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When it comes to travel, we believe people are interested in more than just the latest gear and reviews of ludicrously expensive resorts. We know that not every female is in search of the world’s perfect facial. And that people without trust funds travel too.

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Sunday
Jan272013

Must-Sees in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt

Naama Bay Sharm el Sheikhphoto by Marc RyckaertSharm el Sheikh is one of the mainstays of the package holiday scene, and for good reason too. This beautiful Egyptian resort offers year-round sun, soft golden sands, a fabulous mix of hotels and some of the most beautiful seascapes you’ll ever see. Plus, the popularity of this holiday hotspot means you’ll always find cheap holidays to Sharm el Sheikh - perfect if you’re watching the pennies.

So what is there to do?

First off, Sharm el Sheikh is famous for scuba diving, and has become something of a mecca in recent years. Join a local excursion to get out and explore some of the best dive sites, including vibrant coral reefs and fascinating wrecks. Or if that’s a little out of your comfort (or financial) zone, try your hand at snorkelling instead. You’ll be amazed at the magnitude of marine life just beneath the water’s shimmering surface.

One truly memorable must-do is an overnight trip to the desert. Stay in a traditional tent with wonderful hospitality, and while the evening away gazing up at the stars, which shine particularly brightly in this arid wilderness.

Ambitious visitors who don’t mind early starts and long days can take a tour to Mount Sinai. Even better, set off in the small hours and watch the sunrise. Even if you hate early mornings, this one is definitely worth it; sit back and gaze in awe as the sun explodes over the horizon, throwing a magnitude of colours across the landscape and creating one of the most beautiful scenes you will ever see.

If you travel with a major tour operator such as Thomas Cook holidays, you can often book excursions through the company. Of course you can also find such tours locally or through your hotel - but just make sure that the tour operator satisfies basic safety requirements and has the necessary qualifications.

Of course there are plenty more must-sees in Sharm el Sheikh, these are just a few of them. After all, half the fun is finding them out for yourself.

Wednesday
Jan232013

In Photos: Costa Brava, Spain

The Costa Brava region of Spain, in Catalonia, has gained prominence recently through its agressive campaigns on social media and with bloggers. The hashtag #InCostaBrava and #InPyrenees have signaled a shift in the use of social media, inspiring other destinations and brands to promote in similar ways.

Costa Brava is a region that, surprisingly, was unknown to me before I visited. When I considered Spain, I always thought of Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia but never of heading north from Barcelona to the countryside that is between that city and the great Pyrenees mountains.

It turns out, I couldn’t be more grateful to Costa Brava for how they have chosen to promote their great region because now - I have been here:

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan222013

Experience the Beauty of Scotland: Top City Breaks

Edinburgh City skylineEdinburgh City skyline at dusk from Salisbury Crags looking towards a floodlit Edinburgh Castle. Photo: Chris Robson / Scottish ViewpointYou don’t have to jetset to a far off place for a break to remember. You could just hop over the border to bonnie Scotland and appreciate everything that this stunning country has to offer. Whether you prefer to rough it in the wilderness or you wish to explore one of the culture-rich cities, you can.

If a city break is what you’re after, and with several buzzing Scottish cities waiting to be explored, here’s a guide to some of the popular ones.

Glasgow

Whether it’s the thriving nightlife or the masses of culture that attract you to the bright lights and sounds of Glasgow, you’re in for a real treat. Scotland’s largest city is jam packed with wonderful offerings, to ensure you have an unforgettable trip. You can find hotels in Glasgow that won’t break the bank, meaning you can fully appreciate what’s on offer, even if you’re on a budget.

Whether you decide to visit an art gallery, a museum or the ski slopes of Xscape, it’s all here. Explore the Mackintosh Ten if you would like to learn more about the man

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Sunday
Feb122012

In Photos: The Train from Zagreb, Croatia to Belgrade, Serbia

I’m in Serbia on a nerdtastic fact-finding mission about the inventor Nikola Tesla. The journey started in lovely Croatia, followed by a Saturday ride on the train from Zagreb to Belgrade.

It is the dead of winter, but that didn’t create a lack of scenery. The train was comfortable and cozy on the inside, warmed even more by the fact that Croatians and Serbians are among the friendliest on the planet.

This is what it looked like (all photos snapped on my iPhone from the train window):

 

Creative Commons LicenseZagreb to Belgrade Train Journey by Kim Mance is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.gogalavanting.com.

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Kim Mance is Galavanting’s editor-in-chief, writer, photographer and con-camera host of Galavanting.tv and two cable TV shows in production. She’s based in Brooklyn, NY and blogs for places like Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Huffington Post, and Babble. She’s host of the popular TBEX conferences in North America & Europe. She’s @kimmance on Twitter.

Thursday
Aug252011

Girl in the North Country - Plattsburgh, NY

A park on the shore of Plattsburgh Bay.This week I find myself in quiet Plattsburgh on the Adirondack Coast (which is home to a whopping 600 miles of shoreline). The historic little town is a quick ferry jaunt across Lake Champlain from the coffee shops and art galleries of Burlington, Vermont. The locals and their signage call this area of upstate New York the ‘North Country’.

I took the scenic Amtrak Adirondack train directly from New York City’s Penn Station, through the Hudson Valley and alongside the shores of Lake Champlain. The ride even includes a free talk by National Park Service volunteers in the train’s cafe car, who provide information about the surrounding landscape, point out historic landmarks, and answer questions. It certainly beat a trek to the airport and being harassed by the TSA.

A country road antique shop in Plattsburgh, NY.Folks often roadtrip the surrounding area, past hilly cornfields in-between cute antique shops and farmer’s markets along backroads and highways, or to see the changing of fall leaves.

And francophiles can even get a bit of a fix because of Plattsburgh’s proximity to Québec, Canada.

Plattsburgh, NY signpostDirectional signs in Plattsburgh’s historic center show off a little French.Historic sites are marked all along Plattsburgh’s Riverwalk.The Battle of Plattsburgh was won by the US Navy on Sept 11th, 1814 and helped prevent the British from making any claims on US land during treaty negotiations.

A highlight is taking a stroll down the city’s Riverwalk with fantastic views of Lake Champlain, Plattsburgh Bay, the historic center of town and the Saranac River.

Click to read more ...