Thursday, August 30, 2007

Advance vacation planning

Nothing like dreaming of a vacation when you just know that it's going to be impossible to take one, right? Well, actually a bit of vicarious vacationing is not so bad after all and it makes sense to be prepared with all the information on a destination that you like, so you can plan a trip quickly and efficiently when you have a chance. I especially look out for vacation homes when we travel as they are just a more fun way of spending a vacation with the family, rather than being in individual hotel rooms.

For the winter, we've been thinking of taking one of those Newport beach vacation rentals that are located right by the water and have a fabulous view from every direction. It would be a great way to just spend time with the family there or maybe even go in for San Diego vacation rentals, where there are lots of activities on the beach and in Sea World. At Goin2travel, it is possible to connect with vacation rental owners on a worldwide basis and find all the details one wants from the owners themselves. It's a great way to set up a vacation.

Spending summer in magnificent New Zealand

I've never been to New Zealand or Australia and they seem to be the destinations of the moment and are being written about and featured on every travel show or movie that I see lately. Now is a great time to plan a trip to New Zealand for summer months of December through March. Besides the big cities on both the North and South Islands, there are lots of magnificent places to stay as well. Hotels in Auckland are known to offer some of the finest food and hotels in Wellington are known for their old world charm, which is something that I definitely do not want to miss. Mount Victoria in Wellington is one of the spots I have already earmearked for our trip.

Another destination that I have planned to go to is Christchurch, which is by far one of the most beautiful locations ever and hotels in Christchurch are always offering some great deal or the other, whether you are planning months in advance or just a last minute trip. While not all of New Zealand is as easily accessable as its three largest cities, smaller and less known destinations are also worth attempting.

Finding travel information

Each time we travel to a new destination, I love to read up on its history, geography and culture, since that is a great way to make the trip so much more well rounded than just a regular touristic jaunt. Since we're currently traveling back and forth between Dubai and Delhi, I've been spending lots of my reading time on the amazing developments in the city of Dubai, which is by far one of the most interesting cities in the world.

I read a great blog post about the three most futuristic cities in the world and of course, Dubai was included, along with Tokyo and Hong Kong, which are both cities that we would love to live in at some point of our lives. The RatesToGo site has information on lots of cities across the world and also has some fun tips and information on the airline industry, such as a post on airlines planning to introduce sleeper beds on long haul flights.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Running up miles...

We've been doing lots of traveling these past few weeks and have run up quite a few miles on our rental car. Thankfully, gas is so cheap it doesn't really matter. Having a car is of the utmost importance here, since there is no good public transportation system, although there is one being consructed at present. Let's hope it gets done by the time we are still here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Travel inspired by books

Spain has long been on my list of must visit places and I hope to travel there in the near future. Rather than reading travel guides, I love to read books about cities that create a much more fuller picture about a city, books like James Michener's Iberia or Carlos Ruiz Zafon's Shadow of the Wind which is set in Barcelona or John Berendt's City of Fallen Angels which is set in Venice. These are great ways to get inspiration to visit a city and visit the nooks and crannies that only the locals know about.

Hotels in Barcelona vary from the ultra modern to the ultra classic, so you can be assured that you will be able to find great hotels en Barcelona, no matter when you go. Making a visit to Barcelona as well as Madrid makes a lot of sense, since there are lots of daily flights between the two cities, since the flights are quite short and there is no long check in time required beforehand. Hotels in Madrid are available in all ranges and its best to see what area you want to stay in before making a reservation. Hotels en Madrid usually have a great sense of ambience in their decor and it's definitely worth staying at one of the many hip hotels in the city. Train journey's between the two cities take anywhere between 5 and 6 hours, so flights are usually the best option.

Maximizing space

Going to Ikea has been a great place to get ideas on how to maximise the space available and create the best possible use for it. More than the products themselves, I love going to Ikea to see new ways of placing things together and utilizing each and every available space. Most people think that doing this is only for those who live in small spaces, but even in the largest of homes, one needs to have a spot for everything, a place that simplifies the job whether it is cooking or washing or ironing. And that's what Ikea is simply superb at.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Taking a culinary tour of Europe

One of the best things about being in Europe is the close proximity to so many other European cities where you can fly to at the drop of a hat. Take Vienna and Berlin for example, they are the perfect cities to visit if you're on a tour of some of the best confectionaries ever concocted, a tour that we'd love to take, if it existed! Hotels in Berlin are known to be priced quite high, but they are some great options in the city as well if you book Hotels Deutsche, which has lots of special deals for hotels in Berlin.

Vienna is all about its great architecture, classicial music, the waltz and its unique patisseries, and finding hotels in Vienna can be quite a difficult task at times. Berlin and Vienna are great ways to start a culinary tour of Europe and its best to get hotels in Vienna using such a site, rather then depend on expensive travel agents. Lufthansa has lots of direct flights between the two cities, and there are also lots of cheaper airlines where you can get great deals online.

Back and forth

Visiting a new country is always a great experience and to be able to live in several countries is one of the best ways to grow. We're currently on a long visit to Dubai, as in I will be traveling back and forth for work between here and Delhi every month, and I have been busy finding a place to stay here and getting things set up for our stay here. We have found a nice apt in a villa in Al Twar 2, which is a relatively quiet area of the city, but is rather well connected to the airport, the Northern Emirates, as well as Marina, Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi. Living in a villa, means that we have to have everything organized by ourselves instead of depending on an apartment management to take care of maintainance etc. It's been a fun ride, and I've got most of the furniture and appliances in already and will move there in a couple of days. More news later...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Poipu beach: the world's best beach

Did you know that Poipu was named the number one beach in the world by National Geographic Traveler? I didn't either and was fascinated that a relatively unknown beach was awarded this highly coveted place. Poipu is located on the island of Kauai in Hawaii and is where some of the best and most luxurious resorts are located in Hawaii. Even though most of us general travelers might not know about Poipu, it has been attracting luxury travelers with their Poipu vacation homes for quite some time and has some truly amazing resorts.

Poipu seems to have the best of everything to make a perfect vacation, from surfing to beautiful beaches and the best of homes. Choices in Poipu vacation rentals range from secluded cottages on the beach to large condos or villas, so you can create the perfect vacation. Staying in one of the Poipu condos would be a great way to spend a vacation, I think, as they have been designed to maximise the scenic beauty. Here's hoping we get to go there soon ourselves!

Exploring

I finally went to Lime Tree yesterday and simply loved everything about it. The food was great, their servings huge, and the atmosphere casual and eclectic. The cream cheese brownies are huge, rich and delicious and quite different from all others I have had in the US. It's a great place to relax and have a nice meal or just go for some deserts also. Another little gem of a place seems to be the cafe hidden away in The One, which is just a couple of houses away and is definitely something I want to try out soon. The One is a great place for contemporary furniture and has lots of styles in clean, spare lines, with a few extravagant pieces thrown in as well. Overall, I really like their stuff and am looking forward to getting some stuff for the house from there.

Almost time to move in!

It's been quite some time since I last posted here. Lots has been going on but things are heading in the right direction and we're making headway in getting settled. We got our furniture in the house yesterday and today all the appliances will be delivered, so it's getting to be time for us to move in. Shopping and searching for stuff has been fun and chaotic, since there's just so much choice. Overall a great experience so far.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Europe is calling!

All this running around is making me long for a vacation, more than ever before. When you know a vacation is out of the question due to time constraints is when it becomes all the more appealing, right? Well, that is exactly what I am feeling now. I was supposed to be searching for some places to buy household stuff, and instead I ended up at EasyToBook, a travel site that can create a customized vacation for you, a thought that is rather tempting.

I would love to just take off to some place in Europe like Prague that is full of amazing architecture and culture, where I could imbibe the local atmosphere and forget about all the pending work. Prague hotels are known for their great combination of value and beauty, so it seems like a good place to start. It's not always easy to pin down just one destination in Europe, so a cuple of other places like Rome and Barcelona would be great as well. Hotels in Europe are so different from elsewhere in the world, as they offer so much more than just a room to stay in and that's exactly what makes them so appealing.

Surfacing again!

It's been quite a while since I got a breather to post here. The time off from blogging has been spent prodictively though and we're on our way to getting things set up as they should be. They are taking longer than they should but that's an expected part of moving and traveling. The next few months are going to be extremely hectic as we're going to be traveling a lot, especially me, as I am planning to be in and out for work and family matters. So things are going to be quite unsettled, but that's part of the fun I guess.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Is there time enough for a quick break?

With everything that has been going on around us, what we really need is a quick break to a destination such as Hawaii, where you can let go of all your daily worries and break free from daily routines to completely chill and recover from our tough packing schedule. Hawaiian Beach Rentals is the perfect place to start your travel Hawaii vacation and find just that vacation and I've been glued to their site since morning, trying to figure out just which place I want to go to first.

What makes Hawaiian Beach Rentals so interesting is that besides some of the best Hawaiian travel info they also offer a special brand of eco-tourism, in an effort to preserve the environment for future generations. Since the economy of Hawaii is so dependent on tourism, it is imperative that the environment be protected from harsh chemicals that most large hotels use, chemicals that are extremely harmful for the environment. Hawaiian Beach Rentals believe in 'green hotels', that use less power and pollute the atmosphere less, both essentials if the beauty of Hawaii is to be maintained.

On a break

I'm in Delhi for a couple of days on a break before I head out to finding an apartment and buying furniture and appliances. It's been a much needed reprieve and I am making full use of it. The luggage I had shipped here has also arrived and will be delivered tomorrow, so everything is as it should be. Once I leave, it will be off to a new and very exciting part of our lives, one that is sure to enrich our lives as well as our bank balances!!