Author Archives: Jeremy

Planning an all inclusive holiday – what do you need to know?

Planning an all-inclusive holiday isn't as hard as you think - follow our guide and you'll be chilling in this pool before you know it!

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and book that relaxing all inclusive holiday you’ve been dreaming about all winter – good for you. The only question is, what do you need to know before you do? Our guide will help you get to grips with what to look into before handing over your cash.

All inclusive deals aren’t all the same

The first and arguably most important thing you need to bear in mind is that one all inclusive package can vary an awful lot from the next. So, don’t make your booking without thoroughly checking exactly what you’ll be getting. You can pretty much bank on food and drinks being included, for instance, but often you’ll find some of the fancier drinks are excluded.

If you’re planning an action-packed trip, it’s also worth finding out whether any onsite activities are part of the deal (or water sports at the local beach, for instance), since this could help you decide whether or not this really is the best option for you. Similarly, if you think there’s a lot included that you just won’t use, it could be worth looking around some more, because you may well find there’s an offer better suited to your needs elsewhere.

Food and local restaurants

Enjoying some good food is part and parcel of a decent holiday, and when you’re going all inclusive you’ll largely be tied to the restaurants at your chosen resort – after all, you’ll have paid to eat there, so it’s unlikely you’ll want to pay extra to eat somewhere else every night! So, check out what kind of food is on offer at each venue. As well as thinking about whether you like the sound of it, consider how much variety there is – if there isn’t much, you may well get bored of what you’re eating after a few days.

While you’re likely to want to eat at the resort most of the time, occasionally you might like to treat yourself to lunch and dinner out. So, you should also take a peek at what kinds of restaurants are nearby – and what sort of reviews they get.

Location

The next thing you need to think about is the location of your hotel. When doing so, keep in mind the facilities and activities included in your deal – they may well mean you’re happy enough to stay somewhere a little further out from the centre of the action, purely because they offer you plenty to do.

If, however, you’re really set on visiting certain attractions or spending lots of time out and about, you should make sure there’s plenty of scope for you to get around easily. It’s worth considering the cost of transport, too, because this can have an impact on your overall budget.

Budget

Speaking of budgets, while all inclusive deals can be great for making sure you don’t overspend and seeing your overall holiday cost at a glance, you need to do your sums before booking. First of all, check whether there could be any hidden charges – if you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to ask.

Again, you should also make sure you fully understand what is – and what isn’t – included in the price you’re paying. Remember to add on any attractions that you expect to go and see, as well as any known travel costs. Doing all this will help you build up an accurate picture of the overall price of the holiday, as well as work out how much spending money you’ll have per day. Another way to make your trip more feasible is to leverage credit card points, click here to learn more.

Flights and hotel transfers

You’ll often see all inclusive deals encompassing hotels, flights and transfer costs. Because they’re so simple, these often seem particularly appealing, but it pays to stop for a moment and look carefully at the individual costs. Often, it’s actually cheaper to organise your flights, transfers and hotel separately.

Why? Chiefly because it allows you to select the very best deal for each, not to mention giving you the freedom to pick flight times and suchlike that best suit you – Holiday Nights is a good place to look.

17 Feb 2014

Discover Desert Landscapes and the Red City in Jordan

Wadi Rum is one of the amazing natural assets that are just begging to be discovered in Jordan...!

Jordan is becoming an increasingly popular place to visit for a walking holiday and with very good reason, as its desert landscapes are truly spectacular and provide a wilderness experience like no other.

Another attraction of hiking in Jordan is that you can visit some amazing historical sites as you walk, including the breathtaking city of Petra. Also known as the Red City, this was once an important stop on the trade routes from east to west, although much of its charm for travellers lies in the fact it remained undiscovered by the western world for centuries.

We’re going to take a look at some of the highlights of a trekking tour in Jordan – if this interests you, Explore Worldwide can help you organise your ideal holiday.

Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum is a desert valley where you’ll find some incredible rock formations and beautiful scenery. The cliffs and rocks here have been carved into bizarre shapes by the power of the wind and they really are a sight to behold.

This part of Jordan was made famous by TE Lawrence, who was based here during the first world war and who went on to write about his experiences. He described the landscape as “vast, echoing and god-like”.

However, Wadi Rum was being used centuries before as a trade route and it’s one the local Bedouin people know well. They still live a semi-nomadic life in the desert and visiting one of their camps will give you an insight into how they survive in what seems to be such an inhospitable environment.

Among the most famous – and impressive – rock formations in Wadi Rum are the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, a towering red-stone cliff, and the Burdah Rock Bridge. Dotted throughout the valley are thousands of petroglyphs and inscriptions that indicate that the area has been inhabited by humans for centuries.

Petra

Petra is Jordan’s most famous tourist attraction and with very good reason. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is quite incredible, with the original city having been hewn out of the cliffs and other buildings developed around it in its sheltered location among the mountains.

It was the Nabateans who developed it into a thriving hub for traders crossing the desert from the Orient to Arabia and it was a bustling city until the Roman era, when trade routes were diverted and Petra gradually lost influence.

Despite being known to the local Bedouins, it was forgotten by the rest of the world until the early 19th century when Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt stumbled across it. Although many of the buildings were in ruins, the tombs and chambers that had been carved out of the cliffs themselves are still in remarkable condition.

One of the highlights is the Treasury, which greets travellers as they enter via the Siq Gorge. Obelisks, temples, tombs and a Roman-style theatre are some of the other things you can discover as you wander around the city.

If you’ve got the energy for a bit of a climb, make your way to the Al Deir Monastery, which stands at the top of a flight of 800 steps that have been cut out of the rock. In addition to the archaeological treasures themselves, there are two museums onsite that have been designed to give visitors a better understanding of Petra’s history, as well as to showcase artefacts that have been recovered here.

15 Feb 2014

Best Destinations to Travel for a Gap Year Job

Being a summer camp counselor in the USA is an example of a sought after gap year job!

Your ticket to seeing the world on a gap year obviously comes much cheaper if you are able to spend some time working! A job in an exotic location is a fantastic opportunity to meet interesting people, really get to know the area, learn new skills, acquire CV-enhancing work experience, and perhaps even fund a trip-extension. Here are three great gap-year destinations you should consider:

Australia

Australia is a beautiful country and a wildly popular backpacking destination. With a culture very similar to the UK’s, living and working far away can still feel reassuringly familiar. This is a land of sunshine and spectacular natural wonders where most people live on the coast within reach of multicultural cities and enjoy the beach and active outdoor lifestyles.

Work opportunities and jobs in Australia include harvest work, bar work and catering, and office temping. Ranch work can offer more adventure – working on an outback cattle station, for example – but may require some farming experience.

As recruitment consultant Daniel Lucas confirms, UK job-seekers will be warmly welcomed: ‘Any Brits with a sales background, farming background, au-pair or nanny experience, horse-riding skills or nursing, care experience need to buy a ticket and get over here ASAP.’

USA

Working in the USA could be your once-in-a-lifetime chance to put aside your media-driven expectations and explore the reality of this dynamic country which exerts a truly global influence. Diverse landscapes and cultural experiences abound though you will find many echoes of home too.

Working at an American summer camp is a well-established paid-work option which entails inspiring and educating young people during their summer vacation. You will meet many friends and get plenty of free time to explore the country.

Au pair work with host families is another established employment route which offers the chance to experience the American way of life, yet also allows you plenty of time off to socialise. Those with special skills can often take advantage of niche opportunities, working, for example, as ski or snowboard instructors in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain resorts. As with similar ‘dream’ jobs, the pay may not be top drawer, but you will get to spend as much time as you choose on the slopes.

New Zealand

New Zealand, ‘the adventure capital of the world’, is another all-action destination for sports and outdoor enthusiasts that is also crammed full of truly stunning natural landscapes and amazing wildlife. Kiwi society and lifestyles will seem very familiar to UK travellers, as will New Zealand’s climate.

There are a variety of jobs open to ‘gappers’ in hospitality, promotions, IT, finance and similar industries. Outdoor options range from fruit-picking and construction to more specialised work for those with expertise, or willing to undergo training. For example, a white-water rafting company in Rotorua is willing to hire instructors who successfully complete a five-week training course.

Earn as you travel

For pay-as-you-go travel opportunities, a gap year working abroad is hard to beat. You are bound to meet new friends and gain ‘inside track’ knowledge about your chosen destination, both of which could prove invaluable if you are considering a career move overseas. Whatever your plans, the trip will enrich your life and future job prospects in equal measure.

11 Feb 2014

Best Time To Visit Jordan

Jerash has many Roman ruins, best seen in fall, the best time to visit Jordan!

If you are after the famous Petra and Jerash tourist spots, then the best time to visit Jordan is throughout the autumn and spring time seasons when the climate is favourable enough to delve into the exciting outdoor setting and the picturesque backdrops that are filled with lush flora. For some Muslim travellers, spending a vacation during the sacred months of Ramadan are deemed as the best time to visit Jordan to experience the long-established customs and to take pleasure on the Eid al-Fitr merry makings.

For some, April is deemed to be the best time to visit Jordan since this is the time of the year when wild flowers blossom fully and are truly breathtakingly beautiful. Among the other preferable dates to enjoy the sun and the scenic scenery are during the months of March to May and September to November. Watch out during the month of March since monsoons may be experienced especially in the north bound areas.

Being one of the well-loved and popular tourist destinations in Jordan, It is highly recommended to visit the prehistoric Bedouin metropolis of Petra early in the morning when the tourists are not yet all over the area. During this time, you’ll have more ample time to truly appreciate and savour the beauty that this famous landmark has to offer since more often than not, the place is teeming with lots of crowd. Moreover, it is also strongly suggested not to book excursions during peak seasons so as not to spoil the fun.

Bear in mind too if you are a budget-conscious traveler that the best time to visit Jordan with its most affordable airfares and accommodations is during the months of July to August, the warmest and most dried up season of the entire year. It is also quite affordable to visit during the months of November to March when cold breezes, light rains and snow are experienced in the country. On the other, prices for tours and accommodations are relatively high during the peak season in autumn and spring when the climate is believed to be perfectly awesome.

Don’t forget to remember that if you’re a Christian who loves to devour on luscious food every now and then, the month of Ramadan is not definitely recommended as one of the best time to visit Jordan, or much of the Middle East for that matter, since Muslims during this month of the year are required to fast and many business establishments aren’t open at this time thus, indulging on eating is strictly prohibited.

Lastly, the Jerash Festival throughout the months of July or August is celebrated as a cultural kind of festivity in regions surrounding Amman. The yearly Global Village Festival in July on the other hand is an additional approach to gain insights about the native legacies and legends of the country.

29 Jan 2014

London’s Unmissable Bars, Clubs & Pubs!

Wishing Well Pub, London, England

When it comes to the top bars and clubs in Europe, the city of London simply can’t be overlooked. There’s so much entertainment on the capital’s streets as it is, and sometimes there are some amazing bars and clubs that get overlooked by tourists – and even Londoners – when on a night out.

If you’re thinking of visiting London, England in 2014, then a tour of the city’s best places to drink is a must, with some of the oldest pubs in the country laying roots in the capital for hundreds of years! Here’s a short guide to London’s Unmissable bars, clubs & pubs to kick start your evening in one of the world’s most spectacular cities.

Lime 

Lime can be found nestled in the suburbs of Palmers Green in North London, and having just undergone a complete refurbishment from its previous name The Live Room, this bar is a real eye catcher. With black and silver walls, stylish mirrors surrounding the seating areas, table service and smart, friendly staff, there’s no doubt you’ll have a night to remember in Lime, especially as the DJ plays the freshest hip hop tunes until the early hours! Call or visit their website to reserve a table.

Moonlighting 

Moonlighting is another of London’s top bars/clubs, and it’s extremely popular with students on a Thursday night with drinks selling for £1.50! Situated in the heart of Soho, one of the capital’s trendiest boroughs, Moonlighting hosts a number of nights every week, with the busiest being Saturday.

If you’re looking for great cocktails, a dazzling interior and old tunes as well as new ones, then Moonlighting is the place for you, and just like Lime you can call ahead and reserve a table – or even host a party there!

Koko 

Koko is one of London’s oldest venues, and to this day it remains a popular place to party with the capital’s youth in the heart of Camden. From NME nights to gigs and special DJ appearances, this is a great place to spot celebrities in the city, especially if a great band is playing. Koko is pretty big inside, with 3 levels overlooking the main dance floor.

Furthermore, the club also puts on special student nights in the week (usually Wednesdays), meaning there’s a whole host of great drinks deals to take advantage of. Get discounts on tickets by booking online at the Koko website.

The Wishing Well 

Palmers Green has a knack for cool places to drink, and situated right across the road from Lime is the Wishing Well. Home to some of London’s most seasoned Irish drinkers, the Wishing Well is as traditional as pubs come, playing live music most nights of the week and even supplying drinkers with sandwiches towards the end of the night!

Furthermore, there’s an overground train station opposite the pub, meaning you can be back in central London in less than 20 minutes. Run and owned by manager Chrissy, she keep’s this establishment in tip-top shape, so get down to the Wishing Well and experience a true Irish pub at it’s finest!

If you are looking for the finest London bars and clubs, you needn’t despair, as the establishments listed above will get you well on you way to one of the best nights out that you’ve ever had in your life!

10 Jan 2014

Best Time To Visit Gibraltar

Beach near the Rock of Gibraltar

There really is no considerable difficulty in planning the best time to visit Gibraltar. This country has a pleasant climate like its neighboring country of Spain. However, Gibraltar’s special location along the Mediterranean coast makes it quite more appealing than most cities in Spain up north.

This country becomes a favorite vacation destination for the British expats because of its less hostile weather. Apart from the friendly atmosphere, Gibraltarians have a friendlier treatment towards the Englishmen that has defended them for many centuries. Although the climate here is warmer, the people’s collective deference for Spain is another story.

Gibraltar’s sense of independence is so strong that oftentimes their animosity towards mainland Spaniards could have violent consequences. For safety purposes, it is not always advisable to enter Gibraltar’s northern borders via on foot or taxi ride during night time. (more…)

22 Dec 2013

Top 5 Sights in the Southern Hemisphere

Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland, Australia

There are plenty of historical and cultural landmarks dotted south of the equator that travellers flock to.  This is not surprising given the fact that four of the world’s continents – Africa, South America, Australasia and Antarctica – are encompassed within its territory.

If you’re thinking of visiting one of the countries in the Southern Hemisphere, or indeed taking part in a round-the-world trip, then here are some of the top 5 sights for you to check out.

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Symbolising the religious zeal of Catholic Brazil, the imposing Christ the Redeemer is a statue of Jesus Christ that has become synonymous with the country. Its substantial size of 98 feet and position on top of the 2,300 feet tall Corcovado Mountain makes it dominate the Rio skyline. Although there is a strenuous climb up to the foot of the statue, the views over the rest of the city are breathtaking. It is estimated that over 1 million people visit every year.

The Bay of Islands, North Island, New Zealand

One of the most popular tourist destinations in New Zealand, the Bay of Islands is a 16km-wide inlet which forms a natural harbour at the northern tip of the country. Although many visitors come each year, the natural beauty of the area remains preserved to a high level. 144 islands make up the area where people come to enjoy the picturesque bays and sandy beaches. Yachting and fishing are also popular pastimes in the Bay of Islands.

Great Barrier Reef, Coral Sea, Australia

The incredible Great Barrier Reef is the world’s biggest single structure made by living organisms. Referred to as one of the Seven Wonders of the World on numerous occasions, it has also been selected as a World Heritage Site. Because of its reputation, millions of people flock to the Reef every year, especially tourists travelling down the popular east coast route. The Great Barrier Reef supports an extremely diverse plant and marine life which make snorkeling an attractive pursuit also.

If you’re planning on visiting Australia and seeing the Great Barrier Reef, visit this site:

Victoria Falls, Zambia & Zimbabwe

Lying on the border of both Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in the world. Named by the Scottish explorer David Livingstone after the British monarch of the time, the Falls are considered to be the largest in Africa and the world due to its combined height and width. Large national parks surround the waterfall with an eclectic bundle of wildlife to enjoy for visitors.

Sydney Harbour, Sydney, Australia

If visiting Sydney then the harbour district is the must-see area for all tourists. With its historical past and cultural landmarks, the image of the harbour is widely associated with Australia. This is notably because the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge lie within a small distance of each other, two of the most prominent sights in the Southern Hemisphere. The spectacular celebrations at New Year also take place around the harbour, perhaps the most famous fireworks display in the world.

 

19 Dec 2013

Top Five Things to do in Las Vegas

Las Vegas has long captured the imagination of Americans and others vacationers for its excitement and many fun offerings. Known as a mecca all over the world for the best quality casinos and resorts that can be found along with one of a kind gambling and entertainment, Las Vegas is a destination not to miss. Visiting Las Vegas promises to be the vacation of lifetime. Not only are the downtown casinos rated best in class, but the Las Vegas strip incorporates the nearby communities of Paradise and Winchester providing tourists with significant variety and satisfaction. When in Las Vegas, tourists should always make sure to capture the excitement and novelty of America’s most desirable vacation destination by taking part in the following must see and do attractions.

Best Things To Do In Las Vegas

Las Vegas shows are legendary for a multitude of reasons including having the highest quality performers and incredible variety amongst the many offerings. Major productions include performances by the likes of David Copperfield, musicals such as the “Jersey Boys” and “Rock of Ages”, and fabulous concerts by leading bands and soloists. When These productions are definitely among the things to do in Las Vegas that will deliver memories for a lifetime for you and your family.

Equally entertaining are the one of a kind museums including the super popular Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement and the one of a kind Neon Museum. While at the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, referred to by locals as the “Mob Museum,” visitors can learn about the exciting history of organized crime in America. At the Neon Museum visitors can see the exciting past of Las Vegas through actual signs and other architectural marketing wonders from the actual resorts and casinos that have become so legendary in American history. Whatever your interests, Las Vegas offers a unique array of exciting museums that you will not find the likes of anywhere else.

All visitors should also check out the famous Bellagio Fountains to see a one of kind highly choreographed water show done to specially choreographed music. The shows are unique and are another one of the many things to do in Las Vegas.

A fourth treat for all visitors is the fine dining Las Vegas offers. Whatever your favorite cosines, Las Vegas offers world class restaurants and eating venues that you must take advantage of. The restaurant scene is in fact a staple on everyone’s list of favorite things to do in Las Vegas.

Lastly, you should take advantage of the world’s nicest and best gambling experience. The casinos that call Las Vegas their home are unequaled by those anywhere else. You can choose from a diverse array of options either downtown or on the famed Las Vegas Strip. Casinos such as the Bellagio, MGM Grand Hotel and Casino, and Caesars Palace are legendary attractions that are must see and do experiences for your visit. Other fine casinos such as Binion’s Gambling Hall and Casino and Tropicana Las Vegas offer even more variety and even more world class gambling.

The next time you plan a trip, remember that a Las Vegas holidays provide memories for a lifetime and offers several must see and do adventures for everyone.

07 Nov 2013

Top Things To Do In Thailand

Knowing the top things to do in Thailand will allow you to keep your itinerary in order before you hop on the plane.  While Thailand’s claim to fame is the pristine Maya Bay of Koh Phi Phi Leh Island which was once featured in the movie “The Beach”, there’s certainly more to this charming Southeast Asian country than this beautiful beach. Here are some of the top things to do on holidays to Thailand:

Best Things To Do In Thailand

Explore Bangkok.  The capital of Thailand, Bangkok, should be the first place you head out to once you reach Thailand.  While it’s a modern, metropolitan city, it is rich in cultural and historical heritage.  Tour around the city and take time to visit some of the city’s well-known attractions such as the Grand Palace.

Take a historical trip.  Bangkok is not the only place you can learn about the history of Thailand.  The former capital, Siam, and other cities such as Ayutthaya and Sukhothai are great stops if you are interested in learning about the history of Thailand.

Beaches.  One of the top things to do in Thailand is going to the beach.  Thailand’s beaches have lured millions of visitors every year from all over the world, since the 1920’s.  Hua Hin is the country’s oldest beach resort discovered by King Rama VII.

Topping the list of popular beaches in Thailand are Phuket and the Maya Bay in the Ko Phi Phi Leh Island, which gained fame thanks to the movie “The Beach”.

Visit the waterfalls.  Waterfalls can be found all over the country.  Among the most popular are the Heo Suwat Waterfalls in the Khao Yai National Park and the Erawan Falls of Kanchanaburi.

Marvel at the gravity defying limestone formations of Phang Nga Bay.  This bay between Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi has some of the most spectacular sights in the world, particularly the limestone formations that seem to defy gravity.  You can join one of the day tours which will allow you to explore the area, or book in one of the hotels and inns available in some of the nearby larger islands.

07 Nov 2013

Top Reasons To Visit Mauritius

Great weather and some of the best beaches in the world are some of the top reasons to visit Mauritius.  Located off the southeastern coast of Africa, this island nation lies in the Indian Ocean, where warm waters and rich and exotic marine flora and fauna make it one of the best honeymoon and vacation destinations in Africa.

Reasons Why You Should Visit Mauritius

But there is more to holidays in Mauritius than pristine beaches with powder-fine white sand and turquoise waters.  Here are some of the top reasons to visit Mauritius.

Cultural diversity.The country’s populace is made up of several ethnicities:  Indian, African, Chinese and European descent.  This cultural diversity results in an interesting fusion of cultures which is evident in their cuisines and infrastructures.

Dodo bird.  Mauritius is known to be the home of the now-extinct dodo bird.  Discovered in 1505 by Portugese explorers, the dodo bird became their fresh source of meat when Mauritius was established as their stopover point for the spice trade.  Later on, the introduction of other domesticated animals such as monkeys and pigs, along with rats that escaped from the ships significantly reduced the numbers of dodo birds in the island as they ate their eggs.  In more or less a hundred years after is discovery, the dodo bird became a rare species.  The last of its kind was killed in 1681.

Today, you can see the reconstruction of the dodo bird from its skeleton in the Natural History Museum in Port Luis.

Se’ga demonstrations.  If you enjoy dancing and world music, the Se’ga demonstration is a must watch spectacle.  It’s part opera and part group dance and may even require audience involvement.  Se’ga dance is performed without the feet leaving the ground.  Instead, the whole body should move.

The performance is vibrant, colourful and a sight to watch.

Ile aux Aigrettes.  One of the top reasons to visit Mauritius is its majestic green landscapes, lush with flora and fauna.  The recently restored Ile aux Aigrettes has once again become home to the Kestrel and Pink Pigeon when the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation has turned back the hands of time in the island and restored it to its original state.  Non-native plants and animals were removed from the island.

06 Nov 2013