Vacations

4 Ways Taking A Beach Vacation Can Improve Your Mental Health

You might want to start looking for a cheap plane ticket…

Keep Fit And See The World: Active Getaways

Sometimes you want to get away to a five star, beach-front resort, drop your suitcases at the concierge and flop onto the sand, fancy cocktail in hand, delicious snacks in the other. And sometimes you want to keep that hot body that you worked so hard for during the working season and you want to have some adventure and experience the world in an active way.

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Active getaways are becoming more and more popular, with less people choosing the traditional beach holiday for something that is filled with exercise and thrill. Not that your usual holiday isn’t thrilling, it’s just unlikely to get your heart pumping unless you’re experiencing some holiday love between the sheets.

There are certain destinations in the world that are recognised for shopping, for star spotting and for traditional sight seeing and then there is the list below in which you can experience a fabulous active getaway, keeping fit while seeing the world.

5. Skiing/snowboarding, Colorado, United States

One of the most popular active holidays is a snow one. Spending your days shredding up the powder on skis or snowboards while checking out beautiful views atop the mountain. You’ll burn those legs and buns in a skiing holiday and Aspen is a fantastic place to experience it. Better yet, head over during Christmas to see the town during the festive season and keep those extra Chrissie calories at bay.

4. White water rafting, Queenstown, New Zealand

Water sports are always better in adventure capital Queenstown. With heaps of water activities to choose from, white water rafting is going to be at the top of your list for thrill and sight seeing through the valleys of New Zealand.

3. Mountain biking/cycling, Europe

Let’s face it, there are way too many options to narrow this one and you can take your bike to so many places in Europe to explore the country side and mountainous terrain. Not only will it be cost effective, but you’ll see amazing sights and find great places that you may not be able to find by car or bus, and you’ll be keeping all those pastries off your hips.

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2. Surfing, Hawaii, United States

Hawaii has something for everyone. From places to flop and drop, to some of the most active holidays you can have, it’s all up to you in Hawaii. Famous for their surf, catch a few waves, or learn how to anyway, climb volcanoes and go snorkelling through the crystal clear waters. With some fantastic views to find from higher up, hiking is a big one to take in some breath taking beauty.

1. Trekking, Machu Picchu, Peru

See history and challenge yourself while trekking through the Inca trails around Machu Picchu. The amazing ruins will have your jaws dropped as you finish the trek and see your final, amazing destination.

Images via worldadventuretravel.co.uk and surphile.tumblr.com

July 13, 2015

Why Portugal Is The Best Place For A Golf Holiday

There’s no competition when it comes to a golfing holiday, Portugal is still the top contender for a getaway featuring just you, some clubs and plenty of time to while away the hours practicing your drive in the warm sun, on a course stretching across the stunning coastline of this charming country.

If you are a die-hard golfer then investing in a property in the country is the perfect way to spend your money along with a membership to one of Portugal’s most popular courses, such as Penina Hotel, Vila Sol or Penha Longa. It will also save you money on hotel costs in the long run if you go away a few times of the year, speak to a property expert such as Portugal Property for more information.

Portugal’s golf courses are some of the best in the world, even though there are actually only around 70 in the country. Other countries have attempted to compete, with the USA being the top competitor and a quantity over quality approach, which consists of 15,500 golf courses across the States.

However, due to financial instability in the country, more courses are closing than opening as people cut out their memberships and keep that money in their bank accounts, this is occurring on top of a declining middle class and lack of interest from the younger generation.

Portugal, however, offers some of the most affordable courses in the world, with package deals starting from £89. Portugal allows the average earning man to play a few rounds of golf in the sunshine and doesn’t require him to shell out his life savings. On top of this, the country can also boast great weather all year round, with temperatures in winter months averaging at 18 to 20°C.

The Algarve features some of Portugal’s top golfing destinations and is also one of the country’s most popular holiday locations, which means you can escape to the course while your family has plenty of entertainment along the strip and coastline.

Many resorts in the area feature pools and luxurious but affordable accommodation, meaning there’s no reason for your wife to complain when you slip away for 18 holes in the day. For example, the Don Filipa Hotel & San Lorenzo course is a five star location situated near the beach and offers five restaurants and bars.

You can also find tennis courts, a beauty salon, a crèche and opportunities to go horse riding on site and the course itself is a combination of stunning greens and superb views, extended from the surrounding natural environment, which also plays host to over 70 species of bird and other wildlife (so you can get those bird watching binoculars out too).

You should be utterly convinced by now that Portugal is the ultimate destination when it comes to jetting off for a golfing holiday, even more so now that you know it’s family friendly and can keep them occupied whilst you enjoy a little peace and quiet on the green.

January 27, 2015

Best Vacations for Animal Lovers

Who doesn’t want to see all of the world’s crazy and colorful wildlife? One of the greatest thrills of travelling is experiencing and witnessing things you would never see in your homeland. Seeing exotic creatures in their natural habitat is what I call living! If you’re planning an escape in 2015, try these vacations for animal lovers.

RELATED:  5 Unique Trekking Holidays

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The islands sit along the coast of ecuador and are peculiar in that they were never attached to any continent. The archipelago is a volcanic formation, creating rather peculiar living conditions for its inhabitants. The animals which currently reside on the islands had to either swim, float or fly there, and then adapt to the strange conditions. Therefore, a number of “homegrown” species exist on the islands, including the Galapagos tortoise and the marine iguana.  Fun fact: It was after studying the wildlife of the Galapagos that Charles Darwin developed his Theory of Evolution.

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Kenya

Of course. An African Safari is every wildlife-lovers dream expedition. There are endless tour options that guarantee you a look at the Big 5: Elephants, Rhino, Lions, Leopards and Buffalo. But let’s not forget zebras, hyenas, giraffes, flamingoes, hippos… ah, the list goes on. The best time to visit is during the migration – when the animals come to Kenya from the Serengeti in Tanzania – which occurs between July and October.

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Great Barrier Reef, Australia

It is no surprise the Great Barrier Reef one of the natural wonders of the world – it is the largest coral reef system (covering an area of 133,000 square miles), and is comprised entirely of living organisms. You will be mesmerized by the kaleidoscope of colors and the variety of weird and wonderful things living in our ocean. The reef is along the coast of Queensland, and once you have returned to dry land you might also consider popping in to the Australia Zoo – Steve Irwin’s legacy and home to some of the nation’s one-of-a-kind animal species, like kangaroos and koalas.

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Madagascar

Roughly 90 per cent of Madagascar’s wildlife is endemic, like its lemurs – of which they have approximately 100 different species! It is also home to 300 species of birds, more than 250 reptile species and the fossa – some kind of cat-mongoose hybrid. On top of its unique animal life, its landscapes and plant life are equally rare and impressive.

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December 20, 2014

50 Essential Destinations to Go During your Lifetime

Ros Layton, Travel EditorCall Yourself a Traveller?

50 Essential Destinations for Your Lifetime

Those of us who love to travel and explore the world seem to have a built-in travel checklist that we mentally tick off as we visit the famous places on it: the Mona Lisa at the Louvre – tick! The Colusseum – tick! Here’s my choice of 50 Essential Destinations to try and squeeze in during your lifetime, some of which you may have already ticked off, and others you may not have thought of.

  1. Drink champagne by Ayers Rock at sunset.
  2. Spend a week in New York City.
  3. Ski at a European or North American alpine resort.
  4. Drive along the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
  5. Take a luxury cruise.
  6. Stay in a French chateau, preferably one with a vineyard attached.
  7. Snorkel or scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef.
  8. See Holland during tulip time.
  9. Go to the top level of the Eiffel Tower in the lift.
  10. Do a trek in the Himalayas or the Andes.
  11. Catch a peak-hour train in Tokyo.
  12. Visit at least one Disneyland.
  13. Stand on London’s Westminster Bridge at night for the best view of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.
  14. Walk a long a cliff-top on the ruggedly romantic Cornish coast.
  15. Survive a ride in a tuk-tuk through the streets of Bangkok.
  16. Visit the Elvis Chapel in Las Vegas.
  17. Go on safari in Africa.
  18. See the sights of Rome (without having your pocket “picked”).
  19. Enjoy a concert of Mozart’s works in Vienna.
  20. Visit a red-light district in a major city. Paris, Amsterdam and Hamburg and Bangkok are particularly eye-opening.
  21. Ride a bike in Copenhagen.
  22. Visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
  23. Spot someone famous in LA.
  24. Take a long walk in the Scottish Highlands.
  25. Chill out in Antarctica.
  26. Check out the view from The Peaks in Hong Kong.
  27. Lie under a cherry blossom tree in Japan.
  28. Visit at least one perfectly idyllic island, perhaps the Maldives, Seychelles or Bora Bora.
  29. Go topless on the French or Italian Riviera.
  30. See the Kremlin in Moscow.
  31. Take a photo of the crowds taking photos of the Mona Lisa in The Louvre, Paris.
  32. Stay on a kibbutz in Israel.

    Visit Rio during Carneval.

  33. Experience at least one train journey of three days duration, or more.
  34. Check out the waves in Hawaii when Pipeline’s pumping.
  35. See the mosques of Istanbul.
  36. Fly over the North Pole.
  37. Go to a casino and nightclub in Monte Carlo.
  38. Travel to at least one Greek Island.
  39. Shop in a Moroccan bazaar.
  40. Stand at the border between Canada and the
  41. United States at Niagara Falls or at the border between Brazil and Argentina at Iguazu Falls.
  42. Visit the Taj Mahal in India.
  43. Experience springtime in Paris.
  44. Go white water rafting in Nepal.
  45. Visit at least one of the world’s deserts.
  46. See the Parthenon in Athens.
  47. Sail a yacht in the Caribbean.
  48. ‘Float’ in the Dead Sea.
  49. Rent a villa in Tuscany.
  50. Join the Mile High Club (if anyone has done this, or knows anyone who’s actually ‘joined’, let us know!)
January 1, 2001