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Why Budapest Should Be In Your Next European Destination List

23 July 2016

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Europe is a great destination to visit especially for people who loves culture, rich in history and very admirable art. Aside from art, it is also full of scenic places which are perfect for great photo op for tourists like us.

Going to Europe has given a misconception to new travellers. They think Europe is expensive but honestly, some parts of Europe are really expensive while there are other countries that you can visit in a budget and one of that is Hungary.

Hungary is a country located in Central Europe and is bordered by several countries like Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine, Slovenia, and Serbia. It also a part of the Schengen states so if you are planning to visit any Schengen states and have been issued a multiple entry, or you do not even need a visa in most European countries, then you may want to consider Budapest as your next destination.


Their Affordable accommodations


Point in case, I checked 3 nights stay in a very decent but low star hotel accommodation in Rome near the Termini and compared the same rate of the 3 nights' stay in one of the Accor properties in Budapest, near a metro station and within walking distance to most places of interest. Both properties are in city centre, near a train station and in walking distance to major touristic spots but the hotel in Budapest is still cheaper considering it is a 3-star property and the one in Rome wasn't.

There are plenty of types of accommodations to choose from like apartments for families or group of travellers, a hotel, hostel or B&Bs.  And you can also book yourself to one of the many luxurious properties in the heart of Budapest and yet, the price you will pay will still be very good compared to other European countries.


Their Thermal Baths


Hungary can be very cold during winter time but their thermal bath is frequented regardless of season. Budapest is teeming with baths, including medicinal baths. The Hungarian city has plenty of natural springs and and wells that has plenty of beneficial minerals which they use for the medicinal and thermal baths. There are plenty of resorts and spa-type accommodations where you can relax and enjoy yearlong.

You may want to check out the Gellért, Széchenyi and Lukács Baths in Budapest when you visit the beautiful city.

Photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org



Their Affordable currency


Even if Hungary is part of Europe and a member Schengen state, it still uses its own currency - the Hungarian Forint. Forint is not a strong currency compared to the Euro. Although Euro is widely accepted, the Forint is still the currency used in Hungary.


Their Places of Interest are within reach


Budapest is a small city and most attractions can be reached on foot if you're up to it. You'll be surprised to know that there will be tourists attractions in both Buda and the Pest side. So no matter where you want to go for your accommodation, there will still be enough places to go around.


Their Night Life


Budapest is not only arts, history and culture. It is also a good place for night life. Parties abound in Budapest and you can be sure to enjoy the pub and bars around the city for a sample of their beers and night life.


Their Castle and Fortress


Photo credit: travelico.com


Budapest is like a romantic town plucked from the pages of a fairy tale book because of its splendid architecture including a castle and fortress in the heart of the city. The Buda Castle, Citadel in Gellert Hill and the Fishermen's Bastion are some of the iconic structures to visit while in Budapest. You will be in awe with their beauty and structural formation's mixture of bastions, turrets and imposing walls.



Their Caves


Yes, Budapest has intricate caves under its beautiful city. You can visit the following if you feel like walking inside one of the caves in the city, make sure you bring warm clothing and wear your hiking boots.

These are the 3 caves in Budapest: Pál-völgyi Cave, Szemlő-hegyi Cave, and the Castle Cave in Buda Castle.

Photo credit: taken from yahoo.com/credit to the owner



Their Local Food


Budapest is teeming with restaurants and food outlets. You can find areas in Budapest that are specialising in cafe and restaurant business. Sample their staples and enjoy the local cuisine.


Why Budapest? I say, why not?

The Cheapest Ways To Go Travelling

20 July 2016



If you ask people what they wish they could do more of, a lot would say to travel more and visit more places. There's always an excuse not, but mostly it comes down to costs. But, travelling doesn't have to be as expensive as you think. Here are a few tips and ways of travelling the world for a lot less money than you think so that those wanderlust dreams may become a reality!

Travel in Low Season and Shop Around
When booking a long or short haul flight, always be aware of the season you are travelling in. European flights are going to be much more expensive in July and August as these are their peak months. Visiting them in Spring or Autumn will still give you the warm weather, but cheaper flights and less tourists.
Check on a few comparison sites before booking as well. Even if you find a good deal straight away, it doesn't hurt to keep looking just to be sure. Some companies are cheaper if you book directly with them, but many comparison sites also offer pretty impressive deals.

Try a Home Exchange
If you own your home, a home exchange can be a great way of enjoying a virtually cost-free vacation. There are many programmes you can sign up to, where you contact the owner of a home you'd like to stay in and discuss a swap. If you're concerned about having strangers in your home, you can meet before the swap. But remember, you will be staying in their home as well, so the majority will treat your home as they would like theirs to be treated.

Work While Travelling
If you really want to explore an area and get a taste of authenticity, think about volunteering and working while you travel. Sign up to a volunteer programme and you will be able to choose from a variety of jobs. While most aren't paid, they usually provide you with accommodation and lodgings. Mixing with the locals and other travellers can be a great way of socialising and interacting with people you wouldn't normally have met.

Live in an RV
Travelling long term can often rack up costs in accommodation, but a popular way of keeping these down is by buying an RV. It works out much cheaper than paying rent and hotel bills, and gives you the flexibility to travel around wherever and whenever you want. There is maintenance and upkeep that will need to be kept on top of, such as servicing and rv roof repair, but it will still work out much more cost-effective.

Live Frugally
Above all, be careful with your money when travelling. It is possible to travel the world for as little as you want, you just need a certain level of self-control. Try not to eat out too often and avoid souvenir shops. Purchase your food and drinks from local shops, and try the own brands rather than familiar goods imported in from home.

Not Your Usual Australian Vacation

19 July 2016

If you have wunderlust like me, you probably like to see the more unusual side of the places you visit. If you are thinking of going to Australia anytime soon, make sure you get to see the many weird and wonderful things that this amazing country has to offer with my guide below.


Don't forget Tasmania


Poor old Tasmania, it often gets left off of tourist merchandise because it's not part of the Australian mainland! But is is an Island state of Australia and just a short trip from the southern coast. Tasmania's is worth visiting for a number of reasons. Firstly you should check out Sheffield. It's used to be a town on the verge of extinction, but the locals got creative by creating their own tourist attraction to reinvigorate the place. What they did was to paint lots of murals on the size of the houses, making the town a living artwork.  Then there is Hobart, Tasmania's capital city. It is the oldest city in Australia apart from Sydney itself, and its a great mix of history and beach. Check out Battery Point, where you can get a ‘back in time’ experience surrounded by all the Victorian architecture.


Cattle Stations


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Another unusual thing to do while you are in Australia is to visit the cattle stations on the Kimberley, in the North Western Territories. Some of them are so large that they use helicopters to drive the cattle! You can stay on a ranch and get an authentic taste of what life is like out there, as well as explore the amazing scenery and wilderness. Whether you fancy camping out under the stars or a luxury lodge is more your style, you can find some more information about station stays Australia on the internet.


Broome


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Another place to check out while you are in North Western Australia is Broome. A town with a fascinating history of pearl farming, there are a few thing that you don't want to miss here. Visit the traditional Japanese Cemetery, a leftover of the early pearl trade. Or check out the Staircase to the Moon, an interesting natural phenomenon. It's where the tide goes out under a full moon, and there seem to be steps in the sea leading up to it. The residents of Broome have realized that this is a pull for tourists and now run and craft and food market on staircase nights.


Pink Stuff


If you want to see some unusual, crazy stuff, then you just can't miss the Pink Lake.  Located in the South West, Lake Hillier is a pink lake. No one knows why the lake is pink for certain, but seen from the air, it's a crazy bold pink color. When you get up to the lake, of course, the water is transparent, but it's still pink! Not to be missed!


Then pop along to New South Wales to see the pink slugs! That right they have bright pink invertebrate there. Mount Kaputar is a 10x10 km square section of rainforest that is home to species found nowhere else in the world.






Winter Trip Suggestions for 2016 for Middle Easterners

15 July 2016



It may be too soon to think of winter. With the sweltering heat here in the Middle East, it can't be helped but dream of vacationing to a far away land where there is snow and coldness. Well, the snow can be optional but the coldness is not.

The temperature here in the Middle East can be unrelenting and the best way to get your mind of it is either to go on a trip and stay out of the extreme summer heat or plan your upcoming winter travel so there is something to look forward to. Besides, planning early can provide savings as online travel providers and accommodations offer savings and deals for early bookers. So, take advantage of that.

Here are some best winter destinations that I think will be perfect for the budget savvy travellers. These countries have affordable accommodations and lots of winter activities to offer to their guests too. Check them out:

Southern California

Winter is not as harsh as the other counterpart states in the East in this sunny state of California. Los Angeles and San Diego will be best bet to visit this winter for people in the Middle East. Comparing the winter of the Middle East to that of Southern California, it can still be bearable.

Some major hotel chains and tour operators offer great savings for tourism during fall to winter as tourism is not at its peak during these time. 


Lebanon

There are numerous affordable ski resorts in Lebanon and you don't have to go far.  The ski resorts in Lebanon are moderately priced compared to their counterparts in Europe and in the US. So, if your adrenalin is pumping and you need a high, take an adventure to Lebanon's numerous ski resorts and traverse their snow-covered slopes. You have to know how to ski though for safety!


Germany

If you have extra to spare for your winter travel budget, then head on to Germany and visit many of their Christmas Markets in many cities all over the country. Visiting any of the Christmas markets around Germany is in one of my bucket list. I have yet to visit one though. So, if you plan to head on to a nice cold, wintry spiel for your travel experience, then Germany will be a good place to start with.

The Christmas markets open around November up to the first week of January.  Many famous cities in Germany is converted into a small winter wonderland that seem to come out straight from the fairy tale book. Enjoy the holiday spirit, local treats and the warm spirit around.


Budapest, Hungary

(photo credit: unsplash.com)


Want to soak in the local festivities around Budapest during winter time? How about ice skates around the ice rink in the town centre? Maybe fill up your gastronomic experience with tasty treats while visiting the markets.

Hotels and tours are a bit affordable in this beautiful, neoclassical country compared to the other countries in Europe. They still use their local currency which if the Hungarian Forint. They accept Euro and other currencies too which you can exchange upon arrival.


Lisbon, Portugal

Another great destination to visit in Europe during winter is Lisbon. It is cheaper in this place compared to its flashier counterparts.

The temperature during winter, compared to the other European countries, does not go very low. On average, it is around 8ºC (low) and a high of 15ºC.


Well, these are some of the winter destinations that may bid well for Middle Easterners who are not very fancy of the harsh, wintry snow. These destinations have moderate to cold winters and that depends on your preference if you feel like braving the snow and escaping the still hot winter months of the Middle East.

Planning A Group Trip To Florida With All Your Nearest & Dearest

I am a big travel lover, my family and I love to travel. Whenever we can, we like to hop on a plane and jet off to somewhere new. Recently, a friend of mine mentioned how her, her partner and children, and all of their extended family were planning a big group trip. This got me thinking about how I would go about planning a big family trip and where I would opt to go.

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While I’m not planning a big trip right now, I thought I would share with you how I would go about doing so, with my location of choice being Florida. The reason for this being it’s warm, has lots to see and do, and most importantly, is family-friendly. So, what is the best way to go about planning a big family trip to Florida or another location of your choice?

Get an idea of numbers

The first step is to find out who would like to come along. The best way to do this is by sending out a group email with a proposed date and period that the trip would last for. Ask everyone to let you know what they think, as well as what their budget would be for the trip.

This will then allow you to start planning while ensuring that it’s affordable for everyone. Email everyone back with an amount that you think the trip will cost, ask them to confirm if that’s okay so that you can start getting organized.

Think about how you’ll get there

Once you know who is coming along, the next step is to think about how you’ll get there. As well as how you’ll get around once you’re there.

If you all live in one area, a good option could be to charter a bus so that you can all travel together. While you could fly, renting a bus will be much cheaper. Plus, you can then use the bus to get around once you arrive in Florida, making transport easier while you’re there. If you like the idea of using a bus, you can rent one here.

However, if you all live in different states or areas, it might be best to all make your own way there. Perhaps for yourself and the others living near you, you could hire a minibus? Or maybe, flying would work out cheaper and easier?

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Be smart about accommodation

When it comes to where you stay, there are lots of options to consider. From hotels to budget guesthouses, it all depends on yours’ and your group’s budget. If there’s a lot of you, the cheapest option is probably to rent a house or villa for your trip. This won’t only be cheaper, but also easier, as you’ll all be staying in one place.

If you don’t plan on staying in the same place for the duration of your trip, make sure to book the amount of accommodation that you need. So that when you arrive in each place, your accommodation is already sorted.

Create an itinerary beforehand

To prevent arguments from occurring about what you’re doing each day, it’s best to put together an itinerary beforehand. Research all of Florida’s best sights and attractions, as well as where they are located. And then put together an itinerary based on what everyone wants to see and do. From theme parks and studio tours to beaches and sports activities, Florida has a lot to offer. It’s just a case of working out what you and your group will enjoy and can afford.

So there you have it, how to plan an amazing group trip to Florida.

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