Saturday, 30 October 2010

Visit the major attractions of Halifax, Canada and take a stroll in history - Guest Post


Halifax is the capital city of Nova Scotia. It is a popular tourist destination in Canada that offers visitors the charm of an ideal urban lifestyle while upholding its glorious past. The vibrant culture, rich history, and scenic maritime beauty of Halifax captures the fantasy of visitors and leaves them mesmerized.

If you wish to fly to Halifax, you can
book cheap fights to Halifax and save a notable sum of money for travelling and sightseeing in Halifax.

From the bustling city centre to the serene South Shore, explore the best attractions of Halifax and experience the moments of a lifetime!

Top Attractions of Halifax

Halifax Citadel


Halifax Citadel is Canada's most visited national historic site. Constructed by 1856, the citadel is a stunning star-shaped masonry structure. Step back in time as you walk along the ramparts, defensive ditch, musketry gallery, guard room, garrison cells, barracks and school room. You may also see the 78th Highland Regiment marching to the resounding drums and bagpipes. The cannon thunders everyday at the stroke of noon. To top it all, the view from the Citadel is truly breathtaking!

Pier 21 (Canada’s Immigration Museum)

Between 1928 and 1971, approximately a million and a half immigrants, military service personnel, refugees, troops, war brides and their children stepped through Pier 21. Statistics state that one in five Canadians has a direct connection with this historic pier. Hence, it was reopened in 1999 as Canada’s immigration museum. In 2007, it was listed among the Seven Wonders of Canada. Today, it houses a research centre, gallery, gift shop and a cafĂ©.

Peggy's Cove

Peggy's Cove is located at a 30-minute drive from down town Halifax. It is popular for its quaint lighthouse situated in picturesque surroundings. The lighthouse houses a post office, which is a truly unique sight and the only one of its type in Canada. It features its own stamp with the image of a lighthouse.

Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame

The Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame was erected to honour Nova Scotia's rich heritage a
nd culture in the world of sports. Athletes and teams who have etched their mark in history have also been immortalized in the hall of fame. The history of sports in Nova Scotia is reflected in the fantastic display of awards, trophies, uniforms, sporting equipment, photographs, and other memorabilia spanning over 100 years.

Discovery Centre

Since its opening in the fall of 1990, Discovery Centre has provided quality entertainment and deep scientific insight to more than 400,000 visitors. The centre features more than 80 hands-on exhibits with freedom for exploration and experimentation.

Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

This museum display a fantastic and rare collection of nautical and marine history of Atlantic Canada. The exhibits includes 'Days of Sail' gallery, small craft gallery and a lighthouse light. The museum also displays 20 artefacts from the legendary Titanic. Also, children will certainly love the Theodore Tugboat display.


Alexander Keith's Brewery

Established in 1820, Alexander Keith's Brewery is the oldest brewery in Nova Scotia. Take a stroll through brewing history in this historic place. Feel entertained and learn facts from the instant the Warden greets you to the point when the inn keepers of the Stag's Head tavern bid adieu.

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

Enchanting visitors and admirers since 1908, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia stands as a crux of virtual art display and artistic cultural exchange in Atlantic Canada. The gallery has earned its reputation with a impressive collection of over 13,000 pieces and the noteworthy exhibitions it supports.

Hence, Halifax is a city with a glorious past, bustling present and promising future. The city has welcome visitors since ages and it is a pleasing experience to feel the warmth of the renowned Halifax hospitality.

Author Bio -

This guest blog is written by Vinay Shingornikar. He is an accomplished copywriter possessing deep understanding and expertise in various fields of copy-writing including website content development, blog articles, and travel articles. Currently, he is happily employed with Flight Network. Founded in 1998, Flightnetwork.com has grown to become Canada's second most visited on-line travel agency that offers cheap flight tickets for domestic and International flights.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Double Bookings - An Easy Way to Avoid Them


When it comes to managing your holiday home, one of the biggest fears for every home owner is to double booking their property.  Being organised it key, it may sound obsessive however it can make a big difference when taking and confirming bookings.



Keep a Record

There are several methods available to help you keep track of your bookings, whether it is a diary, wall planner or excel spreadsheet. Keeping track of each booking and its confirmed dates will help eliminate double bookings. For those who may manage several holiday homes or advertising in a number of locations there are also some very good software programs available now dedicated to holiday rentals that will help ensure you follow a process have remain organised. 

Communicate 

If you work with a management company, booking agent or several holiday rental portals, it is important that you communication with them all when a new booking has been taken. Update on-line calendars immediately, so that a third party does not re-confirm the availability to another guest and except a double booking. 

Re-Confirm Everything in Writing

If the booking has been taken via a third party or over the telephone, sending a writing confirmation is the best way to ensure that there has been no miscommunication. Re-confirm dates of arrival and departure, number of people and duration. This way is anything has been misheard it can be corrected before the guests arrival.
Double bookings can be a nightmare, leaving you in the difficult position of helping the affected guest to find somewhere else, or worse still giving you a bay reputation. However think how it must feel for the guest who has arrived on holiday only to find someone else staying in their holiday rental.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Car Rentals – Tips for Getting a Discount When Renting a Hire Car



Renting a hire car whilst on holiday can offer you freedom and flexibility and depending on where you are staying it may the only viable way to get around.  Yet finding a good deal can be time consuming and complicated. With our tips getting a discount the next time you book car hire should be easy.

 

 

Look for a Discount

Search on-line or in magazines for promotional vouchers offering discounted rates and check coupon books from travel companies or destination guides as they will often include car hire companies.
Membership schemes with credit cards, associations and a variety of clubs also tend to offer discount codes for large car hire companies like Hertz, Avis or Budget to their members, or if your employer regularly uses a car hire company from business, ask about personal rates as many car hire companies will offer additional incentives to business clients.

 

Ask for a Discount

Not all discounts are openly publicised so make sure to ask if there are any special offers at the time of booking. You will be surprised how easily a discount could appear that was no offered before.  Some car hire companies now offer frequent renter schemes, which like frequent flyers entitles you to discounts and promotions. Ask about joining.

 

Compare

Check several companies for the same rental location, dates and vehicle size before booking to see if they vary.  There are several price comparison site available on-line that will search all the hire companies that can match you needs and will return a list in order of price.

 

Plan Ahead

Car hire rates work similar to airline rates, the closer you get the less car’s are available so they come at a premium. Booking in advance should provide you with a lowest rate. When planning your trip also consider the times and dates you intend to travel. Off peak times and out of hours will always be cheaper as there is less demand.

 

Be Reservation Savvy

Be aware that many if not most car hire companies base their rates on 24 hour periods. Arranging your pick up and drop off times to be the same will mean that you don’t accidentally pay another full day’s rate for extra half an hour.  

 

Got is covered

Check the insurance that comes with the rental and what is legally required in the destination you are hiring a car. Reservation agents will attempt to up-sell additional insurance cover that can end up being expensive and not needed.


Size Does Matter
The price difference between car hire groups can be large; yet the additional space gained can be small by comparison. If you don’t really need a 5 door then don’t bother.

 

Fuelling Fiascos  

Find out if the rental agreement requires you to return the hire care with a full or empty tank. Even if you only use a little bit, car hire comes can and will charge you a full tank for failing to return it full. Some car hire companies will now charge you upfront for the full tank, so make sure to use it and don’t return it full or you are just paying for it twice.

 

Keep Check

Although car hire rates tend to slide upwards the nearer to your reservation you get, keep an eye on the rates and check before collection to see if any special offers or reductions have been applied. Amending your booking even by half an hour will move you to the new rates. If you are unable to amend your booking but will not be charged to cancel, then consider booking a new hire car at the reduced rates and cancelling your existing booking

Monday, 25 October 2010

How to Find a Pet Friendly Rental


Don’t be discouraged from booking a holiday rental if you want to bring your family pet along. An increasing number of holiday home owners allow pets to stay.

A good place to start is by picking a pet friendly location for your holiday, look for places that allow dogs on the beach or have pet parks where owners and pets can exercise and meet up with other like-minded people.

Check out local animal clubs and associations in the area, as they can be a great source of information and often local holiday rental owners will contact them to provide their homes to members. 

On-line, pet owner forums will often have a thread relating to pet friendly accommodation and you can ask others for advice or recommendations on where they may have stayed.

When looking at holiday rental portals, such as Bidabooking.com look out for listings that advertise as Pet Friendly. This way you are guaranteed you and your pet will be offered a warm and friendly welcome.

Friday, 22 October 2010

The Cheapest Holiday Spots in the USA


If your looking for a cheap holiday that is packed full of fun and activities in the USA then these are the holiday hotspot you need to consider.
 
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

An excellent beach resort offering value for money, there is endless entertainment and attractions on offer both on and off the sea.  With 60 miles of white sandy beach offering water sports from banana boat rides to salt water fishing, a championship golf course and amusement and water parks to keep the whole family entertained. As the sun sets Myrtle Beach comes alive under the bright neon lights offering nightclubs, sports bars, beach clubs and more.  For the best deals choose from motels, Condos or holiday rentals.

Las Vegas, California 

World renowned as the city of Gambling, shopping and fine dining, Las Vegas is an attraction in itself. Set in the middle of the Nevada desert, the themed hotels and casinos will provide you with hours of enjoyment for free.  With inexpensive accommodation available in the form of the motels or hotels set away from the strip. The city that never sleeps offers 24 hour entertainment and with the launch of the All Stage Pass for just $99 allowing you to see 17 shows over a 48-hour period as well providing discounted tickets to premium shows it’s hard to find time to fit in the gambling!

Orlando, Florida

Probably best known for its theme parks and as the home of Walt Disney World, Orlando offers limitless options and literally hours of entertainment.  The theme parks are famed for offering discounted packages once the crowds of the summer have dispersed and with block upon block of low priced rooms all within a few miles of the action. Whilst Orlando has evolved to offer a sophisticated culinary experience suitable to everyone’s palate, all you can eat diners offering meals from just $4.49 per person whether is it breakfast lunch or dinner. 

Daytona Beach, Florida

Billed as the “world centre of racing” and home to NASCAR, the 23 miles of beach is still the biggest attraction offering a variety of water sports as well as an ideal bike ride, alternatively stroll along the boardwalk or stop to partake in a game of outdoor basketball. Ponce De Leon lighthouse and state park are around 10 km away, the tallest in Florida and second largest in the USA you are free to climb the 200 steps to the top and take in the magnificent views. It is best to avoid it during spring time when a number of festivals and events will ensure that accommodation is packed full. Instead out to visit in the winter months when availability is plentiful and many offer reduced rates and discounts. 

South Padre Island, Texas

A tropical island located on the tip of Texas and surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico South Padre Island offers beaches with warm sea waters, fishing, boating, bird watching, shopping and all year entertainment to keep everyone happy. With many restaurants offering to cook your catch for you, the area comes alive after sunset with nightclubs and bars.  Stroll around Fisherman’s Wharf and watch as others prepare their catch or set yourself up in the picnic area for a leisurely afternoon.  Attractions are like water sports, dolphin watching or cruises are relatively cheap and there is a host of condo rental available in the local area. 

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Guaranteed to offer you a fast paced environments and non-stop activities, Atlantic City is a year round destination. Whether it’s the gaming casinos, world-class entertainment or a stroll along the boardwalk, there is plenty to explore. With antique shops and museums to wander through and arcades and piers to keep the kids entertained there are literally hundreds of free events taking places all the time as well as a number of activities such as the aquarium or wildlife park offering entrance for $10 or less. Most hotels and casinos offer reasonably prices accommodation and special offers.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Tips for Driving in the USA


Driving aboard can be exciting or nerve-racking; however it can offer a rewarding and great experience to those looking to get the most of the United States whilst on holiday, allowing you the opportunities to explore more areas, see more things and move freely from one place to the next.

Most visitors who plan to drive on their trip to the USA will already know that they drive on the right hand side, however by familiarising yourself with a few other highway rules you can ensure you have a fun, safe and stress free road trip.

UK citizen’s looking to drive whilst in America need to hold a full UK driving license and should take the full document with them – If you have a photo card license, this means you need to take both the card and the green counter part with you.  If travelling extensively or on a regular basis it is also recommended that you apply for an international driving license before setting off.

 

Car Hire

Pre-booking your car hire before arrival will guarantee availability and most companies will have a base at the airport for you to collect your vehicle, however if price is of concern try looking for companies based slight out from the airport. It may mean waiting for a courtesy bus to collect you but could get you a saving. 

Before you even get behind the wheel, you will need to produce a credit card so an imprint can be taken as a security deposit, your license and your passport. When signing paperwork, make sure to read the small print and check who is covered to drive the vehicle if travelling in a group and you intend to spare the responsibility. 

Many car hire companies will only offer the most basic of insurance cover so it is advisable to take out an extra CDW (Collision Damage Wavier) to cover you in the event of an accident and be sure to inspect the car for any dents or scratches and have these recorded before setting off, otherwise you could find you foot the bill when you return the car.

 

Rules of the Road

The most obvious things anyone driving in the USA needs to know are; which side to drive on and the speed limit.   However America surprisingly has a high rate of road deaths than the UK, so it helps to know a little more regarding the Highway Code and road regulations.

As previously covered above, American’s drive on the right hand side of the road and their speed limits are not dissimilar to those in the UK.  

If driving on the motorway or highway as it is know in the USA the speed limit is 70mph. When outside of built up areas it is 65mph and when in a built up area it is 30mph. However, they enforce the speed limit strictly in the USA and you are sure to find many a state trooper or police office by the side of the road with a laser checking your speed. 

Drink driving is strictly prohibited, so avoid drinking any alcohol if you know you are required to drive and keep any alcoholic beverages firmly sealed and in the boot of your car. 

It is also a legal requirement for all passengers’ front and back to be wearing a seat belt and for any child under the age of 4 to be seated in the back of the car only. 

A number of regulations vary from the UK so take your time when driving and obey all road markings and signs. 

Turning right on a red light is allowed at junctions, unless there is a sign to state otherwise, however stop first and survey your surroundings before continuing with your manoeuvre. 
Cross-roads have no designated right of way, the common courtesy is to allow the first vehicle who arrives at the junction to turn first, however if you should arrive at the same time, then give way to your right. 

When looking to park pay attention to signs and curb markings. Painted curbs will normally mean there is some form of parking restrictions, so look along the pavement for metres or find a multi-storey car park. If heading into the centre of a busy town it is advisable to park your car outside and take public transport into the centre as it can be confusing to navigate when unfamiliar with your surrounds. 

School buses can also cause panic, if the bus is stationary and has its lights flashing, you must stop and give away to allow the children to cross and finally vehicles in the USA do not have orange indicators like in the UK and Europe. Instead they are red and can easily be mistaken for brake lights, be observant and pay attention to whether they are flashing to avoid an accident.

Most roads in the USA are of good quality and without pot holes or damage, however in order to avoid an incident that could end up spoiling your holiday make sure you are familiar with these points before you drive in the USA.

Monday, 18 October 2010

The Best Beaches in the USA


Cape Florida State Park, Key Biscayne, Florida

A picturesque beach spot situated at the south end of key Biscayne and a stones throw from the city of Miami, Cape Florida State Park offers crystal clear waters and a gentle lapping tide, due to an outlay of reefs and shallows allowing the entire family to enjoy the seas here. 

 

Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York

Perfectly positions in “the Hamptons”, the playground for New York’s elite, Coopers Beach is the main beach in the village of Southampton on Long Island. With white sands that stretch out allowing visitors to take a stroll, Coopers beach is patrolled by lifeguards in the summertime and offers a pavilion in which you can get lunch. However be advised parking will cost non-residents $25 a day and $30 per day over weekends.

 

Siesta Beach, Sarasota, Florida

Found on Siesta Key which is a barrier island between Sarasota bay and the Gulf of Mexico is offers some of the whitest and finest sand in the world, reflecting the sun’s rays and remaining cool underfoot even on the hottest of days. Offering warm, clear waters ideal for families to swim and play in. With coral rocks and caves perfect for snorkelers and scuba divers to explore. 

 Coastguard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Often Crowded due to its popularity, Coastguard beach offers views that others rave about with a “glacial” cliff and its remaining sand, fanning out to form the beach area. The water here can be pretty chilly due to the way the tide brings the currents close to the shore, however it is great for watching for seals and will keep the kids entertained for hours. 

 

Kahanamoku Beach, Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii

Protected by an offshore reef, Kahanamoku beach is perfect for families, with palm trees shading the grass areas behind the sands making an ideal location to spread a blanket and have a picnic. With a wide beach it can become busy and you should wear shoes if entering the water as the sea bed here is reef and rocky in most places. Fridays are a great time to be here as the city of Honolulu puts on a firework display and torch lighting ceremony called “King Jubilee” .

 

Main Beach, East Hampton, New York

The Main Beach at East Hampton offers a beautiful backdrop of colonial homes, windmills and ponds and boast sand dunes, amazing surf and highly talked about 4th July fireworks. Providing lifeguards in the summer months, it again has the status of being in “The Hamptons”  so visitors are warned to be aware of prices. 

 

Beach Walker Park, Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Actually part of the Great Kiawah Beach,  Beach Walker Park is clean, compact  and offers amazing views.  With restrooms, lifeguards and a snack bar in summer, it has been designed with families in mind and offers a lovely walk along what is called Capitan Sam’s Spit, along which you can take in the natural beauty of untouched beaches and shorelines. 

 

Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks, North Carolina

Located on Hatteras Island which makes up the barrier islands of the Outer Banks, Cape Hatteras is a fantastic location for families. As a national Park is it maintained by park authorities and is free to visit, whilst in summer months there are also a number of visitor centres open. The beach itself is ideal for families to swim, fish, camp, windsurf or boat, exploring the national wildlife refuge or Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

 

Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii

Situated on the less developed east side of the island near to Hana, this beach boasts is own island packed with coconut trees just offshore. With rugged cliffs and lush vegetation there is a big surf and strong currents, so families are warned to be cautious as the beach doesn’t have a lifeguard.  

 

Coronado Beach, San Diego, California

A Beautiful beach that stretches for miles and miles, Coronado Beach is popular among Californian’s and you can expect to see them running, swimming and boogie boarding. If lucky you may even chance upon a sand sculpture or two and if visiting over the winter months keep your eyes open for whales. Manned by lifeguards it is also famous for the photogenic Victorian era and the Del Coronado Hotel.