Mathieu

Alternative things to do in Las Vegas

Renowned for its bright lights and booming nightlife, Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the World. With activities ranging from shows, casinos and even theme parks, there is plenty to keep all your party occupied. But if you are looking to try out some different places that Las Vegas isn’t necessarily famed for, here are some great examples:

Dig This
Dig This is the perfect place to relieve some stress as you manoeuvre your way around a patch of wasteland in real life construction equipment. Being the only park like this in the entire of the United States, visitors can drive and learn how to work real life digger trucks and bulldozers, whilst at the same time being in competition with your friends or family in a series of challenges.

Shark Reef Aquarium
Home to 2,000 animals and over 1.5 million litres of water, the Shark Reef is a great place to take in some of the most exotic creatures on the planet. Located in the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino Complex on the Vegas strip, the venue always offers the chance for visitors to go diving with sharks in the water tanks, with the likes of the Sandtiger, White Tip and Sandbar swimming round.

Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Tour
If you are a lover of horticulture, this is a must visit attraction. Open 24/7 for tourists to wander through, the tour showcases some of the finest seasonal flowers and features for visitors to enjoy, as well as offering an insight into how the conservatory was created. The Bellagio is usually famed for its awe-inspiring fountains and fantastic casino facilities, but the Botanical garden is up there with both of these.

Vegas Indoor Skydiving
One for the thrill seekers amongst society, get an experience you’ll never forget at the Vegas Indoor Skydiving Centre. First opened in 1982, the vertical wind tunnel allows visitors to get the feel for jumping out of a plane without being 10,000ft in the air!

Although Vegas is famed for its nightlife and casino scene, there are heap loads of activities you can do to get away from those Bright Lights. Besides there is always the option of online with sites like www.iPadcasino.ca so that you can enjoy a Vegas for its many other attractions which most people usually miss out on.

Mathieu

Top Seven Budget Summer Holiday Ideas

Most of us love going on holiday during the summer, but don’t want to spend a fortune on it. Unsurprisingly, budget holidaying has become very popular in the on-going recession, and holidaymakers are constantly on the lookout for new locations that are cheap to visit.

Cheap holidays are the best way forward in terms of having affordable fun during the summer. This article lists out seven hot budget holiday destinations for you and your family.

Sri Lanka

Tourism has enjoyed a revival in Sri Lanka in recent years, with the Guardian touting it as the number one cheapest holiday destination, next to Spain. The country is an interesting mix of cultures, enjoying remnants of British, Dutch and Portuguese colonialism.

It’s remarkably diverse for such a small island, surrounded by golden beaches, with massive rainforests and impressive mountains in the centre of the island. The food is to die for.

Bulgaria

This is one of the best budget options in Europe. The beaches are great, and there are 1,700 hours of sunshine between May and October. Enjoy water sports and an all-round great family experience.

Tunisia

You just can’t go wrong with over a thousand kilometres of coastline. You can either lounge on the beach for your entire stay, or you can travel into the country to see the Sahara desert. If you’re a Star Wars fan, make sure you visit Matmata, which was one of the original shooting locations.

Goa, India

Make sure you avoid the crowds and visit Goa during the low season. The party hasn’t stopped in Goa for years, and there are always enough local attractions that don’t involve raving till the early hours on the beach, too, like the Portuguese colonial architecture and the beautiful tropical countryside.

Egypt

Egypt’s culture and history is just astonishing and, frankly, second to none. Nearly everyone in the world is familiar with the famous images of the pyramids and the Sphinx, as well as the mighty Nile. Travelling to Egypt and staying there is incredibly cheap at the moment.

Thailand

Thailand has a lot to offer, whether you’re staying in its vibrant, bustling capital city, or if you venture outwards towards the beautiful beaches and dense jungles. The flight might be pricey, but the cost of living there is virtually rock bottom.

Dominican Republic

This island’s various hotels offer all-inclusive accommodation, but it also hosts a bunch of budget places to stay, as well. The food and drink is superb, as well as the beaches and the rainforest.

One of the world’s truly great cities, London is home to so many iconic sights that visitors will be in no danger of forgetting where in the world they are.

With some of the most famous buildings in the world to be found in London, together with many other landmark locations, visiting the city can feel a little like stepping onto a film set and there are so many fantastic photo opportunities that you’ll want to have your camera handy at all times.

With a population of close to eight million, this vast cosmopolitan city is a major centre for the arts, shopping and fashion and sets global trends in music and gastronomy making it a great holiday destination.

When visiting London you will be seeing iconic images at every turn, all of which combine to give London its unique sense of place. Here are 10 of the best to look out for.

1) London buses

The red double decker buses that rumble along the streets of London are famous the world over. Although the most instantly recognizable of the buses, the vintage Routemaster, has largely been phased out, it still runs along two vintage routes in London. Meanwhile, more modern buses in the city continue the tradition for red double decker vehicles and are one of the principle forms of transport in the city, as well as a tourist attraction.

2) Buckingham Palace

The world reignited its love affair with the British Royal Family when Prince William announced his engagement to Kate Middleton and their fairy tale wedding saw the world’s media descend on Buckingham Palace like never before. This beautiful palace, with its guards in their bearskin hats, is an unmissable London landmark and the residence of the Queen when she’s in the city. A flag flying outside the palace signifies the Queen is in residence.

3) London Eye

Far more than just the world’s largest Ferris Wheel, the London Eye is an architectural wonder and has become London’s biggest tourist attraction. Constructed to coincide with Britain’s Millennium Celebrations, the London Eye offers spectacular views over the city and its many iconic attractions. Sitting on the edge of the River Thames, the London Eye is visible from miles around.

4) Big Ben

The world famous clock tower at London’s Houses of Parliament is instantly recognizable and a real postcard image of London. The origins of the name ‘Big Ben’ are unknown, but the clock’s bell has been ringing out across Westminster since 1859. To give an idea of the scale of Big Ben, the minute hands are 14 feet long and the figures on each of the four clock faces are two feet high. Big Ben is particularly magnificent after dark, when the clock faces are illuminated.

5) Harrods

Arguably the most famous department store in the world, this luxury store in upscale Knightsbridge is worth a visit even if the budget won’t stretch to making a purchase. While the store is now synonymous with luxury goods, it began life in 1849 as a simple grocery store, employing just two members of staff. Today it is a London landmark in its own right, lit up at night by 11,500 twinkling lights. Stocking everything from designer fashion to luxury food. The Egyptian Hall and the Pet Department are both worth a visit, but make an effort to look smart, because the top-hatted door staff aren’t just there to be decorative and may decline entry to anybody likely to lower the tone of the store.

6) Wembley Stadium

London and football go hand in hand and Wembley Stadium is London’s shrine to the sport. The site of many a historic London sporting event, including England’s 1966 cup final victory in the FIFA World Cup, Wembley is one of the largest sports stadiums in Europe and serves as England’s national stadium. While the original Wembley Stadium was demolished in 2003, the new stadium stands on the same site and is an awe-inspiring sight on match days, with capacity for 90,000 people. Wembley Stadium also hosts major musical events and visitors can take organized tours of the stadium.

7) The British Museum

London is an historic city and nowhere is this history better exhibited than at the British Museum. One of the most famous museums in the world, attracting nearly six million visitors each year, the British Museum has some fascinating collections, with exhibits spanning some two million years of Earth’s history. The museum opened to the public in 1753 and the handsome building is an attraction in itself. The British Museum is an essential stop on any cultural tour of London and an ideal place to visit when the famous London rain clouds threaten to burst over the city.

8 ) The London Dungeon

A city steeped in a somewhat bloody history, London has more than a few creepy stories to tell, not least of which is the gruesome story of Jack the Ripper. The London Dungeon brings Victorian London to life in all its gory glory and visitors can scare themselves silly at this grisly theme museum, where actors recreate the mist-shrouded world of Victorian London.

9) Black cabs

The sight of a black taxi cab driving through the streets of London is instantly recognizable from any number of films and television shows. The Hackney Carriage, to give the Black Cab its official name, is as intrinsic to London’s street scene as the yellow taxi is to New York and visitors can hail the cabs anywhere in the British capital. The first registered Hackney Carriages in London were the horse drawn carriages of the 1600s and the current incarnations are a lot more modern, with motorized cabs becoming the norm in the early twentieth century.

10) The River Thames

The image of the River Thames snaking past London’s landmark buildings is an unforgettable one and visitors to London can take a boat trip along the river, or just cross over the water at the world famous London Bridge. The Thames winds through central London, past tourist attractions such as the Houses of Parliament and is magnificent when viewed from above on the London Eye.

A truly unique city, London’s vibrant blend of the ultra-modern and the historical make it impossible to forget. With so much to see and do in the city, London is a great place to visit and thanks to the variety of London hotels available to meet all requirements, you’ll be able to find the perfect accommodation to suit your budget.

Wonderful Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. Situated on the banks of the Danube, it is one of the most beautiful and historic cities in Europe. Buda Hills, which is located on the western bank, is famous for Castle Hill. This picturesque area is in the heart of medieval Budapest. It is where romantic and classical buildings, cobblestone streets, and lush squares combine with breath-taking views of Pest. Pest is the flat lying land left of the bank of the Danube and is the heartbeat of this great city. This modern area offers cosmopolitan shops, charming parks, museums, theatres, and the heat of a pulsating nightlife. There is so much to enjoy, even on a budget. You will easily find a very nice and cheap Budapest hotel. You will also find that there are many fun and free activities. With all that Budapest has to offer, it’s no wonder why people choose to vacation here.

Budapest Parks and Gardens

There are a large number of parks sprinkled around the city of Budapest. The lush vegetation and fresh open air are a welcome contrast to the city vibe when it’s time to relax. These green spaces are so beautiful, have much to offer and there is no fee to enter them.

Vajdahunyad Castle

Inside Vajdahunyad Castle, Budapest

Photo By: mrgarris0n

There is no charge to stroll the courtyard of this beautiful site. It is a must see. The architecture and surroundings are breath-taking.

Heroes Square

One of the most visited sights of the Hungarian Capitol is Heroes Square. The is no charge to visit. This monument was built in 1896 in commemoration of the arrival of the Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin. This is the site of many special events.

Castle Hill

Budapest - Parliament

Photo By: Roger 4336
Take in the beautiful buildings, rich history, and amazing views at Castle Hill for free. The churches, synagogues, and other medieval structures will transport you to another time. Don’t miss this spot on your visit.

Central Market Hall

Central Market Hall

Photo By: IK’s World Trip
This is Budapest’s largest indoor market. It is a huge attraction for local shoppers as well as tourists. This structure is both beautiful and historic. Entrance is free.

The Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art

This museum is a free attraction offering International and Hungarian art. It houses artwork that has been collected by Peter and Irene Ludwig over the last 50 years. Enjoy the parallels of valuable American Pop Art and Eastern European avant-garde pieces from the 60,s and 70’s at no cost.

Free Walking Tours

You can enjoy the sights of Budapest on your own or participate in a free walking or sightseeing tour. Having a guide can be an advantage when you want to take in all the sights. There are many free tours available on both the Pest side and the Buda side of Budapest.

The city of Budapest is amazingly beautiful, historic, and vibrant. And you can truly enjoy it all on just a small budget.


This post was brought to you by Leah Prendergast from HostelBookers.com

Mathieu

Insuring A Great Trip

If you’re planning on heading off on a backpacking trip, there’s no doubt that good insurance is an absolute must. However, insurance can be extremely expensive for travellers, particularly those going to far flung, exotic places, so getting a good deal is an absolute necessity.

Thankfully, at the moment, there’s a lot of competition with big banks mixing it up with more traditional suppliers of insurance. This is great news, because it means there are deals out there to be found, but sometimes you have to do a little digging to find it. It’s never been easier to find a gateway for cheap life insurance than now.

These days, most people start their search with a comparison website, but these aren’t always a great idea. First of all, they don’t always have every deal on the market, and secondly, they often get paid through commission from the companies who sell policies through them, those commission fees are likely to come straight out of your pocket when you get round to buying the policy.

That’s not to say that comparison websites don’t have merits, just that if you’re prepared to put in a little extra leg work, you can turn a good deal into a really great one. Use the prices that you get from comparison websites as benchmarks to try and get under when you start negotiating.

The next thing to do is go to some of the companies directly, see whether they are offering special deals for comparison websites, or if they’re willing to negotiate with you directly, you might find that you get a real bonus.

Also, head into high street banks, sometimes it can be a little awkward negotiating with someone, but if you’ve found a better deal elsewhere, don’t be afraid to say so. If they can’t offer you a better deal, then there’s no harm in saying that you’ve found better elsewhere.

Ultimately, getting a really good deal involves legwork and being prepared to negotiate, insurance is often flexible if you can talk to someone face to face. Most importantly, make sure that your policy covers you for everything you might want to do (and that you know what it covers you for), when it comes to insurance, quality is definitely more important than getting the lowest price.

All trips to Spain should include at least some time devoted to marvelling at the country’s architecture. It has some outstanding examples of Roman, Greek, Moorish, modern and contemporary architecture that are among the best in the world. During On The Beach trips to Spain you can combine the lazy life of a beach lubber with the cultural humdrum of exploring city sights. After all, trips to Spain are as much about the beach as they are about culture. Here are four of Spain’s most treasured architectural gems that should be added to your bucket list.

Granada Alhambra
Dating back to the 9th century this Moorish palace is the best exhibit of Arabic architecture in Spain and some would argue in all of Europe. Made up of a series of buildings connected via leafy tree-lined walkways and ornate and elaborate gardens each building is more beautiful than the last. The architecture is typically decorative and intricate and the hill top setting is truly spectacular.

The Great Mosque of Cordoba
A complex jigsaw of architectural styles makes the Great Mosque of Cordoba like no other mosque in the world. Building commenced in 785 by the Muslim Moors on the site of a Visigoth church. After adaptations and renovations it was finally completed in 987AD. All of these amendments and adaptations have created a labyrinthine interior with arches, arcades and columns. In 1523 a Christian cathedral was built inside the mosque with a spectacular Baroque altarpiece. It’s a truly awe-inspiring place.

Segovia Aqueduct
Built between the 1st and 2nd centuries AD Segovia’s Aqueduct, bringing water from the river Acebeda to the city of Segovia, still stands proud and intact to this day. There are a total of 166 arches, the highest part of the structure stands at 28.10 metres tall and nothing holds the 20,400 stone blocks together, but they have remained in place for close to two thousand years. It’s a beautiful, graceful sight and an amazing feat of engineering.

La Sagrada Familia
Possibly the most famous unfinished cathedral in the world, La Sagrada Familia first began life in 1883 as Spain’s best known architect Antoni Gaudi took over the building of what became his greatest work, despite its incomplete state. It is Gaudi’s own version of gothic and Art Nouveau styles and splits opinion, but whatever the case it can be said it is a striking building and another achievement for architecture and engineering.

Find out more about Spanish architecture and landmarks on the official tourism site of Spain: Spain.info.

Times change and so do prices. Turkey was once the cheapest beach destination this side of the Middle East, but it seems it has now fallen from grace. Spain is back in the top spot according to the Post Office. Every year it delves into holiday costs at 40 holiday destinations around the world. Its investigators buy the same eight goods at each location and compare like for like. Sri Lanka was the world’s cheapest but Spain grabbed the silver position overall and the gold for Europe. Turkey on the other hand was way down in 17th place overall and 8th in Europe.

So why the price hike? Does this mean a cheap holiday is no longer feasible? Prices have been rising in Turkey because of the country’s booming economy – it grew 8% in 2010 making it one of the world’s fastest growing economies – pushing prices up at all the major tourist resorts. Remember, one of Turkey’s main industries is tourism and it tries to make money from this wherever it can. This means increasing prices in resorts as well as building new hotels. But this doesn’t mean a cheap holiday in Turkey is a thing of the past. What it does mean however is that you’ll need to know a few things before you go.

Go all inclusive
One of the biggest expenses in Turkish beach resorts was food. Prices for international fare are hiked during the summer just as tourists start arriving in their droves. You can avoid this by booking all-inclusive holidays. Although not the obvious choice for a cheap holiday in Turkey, you will save money overall. On The Beach has a range of cheap holidays Turkey that include all-inclusive deals and even free child places.

Go small
Although the bigger resorts have better facilities, staying right in the centre of Marmaris for example is going to push up prices. Not only will hotels cost more but food, drinks and entertainment will also be more expensive. Choose smaller resorts on quieter, up-and-coming stretches of coastline such as Kemer.

Travel during shoulder season
Because Turkey has a warm climate summer extends from May through to October. If you travel outside of the peak months June-August, you’ll be able to cash in on shoulder season offers. Many hotels slash their rates during these times to get more people in beds, because filled beds at a reduced rate are better than empty rates at a loss.

Detailed information about Turkish resorts and what to see and do can be found on the country’s official tourism page: Go Turkey.

On December 13th, Groupon will offer you the possibility to buy a 10 stopovers plane ticket for every destinations in the northern hemisphere on Delta Air Lines, Air France, KLM, and Alitalia for 10k$!

Here it is : http://www.groupon.com/pages/delta-air-lines

Mathieu

Grab some winter sun

Now that autumn is upon with winter not far away, we’re already starting to feel the chill at home. While most people will no doubt stay at home and wait out the long, cold times ahead, there are still plenty of winter sun holiday destinations to take advantage of. There are many advantages to taking a break at this time of year, in particular the chance to escape the stresses of the main tourist season, with the added bonus of a cheaper holiday; this applies particularly toall inclusive holidays. Here is a selection of the best winter sun holiday destinations, all of which thomascook.com operate in.

Thailand: This is an extremely popular destination and it is no surprise as last year Thailand attracted 15 million international tourists. This beautiful country has so much to offer, from insane nightlife in the cities to the architectural and historic wonders in the country such as Phanom Rung; it is truly a humbling country. No wonder it is known as the land of a thousand smiles. Thailand can cater for just about any tourist whether it’s backpacking, sun seeking, adventure or just some relaxation you can find it here. However, prices are on the increase in Thailand so it is advisable to go sooner rather than later to make the most of your holiday.

Mexico: Mexico is catching up quickly with its big brother in the north and has seen an explosion in its tourist industry in recent years. Mexico boasts some of the world’s most stunning beaches such as Cancun and Acapulco, great food and an enchanting culture. This country has all the allure of the Caribbean but with probably the richest culture and history in the Americas. From Aztec and Mayan temples to more recent historical monuments it is truly an awe-inspiring place to see.

Egypt: If you want guaranteed sun, you can’t go far wrong with Egypt, this is a country that basks in the sun all year round. Much like the previous two destinations, this country is steeped with history, being home to some of the first centres of civilization and one of the few remaining ancient wonders of the world. With sandy beaches lining almost the entire country and incredible diving spots this is definitely a sun seeker’s paradise.

Mathieu

Cheap hotels in Spain

If you are looking for a cheap holiday at the moment then you will have noticed that the opportunities out there are somewhat scarce. It seems that the price of holidays is creeping up every year which seems so unfair when you consider that most people are not seeing a similar rise in their wages in terms of percentage gain. Of course, we are in a difficult economic time, and people have to cut their cloth to fit, but a family holiday can be good for so many reasons, and many people rightly feel that it is something that actually helps them when they return to work. Everyone needs to recharge their batteries from time to time, and it is hard to find a better way of doing that than with a holiday, so it is well worth anyone’s while to spend a little bit of time trying to find a way to get a holiday, even if it means dropping the normal price.

It is never straight forward if you are looking for an affordable holiday, but they are of course out there. Many people choose to camp when they don’t have quite as much money as they might be accustomed to, but this is not ideal for everyone. It takes a certain outlook on life to be able to actually enjoy camping, and if you don’t think that you are going to particularly enjoy traipsing to the shower blocks to go to the toilet in the middle of the night then it might be one to strike off the list!

It used to be that another option was to stay in Britain for your holidays. The thought being that you immediately cut down the cost of the holiday by removing the need to fly anywhere, but with petrol prices so high, and the cost of accommodation in Britain soaring, it is hard to see where the savings are going to come with this sort of holiday. Factor in the increasing cost of eating out in Britain and you are left with a potentially expensive holiday that could well be bettered abroad.

These days, one of the few countries that is still cheap to visit is Spain. On arrival you immediately notice the differences in prices. A quick stop to fill up a car or to buy a bit of lunch tells you that prices are a lot cheaper than the British Isles, and if you smoke or like the odd drink then the savings can be enormous. The benefits don’t stop here either. You will find that accommodation in Spain is as cheap as anywhere else in Europe, and considering the level of accommodation you tend to find, there are some real bargains to be had. The best way to find these deals is to search online for Cheap Hotels and you should find some great bargains show up for Spain. You can find great hotel in Barcelona at low price year round. It’s worth a look even if you don’t think you are going to be able to afford it, because you might be really surprised at just how affordable some of the accommodation is.


This post is brought to you by Travel Republic.

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