Plan A City Break Before Halloween

A city break might seem like a strange idea, especially when you might still be packing for your summer holiday. However, you need to be aware of the back-to-school / back-to-work depression. As a rule of the thumb, the mood in the office improves gradually as the sun comes back in spring, which is often linked to the disappearance of the SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder – syndrome. Most people suffer from SAD at various levels during the cold months of the year, as the disorder is connected to the lack of natural sunlight. But, there is also another reading to the good mood during the spring season. Most people have planned their summer breaks and are starting to count down the weeks until their holidays. Naturally, going back to work at the end of the summer affects your spirit. For most employees, the next vacation will be at Christmas, which leaves over a trimester without a break. You need to plan for yourself a weekend getaway during this period to have a holiday to look forward too as you get back to work.

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Why you need a short break?

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an autumnal break? Rain? Grey sky? The fact that you can’t wear your favourite summer dress anymore? There’s an essential element you need to consider when you’re planning your vacation: the price tag. Indeed, summer breaks tend to be overpriced as a result of a crowd of tourists. Holidays are more likely to be expensive between the end of May and end of August. Consequently, looking for vacations after August and before the start of the Christmas break can be extremely beneficial for your budget! Additionally, there is a sense of romance in the autumn months. Indeed, you can enjoy spontaneous holidays more easily – tourists and children are back to their everyday routines! But aside from the advantages of a break in autumn, there’s also an important realisation you need to make. Coming back to work at the end of your summer holiday affects your mood. The weather turns rainy; the temperatures drop; and you’re stuck in an office. Giving yourself the possibility of a short weekend getaway can help you to stay motivated.

What to pack?

Picture a 2 to 4-day getaway. Contrary to your summer vacation, you can’t pack flip-flops, swimsuits and colourful maxi dresses. You need to plan for the weather with warm sweatshirts for women, which you can combine with a pair of jeans and comfortable walking boots. Ultimately, you don’t need to pack a lot of things, but you need to think in terms of layers. A weekend getaway in town generally involves a lot of walking in- and outdoors, and consequently, a lot of variations in temperatures. Layering can help you to go through the day comfortably. Additionally, you need to think about your skincare. When you spend all your day at the office, you may not need to move to your winter care until very late in the year. But, you’ll be spending a lot of time outside during your short break. Therefore you need to help your skin to be protected against the sudden differences in temperatures – warm inside and cold outside – , the wind and the rain. It’s time to swap your summer products for winter creams!

Where to go in the UK?

For a short weekend getaway, it’s fair to say that you can’t easily plan a distant destination. However, there is often no need to go far away to find the perfect spot for your mini holiday. If you work in a large city, why not head to a rural area such as the Cotswold to relax? Quiet countryside landscapes and charming villages can provide you with the right setting to clear your head from all work stress. For a mixture of cultural urbanism and charm of the past, Bath offers the ideal break that takes you back to a more peaceful environment.

Why not try a European break?

If you have more than a weekend to spend – 3 to 4 days is a good start –, you could plan a cosy break in Europe. Cinque Terre in Italy is a picturesque little place that is filled with colours and amazing landscapes. For a culturally enriching vacation, head over to Paris where you can trace back the steps of Amelie Poulain in Montmartre. You’ll be surprised as well to discover Gothenburg in Sweden, which is a laid-back place that promotes the environment.

In conclusion, don’t despair on your way back to work. There’s still plenty of time to plan a short getaway before Christmas!

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Unforgettable Holiday Destinations You Should Add To Your Bucket List

Many people have a bucket list of some form, don’t they? The list of destinations all over the world they simply want to see at some point. The experiences, the memories you might get to make, it is one of those things people can spend ages daydreaming about. However, there always seems to be a common theme in terms of bucket lists. They include destinations like the USA, including some of the popular states like Los Angeles or New York. You have Australia and even New Zealand, thanks to the distance of them and the iconic sights on offer. However, it is a big world out there and while those destinations are worth seeing, I wanted to share with you some of the others you could consider adding to your bucket list.

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China

China is one of Asia’s largest countries, and so i could be here all day stating some of the best destinations to visit. However, I thought I would highlight a few which could tempt you to adding this country onto your bucket list. Of course you have the capital of Beijing, which is a vibrant metropolis waiting to be explored. But there is one thing you should definitely do if you are making the trip and that is to see and walk part of the Great Wall Of China. An iconic wonder of the world that can actually be seen from space, would you believe? You also have Shanghai to see and the getting the chance to eat and experience authentic Chinese food. What isn’t to love?

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a central American country that has coastlines on the Pacific and Caribbean. It has some amazing locations to see, not to mention some of the world most beautiful protect rainforest regions. You could start your journey at the Courtyard San Jose Airport Alajuela which gives you the ideal gateway to the capital of San Jose where you can experience the Pre-Columbian Gold museum. Not to mention the fabulous beaches that Costa rica is famed for. It may not be an obvious choice, but it certainly won’t disappoint.

Iceland

Iceland is one of those destinations you have to see at least once. It has a rugged landscape which is fabulous and, depending on the time of year you go, you may also get to see the famous Northern Lights, which is breathtaking. Iceland also has a bustling capital city called Reykjavik which is known for fantastic bars and restaurants. It may be a different type of holiday to experience, but it will certainly be one that is unforgettable.

Canada

Canada is such a large country that again I could probably write a separate blog post all about the fabulous destinations but to entice you to consider it I will just name a few. First of all, if outdoor pursuits is your thing then you have the fabulous British Columbia regions which offers some of the best hiking and biking trails you can find. Vancouver or Toronto are some of the most popular cities that can really give you a holiday to reeber.

I hope that this has given you some food for thought when it comes to your bucket list.

What Sets European Skiing Apart?

If you’ve ever thought about taking a skiing holiday, then you’ve probably wondered what the difference is between places like Europe and North America. European ski trips are an ever popular choice, and here we’re going to discuss what sets them apart from other choices out there. If a ski trip is something you’re considering, you’ve come to the right place!

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Fine Dining Is Everywhere

There are so many fine dining opportunities when it comes to staying at European ski resort – delicious food is gauranteed. This doesn’t mean that it’s bad everywhere else; just that it’s exceptional here. There will often be reservations from people who aren’t even skiing at a resort – that’s how good the food is!  

High Standards Are Always Ensured

Although there are many resorts suited to skiers of different ability levels, the high standards of European slopes are maintained across the board. Let’s say you want a luxury European ski experience; you can experience real Meribel luxury without having to be a pro skier. Many resorts welcome all ability levels, and you will get world class service wherever you go. The only thing you might find annoying is the queue on the way to get in a ski lift, but that can hardly be helped.

There’s A Focus On The Overall Experience

Sure, many serious skiers will visit European slopes and want to do nothing but ski. However, a real focus is put on the overall experience of visitors here. You can come with your friends and family, whatever their ability level, and have a really good time. You definitely don’t need to ski all day to have a fantastic experience!

There Are Real Mountains For You To Ski

In Europe, you’ll be able to ski on some actual mountains, rather than hills. Europeans don’t use names to make them sound scarier either; you’ll often find a less than terrifying slope in the USA called something absolutely ridiculous to make skiers feel like they’re taking on something huge. European mountains and slopes have much more elegant names.

The Parties

Because you don’t want to spend the whole time skiing, right? The parties at European ski resorts can’t really be beaten. It isn’t frowned upon if you want a drink during the day, but please take altitude into account, and stay hydrated! At night time (or once you’ve finished in the afternoon), you can enjoy a beer out of a real beer glass and some great music with like minded people.

Now you know what sets European skiing apart, it’s time to book your ski holiday! Bear in mind, you should probably do a little more research before you go right out and book your stay at a resort. Perhaps small slopes with scary names in the USA are going to be more your thing? Unless you look at a variety of sources, you’ll never know.

Have you been skiing in Europe, or are you planning a trip? Make sure you leave your thoughts, tips, and comments below!

The Great All-Inclusive Debacle: What You Should Be Wary Of

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As a society, we like always want the best we can get. Yes, we also want things to be made simple, but at the top of the pecking order is awesomeness, which is what makes those all-inclusive holiday resorts so damn attractive. It doesn’t matter whether you are scanning through one of their glitzy brochures or scrolling down their sleek and fleek website; these resorts always look like they have cornered off their own little slice of paradise.

Food worthy of royalty, enough fine wine to satisfy Johnny Depp, panoramic views of endless blue oceans, all the pampering facilities you can shake your sore arms at and staff so happy you’re left pondering how they haven’t landed a life on stage. Yeah, these all-inclusive resorts have an array of bait that allows them to allure all sorts of holiday-making-fishies.

Unfortunately, though, these bits of bait tend to be invalid truths. The two photographs that keep featuring on their website are of their one and only Presidential Suite and their Honeymoon Suite, which can be yours for the cool price of $10,000 a night if you know who to butter up. As for the words on their website, well, they’ve probably paid an award-winning novelist to dip into their adjectives jar and start spewing anything that will get you clicking the buy button.

Of course, not every all-inclusive resort is like this. Some are genuinely amazing and offer impeccable deals for everyone (not just the high-rollers). We’re not so cynical that we don’t realize that. However, there are some that are going to be well below the standard you were expecting when you booked your holiday in the January sales.

It is with these in mind that we have made a list of things you should be wary of, and by that, we mean read the reviews on whichever trip advisor site you trust most.

All-Inclusive Is A Lie

It is one of the most infuriating realizations to have, and yet it happens so-so often. You finally arrive at your glorious resort, only to walk into the lobby and find out that the all-inclusive deal you signed up for isn’t all inclusive. In fact, it has some serious restrictions. Those spa treatments you couldn’t wait to enjoy will actually cost more, so will that jet ski hire, oh and the whole free drinks thing, that is limited to water and summer fruits squash, not tea or coffee or booze.

Big Time Utility Issues

“We have everything you could possibly want,” they said, before mumbling something you didn’t quite catch. Unfortunately, that thing they mumbled was, “except for the internet.” This may be fine if you don’t have Instagram, Facebook, elderly parents or any form of loved ones back home, but if you do then it could be a little bit terrible to find this out. This is the best scenario too. It’s way worse when they actually have WiFi but it is going to cost you $15 an hour and your eldest son. That’s just one of the utility issues too. Not having enough hot water is another one that needs checking before you commit to buying. Or power. Yes, power. As in electricity. A lot of countries don’t have enough it. That’s just how it is.

Absolutely Zero Good Mood Food

It is so very easy to make an all-you-can-eat buffet look good. All it takes is a nice setting, plenty of silver platters, some good-time music, friendly staff and a variety of food so wide and vast Elvis would have got excited. However, just because it looks good doesn’t mean it is sanitary, as you may find out in a quick phone call to your injury attorney, your bed pan filled with you don’t want to know what. Don’t be fooled by appearances. Just because the food looks good doesn’t mean the kitchen is passing any hygiene standards. We’re alluding to food being reheated three times, kitchens getting a bi-annual clean, maintenance being non-existent and their not being much in the way of a health inspection in that country. The worst thing is, you won’t want to think about this when you are there. You’ve paid for the food so you’d prefer to remain naive and eat it. That’s why you should always read reviews before you buy.

More Expensive Than A Standard Vay-Kay

This industry thrives off blind-belief. Seriously. They have carved out this image of themselves as being the best value and, dare we say, cheap. This see’s so many holidaymakers dive straight into a purchase without once checking to see if this factoid is true or not. You really should though, because a lot of the time your holiday could be cheaper if you just bought everything separately. Sorry, but it is true. People think they are getting a holiday on the fly because it is all-inclusive when they are in fact paying a high premium of having everything already sorted for them. We did a bit of digging and, while we won’t say the name of the resort (it was in the Dominican Republic), we can confirm that a standard all-inclusive double room being used by two people cost $639 a night. A standard double-room being used by two people that weren’t part of the all-inclusive package, however, cost just $165 a night. That’s a saving of $474 a day. That’s a lot of drinks, food, massages and water sports to be doing every day in order to make the all-inclusive deal the better option.

Like we said in our rather long and detailed introduction, not all of these resorts are created equally. Some are amazing, as in they will offer you the best vacation experience you have ever-ever been on. However, some of them could feature on a TV show entitled Holidays From Hell, which is partly because of what we have mentioned above and partly because we haven’t even scratched the surface of what you need to look out for. That is why you should always do your research. Read the reviews of previous customers. Compare the prices to make sure it is actually cheaper. Look at what the big problems are in the country you are going to. Anything and everything, really. Do that and you’re onto an absolute winner.

Earn While You Travel: Top Jobs For Those With A Wanderlust

If you have a dream of travelling the world, you might be wondering how you will actually be able to afford it. As it happens, many people are in the same boat, and it is something which a lot of people have struggled with in the past as well. If you want to travel as much as possible, one of the best things you can do to make it work is to earn money as you do so. You might have thought of this before and decided that it must be near impossible to pull off, or maybe some other reason got in the way. But increasingly, people are turning to this as a way of living, and as it happens it is one of the best ways to ensure that you can keep going on your travels no matter what. Let’s take a look at some of the best career options for anyone who loves to travel.

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Teacher

This is probably the most common type of travelling job, and a little digging into it will soon reveal why that might be the case. If you are keen to travel for as long as possible, then you might be pleasantly surprised at just how easily you can continue to make a great deal of money simply because of your native tongue. If you are a confident English speaker, then you can easily make money teaching the language to children around the world. There are a huge number of countries which are always actively seeking English teachers, so it is just a matter of plotting your way around the world by looking into those countries in particular. But how can you be sure you will land an English teaching job wherever you might choose to go?

For a start, you can never be entirely certain you will get a job, and that is why it helps to only work from time to time. You can stay in one place for a while, teach while you are there, and then travel around another place. Done in this way, you can soon find your way around the world and still have plenty in your pocket. But there are certain countries where you are probably more likely to be able to land a teaching job, and it’s worth looking at those in particular. Vietnam is one country which is particularly keen on bringing in foreigners to teach English, as is Taiwan. For those who want to explore the beauties of South America, Brazil is another capital of teaching which you might want to consider. Failing that, South-East Asia is always a good bet, in particular Thailand and Nepal.

No matter where you decide to go, you will want to ensure that you present yourself well and that you make it clear that you have the necessary skills. You might be asked to sit an exam or to otherwise prove yourself by carrying out a practice run of a teaching lesson. It is well worth it, in particular as you will then be able to get a reference to pass on to the next school you visit. Once you get into it, you might find that teaching abroad is one of the most beneficial and enjoyable experiences of your life. You might even decide that it is what you want to do once you return to your homeland after all your travelling.

Bartender

If there is any travelling job which you are likely to be able to pick up in any city on Earth, it is being a bartender. If you don’t have any experience in bartending, don’t worry, you will still probably be able to find a job of this kind. The beauty of this kind of work is that the employers re usually quite used to staff coming and going. Because their turnover is so frequent, it means that they are adaptable and likely to want to take you in for a short period of time. This is ideal for anyone who wants to hop around the world at whatever pace they like. But how can you easily land a job of this kind?

For this kind of role, the most important quality is usually confidence. If you are able to express yourself well, interact with others in a polite and engaging way, then you will find that bar owners tend to want to hire you. The best test is usually in the first shift, as the employer will probably be watching to see whether you are interacting with the customers well or not. Make the most of this and go out of your way to really impress them. Joke with the customers, be extra polite, and you will find yourself with a job in no time.

A real benefit of bartending is that you can make a lot of money from tips, which means you often won’t need to wait for a paycheck to come through before you can start spending money on some of those essentials. If you are particularly good, you might even find that you can pay for your way mostly through tips, and keep the actual pay as an emergency fund. There is something very pleasing about this, especially if you are only working a few hours in the evening each day. Go for this kind of work if you want the freedom to come and go, and you need a little extra boost financially as you travel.

Nurse

Here’s one you might not have considered: travel nurse. If you haven’t thought about this before, you might want to look into it, as it does actually have a number of interesting perks which are worth considering. Travel nurses are usually sent to a specific location in order to help out at an institution. You might be drafted to go to a struggling hospital or doctor’s surgery, for example, or perhaps to an emergency situation. Although this does not have the freedom of some of the other top travel jobs, it does have other perks, such as more pay than the others and a feeling of genuine satisfaction from being able to help others for a living. If you want to get into travel nursing, you will need to be prepared not to be able to control your travelling trips quite so much as with some other jobs. As long as you are happy with that, it can be a great way to see different parts of the world, especially if you station yourself in some other exotic setting.

What does it take to become a travel nurse? Obviously enough, you need a medical degree and the years of training necessary to be a medical professional of this caliber. You will also need to have the mental ability to up and leave at a moment’s notice, as well as the keenness to continually research and keep on top of medical information and knowledge. If you take a look at this article: Travel Vaccinations That Every Travel Nurse Should Know About, you will get an idea of just some of the things that a nurse of this kind will need to know off the top of their head. The more you know, the better.

If you do land this job, you can expect to enjoy a number of distinct advantages, not least the feeling of helping people as you get to see many different parts of the world. But you should also prepare yourself for a great deal of stress. This job is not for everyone, but anyone whom it does suit will find that it is particularly exciting and rewarding.

Tour Guide

Perhaps you have a particular favorite area of the world, and you happen to know a lot about it? If this is true, then you might find the idea of becoming a tour guide particularly enthralling. Tour guides can earn quite a lot of money for what they do, and it can be an enjoyable and exciting job where you get to meet a great many people as well. If you have a serious knowledge of a particular city or area, then consider getting into this on your next travels. It’s actually pretty easy to do, and especially as you usually have the ability to work freelance. If you want to find work as a tour guide, it is normally not too hard. Generally, you can just advertise yourself in the city you are staying in, offering a good price, and you will find that this is enough to draw people in.

Wherever you decide to go, there will always be people wanting to know more about that place, so this is a particularly useful job to have for that reason. Make sure that you are confident in your abilities to express yourself and that you can interact with other people well. You should then find that you can easily earn money all over the world through this kind of work. With any luck, you might even meet some interesting people.

A Trip to Washington State

Planning a trip in the States sometime soon? You can do a lot worse than Washington State. This Pacific Northwest state offers its visitors a little bit of everything, from cosmopolitan cities, local culture and energy, and plenty of annual events. And let’s not forgot what is perhaps this state’s biggest draw: the incredible natural beauty, which is perfect for getting out and about and into the great outdoors. Whatever your interests are, you’ll find that they’re well catered for in Washington. Take a read below for some of the best things to do while you’re there. It’ll be all the inspiration you need to book a trip!

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The Great Outdoors

We have to start here, because the natural beauty of Washington is so extensive that, well, where else can you start? Even if you only spent time in the outdoors when you were there, you’d have a good time. There are three main national parks in the state: Olympic; the North Cascades; and Mount Rainier. These three offer many, many miles of remote wilderness, so you have to well prepared! Casual visitors will find that Olympic National Park is the best one for them, because it offers a bit of everything, from jagged mountain peaks to lush rainforests.

Into the City

There a lot of great cities in Washington, but the biggest and most “cosmopolitan” is Seattle, which you’ll certainly already know a thing or two about. This is the home of Starbucks Coffee, and Boeing, and plenty of world-changing musicians. When you go there today, you’ll find a whole host of great tourist attractions. Go down to Pike Place Market and grab yourself some fresh fish while soaking up the energetic atmosphere. Go to the top of the Space Needle for the best views of the city. Check out the city’s museums, which include the Seattle Art Museum and the Museum of Flight. And above all, wander the city and sample its delicious food and drink!

The Real Washington

Seattle could be considered “the world’s view of Washington,” but there’s also a lot of other smaller areas that showcase “the real Washington.” Book a room at Quality Inn & Suites Walla Walla, and you’ll be able to enjoy the best that Washington has to offer. Walla Walla – so nice they named it twice – has views, activities, history, and fine dining: everything you want when you’re traveling! Also be sure to check out some of the state’s best small towns, such as the waterfront village La Conner, and the Bavarian-inspired Leavenworth.

Festivals

There are many, many annual festivals that take place in Washington; far too many to mention here. Some of the best include the Seattle International Film Festival, which attracts somewhere in the region of 150,000 spectators each year; The Washington State Fair, which is one of the best in the country; and the Leavenworth Oktoberfest, which is obviously inspired by the German counterpart and is a lot of fun. Whenever you’re visiting, though, there’ll be plenty of local events and festivals taking place. There always is!

Planning A Trip To Mykonos: 4 Things You Must Do To Make The Most Of Your Trip!

Whether you’re planning a winter beach break or a getaway for this coming summer, Mykonos could be the perfect place. One of Greece’s most glamorous islands, Mykonos is known for being a party place. However, there’s a lot more to this island than meets the eye; it’s much more than the party scene it’s known for. The type of experience that you have when visiting Mykonos depends on a range of factors, from where you opt to stay to when you go. To ensure that you make the most of your time on this beautiful island – think St Tropez meets Ibiza, here are four things you must do.

  1. Try the local cuisine

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It might be tempting to eat in the most glitzy and glamorous restaurants that you can find. However, if you want to get a real taste of Greek cuisine, you need to look for independent restaurants. Smaller eateries and street market stalls run by local people will allow you to get a real taste of Greek cuisine. The foods that you just have to try while you’re in Greece include moussaka, souvlaki, gyros, and baklava. Oh, and if you find a seafood restaurant, many Greek seafood dishes are to die for.

  1. Stay in a villa by the sea

Of course, you could opt to stay in a hotel. However, many of the best hotels in Mykonos are party hotels, not tranquil and relaxing retreats. So if you plan on heading out for a relaxing break, it’s best to look into Mykonos villas. There are plenty to choose from, but the best ones are located by the beach. What could be nicer than waking up and hearing the sounds of the ocean lapping against the sand?

  1. Visit the best beaches

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As well as being famous for its party scene, Mykonos is also renowned for its beautiful beaches. Although most of the beaches are fairly packed out in the summer months, come winter they’re a lot less crowded. So if you’re not a fan of busy beaches, opt to visit this beautiful island out of season, or take the time to find the beaches that tend to get less crowded. Some of the best beaches on Mykonos include Lia, Paradise, Paraga, and Kalafatis.

  1. See the sights

To make the most of your time on Mykonos, make time to see all the best sights and attractions. Even if you are planning a relaxed and tranquil break, it’s still worth taking the time to visit some of the island’s most famous attractions. From Little Venice, a beautiful seaside town, to Cine Manto, a gorgeous open-air cinema, there’s plenty to see and do here. It’s just a case of taking the time to research what’s on offer and selecting the activities that appeal to you and your travel buddies.

If you’re planning a trip to the gorgeous Greek island of Mykonos, it’s important to plan it out. To ensure that you’re able to make the most of your time away.