Are you a curious holidaymaker that likes to click beyond travel agent websites, and find useful content on different destinations? If you are, then you need to visit the Airline Destinations blog. This is a travel blog that delivers on detail, both on different countries, and different types of holiday, such as skiing or adventure breaks. You can find out what to expect from destinations in Europe, Africa, Asia, travelling to the USA, and the Caribbean. Look out for relevant travel industry news, and other tips to make your holiday stress free, and you’ll soon be asking where shall we go next?
While many parts of the world look forward to the end of cold snaps and winter chills, the Canadians like to embrace this time of year by celebrating at one of the many winter festivals that are held all across the country. So, instead of staying indoors this winter and reminiscing about sunnier times, pack some warm woollies and hop onboard a Canadian Airlines flight for some frosty fun in the snow.
Winter Festival of Lights, Niagara Falls
Noahs Ark – Winter Festival of Lights -Niagara Falls by John Piercy
This region in Ontario is not only home to one of the most spectacular wonders of the world; it is also the spot for Canada’s top illumination festival. This family-friendly event includes more than 3 million ground and tree lights and 125 amazing light displays which all create a vivid winter wonderland for you and your loved ones. Kids will enjoy the fireworks and Disney shows whilst parents will equally enjoy the free entry price.
Quebec Winter Carnival
Catch all the action at the Quebec Winter Carnival in 2014 from January 31 to February 16. The first ever winter festival to be held in Quebec City took place in 1894, following a long-standing winter tradition which dates back to its first French colonies. Today, the carnival celebrates the snowy season with ice and snow sculptures, canoe and dogsled races, evening nightlife for adults and parades with decorated floats, dancers and bands.
IglooFest Janv2008 (50) by
This cleverly titled winter festival warms up the snowy streets of Montreal with booming electronic music from early evening until midnight for 12 nights in total, which are spread across four fun-filled weekends. World renowned DJ’s oversee large crowds at Montreal’s Old Port whilst snow gear and amenities can be found at the Igloo Village. The 12 days in 2014 are being held from January 17 to February 9.
Canada’s capital pulls out all the stops at this three-week festival through the streets of Ottawa. The 36th edition of this long-running celebration takes place from January 31 to February 17, 2014. Amongst its many attractions is the world’s largest skating rink through downtown Ottawa as well as North America’s largest snow playground, Snowflake Kingdom. Confederation Park will be transformed in 2014 into the Crystal Garden with amazing ice sculptures whilst outdoor dance parties and music can be enjoyed at Ottawa’s City Hall.
World Ski and Snowboard Festival, Whistler
This popular sporting festival returns in April 2014, much to the delight of ski and snowboarding junkies across the world. Although sport is very much at the center of this festival, there is also an array of art attractions, music and culture to suit any visitor. Unfortunately, this April festival is now over for 2013, however, keep a look out for upcoming details regarding 2014. Highlights from this year’s event included the Shred Show which included five-star World Snowboard Tour events as well as the World Skiing Invitation which showcased the best skiing talent from around the world. The ten days also gave way to ten nights of hard partying and nightlife with tens of high-quality DJ’s and music artists.
Brits who are cash strapped could well be considering ditching their usual fun in the sun for a holiday in this country, or a ‘staycation’. Many are under the impression that by the time you factor in the price of flights and the current exchange rate with the euro, they will actually save money by staying at home. This summer, many will find to their chagrin that this is one costly mistake, and they will discover they are spending way more than they would if they had taken their usual overseas holiday.
The travel giant Thomas Cook has done some research to find out where to go to make your holiday money go the furthest, and it reveals that when it comes to those daily holiday essentials the UK is more expensive than 10 of the most popular holiday hotspots around Europe.
The company compared the prices of such items as a 3 course meal, a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, a can of coke, a cup of coffee, ice cream, a bottle of water and a newspaper. These items cost an eye watering £34.85 in the UK, so for a standard 2 week holiday these items alone would cost you a whopping £487.90, a big chunk out of your spending money before you buy anything else.
Even with the euro being in its current state, it is still way cheaper to go to Europe as these items in Mainland Spain will cost you only £20.61 and £22.83 in Turkey. Add up these savings on a daily basis and you are spending way more than your flights would have cost, factor in the increased price of accommodation in the UK and the cost of petrol if you are driving there, and your staycation could end up leaving you worse off than ever, and you don’t even have guaranteed weather.
You could gain the advantage on a Tennis Holiday
With the biggest event in the tennis calender, Wimbledon, just a few short weeks away, we Brits are bound to catch our annual bout of tennis-fever, and this great sporting event could become the inspiration for many of us to enjoy a more active holiday where we battle it out on the courts rather than lazing around by a a pool this summer.
There can be little argument that when the world’s highest ranked players take to the courts for the world biggest tennis tournament on 24 June 2013, the nation will be on tenterhooks once more as it waits with baited breath to see if this will be the year that Andy Murray finally takes away the title, or if Swiss favourite Roger Federer will again be victorious.
Whatever the result, it’s clear that these epic battles that are fought out come rain or shine on a patch of carefully cultivated grass in South West London, never fail to inspire even the laziest among us. But for those who are left green with envy by the sight of the Williams sisters’ backhands, the many tennis holidays on offer across Europe this summer are the perfect excuse to get off the couch and onto the court.
The free tennis coaching included within the cost of a Neilson holiday caters to all levels of ability and makes sure that even novices get the most out of their time on court, and start seeing improvements almost instantly. Even the least enthusiastic family members will not fail to be inspired when lifting a racquet on the cliff-top courts of the likes of the Teos Beach Club.
For those who really want to make the most out of their tennis-themed getaway, there are also private lessons available at a small supplement, at times to fit in with their schedules. The final day of the holiday is where the week’s hard work will pay off, in a full tournament where participants can showcase their new skills and fight it out on the court for a chance to take home the trophy. Competitive families be warned – this could get out of hand!
For parties that include tired Mums or Dads who just want to get away from it all, Neilson’s beach clubs also include fully equipped spas, meaning that holidaymakers can take time out to relax and unwind between sessions on the court. Other activities on offer include dinghy sailing, waterskiing and wakeboarding, windsurfing and kayaking – so even the most active of kids are certain to be occupied from dawn until dusk with many new skills learnt along the way!
Although the days of last minute super cheap holidays seems to have long gone, there are still ways to bag yourself a real bargain. Here are just a few tips to make sure you get your summer break at the best possible price and have a great holiday without breaking the bank.
Flexibility on both your destination and duration can save you a small fortune and if you have to during the summer look for the air fares as the back end of the school holidays as these will be a lot cheaper that at the beginning or in the middle. There can also be a huge difference between the prices of midweek and weekend flights as many workers prefer to fly at weekends to minimise the holidays they are taking, so try to fly midweek and on a very early or very late flight to save even more money.
10 day holidays are a great alternative for those who want more than a week but cannot afford a fortnight. As at least one of these flights will be midweek you are making the aforementioned saving and some travel sites offer great deals on 9 or 11 nights to in order to fill empty seats in planes and beds in hotel rooms.
Flight supplements from local airports used to be the bane of the holidaymaker now, however, it is a lot cheaper to fly from your local airport than to travel to another by bus or train or to drive there and pay parking charges. Check the small print of your accommodation to see if there are any extras included such as free passes to theme parks or water parks as having these will also save you money.
Try and take one case per couple than one each, everyone takes things away they don’t wear, and with Jet2 offering a generous 22kg luggage allowance, you can easily fit in those bikinis, shorts and flip flops without taking two half empty cases and having to pay for both.
Another beautiful day in Nice, France by Will Marlow
Nice, the lively capital of the French Riviera, offers much more than sunshine and blue waters. It’s also a microcosm of French culture and history. With cheap flights to Nice from every major airport in the U.K., it’s a good holiday choice any month of the year.
Promenade des Anglais – This long crescent walkway hugging the beach is an iconic Nice landmark. Lined with restaurants, cafes, palms and grand hotels, it’s a great spot to people watch and enjoy the Mediterranean.
Cours Saleya – East of the Promenade, between the sea and Old Town, is the irresistible Cours Saleya, a produce market lush with fresh flowers, baked treats, fruit, vegetables, sausages and cheese. On Mondays it transforms into an antiques and flea market, especially good for furniture, jewellery and accessories.
Vieille Ville - Nice’s Old Town is a maze of narrow streets, many of whose close-leaning buildings date back to mediaeval times. The action at ground level is cheerful and contemporary, crowded with lively cafes and colourful shops. Bordering its southern edge is Rue St François-de-Paule, a main shopping thoroughfare whose stores include the 150-year-old Molinard perfumery and the even older Auer bakery and Alziari olive house.
Roman Ruins – The Roman city of Cemenelum lives on in splendid ruins in the hilly Cimiez neighbourhood. Stop first at the free Museum of Archaeology for a map showing the bathhouse, amphitheatre, part of the ancient road to Venice, and other buildings.
St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral – Completed in 1912, this grand and opulent example of classic Russian architecture is well worth a visit, as are the icons, frescoes and other treasures found inside. This was the first Russian Orthodox house of worship built outside Russia, and is still the largest such cathedral on foreign ground.
Art Museums - Nice is the fifth largest city in France but ranks second only to Paris in art museums and galleries. Top of the list are the Chagall Museum, the Matisse Museum located amidst the Roman ruins, the Musee des Beaux-Arts featuring post-impressionist works by Monet and others, and the Massena Museum of Art and History located in a First Empire villa near the Promenade des Anglais.
Parks – In a town as bustling as Nice, it’s helpful to know a few peaceful oases to retreat to, especially if travelling with children. The Phoenix Floral Parc includes plants and green space, a playground, small zoo, tea house and the Asian Arts Museum. The Colline du Chateau, also known as Castle Hill, has no castle but those who make the 100 step climb are rewarded with sweeping views of the seacoast, benches to rest on, a playground, small café, and refreshing waterfall.
Train des Merveilles - Right behind Nice lie the Alps, and this train is a wonderful tour through virgin forests and mountain villages. Visitors can take the 2-hour trip to Tende and return the way they came or hike part way and pick up the train at one of its several stops.
One of the great attractions of Nice is its abundance of Beaux-Arts and Belle Epoque architecture. Sight-seeing is easy on foot as well as by popular bicycle and Segway tours. It would take several trips to see everything in Nice, and holiday travellers can also take advantage of cheap tickets to add a jaunt to nearby Monte Carlo, as the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport serves both cities.
Both frustrated travellers and gamers now have access to a new mobile game that comes from a shipping provider for luggage. The game takes a swipe at the greedy, so called low cost airlines and their complex luggage policies, hand luggage rules and the high charges for excess baggage.
Available from the Android app store and iTunes, the tongue-in-cheek game has been developed by SendMyBag.com and is called Mickey O’Greedy’s Luggage Swindle. The game provides cheesed off travellers with a fun and stress free way to air their frustrations at the antics of the airlines.
With the playability and additive lure of Pac-man, Mickey O’Greedy’s Luggage Swindle allows players to play as Mickey, using a greedy grab hand to catch travellers with luggage, each time bagging ‘cash’ in the game. High scores can lead to discount vouchers on baggage shipping with SendMyBag and a passport-style leader board means fans can interact with each other and play competitively.
SendMyBag founder Adam Ewart said: “We wanted to develop a fun game that could be played by travellers of all ages, whilst they’re sat in the airport or on their travels. It can also be played simply by those who want to know what it’s like to be the one handing out the charges! The leader board offers the competition element, meaning it can be shared among friends and family. We’re really pleased at how it’s developed and we hope that Mickey O’Greedy is a character that the whole travelling nation will love.
“The game is fun, but is designed to highlight a problem which is far from enjoyable; the frustration felt by travellers as a result of confusing baggage rules and high imposed fees, which has almost reached fever pitch. It was the catalyst for founding SendMyBag, and our main aim is to bring affordable and reliable luggage shipping to travellers. The service has been really well-received since our inception almost two years ago and we’ve seen a huge growth in users. This is down to a combination of travellers looking for a fairer deal on luggage shipping and also the convenience of a door to door service.”
Convenience is a big issue; multiple check-in desks are being replaced with a single bag-drop queue, baggage carousel waits are growing and onward transport with luggage and sports equipment can be tricky. SendMyBag’s service collects luggage prior to travel, and it will be awaiting the traveller on arrival at their destination. Its standard and express services operate worldwide and to send a 30kgs suitcase or set of golf clubs within Europe typically costs under £30.
Visit iTunes and Google Play app stores now to download Mickey O’Greedy’s Luggage Swindle or play on desktop via Facebook.
The Royal Resort, as advertised in the travel industry, actually has a legitimate claim to the name, as it appealed so much to the King of Thailand back in the 1920′s that he had a palace built there and named it Klai Kangwon (“Far From Worries”). The current King and his family are often in residence these days too, and the beach is still one of Thailand’s most beautiful and alluring.
About four kilometres of soft white sand stretches in a wide band from one headland to another; there is plenty of space for sunning with lounge chairs and umbrellas to hire if you like, or just bring your own and set up camp. The sea here is clear, clean and calm, with ideal swimming conditions. Kite-surfing/sailing has become an extremely popular sport; in fact there are competitions going on year round, and you can always find someone to teach you the basics.
Partially because of the fairly frequent presence of Royalty, the town and the beach enjoy a quieter and safer environment than many of the country’s more tourist-oriented resorts. This is not the place to go topless on the beach or stroll through town in a bikini; though you will not be arrested for indecent exposure, it’s considered an insult and won’t endear you to the residents.
Hua Hin is one of the few spots in Thailand where you can ride a horse (or a pony, for little people) on the beach. Fishing and eco-cruising boats, banana boat rides, water skiing, para-sailing and snorkeling are all on the activity menu; scuba diving is not, as there are no large reefs or underwater rocks in the near vicinity. Plenty of refreshment is available from beach-side vendors, and the best of it is the scrumptious variety of fresh seafood – don’t miss it.
The southern end of Hua Hin beach is marked by Khao Takiab, a hill that separates it from another long, lovely swimming beach that is owned by the Thai military but open to the public. The views from Khao Takiab are also lovely and a great spot to watch the sunset over dinner and/or cocktails and admire the tan you’ve acquired on the beach.
For golfers, it’s worthy of note that there are several world-class courses within a 30-minute drive of Hua Hin town. Much of the surrounding area is National Park, with some great hikes to scenic spots such as the 11-tier waterfall at Pa La-U in the midst of a lush forest abounding in birds and butterflies.
Another don’t-miss is back in town at the nightly street market, frequented by the locals and a good opportunity to absorb a bit of real Thai beach life.
Overall, Hua Hin has escaped the over-development so common in areas like Pattaya and Patong, and the city officials are committed to keeping it that way, or so it seems. Only about three hours from Bangkok, it’s an ideal destination for just relaxing in the sun.
Balearic beat also sometimes known as Balearic house music is a type of electronic dance music that is blended by a DJ. Although it first coined in the 80’s the term became used later to refer to music that was most popular in the middle of the 90’s.
The term was coined because the electronic music it described first gained popularity at beach raves and European nightclubs on the island of Ibiza which is a Balearic island. Compilations from the time period often referred to the music also as ‘the sound of Ibiza.’
However, even though the music style originated in Ibiza, it was used by UK DJ’s Danny Rampling, Trevor Fung, and Paul Oakenfold to refer to the music that they heard at the Amnesia nightclub that they head current DJ Alfredo blend.
His music was a mix of mystic rock from the Waterboys, house music, Europop, and indie hypno grooves by bands such as the Woodentops. The group then visited other prominent nightclubs around the island such as the now defunct Ku and Pacha where they heard the same sounds.
Oakenfold and Trevor Fung attempted to forward the music in London with a nightclub named Funhouse that used the Balearic style that failed. Thus, they headed back to Ibiza and hired a villa where they continued to mix tunes using the popular music style.
A year later at the end of 1987 Oakenfold once again returned to London and attempted to DJ using the Balearic style at the then popular Project Club nightclub in South London where it began to take off.
By the end of 1988 Balearic Beat began to gain ground across the UK rave clubs and soon started to get notice in the United States.
The best way to describe the style of the popular dance rhythm is a mix of deep house and R&B bass beats that include laid back swinging patterns with a bit of funk, dub, Latin, and African beats tossed in. Together all of the beats combined to create a steady trance like sound.
During the nineties a subset of the beat titled the Ibiza Trance also was used in nightclubs that included acoustic sounds from the piano and guitar.
The Ibiza DJs who invented the Balearic beat describe it as the ability of a DJ to freely transition and mix all styles of music together while UK followers of the style consider it a dance style that exists outside the confines of conformity.
The new London helicopter sightseeing service is launched
The first helicopter service in the UK that sells individual seats online launched on the 1st of May with the London Helicopter introducing regular sightseeing flights that take of from Battersea’s Barclays London Heliport.
The innovative service, found at www,thelondonhelicopter.com, allows passengers to go to the site and pre-book their seats for amazing sightseeing tours across the capital after taking off from the only commercially licenced heliport in London. This new service will bring an unrivalled convenience to those who want to be a part of this breathtaking experience.
The London Helicopter’s unique real-time booking system, allows customers to search availability [up to 12 months in advance], make reservations, pay and check-in, all in one easy transaction, just like the airlines. Prices per person for this unique experience start from £199 and complement similar services offered from the company’s Redhill base where prices start at £129.
The helicopter route over London follows The River Thames from Putney in the West to Greenwich in the East, climbing to over 1,000ft above the City’s stunning skyline. During the flight passengers will get to see some of the capital’s most historic landmarks including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, The Tower of London, and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and new attractions like The Shard. Famous sporting venues including Wembley, The Emirates and the Olympic Stadium are also visible from the route. Flights from the Barclays London Heliport, operated by a variety of helicopters in the company’s fleet, will last for approximately 20 minutes.
The London Helicopter’s passengers are welcomed at the Barclays London Heliport by experienced and attentive staff, who will provide a full pre-flight safety and security briefing. The London Helicopter’s operation is fully licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA AOC No 2250).
Chris Mann, MD of The London Helicopter says: “We’re thrilled to be launching the first London based helicopter sightseeing service from London’s only Heliport. Joining the likes of New York, Las Vegas and Cape Town makes us enormously proud.”
Simon Hutchins, Manager of the Barclays London Heliport says: “We are very excited that The London Helicopter will operate these tours and attract a new profile of customers to the Barclays London Heliport. We believe that this one of a kind venture will be successful and can mirror the experiences available at other great cities in the world.”
Barely a week after the Mars One Project started accepting applications, more than 20,000 adventurers have applied to take part in this first of a kind space trip, and there are over 600 applicants from China. Whilst both the training and the trip itself sound incredibly daunting, the requirements the candidates need to have are extremely wide open.
You must be able to demonstrate adaptability, resilience and curiosity but two things that are not necessary are any scientific skills and you do not have to be an astronaut. Patience is another valuable asset seeing as this one way ticket to Mars, which is being organised by Dutch company Mars One, will not be happening any time before 2023.
This is not acting as any kind of deterrent for wannabe Mars explorers however, as in the past year, since the project was first revealed, more than 10,000 people from over 100 countries have expressed their interest in this trip and now the applications are flooding in. They have paid their fees and submitted their 60 second videos, which have been shared and can now be viewed by the public on the designated Mars One website.
The organisation are planning to have TV viewers vote for the candidates they most want to see go off into space. This can made some critics liken it to a reality show than a serious scientific project and over the course of 2 years, viewers are to have the fun of sifting through all the candidates until the final 24 have been chosen.
Those lucky enough to be chosen as potential colonists must be aged at least 18, around 5′ 2”, have 20/20 vision and be prepared to endure anywhere between 6 and 8 years training. The audience will also decide who will be the first 4 people to settle on the red planet, what happens then is anyone’s guess.