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Planning a Dream Trip to Utah

Planning a Dream Trip to Utah

Utah combines rugged landscapes with metropolitan cities. Steep canyons and hiking trails contrast with bustling shopping centres, museums and an indoor skydiving centre. Visiting one of the United States’s most underrated destinations always meets (and usually exceeds) expectations. So why not start searching for the dream utah vacation rentals and get down to the Beehive State for an unforgettable trip? Keep reading and discover how to plan the perfect trip to Utah.

Why visit Utah?

If you love the outdoors, you’ll love Utah. Several national parks, hundreds of hiking trails and countless canyons litter the landscape. Travellers can have the ultimate outdoor experience and much more including world-class dining, visiting cultural centres and hitting the malls. A growing number of families make the trip to Utah each year to enjoy the surroundings and take the chance to explore a part of the United States that most tourists miss. And this is just in the summer. When the winter months arrive, the mountains transform into a vibrant ski resort matching those in the Swiss Alps. Thousands of skiers and snowboarders make the journey down to hit the world-class pistes. Utah has something for everyone, at all times of the year.

When is the best time to visit Utah?

The best time depends on what you want to do. If you’re going to explore the barren landscapes, try to visit between late spring and the middle of autumn. Summer temperatures can rise into the 40s (Celsius) creating potentially dangerous conditions to be outside. But the middle of spring offers more pleasant temperatures and the chance to see the outback burst back into life. Skiing seasons attracts thousands of tourists around Christmas and the New Year. This in turns raises the prices and fills hotel rooms. Instead, it might be better to hit the slopes in the middle of January or early February. If you want to spend your time in the cities (Salt Lake City, Provo or Ogden), visit at any time of the year. Shops, museums and attractions are always open.

How to get around Utah

Utah is a vast state and covering the long distances can often be slow and cumbersome. Most travellers arrive at Salt Lake City International Airport. From here, you can take the bus into the capital city. Or rent a car from the airport. Relying on public transport to get around the state is suitable for those planning to stay near Salt Lake City. Buses and trains connect to some of the smaller towns and cities nearby. And several tour companies can take you out to the national parks and natural attractions.

But if you want to get the most out of your trip and have more flexibility, you really do need to have your own vehicle. Driving gives you the chance to get to the hiking trails that you want to do. It also gives you the freedom to have a mini-adventure in the state. You can either rent a car, as mentioned above, at the airport. Or drive into the state as part of a more extensive road trip.

Those planning to spend more time in Utah and who want to explore the state fully might need to rely on long-distance buses, trains and domestic flights. Greyhound buses pass from one city to the next at relatively affordable prices. Trains, on the other hand, provide a better way to see the vast expanses of the state. However, expect long journeys and regular delays. The fastest way is by flying. But this is also the most expensive option.

The best things to do in Utah

Hiking is among the more popular activities in Utah. Several trails of varying difficulty transverse the wilderness to canyons, rock formations and desert landscapes. Some take less than an hour and a half while others require a full day to complete the circuit. You should also consider visiting the state’s national parks to get the best natural experience. Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park are two favourites. However, before setting your heart of visiting them, you should first consider the logistics. Are you going to drive or join a tour? Is it best to visit as part of a day trip or should you stay overnight?

Provo sits approximately an hour from Salt Lake City and is a favourite day trip from the capital. This is an underrated cultural haven in Utah boasting dozens of museums and art galleries. Check out Monte L Bean Life Science Museum and the Crandall Historical Printing Museum. The majority of day trippers will spend at least five or six hours in Provo. And the city has dozens of restaurants and cafés worth visiting too. Buses connect the two cities on a regular basis.

Another highlight is in nearby Ogden located approximately 40 minutes from Salt Lake City. Apart from having an attractive centre, it also houses the unusual iFly Utah. This is one of the few indoor skydiving centres which offers the chance to get the thrill of diving without jumping out of a plane. A trip to the centre promises fun for both families and adults alike. Check out their website and find out more about the experience, costs and promotions.

Planning a Trip to Utah

More and more people are visiting this state in the southcentral United States. So why not join in the fun and consider making the Beehive State your next holiday destination? Hit the trails in the warmer months or the pistes in winter. And be sure to check Provo’s museums and Ogden’s somewhat unique indoor skydiving centre.

The 5 best free things to do in Amsterdam

The 5 best free things to do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam emerged from a small fishing village, like all the cities that throughout history have developed beside the sea. The capital of the Netherlands is one of the most sought after destinations in Europe whether for its natural beauty, beautiful architecture and various cultural facets, or for being considered a modern, cosmopolitan and liberal city. It is very easy to fall in love with this city, so it is worth knowing the best things in Amsterdam.

  1. Begijnhof

Yes, the huge Vondelpark is an ideal place to rest, relax or have a picnic. But if you are looking for some tranquility and much more authenticity, the Begijnhof is an island of calm. A small square surrounded by old buildings with a central garden. The whole is from the fourteenth century and is a preciousness that is entered through a narrow passage. Take a book and relax by the oldest house in Amsterdam. From here you can also visit the Civil Guard Gallery, a covered street full of 17th century paintings that is also free and managed by the Amsterdam Museum. Yes, be discreet and do not disturb the peace of the place.

  1. The Botanical Garden of the University of Vrije

This small green oasis collects more than 6,000 different species of plants, among which you can find some of those that have been confiscated at the Schipol airport customs. Here concerts and workshops are held and although it is still open, it runs the risk of disappearing if the university hospital is extended.

  1. Enjoy the views

If you like the panoramic views of the cities and you want to enjoy it from above, read on. From the top floor of the National Library (OBA), where the cafeteria and terrace are, you can see Amsterdam from a bird’s eye view. The NEMO Science and Technology Museum also has a fabulous viewpoint on its terrace, free of charge.

  1. Take a free tour

Okay, maybe you have to leave a tip at the end, but free tours are one of the ways to explore Amsterdam, especially if it’s the first time you go. They last three hours and will take you to some of the most emblematic places in this city full of canals, from the Red Light District to the Anne Frank House. They leave at 11:15 p.m. and at 1:15 p.m. from the National Monument in Dam Square.

  1. Visit a diamond factory

Maybe you cannot afford to buy a diamond, but the tours of the Gassan Diamond factory are free and very interesting. They last 1 hour and in them you can see the cutters and jewelry polishers in action while they tell you more about the importance of this industry.

The Reason You Should Choose Luxury Apartment Rentals for Your Vacation

The Reason You Should Choose Luxury Apartment Rentals for Your Vacation

Going on vacation doesn’t mean you have to stay in a hotel. Even the nicest hotels are still hotels with their cramped, crowded feeling. Instead, you might consider luxury apartment rentals for your next trip.

What Are Luxury Apartment Rentals?

Just as it sounds, you can lease a fully furnished unit for your family to enjoy. Instead of being trapped in a small one or two room hotel, you will have access to a full-sized unit. Just like properties that you live in, these options come with one or more bedrooms and bathrooms. They also have a full kitchen, so you don’t have to spend your vacation funds on going out to eat every night.

With a luxury apartment rental, you are not buying into a timeshare. You are simply paying the owner to use their property for a week or two. Usually, these units are vacation homes owned by someone who then leases it out during the year to either bring in extra income or help offset the mortgage.

Where Can You Find Them?

While you may think they are most common on beaches, you can find properties like this for lease in almost any major city around the world. Frequently, they tout not only stunning architecture and high-end features but also gorgeous views and a centralized location to many of the sights you want to see.

What Are Some of the Benefits?

Of course, you can always choose to stay in a high-end hotel. However, there are many benefits to choosing luxury apartment rentals for your next vacation. The number one benefit is space. These large units have enough room for your entire family to stretch out and relax.

Cost is usually comparable to higher-rated hotels. Because of the extra space, extended families usually rent these units together, making it cheaper per family than it would for them to be in a hotel.

You also get additional safety by being in an apartment than if you were in a hotel. Several of these are gated communities with safety codes. There are also fewer people, so you don’t feel as crowded. Many of these units have private entrances that don’t require you to go through the lobby just to get to your room.

Some people can’t relax on vacation because they are uncomfortable in a small room, especially if they have kids. However, most of these units come with all the comforts of home, including Wi-Fi, DVD players, and cable. You can feel like you’re at home even though you’re not.

Often vacation properties have more entertainment options as well. From bike rentals to private pools and spas, options are plentiful. Depending on the location of the property, you may even have access to a private beach. Some are located within walking distance of the area’s best nightlife.

Luxury apartment rentals are a good option for anyone looking to experience more out of their vacation.

Way to Book Cheap Hotels Near Airports

Way to Book Cheap Hotels Near Airports

Hotels are the most expensive part of most trips – arguably. You don’t have to book a 5 or even 4-star hotel to hear you poor bank account at least whine some. Just a couple of days spent in a reasonable property will be enough to alter your account balance by -500 Pounds. Depending on the nature of your trip, this might not be the best use for your money, especially if Warren Buffet is not your uncle. You might want to spare more cash for more memorable activities like sightseeing, souvenir shopping, and great meals.

There is a few tips and tricks you can follow to make sure you book cheap hotels near airports.

Make Use of a Search Engine

First of all, what’s a search engine? One thing, it’s not remotely as grandiose as it sounds. It simply means a search engine that takes your input and uses third party search engines to dig up results. So, if you search for a booking with your desired attributes, like price, location, star grade, etc., it will piggyback on another search engine, say the mighty Google, to gather information specific to your query.

It’s possible to ask, “why not just go to different hotel websites or some discount site to get what you’re looking for? Well, that’s what you’ll be doing with a search engine actually, except you will have results from website A, B, C, D, and any other necessary sites as one. This will reveal the cheapest rooms that you can book easily.

Contact the Hotel Directly

Getting cheap bookings for hotels near airports might simply involve calling the one you’re considering. You don’t have to be a genius to figure this one out. It’s obvious, but it can work wonders in two ways.

Firstly, not all airport hotel deals are advertised online. It may be done through one medium or another but sometimes, it is not done using all means you might expect. But one thing you can count on is the stuff being privy, to what’s cheap and what’s not at all times. Calling them directly is definitely a great way of getting to the info.

Secondly, hotel stuff will give you insider information as to why airport hotel prices are high. It might be due to some conference, convention, or even a concert by a big time musical entity. With this info, you can then focus your scouting on areas a good distance from the high-demand parts.

Look for Cancellable Rates

This trick involves playing unfaithful with multiple bookings of different hotels near airports. In a nutshell, you find cancellable rates, then monitor them until the last moments to end up with the cheapest.

The essence of the trick is that room rates go through considerable and relatively rapid fluctuation. What’s low now may soon be high as quickly as within a couple of minutes. As the uncheatable law of supply and demand would have it, the more people are booking, the higher the prices. It is important to make sure that the rates are actually cancellable.

Facts About Las Vegas

Facts About Las Vegas

There are some facts about the Sin City that you probably have not heard of.

Technically, many iconic hotels of Vegas are not found in Las Vegas City. Part of the Strip and the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign are, in fact, located in a separate township known as Paradise, Nevada.

There is an attraction located within Las Vegas City boundaries called Vegas Vic, an oversized neon cowboy that dominates downtown’s famous Fremont Street. It is the world’s largest mechanical neon sign.

A secret city is below the city. Miles of tunnels, initially built to shield the desert town from flash floods, accommodate hundreds of people without homes.

On the strip is the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, named after the girlfriend of founder and famous mobster Bugsy Siegel. Actress Virginia Hill was nicknamed “The Flamingo” since she had red hair as well as long, thin legs.

In the middle of the 20th century, Sin City had its own prejudiced Jim Crow laws, which excluding low-salary service jobs, banned African Americans from the hotels and casinos of the developing city. Even famous performers such as Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong had to enter and leave the venues where they were performing via the back or side doors. In 1953, famous actor Sammy Davis Jr. swam in the swimming pool for whites-only at the New Frontier Hotel & Casino. After that, the manager ordered the pool to be drained.

When the Moulin Rouge became the first interracial casino of the city in May 1955, it made history. Joe Louis, a legendary boxer and part owner stated that it is not the launch of a Las Vegas hotel, but “history”.

From the 1950s to the early 1960s, the city was known for presenting a special type of show. Only 65 miles northwest of the city, at the test site in Nevada, the US Department of Energy tested nuclear devices. The city’s Chamber of Commerce saw an opportunity to generate income and decided on distributing calendars that advertise detonation times plus viewing location options.

On Thanksgiving Day of 1966, renowned recluse Howard Hughes checked in the strip’s Desert Inn, renting the whole top two floors. When he extended his stay past his 10-day reservation, he was requested to leave. He, instead, started negotiations on buying the 715-room area. He completed his purchase after three months.

It takes approximately 10 minutes to get a marriage license at the bureau located in downtown Las Vegas, which opens at 8am and closes at midnight. That is why about 10,000 couples get married in the city every month.

Do you like shrimp cocktails? Over 60,000 pounds of shellfish are consumed in the city every single day. This is more than the other cities of the country combined.

The Eiffel Tower’s half-scale model outside Paris Las Vegas was initially planned to be full-size, but because it is too close to the airport at 3 miles, its size had to be reduced. On the contrary, the Sphinx in Luxor Las Vegas is in fact larger than the Great Sphinx of Giza, the original.

Try to Explore Various Activities With Affordable Accommodation

Try to Explore Various Activities With Affordable Accommodation

There are many activities that you can explore in this city. Regardless of the season or month, you can be sure to have lots of fun in this area. The problem, however, is finding accommodation that suits your budget. There are people who want to enjoy concerts, trade shows and many others but they do not have the kind of money to pay for expensive hotel rooms. If you have ever been in such a situation, you do not have to worry because you can still enjoy your time without spending too much by looking for affordable accommodation.

Compare various accommodation offers

If you want to attend any of the upcoming renovation shows, you should compare some of the available accommodation offers. The good thing is that you can do this online from wherever you are even before you travel to this area. At this point, you will be baffled to find out that there is a big difference in what you are likely to spend. In as much as there are hotels that are expensively priced, there are others that are quite affordable. Your choice should be determined by your budget.

Use a broker

A broker can easily help you to find affordable housing. There are people who want to attend motorcycle shows in city, but do not even know where or how to look for the most affordable hotels. In this case, a broker will save you the pain by identifying the ones that suit you best. These are individuals as well as companies that have the latest information about hotel offers in this area. In fact, you will be surprised to find out that they already have something that fits your description. You can contact them both online and offline.

Book early

Concerts and trade events are always attended by lots of people. They do not just attract the locals because there are people who travel from all over the world to attend. Because of this, most of the inexpensive hotels are always booked. If you wait until the last minute, you probably will have to spend more. The best option is to book early. With the online booking option, you can reserve a hotel room even before you travel. It will give you time to focus on the other things that will make the event more enjoyable for you, be it any kind of event.

One thing that should make you happy is that finding affordable accommodation in this area is quite easy. You, therefore, should stop worrying and start planning for the next concert. At the end of the day, the most important thing is for you to enjoy your time and to be comfortable in your hotel room.

What Do You Get on a Luxury Cruise

What Do You Get on a Luxury Cruise

Aside from being wealthy, most people who go on luxury cruises are discerning, seasoned travellers who enjoy interacting with other like-minded passengers. These people are happy to pay more, if it means they can holiday in a 5 star, sophisticated environment where they will be well looked after.

Certainly, on a luxury cruise, every passenger is given a high level of personal service, as the staff are trained to cater to your every need from the moment you board. The ambiance on these ships is refined, yet sociable, with passengers exchanging stories while sipping fine wine and enjoying the kind of international cuisine that would upstage many respectable land-based eateries. While the food on offer is slightly below the level of the world’s top restaurants, it is a cut above the cuisine provided on any other type of cruise ship. Also, the food is served to you by courteous staff, who make every meal a pleasurable experience. Alternatively, if you do not feel like socializing, you can always have food brought to your stateroom.

Generally, luxury cruises offer fewer options for entertainment compared to normal cruises, and the entertainment that is provided is more reserved. Rather than boisterous discos and partying, passengers prefer to socialize with one another in a wine bar, whilst listening to live music. On many luxury cruises, expert speakers are hired to give lectures on a wide range of contemporary and historical issues. These speakers can include scientists, former politicians, historians, academics and explorers. Usually, a luxury cruise itinerary will focus on yachting hotspots, such as those found in many parts of the Caribbean, rather than the large commercial ports. All of this makes for a far more cultured and educational experience, in contrast to the booze fuelled, mindless entertainment that characterises many mainstream cruises.

Staff on luxury cruise ships are able to provide a more personalised service, because the vessels are a smaller size than normal cruise ships. This creates a more intimate atmosphere and allows luxury cruise ships to stop-off at ports that would be overlooked on a mainstream cruise. A small luxury cruise ship will carry no more than two hundred guests, and a big ship will carry no more than one thousand guests. The quieter, more understated nature of these cruises appeals to those who dislike the hustle and bustle of a more commercial cruise line, and who want a service that is tailored to their preferences.

Several luxury ships offer extra treats for guests, such as toiletries from name brands and pyjamas with embroidered cotton logos. While these are only small touches, they are always very popular with passengers, who appreciate the attention to detail. Although most ships do not cater to children, there are some child-friendly vessels that operate during the school holidays. Usually, child minding can be privately organised with an off duty member of staff. Obviously, these types of cruises would not be the first choice for a family holiday. However, facilities can still be offered on these ships to keep children entertained, so family groups are not unheard of.

The smaller high-end cruise lines have always been notorious for their strict dress codes. Historically, black tie suits and evening gowns were mandatory attire for dinner. Nonetheless, recently, many luxury cruise operators (notably Cunard) have adopted more liberal dress codes, to reflect the fact that many modern guests do not enjoy having to dress for dinner. These days, providing you do not dress too outrageously, you can wear virtually whatever you want on many luxury ships. Tradition aside, most people agree that it is a good thing that the cruise lines have taken this approach, as it keeps them up-to-date with current trends.

Undoubtedly, a luxury cruise offers a different, more bespoke holiday experience that attracts those who enjoy the finer things in life. If you can afford it and decide to book one of these cruises, after your trip, you will probably never want to book another mainstream cruise again.

Guide to Avoid Bad Vacation Homes

Guide to Avoid Bad Vacation Homes

Showing up to your vacation home only to find out it’s not what you expected can quickly ruin a vacation. Before you even pack a bag you want to make sure you can show up at your destination ready to have fun, not ready to scramble to find a new place. Here are a few tips and tricks to consider to avoid bad vacation homes if you are thinking of renting a place in the near future.

1. Rent from a reputable source. Whether you’ve heard of this owner or agency by word of mouth or through your own research, it’s always good to go with a real estate agency that someone you know and trust vouches for. If you’re going someplace new and can’t ask anyone you know, ask professionals in the area and read the reviews of a few real estate agencies that specialize in the kind of vacation house you want to rent. There might be a few odd negative rental experiences people might have had, but look and see if this is their personal issue or an issue that points to the upkeep of the rental home or the mismanagement of the company itself.

2. Don’t make your entire rental payment up front. General practice is to make a security deposit either online or through a transfer, but be aware of the payment method you are using. Make sure it is traceable and returnable if something does go wrong with your rental. This way you can look at the property when you arrive and if not all is up to speed, you don’t lose money.

3. If you’ve gotten to the point of signing a contract make sure there are clauses that protect you as the client from any harm or financial liability. You have just as many rights as the landlord or owner, but it is easy to take advantage of people when they don’t know the local laws and aren’t from the country they are vacationing in.

4. If you are all questioning your rental house when you arrive, have a backup hotel or vacation rental plan in place. No one wants to have to go to Plan B, but it is helpful to have one if that time occurs. If your vacation rental doesn’t end up working out you have another place you can go that will hopefully be better for you and those you are vacationing with.

5. Ask as many questions as you need to from the real estate agency or the owner of the vacation property you want to rent. Feel free to also ask for recommendations. This will be no problem for a reputable landlord or company, but will give you valuable insights into a bad vacation home experience if they can’t answer your questions or furnish good reviews for you to take a look at.
No one wants to have a bad vacation home experience, but unfortunately it does happen. Hopefully these tips help in your quest to find a great rental the first time, every time!

Troubles That Can Ruin Your Vacation

Troubles That Can Ruin Your Vacation

All of us are excited and look forward to our break. No matter how grand or simple our travel plans are, they are special for us. However, when things go wrong, these special moments can be turned into truly disastrous ones. This is the last thing you wish for on a trip. As bad as it may sound, many of us have to become victims of such travel disasters. Here we reveal the most common ones and advise you on how you can escape them easily.

1. Someone Breaking In Your House

Many of us are so fearful about this that we decide not to travel altogether. Sadly, there are criminals always on the watch for you to desert your surroundings so that they can attack them. It’s never a good feeling getting back to your own comfort zone, with many of your valuables being picked up. It is indeed a very scary feeling. This is a common problem, and a lot can be done to avoid it. You may install the professional security locking system. It is advanced and efficient at what it does. Let your neighbors and dear ones know about your travel plans so that they can look after your house every now and then once you are away. It’s best to prepare your house in such a manner that it doesn’t look like it has been vacated.

2. Car Rental Accidents

On a foreign trip, the last thing you would want to experience is rental car accidents. But why have these become so common these days? The problem lies mainly with the car rental companies doing their best to fool you. Because the low rates seem very attractive, a lot of people rush to book the car without looking at the vehicle carefully.

Ensure that when you get the vehicle, you have studied it well. Make sure it is in a good condition. When you see dents already, take photographs that will serve as evidences. Invest in a good emergency kit, it always comes in handy!

3. Scams

Tourists face all kinds of these. Travel scams are very common, and you’ll not fully realize the harm it does until you experience it. A lot of locals dedicate their life to fooling the tourists. They would trick you into believing what they say and cause you financial harm of some sort. Many times, they will appear extremely sincere and you can’t help but fall for their kindness.

In times like these, it is best to keep away from the tourist areas. If you must go, dress and act like a local. Make sure that all your valuables are left behind in the hotel room. If you must carry them, ensure that they are properly concealed. There’s no guarantee that you can escape them, but there is still a chance that you wouldn’t.

Guide For Choosing A Camping Tent

Guide For Choosing A Camping Tent

If you want to go camping during the next holidays, you may want to consider some good camping tents. But if you have no idea what type of tent to buy, you should get help. Choosing one on your own is not a good idea. Given below are 3 tips that can help you pick the right family tents.

Floor

Some camping tents have their own floors. They are made from solid fabric and are sewn to the camp walls. The type of camp will keep the water from getting into your camp. Aside from this, in coldest winter days, the ground can get really hard. As a result, you won’t be able to sleep well in your sleeping bag.

Size

If you have a big family with 5-10 members, you want to buy a camp that can accommodate all of you. Besides, you will need enough space for keeping other necessary items in the tent.

Before you pick a tent, make sure you have taken into account the size you need. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to go for a bigger version rather than a shorter one. A small tent will be enough if you are going to go camping with just one other person.

Ideally, you may want to go for a tent that is easy to set up. After all, you don’t want to end up crashing the tent over and over again. At times, people go for a tent that looks beautiful and don’t think whether it would be easier or more difficult to set up. As a result, they end up damaging the tent trying to set it up during their camping trip.

So, what type of tent should you go for? Well, A-frame camping tents are relatively easier to set up. On the other hand, cabin-type tents are not easier to set up. However, with a little bit of practice, you can use any type of tent out there.

Season

What time of year do you like to go camping? Well, this question is very important if you are going to choose a camping tent. The reason is that many tents are suitable for camping in either summer or winter. For instance, for camping in summer, we suggest that you opt for a lightweight tent. This is true especially if you are going to spread the tent close to a lake.

But you have the freedom to choose either a 3-season or 4-season tent. The later can be used any time of the year as it is designed to do well even in the harshest conditions.

So, these are a few basic factors you should think about before choosing your desired camping tent. Just keep in mind that these camps are not cheap. The highest quality ones cost a lot of money. Therefore, don’t make a haste when choosing one, and make this decision after consulting your friends and colleagues. They can recommend a good family camping tent to you.