All Inclusive Vacations – The Pros and Cons

All-inclusive vacations are appealing to families and people on a certain budget.  Included in an all-inclusive package will be a round-trip airfare from a departure destination, transport between airport and your hotel, your hotel fee and all meals and drinks.  This is a good deal if you have teenagers because you don’t have to worry about keeping them fed.  All-inclusive packages will also normally include a couple of extras, such as a free tour or two, and on-sight recreation.  All-inclusive means that once you get to your destination, you don’t have to spend any money except on souvenirs of your trip unless you go outside your resort.  These vacations are a no hassle way of taking a vacation and being able to relax and enjoy it without figuring out how much your accommodations will cost and finding the right place to stay.  Prices vary and depend on the time you plan to spend at the resort and what amenities you want or expect.

There are many advantages of an all-inclusive vacation package.  The buffet-style food gives you a huge choice in what you want to eat, is easily available and will allow you to sample different varieties of food you normally wouldn’t try.  The service is always helpful and you will find many activities included in the package.  The all-inclusive trip that we took included two tours of our choice as well as snorkeling and other water activities.  Many sights have pools, tennis courts, or golf courses.  These activities are free and part of the package.

One of the best advantages in buy an all-inclusive package to a major theme park such as Disney World is they have so many activities that are included.  For instance, water parks, miniature golf, canoeing, biking, and horseback riding.  The best part is they have free shuttles back and forth between the different areas so you don’t have to worry about transportation.  No need for the extra expense of renting a car.

If your family includes older children, you might enjoy an all-inclusive package such as a skiing adventure in the Rockies, or a trip to a “dude” ranch in Arizona. No matter what your tastes are, you can find an all-inclusive vacation to make everyone happy.

There are a few cons to an all-inclusive vacation.  You should explore your destination on-line and sometimes that still doesn’t tell the whole story.  We booked an all-inclusive vacation in Cancun that sounded like heaven.  The resort was found on a reef just off a major island and not on the “strip” of hotels in the heart of Cancun.  Sounds perfect right?  When you are booking your all-inclusive vacation, be sure you know exactly what all-inclusive means.  Some resorts offer low prices but you are subjected to sales pitches to buy time-shares.  What you thought would be an ideal vacation could turn into a nightmare when you realize that in some places, though it advertises no tipping, the workers still expect it.  If they aren’t tipped, your service will be affected.  At least we found this to be true at the resort we stayed at.   At our resort, there were tip jars everywhere and tips were absolutely expected.  Some resorts ban all tipping and you need to find out ahead of time which type of resort you are going to.

Another downside to taking an all-inclusive vacation is that if you go off the resort you will pay for everything you do.  In our case, our resort was small and had limited-access to other activities.  What we thought would be a vacation to get away from it all, instead turned in to a vacation that was restrictive and more costly than we expected.  For instance, the all-inclusive package included only one round-trip ferry ride to the mainland.  That means, they got us to the resort and would get us back to the mainland for our trip home, and all other visits or excursions off our resort was our responsibility to pay for.  The resort was beautiful, but we were expected to tip, we had to sit through a sales presentation, and it was restrictive on that particular resort.

All-inclusive has a nice sound to it, but be sure that where you are going is all-inclusive.  Research on the Internet or ask for friends or family members recommendations.

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7 Killer Ways To Beat Jet Lag

When you’re headed out on a vacation or business trip the last thing you need is to feel tired or run down. But with these seven tips to beat jet lag, you’re sure to stay alert and ready for your entire trip.

Keep it the same

When you’re not traveling for long, you can usually avoid jet lag by sticking to your normal routine. Keep your watch set to your ‘home’ time and just do what you’d normally do at home—eating, sleeping, exercise, etc.

Your body won’t even notice the time chance when you do this, and it will readjust without any problems on the way back.

Sleep like a baby

When you’re traveling out of your normal time zone, you’ll want to try to keep to normal bedtimes. And while you might have troubles at first, try to get the same number of hours of sleep per night. This will help your body fall into a new rhythm for the time when you’re away.

Even if you can’t fall asleep right away, try to get into bed and close your eyes until you fall asleep. Eventually your body will pick up the clue and you’ll get all the sleep that you need.

Fill yourself up

Many times jet lag can be made worse by becoming dehydrated on your trip or while you’re headed there on the plane. To combat this you’ll want to make sure that you’re drinking plenty of fluids as you travel—water and juices especially.

Alcohol can dehydrate the body so it should be avoided if you can. And if you’re expected to drink at a business function, just follow each glass with a chaser of water.

Find the rhythm

When you’re headed into areas where the time will change significantly, you want to set your watch when you get there and start following the local hours. You’ll want to eat when you are supposed to eat, sleep when it’s dark, etc.

By changing the routine that you’re used to directly into the new hours, you can help to offset jet lag before it even starts. Follow your new daylight and darkness hours to adjust your circadian rhythms.

When you arrive

One of the best ways to avoid jet lag is to do some form of exercise when you arrive at your destination. This can be as simple as a walk or a few calisthenics in your hotel room. Do a few jumping jacks to get your heart pumping or start touring the town.

When your body gets exercise, it can ‘bank’ the extra energy and help you adapt to changing light conditions.

If you just can’t sleep

When all else fails, you can try a sleeping pill to re-teach your body when to sleep. Normally this isn’t recommended, but when you’re on an extended trip or you have to switch time zones frequently, a sleeping pill can help to give you some rest in order to be alert during the day.

Natural cues

And if the sleeping pill doesn’t appeal to you, you can try aromatherapy.

Find a good travel kits that includes oils that you can smell for energy as well as soothing oils for relaxation, like lavender.

With all of these tips, jet lag will no longer follow you on your next trip.

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Amazing Things To Do In Santorini

Santorini Island in Greece is one of the best holiday hot spots. This island is full of attractions and activities that will make your vacation memorable. However, some of these treasures are hidden in some way, and it is important to have some insight on some of the things to do in Santorini for you to enjoy your holiday to the fullest. Below are some of the things to do on vacation in Santorini.

Have A Mud Bath at The Hot Springs.

Go over to the old port located in Fira and get a cable car that will transport you to the hot springs. When you arrive there, you will be allocated a boat, and once on the water, you can jump into it and have a rejuvenating swim in the amazing hot springs. Once in the springs you can dig up the warm mud and have it on your body for an amazing and rejuvenating feeling. Please be sure to use old swimmers and take off your jewelry when doing this.

Enjoy A Host of Veggies at Santorini’s Best.

Located on the Perissa beach, Tranquillo is arguably the best vegetarian eatery in Santorini. The food made there is simply fantastic. The vegan foods offered are of a wide variety, and the plant produces are fresh. Make a trip down there, and the food you will eat will linger in your memory for ages.

Enjoy The Sunset.

Santorini island is full of several sunset viewing spots. The most famous of these places is the Oia Castle. The views from over there is astonishing. When you head over to Fira, you can also get to enjoy an excellent view of the same. Firostefani and Skaros in Imerovigli also offer you more options when looking for sunset viewing points. All these viewpoints provide a different angle, and it is recommended that you try visiting several of them and compare the different views.

Check Out The Museums.

Santorini island has a long and rich history and visiting the museums will help you appreciate the heritage of the Isle. The Museum of Prehistoric Thera and the Archaeological Museum are the perfect places to enjoy this heritage. They are home to some of the most important findings obtained after several excavations made in different sections of the island. These findings stretch from the Archaic era all the way to the Roman era.

Live in A Cave House.

The architecture in Santorini Island is unique. Yposkafo, which is the local name for a cave house is a kind of house that was built by the poor people in the society to protect them from the heavy winds. In the modern day, architects have converted these cave houses into fabulous luxury resorts. Spending a night in one of these houses is an experience worth living for since its feel and smell are just unique and out of the normal.

The above things are just a few of the fantastic activities one can engage themselves in when visiting Santorini island in Greece. The island hosts several other attractions and exciting things, and you should make a point of considering the island when pondering on where to go on holiday.

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A Brief History Of Santorini Greece

The excavations and searched performed on Santorini reveal that the first human presence on the island can be dated back to the Neolithic Era. At around 3600 BC, Santorini played host to an important civilization.

Discoveries were made in the Red Beach and an important city close to Akrotiri point towards the presence of an ancient Minoan city. The city was quite similar to those located in the island of Crete, with lots of pottery and wall ornaments showing naturalistic landscapes of humans and animals of similar ancient Minoan style.

Stongili was the name for Santorini Island in the ancient times. Stongili means round in Greek. It was the victim of a massive volcano that erupted in 1500 BC. The eruption was actually so big that may people consider it as one of the leading causes of the destruction of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, which is located 70 nautical miles away.

It is believed that the explosion was so great that it caused the formation of massive waves that reached the shores of Crete and other surrounding islands. The center of Santorini sank after the explosion and the numerous earthquakes that followed led to the destruction of the remainder of the island. Numerous research studies have been undertaken and presented about the Santorini volcano including several documentaries in the National Geographic.

According to some ancient myths, the destruction of Santorini is closely associated to the legend of Atlantis. It is believed that Phoenicians settled on the island known back then as Thera about 1300 BC and remained there for 5 generations. The Lacedaemonian then occupied the island about 11 BC. The inhabitants of the island were using the Phoenician alphabet around 825 BC.

Thera had trade and commercial relations with most Greek cities and islands in the 7th Century BC and 6th Century BC. Thera became a key trade center and naval base because of its strategically ideal location during the Hellenistic Period due to its central position in the Aegean.

Santorini was under Byzantine rule from 1200 AC to 1579 AC and the church of Episkopi Gonia was established during this period. The island was surrendered to Marco Sanudo in 1204 AC and it became part of the Duke of the Aegean. The island got its name from the Venetians who named it Santa Irini, which is the name of a Catholic church.

In this period, there was a strong battle between pirates and Venetians. During the Turkish rule that lasted from 1579 to 1821 the island succeeded in establishing trade links with the Eastern Mediterranean ports. The period that followed was quite prosperous for the island.

The economy of Santorini deteriorated because of the 20th Century and in 1956 the island’s inhabitants abandoned it after the catastrophic earthquake. In the 1970’s tourism development started and it is currently one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

Over the years, the island has earned a reputation for being a top honeymoon and wedding destination while many international conferences and meetings take place in the summer.

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Top Smartphone Producers Of 2017 to take on Holiday

Everywhere you look today; you’ll see people swiping on their smartphones and doing their tasks through the handheld device without any hassle. Aside from the efficiency and modernity that smartphones brought into the world, it also gave way to a lot of smartphone makers competing to provide people with the most advanced mobile technology.

The top performers of the year are Samsung, Apple, and Huawei. These three brands are known for their high-quality smartphones. Although Apple offers more expensive products that people see as luxurious, the smartphone giant Samsung managed to reclaim the throne for the year 2017. Huawei on the other hand still amazed everyone with the increase of their shares in the market.

Having Samsung and Huawei in the top three just means that high quality at a reasonable price attracts consumers more. Experts say that Samsung reached a total of 26.1 percent share in the market for 2017’s first quarter, 16.9 for Apple, and 9.8 percent for Huawei. These brands were able to sell premium looking phones that are equipped with excellent features. However, according to a research firm, people will be more inclined to buy more affordable smartphones with premium design, which is a good thing for both Samsung and Huawei.

The success of Samsung in the smartphone industry was made possible by the company’s J series. The line up for this series are priced cheaper than the other models but boasts of beastly features that consumers loved. However, the high-end phones produced by the leading smartphone producer suffered when it comes to sales. The Galaxy Note 7 issue made it harder for Samsung to sell more of their more premium phones in the market.

The recent release of the Samsung Galaxy S8 won’t have a significant impact on Samsung’s sales according to experts because of the buzz about the next Apple smartphones. There is also another big competition for Samsung in the future. Chinese producers like Huawei, Oppo and Vivo are offering consumers with premium-looking and cheaper phones that seem to be a trend today.

While Oppo and Vivo saw a decline in their shares, Huawei’s 24.7% market share for Chinese smartphone industry will make all the other brands watch out for what this company has in store for everyone this year. Xiaomi and ZTE got the last spots with 8.1% and 7.8% shares in the market respectively.

The global production of smartphones dropped for the year’s first quarter at 23% than the fourth quarter of 2016. This fall in the smartphone industry is caused by the seasonality of sales. Smartphone companies are also expected to produce less because of the uninspiring sales that will continue up to the second half of 2017.

The smartphone industry is conquered by businesses that are great at providing everyone with the best quality of products. While Apple seemed to reign over the market previously, Samsung still managed to clinch the top spot this year because of their brilliant J series. Having Huawei in the top 3 means that Samsung will eventually have to compete with the affordability and premium design that Huawei has. Because of the close fight of producers in the industry, consumers are even more excited to see exciting products that’ll make the competition spicier for these companies.

 

 

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About Greece

Being one of the earliest civilizations known to human kind Greece is a country with rich history, heritage and culture. It is the place where Byzantine Empire once ruled and also great Ottoman Empire. It is also considered to be as the birth place of Democracy. Athens is the capital city of Greece. The Olympic games originated in Greece. Not only that, it was the world center for western philosophy, political science, astronomy, mathematics, major scientific studies and what not. It is also known as a Mediterranean country as it has Mediterranean Sea in the south. It is a popular destination for world tourists in that region known for its beautiful beaches, reach history and charming villages. The Greek islands are one of the most wonderful places to be explored by Cruise or Yacht. The trip of Greece will definitely be one of the most memorable to remember in one’s life.

Population & Languages

The population of Greece is around 11 million and the official language being spoken is Greek. The other popular languages are English and French.

Electricity

The voltage is 220 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The types of plug used are round pin with attachment, round pin with ground, Round pin plug and receptacle with male grounding pin and “Schuko” plug and receptacle with side grounding contacts.

Geographic Location

It is located in Southern Europe bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea between Albania and Turkey. It is situated in the southern side of Balkan Peninsula. It is also bordered by Bulgaria and Macedonia in the southeast.

Climate

It has three distinct climates namely Alpine, Mediterranean and temperate climate with mild and wet winters and also hot and dry summers due to Mediterranean affect. Alpine system is seen in mountainous regions. The temperate climate is seen near border along Macedonia. Athens has both temperate and Mediterranean weather.

Local Customs

The Greece is a place with strong historic and cultural background. There are different traditions and customs in different parts of the Greece. The throwing back of a hand is considered to be a negative gesture here in Greece. Casual dress can be worn most of the times. Smoking is prohibited in public transport services and public buildings. Tipping 12 to 1 percent is customary in restaurants, hotels and taxis.

Attractions
* The Olympic Games in Athens (the spot of the historic 2004 Olympic Games)
* Mardi Grass Celebrations in February
* The Parthenon in Athens
* Skiing in Arahova Mountains between October and March
* Easter Celebrations
* Thessaloniki’s White Tower and country’s rich Byzantine culture
* The south of Corinth
* The beaches in Lesvos
* The wine vineyards in the countryside
* The islands near the Aegean Sea
* The wildlife preserve in Alonissos (Sporades Marine Park)
* The famous, Moni Panagia Chozoviotissa, a Byzantine monastery in Amorgos

Travel

By Air – The national airline of Greece is Olympic Airlines. Many popular airlines like British Airways and Delta Airlines operate daily flight from Athens. The biggest airport is newly constructed Athens International Airport which is located like 17 miles northeast of the city. The other international airports of Greece are Heraklion (Crete), Thessaloniki (Macedonia) and Corfu (Kerkira).

By Sea – The popular Greek ports include Corfu, Heraklion, Igoumenitsa, Patras, Piraeus (Athens), Rhodes, Thessaloniki and Volos. Shipping vessels and ferryboat lines link these ports with Italy, Croatia, Cyprus, Russia and Turkey. Some of the popular cruises operating in Greece are Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Festival Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Silversea and Swan Hellenic.

By Rail – If one is coming from UK, the best way is to take Eurostar train to Brussels or Paris and from there take connecting train to Greece.

Duty Free Items
1. Up to 200 cigarettes or 250 gm tobacco
2. 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars
3. 1 liter spirit over 22% or 2 liter wine
4. Perfumes – 50 gm or 250 ml
5. Gifts up to €175

Prohibited Items

Narcotics, firearms, ammunition, weapons, most meat and dairy products, eggs, plants, endangered species, fireworks and alcoholic beverages that contain more than sixty per cent alcohol.

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4 Star Hotels

Everyone wants to go on a nice, relaxing, and quiet vacation every once in a while, but not everyone has the kind of money that can buy a 5-star hotel stay for the weekend. In that once every few years chance that you have saved just enough for a lush weekend trip, you have the choice to go all out on a first rate hotel and have little left for going around town, or to pick a more reasonably priced 4 star hotel and still have a good budget for seeing the best that the hotel’s surroundings has to offer.
No matter what popular tourist destination you go to, there are 4-star hotels that are more than capable of competing with the first class hotels in the same town. Despite the difference in ratings, it is possible that the only disparity that counts between 4-star hotels and their 5-star counterparts is the price range, especially if you’re one customer who is only slightly particular about the kind and range of services offered in the hotel you choose to stay in. Some 4-star hotels even offer a wider range of amenities than some 5-star hotels at a lower price. Also, some 4 star hotels are considered the best in a certain region, as a 4-star rating is the highest for the hotel grading body ruling that area.
However, notice that the prices also differ according to the hotels’ respective distances from the centre of the city or town; the prices reduce as the location moves farther from the centre. The factor of how much of the city centre you want to see should therefore play a role in planning your luxurious weekend getaway. After all, what you save in accommodations could easily turn into expenses when you need to spend more on transportation between the hotel and tourist spots you intend to visit.
Four-star hotels are also suitable for business travel, as business centres and conference halls are available in most. The business traveller can also benefit from the luxurious service a 4-star hotel offers, as the hotel can easily cater to a mix of business and pleasure. Some can even be a source of inspiration and tranquillity, particularly those with extra provisions for privacy, such as soundproofed rooms, and wellness facilities, such as room massage service and a Zen garden.
Here’s a list of 4 star hotels that may be worth spending a weekend in someday: the Sofitel Paris Porte de Sevres, which also offers wireless Internet access in some rooms, 3 restaurants catering to different tastes, and the option to stay on one of its eight non-smoking floors; the Hotel Forum in Rome, with a roof-garden restaurant overlooking the Venice Square and the Coliseum; and the Elite Hotel Praha in Prague, which is located in a quiet, yet scenic part of town, and features a day bar with a small leisure garden and a grill club that showcases the best of French, Argentinian and Spanish cuisines.

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The Future of smartphone tech for more leisure time

Have you seen movies that showcase advanced technology for gadgets like computers and smartphones? Are you excited about what kind of smartphones are waiting for humans in the future? Smartphones are rapidly becoming a part of everyone’s daily life. People use it to communicate, socialize, remember tasks, watch movies, listen to music, etc. The more advanced smartphones get, the more people depend on them for everyday life.

Futurologists predict that shortly, smartphones will become remote controls for people’s lives. Humans will rely on it more and more because of its efficiency. The growth of the smartphone industry is unstoppable as well as the studies that are made to provide people with more high-tech devices.

Holographic Displays

If you’ve watched movies like the Ironman before, you’ll be very jealous of the main character’s advanced gadgets such as the holographic display that you’ll notice in the story. The thought of swiping in thin air is so exciting that people are asking when experts and companies will come up with such devices.

Rumors spread way back in 2014 that the new iPhone 6 will feature holographic display. However, such feature still hasn’t happened even with the new iPhone 7. Hold your breath though, because experts from Queen’s University in Canada just made a prototype that can show us a sneak peek of the future smartphone technology.

The HoloFlex is a flexible smartphone which you can bend according to the shape that suits your needs. This flexible gadget also has a holographic functionality that’ll make you wish you can time travel to the future now. The research and development for the HoloFlex are still ongoing, but experts don’t see it coming to the market anytime soon.

For Learning

Adults are not the only ones who are engrossed to the magic of smartphones. Kids are also beginning to utilize smartphones earlier than usual. If you had your first cellphone at 15, kids today are now having their gadgets at 5. This phenomenon may give way to the use of smartphones as educational tools. In the future, expect kids to be learning through their smartphones by taking notes and more through their devices.

Eco-Friendly

The disposal of smartphones is a big problem to the environment. Because electronic devices are not made up of recyclable materials, the waste can damage the environment. However, smartphone companies along with other producers are now looking for ways to make products that are eco-friendly to reduce the harmful waste materials caused by their devices.

There are now concepts being released by various companies that’ll make charging possible through solar power. Other models are even using kinetic energy to recharge the battery. Having such features will make it more convenient for people who always drain their batteries when they are far from home.

As smartphones are becoming a part of our lives, everyone is expecting these gadgets to be more advanced soon. People are using smartphones for their everyday tasks and owning a more capable device will make things easier and life faster for the user. While there are no holographic or eco-friendly features on smartphones today, we are sure that soon enough, these functions will make their way to us but for now, we just have to enjoy the specifications that present smartphones can offer.

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