Travel Deals

Visiting the Edinburgh Festival

The Edinburgh International Festival began all the way back in 1947 and has since developed into something much, much bigger and farther reaching than it used to be. What began as a single festival to celebrate art and culture blossomed into a world famous festival as the decades went by.

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What happened was that several other festivals began to appear around the same time. They were completely unrelated and started by different organizations but they quickly became a part of the same festival season. There are still other festivals taking place at the same time as the main one, called the Fringe. These occur on the outskirts of the festival proper and involve gatecrashing theatrical companies presenting their own festival to ride the original’s coattails.

The Fringe is a non-stop assortment of theatrical productions, music, art performances and cultural celebration. While the performances at the Queen’s Hall and various other venues are a big part of the festival and its major draw, the vendors that sell handmade crafts and local cuisine are a big part of the celebration as well.

The entire area is blanketed in advertisements for upcoming performances and festivals within the festival. The performers dress up in theatre garb for weeks on end, performing in public to make people aware of what’s upcoming in the festival. Banners fly throughout city announcing the festival long before it even begins and grow in density as the festival starts.

Once it begins, it seems like there isn’t anywhere you can go in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas where you won’t be affected by the festival in some way; whether it is the jovial spirit of the people or the permeation of cultural celebration through the area.

If you are planning to visit during festival season, which runs through most of August, then you should look into the schedule of events for both the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe Festival. Both offer websites that list a full set of events and how to get tickets for some of the more prestigious events.

The real challenge can be finding somewhere to stay, with most places filling up fast when the dates are announced. There are dozens of high quality hotels in Edinburgh, including fantastic boutique hotels like Hotel du Vin in Bristo Place, which is nestled among the action in the city centre. Many local residents actually leave the city for the month and rent their home to visitors, so there are plenty of accommodation options out there.

No matter what kind of art you enjoy, there is sure to be something you’ll be interested in each day of the festival, as almost every day holds multiple events in a variety of artistic forms. Some days will have two theatre performances and a classical music concert while the next day will have a theatre dance group performance followed by an orchestral concert and a speech by a renowned local artist.

Whatever you go to see, you probably don’t want to miss the fireworks celebrating the end of the festival, which are a form of art all their own. This isn’t your typical fireworks display either, as they are designed to celebrate the accomplishments of art by the local community and to finish off the festival in a big way.

You can enjoy the festival on any budget, as there are a variety of free shows as well as ticketed ones, so no one has to feel left out.

21 Jun 2016

Paris Van Java or Bandung, Indonesia

Known as “Paris Van Java,” Bandung, Indonesia has been termed “Paris of Java” by its Dutch colonizers. Today, Bandung still retains its European vibe. While it is likely that Bandung may resemble a Parisian city of the 19th century more than a modern Paris of today, given this Javanese city’s relaxed more rustic vibes. Here are a few reasons Bandung is the Paris of Java.

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Shopping
Bandung is one of the top locations in Southeast Asia to buy designer clothes, so in this way it resembles Paris. But where you would expect to pay top dollar (euro) for designer duds in Paris, luckily Bandung is different in this way. Paris Van Java is home to a mass of outlet stores which sell legitimate top brands(most of the time) at discount rates. It is possible to get a complete wardrobe of high quality clothes for a fraction of the price you would pay for the same items back home. So just like Paris of France, Paris Van Java  is a perfect place to shop til’ you drop.

Hotels
Bandung has hotels that counter those of Paris. Ranging from high-end classical, to budget hostels, to funky artsy themed hotels, there is something for every palette.  Many of these places can be booked booked via sites such as Traveloka.com including the luxurious Grand Royal Panghegar, famous for its world class charm.  Bandung is also home truly unique lodgings, including waterside wood huts with glamorous interiors, rustic mountainside cabins complete with lawn gnomes, a waterpark hotel that is perfect for the kids, and a romantic castle true to Paris‘ 19th century gothic style.

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Cafes and Restaurants
If Paris is known for one thing more than any other it is its cafe culture. In terms of unique cafe experiences Bandung rivals its European counterpart.  Bandung has cafes to suit any taste, ranging from simple steet-side coffee shops perfect for a quick cup; to elegant places great for dinner or lunch. The Javanese and international food in Bandung is some of the best in Indonesia. Paris Van Java is also home to some magnificent themed cafe, including garden themed and several retro themed cafes as well. Badung also has several art galleries doubling as cafes, could it get any more Paris than that?

So if you are looking to rekindle your romance why not give Java’s city of a love a try instead of the French version. Not only will have the opportunity to experience a gorgeous country filled with natural wonders beyond compare, you will also get many of the charms you would get in Paris itself, often at a fraction of the price. So sipping coffee while taking a break from designer shopping can be equally rewarding in Java as it is France. It is with good reason the Dutch dubbed Bandung, Paris Van Java.

30 May 2016

5 Fairy Tale Locations around the World That You Can Afford To Visit

The world is a beautiful place and there are some scenes in this world that you wouldn’t believe actually exist. For many seeing is believing, and without visiting these stunning places, you won’t understand how beautiful places can be. When you get a chance to visit these places, you will agree on the fact that they are taken out of a fairy tale. One notable fact is that some of these places are very affordable. Following are 5 such fairy tale locations around the world that you can afford to visit:

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Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech is the most fascinating city in Morocco. It is known as the “Jewel of the South” with a great combination of old and new. Laying low and dominating the Haouz Plain at the foot of beautiful snowcapped High Atlas Mountains, Marrakech boasts luxury hotels, the Agdal Gardens’ vast orchard, the Menara Garden’s tranquil olive groves and lagoon, bustling bazaars, mansions and hidden palaces amongst the mysterious labyrinthine medina. Marrakech is thus one of the fairy tale destinations that you should plan on visiting someday.

Paxos, Greece

Paxos is a lovely little Greek Island located about an hour south of Corfu. The west cost of the island has steep limestone cliffs and caves. There are few small beautiful villages in the island, surrounded by wonderful nature and exciting ancient architectural wonders. The views of the villages and its nature make it one of the fairy tale places you can afford to visit.

Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany is a vast region in Italy with superb natural beauty. The landscapes in Tuscany are unparalleled. The nature in Tuscany constitutes rolling hills, olive groves and cypress trees. Spending some days in a luxury Italian villa in wonderful natural landscapes can be a fairy tale experience of a lifetime. Some of the medieval towns in Tuscany are no less beautiful than its wonderful nature surrounding.

Santorini, Greece

The Greek Island of Santorini is often regarded as the most beautiful island destination in the world. Santorini boasts of stunning 360-degree views, colorful small villages, a couple of beautiful beaches, spectacular sunsets, world-class accommodations, and great reputation for its food and drinks. The architectural beauty of Santorini is unique with lots of white color small houses and cathedrals in its beautiful villages like Oia and Fira. Santorini is a perfect destination for family travel and honeymoon. You can expect to get surprised beholding the beauty of this Greek Island.

The Cinque Terre, Italy

The Cinque Terre is the name for five beautiful fishing villages located on the rugged portion of the Italian Riviera. These wonderful small villages are known for the nature and colors of the houses and buildings. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Modern vehicles are banned in this part of the world, making it a serene location to spend some relaxing days of your life.

02 Mar 2016

Maybe You Can’t Travel, But You Can Indulge!

With the frigid winter upon us, diminishing hours of daylight and heavy holiday meals surrounding our waists, it’s more important now than ever to make sure we take care of ourselves. Whether it’s a skin treatment to rejuvenate our chapped skin, opting to join a fitness center to maintain our summer bods, or just indulging in a relaxing massage to decompress after a long working week, wellness is important this time of year. Travel might not be a feasible alternative with work, but treating yourself or loved ones to a little bit of TLC could be an option.

While all the things mentioned above surely sound appealing, health and wellness services are not very cheap. Thankfully, Groupon has created a good interface with all of these types of services including business hours, detailed maps, services offered, prices, etc. The best part of all of these pages is that most offer discount coupons for said services as well, truly making them something that is financially reasonable. You can check out one here at Dallas Crossfit

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20 Dec 2015

Live like the rich and famous (for a few nights)

Want to live like the rich and famous? Liz Taylor's home is available as a vacation rental these days ... photo by CC user Warner Brothers - eBay - Frank Driggs Collection (public domain) on wikipedia.org

Fancy yourself a fan of the homes of Hollywood stars? For the longest time, the star-struck among us had to content ourselves with going on tours of celeb homes, and standing on the outside looking in, imagine in our minds what it must be like to have a home that resembles a palace more closely than one in which we would raise our families.

In the past decade or so however, enterprising entrepreneurs have snapped up the former abodes of A-list names like Elizabeth Taylor and Merv Griffin, and have converted them into holiday rentals for those wanting to live out a long standing dream. What’s more, the price on many of these beauties is more than reasonable … if you save up a bit of money, paying less than £400 a night to stay in Liz Taylor’s former castle becomes very doable.

Intrigued in the possibilities that await? Check out the infographic below, or for more info check this page

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30 Nov 2015

Check out Groupon Pages for great insight on Restaurants!

Groupon has been expanding into different verticals recently. Their bread and butter is still deal-a-day vouchers, but they have a massive selection of online coupons and have now created a sort of directory of sorts for restaurants around the country. There are real reviews about the places, detailes, maps, business information, etc.

You can check out an example here: Tampa Pizza Company. Groupon Pages are very well laid out and helpful and can be a great asset next time your traveling on business or pleasure!

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13 Nov 2015

How to save big time on any future travel purchases

This site is called Best World Travel Deals.com for a reason! Today we’ve got a great tip for you all. Most people are familiar with Groupon for being the deal-a-day giant, but they have recently gotten into a new vertical, online coupons. Leveraging their massive relations with retailers small and large, they were able to secure over 70,000 exclusive coupons with more than 9,000 different retailers available on their website, sans annoying sign-ups.

You can find coupons to save money on virtually anything you might be shopping for, but there are an especially large amount of coupons available in the travel arena. There are all the companies you know and trust like Travelocity, Orbitz Fox rent-a-car and much more. Check out Groupon Coupons today and start saving!

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25 Oct 2015

5 of the best nightlife spots in Canada

Montreal has some of the best nightlife spots in Canada ... photo by CC user 27961484@N02 on flickr

With wedding season just around the corner, now is the time to start planning those all-important stag and hen nights. Nowadays, these celebrations are more than just an evening out – they’re a holiday in themselves, and that’s why picking your destination is so important.

Of course, whether it’s a hen night or simply just an excuse to have a good time, good nightlife in any holiday destination is essential, and that’s why more and more of us are turning to Canada. Wherever you land in the Great White North, here are the nightlife spots in Canada that cannot be missed.

Niagara Falls Casino Resort

Far from being just simply a wonderfully romantic destination, Niagara Falls also offers a great night out thanks to its casino resort. Gambling has always been a controversial issue in Canada, with sites like http://cad.SpinPalace.com only legal in certain regions. For that reason, stick to practising at Spin Palace at home – you can enjoy the best of the land-based casino action within this resort, which features an array of visual spectacles such as its famed glass enclosed walkway.

Brutopia, Montreal

Perfect for those who are keen on a tipple or two, Montreal’s Brutopia is particularly welcoming thanks to the relatively lenient drinking laws in the region – that is, one only has to be 18. Hence, most folks can enjoy the abundance of entertainment that goes on here, including frequent live jazz performances and an extremely impressive selection of beers.

Just For Laughs, Montreal

If you’re getting married in the summer, then be sure to head over to Montreal (appearing twice here simply for being known as Canada’s ‘party capital’) to catch the Just for Laughs festival in July. This year’s line-up will feature the comedic talents of Neil Patrick Harris and Mike Myers – guaranteeing a night out filled with huge grins.

El Convento Rico, Toronto

Energising Latin music? Drag queens? Check. This Latin drag bar is in Toronto is sure to be one night out you’ll never forget: El Convento Rico features live entertainment from exotic dancers, a bright and vibrant décor and out of this world catering.

C Lounge, Toronto

Another Toronto hit, the C Lounge promises a night out that’s a little different from the rest – it has its own on-site spa too! Make sure you turn up early to get your hands on some spa treatments while you sip cocktails in its chic interiors. What’s more, head over in summer and you can even have access to your own VIP area by the pool, complete with palm trees.

07 May 2015

Fun in the Sun during your Corfu Holiday

A Corfu holiday should include a day on isolated beaches like these ones!

Corfu is a beautiful Greek island cast out into the Ionian Sea, close to the coast of Turkey. It’s known as the Emerald Isle, and for good reason too – one glimpse at those lush hillsides, dense forests and sparkling blue seas and it’s clear to see how it got its name.

Like its neighbouring islands, Corfu has a fascinating story to tell and is peppered with ancient ruins. Its history is smattered with battles and conquests which span the last several centuries, and its legacy survives in the form of crumbling walls and fallen temples, towering fortifications and echoing castles. Wander among the remains and learn about the Ancient Greece lifestyle, the advances of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish sieges, and even the Napoleonic Wars.

It’s fair to say that if you’ve got a Corfu holiday on the agenda, you’ll never be short of fascinating things to see, do and experience. But of course, a trip to this beautiful island offers so much more than a history lesson – something that the kids will be happy to know!

Today, a Corfu holiday take many different forms. Check out a tour operator like Thomas Cook holidays to get an idea of the different types of package holidays available. You can enjoy family fun in the sun on one of its beautiful beaches, a day’s shopping trip in its incredible capital city, or pick up the tempo in its buzzing party resort of Kavos.

If you’ve got a laid-back beach break on the cards, this lovely island is happy to oblige. Head to beautiful Acharavi or Aghios Georgios in the north, and enjoy a laid-back lifestyle with wide sandy beaches and quiet, traditional tavernas – perfect for trying the local cuisine or enjoying a Grecian nightcap at the end of another gorgeous day.

In Corfu resorts like Sidari and Govia, you’ll find a livelier vibe which tempts in tourists looking for somewhere upbeat, with plenty of home comforts and nearby activities. These resorts lay on plenty of entertainment both day and night, so you’ll never be short of things to do.

For fun in the sun, the beautiful Emerald Isle of Corfu ticks all the right boxes…

12 Mar 2014

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