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The Short Break Solution

Whether it is due to a dislike of rushing to make tight connecting flights, crowed airports or a simple fear of flying, increasing numbers of travellers simply don’t want to get fly long distances by airplane. International terrorism, bird flu, language barriers and the risk of getting ‘Delhi belly’ are also contributing to a boost in the UK domestic tourism industry with the market now estimated to be worth over £59 billion per annum.

Figures show that travellers who prefer making their trips within the UK rather than abroad, tend to journey more frequently but for shorter lengths of time, with the average period of a trip within the UK being just over 3 nights.

One possible explanation for the domestic short break trend is the powerful DINKY (Double Income No Kids Yet) demographic. With a high disposable income but perhaps not a great deal of free time due to heavy work commitments, the DINKY’s holiday of choice is the short break. Heading straight off on holiday after work is particularly appealing to a group who are looking to fit as much into a 2-3 day break as possible. They can also afford more than one holiday a year so dividing up their annual leave allocation into multiple short breaks is the perfect solution.

Home grown attractions such as Royal Ascot, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis, Henley Royal and the Edinburgh International Festival are just a few of the internationally renowned events keeping the domestic tourist here during the summer months.

Another potential reason for this reduced length stay is possibly due to the generally high prices charged for UK hotel rooms. The UK has one of the highest rates of VAT levied on accommodation in the EU; with only Denmark imposing higher rates. In addition a new ‘Bed Tax’ is being proposed as part of a series of Government tax reviews. This will mean an additional 10% tax could be added on top of the current 17.5% VAT making the UK the most heavily taxed holiday destination in Europe.

Whether it’s a shopping break to take advantage of the sales, a family theme park break with the kids, a luxury pampering break or a peaceful country break to simply escape the hustle and bustle of city living, it’s all within easy reach through the specialist online travel companies who are able to offer wide ranges in choice for short breaks including hotel accommodation at discounted rates. Using online travel companies such as Superbreak (http://www.superbreak.com ), who specialise in booking 2-5 star hotel accommodation throughout the UK, Europe and beyond, means it is possible to book theatre and event tickets and arrange accommodation in advance, whilst also saving money.

Once you’ve decided where you’re going on your short break there remains the mundane but highly recommended task of finding suitable travel insurance and the best price. This is where online sites offering financial comparison services (http://www.moneynet.co.uk ) such as Moneynet, come into their own and do the searching for you. Moneynet’s travel insurance quick quote finder asks you 3 simple questions (where, who and how long?) and then brings back numerous quotes within a matter of seconds. You simply need to select the quote most appropriate to your needs and buy! Let’s face it, the financial world is a vast and complicated place and most people are not properly equipped to quickly search through it all – so leave the hard work to them and enjoy a short break instead!

The Four Great Seasons

There is nothing like experiencing the variety of the seasons. There are unique things to see and do no matter what the time of year. Any of the seasons can be great if people seek to enjoy everything the seasons have to offer.

Most people have a love-hate relationship with winter. It is by far the coldest of the seasons, giving many people a reason to despise it. Winter can be one of the most fun and beautiful times of the year if people know how to enjoy winter activities.

For people in many parts of the world, winter means snow. If you happen to live in an area that has many months of snow you can enjoy many months worth of ways to enjoy the it. Find someplace to learn to ski or snowboard or try to ice skate at a local outdoor rink. Some will prefer to enjoy the snow and cold by ice fishing on a loca lake that has been taken over by ice. Whatever you prefer, commit to making the most of the cold winter months at it will be spring before you know it.

Spring is perhaps the most beautiful of the four seasons. The snow melts, the gray skies turn blue, the trees and flowers begin to bloom after a dormant winter, and people who shied away from winter come out and enjoy the weather. Children enjoy warmer recesses during school and adults enjoy walks in the park on their lunch breaks. Baseball games happen in local parks and gardens begin to be planted. Spring can be just as enjoyable as any of the seaons.

Summer. Just the word brings a smile of excitement to the faces of most school aged children. It is the greatest of all the seasons for those who prefer not being in a classroom each day. Summer means freedom, friends, and hour after hour of outside fun. Woods get explored, lakes are swam in and elaborate tree forts are made. Bicycles can be ridden and neighborhood games of all kinds begin. For adults, summer can mean looking forward to more family time, enjoying weekends at a cabin or even taking an extended family trip. However it is spent, summer is usually a favorite among the seasons for most people.

Feelings are mixed as summer turns to autumn, the last of the four yearly seasons. Children are torn between their desires to continue enjoying the magic that is summer and their excitement about beginning a new school year. Many adults look upon autumn with fondess. It feels like a new beginning. Days become cooler and the bright greens of summer become the beautiful rainbow of fall colors. Autumn is a time to enjoy long walks in a park or a cool evening on your front porch swing.

The four seasons are all great. There are fun things to do and great memories to be made no matter what the time of year. The seasons provide variety and endless amounts of fun for people of all ages.

The Lighthouse Hotel, Llandudno, United Kingdom

Providing panoramic views across the Irish Sea, the Lighthouse hotel is a wonderful maritime relic offering accommodation of a rather unusual nature.

Built in 1862, the Lighthouse warned the passing ships of the dangers of the North Wales coastline, offering safe passage for many a brave seaman.

These days the Lighthouse is more interested in its guests than the passing sailors, converted during its lifetime from a great beacon into a guesthouse.

The hotel resides on the rugged North Wales coast in the seaside resort of Llandudno. The nearest airport is Manchester International approximately 1.5 hours drive from the west.

Sat perilously atop the limestone cliffs, the Lighthouse towers over the Irish Sea some 100 meters, its fortress-like construction standing sentinel over the rushing waters deep below.

The hotel boasts three guestrooms, each commanding magnificent views. To the north rests the Isle of Man, and to the south sits Puffin Island.

With the beacon removed, the glass panelled lamp room is now a dramatic lounge for its guests, with striking panoramic views across the ocean.

The room is decorated early twentieth-century; its beautiful wooden chairs adorned with red upholstery and matching cushions, a wonderful throwback to the days when the building was more concerned with the safety of passing vessels.

By the window rests a small telescope, available to all who wish to seek the more modern frigates of today.

But the room really comes into its own of an evening. On a clear day the sunsets can be awe-inspiring, a romantic prelude to evening dinner.

A short walk will take you into the town of Llandudno. Popular with the British tourists, Llandudno is the quintessential seaside resort of the UK.

The ever popular amusement arcades keep the youngsters occupied while the adults can spend in the busy shopping streets.

Away from the tourist spots are some lovely walks atop the rugged cliffs. Inspiration maybe for a certain Lewis Carroll who wrote part of his ‘Alice In Wonderland’ around these here parts.

Tennessee – A Great Vacation and Travel Destination

If you like country music then there is nowhere else in the world you can enjoy as much as Nashville, Tennessee and the Grand Ole Opry. The Grand Ole Opry is a mainstay of this city known as the “home of country music” and anytime you go you are guaranteed to see a mixture of current country music stars, legends, and new artists trying to break into the business.

The best way to get tickets to the Grand Ole Opry is to buy them on the website early. This means that you can get the best tickets that are up close to the action and you can really see all that is going on. If you wait until you are actually in Nashville to buy your tickets for the Grand Ole Opry you may find yourself out of luck or else in the very back. Anywhere you sit in the Grand Ole Opry is a great place, but the best view is up close!

Any time of year is a great time to visit the Grand Ole Opry, but if you visit during non traditional vacation times you are sure to have an easier time getting tickets not to mention you won’t need to deal with the crowds. The Grand Ole Opry is Nashville’s biggest attraction so everyone is trying to get tickets at the same time, which makes it a bit of a challenge sometimes if you wait until the last minute.

The Opry is open on Tuesday nights starting in March and continues on Friday and Saturday the rest of the year. The Opry starts at different times each night and there are two shows on Saturday.

Country music icons like Hank Williams Sr., Ernest Tubbs, and Pasty Cline sang at the Opry and today their legends carry on with new singers and stars. Today’s country music singers enjoy singing at the Opry as much their ancestors did and visitors really love the show and the entertainment!

But, the Grand Ole Opry isn’t just country music. It is also a mix of gospel, comedy, bluegrass, today’s hits and more. The Grand Ole Opry is located at the Grand Ole Opry House but was located for years in the Ryman Auditorium and before that in other locations in Nashville. The Grand Ole Opry has really been a success in Nashville and it is the best place to go if you are in Nashville !

The Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona – A Great Vacation and Travel Destination

You must plan a vacation to Arizona to see the Grand Canyon. It is just simply amazing and the maze of canyons, fissures, and gorges intertwine and merge to create one of the world’s most amazing natural wonders. You can actually see the different colors of the rock in the many layers that make up the canyon not to mention the way the sun reflects on them, and then the shadow, affects their color, which is awe inspiring in and of itself. The beauty of the Canyon is one thing, the size is another and it is just as amazing if not more so.

The canyon is huge and that may even be an understatement. The canyon measures between 10 and 15 miles wide and is more than 200 miles long. At some parts of the canyon it measures nearly a mile to the bottom. Can you imagine looking over the edge of the canyon and the ground being a mile below? It truly is one of the must see places in the world, let alone the United States. The Grand Canyon National Park includes the Grand Canyon and other sites and is located north of Flagstaff, Arizona, by about 75 miles. It will take about an hour and a half to get to the north rim’s visitor center from Flagstaff, or if you are in Las Vegas plan on a five hour drive. The south rim’s visitor center requires a 200 mile drive although it is only 10 miles away if you could fly your car over!

The south rim is the best place to visit if you are only visiting one of the rims. That is because the views are outstanding and it has more facilities than the north rim center. More tourists visit the south rim because the north rim is closed from October to May. If you are a backpacker or don’t like crowds then you might prefer the north rim. The Grand Canyon Village is a great place to stay when visiting because there are hotels, souvenir shops, and restaurants near the south rim.

The best thing to do when visiting the Grand Canyon is to allow yourself plenty of time. There is a lot to see and although it might look like you can do it all in one day you may not be able to and really enjoy it. So, give yourself plenty of time when you are at the Grand Canyon so you can see all the rims, head down to the basin, whitewater raft, and just enjoy this beautiful natural wonder.

A Great Vacation and Travel Destination

The Biltmore Estate consists of an immense mansion built by the Vanderbilt family in the late 1800s. It is the largest home that is privately owned in the United States and the descendents of the Vanderbilts still own the home. It is amazingly large at 175,000 square feet. The available tours of the home are simply incredible and it is unbelievable to tour the home and realize that more than 130 years ago architecture, design, and the like were so advanced.

The best time to visit if you want to save money is during the winter months. And, many times the North Carolina winter is fairly mild so you won’t be worried about freezing to death when visiting. Hotel prices are much cheaper during this off season and you can even get a winter pass for $35, which is considerable savings!

If you want to really enjoy the atmosphere of the Biltmore Estate then staying at the Inn is really the best route. The Biltmore Inn is beautiful and located on the Biltmore Estate and when you stay there you receive free entrance into the Biltmore Estate. This is a great way to combine the hotel with the tour and save money while really enjoying the atmosphere.

The Biltmore Estate is also a great place to host meetings, conferences, weddings, and even to shoot movies. The grounds are exquisite and the home is gorgeous and is the perfect place for any special event. While you are in Asheville, North Carolina you should also check out the Urban Trail. This is a walking trail that teaches individuals about Asheville’s history and architecture. Famous author Thomas Wolfe’s childhood home is in Asheville as well and a tour of his home place is interesting and inspiring.

When you head to Asheville, North Carolina you will have an amazing vacation. You can spend time at just the Biltmore Estate, or you can venture out and see more of the area. But, whatever you do, one thing is for certain and that is that you will love the experience.

The Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona – A Great Vacation and Travel Destination

You must plan a vacation to Arizona to see the Grand Canyon. It is just simply amazing and the maze of canyons, fissures, and gorges intertwine and merge to create one of the world’s most amazing natural wonders. You can actually see the different colors of the rock in the many layers that make up the canyon not to mention the way the sun reflects on them, and then the shadow, affects their color, which is awe inspiring in and of itself. The beauty of the Canyon is one thing, the size is another and it is just as amazing if not more so.

The canyon is huge and that may even be an understatement. The canyon measures between 10 and 15 miles wide and is more than 200 miles long. At some parts of the canyon it measures nearly a mile to the bottom. Can you imagine looking over the edge of the canyon and the ground being a mile below? It truly is one of the must see places in the world, let alone the United States. The Grand Canyon National Park includes the Grand Canyon and other sites and is located north of Flagstaff, Arizona, by about 75 miles. It will take about an hour and a half to get to the north rim’s visitor center from Flagstaff, or if you are in Las Vegas plan on a five hour drive. The south rim’s visitor center requires a 200 mile drive although it is only 10 miles away if you could fly your car over!

The south rim is the best place to visit if you are only visiting one of the rims. That is because the views are outstanding and it has more facilities than the north rim center. More tourists visit the south rim because the north rim is closed from October to May. If you are a backpacker or don’t like crowds then you might prefer the north rim. The Grand Canyon Village is a great place to stay when visiting because there are hotels, souvenir shops, and restaurants near the south rim.

The best thing to do when visiting the Grand Canyon is to allow yourself plenty of time. There is a lot to see and although it might look like you can do it all in one day you may not be able to and really enjoy it. So, give yourself plenty of time when you are at the Grand Canyon so you can see all the rims, head down to the basin, whitewater raft, and just enjoy this beautiful natural wonder.

The New Edition of the Rough Guide to Wales

The Rough Guides are distributed worldwide by the Penguin group and include recommendations from shoestring to luxury, covering more than 200 destinations around the globe, including almost every country in the Americas and Europe, more than half of Africa and most of Asia and Australasia. The team of authors and photographers is spread all over the world, particularly in Europe, the USA and Australia.

The Rough Guide to Wales has a new edition published less than a month ago. This is the fifth edition.

As in any good Rough Guide you can find here information about the best places to see as well as about what to avoid in Wales, the most “beguiling” parts of Britain.

In the top of the attractions compiled by the Rough Guide to Wales, you can find the south Wales valleys. Newport’s transporter bridge is placed on the third position by the authors. The interesting part is that the British version of the guide book has the same opinion and describes the valleys as an “interesting and distinctive” corner of Wales. There are a lot of people saying that the area’s success is due to the people who friendly and supportive and to the picturesque countryside and they bring they own experience in the area as a proof. Others are saying that what made the valleys the top attraction is the rich heritage and history of the valleys and some are thinking that the regeneration of the road networks was “ruining the area’s natural beauty”.

Mike Parker and Paul Whitfield, the authors of the fifth edition of the Rough Guide to Wales, are also presenting the disappointing part of Wales. Criticized parts of Wales were the town centre hotels which are “often just rooms above a noisy bar”. Other descriptions found in the guide are the “loud and lairy” Newport, the “breezy and resurgent” Swansea and the “crowning glory” of north Wales – Snowdonia.

Another point made by the authors and not to be ignored by the visitors is the warning that “The worst thing you can possibly do is call a Welsh person English”. The Rough Guide to Britain also claims Welsh people are “resentful of English dominance”.

The Surprising Popularity of Cigar Smoking

The practice of cigar smoking has been on the rise in the U.S. since the early 90’s. In part due to a reputation as a glamorous alternative to cigarette smoking, the increase can also be tied to its popularity among celebrities, as well as to the social nature of its practice. But whatever the reason, it is clear that cigars are big business in the U.S. with higher sales of premium brands each and every year.

Magazines like Cigar Aficionado portray cigar smoking as alluring, and perhaps slightly risqué (particularly for women), and so the hobby strikes a cord with young Americans. Celebrities are often photographed at parties or social gatherings with a cigar in hand, and cigar lounges find regular folks trying to emulate these stars. Clubs and societies, particularly those dominated by men, often design their regular activities around the ritual of cigar smoking.

In general, cigar smoking is viewed as the “civilized” alternative to cigarette smoking. Unlike cigarettes, cigars have a distinct, elegant stigma attached to them that often appeals to young people, particularly those with a higher than average income. They are most often associated with an elevated status in society, and the many of the available cigar accessories reflect that fact.

One of the most prominent cigar accessories, the humidor, reflects the overall style and refined nature of cigar smoking among young Americans. More expensive humidors are hand crafted out of wood. They serve not only to protect and preserve the product within but also to display them in a tasteful and fashionable manner. Large humidors may cost many hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and are often fixtures in the homes of the wealthy.

But despite their prominence among the upper class, the increased affordability and availability of quality cigars has also contributed to an overall increase in cigar smoking over recent years. Today discount cigars are readily available for purchase, often from easy-to-find online merchants, at prices well below normal. Cigar stores have increasingly moved to the Web in order to offer a wider variety of brands to any location at a fraction of the usual cost.

In part because of its current glamour and in part because of its practical affordability, cigar smoking has never been hotter, trendier or more profitable in the U.S.

The Pros And Cons Of Charter Flights

For people who would like to have the most privilege and the benefits in flying, he would normally choose a charter flight instead of taking the usual airline flights that many of us had experienced. Basically, charter flights refer to those flights that deviate from the normal course of flight activities and schedules. This means that with charter flights, you can personally decide the time, date, and the location according to your personal preference and necessity. Actually, in a simpler point of view, charter flights are specially created to provide convenient flying to people who do not have fixed schedules. It also provides expediency to people whose activities require frequent flying that take place usually out of the typical flight schedules.

1. Nature Of Charter Flights

In most instances, charter flights are used during the peak season and holidays. That is why, most charter flight tickets are included in vacation holiday packages. These vacation packages include all the necessary items needed by an individual like the price of the ticket, accommodation, food, and other services. Even if charter flights are more manageable, however, the discretion is usually based on the preference of the passengers, it also entails some rules and regulations that must be observed at all times. Normally, charter flights will only take its course if it has a near 100% seating capacity or if the numbers of passengers are almost filling up the actual number of seating capacity of a certain charter plane. However, its actual number of seating capacity is lower than the usual number of commercial airplanes. On the other hand, not all charter flights are created perfect. Hence, there are instances that it also has its own flaws and drawbacks as well as its advantages and benefits.

2. Pros And Cons

Pros

– Charter flights can provide you with many flights, even up to ten times, as compared to what the traditional commercial planes can give you.

– All you have to do is to pick your destination and the place of the airport where you want to land.

– Charter flights give you the convenience of time because you decide your departure time.

– With charter flights, you do not have to go through the tedious process of check-in and checkout requirements.

– Charter flights give you the privilege of utmost convenience flying, away from the hustle and bustle of commercial planes.

Cons

– Charter flights cannot go anywhere around the globe. This is because there are some countries that do not allow the entry of charter planes.

– As much as it can give you the convenience of flying, charter flights are susceptible to restricted flights and stiff schedules. This means that there are instances wherein charter flights cannot arrange or change some flights for you in the event that there are some changes in your schedules.

– Payments for charter flights are usually in advance. This would mean that you are financially compelled to follow the rules, otherwise, you cannot hire their services.

– As much as it can be safe, charter flights may not be capable of providing you with utmost security. However, this is still subject to some factors and that not all charter flights are created equal. That is why it is extremely important to choose a charter flight that is fully recognized and credited by the Federal Aviation Administration or the FAA.

3. Other Considerations

Indeed, charter flights may be applicable to some but not all. After all, the selection and the final discretion are always dependent on the person who will pay for the services. Just remember, in order to avoid any discrepancy or problems with regards to the services of your chosen charter flight agency, always do some background check first. As mentioned, be sure that the charter flight that you will use is duly credited and recognized by the FAA. Otherwise, any problem that may arise from your use of their charter flight services may be disregarded especially if the company is not authorized by the FAA. The bottom line here is that where your money goes, care and security must be observed at all times.