US flag on display

A history tour of New York

US flag on displayWith a history that goes back to the 1600s, New York City is full of museums, monuments and landmarks tracing the story of the United States since well before it declared independence and signed the Constitution. It was here that George Washington took office as the first President of the United States, and it was here that the face of the world was forever changed on the morning of September 11, 2001.

If you’re interested in history at all, then New York is the place to visit. No matter what aspect of American history appeals to you the most, you could spend more than just one holiday to New York exploring the history of the city.

Museums

The best place to start your historic journey through New York is at one of the city’s dozens of museums. Start at the Museum of the City of New York, which houses more than 1.5 million papers and artifacts chronicling the history of the Big Apple. Another landmark that’s a must for anyone interested in the history of New York – and the country of the United States as a whole – is Ellis Island. Located within New York Harbor in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island was the first stop for generations of Americans coming from around the world. The three story hall that was the initial check-in point for travelers has been renovated and now houses photos, memorabilia and exhibits chronicling the immigrant experience in America. While a visit to the Statue of Liberty and the exhibits on Liberty Island is worth a visit as well, if you plan to make the trek up into Lady Liberty you’ll need to purchase your tickets ahead of time and adhere to strict security regulations.

While the Museum of the City of New York and Ellis Island are devoted to the stories of the general population of New York, there are a number of other museums devoted to specific populations and subjects related to the city. The Jewish Museum, for example, is devoted to furthering understanding of Judaism and includes a large collection of artifacts from the Holocaust. The New York Fire Museum and the New York Police Museum are devoted to those who serve and protect, and the Museum of American Finance highlights the history of money and finance in U.S. History. And New York’s rich maritime history is explored at the South Street Seaport Museum, where some of the exhibits are housed on the restored tall ship Peking, giving visitors a true sense of what life was like in colonial New York.

Music and Art

When you start researching your vacation to New York, and looking for information on hotels, you’ll notice that many tout their proximity to the arts and culture venues in the city. For example, history buffs will be very interested in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which includes a large collection of historic artifacts dating as far back as ancient times in addition to master works. If you’re interested in musical history, don’t miss the Apollo Theater in Harlem. This legendary theater, which opened in 1934, has seen such legends as Billie Holliday, Stevie Wonder, and others perform on its stage. The theater was also the site of the popular “Showtime at the Apollo” television show, and continues to host both amateur and professional acts today.

Houses and Sites

Both the landmark Empire State Building and Chrysler Building are designated historic landmarks, and both contain exhibits chronicling their construction and history, ideal for anyone interested in architectural history. The Flatiron Building in Madison Square is considered the world’s first skyscraper, and was the tallest building in the world from 1901-1911.

Beyond the historic buildings, New York has several landmarks that are a must for any history buff. On the NYU campus, for example, the Brown Building was the site of the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911 that killed 148 people and lead to a number of industrial reforms. And of course, no visit to New York is complete without a stop at the site of the former World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial.

However, these sites barely scratch the surface of the historic sites and landmarks that dot the city of New York. Before you leave on your trip, spend some time researching the options that interest you; chances are you’ll find a spot devoted to something you’re interested in.

A Canadian moose

10 reasons why you should visit Canada

Travelling is a great way to broaden your horizons and take a rest from the monotony of everyday routine. With such a vast territory to choose from, there’s no shortage of things to do when taking a holiday to Canada. Here are 10 suggestions to inspire you.

A Canadian moose

1. Gaze out from the world’s tallest building.

If you’re going to Toronto, be sure to visit the 553m CN tower, declared one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World in 1995. Gasp at Toronto and Lake Ontario from the 147th storey “SkyPod” observation deck.

2. Take the snow train to the Rocky Mountains.

A holiday to Canada would not be complete without a trip to the iconic Rockies. The VIA Rail service to Jasper leaves from Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Vancouver.

3. Shop ’til you drop at the West Edmonton Mall.

You’ll be sure to find a bargain at the world’s largest mall – especially since this mall has no sales tax! Features more than 800 shops, plus an ice rink, water park and amusement park.

4. Hang out with bison and moose at Elk Island National Park.

Just 35km east of Edmonton, Alberta is the densest population of hoofed animals in Canada. As well as the massive moose and wood bison, you’ll also find beavers, coyotes, deer, elk and the pygmy shrew.

5. Go out on the piste at Whistler Blackcomb.

If you love winter sports, then this British Columbian resort – one of the largest of its kind in the world – is for you. Its 8,000-acre site contains amazing skiing and snowboarding runs, plus great restaurants and hotels.

6. Enjoy Carnival in Quebec.

Taking place at the end of January, Quebec City’s Carnaval de Québec is the third largest public carnival in the world, and the biggest in the winter months. Enjoy parades, concerts, snow baths, dog-sled rides and ice fishing.

7. Hike the Canadian wilderness on the Cabot Trail.

On Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia can be found this 298km trail, which will take you via many towns and villages, plus the gorgeous Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

8. Get up close to polar bears.

Come to the small town of Churchill, Manitoba around September and meet another visiting group – migrating polar bears. At this time they come so close to the town that regular bear-watching tours take place.

9. Experience Canada’s own Wild West.

Every July, the city of Calgary hosts the Calgary Stampede and Rodeo, showcasing all the best cowboy skills, plus chuckwagon races and a stunning evening arena show.

10. Visit Niagara Falls.

The sight of these iconic falls fills tourists and locals with wonder and astonishment at this natural phenomenon. If you are tired of the city hustle and bustle this location is an ideal getaway.

Hopefully our travelling inspirations will help you enjoy Canada to the most!

 

Picture credit:  Fisherga

Things to Do in Costa Rica

Tropical, jungle-laden Costa Rica is one of the world’s most beautiful tourist destinations. Its cities are almost as exciting as its natural treasures, offering culture, glamour, relaxation and variety. From volcanos to cruises, to museums and theatres and coffee plantations, Costa Rica offers everything any traveller could wish.

The “Rich Coast”

Located in the narrowest part of central America, Costa Rica has 1,290 miles of gorgeous coastline. If you enjoy the ocean, you’ll love scuba diving, snorkeling and surfing in their legendary waves. Local winds average twenty-four miles an hour, making windsurfing ideal. If you prefer something a little less strenuous, lounge on the beach, or enjoy one of the many cruises which take you through estuaries and inland canals such as Tortuguero, Caño Negro, and Damas.

National Parks Inland

Twenty-five per cent of the land in Costa Rica is dedicated to parks and nature reserves that boast an extraordinary range of plants, wildlife and birdlife. The Corcovado National Park is famous for its biodiversity, including all four varieties of Costa Rican monkeys. Torteguero National Park has rare and giant turtles, and is the largest nesting site for the endangered green turtles. At the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, birdwatchers will find more than 400 varieties of birds, and botany enthusiasts may see 2000 species of plants. Some of the most exciting tours you can take have to do with the rainforest canopy. Ride a gondola over the great trees, or for the adventurous, a zip line. These forests are also filled with rivers and waterfalls that provide terrific whitewater rafting, hiking and viewing.

Not least among Costa Rica’s natural attractions are their live volcanos. Irazú Volcano is the highest in the country, but the most popular (and until recently, most active) is Arenal, named after the country’s largest lake. These volcanoes in turn have created natural hot springs, several of which have spas built around them.

Culture and History

For those who want to enjoy the international flavor of the South American culture, Costa Rica has wonderful live music, and there are festivals being held somewhere at nearly any part of the year. You might see bull fighting, parades, exhibits of local traditional dress and dancing, religious celebrations and more. You’ll also have access to fantastic museums dedicated to the history and culture of Costa Rica. The city of San Jose, for instance, features the National Museum, the Jade Museum and a Children’s Museum. Visit their National Theatre to catch live performances.

Another unique experience that Costa Rica offers to curious westerners consists of tours of coffee plantations. The Costa Rican economy has always thrived on coffee production and exportation, and some of the finest coffee beans in the world are grown in Costa Rica–Tarrazú, Jamaican Blue Mountain and Guatemalan Antigua. If you love coffee, you may enjoy seeing where it is grown and how it is processed, not mention drinking a cup right on location.

To find out more details about the delights which Costa Rica can offer, visit an informational site like http://costarica.org.uk/ which will help you plan the trip of a lifetime.

Snorkelling in the waters of Maui

The insider’s guide on experiencing Maui

When asked about the subject of what is arguably Hawaii’s most beautiful island, Mark Twain once quipped, “I went to Maui to stay a week and remained for five.” Twain went on to write about the regret he felt upon leaving this paradise and there’s no doubt you will too. So instead of dwelling on the departure, explore some of the best sights and distractions Maui has to offer. No matter if you’re travelling with the kids, your spouse or your best friend, here are some of the best things to do in Maui.

Snorkelling in the waters of Maui

Take a Helicopter Tour

Maui is a diminutive 727 square miles, but when it comes to this hot tourist destination, it’s not really about the island’s size. There is something beautiful to explore around every corner, so instead of trying to pack every sight imaginable into your short trip, view the best of what Maui has to offer in a few hours by enjoying a helicopter ride. There are a number of companies throughout Maui offering this service, so it’s best to determine what you would like to see the most. For instance, one group may focus a trip on the waterfalls of Maui, while another will fly you over the nearby island of Molokini. If you’re all about snapping impressive photos and aren’t faint of heart, consider buzzing the island in a helicopter with the doors off. It’s exhilarating, and the absence of glare from the windows allows you to snap some amazing aerial photos.

Maui Ocean Center

When you’re ready to take a break from Maui’s notoriously humid temperatures, consider exploring the biggest tropical reef aquarium in the Western hemisphere, the Maui Ocean Center. First opened in 1998, the massive three-acre aquarium and marine science institute is home to an impressive array of native fauna and flora, including coral, sting rays and, to the delight of your kids, sharks. Nowhere else in Maui will you experience underwater creatures in quite the same way, especially if you muster up enough bravery to actually swim with the sharks. The Maui Ocean Center allows adults and kids 15 and over to dive into the facility’s 750,000 gallon “Open Ocean” exhibit and commune with the sharks. The experience is pricy, at around $200 per person, but the bragging rights alone are worth the added expense.

Take a Lesson from the Locals

Hawaii is famous for hula dancers, water sports and tourists attempting to do both. If you don’t mind being the brunt of your family’s jokes for the next 10 years, consider immersing yourself in the local culture by taking a hula, snorkeling, windsurfing or traditional surfing class. You won’t have to travel far to find an impromptu, inexpensive hula lesson. Hula instructors and knowledgeable locals alike are always offering classes in resorts, shopping malls or even on the street. When it comes to water sports, there are a number of instructors waiting to offer your children a lesson on how to brave the waters on a surf board or behind a scuba mask.

The O’heo Gulch

Located a few miles outside the popular tourist town of Hana and inside the Haleakala National Park lies the O’heo Gulch. Don’t be turned off to the experience by the word “gulch” because what you’ll find upon entering the area is a series of waterfalls and warm water pools just waiting for you to explore. Cliff-diving, swimming, picnicking and hiking are just a few of the ways to spend your day exploring the gulch and the Haleakala National Park as a whole. Once you’ve had your fill of splashing and people watching, leave the O’heo Gulch and climb to the summit of Haleakala, which is the highest point in Maui. For a more intimate, tourist-free experience, consider either arriving early or spending the night inside the nearby Kipahulu Campground.
The above-mentioned activities are only a handful of the hundreds of ways to enjoy your next Maui vacation. For a more informative view of the area’s history, head to the Whalers Village Museum. The museum and cultural center is devoted to preserving the heritage of Maui’s past and protecting the future of many species of whales.

Stone scultpures of the Coral Castle

A visitor’s guide to Florida City

Located in Miami-Dade County in the southern region of the state of Florida, Florida City is the most southernmost city in the USA. Although not as popular as other cities in the region it’s full of exciting attractions and provides visitors with an alternative view of the state. Those looking to spend a week in this American city will have a lot to keep them busy.

Stone scultpures of the Coral Castle

Historical features

A good way to start a weeklong vacation here is by visiting Coral Castle. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Coral castle is a stone structure that is said to have been constructed, entirely unaided, by Edward Leedskalnin in the early 1900s.

Dining and entertainment

For a healthy lunch, ‘Robert Is Here’ is a well-known fruit stand and is a landmark of the city. Established in 1960 visitors can choose from a selection of exotic fruits and can tickle their taste buds with unusual treats including a key lime pie smoothie. The afternoon can then be spent checking out the deals at the city’s popular factory shops and outlets, ideal places to find great for gifts or souvenirs.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is popular for its hearty breakfast and brunch menu as well as its child-friendly atmosphere. It’s a perfect way to start off the day, especially before visiting the Everglades Alligator Farm. This has a multitude of exciting attractions and around 2,000 resident alligators to keep a family entertained all day. There are also alligator feedings as well as airboat ride tours of the everglades. After an exhilarating day learning about reptiles, Pine Tree Park is a relaxing green space in which to relax and unwind.

The Everglades

Alternatively, there’s the option of an everglades full-day tour. Visitors have the opportunity to try out slough slogging or wet walking and admire the Dwarf Cypress forests. As well as alligators the region is the home to Bard owls and a number of interesting snake species. There’s also the chance to paddle through sawgrass prairies, mangrove tunnels, and bays where there are carnivorous plants.

Other Florida City attractions

A great way to spend a lazy Sunday is to take a Frisbee or a football and a picnic down to the splendid Willie Fasulo Park and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Loren Roberts Park is also a great space in which to play a few sets of tennis and build up an appetite for dinner. Captain’s Restaurant and Seafood Market is an ideal place for local cuisine. With delicious fresh fish and outside dining it’s ideal for a last evening vacation treat.

Climate

The region has a beautiful climate through the year but mid summer can be particularly hot. When holidaying with children it might be best to avoid travelling to this area at that time of year. In terms of accommodation, visitors can choose from budget rooms at the Holiday Inn Express or Travelodge, to more luxury suites at Hyatt Regency or the Mayfair Hotel and Spa, all of which are child-friendly.

Getting there

Florida city makes for a fantastic vacation and is best reached by plane, especially if travelling from other parts of the USA – it’s easy to get there.

The Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island

4 US Cities to make the adventure worth your trip

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reported that in 2011, the U.S. brought in 62.3 million international tourists (France being the first with 80m), making it the second most popular destination in the world. Unlike smaller countries, the States are filled with several historically significant landmarks and culturally distinct regions that ensure a dynamic experience for travelers of all tastes. If you’re planning your own excursion from the U.K. to the US — or are still looking for a good reason to visit — consider the following list of four must-see cities in America.

1. New York

The Statue of Liberty on Liberty IslandA stay in the States can’t be complete without a trip to the Big Apple, which features more landmarks and sites than tourists can experience in just one visit. The Statue of Liberty should be the first destination on your itinerary, located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. Tourists travel to this iconic 151-foot (46-meter) symbol of freedom by ferry and are even able to explore the inside of the statue to look out at the city from Lady Liberty’s perspective. Another must-see landmark is the Empire State Building, which stands just shy of the Willis Tower at 1,250 feet. Be sure to experience a Broadway Show, see bustling Times Square, explore Central Park and become inspired at the Museum of Modern Art during your stay in the City That Never Sleeps.

2. Chicago

The Windy City generates several thousand tourists from within the U.S. and overseas each year, with world-famous landmarks, first-class entertainment and the best pizza you can get outside of Italy. The city of Chicago is home to the famous Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower), which stands 1,451 feet (442 meters) tall and features an exciting Skydeck where visitors can catch a breathtaking view of the entire city beneath their feet. A little closer to the ground are the city’s Navy Pier for rides and waterside entertainment, as well as the Adler Planetarium for an awe-inspiring, educational look at the universe we live in.

3. Los Angeles

Hollywood Hills

To get a full view of America, make your way over to the West Coast to see the glitz and glam of California’s Los Angeles. The city is home to Hollywood, which contributes to its title of “Entertainment Capital of the World.” Naturally you’ll have to make a point of seeing the iconic Hollywood sign while staying in L.A., along with the famous Griffith Observatory for an eye-opening look into outer space and Dodger Stadium for a rousing ballgame experience. You can dip your toes in the Pacific at one of the city’s many glittering beaches and watch a performance of your favorite musical artists at any one of L.A.’s wide variety of concert venues.

4. Austin

Austin, Texas, may also be a big city, but it offers good old-fashioned country entertainment for tourists who want a breath of fresh air and to experience a more rural side of America. Sign up for a few lessons at Austin’s famous Rock-About Climbing Adventures center, which helps both new and experienced climbers sharpen their skills at one of the city’s many mountainous regions. You can even experience the city on two wheels at the Town Lake Hike-and-Bike Trail, which stretches across the city, lush parks and calming lakes for a nature-filled break from the fast-paced tempo of the city.

America is one of the most multi-dimensional countries in the world, with a distinct theme and culture in each of its 50 states. Whether you want to take a break from the rainy days of the U.K. or just want to experience life outside of Europe, the U.S. is an essential destination for travelers who want to catch a glimpse into the everyday existence of citizens in one of the most developed and powerful nations in the world.

Green space just outside Denver

5 Great Western U.S. Cities for Outdoor Lovers

It’s not like the more densely populated, heavily forested eastern states or the farm country in the heartland are completely devoid of recreational opportunities, but the pull of the outdoors is undeniably stronger in the American West. With its towering mountains, red rocks, raging rivers, and overall drier climate, the West is filled with places to enchant outdoor lovers.

Among the dozens of Western cities with tremendous outdoor settings at their doorsteps, five cities stand out: Denver, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Portland and Reno. A brief rundown of each city’s key outdoor assets follows.

Denver, Colorado

Denver’s “Mile High” nickname should be the first clue that its environment defines the city. With the exception of open spaces like the Bluff Lake Nature Center in the northeastern Stapleton neighborhood, the city proper is almost completely built out, but the city’s suburbs and the Rocky Mountain foothills just beyond them are chock-full of world-class parks and trail systems.

Spread over four counties, the city’s Denver Mountain Parks are a classic example of municipal foresight. In the early 20th century, the fledgling city purchased thousands of acres of Rocky Mountain lands to its south and west for its residents’ enjoyment.

Green space just outside Denver

Salt Lake City, Utah

While Denver technically sits on the High Plains at the eastern edge of the Rockies, Salt Lake City lies on the eastern side of the rugged Great Basin, the country’s starkest and most sparsely populated region. But with the Great Salt Lake and beautiful Wasatch Mountains to the east, Salt Lake City offers a wealth of outdoor recreation.

Surrounded on two sides by mountains, the Salt Lake City region is peppered with world-class ski resorts that receive hundreds of inches of light, fluffy snow each year. Somewhat surprisingly, the lakes and rivers in the nearby high mountain valleys are world-class repositories of freshwater fish as well.

Flowers in Salt Lake valley

Seattle, Washington

Visible from almost anywhere in the city, Mount Rainier is Seattle’s best-known natural landmark and a major selling point for outdoor enthusiasts who relocate there. With its elevation over 14,400 feet and multiple glaciers it is a dominant feature.

But Mt. Rainier is just the start of things in the Seattle Area. Both the volcanic Cascades and the rugged Olympic Range attract expert mountaineers, backpackers, and ice climbers, but there’s plenty to do for less-serious Seattle outdoorsmen too.

The city is practically surrounded by water with Puget Sound to the west, which provides great fishing and sailing with dozens of island. Lake Washington, a large body of freshwater just east of the city, is a rich fishery and a boater’s paradise during the warm months.

Portland, Oregon

With a moist, mild climate ideal for growing roses, Portland’s International Rose Test Garden is a laid-back, refined alternative to the windsurfing and boating in the Columbia Gorge nearby to the city’s east. The city is loaded with bridges crossing the Willamette River and the Columbia River, one of America’s largest rivers, just to the north.

Like Seattle, Portland is nearby by the Cascade Range and offers the same slate of mountaineering opportunities as its sister city to the north. Tryon Creek State Natural Area, within the city limits, is big enough to get lost in and accessible from central Portland via public transportation. And ocean beaches are only about an hour away!

Reno, Nevada

Nestled in the mild Truckee Meadows region at the base of the towering Sierra Nevada Mountains, Reno is better known for its casinos and dry climate but it is also a short drive from some of the country’s most spectacular scenery.

Lake Tahoe, a sportsman’s paradise, lies less than an hour to the southwest, and a handful of major Sierra ski resorts are not much further away. Mount Rose, the “local” ski area with nearly 10,000 foot top elevation, is just 25 minutes from Reno’s airport.

Now that you know more about some of the top adventure cities in the American west, do your homework to obtain more info and discover a good way to find cheap holidays to your destination of choice.

Sierra Madre, Mexico

Looking out for Authentic Mexico

Sierra Madre, Mexico

With two spectacular coastlines, ancient ruins and some of the world’s most interesting cities, it’s easy to understand why people love Mexico. Best of all, its location next door to the US, and only a 5-10 hour flight from Europe, means that it is easy to reach and that affordable flights to Mexico are easier to find than ever.

Real Mexico

One of the most amazing things about foreign travel is exploring other cultures in an authentic way. However, the popular destinations of Cancun and Puerta Vallarta can be full of tourists and very few locals. For those on the hunt for an authentic Mexican experience, just a short drive from the all-inclusive resorts there is a whole world waiting to be discovered. There are plenty of options to see the real Mexico, and a little research will reveal an abundance of beaches, towns and attractions off the beaten path.

One of the most helpful tips for your travels is to learn a little Spanish. Being able to communicate with locals (even if just a few words) will take you a long way.

In the mountains

Research rentals instead of resorts. Mexico is home to a multitude of charming small towns which you might never discover if you didn’t leave Cancun. Lake Chapala, for example, is the largest freshwater lake in Mexico and is nestled in among beautiful mountains. You can rent a small villa in the mountains, ride horses along the lakeshore, sip Michelitas with some locals in town and experience what Mexican life is really like.

Pacific side

For a beach experience away from the crowds, consider heading to the Pacific coastal towns of Southern Mexico or the Baja California peninsula. The coastline is dotted with charming towns filled with hammocks on the beach, local bars serving grilled lobster, and white sand. These towns are a far cry from the busy beaches of Acapulco a few hours up the coast.

Southwest Mexico

If you’re looking for a city experience but can’t face the overwhelming size of Mexico City, consider Oaxaca. This city in southwest Mexico sits at the foot of the Sierra Madre and is home to a large number of colonial-era structures, native Zapotec and Mixtec cultures as well as UNESCO World Heritage archaeological sites.

Mexico is an extremely large country with incredibly diverse landscapes. With so much to see, you will likely have to choose a few locations at first and return later to see the rest of this stunning country.

Entertainment in Las Vegas

People flock to Las Vegas for its dazzling array of entertainment options of offer. Whether you love Holly from the show Holly’s World or are a devoted Celine Dion fan, you can find Las Vegas shows and concerts that will entrance and captive you during your stay in Las Vegas.

Pick Your Show

You can find a variety of Vegas shows at TI. For a real party in Las Vegas, you have to visit Treasure Island in Paradise, Nevada. Treasure Island constantly hosts margarita parties and dance shows that will leave you wanting more. If you want to enjoy watching beautiful women use their charms on the crowd, then this is the place to go. Treasure Island also regularly hosts parties with Pirates of the Caribbean themes. These parties will give you a chance to dress up and enjoy what it feels like to be a pirate for the day.

Classic Shows

When you go to Las Vegas, you can also find a variety of classic shows. If you are not so much into the drinking scene, then you still have a variety of other options for enjoying your time in Las Vegas. You can go to an Elton John or Celine Dion show at Caesar’s Palace. These shows are very classy events, and you can get dressed up for an evening of fine dining while you watch the show. Being able to enjoy dinner and a show can be a romantic adventure for any person who visits Las Vegas.

You can also find other classic shows in Las Vegas such as Phantom of the Opera and Wicked. Giving someone tickets to these shows makes for a great surprise birthday gift so why not enjoy your time in Las Vegas and surprise a good friend with tickets to Wicked?

Shadow Shows

The shadow shows in Las Vegas make for an exotic and thrilling experience. You will watch beautiful men and women perform seductive dance moves behind a large curtain on stage. With the use of laser lights, this show turns into an incredible experience. Order a few drinks, and you will get lost in the beauty and adventure of this show. Another option that you may want to check out during your time in Las Vegas is the Blue Man Show. The Blue Man Show is an exciting show with men who are literally painted in blue paint.

These are some of the ways that you can live it up during your time in Las Vegas and have an unforgettable experience. You can also ask locals for their recommendations on hot spots in the town, and you will surely not be disappointed.

Get started planning your trip with Vegas’ official tourism site:

http://www.visitlasvegas.com/

 

Illuminated coast of Miami at night

How to travel on a Budget across the US

Whether you are a student on a gap year or a well-seasoned traveller, and with the weakening pound against the dollar, travelling on a budget in the USA is a priority at the top of everyone’s list.

Getting started

Firstly, travelling directly across the USA is a task not to be underestimated. Due to the country’s vast size, a lot of empty, flat land equates to a laborious stretch of driving; instead, the popular choice is to travel along either the west or east coast of America. On a budget, and coming west from Europe, it certainly makes more sense to visit the east coast, for a much shorter flight and a much cheaper air fare. Look out for sales and temporary discounts, such as a return to New York City with American Airlines for a thrifty £300, or on Virgin Atlantic to Boston for a similar price.

Accommodation

In the larger cities, it is important to do your research to avoid getting ripped off for sub-standard accommodation – see tripavisor.co.uk for customer and industry reviews. For reasonable, middle-ground accommodation in NYC, try the ‘East Village Bed and Coffee’ with cosy rooms and helpful staff, or the arty ‘Gershwin Hotel’ for a positively-reviewed alternative. Popular motel chain Days Inn boasts accommodation in and around New York, and, along with the great selection at hotels.com, who have many locations across the rest of the USA. If travelling nationwide, stick to one hotel chain if possible, and rewards points can soon be accumulated to save money.

Florida

Illuminated coast of Miami at night

In Miami, accommodation is much cheaper – although, the location is a factor to bear in mind as Florida’s stretches of flat land require a car – for those under 21 it is near-impossible to hire cars abroad. Here it is more necessary to splash out on finding things to do – for thrill-seekers, buying group tickets covering a range of theme parks for a few days – such as Universal or Disney – can often be surprisingly cheaper than single tickets for just a day. Florida holds the Kennedy Space Center, and there are many places to sight alligators –try Everglades.com to book before you arrive. Further north, and further inland, is Washington DC, where The White House and The Lincoln Memorial are must-see attractions, along with some famous galleries and museums.

Entertainment in NYCLady of New York - the Statue of Liberty

With notoriously pricey accommodation leaving little remaining cash, entertainment in NYC can be easily done on the cheap. Central Park often has free festivals, fairs and ethnic parades; there is always something going on, especially in peak months and around the festive season. For theatre buffs looking for a cheaper Broadway experience, buy tickets on the day of the show from last minute ticket stands – we managed to nab two tickets for Wicked for less than half the original price. If venturing outside of the city, New York state is also home to a part of Niagara Falls, shared with Canada; 2/3-day bus trips are useful for those without, or too young to hire, a rental car.

All along the east coast there are a wealth of attractions and famous sights to see – Times Square in NYC, Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Seaworld in Florida, and New York’s Metropolitan Museum, to name a few! With those old enough to hire cars, cheap petrol (around half UK prices per gallon) makes USA road trips an exciting and ever-increasing financial possibility.