Dreaming of a spectacular Christmas?
This historic town is a peaceful getaway for those wanting to relax and get in touch with nature. Paro is home to many sacred sites including that of the unofficial symbol of Bhutan: Taktsang Monastery located right on the edge of a 1,200 meter cliff. The Monastery was first established as a place of meditation in 747 CE by Guru Taktsang, and now restored as an impressive site of glory. The trek is strenuous and long, it can take up to 3 hours completely uphill, though all worth it in the end. If that doesn’t sound achievable, there is a horse ride for a small price of USD $10 for a one-way trip up the mountain.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland
This wonder was formed in 1976 as a power plant when employees began to notice the amazing effects on their skin from bathing in the lagoon, it was then in 1987 the facility was opened to the public as a bath and sold skin care products for psoriasis patients. Now Blue Lagoon is one of the most visited spots in Southwestern Iceland, the geothermal spa is situated in a lava field in Grindavík on top of the Mid Atlantic Ridge, meaning technically you are also swimming over two continents. The mineral-rich waters of the lagoon have an average temperature of fourty degrees Celsius and are still rumoured to have remedial powers.
This town is located in the Interlaken-Oberhalsi administrative district in the Swiss canton of Bern, the mountain getaway is a well-known beauty full of adventure. The popular resort destination is the perfect winter sport holiday, you will find yourself constantly entertained with the many activities including skydiving, and toboggan rides, sledding, and of course snowboarding or skiing down the amazing snow covered mountains. There is also things to do when you are in need of some down time, a leisurely hike or boutique shopping will keep you occupied until you are refreshed and ready to head back out to explore and get the adrenalin pumping.
Images via geminitourtravels.com, airpano.com and krebshotel.ch
A New Year brings with it a host of exciting opportunities, so if you made a resolution to see more of the world or to look out for sensational kids’ holidays, why not get in travel mode and start planning? There’s plenty to see and do out there, so with this in mind here are five essential tips to help you plan the trip of a lifetime.
Decide where you want to go
It sounds obvious, but choosing where to go is one of the biggest decisions you will make. Do you want to explore one town, city or country only or would you prefer to push the boat out and go on an unforgettable world tour? The choice is completely yours but it’s well-worth picking destinations that pique your interest and working out your travel routes carefully – particularly if you’re taking kids with you as they’ll want to get from A to B as quickly as possible.
If you’re planning on being adventurous and hopping from place-to-place, you’ll certainly need a map, atlas and a pretty good eye for flight departures and schedules. Writing down dates and working out the logistics of your journey is essential, so perhaps write a step-by-step travel guide to help you out or buy a diary.
Research, research, research
Believe it or not, it’s easy to visit a certain place and miss out on some of the best attractions. So, to stop this from happening, be sure to carry out some research in advance and find out some of the most interesting places to visit including tourist hot spots, swanky hotels and mouth-watering eateries.
You’ll find a wealth of reviews, pictures, information sites and travel blogs online to help you out and you could even head to the local library and pick up some travel books to enhance your knowledge of a certain country. As you research, it might also be worth creating a digital bucket list as this will help keep track of everything you want to do and allow you to tick off activities as you go!
Travel in luxury without breaking the bank
Before you set off or even book your travels, always set a budget to ensure you don’t get in financial trouble due to your trip. Working out how much you have to spend on flights, accommodation and activities is of paramount importance and don’t forget to leave some aside for emergency situations or sneaky extras.
With many affordable holiday packages available these days, it’s possible to travel in luxury without breaking the bank but it’s important to be careful with your money and hold onto your cash wherever possible. Booking flights and accommodation in advance, travelling during unsociable hours and booking last-minute deals are all ways to reduce your outgoings, so do some smart thinking and research. There are also many travel apps out there that will save you money, so it’s worth checking out a few of these before you depart too.
Travelling should be fun, but make sure you plan properly to get the most out of your trip.
Travelling with children can be difficult enough, but finding a child-friendly hotel and environment can prove daunting on parents with large families. Although there are many domestic and international destinations which offer a relaxing atmosphere, and a bunch of activities perfect for parents with children. Below are just a few places to get you inspired for your next trip with the whole family.
1. Outrigger on the Lagoon, Sigatoka (Fiji)
Not only is Fiji known for it’s crystal-clear beaches and delightful weather all year round, but it’s one of the best locations to bring along the kids. There are many resorts around the island which are specifically designed to suit the needs of up to four children per family. Outrigger on the Lagoon features a free kids club for children aged between 3-12 years old, with many outdoor activities to keep them occupied during their stay.
2. Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui (Hawaii)
Hawaii is often dubbed one of the most family-friendly destinations in the entire world, and with good reason! Kauai, Big Island and Oahu are all filled with resorts catered to children so they’ll always have some fun activity to look forward to. The Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui offers impeccable villas, a toddler pool and outdoor activities such as swimming, kayaking and surfing for children aged 5-13 years old.
3. Sea Gypsy Village Resort & Dive Base, Johor (Malaysia)
Now you can enjoy the rich culture, sights and scenery of Malaysia without doing a solo trip without the kids. With over ten family-friendly resorts to choose from, you’re spoiled for choice regardless of where you choose to stay! The Sea Gypsy Village Resort & Dive Base is perfect since it reinforces local traditions and engages children to take part in snorkelling courses, outdoor activity and of course traditional Malaysian cuisine.
4. Edgewater Resort, Lake Wanaka (New Zealand)
The Edgewater Resort is located on Lake Wanaka and is New Zealand’s fourth largest lake, with spectacular views of the South Islands. Expect lots of family-friendly outdoor activities such as tennis, rafting, horse riding and an exclusive kids menu designed especially for those picky eaters in the family.
Why not experience an incredible Italian summer getaway this year with the entire family in the coveted countryside? Villa Pia is known for it’s baby-friendly atmosphere and is perfect to relax and unwind with the kids. Easily accessible from Florence, Sienna and Rome, the hotel is equipped with a daycare service, interconnecting rooms and many outdoor activities for older children.
6. Sea World Resort, Gold Coast (Australia)
Sea World Resort on the Gold Coast is the number one destination for travelling with kids if you don’t plan on an overseas trip. Just a short plane ride away, kids can play in the ‘SpongeBob SplashBash’ poolside theme park which is accessible all year round. Equipped with a Kid’s Club (for children aged 4-12 years old), while parents have complete access to the gym, spa, sauna and so much more.
7. Disneyland Hotel, California (USA)
Make your children’s dreams come true by staying at the modern Disneyland Hotel located in Anaheim, California. Equipped with signature suites just like scenes from famous Disney movies, and full access to the pool and spa with a valid park admission.
Image via Wikia
By Felicia Sapountzis
The city often referred to as the cradle of Western Civilisation may be in financial troubles but if you are a culture buff then this is the place for you. Athens, Greece is a city filled with history, mouth-watering food and fantastic shopping, yet it seems to only cross travellers’ minds as a stop over for the Greek Islands. People seem off put by the old style buildings, but that is just part of the city’s charm, the juxtaposition between modern and ancient makes it the perfect treasure to explore.
The most well known attraction in Athens is located on a high rocky outcrop above the concrete jungle, as a symbol of Greek spirit and architectural greatness. Surrounded by significant Temples and Monuments including the famous Pantheon and Ancient Agora, built by and created for the leaders of the ancient world. The Acropolis is a world heritage site and is an absolute must to visit in order to be immersed in the history of not only this culture but also the beginning of democracy itself.
The National Garden
If you need some time to relax away from the busy city, spend a few hours wandering or sitting amongst the peaceful plant life, green canopy of trees, and flowerbeds. Established in 1923, the Public Garden is a gorgeous and decorative place surrounded by historical statues and small ruins of antiquity.
The highest point in Athens will provide you with the perfect evening to take a panoramic view of the city and across the Aegean Sea. The hike will be worth it in the end, by reaching its two peaks a lovely dinner is on offer in the restaurant, an open-aired theatre as well as the 19th Century Chapel of St. George.
The Plaka district is one of the most popular tourists destination for its authentic Greek experience and exceptional scenery. You will find yourself walking through a village unlike any other, stone walkways, ancient trees, museums, boutique shops with leafy green canopies falling over you as stroll. Be sure to grab a bite to eat and enjoy some unique food and wine at one of the many cafés and restaurants.
This remarkable city established among seven historic hills and mountains would capture your attention as soon as you walk out the door of your hotel. The unusual blend of old and new is confusing but interesting, there is no doubt you will want as much time as you can to journey through time in Athens.
Images via avahotel.gr and visitgreece.gr
By Amy Miller