Jet Off to the Sunshine

florida pelican

Eastern Brown Pelican

If you want to escape the unpredictable British weather and get some Vitamin D, jet off to Florida! You’ll find a great range of tour operators’ deals at a price you can afford. So getting some much needed sunshine won’t cost you the earth.

Once you’ve decided to take the plunge and head off over the Atlantic, you need to plan where you are going to stay. If you want to be at the heart of the action, close to all the biggest tourist hot spots, but still have your own space, then look no further than Lake Buena Vista. Home to the famous Walt Disney theme parks, Lake Buena Vista holidays are what Disney magic is all about. The town is actually controlled by the Walt Disney Company, making a stay here a truly unforgettable experience.

There are many accommodation options available in Lake Buena Vista. First up are the hotels, which are out of this world. With countless swimming pools, luxury accommodation and delicious cuisine, you’ll want to spend the whole holiday at the hotel! Lake Buena Vista hotels are some of the best in the world, guaranteed to give you and your family the holiday of a lifetime. Some of them are within walking distance of the parks, but why bother when you can enjoy a ride on the free hotel shuttle services that ferry holiday makers back and forth to the parks, saving you walking in the heat and the parking charges at the theme parks.

If you want to experience American life, why not check into your very own villa for a week or two? There’s nothing like waking up in your own villa, taking a refreshing dip in your private pool then enjoying coffee and pancakes on the patio before heading back to the theme parks for the day. You will also have the freedom to enjoy family barbecues after a day of fun in the sun. The villa experience is truly unique, and with great deals from tour operators, they are an affordable option.

Photo Credits: Andrea Westmoreland

Festive London: Three of the Best Santa’s Grottos

santa claus grotto

“Mommy! When I went to Santa’s Grotto I saw Santa Claus!”

Those with kids will know that a visit to Santa’s grotto is a Christmas institution. However, choose carefully. There’s nothing more disappointing than a bad Santa, and one obvious beard can be enough to ruin the magic for little ones for good.

If you can get to London then you’ll be spoilt for choice for great Santa’s grottos, and can rest assured that there won’t be a single cotton wool beard in sight! Why not turn your Santa’s grotto visit into a festive mini-break for the whole family by booking a family room in a low cost, central London hotel? Now is the right time to book your ideal bolthole in the city.

Once you’ve got the accommodation sorted, all that remains is to find your perfect Santa experience. Choose from these top three Santa’s Grottos in the capital for a guaranteed magical time with the kids:

Kids can play in real snow in the ice grotto, visit the wish fairy, dodge Jack Frost and get into a snowball fight with a naughty snowman at the Ice Grotto at Selfridges, and that’s all before they even meet the big guy himself!

Visitors to Selfridges in London from the 3rd September should also spend some time in the Christmas Shop – the store’s biggest ever! A gorgeous fairy-lit shopping wonderland, you’ll even be treated to traditional Christmassy scents such as spice cake, marzipan and pine while you browse.

Hamleys is offering something more than your typical Santa’s grotto experience this year, with the ‘I Met Father Christmas at Hamleys’ attraction. During this hour long experience, which includes a meal (food provided depends on the time of day), children will get to meet Santa and his elves and enjoy some fun Christmas themed stories and activities. Each child takes away a small gift.

Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is a mesmerising Christmas experience for adults and children alike. A Christmas market, ice sculptures, ferris wheel, circus, ice skating rink and funfair rides all await, but those who want to meet the big guy himself should head straight to Santa Land where Santa waits in his cottage. All good little boys and girls get a small gift, making this a great value free grotto in the city. You may, however, find it hard to sneak little ones past the rides without putting your hand in your pocket!

The approach of Christmas presents a fantastic opportunity to make magical memories with your children. Make the best of those precious early years with a trip to our capital where you’ll find your pick of amazing Santa’s grottos.

Book your family accommodation, pack your camera and the kid’s Christmas lists, and you’re all set!

Why Buying a Ski Holiday for Your Spouse Can be the Ultimate Surprise

couple skiing

Plan a ski holiday for a great couple trip!

Everyone loves gifts, especially when they are from a special person. Men often want to surprise their wives with unexpected gifts, but at the same time they don’t want to be too predictable.

A lot of people don’t know much about gift shopping or do not have the time to search for the perfect gift, so they just buy traditional gifts which seems rather dull and boring. Excitement should be a part of life at every point; your wife is the person with whom you are going to spend the rest of your life, so it makes sense to get her something special that she truly deserves. It doesn’t have to be too expensive or lavish, rather it should be something meaningful, something you could do together.

A ski holiday is a great idea for a vacation. She will be least expecting it, so the element of surprise will be there. Ski holiday’s are great fun and offer a chance to reconnect with your loved one.

1- Stress-free time

After working hard throughout the year, raising children and doing chores around the house, your wife is entitled to have some time for herself. A ski holiday does just that; it will provide her with a chance to get away from the busy everyday life and will be a great source of fun and entertainment.

2-Good Exercise

A lot of people might not know this, but skiing is excellent physical exercise. It gives you the chance to stretch your legs and get out in the open. Fresh air and a natural environment are conducive to better health.

There is nothing like getting a good workout while on holiday because people normally stuff themselves with food when on vacation.

3-Night Life

Skiing is more of an all in one outdoor experience. Not only can you get some family time together, but also benefit from the exciting night life on offer. Most Ski Resorts have great restaurants and bars for you and your spouse to enjoy.

Indulge in a delightful evening with your wife. Some resorts even have music and discos so that you can party late at night and relive the younger years.

4-Learn new Skills

If you presented a traditional gift to your wife like a necklace, it may lose its value overtime, but with a ski holiday you will make lasting memories.

Even if your wife can’t ski, it is not a big issue because the learning experience is so much fun that it makes you completely forget about the other problems in your life.

If you have kids then this could turn into a great family vacation as well.

5-Multiple activities

A ski holiday is an enthralling experience; not only do you get to ski, but also indulge in other recreational activities such as ice skating, sledding,  dog sledding and snowshoeing.

Your wife will have the time of her life at the ski resort and will appreciate your choice.

6-Memories

A ski vacation will leave a life-long memory and  you can look back upon it and savor the times you had. Be sure to take videos and photos of all the moments so that when your children grow up you could show it to them.

Any other gift or gesture may dissipate in thin air, but a ski vacation will always be remembered by your wife for the effort you put in.

Conclusion

Whenever you buy a gift for someone, you want it to be meaningful and memorable. A ski vacation is a great surprise for your spouse and is a non traditional way of saying thank you to someone who means so much to you.

Wander to Southeast Asia and Travel on the Cheap!

Elephant Ride at  Siem Reap, Cambodia

Elephant Ride at Siem Reap, Cambodia

As J.R.R. Tolkien wrote so many years ago, not all who wander are lost. Maybe those who wander are just filled with a little more wonder than the average person. If you think you are this person, well, the world abounds in low-cost places to travel. One such place is Southeast Asia — Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. Once a very war-torn part of the world, these unique cultures are now more like paradise, offering you an oriental relief from the rigors of western society. Whether it’s one night in Bangkok or several in Ho Chi Minh City, these countries and their favorable exchange rates won’t break the bank!

The most expensive item you’ll have to purchase when visiting Southeast Asia is your plane ticket, but even this item is far cheaper than what it once was. You can fly from London, Paris or most major cities conveniently to Bangkok, Hong Kong or Singapore and then transfer flights if need be. These regions are isolated from the West no more. Once you’re there, you can lie upon the beaches of Thailand or ride an elephant in Cambodia. Or visit centuries old temples and learn about the lost long-ago culture that made this region one of the most advanced in the world at that time.

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are also cities not to be missed and you can help yourself to some pho or other tasty Vietnamese cuisine. You’ll find your money will go far here and feel like your money will last forever. Adventure trips could include backpacking in from Bangkok and discovering villages few Europeans ever see. The opportunities are boundless in Southeast Asia and nothing will cost too much money. You’ll save so much money choosing this region for your next vacation you’ll want to come back again and again.

Anne Perkins is a freelance writer focused on how to live large on a little living. She writes financial savings tips and enjoys taking any idea and making it easier or cheaper to complete.

Travel Green: Ways to Offset Your Carbon Footprint on Your Next Cruise Holiday

cruise ship

Is Green Travel Possible on a Cruise?

While your primary focus of taking a cruise holiday may be to experience the wonders of nature, laze in the glistening sun or do some on-board shopping, there are also a great number of environmentally friendly reasons to why cruising is a great holiday choice. Nowadays, more and more people are becoming concerned about their carbon footprint and how their holiday adventures may be impacting their surrounding environment.

Considering a cruise holiday as an eco-friendly way to travel may just sound a little ridiculous to some people, with the largest cruise liners in the world on record as producing more than 200, 000 gallons of sewage and in excess of 1 million gallons of grey water; all of this being discarded directly into the water. In more recent years, however, many cruise liners have raised the bar for environmentally friendly practices at sea, with many now boasting to have decreased their carbon footprint. So, are cruise holidays really the best way to travel green? Read on to discover the truths about eco-friendly travel and how you can offset your carbon footprint, during your next cruise holiday.

Research your Cruise Line

As aforementioned, a number of reputable cruise lines are now promoting green travel, with many implementing state of the art facilities to reduce their impact on the environment. Disney Cruise Lines, for example, have applied a non-toxic, non-resistance surface to the hull of their ships, in order to reduce resistance in the water and create greater fuel efficiency. Various cruise lines have implemented green solutions, in more recent years, so it is always a wise decision to do your research before boarding.

Recycle On-board

Travellers can always do their own part, by implementing their own green practices whilst on-board. This process is helped immensely, when cruise ships also do their party. The waste created on-board Carnival Cruise Lines ships is recycled, helping to reduce the amount of landfill and pollution created by travel.

Wasting water is also a thing of the past, with many cruise lines now using grey water purification systems, in order to minimise pollutants that are being discarded into the ocean. Purification of grey water also allows this recycled water to be used again, for purposes such as sewage systems.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is another industry leader in the way of green travel, as they have eliminated the use of all plastic cookware, cups and plates on-board, in the hopes of reducing the amount of wastage on their ships, as well as encouraging passengers to refrain from dumping waster overboard.

Whether you are booking tropical Hawaiian cruises or heading to the nature loving paradise of Alaska, it important to focus on your surrounds. When in doubt about the environmental practices of any cruise line, always talk to your travel specialist such as Cruiseabout for recommendations and further details on cruise line policies.

Written by Barbie S. It is almost as good as dream comes true for Barbie when she got an offer as a travel writer, infusing her love for travel and her passion to share wonderful moments with her fellow travellers. Barbie also loves yoga and teaches part-time in a local studio.