Aspiring Backpacker - Just read up and set off! Showing you how to backpack around the world. Wed, 06 Jan 2016 20:11:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Orlando: The City Beautiful Wed, 06 Jan 2016 20:11:39 +0000 Orlando in Florida is the dream destination of people of every age as it houses the dream of every adult and child, the Disney World. Along with the huge number of tourists, Orlando tourirsm is also one of the busiest destinations for conferences and convocations.

City Buzz: Things to Remember

  • Look out for outlet malls as they are popular places to find the deal that you are looking for. It also has a shuttle service for free ferrying through the city.
  • Theme park inspired gifts are available everywhere.
  • Sit-down restaurants at Orlando expect a 15-20% tip.
  • Renting a car is important as public transport can get confusing.
  • Carry water, sun screen lotion, swim gear and change of shoes.
  • A waterproof camera is a good choice as you will be splashing a lot in water.
  • Bug repellents may come handy.

Little Cautions

  • Once you rent the car, remember to fill gas in the city limits as the gas-stations outside the airport overcharge.
  • Any aquatic option you choose to visit is a little outside Orlando city centre, hence, sort out the route and the transportation ahead of the journey.

Must Visits

  • Walt Disney World: The turning point of Orlando was in 1965 with Walt Disney’s announcement of making Disney World. A massive property is a house to the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It has golf courses, theme based resorts, regular resorts and houses guests for all around the calendar. Shopping, restaurants and theatres add to the glory of the Disney World.

Walt Disney World, Orlando, U.S traveljunction

Tip: Do not miss Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, The Haunted Mansion, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, The Seven Dwarf’s Mine Ride, It’s A Small World, Mickey’s Philhar Magic

To Do List while Visiting Disney Land:

  • While making fast-pass reservations, reserve the most popular rides to make up your time.
  • Try a ‘Dole Whip Float’ at the Magic Kingdom.
  • Check for daily parade and firework time.
  • Disney Dining Plan, though looks expensive, is worth a try as it saves money.
  • A stay on the property allows one to save time. Moreover, they offer free transportation to and from the airport.
  • Be informed about the extra magic hours for extra fun.
  • Sea World: World’s largest marine park, the Sea World allows its visitors to get up close and personal with Dolphins. The whales’ shows are exquisite. Touch pools and rides add to the excitement.

Sea world, Orlando, USA by Stig Nygaard

  • Universal Studio: Tourists get an interactive experience with movies here. City Walk is synonymous to entertainment around the clock with its extensive array of dinning, shopping and movie choices.
  • Orlando Science Center: Science in interactive form is exhibited here.
  • For all the outdoor thrill lovers, Paddleboard adventures and kayaking tours offer an amazing experience. For Paddleboard Orlando attraction, the visitor will be given a short tutorial by the instructor following which one can choose the stream he wishes to navigate. Some of the open waterways are Mantee Sanctuary, Wekiva river etc. Mantee Sanctuary also provides a peek-a-boo to wild life.
  • Kayaking, on the other hand invigorates your journey as the waterway is usually populated by dolphins and visited by exotic birds.

Adventures Kayaking, Bonita Springs, orlando, U.S source by Vladimir Pustovit

  • The list is incomplete without a mention of the Epcot World Showcase representing 11 countries.
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Exploring Irish mythology across the Royal Sites Tue, 22 Dec 2015 10:03:51 +0000  

While it’s not as known as Greek, Roman or Egyptian mythology, Ireland‘s ancient traditions are just as fascinating as those of the classical cultures. Much of Ireland’s mythology centres round tales of the Tuatha Dé Danann, a group of otherworldly heroes, and how they ruled Ireland in its early years. Over time, the Tuatha were outgrown by legendary heroes and villains like Cuchullain and Medb, iconic figures known around all of Ireland.


There’s a whole lot of ancient sites associated with the Tuatha Dé Danann and more of the legendary heroes around Ireland, and we’ve put together this guide to show you around a few of the must sees for anyone interested in finding out more about Ireland’s mythology. Definitely some great choices for days out, with the sites we’ve suggested combining picturesque natural beauty with real historical and cultural intrigue.

The Hill of Uisneach is a real must visit for anyone interested in Irish mythology. Originally thought of as the absolute centre of Ireland, the Hill is only a few miles from the actual geographic centre and has some incredible attractions. We’re told that the Hill is only accessible on weekends between April and October, but if you can get there, we really recommend a visit.

Around the hill, you’ll find areas believed to be the graves of some of the Tuatha Dé Danann, like the sun god Lugh and Eriu, the goddess who gave Ireland its name. The hill’s long been a popular destination for anyone interested in mythology and history, with dozens of historical sites around the area. Because the property is private land, you’ll have to take a guided tour around, but with the tour showing you everything, you’ll have a fantastic time.

We stayed over at the Travelodge Galway Hotel, a budget hotel just outside of central Galway, a beautiful city right by the sea. The hill is about an hour away from Galway, but we definitely recommend a visit if you’re around for the weekend.

Rathcroghan is a bit more recent than the Hill of Uisneach. The area was the home of Ailill and Medb, the villains of the famous Táin Bó Cúailnge, who fought a war against the iconic hero Cuchullain. You’ll find a huge ring fort believed to have been their home, along with a few more unique mythological sites. The Oweynagat cave is believed to be a hole into the underworld, from which monsters used to emerge into reality. Definitely a surprising sight. Rathcroghan is some distance from any major Irish city, so we stayed over at the Percy French Hotel when we visited, a comfortable hotel in Strokestown, just a short journey from Rathcroghan itself.

According to mythology, Ireland used to be ruled by a line of High Kings, who were crowned on the Hill of Tara, a beautiful natural area just a short journey from Dublin. While there’s not much to see apart from natural views, there’s a couple of interesting areas that make the Hill a great choice for anyone planning on a natural day. Check out the Lia Fáil, the famed coronation stone for the High Kings. There’s a huge number of hotels around Dublin, so we went for a low cost and stayed in the Travelodge Dublin Phoenix Park, just to the west of the city centre.

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Miami in a day Wed, 16 Dec 2015 12:16:45 +0000 Miami is an amazing city and everyone should visit it at one point in their life, but what if you could only spend one day there? What to do in Miami in one day is a very difficult question, but one that we will try our best to cover below, so read on to find out more.


Eat Cuban food

Cuban food is a must when visiting Miami and is a highly competitive business with about a third of the population of Miami coming from the small island. Cuba is a melting pot of people and culture, and has picked up some truly delightful food from the nearby Caribbean islands. Some great dishes to try are Ropa Vieja (stewed beef served in a tomato sauce, usually with rice), a Cuban pork sandwich, and pernil (a spiced pork shoulder that is stuffed with rice and olives).

Visit South Beach

South Beach is a must visit for anyone visiting Miami, this stretch of beautiful beach always draws a crowd, with its warm weather and amazing water to frolick in. South Beach is a place where all the beautiful people of Miami sit to relax­­—you could spend all day, but not on this trip, because you only have 24 hours!

Go to Little Havana

This Miami neighborhood is named after the capital of Cuba, and has large population of Cuban immigrants, as well as many other South American cultures. Many cities can claim to have a Chinatown or specific ethnic part, however none come close to Little Havana; it’s like being transported to another world.

Little Havana is very important due to the social, political and cultural influences it has over the rest of Miami. This is a great place to pick up some Cuban food, some fresh fruit from the many fruit stands there or a finely rolled cigar from one of the many cigar factories and dealers in the area.

If you are lucky enough to be in Miami on the last Friday of any month you can visit the Viernes Culturales (Cultural Fridays), which is a monthly gallery of the cultural and artistic scene of Little Havana.

Go to a nightclub

Visiting Miami without going to a nightclub would be like not buttering toast, so you must go to cap off your long day in Miami, and there is no better way. Nightclubs here are world famous, and some of the best are the various beach clubs that line certain parts of South Beach. These clubs marry the traditional club atmosphere with Miami’s sand beautiful outdoor atmosphere.




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Getting the best holiday deals possible Wed, 25 Nov 2015 21:23:34 +0000 travel

Going on holiday is more often than not an amazing experience, but when it comes to organising everything you want to make sure that there is a good balance between price and value for money. There really is not much point in paying a lot of money for a holiday only to have very little when you go on your trip, so here are some great ways to approach organising your next holiday.

Use a flight comparison website

There are many great websites out there like Travelocity, which compare flights from many airline carriers and give you the best prices possible. The great thing is that you don’t have to trawl through the websites of various airlines in search of the best prices, because it is done for you and all you need to do is click a few buttons.

Book a package

Booking an all inclusive holiday is a really great way to ensure you are getting a great deal for your next holiday. The upfront cost of flights, accommodation and food is really great because you don’t have to worry so much about spending money. The advantage is that packages are often cheaper than booking everything individually, so you will certainly have more money to spend on lots of other little luxuries on your holiday.

Make a budget

This may sound like a very obvious step, but there are a number of people who are spending everything that they earn and this makes it difficult to have the money for the type of holiday that you deserve. Simply writing down and allocating your income to various things is a great way to ensure that you can save enough for your holiday. This will help you to identify things that you are perhaps spending too much money on and you can work to reduce this spending and reallocate it to saving.

Book early

The best way to get the best price for your next holiday is simply to pull the trigger and book your holiday as soon as you know you want to go. Booking early often means the best prices and really can help you to focus your efforts on doing the next most important thing, which is getting the spending money you need to make the most of the upcoming holiday.

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Gran Canaria: The Ultimate Holiday Destination This Winter? Wed, 25 Nov 2015 00:21:23 +0000 gran canaria

The coming winter holidays are a time that people just want to enjoy, but the circumstances are less than ideal for enjoying your time off. What if you could get in a plane and travel somewhere relatively quickly without travelling to the Southern Hemisphere? Well this is more than possible by visiting Gran Canaria, which is one of the premier Canary Islands holiday destinations. Read on to find out why Gran Canaria is such an ideal winter sun destination – and for your chance to win your next trip free of charge – check out Alpharooms’ new Distance To The Sun infographic.

How to get there

As Gran Canaria is an island it is generally accessible mainly by plane and for those looking for a great winter holiday destination it is crucial that the location is not so far away. Gran Canaria is only about 4 hours by flight from the United Kingdom and there are many carriers flying there frequently.

When to go

Of course we are looking to find the best winter sun holiday destination out there, but the reality is that Gran Canaria is a great place to go at any point in the year as the weather is very similar all year round. It has a warm to hot climate and this is one of the major selling points of it.

Things to do

Going to the beach – hitting the beach in winter is one of the ultimate luxuries of Gran Canaria and the quality of the beaches on the island is nothing short of amazing. Playa de las Canteras is one of the most famous and popular and for good reason, it’s soft yellow sand stretches for around three kilometres, which makes it the longest beach on the island. You can also enjoy the seafront promenade which is perfect to walk, run or cycle on, and there are also a number of great bars, cafes and restaurants to enjoy here.

Cueva Pintada Museum and Archaeological Park – This is a cave that was only discovered again late in the 1800s and shows a historical element to Gran Canaria. The walls of the cave are full of pre-Hispanic drawings of geometric shapes, it is thought these relate to some form of astronomy.

Jardin Botanico Canario Viera y Clavijo – This is a beautiful botanic garden that is actually the largest in all of Spain. It has a rich variety of plants, trees and flowers which come from the Canary Islands and is a must see for those that love nature and the outdoors.

Iglesia de San Juan Bautista – This is a 20th century church that is set amongst the white houses of Aruca in the north of Gran Canaria. It is built in a striking neo-Gothic style and is something that you should experience.

Gran Canaria is the right mix of holiday destination, great weather and culture and it makes it one of the best holiday destinations to get you through any harsh winter.

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Winter walking holidays in South Devon Tue, 24 Nov 2015 04:57:27 +0000 For dramatic scenery and breathtaking views, look no further than South Devon for your winter walking holidays over the coming months. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has a network of rural footpaths just waiting to be explored, as well as miles of stunning unspoilt coast path interspersed with quaint fishing villages, picturesque coves (some only accessible on foot!), shipwrecks and sites of historical interest.

Wrap up warm against the winter elements and take to the beautiful South Devon countryside to explore this hidden gem. Why not start early and make the most of the short but beautiful days at this time of year? Admire the fabulous sunrise, stroll along country footpaths glistening with the crisp morning frost, or take to the South West Coast Path and enjoy the stunning views out to sea.

For winter walking holidays to remember, South Devon is a must visit!

Walking Routes
Here are just a selection of walks to consider, when planning your winter walking holidays.

Dartmouth to Greenway: The Dart Valley Trail


Looking for a day in the fresh air, admiring the breathtaking scenery found around the picturesque River Dart during your winter walking holidays? Embark on a stroll along the bank of the river – this day long round trip takes in numerous sites of interest. Walk past the National Trust property Greenway House and Gardens – the former home of celebrated author Dame Agatha Christie – where you can stop for a cream tea in the tea room. Head further along the wooded river bank before crossing on the ferry and exploring the pretty fishing village of Dittisham. Finally walk back along the water’s edge and finish at Dartmouth, where you can enjoy well earnt fish and chips at the award winning restaurant Rockfish.

Whilst this nine mile walk is strenuous, the unspoilt scenery and wildlife spotting opportunities make this daylong adventure well worth the effort. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars to spot birds and marine life in their natural habitat – during the quiet winter months, who knows what might surface to say ‘hello’! This fascinating route is definitely a great way to see the River Dart, for those looking for winter walking holidays to admire the region’s hidden gems.

Blackdown Rings, near Kingsbridge

River Avon

Having explored the River Dart, why not head to another of the area’s meandering rivers, the River Avon?  Passing through the peaceful wooded Avon Valley – a calm, tranquil area – this is a blissful spot for a walk at any time of year. For those heading to South Devon for winter walking holidays, this ramble could be the perfect option for a day when the weather may not be on your side… the six mile walk runs along the river bank, meaning for much of the route you are less exposed to the elements than perhaps you would be spending a day exploring the clifftops on the South West Coast Path. Particularly in dewy or frosty conditions, this walk is very scenic and special!

Dartmouth Town Trail

For those concerned about the muddy or icy conditions that they may face on footpaths and cliff tops during winter walking holidays, the Dartmouth Town Trail could be a great option. An easy one mile walk taking around two hours, the trail is on surfaced roads and pavements, and includes many of the town’s sites of historical and natural interest, including the boat float, St Saviour’s Church and Browns Hill Steps. You can also enjoy all the views of the River Dart, without the worry about conditions underfoot – perfect for those new to winter walking holidays!

Looking for inspiration for your winter walking holidays in South Devon? Watch this fabulous video, showcasing some of the beautiful scenery you can enjoy during your #7daysinSouthDevon

If you are planning your winter walking holidays in South Devon, Coast and Country Cottages have over 430 self catering holiday properties in and around Salcombe and Dartmouth – perfect accommodation for exploring this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

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