Self Catering Holiday Tips

If you want to go on a self-catering holiday, there are some specific things that you can do to make it better and easier for you. First, you want to make sure what cottages and other arrangements are available where you want to go. If a fancy, full-service hotel is in the same price range most people would want that instead. However, not everyone feels that way. Some people want these self-catering cottages because they can accommodate a lot of people so an entire family or big group of friends can stay together without being split up into a bunch of different hotel rooms. This is rather important for most people. Find out before you book something, how many people it can accommodate and whether you can get it for the time you want for a good rate.

 

Depending on when during the year you’re planning on taking your holiday, you might find that you can move it by a couple of weeks and get a much lower price because you will have moved into the off season for tourism. If you can go during that off season you can get lower prices and sometimes other added benefits that you wouldn’t be able to get otherwise.

 

You should also be sure you understand what ‘self catering’ actually means so that you can be prepared for your stay and bring anything that you need to have with you. You don’t want to show up unprepared for your holiday, because you could end up having a bad time. If you have pets that you’ll be bringing (a lot of people like to travel with their dogs, for example) you’ll also need to find out whether they will be welcome there, if you need to pay extra, and if there are any special rules or regulations that go along with bringing a pet on your self-catering holiday. Get those things out in the open so that you don’t have a nasty surprise when you arrive and are expecting to relax. You should also do a little bit of research into the area, so you know where you can go to eat and what you might want to see while you’re on holiday.

Exotic Destination Ideas for Getaways and Vacations

We all get sick of the drab day to day routines. Ah, for those good old days just hanging out with friends doing very little. Those days were great! Unfortunately they don’t last a lifetime. And the worst of it is we don’t appreciate it fully until we experience the other side of life, the inevitable adult side when things becomes focused on work and not play. Well folks, it doesn’t have to be like that. I know you’ve considered some foreign exotic destination, but have you ever thought about making those dreams a reality?

How does an exotic destination sound at the moment? Just take a look outside, looking at that fresh springtime air. It’s that time again when all the trees and flowers are in bloom and the air smells fantastic. The birds are singing in the trees and the sun is shining – what more could you possibly wish for? Oh yeah, i forgot; an exotic destination package deal that you’ll surely love. Luckily its easier than you think to get going. Firstly, ditch the phonebook and get online where you’ll see loads of exotic destination ideas. The best thing about choosing your vacation nowadays is the range of options open to you. Have you thought about an all inclusive trip to that exotic destination? Once you’ve been, you’ll never look back. With your flight, accommodation and possibly even your dining expenses paid for before you arrive, it will be plain sailing for you when you get to your exotic destination of choice. Thanks to the internet, you have such a range of options which can make the process even easier.

If you’re dreaming of that perfect exotic destination for you and that special someone, there is a trick you must learn. When it comes to the all-inclusive, you need to get in there first. Get online and get sifting through the millions of packages on offer. You can pick the hotel you’ve always dreamed of in the perfect destination for you. With the internet, it’s so easy. Booking your dream room ahead of time won’t just ensure you’ve somewhere to stay, but it could also save you some money, which is better spent on having a good time.

So stop dreaming and get to it – the exotic destination of your dreams is just waiting for your arrival! With so many to choose from, and such a wealth of great deals, there’s no reasons you can’t jet off today.

Luxury Cruise Deals Can Mean Vacation Savings

Finding luxury cruise deals is something that nearly everyone can do if they take a little time to do some research on what type of cruise they would like to take and spend some time comparing cruise rates. There are two ways to approach this; you can go wherever the best deal is or you can have a particular destination in mind and see if you can find a cruise deal that fits your plans.

With well over three hundred different ports of call to choose from it is not hard to find a trip to where you want to go. Because of the competition within the cruise industry it’s usually not to hard to find a discount special wherever you want to go. It may take a little research, but when trading time for savings it can be well worth it.

What many people don’t realize is that there can be a few choices they need to make while looking for that elusive discount cruise rate. There are quite a few cruise lines out there with different sized ships that cater to different types of people.

For a truly pampered and more intimate cruise try one of the smaller cruise ships that are becoming more popular. They are capable of carrying from maybe a dozen passengers up to a hundred or so. These ships have a more personal feel to them but because of their size and more exclusive feeling the prices may be higher then you are expecting. This does not mean you can’t find good deals on these smaller cruises but you’ll probably have better luck with the larger companies that operate the much larger cruise ships.

The largest cruise ships hold upwards of three thousand passengers and have all manner of activities and amenities on board. Because of the fierce competition within the industry it is vitally important that the cruise lines fill their cabins for each cruise. During the off-season they offer all manner of cruise deals to keep their ships at capacity. Having empty cabins is bad for the bottom line and the larger the ship the better the chances of getting a good discount.

Calling the cruise companies directly and simply asking what sort of specials they have currently or coming up in the future is probably the easiest way to find those money saving deals. Travel agents and travel sites on the internet are another good place to get prices. The biggest money saving tip anyone can get is to shop around. Don’t jump at the first “cruise deal” you get, you may be leaving money on the table.

Top 10 Arizona Travel Tips For a Fun Filled Day Trip With the Kids

There is nothing more rewarding for parents than spending quality time with the kids on a family vacation. Snapping pictures, exploring and discovering new territories while blazing new trails can make for great family fun. After all, isn’t that what a family vacation is all about anyway? Just being together, sharing, laughing, talking – creating some of life’s most memorable moments. All too often though, the hopes of a rewarding vacation or day trip with the kids can slowly dwindle into a day of frustration and disappointment. The kids get hungry, then they’re thirsty, they get tired and cranky, now they want to argue and of course the ever proverbial “are we there yet”…coming from the back seat of the car feels as though it will forever be ringing in your ears. Is this bonding? Well…in a sense – yes.

Certainly, years from now when the kids are grown you can reminisce and laugh about the trials and tribulations of the family vacation and day trips you used to take. But wouldn’t it be more rewarding knowing that you can actually have fun with your kids in the present moment! Why wait until they’re all grownup to reminisce about the good ol’ day trips gone by.

When my family and I take an Arizona vacation or go on a day trip we like to think about bonding with the kids in the present moment. Have fun now, talk with the kids now and share in that hilarious belly laugh now – so that when we all get home we can immediately begin to reminisce about the fun times we had on this family vacation.

No matter where your travels may take you and your family the following travel tips will help get you there with your peace of mind in tack so that you can enjoy all of your wonderful “present moments” with your family.

Advice and Tips for Arizona Travelers and Vacationers:

– Check Your Vehicle: A breakdown could spell disaster for a fun filled day. Whether you are in your own car or a rental, always take a look before you start. Make sure the tires look properly inflated and check the windshield washer fluid. Fill your tank. You can always go to Arizona Day Trails to find out where to buy fuel in Arizona for the least amount of money.

– Pack a Cooler: Purchase a small Styrofoam cooler available in any grocery or convenience store for just a few bucks. Pack it with bottled water and a few light snacks. Avoid sweet drinks because they tend to dehydrate you in the Arizona heat. Water will keep you hydrated and feeling good. Keep a box of crackers and Nilla wafers handy because they are easy on the stomach. And drink plenty of water during your day. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty.

– Dress Properly and Comfortably: Flip flops and sandals are great around the hotel or pool, but on your Arizona day trip wear durable, comfortable footwear. Pack some sunscreen and wear hats. It doesn’t have to be a Stetson; a baseball cap will do fine. The Arizona desert can get cool in the evening and downright cold at times so keep jackets handy.

– Keep the Kids In the Loop: Rotate seats in the car so everybody gets a window. Let the kids help decide things like where to have lunch and spend time at the things that interest them. When our son was 8 or 9 years old he could spend what seemed like all day observing reptiles and other animals at the various places on our day trips. It wasn’t necessarily our idea of heaven but today he is a Biologist preparing for his P.H.D. in Zoology. Who would have guessed? So let the kids pick a place or two to go visit. With a little guidance from you, you may be surprised to find a P.H.D. in your kids too.

– Create Family Memories: Pick up small mementos along the way to remind the kids of the places they’ve been and the great things they have experienced. You don’t have to break the bank. It’s the small things that make a difference and are great conversation starters with your kids!

– Take Lots and Lots of Photos: When you get back home and are sitting around with the kids, looking at your photo collection, it will hit you. Arizona is so amazingly beautiful- sometimes it just doesn’t sink in until you see it in print.

– Don’t Try to Beat the Clock: You can only move as fast as the slowest one in your party. Different size families with kids of various ages travel at different paces. Your family may want to spend more time at one place or another or at one particular activity. Go with the flow and enjoy. Arizona’s wonderful places have been around a long time and they will be there tomorrow. Believe me, you and your kids will be happier enjoying the things you get to do than having the day become a nightmare by trying to rush.

– Travel Safe: If you are doing all the driving remember to give your eyes a rest. There are plenty of scenic areas to park and stretch your legs. Take advantage of them. You are going to see some of the most amazing natural beauty on Earth. Take the time to drink it all in. July and August is monsoon season in Arizona and afternoon thunderstorms occur regularly. Be prepared, they usually only last a short time.

– Talk and Laugh a Lot: Talk to one another about the things you are doing and the marvelous sights you are seeing. It’s a great time for the kids to use their imagination and express themselves. Listen to them. You will learn things about each other that may surprise you and you will be better off for the experience. Laugh, laugh and laugh some more! Leave your stress and cares behind and have fun. You owe it to yourself and your kids. Life will be waiting when you get home.

– Bend the Rules: Extend bedtimes. Take an evening dip in the hotel pool. Have that extra ice cream cone. Whatever it is that is different from the everyday. Step outside late one night with your kids and look up at the sky. The night sky in Arizona is filled with stars to wish on so get out there and look up! City dwellers will be amazed.

We hope you keep these hints in mind during your visit to Arizona or wherever you and your family may travel. My wife, Ronnie and I have spent over 30 years traveling throughout Arizona and have found these tips to be true for our family. We know they will be true for yours too.

We’ll see ya on the trail! And remember to always be good to each other and your mother Earth. Take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints.

Top 23 Travel Tips For Taking A Summer Road Trip

Planning a summer road trip this year? Do movies like RV and Family Vacation not scare you from the adventures that could await you on your cross country trek? Before you go, make sure you check off these top 23 travel tips.

  • Look at maps and plan your route. There are many great online maps that do a HYBRID map view showing real streets and routes with satalite images. Knowing the location, and how it looks, by viewing it from space is both cool and very helpful, so you won’t get lost.
  • Research the roads you’ll take. You’ll especially want to know if you’ll be traveling through areas of major road construction. The maps mentioned above are a little dated. Some new roads and maps will not have current, realtime data, bring physical maps, like ones you could buy from AAA along.
  • Make estimates of travel times along the route, so you’ll have an idea when you’ll be at certain points on your trip. This will help you to plan rest and meal stops. It will also help you plan to avoid traveling through a major city or area of road construction during rush hour.
  • Get the car checked, especially the filters, belts, fluid levels and have the oil changed. Don’t wait until the last minute, it may take time to get an appointment and parts may need to be ordered. You also want some time to drive around town and make sure that whatever they fixed stays fixed. If you vehicle is ‘mission critical’ and could die at any moment, DON’T take it with you, borrow a friends car instead.
  • Check the condition of your wiper blades, both front and back windows.
  • Check the operation of your turn signals, brake lights as well as the high and low beams. Bring some extra fuses along.
  • Examine the tread on your tires. Consider mountain driving in winter conditinos on snowy peaks. Make sure you have chains or 4×4 traction for icey roads, out of season. Or try a different route.
  • Make sure your car is prepared for the weather it will encounter on your trip. You might need more antifreeze or need to recharged air-conditioning when you go through the desert.
  • Today, many cars have fancy wheels instead of hubcaps. These wheels usually have a lock to prevent them from being stolen. If you have a car with wheel locks, make sure you know where the key is stored (often with the jack). Otherwise, a flat tire will become a major problem since you won’t be able to get the wheel off the car.
  • Get your car cleaned. You’ll feel better in a clean car.
  • Pack an emergency kit in your car. Include motion sickness medication if anyone in your group suffers from it. Remove any items from the car that you won’t need on your trip. Bring some blankets.
  • Prepare some on road entertainment for your trip. Include games and CDs of music and/or audio books. Portable DVD players are really inexpensive and help pass the time in dead spots where where is nothing new to see.
  • Check your plates, registration and insurance information to make sure they are all valid. Be sure to place your insurance company’s emergency contact number in your car.
  • Check with all the drivers in your party to make sure their driver’s licenses haven’t expired.
  • Check your insurance for expiration dates and coverage for your automobile.
  • Arrange for someone to start your other car, if you leave one home, during very cold or very hot weather.
  • Fill the car with gas before you pack the car so all the fumes won’t bother your passengers. Check the fluid levels and tire pressure, your tire pressure will affect the ride and gas mileage you get on your trip.
  • Pack the car inside the garage, with the door down, so people driving by won’t find out you’re leaving.

Overall, enjoy the road trip. It’s not going to be as crazy as Clark W Grizwold’s family vacation experiences, and if it is, make sure you video it and put it up on You Tube!

Family Christmas Holiday – 5 Top Tips

If you are looking for a family Christmas Holiday here are 5 top tips for something a little different and exciting this year.

1. Since Christmas is traditionally a time for Children you might like to hear about this very special Christmas Holiday in Lapland. Up inside the Arctic circle is Lapland the home of Santa Claus. What better way to see in Christmas than to visit Santa, his Elves and his Reindeer at home before he sets off on his big day. Each child will get to see Santa,and receive a present. There are also sleigh rides (pulled by reindeer of course), husky rides,Snowmobiles, a lovely Christmas Gala Dinner, Christmas Carols and cosy log fires. So a truly wonderful family Christmas Holiday.

2. The next is a very unusual family Christmas Holiday. It is at the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden which is 200km inside the Arctic Circle. This is a truly unique Hotel. Every year it is newly built from the crystal clear ice provided by the fast flowing Torne River. Each year it has a new design and newly designed suites. You spend one night in the Ice Hotel suitably prepared with a nice warm bed and the other nights in a cosy and warm Swedish Hotel. There is every winter outdoor activity available or you can just sit quietly by the fire and read a good book or play games.

3. For a totally different Christmas our next destination is Australia. Sydney to be precise. If you are tired of the cold and snow try “Down Under” for a summery Christmas. The weather will be great but you will have all the usual Christmas fun. Christmas Trees, Carols, turkey dinner and of course Santa Claus. Sydney has a number of free events over the Christmas Season these include choirs, entertainers, slide shows, concerts and of course the fabulous fireworks display on New Years Eve.

4. How about a cruise for Christmas. This is a great one for Mom because after getting the family on board she can relax and let the party begin. This is a great opportunity for the adults to relax during the day while the kids are entertained then in the evening the fun of dressing up for the Gala dinners for each night of the Christmas period. Delicious food, great entertainment for all ages and a wonderfully relaxed Christmas for Mom.

5. Finally one of my favourite Christmas holidays. Christmas in New England. When you think of Christmas in New England you think of snow, skaters on a frozen pond, white churches with slim spires, twinkling lights on Christmas trees and pretty colonial homes with large holly wreaths on the front door. They are the images from a million Christmas cards.There are many beautiful Hotels and B & B’s all ready to provide you with a wonderful Christmas. Many of these buildings are beautiful old colonial homes. There is so much to see and do in New England. You and the kids could be busy from dawn till dusk. There is every conceivable winter activity and being on holiday you have the time to enjoy them together. Whether it is a simple toboggan ride down the nearest hillside or a day skiing it will be great just to enjoy it as a family.

So make the most of your family Christmas Holiday this year plan an exciting Christmas Vacation. From the cold of the Arctic circle to the warmth of an Australian Christmas there is sure to be something to please everyone.

Frugal Travel Tips For Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech can be a bargain for savvy tourists. The two must see’s in Marrakech, Djemaa el-Fna and the Souks, are free. Frugal even if you can’t resist making purchases.

The landmark I use to orientate myself is the tower of the Koutoubia Mosque. The tallest in the city, it can be seen from anywhere near the Medina, the old city.

The Food Stalls At Djemaa el-Fna

From the tower of the Koutoubia Mosque, the Djemaa el-Fna is only a couple steps north.

During the day, this square is filled with dancing monkeys, orange juice carts (2 Dirham – approximately $0.54 U.S. – for a glass of orange juice – note: a common “trick” on tourists is to charge extra if you wish no ice, remember this is a hot country with little portable refrigeration, ice is at a premium to the plentiful oranges), and other entertainers.

But the real action starts at sundown. The food carts come out and so do the bargains. The posted prices are usually for the locals, expect to be charged a higher price if you don’t speak the language, especially if you don’t want to haggle. Still you can get a bowl of the famed chick pea based harira soup for 2.5 Dirham (approximately $0.69 U.S.). The round loaf of bread commonly eaten with this soup can be purchased for 1 Dirham ($0.27 U.S.).

The Souks

The Souks are a maze of little shops situated right beside the Djemaa el-Fna. These stalls can be confusing and enterprising locals will insist that paid guides are needed. Unless you’re looking for a specific stall, they’re not. If you get “lost”, simply walk in one direction until you exit.

The Souks are one of the best places to get souvenirs including fabrics, leather shoes, and tajines (the cone like clay dishes used to prepare local cuisine). For spices, the grocery stores are a better bargain. For best deals, haggle. It’s expected by shop keepers.

The Menara

You may be tempted to visit the Menara, another free site. We saved the taxi fare and trekked out there by foot. We were disappointed. It consisted mainily of a giant pool of stagnant water with one small shell of a building. The building charges an admission fee.

Unless you have a burning desire to see olive groves or a common teenage hang out site or have too much time on your hands, spend your energy exploring other more interesting areas of the city.

Marrakech is a wonderful, fascinating city filled with exotic sights and smells and tastes. And with proper planning, it doesn’t have to break your travel budget.

Outdoor Holiday Lighting Tips

Outdoor holiday lighting is truly exciting. Getting those holiday lights on your outdoor property can really help you get deeper into the Christmas spirit. Installing and using outdoor lights however are far different than with indoor ones. Here are some important tips to take note of to keep your holiday lighting installation and use both safe and enjoyable.

* Never use plain staples or nails for installing your decorative lights. These could cut through the wire and cause fraying. This in turn could endanger you and your property. As much as possible, settle for plastic clips that you can easily use on eaves, gutters and railings. If you really must use staples, make sure that they are the insulated type and that you do not cut through the wire.

* Never use indoor lights outdoors. Use only holiday lights that are specifically meant to be used for the outdoors. You should also strictly stick to manufacturer instructions on how to use your Christmas lights.

* Carefully check your outdoor holiday lighting even if newly bought. You shouldn’t just keep an eye out for busted bulbs. You should also check for frayed wires, exposed wires or broken connecting sockets.

* All lighting sockets should be wrapped with electrical tape. This will ensure that there is no gap in between connections. The electrical tape can also ensure that water cannot get into the connecting points.

* You cannot just connect as many lights as you want. You also have to be careful with using limited extension wires for too many lights. You could cause a circuit overload that could lead to power failure. Light makers usually have safety guidelines on the number of lights that can be connected.

* Be careful with power lines. A tree you are decorating, your ladder or even your body could come in contact with a power line. You could seriously injure yourself and damage your property.

* Do not leave outdoor holiday lighting unattended. Only have them on if you are at home and awake. Make sure they are turned off before you leave home or before you retire for the night.

* Don’t keep the lights attached way after the holidays. You may have had a hard time installing them all over the house. This may make you feel like wanting to enjoy your lights a little more. It isn’t safe though to leave them out for long. The natural elements could gradually damage your lights and make them a hazard.

* Don’t leave light cords and extension cords lying around loosely. People could trip on them. Small animals could also get entangled and choke. Keep the cords neatly to the sides and tie up any extra cord lines.

* You can enjoy your outdoor holiday lighting better if you do not have a big electric bill to pay. Lower your costs by using energy efficient lighting. Use LED bulbs. Aside from being energy efficient, they are also quite sturdy.

Keep your outdoor holiday lighting experience fun. Make sure you get the right kind of lights and materials. Make sure too that safety is always your top priority.

15 Best Travel Tips When You Are on the Way

There is nothing like exploring and discovering new places. However, there are some habits that can be developed to reduce travel challenges. Here we list a few of the more obvious ones.

1. Get up early. Have a decent breakfast and arrive at attractions before the crowds to get best views and great photographs. Then have a rest, if you are tired.

2. Smile and say “hello”. there is nothing that is infectious as a smile. Use it to interact with local people and fellow travelers.

3. Observe and meet local people. See what they do – the movement, colour, smells and sights. They all have a story to tell and usually love to tell it. Listen to them and learn.

4. Take great photos. They will help you remember and do not take much space.

5. Be Patient at all times Don’t worry about the things you cannot control. Most exotic places do not have perfect public transport and five-star service. Take it as it comes because tomorrow is another day of new experiences.

6. Hide some Cash. You never know when you need a little extra. Not all ATMs are loaded when you go there. Remember Murphy;s Law.

7. Pack eye mask and ear plugs. To help you sleep in the many light and noisy hotels that you will find.

8. Pack a hat, scarf and sunglasses. Protect yourself from the elements. Take a small umbrella or waterproof coat with hood, if going to a rainy location.

9. Back up everything regularly. Use free Wi-Fi and secure could storage or hard drives to save files, so that nothing is lost.

10. Don’t give up: Sometimes the trains and buses are not running. Don’t give up. Something will happen tomorrow.

11. Keep an open mind. The best way to learn new things. Avoid being judgmental, you may not have the complete story.

12. Treat yourself well: Eat good wholesome food. Drink safe water and avoid “home-made” drinks.

13. Have a good laugh. Don’t take the travel too seriously. Laugh those embarrassing situations away and make new friends with a hearty laugh.

14. Get lost and don’t be afraid. Learn about new places by getting lost and finding your way out. Take a card from your hotel just in case and watch out for odd situations that can turn nasty.

15. Stay in touch with your family and friends: They are interested in your pursuits and can celebrate your journey in their own way.

In summary, do the things you like to do when you travel. Have fun and meet new people. There can be no end to it!

Planning Senior Citizens Trips – The Benefits of Bus Tours

Are you retired, or planning to retire? Would you like to see the world without the hassle of preparing for a vacation?. Planning your future senior citizens trips can be hassle free if you decide to consider bus tours Read on to see how much easier it is to join a bus tour instead of planning your vacation from scratch.

The Problem With Vacations

The main problem with vacations is the preparation you have to do beforehand. All that effort put into booking flights, finding hotels, creating an itinerary, finding travel insurance providers, etc. can really take its toll, which is ironic when you remember you’re a senior trying to relax!

That’s why bus tours and group tours for seniors are gaining popularity as a hassle-free alternative to the traditional way of vacationing, particularly those planning their senior citizens trips in retirement or semi-retirement. All you need to do is find the tour package that suits your expectations, pay the price, and then follow the travel agency’s instructions!

The Advantages Of Bus Tours

The main advantage of bus tours is the fact that it’s stress-free and hassle-free on your part — the travel agencies have done all the work for you! All you have to do is to choose the package, pay up, be there in time for the bus, and then start taking photos!

Another advantage of bus tours is the cost. When you plan a vacation the traditional way, almost every move costs money. When you book your flights — money. When you make hotel reservations — money. When you take cabs to the six tourist spots you plan to see today — money!

But when it comes to bus tours, you pay a single fee for the whole package, which can last several days. What’s more, seniors bus tours often come at a discount, making the whole vacation even more affordable and enjoyable for you! Just sign the dotted line, and off you go.

How To Prepare For A Bus Tour

The first step in preparing for a bus tour vacation is choosing your destination. What part of the world would you want to see? What town or country has been on your “must-visit” list for the past few decades? Now’s the time to take your pick without having to think about work when you get back!

Next, find suitable travel agencies that have tour packages in your chosen destination(s). Choose the travel agency with the package that fits your budget and schedule perfectly. You can also check if the travel agency offers travel insurance — very important if you REALLY want to enjoy yourself!

And finally, start packing! Bus tour packages can last several days, so make sure to pack enough clothes, medicine, and toiletries for the entire trip. Take a backpack if your back is strong enough, but if you don’t mind having only one free hand most of the time, take a lighter travel case on wheels.

Don’t Believe The Bad Hype!

Most younger vacationers dismiss bus tours as “boring” and “predictable,” but they don’t enjoy the sophistication that only age can bring. As seniors, we tend to enjoy a more relaxed, more cultured pace. So leave the stress to the young ones and take that vacation you’ve been waiting for all these years!