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If You’re a History Buff, Ukraine Should Definitely Be On Your List!

Ukraine is a stunning country with a long history. You should realize up front that no history of a country is without its downsides, negative points, and terrors. But that’s what makes a country interesting in the long run. We should all have a healthy respect for the history that came before us. As they say, those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

Traveling to satisfy your thirst for knowledge isn’t always easy. But if you really want to expand your historical tourism footprint, a stop in Ukraine’s capital could be what you’ve been looking for.

Ukraine

Why the capital and not another town? The capital of Ukraine has its own place in Ukrainian history. It’s one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, as well as being one that attracts plenty of visitors already. Everyone is very friendly, but you may want to brush up on some Ukrainian catch phrases in order to get around. Russian is definitely on its way out, as the country has experienced a new rise in nationalist feeling. It’s a good day to be Ukrainian, even though the country is plagued by conflict and tension with Russia. The Ukraine was part of the USSR until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. That’s not a very long time to be an independent country, and people take it very seriously. They want to be known as Ukrainians, not Russians. Talk to people about their history, rather than Russian history.

As far as things to see in the city, there are a few sights that we can definitely recommend:

The Kiev Pechersk Lavra, otherwise known as the Cave Monastery. It’s an incredible sight to see, because it’s completely underground! You get to tour the whole place for free, with the only expense being a small candle to light your way. It’s a small donation for the church, but it’s truly worth it. Some people like to leave a little more, given that it’s a holy place.

Sophias Cathedral

You should also check out St. Sophia’s Cathedral, one of the oldest churches in the region. There’s also a brilliant reproduction of the Golden Gate, which was destroyed during WWI.

It would be virtually impossible to get into all of the places you should see and go without making this guide longer and longer. It’s tough to cover an area so rich in culture and historical significance. If you’re going to go to Ukraine, make sure that you give everyone your respect. The country has gone through some significantly hard times, and it’s important to avoid making assumptions about anything. Let the people tell you their heritage and background. Let the places actually speak for themselves. You’ll get a lot more out of the experience that way.

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Taking a Cruise Holiday

If you are thinking of taking a holiday this year, then why not consider a cruise. It might be something that you have never considered before or perhaps something that you think is only for retired middle class people. However, cruises are not like they used to be. They are far more family orientated, cheaper and have lots more things to do so cater more for everyone.

Cruise holidays can be something that can be a great alternative to a normal family holiday abroad. This year, many companies are hoping that they can make more money than they did last year. This means that they might be offering some good deals, especially if you leave booking to the last minute. Being on a cruise is like living on a floating hotel. There are normal swimming pools, games to play, entertainment and the rooms are well equipped as well. There are restaurants and bars too. Some ships are more catered to the needs of families than others as are the tours themselves.

Cruise Holiday

The tours that cruise ships tend to do will vary. They sometimes have an art theme, are historical or based around the countries that they are visiting. Some of these themes would be more suited to family travel than others. Some do not have a theme but just an itinerary so you can decide exactly how to spend your time.

The price of a cruise may seem expensive but it is worth thinking hard about the price of a hotel holiday. You will not get all of the same things included in the package and you will also not be moving from place to place. A cruise is generally more luxurious with more comfortable rooms and linen, something that would be associated with quite a high star rated hotel. With everything normally inclusive during a cruise, it means that you do not have to worry about additional costs. However, other comparable holiday may not be all inclusive and so the costs can mount up. So when comparing costs think about the expenses that have not been included as well.

A cruise can be a lot more relaxing that other types of holiday. Floating on the sea can give a relaxed atmosphere anyway but the fact that you are being well looked after and do not have to worry about doing anything. Some holidays can be quite stressful for some members of the party if they have to do the cooking, washing, driving or whatever. So the relaxation of a cruise can be a much better holiday choice.

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Holidays in Germany

At first glance you may not think Germany is a great place to go on holiday. But don’t let naive stereotypes fool you- it’s actually a brilliant country to visit. Overflowing with culture, packed full of history and hiding some of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe, once you dig a little deeper you’ll see that Germany is actually a brilliant destination.

Located in pretty much the centre of Western Europe, Germany is incredibly accessible and cheap go get to. Whether you’re travelling by car, rail, plane or ferry, it’s only a short hop from the UK and you can be there in a day with bags of time to spare. This is the main reason why it’s an essential European business centre, and why it benefits from tourism.

The climate of Germany is much the same as everywhere else in Europe, especially the UK. While it doesn’t win any awards for the best winters by any means, the summer months can be very nice indeed with temperatures regularly exceeding 30 degrees. Southern Germany in particular is a region that benefits from cold winters and hot summers as forested and alpine areas are ideal for walking and skiing alike.

Love Parade in Berlin

Love Parade in Berlin

On the surface, Germany seems like a clinical and orderly country with a lack of personality, but once you’ve been there a few days you’ll learn that certainly isn’t the case. Every German city has its own character, and while you might want to avoid certain areas in what used to be East Germany, places in the old West are thriving hubs of activity. From the annual Love Parade in Berlin to the legendary Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, give the Germans a chance to have fun and they’ll bite your hand off!

Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich

Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich

There aren’t many other countries in Europe that have as much modern history as Germany. Having been through countless political, philosophical and economic revolutions, two World Wars, one Cold War, Olympic Games and World Cups, among numerous other things, there’s certainly a lot to learn about and take in. While you don’t have to spend all day walking around museums, taking time to appreciate how Germany has been shaped is certainly worthwhile.

The most popular destination in Germany is its capital city- Berlin. Certainly a global city by any stretch of the imagination, Berlin is renowned for being a centre of culture, media, politics, science and history. Just walking around the place it’s easy to see why people flock there in huge numbers. With enough art galleries, museums, exhibitions, cinemas, theatres, restaurants and hotels to shake a stick at, there’s definitely no shortage of things to do. Whether you’re taking in the impressive architecture of Potsdammer Platz, following the route of the Berlin Wall, visiting the Berlin Zoo or tasting traditional currywurst and other cuisines, Berlin is a city you’ll want to come back to time and time again.

Potsdammer Platz

Potsdammer Platz

The Bavaria region in southern Germany is also incredibly popular and boasts a fantastic ski season and some of the most picturesque landscapes of anywhere in Europe to enjoy in the summer. The Black Forest is a must visit area if you’re looking for a quiet break away from it all as it’s like going back in the 1920s; quaint and tranquil, there’s no better place to relax and recharge your batteries. [Read more…]

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Ski Holidays Are a Perfect Treat for Adrenaline Junkies

Adrenaline. Yes, we admit that we’re adrenaline junkies. It’s a tough road to follow, especially when you want to mix adventure with pleasure – things get a little complicated, as you can already imagine. If you’re the type of person that doesn’t just want to sit around on vacation, you need to make sure that you really start thinking about making a ski holiday trip at least once in your life.

OK, we admit that we’re pretty big fans of skiing. There’s nothing like pushing off the top of a hill and gliding down the long snowy slopes. You start falling in love with terms like “powder” and “crud” — yep, there is such a thing as “crud” in the world of skiing, but you’ll learn to love it too!

Now, when we say that ski holidays are a perfect treat for adrenaline junkies, it’s not like we’re expecting you to be world class stars of skiing. You can actually have a lot of fun as a beginner as long as you pace yourself and you’re not afraid to get help when you need it. There’s nothing wrong with getting assistance, especially when you start out. In fact, this is one of the first mistakes that beginners make — they try to take on slopes that are far too advanced for them. It takes the fun out of ski holidays.

Ski Holidays

Of course, there are other winter activities that you can do at the ski resort, such as snowshoeing and deep winter hiking. These things might take a little preparation, but they’re a great way to see an untouched view of nature that you might not get what you’re not home.

So, how do we connect to the best ski holidays around? We plan them out in advance, of course! It’s better to think them out in advance than try to actually pull something off at the last minute. You will want to rent your skiing equipment if you’re a beginner — by the time you get some practice in, you might have specific tastes that the ski resort in question might not accommodate automatically. This is a natural process, so don’t rush it.

From here, you will want to think about getting a package deal to a ski resort. Great ski holidays usually equal convenience, and there’s nothing more convenient in life than having someone else take care of things for you — why not start the ball rolling today?

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Affording a Holiday in the Recession

The recession has been very long across the world and many people have had to go without things. Holidays are something that tend to cost a lot of money and these are things that many people decide that they cannot afford. However, a holiday can be a big thing for people. It can be a huge source of relaxation and a time when a family can all be together, when often they do not get a lot of time to do this. When money is tight, stress can be even higher but it can feel that a holiday is impossible. There are ways that you could be able to afford one though.

–        Choose a Cheap Holiday – there are many holiday options out there and some are much cheaper than others. It could be possible to find a cheap option among what is available. It is worth considering how much you can afford to spend and then seeing whether there is anything available for that money. You may find that you have to book last minute to get good deals or even that you need to book well in advance. It can depend on the company that you choose.

Affording a Holiday

–        Go camping – camping can be a really cheap way to have a holiday and it can still be relaxing. You may have equipment already but if not, you might be able to borrow it form someone that you know and this could save money. You will only have to pay to travel and then for the cost of the camp site which should be very reasonable. Some people even find that they can go abroad and camp for a very reasonable cost.

–        Stay with friends or family – sometimes just getting away from the house and having time off work can be enough to give you the benefits of a holiday. Therefore going to stay with family or friends could be a way to achieve this. Obviously some people are not relaxed if they are in this situation and so you will need to decide whether it is the right option for you.

–        Have a staycation – this is where you stay at home but visit local tourist attractions. This can be expensive if you go to museums, eat out and things like that. However, it can be very much cheaper than paying for a holiday away from home. You will have to decide whether it will be enough of a holiday for you if you are staying at home. Some people find that for them, this is not relaxing enough.

–        Save up – it could be possible for you to be able to put a small amount of money away each week or month so that you are able to afford a holiday. It may take some time to save up but it could be extremely rewarding when you do get the holiday if you have saved up so hard for it. It is worth considering what sort of holiday you would like and how much it will cost and then thinking about how much you will need to save up in order to afford it. Remember to save extra as you will need spending money while you are there as well as having to pay for the cost of the holiday itself.

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Keep Your Wits About You When you Travel

If you’re trying to make the most out of the travel experience, you have to make sure that you’re being as logical as possible. One area that the travel industry knows they can hit you at are your emotions. You want to make sure that you’re guarding your emotions while still having a pleasurable experience. When you’re on travel, everyone will try to convince you that you’re not having as much fun as you could be, and you’re not doing all of the things that you could be doing. You’re not as young, hip, fresh, funny, or wise as you think you are, and that’s okay — they have a solution for you.

If you want to travel somewhere — go and do it. Don’t worry that there might not be the same type of nightlife that you’re used to. Whatever happened to travel being able the sense of adventure, of conquering something new? A lot of people don’t stop to think about how they’re actually perceived, to the point where they make a fool of themselves son holiday. Sure, it might be cute to get drunk in public, but that just gives the tourists more fuel for the fire in terms of making you look bad.

travel experience

There’s something to be said about getting all of your ducks in a row. What are you going to do when all of the chips seem to never be in your direction? What about when the stars just don’t align properly? What about when you feel like everything is falling apart on vacation? Are you just going to cancel and go home ?

You have to make sure that you keep your wits about your when you travel. Remember why you came on the trip in the first place. If you came to lie on the beach, you don’t have to feel guilty just because some tour guide wants to go on a deep desert trek. You don’t want what they have to offer. Shoo them along and go back to sunbathing.

It does pay to be helpful and friendly to some of the locals, as they can help you discover the truly authentic parts of a place to live. If this is something that really does intrigue you, you’re going to want to make sure that you stay tuned. There’s plenty of fun to be had if you just focus.

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Zipping Through The Fall Holiday Travel Scene with Ease

We know, we know — for a lot of you, reading this during summer is going to make you pretty mad. However, we definitely have our reasons. First and foremost, you have to realize that fall is right around the corner. In a few more weeks, we will definitely start seeing temperatures cool down. This means that the time for snowballs and everything else will be fast upon us. Perhaps that will be a good time to start thinking about traveling. If you have small children, you might be limited by trying to wait for them to go on school break for a little while. Yet if you have a family friendly place to take her to, you should be just fine.

Moving on with the topic, there’s a few fall holiday travel tips that get ignored all of the time. Instead of trying to bring more confusion, I wanted to smooth things out a little bit. You know, get all of you guys on the same page and ready to take on just about any adventure waiting for you.

First and foremost, you need to make sure that you plan things out. While some hardcore travelers pretty much just pack their bags and go, you probably won’t fall into this category. Quite frankly, the need for comfort will outweigh your ability to deal with all of the little things that come up when you’re trying to get from one place to another. It can be difficult. It can be tiring. There’s no reason to believe that it’s impossible to get things in motion, but you do have to plan accordingly. You do have to have a good head on your shoulders. You do have to think things through and not get yourself worked up. If you need things already laid out for you and set in stone, then trying to capture those last minute deals really isn’t going to help you out at all. You’re going to be pretty frustrated, very angry, and ready to just snap. You will feel like it’s the end of the world. You’ll start thinking that you wish you had never traveled. The reality isn’t that bad. You just have to look at things form a different perspective.

Holiday Travel

Indeed, it’s important to keep in mind that the hospitality industry goes through a lot of stress and strain as well. There’s nothing that says that you can’t work things out and think things through, but you do have to concentrate on the things that really matter. Don’t give in so easily when there are so many solutions out there! For example, instead of fretting about how to do private car hire, look for public transportation first. Milk the tourist thing to full advantage. It’ll also immerse you in the culture of another country, to an extent. There’s nothing like getting lost to start thinking on your feet. Some people can’t stand to not have the details taken care of, while others feel that they’re going to be just fine. Where you land on the scale depends on your travel experience and your tolerances. Some people have to have a big comfortable room that would be considered at least three or four stars. Other people can be perfectly okay in a tent wishing that the heat would go away. And yes, even though we’re talking about fall travel you can’t just assume that every place has the same weather that you’re accustomed to. That would just be silly!

You have to focus instead on what’s right in front of you. That type of travel can be stressful, but there’s nothing that says that you have to address it head on, all at once. Have you looked around another travel forum and asked other travelers questions? You might feel silly but you have to be aware of something: everyone feels silly at first. Everyone feels like they’ve made a terrible mistake. Everyone thinks that they’re going to disappear into the earth, never to be found again …at least once. 🙂

The hospitality industry is filled with a lot of stress and a desire to make people happy. Sometimes you’ll hit that nail on the head, while other times you won’t. Such is the way of things.

Notice the theme here? Fall travel is all about flexibility and going with the flow. You need to make sure that your luggage is clearly marked as yours though. The fall/winter months get a lot of air and train traffic, which means that lost luggage is simply part of the process. Get in the groove of figuring out exactly what you need to do, how you need to pull it off, and where you can go once you feel more confident in the process.

That’s the best advice we can give you when it comes to general fall travel tips. Obviously, you’ll want to take time to learn the customs and traditions of the area that you visit. If you’re going to a predominantly Muslim country, there may be cultural rules about alcohol, even in restaurants where you would be sharing company with the locals. Sometimes it’s best to be on your “church” behavior when you’re in someone else’s country. It’s just a way of paying them the respect that they deserve!

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Make sure you are fit enough for your trekking holiday

Trekking and walking holidays are a great way to see the world and you will need a certain amount of fitness and stamina in order to get the most out of them. Much depends upon where you are planning to go to, the terrain you will be walking over and the level of intensity. For instance, there are levels of intensity ranging from easy to moderate to expedition with levels in between.  So, when you choose a walking holiday, you need to know what level it is so that you can plan your fitness regime well in advance.

What Sort of Trekking Holiday Are You Going On

If you are planning to go on a 7 day trekking holiday to the Dolomites which is rated as being moderate, you will be looking at walking for around 6 hours per day for 5 days over varied terrain which includes mountain paths and steep inclines. As such, your fitness levels will need to be able to sustain you during this trek so you will need to undertake substantial training beforehand. Building stamina is important and there are many ways of doing this other than just walking. Making use of cross training is very beneficial and will help you build different muscle groups which is not only good for stamina but also for fitness. Using a variety of aerobic exercises such as running, swimming and cycling will build both fitness and stamina. When your fitness levels are rising, you can use interval training for stamina. One method of intensive interval training that is commonly used, is to sprint for half a minute then rest for a full minute then repeat building up the sessions so that you can do a 20 minute cycle without being completely exhausted.  As you are going to be walking in the mountains, you will need to do some training towards this specifically. It is important to spend time hill walking as part of your training regime and as the United Kingdom has such a wonderful variety of hills and mountains, you have plenty of choice. As with any change in regime, any health issues that you have must be taken into account and if necessary, discussed with your doctor.

trekking holiday

Healthy Diet Also Important

As well as an increased exercise regime, you will need to make sure that your diet is healthy. It needs to contain plenty of high quality protein as well as carbohydrate and fat. The protein should come from lean meat and fish which is prepared with a variety of vegetables and either potatoes, rice, bread or pasta. Cutting down on refined sugar and saturated fats will enhance your fitness regime and make you feel healthy. This does not mean that you must forgo all guilty pleasures, the occasional piece of cake or chocolate biscuit can still be enjoyed but the key here is occasional. As well as eating healthily, make sure you get enough sleep and that you are drinking enough water.

Dolomites trekking

Training Regime

By engaging in a varied and strenuous training regime, you will be fit enough to go and enjoy your trekking holiday. Not being fit enough means that you will not only struggle to keep up but you will hold others back and this would not be fair on anyone. So, wherever you are planning  to go trekking or walking, make sure that you are fit enough to go and make the most of it and enjoy every second.