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Holidays With The Girls

July 9, 2014

A holiday with friends is a must for any friend group. They provide laughter, tears – a whole lot of tears – and best of all, lasting memories.

Now Hollywood obviously works in hyperboles and any Hollywood film about girls holidaying is of course taken to the extreme, but, you do find a lot out about yourself and your friends when abroad.

Seven days is all you need for an adventure so make sure you embark on one with your friends before boyfriends turn into fiancés. Below are an array of destinations that you and your mates could travel to for a unique and more importantly brilliant holiday.



Located in south-western Germany, Baden-Baden is an eclectic mix of pampering and partying. The town is noted for two things: its casino and its world famous spas. The casino attracts some of the richest men from all of Europe and the parties thrown there are lavish, opulent and best of all, notorious. You would never have partied in such style like you would have had in Baden-Baden, so it is little wonder that numerous magazines name Baden-Baden as their casino of the month and others have lauded it with the title of the world’s greatest casino.


Then there is the spa, which is the perfect place to relax and return to normality after a heavy night of partying.  The water rises from 6,500 feet underground, reaching temperature between 50-68° on the way to surface. The minerals acquired by the waters ascension are vast: sodium, lithium, caesium, silica, boric acid, manganese, magnesium, as well as traces of cobalt, zinc and copper. There aren’t enough hours in the day to tell you just how beneficial they are for you.

The spa treatments are the best in the world, as to be expected when you have the cleansing water that Baden-Baden has, but, for a spa town it certainly knows how to party. Expect to see £10,000 bottles of Krug going everywhere.

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Fun family holidays on a budget

December 10, 2013

Living on a budget may mean sacrificing certain things, but a family holiday needn’t be one of them. The chance to get away and spend precious time with your loved ones is something it’s hard to put a price on, and these days it’s actually pretty easy to have a scout around the web and find a cheap holiday online. What’s more, with a few clever shortcuts, you can have a fun-packed, relaxing family break for a bargain price.

Timing is everything

The most important money-saving trick when booking a family holiday is picking the right time. With young kids at home, it’s tempting to book your travels in high season, when they have time off school. But if you’re on a budget, prices for travel in the long summer holidays are going to wipe you out. Instead, look at travelling in the spring or autumn half-term breaks. If your kids aren’t in school yet, then choose the off-season months for your holiday. Put simply, you are going to save a lot of money by booking out of season.


Choose your destination wisely

Flights, hotels and insurance will swallow up your budget, and while you might dream of white sand beaches and multi-coloured cocktails, young children want to be active, play and have adventures. If you’ve only got a week to spare, the time you spend dealing with airports and transfers can leave you feeling frazzled. Choosing a closer destination means that those wasted hours could be part of your holiday, giving you a longer break and saving you money in the process.

Look for a home from home

A great way to create a really cheap holiday is a house swap. If you live in a popular city, or near to the sea or a tourist attraction, you may be able to swap your home with another family for a week or two. This means you get luxury accommodation without shelling out for expensive hotels. If a home swap isn’t an option, then check out hostels and campsites. These offer several advantages to families, not least saving money on food and drinks by self-catering. Staying on a farm or in a forest provides a natural playground for inquisitive youngsters. And most campsites now have good facilities including club houses, bars and bike rentals. For the really adventurous, a campervan is the perfect combination of home and holiday all in one!

Find freebies

Make it a rule to never pay tourist prices for anything! A bit of research online will easily uncover free local attractions and cut-price tickets for shows and events. A day at the beach needn’t cost anything, especially if you bring packed lunches. But don’t forget you’re meant to be having fun, and do set aside a little bit of your budget for essential holiday treats like ice cream and candyfloss!


Have a winter getaway in Florida without spending a bundle

October 27, 2013

When you smell that first pumpkin spice latte you know that Fall is here and Winter is close behind. I love the feeling of pulling out all my warm clothes from the back of the closet and getting to wear scarves and soft hats again. But as Fall fades and Winter starts to drag on, it gets all but the most cold-hardy of us thinking about Florida holidays and retiring to the warmer climes.

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Rightfully popular for its world-famous attractions and weather, a vacation to Florida can be hard to justify as it can be expensive – but it only has to be as expensive as you want it to be. The Sunshine State has over a thousand miles of coastline, climate from the tropical to temperate, and a rich history dating back to the 16th century, meaning it has a million and one quirky, interesting, and, most importantly, inexpensive things to do. Here are a few of the best:

Visit the Deep(est) South

The southernmost point in the continental United States is commemorated in Key West by a large, landed buoy that also helpfully points out it’s only 90 miles to Cuba. While you’re in the Keys you also can drive across the scenic and famous Seven Mile Bridge, which is the world’s longest fishing pier.

St. Augustine’s Annual Pirate Re-enactments
Yes, you heard that right: pirates running around the streets of St. Augustine, drinking and sword fighting and having a merry bonfire like in ye olden times! Drop by in March for the celebration of Captain Drake’s 1586 raid, June for Captain Searle’s 1668 landing party, or November for the official annual Pirate Gathering.
Manatees at Crystal River

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The heart of Florida’s Nature Coast, Crystal River is definitely a must-see for nature lovers. Fed by underground springs that keep the river’s water its eponymous crystal clear and a comfy 72ºF all year, this is the place to winter over if you’re a manatee dodging the cool gulf waters. Diving and snorkelling with the manatees is allowed, plus there’s much more to see nearby in the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge and Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge.

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Barbados Luxury on a Budget

October 15, 2013

Barbados on a Budget


Many people consider budget and luxury to be at opposing ends of a financial spectrum. This is not necessarily always the case. With a host of websites offering discount package holidays as well as individual flights, car hires and accommodation, it’s never been easier to source deals and discounts on luxury holidays.

In order to finance and plan for your perfect luxury holiday, it is helpful to have somewhere in mind. Barbados is one of the most enviable Caribbean destinations and often considered to be well out of reach for the budget traveler. However, with some smart internet research and a flexible itinerary, dreams of luxury Barbados holidays can easily come true.

Book during school time/off-peak

This isn’t an option for everyone but if it’s possible to book a holiday while kids are at school, there are a host of deals available and travel companies are desperate for business during a time when many people cannot get away. Barbados relies heavily on tourism so airlines and resorts are eager to fill seats and beds respectively during off-peak seasons and some luxury all-inclusives are known to slash prices by as much as half during these times. Try booking between April and December to take advantage of summer sales in the Caribbean and avoid the peak winter rush.

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Easiest Ways to Learn a New Language

October 8, 2013

Learning a new language is on everyone’s new years list. Seriously, it’s been on mine for the last decade. Having had a few free hours the last couple days gave me time to look through my lists. There is one thing that reminds me of my secret ambitions more than anything else:  House Hunters. Yes, I know it’s staged, but seeing people travel to different countries, settle in and absorb the country is inspiring.

Packing up everything and moving to a different country is one way to immerse yourself in a culture and learn a new language. In fact, it’s something I wanted to do last year when I started to plan for a six-month move to Argentina, but life (and clients) kept me here. Moving away, however, is not always an option for everyone.  My travel motto has always been, “Be a foreigner in a new land, not a tourist.” That’s certainly important to me when I’m looking for cheap holiday deals.

I mean, the reason why we learn another language is to be able to go to a different place and blend in seamlessly on holiday. Regardless, if travelling isn’t in the cards for you right now, perhaps the following options might help you get your fix:

Language books/CDs:

One of the best language software systems out there, Rosetta Stone, along with the Complete Series are a great way to get started from the comfort of your own home.  Rosetta has tons of different options and is one of the easiest ways to learn a new language.  I have also tried Complete Spanish All In One and Get Started in Italian and really liked those. They were very easy to use and you can go at your own pace.

easy way to speak a new language

Taking a class:

I’m not a really a class person when it comes to languages because I find that you learn too many formal things and not enough conversational skills. However, it is a great way to get started.  Classes are ideal if you’re planning to be in a formal setting.

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Top Languages to learn in 2013

August 10, 2013


The Questions

There are a couple of important questions you need to ask yourself when choosing a language. Firstly, why do you want to learn a specific language?

There are three types of people who need to ask themselves this question;

  • School students who are forced to:

If you’re a young student in school it may be compulsory to learn a language. The majority of students don’t take time when choosing that language, usually this results in disliking the language, and going into each class with a defeatist attitude. Not realising this is one of the greatest opportunities they will have to get an edge over the outside world. This is a tough decision to make at a young age, but take the time to analyse your choices. A good tip is to pick a language that you feel suits your personality.

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