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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts in ‘Family, Kids & Senior Travelers’

Last minute travel deals for summer 2009

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Can you believe it is August already?  Just because summer 2009 is at its close it doesn’t mean you can’t take part in the season and travel.  It is actually quite the opposite!  With the summer near its end, airlines and hotels are offering some great holiday deals for their customers.  There are also some wonderful package deals for sale this summer.  These last minute sales are a great way to have a memorable holiday at a good price. continue reading

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SeaWorld in Orlando

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The Shamu Show at SeaWorld

The Shamu Show at SeaWorld (Flickr by BenSpark)

SeaWorld is a theme park situated in Orlando, Florida that features marine life from all over the world. If you are spending a day at SeaWorld there are several sights to see and rides to experience. SeaWorld’s most famous attraction is the Shamu Show called ‘Believe.’ Although I do not go to SeaWorld very frequently it is still one of my favourite parks in Orlando. It is a favourite of mine because at SeaWorld you do not have to rush around.

Shows at SeaWorld

While at SeaWorld there are several shows that are must sees. A popular show at SeaWorld is ‘Believe’ or as it is more commonly known as the Shamu Show. It is an exciting show that features orca whales performing tricks and interacting with their trainers. All of this is choreographed to music. If you are getting too hot in the Florida heat then sit in the splash zone. In the splash zone be prepared to get soaked as Shamu swims around the tank flapping his massive tail! It is a fun way to cool down in the summer sun! continue reading

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Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida

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Heading to Orlando this summer?  Then a trip to a theme park is a must! And at Universal Studios in Orlando there are things to do for every member of the family. Universal Studios has two fantastic theme parks, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios.  Each park has something for everyone, whether you like action packed roller coasters, water rides, 4-D shows, or carousels.  It is worthwhile to have some background knowledge of how to get around the parks at Universal Studios in order to fully enjoy your visit.

Islands of Adventure (Flickr by Rob J Brooks)

Islands of Adventure (Flickr by Rob J Brooks)

Islands of Adventure at Universal Studios

Islands of Adventure is Universals newest theme park and consists of five islands: Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park, the Lost Continent, and Seuss Landing.  I have been to Islands of Adventure so many times I can’t even count.  I actually have several of the rides memorized! The reason for this is I have lived in Orlando my entire life and I worked there in the summer. I’ll give you some tips to navigate around Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure and which rides are worthwhile if you are pressured on time continue reading

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There Might Even Be Funnel Cakes: Checking Out the UK’s Seaside Scene

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It’s raining outside, and we’re missing the California beaches! Spurred by a long discussion about deep-fried snickers and hot dogs at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, I’ve decided to investigate the UK’s beach scene (hey, we’re surrounded by miles and miles of coastline here too!). And, luckily, the UK turns out to have quite the selection of coastal spots for us sun-hungry Californians to choose from as the weather heats up this summer.

Blackpool's Pleasure Beach - Jon's Pics

Blackpool's Pleasure Beach - Jon's Pics

It may not be Coney Island or the Boardwalk, but it looks pretty close! The Pleasure Beach Amusement Park in Blackpool, England features over 125 rides and attractions with some beautiful coastline views. And for you thrill seekers, twelve roller coasters, (woohoo!) including the one of the last “Wild Mouse” rides in operation, a neck-bending series of bunny hops and flat turns. Accessible via the Blackpool Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour, I can’t wait for an afternoon of sun and fun here (I just hope they have funnel cakes!) continue reading

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Families urged to see Lake Balaton

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People looking for an affordable destination for family tours and getaways this summer have been urged to pay a visit to Lake Balaton in Hungary.

Balaton is central Europe’s largest freshwater lake, so large that it has reportedly been named the ‘Hungarian Sea’ by locals.

The location boasts an enjoyable resort atmosphere during the summer as many Hungarian people head there for their annual holiday, according to the country’s national tourist office.

Family groups will find plenty of activities to suit people of all ages, including sailing and kite-surfing on the lake and horse riding, hiking and golf on land.

Lake Balaton is surrounded by a number of resorts and towns that offer plenty of accommodation options, restaurants and amenities, the biggest of which are Balatonfured, Keszthely and Siofok.

The lake is also a couple of hours away from Budapest by car, meaning holidaymakers can set off on a day-trip to the capital city to see sights such as the Royal Palace and Matthias Church.

Family – Theme Parks – Treat the family to a day at one of the Disney resorts or to a splashing day out at a Spanish waterpark.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19133397-ADNFCR

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Denmark to boast new theme park

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Denmark could prove a popular destination for family tours this year following the opening of the country’s biggest theme park.

Two of the most popular family amusement parks in Denmark – Legoland and Lalandia – have formed a partnership with the neighbouring Givskud Zoo to create Legoland Billund Resort, which will open on April 24th.

Highlights of the giant park include Lego safari zones, a Pirate Lagoon area and a Lego Miniland, where millions of bricks have been used for reproductions of some of the world’s most famous landmarks.

The Lalandia complex includes a 40,000-square-metre covered activity centre – ensuring that spells of bad weather will not ruin the day for visitors – and the Aquadome tropical waterpark.

Families visiting west Denmark can also head to attractions such as the Danfoss Universe science park, the Orion Planetarium and Koldinghus castle.

The Billund complex is one of four Legoland attractions around the world, along with parks in Gunzburg in Germany, Windsor in the UK and California in the United States.

Family – Theme Parks – Treat the family to a day at one of the Disney resorts or to a splashing day out at a Spanish waterpark.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19122201-ADNFCR

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Shopping in the USA

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Souvenirs and splurges abound as shopping tours help you save cash and go home with some amazing steals. Shop designer brands at outlets in New York and Hawaii or buy up the hoodies and track suits Americans are so known for at an American mall experience. If your travel partner doesn’t share your passion for products visit one of America’s inclusive malls, such as the Mall of America. Here you can shop, eat, see a film and even visit a theme park! Perfect for families.

Packages generally include coupon books, gift products and vouchers and helpful tips to enhance your shopping experience! continue reading

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Singapore’s Creatures and Cultures

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Singapore – an exceptional blend of eastern and western culture, Singapore offers once in a life-time experiences in a safe and family-friendly environment. Whether going on a night safari or viewing the city from 165m up, on the Singapore Flyer, travellers can experience jaw-dropping sights.

Who can refuse the chance to sip Chinese medicinal herbs before watching the night lights give the colourful city a new life after dusk?

Try one of these exciting tours to experience the real Singapore:

FunVee Night Safari Shuttle Tour - For a once in a life-time experience explore the jungle under the glow of the moon. This all-inclusive tour takes you on a tram ride through habitats of some of the most elusive creatures of the night.  As the world’s first night safari, participants will have a tale for home none of their friends can top! continue reading

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Brits ‘planning Easter escapes’

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An increasing number of British people are planning family holiday tours and other breaks for Easter in a bid to escape the recession and this winter’s gloomy weather, according to a car hire comparison site.

Carrentals.co.uk reported a 15 per cent increase in advance vehicle hire bookings for the Easter period.

Travellers also appear eager to take lengthy breaks to escape the pressures of life at home, with an increase in car hire periods of between seven and 14 days and fewer long weekend deals.

The most popular car rental locations for Easter, according to the company, are Geneva in Switzerland and Orlando in Florida, followed by Lisbon and Faro airports in Portugal and Pisa in Italy.

Gareth Robinson, managing director of Carrentals.co.uk, said: "We’ve definitely seen a change in booking this Easter – customers seem to want to escape the UK and the constant reminders of recession.

"As a result, they are booking longer escapes to favourites such as Switzerland, the Algarve and Florida, and also newer locations – for example the Atlantic coast in Portugal."

Another effect of the recession, according to the Abta travel association, has been holidaymakers looking at new and adventurous destinations to ensure that their budget stretches as far as possible.

Family – Theme Parks – Treat the family to a day at one of the Disney resorts or to a splashing day out at a Spanish waterpark.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19067950-ADNFCR

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New family attractions across Germany

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Holidaymakers planning family tours in Germany this year will be able to take advantage of a host of new attractions opening up at amusement parks around the country.

Germany’s most popular theme park is Europapark, which will be opening on April 4th and launching a new ‘catapult-coaster’, complete with three full 360-degree rolls and speeds of up to 100km per hour.

People who like their park visits to have a splash of water thrown in can visit Phantasialand near Cologne from April 4th to experience Wakobato, which is described as a "splash-battle style" attraction.

There will also be an aquatic theme at Legoland Gunzburg in Germany’s Bavaria region this season when it opens a new Atlantis zone, with interactive Lego models and an underwater glass tunnel.

Other attractions opening this year include the themed Valley of the Maya area in Heide-Park Soltau and the Curse of Novgorod ride in Hansa Park outside Lubeck.

People planning family tours this year can visit amusement parks all over Europe, including the recently opened Tibidabo in Barcelona, Disneyland Resort Paris or Terra Mitica in Benidorm.

Family – Theme Parks – Treat the family to a day at one of the Disney resorts or to a splashing day out at a Spanish waterpark.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19061036-ADNFCR

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