• 7 Of The Most Scenic Drives In The United States – trendybloggers.com

    There’s nothing like a good old fashioned road trip. Whether just for an afternoon or for a few weeks, there’s just something about loading up the car and hitting the road. If you are wondering where to drive next for stunning vistas, this list has you covered. Here are the seven most scenic drives in the United States.

    Scenic Drives In The United States

    1. Overseas Highway – Florida

    125 miles of US Route 1 runs over turquoise blue waters through the Florida Keys. This epic road links all of the keys together, making it perfect for island hopping and getting to know the Florida Caribbean better. Load up the car and hit one of the most unique and scenic roads in the United States.

    2. Valley Of Fire – Nevada

    Take in the Mars-like landscape that surrounds Nevada’s Valley of Fire. Rightfully named, this road weaves through colossal red sandstone formations in the rugged dessert and begs to be admired. Moreover, there are 2,000-year-old petroglyphs found in certain parts of the sandstone making for a perfect stop off.

    most scenic drives in the world

    3. Tioga Road – California

    Load up the car for a stunning alpine drive-through Yosemite. Tioga, a Mohawk term for “where it forks” will wind through Yosemite Valley and end at Mono Lake.  Here is where ancient mountain peaks and glacial lakes’ll leave you breathless.

    most scenic drives in the world
    Image: Terence OConnell/Facebook

    4. US Route 163 – Arizona/Utah

    Cruise the land of the Navajo and take in some of the United State’s most awe-inspiring desert landscape. Route 163 will take you through Monument Valley where Native American culture and orangey-red desert come together.

    most scenic drives in the world

    5. Highway One – Monterey County, California

    This iconic California drive is perfect year-round and known for its dramatic cliffsides and postcard worthy views over Big Sur. On this positively gorgeous route, you’ll pass through Cali’s best such as Carmel, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Malibu and so much more.

    most scenic drives in the world

    6. Seward Highway – Alaska

    This gorgeous forest byway passes through 127 miles of some of Alaska’s best natural and historical monuments. Along the way, you’ll see grazing moose, beluga whales, soaring eagles and so much more. Without a doubt, Seward Highway offers the very best of the Alaskan wilderness.

    most scenic drives in the world

    7. Blue Ridge Parkway – North Carolina/Virginia

    Take in all the magic and beauty the Great Smoky Mountains have to offer on the stunning Blue Ridge Parkway. Running from Shenandoah National park to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it’s full of incredible views. Be sure to carve out some time to stop for picnics and shop local Appalachian crafts.

    Scenic drives United States

    Book your car rental today

    We’ve partnered with EnjoyTravel.com to bring you the best rental at the best prices. Enter your information into the form below to see some great car rental offers!

  • The 7 Best Train Trips To Take In The US – trendybloggers.com

    While you might think of traversing across America on an epic road trip or just hop on a plane to your destination, you’d be missing out on a unique way to see parts of the country you never otherwise would. Sit back, take in the amazing scenery and travel in comfort on one of these great train trips in the USA.

    From cruising along the Pacific Coast in a luxe carriage to cutting through glaciers in Alaska, travelling by train is a must.

    The Best Train Trips to Take in the US

    1 .Coast Starlight

    Route: Los Angeles – Seattle

    Few things could ever come close to the scenery along the Pacific Coast. Over 36 hours, you will have a front-row seat to the stunning Cascade Mountains, rolling hills, glaciers and spectacular ocean cliffs. The most scenic route departs from Los Angelas and finishes in Seattle. Don’t miss the chance for the train of a lifetime.

    best train rides USA

    2. The California Zephyr

    Route: Chicago – San Francisco

    You’ll start your journey in Chicago, travelling 3,924km west, climbing through the breath-taking Rockies and snow-capped Sierra Nevadas, before you arrive at your final stop in San Francisco.

    3. Amtrak’s Empire Builder

    Route: Chicago – St. Paul/Minneapolis – Spokane – Portland/Seattle

    This 46-hour journey takes you on an exciting adventure through majestic wilderness, following the footsteps of early pioneers. From Chicago, you’ll have magnificent views of the Mississippi and see the glowing night skyline of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Awake the next morning as you cross the North Dakota plains and travel over the spectacular Gassman Coulee Trestle.

    Empire Builder Train | Amtrak

    4. Southwest Chief

    Route: Chicago – Kansas City – Albuquerque – Flagstaff – Los Angeles

    The Southwest Chief runs daily between Chicago and Los Angeles, through the vast expanse of the legendary American West. Carving through curving canyon passages only a few feet wider than the train itself, you’ll see spectacular landscapes and views not visible from interstate highways.

    Amtrak #3 at Apache Canyon, NM | Amtrak train #3, the eastbo… | Flickr

    5. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

    Route: Bryson City, North Carolina

    Enjoy stunning North Carolina scenery from the comfort of your seat with GSMR Nantahala Gorge train ride. In 4 1/2 roundtrip, you’ll be led 44 miles to and through the Natahala Gorge. Book your trip on a historic steam train here for one of the best train trips in the USA.

    best train rides USA

    6. Alaska Railroad’s Coastal Classic

    Route: Anchorage – Girdwood – Seward

    This beautiful route is a local favourite: convenient day trips from Anchorage to Seward with amazing scenery. You have about 7 hours to spend in Seward, the perfect amount of time to enjoy a Glacier & Wildlife Cruise into Kenai Fjords National Park. Or, opt for a visit to The Alaska Sealife Center and trip out to Exit Glacier.

    train trips USA

    7. Amtrak Adirondack

    Route: New York – Montreal

    The Amtrak Adirondack train travels daily from New York City, for a 10-hour journey through the wine country of the Hudson Valley, into Montreal. Board the southbound train anywhere along the line and arrive in mid-town Manhattan in time to enjoy dinner and nightlife in New York City. Convenient connecting trains at New York extend your reach to Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC.

    train trips USA

  • Brits Can Now Embark on a “Mystery Trip” to the Caribbean – trendybloggers.com

    This year’s pandemic has no doubt led to a pent up desire to travel. With borders, lockdowns and safety measures fluctuating all around the globe this year, it’s hard to tell when travel will be back to normal. However, if there’s one good thing to come out of this pandemic, it’s the innovation of tourism. With the rise of resort bubbles, virtual travel experiences and more lax remote work visas; there are certainly unique experiences that have been born out of a cratering travel industry. Most recently, a mystery trip to the Caribbean.

    Brits Can Now Embark on a “Mystery Trip” to the Caribbean

    Virgin Atlantic Holidays is guaranteeing Brits a Caribbean winter escape with no quarantine once they return home. The package which is aptly named Escape Pass will send guests to a mystery island in the Caribbean for up to 14 days. It works like this; travellers select only the length of their stay by deciding between one or two weeks; next, the hotel rating and flight class. Then, travellers will learn their destination just two weeks before their departure. Among the destinations are Barbados, Antigua, Grenada and Tobago. More Caribbean islands will be on the itinerary pending the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Oddice adding them to the travel corridor list.

    Juha Jarvinen, chief commercial officer at Virgin Atlantic, said this; ”We know customers are keen to get away on their next adventure after a difficult year,”… ”Top of the list is an idyllic holiday to the Caribbean, where the COVID-19 pandemic has been managed extremely well, allowing holidaymakers to enjoy sun, sea and beaches safely.”

    Additionally, Virgin Atlantic announced in August that it would provide all passengers with free coronavirus insurance until March. The insurance covers covid medical expenses, including repatriation, quarantine costs, transport charges and more.

    Moreover, several Caribbean countries have felt the crippling effects of the virus. The sudden stop in tourism has no doubt, led to unprecedented job losses and an economy that will be extremely difficult to revive. In response, some countries have announced alluring remote workers visas. Barbados, for example, has reeled in quite a few looking to take advantage of their new remote worker visa that allows stays up to a year. Antigua and Barbuda have also recently announced a new two-year residency program.

  • Lufthansa to Trial Economy Class Sleeper Seats – trendybloggers.com

    We can all agree that one of the worst aspects of flying, especially long-haul, is the crammed leg spaces. If you’re lucky and have a row or extra seat to yourself, sometimes you can rough it slinked over; as long as you can handle the neck and backaches that follow. If you dream of a world where flights go back to the golden age when passengers were served gourmet spreads in cushy seating and leg space was the last thing on anyone’s mind, we may have the answer. German airline Lufthansa is set to trial sleeper seats that convert into beds. Best part? These sleepers are for economy class.

    Lufthansa to Trial Economy Sleeper Seats

    Aptly coined ‘sleeper rows’ Lufthansa is trialling these seats on its Boeing 747’s between Frankfurt and Sao Paulo; a minimum 12-hour flight barring any layovers. If all goes well with the trials, Lufthansa plans to roll out the initiative across the entirety of their long-haul fleet.

    image: Live and Let’s Fly/Facebook

    ‘Sleeper’s Row’ idea is far from anything new, however. It’s not an actual bed itself. Instead, it gives passengers the option to pay extra to reserve three or four seats for them to stretch out. While this may sound a little anticlimactic, it does come with its own set of perks. For added comfort and to really make the row snooze-worthy, Lufthansa will provide travellers with a small mattress, pillows and a blanket. Additionally, Sleeper’s Row passengers will have priority boarding in order to have time to set their beds up.

    Lufthansa isn’t the only airline looking to enhance the economy experience, either. Just a few months ago Air New Zealand announced the development what they call the ‘Economy Skynest.’ The ‘Skynest’ creates a flat-lying sleep pod that is situated at the back of the plane complete with curtains, pillows and blankets. Additionally, just last year, Delta made announcements about amping up their economy service with perks like bistro dining, welcome cocktails and hot towel service.

    Air New Zealand Economy Skynest

    While this may be a blessing and a curse given that these airfares will inevitably cost a pretty penny; it’s a sign that the days of roughing it in economy class may be coming to an end.

  • 7 Things To Know About Renting a Car in Portugal – trendybloggers.com

    The population of Portugal is only a little over 10 million, meaning the roads aren’t over-crowded and both the cities and countryside allow for a reasonable and pleasant driving experience. The country is around 700 KM (434 miles) long from north to south, with the E1 motorway connecting all the three main cities (Faro, Lisbon, Porto) from the northern Portuguese/Spanish border to the south coast and Algarve region. Renting a car in Portugal is an ideal way to get around, with numerous options in the airports.

    Hiring a car and driving in Portugal

    Renting and driving is relatively straight forward and similar to most other mainstream European countries.

    Prices range vastly depending on the season, type of car and generally how far in advance you can book. If you make an advanced booking (excluding the summer peak of July and August) make the reservation a good few weeks before your collection date and shop around you are likely to find a deal on a basic mini or economy car (eg. Fiat 500, Vauxhall Corsa, Nissan Micra or similar) from as low as €2 – €3 per day. But be careful, this won’t include any insurance cover other than the basic 3rd party liability requirement. You will normally have to leave a rather large security deposit on your credit card which is subject to deductions for any scratches or damages to the vehicle on return.

    Here’s a few important points to consider when renting a car in Portugal:

    Clean and safe certificate

    Portugal was the first country in the early months of the 2020 Coronavirus outbreak to implement Covid-friendly policies into law affecting most sectors of travel including car rental. On April the 24th 2020, Turismo de Portugal created a “Clean and Safe” certificate which became mandatory for all travel and tourism businesses, travel agencies, accommodation and hotels to adhere to, thus promoting Portugal as a safe destination and reinforcing some confidence for travellers considering visiting the country. In all cases when renting a car in Portugal the operator should hold this mandatory certificate.

    Check for a fair fuel policy

    In 2014, EnjoyTravel.com, specialists in Portugal car rentals, introduced a “fair fuel policy” only approach to their car rental comparison website, being the first comparison site stating that they would ONLY work with rental companies who operated this fair policy. This innovative move prompted others to follow. Now, it is common practise for operators to offer a “full to full” system meaning you receive your car with a full tank and return it with a full tank incurring no additional fuel surcharges.

    However watch out and check the terms and conditions… There are still many often smaller rental companies offering “full to empty”. This means you get charged in addition for a full tank of fuel regardless of whether you use it all or not.  It’s also generally charged at a premium too, being more expensive that it would actually cost you to replenish the fuel you have used. Watch out for “full to full” vs. “full to empty” and always try and check for a “fair fuel policy”.

    Additional hidden fees

    Check the price you are quoted is the price you will pay and what “extras” are included. It may include unlimited mileage but that isn’t always the case. There may be a “limit” after which you will be charged an additional amount per mile.

    Additional fuel costs are also a “watch out”. As pointed out above, it’s worth checking the fuel policy since some companies may charge you for fuel regardless of whether you use it. Generally the mainstream and reputable companies will offer “full-full”.

    Additional drivers are usually not included, though some companies will offer it as an incentive. When renting a car from an airport, often you’ll find the cheapest prices from the lesser well known brands. This in itself doesn’t mean they are any lesser quality, so don’t worry. But they may be located off-airport and a common “hidden fee” is an additional price per person to use the shuttle –  a necessary journey in order to collect your car.

    Remember – the cheapest headline price isn’t necessarily the best overall price!

    Excess protection or full insurance

    By law, your car will always include the most basic liability insurance. This is in case you have are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident involving another vehicle or 3rd party. However, this won’t cover any damage to your own rental vehicle and without additional cover you can expect to be charged for it. So, keep that in mind!

    There are generally two common types of additional cover which you can take out. The first is the cheaper and is called “excess protection”. So, how does this work? You still need to leave a deposit with the rental company at the pick-up point. Then in the case of any deduction you will be able to claim it back. This is generally an extra option you can choose from the rental broker, agent or comparison website at the time when you book your rental online. The advantage is that it tends to be considerably cheaper than a “full insurance” product.

    Full insurance is normally offered directly from the rental company and eliminates the need for a credit card deposit. Yes, it is normally considerably more expensive. But it does provide a higher level of convenience should you be unlucky enough to damage the car.

    Check for damages and take photos as evidence

    First things first: photos, photos and more photos. When picking up your vehicle, have a good inspection of the vehicle. Take photos of any damage no matter how minor. Even small scratches on the wheels or bumpers could incur a chunky charge if you can’t prove they already existed at the point you drove away. You inspect and take photos where necessary of all 4 wheels, both bumpers, 4 wheel arches, all 4 corners of the car. Pay particular attention to any scratches, bumps, and dints that you spot.

    Toll roads in Portugal

    Renting a Car in Portugal

    The majority of Portuguese motorways now involve tolls. The road system is mostly modern and well maintained, and the toll system is modern and efficient. The toll roads are well identified by signage before you enter them. You can also pay by electronic tag linked directly to your payment debit or credit card. It really is nice and easy. The best system is “pay-as-you-go” or “EASY-toll” meaning you pay real time only for what you use. Some rental operators may even offer a pre-pay type method. This generally isn’t necessary and is often a way for them to enhance their own profits at your cost.

    Limited Miles/KM

    Always check the rental terms with regards to the number of miles/km that can be used during your rental. Most are unlimited. However, there are some companies that will offer a lower price for a rental with a limited amount of miles/km included. They are usually have a “daily” amount on the display which can be confusing. But, it doesn’t mean the rental company are tracking your every move in a 24-hour period! You should work out the total you can use by the daily limit multiplied by the number of days you are renting the car for. These limited options can work for some but are very rarely that much cheaper than an unlimited rental.  Often, the excess miles/km charges can work out to be expensive.

    Follow these tips for a stress-free car rental experience in Portugal.

    How to get around Portugal:

    See the best car rental deals here.

  • The 7 Biggest Car Rental Rip-offs – trendybloggers.com

    When car rental goes smoothly, it’s convenient, cost-effective and enjoyable. There are many different rental companies on the market, ranging from country to country with big international brands, medium regional operators, and small local businesses too, that may operate in only one city. But car rental can also result in unexpected charges, so watch out for common car rental rip-offs.

    Steve Dennis, managing director of EnjoyTravel.com, an international car rental broker, explains the biggest rip-offs in his 15 years of experience in the industry.  From sneaky fuel charges to unnecessary upgrades, these are the rental rip-offs to be aware of.

    A combination of brand reputation and price are often the main attractions when comparing rentals. The cheapest may often be the most appealing, and in many cases is going to offer good value for money. But amongst these cheap offers on the market, there can sometimes be hidden costs that aren’t particularly clear on the face of it. Additional unknown costs and policies can be well hidden in the terms and conditions, so take note!

    Here are 7 of the main rip-offs to watch out for when selecting your rental car:

    1) Fuel policies

    Some sneaky rental companies offer pricing tiers based on the fuel policy given, while the industry standard is that companies will offer FULL/FULL or “Return same as collected” on the fuel there are still a few that will offer a crazy low price for a FULL-to-EMPTY policy, whereby you pay for a full tank of fuel (often at a premium) and whatever level of fuel you return will not be refunded back to you. Other variations of this include an offer of a full tank and offer a refund of the difference but with an admin fee making it just as expensive. Opting for a FULL/FULL or “Return same as collected” policy will save you money as you are in control.

    Action: Check that you understand the fuel policy of the rental, the most cost effective is generally full to full.

    2) Upgrades

    Are you offered an upgrade when you arrive? It could well be that the rental provider is genuinely providing you with a better choice at an extra cost. Sometimes this is welcome and you can decide to accept the additional cost in return for a better car, model or specification. However, some rental providers will offer an upgrade at a higher cost because they do not have the car you booked. If you do not need to upgrade you would naturally say no. In the case that your chosen car is not available you will be given the upgrade anyway as it is the only car available, it’s just a case of avoiding the hard sell.

    Action: Only agree to pay for an upgrade if you really want it, and ask whether the reason for the upgrade is because they don’t have the car you ordered in stock, in which case it’s fair to argue the upgrade should be complimentary.

    3) Unlimited mileage/kilometrage

    Reducing the price that the customer first checks is the best way to get the consumer to part with their cash and make a booking. As with the fuel policy, removing certain benefits means the rental providers are relying on the customer not checking and reading the terms and conditions.

    You might expect unlimited miles/kms as standard, but that’s not always the case. Often you can find yourself renting a car with a very small limit on the distance that you can drive before being charged an extra amount per mile/km. The price of the original rental will be cheaper but once you add on the excess miles/kilometres it can work out much more expensive overall.

    Action: Always check whether the rental includes “unlimited mileage / kilometrage”

    4) Toll management fees

    One thing well worth a check when renting a car is whether the routes you intend to drive involve any toll roads and if so, how much they will cost. It is common practice to offer a toll transponder. For example “vignette” or “sunpass” to allow you to skip the line and go through without stopping and paying. However, these can be expensive and often based on the number of days you are renting for. If you only plan on using them occasionally you may be better to decline the offer of a pass and pay as you go.

    Action: If you know the route you are going to drive, research in advance what the costs of the toll roads will be.  Then you will be prepared to know how the rental company’s solution stacks up on cost, compared to paying as you go.

    5) Insurance

    This is the amongst the most important and amongst the most confusing topics when it comes to car rental. But a little bit of research in advance can help to avoid taking additional insurances when arriving at the desk to collect the car and complete the documentation.

    In the USA and Canada it is common to have cover via your credit card which will protect against any 3rd party damages, however this does not stop the pushy sales representative from trying to convince you to purchase their own insurance on top, when you arrive at the desk.

    In Europe and Australia it is normal for customers to be required to leave a deposit on their credit card equal to the maximum excess which can be deducted in the event of damage. How to save you paying over double on the insurance for your rental? Reading what is and what isn’t included and checking against your own cover via credit card or any other external policy can help.

    Action: Check in advance what cover you may already have and be prepared to say no on arrival at the desk.

    6) Onsite – Offsite

    When you come to reserve your car, you will find numerous options and companies offering different products and prices. If traveling abroad, you are likely to collect the vehicle from the airport where you land. The bigger brands may have a dedicated desk in the terminal, or close to the terminal in the rental area. Others might be a shuttle bus journey away.

    There can be some significant savings if you take an off-site supplier; most will be based on or very close to the perimeter of the airport so it can make sense to use them. However, some will only allow the driver to take the shuttle bus and charge an additional fee for any additional passengers. While this is not that common it is worth checking… Your off-site saving becomes much less if you have to pay to use the shuttle or leave you family in the terminal whilst you take the journey to collect your car.

    Action: If your rental company advertises that they are a short shuttle bus journey away from the terminal, check whether there are additional fees for additional passengers to use the shuttle bus.

    7) Damage

    Damages are closely linked to insurance options but can be very easily avoided by taking a little bit of extra time when collecting the car. If you take a walk around the car to inspect it then why not take pictures too? Focus on the common parts that are damaged: wheel rims/alloys, the bumpers and where the luggage is entered and removed from. If you have these photos then you can compare them on drop off and show the pre-existing damages on your pictures. This avoids the risk of being charged for damage which may have already existed.

    Action: Always thoroughly inspect your vehicle before driving away, and take quality photos on your mobile device of any damage no matter how small.

  • 7 Things To Know About Renting a Car in England – trendybloggers.com

    Whether flying in from abroad or planning a staycation, here’s a guide on some things to know.

    England is the largest country in the United Kingdom and Great Britain. With a population over 55 million in a relatively small mass of land comparable with Greece or Nicaragua and (being 130,279 sq km or 50,301 sq miles to be precise), the roads in the cities and motorways alike tend to be crowded and busy with a lot of speed cameras.

    Here’s what to know about renting a car in England

    Smart motorways in England

    Throughout the last decade, the English motorway system has been subject to major upgrades causing significant traffic jams from road works, for the national implementation of the “Smart Motorway” system. This has involved widening the lanes, strengthening the road surface and in many cases, increasing the motorways from a 3 lane system to a 4 lane system. Motorways now have state of the art traffic flow controls, over-head displays, flexible speed limits and 24 hour monitored management via cameras.

    England is amongst the safest in the world when it comes to accidents

    The roads are safer than other similar sized countries in Europe and around the world with a lower proportion of accidents and fatalities per car on the road.

    The accident rate in the UK in 2018 was only 27.7 per million which is lower than almost every other major country, beaten by only Norway and Switzerland.

    In England, like the rest of the UK, driving is on the left hand side

    Renting a car in England as a foreigner for the first time? It’s worth having a few minutes practise in the car park (parking lot) where you have collected you car. In particular, get used to looking left first then right when at a junction or roundabout.

    Here’s a few inside tips when renting a car and driving in England…

    Which are the best car rental operators in England?

    In almost all major cities and airports you will find the well-known brands like Avis, Hertz, Sixt, Alamo, Enterprise and Europcar. They are reliable and likely to have a dedicated desk in the terminal when collecting from an airport, and consistent in what you can expect to find. Looking for the bargains? Whilst still hoping for a base level of quality but happy to perhaps take a short shuttle journey and save money, it’s worth comparing all the options on a comparison website such as EnjoyTravel.com. You’ll find most of the big brands as well as some of the perhaps lesser known but still reliable brands like Green Motion, Easirent or SurPrice. Quite substantial savings can be made in this way.

    Contactless collection and return system

    Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus in March 2020, EnjoyTravel.com, in partnership with Easirent launched the first “contactless” and Covid-friendly rental system in England, initially offering car rental from London Kings Cross and Marble Arch, and following its success it was rolled out to more London locations.

    The system is designed to eliminate all contact between the renter and the rental company. It involves no desk, no physical check-in and handily no queues too! You simply submit all of the paperwork online prior to travel, then collect your keys from a convenient onsite locker system in the collection area.

    London congestion zone

    The capital city of London is extremely busy and traffic is consistently heavy from first thing in the morning to last thing at night. If driving into central London and certain other parts, be aware of the congestion charge. If you drive into the London congestion charge zone, a £15 daily charge is applicable. It can be paid in advance online; if you don’t pay it you can be sure your car will be picked up by one of the many congestion charge enforcement cameras on the majority of routes into the city. The charge applies between 7am to 10pm daily except Christmas day the 25th December each year.

    Toll roads

    The majority or roads and motorways in England are free to drive on. In fact, there are only a limited number of roads and motorways which involve a specific toll which are listed below and include the M6 toll road north of Birmingham. Whilst this charge may seem unreasonable, it can be well worth it to avoid the highly congested M6.

    Toll roads in the United Kingdom:

    • The M6 toll road
    • M4 – Second Severn Crossing
    • M25 – Dartford River Crossing
    • M48 – Severn Bridge
    • A4 – Batheaston Bridge
    • A15 – Humber Bridge
    • A19 – Tyne Tunnel
    • A38 – Tamar Bridge
    • A41 – Mersey Tunnels – Queensway
    • A59 – Mersey Tunnels – Kingsway
    • A57 – Dunham Bridge
    • A477 – Cleddau Bridge
    • A3025 – Itchen Bridge
    • A533 – Mersey Gateway Bridge
    • A533 – Silver Jubilee Bridge

    Keep left unless over-taking!

    In England and the rest of the United Kingdom, the motorways are generally 3 or 4 lanes wide in each direction. The 3 and 4 lane system is based on a premise of staying left except when over-taking. So if the left hand lane is empty and you’re not in it, then you should pull across.

    A top tip, English drivers can be known to get particularly frustrated by fellow drivers not using this system correctly. You may experience other drivers flashing their lights to prompt you to move left. If this happens, and the lane to the left of you is empty, you are probably in the wrong lane! You should indicate, check your mirror and pull across a lane to the left when safe to do so.

    Single and double yellow lines and parking fines

    On most roads in an around the English cities, towns and villages you will see single and double yellow lines running along the payment or border edge of the road. These have particular meanings in terms of parking and waiting.

    • Single yellow lines – these mean there is no waiting or parking during specific times or days and night, as well as specific days such as bank holidays may be excluded. You should find a sign post nearby detailing the specific restrictions.
    • Double yellow lines – mean no parking at any time.
    • Zig zags – mean no parking or stopping at any time. These are normally used for places where there is a particular danger such as on approach to a crossing, near a school, or by a dangerous bend.

    In all of the major cities and towns, parking and enforcement is a major source of revenue for the city. So don’t be surprised if you break the rules and park where you shouldn’t to quickly see a parking warden lurking, or have a ticket stuck to your windscreen when you return to your car. The amount of the fine will differ from place to place.

    Courteous driving

    The English roads (like many other aspects of being in England!) are generally courteous, well-mannered and the following unwritten rules are broadly in place.

    • If someone pulls over to allow you through, or slows down to allow you to pull in, give them a friendly little wave. Or if it’s night time, a short snappy little flash of the flood light. This signifies a polite “thank you” from driver to driver.
    • On the motorways, stay in the left hand lane and allow drivers to over-take.
    • If you are over-taking yourself, once you have passed the car which you are over-taking, pull back into the left lane until the next time you need to over-take.
    • English drivers generally and habitually give other drivers plenty of space. So, when pulling in, pulling out, they allow plenty of space and don’t “cut up” other drivers. Pulling in too closely “cutting up” / “cutting in front of” other drivers is rude!

    Of course, not all drivers follow this, but are generally considered as uncourteous and unfriendly when not doing so. Take note of these tips and you’ll be driving like a local in England in no time…

  • The 7 Best Winter Sun Destinations In Europe – trendybloggers.com

    Tired of the cold weather? We don’t blame you. Thousands of travellers plan winter vacations each year just to get away from the winter gloom and replenish their levels of Vitamin D. 

    In fact, nearly a quarter of all Americans actually prefer winter vacations, citing the lack of tourists, lower costs, and desire to get away from the bad weather as reasons why. And, they’ve certainly got their eye on Europe’s hottest tourist destinations.

    Whether you’re American, European, or from any other far-reaching corner of the world, we thought we’d check out the best winter sun destinations to visit in Europe. After all, it’s one of the most visited spots on Earth, and it’s also home to some of the world’s best beaches.

    Pack your bags, set your away messages, and prepare to treat yourself to your first vacation of the year. Head to any one of the seven best winter sun destinations in Europe for a warm-weather holiday. You deserve it.

    Best Winter Sun Destinations In Europe

    1. The Canary Islands, Spain

    The cheapest time to fly to Lanzarote, one of the most popular islands in Spain’s Canary Islands, is March. And, while it’s not quite winter still, it’s definitely still cold in most parts of the world. So, book your tickets now and plan a trip to the Canary Islands to warm your bones after a long, cold, dreary winter.

    Average winter temperature: 13°C to 20°C/55°F to 68°F

    Best Winter Sun Destinations In Europe

    2. Madeira, Portugal

    Madeira is, without a doubt, one of the most popular winter sun destinations in Europe for Europeans. Numerous people from the UK, Spain, and other nearby countries head here every year. Rent a villa or invest in some beachfront timeshare properties, it doesn’t matter. Just get your butt to Madeira and bask in some of that Portuguese sun.

    Average winter temperature: 5.5°C to 12°C/42°F to 53°F

    3. Mdina, Malta

    Home to numerous fortresses and megalithic temples, Malta is an enchanting spot to spend any holiday. However, it’s easily one of the best winter sun destinations in Europe, especially for those interested in lots of warm weather. Explore Mdina before hopping on a speed boat and jetting off to Comino, Malta’s tiniest island, for some secluded rest and relaxation.

    Average winter temperature: 10°C to 15.5°C/50°F to 60°F

    Best Winter Sun Destinations In Europe

    4. Palermo, Italy

    Ancient Romans reportedly believed that there were four gods of the wind. And, one of those gods carries with it a Sirocco wind that brings hot air from Africa year-round. The result? A nice and warm Palermo for visitors to enjoy, especially during the wintertime. Explore charming plazas and indulge in delicious Italian food, all without having to wear your winter coat.

    Average winter temperature: 10°C to 15.5°C/50°F to 60°F

    Where is Warm in Europe in Winter

    5. Corfu, Greece

    During peak travel season, you’ll encounter literal boatloads of people island-hopping throughout Greece. And, while they usually stop off at well-known spots such as Mykonos and Santorini, Corfu is a treasure, too. Personified by rugged mountains and a resort-studded shoreline, the views here are as stunning as anywhere else in the Ionian Sea.

    Average winter temperature: 6°C to 14°C/43°F to 58°F

    6. Valencia, Spain

    Valencia’s beautiful any time of the year, but when it comes to the best winter sun destinations in Europe, you’ll find tourists from all over the world flocking to this hotbed of warm weather and fantastic sites. Check out the L’Umbracle, which is a beautifully scenic sculpture garden and landscaped walk that’ll make friends back home super jealous of your vacay.

    Average winter temperature: 5.5°C to 17°C/42°F to 63°F

    Best Things to Do in Valencia Spain

    7. Gibraltar, British Overseas Territory

    Located on Spain’s southern coast, Gibraltar is a unique spot to spend a holiday. And, with temperatures pretty balmy in January and February, it’s actually the perfect time to hike the famous Rock of Gibraltar. Not a fan of hiking? Take the cable car or see the rock from below at St. Michael’s Cave.

    Average winter temperature: 11°C to 17°C/52°F to 62°F

    When to Visit Gibraltar Rock

  • The World’s 7 Most Festive Airports At Christmas – trendybloggers.com

    Holiday travel is often quite a drag. Longer lines at security, overcrowded restrooms, and little to no outlet space for charging your phone to browse through memes before you’re bombarded by life back home. But, some airports go above and beyond with their Christmas decorations to make things festive, fun, and bright.

    Coincidentally, some of the United States’ busiest airports are also some of the most festive airports at Christmas. And, you’ll find that airports in Europe and Asia also work to add an extra festive touch to their terminals at Christmas, too.

    Don’t be a Scrooge and check out just how these airports are decking the terminals for holiday season. Here are the world’s seven most festive airports at Christmas.

    1. Singapore Changi Airport

    It’s hard to find an airport more full of holiday cheer than the Singapore Changi Airport. Makeshift forests, winter wonderlands, and holiday decorations turn the airport into one of the most festive places in the world. Last year, there was even a drone snowflake show before Hello Kitty and her Sanrio friends arrived to greet holiday travellers. It’s worth booking a long layover here during Christmastime, as you’re definitely going to want to explore a bit.

    Most Festive Airports at Christmas
    Image: Changi Airport Group

    2. Munich International Airport

    As home to some of the best Christmas markets in the world, it comes as no surprise that Munich’s airport is also one of the most festive airports in the world. At Christmastime, the airport turns into a full-on Christmas market. Explore the wintery wonderland where you can adventure through a Christmas pine forest and nine ice skating rinks before touring the market stands.

    Airports with the Best Christmas Decorations
    Image: Munich Airport

    3. Chicago O’Hare International Airport

    Not only is the Chicago O’Hare International Airport one of the busiest airports in the United States at Christmas, but it’s also one of the most festive. Thousands of lights, marvellous trees, and live performances make this one jolly place to be at Christmas. Once you’ve arrived, you can ride into the city on the CTA Holiday Train, which has been transformed into the Polar Express. Santa leads the way on this light-filled, bow-covered journey of festive fun.

    United States' Busiest Airports at Christmas
    Image: Adventures with Andrea

    4. Helsinki Airport

    Helsinki is pretty close to the North Pole, so it makes sense that the Helsinki Airport is Santa’s official gateway to the world. Jam to classic Christmas carols as you sip on hot chocolate and make your way to your terminal. However, make sure you plan enough time to meet with Santa himself. This year, Santa will greet travellers between December 1st and 24th from 1 pm to 5 pm. And, his elves will be along to help spread Christmas cheer.

    Best Airports for Christmas Travel
    Image: Finavia

    5. Denver International Airport

    If you can’t make it to Munich to enjoy their airport Christmas market, then you’ll be delighted to know that there’s also one at the Denver International Airport. During the holiday season, the airport opens a free skating rink and Christmas market just outside of security. Stop off and enjoy the holiday spirit that oozes from the terminals here. In past years, they’ve even shown Christmas movies and held ugly sweater contests.

    Image: Denver International Airport

    6. San Francisco International Airport

    What makes the San Francisco International Airport is the drive in or out. So, if you’re just passing through for a quick layover, you might not get to enjoy the full festive nature of the Bay Area’s Christmas cheer. Beautifully lit trees line the road leading to the airport. And, once inside, you’ll find that numerous of the Bay Area’s top artists often give live performances.

    Image: San Francisco International Airport

    7. Vancouver International Airport

    The Vancouver International Airport truly gets into the spirit of giving. Their Annual Holiday Hamper Drive makes it easy for travellers to donate goods to families in need. Plus, those who participate in the event get the chance to indulge in fun festive activities like a visit from Santa and Christmas cookie decorating.

    Image: Vancouver International Airport
  • Brits Can Now Embark on a “Mystery Trip” to the Caribbean – trendybloggers.com

    This year’s pandemic has no doubt led to a pent up desire to travel. With borders, lockdowns and safety measures fluctuating all around the globe this year, it’s hard to tell when travel will be back to normal. However, if there’s one good thing to come out of this pandemic, it’s the innovation of tourism. With the rise of resort bubbles, virtual travel experiences and more lax remote work visas; there are certainly unique experiences that have been born out of a cratering travel industry. Most recently, a mystery trip to the Caribbean.

    Brits Can Now Embark on a “Mystery Trip” to the Caribbean

    Virgin Atlantic Holidays is guaranteeing Brits a Caribbean winter escape with no quarantine once they return home. The package which is aptly named Escape Pass will send guests to a mystery island in the Caribbean for up to 14 days. It works like this; travellers select only the length of their stay by deciding between one or two weeks; next, the hotel rating and flight class. Then, travellers will learn their destination just two weeks before their departure. Among the destinations are Barbados, Antigua, Grenada and Tobago. More Caribbean islands will be on the itinerary pending the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Oddice adding them to the travel corridor list.

    Juha Jarvinen, chief commercial officer at Virgin Atlantic, said this; ”We know customers are keen to get away on their next adventure after a difficult year,”… ”Top of the list is an idyllic holiday to the Caribbean, where the COVID-19 pandemic has been managed extremely well, allowing holidaymakers to enjoy sun, sea and beaches safely.”

    Additionally, Virgin Atlantic announced in August that it would provide all passengers with free coronavirus insurance until March. The insurance covers covid medical expenses, including repatriation, quarantine costs, transport charges and more.

    Moreover, several Caribbean countries have felt the crippling effects of the virus. The sudden stop in tourism has no doubt, led to unprecedented job losses and an economy that will be extremely difficult to revive. In response, some countries have announced alluring remote workers visas. Barbados, for example, has reeled in quite a few looking to take advantage of their new remote worker visa that allows stays up to a year. Antigua and Barbuda have also recently announced a new two-year residency program.