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September 1, 2013

Lethbridge accommodation options

There are dozens of reasons to visit Lethbridge, Alberta. From the excellent arts and culture, the lush green spaces, the informative historical sites, to the exciting shopping opportunities – these are just the beginning. But after all that sightseeing, you’ll want to fall into a comfortable bed will you not? Lethbridge provides visitors to the city a number of accommodations options, ranging from high-end hotels to budget-conscious motels and unique bed-and-breakfasts. Most of the city’s accommodations are located in the south, but options can be found all over the city.

Lethbridge has more than a dozen options for comfortable, moderately priced hotels. Most of the hotels are part of larger chains. Among the most expensive (and comfortable) are the two Holiday Inns and the Quality Inn.

There are several options for those visitors who need conference or meeting room facilities. The Holiday Inn, the Coast Lethbridge Hotel and the Lethbridge Lodge all have full convention centers, while about half a dozen of the city’s hotels, including Hampton Inn & Suites and the Sandman Hotel, have meeting rooms.

If you’re looking for all-inclusive lodging, consider Lethbridge Lodge. This hotel provides facilities for business and relaxation. Lounge under palm trees next to the hotel’s outdoor pool and hot tub or dine at one of the hotel’s three restaurants. After a day of poolside relaxation, you can party at the hotel’s Essie’s Night Club, which features live music, pool and dancing.

For environmentally conscious travelers, many of the city’s hotels are Sabre Eco-Certified, which means they choose more sustainable practices. The Sabre website offers a complete listing of Lethbridge hotels that have earned its certification. Lethbridge’s accommodations offer a variety of amenities, including swimming pools, fitness centers, free breakfast, Internet, restaurants and room service.

If you’re on a budget, Lethbridge has options for under $100 a night. The Travelodge and the Super 8 both provide inexpensive but comfortable rooms for travelers. For those on a budget and planning on visiting Lethbridge in the late spring or summer, Lethbridge College offers short- and long-term rentals at its resident housing facilities. Choices range from a single room to a four-bedroom townhouse, complete with linen service, high-speed Internet and access to campus amenities, including fitness facilities. This option is a bargain – an overnight stay is between $40 and $70 per person per night.

Those visitors looking for a more “homey” option can consider one of Lethbridge’s friendly bed-and-breakfasts. The Norland Bed and Breakfast provides luxury accommodations in a century-old Victorian mansion with beautifully manicured grounds.

You’ll feel right at home in your cozy room at Enid’s B&B and wake up to a hot home-cooked meal. At the Heritage House, you’ll be staying in one of Alberta’s finest examples of Art Deco architecture. The Charles Street B&B is located in Lethbridge’s historic London Road neighborhood. This charming Victorian house has three guest rooms named after belles of Hollywood: Ava, Marilyn and Greta.

Large groups can rent out the entire Coulee View Getaway Inn, which offers six bedrooms and four bathrooms, a fully equipped kitchen and a multipurpose room, all for very reasonable rates.

Lethbridge has many accommodations options for visitors with all budgets. Whether you’re looking for a hotel that has the capacity for your business conference or a quaint, quiet B&B, you’ll find a place to get a good night’s rest in this small but fascinating city.

September 1, 2013

A Ticket Round the World

To travel around the world is the unaccomplished dream of many people, and it’s something that’s so tempting when reading travel articles, seeing photos on social media sites or watching expedition documentaries. When dreaming of Round the World tickets, obviously the first doubt that comes into play here is the money, it is always thought to travel around the world is to have a lot money available to you, not to mention the paperwork and time spent for planning. However, in reality never before in the history of humanity has it been so easy, we simply need the enduring desire to go, with the Round the World trip taking president over all other priorities. If you have got this far then it is definitely worth taking this idea out of the box of pipedreams.

The first thing to do is to realise that it is not obligatory to have a horrendous amount of time off in order to travel the world, nor is it necessary to spend all of your life savings. There are return routes round the world that are available to enjoy from ten days, to ten months and more, and for less than £2000. So what really needs the tough thinking is deciding where you want to go, depending on the time and money you want to spend, and then you can start organising your adventure. There are plenty of web pages and travel companies that allow you to make your own route round the world. There are popular suggestions but it’s practically encouraged to tailor your journey to your dream. So you have the choice if you want to follow an established route, or create your own. Following what you want, you can touch down on all of the continents or keep to the countries that interest you the most.

In respect to the paperwork for such a bold journey, the advantage of having a round the world ticket is fantastically simple to travel far and for an economical price. So instead of trying to do the paperwork as you go along, it’s all just down to the ticket. With this, you are not an itinerary but you have the ability to travel the distance and price you are willing to go. With these tickets comes the ability to fly into and from a country and what you decide to do in between is the unique experience.

August 27, 2013

Cheap Holidays in the Sun: How to Bag a Bargain

Everyone dreams of a summer holiday and if you haven’t had yours yet, it’s not too late. While many people may be avoiding the idea completely through risk of damaging their financial stability, you’d be surprised at how cheap holidays in the sun can be easily achieved. With a little savvy searching and some careful consideration of the available online deals from providers such as Direct Holidays, you could be jetting off to warmer climes in no time.

Choose your dates wisely

If you have the luxury of flexibility, this can really play in your favour – particularly when looking at last minute deals. Put aside money each month into a holiday pot and splash out on a last minute deal when the time comes. Alternatively, plan your saving around particular dates that coincide with work and school commitments. Avoid peak seasons and school holidays where you can because these times automatically cost substantially more.

Cut Out the Middle Man

Booking online can help to save major bucks compared with booking direct. Use a reputable online provider for guaranteed quality for less.

Go Self Catering

While all inclusive and half board options may seem appealing, self-catering can cost significantly less – particularly if you’re travelling as a couple rather than a family. Those with kids may find all inclusive to be more beneficial, cost-wise.

Avoid Unnecessary Costs

Stick within the baggage limit so that you’re not faced with hefty charges, choose low cost travel insurance and exchange your currency with a commission-free agent so that you’re not faced with additional fees.

Summer holidays don’t have to cost a fortune. You just need to know where you can save money – you’d be surprised at how cheap they can be when you know how!

August 19, 2013

Hit the Tiles: Bars and Clubs in Playa de las Americas

While last minute holidays to Tenerife offer the perfect jaunt for families this summer, you can’t ignore the popularity that the island has with party animals too. While many groups of clubbers will be heading for Magaluf, Ayia Napa and Ibiza this year, many will flock to the shores of Tenerife resorts, particularly the nightlife favourite, Playa de las Americas.

But where do you go once there? Often, it’s a case of trial and error, making your way down the strip to find bars and clubs that suit your style and wallet, but having an idea of some of the recommended venues before you fly can help save you the time of finding the best ones yourself.

While the bars and clubs in Playa de las Americas predominantly centre on Starco’s, Veronicas and The Patch, you can find plenty between these venues too. Veronicas can be found on the beachfront, while Starco’s and The Patch are a little further inland.

Starco’s is a shopping centre complex that includes more bars than Veronicas, so attracts crowds earlier on the evening. Bars including Down Under, Brannigans and Fitzpatrick’s are popular haunts. Meanwhile, Veronica’s Strip is more club-orientated, while The Patch tends to aim towards the older demographic, providing plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy.

You will find, during your stay, that different bars are more popular at different times. While some open until 5am for the night owls, many are vibrant and bustling earlier on in the evening, almost as a preparation for what’s to come.

Whatever your style, the bars and restaurants in Playa de las Americas will appeal to anyone with a love of nightlife. Start your summer in style with a partying break in Tenerife.

With the help of a Thomas Cook holiday, you can enjoy a summer break for an affordable price. Take a look online, choose your favourite resort and prepare yourself for a memorable holiday in the sun, this year.

July 30, 2013

Planning the Perfect Maine Vacation

New England is one of the best travel destinations in America. Rich in history and full of beauty, the states that make up New England have a great deal to offer to visitors. For those who are willing to make the trip, it would be a shame not to visit what is perhaps the most beautiful state in New England – Maine.

When most people think about Maine, lobster rolls, moose and lighthouses come to mind. While the state has perhaps gotten this reputation for a reason, there’s a lot more to enjoy in Maine than these cliches. The more time you spend in the state, the more apparent it becomes just how much it has to offer to visitors.

Here are just a few tips to help you plan the perfect Maine vacation:

Come in the Summer

Winter in Maine can be a magical season. As the snow covers every inch of land, many parts of the state can look as if they’re right out of a movie. This being said, winters in Maine can be as harsh as they are beautiful, and many towns practically shut down during the slower months of the year. For those who have never visited Maine, it’s best to start off with a summer visit.

During the summer, touristy towns are rife with excitement and energy, and there’s simply no better time to see what the state has to offer. The beaches of York and Wells, for example, are some of the nicest in New England, and you can really only take advantage of these during the summer. A winter visit may be in order down the road, but not as a first experience.

Pack Accordingly

If you decide to come to Maine in the summer, you can expect similar weather to anywhere else on the east coast. Don’t believe the myths that Maine is always a cold, frigid wasteland; temperatures can reach well into the 90s at the peak of summer. Shorts, t-shirts and bathing suits are typically the way to go.

If a winter vacation is in order, be sure to pack warm clothing; a down jacket will be your best friend when the snow starts falling. Most importantly, choose luggage that will help to get your belongings to Maine in a safe and secure manner; Hartmann luggage shop is a great option for those who are looking for high-quality leather luggage.

Don’t Just Stick to Portland

Portland is Maine’s cultural center; there’s no getting around this. Featuring some of the best restaurants in the country, a bustling arts scene and plenty of nightlife options, it’s difficult to visit Portland without having a great time. If you’re visiting Maine for the first time, however, don’t allow yourself to be tempted to stay within the city limits of Portland.

Downeast Maine, for example, is one of the most beautiful parts of the state, and no trip to Maine is complete without visiting this area. Look also into Mid-coast Maine, which – like Portland – is loaded with excellent restaurants, some of which have been heralded on a national level.

A trip to Maine can be a great way to refresh your mind. After all, they don’t call it “The Way Life Should Be” for nothing.

July 27, 2013

5 Best East Coast Beach Hotels Never to Miss Out On

Do you love the beach? Do you love the east coast? How about combining the two of those ideas together? Lots of people head to Florida and the Carolinas every year, in search of that sweet vacation spot for their family. Keep in mind that not every single resort is going to suit your needs, even if it looks great. Depending upon who you are traveling with, you may want more activities or more dining options, a boutique hotel or a hotel located downtown. Heck, maybe you even want a relaxing atmosphere. This list will focus on five hotels in Florida that could accommodate your needs.

1. North Beach Camp Resort:
The 30-acre family owned North Beach Camp Resort is located on the Coastal Highway in St Augustine, FL. It is situated on a barrier island that is between the saltwater beach Tolomoto and the Atlantic. This works out very nicely because the sun rises on the Atlantic beach and then sets on Tolomoto. Pictures are definitely a must here! This hotel offers all of the modern day amenities to its guests including one-bed and two-bed cabins, swing chairs and large decks. It is a beautiful campground with a bunch of RV sites and roomy tents. A pool, fishing dock, basketball area and shuffleboard are also available to make the stay of its guests memorable.

2. Perry’s Ocean Edge Resort:
The family owned Perry’s Edge Resort has been serving guests of all nationalities since 1941. It was recently renovated in order to give it a new look of life and soothing styles and colors. This hotel is located on Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach, FL. In order to keep its guests engaged it has provided three pools, shuffleboard and volleyball. It also offers various other organized fun and games. Guests can enjoy the homemade and delicious breakfast doughnuts during their stay. It has spacious rooms for everybody and more than 200 of those rooms have a beautiful view of the ocean.

3. PGA National Resort and Spa:
The PGA National Resort and Spa is situated on Avenue of the Champions in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. It is centrally located in the upscale community of Palm Beach Gardens (obviously). There is some high-end shopping, general entertainment, and multiple attractions just minutes away from the hotel, not including the obvious beach. The International Airport is located just 40 minutes away. The hotel is highly appreciated and popular for its golf so unless you are a true golfer, maybe this place is best skipped over in search of other less expensive options, though it still is a fine place to stay. It has seen many grand golf tournaments in the past which includes the Ryder Cup, Honda Classic and PGA Championship. It offers all of the modern day amenities that a guest can expect.

4. Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort:
The classic Marriott Singer Island Resort is situated on North Ocean Drive, Singer Island, FL. It has 66 residential condominiums and 239 all-suite resort units. The resort offers facilities for holding meetings and banquets, including the business center. There is also fine dining and the usual modern day amenities which include high speed internet access, a pool and spa facilities. Overall, you can have a luxurious experience during your time at this resort for not very much cash out of pocket.

5. Four Seasons Palm Beach:
Four Seasons Palm Beach is situated on Ocean Boulevard in Palm Beach, FL. It offers a full service spa, a 24 hour gym and soothing ocean views to all of its guests. It also provides onsite dining which is nice, for those of you who dislike having to walk or drive to find a place to eat. For the adventure seekers, you can enjoy boating, fishing, jet skiing, scuba diving, volleyball, windsurfing and lots more.

January 23, 2013

Got a lot of catching up to do…

Jesus, I haven’t posted to this blog for over three months? That’s pretty bad.

So what has kept me so busy? In October/November I took a work trip to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. It was lovely. Then in December/January I went on vacation to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. Again, very lovely.

For whatever reason, I am completely unable to blog while actually on a trip, making me one of the least effective “travel bloggers” out there. I am incredibly envious of those who can post a summary (with pictures!) at the end of each day, but I am lazy, hate lugging around a laptop, and would rather spend the evening drinking beer or sleeping. So now I have this gigantic backlog of photo processing/blogging. Which isn’t helped by our new obsession with “Dexter” (thank you, Netflix!)

So once I get done processing all the photos I took (2,700 in Central Asia and 1,500 in Southeast Asia) I’ll get around to posting them and perhaps writing a few words. And hopefully that will get done before 2014 rolls around.

OK, here is one of me at the Registan in Samarkand, Uzbekistan:


August 21, 2012

Travel Wishlist: Canary Islands

The Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago located off the northwest coast of Africa, have been on my travel wishlist for quite awhile. The Canary Islands are known for their beautiful beaches and year round spring-like weather, which is particularly attractive to Europeans looking to escape the colder winter temperatures.

The island of Gran Canaria is particularly popular with the millions of tourists who visit the Canary Islands. It is often described as a “miniature continent” due to its variety of landscapes and microclimates. Here one can find everything from wide beaches with desert-like sand dunes to mountains, rocky coastlines, and quaint villages. In addition, there are plenty of activities to ensure that you enjoy your stay in Gran Canaria. One can go the relaxing route, and enjoy lounging on the beach while sipping on a cool drink, while the more adventurous travelers can hike the mountains or Dunas de Maspalomas. Those interested in culture and history will also find plenty to do. In the capital city, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, an annual Carnival is held in February, and tourists are encouraged to participate in the festivities. In particular, I would be interested in partaking in the cuisine, a combination of traditional Spanish recipes with African and Latin-American influences. For those who love history, there are several museums and monuments that you can visit. Gran Canaria was the first stop of Christopher Columbus’ expedition on his way back from the Americas, so the island is not lacking in historical significance.

During your stay in Gran Canaria you can enjoy water sports If you are inclined towards scuba diving or snorkeling. Overall, the Canary Islands offer something for everyone.

July 19, 2012

Questions of Travel

I’ve never been a huge fan of poetry. In middle school and high school, poetry writing assignments were the bane of my existence, and I usually ended up turning in something that was slightly “smartass-ish”. But, I came across the below poem by Elizabeth Bishop and loved it. Since it is related to travel, I thought I’d share.

Questions of Travel
Elizabeth Bishop

There are too many waterfalls here; the crowded streams
hurry too rapidly down to the sea,
and the pressure of so many clouds on the mountaintops
makes them spill over the sides in soft slow-motion,
turning to waterfalls under our very eyes.
–For if those streaks, those mile-long, shiny, tearstains,
aren’t waterfalls yet,
in a quick age or so, as ages go here,
they probably will be.
But if the streams and clouds keep travelling, travelling,
the mountains look like the hulls of capsized ships,
slime-hung and barnacled.

Think of the long trip home.
Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?
Is it right to be watching strangers in a play
in this strangest of theatres?
What childishness is it that while there’s a breath of life
in our bodies, we are determined to rush
to see the sun the other way around?
The tiniest green hummingbird in the world?
To stare at some inexplicable old stonework,
inexplicable and impenetrable,
at any view,
instantly seen and always, always delightful?
Oh, must we dream our dreams
and have them, too?
And have we room
for one more folded sunset, still quite warm?

But surely it would have been a pity
not to have seen the trees along this road,
really exaggerated in their beauty,
not to have seen them gesturing
like noble pantomimists, robed in pink.
–Not to have had to stop for gas and heard
the sad, two-noted, wooden tune
of disparate wooden clogs
carelessly clacking over
a grease-stained filling-station floor.
(In another country the clogs would all be tested.
Each pair there would have identical pitch.)
–A pity not to have heard
the other, less primitive music of the fat brown bird
who sings above the broken gasoline pump
in a bamboo church of Jesuit baroque:
three towers, five silver crosses.
–Yes, a pity not to have pondered,
blurr’dly and inconclusively,
on what connection can exist for centuries
between the crudest wooden footwear
and, careful and finicky,
the whittled fantasies of wooden footwear
and, careful and finicky,
the whittled fantasies of wooden cages.
–Never to have studied history in
the weak calligraphy of songbirds’ cages.
–And never to have had to listen to rain
so much like politicians’ speeches:
two hours of unrelenting oratory
and then a sudden golden silence
in which the traveller takes a notebook, writes:

“Is it lack of imagination that makes us come
to imagined places, not just stay at home?
Or could Pascal have been not entirely right
about just sitting quietly in one’s room?

Continent, city, country, society:
the choice is never wide and never free.
And here, or there . . . No. Should we have stayed at home,
wherever that may be?”

April 4, 2012

“Visit the USSR”

The Retronaut, my new favorite website, posted this unintentionally hilarious image taken from the Soviet brochure for the Brussels World’s Fair (Expo 58). If it weren’t for the “Visit the USSR” emblazoned across the image, I would have thought they were trying to sell potential tourists on a trip to Monaco.