How to make London your romantic hotspot this Christmas

Most recently there have been some interesting first dates being described online, from people visiting famous theme parks such as Alton Towers or dates involving tours of Stonehenge. However, you don’t really need to leave London as this is a beautiful historical city full of restaurants, bars, art galleries, theatres and royal parks. It’s a city prime for romance, packed full of activities that will suit everyone. Whether you and your partner are fresh-faced from the countryside, a coffee-chugging city-dwelling couple or a pair of suburbanites, London is the most romantic place to enjoy a date or three. And it’s true what they say about London – the city never sleeps. For night owls and day birds alike, London is the true capital of romance: there is no better way to spend a first date that touring around London.

Traditional Romancer

For the more traditional romancer, there is little lovelier than a visit to Royal Greenwich Park with your loved one. Wrap up warm and walk along the world-famous Prime Meridian line at the Maritime museum where you will enjoy breathtaking views of the city. Take a stroll through the secluded and meticulously pruned rose garden to the hidden deer enclosure. If it’s snowing, remember to bring a sledge, gloves and a warm jacket to tackle those perfectly sloped hills.

Cosy Pub Night

Why not amble into the old town of Greenwich for a locally brewed beer in a cosy pub in front of a roaring fire, or sample the British iconic classic dish of pie and mash with liquor (great to warm those cockles). If mincemeat pie isn’t to your taste, then head over to the Borough indoor market for a selection of exotic foods from all over the world. The biltong – lean meat that’s been salted and dried into strips – stall always has a long queue at lunchtime, and you can sample the delicious neighbouring vegan cupcakes close by. Later, extend your walk, hand-in-hand, to the bank of the Thames and stroll through the superbly preserved grounds of Trinity College.

Cultural Romance

If you’re after a modern cultural experience, head straight to the city where you’ll find a wide range of galleries, performances and restaurants at your disposal. Leicester Square tube station, while very busy, is nonetheless an ideal starting point for those in search of a good time with their partner. The tube station is close to the decadence of Soho, the bright lights and shops of Oxford and Regent Street and the historical monuments at Trafalgar Square. You can even visit the huge Norwegian Christmas tree in the centre and watch people sing carols beneath its twinkling lights.

You and your beloved can enjoy the finest restaurants, cafes and bars in Knightsbridge, the latest cinema screenings in Covent Garden or you can take in world-class theatre and musicals in London’s West End. For day-trippers, the National Portrait Gallery overlooks Trafalgar Square and the British Museum is a quick bus ride away. From there, it’s down to you both to enjoy.

Gramping In The UK Travel Market Is Growing

A few years ago the idea of glamping, of a glamorous form of camping was promoted and marketed, largely by the festival circuit to young people and couples who wanted a holiday without the mess, or expense of travelling overseas. However in real terms, caravanning holidays have always been the premise of families and research into the trends for where we take our holidays, and perhaps more importantly who we take them with, is highlighting a bigger change in the Gramping arena. A  recent survey undertaken by CompareStonehengeTours.com suggests that people would be more inclined to take Grandparents away on their holiday with them if there was sufficient space in the motor home.

What Is Gramping?

Broadly speaking, Gramping is a caravanning holiday which involves one, or both sets of grandparents. If your knee-jerk reaction to the prospect of a week or two, getting up close and personal with the in-laws is one which fills you with horror, then it’s time you reconsidered caravanning and how the intergenerational family holiday can work to benefit everyone.

Once upon a time, probably when the grandparents in your family were young, caravans were incredibly limited for space and this often meant that when one person wanted to go to bed, everyone else had to. But static caravans are no longer the cramped spaces they once were. Now they’re spacious, airy and on top of that they’re warm, double glazed and fitted with all the modern conveniences you could need including flushing toilets, sinks, showers with hot running water and TV. This means that not only can you holiday with your nearest and dearest without being suffocatingly close to them; you can do it in absolute comfort.

Other Benefits Outside the Caravan

With living arrangements being more than adequately catered for, you have to ask what else a caravan park has to offer, especially when you’ve got three generations to entertain. Well, for the little ones there are various sports, arts and activity clubs, which gives them a chance to make some friends and gain a little freedom from the grown-ups. This doesn’t mean you can leave them unsupervised, but it does mean that while the grandparents sip tea and keep an eye on the kids, you are free to try your hand at chocolate making, wine tasting, making a visit to the spa or simply having an uninterrupted lunch.  When you go back, the grandparents can take their time to go and play golf, stroll on the beach, go sightseeing or shopping in the nearest town and be back in time to help make dinner.  This means everyone gets a balance of holiday time, couples time, fun time and family time.

Money Saver

One of the biggest factors when considering a holiday is of course, the cost. Gramping means that the cost of a caravan is shared, and this is for some families, the only thing that currently makes a holiday affordable at all. However, on top of this, some families have found the intergenerational holiday to be so enjoyable that they’ve extended their plans, not to just another holiday, but to snapping up static caravans or holiday homes for sale at caravan parks across the UK so that they can all get away, together or individually several times a year.

If you hadn’t thought about Gramping or taking a closer look at holiday homes to see what options are affordable for your family, then maybe you should? You could be starting the holiday season for less, with built in baby-sitters and the chance to give all the generations of your family holiday memories to last a lifetime.

A Guide To Packing Luggage For Air Travel

You have probably made a couple of trips via flights and have the entire ordeal of check-in memorized like the back of your hands, but that hardly is proof that your packing skills are par excellence. Airlines come with strict guidelines and regulation on luggage regulations. So instead of simply jumping at packing your luggage, here’s a quick guide to packing luggage for air travel!

  1. Decide If Your Travel Really Requires Checking Bags

That probably is the first and most vital decision that needs to be made. If you can avoid checking bags, then you can save yourself from a myriad of trouble usually seen in the form of lost luggage, damaged goods, long wait etc. But carrying everything in the carry-on luggage requires special packing skills. So decide carefully and based on that, choose your luggage. 

  1. Knowing What To Carry Where

Every airline has luggage rules and regulations, some standardized and others too specific. An example of standardized rules would be items allowed to carry in flights, while a specific rule would be the size and weight of luggage the airline allows. You can’t actually carry a bottle of whiskey in your check-in nor can your suitcase weighing over 80 lbs! (For the exact figures of what airlines offer, check Netflights). If you do happen to break any of these rules or regulations then the airlines will charge you extra. Such types of charges are termed as the airline’s ‘ancillary revenue.’ Hence, you must choose carefully what to bring along and not.

While packing your luggage, you don’t have to be ingenious but follow the simple rules:

  • Maximize space by rolling your clothes.
  • All liquids and gels of 100ml or more should be packed.
  • Keep your shoes in cloth shoe bags.
  • Toiletries should be packed in cases and should be placed at the bottom of your bag.

So if you are carrying more than one or two pairs, it’s best to keep it where it is easily accessible), prohibited items must not be included in baggage etc. It’s also advisable to spread out all heavy items across the bag instead of stacking it up all in one place. 

  1. Keep The Essentials Close

By essentials, we mean things that must definitely be included in the carry-on luggage. The essentials usually include valuables, electronic gadgets, snacks and other handy food items along with books, toiletries, travel documents, vital medicines and so on. Considering that luggage for check-in goes through vigilant screening, it is advisable to include them in plastic or transparent bags (preferably those with zip-lock) so that they can easily be checked and also not get scattered across the luggage. 

  1. Tag Your Belongings

Unfortunately this is almost often the most ignored part of air-travelling. Forgetting to tag bags! Yes agreed that the rate of lost luggage has dropped over the years, as airlines are being all the more alert about it to avoid a financial bump. Yet, there is absolutely no guarantee that you will not be the unfortunate one. Travel insurance taken or not, tagging your bag with details like name, contact number and mailing address is an absolute must, especially for those who are travelling across multiple cities. 

  1. Travel Light

You are probably travelling for a business trip or holiday. Do you really need to duplicate your entire wardrobe? Carry only that what’s needed. Try to mix-and-match clothes, reduce the number of shoes and accessories, avoid bulky objects or items that can easily be found at hotels, inns etc. Also, avoid wrapping gifts/souvenir in case you are attending a wedding or business meeting. You may be asked to open it in case the authorities have doubt. Also, don’t stuff everything inside your suitcase or duffel for the same reason. It is also recommended that you save some space in your luggage for bringing back a souvenir from your holiday. After all, no holiday is complete unless a memento is brought along! 

In brief there’s no hundred percent right approach to packing. Packing is a skill and the frequent flyer gradually learns how and what to pack in his luggage. There will always be times when even if you ace at packing there will be things that have been missed. So don’t fret about it!