Category Archives: Travel

Planning a road trip?

Planning a road trip? Getting out on the highway for some back road adventures can be an incredible vacation experience that will take you to places you never imagined you might see. On a good road trip, you’ll meet fascinating people, eat delicious regional foods, see breathtaking sights, and experience this country in ways you never have before. When things go wrong on a road trip, though, it can be pretty rough. You’re miles away from home, cut off from resources, and in unfamiliar territory. The last thing you want is for an exciting road trip to get mired in problems and complications, so take some time before you leave to sort things out and fully prepare yourself. That’s the best way to make sure you have a great trip that everybody will enjoy! Here are few things to keep in mind as you’re planning your trip.

 

  1. Get your car serviced first

 

Take your car to the shop before you leave to have your tires, oil, filters, cables, and everything else that might break down checked out. If everything looks good, then you’ve got less reason to worry about car trouble derailing your trip. Make sure you have a spare tire with you too!

 

  1. Line up some roadside assistance

 

Your insurance company might offer roadside assistance coverage, or you can get it from an auto club like AAA. This way, if you do have a breakdown, you won’t have to worry about who to call to come to your rescue.

 

  1. Wander, but don’t get lost

 

Exploring back roads and out of the way places can be among the most memorable parts of a road trip, but make sure you check the map and find “escape routes” to get you back on major roads in case any issues come up while you’re out in the boonies.

 

  1. Clean before you go

 

Starting the trip with a freshly cleaned car, free of junk and trash, will make everybody enjoy the first leg of their trip a little better. Don’t forget to clean as you go, too!

 

  1. Make sure the kids are all right

 

If you’re traveling with young children, make sure they have plenty of snacks, toys, books, and other things to keep them occupied on long drives, and that they can reach them without needing the driver’s help. Also, make sure any very young children are riding in properly installed car seats!

 

  1. Rest often

 

Don’t be in a rush to get from place to place. Rest when you need to, nap if you have to, and stretch your legs when you can. Everybody will be happier, more comfortable, and get along better if they aren’t stuck in the car for too long at any given time.

 

  1. Make memories

 

Give everybody a camera, take lots of pictures, let everybody pick some random interesting places to stop, and remember to have fun! Road trips can be tiring and stressful, so don’t forget to stay positive and make sure everybody has a chance to enjoy themselves.

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Corinthia Hotels 50% Off Annual Sale Is Here!

No, I’m not kidding. Corinthia Hotels is back with their fantastic annual sale so if you are thinking about booking your next European getaway, look no more.

If there is one chain of hotels in Europe that never fails to deliver a sense of luxury and divine comfort to its guests, it has to be Corinthia Hotels. Their hotel locations are in some of the most spectacular European cities and each one of them has it’s own unique look to it and impeccable hospitality. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, Corinthia Hotels will provide you with a stay to remember.

Now, I want to show you how you can score a room for less than $100 in one of their fabulous five-star hotels.

Hermitage2

Once you have your favorite Corinthia location figured out, head over to Corinthia.com and book your stay online, because like that you will be eligible for 50% off on all hotel rooms in most of our favorite European destinations (Corinthia Hotel London is the only exception, offering 30% off)! If you are still not convinced (which I cannot see why you wouldn’t be!), as part of this offer, Corinthia is also promising complimentary room upgrades, extended check-outs, and discounts in its restaurants and bars, available exclusively through their website.

Below are the starting prices of each of Corinthia Hotels’ gorgeous destinations for 2017:

  • Corinthia Budapest: Rates start from €145 per room per night
  • Corinthia St George’s Bay (Malta): Rates start from €100 per room per night
  • Corinthia Lisbon: Rates start from €80 per room per night
  • Corinthia London: Rates starting from £495 per room per night
  • Corinthia Palace Hotel and Spa (Malta): Rates start from €90 per room per night
  • Corinthia Prague: Rates start from €85 per room per night
  • Corinthia St Petersburg: Rates start from 4975 RUB per room per night

Don’t hold your thought for too long though as the discounted prices are only available until 28th February 2017. However, as long as you complete your booking on time, the timing of your stay can be anytime this year – until 31st December 2017. Visit http://www.corinthia.com/annualsale/ for Terms and Conditions and other important information about the offer

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Things I Love To Do: Antarctica

 

There is no question that you are curious about visiting Antarctica and you probably wouldn’t be browsing this blog post if you weren’t. Antarctica Travel is one of the best things that I have ever done in my entire life and I wanted to talk more about some of the fun things that you can actually do there. So sit back, relax and enjoy reading about the things that I love doing in Antarctica.

Kayaking

One of the best things about Antarctica travel and visiting this frozen content is the kayaking and it is even more special because it is in one of the most unique places on earth. What I love about doing this is that you get to see Antarctica from sea level and then you start to get an idea of how big things actually are. Icebergs are one great example of this and kayaking in out of the ice and icebergs is such a cool experience. Kayaks also allowed me to get up close and personal with different kinds of animals like seals and penguins that were resting on the rocks.

Jumping in

This idea is not for the faint of heart because it is going to involve getting quite cold. The idea is at it suggests taking a dip in the sub zero waters of Antarctica. Once you survive this, you have the ultimate bragging rights. Nobody is going to be able to top your feat. Ever.

Camping

One thing that I tended to notice about Antarctica and the cruises there is that a lot of companies won’t let you off the ship. Well I was lucky enough to be on one that did and the best part was actually getting to sleep on the Antarctic mainland! This may not be the most comfortable experience of your life, but it is something that very few people will ever say they have done.

Take a Zodiac tour

A Zodiac is a small rubber boat that is named after the brand itself and is a great way to experience the Antarctic seascape. Just like kayaking you get to see things from sea level and you get to see the massive scale of the ice around you. It’s also a great way to interact with wildlife that may be hiding away on a piece of ice. This is always a great change up when you spend most of your time on the cruise ship itself.


Send a letter

Yes, it is actually possible to send a letter from Port Lockroy. Of course, the mail will be very slow to reach its final destination, but imagine the surprise of somebody when they receive a letter with a postmark from Antarctica! Port Lockroy is an English research station and you tend to meet other tour groups here, so it is a great chance to share your experiences with these people.

Penguins

Penguins are without a doubt my favourite animal when it comes to visiting Antarctica. They are so cute and you could simply watch them all day. They are also quite curious creatures, especially when they live on the most isolated place on earth, and they will approach you to inspect you more closely. They also love playing, which is something that is great to watch. There are few other places on earth where you can do this.

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Thinking Of A Family Holiday

 

Going on a holiday as a family is not always the easiest decision to make in the world, especially when getting 3 or more people to go somewhere at the same time. Here are some tips for thinking ahead on your next family holiday, so sit back and enjoy some great ways to get the perfect holiday.

Think of logistics

Getting many people to go to the one place can be a hard challenge, but if you think of something close by you can easily reduce a lot of stress of a family holiday. You might be pleasantly surprised how close some really great holiday destinations are. You can also save a lot of money by doing this too, especially if you have a big family.

Do your research

There is nothing worse than not doing your research when it comes to a family holiday.  So it is best to look into all the facilities that your family wants and needs. Write down all the things that you couldn’t live without on your next holiday and then you can decide much more easily where you want to go. Sometimes a holiday may sound like a good option, but in reality it may be severely lacking if it doesn’t have all the non negotiables.

Find variety

No family wants to be limited by what they want to do and the best thing is to find a place that will encourage many different activities. Not only can your kids get a taste for something that they have never tried before, but they can also find out what they don’t like. This is good for planning your future holidays and eventually getting it right.

Think of something new

One thing that families need is definitely variety and providing a new experience for your family is the perfect way to spend time together. Because everyone will be in a completely new setting with something to do it will be a relaxed and fun atmosphere. Something new is also a great way to keep your family engaged and is a great way to keep them looking forward to great holidays with the family, rather than the same thing year in year out.

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Essential Tashkent Travel Tips

Tashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan, and the largest city in the country. The word Tashkent directly translates to ‘stone city.’ One of my favourite things about the city are the museums and marvellous Soviet monuments. These include; Palace of Prince Romanov, a plethora or museums and theatres, Chorsu Bazaar and much more.

tashkent-culture-museums-reppression2

It really isn’t a difficult choice choosing Tashkent as a destination for a greta holiday. The flights are cheap and you can shop around to get a great bargain at this time of year. The other fantastic pat of the city is that there is accommodation to match any budget, finding Tashkent hotels is not a difficult task. If you’re backpacking then you’ll easily be able to find a budget hostel or even splash out and stay in a top 5 star hotel.

So once you’ve made the decision to head to to Tashkent it’s time to do your research and plan the perfect trip.

Visas

Most European countries are granted a one month visa which they must apply for before they arrive. If you are from a neighbouring country then you will more often than not be able to get a visa on arrival. As with all visa issues it’s always best to give the embassy in your country a call to make sure you’re fully prepared.

Currency

The local currency used in Tashkent is know as the Sum (UZS). If you want the most up to date info about the exchange rate then take a look at reputable sites such as XE. I always recommend chafing your money when you arrive in Tashkent as you will usually get the best rate on the ground.

Time Zone

The local time in Tashkent is 5 hours ahead of GMT, so make sure you wind your watch forward 5 hours if you’re arriving from the UK.

Climate

Tashkent is bless with a very comfortable Mediterranean climates. In the summer you will be able to enjoy long, sunny and dry days, which are perfect for exploring the city. If you’re heading there in the winter then be sure to wrap up warm because the weather can be very cold and often snowy – personally I think every winter season should have snow and is perfect for a white christmas!

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3 Interesting facts about Mt. Kilimanjaro

Soon I will be heading off on my long awaited trip to Mt Kilimanjaro. I can’t wait to get there, the excitement has been giving me sleepless nights! I’ll soon be boarding my trip to Tanzania for what I think will be the trip of a lifetime. Of course I’ve been doing non stop research, I have found out so many interesting facts over the past few weeks I wanted to share them with you. If you’re interested in Tanzania or Mt Kilimanjaro then you will find them very useful indeed.

It is the tallest free-standing mountain on the planet

Mt Kilimanjaro measures 19,341 feet, in meters that’s a whopping 5,898! It is obviously the tallest mountain in the whole of Africa and it can also take the title for being the highest free standing mountain on the planet. To get an idea of just how big it is – in Japan, Mt Fuji is 12,388 feet (3,776 meters), if we were to put these two free standing mountains side by side you would see Mt Kilimanjaro towering of Fuji.

mt kilimanjaro

Thousands try to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro each and every year

All climbers say that reaching the peak is absolutely amazing but the most exhilarating part is the climb, this is why more than 20,000 people head to the slopes ever year. Now here are the crazy facts about the 20,000 that attempt the climb each year; around two thirds will make it to the peak, 1,000 have to be evacuated from the mountain and unfortunately 10 perish. One of the main issues is that people fall foul to altitude sickness, at the peak of Kilimanjaro you will have around 50% less oxygen in each breath as you do at sea level.

Who was the first man to climb Mt Kilimanjaro?

As I have said just now, thousands of people climb Kilimanjaro each year but who was the first person to have made it to the top? A german man called Hans Meyer was the first to reach the peak way back in 1889 – it’s crazy to think how tough that must have been back then! I know that the air is thin up there but there must be something good about it because after giving tours of the mountain for seventy years, Mr Meyer lived to 124!

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The Magic of San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the biggest players in terms of must see American cities and funnily enough – it’s one of the smallest at only 49 square miles. Within that small space, lays an absolutely magnificent city that offers a vast amount to see and do and better yet – it’s all very easy. Compact, easily to commute around and no time constraints – San Francisco is hiving.

It would be very easy to stay in San Francisco and spend weeks covering very little of what the city has to offer. To help make this easier for you if you are planning a trip to ‘The City by The Bay’.

Things to do in San Francisco

 

1. The Golden Gate Bridge

Upon visiting San Francisco – you are not only expected to see the Golden Gate Bridge, you are obliged. One of the most famous bridges in the world – it’s a sight to behold and will amaze even the most experienced travellers. It’s a huge – 1.7 miles long and it’s estimated that 120,000 vehicles drive across it every day. You can also cross the bridge on foot via the pedestrian walkway and for the keen cyclist – bikes are allowed on the western side. And if you don’t fancy travelling across, you should go and see it anyway as it is said to be one of the most photographed attractions on Earth.
San Francisco, CA, USA
Image Source: Rant Lifestyle

2. Alcatraz

Although a bit of a strange tourist sight – this notorious former prison is a popular choice for the historian and curious traveller among you. Located on an Alcatraz Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay, this prison was formally home to some of the United States’ most notorious criminals. The prison was closed in the 1960’s and stories about Alcatraz are legendary and a visit to Alcatraz is truly captivating.  Recorded cell-house tours are available, allowing you to experience the entire history from an educational point.  To reach the island, take an Alcatraz Cruises ferry from Pier 43.

Alcatraz IslandImage Source: Protails

3. Sample the Culture

San Francisco is a cultural hub and a visit to San Fran would not be complete without experiencing all this wonderful city has to offer.  Home to internationally recognized symphony, opera and ballet companies – you’ll never be short of a thing or do to do and see.  Museum’s come in abundance – The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Asian Art Museum, the de Young Museum and the Palace of the Legion of Honor. The city is dedicated to the finest of classical and contemporary arts and of course is home to California Academy of Sciences which homes an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum, and a 4-story rainforest all under one roof.

 

4. Take a cable ride

One of the best ways to explore the city of San Francisco is by cable car and the city’s cable car system is the world’s last manually operated cable car system.  These cable cars can take you from Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf, two of the most popular areas of the city.  They are mainly used by tourists and are an iconic site of the city as they travel along the many famous streets and lanes – many of which have appeared in Hollywood movies down the years.

A-cable-car-San-FranImage Source: Fun Cheap SF

5. Sample the cuisine at Fisherman’s Wharf

The last thing to do when in San Francisco is to make the most of the quality local produce and fine cuisine on offer across the city, none more so than in the many restaurants and cafes of the popular Fisherman’s Wharf.  Pier 39 is another popular area for food lovers among you, but if you want to sample some of the best seafood dishes in the world, then take a walk around Fisherman’s Wharf – you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Fishermans-WharfImage Source: Wikipedia

 

 

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WAYS TO SPEND YOUR DAYS IN TURKEY

I’m not sure why I haven’t considered Turkey as a holiday destination before. It has a rich culture, places to take it easy, exquisite food and unique attractions (you would have to visit multiple places to get the same variety of architectural, archaeological, water sports and beach resorts), the regions have a diverse mix of the west and exotic east.   

What I Did

I landed in Turkey and shuttled to Dalaman to a rustic hotel on the west coast. I was a little jetlagged and decided to rather get settled, relaxed and have a look around town before heading on a boat to Kos Island in the morning. And I’m glad I took the time get my head together because going on a tour exhausted and with a headache is “no bueno” oh wait…I’m not at home…it’s “hiç iyi”. In the morning I headed with a group to the Greek Island of Kos to visit the Paleo Pili Byzantine fort and bubble my cares away in the hot springs of the appropriately named, Therma Beach. It was a perfect sunset and a calm ride back to the mainland.

Ephesus

On a bus tour to Ephesus (present-day Selçuk), our group basically ogled and stood dumb-struck looking at over 30 ancient structures such as House of Virgin Mary, the Basilica of St John, The temple of Artemis, brothels, libraries, the Gate of Mazeus, theatres and gymnasiums. It was super sunny so always remember your hat and sunblock.

We then hopped back on the bus and drove to Geyre to explore Aphrodisias (a location where ancients believed the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite – the Romans called her Venus, had her sanctuary). Although the site is sort of half excavated and half protected by the sands, the site still has incredibly preserved ruins and insights into daily life of a long gone civilisation.

I ended my tour by heading to the coast and boarded a Turkish Yacht (a gullet) to cruise the cobalt waters, cool down after my many escapades in the sun on land and for the next few days, relax with new friends, fine wine, traditional teas, coffees and although a little spicy, some of the most flavourful food I have ever had.

How I Got There and Back

Atatürk International Airport is Turkey’s busiest international airport. I made sure to compare prices of flights with all well-known flight centres and agencies to find affordable Dalaman flights, to and from the UK, from Bodrum and Istanbul including Ankara including transit to main cities in Turkey. I had to factor in road travelling costs and accommodation because I wanted most of my budget to be spent on activities.

I’m really glad I didn’t overlook Turkey as a holiday location, I may not have considered it before but I will always include it for the future because I don’t think I even scratched the surface of what Turkey has to offer. I know there’s a saying that the journey is more important than the destination and although this may be true for many travellers, I think the destinations in Turkey make the journey all the more worthwhile.

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