4 Must-Try Free Things to Do in Christchurch

Notable for its English heritage, Christchurch is one of the most interesting destinations to visit in New Zealand. This impressive city is situated on South Island’s east coast. It takes pride in its picturesque scenery, diverse culture, and awe-inspiring tourist spots.

Christchurch is an ideal place to spend your vacation, because there are plenty of fun and exciting things to do here. For easy access to each tourist destinations, visitors search for available car rental in Christchurch airport upon their arrival. You will get to any of your desired destinations safe and free of any hassle via a car rental.

Now that you have sorted out your mode of transport, how about your itinerary? Make sure to visit these places when having a vacation in Christchurch:

Stroll through Hagley Park and Botanic Gardens

In case fountains interest you the most, then you will adore the reestablished peacock fountain found in Botanic Gardens. Strolling around the nearby garden and park is a cool thing to do while hanging out with your family or friends. More so, the Hagley Park is said to be the biggest park in Christchurch so, there is a great deal of stuff to do in here, such as strolling, jogging, or having a picnic. Also, this park hosts outdoor concerts every summer.

 Chrsitchurch HagleyPark
By I, Greg O’Beirne, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Discover History at Canterbury Museum

Learn about the history of New Zealand through your visit to Canterbury Museum. Since there is no entrance free here, you will definitely get fascinated with the great collections you will see inside it without spending about your budget. This awe-inspiring museum is filled with works of art, statues, and other art objects. Simply meander its passages at your own pace and immerse into the New Zealand culture.

Image source: canterburymuseum.com

Take a walk at Bridle Path

Wonderful perspectives of Christchurch can be appreciated from the Bridle Path walk, which will take you for about three hours, back and forth. It is a historic walkway that was built in 1850 to form a link between Christchurch and Lyttelton. You can spend a day here and enjoy the scenic view. Not only you will see amazing scenery, rather you get to exercise, too.

Bridle Path 049.JPG
By Schwede66Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Tour the Air Force Museum

All military veterans and buffs will surely appreciate the Air Force Museum, for the admission is totally free. You can opt for a self-guided tour or if you are willing to pay $5 to $8 for a variety of professionally guided tours, then you can do so. In addition, there is a scavenger hunt for kids that costs $5, if you are traveling with your little ones. It comes with a prize and it is full of fun and worth your money.

NZ050315 RNZAF Museum 05.jpg
By Oren RozenOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

There are a lot of free things to do while in this diverse city of Christchurch. Your trip here won’t be boring, for it offers numerous free exhilarating activities to visitors of all ages. Take into consideration these memorable things once you travel to this region. Thus, plan your vacation ahead of time and experience the best trip of your life with your loved ones.

 

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Manila Staycation Fun with the Family

You do not need to leave the city to have a vacation.  Travelling to a far off place or an exotic destination can be quite a challenge especially when you have kids in tow.  Factor in the expense, it racks and most get discouraged to travel. It’s no wonder that the idea of a staycation has become a popular option for those who want to get away from the usual daily grind and have a little fun with the family without going far from home.  It’s great that you can find quite a number of staycation hotels in Manila using online travel agencies like Traveloka. Here are some ideas for your next family staycation.

Where to Stay

The city of Manila has a lot to offer for local tourists and vacationers.  Accommodations are affordable yet nonetheless comfortable and pleasurable.  The amenities and available activities are not all that bad either.  Here are two options for staycation hotels in Manila that you can consider:

  • Hotel H2O

    – exciting water fun – This is a smaller and relatively newer hotel in the Manila Bay-Roxas Boulevard area.  It is actually located right in the Manila Ocean Park complex.  Its different room types are attractions in themselves.  They have the Parkview Rooms, the Bayview Rooms, and the Aqua Rooms.  Depending on your choice of room, the floor to ceiling windows can offer you a view of the city/park or Manila Bay. The Aqua Rooms are signature rooms that surround you with aquarium walls – these rooms are always a hit with the kids.

Other Attractions:  Liquid Pool and Lounge, Zen Yu Eco Spa, Fitness Room, Makan Makan Restaurant

 

hotelh20

 

  • Manila Hotel

    – a taste of Old Manila – This hotel is a cultural experience in itself. Although rooms have been renovated and refurbished in the recent years, the look and ambiance still embodies the tradition and history that the hotel has been known for.  It would be a “big” thing for the kids to know the stories of the prominent historical personalities from here and abroad who have stayed in the same hotel.  Of course, you can still hop on over to the nearby Manila Ocean Park during the day if the kiddos would like to have a glimpse of Philippine marine life.

Other Attractions:  Café Ilang-Ilang, Pool and Garden, Manila Hotel Spa

Manila Hotel1.jpg

 

These two staycation destinations have their own restaurants where you can have your own meals.  If you book online, you might also find deals for free breakfasts.  There are also quite a number of restaurants in the area where you can eat and enjoy the view of Manila Bay.  The Manila Bay sunset can serve as a wonderful backdrop for your family dinner – definitely a step up from the usual fast food meals.  Seafood and local ihaw-ihaw (grilled food) are must-try dishes in these restos.

Family Friendly Activities

Both of these staycation hotels in Manila have onsite amenities like swimming pools, restaurants, fitness centers, and spas that you can enjoy. There’s also high speed internet access in these staycation destinations so you do not have to worry about being disconnected during your staycation.  As a tip, however, it would be good to avoid fiddling with your gadgets while you’re on vacation.  Maximize your quality time with the family.  After all, that’s the whole point of getting away from your usual routine.

Apart from onsite amenities, there are also other activities within the vicinity of these hotels that you can enjoy with the family.  Try these:

  • Manila Ocean Park– This park is touted as the country’s first state-of-the art Oceanarium.  It features lifesize aquariums and fish tanks filled with fish and sea creatures.  There are also stations for interactive activities and games.  If you are staying at Hotel H2O, you simply have to step out of your room and go down a couple of floors to get to the park.   It’s also just a stone’s throw away from Manila Hotel.
  • Catch a Play at the CCP– You can take the family to the matinee or a gala at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.  Check out the schedules and book tickets for one that the entire family would love to watch.  As you are already nearby, you do not have to worry about braving traffic to make it to the opening curtain call.
  • Visit the National Museum– Make it a Philippine culture and history vacation.  There’s an extensive collection of art work and heritage pieces at the National Museum, several streets away from Hotel H2O and Manila Hotel.  This vacation activity will surely supplement what your kids learn from their history and art classes in school.  What’s more, entrance to the National Museum is now permanently free of charge.

There are plenty more places to see and visit in Manila if you do not want to stay indoors the whole time during your staycation. Packing light will free you from the usual heavy baggage and booking a room near the places that you want to visit saves you from having to go through traffic to get from one place to another. It also gives you a little bit of flexibility when you need to head back “home” because the kids are tired or need to take care of “personal” matters.

 

Image source:

Image 1 – www.tripadvisor.com.ph

Image 2 – By Nikond80Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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The Benefits of Luxury Villas Over Hotels

We tend to look for the best deals and try to save when planning a holiday. We’ve covered a lot of budgeting and budget-friendly holiday tips here on Joy’s Flair. However, affordable hotels are not always the best choices to look into. In fact, going for luxury villas often brings more benefits. Let’s take a closer look at some of those benefits and see why luxury villas can sometimes be a better deal than hotels.

luxury villas

 

Share the Experience

One of the first benefits you will be able to enjoy when you choose to stay in a luxury villa is the ability to host more people. This means you can share the experience with friends or the entire family. In turn, that makes the cost of staying in a villa more affordable than you think.

A luxury villa such as the Villa Punto de Vista in Costa Rica can house up to 24 guests and 3 additional kids for as little as $3,000 per night. When you divide that number, the cost of staying in the luxury villa per person is often more affordable than booking several hotel rooms.

More importantly, you are actually sharing the experience. A luxury villa rental also provides you with a living room and other amenities instead of just separate rooms. At night, you can gather and enjoy a lovely time with everyone.

The Luxury Treatment

There is another thing that makes luxury villas very good value: the luxury treatment. You may be able to save a little by opting for a budget hotel, but spending that little bit of extra money will get you pampered from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave the property.

I’m talking about the best designer toiletries, amazingly comfortable beds, world-class chefs cooking your meals and various other things that will make your vacation that much more enjoyable. You also have staff available to take care of your needs.

Most luxury villas are children-friendly and have on-site activities to keep children entertained. You can make special requests ahead of your arrival too. If you’re allergic to certain food types, for instance, you are free to choose your own menus.

Location & Privacy

Let’s not forget that luxury villas have the best amenities. The Villa Punto de Vista we talked about earlier is actually situated in a tropical reserve with Costa Rica’s best wildlife living just steps away from your villa. You also have access to the Manuel Antonio Bay and its beautiful beaches.

Other luxury villas may come with a private beach or even an entire island as part of their amenities. Your vacation will be so much better thanks to the extra privacy this affords. Enjoying the day sunbathing on a private beach – with no one else but your friends and family there – while drinks and food are served is just too good an opportunity to miss out on.

With these benefits to enjoy, there are plenty enough reasons to check out the best luxury villas the next time you plan a holiday. I do have to warn you though; once you’ve tried staying in a luxury villa, you’ll never want the vacation to end.

 

Image credit: Bart Speelman – https://flic.kr/p/9dJg5d

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8 Ideas for Planning the Perfect Weekend Away

The best way to relax and relieve the stress of a long work week is through a weekend away. Following your interests will let you enjoy yourself wherever you are, thus an ideal getaway may not take you far from home.

Good company like being with your loved ones or friends will bring more enjoyment and make the weekend trip a memorable and rejuvenating experience. Below are suggested ideas if you are planning for the perfect weekend away.

#1. Cruise to Nowhere

Everyone deserves a great vacation option. You can try a cruise to nowhere for a night or two with a ship that literally goes nowhere. It is indeed a perfect quick vacation for a very reasonable price. With no ports of call you can enjoy and relax to the fullest, enjoying ship’s amenities like restaurants, movie-watching, take in a comedy show or other forms of entertainment, spas, shopping and more. Most major cruise lines offer cruises to nowhere from various cities.

#2. Rent a House, a home away from home

If you are planning on getting away with your family and friends to celebrate a family occasion or just simply go for a short vacation, you could rent a house for a weekend, which is a truly great option. If you’re part of a large group and are wanting a luxurious stay, house rentals are definitely cheaper than booking several rooms in a hotel. It has all the comforts of home with a fully stocked kitchen equipment, bedding, towels, washing machines and more. You and your family will have plenty of time to just relax and simply enjoy one another’s company.

Most importantly, these houses are available for exclusive-use, thus you are assured of your privacy.

landed houses

#3. Camp Out

How about a weekend in the woods? Stay in a rustic cabin, enjoy kayaking down a river, or picnicking near a lake. If you are looking for a perfect escape from your hectic daily work schedules then communing with nature is the best. Find nearby campsites which offer plenty of activities to do like hiking, fishing, swimming and more. It is refreshing to wake up in the morning with the smell of fresh air and chirping birds.

#4. Wander in an Amusement Park

There are a lot of amusement and theme parks that offer discounts and great deals.It is said to be the happiest place on Earth where you can always rekindle the inner child in you. Scream on roller coaster rides, scare yourselves inside the house of horror booth or simply enjoy other entertainment attraction which brings endless fun and excitement. Find a near amusement park then take off for a weekend of screaming and cotton candy.

#5. Have fun walking, go hiking

For people who have a great love for hiking adventures, a long and vigorous walk is a great way to see the world. Hiking can be a perfect weekend getaway, however, not everyone is fit to this kind of adventure. It requires fitness, so for beginners it is recommended to start with small trips, and get used to walking long distances before you start going up mountainous regions and tougher trails. Itinerary – route to take, proper clothing and first aid kit are important things to consider when planning a hike.

hiking

#6. Chill out, bask in the sun on the beach

Book an ocean-facing room for a weekend away. Take pleasure by basking in the sun on the beach and get that sun tan. Engage in water sports activities or just lie down lazily on a hammock reading a good book. Yet, do not forget to read reviews and opinions before you book your best beach resort trip

#7. Get Pampered

For a change, why not pamper yourself with a beautifying treat. An aromatherapy body massage, an invigorating body spa, a facial treatment and a good haircut. A makeover for the new you. You can check for the nearest pampering hideout near you.

#8. Museum -hopping

If you have kids, enrich their minds through museum-hopping. It will be a worthwhile family activity. Kids and adults alike are amazed seeing a collection of historical objects and artifacts, galleries of beautiful paintings and halls filled with exhibits full of relics from the past.

Whatever it is you decide to do, make sure you plan ahead and thoroughly look into the option that will suit you best.

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Discovering the Best Tours in Israel

Are you going to visit the Israel but have a very limited time? Don’t worry! We will help you to plan your tour to Israel.  Israel has a lot of beautiful, religious and historical places to offer to you. If you want to have the best tours in Israel, here are the topmost attractions which you should include in your itinerary.

Temple Mount Western Wall on Shabbat by David Shankbone.jpg

Best Israel Tours In Tel Aviv and Jaffa

Tel Aviv is the commercial and cultural center of Israel. The night life here is amazing and the beaches and the restaurants are world famous. It is also referred as the one of the best cities in Middle East. The old city of Jaffa, right next to Tel Aviv is the city which has its root to the biblical times and possibly older than that. Here you can make your best Israel tours.

Jerusalem

A visit to the capital city of Israel, Jerusalem will be one of your best tours in Israel. This city is one of the most sacred places in the world. Jerusalem is a holy place of 3 major religions which are Judaism, Islam and Christianity. The city is encircled by imposing stone walls which date to the Ottoman period and many holy sites such as the Western wall, the Dome of the Rock and Church of the Holy Sepulchre can be found there. You will find some best Israel tours here due to the abundance of places worth visiting.

Masada

The fortress of Masada is among the best Israel tours and is definitely worth visiting. It stands on the rock plateau in south eastern part of Israel. The story of Masada fortress is very peculiar and dates long back in history. If you are feeling adventurous, you can walk up to the Snake Path to the top of the Fortress. There is also an option of the cable car otherwise. You can still find the remains of the settlement and the battery which Romans built to get to the settlement.

Tours In Israel And The Dead Sea

If you have not visited the Dead Sea, you have missed one of the best tours in Israel. The Dead Sea is the lowest point in the earth which is at 1,360 feet below sea level. The water is ten times salty than the ocean waters and this makes it possible to float on water without moving even a finger. But don’t splash any water in your eyes which will make it very unpleasant. Those who have skin problems will find the mineral rich water very effective. The reason why it is called Dead Sea is that there is no life in it due to over saltiness of the water.

Galilee

You can make your best tours in Israel in the Galilee region which is a large region in the northern part of Israel. Galilee has a beautiful highland, green fields, agriculture and so much history in it. There is a lot to visit here like the Sea of Galilee, ancient cities of Tiberias, Safed and Acre and the famous Jordan River.

The show does not end here. You have a long list for best Israel tours and once you visit this country, you will come to know about them.

 

Image By David ShankboneDavid Shankbone, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3321001

 

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