Archive for November, 2010
Today is Thanksgiving in the USA, and since TravAddict is based in the USA, we are spending the day relaxing, eating turkey and watching football!
In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared a feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations. In 1863, it was President Abraham Lincoln that proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November. So, we feast!
TravAddict is mostly giving thanks to the invention of travel!!!!
Tis the season for booking your summer trip to Europe! There are so many options to choose from when booking your adventure trip to Europe, and this week we thought we would give you some insight into a great option with maximum flexibility.
Busabout is a great option for independent travelers who want the opportunity to change their mind as their trip develops. It's a great feeling knowing that when you arrive in a new European city, you can decide to stay a week instead a night if you choose to! Busabout Explorer gives you the flexibility to do exactly that. See as much as you can on a whirlwind trip or kick back and take your time – Busabout's Loops are valid all season! We recommend checking out Busabout's North, West and South loop as it features all of the possible European cities you can visit with Busabout's Hop-on-Hop-off network.
Here is how it works:
Bus days can be pre-booked online or with the guides on the buses and you are free to change your mind as often as you want (just be careful round the super-busy times – Oktoberfest and Pamplona for example). The beauty of Busabout is the endless opportunity to do your own thing. You can start and finish your tour in Europe anywhere on the network, and with buses picking up every 2 days from every destination your travel plans have unlimited possibilities. Loop passes enable you to focus on a few corners of Europe or cover the entire network.
Busabout's North, West and South loop is priced from only $1339USD per person, but does not include any accommodation.
Neuschwanstein Castle is a true fairytale castle, and TravAddict agrees it feels like a fairytale when you visit this magical German Castle Walt Disney was inspired Neuschwantein when he designed Cinderella’s Castle. The building was begun in 1869, and was left unfinished at Ludwig the 2nd’s death in 1886. Ludwig ruled Bavaria for 23 years until his death at age 41. Essentially Ludwig was a talentless eccentric man, who had a lifelong struggle not just with a mental illness, but homosexuality as well. After visiting the Palace of Versailles in France he wanted an extravagant castle too. His grandiose Neushwanstein castle capped a building boom that nearly bankrupted Bavaria. Rather than deal with politics in the Bavarian capital of Munich, Ludwig spent most of his time constructing his fanciful Castle. Although he spent 17 years building it, he lived in it only 172 days. Eventually Ludwig was declared mentally unfit to rule Bavaria and was taken away from Neushwanstein (it is believed that he was schizophrenic). Two days after his eviction, he was found dead in a lake close to Munich. To this day, people debate whether he was murdered or he committed suicide. The tour of the castle takes about half an hour, but you need to either walk up a lot of stairs to get there, or you can catch a trolley or horse-drawn cart. You would want to dedicate a few hours for the visit.
This is a great day-trip from Munich, or a great stop if you are driving through Germany.
Topdeck Travel, Intrepid Travel, Tucan Travel and Busabout have some great options for tours that travel to Germany.
With Topdeck Travel being the newest adventure travel vendor to join TravAddict, we thought it would be fitting to feature one of their trips this week. We have chosen Topdeck's Discover Europe tour, as we think it is a great well-rounded trip to see a diversity of European destinations in only 28 days.
Topdeck is one of the world’s leading tour operators for 18-30 something travelers, and what we like most about Topdeck is that they are the only tour company in Europe with a no-tipping policy!
Topdeck's Discover Europe visits 15 countries – France, Andorra, Spain, Monaco, Switzerland, Italy, Vatican City, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands & Belgium. The trip stays in 2* & 3* hotels with plenty of local charm and character.
The trip starts and finishes in London, and includes the following:
27 breakfasts (B), 14 dinners (D)
27 nights hotel accommodation on a twin share basis
Sightseeing tours of all major cities
Local guide in Florence
English Channel ferry crossings
Modern air-conditioned coach
Escorted services of a fully trained Trip Leader and Driver
Discover Europe is priced from $4770 USD per person. TravAddict posts up to date Topdeck Travel Reviews from past travelers to help you learn more about what other travelers thought.
TravAddict is excited to welcome our latest Adventure tour vendor, Topdeck Travel! TravAddict is now selling Topdeck trips to Europe, with Australia, New Zealand and Africa to follow. To celebrate Topdeck's launch on TravAddict, we are honored to interview Topdeck's Managing Director, James Nathan, to get an insight into what Topdeck offers young travelers:
1. Can you tell us a little about Topdeck, and the type of traveler that is best suited to travel with Topdeck?
A: Topdeck is unique within the travel industry as it was born (literally) in a retired London Double Decker Bus. It all started way back in 1973 when a young Australian Vet whilst working in England came up with the idea of converting these old "Red Rattlers" by installing bunks upstairs and seating and kitchen downstairs . So .. these buses went from plying the streets of London to travelling the back-roads to Moscow, Katmandu, Sydney and numerous ports between. At one point Topdeck had over 90 of these buses travelling throughout Europe and Asia. Alas, power steering, air conditioning and the odd European regulation spelt the death of this form of travel. Topdeck has continued to expand however continuing the pioneering spirit of yesterday now boasting a huge range of holidays that extend from Christchurch to Reykjavik.
All Topdeck's adventure trips are designed for young people, actually the company does have an age limit … "18 to 30 somethings" which translates to 18 to 39, although the average age is 24. Being designed for younger people, a large percentage of the passengers are single although couples are welcome and well catered for via the company's hotel range of trips. Other trips include camping in 2 person tents or Euroclub which are primarily hostel based trips.
2. TravAddict is passionate about group travel. Can you tell us what your past travelers love most about traveling with a Topdeck group?
A. I guess the main attraction of Topdeck style group travel is firstly the hassle free nature of the trips. We supply young, well educated and competent road crew who do the worrying whilst our passengers enjoy the sights. Meeting other young people from all over the world who are also passionate about travel is another compelling reason as is the cost effectiveness of this form of travel when compared to doing it yourself. As we have been involved in youth travel for over 40 years we also have a thorough understanding of young people's travel requirements and one of these is free time. In other words they want us to show the sights but then have the time and flexibility to explore on their own.
3. What do you think is the hottest destination of the season?
A. Our hottest destinations at present are Egypt and Croatia. Both very different but compelling tourist destinations in their own right. Egypt because the fascination of the their early civilisations just never ceases to amaze and Croatia because of its stunning coastline , including 1100 islands. One of these Pag, is a Topdeck favourite…. sleepy and laid back for most of the year yet roaring to life in summer when visited by some of the world's top DJ's its then that it's night scene rivals Ibiza and Cancun.
4. What advice would you give TravAddict members who want to book a Topdeck Trip?
A. The advice I would give anyone coming on a Topdeck Trip is open your minds to a huge range of experiences and cultures, bring a sense of fun and adventure and get set for the trip of a lifetime!
Thanks to James Nathan for his insight into what Topdeck Travel offers. Visit TravAddict to learn more about Topdeck, and search their trips to Europe!
To celebrate the release of Shamrocker's 2011 departure dates, we have chosen their 7 day All Ireland Rocker tour as our trip of the week! Ireland is a great destination to travel to, and spring is a great time to be there! With the spirit of St Patrick in the air, the Irish know how to show you a good time.
All of Shamrocker's tour guides are Irish, and they are knowledgeable and passionate about their country. Shamrocker Adventures aims to make your trip as flexible as possible by not including the accommodation , but still pre-booking a great hostel option for you if you wish to use it. Shamrocker guarantees all of their trips, and they have never canceled a departure! Their prices are fantastic, and you are sure to have a great craic!
The trip includes:
> Michelstown Caves
> Giants Causeway
> Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
> Dunluce Castle
> Cliffs of Moher
> Transfer and ferry to Inis Mor
> Traditional Irish 'session'
> Blarney Castle
Accommodation is guaranteed on all trips – Shamrocker reserve the beds and you pay as you go. The price is between €18 and €22 per person per night in shared dorm accommodation.