Category: Travel

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.

Bike Tour Around Beautiful Tuscany

Florence, Siena and Pisa are just some of the notable places in Tuscany that have been continually attracting visitors because of their impressive history and heritage. But there are also equally striking, albeit lesser known, spots worth checking out like Lucca, Cortona, Arezzo and San Gimignano. Because of the diversity and size of this region, it is really hard to determine where to start looking. Fortunately, there are many ways of exploring Tuscany, and if you are looking for something fun, different, challenging, and at the same time, more environment-friendly, why not try to go for a biking tour around this absolutely marvelous Italian region?

A bike tour guarantees you a very rewarding and memorable experience. But the usual problem that travelers encounter with self-guided biking trips, especially in such a big area, is the tremendous amount of planning. If you don’t have the time to do this, a great alternative is sign up with a reputable tour company to show you around, minus the worry and hassle! DuVine is just one of the many tour companies that offer amazing biking tour packages. Because of their expertise of Tuscany and long experience in the bike touring industry, DuVine has been successful in setting up splendid itineraries that cater to various types of tourists.

There is more to the region that it appears, and the DuVine bike tour aims to show their guests just that! This tour is not going to be just your ordinary day trip excursion. It is quite comprehensive as it typically lasts for six days and five nights. But you will not go rough-and-tough on this one; as the package covers stays at comfortable and luxurious hotels. You will be dining at fine restaurants and do some wine tasting. So the whole thing is really about traveling in style; only that you will burn more calories while doing so.

The everyday bike ride covers approximately 25 miles. But physical exertion aside, biking is a wonderful way of seeing the true beauty and enjoying the real essence of Tuscany. You will be able to explore charming medieval towns like Montalcino, Petroio, Pienza and Montepulciano, at a relaxed pace. But you should also expect to tackle hills, which are mostly steep but short. Tuscany, after all, has been the training ground for many professional cyclists.

Find the Absolute Best Vacation Deals

Go Where Airlines Go

If you want to cut down on the price of your trip, you should zero in on a destination where you won’t have to make multiple plane changes. Additionally, prices follow the basic competition laws. Any destination that is serviced by multiple airlines will offer you a better price. By being competitive, you get a cheaper rate, which can help keep your costs down.

Find the Off-Season

If you go during the off-season, you will find cheaper prices on your hotel rooms. However, depending on where you are going, this may change. For example, hotels in the Caribbean have better vacation deals from May to mid-December with their lowest prices from June to August. Areas along the United States coastline will have their peak season during the June to August months, and so their off-season time is from after Labor Day to Memorial Day, with an exception around mid-March for spring break. By going during the off-season, you can save up to 40 percent off your hotel costs.

Don’t Overlook Small Hotels and Inns

You don’t have to stay at the fanciest mainstream resort on the beach. There are small, locally-owned inns and bed-and-breakfast options that may save you some money. Additionally, these locally built establishments may give you the opportunity to be more immersed in the local culture than a larger, chain hotel.

Packages

When you are trying to save money on your holiday, look for packages that include your hotel, airfare, and even tours. By booking a package, you will end up saving money. You can receive substantial discounts by using one service to reserve all of these items at once.

All-Inclusive Resorts

Of course, if you really want good vacation deals, an all-inclusive resort is the way to go. These hotels and resorts generally include costs for activities, basic water sports, and even some tours. They may also include alcoholic beverages in the price.

National Parks in Nepal

Chitwan NP

It is the oldest national park of Nepal. It is located to the south west part of Kathmandu. It has covered 932 sq km of total land area. It lies in Chitwan district. This park provides habitat for more than 700 species of wild animals.. It is famous for endangered species of mammals like Bengal tiger and one horned rhino. It has been enlisted in the world heritage sites by UNESCO. In this park there are 68 species of mammals. The park is also famous for Ghariyal (alligator).

Sagarmatha NP

It lies in Solukhumbu district. This park was established in 1976. It is located to the north east part from Kathmandu valley. This park covers 1,148 sq km of total land area. World’s highest peak Mt. Everest lies within the boundary of this park. The major attraction of this park is Mt. Everest. Musk dear, Himlayan black bear, snow leopard, red panda are the mammals found in this park. Along with Mt. Everest this park includes other mountains like Mt. Choyu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Amadablam etc.

Langtang NP

It is situated in Rasuwa district. It was established in 1976. It lies to the north of Kathmandu valley. It covers 1710 sq km of total land area. The major attractions of this park are wild dog, red panda, Himalayan black bear, ghoral musk dear, etc. Various species of Rhododendron flower make the scenery of the park more beautiful.

Rara NP

It lies in Mugu and Jumla district. This park was established in 1967. It is located in the north western part of Kathmandu valley. It is the smallest national park of Nepal. Rara Lake is the main attraction of this park. Rara Lake is quoted as the nymph of heaven by various travelers. Rara Lake is the biggest lake of Nepal. It provides habitat for various species of wild animals. Some of the wild animals found in this area are musk dear, ghoral, jharal, Indian leopard, Himalayan black bear, snow leopard, etc.

Khaptad NP

It is located to the west of Kathmandu. This park was established in 1984. It covers the land area of four different districts namely Doti, Achham, Bajhang, Bajura. Its area stretches to 225 sq km. The main attraction is the ashram of Khaptad baba. It is one of the Hindu pilgrim sites. This national park is the habitat for 23 mammals, 287 birds, 23 amphibians and reptiles. The mammals found in this national park are Himalayan black bear, Asiatic wild dog, and musk deer.

Shey Phoksundo NP

It is the largest national park of Nepal. It was established in 1984. It covers an area of 3555 sq km. The main attractions are Shey Phoksundo Lake and Kanjirowa Himal. This national parks lies in the north-west part of Nepal. This national park covers the area of two districts Mugu and Dolpa. It is the habitat of various wild animals like Himalayan thar, ghoral, snow leopard, blue ship, grey wolf, Himalayan black bear, musk deer, jackal, martens, etc. Similarly, various flowers like rhododendron, juniper, etc are available in this national park.

Honeymoon in Greece

Arriving at Eleftherios Venizelos airport, it is a good idea to spend the first couple of days in Athens, the capital city of old civilization. Take a day sightseeing tour of the city, visit the Acropolis or the Museum, and you may wish to go a bit further to Sounio and visit the ancient ruins of the Temple of Poseidon and gaze at the most spectacular sunset. Later at night take a walk in Plaka, along the colorful shops where you can buy your souvenirs or top quality jewelry.

Of course, Athens is not the place to stay during the hot summer months. Arrange to spend most of your honeymoon on the Cyclades Islands. The most popular destinations for newlyweds are Mykonos, Santorini and Crete.

Crete has a lot to offer, as it is the biggest island in the Aegean. There are ancient sites to visit like the labyrinth in Knossos, natural beauties such as the Samaria Gorge, and beaches with crystal clear waters. If you are a mountain lover, you can hire a car and drive up the mountains in central Crete, where you will find many picturesque, traditional villages. If you want your Crete honeymoon to be romantic or luxurious, there are plenty of five-star hotels and resorts that provide all the facilities required to fulfill your wishes. You can choose to relax by the pool of your hotel or walk in the streets of Chania or Rethymno, and visit the old towns. You can sample traditional Greek dishes and drink local wine or ‘raki’. The diversity of the island allows you to have the holiday you want.

From Crete you can head north to Santorini. Although you can get there by plane, it is much better to travel by boat so as not to miss the unique scenery of the port, like the windy road leading from the port to the top of the island. You can take a donkey ride from the old port up to Fira, taking in the incredible view of the caldera. Visit Oia late in the afternoon, walk along the narrow cobbled streets and make sure you find a spot at a rooftop to enjoy the world’s most magnificent sunset. Going down the other side of the island, the scenery is completely different. You will drive through many of the islands’ vineyards and finally reach the coastline. Practically every beach is of a different colour: red, black, or white. The contrast is amazing. You may want to take some coloured sand back home from your Santorini honeymoon.

Your final destination should be none other than the cosmopolitan Mykonos. Spend some days of your honeymoon in Mykonos like a celebrity. Spend your day at the beach, sipping your cocktail by the sea. At night enjoy the party till the morning hours in Chora, where bars and night clubs are vibrating with music and dance.

Italian Town of Vico Equense

Although little known, Vico Equense has all the qualities to charm even seasoned travelers. The town possesses a long history, and most likely one of the first ones built on the Sorrento Peninsula. Vico Equense is gifted with a beautiful pebbled beach, perfect for those who cannot get enough of the ocean. It is also home to a lovely pink hued church perched dramatically on a cliff. If you are interested in history and romance, the village’s crenellated Giusso castle, sitting on the coast, will indulge your curiosity.

Staying at Vico Equense means being reacquainted with peace and relaxation. Even a simple walk through this village revitalizes your soul and body. Aside from the main town, you can easily see other small villages nestled on lush highlands in the distance. The landscape, which is adorned with vineyards, citrus groves and olive groves, will easily invoke admiration and inspiration from anyone who sees it. Because of its ideal location, you can easily access the mountains and the sea in just a few minutes. The highest peak in the area is Mount Faito, standing at about 1400 meters.

Vico Equense is also blessed with sulphurous springs, known for their therapeutic properties. That is why the town has established a range of marvelous thermal baths and spa facilities. While here, grab the opportunity to try one of their bath treatments that have delighted many guests over the years. A centuries old town like Vico must have a number of incredible old buildings, and this is quite true here. The town had been inhabited by the Greeks, Etruscans and the Romans. Today, surviving structures like the Church of Our Lady of Graces, and the Angevin Castle are testaments to the town’s incredible past.

What is also surprising about Vico Equense is its plethora of excellent restaurants and superb hotels. Some of its most notable restaurants include the Salvatore De Gennaro and Annamaria Cuomo. If you would like to combine good food and the charm of the medieval ages, then book a meal at Torre del Saracino. As the name suggests, the venue for this unforgettable dining experience is on top of a 17th century tower. If you venture to the La Tradizione market, you can enjoy the region’s specialties, which are cured meat and dairy products.

Traveling Long Journeys

Some people have height sickness and these people should be aware of their problem because they might just throw up during flights. So they should be taking the right kind of medication beforehand that suits them well if they must fly.

Once a colleague of mine was on leave from work and he was flying to United States for higher studies and he described his journey being long, dull and boring. I was surprised at his attitude! I was also on leave from work flying for a similar purpose only a few days earlier but though the journey was long, there were lots of interesting things to do to keep you engaged. For instance, you could listen to music or watch movies. You could view the map of where the position of the airplane was at the current moment. You could enjoy drinking the variety of juices and other cold drinks that were offered every few hours and not to speak of the good meals that were served once or twice in a while. If you are seated beside a window, you could watch the white clouds and that may remind you that every cloud has a silver lining. LOL! Or you could just fall into a long and relaxed slumber and dream sweet dreams about what the outcome of your journey held for you. So no way you could call a journey like this dull and boring.

During my journey to U.S, I had initially a flight to London and from there a connecting flight to Chicago. Then I flew to Dallas. It was a very, very long journey I admit and I did not make this kind of journey for quite a while, and also I am used to routine-like life and I am not very adventuresome. But on a journey like this, would you like to jump to your destination? I bet not.

When I was on this travel, I was wide awake, aware of my surroundings and above all, enjoying the fun and pleasure of the experience. After all, while traveling from a source to the destination, it is usually the journey that really matters and which you should be able to take a grasp of lovingly, happily and enjoying to your heart’s content.

Temples Will Find In Kalugumalai

Jaina Abode

The temple has a unique architecture. Some of the most notable features are the many figures on the wall. The figures represent the most notable followers of the jain faith from the nearby villages. The main figure is that of the main deity known as Araimalai Alwar.

According to experts, the temple has over 150 sculptures that were contributed by different people. Some of the people who contributed the sculptures are: carpenters, smiths, cultivators and potters. The sculptures were also contributed by high-ranking officials bearing the titles of Kavidi, Enadi and Etti.

Kalugasalamoorthy Temple

The temple is said to have been constructed in the 18th century. The temple’s main deity is Lord Murugan and his wife Deivanai. The main deity and entrance halls have many exciting structural additions. Other than the many exciting features, the temple also has many shrines including those of Akilandeswari, shiva, Vinayakar and many lesser deities.

Vettuvan Koil

This temple dates back to the 8th century. It’s an unfinished cave temple that is breathtaking to look at. It has a rectangular shape where the middle part is sculpted from a one piece of rock. The temple has great looking carvings that are synonymous to those found during the Pandya era.

There are many sculptures on the temple. Experts say that the sculptures are about 122. The most notable ones are those of Vishnu, Dakshinamoorthy, and Brahma.

How To Get To Kalugumalai

It’s good to note that there are no regular flights from neighboring towns to Kalugumalai. There is also no trains to the town; therefore, the best way of getting to the town is using bus or car.

If you are travelling from another country, you should get to the Tuticorin airport. You should then take a bus or taxi that will take you to Kalugumalai.

If you want to use train, you should take a train that will take you to Kovilpatti and then from there take a taxi or bus.

Island Jewel of Croatia

Hvar also treats nature lovers with stunning beaches and remote coves, including Dubovica Beach. This pebbled beach features very clear water and a prominent waterfront restaurant. Part of Hvar Island’s popularity is its consistent sunny weather. In fact, it is considered to be the sunniest island in Croatia. It is also the longest island in the Adriatic boasting a length of 68 kilometers.

The bayside town of Hvar is the capital of the island, and biggest crowd drawer. This has something to do with its visual appeal. Hvar is a town filled with Gothic palaces and marble streets free of vehicle traffic. It is charmingly surrounded by 13th-century walls, which in turn, house a wide range of restaurants, shops and hotels. Travelers who stay in the town also gets to enjoy its vibrant nightlife scene.

While in Havr town, don’t forget to explore some of its most famous cultural, historical and architectural attractions, which include the Renaissance theatre, Cathedral of St. Stjepan and Trg Sveti Stjepana, which is one of the biggest squares in the Dalmatia region. While here, make sure to drop by the wide promenade that goes out to the shimmering blue sea and is just beside a lovely fishing harbor. This is one areas that is great to stroll around and experience. If you do have the time, don’t just spend it all in Hvar Town – try to visit some of the small villages that dot the coast and ones located in the lush inland portion of the island, and you will not regret the decision.

The oldest village on the island is the Stari Grad, which captivates visitors with its own charming medieval streets. This village’s history goes all the way back to 385 BC when it was known as a Greek colony. Stari Grad is also enclosed with grey stone fortifications and has notable attractions worth visiting as such as the Dominican monastery, the Church of St. Nicolas and the large fortified castle of Tvrdalj.

Jelsa and Vrboska are the other two prominent villages on the island. If you want to see where the grapes, figs, olives, lemons and grapes are grown, then make your way to the fertile plain of Velo Polje. Fields of lavender usually occupy the slopes of the hills. If you desire a great scuba diving experience, you can easily book a day trip to the offshore Pakleni Islands.

Hawaii Whale Watching

Plan Your Trip During Peak Months

Humpback Whales begin arriving in Hawaii in November and head back to Alaska in late May. If you have planned a Hawaii vacation during this time, you should have no problem spotting whales. However, peak Hawaii whale watching season occurs during February and March. So if you have not made your travel arrangements yet, shoot for these months.

Visit Islands Known For Whale Watching

Maui, Kauai and the Big Island are the most popular islands for Hawaii whale watching, so plan to visit one of these islands on your vacation. If you are visiting Oahu, you can see whales there too, they just won’t be as abundant.

Plan A Boat Tour

Hawaii whale watching tours are ideal for seeing these spectacular animals in their natural habitat. Not only will you be in the whale’s environment, but because humpback whales are curious about their surrounding, they will sometimes approach your boat. Plan a Hawaii boat tour to truly get the most out of your whale watching adventure.

Boat tours are available departing from Lahaina Harbor many times throughout the day during whale season. On the Big Island and the island of Kauai, whale-watching opportunities abound with a full schedule of tours provided by seasoned, knowledgeable guides.

Humpback whales may also be observed from land if you prefer solid ground to the deck of a boat. On Kauai the Kilauea Lighthouse, Kealia Lookout and various high-points of land in coastal areas are good places to start. Once you’re in the right place, spotting the whales is easy: just look for the majestic plumes of water (“blows”) rising in the air and the playful splashes made by these gigantic creatures.

Respect their space

In Hawaii, whale watching is an avid activity, and like with most outdoors activities, there are rules. Observers may not approach by vessel or by swimming within 100 yards of a whale (known as the 100-yard minimum rule). However, there is no rule that keeps whales from approaching people. Experienced leaders of Hawaii whale watching tours know how to gently approach these animals and encourage them to come closer.

Preserve the Humpback Whale

The humpback whale almost came to extinction in 1966 after mass commercial whaling during the early 20th century. Today there are approximately 30,000 to 40,000 humpbacks worldwide. Federal laws protect them, but there are things we can all do to help preserve this amazing animal for future whale watching generation.

  • Keep beaches and waters clean and debris-free
  • Participate only in responsible whale watching activities
  • Support efforts to stop illegal whaling
  • Support legislation, research and preservation programs
  • Patronize eco-friendly companies and organizations

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