Friday, 12 October 2012

[ Guest Post ] I handpick my holiday - says Melissa

[Guest Post ] About the Author: Melissa Foy

Melissa represents WhereInRio, a luxury real estate and rental agency based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. [view blog] She can be reached at

The Great Rental Debate

When I’m booking a holiday, I tend to leave the hotel booking to anyone else to choose and organize. This lack of conviction on my part has led me to find myself staying in 5 star hotels, cosy B&B’s, student hostels, homestays and tents (exotic in Northern India, but cold and miserable in West Wales..)

Whilst I enjoy a lavish hotel as much as the next girl, the comfort of a holiday rental villa or apartment always keeps me coming back for more. I agree that staying in a 5 star hotel may feel like the ultimate luxury, but the inclusion of staff, receptionists and caretakers can intrude on the sense of indulgence. By choosing a vacation rental during your holiday, you are treated – not only to the same amazing views you can get in a hotel – but also to privacy, comfort and a sense of individuality that cannot be beaten.

Another reason I love staying in a rental is the opportunity to basically customize the size and d├ęcor of my accommodation to my mood. Unless you’re forking out for a penthouse suite, chances are your hotel room provides enough space to sleep and relax, but little else. So why would I chose to stay in the same surroundings as everyone else in the building,? Especially when I can handpick my holiday rental property based on my exact needs, taste and personality.

For the price of a room in a 5 star hotel, you are able to secure a vacation rental property of your choice, and often for less than you would pay for the equivalent length of stay in a hotel. Also included in the price of your rental accommodation is your sole use of available amenities on site – so no more rushing to the pool in the morning to secure a sunlounger – the whole area is yours. There’s no need to huddle around the fireplace in a hotel lobby – the one in the living room is all yours!

Whilst upmarket hotels are often located in the most well connected parts of town, with the best views and nearest access to attractions, holiday rentals are usually embedded within communities, giving you the chance to feel like a local, wherever you choose to stay. Whether you are staying in a private or agency rental, the owner’s local expertise will prove indispensible as you explore your surroundings during your stay. Blending into the local crowd is my number one reason to keep coming back to rentals. Tourist? Moi?!

Do you blog about travel? Want to write for us? Fancy contributing guest posts and sharing your travel experiences and hotel stays abroad? Comment about your pitch and application below! 
I'll endeavour to get in touch! Leave your contact details or blogger ID at your own discretion. We do not have a guest posting policy setup on Get A Hotel Room as yet - FYI - we prefer the personal touch, the  top 5 type list format is not ideal unless it offers immense resources or practical guide information.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Discovering the Magic and Adventure Behind the 49th State


Alaska holidays and family adventure holidays are just a few of the many types of travel options that Idania Silvia has written about on blogs and websites. It is Sue's sincerest desire to help travelers step out of their comfort zones without any significant risk.

Vacationers are likely to rediscover their love and passion for traveling once they sign up for the best Alaska tours. Alaska is a perfect destination for adventure holidays because of its eclectic mix of natural and man-made attractions. Most of these activities are something even kids will enjoy.

Do's and Don'ts for Traveling to Alaska

Before anything else, make sure you remember the following when preparing for a trip to Alaska:

1. The weeks between mid-May and mid-September are the best time to visit Alaska.

2. Layered outfits are the best things to pack for Alaska tours. Make sure your outermost layer is something both breathable and waterproof to keep you sufficiently protected from the state's typical weather, which ranges from rainy to chilly.

3. Alaska is a state in which you will frequently have to travel by water, going on board cruise ships or riding small boats and everything in between. If you are the type to get seasick, make sure you have medication for motion sickness ready. For overnight journeys by water, choose the cabin you will be most comfortable in and one that is designed to reduce the chances of passengers suffering from seasickness.

4. Prepare extra money to try out at least one sightseeing tour by plane. Many consider it the best way of exploring Alaska.

5. Bring mosquito repellent if your tour includes traveling by water or tours to the wilderness in the summer.


What to Enjoy from Alaskan Family Adventure Holidays

Now that you know how to effectively prepare for an Alaskan tour, here are some of the most popular activities that typically make it to an itinerary for this type of travel package.

1. Water Activities: Your choice of water craft is almost as extensive as what you would expect with land-based vehicles. Aside from the usual cruise ships gliding past enormous and majestic-looking fords, in addition to charming ferries taking you for a ride on picturesque lakes, you are usually given the option to enjoy sea kayaking amidst glaciers, taking a water taxi in Kenai Peninsula and having a whitewater rafting adventure if the season allows it. Canoeing is also a popular choice.

2. Land Activities: There is much to do once you are on land again. In Alaska, some of the most popular land-based activities include taking the aerial tramway in Alyeska Mountain, going mountain biking and maybe watching a demo for dog sledding and trying it if you wish.

3. Parks: If it is the natural beauty of Alaska you wish to see, its parks are the best places to catch more than a glimpse of it. You get to stay in the likes of Denali and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and also enjoy scenic hikes and nature walks in a Great National Park.


Other Activities to Enjoy in Alaska

If you have the time and budget to spare for family adventure holidays

, you should also consider trying optional but fun activities such as a float plane trip and ice climbing. Even if you are not much of an outdoor person, try camping in highly recommended sites. In such cases, meals are usually inclusive with your tour package for Alaska holidays.

Since Alaska is not part of continental U.S., it is not surprising that only a few Americans ever have the chance to visit the 49th state. Even so, that does not mean the country's "last frontier" is not worth exploring. In fact, you will probably find yourself suitably surprised once you see the heavily packed itinerary this particular state alone has to offer.

Monday, 8 October 2012

African adventures combining sailing holidays for singles

Think of Africa and a picture of untamed wildlife and dramatic landscapes springs to mind. But as well as offering the ultimate safari experience, Africa is the ideal destination for thrill seekers, sailors, sun-seekers and those with an eye for the spectacular, the unexpected and the breathtaking.

Africa is a magical place on a scale which allows for the most incredible variety. Its diverse landscapes and natural beauty, its abundance of wildlife and warm-hearted people who welcome visitors with open arms, Africa will enchant and captivate from the moment you arrive.

This vast continent of stark contrasts, the second largest and second-most populous continent in the world, is home to 1 billion people and for many visitors it is the people they will remember as much as the incredible experiences and amazing sights they have encountered on their African adventure.
Most vacationers head to this continent of plenty for an African safari holiday. They come seeking that
holiday of a lifetime and leave finding it exceeded their expectations.

Safaris, stunning scenery, sailing and sun

Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe all offer safari holidays, each with their individual characteristics, but all guaranteeing a superb safari adventure.

The most exclusive and expensive safari destination is Botswana with very high standards of safari accommodation and some quite exceptional game viewing in some of the private reserves.

The first country to buck the safari trend, Kenya is home to the iconic Masai Mara which still attracts enormous numbers of tourists. Kenya caters for the mass market and combines safaris with affordable beach holidays. With the warm waters of the Indian Ocean this is also an ideal location for those seeking sailing holidays for singles.

Namibia attracts visitors more for its dramatic scenery than the wildlife. The Skeleton Coast and Sossusvlei offer some outstanding landscapes but for game Namibia cannot compete with its neighbours, nor does it claim to do so.

Possibly Africa's most well known safari destination with the Serengeti, Kilimanjaro and Ngorongoro Crater topping the lists of must-see attractions, Tanzania is also a great place for walking safari's and for combining a safari with a beach holiday in the fascinating city of Zanzibar.

Zambia is another ideal country for walking safaris, although the safari season is a short one – May to October. Neighbouring Zimbabwe too has some excellent value safaris and is a great location for canoe and boating safaris. It also boasts some incredible camps and outstanding lodges which combined with some of Africa's best game viewing make this land-locked country an unbeatable safari destination.

For a totally different and unique experience jungle safaris in the remote region of the Congo Basin offer an opportunity to track lowland gorillas, forest elephants and Ba'Aka pygmies.

South Africa is also a haven for game seekers with some fabulous game reserves, the most well-known of which is the Kruger National Park. The astonishing wildlife and spectacular scenery of this jewel in South Africa's crown, make it an unmissable destination for those with an appreciation for the sublime.

Most visitors can't wait to return, they leave Africa intrigued and enlightened and if they don't manage to get back they will most likely spend the rest of their lives dreaming about it.

Idania Silvia is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a number of mainstream press, travel and holiday websites and blogs. Before she got married she experienced many sailing holidays for singles  but now she enjoys them with her husband and four children who each share her wanderlust for the world. Her last adventure was an African safari where she encountered breathtaking scenery, extraordinary people and the most incredible wildlife.