I'm very happy to say that the last few hectic weeks have now gone, leaving me with some time to look forward to my next holiday. I know most of us lead busy lives, and some cope better than others, but personally I do need a little time to ponder, to plan and think ahead. I get quite stressed when too much is going on BUT, then again, I always need something to look forward to or I tend to become a bit depressed. I only have one child still at school, in her last year of 6th form, and one at university, and two working. My fourth child is my seventeen year old daughter and, since she was around thirteen, she has kept myself and my husband extremely busy with her singing and drama activities. I do love watching her on stage and she seems to go from strength to strength but July became manic. She has been in competitions, school plays and shows constantly and needs her dad and I (I'm map reader!) to take her to places, which are nearly always south of the river Thames. We live in Essex, North east of London. Then her stage school's vocal group, 'Step Up choir' made it to the live finals of channel 5's, 'Don't Stop Believing' and we discovered that if they made it to the final it would mean her missing the start of our holiday and having to fly out to Cyprus alone. Or I would have to miss the first few days of my holiday and travel with her, cutting short my holiday and incurring extra expense. Anyway, to cut a long story a little shorter, they didn't get through to the final, although critics seem to think they should have. I am relieved and know the experience was good but...yipee!..My holiday plans can now go ahead! So the tickets have arrived. I can't wait. Two weeks all inclusive in Paphos, Cyprus. Five of us are going. Myself, my husband and our daughter, as mentioned, along with our twenty year old son and his girlfriend. A few years ago we used to have another weeks holiday in October, when we would explore more of the country we visited, as it's not so hot then, and also we would have a couple of weekends away in this country. Nothing costly but a welcome break. I don't go out that much socially so am happy to have these breaks. Now though, along with much of the country, we can't afford this and it will probably only be the one holiday. Because of this I plan to make the most of it! So the promise of two weeks of sunshine and laziness looms ahead. I booked with Direct Holidays, which is Thomas Cooke's discounted holiday store. The flight is due to take off at seven a.m. so hopefully, we'll arrive in the afternoon, at The Sentido Pafian Sun, with time to unpack and have a swim and a look around. This will be our fourth trip to Cyprus but we haven't stayed at this hotel/complex before. I chose this one as it offered studios and apartments at a reasonable price. We have an apartment with a bedroom and an extra bed in the lounge/kitchen area for my daughter. My son and his girlfriend have a studio with lounge and kitchenette. I don't think we'll be particularly adventurous as it's extremely hot in Cyprus in August. I expect this to be very much a, 'chill out' holiday. I am anticipating lazy days by the pool, watching the more energetic type play their water polo and volleyball. While they do this I'll sip cold drinks of pineapple or orange juice. I might play a game or two of table tennis and French Boules if I get bored. When we went on holiday last year we were awaiting my daughter's GCSE results on our return. She was, being that type, very worried about not getting the results she needed. She got great results and was shocked, but this year she will get her A/S level results before we go so hopefully she can have a stress free holiday and celebrate. I have faith in her even if she doesn't. And my son and his girlfriend have found this year at university hard going, financially and with the weeks of placements near to their Kent university and further weeks in Cornwall, I think they've needed something to look forward to. I consider my children to be good friends and very supportive of each other, but am hoping they manage to remember this for the two weeks duration of our holiday and their now unusual close proximity. And when the pool begins to empty and things quieten down, I'll have a cocktail, maybe a Tequilla Sunrise, while we giggle over the names from the menu, such as, probably the most mentioned cocktail, 'sex on the beach' and I'll sip as I watch the sun begin to set. We'll probably have a day at the water park. I expect the others to get the most out of this but I think for me it will be a case of a few rides on the lazy river and a bob in the wave machine. I'll buy a large rubber ring, not because I'm very large, but I want to be comfortable! And I'll float around the pool in that and will probably try it out in the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea. I'm hoping that we will find it cool enough on some evenings to visit the harbour at Paphos, travelling by local bus. The bus service is good in Cyprus and the fare is 1.50 Euros wherever you go. Last year we had a couple of lovely meals sitting by the harbour, watching the lights from the boats reflected in the inky blue, night time, Mediterranean Sea. I remember, last year, talking to a Cypriot proprietress of a restaurant who wanted to visit England and see snow! I think by reading this you'll tell how much my holiday means to me. I'm grateful to Dooyoo for helping a little with the cost and also giving me hope that I'll be able to save enough money to help pay for a holiday next year, as well.
If there's one thing during the year to look forward to, then it's a well deserved holiday. This year, I plan to be taking myself off to Egypt. I've been on quite a few holidays over the years. My first holiday was to Corfu, and although I did enjoy it, I don't think I will ever return. I thought I was getting a great deal at the time. I think I paid around £450.00 for a studio room for two weeks which turned out to be an absolute hell hole! I have also been to Majorca, Benidorm, Cyprus twice which was an amazing holiday and a lovely place and Mexico and I will definitely be returning. I've always had my eye on Egypt. I'd love to see the pyramids but the thought of going always scares me a little. This year, I can think of nowhere else I really want to go so I'm biting down hard on the bullet. I've spent months and months researching hotels and reading reviews about them and the various resorts. I've finally settled on The Sonesta Club resort which is 20 minutes walk from Naama bay. One thing that stands out in the reviews is the food. In most of the reviews someone always has somthing bad to say about it so for this reason I am absolutely dreading it! I'm also worried about seeing the camels. I have heard bad things about how their owners mistreat them so I am dreading having to witness something untoward. Hopefully I won't end up in prison if I need to defend the animals. I'm a little concerned about the heat too, especially as I am going in July. I can handle heat but only if I am allowed to moan about it constantly. If I do end up getting on my boyfriends nerves, I suppose he can always swap me for a camel or two although getting them back to the Uk would be a nightmare. Hopefully this will deter him. Well If anyone has been to Egypt and wishes to leave me a comment or two I would appreciate it.
After reviewing finances this year, me and my partner have decided to stay in the UK this year. Fortunately my parents live by the Norfolk Broads so when they go away in August, we will be spending a week house sitting! My parents only moved here a few years ago so its not somewhere I grew up so we are looking forward to dusting off our bikes and getting out and about to investigate whats out there. We have already managed to pick up some 'Out and About' brochures for Norfolk so we have picked up some ideas and money off vouchers. Hopefully, subject to weather, we will be able to hire a boat for the day to travel down the broads... On our second week off work, we are actually going to visit London for a few days... We have been to London a few times but there is soooo much to see and we are also going to Hatton Garden to look for engagement rings (hence why we aren't going abroad this year) so fingers crossed we can find a bargain! I love travelling but this is the first year I would have had a summer holiday in the UK since I was a kid... I just hope that the weather doesn't stop us from getting out and about!
I love going on holiday but since leaving home and becoming independant, having a family etc we cannot really afford to do it on a regular basis. In fact me and my partner have yet to go away together but that is going to change this year! I am lucky enough to be going 2 holidays abroad this year, well i say holidays, one is more of an "educational trip" with my college class. My first trip is to Lloret de Mar in Spain and we are going there 2nd week in March for 3nights. We are flying from Prestwick into Gerona Airport. I am so excited but nervous about flying again as ive not been on a plane since i was 15! Anyways we leave on the Sunday and come back on the Wednesday. We had the choice of going half board to Lloret de Mar or bed and breakfast in Barcelona and we opted to have the 2 meals! We are going on a day trip to Barcelona and i am looking forward to seeing Nou Camp and The Sacre de Ma Familia which our Spanish tutor has told us the history of! My second holiday is my first with my partner and our son. We have booked for 2 weeks all inclusive to Palma Nova in Majorca. We got a super deal and are going at the start of October. The 2nd week there runs into the October school week so it will be busy. This will be my 11th time in Majorca (my partners 1st and only 2nd time abroad) and our sons first ever holiday so will be extra special for us. We plan on going lots of trips (weather and finance permitting) and to spend some time around the pool.
My next 'Summer' holiday is actually going to be in September, so I wouldn't really class it as a Summer holiday. It is in fact going to be my 2 year old twin boys first holiday. Firstly I'm a single mum to my twin boys and I find going out to town with them quite daunting half the time, theres nothing worse than kids causing a scene and as a parent not being able to cope doesn't even get thought of really, as you can imagine seeing double causing a scene is a horrendous sight to any passer by lol it scares the hell out of me .. BUT I wanted a break away from here and somewhere fun for my kids. As a trip to town is daunting enough I didn't want to try anywhere new just yet, it had to be somewhere I was familiar with, used to and actually enjoyed going to so I decided on Weymouth. The twins will be nearly 3 when we go so able to talk a bit more and communicate their feelings etc so I'm HOPING things will be a little easier, in some ways, when getting out and about but I wasn't prepared to take them totally on my own as I don't drive so knew I'd be travelling by train and just pushing their double buggy without having to fold it down, hold their hands and carry a suitcase would of course be pretty difficult right? So I persuaded my younger brother to come! Well actually I just asked him nicely and he said yes because since I've moved out we've got on better, theres a 7year age gap yet we've still fought like cat and dog but now we are alot closer and my sons absolutely adore their uncle. Weymouth has been our family holiday for years, we've either stayed on a caravan site on in B&B's and even overnight in the car once. My dad was never one to go abroad until he got the sun bug last year but we all loved weymouth. It can be both a relaxing or fun holiday. It caters for all ages and there is plenty for all to do. I wanted somewhere I could take my twins where they could live the way they do at home without too much difference so I knew it would have to be a caravan, our own mini home for a week, neighbours as usual but not so close that they can hear every scream or cry lol and our own privacy without having to worry about getting up for breakfast or if the people underneath us can hear two trantrumming toddlers! By choosing a caravan site I also knew that we had the option of the activities provided on site, staying in the caravan for a homely day or venturing into weymouth to either enjoy the tranquility of the sea, a few pints in one of it's MANY pubs, spending way to much money either on the high street or in one of their smaller seaside shops or even having a fun time at their fair and amusements. Weymouth for us this year will be the ideal holiday, I can feel it in my bones lol, it will be somewhere all 4 us can enjoy for a whole week without the worry of any of us getting bored or homesick. I have a target to lose so much weight by the time we go to, making it an extra special FIRST summer holiday as a family. It will be nice to be able to run about, have fun and chase to energetic 2 years olds around without feeling like a frump and getting out of breath within 2 seconds due to being so chunky. My fault for having such a large appetite eh. Well wherever your going this summer, Happy Holidays!!! x
Wow...This is a great subject to talk about. Obviously everyone has a favourite holiday destination they have been to or want to go to! This trip is not planned but I really want to go the Maldives with my boyfriend! I think this is a perfect destination to visit because it will be quiet, tropical and romantic! I like the idea that you get to spend a lot of quality time together to relax. It is so idyllic and looks lovely from the pictures I have seen! The bright blue sea and the almost reflective white sand in my mind is a picture of heaven. You get to scuba dive, go on fishing trips and do whatever takes your fancy! There will be no overcrowding on beaches and it is just nice to have your own space. The reason why Maldives would be my ideal choice is the fact that the weather is absolutely gorgeous except in the monsoon period, it is less commercialised than places like New York obviously! The sea is so clear and usually I don't like to go in, but I think I would here! Who would reject that offer? We could get a nice beach hut and relax at the beach in the quiet all day... I hope my wish will come true one day. I am not sure how much this would cost per person put I imagine it will be over £1000. I would love to go for about two weeks but no more because that may be enough relaxing and sight seeing. Does anyone know how much this would be and what is the place like??
I would dread to think how much of my life I have spent at airports. I travel backwards and forwards constantly on trains, buses and flights from the UK to Germany or UK to France. I used to love going to the airport, now i have done it so often it's just another journey that I dread. I have always gone on holiday with my grandparents and we used to travel across continents by air but as they got older they also realised the hassle of this and the weight and hand luggage restrictions have really put them off. That was before we discovered cruising. We have sailed with Cunard now for over a decade and we have never looked back. We even sailed on the same ship, the QE2 for the majority of that time until she went out of service. This year we went on the Queen Victoria and from now on that will be our new holiday home. We have two cruises booked, one Mediterranean in May on the Terry Wogan Children In Need cruise and two in August back-to-back of a Mediterranean and a week long northern European one. So what is it that makes us cruise time and time again? Well being from Birmingham it is quite a trek down to Southampton but we usually get a driver down and back. The weight restrictions of airlines ensure that we never fly to meet the cruise ship and we have even just sailed five days over to New York and sailed five days back to Southampton, getting off the ship once in ten days! On a 21 night US and Canada cruise my grandma took...wait for it...THIRTEEN suitcases. Between three of us. One of those suitcases was mine along with a backpack (how elegant, I hear you cry!) that I took aboard myself. This is a lady that likes to pack everything for every eventuality. One suitcase was completely toiletries, with spares of everything in case anything should run out. You can imagine the stress of trying to keep an eye on all these suitcases but at embarkation a porter just picks them up from us and then they are gone until an hour later when they block up the entire corridor outside the cabin, creating a big health and safety hazard. Aside from this, my grandfather was a navy man so for him the sea is where he feels most at home. I have to say I never feel more relaxed than at sea. It really is like you are in a different world on a cruise. My grandparents and I have very different cruises. Yet we both have our routines. Most of my cruise is spent in the pub. Most of theirs is spent in a piano bar or the balcony. We meet up for meal times and that is where our paths end. You can find me on the karaoke, in the casino, doing the quizzes, playing shuffleboard or wine tastings. It is just always the same. How boring you may think but to us it is a tradition that we have, just the three of us. We love getting dressed up in evening dresses for dinner and we love knowing where everything is and the relaxing sound of the sea. It's almost like having a holiday villa that you go to time and time again except we just move around to a different country every day. We have actually gone past the point of getting off at every port, simply because we have done most of them. If it is a good port we get off but if we know there is nothing there we just enjoy having an empty ship to ourselves. Yet it is only on Cunard that we feel this way. On other cruise lines we don't feel so at home. I don't know why but that is just the way it is. Even though I am older now I still love having this tradition with my grandparents, especially now I am living abroad again and don't see them much. On the last voyage of the QE2 I sat with them at dinner on the last night and thought that the first time I sat at that table I wasn't even a teenager and now I am a woman! It was a scary thought but also a thought that made that last dinner all the more special. It was like the end of an era and I did wonder if our tradition would continue after that. However here we are again and I would never want to stop going with them, even if I had to look after them all day and night! It's funny that there are so many other people like us on Cunard. People who go year after year and they have their routines. Sometimes you see the same people year after year and one of the first things that I do is have a walk around the ship to where the usual people hang around and see if there is anyone I know. Usually there is! That is also a nice thing that whether its a passenger or crew member you usually see someone you know. So I can't wait for my next cruise with gran and gramps and for that first exciting moment when we see the first glimpse of the ship and I know I'm back. The only problem is that it goes so fast that before I know it I'm having my last glimpse of the ship and heading for the post-cruise blues...
My best friend has badgered me so much about going away somewhere (outside the UK) that last month I got my first ever passport. It only took me just over 3 decades LOL Anyway, he has his heart set on going to Amsterdam and he knows I'm the ideal candidate to drag along. The rest of our pals are far easier to persuade to go abroad but there tastes are, shall we say, lowbrow. No amount of harassment is going to get me to go to Ibiza or Ayia Napa. I apologise in advance to anyone who enjoys the 18-30s type of holiday but it's not for me. Since obtaining my passport I have become enthused by the idea of going to Amsterdam. I really like the whole idea of city breaks. For anyone wondering about my thoughts on Amsterdam's more famous attractions I say no I'm not interested in the red-light districts but I can't deny that I am curious about visiting the famous coffee shops. I'm also intrigued by the architecture, the canals (being a Brummie that's only natural I guess) and the whole middle ages vibe. The few dealings I've had with Dutch folk have all been positive, they were impeccably behaved when their team was stationed in Birmingham during the Euro 96 football tournament and were a credit to themselves, they gave an extra vibrace especially to the city centre. So I expect a nice atmosphere amongst nice, decent people. My friend is waiting on his renewal passport and then we've just got to work out how long we are going to go for and book it. Any tips from you wonderful fellow dooyoo members would be great - places that we shouldn't miss, places we should avoid, any local customs we should observe etc. So that's it, bring on next year. I still don't know if I'm like that famous Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp (afraid of flying) so I'm going to get my mate to do what the A-Team used to do to B.A. and get him to drug some milk to get me on the flight if needs be :) If all goes well there are rumblings of us crossing the Atlantic and taking a bite out of the Big Apple. I don't know, you wait years for a foreign holiday and then 2 come along................................
In my 'About Me' section, I am continually mentioning my travel plans, so I thought I'd share a bit more of them on here! Although not technically a summer holiday as it is going to be for around 6 months, I will be spending our winter in the southern hemisphere (ie their summer) and our summer in the nothern hemisphere so I think it counts :-) Me and my friend from uni (who is on dooyoo also- carmen_bean) have just booked our first flight to Rio in Brazil for the end of January! We will be spending a few months in South America doing a kind of u-shape around the continent, down through sao paolo and the iguazu falls and then down to uruguay and argentina and then across the continent and up through chile, bolivia, peru and equador. Obviously south america is a big place so we have a good amount of time to do this route.... we were a bit too ambitious at first, wanting to go everywhere but then reality set in and we narrowed down where we were going to! We do however intend to do most of this overland, so there will be a few long bus journeys to endure- something I'm not really looking forward to!!! Then we will head from Equador to Mexico (on a plane this time!!) and eat lots and lots of food (mexican happens to be my favourite!!) and then head into the USA for a couple of months, although we haven't planned that part of the trip in too much detail yet as we're being caught up in visas, vaccines and all sorts for the south american part currently!! We still have a lot of planning to do, but I cannot wait to go! I'd be interested to hear any tips or advice from other Dooyoo-ers and any recommendations of where to go and what to do (although remember we are on a budget!)- particularly in the bigger cities such as Rio, Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo and Santiago as there is so much to see and do! I have wanted to travel the americas for ages and am so happy I finally get to do so, but a small part of me is terrified so any suggestions will be welcomed! Thanks for reading!
I booked my summer (and only) holiday last night! My boyfriend and I are going to Florida. I'm so excited I simply can't put it into words! Why are two 24 years olds heading off to see Mickey Mouse? I went to Florida as a child and had an absolutely wonderful time. Life was happier at that point and no one seemed to have a care in the world. While I am not trying to capture the mood of that particular holiday, its magic has stayed with me and I know that my boyfriend and I will create our own wonderful memories this time. We're staying in a nice little hotel/motel on International drive. I've already checked it out and there's a Ponderosa close by - so that's breakfast sorted then. We are situated right next to a lake and near Universal Studios. It has amazed me just how much research I have actually put into this holiday. But I think that it is so important when going away to really know your stuff before you book, after all, you're spending your hard earned cash on something that only lasts for two weeks. I checked out the hotel on Trip Advisor and of course, on here. It seems pleasant enough for the budget traveller and I'm happy with that. After all, who wants to pay a fortune for a room which is just a base to sleep and shower? Apart from checking out hotels, I made sure I know what tickets were on offer for the theme parks. I had originally opted for the OrlandoFlexi Ticket and a Disney 14 Day Ultimate ticket, as these provided access to all of the relevant parks and attractions we were interested in. However, in the travel agents, we were advised to consider the "WOW!" ticket from Keith Prowse. This ticket covers all of the Disney attractions, plus Universal Studios, Sea World and Aquatica. There are a couple of other freebies with it too, but to be honest we weren't interested in them. This seemed too good to be true as it actually worked out about £20 cheap than doing it the other way. Hotel, sorted, Breakfasts, sorted (Ponderosa), tickets, sorted and car... we hummed and hawed but eventually decided that to have a car was probably the wisest option. The only drawback here is that because my boyfriend will be under 25 when he is driving it, we will have to pay an extra $25 per day. We considered the alternative of booking a hotel which provided transport but in the end the price difference was negligible, so we went with the car. Vroom vroom. So now it's all planned and we're just in the process of debating how much spending money to take and how to save this up in the coming year. I'm thinking spending money will be through the roof, but I'd scrimp a little this year and really go mad on my holiday, since it's such a once in a lifetime kind of thing. The plan is to use every day of our holiday to the full. We plan to visit the Magic Kingdom at least twice, same with Universal Studios. I loved the Magic Kingdom as a child, and it was truly a dream holiday for any child, so I'm hoping the magic is still there! I can't wait to experience Thunder Mountain with my boyfriend. I'm looking forward to all of Frontierland, I think that was my favourite. I also fully intend to queue up and meet Mickey in his dressing room again. Should I be embarrassed about that? I'm really looking forward to experiencing Universal Studios as an adult, because I think there are many areas here which children don't quite appreciate so much. I'm dragging my boyfriend onto the E.T ride though because I want to hear wee E.T. say our names. And the back lot tour etc will definitely mean more to me now that I'm older(does anyone remember seeing the Golden Girls house?!). We plan to visit Epcot Centre too. This will be a first for my boyfriend so I hope that he enjoys it. Epcot is divided in two, half of it is dedicated to science and the future, the other half is about world cultures. It'll be interesting doing the culture side of things, like travelling the world in one day. I'm really looking forward to Epcot! Apart from the "big three" we'll plan a trip to Sea World, Hollywood Studios and Kennedy Space Centre. I have also heard that Aquatica is brilliant so we'll probably make that the obligatory water park and of course we'll go to Animal Kingdom. We had put a lot of previous research in before we booked this holiday, this helped us to get it for a good price and it also helped with our consultation in the travel agent. We knew exactly what we were looking for and we could give her lots of information to find a holiday to suit us. I can't wait until our holiday next year. I have a year to plan and organise and save up as much money as I can. I feel extremely blessed to be able to go on holiday, it's going to be a struggle to pay for it, but it will be worth it. There are many very hard working people out there who simply cannot afford a holiday, no matter how hard they try. I do know how lucky I am that I have the opportunity to save money and go on a dream holiday with the person I love.
I am slightly adapting this review to be where are my next holidays going to be, rather than my 'next summer holiday'. Who has holidays in summer? Not me, this year it seems. I am a traveller - not a backpacker - good for all of you who are, but backpacking, hostels and being away from home too long, is just not for me. I like to see the world and new places but I also like home comforts. I'm not a snob, it's just the way I am. I want to see the whole world and have been to quite a few places, considering I've not done the whole year out thing. I will slowly achieve my goal and tick everywhere off my list BUT it'll be one holiday at a time. Oh i would like to add i have been to Ireland, Iceland and Italy this year, so that is where my holiday allowance has gone! And next years has gone too. So what have I got coming up? Paris, France ----------------- (2 days) My next adventure is on the 10th September, I am making my way with my sister (Chugglebunny) over to Paris on the Euro star for 2 days of fun filled sightseeing (I do love Paris, and Chuggles has never been). But this is more than just a weekend break, this is, my sister and I, supporting my boyfriend and his best pal in their latest idea. They are cycling from London to Paris, on bicycles (not a tandem), so my sister and I shall be there under the Eiffel Tower on day 4 of their ride to greet and congratulate them (and take them out for a drink)! I would just like to add, if you are under 25, you can get the 'youth' rate tickets from Euro star - £49 return we have just paid. It beat that really annoying radio advert about a £59 return that they are advertising at the moment. I love Paris, annoyed I've just found out about this rate as I'm coming up to 25!! Bangkok, Phuket, Kai Samui, Thailand ----------------------------------------------- (2 weeks) This has not yet been booked and is provisional (funds permitting), but on Boxing Day (26th December) this year, I shall hopefully be boarding a plane with my 3 pals to Bangkok. 2 have booked the flight, 1 is trying to get time off work and I need some cash. For 2 weeks I intend to enjoy Thailand and what it has to offer. My friends and I have yet to decide on the itinerary completely, as they will all be going for 3 weeks and me only 2! (You'll understand why when you read the next holiday). So I need to raise £650 for my flight and then we are roughing it (a bit) and spending New Years at a Full Moon Party. Thailand is somewhere that has always taken my fancy, and I'm glad we will see such contrasting areas. I just hope there is no aeroplane/air tower issues. (Not funny I know). I hate the misery that is post Christmas and January, so I look forward to being away. My work are kindly letting me carry over a weeks holiday to accommodate this adventure! All in all including the flights this is looking at costing me £1500. Hawaii, LA, USA -------------------- (3 weeks) In March 2010 I will be jetting off to a Hawaii cruise, this is a 2 week cruise, departing from LA. Due to flying to the port we (my boyfriend and I) will be staying in LA the night before and should be flying home the night after we disembark, but instead we are staying on for another 3 nights, coming home on the 20th night. Hawaii has always been the destination I said I would visit on my honeymoon. Honolulu Beach has the most temperate climate in the world and has always had an exotic appeal for me anyway. We are going with Princess Cruise, who unfortunately don't offer a cruise and stay option (just cruise only) sp we shall be visiting 4 islands, Maui, Hilo, Kona and Kauai, and then sorting out our own accommodation in LA, as they have delayed our flight. It is 4 days sailing out to the Hawaiian Islands, 4 days around them, 1 day in Mexico (Ensenada - if you can call it Mexico) and then back to LA. We booked through Bolsover Cruises, about 10 months ago (keen you may think - nope, we just got a massive discount). I am looking forward to doing the Helicopter ride over the Islands, seeing Pearl Harbour and visiting the museum, and lastly and surprisingly the cheapest excursion - going whale watching, as it's the time the hump back's emigrate 4000 miles (approx) to have their calves in the calm, warm waters off the Hawaiian Islands before swimming with their calves back to the coast of Alaska. Also looking forward to seeing the Hollywood sign and Beverly Hills, Universal Studios and Sunset Boulevard. My work are kindly allowing me to have 3 weeks off in one go! ------------------ -------------------- -------------------- ------------------- So that is what I have planned over the next 8 months, any pointers, comments, advice or guidance will be welcome. If you've been there and seen that, tell me please! Thanks for reading!! :)
I wouldn't exactly consider this a holiday, but thought I'd tell you all anyway. Mainly to pass the time, and slightly to make you jealous, hopefully. I left college a year ago and couldn't bear the thought of staying in education to get a worthless degree, so I told my useless 'Careers Advisor' (slightly ironic, I doubt they wanted to be a careers advisor when they were at college, but anyway...) that I would extend my gap year to a 'gap life', effectively making my qualifications worthless! I've got a job with the police and a part time job at Superdrug and in the space of 10 months have saved £10,000, which I'm quite proud of. I've spent £1800 on plane tickets, £500 on injections and malaria tablets, and £200 on travel insurance, and am now counting down the days (45 at the time of writing) until I leave. My first port of call is Argentina, flying into Buenos Aires. I'm quite excited about seeing Argentina, if not only to see Boca Juniors play! I'll spend around a month travelling through Argentina up to Uruguay, a somewhat unknown entity to me, I'm not sure what to expect. I'll cross Brazil and hopefully get into Colombia, where if I don't become a drug baron then I'll just see the normal sights and head on my way again down through Peru, Paraguay, Ecuador, and Bolivia, although I'm yet to figure out a route. I'm going to book a place on the Inca Trail to see Machu Picchu, and spend around a month in all of those countries, except for Brazil and Colombia, where I'll probably spend less time. By the time I've done all that my next flight is leaving from Santiago, Chile. I fly across the Pacific into Auckland, New Zealand. I've budgeted for a month in New Zealand to see both islands, but my only regret is that I fly out again from Auckland, so I have to do a circle and be conscious of time. Oh well. I haven't looked too in to New Zealand yet, but I'm guessing it's relatively simple in comparison to South America, so I'm not too fussed. After my month there is over I'm flying to Bangkok, via Sydney where I won't bother stopping as I can't see the attraction in Australia. I'll meet a friend in Thailand, who if she's nice enough, will find me a nice wife... If not then I'll settle for travelling around the country with her for a month before she has to head back to England. From there I'm back on my own, and I'll again spend a month in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Malaysia, testing the local beer, avoiding spiders, and probably attracting Malaria as by then I'd have forgotten to take my pills. After that is over, my final flight heads back to Heathrow where my sobbing mum will welcome back a 20 year old rather than a teenager I left as! In her dreams that will be the end of my travels and I'll settle down... but she is unaware I'd have clocked up over 20000 air miles and can get a cheap flight to India where I'm competing in the Rickshaw Run, a tuk tuk race in aid of charity across the Indian landscape. That will only take a few weeks though, and I may have to go to Canada after to see my best friend... So, that is my next 'holiday'... After this I might settle down and get a job. Probably as a smug career advisor at a college. ps. I'm aware nobody can really rate this helpful, as unless you stalk me and I've just given you my itinerary, then this is worthless to you!
I wasn't even sure if I could afford to go on holiday this year but I realised I hadn't received any Tesco vouchers since I moved a year ago so after contacting Tesco my vouchers were reapplied to my account and I received £19 in vouchers which meant that I could convert them to park resort vouchers and for £17.50 worth of vouchers I got £70 towards my holiday. So to decide which park to go to. When my son was ten weeks old we took him up to the park in Whitley Bay but sadly the town had died from the thriving seaside town it was when I visited as a child and although I was happy with the park I did not want to return to a deserted resort. I decided the park near Scarbourgh would be ideal as I believe Scarbourgh is still a great holiday resort and we still have the activities on site on an evening. The park has caravans and we are staying in silver as my son is very active this gives us extra width in caravan which will hopefully stop him bouncing off the walls literally As my son will be two years old when we go I want plenty for him to do and tire him out so he can sleep well at night and I can relax. There is an indoor pool, a soft play area which will give us something to do if it is raining. Something considering my last few holidays I need to plan for. There is also entertainment on site which means that we can maybe socialise in the evening for a while although I can't remember the last time I was home after eight. We are going to go with my sister which she loves playing with him although refuses to change his nappy that doesn't matter as I am used to changing them all but it means I may even get to read a book during day or just sit back and watch for a while. My son has been away to the seaside twice for short breaks but has never seen the sea due to the weather so anyone should be warned we are going away on the8th June so if you want a sunny week probably best to avoid these weeks with my luck. I am hoping that this holiday my son will finally get to see the sea and play on the beach. I am optimistic we will have a great holiday what ever the weather.
My family are winter-sports buffs......our trips away therefore normally consist of snow and mountains. I say "trips away" rather than "holidays" because now my children have joined the racing fraternity, our days consist of training and racing, with incredibly early starts (course inspection is often at 6am), so although we are "abroad", I certainly don't get the "holiday" feeling about it all!!! Because of the amount of skiing that my two do, summer holidays are generally out of the question, due to the additional cost. Whilst we may take a week or so off in the summer holidays, we don't usually manage to get away, and end up catching up on all the things we don't normally have time for - decorating, defrosting the freezer, spring cleaning.......again, not what a "holiday" should really be! It is several years since we last went away on a family holiday - even the ski trips only involve one of us parents travelling with the children......it is just too expensive for us all to go, and one of us, at least, has to be working in order to fund their fun. But this year is different - we cut back on the skiing, with less training, and no foreign racing, and have booked a holiday in the school summer holidays - for ALL of us......a complete novelty!! So where are we going - the Maldives? The Canaries? Disneyland? Nope, we are going about 45 minutes down the road...........to Center Parcs. Center Parcs have UK sites in Elveden (on the Norfolk/Suffolk border), Sherwood Forest, Longleat, and Whinfell forest. They also have numerous sites on the continent. Center Parcs are essentially a holiday park - self catering "villas" nestled in the woodland, with numerous activities available for people to take advantage of if they so wish. Center Parcs offer all year round holidays - including Christmas and New Year, and you can either visit for a full week, or a midweek (Monday to Friday) or a weekend (Friday to Monday) break. Whilst a week is lovely, it can be quite expensive, and a midweek break is almost as good - with plenty of opportunity to recharge your batteries. I have been on weekend breaks before, which is a nice little break but is not enough for me to re-balance the stresses that build up! Accomodation ranges from a one bedroom apartment to a 4 bedroomed house, with most being 2 or 3 bedroom "villas". Some are very basic and described as "comfort" villas, with various "grades" leading up to the "executive" villas which include whirlpool baths, saunas and daily cleaning services. We have stayed in each type of accomodation in the past, depending on our budget at the time and although the executive type is nice, it has never spoilt our stay if we have opted for the cheaper villa. Center Parcs offers a range of activities for every ability - from swimming, through to movie making, abseiling to falconry. Most things need to be paid for in addition to your accommodation costs, but entry to the swimming complex is free, and there is enough to keep you occupied there all day! Food - well, you can self cater, bringing your own food with you or buying from the shop on site, or you can visit one of the many restaurants in the Parc - whether you want pizza, cafe rouge, or American diner, with a bit of fine dining thrown in, there is something for everyone. So......our holiday - well, we have opted for middle budget accomodation, and we are going for a full week - yes, we are having a week, as a family, on a non-skiing holiday! I have been saving my £2 coins and my Tesco Clubcard vouchers which I can convert into deals and use in two of the restaurants on site, so I have very little intention of cooking. You will already have guessed that my children are very sporty - a trip to Center Parcs is absolutely perfect for them because they can partake in as much activity as they want.......and at the same time I can read my book by the poolside, with my ipod in place, hot chocolate with whipped cream, marshmallow and flake firmly by my side. Because we are lucky enough to have a Center Parcs just 45 mins drive away, it means that we don't have much in the way of expense to get there, and we don't have that awful "end of holiday" journey home either. Whatever the weather, we will love it, and we are all very much looking forward to it. There is also no need to worry about airport parking, the value of sterling against the dollar or the euro, or the cost of renewing your passport...... Roll on August!
We usually book our holiday via the internet at the last minute, and luckily every one so far has been more than acceptable, both in standard of destination and accommodation. It's been a few years since we went to Benalmadena in April 2007, and our last summer holiday was a few years before that when we went to Menorca. We decided upon a spring break as I've been unemployed since December and need to recharge my batteries, and my wife is getting a bit stressed at work. We also got married last October so this is to be a holiday/honeymoon. Now, I'm always the one in charge of booking and researching our holidays. As long as it's warm, not full of chavs or noisy kids (the wife's a teacher!) and has plenty of room around the pool, I'm free to suggest any destination (except Turkey/Egypt, as for some reason she has a dislike for those places!?). I normally spend a couple of weeks checking the usual holiday sites such as Thomas Cook, Thomsons, Teletext Holidays, First Choice and Hays Travel. Coupling this with having web pages open at Holidays-Uncovered and Trip Advisor in order to run the rule over any potential hotels. Based in the North-East, we only really have the choice of Durham Tees Valley, Newcastle or Leeds-Bradford to fly from. We could go from Manchester or Doncaster, but those are less than ideal. This unfortunately narrows down our holiday choices quite drastically. Holidays to Greece, for example, aren't available from our preferred airports until May. So, after several days worth of the usual fruitless searches, I stumbled upon a new site I hadn't used before; www.travelrepublic.co.uk Travelrepublic don't supply 'package' holidays as such, but instead seem to book each part of your holiday seperately. This enables them to provide the customer with very competitive prices as they book the cheapest available flights, have deals with accommodation providers for bargain rooms and deal with their own airport transfer companies. All in all I managed to knock £50 per person off the best offer I could find elsewhere. The deal was £508 for a holiday for 2 to the 4 star Forte Do Vale hotel in Albufeira, Portugal. The hotel was only built last year and has had some excellent reviews so far, with internal health spa and gym scheduled to open this April. I've been to the north of Portugal before when I spent 2 weeks watching the Euro 2004 football tournament, but this will be our first visit to the Algarve. Temperatures at this time of year are typically around the 17-23 degree mark with some light winds to be expected from the coast. The accommodation is situated about half way between Albufeira new town and old town. Both areas are walkable in 10-15 minutes and this gives us the best of both worlds depending on how we're feeling, whether we want the traditional cobbled streets or the modern neon-signed bars. The beach is a similar distance away in the other direction, but we're more pool type people anyway, sand gets everywhere! Just another quick word about Travelrepublic. I received all confirmation emails (confirming accommodation, flights and airport transfer details) whilst still on the phone to their operative, which was all done extremely quickly. I was also given several options regarding baggage allowance (we opted for 1 bag of 20kg max.) and airport parking (we booked this direct to get the quidco back!). Hopefully the holiday will go as swimmingly as the pre-holiday service. The only down side to booking in this way is that we have to remember to ring the transfer company at least 24 hours before departure day to confirm our pick up time. However, this shouldn't be an issue as I believe the hotel reception will do this on your behalf. Just over 2 weeks to go now and we're busy buying our sun lotion and after sun (Hopefully it will be required!) and I suppose I'll have to go into the loft soon to find the suitcase. Hopefully it won't rain constantly like our last holiday!