Airport hotels: forget the early wake up call

Early morning flights are good because you get to spend more of the day at your resort. But the not-so-good bit is the long, early morning drive to the airport. However, there is a simple, inexpensive way to allow yourself a few extra hours in bed and make the start of your day less of a hassle. An airport hotels can mean you wake up close to the airport terminal, avoiding an unreasonably early start.

Once you’re up, you can either stroll to the terminal, if you pick a hotel close enough, or you can take the hotel’s transfer bus, if you decide to stay in one that’s situated off the airport grounds. Whichever you choose, you’ll save bundles of time.

Gatwick airport hotel

Airport hotels come in all different price ranges, usually according to their star rating and the facilities they offer. If you’re looking for a comfy bed for the night and a room with all the essentials, you can pick up a 2 or 3-star Gatwick airport hotel or Heathrow airport hotel for next to nothing. If you can afford to spend a little more, 4 and 5-star hotels can provide a quality stay with all the added extras like satellite TV, comfier beds, internet and toiletries. Not only that, but the more expensive the hotel, usually the closer they are to the airport terminal. Some hotels at Gatwick or Heathrow are even connected to the terminal via a walkway; so you can drag yourself out of bed and stroll to check in.

If you’re driving to the airport, you’ll be needing somewhere to leave your car. Instead of forking out on parking separately, you can often get a hotel stay which includes parking at minimal extra cost. You’ll usually get the choice of parking that’s either on-site at the hotel, or parking which is at a secured car park away from the hotel. Whichever one you choose, you’ll be starting your holiday the most stress-free way possible.

If you’re keen on the idea of a few extra hours in bed, remember to book your airport hotel in advance to get the best price. The earlier you make your booking, the cheaper the price will be.

Do Currency Exchange Rates Tell The Whole Story?

Ready to go on holiday? Congratulations! Getting to go on holiday finally after working so hard all year long is definitely cause for celebration.

However, before you start celebrating it’s time to look at the finer details of travel. This means looking at accommodation, food, entertainment and most importantly — how you’re going to pay for it all. Now now, we’re not precisely talking about how you’re going to manage to fit in a holiday budget. If you’ve been waiting all year to go on holiday, you probably already have that covered. However, have you thought about how you’re going to exchange money?

Currency Exchange Rates

It’s very easy to think that you’re not going to have to exchange currency at all, but that’s changing rapidly. More and more merchants in their own host country are starting to change more for foreign currencies to be used. If you really want to get the best deals on your purchases, you might want to think about doing some currency conversion.

Yet the natural question here isn’t just how to get the process completed, but also whether or not currency exchange rates really matter? You see, most countries do not use a 1:1 ratio in order to actually handle their currency conversions. This means that there’s always going to be a bit of unevenness as you try to move from one currency to another. Do currency exchange rates really tell the whole story? That’s what you have to figure out. Continue Reading

Travel Destinations and Vacations in Costa Rica

The Caribbean of Costa Rica is a favorite travel destination for avid surfers; here they can find stable sea conditions year-round, hundreds of professional and amateur surfers come every year to the shores of the Caribbean seeking for adventure and some of the most consistent waves in Central America. Also the best of the Costa Rica traditions take place in the Caribbean because of the Afro-Caribbean influence set in the region. Every day in the Caribbean is a party, the Caribbean music is everywhere in the town and the local’s charisma is highly contagious. If you are planning your vacations to Costa Rica make sure you visit the community of Puerto Viejo in Limon, the beaches here are simply beautiful.

Costa Rica holiday

San Jose is the capital city of Costa Rica and also another must visit destination during your vacations. The city itself is full of history with its museums, theaters, churches, and many other historical buildings that enhance the beauty of the city and bring back a little of the country’s history. In San Jose you can find luxurious accommodations offering high class amenities such as: yoga, spa, fitness, etc. San Jose is the perfect combination between the cosmopolitan cities and the most traditional towns, a place where families and couples can find entertainment at its best.

La Fortuna in Arenal, Costa Rica is a naturalists’ paradise. The town offers a large array of nature activities plus the possibility to visit one of the world’s top 10 most active volcanoes (The Arenal Volcano). The views of the volcano during the night are unmatched; a camera will become indispensable in order to preserve your valuable memories.

Come to Costa Rica, a top travel destination for your next vacations!

The travel experiences of a solo male traveller

I recently wrote about experiences as a female solo traveller, so I thought I would do the same for male travellers as well. I travel a lot on my own, primarily because my mates don’t like the type of holiday I do, they cannot afford to go on holiday, or simply don’t want to spend a week living with me.

Here are my experiences.

Time to think

When you get a group of lads together, after a few days we run out of things to talk about, so start to talk about work, and things you’d rather not be thinking about. When I go away on holiday I want to time to think about the future, what I want to do with my life, and I want to forget, about work, and as horrible as it sounds, about life back home.

Independence

The main advantage of solo travel is that you can do what you want to do, when you want to do it, that may seem selfish to non solo travellers. I like to be able to wake up, go for a walk on the beach, return back to the hotel, have a shower, and then go for breakfast and plan my day ahead. I love this.

Meeting new people

I make more friends and meet new people when travelling alone, because I don’t want to sit in a bar or restaurant without speaking to a human being, so you find yourself introducing yourself and talking to other travellers or the locals. I’m actually still in touch with friends I met whilst travelling around Australia.

Feeling safe

As a single male traveller, I feel much safer compared to when I have gone on holiday with my brothers or friends, there’s less chance that you’ll get involved in a fight, and because you know you have to look after yourself, you tend to drink less, and be aware of people around you, and the situations you find yourself in.

The downside

Whilst I can think of many advantages to travelling alone, there are disadvantages, for example, I hate it when I’m sat in a quiet restaurant, eating alone, and when I’m on the coach from the airport to the hotel, I feel that everyone is looking at me because he’s the sad person, with no friends, travelling alone.

So non solo travellers, what’s your impression of solo travellers and, solo travellers, what do you enjoy the most about solo travel?

Best Beaches in Lanzarote

Despite the fact that most beaches on the other Canary Islands are made of black sand on Lanzarote at the eastern end of the chain the grains are mostly golden. Confounding the expectations of many first time visitors.

They say that life is a beach – and this is certainly true of life on Lanzarote. The fourth largest of the Canary Islands. As here there are over 90 superb stretches of sand to explore. Both in and outside the main holiday resorts of Playa Blanca, Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise.

Lanzarote

Which is the best beach on the island? This title is always a toss up between the huge bay at Famara on the North West coast and the set of coves at Papagayo in the south. Both are entirely all natural and enormously popular with the locals – which is always a good sign.  During the winter months Papagayo has the edge as the weather in the south is better. Leaving Famara for dog walkers and hardy surfers. But come March and spring time the playing fields is levelled once more as the weather starts to improve.

Even the island’s capital city, Arrecife, has a great beach for local residents and tourists to enjoy. Playa Reducto is located right in the heart of the capital and is a palm fringed delight which gently shelves out into the clear water of the Atlantic Ocean. If you have bothered to book car hire in Lanzarote then make sure you visit as it is well worth the journey. It sits adjacent to the Arrecife Gran, one of the few five star hotels in Lanzarote and the only high rise building on the island – so it is impossible to miss. Continue Reading

Tour operator recommendations to improve experience

Despite the Civil Aviation Authority asking XL customers to stay away from airports, many ignored this advice, which caused a lot of disruption. I booked this last minute holiday with Co-Operative Travel, and the tour operator, Goldtrail, so luckily for me, I was not involved directly.

XL Saga changes my travel plans.

On arrival at the airport, I was asked if I would be happy to move resorts, to Marmaris, in return free tours and money compensation. This meant that a family who had booked with XL to Bodrum could go on holiday.

The family were happy, the tour operator were happy, and more importantly I was happy.

I do have a few points that I would like to make. These recommendations are general and are not directed at one company alone. The Marmaris Gunes hotel is an average hotel, the location was good, just a short walk to the beach, the room was nice enough, and I had a scenic view of the mountains.

Lack of brochure and online information from tour operators

The accommodation page is pretty much the norm, a few photos, a paragraph describing the hotel and resort. Maybe I am asking for too much information; but I would like to see a map of the hotel to the beach, and restaurants, videos, and quality description of the hotel.

I will repeat what I have said before; tour operators need to be more proactive in gathering more data on resorts and hotels. I have seen so many poorly written hotel descriptions and poor quality or old photographs on websites lately.

Hotels need educating by the tour operator

What I did not like is that I could not purchase my own drinks or snacks from outside and consume them in the hotel. You were forced you to pay over the top prices for mineral water. In fact, the bottles of water were three times that of the supermarket over the road.

As you can imagine this did not go down well with me and I ignored the notices throughout the hotel.

I am led to believe that this is a widespread issue, and the Turkish Tourism Board is trying to educate hoteliers to relax these rules. The hotel is trying to keep us in the hotel, spending money, but all it does is makes the holidaymaker annoyed.

Both the bar and restaurant were like a ghost town on most days, despite full capacity.

Hidden local costs

I do not mind paying for air conditioning, especially when the temperature is incredibly high, but if it is not included in the price of the holiday, and should be paid locally, then this information should be given at the booking stage. How are you supposed to compare the price when they are hidden costs?

Airport transfers literature and guidance.

I know most of us want to relax or look at the scenery on route to our hotels from the airport but from the last few occasions that I have booked a package holiday, none of the tour operators provided what I would call quality information on the resort.

No maps, information on tourist attractions or trips.

I think that is it for now, but let me know what you think of the points raised in this post.