I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list.
— Susan Sontag, 1933 - 2004
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AnneJeffries

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Summer Holiday Locations

May 2012 - Jun 2012

Summer Holiday Locations

4:24pm

As the weather starts to get warmer, many people begin to turn their attention to the summer holidays. However, with so many different types of break to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. From beach breaks to adventure holidays, let's take a look at some of the best summer holiday destinations.British Beach BreaksThe recession has made holidaying at home cool once again. Being a small island, the UK offers plenty of pretty coastal regions and holiday resorts for a traditional seaside break. Cornwall is a popular choice with tourists heading south for the summer. With pretty towns such as Padstow and St Ives as well as beautiful, sandy beaches the region is a great place for families and couples alike. If the weather's damp, there's plenty to see and do in Cornwall; both kids and adults will enjoy the exciting educational experience at the Eden Project while the Tate at St Ives is popular with culture-vultures. Home to Rick Stein's famous seafood restaurant, Cornwall is a foodies paradise, with plenty of places to dine in style as well as being the ideal location to enjoy a simple meal of fish and chips on the sea front. Whatever your interests, there's something for you in Cornwall.Stylish City BreaksIf you're bored of beach breaks then why not try a stylish summer city break? Dublin is a great place to go for a summer holiday with a difference. Perfect for a week away from work or for a long weekend to recharge your batteries, a city break provides the opportunity to indulge yourself in a luxurious hotel, soak up the culture and enjoy the local cuisine. Dublin is packed with traditional Irish pubs, so you can kick back with a pint of the black stuff after a long day of sightseeing and shopping. Just a short drive from the city centre, you'll find vast expanses of rolling countryside making Dublin the ideal choice if you want to get away from it all with some long walks in the fresh air, before returning to the city to take advantage of the buzzing nightlife.FranceFor families who are looking for an action-packed break, why not hop across the channel for a summer holiday with a difference? The sunny south-west of France has plenty of adventure holiday resorts offering an abundance of outdoor activities. From archery and rifle-shooting to wind-surfing and rafting, a French adventure holiday promises plenty of fun for water-babies and land-lovers alike. The Pyrenees are just a short drive from the South-Western city of Toulouse, meaning the region is conveniently situated for people who enjoy walking and hiking. For those who want to unwind, many adventure holiday camps offer the chance to relax with yoga and creative writing, as well as traditional outdoor pursuits.From exciting activity weekends to cultural city breaks, you don't have to opt for traditional beach holidays to have a great summer holiday. Whether you want to stay close to home or travel further afield, the summer offers you the perfect opportunity to get away from it and try something new, so look around to find something to suit your interests for the holiday of a lifetime!

Links:

  1. activity weekends

London City Break Guide

11:24am

There is so much to see and do in the UK's capital it will leave you spoiled for choice whilst staying here. London is a great place to spend a weekend city break and will not disappoint. There is literally something for everyone's tastes and all ages. You will find you cannot fit everything you want to do into a weekend. The key to a successful break is to plan what you want to do before you go. To help, we have put together a guide to the best attractions within London to enable you to get the best out of your break. Many use a weekend break in the city to take advantage of the fantastic shopping here. There is every type of shopping imaginable from Oxford Street with high street brands to luxury department stores such as Harrods to vintage finds at one of the many markets. No visit to London is complete without a ride on the London Eye. As the world's tallest observation wheel, from the top you can view a lot of the city's landmarks from the comfort of a pod. For history and culture, the city has plenty from royal connections to the architectural splendour of Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. Royal attractions not to be missed include touring Buckingham Palace, watching the changing of the guard and visiting the Tower of London. There are lots of museums and art galleries across the city. The Tate Modern on the Southbank is great for contemporary art exhibitions whereas the National Portrait Gallery has a collection dating back to the middle ages. There are some great museums suitable for the whole family including the Natural History Museum. There is always a host of exhibitions on display such as a dinosaur exhibit and a full sized whale. The Victoria and Albert Museum is also great for those looking for culture with artefacts spanning 3000 years from furniture to sculptures. There are always events happening across the city that you may want to factor into your break. Upcoming events include the Queens Jubilee and the Olympics though New Year's Eve is popular every year with the stunning firework display. The city comes alive at night with lots of bars, restaurants and entertainment to choose from. Head into the West End and you will find an array of different theatre shows with evening and matinee performances. To get the best possible price use Boxoffice theatre tickets before you hit the city and the nightlife.

Links:

  1. Boxoffice

Finding the Right Accommodation

11:27am

It's one of the age old questions when going on vacation. How do you go about finding the right accommodation to suit your needs and your budget? There's such a bewildering range of options out there that it can be tricky to decide which will be best for you. Before you start trawling travel websites looking at the different types of accommodation on offer, ask yourself a few simple questions about what you really want from your accommodation. That way you will be able to narrow down your search and get yourself some real bargains in the process.

One of the most important things you can do is get onto the travel forums and ask other travellers about their experiences. If you have a specific destination in mind then you will be able to navigate directly to that page and see what others have to say about a particular location. Often you won't even have to ask yourself, as the chances are that someone else will have already had the same query as you. Travellers love to help each other out and share their experiences so you will be able to get a lot more information about choosing the right accommodation from real people than from the infinite pages of advertorial that will be offered by a search engine.

Of course, the kind of accommodation you need will depend very much on your circumstances. If you are travelling alone then hostels can be a great way of meeting new and interesting people while saving a load of money which can be better spent going out and socialising with your new found companions. Board in a hostel costs very little money and is ideal for students and young travellers to find out about what is happening away from the tourist guides and travel websites.

Although hostels are certainly one of the cheapest options for lone travellers, if you are travelling as a couple then a budget hotel can actually be a lot more cost effective than hostelling. Not only do you have the privacy of your own room, but you will often find that there are en suite bathroom facilities and you may even get a meal such as breakfast included in the tariff. If you have a bit more cash to splash then choosing a more upmarket hotel will even provide you with facilities such as swimming pools and maybe a spa. While you might not get as much of a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture, hotels can provide you with a perfect opportunity to relax and get away from it all.

If you are travelling with a larger group, for example as a family or even a large group of friends, then you really can't go wrong with renting a <a href="http://www.privatevilla.co.uk">private villa</a>. They are really the best of all worlds. They offer the chance to really experience the local lifestyle and culture while saving a lot of money on the cost of your accommodation. Many private villas even have facilities such as pools within the grounds and there is always the option of eating out if you don't want to cook. They are certainly one of the best options for spending time with your friends and family while enjoying your holiday.

Links:

  1. private villa

Holiday Clothing Guide

11:32am

Booking a holiday or going travelling gives the perfect excuse to go shopping, treat yourself to a whole new wardrobe, or to totally reinvent yourself. After all, when you're on holiday, you can be anyone you want to be!

Whether yours is going to be a beach holiday with sun and surf, or just an excuse to hang out in the local bars and clubs, you want to look casual, cool and stylish and feel great. Your holiday wardrobe will also need to be practical; lightweight, to help avoid excess baggage charges and to leave room in your suitcase for your duty free shopping and easy-care, with non-crease items being perfect. And it's also a good idea to choose a few pieces in neutral colours, or denims so you don't have to think too hard about mixing and matching different outfits every morning and evening.

Natural fibres such as cotton are great to help you feel cool, whilst fabrics such as flannel or knitted cotton/polyester are good with jeans or jog pants for cooler evenings outdoors with a beer, or when you need to cover up.

Here is a list of must-have items for the perfect sun holiday:

Tops
A selection of funky t-shirts is a must for any beach holiday. They are cool, lightweight and comfortable and can be worn alone or layered with a shirt or jacket at night. It's worth investing in some good quality cotton tees as they'll survive the journey more successfully than their cheaper counterparts. In the evening, or during cooler days, a light hoody, flannel shirt or sweater will keep you looking cool but feeling warm!

Bottoms
You can't go on holiday without taking a few pairs of shorts. Boardie shorts are great for surfers, sailors and sunbathers alike whilst chino shorts are 'smart casual' and great for the beach bar, sightseeing and day trips. Cargo shorts are laid back and comfy with loads of pockets. Make sure you have trousers in the form of chinos and jog pants and you can't go far wrong.

Footwear
All you really need, footwear-wise, is a comfortable pair of sandals or flip flops which will take you from beach to bar with a cool casual look and will go with any clothing. If you're planning on hitting the clubs, you may also need a pair of trainers or shoes, although venues on holiday do tend to be a little more relaxed than back at home.

Accessories
A couple of hats will help you to keep a cool head and look fab too. Trucker caps and baseball caps are trendy and widely available. Sunglasses are absolutely essential to help protect your eyes. And don't forget a backpack to shove it all into – so much more stylish and easier to handle than a suitcase!
Originally a surfing brand, <a href="http://www.hardcloud.com/brands/hurley.asp">Hurley Clothing</a>, is casual, comfortable and ideal for vacations. Great for sun, surf, skateboarding or even festivals, the range includes designs for all occasions in a range of sizes and styles to suit every holiday.

Links:

  1. Hurley Clothing

Family Holiday on a Budget

11:34am

Family holidays are a chance to relax and for the kids to get involved in adventures, but these trips don't have to cost the Earth. Instead, there are plenty of ways to trim down the cost of a family holiday and some operators even offer specially-designed budget holiday packages.

The type of holiday your family goes on can determine a huge amount when it comes to its cost. If you're looking to save the pennies, consider a biking holiday – perhaps in France or the Netherlands, renowned for their cycling opportunities – or maybe a camping trip. The latter could easily take place in the UK and all you'll pay is the typically reasonable cost of hiring out a camp site and for the equipment you'll need, such as sleeping bags and tents.

If you're heading to a destination with friends or in a large group, consider how the numbers game can help shave pounds off the cost. If there's say, 12 of you, a week in a Spanish villa can really work out cheaper than a hotel for example, as you'll be able to split the accommodation cost between you. You'll also be able to enjoy facilities such as a villa pool. Cottages are another good option along the same lines.

Another thing to consider when choosing accommodation is whether you really need luxury apartments or a hotel. You may be able to book out rooms in a hostel and save lots of money and many hostels are as pleasant and well-equipped as budget hotels in some places. Cheap hotel chains in countries such as UK are dependable and it's likely there will be a branch close to your destination.

Holidays get pricier when you have a few children, but if this is putting you off, look for travel agents with free kid holiday deals. These deals are subject to availability but essentially mean that while you'll pay for the adults, your kids get food, board and flights free, at hotels in a range of destinations.

Where you head is a big deal, too. Some countries end up cheaper due to economic circumstances, or because thousands of tourists typically flock there each year and you can therefore pick up good deals. In 2012, an example of this would be Greece. Other destinations are affordable because they're easily accessible from the UK: take northern France for an example; the coast here boasts plenty of accommodation and activities. Elsewhere in Europe, try off-the-beaten track destinations such as Hiša Franko in Slovenia, where you can find reasonable deals and avoid the crowds.

A few tricks can help you knock a few pounds off your holiday costs. Travel companies sometimes offer discount-based promotions; for example Thomas Cook discount codes can be used on certain deals to get your family away for less. And look out for budget offers or ask tour operators if they have suggestions for families.

Links:

  1. Thomas Cook discount codes

Worldwide Camping Guide

2:08pm

Hotels have their place, but if you want unfettered freedom and the opportunity to wake up in a forest one morning, the beach on another or high in the mountains the next very little beats sleeping under canvas.

Camping remains the only way to roam freely anywhere in the world. With a tent in hand you have the ability to explore freely any country on any continent. With a relatively small budget you can get far away from the concrete towers or throngs of tourists.

Early planning and some simple steps before you depart a camping holiday will ensure a tranquil escape from the television and the trappings of the modern world. It will mean you can enjoy the sights and sounds of nature on the other side of the flysheet.

The majority of countries have easy to understand and accessible networks of campsites that will suit any budget and taste. France can include the history of Normandy or Brittany, the wine region of Bordeaux and the sultry heat of the Cote d'Azure.

Away from Europe brave and adventurous campers can spend their days on Fraser Island off the coast of Queensland. On the remote tip of Chile a camping holiday gives anyone access to the beauty of Torres del Paine.

Tents, an adventurous spirit and a lust for travel can be the key to freedom from the package tour drudge.

Don't set off straight away. There are a few things you will need to do before you go. Needless to say you should select a good tent that meets your needs. They don't necessarily have to break the bank but do remember that it will be your home and protection against the elements. You are also going to need some warm sleeping bags for your travels.

Now, remember there are not going to be any chefs, or kitchens for that matter so you will need to get yourself some cooking equipment. Many campgrounds will have grills and picnic tables but there are now also amazing low profile burners in all good camping stores.

After you're prepared you are free to enjoy The Four Seasons in the Golden Triangle in Thailand, the Basque region of Spain, or anywhere you set your heart on.

You don't even have to go too far afield to discover the joy of camping. Great Britain has plenty to offer with campsites dotted all over the place from Land's End to John O'Groats.

Why not give yourself a great camping holiday in Europe and try one of the many fantastic campsites on offer such as, which provides a great place to explore.

Links:

  1. Eurocamp Baia Domizia Holiday Park offers
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