Winter Warmers..

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Winter is that time when the mind arches towards tropical fantasies, laying in deck chairs feeling the sun prickle and steam our skin until we can bear it no longer and we must ease the heat by lowering into the refreshing coolness of the water…..

It’s the time when you cosy inside and flick through ideas of summery getaways, where can we escape to for a few days warmth? Where can we go that only sandals are needed, or even better – bare feet on sun kissed sand?

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The imaginings of coconut water, mangoes, barbecued meat, chilled drinks and afternoon sea breezes carry us through the colder months.

Here’s to summertime trips, getaways and adventures…….

Peace and love xo

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Top Ten Travel Destinations in 2015

Who knows where they are travelling to in 2015?

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Well thanks to Lonely Planet we know where is HOT in 2015……

First is Singapore……..well if you are Australian, it’s one of the most popular stopover cities on route to Europe and it has plenty going for it in 2015. Namely that it celebrates 50 years of Independence. So Singapore is putting on a party, its going to have fun festivities dotted throughout the year and it starts on New Years Eve 2014 with spectacular fireworks and light shows….I’m talking big and bold peoples. Singapore has loads going on all year, every year like…….a great noodle market, some high end shopping areas, Iconic Hotels and a pretty diverse range of tourist attractions.

The other countries are as follows some sound appealing and others I have never really considered before but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be seen…….

Namibia – Touted as having the most stunning landscapes in Africa and the place to see  huge sand dunes,  wild animals and African Culture in all it’s glory. Why not?

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photo by bestravel.com

Lithuania – For a mythical Baltic theme and as much ancient christianity history you can handle!

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Nicaragua – Spunky Latin vibes with a great coastal theme. Perfect for those that have been most places and are looking to shake it up next year!

 

 

 

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Photo by visitnicaragua.us

 

Ireland – Pretty, musical Ireland, Blarney Stone kissing, urban spots with loads of atmosphere, haunting history with stunning landscapes plus the whole pub scene – what else does one need?

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photo by cellar tours.com

 

Republic of Congo – Africa is becoming big on peoples travel lists, although this country seems an unusual choice as the north is a little troubled with lots of warnings to stay away. It does have amazing treks though and if you’ve always wanted to Gorilla in the Mist it, then this place is probably right up your alley. 

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Photo by beautyof-theworld.com

 

Serbia – Simply stunning architecture combined with gorgeous countryside and a good dose of Eastern European style plus that Mediterranean climate.

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 Phillippines – Few know the hidden paradise that awaits in this part of the world. Offers all the beauty, beachy, over water lagoony stuff that The Maldives, Tahiti claim for far less moola $$$. 

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St Lucia – Well the Caribbean is always on the list and St Lucia is one of the better islands to partake of some Reggae and jerk chicken! Plus, amazing landscape!!

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photo by socialphy.com

Morocco – sigh*  #mustdo. This place has a lot going for it and I’m talking great medieval history to food to shopping to hotels!! And then you have the landscape…..If you’ve ever considered a Small Group Tour I would recommend it for this destination as you will get a lot more out of the experience. A local tour guide will really open your eyes and hearts to Morocco.

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Turkey – always been popular but it is becoming THE place to go island hopping on a sail boat trip. Much more affordable and breathtakingly pretty…..plus Turkish Delight in much abundance!

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I have no idea how they come up with these lists, I guess it’s someones job to figure it out!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year…..

Claire

 

5 Star and bang for buck!

Staying 5 star is affordable! Don’t scoff, it can be if you’re canny and do it right……
Most of us like the luxury, comfort, service and the facilities a 5 star resort will or should offer, so how do you make it worth the cost and even save a little?

Easy you read my post………

Most ( in fact I’d say all ) hotel chains have reward schemes these days and they are usually free to join….do so and they will offer you great discounts and even great bonuses like “priority checkin”, club access etc giving that little glam edge over the mere mortals standing in that long winding queue (the horror!!!)

Also when you are registering at checkin a great way to save some dough is to ask if there are any upgrades available….please don’t expect this for free, it can happen (a bit like finding a golden ticket in your Wonka bar can happen!) but rarely does. You might get a greatly reduced rate though, turning that teensy tiny City view room into a spacious Ocean view room for just a little extra!

Hot Tip Time

Ask about their Executive Club.

What is a this you ask and why would I want it?

Well you might not want it but bang for buck you can save money sometimes if you get a good deal. The Executive Club that 5 star hotels offer is a divine little enclave that you have private access to and will offer a deluxe continental breakfast, refreshments, plus in the evenings (perhaps from 5pm until 8pm) you get a great selection of hot and cold appetizers and all the wine and beer you can drink!

At the Moana Surfrider in Waikiki they have a fabulous Beach Club which offers all this and more. We got a discount at the desk for booking it there and it worked put at $50 USD a day for up to 2 adults and 2 children. It can actually save you quite a bit on breakfast and dinner costs. Alcohol in resorts and holiday destinations can be pricey, having a couple of wines and appetizers will decrease your need to buy more later. We found that the appetizers were more than enough on most evenings and we didn’t feel like dinner at all!

The Beach Club is also at the beach level allowing us to watch the glorious sunsets on Waikiki every evening sitting on a breezy verandah and sipping a cold glass of wine.

Below are a few photos of the Beach Club

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It’s food for thought, if you have a hankering to stay in a gorgeous resort on your next holiday it may be more achievable than you imagine.

Anyhow I’m off to enjoy the sunshine of Hawaii so…

Mahalo

Travel Tip Tuesday

Here’s what’s great about travel in my book.

Discovery…

Often today’s western traveller has expectations that when we roam the world our destination will live to an expectation that we saw plastered on the glossy brochure at the local travel agent. Sometimes when we get to that destination it doesn’t quite have the same glossy finish. The turquoise sparkling water and white sandy beaches might exist but don’t look quite as picturesque with rubbish, crumbling buildings and stray dogs interrupting your vista!

These are the times when instead of being critical, annoyed and disappointed we should look for the beauty elsewhere. Embrace ‘discovery’ and all it can offer. When all you’ve seen of a place is from behind the lens of a camera it can often turn out to be quite different.

To me it is the experiences we have from exploring a little of the beaten track, getting to know the locals, eating where they eat, shopping where they shop that can often uncover experiences that stay with you well after you return home.

So today’s tip is to always pack a good dose of your adventurous self and be at all times open to….

Discovery!

Enjoy the world my little explorers xx