Where are our expats?

When it comes to living the expat lifestyle the British are up there with the best of them. With approximately 7% of the population of the UK living abroad where are all these Brits living? One company that deals with expats transferring money abroad have crunched the numbers to find out where Britons have settled around the world. Check out this interesting graphic on the where and why of British expatriation.

Where are our expats?

10 Ideas To Plan A Trip To Paris

Ah, Paris, the city of love. Every year people flock to one of the world’s favourite cities to explore this beautiful and magical city.There are many things to do and see, as well as eat and drink. Paris has so much to do that one could stay a year and not run out of places to see.

Here are 10 ideas to plan a trip to Paris and get you started.

10 Ideas To Plan A Trip To Paris
[Source: The apartment rental website Localnomad.]

1. Enjoy A Panoramic View

The Eiffel Tower, located on the Champ de Mars, is one of the most well known structures in the entire world. It was originally constructed as an entrance arch in 1889 for the World’s Fair and is named after Gustave Eiffel. Coming in at 320 metres tall or 1,050 feet, the Tower is made of iron and weighs ten thousand tons. Enjoy the spectacular views and have fun taking photos!

2. Discover Paris By Bike

Biking through Paris allows you to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of Paris and really see what the city has to offer. Take a bike tour that offer a tour by day or night, or even through Monet’s Garden and Versailles. These guided tours give you information about the sights and more. Or rent a bike and freestyle it through the city for an unexpected adventure!

3. Try A Michelin Starred Restaurant

Paris has over 70 Michelin-starred restaurants in what is already one of the most exquisite food capitals in the world. There’s a long list with many restaurants that have fancy food with fancy list prices, but the price can be cut down by dining at lunch time. From Le Meurice to Pierre Gagnaire to Lasserre and La Tour d’Argent, the possibilities are endless.

4. Go To A Jazz Concert

Paris has many great bars, cafes and clubs that feature wonderful jazz. The city is known for its hip venues and smooth jazz clubs where it’s possible to grab a drink and relax, including the Au Duc des Lombards and the Salle Pleyel, home to the Orchestre de Paris as well as the Orchestre Philharmonique Radio France.

5. Rent An Apartment Instead Of A Hotel

10 Ideas To Plan A Trip To Paris
[Photo Credit: http://www.localnomad.com/en/duplex-saint-germain-1-paris.html]

Renting an apartment in place of a hotel can give you that true sense of being in the city instead of being just a visitor. Plus, you get all the charm of a real life apartment with all its furnishings and decor that a sterile hotel designed to be the same for each guest lacks, here you can check out nice Paris apartments from Localnomad.

6. Explore By Foot

Paris is beautiful on foot. The great thing about walking through the city is you can meet people, go in the shops, grab a bite to eat or sit down at a cafe, and much more. You can explore the city and take it all in. Go on foot for a sensory experience you won’t soon forget.

7. Visit La Defense District

The modern office tower and high rise district of Paris is the location of the Grande Arche de La Denfense, an interesting and famous France landmark that resembles a hollow cube. It is a business district that was created in part by Charles de Gaulle in the 60s who wanted to concentrate skyscrapers in a single business district to save changing the character of downtown Paris.

8. Sample French Wine

French wine is renowned for its quality and taste. After all, French wine has been produced since the sixth century B.C., and many of its regions have made wine since the Roman times. France is also where many grape varieties such as Pinot noir and Cabernet Sauvignon have originated. Sample French wine in Paris by going to some of the great wine bars, such as Le Baron Rouge, or a wine tasting class at Ô Château, offering classes for beginners and connoisseurs alike.

9. Visit The Street Markets

The street markets of Paris offer a real sampling of the food and wares of the city as well as the flavor and liveliness. Whether it’s books, antiques, food, or various treasures, there’s a market in Paris for everyone, every day of the week.

10. Lose yourself in Saint Germain

Saint Germain has a youthful energy and interesting atmosphere as a university district. There are many eateries, bars, gift shops, and more being passed by and visited by students and tourists as well as locals. Saint Germain has design shops, churches, bookstores, art galleries, hotels, cafes and restaurants. It is impossible to be bored in Saint Germain. Let yourself be swept up in the energy and the sights of Saint Germain.

European Travel Quiz

In Europe you find so many great cities to visit – some with great historical background like Rome, some in which you can spent hours in museums like in Paris, and some cities are just gorgeous like Bruges. In case you are looking for inspiration which city to visit next, or which monuments you shouldn’t miss, try the Superbreak Travel Quiz to find out which European cities are worth putting on your travel to-visit list.

AirAsia

A Journey Around Europe Travel Quiz

Tips for Travel to New Zealand

New Zealand 2007
[New Zealand 2007 by Szymon Stoma, on Flickr]

Kia ora! This Māori greeting, “be healthy”, is the informal “Hi!” from the friendly, down-to-earth people of New Zealand. A small country, similar in size to Great Britain or Japan, New Zealand is described as “gloriously uncrowded” with a population of four million. Three-quarters live in the North Island, with one-third of the total population living in the North’s largest city, Auckland.

Maori and Europeans settled New Zealand and you are sure to feel the influence of both upon this nation’s culture. Some said they were finding containers for hire. As their national motto and greeting hint at, New Zealand is a place to get outdoors and be active, and if you are traveling from the US, remember, the seasons are reversed!

100% Pure!

Isolated geographically, New Zealand has many unique plants and wildlife. Kiwis designated 20 percent of their nation to parks, forests, and marine reserves. Over 80% of plants are native within many large evergreen forests. When you visit the North Island, you’ll see the pohutukawa tree with its bright red flowers blooming in December, giving it the title of New Zealand’s Christmas tree. Citizens get their nickname from their national symbol, a nocturnal flightless bird, cute, but fiercely territorial, with nostrils on the end of its large beak, and you can visit “kiwi houses” at zoos and wildlife parks. And sheep. No missing this nation’s sheep. There are more sheep than people in New Zealand! Wool, knitted up into sweaters and cloth, or in skeins of yarn, should definitely be in your suitcase when heading home.

North Island

The geography of New Zealand varies greatly and one extreme is the Franz Josef Glacier. Visitors are permitted to walk on the planet’s only glacier not receding.

In the island’s largest coastal city, Auckland, you’ll want to visit Māori historic taonga (treasures), including Te Hana Te Ao Marama for a glimpse into pre-European New Zealand through traditional song and dance. Another must-see is Tamaki Hikoi, where tours take you to Maungawhau (Mount Eden) and the Auckland Domain, home of the Auckland Museum.

On the East side of the island, the limestone Waitomo Caves should not be skipped! Glow-worm grottos and caverns first explored in 1887 with black-water rafting for adrenaline junkies.

South Island

New Zealand’s second-largest city Christchurch has a statue of Queen Victoria in the center of its town square and you can take a gondola ride on the River Thames. Christchurch is said to be more British than England!

For another taste of New Zealand’s famously varied geography, visit Fjordlands National Park, the nation’s largest, and see the natural beauty Rudyard Kipling named “The Eighth Wonder of the World.” If you’re a fan of Middle Earth, you’ll love the boat ride in the fjords where ‘The Lord of the Rings’ was filmed.

For adventure seekers, visit Queenstown, home of bungy jumping, for a bus tour that takes you over Kawarau Bridge and the Skyline Gondola which takes you to a mountaintop restaurant.

So, North or South? Both!

Bio

Steve Chamley trades products from South America like footwear and bags. He supplies them unbranded to different shops in Australia and New Zealand.

Exploring Perth with a Car Hire

Experience Perth like never before when you opt to hire a car during your travels. This Western Australia city provides locals and tourists with lots to see and enjoy, spread out throughout the region. Rather than relying solely on public transportation which may not always be available to take you to your desired destination on time, hiring a car is a much more convenient option. This gives you the freedom to roam as you would like and to visit all of the different area attractions whenever you would like to. The following options are just a few things that you may want to check out with the freedom to explore during your Western Australia adventure.

Kings Park & Botanic Garden

Kings Park & Botanic Garden is one of the most popular attractions in Perth. When you choose to hire a car, you can easily visit this destination as well as many others that are fun for the whole family. Kings Park is filled with a wide range of beautiful gardens, fun planned events throughout the year, amazing views of the Swan River, bushwalks, playgrounds and cafes for your ultimate enjoyment. Experience the beautiful outdoors when you opt to travel to Kings Park & Botanic Garden in Perth, Australia.

Cottesloe Beach

If you have come to Perth to enjoy a beach holiday, look no further than Cottesloe Beach. Hop in your car rental and head to the urban Cottesloe Beach where you will find clean sand, crystal blue water, shops, hotels and restaurants located right along the coast for your convenience. Whether you have come to swim, lay out on the beach or to simply enjoy amazing ocean views, car hires give you the ability to roam and visit Cottesloe Beach during your holiday in Perth, Australia.

Fraser Avenue Lookout

For some of the most amazing views of Perth, be sure to visit the Fraser Avenue Lookout. These spectacular views of the city are ones that you will not find anywhere else. Roam around the grounds for a peaceful, stress-free walk, see the outstanding skyline and take in views of the rolling Perth hills in the background. While public transportation can be unreliable in getting to Fraser Avenue with ease, when you choose to hire a car you can visit this top destination whenever you would like to during your visit.

Penguin Island

A trip to Perth would not be complete without a visit to Penguin Island. Penguin Island is located in the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park which is easily accessible by car and just a 45 minute drive from the city. This amazing unspoiled nature reserve is home to the largest colony of penguins in Western Australia. In addition to penguins, visitors can also enjoy encounters with dolphins, sting rays, sea lions, pelicans and more.

All in all, there is no better way to explore the city of Perth than with your very own car hire. Visit top destinations on your own schedule and truly make the most out of your trip to Australia.

Escape the winter to Tenerife

Brits will have already noticed a chill in the air at the beginning of September, with the weather taking a serious downturn. We’ve got the rain, we’ve got the cold – and it’s all just a taster of what’s in store come November and onwards. All this talk of Britain’s weather system – unpredictable at best, unfair at worst – will undoubtedly have people longing for warmer temperatures. Book now for some winter sun this year in Tenerife, the ideal place for an impromptu holiday.

Why Tenerife?
Aside from having the one thing completely necessary for a good winter sun holiday (ie: the winter sun), Tenerife has a plethora of attractions to keep you entertained and a more than agreeable atmosphere. Whether you like to saunter between the honey-coloured walls of the local village in search of culture, or relax on the beach with a towel and a spot of alfresco dining, the island has something to appease even the most discerning winter sun seeker.

Coming up with a complete list of things to do on Tenerife would take days and days of internet research, and even then there are places that aren’t easily found on the net you might miss until you actually get out there. But anyway – here are a few activities you can do on the island, just to whet your appetite.

Things to do
As a place to explore, Tenerife is as fascinating during the winter as it is in the summer. In fact, if you’re into trekking and walking, it’s arguably better in the winter. Temperatures are still in the 20s in November and December, making it warm, but not blisteringly so. Roam all the way up to Mount Teide if you feel like it, although bear in mind it will be much cooler as you go on up!

Failing that, hire a car and discover the secret village of Masca. Hidden on the coastline, the only way to reach it 30 years ago was by boat and then donkey ride. It still contains many traditions and objects you won’t find anywhere else.
The island doesn’t close down for the winter either – many of the bars and restaurants are open all year round, even if the clientele is a little more mature than during the height of summer. Head to Santa Cruz for its renowned shopping and clubbing scenes, or for a thrilling experience, get over to one of the island’s amusement parks.

Christmas on Tenerife
As well as the many activities you can do all year round, winter holds some very special attractions for holidaymakers looking to visit Tenerife. December is celebration time, with traditional Canarian towns such as Puerto de la Cruz, Santa Cruz, La Laguna and La Orotava holding their own processions and Christmas markets all through the month. There are also the huge street parties of December 31st – see in the New Year in style with the locals, and drink the bar dry.

Sightseeing in France

Eiffel Tower
[Eiffel Tower by Terrazzo, on Flickr]

Looking around France can never be an exhaustive agenda whether you spend days doing it or months. That is how rich the sights in France are.

Musee du Louvre

Philippe Auguste built it in 12th century and it became national museum in 1793.Easily the best in the Europe, the artifacts and sculptures here excel in their artistic value.

Chateau de Chantilly

Chateau de Chantilly holds some of the most arrestingly beautiful paintings. The time spent in the gardens can never leave your memory. A single vestibule leads you to two buildings, the Petit and Grand Chateaux.

Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris

This square is in the center of Paris, the cathedral of Our Lady of Paris at its threshold. The exact center of the city is marked by a bronze star near the entrance to the cathedral.

If Cathedrale Notre dame does not find a place in a list of architectural excellence in France, the list is woefully inadequate. Such is the marvel of the structure built in 13th century.

Chateau de Chambord

One of the largest chateau in the Loire valley, Chateau de Chambord is a fine representation of French Renaissance architectural splendor. The rooms and corridors may pose a problem if you got lost. Keep the audio guide that you can buy at the chateau handy.

Basilique de St-Denis

Can you visualize 43 kings and 32 queens together? Well, they are there alright but in their graves at St-Denis Basilica. You cannot help slipping to a tenebrous mood by the presence of the appropriate funerary sculptures.

Grotte de Lascaux & Lascaux II

To move far back into the past, visit Grotte de Lascaux to see the prehistoric cave paintings. The complexity of the arrangements within the chambers is unbelievable.

Chateau de Versailles

The enormity of this perhaps most famous chateau in France or even the whole of Europe is difficult to comprehend even after several visits. The vainglorious Louis XIV’s insatiable self-importance has resulted in this most aesthetical achievement for you to see and savor.

Center Pompidou

The French, ancient or modern, seem to indulge in things artistic. Georges Pompidou, the erstwhile French president’s desire for a modern architectural structure gave shape to this building. The building has all the modern features like plumbing and air vents. The exhibition includes paintings by Picasso.

Jardin du Palais Royal

The French governments of the modern times knew how to put old buildings to good utility. This palace was built in 1624 and a favorite of Louis XIV, it is the seat of Conseil d’Etat.

Maison de Claude Monet

Giverny, a hamlet lying northwest of Paris is the home to Monet whose paintings are some of the priciest in the world. If you consider yourself as someone artistically inclined, you would not want to miss a pilgrimage to Giverny.

Musee des Beaux-Arts

What will you do if the rooms holding art pieces are themselves pieces of art? You will end up spending the whole day there! This most beautiful galley and its exhibits are among the most enduringly fascinating.

Author Bio:

Adam Prattler prefers to use infographics for visually communicating his data.

Austria Travel Destinations That Rock

Where to Go For Your Austrian Holiday Travels

Vienna State Opera (Vienna, Austria)

If you’re planning your next holiday adventure, you really need to consider Austria. Why, you ask? Well, because the country has so much to offer and travel there is more affordable than you might think. If you’re straddling the fence, we have some of the best travel destinations in Austria. No matter how much time you have to spend on holiday, the list below is going to be more than enough to keep you busy.

Vienna State Opera

You don’t need to be a music lover in order to get something out of a visit to the Vienna State Opera. The architecture alone is enough to want to see it up close. And if you do happen to enjoy classical music, the local orchestra is one of the best in the entire world. You could easily plan an entire holiday around this single location in Austra.

Hohensalzburg Castle

If you’re a big fan of history or architecture (or both), you’re going to love seeing Hohensalzburg Castle up close and personal. This is truly one of the finer examples of what went into making these impressive fortresses that dominated the landscape when they were first built and continue to do so today.

Hofburg Imperial Palace

The Hofburg Imperial Palace is located in Vienna, Austria and is something you definitely have to see if you travel here. Seeing it lit up at night is really special and makes it look even more impressive. From the 15th century to the early 19th century, kings and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire called this place their home. It’s really quite impressive in a lot of respects.

St Anton am Arlberg

If you’re more into outdoor activities, like skiing, you’re going to want to go to St Anton am Arlberg, one of the most well known ski resorts in all of Europe according to some. And even if you don’t want to hit the slopes, the breathtaking beauty of the natural landscape is not to be ignored. You’re going to want to spend a few weeks or months if you travel here on your holiday.

Hallstatt

Another great destination is the small village of Hallstatt. Known for its salt production, it’s surrounded by mountains and near a large lake. You can’t get more beautiful than the natural scenery found here. And the fact that a lot of the town has been around for hundreds of years, it’s really an opportunity to take a look into the past.

Why Austria Rocks

As you can see from just the few examples above, there are a lot of reasons to make Austria your destination when you go on holiday next. From the history and the culture to the natural landscapes that take your breath away, it should be on your list of must-see places before you die.

Bio

Sheila Kurdinger frequently visits Casamundo in order to stay on top of all the great travel destinations and holiday rental deals going on. She’s been fascinated with Austria since she was a little child and hopes to travel there for a year or more someday.

Low cost Madrid

By Vera Petryk

Madrid stands out head and shoulders above most European capitals. And indeed, the capital of Spain is nothing but attractions: gorgeous palaces, interesting museums, wild entertainment and crazy bullfighting attract a significant amount of people. The question is what to do if you cannot afford luxurious suite but still want to see Madrid. For those who are interested in Madrid on a budget below is a list of main tips.

Housing
First of all stay away from any kind of hotel, hostels and apartments should be your best friends for a trip. Although, you may try an absolutely free housing, it is called couch surfing. The main idea of it is to let people travel without any cost of living. You simply log in on a site and find people who are willing to give you a place to stay – a couch. This way you get to meet a lot of new and interesting locals who usually give you tours and show around in the city. In exchange you bring them presents and make sure they have a couch to stay on when they are in your city.

Eating out
It is said that eating out in European capitals is way too expensive. For those who want to prove it wrong I recommend little cafes like Botin or better go to one of the popular canteens that are placed throughout the city. The only thing you get to suffer is noise, nevertheless, the food is what you are really looking for, and it is absolutely delicious. And, if what, it is even good, this way you will get to know the culture better. Important tip is to remember that at noon most of the places in the city are closed for siesta, so be sure you had a good lunch.

Sightseeing
The best way to explore any city is to take a tour. Make sure you order it ahead of time, this way it will be cheaper. I also recommend buying a city card that allows you to visit most of museums and sightseeing spots for free. The greatest thing about the city card is that it gives you a possibility to use public transport without any cost, which saves a lot.

Entertainment
The one and only place to party hard in Madrid is a district Chueca. Known mostly as a gay center it has a huge variety of bars, pubs and nightclubs in Madrid. If you want to save some Euros on alcohol, do it like Spanish, get tipsy at home with “calimocho” beer and red wine, it is really tasty and energetic, after this drink you will go to the party “prepared”.

Visit Sacramento today

As the oldest incorporated city in the state of California, Sacramento has much to offer in the way of history. But Sacramento is not only a city for history buffs; it is also a thriving modern city which has something to offer everyone, regardless of interests. In fact, TIME magazine has described Sacramento as “the most diverse city in the USA.”

How to get around

Although it is possible to explore the central part of town on foot or by bicycle, visiting most sights will require a set of motorized wheels. Those without their own transport have a myriad of options available in terms of cheap rental cars.

Things to see

The old historical center of the city is the best place to get a taste of the Old Wild West. Here, visitors will find Bonanza-style buildings, spacious wooden sidewalks and a decidedly 19th century ambiance. One can explore this part of town via a short riverboat ride or by hopping onto one of the many horse-drawn carriages.

The old town is usually a beehive of activity, with numerous museums and shops overflowing with visitors. The many antique trains are also popular with tourists. Weekends usually bring live entertainment in the form of folk, blues or Cajun music in one of the rustic restaurants and saloons in the area.

The State Indian Museum is a must-see for those who are interested in the indigenous cultures of the United States and specifically California. It has excellent displays of beadwork, basketry and clothing made by the Californian Indian tribes.

Sutter’s Fort is the oldest restored fort in the whole of the US. It was constructed in 1840 by John Sutter and now houses an interesting display of early Californian and pioneer artifacts.

To get away from the hustle and bustle of central Sacramento, a visit to Fairytale Town and the adjacent Sacramento Zoo is an excellent option. The zoo is shady and peaceful and houses a wide collection of animals, of which the birds and reptiles are particularly fascinating. Fairytale Town is a great place for families. Here, fairytales come to life – the attractions feature pirate ships, kings and knights galore.

What to do

Although William Land Park Golf course only features a 9-hole layout, its length of 5,208 yards as well as its difficulty level will ensure that it is a challenge even to highly experienced players. In fact, one of the holes is a par-five – about as challenging as anyone could wish for.

The American River Bike Trail is the perfect way to get and stay fit while enjoying the great outdoors. It stretches for a glorious 33 miles along the banks of the Sacramento River, surrounded by lush parkland. The trail is not only suitable for bikers – joggers and picnickers are also welcome.

Raging Waters is another great venue which will keep the whole family occupied for hours, if not days, with its vast range of activities. There are more than 25 water attractions, pools and slides for both children and adults.

The bottom line

Its relatively small population gives Sacramento a laid-back ambiance not found in many large Californian cities. At the same time, the wide array of sights and activities makes this beautiful city the ideal place for a family holiday.