5 Delightful European Travel Destinations for Winter Sun

For many people, it’s this time of year that the travel bug starts to take over. There is that desire to escape the stress and hustle of everyday life, and experience a different destination, culture, and of course climate. As we get closer to winter, the desire to flock to a warmer climate starts to sink in, and suddenly you may find yourself researching European winter sun destinations.

Well, we’ve gone ahead and done the work for you and provided a list of the top winter sun destinations that you can find right here in Europe. The biggest question you’ll need to answer is how you’ll pick just one of these locations?

Sicily, Italy

Sicily has long since been a popular winter destination for tourists who are looking to unwind, relax, and enjoy some sunshine. Of course, there is a lot more to Sicily than its pleasant winter temperatures, there’s also the culture, cuisine, history, architecture, and stunning natural beauty of the region. Highlights include Mount Etna, Baroque towns to explore, Taormina, and a variety of archaeological sites to keep you intrigued. Sicily is also the fictional home of Inspector Montalbano!

Malta

Then we have Malta, which may be relatively small in size but it packs a real punch in terms of vacation enjoyment. Here you will find a whopping nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, rocky cliffs and coves, quaint little fishing villages, history and natural harbours, fabulous cuisine, and plenty of sunshine and mild temperatures. The winter months are quite dry and you’ll find the temperatures don’t often drop below 15°C, so there’s no need to bundle up.

If you want to experience a really special time of year in Malta, be sure to visit during the Christmas season when you’ll find a variety of Christmas markets to explore.

Cyprus

If you’re looking for a destination that is a bit more exotic and warmer, then Cyprus could be the winter destination for you. Here you’ll find the temperatures sit around 20°C throughout the entire winter, and again you’ll get plenty of sunshine. The big draws of Cyprus are the history and culture, but let’s not forget to also mention the food. For the foodies out there, this can be the perfect place to satisfy your cravings for spectacular and unique dishes.

Canary Islands, Spain

Perhaps budget is a concern as you book your winter getaway, and if that’s the case the Canary Islands in Spain can be a great option. These islands are warm and comfortable all year round and are often dubbed as one of the best winter sun destinations in all of Europe. Despite their popularity, the Canary Islands manage to stay affordable, giving plenty of people an opportunity to visit.

In terms of what you’ll find here, the Canary Islands are ideal for those looking for a no-fuss, laid back, and quiet vacation. This one is ideal for couples who are looking for a romantic getaway and want to escape the large sprawling resorts.

Madeira, Portugal

You can’t create a list of European winter sun destinations without also include Madeira, Portugal. Madeira isn’t found on the mainland, in fact, it is 1,000 miles out to sea from the mainland. It’s often seen as one of the most remote islands in Europe, as well as the most exotic. It has a real tropical feel to it with its lush greenery and gardens, expansive coastline, plenty of sun, mountainous landscape, and comfortable temperatures all year-round.

Be Prepared with Travel Insurance

As a final tip, you’ll want to be sure you purchase European travel insurance, such as the coverage you can find through Staysure, which includes Covid-19 cover as standard. Regardless of the destination, it gives you that peace of mind that is even more necessary during today’s times. You can get a quote online quickly and easily.

Go Ahead and Book that Holiday

As you can tell, there is no shortage of European sun destinations, which means you may need to book more than one getaway.

How to Save For the Trip of a Lifetime

Many people aspire to travel the world or embark on a profound and meaningful journey. However, for some, it’s hard to imagine ever being able to afford this dream adventure. Despite the challenges involved in raising funds for the trip of a lifetime, it’s absolutely possible to do it. In this article, we’ll look at a few approaches you can take to make your traveling dreams a reality.

Draw Up a Strict Budget and Savings Plan

The best first step when saving for anything at all is to calculate how much you’ll need and what it will take to achieve that amount. Factor in everything from transport and accommodation to food and miscellaneous expenses. Consider the cost of equipment purchase or hire if you’re planning on hiking, skiing or doing any other specialist activity. You should also include a good-sized contingency in case of emergencies. Next, take into account your existing income and expenditure. What could you cut back on and how much would that save per month? Without restricting yourself too much, calculate how long it is likely to take to save the required money in your current situation. Remember to allow for unexpected expenses leading up to your trip.

Refinance and Consolidate

Have you taken out any loans? Do you have any debts? You may be able to look into refinancing, particularly when it comes to student loans or mortgages. With refinancing, you can opt for private financing to repay all your student loans and you’ll be left with one loan with a new repayment schedule and interest rate. Releasing equity is a great way to access money quickly but it can also be risky, so make sure you know exactly what you’re doing.

Take on Extra Work

Do you have the time and energy to undertake additional employment? If so, think about looking for an evening or weekend job to earn extra money. While this is a way of raising funds surprisingly quickly, you should take care not to run yourself into the ground or let your personal life suffer as a result.

Try a New Saving Technique

Why not think about opening a savings account? If you set aside a predetermined amount of money every week and deposit it, it will gain interest and grow over time. Many accounts will only allow you to access these funds after a particular length of time, so you won’t be able to spend the saved amount until the time is right. Another approach is to hold back a percentage of your monthly wage, perhaps between 15 and 20%, and earmark it for your trip. Whether you have a special money jar or a separate bank account solely for this purpose, saving in this way is simple but surprisingly effective.

Consider Earning While You Travel

If you’re able to make money during your trip, you’ll need to bring less along. It’s definitely best to make firm arrangements before you set off in case you’re left in a pinch, but there are numerous online resources available to help you find short-term work overseas. Of course, it’s important to first make sure you have the right permissions to seek employment in your destination country so be sure to check the regulations before you accept a position.

5 Best Itineraries for Your Next Cruise

If you dream of experiencing an unforgettable trip with your family or your partner, cruising can be the perfect answer to all your needs. Every year, many travelers book both ocean and river cruises and leave for a life-changing adventure.

There are many companies, such as Aqua Expeditions, that offer marvelous river and ocean cruises all around the world. All you have to do is pick your favorite itinerary and leave for your next adventure. If you still haven’t decided which one your next destination is going to be, we have selected five of the best itineraries to take into account before you book your cruise. Continue reading

4 Activities You Shouldn’t Miss Out on for a Luxe Berkshire Holiday

Image by Luxury London

The United Kingdom is full of luxury retreats, and there’s such a strong sense of culture no matter where you go. This rich and varied culture is what makes trips to the UK so irresistible, but also what makes it difficult to plan — with so many avenues and activities to explore, where do you even begin?

If you’re looking for a prime destination to visit while in the UK, look no further than Berkshire. Below are four suggestions for luxe travellers you won’t forget any time soon. Continue reading

Keeping In Touch With Loved Ones When You Travel

Travelling can be a hugely liberating experience. Whether you’re travelling alone or travelling with a companion. You get to free yourself from the confines of your usual day job. You get to break free from other unnecessary commitments that many of us place on ourselves. You get to travel the world, see new places, experience new things and have the time of your life. But one obstacle many people find when they are travelling is that they will miss their nearest and dearest. Often, we grow up in one area and have strong bonds with people who remain home.

But nowadays, this problem is more easily surmountable than in the past. The rise of technology and other industries means that it’s easier to stay in touch with those we love than ever before. Here are a few simple steps you can take to keep in touch with people, no matter where you are in the world. Continue reading

Five Tips for Eating Healthy While Traveling in 2021

One activity on the top of almost every wish list is ‘traveling’. Breaking the routine and exploring new places and people is something that excites most people. You might know a couple of your friends or family who make it a point to take an annual vacation (sometimes two!) and share their happy pictures on social media. Then there are those whose work takes them places on a weekly or monthly basis and lets them discover new cultures and work ethics. But be it for leisure or business, traveling around does take a toll on the ‘eating habits’. Continue reading

How to Live Out Your Golden Years in Ease

Ahh, retirement—the word itself makes you feel relaxed, free, and at peace. When it’s finally time to say goodbye to your work grind and hello to the next chapter of your life, you’ll want to be sure you welcome it with a sense of seamless security. And as a time that most people look forward to, you deserve to make the transition without a hitch.

Whether you’re looking forward to spending more time with your grandchildren or the generous tax breaks that come with retirement, there’s a bit of something for every retiree to look forward to. But besides enjoying the luxury of a freed-up day-to-day schedule, how else can you make the most of your golden years?

Let’s take a deep dive into the many ways in which you can take full advantage of your retirement and relish every single moment of it!

Start saving

In order to enjoy your retirement in its entirety, you’ll likely want to have a secure hold over your financial situation. Even if you’re in a position where you’re seeking help for seniors with low income, there are a number of ways you can stabilize your income without fear of floundering. Also, depending on your particular preferences and current assets, you may consider opting for a retirement savings plan.

Here are a few different types of retirement savings plans you may consider:

  • 401k
  • SIMPLE IRA
  • SEP IRA
  • IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Roth 401k

Each plan comes with a different set of rules and regulations, so you’ll want to be sure you’re picking the right one for you before you sign off.

Get social

For some retirees, transitioning away from the work grind can be a lonely one. If you were constantly surrounded by people at your last place of employment, you may find it difficult to keep your social habits up to par. Fortunately, there are plenty of viable avenues to go down if you’re looking to create a new social network of fellow retirees.

For some, joining a retirement community is an easy way to find a new social circle whereas others may choose to join a book club instead. In addition, if family time is enough for you, make an effort to spend more time with your loved ones.

Find new ways to have fun

With so much time available to do just about anything your heart desires, there’s no time like retirement to have a little fun. Luckily, there so many different ways to engage your mind, body, and soul. Here are a few creative ideas to spark your imagination:

  • Learn something new
    • From learning a new language to mastering a new recipe, adding another skillset to your expansive repertoire of abilities will make you feel good inside.
  • Exercise
    • Not only is staying active imperative for keeping your health in good condition, but it’s also a great way to lift your spirits and burn some calories while you’re at it. Consider joining a seniors’ fitness class for added social benefits. If you have a doubt on how to choose equipment for those activities visit runnerclick site.
  • Go green
    • If you’ve always wanted to start your own garden, now’s your time! Whether it’s a mini assembly of flowers in a cute window box or a full-fledged front yard escapade, all you need is a few seeds, plenty of sunshine and a regular sprinkling of water to watch your garden come to life.
  • Volunteer
    • Volunteering is great way to use your free time. Not only is it a great space to get to know your community, but it also allows you to give back in ways you may not have tried before.

Explore the world

Whether it’s a relaxing vacation abroad or a cozy town-over stay that’s calling your name, booking a trip (or two, or three) may be the best way to enter your golden years. The world outside of the town you call home is vast, jaw-droppingly beautiful, and waiting for you to explore.

If you’re not into the stress that comes with planning a vacation, you may consider booking with a professional travel agency. These travel agencies effectively ensure that clients like you are able to have the trip of their lives by tailoring their activities to your particular interests.

Lastly, your golden years are meant to be the happiest of your life. With these keen tips, you’ll be best prepared for all of the fruits of retirement.

Whistler Foodies Guide

Whistler’s reputation as a leading winter ski resort and summer playground often leads the fall season to get overlooked. The months of September through November provide a respite from extreme temperatures, a more laid-back pace and plenty of opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors ahead of the busy winter season. There are plenty of travel deals to be had too.

Whistler has become a culinary cornerstone and foodie paradise in recent years, helped by an endless supply of organic produce grown locally in Pemberton Valley. Armed with a bounty of delicious ingredients, Whistler’s finest chefs are able to serve up an array of dishes from the numerous restaurants and eateries. With the autumn harvest in full swing, the months of fall are best if you’re looking to truly enjoy a taste of British Columbia.

Here’s our foodies guide to fall in Whistler.

Araxi Restaurant

Five-Star Food

Aura restaurant is located in one of Whistler’s most beautiful spots. Nestled next to Nita Lake and part of the stunning Nita Lake Lodge hotel, the restaurant also has an open concept kitchen so you’ll be able to watch on as busy chefs prepare a variety of dishes. Led by Executive Chef James Olberg, the restaurant combines traditional French cooking techniques with a love of west coast ingredients. Free parking is available at Aura for those who wish to drive, or a free shuttle bus operates from Whistler Village to Nita Lake Lodge.

No list of Whistler restaurants would be complete without mentioning Araxi. As one of the earliest pioneers of authentic farm-to-table dining, it’s hardly surprising that harvest time is one of the best times to visit. The restaurant also champions west coast fishermen and is a great choice for seafood lovers. Freshly shucked oysters are available each day between 3 and 5pm in Araxi’s oyster bar. Executive Chef James Walt has even written a book, Araxi: Roots to Shoots, Farm Fresh Recipes, showcasing how Araxi’s famous Longtable Dinner events and dining room classics can be adapted for home cooked favourites.

Bearfoot Bistro is another leading Whistler restaurant worth adding to your list. Try your hand at sabering a bottle of Champagne or visit the Ketel One Ice room, the coldest vodka tasting room in the world. From a dedicated oyster-shucker to sommeliers, a friendly and experienced bar team to an extensive live music program, Bearfoot Bistro is perfect for apres-ski, dinner, drinks or late-night dancing. The iles de la Madeleine lobster is a hot addition to the menu comprising a seared scallop, Thai green curry, charred gai Ian, crispy ginger and chilli. 

Purebread

Ideal for breakfast

With so much to do in Whistler during the fall months, you’ll need a good breakfast to set you up for the day ahead. 

Purebread has three locations, Whistler Village, Function Junction, and Gastown in Vancouver, and all are notable thanks to their delectable selection of baked goods. Not only are Purebread’s sweet and savoury creations delicious, but they’re also affordable. Over 20 different loaves are baked here too, from the classic baguette to lavender rosemary bread, and you can grab a coffee too.

Street food selection

For a taste of Mexico in the heart of Canada, head to La Cantina. Mexican street cuisine includes delicious tacos starting at just $2.50, and their burritos are among the best in Canada. Beers are served here too, perfect for washing down tacos or burritos and a great latino vibe exudes from this Whistler hotspot.

Best for dessert

For that afternoon pick-me-up head to COWS. Located in the village, this much loved establishment serves homemade ice cream made to an old family recipe from Prince Edward Island. 32 varieties are out at all times and their waffle cones are made in-house. An ice cream is the perfect way to pass a warm and sunny fall afternoon.

Italian indulgence

Head to Il Caminetto to enjoy the best of Italian cuisine. The expert team of chefs blend local flavours with traditional Italian style and a host of hearty pasta dishes adorn their fall menu. Check out the extensive wine list too, designed to complement the seasonal menu.

Perfect pizza

On the journey from Squamish to Whistler, you’ll be treated to some of the best views Canada has to offer. You’ll also find Functional Pie in the heart of trendy Function Junction. Functional Pie serves up delicious New York inspired pan pizzas and the “Train Wreck” pizza comes highly recommended. The pizza is named after a local hike and popular tourist  site – the Whistler Train Wreck. The site is home to an abandoned rail cars now colourfully painted by local artists. The pizza version is equally as colourful, loaded with capocollo, pepperoni, mushroom, and pecorino.

Forged Axe Throwing

Work it off…

After all that great food, check out the many fall activities on offer in Whistler. While in Function Junction, pay a visit to Forged Axe Throwing and try your hand at this exciting party pastime. Yes, axe throwing is Canada’s exciting alternative to darts. The team at Forged have all you need to get started and will provide a full safety and training briefing to get you started. Expect things to get competitive as you test your aim hurling axes at a wooden target in true lumberjack fashion.

No visit to Whistler would be complete without a little sightseeing. Ziplining in Whistler is one of the best ways to view the changing autumnal landscape and the reds and oranges of the old growth forests. You’ll be strapped to a zipline and sent soaring above the trees and valleys. The unique harness setup means you can also ride side-by-side, perfect for sharing the opportunity with a friend or loved one.

The fall months are your final opportunity to access the miles of winding trails before the first snow of winter arrives. Guided hikes in Whistler are one of the best ways to enjoy the wilderness safely as well as enjoying some of the most breathtaking vantage points with the help of a local. While mountain biking in Whistler is largely seen as a summer activity,  the fall months still provide plenty of opportunity to enjoy fun on two wheels whether taking to the trails or enjoying the bike park.

Getting to Whistler: Fly to Vancouver International Airport from where Whistler is a two hour drive. Frequent daily shuttles depart daily from the terminal building.

An Interview with Tara Lazar, Founder of F10 Creative

The F10 Creative is a small empire of iconic restaurants in the ever-growing travel destination of Palm Springs, California, less than two hours away from Los Angeles. The restaurant family includes the famous brunch hotspot Cheeky’s, the gorgeous modern steakhouse Mr. Lyons and their classic cocktail hideaway Seymour’s, a lively and al fresco Italian eatery Birba, the sleek and seree hotel Alcazar, and F10 Catering, the go-to service for all top-tier brand and celebrity events in the desert area.

Tara Lazar, a Palm Springs native, who after spending time traveling and sampling flavors around the world, she returned home to build Cheeky’s as the first establishment in the F10 line. Tara has been hands on in every step of the way for each property, from creating the menu and cooking on the line, to designing the atmosphere and touching tables nightly. She now employs almost 200 residents of Palm Springs, and has been an influential voice across staffing, sourcing and serving in the hospitality industry.

Below, Tara discusses the background of Mr. Lyons while highlighting local farms the restaurant group works closely with in addition to which will be the new arrivals to the menu come late summer and early fall.

Tell us your background and how you have brought your expertise to Mr. Lyons.

My background is ten + years in the restaurant business with a lifetime in Palm Springs. I felt there was a need for a glamorous farm forward elegant restaurant in Palm Springs. Certainly a place to see and be seen but with really solid food.

Which dishes on the menu have stood out for you this summer? For guests?

I’m loving the raw zucchini salad with squash blossoms and the Carolina Gold fried rice. It’s nice to have the mix of really good veggie options at the steakhouse.

I noticed you work closely with a number of local farms and markets. Which ingredients are your favorites to utilize and describe your partnership with these farms and businesses.

Everything is local right now since we’re at the peak of summer. I’m always a sucker for our local corn that comes so fresh and sweet you can eat it raw – as the starch hasn’t even started to form. Milliken farms for corn. Munak farms for the heirloom tomatoes. Weiser farms for squash flowers, etc.

Which are your favorite cocktail and dish pairings?

Rittenhouse rye whiskey sour and our roasted bone marrow with oxtail tellicherry pepper gastric.  A great Amarone and our Beef Wellington checks a lot of boxes too.

Which are your favorite dishes? 

We have incredible steak but our sides are [also] the stand outs. Onion rings are exceptional. Crispy brussel sprout leaves with balsamic, and our wedge is dipped in a red wine vinegar so it has this acidic element that helps it stand up to all the rich blue cheese and bacon components that gives it the perfect balance.

What are your plans for transitioning into the fall as far as the menu?

We’re excited to start revamping more classic dishes that seem to have fallen to a bygone time. Everything from onion dips, to green goddess dressings, to an epic chopped salad, or even a perfect lobster bisque. That’s what is piquing my palate right now.

How was the restaurant [Mr. Lyons] concept created and what will be new this coming late summer/early fall?

I am very nostalgic in general – and food and restaurants are my link to my best nostalgic moments. I’ve lived and dined at Mr. Lyons for over 40 years, so I wanted to restore the magic of Palm Springs through this concept. Less and less restauranteurs want huge restaurants with fine dining because it’s a big feat to pull off, but we were ready. We wanted something glamorous and classic and “that” place where if you went to Palm Springs and didn’t visit Mr. Lyons, you didn’t do Palm Springs properly.

New things: Our steak is so good it should be left alone but I want to really play with more interesting bar snacks. Bring back old classics but with great ingredients and fun presentations. That’s what we’re focusing our efforts on in the kitchen lab right now.

http://www.f10creative.com/new/f10-home.html

Culinary Discoveries & Family Fun with Aruba Marriott Resort

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino is a culinary dream destination for the whole family, located less than twenty minutes away from Queen Beatrix International Airport, Aruba. My daughter and I had the pleasure of visiting the resort for three nights in mid June. Awaiting us was a culinary extravaganza set in a picture-perfect scene of palapas (umbrella-like roofs) and sparkling turquoise waters on beautiful Palm Beach.

The resort boasts the largest accommodations on the island with ten restaurants and bars including a pop-up beach restaurant, Atardi, and every water sport imaginable in addition to tennis. As Aruba is famously known as One Happy Island, there are endless opportunities for every family member, from exploring the nightlife and nearby shopping destinations, to adventurous off-road treks, windsurfing, snorkeling, paddle-boarding, SUP yoga, boating, and more. All of these activities mixed with unforgettable culinary discoveries await you in Aruba. Continue reading

Must Have Snacks for Spring Break Travel

Keep your unhealthy cravings at a minimum with these five super delicious, better-for-you snacks that are a must have when traveling long or short distances for spring break. If you are heading to Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, you will have the opportunity to meet each of the following brands in person.

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