Car Rental and Self Drive Holidays in South Africa

Of all the great places in the world, people often choose South Africa to escape, and hiring a car will enable tourists to explore all South African has to offer. Most holiday packages often include a transfer option and tourists are often restricted to certain parts of the country, while hiring a car gives one the option of visiting personal and unique places of interest.

A self drive holiday is often an awarding and exhilarating experience particularly in South Africa, which is one of the top sight seeing destinations in the world. With views of the infinite Mountain ranges, the Atlantic and Indian Ocean, plenty game viewing opportunities and the natural vegetation including fynbos, visitors will be impressed at the plentiful attractions presented to them. South Africa is a vast country with many thousands of kilometers between cities, and therefore is fast becoming a popular destination for self drive holidays.

Self drives are the easiest ways of experiencing a world within a country, Holiday makers can venture down to the Wild Coast, Garden Route, Sunshine Coast, Mpumalanga Highlands and the Kruger National Park. The easy driving distances between your destinies will make your self drive holiday more interesting by giving the driver the opportunity to stop in the middle of nowhere or by venturing off the slightly beaten track

In South Africa the self driver is well catered for with 50 000 Km of easy to drive road networks with safe driving conditions, and an extensive mobile phone network, so help is only a call away. Plot your route before hand and make sure you have all the necessary maps and driving instructions, a useful map that will help you find where all the small towns are in relation to all the major well known cities.

Driving in South Africa can be adventurous and entertaining activity. The country is truly a fear for the eyes and the mind of many travelers. South Africa is the most biologically diverse country in the world, encompassed by deserts, mountain ranges, game parks and 3000 Km of coastline, the country boasts a spectacular collection of national reserves with some of the most endangered species and the legendary big 5.

Hiring a car will make a huge difference in enjoyment levels while on holiday, and if traveling with the family, this can be a less expensive option which satisfies every family members needs.

Source by Maryann Lister

Beach Resorts And Villas For Exotic Holidays

When planning a vacation especially one you've been waiting to take for long, the accommodation becomes an important consideration. Vacations to exotic lands like Sri Lanka – land of sun and sand – are best enjoyed in villas and beach resorts. Why? It is within these beaches that all the holiday fun is hidden.

Lining the seashore, beach resorts are in a perfect location and with the perfect climate, you have plenty to enjoy. Holiday villas on the other hand, are also located in prime locations either closer to the beach or in proximate to the city. The best thing about them is that they offer you enough privacy and space all through your stay. They are of a huge variety and you can choose the one that you feel will work for you and the others traveling with you.

When choosing resorts and villas as accommodation options, a few factors must be taken into consideration. These factors will guide you in making the right decision at the end of the day. We've also included recommendations for Sri Lankan beach resorts and villas on these lines.

The Location :

Even if you are settling for the beach resorts, you must decide whether you want one that is at a beach front or a beach back. The location of your accommodation will determine the environment you are exposed to through the holiday stay. The location can also determine the climatic conditions and accessibility to important facilities. The Club Palm Bay Hotel is a watery paradise overlooking the sea. Surrounded by lush gardens and a lagoon, it is a good destination for those considering a peaceful and rejuvenating holiday. The Weligama Beach resort has the beachside as its backdrop. It is also in proximity to the provincial center Matara.

Accommodation Amenities :

These are the amenities you can enjoy in the privacy of your room. Facilities provided include appliances such as refrigerators, hair dryers, desks, baby cribs, coffee makers and internet among many others. By looking at the amenities you have at your disposal, you will find it easier to choose according to your needs thereby ensuring a comfortable and hassle-free stay. Paradise Road The Villa Bentota is a villa-styled boutique hotel in Sri Lanka. It has 15 rooms and suites done up luxuriously and fitted with modern amenities. The accommodation amenities include air conditioning and Wi-Fi among others. They also have a private pool, a restaurant, shops and airport transfers.

The Facilities :

The resorts and hotels will of course offer you different facilities within their locations. They play an important role on what you can do and enjoy during the holidays. For instance, consider the availability of a restaurant, bar, fitness center, spa and a hair salon amongst others. Among the Sri Lankan beach resorts, Era Beach and the Club Palm Bay Hotel Blue are the places to go for if you love adventure and activity. Owing to their location, they offer water sports such as snorkeling, surfing, boat rides and game fishing.

The Rental Rates :

The charges differ for boutique hotels, holiday homes, resorts and villas. If you ask for more privacy, you should be willing to pay a higher rental rate for your room and the facilities that come along with it. For instance, going for a villa is more expensive than choosing a hotel room. On the other hand however, you stand to enjoy more privacy and flexibility in one compared to the other. When looking at the rental rates, therefore, weight your options on the basis of the facilities being offered to your for a particular rental charge. You, however want to go for something that you can comfortably afford.

The Green Rooms and Meedum Villa are two budget-friendly guesthouses and villas in Sri Lanka. If you're looking for a beach resort, Udekki and Paradise Beach Hotel will not dent your budget. Those willing to step-up their budget can choose between Amanwella Resort and The Fortress.

Source by Shalini Mittal

British Holiday Destinations – Why Poole is a Cool Resort

Forget the bucket and spade image of the British seaside holiday. A small corner of Dorset is fast becoming the UK's own Riviera. Homes on the two mile stretch of Sandbanks Peninsula, overlooking Poole harbor, now command some of the world's highest property prices – snapping close at the heels of hot spots Tokyo, Hong Kong and central London. Enjoying the world's second largest natural harbor after Sydney, Australia, Poole has long been a center for sailing and water sports and is home to the prestigious Sunseeker yacht manufacturer and the highly collectible Poole Pottery. It also boasts the headquarters and brand new training center for the revered Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Now that footballers, pop singers and the odd veteran crooner are making the most of the spectacular views, golden sands and private moorings, a new wave of upmarket bars and restaurants are coming to Sandbanks – check out the Bentleys and Ferraris in the parking lot. Increasingly outlandish properties are springing up as wealthy residents attempt to outdo each other on the style front. Homes by award winning developer, Seven, are causing a stir among more conservative locales. With names like Moonraker and Thunderbird, these cutting edge designs are a far cry from the region's more familiar mock-Tudor and neo-Georgian houses. One is even rumored to be featured in the latest James Bond film, Casino Royale. Do not worry too much if your budget does not stretch into the multi-million bracket, though. You can always rent a pretty smart beach hut from the local council for about $ 35 per day!

Fancy seeing what all the fuss is about? Book into one of the many fine hotels right on the Sandbanks Peninsula and find out what else Poole has to offer for the whole family.

Poole is two hours from London by train and Sandbanks is only a taxi ride from Bournemouth International airport. This rapidly expanding airport is constantly adding new destinations to its repertoire.

Source by Louise Dop

Holiday Gift Guide for the Movie Buff on Your List

So it's that time of year. Time to buy gifts for your friends and family yet again as the world all over celebrates this corporate, commercial, money-hungry, festive and generosity-filled holiday. Some of you may already have it all taken care of by now. Others may be last-minute shoppers like myself and think that even now is just the start of the shopping season. No matter which you fall under, there's bound to be at least a couple more on your list to check off. In this article, we'll give you some ideas for gifts for those movie buffs you may have on your list.

1. Movies

Of course a movie buff loves movies. However, this gift selection is not as obvious as some of you may think. In fact, it could have been one of the hardest choices for a movie fan there is. There are all types of problems that may arise here. You could pick the wrong format, the wrong medium, the wrong edition. Or you could plain and simple just pick the wrong movie. Or even more possible, buy them a movie they already own (afterall, they are movie buffs, chances are they have TONS of movies already making it even more likely to buy something they already have). That, that's why I recommend staying away from this selection without that movie fanatic in your life has actually been hinting at a certain movie laTely. In which case, go for it. Movies are definitely good for us movie buffs. But again, be careful in what you buy. Or at least save the receipt and do not be offended when that person needs to return your gift.

2. Netflix

Now for those of you wanting to get your movie buff some movies, but do not want to go through the head of making sure you do not get the wrong thing, Netflix is ​​your answer. Netflix allows that cinephile on your list access to all kinds of movies from the old to new, domestic to foreign, indie to blockbuster and so on. The great thing about this too, they get to choose which movies they want to watch, while you just pay for the subscription. Netflix Gifts come in a variety of plans and a variety of lengths. You can get your movie lover just the streaming package or you can choose a package which allows streaming, plus up to 1, 2, or 3 DVDs out at a time. These can all be bought in lengths from 1 month to 1 year. For instance, a streaming package for 6 months will run you about $ 48. Or you can go with 2 DVDs out at a time for 1 year for about $ 180. No matter what the choice, it's sure to be a hit with the movie buff in your life. It does not matter if they already have a subscription either as a Netflix Gift can simply be added to their already existing subscription and they'll get free months of their service.

3. Fandango Card

Of course every movie buff spends ample amounts of time at the theater. So, along the lines of the Netflix thing, another option is a Fandango gift card (or a gift card from a local theater). This gives your movie buff a gift that will keep on giving over the year as they revisit the theater. Each time getting to enjoy the big screen magic on your dime. The movie buff on your list will surely love a gift like this over the months as they get to catch all the latest releases.

4. Movie Memorabilia

Your typical movie buff is obsessed with movies in probably a way you will never fully understand. As such, this means everything about movies that they enjoy. Thus, another good gift for that movie lover on your list is movie memorabilia. This ranges from movie posters, to shirts, to collector's items, to autographed items, to boxed sets, to film cells and artwork. You can even buy scripts / screenplays / props from their favorite movies online. With many online outlets that sell this type of stuff, the possibilities are endless once you know some of your movie buff's favorite movies or actors, etc.

5. Movie-Related Books and Magazines

As I stated before, chances are the movie buff in your life loves everything movie-related. This goes for books and magazines as well. Biographies on their favorite actors or movie-related books are good unconventional ideas for the movie buff in your life. There are plenty books out there designed for these types of people. From 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die to 1000 Films to Change Your Life to The 100 Best Movies to Rent You've Never Heard to even more specific books like 101 Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die . All would be a welcome treat for the movie buff in your life. Likewise, the movie buff in your life most assuredly likes to keep up with all things movies and get insights into the industry they so love. As such, magazine subscriptions that cater to these types are also good choices. These include print and online types. Although I will say you'll want to go beyond the more mainstream types of Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stones, etc. Instead, look into things like 'Boxoffice Magazine', 'Hollywood Reporter', 'Premiere', 'Empire' (UK), 'MovieMaker' or 'Filmmaker Magazine'. Likewise, you could also get them a subscription to online industry rags like or

6. Universal Remote

As you probably know, the movie buff in your life definitely has a love for electronics. This is especially true when it comes to their home entertainment setup. All of that gear can get out of hand though when remote controls begin piling up. Introduce the Logitech Harmony. The cream of the crop when it comes to universal remotes. This line of remotes from Logitech range from about $ 100 to over $ 300. Any movie buff would be happy to get their hands on such a remote control to accent their setup.

7. Roku Box

This is a great accompaniment gift for a Netflix subscription. The streaming player allows the movie lover to use any of those streaming services to stream movies directly to their TV instead of having to watch on their computer or laptop. This is great for any movie buff who would much rather watch on their big screen TV rather than their little computer monitor. The Roku box allows for Netflix instant streaming on your TV. It also allows access to such services as Hulu Plus, Amazon On Demand and more.

8. Blu-ray Player

Chances are your movie buff already has one of these in their collection. However, for those that do not a Blu-ray player is a great gift for the movie buff in your life. Providing for a high-definition movie viewing experience, the movie buff in your life will love the immersion of watching their favorite movies in pristine hi-def.

9. Popcorn Maker

Everybody knows: popcorn goes with movies like jelly goes with peanut butter. And for some reason, kettle popcorn just tastes better. So why not bring that theater goodness into the home of your favorite movie buff giving them the gift of snacks anytime they sit down to watch a movie at home. You can find many kettle popcorn makers for under $ 100. Any movie buff would find it cool to have their very own popcorn maker sitting in the corner of their room for access whenever they want to spend the evening watching movies (and trust me, they do this very often).

10. "Gaming" Chair

These provide the ultimate comfort when sitting in front of the TV for a movie. With built-in speaker systems and ultimate comfort, there are tons of stylish gaming chairs out there. Any movie buff would love one of these cool recliner / pedestal chairs to kick back and enjoy their movie-viewing experience. Not only does it just flat-out look cool and are they comfortable, but they also provide more immersion with the speakers in the headrest and subwoofers built into the chair that make you rumble along with explosions on the screen.

11. Surround Sound System

Speaking of sound, if your movie buff does not already have one, a surround sound system is always a welcome addition to their home entertainment experience. Providing an immersion of sound to accompany their viewing experience, a surround sound system is an absolute must for any movie buff that is looking to make the most of the home entertainment experience. Of course, this can be a costly gift, but the movie buff in your life will definitely be grateful.

12. HDTV

Since we're mentioning essential components, a TV definitely falls in that range. Obviously your movie buff already has one, but they're never opposed to a new TV (or even just a secondary TV). Whether it be a smaller LCD TV to put in their room or an upgrade to a top-of-the-line brand new 3D TV, TVs are always welcome. Your movie buff would definitely love you for this. With the pushing of 3D TVs, these are a definite hot item too which most movie buffs in your life would more than happily take. Again though, this is one of the more expensive gifts, so expect to pay thousands for something like that.

13. Movie Storage

You probably know this already, but the movie buff in your life probably has a very extensive collection of movies. A collection they love to proudly show off as well. Of course such a collection can often become something of a beast that needs taming. Enter the realm of media storage. This actually comes in two forms as well: physical and digital. First we'll touch on the traditional physical form. This simply means cabinets and shelves. If the movie buff in your life does not already have the shelving for their collection, or is simply running out of shelf space, then a new shelf, rack or tower would be a practical and welcome gift for your movie buff in helping to tame that ever-growing collection and bringing some order to it. Of course you have the digital front as well. This is the same concept as storing all of your music on your computer. Many companies make devices specifically for media storage like this. There are even companies like Kaleidoscope and PrimeArray which create systems that serve as storage and servers. This means all movies are saved on a digital storage device. The cherry on top though is that these devices then provide a means to share all that data across a network and have access to your entire movie collection with one click of a button on your remote. Having instant access to any movie in your collection without having to get up and change out discs, etc. These however can get extremely expensive. Some even more expensive than the TVs themselves. But the techphile / cinephile in your life would love it.

14. AFI Membership

Every film buff is familiar with the prestigious American Film Institute. What better way to reward their passion for films than allowing your movie buff to become part of that institute by buying them a membership to the AFI. This can range from $ 60-2,500. Offering cool perks like movie tickets, exclusive release schedules and magazine subscriptions, an AFI membership also grants members admission to AFI events. On top of that, your movie buff would even be able to vote alongside the industry professionals for various movie awards and accolades deal out by AFI each year. To top it off, they would even get an AFI membership card to proudly show off to friends as a sign to their dedication to films.

15. Film Festival Pass

I'm sure you've heard of them. Sundance. Cannes. Attending these more prestigious film festivals are like a life-long dream for the movie buff in your life probably. They'd probably give an arm or a leg to get to experience going to the prestigious Sundance festival or Cannes or the Venice Film Festival. However, these events book well in advance and can be costly. Thus, they do not make good last-minute gift ideas. Though, I'm sure your movie buff would happily take a "rain check" on a gift if it means the promise of getting a pass to one of these festivals later on. Likewise, many larger cities offer their own film festivals through the year. If you live near one of these, your movie buff would definitely love the chance to get to attend one of those as well.

So there you have it, a plethora of ideas to make sure the movie buff in your life has a happy holiday and make sure you come out on top with gift ideas for that movie buff (rather than being that relative that gives a crappy pair of knit socks for Christmas or such).

Source by Josh Lyons

How to Pick a Holiday Game

Holiday games are predominately featured at, yes; holiday parties and you'll have a hard time finding a holiday themed game at a non-holiday party. Of course the first rule to deciding on a holiday themed game is to make sure that it is geared towards your holiday party or that it can be altered so that it's able to be geared towards the holiday that you are celebrating. For instance many basic games can be changed around or given accoutrements that feature holiday specific themes.

You can easily turn a relay race into a specific holiday themed event. On Easter it becomes and egg run. Guests better be careful not to drop the eggs from their spoons. On Halloween it becomes the bone relay. You can find a fake plastic arm or thigh bone and have the teams run their bones to each other.

Also, games need to be geared towards your guests. Are you going to have a lot of kids at the party? Or will this be adults or will it even have a lot of older guests? Older guests will not be able to keep up with the high energy level required of many racing and other active type games. While kids will not be able to stay still long enough to engage in a holiday themed board game. Holiday themed board games are perfect for those who are having a small group of guests over. Larger groups may not work so well because it will be difficult to get everyone centered around the table. Of course you can also set up a tournament with several board games going at once.

You'll also need to create prizes that are appropriate to the age group you having the party for. Adults and kids alike may go for homemade candies on holidays like Christmas, Easter and Halloween. While the Fourth of July you might want to give out sparklers.

Source by Gail Leino

Holiday Apartments For Rent in Barcelona Spain – Book Direct With The Owner – No Agents' Commission

As a holiday destination, Barcelona has it all, including fabulous holiday apartments for rent in Barcelona Spain where you can also find sunshine, beaches, museums, shops and great restaurants. You can avoid paying travel agent commission when you rent your vacation apartment rentals in Barcelona Spain by booking directly with the apartment owners. You can rent a city property in Spain from the Internet by putting in searches like holiday villa select, owners- direct-Spain or even holiday apartments for rent in Barcelona Spain etc. Needless to say, when you do book on line, you should make sure you are transferred directly to the owners and that you are not dealing with the website owner, a travel agent or a tour operator etc. as they all take commission which of course has to be paid for. And do not forget to book your flights into Barcelona Spain early.

Fewer than 20 years ago, most travelers would never have even thought of north-eastern Spain and cities like Barcelona as a place for luxury villa rental Spain. The previously neglected industrial quarter of Barcelona is currently in the process of gentrification, and stylish holiday apartments for rent in Barcelona Spain are available there. Today, this neighborhood boasts a wide variety of excellent eateries, interesting museums, art galleries, boutiques, and historic buildings. There is something to satisfy every taste.

The weather is ideal in Barcelona, ​​so tourists choose to lease Spain villas there throughout the year. It is comfortably hot in the summertime, about 60 degrees in the wintertime, and boasts both a metropolitan atmosphere and the attractions of the seashore. There are all sorts of holiday apartments for rent in Barcelona Spain available at every price which makes it a perfect destination no matter what your budget may be. Inexpensive flights into Barcelona Spain are increasingly in demand, making this one of the continent's favorite getaway spots.

One district you must see is the El Born District which has been transformed from a neglected area to one that is modern and eclectic. It is a very fashionable area for vacation apartment rentals in Barcelona Spain. In the delightful stone-paved streets are trendy galleries and restaurants serving delicious food; you must try the unusual tapas dishes that this area has become celebrated for.

Another area recommended for booking holiday apartments for rent in Barcelona Spain is Gracia – a lively quarter with lots to recommend it and a huge selection of vacation apartment rentals in Barcelona Spain. Gracia once a working class industrial district is now one of the fashionable areas, where the trendy and creative people gather. It still has a strong Catalan identity and has some of Barcelona's richest festival traditions. The Festa de Gracia is one of these and everyone joins in and decorates the streets in mid-August, as each street competes for the honor of best decorated street. Gracia also houses Barcelona's most striking park, created by Antoni Gaudi, the Parc Guell. This park is a work of art and well worth a visit.

Finally, and while we always recommend booking directly with the owner for your holiday apartments for rent in Barcelona Spain, likewise with your flights into Barcelona Spain, we strongly recommend you use a good travel insurance broker to ensure you get expert advice and insurance at the most competitive price.

Source by Eddie Lucas

Flower Essences – Help For the Holiday Blues

The holiday season is a time to celebrate the joys of family and tradition, as well as deeper spiritual mysteries. It can be a mixed blessing, however, even a time of despair, for some people.

As individuals and families grow older, holiday traditions can fail to keep pace. The death of a family member during the year can be poignantly felt all over again at Christmas time. It may be difficult to let go of a loved one and work through the challenge of their passage. Flower essences such Bleeding Heart and Sturt Desert Pea can help release the pain of these separations, while Forget-Me-Not is useful in keeping their memory alive in a healthy manner.

While there are numerous essences appropriate to depression, several are worth highlighting. Gorse is for despair and resignation, a sense of deep hopelessness. It moves one towards a feeling of faith and optimism. Sweet Chestnut is for even darker states of mind, when it feels like one has reached the end of their endurance. Sunshine Wattle also produces a sunny outlook when things look bleak. If the person is suicidal, Cherry Plum or Waratah can get them through the crisis without harm themselves or others. Sometimes the inner pain is less substantial, a kind of alienation from all the celebrity, an inability to get into the holiday spirit. Tall Yellow Top or Sweet Pea may give you a sense of belonging, again. And if you keep a smiling face while suffering inside, Agrimony can bring your inner and outer worlds into better harmony.

No family on earth is perfect, but some definitely produce more anger and resentment than love and acceptance. Such a setting is hard the place to relax and feel at home. Many flower essences address these harsh emotions and other petty issues, but Dagger Hakea tops the list. It resolves the tangled web of resentments towards loved ones, allowing forgiveness and concern to take its place. Impatiens, Fuchsia and Scarlet Monkeyflower are also recommended for anger. Calendula and Snapdragon can soften those who dish out their abuse verbally, while Star Tulip makes you a better listener.

Willow is for resentments from feeling unfairly treated, a kind of "poor me" syndrome. Unloving relationships between parents and children can poison the family for life. Consider Baby Blue Eyes or Red Helmet Orchid when dad is involved, Mariposa Lily or Dog Rose (from the Bush remedies) for mom. And of course, Holly for everyone!

Source by Thomas O Donovan

Bali – Timeless Holiday Romance With a Modern Twist

Bali, a Hindu island in a mostly Muslim archipelago, a tourist destination that is at once commercial and deeply spiritual might sound like a paradox but Bali tourism is estimated to have bought 5.48 million tourists and earned us $ 7.2 billion in 2009 making tourism the major contributor to the national economy at 42% of the total revenue. The 2,259,000 foreign tourists who came to Bali in 2009 spent an average of US $ 137.90 per person per day over the average 8.75 average-length-of-stay on the island.

To add to this pleasure, Bali has also been voted the most enchanting holiday escape of 2009 and so many popular Bali hotels and villas are renovating and redesigning themselves to follow this trend. But unlike in a hotel where accommodation may be cramped and services not up to the mark, there are Luxury Bali villas that maximize all the drawbacks of the best Bali hotels as the Bali villas provide more in terms of living space, privacy, choice of services , the option to cook your own food, butler and driver services, and what ever you choose to ask for. The service and treatment of vacationers and renters by the well trained and multilingual villa staff is exceptional and is very personalized on preference which not many hotels can provide.

In the Bali type residences, vacationers can enjoy utmost privacy making luxury Bali villas the ideal place to stay for honeymooners and couple on romantic outings. The leading luxury Bali villas provide utmost privacy by providing a secluded setting of each villa, permitting undisturbed outdoor life with outdoor dining areas giving you a first hand experience of living life within the nature of Balinese way with outdoor bathrooms and private plunge pools as well.

In Bali, the Umalas is a good place to find accommodation as there is the Albia Villa resting amidst the peace and serenity of the terraced rice fields, where you can listen and enjoy the sights and the sounds of the tropical fauna and flora which has made its home in the island paradise. But be assured, that in luxury Bali villas like these, unless you book your villa early, you might just loose out on your chance to stay here.

With multiple living / dining areas, visitors in a group of 8 can be accommodated in one luxury Bali villa as there are 4 master bedrooms with en-suite changing rooms, en-suite open-air showers / bathrooms with latest accessories, Individually-controlled hot & cold water facilities, Safety Deposit Boxes, Hair dryers, International power-sockets and all other bathroom amenities that you can ask for making it the ideal choice for whole families as well as honeymooning couple.

The new intimate luxury Bali villas is creating a trend in holiday stay among the vacationers as rates in Bali are many times low compared to the other island holiday spots all over the world while enjoying the best of holiday stay options in Bali. As luxury Bali villas supports the space needs and promotes peace and tranquility on an individualized personal care and attention your stay in Albia villa is an experience that 'is made' to be experienced the Balinese way.

Source by Nigel Fine

The Perfect Gift – Take the Humbug Out of the Holidays!

Have you ever bought the hordes of holiday shoppers, searching for the perfect gift, only to have it receive a lukewarm reception? Do gift giving occasions leave you wondering whether your significant other has a clue? Otherwise happy couples can buckle under holiday stress. This year, tap into your sweetie's temperament to find the perfect gift. Is she a practical Guardian with a sentimental side, or a hopelessly romantic Idealist? Maybe your guy is a fun loving Artisan, with an extravagant streak, or a gadget loving Rational, who may require not-so-subtle hints. Follow these guidelines to take the humbug out of the holidays!

Guardian personalities honor customs and traditions, including the requisite the gift giving. They prefer to give and receive gifts that hold sentimental value. For a Guardian woman, you can not miss with engraved jewelry or keepsakes. One husband I know gives his wife a porcelain figurine each year, and the very pleased Guardian wife now proudly displays a collection numbering in the dozens. A Guardian husband or boyfriend most appreciates practical or useful gifts. Gifts need not be extravagant, yet hand-made gifts are least likely to be at the top of a Guardian's wish list. Of all four temperaments, Guardians also are most likely to appreciate knowing exactly what you would like; they are simply pleased when you ask and get them exactly what they put on their wish list. Who needs surprises, when you can get what you really want?

Material things are not important to Idealist personalities; like Guardians, they most appreciate giving and receiving gifts with sentimental value. However, there is a major difference – Idealists like giving and receiving gifts that are hand-made by the giver. The romantic Idealist feels that gifts made with love best show the depth of their personal feelings toward the recipient. So, Guardian / Idealist couples beware – overlooking this critical difference could lead to hurt feelings. Idealists do not particularly value practical gifts; they would much rather receive a gift they consider fun. Do not spend a lot of time hunting down the latest gadget if your honey is an Idealist. Keep it simple, sentimental and above all, fun.

Adventure-seeking Artisans appreciate gifts that are both thought and fun. This suggests gifts that go with activities to remind your sweetie of fun and pleasant things you have done together. Did your Artisan mate propose while you were scuba diving? He might enjoy an engraved dive watch; pearl earrings would be a thoughtful choice for her. These gifts hold sentimental value, because they are tied to shared experiences. Extravagance also appeals to the Artisan-the bigger, the better! Want to sweep her off her feet? Surprise her to a romantic weekend getaway; great food, wine, and a little spa action should do the trick. Or, kick it up a notch, with plane tickets to Maui and an exclusive suite on Kaanapali Beach!

When it comes to gift exchanges (and well, everything), Rationals are consistent. They express little interest in either giving or receiving gifts. Sentimental is not really their thing; without guidance, they might opt ​​for impersonal gift cards or money. Do not be shy about dropping a few hints if you have something special in mind – and do not worry about the gift's cost. What Rationals lack in sentiment, they make up for in extravagance, so go for the big diamond! Another way to inspire a Rational personality is via email; send him a link to your wish list, as he overwhelmingly prefers online shopping. When choosing a gift for your Rational mate, you can not go wrong with the latest gadget – the more extravagant and difficult to obtain, the better.

You can find the perfect holiday gifts this year by following these guidelines; by understanding the importance of temperament, you also might gain a little insight into your loved ones.

Source by Kip Parent

Villa Holidays

Sick of boring hotel rooms and complicated time-shares? Had your holiday ruined by noisy parties of tourists down the corridor? Discovered that your time-share allows you just one week during the dead off-season?

You need to try the villa holiday option. They're a great alternative to the conventional hotel, especially if you're traveling with a large group of friends or family. This is where a villa holiday scores.

Villa holidays or vacation rentals as they're known in the US have been around for a while but are now getting to be very popular.

What is a villa rental?

They are privately owned properties located in countryside, towns, sea-sides or mountainous / hilly areas which are available for rent over a specified time period. They are usually fully furnished, with all modern conveniences and appliances, with telephone, TV and internet facilities. Most of them are self-catering but there are some with house-keeping services offered as add-ons.

Why choose a villa holiday?

They give a home-like feel to your holiday. Being non-standard, expect unique décor, facilities and comforts, unlike run-of-the-mill hotel rooms. There's a huge range: anything from tiny attic studios to luxury properties and everything in between. Many villas offer cooking or art classes, baby-sitting, guided tours to nearby attractions, 24-hour check-in, in-house medical facilities etc. Another plus is that you can cook and eat the kind of food you like or catering may be included. Traveling with babies, children and senior citizens means you have special food, resting, entertainment requirements, plus flexibility.

Plus Points:

1. Great flexibility

2. Good rates and prices compared to a hotel: since you're able to negotiate directly with the owner.

3. Great for larger groups

4. Cheaper food costs: if self-catering.

5. Convenient when you have kids / seniors in group.

6. Benefits the local economy.

7. Privacy / relaxation.

8. Unique local flavor.

9. Optional add-ons like private beach, pool, garden, farm.

10. Optional cultural / historical tours, classes, visit to unique local restaurants, tourist sites.

Minus Points:

1. Credibility: You're not dealing with a known name or group.

2. Frauds, Scams: Likelihood of being the victim of a con.

3. Misrepresentation: Photos and reviews may be misleading.

4. Difficult to locate: Needs time and effort to find a suitable one.

5. Transport: Out-of-the-way locations, bad roads, no public transport.

6. Non-standard Rates / Facilities.

7. May insist on minimum period.

8. Hidden costs: Charges for electricity, fuel, heating, cleaning, parking, pool-cleaning etc.

9. Hygiene / cleanliness: May not be adequate.

10. Medical facilities: problems in case of emergencies.

A villa holiday is a great option. Keep the above tips in mind when you choose to go on one.

Source by Steve Walby