Archive of ‘Travel’ category
Lapland is the king of Christmas. It is the home of Santa and during the winter months it is basked in darkness. There is just no getting away from it! Unfortunately, due to this reason people don’t see the real Lapland and fill their heads with all the festive stuff. Yes, it is an amazing place to go for Christmas, but this one thing doesn’t define Lapland.
Check out these fantastic reasons to visit Lapland, other than to see a big, fat, jolly man with a white beard!
It turns out there is plenty of gold in the rivers of Lapland. When the rivers start to thaw out and die down a bit, tourists and locals alike descend on them in the hope they find a life changing nugget of metal. You might not get the nugget of gold you were looking for, but panning for gold is a great experience, especially when your surroundings are Finnish forests. There is no better place to find your fortune!
Or, if you are a pessimist you can go to the Tankavaara Gold Village Museum for a bit of history, as well as the Finnish Gold Panning Competition.
Due to its climate, Finland isn’t home to the sort of wildlife you would find anywhere else. But, the unique wildlife is what makes Lapland a great place to travel. There aren’t too many places where you can find bears, huskies and reindeers all in the same place. Plus, if you’re an adrenaline junkie you can also go searching for wolves. Just make sure you let them know you are coming!
It would be rude not to sample some of the delights of sport in Finland once you make the trip. As snow, hills and mountains cover the region , the extreme sports are some of the best in the world. The skiing and boarding are some of the best in the world, it lasts almost until the summer, and you can also go snowmobile racing.
The variety of resorts means there is something for everyone, from complete novices to professionals.
Indigenous is something foreign to the people of Europe. They tend to look to America and Australia for examples of the people whose home it has been for centuries. But, in Finland, the last remnant of Indigenous European culture is still alive. The Sami people have their language, costumes, and customs. You can learn more about them at the Arktikum museum in Rovaniemi.
Where saunas come from is up for discussion, but what isn’t up for debate is the fierce competition between the parties. A true, Finnish sauna, therefore, is scorching hot, lasts for hours and is full of nude people. So, don’t be surprised if you go in one and get an eye full. You know what they say, Lapland holiday are for adults!
If you get the chance, do not hesitate to visit Lapland. The media attention might revolve around Santa, but there is so much more waiting for you.
If, like me, money is tight, but you still love the idea of taking your little monsters away on vacation. The idea of not being able to do so because of the cost can be an upsetting prospect.
Like all parents, the idea of being able to get away and spend some quality time with the little ones is important. I don’t want them to miss out just because I’m strapped for cash. But with little spare money is it even possible to go on holiday?
Believe it or not, if you shop around and opt for a budget break, booking a family holiday doesn’t have to break the bank. Even with a small amount of cash to spend, it is still possible to get away and take the little ones on a fantastic family holiday.
Below, I have put together a handy guide to all the best budget holiday tips that I rely on to book a family break without blowing my budget.
Work out your budget
The first thing to do is to sit down and work out your overall trip budget – aka, how much you can afford to spend. Once you know how much you have to play with, you can then start looking at the best options.
Once you have set a budget, divide it into two parts – one part for the holiday itself and one part for spending money while you are away. Aim to save at least half of your budget for spending money – this will cover the cost of your food, activities and days out while you are away.
Research your options
Once you know how much you have to spend, you can begin researching your options. Use the internet to look for destinations that are not only family-friendly but that are also cheap.
Spain, Greece and France are all ideal budget holiday destinations or as they are relatively close to home and don’t cost too much to travel to.
To get an idea of the best hotel deals available, have a look online at holiday comparison sites and discount travel websites. Keep an eye out for any all inclusive holiday deals within your price range, as these are fantastic for saving money.
Plan your break for a cheap time
Whether you are heading to France for the weekend or are off to Spain for a two-week break, you can save yourself money by planning your trip during off-peak times.
The school holidays are, of course, when travel is most expensive. However, if you plan your break in advance or at the last minute, you may be able to get some fantastic travel deals. Regardless of when in the season you are travelling, aim to fly during the week instead of on a weekend as weekday flights tend to be cheaper.
Pick your accommodation carefully
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that hotel’s are too expensive for your budget. Sometimes booking an all inclusive hotel and flight deal can work out cheaper than booking self-catered accommodation.
To find the best accommodation deals, have a look online and shop around at different sites and travel companies. Sometimes the best travel deals can be found at the travel agents, so don’t forget to pop into your local travel store.
If you are trying to decide where to take your family in 2015, why not consider going on a trip to Australia? There are many incredible things to see and do in the land down under, and so your family will have a blast visiting this country. If you are thinking of booking a getaway soon, here are seven reasons you should choose Australia.
1. It will be a massive adventure
One thing, you can guarantee, from Australia is that it will be an adventure. When you travel somewhere like Oz, you will find that things are wild in the literal sense of the word. Children love exploring new places, and so they will have a lot to see in this country. Getting to the place takes a long time, and so you need to think about whether your kids can handle the flight. If they can, it will be an ideal trip.
2. You can see some fascinating animals
Some of the weirdest and wildest animals in the world happen to live in Australia. Many people see that as a reason to avoid the country. They think that they will get bitten by a black widow spider the moment they step onto Australian soil. The chances of that happening are one in a million. Your kids will get an opportunity to see some of the most bizarre creatures in the world, and it is safer than you think.
3. The weather will (always) be sunny
Right now, it is summer or the ‘wet season’ in Australia. That means that the temperature is high, and you can expect some extreme weather. If you have never been to Australia before, you should go in their winter so that it is a little cooler than it is right now. Kids’ skin tends to burn quickly, and so you want the weather to be a little calmer than it is in the summer. No matter when you go, you know you will be in for some sunshine.
4. The art there is fantastic
One thing, which Australia is famous for, is its eclectic range of new art. Some of the canvas prints in Australia are stunning. From aboriginal art to modern art and portraits, there is something for everyone here. Some people believe that the reason for this excellent art is because the scenery in the country is dramatic.
5. They speak the same language
If you are taking a family abroad, the language barrier is always a concern. If you go to Australia, there is one enormous advantage. They speak English as their mother tongue. That means that you and your children should have no problem in the country. You can talk to strangers with ease and so getting around is simple.
6. You can experience another culture
Despite the fact that the language is the same as ours, there are some cultural differences between us and the Australians. When you go to Oz, you will notice that people take life at a slower pace than we do. The heat means that people have a positive attitude towards everything. When you visit this country, prepare yourself to relax. Remember, you need to embrace the culture here.
7. It is always developing
Since Australia is a relatively new country, it is still growing and expanding in many ways. You will find that there are always new projects and things going on in this rich and exciting country. When you visit it, you should go to tourist information and find out what’s going on there. You should also consider taking a bus tour so that you can get a real taste of the environment.
If you’ve ever had to undertake a long journey with young children in tow then you’re probably already all-too-familiar with how challenging this can be. If you’re traveling by car, this can be difficult enough. But if you’re using public transport, the experience can prove to be even more of a challenge. People aren’t always quite as patient with children as perhaps they should be. So, if yours are crying because they’re bored or tired, you may end up being faced with a barrage of filthy looks and unsympathetic faces.
So, to help ensure that your next trip with the children doesn’t end up being the journey from hell, we strongly advise that you take a few minutes to read this post.
Have Plenty to Keep them Entertained
Thanks to the amazing advancements in modern technology, keeping the kids entertained on a long journey isn’t half as hard as it used to be. In the not-so-distant past, parents were forced to lug coloring books, crayons, jigsaws and Lego onto planes, trains and automobiles. Nowadays, moms and dads can thankfully travel a little lighter. Cell phones and tablets have all manner of games and applications to keep the little ones occupied.
Just make sure you set some parental locks on the device beforehand to prevent spending a fortune on accidental in-app purchases. Just as important is to make sure that your phone or tablet has got plenty of battery life. The last thing you want is to run out of juice, and then have to deal with a bored and restless child for the remainder of the journey. For this reason, it’s also always best to have a back-up plan in place. So, chuck a couple of activity books and Zebra pen refills into a bag to give you that extra peace of mind.
Have a Good Old Fashioned Sing-Song
This is one probably best kept for family-only road trips, where you’re traveling by car. Kids love anything interactive, and there are countless traditional car songs that require you to interact as a family, as well as sing. ‘Wheels on the bus’ is a rather obvious choice, but the song endures for a reason – both kids and adults love it! For older kids, singing a favorite family pop song works just as well.
Traditional car games such as the ‘license plate game’ are another great way of stopping boredom from setting in when you’re traveling for long periods at a time. You can also use it as an opportunity to test your kid’s geography skills. Even if your child is yet to go to school, there’s nothing wrong with starting them young! Ask them questions about the environment around them. Also, make sure they at least have a vague understanding of where it is they’re going. Encouraging them to be interested in, and ask questions about, the world around them will place them in good stead for their future education.
Now you’re armed with plenty of ideas and inspiration. So, just follow our advice and you’ll never have to contend with bored children on a long journey again!
Image Source: Flickr
Apart for the various branded shops that London offers, there are a few markets that are a must see in this city. This is where you can find real individuality with all the antiques, handmade and organic items and a great spread of quirky fashion.
For a well-connected shopping experience, consider choosing hotels near Eurostar London, like Comfort Inn Kings Cross St Pancras London near Kings Cross station in Central London, which offers clean and comfortable accommodation at budget rates.
Top 5 Markets in London
Here is a list of some of the best markets in London that could offer you a truly fulfilling shopping experience.
- Berwick Street Market: From fruits to fabrics, this market has it all. It dates back to 1778 and continues to be a rich trading spot. Positioned in the heart of Soho, it is a very busy market that doubles up as a great eating spot. Berwick Street is surrounded by wholesalers and cafes, so there is more to it than just the shopping experience.
- Camden Market: This is a line of many fun and funky shops wrapped in one wholesome unit. The market offers a wide array of clothes, antiques, crafts, jewellery and furnishings. To sum it up, just about anything can be found here. If you do not like the crowded alleys, this is the market for you. While you are in the area, you could plan some time to see the British Museum, Regents Park, the British Library and the London Zoo. Camden Market is also located very close to cheap and budget hotels in Central London, which can prove to a good option for easy transport.
- Portobello Road Antiques and Flea Market: This Notting Hill market is a colourful and dynamic stretch of London that is full to bursting with the latest trends. When we say sales, this place has some epic sales for everything from books to lace and even exotic cooking ingredients. Thousands of people swarm at the stalls and if you really have the patience, you might get a fantastic bargain. It is best to go in the morning, since the crowd starts by mid evening.
- Spitalfields Market: Located in the heart of the city, this is where you will find excellent quality products that offer outstanding value for money. The market is closed on Saturdays and Mondays, however Sundays sees the market at its busiest, with over 200 stalls in action. More than 50 designers showcase their work at the Fashion Market every Friday. And with the huge range of eateries, it attracts the city’s young crowd for a wholesome treat.
- Camden Passage: This “hidden” market hosts an array of whimsical antique shops. Traders here are specialists and can give you so much more information that anything on the internet. Endeavour for a good bargain, since prices can be high. It is less than 2 miles from St Pancras Station, and on a cold wintry day, it can prove to be a great walk.
These are places that are the epitome of British culture that still shows some signs of the Georgian and Victorian eras. So, as you look for places around your hotel near Eurostar London, be sure to check out these famous markets.
Today’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.
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,
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 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!
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.
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+
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.
Courtesy of Flickr
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.
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!
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
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.
(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!
(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!
(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.
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:
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.
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 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!