Culinary Classes Abroad

Do you love eating out? Do you cook and entertain at every opportunity? Do you enjoy trying new foods and new methods of preparing foods? You just might be an official ‘food aficionados”! If you go to restaurants at every available opportunity and have taken advantage of cooking classes in your area, and you like to travel, you might be a great candidate for culinary travel. Maybe a trip to the cooking schools in Italy or France is already on your bucket list! With the right frame of mind and preparation, like any good meal, this could be the trip of a lifetime. It certainly won’t be a trip on which you’re apt to experience much weight loss!

Advance planning and research will be the keys to a successful trip. Select the time of year you’d like to travel and narrow down your dates. If you’re interested in taking classes at a culinary school, this will need to be planned well in advance. There are abundant agencies available that provide tours to different restaurants and cooking classes in the restaurants with the private chefs. These are really exciting, hands on experiences. Local travel agencies specializing in culinary travel can provide a wealth of information. Online sites have become plentiful, but be sure to carefully read all the reviews, offerings and details about what is included in the tours, deposits and terms of participation.

Some of the tour agencies specializing in culinary travel will manage accommodations as well as booking cooking classes, and some will require accommodations to be booked separately. Do your booking and planning early to ensure the greatest selection of accommodation options. Frequently the agency will arrange for transportation from your hotel to the restaurants or cooking schools. Quite often tours of vineyards are included in these programs to give participants a greater understanding of wine parings. Have a grand time, take loads of pictures and be sure to try out your new found culinary skills on friends and family upon your return. Best of luck to you!

Price Comparison of Facilities and Tickets Between World’s Best Theme Parks Revealed

A new piece of research by UK based airport parking provider has compared the world’s best theme parks by VIP packages, annual passes, and ticket prices across all age groups. They found that the best parks for true adrenaline junkies were the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in China, with its two amazing rollercoasters, and the Europa Park in Germany, which has 12.

It was recently announced that Disneyland Paris has changed its pricing policies. It was revealed that holiday makers from Germany and the United Kingdom pay more for their tickets than their French counterparts. As a result, UK based airport parking provider AirportParking has created a new guide that enables people to compare facilities and ticket prices in 20 of the best theme parks in the world. In so doing, they have enabled thrill seekers to get the best value for money.

In the new piece of research, VIP packages, annual passes, and ticket prices were compared. The company looked at these prices for senior citizens, children, and adults, and they studied 20 of the best theme parks in the world. These parks were found in the United Kingdom, Paris, Japan, Chana, and the USA. Furthermore, they also looked at how many rollercoasters, water rides, and children’s attractions at these different parks.

For the true thrill seekers, the research looked at the different parks and found that Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in China had two, ranging to 12 found at German’s Europe Park. In terms of children’s rides, they ranged from 10 at the USA’s Universal Studios Orlando, to 90 at Europa Park. For people liking water rides, there were 19 parks to choose from, including the United Kingdom’s Legoland’s Vikings’ River Splash, and the USA’s Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Kali River Rapids.

Looking specifically at ticket prices, there were eight different parks that offered discounted prices for their senior citizens. This included Tokyo Disneyland and Europa Park. These tickets were cheaper than adult tickets. In some parks, including Lotte World in South Korea and the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, they cost the same as a child’s ticket. The age at which someone is classed as senior ranged from 60 at Alton Towers in the United Kingdom, to 65 at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Ticket prices for children varied greatly. Hong Kong’s Ocean Park was accessible for £17 per day. Walt Disney World theme parks cost £305 for 21 days. This was the best value for money, as it allows access to a range of parks. By comparison, Lotte Park costs £28 per day for adults, and £325 for 21 days at Walt Disney World.

Three theme parks, being Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, PortAventura, and Europa Park, had tickets for disabled people. For adults, prices ranged from between £18 and £29. Thorpe Park in the United Kingdom also offered free assistance tickets for carers of disabled people.

For people who look for a constant adrenaline rush, yearly tickets were available at 15 different parks. They ranged from £33 for children (Ocean Park) to £734 for adults (Disneyland Anaheim). With yearly tickets, people can access parks as often as they want, as well as receiving exclusive invites to events, and discounts on foods and drinks.

11 of the parks surveyed had VIP packages, starting at £21 and going upwards to £420. Benefits include priority seating, admission to restricted areas, all inclusive deals for children, and more.

A representative from AirportParking says: “Theme parks are expensive by nature. However, as our research has shown, there are significant price differences, as well as options to receive better value for money.”

A Safari in the Okavango Delta in Botswana

If you are a seasoned safari traveler and wildlife lover, you need to visit the Okavango Delta in Botswana. This wildlife rich delta is the pinnacle of luxury safari travel.


Before visiting the delta we do recommend you consult with local experts to find the best accommodation for your needs as not all lodges cater to families for example, and some specialize in it, don’t want to get the wrong lodge of course. Visit for more information.

The Okavango Delta in Botswana provides some of the best and most unique game viewing in the world, if not the most unique. Taking a Mokoro (traditional canoe) ride down the banks of the delta allows you to get up close and personal with large animals like Hippos and Elephants. This unique water level experience is exhilarating and a tad scary at times to be honest, but a truly magical way to view game.

The other highly recommended game viewing experience is on the back of an African Elephant. These large majestic creatures take you effortlessly into the heart of the bush where you can view a large variety of game up close, without scaring them off with the sound of a motor vehicle engine.

As previously mentioned, Botswana caters mainly to the upper end of the market. The lodges in the Chobe game reserve and on the Delta itself offer four star plus accommodation, with the majority offering the complete five star experience.

Game drives into the surrounds are typically done twice a day, once in the early morning before breakfast and an afternoon/evening game drive before dinner. Snacks and drinks are served on the game drives and on special occasions you can arrange for dinners in the bush, away from the main lodge that is. If you are travelling in winter be sure to dress warmly as temperatures are often in the single digits, making for a very cold game drive.

If you are a bird lover or keen bird photographer, Botswana offers many exciting opportunities. Most lodges are situated on waterways in the Delta and this makes for an abundance of photographic opportunities.

Complete safari packages including dinner, bed and breakfast will start at around $2,500 per person sharing for a five-night stay in the low season. For specific dates contact your travel advisor and also ask for multi-lodge specials. You can often get a better rate if booking your safari with one operator who has multiple lodges, as apposed to different lodges etc.

If you are travelling with a family please ask your consultant for the best time of the year to travel, as Botswana is a malaria area. Typically children travelling to Botswana should be twelve years or older. Your travel consultant can also advise on the necessary medical precautions you may wish to take before departing. (Malaria tablets etc)

For more information or to book a safari to Botswana visit African Safari Home for friendly, experienced consultants. African Safari Home has more than twenty years experience arranging bespoke trips Southern and East Africa.

What Should You Pack if You Go Traveling?

Traveling is such a fantastic thing, but what should you actually take with you? Naturally, much of this depends entirely on the type of travel that you will do. A backpacker traveling through Australia for a year will have very different needs to someone who booked on one of the many Globus Tours that exist. Below, however, are some of the things that everybody needs to carry with them, whether physically or in their mind.

Day Packs

A day pack is what you carry with you during your travels when you are exploring. It needs to be big enough to carry some souvenirs that you may purchase, but not so big that it gets in the way. Always have some money in there (not your entire vacation budget) and a bottle of water.

Things to Have Prepared

You also need to have a number of things prepared. Most of these don’t have to be physically taken with you. Some of the things to consider include:

  • Travel insurance. If something does go wrong, you want to be ok.
  • Your Skype details. If you stop by an internet café and you know your Skype login details, you can quickly contact your relatives and let them know how your vacation is going.

What to Actually Pack

So what do you need to pack in your suitcase? As stated earlier, a lot of it depends on the type of travel that you will be doing. For instance, a backpacker should always carry a first aid box, but someone who goes on a regular holiday really has no use for it. However, some things everybody needs include:

  • Clothing. Make sure they are suitable for wherever you are going to. Even if you go to a hot area, however, you should still carry at least one pair of long trousers or a long skirt, and a long sleeved shirt or wrap of some kind. This is because even the hottest areas can get cold during the day and it is sometimes beneficial to be wrapped up against mosquitoes.
  • Toiletries. While you should be able to easily purchase these (same with clothing), it is generally better to bring something you are used to. Things like shaving cream and razors, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, makeup and so n are all important to go in your toiletries box.
  • Your camera. Never, EVER, leave home without your camera. Whether you are using an actual camera or sticking to the camera on your phone is irrelevant. You simply cannot go on vacation without taking plenty of holiday snaps. It is an opportunity for you to look back at all the fantastic things you have seen and to reminisce about the good time that was had by all.

If you have paid attention to all of the above, you are guaranteed to have a fantastic time while you are away. Vacations are about releasing stress, so the last thing you want is to feel stressful because you have forgotten one of these thinsg.

For Your Next Montreal Trip, Rent a Condo

The second largest city of Canada, Montreal has emerged as one of the vital tourist destinations over a decade or so. It is often said that people who visit this exclusive city is so mesmerized by its beauty that they are compelled to the place again and again.

Are you one of those who are planning to visit Montreal soon? Then, it is highly advisable that you rent a condo rather than staying in a hotel. For this, you need to contact a reliable condominium realtor Montreal as soon as possible. It is the apt professional developer who has the entire knowledge regarding the real estate industry of Montreal. It is through the expert that you can catch hold of the best condo Montreal during your stay.

Why the need to rent?

There are a lot of benefits of renting condo during your vacation at Montreal. The three core reasons are explained below

Price sensibility – One of the most practical reasons is indeed the money factor. How exactly can you save money by renting a condo? Supposedly, you are traveling in a group and you rent a nice condo. It is obvious that the rent will be divided amongst all of you. In this way, you get the opportunity to save some good amount of money which you can use for shopping or sightseeing in Montreal.

One vital advantage of opting for the rental system against staying in a hotel is that there is no headache of paying tips to the waiter now and then. The condo will be like your very own home while you stay at Montreal. You can enjoy it to the fullest and at the same time, it will prove to be a cost-effective affair as well.

Better knowledge of the city – Opting to rent a Condo in Montreal actually gives you the opportunity to communicate with the local people of the city. This is where it becomes necessary to select the right neighborhood. For this, it is important that you get in touch with your personal real estate developer and interact to the expert your personal demands. After much research, the expert realtor gives you varied neighborhood options where condos are available for rent. Go through them one at a time and select the one that suits your needs and indeed your budget.

The privacy factor- Thirdly, the renting system provides the perfect privacy especially if you are traveling to Montreal with your beloved. You can spend close and private moments with your sweetheart. You don’t need to worry about any kind of disturbances whatsoever. It is guaranteed that you will receive absolute privacy in the most effective manner.

You can always contact Mondev to rent a condo in Montreal. It is a reputed real estate developing company that offers a wide range of condos on rent. Get in touch with the expert to know about all the details in connection to renting the apt condo for you before you arrive in Montreal for your vacation.

Cutting Costs and Emissions When Travelling Through Spain

Travelling can be very expensive, and most options aren’t green either. It is possible to travel in a green and low-cost way though – here’s how.


Travel by Rail


Train travel is a great way of getting around Spain if you’re looking to travel the length and breadth of the country. Going between cities by bus is possible and maybe slightly cheaper, but you’ll spend a lot longer traveling. And that means you’ll have a lot less time to do the fun things.


If you’re thinking of travelling to lots of town and cities, and maybe even to other neighbouring countries such as France, you should definitely buy a rail pass. This will take a lot of the cost of train travel away. I wouldn’t recommend hiring a car; it’s expensive and not very green!


Choose Alternative Accommodation


As you’d expect, Spain is packed full of great hotels, but they’re not cheap. If you want to cut the costs of accommodation while in Spain, you should think about looking at other options and avoiding hotels altogether. The other options available to you are just as good but a lot cheaper.


So what are your options? If you’re staying in the big cities, there are lots. For example, there are lots of holiday apartments in Barcelona. You can just rent one out for the duration of your stay. You get more space than in a hotel, at a lower price. Or if you want something really low-cost, you could stay in hostels.


Take Your Bike


It’s a good idea to move between cities by using the train as I mentioned above, but when you’re getting around the towns and cities themselves, it’s best to use a bike. Spain’s streets are pretty safe and accommodating for cyclists so you have nothing to worry about as long as you stay safe and wear a helmet.


You’ll also save a lot of money. The last thing you want to do is waste your money on taxi fares. Walking is a possibility in some cities, but not the ones that are more spread out. If you don’t feel like cycling a lot of cities have underground metro systems that are pretty cheap.


Eat as the Locals Do


In Spain, eating food in the evening is a lot more expensive that it is during the day. That’s why a lot of people in Spain have a small breakfast, a large lunch and a small evening meal. This makes the cost of eating much cheaper than if you made your evening meal your main one.


There are a few other local secrets you can use to bring down the cost of eating in Spain. Firstly, don’t be lured into the big restaurants in cities like Madrid and Barcelona, they’re tourist traps. Instead find the small places to eat in. Secondly, in some cities you can get tapas for free with every alcoholic drink you buy. You might have to get drunk too, but it’s a great way of getting a free meal.


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Make sure you follow these tips if you want a green and low-cost holiday in Spain!

The Facts About Electric Cars

With so much misinformation uttered about electric cars and so many claims and counter-claims put forth about their environmental friendliness, it’s important that if you want to enter the market for an electric car, you have all the information and all the facts. It’s a fast growing market in developed nations, with thousands of plug-in and all-electric vehicles sold in the United States alone every single month. And there are compelling reasons why electric cars are proving so popular, given their value both to the individual driver and to the wider environment.

Efficient Transportation

As the number of makes and models of electric cars keeps on rising, it is becoming increasingly clear that vehicles powered on electricity are widely perceived as the future. Sales are rocketing and there are many good reasons why this is the case, with consumer demand racing higher and higher, and the interest put into electric cars by manufacturers consistently high. Most fundamentally, electric vehicles have the enormous benefit of being a highly efficient mode of transport, with as much as 80 per cent of the battery’s energy transferred directly to the power of the car. In traditional gas-powered vehicles the figure is dramatically lower, lingering at around 14 to 26 per cent. Furthermore electric cars emit no exhaust pollutants when they are running on electricity, making them far cleaner for the environment than petrol-powered vehicles.

Cost Savings

While electric cars are notoriously more expensive than their petrol-fuelled counterparts, this is becoming less and less the case. The battery is of course one of the most expensive parts of an electric vehicle, however technological advances have seen the cost of the battery decline at a significant rate. A 100-mile range electric battery has decreased in cost by over 60% in the United States in the last five years, and with more research going into this field that trend looks set to continue. However what many consumers who feel hindered by the price tag on an electric car often forget is that electric vehicles are not all that expensive to maintain, meaning they will be able to save money over the life of the car. Even the brake pads last longer in electric cars as they use regenerative braking to decelerate, converting energy used to reduce the car’s speed into power which is stored in the battery. The cost of electricity is moreover far less damaging to the pocket in the long run than the cost of gasoline, making for even bigger savings. Most electric vehicle owners also take steps to reduce their costs, such as charging their cars overnight at home when the electricity costs are lower.

Green Tourism in Sicily. Best Activities

With the rise of awareness for the preservation of Sicily, eco-tourism has been introduced in the last couple of years in the aim to promote the richness and the heritage of this beautiful land while leaving lesser carbon footprints as compared to commercial tourism. In the light of this new development, people are realizing the importance of responsible travel that provides fresh, interesting and more memorable experiences while preserving the earth.

Sicily is perfect for experiencing green tourism and when you are itching to travel there, staying in a villa in Sicily is one of the best ways to enjoy the most of the local atmosphere. Near the sea or in the countryside, it will be always unique. Here are some green tourism activities that might interest you while on your vacation in Sicily.


One of the best things to do in Sicily is to go horseback riding in the mountains. provides experienced riders a 2-day trail through the roughest but most picturesque parts of the Madonie mountains. This is an opportunity to appreciate Sicily’s sceneries and learn something about the botanical species that thrive there. Riding 7 to 8 hours daily, the excursion will bring you to the area of Piano Battaglia, with a height of 1600 meters. You can avail of this excursion from April to December but tour itineraries can be changed depending on weather conditions. The cost includes the necessary equipment. There are English-speaking guides as well.

Another interesting activity for travelers is grape harvesting and wine tasting. There are agri-tourism companies that provide vacationers an experience of a green holiday., on the time of their grape harvesting, which is the whole-year-round, shares this genuine experience to anyone. Other estate activities such as wine tasting tour, wine-making, and olive gathering and pressing, are also some of the things one can partake in. The methods of olden days are even used. Moreover, tourists can even experience other farm activities such as pruning of citrus trees and harvesting.

Sicily is also full of festivals the whole year round. The Ottabrata Zafferanese happens during the whole month of October, thus the name. This is a perfect event to experience the celebration of local products of the area. There is a particular theme for every Sunday such as chestnuts, grapes, honey, mushrooms, to name some. The whole town is covered with food stands and there are particular areas where you can find the salty foods and another for the sweets. Local products are also on display including art and handicrafts made of wood, iron and ceramics for example. There is sampling of the local products that surely you will find quite enjoyable. You will have a very entertaining cultural experience.

Birdwatching lovers can also have a wonderful time in the Vendicari Nature reserve. Being a wet zone, migratory birds pass through this area every year. For those interested, the tour is composed of hiking in the southerly and northerly regions across marked trails. This is even a chance to see the former salt wetlands and the lagoons while learning about the native flora of salty and dune environments. You will be able to watch herons, wild ducks, pink flamingoes and other migratory birds and stationary fauna. On the side, there is also an opportunity to see the neighboring places. offers tours from 9:00 to 18:00. There are tons of green tourism activities available in Sicily.

A Day (and Night) in Dublin: Top Things to Do and See

Dublin is known for its vibrant, distinctive, and colourful personality which attracts visitors of all ages to this fascinating city. If you are in Dublin, whether only for 24 hours or for an entire month, you should know that the city has plenty to offer when it comes to cultural and historical attractions, entertainment, dining options, and more. Some of these attractions and things to do are obvious (such as enjoying a refreshing pint of Guinness – a must-try for all Dublin visitors), whilst some are not-so-well known. The trick is striking a nice balance between enjoying the popular attractions and taking part in activities which can make your Dublin holiday extra special and memorable.


Spend time at Temple Bar


Temple Bar is definitely one of the most recommended places to visit in Dublin, especially if you talk to any local. Whilst the area had a not-quite-savoury reputation in the past, Temple Bar has recently experienced a revival and is now known as one of the quaintest and most charming places in the city. At Temple Bar, you can easily find out what Dublin is all about, what with its proliferation of art galleries, bars and cafes, picturesque buildings and architecture, and cobblestoned streets. Temple Bar is also where you can find the Irish Film Institute, the Project Arts Centre, and the Gallery of Photography, which are all certainly worth a visit.


Take in the interesting Dublin Castle


Mind you, Dublin Castle isn’t what you would rightly call a ‘traditional’ castle. After all, it does not have any moat, it is not equipped with a drawbridge, nor is it laden with turrets. Instead, Dublin Castle stands out for its own distinctive appeal, being made up of a number of buildings built during the 18th century amongst 2 courtyards. You can take a stroll along the grounds but you can also spend time within the castle’s interiors for a fee.




Enjoy a relaxing few hours at Trinity College


Dublin is undoubtedly a busy city. But if you would like to get away from it all even for just a few hours and would like to experience beautiful scenery in a quiet, tranquil atmosphere, then Trinity College should be part of your agenda. Sunday mornings are the best time to take a walk along the College’s grounds, but any day of the week is fine as well. The campus itself is a wonderful example of architecture and design with a mixture of both contemporary and classic buildings and beautiful gardens. One tip: if you visit Trinity College during the summer, you could take advantage of spirited, highly-informative 30-minute tours from students.


Enjoy fine dining and a play or concert at any of Dublin’s iconic theatres


When you have spent a few hours in the sun and enjoyed what daytime Dublin has to offer, it is time to bask in the Dublin nightlife. One of the most recommended activities for a night in Dublin is watching a play or concert at any one of Dublin’s popular theatres, such as the Abbey Theatre, The Gate Theatre, or the Grand Canal Theatre. But before you watch that play or concert, make sure to treat your taste buds at any one of the fine restaurants Dublin offers. Some restaurants in close proximity to the theatres, such as Le Bon Crubeen (you can learn more about their services and menu offerings at even offer pre-theatre and early-bird dining options, where theatre and concert patrons can take advantage of gourmet cuisine at a reasonable price. And then, of course, after the play or concert, don’t forget to visit Dublin’s famous bars and pubs for a pint and a fabulous end to your Dublin holiday.



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Staycations in the UK: The Greener Way to Holiday

According to The Telegraph Online, more and more Brits are now vacationing at home, despite the improving economy. What started off as an affordable alternative to jetting off for sun, sea and sand in warmer climes during the recession, has now become something that many British families are choosing to do. The growing trend for busy working parents or career couples is to take short breaks closer to home instead of going for week long breaks in exotic destinations. It seems that the quirky ‘staycation’ has won the hearts of the British. But even more than that; it’s actually created a greener way for Brits to travel and this tourism trend could help us enjoy a healthier planet.

So where can one expect to enjoy a fun and environmentally-friendly UK staycation? Read on for some ideas on what to do or where to go.

The Caravan Holiday

It seems that the caravan holiday has come back into fashion for families who live and work in the city. Eco warriors are purchasing their own holiday homes (find out how on and are setting off for the UK’s rugged countryside. Some of the top places to caravan this year are:

  • Cornwall – pristine countryside and a stunning coastline.

  • Isle of White – beautiful beaches, traditional seaside towns, and plenty of activities for kids.

  • Lake District – the most incredible lakes, hiking trails and cycling trails.

The Country Cottage Break

If motorhomes aren’t your style, there’s another much more homely option. With the growing number of UK holiday rentals, it’s now extremely popular to book self-catering accommodation in the countryside. Cottages are affordable and can be a home away from home for families that want something different but don’t want to miss out on creature comforts. Some of the best cottage breaks can be found in:

  • The Cotswolds – unbelievable countryside, tourist attractions and fine dining.

  • Scottish Highlands – rugged mountain landscapes and outstanding historical sites such as castles and forts.

  • Devon – quaint villages, stunning beaches and walking trails dotted with ancient ruins.

Boutique Breaks / Glamping

More suited to young couples rather than families, the boutique staycation or ‘glamping’ has become hugely popular for those who might prefer style over practicality. From one of a kind hotel accommodation (such as eco-pods or green B&Bs) to posh camping, the UK now offers so many options:

  • Mongolian Yurts and Tipi Tents

  • Safari Tents and Chalets

  • Gypsy Caravans

  • Outdoor Cabins

If you would like more inspiration on where to go for your next UK staycation, head over to the Independent website for 100 Staycation Ideas.