10 Free Things to Enjoy in London

London is an amazing cultural pot of a city where anyone can have a great time. Yes, it is pretty expensive if you are planning to stay in one of the best luxury hotels or eating at the best fine dining restaurants, but if you are happy to pick a cheap London accommodation and do not mind exploring the city via the underground, you too can have a superb time in this iconic city. Here are a few things you can do in London for absolutely nothing –

Piccadilly Circus – This traffic junction is the main road junction of London, located in its very heart. What’s great about it? Well, everything! The place is full of glowing neon signs and there are a number of historical architectures and structures in its vicinity. Visit Piccadilly Circus and understand why London is called a fast paced city.

Natural History Museum – One of the best museums in the world, Natural History Museum London houses more than 80 million items including rare dinosaur fossils, preserved specimens collected by Charles Darwin and a life-size model of a blue whale.

Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park – The best thing about London is its parks. There are so many of them and all of them are free! These two in particular are definitely worth exploring.

Changing of the Guards Ceremony – Irrespective of the fact that whether you are a budget traveler or not, you have got to see this iconic royal tradition. Reach the Buckingham Palace sharp 11:30 in the morning and witness this fabulous tradition along with other spectators.

Street Performers of London – If you can’t afford to enjoy those classy theatrical plays or dance performances inside the royal theatres of London, enjoy the talent our street performers are displaying in the streets. You’ll find them around the Covent Garden Market or along the South Bank.

Westminster Abbey – If you are staying in a cheap London accommodation near the Parliament Square, you are at a walking distance from this historical attraction. The abbey serves as the Coronation Church of the country and it is also the burial site for many historical figures.

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Budget Bus Companies For Your Next Trip to Europe

Have you packed your bags and are ready for a trip across the most beautiful part of the world, the European continent? There are a zillion reasons to visit this beautiful continent over and over again. And there is just one reason why you may not want to go there again, it’s the money. Of course a place as exciting as this would charge a little extra from its tourists, who come here in huge numbers every year. To be fair, one luxurious trip to Europe is good enough. Instead of repeating the routine of staying in the best of hotels and travelling by air or Interrail, you should take a bus trip this time and save a lot of money. Once you find out good bus companies to take you across the continent, you will not miss the comfort of trains too much. Here is a list of bus companies which you should definitely check out for your trip –

National Express – Travelling across UK can be as cheap as £1 if you find the perfect deal. It is quite similar to finding cheap London hotel deals, once find a perfect one you will end up saving a lot, but you have to make advance bookings to save heavy.

Berlinlinienbus – With facilities like stewardesses on long routes, luggage service and comfortable coaches available at about €9, the Berlinlinienbus is definitely worth checking out.

Megabus – This is the best carrier if you want to travel from London to Paris or Amsterdam. There are many more destinations which Megabus can connect you to, that too at a price of around £1 upon pre-booking, so it is doubly good for budget travelers who have been saving by going after cheap London hotel deals and cheap ways to travel across the land, in order to make the most of the trip.

ALSA – This Spanish company operates on major country routes as well as connects tourists to international routes leading to France and Portugal. They offer some pretty awesome pre-booking deals which can get you upto 50% discount on the lovely France to Spain route.

PolskiBus – Travelling around Poland is best done with the help of PolskiBus which has a strong network across 20 Polish cities. Their service is luxurious and cheap, what else could we ask for?

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Best Time to Book Thanksgiving or Christmas Flights

You might be thinking why you are seeing such an article during this time of the year? Thanksgiving and Christmas are several months away right now and most of us haven’t even planned our summer vacations yet, but since Christmas time is the most chaotic time of the year for the travelers, you need to start looking for your options as early as possible. June and July are the best months to book flight tickets for the month of December. First week of June are the least expensive days of the year (on an average) to book flight tickets for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Such time frames change with every changing year and it also depends on the destination you have to visit. For example, if you are looking for packages offering cheap flight tickets and London hotel offers during the holidays, the best time is the month September. But on an average you can conclude that the months of June, July and August are the best months to book flight tickets for the holidays. When you are away from your home for almost an entire year, you feel desperate to visit home and relax with your folks for a while. In order to be with our loved ones we often end up paying way more than we have anticipated, especially when it comes to flight tickets. You can change that, by booking your flight tickets as early as possible. The key is – sooner the better!

If you’ll wait for another month or so, not only you’ll be compromising with the fares (by paying a higher price), but also, you’ll get terrible seats and in-flight services since all the best flights will get booked by the time you’ll make reservations for yourself. Start looking for London hotel offers and options of cheap flight tickets as soon as you can.

The fact that you don’t know the exact dates of your holiday also bars you from booking early flight tickets, But what you can do is, calculate an estimate that when you’ll be flying and accordingly book refundable flight tickets. Even if you postpone or cancel your ticket, you’ll not be at total loss.

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Best Road Trip Apps for Your Smartphone

When you are on a road trip, you never know what you might have to face since such type of trips are absolutely unpredictable. So what can you do in order to safeguard your vacation or to make it a little more organized? Use your phone! Yes, you heard it right, use your smart-phone. There are a large number of travel apps online which you can make use of. Here are some of the best road trip applications available on android and iOS which you can download –

Waze Navigation – This app is like a combination of GasBuddy and Trapster. You get crowd-sourced information regarding fuel prices, speed traps and road conditions of the route you’re following. Plus, you can navigate turn-by-turn along with relevant traffic information.

Food Tripping – This restaurant finding application allows you to discover popular food joints. You can find healthy alternatives instead of typical junk food joints or you can search for places where you can enjoy local delicacies or simply find the best coffee shops, whatever you want.

Hotel Tonight – Yes, there are thousands of applications to find hotel accommodations, but don’t you think those applications are all a little too complicated? Try Hotel Tonight, it’s an extremely user-friendly application, which allows you to identify best last-minute deals in more than 12 countries.

TripIt – It is a trip organizing app which allows you to store all the information in one place. It helps you in making hotel reservations, travel plans, itineraries and it stores all the information you’ve collected regarding the attractions and local events you want to visit. It is also capable of organizing your flight schedules as it includes aeronautical travel.

Glympse – This is a very popular trip sharing application. You can share your location with a selected bunch of friends or with all the members of your lists. It can be used to track a friend or a member of your family, in order to make sure that he/she is alright, without actually calling the person.

Sit or Squat – Probably one the most essential road trip apps. This one allows you to find the location of the nearest restroom.

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Affordable Family Holiday Offers in Delightful London

Nothing is better than a family holiday. For me, the best part about travelling with my family is that I will not need to explain to them through pictures and otherwise, whatever adventures underwent on the trip or which places I saw and how it really was being in that place. Of course going on a trip with friends is a different affair altogether and travelling alone teaches you a lot, but when you are on a trip with your family, you build some amazing memories which help strengthen the bond between you even more.

London is one of those few cities which offer a wholesome family holidaying experience. It has a lot to offer when it comes to shopping, which is ideal for my wife. My kids have always loved being to the museums and so have I, which is perfect because London has some of the best museums in the world like the Natural History Museum, British Museum and the entertaining Madam Tussauds’ Wax museum. Whenever I used to come to London on business tours, I used to love hanging out around Central London, where I fell in love with the quality and sheer variety of food.

During my business tours, I always used to stay at London Shaftesbury hotels. Over time I developed a nice relationship with them and so I decided it was the best place to take my family to. Moreover, London Shaftesbury hotels were offering nice family discounts and packages at that time at several of their establishments, so our timing was perfect.

I would suggest that if you are travelling with your family, do not compromise on comfort even one bit. Stick to the hotel which has the highest ratings amongst family hotels but if you are offered a nice discount or deal like an extended stay after 3 or 4 days or you are offered special privileges as a guest and access to lounges and other luxuries, you should consider because not only do these things can make your stay more comfortable, you will save some money and the kids will love the freebies and presents offered to them.

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A Road Trip through Big Bend National Park

Located at East of El Paso, the Big Bend National Park of Texas is one big joyride. The wide, never-ending sky and a landscape that is rarely seen anywhere in the world, this borderland national park is a traveler’s delight. Once you take a glance at the photographs of this region, you’ll soon find the rugged mountains, the desert, the curves and the grassland very familiar. Many films including the likes of ‘No Country For Old Men’ and ‘There Will Be Blood’ were shot in this region. Gas up your car and pick up a few sodas, because it is time for a road trip.

Starting up from the Oil Town of Fort Stockton, you will have to make this your base. From here, you can take up day trips to the Big Bend Country and the fort buildings in the small town are something to look forward to. Before you begin your journey, make sure that you have accommodations reserved at your final destination. There are a few accommodation facilities available within the park but depending upon the time of your visit, they can be hard to book at the last minute.

Road Trip through Big Bend National Park
Your next stop would be town called Alpine, for which you will need to take up Interstate 10 towards west and exit south for 67. Going west on Highway 90 will take you to the town Alpine where you can enjoy Mexican snow cones and other such Mexican delights. You won’t have much trouble finding a good place to eat around this resurgent town. As you head west on Highway 90, you’ll set course for the famous Marfa, known for mysterious floating lights.

Crossing the ghost town of Shafter while moving south on Highway 67, look around for River Road to reach a beautiful stretch along the banks of a muddy river and some interesting resorts till you reach Study Butte. From here on prepare for your final destination, the huge park, which will keep you occupied whether you are interested in a long trek, a drive in the desert or look for tall grass, animals and pink cactus. From the entrance of the park till Marathon, keep your cameras ready because there is plenty of amazing things to capture.

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5 Money Saving Tips during Train Journey to France

One of the most beautiful countries in the world France is not only pretty but culturally and historically rich too. Every traveler or just anyone who wants to taste the best of wine or cheese has a crush on France. Only a nice, long and fulfilling trip can satisfy the taste buds of France hungry people. When there is so much love, what is it that stops you? Oh yes, of course, money. As pretty as it is, France can be really expensive for a traveller.

5 Money Saving Tips during Train Journey to France
You will need to keep aside a good amount of money for decent trip to this country. It is all the more necessary for people who are on a trip around Europe. If you are starting from the UK, start your savings there. No need to pre-book hotels, you will easily find in London cheap last minute hotel. Reserve all of your planning for the train trip because you can save a good amount of money, by planning and following these 5 simple tips –

1. Doing things at the last minute can really work wonders, especially if you do not have panic issues. Deals like London cheap last minute hotel can pop-up anytime and you will have to keep your eye on them. Similarly, if you are flexible with your timings and dates, you can save around €50 on train tickets for two.

2. Take up the low cost train Ouigo from Marné la Vallée, which is around 15 minutes away from Paris CDG airport and will cost you nothing but €10 to €15 and will take you to Lyon or Southern France.

3. No need to fly from Paris to Milan when you can travel for just €29 in a 7 hour comfortable journey on a TGV high-speed train. All you have to do is check Voyages-SNCF site and find a suitable time of journey.

4. Travelling at night can be tiring for some but perfect for those who want to save on accommodation. Intercites Night Train network offers a super comfortable 2nd class reclining seat for around €37 and will connect you to Monaco, Perpignan or Cannes.

5. If you plan to break your journey at key points like Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Nice or Marseille, dump your extra luggage at the Left Luggage facility at the station for €7.5 for 48 hours.

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5 Things You Thought You’ll Do in London But You Won’t

London is a fabulous city to explore but since the city is in news from the very beginning of time, it has become quite crowded. Everything is super expensive in London and some things (attractions and local events) are simply over-hyped. We are not saying you need to look for an alternative destination, just go through these pointers. They’ll help you in deciding which places you can skip from the itineraries you’ve made for your London breaks –

Shopping at Harrods – Harrods is one of the most popular shopping complexes of England. The gigantic shopping centre stores everything one can imagine to buy from a shopping mall. But is it really worth visiting? You can visit shopping malls everywhere these days. Shop at Oxford Street or at the Liberty instead.

Don’t take a Ride on a Tourist Bus – These buses are often touted as the best way of sightseeing London. Really? All you can see is the back side of other vehicles and the traffic is so loud most of the time that you can’t actually hear what the tour guide is saying. Travel on foot instead.

You Can Skip Hyde Park – “Your London breaks are not complete unless you’ve seen the Hyde Park.” Not actually! Yes, the park is pretty and there are many activities one can enjoy but if you really want to visit an elegance royal garden, explore Richmond Park instead.

Madam Tussauds Museum – Not only this place is exorbitantly over-priced, but also, there are such long waiting lines that you’ll waste an entire day, trying to get inside this museum. And when you finally get inside, you’ll have to fight a long battle in order to get a single ‘great picture’ with your favorite celebrity wax statue. The crowd here is maddening.

You can Skip Attractions like London Eye and Tower of London as well – Although both these places are stunningly beautiful but again, the crowd is way too much at these places. Instead, explore attractions like Hampstead Heath, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral and Natural History Museum.

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When to Visit Countries of the UK for Maximum Enjoyment

England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom and each one of them is an ideal tourist destination although London, the capital of England is the most popular, flowed by Scotland, Wales and Ireland. England provides a plethora of tourist attractions such as the Big Ben, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, and West End in London and other places like Stonehenge, Lake District, York, Durham, Bath, Oxford and Cambridge in other parts of the country. Scotland offers historic grandeur and its attractions include Edingburgh Castle, the untamed Munros, the Highlands, and the Loch Ness. Wales offers unspoilt and ruggedly beautiful places and a large network of National parks and conservancy areas.

Visit Countries of the UK

There is no doubt that the best time to visit the countries of the UK is the summer period from June to August as this is probably the only time when tourists can get the best weather and the longest days. Moreover, the days are warm without being uncomfortable although you can never be sure of rain that can take place at any time of the year. Moreover, the best festivals and events take place during this time. Most educational institutions in the UK take a summer break during this period and you can see most local people also on the roads or near the various attractions of the cities. Travelling from one place to another is also fun.

A large number of festivals and events take place during the summer months such as the Edinburgh International Festival that takes place in August/September. It is the largest arts festival in the world and it transforms Scotland’s capital into a vibrant arts hub. Moreover, the Notting Hill Carnival in August is only next to the Rio Carnival in being the biggest street party in the world. The London Marathon in April attracts more than 30,000 participants every year who can enjoy a scenic tour of London. The Glastonbury Festival in June attracts top musicians from all over the world to take part in one of the world’s most famous outdoor music festivals. London presents a plethora of high culture options at its various museums, art galleries and theatres including the Tate Modern and Natural History Museum. The Royal Parks of London, particularly Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are delightful places to relax during the summer when tired tourists can spread out on its lush green meadows and relax. The other important attractions include Stratford-upon-Avon that features photogenic Tudor houses and is home to the Royal Shakespeare Company and Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland which is one of the most spectacular natural attractions in all of Europe.

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What I Gained by Travelling Alone

Man is a social animal and as such it is not normal for a person to stay alone whether he is at home or whether he is travelling. We all crave for company, more so when we are visiting a different city so that we can share our experiences and the fun. However, I wanted to have a different experience and I wanted to understand my strengths and weaknesses in a better way than what I did till the time that I set out for a seven-day trip to London as I had heard a lot about its ‘streets being paved with gold’. I decided to take a break from my work, my family and my familiar surroundings in order to indulge in this soul-reckoning mission so that I could find the answers to all that I had been seeking. It was an adventure that I had to have.

From all the experiences of planning the trip, travelling to London, finding the hotel that I had booked, staying there and commuting to all the places that I had planned for sightseeing, I found that I had gained a lot but the most important quality that I discovered was that I could take responsibility as I had been able to take my life into my own hands and do what I wanted to do. I knew that I was responsible for all my actions and I was prepared for their consequences.

travelling-aloneDuring the course of my trip when I started feeling that everything was progressing as I had planned, I started gaining a lot of self-confidence in my abilities to be able to plan and execute what I wanted and be able to do so successfully. I had cleared the hurdle of responsibility and was getting a sense of lightness and contentment. I was also getting to feel more independent and this newfound freedom made me feel that I did not need to depend on anyone for anything to make me happy. I was my own master having the right to decide what to eat, where to sleep, which train to catch and at what bus stop to depart.

Moreover, travelling alone also gave me the opportunity to discover my likes and my dislikes as I was free to jump on my likes and discard my dislikes. And by sifting through my likes and dislikes, I arrived at my emotions which are a combination of mind and body sending messages to me and it is only by listening to these messages that we can accomplish what we want to do.

With all these accomplishments, I could also fathom out various patterns and my reactions, do a lot of past analysation, foray into the future and indulge in many wishful dreams. Apart from these accomplishments, I also learnt about how to care for myself and how to love.

I had been able to peep into the mystery of myself that I was seeking to know.

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