Need Christmas Do Inspiration? Let Blackpool Do The Talking For You

While summer nights are great and holidays abroad are fab, the autumn lovers amongst us just can’t wait until the leaves start to fall so we can start layering up and get excited about Halloween. If you’re in the North West this Hallow’s Eve, why not take a trip to Blackpool to get your fill of ghouls and spooks?

  1. The Blackpool Tower Dungeon

The home of Halloween, The Blackpool Tower Dungeon is perhaps the most perfect place to spend 31st October. With creatures sneaking out from behind every corner, you can get a glimpse of Lancashire’s murky past on the spookiest night of the year.

  1. Murder Mystery Night

Everybody loves a great murder mystery night to ring in Halloween, and there will be plenty in and around Blackpool this year. We’ve spotted these two as a starting point, but there are many more to choose from.

  1. The Blackpool Tower Eye

All the way at the top of The Blackpool Tower, you’ll find a glass viewing platform, just waiting for you to face your fears! Alternatively, see how many monsters you can find lurking along the seafront with a glass of fizz or a cocktail in your hand, from Bar380.

  1. The Blackpool Tower Circus

If a fear of clowns is bothering you, Mooky and Mr. Boo will definitely give you the scare of a lifetime! Just kidding – these two lovable clowns will definitely make you think differently about your fears. Take a trip around the world with them, see death-defying stunts and laugh until you cry, all the while dressed up in Halloween get-up, if you like.

  1. Vampire Pleasure Beach

The Pleasure Beach is being taken over by vampires and zombies this Halloween, so you’d better beware! Guests are invited to arrive in their creepiest costumes, with competitions for the best ones. Live bands will be playing, and there will be a Horror Maze for you tackle, if you’re brave enough. The night will end with a firework display – it sounds terror-ific!

  1. Halloween Family Party at The Blackpool Tower Ballroom

On 28th October and Tuesday 31st October, The Blackpool Tower Ballroom is will be transformed into a Halloween wonderland! Fit for the whole family, there will be illusions, a UV light show and plenty of entertainment throughout the night. The best costume will even win a Merlin Annual Pass for a family of four.

This Halloween is sure to be a spooktacular one in Blackpool, so don’t miss out!

 

The Top Car Rental Mistakes You Need To Avoid

Renting a car can be a new experience for many different people. Understanding the options that come along with the car, the insurance, and the contract can be confusing for those first-timers. We’re going to help you out by sharing the top mistakes that people make when renting a car so that you can avoid them when the time comes for you to book a car.

Getting Too Much Insurance Coverage 

When you rent a vehicle, you will be offered different types of insurance coverage. What most people don’t know is that their own auto insurance policy will typically cover them for collision damage in the event the rental car is damaged. You should always check with your own insurance company to see what sort of coverage they will offer you for a rental vehicle before you talk to the rental company.

It’s important to note that rental companies are in the business of making money. They will be sure to try and sell you insurance coverage options. You don’t have to accept any of their coverage if you don’t want to. The rental car agents can be very convincing, so be sure you know what you want to buy or not buy before you ever get to the rental company.

Avoid Airport Rentals If Possible 

While renting from an airport car rental company can be convenient, you should realize that it comes at an extra charge. Sometimes a car rental in Iceland means an airport surcharge bill to you from the rental company. You can avoid these charges by simply booking your rental at a non-airport location. Many companies will provide a complimentary pick-up service, so you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to get to the rental car company.

Don’t Prepay For Gas 

This is one area that many individuals get one pulled over on them when it comes to renting a car. When you prepay for gas, you are paying for the entire tank of gas whether you use it or not. Always opt for the refill it before you return option. In this case, if you only use half of a tank of fuel you will only have to pay for that half a tank as compared to the full tank with the prepay option.

Paying For GPS 

If you are like most of the other humans of planet Earth, it’s likely you have a cell phone that is GPS-enabled. There’s no need to pay extra to have access to the in-vehicle GPS when you can get a free version on your own phone. This is one of those expenses that you simply don’t need to worry about paying for when you book your car rental.

If you take the following tips into consideration when you rent your next car, you’ll be sure to get the best deal possible. Realize that renting a car provides many unnecessary features in which you really don’t need to worry about. Always ensure you fully understand any charge that you will have to deal with at the time of the rental agreement before you agree to the terms.

 

10 Weird Facts about These United States

There are many things that the United States is famous for, but there are also many weird and fun facts that manage to slip under the radar. If you want to get a feel for the true uniqueness of the United States you need to sometimes go past the common to off the beaten path. There are so many options when it comes to taking a quality road trip, so let this article get you excited for the odd and weird before finding the perfect deal on your next RV rental.

#1: We love our pizza

This isn’t the lasagna-like dish that comes from Italy, but it is a popular American dish and you can find a pizza place in virtually every town of any size at all. Each day over 100 acres’ worth of pizza is ordered, leading to over 3 billion pizzas a year being ordered across the country (with the busiest day being Super Bowl Sunday). The fight between Chicago style and New York style continues.

#2: We love our chicken, too

An estimated 22 million chickens are eaten each and every day in the United States. While these birds that make up the most popular bird based meat in the country might not have the cultural impact of pizza places everywhere, that’s a mighty impressive number that goes well beyond the farms and your local KFC.

#3: Cow game’s a winner in Montana

While states like Texas are known for giant cattle ranches and many Midwestern farms have cows, the state of Montana takes the cake where cows outnumber people in the large but sparsely populated state at least 3 to 1. This is perfect for the popular cow game when traveling – just try to avoid those point killing cemeteries!

#4: Tough grading system

Whenever you see an American flag wherever you might be traveling you might love to know the weird fact that this was designed by a 17 year old high school student back in 1958. His reward for this remarkable school project? A grade of a mere B-. Tough grading scale.

#5: A truly superior lake

Lake Michigan might often get the most attention of The Great Lakes in the United States because of the cities, it’s general accessibility between states, and the heavy development on its shores, but Lake Superior really lives up to its name as one of the great lakes.

Lake Superior has so much water that it could cover all of North and South America in one foot of water if drained. That’s a lot of volume!

#6: When is “Independence Day?”

The Fourth of July is celebrated as Independence Day, which is a bit ironic. Weird facts? July 2nd was actually the day of the vote (the 4th was the day the final signatures were gathered) and while it was declared in 1776, the war didn’t end until 1783 to make it undisputed. Yet July 4, 1776 is considered the original day of independence. The founding fathers certainly weren’t lacking in confidence…

#7: Lots of holiday love

In the United States there are over 180 different places with the word “Christmas” in their name. Lakes, towns, theme parks, tourist sites – all of these and more carry the very merry moniker that you might want to check out the next time you’re planning your road trip before the RV rental. A simple search can set the jolly holiday focused on their way!

#8: Chicago was a fun pioneer

The world’s first ferris wheel was unveiled during the World Fair in 1893. Although the original was torn down about a decade later, this ride has become a mainstay of carnivals and amusement parks alike. There are many high quality amusement parks around the greater Chicago area or if you’re really focused on ferris wheels the 15 story one at Navy Pier is modeled to be similar to the original.

#9: How do you measure size?

Alaska, the largest state by land mass in the union by far, is not only over twice the land size of Texas but also over 429 times the size of the smallest state of Rhode Island. But Rhode Island has over 150% the population of Alaska. In addition to its other weird facts, Alaska also has more coastline than every other U.S. state combined. Consider a visit to the Last Frontier, as Alaska is called – it’s worth it!

#10: Over a third of all land is owned by the government

Whether from military bases, federally protected lands, or national parks, almost a third of all land in the United States is technically owned by the U.S. government. This stat can be a touch deceptive since tourists have access to National Parks and a couple big states like Alaska and California can throw the national numbers way off, but it is definitely something worth reflecting out before your next outing!

Enjoy the trip!

There are so many interesting facts about the United States, common and uncommon, so make sure to include some of these in your planning so you’re all ready to go and enjoy an awesomely unique trip from the moment you take care of your RV rental until you’re done on the very last day!

Enjoying the Sights While Fishing

I am a fisherman.  Now that doesn’t mean that I am one of those people who has a house full of fishing equipment, who owns his own boat and who gnashes his teeth every time he comes home without catching anything except seaweed.  I am an amateur fisherman who goes fishing just to enjoy being near the water and listening to the sound of the ocean.  So my fishing routine is simpler than those who are really serious about it.  I start by leaving home early in the morning, so I can be on the beach before daybreak.  That lets me enjoy the sound of the incoming tide see the morning sunrise.  I pick out a good spot along the beach, stretch out a blanket and put my rod and reel in my casting boot.  I put on my sunglasses from the Sunglass Hut, – got ‘em for less than $150 – eat my morning sandwich and drink my morning juice.

Before the sun clears the horizon I make my way to the water’s edge and cast my line out into the tide.  I am not a really good surf caster, but I usually manage to make it out about 50 to 60 yards; far enough to attract the attention of a good-sized sea bass or grouper.  Once the line is out I relax in my beach chair and listen to the waves and birds while waiting for a fish to take a nip at my lure.  In the meantime I enjoy watching the morning sunrise through the latest style sunglasses I purchased with my Groupon from the Sunglass Hut.  They are a great deal since the Groupon gave me a discount of 60% off the price for their selection of already reduced glasses and frames.  They are really effective in protecting one’s eyes from harmful rays.

 

On a good day I may land two or three good-sized fish.  I rarely keep them; unless I feel like fixing one for lunch or dinner…in those cases I bag the fish in ice until I get home. But I usually throw those I catch back into the water.  I fish mainly for the opportunity to enjoy the water and the atmosphere.  Besides, to be honest, I’d rather let someone else clean, scale and fillet the bloody things!

 

 

 

How to Carry Out a Kick-Ass Campervan Conversion

When it comes to converting your campervan, you have two options. You can either give it a little update to make it a little more enjoyable on the road, or you can go for the kick-ass conversion that will transform your open road experiences! Converting your campervan is a really cool project, with so many different options and features to make it custom made to your personal style and preferences. It isn’t all about the beasty alloys and the after-market tail pipe, there are a few things to think about before you go ahead and get stuck in!

Buying the Right Van

You have the choice of buying yourself a second-hand van with plenty of potential for a kick-ass conversion, or you could opt for a brand-new van and add your own campervan conversion kit to it. The decision is mainly down to budgets and which van will be most cost-efficient for you. If you’re wanting to go for a state of the art, modern look then a newer, modern vehicle is the type for you. For those wanting to go for that rustic, old school campervan style then you should look at vans that go back a few years, they’re still in great working order but have the character you’re looking for.

Stay in The Loop

Many people decide to go ahead with a campervan conversion after planning to hit the open road. Travelling the open road is one of the best things you can do, especially if you do it with someone or a group of people that share the same travel interests. If your planning on traveling in your campervan with someone else, let them have some say in the conversion process. Keeping them in the loop will help make sure your adventure goes well and works out as best it can for the both of you. There are often key conversion points that others may pick up on, that you may have overlooked, and vice versa.

Be Money Savvy

Money is one thing that has to be monitored and controlled throughout converting a campervan. It’s so easy to get carried away with project purchases, so keep track of the money you’re spending and the money you have left to invest in your conversion. If you’re trying to keep your budget low, get online and search for some second-hand items that are still in great condition, as this will free up some money to put towards other areas of the van that you want to update or modify.

Go Green

Do you ever drive past a row of houses and notice they all have solar panels sat on the roofs? Well you can actually do this with your campervan too. Solar panels are perfect for travelling, especially when you’re wanting to save money and be environmentally friendly. The solar panels can still run your fridge and other electronics, but you’re travelling in a much greener way, which is always beneficial. You can also look at recycling old van parts. If you’ve had enough of a certain part, don’t ditch it or throw it away, get it sold on EBay or take it to the local scrapyard to have it recycled, or put to good use!

Be Sociable

If this is your first campervan conversion then there may be a few things you don’t know that could come in very handy. Meeting other campervan lovers and conversion pros will give you so much knowledge on anything you may need to know. Sharing your experiences and interests will also be really useful to other people too, so socialising with the community can help and work both ways! It’s also a really cool way of getting to know people who are interested in the same thing as you and getting inspiration from other converted van designs!

 

 

Checking out Mauritius: what to do on Paradise Island

Expansive coastlines, soft sandy beaches and glistening aquamarine waters, luxurious villas, it is no wonder that Mauritius has earned the title “Island Eden” for itself. Mark Twain once said it, “Mauritius was made first and then heaven, heaven being copied after Mauritius.” So while you are on this paradise island, make sure to spend time exploring everything Mauritius has to offer. Not knowing where to start? Check out our recommendation below!

Spend leisurely time by the beach

Credit: M Yashna

Images of the pristine blue conjured up every time someone mentions Mauritius. There are several gorgeous beaches on this island, including Belle Mare Beach, La Cuvette beach and Le Morne. Grab a book and your favourite drink, you are all set for a peaceful time by the water, listening to the sound of rolling waves.

Explore Vallée de Ferney

Credit: Josh Noseworthy

Located in the Southeast of the island, Vallée de Ferney is an important and fascinating wildlife reserve in Mauritius. The 400-year-old forest is home to the Mauritius kestrel, one of the world’s most endangered raptors. You will be able to see a wide variety of fauna and flora species. More than just a beautiful hike and unforgettable moments, a trip to Vallée de Ferney is a chance to contribute to environment preservation in Mauritius.

Be fascinated by the Coloured Earth of Chamarel

Credit: Adamina

Southwest of the island hides Chamarel, a village in Rivière Noire District. Through the conversion of basaltic lava to clay minerals, the colours of the earth appear in red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow. This is a natural phenomenon that gains popularity for this Mauritian village. You will also be able to find a children playground and some giant tortoises walking around the area.

Learn about rum production

Credit: Sunny Ripert

While you are in Chamarel, be sure to check out Rhumerie De Chamarel and learn a thing a two about rum production. The exotic island boasts a long history of rum production and a number of rum producers who have mastered the art. Rhumerie De Chamarel is located amidst rugged Mauritian nature. A visit does not only enrich your knowledge about rum but is also a great way to wind down and enjoy lush scenery.

Swim with dolphins

Credit: Daniel Barrientos

If you dreamed of being able to see these aquatic mammals in real life when you were young, now is the time to make that dream come true. Go on an excursion to Black River, where you will learn about dolphins, their natural habitat, swimming procedures and safety measures. After that, you can head to the water and enjoy the time with the friendly creatures, an experience of a lifetime.

5 must-try dishes in Koh Samui

One of the awesome parts of travelling in Thailand is the availability of street food wherever you go. Samui is no exception. Blessed with an abundance of restaurants and street food stalls, the island is a paradise for food lover of all budget. Not knowing where to start? No worries, while adventurous souls can try anything available in Koh Samui, more conservative eaters may want a little guide to help you navigate around Samui’s food scene. Check out below for the top 5 recommendations!

Tom Yum Goong

Featuring a wide selection of ingredients such as lemongrass, chilli, shallots, lime and fish sauce, this signature dish is a masterpiece of Thai culinary culture. You will be able to taste a diversity of flavours including sweet, sour, spicy and savoury within one dish. On the other hand, chunks of vegetables and seafood or chicken add texture and crunchiness. To complete the experience, enjoy this dish together with rice or chewy Thai noodles.

Tom Kha Gai

Tom Kha Gai combines spicy, creamy and tangy flavours together into a single bowl. The main ingredients include coconut milk, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, Thai chilli peppers, lemongrass, mushrooms and chicken. Rich in texture, diverse in flavour, this dish promises to delight your palate, especially if you love the creaminess of coconut milk.

Pad Krapow Moo Saap

Simply put, this Thai dish contains fried basil and pork. Made up of fresh chillies, basil leaves, soy sauce, minced pork, green beans and a pinch of sugar, it can be a pleasant lunch or dinner option. Do take note that the spiciness can be overwhelming if you don’t tolerate the heat well.

Gaeng Keow Wan Kai

Known as Green Chicken Curry, this dish has captured a great number of food lovers all around the world. When you are in Koh Samui, this bowl of green goodness is a must-have in the list! Tender chicken, chewy bamboo shoots, rich coconut milk, soft, moist eggplants, everything combines perfectly into one mouth-watering dish.

Massaman Curry

Credit: Roozitaa

Check out how massaman curry, the Thai interpretation of a Persian dish, has won over the hearts of so many diners. With the addition coconut milk, potatoes, this curry includes spices that are not often used in other Thai curries such as cloves, star anise, cardamom, nutmeg, etc. All ingredients blend together and create a unique aromatic flavour that is hard to forget.

These are popular dishes that you can find at most places, from high-end restaurants to hole-in-the-wall stalls. If you stay in a villa in Koh Samui, you can also ask the staff to help you prepare these local cuisines.

5 Activities You Should Not Miss in Sri Lanka

Exotic, alluring and simply beautiful, Sri Lanka has been intriguing travellers’ curiosity, and probably you, in particular. Not sure what you can do in this country? While there are plenty of activities for you to enjoy the holiday, here are five that you definitely should not miss. Check them out below.

Go on a hiking trip

From luscious tea terrace to rocky mountains, there are many gorgeous hiking trails in Sri Lanka. Hiking is a great way for you to explore Sri Lanka scenery and challenge your physical ability. Apart from lush greenery, bright blue sky and fresh cool air, you may come across rivers and numerous waterfalls where you can take a refreshing dip. If you stay around Kandy, don’t forget to check out the beautiful Knuckle Mountains Range with its various trails.

Visit Galle Fort

Credit: Shehanw

A UNESCO Heritage Site, Galle Fort is one of the most well-preserved forts in South Asia. The fort was built by the Portuguese in 1588 and extensively fortified by the Dutch in the 17th century. A visit to the fort will give you a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s history and understanding of European and South Asian architectural traditions from the 16th to 19th century.

Observe wildlife in its natural habitat

Home to a number of national parks and nature reserves, Sri Lanka makes a perfect place to explore wildlife. You will find exotic birds, elephants and leopards, deer and many more animals up close. For those who are into marine life, there are great diving and snorkelling spots around the country. Exploring the wild is an inspiring experience that is worth every moment of your time.

Drifting in Sri Lankan sky in a hot-air balloon

How about slowing floating in the sky and experience this country with a bird’s eye view? The hot-air balloon will carry you to various scenic places, from the cultural triangle to wildlife parks, the mountains and rainforests. Silent, peaceful and captivating, this experience is easily the highlight of the entire trip that will stay in your heart forever.

Indulge in a villa stay

Credit: SriLanka-Villa.com

After a great day exploring wildlife, hiking the mountains or diving under the sea, what’s better than relaxing at a private villa, where you have everything catered to your own needs? Sinking into a comfy bed every night, waking up refreshed with breakfast prepared at the time you prefer, taking an invigorating dip in the private pool, isn’t that what a holiday’s supposed to be? Last but not least, the villa staff will go the extra mile to make sure you have a satisfying stay. Need an excursion or a BBQ party? You’ve got your wish granted.

 

Renting a Party Bus in New Jersey- Tips to Bring Down the Rental Costs

Party buses have become tremendously popular in the United States. They are primarily used for making a grand entrance at a particular event. For instance, if you are going to a wedding with your family, going in a party bus altogether will help you make a great entrance. Furthermore, many students also rent party buses for prom, or other school functions. These aren’t ordinary buses, and you won’t find them at a local rental company. Instead, there are only a handful of companies that currently offer party bus rentals in the city.

If you want to rent a party bus in New Jersey, there are several options available to you. However, if you are renting a party bus for the first time, it’s very likely that you will end up paying too much for the rental. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind in order to bring the costs down.

Choose the Right Model

Two of the most popular models that are used for party buses include the Ford F 750 and the Hummer Transformer. Obviously, the Hummer Transformer is smaller than the Ford F750, and so accommodates fewer people. It’s good for up to 30 people. On the other hand, the Ford F 750 is a bigger bus, and can easily accommodate up to 50 people.

These buses are decorated on the inside. You won’t find the conventional bus seating arrangement on party buses. There are plush seats and disco lights installed inside the bus, along with hi-fi stereo speakers so that you can enjoy the journey. When making a booking, it’s important that you select the right model. There’s no need to rent a bigger bus if you are a small group of people. However, if the number of people is higher, you should rent the bigger bus, removing the need for a fleet of vehicles.

Make a Booking in Advance

Another great way to save money on your party bus rental, is to make a booking at least a week or two in advance. Because most companies only have one or two buses, it’s important for them to prepare the bus and get it ready for the event. If you make a booking a day or two before, you will probably have to pay a premium.

The prices also vary depending upon the time of the season as well. For instance, if you make a booking during the wedding season, when the party buses are mostly overbooked, you will have to pay a higher rental price. Therefore, making a booking in advance is actually a safe bet, and can save you a considerable amount of money. If you have any specific requirements or decorations that you want put up in the party bus, you can also let the company know beforehand, and they will make arrangements accordingly. You will have to pay a premium for additional decorations, however.

 

 

Popular And Most-Visited Parks In New York City

 

NYC is home to some really beautiful public parks and green spaces. These natural monuments are a great way to relax, get some sun, laze around, enjoy a picnic and have quality time. There are some 1,700 parks in the five boroughs promising you a great escape from the bustle of the city. So, head to one of these popular parks and enjoy nature’s riches!

Here is a list of some of popular parks in New York City:

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park may lack the rustic charms of a typical public park but it makes up for it with its facilities. A portion of the Brooklyn waterfront was used to make this 85-acre green space teeming with natural beauty and manmade attractions. Attractions here include a carousel, merry-go-round, sports fields, playgrounds, basketball courts and a skating rink.

 

Central Park

A walk through the lush green setting of Central Park is a dream for people who visit NYC. The park is a manmade wonder giving visitors a lot to enjoy. A day is not enough for wandering around this massive park that has some 50 fountains, 35 bridges and arches, numerous sculptures, monuments and playgrounds. It’s so big that visitors often resort to central park bike tours to explore it fully.

 

Flushing Meadows – Corona Park

This park is the second biggest in NYC and it’s much more than ample green spaces. The park has created many milestones in  art, architecture, culture and sports. It has hosted some of the world’s biggest  fairs and its mammoth steel globe icon was actually created for the 1964 World’s Fair. Major attractions include the zoo, boating lake, Skate Park, playfields and a hockey center.

 

The High Line

When in NYC, take time to visit the outdoor park, The High Line, a 1.45-mile-long linear park built in Manhattan on an elevated section of a disused New York Central Railroad spur called the West Side Line. The High Line has been redesigned and planted as an aerial greenway and rails-to-trails park.[Go along the walkway adorned with splendid gardens and outdoor sculptures. A stroll along the walkway will offer you a great view of the Hudson River. The park is a great place to find calm in the midst of urban chaos.

Hudson River Park

This park gives you the prospect of gazing at the Hudson River and New Jersey while you walk or bike. You can skate as well while taking in the views of the river from the strip of Waterfront Park stretching from Battery Park to 59th Street. Other major attractions here include kayak rides i and youth sports.

Prospect Park

The 585-acre Prospect Park is in the heart of Brooklyn. Visitors come here to get lost in the serenity, right in the middle of the city. Landscape enthusiasts consider this park to be a masterpiece and it truly lives up to their expectations. Enjoy a picnic,, strolling through the vast stretches of green or watching the leaves turn–you can do it all here.

Visit some of these popular parks in NYC and enjoy nature in the city.     —