Cancun is one of those vacation spots where you just can’t go wrong. From watersports to beach time, exciting nightlife and exploring the Mayan culture, there’s something here to make everyone’s holiday amazing. Travelbag’s Cancun Holidays is the perfect starting point for inspiring your trip. But while you could indulge in the typical shopping, sunbathing and resort life on Cancun, you could also go for something a little different! So why not get on the other side of a Cancun holiday? Travelbag’s Cancun holidays has everything you need to prepare for a fun and unique experience in this gorgeous destination:
Get Tipsy at the Tequila Museum
Obviously it’s not a holiday in Mexico without some tequila beverages to lighten the mood. But why not take it a step further and really learn about the stuff at the Tequila Herradura Sensory Museum. On an hour and twenty minute tour, you’ll learn the history of the local tequila, the distilling process, and even the best drinking etiquette. Good thing nobody’s driving!
Explore the Underwater Museum
A completely different kind of water experience takes you beneath the sea to experience an art installation that doubles as an ecological benefit. The eco-sculptor who created the 450 statues that are on display underwater intended for them to help promote new coral growth and divert divers from the fragile reefs nearby. It’s totally unique, so get scuba trained so you can dive down and check it out! You can always throw on some snorkeling gear and dive right down as well.
Check Out the Turtle Hatchery
After a few days of beach bumming and hanging around the touristy areas, you’re bound to be craving an escape from the crowds. Head to the turtle hatchery for a random afternoon of hanging out with the little guys! You’ll get up close and personal with all sorts of turtles, and it’s super cheap to get in. Where else do you have the chance to see a baby turtle? And all proceeds go towards helping the animals, so you can feel good about a good cause.
Strap on a Jetpack
This insane new “watersport” is relatively new and super crazy. You literally strap on a jetpack, undergo a brief training and then you’re taking off like a rocket, able to fly over the ocean for several minutes at a time using the power of the water. If you’re into really new and crazy things, you absolutely have to check this out! Cancun is the perfect place to do it, with its insanely gorgeous waters.
Driving into the dry, hot desert stretches of Australia’s Outback, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Coober Pedy was abandoned long ago. However the barren landscape hides a thriving community of over 4,000 permanent residents, who live under the earth’s surface. Coober Pedy was first established in in 1915, shortly after a mother lode of opals was discovered in the area. Prospective opal miners from around the world flocked to town to seek their fortune, establishing this settlement in the sun. The harsh weather conditions caused the locals to drive their living spaces underground, converting old mines into cosy houses.
Today, tourists visit South Australia’s Cooper Pedy not only to find out more about it opal mining heritage, but also to see what life is like underground. You can stay in an underground hotel, get a bargain on precious gems at the opal jewellery shops, and even enjoy a gourmet meal below the earth’s surface. The following are a few attractions that make this historic town a fascinating place to visit.
You may assume that the dugout homes in Coober Pedy will feel small or claustrophobic, but they rival many of the finest examples of real estate SA in cosmopolitan Adelaide. You can tour some examples of the homes, which feature modern kitchens, walk-in closets, and a warm glow from the red rocks that comprise their walls. Many visitors choose to stay in the Desert Cave Hotel, which offers 4 star accommodations and an on-site opal gallery. There are also underground gift shops, museums, churches, and cafes to keep you busy when the sun is at its brightest outside. The Umoona Mine and Museum contains an underground house, theatre, cultural displays, and Aboriginal interpretive centre to learn more about the region’s history.
Coober Pedy Golf Course
In the evening hours when the temperature drops, locals and visitors alike can enjoy a round of golf with glow in the dark golf balls. There isn’t any grass or trees in the area, so the course uses mounds of sand, oil and diesel pits, and a large sand trap. This makes it a uniquely challenging and bizarre golf course that will test even the most avid golfer’s skill.
If you want to try your hand at opal mining, you can visit the “noodling” area open to the public in Coober Pedy. There are designated areas that are open for noodling, so be sure to stick to these to avoid a fine. No permit is required if you don’t use a digging device, shovel, or pick. However, if you plan to use digging tools, explosives, or heavy machinery you’ll need the appropriate permit from the Mines and Energy office.
If you’re looking for an intriguing day trip from Coober Pedy, you might want to venture about a half hour north of town to the Breakaways Reserve. This includes bright and colourful rock hills which were once part of the Stuart Range, but have broken away over time. Be sure to pack plenty of water, as temperatures can soar. However, visitors are rewarded with amazing views of the Outback. The desert changes colours throughout the day depending on the position of the sun, creating a surreal and completely unique impression on viewers.
A day in Coober Pedy is unlike anywhere else on earth, allowing you to experience what life is like below the earth’s surface.
The Atlas Mountains offer endless fun to any outdoor loving person; from the southern Anti-Atlas ranges that give you fantastic views of the golden desert to the snow capped High Atlas Mountains dotted with quaint Berber villages where you can stay in traditional Atlas Mountains hotels. The Anti-Atlas ranges are less visited hence give an opportunity for anyone looking for a trip off the beaten track, the facilities are minimal as compared to the High Atlas ranges.
Jebel Siroua is an ancient volcano that is popular with hikers. For a more challenging experience the purple colored Jebel Lekst is the most popular and most difficult. Jebel Aklim though less visited is equally challenging; but after the struggles of getting to the top you will be rewarded by spectacular views of the High Atlas and Jebel Siroua. If you’re planning on trekking around volcanoes on your trip make sure you get a travel insurance policy which covers those kinds of activities!
The High Atlas ranges on the other hand gives you more advanced trails as its most frequented by visitors. For those fit enough the Toubkal summit which is the highest in Northern Africa awaits you, the Imi Ourlad to the beautiful village of Imli offers spectacular lush valleys, sparkling streams and moderate trails. Tizi Oussem route only a short walk from Imi Ourland lets you experience the Berber culture as you pass through their villages; it is an excellent break from the city.
Marrakech city is a must stop over: from its fun filled Djemaa el Fna square with charming story tellers, fire eaters, music and dancing. There is a lot to see, you can start by visiting the majestic Koutoubia Mosque with its distinctive traditional Almohad style minaret which is visible from near and far.
Wander along the narrow alleyways and spend some dirhams in the souks. The souks are lined up along the alleyways and comprise of small retail cubicles that sell almost everything from fine fabrics, carpets and spices to love potions and Berber lipstick.
Try out scrubbing yourself clean in the traditional baths known as Hammam and sleep in a riad to experience the rich culture of the Berbers. Before leaving Marrakech make sure you spend a night in the clubs and enjoy being entertained by the popular belly dancers who contribute heavily to the vibrant nightlife. A magical holiday in Marrakech won’t be forgotten quickly.
Fez and Meknes are recognized as ancient Morocco capitals. If you are looking for an inspiring historical tour then you are sure to get that and more from Fez. It is Morocco’s intellectual and spiritual center, boasting of one of the world’s oldest universities and the largest intact medieval quarters. It is a UNESCO World Heritage town whose biggest attraction is the old medina Fes el-Bali. Take some time to wander off in the narrow alleyways where you will encounter donkey carts or local artisans at work.
This fantastic town is also famous for its fabulous leather products that are sold in the leather souk. Visit the tanneries and witness the rigorous process of tanning and dyeing leather. Morning hours are perfect to visit when the colors are still bright and appear vivid on pictures.
Barcelona is a popular party destination, but there is a lot for the family to enjoy: from the fantastic beaches lined up with fine family friendly resorts to the wander of Gaudi’s fairytale architecture.
The best place to start your trip is strolling along the mile long colorful Las Ramblas where you will enjoy mingling with the locals as well as other tourists. Enjoy watching fortune tellers, dancers, music and the fine statues as you wander through the magical streets. You may let the young ones experience the magic of fortune telling. There are also numerous restaurants lined up along this street where your family can enjoy a good meal as you explore the bustling surrounding.
There are some exciting parks to relax after a long day exploring the Las Ramblas; the Teatre Grec gardens are not only lush but also inspiring and tranquil.
If you don’t fancy exploring on foot then why not get a ticket for one of Barcelona’s hop on hop off buses? This is a great way to see all the main sites in the city and find out some of the history and background behind it. It’s also a great way to save the children’s tired legs!
If you have not introduced your family to sea food then here you can have a great start. It is immoral to leave Barcelona without sucking on an oyster, and there are numerous restaurants where you can enjoy sea food delicacies.
Don’t forget to treat your kids to some of the finest chocolates in the world!
India is fascinating and a spectacular destination for all ages: there is always something for everyone. Whatever your age, it is guaranteed that you will marvel at the enchanting landscapes, alluring wildlife, rich culture and magnificent architectural grandeur.
Take your family on a wildlife trip and watch your kids get thrilled by the spectacular wildlife as you sink deeper and deeper into the Indian jungles. The Royal Tiger is just one of the rare jungle attractions that can be found in the Kanha National Park and Bandhavgarh National Park.
Kerala is another exciting destination for families; it is also known as ‘gods own country’ and all you need is get there to know why. This fairytale land is blessed with extravagant attractions, dramatic hill stations and the popular backwaters for a tranquil family holiday. Let the family enjoy navigating these glorious waters in a fabulous boat house. Experience the Indian culture up close and candid as you watch closely as the natives continue with their daily activities. There are numerous resorts to stay at in the area, such as the Poovar Island Resort which is a great place to keep the kids entertained when you’re not exploring.
Portugal is ideal for that long awaited family holiday: the fine weather, enchanting towns, rich marine heritage, charming fishing villages and the friendly people make it a perfect holiday paradise.
The Algarve is a popular touristic destination: it offers picturesque coastlines, pristine sandy beaches, magnificent resorts and world class golf courses. It has something for everyone and offers an opportunity for family fun.
Madeira Island is an all year round holiday destination with spectacular gardens, rugged coastline, volcanic caves, gorgeous beaches and enchanting cultural experiences. Some of Portugal’s splendid flowers are showcased in the lush gardens. For a tranquil and intimate experience, you can savor a family picnic surrounded by this natural beauty. For a beach experience you can head to the Praia da Jamaica and build some sand castles with the kids on the beautiful sandy beach. Take a walk through Funchal, the islands capital and have some cultural fun, take family photographs in the picturesque squares and enjoy roaming in the charming streets.
Montreal is one of North America’s oldest cities, with architecture going all the way back to the 1600s. It’s also the second-largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris. Vieux-Montréal, the oldest part of the city, remains much the same as it did in the city’s earliest days. A walking tour of Old Montreal will show you some of the city’s charming European culture and quaint cobblestone streets. If you’re visiting Montreal, you could check here to find the best deals on hotels near this neighborhood.
Begin Your Tour at Pointe-à-Callière
Pointe-à-Callière, the Montreal Museum of Archeology and History, is located on the very site where Montreal was founded almost 400 years ago. The Pointe-à-Callière is named after Louis Hector de Callière, the third governor of Montreal who built his house on this spot in 1688. The Pointe-à-Callière is the largest archeological museum in Canada. Decades of excavations have revealed more than a millennium of human habitation here.
Continuing Your Tour
Your next stop will be the Centre d’Histoire de Montreal, the Montreal Historical Center. Here you’ll learn everything you need to know about Montreal’s history. The structure was built as a fire station in 1904 and was reopened as a museum in 1983 after being decommissioned in 1972.
Next, you’ll visit the DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art where you can take interactive tours, participate in creative workshops or enjoy one of the museum’s regular events. The museum is open to anyone who wants to learn about contemporary art, with free interactive tours available.
The nearby Centaur Theatre showcases some of the best English-language theater in Quebec. See award-winning shows put on by some of the world’s best actors of the stage and screen. After the show, walk down Rue Saint-François-Xavier and take a right on Rue Saint-Jacques to visit the Bank of Montreal Museum. This museum honoring Canada’s first bank, which opened in 1817, contains old banknotes and 19th-century banking documents, mechanical moneyboxes and other banking objects of historical significance.
Montreal Science Centre and the Old Port
You’ll have to cross Rue de la Commune to get to the Montreal Science Centre on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, but it’s worth it for the museum’s exciting and interactive exhibits. You can learn about the technology we use to protect the environment and practice more sustainable living, monitor maritime cargo shipping, make hockey sticks stronger and keep bridges standing.
When you leave the Science Centre, check out the Old Port of Montreal on the St. Lawrence River, which offers a range of activities for everyone in the family all year long. Enjoy a walk on the riverfront or rent a paddle boat. In the winter, the Old Port is home to the city’s largest natural outdoor ice-skating rink.
If you’re interested in ceramics, the Bonsecours Ceramic Centre on Rue Saint Gabriel showcases pieces by emerging artists as well as internationally recognized names. Students come from all over Quebec to train at the Ceramic Centre, but you can see stunning examples of the best in ceramics art as well.
Perhaps the bigger nearby draw is the Marché Bonsecours, or Bonsecours Market. The building itself is more than 100 years old, and is the city’s oldest and biggest public market. The two-story, domed neoclassical structure once held banquets, exhibits and festivals, and was where grocers and other merchants sold their wares. Now, it’s home to some of the city’s finest upscale boutiques.
Ending Your Tour
Perhaps one of the more picturesque parts of your tour of Vieux-Montréal, the Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel is also home to the Marguerite-Bourgeoys Museum at Rue Saint Paul. The chapel was built in 1771 on the ruins of a previous chapel that burned down in 1754.
Marguerite Bourgeoys was the remarkable woman and teacher who inspired the Montrealers to build this first chapel in 1675. She traveled to France in 1672 to bring the wooden statue of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours back, which stands in the reliquary in the left side-altar.
Near the end of your tour, visit Chateau Ramezay, the first structure classified as a historic monument in Quebec. The castle, built by Montreal governor Claude de Ramezay in 1705, opened as a museum in 1895. It encompasses more than 500 years of local history. Its collections include almost 30,000 artifacts including paintings, printed materials and furniture.
Finish your tour with the Sir George-Etienne Cartier National Historic Site, Montreal’s only Victorian home museum. See what life was like for members of the bourgeoisie in the 19th century, and learn about this important Canadian historical figure.
Old Montreal is one of the most exciting parts of this historic city. You can retrace your footsteps through the district at night to see the historic streets and architecture at their loveliest!
Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel photo credit: Marcio Cabral de Moura / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
About the Author: Louise Vinciguerra is a native of Brooklyn. She loves gardening and traveling almost as much as she loves content.
If you’re considering a holiday to Lanzarote but are concerned it’s all water parks and sun bathing, well think again. Lanzarote is an island rich in history and natural beauty with an awe inspiring volcanic landscape.
Historians have dated habitation on the island back to 1000 BC and since then the island has been through numerous governmental disputes until the treaty of Alcacovas granted authority of the Canary Islands, including Lanzarote, to Spain in 1479.
In 1982 the Canaries became an autonomous region of Spain and this is celebrated throughout the archipelagos on 30th May each year with a national holiday known as ‘Dia de Canarias’.
The Canary Islands, though part of Spain are actually located near to the northwest African Coast, close to Morocco. Lanzarote is one of the largest of the archipelagos which is perhaps the reason why, along with Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura, it is one of the most popular places for holidaymakers.
The name Lanzarote is said to derive from the name of the Genoese navigator Lancelotto Malocello who arrived at the island in 1336.
While there’s an interesting history of the island to explore it is perhaps the unique lunar-esque landscape that really deserves some attention.
Volcanic eruptions are responsible for shaping the unique geography of the island today and have created the out-of-this-world environments tourists flock to explore. With rugged rock formations and solidified lava streams, it’s like something straight out of a sci-fi film set in outer space.
The famous volcanic eruptions of 1730-1736 are largely responsible for this when they devastated the communities that had developed around the island.
Beyond the political history and natural beauty, Lanzarote also boasts an impressive cultural climate.
Arguably the most famous artist Lanzarote has produced is César Manrique and his work is proudly celebrated throughout the island with paintings, sculptures and architecture.
Manrique was hugely influential in the development of tourism in Lanzarote, which really started to take off here in the 1960s. With the average temperatures generally staying above 17?C all year round it’s easy to understand why it’s still such a popular choice for holidaymakers.
Sensing that a closely fought general election is on the horizon, the government has taken an innovative measure to combat historically low voter turnouts: by launching a major drive to attract votes from British expats.
The Electoral Commission is planning an online campaign targeted at British nationals using email accounts abroad which were initially set up at home. A large number of British expatriates live abroad, with the latest estimates putting the number at around 5 million. A fifth of these live in Spain alone. The government’s plan is a potentially very clever one, as a good number of financially well off, 60 year old-plus expats may arguably lean towards the right of the political spectrum and vote Conservative if given the choice. This new initiative is designed to promote that choice.
Many British nationals living abroad take out private expatriate health insurance and the move towards a more privatised healthcare system could be a constituent of the government’s 2015 election manifesto.
In many cases these individuals are signed up with banks and expat health insurance providers based in the UK, meaning that many of life’s key considerations are still administered from their country of origin. It is hoped that voting will become another of those considerations.
Whilst the number of expats registering to vote remotely was relatively small at the last general election in 2010, with 40,000 registration forms being downloaded, these kinds of numbers could potentially make all the difference in so-called ‘swing’ constituencies. Labour’s victory in Ealing Central and Acton in West London was decided by a mere 1,060 votes. The Lib Dems’ margin in York Outer was just 203 votes, so it’s easy to see how the government’s expat voter push could swing these kinds of seats.
Conservative MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown is pushing the Electoral Commission to aim to sign up an additional 100,000 voters this time around. The number could even be substantially higher, given that expats will be able to register online prior to the 2015 general election.
Louis Kaszczak of expat health insurance providers Aetna International has said that there is an appetite amongst expatriates to keep in touch with the UK’s political goings on, however many are unaware that they are still eligible to vote.
Only time will tell how successful the EC’s forthcoming initiative will be in regards to changing this viewpoint.
There’s no denying that backpacking offers the ideal low-cost getaway. For many, the idea of just packing a rucksack with the essentials and leaving the everyday routine miles behind really epitomises the concept of freedom. As such, backpacking is great for gap year travelling and for extended holidays.
You don’t have to be a student on a low-budget expedition to enjoy the freedom of a backpacking adventure, though. Nowadays, a backpacking holiday can be enjoyed in good hotels with a touch of style – even glamour, and here are a few top tips for finding these deals.
By booking your accommodation and flights separately, you can often make your trip more cost effective and afford to stay in higher rated hotels. Many four and five star hotels will offer you cheaper deals if you book early or if you are willing to stay outside of the normal high season. Again, compare these online well before you leave. Never be afraid to ring up hotels individually and negotiate a discount.
If you do choose to upgrade your accommodation from a backpacking hostel, make the most of it and use all of the facilities during your stay. After all, not many backpacking hostels will have a pool that you can use or a laundry service that is available to visitors.
Great Budget Destinations
Some places around the globe offer really good places to stay but at a fraction of the cost you would expect. Thailand is a good example, with plenty of four and five star accommodation that backpackers can check into without worrying about breaking the budget.
Egypt has seen a fall in accommodation prices in recent years, too. Another place well worth checking out is Tunisia – a long-time favourite destination for French backpackers.
Making the most of the freedom of travelling doesn’t have to be about bumming it across the globe. With a bit of careful research beforehand, it’s possible to backpack in style and sleep in comfort.
Traveling is always an exciting time, and one of the best places to visit this year is Singapore. Singapore has so many different things to offer in regards to tourists, and there is definitely something here for everyone. Of course, there are those common places that most tourists visit and can get through in a day. Most of that being the couture shopping that Singapore is known for, but thankfully there’s a great selection of alternative attractions to see too! Whether you enjoy cultural sights, shopping, or just some fun and relaxation, you will be sure to find it in wonderful Singapore.
Artwork at the Ritz-Carlton
It is a little crazy to be visiting a hotel, instead of an actual museum, or is it? The artwork at the Ritz-Carlton is one of the greatest collections there is to see of modern and contemporary art, and it is virtually unknown to tourists!
Chinatown Heritage Center
When visiting Singapore, of course there are museums and other places to look into the past of this city, but everyone should make it to the Chinatown Heritage Center. Here, visitors can admire the different 19th and early 20th century scenes that are available to see, and it also introduces you to the culture of the city too! You can even shop there and collect little souvenirs.
Located in the former red-light district of Singapore, Geylang has a lot of history to offer. Walking the streets, you will be introduced to the wonderful architecture, as well as experience some of the modern elements of the city too. One of the best things to do ere is try the local food.
The Camden Medical Center
If shopping and couture is your forte, you’ve come to the right place. Being big in fashion and appearance, Singapore has a nice little cosmetic secret. Stop in the Camden Medical Center for some of the latest skin treatments, from expert medial advancements to traditional and herbal medicines.
Tucked away in the heart of the Muslim quarter, Haji Lane has tons of little secret shops to offer the savvy shopper. Of course, you will find a vast variety of couture shops in popular places, but here, it is really a shopper’s dream come true!
Funan Digitalife Mall
If electronics are what excites you, try the Funan Digitalife Mall. Take advantage of the most hi-tech devices for about 10-20% cheaper than you would at other shops!
The White Rabbit
This restaurant gives you a little history, a lot of beauty, and some really great Euro comfort food. Once a historical church, this building was renovated to be a beautiful restaurant, keeping much of the church’s aesthetic design.
The nightlife in Singapore can be compared to that of New York, and a wonderful place to see it is by visiting Zouk. This amazing nightclub will fill your night with loud music, flashing strobes, and tons of dancing. No matter where you party in Singapore however, you’re bound to have an amazing time!
If you thinking of how to get to Singapore or how to get around here are some handy tips. When in Singapore you have several options for getting around including MRT, bus and taxi.
Investing in a holiday is often one of those things that the majority of us don’t get to do that often. With work, personal taste, time constraints and financial details it is imperative to find a holiday that satisfies everything that we want in a holiday, so we can get maximum enjoyment from the experience. Here are some factors to think about when considering what type of holiday is right for you.
If you are under time constraints then you probably won’t be booking a 3 month safari, or an open ended ticket to see the world. Working out how much time you have and choosing a holiday that fits into your schedule is the best way to ensure that you are getting maximum enjoyment for what you are paying for. Some holiday ideas that might fit that bill are cruises, bus tours and other short term holiday ideas.
If money is not flowing as abundantly as you would like it to then you will need to choose a holiday that fits in with your budget. Conversely if you have a large amount of money at your disposal then why not splash out and do something big! Working out what you want, and what you can afford and then shopping around for the best deal is a great way to ensure that you are getting the best holiday you can for your money. There are some great Cruiseabout specials available that will give you a great holiday without breaking the bank.
What Interests You?
If you don’t like walking, then you probably won’t be interested in going on a trek of the Himalayas, and if you aren’t a fan of the snow then you wouldn’t think of going on a snow trip. Working out what interests you will give you a few clues about what sort of holiday might be the best one for you.
Travel Companion Vs Solo Adventure
Some of us love spending time by ourselves, while others need to be around other people. If you are a person who is happy to head off on your own on an adventure then you will probably be fine with whatever holiday you choose. For some of us we would prefer to have a companion to travel with so we might be happy to do anything as long as we are doing it with friends, or family.
What did you love/hate about your last holiday?
If you take the time to think about your last holiday and what you loved/hated about it you will be able to get a good idea about what things you might want to experience in your next holiday. Planning a holiday is one of the most exciting parts of the trip so relax, and take the time to work out what you really want in a holiday, so that you will be sure to have an awesome time whatever you do!