Category Archives: Hotels

Holiday Budget Tips

Does it seem like you go completely nuts trying to keep holidays under budget? Then these holiday budget tips will definitely help. Read for more details.
Come holidays and it seems like all you’re doing is spending. The cash just doesn’t seem to last and you really don’t know what to do. At times like these, it is quite natural for some to have their holidays turned into a dreaded feeling. So how do we turn this thing around and enjoy the holidays in the way that they are meant to be? We try some holiday budget tips. The biggest money crunches can be solved with a little planning and budgeting and that is exactly what we need to concentrate on. In the following sections, we will be giving you key tips on drawing up a holiday budget and how to go about getting the best of both worlds with simple budgeting.

Overall Budgeting
It is extremely important that you have an overall budget in place or there are chances that you’ll end up spending much more than what you want, and on things that you don’t need. Here are some tips to keep in mind when learning how to make a budget for your next holiday:

Make a list of the things that you need to be spending on. Having a complete list ready helps to plan better than being faced with last minute expenditure.
Calculate the money you have that can be spent and then put in a bulk sum against each item that you need to spend on. Try and stick to this sum.
Keep a small amount as a safety net for any sudden or unexpected expenditures.
It’s not really possible to suddenly come up with a bulk of money at the start of a holiday for spending. The trick is to save up for it throughout the year so that you do not feel a crunch all at once. Try and open a saving account a year or several months in advance and dedicate it merely to the holiday budget. In that way you’ll have quite a sum to work with at your disposal.

Shopping is one of the most expensive things that you end up doing in the holiday season. Maybe it can’t be cut out completely, but you can definitely control how much you spend on shopping. Here are some shopping tips.

Make a list of all the people you need to buy things for. Then write in the amount that you want to spend for each of them. Stick to it.
Look for discounts and schemes. Sales are also a great way to save some money.
Do not let your emotions come in the way of shopping, or your budget is as good as useless.
Shop online so that you’re not tempted by the grand displays and countless other tempting offers that are running.
Don’t wait for the last minute to do your shopping. The more you wait the more expensive it becomes. Try to get your shopping done months in advance.
Try and pay with cash so that you are aware of what you’re spending and can thus keep a check on the same. Also, it’ll help prevent impulse buying.

Vacation Planning
There are many who take vacations around the time of holidays and want to know about vacation budget tips. The following are some of those:

Plan a holiday in advance. Last minute traveling, booking, and accommodation costs much more. You can easily avoid this by doing the right budget travel.
Consider starting an account to further the holiday fund as well.
Look for discounts on hotels, flights and other aspects. There are a lot of these schemes available during the holiday season. Be informed and you could save yourself a lot of money.
Find out about the days that are the most expensive to travel on and see if you can maybe go a day or two before or after that day. This will help save a lot of expenses.
Consider other modes of transport that are probably not as expensive as airfare.
Try and cut out on certain elements of a holiday like saving on accommodation by putting up with relatives and friends, or at a hostel.

With these holiday budget tips, it should’ve become easier for you to plan and budget this holiday season. Think about it this way, if you plan now, you can have a stress-free holiday later. And isn’t that the point of it all?

Exploring European food, A guide to Gourmet Travel

Exploring European Food

European food is such a broad category that it is hard to know just where to begin. Not only are there differences by country, there are regional differences within countries. As an example: France alone makes over 300 varieties of cheese. Reading books, magazines, and websites is one way to learn all about the latest food trends and most authentic dishes of this region. Another – and a much more enjoyable way to experience the diversity of food, culture, and people – is to travel there and experience it for yourself.

Does that sound a bit intimidating? After all, although Europe is a small continent, it is rich in history, culture, and diversity. Where should you start? Perhaps Paris has to be the place for all food lovers to start a gourmet vacation, steeped in a great love of food the Parisians are at the top of their game, with so many Michelin stared restaurants to choose from one is spoiled for choice.

Not many people think of England as a place of gourmet food however in recent times the British have begun to excel at the food game with famous chefs such as Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey the British are now shedding off their image of fish and chips and have now begun to join the ranks of the French. We recommend visiting London’s Borough market where you will find beautiful fresh and gourmet produce that will make the mouth water. An institution in London has to be The Ivy in Covent Garden, here you will find food lovers, theatre goers and celebrities all enjoying the best Britain has to offer from simple dishes such as sausage and mash to international cuisine such as Thai baked seabass. Moving on on your Gourmet travels Northern European has a wealth of succulent traditional dishes to temp one to travel there, from Pickled Herring to Slow roast Pork this Northern Hemisphere delicacies should surely tempt you.

If participating in a festival of European food in all its glory seems a little too ambitious for you right now, you can also use our site as a touchstone for other ideas. We’ve included travel information like budget and traditional airlines, hotels, airports, and restaurants. Stopping by a local food market can also be a visceral and vibrant way to connect with a new cuisine and culture. We’ve included several markets, from Venice’s historical Rialto Market to Paris’s intimate Saxe-Breteuil Market, that exemplify the variety that Europe can offer. So feel free to click over to Good Food Europe and start planning a gourmet vacation!

My Travel Plans Japan, Hong Kong, Paris

I am a person that loves to travel. I have already listed my top three places to visit in my lifetime. These three places are Paris, Japan and Hong Kong. As of now, I don’t have much but I would gladly save up for my travel plans to come true. The first place I’m going to visit will be definitely Hong Kong since Paris is the farthest and it will cost me a fortune to go to Japan, not to mention that the Japanese embassy is so strict.

Hong Kong is just the right place for me for the moment. It is not that costly and it’s just a 4 to 5 hour travel by plane. Although Japan is nearer, I still can’t afford the expenses. After I graduate, approximately 3 years from now, I will have enough money to stay their for about 6 months. While I’m in Hong Kong, I want to have my own place. So that means I will be renting a Hong Kong property. I don’t really like staying at hotels. Living in my own property makes me feel like not leaving my home town. Of course I have taken into consideration about renting a Hong Kong property.

While I’m there, I will not miss the opportunity of eating their delicacies and shopping. Visiting Sheung Wan District is one of my priorities, there are really many things to do here and you can find some strange and at the same time fascinating items here. I would also love to go to the Central district and climb the tallest skyscraper(if I can) and watch the view of the harbors, may it be day or night. I was thinking of renting a Hong Kong property at the Central because I would really love to see the city light up at night. It will look so magnificent together with it’s harbors. I could just sit inside my flat and just look at the city light shine.

I will also be looking forward to eating Peking Duck there because I heard that they serve one of the best Peking ducks in the world! I sure hope so since the Pecking duck in our place is not that tasty. I really need to save a lot since shopping is on my list and I should not forget about the souvenirs for my family and friends.

Writing this piece is really making me excited! I should remind my self to save to buy a property but never starve myself. I am really looking forward to this trip. And soon, when I will have a professional job, I will conquer Paris and Japan!

Hotel Star Ratings Mean

Normally the hotels are segregated into five different ratings. ‘One Star’ being the lowest rank and ‘Five Star’ being the highest. This raking system is called the star ranking system.

I am sure we all have experienced that when we look for a rating for a hotel. we find the same hotel ranked with three different ratings on different websites. Why does that happen? This happens because there is a lack of a Unified global system for rating hotels. Different countries, different websites and different rating agencies follow different methods for rating hotels. For example: The Sanctuary Hotel of South Beach in Miami, Florida is rated as a 5 star, 4 star and 3 star by different websites.

As you go up from one star to five star hotels, the services, facilities, staff, decor, ambiance and comfort provided, increases.

These hotels are the most affordable options.

Amenities: A single star rating for a hotel indicates minimum quality of maintenance, cleanliness, furnishings, and other services. The items provided are very basic and functional. The staff members are more informal and the food services are normally provided in a common designated eating area. Rooms would be small and even congested sometimes.
Accommodation: Only the basic necessity-services are provided by the one star hotels. Variety of cuisines are not offered and the hospitality is also minimum. TV’s and AC’s may or may not be provided.

These hotels are affordable and convenient.

Amenities: A hotel with a two star rating will provide a wider range of items. The rooms will be larger and services are of a better quality and standard. The beds and the washrooms are well maintained.
Accommodation: They normally have a restaurant which is operational for all the three times; breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food will be cooked with greater care. The staff will be considerably formal and the variety of dishes offered will be limited.

These hotels fall into the semi-luxury category.

Amenities: Extra care is taken in maintaining the cleanliness, hygiene, furnishing, hospitality and F&B services. The decor is good, good provisions are made for the recreational and the kitchen services.
Accommodation: The staff members are formally dressed and are hospitable. The beds and the washrooms are well maintained. There will be a good range of choices for cuisines and the food is cooked with good care.

These hotels fall in the luxury category.

Amenities: The standard of furniture used, cleanliness, hygiene, and the decor will be high. A good provision for recreational services and a well stocked kitchen is provided. The space available in the rooms will be more. The bedrooms, washrooms are well maintained and quick rooms services are provided. Many luxuries like jacuizzis, dance-floors or discotheques and lawns will be provided.
Accommodation: Staff members will be perfectly dressed in uniforms and they provide personalized services. Great care is taken in the food cooked and in the utensils and crockery used. You will find multi-cuisines offered here. Two or more restaurants are created and are also made available to outsiders.

A five star hotel is a synonym for luxury.

Amenities: There is class in the decor and the ambiance. The furniture and the interior designing will be affluent. A wide range of items are offered and all the needs of the customers will be taken care of, personally. Recreational activities and F&B services provided will be of a high quality.
Accommodation: Every guest’s personal needs are addressed to. The beds and the maintenance is of an excellent standard. Rooms would have ample space and all the facilities like heaters, AC’s, TV and jacuzzies will be basic services. Multi-cuisine dishes will be offered and the crockery, utensils and the inputs used in cooking are of the best grade. Many extra facilities like conference rooms, lawns, cafe, casino’s and bars are provided.

Six and Seven Star Hotels
The hotel ‘Burj Al Arab’, in Dubai is conspicuously known as a seven-star hotel. It is really rated as a 7 star hotel? The fact is that, no rating body has till now rated any hotel more than 5 stars. The hotels that claim to have 7 or 6 star, address themselves like that to show their supreme-luxurious status. They do offer a better range of amenities and luxury rooms and services. The customers who live at Burj Al Arab come via helicopters and use Rolls Royce automobiles as taxis. Every room has a Jacuzzi and rain showers in it and the customers have easy access to the Helipads. Even after having all of these affluent features, Burj Al Arab is still called a self-proclaimed seven star hotel.

Besides the star rating system, the other widely used hotel rating system is the Diamond Rating system.

One cannot rely completely on the hotel star ratings as different rating measures are used by different bodies. You will need to look for customer reviews to see if it matches your need. Also look at the pictures that are put on hotels official websites; they can give you a clearer picture. You can also rely on one particular authentic website and follow it, as you will learn about how they rate a hotel and will be able to understand their future ratings too.