Fish Woman statue on Gulangyu Island – China.
Travel Photos: Gulangyu Island Photo Gallery
Fish Woman statue on Gulangyu Island – China.
Travel Photos: Gulangyu Island Photo Gallery
A lot of teachers know the importance of getting kids interested in the subject through hands-on activities which are often done outside of the classroom. School trips are created for this purpose to expose kids to activities which are related to the subject but are fun and allow them to break out from the confines of the classroom.
Fun Ideas for School Tours
There are numerous ideas for school tours that can be tailored to suit the learning plan of any class. Whether you are teaching a science, a history, or geography class, there are various ways to incorporate the lesson with outdoor activities that are fun, engaging, and very educational.
You can opt for local and international destinations for geography classes. Top choices include a school trip to Iceland where the entire class can spend five whole days exploring the natural beauty of the country. Equally popular is a trip to Morocco where the class can spend a few days learning about desert formation while standing on sand dunes before they head out to learn about the colorful Moroccan culture. Other top destinations for geography classes include Jordan, Peru and Australia. For shorter trips, there are hundreds of local destinations that are prime options for school trips as well such as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and even your local beach!
History and Art
This is one subject where you can find so many options for class trips. For destinations inside the country, top options include local museums, art fairs, historical sites, and other destinations that offer an actual experience of history and all that is interesting about it. There are various historical sites all over the country that are accessible and easy on the school budget. International destinations also abound, from the ruins of Pompeii to the pyramids of Egypt. If you are wary about budget limitations there are nearby destinations such as Cuba and Panama whose histories are also intertwined with that of the US.
Museums and the outdoors are great ideas for school trips as well. You can find at least one science museum in every state. You can also find numerous international destinations that can be tailored for a fun and exciting science class trip. These include trips to the Galapagos Islands, Madagascar, or Sri Lanka. Aside from being exotic locations, these places offer a wealth of scientific knowledge that will surely fascinate young learners. Costa Rica is another prime example where students will get to visit turtles at a popular turtle conversation project site.
There are so many options for a fun trip for the class. These trips are not just tailored for class field trips. You can do these trips as part of a family vacation to add an educational element to your holiday. Whether you are planning an overseas trip (French school trips are popular) or one that is just located within the state, there are various fun educational options to choose from. Take your pick from the various fun field trip options mentioned above and create memorable educational experiences for you and your kids.
Amsterdam has traditionally drawn a young crowd composed primarily of men. The city is world-renowned for its casual approach to certain activities that are less accepted in other Western countries. But these few dubious aspects obscure the city’s culture, history, and many splendid features. From leisurely and scenic cruises through Amsterdam’s network of canals to its museums, monuments, and parks, you’ll find the city to be at once beautiful, unique, and oftentimes educational.
Amsterdam serves as the official capital of the Netherlands. Despite attracting throngs of tourists each year and hosting a large metropolitan area, it has managed to retain its quaint, charming atmosphere. If you’re planning to visit, try to do so in May or October. The temperature, normally chilly throughout the year, hovers around the mid-40s during those months. The winter months are much colder. Plus, visiting in May or October allows you to avoid the crowds. Avoid the crowds at the airport, bus, or train station by visiting in June, as reported by this Kanetix article stating that June is the least popular month to holiday in.
Below, we’ll help you prepare for your trip by offering a few recommendations. We’ll provide suggestions on things to do in the city, restaurants to visit, and where to find some of the highest-rated hotels.
The guide below is merely that: a guide.
Use it as a starting point to plan your own unique Amsterdam adventure.
Things To Enjoy While You’re Exploring The City
There are lots of fun and educational things to do in Amsterdam. From shopping and sightseeing to visiting museums and the infamous Red Light District, there are plenty of attractions to add to your list. We recommend pulling yourself away from the charming canals and streets to enjoy the following activities.
#1 – Visit Anne Frank’s House
Assuming this is your first visit to the city, set aside a couple of hours to stop by the Anne Frank House. This is, of course, the home in which Frank stayed hidden for two years during which time she wrote her famous diary. A tour through the house offers an impression of the fear and loneliness Frank must have endured during that period. Opening hours vary by season, but the house is usually open by 9:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Cost of entry: approximately $12 for adults and $6 for children over the age of 10.
#2 – Visit De Pijp Quarters
Located south of the city’s center, De Pijp is a neighborhood that hosts one of the most popular street markets in Amsterdam: the Albert Cuyp Market. You’ll also find a variety of restaurants, cafés, and shops set amidst the area’s 19th-century architecture. De Pijp also hosts the former Heineken brewery, another popular attraction. Spend two or three hours to see the sights, explore the shops, and observe the locals. Cost of entry: free.
#3 – Visit The Van Gogh Museum
Vincent Van Gogh became famous after taking his own life, and is now considered one of the masters. Many of his works of art now fetch millions of dollars. You can see hundreds of his paintings and other works on display in the Van Gogh Museum. The museum attracts a large number of people throughout the week, so be prepared to stand in line. It’s a good idea to order tickets through the facility’s official website. Cost of entry: approximately $18 per person.
These three activities will get you started. Also, make time to visit Leidseplein to experience Amsterdam’s nightlife as well as the gorgeous Vondelpark to enjoy the city’s beauty. Both are free. Lastly, take an evening stroll down one of the many streets lying adjacent to a canal. It’s a great time to reflect on your trip and enjoy some peace and quiet.
Best Spots To Grab A Meal In Amsterdam
The locals pride themselves on the variety of cuisines their city offers. You’ll find restaurants that specialize in French dishes, Italian fare, Asian food, and of course, Dutch cuisine. If you’re in the mood for Mediterranean food, visit Grekas Griekse Traiterie. For something with an African flair, stop by Kilimanjaro. With a little digging, you’ll also find restaurants serving Thai food, Mexican dishes, and Indian meals.
We recommend visiting Bolenius, a restaurant that prepares its dishes with local ingredients. In fact, many of the ingredients come from the establishment’s own garden. Try the sea bass served with fennel and black garlic. For something more straightforward, order the sirloin. It’s adorned with flavors taken from the restaurant’s garden. Finish the meal with a grilled pineapple coated with gingerbeer ice cream. Expect to pay approximately $75 per person.
For a meal that is easier on the pocketbook, stop by De Prins Café. It’s located in a house that sits at the side of a canal, giving the place an easygoing, friendly ambiance. The food (Dutch) is delicious and the servings are extremely generous. Start with a split pea soup to help keep the cold weather at bay and move on to a curry chicken wrap. Finish the meal with a slice of apple pie that you can enjoy while watching boats cruise by the canal. The entire meal will cost approximately $25.
We also suggest making a reservation for dinner at La Oliva. It is a bit higher-end, but the food and atmosphere are worth the price of admission. If you’re feeling adventurous, begin with a dish of razor clams flavored with lemon and olive oil. Or settle in with a plate of iberic sausages. For the main course, try the filet of beef soaked gently in red wine sauce and topped with mushrooms. Or, try the halibut with cava sauce (also served with mushrooms). For dessert, order the homemade tiramisu or chocolate mousse with a glass of dessert wine. Plan to pay $70 per person.
Top-Rated Hotels In Amsterdam
Amsterdam hosts a large number of hotels. You’ll find huge establishments and smaller boutique hotels, all of which strive to provide a pleasant experience for guests. Rates will vary by the season, but keep in mind that May is an especially good time to visit the city.
One of the highest-rated hotels in Amsterdam is the Grand Hotel Amrath Amsterdam. It’s a 5-star hotel located in the city’s center (Central Station is approximately 500 meters from its doors). It was built in 1912 and hosts more than 150 rooms. The facility includes the opulent Seven Seas Restaurant. There’s also a full spa and large pool available for guests. Each room offers satellite TV, minibar, espresso machine, and many other amenities. Rates in May usually range between $300 and $450 per night.
The Hilton is another top pick among travelers. It’s located a short walking distance from the Van Gogh Museum and Vondelpark. The hotel sits on the edge of a private marina and provides guests with cruises around the city. It also hosts an Italian restaurant (Roberto’s) and lounge (Half Moon), where you can relax and enjoy a drink while looking out across the water. Each room provides a flat-screen television, blackout curtains, minibar, and air conditioning. Rates at the Hilton during May drift between $300 and $400 per night.
For a luxurious experience, consider staying at the Sofitel Legend. It sits between two canals, giving guests a picturesque view of the water. The hotel offers a full spa complete with heated whirlpool along with a sauna and Turkish steam bath. You’ll also find the highly-rated Bridges restaurant. There are more than 170 rooms at the Sofitel, each of which offers classic furnishings, a satellite flat-panel TV, safe, minibar, and air conditioning among lots of other amenities. Room rates during May edge close to $500 per night.
As you can imagine for a city that attracts so many people each year, there are hundreds of hotels in Amsterdam. Many of them offer an experience that rivals those you’ll enjoy at the three we recommend above.
The Easiest Way To Get Around The City
The best way to move around Amsterdam, particularly during the day, is by bike. Not only does the riding offer a great way to get some exercise during your visit, it’s also more convenient than driving. Many locals tend to be impatient with tourists who have chosen to drive, but do so slowly and without direction. Riding a biking allows you to avoid their honks and stares.
The good news is that you won’t have any trouble finding a bike rental shop in Amsterdam. It’s one of most popular modes of transportation. Plan to spend approximately $25 a week on rental fees. You’ll also be asked to leave a sizable deposit, which will be returned to you when you turn in the bike.
During the evening, taking a taxi and walking are your best bets. It’s worth noting that the taxi service in the city can be expensive. It can also be difficult to find an available cab. To avoid the frustration, have your hotel concierge reserve one for you.
Another option is to take the bus. It’s a convenient way to reach distant parts of Amsterdam without the high cost of a taxi or the effort of riding a bike.
How Much To Budget For The Flight To Amsterdam
Flying to Amsterdam is not cheap, though it is certainly less costly than flying to Indonesia, Africa, and other faraway travel destinations. You’ll find there is no shortage of flights leaving the major hubs in Canada. That means there’s more competition among airlines, which tends to push down the price of airfare. If you want more money-saving tips for your travels to Amsterdam from Canada, consider going online to compare quotes on travel insurance at Kanetix.ca. You can read more about the importance of having travel coverage and get started with the online quoting service on Kanetix.
A round-trip ticket from Toronto in May will cost approximately $1,200. That price usually includes a single stop along the way. There are occasional nonstop flights, but they are uncommon, especially from the larger carriers (Delta, Alaska, etc.).
Leaving from Vancouver is a bit more expensive, as is usually the case with most travel destinations. A round-trip flight will cost between $1,400 and $1,600. You may have to endure two stops en route to Amsterdam.
Airfare is less costly – though only slightly – when leaving Montreal. A round-trip ticket during May will cost between $1,200 and $1,400.
Amsterdam is worth visiting at least once in your lifetime. It has changed significantly over the years, but still retains its charm and beauty. Whether you’re traveling with your family or significant other, a week or two spent exploring the city is sure to provide a memorable and rewarding experience.
Winter in New York City is cold with temperatures wavering around freezing. Although it has been known to reach a balmy 20°C as well as drop to the other extreme of -20°C, but don’t let that put you off. You can usually count on snow too. Despite all of this, winter is a good time to visit as there are less tourists and still lots of great things to see.
Central Park is just as beautiful in the winter, so you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to wrap up warm and see what’s happening there.
Horse drawn carriages
With the snow on the ground you can almost imagine yourself in a Henry James novel – it’s the mode of transport rather than the climate really. But it’s a great, romantic way to navigate this magical winter wonderland in the heart of New York City.
There are two ice rinks in Central Park, the Wollman at the south end and the Lasker at the northern end. Wollman is the best known to visitors and looks idyllic against its backdrop of skyscrapers and parkland. Get on and give it a go yourself or watch from the sidelines – you might be given a ‘show’ by some well-practised skater.
Take a walk
The Central Park Conservancy team organise a number of guided walks of varying difficulties. It’s a great way to see parts of the Park you might not otherwise wander into. Walks range from Art in the Park to Conservatory Garden Walks and many more.
Central Park Zoo
See the real thing: snow leopards, polar bears and snow monkeys, as well as red pandas, penguins and Dart Poison frogs. Staying with the wintery theme, catch a wildlife film, either the Polar Express, the 4D experience or the BBC film: Planet Earth Ice Worlds.
When the snow’s there you can go sledging on Pilgrim Hill and Cedar Hill. Pilgrim is the steepest and most popular, but if it’s peace and relative quiet you are looking for, head for Cedar.
Visit the 2.5 acres of Central Park dedicated to the memory of John Lennon, who was shot in New York on 8th December 1980. The memorial is a grey and white mosaic with ‘Imagine’ written in the centre. The entry to Strawberry Fields is on West 72nd Street.
Make Central Park the centre of your New York holiday with BeatTheBrochure.
[Rangiroa Atoll in Polynésia by dany13.]
The South Pacific encompasses a broad geographical area that includes Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia, New Zealand, Australia and Papua New Guinea. Those who haven’t visited this area before will find that this is where inspiration for countless visions of an undiscovered island paradise have come from – both as a result of the history of this part of the world and the fact that there are still islands that retain that untouched feel even today. If you’re looking for beaches, for exploration, friendly people and a real getaway then the South Pacific is ideal.
Climate-wise, the South Pacific is tropical all year round so it is a perfect option for those who are looking for some winter sun (although remember that it also has a hurricane season). Summer is November to April when the weather tends to be hotter, with more chance of rain and hurricanes than in the winter months of May to October. Oceania, which is part of the South Pacific is considered to be one of the planet’s major ecological zones and so it is a fascinating place to explore in terms of the local ecosystem, geography and plant life – this area completely captured the imagination of the infamous Captain James Cook, who laid down the modern map of the region, and it still retains much of the same charm today. Nature in this part of the world is worth the journey alone and has been the subject of an enormous number of nature documentaries. Look out for the sea lions, penguins, reef sharks, fruit bats, iguanas and dolphins, as well as landscapes that encompass erupting undersea volcanoes (Kavachi), stunning coral reefs and some of the most incredible beaches in the world.
There are many holiday hot spots in the South Pacific, thanks to the fact that this area has between 20,000 and 30,000 islands. Fiji is a group of islands located in the Melanesian group that has gained a reputation for some fabulous sunsets and a laid-back beach life. Viti Levu is the main island in the Fiji group and serves as a jumping off point for a range of other paradise spots, from lively islands like Beachcomber to the tiny paradise of Caqalai.
The Cook Islands have become another much loved holiday hot spot in the South Pacific thanks to the natural beauty evident all around and the friendly, smiley locals (be sure to learn the local greeting ‘Kia Orana’! as you’ll hear it a lot!). Tahiti & French Polynesia is all about the azure blue seas and the unspoilt coral fields that fascinate many of those who journey to this part of the world. From lazing by a lagoon all day, to taking a safari or having close encounters with the local sealife (think turtles and sharks to start with) this island paradise is a pretty special experience. New Caledonia is the chic option for South Pacific visitors as this special collectivity of France has cosmopolitan shopping and internationally renowned restaurants, alongside the incredible island landscapes. Whether you’ve come for the shopping on rue de Sébastopol in Noumea or the romance of Île des Pins there’s something here for everyone.
The South Pacific is one of those places that really captures the hearts and imaginations of those who journey here. Whether the aim is to explore, to discover, to adventure or simply to relax, there are lots of options for the trip of a lifetime – the only down side is that you may never want to leave…
Written by John from ANZCRO – specialists in holidays to Australia & the South Pacific
[Image By Taiga Studio.]
We all love summers. For kids it is the time for school holidays while for us adults it is the time of relaxation, night long barbeques and parties, warm soothing days and ample of water activities. So what are you waiting for? Plan your holiday right now to ensure an enjoyable yet cost efficient trip. We have chosen top 5 summer destinations which cater to everyone.
Turkey is rapidly becoming one of the leading holiday hotspots for Brits. From budget travelers to those who like to spoil themselves with ample of luxurious facilities, Turkey suits everyone. Great climate, mesmerizing natural beauties, magnificent historical and archaeological sites along with a multitude of sports, you get almost everything here. Imagine experiencing four different kind of climate in just one day!
2. Costa Del Sol:
The Costa Del Sol remains a firm favourite with holidaying Brits and it is not hard to see why. A hedonistic combination of entertainment and leisure has made Costa Del Sol one of the most sought-after destinations for summer 2013. Bustling nightlife to quaint areas by the sea, luxurious resorts to secluded cottages, beat the summer in the anyway you want by booking a Costa del Sol holiday with travelclub.co.uk.
It wouldn’t be wrong to call Bermuda a paradise. This is a place which offers you not just golden or white beaches but pink ones too!An evening on the exquisite pink beaches of Bermuda with clear blue waters – what could be a better way to spend your summer holiday? From sunbathing to exciting water sports, it has something for everyone.
A top destination for summers 2013, Ibiza is turning out to be a favorite spot amongst celebrities as well as everyday travellers. From families to couples to friends to clubbers, Ibiza treats all its visitors with unparalleled comfort, thrilling activities, breath taking nature, entertaining recreational facilities and electrifying parties.
Although the name of Ibiza has become synonymous to parties, there are also various other things to do on your Ibiza Holidays. Visit to the churches of SantJordi and SantFrancesc de s’Estanyand the towers of Carregador and SesPortes make for an interesting day tour. World famous clubs like Pacha, Eden, DC10 and Amnesia adorn the island, offering you ample of fun and entertainment. And if you are travelling with kids, Aguamar Water Park in Playa d’enBossa is good enough to keep your children happy. Shopping lovers will also be not disappointed here as a wide range of boutiques and island’s hippy markets offer amazing shopping options.
5. San Francisco:
Famous of for its cool weather during the summer months, San Francisco is the best place to get a relaxing summer break. Fine museums, popular theatres,amazing dining to incredible shopping malls, San Francisco has it all to make your holiday special.
Along with doing the usual like visit to places such as the iconic Golden Gate Bridge or taking a double-decker bus tour of the city, do explore the lively atmosphere of Chinatown Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf. A drive to the highly recognized wineries of Napa and Sonoma is a must for those looking for a few relaxing moments too.
Old town area of Xiamen, China.
Travel Photos: Xiamen Photo Gallery
Okay, so these wedding venues may be a tad out of our price range, but we can always dream. Although your wedding budget may not cover these exclusive venues, they may just give you the inspiration you need to arrange your big day. Here are the most luxurious and magical locations from across the world.
The crème de la crème of London’s rich and famous visit Claridge’s for premium luxury. Booking a wedding in this decadent hotel will mean your every whim is taken care of, including the organisation of your big day. A complimentary event co-ordinator is thrown in for good measure.
Whether you’re looking for grandeur or intimate chic, Claridge’s has got something for everyone’s taste…as long as that taste is expensive. You’ll even get your own beautiful dressing room for the bridal party.
Ice Hotel, Jukkasjarvi, Sweden
The famous Ice Hotel is the ultimate winter wedding venue. If a festive, snowy landscape charms your socks off, you’ll be enamoured with the reindeer-drawn sleigh, packed with fur blankets. Obviously, you’ll have to adjust your wedding dress for the cold climate.
Everyone can fall asleep in one of the five star ice rooms after a glimmering celebration in the ice bar. Even the church is made of ice!
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England
A more old school approach to weddings: a friggin’ palace. Blenheim Palace is a gorgeous stately home that was built in the 1760’s. Now its resplendent rooms are open to wedding parties and will make you feel like a true prince or princess. Have your photos snapped in the 2,100 acres of parkland and even enjoy a firework display over the lake.
Hotel Plaza Athenée, Paris
Die-hard romantics, you’ve got to have your wedding in Paris…it’s the rule. The quintessentially French Hotel Plaza Athenée is every Francophile’s dream venue. Drool over showstopping chandeliers and ornate mirrors. Alternatively, have an outdoor wedding in the charming courtyard garden.
Finish off the day with a night in the Eiffel Suite, offering floor-to-ceiling views of – you guessed it – France’s trademark building. Parfait!
The Plaza, New York
You’ll feel an affinity with the city that never sleeps, in the run-up to your wedding day. For an exciting and stylish ceremony, you really can’t top The Plaza. This is grandeur, turn of the century style.
Have a classic, champagne reception in the bar and get your very own butler to wait on you hand-and-foot in one of the luxury suites, with a private terrace and views of central park.
Nunsmere Hall, Cheshire, England
Now for a more affordable destination, Nunsmere Hall is a stunning Edwardian house that stands alone on an island, surrounded by lakes. This wedding venue in Cheshire has everything you could want from a location.
The immaculate gardens are picture-perfect and you can enjoy a flute of champagne with your guests, on the south-facing terrace. This venue is perfect for small weddings, but if you still want to invite all the extended family, you can take the festivities to Nunsmere’s glorious marquee, beautifully furnished with Chinese lanterns.
A great way to spend your summer or winter, the Mediterranean is steeped in history. With many famous stories such as Ancient Greek myth, the Minotaur, Aphrodite and Adonis, there’s a great deal to discover.
Of course, these aren’t the only two islands that you can go to on a cruise around the Mediterranean. There are a number of other places to visit in the Med too.
Take Ibiza for example. Everyone knows the place and if partying isn’t your kettle of fish then check this out for some ideas of where to go in Ibiza. One of the most popular party islands in the world has plenty more to offer.
Preparing for your Mediterranean Cruise does take some planning; finding the best deal is important, the last thing you want to be doing is paying through the nose for something you could maybe save £200 – £300 on. The best time to go on a cruise around the Med, if you want to avoid the crowds but still get the good weather, is middle to late September.
If you are going on a cruise in the area then here are a couple of things that you should take into consideration before you head out to sea.
It’s important to make sure that you’re up to date with all of your vaccinations. Although you may think that you won’t need any, you’d better check. As they say, better to be safe than sorry. It’s better to be up to date with your jabs like hepatitis and tetanus, as the last thing you want is to end up in a hospital!
Some people really struggle with seasickness but funnily enough, most sufferers don’t experience it whilst on cruise ships. The sheer size of the vessel means that actually, seasickness is quite rare whilst you’re on board a cruise ship. It’s actually a common myth!
So with these things taken into account, vaccinations taken care of and seasickness remedies to hand, you should be ready to hit the seven seas; or just the Mediterranean in this case and set sail on your cruise!
This article has been written by Aurora on behalf of CheapCruises.com, providers of cruises to the Mediterranean, Middle East, the USA and a number of other destinations around the globe.