Expert Travel Reviews

Top 5 paradises

September 30, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Vacation time means planning time and the need to scout for a new and interesting location to visit this time ariound. If exotic is what you are in the market for, take a look at these locations, described as the top five paradises in the entire world:

1. Barbados
Located in the Caribbean, this island is sure to drive you insane. Tropical flora and white sandy beaches are in abundance. A favourite holidaying paradise for famous politicians, businessmen and movie stars, Barbados is also home to one of the most luxurious hotels in the world – Sandy Lane. Equipped with a fabulous spa-centre, the hotel’s famous restaurant L’Acajou gives you a wonderful view of the Caribbean ocean.

2. Lombok
If looking for a quiet, peaceful holiday – Lombok is a must visit destination. An Indonesian island, Lombok, the five-star Oberoi Hotel is located on the North-Eastern coast, right opposite three famous tiny coral islands. The hotel has twenty exclusive luxury villas and thirty bungalows, all styled as typical Indonesian dwellings. Each one complete with its own garden, decorative lake, pool and a summerhouse for dinners as well. The island has on offer a host of bars and restaurants, fitness centres, beauty salons and diving clubs.

3. Bali
Also known as ‘the island of the gods’ and ‘the pearl of the world’, Bali is all this and more. It is also one of the most prestigious and expensive islands located in the South-Western coast of the island in the Jimbaran Bay. The Ritz Carlton in Bali, having won several international awards for being the best Asian hotel, comprises 36 villas cascading to the shore. The hotel boasts 4 restaurants, 3 bars, a spa centre and a fitness-centre and 2 large pools.

4. Mauritius
If you feel like splurging, go to Mauritius, like many movie directors, actors and royal families do, and stay at the five-star Le Saint Geran Hotel located on a private peninsula. The hotel’s Royal Villa gives you open access to the ocean, while a butler, personal chef-cook, private terrace and a pool are all on offer.

5. Seychelles, Fregate
The private territory amongst the Seychells in the Indian Ocean and has just one hotel which is the Fregat Island Private. This five-star establishment has 16 villas situated in green, tropical forests, decorated in Thai silk and Egyptian cotton.

Finding a Great Travel Agent

September 25, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

A good travel agent is hard to find, almost as difficult as finding a good doctor, dentist or any other service professional. This task is made that much harder as the United States is one such country in which travel agents are not required to have any formal training or registration. Finding a professional is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

A good travel agent will not limit your travel options by any degree. He/she will help you look for great travel and options and help you select the best travel choices for your next holiday or business trip. Look at these three factors when choosing a travel agent:

1. Ability to understand you and your travel needs
A good travel agent will initially ask you a lot of questions, which could include fifteen or more topics of discussion even if your travel needs were as simple as a roundtrip domestic air ticket. Once you become a regular, they will not need to ask you all of these questions every single time. The best type of travel agent is one whose focus is on you and not just on the travel they sell to you.

2. Knowledge
Your travel agent must know more about travel than you do. While some claim to know it all, such claims are absolutely unrealistic. With information available at your fingertips, a travel agent with low knowledge levels on travel is completely unacceptable and obviously not a good choice.

3. General competency
Make sure your travel agent is one of the better ones. Choose a fulltime agent who is bound to be more knowledgeable and experienced in the field.

How to Choose a Holiday Car Hire Company

September 23, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Most holidaymakers rent a car from a nearby car hire company when they are on holiday so that they can tour the countryside and enjoy the freedom of having their own transportation. However, for those who are doing this for the first time, it may seem a little overwhelming. Thus, the following tips may help you to choose the best car hire company while on your next holiday.

You can hire a car in advance or do it once you arrive at your destination. If you plan on hiring a car once you get there, make sure there are car hire companies situated in the area. However, if you are traveling to a remote destination, chances are that you will need to hire a car from the airport itself. You should also check rough price range for hiring cars at your destination to make sure that the car companies do not rip you off. Booking a car ahead of time may prove to be more hassle free than looking for a car once you arrive. The disadvantage of booking in advance is that you do not get to have a look at the car and the condition of the car until you arrive at the destination. Therefore, when booking in advance it is better to book with a reputed car company, even if it costs a little more than others you have not heard of.

You can also use the Internet to conduct some preliminary research in to potential car hire companies at your desired destination. Most websites provide reviews and ratings for car companies and also have feedback left by people who have used these companies in the past. These reviews may become extremely useful in selecting which car company to use.

How to Pack a Casual Holiday Wardrobe?

September 20, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Casual holidays are about taking things easy and chilling out. To enjoy this relaxing holiday you have planned out, remember to pack right. The clothes you take on your holiday must be comfortable clothes that are in sync with the venue of your holiday. Most of us tend to pack for every possible eventuality and then end up not using even 50% of clothes in your suitcase. A bit of careful planning is all you need.

Wardrobe – pack neutrals, a mix of blacks, whites, khakis or cream will do. Then throw in jewellery, belts and even sarongs to add colour to your wardrobe.

Layers – little jackets and cardigans could come in useful if the weather gets chilly in the evenings. Accessorise with chunky jewellery to create a perfect, stylish look.

Accessories – over pack them by all means. Accessories can make dramatic changes to any outfit. Take a large collection of chunky, colourful jewellery that would that extra something to any outfit.

Organize – when you start to pack, make piles of t-shirts, shorts, jeans, dresses and swimwear, and then shortlist. Once you’ve decided which ones you want to take along with you, put all like items in bags. Compartmentalization helps to stay organized while on your trip and this way, you know where everything is.

Shoes – take a casual pair, a slightly dressy pair and of course one for travelling. Pack each in a bag so that the soles of the shoes don’t come into contact with your clothes. To save space, stuff underwear and socks into shoes.

Tips for Buying Great Travel Guide Books

September 19, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

A trip to an unknown destination will always be better if well researched. A travel guide is an excellent way to read up on a destination, and is a great resource that collates all kinds of interesting facts and places you must know about. When looking for a travel guide, keep these things in mind:

” Most guides contain specials and discount coupons. This is a great way to save money on your trip. The coupons can offer anything from freebies to price reductions on meals, hotel stays and tours. Look out for discounts on car rentals and even airline fares. Most rival companies will match or better these discounts.

” Pick a travel guide that has colour pictures of the destination. This kind of book is the best on the market. Getting a firsthand look at popular destinations is a cheaper way of figuring out if you will like the destination of choice. This way, if you don’t like the way it looks and sounds, you can always pick another destination.

” Make sure the travel guide you pick is from a well-known publisher. Travel guides are written by anyone and everyone, it is the content that differs. You are better off with a book from a well-known publisher, to ensure that all the content is accurate and well-researched. Also, make sure you get the latest edition.

” Travel guides are a means of planning your trip more efficiently. Make sure the guide includes addresses, telephone numbers, opening hours and other such valuable information. Travel guides that offer opinions on each place, what to do, clothing and other tips is the most valuable kind of guide.

Picasso Museum closes for two years renovations

September 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Citing a need for modernization, officials on Aug. 23 closed the Picasso Museum, an extremely popular Paris museum dedicated to the works of the late modernist painter. The museum is expected to reopen in 2011 after two years of renovation work designed to redo the electrical and security systems as well as expand the cramped quarters.

The good news is that not all of the museum’s works will be lost; a simple Paris metro pass will allow you to visit other museums, where officials hope to hold frequent exhibitions and discussions of Picasso’s work while the renovation work takes place. The work is expected to cost roughly 20 million Euros.

Travelers in other cities can also see Picasso’s legendary works. Many Rome museums have significant works by Picasso on display, along with museums in other cities such as New York, Madrid and Barcelona.

Planning ‘The’ Holiday Party

September 13, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Planning a holiday party is a creative exercise, requiring a lot of organization on your part. Like any event, this holiday party can be as lavish or as simple as you wish it to be. Having it at home however, can be easier on your purse. A holiday party at home can be stressful, but adds a warm and cozy feeling to it. Keep these in mind when planning your holiday party:

” Take the size of your house into account when deciding on your guest list
” Invite everyone personally
” Make provisions for parking
” Choose finger food carefully and those that complement each other
” Choose items you can make in advance, to ensure lower levels of stress on the day of the party
” Decorate your house to create a festive atmosphere
” Choose your music well.
” Remove all the chairs from the party area, giving people more room to mingle.
” Make one specialty cocktail for the party.
” Have a backup plan for those unable to drive home

If you’d rather throw your holiday party at a restaurant, so be it.
” Check if the restaurant is already decorated. If during the festive season, chances are it will be.
” Make sure the restaurant is licensed to serve liquor. Decide on what kind of alcohol will be served, depending on your budget.
” Make sure the restaurant has ample parking for your guests.
” Choose a menu that is within your budget, and one that your guests will enjoy.

Travel Insurance for Diabetics

September 12, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Diabetes is a manageable condition for most. However, when travelling you would need to take the necessary precautions to ensure that you enjoy and relax during your holiday.

Getting travel insurance for diabetics can be a challenge, but, there are specialist insurers that can provide the necessary insurance to keep you covered minus any restrictions. You would need to provide the required information and keep them informed of your condition. Failure to do so could result in an invalid insurance policy. Travel agents offer very generic travel insurance packages. With a medical condition like diabetes, this will not be sufficient. Specialist insurers are more likely to get you a better deal on your holiday insurance cover and provide you with one that would cover you in the case of any medical emergencies. Thousands of people fly to varied destinations around the world every year. Some of them not realizing they need to make their insurers aware of their medical conditions. Absolute honesty is necessary, especially if you fall ill during your trip. If your insurer possesses your medical information, this could make it easier for doctors and medical institutions to treat you.

Getting a travel insurance policy for diabetes doesn’t have to be overly expensive or even stop you from travelling. Keep in mind that insurers price their policies according to the possibility of claims being made, and thus factor in the cost of such claims. Talk to your insurer about your medical condition. They will advise you of things you may need to do or need to know about when travelling abroad as a diabetic.

Lodges with Hot Tubs – Relaxing Holiday Breaks

September 6, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

If in need of wonderfully relaxing holiday, the Lodges with Hot Tubs might just be the right option for you. With a wide range of choices, the hot tubs are perfect for any time of the year. It gives you the perfect way to relax after a day of sightseeing, exploring or having fun with family and friends.

Not an expensive holiday option, the Lodges with Hot Tubs comes with spacious accommodation and is self catered. Local pubs, restaurants and eateries are located not far from your accommodation giving you the option of a night out as well. The wonderfully landscaped parks provide a picturesque setting of the countryside and are also located nearby some of the best coastlines and resorts, making it an ideal setting for getting out and about and exploring the area. Walking, cycling or mountain biking are fairly popular amongst holidaying folk, and an inviting, hot tub is just the way to relax, amongst warm bubbles and magical water, making you feel instantly relaxed and invigorated. Added facilities such as swimming pools, spas, tennis courts, leisure facilities and health and spas will gives you more fun things to on your holiday at the Lodges with Hot Tubs.

The Lodges with Hot Tubs is also perfect for a romantic holiday. The accommodation is spacious and offers some spectacular views, topped with your own private Jacuzzi. All you need to do is simply sit back, relax in your private Jacuzzi, while enjoying a quiet drink with your partner.

Good Health Tips on How to Travel Safe

September 3, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

While travelling overseas, it is important you are in the best of health. It is that much easier to get sick when in new surroundings, since your body isn’t familiar with the change in food and environment. A few things to keep in mind:

– Medical card – always carry one with, stating personal medical history. This could be useful in case of an accident. It can be a lifesaver.
– Vaccinations – specific vaccinations are required for different countries around the world by public health services. Do the necessary research and get the required vaccinations and stay safe.
– Water – in countries where local drinking water cannot be trusted, it is important that you always drink purified water and carbonated drinks.
– Insect repellent – always wear insect repellent when travelling in tropical countries. Keep a bottle close at hand.
– Food – Eat only fruit and vegetable raw if they can be peeled. Try to avoid beef and pork and avoid ice cream.
– Time zones – when crossing one more time zones plenty of rest is strongly recommended. Drinking a glass of water hourly when travelling will help alleviate jet lag. Stretch legs and stand occasionally if possible.
– Travel medical equipment – this is vital. It should contain medication for diarrhoea, motion sickness, respiratory infections; antacids, sleeping pills, aspirin, pain killers and water purification tablets.
– Travel insurance – make sure your travel insurance comes with a good health cover, and that it covers all activities you plan on trying out during your vacation. E.g. skiing, scuba diving, mountain climbing, etc.

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