Category : Travel Guest Posts, UK Cities

There’s a lot of planning and expense that can go into a stag weekend, including where the party will stay. To be honest, most members of the group would probably prefer to have their money go toward drinks, activities and clubs than on a luxury hotel. Most of the time likely is not going to be spent at the hotel anyway. Saving money on overnight accommodation can reduce the expenses for the party, or allow for more spending in other areas.

CIMG8974 © by .Martin.

While many best mates planning a stag weekend may think they have to find a posh resort for everybody to stay, reserving less costly accommodation can lower the overall expenses for everybody. Finding an inexpensive place to stay may not be that difficult.

*Star Ratings – It can be tempting to book a five-star hotel or other facility for the group to spend the night, thinking this will be more memorable. However, this is probably where the group will spend the least amount of time, and what time will be spent there will be for sleeping. Does the group really need a lot of amenities they’re probably not going to be around to enjoy anyway? A better idea may be to find a decent two-star room accommodation, which will cost a lot less. Online reviews can give a good indication of whether a place is good value for money.

*Book early – Many places will offer special deals or lower prices the earlier in advance the reservation is made. Try to book accommodation as soon as a date is known for the stag do. This will also have the added benefit of letting others know how much this part of the party will cost.

*Check online deals – Be sure to look for website-only deals which are offered by some places. Different offers may be available at certain times of the year.

*Use a hostel – These can be one of the most inexpensive ways to spend a night or two in a city if the boys don’t mind sharing a room and bathroom facilities.

*Stay further away – Accommodation located very close to the centre of a city tend to be more expensive than those located further away or even outside of town. Use public transport or a taxi to get to the where the action is and back to the room.

*Package deals – Look for special deals being offered that might include a free or reduced night’s stay at a place associated with one of the other activities the group might be considering.

*Self sufficient – Consider renting a self-catering cottage rather than staying at a hotel that provides meals. Sometimes weekly rates can work out cheaper than a couple of nights in a hotel. This might be a good option if the group plan on doing outdoor activities in the countryside.

It’s certainly understandable for someone to want to reserve the best accommodation possible for their best mate’s stag do. It’s his party and it should be memorable. Logically, however, it can be better all around to choose less expensive options. It’s only used for sleeping a bit, so why sink too much money into it? Less expensive options are available for those willing to look.

This article has been written by Andrea Thompson of Stag Do Ideas, a website that offers lots of tips for planning a memorable stag party.

Posted by: on December 10, 2012
Category : Seasonal Destinations, Special Occassions

If you love the excitement and spectacle of Bonfire Night in the UK, remember that many destinations around Europe hold other bonfire-based events throughout the year. Here are a few of the best events from around the continent if you don’t want to wait until November to enjoy Bonfire Night.

1. Hogueras de San Juan, Spain

HOGUERAS DE SAN JUAN 2011 © by C. Fuentes

Held on June 23 each year, this event, which translates as the ‘Bonfires of Saint John’, is one of the biggest festivals in Spain, and the most important annual event in Alicante where the main celebration takes place.

Around this time of year, people create large bonfires, drink hot chocolate, let off fireworks, enjoy the spectacle of bullfights, hold all-night parties, jump the fires and celebrate in style in an event dating back to 1928.

This is Bonfire Night Spanish style, and if you are keen to get in on the celebrations then book your holiday for June next year.

2. Bastille Day, France

Bastille Day Fireworks © by irene.

On July 14 the whole of France celebrates one of the main events of the French Revolution, the storming of Bastille Prison in 1789. Although you will be able to celebrate the event anywhere in the country, the best place to go for the real party is, as always, Paris.

Make a beeline for the iconic Champs Elysees, where the biggest crowds of the night are sure to gather, and then enjoy a fantastic fireworks display as the Eiffel Tower is lit up. The fireworks rival the New Year celebrations, but you won’t have to contend with the freezing weather.

3. Las Fallas de Valencia, Spain

 

The Spanish seem to like their bonfires more than any others, and this event in Valencia is just about the craziest, most exciting and most unique alternative to Bonfire Night that you could imagine.

Events last for five days with the main event, ‘La Cremá’ (the burning), taking place on March 19. It began as a feast day for St Joseph, and it involves the making and blowing up of huge ‘ninots’ (puppets) made from paper mache and cardboard which depict politicians, celebrities and satirical scenarios.

These huge ninots take the entire year to build and are then moved into positions around the city by cranes. Then on the big night they are blown up with fireworks and set on fire at midnight amidst chanting crowds.

Only one is spared, which is voted for by the public, and this is taken to the museum of previous winners.

It is a noisy, smoky, crazy party which is unlike any Bonfire Night you have been to, but if you want to enjoy a fun-filled and exciting festival then this is one not to miss.

Posted by: on December 06, 2012
Category : Historical Places, Seasonal Destinations

Can there be any other destination in the world that evokes such feelings of dread than Transylvania? This Romanian destination is known everywhere as the home of ‘Dracula’, and ever since Bram Stoker penned his famous novel it has been a source of fascination to people all over the world.

Bucharest by Andrew White via Flickr Creative Commons

There is no better time to visit Transylvania than at Halloween, so here are a few tips for visiting this most spooky of locations.
Arrive in Bucharest
Start your trip by flying into Bucharest. This city has a lot to offer the visitor, and some of the highlights which you might want to check out on one or two days exploring the city include:

  • Parliament Palace
  • The Village Museum
  • Cotroceni Palace
  • The historical neighbourhood of Lipscani
  • Herastrau Park

See the Region
It would be a shame to go all the way to Romania and then fail to see some of the most interesting places, so before you go to Castle Dracula there are a few other places in the region that you might want to visit.

You might want to take a trip to Sinaia, a royal resort located in the mountains. Or you may decide to visit Sibiu, a medieval Saxon city which is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the country. The main site of interest here is the church, and it was here that Vlad the Impaler’s son was stabbed on the stairs in 1510.

Brasov is another medieval city that you might want to check out, and this is one of best preserved in Europe. Here you will be able to visit the huge Black Church which is one of the most important attractions.

Transylvania
After exploring the region, time your trip to arrive in Transylvania just before Halloween. The area where the vampire Dracula is said to be found is in Bistrita County which was actually mentioned in the famous novel.

Once you are here, you will be able to enjoy the awe-inspiring sight of the Borgo Pass. Sunset here is absolutely stunning, so make sure you have your camera to hand.

Perhaps the best place to view the sunset is from Castle Dracula itself (also known as Bran Castle). This castle dates back to 1377 and is a very impressive building. When you visit you will find that some of it is off limits, but you will still be able to explore much of the interior and you may even be able to enjoy a meal by candlelight and stay the night in one of the rooms (if you’re brave enough!).

Sighisoara
After your stay in Castle Dracula, you can actually get a stamp in your passport to show that you survived, and then you may want to head to Sighisoara for Halloween itself.

This 15th-century town is very well preserved, and it was here that Vlad the Impaler (the real Dracula) was born. On Halloween there are lots of events to mark the occasion. There is a party held at Sighisoara Citadel, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a number of traditional events are held such as the ritual of the killing of the living dead, Dracula’s wedding, a folk show and more.

Plan Your Halloween

There is no better way to spend Halloween than by visiting Transylvania. This outline provides an idea of how you can spend a few days here, but there are other itineraries so decide what works best for you. Then enjoy a very spooky few days in the home of Dracula!

Posted by: on November 30, 2012