A Guide to Avios

You may or may not have heard of the previous scheme, Airmiles, which was revamped back in 2011. The Airmiles reward scheme made way for the new and improved Avios scheme, which allows people to collect points on their shopping, or when using their credit card, which can then be saved and redeemed at a later date. Last week, Avios launched a competition called the Big Reward – where you can nominate someone you know for the chance to win pairs of tickets to Avios destinations.

Collecting Avios points is easy. By using a specialist credit card, shopping for groceries at a particular supermarket or filling the tank of your car at a certain petrol station, you can build up the number of points that you have in your account and, if you use them wisely, you can enjoy a range of fantastic treats without breaking the bank.

How do I collect them?

If you don’t already shop at Tesco, the Avios scheme may be reason enough for you to switch supermarkets. For every £2.50 Tesco voucher that you have, you can convert it to 600 Avios points. Keep converting these vouchers, and you will see your Avios points rise in no time. Sign up for a Tesco Clubcard, and keep an eye out for any ‘double points’ promotions that crop up on a regular basis.

By signing up for the Shell Driver’s Club, you can also accrue Avios points through your fuel. Fill up your car at the local Shell garage and for every 20 litres you buy, you will collect 10 Avios points.

You can also collect them through the purchase of flights directly from BA or Iberia and also through the use of a specialist credit card from Lloyds/TSB.

If you enjoy shopping online for goods including fashions, technology or homewares, sign into your Avios account first and check to see whether the store you were planning to use is part of the Avios reward scheme. If it is, use the affiliate link on the Avios eStore and you can earn points as you shop, too!

What can I redeem my points on?

Avios points can be redeemed against holidays, flights, hotels, travel and day experiences, meaning that whatever you fancy as a treat, you can enjoy it for less with the Avios scheme. If you’re hoping for a holiday, or a city break, make sure that you understand the various zones and the associated fees, so that you can work out how much you need to pay in advance of booking.

The number of points you will need to part with will vary depending on your chosen destination. As a rule of thumb, the further you plan to fly, the more points it will cost you.

You can also choose from over 150 day experiences, ranging from thrilling adventures to relaxing spa days. Travel options, such as Avis car hire, ferries and Eurostar trips, are also available. If you’re planning a trip to Disneyland Paris to treat the kids, take a look at the accommodation options that you can redeem your Avios points for, meaning that half term can be enjoyed at a fraction of the price.

For anyone interested in travel and the chance to enjoy new experiences, holidays, city breaks and cheaper flights, Avios could be the perfect answer. Head online, sign up for free and start collecting points every time you shop. Before you know it, you’ll have a substantial amount of Avios points to redeem, meaning your next big adventure could be just around the corner.

Holiday in Switzerland

Switzerland has some destinations for the vacation. Lots of travelers from all across the world are gone to this country because of its cool weather. They can also relish on some gorgeous scenery. It is also nice to do some climbing and skiing. The tourism market gives 2.9% for the gross local item for this land. Concerning overall data, Switzerland seems so amazing to be discovered.

For the historical past, there is more info. They are the search for the high Alps, a brief history of the Alps, the golden age of alpinism, and also the alpinism. The holidays of this land starts with the climber hiking in British. You are able to reach the highs of Barnese Alps. The tourism in Switzerland was initially established in 19 century. It is maintained by Lunn Travel and Thomas Cook. From then on, the truly amazing advancement follows with the various idea of promoting the area. It makes the travel and leisure becomes increased. No wonder if lots of travelers are seeking to go to Switzerland.

From the fact, the state statistics of travel and leisure is maintained at 1852. This truth is recognized in 1934. This is carried on so far. In 2011, it is known that there are over 4000 accommodations which are listed in this land. It indicates that the tourism industry becomes so excellent that the need of accommodations is growing. Every accommodation serves different categories of room. The whole room from all accommodations is 240.000 beds. It is a major quantity thinking about to the quantity of the traveler.

The economic level can be linked to the tourism. This includes the transportation. The travel industry presents 14.9 billion to the complete major value. Additionally, it can provide lots of people some full work so that they can have the income from the tourism market. Zurich is the main airport of the nation. Additionally, there are some railways that connect to Zurich, Geneva, and Basel.

The Winter Olympics

2014 promises to be a majestic year for the world of sport and the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, has to be one of the most prestigious. Athletes competing from over 90 of the world’s nations will come together to participate in 98 events, spread over 15 winter sports.

It’s the first time that Sochi has held the Winter Games, and it’s the first-time an Olympics festival has been held in the Russian Federation since the break up of the USSR (USSR held the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow).

The games are set to take place 7-23 February and are being billed as the most expensive Olympic Games in history after the original budget of $12 billion has since risen to $51 billion.

It’s another big sporting event that will attract a lot of gambling interest with all major sports books like Unibet offering lines on the 98 events. In a bid to make sure everything is above board, the International Olympic Committee have approached the Nevada Gaming Control Board, to help them prevent match fixing and any other forms of manipulation- although the committee was quick to point out that the partnership is a preventative one and not because they suspect any wrongdoing could damage the games reputation.

The event is going to attract tourists in their droves and the Russian government is pulling out all the stops in an attempt to make them visitors feel as welcome as possible. Traveling to foreign lands at the time of great sporting events is always a great experience and Sochi will be no different, so the Russian government will be deploying a security force of 100,000 people, and that includes 40,000 police and 30,000 active military personnel in a bid to make the games as safe as possible.

England as Great Holiday Destination

England has lots of destinations for traveler to visit. If you love surfing, then you can start to play it in chapel beach. You will also find a big shopping center to get anything about England. In London, you will find the History Museum. It’s the popular museum across the globe. England also offers the big national park, known as the Lake District.

england

Furthermore, in England you can find a number of Anglo-Saxon buildings. There are lots of ancient artifacts. You can find theme in some museums. Another magnet of England is Aquarium. This place is one of the biggest aquariums in the world. It includes The Deep, the Blue Planet Aquarium, Oceanarium Bournemouth, and The National Sea Life Centre. London of UK has large galleries and art museums. The places stopped at around 4, 7 million tourists in 2009. The galleries that have plenty of guests are Tate Britain, The National Portrait Gallery, Kelvin grove Art Gallery, Tate Liverpool, and Manchester Art Gallery.

Not just historical place, England also has several great beaches. The most popular beaches in this destination are Cornwall beach and Devon. There are smaller beaches too that popular by many travelers from all around the world. Some of them are Fistral beach, Chesil beach, as well as the some other beaches in Jurassic shore. Next to the beaches, England also provides several casinos. It is common in the UK. The development of the casinos is created the same as casino in Las Vegas. It targeted at providing a similar setting as the Las Vegas offers.

You will find castles that exist. The London Tower is the largest. In 2009, the place visited by over two million traveler. Some other castles you can visit are Windsor castles, Dover castles, and Warwick castles. England also offers several festivals that are organized regularly. All those fests present cultural and music genre. It is one of the greatest occasions in the world. The last, England also offers a lot of lovely gardens that has countless beautiful flowers. They can grow good to decorate this great destination. So, for those who have spare time, you can think about this land to be journeyed. You can have fun with the interest together with your family and friends. You will find many fantastic landscapes so that that they will become your memorable journey.

Take a trip to Las Vegas

If you want to go to some of the world’s best casinos, then you can’t beat a trip to hedonistic Las Vegas, where not only do you get a choice of some of the best casinos on the planet, but there is also plenty of other entertainment in this city that was founded to serve the leisure industry.

Las Vegas

Today, with an incredible amount of online casinos to choose from, you need never actually go to a land-based casino. You can have a great gaming experience online and if you’re new to the world of online gaming it’s useful to check out the reviews of different sites at http://www.onlinecasinobluebook.com/usa where you’ll find the pros and cons of different casinos all in one place.

But playing in a real casino is a different experience altogether, and many people who have only ever gambled online are now heading to Vegas to try out their luck at the gaming tables and slots machines in person.

Wherever you’re travelling from, it’s easy to plan a trip to Vegas as so many travel companies offer package trips there. And if you prefer to take the independent route, you can just book a flight and hire car and check in to a hotel when you get there. There are so many different places to stay that securing accommodation is never a problem if you don’t like having a fixed itinerary.

The amount of time you have to spend in Las Vegas will help decide what you do while you’re there. But there are some must-do and must-see things to make sure you include in a first trip to Sin City – you never know if you’re going to have the chance to repeat the experience.

Obviously, hitting the gaming tables and slots is part and parcel of a trip to Vegas. It’s a good idea to set yourself a gaming spend limit before you go and think of that money as already spent. That way, if you lose it all, you won’t feel so bad and if you get a win or two, it’ll be a bonus.

Aside from playing casino, part of the fun of being in Vegas is just drinking it all in. The casino buildings and ‘sets’ are so spectacular, and the lights of the Strip at night are dazzling. Spending some time walking around and taking it all in adds to the overall experience. You may not have the budget to play games in all of the big casinos, but it’s definitely worth at least popping in for a look around the big names like the Venetian, Planet Hollywood, Circus Circus and Caesars Palace.

Book yourself in to watch one of the amazing live shows – if you’re going soon, you could catch Britney Spears in concert as she’s just taken up a residential at Planet Hollywood, playing 50 concerts during her time there. And, of course, there are lots of magic shows and circus acts to watch too, as well as plenty of Elvis impersonators. Whatever kind of entertainment you enjoy, you’ll find it in Vegas somewhere.

If the hustle and bustle of being in Vegas gets too much, you could always take a day or two out seeing one of the natural wonders of the world. Standing taking in the majestic views of the Grand Canyon is quite a different experience to the bright lights of Vegas, but the immense size of the canyon somehow goes hand in hand with the larger than life feel of Las Vegas.

Of course, all holidays have to come to an end, but at least when you go home you can always go online to gamble whenever you feel like it!

The Backpackers Ultimate Travel Tools

Looking for an alternative way to travel around Spain? Do you want to experience a more personal approach to the places you visit or the culture of the places you travel into? Then it’s time to gear up that backpack and travel in all the places you love via the backpacker’s way.

What exactly is the Backpackers’ Way?

Practicality and an immersed experience is the goal of a backpacker. In travelling communities, when you say backpacker, it’s the economical approach to travelling. If you want to take the backpacker’s way to travelling, be ready to sacrifice the comfort of a 5 star hotel and be sure to eat at affordably priced restaurants- all without the comfort of luxurious accommodations and restaurants. This may seem like a downside, but the truth is backpackers can get the most out of their travelling experience because they get to meet more people and they get to experience more of the culture of the places they travel into all in an affordable travel package. Interested to be a backpacker? Here are some practical tips you can consider.

Keep Your Mobile Phone Handy

If there’s one primary thing that backpackers are concerned of it’s the issue of money. For backpackers, less expenses the better. That is why backpackers exhaust every means possible to avoid spending more than their allotted budget. One backpacker trip is to use mobile apps that allows you to make free international calling. One popular mobile application that is Rebtel’s free calling app- this mobile application allows the user to make free phone calls and send free messaging from one Rebtel user to the next. Hence, if you have relatives living in your place of travel destination or you need to send a message at home, just use mobile application like Rebtel.

Stay at Hostels with Free Meals

One of the practical ways you can save money on food is to stay at hostels. A hostel dispenses with the 5 star service of your own room or your own butler but this does not mean that you don’t have the basic necessities of comfort.  With the hotel and hostel competition becoming a strict trade, hostels or breakfast inns are becoming competitive with their rates and services- which is good because travelers will now have more choices and will receive more service.  Ergo, if you don’t want to spend too much on food, book accommodations with establishments that offer free meals.

Be Adventurous, Try Couchsurfing

What exactly is couchsurfing? It’s a practice among backpackers where you get to live with individuals for free or for little pay. It can be a little bit scary living with a complete stranger for several days, but the trick is to find someone who has been offering his home for this matter. There are even websites that offer names and addresses of homeowners that are willing to accommodate couchsurfers. Just browse the internet and travel blogs to find out more about a couchsurfer sponsor.

These are just of the few tips you can consider when travelling within the budget. Always remember, if you’re willing to sacrifice comfort, why not if it’s going to give you a wonderful experience.

Reasons in Visiting Larnaca

If you often suffer from problems with your life, you need to make sure in how to deal with it. There are many people who have the problems related to boredom and also entertainment. In this case, what you need to do is by conducting vacation. There have been many different places to visit as your vacation destination. What I want to discuss here is Larnaca Holidays. It is great to become your vacation destination actually. Larnaca is located in Cyprus. It is in the east side. It will be simple because Larnaca is near to the main airport of the island. There are many different reasons why people may visit Larnaca.

Larnaca"

The first basic reason is because the attractions. Commonly people may visit Larnaca because of the existence of the beaches. They often conduct water activities within the beaches. People can also visit some quality museums there and many archaeological sites. For those who love nightlife activity, you can also find many different quality places to enjoy as nightlife activity. Some people also love to enjoy the shopping activity there and also enjoying delicious food in some restaurants available. It means people can enjoy all in one vacation pleasure within the Larnaca.

Larnaca can also become the place for any of people who really look for opportunity in properties. You can find out about the fact that people love to buy properties within Cyprus. The purpose is different whether as holiday home, investment, or simply permanent home. The option of properties which people commonly buy in Cyprus is apartments, townhouses, villas, and others. The value of the properties can increase as the time goes by. Therefore, you really need to pay attention exactly in how to take the benefit from it in order to provide good quality of properties investment.

If you visit Larnaca, there you can also find many other tourists including traders, British, Egyptians, Romans, Turks, Greeks, and others. In fact, Cyprus was once the British colony up to the independence in the year 1960. Therefore, you can visit it to learn more history about it. People also have the reason in visiting Larnaca to enjoy the traditional food and also drink. There are also people who try to visit Larnaca to enjoy the calm and beautiful view of villages. Skiing can also be conducted in winter season. Therefore, people need to know how to gain information about anything that they need to do in Larnaca.

In visiting Larnaca, people need to conduct preparations first. There are many preparations to think about actually. First, you need to decide the places and activities to do. If it is possible, you need also to make schedule for anything that you want to do there. Next, you need to decide what kind of places you want to stay. It means you can choose whether villa, hotel, or others in order to stay during vacation. Therefore, you need to pay attention in how to think anything related to vacation to Larnaca before doing so.

Traveling to New Orleans? Don’t Miss These 5 Sights!

Founded in 1718, New Orleans is one of America’s oldest cities. Its French, Spanish and Creole heritage makes it one of the most culturally diverse cities in our nation as well. New Orleans is famous for its nightlife, music and food as well as its fascinating culture.

new-orleans-louisiana

Don’t let your trip to New Orleans pass without visiting the French Quarter, the Arts District or the Garden District. Make sure you spend some time exploring Saint Louis Cemetery No.1 and enjoy the bohemian scene of the Faubourg Marigny. To take everything in, you should book your New Orleans accommodations at a centrally located hotel.

Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1

Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1 is the oldest and most well-known cemetery in New Orleans. It was founded in 1789 after a devastating fire forced the city’s redesign in 1788. Some of the graves include those of Homer Plessy, plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation in the Deep South- Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial, first African-American mayor of New Orleans- and Bernard de Marigny, who gave us the game of craps. Nicolas Cage, who is not yet dead, made headlines in 2010 when he purchased a pyramid-shaped tomb for himself here.

Arts District

The Arts District, formerly known as the Warehouse District, started life as an industrial hub in the 19th century. Along these streets, merchants built the warehouses that sheltered the coffee, grain and other foodstuffs flowing into the city through the Port of New Orleans. Here you’ll find the 30,000 square foot Contemporary Arts Center, with galleries, theaters, studios and an atrium. You’ll also find the National World War II Museum, which has received almost two million visitors since it opened on the anniversary of D-Day in 2000. See faithful reproductions of the Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel and the Higgins boat used in the D-Day invasion. You can also see a Sherman tank, amphibious Jeep and C-47 fighter plane.

French Quarter

The French Quarter — or Vieux Carré, as it’s called in the local Creole dialect — is the city’s oldest neighborhood. The architecture here is a charming mix of French, Spanish, American and Creole styles. You can get a glimpse at what goes on behind the closed doors of the Quarter with a local home tour. Many French Quarter visitors tour the Gallier House, built by James Gallier, one of the city’s most celebrated architects. His house provides a first-class example of New Orleans architecture- visit in the summer to learn more about Summer Dress, the Creole style of appointing a house in order to keep it cool in the humid New Orleans summer. Sit in the shade at Jackson Square, browse the French Market, or try some local delicacies in this world-famous area of the city.

Garden District

The Garden District takes its name from its roomy, ostentatious gardens. Here you’ll find a neighborhood steeped in centuries of tradition. Homes still bear the names of the families who built them in the early 19th century, and canals, basins and fountains abound. Mosey through the neighborhood and take in its stylish, elegant homes and gardens. Relax beneath the shade of the oaks in Coliseum Square. Visit Magazine Street for eclectic shopping, antiques, restaurants and an Old World Irish barber.

Faubourg Marigny

Founded in 1806, the Faubourg Marigny is New Orleans’ second-oldest neighborhood. It was once the plantation of Bernard de Marigny, the inventor of craps. This artistic neighborhood offers its own distinctly European flavor with its artists’ studios, performance art spaces, independent galleries and rummage shops. Explore the streets of the Faubourg Marigny and examine the green, red and gold-painted Classic Revival and Creole cottages. Catch a jazz show at the Marigny Triangle near Frenchmen Street, or have a meal in one of the district’s many restaurants.

New Orleans’s culture and history make it one of the most enchanting cities in the nation. Take the time to explore some of the city’s most famous neighborhoods — the Garden District, the French Quarter and the Faubourg Marigny. Visit the art and history museums of the Arts District, or pay your respects to the dead at the Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1. In New Orleans, there is truly something for everyone.

About the Author: Contributing blogger Marie Delacroix is a native of New Orleans.

Image source: http://www.123rf.com/photo_14815822_a-row-of-marble-and-granite-above-ground-tombs-in-lafayette-cememtery-2-in-new-orleans-louisiana.html

Achieving your travel goals in 2014: Buy a vacation property

Making the decision to purchase a vacation home could be one of the soundest investments you make in 2014. Owning a vacation property is immensely rewarding – not just personally, but financially as well.

If you have a favourite holiday resort that you return to year after year because you know you’ll struggle to find anywhere better, then why not consider investing in a property there?  Now is the time to purchase a second home in the US as prices are sitting at an all time low.

So whether you’re a sun and beach lover, extreme sports fanatic or potential retiree there are a huge number of homes available to meet pretty much any second home budget.  You will need to conduct research of the area or areas you would like to invest in and have a good idea of the budget you’re working with.

Here are some more top tips for you to consider before you take the plunge:

Rent first then buy

There’s a huge difference between enjoying a resort as a holidaymaker and staying there regularly as a second homeowner.  It’s a huge investment and therefore a good idea to rent a home similar to the property you would like to buy, in the location you would like to buy it in.

Living within a community or residential area is very different to experiencing the area from the safety of a hotel where your every need is catered for.  Important questions must be answered, like: Are there enough local amenities? Does it feel safe? Are there good public transport links?

Experiencing the area as a rental resident first should mitigate any costly location mistakes.

Know what to look for in a second home

Once you have a pretty good idea on where and what type of property you would like to purchase, you should now be doing lots of research and looking for potential properties that meet your needs.

Talk to the locals – They’ll give you their honest opinion about the area (good and bad) and will be able to help recommend reliable local contractors like Hawaii Roofing, who can be relied upon to complete a job to a high standard, even if you can’t be there to supervise themWork with an experienced agent – They’ll work with your specific criteria and often find properties before they’ve even been released onto the market

Explore financial options

You’ll need to decide whether you’ll be buying the property outright or funding the purchase with a mortgage.  You should also decide whether the home will be for your use only, or whether you’ll be renting it out, as this will make a huge difference to your financial options.

It’s not unusual for vacation home owners to overestimate the amount of time they’ll spend in a property, and therefore it may make good financial sense for you to rent your property for some of the year, as the income can be offset against the ongoing costs of running and maintaining the house.

If you rent your home for 14 days or less in a given year, you don’t have to pay any tax on the rental income.

Negotiate with the buyer

You may find that second home sellers are much more flexible and open to negotiation than primary homeowners.  Don’t be afraid to make a cheeky offer, you’ll never know unless you ask!

– This article was written by freelance writer and mother of three, Kathryn Thompson.  Follow her on Twitter: @katht35

Must Visit Johannesburg Attractions!

Johannesburg is a vast metropolis, with inhabitants numbering over seven million. As a city, it is South Africa’s main contributor to the country’s economy and to the continent as a whole. However, should you decide to take a holiday to Johannesburg, you should be aware of over the top displays of wealth, while not all areas will be safe for you to walk through without a guide. Thankfully all of the following attractions are very safe for you to visit, so make sure you don’t miss out!

Johannesburg

Johannesburg Zoo

While Kruger National Park is probably the better option (if you do not wish to make the 550 kilometre drive there), head to Johannesburg Zoo instead. Established for well over a century, the 54 hectare grounds are home to over 3,000 native animals as well as the almost extinct white lion. The facilities in the zoo are impressive, with plenty of places to stop off and sit in the shade or get something to eat. There are also some feeding times for certain animals such as the elephants which are great fun to see.

Flea Market

Johannesburg is a brilliant place to find lots of different flea markets for you to explore, and they’re full of local crafts such as jewellery, clothes, wood carvings and local cuisine. Some of the best markets for you to look out for include the Rooftop Market, Mai Mai, Bryanston Organic & Natural Market and Bruma Flea Market.

Carlton Centre Observation Deck

To get some spectacular views of this great city, head to the Carlton Centre and make your way up to the 50th floor. From there, you will get birds eye views of Johannesburg, Pretoria and the beautiful landscape surrounding the two cities.

The Carlton Centre skyscraper was once the biggest in the southern hemisphere, so it is easy to imagine just what kind of views you will get from taking a trip there. Be aware that the neighbourhood around the skyscraper can sometimes be a little bit shady.

Museum Africa

The Museum Africa was erected on the site of the old Newtown market and offers you a fantastic insight to the cultural history of all of Africa. Displays are separated by particular countries and will educate you as to how the societies in Africa have moved with the times, whilst holding on to their heritage.

Nelson Mandela National Museum

Another great museum, the Nelson Mandela National Museum offers you a chance to explore the former house of the country’s greatest leader. One of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, you’ll be able to see pictures and documents from Mandela’s time fighting for black people’s rights. Be sure to check out http://www.cheapflights.co.za for the best deals on your flights out to Johannesburg.

Apartheid Museum

Without a doubt, the Apartheid Museum is one of the most moving museums in the world, with plenty of exhibits exploring one of the darkest periods in South Africa’s history in vivid detail. For those who wish to understand better the conditions that the black people were forced to live in during the apartheid, look no further than this museum.