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It is a common problem faced by many travellers – how best to pack your suitcase to get the maximum space out of it and also how not to arrive at your destination to find all your clothes are creased!

Here are some top tips from Any Airport Car Hire:

Plan ahead
If you’re going to be staying in a hotel, find out in advance what amenities they have, such as iron in the room, hairdryer, bathrobes etc. If these items are available to you then there is no need to pack them, which is a blessing as they’re all bulky items. If staying with friends or family, find out if you need to take your own towels and suchlike.

Think about the sort of weather you can expect when you get to your destination. It’s pointless packing a huge heavy jumper if you’re travelling to Spain in the peak of summer!

Downsize where possible and improvise

Most shops now stock a good range of toiletries available in mini-size – especially useful if you’re going away for a short break.  Why take a big bottle of shampoo and conditioner when you’ll only be washing your hair once or twice? Toiletries can take up a lot of space in your luggage and also can weigh quite a bit. So buy some mini-sized ones where available, this will save lots of space and weight. 

You can also buy some toiletries at the airport, once you have gone through security. For example Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport both have a Boots outlet which should have most items you need.

If you are familiar with the area you are travelling to and know where the local shops are, it might be prudent to buy items such as shower gel, suntan cream etc when you get to your destination – saving valuable space in your suitcase!

Also think about improvising with certain items when on a short break especially. Shampoo can double up as shower gel or bubble bath, hair conditioner makes an effective shaving cream. Be creative!

Stuffed Suitcase

Lists, lists and more lists!

It might seem a bit of a chore making a list of items to take with you, but this will pay dividends later on. Often what with the excitement and rush of going off on holiday or on business, things are easily forgotten and you could end up paying the price – especially when you get to the airport to find you’ve forgotten your passport!  So make a list of all items to take, starting with the most important such as passport, tickets, wallet, mobile phone etc and then add to it other items that could easily be forgotten.

Plan your wardrobe
Whilst most of us can’t be bothered to think ahead as to what we might wear day to day, give some thought to how many items of clothing you will need. It’s ridiculous to take ten T-shirts for a three day holiday for example. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind to yourself! be strict with your choices and resist putting thing in “because I might just need it”.

Also depending on your destination and accommodation, you may be able to hand wash items or there may be a reasonably priced laundry service available – check in advance as this could cut down on the amount of clothing you need to take.

Packing the case
Make good use of room where possible – for example a pair of shoes can be stuffed with various items. Rolling clothes up lessens the chance of them creasing later. Toiletries should be in a suitable bag so that if there’s any chance something might leak – it won’t be over your favourite shirt! If you’re taking a towel or beach towel with you, a good idea is to lay that over the top of everything once you have finished packing, tucking it in all around – that should keep everything nicely in place.

Any valuable items or very fragile things should go in your hand luggage (obeying the rules of the airline of course, i.e. no sharp items, liquids over 100ml etc.)

Follow some of these handy tips and hopefully there will be no sitting on your suitcase to get it done up and no nasty shocks at the weigh-in at check-in at the airport!

Posted: 4/14/2011 4:43:54 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

There’s nothing quite like taking in your surroundings from the elevated height of a trusty steed, as you canter (although some may prefer a walk) along with the wind blowing through your hair – or possibly sand, if you’re going through an area of sand dunes!

What is the appeal in a holiday where you spend most of the day on the back of a horse? Well the most obvious answer is you get to see your surroundings from a higher viewpoint than if you were on foot and also you can cover more distance on the back of a horse. They can usually take you places that you may not have been able to get to on foot or by car, however this does depend on how sure-footed your mount is!

Horse riding holidays do not necessarily have to be the choice of experienced or competent riders, they are also popular with novices and even those who have not ridden before. Most places that provide this sort of holiday experience will have a range of horses to suit all levels of rider including an absolute beginner.

There are so many different locations and types of riding holidays you can choose from all across the world. You could take in the stunning Rocky Mountains from horseback, gallop across some of the beaches in Europe, go on a horseback safari in Africa or even an expedition to some of the more remote parts of our planet.

Horse Riding on the Beach

Spain is usually a popular choice for these sort of holidays as it offers such a diverse selection of terrain and surroundings. Also flights to Spain can often be quite cheap depending upon when you are going and where. Some locations offer miles of golden sands to canter along, whilst other areas such as the slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains offers a very appealing ride for those more interested in viewing the local flora and fauna.

Or how about a forest ride? The Las Brenas Nature Park is a 5000 hectare protected forest, where you can canter along on the uninterrupted paths through beautiful woods of pine trees and palms, providing some much needed shade from the scorching sun.

During the day you will often be out on horseback but in the evenings you can explore the local area and do your own thing. With that in mind, consider booking some Spain car hire for your holiday, so you can get around and see the local attractions and surroundings. It is easier and more acceptable to park your car when you go shopping for example, rather than try to ‘park’ your horse outside!

So when you look at booking your next holiday, why not give some thought to a riding holiday instead of the usual beach or skiing holiday, as it’s something a bit different.
Posted: 4/14/2011 11:59:08 AM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

For lovers of opera there is nothing quite like going to see one of your favourites in an authentic open-air amphitheatre in Italy. Verona is the location to visit, where the Arena di Verona is situated and holds the title of being the third largest Roman amphitheatre in the world.

Built in AD 30, the amphitheatre was able to accommodate around 30,000 spectators who came from far and wide to watch the shows and games. Although the venue was somewhat damaged due to an earthquake in the 12th century, it still stands today with most features intact.

The Arena di Verona is situated right in the heart of the city’s old town and every year since 1913 the Verona Opera Festival has delivered some wonderful classics such as Romeo and Juliet, La Boheme, The Barber of Seville, La Traviata, Aida and Nabucco.  The 2011 Verona Opera Festival runs from 17th June to 3rd September.

Opera at the Verona Arena

Every year approximately 500,000 visitors descend on the arena to watch the spectacular productions and over the years the arena has showcased some of the worlds most well-known and popular opera singers including Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi and Tito Gobbi.

Performances usually begin at dusk and it is traditional for spectators on the stone steps to bring small candles (“mocoleto”) which are lit as darkness descends and the lights in the arena are turned off, which creates an enchanting and magical atmosphere.

Most performances have a huge cast and there can be as many as 100 actors and a 50 strong orchestra. The set design, costumes and props can be amazingly detailed and spectacular, often with live animals being used in some scenes.

One of the main advantages of staging an opera at this amazing amphitheatre is that because of the nature of how it has been built, the natural acoustics allow for the sounds to reverberate all around the venue clearly and with strength so there is no need for microphones and also spectators sitting right at the back can be guaranteed not to miss out on any of the beautiful arias being sung.

Verona is easily accessible by air, with flights arriving from all over Italy as well as from Paris, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Brussels. The nearest airport is Verona-Villafranca airport and is located about 12km from the centre.  Public transport is frequent and fairly easy to navigate, although consider booking Verona car hire in order to be more independent and really get around to see the sights this beautiful city has to offer.

Posted: 4/7/2011 12:08:22 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

Coming up this Saturday 9th April is possibly the most famous steeplechase in the world, the Grand National. Even people that have no knowledge of horse racing or interest in it at any other time of year, find themselves getting into the spirit of the race and having a flutter.

Every year, Aintree race course plays host to this prestigious and world renowned event. 40 horses take part, there are 30 fence jumps and the course is four and a half miles long.

Aintree is located close to the M57 and M58 and is easily accessible by road and public transport is frequent. The nearest airport is Liverpool John Lennon airport.

A lot of the appeal in this steeplechase is that due to the length of the course and the difficulty in the jumps, it is often the case that the bookie’s favourite is not always the winner. There have been many occasions where a rank outsider has romped home to win the gruelling race, in fact in the last 100 years only 11 horses that were favourites have won.  This makes it a popular choice for having a flutter on as if you were to back an outsider at 500-1 with a couple of pounds, if it was to be first past the winning post, you could see a very tidy profit! It has often been said that the Grand National is “anybody’s race” which is very much part of the appeal.

Some of the fences along the course are well known throughout the world, with many of them being almost quite terrifying in height and build. Possibly the most famous fence in the whole of the racing world is Becher’s Brook, which took it’s name from Captain Martin Becher who fell from his horse Conrad in the very first Aintree Grand National in 1839. This fence is jumped twice during the race, as the 2nd and 22nd fence.

The Chair is another well-known fence and is the biggest on the course as it stands 5ft 2in in height, is 3ft deep and there is a 6ft ditch beforehand. Truly an extremely daunting and difficult obstacle to jump! This fence derived its name from a chair which was located near to the fence, where a judge used to sit.

Aintree Grand National

Although every measure is taken to ensure the race runs smoothly, on some occasions over the years this has not always been the case. One of the more memorable of these was in 1993, when a series of incidents at the start of the race resulted in the starting tape failing to rise correctly. The judges declared a false start but a lack of communication between course officials meant that 30 of the jockeys did not realise it was a false start and continued on with the race.  Officials tried to stop the race by waving red flags at the end of the first circuit but some of the jockeys ignored them as they thought they were protesters and so carried on. To those watching the television coverage it did appear as quite a debacle! In the end 7 horses actually completed the whole race, although any results were deemed void.

In 1997, the Grand National had to be cancelled due to receiving two coded bomb warnings, allegedly from the Provisional Irish Republican Army. The race did eventually go ahead on the following Monday.

One of the most famous winners of the race was Red Rum trained by Donald McCain, who was first horse past the post in 1973, 1974 and 1977.

Another memorable win was Bob Champion on Aldaniti in 1981, a very emotional and inspiring journey considering Bob had been diagnosed with cancer a few years before and at the time had been given eight months to live. This story of determination and dedication inspired a film to be made about it, called Champions where John Hurt played the part of Bob Champion and Aldiniti played himself.

Posted: 4/5/2011 2:32:11 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments


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