Marmaris Holidays – Turkey


Turkey has a long Mediterranean coastline and there are many tourist resorts along the coastline. Marmalis is one of the popular ones among them. Pine clad hills provide backdrop to clear waters of Marmaris beaches, whose medley of green and blue tones is fascinating. It has a charm of exceptionally beautiful natural location. The sea is warm, crystal clear and perfect for swimming. The beaches at Marmaris are mostly crowded with sunbeds and umbrellas but there are some fabulous beaches within half an hours drive. Icmeler Beach which is a wider and a quieter beach is just 15 minutes away. Cleopatra Island is only a 20-minute boat ride; it is said that the soft white sand here was bought all the way from Egypt for Anthony and Cleopatra's honeymoon pleasures.

Marmaris is a hub from which you could have many tours to many historic sites. You can take a trip to Ephesus, about 240 km. away from Marmaris. This is probably one of the best preserved remnants of the Roman Empire; when you walk through the streets of this old city, the way people lived and the houses and buildings in which they lived and worked in the Roman Empire almost come alive. Many people find that even the likes of the Pyramids or the ruins of Pompeii will pale to insignificance beside the brilliance of Ephesus.

Go and see Parnukkale. You will never come across a unique sight like that of the so-called "Cotton Castle" at Pamukkale. The ever-flowing natural spring waters, which are so very rich in calcium, cascade down the hill; and as calcium reacts with carbon dioxide in atmosphere, it turns in chalk. These forms the famous travertines of different colors and shapes, in terrace-like forms, with pools and overhanging fascinating stalactite shapes. The ruined city of Hierapolis which dates back to 2000 BC lies buried here. The water here is good for many allergies, skin diseases, blood pressure, etc.

There are many other sites to visit such as Rhodes Island, the Ancient City of Hieropolis and the Marmaris Castle.

Marmaris is one of the most popular resorts in Turkey. It is blamed for its unending nightlife in numerous clubs and bars stretching along the coast. There are many night beach parties you could join, or there are many Turkish Belly dancer parties organized that you may fancy. There is so much you could find to enjoy in this popular and famous tourist destination you will not know how time flies.

Marmaris Palace Hotel, barely 40 km. from the Dalaman airport, is a very popular hotel. It consist of a main block of over 150 rooms and over 200 small bungalows. This hotel is set on a pine forested hillside and enjoys a private beach area next to the Turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea. All rooms have modern amenities like air-conditioning, TV, telephones, etc. The hotel has a large main swimming pool, a smaller quieter pool, a children's pool and a water slide pool with four water slides. There is also an indoor swimming pool which can be heated. Days can be sent relaxing, taking boat trips around the bay or exploring Marmaris. It has good sports facilities such as billiards, mini golf, tennis, table tennis etc .; it also has beauty center, sauna, Turkish bath, fitness center, etc on the concessions.


Source by Stuart Harris

Prague Luxury Apartments – Experiencing Style & Elegance in Holiday Tour


Today people are tired of busy city life and are always in search of some alternative that will provide them with some peace and happiness. Touring different exotic locations of the world is the best alternative found by people by which they can achieve some fun ad enjoyment. People are always in search of beautiful places that can provide them with fun and adventure. Prague is one of the best options for tourists who come to spend some time with nature and attain peace of mind and happiness. To find comfortable and cheap accommodation in tourist place is not an easy task and it requires careful planning to find accommodation in tune with one budget and requirements.

As far as Prague is concerned it offers various accommodation options for the tourists. Right from the various star rated hotels to the luxury apartments it offers every possible solution for the tourists. Prague rented apartments are the best solution for accommodation compared to hotel rooms as it is much cheaper and comfortable than hotel rooms. Wide options are provided to the tourists in the form of one, two, three, four bedroom apartments, studio apartments and luxury apartments. All these apartments are well equipped and furnished with all the latest amenities which is essential for a comfortable stay.

Prague luxury apartments are the best options for having comfortable and luxurious stay. Prague luxury apartments offer the tourist with more facilities and flexibilities providing them with a lifetime experience. All the facilities provided in these luxury apartments are not less than the facilities offered in luxurious hotel. Moreover one can achieve more privacy and peace in these apartments compared to the hotel room. Above all the added advantage is that all these are available at quite an affordable price. One can avail the luxury of 5 star hotel rooms at much cheaper price.

Most of the Prague luxury apartments are ideally located at center from where most of the tourist attractions are near these apartments. The rent of this apartment are not charged for the number of people staying infact the rent is fixed for a specific time and one has to pay that amount irrespective of the number of person staying. These luxury apartments can also be used for socializing or business meeting. One can have more independence and freedom in luxury apartments as it does not exclude the tourists with any kind of rules and regulations. Prague luxury apartments make the holiday memorable for the tourists, which they will remember for the rest of their life and always choose these apartments for their holiday accommodation.


Source by Mark Bush

Happy Holidays – Is It Ok To Say That?


I do not know about you, but I have NEVER had a problem delivering a seasons greeting. Be it "Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Holidays or Cool Yule," no one EVER got bent out of shape either by a correct salutation which matched the person's philosophy of life or religion, or saying "Blessed Solstice" to an Episcopal minister. Everyone understood it was the INTENTION of the greeting to warm the heart of both giver and receiver.

Today people scornfully call it being "politically correct!" As if CONSIDERATION is a POLITICAL issue? When did trying to make the other person feel happy and comfortable become the WRONG thing to do? I do not consider it a problem to attempt to match the right holiday greeting with the right person. Here, when we do NOT know what to say, what's so horrible about, "Happy Holidays?" It is, after all, the month and time of year of Holi, Holy and Secular Days.

Thanks to an exceptional woman, Waverly Fitzgerald from Seattle, WA, who has dedicated her life to compiling an encyclopedic collection of facts, recipes, literature and articles called "School of the Seasons," here are only a FEW events you may wish to celebrate (or even know excluded!):

Dec. 1st: Bona Dea, St. Leonard's Ride; Dec.8th: Feast of the Immaculate Conception; Dec. 9th: Conception of St. Anne; Dec. 12th: Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Hari No, and St.. Lucy's Eve;
Dec. 13th: Feast of St. Lucy; Dec. 14th: Halcyon Days; Dec. 16th: Hannukah begins; Dec. 17th: Saturnalia, Sow Day, and Ember Day; Dec. 18th: Epona's Day and Our Lady of Solitude; Dec. 19th: Opalia; Dec. 20th: St. Thomas' Eve, Midwinter Eve, and another Ember Day; Dec. 21st: Winter Solstice and Hertha; Dec. 22nd Ursids Meteor showers; Dec. 23rd: Larentalia or Acca Laurentia; Dec. 24th: The Mothers Feast, Christmas Eve, and Adam & Eve's Day; Dec. 25th Christmas and Juvenalia; Dec. 26th: Boxing Day, 12 Days of Christmas begins, Feast of St.. Stephen, and Kwanzaa starts; Dec. 27th St. John's Day; Dec. 28th: ​​Holy Innocents Day; Dec. 31st: Vesta; Yemaya, St. Silvester's Eve.

There is even more going on around the world in the month of December to celebrate, remember or feast-til-you-burst over! Why would anyone offended if we met them at the Post Office, or some other favorite gathering place at this time of year, and shouted, "Happy Holidays, Friend! Every darned one of them!"

Think of it, St. Lucy's Day with your kids serving you Lattes at Barnes & Noble, Our Lady of Solitude Day at home, alone; New Year's Eve might be spent with an exciting St. Louis. Silvester biography, or there could be large noisy parties at midtown hotel banquet rooms for the Goddess Yemaya! I daresay, seriously anyone would find THAT OFFERIVE, would they?

So at the end of the day, maybe St. Louis. Lucy's Eve, if someone waves wildly out their car window at you, screaming, "HAPPY HOLIDAYS, Every Darned One Them!" do not be offended, it's only me on my way to Solstice Carolling practice.


Source by Pam Sekula

The Year of the Staycation


It has been the buzzword of the summer, but "staycation" looks set to continue to be on holidaymakers' tongues for the rest of the year. The barbecue summer may have failed to materialize; but with a continued unfavorable pound to euro and with the UK still primarily in recession the predictions of tourists shunning foreign climates for more homely pleasures have proven correct.

Blackpool look off its seemingly yearly decline by attracting 2 million more guests to the seaside resort across the last 12 months. This trend looks set to continue to the end of the year as hotel providers report more demand for beds compared to last winter. Familiar traditional mainstays of British vacationing, like Yarmouth, Skegness and Brighton have all reported similar increases in holiday activity.

The national trust has reported similar improvements in domestic travel with 713,000 people visiting attractions in the North East alone – up an impressive 100,000 on the year before. David Ronn, National Trust Director for the region commented that 'At the start of the year we were not sure how the recession was going to affect us. We did not know if it was a threat or an opportunity we could grap with both hands. As it turns out, we have had a bumper season. What has happened is that Britons are exploring their own country again. More visitors to National Trust properties means more money going into the local economy. It's a win-win situation for everyone, especially with the country going through such a dire recession. '

Similar rises have been reported by museums and art galleries. According to the Art Fund, who conducted research of 255 such attractions, two thirds of such institutions boasted an increase in visits this year. Further, events hosted by the Royal Horticultural Society, including the Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows have seen a turnout 15% higher year on year.

The trend for preferring the great British summer looks to be staying around for 2010 with forward bookings for domestic holidays being up across many sectors of the travel industry. James Beresford, Chief Executive of VisitEngland also sees a continued future for "staycations", commenting "the great visitor product on offer in England is back on everyone's lips, on their mind and here to stay, with Brits embracing the dynamic and diverse holiday offer here at home. We intend to work with the whole of the English tourism industry to ensure this trend is sustainable through 2010 and beyond "

Overall then the outlook for all those associated with British Tourism looks rosy even if the British weather does not match.

With the UK Recession continuing to rumble on, the trend for cheaper stay at home holidays has exploded. This article looks at the evidence for the trend, its impact and how "staycations" look set to be popular in 2010.


Source by Nicholas Barber

New Zealand Accommodation Definitions



Travelling to New Zealand offers up opportunities to indulge in a number of once in a lifetime experiences, from skydiving above New Zealand’s dramatic scenery to flyfishing or huge trout in gin clear water. With so many fantastic New Zealand attractions to fill your day with, it’s very important to make sure you can find the right New Zealand accommodation to help you get a good nights sleep.

Whether you’re looking for a touch of New Zealand luxury, or more inclined towards backpacker hostels, you’ll easily find the right New Zealand accommodation for your needs when planning your New Zealand travel adventure.

With a smile around every corner, New Zealand is home to some of the world’s best hosts, and they’re all highly qualified in helping you make the most of your stay in their ‘slice of paradise’. So whatever type of great New Zealand accommodation you choose, you can rest assured that your New Zealand travel experience will create lasting memories!

From the holiday park to hotels, here is a list of the different types of New Zealand accommodation you can find…


If you’re looking for New Zealand accommodation and are at all unsure about what you can expect from a New Zealand apartment, this should help.

Apartments in New Zealand offer guests the comforts of being at home while travelling. They can accommodate group sizes of up to 6 people with 1, 2 or 3 separate bedrooms closed off from living areas. Apartments are separated into different areas for kitchen, living and dining normally with an open plan feel. It is normal to find a live in or onsite manager at a New Zealand apartment complex. Apartments generally provide free onsite parking unless you’re staying at a central city apartment. Apartment kitchens generally provide tea and coffee making facilities and come fully equipped with all the utensils you would expect to find at home, however cooking facilities can often be limited to a microwave and a hotplate.

Bed and Breakfast

Are you planning a New Zealand vacation and want to know what to expect from a New Zealand Bed and Breakfast? Here is some help for you.

Often referred to as a B&B, Bed and Breakfast accommodation is generally run from a large family home providing private guest rooms and a substantial breakfast in the morning. Bed and Breakfast accommodation is either run as a primary or a secondary source of income where the property owners are also the staff. Multiple night stays at a Bed and Breakfast are possible but sometimes guests will be expected to vacate their rooms during the day. Due to the majority of Bed and Breakfasts having a small number of rooms it is advisable to book well in advance.

Farm Stay

Are you interested in experiencing a farm stay during your New Zealand travels but are unsure about what it is? This should help.

Farming in New Zealand is huge and features strongly in many Kiwi traditions. To book yourself in to a New Zealand farm stay is to open yourself up to experiencing some rural New Zealand countryside living. New Zealand farm stay accommodation can range from self contained accommodation to staying within a family home. There are a wide variety of New Zealand farms ranging from kiwifruit to deer. Farm stay accommodation is a great way to meet the locals and to experience the lifestyle of a New Zealand farmer, as well as being able to enjoy some of New Zealand’s commanding scenery.


Are you wanting to come over to New Zealand and stay in a Hotel, but not sure about what New Zealand hotels offer. Here is some helpful information for you.

New Zealand has a range of hotels from popular world class establishments to small country pubs and boutique hotels. Larger hotels will come with multiple rooms which vary in size and type, smaller boutique hotels come with less rooms but are generally very stylish and unique and country pub hotels have clean and pleasant facilities often in modernised historic buildings which vary in price according to their level of luxury. New Zealand also hosts some large international chains which are found in the major centres or popular tourist destinations.

As a general rule hotels have bar and restaurant facilities and additional extras often include a swimming pool and gymnasium. Common features in the rooms are a telephone, an alarm clock, a television and internet connectivity. Some hotels also have a mini-bar with snack foods and drinks and there may be facilities for making hot drinks.


One of the most popular accommodation types in New Zealand are motels. Here is some information that you should find helpful regarding motels.

New Zealand motels offer clean and cosy self-contained accommodation with all the comforts of home. A motel studio is a one room unit where guests sleep in the lounge area, this is the smallest size motel unit. You can then get one, two and three bedroom units which have separate bedrooms in addition to a lounge area, which sometimes has additional bedding facilities. Motels are equipped with a fully equipped kitchen and a private bathroom and most generally have a phone, television, made-up beds with all linen supplied and car parking.

Prices are mid range but depend on the overall facilities offered and the unit type. Most units have a fully equipped kitchen and separate bathroom as well as a phone and TV. Large motel complexes are often similar to hotels in their service and features: ie, swimming pool, spa, sauna, laundry facilities, etc.

Motels offer very competitive pricing which is based on the level of quality. Speaking of quality, most motels in New Zealand should have a Qualmark rating which will indicate what to expect of each establishment.


New Zealand has hundreds of backpacker hostels and lodges throughout the country. So here is some information about them.

Hostels provide budget conscious, social accommodation which allows guests to rent a bed as opposed to a room, this is sometimes a bunk bed in a dormitory. Guests will also share a bathroom, lounge, usually a kitchen and generally a recreation room. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex and private rooms may also be available. Hostels will generally provide linen for you beds so sleeping bags are not a necessity, but it is always safe to check with the hostel you will be staying with. New Zealand hostels will generally also provide laundry facilities.

Hostels are primarily geared towards younger travellers, and are great places to party, meet new people from around the globe and share information on places to go and see. Most hostel operators in New Zealand will also gladly help you with your travel plans, and many hostels have long-term residents who they employ as desk clerks or housekeeping staff in exchange for free accommodation.

In New Zealand you will most often find hostels in tourism hotspots, however, there are hostels all over, and some can even be found in unique and isolated locations.

Holiday Parks

Scattered throughout New Zealand are hundreds of camp grounds and holiday parks, so here is some information on what to expect.

Holiday parks aka camping grounds are found in towns and rural areas of New Zealand, often near natural or man-made attractions such as beaches. Holiday parks are family orientated and generally come with playgrounds and recreational facilities. Some holiday parks also have swimming pools and spas. Accommodation in holiday parks ranges from cabins, permanent caravans, self-contained tourist flats and motel units. Holiday parks also have powered and non-powered sites for tents, caravans and camper vans, and it is always good to check the size of your camping site before you book. Facilities to expect are communal areas for cooking and dining, shared showers, toilets and laundries.

Holiday park prices range from very cheap to a higher cost for the cabins and tourist flats or units.


New Zealand has a variety of luxury accommodation, so here is some information that will help make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.

Luxury accommodations in New Zealand are of a very high standard and offer the discerning traveller an exceptionally high level of quality, service and luxury. Each luxury accommodation will offer you something unique and distinctively New Zealand. Helpful to know is that most luxury accommodation will be Qualmark certified at a 5 star rating. Luxury accommodation ranges from exclusive resorts offering golf, fishing or wilderness adventures to secluded beach or lakefront lodges. Worth noting is that lodges in New Zealand are usually located in spectacular rural settings. Further luxury accommodation can be discovered in stylish urban hotels in distinctive buildings, either heritage or contemporary.

All luxury accommodation will offer superb facilities, exceptional food and an extremely high level of professionalism and service. Prices will reflect the quality of your stay.

Self Contained

New Zealand has self-contained accommodation options all over. Here is what to expect.

Self-contained accommodation is exactly that, self-contained. This type of accommodation is designed so that you have all the comforts of home. Your own home away from home with all the privacy you need and desire. Motels, cottages, apartments, holiday homes and baches can, depending what they offer, also be classed as self-contained. Some self-contained accommodations will also have the option of being daily serviced and their will always be a responsible person on hand for you comfort and information.

You will generally have from one to three bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen including a refrigerator (minus the food, although some basics may be included, such as coffee, tea, sugar and milk), a full lounge and laundry. Additional extras that you can usually expect are television, radio, phone, iron and internet connectivity and linen. Some self-contained accommodations offer a swimming pool and/or spa, gymnasium and recreational facilities.


New Zealand is a pretty environmentaly conscious nation, so its is within reason to expect that there are eco accommodation providers out there.

Well, actually, New Zealand does offer a wide choice of eco-friendly and nature accommodation located in the heart of the country’s natural environment, meaning that eco-friendly accommodation is more likely to be found in the rural setting. However, in the more urban setting, unique eco-friendly accommodation can sometimes be found. Eco accommodation can be meditative retreats where yoga and other relaxing activities are available to treat body, soul and spirit. Eco accommodation can also be in locations where nature and wildlife conservation and preservation are a high ideal to the operators.

This type of accommodation can include cottages, holiday parks, motels, farmstays, bed and breakfasts and luxury so it is generally a good idea to contact the operators to discover what you will have available.


New Zealand has some very unique and special cottage accommodation available for it’s visitors. Here is what you can expect when you stay at a cottage.

Okay, so cottages in New Zealand are generally also classed as self-contained. This means that in New Zealand you should expect that cottages also come with the comforts of home. The special thing about cottages, however, is generally their location. You will generally find cottages in a rural or town setting and their location will be rustic, special or unique. Quite often cottages will be located in vineyards, on farms or in natural surroundings.

Like self-contained accommodation the number of bedrooms will vary from about one to three, you will have kitchen facilities, laundry facilities, a lounge, showers and toilet. Extra facilities to expect will generally be television, DVD player, phone, internet connectivity, radio, towels and linen and off-street parking. Additional extras may include a range of things including full servicing, spa and sauna, outdoor barbeque area, verandahs and various recreational equipment. These will depend on each operator, however.

Generally cottages are very private and peaceful places to stay and can be ideal for that special getaway. Cottages are also usually very uniquely designed and placed.


So New Zealand isn’t a very old nation, but we do have some cool heritage accommodation options. Here is some information for you.

If you so desire you can enjoy the old-world charm of New Zealand yesteryear in boutique and heritage accommodation, choosing from either rural homesteads, grand old hotels, character and heritage homes, art deco villas or small, intimate Kiwi accommodation. Basically heritage accommodation is any accommodation that has historic significance. So you can expect the grandeur of past architecture.

What to expect in terms of rooms and facilities will depend entirely on what accommodation type the heritage operator identifies. For example, some heritages providers offer bed and breakfast accommodation, some hotel and some cottage.

So if you love those fantastic historic sites and revel in antiquity than check out our Kiwi heritage sites.

Something different

Tired of the standard accommodation options available to you. Let us tell you about some of the variety out there.

New Zealand is proud of its uniqueness and the things that make it so special. So as you travel New Zealand you will stumble across places to stay that really are different. From staying in a boot to experiencing a sleep in a wagon to escaping technology and electricity you may never know what to expect. The best advice we can give you is to search for yourself and don’t be afraid to give it a go. You will definitely find some pretty special places.


Source by John Jepson

Using Canal Holiday Guides to Make Your Narrowboat Holiday Run Smoothly


I tend to over prepare. I get all the canal maps and guides, and plan where we will moor, where the best pubs are, where the water points are located. When the markets are on, where the local buses go, what is going on in the towns.

You do not have to go to that extreme, but a little preparation will help your narrow boat holiday run smoothly.

Most important to have is a good, informative Canal Guide for the canals you are cruising.

Which one do you buy?

There are three main cruising guides: Nicholson, Pearson, and Waterways World.

So let's look at them all.

Nicholson probably has the largest range of Canal Guides to the British canals available, and have a good reputation. They are bound in a solid cover, (all are red) and some have a spiral spine.
We have not used them a lot, but many fellow boaters do. Our share owned "Stella" had a full set on board and we found them easy to use and robust.

Some years back they were the 'Boat Owners Guide ", with the other guides being relegated for Hire Boaters use. This is not quite the case now. The maps run from the top of the page, to the bottom.

Waterways World has had a checkered career in the canal guide market. We used them exclusively for our first ever trip in '85, and still have three of their original guides. For years waterways World have been leading the Waterways magazine, but for some reason they disappeared from the guide scene. Their Canal Guides are back now, featuring the Llangollen, Grand Union (South), Shropshire Union, and Oxford. I do not like the new format quite as much as the old style, which I found easier to follow. And I liked the ads! However, they are bound in a sturdy wire bound cover, to lay neatly on the boats roof for easy reference. They also run from top to the page to bottom, with the color map on the right hand page. Lovely color photos, (typical of Waterways World) there are more canal guides planned from them.

Pearsons is our canal guide choice. We have been using Pearsons since our '85 trip, and have continued to do so. Their very detailed maps run from left to right, with the corresponding text underneath, the only guides to be in landscape format. It is clear informative and accurate. At the top of each page, is the number of miles traveled, the number of locks, and the time taken to travel that particular length of canal. We find this particularly useful when planning our trip.

Pearson writes in a unique, entertaining style, (eg "Foxton Village basks in the sun like a sleek cat that has just had two helping of cream"), with nicely notes on each village and the facilities in the town. Their guides cover the majority of canals in the UK, including Llangollen, Shroppie, Oxford, Grand Union and Trent and Mersey. My only problem with the Pearsons, is the covers tend to part company with the rest of the pages after a few outings. But this is easily fixed with a stapler. Otherwise, we love them!

Which one is best?

It is entirely personal. Have a look at each one, talk to other boats, and make a decision. We have a selection of all of them. So … have fun choosing, and Happy Cruising!


Source by Cliff K Bayliss

Tips for Using Christmas Wall Decals During the Holiday Season


Christmas is a period of great joy and the decorations are an integral part of the holidays. Traditional decorations include the Christmas tree along with all its adornments, like baubles, ribbons, etc. along with wreaths and centerpieces. After you have set everything up, you could also consider installing some Christmas wall decals in an appropriate color, to bring more holiday cheer to your home.

These decals are not at all messy and can be installed with minimum fuss. In fact, you could even ask your kids to help set up these stickers on your walls. If you are not used to Christmas decals, here are a few tips you can use.

Do your homework

Before acquiring any holiday decoration, you should make sure that you spend time and research about the product. There are a number of types of decals available in the market. While some require you prime or pretreat the wall, others can be stuck after just removing the protective paper. Most of them can be removed easily, but only very few can be used again later on. The most cost effective solution would be to opt for removable and reusable Christmas decal which is made using non-toxic materials. A water based adhesive would be ideal since it will not cause any damage to the wall.

Select the right design

After you have selected the kind of decal you want, you should opt for a design which works well both in December and January. An ideal Christmas decal should be versatile and include pieces which can be rearranged as it would allow you to use it as a general winter decoration as well. For example, a decal which depicts a snow scene would be ideal both for Christmas time and later on.

Choose the appropriate area

When you are looking for a place to stick the decal on, look for one which needs some Christmas cheer. Your living room will probably have enough decorations as it is. You could opt for decals in the bathroom, kitchen or on the hallway walls. You could also stick decals of snowmen or Christmas trees onto the walls of your child's room.

Keep it fresh

It would be a good idea to use a Christmas decal which comes with repositionable pieces and other accessories. This allows you to redesign the décor, keeping it fresh and attractive. It does not take a lot of work either and it can be done in about 5 minutes.

Proper storage

After Christmas, the decals on your wall would look out of place. Unlike a lot of other decorations, they are easy to remove and store. Reusable Christmas decals can be stored in their original paper backing, after they have been removed. Make sure to store them in their original containers in a dry area to ensure that they do not get damaged by moisture or pests.

Christmas decals are a great way of decorating your walls during the holiday season. By buying an appropriate model, you will be able to use them for a number of years as well.


Source by Trent Rodriquez

What Are Gift Baskets?


Where Did the Basket Originate?

Since the beginning of mankind, man has woven grasses, straw, twigs and branches to create baskets. Early uses for the basket were to store dry goods and to transport food and materials. In biblical times, larger baskets were used for transporting people and goods on the water. Always a useful, sturdy container, it was a tool of man for tens of thousands of years.

The First American Gift Baskets

When the Mayflower landed on the shores of America, the European settlers were greeted with the first gift baskets. Dried fish and meats, corn, beans and other vegetables were presented to the settlers, by the American Indians, to welcome their arrival. In the 1700 and 1800’s, individuals created baskets full of fruits, foods and candies for Christmas, Easter and other holidays. Today’s gift baskets are crafted to the individual recipients tastes for holidays, special occasions or “just because” gift giving. Fruits, foods and candies now share space in gift baskets with “useable” items for the baby, the bath, the kitchen or for play. The baskets or boxes themselves are designed to be creatively used as well by the recipient once they’ve enjoyed the contents of the gift basket.

What to consider when buying a gift basket?

Baby Gift Baskets

These popular gift baskets provide the new parents clothing, towels, blankets, soap and shampoo for the new baby. The new arrival can expect to receive rattles, books and other baby items for them to play with.

Fruit Baskets

Always a great gift, these baskets are loaded with delicious apples, pears, other seasonal fruits and nuts. They are perfect for any occasion, and as people look to provide a healthy gift, these baskets are becoming more popular.

Gourmet Gift Baskets

The “old reliable” in gift baskets for years, these gifts traditionally have been filled with gourmet chocolates and nuts. More recently, these baskets are customized with gourmet coffee, tea and chocolate drinks; Italian foods stocked for entire dinner; sauces and rubs for the barbeque.

Corporate Gift Baskets

This gift basket category is becoming more popular with each passing year. Businesses send them to their clients to say “thank you” or to say “happy holidays”. Many companies present them to their employees in recognition of a job well done, for anniversaries, for the arrival of new baby or for a holiday gift.

Birthday Gift Baskets

Here you will have a wide selection to choose from. In gift baskets for children, you will find a variety containing candy, toys, books and gift certificates. For the women, spa items, chocolates, candies, gardening items and her favorite beverage to relax with can be found. For the man, in addition to traditional candy and nuts, sports, cigar, cooking and barbeque gift baskets are crafted to meet his personal tastes and interests. Gift baskets provide numerous and unique ways to say “Happy Birthday”.

Condolences Gift Baskets

When heartfelt sympathy is due, consider sending to the home of family or friends a condolences gift basket. Are you looking to send a whole meal? Or snacks and treats? Send them a gift to convey your sympathy and let them know that they are in your thoughts.

Gift Baskets for Her

You want to spoil her “just because of who she is”. Look for a gift that she would truly enjoy. Aromatherapy, a spa gift, a mug of her favorite coffee or tea or gourmet chocolates are unique and “just for her”. Reusable items such as candle holders, bath sponges, or a coffee mug make the gift a lasting memory.

Gift baskets For Him

What are your man’s interests? A gift basket comes in many varieties. Does he barbeque or enjoy being a gourmet chef? A sports themed basket for football, baseball golf or fishing is appropriate. Or does he like to share a gourmet chocolate or food on a quiet evening? Treat his tastes with a gift especially for him.

Get Well Gift Baskets

Sometimes flowers or balloons just won’t do. A soup meal, a game book, snacks or a mug of hot tea fits the bill. A gift basket sends your get well wishes in a unique way. For hospital deliveries, make sure your recipient is still a “guest”.

Luxurious Spa Gift Baskets

Pamper that someone special with a spa at home. Bath gels, body lotions, loofahs, creams and even a gourmet snack or chocolate are a great idea. These gift baskets turn your home into their private spa retreat.

Sports Gift Baskets

Baseball, football, golf or fishing? What is their interest? Memorabilia, books, a tee or a creel are items that special someone will enjoy. Candy and/or snacks should be included with this gift. A gift with their interest in mind!

Wedding Gift Baskets

If you’re looking for a unique wedding gift consider the gift basket. A time capsule or a picture frame to remember their special day. Commemorative champagne glasses and a gourmet treat will express your wishes. These are great gifts for family and friends alike.

Kids Gift Baskets

What do your kids like? Probably a sampling of gifts is the answer. Books and popcorn. Snacks and candy. Certificates and toys. “Can you make them happy? Yes you can!” Look for stuff they enjoy and that you feel good giving.

Housewarming Gift Baskets

Consider this gift if your relative or friend moves into their new home. If you are a real estate agent and you want to express your thanks to your client, think a gift basket as a unique housewarming gift. A meal, gourmet food or a unique, reusable basket says “Congratulations” to the new home owner.

Holiday Gift Baskets

Whether it’s Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or any other traditional holiday, give a gift that sends your wishes with the spirit, flavors and colors of the holiday. Personalize the gift with items that reflect the individual’s interests and tastes to insure their enjoyment and to tell that that you really care.


Source by Larry Flynn

Enjoying a Child-Friendly Holiday in Albufeira


The wonderful destination of Albufeira caters to the young and old alike: aside from its "heavier" historical landmarks, there are the beaches (the city has about 25 of them) and the family-oriented theme parks. So those traveling with their kids from the airport at Faro to Albufeira have plenty of options when they arrive to spend the day in the most thrilling way possible. If time is a constraint and you really have to zero in on the best choice of a theme park as quickly as possible, then you can not go wrong with the following three local theme parks.

Endless Fun at Slide and Splash

Make no mistake – despite the quaint general character of the city, it is not at all playing catch-up when it comes to modern kinds of fun. The earliest example of this is the Slide and Splash located on the A22 motorway – an exhilarating place for kids with a wide array of water slides. And when we say that this theme park is huge, we're not kidding: it is in fact one of the largest theme parks in Europe. Getting from Faro to Albufeira even just to visit this theme park with your kids can be conveniently arranged, thanks to competent transfer services and a dedicated bus service.

Educational Visit to Zoo Marine

Another compelling reason to bring your kids on a transfer from Faro to Albufeira is a highly educational visit to the Zoo Marine theme park. Here, you'll not only be treated to astonishing sights and sounds – with the various marine animals (seals, sharks, even birds) and the unforgivable opportunity to play with dolphins (under professional supervision, of course), but your kids will also learn about the extreme importance of conservation and the significance of everyone playing their part in saving endangered species. They will learn about the various conservation efforts through a 4D cinema presentation and an extensive exhibit. There is plenty of physical fun too, with water slides, swimming pools, and thrilling rides such as rollercoaster to complete their day. And even better still, children younger than four years can enjoy it all for free.

The Montechoro Fun Park

The Montechoro Fun Park is located right in the heart of the city, meaning once you arrive on the transfer from Faro to Albufeira, you can be in the thick of the fun within minutes! The theme park boasts a fun combination of rides, family-oriented dining places, swimming pools, and even a bouncy castle.

Dining and People Watching at the Marina

After you've exhausted yourself at the theme parks, you can shift down a gear and head to the famous Marina. The pulse of the city, the sheltered harbor is home to an eclectic stretch of seafood restaurants, buffet dining, bars and shops. It's the best place in the city to wind down and relax before you call it a day and head home.


Source by Lukas Johannes

New Leapfrog Crammer Sound and Study System a Good Addition to a Child's Holiday Gift List


Last month Leapfrog, popular maker of educational children's toys, introduced their newest selection which is called the Crammer. This educational system combined with MP3 player is targeted at the third to eighth grade market and aims to make on-the-go studying more fun.

The Crammer Study and Sound System offers the ability to download over 16,000 quiz questions in 1000 practice quizzes. These quizzes are based on actual textbooks so the questions are a great study tool. The quizzes cover math, social studies, science, and language arts. Beside quizzes, you can also create digital flash cards for the same subjects. In addition the Cramer comes with a built-in Spanish translator and two pre-loaded games. The unit can be connected to the internet to create a Learning Path for parents to follow a child's progress.

The pocket-sized Crammer can also be used as an MP3 player with 1 GB of storage (about 10 hours of music) and a headphone jack. Download songs from any computer with a USB port. The unit is Windows and Mac compatible. The MSRP is $ 59.99.

Additional accessories for the Crammer include a case (MSRP $ 9.99) and a Customizer screen skin and protector set (MSRP $ 12.99).

We have spent almost a month testing the Crammer with several children and have been overall pleased with the unit. The children have found it to be easy to use. The quizzes and flash cards are fun and challenging. The design is attractive and seems to hold up well to being dropped on occasion. The navigation screen is easy to move around using the rocker-style front screen (it is not a touch screen device as it might appear to be). The sound quality is decent and the MP3 player is fairly easy to download songs to.

The downsides to the unit are the limited number of games and the fact that the kids did tire of just doing the quizzes with it. Also, our first Crammer would not shut off without removing the batteries. After replacing the unit, we found the new one had the same issue. Customer service recommended rubbing a pencil eraser over the battery contacts and the unit began to function properly.

Overall the Crammer provides a fun educational entertainment system that would make a great Holiday gift for a child about age 8 to 12.


Source by Rhonda Endter