Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Just how quickly could you “do” Rome?

Although it’s actually possible to see all the highlights in a single, very hectic, day, it’s much better to spread the trip out over about a week as there’s an awful lot to be seen.

What we did was very much the whistle-stop tour with an early morning flight over then a short bus tour of some of the highlights which were mainly the Colosseum that you see here and the Trevi fountain. However, we needed to part company with the bus at that point as they were heading off to the shops whilst we wanted to see the Sistine chapel and as much as we could fit in after that which turned out to be quite a lot as we managed all but the Spanish Steps on our list and could have fitted in that too if I’d not been vetoed (“We’ll miss the bus!”).

However, that’s the crazy way to see Rome. Much more sensible is to do the above over three or four days and spend the rest of the week checking out some of the other wonders of the city. For most people that means staying in a hotel but to really get the most of your time it’s better to look towards self-catering as that’ll give you a much more Italian feel to your holiday.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

What about golfing in Las Vegas?

Las Vegas is one of those places that seems to have everything that you could possibly be looking for in a holiday.

Las Vegas golf vacations are no different with courses set in fantastic scenery like this at Paiute Resort. That’s just one of many courses that you can book golf packages with via the Las Vegas Golf Authority which offers great deals on all of the top courses in the area.

One big plus point of golfing here is that Las Vegas is close by all of the resorts so it’s easier to persuade the family that it’s a great place for everyone to go to.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Finding cheap hotels

We tend to book hotels 1) a little out of season 2) not much in advance and 3) that have “family” or triple rooms which has an interesting effect on the choice that’s available to us.

Booking a short period in advance tends to increase the price of course yet because we’re aiming at times slightly out of season that increase is almost cancelled out. For example, applying all three criteria we could get into the Hotel Delgi Imperatori in Rome for all of €125 a night tomorrow which is peanuts for Rome.

It’s much the same in other cities too but you need to take account of the local holidays. If you’re looking for a hotel in Barcelona for example you could get the ApartHotel Mariano Cubi for €190 tomorrow. In fact that’s not terribly good value for the simple reason that November 1st (last Thursday) was the local equivalent of a public holiday therefore the Spaniards will have taken off the Friday too and so it’s gonna be an expensive period to aim for.

Realistically you almost certainly won’t be aware of the times of the local holidays (and you should avoid UK holidays too) but it’s usually easy to spot them simply by browing one of the hotel sites. Doing that, I can easily spot the Spanish holiday because they’ve only three places available for tomorrow and, of course, the same technique works for other holiday periods.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Honolulu – don’t forget that Pearl Harbour is there too!

Honolulu and Oahu in general is seen as pretty much all about mass tourism these days but there’s more to it than that as, of course, that’s where Pearl Harbour is.

Whilst you’ll obviously spend most of your time around the innumerable tourist attractions and sightseeing tours that seem to be just about everywhere in Hawaii you should definitely make time to include a Honolulu tour in your schedule to visit the site of Pearl Harbour and make a point of going out on the launch to see the Arizona memorial which you see in the photo here. One thing that I found a little peculiar was that there were a considerable number of Japanese also making that pilgrimmage although far fewer than you’ll encounter elsewhere in Hawaii.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Why not go to New Orleans?

Geography has contributed to that sense of difference as, whilst it’s a very interesting place to go in it’s own right, it’s a unique place and not in a region that’s particularly touristy. Consequently, you’ll find that the the New Orleans tourist people are able to concentrate on the city and it’s immediate surroundings rather than the nebulous type of tourist promotion that you get in areas such as Florida.

That’s no bad thing on the whole as it’s very much a spot that deserves to be seen but it does have the downside that you need to consider booking accommodation quite a bit in advance. For example, one of the very best times of year to visit is during the annual Mardi Gras which has parades running from January 25th to February 5th but you would need to book your hotel rooms quite a bit in advance to reserve your spot (actually, now is a good time to book for next year).

The colourful nature of Mardi Gras is quite typical of the city. After all, where else do you get funerals accompanied by lively jazz music? That’s a development of the African American roots of the city but there’s an equally strong French presence felt throughout the city and it’s the mixing of such different cultures that provides the rich tapestry that is New Orleans.

Given the concentrated nature of the attractions, the hotels are pretty thick on the ground here. The varied cultures around the city is, for once, reflected in the wide range of hotel styles that you’ll come across, even within the same hotel chain. For example, you can have typically southern Style (with a capital “S”), French quarter or super-modern (with a French twist too) and that’s just a few of the hotels on offer from Marriott.

Perhaps the biggest downside of New Orleans is that the rich history of the city provides just too much too see. It would be easy to spend a couple of weeks here and barely touch the surface.

Photo courtesy of New Orleans Tourism

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.