Sydney is a must for any visitor to Australia, with natural beauty, interesting culture, and famous beaches. However the biggest draw is the Sydney Harbour, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful harbours in the world. 54kms of water is surrounded by 240kms of shoreline, and the harbour is at its best on a sunny day, with vibrant blue water dotted with boats and ferries.
It’s hard to ignore Americans’ cultural fascination with celebrity. From revelling in the drama of the Kardashians’ on-screen spats to monitoring Miley Cyrus’ latest burst of Instagram exhibitionism, the U.S. has plenty invested in the exploits of its stars. But in a world increasingly connected by the global reach of digital media, celebrity obsession transcends national boundaries, delivering up-to-the minute coverage to fans (and fanatics) across continents. At HotelsCombined, we set out to determine exactly which countries are most fascinated by the biggest stars on earth. To do so, we analyzed Google Trends data for searches relating to the world’s 20 most powerful celebrities, as ranked by Forbes. Our results proved more than a little surprising.
As tourism industry specialists, we here at HotelsCombined follow numerous travel blogs in order to keep up-to-date on what’s happening throughout the travel world. This year, we wanted to celebrate 10 especially outstanding blogs we feel confident giving our official seal of approval to.
Have you ever told the hotel reception clerk that it’s your honeymoon in the hope of an upgrade? Or did you wait until the very last minute to book to try and score a discounted rate? We’ve all tried one way or another to reduce the cost of hotel accommodation – it’s such a big part of a holiday budget.
Finding the best deal can be a challenging and time consuming. But never fear, the team here at HotelsCombined have put their heads together and come up with a clever list of booking tips and tricks, to help you save money!
Flexibility with your travel dates will allow you to take advantage of fluctuations in room prices. Rates change and you may find that it’s cheaper to stay at a hotel from Saturday to Tuesday than from Wednesday to Friday.
Guess which hotel has views of this stunning aurora…
The Aurora Borealis – or “dawn of the north” – is a stunning natural phenomenon that every traveller should have on their bucket list. From Greenland (home to one of the world’s most northerly hotels) to Finland’s Lapland (where cosy glass igloos await), HotelsCombined offers plenty of incredible sky-gazing opportunities to experience:
Today at HotelsCombined HQ, we are proud to announce 18 outstanding properties across the UK as winners of our second annual ‘Stellar Stays’ awards.
We have searched out extensive database of properties, and from 31,000 hotels across the UK, whittled it down to just a select few. Without further ado, the 2014/2015 HotelsCombined ‘Stellar Stays’ UK hotels are:
YHA Port Eliot Beach House, is a particularly family friendly hostel.
Once predominantly associated with the 20-something backpacker, hostels around the world are now recognizing the demand for affordable family accommodation and have been adapting their facilities accordingly. After all, hostels are an ideal lodging option for families on a budget: They’re centrally-located, can house numerous people in the same room and boast cost-saving features such as laundry rooms and courtesy shuttle buses.
With a database of over 800,000 properties, HotelsCombined has a wide variety of hostel options to choose from and the search filters on our site make it particularly easy to locate family-friendly properties.
Features to seek out when booking a hostel stay with kids:
- Family rooms (ideally located on a separate floor from other door rooms for noise control)
- En suite bathrooms
- Child-friendly amenities (cots, highchairs, etc.)
- Entertainment offerings (video games, board games, a pool, etc.)
These are some of the family-friendly hostels around the world that we recommend:
Chinese New Year celebrations are starting
The Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is fast approaching. Traditionally celebrated by East and Central Asian countries, this year the festival will run from the 18th to the 24th of February with celebrations peaking on New Year’s Day, 19th February.
For the Chinese, 2015 is known to be the year of the Goat (or sheep). It is said to be a particularly promising year for those born in 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991 and 2003.
The traditions and cultural practices are wide and varied in the lead-up to the New Year – they start from cleaning the house in preparation of the New Year to putting together the food which can prophetically set the scene for the next 12 months.
For those planning on getting involved here are a few of the Chinese customs associated with this time of the year:
Mardi Gras is coming!
A plume of colour and sparkle is on its way to the harbour city. The Sydney Mardi Gras festival kicks off on the 20th of February and runs through until the 8th March 2015. Over this couple of weeks, thousands of people traditionally descend on Sydney Australia in order to raise the visibility of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex communities. And boy, do they know how to party.
If you are keen to get involved, these are the key dates you should be putting in your diary:
Carnival is one of the biggest festivals in the world!
Carnival in Rio is one of the biggest and most famous festivals in the world. The fiesta is held in the lead up to Lent and it is estimated that there are more than two million people on the street in celebration every day. The first festival in Rio dates back to 1723 and with the 2016 summer Olympic Games just around the corner, you can bet that the 2015 carnival will be one of the most impressive yet!
Carnival is four days of music and dance, with street festivals taking place all over the city, costume gala balls and most importantly, the incredibly colourful samba parades.