Europe’s Tourist Taxes Revealed: Where they’ve doubled, and where they’re more than 10% of your total accommodation costs

Europe’s Tourist Taxes Revealed: Where they’ve doubled, and where they’re more than 10% of your total accommodation costs

This post was last updated on June 27th, 2018 New in 2018: A doubled tax in the Balearic Islands, as well as new taxes in Portugal and Greece Highest taxes are in Italy and the Balearics Lowest tourist taxes are in Greece and Lisbon; no taxes in Madrid and the UK Tourist tax in Venice is almost 11% of total accommodation cost Tourist taxes are becoming more common. Many are introduced with short notice as the high travel season approaches. Oftentimes, travellers don’t realise a tax is in place until checkout because fees are usually incorporated into accommodation prices. To add to the confusion, taxes vary wildly from country to country – even city to city, and travellers might not know what they’re paying for. In addition to supporting tourist infrastructure, some places direct taxpayer money toward the region’s environmental efforts and sustainability. Others, toward maintaining cultural sites. Holidu, a leading search engine for holiday lettings, identified the less obvious costs travellers are likely to be hit with in Europe, to help people better plan for fast-approaching summer holidays.   What’s new in 2018? Starting this summer, visitors to the Balearic Islands, including the Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera islands, will face a doubled tax increase. This applies to everyone over age 16. While it differs slightly depending on accommodation type, it is an average doubling of €3 per person per night, starting May 1 until October 31. This tax, known as the “Tax for Sustainable Tourism,” applies to all types of holiday accommodation, including cruise ships – for the first time ever. These changes are due to the...
Best Places For A Casino Vacation

Best Places For A Casino Vacation

If you’re looking to lavish in luxury during your next holiday, there are few better places to do so than casinos. We enjoy spending time in these often, over the top, and glamorous destinations. If you’re tight on time and can’t make the journey, or you just want to save your flight money for more table time, you can try Live Casino and Best Casino Sites from anywhere. We spent some time in Las Vegas during our road trip honeymoon and for our 2-year anniversary, we spent a few days in Macau after touring Hong Kong. Here are a few reasons why we loved visiting both as well as another option for a fun casino vacation.   Las Vegas The name is basically synonymous with ritzy casinos and glitz and glam. Just walking down the strip gives you the sense of the excitement awaiting inside any of the enormous casino buildings. We’ve been fortunate enough to explore Vegas on multiple occasions and each time there is something new to offer, whether it’s a show, casino exhibit or restaurant. The Venetian – The largest Vegas casino in terms of square footage is based on the city for which it takes its name. It even has it’s own Grand Canal with fully functional gondolas which you can ride in! Bellagio – One of our personal favorites, made even more famous by the Ocean’s movie series. Don’t miss the spectacular water and light display that occurs nightly, one of the only shows in Vegas that is absolutely free.   Macau We consider Macau to basically be the Vegas of the East. American’s...
Monarchy must-visits: London’s essential Royal sites

Monarchy must-visits: London’s essential Royal sites

This post was last updated on March 1st, 2018Of all the UK’s cities, London’s definitely the one most associated with the British Royal family. Why? Because of the plethora of historical sites it contains with Royal ties – but which of them must you visit…? Buckingham Palace (SW1A 1AA/ Open: 9.30am-7.30pm daily, 22nd July-31st August; 9.30am-6.30pm daily, 1st September-1st October) You may not know it, but this glorious, grey-brick masterpiece wasn’t built as a royal residence. It was actually built for the Duke of Buckingham in the early 18th Century, before being acquired by King George III in 1761. Despite its origins, though, it’s the building most identified with the current Royal family, especially the UK’s reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. That said, it’s highly unlikely visitors will actually see Her Majesty on the grounds (unless it’s a special occasion), but there is a big upside. For there’s a roster of reasons to step inside this iconic palace and take a look around when its open to the public each summer (especially if you’ve made your stay’s base the likes of the nearby Park Grand London Hyde Park hotel). Particularly unmissable are the State Rooms, where are held state dinners for The Queen and visiting foreign dignitaries; each of them comprising magnificent English and French furniture, exquisite examples of Sèvres porcelain and fine art masterpieces by Van Dyck, Canaletto and more. The Tower of London (Tower Hill EC3N 4AB/ Open: 9am-6pm Tuesday-Saturday; 10am-6pm Sunday-Monday) Older than any other building in the capital, the Tower dates back all the way to the year William the Conqueror invaded and took control...
Luxury loving: The best spas in the world for Valentine’s Day

Luxury loving: The best spas in the world for Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day, it’s time to forget about the tacky roses and treat you and your partner to a relaxing spa holiday. Here is a collection of five of the best hotels for Valentine’s Day that you can indulge in, explore around and enjoy each other’s company.   Majestic Hotel & Spa, Paris, France Ok, so we know that putting Paris on a list for Valentine’s Day is slightly cliché, but once you’re swooning at your significant other through the picturesque streets, you’ll be completely swept up in the fantasy. This hotel is a tranquil haven secretly hidden away for a relaxing break, yet tourist attractions like the Champs-Élysées and the Eiffel Tower are only a few minutes away. https://www.expedia.co.uk/Paris-Hotels-Majestic-Hotel-Spa.h3399972.Hotel-Information   Four Seasons Resort, Marrakech, Morocco This stunning resort is the perfect place for a 14 February break. Just a few of the services offered here include immersive spa experiences, zen-like yoga facilities and a tranquil adult only pool. If you do manage to leave the romantic hotel, the vibrant hustle and bustle of Marrakech is only a 15-minute stroll away. https://www.expedia.co.uk/Marrakech-Hotels-Four-Seasons-Resort-Marrakech.h4270690.Hotel-Information   One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai, United Arab Emirates If you’re feeling extra indulgent this year, then Dubai is the perfect option for opulent extravagance. The lower floor of the spa features a traditional Oriental hammam with heated marble massage table, two steam rooms, two Jacuzzis, two private massage rooms, plunge showers, a whirlpool and a resting area. To experience the sandy shores of the Middle East all you have to do is step outside onto the luxurious private beach, or you can cool down in one of...
A Calm Amongst The Chaos: A Photo Essay Of Udaipur, India

A Calm Amongst The Chaos: A Photo Essay Of Udaipur, India

This post was last updated on March 9th, 2018For me, India is a country that is on the surface quite chaotic. It’s fast, loud, crowded and all around overwhelming. Until we reached Udaipur, that is. Sometimes called the “Venice of the East,” there were moments I felt flashbacks to our time in Santorini and the Greek Islands. With colorful hillside buildings surrounding tranquil Lake Pichola, a meal at one of the many rooftop restaurants offers a welcoming escape from the busy streets below. Here’s just a quick glimpse of the pristine beauty and serenity of the City Of Lakes: Udaipur, India. Udaipur, India     Udaipur Royal Palace   Lake Pichola Hotel   Streets of Udaipur   Udaipur From Lake Pichola   Jagmandir Island Palace Udaipur India   Nimbu Pani: Indian Limonade   Sunset Over Udaipur India   Bagore Ki Haveli: Traditional Indian Dance   Nighttime in Udaipur, India   Have you ever visited Udaipur, India? Will you be adding it to your India itinerary? Let us know in the comments below!...
Romantic Places and Things to Do in New York City!

Romantic Places and Things to Do in New York City!

New York City has no shortage of fun and romantic places where couples can retreat and strengthen their bonds. In fact, you could say that there are so many places that are ideal for couples that choosing the best one for this holiday season could be a bit of a challenge. With the right planning and the suggestions that we have laid down for you below, finding the perfect couple retreat when you travel to New York City should be simple.   Try Omakase Sushi One of the things that NYC is known for is its Japanese heritage and in particular, Japanese restaurants. When you travel to New York City, take time to dine at these unforgettable joints and order omakase sushi. This is sushi made from the finest fish on the market which is sourced globally. The head chef picks the best of what is available on the market and makes a simple two ingredient dish that is simply amazing. The experience will certainly be unforgettable.   Enjoy the Highline As far as Manhattan goes, greenery is not its strongest point. There is simply too much brick, glass and stone and too few plants. However, there is a place where you can enjoy greenery among all the city skyscrapers and it’s called the Highline. It’s a mile and a half long stretch of park situated at the Central railroad platform. You can make this a great spot to plan something special for your partner whenever you travel to New York City. You can even find coffee, food and a bar offering drinks along the Highline.   Don’t forget...
Getting To Know Venice Like A Local Means Getting To Know It All

Getting To Know Venice Like A Local Means Getting To Know It All

  Venice is the perfect place for couples, groups and solo travelers alike, but to really appreciate it, you have to get out of your comfort zone. Sure, once you’ve ridden in a gondola you’ve ticked off that golden bucket list item, but then what? We all know this is a city on the water. But it is so, so much more than that. It’s all about doing more, seeing more – and of course, since it’s Italy, eating more!   It Starts With Understanding The City The difference between a tourist and a traveler is often said to be the fact that the traveler goes out of their way to truly understand and immerse themselves in a culture. So many of us go somewhere and act exactly the same way as we do at home, learning absolutely nothing. If that’s you feeling guilty as charged, why not change your ways? If you’re planning an upcoming visit to Venice, learn about the history of the city to be able to truly understand it. The city of “Venezia” as we know it today dates all the way back to around 400AD. Men were fleeing the mainland of Italy after the fall of the Roman Empire. Soon, an entire population had settled in this lagoon town. They were largely self-sustainable, as they could trade fish and salt. Fortunately, they were largely unaffected by invaders or the general politics of the day.   The History Behind the Architecture Away from drama, they could focus on building something beautiful. They became a mercantile town, but also one of stunning architecture, unlike anywhere else....
How to Spend a Week in Sydney

How to Spend a Week in Sydney

  Few cities can be described as beautiful, but with its iconic landmarks and rugged coastline, Sydney is the exception to the rule. That beauty has seen the popular tourist destination become one of the most in-demand places to live in the world. As a result, prices have continued to rise at record rates, making a vacation Down Under rather costly. So, is it worth saving up your hard-earned dollars for a trip to Australia’s largest city? You bet it is. Whether you’re after relaxation or adventure, this cosmopolitan paradise has it all. And to make sure you see the best of what it has to offer, we’ve drawn up a list of seven must-do activities, below.   Relax on the Best Beaches While Sydney has plenty of beautiful beaches on its doorstep, two of its finest are arguably located an hour’s drive outside of the city. Palm Beach, which can be seen in the Australia soap Home and Away, is a mile-long horseshoe of pristine sand. Just a five-minute drive down the road will take you to the equally impressive Whale Beach. Enclosed by vertical cliff faces and nearly always deserted, this is the perfect spot to unwind.   Climb to the Top of the Harbour Bridge One sure-fire way of adding some excitement to your holiday is a walk across the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge. The two-to-three-hour trek will see you climb vertical ladders and walk across narrow catwalks to reach the bridge’s summit. Although the $200-300 price tag will be too steep for some, the postcard-worthy views of the city make this an activity not...
New York vs Las Vegas: Which To Choose For Your Next Vacation

New York vs Las Vegas: Which To Choose For Your Next Vacation

If you’re looking for a popular city destination for your vacation within the United States, then chances are New York and Las Vegas are on your list. Though both are wildly fun and overflowing with great food, entertainment and attractions, New York and Las Vegas are also very different from one another. If you’re not sure which one is the right spot for you, this quick summary is bound to do the trick. We’ve been to Las Vegas and New York multiple times, and love them both for different reasons. Here’s where to start: First, this great infographic from Netflights will give you an introduction to the cities:   Now, our thoughts on New York City vs Las Vegas: New York City: New York stars as the backdrop for countless rom-coms for a reason. A trip to New York is as magical and romantic as it gets, especially when it includes Broadway, fine dining and walking through the boroughs. New York is great because while there are certainly tourist attractions, it’s easy to get off the beaten path and live like a New Yorker. Plus, with Central Park, you don’t have to go out of your way to escape the city noise and soak in some natural beauty. Expect to walk a ton, as well as spend time on the metro (or waiting in traffic in taxis.) There’s a ton to do throughout the city, so you’re likely going to be exhausted if you try to see it all! For more on how to plan the perfect trip to New York City, don’t miss our guide: 50 Cool Things...
Keep everyone happy on holiday

Keep everyone happy on holiday

If you’ve ever travelled with friends or family, you’ll know it’s always full of laughs, adventures, and inevitably, the odd argument. It’s hard to please everyone at all times so at some point, you will have to choose between doing what you want, or going along with the crowd. Unless… you consider simply splitting off from the group. Any location you choose should offer plenty of options of things to do, see and eat. So the key to keeping everyone happy is to list alternative activities. Consider this: one day you all drive to the beach but two people don’t like the sun, and one is desperate to get some exercise in. The two that aren’t interested in sunbathing may enjoy visiting a spa with a beach view or a bar with hammocks in the shade, while the sportaholic can switch their flip flops for flippers and go snorkeling; swimming is an excellent all-body workout. Another scenario might involve several people visiting a waterpark on the outskirts of a city: maybe not everyone wants to get their hair wet so if you plan a stop at a nearby shopping outlet, with a bowling alley or cinema, you can offer two alternative plans for people to choose from. Planning in this way gives every traveler in your group the possibility of choosing what they prefer to do, so the complaints will be minimal if nill. It’s also hard to displease people with luxury and comfort, so choosing a quality hotel or resort will at least ensure every has a great night’s sleep and enjoy a delicious breakfast. Those that know...