Monday, December 30, 2013

10 Seaside Holiday Ideas

By: Sharonsky Tribelsky

When it comes to go on your seaside vacation, it can be very hard to pick a destination. There are many places you can go, whether you want to explore the beaches of Hawaii or just play golf in Georgia. Below, you'll find 9 ideas to help you decide on where to go for your vacation.

1. Hawaii resort
You can choose to put your frequent flier miles to good use and take a seashore vacation on the island of Hawaii. Here, you can relax on the seashore, swim in the ocean, play golf, and even indulge in one of the many innovative spa treatments. Hawaii enjoys some of the best weather in the world - making it a great choice for your seashore vacation.

2. Golf and Beach in Georgia
Well-liked among the East Coast, the Cloister at Sea Island in Georgia offers you 54 holes of contest
golf, sandy beaches, and a wide collection of things for you to do.

3. Oahu seashore vacation
At the Kahala Mandarin Oriental you can expect to be pampered like never before. You can visit the spa, take scuba diving lessons, or choose to swim it up with the dolphins. The remedy is conveniently
located 15 minutes away from Honolulu and Waikiki Coastline.

4. Virgin Islands vacation
At this vacation destination you can take pleasure in blue waters and sandy beaches. The Ritz Carlton, and St. Thomas resorts offer you the best of luxury hotels during your beach vacation in the Virgin Islands.

5. Half Moon Bay California
Located just 30 minutes by car away from San Francisco, the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay is a
quick seaside vacation away from the normal busy life of the city.
6. Luxury Coast Alternative of Bermuda
Two hours away by air travel from New York City, Bermuda is a quick and ideal holidays away from the East Coast. Ariel Sands offers you 47 guest accommodation with gastronome food and breathtaking views.

7. Romance and isolation in Jamaica
With only one of its kind rooms and fabulous views of the Caribbean, gourmet cuisine and wonderful beaches, The Caves resort in Jamaica helps to set the seashore
holiday atmosphere like never before.
8. Lakeside Resort Georgia
Near Atlanta Georgia, the Lake Lanier Islands offers a golf track for golf lovers and a waterpark with
several water rides, slides, and water attractions the entire family will have the benefit of.

9. Family fun in Hawaii
The Kona Township Resort in Hawaii offers you several vacation activities that include snorkeling,
kayaking, sailing, volleyball, tennis, fishing, scuba diving, and glass bottom boat tours.

10. Waikiki Beach Vacation
Positioned on the sun drenched Hawaiian Island of Oahu, Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous and well known beaches in the entire world, with luxurious hotels and beach clubs set right on the coast. The famous Kalakaua Avenue, which runs parallel to the coastline, offers you a shoppers heaven with fine restaurants and nightly activity.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Luxury Hotels In Spain

By: Jack Blacksmith
So you are traveling to Spain and planning to visit Barcelona while you are there, but the thought of staying in a noisy, busy, city centre hotel leaves you cold? Don’t worry, there are other options when it comes to Barcelona hotels, and the following couple of suggestions should make for a mush more relaxed trip.

The first suggestion is to try one of the superb four star hotels at the Port Aventura theme park, only a short distance outside the centre, rather than a hotel in Barcelona city itself. It is possible to get a dedicated transfer from Barcelona’s main airport, directly to the theme park, which will drop you right outside your hotel. Of course, you can always hire a car and drive yourself to the theme park, and if you do, remember that Europcar have special arrangements with the Port Aventura hotels to ensure you get the best deal.

The four hotels available each have their own particular character and are decorated and furnished to a very high level. Whichever you choose you will be guaranteed a luxurious visit. If you are looking for classic Mediterranean style you might try the Portaventura hotel, whilst for something a little different, the El Paso hotel has a Mexican theme. If you are after sheer indulgence and the chance to sunbath by the pool on pure white sand, The Hotel Caribe is for you.

As well as bed and breakfast, the very reasonable prices charged by the Port Aventura hotels also include entrance to the theme park and the Caribe Aquatic Centre. Even during the summer months, an expensive period for all hotels in Spain, a night in the hotel with two days in the theme park is just over two hundred euros for a single, and less than one hundred and fifty per person for a double. To reduce the cost even further, you can have a room for up to four people. Out of season, when it is still possible to enjoy good weather in this region, two people could pay less than one hundred euros.

If you want to be a little closer to Barcelona city centre, but are still looking for a luxurious option, away from the crowds of La Rambla, you should check into the Arts Hotle, which offers an incredible sea front location with views over the whole Marina and port area. This is a place to really be pampered, and any of the spacious rooms, suites or split-level apartments, offer an uneatable standard of accommodation. The real gem in this hotel is the Goyescas restaurant, were the extensive menu includes local specialties as well as international cuisine. If you are having trouble deciding between the mouthwatering dishes, a recommendation from the friendly staff may help you make up you mind. They will even tell you the perfect wine to accompany your meal.

So as you can see, it is perfectly possible to enjoy the cultural and historical sights of Barcelona, without having to stay right in the bustling city centre. After a hard day’s sightseeing you return to a calm relaxing oasis, just a short ride away.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Affordable Family Vacations - Jamaica is Within Your Reach

Dominiq Gallagher

Are you gearing up to plan your next family vacation? Due to the economy, many families are vacationing closer to home. After all, it is no secret that the affordable family vacations are located close by. With that said, you might be surprised when you look at Jamaica. Yes, Jamaica is often associated with luxurious romantic getaways and yes Jamaica is typically associated with a huge price tag, but it doesn’t have to be. Despite what you might have heard in the past, affordable family vacations can be found in Jamaica! How so?

All Inclusive Jamaica Resorts: In Jamaica, you will find a great selection of all inclusive resorts. While some of these resorts do have age restrictions that prohibit children under the age of say 14 or 16 from staying onsite, there are many resorts designed for families and even more resorts where guests of all ages are welcomed. These resorts are perfect for affordable family vacations because they have activities, facilities, and services designed for children and their parents. For instance, it is common to find daycare centers or babysitting services, kiddie and family pools, game rooms, family friendly restaurants, and more.

But wait! What about the affordable family vacations part? Here is the best part! Not only do you save time (one arrangement plans and pays for most of your trip), but you are also likely to save money. What you are buying is a packaged travel deal. Your stay includes your room or suite, many forms of onsite entertainment, qualifying airport transfers, tips, food, drinks, and snacks. Saving money isn’t guaranteed, but most families do save anywhere from $50 to hundreds of dollars! Many tourists just like you try to estimate the cost of all their food, drinks, activities, and so forth at the end of their trip. When comparing that estimate to the cost of their all inclusive travel package, most saved a considerable amount of money.

Make Use of Inclusions: If you do opt for a stay at an all inclusive resort in Jamaica, getting affordable family vacations is easy when you make use of all inclusions. Basically, these are things you already paid for because they were included in the cost of your stay. So lets stay that your resort has a rock climbing wall; you and your children should use it! In fact, the more you make use of a resort’s inclusions, the more money you save!

Traditional Vacation Packages: While we are particularly found of all inclusive Jamaica travel packages for affordable family vacations, there are standard travel packages available as well. You can and should examine these. We are sure you’ll find all inclusive to be your best bet, but we also encourage you to examine all your options. For example, a standard Jamaica travel package typically includes airfare, car rental, and hotel stay. If looking to keep it simple, this might be a good choice for you. However, keep in mind that your food, drinks, snacks, and tips aren’t included; therefore, you will need to cover these yourself. Families looking to plan affordable family vacations need to do a lot of planning and preparation when staying at a traditional hotel.

Moneysaving Travel Discounts: Whether you opt for an all inclusive Jamaica travel package or a traditional travel package, you are encouraged to book your travel plans directly through the resort. Yes those third party travel websites are nice, but the resorts and hotels themselves tend to offer even better deals and discounts. The type of discounts you find will vary, but it is not uncommon to get stay X number of nights and get one free, book now and save later deals, and so forth. These deals can significantly lower the cost of your trip giving you affordable family vacations!

The examples above are just a few of the many ways that you and other families can find affordable family vacations. Other tips include price comparing all inclusive resorts, booking your trip in advance, and maybe travel in the off season where travel costs are lower. Since you will find a lot of deals and discounts now, there is no need to wait to book your trip. So what are you waiting for? Jamaica is within your reach; it can be the home of affordable family vacations just like yours!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Getaways on a budget: How not to break the bank this summer...

If you’re not a teacher, the chances are that your summer holiday is a much-coveted time of year when work can take a running jump and you can dedicate yourself to the pursuit of pleasure. A marvellous concept, by all accounts. However, if you’re not filthy rich and you’re worried that two weeks in Ibiza may mean you have to remortgage the house, read on. There are plenty of ways to amuse yourself of this fair isle that don’t involve spending a heap of cash; here are a selection of budget breaks that won’t leave you weeping tears of anxiety when you get home.
If you’re looking for somewhere to take your family that involves freedom, the chance to explore little-known parts of the UK and, of course, the opportunity to walk on the great British coastline, then researching holiday parks might be the answer. As well as staying closer to home, so your travel costs are dramatically reduced, you don’t have to worry about changing currency - and many parks allow you to bring your pet along, so no more kennel costs. Plus, there’s something rather lovely about enjoying taking advantage of the UK’s gorgeous scenery; who needs sunburn and potentially-disastrous food when the UK has everything you need to have a great holiday?

Of course, many people aren’t content to get close to water - they want to live on it, which is where boating holidays come in. If you’re after a blissfully-serene holiday without all the trappings of modern holidays (overpriced food, air travel, expensive hotels), this is for you. Similarly to many UK holiday parks, some companies will also allow pets, so pack your pet’s lifejacket! (We do not advise this for cats. They are not known for their river-faring ways.)
Back to land-based holidays. For those who are truly seeking adventure on a budget, and who are desperate to get away for a fraction of the cost, try camping. Devon and Cornwall are always popular choices for people keen to get their tent erected, and many campsites offer showering facilities, washing facilities and power points (so you can bring your hairdryer. Hurrah.). If you choose to camp while the UK’s weather is at its warmest, you’ll find that all those warnings of freezing at night are quite untrue - plus, there’s normally a great atmosphere at campsites that means families don’t have to worry about fellow holidaymakers or snooty waiters.
The next idea is still very much in its infancy, despite the amount of coverage it has produced. If you’re keen to see another part of the world (or the UK) for a minimal fee, sign up to a reputable Holiday Home Swap site online (the Guardian’s one is pretty good). Essentially, you put your own home on the site, then find another user who’s willing to ‘swap’ with you for a week or so, in the same time frame. This does mean a thorough clean before your ‘guests’ arrive, but your accommodation will be far more luxurious than a hotel - and you can feel smug at the amount of money you’ve saved on a hotel. Plus, if you’re an avid reader, or love DVDs, you may well find there’s a huge amount of new material ready for you to work your way through...

Finally, let’s take a look at the ‘staycation’; a concept that started in the US during the financial crisis of 2007. This is, in basic terms, just enjoying staying at home and doing all the things you’ve been wanting to do, whilst enjoying some time off. This kind of holiday may not be ideal for those with children seeking stimulation, but for couples who love each other’s company, and who are happy to enjoy a good book in the garden after catching up with some weeding, it’s ideal. It’s easy to sneer at the staycation, but anyone who has experienced the euphoric joy of finally clearing out the garage, or cleaning out their sock drawer, will know better. Besides, if you have a less-than-enjoyable time, who cares? It’s not like you’ve wasted any money...

Vicky Anscombe is an Online PR and Social Media Consultant for Norwich-based SEO company, Further. She has been camping at least three times and thoroughly enjoyed it, and has plans to try a home swap for herself.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

7 Monuments of Ancient Rome That Are Still Standing

There are several magnificent structures that remain standing today which can give us a direct glimpse into the world of Ancient Rome. The architects who dreamed up these spectacular monuments, as well as the workers who toiled to build them, deserve to be remembered for their artistic and historical legacies. Let’s take a look the seven best of these monuments: The Pantheon is an impressive edifice that has been very well preserved. It is a temple that was built to the Roman Gods around 125 AD, and is believed to have been inspired by the Emperor Adrian or Apollodorus. It was laboriously adorned with statues of the Olympian Gods and topped with a 44 meter unreinforced dome. A pediment supported by columns provides the entrance to the Pantheon, and the area in the center is half as big as a modern day football field. If that is not impressive enough, there is an oculus or circular hole thirty feet wide in the dome which allows natural light to shine in from above. The Pantheon can easily be visited by public transit, tour bus, rental car, or rental motorcycle if you're staying in Rome, though you should get motorcycle travel insurance if you choose the latter form of transportation.

Augustus, the first emperor of Rome, thought outside the box with the inspirational Les Ferreres Aqueduct. It is believed to have transferred many gallons of clean water to the residents of ancient Tarraco. It includes 25 upper arches and 11 lower ones intended to carry water from Francoli in the south to modern-day Tarragona, a distance of nine miles in total. It reaches 27 meters in height and is 249 meters in length. It would be an engineering marvel for any time, especially two thousand years ago! The Aspendos Theater has survived since 155 AD when Marcus Aurelius ruled the Roman Empire. It could hold up to 20,000 spectators and they all could see and hear the performances well because of the deliberate steepness with which the theater was designed. It was well maintained throughout the years because the stage area continued to be used as a roadside inn or caravanserai well after the fall of Rome. One of the most well-preserved temples of Ancient Rome is the Maison Carrée. It was built by General Marcus Vipanius Agrippa during 16 BC in remembrance of his two sons who had died in their youth. It was converted into a Christian church during the 4th century, then subsequently used as a town hall, a storehouse, a stable, and a museum. This continued usage and upkeep has preserved the building well.

An arena still used today for bullfights and other events is the Arena of Nimes. It was built during the first century AD and could seat 24,000 spectators. The viscounts of Nimes built and fortified a palace within the structure during the Middle Ages, and the town around it only grew thereafter. Currently, it has a heating system and a movable cover. The remains of many of Rome’s emperors were laid to rest at The Mausoleum of Hadrian. It was originally commissioned in the first century AD by Hadrian for his own family, and his family’s ashes were the first to be laid to rest there. The last known Roman Emperor entombed there was Caracalla in 217. It has since been used as a castle and as a fortress by the popes of Rome. Currently, it is a museum. The most famous Roman monument still standing is The Colosseum. The emperor Vespasian started the construction in 70 AD and the amphitheater was finished in 80 AD by his son Titus. When it was first opened, there were 100 days of events which basically involved the killing of gladiators and animals. There were 80 entrances to the central theater, which could hold a staggering 50,000 people. The Colosseum was the largest amphitheater ever built in the ancient world. It was originally called the Flavian Amphitheater, and was used for executions and mythological dramas. It has largely survived centuries of earthquakes, fires, robbers, and invading armies. We are extremely fortunate to still have these architectural marvels in our day and age, and with careful preservation and restoration, people 2000 years from now.

James Hetrick

Amsterdam on a Budget

Who said you need to empty your bank account in order to have a good time on vacation? Don’t compromise your budget on your next trip to Amsterdam. While hardly the cheapest destination, Amsterdam can be very accommodating for those travelling on a budget. Follow some of these helpful hints in order to max out your fun instead of your credit card.
First, plan the timing of your visit if you are able to control when you are travelling. Summer is logically the peak tourism  and peak cost season so you may have to avoid going there during this time if you don’t like big crowds and big bills. Save big when travelling in winter. The climate remains comfortable as do prices on hotels in Amsterdam. Late spring to early fall are ‘shoulder seasons’  and good options since there are not too many travelers and costs are quite reasonable.

You should check out the budget hotels available, which offer more reasonable accommodation rates compared to the luxury hotels. If you still want cheaper accommodation, hostels should be your choice. However, keep in mind that hostels usually impose curfews and restrict privacy especially in shared rooms.
What is there to do when you do not want to spend much? First, you may stroll along the Amsterdam canals. There, you could take a picturesque view of the unique architecture of the city. Make your way to  the market to purchase some seasonable fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats and bread. Buying at the market will save you big on lunch and dinner, while giving you a taste of the local cuisine. Plan a trip to the Begijnhof, a garden surrounded by 14th century town houses, including the city’s oldest house, which isolates you from the hustle and bustle of the city. Here you can unpack your lunch on the go and enjoy an authentic Amsterdam experience.

A visit to Amsterdam would not be complete without getting to any or all of the bridges crossing the canals. Try to take make it to all of the bridges in Amsterdam and document your adventure with photos. Lean over a bridge and call out to passing boats in a friendly manner, the Dutch are so hospitable you may even get a free boat ride down the canals. If you miss your chance on a canal ride there are ferries which connect the city to the nearby IJ Island. This five minute free ride through the port affords passengers an expansive view of the city from the water. 
Amsterdam is a capital of world culture offering plenty of events, exhibits and concerts for little or no charge year round. One highlight is at the “Concertgebouw”, where every Wednesday from late September to June spectators are delighted to a 30 minute free rehearsal concert performed by internationally renowned orchestras and ensembles which will officially perform later that evening in concert.

A visit to Amsterdam would not be complete without a visit to The Blomenmarkt, Flower Market,  along Singel. Here is your chance for some cost effective souvenirs to bring back home. Amsterdam is famous for its flowers and with the Blomenmarkt being the main supplier for the city you’ll have plenty of options for gifts to bring back home.
For travelers with smart phones there are plenty of low-price or free apps offering self guided walking tours of the city. If you would like to head indoors then Civic Guards’ Gallery is the place for you. Traverse the glass enclosed hallway and take in the massive portraits of the former Guards of the city from the 17th Century.

Through planning and keeping a budget in mind, you are bound to have a memorable experience in Amsterdam without breaking the bank. Keep these tips in mind for your next trip and save.

Have you visited Amsterdam before? Share some of your money saving tips in the comments below.

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This post has been provided by  the free online hotel reservation service With over 160 hotels in  Amsterdam the chance to find big savings on budget accommodation are at your fingertips.


Amsterdam Amsterdam

Edinburgh travel guide

So, Christmas is out the way, and you’re starting to recover from all that shopping you did back in December, not to mention the money you spent on partying and visiting friends and family! As spring arrives, bringing with it warmer weather you’re already day dreaming about the far off places you might visit this summer, or even just getting away for a weekend. Well we have the perfect solution- visit Edinburgh! Get away from the Olympic hype and the London smog and visit Edinburgh, one of the UK’s alternative capital cities! The summer is when Edinburgh springs to life and a visit here will certainly leave a spring in your step!

The Fringe Festival draws thousands of tourists year on year for exciting live comedy shows, dance and street entertainment. This festival which takes place in August has many big comedy acts as well as small, ranging from Apollo performers such as Kevin Bridges, Frankie Boyle, Russell Howard and Michael McIntyre, to new artists, eager to air their talent. Unlike the Olympics, many Fringe exhibits are free to enter, or if not then the tickets for front row seats won’t cost you a mortgage!

On warm summer days, make the most of the sunny skies by finding things to do out of doors. The Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic garden features many interesting plants from all over the world. The garden area covers over 70 acres of land and so you will undoubtedly find a pretty area to sit and eat a picnic amongst a fine display of horticultural finesse and learn about ecological conservation at the same time. The Edinburgh Marina is another fine place to visit on a summer’s day. Go and see the Royal Yacht Britannia where you can now do a guided tour before stopping on the Royal Deck Tea Room for a spot of afternoon cream tea and pretend you are royalty.

Edinburgh is very well equipped for tourists when the weather is rainy. Explore the city underground with Auld Reekie’s haunted underground experience, a tour in the underground passages of the city known for the slums and criminal activity will send shivers down your spine! If you want to continue your strange experiences, head to Camera Obscura, 5 floors of mazes, optical illusions and mirror tricks at the end of the Royal Mile.

After all this exploring and excitement you’re going to be hungry and want to find a place to stay. For top tasty treats it really depends on your budget. Edinburgh is choc-a-bloc full of cafés and restaurants eager to impress, for an evening meal treat head to Howie’s on Prince’s Street for some of Scotland’s finest dining, where you can sample some of Scotland’s finest locally sourced and freshly prepared ingredients. For a stay where you wake up to the great traditional Scottish breakfast, go to Sonas Guest House, highly rated with glowing recommendations for a high quality welcome for guests. Alternatively, you could look into renting out a property for a week or joining a house swap scheme if you are going with a large group of friends. Whatever kind of accommodation you’re in the mood for Edinburgh will make you feel at home!