Make sure your family have the best time on the slopes in NY

Going on your first ski vacation as a family can be a ridiculously exciting time. However, you need to make sure you’re properly prepared. Even if you’ve been on your own before, going with your family can be a very different experience. This guide will help you to have the best time imaginable:  

Have Lessons First

If you’ve never had a ski lesson in your life, don’t expect to turn up to your chalet and be a pro skier, or even an amateur skier. You’ll likely feel out of your depth, and regret not getting any practice in before you got there. Book some lessons before you go so you at least feel confident on the baby slopes. Make sure the whole family gets a little practice in first to make the most of this trip.

Find The Perfect Accommodation

Make sure you have the right accommodation for your family. You could stay on a ski resort, or a place just a short while away from one for a little more privacy. There are a few Windham rentals that could be what you’re looking for, but make sure you consider what your family need in a rental first.

Make Sure Your Kids Know What To Expect

As a ski vacation is usually very different to any other kind of vacation, make sure your kids know what to expect before they arrive too. You can read books with them, or watch TV shows that can give them a good idea of what they’re going to be doing.

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Take The Right Supplies

Make sure you take the right supplies with you. Make sure you’ve packed proper protection from the elements, like SPF and sunglasses. However, you don’t need to take everything. It’s a good idea to simply rent equipment before you arrive so you don’t have to buy it and spend too much money. It only makes sense to buy your own equipment if you’re avid skiers.

Go At The Right Time Of Year

Different times of year may suit you as a family. If you don’t mind peak season, going around Christmas/New Year time could be a good idea. However, if you want it to be nice and quiet, going in January is usually best. It all depends on what kind of atmosphere you’d like while you ski!

Book Childcare In Advance

If you want a day with just you and your partner, either so you can do the difficult slopes or go for a romantic meal, you could book childcare in advance. If you don’t, then make sure you want to have your kids with you all the time. Don’t count on being able to secure childcare once you arrive, or you may end up disappointed.

Consider Transportation

How are you going to get from A to B? You’ll need to consider transportation before you do anything else too. There may be buses, trains and trams depending on where you go. If you want luxury transportation, you could even book a limousine for your family!

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Limit Your Kid’s Time On The Snow

It’s a good idea to limit your kid’s time on the snow. It’s easy for them to get exhausted without realizing it, especially if they’re having a great time. Make sure they get plenty of rest and nourishment.

Hopefully these tips will help you to have the best family ski vacation you could ever hope for. If you have tips of your own, leave them below.

Posted in 2017, travel, travel ideas, travel tips | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Make your French adventure unforgettable

Planning a trip to the beautiful European country of France? Want to make your time there the most memorable of your life? Check out these cool suggestions of things to do and see in the country of love:

Visit Mont St Michel

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Mont St Michel is a world-famous medieval monastery which is perched on the top of a rock in the Normandy area of the country. There used to be a causeway that enabled you to visit the ancient holy place, but now you have to take off your shoes and wade through the water to get there, but don’t let that put you off because the monastery’s magical old atmosphere will leave you feeling intrigued, spellbound and blown-away by its rugged beauty.

Drink Champagne in the Marne Valley

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France is the home of champagne, so it would be rude not to sip some of the sparkling stuff while you’re there. Even better, visit the Marne Valley, where champagne is produced, sample the finest bottles around and experience a real slice of rural France with its vineyards, crumbling cottages and cool refreshing rivers.

See Sports at the Stade de France

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Sport plays a big role in European life. Football, or soccer as it is known in some parts of the world, is particularly popular across the continent and this is also true of France. So, why not experience the thrills and spills of the game for yourself by paying a visit to the Stade de France – the National Stadium of France and home of the French national football team? Just be aware that you may need to book tickets for the game and a Stade de France parking space to avoid disappointment, especially if you want to see a big game.

The Basilica of Sacred Heart of Paris

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One of Paris’ biggest and best landmarks, this impressive Roman Catholic church sits proudly at the top of Montmartre hill where its Travertine stone construction and unmistakable dome dominate the landscape. If you visit the Basilica, be sure to take advantage of the stunning views over Paris.

Disneyland, Paris

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Whether you’re traveling with children or you just want to inject some childlike fun into your French adventure, Disneyland, Paris is the place to be! Covering a huge 4800-acre site, Disneyland, Paris is home to two exciting theme parks, a shopping area, entertainment sections and almost 6000 hotel rooms. The star of the show, though, has to be the great Pirates of the Caribbean ride, which is lots of fun.

The Louvre

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This Paris museum is one of the biggest museums in the world and is home to a stunning collection of art and artefacts spanning back more than 2000 years. On a trip to The Louvre, you can expect to see no less than 3500 prehistoric artefacts including ancient paintings, Egyptian treasures and even glittering crown jewels!

Eat and Drink

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Between soaking in the sights and visiting the country’s finest attractions, you should, of course, take the time to sample as much of the authentic French food and drink on offer as possible. France is known for its fine dining and its pastries, in particular, are to die for, so whatever you do, don’t miss out!

Posted in 2017, tourism, travel, travel ideas, travel tips | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The jewel in Asia’s crown: Four reasons to make China your next vacation destination

It can be pretty tricky when you’re trying to find somewhere for your next vacation. After all, travel isn’t exactly cheap, nor is it the kinds of thing that the vast majority of people can do more than a couple of times a year, at most. This means that if you’re trying to decide where to go, then you want to feel as though you’ve found somewhere absolutely perfect. You don’t want to go to the kind of place where there’s one specific reason to see it, and then after that, the whole trip is sort of an anticlimax. Well, fortunately, there are places around the world that have so much to offer that you’ll probably come away from your vacation wishing that you’d had more time to see it all. Out of those kinds of places, few countries have more to offer than China. China is the kind of place that you could return to time and time again, year after year, and still never experience all of the truly incredible things that it has to offer. However, if you are taking a trip to China for the first time, then there are a few things that you simply can leave without experiencing.

The Great Wall

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Let’s start with the most obvious thing, shall we? No trip to China could ever be complete without taking a journey to experience The Great Wall, or should I say, some of The Great Wall. Unless you decide to join the many people who trek across the entire length of the wall, then there’s a pretty solid chance that you won’t get to experience the whole thing. But don’t worry, that doesn’t stop it from being one of the most breathtaking feats of architectural achievement in human history. Just standing on it, looking out across the Chinese landscape is enough to leave you in total awe of the things that human beings have been able to achieve.

The incredible culture

China has one of the richest cultures in the world, dating back thousands upon thousands of years. Whether you want to experience traditional Chinese Kung Fu, learn about the four thousand years of Chinese history, or simply marvel at the incredible architecture in one of China’s many bustling cities. Unlike many places that seemingly have a strong divide between the current and historical aspects of their culture, China is a place where both of them are constantly interweaving in people’s everyday lives.

The food

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You might think you know Chinese food, but one day in China will show you just how wrong you are. The food that Westerners know as Chinese food is something that has been very specifically crafted to fit a western palate. However, the traditional food that you will eat in China can be a little intimidating at first, simply because it’s so foreign to the kinds of things Westerners are used to eating. However, if you give it a chance, you’ll find yourself experience some of the most incredible and unique flavors that you’ll ever come across. With an emphasis on fresh ingredients as well as wonderful colors and presentation, traditional Chinese food is something that really does need to be experienced in order to be truly appreciated.

The natural beauty

Man-made wonders like The Great Wall might be the kinds of things that China is most famous for, but that doesn’t mean that China doesn’t also have its fair share of remarkable natural beauty. Whether it’s the luscious green forests, the beauty of the Yangtze Gorge or the breathtaking spectacle of Zhangjiajie, you’ll find that China holidays are certainly not short of natural wonders that offer more beauty than just about anywhere else in the world. Many people don’t realize just how amazing the natural sights of China are because of its reputation for industry and innovation, but as with every aspect of Chinese culture, there is a sense of carefully maintained balance throughout the country. This means that you can go from incredible technological feats to heart-stopping natural wonders from one day to the next.

So if you find yourself stuck for somewhere to take your next trip, then you should definitely put China right at the top of that list. Not only will you discover somewhere new and exciting, but because of the sheer amount of things that the country has to offer, don’t be surprised if you find yourself itching to return the moment you get back home. But be warned, you could go back to China every year for a decade, and there’s still a pretty good chance that you’ll never see every single incredible, remarkable or beautiful thing that it has to offer.

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Never Skied Before?

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There’s nothing better than trying something new after all, life is all about challenging ourselves to become better people right? Loads of people put off taking to the slopes for longer than they really need to, simply out of fear  they’ll make an idiot of themselves falling over in the snow but the comforting thing is that everyone falls over sooner or later.

Watch A Video

Seriously, YouTube has a wealth of ski clips, tutorials and action packed videos for newbies to watch so you can get the hang of the theory before you have a go yourself. Once you understand how they’re able to stand upright without sliding backward, it’ll calm any pre-holiday nerves as well as reassure you that whizzing between trees, zooming down almost vertical slopes and gliding through endless white powdery snow is quite a lot of fun. You won’t be able to manage all this on your first trip, though.

However, skiing isn’t as hard as it looks so you’ll be doing your first snowplough in no time. Try to avoid videos where the conditions aren’t right, or it’s hard to see what’s happening as the best clips for beginners are those with blue skies, lots of sun and smiley skiers skimming the slopes. Whatever you do don’t watch skiing accident clips and don’t even think about searching for avalanche videos!

Sashay To A Chalet

It may be the best way to save money but when it comes to accommodation beginners should avoid a self-catering apartment. Why? If you’ve never been near a ski slope in your life, you’re going to have enough to worry about without thinking about what to cook for dinner.

A luxury ski chalet, or catered chalet hotel will take care of all that for you, as well as providing breakfast, lunch, a snack buffet, wine and lots of friendly reassurance. The concierge, or chalet manager will be aware you’re beginners simply by how nervous you look on the first day! They’ll probably introduce you to key staff, take you to the ski hire place and point out the nursery slopes at the same time.

Hit The Gym

Funnily enough, skiing requires you to exercise so if you’re not quite as in shape as you’d like then now’s the time to tone up otherwise you’ll be too tired to get out of bed. Ski maneuvers will use muscles you’ve probably never even hear of and while the snowplough, your classic beginner pose isn’t taxing when you’ve been doing it the entire morning in sub-zero temperatures you’re going to seize up pretty quickly. The best time to start a ski-specific fitness plan is about twelve weeks before your trip, so that your body has time to get used to the workouts but if you’ve left it a little late don’t worry. Eat while standing up, it’s good for the system anyway, and practice bending your legs at 90 degrees for about ten seconds. If you struggle to get back up or feel your ankles giving way then we suggest a few more daily runs, lunges or digging out the old stair master!

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Posted in 2017, snow, travel, travel ideas, travel tips | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Escape to the sun: Seeing St Lucia

Going on holiday is usually one of the biggest events in your year. Once it’s booked and paid for, you spend your year keeping watch on the shops for holiday bargains and sales, you choose your luggage and you buy your sunscreen. It’s one thing you could look forward to the most above everything else including Christmas.

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When you pick your destination, you’ll need to think about what you look for in a holiday and if you want sun, sea, sand and shopping then you need St Lucia. Holidays are the ultimate escape and going as far flung as St Lucia is a potentially once in a lifetime experience. With shores drenched in sunshine, sand as white as snow and towering Pitons overlooking everything you do, St Lucia is an obvious treasure. Take your pick over your activities and get down to business with the locals. Spend one day charting the rainforest on a tour with a group, spend the next day a conqueror of volcanoes. It’s absolutely packed with activities and for the solo explorer, it’s one of the most empowering places to go and discover Just You. Being one with yourself and enjoying whatever you want to do without answering to anyone else? Yep, that’s definitely an experience not to be missed.

So, before you go, make sure you put together a list of things you want to do and see. There’s plenty to do in St Lucia to keep everyone happy and you can find yourself an adventure in St Lucia. Heading to the Anse Chastenet Resort will open up the chance to go jungle biking. If you’ve never been before, you’re in for an absolute treat! You can drive through the old plantations and end up at the Anse Mamin beach, which is secluded, sun-soaked and with unspoilt sands. The views across the calm oceans alone are worth the journey. You can pick up adventure when you go on the Segway trails, get your walking boots on and hike up the volcanic rock and then zip-line down into the jungle. Your heart will be racing with all the sights and sounds, and when you travel in a tour you will get the chance to talk to the locals and the guides, who may have lived in St Lucia their entire lives and can give you interesting little nuggets of information to take home with you.

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St Lucia is the home to the indigenous birds in the Babonneau Rainforest. It’s really hard not to be thrilled and excited by the flora and fauna of the island. You can make a point of going to visit Soufriere, which is known as the Pearl of the Caribbean. It’s home to the world’s only volcano that you can drive into! The volcano is breath-taking in sight, but the smell may take your breath away too as you breathe in the slightly disgusting sulphuric smell of rotten egg! Still, it’s not every day you can course up a volcano so rotten eggs aside, enjoy the experience. If you’ve had enough of rock climbing, visit the botanical gardens at Diamond Falls. It’s not just about the tropical plant life, so different from what you get in the suburbs, but it’s also the place to see hot mineral springs and the falls. It’s one of the natural wonders in St Lucia and while it may be hard to comprehend why when reading about it, you’ll see what we mean when you get there.

While there’s so much to do at land level and then above land level with the volcanos, there’s a whole other world to see below sea level. St Lucia is famed for its coral reefs and plethora of marine life. Cooling off in the sea after a day of sunbathing is one thing, but strapping on that scuba suit and mask and diving below the sea gives you a tranquillity you wouldn’t find with a cocktail in hand on the beach. Sea horses, sea turtles, lobsters and puffers are only some of the life you’ll see below the crystal clear waters and you get a front row seat to how they live below. It’s not The Little Mermaid you’ll be looking for, but Sebastian! The peace you find below the water along with only the sounds of the air you are breathing is something to be discovered. If you fancy something a little more robust, get your feet onto a boat. From kite surfing to boating around the shores there is plenty to do on the water as well as under it. Zip along the crest of the waves as you windsurf around the shores and get active in the azure water. Let the breeze carry you along and experience a world at speed.

While you’re busy with all these activities, you’re bound to get hungry. The cuisine on the island is influenced by Creole and if you make a point of having your holiday out of season in October, you’ll be on the right track to visit during the rum and food festival that St Lucia hold every year. Laze on the beach with curried lamb, jerk chicken and grilled prawns and really get immersed in the culture. It’s the place to go if you are a fan of rum so make time to visit the Rum Distillery on the island.

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Of course, St Lucia has so much more to offer as an island to visit. It’s suitable whether you bring your family, want a romantic break with your significant other or you just want to go alone to experience the food, the smells and the sights of a land far away. St Lucia has so much to offer that it’ll be hard for you to say goodbye! The historic sites, beautiful bays and the potential for exploring more than just an island is so obvious and your holiday can truly be one of a lifetime here. St Lucia is right there so why not book yourself a break today?

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A romantic weekend away: The Valentine’s gift that keeps giving

We’re all sick of hearing about Valentine’s Day by now. Good news, it’s nearly over! If you haven’t found the perfect gift, or want to give something that keeps giving, it’s not too late. Who says you need to keep your present to the day? A romantic weekend could be the perfect gift. And, it means the romance can last for longer! Of course, you’ll need to consider your options before booking. That’s why we’ve made a list of the most romantic destinations out there!

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PARIS

Let’s start with the obvious one. No list of romantic destinations would be complete without mention of Paris. It is, after all, the city of love. Whether you’ve been before or not, this is the ideal Valentine’s destination. You could share romantic candlelit dinners, and stroll under the Eiffel Tower. It doesn’t get more romantic than that. Going after Valentine’s Day means you can avoid the crowds. As you can imagine, a lot of people head to Paris at this time of year.

NEW YORK

If you want to stay closer to home, why not book a weekend to New York? The city may not have the romantic allure of Paris, but it has a charm of its own. Don’t hesitate to book cheap flights to New York and get planning! You could take a trip to the top of the Empire State Building and look over the city. Or, keep your feet on the ground with a gentle stroll around iconic Central Park. One thing’s sure; there’s no lack of romantic spots to explore.

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VENICE

Venice is another destination that needed to be on this list. Fancy a night time gondola ride with your lover? We’ve all seen it in the movies! You’ll have a man playing violin behind you as you stare into each other’s eyes. Okay, the reality may be a little different. It’s still a romantic destination to die for, though! Even better, you’ll be able to experience a culture unlike anything you’ve seen. This is a place you need to visit at least once in your life. There’s something majestic about this city on water. Who better to experience it with than the one you love?

BARBADOS

A romantic break is always made better by a little sunshine. Why not take a trip to Barbados and enjoy some beach time with your man? A trip to this beautiful Caribbean island will ensure you can soak up the rays. Find an exclusive beach and spend a little time sunbathing. When you get too hot, you can stroll into town and order a cocktail. What’s not to love? The whole idea of time away is to escape the daily grind, right? Escapism doesn’t get better than this!

Of course, these are by no means the only options out there. If these don’t appeal, research other options. Is there a country that is special to you and your man in some way? Make the gift meaningful by making that your chosen location!

Posted in 2017, tourism, travel, travel ideas, travel tips, weekend | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Four countries that you need to visit at least once in your life

I love the quote by Matthew Karsten that an investment in travel is an investment in yourself. I pretty much live by this and am always planning my next adventure. There are so many places that I’d love to travel to; it can be hard deciding which is next on the list. So here are just a few countries that I think everyone should travel to, at least once in their life. I’d love to know what would be on your list and where you’d like to travel to next.

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Australia

Australia is a much bigger country than a lot of people give it credit for. It is rich in culture and ethnic diversity, meaning that no two places are the same. It has amazing landscapes and places to explore, as well as great cities to see and beaches to relax on. The weather and climate is a big selling point for visiting there. Even in their months classed as winter, you are still going to get quite a lot of sunshine. So although their summer months are the warmest, you can pretty much go all year round. Which is great when planning travel, as it can be a little pricey. All worth it, though.

Africa

Africa is a large continent, but the whole thing had to be included in this list, as there are so many diverse and interesting countries within the continent. The wildlife is a massive selling point for making a trip to Africa. There are lots of different wildlife and safari parks to visit so you can make your trip exciting and fun. There are also lots of opportunities to volunteer in Ghana and places like Botswana. So it would be a trip unlike any other.

United Kingdom

The UK offers such a wide range of things to experience, to say that it is such a small little island. There are the far flung and remote islands of Scotland, to the stunning views of the Lake District, to the beaches of Wales, and the hustle and bustle of the city of London. The history is rich in England, so there are lots of historical sites to see. There are lots of great places to stay and restaurants to eat in too. It can be easy to see lots of the country too as it isn’t very large. So if you want to experience all that it has to offer, then it is very possible.

Italy

Italy is the land of beautiful food and beautiful people. It has a good climate with a bit of something for everyone. There are stunning beaches as well as the cities to explore like Rome and Venice. The latter of which is a completely unique place. Where else do you know what you have to take a gondola to get anywhere? The history is rich in Italy too. It really is mind blowing just how old some of the sights in Italy are. A must visit for everyone at some point.

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