It is not only one of the oldest cities but also an ancient capital of Europe with respectable political and cultural systems impacting European continent greatly. Athens has this mystical atmosphere around it and nothing beats a private tour in this famed center of learning, arts and philosophy. With a well guided tour in Athens you will have undoubtedly have experienced Greece at its best.
The historical sites, ancient landmarks and iconic museums make this a wonderful place to be for a holiday. You will have plenty to do and see, but it also helps to know a little about the destination you are about to explore and below are a few facts you should know about Athens before travelling and enjoying what it has to offer.
It has plenty of things to see and do
Some of the most breathtaking sites you will enjoy on your tour include Acropolis the holy site, Parthenon, Temple of Hephaestus and the National Archeological Museum. Others include Mount Lycabettus, Temple of Zeus, Church of Holy Apostle, Syntagma Square and The Plaka. Most tour packages include these attractions and many others; check out all so you have the most important and relevant to you included in your tour package.
The weather can be unpredictable
This is probably because of its location near Aegean Sea but in general, April and May are some of the best months you can choose to visit Athens because it is neither too cold nor too hot for a trek. If you are into the historical sites, then June is probably the best time to travel when the heat starts creeping in whereas beach lovers will find July through to September the best months as it is usually scorching and soaking up is just pleasant. The months between January and April are usually freezing cold, so it is best to remain warm in case you choose to go during this time of the year.
It is a relatively costly destination
Whereas the costs of entering the historical sites may not be that high, food on the other hand, especially in top restaurants can be pretty expensive. If you are travelling on a tight budget, it is best to stick to local cafes for your lunches, coffees and evening meals rather than the bigger restaurants. Fish seems to be the most expensive wherever you choose to eat. It is advisable that you have a reasonable holiday budget if at all you want to enjoy the very best of Athens. You can save up lots of money by taking up cheaper options for what you want for the holidays.
It can be a slow city
Taking your time when travelling is the best thing ever, but it could get frustrating if you tend to be in a rush especially in Athens. It may be a culture and history gem, but it can get pretty slow, so expect delays with ferries, trains and other schedules. But there is really no need to rush, just relax and enjoy!
The Eternal City as it is famously regarded makes a great place for a holiday. It is not only rich in culture, architecture and art but also nature reserves, parks and amazing gourmets made up of pizzas, gelato, pasta and espresso coffee. It is without doubt one of the best cites you can choose to visit in Europe with so much to offer throughout your stay. For you to have an amazing tour and the best of memories, you need to be open to everything it has waiting for you and below are some highlights to help you do just that.
Tip 1 – Apart from exploring Rome’s greatest highlights, take your time to also enjoy the hidden gems of Vatican City during your tour. The Colosseum St. Peter’s Square is a must visit and you may be lucky to catch weekly addresses here by the Pope. A guided tour of the Vatican is the best way to enjoy everything it has to offer and to understand what the magnificent buildings are all about.
Tip 2 – Try your luck at the famed Trevi Fountain. Throwing of coins to attract luck is one of the most famous activities you can engage in at the fountain. The ritual involves throwing a coin into the water and making a wish; it is believed that the wishes made here indeed come true so why not try your luck? It can get really crowded at the fountain as people flock to complete the ritual so make sure your tour is well planned so you get here when you can enjoy most without the frustration of too many people.
Tip 3 – Treat your taste buds by enjoying mouth-watering food at restaurants found in the city and quench your thirst at the quaint wine bars if you are looking for some evening entertainment. With so many concerts on offer most times, you complete your evening with one or dance the night away in one of the numerous nightclubs located here.
Tip 4 – Learn the history and culture of the region by paying a visit to the fascinating art galleries and museums. Galleria Borghese is among the most popular museums you should consider visiting during your tour. It is housed in a 17th century villa that is in itself a piece of classic Italian architecture.
Tip 5 – Buy items to take home and enjoy some local delicacies by visiting the Campo Dei Fiori Markets. It is a very famous street market and you can buy all kinds of merchandise here and enjoy a brilliant market day. Most markets have a tendency of opening only in the morning hours and so it is therefore advisable to choose a tour package that accommodates your needs. It is also helpful to get familiar with any existing market rules to have a pleasant experience doing your rounds in the markets.
Tip 6 – Have the weather in mind when travelling. Rome is cool in winter and snowy in January and summer months are pretty hot. If you are looking for lovely warm days, then Spring and Autumn are the best travel seasons.
Are you planning a trip to a totally different city or state or country? So make it more adventurous by hiring a tour operator, because visiting a new place sounds really exciting, but it could be exhausting if you have no idea about the places to visit, language, food, etc. Hiring an operator will not only make your trip stress-free, but also economical because paying a fee to an operator is less expensive rather spending on extravagantly on other stuff on the trip. A tour operator will make you enjoy the best food in the city, beautiful sights, hotels, etc. If you are interested in knowing artifacts and history behind any historical monuments, a knowledgeable operator will provide you with all such enriching facts.
WHERE TO FIND A TOUR OPERATOR–
If you are looking for a local operator you can contact the travelling agency nearby your area. Or there are many online travelling agencies offering the services of an experienced operator. Other than this there are many freelancer operators available online.
QUALITIES OF A TOUR OPERATOR-
There are certain qualities that make an operator different from others. An ideal operator is smart and knowledgeable who will guide you throughout the trip without any hassle. You need not worry about directions or route because an experienced operator will make you travel in most comfortable means of transport. More than this, an operator must be charismatic and amiable, so that you won’t feel like being on an educational tour with your school principal. A tour guide must have good communication skills because if you are travelling with a group, it is obvious that there will be chaos and confusion that an operator needs to manage with maturity. It is must for an operator to possess good organizational skills in order to maintain coordination among group members and stick to the schedule of the trip. He or she must be emphatic and cordial because no one likes to go on a trip with an arrogant person that sucks the whole fun out of the tour. Managing time is one of the greatest virtues that an operator must possess because you need to be a certain place at a particular time without any delay. An operator can either make your vacations super fun or can make it a horrible experience.
POINTS TO REMEMBER-
Before selecting an operator, first, make it sure the fee is within your travelling budget. Other than this, choose an experienced and reputed operator, because it is always wise to explore with someone having knowledge about that place. Always follow the instruction of your tour guide when it comes to directions, punctuality, means of transport, etc. Everyone needs a break from their hectic schedule, so plan a solo trip or with your friends or family, hire a tour operator and explore different cities, their culture, food and natural beauty.
For the grown-ups, beaches are great for sun-bathing, surfing, and swimming, but for kids it is more than that. For kids it is a different world altogether. On the beaches, they have all the freedom to use their imagination and to increase the spectrum of their thinking. Here, they can dance, sing, play, dive, surf and do a hundreds thousand activities. Following are few of the exciting activities which one can enjoy with their kids on the beach.
1. Treasure Hunt
This is one of the most loved games for kids. When you have sand all around you, hiding things will become even more interesting. This game can be modified in a number of ways. One of them could be where parents can hide things under the sand and place an identifier on top of it. They can then ask the kids to guess what is there under each identifier. For example, if they have put a Kids Jewellery Box under the sand they can put a bangle over it. The article at the top will be a hint to what is under the sand.
2. Beach Bowling
Creating the bowling pins out of the sand will be the first exciting part of this game, followed by playing a game of bowling with your gang. The re-creation of pins every time will make them even more involved in the game. They can play this game in groups as well, where they can keep rotating the roles of bowling, creating pins etc.
3. Beach Funny Faces
The best way to play with the sand is to show your creativity. You can draw numerous funny faces on the beach. While creating these faces, kids can also play a game where they will talk to each other by making only faces and not speaking. This will encourage them to understand different kinds of human emotions. Who knows? We may get back a totally new set of emoticons invented by these little geniuses.
This is one of the easiest and simplest activities you can enjoy on a beach. You only need a stick and few pebbles, which you can get easily. Place the stick in the centre in an upright position and place the pebbles around it equidistant from each other in a circle. While chilling out and playing, kids will observe and learn how the motion of the sun is associated with our time system.
Let the children understand how a certain object can absorb so much of water and become heavy. First, they can make the sponge-animals absorb water from the sea and then they can play various throwing and catching games with these sponges. When someone catches the sponge, they will be splashed with water.
6. Balloon Fish
Sitting on the sea-shore, one can easily find a couple of fishes closer to shore. Parents can show children some fishes in the sea, and can ask the kids to draw the faces of the fishes which they saw near the shore on the balloons. They can then fill balloons with water and will be happy to see the inflating of their balloon. This will make them understand how things inflate in real world.
7. Passing the Water
This game is played by more than one player. The more people, the more interesting this game will become. The main idea behind this game is to pass the water in one player’s glass, to the glass of the person who is standing right behind him. They can make themselves stand in any way. They can either stand one after the other in a straight queue or they can even form a circle.
8. Beach Ball with a Balloon
15 Cool Ways Kids Can Enjoy the Beach8Kids can place one balloon at the center of the towel, and can play a game of catch by making the balloon jump up and down on the towel. The aim will be to save the balloons from bursting.
9. Hide and Seek Castles
First, the kids will have to prepare several castles from sand and will have to name them individually. When the game will proceed, one of the kids will become the finder and rest all will try to hide behind the castle. The Finder will then guess who is behind each castle.
10. Playing with Alphabets/Numbers
The beach can be treated as a large notebook for beginners who have just started learning the alphabet, and numbers. We can help them learn the shapes of different letters and numbers by making them draw the figures on the beach. The moment the sea will erase these drawings, it will be fun for kids to re-draw them, and this will allow them to practice.
Kids can prepare a small beach-tent out of their bed-sheet, sticks, and some medium-sized pebbles. Sleeping in tents in jungles has always been fun for people in any age group, but one can not take kids into jungle. To make the kids feel like they are in the jungle, parents can decorate their tents in hut-like fashion, and also place some bushes around the tent.
One of the favorite games for all age groups, this can be played by using a simple item, like rope, and involves a lot of teamwork. The kids will learn how to make strategies to defeat their opponents. Though this game symbolizes strength, good strategies will usually prevail. Parents can include themselves in this activity to keep the game moving, as most of the time, kids will not be able to survive in this game for more than few seconds.
The young Sherlock-Holmes can get hands-on experience searching for different kinds of shells. The person who gets the most shells will be the winner.
Here, parents can help their kids identify the sound and rhythm of sea-waves, and how they relate to the sounds that musical instruments make. However, this activity will require quietness and an isolated beach, but the effort to find one will definitely pay-off.
15. Mom’s Bucket
This game can be taken as a war between the moms who have brought their children to the beach. The moms are required to hold the buckets 10-15 meters from the shore, and the kids will bring water from the shore to fill the bucket. Whoever fills it up first will be the winner. Here, one can utilize the timing of the waves to reduce the distance travelled to fill up the bucket quickly.
You have packed your bags, books your flight and reserved a room in your desired hotel, but you have not chosen a good airport shuttle yet. This is an important consideration. After all, you need to find a means to get you and your fellow travelers to the airport with all the luggage in a timely fashion. And then you need to make arrangement to reach the desired hotel in the destination city/country. Let’s give you a few tips to make your transfers from airports and cruise terminals as smooth as possible.
Opting for the best bus for a timely service can make a great difference to start and end your trip. We are going to tell you the things that you need to keep in mind to get this job done.
Consider the Reputation
In the destination city, you can choose from a variety of airport shuttle services. However, as far as timely service is concerned, make sure you go with responsible drivers and vans that have enough space to accommodate you, your fellows and the luggage. So, this is the first most important factor that you may want to keep in mind.
Just like other types of businesses or service, the reputation of the shuttle services matters a lot. In fact, this is the best way of determining whether the service provider is good or not.
An easy way to check the reputation of the providers is to read reviews on the internet. Aside from this, you should check out if the provider has the necessary licensing and credentials to provide service in your location.
Ideally, you may want to choose a shuttle service that works with experienced chauffeurs and owns different types of vehicles. Moreover, the provider should be insured and licensed.
Opt for the Right Size
As far as opting for the right airport bus, know that size matters a great deal, especially if you are going to travel with a group. You can choose from a lot of shuttle sizes. For small groups, you can pick from a variety of sedans. On the other hand, SUV services are much better for large groups.
Here is another situation. If you are with a small group but you need to carry a good deal of luggage, we suggest that you hire an SUV. This is a better choice in terms of comfort.
Choose a Punctual Service
At times, our travel plans change due to many factors, such as bad weather and other emergencies. So, you need to make sure that the airport bus will be there for you when you get there.
Some services can track your flight to make sure they reach the airport in time to pick you up. This type of service can help you have the peace of mind as you won’t need to worry about this matter even if you arrive a bit late.
In short, choosing the best bus is easy if you do your homework beforehand. So, make sure you choose a shuttle service that is experienced, insured, licensed and reputable. This will save you a lot of headaches later on.
Are you planning to charter a yacht on your next holiday? If so, we suggest that you follow a few important tips for planning your trip. These tips will help you ensure everything goes smooth. Read on to find out more.
1. Consider the Important Aspects
Regardless of where you want to go, make sure you choose the right companions. Also, you need to plan your routes a few weeks before the big day. Everyone should be on the same page as far as the details of the trip are concerned.
If you can steer the yacht yourself, it will offer tons of fun. If you don’t have enough experience, you can hire a skipper. A big benefit of hiring a skipper is that they know many routes. So, they can help you plan your routes.
2. Choose the Right Yacht
As far as opting for the right charter yacht is concerned, make sure you have enough budget. Other important factors to consider include sailing skills, comfort level, desired charter region, and the local weather.
If you need plenty of space on the deck and inside, you might want to opt for a catamaran. On the other hand, if you want to move around fast, maybe a motorboat can be a great choice.
3. Consider a Yacht Charter Insurance
The skipper liability insurance and the deposit are the most common types of insurances when it comes to yacht charter. Also, it’s better to consider insurance to prevent arguments among friends later on.
4. Required Experience for Chartering a Yacht
If one member of your group has a skipper’s license, you can charter a yacht. However, Greece is an exception where at least one more member of the group must have the ability to be a co-skipper.
Sailing in good weather is easier but when there is a storm, you may find it hard to control your boat. In this situation, it’s better to hire the services of an experienced skipper
5. Sailing Weather and the Charter Season
Make sure you adapt to the weather systems at the destination and get the right outfits. For instance, if you want to go to the Balearic Islands in August, you may not get any rain in those months. On the other hand, during the same months, it may be colder at night but warm during the day. Plus, you might get a lot of rain as well.
6. Other Things to Consider
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to take a look at all the things you need to consider before the big day. After all, you need to get there on time so you can have a cup of coffee and know a little bit about the port and other things.
You should have deck shoes, sailing gloves, sunscreen, sun hat, and a wind jacket. Aside from that, you need a travel guide and personal meds.
So, you might want to consider these points before you charter a yacht for the first time.
If you want to go on a nice vacation for a few days but don’t have very much money, there are plenty of inexpensive weekend getaways across the US. You can enjoy iconic attractions, highly-rated restaurants that offer affordable meals, and cost-effective, yet nice hotel accommodations – all without spending much money.
Whether you’re traveling alone, with a significant other, with family or friends, here are some budget-friendly weekend getaways:
Sante Fe, NM
New Mexico’s artsy capital city has a lot to offer to every type of tourist. There is the Museum of contemporary Native Art which explores modern Native American culture, live music at the historic central Plaza, and made-to-order Mexican food from street vendors. Airfare to the Sante Fe Airport is pretty affordable from a number of US cities.
If you visit Brew City the first Thursday of the month, you can gain free admission to the Art Museum. Visit during baseball season and head to a Brewers game – it’s not uncommon to find day-of tickets at an extremely low price. There are plenty of free attractions to checkout throughout the city.
New Orleans, LA
For a southern experience, there is no city quite like New Orleans. There are always parties going on throughout the city – especially in the historic French Quarter. This is a popular destination for companies offering cheap vacation packages. You should be able to find a good deal that includes a stay at a budget hotel, airfare, and more.
Weekend getaways in Baltimore are often cheaper than vacations in more popular New England destinations, such as NYC and Boston. Head to the Baltimore Museum of Art for classic American and European paintings and a landscaped garden full of sculptures. Other free or cheap places to visit include the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum, Cylburn Arboretum, and Historic Ships in Baltimore.
The home of Graceland is another must-visit southern destination spot that offers a lot of affordable attractions and hotels. At Midtown’s Overton Park, there are some amazing free concerts (bluegrass, country, soul, and gospel). You’ll find some affordable cafes along Beale Street.
Big Bear Lake, CA
If you want a peaceful weekend getaway on the west coast, this breathtaking mountain destination is worth considering. The seven-mile lake offers a variety of water sports if you’re after excitement. You can rent a cabin or stay at an inn or lodge for under $80 a night. To get there, look for cheap airfare to Palm Springs.
These are just a few recommendations for weekend getaways in the US. Use travel discount sites to book your airfare and accommodation.
Which travel discount website is the best? Expedia is worth checking out, as you will find plenty of cheap weekend getaways, airfare, and price comparison tools. You can also look into cruises if you want an affordable getaway on the high seas. Use Expedia promo codes to save even more money.
It’s finally spring time again. When it comes to spring break destinations, Americans have always loved fun, sunny beach vacations. While beaches will always be popular, there are still a few other types of vacations that are appealing to spring break goers these days. Where are you planning to go? Are you trying to narrow down your list?
Here are a few ideas:
• Cancun – This really isn’t a surprise. Cancun is usually #1 on most lists. With its turquoise waters and pristine beaches, it’s no wonder why so many people flock to this Mexican destination every year. Airfare is usually cheap and there is no shortage of resorts offering discount rates. Hotels, restaurants, and bars really cater to spring breakers and party-goers.
• Miami – Those without passports can still enjoy similar weather in South Beach. You can relax under the sun during the day and party at night when the skyline neon-lights come on. The city has always been known for its reputation as a “nightlife haven”. Not only are there tons of resorts and hotels along South Beach, there are also many apartment and condo rental options.
• Jamaica – You get a few popular spring break destinations in this Caribbean island: Montego Bay, Negril, Kingston, and Ocho Rios. Jamaica isn’t all sand and water, either – there are rainforests and mountains. Head to Negril if you want to do some diving or snorkeling. In Montego Bay, there are many infamous all-inclusive resorts and British-colonial architecture. Kingston, the capital city, is notorious for reggae and the Bob Marley Museum.
• Las Vegas – If you’re not looking for a beach vacation this year, then head to Vegas. Just go on a road trip to Sin City or take advantage of discount airfare. There are plenty of things to do on a budget. Vegas is much more than just a city filled with casinos. The live entertainment is second to none.
• New Orleans – Interested in spring break destinations that offer a cultural experience? Just go down South to NOLA. It’s not just popular during Mardi gras season, it’s popular for spring break as well. This is a city that prides itself on culture and tradition, and you can experience everything it has to offer, from Creole food to ghost tours.
• Park City – Not everyone associated “spring break” with “ski resorts”, but if there is one destination that offers spring break goers a good time, it’s Park City, Utah. It’s especially appealing to families who want to spend spring break together. It’s not all about skiing either; there are plenty of other fun activities as well.
Packing for a trip might seem like a simple task. However, if you have travelled severally, then you know packing mistakes can leave you with some dicey travel lessons. From forgetting some essentials for your trip to packing too much, there is so much that can go wrong when packing.
Here are some tips that will help you pack smarter so you have everything you need and lighter so you don’t have to haul heavy luggage with you on your trip.
- Check the weather
Before you start packing, know the weather of your destination. If you
pack warm clothes only to find the weather is cold, you might spend
money purchasing overpriced clothes to keep you warm. Knowing the
weather for the entire duration you are hoping to stay will go a long
way to ensure you are packing the right clothes.
You might be tempted to pick stuff as you throw into the suitcase but
that will only lead to over-packing or leaving out some important
essentials. Lay out everything you want to pack besides first so you
have time to scrutinize and think about the role it will play in your
trip. Pack only what you are sure you need and avoid the “just in case I
need it” items.
Clothes are the most important items you can carry with you on your
trip. You want to look good, be comfortable and have enough clothes for
your trip without carrying everything in your closet. To ensure
you only have the clothes you need, pack complete outfits and not
individual items. For instance, if you are packing a shirt, make sure it
is one you can wear with the trousers you are carrying. It is also
recommended that you pack more tops than bottoms with only two pairs of
shoes. Make sure you pack shoes that you can wear with different
Rolling the clothes when placing them in the suitcase will save space
and prevent creasing. It also makes it easy to arrange them in the
suitcase occupying all available spaces with ease. Also, put your socks
inside shoes to save space in the suitcase.
It is important that you have a clear picture of what your trip will be
like before you start packing. Are you for instance going to attend any
special events? Will you be dining out or attending conferences? Having a
clear picture of what you will be doing will help you choose relevant
attire and must have items you need to pack.
The bigger the suitcase, the more you will be able to carry. Having a
small suitcase ensures that you only pack what is essential rather than
things you will not use in the entire trip.
Packing cubes keep your things organized and intact inside the suitcase.
You can use color coded cubes to easily find your things without
disorganizing the entire suitcase. Give yourself enough time to
pack so you don’t forget essential items. Try using these tips to pack
light for your next trip or vacation.
You might be tempted to pick stuff as you throw into the suitcase but that will only lead to over-packing or leaving out some important essentials. Lay out everything you want to pack besides first so you have time to scrutinize and think about the role it will play in your trip. Pack only what you are sure you need and avoid the “just in case I need it” items.
Clothes are the most important items you can carry with you on your trip. You want to look good, be comfortable and have enough clothes for your trip without carrying everything in your closet.
To ensure you only have the clothes you need, pack complete outfits and not individual items. For instance, if you are packing a shirt, make sure it is one you can wear with the trousers you are carrying. It is also recommended that you pack more tops than bottoms with only two pairs of shoes. Make sure you pack shoes that you can wear with different outfits.
Rolling the clothes when placing them in the suitcase will save space and prevent creasing. It also makes it easy to arrange them in the suitcase occupying all available spaces with ease. Also, put your socks inside shoes to save space in the suitcase.
It is important that you have a clear picture of what your trip will be like before you start packing. Are you for instance going to attend any special events? Will you be dining out or attending conferences? Having a clear picture of what you will be doing will help you choose relevant attire and must have items you need to pack.
The bigger the suitcase, the more you will be able to carry. Having a small suitcase ensures that you only pack what is essential rather than things you will not use in the entire trip.
Packing cubes keep your things organized and intact inside the suitcase. You can use color coded cubes to easily find your things without disorganizing the entire suitcase.
Give yourself enough time to pack so you don’t forget essential items. Try using these tips to pack light for your next trip or vacation.