5 Things To Enjoy When You’re Not On The Slopes In Hakuba

Some of the best resorts in Japan can be found in the Hakuba Valley. The Hakuba Snow is one of the big draws to the area and they get over 10 meters of the white stuff every year,  add to that a mind blowing number of runs, it is no surprise to learn that over 200,000 foreign tourists visit every year.

So, we know you’re going to have a blast on the slopes because the quality is so high – but what about when you’re not skiing? Well, there’s no reason for you to be stuck in your room watching tv because there are a number of cultural activities for you to enjoy in the Hakuba area. Here are 5 things you should try out to get a truly Japanese experience.

Onsen

You can’t go all the way to Japan and not experience an onsen. After a day or two of hitting the slopes your legs are going to get tired, so the best way to rejuvenate is by visiting one of the number of onsens in the valley. Every onsen is different from the next, the qualities that differ can be anything from the colours, minerals added to the water and also the healing qualities they boast. One thing you should notes is that that in keeping with Japanese custom you are supposed to get in the onsen naked. You might feel shy at first but there’s no reason to be because everyone else is doing the same, you won’t feel awkward after a minute or so.

Snow Monkeys

These are the only monkeys in the world that have been caught bathing in hot springs, they became world famous when a photographer from Life Magazine snapped these beautiful creatures and put them on the front cover. Ever since that edition came out the snow monkey’s fame has grown and grown. I have come across several monkeys on my travels and I was so surprised by just how chilled out these guys were. Make sure you wrap up warm because you have to walk around 30 minutes to get to the place where you can see the monkeys.

Zenkoji Temple

If you’re in Hakuba then there’s no excuse not to visit this temple which dates back to the 7th century, the reason for having no excuse is because it is easy to get to, extremely important and absolutely stunning. Legend has it that it is home to the first Buddhist statue that came to Japan. It will take you about an hour to reach by train, we did it when we were leaving Hakuba because we were told it was a good place to have a pit stop. I highly recommend this pit stop idea because you hop off, explore the temples, eat in a local restaurant and then continue your journey.

5 Things To Do In Las Vegas

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Las Vegas truly needs no introduction, everybody knows how amazing it is and you just need to have a little bit of inside knowledge about where to go and what to see. This short guide will help you to visit some of the best attractions there, so sit back and relax and enjoy reading about some of the best attractions that Las Vegas has to offer. 

Bellagio Fountains

This is the biggest and the best of all the attractions outside of the hotels on the Vegas strip. The fountains themselves shoot from a huge lake and there are over 1200 actual outlets that shoot the water over 100 metres into the air. This is something that everyone should see and it is possible every half hour between 3 and 8pm, thereafter the shows occur every 15 minutes until the clock strikes 12.

Cirque du Soleil

This is another attraction that probably needs no formal introduction, but is a huge drawcard for Vegas. The spectacular feats of the superhuman gymnasts throwing themselves everywhere and in all kinds of positions is something that you won’t forget. Cirque du Soleil may come from Canada, but perhaps Vegas has topped it for its spectacularity. There are lots of other shows that have long runs on the strip, so make sure you check out what sophisticated Las Vegas residencies are open when you’re visiting.

Food

We all know that clothes, cars and jewelry can be designer, but what about food? Las Vegas really takes it to the next level with the heavy competition along the strip, every restaurant is fighting to be the best and the people are the true winners here. If you have a bit of money to spend or you just won some, it is definitely a great idea to check out Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars. There are also a whole host of steakhouses that provide some delicious food and value for money.

Shark Reef Aquarium

There are aquariums and there is the Shark Reef Aquarium, trust me there is a difference and after having been to so many I can tell you that this is one of the best. This aquarium is unique because it is half indoors and half outdoors, and is home to sea turtles, crocodiles, many sharks and a mysterious komodo dragon. If you do happen to stay at the Mandalay bay you can watch a 24 hour camera of the sharks!

New York-New York Roller Coaster

Although it is not the newest, fastest and most intense roller coaster in existence, it is unique because it actually goes through the New York-New York hotel! This is something that everyone should experience.

Reasons to go And See a Show in Las Vegas

If you are heading to Las Vegas then you will no doubt have already planned your gambling activities, the parties you’d like to go to, the hotels to relax in and the day-trips which you mean to take, but have you included a show in your plans?

Vegas may be known as the world’s capital of gambling but it can also be included as one of the world’s capitals of entertainment and here on the strip you will find some of the most spectacular, fascinating, mind-blowing, hilarious and entertaining shows anywhere in the world. Because of the sheer volume of shows which you can find here, it is important to get planned in advance in terms of ticketing and selecting which shows you’d like to see, and here is just why you mustn’t miss out on a show experience like you can find in Vegas.

Variation

Unlike places such as Broadway, here in Vegas you will find every type of show under the sun to enjoy and no matter where your passions or tastes lie, there is something to suit everyone here in Las Vegas. You only need to take a quick glance at the list of shows to see evidence of this with acts such as magicians Penn & Teller, comedians like Carrot Top, extravaganza such as Cirque du Soleil and many more interesting and exciting acts which cover all forms of entertainment.

Stars

Here in Vegas you will not only see young performers cutting their teeth in the city but also some of the world’s most famous superstars. There are a number of sophisticated Las Vegas residencies to be found here and over the years it has attracted the likes of Celine Dion, Prince, Tom Jones, Elvis, Sinatra, Britney Spears and Elton John who have spent long periods of time here performing night after night. If you want to see some of the world’s finest, this is the place to do so.

Price

Many locations around the world such as New York and London can often be guilty of charging extremely high prices to see the shows and acts which you love but in Vegas those prices are far more reasonable and there is something here to suit every budget. Of course some of the best seats at the best shows will cost you a pretty penny but if you simply want the experience of going to a show then it really doesn’t have to cost the Earth. These prices make shows in Las Vegas very accessible to everyone and yet another reason why you can’t afford to miss out.

Different Side

Vegas has so many different sides to it and when you take a trip there it is always a great idea to try and experience as many different parts of Vegas as possible. This is why seeing a show is such a greta idea because it offers a different Vegas experience and one which will help you to enjoy your vacation more, and offer you a side to Vegas which you perhaps weren’t familiar with.

No matter how much time you have in Las Vegas, seeing a show is a must!

A Guide To Your Cornish Holiday

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When it comes to choosing the perfect place to spend a holiday, it can be a bit of a daunting task to say the least. That’s why we’ve done all the legwork for you with this handy little guide to a great Cornish getaway – with or without children. Whether it’s your first time or your five hundredth time to the Cornish county, you might be surprised at what some people know about that others don’t, so give our guide a read – you never know what you may come across!

Where To Stay

Places to stay number in their hundreds – if not thousands – throughout the county, but not everywhere is central to everything you want to do. Many want to have a place close to beaches, shopping, restaurants and  the sites they want to see, but often don’t want to pay the prices that come with having a place of such a calibre. If you want somewhere just like this with everything under an hour’s drive away, check out Perran Springs Holiday Park with static caravans to rent in Cornwall – the perfect getaway for a couple who want something easy and affordable.

Perran Springs Holiday Park

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Cornwall

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Things To Do

Cornwall is home to some of the most unique things to see and do and it can be daunting to see them all in a short period of time. If you’re travelling around Christmas time, be sure to check out Mousehole and their impressive Christmas light display in the harbour. If not, be sure to add Land’s End to your list – even if it’s a bit cheesy it’s still worth a look, especially if you like hiking. Speaking of hiking, head out to Cape Cornwall for some of the best hiking around. Kick back and relax on the numerous beaches or while away the hours strolling the seafront and quaint back alleys of St Ives where artists come in droves to paint the scenery.

Cool Sites

If you’re looking for two really interesting places to consider checking out while in Cornwall consider the ancient village of Chysauster. Now nothing more than some white stone walls in a field with some stunning views, Chysauster used to be a bustling village. In shoulder seasons, many people don’t bother with the village, so you can sometimes have the whole thing to yourself if the masses aren’t in Cornwall for their holidays, a truly unique experience.

Another really interesting place to check out is the Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor near Launceston and Bolventor. Home to a former deep tradition of smuggling, Daphne Du Maurier wrote her famous book Jamaica Inn based off her time spent at the inn. The hotel and accompanying bar are like something out of the days of pirates indeed, and a whole museum dedicated to both Du Maurier as well as smuggling history are available to visit. Murders and mystery surround the Inn, and if you’re brave enough, visit on a ghost weekend when tours of the building might result in seeing something a bit on the strange side.

So if you want something a bit new this year, why not consider one of these cool sites and things to do in Cornwall? While you might head back time and again to do the same favourite activities, there’s always room for something new and eccentric to try!

Top UK Destinations For Family Holidays

 

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Are you thinking of just what to do for the upcoming summer? Maybe you’ve played with the idea of heading abroad, but you aren’t quite sure the money is there this year. Never fear! There are great vacations to be had all over the UK in a number of different areas that are easy to get to from almost anywhere. Here are a couple of our top picks for great family or couples holidays in your own backyard for this summer and summers to come!

Snowdonia, North Wales

Snowdonia is a beautiful region in northern Wales, not far from the north coast. The inland National Park is home to some of the most quaint and beautiful villages such as the picturesque Betws-y-Coed and Beddgelert, you will have no trouble with finding something to do each and every day. The handy thing too is that there’s an inexpensive bus that connects many of the main villages from Betws-y-Coed to Llanberis, past many of the trailheads for Mount Snowdon, making it easy to go for a short hike around the mountain – or for climbing it if you’re so inclined!

Pembrokeshire, South Wales

Pembrokeshire is one of those locations where you want to stay forever. With quaint harbour villages set in valleys to the rocky cliffs where hiking is king, Pembrokeshire is an outdoor lovers’ dream. Check out Whitesands Bay near St David’s for a great day on the beach with its pristine sands and blue waters. Newgale, not far from St David’s is home to another sandy beach, great surf for bodyboarding and some unique rock formations along the cliff edges.

Cornwall

Cornwall is easily the most sought after destination for families across the UK during the summer holidays. With so many different things to see and do including exploring old copper mine chimneys, hiking rugged coastal trails, frolicking on white sand beaches or bodyboarding on some impressive surf in St Ives, there’s no end to excitement in Cornwall. Holiday parks in Cornwall make for a great place to stay and allow you a place to call your own while you unwind at the end of a busy day. For one of the best, check out

Perran Springs Holiday Park

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Cornwall

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Wiltshire

Wiltshire is one of the lesser visited counties these days but has a whole lot to offer the family that is looking for something really cool and unique in terms of a holiday. From Salisbury with its impressive cathedral, old Charter Market dating back to the 1200s and historical pubs (honestly, check out the Haunch of Venison!) and neolithic old city to the White Horses of Wiltshire – ideal for a road trip idea – you will find no end to the possibilities of fun in Wiltshire. For a really cool holiday, consider renting a longboat and drifting up and down the Kennet and Avon canal, stopping off in idyllic villages to explore.

So there you have a couple of truly awesome holiday ideas for this coming summer that are all right in the UK! Who would have thought one country could have so many amazing things to see and do for all the family from ages eight to eighty?

Why Your Kids Will Love a Family Camping Trip

In the last few years my family and I have taken holidays to Disney World, to some of the most beautiful Greek islands and to The Great Barrier Reef. Despite having been to some of the world’s most popular destinations however if you ask my kids what their favorite types of holidays are, they will tell you camping in the UK.

We generally go on one foreign vacation each year and then we always try to get a weekend or longer at a UK campsite, we have been camping in Cornwall, in the Scottish Highlands and in the Yorkshire Dales in the last few years and the kids simply adore these trips. If you aren’t sure whether camping would be a good type of holiday to take your kids on, here are just a few reasons why I think that they’ll absolutely love it.

Nature

Many of us moan that our kids spend too much time on video games or on smartphones, but they still adore nature when they have the chance. Too many kids don’t have the freedom that we once had, when we could saunter off for hours on end to climb trees and the like, but when you go camping the kids get the chance to have a lot of fun in nature. My kids love nothing more than making rope swings, shooting up and down tress and finding all kinds of weird plants and insects in nature, and I’m sure your kids will too.

Nighttime

On a nighttime in a campsite everything goes nice and quite, the fires are lit and it is the perfect time for you to spend some quality time with the kids. Children remember those nights very well, where everyone gets wrapped up, toasts marshmallows on the fire and tells stories to each other or sings songs. Get creative with the campfire activities and kids will adore it.

Activities and Adventure

At home it is so easy for your child to sit in front of a television screen four hours on end, but none of that exists when you go camping. There is however still a great deal fo fun to be had when you go camping and the adventures and activities available are perfect for just about any child. When we go camping we like to go on long bike rides, do fun things like archery or sailing, head out kayaking on the water or, their particular favorite, go caving and discover what lies beneath the earth’s surface. Whatever kind of outdoors adventure you are looking for, you will almost always be able to find it right next to a  campsite, perfect for the whole family.

My kids are camping and as I have already said, they usually love it more than the expensive foreign vacations which we go on. Why not try it with your children in the coming year?

Here is where we stayed in Cornwall, perhaps it may suit you and your family too.

Perran Springs Holiday Park

Goonhavern

Truro

Cornwall

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The Top Reasons To Visit Disneyland Paris

I have to admit that once I reached adulthood I wasn’t too interested in visiting theme parks again. That sentiment changed the moment I had kids – they wanted to go and what’s more I loved going too! Here are some top reasons to go to Disneyland Paris:

Keep the kids happy

This is a no brainer because your kids are going to love every second of their time at Disneyland. They get to eat sweets, go on great rides, meet cartoon characters and watch some amazing shows. What kid wouldn’t like that?

The Rides

Theme park rides are one of the main reasons to go to any park, Disneyland seems to have a never ending supply of them. They have it perfectly set up, so if your with toddlers you’ll find suitable rides and if your with older kids there are plenty of hair raising rollercoasters to try out. Star Tours, Space Mountain 2 and Big Thunder would be my top picks.

You can see it in one day

One of the negative parts about visiting Disneyland in America is that it’s massive, possibly too big. Paris is perfect, it’s smaller, less busy and you can (if planned carefully) see it all in one day.

See a new country

Sometimes kids can be slightly apprehensive when you float the idea of going to a new country, that is eliminated when they hear you’re going to Disneyland. The park in Paris gives them a great opportunity to have fun whilst seeing another country.

The perfect family trip

If like me you have kids of different ages then a trip to Disneyland Paris is absolutely ideal. That’s because there are plenty of things to do for all ages and interests, plus many activities that the whole family can do together. My kids still chat about our holiday even though we last visited 2 years ago – it puts a smile on every parent’s face if their kids talk about having the trip of a lifetime!

Have you been to Disneyland Paris? I would love to hear all about the holiday and any tips you might have for other readers here. Just put your comments in the box below – thank you for sharing!

Canadian City Breaks: Top Five Highlights 

A city break can be a glorious thing – the chance to explore a city that you’ve not seen before, sampling the cuisine, the culture and the entertainment that is within its limits.

While it may be tempted to jet off  somewhere close to home for your vacation, it’s worthwhile to fly all the way to Canada and see what the cities are all about. With so many city delights on offer, it’s difficult to choose where to head, but these five highlights of the country may help. If you’re planning to visit more than one of the following cities then we recommend you rent a car when you get there, who doesn’t love a road trip? It’s the best way to truly experience a new country and its cities.

Vancouver

It may not have as much history as some of the other Canadian cities, but it certainly makes up for it in experiences. Mountains and beaches are both at home here, with skiing on Grouse Mountain during the winter and surfing at Wreck Beach during the summer months being popular pastimes for locals and visitors alike. Whether you choose to be active and take part in these sports, or you’d prefer to stay on the city streets, browsing the shops, dining out or taking a stroll through Stanley Park, there’s plenty to see and do.

Montreal

From the 17th century architecture to the modern day skyscrapers, Montreal has an abundance of sights and attractions to see during your visit. As darkness falls, there’s a popular party scene while your days could be filled with tasty culinary treats, world-class museums and fabulous shops. Take an elevator ride several storeys below the surface and you will be able to see the Underground City too.

Toronto

Toronto is big, real big, so if you’re heading here, you may want more than a day or two to explore it. So much diversity is packed into this one city, which will likely leave you pleasantly overwhelmed. Take a trip to the top of the CN Tower to see for miles around, or explore the various multicultural corners, including Chinatown, Greektown and Little Italy. Plus, Niagara Falls is less than two hours away . 

Ottawa

Canada’s capital may not be massive and may not be as historic as some of the other cities, but it certainly makes up for it when it comes to relaxation, laid-back attitudes and a fabulous charm. Lively, vibrant and clean, the city is full of delights, including a myriad of museums, boutiques and family-friendly sites.

Canada has plenty of cities to explore – take your pick for your next city break!

How to Save Money to Travel

Hitting the road with a rucksack on your back is one of the greatest experiences that you will ever have. Throughout the world there are literally thousands of people young and old who have taken the decision to explore this amazing planet of ours and the people who live within it. The hardest thing about traveling is financing it and whilst it may be difficult, it is more than achievable. And so, whether you have dreams of seeing the Great Wall of China, visiting the Taj Mahal, getting involved in one of the motorcycle tours in Himalaya or taking your photo with Christ the Redeemer, here is how you can get  the money together to realize your dream.

Online Work

Getting a second job is not always easy when you consider the time restraints of your existing job, and other responsibilities which you may have. The perfect option therefore when it comes to some additional earnings, is to make money online. There are various ways in which you can do this from filling out online surveys, matched betting or a wide range of freelance work which you can find on the net. Not only does working online give you the chance to make some extra cash but you can do so from the comfort of your own home, at a time that suits you.

Selling Things

We can all be guilty of hoarding things that we no longer need and you could well be sitting on plenty of cash. Take a day to have a root around your home or your room, and  dig out anything which is no longer of use to you. Once you have all of the clothes, games, tech, gadgets and miscellaneous items, take to eBay and auction them off. Even things which you may not think hold much value, may very well be valuable to someone else so you should always have a go at trying to sell everything that you find. Be ruthless when searching for things to sell and keep your eye on  the big picture in terms of your travels.

Stopping Your Spends

Saving up to go traveling should be a combination of looking for ways to make more money, and learning how to keep hold of the cash which you have. For this reason, it is vital that you are on the front foot in terms of reducing how much money you spend each day. The key here is to employ the 10 second rule, simply put, you should stop for 10 seconds before buying something be it clothing, coffee or a sandwich. During those 10 seconds, think about what you want to see when you are traveling and you will soon find that you are spending far less. As mentioned before, you must think about the big picture, a $50 night out could easily be a flight between Vietnam and Laos, or entry to one of the Seven Wonders of the World. A great trick here is to put a photo in your purse or wallet of the sights that you wish to see, whenever you think about spending money, you can look at the photo and think again.

The harder you work on putting money together before you go, the bigger the rewards will be when you finally get on the road.

Why I Love Visiting Mexico

There is nothing quite like the uniqueness of visiting Mexico and a lot of the time it is always losing to its bigger brother, the United States. It is in my opinion even better than the states and I wanted to talk a little bit about why I love it even more. So sit back, relax and enjoy reading about one of the best places to travel on the planet.

The Riviera Maya

This is one of the best if not the best parts of all of Mexico and there is so much on offer here, from diving and snorkelling, to restaurants, nightlife and shopping. This is one of the premier diving destinations in the entire country and the world. You can see tropical fish, coral reefs, whales sharks and other amazing wildlife too. The Riviera Maya vacation rentals aren’t bad either, especially in this part of the world with some of the best beaches and weather that you can possibly imagine.

The diversity

Mexico is a large place with a lot to offer in terms of landscapes, climates, food, culture and people. There are so many ways to experience it, from the beaches of the gulf of Mexico or in the gritty streets of Tijuana, near the California border. There really is something for everyone here, which is one of the best things when it comes to travel. Everyone should do it and enjoy it in their own way.

The historical sites

Mexico has an interesting history with the Aztecs and Mayans, which were two different people that had very interesting cultures and beliefs for their time. These two civilisations have left their mark on Mexico with a huge number of historic sites that dot the country. The Mayans are very famous for their stepped pyramids and intricate cities that they built, many of which have been well preserved and you can visit to this day. My favourite is definitely El Castillo pyramid.

The beaches

These are for sure one of the highlights of Mexico and the country certainly benefits from its huge coastline and ideal location. It also has a very warm and beautiful climate to enjoy the great beaches. The beaches of the Gulf of Mexico are my personal favourites, as they are those typical white sand beaches that have the most amazing deep blue water that you could only dream about. If you wish you could combine a visit to Tulum beach with the nearby Mayan ruins, which were absolutely perfect for me on my last trip there. If you would like to enjoy Mexico’s wonderful beaches, historic culture and lively city center, a great place to stay is at the Meliá Resort in Playa del Carmen. If you would like to enjoy Mexico’s wonderful beaches, historic culture and lively city center you can stay at one of the luxury resorts in Playa del Carmen