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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 ‘Hobbies, Courses & Interests’

Find Your Shade of Green

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Green View - Olof S

Green View - Olof S

Thinking about going green? With families around the world changing their light bulbs, cleaning products, diet, recycling and commuting habits, why not try applying some of those ideas to your vacation time too!While some of us (ahem) might be using the green movement as a way to avoid bathing, the changes to your holiday time this year needn’t be so drastic. Here are three minor changes I’ve discovered through my own travels that can majorly affect the way you experience your vacation (for the better, I swear!) continue reading

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International destinations to power down for Earth Hour

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Travellers in many destinations around the world may notice lights going off all around them this weekend as a host of cities participate in Earth Hour.

This initiative will see some 538 towns and cities turn off their lights for 60 minutes from 20:30 local time on March 28th to show support for action on climate change.

Some of the world’s most iconic travel destinations and tourist attractions will participate in Earth Hour, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Sydney Opera House and Las Vegas’ MGM Grand casino.

The initiative was launched in 2007 in Sydney and expanded to some 371 destinations the following year.

Speaking ahead of the 2009 event, Earth Hour executive director Andy Ridley said: "Earth Hour is bringing together the diverse peoples of the world in a truly universal and unifying way.

"From Auckland to Hawaii and Cape Town to St Petersburg, people are coming together to vote with their light switch for action on climate change."

It was recently confirmed that the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx will participate in Earth Hour, with Egypt’s first lady Suzanne Mubarak describing climate change as "a growing international crisis no country can afford to overlook".

Special Interest – Nightlife – From an extravagant meal to an eerie ghost walk – plenty of things to keep you entertained after the sun goes down.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19093960-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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History, Humour and Horrors at the London Bridge Experience

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I’m a real scaredy cat – the one who hid behind the sofa during Dr Who and still buries her head in a cushion when creepy music comes on TV. So, when my grandson Josh said he wanted to visit the London Bridge Experience for his 13th birthday, my heart sank.

The London Bridge Experience is a new attraction but I’d heard it involved a trip into medieval burial grounds and a fair dollop of horror. But a birthday promise is a promise and off we went. “Bet you scream,” said my husband, who still bears scars from the time I dug my fingers into his arm during ‘Jurassic Park’. continue reading

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The Palma International Boat Show in Mallorca

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Everyone from seasoned boat collectors to people who have never sailed will be in attendance at the 26th Palma International Boat Show in Mallorca this year.

Organised by the Fires i Congressos de Balears, this nine-day event offers the chance for visitors to peruse the latest in marine design, all in the stunning surroundings of the Moll Vell of the Palma Port.

From April 25th to May 3rd all types of nautical niceties will be on display, with rubber dinghies right up to sailing boats by way of jet skis, canoes and motor boats.

However, for the gadget-minded, there will also be plenty of accessories and other equipment on display too.

Some 30,000 square metres of sea will be covered by the Palma International Boat Show, along with 15,000 square metres of land.

With locals and tourists alike attending in large numbers, it is also an excellent chance to make friends with people from other countries, and perhaps find a place to berth while on a sailing trip.

The event is open from 10:00 local time until 20:00 with tickets costing €5 (£4.60).

Why not book the Aquacity on your own tour in advance?
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Car classics at the Sitges Vintage Car Rally

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Believe it or not, many people think that car design has been going steadily downhill since the 1920s, and many of these individuals will be found at the Sitges Vintage Car Rally in Barcelona.

In March, it will be the 51st time this event has taken place, as roughly 70 cars built pre-1924 will trundle round a 45km track, which takes the old seaside road from Barcelona and works its way up to Port Aiguadolc in Sitges.

While it is labelled a rally, this is far more about aesthetics rather than velocity, with extra points awarded to drivers who have the best-presented car – as well as the most authentic vintage clothing.

There is also plenty to look at for the less car-enthused, as the rally winds along the stunning Costas del Garraf, providing a feast for the eyes for those who prefer natural beauty.

The race begins at 11:30 local time and is completely free of charge to watch.

Why not book tickets for the Tablao de Carmen Show in advance?
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Obama Roots in Kogelo (Kenya) – Obama history tours

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Just as billions of other people, the isango! team has paused work to follow Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration. Parades are still on as we write, and partying will go on all night. We all have heard a lot about President Obama’s background and his global footsteps, from Hawaii to Indonesia, Kenya and Chicago.

We happened to discuss about Obama’s roots with one of our suppliers in Kenya, and we discovered the local village of Kogelo is becoming a key travel destination. Not just now, but since Obama’s 2004 election to Senator of Illinois there seem to be a steady flow of visits to Obama’s family house. The Kogelo village is rumoured to be building a small airport to welcome tourists. Given Kenya is becoming a popular golf destination (in addition to the classic safaris and beach resorts), it’s likely that the village will thrive with more and more visitors. continue reading

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Reminder for backpackers to take care with cash

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Backpackers are not taking sufficient care with their money and personal property while abroad, an industry expert has warned.

While travelling, individuals should take more care with their valuables, especially in built up areas, he added.

Tom Griffiths, founder of gapyear.com, said: "Backpackers do take unnecessary risks with cash and are very loose about it like they are at home.

"In the olden days it used to be travellers cheques – the safe secure thing you used to delve into, but now you just carry your bank card like you do back home and forget that you are in a foreign country."

Jetlag and other factors can lead to complacency while abroad and he advised that backpackers should consider things like money belts and splitting cash and other valuables apart in their belongings.

According to recent research, 16 per cent of backpackers think the back pocket of your jeans is a safe place to store cash. In addition, eight million British holidaymakers are reported to have had personal property stolen in the last five years.

Seniors – Historic Tours – From the Roman Empire to the second world war, these tours bring world history to life.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18802680-ADNFCR

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‘Sex and the City’ Madness Continues with DVD Release

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Just when I thought the Sex and the City madness had subsided, another wave of Manolo Blahnik euphoria swept over New York City last week at the ‘Sex and the City: The Movie’ Extended Cut DVD launch, which was, apparently, about as posh and exclusive as a ‘real’ film premiere – caviar, carpet, celebrities and all.

This meant I could finally see the film for the first time (wasn’t really up for the cinema queues at the time of release).  Now, as always, I am grateful to Sarah Jessica Parker for giving my name some added sex appeal (thanks!), but I’m not so sure about the strange, stretched out plot of her latest cinematic endeavor.  It was 2 1/2 hours long!  Great for a girls’ night in, I suppose, but I can’t justify owning it (I did, however, own the freebie, giant SATC Galaxy chocolate bar, awarded to my by Blockbuster for my release-day rental…)

I’m really not the best person to talk to about this era-defining series.  My colleagues, however, are big fans and have informed me that our On Location: Sex and the City Tour is well worth it.  Check out the list of famous stops here.

So, if you still haven’t had your fill—if the six-year TV series and loooooong  capstone movie weren’t enough—maybe the behind-the-scenes Sex and the City Tour is your ticket.

Let us know how it goes!

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Globe trotters unite: a journey with a purpose.

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Our ‘Perfect Holiday’ Contest entries have been rolling in! A few of you got very creative with your responses, crafting globe trotting itineraries with inventive themes. Here are some of our favourites thus far:

1. ‘Southern Music Odyssey’, by Greg Davies

A road trip with a difference—i.e. not your usual ‘Route 66’ or ‘Coast to Coast’ American Dream. Due to my late grandfather’s musical obsession that he passed onto me, my dream holiday would be to drive the southern United States, visiting and enjoying some of the famous sights and sounds of Country music—the Grand Ol’ Opry, Memphis, Tupelo, Austin, Nashville—all in an old convertible…staying at old-style motels along the way and enjoying southern hospitality and good ol’ time music, the way it’s meant to be enjoyed!

2. ‘A Taste for Travel’, by Lydia Houghton

I’d have lobster in Cancun, cocktails in New York, A balti in Bombay, A Guinness in County Cork, coq au vin in Paris, a pizza in fair Rome, a chop suey in Beijing, and Swedish meatballs in Stockholm.

It would be such a treat to take a break from all the cooking, but the only problem is… my tummy might need tucking!

3. ‘Natural World Wonders’, by Chris Woodroofe

My Perfect Holiday would be a tour around all of the natural world wonders: Serengeti Migration, Galápagos Islands, Grand Canyon, Iguazu Falls, Amazon Rainforest, Ngorongoro Crater, Great Barrier Reef, Bora Bora Cappadocia and Victoria Falls. All I would need would be a backpack, a diary, and a camera…this would be my perfect holiday—very simple, but very rewarding, as the natural world wonders are being destroyed…

That’s all for now!

The official shortlist will be posted on the isango! website very soon. Be sure to vote!

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