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    Which Italian city should you visit next?

    Italy is one of Europe’s most diverse destinations. Fancy a quick city break? Check. Want to devour delicious food? Yes. Sip incredible wines? Of course. See world-famous buildings? There’s plenty of that. Or soak up some sun? There’s no shortage of sunny days in Italy.
    Saying that though, Italy offers a diverse holiday experience because it boasts a number of beautiful holiday spots. There’s the capital Rome, home to the Vatican and the Colosseum. Then you have Venice in the northeast with its iconic gondolas and in the south you’ll find Naples and the beautiful Sorrento. It’s not always an easy choice deciding which one to visit (though we recommend visiting them all at some point). To make your choice a little simpler we’ve compiled this quick guide to help you decide which Italian city is right for your next trip.
    Best for bustling city life…Rome

    Rome is bursting with all the quintessential elements of any Italian city: ancient history, delicious food, fine wines, and fascinating museums. But what differentiates the capital from the others is the multiple world-famous sites (Vatican, Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Pantheon) and its bustling cosmopolitan atmosphere. Rome is perfect for fast-paced travellers who love to explore during the day, then drink stylish cocktails at night.
    Best for couples…Venice

    Venice is just lovely. Its picturesque side-streets and scenic canals make the perfect backdrop to a romantic city break. And in the evening you can treat your sweetheart to a gondola ride, an orchestral symphony, or a canal-side dinner by candle-light.
    Best for stylish fashionistas...Milan

    Milan is Italy’s fashion and design capital. Every year fashionistas flock here to experience the city’s incredible shopping, whether is the high-end Italian designers, high street favourites, or the independent boutiques. We’ve compiled a shopping guide to Milan if you don’t know where to start.
    Best for art and architecture…Florence

    You’ll find extraordinary art and architecture around every corner when exploring the city of Florence. The entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and hasn’t changed much since the Renaissance: offering narrow cobbled streets, 15th- and 16th-century palaces, candle-lit chapels, and world-class art galleries housing works by Botticelli and Michelangelo.
    As an extra bonus, you are only an hour’s train journey from the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and the city of Lucca. 
    Best for Shakespeare fans and easy access to Lake Garda…Verona

    Verona’s claim to fame is its association with Shakespeare’s world-famous Romeo and Juliet. While the play by Shakespeare is technically fictional, the Montagues and Capulets families are very much real. Around Verona you’ll spot Shakespeare fans hunting out the real-world house of Juliet (which is now a museum, and her bedroom is furnished with the bed used in Franco Zeffirelli’s film Romeo e Giulietta), Romeo’s house (which is not open to the public), and Juliet’s tomb.
    You can also twin a stay in Verona with a stay in Lake Garda, with multiple trains a day taking roughly 30 minutes.
    Best for explorers...Sorrento

    Sorrento is technically a town, but it’s the most popular holiday spot on the Neapolitan Riviera. Built into scenic cliffs, Sorrento is the natural holiday of choice for keen walkers and hikers. But it is also a prime location for exploring the Bay of Naples. To the north there are the remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum, or you can climb up to the crater of Mount Vesuvius – the volcano that caused the disruption. To the east is the spectacular Amalfi Coast, with its cliff-hugging coastal road. You can also head across the bay to the fashionable islands of Capri and Ischia.
    When you’re not exploring the nearby sites, relax with some food and drink – such as the famous limoncello liqueur and locally grown olives, tomatoes, peaches, cherries, and oranges.
    Best for foodies…Naples

    If you want to visit the Bay of Naples but really crave a city atmosphere, then we recommend Naples itself. It offers the same easy access to many of the same sights (like Pompeii and Herculaneum) while providing more of a buzz - but Naples’s main bragging right is its foodie heritage.  
    Neapolitan cuisine is slightly different to the rest of Italy and dates back centuries to the point where it’s hard for historians to establish the exact timeline of when it originated. Pizza is the most famous dish to originate from this city (so adored that the Italian flag was styled after tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil) though you’ll find plenty of ragù, aglio e uoglio (garlic and oil), and seafood here (octopus is especially popular).
    Which Italian city is your favourite?


     

    7 reasons to fly with KLM

    This year, KLM will be celebrating its 100th Birthday! That’s a 100 years’ worth of flying experience and taking travellers to their destinations around the world. The combination of experience and a great network of worldwide destinations means that there are many reasons to fly with KLM. Here are our top 7.
    More than 150 destinations
    In 2019, KLM is extending its network to include even more exciting destinations around the world. During the summer, you will be able to reach Las Vegas and Boston in North America, and Wroclaw and Naples in Europe in addition to their current worldwide destinations.
    Including favourable flight schedules
    Make the most of your trip with convenient departure and arrival times. Fly to your business meeting at a decent hour or make the most of your weekend break. 
    Experience the award-winning hub
    Voted ‘Best Airport in Europe’ 27 times by UK business travellers, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has a one-terminal concept that groups all facilities conveniently under one roof. Schiphol also offers two state-of-the-art KLM Crown Lounges, where passengers can enjoy fine dining or unwind and relax before their connecting flight.
    A choice of cabins to suit your needs
    On board, long haul passengers can choose to fly Economy with extra legroom available in Economy Comfort. Alternatively, they can relax in the super comfortable, full-flat seats with a privacy canopy in the New World Business Class cabin. On short haul flights, KLM offers two cabin choices, Economy and Europe Business Class. Regardless of your cabin of choice, passengers will always be treated to onboard infight services.
    Social media 24/7
    KLM is active on Facebook, Twitter and Messenger. Even better, they tweet in several languages: Dutch, English, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, French and Korean.
    Stay informed
    They promptly inform passengers in real time with relevant flight information by phone, text message or email during their trip. When necessary, they will also offer an alternative solution. Stay up to date with messages when there is a gate change, an unexpected event which may affect your journey or should there be any delays with baggage delivery. 
    Discover a world of benefits with Flying Blue
    If you fly with KLM, you can join Flying Blue, their loyalty programme and earn Miles. You can spend them on reward flights and a whole range of extra options, products and convenient services. Plus, the more you fly the easier it is to move between tiers, from Explorer to Silver, Gold and Platinum – which means enjoying ever more exclusive perks.

     

    Which brand from The AMResorts Collection is right for you?

    f you’re looking for a premium all-inclusive, luxury holiday resort in the Caribbean or Mexico, then look no further than The AMResorts Collection. Its seven brands all boast their own unique atmosphere and amenities, allowing every type of traveller to find a resort that is right for them. But despite their differences, they all offer the AMResorts promise of Endless Privileges®, Unlimited-Luxury®, or Unlimited-Fun® alongside sun-soaked beaches, elegant accommodations, a world-class spa, gourmet dining, and unlimited premium drinks. Here’s what each of them has to offer.
    For the most discerning traveller…Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts

    Zoëtry Wellness and Spa Resorts are boutique havens offering Endless Privileges®, with calm, holistic atmospheres paired with wellness and rejuvenating activities. There are four resorts to choose from, each featuring elegant accommodations, organic and award-winning á la carte cuisine and calming spa treatments that nourish the body and awaken the senses. Guests can also partake in exclusive opportunities to participate in cultural, artistic and educational experiences, as well as enjoy different types of yoga, meditation, stretch classes and culinary classes.
    For adult-only romance…Secrets Resorts & Spas

    Secrets Resorts and Spas offer adult-only an extra measure of romance and luxury with a romantic beach-front setting. Each resort features a world-class spa, well-appointed rooms and suites, exceptional gourmet dining, and live entertainment. Plus their Unlimited-Luxury® promise includes unlimited premium beverages, endless day and evening activities, daily refreshed mini-bar, 24-hour room service and beach waiting service. The resorts provide the ultimate backdrop for romantic rendezvous and lasting memories for couples and honeymooners. You’ll find their resorts in Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Costa Rica. 
    For an adult-only social getaway…Breathless Resorts & Spas

    If you’re looking for a social Caribbean escape with your friends where you can live big from day until night with DJ hosted pool parties followed by vibrant nightly club scenes party until the early hours, we recommend the adult-only Breathless Resorts & Spas. Their four resorts in Jamaica, Mexico and the Dominican Republic feature pristine beaches, trend-setting restaurants, and lively vibrant nightlife. Their Unlimited-Luxury® package includes gourmet meals, top-shelf drinks, excellent pool and beach wait service, and nightly entertainment.  
    For families with children…Dreams Resorts & Spas

    Dreams Resorts & Spas in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Panama offer a high level of luxury and the ultimate all-inclusive family-friendly beachfront experience. You can enjoy Unlimited[AB1] -Luxury® here, which includes unlimited natural fruit juices and soft drinks, as well as premium alcoholic beverages, free WiFi, non-motorised watersports and much more. The Explorer’s Club for Kids with Red Cross certified staff and Core Zone Teens Club* provide supervised day and evening activities.
    For multigenerational travel…Now Resorts & Spas

    Now Resorts & Spas provide active and lively entertainment for guests of all ages, including kids, teens and tweens, with the supervised Explorer’s Club for Kids with Red Cross certified staff and Core Zone Teens Club. Guests can enjoy a family-friendly, modern experience, where endless daytime and nightly entertainment are just steps away from peace and quiet. Now Resorts & Spas are great for multigenerational travel, with activities to suit older members of the family as well; relax at the Now Spa by Pevonia®, read your favourite book under the palm trees or enjoy a refreshing cocktail at one of the adult-only bars.
    For the spirited traveller trends setters….Reflect Resorts & Spas

    Reflect Resorts & Spas are one of the newest additions to the AMResorts family. There are only three locations right now (all in Mexico) and offer a variety of locally inspired cuisine, inviting amenities, friendly service, and an array of culturally infused experiences and an entertainment team that make everyday fun and exciting for all of the family. All you have to do is sit back and Reflect. 
    For the kid in everyone…Sunscape Resorts & Spas

    Sunscape Resorts & Spas offer the whole holiday package, paired with a vibrant atmosphere and friendly service. Sunscape’s family-friendly program features a kid’s check-in experience with red carpet stairs, welcome treats and resort passports for kids. The resorts also provide spacious accommodations including private terraces, connecting rooms and kid’s amenities. On top of that, there’s the gorgeous beachfront setting offering an array of beach, land and watersport activities and the Explorer’s Club for Kids ages 3 to 12 with Red Cross certified staff. You’ll find Sunscape Resorts & Spas in Mexico, Curaçao, Jamaica, and Dominican Republic.
    Which brand from the AMResorts Collection is your favourite?

     

    10 must do’s in the Florida Keys and Key West

    The Florida Keys is one of America’s most iconic road trips. Starting in Miami and extending south until Key West, this 113-mile stretch of road takes only three hours to complete. But to drive end-to-end with no breaks would be doing yourself a disservice.
    That’s because this island chain is beautifully diverse and feels a world apart from the theme parks and shopping malls of mainland Florida. While it is Key West that typically gets all the attention, anyone who has taken the time to stop at all the islands will tell you that they each offer a unique experience. Before you start your journey, ensure you have a read through our top 10 must do’s in the Florida Keys and make a point of stopping at least once on each island.
    1. Dive/Snorkel at John Pennekamp State Park (Key Largo)
    The crown jewel of the state park system and the first undersea park in the U.S., John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park encompasses approximately 70 nautical square miles. It is also home to one of two coral reef formations in United States waters. You can view the coral reef system from a glass bottom-boat, or snorkeling. Other activities available in the park include canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, picnicking, swimming and wildlife viewing.
    2. Kayak and explore Everglades National Park (Key Largo)
    This is the only eco-system of its type in the world with the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States – boasting rare and endangered species. It has even been designated a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve and a wetland of international importance. 
    3. Fish in the Sport Fishing Capital of the World (Islamorada)
    Take a charter boat out to one of the only places on Earth where it is possible to catch a sailfish in the morning, and then venture into the backcountry in pursuit of bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook and redfish in just inches of water.
    4. View art at Robbie’s Marina (Islamorada)
    A nostalgic destination reminiscent of why some of the most talented artists, writers, fishermen and presidents have called the Florida Keys home. Robbie’s Marina rests peacefully among coconut palms with shimmering views of the unspoiled Florida Bay and the Atlantic Ocean converge. With free entry, a private sandy beach, restaurants serving fresh food, and quaint art and craft pavilions, it’s not hard to understand why so many artists have chosen this place to immortalise in paintings.
    5. Learn about local marine life at Dolphin Research Centre (Marathon)
    The Dolphin Research Centre on Marathon is a not-for-profit research and educational facility that offers several exciting daily presentations demonstrating the dolphins’ high flying athletics, educational fun facts, dolphin research, new behaviour training, medical behaviours, and much more.
    6. Turtle Hospital (Marathon)
    Visit the Turtle Hospital and see how they rehabilitate injured sea turtles and return them to their natural habitat. Learn how they conduct and assist with research aiding sea turtles and work toward environmental legislation to ensure that the beaches and waters are safe for sea turtles.
    7. Visit Bahia Honda State Park and Recreation Area (Big Pine Key)
    With its white sandy beaches and abundant wildlife, Bahia Honda Key frequently makes the list of most beautiful beaches in America. Experiences available in the park include biking, bird-watching, boat tours, camping, fishing, and snorkelling.
    8. Spend time on Big Pine and the Lower Keys
    Spend a half day exploring the backcountry waters off the lower Florida Keys. Encounter key deer, sea turtles and dolphins in their natural habitat as well as exploring the Great White Heron National Sanctuary.
    9. Day trip to the Dry Tortugas National Park (Key West)
    Almost 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West lies the remote Dry Tortugas National Park. The 100-square mile park is mostly open water with several small islands. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, the park is known the world over as the home of magnificent Fort Jefferson, picturesque blue waters, superlative coral reefs and marine life, and the vast assortment of bird life that frequent the area.
    10. Sunset at Mallory Square (Key West )
    Celebrate the end of your road trip at Mallory Square where every evening you can enjoy free live music and street entertainers, art and craft stores and enjoy a cocktail as the sun goes down.


     

    10 romantic cities in Europe for your Valentine’s Day getaway

    Valentine’s Day is two weeks away and it’s time to finalise your romantic plans. Thankfully, Europe is brimming with beautiful cities that are perfect for loved-up couples! So even if you’re not wanting to travel very far - and don’t want to spend too much money - you’ll find somewhere that’s perfect for you and your partner to fall in love all over again.
    1. Paris

    Paris is considered one of the most romantic cities in the world for many reasons. Whether it’s dinner at the top of the Eiffel Tower, a coffee date on a cobbled street, a night at the Moulin rouge, or an evening stroll along the Seine.
    2. Prague

    Prague boasts elegant palaces, 17th and 18th century architecture, scenic cobbled lanes, and incredible city-wide views from both Prague Castle and Letna Park. It’s not called the City of Spires for nothing.
    3. Budapest

    One look at a photo of beautiful Budapest and you know it’s a city perfect for loved-up sweethearts. The Danube runs through the heart of the city with glitter lights illuminating its bridges and grandiose palaces lining its banks. It’s the perfect place for an evening stroll (or even a proposal).
    4. Rome

    The first of two Italian cities on our list is the world-famous Rome. Sample delicious food, sip on the some of Europe’s most renowned wines, and explore beautiful streets. It’s the perfect place to fall in love.
    5. Lisbon

    Lisbon is becoming increasingly popular for all kinds of globetrotters, including couples. And when you look at the beautiful architecture and taste the fresh seafood, it’s not hard to understand why.
    6. London

    If you’re looking for something a little bit closer to home for your Valentine’s Day escape, then it has to be London. Book your sweetheart tickets to their favourite show in Covent Garden, treat them to a luxury dinner in Mayfair, or watch the sunset from the top of the London Eye.
    7. Vienna

    If your sweetheart adores impressive culture combined with luxurious surroundings – then Vienna is the perfect destination! Visit world-class art museums, catch a show at the Opera house, and share pastries while sipping artisan coffees. Perfect!
    8. Copenhagen

    Where better for a romantic city break than the home of fairytales? Admire the Little Mermaid statue and the Dragon Fountain, then wander down cobbled streets lined with pretty painted townhouses. Finally, snuggle up in the evenings in traditional Danish Hygge style.
    9. Venice

    Italy is a romantic country as a whole and we couldn’t possibly only include Rome (narrowing it down to two was hard enough!). So we’ve also included Venice, a city filled with mouth-watering food, beautiful side-streets and – of course – the iconic gondolas.
    10. Reykjavik

    What could more romantic than snuggling up under the glittering Aurora Borealis? Book yourself a city break to Iceland’s magical capital and sign up for one of their many Northern Lights viewing tours that take you out with the city.



     

    How to spend 48 hours in Los Angeles

    Los Angeles is a popular city for a weekend break - whether it’s a stopover on the way to the Pacific Ocean or Asia, or as part of wider Western America road trip. Thing is though, it’s a big city and it can feel like a mammoth task planning how to see as much of it as possible in two days. So we’ve done it for you. Including where to stop for lunch and dinner, and how to get around the city.
    Arriving in LA

    Los Angeles International Airport, or LAX, is located southeast of the city, about 15 miles from downtown and 20 miles from the San Fernando Valley. There’s an Airport Bus that connects the airport to three stops in LA: Van Nuys, located in the Valley; Westwood, about halfway between Santa Monica and Beverly Hills; and Union Station in downtown LA. These buses usually don’t cost more than $10 per person, but they only take debit and credit cards. Alternatively you can get a cab at the airport, which will cost more but can drop you at your hotel door step (and ready to start your 48 hours!).
    Saturday Morning

    Time to rise and shine and beat the queues, because we’re heading north to Universal Studios Hollywood™. There’s a full day of adventure to be had here, including The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, King Kong 360 3D, Springfield U.S.A, The Walking Dead Attraction, and (of course) the world-famous Studio Tour.
    When it’s time for lunch you’ll be spoilt for choice with real-life replicas of fictional places – such as Three Broomsticks™, Moe’s Tavern, and Jurassic Café. You can also head into City Walk, where you’ll find restaurants, cinemas and souvenir shops.
    Transport links: the Los Angeles Metro can drop you right outside Universal Studios Hollywood™ if you take the Red Line and get off at the Universal City/Studio City station.
    Saturday Afternoon

    Photo by Anthony Ginsbrook on Unsplash
    It might take you a full day to get around Universal Studios Hollywood™ but if you do make it out within the afternoon, head over to Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood (which is less than a ten-minute drive away). On the tour, you’ll come across outdoor sets and soundstages used to create productions such as The Big Bang Theory, Pretty Little Liars, La La Land, Argo, and Gilmore Girls.
    Studio Tour guests will also stop at the DC Universe - DC Comics Exhibit, the real Central Perk Friends set, and the original Batman Museum - Batmobile Collection.
    Side note: working your way through both Universal Studios Hollywood™ and Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood will be tight, but it’s not impossible if you book tickets in advance and plan which attractions you want to see.
    Saturday Evening

    Before you head back into Central LA stop by the Griffith Observatory, which is open until 10pm. This art deco landmark from 1935 features a high-tech planetarium, public telescopes and some of the best views of Los Angeles (including the famous Hollywood sign).
    Transport link: hailing a cab is your best way to get from Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood to the Griffith Observatory, though you can take a scenic 2-hour walk through Griffith Park. When you’re finished, The Griffith Observatory is an hour’s walk from Sunset Boulevard and there is a bus between the Observatory and the Vermont/Sunset Metro Red Line Metro Station.
    Saturday Night

    Los Angeles is celebrated for its nightlife, and there are plenty of places to choose from. Though the Downtown Arts District in the east of the city is definitely LA’s neighbourhood of the moment. It’s an industrial district turned chic nightlife epicentre, and home to delicious restaurants like Bestia, the inspiring Hauser & Wirth Gallery, and a bevy of breweries. In the wider Downtown District, you’ll also find several nightclubs to party away in until the early hours.
    Sunday Morning

    Saturday’s itinerary was quite adventurous, but don’t worry because Sunday is more relaxed. Head out to The J. Paul Getty Museum in Bel Air, one of the world's largest arts organisations. Its collection includes Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art from the Neolithic to Late Antiquity. As well as European art—including illuminated manuscripts, paintings, drawings, sculpture, and decorative arts—from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth century. Take a slow wander around the decorated halls to wake yourself up.
    Transport links: this is up a hill with not much else around it, so we recommend booking a taxi, Lyft, or Uber.
    Sunday Afternoon

    Make your way back into the city, firstly stopping off in Beverly Hills. Even if this area is out of your price range, it’s still well-worth a visit to admire the lavish boutiques, take a picture with the iconic Beverley Hills sign, stop by the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM, and book a tour of the most extravagant houses in LA.
    There are also a lot of restaurants in Beverley Hills to choose from, including Mastro’s Steakhouse, The Cheesecake Factory, and Ocean Prime.
    Afterwards, head up to Hollywood Boulevard and find your favourite stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Then explore some of the nearby landmarks such as the Hollywood Wax Museum®, Museum of Death, and the Capitol Records Building.
    Transport links: there are no direct buses or metro line between the Getty Museum and Beverley Hills and Hollywood so we recommend getting a taxi, Lyft, or an Uber (which will take little over 10 minutes).
    Sunday Evening

    While you’re in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, you have to catch a show. This is the home of showbiz after all! Along Sunset Boulevard you’ll find several famous venues – from the Laugh Factory for comedy, The Roxy Theatre for rock music, ArcLight for showing first-run movies, Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre where many well-known actors and comedians started their careers, and Hollywood Palladium for the big name performers.
    Have you been to Los Angeles? What attractions would you recommend to someone only in the city for 48 hours?


     

    10 places to stop on Route 66 in Illinois

    Illinois is famous for a few things – but one of the most notable is the starting point of the famous Route 66. Three hundred miles of this iconic road stretches through the state of Illinois and passes by some incredible attractions and sights along the way. If you’re embarking on your first Route 66 adventure, here are a few of the places we recommend you stop at.
    1. The Route 66 Sign
    The famous Route 66 starts right in the heart of Chicago, and you’ll find the iconic Route 66 Begin sign on East Adams St./Jackson Blvd. & South Michigan Av.
    2. Illinois Route 66 Association Hall of Fame & Museum
    Route 66 is home to numerous great museums – but if you can only visit one, we recommend the Hall of Fame. Among the artefacts, you’ll find the bus and van of Route 66 icon, Bob Waldmire: an artist famous for his whimsical maps of the Mother Road and its human and natural ecology. Remember to get a photo with the World’s Largest Route 66 mural in Pontiac.
    3. The Muffler Men
    In Wilmington, Atlanta, and Springfield, you’ll notice each town is home to a giant and colourful statue (they’re not hard to spot). They were all once used for promotional purposes by local businesses, but are now iconic in their own right. Tall Paul is located alongside Route 66 in Atlanta and cannot be missed as you drive past. The Gemini Giant stands alongside the Launching Pad Drive-In in Wilmington. While the Lauterbach Tire Man is found outside Lauterbach Tires on Wabash Avenue in Springfield.
    4. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum
    The city of Springfield was the home of Abraham Lincoln for the 17 years leading up to his election as the 16th president of the United States. There are a few Lincoln themed attractions in Springfield, but the best is undoubtedly the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. It’s home to the world’s largest collection of Lincoln-related documents, including realistic holographic presentations, a show reel of the 1860 presidential election, plus clothes and toys of that era.
    5. Original Historic Route 66 Brick Road
    Step back in time to Old Route 66 at its best. A short drive outside of Springfield, you’ll find Brick 66: a beautiful 2.5-kilometer-long stretch of restored, hand-laid brick road from 1931 that is beautifully framed by rolling hills.
    6. Cosy Dog Drive-In
    Welcome to the home of the all-American corn dog. Established back in the 1940s, Cosy Dog Drive-In is not just a restaurant but also a souvenir shop and mini-museum with an impressive collection of Route 66 memorabilia.
    7. Henry’s Rabbit Ranch
    For something a bit out-of-the-ordinary, head to Henry's Rabbit Ranch Home - where you’ll find rabbits of both the hopping kind and the VW kind. You’ll also stumble upon a giant fiberglass jackrabbit that visitors can climb onto the back of, and a bunny graveyard paying tribute to some of the ranch’s previous residents (plus a gift shop with Route 66 souvenirs).
    8. Pink Elephant Antique Mall
    The Pink Elephant Antique Mall features a number of unique roadside attractions and multiple photo opportunities! The mall itself sports larger than life sculptures including a pink elephant and a large male statue from the move ‘Flatliners’. In addition to a retro-looking ice cream shop, the newest edition is the Mother Road Fudge-n-Candy shop. Enjoy retro candy, chocolates and homemade fudge!
    9. World’s largest Catsup bottle
    The World's Largest Catsup Bottle stands proudly next to Route 159, just south of downtown Collinsville, Illinois. This unique 170ft tall water tower was built in 1949 by the W.E. Caldwell Company for the G.S. Suppiger Catsup bottling plant - bottlers of Brooks old original rich tangy Catsup.
    10. Old Chain of Rocks Bridge
    As you leave Illinois, remember to snap a selfie at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge out of Collinsville. Built in 1927, it’s the fifth bridge to cross the Mississippi River – and was part of the original Route 66 road – the perfect way to wave goodbye to Illinois as you carry on your Route 66 adventure.


     

    10 reasons why everyone should visit Tenerife at least once in their life

    Tenerife is one of the most popular destinations in the world for British holidaymakers. If you’ve visited this incredible island you’ll know exactly why its popularity never decreases. But if you haven’t holidayed there, you might potentially still be wondering what sets it apart from the other popular sun-drenched holiday favourites. We’ve got you covered. Here are 10 reasons why Tenerife should be on everyone’s bucket list!
    1. The beaches
    While there is more to Tenerife than gorgeous beaches, this is still an incredible part of what makes Tenerife such a popular holiday destination. Even if you visit for a two week holiday, you could still visit a different beach every day. Several of them also boast Blue Flag status for their cleanliness.
    2. Dramatic landscapes
    The interior landscape of Tenerife is just as spectacular as the coastline. The Teide National Park is home to the third highest volcano in the world, and boasts a number of incredible hiking and walking trails.
    3. Whale and dolphin watching
    More than 20 species of cetaceans can be spotted off the south-west coast on Tenerife, including baleen whales, killer whales, dolphins, pilot whales and even blue whales.
    4. Incredible Waterparks
    Tenerife’s most out-there waterpark has to be Siam Park: all Thai-inspired 46 acres of it. Swim in the “largest man-made wave in the world” at about 3.3 metres high, or catch your breath while floating along the Lazy River.
    Aqualand Tenerife is also a popular option. It’s home to waterslides of all shapes and styles, as well shallow pools suitable for young children.
    5. Cultural events
    Tenerife’s largest cultural event has to be the Carnival, held in the week running up to Lent. The celebrations start with the Grand Opening Parade, where colourful floats and costumed performers makes their way through the streets. The Carnival then ends with the (unique) Burial of the Sardine ritual on Ash Wednesday, where a sardine sits on a throne, and is carried through the streets of the capital, before it is set on fire.
    6. Clear skies for stargazing
    The stars shine brightly in Tenerife, thanks to the island’s close proximity to the equator and low-levels of light pollution. In fact, Teide National Park has been recognised by the Starlight Foundation as one of the premier stargazing sites on the planet.
    7. Delicious local food
    Tenerife’s culinary scene is an exotic mix of Spanish, Andalusian, African and South American influences. A popular dish on the island is papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes), a boiled potato dish with a spicy green pepper sauce. The island is also home to no fewer than six Michelin stars across five restaurants.
    8. It’s good for your soul
    The volcanic landscape and warm waters of Tenerife aren’t relaxing to look at – spas use the natural resources to literally relax visitors. Natural treatments include thalassotherapy, geotherapy, wine therapy and aloe therapy - the latter using Canarian aloe vera.
    9. Year round sunshine
    Tenerife’s temperature stays above 20°C in the winter. Plus, there are only about six rainy days a month – so you’re guaranteed good weather no matter when you visit.
    10. There’s an incredible range of hotels
    Whether you’re looking for a B&B, luxury hotel, or a family-friendly resort – you’ll find it in Tenerife. The island offers a wide range of accommodation options that will make your stay extraordinary, no matter your budget.

    If you’ve been to Tenerife, share with us your favourite thing about the island in the comments!
     

     

    5 bucket-list escorted tours for solo travellers

    If you’re anything like us, your travel bucket list is impressively long. It’s perhaps even longer than your family or friends’ bucket list, and you might not be able to convince someone to go with you on every single trip.
    That’s where our partners Just You come in. We’ve been working with them for several years now to offer our customers escorted tours designed with solo travellers in mind to some of the world’s most exotic locations. Here are just five of their most bucket-list worthy itineraries on offer right now.
    1. Namibia – Tribes and Natural Wonders

    If your dream holiday to Africa involves more than just a safari, then we recommend this itinerary in Namibia. Not only will you enjoy games drives where you’ll have a high chance of spotting lions, rhinos and elephants – you’ll also be treated to a visit at the Living Museum of Damara People, a drive through Kuiseb & Canyon Pass to Swakopmund, and a drive out to the 'petrified dunes'. There’s also optional excursions for a Swakopmund City Tour, and a Dolphin & Seal Cruise.
    Details: available between May 2019 to October 2019, half-board, return flights from Heathrow with South African Airways, and 11 nights in 3-star hotels plus 2 nights in flight. Local and connecting flights available.
    2. Highlights of Peru

    Peru is home to many bucket-list adventures, and this tour will take you through all of them. From the Incan ruins of Macchu Picchu, to the floating islands of Lake Titicaca, and to the pre-Incan burial ground of Sillustani. The tour also includes stays in the sprawling cities of Lima and Cuzco. There’s also an optional excursion that includes a trip to the Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo .
    Details: available between May 2019 [LB1] to Nov 2020, all breakfast included, return flights from Heathrow, and 8 nights in 4-star hotels plus 2 nights in flight. Local and connecting flights available.
    3. India’s Tiger Trail

    Who doesn’t want to see a Tiger in the wild? With this itinerary you will visit the Kanha National Park, which was the inspiration for The Jungle Book. Plus, you’ll be treated to three game drives in Bandhavgarh, Kanha & Panna National Parks.
    On top of tiger spotting, you’ll also visit Delhi, the Taj Mahal, Mumbai, and the sacred temples in medieval Orchha. Guests also have the choice of two additional excursions, a jeep and river safari in Chambal.
    Details: available between October 2019 to May 2020, all breakfasts included, return flights from Heathrow, and 9 nights in 3 and 4-star hotels plus 2 nights in flights. Local and connecting flights available.
    4. An Unforgettable Antarctica Voyage

    The most exotic bucket-list destination of all has to be Antarctica. On this particular itinerary you’ll start in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires, before travelling to Ushuaia where you’ll step on-board the MS Midnatsol and set sail for Antarctica through the famous Drake Passage. You’ll spend six days sailing around Antarctica (with the chance to explore on land if conditions are right) before sailing back through the Drake Passage and enjoying a farewell dinner in Buenos Aires.
    Details: only available in November 2019, 2 nights in a 5-star hotel, 11 nights on board MS Midnatsol, 35 meals, and return flights from Heathrow with British Airways. Local and connecting flights available.
    5. Global Explorer

    Can’t choose between all the incredible destinations on offer? How about a tour that encompasses the world? On Just You’s Global Tour you’ll touch down in 14 cities, 11 countries and cross the International Date Line. Destinations include India, Italy, Sydney, Singapore and Los Angeles.
    Details: only available in September 2019, 28 nights in 4 & 5-star hotels plus 3 nights in flight, 51 meals, and return flights from the UK. Local and connecting flights available.


     

    A beginner’s guide to Dubai’s theme parks

    Dubai is home to some of the world's best theme parks and waterparks. The city, and its surrounding area, has a theme park for everybody, ranging from family-friendly water slides to gravity-defying rollercoasters. You can even immerse yourself in the world of your favourite films and television shows.
    Dubai Parks and Resorts
    Dubai Parks is home to three theme parks, a water park, a hotel, and a dining and retail outlet. Choose between LEGOLAND® Dubai, MOTIONGATE™ Dubai, Bollywood Parks™ Dubai, and LEGOLAND® Water Park – depending on your mood! If you stay at the on-site Lapita Hotel Dubai you’ll also enjoy its 5 restaurants and bars, OLA Spa Boutique, and The Lapita Retail Shop. You can find Dubai Parks and Resorts just west of the city, near Al Maktoum International Airport.
    IMG Worlds of Adventure
    Welcome to the world’s largest indoor theme park, where your favourite Marvel and Cartoon Network characters come to life. The little ones can enjoy multi-sensory adventures with Ben 10, Gumball, The Powerpuff Girls and LazyTown. Meanwhile, older visitors can become superheroes for the day as they immerse themselves in the worlds of Spider-Man, The Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and The Avengers.
    Laguna Waterpark
    Laguna Waterpark is home to 10 rides - across all thrill levels - making it perfect for all family members. Adrenaline junkies will love the Free Fall, a jaw-dropping freefall slide. While calmer members can relax on the Lazy River, packed with small thrills suitable for all ages. And if there’s a surf fan inside the family, they can hop on the WaveOz 180 FloRider (which is one of three of its kind in the world!).
    Wild Wadi
    Sitting right on the shore of the city’s iconic Burj Al Arab, Wild Wadi is one of the best waterparks in the world. Kids will want to explore Juha’s Dhow and Lagoon, a giant playground offering a number of different slides. But if you’re looking to unwind, the gentle Wave Pool is there for some light-hearted fun. Or, you can hire a private cabana for some quiet downtime at the Lazy River.
    Please note: Wild Wadi Waterpark will be conducting essential maintenance from 12 January until 7 February 2019. During this period Wild Wadi Waterpark will experience full closure and will re-open to the public on 8 February 2019.
    Aquaventure
    Aquaventure is the largest waterparks in Dubai and home to some iconic record-breaking rides and attractions. You might already be familiar with the Leap of Faith, a 27.5-metre plunge that carries you through a clear tube surrounded by sharks and rays.
    This enormous theme park also features marine activities, private beaches and children’s play areas for all ages. Little ones will delight in the Splashers Children's Play Area – a maze of kid-friendly tunnels, tubes, slides and climbing frames. Atlantic the Palm is also just next door.
    Have you ever been to any of the theme parks or waterparks in Dubai? Which one was your favourite?


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