Take Your Honeymoon To One Of The World’s Most Romantic Destinations

Honeymoon

A honeymoon is a fantastic chance to get away with your partner and explore something new together. There are so many places you can go it can be hard to choose. Read on to find out some of the world’s most beautiful places for new couples.

Paris, France

We can’t talk about romance without mentioning Paris. Visiting Paris, known around the world as the city of love, can feel like stepping into a fairytale. The city has so much to offer in terms of culture, art and food. You could eat at one of the world’s best restaurants, climb the Eiffel Tower and visit the Mona Lisa, all in one day! Paris is a fantastic place for couples who love wine. Treat yourselves to a top wine tasting course and follow it with a scenic trip down the river Seine.

Nuuk, Greenland

You’ll have probably heard of Greenland before. You may have not heard of its capital before, an exceptional place called Nuuk. Greenland might be cold, but the people there are incredibly warm. It’s also one of the most romantic places to be in the world at night time. The Northern Lights are a breathtaking display of natural forming light in the sky. Book a night camping under the stars for a unique view of the lights. Don’t worry, that’s not all Nuuk has to offer. There are many museums and art galleries as Nuuk is a city full of history. You may need to bring your warmest coat, but you’ll enjoy an entirely different experience to a beach holiday.

Poipu, Hawaii

Hawaii, known as The Aloha State or ‘Paradise’, is an exceptional travel destination. The island each is full of vibrant people, exciting foods, gorgeous wildlife and so much more. If you love sandy shores, consider visiting Poipu Beach. There are many incredible Poipu hotels that will leave you feeling romantic in no time. As the scenery in Hawaii is so unique, try taking walks through the idyllic landscapes with your partner. It’s a fantastic place to get some photos as a couple.

Barbados, Caribbean

Barbados is an exotic island tucked away in the Caribbean. Barbados is rich with culture from the local food to the local music. If you want to celebrate your new life together on perfect beaches with a rum cocktail, then this is the destination for you. Barbados is more than sandy beaches and clear waters. You can also spend time in the waters with the stunning wildlife and colourful fish. You could even catch dinner in the waters and cook a romantic meal for two!

Hamilton Island, Australia

Hamilton Island is a striking island in Queensland, Australia. If you love a little luxury as a couple, take a yacht out into the waters and enjoy the scenery. For a romantic view of the island, why not fly over it and take in the sights from a small plane or helicopter? Sporty couples can enjoy the full range of watersports activities that Australia has to offer. There is something for everyone.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor - Cambodia

Siem Reap City is one of the most prosperous regions in Cambodia. This city’s close proximity to Angkor Wat temple has turned it into a premier travel destination. More than two million visitors from all over the world come to Siem Reap every year to explore the rich history and 1000-year old heritage of the ancient Cambodian empire. If you are considering booking a flight to Cambodia, don’t leave home without reading this article first. 

Psah Chas
One of the main tourist districts in known as Psah Chas or Old Market. Lots of people from Europe and America can be seen dining in restaurants, drinking at the bars, and dancing in the nightclubs. The night market keeps going well past midnight in awe of tourists who have turned this quiet little downtown into a bustling one.

Angkor Wat and the temple region
The main attraction of Siem Reap is Angkor Wat and its temples. This region covers more than 150 miles of northwestern Cambodia. The temple complex is a UN Heritage Site with hundreds of 9th to 14th century structures. The Khmer Empire has left its marks here in the forms of carved artwork and priceless archaeological ruins that have been left untouched for more than 500 years. 

The traditional Khmer dance and performances
Since the earliest days of tourism in the beginning of 19th century, it’s been a Cambodian tradition to treat visitors with an Apsara dance. You will get a true taste of classical Khmer culture and no visit to Siem Reap is complete without attending at least one Khmer performance. The most popular dance shows are now the dinner performances that combine buffet with a 1 hour performance so make sure you get your invite to the next event. 

When you leave UK to go on holiday to Cambodia, it is necessary to have holiday insurance for peace of mind. In case you need emergency medical treatment, the last thing you want is to run up a large medical bill at the hospital. In addition to covering medical bills, your insurance policy can also help with lost or stolen baggage. Remember to find a good insurer who can offer you advice on buying the right coverage so you won’t have to foot the bill yourself. 

Angkor Park
The archaeological park in Angkor is home to the magnificent ruins that include the famous Bayon, Angkor Wat, and hundreds of other ancient Khmer Empire temples. Angkor Park is a World Heritage Site that stretches 200 miles outside the city of Siem Reap. To get to this archaeological park, you must first come to Siem Reap and book your hotel in this city as there are no places to stay in the actual park grounds. The park’s entrance is located only 1 mile north of the town so you can easily have the best of both by dining at Siem Reap’s finest restaurants and exploring the Angkor Park with your family or friends. 

How to Plan the Perfect Holiday

After working hard and dealing with life’s everyday stresses, now could be the time for that perfect break. However, before you book and jet off, there are a few things you might want to take into consideration. In order to have the best vacation, it is highly recommended you plan ahead. The question is how should you plan for your getaway and what things do you need to consider?

Thinking about what you want

Everybody’s idea of an ideal getaway is different. For those who work in a high-stress environment, the thought of relaxing on a beach sipping cocktails might be just what the doctor ordered. However, those who toil away in a more mundane working environment might fancy an adventure to add a little excitement into their lives. Maybe you fancy a bit of both? Figuring out exactly what it is you want to do while you are on vacation will help you to choose the perfect destination.

Make use of online tools

Thanks to the internet, there is an abundance of help available at your fingertips. Advent Computers has a list of websites that are great for helping you plan the perfect holiday. Whether you need help booking train journeys, finding a seat on a flight or saving as much money as possible, there’s a site there to suit your needs. You can also make use of online planning sheets which enable you to track what you have already planned and what still needs to be done.

Write a list of landmarks you want to see

When you travel somewhere new, part of the excitement of it all is discovering the destination as you go. However, while this can certainly be fun, you do run the risk of missing out on some of the best attractions in the area. If you want to make the most of your time away, be sure to write a list of the most important attractions you want to visit to set out your priorities. That way, if you manage to visit all of them, any time leftover is a bonus for you to explore.

Plan your beach entertainment

If you are heading off on a beach vacation, you will still need some form of entertainment while you laze away the hours. This could be reading, playing games on your smartphone or tablet, or just listening to your favorite music. Ensuring you have a list of everything you need to pack will help you to fully relax and just enjoy your break away. You could even use your tablet or smartphone to win big while you soak up the sun.

Don’t pay more than you need to

Booking in advance and planning ahead enables you to save quite a lot of money on your vacation. Many companies offer discounts for holidays that are booked in advance. As mentioned on the Bid or Buy website, avoiding peak times will save you the most money.

Overall planning ahead really does give you the best chance to ensure your next vacation is as fun and relaxing as possible – although make sure you don’t try to cram in too much or plan things too rigidly, allow enough time for your natural nose for adventure to take over from time to time.

Secret Spots from the Locals

Eager to explore a new city, or destination, that is worth your time, energy and money? When it comes to travelling and making the most out of your trip, you need to get a guide straight from the locals who can recommend fine locations to visit. So, without further ado, here are some of the different places in the world that you should visit and have the grand experience you deserve.

1. Algarve
In Portugal, one of the hidden gems that you should consider visiting is Algarve. This lovely site is famed for its golden beaches, the rolling hills of Monchique, and the thriving marine life. There are always places to explore, cultures to discover and people to love about this stunning region.

In Monchique, you can check out the beautiful cobbled streets, rich produce sold at markets including oranges and olives and the delightful charm of the seaside life. At low tide, you can have the time of your life wading into the serene Atlantic ocean and check out barnacles and cockles. There are also chic resorts and impressive properties, which you can learn more about as you click here.

2. Maui
It may not be as popular as Lanai, Oahu or the Big Island, yet Maui has its unique charm that makes it one of the most preferred destinations among locals. In fact, it has always been a memorable and enchanting escape for any vacationers in Hawaii. It provides the best combination of wildlife, culture and history that the Aloha State is known for. During your visit, you can snorkel and discover a wide range of sea turtles, play golf along posh coastal fairways or just relax in the finest beaches that Hawaii has to offer.

It is also worth noting that the legend of Maui is rather interesting to both locals and foreigners visiting this island. The demigod named Maui pulled the small islands from the sea, and these were positioned to the top portion of the Haleakala. As you visit the Lao Valley, the quaint town of Lahaina and various sites in Maui, you can get to know more about the island’s unique history and culture.

3. Prague
Prague is regarded for its culture-rich streets, towns and churches. It is also a must-visit because of the centuries-old hilltop castles and bridges, which give Prague that fairy tale appeal. As for those who prefer to check out the bustling nightly attractions, there is always something to do explore in this glorious city.

Back then, Prague was but a hidden and unexplored gem because of other countries neighbouring it. However, it has transformed into a more popular haven for anyone who looks for an unforgettable trip for a reasonable price. Do not miss the Prague Castle and the ever-popular Charles Bridge. Hotels and accommodations are also affordable, so it should never be a problem booking a place to stay for a cheap price: perfect for travellers on a budget.

The highs and lows of campervan travel in NZ

4 pros and cons to consider before booking your next trip

New Zealand is a vacation hotspot, and for very good reason. From all over the world tourists flock to explore this beautiful part of the globe in an independent, fun and cost effective way – by campervan.

However, whilst this type of trip is suited to the majority of adventure seeking vagabonds, it may not be everybody’s cup of travel tea. A vacation should be about enjoyment, fun and relaxation and whilst a campervan affords you to enjoy all three in abundance, it is best to be clear on just what the pros and cons of a campervan New Zealand vacation are.

NZ Campervan

Pro – Travel to the tick of your own clock

Arguably the biggest advantage a hire campervan in NZ affords is being able to enjoy your trip on your time. You get to go where you want, when you want and to stay for as long as you want.

Whilst it is advised that you have an overall route plan and itinerary in place before turning the key in the ignition and putting your foot down, it is always much more relaxed to know that you can go at your own pace and change your route along the way as new and unexpected opportunities arise.

Con – Responsibility and route planning

If you are fond of traipsing about in tour groups, being whisked here and there without any decision making or route planning on your part, then campervan hire trips might not be best for you.

Whilst having the freedom to plan and draw up your own itinerary can be viewed as a plus for the more independently minded traveller, it can be stressful for those folks who prefer to follow and not lead.

Pro – Easy on the budget

Wherever you lay hat is your home with a campervan, and this particular home does not come with an exorbitant peak-season accommodation rate. All established campervan parks and camp grounds are affordable and if you have a self-contained campervan that has its own toilet and waste storage system, you can camp in any area that does not prohibit camping – for free.

Buying your own fresh produce and cooking yourself has two huge advantages – it’s cheap, and you get to source out, buy and prepare awesome meals using the best fresh produce, meat and dairy that NZ has to offer – and it has plenty.

Con – Crowds and the curse of the cook

If your route leads you to some of the most popular campsites and campervan parks, you could find yourself winding your way through a scene that resembles a refugee camp for well-fed, privileged travellers all living out their four wheeled vacation fantasies in a first world country – in other words it can get awfully crowded.

Likewise if you are one of those who suffer from the curse of the cook – transforming edible single components of a meal into an inedible concoction that not even the dog will go near – then you will most likely be eating out for the majority of your meals. Well, either that or play a daily round of gastronomic Russian roulette.

Campervan cooking

Pro – Spontaneity is your ally

Life on the open road means you never know what new opportunities and awesome adventures will come your way. A campervan will allow you to detour from your pre-planned route and fully open yourself up to living in the moment, welcoming new opportunities and new travel friends with open arms.

Con – Spontaneity is not your ally

If you are the kind of person who really dislikes any form of surprise, who prefers your journey to progress with all the predictability of an Amen in a church, then perhaps campervan travel is not your best option.

That being said, we feel that it’s hard to find anything negative to say about being spontaneous when adventuring through New Zealand in a campervan. So, we are going to have to let the con on this point slip.

Pro – Band of brothers, and sisters…and um, parents and aunties and cousins and friends

Nothing brings friends, families or couples together more than sharing in an adventure together. Crisscrossing a landscape as spectacular as NZ affords everyone the opportunity to revel in experiences that they won’t forget for a lifetime.

Fishing, surfing, hiking, bungee jumping, horse riding, golfing, mountain biking, wine tasting, sightseeing, dolphin and whale watching – there are enough awesome activities to do both as a group or individually to ensure everyone in your campervan tribe goes home smiling and satisfied.

Campervan NZ

Con – The cats in a tin can effect

Having said that, being trapped in a confined space – albeit a moving one – with people who have a nails on chalkboard effect on you, can be nothing short of hell in a tin can.

Family trips are a great idea is if your family enjoys spending time with one another. But, if hatchets lie buried, and grievances lie smouldering beneath a superficial veneer of pleasantries, be assured that living in the confined space of a campervan will unearth those hatchets and those grievances will erupt – which may be exactly what you needed to heal past wounds, or just contribute to a miserable time away.

Campervan trips in New Zealand can be incredible. The places you go, the people you meet and the adventures you enjoy will last with you for a lifetime. However, if you are not the type of person who is able to embrace the unpredictable and adapt to changing opportunities and challenges then perhaps you should consider another way to experience NZ.

For the rest of you keen to join the smiling, carefree tribe of campervans New Zealand vagabonds, hop online and begin scouting out the ideal route for you. Good luck and bon voyage.

Oregon’s Splendid Coast: Exploring the State’s Top 5 Oceanside Attractions

One of the country’s most picturesque natural areas, the Oregon Coast attracts visitors from all over the world with its year-round beauty that’s carpeted by dense forests, criss-crossed by rivers, and marked by rocky headlands. This scenic stretch offers nature lovers the opportunity to hike, boat, fish, whale-watch, and relax.

1. Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach

Characterized by flat, sandy beaches and elegant monolithic sea stacks rising out of the water, Cannon Beach stands as an Oregon landmark. The beach is home to Haystack Rock, the largest of the sea stacks at a height of 72 m (235 ft). The sea stacks provide an ideal habitat for several intertidal animals, including starfish, sea anemone, crabs, and sea slugs, and they serve as nesting sites for several sea birds such as puffins. At low tide, you can walk right up to the rocks. Past the sand you’ll find Ecola State Park, with lush forests, stunning ocean views, hiking trails, and picnic spots. Here you might stumble across surfers, an abandoned lighthouse, deer, or even whales.

2. Columbia River Maritime Museum

Renowned for the quality of its exhibits and the scope of its collections, the Columbia River Maritime Museum preserves over 30,000 objects, 20,000 photographs, and a 10,000-volume research library all donated in an effort to preserve maritime history. But what you might remember most from your visit here is the view. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow the Columbia River to serve as a stunning, scenic backdrop to the exhibits. The museum’s impressive collection includes models, paintings, maps, figureheads, gear, wardrobe, weapons, navigation instruments, and full-size watercrafts. Among the watercrafts are USS Knapp, a World War II era destroyer, and 13 m (44 ft) U.S. Coast Guard motor lifeboat. You can try your hand at piloting in a tugboat simulator, participate in a Coast Guard rescue, or pretend to live in Astoria at the height of salmon fishing. Docked outside the museum is the Lightship Columbia, a 39 m (128 ft) vessel that you can include in your Oregon tour.

3. Cape Perpetua Scenic Area

Cape Perpetua Scenic Area

Densely forested and standing 244 m (800 ft) above sea level at its highest point, Cape Perpetua Scenic Area sits as a high bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean that’s abundant in tide pools, water sprouts, and jagged cliffs. Amid the 1,093 hectares (2,700 acres) of spruce trees, Douglas firs, and western hemlock, you’ll find over 41 km (26 mi) of hiking trails. View the wave action of Devil’s Churn, a long crack in coastal rock that fills with each incoming and outgoing wave. And don’t miss Thor’s Well, a salt water fountain powered by the tide. (Be aware, though, that both sites can be dangerous at high tide.) The area is known for being an excellent vantage point for spotting migrating gray whales, scoping out a nearly 600-year old Sitka spruce tree, and taking in panoramic mountain views.

4. Astoria Column

Astoria Column

Standing 38 m (125 ft) tall on Coxcomb Hill, Astoria Column stands dedicated to the history of Oregon’s development. The tower features a spiral staircase leading to an observation deck, which offers panoramic views of the Oregon Coast Range, Young’s Bay, the Columbia River, and the Pacific Ocean. Built in 1926, the tower’s exterior is decorated with spiral sgrafitto frieze–a technique of wall decor involving colored layers of plaster, ceramic, and scratching. The mural depicts 14 significant historical events, including Captain Gray’s discovery of the Columbia River and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. So if you are a history buff, include these locations in your Oregon trip.

5. Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area

Inhale the salty air and listen to the sound of the waves of the Pacific Ocean crashing against the rocky headland at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. The grassy area has five trails to be hiked that either hug the ocean’s coast or wind among Douglas fir or Sitka spruce forests. On the beach, you’ll find tide pools and harbor seals. At 33 m (108 ft) above sea level, the area is a prime spot for whale-watching and bird-watching. Use our itinerary planner to tour the Yaquina Head Light, the picturesque lighthouse built in 1868 and the tallest lighthouse along the Oregon coast.

People’s Coast

Affectionately referred to as the “People’s Coast” for being public in its entirety, the Oregon coast has been protected from development since the governor enacted legislation in 1913. Over one hundred years later the beauty of the shoreline–its rocky headlands, lush forests, stunning sea stacks, and ocean views–remain untouched and yours for the exploring.

Based in Toronto, Canada, Julia Nugent has traveled extensively throughout Europe and North America.

8 essential checks to make before towing a caravan

As spring turns into summer holidaymakers will be filling their wardrobe with clothes suitable for warmer weather and searching out the best destinations. Some will be jetting off to the tropics, Australia or south-east Asia, while others might choose to stay closer to home.

The latter might even decide to take some of that home with them on their travels in the form of a caravan, and for the new caravan owner it can be quite nervy taking it out for the first time – here are ten checks that any owner should make before leaving the driveway.

1) The maximum permitted weight of the car, plus caravan, depends on when the driver passed their test. If it was after January 1, with an ordinary category B licence, the load cannot legally exceed 3,500kg, known as the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM). That weight includes any passengers. The law is in place because exceeding the weight can run the risk of damaging the suspension and making the vehicle dangerous. The weight of your car can be found in the owner’s manual. You could also take your caravan and car to a public weighbridge, which will give a more accurate reading. Find out more about towing weights and driving licences here.

2) A quick check inside the caravan could save breakages or travel damage; make sure all windows and doors (internal and external) are closed, and locked if possible. Stow away any loose items so that they do not rattle about or break. It’s also worth checking that your battery, perhaps purchased from a company such as Pure Drive Batteries, is charged a week or two before you leave.

3) Caravan drivers must be able to see 20 metres behind them, and four metres either side of the van. With this in mind 95% of caravanners have towing mirrors fitted to their vehicles. Check that your vehicle complies with the law, and fit additional E-marked mirrors if necessary, as prosecution could lead to a £1,000 fine and three points on your licence.

4) Tow brackets must be tested to the appropriate British or European standard and use mounting points recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Hitching (fitting) the caravan is a simple process, and best completed with two people. One reverses the car into place while the second guides them so the tow bar is directly underneath.

Remove the towball cover and then secure the hitch – check they are coupled by using the jockey wheel to raise the car by an inch or two, before raising and stowing the jockey wheel safely in place. Some caravans have a green light to denote safe hitching.

5) The rear light panel of the caravan must be working, to show braking/indicating for any following vehicles. Road light plugs are easy to connect. There are two modes that can tell the driver if the electrical system is still working; positive (such as a dashboard light which flashes when the indicators are used), or negative (such as a light turning on if the connection fails).

6) In addition, the number plate of your car must be visible on the back of the caravan, and conform to the relevant British Standard. Drivers following should be able to see it in all conditions and at night, so a pencil sketch or pen on a piece of paper will not be acceptable.

7) Remember the maximum speed limits of 50mph on single carriageways and 60mph on dual carriageways. Braking times are longer, corners should be given more clearance, and the manoeuvrability of the vehicle is compromised as this driver found out to his cost.

8) If you’re not a confident driver, and/or have never driven a car with an attached caravan, then consider courses through the Camping and Caravanning Club, which show you how to manoeuvre and load the van. More advanced courses would benefit those who have towed caravans before but have experienced pitching.

10 places you need to visit while in Portugal

Sun-kissed beaches, historic castles, world heritage centres, the lush green vineyards and the captivating countryside: Portugal is all that and so much more. Whether you want to laze around in the sleepy villages of Alentejo and Estremadura or have your share of fun and adventure in Madeira and Azores, you will love this country. Here’s the perfect list of places you can visit in Portugal, especially if you have your little ones with you.

1. Lisbon
Lisbon, the capital city, is a picturesque city overlooking the mouth of the River Tagus. Lisbon is famous for its iconic tramways, especially Tram 28, the Praca do Commercio (Main Square Plaza), the Jeronimos Monastery, the Alfama District that survived the earthquake of 1755 and the nightlife at Bairo Alto. Walking tours and tram tours are both available in Lisbon.

2. Obidos
Surrounded by vineyards and windmills, Obidos is an obscure but charming travel destination in Portugal. Besides its cobblestone pavements, terracotta roofed housing and the castle of Queen Isabel de Aragon, Obidos is known for its Chocolate Festival that lasts a whole month! One of their local delicacies is ginhinja, a cherry based wine served in an edible chocolate cup.

3. Lagos
Located in eastern Algarve, Lagos is blessed with sandy beaches, of which Ponta da Piedade and Praia da Batata are the loveliest. Further away towards the ocean, there are natural caves that can be explored by boat. The town of Lagos has attractions like the spooky Bone Chapel, where you can find bones and skulls. The Algarve region is always popular – see the Tots Too website for accommodation.

4. Aveiro
Often called the ‘Venice of Portugal’, Aveiro is a hidden gem. Its gorgeous network of canals, the exotic Costa Nova and Barra beaches, attractions like the Aveiro Cathedral, the Aveiro Museum and the Fisherman’s Wharf, make it a place worth visiting.

5. Braga
Braga is all about religious attractions and archaic buildings, most of which date back to 20 BC. It is to Portugal what Rome is to Italy: a historic destination! Popular attractions include the Bom Jesus do Monte, Se Cathedral, and the Archbishop Castle. The Tree of Life Chapel and the Arcada are other famous places.

6. Porto
Porto is the second largest city in Portugal and also the busiest! Its port has been the hub of exploration and discovery since the 18th century. The Historic Centre of Porto is a UNESCO Heritage Site with notable sights like Cais da Ribeira (the beautiful city centre) and the Clerics Tower that offer a splendid view after you climb the 240-odd steps to the top.

7. Coimbra
Coimbra is a college town, home to the ninth oldest university in the world. The library of the University of Coimbra and the Botanical Gardens are favourite tourist spots. Besides, you can also explore the Machado de Castro National Museum, the Igreja de Santa Cruz (a Roman church), Arco de Almedina (a Moorish wall) and the Se Velha (Old Cathedral).

8. Albufeira
If you love the beach, you’d love Albufeira. Besides the Oceanside, Castelo de Almoeda, a Moorish castle, is not very far away. A prominent tourist attraction here is dolphin watching. For a complete itinerary for the Algarve region, refer to this article.

9. Sintra
A dreamy town with a variety of castles, Sintra looks straight out of a fairy tale. Here, you’d find classy castles like the Portugal National Place, the military Moorish castle, the picturesque Palacio da Pena and the Palacio de Monserrate, which looks like an Arabian mansion.

10. Torre
Torre: this is the only place in Portugal where it snows! That alone is reason enough to drive tourists in a frenzy. Located in the Serra da Estrela mountain ranges of the east, Torre is one of the highest cities of Portugal and has several ski resorts, a wonderful ski lift and icy cold winds.

Portugal is an obscure and yet extremely enriching destination. You can find more places to visit and activities to plan in this write-up that features the top 25 attractions in the country.

Happy Travelling!

Visiting New York: A Handy Guide For First Timers

New York is a wonderful place to visit, however for first timers it can be a little overwhelming. With so many places to see, from the Statue of Liberty to Time Square, and everything else in between, as a New York newbie, it can be hard to know what to see and do. As well as where to stay and how to get the most our of your trip.

That’s why we put together this handy guide to New York for first timers. For all the best tips and advice for getting the most out of your trip to the big apple, keep reading below:

Choose accommodation that is central

For your first trip to New York, it is a good idea to choose accommodation that is central, as this will allow you to get around without breaking the bank. One of the best places to stay in central New York is Manhattan. It’s central, and there are plenty of accommodation options you can find here.

Look out for a hotel or vacation apartment that is central, is just a short walk from New York’s top sights and attractions and is located in a safe neighbourhood.

Walk don’t take cabs

Manhattan

Like any big city, cabs can be incredibly expensive to take around New York. Instead of taking a cab, either take the subway or walk.

If you are staying in accommodation that is central, then you will easily be able to walk to most of the city’s sights attractions. This is ideal for your first visit to the big apple.

Explore Central Park

Central Park is one of New York’s most famous attractions and is definitely not somewhere to miss. Dating back to 1857, Central Park was created to give the people of New York an outdoor space away from the hustle and bustle of the hectic industrial city of the 50’s.

Over 700 acres wide, Central Park, is a big park. Complete with winding paths, grassy areas, flower gardens and hump back bridges, Central Park is an absolute must-see.

As well as visiting the park during the day, take a stroll through it at night, and you will be surprised by how pretty it looks. Just make sure to take a friend with you – it’s not a good idea to explore the park alone at night.

Visit the Statue of Liberty

If you are visiting New York for the first time, one of the must-see sights is the Statue of Liberty. It’s a beautiful sight that means so much to the people of New York, many even say it is the essence of the city.

The best time to visit New York’s favourite statue is at sunset or just before dusk, as it will look even more beautiful than during the daylight.

Visit New York’s museums

New York is the global center of art and culture and is home to some of the world’s best museums and galleries. Many of which, are free, so are ideal if spending money is tight.

There are so many museums to choose from, but the best are the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum.

Top tips families need to consider before going on vacation

Are you planning a trip somewhere with your brood? Going on vacation together is one of the best things about having a family, experiencing new cultures and stimulating sights, sounds and tastes – it’s the perfect opportunity for bonding and creating memories that last a lifetime.

In order to get the most out of your vacation, it is wise to be super-organized. Leaving planning details and paperwork all to the last minute is a recipe for vacation disaster. Read on for sensible tips that ensure you spend your vacation having fun, not stressing over avoidable problems.

Where are you going?

Many factors determine where we choose to go on vacation, and the key to a successful visit is research. Use the internet as your tour guide and discover in advance the secrets of places that interest you. Will there be activities for the children? What are the restaurants like? Where is the nearest hospital? Are there banking facilities close by? Can we walk to the beach from our accommodation? All these questions can be answered with a few clicks and can help you make the perfect choice for a family holiday.

Be aware of other external factors likely to influence choice. Some foreign destinations are considered risky for US citizens either due to terrorism and crime threats, medical emergencies or other reasons. To help you decide, details of countries where travel warnings are in place are at the Bureau of Consular Affairs on the State Department website. Countries currently on the no-go list include Georgia, Saudi Arabia and Madagascar, but there are some popular South American destinations where caution is also required – see the State Department site for a comprehensive list.

Destinations with a proven track record for family fun with great beaches and many outdoor activities include Playa del Carmen in Mexico and Maui in Hawaii. If you want to stay on the US mainland, consider Orlando or Daytona Beach in Florida, San Diego or San Francisco in California, or for a traditional seaside vacation, Myrtle Beach in South Carolina takes some beating.

To explore further afield, look to the beautiful coastlines and rich history of southern Europe. A trip to Nice on the Côte d’Azur, Barcelona in Spain, or the Amalfi Coast in Italy gives your family the perfect introduction to the unique European pace of life. Follow this up with city breaks in Paris and London, and you have a family holiday that covers outdoorsy beach activities as well as city sophistication.

Tackle paperwork early

When the whole family are in tow, paperwork multiplies. It’s a good idea to put together a dossier to contain all the vital documents you need.

First on the list, if you are traveling abroad, is to check that all passports valid. Check at least a couple of months before your vacation date to see that everybody’s passports have plenty of time left to run. Getting a renewal sorted out in quick time can be expensive and stressful. Some countries will not accept passports with less than six months to run from the date of entry, so verify this information before booking trips to places such as UAE, Ghana and Kenya.

Once passports are dealt with, focus on all the other paperwork. Depending on where you are headed, visas may be required. Other far-flung destinations will require you to have particular medical vaccinations (make sure adequate time is allowed for this). Important details such as flight tickets and boarding passes, car rental documents, driving license and hotel reservations will all need to be organized and filed in a safe and convenient place. Take copies of important documents such as passports, medical certificates and emergency details for bank card theft or mobile phone loss.

Travel headaches such as flight delays, lost luggage or unexpected medical expenses should be covered with travel insurance. It is a sad but true fact that accidents occur on vacation, whether that’s due to the unfamiliar surroundings or the increased level of physical activity; whatever the cause, a family on vacation needs to have with them the details of a good injury lawyer for peace of mind.

After all the dry (but essential) paperwork, you are free to kick back and have some fun. The whole family can contribute to planning the itinerary and local excursions. Remember that packing makes an exciting prelude to departure for children who love to get involved.

Once you arrive on vacation, it’s time to enjoy the family fun. If you focus now on getting all the details in place, you will be free to truly revel in the relaxation you deserve.