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Child Friendly Holiday Destinations In Europe

GreeceToday’s fast-paced life can make it difficult for you to spend some time with your children. That’s why it is essential for you to bring your kids along, as take a much-needed holiday. But, where on the face of the earth can you spend a fun and rewarding vacation with your family? Well, fortunately, Europe has a ton of child friendly destinations that can give you and your family a blast for your next holiday.

From the nostalgic islands of Greece to the stylish cities of Italy, Europe has a dazzling collection of destinations for tourists who are traveling with kids. If you are planning to travel with your family on your next holiday, here’s a list of some of Europe’s best and most sought-after child friendly destinations, as highlighted by Baby Friendly Boltholes.

Greece

Very few destinations in the world can rival the majestic beauty of the land of Hellas. Furthermore, there aren’t a lot of destinations that have witnessed legends and historic figures as much as this Mediterranean haven.  Known as one of the world’s top tourist destinations, this beloved utopia is truly a blissful hub that will amuse you and your kids in a variety of ways.

Apart from its ancient ruins and historic landmarks, you and the rest of your family can enjoy a plethora of other family-oriented attractions in Greece as well. With miles stunning aquamarine coastline, kids can spend a day enjoying the lovely white sands and sapphire waters on a pristine Greek beach. Plus, it has a load of energetic theme parks, such as Crete’s Cretaquarium, Marine Park in Zante, and Allou Fun Park,

Algarve

With its scenic whitewashed towns, brash resorts and pretty beaches, it is no wonder Portugal’s Algarve reputation is often praised as the ultimate family holiday destination in Europe. While this destination has a frenetic party atmosphere, it surprisingly appeals to family-oriented tourists, thanks to its long sandy islands, scalloped beaches, natural bays, wide golden sands and awe-inspiring cliffs. Besides its natural beauty and amazing scenery, this Portuguese destination is also speckled with child-friendly attractions, such as tennis clubs, the Hot Wheels Raceway, Centros de Ciencias Vivas, Aqualand, Zoomarine, and a whole lot more.

Italy

Italy is arguably the most family-oriented holiday destination in all of Europe. Here, you will find an endless selection of child-friendly restaurants, beautiful villas, beach clubs and shopping centers. What’s more, this beautiful country has hundreds of attractions that kids will love, such as the ancient Colosseum, Villa Borghese, Villa Ada, Bioparco (a zoo in Rome), Explora Museum, St. Peter’s Basilica, lakes, mountains and caves. Of course, the country has culinary delights that would please your children’s palate, including pastas, pizzas and gelato, which is considered the best ice-cream in the world.

Traveling with your children is truly one of the best ways to spend your well-deserved holiday. As a parent, going on a holiday with your little ones is a blissful and rewarding experience that you will cherish for years to come. More importantly, a family holiday vacation gives you a chance to spend quality time with your loved ones. Ciao!

 

5 Fun Places to Eat Out near Victoria Station

Victoria Station is the main terminus station for the city of London. It is a very important place in Central London. Staying at a hotel near this place is a great idea. It enables you to explore some major London attraction quickly. Moreover, there are many fun places to dine out near the station.

You will find several accommodation options near Victoria Station. Top hotels near Victoria Station, like St. George’s Inn Victoria offer s all modern facilities at bargain rates.

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Top 5 Places for a Pleasant Dinner near Victoria Station

Café Rouge: This restaurant serves Brasserie and French cuisine. The cost for two people to eat out would cost around 40 pounds. The restaurant is located at the, the Victoria Place Shopping Centre near Buckingham Palace and is close to Central London hotels near Victoria Coach Station. It has an array of fabulous mouth-watering dishes such as steaks and Croquettesand Pot au Chocolat for desert. Drinks start from 4 pounds and wireless internet is available here.

Tozi: If you are staying at a hotel near Victoria station this restaurant located is a fine place to dine-in after a tiring but fun outing visiting places like The London Eye, Belgrave or Westminster Abbey. A dinner here would cost a couple approximately35 pounds. It has some wonderful Italian dishes such as Frittis, pastas, Porchetta and some wonderful Italian salads. Drinks are also available and is wonderful for a romantic dinner.

Frankie & Benny’s: If you are travelling via the Gatwick Express from the Gatwick airport and coming down to stay at a hotel near Victoria Station, you ought to try this fun and pleasant restaurant in Victoria Place Shopping Centre. The restaurant serves American and Italian food. The budget for two people here is approximately 30 pounds. Some of the dishes worth trying include The Big Frankie’s Platter, Lasagne AlForno and Oven Baked Pesto Salmon.

The Vincent Rooms: this restaurant is located in Westminster Abbey and is close to some fine places such as the London aquarium and the Royal Albert Hall. This restaurant serve wines and have a fine selection of European and contemporary dishes. The quant but pleasant restaurant serves a host full of palatable dishes such as Vegetable and main plates with exotic tastes. You have got to try a mug of soup and sarnie if you are up for a feel good food.

Wetherspoons: If you are travelling and reach the Victoria Station, you cannot miss this restaurant in the Unit 5 Victoria Station concourse. The restaurant serves British cuisine and is perfect for a dinner with friends. It would cost you around 40 pounds for a meal for two and a pint of beer costs around 4 pounds, which makes it reasonably affordable. The menu has some fine dishes that you ought to try, which include toasties, Panini and wraps. They also serve some fine curries if you are thinking exotic and spicy. The restaurant specializes in Fish and Chips.

The abovementioned places offer value for money dining options in and around Victoria. If you are planning to visit London anytime soon, be sure to visit these places with your friends and family.

St. George’s Inn Victoria, 25 Belgrave Road, Victoria, London SW1V 1RB, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7828 2061 | Fax: +44 (0) 20 7828 3605 Google+

To Emigrate or Not to Emigrate? That is the Question…

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Courtesy of Wikipedia

Everybody fantasises about emigrating at some point, or another during their lifetime. When you come home to rainy old Britain after a dream holiday in the sun, it can be difficult to re-adjust. So, it’s of no surprise that so many of us think about quitting our jobs, packing everything up and starting again, somewhere new. However, as with so many things, quite often the fantasy is much better than the actual reality.

Land development is heating up in the Baldivis at the moment, and this location is proving to be an increasingly popular choice among British expats. So, if you’re also considering packing everything up ‘in search of pastures new’, be sure to follow our advice. It’s the only way to ensure that your dream of a life in the sun doesn’t turn into a nightmare.

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Don’t Allow Your Heart to Rule Your Head

When viewing potential land and property purchases, it can be all too easy to get a little carried away. Remember, us Brits aren’t accustomed to long periods of blazing sunshine. We have to be careful to not let the sunshine go to our heads. The decision to spend such a large amount of money shouldn’t be taken lightly. So, if you know you’re prone to making rash decisions, wait until you’re back home before committing to anything. You don’t want to end up with an empty bank account and a serious case of buyer’s remorse, just because you were stuck in ‘holiday mode’.

Weigh Up the Pros and Cons

Make a list and start to weigh up the pros and cons of pushing ahead with your decision to emigrate. How much financial risk is involved? Can you bear to leave behind family and friends? Do you speak the native language? Will you be able to find employment? Only when you’ve considered everything will you be in a position to make an informed decision.

Be Realistic

Remember, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. If you’re emigrating in the hope that you can run away from your problems, we’re here to tell you that sadly, it doesn’t work that way. Emigrating can be a very stressful experience in itself. Holidaying in a place for a period of two weeks doesn’t equate to living there. Getting used to a new climate and trying to ingratiate yourself into a foreign culture isn’t always easy. So, whilst moving to a different country might offer a more relaxed lifestyle, there are still practicalities to consider.

Always Get a Survey

It’s essential that you understand exactly what you’re buying into before you proceed. A survey will inform you of your rights and obligations if you were to go through with the purchase. A survey will tell you if there are any planning permissions in place and equally if there are any restrictions. It will also inform you of any risks posed by the local environment, such as flooding or pollution.

So, just follow our advice, and you could find yourself living your dream life in the sun, in less time than it takes to get a suntan!

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Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Why You Should Consider Moving Abroad

It’s never easy to consider leaving your home country. Some people can’t even consider leaving their local area. Here’s an incredible stat – 40% of Americans don’t ever leave their hometowns. It seems we are home birds, attached to the places where we started our lives. We should all be more adventurous. Leaving home is a great experience. We all enjoy discovering new cultures and places. We shouldn’t just do these things on our holidays. If you’ve got a desire to leave, seize it. Here are some reasons why moving abroad could be the best decision you ever take.

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(Image link – Google Images)

Moving abroad can give you the freedom to build and design your own home. Housebuilding is often less expensive abroad. It costs an absolute fortune in the UK. That’s why few people build their own homes here. Abroad, it’s a different story. Over 40% of Australians build their own homes. The figure for the UK is less than 10%. In Australia, low maintenance land lots are available too. Why should you struggle to build an expensive house in the British countryside? You could be doing the same thing on the beach in glorious sunshine!

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(Image link – Google Images)

Another reason to move abroad is money. The cost of living in the UK is high, and rising all the time. Many of us can’t get on the property ladder. Instead, we’re ripped off by dodgy landlords. That’s not the case abroad. As I’ve said, you can build your own home in Australia with little fuss. In Europe, there are stricter rent controls, so there’s less chance of losing money. The simple fact is that it’s getting harder to make a good life for yourself in the UK. Many of us would be better off cutting our losses and taking our chances overseas.

Enough of the practical concerns. Let’s look at the fun stuff. Exploring a new country is always a great adventure. It’s also fun for the whole family. Moving abroad could help to bring your family together. You’ll discover a new country together – inspiring. You could all learn new languages and make new friends. The chance to broaden your horizons isn’t one that you should turn down. You’ll get to do things that just aren’t available in the UK. Let’s say you move to Australia. You can spend your weekends at the beach. You can learn to surf. You can watch Neighbours without feeling weird! Imagine the possibilities!

Let’s not forget the main reason people move abroad – the weather. Why should you put up with horrible wind and rain for most of the year? That’s what we get here in Blighty. There’s a whole world of gorgeous sunshine out there. Go and get your slice of it!

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(Image link – Google Images)

Moving abroad is no picnic. There are lots of issues and concerns that you should address before you make a decision. The opportunities of such a move are vast, too. Life in the UK is difficult, and there’s no sign that it will get better. Moving abroad could be your ticket to a wonderful new life. Think about it. It could be the best decision you ever make.

 

Summer Day Out Ideas for the Kids

With the long school, summer holidays fast approaching; many mums will be facing a dilemma for the next six weeks. It is an awfully long time to keep the kid’s entertained, but it can be done. While taking them out every day may not be viable, planning a trip out at least once a week will ensure that they are kept entertained and that your sanity remains intact! If you are struggling for awesome days out ideas, then you need not look any further. This guide will ensure that your little ones are kept thoroughly amused during the summer months:

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Picnics in the Park

Taking the kids to the park can be seen as a little humdrum, but you can turn a boring day out into the adventure of a lifetime. Having a picnic in the park is lots of fun. Simply pack your favourite foods, grab your picnic blankets and dine alfresco. While we cannot promise that the weather will be glorious this summer, you can do this day out off the cuff, so you are not waiting around for the sun to come out. Your kids will love snacking outdoors, in between bouts of fun.

Nature Walks

Embarking on a nature walk is a great way to inspire your kids with the plethora of wildlife around them. You can create your own maps and get the kids involved in the creating of the maps, as well as giving them a guide of objects to look out for. Think about what your local nature reserve is home to and then see what the kids can find on their adventure. If your local park is home to squirrels, then ensure that squirrels are one of the key animals to look out for. Incorporate it into their guides. Your children will love this kind of walk, what is more, it gives you the perfect opportunity to teach them all about the wildlife in their area. It is both fun and educational.

Theme Parks

Theme parks are perfect for your mini-thrill seekers. If your kids love the idea of going wild on a theme park, then the summer holidays are the perfect time to take them. They will love going on the rides, getting wet on the log flume and running around like crazy. You can be on hand to ensure that they have someone to hold their coats and to supervise the proceedings. If you are more of a hands on parent, then you can go on the rides with them! Purchase photographs from the day, so that they can treasure the memories of their fun day out for a lifetime.

On the Beach

Kids love nothing more than building sand castles and playing in the sea. With that in mind, a day trip to the local seaside is sure to keep them entertained. You can cut the costs of a big day out by taking a packed lunch and buying buckets and spades beforehand. Simply pack up the car and away you go. Your kids are sure to fall asleep on the journey home after such a busy, fun filled day!

 

Five Ways to Make Family Road Trips Fun

Five Ways to Make Family Road Trips Fun

With spring quickly on its way out and summer fast approaching, vacation season is just around the corner. As much as families love their vacation destination, the road getting there, especially if by a car, is long and boring.

Here are five ways to make the long, boring hours fly by with fun:

1. Movie Marathon

Whether the drive is a couple of hours or a couple of days, having a portable DVD player, laptop, or car with a built-in TV with streaming capabilities compatible with Direct TV Internet or companies of the like can quickly change an uneventful trip into something exciting. Bring a handful of choices or subscribe to Netflix or other streaming companies to have an endless supply of movies and TV shows to watch.

Some cars have built-in streaming capabilities that phones and tablets can hook up to, which is helpful if your family has teenagers. Often teen siblings don’t agree on what to watch, thus each one can watch a movie of their own choice on their phone or tablet.

If you have young children who are particularly interested in watching the same movie over and over again, invest in headphones your children can wear. They get to enjoy the movie, and you get to enjoy the silence.

2. Apps

Load up your phone, tablet, and kindle with games, books, and other entertaining apps. Look for apps with trivia quizzes that the whole family can participate in like naming movies or different songs heard from song clips. Or, to keep it more educational, look for trivia quizzes about geography, history, or literature. And, be sure to download a bunch of books. If the movies get old you can always read children’s books out loud.

3. Special Snacks

Road trips and vacation are usually the time most people splurge food wise. Make it a tradition to bring fun snacks that are otherwise not allowed on a regular basis like cookies, candy, donuts, or soda. In each town, stop at different local hotspots for milkshakes or great comfort food. Download apps like Roadfood, Food Network, or TV Food Maps. These apps can determine your location and provide you information on what food joints are near you. These food stops will give the kids something to look forward to, and will hopefully alleviate some of the “are we there yet?” questions.

4. Games

Sometimes good old’ fashioned fun is the best way to go when on a road trip. Games like the ABC game, license plate game, “I Spy,” and slug bug game are always a crowd pleaser. Six degrees of celebrity separation or the celebrity name game can be a lot of fun, especially if you have older kids. But, there are plenty of road trip game books that offer hundreds of activities if the classics start to get boring.

5. Music

A road trip just isn’t a road trip without tunes to cruise to. Make sure to load up your iPod before you leave.

Image Source: http://www.chefmom.sheknows.com

If You’re Planning On Teaching Your Kids to Drive, Here’s What You Should Teach Them

When you’re a teenager, one of the things that you start to look forward to is the freedom to drive your own car whenever you want, and wherever you want to go. It’s also something of a status symbol for many youngsters, as it’s “cool” to have your own car rather than having to take the public transport everywhere (or blag a lift off your mum and dad whenever you want to go into town)!

But what many teenagers don’t realise is how dangerous driving can be. According to statistics from Brake, the road safety charity, a shocking one in five new drivers are likely to crash their car within the first six months of driving, and it probably comes as no surprise that young men are far more likely to be involved in a crash than women.

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Quite often, teenage drivers will end up being taught how to drive by their parents, and many of those youngsters will go on to pass their driving tests. If you have teenagers and they want to learn how to drive, here is what you need to know in order to do a good job!

Have you got what it takes?

The first thing you need to do is ask yourself whether you are cut out to be a driving instructor to your children. There are certain qualities and legal requirements that you will need to possess before you can even consider becoming a driving instructor to your kids:

  • Personal qualities – as a driving instructor you have to be patient, have the ability to stay calm under pressure and be able to guide your child through any dangerous situations;
  • Driving licence – in the UK, you will need to have held a full driving licence for at least 3 years;
  • Car – obviously a car is required for this particular task, and it needs to be road legal (i.e. having valid MOT and tax). Both you and your kids need to be insured to drive the car.

One crucial thing that you must not do is pass on any bad driving habits to your kids; pretty much everyone will have picked up bad driving habits at some point in their lives. Some parents opt for taking an advanced driving course first to help them be better drivers, so that they can pass on those positive driving skills to their offspring.

Preparing for the big day

When you’re both ready for the first driving lesson, it is important to teach your kids the basics of your car (or their car, if they have their own car to learn in). This means going through the controls of the car, and familiarising them with the different components of a car so that they can check they all function correctly.

Once you are both ready to begin, make sure the stereo is turned off, and both of you have seatbelts on. Get them to adjust their mirrors and seat to ensure optimum visibility and comfort, and then you can begin the lesson.

In a hurry to pass?

Some parents feel it is better to get approved driving instructors to teach their children how to drive, so if they are in a hurry to learn how to drive, it might be more beneficial to book some intense driving courses for them once they have mastered the basics of driving in your car.

This gives them the confidence to progress as they will have had previous driving experience (with you at their side) and it will obviously be cheaper too.

Too Expensive To Travel Abroad With the Kids? Check Out These Cheaper But More Fun Holiday Ideas

It’s no secret that travelling abroad for family holidays is a somewhat costly affair these days.

The cost of flights to overseas destinations has increased in recent years, and there has been much news coverage in the media in recent months about how travel agents and airline firms are seemingly charging up to double the price of flights and accommodation during school holiday times.

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For many parents feeling the economic pinch, travelling abroad with the kids is fast becoming an impossible dream. So if you are facing this dilemma, here are some alternative holiday ideas that you could consider for the summer holidays this year which will be just as fun and interesting for both you and your children!

Go on a rail adventure

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You might think this is somewhat unusual, but I can guarantee you that both you and your kids will have such an awesome time going on a rail adventure! There are plenty of heritage railways that you can check out such as the Severn Valley Railway in the West Midlands, and it’s a great way to go and explore some picturesque towns along the route whilst taking in some breathtaking scenery!

Some heritage railway operators even have workshops where the kids can get involved with refurbishing trains and equipment, while others even allow children to do some driving too!

CenterParcs

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One of the most-popular places to spend time with your children during the school holidays is in a ‘holiday village’ such as CenterParcs. These locations feature self-contained accommodation and have all sorts of facilities on offer, such as swimming pools, indoor and outdoor activities, water sports and more, all within a scenic woodland area.

And for the parents, there are a number of facilities for them too such as spa treatments, saunas, as well as a selection of restaurants and leisure facilities aimed at adults.

Camping

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One of the cheapest ways of spending some quality family time together is by going camping in the great outdoors! Believe it or not, Britain has a vast number of scenic campsites dotted around, so all you have to do is decide where you’d like to go camping and pitch up your tent!

Every parent should take their children camping at least once in their lives, as it means that the kids will be able to enjoy and appreciate nature and the great outdoors, and you can even teach them some essential skills which they will hopefully pass on to their children when they are older.

Caravanning

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Of course, camping isn’t for everyone, so the next best thing to pitching up a tent is staying in a caravan! You can usually stay in a caravan in the same places where you would go camping, and you can either hire a caravan, or buy your own and drive it to the campsite with you.

Caravans sometimes get bad press, but to be honest they are actually pretty luxurious. According to Butler Technik, they have all of the modern conveniences that you would expect to find in a hotel room, except that you are paying a fraction of the cost!

Ladies Days Prove Popular

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Racecourses throughout the UK are adding more Ladies Days to their calendars as the events are proving very popular on the fixtures lists in horse racing.

The events tend to offer a reduced admission fee for ladies looking to attend a day at the races.

Along with the regular card, a range of different activities take place at the track which encourage interaction with the public. A best dressed prize is given to one lucky spectator, while a number of fashion shows take place between the contests on the course.

The most popular Ladies Days are at the big meetings in the sport but there are more than 60 each year in the UK alone. In March, the second day at the Cheltenham Festival attracts huge crowds as it is also very popular with people from Ireland. There is also a Ladies Day a month later during the Grand National Meeting. It takes place a day before the world famous steeplechase and also attracts a bumper attendance.

During the flat season, Royal Ascot is well known for its Ladies Day. The dress code at this meeting is strict as everybody on course has to wear a hat and follow specific guidelines to what they can wear. Those in attendance get a glimpse of the Queen as she makes her way down the racecourse in a horse and carriage before racing gets underway.

In the summer, there are a number of meetings which host evening events. They look to book an artist or band to perform after the racing finishes to extend the fun late into the early hours. Families are also able to take children with them as there are designated areas of the course which are alcohol free.

Learning English in Australia Can be a Bundle of Fun

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There are tons of places one can travel to with the goal of becoming fluent in English and choosing just one can be a bit overwhelming. Choosing Australia as your language-learning destination has a plethora of benefits. Not only is a country full of warm, fun-loving people with plenty of amazing English courses available in various cities, but there also are tons of unique things to see in do in Australia you can’t find anywhere else. From natural wonders to gourmet cuisine, there’s something for everyone in the Land Down Under.

If you’re into art, music, fashion, and the finer things in life there are plenty of exciting attractions waiting for you in Australia. The Australian art scene is a reflection of its eclectic culture. There are several world-class museums in the major cities including the National Gallery in Canberra that holds works from Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, David Hockney, and Lucien Freud. One truly unique aspect of the Australian art scene is the presence of the beautiful and culturally rich Dreamtime art scene created by Australian Aboriginal peoples. Artists such as Gloria Petyarre (along with her other equally talented sisters) are famous worldwide for their unique paintings that reflect important cultural ideals. Much of the Petyarre work has even been reprinted onto highly valuable scarves coveted by the fashionistas from around the globe. Speaking of fashion, while it isn’t as well known as Paris or Milan, Australia has its own Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. And with designers such as Akira Isogawa creating mesmerizing collections year after year it pays to keep an eye on the up-and-coming scene.

If you’re more of the sporting type, Australia is a great place to try out some new games. The famous beaches like the ones of Byron Bay with the warm waters and white sands are perfect for learning how to surf. And you can’t visit Australia with checking out footie—Australian Football which is different from American gridiron and traditional football. Ozzies also inherited a love of cricket from their British colonizers. And if you’re into the international sports scene, the Australian Open is one of the most important tennis tournaments in the world. If you’re less into competition and more into the great outdoors, there’s no lack of adventure. From sailing along the coast to camping in the great outdoors, you’ll find more than you bargained for waiting for you in Australia. The numerous National Parks provide various topographies and climates so you could take a completely different trip once a month and never leave the country. Hiking enthusiasts shouldn’t miss an opportunity to see the natural wonder of Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) or the Blue Mountains of New South Wales.

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Next to language, food is the best way to experience a new culture. Exploring some of the exotic dishes of Australian cuisine is a foodie’s dream. Being such an isolated country/continent, much of the food culture is based on what can be produced locally. Along the coast, freshly caught fish and shellfish are unlike anything else in the world. And while they’re sold mostly as novelty, native animals such as emu, kangaroo, and crocodile are available for consumption. Australia’s large immigrant population also means there is a presence of variety in the food scene. From Italian to Korean, you’ll find whatever you’re craving freshly made. Vegetarians and vegans shouldn’t shy away due to their lifestyle choices. There are plenty of options for the meatless and cities such as Nimbin will spoil an herbivore with choices. Of course, wine enthusiasts can note that Australian presence in the market has increased drastically in recent years. A trip to the wine country in Clare Valley is the perfect adventure for your inner sommelier.

If you’re searching for a new living experience like no other while you acquire English, consider Australia as your main destination. Whatever your current interests, Australia has something for you. Plus, there are so many unique Aussie experiences to learn from while you’re on your language-learning journey.

Dani Barrow is a representative of Language Trainers, which provides individually-tailored language training on a one-on-one or small group basis worldwide.