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Tropical Paradise

Escape to a Tropical Paradise where warm breezes blow and palm trees sway. With its lush tropical climate, Cairns, Australia has quickly become a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, tourists and nature lovers. Learn more about tropical fruits, tropical paintings, tropical plants, tropical fish and tropical flowers.

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The Big Apple

"The Big Apple" is a nickname for New York City, famous for its gourmet dining and night life. But many people don’t realize how much fun visitors of all ages can have here. Enjoy our guides to New York City with self-guided walks, cultural history, visual arts, architecture, museum listings, directions and parks.

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Category Archives: Luxury Travel

Enjoy a Boston Vacation


With the focus of a vacation on international travel, many people forget that their own country can provide a number of ideal places to visit for a relaxing and exciting getaway. One of those places is Boston. If you have never been and are in need of a vacation, here is our selection of top things to do in Boston.

Golden Boston Evening [53/366]

Sports

If you love all things baseball, then you are going to love a trip to Fenway Park. Fenway Park is the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball and has a genuine nostalgic feel about it. Home to the Boston Red Sox, fans not only come out to show their support for the team but to show their respect and admiration for the park itself.

Boston Rule-of-Thirds HDR

A Taste of the Aquatic Life

If you love sea animals, then you can’t go past the Whale Watching cruise through Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary. Known for being a common feeding ground for whales, dolphins, and seabirds, this oceanic experience won’t disappoint. With information provided by well knowledged New England Aquarium experts, this truly is a breathtaking and educational experience which everybody will enjoy.

Boston Public Gardens Panorama

Relax!

It can be easy to get caught up in the idea that you need to do as many activities as possible to make the most of your vacation time. However, the idea of a vacation is usually to take time off from life and to relax. Take advantage of one of Boston’s many day spas or health retreats, or maybe indulge in a cheeky botox session to return home with a fresh look.

Boston harbor and skyline

Take an Artistic Stroll

If you enjoy a museum, then the Boston Museum of Fine Art is your destination. Housing over 450,000 works of art, this is considered to be one of the most comprehensive collections in America. From ancient Egyptian artifacts to an extensive collection of modern art, all styles and tastes are catered to.

Whether you want to stay local due to a limited budget or limited time, Boston provides a wealth of experiences and attractions for you to enjoy.

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The Hidden Secrets of the Lake District


15.8 million people make the trip to the Lake District each year, but despite the popularity of the region overall, the vast majority of those people visit the same old tourist traps Lake Windermere, Ambleside, Keswick, and so on. Although these are certainly places to visit if you’ve never been to the Lakes before, you shouldn’t feel as though you’ve exhausted all of your options once you’ve been to these iconic locals. In actual fact, there’s so much more to see and do in the Lake District, so once you feel like you’ve done the obvious tourist traps, take a look at our guide to the hidden gems of the Lakes, and find yourself a secret of the Lakes. Read more

 

5 Holidays Destinations Close to the UK that You Can Drive To


If you’re planning a trip abroad in your car, it’s essential to know where your full UK driving licence permits you to drive. Read more

 

Making Memories with Kids on a Cruise


For many families, taking a cruise can be daunting when factoring in children. It can be intimidating to think of taking kids on a cruise where they are stationed in the same location for a few days or a week. Although many people are hesitant at the idea, all-inclusive cruises are great opportunities for children to have fun and experience more activities than a typical resort has to offer.

With Kids on a Cruise
With Kids on a Cruise Scott Ableman / Kids Photos / CC BY-NC-ND

With a few pointers, it’s easy to have a fun and relaxing trip for the whole family.

Food 

Make sure that the cruise you take has family-friendly food options for the kids. Although a seafood buffet might sound alluring for adults, there may be limited options available for the kids. Be sure to take a cruise that has food kids will love and have fun eating, with as many options as the adults have. Trying to get kids to be less picky is a great task for home, but won’t be as much fun on a cruise.

Tell Kids What to Expect 

You don’t want to arrive for your cruise only to have kids complaining that there’s not a movie theater or bowling ally on the ship. Research the amenities of the ship before booking it and sit down with your kids beforehand to help them know what to expect so they know what to look forward to. Get them excited about the options they’re going to have in terms of activities, and always have something for them to do. Instead of telling them no if they ask for something on the ship, give them other options that they can get excited about.

Consider Giving Kids Their Own Room 

For kids who are in their preteens, hanging out with Mom and Dad can limit their independence and make for a less enjoyable trip for everyone in the family. Don’t be afraid to book another room so the kids can have some of their own fun. This is only $400/day for an extra room and will allow the parents to have privacy without sharing living quarters with hyper kids.

Potty Train Kids 

If you bring a toddler onboard who is still in diapers, then you’ll be required to avoid many different pool activities. By potty training your children months before taking your trip, it will not only save you money in diapers, but will provide more activities for your child and will be easier for everyone in the family.

Pack a Few Toys 

Although there are often plenty of activities to keep your kids occupied for a full week on the ship, it’s still a good idea to pack a suitcase of toys so they can stay entertained when there are slow periods in the day. For kids, there is only so much to do in the room at night, so a suitcase of their favorite toys will make for a fun trip when other activities are not available. This also works on the flight over or when waiting for dinner to arrive. For the older kids, pack magazines, crossword puzzles, and board games that the whole family can participate in.

Cruises are great trips to bring children because of the amenities and activities available. Almost all the cruises are equipped with emergence room as well as professional medical personals. Having a proper insurance policy to cover your family especially when travelling with some health issue is essential. By staying prepared, your trip will be one you’ll remember for a lifetime.

 

Holidaying In The Big Apple


If you are looking to travel to the Big Apple, there are quite a few places that have been tagged as worth seeing. Head to the Empire State building for that panoramic view anyone can’t help but love. Enjoy the high speed lifts and if you like restored art; be sure to take in the lobby’s Art Deco design. Most New Yorkers think the Empire State building is a worthy destination for first timers.

New York Times Square at Night
Holidaying In The Big AppleWerner Kunz / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

For lovers of slow, green afternoons, settle in at the Central Park for a leisurely afternoon of Sheep Meadow watching, Turtle pond gazing and probably pedalling through its Strawberry fields. You could also slide down Pilgrim Hill in the feathery white weather we all love (all things in moderation).

The Clock in Grand Central
Travel In The Big AppleWerner Kunz / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Lovers of Art may very well lose track of time and have to be reminded to leave while looking through the wonders of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue. Visitors usually need about a week to completely comb through all its well preserved antiques. Apart from the regular exhibits showcased at the Met daily, there are also some special shows orchestrated by the Metropolitan’s costume Institute. They sure make for a marvellous way to pass time.

'Standstill', United States, New York, New York City, East Village
Travel In The Big Apple in WinterWanderingtheWorld (www.ChrisFord.com) / Foter / CC BY-NC

Foodies are far from being left out when it comes to what the NYC has to offer. For a really, really good pastrami sandwich, try Katz Delicatessen at 205 E Houston Street. While it might not be the cheapest meal, folks say almost everyone gets more than one serving. Why not? Their Rye bread with its piled high soft, smoked meat and the right amount of mustard taste absolutely wonderful. Careful, you just might discover certain hidden gluttonous tendencies even if you’ve known yourself your whole life. You could also try the popular, couple run restaurant (owned by Rae and Noah Bernamoff) at Mile’s End for the delicious, smoked meat sandwich fully inspired by Montreal.

NYC - JFK Airport: TWA Flight Center
JFK Internationalwallyg / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

The main international airport in New York is JFK International. More than 70 airlines operate out of JFK and you can find a full list here: http://www.panynj.gov/airports/jfk-airlines.html

If you are flying in as an international tourist you will need to process and esta application. ESTA is the program set up by the US government to allow tourist to enter the US for 90 days with a visa waiver.

There are several option for travel into the city from the airport. There is the New York Air Train which takes around 50 minutes to get into Manhattan and costs around $7.50. Or you can take the New York subway. MTA fare is $2.50 (cash or MetroCard). An additional MetroCard fare of $5 is required to enter the AirTrain system.

If you love to laugh (who doesn’t?), then NYC is a great place to be. Try the Comedy Cellar or even the Caroline on Broadway. There are also several low key stand-up clubs in numerous nooks and crannies of the Big Apple for your laughing pleasure.

Lastly, see the stature of Liberty, NYC’s trademark anywhere in the world. If not for anything, so any time you see the popular trademark, you can proudly say, “I’ve been there!”

 

Kid-Friendly Paris: In and Around the Louvre


The Louvre can be the centerpiece of your Paris vacation with kids, or it can be a brief interlude before they indulge in a box of pastel-colored macarons. The Louvre has an entire kid-friendly aspect to its organized flow so that you can go and visit with ease. Depending on the amount of engagement your child has with the displays, the museum can become a focal point for building lasting memories of your trip.

Kid-Friendly Paris
Kid-Friendly ParisMohsan’ / Kids Photos / CC BY-NC-ND

Take Advantage of Kid-Friendly Tours

The Louvre knows that not everyone in a traveling party will have the same interests. When visiting a museum as comprehensive as the Louvre, the staff has the luxury of coming up with creative tours that can appeal to many different interests.

  • Buy tickets for a guided treasure hunt. These private tours can keep your children engaged as the tour encourages them to search for items in the museum as the tour goes along. At the end of the tour, they can find the “treasure.” This is a two-hour tour, which most people note online is a perfect amount of time for keeping the kids interested with the drama of the search.
  • Go traditional for a comprehensive tour. If your kids are older, the Louvre’s Masterpieces tour is the basic essential tour of the most famous pieces in its collection. You will not miss any of the museum’s highlights, and the tour runs twice a day.
  • Follow a theme: Since the Louvre has so much to see from different periods, you can organize your visit by themes offered by the museum: www.louvre.fr/en/parcours

Plan Ahead

The museum’s website may give you inspiration on how to get kids involved in the tours, and by reviewing the website your kids, you may get an idea of what would appeal to them in person on a walking tour. Here are some things to keep in mind before the trip.

  • Brace for waiting: Make sure someone in your party can stand in line for tickets before the Louvre opens. This process will take less time than waiting after crowds show up for day visits.
  • Consider an evening visit: If possible, a night visit may be more pleasing with fewer crowds and more time to linger in front of the museum’s most famous pieces, such as the Mona Lisa.
  • Purchase a Paris Museum Pass: Although more expensive, you can skip the ticket lines at the Louvre and go see additional museums, such as the nearby Musée d’Orsay.
  • Don’t plan a Tuesday visit: The Louvre is closed that day.

Final Thoughts

For traveling with little ones, don’t worry so much about a tantrum overtaking the mood of your surroundings. It’s the Louvre, not a library, and it is a loud place with lots of ambient noise. Remember it’s different from taking your kids to a road trip in Canada. A little one’s meltdown may go unnoticed by the majority of those around you. Remember that the museum’s outdoor fountain can be a relaxing place for a child to chase the pigeons and for you to unwind and observe the crowds.

For more insight, you can visit the Louvre’s official site to see current featured exhibits, or for more tips on visiting the museum and the surrounding area with children.

 

Enjoying the Luxurious Beaches in Israel


I remember taking a course in property investment. In the first lecture the lecturer extolled the virtues of, “Location, location, location.” He then followed up with something that is both apparent and, I believe, true. He stated that if you take almost any individual up in a helicopter and ride around for five minutes they will unanimously be able to tell you which areas contain the expensive real estate. Not that the lecturer mentioned this, however without a doubt beachside suburbs figure high on the list of desirable locations. And Israel is no different.

Lost
Luxurious Beaches in IsraelKenzoka / Beach Photos / CC BY-NC-SA

Israel is blessed with a magnificent coastline that runs along a substantial length of its eastern border. If you consider the Dead Sea and the Red Sea at Israel’s southern tip, this tiny country is blessed with a vast coastline that is conducive to its hot summers and mild winters.

Although Jerusalem is the official capital of Israel, there are many who will argue that the true capital is Tel Aviv. So, in a show of mutual respect – and given that there are no beaches in Jerusalem – we will start our beach crawl at Jerusalem Beach (Hof Yerushalayim) in Tel Aviv. This beach, across the road from the Abulafia bakery is one of Tel Aviv’s central beaches. It is not directly across the road from the five star hotels along Hayarkon Street so it is not too crowded but you still have the energy and vibe of Tel Aviv with the sparkling water and powder sand of the Mediterranean Sea that runs along Israel’s east.

It doesn’t take much to enjoy Jerusalem Beach, just pull up a towel or hire a sun lounge, grab some baked goods from across the road, order an ice coffee from the adjacent café and enjoy the view.  It really doesn’t get much better than this. Or does it?

A fifteen minute drive north from Tel Aviv and we arrive at prime Herzliya Pituach real estate. And why is it prime? Because it abuts some of the best beaches in Israel.

Herzliya, named after the founder of modern Zionism, Theodore Herzl, is home to many wealthy individuals and diplomats. It is a cosmopolitan city that attracts people from all over the world and the main attraction is the vast expanses of sand and crystal clear waters.

Once again, in Herzliya, a beachfront café is never more than a short walk away. At one end of the Herzliya Beach is Apollonia Beach – a narrow stretch of beach that runs between the ancient ruins of Apollonia and the sea. Check out the dramatic cliffs and the Gaudi inspired cave house and be amazed.

A ten minute drive north of Tel Aviv is Hof Tayo – Tayo Beach. Located in the city of Bat Yam (translation: Mermaid), Tayo Beach is a relatively newly developed beach with a restaurant and coffee houses a short walk up the decking.

Bat Yam may not be a suburb held in the same esteem as Herzliya but Tayo Beach is second to none. Once again, vast expanses of clean sand and water just waiting to be enjoyed.

So there you have it, three superb beaches each along the same coastline but each with a different aura, a stone’s throw away each other. And we haven’t even touched the surface of what Israel’s  beaces and what they have to offer.

 

Luxury Myrtle Beach Travel


Myrtle Beach is known as a family vacation destination, but there is a luxurious side of Myrtle Beach that can be found by going just a bit off the beaten track.

Family walking in great sunset - Myrtle Beach State Park
Myrtle BeachRyan Smith Photography / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Here are some of the most luxurious things to do in Myrtle Beach:

Golfing

Myrtle Beach has some world class golf courses and if you enjoy the game you should be sure to make that a part of your trip. Make sure to give the Love Course at the Barefoot Resort at try, as well as The Dunes Club.

Dining

While we’re on the subject of golf, one of the most luxurious places to eat in Myrtle Beach is the result of the efforts of pro-golfer Greg Norma. Greg Norman’s Australian Grille serves up high-end Australian food, with a fun mixture of “surf” options like fried calamari and scallops, as well as “turf” options like a Brisbane filet mignon. Greg Norman’s is also located on the lake at Barefoot Landing, which offers great views and lots of shopping options.

Or, if you prefer to stay close to the heart of Myrtle Beach, The Library, in downtown Myrtle Beach is one of the best dining options around. The Library offers tableside service for several entrees and a flambé dessert.

SkyWheel

The SkyWheel is a pretty new Myrtle Beach attraction and offers amazing views of Myrtle Beach. A VIP box doubles that experience with an extended ride on the wheel so you can be sure to see everything you want to see from far above the ocean AND has glass floors so your view won’t be obstructed in any way. A nighttime flight is also a great idea for a romantic date.

The Beach

If you’re visiting Myrtle Beach, obviously one of the things you’ll probably want to do is spend some time in the ocean and soaking up some sun. But that can be a bit difficult to do on the main beaches in Myrtle Beach, since there are several thousand families doing the exact same thing. But if you travel a bit further north you can enjoy the wide beaches of North Myrtle Beach or if you travel a bit further south to Pawleys Island, you can enjoy the small island town’s quiet beach, as well as take in fantastic views. Read more

 

Stay in style at Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro


mapOne of the great pleasures of international travel is the chance to enjoy the “high life” at a luxury hotel.  When it comes to staying in style, Rio de Janeiro compares well with the world’s other great cities.  Read more

 

Luxury Holidays During the Colder Months


sun glassesWinter, it’s coming. The days are getting shorter and the temperature is dropping. If the thought of your winter boots and a chunky knit make you want to spill your soup, then it’s time to take action and treat yourself to a luxury holiday. Read more

 
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