Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Infographic: 12 Markets Of Christmas


Infographic created by Momondo.com


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Go Wild: Encountering Wildlife

The world is full to the brim with opportunities for incredible encounters with wildlife – there’s more to the planet than just us! If you’ve not yet hung out with gorillas or swum with sharks, what are you waiting for? You’ve really missed out!

It’s time to make up for that – use the following examples of nail-biting encounters with the natural world and you’ll quickly find your pulse racing. Let’s get wild!

Fishing with Grizzlies

Grizzly bears  [or North American brown bears, but that name is way less exciting] can weigh up to 56 stone of pure muscle. These giant predators love nothing more than a salmon feast, so they get themselves to the Alaskan rivers in time for the spawning run, which takes place between May and October.

You can watch grizzlies as they fish and feast by getting to the right place at the right time. Book flights to Alaska, then travel to the Katmai National Park where they have a fantastic viewing platform. Come in September for the best experience.

Gorilla Party

Gorillas only live in central Africa’s jungle, and they are sadly very endangered – if you want to get up close and personal, you’d be better off doing it sooner rather than later. Rwanda is a good place for it, but we’d recommend the Ugandan forests as you have a better chance of hanging with an imposing silverback.

Sadly, gorilla tracking doesn’t come cheap, but going with Intrepid would probably be your best bet. An eight-day Gorilla Express tour will set you back about £1000, but they also offer a 16-day one which includes seeing chimpanzees and big game, such as hippos and the Big Five.



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Travel Tips: How To Pack Like A Pro

While the boyfriend’s on a five-day work travel with a few of his colleagues, I managed to get a three-day off from the big kitchen.  Quite the irony, really.  Somehow, we’re having difficulties having to match our no-work schedules.  Because of that, we’re planning on flying somewhere for a week just to be able to spend time together.

I know what you’re thinking.  Our lives aren’t actually a sad case.  Because we both love our jobs, we always find a way to compromise and getting a vacation is one way of doing it.

Speaking of an up and coming travel, we have a long where-to-go-next list.  Yeah.  Just like you, yeah?  We’re thinking of Italy, or Spain and just recently have added The Czech Republic as one of our options.

Although not happening in the next few weeks, I couldn’t hide the excitement and so I went to YouTube and checked a few “How To Pack Like A Pro” video tutorials.  So far, this is my favorite:

I used to pack a lot of things for the travel which later turned out to be insignificant.  Hopefully, on the up and coming vacation, wherever it may be, I’ll only be bringing stuff I’ll be needing for the journey.  And oh yes… definitely less shopping!  That overshopping [not overspending though, I must say] I did in the UK in 2010 will [fingers crossed]not happen again.

August 2010 – What?  I got carried away!  Sorry.



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Phuket For First Timers

Phuket is one of the biggest provinces in Thailand, and is also the country’s largest island. It can be found west of the mainland, and is connected via two bridges, with easy motorway access to Bangkok and other major cities. The closes provinces to Phuket are Krabi and Phang Nga, and in the past the island has generated wealth from exporting rubber and tin, and it also enjoys a colourful, diverse and rich history that tourists are regularly educated about upon entering the island.

Heavily populated by tourists throughout most of the year, Phuket offers amazing beaches, great local hospitality and spectacular food. Many people used it as a stop-over before they travel to the other places in the region, like Koh Phi Phi or Ko Pha Ngan, where most of the major island parties are held. If you’re looking to visit Phuket during your trip to Thailand this year, let’s take a look at some top tips on travelling the island, and some great things to do too.

2004: The Tsunami

December 26th, 2004 – the date that changed the island of Phuket, and many others in the region, forever. Boxing day all over Thailand was spent mourning the thousands of men, women and children that were buried and swept away by the Indian Ocean tidal wave. Over 300 people were reported dead in Phuket alone, and much of the infrastructure was destroyed, delaying much needed aid to the island. Due to many illegal workers not being registered on the island, experts believe the death toll was much higher.
The entire west coast of Phuket was swept out to sea, and the beautiful beaches that once attracted millions of tourists to the island every year were no more. Thankfully however, thanks to lots of financial aid from all over the world, much of the tourist infrastructure was back in place in Phuket by the end of 2005. By 2006, nearly all the businesses were operating again, although many islands in the area are still experiencing the lasting effects of the wave.



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Top 10 Tourist Attractions In Saint Lucia

The Caribbean island of Saint Lucia is a haven for tourists, and it’s no wonder so many people flock here every year! Let’s take a look at some of the top tourist attractions on this spectacular island. If you’re thinking about visiting St Lucia this summer, make sure you compare the best prices at cheapflights.

The Pitons, Drive in Volcano and Sulphur Springs, Soufriere

Listed as a World Heritage Site, the Pitons are two volcanic plugs located near the town of Soufriere on the south-western part of St. Lucia. The Gros Piton is 771 m, and the Petit Piton [photo credit below] is 743 m high; they are linked by the Piton Mitan ridge.

The smell of the sulphur is what gives Soufriere its name and the sulphur springs nearby are sometimes used for bathing. Most amazingly though is the fact that this is the world’s only drive-thru volcano and is a must see whislt in St. Lucia.

Mamiku Botanical Gardens, Micoud

A scenic drive along the rugged eastern coast of St. Lucia, with brilliant views of the Atlantic Ocean will take you to the legendary Mamiku Gardens. Set in 12 acres of beautiful woodlands; Mamiku is a floral paradise that is also home to a number of exotic birds, Mamiku never fails to enchant its visitors.



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Top Canadian Cities Worth Exploring

Canada is a sensational country to visit, and from its rolling snow-peaked mountains to its amazing cities, you’ll be more than impressed by the amount of things to do here. Visited by millions every year, Canada is a tourist hotspot, domestically and internationally, and if you’re thinking about holidaying here this year, then you’ll want to know what are the best cities to visit. Thankfully, all the cities in Canada offer something special, and unless you’re planning to travel though all of them, it can be tough to make a specific choice. To make things easier, here’s a list of the top cities to visit in Canada this summer, and what you’ll find once you get there.

Toronto

Toronto is one of the most famous cities in Canada, and although it is often mistaken as the country’s capital by tourists, it certainly offer as much as Ottawa. One of the biggest events to occur every year here is the Toronto International Film festival, which attracts celebrities from all over the world. Furthermore, it also boasts a number of amazing skyscrapers and sporting venues, like the CN Tower and the Blue Jays. Toronto is only two hours from Niagara Falls too, so you can even take a short drive or public transport to the falls. With various national parks and shopping districts, Toronto really is an exceptional city to visit.

Photo credit: Wikipedia.org

Vancouver

Vancouver is a city of natural beauty, and the views of where the mountains meet the ocean are breath-taking. No other city in Canada offers such a relaxed and laid back atmosphere, and the locals are extremely hospitable too. Home to the Olympic Winter Games in 2010, millions of people visited Toronto as well as watched it from their TV screens, with most of the events taking place in Whistler – an amazing place to ski if you ever get the chance.

Montreal

With French as well as English influences, Montreal is the cultural capital of Canada, with millions of tourists flocking there every year. It offers an energy and diversity like no other city, and mixes modern elements of city life with traditional and historical pastimes. Whether you’re looking for the latest fashions, or the tastiest pastries, Montreal has it all, so make sure it is one of your stop-offs on your trip to Canada this year. Furthermore, make sure you check out autoeurope.ca for the best car rental deals.



Friday, May 17, 2013

The Luxury Hotel, Rancho Valencia in California

Yesterday morning, YAHOO! TRAVEL has created a list of ten luxury hotels worldwide, which according to the article are worth splurging on.  Mentioned on the list is the inviting Rancho Valencia.

Located 40 minutes away from the San Diego International Airport by car, Rancho Valencia is popular to both tourists and locals for its enchanting[especially at night] outdoor swimming pool and heated Jacuzzi.  Not to mention its thumbs up facilities such as:

  • a massage and beauty center
  • sauna
  • salon
  • fitness center
  • tennis courts
  • golf course
  • a business center
  • high speed wireless internet
  • restaurant [Mediterranean, French and Californian]
  • … and more!

Although the plan hasn’t been finalized yet, Bebe and I are looking for a three-week [the least] vacation in the US.  We’re shooting for July or August of 2015.  The main plan is to spend most of the trip in Florida and a few days in California.  2015 might sound that far, far away from today but oh my… planning excites us!

Savings account speaking, we don’t have much but we sure want to experience a three-day-two-night stay in one of Rancho Valencia’s rooms.  I mean, just looking at this pic makes me want to fly there now:

2015 is two years from now – time to start saving some more for the up and coming USA vacay’!

*** Photo credits: www.hotelscombined.com



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Video Conferencing – Where it’s Used and who it Benefits

Whether for business, community or personal use, video conferencing has gradually come into its own as a communication tool of choice.

Alongside email, instant messaging, smartphones and social media sites, video conferencing has made communicating with clients, colleagues, friends and family far easier than it would have been a couple of decades ago when travel was imperative for meetings.

In recent years, the technology used to make video conferencing a reality has improved considerably. Picture quality has become clearer and easier on the eye, while faster internet speeds and increased bandwidth have meant that annoying delays are less frequent.

The standard of video conferencing technology today has seen it used for a variety of reasons.

Conferencing in comfort

At home, there’s sometimes an urge to get in touch with a friend or relative who lives several miles away, but a phone call might not seem like enough. At the same time, going to see them in person can be expensive, time-consuming and exhausting, but video conferencing is being used as a happy medium for those who want face-to-face interaction without having to go to great lengths.

Using video conferencing at home could also make remote working [working from home] less of a hassle. It could be used for one-to-one meetings with colleagues and clients, to join in with meetings at the office or to conduct interviews or meetings with people from overseas to help eliminate potentially astronomical travel costs.



Monday, May 13, 2013

Sunshine along Miami’s South Beach

Few cities in the world can claim a reputation among sun-seekers that is as favorable as that earned by Miami over the years.  The US state of Florida in general has a wealth of options to encourage sunshine seeking visitors, but even among those individuals the South Beach area in Miami is widely considered to be one of the hottest, hippest, and most happening vacation spots out there.

Things to do in South Beach, Miami

There are a number of reasons for South Beach, Miami, achieving its high levels of popularity year after year. The beach itself is a significant attraction for many visitors, with its photogenic white sands, blue waters, and shady palm trees.  The area around the beach has built up a highly rated and thriving party scene, which includes almost everything, from daytime beachfront bars to chic nightlife establishments.  Along the beach-front - just being there is an attraction in itself - the area has become known for the beautiful and somewhat eccentric people who come to enjoy the ocean-side air, sometimes rollerblading or perhaps just lying in the sun.

There is no shortage of restaurants and top-range boutiques in South Beach, Miami, for dining and shopping. In addition, photographers can find colorful lifeguard huts, which have to some extent become a symbol of the area. Sports people, too, can find lots of things to do, as South Beach maintains facilities for many boating, swimming, and snorkeling activities.

Art Deco architecture at Miami Beach

Among the most notable sightseeing highlights in the area is the acclaimed Art Deco architecture, which features prominently on postcards and tourist information for South Beach, Miami. The lively architectural style blends with the vigorous approach to leisure time that characterizes the area, with an appeal to serious architecture admirers and serious fun seekers in equal measure.  There is a welcome center specifically for the Art Deco area. This is to be found on the junction of 10th Street and Ocean Drive, and it provides detailed information on where to go to see the best of the Art Deco attractions.

The weather and when to visit

Most of all, it is the sunshine that draws people to this part of the Sunshine State of Florida.  In this respect, Miami is warm and open for business all year round, with the peak season being between January and April each year.  These times get very busy with winter sun-seekers, and quieter vacations are often to be found between June and September; however, these months are also the hurricane season along the Gulf coast and typically experience more rainfall and higher humidity than other months of the year. For this reason, the so-called shoulder season between October and December, out of the storm season and before the resort reaches its peak is also popular with many. Throughout all of this, Miami hotels are available at any time, although they can fill up quickly during the peak season.  Most hotels have their own leisure facilities and can help visitors to get the most out of the weather at any time of year.



Monday, April 29, 2013

Finnair.com–Affordable Flights to Asia

I was daydreaming this afternoon – wondering how cool it would be to be able to spend a month long vacation in my home country, the Philippines.  However, since my boyfriend and I find it impossible to sync our holiday weeks from work this year, the daydream will remain a dream until… next year!  We’re thinking of scheduling the trip to the Philippines sometime in 2014 and my oh my --- I can hardly wait!

As a part today’s daydream moment, I Googled for cheap flights home and to my surprise, FinnAir offers affordable [to and from] plane fares  to Asia.  Now I am more excited for our 2014 travel.

Believe it or not but as early as a week ago, my boyfriend has already been trying to put together an itinerary for our up and coming vacation.  As early as now, I have this feeling that we’ll be spending a week in Bohol, a few days in Boracay and if there’s still time, experience the beauty of Palawan.  Fingers crossed, our budget will allow us to really enjoy all these and hopefully, more on my boyfriend’s third visit to the Philippines.  For some reason, he’s far more excited than I am.

Since 2014 is still some months to go, we still have enough time to plan our perfect getaway --- with my family of course!  I sooooo miss ‘em!



Sunday, April 7, 2013

Travel Wish List: Sweden–#1 Stockholm

I have this feeling that this year, my boyfriend and I will be traveling around Sweden more often compared to the past years.  Sweden has become my second home since June of 2007.  With studies, summer jobs and internship schedules and now work – match that with my boyfriend’s hectic work timeframe, we really don’t have much time to visit far away Swedish towns and cities.

Those things being said – this year, we’ll make sure that we’ll find time to drive to other Swedish cities and towns, spend at least a night there, see historic sites, visit famous restaurants and more!

… and if I am to make the list, first stop --- Stockholm!

The last time I was there was sometime in September of 2009.  Almost 4 years ago?  Wow!  Times flies and I can’t wait to roam around the beautiful city of Stockholm again!

When in Stockholm, I’ll make sure to spend a day with Bebe in Skansen Zoo.  I had been there once.  In fact, it was the first Swedish tourist spot Bebe took me to.  I so loved the place and I definitely… like definitely certainly will want to visit it once a year.

Second on the list --- will save that on the upcoming post.  I have something in mind but not yet that sure if it’s worth taking spot number 2 of my travel wish list.

Before I park my pen keyboard, here’s our dearest Neko [who’s sleeping soundly on my laptop] saying – Goodnight yah’ all! – and wishing you a great week ahead!



Thursday, March 7, 2013

Things To Do With Infants In NYC

New York is one of the greatest cities in the world, and every year millions of tourists flock to the big apple to experience great American culture, even better food, and some of the country’s greatest attractions. New York isn’t just for the standard jet-setting tourist however, and there are a number different parts of the city, as well as attractions, that young children can enjoy too.

From the beautiful parks to the stunning harbours, domestic and international parents alike can take their kids on a tour of the city, and educate them about their surroundings at the same time! Let’s have a look at some of the top things to do with infants in NYC.

Swimming Pools

The city of New York has some of the biggest and best swimming pools in America, and best of all, they’re child friendly! Indoor and outdoor pools are around every corner, and although some are privately run, taking your child swimming is still one of the cheapest ways to have fun. Not only does it introduce your infant to water, but it also helps them to strengthen muscles that they don’t usually use. Furthermore, there are swimming classes for infants which parents can sign up for, which will help your child to become more accustomed to the water as they get older.



Sunday, February 24, 2013

March 2011: Ice Yachting in Sweden

A couple of years ago, I got an invitation from my brother-in-law to try ice yachting with him and his dad.  When it comes to sports, I am not that high spirited and yet, for some reason, I said yes to the invitation and I was so glad that I did.

My sissy-in-law also joined the fun which made the experience even better!

Anyway, we drove a few kilometers north of Söderhamn [a little town which belongs to Gävleborg County, Sweden].  I can’t really remember the name of the place but it was truly pretty!  A huge lake… frozen!  I was at first scared to step onto the frozen lake but then I thought, I gotta give it a try!

Parasailing/Ice yachting:

Ice yachting is the sport of sailing and racing iceboats, also called ice yachts. It is practiced in Austria, Germany, Great Britain, Poland, Norway and Sweden, to some extent, and is very popular in the Netherlands and on the Gulf of Finland, but its highest development is in the United States and Canada.” ~~~ Wikipedia.org

It does sound exciting, doesn’t it?  Anyway, here are a few photos during our ice yachting adventure:



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Make Your Money Stretch at Florida Theme Parks

Most visitors who take a trip to Orlando, Florida to visit some of the theme parks often leave exhausted. Why? They try to cram too much in too few days. The many theme parks in Orlando are huge and take time to fully explore. The last thing you want to do on vacation is rush, rush, rush.

If you're planning a trip to Orland, Florida, it's far better to take a longer trip and give yourself more time to explore. While this can be pricey, there are plenty of ways you can save money and stretch out your vacation.

Tickets

Orlando theme park tickets are not cheap. However, you can save a significant amount of money if you purchase Orlando ticket deals. For example, one ticket deal lets you visit SeaWorld, Aquatica, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Universal Orlando Resort. Buy a ticket deal, and you'll often pay less than if you bought tickets for each individual park.

Dining

Before you go to Orlando, subscribe to deal sites such as Groupon and Living Social. Snatch up any deals that'll save you on dining. Yes, you may have to get some of your meals outside the parks this way, but that is how you will save money. Restaurant.com is also a good place to look, especially when they sell severely discounted gift certificates.

Finally, for birthdays and holiday presents, ask family and friends for restaurant gift cards that you can use when you are visiting Orlando. That will save you a bundle when dining out.



Sunday, January 20, 2013

P&O Cruises: Balcony Bonanza Double Upgrades

I was supposed to join my workmates in a two-day cruise adventure to celebrate the awesome 2012 we and the company had.  However, since I got sick [really really sick], I wasn’t able to make it.  Such a downer, I know.

To cheer me up, Bebe promised to take me on a two- or three- night cruise experience this year aside from the one week vacation in Spain.

If we will not be doing the Scandinavian cruise, I so want to try the dining and spa breaks aboard P&O Cruises.



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Summer 2010: Furuvik Zoo and Amusement Park, Part 1

14 August 2010 – so finally.  My much awaited day arrived!  I woke up early, showered, dressed up, enjoyed breakfast, put on my makeup, fixed my hair, put on a pair of sandals and was on my way to Furuvik Zoo and Amusement Park with Bebe and my in-laws.  It was my very first time to experience Furuvik so feel free to picture out my excitement!

Furuvik Zoo and Amusement Park is located in Gävle, an almost two-hour drive from our town.  It has a wide range of amenities such as a promising amusement park, impressive zoo and safari, picnic and grilling areas, pool with slides, Adventure Island, fishing area, hotel and more!

● Entrance fees are priced just right. If I am not mistaking, fees are:

Kids and adults, 13 years old and above: 165 SEK [Swedish crowns]
Kids from 3 to 12 years of age: 135 SEK
Kids below 2 years old: free
Senior citizens: 145 SEK
Parking fee for the whole day: 35 SEK

For those who visit Furuvik more than once a year, they usually grab multiple entry cards which are priced as:

Kids and adults, 13 years old and above: 425 SEK [Swedish crowns]
Kids from 3 to 12 years of age: 345 SEK
Kids below 2 years old: free

At Furuvik Zoo and Amusement Park, Gävle, Sweden:

With the Yellow Mascot who welcomed guests that year:



Monday, January 14, 2013

Manila Ocean Park: On Meeting Doctor Fish

Call me weird and a bit crazy but I find myself missing those tiny swimming doctors nibbling at my feet.  I am of course talking about Manila Ocean Park’s Fish Spa attraction.  If you have been there and experienced this cool fish spa thingy, then you get what I mean.

Anyway, the first time I tried it was in July of 2009 with my boyfriend and his best bud.  I was kind of hesitant in the beginning to dip my feet into the water thinking that it might hurt.  But then, with a spoonful of courage, I did it and surprisingly liked it!

While on my 2nd Philippine vacation in March 2010, I made sure to return.  This time, with my younger brother, my sissy-in-law and a common friend.  Before leaving ending the tour, all four allowed our feet to be attacked by the fish doctors!  Tickly but refreshing and definitely addictive!  Will definitely return for the third and not the last time.  In 2014, maybe?

There goes my feet surrounded with the big ones!  Uh-oh!

And did you know that you can actually proceed directly to Manila Ocean Park’s Fish Spa section without the need to pay the entrance fee of Php400?  Oh yes.  You can!  If you are only up for the doctor fish experience, then all you need to do is to pay for the Php120 Fish Spa fee and you’re all set for the 20-minute fish spa treatment.  Cool, yeah?

How about you?  How many times have you toured the entire Manila Ocean Park?  What are your favorite attractions?  Have you tried the Doctor Fish attraction?



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