A Drink for Every Destination – What’s Your Favourite Holiday Tipple?

I think most of us are guilty of over indulging during our holidays abroad, and while it may not be ‘socially acceptable’ to drink a Piña Colada at 11am down at your local pub, it is almost mandatory when you are lying by the pool in an exotic destination!

Holidays

But the more I travel, the more I believe that different drinks belong in different destinations (ie. red wine just doesn’t belong on a beach!), and my favourite holiday tipple really depends on where I am going or what I am doing…

White Wine

As the sun sets over Camps Bay Beach in Cape Town, South Africa, there is nothing better than a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc.  Crisp, fruity, and easy to drink (too easy maybe!), white wine is a summertime drink that needs sunshine!

Red Wine

I love a good Argentinean Malbec, but a full-bodied wine needs a roaring open fire, a cosy couch, and good company!  Think the Austrian Alps (in winter), Patagonia (Chile or Argentina), and New Zealand (again, in winter!).

Gin and Tonic

Refreshing, zingy, and simplistically elegant, a Gin and Tonic is the perfect aperitif, but it tastes even better when you drink it in the African Bush while on Safari!  A ‘Sundowner’ overlooking the plains of Africa is an unforgettable experience, and a good old G&T ticks all the right boxes!

Bloody Mary

I think most people have a love/hate relationship with Bloody Marys. I happen to love them, but only if they have plenty of Worcestershire Sauce and Tabasco, and funnily enough, only when I’m aboard a cruise ship!  It’s the only time I ever order one, and have yet to find another destination where a Bloody Mary belongs…

Beer

Okay, beer pretty much works anywhere, but again, a cold fizzy beverage always tastes better in warm sunny climates. The best beer I have ever tasted was an ice-cold Antarctica on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, but Dos Equis works well in Mexico, and Fiji Gold goes down well in the Fiji Islands!

Cocktails

I’m not a huge fan of cocktails, they are a little too potent for me! But the Tuesday night ‘Sex on the Beach’ special at Lee’s Roadside Grill in St Maarten is worth the flight to the Caribbean alone!

What’s your favourite holiday tipple? Let us know! Cheers

Packing for the Holidays…

In this world, there are two types of travellers – those who pack light, and those who do not!

Falling miserably into the latter category, I am (sadly) one of those who cannot bear the thought of travelling with just two pairs of shoes, but after many, many trips with exceptionally heavy suitcases, I think I finally have my packing down to a fine art.

So what does one pack when going away on holiday?  Well of course that depends on where you are going, what the temperatures are going to be like, and how long you are going to be away for, but with plenty of mix and match items that can be layered up (or down), it is easy to pack light –ish!

Packing for your winter holiday

City breaks are great fun, especially during the winter months, and if you are lucky enough to be whisked away on a romantic trip to Salzburg, New York or Cape Town, then smart casual is key. Mix and match layers always work well, and while comfort is paramount during the day for your city tour, you can really spice it up at night as you hit the local nightlife.

Beach holidays are easy, swimwear and flip-flops for the day, light colourful clothing for the night, and again, if you mix and match items you can get through a week with a handful of well-chosen pieces and three (cannot do two!) pairs of shoes.

Packing for a cruise holiday depends entirely on the cruise line you are travelling with.  Luxury cruise lines such as Regent have a more smart casual approach during the day and a more formal dress code in the evening, which is perfect for those who like to dress up.  Royal Caribbean on the other hand, has a far more relaxed dress code during the day, and most people dress smart casual in the evening.  Swimwear, sportswear (for the gym), casual clothing for days in port and a selection of evening attire is all one needs for a cruising holiday.

Heading off on a South African safari does not mean you have to dress like Indiana Jones, and while many enjoy dressing in traditional safari clothing – please resist wearing it on the plane to Cape Town!  Early morning and late evening game drives can be rather chilly, so layers, a warm jacket or fleece and comfortable shoes are all you really need.

I would love to hear any packing tips and tricks from other travellers, and in the meantime, I will stick to the catchphrase I came across some years ago:

“When packing for a trip, lay out all your clothes and all your spending money on the bed.  Then pack half the clothes and take twice the money!”  It seems to work for me!

Beach Holiday, City Break, Safari Adventure… Can’t Decide? Leave it to your Hair Colour!

If you are you struggling to decide where to go on holiday this winter, and cannot choose between a beach holiday, a city break, or a safari adventure – then just take a look in the mirror, and let your hair colour decide for you!

Winter Holiday Ideas

I know that might sound a tad strange, but according to a recent survey carried out by booking engine Hotels.com, our holiday choices are fuelled by our hair colour, and not glossy travel brochures and fancy commercials shot on exotic beach locations.

So, if you want to know what holiday you’ll prefer this winter, here’s the breakdown…

If you are Ginger or a Red Head, you need to pack your bags and head off to South Africa, Botswana, Namibia or Tanzania – as according to the survey, you’ll prefer a Safari Holiday.

If, like me, you are a natural blonde (pwahaha), you are most likely to want to sunbathe this winter, so pack your itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny and jump on a plane to Mauritius, the Fiji Islands, Zanzibar or Anguilla in the Caribbean.

Brunettes are, apparently, thrill-seekers, so it looks like you will be heading away on an adventure break this winter!  Climbing Kilimanjaro, Tracking Gorillas in Rwanda, White-Water Rafting in Nepal, and Trekking Machu Picchu are just some of the holiday destinations Brunettes will be enjoying in the next 12 months…

If you have black hair, you should know by now that you will be making your way to the world’s Alpine Regions for a spot of Skiing this winter.  Austria… Italy… Canada… you decide!

Grey hair comes to us all eventually (not if I can help it!), and if you have transformed into a Silver Fox this year, your ideal winter holiday is a countryside retreat.  The highlands of Scotland, the Winelands of the Western Cape of South Africa, the South Island of New Zealand are great choices for a relaxing break.

Finally, if you have no hair at all – it’s time to dust off your rucksack and make your way around the world on a backpacking adventure!

Of course, there are certain flaws in this survey… I mean, where do you go if you can’t even remember your natural hair colour anymore…?  I’ll just go with ‘all of the above’!

Do You Entrust TripAdvisor or Your Travel Agent with Your Holiday?

When it comes to booking your dream holiday abroad, do you turn to your local or online travel agent for advice, or do you rely on the comments made by ‘real travellers’ on TripAdvisor?

Well, a recent consumer study held by the Association of British Travel Agents, revealed that more than half of holidaymakers believe that booking with a ‘travel professional’ will save them time (and perhaps money), but that some travel agents ‘need to work harder’ to better understand their guests needs.

Giving travel advice on a destination you have never visited is no easy task, and while travel agents have an endless supply of glossy brochures and 360° online tours to show their clients, if they are not well-travelled themselves, how can they give us the detailed information that we need to turn a good holiday into an amazing trip?

Well, it seems this is where TripAdvisor comes into play…

Dream Winter Holiday Destinations

More and more travellers are turning to Travel Encyclopaedia TripAdvisor to read up on destination reviews and hotel reviews written by other travellers who have ‘been there, done that’, but the question is, how reliable are these reviews, and should we entrust them with our holiday?

As someone who uses TripAdvisor on a daily basis, I do believe it homes a lot of useful information for travellers, but I also know that anyone can post a review on any hotel or destination, and that their motives for writing it may not be for the benefit of other travellers!

With the Advertising Standards Authority ruling that TripAdvisor must not imply that all of its reviews were from ‘real travellers’, it seems we really must read between the lines, and not be put off a hotel or destination because it has one or two negative reviews, which could have been written by a nearby rival.

Niche tour operators and travel agents who specialise in a specific region or area are more likely to have the detailed information you need to plan your perfect trip, and when combined with an ‘overview’ from TripAdvisor, you can turn your Bucket List Dreams into a holiday of a lifetime…

One of The Best Things About Travel Is…

Meeting new people… and we have met some of the most amazing people on your journeys around the world. 

Old, young, rich, poor, black, white and every beautiful shade in between, the world is full of wonderful people, and here are just some that made our trips truly special…

Meeting People from Around the World cimg6600 img_0758 img_0151 img_0824 img_0179_-_kopie img_0223 img_0752 img_0232 2004_0927image0018 img_0257 cimg6145 img_1118 cimg6580 img_0072 cimg6588 DCIM100SPORT DCIM100SPORT DCIM100SPORT

New Holiday Trends – Swapping Sun, Sea and Sand for ‘Something Special’

Holidays:  An extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in travelling – Oxford Dictionary

The holiday season may be drawing to an end in not-so-sunny Europe, but for many, now the holiday season really gets going with the newest and latest holiday trends.

Cycling Holidays, Photography Holidays, Volunteer Holidays, Yoga Holidays, Wine Tasting Holidays, Cooking Holidays and Golfing Holidays are all the rage right now, and while many of these do exist in the Northern Hemisphere – there are whole lot more fun in the exotic countries sitting beneath the equator!

Cycling holidays seem to have taken the world by storm this year, and if you like the idea of cycling through beautiful scenery, heading off into nature, and eating as much as you like as you are burning so many calories – a cycling break could be just what you are looking for!  South Africa and New Zealand both offer amazing routes.

Photography holidays and photographic tours are another ‘new travel trend’, and whether you are brand new to the world of photography or a highly skilled professional, there are some amazing trips to be had.  Namibia offers breathtaking scenery and landscapes, while South Africa, Tanzania and Australia have all the flora and fauna you could possibly wish to capture on film.

Travel Companions of a Different Kind!

Spiritual travellers have been taking holistic holidays for years, but there is a whole new holiday sector available for Yoga lovers and fitness fanatics, which combine spirituality and sport with a little bit of luxury.  Mauritius, Bali and Australia are bursting with retreats – and you will return home feeling a brand new person.

Then (something that is very close to my own heart!) there are the Gourmet Cooking and Wine Tasting Holidays! If you love good food, good wines, and like-minded travellers, just imagine how much fun you would have been chauffeured throughout South Africa’s Winelands, the Wine Valleys of Argentina, or New Zealand’s Marlborough region! Bliss… Although you made well need a yoga holiday afterwards!

 

 

 

 

Anguilla – The Picture Perfect Holiday Destination

If I could be anywhere else in the world right now, I think I would have to choose the Caribbean Island of Anguilla.

Beautiful beaches, friendly locals, delicious seaside restaurants, and all the water activities you could possible wish for, Anguilla has it all, and there is nothing more relaxing that watching the sun go down over Shoal Bay with one of Mayas tropical sunset cocktails…

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Life’s a Beach…

There is nothing quite like sitting on a beach… the soft sand between your toes, the sound of waves crashing against the shore, the warm sun on your face, the delicate breeze of salty sea air…

In fact, I love everything about beaches, even when they are cold, wet and windy, and as that is exactly how the weather is here today, I thought I would dedicate this blog to my favourite beaches in the world

Playa del Carmen Beach Mexico

Playa del Carmen Beach Mexico

Most beautiful beaches in the world

View from Monuriki Beach Fiji Islands (Where Castaway was filmed with Tom Hanks)

Worlds most beautiful Beaches

Margaret River – The Windswept West Coast of Australia

Worlds most beautiful Beaches

San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily Italy

Most beautiful beaches in the world

Genipabu Brazil

Most beautiful beaches in the world

Camps Bay, Cape Town South Africa

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Shoal Bay, Anguilla Island Caribbean

Most beautiful beaches in the world

Walker Bay, South Africa

The Top 25 Beaches in the World – The Travellers Choice by TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor has released another one of their “Top 25” lists, and this time they have listed the top 25 beaches in the world.

Voted for by travellers, this latest list names a few of my own favourite beaches such as Whitehaven Beach in Australia and Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman, but I was quite surprised to find that beaches in Britain took not one, but two spots on the list, and that the number one spot went to a beach in the Mediterranean…

Well, it just goes to show that you don’t have to sit on a plane for days on end to find your little piece of paradise (although if you want some sun with your sea and sand you are definitely going to have to go a bit further than Brighton!), and that the world’s best beaches may be a whole lot closer to home than you think!

So without further ado… Here are the Top 25 Beaches in World, as voted for by TripAdvisors Travellers Choice:

  1. Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy
  2. Gracy Bay, Providenciales – Turks and Caicos
  3. Whitehaven Beach, Queensland – Australia
  4. Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha – Brazil
  5. Flamencos Beach, Culebra – Puerto Rico
  6. Playa de las Catedrales, Raibadeo – Spain
  7. Lopes Mendes Beach, Ilha Grande – Brazil
  8. Horseshoe Bay Beach, Southampton Parish – Bermuda
  9. Eagle Beach – Aruba
  10. Rhossili Bay, Rhossili, Swansea – Wales, UK
  11. Playa Paraiso Beach, Cayo Largo – Cuba
  12. Playa de ses Illetes, Formentera – Spain
  13. Chesterman Beach, Tofino – British Columbia
  14. Playa del Norte, Isla Mujeres – Mexico
  15. Ka’ anapali Beach, Lahaina – Hawaii
  16. Siesta Key Public Beach, Sarasota – Florida
  17. Anse Lazio, Paslin Island – Seychelles
  18. Gulf Islands National Seashore, Pensacola – Florida
  19. Turquoise Bay, Exmouth – Australia
  20. Fort De Soto Park, Tierra Verde – Florida
  21. Akumal Beach, Akumal – Mexico
  22. The Baths, Virgin Gorda
  23. Seven Mile Beach, George Town – Grand Cayman
  24. White Beach, Boracay – Philippines
  25. Woolacombe Beach, Woolacombe – United Kingdom

Where is your favourite beach in the world?  Drop us a line and let us know!

Guess the Beach and Get a Whole Lot Closer to One!

Today I made the huge mistake of looking for a specific photograph on our backup box.  Three hours and around 10,000 photos later, I have just realised that I haven’t done any work this afternoon, and have instead, been around the world at least five times reminiscing about all those wonderful places we have been!

My afternoon may have been ‘wasted’, but it was so wonderful to look through those photos we have taken over the years (the aging part is not so wonderful!), and it gave me an idea for today’s blog…!

If you love to be by the sea, then you probably love beaches as much as I do.  Yes, the sand can get in awkward places, and yes, the sea salt does all kinds of nasty things to your hair, but sitting on a warm sandy beach with a cool beer in hand is my kind of paradise!

We are lucky enough to have sat on many beaches over the years, and so I thought I would pick out 10 of my favourite pictures, and ask you all to see if you can guess where these beaches are. Of course, such a task is timely and not terribly easy, so whoever guesses all ten correctly will receive a £100 travel voucher from us that is redeemable against any of our tours or tailor-made packages…!

Best Beaches in the world - But where are they? CIMG0073 CIMG0091 CIMG0536 CIMG6473 Cruise 2008 185 Golf, Party, Birthday 013 IMG_0195 IMG_0459 Marigot  - Anguilla 008

Answers tomorrow – good luck! :)