Most romantic travel destinations

Roses, chocolate covered strawberries and champagne are all great (especially the champagne). So are gigantic cuddly teddy bears until you realise you’ve no room to fit a 7ft tall soft toy by the side of your bed. Candlelit dinners with soft romantic music playing peacefully in the background. Great isn’t it? But what about if you could experience all this in a new place to really add to the excitement?

Whether it’s an anniversary, a birthday or even an engagement (would make a bit of an expensive first date though), or even just a romantic trip to spice things up, these are a list of some of the top most romantic getaways for you and your partner.

1 Venice, Italy

Walk through the enchanting streets of Venice and get lost in the immense beauty of this city. You will feel like you’re an extra walking down the set of a magical Disney movie, with the aesthetically pleasing bold and bright colours of the buildings, the quaint cobbled streets, gothic palaces and historical cathedrals. The city of Venice is extremely unique and holds a lot of historical significance.

Hop on a gondola to peacefully ride down the canal and admire all the quaint renaissance building’s surrounding you. Make your way to the heart of Venice to see Piazza San Marco – known in English as St Mark’s Square, it is a breathtaking spot where you’ll find a wide range of mouth watering local Italian restaurants on the terrace nearby, so you can eat your heart full of pizza and pasta with a glass of lovely Italian wine on the side. Then finish off with some tiramisu or gelato to really cure that sweet tooth.

A Venice must see is Saint Mark’s Basilica. It’s an architecturally flawless cathedral that is pleasing to the eye, with over 500 columns! After you’ve seen it, head for a romantic stroll down one of Venice’s many bridges and make lots of food stops to enjoy some delicious food together.

2. Paris, France

What says romance better than a croissant, cheese and wine fuelled picnic next to the Eiffel Tower? Or an incredible romantic meal on a cruise down River Seine with live music and plenty of alcohol? This was by far one of the most romantic experiences we’ve ever had and I would recommend it 100% to anybody looking for a memorable night.

You should make time to just spend a day strolling through the stunning streets of Paris aimlessly, just appreciating and admiring the old fashioned chic designed buildings covered in classic balconies and all the other graceful and elegant buildings, stopping to sample some of the flavourful food and extra strong espressos Paris has to offer.

I’m being honest when I say that the romance opportunities are endless in Paris, even their language is deemed as one of the most beautiful in the world. With coffee shops and Boulangerie’s on every corner, if it’s a cappuccino or a pastry you’re looking for Paris won’t fall flat. Take advantage and sit in their outdoor areas to admire the great views and scenery of this beautiful city, and head to Le Sancerre to people watch in true Parisian style.

It’s also filled with great upper class restaurants where you can pour your heart out over a bottle of champagne and fantastic table service, followed by an extraordinary (but very pricey) meal. Check out Epicure – an absolutely stunning French restaurant serving local cuisine, and Boutary for some delicious seafood – be sure to try their caviar!

Paris is such an extraordinary city and the streets are pouring with romance and passion. Be sure to go there with your significant other for an amazing trip that will create lifelong memories!

3. Santorini, Greece

Santorini is without a doubt one of the most beautiful Greek Islands, filled with iconic white buildings with gorgeous colourful roofs of varying colours. Devastated by a volcanic eruption in the 16th century, which is known to be the one of the biggest in the world, the centre of the island collapsed and fell to the bottom of the ocean, which then created the legend of the underwater city of Atlantis.

Spend an afternoon hiking up the Santorini Volcano for some unforgettable views, and afterwards head to one of Santorini’s amazing restaurants to try out some delicious Greek food. On your visit make sure you take part in a winery tour – just remember to spit out the wine if you want to appear sophisticated (or like us, you could just drink it and stumble out pretty tipsy). You should also priorities seeing the ancient ruins to immerse yourself in Santorini’s history. With a variation of water sports to fill your need for adventure, your trip will be the perfect mix of fun, romance and relaxation.

The city is now filled with stunning sandy beaches and amazing multi-coloured sunsets, so sit back, relax and enjoy the views with your significant other for a romantic trip you’ll be sure to remember. Walk through this cliff covered town and explore all the amazing sights it has to offer.

4.Cartagena, Columbia

With phenomenal live music and dance performances, this pastel stone city lined with flowers, cobbled streets and horse and carriages has an amazing atmosphere that will leave you smiling inside and out. Take a stroll to see the famous yellow clock tower, located in the colourful old town of Getsemaní, which is home to the locals. It’s in Getsemani you will be able to really interact with the locals, and find amazing affordable restaurants, and vibrant street art covering the walls.

Enjoy chilling out by a white sand beach in the lovely heat and treat yourself to a cocktail on one of the amazing beach bars. You can also take a mud bath in a volcano and even get a massage before rinsing yourself off in the lake. It will definitely be something to remember, and will be such a fun experience which will make for some great photos!

I’m sure all these activities have left your tummy rumbling, so spend the day strolling the streets feasting on some delicious and fresh tropical fruits, and make your way to El Portal de los Dulces known as ‘sweet street’ to indulge in some enjoyable sweet treats. If you’re feeling like something savoury, head to the street food stalls and be sure to try the local dish arepas con huevo – which is a cornbread filled with egg, beef and cheese. Cartagena is filled with a range of delicious coffee shops to fuel your caffeine addiction.

5. Bruges, Belgium

This historical feeling city filled with cobbled streets, medieval buildings and canals home to swans is a stunning destination which is bound to tick off all the points on your romantic checklist.

Bruges is relatively small but is jam packed with a variety of sights, activities and plenty of charm. Wander the streets sampling the refreshing beer and deliciously sweet Belgian chocolate. Make sure to head to the heart of Bruges city centre to admire the bell tower which was built back in the 15th century, and climb to the top spot.

Explore this magnificent city by hopping on a canal to cruise your way through whilst admiring all the great sights. The Markt is magical and if you can schedule your trip around Christmas time, you will be able to experience all the festive markets, painted in fairy lights and have the smell of beer and waffles filling your nose. There will also be an ice rink where you can either gracefully dance around the floor or fall flat on your face if you’re like me and don’t know the meaning of the word ‘balance’. However, if you’d rather go whilst the sun is shining, there are still a vast majority of amazing food and fruit stalls and souvenirs. You can even hop on a horse drawn carriage to explore the city.

Whilst in Bruges, be sure to explore the museum and admire some of the stunning churches. I’d recommend going during the Christmas season for an extra special romantic feeling, but this wonderful city will wow you at any time throughout the year.

6. Buenos Aires

Argentina’s capital is budget friendly, jam packed with great tango dancing and a never ending list of things to see and do. The city is filled with a variety of mouth-watering food – be sure to try some of the delicious steak and wash it down with a big glass of red wine.

Head to Milonga to have a shot at tango dancing with your partner for a romantic evening, or if that doesn’t take your fancy you can just go to enjoy the atmosphere and watch people tango dancing down the streets!

Hit up Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes – a free museum, to explore art from the likes of Van Gogh, Degas, Monet, and Picasso, and head to the charming and colourful Telmo Market to enjoy some flavoursome homemade snacks, pick up some souvenirs, and watch the live performances in the streets.

Buenos Aires has great nightlife, and if partying is your thing, this fun filled city won’t let you down. Hit up some of the cities nightclubs, but beware they start late, don’t expect the party to start until around 2am!

Whilst you’re in this fantastic city, make sure to try some delicious local foods including Dulce de Leche and empanadas!  The Plaza de Mayo is a must see, the pink house where the president works. If you want to see more colourful buildings, head to La Boca to immerse yourself in the bright and bold coloured streets, and live tango dancing!

Then sit back and relax in the botanic gardens, and discuss the highlights of your trip in this unbelievably fascinating city.

7. Barcelona

Barcelona will fill your heart with love and romance from the moment you step out the Airport. Enjoy the soaring temperatures in the summer months by heading to La Isabela at the Hotel 1898 – an unbeatable rooftop bar where you can enjoy a 360 view of the fantastic city over a refreshing cocktail. 

Enjoy some paella and sangria to let your taste buds enjoy some Spanish cuisine! To indulge into a state of pure relaxation, do not leave Barcelona without heading to Aire Barcelona spa, a luxurious spa offering a range of treatments, a salty pool, a sauna, a hot tub and loads more. To really ramp up the romance, go at midnight to enjoy the super cosy and romantic vibe.

If it’s a special occasion, or you’re just feeling mega fancy, book a private boat with a captain to enjoy the beautiful sea. Sit and appreciate Barcelona’s skyline, dive in the water, eat some snacks with some great Spanish music of your choice blasting away. If like me, you’re more of a land lover, then go on a free walking tour to appreciate the City’s elegant architecture.

There are so many great activities to do in Barcelona, enjoy sunset at the beach, take a cooking class, a sushi class, or a cocktail class – maybe a wine tasting class? Get lost in a maze, go hiking, go parasailing, go to the magic fountain – honestly the activities are endless in this unbelievable city, and it should definitely be one of your top choices of romantic getaways to enjoy some one on one time with that special someone.

8. Kyoto, Japan

Filled with picturesque Buddhist temples, cherry blossom trees and impressively decorated gardens, Kyoto is a top spot for any couple wanting a busy and extremely romantic getaway with lots of stuff to see and do.

Soak up the rich culture by hopping on a rickshaw to explore some of Kyotos most historical neighbourhoods and visit the imperial palace, which was once home to Japanese royalty. Take a picnic to enjoy at a nearby park, where you will be surrounded by stunning scenery covered by cherry blossoms and carp ponds. There are so many worthwhile temples and castles to visit that chances are you just won’t have enough time to see them all, but definitely prioritise Himeji Castle and Kinkaku-ji.

Be sure to go on a romantic stroll down the philosophers path, and head to see the Kamogawa River for some breathtaking views. There is also a bamboo forest you can walk through, and to be wished with good love luck then don’t forget to walk along the Path of Love at Kifune Shrine.

After all this sightseeing, check out Pontocho to see some great Japanese performances, and enjoy some fresh local cuisine to fill your growling stomach. You can then sit back and enjoy the view as the sky is filled with colourful lanterns.

Kyoto is home to so many unforgettable places to see, and way too many extraordinary things to do to fit on this post – so just go and see them for yourself, I promise it’ll be worth it.

9. Bora Bora

If you fancy escaping the city vibes and just spending some peaceful time together relaxing and enjoying some great weather and sandy beaches, Bora Bora is a small island located in the northwest of Tahiti in the French Polynesia and it will give you outstanding views, a great tan and plenty water sports and activities.

Stay on a small cottage located on stilts in the water and enjoy pure peace and relaxation. Head to Matira beach to take advantage of the sparkling white sand and crystal clear blue water where you can go snorkling or just go for a dip in the warm water.

You can spot Mount Otemanu from any point on the island, and if you’re feeling up to it, hire a guide, get on your walking boots and set foot for a hike up the extinct volcano.

There are full day tours available where you will have to opportunity to spot your eyes on some lemon sharks and giant manta rays. You can enjoy a luxury dinner cruise where you can feast on a three course meal, including lobster, champagne and wine, all whilst riding over the islands stunning lagoon and admiring the landscapes.

Bag yourself a forever keepsake at the pearl market where you can invest in a pricy but glamorous set of pearls for around your neck.

10. Marrakech, Morocco

Nothing will prepare you for the fascinating street stalls, delicious smells, endless amount of motorcycles and the high temperatures of this unique cultured and charming city.

Marrakech’s labyrinthine medina is a must see, it’s filled with every imaginable colour and is a bargain shoppers paradise; so grab a mint tea and enjoy walking through this magical area. You will also have to visit Djemaa El Fna where you will find lots of stalls, live music, fortune tellers and even snake charmers. You can also visit some great landmarks, such as Bahia Palace, Saadian tombs, Koutoubia Mosque and Medersa Ben Youssef to really immerse yourself in the local culture.

You can escape the chaos and grab a tasty drink at a rooftop bar to enjoy the scenery from the sky. There are a variety of great restaurants and cafes, and also street food served at every corner. If you’re into fashion, you will appreciate the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, where you can learn all about YSL history and see some key garments.

Marrakech is an all round fascinating city, and offers romantic views and activities to keep you busy throughout your trip, and definitely a great choice for an exciting couples retreat.

Travel After the Coronavirus Pandemic

First and foremost, my heart goes out to all those affected throughout this tragic period of time. We have all had to face huge changes and restrictions in order to insure our own safety. I hope that you are safe and well, keep pushing, you’ll be on that plane in no time!

When can I travel again? Will travel be cheaper? Will there be any changes? Within this article I will be providing you with the answers to all of your burning questions regarding the relationship between Covid-19 and your prospective travels.

When can we expect to travel again

Outside of the healthcare sector where heroes are battling on the frontlines wearing gowns and stethoscopes, very few industries have been affected quite like tourism. However, tourism is a highly resilient industry and has stood to the test of time while coming back after various natural disasters, viruses and everything the world could possibly throw at them.

Rest assured, you will travel again, but when? Nobody knows the definitive answer to this question, although among experts it is believed that it will take approximately 18-months post-virus for tourism to have made a full recovery. That does not mean that you will not be able travel within those 18-months but it will pose some difficulties. For example, flights are currently 30% full, making it easier for passengers to adhere to social distancing practices. Many airlines are also capping total occupancy at 50-60% while in flight food/beverage services are being severely limited in order to mitigate contact between crew and customers. If these regulations remain in place post-virus, boarding a flight will potentially become more competitive and in-turn you may see an increase in prices.

Will travel become cheaper?

It is thought that airfares will initially become more expensive due to the increased demand as a result of airline regulations on social distancing as well as numerous other factors. However, airlines will continue to respond to supply and demand; so expect frequent changes.

On the whole less people will be travelling abroad after the coronavirus pandemic and many countries rely heavily on tourism. As a result of this you may start to see that hotels are offering cheaper prices and better deals once the road to recovery begins. This is even more apparent for independent businesses and Airbnb’s.

What changes can we expect?

As we have established, we will travel again but it will not be the same… But how?

  1. The majority of airports and airlines are now requiring passengers to adopt the use of face masks.
  2. Airlines will be advertising their air quality. A new and unique selling point.
  3. Quiet flights to aid social-distancing practices.
  4. Testing at borders.
  5. The majority of travel insurance companies are not covering coronavirus related issues.

These are just some of the changes that we can expect ahead of this pandemic, with restrictions and challenges being eased with time. The world will soon open its doors to us travel addicts once again, so now is the ideal time to start planning your trip of a lifetime. Take a look at our other articles, to find your next destination, what to pack or how make that next trip possible by saving money with minimal effort.

The safest travel destination for solo travellers in each continent

Travelling the world is an incredible experience. An incredible experience of which most people miss out on due to a variety of reasons. From the misconception that you have to save copious amounts of money, to the fear of the unknown. If like us, money has been holding you back, then check out our guide on how to save money to travel on a low income. and How to travel cheap

You’re a solo traveler; travelling by yourself can be daunting as well asa somewhat lonely experience. However it can be extremely eye opening and you have the freedom to go where you want, when you want, however you want. You’ll meet amazing people along the way and even form friendships that will last a lifetime.

Although it sounds great, as a solo traveller you may feel vulnerable and that’s okay, you’re not alone. You may need to build your confidence before you venture off and travel the world, and here we will go through the best places to start in whichever corner of the world you choose to explore first!

AFRICA

Africa is one of the most diverse and jaw dropping continents in terms of culture and scenery and I can attest to Africa being safe for solo travellers (of course within the realms of common sense). You will find phenomenal landscapes thriving with safari; so if you’re an animal lover like me you simply cannot miss Africa. Not only will you stumble across giraffes and elephants in this unmissable paradise but also crystal clear waters, green rugged mountains, amazing food and some of the best adventure/thrill seeking opportunities that you can find in the world!

Taghazout, Morocco

Although it’s hard to choose the single safest travel destination in Africa, Taghazout, Morocco tops the list.

If you’re a huge fan of surfing, like me. Taghazout is the perfect place for you. If you’ve never took to the waves before, do not worry! There are various surf schools situated across the town. You can onboard onto courses fo as little as a couple of days up to a few weeks with many of them being extremely well priced. Many schools have a variety of room options including bunks, shared rooms and single rooms too! I’d definitely opt in for a shared room, as not only is it more affordable but it’s a great opportunity to bond with the guys and girls that you have been surfing with during the day.

During the day you will go out as a group and take to the ocean. Which is great for bonding over the shared experience, and by night you will spend your evening chatting with your new friends while indulging on the local cuisine. Perfect for solo travellers!

ASIA

Asia is rich with culture, religion, language, food and pretty much everything that you’d want to see when travelling abroad and you’ll simply never get to experience all of it. The majority of Asia is extremely cost effective, with accommodation starting from as little as £3/$3.70 per night. Luxury comes at an extraordinarily cheap price in comparison to western countries, especially countries around the region of south-east of Asia. Get yourself to Asia and indulge in some of the most flavoursome cuisines the world has to offer.

Tokyo, Japan

Not only is Tokyo extremely safe for solo travellers, it has to be the best city in the world for foodies! With 226 restaurants receiving one Michelin-star or greater makes Tokyo the most Michelin-starred city in the world. They then have a whopping 160,000 restaurants registered in Tokyo, so I think its safe to say that Tokyo is certainly not lacking in quality nor quantity in the food department.

Tokyo, is renowned as one of the safest cities on earth, they have a clean and efficient public transportation system with very little crime rate, women can walk pretty much anywhere at night without any trouble and personal hygiene is a national obsession.

Accommodation in Tokyo is great for solo travellers, there are a wide range options to choose from; a variety of budget hotels, Airbnb’s, hostels and of course the well known capsule hotels. I’d recommend staying in Shinjuku, theres numerous accommodation options, incredible street food and vibrant nightlife. Shinjuku is packed with tourists and things to do, making this the ideal place for solo travellers who are looking to make memories within a safe environment.

Although pricey, Tokyo is a place where any traveller MUST VISIT, you will experience the legendary art of sumo wrestling, robot cafe’s, the samurai museum, tons of sushi, temples, shrines and much more. Tokyo is unique and you can expect the unexpected in this concrete jungle and be ready to have your mind completely blown! You can literally experience the real life Mario Kart… No joke, you can literally dress up as Yoshi and drift around the streets in a go-kart! Points to note though, you will need a valid drivers license prior to your Mario Kart dreams being fulfilled and I’d recommend trying to refrain from leaving a trail banana skins behind you.

Australia/Oceania

Oceania is home to some of the most beautiful countries in the world, such as Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, New Zealand and of course Australia. This corner of the world is rich with culture, sport, tropical sands and countless islands to explore. Distance between destinations in Oceania are huge! So be sure to jump across to our ‘Avios travel points” article to learn how save ridiculous amounts of money to increase the longevity of your travels with no effort whatsoever.

New Zealand

New Zealand is a fantastic place to start in the region of Oceania, not only is it home to the one of the most decorated international rugby teams in the world. But also volcanic craters, Scottish towns, hot springs, breathtaking landscapes and of course this beautiful country is also home to The Shire from Lord of the Rings. If you’re a huge fan then you can book yourself onto a movie set tour of Hobbiton for $89. New Zealand has very little crime, with vibrant, friendly and adventurous community. Ideal for solo travellers!

If you’re the adventurous type, you’re in luck; New Zealand is quite simply the adventure capital of the world. It is renowned for skiing and snowboarding as well as being home to world class mountain bike and hiking trails. There are countless extreme sports to try out and you cannot leave without white water rafting through the Mohaka River gorge. A third of the country is covered in national park and Abel Tasman National park will completely blow your mind.

Making friends in New Zealand couldn’t be easier. There are countless facebook groups, backpacking tours and hostels packed with people meeting new travel buddies.

You cannot leave New Zealand without drinking copious amounts of wine. Wine in New Zealand is incredible, producing some of the best whites the world has to offer. So if wine is your go-to, be sure to take a tour in Otago (known for its Penot), Hawkes Bay or Marlborough (known for their Sauvignon Blancs).

New Zealand is relatively expensive and if you’re wanting to travel carefree and do pretty much anything you want, I’d budget around $120 USD/£100 GBP per day. However if you’re going on a backpacker budget around $60 USD/£50 GBP should suffice. For this you will get a shared room in a hostel, public transportation, happy hour drinks with the majority of your meals being self-made.

The price per activity is well balanced by the amount of free things to do. Despite being small, it’s impossible to explore all of the wonders of New Zealand in just one trip.

North America

The heart of North America beats through vibrant metropolises, dense forestry, sun-kissed landscapes, chromatic deserts and diverse cultures. Within this continent you can expect to see the rugged mountains of Vancouver, the hustle and bustle of New York City, the lucid waters of Barbados and everything in between. The majority of North America is completely safe for solo travellers (with common sense applied) and is definitely worth your time as you will experience so much diversity in both land and culture.

Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa, the capital city of Canada is generally considered one of the safest capital cities in the world and is jam packed with tourists all year round making it extremely easy to blend in as well as meeting fellow travellers.

Best holiday destinations for families

Wanting a trip that your whole family can enjoy? One that will keep your young ones entertained, and get your teenagers off their social media for more than 10 minutes? Here’s a list of amazing places with fun for all the family to have amazing adventures and create unforgettable memories.

  1. Jamaica

An adventure packed destination with breathtaking waterfalls, magical rainforests and sandy beaches, Jamaica is a perfect place to relax, explore and eat mouthwatering food.

Watch the sunset on the soft white sand, with your feet dipped in the crystal blue waters and a delicious tropical drink in your hand. Enjoy this in the hot climate where temperatures range from 23-35 degrees celsius throughout the year. Head to the luminous lagoon to explore a glowing cove that stores bioluminescent water! One of the only places that exists like this in the world.

There are an endless amount of activities to keep the whole family entertained. Make sure to visit Dunn’s river falls to see a beautiful waterfall, and look into tour companies to experience an endless list of possibilities, such as swimming with dolphins, zip-lining, jet-skiing, horse-riding along the beach, or to take exotic cooking classes with the locals. Honestly, there is so many exciting activities to do that you’d probably never be able to do in most urban cities, it’s definitely worth taking advantage. If you do decide to go up the falls (which you absolutely need to do), definitely hire a tour guide to get you up there safely.

With Jamaica you should stay in the resort unless you’re on a guided tour or activity. Stay within tourist hot-spots and avoid, actually just completely miss on going outside your resort otherwise, especially at night. There are high crime rates in Jamaica, so follow common safety procedures such as don’t carry a lot of cash and don’t wear expensive branded clothes and jewellery.

Don’t let this put you off however, just use common sense and take precautions and you will have the most amazing and memorable holiday in one of the most beautiful destinations in the Caribbean!

2. Rovaniemi, Finland

Escape the heat and take your family to the snowy wonderland of Rovaniemi where you can explore the christmasy wonderland and get involved in a range of magical winter activities.

Take your children to explore Santa Claus Village to meet the reindeer alongside the other animals in the farm yard zoo where you can also do snow sliding and cross country skiing. Then you and your family can warm yourselves up with a delicious warm drink sat at a campfire at Lapland hut.

Make unforgettable memories by going on a husky ride in the Arctic Circle Husky Park, home to over 100 Siberian Huskies! Or go to Apukka Resort where you can experience a range of activities such as relaxing in saunas, snowmobiling and reindeer rides, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and ice fishing trips – with a ride on their Snowtrain and watch the jaw-dropping Northern lights.

Have a cheaper chilled out days in a cosy log cabin and take your kids outside to play in the snow, be it a snowball fight, making a snowman or even just snow angels, kids can have endless fun in the snow, all the better if you’re from a warm climate where they wouldn’t usually experience it, it’s truly magical. Especially if your children are at an age where they believe in Santa, or even if they’re slightly older and you just want to get more of that Christmas excitement back, this is the place to be.

So if sun and beaches aren’t your thing – or you just fancy a change from the norm, take a trip to Rovaniemi and enjoy the great snow and winter wonderland atmosphere all year long.

3. Tenerife

Visit the largest of the Canary Islands for unbeatable fun, adventure and a great tan, with great activities available for the whole family.

A great time to go would be around easter time just in time for the Carnaval de Santa Cruz, a huge festival filled with with parades, great music, dancing and bright and colourful costumes.

Get your trainers on to take a hike up the Dormant volcano, Mount Teide for amazing views, then take yourself to an amazing restaurant to eat your heart out after all the exercise. The food prices are cheap so you can get those 3 courses and even a drink or two without breaking the bank.

You can get swimsuit-ed up to go and enjoy one of the best waterparks in the world, Siam Park to go on 20 different water rides including the ‘Jungle Snake’ and the ‘Tower of Power’. If you want a heart racing ride, or something more peaceful where you won’t feel like your heart is about to fall out of your chest, there are plenty of options for that too, like the Lazy river, and an amazing beach-like pool. Prices are £34 for an adult ticket and £23 for a child.

You can also spend time chilling by the hotel pool or the beach, with lots of water activities available for fun to people of all ages. Or take a stroll down the shopping stalls, or down the waterfront where you can find lots of family friendly live music bars, restaurants and cafes. If you and your partner want some time to chill and keep your kids entertained, most of the hotels in Tenerife have some brilliant kids clubs. Oh, and make sure to book one with some fabby evening entertainment!

4. Harmony of the Sea cruise, Caribbean

Want amazing food, refreshing drinks, live music and performances, a water park and so much more all alongside your accommodation?

Pack your bags and hop on a cruise across the Caribbean. The Harmony of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s biggest ship, and prices start at just £632 for a 7 night stay! A phenomenal deal, get all the fun and adventure you could experience in a whole city on this cruise ship.

The excitement is endless with Broadway musical productions including ‘Grease’, live music performances with varying special guests, dancing performances, even ice skating shows! When all the excitement has tired you out, there area variety of bars, and even some stores and boutiques for those teenage girls looking for a cute new bag.

You can go to the gym or the pool to keep fit and exercised, and go to the arcade, casino and live bands for some downtime. There is table tennis, scrap booking for your little ones, a water park, and a surfing simulator.

Honestly if you’re wanting a full on holiday which is non stop fun, this is the place to be. There are so many activities I haven’t mentioned, and mouth watering food options to cater for a variety of preferences and dietary requirements, so even the fussiest of child will be pleased!

5. Japan

Brace yourself for a change of culture that will leave you feeling like you’ve entered a whole new world, Japan is an enchanting and drastically different to what you may be used to on the usually beach family holidays.

Escape from the sand and sea holidays to visit the Himeji castle, feed deer at Nara park, and take your family for some day trips out at Disneyland, Disneysea, or Hitachi seaside park in Tokyo! For children of any ages to adults, Japan is mesmerizing and you will find your eyes captured by a variety of amazing and unusual sights as you walk down the streets.

There are also a range of museums and temples to keep your days full with activities and educational trips, and if you’re braver than me, climb up the Skytree for a 450 meter high city view. Take your kids to create their own noodles at the cup noodles museum – yes it is a real thing.

If your kids have managed to save a pot of spending money, or if they’re just depending on the bank of mum and dad, take them to Kiddy Land and Tokyo Character Street to shop from a never ending range of toys, sweets and teddies, from Hello Kitty to Pokemon, and Disney, save some extra room in your suitcase! After the shopping, go to eat at the ‘Kawaii monster cafe’ – (kawaii translating to cute) for a colourful meal served by dressed up characters.

6. Florida, USA

The huge portions of mouth watering food, the brilliant weather, super friendly locals and the great shopping makes this a must see spot on your bucket list.

Of course, Disney world and Universal Studios is an absolute must see, and is somewhere you and your family can’t miss out on, and all the better if you can take your kids between the ages of 6-12. Not a problem if they’re older, it’s still an amazing treat that everybody should experience once in their lifetimes. From singing and dancing parades, a variety of amazing rides and what feels like a whole world of wonder and magic so big you could get lost all day.

Head to Miami beach if you fancy chilling by the sea, and if you’re looking for a range of water activities, make your way to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park to snorkel and explore under the water, you and your family can also enjoy kayaking, boating, and lounging at the white-sand beach.

Head to old town to go back in time 60 years. Experience old fashioned arcade games, classic diners, carnival rides and car shows. Cool off from the heat by taking a trip to Adventure Island to hop on a variety of water rides and burn off some energy.

7. Canada

With locals known to be among the friendliest in the world, eye catching landscapes and great food and shopping, Canada is home to an amazing range of options to keep the family busy.

Go to see the absolutely memorizing Niagara Falls, a famous waterfall with three separate drops over 50m high. You can also explore the Canada Children’s Museum, an interactive museum you and your family could spend all day at without even realizing, with over 15,000 items to see, take a virtual tour around the world.

Go to the Kids Market to let your kids explore the adventure zone, spend all your hard earned cash at the arcade, and enjoy the virtual reality ride. Calypso Park is home to the countries largest water park, where you can enjoy the rides, go canyon rafting or get your adrenaline pumping on the tallest water tower in North America.

If all these activities sound great but you need a bit of time to chill and refresh, don’t worry! Parlee Beach Provincial Park is the perfect place to kick back and relax, and also play some sports like volleyball and frisbee, your kids can even take part in a sandcastle building competition! Oh, and make sure to try the Canadian classic dish, Poutine (chips smothered in cheese and gravy).

8. Antalya, Turkey

Not only is Antalya perfect for some sun, sea and sand, but there is a myriad of historical attractions alongside amazing family hotels and stunning beaches. Plus, it’s super affordable!

Stay in the Liberty hotels for brilliant evening entertainment for all ages, a water park, and lots of sport activities. Or have a look into the Saturn plaza resort for an amazing luxurious family hotel with a great kids club, and evening entertainment.

As far as sight seeing goes, make your way to the Republic square to find the Ataturk Monument, Hadrian’s Gate in Antalya’s picturesque old town to see beautiful Roman walls and features, and make sure to look up and admire all the old carvings on the ceilings. Whilst you’re in the old town, wander round and explore the stunning streets with cobbled grounds surrounded by whitewashed buildings lined with terracotta roofs. Make sure to see the Saat Kulesi, a 19th century clock tower.

There are also a range of museums, waterfalls, and don’t leave without visiting the ancient ruins of Aspendos, where you will indulge in history and find a breathtaking Roman theatre, which at its time (AD 155) was home to gladiator duals.

Go to Lara beach to relax and enjoy the soft golden sands, and dip in the water which has blue flag status, meaning it’s perfectly clean and safe for swimming! Make sure to check out the Old City Marina to be surrounded by fishing boats and luxury yachts, and grab yourself some delicious fresh seafood.

9. Croatia

Roam freely around the streets of Croatia and explore the amazing family facilities and attractions. To make the most of your trip, hop around the islands to maximise your experience.

Make sure to visit one of Croatia’s National Parks such as Plitvice, and see the stunning lakes and waterfalls surrounded by forests, and go on a full day cruise to awe at the jaw-dropping scenery. Go water rafting, and even go on a speedboat tour to explore the islands and the amazing blue and green caves.

Wander around some fascinating museums, churches and galleries, and take a stroll down the pebble covered coast to take part in a range of water activities, such as scuba diving, water skiing, and windsurfing.

Visit Dubrovnik to see some gorgeous quaint buildings and explore some amazing cafes, restaurants and boutiques. If your kids are older, take part in some rock climbing. Make the most of your trip by sampling all of the delicious food Croatia has to offer.

10. London

For an unforgettable city break be sure to visit the Capital city of England, with a never ending list of things to do for the whole family.

Explore the fantastic museums and galleries, and after all the walking ensure to indulge in afternoon tea to have some yummy cream and jam scones, and a mix of delicious finger foods, you can even enjoy this whilst on a tour bus to see some of London’s best sights on an afternoon tea bus tour.

Visit the home to the royal family at Buckingham Palace and if your kids (or you) are a big Harry Potter fan, check out the making of it at the Warner Bros studio tour. Whilst your in London make sure to head to Broadway to see an amazing musical.

Be sure to see London’s top spots such as Big Ben, and go up the London eye for fantastic views. London is also home to an amazing zoo and aquarium. Go to Madame Tussaud’s to interact with all the famous wax figures and get some great pictures. Also consider getting a boat tour of the Thames to see London from a different perspective.

All in all there are so many different sights and activities to do and see in London, that this list could go on forever, so however long you and your family are going for, you can be sure the itinerary will be fully packed and keep you busy the whole trip.

Travel for cheap

I understand you want to experience that amazing feeling of packing your suitcase, booking your flights and heading to a new destination, or even multiple in the one go, but it’s impossible to do so unless your bank account has a high number or you’ve got a big stack of cash under the bed, right? Wrong!

You don’t have to be rolling in bundles of money to see the world, as long as you’ve managed to gather a reasonable amount of savings these tips will show you how to really cut back on your spending whilst travelling. If you’re struggling to save, read my money saving article for some tips – here

  1. The first thing to think about is where you’re going. The prices can vary drastically dependant on where you chose to go. Not only can the flights differ by hundreds, but also the accommodation, food and transport prices can be significantly higher in some places. Have a look and think about what kind of place you want to go, and compare similar areas that may be more affordable. If you’re looking for an affordable city break, check out this list for the best Cheap European city breaks
  2. Flights

Always use flight comparison tools such as Skyscanner and Kayak to check for the best deals, and be flexible. Have a rough date in mind, but be willing to go within a few days to get the best price, sometimes there can be a surprisingly big difference in price just with a couple days difference. Always try and avoid peak times for budget flights.

Use a points system such as a travel credit card or an Avios travel account to gain rewards and get money off your flights – or even bag yourself free flights if you’ve saved enough points. Check this post to understand and maximise how to earn travel points. https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/101vacations.wordpress.com/226

3. Hotels

If you’re trying to travel on a budget, hotels aren’t the way forward. Instead, look at either hostels or Air BnB’s.

Use apps such as Agoda or Hostelworld to find budget accommodation across the globe. Hostels are especially great for solo travellers, as they allow you to meet new people and can be as low as £2 a night, dependant on where you are in the world.

Airbnb is great for finding cheap accommodation, usually offering significantly cheaper prices in comparison to most hotels of the same quality. They also offer home stays, which is a great way to interact with the locals and learn their ways, and even get some great advice on top spots in the area. Airbnb’s are a great option for couples or groups, or even solo travellers looking for a bit more privacy. Try and book at least a week in advance for the best deals, and always ready reviews prior to booking to find the greatest accommodation for you. You usually get discount for booking for 1 week+, so to cut costs, try and spend longer in the same Airbnb instead of moving between them every few days.

Click here for £34 (or the equivalent in your currency) off your first AirBnb stay.

4. Food

The price of food will vary drastically depending on where you decide to go. In Thailand, you can bag yourself a delicious plate of street food for as little as £0.80, but in somewhere like Paris, you’re looking more at a minimum of £5 for a meal.

Try and stick to budget friendly street food and affordable eateries, but ensure to check the reviews using the likes of tripadvisor. You can also try and look out for airbnb’s that include breakfast to easily cut breakfast costs. If where you’re staying has a kitchen, go to a supermarket and cook a few of your own meals with the local food to really cut back the costs.

Other tips

Look at free attractions – you can find a variety of landmarks and things to see at no cost. Also look at free tours in different cities.

Consider getting a travel pass if you’re going to be travelling through the city a lot. Metro or bus passes for 3,5,7 days or more will save you money if you’re going to be travelling a lot. It also allows you more freedom and you will probably explore more knowing it won’t cost you anymore to take 6 metros in a day as opposed to 2.

Best places to spend New Years Eve

If you’re like us and absolutely love all the magic and excitement of NYE, one of the best ways to spend it is experiencing a new city and a new way of celebrating, and we try to always start a new year in a different country.

Here is a guide of our top choices of place to spend New Year’s Eve (in no particular order)

1.  Disneyland, Paris

Our most recent NYE destination was Disneyland Paris, which is one of the most memorable nights we’ve ever spent together. You don’t have to be a child to enjoy the magic and charm that Disneyland has to offer, with the fantastic parades and rides, and the most amazing countdown and firework show you’ll ever see, this is an experience you should definitely put on your bucket list.

A couple things to keep in mind – check the metro system. When we went, the Metro was on strike, so only extremely limited services were offered. But even normally, the latest metro is around 12:30, so if you’re wanting to experience the whole party and not rush away straight after the bells, arrange another mode of transport.

Consider staying at a Disney hotel – Unless you’re willing to pay hundreds of dollars to get a taxi to central Paris (we literally got quoted at 280 Euros) It will be a much more affordable option. It also allows you to get a free coach directly back to your hotel which run all night.

2. Edinburgh, Scotland

Okay so we may be slightly biased as locals, but we do believe that Edinburgh New Year’s Eve (known to Scots as ‘Hogmanay’) street party is definitely up there with the top ways to spend NYE. With people from all over the world, a fantastic firework show and great music blasting from four different music stages through the city and even a silent disco, it is a great choice to start your new year. Dress up warm to explore the variety of street performances, food and drinks this street party has to offer. 

Given this celebration is so central, there’s a huge choice of hotels within walking distance, ideal to save you from pushing through the crowds to find a taxi. If you would prefer to stay out of the city, a 10 minute walk will find you a taxi or night buses which run all hours of the night.

3. Berlin

If hardcore partying is your thing, Berlin may just be your perfect fit.

With 7 different New Year’s Eve parties to chose from,  and some of the worlds best clubs, Berlin is a top choice for anyone looking for a loud night filled with plenty of drinking and dancing. 

With some of the worlds most individual style parties, the streets are filled with techno music and the clubs are hosts to parties that can last up to 3 days! You’ll find well known DJ’s that come to host parties all around the city.

 Kulturbrauerei is a range of bars, clubs and restaurants in which you only need one ticket for. It’s home to over 8 clubs and 13 dance floors, also a multitude of food and drinks. This won’t leave you wanting anything more – it’s one of the most diverse parties in the country.

4. Vienna, Austria

Known to Austrians as ‘Silvester’, New Year’s Eve in Vienna should be experienced by everyone at least once a lifetime. With their famous Christmas markets transformed NYE style, some hotels transforming to create amazing evening balls (check out Hofburg Silvester Ball), and marzipan pigs (yes you read that right) being sold at every corner, it is a fascinating city to be going into the new year.

From 2pm – 2am the city is transformed into a huge party, walk along the New Year’s Eve Trail to immerse yourself in the celebrations, try amazing drinks and culinary treats, and see top level live entertainment, DJs and dancing.

If you fancy a bit more class and sophistication, head to see thousands of balloons drop at the Marriott, or attend the full-evening gala celebration in Vienna’s Rathaus to be amazed by ballet dancers and vocalists. You can practice your waltz dance, and then go and watch the fireworks from the Grand Balcony whilst enjoying one of your unlimited drinks. However, this comes at a steep price, starting at £256.50 per person for the basic package.

5. Koh Phangan, Thailand

Home to the full moon party, head to the beach to start off with a delicious Thai meal and some cheap beer and cocktails, then prepare to cover yourself in neon clothes and paint for a wild celebration filled with fire shows, live DJ music and buckets of alcohol – literally.

Koh Phangan is party central, and NYE celebration is not much different to one of their famous full moon parties. Great for a younger and wilder audience, if you want to get drunk and dance around the beach as the fireworks go off then this is for you. If you want to sit and have a classy dressed up meal with a glass of champagne to the cheers to the bells, then Koh Phangan may not be your best bet.

6. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona has some of the quirkiest NYE traditions that you won’t experience anywhere else in the world. One of their traditions is to eat 12 grapes, one on each second leading up to midnight. They say if you’re able to do so without spilling any, that you’re going to have a very lucky year. They also wear red underwear – it’s not quite known why they do this, but it’s a good excuse to impress your significant other!

The locals like to spend time with their families leading up to the bells and to toast at midnight, before meeting up with their friends to party the night away! This means all the clubs and celebrations last all night, some until 6am.

If you’re looking for somewhere to watch fireworks, there is a phenomenal display at the magic fountain, starting at 11pm and finishing around 12:30, but if you don’t fancy standing out in the cold and you’re not overly fussed on fireworks, you won’t fall short on finding plenty of bars and clubs with extravagant celebrations.

7. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

The most famous carnival in Brazil for new year takes place in Rio De Janeiro, where people of varying ages and cultures come together to celebrate the evening in style. They have a tradition on nye to wear a colour based on what colour it symbolises. By far the most worn colour is white which symbolises peace. You’re meant to wear whatever colour you wish for the new year. You have yellow or gold for wealth, red/pink for love and passion, blue for health and so on.

One way to celebrate is on a boat party taking you to the place to be – Copacabana beach, where you will find a host of live DJs, a jaw-dropping firework display, open bars and world renowned clubs, and over TWO MILLION people. Be prepared to dance the night away on the warm sandy beaches, and follow the following traditions such as jumping over seven waves to celebrate the legend Goddess of the ocean, Lemanja. It’s told to not look back whilst doing so.

So if partying mixed with culture and tradition, along with a range of amazing food is what you’re looking for, head to Rio De Janeiro to get involved in the euphoric and vibrant atmosphere for a night you will remember forever (depending on how drunk you get).

8. New York, USA

NYE in NYC is insane! Be prepared to spend a solid hour pushing your way through a million (literally) people trying to leave Times Square after midnight celebrations to see the amazing ball drop which has been a celebration since 1907!

If that’s not for you and you have a higher budget, jump on a boat cruise to see amazing views of the fireworks, and to enjoy fantastic celebrations from 9pm – 1am, just be prepared to spend £150-£800 per ticket!! – depending on the boat and the level of luxury you’re looking for.

Or, you could go to a rooftop bar such as 230 Fifth or Spyglass to grab yourself an amazing view and a great atmosphere, just be prepared for it to be really busy and to grab yourself a good view, try to get there for around 7pm.

9. London

To celebrate London style, with the chimes of Big Ben alongside the countdown to midnight, there’s a variety of high end bars and clubs where you can go into the new year in style. Or you can take a cruise along the river Thames to party alongside the Brits with live music, greats views and a delicious meal – oh, and plenty of drinks!

You can take yourself to the Rooftop Skybar for a 12 hour long party with Champagne, DJs, unlimited food and 360-degree views of the stunning London skyline. Tickets are steep at £325, or if you’re feeling fancy, grab yourself the VIP package at a whopping £650 per person, which comes fit with dedicated table service, unlimited servings of wine and beer, and a lovely Champagne breakfast served from 4am (best way to cure a hangover is if you don’t stop drinking!).

10. Sydney, Australia

Line up on the harbour to watch the internationally renowned colourful and dynamic firework shows that are watched by over 1 billion people across the globe.

If you’re travelling with a family, kick back in one of the alcohol free spots for a celebration the whole family can enjoy! There will also be 9pm fireworks so you get get your children home before it get’s too late but still get to enjoy a brilliant show. Get to the Botanic gardens or Barangaroo to start the new year in a place that’s great for the family.

Keep in mind its summer over there, so dress for the warm temperatures and kick back with the live music and dance parties at Luna Park. You can also jump on a boat and enjoy a late night cruise, or book a meal on the riverfront – just be sure to book in advance as the spaces fill up pretty quick.

So where are you going to spend NYE? Let us know by commenting on this post!

Follow these steps and the french will love you!

So you’re planning on taking that trip to the city of love or perhaps to the Mediterranean paradise along the south coast or maybe like me, you are just obsessed Carbenet Sauvignon, croissants and the beauty of the French language. Whatever it is that you’re in search for in France, be it to satisfy your palette with a world renowned cuisine or simply a trip to Disneyland, you will not be disappointed by the vast selection of wines, berets and baguettes. Sounds great doesn’t it? Well you’re still missing out on the most precious ingredient to making the most out of your trip to France: The people! No seriously, treat the French people well and they will take your trip from great, to unforgettable!

There are many misconceptions around French culture, that they’re rude and unhelpful, un-welcoming and have no sense of humour. Honestly, if you’ve heard these things; forget it, start fresh.

Never start a conversation without exchanging pleasantries

Manners. They cost nothing! And the French locals will not be afraid to express that if they feel you are rude. No, they will not give you a hard time but they will simply walk away from you in a huff. Never begin your conversation like “Do you speak English?!” if they do they’ll pretend they do not and will walk away, because it’s rude. Exchange pleasantries prior and at least swap “hello” for “bonjour”. It’s honestly incredible just how far a “bonjour” actually goes in France. They’ll genuinely believe you’re the height of sophistication for simply being considerate of their local culture/language.

Learn these few phrases

Learn these phrases and you will charm the French immediately, they are extremely proud of their language and they love nothing more than foreign visitors really immersing themselves within it. Even if it is at the most basic level. As a minimal effort, learn these phrases and not only will the French love and praise your efforts but it will make your life a whole lot easier when trying to get what you want, or where you need to be.

Excusez-moi – Excuse me. Use it the exact same way as you would “excuse me” in English. Simple as that.

Je voudrais – This means, “I would like”. This always comes handy in shops and restaurants as options on the menu will be written in French. Chances are you will get what you want a whole lot faster as you are able to immediately break down that language barrier.

Je vais – This means “I go”. If you’re jumping in a taxi or need to exchange words at the customer service desk at a train station. Use “je vais”. Again, not only will you get what you need faster but you will sound better too.

Merci – Thank you.

S’il vous plait – Please.

Nice and simple! If you’re wanting to take things to the next level, then get yourself on Duo Lingo, it’s fun and extremely easy to follow. I must admit you will learn a few wacky phrases such as “Les chats mangent les oranges” meaning “The cats are eating the oranges”. But it’ll get you where you need to be and much further. It really is a great tool and completely free to use/download from both the Android and Apple Store. If cats eating oranges isn’t your thing, take a look a Babbel. Babbel offers a paid service of which you can choose to learn from a wide selection of languages at your own pace for between £4.75 – £9.99 depending on your payment plan.

Other French-isms you must know!

Understand these French-isms prior to going then all you need is a beret on your head and a baguette in your hand, well done; You’re basically French.

As Brits as with many other cultures. We love to queue, at the shops, bus stops, restaurants, bars everywhere we go, we cue – it’s simply what we do and we do it well, especially compared to the French. Accept that queues are much fewer and further between – especially with public transport and don’t get too upset when someone slides in front of you, just return the favour.

Use the force. Yes as in like the Jedi people. Traffic in Paris is crazy to put it politely. Don’t expect oncoming traffic to stop because the green man has come on while you’re politely waiting at the side of the road. Just be careful, have your wits about you and you’ll be fine!

Tipping in France is not just the done thing, theres no unwritten code stating that you should tip 20% of the final bill. French people only tip after receiving exceptional service. So don’t feel obliged. However with that being said I’m sure you will receive some of the best service you’ve ever had during your stay in France, so do not be afraid to leave a small tip with a side of “merci” (meaning thank you) to really make someones day.

Enjoy your trip!

France is our favourite country in Europe with Paris being our most beloved city. Follow the steps above and your time in France will not only be enriched with love from the French locals but your time interacting with them will be a whole lot easier. Enjoy your trip! I can assure you that you will be devastated to come home.

Bon Voyage !

Top European city breaks on a budget

Dying to see more of Europe but can’t afford the high costs that come with visiting the likes of Paris, London and Rome? In this list you’ll find the top budget friendly travel destinations in Europe.

Want to save even more? Use the following link to sign up for £34 off your first AirBnB stay! (available in all currencies and will automatically convert amount)

  1. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is a city filled of beautiful architecture and outstanding nightlife. Known to be a top pick for Hen and Stag do’s – there’s far more to this charming city than just the cheap drinks (£0.80 – £1.50 for a beer) and a myriad of happy hours. You’ll spend days exploring all the amazing local attractions, from Gellért Baths, Heroes’ Square, and walking down the Danube promenade – you sure won’t get bored in this fascinating city.

You can stay in an Air B&B from just £16 per night, or a 3* budget hotel starting from as little as £20 per night. A cappuccino will set you back between £1-£1.80, and a delicious evening meal at a Hungarian restaurant ranges between £5-£8. Many of the tourist attractions are available to see at very little to no cost, and the £20 you’ll splash out on if you want to visit the Gellert Baths will be evened out by the sites you can see completely free of charge, and the big lunch courses you can get from as little as £3.

2. Warsaw, Poland

The capital of Poland should definitely have a place on your travel checklist regardless of your budget. This history rich city was once seen as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, even earning its title of the ‘Paris of the East’ until it unfortunately got destroyed during World War 2. However, it has since built itself back up, and has risen to be one of the top must see city destinations in Europe.

With a multitude of free tourist sports, from walking through the fascinating old town to exploring the wide variety of free-entry museums, and climbing to the top the of the town observation tower for the best view of Warsaw, you’ll have a full itinerary that won’t break the bank.

Prices start at £17/night for an Air B&B, and around £25 for a 3* hotel. Around £5-£7 for a meal in an inexpensive restaurant, and beers start at around £1.40 for a pint, with coffee prices around the same. Plus, it’s a super walkable city, so transportation prices around are essentially non existent!

3. Prague, Czech Republic

The capital of Czech Republic known for its colourful old town square, its historical gothic churches, and the 600 year old astronomical clock is an unforgettable destination. So take a stroll over the Charles bridge and lock eyes with the statues of catholic saints it’s lined with.

Prague is a great budget option for families, with plenty of sightseeing options and day trips for every age. The Prague zoo is known as one of the most beautiful in the world, and costs only £4.99 for children under 15, and £6.66 for adults, which is a phenomenal price compared to most others. There is also the great National Technical museum, costing just £12.32 for a family ticket (up to 2 adults and 3 children).

The food and drink prices are also very reasonable, the average price for a pint of beer being £1.20, and a large meal between £4.50-£7. Accommodation in Prague is especially cheap, with Airbnb’s starting at just £16 per night, and 3* hotels starting at £20.

Don’t miss out visiting this fascinating city and immersing yourself in the medieval feel it has to offer.

4. Paphos, Cyprus

The Tombs of the Kings

Situated on the Southwest coast of Cyprus, Paphos is filled with sites relating to the Goddess Aphrodite – the Goddess of love and beauty, where it is known to be her birthplace. Covered in the ancient ruins of the tombs and fortresses, the sights in Paphos are unlike any other.

Whether you take yourself to the rocks where Aphrodite was said to have rose from, the Tombs of the Kings, or exploring the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park, you’ll be sure to satisfy all your history and mythology needs. However there is far more to see to this city, with gorge walking, quad biking, and turtle watching also available, you won’t be falling short on adventure.

Prices start at around £1.60 for a pint of beer, with an evening meal costing around £6.50-£9. You can bag yourself an Airbnb for as cheap as £18 per night and 3* hotels starting from as little as £26.

5. Seville, Spain

As one of the biggest cities in Spain, there’s no shortage of things to do and see. Amongst the many other Spanish cities, Seville deserves a place on this list due to its beautiful scenery and landmarks, and for being such a cheap price compared to the likes of Barcelona and Madrid.

It is famous for flamenco dancing, with shows on at any given day across the city. Treat yourself to a delicious and filling classic tapas, coming in at no more than £7-£10 with beer and wine included. Walking through the city you will experience many different cultures, so take a stroll through Plaza de España and let it capture your heart.

Rent a bike for as little as a few euros, to explore the beautiful village of Barrio Santa Cruz. Explore free cathedrals and enjoy happy hour on rooftops throughout the city, this City really will steal your heart (but not your cash!)

Beers start at around £0.90 per pint, with Airbnb’s starting at around £24 per night and 3* hotels starting at around £28. This place is so beautiful, they even filmed parts of Game of Thrones season 5 here!

6. Sofia, Bulgaria

Surprisingly under the radar for tourism, Bulgarias capital is filled with landmarks which reflect over 2000 years of history. With a laid back and friendly atmosphere, it’s the perfect destination for a city break which will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Get yourself to the National History Museum to soak up all the city’s culture, and consider going during summer so you can experience the city’s festivals and live music performances. If you enjoy opera performances, you can bag yourself a seat at the Sofia Opera House starting from as little as £5.

Whilst your there, grab yourself some Rakia – the national Bulgarian drink, and sit back and relax what this amazing city has to offer. Beers average around only £0.80 a pint! A restaurant meal at an inexpensive eatery averages at around £5.60, and Airbnb’s you can find from £16 per night. Budget 3* hotels start at £24 per night.

7. Bologna, Italy

Situated in northern Italy, the charming city is home to an abundance of medieval and Renaissance structures. Spend your time relaxing by the fountain of Neptune and immerse yourself amongst the amazing Italian locals and tourists from across the globe.

Head to Piazza Maggiore to chose a delicious affordable restaurant to sample some of the best food Italy has to offer, and then burn off the calories with a climb up Asinelli Tower for some of the best views in the city for only £4.50.

Alcohol is not the most affordable option here – with beer coming in at between £3-£4 per pint, a glass of wine for about £5, and a cocktail between £7-£9. However this price will be made up for by the high volumes of free activities, tourist spots, and cheap food – around £10 a meal. Air bnb’s start at around £29 and 3* budget hotels around £40.

Although this is most expensive on the list it’s a bargain for how magical this city truly is, and definitely somewhere worth the extra pennies.

8. Krakow, Poland

An absolute must for any traveller on a budget, this charming city offers cobble lined streets with horses and carriages and stunning architecture covering the streets. Everywhere you look you will be amazed by the beautiful sights.

Go to Market Square in the heart of Krakow to explore cafes, bars, and sign up to walking tours around the city, and be amazed by how full your wallet will be at the end of it. Look at getting a two course meal with a beer for as little as £10! Take yourself to milk bars to really stretch your money further. Wawel castle – once home to Polish Kings and Queens, should definitely be on your to do list.

With glasses of wine for less than £2.50 and a pint of beer for £1.80, you really can’t complain about the prices. Airbnb’s start at £17 per night, and you can look at getting a 3* hotel from as little as £23!

9. Porto, Portugal

This colourful city will mesmerise you from the second you arrive. Take yourself for a stroll through Cais da Ribeira, Porto’s riverside area for the perfect photo opportunity and a range of bars and restaurants.

You’ll find yourself admiring beautiful churches and cathedrals on every corner, but definitely make time to see the Church of São Francisco and Porto Cathedral on your visit. Jardins do Palácio de Cristal is a must see building, and if all this sightseeing makes you tired, stop at one of Porto’s many breathtaking beaches to relax. Best of all, all of these sights are completely free.

Prices for your average pint of beer costs around £1.80, and you can grab yourself a cappuccino for £1.40. Get a meal at an inexpensive restaurant for around £7, and then go back to your airbnb which you can get from as little as £17 per night, or a 3* hotel starting at £21 per night.

10. Finally, this list wouldn’t be complete without featuring a French city…

Montpellier, France

France, the country with amazing sights and even more amazing locals, Montpellier gives you the opportunity to experience the amazing culture, food and wine without breaking the bank.

Located in southern France, this stunning city is made up of gothic style architecture. Whether you spend time at it’s zoo and aquariums, beaches located just 15km away from the centre, or just spend your time wandering the city taking in the breathtaking landmarks, It’s a must see destination. Go and see the Promenade de Peyrou, which has been standing since the 18th century, and the beautiful Triumphal Arch, then get yourself a delicious French meal for £10, and a glass of local wine from as low as £3 (even cheaper when you take advantage of the great happy hours)

Airnb’s start from £20 per night, and you can get a 3* hotel for as low as £29. So go and book your flight and count down the days until you can explore everything Montpellier has to offer.

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF AVIOS TRAVEL POINTS

If flight prices are limiting your travel opportunities or you are simply interested in huge flight discounts and free flight upgrades, then look no further. Within this in depth guide we will walk you through how to gain huge rewards with no commitments, and no credit cards. All through simply linking your day to day spending through Avios. Which in short works much like a retailer points card.

This will cover everything you need to know about the Avios scheme, how to earn points, and how to spend them.

Grab a nice cuppa and get comfy – this is going to be a long one.

Avios is a points based system run through British Airways and their partner airlines. Avios allows you to earn points through a variety of ways of which you will discover throughout this article.

BRITISH AIRWAYS PARTNER AIRLINES ARE:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Air Italy
  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • LATAM
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian
  • S7 Airlines
  • Sri Lankan Airlines

THE TIER SYSTEM

You earn tier points alongside Avios points when you fly. When you reach a certain amount of points, you level up to the next tier. With each tier there are additional benefits you receive.

The tier system works like this – Blue, Bronze, Silver, Gold.

The blue tier has no eligibility, and is where you start. This allows you to start earning points.

To receive the bronze tier, you need to have gained 300 tier points, and have flown at least 2 eligible flights that year. An example of the benefits you receive with the bronze tier is as shown:

  • Priority check in and boarding
  • Free seat selection 7 days before departure
  • 25% bonus Avios.
  • Member-only offers

For the silver tier, you need to have earned at least 600 tier points, and have taken 4 eligible flights a year. An example of the benefits are seen below:

  • Priority boarding
  • Free seat selection at booking
  • Access to business lounges
  • Extra baggage allowance
  • 50% bonus Avios
  • Member-only offers.

And for the Gold tier, you need to have earned 1500 tier points, and taken 4 eligible flights a year. An example of the benefits are shown below:

  • First class check in and boarding
  • Free seat selection at booking
  • Access to First lounges
  • Extra baggage allowance
  • Additional reward flight availability
  • 100% bonus Avios.
  • Member-only offers.

HOW TO COLLECT POINTS

There are two main ways to earn points with Avios –

By flying and shopping.

Flying: When you book a flight through B/A or any of its partner airlines, the points you earn are calculated as a percentage of the miles flown, and you will receive a higher percentage for flying a higher class. (lowest percentage with economy, and highest percentage with first class)

To calculate how many points you will receive with a British Airways flight, see the calculator below:

https://www.britishairways.com/travel/flight-calculator/public/en_gb

The further you move through the tiers of the Club the more Avios you’ll collect. Bronze, Silver and Gold Members earn the following tier bonuses on British Airways flights:

  • Bronze – 25% extra Avios
  • Silver – 50% extra Avios
  • Gold – 100% extra Avios

Some of their partner airlines also offer tier bonuses, helping you to grow your Avios balance faster. You can check their individual websites to find out exact figures.

Shopping: If you download the avios app, it will allow you to shop from over 100 retailers, accommodation sites, and even phone and tv contracts, earning points just from doing your regular shopping for no additional costs. Some of these retailers include:

  • Air B and B
  • Just eat
  • John Lewis
  • Marks and spencer
  • Asos
  • Argos

And many, many more.

All you have to do is do your shopping through the link on the avios app, and your points will be added to your account within a given timeframe.

You can also redeem your Tesco Clubcard vouchers as Avios points.

If you’re interested in credit cards, they also have some which allow you to earn points. See the link to their website below for more information

https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/executive-club/collecting-avios/credit-cards/uk

SPENDING:

You can redeem your points in a variety of ways.

The main ones are:

Booking flights – you can use your points to fully pay for flights with B/A or their partner airlines. You will still have to use cash to pay for taxes, fees and carrier charges. If you don’t have enough points, you can also chose to purchase more Avios points with cash. For reward flights with you will pay either a peak or off-peak Avios amount, depending on the date of your flight.

Partially paying for flights. You have the option to split the cost between points and cash on selected flights with B/A and the following airlines – American Airlines, Air Baltic, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, China Southern, Fiji Airways, Finnair, Flybe, Japan Airlines, LATAM, Loganair, Qantas, Qatar, S7 and Vistara.

Upgrading your flights. You are only able to upgrade British Airways, Iberia and American Airlines flights. You are able to upgrade new or existing bookings.

You are also able to spend your points on experiences, hotel accommodation, car rental, and wine. These change on a regular basis, so you’re best checking directly on the British Airways website nearer the time of booking.

Finally, I just wanted to mention that if there is no activity on your account for 3 years (saving or spending points) then you will lose any existing points! But don’t worry, as long as you don’t exceed this timeframe your points won’t expire.

That should cover everything you need to fully understand how it works, and now you can get started collecting your Avios points! Consistency is key, and the points will build up if you connect them to your purchases. So sit back, let the points creep up, and treat yourself with them!

A locals guide to foods you MUST TRY in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Thinking of taking a trip to Edinburgh? From tartan to bagpipes, men prancing around in kilts and unforgettable ceilidhs (a traditional social Scottish dance) It is fair to say the city is full to the brim with culture. With the unforgettable sites, ranging from the historic Edinburgh Castle to the Royal Yacht Britannia, and a stroll down the Royal Mile during the Fringe Festival, it is filled with an endless amount of adventures and sightseeing activities.

If you are heading to Edinburgh, check out out transport guide here!

But what about food? Here is a list of the top 12 foods/drinks you can’t miss in your trip.

  1. First thing has to be: Irn Bru

You can’t come to Scotland without trying our local fizzy drink.

Created in 1901, Scotlands best selling luminous orange fizzy drink and the all time best hangover cure is a must for anybody looking to experience the local cuisine. If you decide to try this fantastic local drink, ensure to avoid the sugar free version, it may be a smarter choice, but it definitely won’t be the tastier one.

2. Fish and chips – with chippy sauce!

What could beat Britains classic meal of chip shop fish and chips? Chippy sauce is the key. Only found in few cities in Scotland, this fantastic sauce is not something to be missed out on. As an alternative to the classic vinegar found in most chip shops, ‘chippy sauce’ is a mix of brown sauce and vinegar. Don’t knock it til you try it! Find yourself a nice chippy – I recommend Eatalia’s, in Brunswick Place, and tell them to not be shy with the sauce – you won’t regret it.

3. Haggis, neeps n tatties

If there’s any food Scotland is known for, it’s haggis. Made up of sheep’s pluck, it is mixed with onion and a variety of spices. Although it doesn’t sound the most appetising, it’s really enjoyable and filled with amazing flavour, and is a traditional Scottish dish served commonly with neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes). It’s the traditional dish celebrated on Burns night, and it is not something you should miss on your visit.

4. Tablet

So after you’ve munched down on a bag of fish and chips (with plenty of sauce), indulged in a generous plate of haggis neeps and tatties, and washed it all down with a nice refreshing drink of Irn Bru, your sweet tooth is probably craving a delicious treat. So take yourself down to a local store and pick up some Scottish tablet. Made up of condensed milk, butter and sugar, tablet is a crumbly, buttery fudge that will fill any sweet craving. I recommend trying a whisky flavoured piece, if you want to really immerse yourself in traditional Scottish flavours.

5. Deep fried mars bar

Not fully satisfied that sweet tooth? Get yourself back to the chippy to try out a very indulgent chocolatey dessert. Not much more to be said – it’s a mars bar covered in batter and deep fried, and it is delicious.

6. Scottish breakfast

So the next morning I’m sure you will wake up excited about the new food you still have left to try. Take a wander over to a local cafe, and get a full Scottish breakfast. Made up of sausages, fried eggs, hash browns, baked beans, tattie scones, bacon, black pudding, haggis, mushrooms, tomatoes and buttered toast. This delicious combinations of food will without a doubt keep you full for hours.

7. Rock candy

Edinburgh rock candy is a hard sweet with its base made up of sugar, water and cream of tartar. With a multitude of flavours to try from, including Irn Bru, rhubarb and custard, and aniseed, it is a perfect sugary snack to keep you energised whilst walking around the city.

8. Scotch Pie

This Scottish delicacy is popular at football games and sport events. It is a hard crust pie filled with minced mutton meat. It is delicious and flavourful, and perfect to eat on the go. Make sure to stop at a bakery and pick one up to keep you satisfied throughout the day.

9. Tunnocks teacakes and caramel log

Perfect to side with a nice hot drink, tunnocks tea cakes are yummy treats made up of soft marshmallow on a biscuit base, and smothered in chocolate. Caramel logs says it right in the name, thin biscuit wafers stuck together with caramel and smothered in a thin layer of chocolate make for a delicious treat.

10. Shortbread

Shortbread is a must try. It’s a delicious, crumbly, buttery biscuit which is perfect to dunk in a cup of tea. With the first written recipe being found way back in 1736, it’s earned its title as an all time classic. It’s so good it even has a whole day dedicated to it! (January 6th, if you’re planning to celebrate)

11. Edinburgh Gin

Once you’ve found yourself at a local bar or pub, start making your way through the different Edinburgh gin options. Especially the flavoured gin liquors are a sweet and refreshing tasting alcohol, perfectly served with lemonade. I recommend the rhubarb and ginger as my top choice, followed closely by plum and vanilla.

This wouldn’t be a true Scottish food list if I didn’t mention whisky…

12. Whisky

After all the sightseeing and walking up and around the beautiful scenery Edinburgh has to offer, what better than sitting down to a local drink. I recommend going to the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile, find a few of your favourites, and then sit down, relax, reflect on the amazing trip you’ve had so far and with excitement for what’s still to come.

Enjoy your trip to Edinburgh, and I hope you are able to discover all the wonderful food and drink the city has to offer.

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