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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The top 5 weird ways to travel on holidays
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Style Suitcase: The best summer sandals
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A Greek Beauty
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Cream of the Crops
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Purple Prose: Part 1
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What to Wear to Low Cost Benidorm Festival
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Travel tips: Get settled in!
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Purple Hearts Mexican Food
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Purple Tips: Family Holidays Abroad
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Around the world in five aftershaves

The top 5 weird ways to travel on holidays

If you want to stock up on cool points then of course a convertible or helicopter would be a top choice for travelling, but if you want real fun, then we think ‘the weirder the better.’ So, we’ve put together a little list of some of the more unusual choices of holiday transport. Stranger than a camel, faster than your two legs, here are our top 5 weird ways to see your destination.

Segway

Ok, so no one is ever going to look super cool on a segway, but don’t let that put you off. No, really, don’t!! These electric powered bike/unicycle hybrids have been bringing the energy deficient around since launching a couple of years ago. You’ll find them in lots of sun destinations and are really popular with kids who love whizzing around in circles. Plus they’re really simple to use, so you can breathe a sigh of relief that they want a go.

However, we’ve got a warning for you… if Justin Timberlake can’t even make it look good, you might just have to accept you won’t win any cool awards!

Gondola

When in Rome… or in this case Venice, a gondola trip might seem pricey or touristy but it’s well worth it. The good news is gondola fares are set by local officials, which means you can usually find a better price if there are a couple of you together. But, in our opinion, a trip with just you, your other half and your driver around the canals under the moonlight is a truly magical experience. Ps. Singing is not obligatory for gondoliers, but you might just get lucky!

Zorbing

It might not strictly fall under the category of travel, but zorbing is about as much fun as you can have in an enclosed plastic sphere. It’s sort of built like a bubble of plastic inside another, you get strapped in and hold on for dear life. So, hop in and you’ll be rolled down hill for a seriously adventurous and sometimes a bit of a bumpy ride. A quick warning, zorbing is not really for the faint-hearted, so remember this before you commit to it.

Beer Bike

Yes, you did read that right. The beer bike is basically a little caravan with seats that carries 30 litres of beer and up to 18 people. You’ll find it in Amsterdam and better get ready to put your pedal power to action, as you help driver Bob to cycle it around the city.

Kayak

Did you know New York City offers kayak tours? No, us either, but now that we’ve thought about it, we’re dying to go. Head down to Pier 40 on Houston Street and you’ll get hooked up with your very own kayak to take down the Hudson. Take in the sights like the Lady Liberty, and views of the Manhattan skyline as far as the Brooklyn Bridge.

Style Suitcase: The best summer sandals

What’s in your suitcase?

This week, we scour the high street and the high end looking for the best of the best summer sandals. Whether its embellished at Miu Miu or photo print at ASOS, your feet are in for a treat.

A Greek Beauty

We just had to share this absolutely stunning video. If you’re looking for some holiday inspiration, or you simply like beautiful things, then grab a cup of tea, (milk and two sugars for me please!) sit back and seriously enjoy this timelapse of Greece. Oh to be there right now!

Stian Redkal you’re our hero!

Cream of the Crops

The latest self sun creams tried and tested

Pairing together the words ‘sun’ and ‘cream’ can arouse a minefield of beauty faux pas, from patchy, streaky tan lines to oily, sandy gloop-covered skin to that lingering potent scent that’s reminiscent only of nappy creams and Sudocrem.

And up until a few years ago, choosing a good sunscreen just meant looking for the correct SPF (sun protection factor), which rates how well the sunscreen protects against UVB’s – one type of cancer-causing UV ray.  However, newer research shows that ultraviolet A rays can also increase skin cancer risks, despite not causing sunburn. They penetrate deeply into the skin, causing wrinkles and damaging skin below its surface.  The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that up to 90 per cent of skin changes associated with aging are caused by a lifetime’s exposure to UVA rays. Read More

Purple Prose: Part 1

The first in our new bi-weekly series of the best holidays reads. This week, we’re obsessed with the French and their chic, innovative style of writing. Impress your fellow holidayers with some of the best Parisian exports around, all you need know is a black coffee, un macaron pistache and a high-held nose. Ooh la la…

Read More

What to Wear to Low Cost Benidorm Festival

Fashion Hunter: What to Wear to Low Cost Benidorm Festival

Fringed tops abound and naff headbands aplenty, festival dressing isn’t exactly chic. But with low cost Benidorm Festival round the corner, we want to know what you’re going to be wearing?

Get inspired below with our top clothing picks for this summer’s festivals and amp up your look with some old favourites…

Acne kex skinny jeans

No festival wardrobe is complete without a pair of well-fitting, super tight, skinny jeans. These ones from Acne Studios are the best around and are currently being flogged for a cool 40 per cent off from the Acne site.

Hunter wellies in Original

An oldy, but a goody, Hunter wellies have been the festival footwear of choice for many a celebrity fashionista, including Kate Moss and Alexa Chung at Glastonbury. We like the originals the best, available from ASOS.

Ralph Lauren patch denim jacket

This Ralph Lauren patchwork Isabel Marant-style jacket is a go-to, particularly for the temperamental British weather. And let’s face it, you can’t go to a festival without at least two pieces of denim.

Amplified Pink Floyd tee

Ok, ok, so its not as good as your Dad’s beat up old Zeppelin tee, but if you just can’t get your hands on an original, then this long-sleeved Pink Floyd faded tee from Amplified is an excellent alternative. And if you pair it right, no one will ever know its not the real deal.

Converse Confetti Hi-Tops

Gracing the feet of many a musician, Converse have long been the stamp of a rock ‘n’ roller. Make yours stand out from the rest of the festival foot tappers with these cream hi-tops, printed with colourful confetti. Available from selected Converse stores and ASOS.

For our guide to Benidorm, please click here.

Travel tips: Get settled in!

Circular tea bags

Circular tea bags (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who doesn’t feel a little out of it on arrival in a new place? Whether it’s for a long stay, a big move or a few weeks soaking up the sunshine, it can be hard to get a handle on it. So this is my own little list to help you feel at home and get the absolute most out of your holiday! Don’t forget to add your own at the end, I’m always on the lookout!

  1. Teabags: The first thing I want when I arrive is a cup of tea. I know that may sound silly, but I want to really enjoy my holiday and it’s a good way to relax and feel at home! So usually I throw a few in my bag, or hand luggage, maybe a couple of sugars too. Usually hotels and apartments have a kettle somewhere, so you can have a relaxing cuppa straight away.
  2. Explore: Finding the pool, the bar, the breakfast room are a must. Knowing the quickest route to the beach too is one of my favourite things, it helps save precious minutes of sun soaking opportunities. After unpacking (see below!) you can find the time to go a little further afield and figure out where the nearest bars and restaurants are. That way, even if it’s your first night, you’ll still be able to figure out how to get home!
  3. Make friends: Whether it’s the locals or other holidaymakers, why not get chatting to your neighbour, on the beach or beside your apartment. I think there’s nothing better than being able to share the highs of your holiday with someone else and who knows, lifelong friends have been made in stranger places!
  4. Find the market: There are usually shops near to apartment complexes, hotels or self catering, and supplies will be needed sooner or later. Whether you’re planning on eating out every night, or cooking at home, you’ll need to know where to buy the bare essentials like milk, bread and butter!
  5. Unpack: It is a pain in the behind, but you’ll feel so much better knowing you won’t have to live out of a suitcase for half the day. Hang up any clothes that might be a bit creased, use the drawers and space on offer and you’ll be able to find everything as you need it. No need to waste a minute of your holiday!

 

Those are just a few tips I use, let me know yours in the comments below!

 

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Purple Hearts Mexican Food

A few of my male friends even started their own ‘Burrito Wednesday’, touring the London Mexican haunts each week, with testosterone in abundance and Coronas in hand. Whilst I didn’t even know what an avocado was in my childhood, I now consider myself somewhat of a guacamole connoisseur and chips and dip is a regular ‘can’t be bothered to cook’ staple. Yet aside from the obvious burritos, enchiladas and huevos ranchos, how much do we really know about Mexican food?

‘New Mexican’ can be both gastronomically glorious and a culinary confusion. Is chile with an ‘e’ still chilli? Do you know your pintos from you black beans? Does the word chimichanga connote some kind of hallucinogenic to you? Get your head around the lingo, with our gringo’s guide… to the best Mexican Food.

Chili Peppers

Chili Peppers (Photo credit: camknows)

Achiote-Annatto: a spice used in the Yucatan region
Albondigas: meatballs.
Atole: a thick, hot gruel made from corn.
Biscochitos: an anise-flavoured cookie.
Burrito: a white flour tortilla, filled with meats, beans, cheese, or a combination of these, and rolled, served smothered with chile sauce and melted cheese.
Capirotada: a raisin and walnut pudding.
Carne Adovada: cubes of pork that have been marinated and cooked in red chile, garlic and oregano.
Chalupas: (little boats) corn tortillas fried into a bowl shape and filled with shredded chicken, and/or beans, and topped with guacamole and salsa.
Chicharron: pork skin, fried crisp.
Chile con queso: chile and melted cheese mixed together into a dip.
Chiles Rellenos: roasted, peeled and stuffed (often with cheese) chiles, usually dipped in a batter and fried.
Chimichanga: a burrito that’s deep fried, and smothered with chile and cheese.
Chorizo: a spicy pork sausage, seasoned with garlic and red chile.
Cilantro: a pungent green herb used in salsas, etc; the seeds are coriander.
Curtido: pickled vegetables, typically cabbage, carrots. similar to cole slaw
Empanada: a turnover, filled usually with a sweetened meat mixture or fruit.
Enchiladas: corn tortillas filled with meat, beans or cheese, and either rolled, or stacked, and covered with chile sauce and cheese.
Fajita: strips of grilled steak or chicken that come with tortillas, sautéed peppers and onions, and other side dishes to make do-it-yourself burritos.
Flan: caramel custard dessert.
Flautas: tightly rolled, fried to a crunch, enchiladas.
Frijoles: beans.
Guacamole: mashed avocado, usually with chopped onion, tomatoes, garlic, lime and chile.
Habanero: Extremely hot pepper
Horchata: a delicious rice beverage
Horno: outdoor, beehive-shaped ovens.
Huevos Divorciados: Two eggs, one covered in green salsa, one in red, with tortillas in between
Huevos Motulenos: eggs with black beans, cheese, often ham, peas, plantains and picante
Huevos Rancheros: corn tortillas, topped with eggs, usually fried, smothered with chile and cheese.
Jalapenos: small, fat chiles, very hot, frequently used in salsa.
Mancha Manteles: a stew with turkey, chorizo, pork, pineapple, apple, chiles cinnamon, lard, tomatoes
Menudo: a soup made with tripe and chiles (known as “breakfast of champions”).
Nachos: tostados topped with beans, melted cheese, sliced jalapenos, sometimes served “Grande” with ground beef, or shredded chicken, guacamole and sour cream.
Natilla: soft custard dessert.
Pico de Gallo: salsa with chopped fresh chiles, tomatoes, onions and cilantro.
Posole: a thick stew made with hominy corn simmered for hours with red chile and pork.
Quesadilla: a turnover made of a flour tortilla, filled with cheese or other ingredients, then toasted, fried or baked.
Refritos: beans that have been mashed and fried, most often in lard.
Salsa: generally an uncooked mixture of chile, tomatoes, onions.
Sopaipilla: Puffed, fried yeast bread, eaten split and filled with honey-butter.
Tlacoyo: toasted masa cakes stuffed with various items, similar to pupusas
Taco: a corn tortilla either fried crisp, or just softened, and filled with meats, cheese, or beans, and fresh chopped lettuce, onions and tomatoes.
Tostados: corn tortilla chips, also, a open face corn tortilla covered with refried beans, salsa, cheese, and chopped lettuce and tomato.

Purple Tips: Family Holidays Abroad

Whether you’re an old pro at travelling with children, or this is your first trip with a new baby, it can be a daunting experience. How to keep them busy for two weeks and not go stir crazy yourself, will the food be alright, will there be other kids to play with and will the facilities be up to scratch? If you haven’t really thought it through and would like some ideas, then stay tuned for some top picks for family holidays abroad.

Young cheetahs in Masai Mara

Young cheetahs in Masai Mara (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let your little ones take a walk on the wild side in Kenya. Imagine introducing your young one to the stunning scenery of Africa, seeing gazelles rave across the planes, or elephants feeding in their natural habitat. The Masai Mara is probably the best known safari destination and there you could get the chance to see the so called big five: lions, elephants, rhinos, buffaloes and leopards. Not for the faint hearted, it’s all early starts, and a little bit of roughing it, so maybe it’s best to wait ‘til your budding zoo keepers are a little older before heading to Kenya.

Tunisia’s well known for practically year round sunshine, so if you’re after a couple of hours on the beach every day, dig out your bucket and spade and get going. Hammamet is a great choice, because there are a tonne of kid friendly activities, from clubs, babysitters and crèches. Older children will love the food, evenings of football training, singing, dancing and making plenty of new friends.  If you’re the nerdy type of mum or dad, why not take a day trip to the Sahara desert, where you can check out the sets of some of the Star Wars films among others. Well, if it works for us…!

The stunning island of Antigua in the Caribbean might be a bit of a trek, but it’s so worth it. Antigua prides itself on being home to enough beautiful beaches that you could visit a different one every day of the year. It’s incredibly low key and relaxed, and is a perfect place to spend some quality time together. If you fancy a bit of activity, Half Moon Bay is fab for snorkelling, while Stingray City is an aquarium with a difference. Children are encouraged to stick their hands in the tanks and get up, close and personal with the tropical fish. It might not be a top choice for mum and dad, but we reckon youngsters will love it.

Praia da Galé; Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

Praia da Galé; Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Portugal is surely one of the most family friendly holiday hot spots around. From the historic capital Lisbon, to the long stretches of sand on the islands of Madeira or the Azores Archipelago, there’s something to impress even the pickiest child. We think the old reliable Algarve is a top choice. There are water slide parks to beat the band, top notch sandy beaches to spend lazy days and a great range of family friendly accommodation options. Albufeira is a top pick for its lovely Old Town, with views right out across the ocean, a beautiful, sandy beach and great atmosphere.

Around the world in five aftershaves

If you’re stuck on what to give Dad for Father’s Day — and his chest of drawers simply cannot accommodate one more pair of personalised ankle socks — this might be the year to give him the gift of travel, well kind of. Send him on a journey through the Middle East, the member’s clubs of old England or even to Timbuktu (if he’s really doing your head in), all at the wallet-friendly price of around 50 quid. You’re welcome. Read More

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