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Archive for May, 2013

Top 10 Hidden Gems for Your Next Trip to Europe

City Skylines Paris London BerlinEven though Europe has a wide variety of wonderful places to experience, it immediately conjures up pictures of London, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, and other traditional destinations. Many travelers miss out on the other treasures in Europe. The next time you explore your getaway options we recommend the following hidden gems which will bring you the most of your travel experience.

1. Scotland, a part of the United Kingdom with all its brave history attached

Haze over Edinburgh Castle

Haze over Edinburgh Castle (SMHutch Photography on Flickr)

Scotland has far more to offer than golf courses, Sean Connery, and castles. The late summer season provides festivals displaying dance, music and theater. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh offers seventy acres of green houses and lush gardens.  Tour the many world-famous Single Malt Scotch Whisky distilleries.  Enjoy the incredible fresh and smoked local seafoods.  A trip to Pinney’s of Orford, that offers arguably the best smoked salmon in the world, is a must. Visit the Highlands for outdoor adventure, home of the Loch Ness.  Not just the home of “Nessie” the fabled Loch Ness Monster, but also a center for culture, festivals, and the arts.

2. Hungary. Once a major political power Hungary has a great history

Dunabe River Bank

Dunabe River Bank in Budapest Hungary. Photograph by Jon Hicks/CORBIS

Budapest, one of the most beautiful and historical cities in Europe. It offers a balance between the old and the new cultural renaissance. Budapest is the home to many therapeutic public baths, including Széchenyi Spa, Budapest’s largest public bath. Enjoy 18 indoor and outdoor pools –fed by mineral springs – as well as several steam rooms and saunas under Baroque-style domes. Experience the incredible acoustics inside the Budapest Opera House, considered to be among the best in the world. Built in the 1880s, the Budapest Opera House stands as one of the most prestigious musical institutions in Europe. Catch a staged opera performance by Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, or Wagner.  A visit to Europe is not complete without visiting Budapest with its rich culture and wonderful food.

3. Portugal was the longest-lived of the modern European colonial empires

Alfama Lisbon roof tops on hill side

Alfama, the old part of Lisbon. Photo credit: Miguel Vieira Creative Commons license

Portugal is situated on the right bank of the river Douro. Lisbon is a cultural mecca steeped in history with wonderful cuisine, wines, and of course, the best selection of Port Wine, from obscure vintners throughout the country. Porto is one of the oldest European centers, and registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. Its settlement dates back many centuries, when it was an outpost of the Roman Empire.  Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost province, has become the country’s most popular travel destination, with some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches, some of the continent’s top golf courses, magnificent cliff scenery, fantastic grottoes, and warm year-round climate.

Dona Ana Beach. Algarve, Portugal

Dona Ana Beach. Algarve, Portugal. Photo credit: Lacobrigo under Creative Commons copyright

4. France is not all about Paris

Pont de Pierre in Bordeaux, France

Pont de Pierre by Olivier Aumage under CC-BY-SA-2.0-fr license

For many people the word Bordeaux is synonymous with wine. But the region gives yearlong musical and theatrical programs to its local people and millions of tourists. Also, of note is the Museum of Fine Arts. The museum regularly organizes temporary exhibitions in the Gallery of Fine Arts. It also features a cultural program of events, concerts, conferences, and film screenings.  Essential works from the 16th to the 20th century, including Perugino, Brueghel the Elder, Pietro da Cortona, Van Dyck, Van Goyen, Rubens, Chardin, Magnasco, Corot, Delacroix, Matisse, Kokoschka, as well as a large collection of Bordeaux artists Odilon Redon, Albert Marquet and Andre Lhote.  And of course, the wine tastings, tours of the wineries, and cuisine are among the best in the world.

5. Austria. Was Mozart a good alpine skier?

Old Town Salzburg Salzach River

Photograph by Jiuguang Wang under Creative Commons

Salzburg is situated here and it is the home for many popular composers. It has so much to offer, particularly in July and August while the festival of Salzburg occurs, jam-packing drama, concerts and opera by famous performers from all over the world and composers into a period of 28 days. Mozart’s home is open to the public. The rooms of the residence have been maintained to show his style of life.

6. Ireland, look beyond the Temple Bar

Temple Bar in DublinThe capital city, Dublin, is a fascinating mixture of culture and architecture dating from medieval times to modern. The Chester Beatty Library houses an incredible collection of  manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and decorative arts assembled by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968). The rich collections from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe open windows to the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world. Egyptian papyrus texts, beautifully illustrated copies of the Qur’an, the Bible, and European Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts are among the highlights of the collection. In its diversity, the collection captures much of the richness of human creative expression from about 2700 B.C to the present day.  Don’t miss the Guinness Brewery.  The pubs and cafés provide tremendous entertainment and local color. Day tours are available showcasing the beautiful coast and lush green countryside.

7. Germany. What’s the oldest city here?

Cologne city view across the riverMunich, Berlin and Frankfurt are definitely great destinations, and very popular. But, Cologne, Germany’s oldest city, is an incredible place to experience culture and beauty. Located on the banks of the Rhine River, the beauty is astounding. Cologne Zoo was founded in 1860 and is one of the oldest, yet also one of the most modern zoological gardens in the world, with an elephant park covering 20,000 m² and the Hippodom, a unique re-creation of an African river valley landscape with hippos, Nile crocodiles and antelopes. The Cologne Cathedral is the landmark centerpiece of the city reflecting the best of Gothic Style architecture.

8. Czech Republic. Karluv Bridge is just the beginning!

Charles Bridge PraguePrague is rapidly becoming the premier destination for sophisticated travelers in Eastern Europe.  The city has a wonderful sense of humor, reflected in their nightlife and cosmopolitan feel.  At the same time the traveler is surrounded by churches, towers, and historical buildings, and parks—some dating back to the 14th century.  Burn a witch in effigy, decipher a 15th century clock.  The Astronomical Clock has been ticking and pulling in the crowds since 1490. Every hour on the hour, from 8am to 8pm, wooden saints emerge from trap doors, while below, a lesson in medieval morality is enacted by Greed, Vanity, Death, and the Turk.  Prague is a very popular wedding destination as well.  Enjoy a wonderful Michelin rated dinner, clubbing afterward, and don’t forget to try the most popular beers, Pilsner Urguell and Gambrinus.  Czechs are very proud of their beer.

9. Spain, be seduced by tapas and Flamenco!

Seville Cathedral AndaluciaSeville provides travelers with a wide variety of great choices.  Be seduced by the Flamenco. Graze the incredible Tapas Bars in Barrio Santa Cruz. Visit the Seville Cathedral–the cathedral is the largest gothic construction in the world at present, started in 1402, and the third largest cathedral in the world.

10. Italy. No longer the heart of the Roman Empire but what about its heritage?

Beautiful panoramic view of old city - Florence, ItalyOf course there are Rome and Venice, both wonderful—but Florence in the Tuscany Region is a treasure not to be missed. Beautiful countryside with the feeling of the 15th century.   Overload your senses at the Uffizi Gallery, housing the world’s greatest collection of Renaissance Art, followed by a visit to the Galleria Dell Accademia to view works of Michelangelo including the masterpiece “David”.  Enjoy incredible food in the city’s innumerable great restaurants or enjoy a simple picnic in the country with antipasti, a chianti riserva, smoked meats, artisanal breads and cheeses,  and some of the best olive oils and vinegars the world has to offer. A tour to Florence is a journey through time.

Today’s travelers have unlimited choices of how to spend their precious time away from their every day routine.  Before you decide on your next holiday destination, please take a moment to fill out the ESTA visa form and submit.  Our expert travel consultants will ensure that your next traveling experience will be truly memorable.

Have fun and enjoy!!!

Why You Should Go To Nantucket For Vacation This Summer

Nantucket Vacation rental

Why Nantucket vacation rentals are so desirable

Nantucket is an area full of breath taking views, friendly neighbors and many activities to keep you and your loved ones busy. If you are thinking of getting a Nantucket Vacation Rental, here are some reasons why you should.

Nantucket has beautiful homes available to rent with many of them close to or on the beach. Along with amazing seaside views, you will find homes that can accommodate both large and small families.

Many of the homes are in the Cape-Cod style, which is indicative of the area. You will find spacious interiors, with vibrant wall colors of light blues, yellows and greens. Moreover, some of the homes have crown molding and many windows for you to enjoy wonderful views of the area.

Along with design, the homes come equipped with everything you need to feel comfortable. The furnishings are plentiful, giving you ample seating to accommodate larger parties. The bedrooms have suites, which are perfect to provide privacy if you share your home with other friends or family. Best of all, there are top of the line appliances that you can use to make gourmet meals.

While the comforts of home are one big draw to getting a Nantucket vacation rental, the attractions are another big coup.

With it being a smaller area, you can find it easy to move around to find different attractions. Most importantly, you can discover things to do everyone in your family will enjoy.

To enjoy the natural beauty of Nantucket, you can have a lazy day on Surfside Beach. There, you can challenge your surfing skills on the waves or just enjoy the views.

Nantucket lighthouse is a must see attraction

Along with beaches, the Sankaty Head Lighthouse is another attraction to visit. Built in 1850, this historic lighthouse towers 90 feet above sea level. Further, it provides guest with a chance to explore inside and enjoy breathtaking views.

Additionally, there are many museums in the area to visit. The Nantucket Life-Saving Museum is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the brave men who risked their lives to find survivors of shipwrecks.

As you can see, there are many benefits to renting in this area. Whether it’s to enjoy breathtaking views, enjoy the charm of Cape-Cod homes or take in the natural surrounding at the beach, it’s likely you will find something to enjoy.

Travel tips for visiting Nantucket

If you are interested in rentals, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

The summer months are extremely busy with many tourists coming to town. This can make it difficult to book rentals on short notice. Conversely, the spring and autumn months are the shoulder seasons, where you will be able to find less expensive rentals. It’s also easier to drive around as there is less traffic and most attractions and restaurants remain open.

With this in mind, if you want to come during the summer months it’s imperative to book early as demand is high. It’s also important to give yourself more time as traffic is heavier.

Ultimately, vacationing in Nantucket can be awe-inspiring due to the wonderful views, the friendly people and the rich history of the area. You will find the rentals clean, fully- equipped and in great locations so you can go out and explore this historic area.

Mike is an avid traveler and has been to many popular vacation destinations throughout the years.

Less is More: Barefoot Luxury in Puerto Viejo, Caribbean coast of Costa Rica

Arrecife Beach Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

Arrecife Beach, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Off the beaten path travel story

So you’re dreaming of getting off the beaten path and forgetting all the trivialities of daily life… it’s time to leave the alarm clock at home along with your shoes, appointments and obligations.

You’re searching for a place where you can truly relax, leave your watch behind and call time your own. You need some natural beauty and wildlife, perhaps an adventure and you don’t want it manicured and presented on a plate.Barefoot Luxury Geckoes Lodge Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

Of course there’s myriad places to choose, with far too many websites promising you Paradise at a reasonable or even discounted price and you haven’t got the energy to trawl through and what’s more, are they selling what you’re looking for?

Is Puerto Viejo and its sister settlements of Cocles, Playa Chiquita, Punta Uva and Manzanillo on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica the place for you?

Maybe…

If a golf course, pool aerobics, room service, shopping malls, theatre, or an all inclusive resort is your idea of the perfect holiday then read no further.

But if you’re looking for a small eclectic beach town laid out along a strip of coast where the rainforest meets the ocean, with an atmosphere so laid back you have no option but to relax and where there’s loads to see and do but also a string of beautiful beaches to do absolutely nothing on, this may be the place for you.

Pareos for sale in Puerto Viejo

Traditional pareos for sale at the beach in Puerto Viejo

Puerto Viejo is not for everyone… there’s a lot of things that it doesn’t have… like the ubiquitous chain restaurants and shops, theatre, cinema, ancient sites and all inclusive resorts.

You may have seen the traditional description of this area with photos of picture postcard beaches of white sand and leaning palm trees, houses in rainbow colours, Afro Caribbean cuisine, restaurants catering to every taste, howler monkeys hanging around in the trees and a sloth casually crossing the road.

Sloth looks comfy at Puerto Viejo

And possibly you’ve checked out the smorgasbord of activities and trips on offer from the popular zip-lining through the rainforest canopy to surfing, white water rafting, diving, snorkeling  fishing and dolphin watching to organic chocolate tours, Caribbean cooking classes, jungle or beach horseback riding to indigenous tribal visits and so the list goes on.

Zipline at Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

All in all it paints a pretty attractive picture especially when you add the wonderful wildlife spotting of laying leather-back turtles, huge iridescent blue Morpho butterflies, disguised iguanas, technicolor toucans, neon dart frogs, speedy agoutis and fishing pelicans alongside the famous smiling sloths and swinging monkeys.

Howler monkey resting on a tree at Puerto Viejo Geckoe Lodge

So is it ‘just’ this Caribbean menu that brings visitors back again and again, even those that have sworn to never revisit the same place twice because their Bucket List awaits?

Black-green poison dart frog

Maybe…

But maybe it’s all of the above plus something less tangible. After all there are other places in the world that also offer the visitor a menu of entertaining diversions,  a glimpse into another way of life and a chance to indulge a Caribbean fantasy.

Puerto Viejo and the surrounding area offer something more that resonates not only with locals and the 46 nationalities that call here home, but also with the most casual of visitors.

Crop of Baby Hummingbirds in Geckoes Garden, Geckoes Lodge, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Perhaps we could call that ‘extra something’ the sophistication of simplicity.

Imagine a place where many of the superficial pretentious trappings of modern life are stripped away:  Where the type of car you drive, the fancy clothing, the type of phone, the size of your house or TV screen or the title you hold at work becomes totally irrelevant.

Where you are simply you.

Where nature is not something you go and visit, but something you live within and are part of. Remember looking up at a sky full of stars and feeling infinitesimal in comparison? In that moment we are aware of the power of nature and our place within it.

Oxen at the beach, Geckoes Lodge Cocles Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

But the 24/7 world dampens that perception by assigning a place for nature and controlling it, which is probably why so many of us take every chance to escape the frenetic complications of modern life to something simpler, something natural, something that isn’t man made but real.

common-blue-morpho

So is Puerto Viejo all about getting back to nature and relinquishing all your worldly goods?

No, it’s about remembering what it is to derive pleasure from simplicity which affects us all on a deeper level than the often superficial, fleeting pleasure of packaged entertainment. It’s the difference between the thrill of surprise at coming across a troupe of Howler Monkeys as you walk along the beach as opposed to seeing them in a zoo.

Monkey party at Geckoes Lodge in Puerto Viejo

It’s going to sleep to the sound of cicadas rather than traffic. It’s lying on pale sand with a fish taco whilst watching pelicans swooping and diving for their fish lunch.

Pelicans fishing at Gandoca

It’s sometimes not being able to get everything you want but having to make do and in so doing finding satisfaction in the same.

Less is more

We are creative creatures: the more we have delivered without effort, the more entitled we feel and the more bored and demanding we can become. We derive satisfaction from effort and the more developed our world becomes the more we seek the simple pleasures and the rewards they bring.

In that simplicity is the sophistication of perspective. It’s simple wisdom that Puerto Viejo and its sister settlements have in spades: essentially that those quasi sophisticated possessions and preoccupations are nigh meaningless in a natural habitat.

That Less is More.

Toucan-eating-Palm-fruit,-Geckoes-Lodge,-Cocles,-Puerto-Viejo,-Costa-Rica

Someone who has never been here recently asked me,

“So, I’m confused, is Puerto Viejo developed or under developed?”

The answer Vadim, is both.

Under-developed in gaudy consumerism, pretensions, entitlement and predictability.

Highly Developed in simple pleasures, which I would argue is the ultimate in sophistication.

Less is More. But don’t take my word for it:

Come and see for yourself

Gandoca Lagoon Talamanca

5 Top Airline Choices For Traveling On A Budget

Expense reports are pushing envelop too hardTraveling for business is not cheap. The days of the six-figure expense account are long gone. Five-star client dinners, four-star hotels, three-martini lunches, two tickets to the local NBA game since you’re in town, and one Lexus rental car are a bit too much to put on the boss man’s dime in today’s business climate. It’s hard breaking the addiction to the cherished triple C: the Company Credit Card.

To hold on to as much as you can, why not fly cheap? Sure, the major carriers have a few nice perks, but really, all you’re doing is sitting there. It’s a simple choice: do you want an extra pillow on the plane, or do you want to watch Kobe dunk? Of course, that choice is obvious. So ironically, in the spirit of preserving corporate excess, here are five super-cheap airlines that are great for business trips.

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airplanes airplane in the air

  • Flies: Airbus
  • Operations: Western Hemisphere
  • Destinations: 52 Cities
  • Hubs: Detroit, Dallas – Ft. Worth, Chicago, Las Vegas, Ft. Lauderdale

In operation since 1980, this is one of the first no-frills carriers in the United States. Their claim to fame? Dirty advertising. Google Image search “Spirit Air promotions” for some stuff we can’t print here.

AirTran Airways

AirTran Airways Plane on a runway

  • Flies: Boeing
  • Operations: US, Mexico, Caribbean
  • Destinations: 57 Cities
  • Hubs: Baltimore/Washington, Atlanta, Orlando, Milwaukee

Formerly ValueJet, AirTran is popular, even being patronized by major sports teams like the Orlando Magic. Their claim to fame? They like to play in turbulence. Google “AirTran turbulence 1998” for some interesting stories.

Frontier Airlines

Fronteir Airplane on a ground

  • Flies: Airbus
  • Operations: North and Central America
  • Destinations: 74 cities
  • Hubs: Denver, Trenton

Not to be confused with the 1950s Frontier Airline, this Frontier started in 1994. Their claim to fame? They went bankrupt and were acquired by Republic Airways yet somehow managed to keep their name.

Allegiant Air

Allegiant Air Airplane in the air

  • Flies: Airbus, MacDonald Douglas
  • Operations: United States
  • Destinations: 79 cities
  • Hubs: Honolulu, Phoenix, St Petersburg/Tampa, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Orlando, Oakland, Bellingham (Seattle area), Myrtle Beach, Punta Gorda

This one is pretty popular and serves a lot of the smaller markets. Their claim to fame? Every ticket is one-way. You have to book a return flight separately. While this may seem like a hassle, it can actually save you money and make your trip more flexible.

Vision Airlines

Vision Airline airplane in the air

  • Flies: Airbus
  • Operations: Southeastern US
  • Destinations: 3
  • Hubs: St Petersburg/Tampa, Orlando, Biloxi

Basically a regional carrier, these guys have downsized A LOT, down to just three destinations. Their claim to fame? At this point, simply being in business!

There are a few others you have likely never heard of, such as Sun Country, which is a regional carrier in the Florida area, and People Express, which has been resurrected and expects to begin flying again later in 2013.
As great as discount airlines are, a lack of widespread availability, much like the carriers detailed above, will lead you back to the big guys from time to time. If you do have to go that route, remember Jet Blue, Southwest, and Virgin America. These are major carriers for the most part – certainly just as popular – but they offer significantly lower rates and fees than the likes of United and Delta.

Featured images:

The author Chris Turberville-Tully works with ESA Serviced Apartments in the UK. ESA provides travelers a more economic option than hotels. Serviced apartments are also roomier and are furnished.

Which Type Of Traveler Are You?

You probably don’t know it, but the type of tourist you are has a huge influence on the type of travel you indulge yourself in. Don’t worry, however, for there is some science behind it. You won’t merely be lumped into a category where you’re a ‘lazy tourist’ or the equivalent of a ‘Little Englander,’ dependent on where it is you are from.

Landmarks from around the world. Choose yours!

What can the type of tourist you are have an impact on?

  • Where you choose to go on holiday
  • The type of accommodation you choose to stay in
  • What you do when you go on holiday
  • The people you travel with
  • How you eat and behave when you’re in a destination

Influencing Your Tourism Habits

At the same time, a range of factors can influence the type of tourist you want to or are able to be. These might include

  • Your incomeNothing can stop you from being who you're on vacation
  • Your personal circumstances in terms of relationship and family status
  • Where you live
  • Your personal hobbies and interests
  • Your holiday budget

While these can all be an influence, nothing can prevent you from being the tourist you want to be.

Does it Matter?

While what a person does concerning their holiday might seem to be irrelevant, the modern, connected world in which we live means that it is of more importance than ever before. It only takes one tweet or Google+ update to show the world what you’re doing, and tour operators are using this activity like never before, as well as encouraging travellers to do the same.

It sounds extreme, but the type of tourist you are can have an impact on economies, future travel trends, and the way in which people living in a popular resort view those from a particular country or geographic area. Thinking back to earlier, the term ‘Little Englander’ did not originate from an accident one day!

We also have to consider the ways in which resorts set up and market themselves. Places don’t just throw open their doors and wait for people to arrive. Everything they do is designed to attract a specific type of traveller, and they know exactly what to do in order to fulfil the travel needs and requirements of holidaymakers in every group.

Finding Yourself

Which type of tourist are you? We explored 15 different descriptions that were identified in a 1992 study, what they mean, and where the best places on Earth are to indulge in this manner of travel.

Be warned: You might not like the group you fit into, although it might motivate you to rethink your own holiday attitudes and behaviours, or give you an idea for a great holiday in the near future.

hat type of tourist are you

Sun Worshipper

A couple on a beachWe expect that most people will be able to relate to this type of tourism. After all, despite sweeping changes in the industry and the attitudes of travellers, large numbers of people still decide to take a holiday in a particular destination because the sun will be shining most of the time.

The sun worshipper follows a very particular pattern of behaviour during a holiday; they are the people that you see relaxing around the pool from dawn until dusk, and on the days they do move it is only down to the beach where they follow a similar pattern of inactivity.

Places to Visit: The beauty of being this type of tourist is that you can almost look at a world map and point to any country that has the climate you’re looking for. Depending on where you are in the world, it might not be necessary to spend a lot of money if all you’re seeking from a trip is the sun.

Consider Mexico, the northern coast of Brazil, and places around the Mediterranean, including politically stable nations in North Africa.

Action Seeker

Action seekers on the beach dancingThis probably isn’t going to be the description you expect to find under this banner. No, an action seeker is not someone who loves an adventure holiday or heads off looking for extreme sports, although we will get to that later.

An action seeker is the tourist who heads to a resort and becomes an all-out reveller, looking for the parties that are taking place around a locality, the best nightclubs, and organized events such as bar crawls and booze cruises. Throw in a very liberal attitude towards sex and drugs and you won’t be far away from the perfect fit when it comes to this description.

Places to Visit: We’re not about to feel like we’re naming and shaming any resort or country, and the last thing we would want is to upset a national embassy or tourist board and have ourselves blacklisted for life.

If you fit into this category yourself, you know the type of places we’re talking about. If, for some reason, you’re planning to be an action seeker, then a quick Google search will likely show you the best places to go.

Anthropologist

Admittedly, this sounds like we’re starting to get a little deep, thus moving perhaps from one extreme to the other. However, being an anthropologist doesn’t mean you have to have an impressive degree or any other qualification.

Rather, a tourist anthropologist is a person who takes themselves off to various locations around the world and immerses themselves in their destination. This tourist is probably the most likely to reject anything that is on offer from their homeland, and try out local cuisine, pastimes, and spend time within the community getting to know the people, and maybe even getting involved with farm work, fishing, or other traditional roles. An anthropologist is also likely to stay in a guest house or bed and breakfast facility, rather than an ‘all mod cons’ hotel or apartment complex.

J'irais dormir chez vous / I am going to stay at your place

Photo credit: Antoine de Maximy jiraidormirchezvous.com

Places to Visit: Three locations around the world really stand out for us in this respect. The Greek Islands is the first. Clearly, you need to avoid the islands that are known for sun and action seekers – no, we’re not naming them – and head to the smaller locations that are perhaps not even well known for tourism.

East Africa would be our second option, with community programs often operating in countries such as Tanzania and Kenya, where you can actually go and live in a village undergoing development and have some input yourself. Finally, consider the Patagonia region of South America. This area is very remote, but home to some great communities as well as simply stunning landscape.

Archaeologist

Archaeologist landmarks to visitDo we mean there is a type of tourist casually travelling the world, seeking fields and other open spaces so that they can try to dig up dinosaur fossils and discover hidden villages? Unfortunately, it doesn’t get that exciting, but you wouldn’t be a million miles away from the correct answer.

This is one of the simplest definitions to understand. It relates to people who love to visit museums and historic sites, and will choose a destination specifically with that in mind.

Places to Visit: Many places across the world have a rich history, so it really depends on your own interests and on what you are looking for. If historic ruins are what motivate you to get on an aeroplane, then Rome and Athens are two great cities to target.

For lovers of monuments and temples, the South East of Asia and countries such as Cambodia and Vietnam are excellent locations, while for those seeking outdoor history and heritage, the Aboriginal areas of Australia are must visit.

Mass Tourist

Mass-tourism-on-a-beachIf you feel that your holidays are stuck in a rut, then the chances are that you find yourself firmly in the ‘mass tourist’ category. This person perhaps closely relates to the sun worshipper or action seeker, but is more likely to be someone who travels with their families and younger children.

The mass tourist books their holidays at the travel agency, picking out the best picture from the collection of ‘Summer Sun’ brochures on the shelf, and indulging themselves in tour operator excursions and the buying of souvenirs – some might say tacky ones – during their trip.

Places to Visit: We were tempted to label this one places to avoid, but if you’re a person who enjoys a traditional ‘tourist holiday,’ there are many great locations around the world to head, depending on your current location and budget.

Thrill Seeker

Thrill seeker surfing Costa RicaWe promised you we would get onto looking at extreme sports, and now we have the real definition of what many would term an action seeker. This type of holiday goes far beyond mere action, and can range from a 100 miles an hour adrenaline rush down a mountain to discovering some of the most unique and exciting wildlife anywhere in the world.

Thrill seekers are more likely to book an adventure holiday, following adrenaline-fuelled pursuits such as skydiving and abseiling, but you can also group those who look for a diverse mixture of travel activities into this category. These travellers choose holidays specifically because of the adventure element; this is not your tourist who arrives in a country, sees something exciting, and decides “I’d love to try that.”

Places to Visit: This depends completely on what your interests are and what you’re looking to do on holiday. However, countries such as Australia and New Zealand offer a diverse range of options, and the varying terrain found across these nations means that you can do almost anything, from wakeboarding and swimming with sharks in the water to skiing and snowboarding down towering peaks.

That said, those countries can be expensive to get to, so if you’re on a tighter budget, you will have options elsewhere; almost every country has something to offer a thrill-seeker.

Explorer

Explorer backpacker on vacationMore than just enjoying discovering new locations, an Explorer embraces the challenge that can often come with travelling to such locations. Someone who loves backpacking holidays, for example, would be the perfect candidate for this category.

Explorers follow a range of holiday plans; they might have a pre-determined route or an itinerary, or they could ensure that they have enough money and an idea of hostels and places to stay, and then improvise as they go along.

Places to Visit: South East Asia is the modern day explorer and backpackers’ paradise. As well as having a hot climate and some stunning places to see and visit, getting around the region is extremely cheap, making it a potential holiday opportunity for everyone.

A little to the south, Australia is also a great place for exploring, and with emerging tourist trends there such as relocation campervans available to hire, getting around doesn’t have to cost a fortune there, either.

Jetsetter

Paris Jetsetter's padIf there is a type of tourist that is more aspirational than the others, then you would have to argue that it is this one. However, it can have the most barriers in terms of inclusion, as you often need a considerable level of finance behind you to be a jet set traveller.

Many people would consider a jet set traveller to be someone who bounces from place to place quickly, and while there is perhaps an element of truth to that, our definition focusses more on those who love to travel to and stay in the most luxurious resorts around the world, dining in high class restaurants, and partying in exclusive bars. They may also actively seek out the company of celebrities or others who have a similar budget or lifestyle.

Places to Visit: Think about the most exclusive places in the world, such as St. Tropez and Monte Carlo, and you’re onto the right line of thinking for a jet set traveller. However, there are notable locations around the world with a high concentration of luxury places to eat, drink, and stay. Our choices would be Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo, Paris, and New York City.

Seeker

Travel choicesWhat are you looking for from your holiday? If you’re a seeker, then your purpose goes way beyond your holiday, and extends to life in general. Yes, we’re starting to get deep again, but many people take a holiday in order to ‘find themselves’ or challenge what they already know about the world.

You might not have been a seeker when you first made a trip, but experiences as an anthropologist or an explorer could have turned you into one. To truly find yourself and qualify the way you feel about life in general, it is usually best to travel to diverse destinations where you can find contrasts of rich and poor, and where these different levels of culture clash.

Places to Visit: With that last sentence in mind, the three obvious locations someone who knows they’re a seeker should consider are Brazil, South Africa, and India. Peaceful places where you will find time to relax and reflect, such as Nepal or Tibet, are also be worth considering.

All of these will offer you great variety in terms of the things you see and the people you meet. Cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, and Mumbai, are all well-known – or notorious – for being places where you can experience wild riches in one location, and encounter extreme poverty just a matter of metres away.

Independent Tourist

We really don’t understand the stigma attached to doing things independently. Some people believe that ‘going solo’ is weird; we just think it is a great way to do your own thing and meet new people without having to worry about what anyone else wants to do. Independent tourism is ‘me time’ at its best.

This person does their own thing, and they will usually spend some time travelling popular resorts and destinations.

Places to Visit: Anywhere you want to go is really the answer here, although we would recommend you check travel advice and guidance for people travelling alone in certain areas, such as the Middle East and India, for example.

High End Tourist

Eagles nest sacred space villa new zealandWe won’t dwell on this point too much, as there are several similarities with the jetsetter. The big difference is that the high-end tourist is less ‘in your face’ about where they go, and enjoy the time spent in the destination for what it is.

This tourist is also more likely to be with their family, and looking for an altogether more rounded experience.

Places to Visit: The same as the jetsetter, but visiting hotels and restaurants that are classy and high-end without having an exclusive or elite label.

Drifter

Bella Vista Lodge Costa RicaIs this a type of tourism or is it a way of life? The reality is that it can easily describe both, however it is how one becomes a drifter that is perhaps most intriguing, because we can almost guarantee you won’t set out to be one.

How do you become a drifter? Generally, a drifter is an explorer or seeker, who finds themselves immersed in life wherever they have travelled to, and tends to stay there for an extended period, while occasionally moving from place to place. Drifters can make their money from short-term jobs such as bar work or helping out on a farm.

Places to Visit: As we said, it is unlikely you will set out to become a drifter, but you are most likely to do so in the popular explorer and backpacker locations we mentioned earlier, specifically South East Asia, owing to the relaxed way of life and considering how cheap it can be to get by.

Escapist

Mountain retreat. Escape from it all!You can perhaps be an escapist while fitting into many of the tourist categories we have already explored. We often say that a holiday is out opportunity to ‘escape from it all.’ An escapist embraces this fully, heading to remote destinations where they can relax in a peaceful surround, be it a quiet village, a beach hut, or somewhere in the countryside.

Places to Visit: This one comes down to your own personal choice. If we started listing places now, everyone would head there and it would defeat the purpose of wanting to escape!

Sports Tourist

Sport traveler on a golf courseIf you are someone who heads off on holiday to go cycling, meet other groups from around the world to play football, or head off with friends to play golf, then you are an all-out sports tourist.

Places to Visit: Anywhere with a reputation for great golf courses is worth visiting. The Caribbean is filled with beautiful resorts, as is Portugal and the south of Australia – Adelaide and Melbourne, in particular, are golf hot spots Down Under.

Educational Tourist

The academics amongst us will often take an educational holiday. This type of tourism often follows a person who has previously been an anthropologist or archaeologist, and can be used to describe a person either looking to learn a language, understand a culture, or discover why a particular place is the way it is.

Places to Visit: Anywhere you have an interest in and want to learn about!

Your Next Steps

Now that you know the type of tourist you are, or the type you would like to become, it is the perfect time to think about where you want to go on your next holiday.

Use our suggestions of places to visit, or perhaps think of your own based on the category you want to fall into, and explore the possibilities available. If you’re a different type of tourist from the one you thought you’d be, and feel you’re missing out on certain opportunities, then fear not, for you have time to put that right.

This article was contributed by Rob who is a keen traveler having a lot of fun and still trying to work out which type of tourist he is. This year, he plans to become an explorer, traveling across Australia and New Zealand with hired relocation campervans to take in the beauty and majesty of those two countries.

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