Home Travel Tips

0

New York is beautiful, isn’t it? The huge buildings, the historic landscape, the broadway shows, and the streets just teeming with tourists. If you fancy somewhere a bit more authentically American, it might be worth a visit a little further south to New Jersey. Famous for the pier, Atlantic City, the Statue of Liberty, and a vibrant Italian American community, New Jersey is New York’s secret rival.

queen-of-liberty-202218_1920

Source: Pixabay

Start your trip with a ferry around the Statue of Liberty, and get all the tourist photos you fancy. Take in the sight which many immigrants will have been greeted with as they left war torn countries behind for the new hopes of America. Spend your afternoon on one of the many New Jersey beaches, eating at one of the many classic New Jersey restaurants along the boardwalk. The museum of art is worth a visit for a relaxing afternoon.

ocean-city-224436_1280
Source: Pixabay

If you’re lucky enough to visit during NHL season, you might be able to catch a Devils game at the Prudential centre. The Devils are currently 50/1 to win the Eastern conference, and you might just catch a surprising game from the team. The Devils play the New York Rangers in the “Battle of the Hudson River”, a derby with a longstanding rivalry, and is often the main event of the season for many fans.

If you fancy some razzle dazzle, Atlantic City is New Jersey’s answer to Las Vegas. Dotted with high rise buildings an glitzy hotels, it’s a must for anyone who enjoys a bit of the high life. Whilst Vegas is known as the epicentre for gambling and large budget shows, Atlantic City gives it a run for its money, whilst retaining the vintage chic and good hospitality that New Jersey has become renowned for. You might want to visit soon however, because it is tipped as one of one of 31 cities in the USA which are likely to be underwater in the near future. Visit in early October for the Atlantic City comedy festival, which gives a shot to new comedians and welcomes established comedians alike.

atlantic-71121_1280

Source: Pixabay

Eating in New Jersey is about comfort food and utilising local produce. Take a trip to one of the many locally run restaurants to experience locally caught fresh swordfish, or munch on shellfish as you wander along the boardwalk. The melting pot of immigrant history in New Jersey ensures a variety of flavours and cuisines, and makes New Jersey a really special place to eat. If you’re visiting North Jersey, a hot dog is a must, and anywhere in New Jersey, you’ll want to try Tomato Pie, which unlike a traditional pizza is made with the cheese placed directly on the dough, with the toppings on top, and finally finished with the tomato sauce.

With a renowned art museum, a strong NHL tradition, lots of parks to walk in and great local food, New Jersey makes for an interesting alternative to New York, or maybe even a trip alongside. You could do a road trip around the state or visit particular places as part of your visit, and feel smug in the knowledge that you’ve visited an All American state.

 

0

Traveling is fun, I mean for me personally there’s nothing more exciting than turning up to a new city or country and knowing that I will be discovering new foods, places and activities. I love it! But the truth is that there’s a few things about travel that are a little less glamorous. One of the things that I find most boring about traveling is the sheer amount of time spent in airports, especially if you have a long wait before flights. I prefer to go to the airport prepared so that time can go faster and I don’t get too bored! Here are my favourite boredom busters for long airport layovers:

1. A Book
I love reading, whether it’s fiction or self help books, I find myself getting lost between the pages and being carried off into my own world. It’s the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of an airport. I personally love paper books, but if you’re not sold, consider audiobooks or even an e-book, both of which are a little more portable than traditional books. While on holiday, according to a study by Opodo.co.uk, Brits read on average of two books! Using the boring wait time while in airports is a great way to boost your read count for your holiday.
2. A Game
These days games on your phone are pretty impressive, with numerous levels and challenges to keep you entertained for hours on end. Find a game that doesn’t need to be connected to wifi, as that will ensure you can play it no matter whether you have signal or not. This is a great way to ensure that the minutes fly by – just be careful you don’t miss your flight!

3. TV Show
Addicted to Game of Thrones? House of Cards? Whatever your kind of show, make sure you have some episodes loaded on your phone or iPad so that you can get into them while you’re waiting. Netflix now lets you download episodes, too, which makes it perfect for traveling. I personally prefer watching TV shows over movies when waiting as they’re a bit smaller and it’s easier to fit them into the wait time. If you don’t finish while you’re in the lounge, don’t worry – you can finish it off on the next flight.

4. Colouring In Book
Adult colouring in books have become quite trendy in the past few years. I love them because they’re relaxing. Some of them are quite large, but there’s even some cute travel sized books you can grab to take with you. It’s a cool way to pass the time as it’s distressing but also because you’re creating some beautiful art while you wait.

Waiting in airports can be a little boring but with these simple boredom busters the time will fly by!

0

Few travellers look forward to the prospect of a long haul flight with any relish. Hour after hour stuck in a cramped seat is hard to make enjoyable, no matter how many movies you watch back to back.

 

The older you get, the more daunting long haul travel becomes. Your body takes less and less kindly to the strain of being sat still for hours on end. And if you have a medical condition of any sort or a physical disability, things can be even tougher.

 

However, that is no reason to avoid taking long trips to far off climes altogether. Whether it is to visit family living abroad, or to realise your dreams of exotic adventure, a long haul flight is a means to a much bigger end. And with a little forward planning, you can do plenty to alleviate the worst aspects.

Talk to your airline

When booking your flight, it is important to speak to them to explain any specific needs you have. These might include:

 

  • Wheelchair access: Arrangements will need to be made to check your normal wheelchair into the baggage hold and offer you a replacement for getting through security and to the boarding gate. Airport staff will then be on hand to assist with getting onto the plane.

  • Priority boarding: If mobility is an issue for you and standing on your feet in queues is difficult, you can ask for assistance to get through check-in and security quickly, and then board the plane early.

  • Extra leg room: Large jets do have seats with more leg room, which are usually reserved for passengers with young children or with mobility issues.

  • Dietary requirements: If you have a condition such as diabetes, make sure you inform your airline of any special requirements for in-house meals.

  • Medicines: Advise your airline in plenty of time of any medicines you will need to take on board with you to use during the flight. This will ensure security clearance can be arranged, and the flight crew given advance notice.

During the flight

As long as you have informed your airline in advance of any specific needs, the flight crew will be prepared to assist you. Members of crew are medically trained should you feel unwell during the flight.

 

The rest is about making yourself as comfortable as possible. Take cushions and pillows with you – blow-up varieties are a good idea if you want to save space in your hand luggage. A blanket can also be a good idea as in-flight aircon can get chilly, especially if you try to sleep.

 

Don’t forget to get up and move around at regular intervals. This applies even if you are no longer the most mobile – ask a member of the flight crew to assist you. This is essential to stop joints and muscles seizing up and causing discomfort later on, but also to protect against more serious problems like deep vein thrombosis.

Find out more

If you are an older traveller planning a trip abroad, or if you have a long term medical condition, make sure you get the appropriate travel insurance. Avanti Travel Insurance specialises in policies for the over-50s, and offers a range of bespoke insurance for specific medical conditions. To find out more, please visit our website.

0

Would you ever hide money from your partner? If you answered yes, turns out you’re not alone. In a new study by AutoEurope.co.uk it was discovered that around 25% of people studied have a secret amount of money stashed away from their partner, which is, on average, over £4200 for men and a little more than £2700 for woman. While people are saving this secret money for a variety of reasons, I was really surprised to read that 27% of people are saving for a secret holiday – often without their partners. I personally feel that relationships are built on trust and so if these savings are really secret, it’s a very concerning sign for the relationship.

23% of people studied said that they had money in hiding incase the relationship falls apart, in order to get life started again. While I can understand getting prepared, I really think it’s important any personal savings you have are not a secret and if you can’t share that information with your partner, it’s probably a clear sign you should consider ending the relationship.

Almost 30% of the respondents said they felt guilty for hiding money from their significant other while in contrast 36% said they were doing it for the good of the family. Perhaps due to fears of the partner spending the money irresponsibility or for some addiction, such as alcoholism or gambling. While 57% of respondents said they would be delighted if they found their partner had a secret stash, 42% said they would be furious, which is exactly how I would feel if I found out my partner had money hidden from me.

I personally find money to be such a sensitive topic in relationship and feel that it’s important that each partner have a certain amount of money each month which is theirs to do with what they please. This is important to maintain financial independence and to ensure that you don’t have to ask permission for every little thing you wish to buy. However, I think it’s important to be transparent about any personal savings you have and the intention you have for them. The only time I personally feel it’s appropriate to hide your savings is in the case of an addiction to drugs, alcohol or gambling, where you cannot trust your partner to take care of the money. I think secrecy with money can flow into other areas of your relationship, making lies and deceit seem normal, when it has no place in a healthy relationship.

Would you hide money from your partner in order to plan a holiday for yourself without them? Leave your comments down below!

Secret-savers (3)

0

Road trips are one of my favourite ways to travel: you have the convenience of your own car, you’re able to go where you want when you want, and you can decide exactly where you want to go. All you need is some good quality snacks, a great sound track and good company and you’re set to go. But where? Well, the truth is you’ll be spoiled for choices within Europe. In general the road quality is great, there’s lots of scenic routes you can take, and there’s so many hot spots you’ll struggle to choose where you want to go most. Yourparkingspace have done the hard research for us and found a great selection of the best and most scenic roads in Europe, they’ve even made a cool infographic that I’ll be sure to post at the end of the post, so don’t forget to check it out.
Without further ado, here are some of the best road trip routes in Europe:

1. Old Military Road A93 & A939, Scotland
Many say this is the best driving route in all of the UK, for a variety of reasons. First it’s a pretty short length of drive (around 2 hours) but is filled with a few national treasures such as Cairngorms National Park, Balmoral Castle and Lecht Ski School. You’ll have an opportunity to hopefully see some of the wildlife in the Highlights, so keep your eyes on the road. You’re likely to see deer, snow rabbits and maybe even grouse.

2.Susten Pass, Switzerland
Often considered one of the most scenic roads in the entire world, here you’ll see roads curving through the valleys while you edge towards the summit which is an impressive 2,224 meters. This is another short drive, only taking around an hour, but it will probably you take much longer as there’s lots of scenic places to stop along the way for a great photo opportunity.

3. Route 500, the Black Forest Germany
This road is particularly popular with motorcyclists, probably in part because the roads are winding and provide interesting views along the way. You’ll pass through dense forest areas, find yourself with elevated views and space to park. At times this road can be quite busy, so traveling earlier int he day can be a good way to avoid congestion. This trip takes around 53 mins, covers 31.1 miles and passes by Hornisgrinde Mountain, Geroldsau Waterfalls and Lichtenthal Abbey.

For more inspiration, check out the cool infographic right below:

european road trip infographic

Who doesn’t want to live by the seaside? Personally I find it so relaxing to go to the beach whenever life is becoming stressful. I love watching the waves crash into the shore line. It’s also an excellent place to pass the summer months with your friends and family. There’s two large universities here, an excellent nightlife and a whole host of great cafes including numerous that are offering ample gluten free options.

If you’re a business owner, you may struggle a little to get mail delivered to your clients in Brighton, the rest of the UK and overseas. One thing you can do to minimise the hassle is to invest in an address verification tool to ensure that the addresses your clients are inputting are correct and complete. This will save you a lot of hassle down the line.

Still curious as to why people are flocking to Brighton? Well in a recent survey it was shown that people from Brighton are the most proud in all of Britain of where they live, bursting with #PostcodePride.

Here are some of my reasons that Brighton is such a great place to visit:

1. It’s Eccentric
Anything goes in Brighton and you may find people dressing with a little more flare than elsewhere in the UK. People here don tattoos, piercings, and outfits that may surprise you. But it’s really cool: it’s nice to see a place where there’s so little discrimination against what you’re wearing and there’s a lot of freedom to express yourself.

2. Great Cafes
There’s a huge cafe movement in Brighton which is great because I love to start my day with a strong cup of coffee. Many of the cafes cater to different needs such as gluten intolerance, vegans, and there’s a huge range of milks usually on offer for those of you who are avoiding drinking dairy products. The food is excellent and you’ll find yourself spoiled for options.
3. University Town Feel
There’s a lot of youth here, which makes it feel really alive and vibrant. For many of Brighton’s students, once their university days are over, there’s a strong desire to stay living in Brighton because the lifestyle here is just so great. Because there’s so many students who flock here, there’s always something on at night, no matter the day, ensuring it’s a great place to party as well.

No matter whether you’re planning a move to Brighton or just hunting for your next holiday destination, it will offer you an incredible experience and probably have you hoping you can stay forever!

0

I’m dreaming of beaches; I’m so overdue for a white sand holiday that I’m literally dreaming of beaches. If you’re like me, your idea of a real holiday includes shimmery sand beaches, a nice drink in hand and a warm climate so you can fully enjoy the sea. The truth is, this planet is dotted with numerous gorgeous beaches, so many that it can be hard to figure out where you should go. I decided to make a list of the best beaches around the world to inspire you for your next trip! Let’s get started with the best beaches around the world:

1. The Maldives
There’s a reason why the Maldives are such a popular honeymoon destination, here you’ll find a perfect mix of outrageously gorgeous beaches as well as a hint of isolation. Of course it depends on where you stay as the Maldives are actually made up of atolls and there’s a string of 26 atolls. The water is clear, the weather is sunny and it is literally my idea of paradise. It’s also romantic, can you think of anything more romantic than a relaxing holiday in Maldives? Not sure I can!

2. Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
I love Thai food, it’s no secret. It’s definitely my favourite cuisine in the world. So I’m especially grateful that Thailand is home to so many gorgeous beaches and islands. I’ve visited a few, but my favourite so far is Koh Phi Phi island. It’s a lot smaller than neighbouring islands, but it has enough on the island to keep you easily entertained for a week or two. There’s a bunch of great areas for diving and snorkelling, as well as dreamy beaches that were made famous by the movie The Beach. The water is so clear you can see the fishes swimming below. The best part about visiting a beach in Thailand? The $5 per hour massages.

3. Cancun, Mexico
Mexico is becoming a bit of an up and coming destination at the moment, with Mexico City getting a lot of attention for the art, culture and food. The great thing about visiting Mexico for the beaches is that you could easily fly to Mexico City and check it out too. The beaches around Cancun and Tulum are like that out of a postcard: super white sand, super blue skies and a beautiful inviting ocean that’s not going to make you freeze. Margaritas are plentiful and Mexican food is delicious, so you’ll be content while you lounge around by the pool and beach all day. Take a good book and book longer than you think you’ll need because Mexico is an unforgettable destination!

These are my top three beaches, I hope you can make time to visit at least one of them.

0

Canada is a huge country, which is diverse both in terms of its people as well as in its landscapes. Here you can find almost everything, from beaches to snowcapped mountains, beautiful areas for hiking and a number of great international cities. There’s lots of reasons that Canada is a great destination for your next holiday, and the truth is no matter what time of year you visit, you will be spoiled with great activities to do. Before you head out to Canada, be sure to find a cheap flight to Canada so you can save extra money for activities while you’re there.

Niagara Falls
Even if you have seen them from the US side, why not try a different perspective? Niagara Falls is one of the most impressive natural attractions in the world and makes for some pretty amazing photos. Consider doing a short cruise to get a really special perspective of the falls!

Old Quebec
Walking around old Quebec you could become confused and feel you are walking around the streets of Paris. Here you’ll find all of Europe’s charm blended perfectly with the politeness and friendliness that Canadians are world famous for. There’s a bunch of beautiful murals scattered around, so be sure to bring your camera or smartphone so you can get a bunch of lovely photos. It’s definitely the best old town in all of Canada – at least in my opinion, so worth a visit if you can make it.

Notre-Dame Basilica
This is an absolutely stunning church that you can’t leave off your Canadian itinerary, but you must remember to go inside. There’s a guided tour that runs hourly that is definitely worth taking and make sure you see the light show named Aura, where the beauty of this old church is mixed seamlessly with technology to make something really special for travellers of all ages and all religions.

Toronto Islands
Take a ferry over to the Toronto Islands perhaps the best view of the city so that you can get a lot of great photos. This is a lovely break from the hustle and bustle of the city life. If you can, stay for sunset so you can watch how beautifully the sun sets on a clear day. You can either walk around or hire a bike to cycle around and cover a bit more ground!
Canada has so much to offer, check out at least a few of these special destinations on your next trip and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with this stunning country.

0

Most kids around the world dream of going to Disney World or Disney Land. Growing up in Australia, unfortunately that kind of trip was way outside of my family’s budget. Thankfully as an adult I’ve been able to visit a variety of cool theme parks around the world, including Disney World. I visited their park in Florida and while I had a great visit, I did a few things that really made things easier, and made a few mistakes, so wanted to share my top 5 tips for visiting Disney World with you guys here! And of course, before you head to Disney don’t forget to buy your Disney tickets early to ensure you don’t miss out.

1. Take a Fanny Pack
They look stupid, I know, but you can keep lots of things in there securely including sunscreen and your phone. It’s much more comfortable than a bulky backpack or a handbag which is going to drag on one of your shoulders all day long. The good thing about taking a fanny pack is simply the size, it’s not too big so you will only keep your essentials inside.

2. Go Later in the Day
Most people try to head to the parks as early as possible, in order to beat the crowds, but often you’re just a part of the crowds. For example, Magic Kingdom Park in Florida is open until 10pm! Head in around 5pm and you’ll be watching people clear out the doors and the lines for the rides will just keep shortening. Perfect!

3. Take Some Bandaids
Chances are, you may end up with blisters from walking around the park so much. The bandaids there are really expensive, like over $5 a box, so I would suggest picking up some cheaper Bandaids from Walmart or your local pharmacy to save some money. Keep a few in your fanny pack and thank me later when your feet are throbbing and you feel the relief of a Bandaid covering your blister!

4. Keep Hydrated
Chances are you’re going to spend a lot of time in the sun, walking around and you might not notice how dehydrated you really are. Sometimes I like to buy rehydration salts from pharmacies to take with me when I visit theme parks or hot destinations. That way all I need is a bottle of water and I can make a really hydrating drink for a low cost. These little packets of hydration salts will fit easily in your fanny park too!

5. Take Lots of Pictures
Visiting Disney World is such a fun experience, don’t forget to take lots of pictures. Characters walk around the park, so when you spot some of your favourites, don’t hesitate to go up and ask for a photo. No matter whether you are young at heart or young, it’s pretty fun to see your favourite Disney Characters come to life and it makes for some really cool family photos!

Have fun at the most magical place on earth.

0

The UK football stadiums are some of the best in the world. They’re also massive. Even the smallest premier league stadiums and ground can easily hold 30,000 people, but we all know that some stadiums are better than others.

If you’re a hardcore football fan, you may not have time to get to every game. But one thing you can do is get in some football betting, which will make the experience even more exciting- even if you can’t make it to the actual game. Sports betting is legal in the UK so on some stadiums it’s available right there on the premises. And if not you can always go online and take a punt.

Thus, if you can make it to a few of the best football games this year, here are some of the best UK stadiums for football fans:

432859783_bf44e9a223_b

Wembley

Wembley is one of the most famous stadiums in the world. The stadium is the home of the England national team, and it also hosts most of the largest games in the UK. Along with England matches, fans can see the FA Cup final and semi finals, along with the League Cup play-off finals and final from most of the divisions. It’s also used for some of the higher profile matches like the Champions League final, and it’s also a popular place for many music concerts.

Old Trafford

This has been the home of Manchester United since way back in 1910 when it first opened. The stadium is a historical masterpiece for football fans, and has been developed over the years to keep up with the times.

Old Trafford now has the largest capacity of any club-side stadium in the country, and has been used for the FA Cup semi-finals, United Games, rugby union and rugby league matches, and plenty of music concerts.

Celtic Park

Celtic Park is Scotland’s largest stadium, and it opened all the way back in 1892, without any large changes until the 1990s when the terraces got covers and there were floodlights famously installed. Up until 1994, the ground was the same as it had been back in 1892, 112 years earlier.

Once Fergus McCann bought the club, the Celtics could finally afford to develop the ground, and the rebuild was completed in 1998. Along with some famous football games, the ground was also the host for athletics during the 2014 Commonwealth Games, rugby games, Scotland International musics, and lots of music concerts.

Emirates Stadium

This is Arsenal’s stadium, and it was built to replace Highbury- their former home. This is a massive stadium, and now has a bowl style stand, instead of the traditional English four stands. This stadium has also hosted Brazil international games, and many music concerts have been staged here, including Coldplay and Bruce Springsteen.

Etihad Stadium

Back in 2000, Manchester decided it wanted to host the Olympics. The bit process required that they come up with a stadium that could be used for the majority of the events. While the bid was rejected, the stadium wasn’t, and it hosted the Commonwealth Games a couple of years later.

Manchester City have called this stadium home since 2003, and it’s also used for rugby matches, music concerts, and boxing.