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Dogger-Lust: Finding Places to Stay for You and Your Dog

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Travelling with your pets is rewarding but like all adventures, can be an expedition into the unknown. Whether it’s navigating quarantine laws or finding a pet sitter for a night out, getting sorted with a pet in tow on the road, air or ocean can take time. However, the good news is that as the digital economy matures there are countless resources to assist you. Pet sitters? Plan ahead and Skype interview them for piece of mind before you arrive at your destination. Need a recommendation on pet friendly dining options? Most review sites will have a selection of places for you and pup to frequent. And perhaps most importantly, there is the ability to locate online the closest (and open) veterinary clinic. This can be vital in an emergency situation.

But what about accommodation? Some hotels are finally cottoning on the burgeoning market of travelling with pets and some accommodation sites are adding ‘pet-friendly’ filters to their search criteria. Of course, good old fashioned word-of-mouth and online reviews will also enable you to find less obvious pet friendly lodgings as well. However, we have had the most success by finding our ideal accommodation and then contacting the owner/management to make our case for allowing a pet to stay. In this case, developing a slick looking Pet CV may seem a tad twee, but it is generally only seen in the case of long term rentals – rather than travellers and those on holidays – so it’s worth a shot. It’s also worth noting that in dire circumstances many private or hotels will allow pets – at a price. 

For the ultimate in pet friendly accommodation, there are several destinations that should be on bucket-list. In Europe, see Le Bristol in Paris and The Hoxton in Amsterdam. Dogs even stay for free at the Hotel Beau Rivage in Geneva. Leading the way in Asia is Japan’s KAI Kinugawa, a sumptuous onsen lodging with a Japanese-style pet friendly room. If you’re heading Down Under, check out The Langham in Sydney and Somerset on Elizabeth in Melbourne who both willingly welcome your pets. Worldwide, large chains such as Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Best Westerns, Fairmont Hotels and Ace Hotels (selected properties) all offer pet friendly accommodation of luxurious quality and an array of services from doggy spas to fine dining pet menus. 

Another way to ensure you and your dog are always welcome is to take your home with you – wherever you go. While Tiny Homes are making their mark in sustainable living, the humble caravan is ultimately more portable and your ticket to travelling with pets. 

Best of all, when you’re back on home turf, just park your caravan and protect it until you’re ready for your next adventure. We recommend the Adco motorhome cover for its durability and zippered panels meaning you don’t have to completely remove it to get your vehicle. Bonus points for breathable, premium fabric that filters 99.8% of UV rays that over time damages your caravan’s paintwork. Happy travelling! 

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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Travel Tips

5 Spanish Beach Holiday Destinations Off The Beaten Track

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Spanish package holidays have been a firm favourite of Europeans for more than 50 years, with many going to tried-and-tested destinations such as the Costa del Sol and Costa Brava. But what if you’re looking for a Spanish beach holiday somewhere new? Well, Spain has plenty of fantastic beach resorts you’ve probably never heard of, so we’ve unveiled five of the best destinations off the beaten track for you to consider.

Zahara de Los Atunes, Cadiz

The beach resorts in the far south of the country may be less well-known than those on the Mediterranean side of Spain, but they boast many more untouched beaches, including the spectacular Zahara de los Atunes beach, which stretches for five miles from the picturesque fishing village of the same name. The beach is popular for its water sports and makes an excellent family-friendly destination for those looking for all the trappings of a beach holiday but without the crowds. There are no high-rise hotels, giving the area a more intimate, friendly feel.

The Cíes Islands, Galicia

The little-known Cíes Islands in the north-west coast of Spain is a real find. With white-sand beaches that glisten in the sunshine thanks to tiny particles of quartz and waters of the clearest blue, it’s no wonder these islands are known as the ‘Galician Seychelles’. The 1,200m long Playa de Rodas, with its natural lagoon, sugar-like sand and turquoise waters, is beautiful. It doesn’t get much more off the beaten track than the beaches of the The Cíes Islands, accessible only by ferry, and with no hotels and only campsites available, you can live like Robinson Crusoe, if only for a few days.

Es Pujols, Formentera

On the tiny Balearic island of Formentera is the resort of Es Pujols. The one resort on the island, it provides a slower pace of life for those uninterested in the sights and sounds of its boisterous neighbour Ibiza. During the day, visitors can chill out on one of two white-sand beaches, while in the evening raise the tempo at one of the resort’s trendy nightspots. Es Pujols may be small, but it has everything a holidaymaker could want, from sunbathing and water sports to great restaurants and nightlife.

Altea, Alicante

Hidden away in the province of Alicante is the small whitewashed town of Altea. It’s just a 20-minute drive from glitzy Benidorm but couldn’t be more different. Here you can experience traditional Spain in all its glory as you wander along the cobbled streets of the old town before stopping off at one of the many traditional tapas bars for a bite to eat. Visit the exquisitely decorated Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Consuelo church before finishing your day soaking up the sun at one of the many beaches dotted around the Altea area.

Punta Umbria, Huelva

For unspoiled coastline head to Punta Umbria in the Spanish province of Huelva. There you’ll find a number of spectacular beaches, including the urbanised beach of Playa de Punta Umbria, which offers plenty of peace and quiet and escape from the crowds while still providing plenty of amenities to keep you and the family fed and watered. Be sure to take time out to visit the Paraje Natural de las Marismas del Odiel, a protected area of wetland where you can take long walks and enjoy the sights of spoonbills, loons, cormorants and flamingos.

Now that you know about these off the beaten track destinations, why not try something a little bit different for your next beach holiday to Spain?

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Travel Tips

Why is the Grand Central Station Worth a Visit?

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Grand Central Station is one of New York City’s most iconic fixtures, right up there with Times Square and the Empire State Building. Only a couple of blocks away from the Westgate NYC Hotel, it’s also close to some of the Big Apple’s most popular attractions like St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Bryant Park.

Located in midtown Manhattan, the terminal is a certified National Historic Landmark that deserves a spot on any tourist’s itinerary. Find out why it’s worth seeing below:

It’s an architectural marvel.

Calling Grand Central a “train station” is the same as calling the St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican a “church”. It is the world’s largest railway station, at 44 platforms and 67 tracks, including a rail yard and sidings. The terminal covers 48 acres of prime real estate in Park Avenue and serves an average of 750,000 commuters daily.

In addition to its sheer size, Grand Central can be classified as a work of art on itself. It was designed in the distinctive Beaux-Arts style that has defined turn-of-the-century American Renaissance architecture. The façade and structure of the terminal are made primarily of granite, and the sumptuous interiors use imitation Caen stone, Botticino marble, and pink Tennessee marble.

There’s artwork all around.

The terminal incorporates numerous public artworks into its design, making it a worthy addition to any art lover’s itinerary. Grand Central’s south façade alone features several works of art, including the world’s largest example of Tiffany glass; a 13-foot-wide clock worth 20 million US dollars; the 48-foot-wide Glory of Commerce sculptural group by French sculptor Jules-Félix Coutan; and a 4-ton, 8.5-foot bronze statue of American railroad and shipping magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, the man responsible for the station’s existence.

Inside, you’ll find the Main Concourse ceiling mural, which was designed in 1912 by French artist Paul César Helleu. Themed after celestial bodies, the artwork contains over 2,500 hand-painted stars and golden bands amidst a turquoise backdrop. Another notable mural is the Graybar Passage mural that was painted by muralist Edward Trumbull in 1927. It is a depiction of American transportation.

Contemporary works of art have been added to the terminal over the years. These include a mixed-media mural called A Field of Wild Flowers made by American visual artist Roberto Juarez, a mosaic made with glass and bronze called As Above, So Below by Brooklyn-based artist Ellen Driscoll, and Sirshasana, a hanging sculpture made with aluminum, polyester resin, and crystals made by Donald Lipski, an American sculptor.

It’s a shopping and dining destination

Since its inception, Grand Central was built with the commuter’s comfort and convenience in mind. When it first opened, it contained several amenities including a ladies’ waiting room, a shoeshine room, a beauty salon, and a barbershop. Today, it houses numerous shops, restaurants, cocktail bars, and other services. The 65 retail establishments include an Apple Store, L’Occitane, M.A.C. Cosmetics, and diptyque.

On the lower dining concourse, you’ll find fast-casual New York institutions such as Shake Shack and Magnolia Bakery, as well as the 107-year-old fine dining restaurant Grand Central Oyster Bar. Grand Central Market occupies its own area, where local vendors sell high-quality gourmet products and fresh produce in a European-style market setting. There’s even a tennis club on the premises called the Vanderbilt Tennis Club which is open to the public from 6 A.M. to 1 A.M.

Grand Central Station is New York in a nutshell: vibrant, exciting and diverse. A full calendar of events means that there’s always something going on, so check it out next time you’re in the city!

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Travel Tips

Travel Sri Lanka Tips – 5 Things You Need to Know

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Known as “India’s tear”, Sri Lanka is a country that has a lot to do. From beach and mountains to surfing, diving, and chaos, all within the same island. Are you looking for adventures? Sri Lanka will not disappoint you, and here we will tell you why.

Polonnaruwa y Anuradhapura: to enjoy cycling

These cities declared World Heritage by UNESCO, are ideal for traveling on two wheels because of distances allow it, and you can stop to observe the beautiful stupas, Buddhist statues, and perfectly preserved ancient temples. Then you can go back to rest at the reserved hotel in Sri Lanka with Voyage Privé.

Lion Rock (Sigiriya): for those who dare to climb

This mountain that represents centuries of Indian history will give you the best views of the island. It is an archaeological ensemble whose history dates back to a prince who made it his fortress due to the feared invasion of his brother, who had usurped the throne and expatriated to India. The views will be worth it since you will appreciate the size of the rock and the extension of the gardens of its base.

Dambulla Caves: to be surprised in silence

Located at the top of a rock, these caves offer a tour of Hindu religious history that will blow your mind. More than 150 statues and paintings on the walls await you to appreciate them in silence and understand the rich culture of the region.

Beaches of the South: to relax and enjoy

Golden sand and dream palm trees make these beaches an impressive paradise. Medaketiya, Tangalle, and Unawatuna are some of the best beaches on the island, where you will find relaxation on the one hand and, on the other hand, the possibility of surfing and the typical “stilt fisherman” that are so famous for tourism.

Festivals: to have fun and fill with color

If your trip coincides with the date of festivals in the country, you can observe the impressive dances, dresses, and colors that display this type of event. Decorated elephants and the emotion that is lived are things that you will remember for a lifetime. You must follow the lunar calendar to determine the date of the festivals that take place days before the full moon.

Have you started packing yet? Sri Lanka offers adventure, culture, religion, amazing landscapes and many options to enjoy. Start planning your trip and live a great experience!

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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