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Travel Blog

Tips for Packing for the Perfect Vacation

Are you about to check a location off your bucket list? Traveling to new destinations is always an adventure. Whether you’re heading out on to a business trip, meeting up with friends and family or taking the plunge of your first solo trip – a little advance planning in the packing department can make all the difference in the world. If you have your travel and accommodations booked, the next piece to focus on is packing. Some might think throwing everything you own into a suitcase suffices for packing – but the experts beg to differ. Follow these recommendations from the professionals and you’ll arrive, stress free, at your destination with exactly what you do need, and nothing that you don’t!Continue reading

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Europe, Travel Blog

Why Not Learn to Fly when traveling to Britain?

Flying lessons UK” is an increasingly common term that when entered into any search engine reveals a wealth of flying opportunities that exist throughout the whole of Britain. It’s not surprising given the country’s great history of taking to the skies, yet many people who love the idea of learning to fly never realise that there are so many opportunities available.

flying-lessons-ukMany British based private flying companies based in airfields and small independent airports all over Britain offer a wide choice of flying experiences. These can range from a simple half hour ride in a small private plane where you get to take control of the plane in mid air under the watchful eye of a flying instructor to professional tuition over a lengthy period, leading to a pilot’s licence.

Flying an aeroplane isn’t the only opportunity you can take advantage of. You can also learn to fly a glider or a microlight aircraft. Alternatively, can also learn to parachute and skydive, too. Tandem skydiving is an especially popular activity. You dive out of the plane while securely strapped to a professional skydiver. All that you have to do is enjoy the ride, or fall to be more exact, and experience the exhilaration of freefall for a whole minute before the parachute opens and you descend gracefully and safely to earth.

There’s no shortage of airfields where you can find a range of recreational flying activities being offered to the public. While you can usually find an airfield hosting amateur flying lessons close to where you live, keep in mind that the scenery is an important part of the flying experience. That may involve a bit more travel, so why not consider a weekend trip where you can devote two or three days to learning your new aviation skills over interesting scenery?

For example, if you want to enjoy flying over the green rolling fields and farmland of Wiltshire, Old Sarum Airfield, a former military pilot training centre during the first world war, is a particularly popular location. It now proudly plays host to a wide range of recreational flying opportunities. Strathaven Airfield in west central Scotland is another popular location that hosting a range of recreational aviation activities that can involve flying over moorland, the west coast of Ayrshire or over towns dotted along the Firth of Clyde, while further north, there are recreational flying opportunities available at Inverness Airport, where a flight takes you over the magnificent scenery of Loch Ness and the tallest mountains in Britain.

Wherever you choose to take flying lessons, rest assured that safety is given the utmost importance and all recreational aviation activities are fully in compliance with the Civil Aviation Authority’s strict requirements.

Even if flying is not your thing, you almost certainly know several people who would love the idea of having a flying experience with professional guidance That’s why flying lesson gift vouchers have become so popular. You can pre-book a flying, parachuting or skydiving experience for someone else. It could be as simple as a short afternoon plane ride, or it could be a full course of lessons leading to a professional aviation qualification.

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Travel Blog, Travel Store!

Marbella, the Highlight of the Andalusian Coast

Long since popular with wealthy holidaymakers, Marbella has seen many celebrity residents and visitors over the years. Recently it’s also become a favourite destination among the younger party crowd. But while it’s true that the summer months can see an influx of over-excited hen parties, Marbella’s year-round sunshine makes it a great destination for a winter break. As the summer can be unpleasantly hot, this is also an excellent time to explore Andalucia; using Marbella as a base allows you to enjoy the pleasures of the coast, while also heading inland to explore cities like Seville, Jerez and Cadiz.

A cultural hotspot

But what of Marbella itself? While it would be a shame to visit Andalucia and miss seeing at least one of its historic cities, Marbella certainly has enough attractions to fill up your holiday. There’s plenty of culture on offer, covering music, art and history. Fans of Dalí and Picasso will find their prints on display at the Contemporary Spanish Engraving Museum, along with works by other 20th-century Spanish artists. The Ralli Museum holds a collection of mainly Latin American art. For something more unusual, check out the Bonsai Museum, one of several such establishments around the world.

marbella

It’s festival time

Spain is known for its festivals, and Marbella is no exception. Time your visit well, and you could catch one of the many events held throughout the year. There are film and theatre festivals, as well as other typically Andalusian celebrations. In fact, there are ferias most months, if not several, which will give you a flavour of life in southern Spain. As well as festivals covering the whole town, each district has its own ‘fiesta’. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to try typical Andalusian dishes at one of these festivals; should you miss out on the festivals, search out restaurants away from the tourist trail so that you can find authentic cuisine such as gazpacho and dishes made with locally caught fish.

History that tells a story

Like many popular resorts, Marbella retains its Old Town away from the more touristy areas. This contains many historic buildings and churches, along with the ancient city walls and the remains of the Arabic castle. Near the old town, in the ‘historic extension’ area, you’ll also find a botanical garden and other parks and gardens. All of this makes for some very pleasant walks for those who enjoy strolling around. There are even a few remnants of the Roman era to be spotted in and around Marbella, such as the 1st-century bridge in the grounds of the Hotel Puente Romano, commemorated in the name of the establishment.

Life’s a beach

Since Marbella enjoys such a delightful climate, most visitors want to spend at least some time on the beaches. The city offers 17 miles of mostly sandy beaches. Should you want to enjoy more active outdoor pursuits than sunbathing, there are plenty of sporting activities on offer, such as watersports and bike tours, or extreme sports for the thrillseekers. There are also many golf courses in the area. And if you want to dream of a more luxurious life, amuse yourself by checking out the yachts of the super-rich, or admiring their luxury villas from afar.

Glitz and glamour

Marbella still enjoys the reputation of being somewhat blingier than its fellow resorts on the Costa del Sol. In fact. few other locations in all the Spanish Costas can compare with Puerto Banus and the Golden Mile where there’s stylish shopping and luxurious, stylish nightlife from restaurants, night clubs, bars and casinos to entertain visitors.

Have fun and be sure to book your Marbella airport transfer with Holiday Taxis.

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Travel Blog

Turkey’s Aegean Sea

The Aegean Sea is a stretch of water that lies between Greece and Turkey. It is a beautiful part of the Mediterranean area which is very popular for tourists from all over the world. The Greek islands probably get the most publicity, but you can have an equally good vacation on the Turkish side, and often pay a bit less for it as well.

Turkey's Aegean SeaThe largest Turkish city in the area is Izmir, which now has a population of about 4 million – a big increase from its ancient beginnings as the city of Smyrna. With history going back thousands of years, there is plenty of interest to see around Izmir – the local transport system is pretty good, or you can simply take a walking tour of the city.

Walking along the promenade, the Kordon, you can admire the apartments and palm trees on one side, and the beautiful Aegean Sea on the other. If you want to do a bit of shopping, head for the Kemeralti bazaar, where you’ll find lots of great shops, coffee houses, and craftsmen. A perfect place to find some local souvenirs, and then take a breather and soak up the atmosphere.

Kusadasi is a little bit south of Izmir, which has become the second-busiest port for cruise liners in Turkey after Istanbul. One big reason for this is the amazing historical site of Ephesus, which is not far from Kusadasi. The ancient remains make the site a really interesting destination for a day trip, or several days if you’re very keen on your history. It is probably the best site for Roman remains in the whole of Turkey. Also near Kusadasi is the Greek island of Samos, and there are regular daily ferry services.

Carry on further south: Bodrum is a popular resort which is also the site of an ancient city – Halikarnassus, famous for the tomb of Mausolus. Bodrum has attractions for different types of visitors; the castle and the other monuments will interest those who like history; the marina will please the sailing enthusiasts; and the beach with its bars will satisfy people who want to just enjoy themselves in the sunshine. Bodrum also has many accommodation options from cheap B&Bs to Luxury hotels.

Obviously these coastal resorts are very busy during the summer, but you don’t have to go very far to find a bit of peace and quiet. Dilek Peninsula National Park is only 30km (19 miles) from Kusadasi, from where you can catch a bus. The peninsula has lush forests, rare animals, and some quiet beaches. There is no accomodation or legal camping in the Park, but it makes a wonderful day trip, and a nice break from the built-up resorts and busy beaches.

The local airports of the Turkish Aegean have flights from some European cities, but travelers from further away will usually arrive in Istanbul or Antalya. Istanbul is a 10 hour drive from Izmir, but if you have the time, it’s a great way to see a bit more of this fascinating country on the edge of Asia.

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Travel Blog

Top-rated Bicycle Rides For Vacationers

It is becoming more and more popular for people on vacation to look for places that they can stay where they can ride a bicycle to get places part of the time. Here are some of the best experiences possible for those that would like to get a work-out the next time that they travel:

The Big Bay Loop in San Diego:

A lot of people consider San Diego to be one of the premier ‘outdoor’ living cities in the United States. What they don’t always realize when they visit is that the city has set aside enough public roadway so that there is a very large loop ride around San Diego Bay open to bicyclists year-round. Starting South from the downtown area along Harbor Drive, visitors can tour the industrial National City and see the largest Navy base on the West Coast. Continuing on, there are plenty of natural wetlands to explore as you cycle towards the beaches and the Peninsula known as Coronado Island. Coronado is famous for the movie ‘Some Like it Hot’ and is one of the only places in Southern California to host an outdoor ice skating rink during the Christmas season. The loop length is over 20 miles and can take a few hours to complete.

Portland Downtown: For some people, the idea of riding a bicycle in a crowded downtown area seems to be an unnerving experience. In a city like Portland, with its wide open spaces and bike culture, it can be a pretty good experience. The city has a bike-sharing program that actually makes it easy to find a bicycle to ride around. Getting downtown to pick your starting place is also convenient because there is a light-rail line in almost every part of the city that will take you there. Even if you are flying in, the airport has a direct light-rail link to the downtown area, making it unnecessary to use a car at all. Once you are downtown and on a bicycle, you can choose to follow a travel guide but it makes a lot more sense for you to just explore and enjoy seeing what you want to see. The only thing that you need to remember is that the numbered streets get smaller as you approach the Willamette river.

Central Park, NYC: New York City rolled out the red carpet to tourists over a decade ago and hasn’t really looked back. The city’s pride in itself and its landmarks has allowed visitors to continue to enjoy one of the world’s largest urban areas on bicycle. Central Park is one of the most talked about parts of New York City and shouldn’t be missed. Central Park bike rental NYC is available and can help make your Central Park visit memorable. Unlike Portland or San Diego, it is a good idea to plan where you want to visit within the park before you leave so that you can maximize the amount of time that you have to spend at each attraction. Bikerentalcentralpark.com is one place that you can visit that can provide both bicycles and popular routes within the park.

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Travel Blog

The Olympics Can Improve Your Business

The Olympic Games are an event like no other – one that grabs the full, unwavering attention of the entire world, including many who aren’t interested in sports. Every four years, millions of people tune in to watch these incredible athletic events, fostering passion and love of country, as well as an inspiring a sense of unity and global cooperation. This feeling gives rise to a belief in humanity and the possibility of a better, more peaceful world. The Games give us a chance to throw our differences aside and wear our national pride on our sleeves, while also marveling at and cheering for the best athletes in the world. There is simply no grander or more inclusive display of unity and teambuilding.Continue reading

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