Many people, especially families, can be put off visiting big theme parks because of the costs. Once youve added up the entry fee, the on-site catering, the travel, the souvenirs and any other expenses, it can turn out to be an expensive day out. Here are some ways you can enjoy the thrills without counting the cost:1. Buy tickets onlineMost major theme parks let you buy tickets online and these are often cheaper than the prices at the gate. Alton Towers, the UKs biggest theme park, charges around 20% less for online tickets than it does at the front gates, and thats a saving that can make a big difference to your day out.2. Take your lunch with youTheme park catering can be expensive, and its not always the sort of food you want to eat. Save money by packing a picnic theres nearly always somewhere nice to sit and eat - and your time is better spent queuing for rides than for food. Be aware that most theme parks will want to check your bags as you go through the gates, but its worth 5 extra minutes there for the cost saving.3. Think before you buySouvenir shops are very tempting, but stop to think before you buy something themed after every ride. Limiting your budget means that you are far more likely to buy something you really want, rather than bits and pieces that youll never look at or use.4. Stay close to the parkA lot of theme parks have hotels on site, which is handy, but expensive. Instead, try a guest house or a bed and breakfast thats close by. That way, you can stay for much less, but with the park still only a short drive away. And if you can get cheap park entry on your second day, you can make a weekend of your theme park visit for a lot less than you might think. You can also extend your stay and visit other attractions with the money you save!
Flamenco is a form of art that has origins in Andalucia, Spain. Flamenco is one of the most popular dances and music form in Costa Tropical but the sad part is that somewhere along its evolution process, the exact details of its origin were lost. Some historians feel that this form of art came up during the early 1500s during the reign of Charles V. The name Flamenco is probably derived from the fact that the dancers wear bright clothing but history does tell us this exactly.There is another school of thought who believes that Flamenco refers to the word Flemish, which was the nationality bestowed up on the Gypsies. There is yet another group of people who feel that the name has been inspired from the Arabic fellah mangu, which means the laborer who sings.The characteristics of Flamenco Flamenco is predominantly a dance form that combines singing, playing the acoustic guitar, chanting, and staccato handclapping. A flamenco dancer has to perform this dance with passion and has to sometimes bring out forceful expressions while maintaining dignity and grace at all times.Handclapping in flamenco produces a piercing sound. The dancer doing the flamenco starts by absorbing the rhythm created by the clapping, strumming and singing and ideally starts to dance when he/she is completely inspired.Flamenco dancing is quite similar to American jazz but requires improvisation. The quality of the dance is dependent on the spontaneous expression that the dancer can bring out momentarily or to any given beat. In Spain this is called duende (DWEN-day). The word duende stands for fairy or a goblin in Spanish but it signifies an inner force that helps the flamenco dancer to give an inspired performance.Types of FlamencoThere are several varieties of flamenco songs that exist in Costa Tropical. Some of them are mere laments and one of the classical types is called the petenera. The Petenera is a story of a beautiful girl from Andalucia whose name is also Petenera and who is responsible for bringing tragedy to her own self as well as her village.Some of the flamenco songs have been named after several Costa Tropical towns depending on their popularity. Some of the flamenco songs are malagueas (Malag), granadinas (Grenada), sevillanas (Seville) and rodeas (Ronda). The dancers and location might differ from one area to another but the one thing that remains at the heart of flamenco is emotion.The various influencesFlamenco has been influenced by people, regions and stories. From the Pyrenees Mountains running across the Spanish-French border to the Mediterranean coast; stories have poured into Costa Tropical and with each story is attached human emotion and these emotions have influenced flamenco deeply.Flamenco blends different influences that can be considered a mix of the threnodies of Greek mourners, Hindu dances, and the mimes of Imperial Rome.These days you can get an opportunity to watch flamenco in Granada City on weekends but this is one of the few art forms that will remain a mystery forever.
Gas prices are soaring! This has resulted in elevated travel expenses. If you travel by car, YOU have some control over the costs.Here are some ways to save money on gas:* Switch to synthetic motor oil. It reduces engine friction and may make your car a little less ravenous at the gas station. (There are brands available claiming 5%-20% increases in fuel economy.)* Use the manufacturer's recommended grade of oil. Manufacturer specs are based on what is best for your specific vehicle.* Buy gas with the recommended octane rating. Premium can actually be detrimental to many engines.* Fill up during the coolest times of day. You get more gas in each gallon, because liquids expand in the heat. The pumps are measuring gallons, not weight.* Make sure that the gas cap is tight after you fill up. Gas evaporates easily - you can lose an appreciable amount through an improperly seated cap.* Check your tires before your holiday and inflate them to the manufacturer's recommendations. Underinflated tires create drag and increase gas consumption. Always carry a tire gauge in your glove compartment.* Never drive on bald tires! Besides being unsafe, they also increase fuel consumption.* Don't leave your engine idling for long periods of time. This includes pre-warming - one minute is all you need. Start off slowly, then use normal speeds after a couple of minutes.* Don't continually start and stop your engine. Each start burns about the same amount of gas as one minute of idle time.* Drive the speed limit on highways - speeding devours gas. Activate your cruise control whenever possible, and when cruise is not engaged remember the 'egg' trick: drive like you have a raw egg between the floorboards and the gas pedal.* Stop lights in cities are usually set to synchronize with the posted speed limit. Drive the speed limit and you are more likely to hit a long series of green lights. Stopping at red lights increases idle time and gas consumption.* Drive in a way that entails minimal use of the brakes.* Don't pack more than you need. The more weight you carry, the more gas you use.* Decrease wind resistance. A car caked with mud, snow, or ice will cause drag and burn more gas than a sleek, clean vehicle.* Don't use the air conditioner unless necessary. Vehicle air conditioners increase fuel consumption.* Pamper your vehicle by ensuring that it goes in for regular tune-ups and maintenance. Slight adjustments can mean dramatic fuel savings. Ask the maintenance people to add fuel injector cleaner whenever the oil is changed.* Some communities have websites that post fuel prices at local gas stations. Do your research before you leave to find out where the cheapest stations are. Use common sense: driving too far out of your way will gobble up more gas than you save. Try gasbuddy.com (USA and Canada) and your favorite search engines.* If you own a gas guzzler, try trading with a relative or neighbor for a smaller vehicle while you vacation. (Make sure that insurance policies on both vehicles are in order first.)* Use your feet! Once you get to your destination, walk whenever possible. Walking is how you really get to know an area.Save money, save the environment - and have more cash to spend on your vacation!
Lets face it, some countries are expensive, some are very cheap and others are somewhere in between. The burning question if you are thinking of visiting Egypt is can Egypt be visited on a budget ? Stuart Cheese, the UK Director of Operations for One World Tours says yes it can and tells you how to make the best of your money. 1. Take and organised tour. Egypt is an expensive place to wing, so while you could just turn up at the airport and go for it, my number one tip for keeping to a budget is to book a tour. 7 days including Cairo, Aswan, Abu Simbel and Luxor will only cost you around 200 and that includes all your transfers, accommodation and site visits. A very good start to Egypt on a budget.2. If you take a taxi go straight to where you are going, do not get taken somewhere you had not planned on going to. Whether you are taking an organised tour or not. If you have free time, then you may decide to take a taxi ride somewhere. If you do, be sure to make 100% that you do not want to make any stops en-route. Taxis in Egypt are very cheap, but unfortunately, they will often suggest you stop off at perfume shop etc. They do this simply because, they will be on a kick back from the shop owner on anything you buy. So do keep this in mind.3. Felucca on the Nile in Luxor. If you have an afternoon free, then a really inexpensive afternoon is a Felucca sailing on the Nile in Luxor. If you set out about 1 oclock in the afternoon, youll sail up river to Banana Island where youll have a while to have a wander around and get a drink if required. Sailing back you will get to see the sun setting over the Valley of the Kings. Its a stunning site and well worth the 5 yes 5, it will cost you for the sailing. A truly magical afternoon4. Food is CHEAP !!! Not much more to add to this. Food in Egypt, not matter where you eat is very cheap indeed. If you go western (takeaway), then you can expect to only pay about 1/3 of the price. If you eat at local (Egyptian) restaurants, then you will be looking at a 3 course meal and drinks costing you around 5 (GBP). Now thats a holiday in Egypt on a budget !5. Sound and Light shows If you have decided to take in the Sound and light shows (in particular at Philae Temple and Karnak), there is a strong argument for not visiting them in the daylight. The sound and light show at Karnak is stunning and I actually think its even better than visiting in the daylight and Philae in Aswan is the same The sailing back across the Nile twth the Temple lit up is worth the money alone. I would not suggest missing The Pyramids in the daytime though these would definitely be seen during the day and at night6. Dont pay for extras you do not need A little planning can save you time and money. The Valley of the Kings is a perfect example. When you buy your entry ticket, it gives you access to the Valley but more importantly to 3 tombs. This is where research comes in. You can of course buy extra tomb tickets, but to be honest, if you pick the right 3, then theres just no need to look at the others which will come in as very poor seconds. A note here is also that you have to pay extra to get into King Tuts tomb. Only do this if you really want to say I have been in Kings Tuts tomb, otherwise give it a miss, its definitely not the best of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings.7. Overnight trains why pay for a night in a hotel ? Overnight trains from Cairo to Aswan / Luxor and from Luxor / Aswan to Cairo are great for a couple of reasons. 1 They are very cheap and 2, they take the place of an overnight hotel stay. So you not only do not have to waste a whole day travelling (the train ride from Cairo to Aswan is around 12 hours) but you lso save on not needing a hotel for the night. If you happened to want extra comfort, you can actually upgrade to a private sleeper cabin on the trains and whilst it will cost you about 35 you get a bed, an evening meal and breakfast. So once again a great little budget tip 8. Dont give Baksheesh to everyone who asks for it ! If you do not know what Baksheesh is, you will do by the time you get back from Egypt. Baksheesh is a tip in Egypt for doing just about anything, this can be carrying your bags, taking a photo for you, being in a photo with you ! or even in the case of children, a tip just for the asking. So just be careful, if you gave to everyone who asked for it, you would end up having anything but a budget holiday in Egypt ! 9. Take lots of pens ! This may sound odd, but if you offer an Egyptian child a pen or a quid, the kids will take the pens every time. Pens are hard to come in Egypt and so if you take a box of 50, youll be very popular indeed. 10. Have a big breakfast. Dont forget that breakfast will almost certainly be included in your hotel stay, so make the most of it and have a hearty breakfast and with most hotels (although you may have to ask) if you are leaving early, they will even box up a continental breakfast for you.
There are many things to consider when choosing your travel accommodations. The decision could make your trip fun or a disappointment. Choosing the right hotel is a must. Most travelers spend more time in airline ticket reservations and bargains but less time in choosing the right accommodations. Thus they may end up on the wrong side of the bed during their stay.To get the most out of your hotel accommodations, remember to book as early as possible and make your dates more flexible. Hotels that specialize for business people will consider weekends as off season. Family vacationers could tap into these special packages during weekends. Primarily, you should choose your hotel based on name, amenities, features, price, packages and location.Here are some considerations in choosing your best travel accommodations:1. Accommodations should be family-friendly. Always ask if your hotel offers children activity areas with educational and fun activities supervised by duly-trained care-givers. 2. Your hotel should provide a swimming pool for children, daycare service, crib rental and child-proof electrical outlets. 3. Stay in a hotel that has electronic room-key cards and has a security viewer installed on their doors. 4. Make it a priority to choose a room on the upper floor. 5. If you're the one who likes to spend more time in your hotel room and the balcony, you should ask for the available amenities and the conditions of the surrounding environment.6. Depending on whether you're on a private or business trip, ask your hotel about the availability of laundry service, hair dryers, coffee makers, newspapers, free meals, fax machine, bar, cable television, parking, shuttle service, internet connection, etc.7. The hotel property layout and its location may speak more of its surrounding environment. Noisy locations such as construction on adjacent property, car traffic and noisy waterfalls are not specified on hotel flyers. So be sure to ask about it.8. Beautifully landscaped surroundings with trees, flowers and inner courts also enhance your travel pleasure. Moreover, gift shops and restaurants all add up to a wonderful travel experience.9. The location of your hotel with respect to main attraction is equally important. It could save you money on taxi and bus fare.10. Make sure that the room service is provided 24 hours a day.11. Check out the room itself. Is it brightly colored or classical? It sets the mood of your travel.In order to get the most out of your travel, whether for business or family vacations, be sure to know everything about the hotel you are planning to check in to. Ask friends and relatives who have been there. Don't just depend on the hotel's webpage which is undoubtedly biased. Having to stay in a hotel which you don't like could ruin your trip.