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Thoughts on Holidaying in the South of France

France will always hold that element of romantic idealism. With beautiful, rolling landscapes and warm, welcoming villages it has often been regarded as a perfect getaway. A villa in the South of France is a popular summer holiday destination. Without the faster pace and the drudgery of normal life, France offers leisurely strolls, famously fine dining and a luxurious culture.

South of France's Majestic Coast
South of France’s Majestic Coast

The heat, of course, is a principle temptation, especially towards the south of France and the sea. Warm sandy beaches are a thing of reality, not dreams. Small, local towns here, such as Antibes on the Côte d’Azur are popular destinations. Resort towns such as these provide a multitude of activities to while the time away. Their history is long and patterned, as France was influenced by both the Greek and Roman empire. The architecture of the towns reflects this history and they appear to have stood in one place for hundreds of years without changing. There are numerous museums, some of archaeology or naval history and of course art. France has a history of fabulous artists, Picasso and Van Gogh to name a few. Copies of their work and the story of their lives are displayed proudly in museums across France. Antibes even has its own Absinthe museum, dedicated to the making (and of course, consuming) of the green liquor.

This area has tens of beaches, all reflecting a similar Mediterranean climate and view. Sun-tanning and swimming are obvious choices, but France also has numerous ports which provide moorings for any kind of vessel, from fishing boats to yachts. The Grotte de Niaux has an incredible selection of ancient cave drawings, which are well worth a see – although this must be booked in advance. Queribus and Peyrepertuse both have some beautiful chateaus that make for an excellent day out (some mild climbing involved!). The Bordeaux region is world famous for its wine and most vineyards offer wine tasting and tours.

The best time to visit France would be spring and the middle of autumn. July and August are the worst months to visit, as these constitute the summer holidays, when the schools shut and warm weather vacationing is more tempting. Flying is the quickest form of travel and there is an airport in Bordeaux, although the cheapest is more likely to be the ferry. Driving a car from Calais is a popular scenic choice. However you should always consider a low cost holidays promotion code for an even cheaper deal. Personally I would use a car when I am there, but I would opt for something like the amazing car service in Marseille that we used.

Thoughts of the South of France bring to mind a peaceful, almost rustic vision. The warm, mild climate is a perfect break from harsher atmospheres and yet is versatile enough to offer both a country stay and the delights of the cities, with all their cultural attractions.

Alor Setar – A Hidden Gem

The last time I went to Malaysia i visited the state of Kedah, it’s a place that most tourists visit but aren’t aware that they are actually there. Langkawi is probably the most famous place in this northern part of Malaysia. My trip to Kedah was not for the glorious beaches that Langkawi had to offer, the reason I was there was to visit Alor Setar – the royal capital of the state.

How do you get there?

Alor Setar is quite a small, humble city, but it does have it’s own airport – Sultan Adul Halim Airport, which has flights to and from KL and Medan. I chose a different route and decided to fly into Penang and hop on a bus for 3 hours before I arrived a my hotel in Alor Setar.

What should you see there?

I must admit that Alor Setar is a little off the tourist trail, but that doesn’t mean that aren’t plenty of tourist sights to see during your stay. SO after breakfast in the Sentosa Regency Hotel I spoke to the concierge about the best places to visit, thankfully he was full of great ideas.

The thing that I liked most about the city was the amazing architecture I saw at every turn, add to that the mix of cultures from the city’s rich history and you’ve got a million opportunities for amazing photos. Alor Setar is located near the borer of Thailand, so every now and then you’ll catch small glimpse of thai influence plus thai food (which I personally love!).

The most famous landmark in the city is Meara Alor Setara, this building stands 165 meters tall and can be seen from pretty much everywhere here. The price of entry is pretty cheap, that’s because you get to take an elevator right to the top and take in the best views from the deck. Make sure your camera is charged and the memory card empty as you’ll be snapping lots of photos.

Other notable places to visit are Masjid Zahir, Balai Nobat, Balai Seni Negeri and Kedah Royal Museum (which is free!).

Have you been to Alor Setar before? I would love to hear about your experiences, tales and tips. I think it is great when we, as a travel community, can come together to help each other plan the best possible trip. Just pop everything you want to share in the comment section below this post – thanks for sharing guys!

Saving on your holiday budget this trip to Phuket

Some holiday budgets are big and some are small. Want to get the most out of your holiday budget? Travel to Phuket, Thailand in Southeast Asia and you get to enjoy a wonderful island stay without it breaking your bank. Book yourself a villa with beautiful swimming pool that matches your budget (yes, there are plenty of villas suitable for travellers on all budgets) and see what this beautiful island in the South of Thailand has to offer. Here are 5 tips to enjoy Phuket on a budget:

  1. Learn to bargain

If you tweak up your bargaining skills, you’ll be saving a whole lot of money during your holiday. Transport and souvenir shopping are the things where bargaining is needed. The better you master this local skills, the more you save! Generally speaking, the actual price is usually 25% to 50% cheaper than the first quoted price so you can play around.

  1. Eat local food

Eating the best food at the lowest prices seems impossible but in Thailand, you can. The best and most authentic Thai food is usually not found in restaurants, but at street stalls and local night markets. For USD $1 you can munch on a delicious plate of Pad Thai noodles, and for USD $2 you can score a tasty and spicy traditional green or red curry with rice. There are much more authentic Thai dishes that you must try. The best place to taste a little bit of everything are the night markets and weekend markets.

  1. Go snorkelling

Spend more time exploring the underwater world with your snorkelling gear. It’s easy, free and fantastic! Phuket is one paradise-like island, and beneath the surface, it only expands. Beautiful coral gardens, colourful fish and strange sea creatures, you can spend hours exploring the underwater world. The sea around Phuket Island is mostly calm, and the water is warm and clear. If you are planning to be out in the water for snorkelling, be sure to wear a T-shirt to prevent your back from getting sunburnt.

  1. See waterfalls, temples and relax on the beach

Some things come for free, and on the island of Phuket, these things are plentiful. First of all, there are the beaches – endless beaches with soft white sands, swaying palm trees and emerald, azure waters. What more could you possibly need than a beach towel or sarong, your bathers, sunglasses, suncream and a coconut? This is what you came for, right? Apart from the beach, there are dramatic waterfalls to discover, sacred temples to visit and amazing viewpoints to see. You don’t need money to see these natural and cultural attractions of Phuket Island. Head out for the entire day in Phuket, soak up the tropical ambience and the rich Thailand culture.

  1. Ride a motorbike

If you want to get around fast and cheap, renting a motorbike is a good idea. With a motorbike and the wind in your back, you are free to go anywhere. You can go around the island to discover isolated beaches, more waterfalls and temples. So if you dare to ride a motorbike, do it – you won’t get enough of it!

 

Written by Stephanie from Villa-Finder.com

Great Tips To Save Money On Flights

I love saving money when I am buying things. For some unknown reason I find that saving money on flights is really fulfilling.

 

I think the explanation for this is because the amount of money you can save is usually over a hundred dollars, in some cases it can be huge! It could also be that special offers and deals are only available for a short space of time, it kind of feels like winning a raffle when you book one in time.

 

However you explain why it feels so good to save money on flights, here are some really great tips that you should try before you book a flight. They’ve worked for me over the years, so give them a try and let me know how you go.

 

Check out other airports

A lot of people don’t realise that you can save a few hundred bucks just by choosing to fly out of a different airport. The airport may be a couple of hours away but if it means that you have a few hundred dollars in your wallet it could well be worth your time. The savings apply to both international and domestic routes.

 

Things to weigh up when choosing different airports are costs that you’ll incur; parking, petrol and time. I personally do not mind traveling an extra hour or two if I save over a hundred dollars per flight, especially when I’m buying tickets for my whole family.

 

Be flexible

I recently booked a flight with go air for my holiday and found that by changing the date, by a day or two, saved me money. If you use a good search engine it will tell you the different cost per day. You’ll notice that the price of a flight can double from day-to-day.

 

If you can hold on and change your dates by more than a month you will be able to avoid traveling during peak times, such as school holidays. This is very important when you’re planning to fly overseas.

 

One-way or return?

On the whole I find that booking a return flight is the cheapest option. However, with the rise of budget airlines these days, they usually sell you 2 one way tickets when you’re booking a return. So it can be beneficial to book each leg with a different airline. Always do a search for 2 one way tickets before confirming the return booking with your airline.

 

Have you saved money on flights in the past? I would love to hear about your experiences and tips. I think it is great when we, as a travel community, can share what works for us so that others can save money. Just pop your thoughts in the comment section below – I’m looking forward seeing what you have to share.

 

Things to know about Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort is the most popular resort in the world, visited by over 52million-excited guests traveling from all over the world, each year.  From its inception in 1971 to the present day Walt Disney World has grown from strength to strength. It now features 4 theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot), 2 water parks (Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach), golf courses, 28 Walt Disney run hotels and resorts spread over 5 resort areas (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Wide World of Sports, Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs) and much more, making it the pinnacle resort of Disney’s worldwide enterprise. Boasting the number 1 theme park resort in ‘The Theme Park Capital of the World’, there is more than enough fun to be had by all the family.

Themed on Disney productions, it gives everyone a chance to meet all their favorite childhood characters up close and personal.

Attractions – With all 4 theme parks in Disney World Orlando being ranked in the top 10 theme parks in the world, there are more than enough rides to cater to everyone’s thrill seeking levels. For the adrenaline junkie’s head to ‘The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror’, ‘Mission: Space’, ‘Summit Plummet’, ‘Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith’ and ‘Expedition Everest’ to name a few. If the kids are the priority then look to visit ‘Turtle Talk with Crush’, ‘The Seas with Nemo and Friends’, ‘Dumbo the Flying Elephant’, ‘It’s a Small World’ and ‘Peter Pans Flight’.

These are just a fraction of the rides Disney provides which cater for small children. That said if guests are looking for fun and excitement all the family can enjoy then the following are a must; ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, ‘The Haunted Mansion’, ‘Avatar Flight of Attraction’, ‘Star Tours – The Adventures Continue’ and ‘Fantasmic’.

Accommodation – All of the 28 Walt Disney owned on site hotels and resorts are housed on 1 of 5 of Walt Disney Worlds resort areas, categorized into 4 different types (Disney Vacation Club Villas, Moderate, Value and Deluxe). Those looking for ultimate luxury should look to stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa considered the most luxurious resort on Walt Disney World Resort.

Transportation – Guests to Walt Disney World can enjoy free transport around the entire complex using a variety of methods. With its varied terrain visitors can use The Disney World Monorail, buses and a various mode of watercraft ranging from water taxis to ferries.

Getting Your Home In Shape To Overcome Mobility Issues

Despite all of the intentions of humanity, the aging process is something which we cannot avoid and each of us will go through it at some point during our lives. The level at which we slow down will be different for everyone of course, but sooner or later it will start to become more difficult to get around like we once could.

When mobility starts to become a problem, it does not mean that you can’t still lead the life that you previously could, especially around the home. For those with mobility issues however, it is important that adaptations are made in the home, in order to aid us in our daily lives. There are lots of great tools, gadgets and installations which you can make around the home to help you with your mobility, and here are some which you should look to add.

Stairlift

Unless you live in a single floor home, getting up and down the stairs can be troublesome once you have developed mobility problems. Even if you are still able to get upstairs and back down again, you could be putting unnecessary pressure on your bones and joints. The perfect solution to this is to have a stairlift installed in the home. These machines are super simple and all they require from you is that you sit in the chair and press the button on the remote to his you up and down. Contrary to what you may think, the cost of a stair lift is not what it once was and you can now have one installed for a very reasonable price.

Grabber

One of the most treasured tools which my Granny uses was a present which we bought for her last year, a grabber. This may not be the technical name for it but a litter picker just doesn’t seem right given the context. Initially my Granny was having problems picking things up from the floor, so this was the perfect tool for her. Over time however, my Granny found a great many uses for this device such as opening and closing curtains, and shutting doors. This is a great device which is low cost and makes a big difference in your daily life.

Trolley

Getting yourself around the house is one thing, but doing so when you are carrying an item can be far more difficult, and you could run the risk of falling and causing damage. A great solution to this  problem is to buy a trolley with 2 front wheels. The trolley is not only great in terms of carrying things like a plate of food from the kitchen to the living room, but you can also use it to support yourself as you go. What this piece of kit does is to combine a moving table with a zimmer frame providing you with plenty of support, and the perfect vessel to carry things around the home.

Don’t be beaten by mobility issues, take action and make you life easier.

A Budget Guide to Tuscany

Many people assume that travelling in Italy has to be an inherently expensive business, and Tuscany in particular has an especially pricey reputation. The fact that it is one of the most culturally rich locations in Europe, where luxury boutiques and restaurants serving world renowned cuisine are situated in the shadows of some of the most famous and charming architecture that exists anywhere in the world, nestled amidst iconic rolling hills, means that Tuscany is certainly a place where it’s easy to spend a lot of money.

But there are plenty of options for dining and recreation, and plenty of villas for rent in Tuscany for those looking to explore the region on a considerably tighter budget. And don’t be fooled into thinking that the only way to see Tuscany without breaking the bank is to avoid the most famous sights and attractions and stick to the less well known and travelled paths.

Whilst there are a great number of smaller towns and villages that are untouched by tourism and offer a glimpse into the ‘real’ Tuscan way of life, and whilst visiting these places serves the dual purpose of giving you an authentic experience of Tuscany and keeping your costs to a minimum, it’s also very possible to see all the same world famous sights as the big-spending tourists at a fraction of the cost. When you have the right information and a good plan, this magical, highly desirable destination can be made entirely accessible – whatever your budget.

 

Eat Like a Local

 

In the modern world, lifestyles and eating patterns are increasingly similar regardless of location. But for many Italians, the traditional ‘dolce vita’ is more than just a cultural stereotype: it is a much loved and cherished way of life, and it remains a working reality.

 

Whilst there are many exceptions, particularly amongst commuting workers and during the hot Italian summers, many Italians still eat the main meal of the day during the long ‘pausa pranzo’ (lunch break) in the middle of the day. And when travelling on a budget in Tuscany, you can benefit from joining them.

 

Whilst eating establishments are notoriously expensive in the evenings, when most tourists choose to dine, a great number of restaurants in Italy offer fixed price menus in the middle of the day. It’s entirely possible to find quality meals for under €15, and if you choose to dine at a pizzeria you’ll be able to enjoy truly authentic pizza and pasta for even less. So filling up during a long, late lunch doesn’t just allow you to experience the relaxation and refinement of the Tuscan lifestyle first hand – it also saves you vast sums of money!

 

If you’re renting a villa or apartment, you could also buy quality, fresh ingredients from the local market and cook fresh meals at home at lunch time. It’s what the Italians do, and it could save you huge amounts of money.

 

Sample Street Food

 

If you do decide to save money by eating your main meal in the middle of the day, you’ll probably still want something to eat at supper time. Fortunately, Tuscany offers a wide range of options when it comes to finding delicious and affordable street food for maximum convenience and minimum expense. Schiacciata is a baked flatbread with olive oil and salt which can be filled with meats, cheeses and vegetables and is available throughout the region at kiosks and bakeries. Slices of freshly baked pizza are also available at very reasonable prices, so you can rest assured that you’ll be able to experience a real taste of Italy regardless of your budget.

 

Explore on Foot

 

When you only have a limited time to see all the sights you want to see in a given area and you’re keen to have as many new experiences as possible, it is tempting to spend lots of money on taxis and car hire in order to get from A to B as quickly and efficiently as possible. But, regardless of whether you’re in the town or the country, Tuscany is simply better experienced on foot.

 

Whether it’s the bustling street life and the characteristic architecture of the big towns like Florence, Siena and Lucca or the quaint and beautiful hills, orchards and vineyards of the ancient Tuscan countryside, the region’s most resplendent sites and memorable attractions are all best experienced at a slow walking pace outside beneath the warmth of the Italian sun.

 

You’d be surprised how much art and architecture you miss when you travel by vehicle from one gallery or museum to another, but it’s all available to be enjoyed absolutely free when you choose to walk through the Renaissance streets, soaking up the exciting vibes and savouring the smells of beautiful, authentic Italian cookery pouring out of the Ristorantes and Pizzerias.

 

In the countryside, the rural walkways of the Via Francigena allow visitors to explore a a landscape which seems to have been trapped in time for hundreds of years. The ‘road to France’ has been used as a route to Rome for people from all walks of life since antiquity, and it remains largely untouched by modern industry and technology. The unique experience of exploring an area of countryside where time seems to stand still is completely free, and it’s one of the best ways to get a real feel for the Tuscan way of life.

 

Use Public Transport

 

Whilst it’s best to go around on foot when exploring different towns, villages and districts, the question of how to get from one to the next still remains – and it’s this question which frequently causes many tourists to spend large sums of money on hire cars.

 

Instead, consider using the public transport system that is in place in the region. Not only is it considerably cheaper and less stressful, it also gives you an opportunity to experience the daily lives of the locals – ensuring that at every moment of your trip, you’re being entirely immersed in the culture and lifestyle of this incredible region while simultaneously saving money!

 

Tuscany is never going to be the cheapest place to visit and explore, but that shouldn’t stop you from going. With some background knowledge and the right plan in place, you can enjoy absolutely everything the region has to offer at a fraction of what you’d expect.

Will The New Recreational Laws In LA Affect Marijuana Delivery?

With these new recreational laws going into effect, how is it going to change the game? As of right now, the delivery game has been strictly medical cannabis related, despite what type it comes in (edibles, concentrates, etc.), and has had its fair regulations on it. With adult-use marijuana delivery coming into play, we could be seeing an entirely new set of standards on medical delivery as well.

 

What Does Adult-Use Cannabis Delivery in Los Angeles Mean For Me?

 

It means a lot of things. For instance, you’ll be seeing a lot more branded delivery vehicles out on the streets, and the industry is going to boom for job seekers. It’s still up for debate how much of a good thing this is (it’s absolutely a step in the right direction, but it’s going to take some getting used to). Industry giants are going to pop up like weeds (pun intended) and corner in on the game, especially with L.A. becoming the newest player.

 

States like New Hampshire and Alaska are coming through on recreational reform as well, allowing citizens over the age of 21 to purchase recreational marijuana through delivery services. We could be seeing a lot of the same laws from those states being applied to Los Angeles while this trend continues to sprout all across California, and that could be a very good thing.

 

The country tends to look at Los Angeles for a lot of things; it’s the frontstage for a lot of activist activity, and the introduction of adult-use marijuana delivery services is certainly going to be on the news and front pages for a while. Is the industry going to be affected in L.A.? Absolutely. Is it going to be an all-positive thing? Let’s see how January goes first and go from there.

 

What Moisturizers Does Timeless Carry With Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a highly desirable moisturizer for anti-aging skin care products.  Therefore, you can find it in many of the anti-aging products available from Timeless Skin Care.  The reason that hyaluronic acid has a good reputation among skin care products is that it can hold a thousand times its weight in water.  It occurs naturally in the connective tissues of the human body.  You may have heard that your body is about 60 percent water; hyaluronic acid is one of the reasons for that.  Fortunately, Timeless offers hyaluronic acid in a variety of formulations.

Timeless Pure Hyaluronic Acid

The pure line of Timeless products consists of skin serums with a single active ingredient.  One product in the Timeless pure line is Pure Hyaluronic Acid.  The product is simply a one percent solution of hyaluronic acid.

Timeless Serums with Hyaluronic Acid

Timeless also offers a variety of combination skin serums that contain hyaluronic acid.  You can find hyaluronic acid in the following Timeless serums:

  • Coenzyme Q10 Serum – contains hyaluronic acid, plus Coenzyme Q10 to promote collagen synthesis and Matrixyl 3000 to protect the skin from sun damage
  • Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum – a five percent concentration of Vitamin C, plus hyaluronic acid and Matrixyl 3000
  • Matrixyl 3000 Serum – just hyaluronic acid and the wrinkle fighting ingredient Matrixyl 3000
  • Vitamin C+E Ferulic Acid Serum – ferulic acid, the antioxidants Vitamin C and Vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is just one of the safe, trustworthy ingredients that you can find in Timeless anti-aging skin care products.  The products also have powerful antioxidants and organically sourced botanical ingredients.  When you go to the Timeless website to find hyaluronic acid products, you will find many other things to like when you keep exploring the Timeless product line.

 

What on Earth is a French Press?

You may have heard the words French press or coffee press bandied around in recent years and questioned as to what on earth one of these new fanged gadgets is. If this is the case then fear not as we have put together a quick guide as to what a French press is, how you can use it and why you would want to. The short answer to this is that a French press is a tool which you can use to make coffee in the home. These pieces of kit have really risen to prominence in recent years and here is a little bit more about this kitchen product.

What Is It?

A French press is actually quite a basic piece of kit that comes in many different styles, designs and with different materials. The basics of the press are that it is a jug which features a lid with a filter and a plunger that go inside the jug. The idea is to plunge your coffee before you drink it so that it is well filtered.

How To Use It?

In order to use the press, you need to buy some coarsely ground coffee beans which you will place in the bottom of the jug. Next you add piping hot water and wait for the two to mix together and brew to your taste. Finally you plunge the filter down through the jug which forces the water down and the remnants of the coffee beans up. After doing this, you will be left with a jug of fresh coffee, perfectly filtered and ready to pour.

Why Use It?

The reason why many people have decided to start using French presses, and the reason why you need one in your life, comes down to taste. In terms of making coffee in the home, the flavor which you get from coffee that has been made using a press, is far superior to the flavor which you will get from a machine or from instant coffee.

Aside from the flavor, many people turn to the press to make their coffee as it really looks great and turns drinking coffee into more of an event. If you have people in your home and you offer them a coffee, walking out with a French press is a real crowdpleaser.

Should I Buy One?

If you love coffee, then the answer as to whether or not you should buy a French press is a resounding yes. With this gadget you will be able to prepare the richest and freshest coffee, and look great whilst doing so. There are a huge amount of presses on the market and there is one to fit every style choice and every budget. These presses   are incredibly durable and bar you dropping it on the floor, the chances of it breaking are very low indeed. Why not try a cheap press first to see how much you use it and if you find that you fall in live with this coffee, you can then purchase something a little more up market.