Monday, September 28, 2015

5 Reasons Why I Want To Revisit The United Kingdom

I have done some travelling around the world, and the one place I want to revisit is the United Kingdom. The UK has been on my bucket list for a long time until I’ve finally had the chance to spend a week there in August of 2011 [yeah... dreams do come true!]. There is something about the culture that makes me incredibly curious. Although Sweden and the UK are not worlds apart, there’s a huge difference between the two countries.

There looks like a lot more to Britain than a different culture. In fact, below are five reasons why I  consider myself lucky that I am able to experience what the UK has to offer.
 

The Food

The great thing about travelling abroad is getting to experience some of the quirks of the area. From what I can gather at home, the UK is well known for its quality food or lack thereof in some cases. People often give the Brits a hard time about their diet because, quite frankly, it doesn’t look appetizing at all! But, after trying a few dishes, I have to say that the food is delicious. Although, I have stayed away from the black pudding,  I've fallen in love with the famous Yorkshire pudding.



London

Ever since I was a little child, I have always wanted to see London. London is one of those places that you have to tick off the bucket list. There are lots of amazing attractions, and the atmosphere and the nightlife are unbelievable. Plus, it’s been amazing to see the mix of London’s history and tradition with today’s more contemporary way of life.

The Scenery

I know there are hundreds of places that have amazing scenery, but Britain has always stuck in my mind. Places like the Lake District, the Cairngorms, London Eye to the historic Tower of London and Cornwall all look spectacular as they have the most breathtaking views.


The Weather

Does this sound crazy? Everyone always goes on about how bad the British weather is, not least the British! But, can it be that bad? Obviously, you never know until you find out for yourself, which is why I  look forward to sampling the weather again.

The People

Every British person I have come across while I’ve gone travelling has always been such a nice person. They are sweet and charming, but they are also mischievous. Or, as the Brits would say, they are cheeky! I love their sense of humor, too. One thing that I love the most, and I don’t think I am alone here, is the accent. Obviously, the stereotypical British accent is incredibly posh and makes me feel like I am part of Downton Abbey. But, I have come across so many British accents that I love and it’s always cool to hear a few more!


How about you?  Have you been to the UK?  If yes, how’s the experience been?  If not, do you have it in your travel wish list?

Have a fantastic week!



Thursday, September 10, 2015

Why Italy Is A Fantastic Destination Any Time Of The Year

Europe is a fantastic place to travel to. There are so many incredible countries and cities to enjoy. They are all steeped in history, and each enjoy a unique culture of their own. With dozens of languages to master, it’s no wonder travelers to Europe spend so long away.

One of my favorite countries to find out more about is Italy. Italy can be thought of as being the home of the arts and music. There are so many incredible artists and composers throughout history that were born here or worked here. With so many interesting characters, I think it is worth finding out more about the country they call home.

Italy has a thriving wine industry. There are several great vineyard regions in the country. Each of these regions also has unique culinary surprises too! Italian food is just a very broad term for a range of incredible dishes you can find in Italy. Tuscan food is quite different to the dishes you might find in places like Vienna or Rome.

The Mediterranean diet is thought to be one of the most healthy you can choose. And it is certainly one of the most delicious when you are in Italy. Many dishes are rich in Olive oil and homegrown tomatoes. This combination offers up many exciting culinary delights from pizza to Bolognese.


Of course, there is far more to do in Italy than just eat. Milan is home to the world of fashion. If you are in the city, you will be delighted by the fashion boutiques and a huge array of shopping centres available. If you’re after a new outfit or a whole new look, you won’t be disappointed here.

During the winter, the area of Courmayeur is renowned for good skiing. You can find out why it’s so popular at http://momentumski.com/destinations/italy/courmayeur/ or travel there during the ski season for yourself. In the summer, the coastal area of Bibione has one of the most popular beaches. Miles of golden sand and plenty of opportunities for beach volleyball make it quite busy in the holiday season. Sardinia offers some of the best beachfront nightlife.

To explore more of Italy, there are plenty of choices. You can cycle through Tunisia or any of the wine regions. You can sail to Sardinia or any of the ports in a private yacht. Cruise ships often stop in the Mediterranean for those wishing to see more of Italy too. The easiest way to reach the cities is to fly in. The road network isn’t too bad either. You can drive from almost anywhere in Europe, and the currency is the Euro.

Italy is full of beauty. The architecture of the cathedrals and museums will leave you in awe. Inside these incredible buildings are amazing works of art from some of the most incredible artists that ever lived. Today, Italy is vibrant in the cities and relaxed in the countryside. It really is the perfect mix of everything you could possibly want in a vacation destination. Whatever time of year you choose to take your break, Italy can deliver one of the best holidays you could want.


Monday, September 7, 2015

Top European Travel Destinations In 2015!

We all like to travel and go on at least one holiday during the year. If you’re thinking of taking a trip, then have a peek at my list of the best travel destinations in Europe this year!

 

United Kingdom


Starting things off with perhaps the less flashy of the destinations on this list, the UK. Although not gifted with a tropical climate, the UK still has its moments. Some seaside towns play host to lovely little beaches, which are perfect when the sun comes out. But, when you visit Great Britain, you don’t tend to go for the weather. You go for the sightseeing and the landmarks and all the amazing history and British culture. There are iconic buildings like Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament - and who can forget Big Ben! These three landmarks are in London alone; it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of things to see in the UK. A Great British holiday is certainly a great little idea!

France

The country of France has been a popular holiday destination for years and years. Thanks, in part, to its incredibly versatile climate. You have the snowy French Alps which are great for holidayers in the winter months. Then there’s the Mediterranean south of France that is sunshine and hot weather, perfect for a summer holiday. And then, of course, you have the iconic city of Paris, which is ideal for a getaway at any time of the year. Plus, as seen in an article on the Justrichest website, Paris is home to one of the most expensive hotel suites in the world. So, there are plenty of top class hotels for you to stay in which will make your stay all the more enjoyable.

 

Croatia

Croatia has become a highly sought after holiday destination over the last few years - and with good reason. Everything about the country is visually stunning. It’s renowned for having some of the nicest, cleanest, water in the entire world. The beaches are epic, and the old stoney buildings look so quaint and adorable. It’s also perfectly situated in Europe, with a nice Mediterranean climate. In fact, Croatia is one of the nicest and sunniest places you can visit during the summer. Also, there’s the rich Croatian culture to immerse yourself in and enjoy. This country is definitely near the top of my ‘to visit’ list.

 

Italy

There is so much to love about Italy, from the warm summers to the beautiful old-fashioned architecture. A trip to Italy will certainly not be wasted, you have a choice of so many gorgeous cities to visit. At the top of your list will be Rome, the nation’s capital and home to many iconic sights. The most iconic of all sights is the ancient Rome Colosseum, which is still standing in the middle of the city. Take a tour around it and revel in a piece of history. Then, of course, you have the mother of all reasons to travel to Italy; the food! Italian cuisine is in a league of its own, and you should definitely experience it. There’s no food quite like fresh Italian food in Italy.


Friday, September 4, 2015

Explore Sri Lanka in Luxury with These Tips

In English, Sri Lanka literally translates to ‘beautiful island’ and it’s quite easy to see why. Although it’s not the largest of islands, Sri Lanka is bursting with culture, beautiful golden beaches, stunning green scenery and lots of majestic elephants. There’s so much to experience in Sri Lanka, from exploring the island in a private car, taking curry cookery lessons at authentic homestays, relaxing on the gorgeous palm fringed beaches, taking a train ride through the beautiful countryside, or challenging yourself to a new adventure climbing the famous pilgrimage of Adam’s Peak. Read on to discover our top tips for enjoying a luxury vacation to Sri Lanka in style.

Photo source:ugaescapes.com

When to Visit

Sri Lanka really is a destination that can be visited at any time of the year, although it’s important that you know which parts of the island are best to visit at certain times of the year. Sri Lanka is located near the equator, and enjoys a tropical climate with two monsoons. The southwest monsoon, known as ‘Yala’, blows from the middle of May to late September from the southwest, and the ‘Maha’, the northeast monsoon, blows in the opposite direction between the months of October and November.

During the Yala monsoon, the weather is at its best around the east coast in areas such as Trincomalee. If you are planning on visiting Sri Lanka at a time when the Maha monsoon is blowing, the west coast will be enjoying the best weather.

Visa and Passports

When travelling to Sri Lanka it’s important that you’re clued up on matters regarding visas and passports in order to avoid running into any difficulty when travelling. Before travelling to Sri Lanka, you will need to apply for a visa online beforehand through the Electronic Travel Authorization [ETA].

You can do this up to ninety days before you depart, and individual applications cost around thirty dollars. Visas are valid for up to thirty days, however if you are planning to stay in Sri Lanka for a longer amount of time you will be able to extend your visa at the Department of Immigration in Sri Lanka.

Money Matters

The local currency in Sri Lanka is the Rupee which comes in denominations up to 5000, so when shopping it’s a good idea to carry change for making any smaller purchases. Almost every hotel in Sri Lanka will allow you to exchange money, however for cheaper rates it’s recommended that you exchange money at a reputable bank. You may be able to exchange money before you depart, however once in Sri Lanka you will find a number of reliable banks that will allow you to exchange more money if needed. Large shops, restaurants and hotels in Sri Lanka will also usually allow the option to pay by Visa or MasterCard.

Giving tips is normal practice in Sri Lanka, and tips tend to make up a large part of many employees’ salaries. It is recommended that you use discretion when tipping for services in hotels and restaurants and your drivers or tour guides.

Getting Around

Since public transport is not particularly easy to use in Sri Lanka, the most recommended method of transport in Sri Lanka is to use a private car with a driver. There are a number of car hire companies that will allow you to do so, or you could book a private car as part of your holiday package.

 If you decide to travel to Ella, you’ll be most likely to do so by a train ride through the countryside. This train ride is well known as one of the most beautiful journeys through Sri Lanka, and if you purchase a second class ticket you’ll be able to travel with the local people and learn more about the culture. If you’d also like to visit the Maldives during your trip to Sri Lanka, this can be done by a sea plane trip which takes around one and a half hours.

Things to Do

Sri Lanka is home to a number of beautiful beaches from wide golden coastlines lined with colorful painted fishing boats to tiny, turquoise bays with soft white sands with a backdrop of lush green palm trees. For the more adventurous, Sri Lanka also offers a number of fantastic treks and nature walks where you can see the amazing wildlife on the island from herds of wild elephants, exotic birds, monkeys, and even leopards. 

Have you visited Sri Lanka before? Do you have any top tips for other travelers that you’d like to add? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Get the Best Value Accommodation: What to Do

If you want a holiday that isn’t going to eat away your budget before you’ve even started, you’ll want to make sure you get the best value accommodation. This will be one of your biggest expenses on your trip, but this post can help you to get the best value for money!

 

Compare on Travel Sites

Start off by comparing deals on travel sites. Looking on individual sites can also help, and on the site of the actual accommodation you’re considering. However, travel sites will do most of the hard work for you, so you can see the sort of price you’re looking at.

 

Compare Features

Although price matters, that isn’t all. Compare features and see what you’re getting for your money. For instance, one deal might be cheaper, but it might be self catering. If you can find a deal that costs slightly more with breakfast included, it could be worth it when you think of the money you’ll save on food.

 

Read Reviews

Reviews is the only way you’ll find out if a place is worth staying at. There are lots of impartial sites online where you can read reviews, so make sure you take a look before you part with your cash. Just bear in mind, no place will be 100% positive. They are unable to please everybody, so you’ll want to go for a place that has a majority of good reviews. Make sure you keep an eye out for make or break deals that will affect your stay.

 

Test Customer Service

If you’re thinking of booking somewhere, maybe try testing out the customer service first. You can call them up and ask a question, and see how they respond to you. If they can’t help you enough, you know you’ve found a great place! If they aren’t very helpful and appear uninterested, it may not be a good idea. This isn’t always the case, but it doesn’t hurt to try. If you don’t want any restrictions on your holiday, you may prefer to look at villas and holiday rental accommodation. They won’t always have staff/customer service staff to call, so you’ll have to call the owner of the villa instead if it’s private.  

 

Take Into Account Travel to and From

If you’re going to be travelling to a certain place for the majority of your stay, then take travel into account. Will you get buses, trains, or taxis? The closer the accommodation, the more money you’ll save. You’ll need to weigh up the pros and cons to work out whether it’s best staying somewhere closer or not. Research how you can save money on transport too - you might be able to buy a travelcard or something similar in advance.

If you want the best value accommodation, this is the only way to do it. Follow these steps and you’ll end up with a great place to stay and lots of your budget left over for the rest of your trip. Any tips you’d like to add? Leave a comment below! 


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