How to prepare for a golfing trip abroad

When it comes to holidays, nothing beats heading to a luxury resort and spending a week (or even two) enjoying the sunshine while playing numerous rounds of golf. But how do you prepare for such a getaway to ensure yours doesn’t come in under par?

Well, packing for such a trip is the same as any other; you need your clothes, your sun cream and your swim shorts but you also need to allow for your golf clubs in the baggage requirements. Here’s a great guide that details which airlines allow you to take your clubs on the flights as part of a standard 20kg allowance or if you need to pay extra. It’s still a good idea to check when you book though, just to be sure.

Alternatively you can hire clubs while abroad, but it’s best to weigh up costs before you decide to do so. Plus, if you’re predominantly golfing on this holiday it’s probably going to be more fun with your own set.

As well as packing your clubs you should also consider taking along spare equipment to ensure you aren’t caught short out on the course. Pack your spare trolley battery from Pure Drive Batteries, take that extra pack of balls and don’t forget to double up on gloves. Better safe than sorry.

If you are taking your own clubs you might also want to consider taking out golf holiday insurance, which is tailored specifically towards these holidays and covers you should your clubs get lost, damaged or stolen as well as covering non-refundable green fees if you need to cancel your trip.

Next, take a look at your course and read up on what to expect because it might help you decide what to wear and which clubs to take. You also need to know how many holes there are and if it is hilly or flat as well as any hazards to watch out for, such as sand traps and ponds.

Some of the higher end resorts also have dress codes for their courses, so it’s a good idea to check if this is the case. You don’t want to get there and realise you won’t be allowed to play because you’re not wearing formal golf gear and then have to go and buy some from the club shop.

Knowing the climate of the country you’re visiting is also essential. Don’t arrive and realise it’s actually a little too warm for your thick trousers and shirt combo. Do some research beforehand, check the weather forecasts and jump on the plane knowing you’re well prepared for what’s to come.

As well as noting the weather you should also check if any tournaments are taking place on your course. Could you imagine anything worse than turning up to the resort and realising you could have watched some of the greats play if you had only booked to visit the week before? If you’re heading to North America check the PGA tour dates or if you’re travelling to a destination in Europe have a browse on the European Tour site and be prepared to watch some amazing golf if you can get there in time.

Jetting off on a golf holiday shouldn’t require much more effort than your standard visit abroad. Just double check baggage allowances and research your resort before you go!

How are we booking holidays? A close look at the travellers’ changing consumer journey

How are we booking holidays?

How has the consumer journey changed for travellers?

Overview: ABTA’s latest Consumer Holiday Trends Report has suggested that travellers are booking holidays differently. We look at the changing trends.

ABTA have released their Consumer Holiday Trends Report for 2014. This annual survey of holidaymakers has highlighted certain changes in how travellers are researching and booking their holidays.

Shift towards travel agents

The most notable change is the shift towards booking holidays with travel agents. The number of people booking directly with service providers (hotels and airlines, for example) has dropped.

In 2013, 41% of travellers booked a holiday with a service provider, compared to only 34% in 2014. This shift is even more pronounced in the booking of domestic holidays.

In 2014, 10% booked a domestic holiday with a high street travel agent, compared with 7% in 2013. Furthermore, 16% of travellers booked a domestic holiday with an online travel agent in 2014, compared to 12% the previous year.

This all points to a growing trend for booking holidays through an agent, whether online or on the high street. There has also been a slight increase in holidays booked with tour operators.

Age and regional differences

The report also points to very clearly defined trends amongst certain age groups. For example, high street travel agents are especially popular with the 35 – 44 age group.

This suggests that those with young families prefer the reassurance of a face-to-face meeting with a travel agent. Similarly, travel agents are also popular amongst the youngest travellers. In the 16 – 24 age group, 18% of holidaymakers use a high street travel agent and 36% use an online travel agent to book at least one holiday a year.

This may indicate that those holidaying on their own for the first time also prefer the advice of a travel agent. In addition, the report indicates regional differences in how travellers book holidays. Those outside London, for example, are far more likely to use a travel agent. This could reflect the less personalised lifestyle of the metropolis.

Holiday inspiration

The section of report that looks at sources for travel inspiration is especially interesting. The most notable trend is that the youngest age group utilises an ever more diverse range of sources for travel ideas.

Predictably, social media is the most popular source of inspiration for the 16 – 24 age group, 44% of who use platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to inform their travel choices. On average, across all age groups the use of social media to plan holidays drops drastically to 18%. This clearly indicates the greater popularity and influence of social media amongst younger holidaymakers.

Perhaps a more surprising statistic is the relatively small number of travellers who use travel company websites. An average of 15% use these websites to help them decide where to travel, rising slightly to 25% amongst 16 – 24 year olds. Travel companies will, no doubt, be attempting to engineer a rise in this number.

People power

Recommendations from family and friends remain one of the most powerful influences on travellers.
It is the single most popular source of inspiration for the 16 – 24 age group, exerting a greater influence than even social media. The most popular source of travel inspiration across all age groups, however, is general internet searching, with 41% of all travellers using the likes of Google to help them decide where to travel.

Wherever and however you decide to travel this summer, don’t forget to take out Avanti Travelcare.            

Motorcycle Touring: The top travel tips for this summer

Leave your stresses behind as you speed off this summer on your trusted motorcycle, inhaling fresh air and viewing stunning scenery to the fullest. One of the best aspects to motorcycle touring is the fact that you can experience everything in a far more ‘up close and personal’ manner than you would do in the back seat of a car or bus. You can travel anywhere on your bike, all you need is a tank of gas and the determination to get out there and do it.

Col de Turini

Once you’ve got your motorbike from this site you can begin your incredible journey, perhaps starting with one of the best motorcycle roads in all of Europe. Col de Turini is a steep mountain pass situated near Nice, France. In the heart of the Alpes-Maritimes, hundreds of motorcyclists speed up the mountain, which has an elevation of 1,607m (5,272 ft) searching for fantastic views and experiences. It remains one of the most popular destinations for tourists visiting Nice and never ceases to amaze.

Sierra Nevada

In western USA is Sierra Nevada, a beautiful destination for motorcyclists to tour. There is plenty to see here, including two national parks called Kings Canyon and Yosemite. Stop the brakes and soak up the history and culture of the grand Alhambra Palace, one of the main tourist attractions on the road. Touring through Sierra Nevada on your bike will be an experience to remember. The freedom you will have here will be like no other, the people are said to be friendly and will make you feel as welcome as possible so it won’t be long before you’re making lifelong friends.

Millau Bridge

This bridge overlooks the River Tarn valley in Southern France. Flybikefly describes it as being ‘a wonder of 21st century engineering,’ and it’s the highest road bridge in the world.

It reaches 343m off the ground, which may have motorcyclists feeling a little queasy if they aren’t good with heights. It is worth a visit though, because the views are stunning, particularly those near the centre of Roquefor.

Italian Alps

The famous Alps span across eight different countries; Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Austria, Monaco and France, spanning a massive 1,200 kilometres. The Italian Alps will be of particular interest for people looking for a great place to tour on a motorcycle as it offers multiple ride routes to choose from. One of the highest paved routes in the Alps is the Stelvio Pass.

Grimsel Pass

In Switzerland is the gorgeous mountain region of Grimsel Pass. It is covered in reservoirs, power plants and granite rocks. It has an elevation of 2,164 metres and is often said to be one of the world’s most insane roads. According to www.dangerousroads.org, Grimsel Pass is ‘tightly hair pinned and bumped, an exquisite winding mountain drive with sharp and blind curves and hairpin switchbacks leading the traveller over the mountains.’

This is definitely the perfect choice for the more adventurous motorcyclist looking for excitement and a bit of an adrenaline rush.

Tips to pass the time during long journeys

The long-haul flight is the part of a vacation that few people look forward to. You are forced to remain in the same seat for interminable hours, sharing recycled air and toilets, enduring the company of complete strangers – long-haul flights do not have much going for them. In fact, their only saving grace is that they get you to where you want to be. Here are some tips to help you pass the time during a long journey to your vacation destination.

The backpack vacation

If you are embarking on a backpacking journey, chances are you will have to endure several long journeys, perhaps on an airplane, but perhaps also on trains and buses, particularly if your destination country covers a large area, such as India.

Sleep is, of course, an option for a long journey. This is an advantage on board an airplane because most of the time, all that can be seen out of the window are clouds. However, traveling on a bus and especially a train can be a different matter. Fall asleep on road-based transport and you may be missing out on some of the sights of the country you are in.

If you do want to get some sleep on a long journey, it can be helpful to pack a few aids. These can include an eye mask to block out sunlight or overhead lights, earplugs to block out the noise of the cabin, and an inflatable neck pillow to stop you waking up with a crick in your neck.

Entertain yourself

Looking out of the window is not going to occupy you for eight hours or more, so you will need some other form of entertainment. A long journey is a perfect opportunity to catch up on your reading. As you want to travel as light as possible, you will not want to pack huge numbers of paperback novels, so invest in an eReader that can hold hundreds, even thousands of the books you want to read. Bear in mind, however, that some trains may not have power outlets for you to recharge electronic devices, so have some printed material, such as a newspaper or magazine, as a backup. If you do not own an eReader, download an eBook app to your smartphone.

If you are on a long-haul flight, you could always pass the time by settling down to watch a few of the movies that the airline provides for your entertainment. While you may not consider there to be much choice as to which movie to watch, you may find that by watching a film you would not usually be interested in opens you up to new genres. However, if you take your laptop or notebook with you inside the plane, you could use this to watch films of your own choice that you have previously downloaded. Just remember to take a pair of compatible headphones with you so that you do not disturb your fellow travelers.

You could also pass the time by engaging in some work. For a writer, for example, a long journey is perfect for transforming the kernel of an idea into a workable first draft. It is similar for an artist. By the time they leave the plane, an artist could have some new additions for the portfolio.

Modern technology

If you are on a long-haul flight or train journey to go on vacation, you may feel you want to leave work far behind you. Fortunately, modern technology can more than answer our need for entertainment on the move.

Most people these days own either a smartphone or a tablet computer, which can provide hours of fun with games. Many come pre-loaded with games, but you can also download games relatively cheaply; however, avoid filling up your phone or tablet with games that you will not play. If you enjoy solving puzzles, then download murder mysteries, quest-type games, word or math puzzles. Puzzle-solving games have the advantage of taking a long time to complete, so are ideal for long journeys. If shoot ’em up games are more your thing, then download some of the best crime-related games. As with watching movies on your laptop, remember to use headphones so as not to annoy your neighbors.

Gaming

Games are not your only choice of entertainment with a smartphone or tablet. You could also spend your time indulging in gambling, which may win you a little money. Cards have long been a favorite pastime for many, and you can play rummy online, or poker or bridge. You can choose to play against the computer or against other real-life players. Online gambling can be very engaging, and you are sure to lose a few hours of otherwise boring travel enjoying yourself with games of skill.

Learning

Alternatively, you could use the journey time to increase your knowledge. Are you traveling to a country with a language different to yours? If so, why not use the time to brush up on your language skills with phrase books downloaded to your eReader or smartphone, or by using a language-training app?

Do not neglect your body

You may be exercising your mind with these various forms of entertainment, but what about your body? You may not be able to start doing star jumps in the aisle of the plane or train, but it is important for your health that you get up and stretch your legs at least every couple of hours. This will help to keep your blood flowing and may prevent deep-vein thrombosis (DVT). A trip to the bathroom will do this, but you could also take a few walks up and down the aisle.

A long journey can be a very tedious part of your vacation, but there are ways you can make good use of the time. View the journey as an opportunity to improve your mind or indulge in a new experience and you should find the time passes much more quickly.

Burning Man RV Rental: Radically self-reliant

Experience the best of Burning Man with an RV rental

The ultimate destination for free-spirited travelers, Burning Man has become an institution for anyone who embraces an alternative lifestyle – or who wants to give it a go. More than 50,000 people participate in the festival each year, and it is an active participation; Burning Man is not about being catered to or entertained by professionals but about taking part in the creativity. Here’s a  little bit of insight into the enigmatic festival, and why we think a Burning Man RV rental is the way to go for aspiring attendees.

Principles of Burning Man

The festival is based on ten principles: Radical Inclusion, Gifting, Decommodification, Radical Self-reliance, Radical Self-expression, Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Leaving No Trace, Participation and Immediacy. Through these, the Burning Man event has grown organically into its current incarnation as a week filled with incredible expressions of creativity through all channels and a community spirit of connection and helping each other out in the harsh conditions. Everything that festival goers will need, they bring with them – and use their resources to share and to create art and events for everybody to enjoy.

Surviving the festival with an RV rental

It’s difficult to put into words what Burning Man is (you’ll have to see, smell, hear, taste and otherwise experience it for yourself), but we can tell you some of the things it is not. It is not a summer camp with accommodation provided, nor even a music festival where you can expect rubbish bins, water taps and other infrastructure for crowds. It takes place in a dried-up lakebed (or playa) in Nevada’s desert. Scorching hot during the day, often very cold at night and occasionally subject to days of rain which turn everything to mud, the playa is a hostile environment and there are not handy facilities or conveniences to help you out. The inclusion of Radical Self-reliance as one of the festival’s 10 principles serves not only a spiritual but a practical purpose here, as you must rely fully on yourself, your preparation and what you bring with you to survive the week. It’s for this reason that motorhome rentals are so popular for Burning Man: they take care of the whole package from bed to bathroom to water tank, so you can focus on Radical Self-expression instead.

Burning Man dates and tickets

Burning Man 2015 takes place from the 30th of August to the 7th of September. Most tickets and vehicle passes for the 2015 festival have sold out, but another batch are set to become available in the OMG sale for which details can be found at tickets.burningman.org. There is also a secure ticket exchange program where excess/unused tickets are sold, so it’s definitely still possible to get one for this year’s event.

RV rental options

Booking an RV rental in the USA is easy, but for Burning Man you will need to get in very early to make sure the vehicle you want is available – with such a huge attendance, they sell out fast! It’s getting quite late in the game for RV rentals for Burning Man 2015, but there are still options out there if you are willing to show a little creativity. And if you aren’t, well, why are you going to Burning Man?

Cities where you can pick up a motorhome rental for Burning Man are limited only by the time you have for a pre- and post- festival road trip. Cities with major airports are of course the most popular, and those within a (long) day’s drive include Reno, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and San Francisco. The pickings in these three places will currently be quite slim, but you might find some of the smaller motorhomes still available.

Make a real road trip of it

Extend your driving time out a bit and your options broaden. Motorhome Republic can help you find available vehicles from a huge range of suppliers in cities all across the US, so it’s easy to plan a great road trip which will just add to the Burning Man experience.

An RV rental road trip from Los Angeles or San Diego could include Yosemite, Lake Tahoe or the Big Sur coastline –  why not take five days to get there and see all three with a leisurely drive?

Phoenix is another great pick up point for your Burning Man RV rental. The drive will fit easily into two days, but a week would give you time to stop in at Vegas, see the Grand Canyon and slowly acclimate to the desert temperatures.

Denver is a centre for outdoor pursuits, great for those nature loving attendees. It’s a long trip to the playa, but one which will take you via the Rockies for some spectacular scenery, and through Salt Lake City too.

In the north, Portland is not too far away, with less than two day’s driving between the city and the Nevada desert. The laid-back, youthful and liberal city would be a great start to your Burning Man experience! Add just a few hours and you could pick up your RV in Seattle and visit the beautiful sights of the Pacific Northwest.

However you choose to get to Burning Man, be prepared for an adventure and embrace the principles which make this crazy, wonderful festival unique.

Marbella’s Can’t Miss Historical Sites

A trip to Costa del Sol is one filled with sun, fun, and relaxation. Home to some of the best beaches in Spain, Marbella is a top destination for those wanting a vacation. While soaking up some rays is always a good time, some travelers will want to explore the historical side of this city with ties to the ancient world. We have gathered a list of the best historical sites you shouldn’t miss during your time in Marbella. Between the beautiful beaches, the shopping and the history, you may reconsider where you call home.

Murallas del Castillo
One of the most well-known historical sites in Marbella is the old Moorish castle walls. Built In the 10th century, the walls encase most of the oldest part of the city, with many homes and gardens still viewable for those who wander the streets.

There is the Represa stream which is also the perfect backdrop for a clever photographer’s photo shoot. As you walk along the old streets, which follow the footpaths of the ancient medina that once stood here, you’ll be whisked back in time.

The old part of the city is the perfect place to find a good hotel in Marbella, if you want something with a bit more character.

Marbella Vaults
Also known as the Las Bovedas, these are the remains of Roman baths which were once very important to local life in Marbella. You’ll be able to to see what it was like thousands of years ago when this site was central for bathing and socializing. These formerly opulent buildings are a great place to pair with the nearby Villa Romana if you really want to feel what it was like so many centuries ago in Marbella.

Basilica Vega del mar
This once-beautiful building dates back to the 4th century. All that remain now are the historic ruins, but much of the structure and layout is still visible. You’ll be able to imagine how living in the golden age of the Basilica Vega del Mar felt by visiting the National Archeological Museum, which houses many of the artifacts and treasures found during the excavation of the site. With so much history to see in the city, you may fancy a tour which gives you a broader look at the area around Marbella.

Iglesia Mayor de La Encarnacion
Also known as the Church of the Incarnation, this free-to-visit church cannot be missed. Built at the beginning of the 16th century, it has been restructured and remodeled over the years but it is still an important historical landmark in the city. Of special note are the impressive period architecture, the three naves and the elaborately decorated interior. If you’re smart, you’ll try to visit during an organ performance as it is an experience to cherish.

If you enjoy visiting churches, Ermita del Santo Cristo de la Vera Cruz was originally built in the 15th century and is absolutely beautiful to explore too.

Bed Bug Prevention for World Travelers

Traveling always comes with its fair share of risks, but one risk that can easily be mitigated with a little education is the possibility of picking up bed bugs during your travels. Bed bugs are hitchhikers and love to hop around from luggage to trains to clothing and end up wherever you go. Since exterminating bed bugs on the road during your travels is not usually possible, the best you can do is to educate yourself on how to proven them in the first place. This infographic on bed bug prevention by NYC based exterminators bedbugforce.com illustrates some of the ways to identify and prevent bed bugs during your adventurous travels.

Bed Bug Identification

Bed bugs are about the size of an appleseed, reddish-brown in color and have a rather elliptical shape. You can find them in just about any part of your hotel room, but are most common around the bed, nightstand or any object that has nooks and crannies (something like an alarm clock for example).

Bed Bug

Items to Pack

When you’re hitting the road, you’ll want to keep in mind these things to help prevent bed bugs:

  • Pack a flashlight for inspection purposes
  • Use a hardshell suitcase (easy to clean) or collapsible suitcase (easy to wash)
  • Bring a plastic bag to wrap your suitcase in to be extra safe
  • Read online reviews carefully for previous bed bug sightings

Inspecting Your Hotel Room for Bed Bugs

You’ll want to be as thorough as possible when inspecting your hotel room. Start by putting your luggage in the bathroom as they are harder for bed bugs to exist in due to slippery surfaces and few hiding places.

After you have stored your luggage in the bathroom you’ll want to check these areas in your hotel room:

  • Head boards
  • Box springs
  • Night stands and screw holes
  • Book shelves, alarm clocks
  • Sheets, pillows and mattress seams

After you’ve determined that you don’t have any bed bugs, be sure to keep your belongings off the ground for the entire length of your stay. This ensure that you don’t get any bed bugs crawling into your belongings that you may have missed during inspection.

Inspecting Rental Cars

It’s not very common, but since bed bugs are hitchhikers they can also be found in rental cars and still get into your luggage. Be sure to check the tires, trunk and interior for any signs of a previous bed bug presence. If you find any signs of them, be sure to request a new rental immediately.

Arriving Home

When you get home be sure to wash all of your clothing in hot water and check your luggage outside of your home with a flashlight to ensure that you haven’t picked up any bed bugs along the way. This step is crucial as it is the point at which you bring your belongings into your home. If you end up missing a single bed bug during your check, you can easily introduce an entire infestation into your home. Be sure to be thorough and ensure that you are in fact bed bug-free.

Being Smart about Bed Bugs

When traveling it’s paramount to be fully cognizant of the habits of bed bugs, how to identify them and where to find them when you’re arriving at a new destination. Don’t take any chances, educating yourself about bed bug prevention is the key to a happy, safe and adventurous trip during your travels.

Check out the infographic below for more information.

how to prevent and check for bed bugs

Better business on the go

Getting away from the office can be difficult. Sometimes you need to go away for business purposes. Other times you could really use a holiday but are unable squeeze in enough time to just drop everything and leave. But it’s becoming easier than ever to do both. Business doesn’t have to stop when you step away from your desk. iiNet Microsoft Lync is the ideal tool for business travel and can transform the way you work on the go.

What is it?
iiNet Microsoft Lync is a one-stop shop for all your business communications needs. It’s like having your own business’ phone system with you wherever you go. The service works on your mobile device, keeping you connected no matter your location. Stuck in an airport? Miss your flight and stranded in a random city thousands of kilometres away from an important meeting? In the middle of a beach holiday when there’s a problem with a client? Now you don’t have to worry. iiNet Microsoft Lync can get you connected in no time at all.

So what can it do?
The question is, when it comes to business communications, what can’t it do? Clear video conferencing allows you to easily take part in meetings as long as you have an internet signal. There are also more standard messaging and calling features and different options for routing them.

Exchanging thoughts and discussing ideas and concepts is easy, too. You can share your screen with others, giving them a peek at what you’re seeing on your own personal display. Quickly integrate your network of clients and colleagues through your personal device from afar.

Staying on top of what’s going on when you’re away can be a hassle, and you don’t always want to bring your work with you. But, when business necessitates it, iiNet Microsoft Lync can get you ready to roll for just a small cost.

Get Your Coffee On in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is filled with ancient ruins, museums, hills, castles, restaurants, pubs, and more. There is so much to see in this old city that you could explore for a month without having even a glance at everything Edinburgh has to offer. With so much to do, you’re going to need some caffeine to help sustain your energy through your visit. We have gathered a list of the best coffee shops around the city so you’ll be able to enjoy your Edinburgh visit without falling asleep on your feet.

Brew Lab
Four years in the making, this intensely thought-out café produces some of the best cups of coffee around, at least according to the locals. The hip atmosphere is a mixture of students wanting caffeine and wifi and locals wanting a place to mingle, plus tourists wanting a good cup of joe. Be warned, though, the love of coffee and the science behind the brewing process is seen and felt as soon as you walk through the door, and it may be hard to exit!

Circle Coffee Shop
If you are wanting a full service coffee shop, food and all, the Circle Coffee Shop is the top choice. A relaxing atmosphere, perfect after a few hours walking around the city, welcomes you as you walk through the door. The location of the coffee shop is central and it’s a good place to start your search for a hotel in Edinburgh if you’re fresh off the train or bus.

Pep and Fodder
With a cool name like Pep and Fodder, you know the coffee must be pretty special too. This takeaway café and coffee venture is mostly frequented by local business people, meaning you’ll get more of a local experience. The Edinburgh hop on hop off bus will bring you close to this and all the other shops on our list, in addition to dropping you off at the major tourist attractions of the city.

Elephant House
This tea and coffee house is one of the best in the city. It’s had many famous patrons, including J.K. Rowling, who used to sit in the back room overlooking Edinburgh Castle while writing many of her early novels. It’s a great place to visit if you want to be inspired.

Lovecrumbs
If you’ve got a serious sweet tooth along with your need for caffeine, look no farther than Lovecrumbs. As you bite into one of the salty peanut butter chocolate tarts or the fragrant violet and blueberry cakes, you’ll be transported to a heaven only sugar can bring on. Don’t be surprised if you end up coming here multiple times during your Edinburgh trip–they’re that good. A cup of coffee or even hot chocolate is exactly what the doctor ordered to wash all those sweet morsels down.

Peokoe Tea Shop
Not everyone likes coffee, so we’ve added a tea shop to this list to make sure you tea lovers have some delectable options as well. The tea bar is staffed by tea experts and they’ll help you find the perfect blend to delight your taste buds for hours to come.

Museums of Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is well known for its outdoor activities and nightlife. While being active and soaking up some Vitamin D is a great way to spend a vacation, many travelers also enjoy getting to know the cultural side of a city. Fortunately, Virginia Beach has culture and history galore. You’ll find museums for children, adults, and of course those who enjoy a bit of learning. Read on for our list of the best museums you can’t miss during your sojourn to Virginia Beach.

Virginia Air and Space Center

This is the place for those who wonder what it’s like up in the sky and beyond. The Virginia Air and Space Center has a variety of aircraft and spacecraft, many of which hang above as you walk through the complex. If you’re interested in space, you’ll be enthralled by the Apollo 12 command module that took the second mission of astronauts to the moon. If you’re looking to learn more about space history, you’re in luck since you’ll be surrounded by information as you walk around to complex.

Don’t be surprised if your children get inspired to become pilots or astronauts after a visit to the space center.

The Virginia Air and Space Center is right on the water. It’s centrally located and a great place to start your search for hotels in Virginia Beach.

Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum

History buffs, wildlife lovers, and kids of all ages will love all this animal centered museum. The 19th century building that houses the museum was built by the first mayor of Virginia Beach, and it boasts plenty for history enthusiasts to explore. This free museum is open every day of the week to educate visitors about local wildlife like ducks, loons, swans, and geese. Art lovers will even find some feathered pieces to appreciate.

Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

Speaking of art lovers, this contemporary art museum houses over 1,500 works of art. Here you’ll find a variety of influences on view, and there’s even a hands-on Art Lab for kids to create their own artwork. On permanent display is a large glass chandelier by glass artist Dale Chihuly.

Naval Aviation Monument Park

Inside this park you’ll find numerous monuments that will guide you through a multitude of aviation heroes. The statues showcase the three eras of naval aviation, which is sure to be a treat for military enthusiasts. One statue even commemorates Eugene Ely, the first aviator to fly off and land on the deck of a ship.

Virginia Living Museum

If the Wildfowl Heritage Museum didn’t show you enough about the local fauna, the Virginia Living Museum is the place to go. Children and adults alike will be amused as they watch live animals in their natural habitats. Don’t miss seeing the alligators. Just be sure you don’t get too close to their sharp teeth.

No matter what your taste is when it comes to museums, Virginia Beach has you covered. Enjoy the cultural and natural highlights of this dynamic beach town.