Thursday, June 30, 2011

Five Great Travel Apps for the iPad

One of the best reasons to get an ipad (as if you need to justify it) is for just how useful it is when you travel a lot. If you’re anything like me and move around a lot for business, but always found a laptop a bit too heavy to lug around then the iPad is a godsend. Light enough not to be noticed and powerful enough to handle any word office tasks you might need to do while en route, it also acts as an entertainment console and an e-reader all in one. But best of all are the apps designed specifically for travelling in this article we’ll look at the five best iPad apps for when you’re on the road:

AllSubway – A personal favourite this one, it does one job and does it well. Allsubway will bring up high quality and well laid out subway and underground maps for over 100 major cities across the planet. Not only does it allow you to browse these maps offline and in the underground or metro trains themselves it also stops you looking like a lost tourist with the traditional underground maps. Wonderful.

Kayak: Known as ‘the most popular iPad travel app’ for good reason. Kayak offers a one-stop-shop for seamless searches of hotels, flights and car rental deals. From within the app you can book your hotel room direct as well as following your flight’s status and organizing the itinerary of your trip.

XE – Regular travellers will know just how useful XE currency converter is when heading abroad. Again, XE have become the number one currency conversion place by doing one thing and doing it well. Their new currency conversion app carries on this quality and what’s more it’s free!

Weatherbug Elite – This app has saved me on countless occasions from going out with the wrong clothes or packing the wrong stuff in my suitcase. A decent and reliable weather app offering free and constantly updated weather forecasts.

iBooks – I took some convincing to read books on the iPad but when you factor in how much weight you save by having them all on one iPad and reading them electronically, it becomes a no-brainer for the regular traveller. Throw in Apple’s high quality software and an easy to use interface that offers both bookshelf and reader, as well as syncing your last page across all your ios devices and this is an indispensable piece of software.

Alex is a regular traveller and travel blogger. He would love to be reviewing hot and faraway exotic places but mostly ends up reviewing English B&B’s and Travelodge discount codes .

Cardiff – The Beating Heart of Wales

When it comes to travelling around Britain, a lot of people will arrive in England and head directly to London where they will stay for a few days before probably taking off to visit a couple of the other major cities such as Manchester, Birmingham or Liverpool. And although there is no doubting the fact that you could probably spend a lifetime touring around London (and still not see everything) it would be a shame to judge Britain only on these famous cities alone. For one thing there are thousands of miles of English, Scottish and Welsh countryside to explore, and for another thing there are also the main cities of Scotland and Wales to check out. One such city which is worth making a detour for is Cardiff in Wales.

Cardiff has accomplished a remarkable transformation in recent years, turning its industrial heritage on its head to become one of Britain’s most exciting cities. Nowadays, instead of looking backwards to its coal-fuelled past, Cardiff is making the most of not just that industrial heritage but also the incredible range of ancient and historic sites on its doorstep, a wonderful collection of art galleries and museums and an eclectic and adventurous bar and club scene that is fast gaining a reputation as one of the party capitals of Europe. When you throw in the fact that in the last few years the city has also become an exciting new destination for sports fans it is easy to see why Cardiff’s stature is growing year on year.

For those travellers coming to Wales Cardiff is the first stop on any tour. You’ll need at least two or three days to just soak in the wonderful atmosphere of the city and to get around all the sites. Start off with the elegant beauty of the Welsh National Museum and the Gallery of Wales, which houses a world-famous collection that contains everyone from Renoir to Van Gogh to Monet as well as taking on the Civic Hall and Civic Centre which was constructed in gorgeous Neo-Classical white Portland stone. Then take an afternoon to mooch about the endless Edwardian and Victorian streets, parks and gardens, containing an eclectic mix of local boutique shops and all the usual chains. Another whole day can be spent simply touring around the wonderful parks and gardens that fill the city, with the quiet Bute Park being the perfect spot for a picnic or afternoon nap. And in the evenings, why not get out there and sample some of the best nightlife in the UK as well as a new and seemingly endless range of fine dining options. The city itself is packed with a fantastic range of hotels, with everything from grand old historic hotels to cheap and cheerful Holiday Inn, Premier Inn and Travelodge Discount Codes. Look around and you can find some amazing deals year round just by searching for travelodge discount codes or by waiting for last minute city break deals.

The best thing about Cardiff is you can use it as a base to explore the famous Welsh countryside. Head out of the city to take in the magnificent Cardiff Castle and then keep going to explore the hundreds of old castles and ruins that fill the region. Popular destinations include Castell Coch, an ornate and kitsch castle, Caerphilly Castle and Caerleon, the old Roman fortress that has been excavated to reveal a well-preserved bath complex and amphitheatre. Bring a copy of Wordsworth poems and get yourself to Tintern Abbey or pack your walking boots and get out on the jaw-droppingly beautiful Pembrokeshire Coastal National Park, with days and days of hiking trails along the coast to explore.

Cardiff and Wales are simply beautiful and worth heading a little off the beaten track for.

Alex is a travel writer and blogger. He loves writing about expensive, sunny and exotic places but usually ends up writing about rainy days and cheap holidays in Wales.

Take A Princess To Bali

Bali is a beautiful island located in the middle of the Java Islands of Indonesia. Its main claim to fame is its pristine beaches, summer weather and many cultural and sightseeing locations. Apart from beaches and religious monuments, Bali can also boast of some of the friendliest locals. However, by far the biggest attraction of Bali is water and water related activities. Being an island this makes sense. Scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, sail surfing, sailing and taking a cruise ship in around the area, are some of the most popular activities in Bali. Taking a cruise with stop at Bali is a relatively new attraction and one of the primary cruise companies that offer Bali cruises is Princess Cruises.

The most popular time to take a cruise to Bali is during summertime, or from May to September. Besides being vacation time for most people in the world, the other reason is because the weather in Bali is the most manageable during this time of year. Princess Cruises offers starting points from several cities in Southeast Asia to go on a Bali cruise. However, Singapore is perhaps the most popular place to start a Bali Cruise vacation. If you are starting from Australia, then Perth is the city to start a Bali cruise on aboard Princess Cruises.

So once you arrive at Bali, what is there to do? As mentioned before Bali is a picturesque and beautiful land that offers just about every type of entertainment for even the most discerning traveler. Hiking, biking, cycling, mountain climbing, elephant safaris, rafting, camping, and sightseeing are all available in Bali. As far as sightseeing is concerned some of the most popular places to visit are Kintamani, Tampak Siring, Uluwatu, Tanah Lot and Besakih. After seeing all these monuments and temples, you will have a better understanding of the unique Balinese culture and history.

Going on an elephant safari is one of the unique attractions as far as Balinese vacations are concerned. Not many places offer this type of unique transportation. There are many tour operators that offer this type of journey. There are many places in the world that offer great surfing and diving experiences, but few can match Bali. Some of the beaches here offer the best surfing spots in the world! In fact, surfers from around the world converge to this place to take advantage of some of the best waves.

The good news is that all this can be enjoyed once you reach Bali on a cruise ship. However, when you take Princess Cruises, the journey itself is as fun as the destination. Princess Cruises has always been known to be one of the most family friendly cruises. Onboard amenities rival those found in a five star hotel. Bali holiday packages are also given for families. Once vacationers reach Bali, there are holiday packages given for people traveling with their families. This includes accommodations as well as sightseeing trips to places such as water parks and zoos.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Five Tips for Planning the Perfect Cruise

A cruise vacation has a lot to offer; sparkling waters, world-class cuisine and exotic locales. For first time cruisers, the whole process can be a bit overwhelming. Just remember that this is the trip of a lifetime and you’re going to have fun no matter what. To help you out, here are a few tips for planning that perfect cruise vacation.

Pick the right cruise line for you
Ages, activities, and ambiance vary greatly from company to company, even from ship to ship within a single cruise line. For example, Disney caters to children and families; where Norwegian typically attracts older couples. Take time to research which company aspires to provide the atmosphere you’re dreaming of.

Pick the right destinations
Each ship within a line’s fleet does more than just one cruise. If you have picked a cruise line, looking at the cruises offered by them is the next step. Think about the places you’d like to go and the activities you like to do. Each port has a unique selection of wildlife, history, shopping, and beaches. A quick internet search of a particular port of call will help you determine what the place has to offer.

Don’t be afraid of days at sea
You will notice that every cruise will have at least one day at sea. This isn’t just time to get from one place to another, it’s a time for you to take advantage of the facilities provided on the ship. Many ports excursions are a rush of arrivals, departures, and being herded from one place to the next. Your time on the ship is lower key and days at sea often provide the rest and relaxation that separate vacation from regular life. Don’t worry about being bored; your floating home is full of surprises just waiting to be discovered.

A ship is more than just your room
There are lots of choices of staterooms on a cruise, but you may find that you have very little need of your room when you consider all the public areas available to you on the cruise ship. Upper decks offer quiet corners and comfortable seating in which you can curl up and relax. CafĂ© type restaurants are open 24 hours to provide a gathering place as well as coffee. Most ships also have game rooms or libraries where you can find board games, books and televisions. A quick look at the ship’s amenities will give you an idea of where you can spend your time outside of your stateroom.

Do Your Homework
That is a phrase dreaded by school children, but just a little time planning can help your whole trip to be more relaxing. Cruise line websites offer lists of things to pack and the documentation required for leaving the country. Port reviews let you know the best things to do at each port of call, and ship reviews can give you a clue to anything extra you might want to bring along.

Heather Johnson a leading honeymoon planning resource. Learn about the best honeymoon destinations today!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Truckee California Vacation

A Truckee California Vacation

Truckee, CA retro sign
Truckee California is one of the neatest places you can possibly visit in The Golden State. Truckee is easily found off the I-80 Fwy, just minutes Northeast of Lake Tahoe. The city itself, is actually located in Nevada County in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and actually boarders The Silver State just a short drive from Reno.

With a claim to fame involving the famous "Donner Party," cannibalism will be furthest thing on your mind when you find out the selection of restaurants Truckee has to offer. The Donner theme is found everywhere in and around Truckee, CA. Donner Memorial State Park is just out of town and offers an array of activities for the family, including: camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, water-skiing, and hiking in the summer months. Respectively, cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails in the winter.

The ideal vacation spot for those looking to relax, do a little shopping, and experience world class dining.

Restaurants in Truckee, CA

Truckee may be a "small town" by measure, with its population of 16,180 (2010 census), but don't let it fool you when it comes to the world class restaurants. A big part of the economy is based on its tourist industry, and with that comes a great, diverse, and really creative food scene. With everything from fine dining to a casual burger spot, there is something for everyone.

Fifty Fifty Brewing Co.

Fifty Fifty Brewing Co. in Truckee, CA
Fifty Fifty Brewing Co. is a must see in Truckee. It's a very causal atmosphere with some really good brews, and some honest to goodness pub food. The craft beers follow the area theme with their Donner Party Porter. For those who enjoy the lighter side of craft beer, or are more Coors Light/ Bud Light drinkers, steer toward the Base Camp Golden Ale or the Manifesto Pale Ale. For those who fear no beer, go for the full hop flavor of a Rockslide IPA, with a slight citrus profile.

Fifty Fifty is committed to local sustainability, and has fashioned its business model to accommodate those goals. The pub serves 100% natural beef, donates the spent grain from the brewing process to a local ranch for the livestock, has fully compostable carry-out containers, donates used fryer oil to be used as Bio-Diesel and more!

Burger Me Truckee, CA

Burger Me in Truckee, CA
Can we officially call this "Flavor Town?" Well, maybe we can't, but Guy Fieri of the Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives can! Oh wait, I think he did when Burger Me! was featured on an episode of the "Triple D" that aired on the Food Network. In fact, this is now a major destination place visitors to the area.

Among the many various menu choices at this burger place is your standard beef burger option, a leaner bison burger option to the turkey burger and even the old veggie. All burgers have customizable options from something as simple as caramelized onions to Niman Ranch bacon. Like their neighbor mentioned above, Burger Me! commits to using seasonal, locally sources ingredients whenever possible.


Moody's in Truckee, CA
Moody’s Bistro & Lounge should be your number one destination if you are looking for the fine dining experience in Truckee. The acclaimed bistro's Executive Chef Mark Estee and A&R Man J.J. Morgan have engineered a menu that also utilizes the fresh and seasonal, local resources. Moody's offers all the high end dishes you'd expect to see and some a little more surprising, like the beef tartare. If you're not all that hungry, it's a great place to stop in for a drink and a little of the night flavor, including live music.

Other Truckee Travel Attractions

There is so much more to see and do in Truckee including visiting Sierra Air Helicopters for a tour over Lake Tahoe. Maybe your style is to poke around the shops in historic downtown Truckee. If you're more of a winter person then the Coldstream Adventures Snowmobile Tours is for you! No matter what your forte, there is something here for you!

Written and posted by blog admin.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sightseeing Fairbanks: Off The Beaten Path

Fairbanks, Alaska is a fortuitously founded city, occurring when Captain E. T. Barnette's steamboat was stranded on location on the Chena River. He was convinced to set up his trading post there rather than further up the river in 1901. The town experienced its first "boom" one year later when gold was found in the area.

Modern day visitors to Fairbanks come not for trading but to experience the history, culture and sights. Fairbanks is a top-ten destination for the more than one million visitors to Alaska each year. Many travelers take a Fairbanks vacation for the cruises and tours, but there are also sights to be seen outside of the visitors guide and off the beaten path.

For a taste of true gold rush culture, the Pioneer Museum offers glimpses of artifacts such as dog sleds, handmade tools and snowshoes. The Big Stampede, housed in the same building, is a cyclorama presentation of colossal oil paintings by Alaska's own C. R. "Rusty" Heurlin. The Big Stampede depicts the difficult and dangerous times of the gold rush.

Another way to travel back in time is to embark on the Tanana Valley Railroad to the El Dorado Gold Mine. The two hour guided tour transports passengers through history to talk to miners, learn about gold mining and modern mining methods.

When it's time for some relaxation, visit the warm springs at Hutlinana. They are accessible even in winter off of Eliot Highway, which is not well-marked. Once upon a time, gold miners traveled to these springs for some relief from the physical labor of panning for gold. Now, those on a Fairbanks vacation can enjoy the soothing waters that bubble up from deep within the earth.

Travelers who would like to experience Fairbanks' local produce and handmade crafts will want to stop by the Tanana Valley Farmers' Market. The market features native artwork, jewelry, pottery, local honey, fresh flowers, baked goods and much more. Special events such as the holiday bazaar in December are also hosted by the market.

The Alaska House Art Gallery is where visitors can take in native Alaskan art. House in a log building, native masks, sculpture, jewelry, carvings, artifacts and more are all on display. Many times local artists who are being showcased are present to interact with guests of the gallery.

Fairbanks does have a nightlife scene. One venue where travelers will be able to rub elbows with the locals is the Howling Dog Saloon. They serve local brews from the Silver Gulch Brewery and feature live entertainment from local bands.

Putting aside the visitors guide while in Fairbanks will allow travelers to truly experience the warm welcome of this charming town.

Adam takes a Fairbanks vacation every year, and has used the same visitors guide for over 20 years.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wandering Aimlessly Like A Cloud? Take An Escorted Tour

By nature, people who like to travel and venture into the unknown in search of adventure and discovery tend to be independent thinkers. What could be more independent than choosing to abandon familiar surroundings and the comforts of home in favour of a voyage to faraway places in strange new worlds? Many experienced travellers, however, will tell you that independence on the path not-yet-travelled can sometimes become more of a chore than a joy. Ask anyone who has run a car onto a sidewalk trying to navigate a busy roundabout in London, or spent the majority of a vacation in Paris standing in lines trying to get into famous museums, or wheeled a seventy-pound suitcase from sold-out hotel to sold-out hotel in Rome. Sure, traveling solo can be adventure, but if you would rather relax and enjoy a hassle-free vacation that requires no maps, no negotiating skills, and no stress, than an escorted tour is for you!

Escorted Horseback Tour

Escorted tours are operated around the globe by companies known as tour operators. These companies specialize in vacations for savvy travellers who want to spend their time enjoying the sights, culture, history and people of their chosen vacation spot, rather than spending it planning, navigating, standing at ticket windows and waiting for a table in restaurants. Taking an escorted tour is a great way to travel in safety and comfort, and since operators specialize in the destinations they offer, they have years of experience with the hotels, restaurants and attractions you'll be visiting. That kind of local expertise promises you the best vacation you could ask for.

Escorted tours offer a multitude of benefits. You'll get to relax and view the scenery on a luxury coach operated by a professional driver. And you'll never have to worry about where you're going to sleep at night. Hotels are prearranged and on most escorted tours, your suitcase will even be delivered to your room! Likewise, you'll be whisked past ticket counters and lines and go right into sightseeing attractions. At mealtime, your table will be waiting and with many meals included in the price of your tour, you and your new found friends, won't have to worry about paying the check!

Escorted Tour Group

Speaking of friends, getting to know like-minded guests in your group is another fun perk of taking an organized tour. You'll meet folks from around the world, and might even forge a new friendship that will last a lifetime. And let's not forget your professional tour escort or tour director. This is the leader of your vacation, and the person who will make your trip seamless and pleasant by taking care of everything! Escorted group travel is a great way to explore the world. Try it, you'll like it!

Guest post by Elliot Jones

10 Fun Road Games to Play When Traveling in an RV

After sifting through a plethora of California RV dealers, you’ve finally settled on that perfect motorhome. With your new RV ready and your family in tow, it’s time to hit the open road.

If you have kids, chances are they will get a little bored along the way. Even with a huge motorhome, it will be difficult to keep kids entertained on an extra long road trip, and we all know that unhappy children are no fun to deal with. Besides, a good game can make a long trip seem like just seconds.

Here are some fun road games you can play with your kids when traveling in an RV.
  1. Geography (And Other Topics)
  2. Start with the name of any place in the world, any country, state, or city. The next person then has to think of a place starting with the last letter of that place. For example, the first person may start with Wyoming. The next person then has to think of a place starting with the letter G, like Georgia. The game continues in this fashion. A person cannot repeat a place that has already been said. Each person should answer within a set time limit or otherwise be eliminated. Of course, this game can be played with other topics outside of geography as well. You can choose from all sorts of topics, like food, animals, or celebrity names.
  3. Counting
  4. This game is about as simple as it gets. Choose an object outside that appears fairly frequently, such as cows, red cars, mailboxes, or motorhomes for sale. Decide on a specific destination point where you will stop counting. The goal is to have the highest number when you reach the destination.
  5. I Spy
  6. This is a classic guessing game. One person chooses an object and says “I spy with my little eye…” followed by a clue. Players look around and suggest what it might be while the person who initially chose the object answers with a simple yes or no.
  7. Twenty Questions
  8. Players should begin by thinking of a specific topic, though the game typically uses only celebrities. One person thinks of a celebrity, and the other players have a twenty question limit to guess who that celebrity is.
  9. A is for…
  10. Starting with the letter A, each person tries to be the first to read something beginning with that letter. It could be on a billboard, on the side of a truck, on a road sign, even on a license plate, but it must be a legible word. This proves especially challenging for those long stretches of road with seemingly nothing, but it does force a certain attentiveness to things happening outside. Try to get through the whole alphabet. Good luck with X and Z.
  11. Rock, Paper, Scissors
  12. The game often used for making decisions can also be quite fun. This game has several variations, including the now popular rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock.
  13. License Plate States
  14. See how many different states you can identify on license plates.
  15. Two Truths and a Lie
  16. Each person in turn tells the other players two truths and a lie about himself or herself. The other players have to guess which statement is a lie. This is also a great way to learn about others.
  17. License Plate Words
  18. The aim of the game is to make a phrase using the letters of a car’s license plate as an abbreviation. For example, if you see a license plate with the letters HMP, you could say “Have mercy, please.”
  19. Mad Libs
  20. These are more than affordable and loaded with hours of fun. Mad Libs are a great way to teach kids word play and grammar as well.
Guest post by Tim

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tips for Enjoying Your Travel Destination

With summer upon us, it’s time to plan that special family vacation, and what better place to enjoy the sun, fun, and all that summer has to offer than a trip to La Jolla. The city has numerous attractions for the whole family as well as delicious places to eat, shop, and lounge, making it nearly impossible to spend all day in a salon in La Jolla!

Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your stay in La Jolla.

For the Artists

La Jolla is a place of rich, distinct culture perfect for the aspiring artist seeking inspiration. There are dozens of art galleries in La Jolla, namely the downtown area. From classic paintings to contemporary pieces, these art galleries show the area’s great sense of diversity. The town is, of course, home to UC San Diego. The campus holds all sorts of fun performances, both musical and dramatic, and activities to satisfy the intellect and artful mind. Make sure to check the school’s website for details. If that’s not enough, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is located in La Jolla. The museum holds new exhibitions every few months so keep your eye out for exciting new events.

For the Hungry

As well as some sweating yourself silly with Bikram Yoga, La Jolla, CA offers dozens of delicious restaurants and eateries. La Jolla’s Burger Lounge is the place for some great, classic burgers. Burger Lounge runs on the philosophy that a burger should taste great and make use of healthy ingredients, all produced within a sustainable environment. The menu is simple and caters to health-conscious eaters and burger lovers alike. You have your choice of tallgrass beef, turkey, or quinoa patties, along with a side of fresh cut fries or onion rings. Burger Lounge also offers salads, chicken tenders, cupcakes, and milkshakes, all made from fresh, healthy ingredients. These are the type of burgers you don’t have to feel guilty about.

Nearby is Whisknladle. This restaurant is best known for making everything in house, from the sauces to the main courses. All their produce is organic and supplied by local growers. Eating at the Whisknladle really gives you the authentic taste of San Diego.

If you would like to indulge yourself, La Jolla is also home to several unique pizzerias. Regents Pizzeria offers some divine pies in thin New York style or thick, rich Chicago style. You have numerous options for toppings, all of which are purchased fresh from local suppliers. The dough is handmade and your pizza is cooked in a special stone oven that ensures optimal crunch when you finally get to take a bite.

Four Reasons Montreal is a Must-See Vacation Destination

When you travel to Canada for your vacation, make time to visit the marvellous, exciting city of Montreal. This cosmopolitan area is world-famous for not only its role as the fashion centre of the country but also for its culture, architecture and even its night life. For the visitor, Montreal offers such a wide array of sights and activities that many people are reluctant to return home!

1) Art

From public artworks to magnificent museums and galleries, Montreal can hardly contain all its visual and aural enjoyment gifts to the public.

Modern sculptures adorn the city in public plazas and parks. From smooth subtleties that beguile the imagination to intricate and intriguing Renaissance works, appreciation and celebration of art in Montreal has been elevated to...well, an art form.

Even the unusual has been ordinary fare in this metropolis. When you view a piece from all sides and still can't figure out what it's supposed to be, you're probably not alone, but everyone can appreciate its flair and creativity.

2) Attractions

Discover for yourself the well-hidden enjoyment treasure found inside the former stadium for the 1976 Olympics. The Biodome de Montreal houses contains four separate ecological habitats. Explore a rain forest, a polar environment, a marine display and a lush forest area—all under one roof. Learn about the ecology, the flora and the fauna native to each area represented. Laugh at the antics of the polar puffins and penguins. Then cross to the rain forest and enjoy the tricks and mischief of the monkeys and the brilliant colours of the parrots. The Biodome welcomes families and provides special activities for the children—and their parents!

The Quays of the Old Port of Montreal (Quais du Vieux-Port de Montreal) was once the shipping hub of this bustling city. The area has been transformed into a brilliant scenic area tailored to biking or leisurely walking tours and meandering among the many shops, boutiques and cafes. View yesteryear as it presents itself for your enjoyment as you capture bits of history along your way.

Be sure to stop by the Chateau Ramezay Museum in Montreal. Named after the French colonial governor Claude de Ramezay, this structure once housed the French and then British colonial governments. During the American Revolution, it served as the headquarters of the Revolutionaries who laid siege to the city. The building was the first to be declared an historical monument in the city and it was awarded the National Award of Excellence from the Landscape Architects of Canada in 2003.

3) Boat Tours

You won't believe you have only one hour on board as you embark on a daytime cruise on the Saint-Lawrence River. Don't worry about a picnic lunch or a snack you forgot, because you can find it on board as the specially-designed boats slip into areas that others cannot. Enjoy the waterway that adds depth and dimension to your Montreal holiday.

4) Festivals

Whether you like the gay festivals full of fun and diversity or you prefer literary seminars, Montreal can meet those requests and virtually everything in between. Does jazz music set your soul afire? You're in luck when you attend the Montreal Jazz Festival usually held in early summer. Be astounded at the power, grace and magnificence of the Cirque de Soleil, the world-famous contemporary travelling circus—or performance art—that perennially breaks its own highest standards of excellence.

'To Be Continued'

More than one visitor has told himself that as he reluctantly departs toward home. This very short list of only a few of the wonders, marvels and entertaining sidebars that make Montreal unique, embracing the past as it races toward the future. Come see why. Visit Montreal on your holiday.

Article by Sara Woods of Coupon Croc; visit us to find huge savings on all of your travel plans, to any destination, including your summer vacation this year with a Travelodge discount code 2011.

10 Of The Most Breath Taking Places You Have To Travel Through In The World

Has your summer been a complete washout? Once upon a yesteryear it was easy to distinguish between our quintessentially “British” seasons and the staycation ranked up there with Cannes and Ibiza as a premier holiday option. The era of the staycation may still be in full swing, but the merging of our climate into one long, unpredictable season is still causing most of us to yearn for exotic climes and movie backdrop landscapes – minus the rain-induced mists. Here are ten of the best for your delectation!

Shangrila Resort, Skardu, North Pakistan.

There's a reason Shangrila has been dubbed “Heaven on Earth” by the locals and it's not all down to its isolated beauty amid the mystical Kunlun Mountain range. Set amid a ring of some of the highest peaks on Earth, Shangrila Resort nestles beside a heart-shaped lake, with pine trees fringing its soft sandy shores. At 2,500m above sea level, the purpose-built resort affords spectacular vistas and climbing opportunities, along with luxurious Swiss cottages on the doorstep of Buddhist monk country.

Colorado River Route, Arizona, U.S.A.

A combination of water erosion and volcanic activity over six million years has carved out the angular, rugged landscapes lining the Colorado River. The area more commonly referred to as the Grand Canyon comprises an area of over 277 sq. miles. Hitch a ride with a kayak tour at Vail Springs, Northwestern Colorado and explore the lower depths of the Canyon along the Colorado River, experiencing panoramic views of the soaring peaks that flank the tributary on either side.

Machu Picchu, Peru

Nestled upon the peak of a tableau mountain, the ancient Inca kingdom of Machu Picchu has long been a place of fascination for backpackers. Estimated to be over 600 years old, the town lies at an elevation of 2,430 metres above sea level, overlooking the jagged Urubamba Valley in South Central Peru.

Vienna, Austria

Beauty may be subjective, but few can deny that Austria's capital Vienna packs a punch as soon as you set foot amid the old city walls. Opulent palaces such as the Belvedere and Imperial command a majestic presence, dwarfed by the Gothic spires of St Peter's Church. St Stephen's Cathedral in the central district is one of the few places you can admire three-sixty panoramas of the entire cityscape - well worth the 500-step climb of the tower!

Bohinj Valley, Slovenia

Rarely featuring in the media’s top-ten lists, the Central European Republic of Slovenia hides more than its fair share of out-of-this-world vistas. Bohinj Valley in the North-Western quarter has been tagged “the most beautiful valley on Earth”, down to its peaceful setting and stunning periglacial lake. Mount Triglav – Slovenia's highest mountain, at 9,396 ft - sits to the north of the lake, giving way to a rugged topography of dramatic iced mountains and thick pine forests just waiting to be explored.

Petra, Jordan

Tucked away in the foothills of Mount Hor in the south-western region of Ma'an, Jordan, lies one of UNESCO's most stunning cultural heritage sites. Thought to have been built around the sixth century B.C, the rock-cut palaces, temples and dwelling houses of Petra are a fascinating testament to man's engineering capabilities some 2,000 years ago. The huge, naturally formed gorge shaft al-Siq paves the entrance to Petra and remains one of the most photographed 'doorways' in the world.

Lake Bunyonyi Resort, Uganda, Africa

Africa often appears upon must-see lists for its wilderness safari opportunities and Ancient Egyptian heritage, but rarely do the south-western overlands of Uganda get a mention. An oasis centrally located between the towns of Kabale and Kisoro, Lake Bunyonyi lures with the promise of deserted tranquil lake islands and thick brush landscapes, teeming with exotic wildlife.

Luang Prabang, Laos, South East Asia

Situated along a lush, narrow plateau between the Nam Kahn and Mekong Rivers in Laos lies a city so beautiful it has been added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. Ornate Buddhist temples dating back to the eighth century sit alongside quaint little cafes and grandiose central villas. The stark contrasts in architecture are one of the city's defining attractions!

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Rising like beacons above the forest canopy of Siem Reap, the palatial turrets of Angkor Wat were once Cambodia's best kept secret. Formerly the base for the prolific Khmer Empire around the ninth century, the temple complex is one of the most stunning Asian monuments to have survived the test of time. Nestled beside the mirror-like man-made lake, the photogenic complex remains wholly intact and usually takes an entire afternoon to explore.

The Alhambra, Granada, Spain

Many tourists now forgo the opportunity to explore Spain due to the plethora of party resorts that have emerged in recent years. If you have the chance to venture off the tourism trail, head to the heritage-rich province of Granada, home to the Moorish 14th-century city of Alhambra. Its terracotta palaces, Court of the Myrtles and Royal Complex are some of the finest surviving Muslim structures in Spain, hailing from the Nasrid Dynasty, the last Moorish and Muslim dynasty in Spain. Bounded by thick forests and rugged terrain, Alhambra's elevated walkways yield some truly breathtaking views.

This is a guest post from - helping you find the best camping pitches around.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Places you shouldn’t miss when you go for a world tour

Have you ever dreamt of visiting the most famous places in the world? Most often when people think about a world tour, they get confused about the places to visit as there is a plethora of options that they have to choose from. Every one of us desires to visit the most famous places in the world but very few of us have that exact travel list that provides you with the list of the places that one shouldn’t miss. Well, if you too are confused, here’s help for you. Have a look at the places you must visit if you’ve planned to go for a world tour.

Grand Canyon: Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful places in the world and it should be in the list of places that you should visit when you’re going for a world tour. Carved by the River Colorado, Grand Canyon is the steep-sided gorge in the state of Arizona of United States. It has been researched that 5 million people visit the Grand Canyon every year. Summer and mid-Spring would be the best season to visit the Grand Canyon but most of the local residents think that winter is the great time to visit.

The South Island: The South Island, located at New Zealand is featured by special open landscapes. This particular island is well-known for golden sand beaches, large beach forests and broad plains. Most people can enjoy the travel to South Island. There are 10 national parks in South Island and all these parks include glaciers, lakes, coastline and native forests.

Cape Town: Situated at the tip of the African continent, Cape Town is also a place that you must not miss if you are going on a world tour. The unique range of multi-cultural lifestyle is the specialty of Cape Town and the holiday-makers enjoy the hot weather, sunny beaches and also the beautiful scenery. Make sure you have a rough idea of the place before you go to visit.

Great Barrier Reef: World’s largest coral reef ecosystem is the Great Barrier Reef. This is one of the best places to visit in Australia. You will be able to see it from the outer space and this is the single place with the highest number of living organisms. There are 10,000 species that consists of 1500 types of fish and 200 kinds of birds.

Therefore, if you’re planning to go for a world tour, do include the above mentioned spots in your list. Make your trip memorable by carrying everything that you need to make your travel successful.

Guest Post by Rebecca.

The Pros and Cons of All Inclusive Holidays

All inclusive holidays are one of the most popular forms of package holidays, particularly for families or those travelling with children. As with everything in life, there are several pros and cons to opting for an all-inclusive option.

Find out as much as you can about this type of holiday, weigh up the advantages and disadvantages and make your decision based on what option will be best for your holidays needs.

If you don’t want to spend a fortune on a package holiday but still want to visit a great location and make the most of your time abroad then an all-inclusive option can be an appealing option. All inclusive options are gaining popularity as travellers realise this type of holiday doesn’t necessarily equate to cheap and cheerful.

Similar to any other holiday type, all-inclusive options range from basic to luxury so you should be able to find an option to suit, regardless of whether you fancy a simple break in Spain or idyllic Caribbean getaway.


Controlling cost is one of the main advantages of taking an all-inclusive break. All food and drink tends to be included in the total price you pay before travelling so you don’t have to shell out for dinner or drinks whilst on holiday. This helps when it comes to keeping holiday spending under control as the cost of eating out in local restaurants every night can soon mount up. One disadvantage of this arrangement is that you don’t get to visit local restaurants, cafes and bars to sample their fares so if you don’t fancy dining at your hotel every evening then all-inclusive may not be the best choice for you.

What’s included?

For full details of what's included in your all inclusive holiday, always check with your holiday company or read the hotel description. Look out for all inclusive holiday packages which offer all meals, snacks, soft drinks, tea and coffee and alcoholic drinks at no extra charge.

You may also find that most hotel activities and entertainment are included in the overall holiday cost, which helps you to enjoy your time away without having to worry about cost.
Again, if you feel like taking part in activities outside of your hotel then remember to consider the additional cost of doing so. Some holiday makers prefer to get out and about to explore the local area so if you suspect you might get bored easily after a few days by the pool at your all inclusive resort then.

When searching for all inclusive holidays remember to check where your resort is located. If you are located some distance away from the town or city centre, the beach or other local attractions, you should be 100% certain you are happy with the amenities on offer at your accommodation.

Jennifer Adams is a part of the digital blogging team at who write about subjects like all inclusive holidays on behalf of a growing number of travel brands. To keep up to date with the latest in travel and destination news, check out my posts at Digital Crosstalk or visit my Twitter account, @dcrosstalk.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Travelfire | For The Savvy Travel

Travelfire travel blog

Welcome to Travelfire! This travel blog was created to highlight the destinations from around the world, with advice and descriptions from the people who have been there. From the people who know the deals.

This site is meant to help with advice on places to go, travel tips, travel deals, reviews, stories and more. You don't have register to get the advice, you don't need to log in, or anything like that. Take what you want and go.

Feedback is always welcome, and this is an open community. Feel free to say hi.

Simple as that. I hope you enjoy!