Celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas on a European River Cruise

115023174Tired of doing the same old thing during the winter holiday seasons? Many people get stuck in a rut when it comes to celebrating the holidays. So, if you’re up for doing something new and different this year, think about spending Thanksgiving or Christmas floating down the Rhine or one of Europe’s other great rivers on a cruise that will surely make your holidays memorable.

European river cruises are ideal for singles, couples, or groups of adult friends or family members who are keen on spending the holidays together but want to try something a little different than just gathering around the table for the traditional celebration. They allow you to experience holiday traditions of a different culture and provide the opportunity to get away at a time of year when you might be more likely to stay home. In addition, experiencing Europe in November/December is entirely different than at other times of the year as the cities and towns are filled with holiday cheer and river cruises let you get close to the festivities.

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London’s Top 5 Museums

178054329If you’re heading to London for a fall or winter vacation, chances are you might be spending a little more time indoors than outdoors, especially when the cold weather hits the city, making it uncomfortable for outside exploration. But, in London, spending time inside is a joy, especially given the wealth of wonderful museums and galleries that permeate this sophisticated capital city.

One of the really nice perks of museum hopping in London is the fact that many of the museums are free, which makes it a very affordable activity. Most just ask for a donation that goes towards the upkeep of the facility. That means you’ll certainly want to be generous if possible, so that generations-to-come can enjoy the same privilege. A few do have a set fee, but those are well worth the few pounds spent to explore their treasures. (more…)

Think Snow! Switzerland’s Best Ski Destinations

166141944If your heart races and your fingers and toes start to tingle at the first sign of a good frost, you’re either really cold or you’re thinking about that first opportunity to play in the snow. Winter weather fanatics start dreaming of that first covering of white before the leaves even begin to turn to the colors of autumn, and many cold weather lovers start to plan their inaugural ski trip as soon as there’s a hint of a chill in the air.

If this year’s ski plans include Europe, you certainly realize the options are many and are spread out over several countries, but Switzerland remains one of the continent’s premiere ski destinations, offering a huge variety of resorts that cater from everyone to couples looking for a peaceful ski vacation and singles searching for that perfect après ski scene to families with kids who are still novices at the sport

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Girlfriend Getaways to Europe Let you Re-connect with those Special Ladies

87467646To most women around the world, girlfriends are special! If you’ve got one or two of them that have been in your life for decades, you’re lucky. Or perhaps you’ve found a kindred spirit in the last few years with whom you’ve simply “clicked”. That’s special, too.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a few female friends with whom you love to share life experiences, perhaps you’ve enjoyed some travel with those individuals. Many women enjoy going on so-called “girlfriend getaways” once in a while, often close to home and perhaps over a long weekend or other holiday time. But if you’re ready to get serious about your girlfriend excursions, why not consider coordinating your vacation time for a slightly longer trip…to Europe? (more…)

Take Your Kids to Sydney, Australia!

162906778It’s spring Down Below and, before you know it, summer will be upon our friends in the Southern Hemisphere. That makes it the perfect time to consider a trip to beautiful Australia, where the sun seemingly always shines and the folks are super friendly and happy to welcome you to their home.

Australia is a wonderful spot for a family vacation, especially some of the country’s larger cities, including Sydney, the capital of the New South Wales region and the most populous and vibrant city on the continent. Home to some 4.5 million Aussies, Sydney truly offers a little bit of everything, from iconic buildings like the opera house and plenty of world-class museums, to lovely beaches and a host of both sports and performing arts venues that will peak the interests of visitors of a variety of ages. And kids will love it here, because there so much geared towards their interests.

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Plan a Trip to Portugal’s Beautiful Capital City of Lisbon

140447519Truly one of the loveliest capital cities in Europe but one often overlooked in favor of its more popular rivals, Lisbon, Portugal is friendly and vibrant, offering everything from beautiful landmark buildings and great shopping experiences to sumptuous food and even its own style of music.

Lisbon, though it’s the smallest capital on the continent, is flourishing. However, that hasn’t happened without some growing pains, caused by the fact that the population is larger than ever as is the tourist infrastructure. As such, during peak travel season, Lisbon sometimes seems to be bursting at the seams, but fall and spring are the ideal time for a visit. The weather at those times of year is extremely visitor-friendly, ideal for traipsing through town on foot, and there’s certainly more availability at the city’s finest hotels.

Places to See

Like most capital cities, Lisbon is brimming with attractions and activities. Whether you prefer strolling through museums or strolling past shop windows, you’ll find that this compact but energetic city offers a little of everything.

The most noticeable structure in Lisbon is the wonderful St. George’s Castle, perched on a hilltop overlooking the city center. Partially encircled by a mote that’s now dry, it gives the city that special fairytale look and it’s the premiere tourist attraction in the city. Don’t let that discourage you though. It really is a must-see, especially if you’re a castle fanatic. (more…)

Europe’s Top 10 Amazing Cathedrals

153243065If you’ve spent any time at all in Europe’s greatest cities, you’ve no doubt encountered a number of marvelous churches along the way. From small country parishes built centuries ago to majestic basilicas and cathedrals that are the centerpiece of the cityscape, the ecclesiastic architecture of Europe is awesome and worthy of lots of space on your camera’s memory card.

Fans of religious architecture – or of architecture in general – most likely have their favorites among the many amazing cathedrals of Europe. There are so many that are notable, some more well-known than others. You’ll be awed by flying buttresses, ornate rose windows, stunning frescoes, amazing artwork, and much more, and which you choose as your favorite will depend on your love of a particular architectural style.

That said, it’s tough to compile a “Top 10” list, but we’re taking a stab and providing you with a compilation of ten must-see cathedrals…in no particular order. (more…)

Europe’s Warm Winter Spots

116623128If winter is your favorite time to travel but you’re not a snow lover, where do you go? Of course, there are tons of island destinations that’ll fulfill you’re yearning for warm/hot weather, but if you’d prefer a trip to Europe, which spots will provide you with the most comfortable temperatures for your wintertime vacation?

If you’re determined to go to Europe in January, remember that the climate in Europe is not tropical. It’s temperate, for the most part. That means you’ll often find temps similar to what you might experience in – perhaps – New York City. Of course, for the benefit of skiers, there are much colder climates in the Alps, Dolomites, and other mountainous regions, but there are some spots that definitely offer slightly warmer temperatures in the wintertime, especially during the sunny daylight hours. So, if you’re looking for a European winter holiday that’s not so cold, consider one of these toastier locales.

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Spain’s Balearic Islands are as Different as Night and Day

164148557What do you look for in a beach vacation? Some travelers thrive in large groups, content to be part of the crowd and hoping to be invited to a party or two. Others prefer quiet beaches in pristine locations with little sign of tourist trappings, like large hotels and an abundance of chain restaurants. Still, others look for something in between. In Spain’s Balearic Islands, you can find a little of each.

There are three major islands in Spain’s Los Baleares, an archipelago that sits 100+ miles off the coast of the mainland in the middle of the sparkling Mediterranean. They are Majorca, Minorca, and Ibiza. Each provides the visitor with a little something different in regards to vacation experiences, but because it can be rather difficult to visit all three during your stay, you should choose one or another based on your picture of an ideal beach vacation. Here’s a little info about each. (more…)

It’s Not Too Early to Plan Your European Ski Vacation

177248332If you’re a ski bum or a snow bunny, chances are you’ve already thought about that powdery white stuff, even though the sun is still high in the sky and the leaves are still a vibrant green. Those with snow in their veins simply can’t get enough of the slopes and, no doubt, start planning their winter vacations well in advance of the time when the first snowflakes fall. Even ski novices who are just developing a love for the sport often can’t wait to get back on the slopes and try something new and more challenging.

If you’re turning your eyes towards a European ski vacation this year, you’ll find that the choices can often be quite overwhelming, especially if you’ve never skied in The Old Country. That’s why it’s essential to have a chat with an experienced travel agent who knows the ins and outs of skiing Europe and is able to steer you in the right direction. But if you’d like to narrow it down before making that call or sending that email, here’s a list of resorts that fit a variety of skill levels and may meet your other parameters.

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