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Things to Consider When Booking the Perfect Ski Holiday

If you want to make sure that your next winter sports break is everything you dreamed it would be, consider the following factors when choosing your destination.

  1. Snow – this is the big one of course. How certain can you be that there will be a good covering of snow on the ground when you arrive? If there is any doubt in your mind, it is probably best to keep looking. Generally speaking, the higher the altitude of the ski resort in question, the greater the chance of snow at any given time.
  1. Choice of runs – if you want to be sure that you never run out of challenges on your holiday, you will want to pick a region where there are plenty of slopes from which to choose. If you are travelling with family, somewhere with a mix of black runs for accomplished skiers, blue and green runs for beginners, and red runs for those who are somewhere in between, would be ideal. Les Trois Vallées (the Three Valleys) in Savoie, France is well worth considering if variety is important to you. As the largest ski area in the world, it has a great choice of runs for skiers of all ability levels. A number of independent travel agents such as Alpine Infusion specialise in the Three Valleys area and are probably your best bet if you are looking for competitive prices and friendly service.
  1. Nightlife – if you are travelling with a group of adult friends, this is probably going to be an important factor that you need to consider when selecting a suitable resort for your party. Some ski towns are famed for their bustling nightlife whilst others may be rather too quiet once the sun goes down as far as many thrill seeking winter sports enthusiasts are concerned. On the other hand, if you are travelling with young children and will be focusing mainly on ensuring they have a pleasant introduction to skiing on their first winter holiday, somewhere nice and quiet will be perfect for your needs.
  1. Accommodation – unless you are used to roughing it or travelling on a very tight budget you will want to ensure that the chalet in which you stay has all the creature comforts you desire. Ski holiday accommodation in Europe ranges from very basic apartments in rather drab blocks to beautifully decorated high-end chalets that come with their own catering team. The best choice for your party will depend on how much you wish to spend and how much time you plan to spend at your chalet during your holiday. However, even if you will only be there to sleep and you do not wish to spend a fortune, make sure that it is at least a pleasant place in which to spend a few hours.

These are the main factors that I keep in mind when booking winter sports breaks, you may of course have others that you would like to add to the list.

 

Image Credit:sportsandsocial,CC BY 2.0

Tagged in: France skiing
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Posted by on in General Travel
Bachelor Party Vacation How To

That special day is finally upon us - the day you get to send off your lifelong buddy into the murky waters of matrimony. You don’t know it yet, but everything changes from that day onward. Still, there is time for that one last hurrah, one last occasion to celebrate your friendship and enjoy the last hours of “freedom” sipping out like grains of sand in an hourglass.

Bachelor party is a must. An all out, pop-the-trunk, no-holds-barred type of bachelor party is highly encouraged. Going-away-to-a-party-destination type of bachelor party? Now we’re talking business! Get The Wolfpack together and start planning! We’re here to help you with some basic guidelines on where to go and what to pack.

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Posted by on in General Travel
Follow Your Belly Across Thailand

We all have our tastes and preferences when it comes to food. Some like it hot, others like it sweet and sour, a lot of us go either way, but we all have our favorites. Imagine if all of us were standing in front of the map of the world and had to choose one country to handle all of our dietary needs - which country would you choose.

For me, the answer is Thailand. Seriously, no other country comes even close to matching all the culinary delights Thai cuisine has spawned and perfected over the centuries. I could wax poetic for hours on end about the tingling sensations on my palates whenever I immerse myself into authentic Thai foods, but I get the sense that you would much rather read about where to go and what to eat. Without further ado, let’s visit Thailand in all its splendor of flavors…

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Posted by on in General Travel
Top Ten Inca Sites

By Andrew Kolasinski 

The repair crew on the back street worked like a team of museum curators or fine art restorers. They hand-cut stone blocks to fix the ancient eroded curbstones. It had been done this way in Ollantaybambo, Peru, since the time of the Incas.

The Inca Empire emerged around the year 1200 and grew to fruition around 1450 just as the Spanish Conquistadors arrived to destroy their accomplishments. In the brief two centuries the Incas achieved an amazing level of civilization, and much of it is evident in the architectural remains. Cusco and the Sacred Valley were the centers of the Empire; not surprisingly most of their greatest constructions are in this area. Here are ten of the greatest Inca sites.

10. Inca Terraces of the Sacred Valley were the basis of an agricultural system called Andenerias. They are an agriculture and engineering marvel that still functions today. Graceful and aesthetically satisfying the terraces can be seen all over Peru, especially throughout the Sacred Valley, where Andenerias are still used to raise crops. Some of the best examples are seen above Pisac and Ollantaytambo.

9. Koricancha is the Temple of the Sun in the city of Cusco, once the center of the Inca world. Though the temple was overbuilt by colonial buildings, the huge trapezoid shaped Inca stones that define its foundations are spectacular.

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Explore the Natural Beauty of Colorado Springs

The wonderful destination of Colorado Springs tends to reach out to two specific types of travelers and adventurers: the culture hounds, eager for fun and excitement, and the nature lovers ready to take in the sights and sounds of the earth around them. If you’re thinking of taking a trip to Colorado Springs, and you fall into the latter category, there is a wide range of amazing natural sights for you to explore, from mountains, to caves, to historical castles. Just make sure that you search for cheap hotels in Colorado Springs before your trip, so that you have a great place to recuperate your energy for after sundown. Remember, Colorado Springs let loose in the evening hours.

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Posted by on in General Travel

If you book a holiday to Las Vegas and are planning on spending most of your time along the glorious and famous “strip”, then the truth is that you’ll be hard pressed to find a casino or bingo hall that doesn’t deliver the ultimate gambling experience, but like all things, there are some places which just tip the scales when it comes to being great.

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The Aria Resort and Casino

If you love playing both slot games and poker, then you will love the Aria Resort and Casino. It’s sleek, shiny and one of the most lavish looking casinos in all of Nevada, but on top of that, this adult’s playground has a massive 1940 slot machines, which can each be played from just a “penny”. Then, for the poker lovers, there is the Arias’s popular 24 seat poker table, which hosts competitive tournaments throughout the day.

M Resort Spa and Casino

Las Vegas really isn’t just for those who love slots and high rolling card games, and the M Resort Spa and Casino is one of the resorts in Vegas, offering betting fans the chance to join in-running sports betting with their race and sports books. This allows you to bet on live sporting events – both during and pre-event – in their modern, state-of-the-art casino area.

Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa

Red Rock Casino is a popular place not only for tourists, but also for the locals, and is a great place for those holiday makers looking for a spot of bingo. The Red Rock Casino proudly boasts an amazing 600 seat bingo hall which has special, separate sections for those who like to smoke whilst playing, which is certainly good news for those who have maybe ditched land based bingo.

Other casinos that have must-see games, attractions and jackpots are the MGM Grand Resort and Casino, and the Wynn Casino and Resort, who give their gamblers free mojitos!

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Posted by on in General Travel
Jungle Trekking on the Pirate Coast in Panama

By Andrew Kolasinski

The trail ascended through the dense jungle of Panama. As we neared the peak a ruined fortress came into view. My guide, Jason cautioned me to avoid the main doorway and led me in through a cannon port. From a safe distance we checked out the doorway. Four different types of stinging insects, including the forebodingly named Cicada Killer Wasps, had built their nests in the lintel of the door. Someone unaware might trigger a lethal swarming.

Jason is locally known as “Jungle Boy”. An American who grew up in Central America, Jason spends most of his time roaming the jungle. He always carries a machete and a hammock tent. 

“I might be following a butterfly or a birdcall, and wander into the bush until it gets dark,” he explained.

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Posted by on in General Travel
Things to do and places to go in Atlanta

Atlanta is typically a city which has figured out how to strike a fine harmony in the middle of custom and innovation. Home to the rich chronicled legacy of the American common war, it has not just saved in which quintessence by basically raising numerous galleries and maintaining the enormous number of legacy structures, yet has additionally settled on a dependable balance for itself in the present day milieu of opulent shopping centers and restaurants. Along these lines, any guest to the city would not get to be exhausted from the overabundance of both of these two unique planets. At whatever point vital, he can without much of a stretch switch from an excursion to the past to a meeting with the present. Among the Atlanta attractions furthermore the things to do in Atlanta, there are normally the advancing treks to the galleries.

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Posted by on in Malta

Malta is an excellent city or short break destination | Hiking in Malta is scenic though it didn’t involve much climbing.

They say some things spoil Italy – take those away and you might have Malta. You wont get charged extra to have a seat while you enjoy your coffee.

For a family I might just recommend Malta but I heard that Gozo might be better in the beach holiday regard. I only had 3 nights on the island of Malta but saw an experienced a lot to tell you about.

In short there are some nice points to consider:

Tagged in: Europe Malta
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Seattle and San Diego: Destinations to visit in USA

Going to Seattle's top attractions is restricted to take in the city's history, society, businesses and extraordinary excellence and character. Seattle is past the customary. The imaginative essentialness of the city is felt in the assorted qualities of its territorial cooking and commercial enterprises, for example, its Boeing planes and state-of-the-workmanship frameworks.

Feel the abundance of its scene by going to Seattle's zoos and marine parks. Get an intense training about the city's fascinating past by going to authentic locales, for example, Pioneer Square and the Klondike National Historic Park. Seattle attractions essentially possess large amounts of the city, so guests have a lot of alternatives to suit their time, plan and hobbies. Here are a percentage of the top attractions in Seattle worth incorporating in your schedule.

Pike Place Market:

Pike Place Market gets a normal of 9 million guests every year. Built in 1907 as the nearby ranchers' reaction against high cost of produce, Pike Place Market is the most established rancher's business in the U.S. It emphasizes 600 shops and stalls of homestead produce, forte nourishments, obsolescents, artworks, collectibles and worldwide basic supplies. Guests will likewise discover 60 restaurants and take-out counters at Pike Place Market.

Tagged in: San Diego Seattle
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Tackling Island Peak – Nepal’s Most Popular Trekking Peak

Island Peak (20,305 feet) was given the name of Imja Tse in 1983, although even locals still use the former. It received its English name from Eric Shipton’s party in 1951 because it resembles an island in a sea of ice when seen from Dingboche. The next year, the first people to climb this mountain were Charles Wylie, Alf Gregory, Charles Evans and Tenzing Norgay, who were preparing for their Everest bid - this was where they perfected their oxygen systems, although oxygen is not necessary. People still use Island Peak to prepare for Everest or other high peaks. It is an offshoot of the south ridge of Lhotse Shar, separated by a small col.

Island Peak lies within Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its exotic wildlife that includes red pandas, snow leopards, musk deer, mountain goats and colourful pheasants. The peak is atop the Chukung glacier between the Ama Dablam and Lhotse mountains. It is the perfect introduction to Himalayan mountain climbing.

This is the most popular trekking peak, with over 300 groups attempting the expedition each year, although it is more technical than some of the others and so requires walking experience such as winter walking in Scotland.  Island Peak is probably the easiest and most affordable way for you to obtain high-altitude experience. This trek will take around two weeks at least, although four is more leisurely. A typical price is £2,600 per person.

You begin in Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu, a destination popular with tourists, trekkers and adventure seekers that presents a very appealing blend of Hinduism, Buddhism and Western influence. You will generally be given a day to partake of its diversity. The trek begins at Lukla airstrip after a hair-raising landing. It passes through many Sherpa villages, high mountain passes and remote valleys. The local population is mostly Buddhist, and there are many monasteries to be found.

Accommodation will generally be in tea houses that feature a wide array of hot food and drink, although washing facilities are basic and you may have to share a room. On the mountain, you will stay in a tent.

You then pass the Lhotse and Imja glaciers prior to reaching Everest Base Camp, where you branch off to Chukkung. Island Peak is reached through the Dudh Kosi valley, where views grow steadily more spectacular. Three days later, you will approach Island Peak’s base camp at Pareshaya Gab (18,702 feet).  You will have the opportunity to climb Kala Patar (18,372 feet), which offers some of the best views of Everest that exist. You then climb Island Peak. Summit day is typically between 12 and 14 hours, which is demanding. After heavy snowfall, slopes can be prone to avalanches. The hardest part is a wall of rock and ice that slopes around 45 degrees and leads to the narrow summit ridge.

20,305 feet up on Island Peak, you are presented with some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Himalayas: fine views of the high mountains of the region. Nuptse (25,849 feet), Lhotse (27,890 feet) and Lhotse middle peak (27,562 feet) form a semi circle to the north. Makalu (27,805 feet) lies to the east while Baruntse and Ama Dablam are to the south.

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Posted by on in Malta
Travelling or learning English in Malta

Often overlooked by tourists and language learners alike, Malta offers holidaymakers much more than just sun, sea and sand. The island archipelago is virtually in the centre of the Mediterranean and its climate is typical for its location. Summers are hot, with temperatures reaching consistently over 30 degrees Celsius, and winters are extremely mild giving travellers the perfect setting to explore the rich and diverse activities Malta has to offer.

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Beaches are plentiful and most offer water sports. Diving is extremely popular off the coast of Malta due to the crystal clear waters which house a diversity of marine life, reefs, caves and wrecks. Inland there is an abundance of other sports to try out, from golf to horseback riding and almost everything in between, sports fanatics will not be disappointed in Malta.

For a slightly more relaxing activity, it is worth spending some time exploring Malta’s history. Its colonial past is evident in the magnificent architecture which graces most cities and villages and remains of its pre-history dating back 7000 years can be explored in one of Malta’s several archaeological sites.

This will leave just enough time in the evenings to sample one of Malta’s delicious seafood restaurants, go for a drink in the lively St. Julian’s Bay and, for the night-owls, go dancing in one of Malta’s top night clubs.

All of this would surely be a perfect complement to an English course on the bilingual island. Maltalingua English Language School, which overlooks the vibrant St. Julian’s Bay, offers an extremely high standard of teaching, modern facilities and even its own private pool and rooftop terrace! Outside of the classroom you can mix with fellow students or mingle with the locals, striking up conversations in English. For your chance to win a free English course at Maltalingua, just enter the competition on their website: http://www.maltalingua.com/competition/pool/

Tagged in: Language Courses Malta
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The basics of over 65 travel insurance

Travel insurances help travelers of all age groups to go about their journey with the peace of mind, that should anything go wrong they’ll be taken care of. However, the majority of coverage providers extend such assurances to those belonging to a younger demography. Often the elderly like those over the age of 65 faces a lot of problems in getting the same coverage for themselves.  The general schemes applicable to the masses are not suitable for most of those over this particular age; this is due to the host health issues that this age group share, though not uniformly. Due to this reason they need to apply for specialized coverage like travel insurance over 65.

Tagged in: Travel Insurance
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Louisiana has always been the vacation destination of many bird watchers eager to enjoy the state’s natural habitat. From the barrier islands and coastline, along the Mississippi River up to northern Louisiana, every part of the state offers a unique setting for many of the rich havens that permanent and migrating birds call home. With a good pair of walking shoes, and binoculars (and/or camera), any local or visitor can quickly become a Cajun bird watcher.

Often referred to as “Cajun Country”, Louisiana is home to millions of acres of dense bayous, winding rivers, rich wetlands, and beautiful coastlines that are all ideal for bird watching. These areas serve as a unique habitat for a huge array of bird species that are attracted to these “hot spots.”

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Top 5 Cultures You Might Meet While Traveling in Canada

Canada is well known for the cultural diversity of its people. With so many cultures joined together in one large and beautiful country, visitors are bound to learn something new with each trip. In order to meet the most people and experience various blends of different cultures while visiting Canada, here are 5 festivals to attend:

1. The Calgary Stampede

 For people that love cultural diversity, cowboys, and the great outdoors, the world famous Calgary Stampede held in Calgary, Alberta, is sure to be a favorite. With over 1 million visitors each year for the 10-day event in July, it is the perfect opportunity to meet new people. For people that want to get away for a while, they can additionally travel an hour to explore the Canadian Rockies. 

2. Canadian Aboriginal Festival

 If you want to attend a massive festival showcasing various aspects of the First Nations culture, the Canadian Aboriginal Festival in Toronto, Ontario, is a must. For 3 days each November, many people from North America and beyond visit the Sky Dome to join in the festivities.

Such festival highlights include:

  • Dancing competitions
  • Musical performances by First Nations artists
  • Lacrosse competitions
  • Fashion shows
  • Workshops
  • Educational classes
  • Aboriginal artwork 
Tagged in: Canada
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Five Activities to Enjoy on a Summer Holiday

 Whilst beach holidays remain incredibly popular, many people are increasingly looking to do something different. They want a summer holiday that takes them away from the sunbeds on the beach. Here are five ideas for activities to enjoy on a fun-packed holiday.

Cycling 
In addition to hiring a bike to explore the local area around the resort in which you are staying, it is now possible to take special cycling holidays in destinations that are perfect for either road cycling or mountain biking. These include cycling through the stunning scenery of the French Alps or staying a little closer to home and traversing the pleasant green countryside and quaint villages of the United Kingdom. 
 
Walking 
A less demanding activity than cycling, but still energetic nonetheless, walking holidays are perhaps the ideal way of taking in your surroundings and admiring the scenery at its best. In much the same vein as cycling, walking activity holidays can take on many forms, from rambling across open moorland to traversing mountain trails and negotiating rocky cliff paths. Before deciding on which type of walking holiday to take, it is best to ascertain your fitness levels and walking ability as some are much harder on the body than others.

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Posted by on in General Travel
Get Set Goa !

Enriched with different culture and traditions, Chennai has an image of being the cultural capital of the south. The city is famed for being the ardent supporter of development in every aspect. Despite the fact that the city has a history that goes back to 350 years in total, Chennai has been growing at a fast pace.

The city lies on the west coast of the country and therefore enjoys the existence of some of the best beaches in the country. Chennai is one of those places in India, which is a wonderful blend of modernism and ethnicity. With all shades of the rainbow, it stands tall in the crowd of developing cities. Chennai is very well connected with Goa, another spectacular tourist destination in the country. With the distance of 736 kms between the two and multiple Chennai to Goa flights, these two cities have been able to connect to each other efficiently.

Tagged in: chennai goa
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As summer approaches and thoughts turn to finding the ideal holiday, it can be difficult to please absolutely everyone. The age-old adage appears time and time again; should you opt for a relaxing beach holiday, or a more a more cultural, mind-expanding city break? What is going to keep you occupied for the most amount of time and cause the least arguments along the way?

Well, there are in fact numerous destinations in Europe where you can actually find the best of both worlds. With fascinating cities located on beautiful coasts, it’s more than possible to combine a city and beach break into one holiday to suit everybody. 

So where can you find such destinations?

Tagged in: Barcelona Nice Venice
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Scotland has a rich and proud heritage which is reflected in the stunning landscapes and diversity of iconic historical sites that greet visitors to this delightful country. History is part of the very fabric of this nation and there are some very impressive Scottish castles that you can visit to the next time you pay a visit north of the border.

Stirling castle

Excusing the pun, this is arguably the king of the castles and is widely recognised as one of the largest and most important castles from an historical and architectural point of view, to be found anywhere in Scotland. The area of Stirling is a perfect site in Scotland for static caravans with a great choice of locations and handily placed to allow you to explore this magnificent castle and the surrounding area. Mary Queen of Scots was crowned at Stirling Castle and you can spend a thoroughly enjoyable day finding out about the incredible history that makes it such a popular place to visit.

Balloch castle

Situated in the area of West Dumbartonshire, Balloch castle is positioned at the southern tip of Loch Lomond which is in the Balloch Country Park. The castle is a listed building and is an excellent example of the Scottish baronial style that was so popular in the 19th and early 20th century. The castle grounds feature a beautiful walled garden and there is a visitor’s centre where you can find plenty of information about the castle and its history.

Dunnotar castle

It would be quite hard to find such a dramatic setting for this now ruined cliff top fortress that sits in prominent position look out to sea. The sight of this castle and where it is positioned, instantly evokes images of a dark and historical past when a small garrison held out against the might of Cromwell’s army for almost eight months under siege, and thereby saved the Scottish Crown Jewels.

Edinburgh castle

Probably one of the most instantly recognisable castles in Scotland, Edinburgh castle dominates the skyline of this fine city from its position atop a volcanic rock. A castle has been on the site since the 12th century and despite its seemingly impregnable outlook there have been a few successful raids throughout its history. Edinburgh is a real cultural highlight in itself and the castle is well worth visiting while you are in the area.

Balmoral castle

This is a quite stunning castle that was built in the 1850’s for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and is well known for being currently used as the private home of the present Royal family who visit every autumn for about 8 weeks. It is certainly an iconic place to visit and witness yourself and although you will not able to look inside the building, the gardens and the surrounding woods are a popular attraction in their own right.

When you consider the history of just these five castles highlighted and bear in mind how many other interesting places there are to see, it is not hard to understand why Scotland is such a popular tourist destination.

Lydia Clarke enjoys sharing her passion for Scotland through blogging. She has extensive experience as a travel consultant.

Tagged in: Caravan Castles Scotland
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Coach Trips : Not Just For Older Travelers

When most people think of organized coach trips, they think of a bus full of older travelers in their sixties and seventies. It is true that many older people enjoy this type of trip, especially if ill health means that they find it difficult to fly. However, there are also an increasing number of younger travelers discovering the joys of coach trips.

It's no secret that I love to travel by bus, not necessarily on organized tours, but I have been on my fair share and it has for the most part been an enjoyable experience. With that in mind, here are the high points of coach travel which I think accounts for this form of travel gaining popularity with a new generation of travelers.

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