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  3. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    7 reasons to stay at Caesars Bluewaters Dubai

    Caesars Palace has long been an iconic mainstay of the Las Vegas Strip. It is world renowned for luxury and its dazzling entertainment options. Now it has opened a location in Dubai, and it is just as extravagant as you would imagine. Here are seven reasons why you should book the Caesars Bluewaters Dubai for your next Middle Eastern getaway. 1. There are multiple room types available Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai boasts 194 luxurious accommodations, including suites. The 301-key Caesars Resort Bluewaters Dubai also offers a variety of room types while The Residences at Caesars Palace combine the best of home and luxury hospitality offering 1-2-3-4 bedroom residences complete with kitchen and laundry appliances. 2. Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen Off the back of its success at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, Gordons Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen has opened its second location at Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai. The upscale restaurant offers Ramsay’s signature dishes including the Beef Wellington, Eggs in Purgatory and the sweet, heavenly sticky toffee pudding. 3. Zhen Wei Dim Sum & Pan Asian Cuisine Another signature restaurant at Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai is Zhen Wei, and serves up Pan Asian dishes with a contemporary twist and hand-made dim sum. Menu items include Whole Beijing Duck, Kung Pao Lobster and Cantonese Seabass. 4. 12 unique restaurants and bars There are 12 unique restaurants & bars at Caesars Bluewaters Dubai – whether you’re looking for a cocktail to sip on by the pool or sample a sophisticated wine in the evening. 5. Cove Beach is on its doorstep Caesars Bluewaters Dubai also offers access to a pristine private beach and is home to Cove Beach, an upscale seafront locale, offering live entertainment. 6. World-class shopping and entertainment outlets Caesars Bluewaters Dubai is located on Bluewaters Island, which is home to 200 retail, dining and entertainment outlets. You’ll also be within walkable distance of Jumeirah Beach Residence and the city beyond, via a stunning walkway. 7. You’ll be beside the world’s largest observation wheel If you book yourself a city-view room you’ll also enjoy incredible views of the Ain Dubai, the world’s largest observation wheel that is also located on Bluewaters Island.
  4. Pauline@BarrheadTravel

    Twin Centre Holidays

    Hi Jenna My name is Pauline and I am one of the USA Specialists at Barrhead Travel. I can definitely recommend this combo, but would maybe start with San Diego and work up to San Francisco with LA in the middle. Can you send me your contact details and I can give you a wee call to discuss further? Thanks. Pauline
  5. Hi Angela, tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Barrhead Travel? On joining Barrhead Travel, the first department I worked in was cruise sales. I then moved onto package department, flights department, family fund department, last minute.com department and then the internet department before moving to the customer service department in December 2012. I have been Team Leader in the department since 2017 and enjoy my role very much. What does an average day look like for you? I start the day by giving the team their tasks for the day. I check the incoming emails for any important messages and deal with them immediately. I also check the abta.com website for any clients who may have instigated a claim with ABTA and deal with those as required. Throughout the day I will help the team with any complaints or responses they may need assistance with. I also assist Iain, the manager of the team with anything he may want help with and also make him tea a couple of times a day. When did you join the company? I joined Barrhead Travel on 25 April 2005. What kind of person would you say is suited to a career in customer service? The kind of person I would say was suited to the customer service department is a hard-working, good team player, has empathy with customers and lastly and probably most importantly is being a good listener. And what advice would you give them? Be open-minded and put yourself in the customer's position. And finally, what’s your favourite thing about working at Barrhead Travel? My favourite thing about working at Barrhead Travel is the camaraderie in the team, the laughs we have reading some of the complaints and what some people complain about. Every day is different at customer services and you never know what is going to happen from one minute to the next. Time flies.
  6. David Hanratty

    Urgently need help

    Hi There, we have arrived in Dubai with a booking through Barrhead Travel. The hotel booking has an error, with the hotel booking stating that we check out on the 21st February but, our flights are booked to return the 22nd February. i have emailed the ticket department and got no response but, also phoned their after care team today and got no answer after ringing for three minutes. No I can’t get through at all? my booking references is 26024144. Really poor service as even the hotel will not help? Any suggestions as we don’t have a room for the Thursday night? David
  7. Jenna

    Twin Centre Holidays

    I am interested in this too, I like the idea of LA, San Diego and San Fran anyone ever done this combo? Would b me, my hubby and 2 kids ages 5 & 10
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  9. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    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?
  10. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    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.
  11. 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?
  12. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    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.
  13. 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.
  14. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    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?
  15. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    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.
  16. 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!
  17. 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.
  18. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    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?
  19. For those of us with a constant urge to explore the world, picking a yearly adventure can be difficult. We could throw a dartboard at a world-map or consultant a travel magazine. But there’s another way to decide where we take our annual holiday – and that’s looking at the stars. Whether you think astrology is a fun feature at the back of a magazine or something a bit more serious, it’s always amusing to see what your star sign says about your personality. So we’ve analysed the stars, compared them to a globe and decided what destinations match which sign of the zodiac. Aries (March 21 – April 19) Australia is perfect for adventurous, fun-loving, high-energy Aries. Book yourself an escorted tour where you can explore the many sides of Australia – whether that’s climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge or diving in the Great Barrier Reef. Taurus (April 20 – May 20) Taureans are smart and ambitious but also appreciate sophisticated surroundings – so we recommend Italy. Whether it’s the ancient sights of Rome or the fine-wines of Tuscany, there’s plenty to keep a cultured Taurus happy. Gemini (May 21 – June 20) We know how easily-bored Geminis can get, so we reckon a multi-stop escorted tour, twin-city or cruise would suit this energetic sign. Especially if the cruise ship is packed with activities: such as Royal Caribbean , Carnival, or NCL . Cancer (June 21 – July 22) Cancer’s like their creature comforts and – just like their animal counterparts – enjoy relaxing on the beach near the water. So we recommend a stay in a luxury Caribbean resort, such as Sandals where everything is included! Leo (July 23 – August 22) It might seem a bit predictable to suggest that the sign represented by a lion embarks on an African safari, but it fits. Leos are outgoing and the life of the party, so an adventurous safari is definitely up their street. Virgo (August 23 – September 22) Highly organised Virgos don’t really need any help planning a holiday as they probably already have a spreadsheet mapping out their next five adventures. However, we know how much Virgos appreciate the beauty and finer things, so we recommend none other than Paris ! Libra (September 23 – October 22) Libra represents balance and – with Venus as their ruling planet – they are also romantics at heart. However, they don’t like anything fast-paced and can be a bit superficial. So we recommend Lake Garda, where there’s beautiful scenery, delicious food, and low-key adventure. Scorpio (October 23 – November 21) Discovering the occult in New Orleans – where else for the dark and mysterious Scorpio? Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21) Symbolised by the archer constellation and ruled by the solar system’s largest planet, Sagittarius is the natural explorer of the zodiac. So we recommend a cruise out to the Galapagos Islands. Capricorn (December 22 – January 19) Capricorns are ambitious and always intimidating people with their curated knowledge – so it has to be a holiday destination that offers world-class museums, and fascinating culture. We recommend either the world powerhouse of Washington DC or the USA’s original capital of Philadelphia . Aquarius (January 20 – February 18) Free-spirited Aquarians will love the adventure that awaits them in Thailand . Whether it’s balancing their mind at a spiritual retreat, exploring ancient temples, or partying on the beach – this independent sign will love exploring this South-East Asian gemstone at their own pace. Pisces (February 19 – March 20) You’re the dreamer of the zodiac with a lot of creative, romantic and spiritual energy. The Islands of Tahiti can be found in the South Pacific and boasts many Pisces-friendly activities from long walks on the beach, delicious food, luxury resorts, and some of the best scuba diving on the planet (home to over 1000 species of fish).
  20. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    A beginner’s guide to Jamaica’s music scene

    Music is a very important part of Jamaican culture. Music helps punctuate certain time periods in the island’s history, and is an incredibly important part of telling the nation’s story. As such, many of its genres were born out of times of struggle or celebration and some of its music festivals run alongside anniversaries and celebrations. Music is so woven into the fabric of Jamaica that you’ll hear its unmistakable beats around every corner. So it’s well worth swotting up with your handy guide before you visit this gorgeous island. The genres Reggae Without a doubt, reggae is the most famous music genre to originate from Jamaica. It has even been credited as the original influence for hip-hop in America. Reggae music at its core, however, is synonymous with both hardship and a good time, both the endurance of and the celebration of overcoming a struggle. Closely linked with the Rastafarian religion, reggae invokes a sense of upliftment and an appreciation of life in all its forms. Mento and folk Folk is the earliest music form in Jamaica and remains one of the most influential aspects of the island’s musical heritage. The music is characterised by three main groups: tunes for work and entertainment, religious melodies, and dance music. Each group has its own harmony, but all share a commonality in the types of accompaniments used, primarily the drum and small wind and string instruments. Towards the turn of the 20th century, the music industry created a vibrant Jamaican music form called Mento. Its medley of banjos, hand drums, guitars and rhumba boxes created a fascinating beat with light-hearted and often times comical lyrics. Ska Ska was a genre that emerged when Jamaica became independent during the 1960’s and is the predecessor to rocksteady and reggae. It is characterised by a walking bass line accented with rhythms on the off-beat, and takes influence from Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues. Ska also managed to make its way to the UK in the 1980s thanks to bands such as The Burial and The Hotknives. Dancehall Dancehall emerged in the late 80s and early 90's as an outgrowth of reggae, and is one of the most popular sub-genres of reggae with the younger generation. One defining feature of dancehall is the use of Jamaican Patois, instead of Jamaican Standard English. There’s also a big focus on the instrumental composition of the song as well. Examples of Dancehall deejays include King’ Yellowman, Shabba Ranks, Shaggy, Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Lady Saw, Capleton, and Bounty Killa. Music Festivals Accompong Maroon Festival The Accompong Maroon Festival is a cultural celebration that commemorates over 200 years since the signing of the peace treaty between the Maroons and the British. The festival marks the victory of the First Maroon War against the British in which they fought for their freedom, led by their late hero Cudjoe. The festival takes place in Accompong each year at some point in January. Emancipation Jubilee Emancipation Jubilee honours the contribution of Jamaica’s ancestors through song, dance, drumming, drama, food and fashion. The highlight of the day is the signature cultural concert beginning at 8pm with the midnight reading of the 1838 Emancipation Proclamation, which granted freedom to slaves on the island. There’s also a farmers’ market, craft village, and food court offering traditional Jamaican cuisine. The annual event, under the theme ‘Emancipation Jubilee: The Genesis’, will be held from July 31st into Emancipation Day on August 1st. Jazz N Cabaret in the Gardens Jazz n Cabaret is a bi-monthly concert series that features performances from acclaimed Jazz performers. It has been running for 17 years and the line-up includes some of the most skilled jazz musicians from the USA, Canada, the Caribbean and South Africa. Aside from the incredible music, there is also food and drink available as well. The Jazz n Cabaret Recurs monthly on the 1st of every month at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. Rebel Salute Every year Organic HEART Group of Companies stages what has become a staple on the live music events calendar. At home at the Richmond Estate in Priory, St. Ann, Rebel Salute delivers the greatest roots reggae show on earth. Even more, Rebel Salute serves a strict vegetarian menu complimented by a diet of cultural roots rap from Reggae’s finest. In tandem with this, is the concept of a drug-free, violence-free and non-alcohol event. Combined with the warm hospitality and abundant culture of the Jamaican people, this event is not one to be missed. Next year’s Rebel Salute will happen in the 18th of January at Priory, St. Ann. Reggae Sumfest The year 2019 marks the 27th anniversary of Jamaica's biggest summer reggae festival, Reggae Sumfest. To mark this occasion, the organisers have expanded the event to a 6 night line-up of activities that will include an All White Blitz party, A Sound system Explosion, Beach Party and along with the 3 main concerts. The 2018 event featured Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, Beres Hammond, Maxi Priest, Cham, Capleton, Jesse Royal, Raging Fyah, Fanton Mojah, Naomi Cowan, PopCaan, Bounty Killa, Sizzla, Spice, Tommy Lee Sparta, Agent Sasco, Ding Dong, I Octane, D-Major and many others. Next year’s Reggae Sumfest will take place between July 13th and July 20th at the Catherine Hall in Montego Bay. Are you a fan of Jamaican music? Which genre is your favourite?
  21. Barrhead Travel and Travelsphere have a long history. When our Travel Consultants have a customer looking for an escorted tour, Travelsphere is one of the suppliers we get in touch with. This is especially true when the customer is looking for an escorted tour that goes off the beaten track and allows the customers a chance to travel like a local. Travelsphere also has their own charity brand, Travelsphere Cares. When customers book specific tours, a donation is automatically given to a good cause – whether it’s conserving wildlife or building a school. On some tours you’ll even be able to see how the money has been spent when you visit the places or meet the people who have benefited. Here are three tours with Barrhead Travel and Travelsphere where some of your money will go towards a good cause. 1. Grand Tour of India Since 2011, Travelsphere has given support to the Salaam Baalak Trust. This non-profit charity has provided care and assistance to the street children of Delhi and Mumbai for nearly thirty years. The vulnerable youngsters of these inner cities are helped by the Salaam Baalak Trust in a multitude of ways, including: both formal and informal education, drop in shelters, mental and physical health care, sports clubs, vocational training and also job placements. Its activities have resulted in over 5,000 children per year benefiting from the Trust’s activities. Whilst in Delhi, travellers will have the opportunity to walk with some of the inspirational former street children who now work with the Salaam Baalak trust themselves. 2. Epic Peru The Schools in Need project is a school improvement project as part of Travelsphere’s Peru tours and in partnership with Condor Wings. With no impact on the children’s learning, we have supported the construction of an additional toilet block facility at the Choco School. This is a very small school in the rural community of Choco and the help that has been given has been hugely important and warmly received. On this tour several groups have visited the school and seen first-hand the positive effect that simply the availability of an extra functioning toilet block can have. 3. Tanzania Serengeti Safari and Kenya & Tanzania Grand Safari The Masai Clean Cookstoves scheme has been designed to tackle the dangerous effects that some traditional cooking methods have, producing large amounts of smoke in enclosed spaces. This affects the health of millions of people and causes many deaths each year. Through Travelsphere’s support, funds are given that allow local women to both construct and fit new cookstoves in their communal buildings. After seven days on safari, travellers on these tours will have the chance to visit a community where this innovative work is taking place and making a massive difference.
  22. Laney

    New York

    Can anyone tell me if its expensive to to go New York first week in december etc flights/ accom excursions would like to go for 5 nights any info would be great.
  23. We witness a lot of holiday trends here at Barrhead Travel. Every year we watch certain iconic destinations (such as New York City and Orlando) getting booked in droves, along with the family-friendly, sun-drenched destinations of Majorca and Turkey. But every year we also spot a few places climbing in popularity, and 2018 was no different. We’ve had a look at our bookings (and holiday trends, generally) and we’ve compiled a list of 10 holiday destinations that we reckon will become more popular in the next 12 months (so get in there now!). Lisbon If you’re looking for a European city break that is popular enough that it has loads to offer but still boasts a lot of native charm – we recommend Lisbon. The quaint Portuguese capital is a great spot for seafood, architecture and history (from Roman imperialists to exotic Berber pirates). Atlantic Canada For decades, Vancouver, Toronto, Niagara Falls, the Rocky Mountains, and the Calgary Stampede have typically battled it out to be Canada’s top destination. But Atlantic Canada is now creeping in there. Collectively made up of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland & Labrador, Atlantic Canada offers history, low-key adventures, and copious amounts of seafood. Plus, Halifax is only a six-hour flight from the UK! Perth, Western Australia Australia has always been a popular holiday destination, but we’ve seen a rise in the number of people travelling to Western Australia. Which isn’t surprising given that it offers everything that makes Australia a great holiday destination: surf, unique wildlife, incredible landscapes, and a bustling cosmopolitan capital. Egypt Tourist numbers to Egypt have increased in recent years, especially for resort-style holidays. But in 2019 there’s an extra special reason to visit the capital of Cairo: the grand opening of the 5.2-million-square-foot Grand Egyptian Museum (which is set to be the world’s largest museum devoted to a single civilisation). Tahiti Bora Bora gained mainstream attention in 2011 thanks to the Kardashians, and interest in the luxury Islands of Tahiti hasn’t disappeared. The islands boast incredible scuba diving opportunities (1000+ species of fish and 30m of visibility!), high chances of spotting a humpback whale, and the world’s original water bungalow! It’s ideal if you’re looking for a luxury break with your other half (it’s also an incredible destination for a honeymoon or wedding). Galway Dublin has always been a popular choice for Brits looking for a cheap and easy city break – but the west coast city of Galway has gained increased interest recently (thanks to a certain Ed Sheeran song). If you’re after traditional Irish pubs (with dancing!), medieval city walls, and some of the best oysters in Europe – then you’re in the right place. Jerusalem Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world, but modern touches (including a high-speed train) have been popping up across the city. Not to mention that in 2019 the city will be hosting Eurovision! Turkey If you’re looking for a sun-filled, all-inclusive family holiday we recommend Turkey. Last year it was one of our most popular (and cheapest) short-haul breaks for families. Dalaman and Antalya are the most popular places in Turkey. Deep South of America The USA was as popular as ever in 2018, with Florida, Las Vegas and California coming out top. However, the Deep South is creeping in with an increased number of visitors to the cities of New Orleans, Atlanta, Memphis, and Nashville. Hong Kong If it’s Asia you’ve turned your attention towards this year, Hong Kong was one our most booked destinations last year. Part of its appeal is its easy access to other areas of South-East Asia, making it a great base for a wider continent-wide itinerary (it’s also a popular stop off before Australia and New Zealand). Where will 2019 take you? Let us know in the comments!
  24. Atlantis the Palm is one of Dubai’s most iconic hotels. If you’re not familiar with the name, you will be familiar with the photos. This palace-like resort hotel sits at the end of the manmade Palm Island with coral walls and a giant archway. And, like everything else in Dubai, it offers luxury and excitement throughout. Not sure what is on offer at Atlantis the Palm? Here are 10 things you can expect. An on-site waterpark Aquaventure Waterpark is considered one of the best waterparks in Dubai. That waterslide that shoots through a pool of sharks, which you’ve probably seen images of? It’s here, along with 16 other attractions. Beach-front location Atlantis the Palm looks out onto Royal Beach, a 1.4 kilometre stretch of pristine sand. From the water, you can look back at the shore and witness the stunning architecture of Atlantis the Palm itself and the striking Dubai skyline. 23 restaurants No matter what food you’re craving, you won’t need to go into Dubai itself to find it. Whether it’s Japanese, Steak, Lebanese, or a good old-fashioned buffet – you’ll find it at Atlantis the Palm. Including celebrity branded restaurants Celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay, Giorgio Locatelli, and Nobu Matsuhisa all have restaurants at Atlantis the Palm. And you can dine under the stars If you’re visiting Atlantis the Palm with your sweetheart, book yourselves a romantic sunset dinner along Royal Beach. Including a bottle of Champagne, set menu and some romantic stargazing. Group bookings are also welcome. Its own Aquarium Home to over 65,000 marine animals, this aquarium might be one of the largest you’ll witness. So large you can book yourself a diving tour of it - or you can opt for a relaxing yoga session from the viewing floor. Exclusive activities for children and teenagers On top of all the family-friendly activities we’ve already mentioned, there are also activities just for the little ones. There’s a babysitting service, a kids club for 3-12 year-olds (which includes PlayStations and an underwater theatre), and the teen-only Zone. Boutique shopping Whether you need to pick up some stylish swimwear, souvenirs, or even some high-end jewellery – you’ll find it in the on-site shopping mall. ShuiQi Fitness Centre You can also maintain your fitness regime while staying at Atlantis the Palm. The state-of-the-art fitness centre includes fitness equipment, exercise classes, and even one-to-one personal training sessions. Elegant rooms and suites Atlantis the Palm offers some of the most luxurious rooms in Dubai. Their Guest Rooms offer either views of the ocean or of Dubai itself, and include a walk-in shower with separate bath, 24-room service, and complimentary WiFi. Or if you require extra space, you can opt for a suite. These range from the Terrace Club Suite, which includes a balcony for sunbathing or alfresco dining. Through to the Two Bedroom Family Suite, which can accommodate up to 6 guests.
  25. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    10 things to do in Halifax, Nova Scotia

    Halifax is a beautiful town with a fascinating history. As such, it is home to an incredible assortment of enriching visitor attractions. And the scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean certainly don’t hurt. Halifax is also small in comparison to other cities, so you’ll easily make your way around all these sights within a week-long holiday. It’s just a matter of deciding which one to start with. 1. Admire Titanic artefacts at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic Nova Scotia is the closest landmass to the final resting place of the ill-fated Titanic. As such, many artefacts washed up on its shores and are now on display in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. The Museum is home to a permanent Titanic exhibition, which includes wreck wood, mortuary bags (many of those who perished are buried in Halifax), and a pair of washed-up children’s shoes. 2. Discover the stories of over 1 million immigrants at Pier 21 Pier 21 is to Canada what Ellis Island is to the USA. It operated as an ocean liner terminal and immigration shed from 1928 to 1971, and is now the home of The Canadian Museum of Immigration. At the museum, you can view the crates Dutch immigrants used to bring all their belongings across the Atlantic, play dress-up in period costumes, and take their Customs Challenge to see which of your items will be allowed or confiscated. 3. Stroll through the Halifax Public Gardens The Halifax Public Gardens is the oldest Victorian Garden in North America. Officially opened in 1867, the Public Gardens has retained their original Victorian character, and organise horticultural and historical tours. During the summer the gardens are usually open between 7am to 1/2 an hour before sunset. 4. Experience the craftsmanship of hand-made crystals at NovaScotian Crystal NovaScotian Crystal is Canada's (and one of the very few in the world) only maker of mouth-blown, hand-cut crystals. They employ the traditional tools and techniques of European crystal makers that were brought to Canadian shores by Irish immigrants. NovaScotian Crystal ship internationally, but they have a physical shop along the Halifax Waterfront. You can also watch their craftsman work their magic in the Showroom. 5. Hike along secluded trails on McNabs Island McNabs Island is over 22 km (14 mi) of hiking trails, a variety of forested and coastal settings, historic sites, and interpretive panels. It once played a major role in defending Halifax Harbour, and is home to the fascinating Fort McNab. It is also a hot spot for bird watching. 6. Eat local produce at Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market Halifax is home to an incredible selection of farms, wineries, and local food manufacturers. One of the best ways to sample these delicacies is to visit the Seaport Farmers’ Market, where you can sample and purchase a wide variety of products from baked goods, hand-made soaps, fresh fish, independent jewellery, locally brewed alcohol, and local crafts. 7. Tour one of the oldest breweries in North America Alexander Keith Brewery was founded in 1820 and tours are organised by guides dressed in period clothing. India Pale Ale is the most popular beer brewed at Alexander Keith’s Brewery, but you can also try other brews, like Red Amber Ale, Premium White and Original Cider. Tours of the brewery last around one hour, including tastings (if you are of legal drinking age). After the tour, you can shop in its on-site store. 8. Appreciate Atlantic Canada’s largest art collection at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia collects, preserves, and exhibits more than 17,000 artworks. It focuses on visual artists with strong ties to Nova Scotia (such as Maud Lewis) and the other Atlantic Provinces. Aside from their permanent collection, they also host temporary exhibitions that, in the past, have included Autism Arts, Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience, and Gold: A Nova Scotia Treasure. 9. Become a soldier for a day at Halifax Citadel National Historic Site Halifax’s ocean-side location has made it a natural target for military invasion over the years – so obviously a good defence lookout was in order. Completed in 1856, Halifax Citadel National Historic Site is officially called Fort George (named after Britain’s King George II) and is actually the fourth in a series of forts to sit atop what is now known as Citadel Hill. The Halifax Citadel National Historic Site gives visitors the opportunity to explore the history of the fortress. Tour the Halifax Citadel Army Museum, which showcases Canadian military history, starting with the First World War and its "Road to Vimy and Beyond" exhibit through to modern-day conflict. Or sign up for the three-hour Soldier for a Day program where you’ll get fitted for an authentic uniform, learn to drill, and fire a rifle (or, for those under 16, play the British Army’s field drum). 10. Wander along Halifax Waterfront boardwalk at sunset To mark the end of your Halifax adventure we recommend taking a relaxing sunset stroll along the Waterfront. While many of the businesses and shops (some of which we’ve mentioned above) will be closed by this point, this the best place in the city to catch an Atlantic Canada sunset.
  26. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    Getting married in….Jamaica

    With its sapphire waters and white-sand beaches, Jamaica is one of the most romantic locations on earth. So it’s not hard to understand why so many couples choose the island as the backdrop to their special day. Not only that, but it is incredibly easy to get married in Jamaica. Only 24 hours need to have passed between arriving and walking down the aisle, and many resort hotels offer wedding packages so you can enjoy your day with ease. Plus, you can immediately start enjoying your honeymoon from the minute you say ‘I Do’ with a wide range of romantic attractions. Here’s our guide to everything you need to know about getting married in Jamaica. Resorts Jamaica is home to a plethora of luxury, all-inclusive resorts – many of which offer incredible wedding packages. Here are just three of our favourites (that you can book through us). Sandals Resorts Sandals Resorts require no introduction, but did you know they also offer Free Weddings if you stay three nights or more? This includes preparation of wedding documents, a manicure for the bride, a ceremony location, unlimited guest seating, a bouquet, pre-recorded musical accompaniment of your choice, wedding cake, and reception. Not only that but if you stay 6 nights or longer you’ll receive $500 Wedding Credit to design your own dream wedding. Moon Palace Jamaica If you’re looking for a modern resort that offers amenities to keep all members of your wedding party entertained, then look no further than Moon Palace. The resort is home to four swimming pools, a wave simulator, five restaurants, 24-hour coffee shop, and nightly entertainment. They also offer a Wedding Package that includes a wedding coordinator, a minister, a decorated ceremony location, bridal bouquet, single-tier wedding cake, sparkling wine, recorded music, free honeymoon package, and a wedding registry. Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall If you’re, however, looking for something quiet and intimate we recommend Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall. This adult-only resort boasts swimming pools, beach butler service, two a la carte restaurants, and an incredible section of watersports. Their Wedding Package includes a wedding coordinator, wedding certificate, ceremony location, bridal bouquet, wedding cake, sparkling wine toast, an audio system for the ceremony, romantic dinner for the couple, and couples massage. DIY Weddings It is, however, possible to organise a DIY wedding in Jamaica. The Jamaica Tourist Board has an entire section of their website dedicated to independent wedding suppliers. This includes Wedding Planners, Entertainment, Bakers & Caterers, Florists, Bridal Wear, and Photographers. Legal Matters Jamaica’s care-free vibe extends to its marriage laws. Visitors can be married 24 hours after arriving in Jamaica, providing prior application has been made for a marriage license to the Ministry of Justice. The application must be submitted to: Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice NCB Towers 2 Kensington Crescent Kingston 5 Jamaica Along with the following documentation: Proof of citizenship - certified copy of birth certificate, which includes father’s name Parent’s written consent if under 18 years of age Proof of divorce if applicable (original certificate of divorce) Certified copy of death certificate for widow or widower All documents that are not issued in English must be translated by an Official Translator and subsequently certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country of residence and by the nearest Jamaican Mission or Honorary Consulate. Overall, the processing fee for the Marriage License is Four Thousand Jamaican Dollars (approximately US$50.00). The marriage license is valid for 3 months and the application is a same day process. If you have any other questions about getting married in Jamaica? Leave them in the comments and we’ll answer them for you.
  27. I booked and paid deposit for cruise, Today, Saturday about e o’clock. Operator said I should have my dashboard details within half an hour or so. Saturday night and still nothing from barrhead. My cruise is showing in my royal Caribbean account but don’t have dashboard details from Barrhead travel yet Ray
  28. Morag@BarrheadTravel

    Why you should visit Lanzarote in the winter

    Autumn has officially hit the UK and the cooler nights are setting in. So you’d be forgiven if you find yourself browsing holiday destinations looking for winter sun. If you are looking for a quick holiday to break up the darker nights, we thoroughly recommend the island of Lanzarote. It’s fantastic all year round, but there are a few things that make the winter season extra special. 1. The weather The most obvious reason to visit Lanzarote in the winter months is the weather. Daytime temperatures in winter vary from 19 to 26 degrees, falling only to 16 to 19 at night. Even the surrounding ocean doesn’t dip below 19 degrees. There’s also a chance that you’ll get a better tan during the winter too, as the UV factor isn’t as fierce so you can stay out in it longer. 2. Hiking Lanzarote is an outdoor enthusiasts dream, and many energetic visitors prefer the later months of the year when the air is a bit cooler. Hillwalking and hiking are especially popular in the winter. 3. Watersports Lanzarote loves watersports, and they are available all year round. Windsurfing, kayaking, and paddle boarding are especially popular. 4. The landscape Lanzarote is famous for its breath-taking lunar-esque landscapes. But something changes about them in winter, aka the start of the island’s growing season. The hills tend to blossom with the most amazing wild flowers, and you’ll see blossoms and fruit all over the hills. 5. Whale-watching More than 26 species of whales and dolphin reside in the warm waters of Lanzarote – many of them permanent residents. 6. Carnival February is Carnival time in Lanzarote. It is a huge affair with outlandish costumes, music, dancing in the streets, drag queen competitions, a Carnival queen contest and performances. A new theme is selected every year, but there’s always a float and the Burial of the Sardine Parade - where locals pretend they are actually at the ‘funeral’ of a sardine, where it gets cremated in a huge bonfire, marking the end of the Carnival celebrations. 7. Gastronomy-themed festivals The island’s biggest food festival, Tasting Lanzarote Enogastronomic Festival, is held every November in La Villa de Teguise with many visitors booking their holiday to coincide with the dates. Lanzarote boasts a delectable local foodie scene – including fresh Atlantic seafood, award-winning cheese, and volcanic wines – so it’s well worth visiting when the locals bring it all together. 8. The Three Kings Parade Christmas works a little differently in Lanzarote. On the 5th of January, Lanzarote has a camel procession that includes the Three Wise Men (who bring the children their gifts) who will go through the towns handing out sweets to children. You’ll also find a variety of cakes available, some with a king hidden inside and some with a bean. If you get the king you get the cake for free (but pay if you find a bean). Have you ever visited Lanzarote in the winter? What was your favourite thing about the island in the later months?
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