Isle of Man Bike Rentals with Green Wheelers

Isle of Man – The small Island country found between Ireland, Scotland and England.  The whole island can be discovered over the course of a few days using a combination of foot, tram (pulled by a horse!), steam/electric rail, bus and bicycle.  If being outdoors is your thing, the island is very bicycle friendly and offers courses for all levels.  For those who are more experienced, the perimeter of the whole island can be cycled in a day.  For those who are not as ambitious, luckily there is Green Wheelers Bike Tours.

Green Wheelers offers both bike rentals and tours for beginner to intermediate cyclists.  The best part is, if you’re not sure what level you are, Green Wheelers’ bicycles are all battery assisted allowing you to adjust the difficulty as you go.  It is recommended that you do at least one tour with Green Wheelers and then rent their bicycles to discover the rest of the island on your own.

One must-do experience is to go to the West side of the island where the roads run along the coast line.  From there, you can do an epic downhill ride down to the ocean.  Don’t worry though, you have your battery assistance to get you back up if needed!

Steam Packet Isle of Man Ferry Review and Seat Class Comparison

If you’re off to Isle of Man, there are two way to get there; by Ferry or plane.  Although the flight may only be 45 minutes, if you factor in having to go early, the security lineups and the fact that the Isle of Man airport isn’t in Douglas, the ferry is a very pleasant and efficient alternative, taking about 3-hours each way.  The best part, the Ferry terminal docks in the heart of Douglas.

The main difference between the economy tickets, is the location of the seats.  The ones near the front of the boat (with the best view) are slightly more expensive, but all economy tickets allow you to access most of the amenities.  The restaurant on the ferry is reasonably priced and has a good selection of food and drinks.  For those travelling with kids, there is a play area, alongside a separate two theatres to keep both adults and kids entertained.  Finally, if you’re brave enough, be sure to go out on the deck to get some fresh ocean air!

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Gotland Ferry Difference in Economy Versus Lounge Seats and General Tips

Considering Gotland, Sweden?  There’s two ways to get there – By plane and by ferry.  Although the flight may only be 45 minutes, if you factor in having to go early and the security lineups the ferry is a very pleasant and efficient alternative, taking about 3-hours each way.

If you’re in Stockholm, the closest port is Nynäshamn, which takes about 1 hour to get to by train from the main Stockholm station.  It will cost about 200SEK each way.  Tip: If you take this train, be careful at Västerhaninge station as half the train separates and goes back to Stockholm.  Make sure you’re in the front half of the train and if the train suddenly empties, be sure to pay attention!

Once you arrive at Nynäshamn, walk south on the main road (along the same side as the water) for about 5 minutes to arrive at the departure area.  Note that similar to planes, you will have to check suitcases, but there is no limit to carry-ons so long as you can carry it all yourself.

 

Tickets and Difference Between Economy, Aft Lounge, Front Lounge, Pet Lounge, and Cabin

The main difference between the lounge seats is mostly location.  The front lounge seats with the best views are the most expensive, whereas the economy seats are usually in the middle (with no window) or just general seating the the restaurant area.  The Pet Lounge is obviously for those travelling with pets.

For the most part, the extra price is not worth it as you get access to everything else regardless of seat class.  If you want complete privacy, the individual cabins come with small beds and showers.

Tip: If you don’t want to battle the crowds, take the ‘Cargo Departure’ ship.  It’s the same boat, but due to laws around cargo and passengers, they only allow on a max of 197 passengers.  Take your pick of seats!

 

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Contiki Ireland Review and Tips

Ireland – Home of Guinness beer and the colour green. If you’re considering Ireland for your next adventure be sure to consider Contiki to take you around this beautiful country.  Below is a review and summary of what to expect, including some tips to help you prepare.

Book early! Contiki Ireland tours are very popular.
Book early! Contiki Ireland tours are very popular.

 

First off, the Contiki Ireland tour is the final leg of a bigger Contiki UK tour. If you have the budget and time, it might be worthwhile to do the whole tour starting from London (16 days). The Ireland portion is 7 nights.

Day 1:
Arrive and meet with your new crew at the hotel around 3pm. Once the paperwork and intros are done, dinner will be at the hotel. After dinner, you’re off to central Dublin for an optional night out.

Day 2:
Around 8:30am you depart Dublin and head to Kilkenny for an optional bike ride through the town. Once you’ve taken in this beautiful village it’s off to Cork for an included dinner at a local pub then to the hotel. The hotel (Oriel House) is on the outskirts of Cork, but is the nicest hotel you will be staying at on this tour. Take this evening to relax and enjoy the hotel bar as there isn’t much else around the hotel.

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Naturalvolcanic gas (CO2) Treatment, Mariánské Lázně, Czech Republic

Mariánské Lázně, Czech Republic is known for its history, healing springs and luxurious spa resorts.  These spa resorts not only focus on relaxation, but are proven to treat numerous other diseases and disorders, such as:

  • Locomotive system disorders (from back to joints to osteoporosis)
  • Kidney and urinary tract disorders
  • Respiratory tract illnesses
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Gynecologic illnesses (including infertility therapy)
  • Circulatory disorders
  • Oncological diseases
  • Digestive system illnesses
  • Nervous system diseases

One of the more popular treatments is the Naturalvolcanic gas (CO2) Treatment.  Slightly out of the ordinary, this treatment is said to improve blood circulation, kidney activity and sexual functions, in addition to having an anti-inflammatory effects.  Although the first time can be a little intimidating, it is pain free procedure and does not require much preparation (as the above video shows).  This procedure can be combined with multiple other procedures.  For a full list, see here.

For Those With Unlimited Wedding Budgets, Moser Glass is Your Go-To for Glassware.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a healthy royalty-like wedding budget, trust your glassware to Moser Glass in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.  World-renowned for its glassware, Moser handcrafts each of its pieces and has been used in celebrations worldwide by celebrities and royalty alike.

Since each piece is handcrafted, not only is each piece unique, it makes for a great takeaway for guests attending the event.  Furthermore, the glassware can be custom made to most shapes and sizes, making it easy to match up with different themes and colours.

To get a true taste of what’s possible, be sure to book a factory tour at their main factory in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic.

Open Letter to Curaçao Tourist Board – Travel Massive Island & #LifeOnCuracao

lifeoncuracao-travel-massive-island-conference

Dear Curaçao Tourist Board:

First off, let me begin by thanking you for hosting the October Toronto Travel Massive event. I look forward to learning about your great island and its many offerings.

But why stop with the Toronto event? As you might be aware, Travel Massive has over 100 chapters around the world. On top of this, Travel Massive is always looking for great places to host its Travel Massive Island conference. Think of it as a regular Travel Massive event, but with members coming from all around the world to your island.

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River Surfing in Prague, Czech Republic

Although a land-locked country, it is in fact possible to surf in Prague, Czech Republic.  Thanks to the efforts of Jan Maršík and his team, river surfing has become a reality.

Born from a dream of wanting to have a local spot to ride a wave and hangout with like-minded people, Maršík set out to make this happen in 2013 when he started construction on the Elbe River in Brandy’s Nad Labem.  Today, it’s a favourite among locals and tourist alike.  See here for the full story.

Not only is it great for beginner and intermediate surfers, the surrounding history makes the area a great place to just walk around.  Before hitting the waves, be sure to check out the Brandy’s Nad Labem Castle.  Also the third oldest bridge in the Czech Republic is just down the stream from the surf spot.

Interested?  See Maršík’s website (Czech only) or sign-up for the tour at Biko Adventures.

Brexit and Travel – Is Now a Good Time to Visit the UK?

With the United Kingdom voting to leave (Brexit) the European Union it has left the region in a chaotic state with lots of unknowns.  Within the next couple years, the UK must, among other things, negotiate its departure through new trade agreements and treaties.  So how does this play into the travel world?  Is now a good time to visit the UK?  Some thoughts below.

Firstly, there won’t be any dramatic changes before the UK’s official departure from the EU.  Like all agreements and laws, changes will only take affect once it is officially launched.  For people outside the EU, there likely won’t be much change after the fact either.  As it stands, the UK still requires passport checks at its border crossings.

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A Weekend in Bologna, Italy from the UK (or other cities in Europe)

You’ve got the itch to get away. But you’re tight on time so you can only satisfy the itch by taking a weekend jaunt. If this sounds like you, Bologna, Italy might be just what you need.

A little bit off the grid compared to Florence and Rome, Bologna allows for a relaxing weekend with authentic Italian experience without the crowds and tourists.

If this sounds tempting, take a look at the below to get the most from Bologna over the course of a few days.

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