Category - Travel Tips

Find all the tips and advice you need with our handy online travel tips, created by the experts. Ensure you have the perfect holiday by reading our advice on how to pack, where to find the best deals and even which suncream to wear – Purple Travel

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Top 5 Christmas markets in Europe
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Get inspired: Fireworks festivals around the world
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Purple Tips: Tunisia – The ideal destination for winter sun
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Purple Tips: 7 foods to try on holiday in Spain
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Singles holidays: solo travel in 2014
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Film and TV: Incredible Game Of Thrones locations
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Purple Tips: Gambia – The Ideal Holiday Destination for Families
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Amazing Days Out: Granada’s Alhambra Palace
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A Night Less Ordinary: The ship-shape Jane Hotel
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Purple Tips: Enjoy a Girl’s Holiday in Tenerife

Top 5 Christmas markets in Europe

Christmas is coming and along with all the cosiness there is also the dreaded Christmas shop. Give something different this year and give yourself a present at the same time. Why not head off on your travels and stock up on traditional European goods from a foreign christmas market and soak up the incredible atmosphere.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna’s Christkindlmaerkt is one of the most famous, and long running in Europe and Vienna makes the perfect setting for this European Christmas Market. A lot of effort goes into the magical decorations and atmosphere and it attracts people from all over the world. Held in front of the town hall, visitors flock to Vienna to grab photos with the famous Christmas decorations, listen to the seasonal music, pick up traditional gifts and of course overindulge on sweet chestnuts. The city also offers the chance to see the glorious Schonbrunn and Imperial palaces and to stuff yourself silly with all the great cakes at the coffee houses.

Open: November 17th – December 24th

CaptureImage via: @tttaaaooo

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Get inspired: Fireworks festivals around the world

We may be the only country to celebrate the fact that a king survived an attempt on his life by lighting bonfires and fireworks, and continue to celebrate this over 400 years later, but we aren’t the only ones to commemorate a historical event using fireworks. Guy Fawkes Night is fast approaching and while you’re probably prepping for a big bonfire and making sure you have plenty of sparklers to go round, let’s take a lot at some fireworks celebrations throughout the world which could provide you with inspiration for your next holiday.

Fourth of July Celebrations – U.S.A.

Fourth of July is a holiday that celebrates the founding of America, therefore it’s fitting that some of the best fireworks displays happen in the capital, Washington, D.C. There are also many, many superb displays in New York. Grab a free view of fireworks from Brooklyn Bridge Park, or book yourself on a cruise and see the firworks from the water. Let’s not forget the family firm favourite that is Disney World, Florida. Fourth of July celebrations there capture the true spirit of America, their fireworks celebration is not simply a fireworks display but is hailed as a “concert in the sky”.

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Purple Tips: Tunisia – The ideal destination for winter sun

Tunisia-holidays-Purple-TravelImage via @Dennis Jarvis

Tunisia is perfect for those who want to top up their tan during winter and enjoy a winter sun break with friends or family. There are so many reasons to visit exotic Tunisia from the souks, the history, the gorgeous coastline, Tunisia will spoil you with dramatic landscapes and endless opportunities for winter sun and all that at only 3 hours away from the UK.

See: 

History – For family days out, there is so much history to see, why not head to Carthage or the amphitheater at El Djem.

Local markets – There are many local markets in Tunisia also known as souks. You can try out your bargaining skills by haggling with local vendors and take back some great spices and other souvenirs.

Beaches – There are miles upon miles of breathtaking coastline in Tunisia

Try: 

Spa therapy – Tunisia is a little gem for spa treatments, so why not treat yourself on holiday and at the fraction of the cost that you would get it at home.

Desert Safari – How many times in your life can you say you’ve been on a desert safari…the landscapes in the desert are so surreal you might have to pinch yourself.

Golf – There are great golf courses, especially at Port El Kantoui with a PGA approved, 36 hole course.

Resort Guides:

Djerba – One of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean, Djerba offers the perfect mix of beautiful sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and a great atmosphere the minute you arrive.

Sousse – Does Sousse look a little familiar? It’s been used as a movie location for years. Think Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Discover for yourself the fine sandy beaches that back onto olive groves. Cool down from the warm sunshine with a dip in the crystal clear water or pick up a bargain in the vibrant souks. Don’t forget to haggle, it’s expected! 

Port el kantoui –  Perfect for a golfing getaway, Port El Kantaoui offers a PGA approved 36 hole course, that should keep you busy for a few days. When you’re not working on getting a hole in one, why not stroll along the dazzling harbour, admire the luxury yachts, or pick up a couple of bargains in the vibrant markets.

Hammamet – A popular destination for a cheap holiday, Hammamet sun holidays offer plenty for families, couples or solo travel. Relax on the beautiful beaches of Tunisia or try out a new sport in the shape of diving or water skiing. If that sounds like too much of a challenge, you could try some gentle celeb spotting; politicians, musicians and actors have been known to holiday in Hammamet.

Mahdia – When you arrive in Mahdia the first thing you’ll notice is the beautiful expanse of beach and you’ll know you’ve arrived on holiday! There’s been plenty of investment over the last few years, building a fantastic resort with lots of activities for all ages. Whether you’re looking to relax in luxury in the sunshine or you want to take the hassle out of a holiday with an all inclusive Mahdia has all kinds of boarding options. 

Tunisia is a great choice for an adventurous family or friends, what do you think? Have you ever been to Tunisia or have you been wanting to go?  Let us know in the comments below!

Purple Tips: 7 foods to try on holiday in Spain

Here is one for the foodies amongst you today.  Navigating a menu on holiday can be a nightmare sometimes, even when they are translated you don’t really know what something actually is. Purple Travel gives you the lowdown on the top 7 delicious Spanish foods to try on holiday so you don’t miss out! Have you tried any of the dishes mentioned below? Let us know your top tips for eating out in Spain.

Tapas

The number one must-try food is tapas, less a food actually and more of an experience – you can’t go to Spain and not try tapas. The great thing is that you can eat it anytime and anywhere and because there is a little bit of everything on the plate there will be something for everyone to enjoy. Another awesome thing about Tapas is that in most bars in Madrid and Barcelona, you will get tapas for free – whether it be mini sandwiches, almonds, squid (really you can get anything). In other places such as the Basque Country and Andalusia you will have to pay but I’m sure it will be worth every penny.

tapas

Image via @Jessica Spengler

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Singles holidays: solo travel in 2014

Embrace your inner adventurer with the best in sunshine getaways or busy breaks with our tips for solo travel in 2014. Here are a couple of simple ideas whether you’ve been on endless singles holidays or you’re a first-time single traveller this year… Tell us your singles holidays suggestions in the comments below.

Cheap singles holidays from Purple Travel

 Image via @ nosha 

Friendship House-Parties This is a cool idea for chilled-out singles travel. Hotels are booked for 30-60 years old singles who want beach holidays in Turkey, Greece or as far afield as Cambodia.

Beach Getaways Grab a cocktail, sit back and relax on the beach for a sunshine getaway in the Canaries or the Costa del Sol, just because you’re travelling alone doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the same beach holiday as everyone else.

See the Northern Lights Yeah, I’m fed up too with seeing half of my Facebook friends showing off their perfect northern Lights pics, so, why not discover the stark beauty of the land inside the Arctic Circle and the incredible blues and greens. Hop on a huskie sled, get close to mother earth and relax in great company.

Solo Island Hopping Greece is an obvious choice, with tonnes of islands to cherry pick from. It’s an easy one to do on your own, you will inevitably bump into other solo travellers discovering the islands, there are decent room rates across the board and you can find as much or as little action as you’re looking for. Talk to our expert Greece team now about cheap singles holidays.

Cultural City Breaks why not join a group of other like-minded folks to discover the incredible art and culture of Europe’s capital cities. Discover Rome and the Vatican, its art, history and food. Hop from Budapest to Vienna for a mix of cool bars and high concept opera.

Caribbean Escape solo travel is moving quickly with companies offering more and more adventurousness on holidays. We love the idea of learning about rum and salsa on the atmospheric streets of Havana in Cuba, or partying at the colourful festivals of Trinidad and Tobago.

Hit the Road Walking tours and ‘doing the Camino’ are becoming increasingly popular, in fact walking the Camino alone is one of the busiest searches that we’ve discovered. There are new options for walking tours as far away as India, or you can check out our Camino guide here, written by someone who has travelled it several times.

Film and TV: Incredible Game Of Thrones locations

Excited about Game of Thrones Season 4? Ahead of its premiere on Sky Atlantic on April 6th, we’ve got some pictures of the best filming locations for the new series. For anyone living under a rock, the TV show based on the hugely popular G.R.R. Martin books centres around the fight for power amongst seven feuding families who plan to win the right to the Iron Throne. Featuring the Starks of Winterfell, Lannisters of Casterly Rock, the Greyjoys of the Iron Islands nad House Targaryen it is a fantasy epic with locations that match its incredibly dramatic story lines. Game of Thrones is filmed mostly in Iceland, Ireland, Morocco, Croatia and Malta where rugged landscapes stand in for Winterfell and sun soaked streets play host to the Queen of the Dragons. Here are some of our favourite Game of Thrones locations.

Dark Hedges Ireland

The bulk of Game of Thrones filming season 1, 2 and 3 took place in Northern Ireland, where Castle Ward in Downpatrick became Winterfell and introduced viewers to the Starks, Lannisters and King Baratheon. McComb’s Coach Travel provides Game of Thrones day trips from Belfast where you can also visit the Kings Road and the Cave of Cushendun where the shadow baby was born to Melisandre. Ballintoy Harbour played host to Theon Greyjoy’s homecoming to the Iron Islands and near Bushmills is the avenue of trees known as The Dark Hedges, where Arya Stark escaped King’s Landing. There’s even a GoT exhibit in Belfast where you can take a seat on the Iron Throne.

Dothraki Camp Ireland Game of Thrones IrelandImages via @ causewaycoastandglens

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Purple Tips: Gambia – The Ideal Holiday Destination for Families

Gambia family holidays

Have you ever planned a family holiday trip by throwing a dart at a map of the world? That method might well be the only way many of us would ever hit upon The Gambia as our next family holiday spot. This tiny nation, one of the smallest in Africa, nevertheless offers some marvelous facilities for tourists along the stretch of beach that sits along the Atlantic. If you and your family enjoy the unusual and if they seek exoticism — here it is!

A Unique Culture

Of course the “real Gambia” includes far more than what you can see from your hotel window. Feeling the need for a bit of help from knowledgeable locals? Then you’re in luck, you can find freelance tour guides through the Gambia Official Tourist Guides Scheme. This organization connects tourists staying in area hotels with guides who can help them get more out of their stay. The guides are happy to show tourists the sights and explain the culture.

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Amazing Days Out: Granada’s Alhambra Palace

Amazing Days Out: Granada’s Alhambra Palace

If you’re holidaying in Spain, particularly Andalusia or anywhere nearby, you’ll be wanting to check out the incredible Alhambra Palace. It is easily one of the most popular tourist attractions in Europe, certainly the most famous in Spain and the town of Granada offers a little shelter from the punishing summer heat of Seville or Cordoba, and is only a couple of hours from Malaga. The two parts of the complex, the Alhambra and Albaycin are seated on two opposite hills and showcase medieval Granada at its most magnificent.

Alhambra

Image via @ Cromeo

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A Night Less Ordinary: The ship-shape Jane Hotel

Our weekly series: A Night Less Ordinary is all about finding the most weird and wonderful hotels all over the world. From a James Bond hotel room, to sleeping underwater expect the unexpected. This week, we take a step back in time for a night on a cabin in the Jane Hotel New York.

What’s the gimmick? Lovingly renovated, the Jane Hotel’s rooms are themed around the cabins on a ship, complete with galley style bunk bed rooms,  brass fittings, warm colours and big mirrors, storage under over beds and buckets of bohemian history. A stay in the Jane Hotel, with its retro-uniformed staff and period design  is filled with character and one that makes the most of the NYC experience.

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Purple Tips: Enjoy a Girl’s Holiday in Tenerife

Whether you are looking for a sunshine paradise for the ultimate hen party or simply a relaxing destination to get away to with friends, Tenerife will exceed all your expectations. Golden sands, turquoise blue waters, tax-free shopping, and a nightlife that rivals all others, Tenerife is a true island oasis.

Nestled in the centre of the Canary Islands, the Spanish island of Tenerife has much to offer its visitors. Known commonly as the “Island of Eternal Spring”, a trip to the island promises good weather year round. If you are considering heading abroad for your next girl’s holiday, consider the island of Tenerife, a utopia on Earth.

Girls -holiday-tenerife Purple Travel
A tan to be envied by all back home.

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