Cheap Hotels and Motels

One of our first thoughts when looking at our next trip, how to get cheap tickets and how to get cheap hotel / motel rates?

Well, may not be the first thought, in fact the very first thought could go to the business meeting we are going to take part to with an important customer or it could go to the great beaches we will find just in front of our hotel resort.

But as anybody else we do not want to spend more than it is required, right? So let’s talk about cheap and discount rates we can find for hotels and motels – that’s because I am good at this subject.

There are a number of places we would look for cheap rates, anyone has his own preferred places but let’s do not forget about the major ones as expedia.com, deskbell.com, travelocity.com, booking.com, orbitz.com. I always start from one of them to find cheap hotel rates.

Where do we go? Houston! Largest City of Texas and a major one in the United States. Students will travel there for the many universities and colleges such as the University of Houston, the University of Texas-Houston Health and Science Center, Texas Southern University and Rice University. Some will travel for business and most likely having to do with one of the major industries there: Oil and Natural Gas or the space and aeronautics industry.

Let’s assume we are looking for the best price for a cheap hotel in Houston and do not have flexible dates, we will be there for a 2 day business trip!

Assuming a check in date 22 December and a check out date 24 December we go through the results to find a few offers as:

– Book now and save 30%! at Lancaster Hotel a 4 star in Texas Avenue

– Weekend and holiday rates at Four Seasons Houston, a five star downtown Houston

– Book now and save 20% at Hilton Americas Houston, a four star downtown Houston.

This is just a sample of the many hotel deals found for this short stay but try to change the dates or to make a longer stay and the rates will undoubtely be better and lower.

Five Popular Music Festivals in Europe

We all know the popularity of Europe as a continent. The romantic cities, the beautiful beaches and delicious cuisine; but one thing that can really set Europe apart is the quality of its music festivals. As it’s such a diverse continent, you can be sure that this is reflected in some of its biggest festivals. Have a look at some of the most popular in Europe, get your festival gear packed and your foreign currency arranged.

Benicassim Festival
Image by HairTransplantPakistan (http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourticketmarket/)

The Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, Spain

If you’re a serious music lover you’ve probably heard of this festival. Benicàssim is a small town located between Barcelona and Valencia and every year hosts one of the best festivals anywhere in the world. Taking place in mid-July, it predominantly hosts alternative rock and electronic artists and is well worth a visit.

Roskilde, Denmark

This is one of the biggest festivals anywhere in Europe and is one not to be missed. Running from June 30th, 2011, it is a non-profit event with the aim of developing music and culture in the region, and gives tourists a great reason to visit a usually expensive country. Every year it’s a favorite with visitors from all over the world and this year the headlining acts are the Arctic Monkeys, Iron Maiden and M.I.A.

Exit, Serbia

As one of the most interesting venues to hold a festival, Exit is held in the Petrovaradin Fortress of Novi Sad. Regarded as one of the jewels in the European festival scene, it runs for four days and has attracted a number of big names since 2005. Over the years it has often been used to get across political and social messages and even has its own record label which issues MP3 releases.

Oxegen, Ireland

Why not visit stunning Ireland as part of your European adventure and take in the country’s biggest festival, Oxegen? The four day festival is held at Punchestown Racecourse and hosts over 90,000 people each day. It’s seen as Ireland’s answer to Glastonbury and for some is regarded as a better festival. Some huge names have played here over the years like Green Day, Kings of Leon, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Foo Fighters.

The Isle of Wight Festival, UK

In its original form, this festival attracted such legendary names as Bob Dylan, who played to an estimated 200,000 people in 1969; and The Doors, The Who and Jimi Hendrix the following year, where around 600,000 witnessed one of the best concerts ever held in Europe. These days the festival has been revamped and moved to a different site, but it’s still a great one to enjoy.

Have you decided? Are you going to one or all? Just make sure you book your ticket and get ready to party!

Things to do Sharm El Sheikh

Sharm El Sheikh beach
Image by WomEOS (http://www.flickr.com/photos/womeos/)

Sharm el-Sheikh is undoubtedly one of the most exquisite locations in Egypt, and for that matter, the world itself. Situated near the Red Sea, this spot is a favorite amongst holiday goers looking for luxurious experiences and awe-inspiring sights. Littered with fantastic hotels and breath taking beaches, it’s a fantastic place to spend your holiday with your friends, family and loved ones.

However, the area is perhaps most popular with fans of underwater activities. With pristine warm water and some of the most beautiful coral reefs on the continent, it is of little surprise that Sharm el-Sheikh has become a must go to location for divers. There are many diving centers that will take both novice and experienced divers on some of the magnificent coral reef tours. The national park on the tip of the Sinai Peninsula in particular, is one of the most famous dive sites in the world and should not be missed. The coral gardens are some of the most varied and beautiful on the continent, so be sure to gain the relevant training to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

If the idea of snorkeling and diving is a somewhat daunting one however, you can still experience some of the under water delights the sea has to offer. Many glass bottom boats do tours that will give you an impression of how things look down there without the need for you to get your feet wet.

If you’re hoping to spend a nice relaxing time on some of the numerous beaches however, there are a huge amount of activities on offer to keep you and your family entertained. Everything from thrilling beach activities such as kitesurfing and parasailing to the tamer boating and canoeing can be easily be organized through your hotel concierge service.

If beach activities are not your thing you can always venture into the desert for some fun. If you are looking to learn a bit more about the people of Egypt and how they have lived for thousands of years, be sure to go on a Bedouin camping trip where you will be guided into the desert by knowledgeable locals. If you plan to camp overnight be sure to wrap up, the desert gets extremely cold at night and is not an experience for the faint hearted.

Sharm el-Sheikh is by far the most expensive part of Egypt, with prices being almost three times as much as anywhere else in the country. There are generally very few low cost accommodation options but if you look around you can find some reasonably priced hotels. Flights to Sharm el-Sheikh are usually in pretty high demand so it is worth booking well ahead of time and shopping around for the best deal to help keep costs low. Regardless, this little slice of heaven is well worth the visit for those looking to enjoy the sea and desert.

Disclaimer: The information contained within this article is the opinion of the author and is intended purely for information and interest purposes only. It should not be used to make any decisions or take any actions. Any links are included for information purposes only.

Asia’s Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations

To properly enjoy your once in a lifetime vacation, look no further than Asia. Asia is a land of enchantment and many unique honeymoon destinations can be found on this beautiful and diverse continent. From the urban centers of Hong Kong and Beijing to the jungles of Vietnam, many beautiful honeymoon destinations are waiting for you to explore. Here are 5 of the most popular today.

1: China

Great Wall of China
Image by matt512

One of the most popular Asian honeymoon destinations is China. It is a country that still has remnants of an ancient civilization that can still be seen today. Some of these are the Great Wall, Terra-Cotta warriors, and the Yangtze river. Honeymoons in China could include tours of the modern city of Beijing which was made even more modern during its preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympics. You could also include a tour of the country’s vast interior where you will come in contact with many of China’s friendly people and ancient customs while you enjoy regional cuisine at one of the many neighborhood teahouses. No visit to China is complete without a cruise up the Yangtze River. Today’s China is not only home to many international hotels such as Ramada, Sheraton, Hyatt, and Hilton, but also many hotels that are managed by Chinese firms to cater to the international travelers. Many of these hotels offer luxurious packages that include romance packages and spa packages so that you can enjoy time of relaxation while enjoying the sights of the beautiful and diverse country.

2: Thailand

Maya Bay of Koh Phi Phi
Image by Argenberg

Another great place to consider as one of your Asian honeymoon destinations is Thailand. This is a very popular destination for Americans because of its beaches, ornate religious temples, and destinations within the country such as Phuket and Chiang Mai. Many different honeymoon packages can be found that offer the best of this beautiful and enchanting country. Many hotels in Bangkok and Phuket offer the spa option where you can enjoy ultimate relaxation between visits to the cities. Tour the many temples and palaces of Bangkok that take you back 1000 years to early Thailand, and experience a traditional dance show like no other in the world. No trip to Thailand is complete without a visit to the floating market of the Karan people.

3: Japan

Mt. Fuji
Image by skyseeker

Japan is another one of the great Asian honeymoon destinations. Its relationship with the United States since World War II and it being the closest Asian country to the U.S. makes it a favorite tourist destination. It is appealing to honeymooners because it has urban cities, tropical beaches and islands, amazing countryside, and snow covered mountains as well as an ancient culture. A great way to tour Japan for your honeymoon is by taking a self-guided tour. These can range from the more romantic hot springs where you can get pampered with assorted spa treatments in between city excursions to one of the bustling cities of Kyoto or Tokyo. It can include a ride on the famous bullet train or a stay on the famous Japan sea coast in the Lamp-No-Yada hideaway which will provide you with a very unique romantic experience. There are also many opportunities to enjoy the beautiful tropical countryside in the shadow of the snow-capped Mt. Fuji.

4: Hong Kong:

Hong Kong
Image by Kabacchi

Now a part of China, Hong Kong is near the top of Asia’s popular honeymoon destinations. Though small, Hong Kong has many opportunities for romance on your once in a lifetime vacation. You can enjoy packages that include hiking in the country’s interior and dolphin and bird encounters at one of its parks. Maybe you have always wanted to cruise on one of the famous junks in the harbor on your island getaway or in the bustling city where you can experience the world renown nightlife of this modern city-state.

 

5: Vietnam:

Hanoi
Image by plusgood

Rounding out the top 5 honeymoon destinations in Asia is the country of Vietnam. This has become a top honeymoon destination in more recent years because there is much diversity within the country. You can enjoy a spa vacation at one of the luxurious resorts or you can enjoy a romantic honeymoon within the countryside where you can get a taste of the Vietnamese food and culture. You can spend time at the beach sinking your toes in the sand and then take a tour through the dense jungles that the country is known for.

Its your honeymoon, your vacation, your experience. Enjoy the enchantments of Asia.

South America Luxury Tours

4 Reasons to Take One Now

South America is a quickly developing continent and beginning to hold its own as a coveted vacation destination. If you are the type of traveler who dreams of king-sized hotel beds, endless breakfast buffets, and pampering spa treatments, but also enjoy stunning scenery and a bit of local flair, here are 4 reasons why some South America luxury tours should on your travel wish list.

1. Affordable Luxury. South America is a country of contrasts, encompassing both striking poverty and stunning wealth. As a result, the cost of traveling to South America balances out to be quite affordable for visitors from abroad. A South America vacation is one of the best value travel decisions you could make. More and more 5-start hotels are beginning to appear, as well as top-end restaurants. In the capital cities of this continent you are likely to enjoy a full meal of gourmet dishes at half the price of what you’d pay in a large city in the United States or Europe.

2. Beautiful Diversity. One of the best things about visiting South America is that you’ll never get bored. Neighboring countries vary drastically, and even within one country you’re sure to see a variety of landscapes and cultures, and taste an abundance of different cuisines. In Peru, for example, you can visit the world’s second largest desert city (Lima), hike up snowy mountain peaks in the Andes (the highest mountain range in the Americas), or plunge into the deep and dense Amazon Rainforest, the largest rainforest in the world, home to an overwhelming amount of wildlife. Of course, you could also always swing over to Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, or check out Machu Picchu, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.

3. World Class Attractions. South America is proudly home to some of the best natural and man-made attractions in the entire world. Machu Picchu is a must for any Peru tour, and you can live it up in luxury by taking one of the many offered Machu Picchu luxury tours, which tend to include quality private guides, rides on the stunning Hiram Bingham luxury train, and stays at the best 5-star hotels the country has to offer. Head down to Argentina and experience Iguazu Falls, a massive waterfall complex that puts Niagara Falls to shame. Or perhaps you’d rather visit Brazil and wave to Christ the Redeemer, one of the largest statues of Jesus Christ in the entire world. The statue is not the only impressive thing about Rio de Janeiro, as the lush mountains and crystal clear ocean waters put this bustling city very close to paradise.

4. Ease of Travel. It is undeniable that the world has many interesting and worthwhile places to visit, but few are as easy to see as South America. Direct international flights from most major cities bring you quickly to your desired destination and local guides, hotels, and restaurant owners in the top destinations are familiar with the standards and desires of many international travelers. The tourism market is largely bilingual, and with some preplanning with an expert travel company you won’t have to worry about a thing.

Cruise Ships; Home to Top Entertainment

There is much more to cruising than simply lazing on deck and hopping from one exotic destination to the next. Today’s modern cruise ships are equipped with a comprehensive range of quality entertainment and facilities, which are designed to appeal to all tastes and ages.

Daytime programme of events

Throughout the day modern cruise ships offer a programme of activities and events that are designed to appeal to a wide audience, so whether you are sporty, active and keen to join in the fun or just want to relax on deck, there will be something to suit you. From listening to steel bands by the pool that play a selection of reggae music to joining in with some energetic poolside games, you can take your pick from a host of activities that are included in the price of your cruise.

cruise ship
cruise ship

For many people, cruising is all about joining in and making new friends and for this type of passenger the programme offers the opportunity to have fun at the same time. Games can be as vigorous or as cerebral as you want. Try your hand at a game of bingo or attend a lecture where guest speakers and trainers can instruct you in the fine art of napkin folding, or even wine tasting.

Shopping and spa treatments are always popular with passengers, while those wishing to be a little more active can choose from a range of sports on offer, from golf simulations to traditional deck games.

Evening entertainment

Passengers are spoilt for choice when evening descends on board ship. Most cruises offer a wide programme of evening events, meaning that there is always something to tempt you. For those who like to join in and have a go there are usually options such as a singing around a piano and the ever-popular karaoke nights.

For those holidaymakers who enjoy hitting the dance floor there is usually a wide choice of dance venues on board the ship, so whether you are a keen ballroom dancer, fancy throwing some shapes on the dance floor or hanker to try line dancing you should find something to suit you.

Most cruises feature special ‘show rooms’, which feature a regular programme of nightly entertainment, usually scheduled twice each evening to allow both late and early diners to benefit from the performance. You can choose from a variety of entertainment, from singers and comedians to jugglers and dancers. Every cruise will have at least one night of spectacular entertainment in the form of a Las Vegas-styled performance, which is usually an extremely popular choice with passengers.

If live shows and dancing do not tempt you, then you may prefer to try your luck in the on-board casino or maybe take in one of the films on offer before heading to one of the bars for a nightcap.

With most of the larger cruise ships offering a choice of up to a dozen or so alternatives for your evening entertainment, there is sure to be an activity, entertainer or event that you will want to return to again and again.

Bavaria, the Beer and the Oktoberfest

Bavaria is a tourist region and a state of Germany located in the south east of the country bordering Austria and the Czech Republic. Thousands of people visit its beautiful mountains and lake each year. The largest federal state is rich in natural resources includes snowy Alpine peaks, rushing streams, and velvety forests. It is also filled with historical sites, beautiful baroque churches, romantic castles, and world class museums.

Bavaria hosts the world’s most famous festival where million of visitors come across the globe to celebrate Oktoberfest. It is a glorious beer celebration every autumn from late September until early October. You can explore the famous tourist destinations in Bavaria:

The famous castles like Neuschwanstein Castle, Herrenchiemsee Castle, Linderhof Castle, and Schleissheim Palace. Neuschwanstein Castle lies in Southern Bavaria, a fairy tale castle with a breathtaking setting.  Herrenchiemsee is second unfinished castle of Ludwig with an exquisite lake Chiemsee. Linderhof Castle is the smallest of the three castles built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and the park was one of the most beautiful creations of historicist garden design. Schleissheim Palace is a baroque palace complex consisting of three palaces with a huge garden in North of Munich.

The great natural scenery in Bavaria includes Zugspitze, and Konigsee. Zugspitze is Germany’s highest mountain with amazing views from the top. Konigsee is the deepest and cleanest lake in the Alps near Berchtesgaden.

The famous churches and monasteries Bavaria features are Andechs Monastery, Benedictine Monastery, St. John Baptist Church in Steingaden, and Wieskirche Church. Andechs Monastery is famous for its beer. Wieskirche Church is a UNESCO world heritage site and the most charming rococo church in the state of Bavaria.

There are great deals and quality vacation rentals in Bavaria (Ferienwohnungen) including homes, villas, condos, apartments, cottages, cabins, and bed and breakfast that you can rent for a couple of days. There are numerous Bavaria vacation rentals that present a candid photo, detailed description, availability, location, and price rate. There are sites which allows you to connect directly to home owners where you can negotiate good deal. Just make a quick search on Google for “Ferienwohnungen in Deutschland” and you will find wonderful accommodations like the Pension Hegger, Haus Berggruß or Ferienpark-Frye.

Enjoy Top Ten Destinations in Australia This Christmas

This Christmas thinking to go on a trip to some extraordinary place that caters you not just beach activities, sightseeing opportunities, and wonderful cities but also some wild exotic animals, snow-capped mountains, rainforests or maybe a desert too. Then, keeping in this mind, Australia would be the right destination for you to enjoy your Christmas vacation.

The top 10 destinations of Australia, which you should visit to enjoy this Christmas, are Sydney, Cairns, Brisbane, Melbourne, The Great Ocean Road, Canberra, Gold Coast, Tasmania, Magnetic Island and Kimberley.

1. Sydney:
Sydney is Australia’s number one travel destination. A large number of visitors come here every year. The Sydney Opera House is the main attraction. It has both cultural and fun activities to enjoy.

2. Cairns:
Cairns is the main center from where you can travel to north or south or other beautiful island resorts. The world’s largest coral reef The Greater Barrier Reef is one of the main attractions of this place. This reef is the home of large variety of birds, fish and other forms of sea life.

3. Brisbane:
Located in Queensland, Brisbane is popular for its nightlife that offers something for everyone. It offers a wide range of cuisine that is considered to be the best in Australia by many visitors.

4. Melbourne:
Melbourne, considered as the emotional heart of Australia, offers a mixture of modern architecture and amenities apart from the most beautiful examples of Victorian architecture in the world. You can enjoy a fine cuisine along with the pleasure of shopping.

5. The Great Ocean Road:
One of the most beautiful roads, The Great Ocean Road runs for over 200 hundred miles along the coastline in the area of Victoria and has beautiful natural scenery. You can hire a car and enjoy a wonderful drive over this road.

6. Canberra:
A fascinating place to see, Canberra is the capital of Australia. Most of the attractions of this city are the National Gallery, Parliament House, the War Memorial, the National Library, National Archives and artifacts.

7. Gold Coast
Gold Coast is an exotic place with pretty beaches special for surfers and beach lovers. Other attractions are the Theme Parks and the busy night life in Surfers Paradise.

8. Tasmania:
Tasmania is the place for hiking and camping with the background of beautiful sceneries. The main land can be reached by rental car or by a short flight. You can enjoy the delicious food at various local restaurants.

9. Magnetic Island:
Lavished with fantastic beaches, Magnetic Island is in front of Townsville. The land is mostly a national park with many colonies of kangaroos and koalas to be seen in their national habitat.

10. Kimberley:
Kimberley, famous for its diamonds, is the rugged terrain with beautiful scenes. Get a cruise around this region to view beautiful waterfalls, rivers, red cliffs and some rain forest as well.

You can even go around the interior parts just by hiring a car in Australia, as they too offer beautiful scenes and wild life. Get insights of many historical places by renting a car that is easy to hire, quick to access and comfortable to make your journey leisure. Australia is the beautiful place to enjoy as words are not enough to elaborate it. So, better check out yourself this Christmas and make your trip a part of your memories.

MySelf Kathy Green and traveling is my passion, I like to travel in different destinations all over the world and I preferred to book my car by car hire Australia service. Car hire Melbourne service in Australia made my last trip successful and enjoyed a lot.

The Impact of Taking your Children to Disney World

Disney is a brand that has transcended many generations. Many people do not know this, but when Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs together with Pinocchio were released in the 1940’s, they were timeless classics that were revolutionary in terms of what they did. Masterful storytelling, enchanting soundtracks as well as cutting edge 2D animation that was the best at that time surely captured audiences and made these two Disney classics very much immortal. After this, many more classics followed, which are still icons of today’s Disney universe. Case in point – Mickey Mouse is just as admired now as he was in the 1960’s!

And speaking of the 1960’s; isn’t it that one of the most defining moments of Walt Disney was when he made a risky move to create Disney World in Orlando? At that time, there were not a lot of visitors to Central Florida. You basically went there for the good weather, crystal clear waters and the oranges freshly picked from their vast orchards. But Walt had a different vision – he saw a big castle in the middle of a grand theme park, hotel packages Disney World and even Disney World vacation packages that would be bought and enjoyed by eventually millions of people yearly.  He even envisioned that people would come from all around the world to visit this grand attraction; and he was right to do so.

For many parents today, one of their memorable experiences will very likely be their own parents having taken them to Disney World at one point. Now many of these people remember what they did at least vaguely, the happiness and excitement that they felt when they went on that trip to Disney. It didn’t really matter if their visit took place when they were just 5 years old; they usually have it detailed in their memory. Why is this? Why has this become the rule? Is it truly a requirement for parents nowadays to take their children to Disney World at one point in their lives?

Many child psychologists and educators have attributed a child’s need to go to Disney to their need for fantasy. They want to hear about stories and, of course, have closure in a good ending that finishes with “and they lived happily ever after – the end.” Children are naturally inclined to hear good stories and would always imagine themselves in the place of the characters that they watch on video or the big screen. And what better way to do that, than to actually go to a place where all of that is real – and that is Disney World.

When you think about hotel packages Disney World and even Disney World vacation packages, the bottom line is that you need to take your children to Disney at one point in their lives. This is something that they require as part of their development as much as they need fairy tales. If you think going to Disney has not influenced your life, then you better ask your parent why they took you there the first place! It is inevitable. Taking your child to Disney has its advantages and will leave a lasting impression.

 

Petite Ile and the Other Attractions of Reunion island

For most people, a mention of the Indian Ocean automatically conjures up images of its most popular islands, which are Seychelles, Mauritius, and the extremely expensive Maldives islands. This is actually quite normal since these islands rely a lot on tourism as a major part of their economy. As a matter of fact, in the case of the exotic Seychelles and Maldives islands, you can even say that they rely exclusively on their tourism industry. Mauritius is a bit different in that it has successfully managed to diversity its exports, which include sugar and textile, but it is also heavily dependent in tourists as a source of revenue.

Petite Ile
Image by françoise_b (http://www.flickr.com/photos/francoise_2006/)

One island that most people are however quick to forget is the small island of Reunion, which is located a mere half an hour from to the west of Mauritius. This is quite normal as, contrary to its Indian Ocean neighbors, Reunion does not advertise its tourism industry as heavily. Although the island does have a thriving industry with a lot of tourists visiting the island every year, it does not rely on it so much. Indeed, because Reunion is French territory, it could pretty much ignore its visitors completely and still get on fine.

However, just like its neighbors, the island of Reunion also has its fair share of attractions and is an exciting place to visit. While it lacks the beautiful beaches of the other Indian Ocean islands, it makes up for this with some unique sights and incredible coasts and forests. In fact, the extraordinary differences from town to town are just one of the most remarkable aspects of Reunion. As an example, Petite Ile, located in the south of the island, is filled with flowers, some of which are unique to Reunion, while Saint Paul is popular for its buzzing street market.

You can also find the Domaine du Relais in Petite Ile, which is a park where visitors can either ride horses or simply go on a long walk punctuated by a picnic. The Domaine du Relais is one of the most famous places of the whole island as some of the views are simply amazing. It is however still far behind Reunion’s most popular attraction, the Piton de La Fournaise (usually called the Peak of the The Furnace in english) volcano. Most people will have already heard about La Fournaise, which is also one of the world’s most active volcanoes and whose last eruption occurred as late as December 2010. As you would have guessed, La Fournaise is the main tourist attraction in Reunion.

Another widely famous tourist attraction in Reunion is its High Plains, which offers the most amazing scenery of the island. The High Plains is a huge forest bordered by verdant cliffs and with incredibly dense vegetation. It is located near the Piton de La Fournaise Volcano and the views from the top of the plains are quite breathtaking. It is however recommended to rely on a guide when visiting the High Plains as it is all too to get lost in this huge forest.

Ashvin Sawmynaden, now based in Petite Ile and Guito Ramoune, is a travel blogger who blogs mainly about the Indian Ocean destinations