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Tourico Vacation Reviews: Philadelphia Travel Guide Budget Style

Tourico Vacation Reviews: Philadelphia Summer Fun Travel Guide Budget Style

Planning on heading to the “City of Brotherly Love” this summer but your budget has been busted?

This is one city that won’t try to put a squeeze on your already tight wadded wallet. There are plenty to see in Philadelphia for travelers on a budget.

These are some tips & tricks that Tourico vacation has recommended to us

Things like using an Entertainment Book if you have one, or AAA membership card, or AARP card can all help travelers save money. If you have bought that AAA membership for road safety, it is good for so much more.

Tourico Vacation Reviews - The Borse

First make a bee-line for your local library or tourist office and grab a map of Philadelphia or a guide book on Philadelphia and browse through their hotel sections. They also have listings of things to do along with a listing of the prices. Take your cards with you. Be bold, be brazen with your cards. Lay all your cards on the table. Flash your AAA card, the AARP card, and Entertainment Book card if you have one.

You’d be surprised at how many places including retail stores will give you a discount just for flashing the cards. Entertainment Books are often half price after Christmas. They are available in most cities including Philly.

They can cut that restaurant tab in half if you are eating alone or provide other discounts off your meals and things to do in the area.

Travel Accommodations:

As I previously stated, AAA cards can be used to secure discounts on hotels. In the back, of the Entertainment Book you can find discounts hotels and rental cars and how to book them. If you are flying in you can often get a package deal on your flight and your accommodations when you book through a travel agent.

If you are flying into Philadelphia, many of the most of the inexpensive hotels are located around the airport. However, remember to figure in the added cost of transportation into your budget.

A Guide to Getting Around the City:

Philadelphia Summer Fun Travel Guide Budget Style by Tourico Vacation Reviews

You can easily rent a car when you fly into the city. However, I grew up on the outskirts of the city and I still found it hard to find my way around the city. I never went anywhere without my trusty Rand McNally Street Map of Philadelphia. Most Barnes and Nobles Stores and Amazon Books stores can order this precious lifesaver for you before you hit the road.

The city has a good transit system. The South East Transit Authority (SEPTA) is the name for the transit system in the city. Please call it SEPTA, if you call it ‘The South East Transit Authority”, most of the locals will look at you like you just landed from Mars.

The daily pass which will provide you with a limited number of trips on the bus, subway, or trolley. The train is not included. Or you can purchase a weekly pass if you stay longer. Prices and number of trips are changing from time to time so I’m not going to quote anything here.

There are also bikes to be rented throughout the city. As with any large city, there are some areas that are safe and some areas…well, not so much… especially after dark.

So you may want to avoid public transit or stay in well lighted areas after dark. Don’t let the City of Brotherly Love become the city where you get a not so friendly brotherly mugging or someone really puts the squeeze on you.

Tourico Vacation Travel Guide on What to Do:

Beer Garden in Philadelphia by Tourico Vacation

Philly has what is known as the Philadelphia City Pass. If you want the most bang for your buck this is the way to go. If you are only going to one or two places available on the list, this will not save you money. If you are going to more than that this is pass is a steal of a deal.

Even though I grew up on the outskirts of Philadelphia, it is my favorite way to be able to see various attractions in Philadelphia. The pass claims to provide over $350 worth of entrance fees for just $40.

My favorite haunt that you can take advantage of on the pass is Longwood Gardens. The Gardens feature ever changing displays and a great chance to enjoy nature, get exercise and see beauty all at the same time. Don’t miss out the main fountain garden, the Italian water garden and the open air theatre garden.

Talk about a steal of a deal. Recently the Gardens had a “make over” and they are even more breathtaking than they were before. The Orchid Room is a perennial favorite and if you get there for the July 4th celebration you’ll be in for a real treat.

If you like museums there is the Atwater Kent Museum, National Liberty Museum and the African American. For science buffs or budding nurses/doctors there is The Academy of Natural Sciences and The Franklin Institute Science Museum.

The pass offers many discounts and benefits with its purchase so be sure to check it out.

Morris Arboretum Philly

Close by to the city is Valley Forge Park. I have fond memories of commuting through the park to and from work. I would often take a picnic dinner with me and pull over for some time off prior to heading home. If you are in Philly, don’t miss this park or you may regret this historic landmark.

Philadelphia Travelers’ Guide to Eating out by Tourico Vacations

cheese-steak Philly

Philadelphia is known for its push-cart vendors. It is the home of the soft pretzel, with or without mustard. There are hot dog stands everywhere. And in Philly, they will look at you strange if you are over the age of five and attempt to put ketchup on your hot dog instead of mustard, so beware!

There are also vendors with Italian Water Ice to cool you on a hot summer day. You’ll even find industrious teenagers with red wagons and a blue igloo strapped to it with ice cold sodas.

Geno's-Steaks-street

As far as more traditional places to eat for my money I wouldn’t go any place else other than Barbuzzo.  Barbuzzo has been dishing out Mediterranean fare to the philly faithful for years now. This is ideal for day, night or any special occasion. Intimate and full of charm.

Termini Brothers bakery is also terrific and the Hard Rock Cafe has not failed me yet. Menu Pages can help you easily plan your lunches and dinners out in the city.

Luke’s Lobster Rittenhouse by Tourico Vacation Reviews

If you don’t allocate some money in your budget for a meal at Luke’s Lobster Rittenhouse you will be sorry and probably regret it for the rest of your life. This is where I fell in love with seafood as a teenager. I’ve been a seafood lover since then.

Well I think I have given you plenty to see and do in my old stomping grounds. I hope I was helpful to you and able to help guide you through your summer plans in planning a vacation to my beloved city.

Author’s Bio

Jeff Wilson, the author of the “Tourico Vacation Reviews: Philadelphia Summer Fun Travel Guide Budget Style” was born and bred in Philadelphia. He has been working in the tourism industry in the city for more than 10 years, he is currently with Tourico Vacations.

A Fabulous Stag Party On A Tight Budget, We Have You Covered!

Wedding and a stag partyYour wedding? Or a wedding in the family or close friend circle? First of all, let’s start with congratulating you on your upcoming wedding, or a wedding of a loved one!

But before you or he walks down the aisle, one very important tradition to be followed is — to organize an amazing and to-be-remembered-for-years stag party for all the dapper cool dudes in your life.

It’s the perfect way to get together with all your bros and bid goodbye (Yes! It’s a definite toasting goodbye) to the young, carefree version of you i.e. the pre-married, bachelor self.

These (in)famous stag parties have been made more so by the movies and rumours – they project that these parties involve booze, doing sinful activities, more booze and spending a lot of money; much more than you intend to or may afford to spend.

Also, planning your own stag parties can seem like a headache when you want to have both a fabulous bachelor party and also not spend too much.

But doing both is quite possible and easy with the right amount of planning and effective research. And to top it all off, you can bid farewell to your single years in the backdrop of a picturesque and unbeatable destination. Let’s see where and how!

DESTINATIONS THAT ARE A TOTAL WIN-WIN FOR YOUR STAG PARTY

Now, there are umpteen places to visit all over the world but these certain locations in the UK, Europe as well as over the rest of the world are definite hot picks if you are planning to throw a stag party on a budget.

Stag Party On A Tight Budget in Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary

If you want to have an eventful and activity-filled stag weekend, Budapest is THE one for you! One British pound is equivalent to around 350 Hungarian forints and moneywise, Budapest is not at all expensive in matters of alcohol and food.

It’s famous for one of the best pub crawls and Hungarian liquor is quite strong so if you have to go for local brands, try Unicum and Palinka. Overall, have the time of your stag lives and keep out of trouble.

Stag Party On A Tight Budget in Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

If you are on the lookout for some super crazy parties, delicious, sumptuous cuisines and famous ginger ale to wash it all down with, this place should definitely be on your bucket list.

Here, liquor like beer is dead cheap and there are plenty of bars and pubs for you to experience the sexy night life.

Fabulous Stag Party On A Tight Budget in London, England

London, England

Even though we may sound to be biased, we can’t help but admit that the capital city is the greatest city in the world. It’s a perfect place to be picked as your stag party weekend as its best described as a city that never sleeps.

There’s a wide range of choices that cater to your food and drink needs and a whole lot of select bars and pubs to make your night memorable! (or rather sloshed)

Manchester stag party on a budget

Manchester, England

If you and your pals are football crazy and also want top notch music party scenes to live on, this city is an absolute venue for your stag party weekend.

Walk down the most famous street in the UK (Coronation Street) while gulping down pints of Beer or challenge the to-be groom to a food VS man challenge at midnight.

Stag Party in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand

As cliché it may sound, Bangkok offers to be the perfect, entertaining and cheap destination for your upcoming bachelor party.

Starting from the swankiest bars to crazy street food to upper class chilling with fine cigars and single malt, Bangkok has it all.

There are various themed bars and pubs making the night life experience nothing less than a lifetime achievement. And of course, there is lots of dancing and alcohol.

Fab Stag Party in Cancun, Mexico

Cancun, Mexico

The capital of Mexico boasts of clear blue seas, golden sands and is perfect for you and your squad if you are looking for a last weekend of madness before settling down to a lifetime of marital bliss.

Starting from spectacular night club sessions to all day scenes at the beach, getting wet, wild and even more is awaiting you at the Mexican Vegas.

ACTIVITIES THAT YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY TRY OUT DURING YOUR STAG TRIP

Now, though we know bachelor parties are generally made up of booze, dancing, eating, more booze and partying till dawn, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it starts and ends there.

There can be a variety of activities and shows and sports and games that you can indulge in during the trip which makes it all the more memorable. Such as:

Stag Party competition

Drinks and Food Tasting

Well, if you are a foodie like us, we are sure this would interest you as you and your group can take part in food challenges or food trails beer tastings or brewery dinners or cocktail making sessions or visits of the vodka museum etc.

Hen party in london

Boat Cruising

No better way to see London’s Eye than cruising down the river side with a glass of wine in hand and the wind running through the hair as you take in the breath-taking view ahead. (Also, you can send selfies to be your wide to-be).

Sphering

Sphering

Similar to Zorbing, this is one of the most fun activities to take part in while you roll down in a giant transparent ball on your hands and knees struggling to gain balance as you keep falling making a complete fool out of yourself but laughing your hearts out.

Stag party with Sky-Diving

Sky-Diving

Before taking plunge into a whole new life ahead, you can definitely try out this once-in-a-lifetime sport looking at the world from up above and diving straight into air. (Sounds thrilling already right?)

Beach fun during Beach stug party

Beach Fun

If you are heading to a location by the sea, there’s no need to explain the umpteen types of activities you can take part in with your lads be it beach games or surfing or skiing or canoeing or pool partying or paragliding etc.

stag party

City Nights

If you are looking for some city entertainment on the cards, you can definitely go for comic stand up shows, bike tours, karaoke nights, rock music concerts, spas, belly dancing shows and even more.

So, with the location as well as the things you can do there sorted, all you need to do is get the flight tickets booked for your upcoming destination stag party.

Get all your lads together and embark on a weekend of booze, good food, fun activities, and even more. As we say, what happens in a bachelor party stays there with no discussions, explanations and secrets spilled henceforth.

Author Bio

John Tarr is the co-founder and CEO of Off-Limits Events Ltd. Starting from a small jet ski rental in Sheffield back in 1993, John has transformed his business into a dynamic multi-event and activity company. Apart from creating bespoke events for corporates, John also helps stag and hen groups organise parties through Stagweekends.co.uk and Henweekends.co.uk.

 

Visiting the Frankfurt Christmas Market

For those who are looking for a festive holiday this December, Germany and the Frankfurt Christmas market should be at the top of their list. At Hotels Fairy you will find why and where to stay when you visit the Frankfurt Christmas market in Germany.

Frankfurt Christmas market in Germany

The Frankfurt Christmas market

The Frankfurter Weinachtmarkt, as it is called in German, is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Germany. According to local historians the first Christmas market in Frankfurt took place in 1393.

The market these days is located in the heart of the city and spreads across Friedrich-Stoltze-Platz, Hauptwache to the north, Mainkai, Paulsplatz, and Römerberg to the south.

Walk from the old Sachsenhausen across the bridge and enjoy the Gluehwein and Bratwurst.

Drinks at the Frankfurt Christmas market

Glühwein mug designed for the Frankfurt Christmas marketStreet drinking is a part of the festival, even though no one seems to be getting drunk! Beer, Gluhwein, Cider.

If you love wine you must drink Glühwein, which is mulled wine made with red wine and various mulling spices and sometimes raisins. It will definitely warm you up.

For three Euro you can take the mug with you, this festive mug has especially been designed for the 2017 Frankfurt Christmas market.

 

 

Food at the Frankfurt Christmas market

Bratwurst and Pretzel The food at the Christmas stalls is amazing too. Bratwurst, which is a type of German smoked sausage made from veal, beef, or most commonly pork.

Different types of pretzel and ginger breads, potato soup, baked potatoes as well as the more traditional German fried potato pancakes served with applesauce. Highly recommended!!!

There are also numerous types of cookies, herb candies and flavored nuts on offer. We recommend Brenten and Bethmannchen, they are delicious cookies.

However, make sure that before you get to the Frankfurt Christmas market you stop by an ATM and take some cash wish you, as most stalls at the market do not accept cards.

You can also take an easy walk by the Main River which is nearby, or even a cruise or hop on and off the to the red bus and explore Frankfurt on the cheap.

The Frankfurt Christmas market opened its doors on the 27th of November and it will stay open until the 22nd of December. The opening hours of the Christmas market are from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm Monday to Saturday and from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm on Sunday.

The Frankfurt Christmas market  at night

Hotels near the Frankfurt Christmas market

The Westin Grand Frankfurt

Address: Konrad Adenauer Strasse 7, Innenstadt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Commanding unique views of Altenstadt, The Westin Grand Frankfurt is set in a well-known part of Frankfurt am Main and provides a heated pool. This modern hotel is set in the heart of the city.

This 5-star hotel provides free Wi-Fi, 24-hour room service and valet parking. A gym can be readily accessed by those wishing to keep active while away. It also has its very own wellness centre, Emotion.

Each modern room at The Westin Grand Frankfurt includes a mini bar and cable/satellite channels, while the bathrooms offer bathrobes and showers. They feature a seating area, ironing facilities and heating.

During their stay at Grand Westin Frankfurt, guests can dine at Motions and relax with a drink at GrandSeven. Guests are also able to try one of the many bars and cafés in the vicinity.

 

Adina Apartment Hotel Frankfurt Neue Oper

Address: Wilhelm Leuschner Strasse 6, Bahnhofsviertel, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Overlooking the River Main, this hotel offers elegant apartments with balconies. Frankfurt Central Station and the Zeil shopping street are just 1 underground stop away.

This 4-star property makes for an ideal base in Frankfurt am Main. It also features a sauna, a rooftop terrace and a swimming pool.

Adina Apartment Hotel Frankfurt Neue Oper offers free Wi-Fi and private parking on site. The front desk operates 24/7 and the friendly staff can suggest sights to visit and provide other tourist information.

The apartments are air conditioned and offer a private balcony, a refrigerator and a mini bar. They provide a seating area, an alarm clock and an in-room safe.

Adina Apartment Hotel Frankfurt features both a restaurant and a bar where guests are able to unwind of an evening. Alternatively, there is a large range of international restaurants nearby.

 

Mercure Hotel Kaiserhof City Center

Address: Kaiserstr. 62, Bahnhofsviertel, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Conveniently located in the middle of the city, this 4-star hotel makes for an ideal base in Frankfurt am Main. It is situated a short stroll from European Central Bank and Deutsche Bank.

Mercure Hotel Kaiserhof Frankfurt City Center has been recently refurbished and features an express check-in and check-out feature, meeting rooms and free Wi-Fi. Staff are available 24/7 and can assist with booking tours and tickets.

All of the modern rooms at Mercure Hotel Kaiserhof Frankfurt City Center are equipped with a refrigerator, cable/satellite channels and a mini bar. The bathrooms have a shower and a bathtub, and include bathrobes and a hair dryer.

Kaiserhof’s restaurant is open for breakfast and is a suitable place for those who want to stay close to everything the property has on offer. Guests are also able to try one of the many bars and cafés in the local area.

Travelling to Manchester England from the US

Travelling to Manchester in England from the US, used to be quite expensive, but not anymore. I have just come back from a short trip to the UK for less than $500 return flights. That was Boston Logan International to Manchester England, with the Thomas Cook airline.  Here is a short guest post for the Hotels-Fairy.com followers. Enjoy!!!

VISA – for travelling to Manchester in the UK

First things first, U.S. citizens are not required to obtain a visa for tourist or business travel to the United Kingdom for a stay up to 6 months. A valid U.S. Passport is required.

Manchester Airport

When arriving at Manchester Airport be prepared to tell security exactly what you will be doing in Manchester. I’ve found their security team much more demanding than the US airport security.

A few years ago again at Manchester Airport I was stuck at the gate for two hours while security verified who I was visiting. I have no hard feelings, I appreciate people doing their jobs.

Manchester Piccadilly

Also make sure you have some change on you at all times. Especially if you travel at all after normal business hours. You may be charged to use the restroom at the airport and train stations.

Manchester Piccadilly station charges 30 pence (approximately equivalent to 40 cents U.S.) to use the restrooms. Manchester Piccadilly is located in the heart of downtown Manchester.

Travellers tips

When staying at a hotel there are 3 things I would like to bring to your attention. The first is I didn’t find WiFi included with any of the hotels I stayed at. It was always a separate charge.

Second, in the U.S. many hotels include a continental breakfast free of charge. I didn’t find this to be the case anywhere I stayed. Last but not least if you stay pass your checkout time you will be charged. Keep that in mind (Even if it is a very short period after checkout).

Even these days free WiFi is hard to come by, not only in Manchester but anywhere in the England. However, there is one business that I have found that offers it, Starbucks. The sign in process is very simple.

Enable your laptop, tablet or mobile device in Starbucks wherever you see the Free Wi-Fi signs. Once you’re connected, open your web browser and go to www.btopenzone.com.  Just click on the ‘Connect’ button and you will be instantly connected to free Wi-Fi!

Each Wi-Fi session lasts for 2 hours but you can have an unlimited number of sessions every day – just reconnect after 2 hours. Additional rules may apply but I found it to be as simple as that.

The Manchester city centre has plenty of shopping and pubs to keep you busy. The sidewalks are crowded with people on the weekends. Many people are putting on a show for tips. I was pretty impressed with the football skills of some of Manchester’s locals.

I would suggest before leaving to find some time to get on a train to the Old Trafford Stadium. Old Trafford Stadium is the home of Manchester United. Manchester United’s football team is quite possibly the most popular sports team in England, and in the world.

They offer tours of the stadium just about every day, which includes walking through the team’s trophy room, locker room, and viewing of the field. Also it is highly recommended to check out the tunnel and the entrance to Manchester United’s field.

Where to stay when travelling to Manchester

Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa

Conveniently located, Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa offers easy access to Manchester’s main tourist attractions. It also provides a sauna, free WiFi and body treatments.

Rooms are air-conditioned and feature top-of-the-range amenities such as an iPod docking station, a mini bar and luxury toiletries. They all include a refrigerator, tea and coffee making facilities and a private bathroom.

Guests in search of a meal and wanting to stay nearby needn’t look any further than Macdonald’s in-house restaurant, which is open each day for breakfast. In the evening, guests are welcome to wind down in the cosy lounge bar. A variety of cafés and restaurants are also available close by.

Find the best rates

 

 

SACO ManchestTravelling to Manchester - SACO Manchestererer

Strategically located in the middle of the city, this 4-star property makes for an ideal base in Manchester. Surrounded by local bars and restaurants, it is less than 10-minutes’ stroll from Piccadilly Gardens Metrolink Station.

There are a range of amenities available to guests of SACO Manchester, such as meeting rooms, VIP rooms and free WiFi. A fitness centre is available to those wishing to keep up their exercise regimes while travelling.

All the contemporary apartments at Saco Serviced Apartments Manchester provide internet access and a kitchenette.
SACO Manchester offers breakfast every morning that guests can enjoy before heading out to discover the local region.

Saco Serviced Apartments Manchester is conveniently situated for discovering Manchester with Piccadilly Gardens within walking distance. Guests are also able to visit Manchester Town Hall, the Royal Exchange Theatre and Manchester Central Convention Complex.

Find the best rates - SACO Manchester

 

Holiday Inn Manchester

If you are a member of the InterContinental Hotels Rewards Club you can earn points or redeem your points by staying at the Holiday Inn Manchester, which is set in the heart of Manchester.

Holiday Inn Manchester – City Centre is situated near Piccadilly Gardens Metrolink Station, and just a few steps from nearby dining and nightlife options. It provides free WiFi and a laundry service, and is a short walk from London Road Fire Station.

The hotel has 298 well-appointed rooms that are accompanied by a range of essential facilities to ensure guests have an enjoyable stay.

Holiday Inn Manchester – City Centre features both a restaurant and a bar where guests can unwind at the end of the day.

The hotel is situated amongst the area’s popular sightseeing attractions, including Manchester Cathedral, the Royal Exchange Theatre and Manchester Central Convention Complex which are a short walk away. It is within walking distance of Shudehill Interchange, which allows for convenient access in and around Manchester.

 

 

 

The cost of travelling to Manchester England from the US, is half to what it use to be 5 to 10 years ago, obviously the recent decline of the Pound (the British currency) has attributed a lot to that. So what are you waiting for? Visit the UK while it is a really, good bargain!!

Kimberly Agnes, the author of the “Travelling to Manchester England from the US” is a US fashion executive who regularly travels to the UK and Europe form the US.

Hidden Beaches in Miami for a Winter Getaway

Hidden beaches in Miami

For most people living in the Northern Hemisphere, a tropical vacation is among the best ways to beat the winter cold. Miami, in the south east of the US, is a hot destination full of idyllic beaches and a warm, tropical climate.

But due to Miami being a popular vacation spot, tourists from all over the world flock to the area as well, with the famous beaches in Miami feeling a lit bit crowded and hectic. Fortunately for travellers who want to get away from it all, there are less crowded beaches in Miami which are great for a quieter winter escape.

Check out these hidden Miami beaches, away from the typical tourist hotspots.

Hidden Miami Beaches

Sunny Isles Beach

Around 11 miles from the world-famous South Beach is Sunny Isles described by the Canadian Traveller as a tropical paradise, with coastlines totaling a distance of two miles. Sunny Isles faces the mighty Atlantic on one side, and the Intracoastal Waterway on the other.

If you’ve spent enough time on the beach for one day and still have plenty of hours before dark, consider visiting the Everglades National Park, Fairchild Tropical Garden and Jungle Island which welcome tourists and nature lovers of all ages.

For automobile fanatics, a popular exhibit that is located in the area is the renowned Dezer Collection Car Museum.

While theatre aficionados should check out the local arts scene at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

Hidden Beaches in Miami for paddleboarding

Oleta River State Park Beach

Despite it covering over 1,000 acres, Oleta River State Park Beach is relatively unknown to most Miami residents, according to Departures Magazine. Nonetheless, it’s a wonderful spot for outdoor adventures such as kayaking and stand up paddleboarding (SUP).

Several species of birds can also be spotted in the region due to its proximity to both the sea and the Everglades, making it an ideal location for bird watching.

Virgina Key

Virginia Key greets travellers making their way to Key Biscayne after passing the Rickenbacker Causeway from Downtown Miami. This unassuming location holds a myriad of attractions, which can be best appreciated through kayaking.

Florida Rambler shared the experiences that potentially await Virginia Key kayakers: unparalleled views of Miami’s skyline covering the crystal waters of Biscayne Bay; mangrove lagoons with fish and rays swimming underneath that are perfectly visible to the naked eye and; incomparable vantage points towards the unused Miami Marine Stadium which, at one time, held the record for the longest span of cantilevered concrete in the world. Deep breath.

Miami Beach lifeguard post

These hidden beaches in Miami will cater best to off the beaten path travellers, and it’s comforting to know as well that despite being relatively quieter than some famous Miami attractions, they are totally safe for tourists.

In fact, both Sunny Isles and Key Biscayne are included in the safest neighbourhoods of Miami-Dade county as discussed in a list compiled by Discover Homes.

So if you plan on heading to Miami to escape the harsh winter weather, it is highly recommended to consider one of the hidden beaches in Miami. Take a look beyond the city’s beaches and head to some less well discovered tourist spots for a more secluded and memorable getaway.

 

TransferWise the cheapest way to send money abroad

What is the cheapest way to send money abroad?

Time after time we are getting asked the same question by our followers, so we decided to investigate on your behalf.

Regardless if you are travelling abroad or buying a property overseas, having to change Sterling to a foreign currency can be a big headache.

Most people use banks to transfer money abroad but banks charge commission and have fees on top of the already expensive foreign exchange spread.

So we did the maths for you and we come up with an alternative. It is called TransferWise.com

TransferWise Review 

Usually we don’t write reviews on individual products or services but we have been very impressed with TransferWise that we feel that you need to know about this company so you don’t waste money on your next money transfer abroad.

Why TransferWise is cheaper than the high street banks

Without getting you bored with the technical jargon, the simple answer is that it is much cheaper (8 times cheaper according to the company) because it is not a bank.

TransferWise doesn’t transfer the funds through the international banking system. Instead it is utilising its own peer to peer network to match transactions across the TransferWise network.

TransferWise the cheapest way to send money abroad

How it works

For example a businessman in London who wish to convert Pound to Euro for his business will be matched with a French or a German or a Spanish traveller who wish to convert Euros to Pounds for his forthcoming visit to the UK.

They will both get quoted an exchange rate which is in the middle of the Bid and Ask currency spread. So they are both better off than going to a high street bank.

TransferWise holds bank accounts with all the major foreign currencies and can swap currencies within each country without having to use intermediary banks for the money transfers abroad.

So in our example above the Pounds will go to the Sterling bank account of TranferWise in the UK and the UK businessman will receive Euros from TransferWise’s Euro bank account in the UK.

At the same time in the continental Europe our traveller will get Pounds from TransferWise’s Sterling account and the Euros will be deposited into the Euro account of TransferWise in that country.

Since both sets of the transactions are within the national borders of each country, they cost a lot less than international money transfers. For transactions upto 400 Pounds the cost is only 2 Pounds, above that amount there is a flat charge of 0.5% of the amount transferred.

Most transactions get settled the same day, which is a lot faster than international money transfers through the traditional banking system.

Is TransferWise Safe?

TransferWise is regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority, just like any high street bank in the UK. The company is obliged to verify its users and to protect against fraud and money laundering.

Amongst the very early backers of the company is Richard Branson, who has invested $25 millions in an attempt to make the world of money transfers a fairer place.

TransferWise Advert London underground

 

 Where and how to use TransferWise

TransferWise will not be found on the UK high street, transactions can take place only online via their website www.transferwise.com or via a smartphone. The company has developed a mobile app that is available to download on the App Store as well as on Google Play.

So next time you travel abroad or you need to make an international money transfers check out TransferWise, your money will go a lot further.

A travel guide to lesser known attractions in the UK

British Bagpipe - Best attractions in the UKMost travellers who plan to visit the United Kingdom for the first time have in mind a dozen or so places or attractions in the UK that they would like to see.

Some very well-known tourist spots are around London, the Big Ben, the Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, etc.

But, if you really want to see and experience the true British culture and hospitality of which the Great Albion is well known, you have to leave London behind and become a traveller not a tourist!

First of all get yourself a standard BritRail GB Pass for 194.00 pounds, which is valid for eight days or if you are on a budget a National Express Brit Xplorer pass for 79.00 pounds which is valid for week.

Either of them will do and they will save you a fortune. Now you can set off and discover some of Britain’s hidden gems.

Barnard castle

Quite often when we talk about famous British castles, the Alnwick castle comes first, obviously the Harry Potter, movie has done a lot to make this magnificent castle the first choices for many travellers. Almost a million visitors went to Alnwick castle last year.

Barnard Castle 2016

However, if you wish to escape the crowds the little-know Barnard castle on the north of England is highly recommended. This 12th-century castle provides an amazing view of the river Tees. On the north east of Barnard castle is the city and county town of Durham, and on the east is the market town of Darlington.

Barnard castle is also the ideal starting point for exploring the Lake District. But before you head to the Lake District, check out the Bowes Museum which is just 15 minutes’ walk to the west of Barnard castle. So what are you waiting for? Add it to your list!

Dunwich Village

Only a few hours away by rail, Dunwich is the ideal destination for a short trip or a long weekend away from London. Dunwich during the Anglo-Saxon period was a major trading centre with a very busy commercial harbour.

Unfortunately the unpredictable weather conditions and ferocious storms that hit the East Anglian coast forced its inhabitants to evacuate the town on a numerous occasions through the centuries.

Due to coastal erosion Dunwich’s population has been forced to relocate and these days less than 200 people live in Dunwich.

Lesser known attractions in the UK - Dunwich heath 2016

Nevertheless, the natural beauty of the coastal lowland heath attracts many, nature enthusiasts, bird watchers and walkers.

If all that walking makes you feel a little peckish, head towards the Coastguard cottages, there you will find a small café that serves tea and freshly ground coffee with a wide selection of delicious homemade cakes.

Next door you will find the Dunwich Heath souvenirs shop to purchase some souvenirs and gifts for the family and friends back home.

the-ship-inn-hotel-dunwich

For a long weekend in Dunwich we highly recommend The Ship Inn Hotel Dunwich a small traditional and cosy guest house just a short drive from Westleton but within a walking distance of Dunwich’s well-known attractions and landmarks.

Lansallos Village

Lansallos is a small village and civil parish in south Cornwall that attracts many British holiday makers as it is well known for its stunning beaches.

Lansallos in Cornwall 2016

The Lansallos beach is small natural sandy beach easily accessible to visitors by the footpath next to the St Ildierna’s Church. The longest beach is at Lantic Bay, a beautiful horseshoe shape of beach with a steep climb back up to the coastal footpath.

If you decide to get down to either beach, be aware of the high and low tides in the area so you don’t get caught out. If in doubt ask one of the locals, they will be happy to advise you.

Clevedon Pier

Most people travelling to Britain, are aware of the Blackpool Pier and the Brighton Pier, they are both well photographed and documented in the media, the Clevedon Pier is less well known.

Top attractions in the UK - Clevedon Pier 2016

The Pier located in the town of Clevedon, in Somerset and it was built during the Victorian times as a docking station for the passenger steamer from Devon and Wales.

The Clevedon Pier is 312 meters long and 5 meters wide. The whole structure is designed with metal beams and wooden planks for decking, it stands just 4.30 meters above the sea level.

There are a number of hotels and B&B within a walking distance to the Clevedon Pier, the Highcliffe Hotel Clevedon as well as the The Moon & Sixpence offer comfortable and reasonably priced accommodation.

Camley Street Natural Park

Camley street natural park in London - Top attractions in the UKOur last suggestion is the Camley street natural park, and there is a good reason why we left it for last. Not because it is inferior to the rest of the attractions but because it is easily accessible by foot. No need for a rail pass or a long distance coach ride.

The Camley street natural park is located in the centre of London just off  the King’s Cross rail station.

So once you are done with the Museums, shopping centres, pubs and cafes, head over to the King Cross station, then just a five minutes’ walk off the station and you will be into an amazing oasis.

The Camley street natural park is managed by London Wildlife Trust and is the habitat of a number of different and rear birds, butterflies and bees all spread across two hectares of land.

The park runs alongside the Regent’s canal where you can see narrow boats, ducks, geese and moorhens. There is also a small visitor’s centre with a cafe and toilet facilities.

So if you really want to have memorable holidays in the UK, full of British history and culture then try our five suggestions above.

These suggestions would not be found on the mainstream travel guides but these lesser known attractions in the UK encapsulate the rich British heritage through the centuries, unique, unspoiled and picturesque, the very best of Great Britain.