Hotel vs holiday apartment in Paris


Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world, and for good reason – it’s a beautiful city. Seriously, it’s amazing. It is a place you have to see for yourself to understand why it is so popular. With such demand to visit you will notice once you start planning your trip how expensive hotels are compared to other capital cities in Europe. With such high prices and little value for money it is worth considering renting a apartment when staying in Paris.

When it comes to renting a holiday apartment many people may just assume that this type of accommodation is limited to beach resorts, but apartment rental is a common form of holiday accommodation in Europe. Apartment types can range from studio apartments, to homes with multiple bedrooms. You will find that you can get a much bigger place for the same money you would have spent on a hotel room.

One of the biggest benefits of renting an apartment is that you have a kitchen, which will mean you will be able to save money on food costs, especially if you are staying over a longer period of time. And obviously the more in your family/party, the more you will save.

Another benefit of staying in an apartment is the feeling of “living like a local”. Your apartment will most likely be in a residential street so you will not stand out like a tourist. You will be coming and going just like the locals do, going shopping at the local supermarket and getting to know the corner cafe.

Apartments are most suitable for longer stays. If you are just staying for the night then a hotel is probably more convenient. Chances are you wont have time to shop for food, and you wont have to pick up the keys.

When looking for an apartment it is best to go through a website that has pre-screened apartments for you. Sites like Housetrip offer holiday apartments in Paris. And if you don’t know which neighbourhood to stay in (or Arrondissement as they say in Paris), they also have a useful guide of where to stay in Paris. Going through a website agency you can read reviews by other guests of the apartment (by people who have actually stayed there, so no fake reviews) and they will have a clearly written process on how to get to the apartment.

Overworked couples can use a romantic vacation

It’s crazy to think that people would forgo their vacation time for work, but that is what is happening.

This infographic from shows the work habits around the world, which shows that both men and women are working beyond the usual 40 hours a week. These extra work hours are eating up hard-earned vacation time.

Check out the numbers and if you have unused vacation time it’s time to claim them back!

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How to travel the world solo

Travelling the world on your own can be scary, but it’s an amazing experience that you should have at least once in your life. Sure, it means you’re all alone and whatever happens, you have to work it out on your own, but at the same time, it gives you amazing freedom, it pushes you to your limits and it lets you discover just how strong you really are. And there’s the added bonus of making new friends – when you travel alone, you are constantly meeting new people, and some of them could easily become your friends for life. But if meeting new people doesn’t come easy for you, here are some tips that could help.

Stay in a hostel and say hi to others in your dormitory

Staying in hostels is one of the easiest ways to meet new people – almost everyone who travels alone stays there, so you should have no problem making friends. And all you have to do is say hi when you enter your dormitory room, and then see where it leads you.

However, hostels also have their downsides. If you plan on h0oking up with someone while you are staying there, you won’t have much privacy, which could turn out to be very unpleasant in the heat of the moment. So the choice between a dormitory room and a private room really comes down to just what kinds of friends you would like to make…

Go to a bar

Going to a bar alone may sound dreadful, but it is really one of the simplest and most efficient ways to meet new people. People in bars are generally in a good mood (a couple of drinks will do that to you!), so they are more open to talking to strangers.

You can simply sit by the bar and try talking to people sitting next to you, join a large crowd that could surely use another member, or just try to find someone like you – look around and if you see anyone sitting alone, just say hi, introduce yourself and start talking.

Always carry a pack of cards

Travelling is a wonderful thing, but let’s face it, it can be pretty boring at times. Long waits at the airports, train stations and bus stations, insanely long flights, bus rides and train rides, and bad weather that prevents you from leaving your hostel – it can all be a very boring experience.

If you’ve got a pack of cards, you will surely be the most popular person in such situations. Simply pull out the cards and ask if anyone would like to play – you will successfully escape the boredom and you will make a couple of new friends in the process. A win-win situation!

Costa Rica Vacations

It is rare that we come across a travel agency that covers you from head to toe when searching for the complete vacation package. But we found one such agency.

CRV – short for Costa Rica Vacations – has been the top agency of that country for over 15 years and has customized vacation packages from all around the world. Whether it’s adventure, romance or just a great family getaway, CRV has a package to suit.

Founded by Don Halbert, the company was acquired from the previous ownership in 2013 and since then has grown exponentially in popularity and the quality of service the company provides it’s clients.

Speaking with their “travel specialists”, you’ll immediately understand one of the major benefits to dealing with a local company as opposed to a big brand. And that is…experience.

First-hand experience is something that big brands have missed the mark on. Imagine booking your long anticipated honeymoon only to find that, because the travel agency had no previous knowledge of the hotel, you end up spending what should’ve been the time of your life, in some seedy 2 1/2 star motel-no-tell.

Fortunately with CRV the team have stayed at each hotel in which they have listed on their site so that they can gauge the quality of service themselves in order to best recommend the right hotels for their clients. And what if they don’t measure up? They don’t get listed in their inventory of hotels.

But where Costa Rica Vacation really shines is when they personalize a tailer-made vacation package.

Although our trip to Costa Rica was shorter than anticipated, we did enjoy a 7 day stay and here’s our own experience with CRV.

Picked up at the airport and whisked through customs like VIPs. We were then transported to the lavish Grano de Oro hotel in San Jose. What a place! Top quality service with world-class food, we highly recommend a stay at Grano de Oro if you’re in the area.

Following morning we were picked up after morning coffee to head to our next destination…Arenal Nayara Hotel & Gardens.

From the moment we stepped off the transport bus we were breathless. This place is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. A 5-star resort with hot springs on-site and gardens surrounding it like something out of the Garden of Eden. Nayara is the place to be when visiting Arenal. In fact the hotel sits in the shadow of the mighty Arenal volcano – one of the most active volcanoes in the world.

Our time at Nayara was lamented with frequent visits to the posh spa, lounging in the hot springs and even a few sunset evenings simply staring at the volcano while sipping drinks on our deck with a built in jacuzzi.

Thursday we said goodbye to Nayara and headed to one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, Manuel Antonio National Park & Beach.

This is the place to get in touch with nature. Not that it’s not all around you already given you’re in Costa Rica – the #3 most “greenest” countries on the planet.

We stayed at a beautiful hotel situated on the hills above the bay overlooking the Pacific called Si Como No.

This hotel – albeit slightly less posh than Nayara – has it’s own unique allure. Branded as “barefoot luxury”, this boutique style hotel has plenty to offer. Onsite they have a private full cinema, two pools – one for families and the other adults only – world class dining with two different restaurants featuring contrast cuisine. There’s even a short waterslide that plunges you down to the wet bar located partial submerged in the pool. Prices were reasonable here however we did find it slightly overpriced in comparison to what we’d already experienced at Nayara and Grano de Oro.

Then it was time to go home. Oh wait!

Adventure? You want to know what we did for adventure? Well…

We went ziplining in Monteverde Cloud Forest, we hiked around an active volcano, we lounged in thermal volcanic hot springs, we saw 13′ crocodiles, monkeys, sloths, toucans and even…took a parasailing trip in Manuel Antonio. So yes…we had some adventures we’ll never forget for a long time to come. At least in this lifetime.

For more information visit:

The Great European Food Tour

If you are travelling to Europe anytime soon (or just dreaming) then check out this interactive guide to the foods and festivals of the countries of Europe, compiled by Travelex. Pick a country and it will display the national dish, types of street food available, cheapest meals, and luxury restaurants.

The Great European Food Tour

In addition to that it also lists upcoming food related festivals, just incase it has made you hungry to visit.

Check out The Great European Food Tour.

Road trip essentials

Not too long ago my best friend and I set off on a once in a lifetime road trip around Cairns. We flew over to the wet tropics from Melbourne and noticed the car hire at Cairns airport when we landed.

On my return, I was asked what I thought was essential when planning such a trip. Below are some of the things I feel that I couldn’t have completed the trip without.

Plan your route and research any points of interest you want to see to make the most out of your time on the road. Outlining your route helps you figure out what you need to take and book any accommodation if needed.


Take a map or create a custom route plan online. Sites such as Google Maps are great for planning your journey as you can identify any highways, toll roads or construction areas prior to driving. They also allow you to change your route easily and add many different destination points.

Using a GPS system can also be a good way of ensuring your heading in the right direction. GPS systems automatically calculate a new route if you make a wrong turn and can also redirect you if there is heavy traffic expected. Most smartphones now have a built in GPS system which can really come in handy even when on foot.

Food and Drink
Stocking up on food and drink is crucial, take healthy snacks that are not going to expire quickly and make your car smell. Use a cool bag or box to store plenty of bottled water and stop off at supermarkets where possible to restock.

Eating out regularly can really add up when travelling, taking your own food and drinks is a great way to keep costs down.

Travel Apps
There are many travel apps available that can give you ideas on activities nearby and any landmarks you may want to visit. You can check the weather forecast allowing you to plan your day or stay away from any storms that may be expected. Having information at your fingertips can sometimes be a lifesaver, helping you locate nearby places to eat, sleep or fill up your tank.


Music is an essential part to any road trip. Create a playlist of your favourite tracks, including something for every mood. Don’t rely on the radio as you may lose signal in some areas, burn a disk or use your mobile.

Good music can really add to your experience and help you to remember the good times you had along the way.

Yes this tip seems quite obvious but remember to capture all your memories on film. Take any spare batteries, memory cards and accessories you may need.

Toiletries and Essentials
We all know that travelling isn’t the most glamorous activity, bring wet wipes, hand sanitizer and paper towels to help you freshen up. It may also be beneficial to bring toilet roll just in case your rest stop isn’t quite what you expected.

First Aid

Make sure you remember to take any medication you may need, as well as painkillers, travel sickness tablets and a first aid box.

There is nothing worse than being stuck in traffic in uncomfortable clothing or shoes. Take lots of comfy clothes and be prepared for the weather to take a turn for the worst. No matter how hot it may be during the day you are going to feel the cold when the sun goes down so taking a blanket may be the saviour.

Car Chargers
Prepare all of the chargers for your devices and make sure they work prior to your journey. Most modern cars now have a USB port for charging. If the car is a little older you may need to buy a cable that connects via the cigarette lighter.

Documents and Money
Bring along anything you feel may be important such as your ID, licence, car documents, insurance information and passport. Photocopy everything and keep them somewhere safe in case of emergencies. Don’t forget to take more than enough money and always have a reserve!

There are multiple inexpensive companies that offer car hire at Cairns Airport. Choosing to hire your car as soon as you land is worthwhile investment as it means you can start your adventure immediately, avoiding any taxi fees.

7 Amazing Places to Go on a Date in New York

It’s known as the City That Never Sleeps, and vibrant New York is an ideal destination for loved up couples. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy a romantic stroll, get a great view of the city or find an activity that combines sightseeing with flirtatious fun, we’ve compiled a list of The Big Apple’s best places to go on a date.

1. Central Park
It’s an obvious choice, but Central Park is just about the most romantic place in the whole city. It might be a bit too cold to enjoy a picnic or a boat ride during the winter months, but it still looks magical in the winter, and you could wrap up warm and enjoy a carriage ride for a truly romantic date.

Central Park

2. Tiffany’s
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, so make like Holly Golightly and head to renowned jeweller, Tiffany’s & Co. What could be more romantic than a new piece to add to your jewellery box? Even if you don’t intend to buy anything (like an engagement ring?), it’s still fun to grab a coffee and browse the sparkling collection in the impressive window displays.


3. The Empire State Building
If you’re looking for a view to take your breath away, you’ll find it at the top of the Empire State Building. If it’s a clear day, you’ll be able to see for around 80 miles, but the view is pretty spectacular at night too with Manhattan and beyond beautifully illuminated. To make the most of the view, visit just before sunset so you can see the best of both.

Empire State Building

4. Ice Skating at the Rockefeller Center
New York turns icy cold during colder winter months, in fact average high temperatures in December and January hover around just 4c. So, why not try warming up by enjoying ice-skating at the Rockefeller Centre. You might not be the next Torvill and Dean on the ice, but the fear of falling over will give you an excuse to hold on tightly to one another. Failing that, you could go up to the ‘Top of the Rock’ for a cuddle and a coffee!

Rockefeller Skating

5. Broadway
There aren’t many things more romantic than treating your partner to a Broadway show, and with an ever-changing mix of comedies, dramas and musicals, there’s something to suit every taste.


6. Jaques Torres Chocolate
Chocolates are the number one date gift cliché, and they don’t come much better than at a Jaques Torres Chocolate café. There are several dotted across the city, all offering a delicious and often bizarre menu of chocolate-based treats from truffles, cakes and sweets to rich hot drinks and even wine! You can also learn how the chocolate is made on site.

Jaques Torres Chocolate

7. Sailing Around New York City Harbour
Take in the vistas of the modern day Big Apple from the vantage point of the Hudson River, there’s numerous companies offering daytime, twilight and night cruises, some are on board an old restored Clipper ship. There’s just something about sailing on the open water that creates an idyllic atmosphere, add the skyscrapers of Manhattan twinkling in the background and you’ll have memories worth treasuring.

Sailing Around New York City

Getting There: Many people choose to ‘DIY’ a trip to NYC themselves (try Skyscanner for flight comparison) and surf the web for hotel deals, or alternatively, splash out on a spot of affordable luxury via travel deals site like, surely your better half is worth it right?

5 Great Destinations for Adventure Travel

We all love big travel adventures. From heart-pumping activities to the wildest unimaginable things; travelling can definitely show the adrenaline-junkie in us. Some of these quintessential adventure experiences should be organized ahead of time since they require fitness, specialized gear and a long time out of work.

Still, the great destination for adventure travel covers life-list terrain in the mountains, ocean, and the desert. But make certain to do research before hand, seek expert’s advice and get trained because you’ll need them to go from your dream adventure to reality.

Here are 5 of the great destinations for adventure travel you shouldn’t miss.

1. Costa Rica

Costa Rica, often viewed as the heart of Central America, is the epitome of an ecotourism paradise. It has an astounding diversity and easy access put the exotic squarely within the reach of every traveler. And if you’re looking for an adventure, this country will knock you out with limitless things you can do to satisfy your hunger for adventure.

Jump-start your travel by hiking from lava-spurting Volcan Arenal to the cloud forests of Monteverde. The hike would approximately take three days to finish the entire circuit. Afterwards, you can take a plunge into the great river of Pacuare, raft your way along the 22 miles length of the river, and be mesmerized by the great rapids and the deep canyons along the way.

In addition, you can go on a jungle safari adventure, and take a look of how diverse the wildlife is in Costa Rica. They also highlight surfing breaks in the areas of Tamarindo, a part town in the country’s northwest.

Find out more at

2. New Zealand

Home of Southern Hemisphere’s extreme sport, New Zealand is the country that will satisfy your need for speed. In the land of the Kiwis, you can enjoy a plethora of outdoor adventures, such as jumping off enormous cliffs, climbing back up on iron rung. But, the highlight of all would be bungee jumping onto the pit below the Kawarau Bridge. There are many commercial ways to kill yourself here than in any place in the world.

3. Amazon

If you want to experience the ultimate jungle experience, then you should go to the Amazon. Let me remind you again that the Amazon has a land area of 7,000,000 kilometers and stretches to nine nations in South America. That’s how large the Amazon is, and it represents almost half of the remaining rainforest on earth.

There have been some unfortunate incidents that happened in this forest, but let it not discourage you from taking the challenge of pursuing the ultimate jungle adventure. Although you could easily spend a number of weeks exploring this vast wild jungle, a five-day escapade is enough to get a real taste of Amazonian bush living. Just make sure to be well-equipped for the adventure travel experience of a lifetime.

4. Nepal

If you’re thirst calls for an ultimate trek experience, then Nepal is the perfect spot for you. The legendary trek of Nepal is not an easy task to conquer. Many have attempted but only few have succeeded, but then again, don’t let this discourage you from taking the challenge.

The Annapurna circuit that stretches from the Jiri Route to the Everest Base Camp requires a big-time investment, but you can arrange shorter treks from the local guides. But if you don’t want to tire your legs, renting a bike would be an option and pedal your way to Lalitpur and Bhaktapur where you can be bedazzled by temples and monuments.

5. Australia

One of the most exciting things to do on an adventure travel is to dive deep into the vastness of the ocean. And the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the place to be. Divers from around the world will agree that this is one perfect spot because the water is crystal clear, there are no cyclones, and the temperature runs around 27 degrees Celsius.

7 Things Not To Miss On A Tour Of Greece

With its breathtaking natural beauty, gripping history and delightful mouthful goodies, it is easy to see why millions of travelers from all four corners of the world are drawn to the glamour of Greece. Billed as one of the most sought-after destinations in the world, this lovely Mediterranean utopia is also famous for its buzzing nightlife, majestic beaches as well as reliable summer weather.

But with so many spectacles and attractions to offer, how do you pick the best things to experience in this European hub? Well, thankfully, we have compiled a list of the top 7 things you cannot afford to miss during your tour to Greece.

A layover on the island of Santorini

A visit to the legendary island of Santorini is an absolute must for anyone enjoying an exciting tour around Greece. Known as one of the world’s most romantic destinations, this Greek island will blow your mind and delight your senses with its eye-catching whitewashed buildings, awe-inspiring sunsets and dramatic views. Take the chance to stay in some of the most spectacular Greek villas that exist and you’ll be happy no matter what you do. Plus, it is home to some of the most distinct and unique beaches in all of Europe, such as Kamari’s pebble black beach and Perissa’s beach.

Marvel at the awe-inspiring Meteora Monasteries

Rising like clerical nests, the Meteora monasteries are truly among the most breathtaking religious sites on the face of the earth. Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, these gigantic pinnacles are made from smooth rocks and natural rock sandstone pillars, perched on the strange but wonderful landscapes of the region. While these sites are pretty ancient, they still create a perfect setting for a science-fiction and futuristic tale.

An unforgettable trekking escapade

A trekking adventure to Mount Olympus, labeled as the home of the Greek Gods, is definitely a worthwhile challenge for extreme adventurists touring Greece. After all, it is the highest mountain in the country, with a steep height of 2,917 meters. Aside from getting the ultimate outdoor experience in Greece, this escapade is also supremely atmospheric.

A taste of Tuscany in Greece

Aptly nicknamed as the Greek Tuscany, the Pelion is a laid-back sanctuary that offers everything you would need and want for your tour in this country. Not only does it feature a lush countryside, but it also offers superb trekking experiences as well as exotic beaches with crystal clear azure waters. What’s more, it flaunts traditional villages with paved paths, elegant houses and striking stone roofs.

The hippie and vibrant nightlife of Mykonos

Are you a party animal, who loves to dance and get drunk until dawn? Then, make sure to experience the frenzied beat of Mykonos’s dynamic nightlife circuit during your tour to Greece. Giving Ibiza a run for its money, Mykonos is a party capital with the wildest, best and most colorful nightlife in all of Greece.

Pay homage to an ancient historic site

No tour in Greece is complete without a stopover to the Parthenon, which is one of the most celebrated attractions in Greece. Built in 432 BC, the Parthenon is a mesmerizing archaeological site that has served as a powder magazine, mosque, church, fortress and temple in Athens.

Spend a day at the Myrtos Beach

Of all the beaches in Greece, the Myrtos Beach is arguably the famous and stunning one. Praised for its magical color combination, this world renowned beach boasts a magnificent sea with turquoise and blue waters that sharply contrast with its bright white marble pebbles. The tall cliffs and steep mountains also add more allure to its grand natural beauty.

Discover The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is one of the most stunning regions in the UK and consists of rolling hills, picturesque villages, ancient market towns, castles and parks. It is designated as an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the largest of its kind in UK. It receives millions of visitors every year both locals and international to experience its quintessentially English charm. If you ever wanted to live in a fairytale land, then discover the best of the Cotswolds:


The Cotswolds is famous for its quaint honey-colored villages, and a visit to this fascinating region is highlighted with a visit to at least one village. Stanton is one of the most stunning and idyllic villages in the whole area. It appears to have stood back in time and for over 300 years little has changed beneath the slopes of Shenbarrow Hill. It is a delightful village oozing old world charm and consists of a lengthy main street meandering a few corners where age old buildings stand in typical Cotswolds style of steeply pitched gables, mullioned windows and of course the limestone honey-colored walls.

Stanton boasts of ancient architecture with 16th and 17th century houses, some restored delightfully yet retaining their authentic look. In Stanton you can travel back in time to a world with no signs of commercialism. It is a place to relax in tranquility, surrounded by magnificent views across the Vale of Evesham towards the Malvern Hills and beyond Welsh Mountains.


Stow-on-the-Wolds is a charming market town in the Cotswolds and perhaps one of the most popular in the Cotswolds. Stow-on-the-Wolds stands proudly about 700 feet on a hill at a junction crisscrossed by seven major roads including the Roman Fosse Way. Stow developed as result of the wool industry and held numerous colorful fairs where thousands of sheep were paraded for sale.

Stow has an expansive market square, perhaps implying its importance ages ago. On one end is the ancient cross and on the other the town stocks, the square is surrounded by a magnificent variety of ancient town houses. The town is still an important part of the Cotswolds and has an incredible array of gift shops, antiques, crafts and boutique shops. It is a great destination to stay on a walking holiday in the Cotswolds with a huge array of cottages to choose from for an authentic local experience.


Stroud is inspiring vibrant town with a fascinating blend of cafes, galleries and shops selling everything from fossils to fairies. It is the best farmers market in the region that thrived as a result of its woolen mills during the Industrial Revolution, some are currently open to the public. It is rich in history and cultural heritage and features some excellent historical landmarks and still hosts varied festivals including arts and music.

Stroud is famous with travelers due to its rural setting and the sweeping beauty of the Five Valleys. It is not unusual to find roaming cattle and sheep alongside picnicking families, horse riders, paragliders, orchids and rare butterfly. Stroud is the ideal destination for a relaxed family holiday in the Cotswolds.


Malmesbury is an ancient market town that dates back to the 15th century, it oozes royalty having been made King Athelstan’s capital in AD 929. It has interesting ancient buildings including England’s oldest hotel, The Bell, which has been offering bed and board since 1220.

The town is famous for its ancient buildings, the 7th century abbey and the Abbey Gardens with its exclusive collection of roses. The abbey stands magnificently amongst five acres of manicured gardens consisting of over 10 000 different types of plants, fish ponds and a section of the River Avon.