What is the Best European Stadium to Travel to for a Football Match?

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If you are a football fan then the chance of watching a game in a famous football stadium is probably something you can’t resist.

If you get the chance to travel to watch a game in Europe where you choose to go to? Maybe one of the following stadiums would interest you.

Camp Nou, Barcelona

The massive Camp Nou holds over 99,000, which makes it the biggest football stadium in Europe and the 4th biggest in the world. Despite the massive size, the stadium is usually pretty much full. There is often an unbeatable atmosphere at the Camp Nou, especially on Champions League nights and during matches against fierce rivals Real Madrid. Public transport links here are good but with so many people trying to get home and many midweek games kicking off very late it can be very late before you get to bed after a game here.

Wembley Stadium, London

While the Camp Nou is the biggest football stadium in Europe, the iconic Wembley isn’t far behind it. The original Wembley once held  massive crowds, with some report suggesting that the FA Cup final in 1923 attracted well over 200,00 spectators. These days it has a 90,000 capacity but is still capable of generating an incredible atmosphere, especially when there is a cup final being played or the English national team have an important game there.

Allianz Area, Munich

The home of Bayern Munich is rightly seen as one of the world’s best places to watch a game of football. It holds just over 75,000 and is, perhaps surprisingly, only the third biggest football stadium in Germany. It is one of the best looking football arenas as well, being the first one that can completely change colour outside. It is easy to get here by subway, with a park helping guide people to the stadium from there. Of course, the football played inside the Allianz Area is pretty sensational these days too. The football betting site at William Hill is one place where you can see just how good Bayern Munich are right now.

Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Madrid

If we go back to Spain, we can find another incredible football stadium graced by a top class team. The home of Real Madrid is pretty special and holds up to 81,000 spectators. There is currently a redevelopment plan to increase the capacity to 87,000 at an astronomical cost. The place has been around since 1947 and is another stadium in which you can watch some of the best football around while enjoying an incredible atmosphere.

Renting a Boat in 2015

Do you live to work or work to live? Although most of us strive to enjoy our lives on a daily basis, looking forward to some time off work can be inevitable. And when vacation time rolls around it is important to really make the most of it.

If you are already an experienced sailor you may not be able to think of anything better than getting out on the water, but many travelers are not yet familiar with the concept. If you are part of the latter group, why not make 2015 the year you rent a boat for your holiday?

For those who may be wondering how to go about it, here is a great run-down from LateSail.com. There are a number of ways to go about it, ranging from fully crewed to an all-out bareboat charter.

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Sit Back and Relax

Assuming you aren’t exactly ready to captain your own ship, the first and perhaps most luxurious option is a crewed yacht charter. They may seem reserved for the rich and famous, but if you go with a group a crewed yacht charter can actually be affordable.

The benefits of a crewed charter are that the sailing is taken care of. You are catered to by a full crew, serving you meals, beverages and snacks. Aside from your flights to the destination and tipping at the end, it is essentially an all-inclusive vacation.

Book a Cabin

Stateroom or cabin charters allow you to reserve a berth aboard a larger boat. The boat has a set itinerary, includes meals and beverages and of course the crew manages the sailing of the boat.

You can spend as much or as little time with the other passengers as you like, although the sharing of meals does lend itself more to a social experience. In the Mediterranean stateroom charters are often gulet charters – a very fun getaway if you are so inclined!

Powerboat Charter

If you like the idea of renting your own boat but you don’t know how to sail, you may have the option of renting a powerboat. These are much like a houseboat, requiring attention to navigation but no knowledge of sails, winds, etc. Powerboats can also be rented with a crew.

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Flotilla Charter

Let’s say you are able to sail a boat but you would feel more comfortable some assistance along the way. Or, you may be a fine sailor but enjoy the camaraderie of sailing in a flotilla. A flotilla charter is a nice way to go with a group. You can sail alongside everyone else or set off early or late- normally you have a set itinerary but do not have to all go at the same time.

There can also be some fun group dinners and beach days with a flotilla- it is really what you make of it.

Bareboat Charter

Reserved for sailors with provable experience and confidence, a bareboat charter is the epitome of renting a boat. You get just that- a sailboat for a set number of days. You provide the crew and provisions along the way.

If you do not know how to sail you can still join in a bareboat charter if you happen to have a sailing friend who needs a crew member. There are also websites where you can sign up for a charter with a group.

We hope this information is useful for anyone looking to rent a boat in 2015- there truly is an option for everyone! To learn more, visit www.latesail.com.

The Top Five Affordable Beach Resorts in the US

The Top Five Affordable Beach Resorts in the US

During the lazy summer days, there is nothing better than the sound of a beach vacation. Because many beach vacations cost nearly an arm and a leg for a few days or weeks lounging at a resort, most people do not even consider them as a vacation option for those hot summer days.

However, there are plenty of quaint, tranquil beach resorts that are not only affordable but also hidden gems. Get ready to set your home security system at http://homesecurity911.com, book a flight, and pack your bag, as these five off-the-beaten-path resorts are perfect for a relaxing summer getaway:

1. The Pelican Inn in Pawleys Island, South Carolina

This beachfront property is a charming bed and breakfast that has only eight bedrooms, giving you complete and total relaxation. Instead of dealing with the crowds at a busy, expensive resort, The Pelican Inn looks like something straight out of a novel. Between the peace and quiet of the porch hammocks and the freshly baked biscuits for breakfast each morning, this getaway is the ultimate hideaway.

2. Sea View Inn in Carmel, California

Located in sunny California, this Victorian bungalow is situated on the Monterey Peninsula. The quaint area surrounding the Sea View Inn is inviting, especially for art enthusiasts as there are more than 100 art galleries in Carmel. There are only eight rooms in this charming B&B, and according to guests, Room 7 has the best views. Plus, the garden area surrounding the Inn is perfect for afternoon tea.

3. Puako Bed & Breakfast in Big Island, Hawaii

This gorgeous B&B is surrounded by expensive resorts on the Kohala Coast, and is perhaps the best-kept secret on the big island. The Puako Bed & Breakfast has access to black and white sand beaches, but is also near Beach 69, located in Hapuna Beach State Park, which is known for its clear waters and soft, sandy shores. Even though the snorkeling and surfing are of the usual interest among guests, the sweet spot of the Puako Bed & Breakfast is the infamous Belgian waffles accompanied with Kona coffee.

4. The Breakwater Inn & Spa in Kennebunkport, Maine

As one of the most historic hotels of Kennebunkport, Maine, this charming Inn has the right blend of luxury and comfort. The Breakwater Inn & Spa feels like a quaint Maine cottage, but it has over 30 rooms that are completely outfitted with free, top-of-the-line Wi-Fi. Situated right on the water, guests can spend the day relaxing on the Adirondack chairs that line the surrounding beach.

5. Azul del MarKay at Largo, Florida

This intimate villa is located just past the Everglades. The six-bedroom Azul del Mar is run by husband-and-wife duo who offer you outstanding service. They prefer to stay behind scenes, quietly delivering your breakfast of papaya yogurt and fruit pastries straight to your door. With the villa situated on a private beach, the area is incredibly peaceful and entirely relaxing.

Before writing off a beach vacation as too expensive, be sure to give these resorts a try.

Image Source: www.shutterstock.com

Things You Should Know Before Travelling to Indonesia

Indonesia has everything a traveller could ever want; culture, nightlife, nature, and plenty more. That’s why it’s such a sought after destination for travellers everywhere; it’s so diverse and fun. You could have a totally different experience in Indonesia depending on where you want to travel to. However, there are a few things you should know before you travel to this place. Take a look…

Pretty much all of the food here is spicy, and it might not always state it on the menu. If you can’t handle hot food, make sure you make this clear when ordering by requesting that they don’t add spice. Of course there are dishes you can get without spice too, but they’re rarely consumed by locals. To give you an idea of the kind of dishes you could be eating, take a look at this:

  • Sambal – tangy, sweet and sour!
  • Satay chicken – great if you like peanuts.
  • Soto – a traditional meat/soup dish.
  • Fried catfish – a sweet, popular dish.

Heading to a country like Indonesia is about embracing the culture as if it were your own. Make sure you’re respectful of their culture: you shouldn’t be overly affectionate with members of the opposite sex in public. Nor should you wear inappropriate clothing that shows off too much skin. You don’t need to be covered head to toe, just make sure you aren’t flashing too much flesh.

You won’t need to pack so much from home, as you can always buy more when you’re in Indonesia. If you didn’t already know; the shopping is amazing. Buy something that the locals seem to wear a lot so you can dress like them and blend in. There are a ton of markets you can visit close by Bali hotels, so you’ll only regret it if you don’t leave room in your suitcase. Try to pack light, flowing clothes that don’t take up too much space or weight.

Every island is unique in Indonesia, but the natural wonders of all of them are worth exploring. You can see a multitude of amazing animals that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. You could see things like orangutans and komodo dragons up close and personal. Just make sure you’re with a guide so you don’t get eaten alive. There’s also terrific scenery and photo opportunities galore.

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picture credit: Flickr

If you need help with anything on your travels, you can bet that the locals will be happy to help. In some areas, be prepared for staring. They don’t mean to be rude, they just likely rarely see foreigners such as yourself in their area! Smile at them and they will smile back. You will always feel welcomed by the Indonesian locals, and if you get speaking to them they might even be able to give you some tips on where to go. Download a translator app on your phone just incase, as most people won’t speak brilliant English…although they might try.

Well, now you know what to expect, you should have a wonderful time in Indonesia. Let me know how it goes in the comments section. See you soon!

 

How To Get The Best From Your Luxury Hotel

When you are paying to stay in a hotel, it is only natural that you want the best service and experience possible. Even more so, when you are shelling out for a luxury room or suite.

There is nothing worse than paying out a large sum of money to stay in an exquisite hotel, only to find the experience itself is mediocre. If you pay high prices, then you expect high quality.

Before booking a hotel, it is a good idea to do some research into it and find out what the experience is like. But what is the best way to go about it?

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For your guide to getting the best from your luxury hotel, keep reading below.

  1. Ask the right questions

It isn’t about asking a million different questions; it is about asking a few of the right ones. You want to ask the type of questions that will allow you to get a better idea of what you can expect from your stay.

What is the best room in the hotel? What is the hotel’s speciality dish? What is the most luxurious item in the hotel? Asking these kind of questions should give you a better understanding of how the hotel operates and the way in which guests are treated.

  1. Know your expectations

The hotel you choose needs to be able to meet your specific requirements. So it is important to get your expectations straight before making enquiries.

Are you looking to mix business and pleasure? Do you just want a fantastic holiday? Are you after a romantic weekend away? Whatever it is that you want and need, the hotel you choose should be able to meet your requirements.

If there are certain on-site facilities you expect from your hotel, make sure to check whether these are offered, before booking. The services you would expect from a luxury hotel are as follows; restaurant, indoor swimming pool, gym, sauna and free internet access.

  1. Is the location right?

Ask yourself whether the hotel’s location is right for you. For instance, if you are booking a hotel for a business trip, you would not want to stay in a loud, city centre location.

Choosing a hotel in the wrong location can make or break your trip, so make sure to look into it beforehand.

  1. Do your research

Don’t just use the hotel’s website for answering your questions, do some research and read up on the hotel. Use online review sites, like Tripadvisor to find out a little more about your hotel.

Look out for information on the hotel rooms themselves. Things like the cleanliness of the rooms, the amenities in the rooms, the type of bed linen and hotel duvets used, etc. are important to take into consideration.

  1. Compare the prices

Don’t just take the hotel price at face value. Compare the price of your hotel with three other luxury establishments from the same area.

If you notice that another hotel is cheaper per night, try to find out why. Does your hotel have better views than the other hotel or more services? Or is it simply more expensive?

When booking your luxury hotel, don’t rush into it. Think it through and do as much research as possible.

A Pre-holiday Housekeeping Checklist

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You can’t wait to jet off on your next holiday — you may have even found the perfect property to rent while abroad, but there’s one very important thing you can’t forget: your own home. Before you leave, remember to take a few extra precautions, to ensure your own home stays safe and disaster-free when you’re gone. After all, the last thing you want after a refreshing break is to come home to a burst water pipe or a house that’s been robbed.

Whether you’re spending a month on the beach in Thailand or a long weekend in Prague, the steps you should take are the same. There’s a wealth of useful home maintenance resources online, but remember to also run through this quick housekeeping checklist before you leave on your holiday:

For a Weekend Break

  • Take out your rubbish – Untended rubbish, especially in the kitchen, can grow rotten or attract mice. You don’t want to come home to the smell of rotting rubbish — or have it strewn all over your kitchen floor — so remember to leave it outside for the bin man, before you take off.
  • Turn down your heat, or turn it off – If it’s winter, you may not want to come home to a freezing house, so consider turning your heat on low, or on a ‘holiday setting,’ if your heater has that feature. Either way, turning the heat low or off will ensure your house doesn’t accidentally burn up in flames — and it’ll save on utility bills.
  • Set a lamp on timer, so your house doesn’t seem empty – If your house is obviously empty, you may attract burglars. To combat this, you can buy a timer and set it to turn on a lamp in the front room regularly, for a few hours each evening, to make it appear like someone’s at home.
  • Switch on your security system – Finally, make sure your house will be a safe one to come home to. If you have a security system, turn it on, remembering to take the details with you and possibly leaving them with a close friend at home.

For Four Days or Longer 

  • Temporarily stop your post and newspaper deliveries – Burglars look for houses where post or newspaper deliveries are piling up. So contact the postal service in advance and have them temporarily hold your post while you’re gone. Do the same thing with newspapers and any other regular deliveries.
  • Leave a key with a trusted friend or neighbour – To be extra safe, arrange with a neighbour ahead of time to water houseplants, feed pets, and check on your home while you’re gone. Leave your emergency contact details with them, too.
  • Unplug appliances and electronics – Save on electricity bills and protect your items from an unexpected power surge. Unplug stereos, televisions, computers, lamps, microwaves, toasters – anything you don’t want to have to replace.
  • Toss out food that will expire – You don’t want to come home to a kitchen full of mouldy food or a fridge that needs to be disinfected. This can attract pests and create an unhygienic environment. So go through your fridge and pantry, and make sure to bin any food that will go off, or give it to a neighbour or friend.
  • Turn off your water valves – If you’re gone for a while, it’s a good idea to turn off water valves to your sink, toilets, dishwasher, and washing machines. Otherwise, a leak or burst pipe could lead to a leakage and water damage at home.

This straightforward housekeeping checklist should be easy enough to follow. Give yourself a day or two to go through these tasks, and you’ll be able to enjoy your holiday even more, knowing that you’ve done your best to keep your home tidy and protected!

Luxury Yacht Charter Destinations – The Greek Cyclades

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The days are getting lighter and the long Northern winter is almost at an end, which means that it’s definitely time to be booking your summer luxury yacht charters.

There are few places on earth that scream idyllic yachting holiday more than the Greek Islands, with their bewitching blend of ancient civilizations, whitewashed villages and turquoise and sapphire waters.

Each year the superyacht fleet comes visiting the Cyclades islands, and it’s extremely easy to see why. This mesmerizing chain of islands offers a beguiling mix of night-time glamour, ancient culture and astonishing natural beauty.

Dock in famed Mykonos to walk amongst windmills and along long sandy beaches, and dance the night away in one of the sophisticated clubs. Have an elegant beach party at night amongst the lanterns and white cloth tables set up next to the silvery sea. Eat rustic fresh food in a quiet hillside taverna or dine in one of the excellent restaurants along the harbor front, looking out across the lights of the gathered yachts. This island is a mecca for the superyacht set each summer, and it has a buzz of excitement during the summer months that is extremely hard to resist. Part high glamour, part deep relaxation: this is yachting bliss.

Santorini, meanwhile, is simply unmissable. This is the island that launched a million postcards, with its whitewashed village perched on top of towering, vertiginous cliffs that plummet down sheer to the deep sea. An extinct volcano, the beauty of this island beggars belief, with its sandy isolated beaches and quaint villages reached by donkey paths. Anchor off and spend a morning wakeboarding or swimming in the shadow of this ancient fire-mountain. Go ashore for an exquisite lunch, or spend an afternoon being pampered in a spa with a panoramic view off the edge of the cliffs across the sparkling Aegean. Have a cocktail, while watching a limitless pool running off the edge to nowhere, your deckchair waiting in the warm afternoon sunshine, immense cliffs glowing red as the sun drops into the sea.

Where Mykonos offers glamour and Santorini staggering scenery, Delos offers the heart and soul of the Cyclades chain. The birthplace of the immortals Apollo and Artemis, this is sacred ground, on which no-one is allowed to be born, or to die. No-one lives here now, but even in the days when it was the bustling trade heart of the Cyclades, women in labor or those close to death would be ferried off the island to ensure that it remained pure and sacred. Today, it exists as history you can walk amongst; a deserted island full of sculptures and artifacts standing strong against the ravages of time. It is an enchanting, magnificent place, and one where you can feel the echo of the ages.

The delights don’t stop there; set your yacht’s course to meander through the Cyclades island chain, taking in the breathtaking beauty of Naxos, Andros and Amorgos, or visit Homer’s tomb and enjoy the great nightlife of Ios.

This summer, anchor your yacht in a perfect cove and plunge off the swim platform into sapphire waters shot through with shards of light. Walk among lemon groves and sail among the peaks of sunken mountain ranges. Eat and drink and soak up the Mediterranean sunshine. Tomorrow, you can do it all again.

To find out more about booking a luxury yacht charter in the Greek Cyclades, please contact the yacht charter experts at Northrop & Johnson.

Awesome Adventure Holidays For The Whole Family To Enjoy

Are you sick and tired of spending your annual family vacation in Spain where every bar plays reruns of Only Fools and Horses all day long? You’re not the only one. Experts predict that thousands of families will think outside of the box this year and travel to somewhere a little different. Opting to take an adventure holiday might be a little more expensive, but it is guaranteed to present you with lots of awesome new experiences. If you have children, your time away this year could create memories that last a lifetime. At the end of the day, the last thing you want to do is waste your money on a trip to the same old locations.

The best thing about planning an adventure holiday? It’s much simpler than it used to be. These days, there are so many apps available for your smartphone that it is easy to make all your arrangements from a mobile device.

Safari

There are so many different options open to you when planning a safari that you can’t pass on the opportunity. While most people decide to travel to countries like Kenya, there are lots of other places you can try. We saw an excellent review a few days ago from a family that booked an India tiger safari. It all comes down to which places you’d like to visit, and which animals you’d like to encounter. Children love getting up close and personal with some of the biggest beasts on earth. Going on safari will let them do that without risking injury.

Jungle trek

You’re going to need a lot of stamina to handle a jungle trek, but some people find it to be the best experience of their life. You could travel to somewhere like the Democratic Republic of Congo, but that can be a little too dangerous if you have children in your party. With that in mind, we always recommend that people visit Peru. Organizing a trek through the Amazon rainforest is simple, and incredibly enjoyable. You could even follow the Inca Trail and witness the awesomeness of Machu Picchu. Just be warned that it takes around eight days to reach that mountain paradise on foot. Most people trek half way and then arrange a helicopter ride. However, the decision is down to you.

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Ross Huggett

The Arctic

Presuming you don’t mind freezing temperatures, you could have a very enjoyable experience in the Arctic. Most people steer clear of that area because most of it is inhabited. However, therein lies its beauty. If you want to visit a place that hasn’t been ravaged by humans, there is no better location on earth. Your best bet is to book a cruise that visits the Arctic. There are plenty of them around, and you might be surprised at the price. Just don’t forget to take your camera as you’re sure to see some amazing sights.

We hope you have gained some inspiration from our suggestions, and that you will consider something a little different this year. No matter what size your family might be, the perfect holiday is just waiting to be discovered.