Archive | Travel Tips

Victoria and Albert museum

Why to Rent a Holiday Apartment Near London Museums

London is a city of art, but a week-long stay, or even a two-week stay won’t afford you the time to see all of it; you won’t even come close. From world famous museums to galleries, fairs, art festivals, and special home collections, there’s no place like London if you’re after a vacation that embraces art.

When it comes to art shows, collections and world-famous installations, there’s no shortage. Your only problem is where to start. London is a stunning city, and with so much to offer you won’t want to spend all of your time admiring a painting, studying the first steam engine, or marvelling at a dinosaur. No London visit is complete without exploring the famous sights, devouring a good curry, and taking in a West End show.

One solution to getting your art fix is to rent your vacation apartment in the right spot to enjoy all of it. Some of London’s best walks are also where you’re going to find a luxury apartment that suits your short, active stay. Here’s a quick guide to help you choose your rental neighbourhood by attraction.

Kensington – a Pleasure Palace

Kensington is a pleasure to walk around as the neighbourhood borders one of London’s biggest greenspaces, Hyde Park. With its mostly flat open spaces, several larger pathways and a network of pleasant walks, the park is ideal for a stroll on a lazy afternoon. If you’re looking for art and architecture, Hyde Park is home to Kensington Palace, a simple 17th century manor house that once served as Queen Anne’s summer house and now functions as the residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton. A Rococo garden invites visitors to enjoy the Palace surroundings.

South Kensington – a Museum for Everyone

If it’s major museums you’re after, this is the best area to stay. You might find a larger selection of options around the area known as ‘Museum Mile’, but you’re better off staying in a holiday apartment that’s not right in the loud hustle and bustle of the city. South Kensington houses three of the world’s best museums in very close proximity including the renowned Natural History Museum, The Science Museum, and the breath-taking Victoria and Albert Museum. At the very back of the V&A are two giant halls filled with life-sized replicas of world-famous sculptures and monuments. Seeing them all together in a covered space is such an impressive sight, you’ll probably have to do a double take when you first stand beside the humongous Trajan’s Column.

Chelsea

The billionaire Charles Saatchi might be a controversial public figure, but his contribution to the art world is undeniable. Everything in the Saatchi Gallery, located right in the heart of Chelsea is free to visitors and well worth a stop if you’re dying to see the latest experiments in modern art. Mr. Saatchi pays for all the art out of is own pocket.

Chelsea is also home to the annual, spectacular Chelsea Flower Show. Visit London in May to experience what their website proclaims ‘world’s most prestigious flower show.’

Tate Modern London

If you want to catch more of the city’s great art you’ll need to venture out to Tate Modern and the Tate Britain, there’s a boat you can take from one to the other for an excellent little sightseeing tour along the Thames. If you only have time for one museum, the British Museum cannot be missed. Admission is free, and you’ll find more of the Parthenon here than in Athens. See it before Greece takes it all back.

Kensington (including South Kensington) and Chelsea are beautiful neighbourhoods with plenty to explore in of themselves. Because of their prime location near to all the main attractions, either Kensington or Chelsea are the perfect place to book a stunning vacation apartment.  Your holiday near London Museums will be inspiring and memorable.

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Vacation Planning for Fun

5 Ways to Make Your Vacation an Experience to Remember

A vacation should be an experience you remember for all the right reasons. However, this is not always the case and many individuals and families have a less than ideal time away. With some planning and consideration of the following factors, you will increase the likelihood of having a vacation you will look back on fondly for many years to come.

Certain times of the year are better than others to go on vacation to a particular location. The weather often dictates what activities you can take part in. As well as the weather, certain times of the year are more popular with visitors than others. When there are festivals, holidays and other special occasions, these are the times that most people will want to take a break.

For example, companies like Leisure Time Tours provide Sukkot travel programs for Jewish people who want to celebrate the festival in a different location. In other situations, some visitors may want a quieter vacation and want to avoid the busier times of the year at a certain place.

Using Vacation Planning to Make it Fun

Here are 5 Ways to Make Your Vacation an Experience to Remember:

Online Research

It’s never been as easy as it is now to research almost every vacation destination. Most people are only too willing to share their experiences with other people, give advice and prevent people from making common mistakes while they are away from home.

The internet, in particular, is a mine of information. Travel related websites, blogs, discussion forums and social media pages contain thousands of pages of content about popular vacation destinations. This means there is no excuse not to be properly prepared for your next trip.

Be Prepared

Once you have carried out the appropriate research, it’s time to take action. The more prepared you are for a vacation, the more enjoyable it will be and the less likely it will be that any problems will occur. Using the internet is also helpful in the step, because you can get most of what you need for your travels through online discount stores that offer low prices or rebates on brands that specialize in travel gear and outdoor apparel. Make sure you have access to the local currency, and pack the appropriate clothing. If there are any dangers you need to avoid such as diseases like malaria, make sure you get the proper medication before leaving home.

Local Knowledge

When you travel to an unfamiliar destination, obtaining local knowledge is extremely important. Local inhabitants will tell you what to avoid and many locals usually have a deep knowledge of their city, town or village. To obtain this knowledge, find out where these people hang out online and talk to local people and tourist representatives when you reach the place you will be staying in.

Go Off the Beaten Track

It’s tempting to visit the main tourist traps when you visit a new location. However, the most interesting and exciting places to visit are often located off the beaten track. When you get local knowledge, you can find these tourist gems and have a much more fulfilling vacation. Before you decide to go off the beaten track, make sure it will be a safe place for you and others to spend your time.

The difference between an enjoyable vacation and a forgettable one depends on how well you prepare for your trip away. The five factors above should always be taken into account each time you go on vacation to make sure you can enjoy yourself while you’re away.

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Fatima Portugal Postcards

Fatima: The Hidden Gem of Portugal

Karolina & Patryk – On behalf of A Week at the Beach

Fatima is a charming, small town situated in Portugal, approximately 140 km North from Lisbon. It’s famous for its Sanctuary, which is visited annually by millions of pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. If you are looking for a quiet and idyllic place where you can meditate or find inner peace, add Fatima to your travel bucket list. You won’t regret it.

Fatima, Portugal

The town, in addition to being picturesque and religious, offers a lot to its visitors, from authentic Portuguese cuisine, spectacular churches and museums to lovely parks and hospitable locals. Here are some tips on how to explore Fatima with a smile on your face:

Getting into Fatima, Portugal

You can easily get into town by bus, train or car. It all depends on your preferences and budget.

By bus

The cheapest and quickest way to reach the town is to travel by bus from Lisbon. Head to the central bus station in Sete-Rios, then purchase a ticket at the station for around €10. Buses leave for Fatima almost every hour from 8am to 8pm and the journey lasts about 90 minutes. There is Wi-Fi available on the board so you can surf the internet during the ride. It is awesome because as digital nomads, internet is as necessary as air.

By car

If you want to drive a car, it takes less than one and half hours to get there. The highway is safe and good quality.

By train

If you wish, you can travel to Fatima by train. The closest train station is Caxarias, approximately 10 km away. Twelve trains run daily from Lisbon to Caxarias and the journey takes two and a half hours. Tickets costs €5.70 one way.

Woman in Fatima
Getting around

Because Fatima is a very small town, you can easily explore it on foot or rent a bike and go cycling (rental fees start around €5 a day). There should be free maps of Fatima available at your hotel reception, so don’t forget to grab one before you start exploring. At night, Fatima offers truly beautiful scenery for romantic walks, so you can take your partner on a date if you’re travelling as a couple.

Top travel attractions on the cheap

The Sanctuary of Fatima in Portugal

See the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima.
It’s a holy place built in 1928 at the site of the Marian apparitions reported by three Portuguese children in 1917 (Francisco Marto, Jacinta Marto and Sister Lucia dos Santos). Entrance is free of charge and it’s open 24 hours.

Attend mass at Fatima Sanctuary.
If you are religious, or if you just feel like praying or meditating, you should definitely attend one of the masses at Fatima Sanctuary. Although the mass is in Portuguese, the ceremony is quick and probably similar to what you may experience in your home country.

A holy site in Fatima Portugal

Explore the story behind Fatima.
Many tourists go to the Fatima Sanctuary (which is free to visit) to explore the story of three children who witnessed an apparition of the Virgin Mary on May 13, 1917. If you’re interested, grab a free leaflet from the sanctuary and read the story while having a nice Portuguese lunch.

Visit Casa de Lucia (The house of Lucia).
A small house where Lucia grew up has been saved and minimally renovated over the years. You can walk through the house taking in a few pictures and descriptors on display for you to read. It’s not huge, but it’s meant to show you how simply she lived. The whole town is still inhabited around the house, undisturbed and residential. You are allowed to touch some things, but some rooms deny entry so that you can only walk by.

Eating and drinking

Fatima is filled with small, local restaurants, coffee and pastry shops, so finding a nice, affordable place to dine out won’t be a problem here. If you want a cup of tea and a Portuguese dessert, Apollo Caffe is perfect for you. They serve Portuguese cakes and pastries and there is a great variety of hot and cold drinks as well as quick snacks and filling dinners.

Typical Breakfast in Fatima Portgual

Milano Pastelaria and Confeitaria serves the best gelato and egg tarts, while Pingo Doce (located at the Fatima bus station) is a great place for your daily grocery shopping.

Accommodation

Ribeiro Hotel is highly recommended in Fatima. It’s only a 10-minute walk from the Sanctuary of Fatima, offers free Wi-Fi, free pick up, a typical Portuguese breakfast buffet, tours and local activities. It’s a budget hotel that provides a quality worth every cent.

Have you ever been to Fatima? If not, do you fancy going there this summer?

Karolina and Patryk are travelling couple who decided to quit the college, start a company and live a free life. They have been on a journey ever since, visiting many countries in Europe, Asia and America. On their blog, they share their travel experiences and relationship advice. They are encouraging people to fulfill their dreams and being happy everyday.
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The terraced rice fields in Bali

Top 3 Must-See Places to Visit in Bali

There aren’t many places that offer a unique variety of adventure and relaxation, but there are a few – and they are so, so worth the trip. From famous sandy surfing beaches and terraced rice fields to amazing waterfalls and monkey sanctuaries, Bali has something to offer everyone. Bali, just one of more than 17,000 islands on the Indonesian archipelago, is located very close to the equator has a perfect climate for outdoor adventures. 

Three things to do on your next visit to Bali:

Cliff Jump Near the Aling-Aling Waterfall

If swimming in crystal clear pools underneath 100-foot waterfalls sounds like your version of paradise, a visit to the Aling-Aling Waterfall is an absolute must! Located in the Sambangen Village area, the Aling-Aling waterfall is just one among six smaller waterfalls worth setting your sights on. To enjoy it best, come prepared with walking shoes (and be careful on the slippery rocks!), a bathing suit and towels. While you can’t jump into the 100-foot waterfall, you can find a guide who will show you as many as four other waterfalls just downstream where you can slide down the fall like a waterslide or go for some cliff jumping. For the adrenaline junkies out there, there’s a 40-foot cliff jump calling your name!

Bathe in the Holy Waters at Tirta Gangga

Following the adrenaline rush acquired by cliff-jumping and waterfalls, the Tirta Gangga water palace is exactly what you need to relax. Surrounded by large number of lush rice paddy terraces in the area, you’ll partake in a feel of real royalty among the 11-tiered fountain and the many alluring, artistic statues. Keep your bathing suits and towels handy for your trip to Tirta Gangga because you can swim in a pools that, as legend has it (and local guides will be sure to tell you), are filled to the brim with holy water. If you’re inclined to do some exploring through nature, you may also want to bring a change of clothes, as there’s some scenic hiking in the area, too. Whatever you choose, you can’t help but walk away from the palace feeling at least a little more zen.

Monkey Around at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary

Monkey Forest

Home to three Hindu Temples, a visit to the Ubud Monkey Forest is an unforgettable opportunity to interact and play with the Balinese long-tailed monkey. These curious creatures will go through your pockets in search of gum or candy or really anything they can get their little paws on! Bananas are sold to tourists looking to feed the monkeys, but the park staff recommends to never pull back once you have offered food because, in that case, the monkeys can get aggressive (and then it wouldn’t be much of a sanctuary at all!). A trip to the sanctuary will get you a first-hand look into the monkeys’ daily life, including grooming, mating and fighting habits – it all takes place right in front of your eyes and is truly a memorable experience! We recommend booking Bebek Tepi Sawah, which is less than two miles from the Forest, via Traveloka.

With so much to offer, Bali is sure to appeal to the longings of every traveler. In addition to these must-see sights, you’ll find sun, sand and the sweet taste of Island life right at your fingertips!

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Round Travel Towel

Best Travel Towels for Yoga and the Beach

Let’s talk about travel towels for a second. They’re one of those things you never knew you needed until you hit the road, and then suddenly can’t imagine yourself living without. They somehow unintentionally come to indicate your level of commitment to traveling and once you have one you’re initiated into a secret club. Like Fight Club, but for travelers: Towel Club. Only, unlike Fight Club, the first rule of Towel Club is that you tell anybody who will listen about how amazing your towel is. Travel Towel Carry Bag

You tell everyone because once you’re in the know, you realize how many travel towels are out there in the world. You’re sure yours is the best because you’ve explored different brands, different sizes, different colors. Maybe the only thing you haven’t explored at this point is different shapes– but even that’s about to change. Of all the travel towel options that exist, only one company is daring to go where no one yet has: in a circle.

Dock & Bay, a new beach and travel apparel startup founded by two travel enthusiasts, is determined to brighten up the travel towel market with twist. Leading up to their launch last year, founders Andy and Benno invested a great deal of time in choosing the right mix of material to make luxury towels that are soft to the touch yet quick to dry, lightweight, super absorbent, and, most important, compact (also making them perfect for your yoga practice). Because all of these are crucial considerations when choosing a travel towel, Dock & Bay took it one step further and even made them easy on the eyes; their more traditional travel towels come in varying shades of bright, beachy stripes. dnd-round-model-shoot-20

Having sold 10,000 towels across the U.K., U.S. and Australia, Dock & Bay is setting out on its next adventure: a round revolution. Their newest product, a round microfiber towel, will be the first – and the largest – of its kind. With more than six feet in diameter, the shapely towels are ideal for sharing. Better yet, they still pack down to the size of a paper towel roll, making it the perfect fit for any bag and taking up at least 50% less room than its cotton counterpart. Like their first model, though, the new design comes with a fashionable pouch that doubles as a beach bag in the same, super sweet colors (blue, red, green and pink).

round-collage-others

In order to make your travel towel dreams come true, they’re launching a Kickstarter to raise around $14,000 for full production of the playful and practical microfiber towels. Check them out here, and further your status in the Towel Club by pre-ordering a new towel (£25 Early Bird Offer / RRP £40), designing your own or heading out on an exciting trip hosted by Andy and Benno.

 

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