Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Skippered Yacht Charter Holidays

If you are a person whose perfect idea of a summer holiday or vacation is enjoying a thrilling life out on the open ocean then there is surely no better break for your tastes than a yacht charter holiday. Enjoying the sea air and beautiful sunshine is a great way of getting away from it all and forgetting all the stresses of your daily life by exploring the unspoilt beauty of the open ocean. Such experiences are rarely surpassed, and you a certain to enjoy an unforgettable experience.

If you are not an experienced sailor then fear not – these wonderful experiences are still available to you. By choosing to book a skippered yacht charter holiday, you will have the opportunity to utilise the experience of a qualified and friendly skipper and crew who can help make your sailing holiday dreams into a reality. By choosing a skippered yacht charter holiday you will be able to enjoy all the good things you would expect from such a vacation but without the stress and strains of manning the yacht yourself.

By drawing on the expertise of an experienced sailing crew, you will also be able to draw upon their knowledge in terms of the best holiday destinations to sail to and also the many superb places and attractions you can to visit inland – whether you are enjoying a yacht charter holiday in the Mediterranean or Caribbean. Simply turn up with all your kit packed up and let the skipper and his crew do all the hard work as you sail away on your dream break.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Thinking Man’s Barcelona Stag Do

Stag weekends have something of an image crisis to attend to, especially in the UK. It seems barely a week goes by without a new story about “Brits abroad” getting in trouble on foreign soil, whether it’s scrapping with the locals or being too drunk to board the flight, sometimes the point that’s forgotten is there is a market for men looking to expand their cultural horizons with their “last weekend of freedom”.

For these more aspirational types, a Barcelona stag do might be just the ticket thanks to the cities’ peerless emphasis on good living as well as the small matter of the city being home to one of the best football teams the world has ever seen.

For foodies Barcelona might just be one of Europe’s highlights owing to the cosmopolitan outlook the city boasts. There is a world of international delicacies on offer but if it’s a more traditional Catalonian experience that your stag party is seeking, there’s a great selection of restaurants you should be targeting. Dos Palillos on C/ Elisabets serves traditional Spanish tapas infused with Asian influences, which, on paper admittedly sounds like a bit of a muddle but it’s well worth a visit.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to eat well but at a budget, keep an eye out of the Menu Del Dia, which translates at Menu of the Day where you can pick up a salad, a main dish, a drink and a dessert for as little as a tenner – just use your discretion as the quality will vary. Generally, a good rule of thumb is to stay off the tried path – take a detour from the more touristy spots and you’ll save money and get great quality food to line your stomachs before heading out to some of Barcelona’s plentiful night spots.

Give the identikit pub crawls a miss on your journey here and do some research before you travel otherwise you could be faced with the less than ideal scenario of paying top dollar to drink in places that will be much the same as you’re used to in the UK. These are the places that arguably give the whole Brits abroad thing its reputation. There’s a lot more to be said for stepping out of one’s comfort zone and giving the cities’ tapas bars your onceover. Here you can get a light bite of some authentic Spanish tapas free with your drinks. Alternatively, head for any bar with Chupitos hanging above it, Chupitos translates as “shots” and here you can get a start on a Barcelona stag night that will live in infamy.

So there you have it, an introduction to the Barcelona stag do with none of that unsavoury business of being a bad ambassador for your country. Pick up a phrase book, ingratiate yourselves with the locals and see your stag do as being the perfect opportunity to expand your horizons and you’ll be rewarded with a stag weekend experience that will last a lot long in the memory banks than your average binge’s wrecking ball.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Things To Look for in Travel Insurance

Everyone knows that no matter where your destination, travel insurance should be the first thing you pack when heading on holiday. However, with all the policies out there, it can sometimes be confusing to know exactly what you need when buying insurance.

Emergency medical and repatriation costs are a must with any policy. While the majority of holidaymakers enjoy their long-awaited trip abroad without incident, if something does go wrong travel insurance medical policies can provide invaluable help in a time of need. In an emergency money should be the last thing on your mind; not only do travel insurance policies cover medical costs in an emergency, they also pay for you to fly back to the UK if necessary.

Furthermore, those travellers that are worried about going abroad with a pre-existing medical condition can get cover for this. It is important to seek out a policy that will cover any treatment that could become necessary when on holiday due to a pre-existing illness to ensure you're not caught short.
Cancellation cover is another great feature of many policies, which is particularly important for travellers who have shelled out a lot of money for a top-notch holiday.

One aspect that all Brits should look for from their travel insurance is access to English speaking medical experts. Trying to access medical help in a foreign country can be difficult and daunting, but with 24-hour English speaking experts to hand, travellers can get all the help and support they need.

When picking a travel insurance policy, it is important to take into consideration what type of trip you are embarking upon. Different policies are available for different types of trip such as wedding or golfing, while a range of diverse activities also have various types of cover, that can often be added on top of a standard policy.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Driving Holiday Checklist: Five Checks You Need to Make

Heading abroad in your own car can be an incredibly effective way of seeing the sights. Not having to rely on public transport while you’re away can open up the opportunity to see and experience more of the country in question than you could have otherwise hoped for.

That said, taking your own transport comes with its own issues. If a train or bus breaks down while you’re away then it’s a minor inconvenience -- but if your own vehicle takes a turn for a worse then it could become a major headache working out how to get it back home again. To avoid such issues it’s an idea to double check a number of things before you set off.

Tyre Depth/Pressure

If you’re going to be putting in some major mileage during the weeks that you’re away then you owe it to yourself to check that your tyres are up to scratch. Grab a tread depth checking tool to ensure that the tread on your tyres is well within the legal limit -- and refer to your vehicle’s handbook to check that they’re inflated to optimum levels.

Oil and Water

Both of these might be something you generally take for granted but it’s vital that you check the levels of both before you set off -- and several times while you’re away. If you’re unsure of where your levels should be, don’t take any chances. Consult a professional at your local garage to give the all clear before you leave.

Local Laws

Remember that things like the speed limit or maximum legal blood alcohol limit may differ in your destination country than in the UK. Ignorance of local laws won’t be a good enough excuse if you get caught breaking the law, so read up well in advance.

Insurance details

Does your car insurance policy cover you in the country you’ll be driving in? If you’re not sure, get on the phone to your provider and find out. It may be that you have to pay extra to get covered while you’re away -- if so, don’t be tempted to skip it and save some cash. It really isn’t worth the risk.

Breakdown Blues

Similarly, your breakdown cover won’t necessarily stretch to the country you’ll be visiting -- although some providers will happily cover you in Europe, for instance. Check with the company you have cover with and extend your cover to the country in question if needs be.

Italy Amongst Best Holiday Destinations in Europe

Italy is a truly beautiful country to visit and offers a range of unforgettable holiday destinations -whether you are travelling to see the fantastic historical buildings you would find in the country’s capital Rome, the great shopping experiences available in modern Milan, the unique canals and side streets found in Venice or the outstanding natural rural beauty that typifies the region of Tuscany. Put together, all of these places make Italy one of the best holiday destinations in all of Europe.

     The country draws in visitors from all over the world for a wide variety of reasons – some will travel to Italy on backpacking trips, some on romantic breaks and others will visit Italy on family holidays. However, regardless of the type of holiday on which you are travelling, you are always going to need somewhere to stay.

     While backpackers may choose to find more budget accommodation such as a youth hostel, others may seek to stay in one of the stunning old hotels. If you are looking for accommodation in Italy, the best way of finding it is by searching online as this can result in great discounts and save a lot of time searching travel agents in the high street.

Best Stag Weekend Activities in Europe

If you’re set to be a best man in summer 2012 then you’ve probably already been nominated with the all-important task of organising a stag weekend for your brother or best mate and all of the other lads in the new year – and of course there is therefore always a lot of pressure to create one of the best activity weekends that you’ll never forget. With that in mind here are some great stag weekend activity ideas to get the creative juices flowing...

Quad Biking – Get a great adrenaline rush as you cruise around in the dirt at high speeds for some fast and furious and seriously laddish fun. Race your mates and see who comes out on top.

Military Vehicles – Lets be fair now, is there anything more manly than driving a tank? Well now you can make all those boyhood dreams come true and drive a range of military vehicles around specialised designed courses in great locations across Europe.

Snowmobiles – Fancy something a bit different on your winter stag do? You can now find snowmobile driving opportunities in great European locations like Krakow and Riga.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Alternative Holiday Destinations You May Not Know Of

Many people who travel to Europe will often visit big famous cities like Paris, Barcelona or Rome - but have you considered an alternative holiday destination - perhaps somewhere you may not know much about and is perhaps internationally less well known? In this blog post we look at the fantastic skiing destination Tsakhkadzor in Armenia and examine the intrigues and charms of exploring Castles in Denmark.

Skiing in Tsakhkadzor

There are many great ski resorts in Europe in countries like Austria, France, Switzerland and Italy but if you are looking for something a bit different why not take a trip to Tsakhkadzor, Armenia. Located approximately a 1 hour drive away from Armenia’s capital Yerevan and standing over 1800 metres above sea level on the South Eastern edge of Mount Teghenis,  Tsakhkadzor offers excellent snow for skiers and snowboarders as well all the facilities you would expect from a great ski resort - such as great bars and restaurants. However, the city is also steeped in history and offers some great architectural attractions such as churches and monasteries dating back to the Middle Ages.

Visiting Castles in Denmark

If you fancy something a bit different from your city break why not pack your bags and head to Copenhagen to check out some of the stunning historical buildings of the city? The country is filled with some fantastic castles and other historic buildings dating back to the 1300s and in Copenhagen you can find some of the best. Amalienborg for example is the home of the Danish royal family and comprises of 4 separate palace buildings - each of which are superb to behold in their own right. As with Buckingham Palace in London, tourists flock to Amalienborg to see the ceremonial changing of the guard and enjoy a key piece of the country’s history and culture.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Best Stag and Hen Weekend Destinations in the UK

Let’s face it, stag weekends and hen weekends in are always pretty crazy and usually boozey affairs – and while some people will choose to travel to destinations for Europe for their big night out (often to get as far away from their bride or groom to be as possible), there are still plenty of great locations in the UK in which to have your stag or hen weekend at a fraction of the cost. Here are some of the most popular destinations in the UK:

Blackpool – If ever there was a town designed to welcome gangs of lads or girls for a mad weekend it is Blackpool. Take a trip up to the North West coast for hundreds of bars, pubs and clubs galore. Test your hangover by riding rollercoasters on the pleasure beach, get kitted up in fancy dress on the promenade or take a trip to the beach.

Leeds – Leeds has arguably the best nightlife in the north of England with fantastic clubs like Space and Gatecrasher. There are also some great outdoor activities you can take part in in the countryside around the city, such as paintball and clay pigeon shooting – or you can take a hike on the moors of nearby Ilkley.

London – Ladies on a hen do can shop til they drop in the heart of England’s capital. Nightlife is more varied and cosmopolitan than in most cities in the world - so both stags and hens are sure to find a pub or club to suit them and their mates. Take a trip on the London eye and see all the sites during the day.