Planning Your 2014 Summer Holiday
February 4th, 2014
Now that Christmas is well and truly over and the days are finally getting longer, it’s the perfect time to forget your winter blues and start looking forward to summer.
As the very best thing about summer is your annual getaway, why not make an early start and begin planning your break now?
Where to go?
The first thing you’ll need to decide when planning your summer holiday is where you want to go. A lot of this will depend on your budget, but you should also take travelling times, climates and attractions into account.
With the upcoming World Cup and the next Olympics all set to be hosted in Brazil, this is one of the hottest destinations for 2014. Portugal, Greece and Turkey will continue to attract crowds closer to home and you can find fantastic rail holidays to all three of these destinations.
What to do?
For some people, the phrase ‘summer holiday’ is synonymous with sunbathing, swimming and relaxing. If your idea of a great break is two weeks by the pool then your holiday shouldn’t take long to plan at all!
However, for those who need a little more stimulation, the world is full of exciting opportunities, with most destinations offering a range of tours, excursions and cultural experiences.
If you want to pack as much into your break as possible then one of the best ways to do it is by booking a rail holiday. Available in countries all over the world, rail holidays take passengers on some of the most iconic journeys around, giving them the chance to see and experience new destinations almost every day of their trip.
How to get there?
You may think that flying to your chosen destination is your best option for 2014 – but what about the alternatives? If you want to enjoy a truly unique holiday experience, then perhaps now is the time to consider travelling by rail.
Not only will this type of holiday take you right to the doorstep of your destination, but it’ll allow you to explore multiple areas within a single trip – and all without having to do any of the driving yourself! Simply sit back, relax and watch the world pass by your window as you enjoy lounging in the lap of luxury.
Rail tours are available at various destinations across the world, with a great choice of departure points, so you’re sure to find something that fits with your preferences.
The Five Most Stunning Sand Beaches in the World
January 30th, 2014
Longing to feel the sand between your toes? Wishing you could be walking along a paradisiacal beach, with turquoise waters gently lapping at the shore? Well, with the weather we’re currently suffering in the UK, you can’t be blamed. Take a look at some of the world’s best beaches to whet your appetite and take you away from the frosty reality of the UK – even if just for a few minutes.
Playa Paraiso, Cuba
When it comes to crystal clear waters and cloudless skies, you’d struggle to beat Playa Paraiso, in the Cayo Largo area of Cuba. The name literally translates to ‘paradise beach’, and visitors to the place will instantly see why; this dreamy setting looks like something you’d find between the glossy pages of a travel magazine. You can even partake in non-motorised watersports at no extra charge – a great excuse to have a splash about in the surf.
Natadola Beach, Fiji
If you’ve seen pictures of Fiji before, you’ll know the kind of thing you can expect. The beach has stunning white sands, where you can lie back and sip some fresh coconut milk. (The local vendors sell green coconuts for drinking.) But just in case blissful relaxation gets a little tedious, (which is doubtful,) there are a number of activities for you to get involved in. Why not take a horse ride along the beach whilst admiring the sunset? Or bring along a snorkel and see what’s waiting to be discovered under the water?
Hot Water Beach, New Zealand
In the Coromandel Peninsula of New Zealand, you’ll find the Hot Water Beach, aptly named due to the underground reservoirs of remarkably hot water created by the nearby volcanoes. This provides a real treat for visitors who have the forethought to bring a spade, because at low tide, it’s possible to dig small bathing pools and relax in the warm water – your very own make-shift spa!
Lanikai Beach, Hawaii
This picturesque beach is small but insanely beautiful. It’s very much ‘back to basics here’; there are no facilities when it comes to parking, toilets or showers, but this makes the place seem all the more untouched. The word Lanikai is a Hawaiian term, meaning ‘Heavenly Waters’, and when you see the calm, glassy waters, protected by a nearby coral reef, you’ll see why it has its name.
Maya Beach, Belize
Apart from having sublime views and a heavenly climate, Maya beach, in Placencia, is also the perfect spot for explorers. If you’re looking for a tropical paradise that offers a host of nearby activities, you needn’t look any further. It’s the perfect place top enjoy some idyllic Balinese relaxation, but when you’re ready to explore, there are Jungle rivers, Mayan ruins and a huge variety of wildlife, including monkeys, iguanas manatees, dolphins and rays.
Feeling any warmer? Perhaps not… If reading about these stunning beaches doesn’t quite cut the mustard, but they’re all a little too far afield for your next getaway, it might be time to start looking at places like Corsica, Lefkada or Barcelona on the Expedia site. They may not be quite as tropical as those mentioned above, but they have beautiful sand beaches that have their own unique charm.
Girls’ trip! Cheap getaway locations for a getaway with the girls
January 28th, 2014
It’s hard to find something my five closest friends will agree on, especially in the exasperatingly varied world of travel. But one thing that ticks everyone’s box is the word “cheap.” Like cheap furniture, cheap holidays can win you major brownie points, or collapse horribly in the first day. Here are some suggestions we promise will keep you out of the bad books.
An article that promises “getaway” and “cheap” can’t fail to recommend Bali. Stay out of schoolies wracked Kuta and Seminyak. Instead head east instead to Ahmed, or north to the area of Ubud. Not only is Ahmed laughably cheap, it is one of the most beautiful spots on the island. The hotels dip straight onto the beach, and the fish almost seem to swim up to you. Entertainment is easy – ask one of the locals, and you’ll be snorkeling past pink coral in less than an hour. When you’ve tired yourselves out, head over to Ubud for the shameless pampering that girl’s trips are made for. At $20 for a two hour massage, you could literally stay there overnight if only the day spas stayed open. And of course, you could always pack in a few Hindu temples, but only if the girls agree.
Sometimes the best thing you can do with a group of friends is absolutely nothing, and absolutely nothing does not get much better than a cruise on the pacific. Ok, it’s not technically a location, but variation only improves the experience. Cruising is a versatile affair, but the gigantic windowed tankers that pull into dock nearly always offer buffet meals and a well-stocked bar. Some have oddities such as casinos and movie theatres, and most have a good sized pool in case you wanted to do more than simply look at the water. Not sure just where to cruise? Read here to find which ideas best float your boat (get it?)
If your friends are like my friends, and demand things like “explore”, “experience” and worse still, “active”, you might find yourself having to break out of the traditional girl’s vacation mould. Situated close by on our smaller and more mountainous neighbor, Queenstown is a place your insistent friends will never get bored. In the snow season, the activity of choice is obvious – grab skis or a board, and pump some adrenaline sliding down the slopes. But even when the snow has melted, Queenstown still has a lot to offer. Skydiving, parasailing and bungee jumping are just a few of the fast paced activities perfect for the summer months. With its pox of youth hostels and low price of alcohol, Queenstown is no less entertaining after the sun sets. A local favourite is to mosey on down to the Cowboy’s Bar, and ride the mechanical bull. Or don’t, and spend your night laughing at the endless stream of men falling flat on their face.
Good holidays are temporary, but friends last forever. Bad holidays seem permanent, but may make your friends temporary…. We hope these suggestions will help you achieve the former!
Where in the World Do You Find the Ultimate Beach Parties?
January 28th, 2014
A beach party is a great way to enjoy the company of likeminded people while combining a love of the beach, and who wouldn’t be into attending a party in a beautiful beach setting? There are some countries that just know how to throw an awesome beach party, and do it all year around, so that no matter who you are, or where you come from, somewhere in the world, there is a beach party going on right now! Here are some of the world’s best beach parties and where they are located.
Ibiza is an island located off the coast of Spain, famous for its electronic music club scene that attracts tourists from all over the world to its wild beach parties. While the Spanish government is working to make the area more family friendly it remains one of the worlds most popular dance club destinations where revellers dance all night on the beach by the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. A must-go destination for club rats.
Nissi Beach, Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Nissi Beach in Cyprus is known for hosting some of the wildest parties around, with tourists and locals alike visiting to take in the cool waters and sandy beach to the tune of famous DJ’s from around the world. Patrons to the beach parties regularly enjoy foam parties, bikini competitions and excessive drinking as they dance all night with wild abandon.
Koh Phangan, Thailand
The Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan is one of the wildest parties around, with visitors making their way to the island from the mainland and often from countries from all over the world. There they fill the beaches during the all-night rave party, enjoying the cheap drinks, pounding music and join the energetic crowd of revellers who gather from countries far and wide to celebrate the lunar cycle.
Goa is a well-known hot spot for ravers and people that love to dance, with beach bonfires regularly turning into all night rave experiences for visitors and locals. Palolem Beach in Goa, hosts what is called ‘silent noise parties’, which are silent raves whereby attendees wear their own headphones and dance to their own music, on the beach with everyone else doing the same thing. A popular ‘noiseless’ beach party option, that happens a few times a week!
Kuta Beach in Bali, Indonesia is a popular spot for beach parties and it’s the place where everyone on the island heads to party the night away together. With its rowdy parties, loud music, plenty of drinks and an attractive crowd, it’s one of the beach party options that are closer to home and Australian visitors attend regularly to take in the sights and sounds of the country while dancing the night away on the beach. For information about cruises to the area, or to find out how to get to a beach party near you head to the Cruiseabout website
Casinos in Africa
September 12th, 2013
Africa is one of the most diverse continents in the world. For this reason, it is often a top tourist destination with people travelling to the many countries found there. South Africa is one of these countries that are often selected as a tourist destination. Here, visitors can find many different points of interest as well as activities in which to partake. Among these would include casino gambling in some of the popular casino resorts found in South Africa.
The Carnival Casino is one option when visiting South Africa. As one might think, the casino does use a theme based on the popular Carnival holiday that is observed in Brazil. The casino is located about 30 kilometres almost straight east of the capital city of Johannesburg which makes travel quite simple. Slot machines are popular here amongst tourists. They are quite varied not only in the type of machine but in the required coin denominations. Expect to find both video slot machines as well as mechanical reel machines. For those fans of casino table games, the Carnival Casino doesn’t disappoint. With almost 20 tables, the casino offers many different popular games found also at online casinos like www.mobileslots.net such as poker, roulette and blackjack.
A second casino that visitors to this area may wish to visit is Montecasino. Located in downtown Johannesburg, Montecasino is a well-known casino. The theme of the casino is based on a village in Tuscany, Italy. The casino is actually sectioned off into two smaller casinos. The major difference between the two is that one permits smoking while the other prohibits smoking. Montecasino includes other forms of entertainment for their guests. One of these is a large theatre known as the Teatro. The theatre also holds the distinction of being the largest in South Africa. Major productions are often shown at the Teatro and could be attended while on holiday.