55 articles Articles posted in Holidays

Everything you need to know about Istanbul

The city of aromas, colours, flavours. The Istanbul of the imams, of Europe, of the mosques, of the bazaars, of the Bosphorus. The city and everything you need to see even once in your life.

Visit Hagia Sophia

The first thing you will see in the city, for all the reasons, is, of course, the Hagia Sophia, in the area of ​​Sultanahmet, the oldest part of the city, where the Blue Mosque, the Aqueduct, the Topkapi and the famous church that, after being transformed, are located in a mosque, now functions as a museum. The building dates from the 6th century and is one of the best examples of Byzantine architecture. The mosaics that were covered during the 500 years that the church was turned into a mosque are now presented in all their magnificence.

Continue to the Blue Mosque

Directly opposite the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque is the next most recognizable monument in Istanbul. With its characteristic six minarets and the impressive round dome, while its official name is “Sultan Ahmet Mosque”, it is the 21,000 Iznik tiles of blue, white and red colour that adorn its ceilings from the 17th century and from them, it got the “Nickname” Blue. The mosque is still functioning normally today, so you should adjust your visit to hours other than those of the five daily prayers, while on Fridays, the mosque is closed.

Take a tour of Topkapi

Continuing from the two temples, you will reach Topkapi, which was the official residence of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire from the 15th century until the construction of Dolmabahce. Wealth, aesthetics, art, history. And yes, as far as the life of the sultans is concerned, you will see it here, while you will enjoy the fascinating image of the City, as it spreads at the foot of the Palace.

Shop at the Grand Bazaar and at the Egyptian Spice Market

In the Old Town, the 550-year-old Kapalitsarsi – as it is called in Turkish – is the oldest and largest indoor market in the world, which you can remember from its… roofs, as it shot the first scene of the movie “Skyfall” with James Bond being chased by motorcycles! Get ready to walk among 4,000 benches, where you will find everything from ornaments, Turkish souvenirs, cups of coffee to handmade rugs!

Visit Dolmabahce

After the Bosphorus, it is time to enter the most majestic palace, the residence of the last sultans and the last residence of Kemal. Absolute luxury, an attempt, then, the Ottoman Empire to show that it is not inferior to luxury, art and aesthetics from the West, decorated in the interior by a French decorator, with the most oversized chandeliers in Europe brought from England, with complete order and discipline reminiscent of the last inhabitant of the palace (in fact the palace clocks have been stopped at the time of Ataturk’s death). The visits are made with organised guided tours every hour, with Turkish guides; while inside, keep in mind why photos are not allowed.

Of course, to cross the whole area of ​​Istanbul, you will need to use some means of transport. One option is transportation, but ideally, you could hire a car to move quickly not only to the places mentioned earlier but also to other parts of the city. Explore the famous locations but also the most “hidden” corners, renting a vehicle from the company Enjoy Travel, which has dozens of service points throughout the country, offering you cars at unbeatable prices and offers.

Holidays for The Retirees in Your Life

A lot of us spend our lives daydreaming about what adventures we’ll have when we finally retire. Without the restrictions of limited annual leave or having to travel during school holidays, and with a lifetime of experience and wisdom behind you, the choices of where to go are limitless. If you’re planning a holiday for the retired people in your life, here are some suggestions:

Golf Holidays

If your retirees are are into golf then they could do a lot worse than opting for golf holidays in Spain. Most packages will include your flights, accomodation and also your green fees and passes, so you can get a fantastic deal with everything covered. They’re perfect for retirees who love to golf as it means they can do so in a lovely climate, surrounded by stunning views.

Cruises

For many, relaxing on board and watching incredible scenery drift by is a favourite aspect of cruising — all the more so for passengers who aren’t as mobile as they once were. The idea of a scenic cruise is that you can still get a lot out of the voyage even if you are unable to get off the ship much, which is why the Norwegian coast, the wild shorelines of Alaska and river cruises are so popular with older travellers.

Rail Holidays

Many retired couples love having adventures on luxury rail journeys as they get to explore many places in comfort and style. There is a luxury rail journey for everyone, from mountain and sea rail to East coast US cities by rail. You can explore whole countries such as Australia on the Indian Pacific which goes from Perth to Sydney via Adelaide where you will see the Blue Mountains, vineyards, goldmines and the contrast of busy cities to ghost towns all in one adventure.

City Breaks

City breaks are a fantastic way to explore Europe, especially as flights are short and there are a wealth of amazing destinations at your doorstep without the long haul. Some of our most popular city breaks include Venice, Barcelona, Prague, Athens and Paris. Your break can be tailored to your specific needs if you want to explore certain areas, take a gondola, a ferry to the Greek Islands or the beach in Barcelona, whatever you want from your city break it is all yours.

Driving Holidays

Famous for becoming the first completely paved highway in the United States, a drive along Route 66 burns rubber as you pass through America’s most iconic spots – Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Texas and Chicago. And, while the incredible states will impress, so too will the off-the-beaten-track sections that wind through huge expanses of awe inspiring nothingness. Spanning over 2,400 miles and crossing eight states, the typical driving route kicks off in Chicago and finishes in California.

Moving to Greece – All you need to know

The country of the Balkan Peninsula is one of the most desirable nations to be visited. Thanks to its history, charm and proximity to European regions, it is the ideal destination to move. Would you like to live in Greece? Here’s the complete guide on how to move to Greece.

Learn Greek

One of the essential requirements for a smooth move to Greece is understanding the Greek language. That is, you must have listening understanding, speaking and writing skills as this will help you function better in the Mediterranean country.

Compared to other nations, in Greece they expect your resume or CV to have at least three to five pages, where it must specify studies and work experience. Everything you write should be supported by certificates and you will need to include medical evidence and a cover letter.

Find a job

Although getting a job in Greece can be difficult, this does not mean that it is impossible. Usually, immigrants are hired in sectors of agriculture, manufacturing and construction. If you want to move through the labor modality, you must get a job before starting your trip, or, be in the process of being hired.

In order for an expatriate living outside the European Union to apply for a job in the nation, the employer will have to prove that she could not find any person in the country or in the EU who is suitable for the job.

Apply for a visa

If you found your ideal job in Greece, or you are doing the documentation to formalize the contract, this is the ideal time to apply for your visa. These are the documents that you should have on hand:

  • Valid passport, which should not be close to three months of expiration.
  • Passport-type photographs.
  • University qualification test.
  • Bank vouchers that prove that you will be able to support yourself while they pay your first salary.
  • Proof of valid health insurance.
  • Proof of accommodation, it can be in your own or rented property.
  • Criminal Record.

If you are going to move with a pet, you must apply for a pet passport. For this permit you must have documents on hand that certify vaccines against rabies that have not been applied in a period of less than 21 days and routine vaccines.

Sign up for health insurance

It is law that your employer contributes for you so that you can get a health provider or medical insurance in Greece.

Apply for a work permit

You must request this permit within the first 30 days of your arrival in the country. To process it, you must have a social security number from the Social Security Institute and a local tax record from the Tax Office.

In addition, to request this permission, you must have:

  • Passport and photocopies of it.
  • Four passport-type photographs.
  • Proof of international medical insurance (i.e. it should cover Greece, or you can get insurance that works only in the nation).
  • Residential address.
  • Financial capability.
  • Salary certificate.
  • Certificate from a hospital that guarantees that you do not suffer from any serious and contagious disease.
  • Proof of payment at the required rate from the Tax Office.

Open a bank account

To open a bank account in the Mediterranean country you must be over 18 years of age. Even if you want to get your account before moving, you can do it. You just have to go to a branch of a Greek bank that is in your city. Unlike other nations, Greece offers expatriates checking, debit and savings cards.

In order to request a bank account you must present an ID and a local address in Greece. If you require additional help is preparing to move to Greece book online a meeting with professional lawyers who will help you with the process. Are you ready to move to Greece? Sure hope so!

Five Reasons to Tour the UK by Train

Five Reasons to Tour the UK by TrainPhoto by Denis Chick on Unsplash

With restrictions on international travel still in place for many countries, there’s never been a better time to spend some time travelling around dear old Blighty! There are lots of places in the UK which rival the rest of the world in terms of beauty and many people never bother to tour our shores, choosing instead to travel abroad for their holidays. With that in mind, we thought we’d look at some of the reasons that travelling the UK by train is a great idea:

Better for the Environment

We all know that visiting new places is exciting, but have you ever thought about your carbon footprint while travelling? Rail transport is actually the most environment-friendly way to travel. The greenhouse effect of gas emissions per kilometer on railway transport is 80% less than cars. In some countries, less than 3% of all transport gas emissions come from trains.

Look at the Views

It’s great being a passenger in a car as you can look out of the window at all of the wonderful views on your journey. However, being a driver means that your view is a lot more limited for reasons of safety, so drivers rarely get to enjoy the scenery. If you travel by train, you can spend the whole journey taking in the view, and you’ll often get to see things that you wouldn’t be able to from a motorway.

No Limit on Luggage

While we aren’t suggesting that you should pack everything including the kitchen sink when travelling by train, you’re not limited by a baggage weight limit. This means that you can pack more if you travel by train than you can if you travel by plane, which saves a lot of worrying and weighing suitcases before you leave!

Efficient Routes

When you travel by road, you’re at the mercy of roads, traffic and all sorts of other things that make your journey long and potentially stressful. With trains, you generally go in a pretty straight line from A to B and you don’t have to worry about traffic or other road users. It’s also usually much quicker because of this. Many people who travel by train find it the most relaxing way to travel.

Stay Connected

Charge your phone or camera batteries, watch a movie or get some work done… it’s all possible on board the train. And what’s even better: more and more train companies are installing Wi-Fi so you can even post live updates as you journey by train. Knowing that you won’t affect your car battery by charging your devices is a bonus and taking advantage of free wi-fi also means that you won’t have to be concerned by huge data charges.

Things to Do in and Around Richmond, Yorkshire

Richmond CastleAs I’ve said before, while I’m not in any hurry to get out amongst the germy masses and expose the kids to COVID, I am looking forward to get out on some day trips and short breaks, once things are safe again. Before lockdown, my Mum and I were actually talking about getting us all away on holiday together and renting somewhere for us four, my Mum and Dad and my sister and her fiance.

One of the places I found while I was looking was The Green Door Holiday Cottage in Richmond, which is a luxury cottage in Yorkshire. Usually, we’d head for the south coast for family holidays to places like Cornwall and Devon, but the thought of taking our travels north actually really appeals to me. With this in mind, I started looking at some things to do, in and around Richmord, for when we eventually get to take our trip.

Richmond Castle

Richmond Castle is an English Heritage site, right in the heart of Richmond and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Dales. Even better, if you’re an English Heritage member, you and anyone included in your membership will get in for free, so you’ll be able to enjoy a lovely educational day out for very little outlay.

Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve

According to TripAdvisor, “Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve covers 100 acres of moorland edge adjacent to Cambrai Lines at Catterick and has a remarkable mix of habitats and species. The reserve contains semi-natural woodland, heathland, flower-rich grassland, streams, ponds, a lake, willow and Alder carr, coniferous woodlands and wet meadows. The patchwork of habitats across Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve is home to more than 2440 species. At the heart of the reserve is a modern, purpose-designed Field Centre, a great place to start your visit and learn more about the wildlife of Foxglove Covert.” Sounds like a wonderful place for a walk and a picnic!

The Forbidden Corner

The Forbidden Corner was originally a private folly. However, after popular demand, the site has been opened up to the public with four acres of all-out weird! Discover a unique labyrinth of pathways, tunnels, chambers and galleries throughout the woods. They’ll present a barrage of tricky challenges, including the occasional spray of water! Just keep your eyes peeled for the secret brass circles which reveal hidden markings and direct you on your mission. There’s also a lovely picnic area for when you need a break from the fantasy.

Rule Britannia: 4 Reasons A Staycation Beats Holidaying Abroad

Rule Britannia: 4 Reasons A Staycation Beats Holidaying AbroadPixabay – CC0 Licence

Are you annoyed because you can’t go abroad this year? Do you wish for things to return to normal so that you can get on with your life? The COVID-19 pandemic has been pretty brutal, and it’s hard to adapt to the “new normal” that people keep on harping on about.

However, as with every storm, there is a silver lining. You may not want to take the risk and book an international holiday, yet you can still experience a Great British breakaway. Before you reflexively answer, you should take a look below.

These are the reasons a staycation beats a holiday abroad.

The UK Is Varied

If you think you know the United Kingdom inside and out, you’re mistaken! Sure, there are some things that you don’t like, and some places you’re not keen on visiting because they don’t sound pleasant. On the flip side, many destinations will make you feel as if you’re vacationing in the Mediterranean or French Riviera. From Devon and Cornwall in the Southeast to the Lake District and Chesire in the Northwest, you shouldn’t be hard-pressed to find an affordable beauty spot that you have never experienced before. Just open your mind as well as a map of Britain!

You’re Helping Local Economies

The economic effect of your holiday isn’t an element that you focus on too hard. Sure, you realise that you spend more cash on a break than usual, but that’s about it. Of course, as the Coronavirus crisis has highlighted, the travel and tourism industries are vital to economies around the world. During a pandemic where thousands of small businesses are struggling to stay open, it’s nice to know that your money is giving them an opportunity to avoid filing for bankruptcy.

It’s Less Hassle

A staycation isn’t stress-free by any stretch of the imagination. However, it isn’t as hasslesome as packing for a two-week trip and heading to the airport at 3 am! For one thing, there’s no reason to fret about the beauty products and medicines in your suitcase. Premium CBD oil for every day wellness is 100% legal in the UK, as are your paracetamol and Ibuprofen tablets. Then, there’s the fact that you can move on if you’re unhappy. A foreign holiday is rigid – once you arrive, you have to stay until your return flight date. At home, you can get back in the car and head home. It’s that simple!

A Staycation Is All You Have

Yes, you may prefer the idea of an exotic holiday in a luxurious destination, yet it isn’t feasible. Currently, the best option is to stay at home where you know you can get home without dealing with an insurance provider and forking out a fortune on flights and accommodation. It’s not as if your hometown will end up on an international watchlist while you’re away! Remember that you need a break, especially when times are tough, so a staycation is an ideal way to unwind.

Where do you stand on the staycation debate?

Next Level Sailing Recent Whale Sightings Off the Coast of San Diego

Whale watchingWhale watching can be a lot of fun. Whether you are interested as a hobby or as a day outing, San Diego is one of the best places in the country to catch a glimpse of these majestic animals. Sometimes they come in close to the shore and sometimes they are much further out. Recently, there have been some noteworthy harbor whale watching San Diego sightings.

Types of Whales Commonly Sighted Near San Diego

Part of the reason for the popularity of whale watching in San Diego is that gray whales often migrate near the city. They pass down to the warmer waters in the south for the winter. They particularly visit the lagoons of Baja California. During this time, they give birth to their calves who start to grow up in those warm waters.

When the spring rolls around, the gray whales them migrate back north toward Alaska. They can frequently be spotted during their main migratory seasons. This year was no exception and there were numerous sightings of small pods of these whales including juveniles making their first trip north.

Blue whales are another common type in the area. They are the largest creatures on earth and very rare (tragically, they were hunted to near extinction). They can be found further out feeding on small fish during the summer months. Some San Diego boat charters have already caught glimpses of these breathtaking giants this summer.

Rare Beluga Whale Sighting

The most headline-worthy sighting so far has been a beluga whale swimming in the waters off San Diego during June 2020. It was about seven miles from shore.

This sighting was strange because beluga whales live in the arctic waters. They sometimes come south during the summer months. However, San Diego is an unusually long trip for one of these whales.

The beluga whale sighting was a real treat for enthusiasts and researchers in the area. One likened it to seeing a polar bear while being out for a walk.

How To Go Whale Watching

There are many great ways to go whale watching in the San Diego area. The gray whales are often visible from the shore using binoculars, especially during the spring migration.

Whale watching in San Diego

However, the best way to get a view of the whales is usually to take a boat. There are many whale watching San Diego tours that will give you a beautiful view. Sometimes the best choice is sailing because it disturbs the whales less.

There are options for sailing all the way out into the wide ocean water or just to stay within the harbor area. Both can provide views of the whales as they come in close to the land.

Discover the Wonders of San Diego’s Coastal Waters

Whale watching in San Diego can be a truly memorable experience. It is best when you have the right boat charter to help you get great views of the whales further out. Whether you want to take a short trip, spend a full day on the water or dedicate your life to the whales, there are options for you in San Diego.

Why You Shouldn’t Feel Worried If You’re Not The ‘Right Kind’ Of Family

Pexels

It’s a cliche, but it’s true. Many of us feel that if we haven’t the main nuclear family setup with 2.5 children and a white picket fence, we aren’t up to snuff. Something has surely gone wrong when making our life decisions. But of course, that is absolutely nowhere close to the truth. Too many families are made to feel as though they are too out of the ordinary simply because they may not have the ability or the inclination to raise children, or that they are a same-sex couple, or that they might have been together for years without getting married.

This can unfortunately leave you to think you are the odd ones out, even though in your heart you know you are just as worthwhile as any other family. Let our advice help you feel more certain in yourself – for no other reason than this is simply the right way to consider things. We hope it helps you grow back that confidence, no matter how you have bene treated.

Love Is All That Matters

If you have love, that is all that matters. No matter if you’re related, if you’re adopted, if you live in the same house, close, or far apart. A family is family when it loves one another. There are many ‘families’ out there that are related by blood but never speak to each other. There are parents who simply threw money at having their children raised by nannies and rarely ever spoke to them. Love is all that matters, however you express it in a caring manner. If you have that, you are a verifiable family.

Blood Isn’t Thicker Than Water

‘Blood is thicker than water’ is a saying that often suggests you should prioritize your blood relatives above all else. But most of us know that is never the case. Blood is never thicker than water. For that, let us use an example. Perhaps a mother of a child has been single for some time now, and wishes to enter the dating scene. They meet someone despite not forcing their interactions, and they hit it off naturally. They fall in love. Said step-father loves the child of his new partner wholeheartedly. It doesn’t matter to him that the child is not his, because by all accounts, he loves said child like one of his own. He works day after day to provide for them, and spends most of his free time playing with or speaking to them. He is dependable, always there when needed, attending band practice, sports days, and teaching said child how to stand up to the bullies at school. 

Said stepfather finds out about how Tacori offers a broad catalog of gorgeous engagement rings, and purchases one for the proposal, which is swiftly accepted. Is that stepfather any less of a father because the child was born of another man? It might be that said biological father didn’t leave due to bad personality management, but due to a saddening and unfortunate circumstance. Does this lessen the fact that the stepfather is the true father? Some might have opinions about this, but we would say absolutely not. We are not raised and do not learn life by those who biologically bring us into this world, but by who stands next to us throughout our journey with unconditional love. If your family has that in any capacity – you’ll also realize that blood is not thicker than water, at least in the figurative sense.

Every Family Has Faults

While there are of course certain levels of family fault to consider (abuse is never acceptable), if you discount your family ties because you might have disagreements from time to time – understand that it is natural. Back to our stepfather example, it might be that despite being there, a stepfather isn’t the most social or friendly with the children. However, he still provides and is still responsible.

While perhaps not the picturesque hollywood-movie view of a family, it’s important to know that whatever works for you, works for you, and being unapologetic about that can be important. We often forget that a family grows together, and cares for one another. When you keep in mind that you are all on a journey together and sometimes, learning happens through minor conflict, you can default to being more supportive and less worried about your definition of your family health.

With this advice – we hope you can feel more certain in your loving relationships with your family members. With communication, all can be healed or appreciated.

The Dos And Don’ts Of Keeping Kids Interested While Travelling

Kids are notoriously difficult travel companions. Even if they might be excited to head off on holiday at first, all of that excitement can quickly wane once they have been on a train or plane for a few hours. They can quickly become bored and fed up of all the travelling that is usually involved with going away on holiday, and this can be extremely frustrating for everyone they are travelling with.

So, there’s no wonder that many parents try to think of as many ways as possible to keep their kids entertained while on the move. If you are planning to go away as a family any time soon, you might want to know these great strategies.

Photo Source

Do Visit Somewhere The Kids Want To Go To

This might sound fairly obvious, but there are still some families who head to destinations that their children have no interest in whatsoever. The first thing you need to do is make sure that your children actually want to go, and then they’ll stay excited for longer on the journey. Travelbag’s great guide to film location destinations could give you some destination inspiration, as it could be worth going to where your child’s favourite film or show is filmed. They will love the idea of being in the same place as their TV and movie heroes!

Do Pack Plenty Of Entertainment

Make sure that you pack as many books and travel games as you can into your hand luggage. These will be invaluable once the boredom starts to hit. Most older children will be able to pass the time by getting engrossed in a book, while you can distract younger kids from the boredom of travel by playing a game with them.

Don’t Forget Snacks

If your kids get hungry when out on the road then they will immediately start to complain. In order to prevent this from becoming a full-blown tantrum, it’s a good idea to pack a few snacks and drinks into your hand luggage as well. Try to stick to healthy snacks as giving your kids too much sugar could send them as high as a kite, something which certainly won’t go down well with all the other passengers on your mode of transport!

Don’t Take An Indirect Route

If you are booking flights, try to always fly direct if you’re travelling with kids. Needing to change will only lengthen the journey, and that will mean that there’s more time for your children to moan and complain. So, stick to a direct route so that you get to your destination a lot quicker!

Do Get Them To Keep A Travel Diary

Another way you can keep the kids entertained is to encourage them to keep a travel diary. If you give them a notebook, they will be able to jot down their observations while travelling. It’s also a good idea to give them a disposable camera for the trip as well.

Hopefully, your kids won’t complain too much on your next holiday!

Saving for a family holiday? Read this first!

If you’re anything like me, chances are you’re already dreaming about your summer holiday. It might be the first of many or it might just be the one family treat that you all look forward to every year. We all deserve a summer holiday but saving and paying for one isn’t always as straightforward as we might like. From being bamboozled with deals and last minute options to choosing the location and how you’ll get there , to having enough money to spend when you get there, and not forgetting the whole new wardrobe the kids seem to need and all the other bits and bobs that you’ll end up paying for too…

I thought holidays were supposed to be relaxing! Well, if you’re already pondering how you can save a little extra money before your family holiday, look no further. You’ll find 4 of the simplest ways you can put a little money aside in the lead up to your well deserved break, and you may even end up being able to afford a limo to the airport!

Look at your energy supplier

It’s amazing how many of us still haven’t switched to a cheaper tariff! Whether you’re on domestic oil – for the latest oil prices check out emo oil – or gas an electricity, head online and see if you can get a cheaper deal elsewhere. Most energy providers do all the hard work for you and contact your current supplier too. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll be able to put away just by switching. Try it now!

Stop your spending

No one deserves that new pair of shoes more than you, but if you’re saving for a family holiday then you need to kerb your spending a little. Try to avoid spending on additional purchases for about 2 months and you’ll notice a big difference in your bank balance. Things like takeaways, meals out, those jeans you really want or a new eyeshadow palette. Put them all on the backburner until after your holiday.

Learn to say no

It’s not easy to say no to the kids – especially when they’re being extra good. But learning to say no will certainly save you a bit of money. Saying no to those sweets or magazines that you usually treat them to, going out for tea – whether that’s at a fast food chain or a nice restaurant – even going out for the day. Instead of paying high prices for an afternoon at a theme park, look for places with free admission, or places of interest that ask for a donation rather than a fixed fee. They might not like it, but they’ll understand!

Don’t forget to set a budget

Make a list of everything you might need to save for. From the holiday itself, to the holiday clothes, toiletries, car hire, fuel money (if travelling in the UK), and anything else you can think of. Make a list and try to budget as best you can. You’ll find that you’re in more control when you’re heading around the clothes shops looking for holiday outfits!