Category - USA

cheap holidays to USA with Purple Travel

2014 Travel Bucket List – 14 Holidays to book now
Purple 10: December festivals around the globe
Purple Tips: 8 January holidays
Joining the Mile High Club – legitimately
Musical Holidays
Top tips for Disney
Purple Hearts:Florida Keys Holidays
Purple 10: Theme Parks USA
Purple Pick: Great American Road Trips
Happy Thanksgiving: Awesome Pictures USA

2014 Travel Bucket List – 14 Holidays to book now

#1 Budapest The Hungarian capital is set to have a busy year amongst hipsters thanks to the release of Wes Anderson’s film The Grand Budapest Hotel (even though it was mostly filmed in Germany!) The city’s filled with architecture, baths, boutique hotels and laid-back cafes. It’s a must-do value city break. Makes a nice addition to our 2014 travel bucket list. 


Budapest via @ Cost3l

#2 The Greek Islands We especially love Ikaria, where your holiday can make you live longer and eternal favourite Crete, where you can visit the hippie village of Matala or go family friendly in Heraklion.


Crete via @ El Mostrito

#3 Reykjavik See the Northern Lights, go to the Blue Lagoon or trek across glaciers and volcanoes. Iceland holidays will leave your jaw on the floor and your soul refreshed.

Northern Lights 1

Northern Lights via @ GuideGunnar – Arctic Norway

#4 New York The Big Apple is always a good choice and is a big seller for cheap holidays from the UK. Plan a summer of NYC shopping, cocktails and rooftop pools for an unforgettable US adventure.

New York

New York via @ Ed Yourdon

#5 Corsica The gorgeous island off the South of France is home to striking mountain ranges, clear waters and untouched beaches as well as the world’s largest chestnut forest, Castagniccia.  


Corsica via @ Massalim

#6 Brazil Book cheap holidays to Brazil right now because cities like Rio and Sao Paolo are set to see a huge influx of visitors thanks to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Instead of watching from your armchair, make 2014 the year you go there in person.


Brazil via @ Lautsu

#7 Bordeaux, France A wine lovers paradise, Bordeaux is closeby, with decent hotels and a lovely atmosphere and a modern edge. Bordeaux is a good choice for a foodie adventure in 2014.


Image via @ Grand Parc – Bordeaux, France

#8 Havana, Cuba It’s always been said, Cuba is a place to visit before it changes! Choose it for 2014 and get in there now before it’s too late and see the 50s cars, the old-time atmosphere and the eclectic accommodations on offer.


Image via @ Flippinyank

#9 Cork, Ireland Not only is the city of Cork a hive of activity, but the surrounding countryside has some of the most spectacular scenery Ireland has to offer. Go to Clonakilty for black pudding, Inchydoney for the beach and island hop to Sherkin.


Image via @ zopdeep

#10 Gulet Cruise, Turkey Fed up with the idea of hitting the bars of Kusadasi or Bodrum? You could opt for a traditional wooden boat cruise instead on your holiday in Turkey. The boat takes you to tiny, hidden beaches, deserted bays and well away from the crowds.

Gulet Cruise

Image via @ TurkeyVision

#11 Sri Lanka Go on an elephant trek, climb 8000ft of mountains, or sunbathe on incredible white sandy beaches. Sri Lanka holidays will pack a punch in 2014.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka via @ HAS PhotoDesigns

#12 Balearic Islands With new routes from Heathrow and London City Airports in particular, the sun-drenched islands of Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca play host to perfect 2014 summer holidays. There are stylish hotels, boutique farmhouses-turned-villas and an incredible choice of things to do to suit any budget and of course, Ibiza is always a top 2014 party holiday destination.


Ibiza via @ victoriapeckham

#13 Mexico If you really fancy Mexico, but you’ve already been to Cancun, try Puerto Vallarta. Once a spring breakers paradise, the resort is now more famous for its boutique hotels, great beaches and variety of diving spots.

Puerto vallarta

Puerta Vallarta via @ stab at sleep

#14  Cape Verde The former Portuguese colony is a beaut. It’s got Latin spirit by the bucket load thanks to its close proximity to West Africa. Go to Boa Vista for stunning beaches and loggerhead turtles for an unforgettable addition to your 2014 travel bucket list.

Cape Verde

Cape Verde via @ Wikicommons

Visit for more on cheap holidays 2014 from the UK or call our travel team on 02079929228 now.

Purple 10: December festivals around the globe


Image via @ ReneS

1. National Finals Rodeo

Where: Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, USA
When: First week of December
People might say that Las Vegas is a festival itself, as it’s a place where the lights never go out. However, if you opt for a December trip to Las Vegas, you’ ll have the chance  to personally experience the 10-day National Finals Rodeo, a.k.a. Rodeo Superbowl. The festival involves, the top 15 rodeo cowboys who compete each other, claiming prizes up to $5.5 million!

burning the devil

Image via @ globeseeker

2. Quema del Diablo (Burning the Devil)

Where: Guatemala City and Antigua, Guatemala
When: December 7th
According to local tradition the Devil lurks in house corners, under every bed and in the garbage bins. Therefore, on 7th December of every year the locals clean their houses and streets, setting the garbage on fire at 6 o’clock in the evening. Usually, on top of the burning pile they also throw a figure of the Devil. Certainly an unusual addition to our list of December festivals.


Image via @ Box of Badgers

Read More

Purple Tips: 8 January holidays

January holidays 2014 from Purple Travel

Gambia Average temps 24 degrees Gambia is a great value choice for January Holidays. Easy on the pocket and easy on the eye, there are tonnes of beach side hotels or villas to choose from and no time difference, so you can feel at home on holidays!

Cuba Average temps 21 degrees Within nine hours of the UK, the Caribbean offers warm waters, soft sandy beaches and an incredible range of hotels. It’s just a matter of where to choose! We love Cuba for its laidback atmosphere, perfect for a post-Christmas break. Choose an all inclusive resort like the Playa Costa Verde All Inclusive resort where your every whim is catered to.

Hurghada Average temps 22 degrees release your inner scuba diving with a mostly underwater holiday in the Red Sea. Float through a tropical landscape by day as you discover coral reefs and the beauty of nature. At night there are nightclubs, bars and a huge range of range of entertainment from the traditional to the modern in Hurghada’s bustling resort. Hurghada is a fantastic choice for January Holidays.

Dubai Average temps 20 degrees A shopping lovers dream, although post Christmas, it might not be the first thing that springs to mind. The hot, dry weather in Dubai in January is just the balm to chase away those winter blues. Jumeirah Beach is a purpose built holiday haven, with its own souks, malls, clubs and pools… actually we could go on, but isn’t it better to see for yourself?!

Swiss Alps Average temps -1 St Moritz is a ski Mecca in January. It is slap, bang in the middle of full winter season, with skiing and snowboarding, cross country and hiking on offer as well as electric après-ski. Book now for great ski deals in January with Purple Travel.

Cape Verde Average temps 24 A string of islands floating in the Atlantic, Cape Verde is a wonderful melting pot of cultures, from its Portuguese influences to its proximity to the African coast. It’s not exactly mainstream so offers an eclectic holiday for sports lovers, surfers and great food and is still cheap enough for a great January deal.

Canary Islands Average temps 22 degrees The Canaries are renowned as winter sunshine holiday destination. And at just four hours flight time from the UK, they offer a cheap, cheerful and close holiday. Family friendly in Lanzarote sunshine is just the ticket after a long winter. Book self-catering or all inclusive budget accommodation in Lanzarote now with Purple Travel.

Florida Average temps 23 degrees Holidays in Florida are a great choice for two reasons: 1. you can beat the queues at the Theme Parks and 2. You can do it minus any sunstroke. Disneyworld and Orlando are still busy but not at summer levels, while Sarasota and St Petersburg beaches are still warm enough for bathing. Of course, if it’s endless parties you’d prefer, you could do worse than a quick road trip to Miami.

For more on cheap January Holidays talk to Purple Travel on 02079939228.

Joining the Mile High Club – legitimately

Mile High Club from purple travelWhile you might wonder about the ethics or even legal status of joining the Mile High Club, it’s no secret that it’s a bucket list entry for lots of people. Seeing a niche business opportunity a US based airline has created a special package for couples who want to do just that.

Flamingo Air, based in Ohio, USA, is offering private flights especially for couples who want to get on board with love in the air. The hour long flight in a Piper Cherokee 6 plane has its own private love nest, and as mentioned on the site, a very discreet pilot (!) Offering champagne and chocolates, the flights of fancy will set you back $425, but promise to give you a flight you won’t forget.

So, ditch the tricky trips to the toilets and take it easy at 20,000 feet in the comfort of your own personal (temporary) bedroom. Just remember, these flights take two people at a time, so no extra funny business!

You should read… the sexiest holidays on earth

Musical Holidays

Music-lovers, this one’s for you. Combining travel and music makes for one perfect holiday in our eyes; check out some of these incredible musical holidays, famous for their firm musical roots:

musical haunts

Images via @ Luiz Fernando Reis and Canucklibrarian

Nicknamed ‘Music City USA’, Nashville is the epicentre of country and western. Visitors to the Deep South can attend a live recording of Grand Ole Opry (a country music and variety show) at Ryman Auditorium, one of Nashville’s most significant music venues, or head to the Hall of Fame, an educational museum, dedicated to country music’s extensive history.

New Orleans
New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, which kind of makes it the birthplace of music itself. Visit in spring, around the end of April to early May, for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, (aka the Jazz Fest), which is one of the biggest jazz festivals in the world and also features a variety of other music types that were influenced by jazz, including indigenous Louisiana music, such as Zydeco. However, you don’t need to visit in spring to enjoy great jazz in New Orleans – from street musicians and funeral bands to all of those huge bars off of Bourbon Street; music is a central part of life in The Big Easy.

Feeling blue? Head to Memphis. Home to Elvis, the blues and Aretha franklin, Memphis and rock ‘n’ roll are synonymous. Beale Street is the most famous and most musical street in Memphis, and it is where you will find most of the live music venues. You should also stop by Sun Studio, the site where Elvis recorded his very first song (‘That’s Alright Mama’) in 1954.

Jamaica conjures up images of beaches, rum and of course, reggae. Bob Marley was born in Jamaica’s Nile Mile and fans can visit the Museum of Bob Marley in Kingston for a walk through the reggae king’s life. In the ‘40s, Errol Flynn, the Hollywood bad boy, declared Jamaica ‘more beautiful than any woman I have ever known’ and today it’s no different. Palm-fringed beaches, coconut cocktails, the uplifting sounds of reggae and crystal blue seas make Jamaica a paradise that’s not just for reggae-lovers.

Although punk primarily has its roots in the political and economic, London’s angry, rebellious, opinionated (and unemployed) late ‘70s youth surely deserve some of the title. London is not only where punk music began, but also where punk fashion emerged, and from one shop in particular – SEX – the Camden store owned by Malcolm McClaren and Vivienne Westwood. This in turn bred the Sex Pistols, pioneers of the punk movement. Their fans included an outrageous bunch of young punks known as the Bromley Contingent, who formed a large portion of the London Punk scene, including The Clash, The Slits, Siouxsie Sioux, Generation X and X-Ray Spex. And thus, punk was born. Today, you can still see the dregs of the movement, sitting on a bridge at Camden lock, spitting at any passer-by who so much as glances at them, let alone takes their picture.

Everyone loves Motown, it’s hard not to. And in that same breath, it’s hard not to love Detroit. Home to both the highly successful music label and the music that it produced, Detroit exported a large majority of the gospel-inspired R&B singers and groups that populated the radio waves in the 1960s, cutting their records on the Motown label. The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Supremes, Smoky Robinson and the Miracles, and Stevie Wonder forever link Detroit to this very popular musical style. Check out the Motown Museum if you’re ever in town.

Top tips for Disney

Taking the kids to Disney? Make sure your trip-of-a-lifetime goes as smoothly as possible with our top best Disney tips for getting around with little ones in some of the best theme parks in the world.


Images via @ Wallyspam and Brendan Meier

  1. Don’t try to do everything: You want Disney to be the best experience for everyone and it won’t be if you’re suffering from exhaustion! Slow down and take in all the fun and don’t be afraid to head back to your hotel pool for a chill out.
  2. Age check: Be sure to check out the age and height requirements before you go, you don’t want to get someone all excited about a ride they won’t be able to get on.
  3. Fail to plan, plan to fail: Disney makes it easy to plan your trip, including a daily planner to guide you through the best selection of amusements and shows to suit you and your little ones.
  4. Go at the right time: Remember that the height of summer means crowds, heat, mosquitoes, maybe even different opening hours, so keep this in mind when you’re booking those tickets!
  5. Don’t forget your supplies: Some tasty snacks and especially a couple of bottles of water make those long queues a lot more bearable.
  6. Book in advance: There’s a tonne of great eating options and even a free advance reservation system. Use it! Just remember, this won’t actually mean they’ll hold your table, but you’ll be seated and ready to eat quickly.
  7. Label your child! This may sound a little strange, but it’s a big place and it’s easy for kids to wander off. If you’ve got a few running around, instead of growing an extra pair of eyes, using an ID bracelet with your name and contact details could save on nightmares.
  8. Whistle while you work: Our top tip is of course; to remember you are there for a good time, not a long time! So, go and enjoy yourself, make the most of a wonderful holiday experience.

Purple Hearts:Florida Keys Holidays

With its luscious jungles, dazzling seas, and exotic mangroves, the string of islands that make up the Florida Keys is this year’s hottest destination. Attracted by its stunning coral reefs and the bountiful coloured fish that make them their home, thousands of tourists return to as the charming communities of Key West and Key Largo every year. Choosing which islands to get to while you’re there is difficult when you’re not in the know, so we’ve put together a travel guide to help you along the journey. Welcome to Florida Keys Holidays.

Florida Keys

Flickr/Emilio Labrador/Creative Commons

Where to go in Florida Keys

Bahia Honda Key | Tropical Bahia Honda Key centres mainly around its eponymous state park, known for its pristine beaches, wonderful snorkelling opportunities and perfect sunsets. Take a picnic with you to the beach and spend a relaxing day, dipping into the sea and enjoying the balmy breezes that caress its shores. This remote island is an excellent place to see shorebirds and other wildlife, with a nature centre dedicated to the island’s plants and animals.

Big Pine Key | Big Pine Key is a refuge to rare and endangered animals. Its authentic back country atmosphere and National Key Deer Refuge, make it a beautiful place to holiday. Big Pine is also the jumping off point for numerous snorkelling and diving charters to Looe Key reef, the perfect remedy if you feel like taking an offshore adventure.

Conch Key | This stretch of Florida Keys is dominated by the fishing community, and home to both rustic fishing villages and boating elite. Conch Key itself is a tiny fishing village, but you can quickly hop across to Duck Key, if you’re looking for a more upscale community.

Duck Key | Small, secluded, yet central to Miami and Key West, 

Duck Key is known for its beautiful sunsets. Also home to Hawks Cay, one of the region’s most popular marina resorts, Duck Key is the ideal destination for those looking for a relaxing getaway.

Grassy Key Legend has it that this remote little key was not named after its abundant vegetation as the name would suggests, but after an early settler who went by the name of Grassy. However, this doesn’t take away from its greenery – the Key is fileld with shrubs and native trees.

Islamorada | Isla Morada is Spanish for Island Home, named so by the early settlers who immediately found this island to be cosy and homely. This well-known fishing village is the perfect place for snorkelling, sunbathing and swimming.

Key Largo | Key Largo is the first of the Upper Keys that can be reached by car, and at 30 miles long, it’s also the largest island in the chain.

Key West | Close to Miami,  and just 90 miles from Havana, this end-of-the-line community is like nowhere else on earth. This is the land of eternal holiday, where no one has a care in the world and all you have to think about is what you want for lunch or which cocktail you’ll choose.

Florida from Space

 Flickr/gsfc/Creative Commons

Little Torch Key | Little Torch Key and its neighbour islands, Ramrod Key and Summerland Key, are good jumping-off points for divers headed for Looe Key Reef. The islands also serve as a refuge for those who want to make.

Long Key | Long Key is the ideal destination for those looking to avoid the masses and enjoy some ecological history.

Marathon | Marathon is a busy town – or at least busy when compared to other communities in the Keys. However, the island also lacks a certain charm when compared to its counterparts…

You Should Read… Top 10 Theme Parks in the USA

Hemingway house

Hemingway Balcony/Mattwunderle/Creative Commons

Main attractions of Florida Keys

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum 

A guided tour of Ernest Hemingway’s home is filled with amusing anecdotes of the writer’s life. Built in 1801, Hemmingway lived in the house between 1931 and 1942, writing about 70% of his life’s work, including classics like For Whom the Bell Tolls in its roomsYou can even see some of his belongings including some books, with photographs along the way to help you visualise his day-to-day life.

Audubon House and Tropical Gardens

See the works of ornithologist John James Audubon in this three-story house, which was built in the 1840s for Captain John Geiger. Today, it commemorates Audubon’s 1832 stop in Key West while he was travelling through Florida to study birds. The self-guided tour of the house and gardens and the art gallery of lithographs of the artist’s famed portraits, is one you’ll never forget.

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Construction of Fort Zachary Taylor began in 1845, but was halted during the Civil War. Finally completed in 1866, the fort was also used in the Spanish-American War. Guests can either take a 30-minute guided walking tour of the redbrick fort, a National Historic Landmark, at 12pm  and 2pm, or self-tour anytime between 8am and 5pm.

Purple 10: Theme Parks USA

theme park

Image via @ nikonvscanon

Not only does the US have more theme parks than there are cows in Wales (well not exactly…) but each and every one of them have a little piece that make them quite alike, particularly in regards to food, fun, and roller coasters. We’ve narrowed down a list based on which theme parks USA offer the most for your money and are the most popular of the year.

#1 Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio

Known as the best amusement park in the world, it’s no wonder Cedar Point makes it to the top of our list. With 75 rides, ten shows, a water park and seventeen roller coasters, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio packs more thrills per square foot than anywhere else on the planet, let alone America.

#2 Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida

No list of theme parks would be complete without a mention to the largest, most-attended recreational complex in the world. Home to some of the most iconic landmarks, characters and imagery on the planet, Walt Disney World is an American favourite.

#3 King’s Island in Mason, Ohio

As the largest amusement park in the Midwest, King’s Island is humongous, with 364 acres of park grounds boasting over 80 rides and attractions. The all-new Soak City water park alone offers more than 50 water activities, including 30 slides, tropical lagoons, rushing rivers and surfable waves.

#4 Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, Texas

Featuring three incredible parks (for one admission), more than 40 rides, 17 slides, nine tube chutes, uphill water coasters, three lazy rivers and more than three miles of tube rides, Schlitterbahn is a huge, thrill-seekers paradise. Home to the longest water park ride in the world, The Falls, Schilitterbahn is one of Texas’ main attractions.

#5 Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California

For hundreds of thousands of theme park fans, Disneyland could never be anything but #1, but even in fifth position there’s no question that Disneyland Park and the larger resort, with 20 million annual visitors combined, is simply one of the best.

#6 Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia

Well-maintained with a unique design, this African themed adventure park offers something for everybody. This year, Busch Gardens Williamsburg has built an electromagnetic multiple-launch roller coaster on the former site of the Big Bad Wolf called Verbolten, which opened in May.

#7 Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida

Arguably even more exciting to than Disneyland or Six Flags Universal Studios in Orlando is a must-visit for all age groups.

#8 Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, Pennsylvania

Knoebels offers free admission and parking, with more than 50 rides available either a la carte or through an all-day pass. Enjoy the Grand Carousel, two world-class roller coasters and The Phoenix, voted the second best wooden coaster in the world.

#9 Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois

Six Flags is a dependable brand for thrill-lovers. Chicagoland’s own Six Flags Great America features eight themed areas, each highlighting a different aspect of Americana.

#10 Legoland in Carlsbad, California

This theme park takes you right back into childhood, amusing both the children and the adults. It’s known for its sculptures made of Legos, from rides to cars, from the New York skyline to Mount Rushmore.

Purple Pick: Great American Road Trips

The Deep South in the USA is known for its hospitality, big personalities and as the birthplace of Elvis, the most famous jazz clubs that side of the Atlantic and food that is out of this world. Join us as we go one of the Great American Road Trips through the Deep South.

Start in Atlanta, Georgia an energetic city that’s home to world class southern hospitality. Rent a car, hop in and get some travellin’ tunes to get you on your way. Visit the High Museum of Art, or hike the Infamous Appalachian Trail to kick-start your adventure. As you pass through you’ll probably recognise bits of it from movies like Driving Miss Daisy, Fried Green Tomatoes and, erm, Deliverance.

In Tennessee, you’ll find Graceland, where Elvis spent the last years of his life. It’s an intriguing and moving place to visit. Fans make the journey from all over the world to pay their respects to the man known as ‘The King’. Sun Studios is like taking a step back in time and blues, gospel, country and rock ‘n’ roll fill the air.

You couldn’t go on a Deep South road trip and not visit Sweet Home Alabama. If there’s time, dip across the border and head for FAME or Muscle Shoals sound studios. These hosted some of the best acts in the world like Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones and Otis Redding. If you go even further, just outside Birmingham a stop by the Talladega Superspeedway will leave your head reeling, in a good way. A stop in Scottsboro at the Unclaimed Baggage Center, where airline lost luggage is unpacked and sold could give you a couple of bargains or something totally weird, so don’t say we didn’t warn you. Don’t forget to order grits for breakfast and ice tea with lunch to fit in, in Alabama.

A stop at the Country Music Hall of Fame and discovering the Grand Ole Opry makes Nashville a great addition to the trip. There is excellent live music in bars throughout the city ‘til late and Biscuits at Loveless Cafe are something an institution. The Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis will have you tapping your foot in no time and the city is known for some of the best BBQ, with hundreds of places for a pitcher of beer and some broiled ribs or pulled shoulder pork.

Mississippi’s Highway 61 is called the cradle of the Blues. At the crossroads between 61 and 49 you’ll find the spot where Robert Johnson is said to have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for phenomenal guitar playing skills. Clarksdale is home to the Delta Blues Museum and the Ground Zero Blues Club juke joint is within touching distance. The Shack Up Inn is a real taste of southern hospitality.

Head for Jackson and eat at the infamous Two Sisters Kitchen, a buffet style in a traditional 1903 home. The all-you-can-eat price includes okra, cheese grits and skinless fried chicken. After a refuelling like that, the great outdoors might beckon; there are hiking trails, horse riding and activities in the gorgeous countryside around or you could visit your first ever rodeo at the Dixie National Livestock Show.

Continue your road trip to Louisiana to tickle your taste buds with a bowl of gumbo (everywhere has a difference recipe) or alligator sauce picante in Thibodaux. Then on to Lafayette, one of the best known music towns in the States, filled with Creole dancehalls, Cajun rhythms and zydeco music.

Finish up in New Orleans the legendary city of jazz on the Louisiana Delta. There are dozens of clubs to discover in the Big Easy, there are no closing times, so you can stay all night. And with jazz and blues, Latin, R&B, gospel, rock, cajun and everything in between you could stay for months without discovering it all. Go in February or March when you’ll find Mardi Gras, in April there’s jazz and international festivals, while in October there is the Angola Prison Rodeo and Art Festival.

Images used under Creative Commons via @ Garyjwoord @ Rob Westbrook @ IanLoic and via Pinterest.

Happy Thanksgiving: Awesome Pictures USA

To celebrate one of America’s biggest holidays, we’ve put together some of our favourite places to see in the good old US of A. We’d love to hear your favourites in the comments section. And of course, a big happy holidays to everyone who is giving thanks today! Enjoy our awesome pictures USA.

Call us now on 0207 993 9228 to book an amazing cheap holiday to the USA.

The Bean in Chicago, image via Creative Commons @ Dan Perry

Las Vegas, image via Creative Commons @ Moyan Brenn

New York City, image via Creative Commons @Jahborgs

Ruby Falls, Tennessee, image via Creative Commons @ NatalieLucier

San Francisco, image via Creative Commons @ BG3

Florida Keys, via Creative Commons @ Jim

Grand Canyon, via Creative Commons @ Moyan Brenn


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