Great Places to Study In Paris

Municipal Libraries

You’ll find a number of libraries in the various municipalities around Paris. Hostels may even be just a short walk from a library – known locally as bibliothèques – and there are some that cater mostly to students. These libraries are also a great resource, with students often able to borrow books that may not easily found on the Internet – especially those in French. If you’re staying for an extended period, you may be able to apply for a public library card to be granted borrowing privileges for a wide array of libraries – from the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris to the Arsenal Library. The interlibrary lending program even means you may even be able to find that obscure book you’ve never been able to get your hands on. Free Wi-Fi is always a welcome resource for students as well.

Parc de Bercy

Located beside the Seine, this is a wonderful place to escape when you want to study in a quiet place away from the hustle and bustle of Paris. Hostels are never far from a city green space, but Parc de Bercy offers a particularly tranquil ambience. The park itself is a work of natural beauty shaped by the hands of man, and it’s not hard to find a quiet spot to get some reviewing done in peace.

La Caféothèque de Paris

Café chains like Starbucks are a popular choice for those looking to sip a coffee in a relaxed atmosphere. Some cafés, however, offer a warmer, cosier and (most importantly) quieter atmosphere for students to study in peace. La Caféothèque de Paris is one such locale. Not only does it offer an ambience of comfort and cosiness rolled into one neat package, but it also brews up some excellent specialty coffee as well. It’s situated at 52 Rue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, which is an easy walk from many of the Paris hostels.

A l’Heure du Thé

If you’re more of a tea person, A l’Heure du Thé – which roughly translates to “a time for tea” – is for you. A l’Heure du Thé can serve up whatever tea you want, whether you’re hankering for a traditional pot of Earl Grey or more exotic fare like Chinese lapsang souchoung black tea. The cosy and composed atmosphere makes it a perfect choice for students looking for a quiet study nook. It’s located at 23 Rue Lacépède.

Cool Port City of Antwerp Belgium

Antwerp has a flourishing shipping and trading industry due to having the largest port in all of Europe. This economic powerhouse is also home to the Antwerp Fashion Academy, which has been continuing to develop new talents in the designing world since the 1980’s. Antwerp has also been dubbed the “world’s leading diamond city” as this is where over 70% of all diamonds are traded. So if you have some serious diamond shopping to do, this is the right spot! Browse around the selection of shops at the diamond district near the Railway Station and get acquainted with this precious stone. At night, Antwerp has no intention of making you retire early. With its wide selection of groovy restaurants and bars, the city is a lively companion until the wee hours.

The well-known baroque painter Pieter Paul Ruben was born and raised in Antwerp, and today, the city honors him by turning his former residence (Rubenshuis) into one of Antwerpís most important and popularly visited museums that showcases his life’s work. Another impressive museum you should visit is the MAS or Museum aan de Stroom. Aside from telling a great story about Antwerp’s history, the museum’s 60-meter high tower is an excellent example of Avant-garde architecture. After browsing the museum collection, proceed to the top of the tower to get your memorable 360∞ panorama of the city.

Despite having a penchant for the new and contemporary, Antwerp has managed to preserve its medieval center. Here, you will find delight just walking around the cobbled streets, sipping coffee at quaint cafes and admiring the 16th to 17th century buildings and monuments that abound. The market square in particular, is populated by medieval guild homes that are commonly seen in old Flemish towns. Other must-see landmarks include the Gothic-Renaissance style city hall, the exquisite fortress beside the river and the magnificent Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady. Standing at more than 400 feet, this is one of the biggest Cathedrals in Northern Europe. Inside, you can find some of best paintings of the artist Ruben.

If you want to explore the center at a fashionable and relaxed pace, go for a horse and carriage tour. Another sightseeing alternative is the city’s own version of a hop on/hop off double-decker tour bus aptly called the Antwerp Diamond. This bus tour brings you to seven of the best known spots and is a great introduction to the city.

One of the prime attractions in the city is the Antwerp Zoo. Founded in 1843, this zoo is the oldest in the country and one of the oldest in the world. Located at the heart of the city, the zoo houses about 5000 animals who call the zoo home. After admiring these creatures, you will also want to explore its lovely garden area.

Appeal of Taking a Honeymoon Cruise

Probably the greatest thing about a honeymoon cruise is the sense of utter isolation the newlyweds can experience. There is little chance of an intrusion from the outside world when the cruise ship is hundreds of miles offshore giving the newlyweds the opportunity for time alone. All of the stresses of life can be left behind with little chance of interruption by even the most well intentioned friends and family. Cruising the clear blue waters of the tropics is the perfect way for a newlywed couple to isolate themselves from the rest of the world. With little chance of even cell phones working the chances of the outside world intruding on their time is limited. Getting away from it all is definitely a plus on a honeymoon cruise.

During a honeymoon cruise the happy couple has the option of mingling with other people and making new friends or they can spend time to themselves enjoying the amenities and activities cruise ships are famous for. There’s an activity for just about everyone on board, from games on deck and pool side, to dancing, movies and nightly entertainment. In addition to all the onboard fun there are tropical ports of call where the couple can lose themselves in sightseeing and other tourist fare.

When talking about taking a honeymoon cruise we cannot let the subject of food to be left out. After all, food is what cruises are most famous for. And all that food, whether it’s fine dining, a burger pool side, a quick snack, or even room service is included in the price of the cruise. The newlywed couple can eat whatever they want whenever they feel like it. And for the newlyweds who spend a lot of time in their stateroom getting food at odd hours is a big plus.

Taking a honeymoon cruise can be the perfect getaway after the craziness of a wedding. Finding a cruise package that fits your budget is as easy as using the power of the internet to check the offerings of the many cruise lines in the world today.

Burmese And Sabai

Certainly, when thinking of a tropical country such as Burma and its wonderful flowers it is one of the many species and varieties of the beautiful orchid that immediately springs to mind rather than the comparatively unpretentious white Jasmine. What exactly is Jasmine? Jasmine is a name applied to two genera of the realm of flowers, the true jasmine and the false jasmine; which are locally called e.g. ‘Sabai Nwai’, ‘Ein Sabai’, ‘Sabai Ei’, ‘Taw Sabai’, and so forth.

The so-called ‘false’ jasmine makes up the genus ‘Gelsemium’ of the family ‘Logamiaceae’, such as the yellow jasmine, classified as ‘Gelsum Sempevireus’, a North American species that – like all the other ‘true’ and ‘false’ jasmine – grow and are cultivated almost worldwide. There is also jasmine that belongs to the family ‘Rubiaceae’ such as the rose-like ‘Cape Jasmine’, ‘Gardenia,’ (scientific name ‘Gardenia Jasminoides’), which is native to China. But whether they are ‘true’ or ‘false’ Sabai, truly they are all real Jasmine.

Here are some quick information for those who want to know it in even more detail. Jasmine occurs in many species as wild as well as garden varieties and is, although native of warmer climate regions, of almost global distribution for which reason it is not unique to Burma. Sabai comprises shrubs, trees, bushes, climbers and flowers of various sizes, looks and fragrances, is an evergreen that grows in almost any climate (some varieties tolerate even winter temperatures below freezing point) without asking for much, are less vulnerable to diseases and insects than e.g. orchids and roses and blooms profusely (under ideal conditions year round). In Burma predominantly from May/June (Zun or Waso, the Burmese month June/July) to October (the Burmese month Thadinyut, September/October) especially however in May/June when after the first rainfalls the whole country is suddenly awash with pristine white Jasmine blossoms; Sabai is now omnipresent and very much loved by everybody.

So, what is it that makes not, for example, the wonderful orchid but the Jasmine or Sabai as it is locally called so irresistible to and the favourite flower of the Burmese although one should think that Sabai would rather not be the one carrying off the prize as beauty queen in a beauty contest? Well, let us take a closer look at this flower before getting to the answer. You will be surprised. I can promise you that. You may even fall in love with Sabai yourself.

True, what first comes to mind when the term ‘Jasmine’ or ‘Jasmine blossom’ comes up is the common, white jasmine, classified as ‘Jasminum officinale’, a native of India and of Persia, which is the ordinary variety, rather modest in looks and locally called ‘Sabai Kyet Yon’. But do not be mistaken, this jasmine has many true ‘sisters’, with the exception of one, all of them having pristine white blossoms and many false ‘sisters’, so to say ‘half sisters’, again with the exception of one, all having pristine white blossoms. Many of Sabai’s sisters and half sisters are definitely good-lookers.

As for Jasminum officinale’s ‘true’ sisters these are the Spanish Jasmine, with white blossoms flecked with pink, locally called ‘Myat Lay’and the double Arabian Jasmine, locally known as ‘Sabai Oboke’. Another one is called by locals ‘Zun’, which is ‘Jasminum Auruculatum’, a variety growing in the Mandalay region. This one has smaller blossoms. There is also the winter jasmine, ‘Jasminum Nudiflorum’, native to China. As for Jasmine’s ‘half-sisters’ there is e.g. the previously mentioned ‘Cape Jasmine’ who with her relatively big, rose-like, white and glossy blossoms is a real knock-out.

Back to our love affair. Fine, you may now say, it is all nice and well what our short excursion into the realm of botany has so far taught us about ‘Sabai’, but does it answer the question for why Sabai is the Burmese people’s flower of choice? Is this the secret of the love affair? The answer is no, of course not, because there are some more of Jasmine’s pleasant characteristics that have as yet not been mentioned and it is high time to immediately bring two of them into the picture. These are Jasmine’s alluring, strong and sweet fragrance and flavour. What, flavour? Yes, you got it right, flavour.

The Chinese, for instance, value Jasmine, more precisely ‘Jasminum Paniculatum’, for its flavour. They mix it in proportion 1:3 with Jasminum Sambac and allow black or green tea to absorb the strong flavour of this favourite flower; the result is ‘Jasmine Tea’, which they call Jasmine-Flavour tea. But of course it is first and foremost the exquisite fragrance that is Sabai’s most outstanding and loved feature.

Sabai’s odour is so wonderful that perfumers extract/distil it from the jasmine blossom. The extract is thereupon used as basic compound for or ingredient of perfume. It is also used in air freshener and to scent e.g. soap, shampoo and like products.

Not all varieties of Sabai may be queens of flowers judged by their looks only but the Sabai definitely is a queen when the element of fragrance is added; a queen of fragrance.

However, Jasmine does not only serve the purpose of decoration and enhancing beauty but also has medical properties. For instance, jasmine leave juice can – when mixed with various other ingredients – cure fever, coughs and common colds and the roots of the yellow jasmine contain gelsemine, a crystalline alkaloid used as an antispasmodic and to induce perspiration. Also, the ground leaves are an effective remedy in case of swollen joints.

All of these so far summarised positive characteristics of Sabai, its pristine white blossoms, some of them looking very charming at least and others being of great beauty, its captivating fragrance and its healing power are no doubt sufficient enough reason to admire and maybe even love this flower. Yet, this is still not enough of an explanation for the special bond between Sabai and the Burmese people.

As mentioned previously, the individual Sabai Kyet Yon (Jasminum officinale) blossom may not create an overly exciting impression. But this impression changes very dramatically when the blossom appears in mass. That in numbers there is strengths once again proves to be very true. When in posies or thousands of blossoms threaded together in cylindrical strands and/or garlands or simply heaped on a small table (Burmese use a small, three-legged stand called ‘Kalat’) the dazzling white Sabai blossoms’ appearance is indeed an overwhelming sight, which combined with the captivating fragrance makes for a wonderful event, letting Sabai appear in a completely different light.

Many Burmese people buy Sabai every day from sellers of both gender and all ages who are, come hell and high water, every morning (usually between 00:07 AM and 00:09 AM) and late afternoon or early evening (usually between 00:05 PM and 06:30 PM) walking through the streets. They are shouting, for instance: “Sabai, Sabai, Sabai Kyet Yon, fresh, most beautiful and fragrant”, and sell the strands of Sabai blossoms. Other sellers stay at cross-roads and dart about between cars stopping at red lights and sell Sabai to their drivers who loop them around their cars’ rear view-mirrors as offerings to Buddha and for good fortune.

You also see many young girls and women of all ages on the streets having embellished their hair with strands or posies of Sabai. They are fully aware of how effectively they have therewith enhanced their grace; a sight for sore eyes, which everyone with a sense of beauty who has already had the pleasure of seeing it will readily admit.

Yet other sellers sell the strands of glaring white Sabai blossoms to Buddhist worshippers in front of and on the stairs that lead up to pagodas. And it is first and foremost the latter, in combination with the former, that brings us very, very close to the secret of the love affair as the secret, which we are now about to reveal, is in fact a fourfold one.

It is in the first place the spiritual aspect that is at the heart of this love affair. Nothing short of something that is capable of satisfying a deeply felt psychological need could explain the special relationship between Sabai and the Burmese. Sabai is the flower of choice for offerings to the Gautama Buddha because of its white colour that symbolises purity and nobility, because of its lovely fragrance, because it is growing in abundance and year round availability and, last but not least, because of the reasonable price it is to be had at what, in turn, gives Sabai the power that allows the people to discharge in a healthy way the psychic energy that builds up in them due to the spiritual need.

Burmese, predominantly those who are Buddhists (who make up approximately 85 per cent of Burma’s total population) from all walks of life, women and men – of course mainly the former – young and old, poor and reach, all are deeply in love with Sabai.

Sabai is offered to the Gautama Buddha in pagodas and on the household altars (almost every family in Burma has one) to earn merit and/or to court a guardian spirit’s favour for which reason the car drivers loop a strand or two of Sabai on the rear-view mirror of their cars. The welcome side-effect is that the air inside the car is refreshed and filled with the sweet fragrance of Sabai.

The typical offering comprises at least water and flowers and is usually accompanied by the worshippers wish: “May we be as cool as water and fresh as flowers,” the latter referring more to Sabai than any other flower as Sabai is the choicest flower of offering because of the reasons mentioned above. But, of course, that is not all.

Sabai is also considered an auspicious flower for what reason e.g. a wedding reception and ceremony is not a wedding ceremony and, subsequently, the bond of marriage not properly sealed if not with – well, what? – Sabai, of course. So, when and while entering into married state the wedding couples are festooned with Sabai garlands, traditionally by a long-married couple that is held in high esteem by the relevant family so that the newlyweds have best prospects of sharing a long, happy and successful life. Whatever future may hold in store for them and you, I wish them and you all the very best here from my desk where I am just writing this article.

In the language of flowers Sabai says a lot of things as it is of high symbolic value. If, for instance, a young Burmese sets his cap at a young woman wearing Sabai in her hair he should be cautious and proceed with care because she may well have already promised herself to someone else. As an old wonderful Burmese folksong puts it: “The white and fragrant Sabai in my hair is meant for the adornment of another”, what the unfortunate would-be lover who was about to make a pass at her sadly comments with: “The spray of Sabai turns away and opportunity is gone.”

Burmese poets and song writer (some of whom may slightly overdo it have overdone it, respectively, in their praise of Sabai) were and still are much inspired by the lines that the princely warrior Nat Shin Naing wrote. Nat Shin Naing, who was deeply in love with the much older queen Datu Kalya wrote while being on duty. “The fragrant Sabai of tiny, white and dainty blossoms is much cherished and desired. Regretfully, I am unable to choose each delicate blossom and adorn your hair with my own loving hands.” And the renowned Burmese poet at the court of Ava, U Ponnya, wrote: “All lesser flowers have to make way once Sabai is in full bloom.”

So, now you know the secret(s) of the love affair: Sabai’s religious expressiveness, Sabai’s pristine white colour that signifies nobility and purity, Sabai’s alluring fragrance, Sabai’s great significance in matters of grace and love, Sabai’s positive effects in terms of health and all of this combined with Jasminum officinale’s certainly pleasant appearance to Jasminum Grandiflorum’s and Jasminum Sambac Plenum’s good looks and Gardenia Jasminoides’s definite beauty makes Sabai from Sabai Kyat Yon to Kyat Lat to Sabai-Oboke a in more than one way exceptional flower.

Have the Perfect Wedding Cruise

  • Decide where and what you want to do on your wedding cruise. Do you want to see the Alaskan glaciers, or is the sun setting over water in the distant horizon more your style? Are you and your partner active, so you want to include some shore excursions like snorkeling or sight seeing, or would you rather take advantage of the activities on board, like sunning, the casino, and the many restaurants? Is it important for you to have a lot of on board activities like art fairs, ice-skating, water activities, shopping, mini golf, lectures or movies?
  • Make sure you have proper documentation. This means passports, marriage license, and medical records if needed.
  • Plan on arriving a day early if you are going to get married at the port of call before the ship leaves for the cruise. If there are plane delays, or other unexpected events you will have a cushion of time built in.
  • Be aware of any immunizations you need before going to a foreign port of call on your wedding cruise. Your health department or infectious disease doctor can help you with this. Plan ahead, if you require immunizations they may take several months.
  • Educate yourself about health risks such as traveler’s diarrhea. Although many places now have safe water, you need to be aware of risk factors. Some areas of high risk are Asia, the Middle East, South Africa, Central and South America. Southern Europe and the Caribbean are considered intermediate risk, and the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Japan are considered low risk. Avoid untreated water, uncooked food, ice, and food washed in water such as lettuce. Bismuth subsalicylate or Pepto-Bismol can be used preventively, but you need to be aware if it is safe for you and any health conditions you have, so consult your health care provider.
  • Be aware of airline restrictions that limit what you are able to carry on the plane, if you are flying to your port of call. These restrictions change often
  • Book early. Not all cruise lines offer wedding cruise packages. It depends on international law whether you can get married on the ship at sea, or in the homeport, or along the cruise at a port of call. Cruise lines can only book so many wedding per cruise, so it may pay to book early and get what you are looking for.
  • Shop around. An online travel agency can give you access to multiple cruise lines and what they each have to offer. Look to see who has a wedding coordinator to help with the details.

Finally, make sure you plan on having fun. This is your magic moment and you want to enjoy it. Be prepared as you can for your wedding cruise, and then just let the dream come true.

Forgotten Dangers of Boating

Proper Equipment

When planning for a boating trip it is incredibly important to prepare your safety equipment properly. This includes but is not limited to a flares, horn, water bailer and lifejackets. A trip plan is also an essential part of safe boating. A trip plan is basically contains information about where you plan to go boating. It should be filed with someone responsible that can take the proper steps should an emergency occur.

Lifejackets

Lifejackets are essential for people of all ages. The misconception largely exists that if a child falls in the water an adult in decent physical condition will be able to save them. This is a very dangerous assumption as it is not always the case. Often a child that falls into the water will go below the surface of the water which means they may be hard to spot. Also, sometimes it is not immediately apparent that a child has fallen into the water. You may not even realize until it is already too late.

Man Overboard

When someone falls overboard it is important to not immediately jump in after them to try to save them. Someone who is struggling to stay above water may unwittingly pull their potential rescuer under water with them. Instead, you should use the proper safety equipment such as safety buoys and rope which will float on the surface.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia remains a large risk when boating in cooler waters. Someone who falls overboard could succumb to hypothermia thus limited their physical abilities and mental decisions. Their risk of survival drastically drops the longer they are in the water. Again, it is important not to jump in after them in an attempt to save them as the rescuer could themselves succumb to the cold waters.

Electrocution

Power lines are the most common cause of electrocution while boating. Proper care is rarely taken in ensuring that a metal part of the boat such as the mast touches a power line. This carelessness has led to many deaths or serious injuries over the years.

Weather

Careful consideration must be taken when determining the amount of effect the weather will have on your boating experience. Pay attention to the forecast ahead of time to make sure that bad weather is not approaching. Even while out on the water it is extremely important to pay attention to the marine forecast for your area as well as the colors and activity in the sky.

Tips For Deep Discounts on Cruises

Cruise travel agencies sometimes reduce the cost of your ticket by reducing their commissions … Here is how it works – cruise travel agencies get a commission from the cruise line for every ticket they sell. And some cruise travel agencies pass on a part of their commissions to their customers. But this may not happen always – especially if the cruise lines want to prevent a price war and request the cruise agencies not to do so.

In any case, booking through a cruise travel agency might be a good thing to do because in addition to a possible discount that you may be getting on your cruise ticket, cruise agencies might also be able to help you choose a cruise ship that is right for you because they know about the amenities aboard the ships and the on board and on shore activities.

And Here is something that seems to fly in the face of “conventional wisdom” …

A few years ago, it used to be that last minute buyers would most possibly end up with the biggest discounts … but this may not be true anymore.

Booking early – about three to four months in advance is generally considered to result in better deals. But even this may not be an iron clad rule as many large cruise ships are being launched. And with increasing capacity, there is a higher possibility of unsold inventory at the last minute on several cruise ships. And these tickets can be discounted tickets. But even if such last minute unsold inventory exists, not everyone may be able to take time off from work and travel on a very short notice.

And Here is another tip that can save quite a bit of money …

Some cruise lines offer 2 for 1 cruise deals on select cruises. But it is also possible that airfare may not be included in the 2 for 1 deal.

Well, if that sounded great then this one might be even better …

Booking your cruise tickets as part of a group can be a great thing to do because group cruise tickets are usually discounted … and if you are planning a family reunion, a wedding or more then group cruise travel can be a great option.

To qualify as a group you may need eight double occupancy staterooms, but you might want to check with your cruise travel agency about what constitutes a group.

And Here is yet another tip that may result in lots of savings …

Cruisers over fifty five years may be entitled to senior discounts. Here is what may be the best part – only one passenger in a stateroom is required to be aged fifty five and over, and all the other passengers in the same state room get their tickets at the same discounted price !

Also, seniors may also qualify for a senior discount on the air tickets too.

Crossing Paths With a Legend

Lefakinis, chairman of Valef Yachts, had an opportunity to visit the now-famous Aristotle Onassis yacht due to a family invitation extended to Spyros Skouras, by the owner. Skouras, chairman of 20th Century Fox, was invited to the yacht, with Winston Churchill and Maria Callas in attendance. This was heady stuff for a young lad, but it also instilled in Lefakinis a love of yachts in general and yachting in particular.

As a result, the Lefakinis love of yachting has led to his stewardship of a yacht chartering business, Valef Yachts.

He fondly relates how Valef Yachts and the Christina O share a joint tradition and history that is remarkable. The “M/Y Christina O” story actually originated in 1943 in Canada. Back then, the ship was known as the frigate Stormont, a convoy escort. Aristotle Onassis bought it in 1954, turning the frigate into the history’s most famous yacht. The Onassis concept for “Christina O” was to convert the vessel into a powerful symbol of his business empire with unique and total elegance.

Onassis’ guests on board “Christina O” were truly the world’s most famous, powerful and influential people of the time, including Sir Winston Churchill, The Aga Khan, King Farouk, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Eva Peron, Greta Garbo and countless other famous personalities. “Christina O” was also the scene of the world’s most celebrated love affair when Onassis courted Jackie Kennedy. Three years after Onassis’ death, his daughter Christina, the yacht’s namesake, donated the yacht to the Greek Government for the President to entertain visiting Heads of State. Unfortunately, the Christina O was used less often and eventually went through a long period of neglect.

Then in 1998, she was purchased by a family friend of Onassis who spent over 60 million dollars to bring it back to the original Onassis’ condition. Ironically, Bill Lefakinis and has now come full circle with the Christina O.

See Alaska as Never Before

From the waterway of the passage, one can look upon some of the most magnificent natural scenery to be found such as coastal rainforests, deep blue fjords and tidewater glaciers. Also to be found in the passage are numerous species of wildlife including humpback whales, sea lions and seabirds.
Because of the awe-inspiring beauty of the passage and since many destinations along the Alaska inside passage are only accessible by plane or boat, inside passage cruises have become one of the most popular tourist attractions of the state.

Few people have visited Alaska without experiencing once in a lifetime moments. Towering tidewater glaciers offer natural beauty that usually is only fully appreciated with an up close and personal view that only a cruise through the inland waterways can afford. From this vantage point you will stand in awe of these mighty glaciers that reach several hundred feet in height and enjoy plentiful wildlife viewing such as humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, mountain goats, brown bears and bald eagles. You will also be stricken speechless by the sheer beauty of the inside passage’s botanical gardens, spectacular waterfalls, and the Alaskan sunrise as seen from the cruise ship.

Alaska inside passage cruises are also popular for their exotic port destinations. Some of the most popular ports of call on the inside passage are Juneau, Skagway, Haines, Ketchikan and Victoria. Certain cruises even give passengers the opportunity to land on Annette Island and to be greeted by the Tsimshian elders of Metlakatla.

Best of all, Alaska inside passage cruises are affordable. You can choose from one-day inland glacier cruise packages which are as priced as low as $69 per person to a luxurious six night cruise on a deluxe designer yacht for as little as $4,000 per person. Of course there is a wide range of cruise options that fall between these two extremes.

As you can see, there is a little bit of something for everybody aboard one of Alaska’s inside passage cruise ships: a change of pace, exquisite scenery, and memories to last a lifetime.

Booking Package Holidays

One of the most important tips you will want to remember is wherever possible avoid peak season. School holidays, Christmas, Easter and New Year are very busy times at any resorts throughout the world. This is the time where travel agents make their money and you will pay a higher premium for your holiday during these times.

Of course if you’re planning a family holiday and you are looking for a package deal, then you expect to pay more to spend a few weeks in Gran Canaria, for example when all other families have the same idea. If you want to save money, try and book outside peak season when resorts are slightly quieter and prices are slightly lower, helping you make your money go that little bit further.

It is a good idea rather to focus on travel companies offering package holidays for peak season, to find a company that can provide you with a great selection throughout the year. This enables you to find the perfect time to take your holiday and find the best deals that meet your travel requirements, ensuring you have a dream vacation that you can remember for years to come.

Identify what holidays are on offer based on your travel dates. It’s always advisable to be slightly flexible with your dates if you want to secure the best package holidays available. While you may want to travel from the Friday through to the following Sunday, you may find that traveling on the Monday through to the following Monday will work out cheaper and provide you with a wider range of package holidays for you to choose from.

Set yourself a travel budget before you go online and start looking at the package holidays available. If you have already been granted time off work on set dates, then you already have something to work with. By setting a realistic budget, you know how much you should have available to spend on your package holiday. If you choose all-inclusive, you may pay slightly more, but you will have no expenses once you arrive at your dream destination. Your flights, accommodation, foods, certain drinks and even some activities will be included in the rate, helping you save money on your budget.

Take your time making a decision and choose a travel company that can provide you with an extensive range of package holidays. Read up on the accommodation and all the information provided by the agent. They should give you all the information you need, helping you identify if this package holiday is the best match based on what you are looking for. If you are unsure about anything, pick up the phone and call the agent to identify what is and isn’t included, so you can be completely prepared.

The travel company should provide you with a host of photographs of the accommodation, so you can identify what to expect on arrival. It’s worthwhile identifying the location of the accommodation in relation to the beach, town centre and sights and attractions. You need to know if there is good public transport should you choose to leave the resort and do some much welcome exploring, an ideal way to spend an afternoon when visiting a location you have never visited before.

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