Advantages Of Package Holidays


I recently watched a video created by, 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.

Fumigate and Take A Break!


Having little insects sharing your bed every night is not something most people enjoy. While we might be fine with pets on the duvet, insects and other creatures are definitely another matter. Luckily there are lots of ways to deal with this type of problem, and with many fumigation processes taking a few days you can even turn it into a great excuse for a short get-away. Here are our top tips for sorting both the fumigation and that holiday away!

The first issue is finding where bugs might be hiding. This can be more difficult than it sounds, as many live in hard-to reach nooks and crannies. Check for tell tale signs such as eggs and shed outer shells or wing cases on your bed, mattress and nearby furniture. Have a look under the bed frame and in the corners of rooms, areas that often get forgotten.

Once you have identified the problem, it is easy to deal with some of the smaller items yourself. Those that fit into the washing machine can be bagged up to prevent cross-contamination, then laundered at a high temperature to kill off the bugs. You can also try putting items in the freezer as cold temperatures have the same effect. They need to be left inside for at least a few weeks though as this process takes much longer. As with the laundry, remember to fully seal items in plastic beforehand, as you don’t want any escapes.

When you have dealt with the smaller items it is time to call in the experts. For full details on how to get rid of household pests there is a lot of great online advice, like this Cleanipedia article on how to get rid of bed bugs. To find the right fumigation company for you look online for reviews or use a local directory. This is the best way of knowing that your problem will be dealt with once and for all.

Fumigation can take a few days, which is where the fun part comes in. While the professionals are killing those bugs you can leave for some time away. This is a great excuse for a fun trip abroad as it means you do not have to worry about where to stay while your house is being sorted. Even better, you can enjoy your vacation in the knowledge that when you return, relaxed and happy, your house will be clean, with no infestations any more.

Dealing with bed bugs isn’t usually seen as a positive, but with our fumigate-and-take-a-break approach you might even end up wishing you had those little critters more often!

Six Signs You’ve Survived A Trip to Maldives

For vacationers seeking a tropical island paradise, Maldives is certainly at the top of the list for hot sun, white sand, and bright blue waters. The Republic of Maldives sits in the Indian Ocean off the southwest coast of India, and is a country made of over a thousand coral islands and archipelagos. Many of the small islands house tropical resort getaways and are a popular destination for travelers looking for the island life.

Most citizens of Maldives are Sunni Muslim and therefore enforce traditional values, meaning that there are bans on alcohol, pork, and a number of other items in accordance with Muslim law. However, since such a huge portion of Maldives’ revenue is gained from tourism, most of the island resorts are not held to these laws, and indeed, most resorts operate under a rule of “anything goes”.

This may seem frightening to those who want to get away and relax, but many of the tourists that visit the Maldives are looking for the same exact thing you are and there aren’t many rudely loud parties. Relaxation should be the nickname of the Maldives.


There is only one main drawback to visiting the Maldives: You won’t want to leave! You won’t want to return to the same old hustle and bustle as the city life where you get stuck in traffic and get yelled at by your boss.

  1. You’re Not Stressed Anymore

When you booked your vacation, it was most likely because your workload was too overwhelming and you needed a break. While there are many tourists in the Maldives, there are plenty of secret and quiet places you can sit back and read a book in, taking the stress off of your shoulders. The crystal clear waters and tropical ocean breeze are calming and will allow you to meditate beautifully.

  1. You’re Not Used To Everyday Traffic Jams

The Maldives uses three modes of transportation: boat, small plane and yacht. That’s right! There is no smog from traffic jams and no one yelling at you out of their windows. This is a huge upside to visiting. Boat rides are relaxing and showcase the beautiful crystal clear waters of the area. Getting in a car from the airport on the way home can almost be traumatizing compared to your transportation during your trip.

  1. Meditation/Pranayama



The Maldives are known for their yoga, meditation and Pranayama sessions and techniques. Pranayama is a deep breathing yoga technique used to fully relax the body and rid the mind of negative thoughts. Some of the meditation venues for these classes are “open air” due to the air of the Maldives being so peaceful and beautiful. A roof is said to “shut out” nature.

  1. Other Beaches Can’t Compare

Usually, other places have crowded beaches that are just as overwhelming as your work. While the Maldives are popular, everyone who goes is looking for the same solace you are. When I visited, there weren’t many “party” beaches and it was a nice place to sit down and enjoy the area and relaxation. It was probably one of the quietest beach spots I’ve visited on vacation. That’s not a bad thing, however, all other beaches are too loud and ruined for you to even think about visiting.

On top of the beaches being some of the most beautiful and peaceful beaches in the world, they also may not be around too much longer to enjoy. Try watching the Netflix documentary, The Island President  while n Maldives (just make sure to use a VPN). It describes the possibility that global warming may take over Maldives in the next century.  It truly makes you look at the beauty of Maldives in a whole new light.

  1. Thriving Marine Ecosystems



If you took the chance to dive under the beautiful waters of the Maldives, you may have seen first-hand the thriving aquatic ecosystems. The beautiful oriental sweetlips are just one of the many alluring fish you can see enjoying marine life.  The fish co-existing with you during diving trips is surreal and humbling.

  1. You’re In Love with the Peaceful Island Life

After a week or two of perfect weather and total leisure, it’s a shock to come back to the daily grind. You’ve learned there is a world outside the existence where you are expected to be at work by eight o’clock on the dot, the weather is often terrible, and your daily commute gives you a migraine. You’re only looking forward longingly to the next time you can spend a glorious getaway living the island life.

Health and happiness are two key factors of sustaining life in the Maldives. Mental peace makes for physical peace and you’ll be able to work on all of those when visiting the Maldives. If you’ve already been to the Maldives, chances are you’re much happier than before you went and are grabbing at the chance to go back.

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


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 as seen in the football betting site at William Hill wherein Bayern Munich is pretty much at top of the rankings.

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 There are a number of ways to go about it, ranging from fully crewed to an all-out bareboat charter.


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.


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

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, 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.

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A Pre-holiday Housekeeping Checklist


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


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.