Archive - March 2012

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Cool Cocktails
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Purple Pick: Easter Celebrations Around the World
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How to pack your holiday bag like a pro
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Top tips for staying comfortable on your flight
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A night less ordinary: Hotel Kakslautten

Cool Cocktails


One thing that is top of our list every summer is a tropical cocktail on our holidays. We decided to put our heads together to figure out some of the best places to go for cocktails in the sun this year. It’s a tough thing to get that perfect mix of a nicely mixed drink, the right atmosphere, brilliant weather and of course a chatty barman helps!

So, here’s ours, don’t forget to share yours…

Everyone’s heard of sangria right? Well what better place to enjoy a glass of this gorgeous chilled red wine (we know, it sounds a bit odd!) than in the glorious setting of Spain’s Puerto Banus. By adding some red wine, the freshest choice fruit, a little sugar and brandy you have the perfect recipe for a great evening cocktail. It’s the best tipple to get your night started.

After a hard day’s work soaking up the sunshine on the beach, we think a margarita is one of the best ways to unwind in the fantastic resort of Cancun in Mexico. A drop of tequila, triple sec and some lemon or lime juice will quench your thirst and cool you down and the glorious surroundings will make it ten times better.

The Maldives is the place to go to enjoy a simply breathtaking sunset with a mai tai in hand. Marvel as the stars begin to glisten in the sky and relax with the gentle lapping of the waves around you. Even after a few cool cocktails you will not forget your holiday to this amazing archipelago.

There is only one cocktail we could possibly recommend in NYC. You need to find a manhattan in Manhattan. It’s a legendary cocktail for a legendary city. After seeing the Empire State, taking in a show and maybe meeting the locals, there’s no better nightcap in The Big Apple.

Santorini is one of the most romantic of the Greek islands and is home to one of the most legendary sunsets in the world. A caiprinha is our choice, even if it’s not as authentic as ouzo, it has a certain summery charm to it. Grab your other half and head for the highest point you can find in between the blue domed houses and settle in for a serious show.

In Cuba it has to be a mojito and it has to be after a walk along the Malecón in Cuba’s historic capital of Havana. Surround yourself with the unbelievable atmosphere, listen to some Latin tunes and discover your Cuban spirit in this amazing city.

Those are our top choices for a cocktail holiday this summer. As always we want to know what you think. Send your suggestions our way so maybe we can try them out too!

Purple Pick: Easter Celebrations Around the World

We’re used to Easter Eggs, big dinners and maybe a stroll nearby on our Easter holidays. Well, there are a few other traditions worth checking out. How about a fireworks fight between some local parishes in Greece, or a silent procession in Mexico? We’ve got just a quick post to give you a taster of Easter Celebrations Around the World.

Portugal: Different regions have their own Easter traditions in Portugal. In some areas you can see the ‘Ecce Homo Procession’ of barefoot men in tunics. While in the South shepherds crowd into town centres to have their flocks blessed before a procession of Alleluia with cowbells. It’s also a great choice for a foodie getaway with roast kid, meatballs and lamb stew on the menu and cakes everywhere!

Mexico: Combine some Easter sunshine, with the traditional spectacle of the Mexican ‘Semana Santa.’ Mexico’s Holy week runs from Palm Sunday to Easter Saturday and if you’re looking for an immersive, traditional Easter experience, we think it’s the place to go. Bells peel, churches are packed and the ‘Procesion de Silencio,’ a silent procession through the streets is well worth a look.

Greece: Easter Sunday is a big occasion in Greece. Most major cities are quiet as people return to their villages for the celebration. A lamb is roasted on an open fire in the centre of the town and families gather to talk, eat and dance. The islands are a really special place with some very unusual traditions taking place including an Easter rocket war in Chios which sees rival parishes try to hit each other’s church bell towers with fireworks, as mass services continue: YouTube Preview Image

Corfu is also a great choice to soak up some sunshine and delight in some unusual traditions. Corfiotes celebrate Easter Sunday by throwing clay pots off their balconies.  It is said to symbolise ‘out with the old and in with the new.’

Don’t forget we’ve got deals all over the world for this Easter, so whether you want to get a look at the locals or steer clear of the traditions; call one of our expert travel advisors on 0800 408 9367 now for some information on our best deals.

How to pack your holiday bag like a pro

Whether it’s a wheelie suitcase, an over the shoulder or a bunch of plastic bags sellotaped together (ed’s note, we don’t recommend this) it’s hard to get everything you need for a holiday to fit.We all know the feeling of hopping up on and down on the case to make sure it closes and the frustration when it doesn’t. So we’ve got some super tips for anyone jetting off for a bit of sunshine!

We hope you won't have to pack like this!

  1.  Make a list. It’s a good place to start so you can tick off what you’ve packed and know you won’t have forgotten anything.
  2. Be ruthless! You might have been saving up a nice top, or jacket for a special occasion, it doesn’t get any more special than a holiday so if you’re absolutely sure you’ll wear it, bring it. If not, then chuck it. Most people take far too many clothes with them, and you might get the bargain of a lifetime on your holiday!
  3. Roll it up. This is a tip from cabin crew, who, let’s face it; know what they are talking about. Rolling your clothes saves space and stops creasing.
  4. Remember to check your airports rules on flying with liquids and maybe invest in some travel containers. The general rule is liquids of no more than 100ml are allowed in hand luggage and must be placed in a clear plastic bag. Usually you can pick these bags up at the airport. Keep these in an outer pocket of your bag, or with your hand luggage, so you can easily access it going through security. You can always pick up some shampoo and shower gel when you arrive.
  5. Wear a pair of trainers for extra comfiness (yes, we like to make up words around here!) on your flight and pack your flat sandals and wedges/shoes in your case. You can tuck small items like socks inside your shoes to save room and keep them in shape.
  6. If you’re really worried about the weight of your case, you should recheck what you’re bringing, do you really need everything? And weigh your bag to make sure you’re not over the standard 15kg check in limit of most airlines.
  7. Wear your heaviest clothes, e.g. a jumper or coat on the flight for a little extra warmth and to spare room in your bag.
  8. Think layers, a couple of t-shirts you can throw over your bikini, a light cardigan or pashmina for evenings.

Remember, you’re going on holidays! Bring clothes you’re comfy in and enjoy wearing. Now you know how to pack like a pro and you’ll be jetting off to the sun in no time!

Top tips for staying comfortable on your flight

Anyone who has flown before usually has some tricks for staying comfortable and distracted, so we decided to put them all together in one handy place, so you can print them out and have the best flight ever! As always, if you have any more, we’d love to hear them.

So, here goes, as always, we’d love to hear if you have anymore, just add your comment below. 

  1. Drink plenty of water; it’s the only way to keep hydrated in the pressurised atmosphere of a plane. Steer clear of coffee or tea and stick to water to stay feeling tip-top!
  2. Reading material: always bring a couple of magazines or books with you and try to bring more than you think you’ll need. Inevitably there’s a little extra waiting around and there’s nothing worse than staring at the other passengers for excitement (unless that’s what you’re into!)
  3. Bring something to entertain yourself. A great choice is a tablet computer, like an ipad, on which you can watch movies, listen to music, or play games (all with the aid of headphones, so you don’t upset your neighbours!)
  4. Take a little stroll around the cabin; this is quite important especially on longer flights. There are some exercises you can do from your seat, but it’s hard to beat a walk around the cabin and a couple of stretches to make you feel a little better.
  5. Bring a toothbrush! It’s always nice to give yourself a quick refresh and cleanup before landing; it’ll help you feel better and is quite nice for anyone you’re meeting at the other side too.
  6. Don’t check the time! You can’t do anything to get to your destination faster and it will only make you feel a bit frustrated.
PS. We think it’s probably best to steer clear of outfits like the one pictured and don’t do like Joey in Friends when he wore every single item of Chandler’s clothes at once (remember that?)
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A night less ordinary: Hotel Kakslautten

In this weekly series, we scour the world in search of weird hotels and wonderful holiday concepts. From space hotels to converted prisons, capsule pods to underwater guestrooms, you can expect only the unexpected.

Igloo Village at night

What’s the gimmick? Located amidst beautiful Lapland scenery in the vicinity if Urho Kekkonen National Park, Hotel Kakslautten offers their winter guests the chance to stay overnight in  a futuristic glass igloo. Based on a groundbreaking idea and years of research and development, the unique, sci-fi-like glass igloos are a marvel of modern technology.

Why stay? Where else can you admire the amazing northern lights and the white Lapland scenery, all within the comfort of zebra-striped warm bed? Built from a special thermal glass, the temperature inside the igloo is always at a normal level and its special material also prevents the glass from not getting white frosted, keeping the view clear even when the temperature outside drops to under -30°C.

The wow factor: Every igloo is equipped with a toilet and luxury beds and the surrounding Igloo Village is also home to snow chapel and an ice bar, both built in every winter.  On every evening a hot sauna and a refreshing ice hole are waiting for you at the igloo, where you can climb into bed and marvel at the star-studded night sky.Husky safaris, snowmobile safaris, reindeer safaris and ice-fishing trips are all made available, as well as guided ski treks.

Village is open every year from December/January and until the end of April.

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