Travel Destination Search http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com Travel directory, guides Thu, 15 Sep 2016 20:49:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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

This list was brought to to you by Honey Bees Bingo offering no deposit bingo games.

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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 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 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 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 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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Win £150 Holiday vouchers from Southall Travel http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/win-150-holiday-vouchers-from-southall-travel http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/win-150-holiday-vouchers-from-southall-travel#comments Fri, 22 Jan 2016 08:31:31 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6810 There’s no better way to beat the winter blues than to start planning your next holiday adventure. Budgets can be tight this time of year so we’ve organised a very special competition just for you! Thanks to our great partners Southall Travel, the UK’s leading travel agent, you have 4 great chances to win £150 in holiday vouchers for your next big trip!

Where will you go?

Our website is packed full of great ideas on where to go and what to do, hopefully giving you lots of info to help plan your 2016 adventure. We’d love to know where you want to go this year so our competition is all about sharing your ideas with others and hopefully getting some inspiration too. Maybe its a long weekend in New York? Or a trip down under to the Great Barrier Reef? Is it a round the world trip of a lifetime? Or a chance to meet up with family living on the other side of the world? Whatever you plan to do this year we want to know! And your submission could just win you that helping hand to make it a reality.

Win holiday vouchers competition

How to enter

We’ve made this competition super easy so you’re in with a great chance to win. All you need to do is follow the instructions below and enter up to 4 times to increase your chances. Follow Southall travel on twitter, like their Facebook page, share the competition and most importantly, leave a comment on this post to share your travel plans for 2016. Tell us where you’re going, why you plan to go there and if you have any travel questions too post them in the comments and other entrants might just have the answers you’re looking for. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions

  • The prize promotion is open to all UK residents aged 18 years or over except employees (and their families) of Southall Travel and any affiliates or subsidiary companies, as well as representatives or agents of Southall Travel and anyone else who may be involved or connected with the prize promotion.
  • Any entries submitted by agents or third parties will be invalid and will not be accepted.
  • You may enter this prize promotion by completing the online entry form.
  • There will be only one winner.
  • The prize(s) will consist of a holiday voucher worth £150 only, courtesy of Southall Travel Group. The winner can purchase any holiday package from Southall Travel and they will be able to use the voucher for £150 discount.
  • The holiday voucher will be valid for 3 month from the date of issue. The travel dates has to be within 1 year from the date of issue of the voucher, i.e. the booking/purchase needs to be done within 3 months of the issue of the voucher, however the travel dates can be within 1 year from the date of issue.
    The prize promotion closing date is 19/02/2016 (the “Closing Date”) and any entries received after the Closing Date will not be accepted.
  • The winning entry will be selected at random on 22/02/2016 and the winner(s) will be notified by email within 7 days. To contact you we will use the contact details supplied by you when entering the prize promotion.
  • If you are notified of a winning entry, you must confirm acceptance by email to claim your prize. If you do not reply to confirm acceptance within 5 days of being notified as a winner, we may offer your prize to someone else.
  • Submission of entries will not constitute proof of receipt and no responsibility will be accepted by the Southall Travel for entries or acceptances which Southall Travel does not receive. Southall Travel shall not be liable for any loss or corruption of data in transit. No responsibility will be accepted for entries or acceptances which are lost, delayed or damaged in the post or elsewhere. Illegible, incomplete, late or defaced entries will be disqualified.
  • The prize(s) must be taken as offered. No cash equivalent or other alternative prize(s) are available in whole or in part except as provided for in these terms and conditions.
  • The winner(s) agree to participate in any publicity or other such promotional activities which the Southall Travel may reasonably require in connection with the prize promotion and Southall Travel shall have the right to use each winner’s name, likeness, image, voice and biographical information for advertising and promotional purposes in connection with the prize promotion in all media without further notice and without the need to make any payment to any winner for such use.
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As featured on Free to enter competitions and giveaways in the UK. Win great prizes and freebies.Competitions UK at AllUKCompetitions.comUK Wins – www.theprizefinder.com

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Four Ways Rookies Waste Time On Their First Cruise http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/four-ways-rookies-waste-time-on-their-first-cruise Mon, 04 Jan 2016 14:33:19 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6800 If you’re new to cruising, it’s easy to overlook some key bits of prep in the run up to departure. Like every type of holiday, it pays to think ahead. With so much to do on a cruise ship and on port excursions, you don’t want to be wasting precious time and money on life admin when you’re supposed to be having fun. Check out the range that Cruise Deals have on offer to give you some travel inspiration. Before you go, here are our tips to help you avoid making these classic rookie mistakes, so you can make the most of your first cruise.

Forgetting Medication

If you’ve never sailed before, it can be difficult to gauge your sea legs, and if the seas do get a little choppier close to the rainy season, everybody gets uncomfortable. Feeling seasick can ruin your whole trip, rendering you unable to make the most of all the excellent amenities onboard. To save yourself an unpleasant experience, stock up on seasickness medication from the pharmacist before you depart.

Not Planning Excursions

You wouldn’t just wing it on any other holiday, so don’t be tempted to just go along with the cruise ship tours of port excursions. Chances are, you’ll be able to save yourself some money and get a more personalised experience by organising it yourself – you’ll have the freedom to cater to your own interests and linger over or skip landmarks as you fancy. Don’t forget also to check visa requirements of different countries before you head off – talk to your booking agent to confirm anything you’re unsure of.

cruise excursions

Not Making Reservations

If you’ve never been on a cruise before, you’ll be delighted with the range of dining options. That said, some of the swankier restaurants require advance booking, so set aside a date night and reserve a table in advance. Be sure also if you have any disabilities or dietary restrictions to let them know so they can make the necessary arrangements for you. This way, you won’t be waiting.

Cruise restaurant

Not Packing Sensibly

Do you want to spend your holiday queuing up at the onboard shop to buy an umbrella before your port excursion? It’s unlikely, but worth being prepared – the beauty of a cruise ship is that you can leave all your luggage on board, so take what you need and read up on the weather report before you go. A jacket, formal wear, and comfortable walking shoes are really important items to remember to bring, so you don’t have to miss out on the cruise experience.

Packing for a cruise

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Ways to save for you travels http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/ways-to-save-for-you-travels Wed, 16 Dec 2015 06:45:49 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6792 You should always dream big when it comes to travelling the world. There’s some many amazing places to visit, you shouldn’t let a little thing like money get in the way of your next big adventure! It can be tough raising the money needed but there are plenty of ways you can save up and invest in life-changing memories that only travel can create. Here’s a few ideas that might make your next trip a reality.

Stop buying, start selling

We live in a very material world, constantly bombarded with adverts telling us to buy buy buy! Nothing will give you quite as much joy as travelling the world so you really don’t need any of that stuff. You’ll be surprised how just stopping buying material goods will save you a fortune. You can’t take it travelling with you so why buy it? No doubt your house is full of stuff anyway and there are many places online that can help you sell all the unnecessary clutter you’ve accumulated over the years. eBay is a great place to go to sell any collectables you have. Gumtree is perfect for furniture. Getting rid of material possessions you really don’t need is a very liberating experience, not to mention it’ll help tidy your house up and even save on storage costs if your dream trip involves packing everything up.

Gumtree

Win money

While its not guaranteed of course there are plenty of websites you can go to that you can try your luck and possibly win that extra cash you need. From poker and gaming sites to the lottery and bingo sites. If you’ve got a little cash to spend set yourself a budget and stick to it. Some sites require deposits but not all. Click here for no deposit bingo and you never know, it might just give you the cash boost you need for your travels. At the very least you’ll have some fun and it could turn your vacation dreams in to reality. Just remember there’s no guarantee you will win so play responsibly.

Bingo games

Credit card 0% on new purchases

We’ve heard this one plenty of times. Its not strictly a way to make extra money but can at least give you a deferred loan that means you can pay back the cost of your dream holiday once you get back. Many credit cards offer 0% interest on new purchases for a limited time. Its easy to hunt around online and compare a few, even apply online too. You can then purchase your flights, hotels, etc with the card and know you’ll have a few months (sometimes up to a year) to pay back the full cost. After which time they will start charging you interest. You have to be very organised with your finances of course but this can definitely help the cash flow issues you may face when travelling. Worth looking in to online.

0% new purchases credit card

Earn extra money online

Everyone has skills that can be put to good use online. From simple admin tasks to more creative earning options, you’ll be surprised how much you can earn working from home in your spare time. If you have any computer skills head over to sites like UpWork.com and earn extra money taking on admin tasks, finance jobs and even website development projects. If you can do something creative then try fiverr.com which is great for sharing your skills. Working online in your spare time involves very little extra costs to you. Definitely something to think about if you’re keen to get travelling!

work online

 

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Why take a short break in Monaco? http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/short-break-monaco-reasons Sat, 12 Dec 2015 07:58:50 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6775 If you’re looking for a little romance and glamour in your life then look no further than Monaco on the French Riviera. It doesn’t come more glamorous than this. A playground for the rich and famous, Monaco is synonymous with money, luxury, yachts and high rollers. A tax haven for celebrities, business moguls and sporting legends, this small principality clings to the rocks along the French coastline. There’s plenty of reasons to visit to here’s a few of our favourites.

Casino de Monte-Carlo

One of the most famous casinos in the world and certainly one of the most luxurious, this isn’t your typical vegas style mega-resort casino but an opulent and refined European casino with plenty of history too. It first opened its doors back in 1863 and has been emptying the wallets of tourist ever since. Over the years it has expanded and now claims ownership to 4 casinos in Monaco and a host of cafes, restaurants and hotels. It really is the heart and soul of the city and is a must for anyone visiting. I recommend brushing up on your skills before going to ensure you make the most of the european style tables as it can be quite daunting unless you’re prepared. Check out one of these casino sites where you can play online often for free.

Casino De Monte Carlo

Formula 1 Grand Prix

F1 is often called a glamorous sport but most of that image comes from the historic Grand Prix of Monaco that has been on the calendar since 1929! It’s one of the most challenging circuits, looping around the streets of the city with no room for error. Barriers along the sides of the roads will spell the end of your race if you make a mistake! One of the most iconic races of the season its definitely worth attending and happens around late May each year. Hotel prices go through the roof for this weekend so most spectators stay in Nice in France, just a few kilometres away. The pinnacle of motorsport is Formula 1 and the pinnacle of F1 is Monaco. Its the race that creates legends and plenty of world champions have called Monaco “home” over the decades.

Why go to Monaco

Lavish hotels

There’s no shortage of places to stay in Monaco but you wont find any budget accommodation here. Monaco is all about luxury high-end 5 star rooms with sea views and world class cuisine. Expect to pay at least £200 a night here but its worth every penny. These hotels know how to treat their guests well and it doesn’t get much more romantic than waking up in an immaculately designed Monaco hotel room or suite. If you’re out to impress a loved one then Monaco is where you must come. It’s a fairly walkable city too although steep in places, as its small too you’ll be pretty central for all the best bars, restaurants and places to be seen. You’ll see Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Rolls Royce cars parked on the streets, owned to be shown off of course. Just try not to get car-envy!

Monaco cars

Monaco is the perfect place for a romantic getaway on the French Riviera. With plenty of flights in to neighbouring Nice Airport. Wow your loved one with a weekend away in beautiful Monaco this year.

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Where should I go on holiday in 2016? http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/where-should-i-go-holiday-2016 Fri, 11 Dec 2015 06:20:15 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6765 2016 will undoubtably be a big year for travel with more places to stay, things to do and reasons to go than ever before. With so much to choose from its hard to narrow down your choices sometimes so we’ve put together a definitive list of the places we think you should visit in 2016 and why.

Singapore

Most people think Singapore is just the place you catch you connecting flight on to somewhere else. This tiny island nation has a lot more to offer tourists than you might think. In a land mass covering just 718 square kilometres, its a busy, vibrant place with endless new construction and lush green parks. With a population of 5.5 million there’s a lot to see and do here including a night safari, theme parks, the world’s tallest infinity pool, a huge casino, plenty of parks worth exploring and some great water sports as well like wake boarding. The climate here is a constant 31C and very humid outside, with plenty of chilly air conditioned shopping malls to help you cool down. We’ve spent weeks here and always found great new tourist things to do all over town. Its also a fantastic hub for much of Asia so very easy to spend a week in Singapore and another in Bali, Thailand or Malaysia. Definitely worth considering in 2016.

Singapore holidays

Australia

Always high on our list, Australia is a fantastic place to take a road trip and is well equipped for tourists too. Pick up a campervan after you land and take to the highways. We can recommend flying in to Sydney and heading either north to Brisbane or south to Melbourne. Both fantastic coastal journeys on fairly quiet roads and plenty of tourist routes as too.

Australia holidays 2016

New Zealand

Another great place for a road trip and judging by the thousands of campervans on the roads it seems most tourists travel this way too. The two main islands offer a very different experience with beautiful mountain ranges on the south and rolling green hills on the north. Queenstown is definitely a great place to start on the South Island with truly stunning scenery and plenty of activities to keep you busy. Check out the vineyards of the Marlborough region for some award winning wine.  Our favourite place has always been Wellington with some great museums, great food and easy to get around. A must for 2016!

New Zealand 2016

Great Britain

We might be bias but we adore team GB! For such a small country it sure does pack a punch with plenty of historic cities worth visiting and lots of activities no matter what you’re in to. Take in a show at the west end of London, visit the lake district or highlands of Scotland for epic countryside views. Watch an English Premier league match at one of the many famous football clubs, or maybe even a night out at the Bingo! A fun past time for many locals, if you’ve never played before have a go at some mobile bingo at Gonebingo.co.uk. You never know you might just win! Highlights of the UK include Shakespeare’s house in Stratford-upon-avon, plenty of cosy english country pubs. Bliss! Just remember to pack an umbrella!

Great Britain vacations 2016

Canada

The friendly people of Canada welcome you with open arms and if you’ve not been to this huge country before then make 2016 the year you do. Vancouver on the west coast is routinely voted the best place to live in the world and the Canadian Rockies are breathtakingly beautiful. You can check out the Northern Lights further north too and maybe take in a game of Ice Hockey while you’re visiting! Toronto is well worth a visit with some great districts worth hanging out in. Niagara Falls isn’t too far away from here and the views from the Canadian side are far better than those on the US side!

v

 

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Fun games to spectate and play around the world http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/fun-games-to-spectate-and-play-around-the-world Fri, 11 Dec 2015 02:20:21 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6782 On our travels around this planet we call Earth we’ve seen all sorts of people doing all sorts of things but one theme that runs through every culture is games. Every country has their own but some have grown in to the very fabric of society and are now a sociable event. Played on the streets, in the parks, down alleyways, in cafes and pubs or even in purpose built venues. They’re a great way to see a local culture and you can even get involved yourself. I was recently asked to pick a few of my favourites from around the world, no doubt there are many many more but these are some of the best that you should track down when you travel

Chess in Central Park, New York

This has to be one of the most iconic scenes and something that has come to symbolise the New York way of life. A walk around Central park is a must for any visit to New York but its the Chess & Checkers House that is absolutely mandatory. While you’ll find people playing chess in most parks in New York, Central Park is definitely the best. You can borrow pieces here and play strangers at any of the 24 tables neatly arranged surrounded by floral pagodas and a wonderfully secluded spot to concentrate on your game. There’s plenty of eager players so you’ll always have someone to battle against. There’s also tournaments and festivals where Chess grandmasters take on multiple players, quite a sight! So if you’ve got what it takes, or you just want to see one of New York’s finest traditions, head to Central Park for some outdoor Chess.

Play chess in central park

Bingo in England

Back in the 60s and 70s Bingo was all the rage in England, a national pastime that had a venue in every town and city in the land. Numbers dwindles in the 80s and 90s but a resurgence in this simple game grew in the early 2000s and now you’ll find plenty of purpose built venues in entertainment complexes. A night out at the bingo has once again become a lively alternative to bars and clubs with plenty of prizes on offer and drinks to be had too. If you’ve never played it before check out bingo online to understand it better. It couldn’t be simpler really and its the anticipation of a win that keeps people coming back every weekend. Its image of grannies and the elderly sipping sherry and shouting “House!” has very much been replaced with the “girls night out” and a younger more lively audience. While there are plenty of games that are typically British, Bingo seems to be the one that brings thousands together every weekend for the chance to win big.

Bing girls night out

Mahjong in any park in China

This ancient game is more an addiction than a tradition in China. Often played for money you’ll find people playing Mahjong in every park in the country. There are many local variations and its a fairly complex game to follow but once you’ve played a few rounds and been ridiculed by the locals you’ll soon get the hang of it. Hong Kong is a great place to play it with some great local parks and plenty of people willing to let a crazy westerner try there luck (and lose a few bucks in the process).

Mahjong

Slamming Dominos in Barbados

When you think of Dominos you probably think of old men playing a dull game in a quiet pub somewhere. This is most definitely not what happens on the Caribbean island of Barbados where Dominos is a national pastime and and a chance to let of some steam with some controlled aggression! With a very portable set of Dominoes you’ll see local Bajan men playing after family meals, under palm trees on the beach or at night markets where its often played for money. This very animated version of the game is great to watch where a quiet moment of contemplation can turn in to an aggressive slamming down of the Domino piece, presenting your move in the most theatrical way possible. Its  great to watch and you’ll soon recognise the sound of a game of dominoes from a hundred metres away or more. One of the best places to watch is Oustins, the popular and lively night market and outdoor eating area. This place comes alive at the weekends with live bands and amazing freshly caught Flying Fish. You’ll also hear the unmistakable sound of dominoes being played in various bars and outdoor tables. Spectate if you like but don’t be shy in joining in, the locals will happily show you the Barbados way.

Dominos in Barbados

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10 Very British things to do in England http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/10-very-british-things-to-do-in-england Wed, 09 Dec 2015 03:18:45 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6756 London is high on anyone’s bucket list as is famous places like Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-avon and the colleges of Oxford. But to get a real sense of life in England you have think British! So here’s our definitive list of things you really should do while in this beautiful country

Drink tea – Forget coffee, tea is where its at in Britain and there’s no shortage of tea-rooms in every city, town and village in the country. We love our tea and we always drink it white, maybe with a sugar or two.

British things to do

Take in a show at the theatre – The West End maybe famous for its epic musicals and lavish productions but you’ll find great theatres in nearly every major town and city. Mostly of Victorian and Edwardian era, these beautiful buildings are a marvel to look at let alone the famous shows that tour the country.

Ride the tube in London – A must for any tourist, probably the most famous subterranean rail network in the world and one for he largest too. The trains are tubular (hence the name) and many of the stations have an interesting historical past too. You’ve seen them in the movies now take a trip yourself. A great way to get around the city.

Tube trains

Play Bingo – This fun pastime has seen a resurgence since its heyday a few decades ago. Now seen as a fun night out with the girls or a chance to win the jackpot and pay for your next travel adventure. There’s bingo halls in every major city and even some towns. Maybe you’ll win big when you check out for bingo in England.

Take a stroll in the Cotswolds – An area of outstanding natural beauty, the Cotswolds is a region of West England where every little village and town is built with stunning yellow cotswold stone and is a mecca for tourists all over the world.  Some of the villages here are routinely voted the most beautiful in England. There’s plenty of day trips out of London to villages like Bourton-on-the-water and Stow-on-the-wold. The perfect place to get some picture-postcard photos of England at its best.

Cotswolds day trips

Moan about the weather – This adorable stereotype is entirely true and a national past-time. No doubt on your trip to the UK you’ll experience a myriad of weather that, no matter what the climatic conditions are, will be moaned about. Old people love to moan when its too hot (i.e anything over 25C), enjoy endless drizzle, unusually mild winter days for no good reason,  April showers and even monsoons in June! Its really not all that bad but if you want to feel typically British just mention the weather conditions in a negative fashion to anyone you’ll meet and you’ll have a new friend for life!

Say hi to the Queen – A trip to England without a photo outside Buckingham Palace would be a wasted journey. But if you want your photo taken WITH the queen I suggest a trip to Madame Tussauds London on Marylebone Rd. You’ll also meet a host of British celebrities and famous people from around the world. But hey the Queen is the star of the show right?

Madame Tussauds

Enjoy a very British Christmas – We love our Christmases and these days you’ll find special markets in every town and city, festive lights on every lamp-post and a tree in every lounge. We do Christmas very well here and while we can’t guarantee you snow we can always guarantee the very best of British cheer with mulled wine in every pub and mince pies in every cafe! Enjoy!

Have a pint or two at a real pub – Of course we saved the best until last. Nothing says “Britain” more than a pint of beer in a very British pub. The countryside is filled with some of the best drinking establishments you’ll find anywhere in the world. Roaring log fires, friendly locals, real ales and interior decor that wouldn’t look out of place in a Hobbit movie. While the rest of the world drinks in bars, us Brits will always be found in pubs. Cheers!

Cosy British pub

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Packing and Repacking for Longer Trips http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/packing-and-repacking-for-longer-trips Sat, 28 Nov 2015 04:06:45 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6749 Anyone who has packed for a short trip will have some idea just how much more complicated packing for a long trip is. Longer trips are becoming more popular, with people often taking extended sabbaticals from work and travelling for several months at a time. Obviously, packing for such a long trip needs a very different approach to that used when packing for a two-week vacation.

Renting Out Your Home

Many long-term travellers like to supplement their income by letting their home while they’re away. A couple of favourite ways of doing this include taking the conventional route and offering a traditional six month let through a letting agent, or making the house available to holidaymakers through companies such as AirBnB.

If you’re planning to do this, you could make use of storage facilities to safely stow away those personal items you want to keep safe. You’ll need to leave the basics in the house to provide a home from home, but heirlooms, trinkets, photographs, expensive furniture and personal effects are all better packed away until you return.

Self Storage

Self storage is a better option than leaving items with friends or family if your trip is open-ended and you don’t want to impose. Companies offer flexible, ongoing terms and notice periods of just a week, while some offer boxes and packing supplies too.

Stay Regulation Aware

Immigration lawsChecking customs regulations and airport weight allowances is now common practice amongst seasoned travellers. Most of us have learned the hard way that what’s allowed can change rapidly, and rechecking before every journey is vital to avoid fines or confiscations.

Careless packing can also get you into trouble when you’re globetrotting if you’re not aware of the customs regulations when you fly into a new country. Make it a habit to double-check immigration rules whenever you set off on a new leg of your journey and you’ll sail through customs without any delays or nasty surprises.

Some of the regulations can be quite obscure so don’t rely on your own ideas of what should or shouldn’t be allowed. New Zealand for instance, is very careful not to let foreign organisms enter the country so will even check your boots for mud. Lots of other countries are wary about letting travellers bring food items in, and even an innocent packet of nuts can get you into trouble in some places.

Pack (and Repack) for The Climate

Packing the right clothesPacking becomes more complicated if you plan to travel extensively and will encounter various different climates. Don’t make the mistake of packing for all eventualities, especially if you don’t want to carry too much. Arrange your route so the climate changes are gradual, and repack your bags each time you change destination. Discard items that are either too warm or too cold, and replace these with clothing that is more suitable.

It’s a good idea to keep running lists of necessary items for each climate in your journey. It will help you keep track of what you need next as well as providing a shopping list of items you need to buy. That way you won’t forget anything and find yourself in Siberia without a winter coat or on the beach without your suncream.

One of the very best tips is to pack for one or two weeks at the most, and do laundry often.  Look for public launderettes in town or city centres; if you’re staying in a hotel, ask if they have a laundry service, and make full use of facilities at any campsites you stay at. Stay on top of it by not waiting until you have a full load, and you’ll never be stuck for something to wear.

General Packing Tips

  • Don’t take too many pairs of shoes. Two is plenty. Choose a sturdy pair for hiking or sightseeing, and a lighter pair for evenings out or occasions that are more formal. If a visit to the beach is on your itinerary, you are allowed a pair of flip-flops as well as the two other pairs.
  • Keep fabrics light. In cold climates it’s tempting to pack woollen items or heavy cottons. Swap these with polar fleeces which are much lighter but just as warm.
  • Don’t pack lots of accessories, and make sure those you do pack serve more than one purpose. For instance, scarves or shawls can double as belts and beach wraps, and even towels at a pinch.
  • Take only easy to launder items. Check the label for non-iron and wrinkle resistance.
  • Don’t take valuable jewellery. You will be forever wondering if it’s safe. Far better to leave it at home and wear costume jewellery instead.

Taking a logical approach and resisting the urge to pack absolutely everything will, hopefully, mean you don’t need to hire a van to carry your luggage. And at the same time, you won’t be short of anything either.

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Spicing up a Skiing Holiday http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/spicing-up-a-skiing-holiday Sat, 28 Nov 2015 03:12:24 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6727 Skiing holidays are a long-standing tradition and continue to go strong, with many enthusiasts making their ski trip an annual event. There are so many places in the world that are perfect for skiing, from France and Austria to Canada, and it’s rarely the sort of activity you try as a one-off. Either you’re a skier, or you aren’t, but that doesn’t mean that skiing holidays can’t be exciting for everyone involved.

For experienced skiers, it can be easy to get into a rut with your holidays. While skiing may be your biggest passion, sometimes it can be good to shake things up and try some new things. There are plenty of non-skiing activities that you can take part in, all offering a new experience and a great way to keep things exciting. Here are just some of the ways experienced skiers can shake things up on their next holiday with Iglu Ski.

Snowmobiling

Definitely of for the thrill seekers, snowmobiling is a fantastic way to travel the snowy landscapes and experience the piste without sticking your feet into a pair of skis. A snowmobile is a lot like a motorbike, offering an adrenaline rush and the irresistible freedom to go where you please. Throw yourself from snowy mounds and experience views that you’d normally only get once at the top of the peak.

Snowmobile

 

Parapente

Skiing down a slope can be great fun, but what about actually flying over the resort? Parapente gives you the chance to fly through the air with a parachute, and can be as serene or as exciting as you like. Tandem parapente is an excellent way to shake things up on a skiing holiday and offers a unique experience in its own right.

Parapente

Sledding

Sledding is more than simply being pulled along or pushing yourself down a hill. While a popular winter pastime in general, there are ways to make sledding more exciting. You can take a two-person sled that comes with brakes and steering, giving you more of a thrill ride than you might have been expecting.

sledding

Snow Polo

A twist on a classic sport, some ski resorts will provide guests with the chance to play Polo in the snow. Alternatively, you could simply go and watch; it promises to be both elegant and exciting experience whilst loading you with luxury comforts, including furs and champagne! This can be a great way to bring something new to your ski holiday.

Snow Polo

What do you think? What activities would you like to do when you’re not taking to the slopes?

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Great Places to Visit in New South Wales http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/great-places-to-visit-in-new-south-wales Sat, 28 Nov 2015 03:07:29 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6726 Australia is a vast continent that offers a diverse and fascinating landscape, from expansive wilderness and modern cities to the stunning coast and the Great Barrier Reef. It’s true that there’s nothing quite like Australia, and you can’t go wrong with visiting New South Wales. New South Wales is home to Sydney, one of the continent’s most famous states, but there’s a lot more to this truly stunning part of the world. Here are some of the best places to visit in New South Wales.

The Blue Mountains

This rugged part of New South Wales is a fascinating mix of terrains, including steep cliffs, forests of eucalyptus and waterfalls. A magical place that’s great to visit any time of year; in fact, you could spend your whole holiday there and still have plenty left to see and do. There are all kinds of walks and tours, as well as plenty of art and culture. There’s something for everyone in the Blue Mountains, including promises of an unforgettable experience.

Blue Mountains

Port Stephens

Located in the Hunter Area of New South Wales, Port Stephens is known as the ‘blue water paradise’ and is only a few hours away from Sydney.  Port Stephens is divided into three areas and is perfect for visiting at any time of year. Whether you want to go to the beautiful bays or the thriving towns and Bayside villages. And, of course, there are incredible beaches offering a variety of activities, including snorkelling, motorbike riding and swimming.

Port Stephens NSW

Lake Macquarie

Lake Macquarie has the distinction of being the largest coastal saltwater lagoon in Australia. Like Port Stephens, the lake is located in the Hunter Region (am amazing area in its own right) and has more than enough to offer visitors. Tourists can enjoy the natural parks, tours, adventure packages and more beautiful beaches. You can even visit Mount Sugarloaf and take in the stunning views.

lake macquarie

Natural Caves

New South Wales is home to lots of caves, all of which are open to tourists. The Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains, for example, is one of Australia’s national treasures, offering a visually incredible experience that won’t soon be forgotten. Not only can you explore these wonderful limestone caves, but you can also dine in them and ever spend the night at Jenolan Caves House.

jenolan caves

This is only scratching the surface of what New South Wales has to offer, and the area is ripe for exploring. Check out flight options from travel companies to start planning your trip to this beautiful part of Australia.

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Luxury experiences to enjoy in Budapest http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/luxury-experiences-to-enjoy-in-budapest Fri, 27 Nov 2015 08:29:18 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6721 While you might not think of Hungary first when you think of luxury travel, the atmospheric city of Budapest is one of the grandest capitals of Eastern Europe. Nestled on either side of the river Danube, Budapest has been described as a cross between Paris and Berlin, which is always a good mix – featuring a rich past that shows through the sophisticated modern city, giving glimpses of the Holy Roman Empire, the reign of the Hapsburg dynasty and the 17th century Turkish occupation.

The city boasts amazing spas and baths, which are fed by underground thermal springs, and cultural delights such as opera houses, art museums, luxury hotels and more. Here’s some must-see places on your trip to Budapest.

State Opera House

1065 Budapest, Hajós utca 13-15.

One of the best opera houses in Europe, this prestigious musical institution is housed in a glorious Neo-Renaissance building designed by acclaimed architect Miklós Ybl.  You can tour the opera house during the day to take in its gorgeous architecture, or catch a performance in the evening. Booking well in advance is strongly advised, as the 1200-capacity auditorium fills up rather quickly.

State opera House Hungary

Corinthia Hotel

This luxury 5-star hotel, only a 10-minute walk to the opera house, just steps from the metro and across from the Heroes square city park for summer hangouts, would be an ideal place to stay during your holiday in Budapest. Expect a grand entrance into their lobby with grandiose chandeliers and welcoming staff, who will attend to your every need. Choose from a grand selection lavishly styled rooms, featuring mahogany furniture and marble heated floors.

Lukács Baths

Frankel Leó utca 29, 1023.

A historic thermal bath spa originally built in the 12th century by knights of the order of Saint John is supplied by deep underground natural hot springs, and their many pools are temperature controlled for optimum comfort and relaxation. Many people find that the soothing waters of the spa help to ease medical conditions and joint pains, and many others simply enjoy the relaxing atmosphere that the spa provides. Saturday nights see the spa become a hot nightspot with their magical bath parties, which have hosted guests from all over the world until 3AM. Remember to bring your swimwear, a towel, robe and flip-flops, though some items can be purchased upon entrance.

Lukacs baths

Onyx Restaurant

Vörösmarty tér 7, 1051

Dine in luxury at the opulent Onyx restaurant, located on Vörösmarty Square in the heart of Budapest. This Michelin-starred restaurant features traditional Hungarian cuisine with a stylish, modern twist prepared by their highly skilled chefs and served by formal and attentive waiting staff. This glamorous Regency-style restaurant simply exudes luxury, and seats an intimate 55 guests. Try the wine pairings, or the tasting menu of ten delicious courses to sample all of Onyx’s delights.

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Top Casinos to visit in Las Vegas http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/top-casinos-to-visit-in-las-vegas Tue, 17 Nov 2015 06:47:41 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6712 If you’re looking for a place to visit that offers quite an extensive selection of casino gambling, then you may want to consider visiting Las Vegas for your next holiday. Casinos can be found all around the city with many located within close proximity to each other. This not only makes it easy to visit more than one venue but it’s quite simple to get around from place to place.

My favourite

Caesar’s Palace would be one of the top casinos located in Las Vegas. With a prime location right on the Vegas Strip, gamblers will find its right in the middle of all the action. If you are used to CasinoOnline.co.nz gambling then you will fit right in here. The preferred game here is definitely poker as the casino has earned its place as a venue for the World Series of Poker.

Caesars Palace Las Vegas

While poker is important, other games are played here as well; for instance, slot machines are one area of the casino which receives a lot of attention. In comparison to the other casinos of Vegas, the slot machines at Caesar’s have made the most millionaires.

Slot machines in Caesars Palace

Visit the world in Vegas

Many of the casinos in Las Vegas use certain geographical locations as inspiration for their design. For instance, the Venetian Casino uses the Italian City of Venice as its inspiration and offers a large poker room to its guests. With over 50 tables, poker fans won’t have difficulty obtaining a seat. When the casino was built a lot of thought and effort went into its design and even includes man made canals such as those found in the actually city of Venice, with Gondolas floating around to complete the scene.

Venetian Las Vegas

Another example would be the New York New York casino which features replicas of famous landmarks, such as a mini model of the Statue of Liberty. Additionally, this casino also has a roller coaster running through it which can provide an exciting break from the casino action.

New York New York Casino

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Mobile apps you shouldn’t leave home with before going on holiday http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/mobile-apps-you-shouldnt-leave-home-with-before-going-on-holiday Thu, 12 Nov 2015 11:10:43 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6705 Going on holiday should be exciting but it can often be a little stressful as well. Different locations, languages and even currencies can cause you a bit of a headache. But luckily most of us now have smartphones that can help us out of these sticky situations. Here are a few apps we think you shouldn’t leave home without when you jet off on holiday next.

The main problem we all face when we go on holiday is the language barrier. It can be frustrating for both parties if you can’t understand each other, and even worse it can sometimes stop you from getting the service you want. Don’t worry, you don’t have to learn a second language inside out. Instead, download the Google Translate app to translate any word into one of 90 languages. You can even hold your phones camera over a sign or menu and it’ll translate it for you on your screen.

Google Translate App

When you’re on holiday you’ll also want to make sure you’re getting a good deal on what you spend money on. But with exchange rates changing all the time with the world’s unstable economy, it can be hard to figure out what something would cost in your home currency. Download the XE Currency App for your smartphone to do all the sums for you. The phone regularly updates itself with the latest exchange rates so you’ll have the most up to date information all the time. Even if you’re away from the internet, it’ll store the latest exchange rate so you can use this app wherever.

Of course not all of your holiday can been entertaining. You’ll need something to keep you busy when you’re waiting around for a bus or just want a rest out of the sun for a bit. Lady Lucks have a whole host of different casino games you can load onto your phone before you leave to keep you occupied in your down time.

WhatsApp for IOS and AndroidWhatsAppWhen you’re abroad you’ll also want to keep in touch with your family and friends and show them your latest holiday snaps. Sending picture messages back home when you’re abroad can be an expensive business though. Instead, download the WhatsApp messenger app so you can send photos through the internet. This way of sending photos and video is often cheaper than just sending an MMS and can even be free if your hotel has Wi-Fi.

While you’re away on holiday you won’t want to miss anything at home. Whether it’s your favourite soap or an important football game, sometimes there’s TV you just don’t want to miss. If you have a YouView box you can download their app which allows you set programmes to record whilst you’re away from your home so you can catch up when you return.

you view app

So as long as you remember to download these apps before you leave home (and of course to pack your all important phone charger), you’ll hopefully have the most relaxing holiday possible.

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Top five things to do in Nicosia, Cyprus http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/featured/top-five-things-to-do-in-nicosia-cyprus Fri, 06 Nov 2015 12:26:53 +0000 http://www.traveldestinationsearch.com/?p=6697 There are many interesting things to do in the capital of Cyprus.  Nicosia is the only divided city in Europe which occurred after the invasion by the Turkish Forces in 1974.  The two areas are divided by the ‘Green Line’ which cuts from east to west.  The Turkish zone in the north is far different from the more touristy area of the south.

Mosques and Churches

There are many mosques and churches but the most impressive is the Selimiye Mosque which used to be St. Sophia Cathedral which was constructed in the 13th century where ceremonies of the Lusignan kings were held.  Kings were first crowned here as King of Cyprus and then crowned King of Jerusalem in St. Nicholas Cathedral in Famagusta.  St. Sophia Cathedral was converted to a mosque in 1571 by the Ottomans and minuets were added on either side of the entrance.  It is the largest and best preserved temple of Gothic architecture on the island.  It was constructed over the Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia.  The building was damaged by several earthquakes in 1491 and whilst being restored by the Venetians, the grave of an old Lusignan King (Hugh II) was discovered.  The corpse was well preserved, his crown still on his head and with items of gold, plus documents in the tomb.

There are three aisles, six side sections and little chapels inside.  The chapel to the north was dedicated to St. Nicholas, the ones on the south to the Virgin March and St. Thomas Aquinas. The section of the mosque reserved for women used to be the treasury.  Many Lusignan nobles and kings are buried inside the edifice.  Note the inscriptions and drawings on the marble grave stones which constitute some of the floor tiles.

Visiting is permitted preferably not at times of prayer; women should cover up well, leave your shoes outside.  Do not cross in front of anyone who is praying.

Museums

There are several museums to visit in Nicosia but probably the most interesting and unusual is the Museum of the Whirling Dervishes/Mevlevihane.   The museum is housed in a domed building and is one of the island’s finest Ottoman structures.  There is a collection of gravestones with inscriptions displayed which represent the best of Ottoman stonework.  The sanctuary is laid out in a square and entered by a low arched door on the east of the courtyard.  Mevlana’s philosophy invites all of humanity to peace and tolerance without religious, racial or linguistic discrimination.  This idea is illustrated in paintings, miniatures as well as literature which can be found in the first section. The only surviving Dervish cell is also in this section and describes Mevlevi cuisine and table settings which were an important part of Mevlevi belief. There are information panels, drawings and diorama to be seen.

Cyprus Museums

In the second section there is the podium which is where the sema was performed.  There are models of musicians in traditional dress.  Display cases contain an original copy of Mesnevi which was written by Merlana, as well as some musical instruments.

The tomb section is on the south side of the sanctuary and contains 16 graves, covered by 6 domes that line the Girne Boulevard.  There are photographs, hand-written documents and other items that belonged to those who rest in the tombs. The Mevlevihane Museum is a must for anyone wishing to become better acquainted with Mevlana and Mevlevi teachings, a philosophy which emphasized love and humanity and welcomed everyone, whoever they were or whatever they believed in.

There are a lot of things to do in Nicosia, so in case you are looking for a long stay option here are some great deals for property rentals in the city.

Shop and stroll around the Liki Geitonia

You can start a walking tour of Nicosia (Monday, Thursday and Friday – 10 am) in the Laiki Geitonia from the main Tourist Information Center, or explore on your own.  The tours are free and last from two to two and a half hours.  This area is the heart and soul of the old walled city and covers about 2000 sq. meters.  It is far from the hustle and bustle of modern day life while actually being only 100 yards from the main square of Eleftheria.  The buildings which date from the end of the 18th century have been restored beautifully.  It is a pedestrian area, with narrow winding streets and used to be known as a home for various ‘dens of iniquity’.  There are plenty of shops to browse in, after which you can enjoy a meal in one of the many tavernas and sample the cosmopolitan cuisine of the island.

Turkish Baths – Hamam Omerye Baths

The Hamam Omerye Turkish Baths are one of the best and well kept in the whole of Europe, situated in the heart of Nicosia.  The building has been carefully restored during the Turkish occupation from an old church that was on the site.  The smooth cream colored domes send up spirals of steam into the blue skies on a cold winter’s day.

Hamas Omerye Baths

Belediye Pazari

This covered market bazaar of Belediye Pazari is located in the old city in the north of Nicosia, also known as ‘Bandabulya’.  It was the main market during the Ottoman period and still is an interesting and lively place to shop.  As well as meat and groceries, you can find handicrafts, antiques or Cypriot Delights.  Be sure to join in the fun and bargain with the shopkeepers.

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