The Saver’s Guide To Luxury Travel

We all love a little luxury in our lives. Even the most hardened travelers I have met while scooting off across the globe have appreciated a slice of the finer things in life every once in a while. Most people are under the impression that luxury comes with a very a high price tag. It’s true in many cases – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are several ways that you can get some relaxing and extraordinary experiences for less. Enjoy!

Glamping

For a luxurious – and quick – break away, why not try glamping? Whether you want to stay in a yurt, a pod or a giant teepee, there are plenty of options available to you. It’s also becoming a lot more popular, which means there are plenty of bargains to be had if you look in the right places. Make sure you head to a site with excellent facilities to make your trip that extra little bit special. Don’t get me wrong, it can still be an expensive trip. But it is far cheaper than staying in a luxury hotel. And if you make sure you go when the weather is great, it’s just like being abroad – without the expense of a flight or ferry.

Fly Business Class

Business class offers almost the same kind of luxuries that flying first class does, but is much cheaper. If you fly with a particular airline often, then see if you can upgrade your flight when you check in. If there are spare seats available and it is close to departure time, you may be able to snag yourself a deal.

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Fly By Private Jet

You are probably thinking that flying by private jet is beyond your means and only a way for rich people and celebrities to go on their travels. Well, you are mostly right. However, you shouldn’t write it off. If you have a group of friends planning a trip away, then clubbing together and paying to fly privately may not be much more than the combined price of your regular tickets. Head over to Stratos Jets to see more on the benefits of traveling by charter. It could be the most luxurious thing you will ever do.

Fine Dining

A little research before your holiday can go a long way. Especially when it comes to eating at some of the best restaurants the world has to offer. Now, I’m not saying that you can turn up and expect a five-course meal for the price of a McDonald’s. But with a lot of planning you can organise to visit most restaurants and enjoy their taster menus. You will get small portions of all their signature dishes, and experience some of the world’s finest dining for a fraction of the cost of a meal. It can still be expensive – but if you save for a few months beforehand, you can lessen the financial impact.

There you have it – four ways of getting a more luxurious experience for less money. If you have anything to add, I’d love to hear from you. So don’t be shy and get in touch!

6 Incredible Things To Do In Norway

Are you planning a trip to Norway? This fantastic land is full of mysteries and hidden places. Whether you plan your trip yourself or opt for a package deal, this place is a great destination. Before you embark on your journey, you need to make sure that you plan out everything you want to do. Of course, the country is vast, and so you might wish to concentrate on one particular region. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the six top stuff to do in the country. If you get a chance to do even one of these exciting things, we’re sure that your trip will be a massive success.

#1 Visit the Viking Ship Museum

As we all know, the Vikings were once rife in Norway and Scandinavian countries. If you want to learn a little about their epic ships, you should take a trip to the Viking Ship Museum. Based in the heart of Oslo, this quaint museum is your chance to take a look at some real Viking ships. The Gokstad ship is particularly impressive.

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#2 Take a trip to Lofoten Island

This little island is perfect for a day’s escape. If you need some time to yourself, why not explore all that this region has to offer? You need a car to take a look around this area, and so you should keep this in mind before you go there. With loads of lovely villages and towns on the island, you’re sure to experience a slice of authentic life here. Take the time to look for a small cafe where you can relax and watch the world.

#3 Go to the National Gallery

We’re back in Oslo again for our next place. If you’re a culture vulture, you have to take a trip to the National Gallery. Here, you will find a range of wonderfully rich paintings and pieces of art. The highlight of this attraction has to be one of Van Gogh’s brilliant self-portraits. You can also see some original art from the likes of Pablo Picasso and Norwegian artist, Hans Gude.

#4 Visit the Norwegian Aviation Museum

If you adore nothing more than flying, then the Aviation Museum is sure to be of interest to you. This attraction makes a fun family day out since there are loads of interactive things you can do there. With plenty of simulators, your children (or you) will relish the chance to fly a plane. There are both military and civilian planes here, and so you will find that there is a whole lot to see.

#5 Have the time of your life at the Valhall Center

The Valhall Center is one of Norway’s top attractions, and so you must not miss it. If you want to see the amazing Arctic Circle in all its glory, you should take a trip to this place. Many people say that they have seen wild animals, such as orca and humpback whales here. If you’re lucky, you will catch a glimpse of one of these fascinating creatures. And, if you are lucky, you might even get a chance to see a once in a lifetime sight here. People often spot the famous Northern Lights from this hot spot.

#6 Go to Molen for a day

If you happen to be staying in Oslo, you should take a day trip to Molen. The beautiful area has an incredible view of the North Sea and is the perfect place to have a chilled out day with or without your family. Much of the time, you will find that there are coach trips that take you from the center of Oslo to this place. You will need to leave early in the morning if you want to make the most of this trip.

With any luck, you will get a chance to see some of these amazing places on your trip to Norway! I hope this list helps you when it comes to planning your trip.

 

How to Prepare for a Trip to Japan

Traveling to Japan for the very first time can be great fun. Here’s how to make sure you’re fully prepared before boarding the plane though.

Get Your Documents in Place

Obviously, for any trip abroad, you need to have a valid passport. Make sure yours isn’t out of date, and if you’ve never traveled abroad before, get one quickly! It can sometimes take a long time for government departments to process passport applications, especially in the run up to summer. You might have to go for an interview, so make sure you get it sorted out well in advance. Visit Passport Advice & Services for help, it’s a site recommended by Jeff Prestridge.

You should also make sure you have any doctors letters if you have to take medication or medical equipment on your flight with you. Finally, check the situation regarding visas. Most countries have agreements with Japan meaning visas aren’t necessary for tourists but check to be sure.

Learn a Few Phrases

When you’re going to a country whose customs and language is so entirely different to our own, you should make an effort to learn a bit about it before you get on the plane. It can make settling in and feeling comfortable when you get there that little bit easier. Travel guides and books can help you learn traits and customs that might be useful to know.

Then you should make the effort to learn a bit of the language. Of course, I’m not suggesting that you need to become fluent in Japanese before you take a trip there, no one does that. But knowing a few helpful phrases and carrying a phrase book with you can really help.

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Find Out About the Culture

Learning a bit about Japan’s culture is a good idea too. This will help you avoid faux pas and make it easy to deal with new situations. Learning about the country you’re going to also helps you get prepared so that you know what to expect when you get to your destination. It might seem like a small thing, but it can make a big difference.

Informing yourself about a country can also be fun. I don’t know about you, but I love learning everything about a country before I get there. It makes the experience of walking around cities and towns more fun and interesting when you get there because you already know a bit about them.

Plan Your Days

Yes, being adventurous can be fun, but if you don’t make plans before you arrive in Japan, you will probably miss out on a lot. There’s so much to do in Japan. It’s a vast country, and you don’t want to risk missing any of the essential towns or tourist attractions. The only way to avoid this is to make solid plans.

The plans you make don’t have to be too rigid and strict. It’s mainly about making sure that you know the options that are open to you and decide which things you want to do and which you don’t. Then you can make relatively loose plans and factor in the option of adventure.

Japan is a wonderful country, so make sure you’re prepared for your trip there!

7 Hidden Gems in Europe You Need to Visit Right Away

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When you think of European holiday destinations, where springs to mind? Some of the most obvious include London, Paris, Athens and Rome. However, Europe has so much more to offer than the usual, busy tourist hotspots. There are hidden gems practically around every corner. Don’t believe me? By the end of this post, you’ll be adding these seven destinations to your bucket list. Promise!

1. Lisse, Netherlands
Most people think of Amsterdam when considering The Netherlands, but there’s somewhere much, much better. Lisse is called The Garden of Europe, and for good reason too. In May, the entire town turns into a giant display of colour. You’ll be surrounded by beautiful sights and smells around ever corner, during their annual Flower Parade. If you’re craving a bit of nightlife, then Amsterdam is just half an hour away by car.

2. Rovinj, Croatia
This part of Europe is quickly becoming popular with tourists, so you need to get there quick. As it stands, you’ll find it relatively peaceful in Rovinj, even during the hot summer months. There are miles and miles of beautiful beaches to be found, in what is nicknamed ‘the blue pearl of the Adriatic sea’. Add that to the awe-inspiring buildings, and you’ve found yourself a real gem.

3. Delphi, Greece
If you thought Athens had some historical sights, just wait until you visit Delphi. This used to be the religious centre for Ancient Greece so you can imagine how important it was back then. The archaeological site is now a UNESCO World Heritage area that is well worth a visit. You’re not too far from Athens either if you want to make a daytrip.

4. Antibes, France
Many people think of Cannes and Nice when they think of Southern France, but those people are missing a trick! Antibes on the Riviera is just as nice as any of the other towns in the area. And packed full of stunning villas to spend your week in. The only difference is it won’t be swamped with tourists like the others will be! This means that you can lay back and enjoy this French region as it’s supposed to be enjoyed. With good food, wine, and plenty of sunshine.

5. Sintra, Portugal
One look at the Vila Palace and you’ll fall in love with Sintra, in Portugal. That’s before you’ve even got aboard a horse-drawn carriage up the green, lush mountains. Honestly, there are so many things to love about this hidden gem. You’ll want to return year after year. As it’s not very touristy, it is a lot cheaper than other places in Portugal too.

6. Brighton, UK
Get yourself down to Brighton Beach on a summer weekend to see what the fuss is all about. Okay, it may be a little packed but that is part of the fun. Explore the winding streets beyond the pier and soak up some quirky vintage ambience. Don’t forget to stop for some of the best cakes in the country, too.

7. Sylt, Germany
Did you know you can surf in Germany? Honestly, you can. Head to Sylt and you’ll find some of the most beautiful white sanded beaches in Europe. And perfect surfing water. If you’re not a keen surfer, then there are plenty of other water sports for you to try. This really is a hidden gem!

Book your flights and pack your bags! These quirky holiday destinations will ensure you have a summer vacation to remember this year.

The Best Things to Do on an American Family Vacation

The USA is a vast country, with varied landscapes and plenty of things to do. From one side of the nation to the next, you’ll find activities differ from each other as much as possible, as well as being sometimes similar. If you’re exploring with the family, it can be difficult to choose where to go and what to do. The choice is hard not because there’s so little, but because there’s far too much. How do you pick one location or activity over another? When you go on vacation, you could do a bit of everything or choose a theme, from snow to beaches. Why not consider the following ways to enjoy your great American vacation?

Theme Parks

The US is astounding for theme parks, so if you’re a family who loves a thrill, it’s perfect. You’ll find somewhere to visit almost anywhere you go, but some cities and states are better than others. Of course, to get to as many theme parks as you can, Florida has to be one of the best places to visit. More specifically, Orlando is where you want to be. You can visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, see Disney World, SeaWorld and Magic Kingdom. If that’s not enough, head to Tampa for Busch Gardens too. 

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Skiing

Skiing is one of the great pastimes in the States during the winter. There are lots of excellent locations you can enjoy it as a family, from Vermont to Utah. One of the best skiing states has to be Colorado, where a number of mountain ranges make it ideal. There are many resorts to choose from, and a lot of them are very family friendly. You could plan things to do on your family vacation in Vail and Beaver Creek at GetawayPlanners. Or you can search independently for accommodation, activities and anything else you need. Don’t worry if you’ve never skied before; kids usually take to it quickly, and you can even have lessons as a family.

Beach Vacations

Of course, as well as snow, many states get beautiful weather in the summer and even all year round. If your family are more relaxed, you could spend your vacation on the beach. Florida is always a popular destination for beach trips, but there are many other options. You could opt for California, Oregon or Washington on the west coast. There you can either find beaches for relaxing or you could get involved in some sand and water sports. Kids who don’t like staying still will enjoy playing on the beach and in the ocean.

City Breaks

City breaks always provide something for the whole family. Parents can enjoy some good restaurants and experience some culture while kids have fun at interactive museums and parks. Some of the best cities for a family vacation include New York, Boston, San Diego and Portland, Oregon.

If you can’t find an American holiday suitable for your family, you aren’t looking hard enough. Everyone can discover something that’s perfect for them whether they like relaxing or they never stop moving.

 

Advantages Of Package Holidays

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I recently watched a video created by www.myvouchercodes.co.uk, that can be viewed on this page below this paragraph.  The video shows the history of package holidays and how they have changed over the years and it made me think about the things I really like about them.  The development of package holidays only being available in a number of countries to the hundreds of countries that cater for that style of holiday was also rather intriguing.  If you have never tried a modern package holiday, then I think it is something you should try at least once and in the following article I will explain why.

The Money It Saves

It is not really surprising but one of the best things about package holidays is the money you save booking one.  If you tried booking everything from hotel room, transport to things like entertainment and food separately; you would end up spending more than you needed to.  That is even before you add the spending money you will need and money for transport to get to places and sightseeing.  However, if you book through a company like Thomas Cook, you will save a significant amount of money.  The simple fact is that tour operators and travel agents can secure the best hotel rates, tariffs, airline fares and reduced prices on sightseeing tours and other attractions and excursions.

Headache-Free Holidaying

Along with saving you money, package holidays also save you a lot of unnecessary stress and headaches.  Rather than having to sit looking at brochures and websites for the various things you have to order and organise for your holiday such as hotels, flights etc., when you decide to book a package holiday, you are immediately free from having to worry about all of that, as all of those tasks are taken care of by the travel agent or tour operator.

You Get To Have A Complete Tour Of Your Destination

Another advantage of taking a package holiday over booking and arranging everything yourself is that you can make sure you see and do all you can in the destination of your choice.  The problem with doing everything off your own back is that even if you try to take a tour of all the must-see places, you might not be able to fit it all in.  Whereas a package holiday is deigned in a way so that as a customer and traveller you get as full an experience as possible.

The Best Services

The only way you can secure all of the best services on your holiday for the best price is by booking a package holiday.  For instance if you opt for an all-inclusive holiday you will be free to make the most of the various facilities at the hotel without worrying about extra payments.  However, if you decided to book everything separately without extras included, the cost would be much higher.

Safer Travel

The last reason I wanted to talk about why I really love package holidays is that it is the best way to ensure that all travelling during your holiday is safe.  When you book with a tour operator or travel agent for an all-inclusive holiday all the travelling is arranged for you.  The company is aware of any safety risks in that particular destination and will do all they can to ensure that their customers have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Worried About Holiday Safety? Try These Amazing Destinations

Safety is an important factor when you are starting to plan your trip abroad. Here are five holiday destinations that all offer a good mix of safety, but will still keep you entertained.

Safest Overall – Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo won a host of top places in Tripadvisor’s 2012 survey of travelers. It has the friendliest taxis, cleanest streets and, most importantly, is the safest city. There is still crime, of course – this report from OSAC outlines what you should look out for – but the general crime rate in Tokyo is below the US national average.

It is a breathtaking city, although very expensive. Make sure you visit the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and see the spectacular sight of the cherry blossom in full bloom at Chidorigafuchi.

Safety In Paradise – Lahaina, Hawaii

Although crime has increased a little in Lahaina, it is still safer than 99% of all American cities. Which makes it a great destination for anyone looking for a piece of paradise, but doesn’t want to go too far off the beaten track.

Lahaina is a truly wonderful and beautiful place. Whether you want to go out on a boat trip and see the awesome power of the humpback whales or just chill out on Ka’anapali Beach, you can do it all here and more. And what better way to wind down from a walk along the Kapalua Coastal Trail than a visit to Lahaina’s Hoola Spa?

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Safe Cycling – Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is famous for its cyclists – and with good reason. Everybody rides a bike which means that car drivers are much more aware of cyclists. In fact, bike safety is so ingrained that local driving instructors even teach their learner drivers to open their doors with the opposite hand. Dutch drivers have to swivel as they grab the handle and get a better view potential hazards coming up from behind them.

Cycling travelers are often put off by the idea of bringing their bikes with them. The world is still far from cycle-safe – but Amsterdam is impressively bike-friendly. Make sure to check out the Van Gogh Museum, and take yourself away from the hustle and bustle of the main streets by cycling around the winding canals.

Safest For Women – Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is an incredibly safe city, and especially so for female travelers. In fact, Denmark places huge value on sexual equality. You can expect to respectful treatment throughout your journey with virtually no discrimination or harassment.

It’s a friendly place where the occasional pickpocket will be your only real concern, and in this day and age, that is quite some feat. Copenhagen is full of attractions, so put aside some time to visit the Botanical Gardens and take in the views at the top of Christiansborg Palace Tower.

Most Improved Prize – Medellin, Colombia

Medellin was, not so long ago, the most dangerous city in the world. Now, though, it is one of the safest cities in South America  and has attracted a huge amount of new tourists over the last few years. It still has its problems but has improved so much recently that it deserves a mention – and your attention if you are looking for a safe city break.

Head out to Arvi Park for an amazing walk in the beautiful countryside. Or, if you are more adventurous, take a day tour with the Colombian Bike Junkies for an amazing experience.

Should You Visit Costa Rica? Find Out…

Are you thinking of visiting Costa Rica? Lots of people visit this tropical country each year to have a relaxing vacation. However, it’s only suitable for you if you’re looking for certain things in your trip. If you want a busy trip filled with lots of sightseeing, then Costa Rica probably isn’t for you. Find out whether Costa Rica is the right place for you by reading on!

You Want to Meet Some Great People

It’s no secret that Costa Rica is filled with great people. The people in Costa Rica are some of the most friendly and happy on earth! If you love interacting with new people and would love to learn a thing or two from them, don’t hesitate to chat with these guys. Even their smiles are infectious!

You Want to Feel Happier Than Ever

When you’re in Costa Rica, you’ll feel happier than ever. Many visitors report this feeling on their travels. Why? Because Costa Rica is literally one of the happiest places on earth. Due to the relaxed atmosphere and green environment, it’s impossible to feel stressed out about life. You’ll virtually forget all of your problems in a place like this.

You Want to Do Fun Stuff

Costa Rica is not short on fun things to do. You can try your hand at a number of water sports, such as kayaking, surfing, and scuba diving. Exploring is all well and good, but sometimes you just want to have a little fun. Improve your skills and gain new ones. Wouldn’t it be great to call home and tell them that you can now surf? Or that you scuba dived and saw some of the most amazing marine life? If you have a sense of adventure, then this is perfect for you!

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You Want Total Relaxation

If you want, you can simply relax each and every day in Costa Rica. There are a ton of beaches you can choose from, so you can enjoy total relaxation. Even the accommodation is relaxing; www.costaricaluxurybeachvillas.com offers premium beach vacation rentals. This means you not only get luxury accommodation, but you’re only a few feet away from the beach and the ocean. Heaven!

You Love Animals

There are a ton of animals in Costa Rica that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Tree frogs, sloths, macaws, and monkeys to name just a few. If you consider yourself an animal lover, you could have a fun time spotting all of the different kinds here! Don’t forget to take a camera. Oh, and you’ll need a guide in some cases as a few of the animals can be dangerous!

Costa Rica isn’t for people who’d like to keep themselves to themselves while sightseeing. Costa Rica is for people who want to make a bunch of new friends, have lots of fun, and relax like never before. The atmosphere in Costa Rica is catching, so if you want to feel happier than ever, you should definitely visit.

Will you be travelling here? Let us know!