January 14, 2017

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Try Your Luck in Las Vegas?

There aren’t many people on the planet who haven’t dreamed of heading to the bright lights of Las Vegas at some point in their lives. Whether it’s to enjoy the gambling fun, perhaps the amazing shows on offer, or even just to say they’ve been, Las Vegas is certainly a bucket-list destination.

If you are dreaming of desert lights and casino chinking, then maybe it’s time you made that dream a reality. Flight prices to Vegas are falling year on year, and accommodation isn’t as expensive as you might think, if you shop around a little first. For instance, a few nights staying at The Luxor is probably your cheapest option in terms of hotels on the Strip, whereas if you want to splash the cash, you can head to The Venetian or The Bellagio – there are plentiful options.

Of course, saving cash does make it more possible to head anywhere in the world, and Vegas is no different. A good way to keep a few dollars in your pocket is to make sure you book your tickets for attractions and shows through official lines only; ticket touts will take your cash and leave you with no ticket at the end of the whole process, something you really don’t need in your life. Check out BestofVegas.com for great deals, with peace of mind too.

You can’t head to this destination and not try your luck in the casino, it should actually be written in the terms and conditions of your holiday! You don’t have to spend a fortune, in fact it’s a good idea to set yourself a budget and stick to it, but you can then decide what you’re going to do with anything you win – will you keep it and spend it on an experience or some shopping? Or, will you re-gamble it and see if you can win even bigger? That is a choice you can make yourself, but initially, set yourself an amount from your holiday savings, and don’t go over it.

Las Vegas really is like any other city in the world in terms of cost, i.e. you can make it as expensive or as cheap as you like, depending on how you do things. If you want to be glamourous and splash the cash, you can head to the big hotels for your stay, you can dine in fancy restaurants, and you can visit the designer stores for retail therapy; you can even upgrade your show tickets to VIP status. If however you need to be on a budget, that’s entirely possible too – shop around for your hotel, stick to the huge outlet stores if you want to do some shopping, try the buffet breakfasts (seriously large portions) for your morning fuel up, and try the free attractions on offer, such as the beautiful Bellagio fountains.

Las Vegas is for everyone, whether you are on a budget or not, and if you can win a little in the casino, well, your holiday is even more special!

January 8, 2017

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Do It Your Way In New York

No two visits to the Big Apple are ever the same – you might think you’re going to have the same experience, but every single day in this huge metropolis bring something different to the table, and that is what makes it so special and iconic.

When you visit for the first time, you really need to put some thought into what you want to see, because that will give you an indication on where to base yourself in terms of your accommodation. If you want to do the usual tourist things, then you would be better served staying in Manhattan, and if you can stay as central as possible, that’s even better for you. If you don’t want to stay quite so centrally, there are many hotels and guest houses on the outskirts too, and whilst that may mean you need to commute a little more, if you want a quieter stay, this is a good idea to think about.

Because New York is a huge city, there are of course pitfalls if you don’t know where you’re going and what you’re doing. For instance, you will find ticket touts wandering around the streets of the Theater District, trying to fool naive tourists into thinking they are getting cut-priced show tickets, when in actual fact they are getting a piece of paper that is worthless, whilst their cash flow is suddenly reduced. Stick to official lines when purchasing tickets, either the theatre Box Office itself, or online, checking out Showtickets.com as an example. This means you can be sure you are getting genuine seats for your Broadway show, with no disappointment to mar your holiday.

You don’t have to do the main tourist route if you don’t want to, but you need to ask whether you will regret not heading to some of the main sights. For example, if you don’t catch sight of the Statue of Liberty will your visit be complete? You don’t have to actually go there if you don’t want to, but checking out the sight and taking a few photos is a must. Some time in Central Park is a great way to finish off a long day, or perhaps as a break from the hustle and bustle, and the great news is that it’s free! Walking around the shops could be a take it or leave it kind of deal for many, but if you are planning on hitting the huge malls and stores, perhaps dedicate a day to it, or maybe two, so you’re not spending your sightseeing days in the middle of an air-conditioned shop!

Basically, think about what you want to see, and make New York your bespoke, personalised holiday – do it your way.

 

July 18, 2015

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Cruise destinations: Top Hidden Gems

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Image by Jeff Weese on Flickr, used under the Creative Commons license.

Hopping on a cruise and sailing away to an exotic locale is a wonderful way to travel, and whether you’re looking to delight in the spectacular views of Alaska, or dive into the crystal pools of the Caribbean, there’s a cruise destination to suit everyone. Here are some of our top choices to add to your itinerary, to make booking that luxury cruise just that little bit easier.

Honduras

Central America is becoming increasingly popular as a cruise destination, as it provides the perfect opportunity to discover the cultural variety of its many countries. Nestled in amongst this is the small nation of Honduras, the perfect destination if you want the Caribbean with a twist. Here you find the obligatory beautiful beaches, warm waters and palm fringed shores, but it’s also a haven for tropical wildlife, like jaguars, sloths, snakes and macaws. The birds and butterflies at Roatan Butterfly Farm make a lovely day trip, and will introduce you to some of the most colorful animals in the country.

Mexico

Mexico is a huge country, with its eastern coast hugging both the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf. If it’s sand and sea you’re after, Cozumel is guaranteed to please. Adventure sports enthusiasts will be kept busy too, snorkeling or diving on the Plancar Reef; one of the best dive spots in the world. If you’re after a little culture, then you’re in luck, as this nation is home to both the Mayan and Aztec cultures, and their history awaits you in Costa Maya, with hidden ruins in the jungles and pyramids, with stunning temples in nearby Kohunlich too – there’s enough to keep everyone busy.

Turks & Caicos Islands

If you’re set on a Caribbean cruise this year, then put the Turks and Caicos Islands on your itinerary. They have all the best features of the Caribbean, but half the number of tourists. Grand Turk is a fascinating island, and the oldest shipwreck in the western hemisphere lies just off its coast. Learn about history at the Turks and Caicos National Museum, or dive under the water to unearth secrets from other shipwrecks. Take a short boat trip to Gibbs Cay, where you can picnic on its shores and hand feed the stingrays – you don’t get that opportunity every day, right?

Alaska

If you’re after something a little different than what the standard sun and sea cruise offers, you’re sure to be left stunned by Alaska’s landscape, where nature and wildlife are at their most dramatic. See some of the top predators in the world on an adventure to spot polar bears, grizzlies and wolves, marvel at the Hubbard Glacier, at over 6 miles wide and 400 years old – it’s one that you’ll be on the edge of the ship balcony for, or disembark at Juneau, where you can get your heart racing with a dog-sled ride. Why not stray from the typical tourist spots, and be witness to this hidden gem?

So, are your sea legs ready for the trip of a lifetime? Is your camera packed?

These cruise destinations are sure to leave you with memories aplenty.

September 10, 2014

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New York City On a Budget

Are you dreaming about visiting New York City but do not have a large bank account? Yet New York City is considered one of the most expensive cities in the world and year after year it is listed on the top of Kiplinger’s list, there are plenty of ways to make your dream come true. While it is true that most of the five-star hotels can cost more than a few thousand dollars a night, fortunately, it is not an issue not to travel anymore.

Traveling lovers strolling on a budget always find their ways to visit one or another city. New York City is not an exception, indeed. There are a number of ways of cheap travelling, the bus being the cheapest one, as well as many cost effective hotels and hostels close to the famous city’s attractions. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, bistros, and other dining facilities, where tourists can save loads of money and have some delicious meals.

New York City is home to numerous attractions, including museums, notable buildings and monuments, religious heritage, parks, and etc. While it is one of the most expensive cities in the world, it is true also that there are many attractions for a cost effective price or even free of charge.

New York City has what to offer for every low-budget traveler of different age and interests.

Times Square, usually called “The Crossroads of the World“, is the location of the Broadway Theatre District and is one of the major center of the world‘s entertainment industry.

Central Park is one of the most beloved destinations in New York City for the locals and tourists alike. The 843-acre park is a masterpiece of landscape architecture and features a green oasis of sprawling lawns, historic structures, monuments, and colorful street musicians and artists.

Grand Central Terminal is the hub of transportation and a famous landmark itself. Originally built in 1913, it is a fine example of Beaux-Art architecture, boasting a number of restaurants and shops inside.

Metropolitan Museum of Art dates from the late 19th century and holds a collection of over three million works of art. The museum is very large and it may take a whole day to walk around.

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is a fine example of the American Gothic Revival architecture that contains beautiful stained glass windows, the main altar and two pipe organs. It dates its history back to 1858 and is the work of Architect James Renwick.

New York Public Library, founded in 1895, is home to over 53 million items, making it the second-largest library in the U.S. The marvelous Beaux-Art building is flanked by two marble lions. Its most notable features are the impressive interior and murals, and recently renovated the Main Reading Room, featuring oak tables.

Take a free ferry tothe Staten Island and enjoy the eye-pleasing views of vibrant New York Harbour and Lower Manhattan. The sight-seeing such as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and New York Harbour are all free of charge. It doesn‘t cost a penny to visit Rockefeller Plaza too.

With the customer-friendly cost of hotels and restaurants, visiting some of the most popular attractions and landmarks in New York City will help you stretch your travel budget.

Photo Credit: dkshots via photopin cc

September 10, 2014

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America’s Most Under-Rated Cities

When it comes to American cities, most of the travel magazines and guides focus on the premier destination cities, such as Las Vegas, San Francisco, and New York. However, America is much more than a cliché of these big, attractive but overcrowded American cities. Travelling to other fascinating and beautiful American cities may be an exciting experience full of happiness, joy and adventures.

USA is home to many charming, beautiful, historically and culturally important cities that are not usually included in the top must-visit attraction lists.

Here is a list of 8 most under-rated USA cities that are worth a visit. When it comes to under-rated cities, one can discover a number of interesting attractions ranging from historic sites to innovative attractions, and save some money.

Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, the largest city of Alabama, is also the cultural and entertainment hub of Alabama, boasting numerous art galleries and museums, parks and a zoo. It is home to the state’s opera, ballet and symphony orchestra companies.

Portland, Oregon

For more than a century, Portland has been known as “The City of Roses” and is usually claimed to be one of the greenest cities in the world. It is another example of under-rated city in the U.S that is the site of many colorful rose gardens. It is also known for its beer, food and coffee enthusiasm. The city with a vibrant downtown is full of restaurants, trendy shops, breweries, gardens and parks – this city truly rocks!

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, consisting of 90 neighborhoods and featuring three rivers, is home to delicious food, outdoor activities, Downtown with 30 skyscrapers, the Cultural District packed with theaters and art galleries, making it one of the hippest cities in America. Find yourself raving in this mighty city!

Providence, Rhode Island

Founded in 1636, it is one of the oldest cities in the U.S. characterized by many 19th century buildings built in Federal and Victorian architectural styles. The historic buildings, art galleries and museums blend with newer attractions, such as picturesque Riverwalk, outdoor skating arena, and convention center.

Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore, commonly known as “Charm City” is a vibrant and picturesque city in Maryland, best known for its beautiful harbor. Colorful neighborhoods, interesting museums, unique art galleries, a collection of shops, the famous John’s Hopkins Hospital are also located in Baltimore.

Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, also known as “The City of Fountains”, has more fountains than Rome and offers numerous attractions for tourists of all interests and ages. Kansas City is home to unique museums documenting everything from the history of jazz music to the preservation of World War I exhibits. It boasts many jazz clubs that draw tourists from around the world.

Savannah, Georgia

The most notable features of Savannah are cobblestone streets and majestic innovative architecture. This picturesque coastal city invites tourists to stroll through its streets and discover its magical history at every corner, as well as experience the beauty and the romantic charm of this magical city.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis offers various activities for every season, making it a year-round attraction. Art lovers are welcome to Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Mill City Museum, and the Museum of Russian Art. Minneapolis is a blend of nature and large skyscrapers, making it a unique destination in the U.S.

Photo Credit: Dystopos via photopin cc