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The Most Unique Things you can do in Brazil

Brazil is extraordinary to say the least; its flamboyant carnivals, awe-inspiring landmarks, white-sand beaches and verdant rainforests make it one of the most enchanting places to visit on the planet. From its diverse landscapes to its bustling colonial towns, there’s so much to explore in this huge country (the fifth largest in the world, to be precise) – if you’re not sure where to start, you’re in luck, as we’ve rounded up a few of the best things to do while you’re here…

1 – Enjoy A Glass Of Caipirnha

Once you’re in Brazil you have to indulge in a glass or two of the traditional cocktail, Caipirinha. Similar to a mojito, this refreshing, fruity and easy to make drink is made with cachaca, sugar, and lime, and is just as synonymous with Brazil as carnival.

Another must try is Acai, this Brazilian specialty includes Acai palm fruits and berries harvested from the treetops in the Amazon rainforest. This healthy bowl is colourful, full of energy, and makes for a super tasty breakfast or snack.

Read Also: The amazing things to do in Costa Rica

2 – Getting a Fita Do Bonfim

This Brazilian tradition has been around since 1809 and if you’ve ever visited the country, it’s likely you’ve seen or bought a fita do Bomfim. Also called a WISH RIBBON, they are available in different colours and inscribed with the message “Lembranca do Senhor do Bonfim da Bahia” which translates as “In the memory of saviour of Bahia (Jesus Christ)”. According to the tradition, you tie three knots in the ribbon, symbolising three wishes, which are said to come true with the natural breakage of your ribbon. Pretty special, don’t you think?

Read Also: The perfect destinations for your 2021 Easter holiday

3 – Attend Festa Junina

As the name suggests, this lively festival takes place in June and is celebrated throughout the country. Here you get to see the real authenticity of Brazil in terms of food, drinks, culture, costumes, dances and everything on top. Bonfires, local songs and dance numbers will keep locals and tourists entertained for the entire month, making your trip to Brazil this time of year a memorable one!

Read More: How to Fly Safe in a Pandemic

4 – Experience Carnival

One of the world’s biggest carnivals is, well, Carnival. Hosted in Brazil, the atmospheric Carnival do Rio Janeiro is a four-day event starting on the Friday afternoon before Ash Wednesday (which marks the beginning of Lent). The streets are bursting with vibrant parades, block parties, masquerades, live music and a whole lot of samba dancing. The exotic costumes are otherworldly, but are not only for aesthetic purposes – but form an important part of the story.

5 – Play football on the beach

There is a huge passion for football in Brazil, with it not only being the country’s most popular sport, but a prominent part of its national identity – since the Brazil National Football Team has won the FIFA World Cup Tournament five times, it comes as no surprise! Grab your boots and get involved in the game, whether you play with your kids on the beach or on one of the country’s pitches. Or, if you’re better at watching than playing, go and see a live match while you’re visiting.

6 – Hop On A Beach Buggy

In the Northeast region of Brazil, you can find colourful beach buggy’s to ride or take a tour on. Not only is it super fun, it’s a great way to explore the stunning beaches and coastline without a pile-up of sand in your shoes! Popular with tourists (especially with little racers), these buggies are famous among the locals too!

7 – Take A Cruise To The Amazon

Being one of the most biodiverse destinations on the planet, it’s unlikely you’ll have an experience like this anywhere else in the world. The Amazon is brimming with beautifully rich flora and fauna, which many of us will have only seen on Sir David Attenborough’s documentaries! But if you hop on a cruise, you can go and see this spectacular corner of the world for yourself. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet a few indigenous tribes or you can even take a course on jungle survival! Now that’s sure to impress Bear Grylls!

8 – Go to Oktoberfest

Did you know that Brazil is also famous for its world-class beers? Situated in the city of Blumenau in Santa Catarina, the annual Oktoberfest festival plays host to an abundance of German-inspired brews, traditional dishes, bustling entertainment and costumes – with over 500 thousand visitors over the 17-day period! If you like to party and enjoy a good knees-up, this is the event for you.

9 – Vibrant Nightlife

Brazil is renowned for its high-spirited nightlife, where the party doesn’t confine to a single bar or setting. Instead, we’re talking exotic Samba clubs, lively underground bars, live performances, street parties and more – with a handful of atmospheric neighborhood’s serving up entertainment on tap, including Centro and Lapa.

Feel inspired? We have a variety of fantastic deals to different destinations within Brazil – so you can visit all that this spectacular South American destination has to offer. Book cheap flight tickets to Brazil with Crystal Travel today and let us tailor your holiday for you…

Solo Travel

A Backpacker’s Travel Guide To The Bahamas

Long gone is the era of well-crafted itineraries, today, travellers are all about spontaneous travel and impromptu plans – adding to the overall excitement. And why not?! We got in touch with a nomad who lives for the moment and spoke about their latest travels in the beautiful Bahamas…

The Bahamas
Bahamas Beaches

Where to Stay

When to go bahamas
Enjoy your stay in Bahamas

The Bahamas is not exclusively cheap in terms of travel or living, but if you know where to look you’re in luck. There are a few islands that are somewhat untouched by the prying eyes of abundant tourists, but if you look hard enough, you can find accommodation here to be extremely cheap – plus you won’t have to fight for a space on the beach!

Such islands include Cat Island, Andros, Abaco, Long Island, Crooked Island and Inagua, where you can experience total R&R amid the Bahamian beauty. On these islands, you’ll find that seafood is fairly cheap – and of course delicious – helping you to keep your pockets fuller for longer. It’s worth noting however that if there’s a popular upcoming festival, the islands prices will shoot up in anticipation of partygoers visiting to celebrate – so it’s best to avoid these dates if you’re trying to travel on the cheap.

when to visit the bahamas

When to Visit Bahamas
Best time to visit Bahamas

The best time of year to visit the Bahamas if you want to soak up the Caribbean sun, is between the months of November to April when the weather is pleasantly warm yet with less rain than the summer months. The average temperature is around 24°C, which is ideal if you want to explore without overheating!

What to do

Want to explore the island without spending a small fortune on attraction tickets and tours? We’ve rounded up some of the best things to see and do in the Bahamas, that won’t cost you so much as a penny.

Pristine Beaches

Beaches in Bahamas
Pristine Beaches in Bahamas

The Bahamas is brimming with exotic white-sand beaches, so you’ll have your fair share of time spent on the sand. As a backpacker, you have total freedom and flexibility with regards to where you go and when, but we have a few favourite beaches we’re sure you won’t want to miss while you’re here. A few of these best public, free beaches include Cabbage beach, Cable Beach, Coco Plum beach, Lighthouse beach, Pink Sands beach, Jaws beach and beyond.

Queen’s Staircase

queens Staircase in Bahamas
Queen’s Staircase in Bahamas

If you want a change of scenery beyond azure blue waters (we could personally stare at them for weeks on end!), then you need to visit Queen’s Staircase. This historical landmark in Nassau – the capital city of Bahamas – consists of 65 steps, carved out of solid limestone by slaves in the late 1700s. If you like history and culture, this attraction is free to visit – however you can hire someone if you wish to know more about the history of this place.

John Watling’s Distillery

bahamas distillery
JOHN WATLING’S DISTILLERY

If you fancy a tipple, take a free independent or guided tour of the John Watling’s Distillery. You’ll see barrels of rum lined up and discover the processes of rum making. There is a minimal charge for tasting their in-house rum, where the waiter explains the art of tasting and how to do it properly!

Port Lucaya Marketplace

Port Lucaya
PORT LUCAYA MARKETPLACE

It’s one of the top open-air marketplaces in Freeport, which you can visit while you are in the Bahamas. There are many opportunities for dining, entertainment and shopping within this bustling market; and in addition to local shops, there are boutiques too, which offer something different yet local. If you get tired of all the exploration, take a seat and unwind in the bars or diners within the market.

Dean’s Blue Hole

Deans Blue Hole
Dean’s Blue Hole

If you’re after a dive-in experience in paradise, you’ll find one at the Long Island area of the Bahamas. Dean’s Blue Hole is believed to be the deepest blue hole in the world, where the water plunges to a depth of 663 feet (202 metres) sure to test your adrenaline! Not into watersports? Lace up and go for a climb up one of the rugged cliffs, the effort will be worth it when you’re rewarded with breathtaking views at the top.

How to Explore

Explore Bahamas
Explore Bahamas

Another way of living like a local on your Bahamas holidays is by using the local transportation. If you want to explore the roots of the place, interact with locals and join them on the public commute – you’ll soon get talking about the best places to visit unknown to tourists.

The cheapest and easiest modes of transport in the Bahamas are:

Jitney

This bus has a capacity of around 30 people, making it a spacious way to travel from A to B. However, these are not available on all of the islands, so be sure to check in advance.

Water Taxis

Water Taxi service in Bahamas
Water Taxis in Bahamas

The Bahamas houses around 700 islands, and taking the road can rack up some serious dough. There are plenty of ferries available with a variety of different routes – the prices vary depending on your destination, availability of seats and age.

Taxi

Taxi service in Bahamas
Taxi services in Bahamas

If you can’t flag down a Jitney, taxis are the next best way to travel if you’re not comfortable with driving in another country. The rates may vary but be careful as some journey costs may be fixed.

Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Bahamas Holiday

Travel tips
Holidays to Bahamas
  • Seafood is cheap and fresh, so you’ll want to indulge in local food at local eateries as much as you can.
  • Don’t get in a vehicle with strangers, especially at night time
  • You can camp at the beach if you don’t fancy renting accommodation.
  • If you want to explore nearby places, hire/buy a bike for a cheaper way to travel.
  • Travel off-season, avoid crowds and lap up the island’s natural beauty yourself!

Inspired by this carefree way of travelling? You can catch a last-minute flight to this Caribbean Isle for fantastic prices when you book with Crystal Travel. Explore our deals today and call to tailor your backpacking adventure…

Photo gallery

Photos Gallery: Brazil, Costa Rica and the Bahamas

Brazil, Costa Rica and the Bahamas identify themselves as three of the most alluring destinations in the world. We’ll be the judges of that. Here’s a little sneak peek into what you can expect to see in these exotic destinations, from the moment you touch down.

Brazil

You’ll fall in love with Brazil with just one glance. If you have the right itinerary, you’ll explore an eclectic mix of natural beauty, golden beaches and bright city lights…

Local areas are bursting with life; there won’t be a minute of monotony here.

Costa Rica

You’re right in the lap of nature if you’re visiting Costa Rica, famous for its thrilling adventures, rugged rainforest and sweeping coastline.

The country’s panoramic landscapes and lush biodiversity will take your breath away. With rainbow-coloured birds, verdant forests, volcanic mountains and beautiful stretches of the ocean, it’s an oasis for nature lovers.

The Bahamas

Coral white-sand beaches and lapping turquoise waters make the Bahamas a blissful escape. This tranquil Caribbean Island hangout is ideal for those seeking a laid-back atmosphere, great food and even better weather.

Consider yourself an adventure-lover? The Bahamas has a plethora of water activities to try your hand at, from snorkelling and scuba diving, to paddle boarding and boat trips. Go on, dive in.

If you wish to visit any of these destinations in 2021/22, let us be your one-stop-shop from flights to hotels. Tell us your travel preferences and we’ll tailor a holiday that best suits you.

Tips for Flying with Your Pets

So you’re planning your next family reunion somewhere exotic and you want to whisk your beloved furry friend with you too, while it’s not often that we see pooches on planes, it is possible. We’ve got the latest on the best way to fly with pets, so you can enjoy a stress-free flight with your four-legged companion… 

The health of your pet

travelling with your pets

Before we get into how you can take pets along with you on a flight, you need to understand that flights can be a little daunting for them. You should only consider travelling with your pets if it’s unavoidable or a short flight, since there’s a possibility they could fall sick or (most likely) remain agitated during the whole flight.

Generally, it is advised to not put your pets under this type of pressure until and unless you are changing home permanently or leaving for more than a month. Two weeks in the Caribbean? It’s a no go.

Read More: Places in the world for Solo Travel

Paperwork Required

health of your pets before flying

Your pet would need a health certificate on both arrival and departure, which must be valid for the entire trip. If the certificate expires half way through your holiday, you will have to visit a local vet for a fresh health certificate before boarding the return flight.

The expiration limit of the certificate is 30 days.

Some airlines also require a behaviour certificate stating that your pet is well behaved and won’t cause any kind of nuisance – so it’s best to check with your desired airline prior to booking a flight.

Although the airlines don’t ask/force you to submit any certification at the time of booking or upon departure, it’s wise and responsible on your behalf to carry them in case of any emergencies or hindrances.

Read More: Warm Places to Visit in February Around the World

The procedure of flying with a pet

Fly with pets

Flying with a pet isn’t all sunshine and rainbows unfortunately; some airlines can be very strict with which species/breed they are happy to allow onboard. So be sure to check the rules and regulations in advance. Additional things to consider include…

  • Visit the Vet

Your pet’s health should be your number one priority when you’re thinking of flying with them. So a pre-boarding trip to the vet is recommended for any tips and advice required for during the flight.

  • Prep your pet

Your pets must be aware of what to expect before they fly – well, in the best way that they can be, since it’s unlikely they’ll understand when you tell them you’ve booked their seat! It’s a little effort, granted, but it’s wise to take them to the airport facility if possible at least once before you travel, so they don’t panic amongst the crowds on the day of your flight. Also, if they’re not already, make sure that your pet is familiar with their carrier box, perhaps you can give them a little training beforehand for easy handling?

  • Registration

Many airlines allow only a handful of pets on their flights, so you’ll have to register them as soon as possible to ensure they get a ticket. This can be done online or by calling them directly to book your spot (please bear in mind that this rule does not apply to emotional or support animals e.g. guide dogs).

  • Cost

The cost of flying with your pet varies from airline to airline. There are certain factors that need to be considered, including the weight of your dog or carrier they’re kept in, and how far your destination is. You can get an estimation of the cost online or by calling your airline.

  • At the airport

When you are travelling with a pet, you’re advised to reach the airport a few hours earlier than usual. If your pet is going to fly with you in the cabin, then you both need to go through the security check, which can take some time.

Or, if your pet is going to fly in the cargo, then you need at least a buffer of 2 hours, since the flight and cargo terminals can be different at the airports you are departing or arriving at. If you can get access to this prior, a mental map of both airports is a good idea to avoid getting lost, or delays.

  • Carriers

The carrier in which your pet is going to be kept should be large enough to ensure their easy movement. They should be able to stand, turn and lie down without any discomfort – and, of course, have access to proper ventilation.

  • Arrival

On arrival at your destination, you should immediately take your pet for a walk to ease any bodily tensions they’ve accumulated on the flight. If you were to leave your pets for a long time at the cargo facility for any reason, please note that they will be sent away to a vets or another facility and considered abandoned.

  • Other preparations

Try to attach a picture of your dog on the carrier box they are kept in, make sure the picture is recent and that same picture is in your phone too. This can come handy when you need to identify your dog and makes the process much easier for the airline staff, too. It’s a nice idea to pack some snacks and give it to a member of the cabin crew for your pet to indulge in during the flight – especially if there’s any delays.

Tips and tricks

  • Aim to book a continuous flight to reduce the lock-in time of your pet.
  • Check beforehand if your pet exceeds the weight limit.
  • Don’t try to take your pet out while in-flight.
  • Always check the rules of the destination beforehand as your pet might have to go through quarantine.
  • Find out if the age of your pet is suitable for travel in cargo/cabin.

Best airlines to fly with a pet

popular pet-friendly airlines

With all being said, we have a list of the most popular pet-friendly airlines around the world to help you choose your flight easily.

  • Delta
  • JetBlue
  • Air India
  • Air Canada
  • Air France
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Open Skies (British Airways)

So, if you’re planning to take your pets in the air, you need to be extra careful while choosing the flight and destination. The key thing to remember is to try and keep things as smooth as possible to ensure your pet avoids any mishaps or discomfort. Want to book your holiday in advance? We offer cheap flight tickets for over 150 airlines, providing plenty of choice on destinations. Book your flights with us today or give us a call to plan your next pet-friendly escape.

All the amazing things to do in Costa Rica

You won’t believe the number of exciting attractions available in Costa Rica for you to explore and do. Jet-setters to this exotic country will have bundles to discover, from rugged jungles and rainforests to vast golden beaches lapped by Caribbean waters. Holidays to Costa Rica can be as laid-back or adventurous as you wish, so lets not waste another moment – here are our top recommendations for things to do in Costa Rica.

1 – Trek Up Volcan Poas

TREK UP VOLCAN POAS

One of the most stunning and active volcanoes in Costa Rica is Volcan Poas, which stands at roughly 3000 meters high. Even though it’s an active volcano, you can still reach the top of its peak – if you’re brave enough! However, it is wise to take an expert guide along with you. The rugged hike can be completed even if you’re a total beginner, since the path is not too challenging to climb – making it a great adventure for fun-loving families. Keep your eyes peeled for enchanting bright blue waters en route!

Read More: How Travel is going to look like Post-Lockdown

2 – Head over to Monteverde

MONTEVERDE

Monteverde can be found high in the mountains of Costa Rica and if you like to hike, it’s not to be missed. A highlight for nature lovers, there are some incredible wildlife that take shelter in this area (all of which are protected), including Jaguars – Costa Rica’s only “big cat” – and Ocelots. So be sure to keep your eyes peeled!

Read More: PERFECT DESTINATIONS FOR YOUR 2021 EASTER HOLIDAY

3 – Visit the first capital city

Lankester Botanical Garden

Before San Jose, Cartago was the capital of Costa Rica and if you are nearby, you shouldn’t be missing this small yet wonderful city. You’re in for some amazing sightseeing here, since there are ancient monuments and ruins dotting the city that date back as far as the 16th-century. Or, if gardening is more your thing, you can visit the nearby Lankester Botanical Garden which is full of beautiful orchids among the 3000+ species of plants here.

Read More: Warm Places to Visit in February Around the World

4 – Explore the Manuel Antonio National Park

MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK

This place is the perfect synonym of what Costa Rica offers its visitors. Want to know why? Well, you get to experience an eclectic blend of rainforests, coral reefs, beaches, and spectacular flora and fauna. If that’s not impressive enough, you might get lucky enough to spot the country’s famous white-faced monkeys while you’re exploring on one of the hiking trails!

Read More: Popular Tourist Attractions in Rio de Janeiro

5 – A place of adventure

Adventure in Costa Rica

If you consider yourself an adrenaline-seeker, Costa Rica is the destination for you. It’s got everything from hiking trails to scuba diving, snorkeling, boat trips, ziplining, canyoning, aerial tram tours, water rafting and much, much more – if you’re not worn out by the end of the week that is!

Read More: Best Attractions in Bahrain That You Should Not Miss

6 – Enjoy local parties

Bull Riding in Costa Rica

Are you ready for some bull riding? Costa Rica is famous for its local parties which take place all year round, so you’ll have plenty of games, festivals and crazy traditions to fill up your calendar with. For a small price, you can fully indulge yourself I the traditional bull riding festivities along with the, more experienced, locals. Some of the festivals you can look forward to are Palmares Fiestas, Zapote Fiestas and Puntarenas Carnival, where you’ll find people from all walks of life travelling to visit.

7 – Visit the Jaguar Rescue Center

JAGUAR RESCUE CENTER

If you’re an animal lover, you can learn about the wildlife that can be found in beautiful Costa Rica by visiting the Jaguar Rescue Center. It’s a wholesome experience, especially if you love to see how animals are rescued and nurtured, before being released back into the wild again. It’s ideal for a family day out with the little ones.

Costa Rica is getting all the hype it deserves from people all over the world due to its stunning backdrops, preserved wildlife and more. Book your flights to Costa Rica with us and we’ll take care of everything for you, from sourcing great deals on flights to providing you with exciting things to see and do while you’re there. Browse our available flight deals today, or call to book your Costa Rica escape.

Top 15 Places in the world for Solo Travel

Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding experiences. Travelling alone has got a lot of benefits. You don’t have to wait for friends to venture out and explore the world but can do it alone. Meet lots of incredible new people and discover a sense of freedom that you never knew existed. More and more people are choosing to travel solo each year which allows them to explore the best of everything on their terms. Whether you want to spend your time on a desert island or explore a frenetic new city, here is our list of the best solo travel destinations you must visit!

1. Thailand

THAILAND

Thailand is a great place to start for young and inexperienced solo travellers. Affordable, easy to travel and a hub of backpackers, it is the perfect spot to test the waters. There are multiple daily flights from London to Bangkok, the country’s capital taking you on an epic journey. Start from Bangkok as you explore the best of this city or you may also begin from Chiang Mai in the north. There are so many things to do here, taking up culinary lessons, visiting temples or playing with elephants. Next, you can head south to explore the many gorgeous beaches and try scuba diving. Thailand has a way of making you feel adventurous especially if you’ve never been to Asia before. But at the same time, it’s an extremely popular tourist destination and hence, you don’t have to worry about travel logistics much. There are backpacker’s hotels and cosy hotels within every budget across the country.

2. Malaysia

MALAYSIA

Malaysia is often overlooked as a tourist destination in favour of its neighbours which is quite baffling. It is one of the most developed countries in Southeast Asia and a great destination for solo travel for any age. The country has got incredible rainforests and canopy walks, buzzing cities with lively nightlife and culinary scene. Since Malaysia is a multi-cultural country and most people speak perfect English, it is a lot easier to connect with the locals than many other countries. Malaysia is not a very touristy destination unlike Thailand so it’s a great choice in Asia for travellers who are looking to get to know about the culture and heritage. Start from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur and easing yourself to the different environment before venturing out to more offbeat places in the region.

3. Iceland

ICELAND

There are plenty of reasons why Iceland is one of the hottest solo travel destinations. It is also one of the safest places in the world where you can do so many things by yourself. Iceland is home to over 30 active volcanoes, hot springs and geysers to name a few natural attractions. From soaking in the Lue Lagoon to driving through the Golden Circle, you’ll not run out of things to do here. Iceland is also famous for sites like the largest glacier in Europe and ice caves that can only be explored in the winter and there are the world-famous Northern lights, of course. You’ll love everything about Iceland irrespective of what time of the year you choose to travel, winter or summer.

4. Oman

OMAN

It is hard to imagine Oman as a tourist destination. Many people have no information about Oman but it is one of the best places to travel alone. You’ll find the locals friendly and can walk down the streets without being stared at. Roads are in great condition and renting a car is quite easy. From sparkling blue wadis and dunes to sea cliffs and the Grand Canyon of the Middle East, the nature and impressive scenery are the highlights of this country. You can also hire a local guide to show you around.

5. Australia

AUSTRALIA

Australia is known for its laid-back culture and some of the world’s friendliest locals. There is no language barrier for you but you’ll just have to brush up on your Aussie slang knowledge. It is an incredible country to explore whether you’re looking for a city escape or some sunbathing by the beach. Trace over than 20,000 years old outlines of rock art in Kakadu National Park, float in the azure waters of Rottnest Island or perhaps admire the iconic sites of Sydney Harbour, there is so much to do and see on this indigenous island. Walk into a pub alone and you’ll end up sharing beer with the locals or walk by the beach and you’ll be invited over to join a summer barbeque. Australia recently went through a devastating bushfire season and if you want to help, a great way to do so by visiting the island.

6. Grand Canyon, Arizona

GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA

Solo hiking is an amazing way to escape into nature and enjoy the solitude that you find there. The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular destinations for solo hiking. Vast and inarguably beautiful, it is easily Arizona’s most distinguishable landmark that everyone should see at least once in their life. It is a natural wonder that you’ll have to witness to believe. Stretching 277 miles, its rocky walls go downhill over more than a mile to the canyon’s floor, where the wild Colorado River flows across a swift course southwest. You get a stunning perspective travelling down into the canyon and match no other hiking experience. It is a popular trail and hence, you’re likely to meet plenty of other hikers if you want to chat and make friends. Last year in 2019, the Grand Canyon celebrated its 100th birthday as a national park.

7. South Island, New Zealand

SOUTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND

South Island of New Zealand is a great solo travel destination you must visit. We understand it is on the edge of the world, which means a long flight, jet lag and an expensive ticket. But the joy it brings with road tripping around the beautiful South Island is immense. Find a place to watch the sunset and enjoy wine alone in the woods. It is an experience worth having and that’s what you want to achieve through a solo trip, anyway. You can surf on the East Coast, drive for one-half hour and be in the Southern Alps to go snowboarding or hiking. The fact that there are no snakes or notorious animals here will make the idea of hiking in the wilderness a pleasant one.

8. Cinque Terre, Italy

CINQUE TERRE, ITALY

This beautiful cluster of Italian villages, a romantic getaway for couples, is a destination added to many travellers’ bucket list and this is the right time to go. You will find affordable accommodation, such as an apartment or homestay quite easily. Spend over a week and take time to explore the place on your solo trip. Cinque Terre comprises five villages connected by footpaths and trains and is easy to navigate. And if you get lost here, there are English speaking tourism ambassadors at each station to help you. The towns are small and it’s easy to plan the trip. When it comes to food, you can’t go wrong ordering pizza or pasta at restaurants. Summer is the busiest season and the best time to go alone when you won’t stand out in the crowd. Take as many pictures as you can.

9. Dublin, Ireland

DUBLIN, IRELAND

Dublin is a great city to see as a solo traveller, especially if you’re a female traveller. Dublin has a captivating history with a cosmopolitan character. Stay at the city centre from where you’ll be able to walk to everything with ease. If you don’t love walking, go for Dublin’s public transport including buses, trams and trains which are in great condition. The city is quite safe for women. Historic attractions such as Dublin Castle or The Book of Kells offer a glimpse into Dublin’s ancient roots. The Temple District is vibrant and a reminder of great Dublin beer. There are great pubs that offer traditional Irish food. Visit to meet new people and make friends as the Irish are some of the warmest and friendliest people on the earth.

10. Kenya

KENYA

If you’ve always wanted to go for African jungle safari, Kenya is the perfect place for you. With its diverse ecosystem and population of the “Big Five” (elephant, black rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard), you’re likely to witness a myriad of animals in the wilderness. Join a big group or arrange for a guide to explore the jungle. The country has a decent infrastructure and it’s quite easy to get around. Remember to take great care of your belongings, especially in Nairobi. It doesn’t mean that you’ll have to hide away in your hotel after dark. Go out and discover the city’s flourishing nightlife scene. Avoid public transport at night and hire taxis between venues.

11. Rajasthan, India

RAJASTHAN, INDIA

Rajasthan is a wonderful travel destination in India for solo travellers. It is packed with forts and palaces and is quite easy to travel between the major tourist sites of Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. You’ll feel like a princess or a Maharaja when you visit these ancient cities and its palaces. Embark on a camel safari in Pushkar, enjoy the view of the blue houses in Jodhpur or take a boat ride on the massive Lake Pichola. You’ll be spoilt for choices for things to do in Rajasthan. Don’t miss the camel fair in Pushkar if you visit in November.

12. Dubrovnik, Croatia

DUBROVNIK, CROATIA

Dubrovnik is an historical walled city located in the deep blue waters of the Adriatic and has plenty to offer to the solo travellers. Whether you’re visiting this incredible city first time or hundredth time, the sense of awe that you feel on seeing the old town is inexpressible. Try to avoid high summer months when cruise ships dock and you just see a sea of passengers spilling out into the narrow streets. The ideal times to visit are April and September when the weather is warm and pleasant. When here, walk through the city walls, visit the islands by ferry and go kayaking around the striking bay.

13. Hokkaidō, Japan

HOKKAIDŌ, JAPAN

Japan is an extremely friendly country and a great place for those who are travelling alone. Hokkaidō is located in the northern part and is the least developed of the country’s four main islands. Although the capital city of Hokkaido hosted the 1972 Winter Olympic Games and most famous for Sapporo beers, the place is best known for the great outdoors. Hiking, skiing and birdwatching are top activities here if you want to make the most of this remote and unspoiled landscape. 

14. Cuba

CUBA

When one thinks of Cuba, the images of crumbling colonial architecture, vintage cars, salsa and cigars come to mind. However, with the shift in the political scene inside Cuba, private enterprise is being encouraged with small businesses expanding across the country. If you’ve always wanted to visit Cuba, this is a great time to do that. Visit the tiny back street restaurants for authentic food and explore the artisan shops to take back home tiny souvenirs. Homestays have always been a speciality of Cuba travel. The country also has low crime rates which means, travelling alone is safe and rewarding.

15. The Netherlands

THE NETHERLANDS

The Netherlands is truly one of the safest places to travel alone where you’ll find some of the friendliest locals in the world. It is home to gorgeous tulip fields, winding canals and legalised marijuana, of course. A favourite amongst travellers, The Netherlands will forever be one of the classic destinations in Europe that one can visit any time of the year. With a laidback atmosphere, you’ll find yourself blissful in simple things like cycling around Amsterdam or just admiring the rather unusual architecture of Rotterdam. It is the best places to travel alone, meet new people and open up to new experiences.

The perfect destinations for your 2021 Easter holiday

Spring is a beautiful time to travel thanks to its pleasant weather, sunshine and blooming flowers – with plenty of destinations around the world ideal for celebrating the Easter Holidays. Whether you want to stay close to home or hop on a far-flung flight, we’ve got a list of our favourite places sure to pique your interest for 2021 escapes.

1 – Florida

If you’re after splash-tastic fun, Florida is the best place to go with your family at Easter time. Brimming with world-famous theme parks and water parks, there’s an abundance of exciting things to do with the kids – including meeting the Easter bunny at Magic Kingdom, or spotting an Easter Bunny hopping through the crowds at the parade. In addition, the temperatures are mild during April so it’s a great time to visit the beaches or explore the parks without feeling too hot!

2 – Moscow

What if we told you that you could celebrate Easter twice? If you head to Moscow, you can enjoy Easter activities a week or two later according to the Gregorian calendar, which means you’re in for a double celebration! You can visit one of the most stunning churches with orthodox values allowing you to enjoy the festivities on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter, which continues all night long.

3 – Copenhagen

If you are in the mood for some family fun during the Easter holidays, then you can head to Copenhagen. There are amazing amusement parks with thrilling rides and attractions that are sure to entertain those big and small. The most interesting activity that you can enjoy is participating in an Easter egg hunt or, for adults, sampling the annual Easter beer!

4 – Amsterdam

The charm of Amsterdam lives in its canals, cobbles and culture, which runs deep into the roots of the city. A perfect blend of new and old provides you with many things to do on Easter Monday, from a bike tour to a leisurely canal ride or a museum tour, there won’t be a single boring moment while on holidays in Amsterdam. In spring, it’s the perfect time of year to admire the colourful tulips (the city’s national flower), ornate centuries-oldbuildings and manicured garden spaces on your Easter holiday.

5 – Krakow

Krakow is one of the best places to visit for Easter Monday because, just like Christmas, Easter is also celebrated with a lot of merriment and vigour. You’re going to love the deliciousfood and the markets, which are culturally embellished to mark the celebrations. The hustle and bustle of the main square, RynekGlowny,is ideal if you like a lively scene, especially if you want to mingle with the locals, too.

6 – Paris

Spring makes this already enchanting city bloom in full swing, withcolourful flowers popping up in parks and the natural beautyof the city in full glory. There’s plenty of chocolate to go around in this city, Easter Eggs or otherwise, so you can certainly satisfy your sweet tooth on your travels. Tick off the tourist landmarks, dine in an al-fresco restaurant and wander the cobbled streets in the sunshine.

7 – Sicily

Consider yourself a festival fanatic? Sicily has a whole host of fun-loving festivals and events availablethroughout the island during the Easter season, including Gli Incappucciati, I Diavulazzi di Pasqua and more. Sicily also happens to be one of the best locations for sightseeing and getting lost in the ancient ruins, breathtaking landscapes, view from cliffs and more. What’s not to love?

8 – Berlin

Typically, the Easter holidaysare a peak time for tourists visiting to celebrate a week of sun, but luckily for you, not so much in Berlin. The temperature is lovely in April and the city’s landmarks and attractions will have fewer crowds. There are a plenty of fun attractionsto enjoy during Easter in Berlin, including Easter Knights festival, a historic market with food stalls, performers and more – so you won’t be missing out!

Still, wondering how to celebrate Easter Monday? Give us a call at Crystal Travel to help you plan your Easter holidays with family. Our team of experts can tailor your trip to best suit your requirements and also find some fantastic deals on flights to your desired destination. We’ll do the hard work for you, so all that’s left to do is pack!

How to Fly Safe in a Pandemic

Around the world, the situation is dramatically changing and the government has been taking reforms constantly to keep everyone safe. The government travel advice has been evolving according to how the pandemic is advancing and affecting people.

Apart from the government, different airline guidelines have also been implemented to ensure the safety of the passengers in this current climate. The airlines have been keeping the safety and hygiene of the travellers as their most prominent target.

Airlines Guidelines

Airlines Guidelines over Flying

Here are some of the top guidelines, facilities and rules that all major airlines have implemented for long-haul and short-haul flights.

Read More: How Travel is going to look like Post-Lockdown

  • Cabin crew and staff to wear face mask and gloves at all intervals.
  • Minimal contact between passengers and staff members.
  • Reduction in the number of touchpoints at the airport’s facilities.
  • Plastic shields to be used for checking and verifications where touch is mandatory.
  • Use of packaged food to ensure the staff does not come into contact with passenger food in any way.
  • High-quality filters for constant change of aircraft air.

These are the top things to remember before you fly – if you follow the basic guidelines and line of conduct then your take-off will be as smooth as possible.

The International travel guide from the UK government is constantly updated based on COVID-19 conditions. Presently, the UK has entered into another phase of lockdown where residents from tier 4 areas are prohibited for any leisure travel.

There are different travel corridors and travel bubbles which are in effect, however, this list is not stable.

Travel safety tips

Travel Safety Tips

Here are some of the travel safety tips to bear in mind before flying.

  • Try to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between you and others.
  • Don’t touch public surfaces that are in constant use such as elevator buttons, railings, etc.
  • Always keep a sanitizer with you
  • Never take off your mask while you are in the airport, during your flight or while de-boarding.
  • Keep multiple masks handy if you have a long-haul flight.
  • Try to cough and sneeze with your mouth covered.
  • Make sure that your hands are sanitized or washed with soap before you eat, touch your face or after coughing or sneezing.

While travelling, safety should always come first; if you are experiencing any symptoms of mild discomfort, then you should avoid travel altogether.

Phuket

15 Best Winter Sun Destinations to Visit around the World

Eager for a splash of winter sun? We don’t blame you. Escape grey skies and woolly jumpers for warmer weather in some of the world’s most exotic destinations in 2021. If you’ve been wondering where is hot in January, we’ve handpicked a list of some of the best places for year-round sun so you can start packing your suitcase for 2021.

1- The Maldives

Maldives Travel
Maldives

Say goodbye to the gloomy dark skies and welcome the bright sunshine in the unmatched beauty of the Maldives. With over 1190 islands in the Maldives archipelago (185 uninhabited), there’s an abundance of paradise isles to unwind on. Stay in a luxurious Water Villa, get active with watersports, pamper yourself with rejuvenating spa treatments and indulge in world-class food from the finest restaurants. Wherever you stay, you’ll have an unforgettable time in the Maldives.

Best time to visit: November – April

Average Temperature: 29.9°C

Top Attractions: Meeru island, Maafushi, Ari Atoll.

2- Malaysia

Malaysia

Full of luxurious hotels and resorts, Malaysia offers an enchanting escape in Southeast Asia. Whether you want to explore the incredible wildlife, admire skyscrapers in the bustling city, or relax on a white-sand beach, no two days are the same in this gorgeous destination. With almost 900 islands, water adventures, beach resorts and innovative cities, there really is something for everybody in this corner of the world.

Best time to visit: December – April

Average Temperature: 27°C

Top Attractions: Batu caves, Mount Kinabalu, Perhentian islands.

3- South Africa

South Africa wildlife

South Africa makes for a perfect coastal escape in the winter months, with the best beaches, wildlife and adventure sports available to lap up. If you like to surf, you’ll be in for a treat as this part of the Atlantic experiences fantastic waves all year round. Or, if national parks and wildlife is your thing, head to Kruger National Park for an iconic safari experience or admires famous Table Mountain National Park. South Africa is one of the best winter holiday destinations for its diversity.

Best time to visit: December – February

Average Temperature: 28°C

Top Attractions: Cape of good hope, Robben Island, Boulders beach.

4- Thailand

Phi Phi island, Thailand

Verdant forests, stunning islands, and paradise-worthy beaches, Thailand is one of the most popular places to spend your January holidays. Hop from island to island and discover all this incredible destination has to offer, from its beautiful animal sanctuary to lush forests, eclectic nightlife, drool-worthy street food and much more. Go rock climbing, discover hidden lagoons, scuba dive or spend a day with the elephants all while soaking up the toasty whether – the list is endless.

Best time to visit: December – February

Average Temperature: 31 – 34°C

Top Attractions: The grand palace, Railay beach, Similan islands.

5- Barbados

Barbados

A tropical climate blesses Barbados throughout the year, making it a perfect destination for any month or season. However, if you wish to experience the dry season of Barbados then January is the best month to do so. Mouth-watering dishes, swimming with the turtles and lots of well-earned lazy afternoons can be spent here with your loved ones.

Best time to visit: December – April

Average Temperature: 29°C

Top Attractions: Harrison’s cave, Carlisle bay, Animal flower cave.

6- Dubai

Dubai Beach

If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, Dubai certainly has the wow-factor. Perfect to visit in January, you’ll be met by an abundance of things to see and do here – from shopping in city-sized malls to attending cultural events, taking part in adventure sports and wandering exotic souks – there really is no end to the entertainment. This world-class destination isn’t short of luxurious resorts either, so you’ll be sure to stay in style while you’re here. The summer warmth is quite unbearable in Dubai, but the winter months are the most pleasant times to explore the place.

Best time to visit: November – April

Average Temperature: 26°C

Top Attractions: The Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, Dubai safari.

7- Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Attraction

Golden beaches and blue skies calls are what you can expect on holidays to Sri Lanka, a perfect winter escapade this season. Aside from picture-perfect beaches, history lovers can also spot some amazing UNESCO world heritage sites with olde-worlde ruins to discover. With amazing views from different cliffs, enchanting fortresses and breathtaking temples, this Sri Lankan holiday might be all that you have been waiting for.

Best time to visit: November – February

Average Temperature: 27°C

Top Attractions: Sigiriya fortress, Yala national park, Galle Dutch fort.

8- Cyprus

Cyprus

Cyprus may not be far-flung or exotic as our other featured destinations, but it certainly brings the heat. The sun shines for almost the entire year here, (approximately 340 days) and it’s one of the warmest places to visit in the Mediterranean. Whisk the family away to a landscape of beautiful beaches, rich history and lush forests, each of which sure to help you forget about the drizzly weather back home. Cyprus can offer you both unspoiled natural beauty and atmospheric streets, so you can have a holiday that’s as laid-back or lively as you wish.

Best time to visit: November – February

Average Temperature: 23°C

Top Attractions: Tombs of the kings, Nissi beach, Coral bay.

9- Laos

Laos

Laos serves up spiritual and cultural vibes to visitors that wish to explore this corner of Southeast Asia. You’ll discover intricate ancient temples, cascading waterfalls, verdant jungles brimming with Gibbons and plenty of adventure sports – from kayaking to white-water rafting, zip line experiences and more.

If you like to shop, there’s plenty of market stalls oozing spilling with handmade arts and crafts for those all-important keepsakes.

Best time to visit: December – March

Average Temperature: 27°C – 29°C

Top Attractions: Phousi hill, Kuang Si waterfall, Wat Xiengthong.

10- Morocco

Morocco

You are going to the right place if cultural beauty, bustling street markets, opulent buildings and intricately handcrafted ceramics is what you’re after. Morocco has a mild temperature in the winter months making it a perfect sunshine destination to beat the chills. There’s plenty for you to see within its cobbled streets, from colourful belly dancers and snake charmers to intimate shops selling unique souvenirs. One of the best destinations to put on your bucket list.

Best time to visit: November – March

Average Temperature: 20°C

Top Attractions: Bahia palace, Ouzoud falls, Koutoubia.

11- Egypt

Egypt

The winter months in Egypt are certainly toastier than in the UK, with average highs of 19°C in Cairo and 22°C in a popular tourist resort, Sharm El Sheikh. Prepare to be enchanted by your visits to Cairo, Giza, Sphinx, Luxor, Aswan and more amazing places the country holds. You’ll notice ancient buildings, monuments and pastimes in abundance when you visit this interesting destination, with ornate carvings, statues and sculptures around every corner. Prefer a little R&R while you’re away? The luxury hotel resorts lining the Red Sea are sure to satisfy sun-seekers…

Best time to visit: December – February

Average Temperature: 19°C – 22°C

Top Attractions: Great Sphinx of Giza, Karnak, The Egyptian museum.

12. Vietnam

waterfall in Vietnam

Vietnam experiences warm weather in January, with average temperatures of 26°C in the south, 23°C in the central regions and a cooler (and more comfortable) 18°C in the north. Discover the vibrant cities including Hoi An, Hue and Ho Chin Minh City, with their rich history and bustling atmosphere – or, go more rural and visit Halong Bay with its turquoise waters or verdant Cat Ba Island and you’ll feel a million miles from home.

Best time to visit: November – February

Average Temperature: 25°C

Top Attractions: Chu chi tunnel, Temple of literature, Ha Long bay.

13- Mexico

Mexico Beach

The perfect destination for exploring white-sand beaches, ancient Mayan architecture and an underwater world of exotic marine life – Mexico holidays are a fantastic option if you want an all-round sunshine escape in January. This sunny winter holiday destination is well-suited to those who enjoy being close to nature, love to adventure and lap up their fair share of buzzing nightlife and tasty food. Whether it’s cenote swimming, scuba diving, or simply lounging on Cancun beach that you’re looking forward to most, your Mexico holiday won’t disappoint.

Best time to visit: November – April

Average Temperature: 25°C – 27°C

Top Attractions: Tulum, Xcaret park, Pyramid of the sun.

14- Myanmar

Myanmar

Myanmar is generally a humid destination, but during the winter months, the climate becomes dry and a little cooler, making it a perfect stop for you. Typically there are fewer visitors around this time, so you won’t be overwhelmed by large crowds. You can admire the spectacular ancient sights, temples and amazing natural wonders at your leisure – ahh bliss.

Best time to visit: November – February

Average Temperature: 21°C – 24°C

Top Attractions: Inle Lake, Sule Pagoda, Ananda temple.

15- Oman

Oman

Oman’s diverse landscapes can be best experienced when the summer desert heat gets over-shadowed by pleasant winter temperatures. A scintillating sea breeze is going to embrace you when you’re exploring what this Middle Eastern gem has to offer, from its valleys and ravines to swaying palm trees and clear waters…

Best time to visit: October – April

Average Temperature: 26°C

Top Attractions: Jebel Shams, Wadi Ash Shab, Nizwa fort

So, there we have it, our list of the best places to visit in winter around the world. Call our experts at Crystal Travel and let us help you plan your trip this upcoming January 2021, for less.

Top places to visit in the Philippines in 2021

A stunning country with beautiful backdrops and thousands of islands waiting to be explored, the Philippines is an ideal destination to consider for your 2021 holiday. With such a vast variety of islands and landscapes, you’re going to fall in love with everything from the white-sand beaches to the emerald green forests.

We’ve uncovered the best places to visit in the Philippines

1. Cebu Island

Cebu Island is one of the most famous places in the Philippines due to its location and proximity to the international airport. The island is full of exciting things that you can see and do, plus, Cebu is crowned as the capital of party in the Philippines – perfect if you’re partial to a lively night out. You can visit local restaurants to eat fresh seafood, too.

2. Palaui Island

Palaui Island seems almost untouched due to its unspoilt natural beauty, one of the reasons why it’s called the “paradise” of the Philippines. You can spot tranquil waterfalls and ancient caves that rub shoulders with golden sandy beaches and crystal waters. This dreamy island is perfect for couples or solo travellers, offering total solitude away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Take your hiking boots, as you can embark on a hike through the tropical jungle and fields.

3. Palawan

Located in the Western Philippines, Palawan is often deemed as magical due to its enchanting lagoons, cliffs, waterfalls and other natural wonders spread that adorn the area. This pretty island has been attracting tourists for years – you’ll have to visit to see why!

4. Moalboal

Nature lovers, you won’t find another island like this in the Philippines. Moalboal is full of activities perfect for adventurers, from exploring deep canyons to uncovering hidden waterfalls and more. If you’re fond of hiking, then you have to experience one of the island’s walking expeditions to the splendid Kawasan Falls! Don’t forget your camera.

5. Luzon

Luzon is often neglected by tourists due to its location in busy Manila, with many visitors assuming it will be too crowded. But once you set foot in this amazing destination, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re into soaking up the scenery on foot, the hiking trails here offer panoramic views. Commute to Pico de Loro to climb the Mt Palay, where you can also camp out and enjoy a night out close to nature.

6. El Nido

Famed for being one of the most popular places in the Philippines, El Nido is heavily explored by visitors but still has its beauty and charm intact. It’s said that some of the best sceneries (not only in the Philippines, but in the world) can be spotted from El Nido – so be sure to bring your camera. Catamaran rides are available to explore the island in its full magnificence, making your stay unforgettable.

7. Bohol

Bohol is full of activities that you can enjoy for locals and tourists alike. There are lush forests where you can go trekking and discover secret spots, rivers used by local fishermen and explore cascading waterfalls you never knew existed. Chances are that you can find handicraft shops in the area for souvenirs, too. The best way to explore the island is by hopping on a bike and exploring the place – and why not mingle with the locals too?

8. Bantayan

When you arrive at this island, you may never want to leave. Bantayan has everything, for every sort of traveller. Full of nightclubs and quirky spots, the island is also rich in activities that your adventurous side has been seeking. It’s been nicknamed volcanic island and is famous for cliff jumping. In addition, you’ll find some spectacular mountain trails that whisk you straight into the heart of the tropical forests – ideal if you like to be off-the-beaten-track.

9. Calaguas Islands

If you’re still in search of white-sand beaches, then your voyage ends right here at the Calaguas Islands. The option of camping out near the beach is thrilling and most people leave the comfort of their resorts to stay close to the sound of rolling waves. Camping under a sky full of stars is also another highlight, whether you’re planning a romantic night with your loved one or you have a love of nature and its surroundings.

10. Malalison

Many of the top things to do in the Philippines can be found on the island of Malalison, which is located in the Antique Province. If you’ve been waiting to explore the popular adventure activities including snorkelling, trekking in the jungle, exploring caves, and more, you can’t miss this amazing island. Better still, hire a professional guide and take a tour so you can soak up all there is to see.

Feeling inspired to book a paradise island escape? Book cheap flights to the Philippines at Crystal Travel and we’ll tailor your holiday to suit your budget, requirements and dates – for exclusive prices! Call us now to plan your Philippines holiday.