Monthly Archives: May 2018

A Wide Range Of Holiday Travel

Over the last few years, the over 50’s have seen a range of holiday travel options become available to them that offer wider choices and appeal. No longer limited to routine package tours, travellers can choose a trip that will appeal to their individual tastes. As with all holidays, the best trip is of course the one that most suits the travellers taking it.

With organised, independent, long term and alternative travel options there are trips for everyone – you just need to investigate your options. Organised tours and all inclusive hotel packages have long been popular with the over 50 crowd. The security and schedule appeal to less experienced travellers, as well as those who do not wish to bother with planning when on holiday. While coach tours are a large part of organised touring, there are tours to suit all interests. Some tours are designed around historical sites, which Europe of course has plenty to offer, others around art or wine (such as Northern France tours). More adventurous travellers can also take package tours to Africa on a photo safari or to Asia for a trek to a high-altitude base camp – these are hardly the routine package tours that we imagine! It’s a far cry from a seaside beach holiday to Blackpool.

For those wanting a more relaxed holiday; cruises provide travel, comfortable surroundings and also exotic destinations. However it doesn’t always have to be grandiose, there are many options for the over 50’s that want to experience a cruise for the first time. Cruising can be done on a traditional ship with hundreds or thousands of other tourists, like a holidays resort / city with movability. These larger cruise ships travel throughout the world’s oceans – some companies circumnavigate the Earth, others ply the seas between South America and Antarctica. These can for many be once in a lifetime experiences, a chance to see and experience wonders that we’ve all read about, but from the luxurious and enviable position of within a cruise.

One of the big differences with cruises today are the choices available. If circum-navigating seems a little too much, then there are European options that take in the major cities, or even river cruises to really slow down and appreciate the views.

If you’re determined to experience an ocean holiday and you’re not interested in big cruise ships, it is possible to charter a sailboat or motor yacht and take matters into your own hands! The only limits to yacht charter are those imposed by the captain, but get these clear at the beginning and enjoy the trip!

Independent-minded travellers over 50 are welcome in most destinations. Older travellers are welcome in hostels (and will be pleasantly surprised at the quality and options, it’s not just full of teenagers!), and backpacking can be an affordable way to see the world on a pension. Longer trips, like an adult version of the gap year, are also possible and many travel and tour operators have such things available. Gap year-style travel fits well with sabbaticals, new retirees and those looking to change careers. Available as strictly scheduled or free-flowing trips, the only difference between the adult gap year and that enjoyed by University students is the unavailability of working holiday visas for travellers over 30. Travellers over 50 are also branching out into so-called “voluntourism”. Trips can be organised around volunteer opportunities – such as safaris, or added in as time and interests allow.

Adventure Travel Holidays

Inland from Spain’s heavily developed southwestern coastal strip, the Pueblos Blancos sit loftily on AndalucĂ­a’s hillsides. These charming “White Villages” acquire their name from their pristinely whitewashed buildings, resplendent and sparkling brightly against the dazzling sun. Perched high on the hills between the coast on the west and the Ronda Mountains on the east, these towns offer an escape into natural surroundings, a glimpse into traditional Spanish life and lots of active adventure. Settled by Berbers during the eight centuries of Moorish rule, these villages, which were under the constant threat of attack were easily defensible and served as the border between Moors and Christians.

Towards Arcos de la Frontera
Winding slowly east into the mountains, high peaks, jagged crags, gorges, chasms and caves, and an occasional goat grazing on the hillsides take the place of beaches and crowds, with breathtaking views at every bend. Heading inland, Arcos de La Frontera, one of the prettiest towns in Spain, comes into view. Situated near the Guadalate River, high above a precipitous gorge, the town was an important Moorish stronghold and boasts spectacular vistas of olive groves, vineyards and bull and horse farms. Possessing an old-world charm, this lovely village is packed with history.

The National Parks in the Region
Picturesque Zahara de la Sierra, a typical fortified White Village, straddles a hilltop overlooking the wide, blue waters of the Embalse de Zahara, a man-made reservoir more like a natural lake. The town lays claim to a Moorish castle sitting high above on a rocky crest, which overlooks a lovely baroque church. From Zahara de la Sierra, a narrow mountain road winds and twists its way up to Grazalema, an idyllically beautiful, well-kept small town. Renowned for its many bubbling fountains, Grazalema has a wetter climate than its neighbors, its reward being its setting in the heart of the verdant Parque Natural Sierra de Grazalema. To the south and west of the Grazalema National Park, the National Park of Los Alcornocales, one of the world’s largest cork oak forests, forms the backdrop of an area of outstanding beauty and is home to rare species of Andalucian wildlife including mountain goats, red deer and wild boar.

Ronda’s Dramatic Setting
Snaking a way up past panoramic views of silvery green olive groves en route to Ronda, the small charming towns of Montijaque and Benaojan boast ancient caves with great Paleolithic cave drawings. Ronda, the largest of the Pueblos Blancos, sits on a limestone plateau, split by the El Tajo Gorge. Its dramatic setting above the enormous gorge, which drops over 100 m. below, made Ronda one of the last Moorish bastions to fall. Spanning the gorge are 3 exceptional bridges, the most spectacular of these being an 18th century construction standing on two massive pillars built at the bottom of the gorge.

On the edge of the crevice, dazzling white Moorish buildings with intricate window grilles of metal decorate Ronda’s Old Town. In this setting, the Palacio de Mondragon, used by kings as a palace and the most important building in town, features amazing views from its gardens. Located in the Mercadillo (“Little Market”) in the newer part of town, Ronda boasts one of Spain’s oldest bullrings, and the nearby Church of Santa Maria la Mayor, originally a mosque converted to church, is an interesting blend of Moor and Christian architecture. With its fascinating history, Ronda is a city well worth exploring.

In addition to a relaxed respite into local Spanish culture, this Andalucian region features a multitude of activities: Walking and hiking, horseback riding, caving, paragliding, wind and kite surfing are just some of the many adventures on offer. The countryside is stunning, the white cobbled towns charming, and the easy-going, warm and friendly locals mark the Andalucian character. Life’s leisurely pace is infectious here and is like a breath of cool, fresh air in Spain’s sizzling climate.

Irresistible Family Adventure Travel

Just south of the small coastal town of Quepos along the Pacific Ocean lies Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio National Park. The smallest of Costa Rica’s national parks, stretching over 1700 acres of land and nearly 136, 00 acres of marine reserve, it is nevertheless one of the most stunningly beautiful parks with a diversity of wildlife that is unmatched.

Tiny it may be, but Manuel Antonio embodies the very best Costa Rica has to offer: A breathtaking setting with offshore islands, pristine sand beaches, close up encounters with wildlife galore and a network of wide welcoming trails leading into a swathe of tropical rainforests where you may see marmosets, ocelots, river otters, sloths and rare monkeys. Howler monkeys Languidly clamber from tree to tree while iguanas scramble up trunks. Wild parrots ablaze with red and yellow feathers and toucans and scarlet macaws screech loudly as they flap by.

The lush forest cliffs rise sharply from the shoreline where capuchin monkeys abound and even rare squirrel monkeys can be seen. Butterflies, as well as wild flowers and plants intensify the forest’s colorful setting, offering spectacular scenery unique to Costa Rica.

To the backdrop of the lush mountainous tropical forest reaching to the water’s edge, the park features idyllic white beaches. Gazing down from the quickly rising hillsides, you’ll gasp in awe at the breathtaking vistas expanding beneath you. Connected by trails meandering through the rainforest, the near perfect beaches of Espadilla Sur, Playita, Escondido and Playa Manuel Antonio pave the setting for snorkeling, water board surfing and great swimming. A small coral reef and 12 offshore islets add to the beauty, where dolphins and whales can sometimes be spotted.

Whitewater rafting, kayaking and fishing are also core water activities in the park. Hiking and nature walks through the jungle abound and horseback riding and mountain biking trips provide unparalleled excitement. The latter take travelers on day-long expeditions to the mangroves, and shorter explorations through the forests and along the coastline.

The awesome views, the pristine, unspoiled sandy beaches, the exciting trails and tropical rainforests not only offer a great adventure opportunity, but the wealth of wildlife of every kind make this a scene for great family travel vacation. Bringing together this charming combination in a unique and exotic setting, Manuel Antonio National Park is a fabulous adventure destination with a wealth of activities and attractions for all types and all ages.

Education Travel

Despite economic stagnation in Asia and Europe, travel industry is expected to grow with a rapid pace. In recent few years, more and more people have been exploring options both in domestic and international locations, thanks to the inspiring novels, online travel portals and well- enhanced facilities available. Several innovative and interesting biz ideas are also coming into market, which give boost to the industry on large scale. Education travel is one such idea in the box that promotes tourism among students and educational professionals.

Universities in the U.K. & U.S.A. attract galore overseas students. This is not only because they offer high quality courses, but also more attractive things to explore the career exposure of students in respective countries. Quality accommodations and delightful amenities are some other reasons why students head on to these western countries. But one thing quite prominent in this matter is the education travel biz a number of companies pursue worldwide.

The companies promote tourism, providing quality travel info and customized deals for students, individual as well in educational institutes, on both domestic and international tours. The major motive of education travel is to build a stronger and more enduring connection between students and the communities they visit. With strong guide interpretation, experiential programming and substantive involvements, education travel makes the trip worthwhile.

While searching before writing this blog, what I found is that education travel is on its way to become the most significant part of travel industry. Many new players have forayed into this specialized market, which according to experts is recession-proof and has great potential in Asia and Europe. The biz offers something interesting for students of all segments – playing and learning activities for kids, while educational programs like historical and language tour for high-school students. Health and safety of students is kept on priority, while attempts are made to bring their interests and skills out.

Recently, during an historical tour, students from a collage of Delhi University were taken to the Qutub Minar in Delhi and then to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Students were divided into groups and then given a task to find similarities and difference between the two monuments, both structurally and symbolically. A photo contest was also fixed among interested candidates, and the winner got financial aid for the trip up to 70 % of total cost. The photos taken at the trip were later used for discussion questions and classroom activities. Literally, it sounds pleasurable, interesting and great learning. Doesn’t it?

Since education travel is blooming and many travel companies offer customized arrangements for, you can easily plan a trip for you. Determine your requirements like number of people in your group and your travel theme etc along with how much you’re ready to pay in advance. Now contact a reputed travel company to get a deal that matches your needs and budget. A wide range of education travel packages are however available online to choose from.