5 Dream Locations For A Wedding Abroad

Monterey's Lone Cyprus

photo: amerune

Cyprus

Cyprus is also known as the Island of Love and it is no wonder that couples seeking to exchange their wedding vows choose to do it in Cyprus perhaps hopping that the charms of this Mediterranean Isle will help cement their love forever. It is a dream destination for weddings and it does not disappoint. With its many accommodations having on site chapels, it offers the perfect spot for those who desire religious ceremony in a place that can only be described as a paradise. There are also numerous Byzantine chapels some as old as history itself and also offer spectacular wedding locations not forgetting the sandy beaches for those desiring a Cyprus beach wedding next to the Mediterranean waters.

Sardinia

Italy is arguably a top romantic destination in the world, generations of artists and poets have been inspired by its unrivalled beauty and it is no wonder it is a heavily sought after wedding destination.  The island of Sardinia goes ahead to elaborate this well known fact; located in the just south of Corsica in the gorgeous Mediterranean Sea, it offers dozens of pristine beaches all along its spectacular coastline including its most alluring beach Cape Verde. Scenic and historical wonders are aplenty here; ancient Roman ruins at Nora, museums in the capital Cagliari and its dramatic coastline. If you are looking for an exceptional island wedding, Sardinia in Italy will be ideal.

Kenya

Kenya may be well known as safari destination where the Big Five roam about freely in the jungle but it is also a great wedding destination. With its variety of options it is hard to lack a romantic spot to exchange your vows on a wedding in Kenya. From its towering snow peaked Mount Kenya to the grassy plains on the floor of the Great Rift Valley and to the white powdery sands of its captivating coastline, the options here are endless. You can exchange your vows in the jungle with the wild animals roaming at a distance, enjoy a fabulous beach wedding in a luxury resort or sail to the historical island of Lamu for an offshore wedding.

India

Weddings in India are celebrated with vigor and colorful festivities and the sheer luxuries of this dream wedding destination even the celebrities can hardly resist. There are numerous locations ideal for nuptials in India, whether a couple wants a beach wedding, a palace wedding, hill station wedding or a wedding in an ancient fort, India will definitely deliver. Goa offers the best venue for beach weddings (and is great for honeymoons) whilst Jodhpur is the destination for luxury palace weddings.

Tahiti

Tahiti is long been famed as an exotic vacation locale for ages, its beauty makes it a no brainer choice for a destination wedding abroad. With its six islands, it means there is no shortage of a palm shaded secluded coves for exchanging your vows. It is the perfect destination for beach weddings surrounded by lush palms and stepping on the golden sand beaches lapped by pale blue waters. You can opt for a traditional Tahitian ceremony, though not legally binding but purely magical as an addition on to your legal ceremony.

Alternative Accommodation Options Around The World

VW T25 by the Beach

photo: KelvynSkee

Campervans In Australia

Australia is a country that is proud of status; it is a country, an island and continent all the same with unique flora and fauna. It is the perfect destination for campervan holidays; it is largely uncrowded, it is vast and is home to wonderful touristic spots and attractions at every turn. It is also the land of the kangaroo and as you traverse the country you will be rewarded by sightings of these spectacular animals.

A campervan holiday in Australia is a fantastic way to explore this vast country. It is easy to hire a campervan and it is a lot of fun driving in vast spaces getting in touch with nature and experiencing the aborigine culture and witnessing iconic landscapes. You can drive through agricultural land, mountainous regions, forested areas and small townships. When you are done with driving you can stop over in the wilderness and enjoy camp dinner under the stars or stop over in designated campsites where you can mingle with other campers.

Villas In Italy

There are many reasons why people visit Italy; to walk on the most stunning coastal paths in Europe, to taste the finest red wine in the world, to soak up in the splendor of some of the world’s finest art cities and my own addition, to stay in the finest Italian villas.

In this wonderful country, staying in an authentic Italian villa gives you an opportunity to enjoy luxury, spacious rooms and privacy. You are able to experience the rich culture and taste some of the finest meals on the planet.

Italian villas are a special way to enjoy an unforgettable holiday in Italy; they are as varied as the country itself. They may be rural establishments in thriving farms, converted ancient palaces or monasteries, furnished Trullos or modern coastal properties.

Tuscany tops the list for villa holidays but you could find the same rural experience in Umbria, for coastal experiences the Amalfi coast is ideal and Sardinia gives you an authentic villa experience amidst granite peaks and rustic villages.

Mobile Homes In France

France is a country of beauty, history, culture and tasty cuisine. It is a destination where every kind of holiday is possible; from romantic city breaks to skiing holidays in the freezing French Alps and beach holidays in Brittany or the glamorous St Tropez.

There are many mobile homes to rent in France which offer an alternative affordable way to explore the beauty that defines the land of the Eiffel Tower. There is a wide variety of mobile homes in France and are even star rated just like hotels. They offer fantastic facilities such as pools, playgrounds, onsite shops and modern amenities such as electricity, water and telephone services.

If you are the type that likes exploration, you can enjoy the flexibility of tugging along your mobile home everywhere you go in France. Mobile homes allow you to move from one region to the next stopping over to visit your favorite attractions and sampling local delicacies. You can be at a vineyard one time and the next relaxing in a sparkly beach; it is the advantage of mobile homes moving from one place to the next.

Traveling During the Golden Years

suitcases.jpg

photo: Phineas H

So, you’re retired. You no longer dread Mondays, and you have plenty of free time on your hands. Why not use the best years of your life to see the world? Traveling as a retiree can be a great experience, but there are a few things that you should take care of before you leave.

Money

As a retired person, you probably have a set income. Is it enough to finance long-term travel? If you’ll be spending more than what you’re getting each month, make sure your nest egg is large enough to last the rest of your life.

Family

No matter where you decide to travel to, you need to talk with your family beforehand. Discuss whether or not you’ll be able to visit on holidays and birthdays, and agree on a way to keep in touch – this could be anything from sending letters to each other once a month to talking to each other on Skype every day.

Legal Requirements

Talk to a migration consultant before you plan ahead too much. While you can try to figure out how to get a visa yourself, a migration consultant can help make sure that everything is in order and that the process is as stress-free as possible.

Possessions

In general, the older you get, the more stuff you accumulate. What are you going to do with all of your belongings? You can’t bring everything with you, so you’ll need to either sell or store most of your possessions.

Real Estate

If you rent, this shouldn’t be a problem, but many retirees own the houses that they live in. If you own your home, you shouldn’t just let it sit there while you’re gone. You can sell it, hire a caretaker, let the kids move in or even rent it out. It’s hard to manage a property from overseas, though, so you’ll have to hire someone to manage it or enlist the help of a friend or family member.

Destination

Okay, you should probably figure this one out before you sell your house. There are lots of ways to pick your destination. You could visit family and friends that have scattered across the globe. You could have a goal to set foot on every continent. If you’re particularly adventurous, you could even throw a dart at a world map and go to wherever you hit.

There are many things that you’ll need to get in order before you start traveling as a retiree, but don’t let this stop you. Take everything one step a time – you’ll be boarding an airplane to your dream destination in no time.

The Most Expensive Cruises a Lottery Winner Can Go for

The recent spree of lottery jackpots around the world got us thinking: if you were to win the US Powerball jackpot and be able to afford pretty much any imaginable trip, which would be the luxurious world cruise befitting a man of your stature?

Here are the top rated cruise lines, each with their own twist on what luxury cruising is all about:

Crystal Cruises – Around the World in 89 Days – $197,810

Cited as the best large-ship luxury cruise line of 2013, Crystal Cruises will supply you with a 1345 square feet suite. The balcony may be a bit small, but everything about the suite is first class. The suite contains a dining area seating 6 people, complete with a separate entrance for the butler. A living room, a master bedroom and bath (the shower has a heated floor and a heated marble bench for you to rest on), a media room with a Bose surround sound system, flat screen TV and an iPod docking station; an exercise room and a guest bathroom with shower. All these accompany the aforementioned balcony, for those times you wish to lay in the sun and enjoy some of the ocean’s breeze. The décor is lavish with handmade Italian marble tiles, Swarovski crystals and unique art designed to give every suite a unique look and feel. All this and more is readily available for what amounts to $2,222 a day.

Oceania Cruises – Around the World in 180 Days -$312,000

In order to enjoy 180 days at sea, you must have the proper accommodations. Winner of the Cruise Critic Editors’ Pick Award for best suites, Oceania’s owners’ suite will not disappoint. The 1000 square feet space is divided beautifully to give a spacious feel while providing guests with Cashmere blankets and wallpaper, a private whirlpool hot-tub, living room, dining area, a huge teak balcony and 2 bathrooms.  Oceania also provides you with around the clock butler service, bringing you your choice of newspaper printed daily, shining your shoes and delivering food from your restaurant of choice if you are not inclined to dine out. The in-suite bar will be stocked with 6 full-sized bottles of your favorite premium spirits, to go along with the complimentary bottle of champagne.

The lavish suite tops off with a high tech Bose surround sound system, 2 flat screen TVs, complimentary laptop and iPad, and internet access.

All this and more is available to you for $1,733 a day. All you have to do is show up, and enjoy.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises – Sydney to London in 121 Days – $205,249

The 2002 square feet master suite is nothing short of spectacular, for those who are looking for a spacious living area. The suite comes with 2 balconies, a large one to serve the living area (guests and children) and a smaller private balcony accessible from the master bedroom.  The living area and dining area are undivided, adding to the immense feel of the space. Marble bathrooms, 2 king size beds, a butler, iPad, iPod docking, and a satellite phone all round up the package we have to expect from a luxury cruise liner, and for $1,696 a day,  it is on par with the other offerings.

SilverSea Luxury Cruises – Around the World in 115 Days – $171,250

The SilverSea offering is unique in the atmosphere is provides. There are far fewer passengers than in the previously mentioned cruises, and the ship is entirely populated with suites; Making this cruise a more intimate way of touring the world. The owner’s suite spans 1264 square feet, with a teak balcony, a dining area and a bar with a selection of your favorite liquors. 2 queen size beds with Egyptian cotton linens and your choice of pillows, a living room, marbled bathrooms with a full-sized whirlpool hot-tub, flat screen TVs and telephones with satellite reception, built-in Bang & Olufsen audio system, and of course the service of an attentive butler. At $1489 a day, this is by far the cheapest of the master suites, but every last bit as indulging as the others.

It would seem that with most luxury suite offerings being fairly similar in nature, the difference makers when choosing your luxury cruise should be the course the ship is planned to take, and the on-board entertainment and facilities. These range from casinos and cigar rooms to fitness centers, pools and spas. Some even go as far as to hold lavish productions of plays and classical recitals. Pick the offering that best suits your heart’s wishes, to ensure you enjoy your luxurious months at sea.

London’s Best Restaurants to eat great British food

Sweetspot, Fitzrovia, London

photo: Ewan-M

London is the home of many of the world’s finest dining establishments, many of them reflecting world culture from France and Spain to China, India, Thailand, Vietnam and beyond.  But London also boasts several revered restaurants that offer the quintessential British dining experience, from steak and kidney pie to sticky toffee pudding and classic fish and chips. While the phrase ‘English cooking’ has sometimes served as a punchline, at these three British restaurants in London there’s nothing to laugh at.

Rules

London’s oldest restaurant, Rules was established as an oyster bar by Thomas Rules in 1798. Over the last 215 years, Rules has never wavered from serving traditional British fare, yet continues to delight patrons yearning for a bona fide experience of British cuisine. Today the menu lists haddock, venison, crab, partridge, rabbit and duck. Whatever the British Isles can produce, Rules can offer. Rules is steeped in history, especially the history of the hunt, and the décor reflects this – oil paintings, mirrors, white napery, red tones and polished wood, as well as antlers and taxidermy on the walls. Rules owns an estate in the north of England, which is the source of its game birds, roe deer and belted Galloway beef. Rules is conveniently located for London bus tours, as you can see on this webpage.

Roast

Partially housed in the re-erected entranceway of the former Borough Market Floral Hall, Roast could be Rules’ younger, more hip brother. Occupying its location since 2005 on a site that’s been an open market since circa 1014, the dedication to the British tradition remains – from black pudding and a proper British fry up to fresh game with ‘mushy peas’. Traditional dishes can get tangled up with an infusion of imagination from celeriac, chestnuts, spelt or Jerusalem artichokes, all brilliantly prepared with fresh ingredients largely purchased from the market one story below. Roast’s setting is spectacular, with its windows and ceilings high above the Borough Market, and St. Paul’s framed just in the distance. Head chef Marcus Verberne recently authored Roast, a cookbook with the subtitle A Very British Cookbook. Indeed.

Poppies

Despite the varied palette of traditional British cooking,’fish and chips’ might be the dish with the highest profile. Originally simple street food, today in London the market is saturated with claims and counter claims of the best, the healthiest or the most trendy. Tempers may flare, but for true tradition, the go-to place is Poppies of Spitalfields, East London, and Camden, North London. On the menu, there’s cod and haddock fried in groundnut oil, with chips or salad on the side. Saveloy, jellied eels and calamari are available.  Sides include pickled onions, Heinz beans and the universal mushy peas. Most importantly, Poppies is dedicated to sustainable fishing practices, so the next generation can taste fresh, hot battered whitefish at a table, or enjoyed with liberal servings of salt and vinegar while held in a sheet of newsprint. Owner Pop Newland is at the helm of Poppies – serving this traditional dish his entire life.

The restaurants mentioned here are not trendy, but tried-and-true, and are certainly worth a visit if you stay in London.

Written by Thomas Edwards. Thomas has been an international traveller since the early ‘80s. He has travelled across Europe, the USA and as far afield as Thailand, Hong Kong and China. He has written as a business, individual and family traveller and a language or two has given him the opportunity to engage with locals in most places he visits.