4 Things to do Besides Beach Bumming in Maui

by Kelly on September 5, 2014

While visiting the Hawaiian islands, most will head straight for the beaches, and for good reason too. Of course the stunning sands and water would entice any holiday goer, but what else do these islands offer? Take the travel quiz by My Holiday Centre to see which island is right for you, and if you get Maui, then add these places to your list for more than just a fantastic beach getaway!

Road Trippin’

Take a scenic drive on one of Hawaii’s most majestic highways, Road to Hana. It twists and turns through the state’s lush green rainforest’s while the seashore  pops up on the other side. On your way, be sure to stop at the cascading waterfalls on the way for some picturesque photo opportunities. During the 55 miles ride from Kahului to Hana you will pass plenty of beautiful places that you will want to pull over and enjoy, so the ride will probably take longer than expected. Take your time as the ride can be a bit stomach turning with all the windy turns. The Waianapanapa State Park and the beautiful Hookipa beach are two popular stop overs.

See the Summit

Haleakala National Park is a magical place to visit while on Maui. You won’t be able to escape the view of Haleakala’s summit as it towers over the island at 10,000 feet above sea level. It’s actually the world’s largest dormant volcano. No matter where you are on the island, you will be able to see the top of this mountain. Why not make it an early morning and catch the sunrise? It’s one morning you won’t regret setting the alarm for. Despite the sunny weather, make sure to bring a jacket to the top of this chilly mountain. Once at the top, don’t stop yet. You can walk right into the mouth of the volcano! There is also a four-mile long trail you can hike at sea level with waterfalls and pools.

Luau Nights

A trip to Hawaii wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the culture and seeing the traditional dances of the islands. At Old Lahaina Luau you can experience just that. It’s an award-winning dance and musical performance that will be a memory to carry forever. Hula dancing, fire shows, and absolutely stunning traditional food such as pua’a, an underground roasted pork dish, and poi, a mashed taro dish, will satisfy your eyes and mouth for the evening.

More Mountain Trails

The undeniable beauty of the Hawaiian islands can take anyone’s breath away. At Iao Valley State Park, the story is no different. The dazzling sites, particularity the rock formations, are what’s offered at this national park. The Iao Needle is the most famous and rises over 1,000 feet into the air. There is an interesting history amongst these rocks and forested areas that can be discovered during your visit here. There are also numerous trails that take you through these striking rock formations. There are plenty of look out points during your hike, especially of Iao Needle.

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Some Australian students are finishing University and finding themselves saddled with thousands of dollars in student debt. With the high cost of housing and the depressed economy a lot of young people are finding it difficult to cover their bills when they are first starting out. Some of these students are traveling to Hokkaido, Japan to teach English. There are great perks offered by these companies like paying for your flights there and home, a free place to live on top of your salary, sometimes a free car is offered as well.

Inexpensive Storage Options:

With inexpensive secure storage companies offering big enough units to store things like cars, boats, appliances and furniture this is making this even easier for the students to leave Australia. Fort Knox is one of these companies. They offer great rates, an alarmed storage facility, and their website also offers great tips on packing for moves.

Ease in Getting There:

Hokkaido is the smallest and most northern island in Japan.  It has the smallest population in all of Japan and has many things to offer to people traveling here.  Sapporo   is the capital city of Hokkaido and it has the fourth largest population of the cities in Japan.  It has an international airport that is right in the city so it is easy to enter with few connecting flights.

So Many Things to See and Do!

  • Sapporo Brewing Company:  daily tours are offered and there are free samples available at the end of the tour.
  • Odori Park:   it stretches through the centre of the town and it hosts many festivals throughout the year.  The Yosakoi is a dance festival that hosts hundreds of teams of this traditional Japanese dance.  There is a beer garden that takes up the whole city park in July and August and lasts one whole month.  The Winter Festival offers many different things including snowball competitions and ice sculptures.  These are just a few of the many festivals available.
  • Natural Attractions: The Beaches are fantastic and some of them have black volcanic sand! The ski hills are great and attract skiers and snowboarders from all over the world.  The Onsens (hot springs) are amazing.  There are many mountains to climb!

It’s Easy to Drive In:

To drive from Sapporo to Abashiri on the opposite side of the island takes about six hours by car.  Even if you can’t read the signs you can buy maps in English.  There is also a fantastic train system that will get you to many of the small cities if you don’t have a car.

The Weather:

Hokkaido has four distinct seasons.  Winter can get pretty cold and has a lot of snow fall which is great if you are a fan of winter.  Summer temperatures peak at about 30 degrees and it is not muggy like the rest of Japan.  Spring and Fall both offer moderate temperatures. 

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The Great School Holiday Bargain Hunt

by Kelly on September 5, 2014

If you’re forced to go on your annual summer break during the children’s summer holidays then you could be forgiven for rolling your eyes and expecting a huge bill at the end of it. The cost of holidays during this time can be huge, and it’s not really fair, not when you consider that a family holiday every year really should be a right, not a luxury.

There are bargains to be had, and it’s really a case of searching for them. Online is the place to head I find, and this is where you can do a serious search in the comfort of your own home. It will take a bit of searching, be warned, but there are bargains out there – you just have to be tenacious, flexible, and willing to put the hours in!

Saving costs is the name of the game here, so why not cut out the need for expensive trains and coaches to the airport, especially costly taxis, and instead drive yourself to the airport and book your Airparks parking spot?

It doesn’t matter where you’re flying from, provided you’re arriving back at the same airport, you’ll find a service, including great rates for Dublin Airport parking, proving that nobody misses out. Driving yourself also cuts out stress, and when you’re travelling with kids in tow, anything to make your travel day easier is welcomed!

For further cost cutting measures, it’s always a good idea to look at the time of year you’re travelling. July and August prices are huge, we all know this, but I’ve seen many bargains during the October school holidays. Travelling in October has many

benefits – the major resorts are usually still open, the weather is warm but not overly hot, like it can be in July and August, and prices are lower. Add to that fact the shops are often closing down for end of season, and you’ll grab lots of holiday bargains that way too. I’ve been away in October a couple of times, and I’ve noticed it is an increasingly busy time to travel nowadays.

Early season is the same, and as long as you avoid Easter, which is expensive in itself, you can often grab a bargain during half term breaks.

It really is a case of searching and moving your plans around a little, but if it saves you hundreds of pounds in the process, isn’t it worth it?

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Why you need to drop everything and visit Greece

August 18, 2014

So you’ve just watched Mama Mia for the 42nd time and no it’s not because you’re a closet Abba fan, or a closet Pierce Brosnan fan for that matter. It’s simply because you love fantasizing about whiling away the hours on that enchanting Greek island paradise….with Pierce Brosnan. Well what’s stopping you from turning that [...]

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Land vs Cruise: Which Would you Choose?

August 18, 2014

If you’ve never tried a cruise holiday, preferring to keep your feet on solid land, then maybe it’s time to try something new. Cruises are becoming increasingly popular, and when once upon a time you couldn’t get a cruise for under a fortune, these days there are plentiful bargains to be had, and you even [...]

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