue Reading → ]]> There are plenty of awesome places to visit in Indonesia thanks to the thousands of equatorial islands and massive population. One city worth adding to your itinerary is the Malang, one of the biggest in eastern Java. Its popular with both locals and tourists thanks to its variety of historic landmarks, culturally important venues and a wealth of tourist activities to get involved in to. So here’s my short guide to Malang and why you should visit.

Things to see

The’s a couple of really obvious reasons to come here, it’s the gateway to the two volcanic mountains on the island. Mount Semeru and mount Bromo. The first being some 3,676 m tall and fairly active too, its last eruption was in 2015. While mount Bromo is is the little brother at 2,329 m high but even more active having last erupted in early 2016. There are plenty of activities taking you closer to both of them, most of which start and end at Malang so for the best deals on treks and tours you’ll find many of them at hotels and tour operators in the city.

What to see in Malang Indonesia

One of my favourite places to visit in Malan is Ijen Boulevard where you can take a stroll and do some people watching amongst the old colonial buildings. Bouyain villa is well worth checking out and there’s an old catholic church here too making this early a wealth of history and an education in to Indonesia’s past. There’s also Singosari Temple located in the north of Malang which is one of the best preserved Hindu temples on the island of Java, dating back to the 14th century. Its a short taxi ride away and well worth checking out. If temples are your thing then be sure to visit Badut, Kidal and Jago templates.

Malang temples to see

Where to stay

There’s plenty of accommodation options thanks to the city being both of local importance and a tourist hotspot. For the best deal I recommend an easy online hotel booking for the most value for money and to book ahead. Check out one hotel worth a mention, the Swiss Belinn Malang hotel as its perfectly located for major tourist attractions and easy to get to from the city airport too. They have all the facilities you’d want from a city hotel and at a very reasonable price too.

Malang best hotels

How to get there

The city airport, Abdul Rachman Saleh, is mostly domestic flights from major islands and serving the capital of java too. There’s plenty of competition here so you should be able to find a good price and flying at a time that suits you. There are plenty of other transport options available depending on where you’re coming from. If your flight comes in to Surabaya Juanda Airport its around a 2.5 hour drive to Malang. From Jakarta there are plenty of use services usually running overnight and trains from both Jakarta and Bandung too. The station in Malang is also very central so its a great option if you plan on saving some money and getting right to the heart of the city.

Malang Station

 

Once you’re in Malang much of what you’d want to see is fairly walkable but there’s plenty of cheap transport to get you places. Look out for the “Mikrolets” which are minivans picking up random passengers and usually costs about 16p (about 25 cents) to get you anywhere! Definitely the best way to get round if your feet are sore.

Mikrolets in Malang Indonesia

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Should I take my smartphone on holiday? http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/should-i-take-my-smartphone-on-holiday Fri, 15 Apr 2016 15:45:46 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6859 Continue Reading → ]]> I remember when I first started travelling backpacking was all about the simple life. Anyone caught travelling with a laptop or even a mobile phone was considered a “flash packer” and wasn’t entering in to the spirit of the travel adventure! Of course these days things have moved on somewhat and I can’t imagine any backpacker, independent traveller or holidaymaker not travelling with at least their smartphone, maybe their tablet too and quite often a laptop as well! Rather than diminish the travel experience I’m a firm believer that the smartphone especially has enriched travel in so many ways, empowering us to do more and make the most of our travel experiences. So here’s a few reasons why I think your smartphone is your best travel companion.

Easy to book hotels, flights and more

Travel doesn’t always go smoothly, sometimes flights get cancelled, hotels get overbooked or aren’t as nice as you’d hoped for, trains needed booking or you simply need to know the local bus timetable to help you get around. All of this is now instantly at your finger tips, no wasting time walking around town trying to find a tourist information office to help you get that info. If a crisis occurs you can simply perform a quick search and get your travels back on track. This has been the case for me a number of times now and the day was far from ruined all thanks to making a few quick searches and secure bookings online. I remember well my experiences before I had my smartphone with me when I’d waste a day or more trying to sort out another hotel, or a train ticket out of a city, even a new flight because of illness. It was hellish before the smartphone and wifi came along. Now its an absolute god-send. For this reason alone you should always have your smartphone with you. It just my save your bacon!

Smartphone apps for travel bookings

Helps your relax more

I’m just not one of those people who can lay on a sun bed and stare at the sky or 8 hours of a day. I appreciate relaxing times as much as active excursion days but I find I need distractions to keep me in one place. While I enjoy the odd book that’s just one possible medium I could consume. Now that the smartphone is so powerful and storage is so huge its incredible to think how much I can do from the comfort of my sun lounger. I can play the latest games on my phone, even mobile bingo games, I can catch up with friends back home, write in my travel journal, even watch a movie if I want. Its all right there, relieving the boredom whenever I want. It really has helped a guy like me relax and unwind when I’m on a beach holiday. Slowing down and getting in to the chilled way of life has been made all the more easy now that I have a phone full of distractions. My smartphone is now my meditation tool as much as anything else!

beach relaxation with a smartphone

Keeping in touch

While this is an obvious one for a phone it can’t be overlooked, not just for keeping family and friends entertained with photos of last night’s dinner, but also for the countless times smartphones have let loved ones know you’re ok. Bad things happen everywhere, natural disasters, terrorism, even just acts of crime that make the international news. I’ve been on numerous trips where just a simple message to let loved one’s know I wasn’t anywhere near some catastrophic event makes carrying my smartphone around with me all the more worthwhile. Indeed this has been the case for many other travellers, most notably in Paris and Belgium recently but also the earthquake in Nepal and Japan. Not only that but twitter has become the go-to platform for learning about an event that may have an impact on your travels. I was in the Philippines in 2012 when an earthquake struct as I was waiting for a ferry to another islands. Twitter was the best place to go to find instant reports of Tsunami warnings and aftershocks. It helped me make better judgement calls as quickly as possible and also reschedule my travels after all the ferries were cancelled.

Should i take my smartphone on holiday?

The smartphone has changed our lives in many ways but its changed travel for the better in many more! Whether its keeping in touch when it matters, trying to relax instead of stressing or re-arranging your travel plans last minute. No device has ever had such a useful impact on travel.

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Where to go in England this year http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/where-to-go-in-england-this-year Fri, 15 Apr 2016 14:40:56 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6852 Continue Reading → ]]> There’s an amazing array of fantastic things to do in England this year. Sure to suit all types of traveller, all ages and all preferences too. There’s so much in fact it can be hard to pick some highlights especially if your time here is short but sweet. So with that in mind I’ve picked a few weird and wonderful things to consider for your trip to England this year.

West End

Lets start in the heart of London, the most likely place at the top of your list. There’s so many places to go in London but the sparkling West End is where its really at. One of the most famous theatre districts in the world, you’d be mad not to take in a show here. Some plays have been running for decades like the multi-award winning “Phantom of the Opera” which is a must for any theatre lover. There’s also critically acclaimed new productions like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” which are well worth checking out. Tickets usually start at around £50 for a half decent seat. You can get cheaper tickets by turning up on the day and searching for a little box office shop. You’ll find a few around Leicester Square and you can pick up a last minute bargain. Well worth it if you don’t mind what you go and see. The surprise is part of the fun!

West end theatre cheap tickets

Oxford

An easy day trip out of London to one of the most historic cities in the country. Oxford is famed for its abundance of amazing colleges that make up Oxford University. There’s plenty to walk around and admire in the centre of the city, very easy to get to with a number of park & ride services if you’re driving there. With a city filled with students there’s a great atmosphere here and lots of wonderful pubs to enjoy a pint at too! Take in a walking tour, usually run by local students trying to make a little extra cash, they’ll retail you with stories of pranks played between colleges and strange initiation ceremonies that seem to get all the weirder with each passing year. You can also see a number of movie set locations such as Christchurch’s college where some of the scenes of Harry Potter were filmed. Be sure to take your camera to Oxford as its a beautiful place!

Where to go in England?

Stratford Upon Avon

Another easy day trip and you’ll be in Shakespeare’s birthplace, where you can actually visit his family home and gardens. Its right in the centre of town and very walkable. A ticket here also gets you access to a number of other equally historic buildings dotted around. On a sunny day this place is beautiful and bustling with appreciative tourists. You’ll see performances of Shakespeare’s plays happening all around you and at his family home you can even request your favourite scene from any of his masterpieces. There’s also boat trips and plenty of great places to eat with gorgeous views of the waterways.

shakespeare birthplace

Cotswolds

An area of outstanding natural beauty if a bit of an understatement when it comes to the Cotswolds of England. Its towns and villages here are routinely voted the most beautiful in England and again its an easy day trip out from London. The most famous village here is “Bourton-on-the-water” where plenty of excursions end up. This working village looks more like a hollywood set than home to some 3,000 locals but don’t be fooled by the twee exterior. There’s lots to do here including meeting England’s only King Penguins at Birdland or checking out the Motor Museum where the 90s’ kids TV show “Brum” was filmed. There’s some beautiful market towns worth visiting too like Stow-on-the-Wold and Buford. All easy to get to and filled with beautiful buildings made from Cotswolds Stone.

Cotswolds day trips

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How to survive long travel days http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/how-to-survive-long-travel-days Fri, 15 Apr 2016 13:12:17 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6846 Continue Reading → ]]> While travel is an exciting and adventurous prospect, the reality is that during your travels there will be moments of boredom and tedium. These usually happen when you’re travelling between destinations on planes, trains, cars and boats. The slower the travel the more hours you may have getting there and these travel days can drive you nuts. There are of course plenty of ways you can make your journey more enjoyable and relief the boredom. I’ve asked a number of friends what their tips are for passing the time. Here’s what they had to say.

Write a book! Don’t read one!

This is an interesting prospect, I know many who say reading is relaxing but if you’re like me you’ll often find reading, especially long journeys, can be tiring, both on the brain and propping up that book for hours on end! This was until a friend of mine said “Well you’ve always wanted to write a book, why not start when you’re bored?”. They say we all have at least one novel inside us so take a notepad and a pen and use this time wisely to start jotting down ideas for your book. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece from day one, in fact all good writers say your first draft will go straight in the bin! But using this time to flesh out plot lines, character traits, twists and turns can be a very rewarding experience. You’ll soon find an idea for a book coming to life and you can of course stop whenever you just want to look out the window and get some more inspiration.

Start your first novel

Play games

Its an oldie but a goodie! Travelling especially on long train journeys is a great time to play some games with friends and usually have a good laugh in the process. These days there’s even more games at your finger tips as we all carry our smartphones around with us, packed full of gaming opportunities. You could look out for bingo sites if a game of chance takes your fancy, or try the latest video game blockbusters. There’s also plenty of multi-player games these days so you don’t have to be that guy with his eyes glued to his phone the whole time. Just remember to bring a charging brick to keep your phone topped up on power! Whatever game you decide to play you’ll be surprised how quickly time passes when you’re having fun! Be sure to bring a pack of cards with you, probably the most versatile of any game you can carry!

Playing games on the train

Meet new people

It almost sounds too obvious but you’d be surprised how many people don’t see mass transport as a chance to meet people and learn new things. In reality there are plenty of people on cruise ships, scenic train routes and even buses who are all doing the same travel you’re doing, all from different walks of life and all probably thinking they’d like to spark up a conversation too. So don’t be shy, say hello to your travel neighbours and share your life experiences. I know countless people (including myself) who have made friends for life by simply saying hello. Remember most people in the world are friendly, generous and happy, you never know you might just discover something you never knew before, all thanks to your fellow travel buddies.

Make friends when you travel

I’d love to hear your tips for making the most of long travel days. What do you do to keep sane? Who have you met and what games did you play too? Leave a comment below.

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Great reasons to visit Singapore http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/great-reasons-to-visit-singapore Fri, 15 Apr 2016 12:23:34 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6832 Continue Reading → ]]> Singapore has fast become one of the world’s most influential little islands, spanning some 70 square miles its key location in Asia has made it one of the world’s busiest ports and a financial hub for almost every bank around the world. With over 5 million residents and an impressive expat community of over 1 million its no surprise there is plenty to see and do here. Once considered just a connecting flight destination, somewhere you may only spend 24 hours, now its become a tourist hotspot in its own right. So here’s my pick of the top reasons you should visit Singapore for your next holiday.

Sentosa Island

There’s a number of islands around Singapore but none more colourful and exciting than Sentosa, just a short monorail ride away, or a quick cab, a cable car ride or even an easy walk. However you get there you’ll be greeted with a multitude of amazing tourist attractions that are not to be missed. Whether you’re looking for rollercoaster rides at Universal Studios Singapore, or sunbathing on the beach and enjoying one of the many beach side bars.

Universal Studios Singapore

There’s even a golf course on Sentosa and my favourite tourist attraction of them all, S.E.A Aquarium, the world’s largest aquarium until only recently.

SEA Aquarium SingaporeFeaturing over 100,000 species of marine life and some truly mind blowing tanks of enormous size. You’ll not only learn more about the water world around us but also have ample opportunities to take some impressive photos of the tanks and the incredible creatures within them. For the super rich there’s even hotel rooms with windows in to the largest of the tanks.

World class casinos

Singapore has only recently embraced casinos and one of which has become the most iconic building in Singapore. The Marina Bay Sands complex stands in the heart of the city towering over the Marina bay area and the CBD. 3 towers contain the hotel rooms with a bridge that looks something like a boat perch on top of them, it hosts the world’s highest infinity pool with insanely cool views of the city below.

best Infinity pool in the world

It also has a very elegant casino that boasts both games popular in Asia and western countries. Be prepared to part with your hard earned cash here and remember the house always wins. My advice is to brush up on a the rules of as many games as you can and get in to the casino mindset before entering. Even play mobile bingo to help get you in the mood and set yourself a budget so you don’t spend all your holiday money. You’ll also find a casino on Sentosa Island right next to the Aquarium and Universal Studios.

Marina Bay Sands

Incredible cuisine

Singapore’s relatively affluent population means there’s no shortage of fine dining options all over the city. Some of the world’s leading chefs call Singapore home, at least for now, and you’ll find fusions left right and centre, on nearly every street in central Singapore. I can highly recommend eating at Labyrinth inside Esplanade Mall. Don’t let its shopping mall location put you off, this is an incredible award winning restaurant with a meal unlike anything you’ve ever had before.

Labyrinth Singapore

Clifford Pier also offers some of the best views in town and is an elegant dining experience inside one of Singapore’s most historic buildings, a place that many immigrants coming to Singapore passed through up until quite recently. For the best Japanese food in town check out Bincho, a hard to find restaurant that’s worth the effort in locating. There’s also great hawker food available for those on a tight budget. Iconic Lau Pa Sat in the heart of the CBD is a must but there are many more hawker centres dotted around the city. Serangoon has a fantastic one called Chomp Chomp, and for the best budget thai food try the Golden Mile at  505 Beach Rd.

Hawker food in Singapore

There’s so much to see and do in Singapore now you could easily spend a week or more here. For all the latest tourist attraction information check out www.yoursingapore.com.

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Alternative London Itinerary http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/alternative-london-itinerary http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/alternative-london-itinerary#comments Fri, 15 Apr 2016 09:30:14 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6233 Continue Reading → ]]> London is one of the world’s most-visited travel destinations. Along with other major cities like Paris, New York, Berlin and others, there are certain sites in London that tourists just ‘have to’ see and do – like The Tower of London, Big Ben and the houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Madame Tussauds, Trafalgar Square, the Natural History Museum, the London Eye, the shops in Oxford Street – and all the rest of it.

And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

But like other seminal travel destinations, you’re going to have to queue along with the other tourist hordes from around the world. It’s like going to Paris and seeing the Louvre and going up the Eiffel Tower. Yes, these are interesting sights, but they aren’t absolutely ‘off the scale’ great. It’s just that you kind of ‘have to’ see them while you’re here. So tourists returning home after the trip of a lifetime to the UK’s capital city will feel they have to tell their friends they went to the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard – their friends, family and neighbours all want to see the photographs after all!

So there is an element of the cliché about such tourist attractions – and there are the practical details to; namely, that you’re fighting lots of other people from all around the world doing the same things and you’re paying way over the odds for everything.

So here are a few ideas for things to do and see in London that are a little off the beaten track – or simply a little different:

Duck boat tours

Duck boat toursOK, the Duck boat tours aren’t the most original thing ever and most major cities have them. And these, by the way, are bus tours of the city where the bus changes into a boat and goes up and down the river Thames.

But they are interesting, they’re a little bit quirky and you get to make two big trips in one seeing the city from a completely different angle and picking up a lot of interesting information along the way.

Going to the dogs

Wimbledon Greyhound stadiumGreyhound racing in London is a great working class tradition – and going for a night to the dogs can really be great fun if you haven’t experienced it before. Of course, while you’re here, you need to place a few bets on the greyhound racing – but don’t take it all too seriously. This is supposed to be for pure fun and there are tracks in West London at Wimbledon Greyhound stadium and in the east at Walthamstow and Romford. For a little flutter online why not play bingo games here too.

The London Bridge Experience and London Tombs

The London Dungeon is another hugely popular destination with tourists – but less well-known and right around the corner is the London Bridge Experience and London Tombs. This is a two-part tour which takes in a short history of the London Bridge and the surrounding area and its history etc., which is truly fascinating – followed by a truly spooky trip underground – complete with great actors who will try to scare the pants off you! It’s great fun for all ages – and the queues are shorter too!

The London Bridge Experience

Kew Palace

Kew-Palace-2156If the queues at Buckingham Palace are just too much to bear – head to Kew instead where you can double up by taking a tour of the absolutely astoundingly interesting Kew Gardens followed by the less well-known Kew Palace.

This is a comparatively modest palace, but is fascinating not least because it was bestowed on Queen Charlotte in 1761 by King George III when they were married. Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (a small north German duchy), to give her her full title and George III had never met until their wedding day – yet lived happily ever after in true fairy tale style, producing 15 children. George didn’t even take a mistress – breaking with royal conventions of the time!

Royal Artillery Museum

If you’re interested in seeing the Imperial War Museum, but you really can’t stand to queue any more – then check out the slightly alternative Royal Artillery Museum instead.

The Imperial War Museum has an amazing collection of interesting records concerning wars of the past and associated things like war art and much more and is an undeniably fascinating place to visit. But for sheer fire-power, it can’t quite match the more unsung Royal Artillery Museum.

Firepower has been with us since 1820, but the Royal Artillery Museum’s multimedia exhibitions bring it right up to date and are absolutely superb. They really give you a feel for what it must have been like to have been in the midst of an old-time battlefield – and do the same for today’s awful weaponry.

The shaking floor along with the smoke machines included in the ‘Field of Fire’ exhibit have to be seen to be believed – while  the whole history of firearms at this site that was previously the most important site in the world for the manufacture of all kinds of weaponry is simply fascinating. And you won’t queue half as much as you will for the Imperial War Museum.

The Paramount Bar

The London Eye is immensely popular. Every major city seems to have one of these things these days and they’re undeniably good fun – and you see a lot very quickly on a clear day. So if you’ve booked your “flight” all well and good – but if you haven’t you’re going to queue and a trip on the Eye is not cheap.

The Paramount Bar

The Paramount Bar is also not cheap; its better still, as it’s completely free of charge! Yet it also enjoys excellent views of London and you aren’t stuck inside a pod either. And you can put to good use the money you would have spent on the Eye by having a nice long relaxing drink as you watch London going on beneath you. Just find a seat next to the window and take in the London skyline.

Grant Museum of Zoology

Grant Museum of ZoologyLast but not least … if you’ve ever tied to take a child or children to London’s undeniably fascinating Natural History Museum at any time during any of the school holidays – you’ll know what it’s like. If you haven’t tried this then we have one world of advice for you; don’t!

The Natural History Museum is a treasure trove of fossils, dinosaur skeletons and re-created dinosaurs and has an absolute wealth of wonderful exhibits. But you shuffle past slowly with thousands of other people from around the world all of whom thought coming here ‘today’ was a good idea. If you’re absolutely determined to come then do whatever you can to come on a school day – and get here early.

Alternatively, why not check out the Grant Museum of Zoology as a great option. This museum also houses dinosaurs, together with around 67,000 other animal species specimens. It’s fantastic for children in particular as this museum is home to a bizarre collection of moles in jars – and a very artistic collection of bisected animal heads!

And finally…

So there we have it. The best way to visit London like any other major tourist city is to plan your trip carefully. In particular, be aware that it’s probably going to be worth paying that little extra to stay within the city if you can possibly afford it as the cheaper places on the outskirts that necessitate a “commute” in and out each day can make the whole thing exhausting – particularly if you have children with you.

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Why you must take a smartphone with you when you go abroad http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/why-you-must-take-a-smartphone-with-you-when-you-go-abroad Tue, 15 Mar 2016 11:05:53 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6824 Continue Reading → ]]> Nowadays, most people have smartphones. The technological era has seen mobile phones transform into incredible, high-speed machines that you can use to play online blackjack or other casino games at Betway, video call via Skype and much more.

In fact, there are probably hundreds of reasons why you should invest in a smartphone – with all of these reasons escalated even further when you travel to other countries on a regular basis. Here’s why you MUST take a smartphone with you when you abroad.

Emergencies

Without a doubt, a smartphone is a necessity in case of emergency situations. On smartphones, you have the ability to log in via WiFi portals, take advantage of 3G/4G signals around the world and contact anyone within a matter of seconds – including emergency services.

Take your iPhone on vacation

It sounds very sensible but the ability to contact emergency services is enhanced in foreign countries. If nothing else, it gives peace of mind to you, your family and your friends when travelling around in unknown areas. Although you can contact emergency services via a bog-standard phone, smartphones are much better at picking up signal – especially on foreign soil.

Online Games

Mobile phone applications are incredibly popular and there are plenty of online games available. Whether you’re a first-person shooter fan or a sport aficionado, there’s something for everybody and you should be sure to download a few before your ventures. If nothing else, these can keep you entertained whilst en route to your destination.

Should I travel with my smartphone?

Even whilst you’re away, online games will come in handy from time-to-time. If you’re unlucky with the weather, you can play online blackjack at Betway’s website to pass the time or simply relax and talk with your loved ones. By the same token, you can continue to play your favourite games at night as a way of winding down before bed!

Finding restaurants and eateries

Nowadays, nobody uses maps – they have an app for that. There are plenty of different apps for finding nice, local restaurants for a tasty meal in the evening after a day of sightseeing. Whether you want Italian, Chinese, Indian or regional cuisine, you can find all of that information via an app, such as Local Eats.

Find restaurants with smartphone

In addition, you can check out the nearest bars and nightclubs – or other similar establishments. Essentially, some form of map for food and drink is what you’re looking for… why else would you be on holiday, right?!

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